June 28, 2009

Menu Plan for the Coming Week!

Monday: Leftovers: Pepperoni and Veggie Calzones

Tuesday: Brown Jasmine Rice with Tuna and Asparagus

Wednesday: Chicken Tacos with Guacamole and Chips

Thursday: Garden Salad, Baked Ziti and Garlic Bread

Welcome, Heather, Marcia, Sukie, and possibly Waddell!! So, we'll probably grab something downtown as we watch the fireworks display.

*This is my first time planning out our meals and then grocery shopping around the plan. I'll let you know what I think! You can find more menu plans if you go to the blog, "I'm an Organizing Junkie."


June 27, 2009

So take a last lick of your ice cream cone and lock up what you still want to own...

Lyrics from a song, "Rag and Bone" on the album, Icky Thump by the White Stripes. I am ready for a new White Stripes album!

SO! I think it is safe to say that the strawberry jam was a hit! I didn't want to say one way or the other until I received some kind of feedback from family/friends, but yesterday I did receive my grandma's stamp of approval! Now, I am hooked and have plans to make a couple of small batches of blackberry and peach jam.

Then, later this summer I will take on salsa, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, and green beans. I REALLY want to can pickles but think I will save that for next year.

After some thought, I have decided to start planning Tom and I's meals for the whole week. SO, I will now try to post each week (sometime before Monday) the dinners I plan to cook for the week. I think this will make grocery shopping faster and more efficient and will hopefully help Tom and I to drop the marriage pounds we've both accumulated during our first (ALMOST 3) years of marriage :) I was inspired by my friend, Tera as well as this website.

I worked in the garden with my mother-in-law, Patty, for most of the day yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed all the physical labor of weeding. My heirloom tomatoes are doing quite well. I think I am the most excited for them as well as the carrots. Their tops are growing much faster than I expected! The zucchini (of course) is gigantic and we will probably be sneaking zucchini into all kinds of meals to eat it all.

This past week I devoted myself to organizing and a little redecorating. I used all things I already had with the exclusion of one purchase: a new bed frame with a headboard! I love the difference it makes in our room...I now feel like I have a place to go for a quiet, relaxed place. I am slowly decorating our room in yellows and grays and love the results so far! I painted our two side tables and a three-tier stand that I use for plants a beautiful yellow color. It is called "Fresh Pineapple" but is much more creamy than you would imagine when you think of real pineapples.

I also started 3 new scarf projects. My friend, Marcia taught me how to knit with colors in a really neat way and I am very excited to be knitting something other than washcloths at the moment. I DO love washcloths though and have plans for at least 8 different patterns I want to attempt.

Well, for us, summer is fully in effect and I am really liking it :)

More with my menu plans later...


June 9, 2009

Lena's new bone smells so raunchy...

Just learning as much as I can on canning for this weekend! Tom and I will be picking strawberries and making jam all day on Saturday at his parents house and I am very excited! We are going to be able to borrow the water bath contraption that is needed from one of Patty's friends and then we will just need to buy the jars and the ingredients. I just got off the phone with Patty and she said all of our vegetables have sprouted except for my heirloom tomatoes...BUT I trust they will sprout soon! By August we hope to know enough about canning to can homemade pasta sauce, pizza sauce, and salsa. I can't wait. I also want to try blackberry jam if all works out well with the strawberry. There is just something so satisfying about being able to store your own food and I am very thankful to try while spending time with family.
No luck with teaching jobs, but I am still diligently applying to districts. I hope I hear from someone this month. Also no summer work yet. I REALLY want this dog walking position I applied for, but we'll see. Tomorrow is a whole new day.
Other than the canning, I have been knitting like a crazy woman...getting ready for a friend's bachelorette get-together that I am very much looking forward to. I know that all of Jessie's planning will result in a great time with some of my favorite people! Can't wait! I also can't wait for the Blues Festival this weekend. SO many great musicians and all for FREE! Nothing beats summertime in Chicago!

June 2, 2009


"My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit--not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength--that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God."
(from Ephesians 3: The Message translation)

This month I am really focusing on this last part that I have in bold. It just sticks out to me and stands in stark contrast to how my attitude has been for the past year. I think I wrote here before that when New Year's came this year, I was exhausted and not up for reflection and making resolutions (more than anything I was apathetic). But ever since April, with the arrival of Spring, I have had my eyes wide open. This has been such a happy spring for me and I am thankful to be in this place and hopefully out of where I was, stronger and more ready to live in the fullness of Christ. We'll see!

June 1, 2009

This week marks the end of the school year and I have to say I am pretty exhausted and excited and only a little nervous. How's that for expressing my feelings. So far, I have sent out resumes and online applications for 10 different teaching positions...and there are more still to apply for! This is encouraging! I hope I get a call back soon for an interview somewhere...we'll see.
This weekend, Tom and I got inspired to try to plant some vegetables, so we called up his parents and asked if they had any space left in their garden and they did! We planted cucumber, cantaloup, brandy wine heirloom tomatoes, and carrots! I am most excited for the carrots and tomatoes. Tom's parents already planted zucchini, sunflowers, watermelon, romaine lettuce, and roma and beefsteak tomatoes. They also have strawberries that come back every year so this year, Patty and I are going to attempt making them into jam and canning them. Later in the summer, our goal is to also can homemade salsa, tomato sauce, and pizza sauce. Anyone know anything about canning and could offer some advice? We are pretty curious to see how it all works.