Meal Plan for May 28-June 3

 

I’m finally getting back on track with my blog!  I did make meal plans for the past 2 weeks, but did not get around to posting them here.  Sorry if you were looking forward to them!  I will try to do better!  🙂

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Sunday, May 28

It’s my Dad’s Birthday today, so I’m not cooking!  We are getting together as a family!

Monday, May 29

Happy Memorial Day!  We are going to try to have a little cookout!  Let me know if you want to join us!

  • Hamburgers
  • Hot Dogs
  • Chips
  • Cookies

Tuesday, May 30Beef Roast

Wednesday, May 31

Thursday, June 1

  • Tacos

Friday, June 2IMG_9743

We will be eating our last 2 cans of deer meat with this meal.  I am a little sad to be finished with it!  We won’t be able to have these meals again for a while!

Saturday, June 3

  • Pizza

We will be attending a wedding this afternoon, so the plan is to just pick up some pizza after the wedding.

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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FREE PRINTABLES!

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I have a FREE printable meal planner that I designed in January.  I am LOVING using it each week to plan my meals, and it looks cute on my fridge!  There are also printable recipe cards for a few recipes on this page, that you can download.

Five Years of Marriage

Last weekend my husband and I celebrated our fifth anniversary. For the first time, we left both of our boys overnight at my parents house and we took a little trip…. just the two of us. We really enjoyed it!

IMG_0436Although we both really missed our children, it was quite nice to have a little time to ourselves. We didn’t do anything super fancy – like a cruise or trip to the beach.  We simply traveled a couple of hours away to a town that most people wouldn’t consider very special. We went to Cookeville, Tennessee. Cookeville is basically a college town, as it is home to Tennessee Tech.  We picked Cookeville because of its proximity to several waterfalls. My husband has always loved hiking, and it’s something we haven’t done very much of since we got married.

IMG_0365Once we settled on a place we did research to find other things to do in the area. We ended up eating at a restaurant called Mauricio’s.  On our first anniversary we ate at a restaurant that should have been much nicer than this one but Mauricio’s definitely topped it.  It was set up as an old house that they had turned into a restaurant, and they had old music playing – the kind you might hear in an old Audrey Hepburn movie.  It was lovely, and the food was some of the best I have ever tasted. If you’re ever in Cookeville, you HAVE to check it out.

It was great to reconnect and enjoy some time together, and we really did enjoy the hiking as well.  On top of that, it was a good chance to look back over our first five years of marriage – and to realize that the time we have spent together so far might only be around 10% of our married life.  We have learned a lot in the past five years, and there are many things we hope to get better at. It is exciting to realize that we more than likely still have plenty of time to learn and grow together.

On our first anniversary I wrote a post on my previous blog about the lessons I had learned as a newlywed. The top lesson that I had learned in my first year of marriage is that I am a selfish sinner.  Today, I’d say that’s still my biggest struggle. Yes, I have grown in this area and there are plenty of ways that I put others ahead of myself. But still, there lives inside me a deep seed of selfishness that God is still working on daily.

If you were to ask me today, four years later, what’s the biggest lessons were that I have learned in marriage, my answer would be very similar. I have learned that selfishness doesn’t pay. I have learned that I have to daily die to myself and my own desires.  I have learned that it’s worth it to humble myself and dig the gross food out of the sink that my husband or children dumped in there. I have learned that it’s worth it to pick up the dirty clothes that my husband left on the floor. I have learned that even when I’m stressed, a smile directed at someone in my family is worth the effort. I don’t always remember these lessons, but I have deeply experienced their truth.

Marriage really is an excellent mirror. It is easy to see someone else’s flaws, but it’s also easy to look into their eyes and realize your own shortcomings.  I might also say that the biggest lesson I have learned is to focus on myself. I know what you’re thinking…..“Ummm, HELLO!  You were just talking about being selfish!”  I know, I know.   But stick with me!

I cannot change my husband. I cannot miraculously make my children obey. I cannot wave my hand or wrinkle my nose and make perfect the other members of my family.  What I can do is work to develop godly character inside myself. I can develop routines that help me to stay calm in the chaos of life. I can prioritize time in God’s Word and in prayer, so that my mind is stayed on the Lord.  I cannot change my family, or fix their flaws, but if I put my trust in the Lord – He can change me.

This isn’t something I have learned because my children or my husband are so horrible that they need to change.  In fact, I do believe I have the best husband that I can imagine in real life. Only, he is human. He is not perfect. Unrealistically, it can be so easy to expect him to be perfect.  To hold him to a higher standard than I hold myself.  This is not what God wants for me or for my marriage. God designed marriage so that a man could lead his family. My husband does this well. God designed marriage so that a woman would respect and honor her husband.  He does not want me to fix my husband. He wants 2 things from me:

  1. God wants me to honor and obey Him above all else, and to grow in godliness as a follower of Christ.
  2. God wants me to honor and obey my husband, and submit to his leadership.

God wants me to focus on HIM, and on my own faith.  As I do that, #2 becomes easier and easier. And as I honor my husband and follow his leadership, My marriage gets better and better.

Five years of marriage. To me it seems like a long time. It’s a huge milestone for us. In five years we’ve had two babies and one miscarriage. My husband graduated from seminary, became a youth minister, and then he became a senior pastor. We have worked together to now be debt-free (WAHOO!), and we’ve been able to do a lot of ministry and long-range vision planning together.

Through the study of Scripture, we’ve been challenged in our beliefs. We have made choices for our family that are different than we would have ever expected. We have seen the Holy Spirit work in each other, in our family as a whole, and in the ministry. We have been through a lot together, and we are truly blessed to have one another. I cannot wait to see what God does with the next 50-ish years.

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<3,   Rachel

 

Just for fun, Take a look at some pics from our first five years!

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Here Am I: Take My Moments & My Days (#2)

Often when I’m studying God’s Word, a song comes to my heart to sing.  Lately it’s been an old favorite that I first heard in college:  “Take My Life” by Chris Tomlin.

Each line compels me to a deeper level of holiness.  It draws me into dying to myself, giving ALL of myself to the Lord.  This is the second post in a series from the song that focuses on each line.

This week I’m talking about these two lines:

Take my moments and my days.
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

More than any other line of the song, this is the one that I pray most often.  As a busy mom of toddlers, it is easy to let my moments get away from me. It is easy to chase my boys around, and get frazzled about messes, and be distracted by all there is to do in our home.

Sometimes I end the day wondering where the time went. I look around the house and see messes, and can barely tell that I did any housework at all.  The moments of the day seem to have slipped away from me as I was more focused on messes and obligations than I was on the Lord.

Here am I

But often, I sing this song to the Lord. I pray to him, “Take my moments. Let them flow in ceaseless praise to you, my Lord.”

And when I start my day in this frame of mind, I spend my day well. I may still have moments that are focused on the mess, but I have more moments that are focused on my Savior. More moments that are focused on pleasing Him.  More moments that are focused on loving my children, showing them grace, and teaching them His Truth.  More moments that are focused on honoring and respecting my husband.  More moments that truly flow in praise to my Lord.

These moments build to form my days.  These days build to form weeks. The weeks turn into months, and the months turn into years. Moments of praise turn into a lifetime spent for the glory of the Lord.  It starts today.  Right now.  In this moment.  Praising the God who created each moment that I’m alive.

He truly deserves ALL the glory, ALL the honor, and ALL the praise.

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;

We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”

-‭‭Psalm ‭100

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Rachel  🙂

A New Addition

Where have I been? Life has been busy, and there are actually several posts that I want to write about the things that we’ve been doing over the last few weeks. A lot has happened, but the biggest change has been a new addition to our family.

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Meet Jojo!  She is now a 9-week-old “Doberdor” puppy, which means she is part Labrador and part Doberman. She will be a very big dog!

17358608_10103269878484658_378707063417920118_oA couple of months ago, two sweet puppies showed up in our town. I fell in love with the little black one, and it didn’t have a collar on.  I tried to find out if they had an owner, and planned to keep at least one of them if I could not find an owner.  However, I found out that they belonged to a little boy in our town who is about 10 years old.  I was disappointed, but I figured we didn’t need a dog yet anyway. We had decided that we would not get a dog until our oldest son was old enough to take care of it. He just turned three, and I just didn’t think he was quite ready.

After that happened, people came out of the woodwork offering me dogs. Full grown dogs.  Puppies. Pit bulls. Scrangy looking mutts.  It seemed that once they found out I was a dog lover, they thought they could unload just about any dog on me. I kindly explained that we weren’t ready for a dog yet, but that sweet puppies had simply pricked my heart.  They finally let it go, or so I thought.

Three Sundays ago, we were just about to put our boys down for their afternoon nap, and we heard a knock at the door. It was our neighbor and a local girl. In their arms were two very sweet black puppies.

“We brought you some visitors!” he said.  We and our two boys started to play with the puppies. One was very calm, and the other seemed to want to play.

Our neighbor told us, “You can keep one or you can keep both.”  We quickly noticed that keeping neither wasn’t offered as an option. LOL!  We asked a few questions about the dogs breed etc. and then my husband looked over at me to see what I thought. He was inclined to say that we would think about it, but then he saw me cuddling one of them and noticed the smile on my face.  Our neighbor noticed my smile too, and pointed it out.

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I had fallen in love again, with the sweet playful puppy. We were able to keep the puppy right then and there! We played with her and got her settled, and then finish getting our boys settled for their naps.  Then we spent well over an hour deliberating on names for her!  It was almost harder than naming our children, LOL!  My husband was reading a list of names online, and when he passed “Jojo,” I smiled.   It just seemed to fit!  Plus, that’s Joanna Gaines nick-name (You know, from HGTV’s Fixer Upper….).  I’m not sure if it’s an honor to have a dog named after you or not.  If not, well….Sorry Joanna!  But Jojo has a sweet and spunky personality that is a lot like Joanna Gaines’, at least as far as I can tell from watching a TV show.  So she has a name, and I’m so excited!

Since then we’ve been trying to train her and get her ready to live in our backyard. We have had to sure up our fence and build a doghouse for her.  She keeps us busy!

She is very small and can get out of our yard easily, so we bring her in for sleep and for when we go places. She is getting better about not peeing in the floor, but it still happens occasionally.  Bleh.  And OH MY……the chewing!  We have to be forever on guard.

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But it has been totally worth it. She is sweet and playful, and I have loved watching our two boys play with her in the yard. Though Nathanael is not quite old enough to fully take care of her, he’s already able to feed her when I remind him.  I’m so proud of him!  And as a side note, I’m also kind of liking not being the only female in the family!  😛

So what about you all?  Do you have pets?  Have you ever been blessed with a surprise puppy before?

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Rachel  🙂

^Jojo’s first Selfie!

Meal Plan for May 7-13

Last week I was able to spend a lot of time minimalizing our things!  I now have 2 large boxes and 3 trash bags of things to donate this week, and another quite large stack of things to sell in our next Consignment Sale!  There’s something about getting rid of things that really is so freeing!  This week I tackled clothes, and as odd as it might sound–I am now the person in our family who has the LEAST amount of clothes!  I finally whittled my wardrobe down to a true minimal wardrobe of 37 items or less!  I will probably do a post this week on my new minimal wardrobe, and which things I kept.  Minimalism is seriously changing my life, and I still have such a long way to go!

This week I hope to continue the trend of de-cluttering our home, although I do have a couple of plans this week, like attending the last MOPS group for this year!  I will miss going this summer, but I’m also feeling like this means summer break is starting, and I am super excited about summer and all that it holds this year!

Okay, enough about me!  On to our family’s meal plan!

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Sunday, May 7

  • Leftovers!  “Clean out the fridge!”

Monday, May 8

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https://butterbraid.com/4cheese

Tuesday, May 9IMG_9743

Wednesday, May 10

  • Tacos

Thursday, May 11

Friday, May 12

  • Meat Lover’s Pizza!
    *I’m actually SO excited for this pizza!  A local Mennonite church sold these in a fund-raiser, and we will receive this pizza ready-to-bake on Friday!  We are a pizza-loving family anyway, so I can’t wait to try it!

Saturday, May 13

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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FREE PRINTABLES!

meal-planner-image

I have a FREE printable meal planner that I designed in January.  I am LOVING using it each week to plan my meals, and it looks cute on my fridge!  There are also printable recipe cards for a few recipes on this page, that you can download.

Here Am I: Take My Life (#1)

Often when I’m studying God’s Word, a song comes to my heart to sing.  Lately it’s been an old favorite that I first heard in college:  “Take My Life” by Chris Tomlin.

Each line compels me to a deeper level of holiness.  It draws me into dying to myself, giving ALL of myself to the Lord.  I’m going to do a series from the song, focusing on each line, and what the Scriptures say about it.

This week I’m starting with the first line:

Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee.

Take.  My Life.

Here am I

We are singing this song to the Lord, asking Him to “take” our lives.  We are offering to Him our very living.

This is what salvation is.  It isn’t simply “asking Jesus into your heart”, or “accepting Him as your Savior.”  Those things happen at salvation, but becoming a Christian isn’t just about “being saved.”  It’s about dying to yourself, GIVING your very life over to the Lord.

Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  God loves me.  Jesus gave His very life for me, and in return–He asks for my life, too.  The life that I live today, though in the flesh, is not even supposed to be “me” living.  It is to be CHRIST living inside of me!

Is that how I’m living?  Am I living, as ME, myself, living MY own life?  Or is Christ living in my body?  Is the Holy Spirit in control of my actions and my thoughts?  Am I living, or is Christ?

Romans 12:1 says to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”  According to Scripture, it is reasonable that I should sacrifice my entire life for God.  It is reasonable that I should not keep anything for myself, but should present my very existence to God as a holy sacrifice.

So many times when I feel convicted to give up something for the Lord, my first instinct is to think that having to give that up is simply unreasonable.  “Why would God expect me to give that up?  It’s not sinful.”   Yes, sometimes God even asks me to give up things that are not sinful in and of themselves.  Things that I consider perfectly fine.  Things that I think I should be able to enjoy.  But the Holy Spirit pricks my heart and says, “Let it go.”

If I am a living sacrifice, that means that nothing is off limits.  It is completely reasonable for God to ask me to give up everything I own and everything I enjoy.  It is completely reasonable.

The thing is, I don’t want God to have to always be making me give things up to Him.  I want to be a living sacrifice every day, no matter what.  I want to wake up and say to the Lord, “Take my life.”  I want to offer myself, everything I own, everything I do, and everything I think to the Lord as a sacrifice.

And when I give Him my life, I want Him to consecrate it to Himself.  The definition of “consecrate” is to “make or declare something sacred.”

Sacred?  MY LIFE?

The answer is yes.  In and of myself, my life will never be sacred.  But when I offer myself to Christ as a living sacrifice, and when it isn’t actually ME–but Christ–living my life, then it can become sacred.  And so today, and every day, I want to offer up my life to the Lord so that it can be consecrated to Him.  So that my life can be sacred.  So that my life will no longer be mine–but fully belong to God Himself.

Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee.

This is my prayer.  Is it yours?

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Rachel  🙂

Finding Perfect Peace

You don’t have to look far to find someone who struggles with anxiety.  Maybe you know several people in your church who deal with anxiety.  Maybe it’s someone in your extended family, friends, or work group.  Maybe it’s even someone in your home.  Or perhaps you are like me, and you’ve struggled with anxiety yourself–at least to some extent.

Finding Perfect Peace

According to this article from Elements Behavioral Health, here are 8 “facts” about anxiety and anxiety disorders:

  1. It’s normal to worry or feel anxious about some things in life.
  2. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States.
  3. There are many types of anxiety disorders:
    • General anxiety disorder (GAD)
    • Panic disorder
    • Social anxiety disorder
    • Major depressive disorder
    • Phobic disorders
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • Separation anxiety disorder
  4. Women have double the risk for anxiety disorders than men do.
  5. Anxiety disorders are often accompanied by other related disorders.
  6. Anxiety can cause or exacerbate physical illnesses.
  7. Anxiety may be hereditary.  (“Many researchers and medical professionals also believe there’s such a thing as inherited anxiety, while others think it has more to do with learned behavior than genetics.”)
  8. Anxiety can be managed and treated effectively.
    • Talk therapy (psychotherapy)
    • Coping strategies
    • Medication
    • Alternative therapies such as yoga, meditation and acupuncture

So apparently, as you probably already knew, anxiety is pretty common.  But what about for Christians?  What does the Bible say about it?

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

“Be anxious for nothing.”  That sounds like a command!  So even if “It’s normal to worry or feel anxious”, God is commanding us not to be anxious.  If you struggle with anxiety, you might be thinking, “Easier said than done!”  I get it, but the Word goes on to tell us what to do instead of being anxious.  (The world call this a “coping mechanism”.)

“In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”  Whenever you feel anxious, STOP letting those feelings go through your head.  Get on your knees, if possible, and dive into prayer.  Tell God about all of your anxieties and ask Him for a solution.  Make your requests to God, instead of just worrying about them!  THANK God for being there, for being powerful enough to handle whatever it is that is worrying you.  Say that phrase out loud.  “God, You are strong and powerful.  You can handle this.”  Keep saying that phrase, until you believe it–even if that leaves you saying it for years!

If we do this, the Scripture leaves us with a promise!  “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Wow!  Now, you might be a skeptic.  That’s okay!  God says that you can’t possibly understand this peace, or how this peace is even possible!  You won’t understand it!  Quit trying to rationalize or understand it before you obey God.  You’re not going to understand, but you can begin to believe it if you will obey.  You can believe it, because when you obey–when you take your requests to Him and offer thanksgiving to Him, regardless of how you are feeling–HE WILL ALWAYS FULFILL HIS PROMISE!  If you are faithful to obey, you will experience His peace!  That’s a promise!

Lest you think that this one paragraph is all you have to lean on in Scripture, it’s not.  The Bible gives hope for you all throughout it’s pages.  Now, I’m not going to pretend that there might not be physical or hormonal imbalances that are causing your anxiety.  However, I will still say that God has an answer!  He might help you through His Word AND medicine, or through leading you to change your habits or even by changing the very circumstances that you are in.  Or he could just change your heart to one that is less anxious.  He can do that!  And He will change your heart if you will follow, obey, and seek the things His Scripture says.

Not long before Jesus died, He told His followers, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give it to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  (John 14:27)  Jesus left us His peace!

Psalm 94:19 says, “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.”  When you are anxious, He can comfort you and be a delight to your soul!

Matthew 6:31-34 says, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek.  For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Do you often get caught up worrying and feeling anxious about tomorrow, or next week, or next year, or even 30 years from now?  When our minds focus on all that has to be done, or all that could possibly go wrong, it’s nearly impossible to find peace.  But when we seek FIRST the things of God’s kingdom, God will take care of us.  He knows our needs.  Let HIM be the One to worry about them.  You just focus on today.

Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You.  Because he trusts in You.”

Is your mind stayed on the Lord?  Stayed.  That word means exactly what it says!  If your mind STAYS on the Lord–and doesn’t wonder from circumstance to emotion to worry to fear–but truly STAYS focused on the Lord, thinking of Him all throughout the day, then God will keep you in PERFECT PEACE.

PERFECT peace?  Not just a little corner of peace or a moment of peace.  Perfect Peace.  He will keep you there.  In perfect peace.  Why?  Because you trust in God.  When you trust in God, you will have peace.

Is your mind stayed on the Lord?  If not, this is where you begin.  Not in life change, or in seeing doctors, or in taking supplements.  God might lead you down that road as you seek Him, but don’t start there.  Start with the Lord, and trust that He is powerful enough to handle anything–even your anxiety.  Trust Him.  When we are weak, He is strong.

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May your day find you in perfect peace, as your mind is stayed on the Lord!

Meal Plan for April 30-May 6

This week, I have NO “extra” plans!  We have church, of course, and I’ll also be getting together with a sweet friend, but nothing “extra” in our schedule!  No big events or dinner parties, no Doctor’s Appointments or meetings….I’m super excited!  Hopefully this time we will all stay healthy, and it will be a wonderful week to focus on homemaking and our family!  (And get back to more blogging!)

 

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Sunday, April 23

  • Beef Stew
    *Recently I made a typical roast for dinner, and afterwards we cut up the pieces and froze it, including the broth.  All I will have to do is dump the bag into my crockpot on Sunday morning, and add a couple of ingredients to it!  Hooray for an easy dinner that will be waiting on us when we get home from church!
  • Garlic Bread

Monday, April 24

Tuesday, April 25Oven Fried Chicken

Wednesday, April 26garlic-pork-roast

Thursday, April 27

Friday, April 28

  • Tacos

Saturday, April 29
Sesame Crusted Chicken

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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FREE PRINTABLES!

meal-planner-image

I have a FREE printable meal planner that I designed in January.  I am LOVING using it each week to plan my meals, and it looks cute on my fridge!  There are also printable recipe cards for a few recipes on this page, that you can download.

Meal Plan for April 23-29

This week is the WORLD’S BIGGEST FISH FRY in our county and I’m so excited!  We’ll get to see the Brett Perkins Band LIVE on Wednesday night, and I’m so excited about it!  Brett, minus his band, came and led worship for my husband’s youth group about a year and a half ago, and he was fantastic.  On top of being an awesome singer and Spirit-led worship leader, he was also a really great guy that both my husband and I really enjoyed getting to know.  It will be awesome to get the chance to see him with his entire band!

Of course we’ll also take the boys to the carnival Thursday night (and their very first experience with carnival rides!), and attend the parade Friday morning.  There are TONS of other events going on as well, but we’re just going to stick to the basics (except we aren’t really fish-eaters, so we’re just going to ignore the whole “fish fry” part of the festival, Ha!).

It looks like we’ll have super warm weather and lots of fun!  I’ve planned only two full meals that will require much cooking, one meal that’s already in my freezer, and then several quick and easy meals to get us through the week.  Thursday before the carnival, we’re going to make some quick tacos and then hopefully enjoy some cotton candy and funnel cakes at the carnival!  I’m sure the boys will LOVE that, LOL!

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Sunday, April 23IMG_9743

Monday, April 24caesar-crusted-chicken-salad

Tuesday, April 25

  • Pizza

Wednesday, April 26

Thursday, April 27

  • Tacos

Friday, April 28venison-diane

Saturday, April 29

  • Sloppy Joes
  • Pinto Beans
  • Chips

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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FREE PRINTABLES!

meal-planner-image

I have a FREE printable meal planner that I designed in January.  I am LOVING using it each week to plan my meals, and it looks cute on my fridge!  There are also printable recipe cards for a few recipes on this page, that you can download.

Today I Have a 3 Year Old!

3 years ago today I got to lay eyes on a precious baby boy that I had waited 41 weeks to see. It was a rough day, and a hard way to enter the world–but he was finally here!

Skin to Skin!

We didn’t yet know that we would have to stay at the hospital for 5 more days, and go back and forth from our room to the NICU to visit him. In spite of the difficulties, he was still the biggest blessing I had ever seen. The day of his birth is a blur to me, but I can remember the coming days clearly–the cords and IVs hooked up to him, the beeping of the monitors, the cuddling him and trying to learn how to nurse him.

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Everything was new, and hard, and yet beautiful at the same time.

At his birth he weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces and was 22 inches long.

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Today he weighs 34 pounds, is 39 inches tall, and wears a mix of 3T & 4T clothes and size NINE shoes. (Yes, he still has big feet!)

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He loves trains, puzzles, books, coloring! His favorite shows to watch are Little Einsteins, Chuggington, Paw Patrol, and Go Diego Go. His favorite foods are pizza and tacos, which he asks for several times a day. He loves to talk, make animal sounds, and has been learning his shapes, colors, and letters. He’s doing great! He’s {mostly} potty-trained, sleeps in a big boy bed, and can even clean his room {sort of}. We are very proud of him and the boy he is growing up to be!

Nathanael Birthday Collage

Happy Birthday Nathanael!
Mom & Dad love you very much!

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Rachel 🙂  *and Nathanael!