Meal Plan for March 19-25

Last week was as busy as expected, and one of my meals did NOT go so well.  That’s alright, though.  I’m not giving up!  I will try those chicken and dumplings again, but I’ll probably wait a month or so just to make sure I’ve fully recovered from the failure.  This week is my favorite Consignment sale, and I decided to try out selling my stuff there this year!  Hopefully I’ll make some good money back to put towards all the clothes I buy.

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Sunday, March 19

  • Leftovers- “Clean out the fridge.”

Monday, March 20

  • Salad
  • Spaghetti
  • 4 Cheese Herb Butter Braid
    (We bought this from a local school’s fundraiser, and they are so delicious!)
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Butter Braids are amazing!

Tuesday, March 21

Wednesday, March 22

Thursday, March 23

  • Tacos

Friday, March 24

  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches
    *We have some already in the freezer, and I’ll combine some of Wednesday’s leftovers with it.
  • Fried Potatoes
  • Baked Beans

Saturday, March 25

  • Venison Steak Diane
    *I made this a few weeks ago, and my husband called it “gourmet”!  I knew I had to make it again!  I do replace the brandy with apple juice.
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Rolls

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.

The Power of Shining Your Sink

On Wednesday I woke up feeling….tired.  I just needed a nap.  BUT I had way too much to do for that to happen.  I was behind on laundry.  The house was a mess, and the boys were unusually disobedient.  And then I realized we were out of milk, because Nathanael has suddenly developed an obsession with drinking “mooook” and needs soooo many cups per day.  And  we needed it for dinner.  My normal shopping day is Thursday, and since the store is a 22 minute drive one way, I didn’t want to go 2 days in a row.  So, I set out to do next week’s meal planning and shopping list a day early.  Once I had that finished I headed to the store and did all my shopping.

I got home and went back to attacking my consignment sale items that needed to be entered by Friday.  I delayed on the laundry and cleaning, but at around 4:00 I was pumped to start dinner.  On the meal plan was chicken and dumplings–my absolute favorite!  All through the day, whenever I felt stressed I would just tell myself, “It’s okay because I get to eat chicken and dumplings tonight!”

I hadn’t attempted chicken and dumplings in over FOUR years, after failing miserably at them when I was a newlywed.  Now, I wasn’t even worried about them.  I’ve gotten so much better at cooking meals over the last couple of years, and I figured I’d be able to handle it–no problem.  Or so I thought.  I started the chicken, and then the potatoes that would be a side.  When the chicken finished, I pulled it from the broth, used a little broth to make the dumplings, and then thickened the broth up.  So far, so good.  And then I started dropping the dumplings in.  I dropped 7-8 into the pot, and then lost them.  Like….they disappeared and were magically absorbed into the broth.  I couldn’t find them in there anywhere!  The broth became so thick it wasn’t even usable.

As I gave up and just left the kitchen, I had used half a gallon of milk, half a bag of self-rising flour, all the broth from cooking the chicken, and half of a store-bought container of broth.  I had failed, again.  Even more miserably than the last time.  I cried.  I texted my husband big long teary text-messages, and he came home and saved the day.

He came home, dumped my disaster into the trash, and then made chicken and dumplings from start to finish.  Because unlike me, he CAN make them.  I have no idea why I can’t, and HE can.  But I’m just going to go with being thankful that he saved the day, because otherwise I’ll just feel pathetic.

We barely had time to eat dinner, get ready, and get to church.  I was 5 minutes late for church, and I was supposed to be teaching the preschool class.  Sigh.  What a LOVELY day.

After church I needed to come home and clean the mess of a kitchen, but I just. didn’t. feel. like it.  I turned on a TV show, and laid on the couch for 2 hours.  We didn’t put the boys to bed until after 10:00.  And then I looked at the kitchen.  I felt paralyzed.  I did NOT want to even touch it.  Couldn’t I just go to sleep and leave it for tomorrow?

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Yes, there was even food splattered on the bottom of my sign.

 

I could.  I knew I could.  But then I looked at my “Shiny Sink” reminder sign and felt a twinge of guilt.  I remembered something a friend had sent me that came from the Fly Lady.

“When I procrastinate, it’s as though I am punishing the future version of me…..As though the person who will live in my body tomorrow is a totally different person.  One who either really loves doing dishes or someone I just don’t like–and therefore it’s a good idea that she have a kitchen full of 2-day-old dishes to take care of.  Amazingly, though, it was always still me that had to get up the next day and face the ugly kitchen, the dirty floor, piles of clothes, etc.”

As I reflected back to this quote, I knew that I did NOT want my Thursday to start off just as badly as my Wednesday had gone, and I decided to bless the me of tomorrow by giving “her” a clean kitchen to begin “her” day.

So, at 11:00 at night, my kitchen looked like this:

Yuck.  It stresses me out to even see these pictures.  I started by putting away all the clean dishes.  Then I re-loaded the dishwasher as much as possible.  I scrubbed and rinsed the remaining dishes, and then cleaned the counters.  It sounds quick to say it like that, but it took me TWO. FULL. HOURS.

At 1:00 am I headed to bed, and my kitchen looked like this:

Ahhh…..  Breathe.  I literally stood in the kitchen when I finished, just breathing.  It was like for the first time all day, I felt peace.  I breathed, and then I headed to bed.  And I slept wonderfully.

And the best part?  Thursday’s version of me woke up to a house that was ready for my day.  I was busy with THAT day’s chaos, which we all know–is enough for the day.  I’m so thankful that I didn’t have Wednesday’s chaos still hanging over me.

I’m so incredibly grateful that I remembered the Fly Lady’s wisdom in that moment, and was able to bless myself with a better tomorrow, and give my family a more peaceful mother and wife.

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Rachel  🙂

Keep Flying and Shine Your Sink!

Snow in March?

I loved snow as a child, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to feel perfectly fine to just skip that season of the year.  I love, love, LOVE warm weather and sunshine!  Winter is cold, and….well, kind of dreary.  Sigh.  Most of winter I just have this big desire to wrap up in a blanket and sleep.  Why can’t people be like bears?  Hibernation sounds like a fantastic idea!

This year we escaped all the rough winter weather, or so I thought.  I’ve taken the boys out to play in shorts already!  The only downside I could think of to missing the snow is that it probably meant there’d be more wasps this summer–my biggest fear in the entire world.  (And no–I’m not allergic.  Just terrified!)

But alas, this Saturday morning we woke up to a blanket of beautiful snow covering our small town.  We were expecting maybe an inch, but woke up to about 3 inches, still coming down!  My parents, just half an hour away, had only a light dusting.  We ended up with somewhere between 4 or 5 inches.  Or so I heard.  I didn’t actually measure it.

Late morning, we got the boys bundled up and went out to play in the snow.  Though I’m not crazy for snow myself, I have to admit that being a mom has reawakened some of my childhood loves for snowballs and stomping in the snow.  I especially like the crisp freshness that’s in the air.  There’s something so calming about it.  And as a mom of toddlers, I’m sure you know that “calm” is like a dream world.  It truly was beautiful, and a fun & sweet time!

Here are some pics of our snow play!

When we first went out, I remembered that we should make snow cream, so I asked my husband to grab a bowl before he came outside.  I grabbed the bowl and scooped up a FULL fresh, clean bowl of snow, before we dirtied it with our play.

When I came inside, I put the bowl in the freezer, and went straight to work making snow cream!  I added sprinkles to the boys’ bowls, and even carried some over to the neighbor.  I do believe snow cream is my FAVORITE thing about snow!  It’s so not healthy, but the snow cream ended up replacing our lunch for the day.  Oh well.  We don’t get snow often, so we might as well enjoy it!

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Soooo good!  Recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

As of Sunday evening, 99% of the snow was already melted, and now I’m ready for spring.  It looks like, however, we’re going to have a full week of freezing & very cold days.  I’ll just keep telling myself, “It’s killing the wasps.  It’s killing the wasps.  It’s killing the wasps.”  It’s probably not going to happen, but hey–a girl can dream.

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Rachel  🙂

 

And yes, I re-used a selfie from an old post as my selfie signature.  I totally wore that shirt today though, so we can just pretend!  🙂

Meal Plan for March 12-18

 

This week is going to be CRAZY busy for me.  I have plans for Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday night, AND I have to finish prepping and tagging tons of items for a local consignment sale that’s coming up.  So, I needed some easy meals, for sure!  And since I’ll be gone a couple of nights, it was important to plan things my husband has mastered–like pizza and tacos!  Our boys will be thrilled!

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Sunday, March 12

Monday, March 13

  • Homemade Pizza

Tuesday, March 14

Wednesday, March 15

  • Salad
  • Whole Red Potatoes
  • Chicken N’ Dumplins  (My favorite, but I’m always afraid I’ll mess up the dumplins!)

Thursday, March 16

  • Tacos

Friday, March 17pork-chops

Saturday, March 18Oven Fried Chicken

So tell me,

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.

3 Quick & Easy Deer Recipes

 

The day is finally here!  I promised to share a few Quick & Easy Deer Recipes for using canned deer meat!  (I will post later about our favorite recipes from our non-canned deer meat.)

Quick Easy Deer Recipes

On Wednesday night this week, we had Open-Faced Roast Deer, so I wanted to walk you through this recipe completely, and then at the end I’ll share two more basic recipes briefly.

Open-Faced Roast Deer

Besides the taste (YUM!), my favorite thing about this recipe is that dinner can be ready in less than 15 minutes!  I’d like to say 5 minutes, but since I have 2 toddlers I’m never able to do anything that fast.

IMG_9725First off, gather your ingredients:

  • 2 Cans Deer Meat
  • Instant Potatoes
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • Butter to Taste
  • 2 Packs of Gravy Mix
  • A Loaf of Bread

That’s it!  Sometimes I use milk in my instant potatoes.  This time I pulled it out and ended up not using it.  That will just depend on how creamy you want your potatoes.

Now you’re ready to start:

  1. Boil water for your instant potatoes.  I never measure these, but you can follow the directions on the box for about 3 cups of Mashed Potatoes.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and butter to your water as desired.
  3. Empty the 2 cans of deer meat into a second saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  4. Mix the 2 packs of gravy mix into 2 cups of water.  Pour into a skillet over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Although the deer has made its own broth, most of it will boil away (as you can see in the above pictures), so I always like to make some extra gravy. This week I only made about 1 cup of gravy, but 2 cups is best!IMG_9736
  5. When the water for your potatoes boils, mix in potato flakes, a little at a time, until the potatoes are your desired consistency.
  6. At this point, the meat and gravy should be boiling.  Stir each dish one last time, pour the gravy over the meat, and bring to the table.  You are ready to eat!

    IMG_9738
    This is EVERYTHING you need for your meal!  Bread, Potatoes, and the Deer/Gravy Mixture.

Building Your Open-Faced “Sandwich”

First Layer:  BREADIMG_9740

Second Layer:  Mashed PotatoesIMG_9741

Third Layer: Meat & GravyIMG_9743

That’s it!  Enjoy your meal!  My family did!

Want to make it from scratch?

Now, I understand that many of you may not want to use all the processed food.  I understand!  We rarely use it ourselves, BUT the quickness of this meal makes it worth it to me.  I have, however, made everything but the bread “from scratch”, and it’s been an excellent meal.  It will just no longer be “Quick & Easy”.  However, if that’s something you want to try, you’ll just want to (1) Save beef broth from a previous meal or pick some up from the store.  You can use this recipe to make the brown gravy yourself.  And (2) Make the mashed potatoes from actual potatoes!  It just takes a little bit longer.  If you want to make your own bread, go for it!  I haven’t been that brave yet!

Now, you can also make this with beef, and it is *almost* as good.  I’ve used canned roast beef from the store, but it’s quite expensive.  I’ve also actually roasted an entire beef roast in the crockpot for 5 hours, and then pulled the beef & used the broth to make gravy.  It’s delicious that way as well!

Two Other Ways to Use Canned Deer:

  1. DeerBQ.  I have another recipe for DeerBQ that comes from baking the entire front quarter for several hours, pulling the meat, etc. That one ends up with a similar feel to NC or TN pulled pork BBQ, though the meat is definitely NOT pork.  THIS recipe is quite different, and I feel more closely resembles the chopped brisket that you’ll get in TX as barbecue.  To make it, your meal will be ready in FIVE minutes!  Simply dump the can(s) in a saucepan, and add barbecue sauce.  LOTS of barbecue sauce–like ¼ of a bottle.  As soon as you’ve heated it, just serve it on a bun with the sides of your choice.  So easy and delicious!
  2. Deer Stew.  Empty the deer cans into a large pot, and add veggies and a little extra water or beef broth.  Throw in whatever seasonings you like.  I use garlic, salt, and pepper, and every now and then throw in a dash of hot sauce or some chili powder for my husband who loves a little kick.  Cook until boiling, and until veggies are soft when pierced with a fork.  This will vary depending on what veggies you use.  (I often throw leftover veggies, like the potatoes & carrots from a roast, into the stew.)  You could also make it in the morning and put it in a crockpot for dinner.  On high it will be ready in less than 5 hours.  On low it will take about 7-8 hours.

 

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Rachel  🙂

 

Note:  I plan to make recipe cards for each of these meals, but it will probably be a few days before they are up!  I apologize!  I will update here when I get those up.  In the meantime, feel free to browse some of my other recipes at http://www.myselfathome.com/printables.

Meal Plan for March 5-11

So last week I tried a new recipe for Venison Steak, and my husband said it was “gourmet!’  For a woman who, 5 years ago, could only make about 5 meals–and they all came from either frozen chicken breasts or ground beef–this is an amazing compliment!

I am LOVING meal planning, even though we often switch meals around, and sometimes 1 or 2 of them don’t get made during a week.  Still, at least 4-5 nights a week we follow our meal plan pretty closely, and it has been so much fun to serve my family in this way!

This week, I even bought a new springy Pioneer Woman tablecloth, and some great placemats and cloth napkins to make our table more lovely.  It’s so sweet to see my boys using the cloth napkins, and they can’t shred them like they do the paper ones!  (They are 1 & 2 years old…)

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Sunday, March 5garlic-pork-roast

Monday, March 6chicken-piccata-with-crispy-garlic

*NEW Recipe!  And I’m even going to try to make myself eat salad!  Here’s hoping that Romaine lettuce has a better texture than Iceberg….  We shall see!

Tuesday, March 7

  • Deer Chili with Crackers
  • Hot Dogs

Wednesday, March 8

  • Open-Faced Roast Deer

*I promise a post is coming this week on those Quick & Easy Deer Recipes!

Thursday, March 9

Friday, March 10

Saturday, March 11

This is yummy goodness, especially for my 2 pizza-loving boys!  And it’s so easy!  It’s the only reason I ever buy canned biscuits!

So tell me,
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.

My Review of Le Tote-and a Giveaway!

Disclosure: The links in this post are referral links.  I don’t receive any payment for my opinions, but when you sign up through my links, I’ll get a discount on my next purchase.  And as a BONUS, you’ll get $25 off of your first month as well!

I’m always interested in trying online clothing subscriptions.  I’m not sure why exactly, because I do LOVE shopping.  However, it’s really fun to get a box of clothes in the mail!  I’ve tried both Kidbox & Rockets of Awesome for my boys.  I’ve used Stitch Fix to build my wardrobe after my pregnancies (and LOVED it!).  And now I’ve tried Le Tote, just for fun!

le-tote

If you haven’t heard of Le Tote, it’s a clothing subscription service where you rent clothes, rather than buy them.  For a monthly fee, they ship you a box of 3-5 items.  You wear them for as long as you’d like, and then drop them back in the mail.  As soon as Le Tote receives notification that you’ve mailed your return package, they begin prepping a new one.  For me, it usually takes 2-3 days to get a new box in, and I get 4-5 totes in a month.  One of my favorite things about it is that I don’t need to wash the clothes!  They do all the laundry for me!

It’s also a fun way to try a new style or something trendy without buying the item.  I’ve also been able to wear a few items that are more expensive & higher quality than my typical clothing.  I’ve used it to have the perfect clothes at a convention, for Sunday church, and even normal, everyday clothes.  It really is SO much fun!

But what if I want to keep the clothes?

You can totally keep something if you just love it, and it’s so easy!  I’ve only bought one pair of earrings from them, but there have been a few other items I’ve been tempted to buy as well.  The jewelry is usually very reasonably priced, and I’ve often seen pieces for as low as $8-10.  Not bad at all!  As for the clothes, some have been in the $20 range, but it’s more common for my items to vary from $40-60.  It’s a little more than I typically spend on clothes, but if something is just perfect I could see myself splurging.  To buy something from your tote, you just keep it.  It’s THAT easy!  When you send your tote back, you keep the item you want.  When they receive your returned items, they’ll charge your card for the item that you kept.

If it’s something that I do LOVE but am not ready to buy, that’s okay!  I’ve been able to get the same top back again a few times for just that reason!  You can save any item you receive, or any item you see on their site, in your CLOSET.  Then when your new tote is styled, you can easily swap out an item for something else before it ships.  You have 2 days to customize your tote before it ships.  At the end of that time, they’ll ship out whatever they’ve chosen for you.  In my case, I always go in and customize it.  I sometimes keep their selections, but other times I swap out for something that more specifically fits my activities for the next week.   As soon as I click finalize, my tote usually ships within 24 hours–sometimes within 4 or 5 hours!

You can subscribe so easily at Le Tote’s site, and just as easily place your account on hold. As for Customer Service, I’ve emailed them twice for various things and have always had STELLAR service returned.  The first time, I returned my tote and the shipping never showed up in USPS, so Le Tote was not notified that I had returned my tote.  Since I was going out of town within a few days and wanted some great clothes for my trip, I was in a hurry to get that next box!  So, I emailed Customer Service about it.  They quickly responded, and had styled my next tote before I even got the response!  In addition, they pushed back my billing date so I got a few extra days!  I’d say that’s going above and beyond!  The second time I had a simple question, and they responded super quick that time as well.  I honestly can’t think of another online company that has had such great (and FAST!) customer support!

Now for the FUN stuff!

Here’s a little peak of some of the clothes I’ve received:

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So, what do you think?  Have you tried Le Tote, or any other clothing subscription service?  Tell me about your experiences!

GIVEAWAY!!
Want to Try Le Tote for FREE?

I have three free totes to give away!  So, the first THREE people to leave a comment below can have them, provided that you’ve never tried Le Tote before!  Ready, set, GO!

And, if you aren’t one of those three, but still want to try LeTote, you can use this link to get $25 off of your first month!  That means you’d get the small subscription (the one I use) for only $15!  That’s a lot of clothes for $15!

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Rachel 🙂

How to Can Deer Meat

My favorite way to eat deer is from a can, and anytime I mention Canned Deer Meat to anyone, they’re either instantly curious or instantly repulsed.  I’ve yet to meet someone who has ever had canned deer meat, outside of my family.

I was born in West Virginia, where my Dad, Papaw, uncles, and anyone male loved spending their time deer hunting.  I don’t remember all the different ways we ate deer back then, but we’ve been eating canned deer meat for as long as I can remember.

My husband killed his first 2 deer in 2015, and my mom took care of all the processing for us!  We had canned deer for quite a while from that.  Since then, though, he hasn’t hunted, because he hasn’t wanted to spend the money on a hunting license.  So we’ve been missing out on a lot of yummy meals!

how-to-can-deer-meat

A couple of months ago, a wonderful church member killed a deer, and he dropped it at our local processor, paid the processing fees, and gifted it to us!  #BestGiftEver.  The processor can do lots of things, but we had him to keep it basic on the front/hind quarters (LEGS), so we got them from him, all cleaned, sealed up and frozen.  They were huge!  Like, as wide as our upright deep freeze!  Since it was Christmas time, we kept it frozen until a few weeks ago when we were ready to do the canning.

I’ve never done the canning before, so we asked my Mom to bring her pressure canner and come show us how.  To be honest, she did most of the work.  That’s what moms are for, right?  I’m kidding about that; we just didn’t have much room for all of us to work at once in our kitchen.

About 3 days before my Mom came over, we moved the meat from our freezer to our refrigerator to let it thaw.  By the time she came, it was mostly thawed, but had a few small frozen spots in the middle.  As for the rest of the process, it was really pretty easy:

  1. Sterilize the jars & rings.  We just boil them for a few minutes.
  2. Cut the meat.  We began by cutting the meat up into small cubes, about 1″ wide.  We discarded any of the white filmy substance that was on the outside of the meat.
  3. Fill each canning jar with the raw meat.  Stuff them full!  As they cook, they will settle a bit in the jars.
  4. Add salt.  My mom usually sprinkles some brown gravy mix in each jar, which would contain some salt as well.  We didn’t have any gravy mix, so we just used a little bit of salt.  The taste is the same!
  5. Put lids & rings on each jar, and place jars in the pressure canner.  There should be water in the canner, according to its directions.
  6. Seal the pressure canner, and begin cooking.  Be sure to follow instructions for your canner on this step!  You want to seal the canner, and then slowly bring up the pressure.  Once it’s at full pressure, cook your meat for about an hour.  (YES!  It cooks AFTER you put it in the can!)
  7. Gently slide pressure canner off of the heat source.  Allow to cool and de-pressurize.  Do NOT open the canner until the pressure is completely down!  It is very dangerous.  When you do finally open the canner, lift the side of the lid that’s furthest away from you, so that the steam comes out away from your body.  This is very important, as the steam will be very hot and could cause burns!
  8. Gently remove cans from the canner.  Line them up on a dish towel on your counter.  Within an hour or so, you should hear each lid “pop” as it seals.  If you aren’t listening for the pops, it’s okay.  Just make sure each lid has sealed before you put them away.  If one does not seal, the meat will ruin–so you’d want to put it in the fridge and use it in a meal right away.  You can tell the lids have sealed because they will be slightly domed inward.
  9. That’s it!  Your meat is finished and ready to put away with the rest of your canned goods.  It will remain good for at least a year–though ours never lasts that long!

All in all, it’s a pretty simple process.  The hardest part is cutting the meat up.  We LOVE canned deer meat for so many reasons, but the biggest reason is that it makes for several fast and easy meals!  As a busy mom, or even a not-busy mom, it’s always great to have a meal on hand that you can prepare in 15 minutes–and canned deer meat makes that possible!

Stay posted for a post on my favorite quick recipes for using canned deer meat!  They are delicious and easy!

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Rachel  🙂

Meal Plan for February 26-March 4

Y’all, this week’s meal planning was a HUGE success!  I went through my meal plan to make my grocery list for the week, and NO JOKE……  My shopping list for an entire week & 21 meals for my family, was only 5 items long!  I spent less than $20!  WHAT?!?!?!

If you struggle in your grocery budget, and you aren’t meal planning, this is one simple way to start saving money.  Another simple tip is to only buy meat when it’s on sale. Our freezer is stocked full of meat, so that’s an expensive part of our meals that we rarely have to buy.

meal-plan-for-the-week

Sunday, February 26

Monday, February 27

  • BBQ Chicken
  • Fried Potatoes
  • Steamed Vegetables
  • Garlic Bread

Tuesday, February 28

garlic-pork-roast

Wednesday, March 1

 

  • Tacos

Thursday, March 2

  • Pizza!

Friday, March 3

Saturday, March 4

  • Leftovers–  “Clean out the Fridge!”

So tell me,
What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Rachel 🙂

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.

Why I Won’t Be Seeing “The Shack”

I don’t remember the exact year that I first read The Shack, but it was somewhere between 2007-2010.  I had just graduated with my Bachelors degree in Religion, from Liberty University, where I had taken Bible classes yearly as a general requirement for all degrees, and an additional 15 or so Theology & Bible courses just for my major.  I had also attended Chapel 3 times a week.  After graduation, I started doing ministry at a Baptist Collegiate Ministry, where I led in women’s ministry.

I loved, LOVED reading, and a good Christian friend lent me her copy of The Shack after she finished reading it.  She LOVED it, and just knew that I would, too.  She was right.  I cried through the story so many times.  I LOVED it.  When I finished it and returned her book, I told her, “This was the BEST description of the Trinity that I’ve ever seen!”  I was amazed!  I felt like I knew God like I had never known Him before.  I even had a list of quotes I shared on Blogger that I felt each revealed something amazing about God.  (For this post, I tried to go back to my old Blogger account to find this list, but alas–it has been deleted after years of not logging in.  Sigh.  I suppose I’ll never be able to find that heresy again.)

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After reading it, my Dad stumbled on an article about the book that talked about it being heresy.  I hadn’t read the article, but I looked at my dad like he HAD to be crazy.  He then said, “Does it portray that God is ______?”  Sorry, I can’t remember exactly what he asked me, but it was something about God’s character, and it was something that God’s character is NOT.  As he asked the question, my eyes widened as I began to see that all throughout the book, it made God feel more easy to understand.  BUT, and this is a big BUT, the things you “understood” about God through reading this book were NOT TRUE! Remember how I said “I felt like I knew God like I had never known Him before”?  Well, I did.  I had never known God to be the way He was presented in that book, because He was presented in a way that was contrary to Scripture.  I had never known that God, because that God was a false god, and I had fallen prey to the deception.

It was as if I had soaked in all the doctrine of the book, and with one question, my dad had successfully set off thousands of alarm bells about it.  I quickly unpublished my post on Blogger, and I stopped recommending the book.  As I had returned the book, I couldn’t really go through it again for a more thorough understanding of what I thought about it.  So for years, I just felt unsure and unsettled about what I had read there.

Several years later, while my husband and I were at Seminary, he was given the assignment of reading and critiquing The Shack.  I decided to read along with him, and this time I was alert for the heresy that I knew lied within its pages.  If I hadn’t been alarmed before, a second reading solidified my belief that this book was nothing more than heresy.

Here’s a short introduction from my husband’s review:

New York Time’s best seller, The Shack, is an almost believable fiction story of a man who encounters God after dealing with emotions triggered by the grizzly death of his daughter Missy.  Though the book was written with obvious superiority that gripped the hearts and minds of the readers, the theological aspects of the novel resemble more than mere fictional parts.  The apparent doctrinal claims made in this work contradict numerous biblical doctrines including the nature of God, man’s condition, the Church, and salvation.  Readers should be made aware of Young’s apparent agenda and blatant disregard to God’s Word.  The spiritual and theological stances taken within this writing have implications of eternal consequence.  Though the writing contains some information that matches that of scripture, the content is far less than inspiring, but insulting to God and should be labeled nothing more than heresy.

Here’s why I won’t be watching the movie:

  1. The things that happen to his daughter aren’t entertaining.  If I’m seeing the movie for entertainment-purposes, this would ruin it for me completely.
  2. It teaches lies about God.  If I’m seeing the movie for spiritual purposes, this would make that null and void.  The only God I want to know is the One Who is revealed to me through Scripture.  The “god” that Young portrays in the book does not match the God of the Scripture.
  3. It teaches lies about salvation.  The book gives the implication that all are saved, regardless of what they believe about Christ, or if they have a relationship with God at all.  I cannot EVER support anything that might lead people to believe they are “saved”, when they are indeed bound for an eternity of torment.
  4. The book’s author believes the book to be just as inspired as The Bible.  If I had known this from the beginning, I would never have picked up the book.  Anyone or anything that claims to be the divinely inspired Word of God is something we should be skeptical of!  As Christians, we believe the book of Revelation is “the last revelation” of Christ until He returns.  So then any books that come along after should be rejected as a false gospel or heresy.  While I believe God inspires people to write books today, it is not in the same way that He inspired Paul to write the epistles.  The words in our Bibles were “God-breathed”, not just generic messages or stories that were laid on human hearts as passions or ideas.  God literally breathed out each word of Scripture and gave it to us as His infallible, inerrant Word.  That is NOT what happened with Young and this book.

I don’t usually write and encourage people not to watch specific movies, though I could do so with movies like Shades of Grey, or even Noah (It was not even close to a Biblical portrayal!)  This movie is different, for one reason only.  If it is anything like the book, it has the power to lead even Christians to believe a false gospel about a false god.  I urge you not to allow that opportunity into your life, or the lives of your children.  False doctrines are more dangerous than any earthly danger.  These doctrines have effects that stretch beyond this life and into eternity, and I desire that none will be led astray by the heresies this movie presents.

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Rachel 🙂

 

Related Articles:

  1. What’s Wrong with The Shack?  13 Heresies by Generation Cedar
  2. The Shack by Matt Slick
  3. Why You Shouldn’t See The Shack-but Why So Many Will by Grayson Gilbert
  4. Reflections on the Shack by Randy Alcorn
  5. Christian Leaders Express Concerns (Including Depicting God as a Woman) with Film Adaptation of BestSelling “Heretical” Novel, ‘The Shack’ by Sergio Mims