Monday, November 28, 2011

Menu & Update

Yikes...did another week really just fly by? I am trying not to stress about the things I still have to do before BABY arrives. It doesn't help that I suddenly have much less energy than I did a few weeks ago, fighting some nausea again, and feel the need to nap during Ellie's nap and go to bed early. However, I have been fighting a pesky cold for the last month or so that keeps rearing its ugly head, which could explain the lack of energy.

On a positive note, bed times are now much happier times around here. For everyone. We tried something new (aka...consistency, anyone?? :-) ), and at home things are going very well on the nap time and bed time front. What a relief! I am finally getting decent sleep at night and sleeping in my own bed. She still gets up many nights, although usually just once, to use the bathroom, but then I can tuck her in and immediately head back to bed rather than "help" her fall back asleep. Occasionally she will sleep the whole night through till early morning (6:45 a.m. ish). We are back in business with regular, consistent nap times, too. HOORAY! This is huge for us and one of the main things we wanted to tackle before baby's arrival. Away from home, things are still stressful with bedtimes, but I truly believe that applying the same consistent method we used at home will work. It just might take a few long, difficult times to get there.

Here's the plan for this week:

Frozen pizza for lunch & Visiting family for supper
One Pot Mac n' Cheese with Chopped Tomatoes mixed in

BLT's and leftovers

Cheesearoni Beef Casserole (double and freeze), Steamed Broccoli, Tossed Salad

Easy Chicken Parmesan (double and freeze), Spaghetti, Caesar Salad

Turkey & Rice Casserole, Steamed Carrots


Something Simple (Chicken Fingers, Etc.)

*For more great meal ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday hosted by*

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Freezer Friendly Meals

Freezer-Friendly Make Ahead Meals

These are the meals I plan on making and keeping in the freezer, so that when Baby #2 arrives in January I will have easy meals on hand for days when I am too tired to cook. I'm not sure if I'll get around to preparing them all, but this is my list of ideas.

*I will try to post recipe links of these when time permits

Main Dishes

Shepherd's Pie (done!)
Yum A Setta (done!)
Lentil Beef Soup
Cheesearoni Beef Casserole (done!)
Barbecue Meatballs (done!)
Meatloaf (done!)
Meat Sauce (for Spaghetti)

Chicken & Turkey
Chicken Parmesan (done!)
Chicken Enchiladas (done!)
Sweet & Sour Chicken
Turkey & Rice Casserole (done!)
Turkey & Wild Rice Soup

Homemade Pizza Pockets (x2) (Pepperoni & Mushroom, Ham & Pineapple) (done!)
Pizza Crust (x 2) (done!)

Bacon & Egg McMuffins
Banana Chip Muffins

Linking Up to

Growing Home

Monday, November 21, 2011

Menu Plan

I'm feeling a bit under the weather today as I think I'm coming down with another cold or something. Ugh. Little Ellie is sick again, too, I think. Although she has no fever yet, I'm planning on taking her to the doctor in the next day or so just to make sure there's nothing bacterial going on since she's been sick a lot this month and coughing up stuff again. Although a fever is the biggest sign of infection and thus cause for concern for her, sometimes people with neutropenia do not show the typical signs of infection even though there is one going on. Sometimes a fever might not even be present, which is why I'm going to get her checked out by her pediatrician just to make sure her lungs are clear and it's hopefully just a cold.

Here's the plan for this week. As before, my focus is now on doubling up meals and freezing them to get ready for the baby's arrival.

Homemade Pizza and Caesar Salad (doubled and froze 2 pizza crusts)

Leftover Sausage and Scalloped Potatoes, Cooked Mixed Veggies
*Make Pizza Pockets for Freezer*

Meatloaf (double and freeze), Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli & Carrots

Easy Chicken Parmesan (double and freeze), Spaghetti, Roasted Asparagus

Turkey, Dressing, Roasted Veggies & Potatoes
*Freeze a bunch of leftover turkey to make into meals later*
*Make turkey broth to freeze for soups*


Leftovers or Something Simple (Chicken Fingers, Potato Soup, etc.)

*For more great meal ideas visit Menu Plan Monday hosted by*


There's a great giveaway going on at a few blogs I frequent. Check out the entire list here. Through multiple blogs, Vision Forum is giving away a grand total of $3600 worth of gift cards to use toward anything in their store including Christian books, toys, and much more. If you are interested, check it out!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Feminine Friday

32 weeks pregnant! I got this maternity dress at the thrift store for a couple dollars, and I don't mind it too much. A staple item I would really like to get for my wardrobe is a pair of black boots. Although I really like these camel coloured ones, they don't work well with this outfit. I think a black pair would look a lot better.

Linking up to Feminine Friday
and True Femininity

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One Year Ago...

One year ago, things were quite different around here. Ellie was undergoing her bone marrow test, and I was stuck in the hospital dealing with my own health issues of tachycardia, hypotension, and so much pain it was difficult to walk, lift my arm, or type on the computer. One year ago, we lived an entire week thinking that our daughter likely had leukemia and the doctors had even tossed that word around me as a possibility for my own health problems (quickly ruled out for me, though, thankfully). It was certainly the most difficult week(s) of our life so far. There were many, many tears shed and many, many prayers sent up. Many times we wondered whether the Lord was going to take Ellie home far sooner than we had ever imagined. We are grateful that it was not her time and we have been blessed with another year with our daughter, with no hospitalizations since last December!! We are SO thankful!!!

It is actually very strange thinking back to what life was like for us a year ago. My husband and I were talking the other day how some days we almost (but never totally) forget about our daughter's condition, and then the next day our thoughts are so focused on it that we become very protective and paranoid, wondering if we should be more careful. I know people don't understand what it's like unless you've gone through something similar, but believe me, it is extremely difficult to know just how careful (or not careful) we should be. Someone is getting over a cold, and isn't too sick but just a little? Can she be around them? Often we don't know what to do, but our personalities tend to lean us toward the side of caution. And yes, I still hear every little cough, sniffle, and sneeze from miles away! So if we switch seats during church or quickly switch grocery aisles or skip a big family gathering during cold and flu season, please don't be offended. We probably just observed someone with signs of illness, and we steer clear whenever possible. Like I said, the answer is not always cut and dry, and we struggle with knowing what to do in many situations.

The temptation to worry is now more to do with worrying what will happen if she gets sick with a bacterial infection or viral illness with fever (although nothing is impossible with the LORD!). And perhaps the biggest temptation is worrying about her condition developing into leukemia since our understanding is her having a bone marrow dysfunction probably increases her risks. These are things I need to lay down at the foot of the cross, though, admittedly it is difficult some days.

I would be lying if I said that going through this all hasn't changed the way I think/feel about our daughter (and any other future children.) I have a much greater awareness of just how fragile life is. We forget that our days are numbered, and only God knows when our time is up. We need to make each moment count for His glory and cherish the precious gifts He's entrusted to us for our short time on earth.

Psalm 34 was our theme psalm for the difficult time last year. The Lord gave this psalm to my husband when he was praying one night.

I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Psalm 34:1-8

Giving Thanks,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Menu Plan

It's time to start stocking the freezer with some ready-made meals for when the baby comes. Meals that are easily doubled and can be frozen are going to be making an appearance for the next several weeks. Here's what we plan on eating this week:

Tomato Orzo Soup with Leftover Biscuits

Yum-a-Setta (freeze half), Steamed Broccoli, Tossed Salad


Chicken Enchiladas (freeze half), Corn, Salad

Meatballs (freeze half), Rice, Cooked Mixed Veggies


SaturdayBLT sandwiches, Oven Fries

*For more meal ideas visit Menu Plan Monday hosted by*

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Convicted by the Words of a 2 Year Old

I woke up this morning, feeling grumpy and a bit ungrateful, thinking about my aching back, how tired I am, and the many things on my "to-do" list.

My 2 year old woke up this morning running around the house shouting, "Give thanks to the LORD for He is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the LORD!!"

Many times I get so caught up in teaching my daughter that I forget the Lord is using her to teach me, too.

Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3

Growing Home

Monday, November 7, 2011

Menu Plan

This week my hubby's work schedule is a little different, so I'm just going to plan a couple of main dishes and veggie/salad dishes and put them on whatever day I feel like. I would really like to up the veggie consumption in our household, so I'm going to try my best to always have a salad and a cooked veggie included with every meal, if there aren't any cooked veggies in the main dish.

Here are my meal ideas for this week:

Tuna Macaroni Casserole with Peas

Chili & Cornbread with Olive Garden Salad

Crockpot Coconut Curry, Brown Jasmine Rice, Tossed Salad

Immunity Boosting Mushroom Soup (adding lentils & split peas & barley) (NEW) with Cheese Biscuits, Greek Salad

Honey Whole Wheat Bread
Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Bars (NEW)

*For more great meal ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday hosted by*

Friday, November 4, 2011

Feminine Friday

So sorry for the blurry, poor quality pictures. I could not figure out how to get the camera on the proper setting, and before I could look it up, Ellie was up from her nap. I need to figure out my camera settings one of these days. Anyway, here I am at 30 1/2 weeks. I thought the slipper/boots (I don't know what they are exactly) are kinda cute.

Linking up to Feminine Friday with Valencia at Buildeth Her House.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Flour Tortillas

This is my favourite recipe for flour tortillas. They take a little bit of work but are so much better than the store-bought ones, in my opinion. I've tried a few recipes for flour tortillas but always come back to this one from my mom. These ones are very soft and pliable.

Flour Tortillas

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
2/3 cup water (or milk)

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter. Add 2/3 cup water (or milk). Stir until dough forms a ball. Put on floured surface and knead 6-8 times. Cover with an inverted bowl and let rest for 20 minutes. Form small balls and roll out very thin. Place one on medium hot ungreased frying pan. When dark spots begin to appear, turn and brown other side. Keep warm in a tea towel. Yields 6-10 large medium - large shells.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The 10 Week Countdown! (& A Funny)

This is dolly all decked out in her wedding attire. The other day Ellie took a sheet off our bed, wrapped it over her head and declared, "I'm getting married!!" Then she got her dolly and declared that dolly was getting married. Too funny.

Yes the 10 week countdown is on! Yikes. I cannot believe how fast time is flying by. This pregnancy has been amazing...I feel SO good (most days) - Praise the LORD! I have so many things I'd like to get done before the baby arrives, but I'm honestly not sure how much will actually get accomplished between the potty training and sleep deprivation. Oh well...I can makes lists anyway, right? A major to-do list post will be coming soon.

By the way...the Ellie sleeping's still not going so well. Still trying to figure it all out, but regardless, I'm managing the fatigue most days. Most days. As of this moment, she is fast asleep on my lap, so it's the perfect time to type out a blog post. We had been "practicing" for church (something I'm trying to help her learn to sit still better) and listening to a sermon by Paul Washer. She was doing well and reminding herself to "face the front." Then suddenly...she was out!

Part of the problem with the sleep thing is the vicious exhaustion cycle. I can stick it out 3 hours to put her to bed if I have to...but when it comes to the middle-of-the-night, it's another story. Last night I was determined. So I thought. If she got up and came to our room, she would go straight back to bed. No conversation. No discussion. Nothing. Just keep it up until she gives in. That was the plan and I was sticking to my guns this time. Ha. Well that worked fine and dandy until it wasn't working anymore. An hour or two later, I was too tired to continue and caved by crawling into her twin bed. Usually after that, she'll fall asleep. Last night...not so much. She proceeded to toss and turn for the next few hours, keeping me awake in the meantime. Thus today I'm very tired wondering if I'll have the gumption to stick it out tonight should Round 2 (wait...we're on more like Round 9047) commence... and so the vicious cycle continues. Boo.

Oh...and the potty training thing...well we are on Day 2 of no diapers/pull ups except for naps and night time. We've had mostly accidents so far, but I'm determined to stick it out this time for at least this whole week. She is becoming a bit more aware of the process I think, so we'll see what happens.

Oh...and we've come down with another cold or something like it. Yay for us. I'm sure the sleep deprivation isn't doing our immune system any favours.

Oh...and we had the first snowfall of the year today. Ellie got really excited. Hubby took her outside to touch the snow. It was terribly cute.

10 more weeks (or so)! I can hardly believe it!

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