Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Perception is Not Reality

Far too often, perception is thought to be reality. Just as these tracks don't actually connect in the distance, a nice home and car doesn't always mean they someone is wealthy, well behaved kids in public doesn't necessarily mean a happy home life, lovey-dovey pictures on social media don't solidify a perfect marriage. Trying to compare your life to others in this way is looking on with skewed perception. Ask what God wants for you and base your reality on that.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Spring is Here

Spring is here and we are having the busiest spring we've every had. Carsyn is on the school tennis team, performing with the concert and jazz bands, taking piano lessons, is in the boy scouts working to get his Eagle rank, and working on 2 online classes on top of his school schedule. Corbyn is doing all of his schooling online at home, is in cub scouts, is taking piano lessons, and will soon be taking an archery class. Cole has his schooling at home, is in cub scouts, is taking piano lessons, is currently playing soccer with the local soccer club, and will soon be taking an archery class. Cooper has his schooling at home, is playing soccer with the local soccer club, and wants to go everywhere his brothers go. And Caybrie, well she is almost 18 months old. 

When my kids were younger, and I only had a couple to a few, I would here parents with older kids talk about how packed their schedule is with all the stuff their kids are doing. I thought to myself, "I'll let my kids each do a couple things and then our schedule won't be so crazy". When those couple of things all overlap in the spring it gets crazy. And I foresee many more years of craziness ahead as my kids get older. But I love watching my kids do things that they enjoy. I'm glad that I am able to allow my kids to participate in all these activities. And in a few weeks summer will be here and we will be looking for things to do to fill the time. 
I love my family. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

One Month of No Going Out To Eat

When you have 5 kids it isn't that hard to spend a small fortune on going out to eat. And if you don't track your spending you can easily let it get out of hand. When you spend $40 a meal at a fast food joint it doesn't seem so bad until you look at it being $200 for the month with only five family meals at a cheap restaurant. 

In the past our family has picked a random month to not go out to eat. You read that right. One entire month without eating at a restaurant or from a restaurant. This year we picked January. Here it is the 26th of January and we're staying on course to reach the goal. It helps that we have done this several times before. The first time we tried it was quite a struggle. 

Here are some tips if you'd like to do the same thing with your family. 
  1. Plan this with your family. Get everyone involved, parents and children. In your plan get suggestions of what meals each person would like to have from home. It can be hard to meet the goal and eat at home everyday if the little ones are complaining about every meal. Or it can be hard for the parents if all you are eating are meals chosen by the kids. 
  2. Make a menu for everyday of the month. Be sure to plan quick meals for stressful days. This will require that everyone in the family have all their scheduled activities on a shared calendar. You don't want to be working on your goal and then have a day that both parents are out of the home for the majority of the day and multiple kids have stuff going on after school. You finally get home and everyone is tired from day and nobody feels like cooking. Be sure to plan your menu around days like this. Slow cooker and freezer meals are great for those kinds of days. 
  3. Go grocery shopping, with a list. You'll want to be sure that you have all the ingredients needed to make the meals on your menu. Be sure that you plan out the perishable items and buy those throughout the month. You'll want to minimize shopping trips so plan one big shopping trip to start the month where you purchase all the nonperishable items for the month and the nonperishable items for the first week (or two depending on shelf life). When you return to the store for your weekly shopping trip it is a quick trip to grab just the additional perishable items needed for the next week. 
  4. If you really need to give in to a craving for something from your favorite restaurant try a quick google search for a copycat recipe. Check out our Crunch Wrap Supreme that we made at home. 
Just because you're eating at home doesn't mean that you can't enjoy some of the same things that you would normally get when eating out. 

If you haven't tried it, or it's been a while, go ahead and give it a try. Challenge your family to go an entire month with no going out to eat. If you do give it a try, comment below and let me know how it went. 

Also, if you have tips to share on eating in feel free to share them in the comments.