Sunday, 31 January 2016

Strictly Family Time

How is your January going?

Last weekend Josh and I were "using" our Christmas present and went to watch Strictly Come Dancing Tour in Birmingham.  It was a great day out, with a meal before the show and drinks in the interval, all at our own table in the hospitality area.

Waiting for Strictly Come Dancing:The Tour to begin
Following the Home challenge on A bowl full of lemons I have cleaned and organised the kitchen, pantry cupboards and dining room and this week I'm starting on the "launch pad", the area that holds everything we need to get out the door in the morning.  We've had an area for this for a while but as the boys have grown and the bags they carry get heavier it needs to be transformed, so watch this space for next week's update.

At church we are running the Parentalk:The teenage years course from care for the family which is a fantastic time to meet with other parents of teenagers and share stories and for those who come before the teenage years have started to pass on our hints and tips.  It has been great to hear from everyone that we are going through similar experiences and that as parents, we are not alone.  It is not a church or Bible based course and can reach out to all parents of teenagers, whatever their faith (or none).
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This year I am trying to use my slow cooker more and to prepare meals for it ahead of time.  I found a great spreadsheet already set up on excel that enables you to enter your recipes and then it creates your shopping list for you.  It is designed to create the whole week's menu but I just use it for evening meals as I already have a list for everything else I buy weekly.  This means that instead of using the rows for each meal, I can use them for each week in the month and work out what I need to buy to create my slow cooker meals.  We still plan the whole month using post it notes, so we can see what we have planned and change our mind.

A month of menu plans
It's a work in progress as I make sure I have included all of the meals we might use each week, but it will enable me to spend one weekend a month preparing slow cooker meals to pop in the freezer and then I just have to take them out as I need them the day before.  This is food I had to prepare this month, which actually looked very similar when I worked out what could be frozen ahead of time and what I had forgotten to buy!!

Cook ahead slow cooker preparation
I have started on my Christmas cards for this year in my crafting sessions.  My aim is to make 7 per month plus a bigger session in the summer holidays.  Hopefully I will stay on track better this year and not need to make quite so many in November!

Our prayer as a family this week is for all families with teenagers, that as parents we will listen to our teenagers and respond to their needs and that as teenagers they will understand that parents just want the best for them and are struggling to adapt to their changing children.

The Bible verse selected for this week is a great reminder at the end of January, that even if we have not kept the resolutions we made for the New Year, our God is forgiving and gives us a fresh start in His love:
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, 
abounding in love to all who call to you.
Psalm 86:5 NIV

With God's blessing for me family to yours,

Jo x

Lizzie Somerset

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