Monday, February 18, 2013

Cowgirl in Training

I so need to make Emma a t-shirt that says, "Cowgirl in Training." I think it might have to happen tomorrow :0)

Well, I don't have much to write about, so I thought I would leave you with a few videos from last weeks horse lesson.




Riding on her own! 

Hope you had a great weekend!

p.s. If you are interested in seeing the 100+ photos I took from her last lesson, they start here

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Walks and Hikes

Friday was a beautiful day, so Emma and I decided to go for a walk.

'Course, if I had remembered that it was Friday we would have just been getting home from her horse lessons when we were deciding to go for a walk. Understandably, everyone was upset that we missed lessons, but there wasn't anything we could do, so we went for our walk.

Out for a walk (3)
No hat needed today!

Out for a walk (2)
Emma's photo of a berry.

Out for a walk
I think this might have been taken when Emma gave the camera back to me. I love that you can see Emma in the reflection of my glasses. 

On Saturday we had a winter weather warning that started at 5 p.m. but the morning was beautiful, so we decided to go for a hike. 

Hiking by the Lewis and Clark Interprative Center (2)
The Missouri River

Hiking by the Lewis and Clark Interprative Center (4)
It was a little windy and chilly up on top of the bluffs.

Hiking by the Lewis and Clark Interprative Center (5)
Lots of deer tracks

Hiking by the Lewis and Clark Interprative Center (6)
Jared using my walking stick, Emma conspiring, convincing Da to run away from me. 

Hiking by the Lewis and Clark Interprative Center (7)
He's easy to convince. 

Hiking by the Lewis and Clark Interprative Center (8)
We made it to the waters edge.

Hiking by the Lewis and Clark Interprative Center (9)

Hiking by the Lewis and Clark Interprative Center (11)
Can you see what Emma is looking at?

Hiking by the Lewis and Clark Interprative Center
How about now?

We did end up getting some snow on Saturday night, but it wasn't much. Still, even a little snow is a good excuse to snuggle in with an audiobook and not do anything that requires much energy. 

Hope you had a fun and relaxing weekend!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Meal Planning, Again.

Yeah, today was meal planning day. Actually, it should have been yesterday so that I could do groceries today, but I went on strike and said forget it.

Which just makes things worse. 

The good news is that the menu board is working pretty well. I think once we have more of the tags filled out it will be better, but for now we are still trying out a lot of new recipes. We have a new Brussles Sprouts and Bacon tag (from Nom Nom Paleo), and I need to remember to make up a meatballs tag as well.

Despite the fact that the menu board is working out, I still want to beat my head against the kitchen table every week when it's time to make the grocery list. 

What do I think would make meal planning easier? An iPad or iPad mini. 

Really? Well, not really. But this app from Nom Nom Paleo is something I have wanted since it came out. Badly. Except it's only available for iPad or iPad mini. She is actually giving away a free iPad and her app, so you may want to check it out.

*Please go check it out. If you enter to win, I get an extra entry. Aside from using the iPad for cooking and meal planning purposes, I promise to use it as part of Emma's education*

Anyway, now that I have been thoroughly distracted by Nom Nom Paleo (seriously, she has an awesome website with great recipes), back to what I was complaining about. 

Meal planning. 

For the past year or two I have been using this 

to plan my meals. I don't remember exactly how long ago I found it, but I was able to locate where I found it. It's here if you want to check it out. 

I used it as is for a VERY long time. Occasionally I would try out other meal planning templates, but I always find myself coming back to this. When I gave up planning our meals by the day, I used some white out to get rid of the the days of the week. Each week when I meal plan, I just write in the animal that we plan to eat (beef, chicken, fish, etc) where the days of the week had been. Makes it pretty easy. I can print two of these to a page and still have enough room to write my meals and sides. Typically, I would only fill in 4 of the spaces with meal, then use the extra spaces to plan snacks (like granola, or cookies) and other extras (like mayo, hard boiled eggs, etc). 

Course, most weeks what gets written down isn't what gets cooked. I'm full of energy when I sit down and make out the meal plan, but come cooking time, I don't wanna. 

I don't wanna be stuck in the kitchen all by myself while everyone else is off having fun. I don't wanna be responsible for putting healthy and yummy food on the table. I don't wanna get all bent out of shape when Emma doesn't like what I cook. 

I do want company, someone(s) to talk to, laugh with, throw food at. Food should be fun, should be prepared with happiness and love. 

With those thoughts in mind, tonight I decreed that from this day forth, I will have help in the kitchen. 

Really, I don't mind doing dishes, I don't mind cooking, I don't mind cleaning up after meals. I don't. What I do mind is doing ALL of it every day all by my lonesome with no help. Not even an offer of help. 

Ok, enough complaining. 

So, starting tomorrow, our approach to food planning and prep is changing. We will still meal plan, but instead of cooking throughout the week, it's all gonna get cooked on Sunday (with the exception of a few sides that will taste better fresh). 

Jared and Emma are in charge of veggie prep. They will wash, but and sort into veggie snack packs the following: cauliflower, regular carrots, sugar snap peas, radishes, peppers, tomatoes, and kohlrabi (if the store has any).  The will put together a veggie snack pack for each of us for each day of the week. They will also be responsible for washing and spinning some lettuce for salads and wraps. 

While those two are busy with the veggies, I will be getting the meat all cooked up. With our new toaster over (that I splurged on and don't regret) all left over meat tastes just as yummy as the first go-round. So I will be responsible for roasting a whole chicken, baking a salmon, and putting together a Hungry Mans Sweet Potato Casserole. Once Emma is done helping Jared with the veggies, she will be in charge of making some turkey meatballs. 

We will also hard boil 18 eggs and make a weeks worth of granola balls. 

Then all we will need to do through out the week is whip up some sides (steamed veggies, roasted kaboch squash, zucchini noodles, apple sweet potato bake, and rainbow cabbage) while the meat reheats in the toaster over. 

I think I might like this plan. I'll let you know how it goes.