Friday, August 21, 2015

I Don't and I Can't Do It ALL #FiveMinuteFriday

Lately I do not have alot of time to blog. I do not have time to do a lot of the things that I like to do. Because of...well...the obvious! I have 6 little kids. But I decided that I do have 5 minutes to just write a quick blog post. Hooray!! So here is my first #FiveMinuteFriday.

I have been thinking of ways to streamline things to get more done in my day. I am overwhelmed with so much all of the time and I honestly do not have time for all of what I want to get done. So I have decided that during this season of my life I will offer myself grace. I will embrace the season of undone things. I am such a huge critic of myself, just the fact that I am saying this rubs me the wrong way, but it must be said. If you have many small children there may be times in your life when you wont get it all done. There will be dishes in your sink, your laundry will be piling up, your kids will eat fast food, you will cheat on your diet, you will forget important things, you will loose sleep, you will oversleep, you will loose your temper, you will cry, you will laugh at inappropriate times, you will wear dirty clothes to the store, you will go somewhere and your kids have not brushed their hair, you will forget to make a grocery list, you will homeschool without a schedule, you will forget to brush your hair, you will spill the milk all over the kitchen. you will make mistakes, you will BE NORMAL!!!

So many times I have beat myself up for being normal. I try to do the best I can. And that must be okay! It is okay that I am not perfect, that my mommy skills are not perfected, that I am not a perfect homemaker or the perfect wife. It is just fine. God gives us grace, why not offer yourself the same grace and enjoy the time with your children and husband while you can. Focus on God and teaching your children about Him and everything else will be there another day.

Luke 10:40-42  But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.  (41)  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:  (42)  But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Time Saving Tips- In the Kitchen

Part two the the series, Time Saving Tips for Families. But this post could be useful to anyone!

First off, I would like to say that I prefer to make as many meals that I can from scratch for my family. I really only use ready made processed foods if I have no other option. Of course I can't get away from them completely. I do like to keep cans of re-fried beans in my cupboard. I will buy store bought bread, snacks, and that sort of thing.
-To save time I will sometimes brown a bunch of hamburger all at once then freeze it. I will do the same thing with chicken and sometimes a roast. My largest pan will hold about 6 pounds of ground beef comfortably. I brown it, let it cool, spread it out on cookie sheets and let it freeze slightly in my freezer. Then transfer to small Ziploc baggies and freeze for later use. This is great when I want to make tacos in a hurry, or quesadillas, spaghetti with meat sauce, taco skillet, tostadas, etc. Which leads me to my next tip.

-Have ideas for dinner ready to browse.  One day I will be a little more organized and laminate note cards with my dinner ideas and put them all on a ring. But until then I have a little composition notebook that I use to write down all of my dinner ideas by categories. Starting with type of meat (or meatless). Then breaking them down further into types of food, i.e. Mexican, Italian, BBQ, etc. Eventually I will also add the ingredients to the note card system, mentioned above, to each meal so that meal planning can be even easier. I have to admit, I am not very good at meal planning. I hate being put into a box when it comes to what is for dinner. Lately, I do not have a set plan for dinner until around lunch time of the same day...BAD...I know! Typically I will stock my cupboards and freezer in such a way that I can make most meals in my notebook with what I have in stock. Sometimes I will ask my husband to pick up something to go along with dinner on his way home from work, like fresh produce or cheese. That is probably not the best route, but it works for me. I have, in the past, made lists of  meals I am wanting to make and then I can do the shopping ahead of time. Then I was able to pick from my list when I was deciding what is for dinner that day. One day, I will get back to that, especially now that I have a vehicle again while my husband is at work. Before we got our van fixed it was quite challenging to go shopping late at night to get everything. I would rather go without some things, then have to go so late at night. I have been ordering a lot of my food items from Azure Standard. I am able to shop right from my cell phone, while I am laying in bed, it is SO much more convenient. And the prices are good compared to other places I already shop. (Wow, this post is turning into the confessions of a mom with 6 little kids post....hahaha!)

-Wash dishes as you cook. I am not consistent  at this either but it really does cut down on dishes after dinner.

-Have the kids help clear the table and wash their own dish and silverware or put it into the dishwasher. Even a small child can be taught to wash a plate or bowl! (Plastic is a good idea)

-Since we don't have a dishwasher, dishes can become overwhelming. So I wash in shifts. I wash dishes for 10 minutes or as many minutes as I have available and I come back to them later. Even though that goes against my nature, I have settled in with the fact that I may not finish the dishes every time. And because I decided to do it this way it is a SANITY saver.

-Store leftover dinner in a container that is ready to be reheated for lunch the next day. You can even cover it with foil. I always try to make enough leftovers to eat another meal, that makes for less time cooking in the kitchen. And... pack your husband a healthy lunch with the dinner leftovers as you are putting the food away.

-Improvise! There has been many times when I was cooking a recipe and then I realize I don't have an ingredient. I look up a substitution for the missing ingredient on Google. The possibilities are endless on Google! No running to the store for just 1 or 2 ingredients.

I hope you find some of these ideas helpful! And if you have time saving tips for the kitchen please add them in the comments below.