Monday, March 26, 2012

Miscellany Monday

I cooked supper for my boys and prepared to head out the door for my Bible Study fellowship. That's when I heard it...Brent praying over the food with Chandler. It melted my heart. I am so thankful for our son and the privilege that Brent and I have of raising him to know Christ.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


It's my favorite day of the week for many reasons, and this beautiful weather made me love it even more! This morning I opened up the blinds to let some sunshine in and got some laundry and cleaning done while Brent mowed the lawn. A little later, while Chandler napped, we worked on pulling some of the weeds in our front walkway and flowerbed. I even got inspired to sweep out the garage!

Then we ate yummy leftovers for lunch and got ready to go hiking with our friends David and Julie around Lake Russell. It was a lot of fun, and Chandler loved it just as much as we did! After our hike, we got a special treat...a beautiful rainbow in the sky!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thankful Thursday

It's been a while since I linked up with Julia, but today is the perfect day to do so. There are lots of things to be thankful for!

* Teacher Workday Tomorrow!
Okay, so technically, I do still have to work, but I can do some of those "behind the scenes" things that are difficult to complete in a regular school day when students are present. My planning time is only 50 minutes on paper, and less than that in reality, so big projects have to get done either after school, at home, or during work days. I have a lot of things on my To-Do list for tomorrow, and I'm actually excited about getting them done! Oh, and I get to sleep about 45 minutes later than usual, which is good since I'm totally late on getting to bed tonight!

* Tax Return!
It just came in, and we have big plans on how to use it. First and foremost, we are tithing and giving an offering to our church. After all, God is the one who has provided for us! Then we are putting a hefty amount toward our car payment and another hefty amount into savings. Some of it will go to medical bills just because we've had a lot of those lately, and some of it will go for things Chandler needs now that he's growing like a weed.

* Consignment Sale!
I found some super cute outfits on the cheap for Chandler, and one of them is probably going to be his Easter outfit if the weather cooperates.

* Beautiful Weather!
Speaking of weather, isn't it just beautiful lately? I've loving it, and so is my outdoor-loving little boy. He's been getting a lot more baths lately, for sure.

* Weekend Plans!
Hopefully the beautiful weather will stick around so we can go hiking with friends this Saturday. If not, I know we'll find something else to do, but I really am looking forward to being outside during this time of the year when everything is blooming.

* Game Night With Girl Friends!
It's always nice to get away with other women for a while for food, fun, and fellowship. Tonight was certainly no disappointment in any of these departments. We all got to catch up a little bit and share a few laughs.

* My Husband!
Okay, so he should have totally been at the top of this list, and not just because he was willing to take Chandler out on his own adventure while I was gone to game night. He really is a wonderful "partner in crime", and he's an awesome Daddy to our son.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Taking Advantage of a Beautiful Saturday

For the first time in several months, Brent was put on the schedule to work this weekend. Although this definitely changed what we were hoping to do today, I didn't feel like I could rightly complain because it has been so long since he has had to work on the weekend. It's a sacrifice that had to be made.

So, Chandler and I made the best of it. We went and had the oil changed in the car since it was time for it anyway, and he loved that they had bananas and a table with books and crayons in the waiting area. He enjoyed looking at the cars in the showroom as well. He loved climbing in and pretending to drive, and he was a hit with the salespeople. He really was super good while we were there, which made things so much easier for me.

We moved on to the mall, where we enjoyed some cheese pizza together, and I found a couple of cute dresses that were on sale. His favorite thing about this part of the trip was that he could do some people watching. It's one of his favorite pastimes for sure. I think he's related to my Granny!

After the mall, we headed to one of my favorite places- Target, to pick up a few necessities and then we headed home. Chandler was asleep in less than five minutes, and I was able to put him in his crib when we got home around 2:00 p.m. This allowed me some time to get a few things done around the house before I, too, settled in for a short nap.

After our naps, we again took advantage of the beautiful weather and went on a walk in the neighborhood. Chandler even got on his tricycle a little bit, but since he can't pedal yet, he soon lost interest and started playing with the rocks instead. When Daddy came outside, the boys hit some golf balls together. It looks like Daddy might have a golfing buddy soon!

Supper was one of my freezer meals from last weekend, and after some more playing, Chandler had his bath, and it was time for our nightly ritual of watching Curious George together. Overall, today was a great day, and I am thankful for the time I got to spend with my sweet little boy.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Freezer Meals

I've made some freezer meals in the past, but yesterday I decided to embark on a new adventure...making lots of freezer meals all at one time! First, I scoped out what was on sale at Ingles to help me decide what recipes I wanted to conquer. I decided on a few recipes that require some of the same ingredients since it was my first go at it. I also wanted to create meals that I already am familiar with making so that the process would be quicker. I ended up preparing ingredients for chili, beef stew, beef stroganoff, chicken rotel, chicken with veggies, and potato soup. While I was at the grocery store, I also stocked up on gallon-sized freezer bags. This is a must-have for this project.

Here's how I did it:
1) First, I decided to make two bags of each meal since I bought my meat in bulk.
2) Then I labeled each bag with the name of the meal and any further instructions for later using a permanent marker (how much water or cheese to add, how long to cook it, what to serve it with, etc...). This took about 10 minutes.
3) I got out all my vegetables and chopped everything I needed all at once (potatoes, onions, and peppers for this set of recipes). This took about 15 minutes.
4) Then I got out my other ingredients, which included a lot of canned goods (soups, whole kernel corn, and chili beans), as well as all of the seasonings I would need, and grouped them together by the recipes they would be going in. This took about 5 minutes.
5) I used separate bowls for each of my three meats- chicken, ground beef, and beef tips. I chose not to precook the meats for my particular recipes because I will be cooking them in the crockpot later. Depending on your needs or particular recipes, you may want to precook the meat.
6) I worked with one meat at a time, preparing all the ingredients for each meal and filling the bags appropriately. I did most of the mixing right in the bag rather than in the bowl. Making two of each recipe helped speed things up a bit, and the trashcan was right beside me so that cleanup was super easy. Prepping each recipe took between 5-8 minutes, depending on what had to be added or mixed.
7) As each meal bag was full, I made sure to press as much air as possible out and lay the bags flat. I double and triple checked the seals on each bag, too.
8) As I changed from one type of meat to another, I had to do some quick sanitizing anyway, so I took the time to take a set of bags to the freezer. I chose to lay my bags flat so they will freeze more evenly.
9) When everything was in the freezer, all I had to clean up was my cutting boards, knives, and three meat bowls. The entire process only took about 2 hours to complete, and it was super easy! I will definitely be trying this out again, and maybe I'll venture out with some different recipes.

Let me know if you try this out, too. I would love to hear how things go for you and if you have any other helpful hints!