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As I find myself coming to the end of one cycle with Happy Hedgehog Post as a Brand Rep, new adventures are arising for our family. Sometimes adventures happen very quickly, and the next thing you know, you are putting one foot in front of the other. For my family, we are finding that after almost 11 years (in May 2017), we are picking up roots and replanting ourselves. We have been blooming and growing in Kentucky. We married in North Carolina and had our first son, Little Eagle. Then, we moved to Kentucky and immediately got pregnant with Little Fox. About 7 years later I got pregnant with Little Bear. So most of our children’s Early Childhood, walking the Waldorf inspired path, has been in one place. Now it is time to go on a new adventure together. We are moving to Amish Country, in Northern Indiana. Life will be different. We have lived on almost 4 acres in the country for the past 11 years, but we are moving into a rental (temporarily) in town. It is a quaint town, where I can walk to yoga and the farmer’s market within 5 minutes. There is a 26 acre park right in town as well. And, grandma lives a few streets over. At some point we will move back out to the country, once we find the right place. UPDATED to add : We have found a place to live and a workshop for our family business!

Meanwhile, I have been asked by Amber at Hearth Magic to review her lovely two-part PDF download that she has listed on Etsy. Tonight I downloaded and previewed the learning guide. It is very thorough. Our journey will include reading The Hobbit one chapter at a time and doing crafts, activities and pairing that with food! I am not sure who is more excited, the kids or me!

So! Over the next couple months, as we move and settle in, I hope to post some of our adventures. Our journey. Until then, head over to Etsy and check out Amber’s listing. If anything Favorite her listing, as you stay tuned to see more of my review.

The Hobbit Family Learning Adventure Guide

 

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Snow day!  A day we have been given permission by nature to S_L_O_W down and do things peacefully.  We were inspired to make a chicken avocado soup, with this bread for dinner! Full bellies will sleep warm and cozy tonight.  Prayers for two sick boys.

Photo by Little Eagle.

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Recently, a lovely lady I know shared a recipe for Amaranth Crackers on Facebook. I thought it would be a fun venture to bake them. First I had to seek out the seed, which evidentally is easy to grow in Kentucky, but I purchased ours in the bulk section at Whole Foods.  I paid under $2 for a ball jars worth, probably around a pound.

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First, I followed the directions to the recipe.  One part Amaranth to two parts water. Cook it up for at least 20 minutes on medium heat.  I actually cooked it a little longer.  Then, let it cool.  Little Bear and I took a nap to pass the time and rest from our big day.  When I woke, Little Bear was still asleep so I sneaked out to the kitchen and patted out the crackers.  Unfortunatley, I added a little too much salt. Otherwise they baked up nicely 20 minutes or so later. We will try this again another day.  I am glad we tried.  Here they are!

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Welcome.

Leading up to this post we have discussed rhythm, simplifying, and slowing down. Today’s post is about menu planning.  Menu planning takes time to transition into, but once you slow down and set aside time, you won’t know what you did without it.  For Christmas this year I got a lovely planner from my mother in law. Nothing goes in this planner except for the menu for each day. Separately I keep a small notebook for grocery lists.  I date the top of each page, and make my list. When making my list I categorize by section in the grocery.  So I start off with veggies, meats, grains/pastas, dairy/cheese and frozen section.  You might even eat healthier or differently than we do, but this is just a sample of the past two weeks, based on our budget.  We don’t always eat this much meat either, it depends on the budget or our health.  Also factored in are lunches for papa, which vary from ours.  He packs his lunch based on leftovers and I always try to keep sandwich supplies and fruit available.  He like wraps, with salad and maybe meat.  We rarely eat out together as a family, so this menu is three meals a day plus one to two snack times.

LAST WEEK>>>

MONDAY
Breakie- eggs and toast.
Lunch- baked potatoes and salad.
Dinner- grass-fed beef tacos with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, green peppers.

TUESDAY
Breakie- waffles/peanut butter and fruit/yogurt.
Lunch- homemade pizza pockets.
Dinner- salmon, cous cous and steamed veggies.

WEDNESDAY
Breakie- oatmeal and fruit.
Lunch- tomato Soup and peanut butter sandwiches.
Dinner- dinner at church!

THURSDAY
Breakie- Honey Almond Flax (protein and fiber )cereal and fruit/yogurt.
Lunch- sandwiches and pretzels.
Dinner- pasta, marinara and ricotta cheese combo (like lasagna) baked.

FRIDAY (Grocery day)
Breakie- out, on the go.
Lunch- Applegate beef hot dogs and chips.
Dinner- baked potatoes, steamed veggies, spinach and artichoke dip homemade.

SATURDAY
Breakie- oatmeal, fruit/yogurt.
Lunch- sandwiches, pretzels, fruit, peanuts (on the go or in dad’s art studio).
Dinner- herb-crusted chicken (boneless, skinless thighs), broccoli salad, leftover potatoes.

SUNDAY
Breakie- eggs, fruit/yogurt, toast.
Lunch- sandwiches, pita chips and leftover artichoke dip.
Dinner- veggie quesidillas, corn and black bean mix with avocado and sweet potato fries.

 

SNACKS
Snacks throughout the week vary on what is available.
The baby nurses, has crackers, fig newtons, apple slices, bananas, applesauce and such.  The big boys love peanuts, sunflower seeds, seaweed with teryaki flavor, apple slices, leftovers, frozen fruit bars if we have them, pretzels, pumpkin seeds, and fermented foods, like pickles, carrots, sauerkraut (thank you Anna).  We also take a shot of green juice, by Bolthouse, Green Goodness.  We also take Juice Plus, which we are almost out of a long-held supply.  I take New Chapter Prenatal, with whole food and herbs because I still nurse.  I am aware New Chapter was bought up by Proctor and Gamble.  I am not sure where or what I will change to next.  Papa also takes Zyflamed, which is an herbal supplement for inflammation.  Zyflamed is new to us and I hope it works.  We also take Green Pastures FCLO (fermented cod liver oil) that I encapsulate for skin, hair, teeth, nails, and gut.  Mostly papa and Eagle Boy takes FCLO based on their particular constitution.  On top of all this we drink water, almond milk (sweet and unsweetened) and occasionally dark chocolate almond milk.  Our cow milk consumption has been very little since the November.  No sodas.  Occasionally orange juice, but mostly I have the boys peel and eat oranges instead.  I drink a little coffee at breakie and tea time, which is usually around 4pm. Also, we purchase non-GMO Beechnut brand baby food for Little Bear, when he cannot eat our table food.  I used to make baby super food, but teaching two grades and having a little one again…well, it’s a compromise I am willing to make at the moment.

 

WEEK BEFORE>>>

MONDAY (errand and shopping day, irregular schedule new experiment)
Breakie- waffles/peanut butter, fruit/yogurt.
Lunch- lunch out and about.
Dinner- roasted whole chicken, steamed cauliflower and broccoli, cous cous and peanut butter cookies for River’s 8th birthday (that is what he wanted!!)

TUESDAY
Breakie- bagel, cream cheese and fruit.
Lunch- sandwiches, Applegate turkey, cheese, sourdough bread and chips.
Dinner- leftover chicken made into chicken salad on sourdough bread, with avocado, tomatoes, basil, and white beans.

WEDNESDAY
Breakie- green juice, apple slices, cheese and crackers.
Lunch- homemade pizza tortillas with leftover chicken mix from the day before.
Dinner- bison meatloaf, black beans and rice, steamed broccoli and cauliflower or salad.
(Church cancelled due to freezing temperatures).

THURSDAY
Breakie- waffles/peanut butter and fruit/yogurt.
Lunch- ravioli with marinara sauce.
Dinner- leftovers out of the fridge and pantry from the week, to clear out and make room for shopping day on Friday.

FRIDAY (Grocery day)
Breakie- oatmeal and fruit.
Lunch- lunch out and about, on the go.
Dinner- eggs, asparagus, roasted potatoes.

SATURDAY
Breakie- Honey Almond Flax (protein and fiber) cereal and fruit.
Lunch- lunch out with dad at the shop.
Dinner- grass-fed beef wraps with veggies.

SUNDAY
Breakie- waffles/peanut butter and yogurt/fruit and also a little pick me up at church, snacks before service.
Lunch- pizza at grandma’s.
Dinner- Eggs, bacon, veggie Quiche.

 

So there you have two weeks of menu planing.  Certain products will be based on the store you use, the number in your family, and what is available.  We do have a varied menu for dinner, because I do like to cook, but this is just what we had recently.  We were able to eat for $150 each week.  I believe that is phenomenal for healthy food.  Some weeks I spend more when we need toilet paper, dishwasher tabs, or laundry detergent.

Lastly, we try to light candles each meal and say a prayer. Many days our mealtimes can be loud with three boys talking back and forth.  They are excited and love to share their discovery’s and adventures of the day.  This is hard for me sometimes because I am a sensitive mama and love quiet and peace and grace, but Creator offered up the opportunity for me to learn patience, otherwise how would I have that chance without the practice for grace.  Family really gives us a chance to learn and love.

Here is a link to one of my favorite blogs, Carrie Dendtler’s, The Parenting Passageway.  She shares 8 facets of a healthy family culture.  Enjoy, and come visit again.

 

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