Eat New Challenge

It’s been a long time. I have taken the word “slacker” to a whole new level. Don’t think I haven’t missed you, I have. The summer got off to a rocky start in my house. Including gall bladder surgery for me, followed by recovery. All with my poor kids being home on their, oh so short, summer break.

We’ve been back to school for over a month now. It’s hard to believe!

With getting back into my groove, I have decided to try something new. First, let me remind everyone that I grocery shop on Fridays, so my menu plans normally cover Friday through the following Thursday. Because weekends are unpredictable (which is allowed for in my planning), I have decided to challenge myself to eat something new for supper each day starting Sunday, going through Thursday!

After scouring my pinned recipes, this is the menu (with links to the recipes) that I plan on preparing for my family.

Sunday – Kentucky Fried Chicken (copycat), Red Lobster biscuits, and jalapeno corn dip

Monday – Corndogs, probably with some green beans and fries, unless something else sparks my interest!

Tuesday – Crock Pot Carnitas (with rice). This is a link to the Pin, the recipe is listed there.

Wednesday – Cuban beef with baked avocado fries

Thursday – Tuscan Tortellini Soup

This week’s dessert – Vanilla Bean Cream Pie, probably will be made on Sunday!

So there you have it! Finally, my Pinterest time has come in handy ūüėČ They all looked sooo delicious! I figure my kids will be the most excited about Monday…and probably Sunday.

I’m looking forward to all the new flavors, and, if this coming week goes well, maybe I’ll give it another try the next week!

Now I challenge you to try something new. Maybe one of the recipes I’m trying out, or another one you’ve had tucked away. If you accept the Eat New Challenge, I’d love to hear from you, leave a comment and let me know the outcome!

Thanks for stopping by! ~Kim~

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Goals Update

Well hello there!¬† I didn’t want you to think I have forgotten about you all.¬† I just wanted to make a short post to let you in on a couple of things.

I have been working in my office, as you may well know.  This is the first room I picked for the make-over this year.  Holy moly did it need it!!  My goal was to get a room a month completed, but it has taken way longer than I anticipated.

My lovely husband has built shelves the entire length of one wall.¬† (can I get a woo hoo for having a handy hubby!?!?)¬† I have these painted…finally.¬† He needs to finish up the base of the shelves, which will actually have doors to hide some of the, not so pretty items, like files, computer paper, etc.¬† There is also a smaller set of shelves he is going to build.

First, we were delayed waiting on the lumber.¬† Now it’s just¬†a matter of finding the time for him to work on it.¬† He works at our family business, plus has quite a few things on his plate here.¬† So it will get finished.¬† I just don’t know when yet.

So instead of waiting for the office to be finished before I move on, I’ve decided to start with the next room:¬† the boys’ bedroom.¬† There is two big changes happening in there.¬† First, it’s getting painted.¬† Second, we are moving our third¬†son into that room.¬† Thank you, bunk beds.¬† They are actually excited.¬† For now.

I also need to decide what room to work on after the boys’ room.¬† I may pick an “easy” one to try to get caught up.¬† I have to admit, I feel like a bit of a failure not getting rooms completed to share with you.¬† I know they will get finished, but it’s March and I don’t have anything but a complete mess in my house to show for it!¬† So please stick with me, we will see results.

The other topic I wanted to touch on is my “get fit” goal.¬† With the exception of two weeks, I have managed to do some sort of cardio workout about 4 to 5 days a week.¬† While I realize this isn’t astounding, it’s improvement.¬† I have seen a change in how my clothes fit.¬† Score!

Today I¬†added weights to my routine.¬† Let me just explain that I haven’t lifted weights in years.¬† I mean, clean the dust off the weights, years.¬† I feel great now, but I pray tomorrow that the soreness won’t deter me from continuing.¬† I also ask that my, sure-to-come, jello arms will still have the strength to lift my baby girl out of her crib.¬† Ahhh, the pains of getting fit.

Well there you have it.  My goals are playing out, not how I planned, but playing out nonetheless.   If you want to read more details about my two goals for this year, go here.

Are you still sticking with your goals for this year?

Goals? Let’s Get Real…

So hopefully you caught last week’s post about what goals I sort of reached last year.¬† (In case you missed it, check it out here!)

I wasn’t as successful last year as I had hoped.¬† It seems from reading other’s blogs, this can be common.¬† It’s a new year, it’s exciting, and goals are set with all good intentions of follow-through, but in the end normal life gets in the way.¬† I thought I set fairly realistic goals for 2013.¬† Honestly, they pretty much were, my inner procrastinator, although I made great improvements, still found a way to mess things up.¬† Also, the goals I set in 2013, will continue.¬† A lot of them were improvements that needed to be made to my life/family and will be an on-going process.

That being said, on to 2014.¬† It is 2014, you know?¬† So let’s break it down…….

HOME

Making things homey – We have lived in our home, since it was built in 2002.¬† Which, although seems like yesterday, it was actually 12 years ago.¬† Wow, ok.¬† So I guess it’s time to decorate?¬† Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have bare walls, but there is no method to the madness.¬†You have no idea how haphazard my house feels.¬† I have ideas. Boy, do I! But starting has always been my problem.¬† Especially knowing where to start.

So this is my plan.

I intend to concentrate on one room a month.¬† I am aware that some parts of the project may not get completed within the month, like if I need someone else’s help (ie hubby).¬† But for the most part, I should be able to arrange, organize, paint, decorate, etc. a room each month until my house is “finished.”¬† Because both my office and the boys’ bedroom was on my list for last year, they are first on the list, starting off with the office.¬† If all goes well, then I will be able to share before and after pictures with you, once each room is completed.¬† I’m really excited about this goal!

SELF

As you may know, I had a sweet baby girl last March.¬† With my first three kids I did a pretty good job of getting back into some sort of workout routine.¬† This time, not so much.¬† Last week was the first week that I worked out consistently since before I was pregnant. ~sigh~¬† Mainly because I just didn’t make myself do it, and because of my affinity for food.¬† Oh, and I hate exercise. I shouldn’t say “hate,” but there is an astounding amount of things I’d rather do…watching paint dry, for instance. Of course I know I’d feel better, have more energy, that it’s a healthy choice, but unlike many, I’m not so much worried about my weight, as fitting into my clothes.¬† Clothes are expensive, exercise is free.¬†¬†So it’s a lot cheaper to get back in shape and fit into the ones I already have!

No measurements have been taken, I’ll know I succeeded when I can finally put on my favorite pair of jeans and not have to use the jaws of life to get them off.

I’m glad that I’ve already started my journey to a healthier self. My two older boys even asked that I wake them up early on Saturday to exercise with me! (That reminds me that our actions are a very effective way to teach. Practice what you preach!)

Alright, so just because I am only now sharing my goals with you, doesn’t mean I haven’t begun. As I mentioned, the first room up, is the office. I have a picture in my head of what my it will look like. I have enlisted my amazing husband to build shelves on one wall. I have paint to buy and a frame for a vintage print I purchased. It’s going to look totally different, I can’t wait!!

So this year, two goals. Big goals, though. I feel more confident with what I have chosen for this year. Excited too!!
What about you? Did you set any goals for 2014? Do share!

What Did I Do in 2013?

Well hello, 2014!  I hope the first week of the new year has treated you well!

My family and I have been playing “pass the illness” since before Christmas, and let me tell you, it is not fun.¬† Having six members in my household, I really do wish we would all come down with the same thing, at the same time and eliminate this long, drug out process.¬† Or better yet, I wish we could all just remain healthy.¬† Forever.¬† Wishful thinking, right?

Besides taking care of the sick, I¬†have been contemplating making new goals for 2014.¬† Should I or shouldn’t I?¬† I have decided I should, but first, I wanted to go back and see how I did last year.¬†¬†If you’d like a refresher on what I intended to do in 2013, check it out here.¬† As for how well I did, here we go…….

Family & Faith

1. One of my goals was to infuse more Bible study into my life and those of my children.  Over the last year I continued my yearly journey through scripture, by both personal study and listening to The Daily Audio Bible.

As for my kids learning more, I continued with giving them a verse a week.  But to challenge them a bit more, I added bonus questions that led them to the Bible for the answers.  They were able to practice looking things up, and learned more about whatever topic I chose for that week.  I (or an older brother) would help my youngest son with this part.  He is already starting to learn how to look up a verse, once you get him to the book.  What makes it even better?  They enjoy it!  Score one up for mom!

2.¬† Now my youngest son started kindergarten last fall.¬† To get him ready I wanted to work with him on¬† his letters and numbers.¬† We did.¬† A little.¬† He could identify all his letters and some numbers.¬† I wanted to work with him a little more on writing them, but we didn’t.¬† On a positive note, he is doing great in school and is excelling wonderfully.¬† I’m most impressed with how quickly he is picking up reading.

3. I set out in 2013 to be more available to my family.¬† To quit saying “just a minute,” but to actually do better putting them first.¬† This is more of an ongoing goal.¬† I am doing better, so much better.¬† To say I achieved this goal 100%, would be to say I’m perfect.¬†Just between you and me, I’m not.

Home

Organization and a cleaning schedule?¬† Well… that’s what I wanted to do.¬† They seem to go hand in hand, don’t they?¬† I didn’t get the office and boys’ room finished, as I had hoped, BUT, I sure did a lot of purging.¬† A lot is probably an understatement.¬† My family even joined in.¬† We donated, sold, and threw away what we could.¬† That is an amazing feeling!¬† It also will help achieve organization this year (I have a better plan this time, stay tuned!)

As for a cleaning schedule, I do believe I have that figured out, and although I haven’t shared it yet (as I said I would), I do intend on doing so.¬† It works great for our family, as long as we stick to it.¬† There were a few weeks, here and there, where we got off track, but I deem this goal a success overall.¬† It’s definitely an improvement over past years, and that makes me happy!

Hobbies

~sigh~¬† Do we need to talk about scrapbooking?¬† I started off the year so good, but after having baby S (March), all progress stopped.¬† I need to get back into routine and stick to it.¬† I haven’t given up hope.¬† And I’m still taking pictures.¬† I think I need to continue this goal and enlist the help of my scrapbooking buddies…..you know who you are ūüėČ

Final & Most Difficult Goal

My last goal involved my procrastination problem.

I do not claim this photo as my own

I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I have made a great improvement in this area, so “TOOT!”¬†¬†Just one, because I still have a way to¬†go, as you can tell from¬†my unfinished office and pile of empty scrapbooks.¬† But if you could have walked into my house January 9th, 2013 then checked out my house today, you would notice a difference.¬† That’s because I don’t put off doing the silly little things as much as I used.

There you have it.¬† I’ve never set goals in this manner before and I definitely never shared what goals I did set with anyone.¬† It was kind of fun!¬† I will be keeping in mind what I did/didn’t do in 2013 while I finish up this year’s goals.¬† So keep an eye out for that post!

Did you achieve your goals in 2013?  What was your favorite accomplishment?

How Does YOUR Garden Grow?

It’s late spring. Already? Hard to believe, isn’t it?¬† Next week it will be summer!¬† I live in the Midwest and get to experience the best of all seasons. That’s what I love about my home, just when you begin to tire of one season, it’s time for another.¬† I love each season for different reasons. Springtime’s new bright green grass and budding out trees. Seeing that first flower bloom. My children’s excitement at spotting that first butterfly of the year, almost as if it’s the first they’ve ever seen!

Spring is time for renewal and preparation. In our home, it means looking ahead to our summer vegetable garden. During early spring I begin by starting tomato plants from seed. I know that I can easily buy plants at our local greenhouse or farmers’ market, but I took a liking to a particular variety of sauce tomato because of its very, very tiny seed cavity. It makes for great salsa and pizza sauce and holds up well when canned. I have not found anywhere to buy this plant variety, so to be sure I had a big enough harvest for all the canning I intend to do, I started almost 60 plants. Amazingly, only two didn’t sprout. Needless to say, I was thrilled!

Tomato plants I started, just before they were planted in the garden.

Tomato plants I started, just before they were planted in the garden.

Also in early spring we spread what chicken and rabbit manure we have accumulated on our garden. This gives it a bit of time to work into the soil. It may not be quite the right time according to someone else, but it has worked for us, and to me, that’s all that matters. Spring is also a good time to get cooler weather crops planted. This year we have snap peas, carrots, lettuce, and green onions. Once these are in, the remainder of the garden doesn’t get planted until the danger of frost is over; approximately May 15th in my area, but will differ depending on where you live.

When the time came, we added potatoes, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, cabbage plants, watermelon, okra, and my tomato plants. Everything has sprouted and appears to be doing well.
We have made a plan to weed the garden twice a week. It will be the job of my three boys and myself. They are actually very excited about this idea. The goal is to keep things from getting out of hand and help improve our harvest.

As we look forward to summer’s heat inducing growth,¬†I am hopeful that we will be blessed with enough rain.¬† Unfortunately,¬†my hometown has suffered drought for about 3 summers in a row. We can water the garden, but in drought conditions it’s not practical. Plus rain water seems so much more beneficial. Do you agree?¬† Everything just looks greener!

Here are a couple of snapshots of what the garden looks like today.

A row of green beans, with some green onions poking up behind.

A row of green beans, with some green onions poking up behind.

IMG_0573

Potatoes! The best they’ve looked in years!

Pay no attention to the weeds, mother nature has been sending us perfectly timed rain that hasn’t allowed us to weed since last Tuesday.¬† No complaining here though!¬† But boy it will sure look better once we can step foot in there without coming out with shoes made of mud!

Gardening is a big part of my family’s summer, and I hope to keep you updated on the garden’s progress.¬†¬†I would absolutely love to hear about your garden. What are you raising this year?¬† Anything new?

I personally can’t wait for that first, ripe tomato……..Mmmmm!

But for now we will weed and tend to the tender plants, look to the sky for the occasional rainfall, and wait for harvest time, praying that it will be abundant. Not just for me and my family, but also for the farming community we call home.