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Showing posts from December, 2012

2012 in Review

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Well, today is the last day of 2012.

This has been a year of ups and downs and, honestly, as I read back through my blog this year, I'm not very happy with where this year has taken me.  Instead of an extensive recap (I'm still recovering from pneumonia and my stamina is short today), here's a run down of the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good
* Teaching Jazzercise
* My new class that I taught this fall
* Loving my career as a university professor
* John getting Endorsed for Candidacy for Ordination (BIG yay!)
* Getting a lot done toward my dissertation
* The children finishing first grade, starting second grade - we love their school and feel so very blessed to have the option to send them there!
* A free piano and inexpensive piano lessons for the children
* Loosing 3 clothes sizes (I'm not going to mention pounds :)  )
* The children's ability to read improving so much
* Ditto for handwriting
* Being able to take our Anniversary retreat at the last minute
* …

Menu Plan Monday - Week of December 30 and Pantry Challenge!

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Can you believe 2012 is almost done?  I'm not sure I'm ready but the last half of the year has been a bear and I'm definitely ready for a fresh start!

One of the things that we're doing for January is an eat from the Pantry Challenge.  We haven't done a ton of grocery shopping the last few weeks - picked up some milk here and there and only did one "real" shopping trip between Thanksgiving and now but for some reason, our freezers are packed to the gills (John put the stew meat I bought Saturday in our upstairs freezer - the one attached to the fridge - and said "Don't open that! Everything will fall out!") and so is our pantry and our kitchen cabinets.  They're also a mess and need to cleaned out. 
So for January, our grocery/toiletry/paper product budget for the month is $50.
Yep, you read that right - $50.  I already put together a menu for January using what we have and we have veggies, meat/protein and starches basically covered so …

Merry Christmas

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From our house to yours....

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Goals - Week of December 9, 2012

Things still continue to amaze me.

My Dad ended back in the hospital on Friday. His blood pressure was 86/60.  Yikes!  Turns out his medication is way off and so they took him off it and are letting him re-adjust.  Still need to solve that internal bleeding problem, but that part is stable and shouldn't change as long as he doesn't try to do too much.  He's tired, so reading, watching TV and a little bit of writing are his big activities right now. 

We're nearing the end of the semester for me. WHEW!  I'm sure ready for a break.  We have about a week and a half of chaos left and then we're done. Whoot.  Except for grading but everything but a final term paper will be done at that time.  Then I can relax and spend some time enjoying my family and finally get well again! At least that's the plan!

 Here's how I did last week:

Work:
Grading
Be Prepared for each class period
Update class web pages
Take notes from the book I borrowed from a colleague 

Schoo…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of December 9, 2012

We've got a busy week this week and we're eating a lot of chicken.  I went through the freezer and basically we have chicken and a little bit of pork plus a few other rather random things for meat right now.  That means eat chicken!   I'm planning on buying a ham this week since they're on sale for 89cents/lb and we'll see what else we can get into our freezer over the next couple of weeks.  I'm planning an eat from the pantry and freezer month for January so we'll be able to empty out and start over a bit again!

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday:
  Breakfast:  Apples with Peanut Butter, Blackberry Scones
  Lunch: Leftovers
  Snack: Christmas Cookies and Lefse
  Dinner:  Lasagna, Tossed Salad, Bread Sticks

Monday:
  Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
  Lunch:  Hot Lunch for Children, Leftovers for Adults
  Snack: Yogurt
  Dinner:  Ham and Cheese Crepes, Tossed Salad, Apple-Pineapple-Banana Salad

Tuesday:
  Breakfast:  Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
  L…

In the Refiner's Fire - Sometimes I'm Just Amazed

Sometimes I'm just amazed at how God manages to get our attention.

Sunday evening I got a call from my Mom. 

They had gone out to brunch after church with some friends after church.  When Dad got up to pay the bill, he passed out - and ended up going to the hospital.

It turns out he is bleeding internally (quite a bit) and they don't really know why.  It's not the usual culprits, so he has to have tests, tests and more tests.

Thankfully he's home now - supposedly resting and taking it easy - but he has to go in daily to monitor his blood pressure and blood volume.  After 3 days in the hospital, he's very thankful to be home.  We're very grateful that his heart and brain "look fabulous for someone 80 years old" and in the case of his brain, better than 92% of most Americans as the doctor put it (where he pulled that statistic from, I have no idea).  We just have to find the cause of the bleeding.

On top of that both the kids and I had the flu over the…

Goals Week of December 2, 2012

Well, I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving and that everyone was able to spend some time relaxing.

We did.  And it was fantastic.  We got to spend a lot of time with family and now I'm still slowly on the mend from pneumonia, the sinus infection and a bout of the flu that ran through our house after all of that!  Yikes. I think in terms of sickness I'm more than ready for 2012 to be done!

I actually got almost everything on my to-do list from the week of November 11th done - though it took two weeks rather than one.  I'm perfectly okay with that.

Here's what I'm hoping for this week:

Work:
Grading
Be prepared for class each class period
Update class web pages
Take notes from a book I borrowed from a colleague and return the book

School:
Meet with my adviser
Move 2 books from school to work
Write 2-5 pages.

Jazzercise:
Teach 4 classes
Submit my November paperwork
Learn 2 new routines

My Family:
Piano x2
Scouts
Dance x 4
Family Night:  Dinner out with extended f…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of December 2, 2012

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We're into warm-weather food here this week!  It doesn't seem like true winter here yet.  We're warmer than normal (low 40s F) with no snow.  Instead, we have a threat of freezing rain and even had a "freezing fog" (!!!) advisory today.  YUCK!   At least I can stay inside where it's nice and warm most of the time and warm my tummy with nice warm things like soup and spaghetti and stew.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, December 2:
  Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
  Lunch: Tomato Soup and Turkey Sandwiches, Cut Apples and Pears
  Snack: Popcorn
  Dinner: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Apple-Banana-Grape Salad

Monday, December 3:
  Breakfast: Oatmeal with Almonds and Cinnamon
  Lunch: Hot Lunch for Children, Leftovers for Adults
  Snack: Cheese Stick and Apple
  Dinner: Cracker Baked Chicken, Rice, Tossed Salad, Grape-Apple-Pineapple Salad

Tuesday, December 4:
  Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
  Lunch: Crackers and Cheese, Carrots, Applesauce, Cookie

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - Getting Ready for Christmas

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We are into the season of Advent here at our house - the season of waiting and preparing for the arrival of our Lord and Savoir. 

I love this time of year - all the twinkling lights, the smell of evergreen and the excitement that's in the air.  Baking is a big deal in our family and we take part, making favorites like sugar and ginger cookies as well as traditional family fare of krumkaka and lefse (we skip the lutefisk, thank you very much!).

We're slowly decorating here.

Right now we have the Advent Wreath up with the four purple and one white candle.

The Nativity is waiting in it's box to be taken out later this week.

The pine cones and bulbs and soft felt Christmas ornaments from my childhood are waiting to be added to the china cabinet, also later this week (hopefully).

The presents are starting to be made and some are even finished!  A few even are wrapped!

 Truly, getting ready for Christmas is one of my favorite things!