Monday, April 25, 2016

Menu Monday: Week of April 25th

Oh boy it has been a steady weekend all the way into Monday!  It is late but I still felt compelled to get Menu Monday up!  Why the steadiness?  Well, it was grocery weekend and I tend to shop for a month at a time since we bought our house.  One paycheck goes to mortgage (thanks to our property taxes going up right after we moved in) and the other bi-monthly check goes to food and bills.  It works but it makes for a busy payday weekend!

I have found, over the years, that if I don't have a plan, resources will be mis-used.  This especially includes food.  As I planned out my menu this weekend I took A LOT of pictures and even made a video!  Bet you can guess why!  Yup, I am putting together a how-to article for menu making.  My technique is heavily pre-planned, then shop, with a dash of post-planning after I have shopped.... eclectic like much of my life!  Here is a sneak-peak, there will be free printables when the post goes up:

In other news this week, my youngest daughter is planning out a blog!  She has been inspired by Modest Mom (Brooke likes when I share her emails on style) and wants to appeal to both fashion and fancy for the modest young lady.  Here is a sneak peak of style tid-bits she might share:

Can you believe she is only 13?!  I can't. So mature for her age.  Homeschooling + 3 Older siblings are factors.

We also had round two of senior pictures for Ashley.  I wasn't super pleased with the guitar shots from the Rims last weekend so I redid those and then her and Brooke wanted to try some poses in a dress... can you tell dresses aren't her thing?  Neither are shoes (unless they are cowboy boots or converse!)

sun and silliness!  Shirt is Jamie Grace, "I'm About to Get My Worship On"

I will be sure to share the final montage when I get them put together.  The above are just the silly out-takes!

I am coming to terms today with a discussion she and I and then her dad and I had about her getting a driver's license.  It all hangs on the balance of.... we realize her "episodes" she has had since she was very young have got to be temporal seizures.  The neurologist was fascinated with her case but couldn't rule out temporal migraines without actually seeing her have an episode, though he suspected seizures after her EEG results.  Based on evidence within her episodes themselves, all indicators point towards seizure.

In theory, I am at peace about her seizures because our weaknesses reflect God's strength.  But the strange thing I am trying to get my head around is the consequence of her potentially never having a driver's license.  She studied so hard despite her memory problems and scored quite well on her written exam, passing on her first try after having had NO driver's ed.  But we are all concerned, Ashley especially, that she would have an episode while behind the wheel and be unable to steer to safety.  Hubby pointed out that it is our responsibility to keep other drivers safe as well as Ashley.  I think she will be fine with this, she actually doesn't like driving!  But it also means a lifetime of relying on others as well as public transportation when she needs to go anywhere.  I had an aunt that didn't drive and she managed fine, but still, it is strange to fathom.

But... God is still good and I am still grateful.  He has a purpose for ALL things!  We feel truly blessed that she has a great job right across the street from us at a little mom and pop market.  No driving needed!

In other news this past week, Brenden FINALLY got his hair cut!

Before is his happy face when his passport came.  Future globe-trotting missionary ready to report for duty!  After is his tiered smile!  He LOVES his new haircut and that is what matters most.  We were surprised how wispy his long hair got.  Normally when it is long it is thick and curly.  Hormones and puberty must have dictated otherwise in his latest long locks episode!

Food to share from this past week:

Vegi soup and fresh bread on request!  It fed us lunch for most of the week!  It was fun and easy to make, I loosely used a crock pot recipe from Fix it and Forget It, my favorite Crock cook book!


This is how I do 20lbs of chicken for 5 people plus lunches and dinner guests.  It was on sale at Ashley's work for $1.69 a pound!!!  You bet I bought a bag full!  The back three chopped up piles will each make one dinner plus 5 lunches for hubby to take to work, usually chicken salad or stir fry, and even feed dinner guests.  The smaller chopped up piles will be stretched in White Chili and Pot Pie. They are just over 1 lb. each.  My menus for the next 4 weeks will reflect some of what rests in these piles!  The rest will reflect all this:

This is the chicken AND some pork and beef and veggies and sides and juice for a month, all crammed in my tiny freezer.  I used some Ziploc with the air squeezed out.  I had a few food saver bags left too which I sealed the meal with.

Also, before I move onto the Menu, I had to share these beauties:

I have been blessed with an apple tree in my back yard.  Yummy dishes to come from the baby apples inside all those blossoms!  While taking pictures of Ashley last week I snapped a few close-ups of the blooms.  The other, as I am sure you notice, is lilac.  The ENTIRE west end of my property is lined with lilac bushes!  Fun side-note: lilacs dipped in honey make a sweet treat!  My kids loved snacking on them when they were younger and we had lilacs on our Lakeside property.

This week Much of the same. Home Bible Study and dinner guest as well as kids to youth group early Tuesday, Truth Project and dinner in my home Thursday.  We have 5 weeks of school left so we are quite dedicated in our studies and continuous graduation prep at this point!

The girls made cupcakes for their youth group leader last week and noticed a deficit in their Home Ec education: they make recipes from scratch so much with me, they aren't very good at cake mixes!!  The muffins were a hit but their confidence wasn't.  I purchased some mixes on sale this past week and I think they plan to make one a week as they work out the nervousness and get use to following the directions on the box!  Also affecting our menu is a cold snap we got this week.  Soups and comfort food have made their way to the mid-spring menu!

Menu for this week...

- cereal/oatmeal
- eggs
- blueberry pancakes
- banana bread

hubby: leftover Pork Fried Rice
me and kids: leftovers, grilled sandwiches




Split Pea Soup and Fresh Bread*
If you aren't big on hand mixing bread and you don't own a bread machine, get one!!  I save so much money every month with mine.  The majority of the breads I make come from recipes I get from the booklet that came with my machine.  

Costco Chicken and Cheese Chimichangas with a Side Salad
I get 2 meals out of one bag of 18 Chimies for our family size.

Garlic Roasted Chicken Breast, Mashed Potato, Corn, Rolls
That pile of BIG HUGE chicken breast (it is actually 3 BIG breast halves) in the center of the picture above, I plan to stick fresh garlic in and baste with olive oil and onion powder and parsley and roast in the oven covered as if it were a whole chicken (it is big enough to be!)

White Chili and Corn Bread
Another Fix it and Forget It recipe. At our last chili dinner we only ate about half the cornbread so I froze the other half and will thaw, warm, and serve it this night.

Bacon Burger and JoJo night!
Last month hubby talked me into buying the double pack of Costco pepper bacon.  I cut both packages in half and freeze each.  On burger night I prepare 1half package which makes about 7-8 pieces of bacon.  It is enough for everyone to have a bacon burger.  This makes the burgers heartier and tastier.  For our family of 5 the meat total is around $5 for this meal.  I make my own buns and have basic condiments.  Potato Jojos for a side make this an easy under $10 meal for our family size.
What are you doing and cooking this week?



  1. Amanda - thank you for a glimpse into your busy but organized life, and how you prep meals, your menu's and whats going on in your family. busy- busy - but I appreciate that you said, if you don't have a plan things get misused - that is so true in our home too. Thanks for sharing at #Titus2Tuesday where we are neighbors

    1. Thank you for stopping by! Yes, weeks (and resources) always go smoother with a plan in place (and followed!)

  2. Your meal planning sounds marvelous! Thank you for linking this week at the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth!