Monday, July 30, 2007

Meditation Monday

Quote for the day:
"Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away."
~ George Eliott

Monday mornings are a good time to meditate, be quiet, breathe deep, and think...A new week is upon us and it always helps me to take a little time, especially in the early mornings before the little ones wake, to just breathe and think.

The prose above is a great thought to meditate on for this week, for later in the week I will be visiting with a dear college friend of mine - a friend I have not seen for almost five years now, but I know we will pick right up where we left off. See, she is the best sort of friend. The type of friend I think of when I read that quote above. I can truly be ME with her. We were very close in college and spent many days know, attending class, studying, and planning our classes around The Young and the Restless so we could sure to watch it back at the apartment while having and dad would have been so proud of our time management skills!

Anyway, she is not a person I ever felt I had to sensor my thoughts around, for she would not judge or hold against me something said in anger, sadness, or stress, but instead was always a friend. I never remember us even being cross...I am sure we were at times, but what I remember, what made our friendship so enduring is that she knew the human, real me, and loved me despite any flaws.

After graduation, I moved away, but then moved back, and then she moved away, and has stayed. We now live a few states apart, and don't talk near as much as I would like to, but she is still one of my best and dearest friends - and always will be. I love her as much as a sister! Later this week, I will stand up for her, as she is getting married!!! She stood up for me when my dear husband and I were married 10 years ago, and now I am honored to return the favor.

I am so fortunate to count her in my circle of friends, and she is one of my here is to you my dear friend! I look forward to seeing you later this week, sharing some nice chats, and meeting your new has been way to long...I love you!

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Grilled pork chops, grilled potatoes, fresh green salad.

Tuesday: Moroccan grilled chicken, couscous, green beans.

Wednesday: Chef salad or sub sandwiches on whole wheat roll.

Thursday: Take-out.

Friday: Seafood at a rehearsal dinner for a wedding!

Laura over at Organizing Junkie has some links to other great menu planning posts! Happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thankful Thursday

It's more day to go until the weekend! Today is a good day to be thankful...
I am thankful for...
-Sugar-free, fat-free, vanilla iced latte on a warm day
-Air conditioning
-A peaceful shower while baby-man napped
-MOST of the things to be done/picked up/bought/packed before our trip to Florida checked off the list!
-Play dates for the Princess, a nap for the baby-man, and a good book and lounge chair in the sun for me! (That was yesterday, but I am still thankful for it today;-)
-NO RAIN here in my part of Texas for the past week!
-Leftover roast to be made into Bar-b-Que sandwiches tonight for dinner!
-Snuggling with the Princess for an afternoon read and smelling her freshly shampooed hair
-A book I have been waiting for finally on hold for me at the library
-The opportunity for our first "family of four" vacation upcoming
-The sound of the baby-man playing in his crib and "talking" to his stuffed buddies after just waking from his nap
-My children and husband, safe and healthy
-Most of all for Him, our God, holding us in the palm of His hand...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Daily Joy

Quote for the day:
"....every moment of our life does not have to be perfect to be of value. Too often, I realize, we fail to see the glorious reality of the simple joy that abounds in the seemingly mundane routine of day-to-day living. Instead, we tend to idolize the past, idealize the future & devaluate the present...What better way to show our appreciation to God for what we have than to embrace our lives, albeit 'ordinary' & 'unexciting' with joy?"~Winnie Dalley

My children are a great source of my daily joy. Since becoming a mommy, I have never felt closer to God, more appreciative of my body, or better a wife/daughter/friend. Being a mother has opened my eyes to more of the "important" things in has opened my eyes to really "embrace the mundane."

John Lenon coined that great quote, "Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans." I see that, I live that (or at least try very hard to) now that I am a mommy. Oh yes, there are times of despair, there are times of not having showered days! There are times when I cannot remember if I brushed me teeth, but really, when I am having "one of those days" I try to take a deep breath and then tell myself to look at the big picture - my kiddos will not remember that I did not wear makeup for most of the summer of 2007, but they will remember how it felt to get up early and have a special treat from the doughnut shop, or take a picnic to the pool, or to lay around and play board games on a rainy afternoon.

Now, don't get the idea that it is always "daisies and sunshine" around the Bugzmommy home on a daily basis...quite the contrary...there are days when the kids yell all day, there are toys strewn throughout the house, the dishes are piled up, and I feel as if I will blow my top...but then I overhear this:

Lil Princess to Baby Brother: Brother, when we get older and get married, not to each other because we cannot do that, but to someone else and we move out of mommy and daddy’s house but live next door, we can all get together at night and go out for ice cream!”

*sigh* That just reinforces the value of the "little things" in my life and how they impact my children. The "little", "mundane", "every day" things are so huge to a child. Knowing that my choice to "see the joy in the simple things" makes such an impact on my children...that is my daily joy.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Meatballs with marinara sauce, whole wheat pasta, green salad
Tuesday: Crock-pot roast, mashed potatoes, green beans
Wednesday: Chicken Caesar salad and sliced tomatoes for adults and chicken nuggets, mac-n-cheese , and left-over green beans for kiddos
Thursday: Bar-B-Que sandwiches made from the leftover roast, pinto beans, deviled eggs
Friday: Left-over buffet

Head on over to visit Laura at Organizing Junkie for more great menu plans!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sunsets and Moonglow

My brain was just jogged, kicked into gear, and thoughts have been running rampant, all inspired by a blog entry I read just a bit ago written by Adrienne. I have followed this site for many months. I visited and prayed through their heartache over a sick baby. I visited and prayed through the time the family made the decision to release their child from the pain of this life and back into the arms of our Savior. I have continued to visit and pray through the months following as they work through life without their baby boy with them physically, but still ever present spiritually and as they continuing living their life with their daughter. The dear mother wrote a piece today and it referred to explaining to her 5-year-old daughter what a shot glass was. She did not expect to have to explain this, but the question came up, so she did!

Bravo for her! Teachable moments...yes, I too believe wholeheartedly in those, for if we continually gloss over the moments that are God-led, when children are really listening, we may not be there to answer their questions when they are knee-deep in a situation, and they may get the wrong information from a peer.

Teachable moments aren't always in the form of direct question and answer sessions, but instead, many times, they come in sharing of the quiet moments. In my opinion, these are by far the best way we learn, and most times are God-led. I have always shared openly my love, or awe is a better description, of nature with my children. I feel so centered and balanced when I breathe deeply the evening air, or witness the majesty of the sunset, the summer bugs at night, the glow of the moon as my daughter and I swing late on summer evenings, the wind through the leaves, the smell of rain, etc.. Since my daughter was a baby and now with my little baby-man, I am sure to point out when a thought, a sight, a sound, etc. evokes a deep feeling in me. I want those kiddos to appreciate and take notice of what matters in life - the small things, the miracles in the every day that we so often gloss over as we go about our daily "chores."

A few nights ago, I had one of those moments. I saw the most beautiful crescent moon hanging high above the night sky with the air deep and rich with a day fading away - the summer night smells of grass and summer bugs beginning their night serenade. I noticed the moon while leaving the gym and when I arrived home, my little girl (who was up later than she should have been!) said, "Oh mommy, did you see the moon?!?" She was lying on the couch in the family room looking out the window seeing that same moon I had taken notice of!

I see how meaningful it is to share with our children - share with them our visions - share with them all the little and big, obvious and not so obvious "teachable moments." I have done that with them from the beginning - shared all the wonders of God in our human world, and now at the ripe old age of 6 years old, my daughter is sharing with me and is noticing them on her own!

Monday, July 16, 2007

My First Post

I am in the process of switching over from my Xanga-blog! This is my first post on Blogger, so please be patient.

I am a mommy to 2 little ones so too often my blog gets neglected while I am in the midst of being a SAHM to the 2 lil bugs while also working my home-based business. Since my work is in front of the computer, many times, when work is finished, I just don't want to sit in front of it any more to blog! I will try to transition smoothly and slowly to this blog and see how it goes!

Today I joined in with Menu Plan Mondays at my Xanga blog...perhaps I will start the transition by posting it here as well!

Okay, I have been following along with "Organizing Junkie" and her Menu Plan Mondays for quite some time now! I even incorporated her ideas on sitting down and writing a menu for the week and going to the store to only buy the items to complete my menu, and guess what?...It works AND saves us money on our grocery bill!

I find as my littlest one is getting bigger... ...too quickly I might add...that I find more time to add to my blog. I get around to a few really great blogs, but between my at-home business and taking care of the monkeys, I neglect my blog many times. Well today, I am going to join in with Menu Planning. That should motivate me to really stick to my working out our week's menu and keep saving us the $$$ on our grocery bill!

I tend to stick to a lower carb lifestyle, not just as a fad, but for the long-term health of my family and me. It has worked for us for the last few years now and so most of my menu will incorporate lean meats, veggies, and whole grains.
So here goes!

MONDAY: Cheese Topped Chicken & Mashed Cauliflower
(Calories 334) (Carbs 12g)5 oz (140g) (raw weight) boneless, skinless chicken breast (162)2 tbsp (1 oz/28g) shredded/grated low-fat cheese (70)1 medium tomato, sliced (35)1/4 tsp black pepper; 1 tsp olive or canola oil (45)4 oz (110g) cauliflower flowerets (florets) (25)1 tsp (5g) light butter (17)

Recipe Instructions
1. Beat the chicken breast to flatten, place in oven dish and drizzle oil over.2. Cook, covered in foil, in oven preheated to 180 degrees, for 20 minutes.3. Remove chicken from oven, top with sliced tomato, cheese, grill until cheese melts.4. Boil or microwave cauliflower until soft, mash with butter and pepper.
My family is somewhat finicky...although I will try anything once, so for them, I will bake the chicken and let everyone top with the other ingredients as we serve.

TUESDAY: Pinto beans and Low-Fat Smoked Sausages with taco seasoning, cornbread

WEDNESDAY: Salmon Fantasia with grilled asparagus/mushrooms/onions over brown rice. (Fish sticks for the kiddos)
Recipe Instructions:
1 pound Salmon Fillets 8 Tbsp. Honey 3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce 3 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger, grated 8 Tbsp. Olive Oil 3 Tbsp. Mustard 3 Tbsp. Chopped Chives 3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice 4 Tbsp. Butter
Mix first 5 ingredients (after the salmon) in a shallow bowl. Add salmon fillets and turn several times to coat well. Transfer salmon and marinade to a plastic zipper bag. Squeeze the air out of the bag before sealing. Marinate for 30 minutes (or longer). Remove from bag. Grill 3-4 minutes per side, or until the salmon is flaky.
In a saucepan, melt the butter over high heat. Add lemon juice and chives. Pour over the cooked salmon and serve.

THURSDAY: Hubby's birthday!!! Grilled steak, baked sweet potatoes, salad, whole wheat rolls and a homemade Snickerdoodle cake to celebrate!

Recipe Instructions:
Snickerdoodle Cake
1 pck plain white cake mix1 cup whole milk8 T (1 stick) butter, melted3 large eggs1 t vanilla extract2 t ground cinnamonCinnamon Buttercream frosting (recipe follows)Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Generously grease 2 round 9 inch cake pans with solid shortening and then duct with flour. Shake out the excess flour and set pans aside. Place the cake mix, milk, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute.Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look well combined. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pans in the oven side by side. Bake the cakes until they are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger 27-29 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto a rack, then invert them again so that the cakes are right side up. Allow them to cool completely, 30 minutes more.

Meanwhile, prepare the Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting. Place one cake layer, right side up, on a serving platter. Spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer, right side up, on top of the first layer and frost the top and sides of the cake with clean, smooth strokes.

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
8 T (1 stick) butter; at room temperature3-3/4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted3-4 T milk1 t vanilla extract1 t ground cinnamon Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until fluffy, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and add the confectioner's sugar, 3 T milk, and vanilla. Then add cinnamon. Blend with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 minute more. Blend in up to 1 T milk if the frosting seems too stiff.

FRIDAY: Leftovers or Sandwiches