Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings with Homemade Crackers

I had been really wanting to try this recipe from Lisa’s site and decided to give it a go this week! I tweaked it and added my own dumplings AND threw it in the crock pot. It worked out perfectly!

Quick digression: Eating wholesome, as little processed food has really started to carry over into our day-to-day eating. I’ve been reading, researching and studying more and more about what does organic really mean and is it worth it to buy everything organic. I’m startingto come to some conclusions and will post about it soon, but needless to say, things are changing in our house!

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle and Dumpling Recipe

Where were we? Yes, homemade chicken dumpling crockpot soup! That was a mouthful!

I used the recipe from 100daysofrealfood.com. Honestly, I’m pretty picky about my soups, so I was a little worried about this one. Mainly because the base for this soup is homemade chicken stock. I have used Lisa’s before, but this time I went with dontwastethecrumbs.

I like how Tiffany carves herself up a raw whole chicken freezes parts up for meals later on. Don’t get me wrong, if I want to cook the whole chicken to eat, like Lisa’s then I would! I’ve made a whole chicken and used remaining parts for meals later in the week, but sometimes I don’t have a bunch of chicken on our menu for the week, so I like Tiffany’s approach. There is a little bit of a taste difference, but they are BOTH YUMMY! 

TIPS for the crock pot:
*I used farfalle pasta so Bubby could more easily grab the pasta.

*Speaking of stock—make some. It is soooooo worth it! I was intimated to do it at first, but now it’s no big deal! The nice thing about making it (either Lisa’s way or Tiffany’s way) is that you get an instant meal out of it or you can set yourself up for later meals AND it’s SUPER EASY! Chicken stock can be used for soooooo many things too! I use it in Chicken Enchiladas, rice, etc. I plan to use some for my next Supper Sunday Homemade Tomato Bisque! If you make some, I highly recommend storing them as ice cubes. So easy to use that way!

*I love crock post recipes. I recommend putting the noodles in about an hour before eating and the dumplings in about 45 minutes before you plan to eat turning the pot up to high.

*The longer you let it simmer, the bigger your noodles get, which means the less amount of liquid you have over time. When we opened the lid to eat, I felt like quite a bit had absorbed in the noodles, which was yummy, but I wanted more liquid so I added some more.

DUMPLINGS: I just start with about 3/4 cup of whole white wheat flour and add a little milk until I get the “blob” consistency that I want. I drop them in the crock pot with a spoon and cover to let cook in the pot for about an hour on high.

 

Let’s talk HOMEMADE CRACKERS!

Again, I used Lisa’s recipe for this because it looked incredibly easy. I mean, it’s butter, cheese, and flour spinning around in a food processor. I must admit thought, I got a bit frustrated with this recipe.

In her directions, she says to be patient while it’s in the processor because it takes a little while for the dough to start chasing itself. Well, mine never did. I waited for almost 10 minutes! I did a load of dishes to pass the time! Of course her recipe calls for cold butter, which I used, but I’m wondering if the heat generated by my processor affected it somehow because my “dough” would never form. It just stayed nice and powdery in there.

I decided to add more butter. This helped some, but every time a dough ball started to form, it would fall away. Argh! I got tired of all this so I took it out, dumped it on my handy dandy silicone mat, formed it into a somewhat log, put it in the fridge for a bit, then came back and cut me up some crackers to cook in the oven.

20160130_095316They certainly did not turn out pretty like hers, as you can see from the photos, but they were yummy!

 

I guess I love them because I pretty much love anything flour, butter and cheese related 🙂 I ended up freezing leftover crackers to use for a later meal, which works out perfectly for my Tomato Bisque I’ll be making next week!

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Overall, I really loved the chicken dumplings. It was hearty and delicious and I liked having the farfalle. It seemed more filling! Bubby loved it as well! Husband loved the rosemary and thyme flavor of the stock so it was a BIG WIN for us at dinner time!

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Anyone have a homemade chicken noodle recipe or dumplings they love? Any tips? What about homemade chicken stock? Any tips for what I could have done about the cracker business?

CHEERS!
Glo

Homemade Cornbread & Pork Chops

Sorry we are a little late with this post! I made this during the week because I had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to on Sunday. (I was right. The mother-in-law came for a brief visit which means eating out for Sunday dinner.)

My goals for this meal:
1) Keep things minimal, low key. To do this we just had meat, cornbread and a salad.
2) Make cornbread from scratch as opposed to the boxed kind which has all sorts of added stuff!

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PORK CHOPS

I should explain why we are eating pork chops. When I was pregnant the first time, I had a serious aversion to pork. No bacon. No pork chops, tenderloin, etc. I had ham at Thanksgiving, but even that was a challenge. Honestly, I haven’t had pork since. For some reason I just can’t come back to it. I decided to try and face my fears to see if I could get back on the pork wagon.

PORK CHOP MARINADE INGREDIENTS:
I just use a mix of ingredients of my choosing here. I knew what sounded good and what we like with other meats.

3 Pork Chops (I used “fresh” from the store)
Couple Squirts of BBQ Sauce, Ketchup, and a dash of brown sugar. (Very precise, I know.Healthy?)
1 TBSP of Apple Cider Vinegar
Large Ziploc Bag

I put all ingredients directly into the bag and then squish mix it all around so I don’t have to waste anymore dishes than I need to. I throw the meat in the bag and let it marinade in the fridge all afternoon. I do this during Asher’s afternoon nap so I can just put everything in the oven while we are getting him ready for bed, then we eat after he goes to bed.

COOK PORK CHOPS at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour.

TIP HERE: If you have silicone mats, they are AWESOME and keep the gooeyness of the chops from sticking to your pan. I have also lined my pan with aluminum foil, then pan spray and everything easily comes off that way too.

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CORNBREAD

I really love my boxed cornbread. I don’t typically follow the directions on the box because I add sweet condensed milk and vanilla, but I really wanted to get away from the extra process there since we eat it a lot in the winter with soups and roasts, etc.

I used Lisa’s recipe from 100daysofrealfood.com. I have discovered in my attempts so substitute maple syrup or honey for sugar as her recipes call for, that I prefer honey when I’m looking for the sweetness I get from sugar. Her recipe calls for maple syrup, so I substituted it with honey. I think this helped.

Substitutions to her recipe:

*I couldn’t find organic cornmeal, so I just used plain cornmeal with no additives I found in the “natural” selection at our store.

*Honey for maple syrup

*White block cheddar (I’m sure she used the healthiest version of cheese for hers too. I used white cheddar so there wasn’t any food coloring added. I also went with the block cheese and grated it to eliminate extra additives like the stuff to prevent cheese from caking.)

*I did not add any salt to mine.

*I made my own heavy cream. Recipe for that here. I didn’t have any at home and this works just fine! I find that the fatter the milk, the better this is. I have used this several times for recipes that call for heavy cream and I don’t keep this on hand.

*I added a little bit of vanilla to mine.

Easy Homemade Cornbread Muffin Recipe

Overall I felt like the corn bread was OK. I really feel like my sweet condensed milk does the trick and this cornbread missed that kick I was looking for. It was very moist and with butter melting on it, it tasted fine. My husband was not a big fan. I think I’ll make it again, but keep tweaking it some more. Like I said, I want a good, as little processed recipe as possible since we like our cornbread 🙂 Oh and I still am a little wary of pork!

Cheers!

Quick Tips You Need to Help Reduce Toddler Tantrums

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Ohhhh the toddler days. Threenagers. Terrible (or Terrific!) Twos. Whatever kind of animal you’re dealing with you as you go through toddlerhood, I think many of us can relate to toddler tantrums. I am so happy to have a guest post today to offer you some quick tips on ways to defuse a toddler tantrum.

I met Heather through a mom’s group on Facebook. I was desperate for help with Bubby and his napping and she has literally saved me! Once I started communicating with her more through the group, I did what anyone would do and stalked her profile 🙂

I found out that she is an advocate for Love and Logic. I had heard about L and L when I was a teacher and used bits and pieces of the philosophy in my classroom. It never occurred to me to think about using some of those skills when it came time to discipline my son. Just like any parenting advice, you take what you want and leave what you don’t need. Heather’s tips today are ones you’re going to want to add to your toolbox!

Heather has shown great patience with the many moms she has helped through our mom’s group. She encourages you to review what you’re doing and see what works best for your children. I have seen it in her comments to other moms over and over. If you are interested in more of what Heather has to offer, you definitely should check out her Facebook page she has listed below.

If you are interested in knowing more about Love and Logic, this book is a great starter that introduces the foundation of its philosophy. I’ll let Heather finish the rest!

reducetoddlertantrumspin

 

 

PARENTING & CHOICES: The More Control You Give, the More Control You Get

It’s split in the parenting world about what parents think of giving children choices.  Some parents feel like it creates choice addiction, or that kids should just do as they’re told.  Others believe giving choices empowers children in the decision-making process, thus creating a more cooperative child.

Giving my children choices is my secret weapon.  I’m a mom of two energetic, brilliant, and some may say strong-willed (gasp!) children, ages 3 and 22 months.  I am also a facilitator for the Love and Logic Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun Curriculum. I have enjoyed presenting a different way to view parenting and giving parents simple tools that are life changing.

Choices is one of those tools.

The interesting thing about control is the more you give, the more you get.  The more control you can give your toddlers, the less likely they are to experience tantrums from feeling “powerless.” The reality is, picking their own color of cup or deciding if they want to skip to the car or sing to the car as you leave the library, can empower your toddler while defusing a tantrum.

So how can we as parents use that to our advantage? The secret is giving your child small choices throughout the day so you can make “withdrawals” on the larger issues.  However, things can go very wrong if choices are not used properly.  Here are a few quick tips you can start using now to reduce upset toddlers.

  1. Give 99% of choices when things are going smoothly. Don’t wait until all hell has broken loose at bedtime to start giving choices!

  2. Provide choices on issues that are not dangerous or cause a problem for any else.  Always provide two choices that you can live with.

  3. If the child does not choose in 10 seconds, choose for the child.  For example, if your child hesitates too long  when asked, “would you like milk or water?”, respond, “looks like milk.” Pour the milk. So what happens when the child throws a major fit because you chose? No problem! Respond with a simple, “I know, it’s hard.  I bet next time you’ll make a fast choice!” And move on.

  4. It never fails that your child will want to choose the invisible “Option C.” Respond by repeating your choices and choose for the child if no appropriate choice is made.

There’s two types of choices I have pinpointed- choices that really don’t matter to you, the parent (“red cup or blue cup?”) and choices that are preceding a power struggle.  Make sure you try to include similar styles of choices throughout your day! Then when you know certain situations are always power struggles, start out with a choice. “Time to take a bath! Do you want to hop like a bunny to the bathtub or crawl like a bear?”

When I do this in my home, I can actually see my child’s brain go from “NO!” to actively thinking about which choice he’s going to make.

Brainstorm choices ahead of time so you will be ready when the situation arises.

Here’s a few ideas for choices you can incorporate in your daily routine.

“Would you like milk or water with breakfast?”

“Are you going to put your shirt on first or your pants on first?

“Are you going to wear your red shorts or your blue ones?”

“Do you want a story before bed or no story?”

“Do you want your night-light on or off?”

“Do you want to — now or in 2 minutes?” (This is a great choice for transitions)

“Do you want to walk to the car by yourself or do you want me to carry you?”

“Do you want to hop like a bunny or crawl like a bear to the bathroom?” (Get creative!!)

Go ahead, offer your child some choices and watch your child’s face light up as the ball is in their court! I’d love to hear some testimonies of how choices have worked for your family! To catch videos and tips of me using L & L with my kids, be sure to check out my Facebook Page.

I’d love for you to stop and post any success you’ve had to encourage other parents! Also, you are welcome to contact me through my page with any questions about parenting struggles you’re facing.

As always, let us know any tips or successes you’ve had in the comments below!

Wholesome Beef Enchiladas with Homemade Tortillas

I had a few goals when I decided to make my first Supper Sunday.

1) I wanted to make the tortillas from scratch. I also hate buying the ones already made from the store because the ingredients are far from “5 Ingredients or Less.”

2) I usually use RoTel’s canned diced tomatoes and green chilies, but this time I was going to use fresh produce.

3) I wanted to use cheese that was white (no coloring) and was as “fresh” as possible with as few ingredients as possible. Didn’t happen. Boo.

I was able to accomplish two of these three goals. Let’s dive in shall we!

Easy Homemade Tortillas for your Beef Enchilada Recipe

INGREDIENTS:
12 Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas (recipe from Lisa at 100daysofrealfood.com)
2 small tomatoes (organic)
2 green chili peppers (couldn’t find organic, probably because of the season?)
1 can or frozen bag of corn (organic)
1 pound of ground beef (meat from husband’s parents cows, so it’s as natural as you get)
1/2 diced onion (organic)
dash of cumin, dash of garlic powder, dash of chili powder, dash of paprika
1/3 cup of vegetable broth (organic)
1 Tbsp of flour (Arthur’s flour)
2 cups of cheese of your choice ( I used queso from Kroger’s).

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LET’S TALK TORTILLAS FIRST

I was a little hesitant about actually making these. Lisa’s recipe is very simple and the ingredients are very basic. I used King Arthur’s White Whole Wheat flour which made them quite tasty! I did not have a dough hook, so I just used my regular hand beaters. They worked just fine, especially once you add the water. As seen in my picture below, I followed Lisa’s steps.

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TIPS: I did not have avocado oil so I used olive oil instead. Worked great. If you have any silicone cooking mats, I would encourage you to use them. THEY WERE AWESOME when I made these. Nothing stuck anywhere and I didn’t have to use extra flour and make a mess when I was rolling them out, etc. If you have stainless steel cookware, then I’d keep oil on a napkin so you can keep wiping the pan in between tortillas to keep things from getting sticky. I kept my tortillas rolled out next to the pan so I could easily add them to the pan. These got easier and easier to make the more I cooked.

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AMOUNT FROM LISA’S RECIPE:
In her recipe she says you get about 12 tortillas. I did, but they were a little small for my liking. I would say they were more like soft taco sized tortillas. Because of this, I couldn’t use as much meat mixture in them and had some left over (probably enough for 6 more tortillas). I think if I had a bigger skillet I would have made them bigger, but I’m not sure I would have been able to get 12 out of the recipe. Next time I plan to double the recipe and freeze the left over tortillas. They were very tasty and easy to make!! I really couldn’t believe it!

LET’S GET COOKIN’!!

STEP ONE:
Make Tortillas first. Follows Lisa’s recipe here.
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
You’ll need at least one 9 x 13 pan. (I used 9×13 and a 9×9 too.) I grease mine with Organic Oil. I just drop a tiny dab and wipe it all over the pans.

STEP TWO: Meat Mixture + Veggies
Once you’re done with your tortillas, you can use the same skillet to brown the meat.  I like to add my diced onion and seasoning to the meat before it fully cooks. In my mind, it saturates the meat better.
While meat is cooking, dice tomatoes and chilies. Stir together in bowl and add corn. Set aside.

As meat continues to cook and starts to brown, add 1/3 cup of vegetable broth. (I love Pacific’s organic broths. They make small 8oz containers too! Whatever I don’t use, I put in ice cube trays and freeze to use for next time!) Also add the 1 Tbsp of flour. This helps things thicken just a little. Add your enchilada seasoning of choice. I add cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Add your veggies to the pan. Let this simmer for about 10 minutes or so on low heat.

STEP THREE: Fill Tortillas!
After you’ve cooked your tortillas, cooked your meat mixture and veggies, you’ll fill your tortillas with this yummy goodness. Sprinkle with your cheese of choice. I used Kroger’s Queso Quesadilla cheese. This was not organic. (Ugh.) Roll up your mixture and lay in pan. Once you’ve filled your tortillas and placed in the pan, feel free to sprinkle with more cheese. I did this instead of making an enchilada sauce. I didn’t have time to make any and they still turned out just moist enough with a crunchy outer shell!

I like a little extra crunch with my Mexican food. I bought Tostitos Non-GMO chips. There were delicious! Non-GMO is better than nothing and they are made with organic corn. I’ll take it 😉 I also blended up some avocados with some of the left over tomatoes and chili peppers to  make some guacamole. Yum!

FINAL WORD
Overall my husband and I didn’t notice much of a difference with the homemade tortillas and the freshly chopped tomatoes and chilies were delicious! We had 8 leftover after our meal and I knew we would struggle to get all 8 eaten in a week since we had a bunch of other left over food in the fridge, so I just wrapped them in plastic wrap, then wrapped with aluminum foil and put them in a freezer Ziploc bag in our freezer. These are easy to just zap in the microwave for a quick lunch! I guess technically, these might not be considered enchiladas because I didn’t use any sauce, but I felt like that’s what I was making since I was taking ingredients for enchilada sauce and cooking it directly in the meat. What else could we call them?

Anyone else try these? How did they turn out?
Cheers!

Supper Sundays: An Introduction

suppersundaysintroduction

Sunday is a day of rest in our house. We like to relax and try to stay home and enjoy our time off from the busy week. I have always found that I like to make nice homemade meals on Sundays. I don’t know if it’s the way I grew up or what, but cooking supper on Sundays, for the most part, relaxes me.

This year I want to continue to strive to eat healthy and to write more. To accomplish this I’ve given myself the goal of Supper Sundays. I definitely do not consider myself an elite chef and don’t ask me to go near exotic foods, but I love a good recipe for Grandma’s crock pot chicken and I particularly like making desserts from scratch. I plan to make at least one, wholesome meal a week. I’m sure there will be other meals during the week when I accomplish this, but a Sunday is for sure on the list.

What do I mean by wholesome? First, I plan to use Lisa’s “Real Food Defined” list from 100daysofrealfood.com. I love this list (and I LOVE her site!)! Ever since I came across her site I have really tried to stick to “5 Ingredients or less” on items that come in box, bottle, etc. Anything that isn’t fresh gets the look over for 5 ingredients or less. For Sunday supper, this is a must. I also plan to buy as much organic ingredients as possible and make the meal as much from “scratch” as possible.

Wholesome Cooking and Wholesome Eating Recipes and chat on Supper Sundays

I can’t guarantee that I will always get this done on Sunday because you know, life happens, but it will be the goal. Some weeks I might cook on Saturday, or if I know we’re going to be out of town or have plans, schedule it for a different day of the week. Generally, I will post my experiences on Sundays for whatever wholesome meal I cooked the previous week.

Ladies and gentleman, I pledge to cook at least one wholesome, as organic as possible, meal a week and post my experiences. Would anyone care to join me? Have any recipes I need to try?

Cheers!

Having More Than One Kid: How It All Starts…

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morethanonekid(This post also appears on gloryannaboge.com.)

I was rocking Asher one afternoon and I could hear the radio playing softly in the background. We have KLOVE radio playing in our house pretty much 24/7. “Flawless” by Mercy Me was playing. I was overcome with memories and emotion.

You see, this was one of those songs that held a special place for me when Asher was born. There were many 3:00AM nursings when I would hear this song playing in the background and tears would fall because I hoped (and still do) that Asher would know what it means to be “flawless” in Christ. I want him to know and experience God’s love.

I’m sure tears were also falling because I was exhausted, full of hormones,  and overwhelmed with how hard it was and how could I love this sweet little guy so much?!?

It’s like we have this bond of going through those newborn stages together.  I didn’t know what I was doing. Asher didn’t know what was going on. We were surviving together. I look at him now and get a little freaked out when I start thinking about him walking and talking back to me. Eeeek. But for the first time since having Asher, I got it. That ridiculous feeling I’ve heard parents mention.  I don’t think all parents experience this and I don’t think it matters if you do or not, but I felt it. That twinge. The craziest feeling of “hmmm, I think I could survive more late/middle of the nights.” Or “I can handle all the crying and not knowing what’s wrong.” The list could go on.

Of course there is a great difference in the feeling of what it would be like to bring home another baby. As a second-time parent, generally, you do know a lot more of what’s going on. Even if it can be hard, there is a special boost of confidence just really knowing and understanding it, unlike the first time. If you’d asked me two months ago about having another one, I would’ve laughed and said something like “Are you crazy?”.

Then I start thinking about having two kids grown up, running around our home and it does make for a sweet, anxious, crazy feeling. So much unknown. It’s amazing how we do this. Give birth. Parent. Raise a family.

I just read a post about how hard parenting can be, but then how rewarding it is and what a privilege it is to be able to raise your children. In the comments, someone said that having a family was crazy and all she ever heard was the parents complaining about no money, no time,  no privacy. She asked, “Why would I want to do that to myself? I like my time. I like having my money. I like being able to do whatever I want.” I thought about that and you know, there’s nothing wrong with those things being important to her and high on her priority list. But that doesn’t mean parents who struggle with these things are living in some kind of despair.

Happiness is a choice and I choose to have a child, and God-willing, will most likely have another one, BUT there is an inexplicable joy that you can’t produce on your own, on demand, that comes from your child’s sweet little face laughing at you singing “I’m a Little Teapot” for the thousandth time, when you could be out doing “whatever you want.”

So, when I’m singing to Asher while changing his major gross diaper, and he’s laughing, and I hear “Flawless” in the background, I get that feeling. A reassurance that I could definitely do this again. Afterall, who doesn’t like the song “I’m a Little Teapot.”

(This post also appears on gloryannaboge.com.)havinganotherkid

Word for the Year 2016: Focus…and Cultivate

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I couldn’t decide on one word for this year. I had a few goals and thoughts that I was mulling over for a couple of weeks and I just kept coming back to these two words. Focus was the dominant word. Each time I would delve deeper, the word cultivate kept swimming around my thoughts. So there you have it. My two words for the year are FOCUS and CULTIVATE.

Every year I tend to fill the need to change something in my life. One year I allowed myself to watch TV/Movies for a total of three hours in a one week period. Another year I wanted to run everyday. Ha! That was the year I got bronchitis AND laryngitis. (If you’re wondering, no, I didn’t end up running everyday that year.) Another year Mike and I pledged to eat at one new restaurant a month. One year I decided to read a new book each week. (I was close. I ended up with 50 on my reading list that year.) You get the idea. I have never picked a word to focus on. This will be a new endeavor.

I got the idea from Frank Viola. He posted a great article about getting ready for 2016 and I decided to run with it. If you’ve never heard of or read any of his stuff, you should head over to his site and check it out. Once I decided to pick a word for the year, I started to pray about it. I plan to take this seriously, so it seemed natural to ask God for help.

I knew I wanted to be on social media less, run more, eat healthy, read more, write more, be angry less, spend time with people I care about more and be purposeful in my relationship with Mike. I wanted to focus on them, but not just that, I wanted to grow these things. Improve upon them somehow. Enter cultivate. So here’s my list of focus and cultivation for the year 2016 and how I plan to “implement” them.word2016

1) Facebook less. I plan to turn off all my push notification on all my social media apps (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest). I have found that I have great excuses to be on these all the time (while I’m nursing, while Asher is napping, when I’m going for a walk…you get the idea). I keep missing the present because I’m so focused on someone else’s “present.” Who wants to spend life on Facebook. I don’t even want to know how much of my time is spent either surfing social media or the Internet in general. So, I’ve decided to allow myself two times in a day to check these things. I get up early and like to do emails, etc. so morning seems natural. I’m not sure when the other time will be, but it will be minimum.

2) Run More. I like to run. I feel healthier, stronger, and usually mentally stronger when I’m running. Especially if I have a plan for my running. I plan to run a half marathon this spring. That’s as far as I’m taking it right now. The fall gets pretty busy for me with coaching, so we’ll see what it brings. I already try to run a few times a week, so this isn’t new, but I am cultivating this habit. See what I did there.

3) Cook More Wholesome Foods. I believe I’ve mentioned before how I love Lisa over at www.100daysofrealfood.com. I use her site as my go to when I want to make wholesome, less processed foods. I’ve decided to use my blog to help me with this goal. I’ve got some ideas turning but I’m thinking of a “Supper Sundays” post. I’ll post what I cooked, how it went over, the recipe I used and any other resources. I don’t know if anyone will read it, but it will help keep me accountable to cook at least a wholesome, non processed, possibly all organic meal, once a week. I’ll most likely cook this on Sundays, hence “Supper Sundays.”

4) Read More. If you check out my side bar, you can see that I’ve signed up at Goodreads.com for the reading challenge this year. I plan to read 40 books this year. If you are a struggling reader or like to read, this is fun to do. You can join others and check out who’s reading what. It’s an easy way to find some accountability for your year of reading. I love it!

5) Write More. I’ve thought about using my blog to help me accomplish this. Obviously it’s two-fold with the Supper Sundays idea. I’ve thought about other “day themed” writings. I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers do this and it seems like a good idea. I wouldn’t have to keep it up every week, but when I get an idea, I could tie it to one of those themes. I also have realized that I want to schedule more time in for writing. This can be tricky. I have two prime times in a day to do this, but I use that time for a lot of other things too, so I’ll have to decide maybe what days to do what. Book ideas keep floating around my head. Right now, their just floating. I’m trying to get the sail up still.

6) Relationships. I would definitely consider myself and my husband an introvert by definition. We have friends we see every now and then but nothing consistently. I tend to easily run in my head that “I’m introvert. I don’t need to see people to get energy.” This might be true, but that doesn’t mean it’s the way God intended things for all introverted people. I plan to invest in some of my relationships more this year and spend time with people I care about. I’m pretty sure Mike will go along with this 🙂 I also have a big family, and we can go a long time without talking to each other. This bothers me when I think about it. So, I’ve decided to plan a phone call/text to my family members more often throughout the week.

7) My marriage. I can easily see how married couples lose their intimacy and friendship when they have a child(ren). I can see this slowly happening to Mike and me. He works fairly long days and it’s easy to fall into the roommate mode and give all  your energy to your kids. I’m thinking we need to implement two date nights a month or something. I haven’t worked out all the details of this because I need to talk with Mike about it. but I plan to be proactive in this. We’ve got a great babysitter that we trust and Asher doesn’t have any issues going to bed at night, so we just need to plan to go out together!

That’s my list to help me FOCUS this year and CULTIVATE some things that are important to me. Have you thought about your year? I really like Frank Viola’s idea of making a list of your “Dream Year.” How inspiring! I would like to sit down with Mike and do that. I think it would be a cool idea to see how those dreams pan out for the year. What would  your word for the year be? Why?
Thanks for reading!

I Love my Kid Just as Much as You Love Yours

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lovekidmuchasyours

I didn’t realize I had to pick a parenting philosophy when we got pregnant. Like any new mom, I googled everything I could think of, any question, any idea. Everything parent-related. When you start reading other pregnancy forums in a similar situation as you, you start to notice a trend. I started seeing threads pop up with titles like “Should I do AP or CIO?” or “I can’t decide if we should co-sleep or not.” Many were things I hadn’t really thought of to tell you the truth.

I just wanted to get through the pregnancy and labor as safely as possible. But of course, when you keep seeing topics show up about being a “crunchy mom” or “to vaccinate or not to vaccinate” you sort of get sucked in and want to know what it all means.

I knew there were certain things I wanted to avoid when we had our baby and things I wanted to strive for. I found that there was this invisible line drawn that said “if you’re this kind of parent, you should join this mom’s online group.” A voice that said “pick which philosophy you will parent by.” Honestly, this stressed me out. As a first-time parent, you are already worried about everything (which I’m learning doesn’t really go away) and getting sucked into the debate of co-sleeping or not can swallow you up!

What’s funny about all this, is that I’m not so sure it was always quite this way. When I asked my mom (almost 70 years old) if she knew what Attachment Parenting was, she laughed and thought it meant you were a stay at home parent who was with your children all the time. When I asked her if she knew what parents meant when they referred to CIO, she wasn’t really sure.

Of course every generation has their labels and my mom said there was always the lady down the road who let her kids run the house and stay up late and the mom who was known to always be home for nap time, but that was it. Everyone just chose their path and as long as the kids were loved and fed and taken care of, you minded your own business.

In one of the online groups I’m in, I came across a mom who had read an article and the author said that a mom who vaccinates loves her child just as much as a mom who doesn’t vaccinate. What a controversial and amazing point. To say “I disagree with your choices but can still respect your choice” and then to really live by that is tough. We’re human, so of course we easily go into judgmental mode and say, “tisk tisk, they let their baby cry when he goes down for bed ” or “I can’t believe they don’t let their baby sleep with them.” I know as my child gets older it will soon turn into age appropriate judgments.

But you know what? I want to be less judgmental. I want to be judged less. If that means leaving online mom groups, then that’s what I’m doing. If it means checking Facebook less, (eeek) then so be it! I really do believe that the parent down the road loves their child just as much as I do. I have to believe this. Otherwise, I’ll waste so much energy. I want to focus my energy on my little guy and how exciting it is to watch him try to crawl. How excited he gets when he can throw applesauce on the floor for our dogs to lick up.

I don’t know which “philosophy” is the best method. I only know what works for me and my husband and our little family. I could do all sorts of research out there and find theories and science that supports whatever I want to believe. I’m tired of the labels. I’m tired of labeling. I am officially the kinda crunchy, sorta AP, vaccinating, cloth diapering, let-my-child cry sometimes, 5 month solid feeding, baby wearing, and the list could on, momma who loves her little guy just as much as the next momma. That’s what really matters people.

Are you feelin me, Mamas?
Peace,
Glo