Monday, November 12, 2012

Goals - Week of November 11, 2012

By now I should definitely know better than to think things are going to get "easier" around here any time soon.  I think that's a pipe dream until both John and I are done with school and then we will have new challenges but hopefully a little more "wiggle room" in the schedule and the budget!

Last week I hit the wall with my health yet again.

I knew I was sick but I had no idea how sick. 

One thing that living with a chronic illness has taught me is that it is very hard to know if you're actually sick otherwise. At least when the illness is similar to what your chronic illness is.  I have chronic sinusitis and a chronic digestive tract problem too. 

It turned out that this last week I found out I had not only a full-blown sinus infection but a very bad case of pneumonia too.  Bad enough that I would have needed to be hospitalized if it was any worse than it was. They think I've had both for 6-8 weeks.

And no wonder I've been so tired.  And stressed. And brain-fogged.

John has a completely insanely busy week this week so I'm going to try to keep things as simple as I can.

Here are my goals:

* Be prepared for class each day and grade assignments as needed.
* Write review and test for one class.
* Finish writing up assignment for a final term paper.
* Update course web pages.

* I'm taking this week off from work on my dissertation.

* Teach one class - but only if I can't find a sub (I've been trying to find a sub).
* Learn a new stretch.

* Piano Lessons x2
* Dance Lessons x 2
* At home Date with John on Saturday Night
* Pick up the children from school each day this week.

* Daily Chores for both me and the children
* Stick with Our Daily Schedule as much as possible
* Have the children each clean out 5 things from their rooms that either need to be thrown away or donated
* Bonus Item: Work through what I can of Crystal's 4 Weeks to a More Organize Home Simplified (I started this and then didn't keep up because I was too sick - I'm thinking maybe by the time our Christmas company arrives, I might be done!)

*  Mail drawings from the children to our Compassion International Child

* Get to bed 30 minutes early each night this week
* Take my medicine on time each day

What are your goals this week?  Visit Money Saving Mom to share and be inspired!

Menu Plan Monday - Week of November 11, 2012

Eggplant Parmesan

Since I'm trying really hard to recover from pneumonia (yes, you did read that right!) this week and John has an extra-busy week, I'm trying to keep meals really, really simple this week.  John was a rock-star in doing the grocery shopping for me this last Saturday - even showing the children how to pick produce at the grocery store (Love that man!) - so we have some 'easy' things in the fridge and pantry this week including 4 cans of crescent rolls that we got for a complete bargain, a frozen pizza we got for free (whoot!) and a box of macaroni and cheese we got for about 40 cents.   So we're eating a few things we don't normally eat - and I'll be eating salad with leftover turkey on it instead - but at least I don't have to try to cook big meals this week.  For that I am so very, very grateful!

Here's what we're eating:

Sunday, November 11:
  Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
  Lunch: Baked Eggs, Bacon, Cinnamon Rolls and Fruit
  Snack: Popcorn
  Dinner:  Eggplant Parmesan, Crescent Rolls, Fruit

Monday, November 12:
  Breakfast; Oatmeal with walnuts and Craisins
  Lunch: Leftovers for Adults, Hot Lunch for Children
  Snack: Yogurt
  Dinner: Macaroni and Cheese, Fruit

Tuesday, November 13:
  Breakfast: Peanut Butter Toast, Bananas
  Lunch: Leftovers for Adults, Hot Lunch for Children
  Snack: Yogurt
  Dinner: Frozen Pizza, Tossed Salad, Fruit

Wednesday, November 14:
  Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
  Lunch: Apples with Peanut Butter or Cheddar Cheese, Carrots or Tomatoes, Crackers, Cookie
  Snack: Yogurt
  Dinner: Chicken Noodle Soup, Crescent Rolls, Fruit

Thursday, November 15:
  Breakfast; Peanut Butter Toast, Bananas
  Lunch: Leftovers for Adults, Hot Lunch for Children
  Snack: Yogurt
  Dinner: Pancakes, Bacon, Fruit

Friday, November 16:
  Breakfast; Oatmeal with Walnuts and Craisins
  Lunch: Leftovers for Adults, Hot Lunch for Children
  Snack: Yogurt
  Dinner: Shredded Pork Sandwiches, Cabbage and Carrot Slaw, Fruit

Saturday, November 17:
  Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins, Fruit
  Lunch: Minestrone Soup, Salad, and Fruit
  Snack: Popcorn
  Dinner: Homemade Pizza and Bread sticks, Salad, Fruit

What are you eating this week?  To share head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - Rest

For the last few years we've been in a season of being busy.  Sometimes way too busy.

Both John and I being in school.
The kids starting elementary school.
John working full time plus call.
I'm work a full time job and a part-time job.
Church commitments.
Owning a home.
Needing to handle day-to-day things.
Traveling with John's ministry (though this, thankfully, has been quite minimal and mostly local).
Family events in other states.
Me fighting two chronic illnesses continually.

I could go on.

It has left me weary.

This last week God hit me upside the head with the proverbial two by four and I have been having to take some time to rest. 

More than the usual time I take, that is.  Because, you see, lately I haven't been taking much time.

Rest is good.  Very good.

And so very necessary.

There's a reason that the Lord has keeping a Sabbath day holy in His laws for our lives.  Taking that time to rest, rejuvenate and maybe do some things that get pushed aside on the other days of the week (and I'm not talking about cleaning out the freezer!) is healing for both the body and the mind.  Using some of that extra time to spend with the Lord is healing for the soul.

Even if the physical rest is taken, spending that time is so very, very necessary and can heal you in ways you would never think possible.  In that time of rest the Lord has shown me that He really and truly does care for us and provides for us.  We had some good unexpected surprises this week that showed us just that.

Rest is good.
Resting in the Lord is even better.

What are some of your favorite things today?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

In the Refiner's Fire - Decisions Made for Us

A while back I wrote about having to decide what to do about our "home" congregation and our involvement there.  You can read that post here: Decisions.

For the last several months - almost a full year even now by this time - we've been praying for an answer for what to do.

A couple of weeks ago when John had his Endorsement Hearing we received our answer.

It is very common to pass Endorsement with conditions.

One that almost everyone receives is the completion of the Master of Divinity (MDiv) from one of several accredited institutions. Occasionally someone comes into the Ordination process already having the MDiv degree - it is a Master's Degree after all, so those who want to do certain types of pastoral counseling or work in certain non-ordained positions in the church have the degree too.

One of John's cohort members needed to work public speaking skills.

Another needed to take an additional class in a particular area.

Many needed to work on their theology within the Lutheran church and what that looks like in practice.

One of John's conditions is that we leave our home congregation and join the congregation where he is working.

We received this news two days after John had preached a very, very moving sermon on how our congregation is a family and what it means to be this family.


We were not thrilled, to say the least.

Never mind that we really didn't want to stay in that congregation anymore.

We knew that leaving right now (which is what they wanted us to do) would negate every single thing he had just said.

So we prayed some more.

And talked to the staff member at our congregation who has been so supportive.

The answer:

We will be leaving our "home" congregation permanently sometime between Christmas and Easter this 'year'.

Sometimes that still, small voice is a loud shout and a thump on the head.

And we have listened and we will go.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - Week of November 4, 2012

Pork, Broccoli and Cauliflower salad, and fruit. YUM!
Last week was a bear! I had thought the the previous week was tiring - no match for last week!  I guess that will teach me to complain.....

Anyway, we have a relatively quiet week this week before having another crazy couple of weeks - probably for the rest of the holiday season.   We're looking forward to the lower-key week here. 

I found baby eggplants on sale this week and bought a couple to make Eggplant Parmesan again, since John has been asking for it.  The only eggplants I had seen were really huge and I wasn't going to try making it with huge eggplants.  I also needed to get the 2nd turkey I had bought last year out of my freezer and make room for fresh.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, November 4:
   Breakfast; Cereal and Milk
   Lunch: Fundraiser for the local Food shelf at church
   Snack: Popcorn, Halloween Candy
   Dinner: Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Tossed Salad, Apple-Grape-Banana salad

Monday, November 5:
  Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
  Lunch: PB&J, Applesauce, Carrots or Tomatoes
  Snack: Yogurt with Granola
  Dinner: Spaghetti with marinara sauce, Tossed Salad, Grapes

 Tuesday, November 6:
   Breakfast: Pumpkin Oatmeal
   Lunch: Hot Lunch for Children, Leftovers for Adults
   Snack: Yogurt with Granola
   Dinner: Eggplant Parmesan, Tossed Salad, Apple-Pear-Grape Salad

Wednesday, November 7:
   Breakfast: Oatmeal with Raisins and Walnuts
   Lunch: Apples with Peanut Butter, Carrots or Tomatoes, Pretzels
   Snack: Yogurt with Granola
   Dinner: White Turkey Chili, Cornbread, Apple Slices

Thursday, November 8:
  Breakfast: Oatmeal with Raisins and Walnuts
  Lunch:  Hot Lunch for Children, Leftovers for Adults
  Snack: Yogurt with Granola
  Dinner: Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash, Apple-Pear-Grape Salad

Friday, November 9:
  Breakfast: Pumpkin Oatmeal
  Lunch: Hot Lunch for Children, Leftovers for Adults
  Snack: Yogurt with Granola
  Dinner: Date Night Out for Adults; Sandwiches and Fruit for the Children

Saturday, November 10:
  Breakfast: Cinnamon Strussel Muffins, Bananas
  Lunch: Chicken Noodle Soup, French Bread, Apple Slices
  Snack: Popcorn
  Dinner: Homemade Pizza and Bread Sticks, Sliced Apples

What are you eating this week? Check out I'm an Organizing Junkie! to share!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - More Little Things

Singing with the church choir.

Lighting candles in memory of our loved ones gone home.

Hearing that a friend is now out of the hospital and into a rehab facility after a really, really, really long surgery road.

Finally getting my grading all caught up (loooong story!).

At home date night with my husband watching "Clue" on Netflix and eating bacon-horseradish dip with pretzels.

Getting some really, really good deals at the grocery store this weekend.

Having the kids so excited about playing outside in the good weather.

Getting rid of the futon that's been sitting in our garage for 6 months now!

Being able to park "my" car in the garage for the first time in 6 months. 

Seeing my best friend this morning.

My best friend being well enough to sing with the church choir today (she has terrible asthma).

Big hugs from my Buddy.

The smell of fall leaves.

Fall bonfires.

Hot tea, hot cocoa and hot coffee.

Getting an extra hour of sleep.

Getting to bed early 2 nights in a row!

The smell of a turkey in the oven tonight.

The kids starting Christmas Pageant practice at church today.

Already having all the money we need to travel to see my in-laws for Thanksgiving.

Little fingers practicing the piano.

What are some of your favorite things today?