Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012: Priorities and Goals

"Lose weight".
"Read more".
"Visit a new place".

These are just three of the many hits I received when I did a search on Google for "New Year's Resolutions". I don't know about you, but those seem like pretty vague resolutions to me. They are great ideas, but are unclear and lack concrete steps to make them a reality. One thing my husband and I have been trying to work on in our life together is being intentional in all that we do. This manifested itself in our lives most recently when we decided to make concrete and attainable goals for the new year rather than weak and non-committal resolutions. We went on a date on Wednesday night with the specific plan of coming up with our goals for 2012. Here is what goal setting looks like for our family:

We first discussed and identified our priorities. Here is my priority list:
  • Maintaining a passionate, strong and growing relationship with the Lord
  • Maintaining a fantastic, open and honest relationship with my husband
  • Training Julian in the Lord, lavishing him with love and enjoying him fully
  • Staying healthy, fit and seeking to expand my knowledge
  • Keeping a clean and organized home
  • Ministering to people around us, especially those in our church
  • Sticking to our budget and financial plan
Based on these priorities, we came up with six categories for our goals. These categories are:
  • Personal
  • Work (my list says Kitchen/Home, since I work in the home)
  • Marriage
  • Children
  • Ministry/Friendships/Extended Family
  • Financial
We then worked together to come up with specific, achievable goals for the last four categories, leaving the first two for us to identify individually. After prayer and long conversation, we came up with our goals for 2012. I share them with you here both to provide you with motivation to be intentional in your own life, as well as to keep myself accountable to the goals that I have set and committed to for 2012.

2012 Goals

Personal
  • Exercise at least three times a week
  • Read through the Bible chronologically
  • Read twelve enriching books
  • Drink one gallon of water daily
  • Memorize twelve Bible passages
Kitchen/Home
  • Attempt four new cooking projects (freezer jambread, greek yogurt and salsa)
  • Continue to "all natural-ize" our cleaning and personal care products
  • Serve fish for dinner once a week
  • Create and maintain a cleaning schedule
  • Do a seasonal Goodwill/garage sale sweep
Marriage
  • Once a month out of the house dates with my husband
  • Once a week in house dates with my husband
  • Read six books together
  • Encourage each other daily
Children
  • Have a weekly family night
  • Read from The Jesus Storybook Bible together daily
  • Write in Julian's journal at least once a month
Ministry/Friendships/Extended Family
  • Have one family or friend over for a meal at least once a month
  • Send a handwritten note to a friend or family member once every two weeks
  • Start and maintain monthly get-togethers with extended family
  • Continue to teach Sunday School at our church
Financial
  • Continue to tithe 10% of our weekly income
  • Continue to support a missionary family
  • Have once a month budget meetings
I plan to blog about our goals frequently over this year and to unpack some of them a little more in the coming weeks. Hopefully this encourages and inspires you to live intentionally in 2012!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 12/26-1/1

We had a lovely, albeit busy, Christmas. I can't help but share a picture with you all since it was Julian's first Christmas!


As for our menu plan this week, I did my usual routine of planning and shopping for this week last week, however, we were the blessed recipients of TONS of Christmas leftovers, so we will be eating through those this week and filling in the gaps with what I have on hand. I will be back to sharing our normal menu plan next week.

Here is a recipe that I brought to share at our family Christmas gatherings. I am sure it would be a hit at New Year's Eve or New Year's celebrations, too!

Sweet Potato Garlic Spread
(Makes about 8 cups of spread)
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp.lemon juice
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tbs. parsley (fresh is best, but dried works great, too!)
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400. Place peeled sweet potatoes in a glass baking dish with a little bit of water in the bottom. Bake for 45-60 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then mash. Add garlic, oil and lemon juice and continue to mash. Sprinkle oregano, parsley, salt and pepper in and give it one final mash to combine everything. Refrigerate and serve with crackers or bread.

Friday, December 23, 2011

How I blessed my husband this Christmas

I was inspired by this post this Christmas season and, therefore, have been doing the "Twelve Days of Christmas" for my husband since December 13th. Of course, I know that the real "Twelve Days of Christmas" begins with Christmas day and counts down to Epiphany, but, for the purpose of blessing my husband, I started it on the 13th of this month and will end on the 24th.

Since we had already committed to not spending anything on each other this year, I had to get creative with my gifts. I took the liberty of spending some of our food money on him...I figured that money would be spent either way, so I did not feel as though I was violating our "no spending" commitment! I made a card with the words "On the ________ day of Christmas, my true love gave to me..." on the front and drew a picture hint of what the gift would be on the inside. I put each of these in an envelope with the number on the front and wrote "Merry Christmas" on the back. I gave him the envelope for the day at breakfast each morning (with the exception of day two, which I attempted to hide in his lunchbox...he ended up not eating lunch that day...oops!). It has been so fun for me to give these to him and he has enjoyed this new treat. I hope to make it a tradition every Christmas!





Here is the list of what he received thus far:
  1. One polo shirt (I had returned something to Kohl's and was able to get this off the clearance rack for the exact price of what I returned)
  2. Watching "Lord of the Rings: Two Towers" together after the baby went to bed (I did not realize how LONG this movie was, so Kerry was gracious and let us watch something else instead!)
  3. Singing "We Three Kings" as a family
  4. Four fun and flirty (!) text messages throughout the day
  5. Five haikus written just for him
  6. Six Reese Peanut Butter Trees
  7. Seven encouraging Bible verses
  8. Eight scotcheroos
  9. Nine love notes hidden throughout the house
  10. Ten significant songs from our relationship
Today is day eleven and I would like to take this opportunity to publicly praise my husband by posting...


Eleven Reasons Why I Love You
  1. You are an incredibly intelligent and life-long learner. I am constantly amazed at the sheer volume of subjects you know about. If ever I have a question about something, I can be pretty confident that you will know the answer. You are always striving to learn new things and to better understand the things you already know.
  2. You love Jesus with all your heart. You make time to be in His Word on a regular basis. You make a point to pray with me before we go to bed at night and at the table before our meals. You are an example to others, especially in your family, as evidenced by the fact that you are called upon to pray when we gather for family celebrations. 
  3. You spend time with our son. Despite your busy schedule, you make it a priority to get down on the floor and play with Julian every chance you get. I love to see his face light up and hear his little laugh when daddy tickles him or throws his up in the air. You are a wonderful daddy to our little boy. 
  4. You remember the little things. You do this on a pretty regular basis, but the example that will always stick in my mind is from when we first started dating. I had told you how my dad celebrated my half birthday when I was growing up by making me half of a birthday cake and writing "Hap Birt Fa" on it. You remembered this and made me half a pan of scotcheroos, complete with "Hap Birt Fa". 
  5. You love to read. I devour books. I am so glad that you enjoy reading, too, because we can spend the evening cuddling on the couch, reading our own books and enjoying time together. I can't wait to read some books together with you this coming year. 
  6. You are a hard worker. You personify Colossians 3:23 for me. No matter what you are doing, whether it be changing a diaper or learning the codes for your new job, you do it to the best of your ability and with all your heart. 
  7. You recognize and appreciate the work I do in our home. Not every stay at home mom has a husband that sees the value in her working at home. I am so thankful that you value my role as homemaker and caretaker of our son. 
  8. You are patient with me and others. This is an area in which I struggle. I am not very patient sometimes (okay...most of the time!). I think God purposefully matched us together so I can learn to be patient by your godly example.
  9. You encourage me to be a better person. Whether in regards to exercising consistently or making it possible for me to join a mom's group, you are always looking out for ways to encourage and strengthen me, inside and out.
  10. You put up with my harebrained (sometimes!) ideas. Everything from getting rid of conventional toothpaste to making stock with chicken feet. You take it all in stride and don't complain or make fun of my experiments. What sticks in my mind is the time I made brussel sprouts and they were awful, really awful. You choked one down without complaining, so I figured they turned out great! Not so much. I took my first bite and spit it out :)
  11. You are easygoing and excited about our future. Whenever I start to get worried or begin to panic about our future, I think about how God has it all planned and how you never seem to get worked up over it. Certainly, you have worked hard to prepare to enter medical school, but you have done so with an open heart and a calm spirit, knowing and trusting that "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand." (Proverbs 19:21)
Thank you, Kerry, for loving and leading me these past 16 months. I can't imagine my life without you, my love. 
photo credit: Samantha Lynn Photography

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

photo credit: Kelsey Sliger



Some highlights from 2011:

Welcoming Julian Arthur Storms into our family. Kerry and I became parents on May 5th, 2011 and are loving learning how to care for, love and teach this little life the Lord has entrusted to us.
Finishing school, at least for this season. I finished up my undergrad requirements a week after Julian was born. I will get to walk in graduation at Moody in May of 2012. Kerry finished up his post-undergraduate work at Bradley just a few weeks ago. We will enjoy this semester off from school before jumping back into it (at least for Kerry) with medical school in the fall.
Moving to a new apartment. We moved to our new apartment in June and are SO happy with the place. We have two bedrooms, space for a kitchen table and outlets all over the place! We are living by a beautiful nature center where Julian and I spent many hours throughout the summer and fall. We will always remember our first apartment together, but are definitely happy to be out of there.
Learning more about trusting the Lord. Our life is pretty up in the air right now. Kerry has three interviews for medical school scheduled for January. We have absolutely no idea where we will be 6 months from now. That is a scary thought, especially for a micro-managing planner like myself, but I know that the Lord knows where we will be and that is enough for me. This passage has been and will continue to be our anthem as we move forward, placing our worries at the foot of the cross and sitting back to enjoy the wild ride the Lord has planned for us.

Matthew 6:25-34
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of your by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you - you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own.

Have a blessed Christmas in the Lord!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 12/19-12/25

Merry Christmas week! Our menu plan this week is simple, easy and short, since we have Christmas meals with family a few times this week.

My husband has a soft start (only two shifts) to his new job this week with variable shift times, so you will begin to see some variation on when our "big" meal happens. This will certainly take some getting used to for me, but we are VERY grateful for this new job, so I can deal with the slight schedule change :)

Since hubby is home way more than usual this week, we are doing leftovers and smoothies for both of us for lunches. If I run out of leftovers, we will have eggs and smoothies, although I seem to always have an abundance of leftovers, much to hubby's chagrin!

Here is our menu:

Monday
  • Dinner: Mom's Night Out (leftovers again for hubby!)
Tuesday
  • Dinner: Salmon patties,sweet potato wedges and fruit
Wednesday
  • Dinner: Lentils and Spinach, biscuits and fruit (discovered this recipe thanks to Blessed Roots!)
Thursday
  • Dinner: Chicken tortilla soup, biscuits and fruit (soup recipe below)
Friday
  • Dinner: Leftovers
Saturday
  • Breakfast: Soaked whole wheat pancakes, bacon and fruit
  • Lunch: Car snacks 
  • Dinner: Christmas dinner # 2 (# 1 was yesterday!)
Sunday
  • Lunch: Christmas dinner # 3
  • Dinner: Christmas dinner # 4
Chicken Tortilla Soup

1/2 tsp. garlic, minced 
1 tbs. butter
5-6 c. chicken bone broth
3 tbs. homemade taco seasoning
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can tomato sauce
2 c. cooked shredded chicken
2 handfuls tortilla chips
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can green chiles

Dump everything in the crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and crushed tortilla chips on top.

I linked up to menu plan monday

Monday, December 12, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 12/12-12/18

Thanks for coming by from Modern Alternative Kitchen! CLICK HERE to see the recipe linked to the menu plan this week on my new site!

Whew! There are 14 days left until Christmas and the decorations (humble as they may be!) are finally up at the Storms house.

Kerry finally spoke up and requested something other than oatmeal for breakfast on Saturday. Thankfully, he told me Friday afternoon, so I had plenty of time to prepare our favorite homemade pancake recipe. I certainly missed Saturday morning pancakes this past month while we were having oatmeal every single day, so I was glad for the request. If you have been following our menu for the last few months that I have been posting them, you may notice that we no longer have pizza on Saturday nights. I had been struggling for a long while with finding a good pizza dough recipe. In my search for a recipe, I came across a recipe for homemade calzones. I decided to try it out last week and, as it turns out, we LOVED it (not to mention it was so EASY!). So, no more pizza for the Storms family on Saturday nights. We have moved on to bigger and better things :)

Here is our menu for the week, along with a recipe!

Monday
  • Dinner: Leftover soup, homemade whole wheat biscuits and fruit 
Tuesday
  • Dinner: Hamburgers, sweet potato wedges and fruit
Wednesday
  • Dinner: Lentil Shepherd's Pie (AKA Lentil Bake, since my hubby claims to HATE Shepherd's Pie, but loves this dish, as long as I don't call it Shepherd's Pie...), homemade whole wheat biscuits and fruit
Thursday
  • Dinner: Sausage, beans and potatoes (recipe below), homemade whole wheat biscuits and fruit
Friday
  • Dinner: Bringing this pear salad to Family Group 
Saturday
  • Breakfast: Soaked whole wheat pancakes, bacon and fruit
  • Lunch: Hot dogs, chips and fruit
  • Dinner: Homemade calzones and fruit
Sunday
  • Lunch: Cracker Barrel (celebrating Christmas with my parents and sister)
  • Dinner: Popcorn and smoothies

Sausage, Beans and Potatoes (adapted from this recipe)
  
1 lb. fresh green beans ( of course, fresh is better, but I used frozen ones I bought at the Farmer's Market this summer...they were fresh once!)
1 lb. organic fingerling potatoes (I like fingerling potatoes better than baby red, just a personal preference)
1/2 lb. sausage links, cooked (I buy our sausage from the local health food store...it is local, nitrate free and from pigs that live the good life)
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 c. chicken bone broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

Wash the green beans and potatoes thoroughly. If the green beans are fresh, snap the ends off. Depending on how long they are, snap them in half, as well, otherwise they will not fit in your crockpot (experience speaking here!). Cut the potatoes in half, or if they are shaped odd like my potatoes usually are, cut them in half-like pieces. Chop the cooked sausage links in approximately one inch pieces. Place all ingredients in your crockpot. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8-9 hours.


I linked up to menu plan monday at Organizing Junkie
 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Julian: 7 months

Julian turned 7 months old on Monday. He is getting so BIG! We went to the doctor today to see the nurse for his second to last round of shots, so they did not do the full stats, but I was able to get him weighed. He weighed in at 16 lb. 13 oz.!

Seven months old


We officially started solid foods with him on Monday, as well. We are taking the baby-led weaning  approach to feeding him. Our mantra, as is the case with most baby-led weaning families, is "food before one is just for fun". The only traditional "rules" we are following is avoiding peanut butter and honey, especially since we eat raw honey, for at least the first year. I am still nursing Julian on demand, which comes out to be about 6 or 7 times in a 24 hour period. I am not at all concerned about how much (or, in this case, how little!) solid food he is actually eating. If he wants to eat what we put in front of him, he will! That being said, he has LOVED what we have given him so far. On Monday, he had sweet potato and roast at dinner. Tuesday he had a few chunks of banana at breakfast. Wednesday we gave him some ground beef and cucumber at dinner. I do wonder how much of it he is actually consuming, even though it doesn't really matter. I get my reassurance when I find little chunks of food in his dirty diapers :)

I will (and already do!) DEFINITELY miss the seven months of nothing but breast milk, particularly when it comes to his dirty diapers. They were much easier to clean up when he was EBF because I could throw the diaper, poop and all, into the wet bag and, subsequently, into the washing machine. Thankfully, my wonderful husband installed our diaper sprayer on Saturday. I know plenty of cloth diapering mommas who do it without a diaper sprayer, but this is one momma who is VERY thankful for the person that invented that contraption :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Three Things I No Longer Buy

Like many families right now, we are trying to simplify our life and save money any way that we can. We also try to be intentional about not only what we are putting in our bodies but also about what we are putting on them.

I will be honest and say that we are NOT a "go green, save the earth, whales, llamas etc." family. However, many of the choices that we make do fall in line with the "go green, save the earth, whales, llamas etc." crowd, but not because of that. Our primary focus is to be a good steward of that which the Lord has entrusted us. To me, this means not only keeping a close eye on our purchases and, therefore, stewarding God's money well, but also keeping a close eye on what is going in and on the bodies the Lord has given us, thereby stewarding God's dwelling place well. As a homemaker, one of my jobs is to do my homework and make sure that I am providing my husband and son with the best possible choices for meals and other areas of daily life.

This has been a slow process for us, mostly because my husband stopped me from throwing everything we owned away when I began looking into this natural way of living, so please don't think that we have it all figured out or even that we are doing everything right. Don't take my word for it. Do the research yourself and decide what is best for your family. These are simply some things that we have decided are best for our family.


Three Things I No Longer Buy
 1. Toothpaste. I was always intrigued by the suggestion on the back of the baking soda box that it could be used as toothpaste, but I never tried it. After doing a bit of research and concluding that I don't really want my family ingesting flouride or sodium laureth sulfate, I decided to go ahead and try to make our own toothpaste. I tried an adapted version of this recipe first, using a few drops of tea tree oil. My husband did not care for the tea tree oil taste, which I should have known would happen considering he could not stand the smell when we were using it to treat Julian's yeast infection. So, I finished up that batch while he used up the very last trial size Crest we had in the house. I went back to the internet and finally came up with a new homemade toothpaste recipe adapted and compiled from several different sources. 

Storms Family Toothpaste
2 tbs. coconut oil
3 tbs. baking soda
1 tbs. hydrogen peroxide
15-20 drops peppermint essential oil

Mix all ingredients together in small glass jar.

2. Shampoo. The idea of making our own shampoo stemmed from the fact that we were spending at least $10 a month on shampoo. I looked at that figure and decided that was on area we could cut back. But, I was 7 months pregnant when I made that decision, and did not really have the motivation to make shampoo myself. So, I started couponing and signing up for free samples. We very quickly had a BIG stockpile of free shampoo bottles and samples. Then I started reading about sodium laureth sulfate and decided I did not want our family to use products with that ingredient any longer. Enter the homemade shampoo. This is not an original recipe. In fact, type the ingredients in Google and you will find myriad people that are using this method to wash their hair. Are you ready?

Storms Family Shampoo
1 tbs. baking soda
1 c. water

Mix the ingredients together in a pump or squeeze bottle. Wet hair and pump or squeeze onto scalp. Comb through with a wide tooth comb and rinse. UPDATE: Apparently, this does not work out so well with hard water. Since we are currently apartment dwellers, we cannot do anything about softening our water. For the time being, we have, unfortunately, switched back to regular shampoo. I would like to get some sulfate and paraben free organic shampoo, but $8+ a bottle is not feasible right now! If you have started using this and have soft water, hopefully it is going well for you! We did this for about three months and it was just in this last month that it started leaving a film on our hair. I will definitely try this again once we have soft water.

3. Lotion. After I started cooking with coconut oil, I came across blogs and articles that praised it for all sorts of different uses. We started out using it as diaper rash cream for Julian and that evolved into the whole family using it as daily moisturizer. It works great and does not have unrecognizable ingredients, like your typical Jergens or Vaseline moisturizer. 

So, there you have it. Like I mentioned, this has been (and continues to be!) a slow process for us. There are still things that we are currently using (such as my husband's shaving cream and my deodorant) that I want to find natural replacements for. We are by no means done figuring out this natural living thing!

Menu Plan Monday 12/5-12/11

I finally figured out how to make tabs on my blog! This has been bugging me for about a week, but now I have tabs. So go check them out :)

Anyways, here is our menu plan for the week! I am going to start posting one recipe a week from our menu plan. You can easily access the recipes by clicking on the handy dandy recipe tab at the top of my blog. As has been the custom the last few weeks, I am only posting our dinners and lunches, if lunch deviates from the usual Storms family lunch. Breakfast is still soaked oatmeal every morning until hubby decides otherwise!

Monday
  • Dinner: Roast, sweet and fingerling potatoes, pearl onions and carrots, biscuits and fruit
Tuesday
  • Dinner: Keema (recipe below), biscuits and fruit
Wednesday
  • Dinner: Ground beef gyros, sweet potato wedges and fruit
Thursday
  • Dinner: Chicken taco chili, cornbread and fruit
Friday
  • Lunch: Methodist volunteer Christmas party
  • Dinner: Leftovers
Saturday
  • Lunch: Hot dogs, chips and fruit
  • Dinner: Calzones and fruit
Sunday
  • Lunch: Church lunch
  • Dinner: Popcorn and smoothies
Keema ( adapted from allrecipes.com)

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons tomato paste
3/4 cup beef bone broth
1/2 cup peas (my husband HATES peas, so I replace them with chopped tomatoes or carrots, depending on what we have around)
cooked brown rice (I make LOTS of rice at once and freeze it, so I don’t have an exact measurement for this. Just make enough rice to feed your family!)


In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef until evenly brown. While cooking, break apart with a wooden spoon until crumbled. Transfer cooked meat to a bowl. Saute onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, and saute 1 minute. Stir in garam masala and salt, and cook 1 minute. Return the browned beef  to the pan, and stir in tomato paste, beef bone broth and veggies. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until meat is fully cooked through, and liquid has evaporated. Serve over brown rice. Enjoy!

I linked up to menu plan monday at Organizing Junkie. 

 


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Menu Plan Tuesday 11/28-12/4

Oops...it is Tuesday and I did not get the menu plan up!

Our grocery budget does not follow the calender month, but instead goes from the 10th to the 10th, so sometimes it gets a little dicey towards the end, especially when I don't pay as close attention to what I am spending as I should. I try to keep our pantry and freezer well-stocked, and this weeks menu is evidence of that! We are using up what we have on hand, which meant a quick and easy trip to the grocery store for me this week.

Kerry has not announced that he never wants to see oatmeal again, so soaked oatmeal it is for breakfast every morning. Lunch is the usual "standard lunch" for Kerry and leftovers for me.

Monday
  • Dinner: Unstuffed cabbage rolls and whole wheat biscuits
  • Prep: Thaw buns
Tuesday
  • Dinner: Salmon patties, chips and salsa and smoothies
  • Prep: Thaw ground beef
Wednesday
  • Dinner: Spaghetti, garlic bread and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw ground beef and buns
Thursday
  • Dinner: Hamburgers, potato wedges and fruit
Friday
  • Dinner: Leftovers
  • Prep: Thaw hot dogs, buns and sausage and make pizza dough
Saturday
  • Lunch: Hot dogs, chips and salsa and fruit
  • Dinner: Homemade pizza and fruit
Sunday
  • Dinner: Popcorn and smoothies

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How I met my husband

Today marks the 3rd anniversary of the day that my husband and I met. Although we officially met on November 22nd of 2008, the story starts a few years before that...

Junior High Bible quizzing champions 2004

 August 2004: Kerry was with his youth group from Eureka Bible Church at Critical Mass, a youth convention/quiz-off for the youth from the FEC churches all over the US. I was participating in the Bible quiz competition that year and Kerry was there to watch quizzing and to attend the youth convention. He remembers seeing me on stage accepting the trophy in the above picture on behalf of my team.


September 2006: I, along with a few friends from my high school, went to a concert at the University of Illinois. One of the girls who came with our group had an older brother who went to the University of Illinois and lived at Koinonia, the Christian cooperative house at U of I. This is where Kerry went to school and lived, as well. We got to campus a little early for the concert, so we stopped by Koinonia to see my friend's brother. At this point, I still did not know who Kerry was, but he knew of me from the Bible quiz competition in 2004. He remembers passing me on the stairs at Koinonia.

November 22nd, 2008: I was in the middle of my second semester at Moody Bible Institute. Kerry was in his last semester at the University of Illinois. We were both in Archbold, Ohio for the fall Bible quizzing competition. We had, separate from each other, decided to sign up to quiz master for the competition that weekend. My friend Erin and I rode up on a bus with Grace church from Morton and stayed with a local Archbold couple Friday night. Saturday morning there was a quiz masters meeting at 8 am at the church. Erin and I got there and sat in the front row, ready to get our instructions. I knew going into the weekend that I was paired up with Kerry Storms, but I still did not know who that was. Bruce, the head of the quiz program, led the group of us in prayer and told us to split up into odd and even quiz readers to go over our quiz questions for the day. This was great, except for the fact that I had forgotten my questions. So, Bruce pointed me in the direction of Kerry and I ever so sweetly asked him if I could have his even quizzes, since he was reading the odd ones. He obliged, and we split off with the other even and odd readers. What a great first impression... After going over our questions, we got together with the person we were quiz mastering with and our timer. Our trio in room B was Kerry, my friend Erin and me. We got settled in and Kerry and I asked the obligatory get-to-know-you questions. We ended up finding out that we had quite a bit in common and that he was coming to Moody in January for graduate school. This gave us plenty to talk about for the eight or so hours we were quiz mastering, but I felt like I would have talked that much with anyone that I was with for that long, so I did not think anything of it. Now that I really know Kerry, looking back I know that him talking that much with someone he just met (or really with anyone!) is WAY out of character. We finished up our quiz duties and moved to the sanctuary for the final match. We sat with the groups we came with, so Kerry was on one side of the sanctuary and I was on the other. About halfway through the quiz, I remember Erin leaning over and remarking that Kerry was staring at me. I slowly turned towards the side of the sanctuary where he was sitting and, sure enough, caught him staring at me! After the final quiz was over, he sought me out to say goodbye since his group was leaving to head home. Little did I know how the Lord was working that day in Archbold to bring my husband and I together!

Check back and in January I will tell the story of how my husband and I started dating.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sitting up

Julian sat up on his own for the first time on November 18th. We are so excited to see our little man growing up!

video

Menu Plan Monday 11/21-11/27

Happy Thanksgiving week! I am looking forward to enjoying Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, especially because I do not have to cook it :) Someday I would LOVE to host a holiday, but, for this season of life, I am content and blessed to not be responsible for that.

Our menu this week is simple and mostly put together from shopping my pantry and freezer. My husband requested halfway through the week last week that we have oatmeal for breakfast until he decides otherwise, so breakfast every morning is soaked oatmeal. I am perfectly happy to oblige that request as it makes breakfast prep much easier for me! I am also going to streamline my menu post by not re-writing lunch every day, unless it deviates from the usual. You are welcome to look back at past menu plans to see what we eat for lunch everyday!

Here is the menu plan...enjoy!

Monday
  •  Dinner: Salmon patties, potato wedges and fruit
  •  Prep: Soak beans and cornbread batter and thaw ground beef
Tuesday
  • Dinner: Chili, soaked whole wheat cornbread and fruit
  • Prep: Soak dumpling batter and thaw chicken
Wednesday
  •  Lunch: Chicken and dumplings and fruit (We are having guests for lunch today)
  •  Dinner: Leftovers
  •  Prep: Make pumpkin pie casserole for Thanksgiving
Thursday
  • Happy Thanksgiving!
Friday
  •  Dinner: Leftovers
  •  Prep: Thaw hot dogs, buns and sausage and make pizza dough
Saturday
  •  Lunch: Hot dogs, chips and fruit
  •  Dinner: Homemade pizza and fruit
Sunday
  • Lunch: Leftovers
  • Dinner: Popcorn and smoothies

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Plans

 If you had asked me on our wedding day (which was fifteen months ago this Sunday!) what I thought our life would look like in about a year, I probably would have said something to the effect of, "Oh, I don't know, but we trust that the Lord does and we are excited to follow Him wherever He leads!". Sounds like a good answer, right? The problem is, while I may have given that pat answer, I was really trusting that the Lord would fulfill my plans that I had so carefully constructed for our new life together. Oh, sure, I trusted the Lord and was excited to follow Him, provided that His plans were congruent with my plans. Looking back, I am certain the Lord was looking down on me as a vibrant young bride and thinking, "Isn't she in for a surprise?".

Most of you who read this humble little blog are aware of our story. To make a long story short, fifteen months after my wedding day finds me unshowered, wearing sweatpants, bouncing a beautiful, albeit fussy, six month old baby boy on my hip and attempting to get dinner on the table before eight pm. You can do the math and figure out that the Lord blessed us with our little Julian very shortly after we took our marriage vows. Needless to say, this is definitely not what my plans included :)

It is days like today when it would be very easy for me to feel ashamed of what I have to show for my day. A wet bag full of dirty diapers and beans finally in glass jars rather than the plastic they came in hardly screams accomplished and beneficial to society :) Becoming a mom has been (and continues to be!) a humbling experience. I have LOTS to learn still and look forward to the things that the Lord will teach me through life as a mom.

I still like to plan, as evidenced by my menus that I post every week, but I have learned, in my short married life, that the purpose of the LORD will win out each and every time.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.

Menu Plan Tuesday 11/14-11/20

I am a day late and a dollar short (make that four dollars short, darn library fines!) with my menu plan. Better late than never, right?
Monday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Slow cooker lentils and rice, whole wheat biscuits and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw muffins and biscuits
Tuesday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, fruit and muffins 
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Leftovers
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal and thaw biscuits
Wednesday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Hamburger vegetable soup, whole wheat biscuits and fruit
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal and lentils and thaw buns
Thursday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Sloppy lentils, pumpkin pie casserole and fruit
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal
Friday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Leftovers 
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal and pancake batter, thaw hot dogs, buns, bacon and sausage and make pizza dough
Saturday
  • Breakfast: Soaked whole wheat pancakes, bacon and fruit
  • Lunch: Hot dogs, chips and fruit
  • Dinner: Homemade pizza and fruit
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal
Sunday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Church lunch
  • Dinner: Popcorn and smoothies

Friday, November 11, 2011

Julian: 6 months

Julian turned six months old last Saturday! We celebrated by going to his very first swim lesson at the RiverPlex. We went to see his new pediatrician on Tuesday and got a glowing growth report. Here are his stats!

6 months
Weight: 15 lbs. 11 oz.
Length: 26 in.
Head circumference: 42.9 cm.




Monday, November 7, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 11/7-11/13

So, this is really the last week of the menu planning challenge at Keeper of the Home! I plan on continuing to post my menu plans each Monday even after the challenge is over, though, just because I think it is fun :)

We had a super busy week last week, so I am thankful that this week is supposed to be fairly low key. I have started to try to plan my dinners somewhat thematically, as suggested here, to further aid in quick and easy menu planning. Here is what my themes look like, at least for now:

  • Monday - Crockpot (I do ALL of our laundry, except for diapers, each Monday and usually leave the house at 8 and don't get home until 4:30 or 5. I LOVE walking in the door and knowing dinner can be on the table in 10 minutes or less.)
  • Tuesday - Soup (Sometimes it is a crockpot soup, sometimes it isn't. It is, however, always delicous!)
  • Wednesday - Meatless (I have been trying to incorporate more beans into our diet, so this is typically a meaty recipe with beans lentils subbed in for the meat.)
  • Thursday - Casserole/Sandwiches (I grew up eating casseroles almost every night for dinner. My husband did not. I have enjoyed teaching him that casseroles are not scary!)
  • Friday - Leftovers (My husband leaves the house at 7:15 in the morning every Friday and does not come home until 12:30 in the morning. I have no desire to make a new meal just for me!)
  • Saturday - Pizza (Homemade and yummy...toppings are usually sausage plus whatever leftover veggies we have from the week. That has made for some interesting pizzas!)
  • Sunday - Lazy (Popcorn and smoothies/milkshakes...Sunday is a day of rest, right?)
Here is our menu for the week:

Monday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; Leftovers
  • Dinner: Sausage, beans and potatoes, whole wheat biscuits and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw bacon, sausage and biscuits
Tuesday
  • Breakfast: Soaked granola and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; Leftovers
  • Dinner: Zuppa Tuscano, whole wheat biscuits and fruit
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal
Wednesday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; Leftovers
  • Dinner: Leftovers (My hubby picked up an extra shift at work...so he won't be home for dinner and, again, I have no desire to make a whole meal just for myself!)
  • Prep: Thaw beef roast
Thursday
  • Breakfast: Soaked granola and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; Leftovers
  • Dinner: Shredded beef sandwiches, potato wedges and fruit
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal
Friday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; Leftovers
  • Dinner: Leftovers
  • Prep: Soak pancake batter, thaw bacon, hot dogs and sausage and make pizza dough
Saturday
  • Breakfast: Soaked whole wheat pancakes, bacon and fruit
  • Lunch: Hot dogs, veggies and fruit
  • Dinner: Homemade pizza and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw muffins
Sunday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Church lunch
  • Dinner: Popcorn and smoothies/milkshakes
  • Prep: Whatever is on the menu for dinner on Monday!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 10/31-11/6

This is the last week of the menu planning challenge at Keeper of the Home. I have loved being a part of that and getting TONS of recipe ideas from the other participants.

This week is not at a normal week for us! We have quite a few church activities that include dinner, so I really only have to cook dinner for us twice this week. Of course, I will be bringing dishes to share at the church activities, but making one dish is much easier than preparing a whole meal! That being said, here is our menu plan for the week.

Monday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; Leftovers and smoothie
  • Dinner: Crockpot chicken curry and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw muffins
Tuesday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; Leftovers and smoothie
  • Dinner: Pops and Pasta (music department fundraiser at my sister's school)
  • Prep:  Thaw bacon and sausage and soak oatmeal
Wednesday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; Leftovers and smoothie
  • Dinner: Zuppa tuscano, whole wheat biscuits and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw muffins and make pumpkin bars
Thursday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; Leftovers and smoothie
  • Dinner: Small group cookout at Sliger's (bringing pumpkin bars)
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal
Friday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; Leftovers and smoothie
  • Dinner: Leftovers
  • Prep: Soak pancake batter, thaw bacon and hot dogs and make salmon pasta salad
Saturday
  • Breakfast: Soaked whole wheat pancakes, bacon and fruit
  • Lunch: Hot dogs, chips and fruit
  • Dinner: Missions conference potluck (bringing salmon pasta salad)
  • Prep: Thaw muffins and make pumpkin bars
Sunday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Church fellowship
  • Dinner: Preschool parent's night potluck (bringing pumpkin bars)
  • Prep: Thaw hot dogs

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chicken

This summer I was encouraged to try cooking a whole chicken in the crockpot and then using the bones for broth. Not only is it extremely nutritious, it is also frugal. Since then, I have done it three times and am amazed by the results each time! I was intimidated at first, but once I decided to give it a try, I realized I had nothing to be scared of. Seriously, SO easy!

Here is what you do:

1. Get a chicken.







2. Rinse your chicken and put it in the crock-pot.







3. Put the lid on, turn the crock-pot on low, set the timer for  8-10 hours and walk away (or go to bed, like I did!).

4. Turn the crock-pot off and let the chicken cool (if you are wanting to eat the chicken for dinner, put it in the crock-pot in the morning instead of overnight).
                                                  
5. Now, I hate to waste food, so at this point I take the skin off
of the chicken and put it in a frying pan. I cook the skin according to these directions and put the fat in a glass jar in my fridge. I cook our eggs, veggies and various other foods in it. I would only recommend doing this if you buy pastured chickens.


6. Take the meat off the bones. I freeze ours and use it in various soups and casseroles. From this 5 lb. chicken, I will probably be able to get meat for 5-6 meals, not counting the leftovers from those meals.



7. Put the bones back in the crock-pot and cover with 5-6 cups of water. Cook on low for 24 hours. I was able to get a gallon of broth from these bones.




And that is all there is to it! Check out these resources for reasons why homemade broth is so good for you: here and here.

Chicago

Chicago is a significant place for our family. I spent three years living in the city going to school at Moody Bible Institute and, while Kerry and I met in Ohio, we spent the first part of our dating relationship together in Chicago and the second part long distance with one of us traveling to or from Peoria or Chicago most weekends so we could be together. Our first date and first Valentine's Day together took place there. So, needless to say, Chicago holds a special place in our hearts!

Two weeks ago (I know, I am late getting this post up!) we had the opportunity to travel there again, Kerry for school and me to visit dear friends. It was a wonderful time for both of us, as Kerry had the great opportunity to present his research findings at Argonne and I was able to catch up with my dear college friends and hear what the Lord is doing in and through them. It was especially wonderful to see Janie, my best friend from college and a bridesmaid from my wedding, who I had not seen since last November. With the exception of my roommate, none of those girls had gotten to meet Julian yet, either, so it was special to be able to introduce them all to my son. We spent several hours talking and catching up and walking the streets of Chicago, getting ice cream (cider for me!), burritos and free chocolate samples. It was a wonderful time of refreshment and I am so thankful the Lord allowed me the opportunity to visit.

All of us, minus Hailey and Hilary

The Storms' and the Sliger's in front of Inspiration Kitchen
On Saturday, we met up with good friends from church and visited the Shedd aquarium as well as a very cool restaurant, Inspiration Kitchen (highly recommended, by the way!). Julian and Eli did great all day long, and I think Simeon would have been happy to just ride the train all day! We had a great time exploring the city with these guys and are so blessed to have them as friends.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 10/24-10/30

I felt off this entire week. We were in Chicago until late Sunday, Julian and I got sick on Wednesday and I started watching two more kids. As far as meal planning went, this translated into four trips to the grocery store between Monday and Saturday. Yikes! I still managed to stick with our plan and adapted a few things along the way.

Apple pie oatmeal we enjoyed for breakfast three times this week

Because of the off week I had, I planned very simple meals for this week, many of them coming from our freezer. So, without further ado, here is the Storms family menu plan for this week!

Monday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; Leftovers and smoothie
  • Dinner: Tacos, spanish rice and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw chili and soak cornbread batter
Tuesday
  • Breakfast: One World
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; Leftovers and smoothie
  • Dinner: Chicken chili, cornbread and fruit
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal
Wednesday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; Leftovers and smoothie
  • Dinner: Family group (bringing chips and salsa)
  •  Prep: Thaw soup, muffins and biscuits
Thursday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; Leftovers and smoothie
  • Dinner: Freezer soup buffet, whole wheat biscuits and fruit
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal
Friday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; Leftovers and smoothie
  • Dinner: Leftovers
  • Prep: Soak pancake batter and thaw bacon and hot dogs
Saturday
  • Breakfast: Soaked whole wheat pancakes, bacon and fruit
  • Lunch: Hot dogs, carrots and fruit
  • Dinner: Missions dinner
  • Prep: Thaw muffins
Sunday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Church lunch
  • Dinner: Logan's Roadhouse
  • Prep: Thaw beef roast and buns and soak oatmeal

Sick Sunday

Not a title I want to repeat often! Julian and I have been fighting colds since Wednesday morning. I thought we were getting better, but when I woke up this morning I could barely speak, let alone breath through my nose.

Life with a sick baby would be much easier, I think, if he could blow his nose! The baby torture device nose sucker thing (what is the correct name for that, anyways?) causes loud cries and flailing about before I even get it in his nose. I don't blame him...I would probably react the same way if someone tried to shove that up my nose.

Being a stay-at-home mom, I especially do not like missing church. Not only am I missing out on being fed from the Word (and teaching the Word to our third grade Sunday school class) through Pastor Tom, but I am also missing out on one of the few opportunities I have each week for community. I know that I can (and did!) spend time being fed from the Word in the comfort of my own home, but no amount of sermon videos and worship Cd's can replace the benefits of actually going to church on a Sunday morning. 

This whole month I have been reading I John for my quiet time. In my ideal world I would have time to read the whole book from start to finish in one sitting every day, but reality is that I only managed to do that twice this week, once being this morning. After spending time in Chicago last week and walking down Michigan Avenue with some good friends, I was struck by the consumerism of many American people. We walked through the American Girl store and the Lego store, amidst demanding children and acquiescing parents, and I was reminded of this passage from I John 2:
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father, but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
I wrote this out and am going to pin it up on the bulletin board in our living room today as a reminder to me who, at times, can be just as demanding as those little children in the toy stores for trivial worldly things that will only pass away. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Real Food Wednesday: Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am linking up with Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop today.

My husband LOVES sweets! When I talked with him about a month ago and told him about what I was learning about real food, he encouraged me to keep learning and gave his blessing for me to begin changing the things we eat. His only concern was what all of this would mean for the sweets I had always made for him. This recipe was born by tweaking the classic Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies recipe. It got a thumbs up from the hubby!



Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup granulated sugar (I am using up the white sugar in our house before venturing into alternative sweeteners!)
1/2 c. honey (substituted for the brown sugar...once all my white sugar is gone, I will try this recipe using all honey!)
1/2 cup real butter, softened
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1 teaspoon real coconut extract
1 egg
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, cream sugar, honey, butter and oil for a few minutes with an electric mixer. Add vanilla, coconut and egg, beating until well combined. Beat in flour, baking soda and salt until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

2. On ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by rounded measuring teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart. The smaller cookies make a better shape and don’t spread out so much.

3. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until very light golden brown (centers will be soft). Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

Note: I always turn these into bar cookies. They freeze better and take less time to make!
To do that, rub butter all over a 9x13 pan and pour the batter in. Bake at same temperature as above for 18-20 minutes.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 10/17-23

After a fun-filled trip to Chicago, it is wonderful to be back in our cozy apartment. I love traveling, but there is just something about the familiarity of your own home and kitchen. I missed cooking our own meals and sleeping in our own bed. But, more on the trip in a different post!

Today is week four of the meal planning challenge at Keeper of the Home and I am ready! I have actually been trying to stay two weeks out in our meal planning lately and have done pretty well with this. We have an extremely full freezer, so meals this week and next are capitalizing on that. I love when I can do that because it makes for an easy peasy grocery shopping trip! Without further ado, here is the Storms family menu plan for this week.

Monday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit (I turned this into apple pie oatmeal based on a recommendation from a friend over the weekend!)
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Hamburgers, potato wedges and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw chicken and muffins and soak quinoa
Tuesday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Chicken and quinoa and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw ground beef and soak oatmeal
Wednesday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Sloppy joes, sweet potato wedges and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw muffins and ground beef
Thursday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Creamed ground beef, whole wheat biscuits and fruit
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal
Friday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Leftovers
  • Prep: Soak pancake batter, thaw bacon, hot dogs and sausage and make pizza dough
Saturday
  • Breakfast: Soaked whole wheat pancakes, bacon and fruit
  • Lunch: Hot dogs, carrots and fruit
  • Dinner: Homemade pizza and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw muffins
Sunday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Church lunch
  • Dinner: Popcorn and smoothies/milk shakes
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal and rice and thaw ground beef

Monday, October 10, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 10/10-10/16

It is week three of the menu planning challenge at Keeper of the Home. This week is a little different for our family as the three of us will be heading up to Chicago on Thursday and not coming home until Sunday. I am doing simple meals to allow myself plenty of time to get everything together for our trip. This is the first big trip with Julian! To save money on meals, I plan to bring food along for breakfasts and lunches. We will plan on eating dinner out. One of the best parts of traveling back there (I spent three years living downtown while I went to college) is going back to my favorite restaurants. So, here is the Storms family menu plan for this out of the ordinary week of traveling!

Monday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Leftover soup, whole wheat biscuits and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw muffins and ground beef
Tuesday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Spaghetti and fruit
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal, beans and cornbread batter and thaw ground beef
Wednesday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Chili, whole wheat cornbread and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw muffins and get food for Chicago trip together
Thursday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; on the road
  • Dinner: Chicago
Friday
  • Breakfast: Muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Packed lunch
  • Chicago
Saturday
Sunday
  • Breakfast: Muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Packed lunch
  • Dinner: Popcorn and smoothies/milkshakes

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Julian: 5 months and an update

Julian turned 5 months old yesterday! We went to the doctor today, but it was just a shots visit, so they did not do any measurements. Here is an update on his stats thus far:

2 weeks old
  • Weight: 7 lbs. 4 oz.
  • Length: 21 in.
  • Head circumference: 35 cm.
2 months old
  • Weight: 10 lbs. 6 oz.
  • Length: 23.25 in.
  • Head circumference: 39 cm.
4 months old
  • Weight: 13 lbs. 1 oz.
  • Length: 24.8 in.
  • Head circumference: 41.5 cm.


5 months old

 
 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Julian: month by month

 If you have been following on facebook, I have been posting a picture of Julian next to his teddy bear wearing his black and white diaper cover sitting in the rocker my mom reupholstered each month of his life. Here is a recap of the first 4 months of his life. Tomorrow I will post his 5 month picture and an update on his stats over the past 4 months as well.

One month
Two months

Three months

Four months



Monday, October 3, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 10/3-10/9

It is the second official week of the menu planning challenge at Keeper of the Home and I am loving all the menus that are getting shared there! I have gleaned TONS of new recipes to try out over the next several weeks.

Here is the Storms family menu plan for this week:

Monday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit (I put honey on Kerry's oatmeal every time we have it and I typically switch up toppings...maple syrup, raisins, cinnamon, nuts etc.)
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Pumpkin cabbage soup, whole wheat biscuits and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw ground beef and muffins and soak beans and cornbread batter
Tuesday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; lunch with Kelsey (hopefully!)
  • Dinner: Chili, whole wheat organic cornbread and fruit
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal
Wednesday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Salmon patties, potato wedges and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw muffins and soak dumplings
Thursday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Chicken and dumplings and fruit
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal
Friday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Leftovers
  • Prep: Soak pancake batter, thaw bacon and hot dogs and make pizza dough
Saturday
  • Breakfast: Whole wheat pancakes, bacon and fruit (I usually make a decision while making the pancake batter what "mix-ins" to put in them....organic chocolate chips, bananas, apples, pears, nuts etc.)
  • Lunch: Hot dogs, carrots and fruit
  • Dinner: Homemade pizza and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw muffins
Sunday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Church lunch
  • Dinner: Popcorn and smoothies/milkshakes
  • Prep: TBD based on whatever I decide to make for Monday!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Faith!

We celebrated my 23rd birthday on Saturday with my parents. My mom made homemade pizza and my sister made a delicious cake. They gave me a handmade necklace that matches the jewelry I wore on our wedding day. It was a great day!

Kerry, Julian and I with the cake Grace made for me


We celebrated as a family on Sunday, my actual birthday, by taking a family walk and playing a game in the afternoon. Kerry took me to Flat Top for dinner and we got dessert at Sweet CeCe's. It was a great way to spend my 23rd birthday!
Julian and I on our family walk

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 9/26-10/2

It is no secret that I LOVE to plan, schedule and organize. So, when one of my favorite blogs proposed a menu planning challenge, I thought it would be fun to participate. I already had been menu planning and even posting my menus to facebook, so I figured it would be pretty easy to join in on the challenge. That being said, here is the Storms family menu plan for this next week:

Monday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Ground beef gyros, sauteed sweet potatoes and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw muffins and soak lentils
Tuesday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Interview Lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Leftovers
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal, cook lentils and thaw biscuits
Wednesday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Spicy lentil soup, biscuits and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw muffins and ground beef
Thursday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; birthday lunch with Kelsey
  • Dinner: Beefy mushroom skillet and fruit
  • Prep: Soak oatmeal
Friday
  • Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal and fruit
  • Lunch: Standard lunch; leftovers and smoothies
  • Dinner: Leftovers
  • Prep: Soak pancake batter, make pizza dough and thaw bacon and sausage
Saturday
  • Breakfast: Soaked whole wheat pancakes, bacon and fruit
  • Lunch: WBNH listener appreciation lunch
  • Dinner: Homemade pizza and fruit
  • Prep: Thaw muffins
Sunday
  • Breakfast: Eggs, muffins and fruit
  • Lunch: Church lunch
  • Dinner: Popcorn and smoothies/milkshakes
I would love to share recipes, so feel free to ask if there is one that sounds good to you! I am currently consolidating all of our recipes and putting them in a family food binder. Once that is done, I will attempt to post recipes on the blog so everyone has quick access to them!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome!

Welcome to our blog! I (Faith) decided to start this in light of the new changes on facebook. I think this will be a better place to show off pictures of Julian and share updates on our life with those that matter the most. For those of our friends that live far away, this will be a great place to keep you updated on what is going on with us. For those that live close, we would love if you read our blog, but don't let that keep us from getting to together to catch up in real life!