Weekly Meal Plan: 2 March to 8 March

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Our first Bountiful Baskets order!

In an effort to save a little money on produce, I decided to give Bountiful Baskets a try last week. I heard about it several years ago, but opted against it as we were in various CSAs or produce delivery services and they seemed like a better option. This one promises to deliver a lot more, though, for a small amount and I wasn’t disappointed at all. The produce was all in great shape and, aside from the fennel and chard, all stuff we normally buy (unlike a CSA where you’re stuck with 5 weeks of celeriac). I’ll definitely be trying it again!

I’m going to include links to the recipes that are available online, otherwise I’ll include links to the resource where I got the recipe. Here’s this week: [Read more…]

System Status: February 2015

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a humble place

I haven’t done a system status since November, so I have some catching up to do. Things are still status-quo around here…still looking for a job for E. Still hoping. We’ve had both good news and bad news flung our way in the last few months and the roller coaster ride of emotions is beginning to flatten itself out. I don’t know if this means we’re growing more numb to it all, or we’re able to keep a positive light on things. I’d like to think it’s the latter.

In Humble family news…

C turned one in the end of January. ONE. How did that happen? She’s still so amazing and precious and beautiful and I love her to pieces. She started walking about a month ago so we just opened up more of the living/dining room area and occasionally the kitchen to her and she seems to be thankful for more room in which to meander. When we did this for B, I made a little cupboard for him with three paintings taped to the inside of the door and wooden vegetables and eggs and pots and pans and other “kitchen” things in it. Needless to say, it got a little trashed over the last three years, so I took some time today to clean it out, repairing (and throwing out) a few of the things. She spent the morning wandering around the house carrying a pitcher with wooden eggs in it, setting it down every so often to offer someone an egg and babble something at them in the process. ♥

I started the winter curriculum with B in the beginning of January and I’m so, so glad I found this program. It’s been absolutely fantastic to add a little more structure (but not too much) to our weeks. I also rearranged a few things and he now has a little art cabinet in the living room where he can pull out papers, crayons, markers, pens, etc. whenever he wants to draw to his heart’s content. Pipes and water tanks and outlets and wires and switches seem to be his current obsession. His little brain is amazing.

In the end of February I’m into….

Books.

In December I read Life After Life (which was beautifully written), The Girl You Left Behind (I got into a Jojo Moyes kick there for a while), and The Princess Bride (I’ve owned the movie for years and the book was very different than what I was expecting).

In January I read The Peacock Emporium (the main character reminded me too much of myself….not in a good way), The Last Letter From Your Lover (engaging but sad), and Lila (lovedlovedloved).

And in February, I read The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times. I LOVED this book. Loved. Other than one teeny part that was a bit too descriptive to me, it was a fantastic read. I picked up the sequel and plan on starting on that soon. I also read Bel Canto per the suggestion of a friend in my book club. I really liked this one as well. The ending was sad, but inevitable (though the post-ending was a surprise), and I loved the character development. The woman who narrated the audiobook version did an amazing job with all the voices and accents.

TV.

The Blacklist is back, so I’m re-addicted to that. My HSP self really, really doesn’t like the more graphic parts of it, but the storyline is just so engaging that I can’t seem to stop myself from watching it. Downton Abbey is back as well! What is it with these BBC shows only on once a year in 8-show installments? Absence makes the heart grow fonder, I guess. I’ll be sad when it’s done after next week (but then I think Call the Midwife starts back up!).

E has also sucked me in to The Goldbergs (who can’t love the 80s?). Honestly, between this show and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I think I must have a lot of love for my husband.

Music.

I’ve had “You Are my Flower” by Elizabeth Mitchell (or the Carter family…whichever you prefer) song stuck in my head for the last few months and I sing it to C sometimes, so I downloaded the album. Elizabeth Mitchell is probably my favorite childrens’ music artists. Her voice is so peaceful.

Movies.

We watched Lincoln on his birthday as we thought it might be fitting. I was actually surprised at how much I liked it when I’ve been putting off seeing it for so long because I thought it would be violent and dark and depressing. I wish we all spoke like that still…eloquent (but sometimes not).

Food.

We picked up Make It Paleo II at Costco last week and E made the home fries for breakfast on Saturday. He’s great at breakfast foods in the first place but these were also just fantastic. I’m looking forward to trying more recipes from the book!

Projects.

Easter is coming up so I’m starting to put together baskets for B and C. I’m gathering ideas on my Pinterest board, which you can peek at here:

Follow reb’s board easter baskets on Pinterest.

We also picked up an unfinished bookshelf for C as she has, literally, no non-sleeping-related furniture of her own now and some Yolo Colorhouse paint (custom mixed in the shade of Awesome Violet…it’s awesome). I think this means I have to get around to actually painting it one of these days so I can put some of the adorable little things she received for her birthday on it.

Bird Sightings.

And a new little section to my system status! Per the suggestion of B’s winter curriculum, we picked up a bird feeder to hang on our deck and observe “wildlife.” Ironically, E and I are far more into it than B is and we’ve been a little bird-obsessed in recent weeks. Case in point: while we were watching Lincoln, there’s a scene where he’s delivering a speech and birds are singing in the background, which we strained to hear and identified a red-wing blackbird.

DORKS!

In the dead of winter, we weren’t expecting much, but have been pleasantly surprised. So far we’re at 4 varieties: house finches (seen at the top of the post), red-breasted nuthatches (E’s favorite), black-capped chickadees, and, very occasionally (and my favorite) goldfinches (though they don’t have the yellow plumage just yet). We think we may have almost had bushtits (what a name) but they didn’t stick around at the feeder. I hope they come back because I’m apparently a bird dork now.

Favorite Instagram.

 

mama-son stained glass paper hearts. <3 #weefolkartwintercurriculum A photo posted by @humbleplaces on

And there you have the state of the Reb. :)

Kind > Right

Be kind. - ahumbleplace.com

I grew up in a house….well, really, in an environment in general, where being right was usually valued over being kind, and the two didn’t often intertwine. It’s prophet syndrome at its worst, and while I think there are some situations where being right really is more important than being kind (and, of course, situations when they can co-exist), there are probably a lot more where being RIGHT is just not necessary.

I see this a lot in Christian circles, especially in very public issues that many Christians take for granted as having black and white sides. Politics, homosexuality, the role of women in the church, how to discipline your kids, etc. etc. It feels like many stand firm on this foundation of being RIGHT and don’t take the time to think about how that RIGHTNESS comes across. How being RIGHT, in reality, may actually be wrong because we are stating what we feel to be a blatant truth but in some very unloving ways.

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. — 1 Co 13:1-3

B is teaching me a lot about this. As he gets older and asserts his will (or tries to), I’ve found that the sheer force of my will, my knowing that I’m RIGHT and he’s wrong (regardless of the level of truth behind that statement), is not something he can easily go up against and it frustrates him to no end. But I’m RIGHT! I’m the parent! He must OBEY! I not only heard this all.the.time when I was growing up, but it’s also the basis for many parenting books, especially those marketed to Christians.

The more I’ve noticed his frustration, the more I’ve been able to really look at the supposed black and white of parenting. The fact that I’m RIGHT and he’s wrong. And many times, you know….it just doesn’t matter. The fight, the frustration, the BEING RIGHT regardless of anyone’s feelings, is not only not worth it, but is also not something I’m interested in teaching my son.

Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. — Eph 6:4

God, of all beings, has every right to pull the RIGHT card in each and every situation, and yet there are countless times in the Bible when one of us children of His asks Him to maybe give things a second thought and change His mind? Maybe?

And He does. He did it with Ninevah. He did it with Sodom and Gomorrah. He did it with Hezekiah. He did it with the children of Israel (many times). I don’t know His reasoning for doing it, but I’d like to think it was out of love….hearing his child say, “hey, dad, can you maybe change your mind on this?” And He obliged because He’s especially fond of us.

The same is true in non-parental relationships too. Regardless of how right I believe myself to be, I’ve found that just letting it go is so much more loving, so much more healthy for relationships and so much more, I believe anyway, the way Christ wants us to be. I know there are definitely cases where there are absolute rights and absolute wrongs, but being RIGHT doesn’t win anyone to your side when they’re convinced they’re RIGHT as well. When you’re kind, when you show people that they, as a person, mean so much more to you than you being RIGHT does, than you may just convince them that you’re right without even trying.

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. — 1 Co 13:13

Always choose love and the rest will follow. I think that’s the best way to be RIGHT.