Monday, 24 June 2013

Meal Planning Monday: 24 June

For any of you following my ongoing post-partum saga, I've actually been fine this week but I was so busy doing a workout and getting things sorted that I forgot to post last Monday! Ironic as Mrs M added me to the Meal Planning Twitter List this week too. And actually I've been a bit behind on meal planning and food ordering in general, possibly because I've been venturing out of the house a little bit more (church service with the baby while 3rdSister was at preschool, playparks) - trying to find a balance as ever! Last week's big success was the (I make it with smoked) salmon and broccoli pasta bake. It was almost a disaster as I did a cream cheese sauce rather than proper mascarpone and it tasted disgusting - but luckily the park I took 3rd and 4th Sister to for their morning outing is next to a Tesco Express and as they didn't have any 'fresh' cheese sauce I just picked up milk and made the dish with cheddar I had at home, and my husband and I enjoyed it. (Obviously 'adventurous' 1st Sister wouldn't touch it because of the broccoli and moaned because she got plain pasta instead - lucky she got anything! - but wonderfully, Fussy 2nd Sister tried and claimed to enjoy a strip of raw smoked salmon that I served separately. Her palate is getting more adventurous - she didn't freak out when I put tuna steak on the same plate as her fries last Friday, and she made herself a chicken sandwich, which is the first time in ages she's mixed anything with bread apart from cucumber. Anyway, enough of this - to the week ahead!)

Meat Free Monday ~ Pasta in tomato and basil sauce, possibly served with doughballs and garlic butter.

Tuesday ~ Chicken in Chinese sauce with pak choi, water chestnuts and red pepper served with boiled rice and prawn crackers.

Wednesday ~ Pasta in pesto sauce with a little chicken stirred through (making this rubber chicken stretch 3 meals - I'm off out for a curry with the girls from my lay ministry training!)

Thursday ~ Chicken salad with crusty bread

Fishy Friday ~ Fishfingers, chips and peas

Saturday ~ Oven baked sausage rolls (new from Birds Eye) with salad (and maybe is Saturday!)

Sunday ~ Roast chicken dinner, or perhaps salad again, depending on the weather - it's the end of the month, so I've run out of food and money, but thankfully have a chicken available!

Baking plans ~ A lemon drizzle and a couple of breakfast loaves as I've now got 8 frozen bananas in the freezer for this purpose! Running low on eggs but the fruit will keep, as long as I have something baked for when 3rdSister's godmother visits on Friday :-)

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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Being Remembered...

It's been a tricky last couple of weeks for us as a family and me as a mother. Despite all my best intentions, and a relatively easy half term holiday, things ended up going pear shaped. I struggled to put many of my plans into action, was struggling inside my head, then was physically ill for over a week. Things were tough.

I feel that things have improved 1000% since then. I've been to a couple of exercise classes, come off the prescribed medication, stopped panicking about the baby not following a routine. Whatever happened, it gave me the kickstart I needed to begin to relax about mothering the 4Sisters. (I have to get past all this before I can even think about how to be a wife, sadly!) Ironically, though, because I felt so out of it, even reading scripture daily on my phone seemed hugely difficult. All the plans I made for prayer and so on fell by the wayside.

I was lying awake in the wee hours last night and asked Jesus out loud to 'Remember Me.' And then I almost felt a flood of shame, and laughed. Because He always remembers. God knitted us in the womb and knows the number of hairs on our heads. He searched for me, a lost sheep, for years without ever quitting and is beside me every day, whether I choose to recognise that or not. Just because I'm not participating in communal worship, lighting my candles, or skipping past All Things Bright and Beautiful on my hymns playlist, I'm always on his infinite heart. Even if I feel that he's not on mine.

Because in all fairness, I don't think I could be doing it without the support of God. I spoke to someone yesterday (in a conversation which to me strengthened my response to my calling, and which I really should journal!) about how in our worst of times, we tend to reject God, or our faith gets shaky, or we get angry with Him, just when His support is most crucial.

But that support is always there - it's just our perception of it that shifts. We are always remembered, we are always on His mind, which is humbling when you think of everything else crucially important in the universe which is also His responsibility. We each matter to Him, more than we can love our own child.

It's mind-blowing.

We're not just remembered. We're prioritised.

We're comforted. We're helped.

And we're brought home, when we eventually realise that Jesus was walking right beside us all along, helping us stand and get through the days. Together with medicine, exercise, food, family, friends and all the other kinds of assistance we can find in life if we're lucky, we're spiritually bound to a get-well-soon system that is always there for us, if we choose to recognise it and let it help us.

We may feel abandoned by everyone, including God. But the reality is, He never forgets us.

Let yourself be remembered.....

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well. (Psalm 139)

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10: 30-31.)

Monday, 10 June 2013

Meal Planning Monday 10 June

Well it's been a bit of a couple of weeks here at Cooking Towers - things got a bit crrrrazy with life so I took some prescription medication to slow things down and had a ridiculous adverse reaction including loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting! So suffice to say food has not been number on thing on my mind and I didn't post last Monday. Just trying to get back on top of things - got prescribed some anti-sickness drugs which I found out too late made me drowsy, so my brain is still a bit wonky! Once again, however, it makes me defend the humble menu plan, as there was always food on the table even if I didn't feel like eating it and the planned chicken & ham pie became chicken & chips because there's always leeway in my planning process. Thankfully. If you're still with me, here's this week's plan:

Meat Free Monday: Butternut squash soup with farmhouse loaf and slabs of cheese

Tuesday: Chicken Chasseur - if I'm up to trying this new recipe!

Wednesday: Spag Bol

Thursday: Chicken and Chips

Friday: Smoked Mackerel Salad

Saturday: Frozen Pizzas

Sunday: Have to have a think......when I feel up to it!

Edited to add: we are having a Mixed Grill on Sunday, with pork steak, sirloin steak, sausage, oven chips, grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, and peas. And cheesecake for dessert. Because it's Father's Day!

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