Meal Plan Monday

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Our family meal plan for Aprill 22-26:

Easter leftovers & egg salad sandwiches.

Maybe one night we'll have popcorn.

With a fridge full of leftovers and a short, but busy (2 track meets!) I am giving myself a break from meal planning.

Everyone will survive.

Have great week friends!

 


Friday Fave: But the Morning Comes by Annie Demko

Happy Friday Friends!

Here's my "Friday Fave,"a series highlighting fun and interesting things (products, experiences and/or ideas) that I would recommend to others.

Here's what I am digging this week:   

But the Morning Comes 

But the Morning Comes Front CoverBut the Morning Comes is a collection of poems exploring those ordinary moments that make up a life: the chores remembered, undone, at the end of the day; the child who will not be calmed; the way we become rooted in place through the living of our days; the way we are connected to those who are no longer with us. These ordinary moments are often not pretty and seldom are they neat and orderly. This collection holds the threads of confusion, insecurity and hurt that often weave throughout our days with a gentle honesty, acknowledging their existence alongside the equal truth that still, the morning comes.

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This beautiful book of poetry was written by my friend Annie Demko.    Annie and I were roommates years ago when we both attended a Squam Art Retreat.   Since then Annie and I have kept in touch, at least monthly, encouraging each other as writers, supporting each other through our creative endeavors as we speak our voices through written word in the big wide world.  It is my privilege to introduce you to Annie and her first book that is for sale on amazon.  

Meet Annie:

Annie DemkoAnnie Demko lives in a small Northeast Ohio town with her husband and twin boys.  On any given day you might find her learning something new, practicing being present to the tiny miracles of the everyday, or supporting those around her as they find and express their voices.  More than likely there will be a book in her hand and pen and paper nearby.  Annie's work has been featured in Kindred Magazine and others, and she is the author of But the Morning Comes, a collection of poems.  

 

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Enjoy this timely excerpt from But the Morning Comes, and consider purchasing your own copy of her book for your self or the poetry lover in your life:

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Thaw
Today it smelled like Spring;
that sodden earth-waking smell that seeps in
through closed windows and stirs something hidden inside:
stomach, bones, heart.
It pulled us outside then,
first one then two more, then another,
into the novelty of it,
giddy in our bare heads and mud-caked boots.
 
The trees were giddy, too,
lilacs budding and dandelions radiant among the snow-flattened grass.
Sap dripped into jugs, shining each drop,
reflecting in miniature the bare-limbed trees above
and boots sloshed and squished unabashedly with every step.
 
The woodstove sat neglected and dark;
but tomorrow or the day after, the cold will return;
crisp cracking ice and splinters of frost on windows
and among the grasses where the dandelions poked their heads today,
and we will rekindle the fire and wait.
But today it smelled like Spring.

Meal Plan Monday

Meal Planning - 1Spicy Shrimp Burrito Bowls that I tried last week - YUM!

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I put strong value in family dinners.   It is a time that our whole family can connect, sit down together, have conversation and share a meal.

I do not want to portray the illusion that every family dinner in our household is calm and blissful.   Nor do I want to brush aside the effort it takes to plan, prepare, and time everything so that it works with a busy family's schedule.

I do want to emphasize that, however, that this habit, has paved the way for daily family connection in our family.  As much as it is a chore, the benefits make it all worth it.

I know too, the opportunity to spend this time with my four children around our family table is fleeting.  My children are growing up quickly.   I want to share this experience with them.

To make this happen I take some time each week for meal planning, which I am choosing to share with you as well!

I hope you get some inspiration by what I post. Regardless, this practice is beneficial for me, as it is creating a database of dinner ideas (all you have to do is click on the meal planning category tag on the sidebar to see all my posts on this topic).  

I also value your feedback and appreciate your ideas and inspiration as well! 

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I am planning four meals this week.   We'll be on break for Easter Friday through Monday so I am giving my planning brain a break.   

------Our weeknight family meal plan - April 15-18------

Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas  with Spanish Rice

need: shrimp, tortillas, spices, peppers, cilantro, limes, spanish rice mix

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Spaghetti and Meatballs with garlic bread and caesar salad

need: pasta, pasta sauce, meatballs, french bread, parmesan cheese, romaine lettuce, croutons, caesar dressing

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Taco Crescent Ring a variation of this recipe.

need:  homemade crescent dough, ground beef, taco seasoning, tomatoes, lettuce, black olives, green onions, lettuce, sour cream

*I have a great recipe for homemade crescent dough from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should (and Shouldn't) Cook from Scratch to Save Time and Money that I will use for the dough.

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Homemade Hawaiian Pizza  

need: pizza crust (my go-to recipe HERE), pizza sauce, cheeses, pineapple, canadian bacon

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Have great week friends!


Friday Fave - Audible

Happy Friday Friends!

Here's my "Friday Fave,"a series highlighting fun and interesting things (products, experiences and/or ideas) that I would recommend to others.

Here's what I am digging this week:  

Audible

Audible is the world’s largest seller and producer of  downloadable audio books. 

We have a Gold Monthly membership, (1 credit each month that is good for any audio book, any price).

Why I love audible:

-Books are performed by high quality narrators and/or the author's themselves.

-You can return/exchange any audio book you don't like.

-The newest releases and most popular titles can be found on audible.

-I can listen to books anywhere at anytime (on a walk or run, while folding laundry, in the car....).  It is a perfect form of entertainment for a busy mom.

Here are a few of the audible titles that I have enjoyed and would recommend:

 

Check it out!

Around Here....

Maple Sap - 1
Maple Sap - 1
Maple Sap - 1
Maple Sap - 1
Maple Sap - 1
Maple Sap - 1
Maple Sap - 1
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IMG_4331
IMG_4331
IMG_4331
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IMG_4331Around Here...

The spring sugaring season has come to a close.  In company of family, friends and visiting puppies this past weekend,  I boiled down all of the sap I collected into maple syrup.  

This year's efforts yielded six beautiful jars.

On Monday I shared some of the maple syrup that I made with my kindergarten students, at our annual pancake party, where we celebrate all of the effort and learning with this rich, hands-on learning experience.   

Pancake Party - 1
 .......

This act of sharing photographs and ramblings of our daily life is a practice in gratitude that brings me joy.

I encourage you to reflect on the good in your life.

What are you grateful for today?


Meal Plan Monday

IMG_4338This snapshot is from my first Spring trail run!   Although we still have snow I am feeling the shift of the seasons!
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I put strong value in family dinners.   It is a time that our whole family can connect, sit down together, have conversation and share a meal.

I do not want to portray the illusion that every family dinner in our household is calm and blissful.   Nor do I want to brush aside the effort it takes to plan, prepare, and time everything so that it works with a busy family's schedule.

I do want to emphasize that, however, that this habit, has paved the way for daily family connection in our family.  As much as it is a chore, the benefits make it all worth it.

I know too, the opportunity to spend this time with my four children around our family table is fleeting.  My children are growing up quickly.   I want to share this experience with them.

To make this happen I take some time each week for meal planning, which I am choosing to share with you as well!

I hope you get some inspiration by what I post. Regardless, this practice is beneficial for me, as it is creating a database of dinner ideas (all you have to do is click on the meal planning category tag on the sidebar to see all my posts on this topic).  

I also value your feedback and appreciate your ideas and inspiration as well! 

------Our weeknight family meal plan - April 8-12------

Lasagna Rolls (I made these over the weekend)  & caesar salad

need:  lasagna noodles, cheese, ricotta, Italian sausage, romaine lettuce, croutons

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Coconut-Lime Pork Tacos with Black Beans and Avocado   

These were so good we're having them again this week - thanks Kel for the recommendation!

need: ground pork, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, coconut milk, pineapple juice, lime juice, avocado

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Venison Brats & Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries (with leftover chili)

need:  brats, yellow potatoes, sweet potatoes, hot dog buns &  leftover chili

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Savory Sandwich Ring with homemade relish & cranberry preserves

need: deli meat & cheese, lettuce, tomato, relish and cranberry preserves

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Spicy Shrimp Burrito Bowls

need: shrimp, black beans, corn, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, spices

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Have great week friends!


Friday Fave: I Love Birds!

Happy Friday Friends!

Here's my "Friday Fave,"a series highlighting fun and interesting things (products, experiences and/or ideas) that I would recommend to others.

Here's what I am digging this week:   

I Love Birds!: 52 Ways to Wonder, Wander, and Explore Birds with Kids71aAV4vDOtL._AC_UL872_QL65_

I Love Birds! is full of activities, information, and rich resources that will fuel discovery and inspire families. Through sensory, hands-on, and creative explorations that involve birding basics and the hows and whys of bird behavior, the activities here will engage children’s imagination and sense of wonder as they observe birds in the wild, become citizen scientists, and forge a deeper understanding, appreciation, and stewardship toward nature, our planet, and all things feathery.

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Earlier this week the boys and I tried out one of the activities in the book and created a "nest helper ball" to aid birds in finding nesting materials.   We followed the instructions in the book and hung the ball in a tree outside of our window by our bird feeder. 

IMG_4505I Love Birds! includes 51 other seasonal activities like this geared for families with children ages 4-8.  

Click HERE to read a feature about the book on the Roost Books website.

Poster_stroke

You can also download a special I Love Birds! poster here.

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I am part of Amazon’s affiliate program in order to offset some of the costs that are associated with running a blog. If  you make a purchase after clicking on one of the affiliate links of my tried and true, honest recommendations, I get a very small commission at no extra cost to you. I appreciate your support in this area!