Sunday, November 25, 2012

The last week of November, and some plans for December

The end of November is already here... I can hardly believe it.  We had a feast for Thanksgiving Day...

...including, but not limited to tons of homemade rolls, pumpkin pie, swiss beans, turkey, gumbo, rice, mashed potatoes... and the list goes on.

My mom & sis & I always shop on Black Friday.  One year, we were up with the crazy people and witnessed some truly insane behavior.  After that, we decided we did not need the deals enough to lose sleep and our tempers.  We met for breakfast at a leisurely 7:30 a.m., and after eating and chatting for about an hour, we shopped.  It was a productive, fun, AND relaxing day together!

This weekend, I've been busy making lots of plans - we booked plane tickets to Hawaii to see our oldest son this summer.  He is stationed there, and will not be home at all for the holidays this year.  We had discussed making the trip, then put it off, but have decided to go for it.  Yes, it's expensive, but we'll never have another excuse to go to Hawaii, and we'll make memories that we'll never forget.

I also planned out menus for the next two weeks... this is concert prep week, and next week, we have THREE concerts scheduled, so life will be REALLY BUSY until next Saturday.  Here's my plan:
Sun., 25th ~ chicken, baked beans, salad
Mon, 26th ~ Pioneer Woman's Chili (a fave around here, and a GREAT make-ahead)
Tues., 27th~ Frozen Pizza ... or leftovers... either will work ;)
Wed., 28th~ Spaghetti (made it this weekend and will enjoy it mid-week)
Thurs., 29th~ Leftover Turkey (Thanksgiving) or chicken (Sunday) hubs has class
Fri., 30th~ Chili-topped baked potatoes or Macho Nachos made with leftover chili

Then it's DECEMBER!!!!

1 ~ Roast in the crock pot, mashed potatoes, green beans
2 ~ Open-faced roast beef sandwiches
3 ~ Frozen lasagna concert night
4 ~ Fend For Yourself (which means leftovers or the boys can go out) concert #2
5 ~ Chicken with mushroom gravy, egg noodles
6 ~ Ds#3 is in this concert, so we'll go out after it's over
7 ~ Steak, baked potatoes, salad (ds#3's request)
8 ~ Sausage, homemade mac'n'cheese

Every year in December, I put up a Christmas countdown for my son.  When I decided to do this, my big boys were too old for it to be much fun for them, but I've done this for my youngest boy since he was three.  He is getting older, and I wanted to make this a more spiritual experience than just opening candy.  Here's my list for the days leading up to Christmas.
1: plant grass seeds (to be the bed for Baby Jesus in our nativity)
2: show God's love to another person (along with heart stickers for him)
3: remember God's faithfulness and sing Christmas carols around the piano
4: make someone happy/laugh (smiley stickers)
5: show God's love (piece of chocolate)
6: concert tonight! Out to eat afterward
7: favorite dinner for ds
8: decorate the tree
9: family devotional
10: put up nativity scene (minus Jesus)
11: play 'Uno' as a family
12: bake nativity cookies (cookie cutters at Amazon via FishMama's recommendation)
13: pop popcorn and watch a movie
14: get donuts for the weekend
15: shop for family members with Mom or Dad
16: download a song on iTunes
17: take a treat to the USO
18: drink hot chocolate and eat cookies
19: deliver presents to teachers
20: family game night
21: go see local light display
22: local ice skating
23: gift exchange with extended family
24: bake our annual 'Happy Birthday Jesus' cake

I'd love to hear your ideas if your family has a similar tradition! 
Here's to a blessed holiday season.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've been trying to practice being thankful this month, and posting one thing I was thankful for each day.  This has made me very mindful of little things that I often take for granted.
Debris piled up after Ivan

When Hurricane Ivan hit us a few years ago, everything in our city - and in the surrounding area - was devastated.  The salt water killed everything, and there was no green - everything was brown.  I was struck at how it affected me.... I do not consider myself an 'outdoorsy' kind of girl, but as I looked around my once-tree-filled yard, now filled with broken limbs, snapped trees, and huge logs waiting to be hauled off, it depressed me.  So, my youngest son (who was then four) and I decided to make a Thankful Jar.  We used a simple Mason jar, and each day, we wrote down one thing we were thankful for.  His innocence helped me to appreciate many things I would have otherwise missed.  On Thanksgiving Day that year, after my loved ones had lost so much in that storm, we read our notes from the Thankful Jar.

Since that year, each Thanksgiving brings new events - additions to our family, as well as passings.  With joy and tears, we are thankful for our lives together.

And with that, here's the menu.
Sunday~ Leftovers - red beans & rice, or hotdogs.  Trying to clear out some room in the fridge.
Monday~ Fend For Your Self (FFYS).  Mom has a dinner meeting, so the boys with either go out, or eat something from the fridge.
Tuesday~ More leftovers...
Wednesday~ Breakfast or Sandwiches or Whatever's Left In The Fridge.  Whole lotta cookin' goin' on!
pumpkin muffins
Thursday~ Our traditional family feast.  Turkey & gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, Swiss beans, 7 Layer Salad, homemade macaroni & cheese, rolls, and all manner of desserts of every kind.
Swiss beans

Friday~ shopping and chili in the crock pot

Saturday~ Thanksgiving leftovers...can't wait for my turkey sandwich!

May you and your family have a Thankful week.

Monday, November 12, 2012

November Menu #2... Happy Veteran's Day!

May I take a moment to say 'thank you' to all our veterans and active duty military?
Becoming a Military Mom has made me keenly aware of how so many in society never say thank you to our service men & women, and how many more actually treat them with disdain.  This makes me sad, because my boys are protecting the freedom that allows them to express that ungratefulness.  So thank a Vet, or an active duty person TODAY!

Well, my house has been sick with the flu, and so far, I have managed not to get it.
We got a dog - a miniature schnauzer named Henry.
And life continues to move on so fast I can hardly catch my breath.
Not to mention the time change.... I still haven't adjusted to that!

The family's gotta eat, so here's our plan.
Sunday~ Leftovers
Monday~ Hotdogs & chips, baked beans
Tuesday~ Spaghetti is the plan.  I'll be gone until late, so it's already made.  All the guys have to do is boil noodles.
Wednesday~ Roast in the crockpot with gravy, mashed potatoes.  Gone again today, but hopefully not home too late.
Thursday~ A 'normal' day! Red beans & rice with sausage.
Friday~ Open-faced roast beef sandwiches
Saturday~ Today is the actual for real bowling tournament that I thought was last Saturday.  So we'll play it by ear.  Trying not too cook too terribly much as Thanksgiving is next week and we'll need the space!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's already November??! and a menu

My son got the flu this week.
And hubby got it this weekend.
And I am trying very hard to stay well.

So...toward the end of the week last week, I did not cook, because ds did not eat, and hubs and I managed on leftovers.

I hope hubby bounces back quickly... we don't have time to be sick. :(

Sunday~ chicken noodle soup
Monday~ beef tenderloin, loaded mashed potatoes, tossed salad  more chicken noodle soup
Tuesday~ leftovers beef tenderloin, loaded mashed potatoes, tossed salad from Monday's plan
Wednesday~ pasta fagioli soup sticky chicken, twice baked potatoes (that I made over the weekend)
Thursday~ chicken burritos and ground beef tacos pasta fagioli soup
Friday~ sandwiches leftovers
Saturday~ ds has a bowling tournament, so we'll plan for dinner at home, but play it by ear