For the last week my husband has been in Mexico doing work to help some communities there. His parents graciously have been visiting in his absence and provided some much appriciated adult interaction as well as support and help with the kids and household duties (for instance, I have been very thankful that I have not had to haul in the firewood for our stove). Amazingly, I have been able to be productive despite Trent’s absence (largely and likely exclusively due to the fact that Trent’s parents have been here).
-I have re-organized the panty and used my label writer (which was MIA for the last few years and recently rediscovered) to label my jars of dry goods and baking items.
Side notes on my pantry: If you look closely you will see a container of yellow flakes labeled “yeast” which is Nutritional Yeast and until just recently Ashlyn called “Beast” (which was so adorable I never thought to correct her). That stuff is a family favorite on pasta, potatoes, pop corn, rice, vegetables. . . and it is full of vitamin B and a complete protein. Keep your eye open for it in the bulk food section of your grocery store and try out a tad if you are feeling adventurous! Our family LOVES the flavor. Did I mention that Ashlyn will request a small mound of “Beast” on her plate so she can eat it straight up? To the left of the Yeast are Chia Seeds which are brand new to my pantry but I have found it easy to add them to fruit shakes, oatmeal and yoghurt just to name a few. Among many other benefits, they are a rich source of Omaga-3. They don’t have much flavor so it is more of an added texture. I have been told that they can also be soaked and apparently used in recipes to reduce the sugar but I haven’t experimented with this yet. I buy mine from Azure Standard (this is a fantastic place to buy whole food and organic items at a great price and have it delivered (with free shipping if your order is at least $50) to a local “drop point” for your area. Unfortunately, you can’t view their prices unless you create a free account but to give you a few examples: I just placed an order for a 20 pound box of pink lady organic apples for $20.40. I am also getting 25 pounds of Organic Hard Red Wheat (to grind into flour) for $10.50.
I was excited that in my organization I made enough room for a second row of my storage containers for my bulk baking goods (shown below) and am hoping to purchase a few more containers so I can eliminate the random bags and boxes on that shelf. To bad Costco doesn’t still carry them. . .
-I organized and cleaned out the toy closet, Hunters room and Ashlyn’s room.
-I tried a few new recipes including homemade Angel Food cake
-Homemade vanilla pudding
-and of course we can’t forget the graham cracker victory!
The cake and pudding were both really easy but a little more on the time consuming end requiring a lot of mixing and/or stirring.
-I worked tirelessly on my manuscript in the evenings with the goal of finishing up by the 15th of January so that I could enter it into the Women of Faith Writing Contest. I succeeded in my goal and submitted it on the 14th. I can’t even estimate how many hours has gone into that manuscript, nor can I express how good it feels to have it completed. I am sure I could still find errors and tweaks if I tried, but it is finally at a stage where I can confidently say, “Here, this is it, read it. You shouldn’t be distracted by errors in formatting or grammar.” Although the topic of my book (grief) may not be wide spread enough for a general audience to gain the win of the judges, having a deadline was really helpful in motivating me to finish it up and it felt amazingly good to press “send” to that email! I will find out the results of the contest on March 1. So now that I am not staying up until midnight to write, I feel totally freed up to do other things (like write this blog post at 12:31AM–not sure if that is progress or not )!
-I had my mid-pregnancy ultrasound. Everything is looking good with the baby (PRAISE GOD) and the gender has been identified. However, since my husband is away, the sex of the baby has been concealed within a sealed envelope and is currently known only to the ultrasound technician. Once Trent returns, we will all discover the exciting news! I would be lying if I said the envelope has not called out to me on occasion but I am a woman of self control and will not be persuaded by paper pulp to give in before he returns.
(I just realized I haven’t provided any “belly shots” of my pregnancy. This one below was taken on December 29th during my 15th week of pregnancy.)
It has been a busy week! Let me know if any of you want more details on the Angel Food Cake or Pudding. I took photos as I made them just in case I decided to blog about the process.