Category Archives: Single Parenting

Meal Plan: June 23 – 29, 2019

This is our basic meal plan for the week. Sometimes we will switch the days around if I forgot to set something out or put something in the crockpot. Please feel free to use this or change it around to suit your family’s needs.

I have started trying to do easier meals on days that I have square dancing obligations. This helps me to be able to put a nice meal on the table without feeling guilty about having some much needed ‘Mommy Time’. Some of these meals may also help with those that have busy or irregular schedules due to work or extracurricular activities.

I do have ‘Snacks/Desserts’ listed as well. I always try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on the counter or table for the kids to snack on. Sometimes I will make a special snack or treat for us to enjoy.

We have also been using the Trim Healthy Mama books to try to convert some of our favorite recipes to be healthier. Meal planning really does help keep this tired Momma from completely losing her sanity. It also helps when I can quickly locate the recipe and ingredients I need for grocery lists and meal prep. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the supplements and such that we are using. You can always buy them a few at a time or many of them can be substituted or even omitted, if necessary.

Some recipes are from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table. These will have a link to the product on Amazon as I can not post the recipes online without prior permission. In many cases, I have tried to tweak our recipe to be more in line with THM but I can’t guarantee that they would be 100% on the plan but I can say that they are healthier than their previous versions.

I do still have a lot of recipes that I need to convert so this will be a bit of a process for us as well. Some recipes are better as they are and we will try to make them work as best we can. I know the kids need a few extra calories and nutrients so we do usually have a few extras (like bread and rolls) that us grown-ups will need to exercise caution with but other than that it has been pretty easy to follow along with this plan so far. If the meal happens to be something that I feel is not on the plan I may choose not to eat part of it or make a big salad and top it with whatever protein source everyone else is having.

I know the THM plan says that you may not see any weight loss at first but that your body will be healing from the inside. I know that we are eating much healthier than we were before and I’ll try to be content knowing that we are getting healthier one meal at a time.

I also love to utilize the grocery pickup services from Walmart and Sam’s Club not to mention that Amazon Prime Deliveries can make life so much easier as well.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for Meal Prep Ideas to make this week a little easier.


Sunday 

Breakfast:

Good Grub Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p. 64

Fried Eggs

Lunch:

Personal Pita Pizzas

Dinner: ++

Crockpot Taco Soup (Double Batch**)

Rice

** This will make enough for a meal plus leftovers. Use the optional ingredients and don’t eat with rice.

Snacks/Desserts:

Basic Muffins 

-or-

Baby Frap from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook


Monday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

-or-

Orange Smoothie (Creamsicle Shake)

Lunch:

Soup & Salad

Dinner: ++

Salmon & Okra 

Salad

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cupcakes (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)

-or-

Cinnamon Butter Bundt Cake Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p. 380


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

-or-

Fat-Stripping Frappa from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

Lunch:

Tuna Salad Sandwiches & Veggies

-or-

Salad w/tuna

Dinner: ++

Leftovers

-or-

Crunchy Chicken

Cheesy Squash Casserole -or- sauteed squash

Mashed Potatoes -or- Super Yummy Caulitaters

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruit

Baby Frap from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Basic Muffins 

-or-

Try a new muffin recipe from Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table 

Lunch:

Hot Dogs

Veggies

-or-

Soup (Use leftovers)

Dinner: ++

Creamed Spinach and Bacon-Smothered Chicken Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table  p. 219

Salad

Quick & Easy Garlic Bread or Garlic Cheesy Bread

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs

Leftover Muffins

-or-

Collagen Berry Whip from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 375

Root Beer Floats… try this recipe: ROOT BEER SHAKE


Thursday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

-or-

Fat Stripping Frappa Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 418

Lunch:

PB & J Sandwiches & Fruit

-or-

Cottage Cheese Salad Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 190

Dinner: ++

Daddy Can’t Wait Casserole

Mashed Potatoes -or- Super Yummy Caulitaters -or- Baked Sweet Potatoes

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Popcorn

-or-

Celery with Peanut Butter


Friday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal -or- Can-Do Cereal – Quick Version Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p.349

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

-or-

Creamy Grains Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook  p. 253

Lunch:

Leftovers

Dinner: ++

Free Day

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)

-or-

Sopapillas

Baby Frap from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook


Saturday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

-or-

Big Boy Smoothie from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 414

Lunch:

Ham & Cheese Perfect Stuffed Wraps

-or-

Salad in a Jar Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 188

Dinner: ++

Mississippi Pot Roast

Mashed Potatoes -or- Super Yummy Caulitaters -or- Baked Sweet Potatoes

Vegetable Casserole or add some chunked veggies to the pot roast if desired.

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs

Cake from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook or the Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table 

Baby Frap from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

++I have a few kids who seem to be going through growth spurts right now and are always HUNGRY. I have been keeping a pot of beans, blackeyed peas, or another vegetable as a side. I also have been buying a few extra snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc. 


Meal Prep Ideas

  • Buy a rotisserie chicken or cook a few chicken breasts and shred for salads
  • Make your own bagged salads
  • Make some The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever! for meals and snacks
  • You could also mix up the pancake and muffin batters the night before to make your mornings a bit easier.

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission and allow us to continue to post FREE articles, recipes, and tips.

 –Thank you!

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Meal Plan: June 16 – 22, 2019

This is our basic meal plan for the week. Sometimes we will switch the days around if I forgot to set something out or put something in the crockpot. Please feel free to use this or change it around to suit your family’s needs.

I have started trying to do easier meals on days that I have square dancing obligations. This helps me to be able to put a nice meal on the table without feeling guilty about having some much needed ‘Mommy Time’. Some of these meals may also help with those that have busy or irregular schedules due to work or extracurricular activities.

I do have ‘Snacks/Desserts’ listed as well. I always try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on the counter or table for the kids to snack on. Sometimes I will make a special snack or treat for us to enjoy.

We have also been using the Trim Healthy Mama books to try to convert some of our favorite recipes to be healthier. Meal planning really does help keep this tired Momma from completely losing her sanity. It also helps when I can quickly locate the recipe and ingredients I need for grocery lists and meal prep. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the supplements and such that we are using. You can always buy them a few at a time or many of them can be substituted or even omitted, if necessary.

Some recipes are from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table. These will have a link to the product on Amazon as I can not post the recipes online without prior permission. In many cases, I have tried to tweak our recipe to be more in line with THM but I can’t guarantee that they would be 100% on the plan but I can say that they are healthier than their previous versions.

I do still have a lot of recipes that I need to convert so this will be a bit of a process for us as well. Some recipes are better as they are and we will try to make them work as best we can. I know the kids need a few extra calories and nutrients so we do usually have a few extras (like bread and rolls) that us grown-ups will need to exercise caution with but other than that it has been pretty easy to follow along with this plan so far. If the meal happens to be something that I feel is not on the plan I may choose not to eat part of it or make a big salad and top it with whatever protein source everyone else is having.

I know the THM plan says that you may not see any weight loss at first but that your body will be healing from the inside. I know that we are eating much healthier than we were before and I’ll try to be content knowing that we are getting healthier one meal at a time.

I also love to utilize the grocery pickup services from Walmart and Sam’s Club not to mention that Amazon Prime Deliveries can make life so much easier as well.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for Meal Prep Ideas to make this week a little easier.


Sunday 

Breakfast:

Soaked Apple Cinnamon or Cherry Almond Baked Oatmeal Recipe (A Make-Ahead Breakfast!)

-or-

Banana Creamy Grains Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook  p. 253

Lunch:

Hot dogs

Veggies

-or-

Perfect Stuffed Wraps

Dinner: ++

Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

Potato Salad (with cauliflower alternative)

Land Your Man Baked Beans

Snacks/Desserts:

Basic Muffins 

-or-

Muffins from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

Salted Caramel Baby Frap Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook


Monday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Choco Secret Big Boy Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p.415

Lunch:

Leftovers

Salad w/cucumbers, tomato, feta cheese, black olives, and an oil and vinegar dressing

Dinner: ++

Red & White Pasta

Salad

Quick & Easy Garlic Bread or Garlic Cheesy Bread

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cupcakes (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)

-or-

Magic Salted Caramel Cupcakes Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p. 378

 


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

-or-

French Toast in a Bowl

Lunch:

PB & J Sandwiches

Fruit

-or-

Soup & Salad

Dinner: ++

Fish w/Honey Mustard Sauce

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruit

Pudding Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 350


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Basic Muffins 

-or-

Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Glosting Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p. 364

Lunch:

Ham & Cheese Sandwiches

Veggies

-or-

Salad topped with cooked shrimp, chicken, or other meat

Dinner: ++

Crockpot Tortellini Soup

Buttered Bread

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs

Leftover Muffins

-or-

Muffin in a cup recipe from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook or the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table.


Thursday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

-or-

Fat Stripping Frappa Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 418

Lunch:

Tuna Salad

-or-

Tuna Wraps 

Dinner: ++

Easy Bean Tostadas

Brown Rice (Make a double batch and use leftovers for tomorrow)

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Popcorn

Lemon Cake

-or-

Sheri’s Chocolate Cake


Friday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal -or- Can-Do Cereal – Quick Version Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p.349

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

-or-

Creamy Grains Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook  p. 253

Lunch:

Soup

Grilled Cheese

Dinner: ++

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken

-or-

Creamless Creamy Chicken Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 78

Brown Rice

Pan Fried Green Beans

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)

Orange Dream 


Saturday

Breakfast:

Cheese Danish

-or-

Low Carb Cheese Danish

Fruit

Lunch:

Leftovers

-or-

Crispy Salmon Siesta Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook  p. 80

Choco Chip Baby Frap Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p.421

Dinner: ++

Free Day

-or-

Chicken Stir Fry (I usually just buy the HUGE bag of veggies and add some cooked chicken  or steak to it)

Chinese Fried Rice with Veggies, Brown Rice, or Cauli Rice

Snacks/Desserts:

Cake

Tummy Tucking Ice Cream Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 363

++I have a few kids who seem to be going through growth spurts right now and are always HUNGRY. I have been keeping a pot of beans, blackeyed peas, or another vegetable as a side. I also have been buying a few extra snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc. 


Meal Prep Ideas

  • Buy a rotisserie chicken or cook a few chicken breasts and shred for salads
  • Make your own bagged salads
  • Make some The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever! for meals and snacks
  • You could also mix up the pancake and muffin batters the night before to make your mornings a bit easier.

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission and allow us to continue to post FREE articles, recipes, and tips.

 –Thank you!

Super Busy Start To The Summer

Oh my goodness, the past few weeks have been so super busy… but then again it seems that we are always so super busy anymore which is something I definitely want to work on because this Momma is exhausted! Anyway, hopefully, we will see the rewards of some of the projects we’ve been on and will be able to share them here soon.

The past couple of weeks we have been doing some major cleaning and organizing around here. I started in the storage shed where I bought a couple of big shelves from Sam’s Club when they had a special going on for Memorial Day.

 

The kids wanted to make bunk beds out of the shelves and I’ve seen some Pinterest ideas where they have used them as such but I needed them for organization. They did go together fairly easily which was a good thing. I put both shelves together one morning and then worked on the shed for a couple of days. Here is a rather embarrassing picture of the shed before:

img_7454-2

As you can see, it was nearly impossible to find anything without moving a ton of junk beforehand.

And after:

I can find my square dance outfits easily and the kids love having space where they can play with some of the neat homeschool resources they haven’t seen before. I do need to sort through a lot of stuff and donate a bit but I am so happy that I finally have all of my homeschool stuff in one place! Really, you just don’t know how happy that makes this Momma!

We also decided to tackle the porch and the results have been great even though there is still a way to go before we can start enjoying the porch like we’d like to.

Here’s a before and an after photo:

I’ve never been able to walk off of that side of the porch before and I can actually set up my Gazelle and exercise out there… I haven’t yet but I could. We can actually find our fishing poles too now when the urge to fish hits us. The kids have had great fun running in circles through one gate and out the other… Oh, what I wouldn’t do for just a wee bit of that energy!

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We also cleaned up the yard quite a bit and gathered up limbs, trimmed trees, and I finally got my little flower garden looking halfway decent, it still needs some mulch of some sort. We have also marked quite a few trees that need to be taken down because of various reasons. This will probably happen sometime during the next week or so.

That reminds me that we are still working on eating healthier and I am constantly learning new tricks and tips on this journey and I have been reading through my Trim Healthy Mama books over and over for more information. I can honestly say that I am feeling so much better than before and even though the scale isn’t showing a lot of progress you can definitely see and feel a difference.

Free report on herbs and supplements to combat illness!

We’ve definitely found some winning recipes and then we’ve also found some ‘not my favorite’ ones too while also coming up with a few of our own. I’m also working on tweaking our old favorites to make them a bit more trimmified… is that even a word? You can check out our menu for this week HERE.

img_2692

In addition to the healthy food habits we’ve been working on I also decided to get a Berkey. You can read more about that HERE if you haven’t already. We are really enjoying the fresh clean water and it tastes SO GOOD! I also feel good knowing that we have a good way to purify water in the case of an emergency.

Click here to learn about why the Berkey Water Filters are so good!

It has also helped the littler kiddos be a bit more independent as they can reach and operate the Berkey without help. Instead of whining and complaining that no one has filled up their water bottles they can take care of it themselves… unexpected wins are GREAT!

The kids have also been learning about Emergency Preparedness in their On The Banks Of Plum Creek Adventure. They were surprised to see that the Herb Fairies Book they are currently ready actually mentions the book, On The Banks Of Plum Creek, that we are reading also.

Yes, I know most kids are out of school for the summer but we’ve decided just to go year round as we often need to take little breaks here and there for different things that come up. It also seems that if we break for more than a week or two at a time it takes FOREVER to get some of the kiddos back into the school routine so this is what works for us right now.

On top of all this, we are still square dancing at least two times a week and trying to keep up with two businesses. I have a wedding to officiate later this month and I need to work on some things for that as well as decide exactly what I plan to wear… I might need to buy something to wear but don’t tell Mr. Awesome… Shhhh! I’ve also been working on getting the kids caught up with dentist appointments and just made appointments for everyone to get their yearly physicals… Oh, what fun that will be! I’ve really been enjoying the ease of the Walmart Grocery Pickup service as I can go to the dentist and pick up my groceries on the way home… multitasking at it’s finest.

I’m sure there are a ton of things that I’ve forgotten to mention but maybe I’ll remember them and include them in on the next one. I hope you all are enjoying your summer and have a lot of fun plans! I’ve got to get off of here as I still have a ton of things to do today like give the dog a bath and make dinner among other things.

Talk to you soon!


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Meal Plan: June 9 – 15, 2019

This is our basic meal plan for the week. Sometimes we will switch the days around if I forgot to set something out or put something in the crockpot. Please feel free to use this or change it around to suit your family’s needs.

I have started trying to do easier meals on days that I have square dancing obligations. This helps me to be able to put a nice meal on the table without feeling guilty about having some much needed ‘Mommy Time’. Some of these meals may also help with those that have busy or irregular schedules due to work or extracurricular activities.

I do have ‘Snacks/Desserts’ listed as well. I always try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on the counter or table for the kids to snack on. Sometimes I will make a special snack or treat for us to enjoy.

We have also been using the Trim Healthy Mama books to try to convert some of our favorite recipes to be healthier. Meal planning really does help keep this tired Momma from completely losing her sanity. It also helps when I can quickly locate the recipe and ingredients I need for grocery lists and meal prep. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the supplements and such that we are using. You can always buy them a few at a time or many of them can be substituted or even omitted, if necessary.

Some recipes are from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table. These will have a link to the product on Amazon as I can not post the recipes online without prior permission. In many cases, I have tried to tweak our recipe to be more in line with THM but I can’t guarantee that they would be 100% on the plan but I can say that they are healthier than their previous versions.

I do still have a lot of recipes that I need to convert so this will be a bit of a process for us as well. Some recipes are better as they are and we will try to make them work as best we can. I know the kids need a few extra calories and nutrients so we do usually have a few extras (like bread and rolls) that us grown-ups will need to exercise caution with but other than that it has been pretty easy to follow along with this plan so far. If the meal happens to be something that I feel is not on the plan I may choose not to eat part of it or make a big salad and top it with whatever protein source everyone else is having.

I know the THM plan says that you may not see any weight loss at first but that your body will be healing from the inside. I know that we are eating much healthier than we were before and I’ll try to be content knowing that we are getting healthier one meal at a time.

I also love to utilize the grocery pickup services from Walmart and Sam’s Club not to mention that Amazon Prime Deliveries can make life so much easier as well.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for Meal Prep Ideas to make this week a little easier.


Sunday 

Breakfast:

Sensible Scrambled Eggs

Toast

Fruit

Lunch:

We had a family cookout so this ended up being a FREE DAY.

We took:

Boston Baked Beans

Apple Sonker (I used frozen blackberries sprinkled with a bit of sugar instead of apples)

Dinner: ++

leftovers

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruits (We were gifted with some yummy watermelons that we will be snacking on this week.)


Monday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Fried eggs over cubed zucchini fried in butter

Lunch:

Salad topped with cooked shrimp, chicken, or other meat

Dinner: ++

Personal Pita Pizzas

Salad

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)

Cottage Cheese with sliced strawberries


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

Chocolate Fat-Stripping Frappa Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 418

Lunch:

Leftover French Toast w/jelly

Fruit

Yogurt

Dinner: ++

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole (I’ve made some adaptations to the original recipe to make it a little bit more waist-friendly.)

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruit

Peanut Butter Pudding


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Basic Muffins

Chia Pudding in a Jar Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p. 352

Lunch:

Scrambled Egg Sandwiches

Veggies

-or-

Stuffed Mushroom Omelet

w/small Salad

Dinner: ++

Chili Dog Casserole

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs

Leftover Muffins

-or-

Muffin in a cup recipe from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook or the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table.


Thursday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

Lunch:

Super Easy Rotisserie Chicken Salad

-or-

Waldorf Cottage Cheese Salad Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook  p. 190

Dinner: ++

Mustard Crusted Pork Chops

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Oven Roasted Green Beans

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruit

Lemon Cake


Friday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal or Apple Pie Crunch Granola (E) p. 255

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Field of Greens Om Cake Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 240

Lunch:

Soup

Grilled Cheese

Dinner: ++

Philly cheese steak sandwiches

Salad

Use Wonder Wraps Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 204 in place of bread

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)


Saturday

Breakfast:

Bagels w/Cream Cheese

-or-

A plan approved toast with laughing cow cheese

Fruit

Lunch:

Tuna Salad (use lettuce to wrap the tuna instead of bread for an on plan lunch)

Choco Chip Baby Frap Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p.421

Dinner: ++

Salmon Patties

Super Yummy Caulitaters

Creamed Peas

Snacks/Desserts:

Butterfly Wings Cake (FP) p. 301 with fruit and whipped cream (I never got around to making this last week)

++I have a few kids who seem to be going through growth spurts right now and are always HUNGRY. I have been keeping a pot of beans, blackeyed peas, or another vegetable as a side. I also have been buying a few extra snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc. 


Meal Prep Ideas

  • Buy a rotisserie chicken or cook a few chicken breasts and shred for salads
  • Make your own bagged salads
  • Make some The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever! for meals and snacks
  • You could also mix up the pancake and muffin batters the night before to make your mornings a bit easier.

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission and allow us to continue to post FREE articles, recipes, and tips.

 –Thank you!

Meet Our New Berkey!

Oh my gosh! I was so excited last night when we got home from the dance. I had a couple of big boxes sitting on my recently cleaned off porch… another story for another day as we’ve been doing a lot of changes around here and may have even more to come.

Ya’ll know that we’ve really been trying to make some healthier choices around here and one of those is to drink more water. Now we did drink our fair share but I know that I need to increase my water intake a bit because water is so vital to being healthy and I want to set a good example for my kiddos. I just had a harder time with it for a couple of reason.

Our water is hard water and even with the water system, it has had a kind of smell and taste. Well, to me it does. There are a few people who don’t seem to notice it at all but I grew up on spring water from the mountains and this water is not spring water! On top of the smell and taste, it has had a bit of an orangey color to it… GROSS! TRIPLE GROSS!

Related image Continue reading Meet Our New Berkey!

Meal Plan: June 2 – 8, 2019

This is our basic meal plan for the week. Sometimes we will switch the days around if I forgot to set something out or put something in the crockpot. Please feel free to use this or change it around to suit your family’s needs.

I have started trying to do easier meals on days that I have square dancing obligations. This helps me to be able to put a nice meal on the table without feeling guilty about having some much needed ‘Mommy Time’. Some of these meals may also help with those that have busy or irregular schedules due to work or extracurricular activities.

I do have ‘Snacks/Desserts’ listed as well. I always try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on the counter or table for the kids to snack on. Sometimes I will make a special snack or treat for us to enjoy.

We have also been using the Trim Healthy Mama books to try to convert some of our favorite recipes to be healthier. Meal planning really does help keep this tired Momma from completely losing her sanity. It also helps when I can quickly locate the recipe and ingredients I need for grocery lists and meal prep. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the supplements and such that we are using. You can always buy them a few at a time or many of them can be substituted or even omitted, if necessary.

Some recipes are from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table. These will have a link to the product on Amazon as I can not post the recipes online without prior permission. In many cases, I have tried to tweak our recipe to be more in line with THM but I can’t guarantee that they would be 100% on the plan but I can say that they are healthier than their previous versions.

I do still have a lot of recipes that I need to convert so this will be a bit of a process for us as well. Some recipes are better as they are and we will try to make them work as best we can. I know the kids need a few extra calories and nutrients so we do usually have a few extras (like bread and rolls) that us grown-ups will need to exercise caution with but other than that it has been pretty easy to follow along with this plan so far.

I know the THM plan says that you may not see any weight loss at first but that your body will be healing from the inside. I know that we are eating much healthier than we were before and I’ll try to be content knowing that we are getting healthier one meal at a time.

I also love to utilize the grocery pickup services from Walmart and Sam’s Club not to mention that Amazon Prime Deliveries can make life so much easier as well.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for Meal Prep Ideas to make this week a little easier.


Sunday 

Breakfast:

Breakfast In a Cup

Toast

Fruit

Lunch:

Tuna Salad with or without bread

Lettuce and Sliced tomatoes

Pickles (the kids love pickles)

Dinner: ++

Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

Cole Slaw

Potato Salad or Cauli Potato Salad (S) p. 231

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruits


Monday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Lunch:

Grilled Cheese

Celery w/Peanut Butter

Dinner: ++

Leftovers

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

Lunch:

Super Simple Egg Salad with or without bread

Lettuce and Sliced tomatoes

Pickles (the kids love pickles)

Dinner: ++

Daddy Can’t Wait Casserole

Super Yummy Caulitaters

Corn Muffins for those not on the weight loss plan.

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Basic Muffins

Lunch:

Scrambled Egg Sandwiches

Veggies

Dinner: ++

Meatball Sandwiches (those on the weight loss plan can omit the bread)

Salad

Oven Roasted Green Beans

Snacks/Desserts:

Muffins


Thursday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

Lunch:

Super Easy Rotisserie Chicken Salad

Veggies

Dinner: ++

Mama’s Secret Spaghetti Sauce

Dreamfield Pasta or Zucchini Noodles

Salad

Quick & Easy Garlic Bread or Garlic Cheesy Bread (as long as you aren’t on the weight loss plan)

Snacks/Desserts:

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake or Pineapple Upside Down Cake (E) p. 290


Friday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal or Apple Pie Crunch Granola (E) p. 255

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Lunch:

leftovers

Dinner: ++

Laura’s Sweet Pork

Cole Slaw

Cheese Potatoes (I’m going to attempt to make a cauliflower version of these and will update the recipe as needed.)

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies


Saturday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

Lunch:

Soup

Grilled Cheese

Dinner: ++

Sweet Pork Quesadillas

Salad

Rice or Caulirice

Snacks/Desserts:

Butterfly Wings Cake (FP) p. 301 with fruit and whipped cream

++I have a few kids who seem to be going through growth spurts right now and are always HUNGRY. I have been keeping a pot of beans, blackeyed peas, or another vegetable as a side. I also have been buying a few extra snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc. 


Meal Prep Ideas

  • Brown hamburger meat, drain and place in containers for the week
  • Buy a rotisserie chicken or cook a few chicken breasts and shred
  • Make your own bagged salads
  • Make some The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever! for meals and snacks
  • Marinate the pork roast the night before for extra flavor
  • You could also mix up the pancake and muffin batters the night before to make your mornings a bit easier.

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Meal Plan: May 26 – June 1, 2019

This is our basic meal plan for the week. Sometimes we will switch the days around if I forgot to set something out or put something in the crockpot. Please feel free to use this or change it around to suit your family’s needs.

I have started trying to do easier meals on days that I have square dancing obligations. This helps me to be able to put a nice meal on the table without feeling guilty about having some much needed ‘Mommy Time’. Some of these meals may also help with those that have busy or irregular schedules due to work or extracurricular activities.

I do have ‘Snacks/Desserts’ listed as well. I always try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on the counter or table for the kids to snack on. Sometimes I will make a special snack or treat for us to enjoy.

We have also been using the Trim Healthy Mama books to try to convert some of our favorite recipes to be healthier. Meal planning really does help keep this tired Momma from completely losing her sanity. It also helps when I can quickly locate the recipe and ingredients I need for grocery lists and meal prep. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the supplements and such that we are using. You can always buy them a few at a time or many of them can be substituted or even omitted, if necessary.

Some recipes are from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table. These will have a link to the product on Amazon as I can not post the recipes online without prior permission. In many cases, I have tried to tweak our recipe to be more in line with THM but I can’t guarantee that they would be 100% on the plan but I can say that they are healthier than their previous versions.

I do still have a lot of recipes that I need to convert so this will be a bit of a process for us as well. Some recipes are better as they are and we will try to make them work as best we can. I know the kids need a few extra calories and nutrients so we do usually have a few extras (like bread and rolls) that us grown-ups will need to exercise caution with but other than that it has been pretty easy to follow along with this plan so far.

I know the THM plan says that you may not see any weight loss at first but that your body will be healing from the inside. I know that we are eating much healthier than we were before and I’ll try to be content knowing that we are getting healthier one meal at a time.

I also love to utilize the grocery pickup services from Walmart and Sam’s Club not to mention that Amazon Prime Deliveries can make life so much easier as well.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for Meal Prep Ideas to make this week a little easier.


This was a Pantry Challenge Week for us.

Sunday 

Breakfast:

Banana Crumb Muffins or Banana Nut Muffin (S) p. 277

Scrambled eggs

Lunch:

Tuna Salad with or without bread

Lettuce and Sliced tomatoes

Pickles (the kids love pickles)

Dinner: ++

Cowboy Grub (E) p. 59 or Briarpatch Casserole

Salad

Baked corn chips

Snacks/Desserts:

Cinnamon Toast


Monday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Lunch:

Grilled Cheese

Celery w/Peanut Butter

Dinner: ++

Taco Ring (If you are on the weight loss plan you can save a little taco meat out and eat it with your salad.)

Salad

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

Lunch:

Super Simple Egg Salad with or without bread

Lettuce and Sliced tomatoes

Pickles (the kids love pickles)

Dinner: ++

Manly Meatloaf

Super Yummy Caulitaters

Rolls w/butter (As long as you aren’t on the weight loss plan. I am working on a few bread recipes because I know it is one of the hardest things for me to give up.)

Veggies

Snacks/Desserts:

Cupcakes  (Yes, there are some sweet treats included in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbooks.)


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Basic Muffins or Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Glosting (S) p. 364

Lunch:

Hot dogs

Veggies

Dinner: ++

Shepherd’s Pie in a Skillet

Salad or another veggie

Rolls w/butter (As long as you aren’t on the weight loss plan. I am working on a few bread recipes because I know it is one of the hardest things for me to give up.)

Snacks/Desserts:

Muffins


Thursday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

Lunch:

PB & J sandwiches – Use the Peanut Junkie Butter recipe (FP) p. 481

Fruit

Dinner: ++

Tater Tot Casserole (we use Cauliflower tots in place of tater tots)

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs


Friday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Lunch:

leftovers

Dinner: ++

Free Day

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

PB Crackers


Saturday

Breakfast:

Stuffed Mushroom Omelet

Super Simple Sauteed Spinach

Lunch:

Ham & Cheese Sandwiches

Veggies

Dinner: ++

Sizzlin’ Skillet Steak

Salad

Steamed Veggies

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs

++I have a few kids who seem to be going through growth spurts right now and are always HUNGRY. I have been keeping a pot of beans, blackeyed peas, or another vegetable as a side. I also have been buying a few extra snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc. 


Meal Prep Ideas

You could also mix up the pancake and muffin batters the night before to make your mornings a bit easier.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

2019 Meal Plans

These are some of our most recent meal plans after converting some of our favorite recipes to be healthier with inspiration from Trim Healthy Mama. I find it easier to plan out my meals so I can make fewer trips to the grocery store. I always hate it when it’s almost dinner time and I have no idea what I should make. A little planning goes a long way to help me keep my sanity… well what’s left of it that is.

I also find it easier to go ahead and plan a day or time to prep some of the items ahead of time instead of waiting until the last minute. I will boil eggs, cook chicken and ground beef, prep veggies and all ahead of time so that when it comes time to make dinner it seems to go so much easier.

When I have time I also try to make a couple of extra batches of our favorites so I can put some in the freezer for emergency or quick meals. I’ll try to include some tips and tricks along with the menu plans to make your life a little easier too.

Meal Plan: May 26 – June 1, 2019

Manly Meatloaf

This recipe just happened to come about as Mr. Awesome decided he wanted to start eating healthier. I had already done my grocery shopping for the week so I just decided to tweak a few recipes to make them a bit healthier. I needed a name for this and he said it was a ‘manly meatloaf’ so that’s what we’ll call it from now on. It has also earned a repeating spot on our meal planning calendar.

I have been scouring the Trim Healthy Mama books for some inspiration as well and will be posting many more recipes soon! This one was adapted from my recipe for Upside-Down Meatloaf.

Manly Meatloaf

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb ground beef, ground turkey, or a mixture of ground beef and turkey/pork
  • 3 1/2 c. oatmeal (or 14 packs of the instant oatmeal)
  • 1-1/2 c. buttermilk (or add 1 T. vinegar to regular milk)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 c. veggies, chopped (I used the California blend veggies and some baby spinach from Walmart this time but you could use just about anything you like.)
  • 1-2 c. shredded cheese, optional
  • nutritional yeast, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly grease a 13 x 9 pan or 2-5×9 inch loaf pans.

Mix remaining ingredients and put into the pan(s).

Top with shredded cheese, if desired.

Sprinkle with nutritional yeast before or after baking, if desired.

Bake 45 minutes or until juices run clear.

We served this with some caulitaters (Mr. Awesome says he actually likes them better than real potatoes) and a salad.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Do you have a wanderer?

I know I just recently posted about a bad dream I had but yet again I have another topic that we really don’t want to think about. Just recently a story made the news in our area about a young child who had wandered out and the result was a tragedy.

The babysitter had fallen asleep and the little one wandered out the door without her knowing. In our area we have a lot of retention ponds as we have a lot of wet areas and when it rains the extra water needs somewhere to go. Many of these ponds are fenced in but there are many that are not.

This little guy somehow managed to find his way to a pond that wasn’t fenced in and he fell in. No one knew he was missing until it was too late. A family has lost something that can never be replaced and a whole community is grieving.

The news has countless stories of children who have wandered away from home. Sometimes they are searching for days before they find them. Other times they never find them at all and the searches are called off. For every happy ending, it seems that there are a few with tragic endings.

I know how hard it is when you have young ones. They love to explore and they love to be outside. Even older children love these things too but generally, they have been taught some safety rules. Then you some of the special needs children, like one of mine, who are drawn to the water. They will do anything to get to the water and all they can think about is how much it is to play in the water. It can be very challenging to help them overcome their urges. Continue reading Do you have a wanderer?

Badgers, Butterflies, and Sourdough Bread

It seems that every week is a crazy week around here lately and I know that part of that is probably my fault for trying to squeeze so much into my days. It’s definitely a juggling act around here with the kids, homeschooling, square dancing, blogging and the list of things that need to be done to keep up house and I then I add in things like trying to revamp some of our favorite recipes to make them healthier, working a couple of part-time jobs from home to earn a little extra income and trying to start up my own notary business. Yeah, no wonders things are so crazy right? Not to mention I’ve signed up for a multitude of online classes like the Positive Parenting Solutions which has really helped out when I remember to use the tips and tools I’ve been learning about.

Sigh… parenting is hard. When you add the special challenges of raising two special needs children (ODD, ADHD, Down’s Syndrome and a few others) to the mix it can be even harder on some days. It may be because I am making some progress with our class that I am seeing a little bit more rebellion or ‘testing of the waters’ but whatever the reason it has been quite the challenge here lately. It is enough on some days to make a Momma wanna through up her hands in defeat but I know that God is here and He is going to help us all get through this.

The kids have had a blast with this week with our newest Academic Adventure using the Little House on the Prairie book series. We’ve learned about dugout homes, even a whole town that lives underground in Australia, and some other interesting facts about the strange animal that Laura encountered on one of her adventures.

They’ve also learned some important lessons about obeying rules and right now I have a couple of little girls who have lost some privileges and are under constant supervision similar to what Laura experienced at the beginning of our On the Banks of Plum Creek Week 1 Lesson Plans.

The boys also enjoyed learning with Ziggy as they started their All About Reading Level Pre-reading lessons. They also enjoyed reading  The Very Hungry Caterpillar which I thought was a good book to go along with our lessons this week.

 

Another book they are really enjoying is Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature which are reading through as part of our science lessons. It is full of facts and illustrations that they love. The jacket also unfolds to make a huge poster for them to look at. The next best part of their science lessons was looking at bugs with their Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Bugnoculars(pictured above)

We haven’t finished all of this week’s lessons as this week has been a bit busy and it was hard for some people to get back on the school routine. We still have a few like skills lessons which include our new Herb Fairies books and some dog training lessons from Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days. These might not be things you’d normally expect to find in your school lessons but the kids asked for them so I have included them to keep them interested in learning. Plus we can all benefit from these lessons and I find them pretty enjoying myself.

The best part of our homeschool experience this week is at the bottom of the post so you can keep reading or scroll through to find out what it was.

Getting back the week we’ve had, we had an amazing day at the zoo last weekend followed by a birthday party at my sister’s house. The kids had a lot of fun and a bit too much sugar that day. We had to deal with the after effects for a few days afterward. No fun!

img_7308

On Monday we had our usual square dance and then back home. Tuesday I decided to make a grocery run with my favorite Walmart Grocery Pickup service. Mr. Awesome had announced that he was starting a new diet after I had already made up my grocery list so that meant we needed to run into the store for a couple of last minute items. I already had the menu planned out as well so I just decided to tweak a few of the recipes to make them a little more diet-friendly and healthier for everyone. Be on the lookout for some upcoming recipes that we have been trying out.

I remembered that I had bought a couple of Trim Healthy Mama books (Trim Healthy Mama Plan and Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook) before so I dug them out and started skimming over them a bit. I also bought the last book, Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table, as I kept finding references to some recipes that weren’t available in the original book. There are several recipes that I want to try and I have been adding some things like collagen, acv, psyllium husk flakes, sunflower lecithin, nutritional yeast to some of my recipes for a little extra health benefit.

I know we can’t undo all these years of unhealthy eating in a day but we can make one change at a time to become a little healthier every day. I also know that my kids will be learning how to eat healthier and hopefully, they will pass some of these habits down to their kids. I’ve added some healthier options to our breakfast menus like omelets with mushrooms and a side of sauteed spinach. While Mr. Awesome passed on the spinach at breakfast I did manage to sneak in some greens and A TON of veggies at dinner time. That’s not potatoes on that plate but you wouldn’t know it if I hadn’t told you.

I’ve also done a lot of food prep so that we would have some healthier choices when we needed a quick meal or snack. We made a few boiled eggs and our own bagged salads for the week. I made one bag special for Mr. Awesome as he said he wasn’t ‘Popeye’  and he didn’t want spinach in his salad.

We cut all the lettuces, a mixture of iceberg and romaine, into bite-size pieces. Then we washed everything and spun it dry in the salad spinner. (You want to make sure it is as dry as possible before bagging it.) We layered a couple of big baggies with a paper towel and carefully placed our lettuce and spinach inside. Then we squeezed out all the air and sealed them. They have been in the fridge all week and still look pretty. (You will also want to change out the paper towel frequently.) The kids really enjoyed practicing some of the kitchen skills they’ve learned and it seems to make them more interested in trying out new things when they are involved in the process.

I also decided to try my hand at making some sourdough bread again. My first starter died when I neglected it a few months ago when I was sick. I wasn’t really feeling like attempting my own so I ordered some San Francisco Sourdough Starter from Amazon. It was quite easy to get the activation started by using the instructions provided. We’ve named our starter ‘Fran’ and she seems to be doing well. We’ve got some dough rising right now so maybe we’ll have a bit of sourdough bread to go with dinner tonight.

Related image

The kids are really excited about our new ‘sourdough baby’ and they keep checking up on her to make sure she isn’t hungry … lol. They even wanted to try out a new recipe for muffins using some of the leftover sponge we had from the bread dough. Here’s a couple of pictures of the batter and the finished product:

This recipe still needs a little bit of tweaking but I did manage to use some whole wheat flour with these muffins and I snuck some greens in there as well! The kids said they liked them but personally, I think they need a little something more before I want to share the recipe.

I was also excited to get my Grove order this week as I ordered several items I’ve never tried before. I did get the room spray for FREE and I love that it comes in a reusable glass bottle. You can even order the concentrated sprays to refill it. 

img_7342

The body wash smells amazing and the brushes have helped out a lot with some of the cleaning we’ve been doing around the house. I bought the washing machine cleaner to help get rid of the mildew on the refrigerator seals … yuck. It has helped somewhat but it may need to be used several times to get rid of it completely. I may cave and get some bleach to get rid of it because I just really hate seeing it.

And now for the best part of our week! We had gotten the Insect Lore Deluxe Butterfly Garden with 2 Live Cups of Caterpillars & Feeding Kit at Easter and the kids have really enjoyed watching their little caterpillars grow up. I don’t know if you can see in the first picture but they were small enough to fit on my pinky nail but boy did they grow quickly.

The kids have been excited to observe the whole process but they were also very excited to let them go. This was easier said than done as a couple of them didn’t want to leave their little home. A couple of them have been spotted hanging out near the pond so we still get to see them just not as often as we did before. The kids are begging to this again.

Well, I guess I better finish up here as the boys are begging me to ‘let the dough out of the bowl’ so they can work with it. They already have some plans for bread and jelly when it gets finished!

Image result for mother's day 2019

We just want to wish everyone a very Happy Mother’s Day and we hope that you have a wonderful weekend!

Remember that sometimes motherhood, or even parenthood, is not the way we had it pictured that it would be and we can get overwhelmed and stressed but it is so much more rewarding than we could ever hope that it would have been!

Here’s a picture of our finished bread:

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

 

Cover image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

The Dream I Hope Never Comes True

I woke up crying this morning from a dream that shook me to my soul. My heart was trembling and I felt so sick to my stomach. I was immediately relieved to realize it was only a dream but also saddened because I know for some families it has been a reality.

I’m not sure what caused me to have such a horrible dream but maybe some of it came from recent news stories about the children who were recently recovered in Georgia. I don’t really know why I would have such a horrible dream but it did make me realize that we all need to watch our children closely and keep them safe everywhere we go.

My dream started out that we were visiting family and there were lots of kids around. I had sent my kids to go have their quiet time and one of my daughters had asked if she could read a book during the quiet time which I agreed to. all of the adults sat around chit chatting and such while the kids were down for naps.

After quiet time everyone came down for snacks and then some of the kids went with one of the adults to a friend’s house for some games and swimming while some of the others went with another adult on a shopping trip. My daughters had both opted to go swimming and I had stayed home and kept an eye on the ones who stayed home.

Later in the evening, around dinner time, everyone started returning to the house and as they sat down to eat I realized I had a child missing. Noone had seen her since they’d left. The people who had gone swimming said she had changed her mind at the last minute and said she was gonna stay home to read her book. Panic started to set in, even now the panic grips my heart just retelling the story, as I knew I hadn’t seen her all afternoon.

We started calling her name and then began a room by room search of the house. After we searched the inside someone offered to search inside again and a couple of us split up outside. I went door to door at the neighboring houses but no one claimed to have seen her. There was one house playing extremely loud music and had a pickup truck running in the driveway. No one answered the door so I continued on my way.

On my way back through I met a couple of guys at the pickup who seemed to be in a hurry to get somewhere. One was putting something in the back row of seats while the other was throwing stuff into the front. I managed to stop them to ask them if they had seen my daughter. I showed them a picture and they commented on what a pretty girl she was and that they had not seen her.

The one guy went on to claim that they had just been staying with their friend and that he had been catching up on sleep as he had been driving the whole day. He suggested that maybe she had run away because we had yelled at her or had some kind of disagreement. I said, ‘No’, we were visiting with family and having a really good afternoon.

Then the other man chimed in and said that it was sad to see how many kids are neglected because of adults not paying attention. He went on and on to talk about how he had seen so many adults who were attached to their phones and not paying a bit of attention to their kids or their surroundings. It was not helping the fear I had as I had assured him that this had not been our case.

I left as they were getting into the vehicle and driving away. I noticed that they slowed down near the house we were staying at but I lost sight of them when I rounded the driveway. I went to the house praying that she had been found while I had been out. I knew that if she hadn’t been found by then we needed to call the police as something had definitely happened.

As I neared the house my phone rang and I could hear a lot of commotion in the background. There was a lot of crying and screaming and I couldn’t make it out. As I walked into the back door I saw a group of people crowded around something in the floor. As I got closer I saw that it was my daughter and the memory of this part of my dream stills shakes me. I won’t go into details other than to say that someone told me my youngest son saw her laying on the curb in front of the house. He managed to pull her out of harm’s way and yelled for help.

One of the adults had picked up her seemingly lifeless body and brought her inside where they laid her on a blanket in the floor. She wasn’t moving at all and I knelt down beside her. Another adult came in to say that the police and the rescue were on the way.  I started doing some CPR even though her little body felt chilled but it didn’t seem to be working. Everyone tried to console me but I refused to give up. I prayed and prayed and she did begin to breathe. As she started to regain consciousness she became hysterical.

I took her in my arms and did my best to comfort her and assure her that everything was okay. Someone came in to let us know that the paramedics had arrived and I felt relieved. As I held her I wondered who could have done this and immediately I thought of the two men that I had seen who had been all too eager to tell me about where they had been and what they had been doing. It had seemed a little strange as everyone else had just simply said that they hadn’t seen her but that they would keep an eye out for her. I was trying hard to remember as much as I could while I held her in my arms and that’s when I woke up.

This didn’t happen but at the time it felt so real. The emotions I felt are still affecting me right now. There were some details that I did leave out but I’m sure you can imagine how it felt.

Sadly this is a reality for so many parents. They have a child go missing for whatever reason and they never see them again. On occasion, they are recovered but so much damage has been done that they are never the same again. Even worse is when they find out that their child has been killed. It’s such a sad thing to think that there are people around us who would do such horrible things to our children but we need to face up to that fact.

We need to make sure we are 100% attentive to our children and our surroundings wherever we go. We also need to make sure that we truly know the people we are around and the people are children are around. If something about a person or situation feels off or strange then we need to start trusting our gut instincts and check things out a little more thoroughly or completely remove ourselves from the situation.

We also need to make sure that our kiddos know the important safety lessons like not wandering off or talking to strangers. My kids always use a buddy system where each child holds hands with another everywhere we go. I will hold the hand of anyone who is left out and if I have another adult we will usually have an adult in the front of our group and another in the back as walk.

In this case, they also need to make sure they let an adult know where they are and let an adult know if the plans get changed around. I could see this happening especially as school lets out and routines are changing. Many parents are so busy juggling work and school schedules that it could be easy to think that a child is one place when they are actually somewhere else or plans can change at the spur of a moment.

I just wanted to share this with everyone because I want us all to be safe and I don’t want anyone to go through an experience like that. I am including a few links to articles below for the steps to take if a child goes missing and I am praying that none of us ever need to use this. It might be a good idea, if you are planning to travel or have a busy summer schedule, to go ahead and have a current picture of your child and your child’s information in your phone in case it is needed for an emergency.

Stay safe?

There are a lot of good tips in these articles:

What to Do When Your Child Goes Missing

Get Help Now – NCMEC

Below are some other useful apps and such that might help to ease your mind, especially when you have wanderers like some of my children are:

Amber Alert GPS

McGruff Safe Kit

How to Make a Child Identification Kit