Monday, September 30, 2013

The Weekend, Menu Plans, & Goals

I think the fall weather is finally here, and I have been loving it! Late last week the kids and I met up with some friends to go on a hike and picnic, and the weather was almost perfect( although by the time we left it was definitely back to feeling like summer.) I loved watching the kids explore, and watching them use their imaginations(even if the boys all wanted to pretend to be the Hulk.:)

Friday was mostly spent getting ready for a yard sale I was planning on having Saturday morning. We had a ridiculous amount of baby girls clothes that I was trying to get rid of. Even after giving away several bags full to friends and family I still had more than enough clothes to try and sell. And despite selling quite a bit, I still gave away two trash bags full of girls clothes to Goodwill!

Saturday night, we went to Target and to our favorite Korean restaurant for take out. Sunday was spent at church, a cook out, and then my family came in town to spend a few day with the kids. And since we have grandparents here, we are taking a few days off official school to just enjoy spending time together.

We always love having some extra hands that are willing to help with our five crazies. :)

This weeks goals are pretty simple:

Exercise 3x(I'm alternating between a Yoga DVD and the 30 day shred)
Figure out a better schedule for home school.
Make up some boxes of activities for Max and Lily to do only during school times.
Make two freezer meals for the especially busy evenings.
Being more intentional loving Erik and my kids(I think this is my goal every single week :)

My menu plan for the week is:

Oatmeal, Granola, eggs& toast, possibly blueberry muffins

peanut butter & honey sandwiches, leftovers, salads(for me), and snack-ish type lunch(carrot sticks, cheese, peppers, apple slices with peanut butter, popcorn), hot dogs

chicken enchilada casserole, broccoli cheese soup(also known as candy soup)& bread, whole chicken in the crockpot with carrots sauteed in butter & cheesy cauliflower, pizza, pancakes &eggs(standard Sunday night dinner.)

Pumpkin cheesecake cookies(these look SO good!!)

What's on everyone else's menu this week? I'm always in need of inspiration for food to fix!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Links

Some posts I've been enjoying around the blog-o sphere.

The Human Shield @ Femina Girls. Good thoughts as usual from the Wilson ladies about standing up for Truth.

How to Stop Fussing@ For the Family I especially love this quote, "I have always told my children that it is natural to be selfish, defensive, argumentative, full of pride, but it is supernatural to be mature, loving and patient, humble."

Losing the Mommy Tummy@Nourishing Gourmet I really need to look into this, five kids has not been kind to my stomach muscles. :)

Have any of you read anything good this week, or posted something you'd like me to read on your blog? Leave a link to it in the comments, and I'll check it out!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Method to My Madness

Life with 5 children under the age of 6, could definitely be considered "madness" I won't lie. Practically every five minutes at least one child is crying, and everyone always needs something that only mommy can get them. But here in the last month or so we're finally finding our rhythm. And since one of the most common questions I get asked or emailed about is how I "do this" with 5 young children I thought I'd write a post about it. Remember, though, and I should hope this goes without saying, I still have a lot to learn. My kids and I have our fair share of bad days. I am far from having any of this all figured out.

1. Time with the Lord. I know, probably a given, but seriously that is my anchor for the day. Even if it's only five minutes first thing in the morning, reading my bible on my phone when Luke wakes up for his 4 am feeding, or if I'm praying while toddlers are climbing all over me, it gives me a much better perspective on the day.

2. Wake up times. I know this isn't for everyone, but this has been a tremendous blessing to me. Basically a wake up time is the time that the kids are allowed to come out of their room in the morning or after nap/ rest time. Yes there are some exceptions(as with anything else), but as a general rule we start the day around 7:30 and everyone gets up from naps/ rest around 4. However that's not to say if a child wakes up before then he has to go back to sleep, or even back to bed. There are times when they come to our bed and sleep(although I really am trying to get up before them, it just doesn't always happen!), or they play with a puzzle or look at a book until it's time to start the day.

3. Getting everyone on the same sleep schedule. Again there are exceptions, but for the most part everyone is in bed by 7:30 at night, and everyone takes a nap around 2 every afternoon(yes even Jack needs a little down time still. I'm thinking it's because he shares a room with early risers.) One of my goals when I bring a baby home is to adjust their morning nap so that they take their longest nap in the afternoon, and so far I've had pretty good success with this.

4. Train them in right behavior. Teach them to help. When they don't obey, or don't do something the way you were intending have them practice doing it the right way. I have been amazed how helpful my 5 and 6 year old are, and a lot of that has just been a result of constant training.

5. Pick your battles. I'm sure I sound pretty strict, and in a lot of ways I am...but in many others I'm not. Honestly the more kids I have the more I'm learning to relax. Is it really a big deal to have occasional picnics in the living room, put the too big shoes on the 2 year olds feet(because he insists on wearing them), or letting  them build forts out of the couch cushions? I don't want to have to constantly be saying no. I want my kids to look back on our home and their childhood with a lot of happy memories, and picking my battles has been a step in that direction.

There is a lot more I could say that has been helpful, but I think this post is long enough. :) What else would you add to this list?

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Favorite Crock Pot Recipes

I have always loved using my crock pot, but now that we are in full on school mode I am appreciating it even more! School takes up most of the morning, and then between laundry, keeping the house decent looking, and that little detail of raising five beautiful children I really don't have a whole lot of extra time to be spending in the kitchen making dinner. But since everyone in this house likes to eat, making meals has to be some sort of priority. I'm thankful my crock pot allows us to have good meals that don't require a whole lot of extra work on my part. And since I know the rest of you are busy, I thought you might like to see my five favorite crock pot recipes.

1. Pork Carnitas. I made these on a whim a few months ago, and they were a huge hit!

2. Whole Chicken in Slow Cooker The chicken falls off the bone, and because it's been sitting all day it's super flavorful.

3. Crock pot cheese tortellini is probably one of our favorite meals of all time.

4. Chicken, broccoli, cheese and rice casserole another favorite that requires very little effort on my part, and as an added bonus I don't have to make sides. :)

5. And then there's my method of dumping chicken breast, salsa, and cream cheese in the crock pot. I set it on high for about 4-5 hours, check on it occasionally to stir, and then use it for chicken tacos that night.

Do the rest of you have any favorite recipes you'd be willing to share?

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