Monday, September 30, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

I thought the kids were over this crazy flu virus a few days ago, but then Elianna suddenly spiked a fever again Saturday night and coughed so hard she threw up twice :-(.  I felt very miserable last week but am definitely feeling much better today, thankfully. We debated whether or not to take Elianna to the doctor yesterday but decided to wait it out a few more days. I have a suspicion that she may have developed an ear infection or a secondary infection as she was healthy for a few days and then suddenly spiked a fever again. Today she still had a fever for part of the day, though she didn't really seem very sick other than complaining about her ear hurting and her legs hurting. I did book her an appointment with her pediatrician for later this week in case she isn't better in the next day or two. She has been sick on an off for over a week now. Having sick kiddos is always so hard to deal with, and I can't help but have the worst case scenario in the back of my mind any time Elianna is having fevers that come and go for over a week and is complaining about having pain. I'm so grateful for her doctor whom I trust and also knows her medical history.

I spent a good part of the weekend developing  my menu plan for October, planning my grocery list, and going through the flyers in order to price match when I go grocery shopping. I was hoping to go tonight, but it just didn't work out. I'll get there in the next day or two, though. The once a month shopping thing is working fairly well, but I HAVE to go grocery shopping alone now without the kids along. There is just no way I can do a whole month's worth of shopping and fit 2 kids in the cart. Besides that, it's a 2 hour or more ordeal and completely tires me out by the end. I can't imagine how impatient and tired the kids would be after 2++ hours of grocery shopping :-).

On a side note, I actually exercised for the first time in a very, very long time today. It was only 30 minutes of brisk walking, but it's a start. I'd like to aim for 60 minutes a day of walking. I'm so very discouraged by the amount of weight I've already put on this pregnancy. I'm only 21 weeks along and I'm already at the weight I had hoped to be at when I will be 40 weeks. If things don't change, I will definitely be looking at 60-80 pounds to lose post-baby. No guarantee the exercise and attempt at eating better will help, but I will give it my best shot.

We have a busy weekend coming up with tons of extended family coming this way for a reunion / birthday celebration for my Grandpa's 80th birthday. I haven't seen many of my aunt, uncles, cousins for years, so it should be a busy, fun weekend. The kids will have lot of cousins to play with. I am really hoping we will all be completely over this flu bug by then.

Here's the plan for this week:

Monday: Crockpot Beef & Broccoli over Brown Jasmine Rice

Tuesday: Spaghetti & Meat Sauce, Caesar Salad

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Hamburger Vegetable Soup & Biscuits

Friday: Eating with family

Saturday: Eating with family

Sunday: Egg Salad Sandwiches

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Menu Plan for This Week

I'm a little late menu planning for this week. Better late than never :-). Like I predicted yesterday, our house has been hit with a cold/flu bug. Both kids were feeling pretty miserable in the night last night and are having a relaxing "movie" day today. Elianna is drinking plenty of honey lemon tea (her favourite!), and Nathanael had a 3 HOUR nap this afternoon (that is unheard of for him...poor guy must be worn out. Glad he's getting lots of rest, though!). I'm actually feeling pretty good today. Last night my throat was sore, but I drank a huge mug of tea and am feeling fine today. My latest pregnancy craving is FLAVOUR bland foods for me over here. I also have had a thing for rice this entire pregnancy.

Monday: Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala over Rice (a family fave, though this batch was pretty spicy, so I fed the kids some leftover beef we had in the fridge with rice and veggies). 

Tuesday: Greek Salad with Creamy Feta Dressing for Me
               Leftover Pizza from Lunch for Hubby (I packed him supper to take along this evening since he went to help with harvest after work before it rains tonight). (Kids are feeling miserable and don't have much of an appetite, so I kinda let them munch on snacks  and drink tea for the day. Elianna had cucumbers and dip for supper.)

Wednesday: Leftover Chicken Tikka Masala & Rice

Thursday: Potato & Ham Chowder in Bread Bowls

Friday: Homemade Pizza Night & Caesar Salad

Saturday: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies

Sunday: Leftovers

Monday, September 23, 2013

God's Hand of Protection, His Faithfulness, & Other Thoughts

For those of you who are wondering, the future is still very uncertain for us. Of course, we know the One who IS certain, and that does make a huge difference :-). My husband has a job that will take us through most of December, which we are very grateful for. We have absolutely no clue where we will be after that. Right now we are praying through whether or not my husband should leave his field of work behind completely or if he should perhaps still use his training/knowledge but just in a different area than what he was doing before. There are a few people who have heard the full story of "why" he left his job. Let me just say that there is a cost to being a Christian, and sometimes the Lord works in our hearts slowly over time to reveal something. We must hold everything with an open hand. At the immediate time of him leaving his job, we were not entirely ready or prepared to give the full story. Slowly, and as the Lord leads us, we are sharing how the Lord showed us over the past year that my husband needed to leave his career.

For those of you who are really wondering...a huge part of the decision was our strong pro-life beliefs.  (And for those of you who don't know our family personally,  NO he did not work in an abortion clinic or for Planned Parenthood or anything like that! There are several Christians in his field of work and the issue at hand has been hotly debated, even among Christian pro-lifers. We examined TONS of arguments, studies, and evidence from both sides, in addition to much prayer and seeking the Lord on the issue before being led to our decision.). When temptations and doubt come (and they certainly have), it is important for me to remember the many ways the Lord spoke so clearly before we made the huge decision. Going back to that helps me fight the temptations. Specifically, the billboard that we saw in the most unexpected way/ the most critical time in one of our discussions. It said "Protect the Rights of the Unborn." There is not a doubt in my mind that the Lord used that to speak to my husband and I. This was on a road we NEVER take, were not planning on taking, and the timing of it all was just incredible in light of the discussion my husband and I were having. I don't even remember seeing any other billboard on that road as I was focused on an intense discussion with my husband...not on looking out the window! (That is just one of the many ways the Lord spoke to us...of course much scripture was used, as well as many other ways).

 I am not going to pretend that life has been all roses lately because it certainly has had its challenges. I have been struggling with depression & doubt, and my faith is being stretched daily. I suppose I should really have expected trials & temptations to come following our decision. I can say I can honestly feel the spiritual attack many days. There are nights where I feel like I am drowning in tears. I have not experienced anything close to that since the trials we had when our daughter was seriously sick 3 years ago. My body feels like it's been falling apart lately as I have had tendinitis in my shoulders, pain in my back and hips, and horrible headaches (likely related to this pregnancy :-) ). I am about half-way through this pregnancy and am looking forward to the end and holding my sweet baby, though it seems to be so far away still!

 Last week, as I was walking with my kids, I was literally a few steps away from being struck by a speeding car at a pedestrian crossing. I had begun crossing the street with my two kids at a major pedestrian crosswalk with no cars in sight other a truck who was waiting for us to cross. When I was half-way through the crosswalk (in the middle of the road), a car came speeding right through the intersection, literally steps in front of me. It was a young person driving, and it looked to me like he/she had his/her head looking down, perhaps texting or doing something else....I really can't be sure. I am fairly certain she never even saw me at all, even after. Until you've had your life literally flash before your eyes, you don't really know what it feels like. Part of me feels like I stood in the middle of the road, watching that car approach for 5 minutes and the other part of me feels like it all happened in a split second. I found out later that a friend of my mother-in-law actually witnessed our near-miss (she was in the truck that was waiting for us to cross). I am incredibly thankful that I was holding my daughter's hand at the time and that she was not in front of me. I was also pulling my son in the wagon behind me instead of pushing him in a stroller like I usually do. Thank the Lord I was not pushing a stroller in front of me.. I do not even want to think about what could have been...Thank the LORD for His protection. He is truly sovereign and knows the beginning from the end.

That scary experience was an incredible reminder of the Lord's sovereign hand in my life. Another positive thing that came out of that experience was a huge reminder as to my purpose here. Part of this depression thing is Satan trying to convince me that I have no real purpose, am a failure at everything, and am useless. That is a lie: I am here for my kids & for my husband, and ultimately, for the glory of God. Every day that He gives me breath is a gift. In an instant, He may call me home. One can never assume to be here on earth tomorrow or to have another chance to hug your loved ones. When lies come from Satan, I must fight them with the Word of God. Jesus is Lord of my life and HE is the reason I am serve Him...and right now, a huge part of serving Him is serving my family & raising my kids in His ways. That is a very important purpose, though the Devil has tried to convince me otherwise.

After what was a rather difficult week, we were greatly encouraged this past Sunday at church. I cannot tell you how grateful we are for the fellowship of believers.  It has been somewhat surprising to us that many people "get it"...why my husband left his job. I know there are still those who think we are just crazy and others who don't really get it (but are encouraging, nonetheless), but there are also those who truly do understand and support our decision. This past Sunday, one of our church elders and his wife shared some encouraging words with us regarding our recent decision. It was truly the encouragement we needed at the right time, and we thank God for using them to encourage us.

This week will be a busy one. I feel as though I'm coming down with a touch of the flu or something. I noticed Nathanael sounded very hoarse today, so I'm suspecting he may be coming down with something also. I had a rough start to the day today but ended it with reading plenty of books to my little ones, cuddled up on the couch with them. Nathanael has just started saying "I love you" and though he can be incredibly mischievous, he is one sweet little boy who loves giving hugs and kisses. I cannot believe how quickly Elianna is growing up. She is a delight to have around and always is coming up with things to keep me laughing. Her imagination is alive and well and she is also incredibly affectionate, still loving to come snuggle up with me.

I sometimes think of what our family is going through as a chapter in the story of our life (though that doesn't seem quite I know my life is not about MY story but about HIS story, the one already written. My life is for HIS glory, not my own.) I do not know what the next page will read. I don't even know how many pages are in this chapter or in the entire story. I do, however, know that God is faithful. That is written on every page, on every line, and if I would only open my eyes and trust Him for who He is, I wouldn't have to wait until the end of this chapter or the end of the story to read this.

It is not just that He WAS faithful (and He was!) or that He WILL be faithful (and He will!) is that He IS faithful. Today. In this moment. In this chapter in my life. On this page in my life. On this line.
Thank You Jesus for being faithful.

How truly blessed I am. I love my family more than words can say and I serve the living, faithful Savior. :-).

Monday, September 16, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

I had a really great day today :-). It was our first official day of homeschooling, and despite not feeling "ready" to start, I jumped in anyway, and it turned out to be a very fun, productive day for our whole family. The last week was a bit of a rough one for me as I have been having trouble with my right shoulder. On Wednesday I couldn't even move my arm to brush my hair or do the very basic tasks, so I finally went to the doctor and found out I have tendinitis in my shoulder. I'm supposed to go to physiotherapy to improve it, but it has improved a bit since seeing the doctor, so I'm praying it will get better on it's own without physio. Pregnancy always seems to bring horrible headaches in my second trimester, and the last few days I have been fighting headaches verging on migraines. Today, though, I felt awesome and had no headache, which was a huge blessing, and helped me get many things accomplished today. I'm hoping the enthusiasm Elianna (and I!) had today will carry through the rest of the year. She is only K4 age, so "school" is really not overly serious or stressful. It feels a lot more like playing all day, which is what I think K4 should be like. We are really trying to get more into a routine/rhythm to help our days go more smoothly, though. I hope to post more on our homeschooling plans in the next week or two.

Here's our menu plan for this week:

Monday:      Lunch: Skillet Light Lasagna
                  Supper: Gaucho Casserole, Veggies & Dip

Tuesday:     Lunch: Leftovers
                 Supper: BLT's and Fries

Wednesday: Lunch: Tuna Sandwiches & Fruit
                  Supper: Crockpot Pomegranate Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Mixed Veggies

Thursday: Lunch: Mac N' Cheese & Tomatoes
               Supper: Leftovers

Friday:     Lunch:  Soup
                Supper: Pizza & Salad

Saturday: Lunch: Leftovers
               Supper: BBQ Steak, Baked Potatoes, Salad

Sunday:  Lunch: Frozen Dinners or Out to Eat
              Supper: Potato Soup & Biscuits

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