Tuesday, April 28, 2009


In my visions of my dream house there have always been doves, living in a dovecote, in a courtyard. You see, in a book I once read the family had a dovecote. For some reason, this resonated with me. This was peacefulness and serenity right in your own back yard. Later, I came across more imaginary homes with doves in the courtyard.
Well, sometimes dreams do come true. I don't actually have a dovecote, but I do have doves. Wild mourning doves. A pair of them are nesting somewhere around our property. As it happens they like to hang out in our courtyard! I've even seen two younger doves; offspring, I suppose. And I hear their cooing all the time. I love it. Especially when I am waking up in the morning, sunlight filtering through my blinds...so peaceful. I love how God can surprise us with wonderful little blessings like that!
Someday, maybe I'll even have a dovecote, (like the one above!), for our doves.
I just realized that this post would work for Chatting at the Sky's Tuesdays Unwrapped! Head on over there for more simple gifts!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Menu Planning

Menu planning saves my sanity. It makes grocery shopping easier, faster and more economical. I am not normally a very organized person, but in certain areas of life, I need to be.

This is one. When feeding a family of six three meals a day, it takes a bit of planning. Over the last few months, I've made it easier and less time consuming by compiling a list of meals we like and a chart to plan each week's dinners.

I decided on these categories: Soup/Stew, Mexican, Pasta/Italian, Casserole/Roast, Asian, Take-Out @ Home, and Quick & Easy. I made myself a chart with different meals under each category. I try to plan one meal from each category for each week, but I don't assign a specific day for each--I like to be flexible so I can decide what to make on a daily basis. Some people like to decide what they are having each day, and sometimes I do that, but most of the time I wait to see how the day is going or what I feel like.

When deciding what to make for the week, I look through the grocery store ads to see what's on sale. I haven't ever been good at using coupons, but I try to find good deals. Also, if I know I'll have leftovers, I try to plan one of the meals around them. For example, this week chuck roast was on sale, so I'm planning on making roast beef in the crock pot one day, and then I'll shred the left over beef for quesadillas on another day.

So, here is our dinner menu for this week:

Asian~Beef Sate with peanut dipping sauce, rice and peas

Soup/Stew~Corn/Potato chowder with popovers

Mexican~Shredded beef quesadillas with corn casserole

Pasta~Fish sticks (the only fish my kids will eat, besides canned tuna) with pasta and sauteed zucchini and mushrooms

Casserole/Roast~Roast Beef with carrots, potatoes, and gravy

Take-Out @ Home~Sausage and Egg muffins, fruit

Quick & Easy~Tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches

Lately, my husband has to work on Friday and Saturday nights, so I usually plan our Take-Out and Quick & Easy for those nights with just the kids. Sometimes we'll just have leftovers or breakfast on those nights, too.

I don't actually plan out each breakfast and lunch, but I try to make sure I have general idea of what we can eat. For example, this week I am making pumpkin or applesauce muffins to have on hand for breakfast, along with fruit, yogurt, or smoothies. For lunches there will be possible leftovers from dinner, tuna fish sandwiches, pasta with butter and cheese, baked potatoes, and of course peanut butter and jelly. My kids also like flour tortillas with cheese or jelly or even a scrambled egg burrito. So we just make what sounds good that day.

Do you plan out your dinners for the week? What works for you?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Feeling the Sun

It's shaping up to be a warm weekend and even warmer week ahead! Hooray!

Here are some sunny fun plans for the next few days:

Make Ice necklaces with the kids...what a fun idea!

Garden, garden, garden...till, plant, weed...I feel so behind in this area, now is the time to catch up.

Make kites, blow bubbles, go on a hike...have a picnic or BBQ.

Maybe a little tree climbin'...

And I can't forget to just spend some time sitting, with my eyes closed, feeling the sun on my face.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Our Easter

Our day was filled with sunshine, smiles, sweets and, of course...love. Hope yours was, too!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Preparations

The shopping is complete.
The baskets are assembled.
The cookies and cupcakes are baked.
The coffee cake is rising.
The fridge is stocked for an Easter buffet.
The outfits are ironed and laid out.
The eggs are dyed.
The jelly beans are waiting...

Mommy is tired, and she prays she remembers to focus on Jesus even in the midst of all the hullabaloo...

Happy Easter everyone. May your day be blessed and full of the joy of the Resurrection!
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