Finally have some time to do these!
— 1 —
I’ve done far in advance meal planning for a while, typically month by month. But I kept finding that, despite my efforts, that I wouldn’t be prepared to cook whatever was on the menu (missing ingredients, lack of time, another thing going on that night that I wasn’t aware of when I made the plan.) So I’m going to simplify it even more and go to a regular rotation – right now it’s three weeks, features a designated leftover night (Thursday), several different styles of cuisine, two vegetarian meals per week (Tuesday and Friday – with the exception of fish tacos on one Friday). These are some of the cheapest dinners we make, but they’re still nutritious and yummy (also most of them are freezable). You’ll notice many of these recipes come from Budget Bytes, one of my favorite places to find recipes. The others are recipes from family and friends, or something I’ve been making forever.
Monday: Teriyaki Meatballs
Tuesday: Black Bean Quesadillas
Wednesday: Kielbasa and sauerkraut
Friday: Lasagna Rolls
Saturday: Grilled chicken kebabs
Sunday: Hot dogs, hamburgers
Monday: Meatballs, spinach and pasta
Tuesday: Veggie burgers
Wednesday: Oven chicken fajitas
Friday: Quiche/baked eggs
Saturday: Cincinnati-style chili
Sunday: Chicken and pineapple quesadillas
Monday: Red beans and rice
Tuesday: Potato soup
Wednesday: Sesame chicken stir fry
Friday: Fish tacos
Saturday: Sloppy joes
I’m excited to have my dinner making be simpler.
— 2 —
A couple weeks ago, I had a weird experience while running. We were up at my grandparents’ house for the Fourth, and I went for a run while we were there. I know I got nowhere near 3 miles, and I felt like the run just kicked my behind. I think most of it was psychological – instead of running around my neighborhood here, I was doing mostly a straightaway, so I had to look at how far I had to go the whole time. The hills were much less than what I do here, but they were longer, so it tested my endurance. I got chased by a (friendly) dog at one point (lots of people don’t believe in fencing in or tying up your dog in the country) and had an Amish girl watch me with a strange look on her face while her father cut hay. It wasn’t a lot like an ordinary run.
After I got home, I figured it would be better. But the same thing happened on my next run at home. Shortly after I started, I felt sick to my stomach. I figured I would just keep on going and the feeling would dissipate. But it didn’t. Around 20 minutes I gave up and walked, and almost puked in my neighbor’s yard (thankfully it was before 6, so he probably didn’t see me stop and dry heave a few times before walking on.) I got home and gradually felt normal.
Let’s just say I was discouraged when I headed out again two days later – when I then had the best ever run of my life. In the course of one week I dropped my mile time by over 3 minutes – from a little over 15 minutes to just over 12. I haven’t felt like I wanted to die while out there – in fact, it’s almost been easy. I’m now bumping up my distance to close to 3.5 miles to build endurance in prep for my race in August. It’s weird – somehow I expected that I would gradually improve, little by little, but instead, I feel like I reached a plateau, wanted to die, and then all of a sudden was way, way better at running. I don’t know if that’s normal – I haven’t talked enough to my other friends who run to know – but I am glad I decided to not give up. Old me would have given up.
— 3 —
I didn’t get to just visit with my grandparents over the Fourth. My parents also flew in and then came down to our house afterwards.
My grandparents on both sides, my parents, us, my youngest sister, and an aunt and uncle (my dad’s sister and her husband). We’re blessed to have so much family!
Alisdair was excited to share a local spray park with my mom and dad:
— 4 —
Since I get up crazy early, but I also want to kick the pop habit and at least see my husband some in the evening, I decided I needed to find something to help me get through the afternoon. Enter iced tea – of the sweet and green variety. I can’t stomach green tea unless it has honey, but for some reason it took me a while to consider it iced for the summer. Now I keep a big pitcher of it in the fridge and drink a glass in the afternoon, and I find I do just fine in the afternoon and evening. And green tea, even sweetened, is way, way, way better for me than pop.
— 5 —
Our landscaping is coming along. While my mom and dad were here, my dad watched the kids while my mom and I cleared the entire side of our house of weeds. Here’s a “before” that my dad snapped of the boys playing while we worked. Imagine lots and lots of this:
Now we are going to fill in the path with some of those miscellaneous rocks, build a small retaining wall (by taking down one of the ones in our driveway that actually isn’t doing anything), and then fill in with river rock. Ambitious? Yes. But we can do it!
— 6 —
I had actually quit taking photos for a while. Part of the problem is that many of the pictures I take of the kids feature the additional kids I watch during the day, so I don’t want to put those out on the Internet, but another one was that we had run out of room on our memory cards and I didn’t want to delete any pictures in case we lost our computer storage. But my dad gave us an extra card of his (sometimes it helps to have a dad who’s into photography) so commence ALL THE PICTURE TAKING, once again.
— 7 —
Last night we had the kids I watch for a longer day, so they ate dinner with us. Ian and I got a glimpse of dinner with four kids, which is somehow a lot different than lunch or snacktime with four kids, which I manage quite well by myself (most of the time.) We were pretty beat by the time it was over. Of course, we were dealing with unknown pickiness issues and trying to merge dinnertime rituals.
Here’s to the weekend!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!