One Word for 2016



I am an only child.

I was a good student and stayed out of trouble.

I have a great marriage and healthy, happy, learning kids.

I love Jesus and know that He loves me.


I am a recovering perfectionist.

I often don’t begin things because I’m afraid to fail.

I see this same issue beginning in my kids.

(Failure to launch.)

I want this to change.

I want to be creative & impulsive and not so anxious & daunted.

I want to be unafraid to waste time, energy, materials, etc. pursuing something interesting or creative that might not turn out… because it’s NOT waste!!

I want to be more of the creative, unique person my creator made me to be!

Launch. My word for 2016.

Menu Plan Monday :: October 5-11


I had grand plans and schemes for this month’s menu plans. Huge, I tell you! You see, I have a well-known secret — I am a Pinterest junkie. I love to sit and browse and pin and browse and pin… And I’ve become very likely to go searching there when I’m in need or desirous of a new recipe. However, this is in direct conflict with my beloved collection of cookbooks. So, I decided I would challenge myself to really use the cookbooks for the next few weeks. Now that the weather is turning cooler, I’m especially drawn to my Christmas idea books. So, my plan had been to limit myself to only those books for any new recipes. Tried and true family favorites will not be eliminated–I’m not trying to give myself a nervous breakdown, people!

Gooseberry Patch books

But, even as fantastic as my idea was, life happens. Last week didn’t go as planned and so there are menu items being carried over to this week. Also, The Roadie left on a work trip this morning. This means I will have to “adult” by myself with our three kids for about six days. To maintain sanity, I need simplicity–in both preparation and executing mealtime, which means choosing foods I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my kids will eat. The Roadie being gone also just generally means less food is necessary. If I’m not careful, I’ll have so many leftovers that things will spoil before they’re eaten. There are a couple of ideas up my sleeve from my beloved Christmas books for this week (maybe–low expectations, remember?), but really diving into this challenge will have to wait until next.


:: Monday ::

  • Cinnamon toast & yogurt (we didn’t have any bagels, as I hadn’t shopped yet)
  • PBJ, cheese cubes, grapes, bell pepper strips
  • Slow cooker chicken noodle soup (a family favorite and something I can reheat for lunches this week)

:: Tuesday ::

:: Wednesday ::

  • Waffles with blueberry syrup
  • Cheese quesadillas
  • One pot Cajun chicken Alfredo, broccoli (a carry-over from last week)

:: Thursday ::

  • Baked oatmeal
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Sloppy Joes, oven fries, veggie sticks (another carry-over)

:: Friday ::

  • Odds & ends
  • Leftovers
  • Frozen pizzas (not normal, but easier than messing with carry-out by myself), salad

:: Saturday ::

  • Eggs & toast
  • Burgers
  • Chicken–either grilled or in the slow cooker

:: Sunday ::

  • Cereal
  • {fill in the blank}
  • Pancakes & sausage

I’m linking up at for Menu Plan Monday.

The Friday 56 :: October 2

I promise that I won’t always post about books, but The Friday 56 link-up at Freda’s Voice is just too fun to completely ignore. Although, books and food–I could think of worse things to blog or read about. 

Phantom Tollbooth

p. 56:  “The bug sprawled untidily on a mound of squashed letters and Tock, his alarm ringing persistently, was buried under a pile of words.”

Friday 56

What’s on Your Nightstand? :: September 2015

As I’ve been perusing the web for inspiration and ideas that I would be interested in writing about (and somebody else might be mildly interested in reading), I’ve come across some blog link-ups for sharing about books one has read or is reading. Sounds doable.

September 2015 :: Nightstand

There have been many things that have humbled me since I began homeschooling a year ago, but my newfound awareness of my rather anemic reading history has been the most surprising. After all, I have always loved to read. However, I have come to realize that I had a fairly steady diet of twaddle as a child and adolescent. Sure, I read my fair share of E.B. White and Beverly Cleary, but there were very few classics–if any–outside of school assignments. But there was a lot of other junk.

twaddle [twod-l] n. trivial, feeble, silly, or tedious talk or writing (source)

This has put me on a path of course correction. I have been attempting to be very intentional to choose quality books as read-alouds and also have made a point to intervene in my 8 year old’s super hero and graphic novel bent (Jamie Martin style). A couple of weeks ago I went to the library and came home with a stack of books for Tank to pick from. He didn’t complain too much. I’m also making a point to choose more books for personal reading that will feed my soul or inform me in my current vocation–homeschooling and homemaking.

What I read (but not necessarily finished) in September…

Teaching from Rest by Sara Mackenzie

A huge blessing to this new-ish homeschool momma. It will be a quarterly or bi-annual read. And, yes, I linked only this book. She’s awesome. I totally want to be her friend in real life. You can google any of the other books yourself.🙂

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Even The Roadie read this is a kid. What was my deal? I must catch up!

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

This is part of Tank’s language arts program and I have never read it–better late than never!

Seven by Jen Hatmaker

So much good stuff. Convicting. Rich. Thought provoking. Very popular at the library, since her newest book just came out.

Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst

I started this with some friends over the summer. Life got crazy. Who knows when we will finish? I think I may just do it on my own before I forget what I’ve already read.

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

I read this for a class in high school and am slowly rereading it to determine if it’s worth keeping on the shelf or if it should go. I have several of the prequels, as well. I think the series may be destined to move on, once I’ve reread them all.

Coming up soon…

For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

This is waiting for me on the hold shelf at the library. I’ve heard so much about it on homeschool blogs & podcasts, I feel like I have to read it.

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl

Again, one I feel I should have read in childhood. I grabbed it as a possible read for Tank, but plan to read it myself before it goes back to the library. It even may end up being a read-aloud.

I’m not going to overcommit. My Goodreads lists are exceedingly long, so there’s plenty for me to choose from, should I finish all the things I’ve started, plus these two. I’ll certainly let you know next month how things really go.

So how about you…
What's On Your Nightstand

Menu Plan :: Sept 28-Oct 2


So, Menu Plan Monday posts have been ubiquitous on my blog. They’re almost effortless. I am going to do a menu plan each week anyway, so I might as well post what I have already written.

Since I now have all 3 kids at home every day for lunch (a change since I was last blogging regularly), I find it advantageous to plan something for almost every meal of the week. Usually, my calendar may have just one blank lunch on the weekend, to allow for a food stop while we run errands or to maybe go out with friends after church on Sunday.

For breakfasts, we are pretty much on a weekly rotation. This will become obvious as the weeks go on. Lunches are usually pretty quick to assemble to keep me from being stressed out about finishing our schoolwork and getting food on the table. Dinners are often decided on before lunches for two reasons:  1) because I need to plan around our evening activities, keeping easier things on Monday evenings (men’s BSF) and portable things on Wednesdays (when we take food out to The Roadie at work); and 2) so I have a decent balance of proteins and carbs throughout the duration of the day. I don’t want to serve waffles with syrup, PBJ sandwiches, and bean burritos all in the same day–it’s too much sugar and simple carbs and not enough protein. The Roadie would end up heading for drive-thru cheeseburgers or fried chicken at 10:00 PM. We also have some “regular nights” for certain things.

All that said, I learned a long time ago that I don’t have to be a slave to my menu plan. If I don’t feel like making Tuesday night’s planned dinner or somebody isn’t well on Saturday, I’ll switch with another dinner or ditch the plan & go to my freezer or pantry looking for an easy alternative. Then I just make extra effort to use up the food from the planned dinner throughout the week, so nothing is wasted. I hate wasting food!! (Unless it’s just terrible, then it can go.)

I’ve rambled enough. Here’s what we’re planning to eat this week.

:: Monday ::

  • Bagels with fancy cream cheese (requested by Tank, although I have TOO MANY options), yogurt
  • Bean burritos, veggie sticks, fruit
  • Sloppy Joes, green beans, oven tater tots

:: Tuesday ::

  • Egg McMommas (English muffin sandwiches)
  • PBJ, cheese cubes, carrot sticks
  • Zuppa Toscana, foccacia, apples

:: Wednesday ::

  • Waffles (I make yeasted waffle batter, based on a King Arthur Flour recipe–I’ll share my version sometime)
  • Chicken nuggets and whatever veggies/fruits and cracker are handy
  • Pasties (this is a new-to-me recipe; I’ll let you know how it goes), beans, salad

:: Thursday ::

  • Baked oatmeal (I seriously cut back on the sugar from this recipe and regularly play around with the various add-ins; I also prep it on Wednesday nights to just pop in the oven while I get ready for BSF in the morning)
  • Sandwiches of some sort
  • One pot Cajun chicken Alfredo, broccoli

:: Friday ::

  • Odds & ends (whatever bagels, English muffins, etc. that need to be used up before grocery shopping)
  • Leftovers (again, just emptying out all the stuff that will be in the way when I go to put away groceries)
  • Pizza (we’ve been ordering recently, but we do really enjoy making our own when it’s cool enough to run the oven super hot and not sweat to death while we sit and eat it)

:: Saturday ::

  • Eggs or omelets and toast
  • ????????? <—— out or sandwiches
  • Grilled chicken (a bit nebulous, as I let The Roadie handle this one; I just figure out sides to match up with his marinade/rub flavors)

:: Sunday ::

Thanks for reading my lengthy post about food. It is one of my favorite topics, though, so I will not apologize.🙂

I’m linking up to Menu Plan Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie. There are lots of other great menu plans over there, especially if you need to meet special dietary concerns. Go check it out!

Yet another reboot

Blog restart

For a few weeks now, I’ve been antsy and anxious and trying to figure out what to do about it. I feel the desire to write or podcast or Periscope or something else creatively wordy, but I have NO idea why or what about. In fact, I really feel like I don’t have anything terribly valuable or interesting to say.

But, since the blog already exists, I decided to just (re)start here. Can you say “path of least resistance?”😀  Also, putting myself out there amongst a bajillion other stay-at-home, crafty, cooking, homeschooling, menu-planning, task-oriented, Christian mommas isn’t nearly as intimidating as a microphone or the big red Periscope broadcast button. (Yikes!!)

I really don’t know where I’m going to go with this. My goal is to write about something (anything!) a few times a week, just to get back in the habit. I will probably be using a few weekly/monthly link-ups for inspiration and/or deadlines. Maybe something profound will come out of it. Maybe it will just be a mediocre chronicle of our family life for my kids to look back at and be embarrassed about years from now. Low expectations, people.