Showing posts from July, 2013

Work, Home and Family - "God, our maker, Does Provide...."

One of the things that is very frightening to me about our upcoming Internship Year is how on earth we're going to make ends meet financially.  We are SO VERY GRATEFUL for this season of "practice" and getting ready and being prepared. 

I have always believed that God really and truly does provide for what we need. 

This summer I have redoubled my efforts as a homemaker as well as a wife, mother and all the other hats I wear to make sure that we are truly good stewards of what we have been provided with.  This year that includes making sure we eat, preserve or otherwise use all the fresh food that we are granted, no matter how it comes to us.  I know that I will need to do this so we have enough to eat in the future and I want to make my mistakes now, while I have wiggle room, rather than when I don't have an extra nickel to spare!

As I was shredding zucchini by hand this week to make zucchini bread (I don't have a whole lot of kitchen gadgets and strong arms a…

Goals for the Week of July 28th, 2013

Last week was definitely NOT the week I had envisioned it would be.  So here I am with a partially working new computer and a very frustrated self!  Blech.

Here's what's on tap for this week:

* Finish assignments for Unit 1.
* Finalize hiring of my Teaching Assistant.

* Meet with my advisor.
* Do one thing on my dissertation to-do list.
* Finally finish the proposal I've been working on.

* Teach 3 classes this week.
* Learn 3 new routines.
* Submit my July paperwork.

* Swimming Lessons.
* Piano Lessons.
* Send in registration for fall swimming lessons, dance lessons and Sunday school.
* Family Night: Movie in the Park (our local parks and recreational service shows an outdoor movie a couple times a summer for free).
* At Home Date Night: We're hoping to do a bonfire in our fire pit. If it's raining, we'll put together a puzzle together.
* Mail a box of goodies to my parents.
* Mail birthday cards to my MIL.
* Work on our after…

Menu Plan, er, Tuesday - Week of July 28th 2013

No photo to start out this week since my other computer died and I haven't managed to upload my photos to the new one yet. Bummer that, since I even took some nice new photos now that my camera has a new battery and all that.  Next week...Lord willing, of course!
You're going to see a lot of two things this week: Zucchini and Yogurt. 

I got a really good deal on yogurt this last week at the store (and I'm going to try my hand at making homemade yogurt in the crock-pot).  Our zucchini plant is going bananas - we have picked 14 zucchini in the last week or so - and we got 4 more through our CSA last week.  The two from the CSA were HUGE so we stuffed those and I'm working on more zucchini bread (some to freeze) and a few other things to do with the zucchini (bars and a few other things are on the menu too).  Too bad that frozen zucchini gets mushy or I'd slice a bunch and freeze it. 

We also got a LOT of cabbage - apparently a number of our fellow CSA members don&#…

Of new computers, locked thigh muscles and other "fun" things

Well, it's been quite the week... and I totally did not mean to leave you all hanging for over a week!

My week (and slightly more) in a nutshell:

* My computer completely bit the dust.

* I managed to do something that locked a rather important muscle in my right thigh.

* I somehow managed to develop sciatica (directly related to the locked muscle).

* Our daycare lady had to have a cyst removed from her foot and then be off of it for an entire week.

* It rained for 5 straight days.

* John strained his hamstring to the point where it swelled up like a softball.

* A local Pastor had a family emergency and John had to fill in at the last minute for two services.  While we were so thankful we could help, there went our one "free" weekend all summer!

* Our clothes washer decided to over-fill itself, spilling water everywhere (fortunately the laundry room isn't finished and has a floor drain).

On the up side:

* A physical therapist friend helped me unlock the muscle for fre…

Super Savings Saturday - $17.33 Shopping Trip, Garden Produce and our CSA Share

We're still trying to figure out this grocery budget thing.  We decided to do $2000 for the entire year for groceries/toiletries/paper products - or $400 for the CSA and $1600 for everything else - or $30.75 per week.  We have 5 1/2 months left this year to try it out so we decided that's what we'd for the rest of the year.  We also put together a list of things we'd like to stockpile before our internship year - things we use regularly and often run out of.  We're hoping to save up the "extras" after shopping each week and stock up of those things.  I'm hoping to do a separate post on those items and our "buy" prices for those items later this week.  We get paid every 2 weeks so we decided to implement this this week (the beginning of a 2 week cycle) and see how we do with it.

I'm hoping to have this grocery budget thing worked out by the end of the 2013 year so we have 4 months of full "practice" before we have to do this &q…

Goals - Week of July 14, 2013

Wow, did that week go fast!  Zip - gone. 

We had a fabulous weekend.  It was filled with friends, good food and relaxation.  Why can't every weekend be like that?  Something to work on I guess.

Here was my to-do list for last week and what I actually got done"

* Clean out 1 drawer in my filing cabinet  only partly got this done
* Outline course for fall
* Put together equipment list and turn in for order
* Clean out and answer my email in-box

* Meet with my committee
* Draft of proposal  didn't even look at this!
* Finish draft of paper with a colleague

* Teach 3 classes this week
* Learn 2 new routines
* Sign up for CPR renewal  I'm struggling to find a class that meets at a time I can actually go.

* Missy Doctor Appointment Monday
* Swimming Lessons Monday
* Piano Lessons Wednesday
* Write Thank You Notes to my in-laws for their trip up here
* At-home Date Night Thursday
* Family Night Friday
* Have John's Seminary Colleagues over f…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of July 14, 2013

We started off this week with a busy, fun, and generally relaxing Sunday - if busy and relaxing can go together Sunday was definitely the day!   It was a wonderful day and I'm so glad we had a chance to have that day in the middle of what seems like another frantic race to somewhere.    Good memories for sure!

We have a huge abundance of veggies this week and peaches, plums, and mangoes were on sale and with the pineapple we had from last week we have lots of fruit and veggies for our meals this week!

Here's what we're eating:

Sunday, July 14:
   Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
   Lunch: At Church and then at a City function
   Snack: Snow Cones at the City Function
   Dinner:  Leftovers
   Dessert: Pie at a Church Event

Monday, July 15:
   Breakfast: Oatmeal with Peaches and Almonds
   Lunch: Leftovers
   Snack: Yogurt
   Dinner: Chicken Divan, Fruit Salad

Tuesday, July 16:
   Breakfast: Pancakes with Peaches
   Lunch: Leftovers
   Snack: Yogurt
   Dinner: Veggie Fried Rice, …

Goals - Week of July 7, 2013

Since we're back to our "normal' routine around here - at least as much as we can be! - I thought I'd get back to posting my weekly goals.  I'm still hoping to graduate before summer is over, so that's on the agenda as well as writing a few other things.  Cleaning out and organizing and just plain getting things crossed off the to-do list - no matter what the "category" it's in -  is also on the list for this summer.

So with all that in mind, here's my to-do list for the week:

* Clean out 1 drawer in my filing cabinet
* Outline course for fall
* Put together equipment list and turn in for order
* Clean out and answer my email in-box

* Meet with my committee
* Draft of proposal
* Finish draft of paper with a colleague

* Teach 3 classes this week
* Learn 2 new routines
* Sign up for CPR renewal

* Missy Doctor Appointment Monday
* Swimming Lessons Monday
* Piano Lessons Wednesday
* Write Thank You Notes to my i…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of July 7, 2013

With being on "vacation" and our 4th of July celebrating, I feel like all I've done the last two weeks is eat snack food!  I know we've eaten "real" food in there too, but that's what it feels like.  We're back to a more "normal" food pattern this week and our "normal" summer schedule.  Whew. I'm looking forward to that.

I'm blanching and freezing some peas this week - we have too many to eat at one time and we'll get more in our CSA box this week.  So, into the freezer they go!   We're planning our menu to use up broccoli, peas, purple beets and salad greens so that we make good use of what we have and eat healthy too.  We're having a couple of John's Seminary classmates over for dinner on Saturday so I'm making rhubarb cake and homemade vanilla ice cream for dessert and French bread for dinner to share with them. Yummy!  We'll probably send a loaf of French bread home with each of them as a gift…

Frugal Things I Did the Last Two Weeks

Nothing like having to catch up again after being out of the ordinary for the last two weeks!

We're still working at cutting back our budget and ramping up our savings for Internship year and the following 6-12 months until Call.  We're currently at 10% of what we need. John started clapping when I told him that and I realized that I was getting pretty down about the whole thing - we have 11 more months to get the other 90% and it seems very daunting at best to me.  I'm so grateful that he shows me that we need to celebrate even the little victories!

We ate most of our meals at home with a few treats - two meals at my cousin's house, a lunch out with my in-laws (they paid) and two really yummy potluck dinners.  We were also treated to snacks after two different church services last week - lemon poppy seed bread at one place and chocolate-covered crisp rice treats at another.  Some of that cooking was at a campsite but we count that as "home" cooking anyway. …

Super Savings Saturday - $13.85 Shopping Trip

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!   We certainly did!  Our celebration included time with my in-laws, who were visiting from out of state, a visit to the local splash pad, a bar-b-que with friends, sparklers, watching the city fireworks display (it was wonderful), swimming at the hotel pool where my in-laws were staying, lunch out and ice cream!  Whew!  My munchkins even had matching red-white-and-blue clothes from Grandma and our niece, who was also visiting, was able to wear one of my daughter's older dresses from Grandma so we had a red-white-and-blue trio!  Really nice!

I even have groceries left over from last week because my father-in-law decided to treat us to lunch out on Friday and their visit was shorter than we had originally planned.  Not so good that their visit was shorter but wonderful that we have food left. And wonderful that we got to visit for the time we did!  The watermelon we bought was bigger than we thought so it worked for both potlucks without…

In the Refiner's Fire - Pulpit Supply and My "New" Job

One of the most interesting things (in my opinion) about John being a part-time Seminary student is that he spends much more time eligible for Pulpit Supply before ordination than the average candidate does.

For the last 3 years we've had the privilege and blessing of going "up North" to my cousin's little country church on the Iron Range and leading worship.  We've had the privilege of him preaching at several churches here in the metro area during that same time frame - usually during summer when the regular Pastor wants time off and many of the retired clergy in the area (and there are a ton of those!) are also on vacation.  There are also several "seminary friendly" congregations that ask seminary students to come in and lead worship or preach from time to time to let them have practice, so to speak.  And as part of the preaching and worship classes at the seminary they are required to do a certain amount of Pulpit Supply.

For classes they are typ…

Menu Plan "Monday" - Week of June 30, 2013 - Continuing the Challenge!!!

So we're back from our "vacation"  - which included a couple of days camping, a couple of days at home and a couple of days "up North" with John preaching and leading worship at my cousin's now 3-point perish this weekend for Pulpit Supply!  Why do I always feel I need a break when I get back from "vacation". I've also really decided that it's not a vacation if I have to cook - just sayin'! :)  

In any case, we had a WONDERFUL TIME and it was so nice to see my cousin and her family.

We are sticking with our $20/wk grocery budget for the month of July.  We had planned to go down to first $15 per week with $5 going toward our CSA share for next year and then calculated that it would actually be $12 per week with $8 to the CSA (the price is going up next year).  With grocery prices the way they are, I'm not quite comfortable doing that yet so we're sticking with the $20/wk for now and will take the remaining $80 budgeted for this…