Monday, December 3, 2012

Freezer Cooking Made Simple

With CHRISTmas season upon us, I decided to do a major shopping/prepping/freezer cooking deal but keep it simple.  I chose 16 dishes to make over the month (we eat at church on Wednesdays, eat out once a week, and would have some dishes with leftovers).  I chose to do Spaghetti, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Baked Ziti, Goulash, Chicken Parmesan, Buffalo Chicken Tenders, "Fried" Chicken Tenders, Maple Glazed Chicken, Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken Stuffing Pie, Chicken and Noodles, Chicken Noodle Soup, Meatloaf, Salisbury Steak, Pot Roast, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Beef Bake.

I made a list of all ingredients, made a big Walmart run, and got everything prepped/freezer cooked.  I cooked up 2 batches of spaghetti sauce for the Spaghetti and Baked Ziti.  I prepped the meatballs and froze them.  I froze a pound of beef for the goulash.  I prepped the meatloaf and froze it.  I prepped the Salisbury steak patties and froze them.  I cooked a pound of beef and froze it for the GMP & BB.  I cooked 3 pounds of chicken and froze them for the CSP and CPP.  I prepped up some chicken and froze it in 1 pound packages for the other dishes.

It is nice that I will just have to lay something out each day, do a little prep and heating up, and we will have dinner.  Great for this busy time of year.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Now that we have had Thanksgiving (which is one of my favorite holidays by the way), I am ready to think about CHRISTmas.  I personally do not believe in doing anything for CHRISTmas before Thanksgiving.  I like to enjoy each holiday as it comes and focus on it as much as possible.  I have been doing the 1st Thessalonians 5:18 Challenge AKA the 30 Days of Thanksgiving Challenge which I will be sharing when I finish up.

Now to talk about CHRISTmas ideas.  I love to make each holiday really special for my kids.  With CHRISTmas, we like to make it last the whole month.  Each year, I sit down and plan out an activity for each day of the month.  This year I am hoping to put it all together in a neat format so the kids can open something or uncover something or pull out a paper that tells what we are doing somehow.  I am not sure about the presentation, but here are my ideas so far:

The #1 thing I am excited about is the Jesse Tree. This year we are going to be going through the Advent Jesse Tree book and each night the kids will unwrap a new ornament to go on the Jesse Tree. What a great way to keep focused on the real meaning of CHRISTmas.  I will share more about that as we go on.  Today I wrapped each ornament in a separate box.  The kids will love opening them and putting them on the tree each night.

Outside of that, we will be visiting family, see some church productions, go caroling with our church, do some outreach projects, go to Disney on Ice, go see different lights/decorations, go ice skating, make cookies, make ornaments, build a gingerbread house, have a Polar Express movie night, build a manger, act out the real CHRISTmas story, watch CHRISTmas movies, read CHRISTmas books, and make other CHRISTmas crafts.

I would love to hear what you are doing for CHRISTmas. :)

Back Again

I know it has been almost 6 months since I have been here blogging.  I miss it.  I really do.  I am going to work on being on here more frequently again.  Hopefully I will have some new tips, recipes, and ideas to share.  I look forward to reading comments from you also.  I love getting ideas from others as well.  :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Back to Freezer Cooking/Prepping

I am back to freezer cooking/prepping.  I have found that having a toddler to keep up with makes it a little difficult to cook a fresh meal every single night, so I am back to doing a month shop/prep/cook/freeze session.

Here are the meals:
Salisbury Steak
Meatloaf
Pot Roast
Pot Roast (had planned to do steaks but they were not on sale)
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken Stuffing Pie
Chicken Noodle Dumpling Delight
Chicken with Noodles
Spaghetti
Spaghetti with Meatballs
Baked Ziti
Chicken Parmesan
Buffalo Chicken Tenders

I know that isn't that many meals, but we got based on our credit card cycle and I plan to do another round when our credit card starts over.  We plan to eat at church on Wednesday nights and one other night each week.

Here's how I did it:
I prepped the Salisbury Steak and froze the patties (just have to thaw and cook them and add sides).
I prepped the Meatloaf and froze it flat in a freezer bag (just have to thaw and cook and add sides).
I put the roast in a freezer bag (I cook my pot roast from frozen with some potatoes, carrots, onions, onion soup mix, and beef broth in the crockpot - probably the easiest meal ever).
I cooked 2lbs of chicken in the crockpot until it was falling apart and froze it in 1lb bags for the casseroles (just have to toss the chicken with some other things and bake).
I froze 2lbs of chicken to be used the day we have CNDD and CwN (I have to make the CNDD completely but the chicken is pre-diced).  (The CwN just involves throwing chicken in the crockpot all day with COC soup and tossing together some things at the last minute).
I made 2lbs of meat's worth of spaghetti sauce (added all the veggies) and froze it flat to be used on spaghetti and baked ziti.  (Just have to cook noodles).
I made 1lb of meatballs and froze flat.  (Just have to cook noodles).
I froze 2lb of chicken tenders for the Chicken Parmesan and Buffalo Chicken Tenders (I don't like the bread crumbs on it to re-thaw - not as good).

So the meals should take about 30 minutes each day (and most of that is just putting stuff in the oven and leaving it).  I love this.  It is so nice.

How do you do your meal planning and preparation?  I would love to hear what works for ya.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Parenting with Scripture

I know this is a homemaking/organization blog, but I enjoy sharing other facets of my life with you.  As you know, I am a Christian who loves the Lord and desires greatly to live my life serving Him and growing in Him.  One of my biggest visions for my children is to have a strong solid Biblical foundation in their lives (Deut 6).  In order to do this, we use Scripture in our daily lives.  My friend, Holly, told me about a great resource called Parenting with Scripture.

It is a book that looks at nearly every topic of parenting issues (life issues) that will inevitably come up and gives a list of Scriptures that relate to that topic as well as questions to ask, practical application, and a prayer.  I love this!!!  It is great not just for parents, but for anyone who wants to know what God's Word says about _________.  I intend to use it to give me a quick reference of Scripture when I can't think of one (or need more than I can think of).  I would recommend using it as more as a reference pointing you to the Scriptures in the Bible and going to the Bible to read from so that kids see you reading (or they read) straight from God's Word. 

I hope this helps!

It's Been Awhile

I can't believe it has been 4 months since I posted here.  I am looking forward to getting back to blogging here.  We are currently on our summer break from homeschooling (and life in general it feels) so I am working on new organizational things that I plan to share here.  I hope it helps.  I hope you enjoy the blog.  I would love to hear if there are things that you would like to see here.  :)

Ashley

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thank You Notes

As I posted around this time last year (http://organizedhomemaking.blogspot.com/2011/01/teaching-our-children-about-thank-you.html), I am a big fan of thank you notes. I love writing them and I love getting them. I don't think it is ever to early to teach our children thankfulness, not just etiquette. When I was growing up the rule was you were not allowed to enjoy the gift until you wrote a thank you note. I remember writing them in the hotel room after our Bachelor/Bachelorette bowling party and on the plane to our honeymoon. LOL! Here is one of Luke's from this year. This year he wrote the whole thing. I was very happy to have our handwriting lesson for the week all ready to go. :)


Be thankful. - Colossians 3:15

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Oven Baked Bacon

At CHRISTmas I found a great way to make bacon. You cook it in the oven. I had no idea you could do this.

You line a baking sheet with foil and put the bacon on it.
You put the baking sheet in the oven and turn it to 400 degrees.
(DO NOT PREHEAT THE OVEN!!!!!!!!)
Set the timer for 15-20 minutes.
Bacon comes out perfect, crispy, and the best part is that after the pan cools, you can just wrap up the foil and toss out the mess.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Luke's New Bedroom

We moved Luke into our old office because he wanted a red room. We went with a Spiderman theme.

Here are some pictures.

Here is the door into his room.


Here is a picture of his bed. I love the giant Spiderman on the wall.

He got a new bookshelf since he has soooo many books. Hoping this keeps all of it better organized.


The giant Spiderman.

Toy shelves.

I am really happy with how this turned out.

Our New Office/School Room

A while back the thought dawned on me to combine our office and school room on the 3rd floor. We hope to have at least one more child so we want to have an open bedroom on the 2nd floor for him/her (them). Here are some pictures of how it turned out. Some of this was already done and some is new (Lee's desk and office stuff and the new school table - our old kitchen table).

A view of my office corner and the school boards.


A view of the new school table - our old kitchen table and school closet.

A view of Lee's office corner.

Another up close view of my office corner.

The new school desk.

The closets. The one on the right houses our school/craft/scrapbook stuff. The other one is Lee's.


Some of our decor.

Inside the closet - that is my scrapbooking stuff and Luke's art stuff.

Inside the closet - all of our homeschool resources.

Inside the closet - our supplies and manipulatives.

I LOVE THIS ROOM!!! LOTS OF SPACE, BOTH DESKS, A BIG SCHOOL TABLE, AND EVERYTHING IS SUPER ORGANIZED (FOR NOW AT LEAST).

Our 3rd Floor Bathroom

Our boys have been sharing our 2nd floor bathroom that had this sage set. We decided to put it on the 3rd floor so that we could personalize their bathroom. We are going to be going with a pirate theme. This will be our 3rd floor bathroom until we have all the kids and decide which one(s) will be using this bathroom).

I love this plague - It says, "Write your sorrows in sand and your blessings in stone."

I love these pieces of art - They say, "Faith, Hope, and Love."


A view of the bathroom.

I really love how this bathroom turned out. I can't wait to do the boys' bathroom.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM ORGANIZED HOMEMAKING!!!

I hope you had a fabulous CHRISTmas and New Year. I am really looking forward to this year. I have been working on projects that I will share with you. I have also been working on a list of plans and goals for the year which I will also share with you as well. I hope you have a very organized and blessed 2012.

Ashley