Monday, February 27, 2012

Cooking breakfast at night

Some people are very organized.  Some people are so disorganized I wonder how they get by in life.  I fall somewhere in between.  I don't make grocery lists.  I have keep a mental log of what we are out of, what we need, and shop accordingly.  If I make a list, it always turns out bad.  I forget half of the things on it, and I end up not being able to purchase the fresh meat or produce that is on sale.  Yes, I could peruse the ads and plan ahead, but I am not into all that jazz.  It seems to take some sort of energy that I just don't have.  My mental notebook is good enough.  For now. 

I have a friend who plans out breakfast/lunch/dinner for the whole week, maybe even 2 at times. If you're interested in that you should visit her blog I also have friends who do a lot of freezer cooking.  If I happen to be making lasagna or chicken pot pie- I just might get the gumption to make 2 and stick one in the freezer for a night I don't want to cook.  But not often.

As strange as it may seem, I like to cook.  I like to spend time thinking about what I'm going to make for dinner, getting it all prepped, spending time in the kitchen.  If I did a marathon cooking session and stuck enough food in the freezer for the week, I would miss cooking dinner.  To each his own though. 

Ah- back to my original reason for being here.  I am not as into cooking breakfast (in the morning that is) as I am into cooking dinner.  Breakfast has always been a crazy time around the house.  One kid wants cereal, the other wants a bagel, they're fighting over the orange juice- and who on earth spilled that milk?  One is frying an egg.  "Isaac, you can't fry eggs!"  One is cooking an egg in the microwave but it doesn't seem to be getting 'done' enough- so now one is burning an egg in the microwave.  You get my picture.  It's an ugly picture.  It was an ugly picture.  But my genius husband said one night, "why don't we fix breakfast at night and just warm it up in the morning.  Then the kids all eat the same thing, and it makes the morning run much more smoothly.  What a genius!  (actually I had been thinking about doing this for months...does that count?)  So a couple weeks ago we started doing this.  Every night one of us cooks breakfast, or we both work together at it.  Here are some of our brilliant breakfast ideas:

Egg Masquelier Muffins (egg/sausage/cheese/english muffin)
Just scramble some eggs
Fry some sausage
Toast some muffins
Add some cheese, put them together on a tray
Cover w/foil
Put in fridge
Heat in oven in morning at 350 until warm & cheese is slightly melty.

The above can also be done with bacon, obviously.

Overnight French Toast
There are lots of recipes out there to use, so I won't list them all, but here is one
10 pieces of white bread (French bread if you are fancy) bite sized pieces
Beat 8 eggs, add some spice- whatever you like, add some cream cheese to give it some pizazz (8 oz)
1 cup of milk
1 cup blueberries
I cup of maple syrup
Cover w/foil put in fridge
*In the AM, get it out of the fridge as you are preheating the oven so it can get closer to room temp.)
Keep covered, cook at 350 for about 35-40 minutes.

These are estimates.  I am the type of cook that just throws things together- I loosely go by recipes, but I like to experiment.

I am still working on my overnight crock pot oatmeal.  Tried it last week BLEK BLEK BLEK trying it a different way tonight.  I'll let you know.

Baked Oatmeal
Again- lots of online recipes.  Really easy, very tasty.

Egg Bakes
These are so versatile, because you can use lots of different veggies, meats, cheeses.  You can get in all of the food groups in one dish.

I am still coming up with ideas.  If you have an awesome breakfast idea, please share!  I'd love to try it out.

Have a blessed day. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

are you tired of my home improvement updates yet?

Things are moving along.  It seems like what 'should' take 'just a couple weeks' ends up taking months...and months...and months...

Not really any fault of anybodies, because if we really thought of the time and energy it takes to get anything accomplished, I doubt much would get done.

My living room is nearly done.  We still don't have a TV (we want to get a new one because ours is really really really OLD) and put the old one in the basement for the kids to use.  Josh is also going to build some bookshelves, but like I said...things take longer than I expect.  I won't buy any bookshelves though, because whatever he makes is much nicer than what one can purchase. 

We put our wardrobe (I guess that's it's technical term) in the living room to serve as our TV stand.  It is an antique with an interesting history.  It belonged to Josh's dad and was purchased on the roadside in Germany when Josh lived there as a child.  It's not worth millions, but is very special to our family. 
The -soon to be- tv stand even has a lock and key (probably from the early 1800's) that still works, so I can lock the tv up, and the kids can't mess with it!   I love that. 

Josh even put in a new ceiling fan, and if you look to the right, you will see the wall lamps (sconces) that he wired up.  So industrious! 
The wall hanging that says "Welcome To The Masquelier Home" was made by a family member.  I don't know who, possibly one of Josh's grandpa's uncles...but I don't know.  We like it, and that's all that matters! 
And this is what Josh did with the piano.  It's always been a sore spot for us, because the kids climb all over everything turning lights on, then the lights are glaring in your eyes when you're trying to play your music etc... so he put in track lighting which shines down on the music!  Good idea!  Now we can find a better use for those lamps.  any takers? 

The breakfast bar in it's infancy.  Josh plans to put an oak facade around the frame, and obviously we will need stools.  I used this space to fold laundry yesterday, and it was very nice.  It will also work well as a food prep area, and also a good place for the kids to eat breakfast!  They can sit in their stools and look at the wall instead of each other.  Maybe that way they won't have silly fights about who is 'staring' at whom during breakfast! 
And now I leave you with a picture of what Abigail does with my camera in her spare time. She dressed up our bears (from when we were little) and took pictures of them.  I wouldn't have discovered this picture if I hadn't uploaded my pics to post on this blog.  Abigail is funny.  She thought our childhood bears would look cute dressed up sitting side by side.  She was right. 
I also have lots of eyeball closeups and such...but I thought better not to post those.  She is quite the creative one. 

Have a blessed weekend!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another post? Outrageous.

Two posts in two days.  An accomplishment?  Perhaps.  Some people post on their blogs every day I wonder how they can have so much to say. 

Upon Isaac's request (no arm-twisting on my part) we are reading the Bible cover to cover for his bedtime story.  I don't know how long this will take, and I don't know if he'll get through Numbers, but we will try. 

Tonight we read Genesis Ch. 2 (yes, we have a long way to go)  And I realized something that I had realized before but had forgotten.  Maybe it's not terribly important, and that's why I forgot- or maybe it is.  In Genesis Ch. 1 God is only referred to as "GOD"  but in Genesis Ch. 2 He begins to refer to himself as "Jehovah God"  I found this interesting.

It's as if God is saying now- NOW- I will be your God.  I have always been GOD, but now it's a little more personal.

Friday, February 17, 2012

thinking and typing, maybe both shouldn't be done at the same time.

I feel like I'm always rehashing the same old things.  Always trying...trying...trying, never getting there.  Wherever there is, or should be.  That phantom place in my mind of perfection.  Being the perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect friend, perfect Christian.

But every day, I fail.  I'm sure I have failed today.  And I know I will fail tomorrow.  Did I say the right thing, do the right thing, act the right way?  At times, these questions haunt me.  But then I remember, it's these very things that drive me to the cross- to Christ, and to the grace and mercy only He can provide.

You may be reading this and think "My goodness, Sarah must have really messed up today!"  But I didn't.  At least I don't think I was all that bad.  Lets see:

I fed my kids breakfast
Made sure they looked nice for school, with clean clothes, brushed teeth & hair
Drove a total of 1 hour and 45 minutes to take them back & forth to school
Made sure they had healthy lunches
Ran 5 miles
Told my husband I loved him
Cooked a healthy dinner
Cleaned it up
Played outside with my kids
Got them all ready for bed
Let them watch a movie (a special treat for them)

All of the good I have done today is not meaningless, please don't get me wrong.  Your works are the proof of fruit in your life.  As James says in chapter 2:15

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?  If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,  and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?  Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

But then I recount:

I raised my voice when I didn't need to (A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.)

I berated rather than built up  (eph. 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers)

Oh- the list could go on.  Every day I sin.  Do you want to know why?  Cause I'm a sinner!  That's why.  I often yell  ask my kids (kindly, of course)  WHY DID YOU JUST DO THAT?  WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?  Can you guess their response? 

"I don't know."

And they don't.  For the most part, they do not yet realize they are sinners.  They are just acting out on their impulses.  I act out on my impulses as well.  I can relate.  Often, I expect something out of others that is completely impossible for me! 

We must not forget the words of Christ from Matthew Ch. 23

 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.  Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.


 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Jesus meant those words for us to hear.  The whole chapter is quite convicting, in some places one could even insert his/her name.  Quite convicting.

I'm sorry, I'm rambling.  It's just that the kids are watching a movie and Josh is at Menards.  I'll stop now. 

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Finally...a place to sit.

Finally!  We have a place to sit.  Now we just need to get things put back in order.  Josh is going to hang some wall lighting and probably a ceiling fan.  He's also going to build some nice bookshelves for the I still won't be hanging any pictures.  Yet.  But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. They almost arrived for valentines day. Speaking of which, here is a picture of the kids decorating cookies. 

Jeremiah just ate the frosting, Christian added entirely too many sprinkles, but they had fun.  They love to decorate cookies.  Elijah had to decorate some a little later because he was out for a jog.  He and Lisa are planning to run the 5k at the mini marathon this year, so they've been training. 

Have a wonderful day! Does anyone know of any good furniture upholsterer's?  I've tried my hand at it,  but I just don't have the right tools. (or time)  I have a chair that is ripped beyond repair, and needs to be redone.  Let me know.  (Actually, Jeremiah tore a hole in it so he could eat the stuffing. He is a stinker sometimes, but I still love him)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

There is a TV in my bedroom, and I'm sick of it.

Since the big 'renovation' the TV has been nicely placed in our bedroom.  No big general, we don't watch much TV, so having it temporarily in our bedroom seemed like a good idea until;

*playoff games
*Superbowl (bad idea to watch the Superbowl in a tiny bedroom with a bunch of kids and food

Yes, I said it He-Man, the 80's cartoon.  We don't have cable, but there is some station out there that has decided He-Man is a good thing to air at night when people are tying to go to bed.  Josh is easily sucked in because the show must bring to life childhood memories...I don't know.  Whatever it is, "BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL, I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL I HAVE A NORMAL LIVING ROOM AGAIN!"

At any rate, things are moving along slow but sure.  The kitchen is mostly painted.  It is red, which is shocking considering Josh pretty much only likes beige, but it looks good.  He is at the store buying 5 pantry style cabinets (almost like lockers) to install in the dining room for each of the kids belongings.  (books, coats, sports equipment, etc...I'll post pics when they are done)

Still waiting...waiting...waiting...for my couches to arrive.  They say I should have them by Valentines day.  We shall see. 

Josh has been busy with work, so I am very blessed that he has any energy to do work on the house at all.  I have been busy with the kids.  Isaac is in basketball this year, he's doing very well and loves the game.  Abigail is in cheer leading & is doing great, while Elijah has been training to run a 5k in May...oh wait.  Josh is beckoning me to help him do some HE-MAN work.  I take it he has just returned from buying the storage cabinets... be back in a minute.

Okay, it's been lots of minutes, but I'm back. 

The cabinets are in resting in my overcrowded dining room right now.  I'm looking forward to having it back.  It has become the resting place for all things. 

And because I'm running short on time, I'll leave you with a few pictures, just because...

These are my very red walls and sink, and new counter tops.  Still need another coat of paint & some other stuff.

My Cheerleader

*okay, now it is Tuesday, and I still have not completed this.  I think I started it on Saturday or Sunday, but I can't be sure.

We got all of the pantry cabinets in the dining room.  They will serve as "lockers" for the kids.  They look great. 

The kitchen walls are complete, dry, etc...and the microwave is out of the dining room. Thank goodness.

My couches are still NOT HERE.  Where shall we sit?

The TV is still in my bedroom.

I have hung a few pictures, the house is looking more normal.

(obviously taken before Josh painted the walls)
Tomorrow will mark 15 years of Josh and I being together as a couple.  We started dating on Feb. 15th 1997...time flies!  He's the love of my life.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

well...i was going to post something else

I have an incomplete post.  It's about my grocery budget.  I'm sure you're all intrigued, and can not wait for me to post more about it.  But it will have to wait.  You see, I'm trying to figure out a way to feed 8-9 people off of $100 per week.  That takes a lot of consideration, and I think it might be impossible.  But I will try! And when I do, I will finish my post. Until then, you get my nonsensical ramblings.  Just because.

I have been stricken with grief lately.  Our pastor has been teaching through 1 Cor. 13. We all know the passage....the "love" passage.  It's easy to read, easy to 'comprehend', but so hard to practice. If you are unfamiliar with what passage in which I speak, let me refresh your memory. 

 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things...

There is a song we sang at VBS a few years ago...a lot of years ago, I think Abigail was 2 and I was the song/craft leader for the preschoolers.  The words were (and so cute in 2-5 year old voices) "God says love is patient, God says love is kind"  Those words pretty much sum up the song, but they also pretty much sum up everything that I am so often not;  toward my children, and towards the world at large.  I want to be those things, but I am not.

Why the dichotomy?  Why am I so inept at being what I desire so much to be?  Do I really want to be like that, or are these unrealistic ideals?

The bible repeatedly teaches us to 'put off' our old selves (the sinfulness, etc...) and put on the 'new self'  Just how do we do that?  Well, I'm here to tell you that it doesn't happen by virtue of your own good will or intention.  It only happens when we submit to God.  Hmmm...what does that mean?  I am still learning, but I think I have some ideas.

*understand that you are a sinner saved by grace
-what is your response to this acknowledgement?

  Nobody is perfect, nobody will ever meet your standard.  The quicker you learn this the better.

Sorry friends, but that's about all I've got right now.  There's much more in my brain, but I'm really into drama lately (because I've been watching Downton Abby on PBS) so I'm all about the cliff hanger.

Just kidding.  I really don't have much else.  It seems to me that understanding that NOBODY is perfect, and God does not expect perfection out of an ordinary human being is the lifeblood of the Christian walk.  Jesus loved me where I was, and He loves me where I am now.  I should be doing that for others...especially my children.

We are all so unique.  God has crafted each of us so intricately, so beautifully;  flaws and all.  Yes, God wants me to discipline my children when they are out of line, but at the same time, he calls me to love them right where they are.  It's a fine line, but God is gracious.  And I pray that He will be gracious to me, and allow me to show grace and mercy to others.