Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Four Week Menu Plan

Things have gotten a bit busy around here with school starting for my 2 oldest, the little guy & I starting pre-school 2 mornings a week, scouts, my MOMs group at church, etc.  I've decided that menu planning and extensive grocery shopping each and every week just consumes too much of my time these days, so I've decided to give planning for 4 weeks at a time a try.  I'll do a big grocery shop once a month.  I'll still stop 1 day a week on the way home from work (pre-school) to hit the loss-leaders for stock up purposes, plus the weekly necessities like fresh produce, milk, & eggs.

Dinners on Mondays are quick, kid-friendly meals since my middle son has scouts and my husband works that night.  Wednesday nights are also quick, kid-friendly ones, as my husband and I go to Couples Trivia night with our church & our daughter babysits the little guys.

Breakfasts (the same each week):
Monday-Muffins & Yogurt
Tuesday-Breakfast sandwiches (usually sausage or bacon with egg & cheese)
Wednesday-oatmeal & fruit (pre-school day)
Thursday-Breakfast sandwiches
Friday-oatmeal & fruit (preschool day)
Saturday-eggs, grits, sausage or bacon, and toast or biscuits
Sunday-Breakfast Biscuits (using leftover meat from Saturday)

Lunches: sandwiches or left-overs.  

Sept 12-pancakes & sausage
13-Mexican cheese steaks, cheese quesadillas (kids), chips & salsa
14-Pizza balls, apple slices (Couples Trivia Night) 
15-Italian Chicken roll-ups, pasta & sauce
16-Hamburgers, home fries, corn on the cob
17-Chicken bacon club sandwiches, salad
18-Roast, rice & gravy, green beans

19-Chicken Noodle Soup, grilled cheese sandwiches
20-Tacos, black bean salad
21-Hot dogs, mac-n-cheese (Trivia night)
22-Asian glazed drumsticks, fried rice
23-Deep dish pizza (homemade), salad
24-homemade chicken tenders, home fries

26-Frozen Pizza, fruit
27-Spaghetti & meatballs, salad, garlic bread
28-Corn dogs, tater tots, apple sauce (Trivia night)
29-Sausage & Rice casserole, biscuits, corn
30-Grilled pork chops, Rice-a-Roni, sauteed green beans
Oct 1-Grilled Chicken Caesar salads
2-Honey Glazed Pork Loin, mashed potatoes, peas, rolls 

3-French toast, bacon
4-Sloppy Joes, french fries
5-Chicken nuggets, mac-n-cheese, fruit (Trivia night)
6-Cheesy Bacon Ranch chicken quesadillas, chips & salsa
7-Hamburgers & home fries
8-Mighty Meat Nachos

I'm linking up to Menu Planning Mayhem 

Oh, to have Mary's faith.....

Today I stumbled upon Luke 1:26-55 in my bible reading and was so struck by Mary's faith.  Here she was, a young girl, a virgin about to be married, when she was faced with the seemingly absurd.  An angel came to her and told her that she was to conceive and give birth to a son...the Son of all sons.  Let that absorb in your mind for a moment.  Can you imagine the thoughts going through her head?  Can you imagine how you would feel if faced with the same? Absurdity, nervousness, fear, confusion, questioning my own mental stability are just a few I imagine I would feel.  But not Mary.  Her words struck me to my core and made me realize just how frail my own faith in the Lord is in comparison to hers.  She simply said,

"I am the Lord's servant.  
May everything you have said about me come true"

Wow.  To have Mary's faith and trust in the Lord.  All too often, when I feel myself being lead by the Lord to do big things (or even small things, sometimes, if I'm completely honest), I find myself questioning, giving excuses, trying to reason with God, even arguing at times.  Today I find myself humbled by Mary's unwavering faith and complete trust in God's plan for her life, even when faced by the seemingly impossible.  I am being gently nudged by the Spirit this morning, whom I hear whispering to me, "You can do it too.  You can have big faith too, if only you would trust in God's promises and follow where He leads."  I am comforted and encouraged by the promise found in Luke 1:37

"For nothing is impossible with God" 

NOTHING is impossible with God, no, not a thing when you answer Him with a "Yes, Lord, I am your servant.  Lead me where You will and call me to do what You would have me do.  I am listening and I will be obedient".  I find such comfort in this today, and hope that you are encouraged as well.

Blessings from my home to yours!

I'm linking up to:
Time-Warp Wife's Titus Tuesdays

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Preschool Benchmark Assessment

Tomorrow I begin my new job teaching at a church preschool 2 mornings a week!  I have lots of mixed emotions, but my organized, planning self has kicked in and I've been preparing for the past few days.  One of the things I really wanted to do is get a good idea what skills my kids are bringing with them.  Since this is a mixed age group (3s & 4s), I know ability levels are going to be very spread out.  I had a lot of trouble finding a good benchmark assessment online that fit what I was looking for (basic kindergarten readiness skills), so I decided to create my own!  I wanted to share it with you all in case you have a need for it.  I plan on going back and reassessing a various points (probably 3-4 times total) to see how they've grown over the course of the year.  It would be great for you homeschoolers as well!

I'm not a very experienced blogger, so I had trouble figuring out how to go about making the Word document available. I finally settled on a Google Document (since that's all I could figure out!  haha!), but the formatting is really messed up.  If this looks like something you'd like to have, leave your e-mail in the comments section & I'll send you the Word Document!

The Busy at Home Mom's Preschool Benchmark Assessment

Monday, September 5, 2011

Menu Plan Monday ~Sept 5-11

Well, work for me (and pre-school for the little guy) starts Wednesday and I have mixed feelings.  I'm super excited to have found such a great position...only 2 mornings a week for 4 hours, a way to put my degree & experience to good use, FREE pre-school for my 2 1/2 year old who cries "What about meeeeeee!?!?" every time his big sister & brother leave for school, and a way for me to help contribute to our family's budget.  But, on the other hand, I'm nervous about balancing my time effectively & being able to accomplish everything I need & want to do each week.  I don't want to let my housework slip, I don't want to put my husband, children & family time on the back burner, I don't want to slip away from my morning bible & prayer time because I'm hurried and pressed for time.  I'm praying that I'm following God's lead in accepting this position and that it will be a blessing to my family.  Also that God gives me focus, strength, & perseverance to accomplish all that I have on my plate.

Anyway....on to the meal plan!!  With everyone back in school, I'm not planning out breakfasts & lunches in as much detail.  Also, I'm reserving Wednesdays for crock-pot meals & Fridays for Grill night, since those are the days I'm now working.   Hopefully that will help ease the burden some on those days.

waffles & fruit
pancakes & sausage
sausage biscuits & fruit
sausage, egg, & cheese english muffins
grits or oatmeal & fruit

PBJ & fruit
ham & cheese sandwiches
chicken salad sandwiches
Chicken nuggets and mac-n-cheese

Monday:  "Almost Homemade" Chicken Pot Pie
Tuesday: Chicken Bacon Ranch quesadillas
Wednesday:  Crock-pot roast, rice, corn
Thursday:  Hillbilly Spaghetti Pie, garlic bread
Friday:  Steaks, baked potatoes, corn on the cob
Saturday:  Chili dogs, french fries
Sunday:  Honey glazed Pork Loin, Rice-a-Roni, Hawaiian Rolls (Sunday Lunch, dinner will be Youth Group Pot Luck)

Blessings from my home to yours!