Showing posts from August, 2016

We Have a Call!

We got the very, very exciting news today that John has been offered and accepted First Call! We'd gratefully and humbly appreciate your prayers as we head into this new phase of our life. WILL YOU COME AND FOLLOW ME: THE SUMMONS (ELW #798) By John L. Bell Music: Scottish Traditional "Will you come and follow me if I I but call your name? Will you go where you don't know and never be the same? Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be known, Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?" "Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name? Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same? Will you risk the hostile sale, should your life attract or scare, Will you let me answer pray'r in you and you in me?" "Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name? Will you set the pris'ners free and never be the same? Will you kiss the leper clean, and do such as this unseen, And admit to what I mean in you and you in me? "Will …

Frugal Friday - The past week

A rather blurry photo my daughter took of "Butterbeer" (the label reads Butterscotch Beer).  A favorite treat in the Harry Potter universe, the children saw this at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store this last week and decided they needed to try it.  It's basically butter-scotch flavored cream soda.  The kids thought it was great!
We had a pretty slow week this week - I am grateful.  I had some very strange things happen with my body this week and now the doctors are thinking that some of the symptoms that we've been attributing to my PHN may be a slipped disk in my back or something like that instead.  *Sigh*  It's been a wearying week in that way and I haven't had much energy for anything that wasn't absolutely necessary.   I'm going in this next week for tests (MRI, etc.) so hopefully we can get to the bottom of things fairly quickly.   I'm so very tired of being in pain all the time!

I did get the rest of my school/work related things done, …

Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 21, 2016

I tried something I saw on Pinterest this week - the cinnamon roll waffles above!  It uses purchased cinnamon roll dough (the kind you get in the tube in the refrigerated case). You flatten them and put them in your waffle iron!  So easy and really delicious!   They were a really nice treat one day last week.

We did almost no grocery shopping last week - two tubes of mini-cinnamon rolls (on clearance sale!), a gallon of milk and a pack of hamburger.  We'll probably have to pick up some more milk and a dozen eggs (on sale for 69-cents this week!) before the week is over but that's it.  We definitely have enough produce in the house to keep us well fed!

Putting together a menu this week was actually pretty tricky because we have lots of veggies we need to use up.  We had to come up with several things that used up a lot of veggies without creating a lot of leftovers or waste that won't be used later.  John doesn't eat cheese so many of the recipes that we can find for t…

Frugal Friday - Week of August 14 2016

The photos is part of our frugal things this week - I'll tell you more about it below!

It's been kind of a long week in some ways and a quiet one overall.   I feel like I'm terribly behind but I'm not ready to push my body to it's limits again yet - that time will come.     This week has been all about the produce from the CSA and the garden and spending time with the children.

Here's the "frugal stuff" we've done this week:

* I blanched and froze all of the following: green beans, purple cabbage, green cabbage, corn, and kohlrabi.

* I made tomato sauce and froze what we couldn't use this week. 

* I made and canned pickled beets.

* I shredded and froze zucchini. 

* I spent a lot of time weeding the garden.  I *think* I'm caught up again.  *laugh*

* We brought home several ears of corn leftover from the church potluck this week.

* I used the flowers that were still left from my anniversary bouquet to make a new arrangement for our kitche…

Goals Update - Mid-August 2016

I think I'm making progress.  I feel like things are moving SLOWLY right now.  The weather is beautiful, the garden is going crazy (both veggies and flowers) and we have had several unexpected things rolling around in the background, some of which are really exciting.  It's been busy but this list hasn't gotten too much crossed off.  Still, I'm happy with what's been going on.

* Prep Unit 1 & 2 for both of my fall classes (one class is done and the other half done)
* Finish research summary

Work things are going along slowly right now since I'm trying to keep up with the yard and garden and get the children ready for the start of school.  We've had so much rain that the weeds are crazy and the tomatoes are going gangbusters (I had no idea clover could grow that big!).  Making progress - just  more slowly that I'd like.

*Read 2-3 books aloud to the children I've read two so far.
* Attend two meeting with John (for his call process)

Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 14, 2016

I have been really bad at taking photos of our food the last few months - I'm hoping to take at least one food photo each week starting this week so I can post some new photos with our Menu Plan Monday posts the rest of this year.  We have some delicious food on the menu this week.  I'm feeling quite good this week and I'm looking forward to cooking.  The weather has cooled down some as well, so baking is on the menu this week as well.

We're heavy on vegetables this week.  Here's what we're eating:

Sunday, August 14:
    Breakfast:  Banana-Blueberry Smoothies
    Lunch: Scrambled Eggs, Diced Potatoes, Toast, Watermelon
    Snack: Popcorn
    Dinner: Jambalaya (in the crockpot), Rice, Watermelon

Monday, August 15:
    Breakfast:  Scrambled Eggs, Zucchini Bread
    Lunch: Noodles with Butter and Cheese, Sliced Apples
    Snacks: No Bake Energy Bites
    Dinner: Eggplant Parmesan, Corn on the Cob, Apple-Blueberry-Watermelon Salad

Tuesday, August 16:

Super Savings Saturday - CSA, the Farmer's Market and a $32.05 shop this week

That's our CSA box from this week: clockwise from top left: corn on the cob, a HUGE watermelon, cucumbers, onions, green beans, beets, zucchini, kohlrabi and in the middle: garlic, potatoes and tomatoes.

We also ran to the Farmer's Market - the kids desperately wanted honey straws! - and we bought honey straws (I also use them in my tea at work), maple syrup, eggplant, carrots, and apples.  I have no idea how much we spent but we decided to stock up for a while - particularly on the honey and maple syrup.  Our income will be cut severely for about 6-10 weeks (not sure exactly how long yet) and we'll be doing very little, if any, grocery shopping during that time plus we like to stock up for the winter on both of those anyway.  We rarely make it to the Farmer's Market during the winter.  Our Farmer's Market is wonderful, the prices are fantastic and it runs all year round with produce, meat, baked goods, dairy, homemade condiments, honey, maple syrup, and soaps in …

Frugal Saturday - Week of August 7, 2016

Our 18th Wedding Anniversary was this week.   It's so hard for me to believe that it's been that long!  John brought me these beautiful flowers.  They've been on my kitchen table for the whole week and I'm really enjoying them. Most are flowers that last for a long time so I'm hoping to get another week out of them. The "vase" is a bright red "canning" jar that I'm hoping to use in my sewing/craft area after the flowers are gone.  This is the first bouquet of purchased flowers that I've had this year and I'm enjoying having the variety.

We had a pretty quiet week this week.  The children had Vacation Bible School (VBS) this week and not much of anything else other than our usually church things.  I enjoyed having some time to work on things at home and just rest again.

Here's our "frugal accomplishments" this week. 

* We picked tomatoes, green beans, and sweet peppers this week from the garden.

* I made and froze toma…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 7, 2016

We start out this week with our 18th Wedding Anniversary!   It truly doesn't seem like it's been that long.  I'm so blessed!

We are starting to try out some things food-wise in preparation for fall and the craziness that comes with evening sports practice, church events and the general busyness of the school year.  That means more slow cooker recipes and other things we can have prepared ahead. I've also been trying to get all of our produce put up for fall and winter.  We have lots of beans, zucchini and some peas and beets.  I'll be putting up tomato sauce this week as well as making pickles.  Lots to do!

In our CSA this last week:
Green Beans

We bought a gallon of milk and some fruit at the grocery store this last week.  We'll pick up a bit more fruit before the week is over - the children eat a lot of fruit for snacks so that's totally fine.  We also picked tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and gree…

Frugal Friday (or Saturday!) - The first week of August 2016

We had a pretty quiet week this week - the children had dance auditions and we had a couple of church things but other than that nothing really pressing that we needed to be at.  So we took Friday and went to a beach at a state park and went swimming and had a picnic lunch.  The weather was perfect and then we came home, made pizza and watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  Terrific Friday!

Quiet weeks are great for frugal activities - we're not tempted to spend money since we're not out and about.  

Here's some other things we've done this week in the "frugal" realm:

* We made pizza, biscuits, and scones at home this week.

* We picked tomatoes, peppers, green beans, lettuce and strawberries from the garden this week.

* I picked flowers from my yard for my kitchen table.

* I received large bag of clothes from a friend.  A friend had given her the clothes and these were ones that she didn't want based on style or fit.  I tried them on and kept…

Goals for the Rest of Summer 2016

Since I've been so bad about posting my goals for July, the italic goals below are from July and the non-italic goals are new ones added for August.  With the unplanned break that I took, I haven't gotten as much done as I would have liked but I think I'm healthier, which is a good thing! 

Here we go:

* Prep Unit 1 & 2 for both of my fall classes (one class is done and the other half done)
* Finish research summary

* Read 2-3 books aloud to the children  (I've read 1 and started another)
* Attend two meeting with John (for his call process)
* Attend one more meeting with John
* Host a birthday party for our daughter (her birthday was in May but she wanted her party in July)
* Host a birthday party for our son
* Play 4 board games with the children
* One date out with John
* Visit three free or nearly free events/museums/locations with the childrenWe went to the Minnesota Zoo (we have a membership), the Minnesota History Center, and the Minneapolis Museum …

Menu Plan Monday - Week of July 31, 2016

One of the things that I have on my goals list for this summer is to teach my children to cook more.  When I'm in a PHN flair-up, I need all the help I can get! Couple that with the children asking how to make certain foods and the time was perfect for cooking lessons.  My Missy even made breakfast-for-lunch twice this summer without any help from me.  I came inside and found lunch already made twice!  She had such a sense of accomplishment doing it and it helped me so much.   I'm going to work myself out of a job here and I love that too!

I've been a bit AWOL here lately.  A much needed and unplanned break that included a couple of pajama days and some time spent doing Family Tree research that was a fantastic break from all my school "stuff".  I added in a lot of exercise (even during the flair-up) and I'm starting to feel so much more rested and ready to get back into things.  I'm on a new medication for my PHN and it's helping a great deal.  My f…