Friday, July 8, 2011

Beginning Blogging

I have a vision for this blog, a very specific vision. I see the tabs across the top as libraries holding information and articles specific to the category - a file cabinet of sorts. However, tonight is the first time I have tried to post a second file to a tab- basically the summary to the Genesis questions I posted last week. Blogger creates one long post instead of individual posts. Not quite what I had in mind, but I have posted a new devotional post and I will have to work on my concept of the "library".

Several people have asked for the ability to receive an email after I posted a new blog. So I configured the page to provide this option. Simply type in your email address and click the submit button. There is so many "functions" I could add to the blog, but I think simple is best for now.

While I am learning the ins and outs of blogging, I thought I would share a few of the ideas that I plan on writing about. Feel free to suggest other topics that you would like to read.

Blog topics
The well-stocked pantry
Food storage
Dehydrating - beyond dried fruit
Menu plans for different occasions
Is there more than one way to fold a towel?
Closet re-organization
Taming the calendar
Creative gift giving
Entertaining on a shoe-string
Traveling on a shoe-string
I have something up my sleeve - surprises for loved ones
Ready, set, action - accomplishing what needs to get done

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day Thoughts

Picnics and fireworks are being enjoyed all around our nation today. It is a time to not only celebrate but to remember the reason for Independence Day. Declaring an end to lack of representation and oppression from British rule, our forefathers acknowledged they were just beginning the fight for freedom. As we reflect on the reliance the founding fathers had upon God, the contrast in our nation today is astounding. It seems as if every week there is a court case arguing values contrary to our beliefs or an activist group trying to prevent the use of God's name. Perhaps the time is coming to declare independence again, this time from the suppression and intolerance of our great God in our nation.

"See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them." - Deuteronomy 30:15-20

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Menu Planning Introduction

“What’s for Dinner?” A simple question that provokes frustration if asked at 5:00 and the answer is unknown. There are some days, I would be content to have a bowl of cereal and call it a meal. However, one of the blessings of having a family is gathering together for a nutritious and delicious meal after the workday is completed. However, most afternoons, I am working on a project or running errands, and my work is not finished when it is time to start preparing dinner. So it really helps me to have a plan, to know in advance what I am going to make. Though I like flexibility to change the plan based on what we feel like eating, the available prep time, and even the weather (rain almost always calls for soup in our home).
My menu plans loosely cover a month with about twenty dinner ideas. I do not pre-assign specific dates for each meal, nor do I plan the entire month. This gives us flexibility to include other meal choices and leftovers as part of family dinners. To make this work, I keep a well-stocked pantry and I decide in the morning what we will be having for dinner. Choosing dinner in the morning allows time for thawing frozen foods, picking up perishables from the market, or prepping food in advance such as marinating or chopping.
There are several different methods of menu planning with pros and cons to each. Under the Kitchen Tab in the navigation bar, I describe the different methods of menu planning focusing primarily on dinner, though the principle applies to all the meals. Personally, I use a hybrid method of several planning techniques. Feel free to leave comments to share your menu planning ideas. Bon appetite!