Happy New Year

newyear2013Happy New Year!  I pray 2013 finds you well and enjoying the company of family and friends.

If you are like me this is a time to reflect on the passing year and make plans and goals for the coming year.  One of my goals in 2013 is to blog more often.  I took time off last year to focus on areas in our life that needed extra attention.  I hope to share what I have learned here on this blog.  So in the next few weeks you will see posts about the areas in my life I want to be more intentional, disciplined and focused.

The first areas is a very tasty one–menu planning.  Menu planning is not as intimidating as you may think.  Sure you may feel a little overwhelmed at first and most likely it will take you a while to put a menu together.  But believe me that it is well worth the effort.  First you will reduce stress never having to worry about what to make for breakfast, lunch, supper or even snacks.  Secondly, you will know what you buy from the grocery store.  And finally because you will have a specific shopping list to shop from you will save money at the grocery store and you will insure that what is in your pantry is what you need to make all your meals for the month.

I have included here my menu for Jan 2013 Menu.  I got this wonderful idea from Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler.  Check out her menus for more ideas and a great Italian flavor.  As you will notice my menus are a little different.  My family eats a plant-based diet.  More on that in a later post.  Finally my menu is a word document so you can edit it any way you like so that it will meet your family’s needs.  Or better still you can come up with your own menu plan featuring your families favorite recipes.

I pray you have a happy and tasty New Year.

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Beautiful Life Management 28 Day Challenge

A few weeks ago I was introduced to a wonderful company GraceWorks.  They sell beautiful planners specifically geared towards the wife, mother and teacher.  Two amazing resources Tricia offers for free is the Planning to be a Blessing booklet and the Beautiful Life Management 28 Day Challenge.

Beautiful Life Management

I have taken Tricia on for the 28 day challenge.  Today is day one.  It was a very good day.  In part from planning ahead but also from the encouragement that Tricia offers.  And to keep you accountable she has you email her everyday, she offers encouragement and tallies your points.  There are prizes at the end.  Prizes even motivate adultWinking smile

The thing that kept us all going today was my Dodge Family Routine for Monday.  I just recently added a wide format printer to my office and just love that I can print an 11 x 17 page.  All day the kids kept referring to the poster for what was next and the little ones kept asking anyone that could read to tell them what was next.  It was a great motivator and a visual reminder of what was next.  The schedule also flowed well for us because I even figured in free time and down time.

All in all it was a very good day and I am excited to see what will happen in my home in the next 28 days.

Menu plans

Currently I am directing a CHIP program in our church.  If you have never heard to CHIP you just have to check it out.  We are currently beginning week 4 of the program.  Each week we have a menu plan that helps us stay on track with our healthy eating goals.

Week 1–Jumpstart

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Stay tuned and I will post each new weeks menu plan.  Also it may be helpful to have the cook books, The Optimal Diet, Vital Vittles, 7 Secrets Cookbook, Of These Ye May Freely Eat, the Full Plate Diet and The Engine 2 Diet.

Happy cooking!