Thursday, December 31, 2009

My January 3-16 Menu

To start the week strong, I decided to spend New Year's Eve drinking wine and planning our menu for the first two weeks of the new year.

Sunday, January 3 - Dirty Risotto
The kids LOVED this!

Monday, January 4 - Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
This was delicous and so easy! I substituted yogart for the sour cream and it was just as tasty! Even better, I divided it into two baking dishes and stashed one in the freezer for a rainy or a least a busy day.

Tuesday, January 5 - Shrimp Pad Thai
I LOVED this. It was super easy, too.

Wednesday, January 6 - Leftovers
I had planned on making the Baked Ziti but we has so much food we did leftovers instead.

Thursday, January 7 - Crock Pot Roast
I paired this with macoroni noodles and green beans. It was very salty, just like I like it!
Since I had the ground beef thawed and the onions chopped, I made the Baked Ziti tonight. I divided it up into two containers to put in the freezer. We will have this on a busy night when I don't have time to cook.

Friday, January 8 - Homemade Pizza
I plan to cook the rest of the bacon and use up the mushrooms left over from the dirty risotto.

Saturday, January 9 -Leftovers

Sunday, January 10 - Swedish Meatballs

Monday, January 11 - Taco Bell Quesadillas, Mexican Rice

Tuesday, January 12 - Pizza Casserole

Wednesday, January 13 - Coconut Curried Chicken

Thursday, January 14 - Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Friday, January 15 - Homemade Pizza

Saturday, January 16 - Leftovers

Meet Pete!

Santa surprised us this year with a new puppy! Pete is a 12 week old golden retriever.

We are still adjusting to having a dog and a new baby (the dog) in the house but are doing well. Pete lives in the basement in his crate. He loves the snow and jumping on the kids. Kiddo 2 loves having someone to boss around.

So far Pete can sit, lie down, sit down while he waits to come inside and stay for 5 seconds. Now if we could only get the potty training down.

We still miss Frank. We didn't realize how lucky we were to get a dog that was already so well trained and behaved. He was such a sweetie.

Pete has helped our hearts heal.

A Fresh Start

It's New Year's Eve, another jammy day and I'm feeling a bit reflective.

2009 was a busy year. We did basketball, an indoor waterpark, Mexico, another indoor waterpark, spring soccer, late planting, little league, Vacation Bible School, a garage sale, Indiana shopping, northern Michigan camping, 4-H fair, the Ericson Extravaganza Wiffle Ball Tournament, four wheeling in Bushnell, fall soccer, tackle football, a murder mystery party, Thanksgiving at our house, a late and long harvest, Illinois Farm Bureau Conference and Discussion Meet, a weekend in Chicago, wrapping up my old job, Christmas, new puppy, a new job and two weeks off.

With all that was going on, I was in survival mode much of the time. I didn't realize how much I was in survival mode until this week. I guess clarity comes with two weeks of jammy days.

Being so busy, many important areas of my life were neglected. In the new year I want to do a better job:

1. Meal planning: I hope this will lead to healthier eating, more deliberate grocery shopping, a lower grocery bill, less weekday stress and more family meals. I plan to use some of simplemom's resources to help.

2. Character development in my kids: Too often I just do 'it' so I don't have to fight with anyone, it gets done when I want it done and it's done my way. I need to stop this and set some expectations about the responsibilities associated with being a member of our family, i.e. helping out around the house. This is even more crucial now that Santa brought a new puppy. More on him in another post. Simplemom is going to help here, too.

3. Asking for help: Because my husband is extremely busy in the fall and spring, I get used to being the one who takes care of everything with the kids and house. I need to stop this, ask for help and deal with the grouchiness that comes with asking. I can not do it all while staying sane and gracious.

4. Exercise: I used to run. I used to teach aerobics. I used to be extremely disciplined. Once we moved and I had my second child five years ago, it's been hit or miss. Now, 12 pounds later, I am struggling. This year I plan on enrolling in an exercise program at work. Since I will be starting a new job with a new office location, I'm hoping that starting this new habit will be easier. Also, since I need to take care of the puppy early in the morning, I am hoping that I will take time to exercise after taking him out.

There are a few other areas I would like to work on: my spirituality, not signing my kids up for every activity they want to participate in, cleaning my house, reading for pleasure - but these will have to wait. I need to focus.