The Bucket

Anja bought this bucket “with her own money” at Target a couple weeks ago.  She and Daddy perused the candy aisle and the dollar area so she could pick out an item, and this is what she wanted.  I assumed it would be cast aside with all the other toys, but it has seen a fair amount of action. If she’s not using it to haul around tiny treasures, Markus is putting things into it and dumping them out (his favorite activity as of late).

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This Present Moment

Since my little transformation last fall, I have really been treasuring every moment (okay, not every moment, but I’ve sure been trying harder) as it comes. Being a mommy, many of my moments include daily chores: the wiping of faces and behinds, the folding of laundry, the planning, preparation, and making of three square meals. But every once in a while, I get to sit and just create with my girl. She wasn’t finished with her work of art when I shot these, but I will try to remember to post a picture of it soon. It is so beautiful. She definitely doesn’t follow any rules when she makes art, but I am A-okay with that, since I like my art open-ended, too.

Plus, she liked my art, too, so I gave them both to her for her bulletin board.  A simple phrase to remind us to have grateful hearts, and a new Crocus.

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(She hangs her lower lip when she concentrates just like Mom. Not the most attractive thing in the world, but more forgivable on a child than an adult.) 🙂

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Simple Woman’s Daybook 03.16.11

Outside my window…are clouds and snowdrifts that are decreasing by a few inches per day. Hooray!

I am thinking…about a wedding client.

I am thankful for…my mom, and how she has my back.

From the kitchen…tofu scramble and breakfast greens.

I am wearing…sweatpants, a t-shirt, and a long gray cardigan-type thing.

I am creating…stacks of boxes and bags of stuff for moving day.

I am going…out to lunch with a former co-worker today. Hooray!

I am reading…One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and Great House by Nicole Krauss and Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne.

I am hoping…to have finished painting our new living room by the time this posts.

I am hearing…my own breath.

Around the house…are far less toys and books, since most of them are packed away.

One of my favorite things…water. It’s my drink of choice, and we are so blessed to get it fresh in our homes.

A few plans for the rest of the week: hanging out with a friend, watching another friend’s kids, small group, Anja starts swimming lessons, and our annual spring celebration.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…because I like this pose so much better than her usual camera pose.

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Read more Daybook entries here.

Meal Planning – Seasonal Suggestions

I had an epiphany while I prepared supper last night.  While I am a huge proponent of meal planning, and there are many methods to it (this being closest to what I do), I realized that I rarely prepare a meal more than once or twice per year.  I have a binder that is full of favorite recipes I’ve pulled from magazines, websites, blogs, and as it has grown, I have so many “favorites” (meaning I’ve prepared it more than once and we’ve all liked it) that we eat a very wide array of dishes.

There are a couple of stand-bys that use ingredients I always have in my pantry, meals I can whip up on a moment’s notice or put into the rotation on a busy week.  Those dishes I will make probably once every month or two.  They include:

  • Pasta with red sauce and italian cheeses
  • Pancakes and eggs with fruit/veggies
  • Eggbake (breakfast-for-supper is just so easy!)
  • Chef salad
  • Chicken and biscuits (comfort food)

Another idea that I think is fabulous if you are just learning to meal plan is having “theme nights.”  I’ve never done this, but I feel like it would limit choices, thereby making it easier.  For instance, Monday is Mexican night, Tuesday is Crock Pot night, Wednesday is pasta, Thursday is salads, and so on.  Plus then you will usually have a pantry well-stocked for these themes.

If you are a seasoned meal planner and looking to shake things up a bit and add some new ideas to your routine, I thought I’d post a few of our seasonal favorites here, ones from my binder.  Some of the recipes could easily be included in multiple seasons, so go for what is local, fresh, seasonal and incorporate it.  Enjoy!

Winter:

Spring:

Summer:

Fall:

Grateful for Snow

The snow will melt eventually.  I know this from 31 years of experience.  It can be hard to see the beauty in it after five months of white, gray, white, gray.

But a few nights ago I was able to get out for a quick walk in it, just falling, making it all white again.  It was so refreshing.  I made tracks (sometimes in circles just for fun), followed rabbit prints, kicked icicles and snow “glass,” watched visible breath.

Husband and I used to go out for almost-nightly walks in the snow when we lived in Fargo.  This was pre-children, of course.  I look forward to the day when we can all go out as a family, making four sets of tracks instead of one.

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(My kids, cooped up.) 🙂