It is the last week of October!!! Can you believe it? I can't. Friday's blog post revealed a sort of transformation which happened in my heart over graduation involvement. That transformation allowed me to enter a place where I could hear God clearly on what he was (and wasn't) calling us to do. Saturday evening, after an afternoon in prayer while I worked in the studio, I made the decision to gracefully bow out of coordinating homeschool graduation. I just knew it was the right thing for us and it was done for all the right reasons. I sent out the notice to the group and by the very next morning I had a parent calling, sad to see us step down, but ready to take the reins if need be. I felt like God was showing blessings on the decision.
With that, everything seemed to change around here. Not only did a huge weight seem lifted, but the weight being gone opened up our schedule so much, we are able to take an unscheduled week off. EVERYONE is breathing a sigh of relief! We have been jam-packed running like crazy since school started in mid-September between homework and Brooke's basketball schedule. This much earned break couldn't have come at a better time, especially since the crazy train pulls into the station to pick us up this week....
This week Brooke has THREE games!!! Technically four but they leave for youth group retreat Friday so she will miss her last one. Today and tomorrow are regular games, then Wednesday evening is youth group (only one youth group this week), Thursday is a play-off game and Friday they leave for retreat around 4pm. We will be running every evening this week until drop-off on Friday. Is it any surprise Brooke piped up last night and said "I am so glad I am not doing basketball next year, this is too much busy!"
Dropping the ALL the kids off Friday is monumental for hubby and I. Can you believe, in the 17 1/2 years since Ashley was born, hubby and I have NEVER had an overnight or weekend alone???????? My oldest took weekend trips periodically when we were first married, but since the accumulation of kids... someone has always been home. What to do?! It will be strange cooking dinner for just two on Friday and Saturday. We will be back to the grind come Sunday afternoon though with choir practice and family dinner.
Also this week, while the week break from schoolwork opens up my schedule, I am prepping to hold a table at a coats and candy sale on Saturday. I get to sell winter clothes the kids can't use anymore, which is nifty. I need to get in the attic this week and figure out what items qualify. We also hope to catch up on some art projects during the daytime so it will still be a full week and my slow-cooker will be working overtime! You will notice some old favorite items on the menu... I will link back to previous posts for anyone who is new and interested in recipes I have shared!
Menu for this week...
hubby: smoked sausage and rice, chicken salad
me and kids: leftovers, mac n cheese, grilled sandwiches
Mexi-style Chicken and Salad with Tortilla Chips
Haven't made this in a few weeks so I thought I would throw it into the mix. Here is my original post/recipe if you don't have it already.
Pork Loin Roast and Veggies
I know, dejavu from last week. This week it is a loin roast and I rather wished I had cut it into medallions before I froze it because that would have made a more exciting dinner! As it stands, I needed a slow-cooker meal and the roast is big enough that it will be planned left-overs for later this month when I make stew. How to cook a roast? My recipe:
- Sear your roast on all sizes (if it has a fat side like my loin does, I do NOT sear that side). For searing novices: high heat and a splash of oil. Wear and apron and be prepared for a messy stove top! I cover my empty burners with metal pie plans to keep them from getting grease splattered and smoking later.
- Have quartered potatoes, carrots and onions in bottom of slow cooker.
- Plop your seared roast on top with fat side up.
- Pour water in until it comes about halfway up the side of your roast (do not completely cover your roast in water)
- sprinkle about 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce into water (I just shake the bottle in till it seems good)
- Pour one packet of Onion Soup Mix over top (I use about 2-3 Tbsp of a homemade onion soup mix recipe I found on Pinterest [I omit the onion flakes in this recipe simply because I rarely have them on hand])
- Cook on low all day or high for half the day
You can use the remaining broth to make gravy which I do just using Wondera's recipe on their container... quick and easy.
General Tso Chicken with Rice, Yellow Squash and frozen Green Beans
A family favorite! I use a season pack from the store for the sauce.
Stroganoff, Mashed Potatoes and canned Green Beans
I will put both the meat sauce and Potatoes in separate slow-cookers so dinner is ready to go when we get home. While Brooke changes I can heat up the green beans and mashed the boiled potatoes right in their pot. My recipe is in this post.
Chicken and Cheese Chimichanga (frozen from Costco) and Salad
Another dejavu! I figure, with just two of us, why mess up the stove, especially since we are dropping the kids off just before 4pm.
Burgers for 2 and Salad
My husband may choose to do bacon burgers, we have a few pieces leftover in the freezer. I think I will put him in charge that night!
I got my family addicted to this recipe revival from a few weeks ago. I will pre-make them before choir and hubby can get them brown while we are gone.
What are you cooking this week?