Monday, July 29, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

Menu planning is an important part of sticking to a grocery budget. August marks the beginning of a stricter grocery budget for our family, and I'm determined to figure out some ways to cut our grocery bill back.  I came across the blog Blissful and Domestic, which has lots of great frugal tips and menus. It sounds like once a month grocery shopping can help cut save quite a bit; I did try this in the past, but I didn't find that it worked very well for us. I am thinking about giving it another try, though. To make the once a month thing work, you freeze some of the produce and dairy and use up perishables in a strategic order. Right now I'm working on a month long menu plan for August to help me plan for my big grocery trip.

Here's the plan for this week:

Sunday: Lunch: Leftover Sweet & Sour Chicken & Rice
             Supper: Spaghetti with Mushrooms & Tomatoes in a Pesto Cream Sauce,  Homemade Artisan Bread

Monday: Chili & Cornbread
*Brown 3 pounds of hamburger: Use 2 lbs for chili & 1 lb to brown and  freeze for Shepherd's Pie later in the week*

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Spinach Lasagna & 5 Minute Artisan Bread

Thursday: Crockpot BBQ Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Veggies from the garden
*make extra chicken for pizza next week* *make extra potatoes for shepherd's pie*

Friday: Salmon Broccoli Loaf, Leftover Potatoes, Tossed Salad

Saturday: Shepherd's Pie, Tossed Salad, Artisan Bread

Many of these recipes are new. I'll try to add the ones that are keepers to my recipe index once I've tried them :-). Today is a big day for us since it's hubby's first day at his new job. First days are always nerve-wracking because you don't really know what to expect. Hopefully it goes well for him!  

*Linking up to Menu Plan Monday hosted by*

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

HUGE Changes for Our Family-Part 1

Life has been absolutely insane around here for the past few months. I haven't been able to blog much because all of our latest "news" has not been shared with anyone except for with our very close family. I will spare you some of the details, for privacy reasons, but I think it's safe for me to start sharing a bit of what's been happening in our life lately.

For those of you who know me in real life but haven't talked to me lately, the following news might come as a complete surprise to you.

After over a year of praying and waiting on the Lord for direction, it recently became very clear that it was time for my husband to leave his career in health care behind and do something new. This is BIG for our family as my husband had a pretty established career in the health field...he was in a specific field that was very competitive to get into for school and then took 5 years of intense university (my smart hubby finished in 5 years, but many take more). This change is going to affect our family in many ways, and the next year or so will be very interesting as the Lord works out the details of our "new normal."

Now to answer a few questions that I know you are likely asking...

Are you moving? Probably not in the near future.
What is he doing now? It's looking like he is going to be working for now at a completely different job from what he has been doing. Talk to me in person about this if you know me in real life. Then I can tell you exactly where he is working :-).

I wish I could share absolutely everything with you all, but I have to be wise and leave out some details for privacy reasons. With my husband's permission, I hope to explain a bit of the "why" he left his career in the next few months.

Times are exciting for us and a little bit scary...but mostly exciting. I have to admit that I do have moments of anxiety here and there, but the months leading up to the point of decision were far more stressful than what's happening right now.
There is no safer and no better place to be than in the will of God.
We are certain this is His will and have complete peace that He will work it all out. :-)

I just have to take a moment to share that my husband is beyond courageous for making this huge decision. From a worldly perspective, he is giving up a lot by leaving his career because the world would say we "had it all", so to speak. Many people are not going to understand. And in a worldly sense, this is the death of a dream for us...a dream that we now realize is not God's plan for us. For me, one of the hardest parts of all this was coming to terms with the fact that life is going to look different from what I thought it would look - I had thought we were "settled", if you know what I mean! Knowing how ridiculously hard my husband worked to get through and excel at his university studies... and now leaving that all behind... is perhaps the hardest part. This change is also a financial sacrifice. Frugality is going to become more of a necessity instead of a hobby for me :-). (I sure am glad I recently discovered price matching!).  Money and riches and a big fancy house are not biblical reasons/motivators to stay in something that the Lord is leading us away from.

So, our prayer is not for our selfish dreams to come true but that the Lord would put HIS desires within our heart so that HIS desires for our life would take over...would permeate our heart and become our desires...that we would be willing to sacrifice the fleeting things of this world for the treasures of heaven. Sometimes God may call us to do something...but it might only be for a season. Our job is simply to be faithful and obedient. I am unbelievably blessed to be married to a man who desires to follow the Lord no matter the cost and no matter what others may say.

In the next week or so, I will be sharing Part 2, which is another HUGE change for us...on top of all this. I am also considering sharing more details regarding how God made it clear what we were to do and a few more "whys" as to our decision.

Sometimes when crazy happens, it happens all at once...
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