Monday, July 9, 2012

Chef

Have you ever planned a fantastic new recipe for a family dinner, only to find it boo'd by the family? Yea, me too. I even had times when I prepared an "adult" meal and a "kids" meal.  Cordon Bleu for us, chicken nuggets for the kiddos.  Or if I was on a special weight-loss plan, it was "mommy's diet meal", then the "daddy meal" followed by whatever sounded acceptable to the children. That certainly did not last too long. Too much work, not enough strategic planning.


So this summer's bucket list includes trying three new recipes a week. To accomplish this task without the usual grunts and groans from the youngin's, I made a point to include them in the planning. So we sit down weekly with my favorite cookbooks (Bobby Flay and Rachel Ray) and the entire family select meals that look or sound appetizing. From there we create shopping lists and I only purchase what we planned that week. 


Now I know that there are those of you for whom this is old hat. But in our house, this is quite a new experience. We'd been stuck in a nutritional rut for far too long, eating the same rotations of meals every week and the grocery list rarely varied. 


But by taking the time to include the entire clan on our new flavors for the week, not only have we been enjoying tasty new entrees and side dishes, but we've created a new family tradition of meal planning. If you've never tried this, give it a week and see how different your meals become. We are eating more veggies and (gasp) are even using the fine china!! 


An added bonus is that with this "Eat Sheet" for a shopping list, I find that I am spending less at the grocery store!!


Some have been huge hits, like the steak Alfredo pasta and the barbecue chicken spinach salad with strawberries, while others have not. The pork loin schnitzel with boiled cabbage was a "good effort", a.k.a. "nice try Mom, but yuck!"


Research has shown that families that regularly sit down and eat dinner together have children who are less likely to experiment with drugs, alcohol, smoking and sex. It has even been shown that teenage daughters have better bonds with their dads when this family ritual is regularly scheduled. (Family Dinner Info)


We've seen a difference in not only our eating habits, but our time together. After prayer, our son reminds us to each "tell us about your day" and everyone shares. These are the sweet moments of our busy day. These are the days I will cherish always.

So plan together, pray together, and enjoy each other!

"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

Many blessings & happy eats!
~Susan


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Faithful

When I was in college, I majored in Media Arts, with an emphasis in video production. I was quite happy with the projects I created in my 20's and looked forward to a career in media. But God often has other plans. Soon after graduation, I became engaged to my high school sweetheart, and by our 1st anniversary I was expecting our first child. Work was what I did to pay the bills so we could enjoy a comfortable life together. Soon Faith lead us to a new state to be nearer to my husband's family, and two years later Faith led us to our hometown and state to be closer to both our families. No jobs, no place to live, just our Faith that God would provide. 

Out of Faith, a total reliance upon the Lord, have come many great blessings in our life. It led my husband into a stable career, me into a career in education, us through a miscarriage, to the gift of a second child, through the loss of family and friends, and so many other changes. 
How do people maneuver life without Faith? 

There are times in your life when you end up someplace you thought you needed to be, only to find that God may have had other plans. Being open to see His plans is where Faith is elemental! I thank God for my husband, my family and dear friends who help remind me my spiritual foundation, the Faith that I have in Christ Jesus, is secure. I've heard and read so many inspirational scriptures and thoughts. "When you are feeling down, God is up to something." "If God brought you to it, He will bring you through it." 
Amen for that!! 

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." 

Philippians 4:13 "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me." 

So as I continue on this journey of Faith, I created this video.  It may be amateurish (had to ask my teenager a couple of technical questions!), and a while since I've done anything like this, but it was SO lovely to have completed it. I take NO credit for any of the photos, just the order in which they appear. :-)
I love contemporary Christian music, especially that of Avalon, this song in particular. I am inspired to be a better Christian and person when I rely on Faith and look beyond my own understanding. Thankful, humble, blessed...and Faithful. FULL OF FAITH! I praise the Lord for the work HE is doing in my life & thank Him with my whole heart for the people in my life who are faithful & loving... 
"God is good...All the time...No matter what."

God Bless,
Susan