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2011 April » Philoxenos

Philoxenos

Loving our neighbours

9th April 2011

Loving our neighbours

We have been talking with the kids a lot about “Who is your neighbour?” We want them to understand that our neighbours are anybody that we come in contact with. But our oldest asked “Shouldn’t we get to know our own neighbours?” She had the idea that we make cookies or muffins and take them to the neighbours on our street so we can get to know them a little bit more. Excellent idea!

Several times she and I have made cookies or muffins, with the intention of passing them out. But we’ve ended up giving them away to friends with new babies, or people on bedrest, or eating a few ourselves. The end result being that we’ve never actually managed to give them to the people on our street!

Just now she said “Mom! Let’s do it now! Let’s make cookies and pass them out today before we forget!” Unfortunately I’m suffering from a horrible cold and am still in my pajamas so there is NO WAY I’m leaving the house today. However, I suggested that we bake them and package them so that she and her daddy can pass them out tomorrow. Then I had to steer her away from peanut butter cookies because of possible allergies.

I am applauding her determination to get this project done and I am trying hard to help her accomplish it. I’m also trying hard to help her understand that although we haven’t been doing it exactly the way she wanted, we have still been able to practice hospitality with our neighbours, just not the neighbours on our street.

posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

3rd April 2011

Menu Plan - Week of April 4, 2011

Week 1 of eating out of the pantry and freezer begins with us going out of town! Not quite the best timing, but it is what it is. We have NO money to be eating out so we will be taking our food with us and doing what we can, so a plan is imperative!

Monday
Green smoothies, bagels(gotta use up some fresh spinach before we leave)
Ravioli, green beans, broccoli (the last raviolis in the bag)
Quesadillas, carrot sticks, pears (right before we leave so we don’t need to eat on the road)

Tuesday
Breakfast provided by hotel
PB&J, carrots, boiled eggs
Baked potatoes in room microwave, peas! (I’m excited about this because I thought I was so clever when the idea came to me).

Wednesday
Breakfast provided by hotel
PB & apples, crackers
Meal out with a friend - we will be ordering only two adult meals and sharing with the kids. Jeremy and I can eat more when we get back to the hotel.

Thursday
Breakfast provided by hotel
PB&J, fruit, cheese sticks
Dinner will be whatever we have left! I’m bringing frozen pizza and burritos for Jeremy’s lunches and other snacks, so kids won’t go hungry.

Friday
oatmeal w/ raisins and dried apricots
Chinese noodles (it’s what the girls called Top Ramen) with stir-fry vegetables
Homemade Pizza

Saturday
Pancakes and smoothies
Corn fritters
Fish and chips, peas and green beans (made from a box of battered fish in the freezer)

Sunday
Muffins, peach slices, yogurt
Homemade tomato soup and quesadillas
Hamburgers and potato wedges

The first week of a pantry/freezer challenge is always the easiest! :)

posted in Menu Plan, Kitchen stuff | 0 Comments

3rd April 2011

Eating out of the pantry and freezer for April

Last night we spent a while re-vamping our budget and getting Mvelopes up and going again. We know, without a doubt, that when we don’t track what we’re spending we overspend in areas that are unnecessary simply because we don’t have the information. Information is power! I have so much to say about that but it will have to wait for another time. Being self-employed means that we have to be even smarter about keeping track of our dollars.

As we worked out our budget and looked at our bills (mostly medical related) we realized that we actually don’t have enough money to pay all the bills, which is a really uncomfortable place to be after years of being debt-free. Getting laid off and having a baby in the NICU for three months can really put a kink in long-term plans! We used up our emergency fund and have to start over again. We had to make some plans on how to manage everything, making sure that the most important things are up-to-date and starting our debt snowball again.  Fortunately my husband is able to earn a good income but we simply are having to dig ourselves out of a hole which might take a few months. In the meantime I will do what I do best: shop and cook frugally! It’s really the only area of our budget that has any wiggle room. I would prefer to have a budget of $400 a month, but I wrote down $300 a month, and I’m pretty sure I can manage just $200 for the month of April.

I had a quick look in the freezer and pantry and jotted down a list of dinner meals that I can make from what we have on hand. The list included over 24 meals! I made a grocery list for the necessities that we would need for the month and it added up to about $120. It’s important to know that our grocery budget currently includes everything - food, paper products, diapers, formula, health and beauty, everything. I have enough diapers to last well into May. I have enough formula to get through at least half of April. I have $40 in Groupons for a local produce store. I am really going to challenge myself to stay under $200 for the entire month, even though we have two guests coming after Easter for a whole week.

What will it take for me to achieve this?

  • Planning and lots of it. I will need to plan all our meals, including snacks.
  • Creativity. I will need to use all of our leftovers wisely and think outside the box to use up what is in the pantry and freezer.
  • Time. I have more time than money this month, so I will be using that time to make all our bread from scratch, cook dry beans, bake things for snacks and breakfasts.

I’m hoping to blog often what we’ve been eating and the state of our pantry and freezer! If I’m successful they should both be very, very empty by the end of the month!

posted in Kitchen stuff | 1 Comment

3rd April 2011

Come Out and Play Day 1-3

Day 1 - We met some new friends at the park and played for two hours outside. It was a warm day with a high of 86, so the kids walked home red-faced and sweaty. We had some gooood naps that day!

Day 2 - Yesterday was Saturday and Jeremy was home. I had been planning all week to go to some garage sales, so we decided to all go as a family. This involved a lot of getting kids in and out of the car, reminding them to look with their eyes and not their hands. We got lots of good books and found a small aquarium! The girls have really been wanting to get a fish so hopefully we can get the stuff to go inside it. After the garage sales we went to the local Mennonite festival where we walked and skipped and walked and hopped and walked. Again, lots of fresh air! And good sausages!

Day 3 - Today will be a challenge. It’s going to rain and not be nearly as warm, but I will be getting these kids outside, rain or shine!

This challenge is especially timely because our friends down the street, with whom the kids play almost every day, moved on Friday. Friday afternoon they were very droopy, sad that their friends were gone and not quite sure what to do. I will need to be much more purposeful about what we’re doing during that time and perhaps reschedule our day accordingly.

posted in Come Out and Play | 0 Comments

1st April 2011

Can You Come Out To Play?

I have chosen to take a challenge from a blogger: Play outside with my kids for 30 minutes every day in the month of April.

Now, my kids play outside every day, but it’s usually me shoving them out the door to play while I use the quiet inside to get a few things done. I can see the backyard very well from our kitchen/great room, so I  know what they’re up to. But this challenge is about getting outside with them.

Today we have a park play date, so that will be fun and easy. I imagine a lot of our days will be spent at the park, getting as much play time in as we can before the temperature tops 100. I look forward to doing some other fun things too, like taking a bike ride on one of the trails. Or maybe finding some roller skates?

Will you join me?


posted in Come Out and Play | 0 Comments