Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Menu and Hearts at Home!


Oh, what a weekend!  I am just back from Hearts at Home and eager to tell you all about it.  But, first things first!  Let's handle the menu!

Several people have asked how I go about communicating the menu to my family.  Since the beginning of the year, I have posted our weekly menu on the fridge for all to see.  I love this because even my pickiest eaters have time to come to terms with what meals are upcoming.  The fact that they do this on their own is helpful because I am not fielding comments and questions (and sometimes complaints) about what we are going to eat.  Mark and I tend to be pretty strict about eating what is prepared for you.  I am not a momma who cooks separate food for kids who do not want to eat whatever the rest of us are eating.  And still, some of my kids are picky.  I can live with that.  :)  

On Sunday night or Monday morning (depending on when I get the menu completed), I type everything out and  put it on the fridge.  It looks exactly like this:  

(I will now try to act all cool, like I have always known how to insert a document into my blog... I will definitely not admit that I just spent a good 45 minutes trying to figure this all out!)  :)

So, that is what it looks like for us this week.  Since I have previously shared many of these recipes, I will only talk about the stew today.

I know a lot of folks are intimidated by stews and roasts and such but I find them easier to make than a lot of other meals.  I know there are fancy ways to create these meals but for me, simple is the way to go!  So, here is our process for beef stew:

Ingredients:

2 lbs beef stew meat (or other beef if on sale, cut into small pieces)
4 large potatoes
4 large carrots
1 large onion
Other veggies you like (rutabagas, squash, pearl onions, etc...)
1 can cream of mushroom
1 envelope dry onion soup mix

Place raw, defrosted beef into the crock pot.  Sprinkle with onion soup mix.  Spread cream of mushroom (or cream of mushroom with garlic, if you can find it!) on top.  Add potatoes, carrots and onions on top.  Put lid on crock pot and turn it on.

How long?

Are you starting it in the morning?  Low.
Did you forget to start it and now it is the afternoon?  High.

I usually keep an eye on it.  When everything seems to be done and cooked, I turn it onto my "Keep warm." setting so the veggies are not overcooked and falling apart.

See?  Easy peasy.  :)  But today, when the Little Ones and I come home from Benjamin's volleyball game and Mark and Noah come home from Noah's soccer game, dinner will be hot, ready and hearty.  LOVE that.

Now that we are done with business, can we talk about Hearts at Home?

We had a fabulous weekend, my friends and I.  As always, I learned so much.  I was blessed to hear presentations by Michelle Duggar, Julie Barnhill, The FlyLady, and many others!

Today, I am hoping to not overwhelm myself with all this helpful information, but to just focus on one small change.  I was honestly so inspired by how calmly and quietly Michelle Duggar handles all her many children.  She talked about how she made an intentional decision to speak very quietly to them.  She noticed how much more peaceful her house was when she did that and it became a habit.  For me, this seems like a good place to start.  With four children, my house can be loud and I often feel like I must be loud to be heard.  But, what if I did the opposite?  What if I taught my children to hear my quiet voice?  I love that this small change can also effect their spiritual lives.  We are taught to listen for God's "still, small voice" and to "be still and know that He is God".  If my voice is quiet, might my precious babies learn to listen to God's quiet voice, as well?  This is my prayer... 

What about you?  What do you hope to do with your family this week?  What area can you tweak to be a better momma to your little ones?  And... what are you already doing well?  :)  It's okay, you know, to see that there are things you are doing well.  It really is.  I learned that this weekend, too.  But that is for another blog...

Blessings on your day!

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