Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu Planning

Over the past year, my family and I have made some major changes in the way we eat. I'm not one to take things a step at a time, so I jumped in head first. I will write about these changes later, but for now I want to write about something that has stayed the same amid all the researching, reading, and cooking mishaps.

I plan a menu every week. A dear friend gave me the cutest little notebook that makes menu planning a breeze. As I am planning our meals, I make the list of things I will need to cook for these meals. Here are a few things I've learned about planning a menu:
  • Don't overestimate my ability to cook and the time I have in the kitchen. I must remember to plan simply.
  • Cook something other than chick food. This is a problem for me. Can anyone say "quiche"? It's what's for dinner!
  • I plan one meal a week that can serve an extra family in case we decide to invite some peops over to share a meal with us.
  • I try to always check my pantry and freezer before I get started so that I will not waste any food or spend money needlessly.
  • If I am cooking a recipe from a cookbook, I write the name of the cookbook and the page number of the recipe on the menu.
  • I love to cook, but it usually won't happen if I don't plan to do it.
Without further ado, here is our menu for last week and this week. This a very loose plan and many meals are shifted, switched and delayed in order to meet our schedule.

4.19, Monday
Felafel and quinoa tabouleh
4.20, Tuesday
Green enchiladas, mexican rice
4.21, Wednesday
4.22, Thursday
Smoked Sausage Skillet
4.23, Friday
date night! Kids eat leftovers
4.24, Saturday
leftovers, ham sandwiches (bread baking day)
4.25, Sunday
order pizza
4.26, Monday
Baked chicken, mushrooms in garlic cream sauce, sweet potatoes
4.27, Tuesday
PW's Chicken pot pie, mashed potatoes
4.28, Wednesday
4.29, Thursday
sloppy joes on homemade rolls, mashed potatoes, pineapple
4.30, Friday
5.1, Saturday
pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream, scrambled eggs
5.2, Sunday
meal for church: gallo pinto, mexican cornbread

Feel free to send any menu planning questions, tips, or thoughts my way. Peace.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Loose Tooth

Gramm has his first loose tooth. I was a little shocked that my almost five year old is already losing a BABY tooth. This is just one more sign that he is not a baby anymore. Upon inspecting said loose tooth this morning, I observed that the permanent tooth has already made it's way into my sweet son's mouth. How did this happen? He just started getting teeth recently....well, about 4 1/2 years ago. But, really, he is a baby boy. My sweet boy with chubby cheeks and tiny ears that were still smashed to the sides of his head when he was born.

And, he hasn't been walking that long. Again, just for a few years.

All of a sudden, he is a boy. Not a baby, but a boy. I love so many things about this boy: he still lets me smother him with kisses, he loves to cuddle, he asks great questions, he loves and protects his sissies, he has the biggest smile, he is passionate, he loves his daddy, he is entertaining, he has a beautiful singing voice, he can cut a rug with his moves, he runs "rea-lly faaaaaAAAAAAAST!", his little hand fits perfectly in mine, his favorite place to sit is mine or Justin's lap. I love being Gramm's mom. He has changed my life, brought me closer to Jesus and helped me learn how to love better. He is my little man. He will always be my baby.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Adoption News

When we were told by DHS that we would not be able to open our home for foster children, more than one social worker assured us that the licensing standard that was preventing us from fostering would not prevent us from adopting. I asked around and found this to be true, so we geared ourselves up to wait for an adoptable infant. I received news today that DHS will not open our home for adoptive children due to the ages of our biological children. Homes are opened for adoption on a case by case basis. The fact that we have two year old twins and a four and half year old means, in the DHS' opinion, that we should not have an infant in our home.

I am shocked, incredulous, and just plain annoyed. I could go into more detail about the inner workings of the system and the state policies and blah blah blah, but I have no energy for that.

I don't know what this means for our family. Will we wait till Gramm turns six and try to open again? Will we pursue private adoption?

I have lots of questions. I have one answer. He has called us to be faithful. That's all I can do. I can think of so many situations in my life where waiting has been so good for me. I waited for my husband as we dated long-distance for 15 months and it was more than worth it. I waited for my son for 41 long weeks and he came out just perfect. :)

So, we wait. We can open as a foster home to care for infants when Gramm turns six. That is, if DHS keeps the same guideline printed in the foster parent handbook currently. That could all change anytime.

I am trying to trust Him. I am loving life with my three little ones and I see every day with them as a gift. Three kids is definitely a challenge, but the load seems a bit lighter when I think of having four children. I do hope for a fourth child to join our family by adoption, but for now, my cup overflows. He has made me content in this moment. (that could change in 30 seconds) :)

Love to all.