We live in a small townhouse. Very small. All of us. All ten of us. And all of our things. All of our things including our books. All of our books. These books need places to go. About a year ago we bought four bookcases from Ikea. We really didn't have "the perfect spot" for them. We decided to try lining the hallway with them. There was still enough room to get through, our books were nice and neat, and we used the bottom two shelves on each case for little kid toy storage. These are all good things, right?
Well, after a while some books started to hang off. Toys would get knocked off onto the ground. When walking by with a laundry basket books would get knocked off.
What was meant to serve us became something we were serving. We were constantly picking things up, moving out of the way for other people, getting trapped in the bathroom, and it got so I actually held my breath when walking through because it frustrated me so much.
Our homeschool life is incredibly similar to my bookcase situation. Co-ops, book clubs, extra classes, etc are all good things. But. If they get in the way of our purpose, if they become something we are serving to the detriment of our family, if we find that we are holding our breath just trying to get through it ... we need to let it go.
I've moved my bookcases and breathe a sigh of relief when I walk through my hallway now. Don't let your outside activities make your entire homeschool life miserable.
I created this when I was wanting a Deep S Breakfast. Of course, I didn't add cheese then but that is what made me top the spinach omelette with the over easy egg. I hoped the runny yolk would make up for the lack of cheese and it really did!
Even when I'm going for a Heavy S with the cheese, I still add the over easy egg now because I enjoy it so much.
Want to know more about Trim Healthy Mama? You can purchase the book here:
Mothering is the most amazing thing I have ever done. It is also the hardest thing I have ever done. We need grace! Sometimes we need to give *ourselves* grace and sometimes we need to extend grace to the little people entrusted to us.
I have a confession to make. I fell off the Trim Healthy Mama bandwagon. I fell hard. I would jump back on for as long as a week at a time, only to land on my extra cushioned rear yet again. I couldn't figure out why I was having so many problems sticking with it this time. Last time, I had zero problems from the time I started until I just watched the pounds drop off.
THM has grown exponentially since I started in June of 2014. With that growth came products, recipes, and ideas to make THM suit all sorts of people. They really helped the Drive Thru Sue and Whole Grain Jane end up on a level playing field. This sounds like a good thing, right? Well, I'm sure it was for a lot of people. However, for me I just need to get back to the basics. I need to do THM the way it was before all of the "things" to make it "easier" came about.
So. Allow me to show you how I feed my skinny husband and growing children while building my meals at the same time. No special ingredients. No extra prep time. Just simplicity.
Tonight, for instance. we had a family favorite. Momma's Slop. I know. It doesn't sound appetizing and I can't even remember where they name came from. However, it is a meal that is devoured by every family member.
It is pretty much like a baked potato bar, but with mashed potatoes instead. I make mashed potatoes, buttered corn, hamburger gravy, caramelized onions, and everyone tops their mashed potatoes how they like. I typically serve with a side salad. Sometimes we have broccoli with it, but we didn't tonight.
I know what you are thinking. How on earth can that easily be a THM meal?!
Well, I started with caramelizing the onions on the griddle and browning the ground beef in a pan on the stove. I seasoned the ground beef well. While it was cooking I started the mashed potatoes and corn. (I do have excellent potato peelers, so this is super fast.) Once the ground beef was thoroughly cooked, I removed a generous amount, put it in a bowl and let it keep warm in the oven. With the ground beef still in the pan I made the rest of the family's gravy. I use a high protein, organic whole wheat flour that is packed full of nutrition ... it just isn't good for my waistline.
By this time the onions were gooey and beckoning so I placed them in a serving bowl. The griddle was already nice and hot so I quickly cracked an egg and cooked it over easy and a threw a few slices of cheddar cheese on the griddle to make "cheese croutons".
My excellent potato peelers had moved on to chopping, washing, and slicing the other vegetables for the salad.
(If you would like to learn more about the Trim Healthy Mama plan, please click on the image of the book below to purchase from Amazon and begin your journey to food freedom!)
Everything was done. It was time to make plates. Instead of slopping all of the goodies on top of mashed potatoes, I opted for a nice bed of romaine and iceberg lettuces.
I got my seasoned beef out of the oven and placed on top of my ever growing dinner.
I know. I know. I possibly may have crossed over with the abundance of onions ... but, I promise I held back some.
Finally, the last layer contained my over easy egg and "cheese croutons". This last step was done in a jiffy and didn't take any extra time at all. As a matter of fact, I was done topping my salad before the rest of my family was done topping their mashed potatoes. The griddle was already on and required no extra clean up time.
These were extras to make me enjoy my meal even more but definitely not essential, so if you don't want to take the few second to do it, by all means forgo!
Oh, dressing you ask? I don't care for dressing so choose any on-plan dressing you desire. The runny yolk and caramelized onion are better than any dressing in my opinion!
So, that is it. My plan of attack ... keep it simple, take it back to the basics.
What are your favorite ways to help you stay on plan?
We are nearing in on 18 years of marriage. I'm not much over 18 years old myself so I'm not really sure how that is possible. When we first got married I was completely clueless on how to be a wife. The only things I knew about being a "good wife" I learned from June Cleaver. It took entirely too long to realize that I wasn't married to Ward so what was good for him wasn't necessarily good for my husband. We don't have a perfect marriage because we are imperfect people. However on most days we have a good marriage.
"I usually put the kitchen eggs in a wire basket, however one broke and leaked raw egg every where. Abigail put the eggs in my biggest Pyrex bowl as she cleaned them.
When I walked in the dining room and saw them it just made me happy. I stood there, cup of coffee in one hand cleaning gloves in the other, staring at the pretty bowl holding the pretty eggs.
There is a small chance a few of my children shook their heads and walked away.
#happy #contentedsigh #eggs #pyrex"
The above was a Facebook/Instagram post . A friend commented that she wished she was able to have back yard chickens.
My first reaction was, "ME TOO! However for now we are stuck buying them from local Amish families."
Wait. What? Stuck? No way. We aren't stuck. It is a blessing to be able to buy from local Amish families. They aren't our best friends, no. However, without buying from them we never would have been able to get to know them at all. Weekly visits for the past 8 years has allowed us to see semi-polite, tight lipped greetings transform into friendly, laughing greetings full of jovial chit chat.
We aren't stuck. We are blessed. Do I desire a home with land enough to have our own chickens? The English language doesn't have the right words to express just how much I desire such. However, it isn't what God has for us right now. Thankfully, we do have local Amish sellers as an option.
So, instead I replied, "I wish we could, too! For now we are thankful to be able to buy them from local Amish families."
It often really is only our perspective that keeps us stuck instead of blessed.
We've all been there. Busy, busy with a project leading up to a special day. I can remember many tech weeks where I ate, drank, and breathed whatever show I was working on. Exhausted, I would fall into bed with every muscle in my body rebelling, only to wake up a few short hours later to start all over again. My dreams weren't really dreams, but ... thoughts about what we had to do next and reviewing what we had already done. Then. The day would arrive. The day that I would awake by no prompting other than the excitement buzzing through me. My eyes would fly open, my brain would try to catch up with my heart and figure out just what the specialness of the day was. Then in an instant, I would remember. It's opening day! The day when all of our labor, heart, and time would be shared with others.
I can also remember many nights working on a child's birthday preparations and cake until 3 am, only to be awakened by my own excitement three hours later. A special day. A day to rejoice in the birth of one of my children!
I'm sure you all have those memories. Perhaps a special trip, a get together with special friends from time gone by, or a date with your husband. Today, I had an awakening such as that. My eyes flew open, my heart pulled me out of bed though my body was still confused. My mind searched and searched, what is special about today? There is something special about the day ... WHAT is it?
Then it came to me in a rush. Today, I get to be a mother. I get to be a mother to my children! How incredible is that? They only have one mother and that is me. There is only one me and I am it. I am their mother. I am blessed beyond measure and need to live my life to reflect that.
We've been under personal attack lately and my focus has slipped at times. Last night when I was putting the kids to bed I realized how much of me I was holding from them. My worries, my pain, my thoughts all occupied my time when I should have been giving all of that to God, giving all of me to Him. When I give all of me to Him, He directs me to them. My children had been missing out. I resolved right then that I would be my children's mother today. I stayed up late last night finishing up some chores so that I could start our day as stress free as possible.
I woke up this morning excited because today, I get to be a mother. There is no job like it. No, not one. We, as mothers, have the responsibility of shaping little lives into extraordinary people. There are no do-overs in raising children. Every minute of every day counts toward something. What will your day count towards?
Here it is the last part of May and I'm sitting up to write my first blog post of the year. You see, there is something on my mind. My grandmother had a stroke. Praise God, she is doing amazing even if she doesn't realize it. We've gone in and out of D.C. to sit with her in the hospital just about every day this past week (how on Earth my mother did that commute every day for 20 years is absolutely beyond me!) and I'm pretty much exhausted. However, here I lay in bed tossing and turning. Unable to sleep for the thing spinning through my mind.
No. This thing keeping me awake has nothing to do with my grandmother or the incredibly long D.C. trips. It is fidget spinners. Yes, I know I'm late to the game. Apparently homeschoolers aren't the only unsocialized ones, their parents qualify too. Granted I learned about fidget spinners much more quickly than I did "Rick rolled" which I looked up this past week to find out this new to me phenomenon began in 2013. (Edited because apparently my desire to remember the facts regarding Rick-Rolling have me remembering the year wrong ... I was only off by a decade or so ...)
The concept of fidget spinners isn't new to me. It is one I've employed since I became a parent to a boy. However. This craze is absurd. These fidget spinners, ranging in price from $4.99-$1,000 (in my limited research on them, done exactly 2.2 seconds ago) do nothing. They don't. Nothing. No thing. They are nonsense. They are hunks of plastic, bamboo, or metal NONSENSE.
I allow my boys to keep a handful of Lego, a Matchbox car, or if they are old enough and self controlling enough a stick to whittle. They know they have my permission to use these during our read alouds, church, or any time they are required to be quiet without any reason to use their hands, such as writing.
Only one of my girls really needs the help, but they are all allowed to knit, hand sew, or do any of the above things mentioned for the boys. (Just so I don't get any disapproving comments, OF COURSE I would allow my boys to knit, embroider or any such thing ... they'd rather the Lego and cars!)
These things allow their brains to focus on the words they need to be hearing, they are things we already have, and these things have purposes of their own.
We also use exercise balls and classical music to help us focus when auditory focus is essential.
So. Please, SOMEBODY, explain this insane craze to me because I am completely lost.
One week. Yes, just one week until Christmas. I'm still amazed that it is 2016 and all of a sudden 2016 is almost over.
I intend to use the time I have left to 2016 as wisely as possible. That starts with using the next week as wisely as possible. That means doing a whole lot of fun things with my babies. We are done with school until January and plan on crafting and baking until our hearts are content this next week.
I always want to do way more than I get done so this year I'm starting out by making sure that I have all supplies and recipes/ideas ready before we start. Instead of ideas getting lost to our Pinterest boards (Yes, our. My oldest has joined me on Pinterest and we are having so much fun pinning together.) I even made a Pinterest Planner. As much as I love the virtual boards, I just need a pen and paper when I'm ready to actually try out a pin ... or else those pins just stay lost on our virtual boards. Pinned and forgotten. How sad is that?
I was going to list the Christmas Planner in the shop, but I've decided to give our readers a Christmas gift... the Christmas Planner and the Pinterest Planner both completely free.
I hope you can enjoy it and that it helps you spend more time actually *doing* with your family.
Please leave a comment if you enjoy these freebies and also let me know any other type of printable you would like to see!
It isn't too late!
You still have time to print out an advent calendar to mark off every day in December leading up to Christmas!
Daughter of the King, Wife to one Smokey, Homeschooling Momma to many, entrepreneur, handmade seller here to share life as it happens.