January 22, 2013

Eating My Words

Shortly before my blogging hiatus, I blogged about my rejection of emealz, the meal planning program. Ha! Well. Four years later, I'm eating my words.
I <3 eMeals
At the time, we were eating pretty cheaply. I wasn't extreme couponing, but I was doing pretty well getting 3 meals on the table for less than 70$ a week for four people. At least I thought so.
The truth is, we were eating the same few meals over and over and as for the quality and healthiness of those meals, a lot was left to be desired. I finally decided to give emealz (now emeals) a chance. I was desperate to try new meals, and not to spend a ton of money testing out those meals. So about two years ago, we started emeals meal plans.
I was nervous about the money I spent on that first trip to the store. Not because it was a ton of money, but because I was trusting my food budget to this new system. What if my kids hated the meals?!! My worries were quickly squashed. The first week was a hit. We did have a couple if meals that we didn't love. But out if that bore a mealtime game of rating the emeals: one star, we hate it, two stars, it's ok but not our favorite, three stars, it rocks! I knew it was a hit with my kids when my mother's day card said "I like the way my mom cooks." There is no way hot dogs and mac n cheese would get that response! We have been on emeals ever since.
Times I have been really thankful for emeals:
1) while we lived with my parents for a year- mom was going through cancer treatment and I was cooking for 7, sometimes 9 people.
2) After having my 4th child, and living in a new town, too far from family and friends to provide meals (we did get one meal from Lance's work friend).
3) wanting to eat healthier, but not knowing how, we selected the 'low fat' option.
4) accidentally selecting the Paleo plan and discovering we really like it.

You should try it!  Follow this link:
eMeals - Easy Meals for Busy People!

What is your biggest issue with meal planning?

January 15, 2013

Pinterest Makes It Fun!

Last month there was a post going around Facebook proclaiming that Pinterest makes people feel guilty for not being a good or creative mom.  While I understand that we as moms often feel like a failure when we compare ourselves to what others seem to be able to accomplish, I completely see it a different way.
I'm not a creative person, but I am great at being a copy-cat.  Pinterest has inspired me to do things with and for my family that I would not even have thought of on my own.  I don't feel guilty or even ashamed if my Pinterest inspired activity turns out to be a complete flop.  I tried something new.  If it worked, great!  If not, oh well!  My self worth is not tied up in if I can do a great pinterest pin.  I struggle with that in other areas, but not in my pinterest-worthiness.  
I have done several Pinterest inspired projects.  Most have had some sort of success, if not fully successful. But I don't put pressure on myself to have a project look as perfect as the pin that inspired it.  I also choose not to attempt pins that require a large investment of money.  That way, if it doesn't work, then OK, no biggy.
The funny thing is now, my kids ask right away if something new or fun we are doing is from Pinterest.  I've even had to defend a couple of projects I actually did pre-Pinterest.  They assume if it's fun, creative, or new, it had to be from Pinterest.  OH well, I don't need the credit if it is something they have enjoyed or even learned from.  Here are some great Pinterest moments:

This was the girl's Father's day gift to dad.  Modified from a Pinterest idea.  Each girl used one color for their hand print over tape.  We also made signs for Grammie (Brave) and Papa (Care) for their birthdays.  All of the signs were a hit, even brought tears.

Last minute teacher gifts.  Whew!  Was I glad to find this idea the night before the last day of school.

Play rice.  Worked well, but we didn't use it much.  I was planning on it for my then 2 year old.  Her hands took on the color from the rice.

I didn't have a picture of the final product here, but we made tealight holders that looked like turkeys to decorate Grammie's hospital room during her stem cell transplant that Thanksgiving.  Another big hit.

The minivan express complete with tickets, popcorn and starbucks hot chocolate - girls were in their PJ's as the minivan express took them to see Christmas lights in our area.  Shortly after this picture one of the girls asked "was this on Pinterest!?"

Cinnamon ornaments.  Actually turned out almost as nice as the Pinterest post.  Instead of glue and glitter I used glitter glue which was much easier and turned out just as sparkly.

What are some of your favorite successful  (or Not) Pinterest projects?

January 11, 2013

I'm Back!

So much has happened in the FOUR years since I last posted here.  Where do I start?  I haven't been completely blog free.  I blogged about my marathon journey here. Yes, I ran most of a marathon.  Stiff-legged the rest of it.  It was fun though, one of the highlights of my life, for sure. And sadistically, I want to do it again.
I have 2 more kids since the last post. Which brings me up to 4 for those who are counting.  3 girls and 1 sweet little baby boy.  As far as I know, we are done.   So I snuggle all I can with my last little one.
We are living back in Washington again.  This is where we grew up.  Though, it has been interesting to see how it is a little hard to try to fit back in, having lived in our adopted home of Texas for 6 years.
We are homeschooling.  YES!  I guess I am a glutton for punishment.  I like things like marathons and homeschooling to see just how strong I can be.
Other things have shaped and molded me over the last 3 years and beyond that.  Maybe, as I restart this blog, I will be able to get real with you all and share what I have learned about life, love, and poopy diapers. Though "getting real" like, really real, is a bit scary for me these days.  If you really knew everything in my life, my day, my head, would you still want to be my friend?  This is the question at the back of my head all the time.  I know it is Satan's way of telling me I'm not good enough.  I'm not very good at shutting him down though.  Something that I need to remember: I am a daughter of the King, and my Daddy loves me.

What do you need to remind yourself of throughout the day?