This Abundant Life

This Abundant Life
"I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - John 10:10

Friday, October 29, 2010

Chef Jenn

I think I know why so many stay-at-home moms get into cooking/baking.
  • much of the time you can do it with your kids
  • it doesn't require packing everyone in the car and listening to them screaming from their car seats
  • you have to feed people anyway, you may as well make it interesting
  • if you are staying at home, in the first place, you often are looking for ways to spend less on food
  • it's a flexible activity that often works well with interruptions
  • it's controllable...a concept that pretty much goes out the window with babies!
Anyway, it's become a new hobby and a definite phase I am going through. Lately, I've been learning how to make soups because a) they are really easy, b) they often freeze really well, c) they can be made inexpensively and nutritiously, and d) the ones I'm making are good for weight control and over-all healthy eating.

I wanted to write this post because I discovered the absolute ease of making broth/stock. Those boxes of broth are expensive and have little flavor...but you need broth to make soup.

As you know, I get all my ideas from other people and am, myself, completely incompetent in the kitchen...which proves you don't have to be a good cook to enjoy it : ). So, here is me following vegetable broth instructions from this website and here is a DELICIOUS and VERY EASY chicken broth recipe from Heavenly Homemakers. I can't wait to make more...just waiting on whole chickens to go on sale!

BTW...I freeze this broth in canning jars (only 3/4 full) and pull them out when I'm ready for them. I'm trying to slow down my learning new things, lately, so that I can pay more attention to loving my 2-year-old...but when I have the time, I am totally going to learn canning!

BTW (2)...apparently, using veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc...will make your stock stinky...that's not what you, Google which veggies to stay away from.

Most of these veggie pieces are from meals I had already made this week. Just keep a bag of scrap veggies in your fridge (or in your freezer, for longer periods) can see my frozen onion pieces at the bottom!

It's always good to have some extra help! It's even BETTER when there is an additional person in the background sucking ice off the dirty kitchen floor.

Give your pot a look-over, and be sure you have everything you need...pour in the water and add some spice!

Next on my list...Veggie Mama's Split Pea and Lentil Soup!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Menu Plans! - - Remember THAT idea?

I've GOT to do this! The baby weight's GOT TO GO!


Oct. 27-31


Breakfast – green smoothie/soaked oatmeal

Lunch – black beans and quinoa/turkey sandwich

Dinner – Bombay chicken from freezer/roasted brussel sprouts



Breakfast – eggs and toast

Lunch – leftover Bombay chicken/leftover quinoa

Dinner – grilled veggie sandwiches



Breakfast – green smoothie/eggs

Lunch – leftover grilled veggie sandwiches

Dinner – OUT



Breakfast – pumpkin scones

Lunch – OUT

Dinner – Avacado, orange and walnut salad (minus the walnuts/add chicken from freezer)


Sunday (Halloween)

Breakfast –cereal and green smoothies – whatever I have time for (and CANDY)

Lunch – OUT /CANDY

Dinner – OUT / healthy fruit crisp for party / CANDY


November 1 – 7


Breakfast – eggs/blueberry muffins from freezer

Lunch – turkey sandwich

Dinner – spaghetti and meat sauce



Breakfast – soaked oatmeal

Lunch – leftover spaghetti for Bic/fish taco salad for me and lunch guest

Dinner- fish taco salad



Breakfast – green smoothie/banana crumb muffins from freezer

Lunch – peanut butter and jelly

Dinner – split pea and lentil soup/spelt biscuits



Breakfast – baked oatmeal (at the bottom of her menu plan)

Lunch – pea and lentil soup leftover

Dinner – fabulous meatloaf (from freezer) /salad



Breakfast – eggs/toast

Lunch – meatloaf leftover

Dinner – beef (from freezer) stir fry



Breakfast – breakfast crepes

Lunch – stir fry leftover

Dinner – sloppy joes from freezer



Breakfast – cereal

Lunch – salmon/tuna melts

Dinner - leftovers


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Need to FUNCTION

I laugh at myself and my blog posts about struggling through the days with two little ones. I mean, I have many friends with more than two kids and, even my own mother has SEVEN.

I find it interesting that I am so confused by the "difficulty" of two...or one, when I had one. I wonder why I'm so shocked that the little precious-es require lots of time, attention, and love. I mean, that's exactly what I wanted to give to my children before I had them...and now it takes concentration to remember how much I do enjoy takes a real intentional attitude toward mothering. If I'm not being intentional, the whole "caring for" isn't actually that fun.

I think that each mother has her own set of issues that keeps her from thoroughly enjoying her children for the short time that she gets to care for them. Mine have to do with wanting to do (or finish) projects, learn new recipes and bargain-shop on line...all of which are totally silly, but not, ultimately wrong. They are only wrong when they keep me from enjoying this beautiful, incredible gift from God: being able to stay at home with my children, care for my family's needs and be an example of the PEACE that is found in a life with Jesus.

When I am discouraged by how far I have to come in this process, I am reminded that "He who began a good work in me will be sure to finish it."

I have been trying to set aside "ideals" for actual "function." Below is a picture of my new living room set up. The layout defies about 100 cardinal decorating rules and is definitely something I would steer others away from.

There are multiple focal points. The seating area is too spread out. The rug is WAY to small. Etc...Etc... But, now Gwen can push her baby stroller through the house at the same time that Gus is laying on his blanket. I can nurse the baby while Gwendolyn dances, without any barriers between us. So, I'm trading form for function and working on being okay with it!

Such problems I have: a fridge that's too full...a home with too many beautiful things to move around : ).

Monday, October 18, 2010

What Do You Get After 5 Days of "3-day potty training?"

Well, in the Bickerton Home, you get yourself a big box of PULL-UPS.

Yup...there she is, my big girl who is 100% capable of being 100% potty-trained...but has decided that it pleases me too much...and that's bad for her REP. So, now we just go potty when SHE wants to...but I'm not cleaning up any more pee - hence the Pull-Ups.

Look at my little man...he's just hoping these big, pink pants won't be hand-me-downs.

These pictures make our big potty-training efforts look like a lot of wasn't...but I'm having fun, now, as I look back!

I guess it turns out that, sometimes, spending a lot of money on non-biodegradable material filled with chemicals is better for the environment AND your health...well, better for my home environment...and my mental health!

Friday, October 08, 2010

We look good, don't we??

Yeah, I'm exhausted, bewildered, and using homeopathic concoctions and cheap red wine to relax. But, God is good and I'm learning to pay attention to the things that matter...why is that so hard, anyway?

I look forward to seeing more of you all, in the blogging world, soon...I do miss it so!