Hungry Boys

I suspect this may be a title I go back to over and over – since I have pre-teen boys –THREE of ‘EM- and they are only getting bigger and hungrier!!

So, after breakfast today I posted a plea on facebook :

Okay, mommas of teenage boys : two eggs, two pieces whole wheat toast & almond milk – not filling up my nearly-teen boys!! What is a cheap filling item I can add to breakfast? (Most morning we have a fruit smoothie instead if milk. ) Shower me with ideas please!!!

Now first, let me explain.  I do not mind making breakfast, I normally do every day.  We no longer get boxes of cereal (TOO expensive and they are hungry an hour later).  We have farm fresh eggs (get about 10 a day) at our disposal.  And we eat as a family after chores before school.  So, I do not mind the prep.  But how much food do these people require????  It is no fun when I feed them, and they are still begging for food!!

And, I do not want to be mixing up muffins, toasting granola, frying eggs and whipping up a smoothie each morning. 

So the answer is : let’s start using my freezer!! 

I had many suggestions :

Peanut butter

pancakes

oatmeal

steak

potatoes

more peanut butter, more oatmeal

add veggies to eggs

add eggs

granola

This all got me thinking about things I have done in the past.  I have made a gallon of yogurt.  That lasts about a week and a half.  I made and froze lots of muffins before friends came to stay and pulled different ones out each night.  I need to get ahead of my problem….

I saw a muffin recipe on pinterest that said you can freeze the batter.  Perfect!!  Then, I knew I need to whip up some granola to have on hand too.  And I think I need to start making either yogurt or Kefir every other week.  This is a great item to use to fill up those HUGE stomachs. 

So, Here is my plan and a few links to share with you:

Banana Crumb Muffins (I’m going to cook and freeze)

Potatoes O’Brien

Cinnamon Zucchini Freezer Muffins

Morning Ham and Cheese Muffins (make and freezer before cooking)

* Note with some of these recipes I will modify the sugar.  I do not use white sugar or brown – we use less every time, honey when we can or an organic unrefined sugar if we have to. 

After I get all these items mixed up, cooked up, or fixed and frozen, I feel like I will be able to throw a few more items on our breakfast table.  Or I will have more options for a mid-morning snack.

Some other suggestions from my Facebook Friends were oatmeal, peanut butter, potatoes, more eggs, steak (not going to happen here), and granola.


homemade granola

Coconut Cranberry Granola with cashews and pecans

So, my granola is cooling right now (nothing like motivation kicking in!), my 12 muffins are cooking, 24 more are freezing, and I am about to whip up those egg muffin things to bake and freeze.

Whew.  I think I will have a bit of help with breakfast for the next week or two….I hope!!

Meanwhile, if anyone knows where I can sign my boys up for sponsorship through the teen years – for feeding purposes only-  please tell me!!

Getting away with some Sally (pt 2)

Did that first part of my weekend sound like fun??  Oh it was.  It was great to be in a room with almost 800 other moms who want to really lead their children’s hearts and not just their actions.

It was great!!

So, after having a quick supper and some visiting, we got back to our seats to settle in and hear what Sarah Mae had to say!!  Oh my, what a sweet young mom!!  I just loved getting to chat with her very briefly at our table, and then loved listening to her story even more! 

Sarah Mae wrote Desperate – a book recently released – that she co-wrote with Sally Clarkson.  (HOW COOL IS THAT!?)  I have had the book in my hands for several weeks, but I have not finished it, shame on me – I know!  But it is so good.  Sarah’s kids are a bit younger than mine, but I still feel like her message is very relevant to me.  And it is not about feeling desperate because your kids are out of control, more that we feel desperate because we are not plugged in to the right source.

Anyway, loved her talk – she talked about being a Free mom – we are unchained.  We have grace and can and should offer it to our kids.  That we are not perfect … and neither are those little ones.  She reminded us that we need to let go of the “but” in the “yes, we are saved by grace, BUT….”

Did I mention she is a blogger too?  Of course.  Her blog is SarahMae – and check her out too!!  My favorite thing she said was a caterpillar has 100% butterfly DNA – even though it looks like a caterpillar – and our kids are more than they look too.

 

Then evening ended with Sally again, this time she shared how we need to inspire and allow our children to dream.  Her children’s stories are amazing, and boy have they dreamed!!  She used the illustration that our purpose is to light the fire within our kids to do great things for God.  I loved that.  I want to light the fire within them – I want to dare them to dream, and to be bold enough to follow those dreams!!

There was so much to take in on Friday afternoon and evening.  It was just what my weary soul needed.  The main theme of this conference was hope.  Hoping for what we do not see, the future of our kids, of our family. (I needed to hear this)

Another great line was the we are all clay and only the potter can mold the clay.  I cannot mold myself, nor can I mold my kids, I need to let God mold me and my kids.  That was good.

Day 1, whew.  It ended late.  It was good.  Good time with good friends! 

Getting away with some Sally!!

One of my favorite weekends of the year is when I get to run away Sally-12-25-2011and see Sally Clarkson!!  I love to get away with a few friends, catch up, think clear thoughts, have some Starbucks, and get filled by a seasoned Homeschool mom of 4 who has walked this road before me. 

This year was just what I hoped it would be!  I got to get away with a friend who is expecting her first bundle of joy, a friend also homeschooling her two, and then also got to meet up with a few friends from Mansfield/Arlington days.  I almost gave up my seat to the conference this year so a friend could go.  In fact, I told her she could have my seat and then I planned to go and just have some alone, quiet time in the hotel room during the conference.  Honestly, that was just as appealing as hearing someone speak. 

However, God had other plans.  I told God I would give up my ticket so my friend could go, and if He wanted me to be in that conference there would be a ticket available on the wait-list.  And low and behold, I got the call.  I was offered another ticket and so I was able to go. 

And guess what?  It was the best conference I have been to yet.  It was perfectly what I needed to hear.  The sessions spoke to my heart for the season I am in right this moment.  It was such a blessing!

 

“Scripture tells us that the disciple becomes like his teacher. So, the teacher must be and live out what he wants his pupil to know and be. What you are in your home is what you are.”

Sally @ Itakejoy.com

 

First, Clay Clarkson, Sally’s husband spoke about his book Heartfelt Discipline, which I am LOVING!!  Clay’s approach to discipline is not the normal rod style discipline.  Instead his approach is more heart based.  In the past I have read about this approach, but this time is clicked, and I am so excited to move toward applying more of this in our home.

Next was Sally to complement Clay’s talk, she talked a bit more nuts and bolts to his ideas.  I so appreciated her honesty of where they have been with this children and painting a picture of where they are now.  Seeing their family gave me tremendous hope for our future.

kat-lee-headshot-100pxThe next session was by Kat Lee, an amazing young mom with a powerful story!  She writes a blog at Inspired to Action – check her out!  I loved listening to her story and her message – to empower moms!!

That was it for our Friday afternoon sessions – then we met up for dinner in our room.  A time of food and fellowship – does it get any better??

Check back tomorrow to hear more about our weekend away –

Still to come……..

{Sarah Mae & more Sally}

Sprouts anyone?

Oh the fun we have had!!  We went to a sustainable gardening club meeting recently and it was so much fun!!  At the meeting we met people who are thinking like us : garden, home raised meat, and even organic!  Not everyone thinking the same, but similar and encouraging!

As part of our meeting a friend taught us all how to sprout.  I have read tons of posts about this on the internet, but never ventured out to do it.  But this time, it was different!  Cheri sent us home with a baggie of seeds, a box to raise them, and the knowledge to do it!!

Start with a plastic shoe box (or you can use other stuff, but this time we used a plastic 89 cent shoe box from Walmart)

You need a fine strainer, we have a metal one.

Pour some seeds into strainer and rinse.

Then dump into shoe box. (yes they will be wet.

little seeds 2

Cover the shoe box with lid and leave over night.

seeds

The next morning, add water to shoe box, rinse around and then dump into your strainer.  Dump (wet) seeds back into box and cover.

That night,add water to shoe box, rinse around and then dump into your strainer. Dump (wet) seeds back into box and cover.

After about 2 days it will look like this….

sprouts with feet

Keep doing it – you know, wash, rinse, repeat – well except wash is really just rinsing. 

Do this about 4-5 days and finally…

sprouts

We ate our first batch on our tostadas at lunch … my little girl can’t wait to eat them!!  We gobbled almost all of them up in one meal!!

on tostada

The next batch I just left on the counter after the breakfast rinse one day and they were gone by lunch.  It was so much fun!!

IMPORTANT NOTES:

you must use seeds specifically for sprouting – other seeds are sprayed with stuff you cannot eat.

You need to rinse every morning and evening to make sure they do not get funky …. if they do feed them to your goats, chickens, steer or the compost!

Lastly – HAVE FUN!!  So many different seeds you can sprout.  We did sprout some wheat in a mason jar, same idea as the box, but I put cheese cloth and a rubber band on top, filled and rinse and then just poured out the water.  I left the jar on it’s side during the day.  It worked great too!!

Spring Garden : In

new sign in garden

 

I love this part of the garden, not as much as the final product, but I still love the planning, the excitement of what we are going to put into the ground, the hope of what will spring forth from the ground in the coming weeks and months!!

planting onions

We had a wonderfully productive day on Sunday!  We arrived home from church, and after we ate some lunch we all headed out to work in the garden!  The weather was so nice, almost 70’s, even though the wind was blowing like crazy!

planting seeds

We planted 2 rows of three different kinds of potatoes, hope that is enough this year.  Then, we also planed lettuce (bibb and romaine), Swiss Chard (my favorite), radishes (a family, minus me, favorite), beets, onions, and some Pak Choi, not really sure what that is!

Everyone planted something, which is another favorite part – they are all so excited about getting seeds in the ground and planting things!  They love to watch their row grow and occasionally help weed too!

 

Once we finished with our early seeds that needed to get into the ground, we moved into the garage to pick up a bit.  Robert built a new work bench, which I love!  Got the Miter Saw off the ground and cleaned things up a bit.

Then I found some old wood, a piece of fence I found somewhere many months ago.  I saw a sign somewhere that someone made, and decided I needed a sign too!  So here is our new garden sign!!

new garden sign

 

And with a few more fence boards, I cut them up to make signs for our garden rows.

garden signs

I am also pretty excited because we finally got around to ordering trees on Sunday!  We ordered many peach trees, a few apricot and then a bunch of Knock Out Rose Bushes.  I am absolutely so excited to get all these items in and into the ground!  I know fruit trees take a while to get going, but oh, the promise of our own fruit in the years to come!! I cannot wait!!

I am working on convincing Robert to put in a corn patch and a wheat patch this year too.  Just a small 12 x 12 area, to see how they do in our soil and in our yard.  If they both do well, then we can plant a bigger spot next year. 

I love all this gardening, it reminds me that spring is right around the corner too!!

Happy Planting, in your neck of the woods!!