Baking and cooking with little ones around Wednesday, Apr 4 2012 

Some people ask me how I can cook and bake so much while taking care of two young boys (almost-4 and just-turned-1). Truth is, I have to pick how I spend my time. Cooking and baking is something I absolutely love to do. So I find a way to make it work without neglecting my boys. The results? My house isn’t near as clean and organized as others’! But that’s ok (right?) because at least we have good food to eat. πŸ˜‰

It’s important to me to feed my family well. We eat whole grains (brown rice, wheat/spelt flours, wheat pasta), minimize sugar, and from-scratch (staying away from processed foods). Not only is it important to me, but I like the challenge of making things from scratch! I feel a strange sort of exhilaration when I’ve replicated something from the store. Wahoo, I no longer need to buy condensed cream of mushroom soup! I no longer need to buy tortillas! Taco seasoning! Salad dressing! Chicken broth! Etc. I love doing that!

If you’re like me though, you don’t have time to do it all. I can’t do it all. I can do a lot, yes. How? By making large batches of things, freezing it for later uses. By keeping my meals simple, and my recipe with basic ingredients.

But I still can’t do it all. Before I had kids, I worked full-time. We ate homemade bread (thanks to a breadmaker), but my pantry did have lots of canned goods, and my freezer even had some frozen pizzas (gasp!). πŸ™‚

Then I had a child, and became a stay-at-home Mom. All of the sudden I had time for so much more! That is, between nursing him, feeding him, changing diapers, etc. He only ever took 15-25 minute naps, and I nursed him to go to sleep, so a lot of my day was spent sitting, nursing him to sleep! And even sitting, holding him while he slept so he would sleep a bit longer. Still, I had so much more time than when I worked full time. I started making my bread by hand, baked in the oven. I just really prefer it that way (although that breadmachine we had was awesome while I worked full-time outside the home). I started experimenting with lots of things made from scratch.

As child #1 got older and more independent, I started my baking business, and did so many things from scratch. I loved it! Love to experiment! Homemade deodorant, homemade laundry detergent, homemade dishwasher soap, homemade tomato soup, etc. New recipes almost every day = pure love for me! πŸ˜‰

Then I got pregnant with child #2. The first 3.5mths were a write-off as I was so nauseous things had to be kept to a minimum. Once he was born, life got busier with 2 littles! I no longer had time to make everything I was making from scratch. But feeding my family good wholesome food is important to me.

I had to make a choice.Β I couldn’t do it all, what was I going to pick out of the list?

Some of the things that went out the window were homemade laundry detergent (I now look for good sales, and use 1/3 the suggested amount, so one box lasts me a long time!), homemade deodorant (never found a recipe I truly loved anyways), homemade dishwasher soap (so cheap to buy, not worth my time to make), tomato soup, etc.

Some things that I kept on my make-at-home list, but seldom make: homemade tortillas, homemade condensed cream soup, etc.

I simplified my menus so that I use ingredients I have on hand, that are already basic and simple. I seldom make recipes that call for a can of condensed cream soup since I don’t buy it, and I don’t want to take the time (or don’t have the time) to make it. I also make bigger batches to last longer. It only takes an extra minute to mix up a huge batch of homemade taco seasoning, but it lasts a long time! Instead of always having fresh bread, I make several loaves at once so I don’t have to make more too soon. I make a big batch of spaghetti sauce and freeze it for quick meals, etc.

So yes, you can’t do it all. Pick what is most important to you, and find ways of making it work! I imagine, as I have more children, that my menus will change with each one. As my oldest gets older and can start to help, that will also affect my menus. But for now, I keep it simple, this way I can feed my family foods that I want them to eat.

A few basic menu ideas are: spaghetti, breakfast dinner, crustless quiche, pizza, basic meat/potatoes/salad, crockpot stew, layered enchilada, soups, and lasagna. There are lots more recipes, of course, but that’s a few! I keep a list of meals on my fridge so I can glance at it and get ideas quickly. πŸ™‚

(That list is kept on the fridge by the stove, as you can tell by all the splashes! πŸ˜‰

How do you make time to cook and bake, with a busy schedule and/or little ones around?

Mouse? No, 1-yr old! Wednesday, Mar 21 2012 

This bag sure looks like a mouse got into it…. but no. It’s my 1-yr old! Jedidiah is 13mths now, and has very sharp teeth! Any bag he can find in the cupboard, he managed to bite into to get to the content! He’s made about 4-5 holes in this bag, to get to yummy slivered almonds. πŸ™‚

I have my own “mousechild-proof-ness” to do! πŸ˜‰

Guest post: Graduating Debt-Free! Tuesday, Jan 31 2012 

In case you’re interested, I wrote a guest post over at Money Saving Mom today, titled “Graduating Debt-Free!” Just a few ways my husband and I found to help us pay off our student loan so that he can graduate debt-free this coming April.

Whether you can graduate debt-free or not, the important thing is to strive to graduate with as little debt as possible!

I thank my parents for teaching me good stewardship, and God for blessing us to be able to do this!

Meyers on Mission Wednesday, Jan 18 2012 

I wanted to share the link to a new blog that my husband and I started: Meyers on Mission. This week we were accepted with Serving In Missions (SIM), so we are now missionaries preparing to head to French Africa! My husband will be teaching in a Bible school there.

If you’d like to read our testimonies, or keep up with our journey towards Africa, feel free to follow us over at Meyers on Mission!

Melt-your-heart cuteness Sunday, Jan 1 2012 

I dare you not to smile while looking at this picture…

Isn’t my baby adorable! All dressed up for church (first time ever this dressed up!). I love that crooked smile he does every now and then!

Happy New Year, friends! May your year be filled with lots of smiles! πŸ˜€

Merry Christmas! Sunday, Dec 25 2011 

 

Merry Christmas, from our family to yours!

May you be blessed today, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus!

Smoothie on a hot day! Saturday, Jul 16 2011 

Nothing like a really cold smoothie on a hot day!! This is my oldest son with his uncle (my brother). πŸ™‚

Happy Canada Day! Friday, Jul 1 2011 

Today is Canada Day, and I’m proud to be Canadian! πŸ™‚ Β I really wanted to share a delightful recipe in festive colours, but, with havnig moved just a couple days ago, I wasn’t able to get that done. Oh well, next year is another year! πŸ™‚ Β Enjoy your day! We plan on taking part in some of the community’s activities for the children, and hopefully watch us some fireworks tonight!

And for my American friends and readers, I wish you an early Happy Independence Day! What a blessing it is to live in free countries. May we not take it for granted!

We’re home! Thursday, Jun 30 2011 

We made it back home! It was a long trip, being on the road for 18hrs this past Monday. Korban (3 yrs old) did amazing, whereas Jedidiah (4 mths old) has yet to learn how to travel well. He fought sleep a lot, which was exhausting for us all. It was so good to walk back into our own house after 5 months! We enjoyed our time away, but there certainly is no place like home. πŸ™‚

 

The above picture is Korban laying down in the grass on our front lawn. Our renters somehow forgot to cut the lawn since winter! Yes, it’s almost a jungle out there!!! We’re working on it: whipper-snipping, racking, mowing, etc. I should say, my husband is working on it, while I’m trying to get things organized inside the house. Most of our things are coming on the week-end, so this gives me a chance to get the stuff left in the house back in order, and put away the things we did bring with us right away. Gives me a chance to rest up too, I didn’t realize how exhausted I am from the last week of packing and moving.

 

It’s good to be home! πŸ™‚

Moving busy-ness Thursday, Jun 23 2011 

I’ve been a bit silent on here recently, but that’s because we’re moving in 4 days! Trying to pack with a 4-mth old and a 3-yr old is a little slow. It’ll get done, somehow, and before we know it we’ll be back home! We had temporarily moved for what ended up being 5.5 months, over the time of my second son’s birth, and now it is time to head back to our house, and to our friends there. It is a bittersweet move since I will once again be leaving my family behind (Grandpa, Mom, Dad, 3 brothers, 2 sisters, and 3 nieces!), and moving 17hrs away, yet I will be able to be really settled again. We’ve sort of been “camping” these few months, living in someone’ else’s house (just us, but their belongings are all in here). It’ll be nice to be back in our own house. A bigger house. With my own big kitchen. My own comfy bed. My dishwasher! My friends.

Over the next few days, there will be a couple guest posts coming up. So be watching! πŸ™‚ Β I have many more ideas for this blog once I’m settled again, and am looking forward to it! Some guests posts, blog hops, many more recipes to post and try, etc. I’m looking forward to it!

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