Would You Like an Update on the Cat?

Read the one about our garden and our cat, at which time I wasn’t sure we really had a cat. And now an update:

Actually, how about I just show you what happened last Sunday after Matt fed the cat some milk on Friday night, and then I fed the cat some chicken and tuna from our fridge on Saturday morning…

cat food 1

Who is that lady and why is she holding that? 

You know what they say about feeding stray cats and how they don’t leave your property once they’re fed? That is indeed a fact. I would add to that fact that not only does the cat stay on the property but within five minutes of consuming the first meal, said cat becomes convinced that your property is not your property at all but her property. Napping in the sunshine on the porch (which now obviously belongs to the cat, and here you thought it was yours all this time) becomes the cat’s favorite thing to do (aside from eating, of course), because even though you pay the mortgage, you certainly only do it so that the cat can have a porch.

So anyway, the bag of food. After one and a half days, I stopped liking the idea of spending a lot of money per pound on organic, free range chicken and humanly caught tuna only to serve it to a cat (who is supposed to be taking care of our bunny issues). I am so, so nice…but I’m just not that nice. This means that Malachi and I found ourselves on a walk to the dollar store Sunday to see what we could find in the way of decent cat food at a decent price. All the way there, Malachi chatted on and on about Wiggams (owner of our porch) and how excited he was to finally have a pet and please don’t ask any more neighbors about her because we don’t want any of them to actually recognize and take the cat away because that would just be so sad.

cat food 2

Would you look at that.
There is a 10-year old photo bomber with a crazy face.

I have no idea where he gets his personality.

Two things about this cat food, as shown in the above picture. First, it comes from “Local Family Farms” which is an obvious good choice because the word “local” always means good and wholesome things, right?. Never mind the ingredient list the size of my hand. I just can’t go there with cat food. I’ll pretend the word “local” here doesn’t actually mean “some faraway factory you’ve never heard of.”

Second, you wouldn’t believe how amazed Wiggams was when she saw that the food was in the shape of tiny fish and miniature chicken legs. This is the only reason she ate the food. In fact, Wiggams was so thrilled that she snapped a selfie with the food and posted it to both Instagram and Pinterest in hopes of this novel idea going viral. The shape of a cat’s food matters more than anything, perhaps even more than owning a porch.

Our three older boys were able to meet Wiggams on Saturday when they came home from camp. All combined, they had about four words to say about her, most of which included “hmm” and “well.” I think that means they like her.

So welcome to the family, Wiggams. We think you’re pretty neat. If it’s okay with you, sometimes we will walk across your porch to get to your van (the shady spot underneath appears to be her second favorite spot) when we need to go somewhere. Thank you for understanding.

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Frozen Oatmeal Cups – for a Quick, Hearty Breakfast

frozen oatmeal8

Making oatmeal has got to be the most difficult thing to do ever. It’s definitely the most tedious breakfast food there is – requiring time, energy, thought, and absolute sweat-dripping labor over a stove for five entire minutes (because oatmeal won’t cook properly unless someone is staring at it in expectation). Life is hard. We should probably settle for pop-tarts. It’s the only way.

Don’t worry, friends. I’ve found a way to avoid performing this grueling task (and eating pop-tarts) in the mornings – and I’m here to share. I think we can all agree that the more we can avoid the challenge of putting water in a pot to boil, the better. Gather ’round, everyone. This tip will shave at least 1.4 minutes off your morning meal prep, so listen closely. Every 1.4 minutes counts.

Here’s what you need to do: You need to cook up a double or triple batch of oatmeal (you can do it, we’re all in this together, persevere, I believe in you). Once the oatmeal is done, go ahead and feed some to your family. Here’s where it gets good: After your meal, freeze the leftovers in muffin cups, topped with whatever delicious toppings your family likes. Like this:

frozen oatmeal3

The result is easy-to-store cups of frozen oatmeal which are ready to pull out and re-heat at any given time – preferably on those mornings. You know the ones I’m talking about.

But seriously, in all seriousness, because I am always serious – this really is a lovely way to help your children help themselves on a busy morning, and it really does save a tiny bit of time because the cooking of the oatmeal has already been done.

Now, if you get a little bit burned out on oatmeal and you’re still struggling with the urge to buy a pre-made breakfast in a box that promises to save you time – I suggest you consider the possibility of frying an egg. If I can do it, you can do it. There are also apples – a brand new innovative idea for breakfast that I’ve heard are great to grab-and-go. Who knew?

Frozen Oatmeal Cups - a quick, hearty breakfast

The Specifics of Making Approximately 24 Frozen Oatmeal Cups

  1. Boil 6 cups of water.
  2. Stir in 3 cups of whole oats.
  3. Turn the heat down to simmer the oats/water for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat once the water has been absorbed and the oats are soft.
  5. Stir in 1-3 Tablespoons of butter and 1-4 Tablespoons of sweetener like honey or sucanat as desired.
  6. Scoop prepared oatmeal into muffin tins (no need to grease the tins).
  7. Top oatmeal cups with any variety of fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.
  8. Place filled muffin pans in the freezer for 2-3 hours or until oatmeal is frozen solid.
  9. Pull frozen oatmeal out of the freezer and allow it to sit on the counter-top for about 10 minutes.
  10. Use a fork or spoon to gently pop the frozen oatmeal cups out of the tins.
  11. Place the frozen cups into a labeled freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to three months.
  12. Re-heat by placing frozen oatmeal cup(s) in a small saucepan on medium heat until thawed and warm.

I love this idea (for so many reasons, as explained earlier) – but also because this allows for a variety of sizes of appetites. Little ones may just need one cup to fill them, whereas my sons would likely each pull out 2-4 to rewarm.

So now, go therefore and make yourself some frozen oatmeal cups. Your breakfast – and really, your entire life – is obviously going to be changed for the better because of this tip. Enjoy your extra 1.4 minutes of morning time. You are very, very welcome.

What do you think of this idea? I like the brainlessness of it. I like that the cooking is done so all that needs to be done is rewarm and serve. I love that my kids can do this themselves. Not every freezer meal is about saving time – sometimes it’s just about the comfort of having prepped food on hand for ease!

P.S. We also really love making Homemade Instant Oatmeal to have on hand.

Kudos to Cupcakes and Kale Chips where I first saw this fun idea!

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Our Homemade Vanilla For Sale This Weekend – Come and Get It!

We’ve got some of our Heavenly Homemakers Vanilla Extract bottled up and ready to ship out. Want some? Get it while it lasts!

vanilla_two

Prefer to make your own? Yes…I very much recommend it! Here are instructions for making your own vanilla extract, which saves you quite a bit of money and provides you with very delicious and pure vanilla for your family and for gifts.

Don’t want to make your own or still waiting for your own to finish brewing? Grab some of ours and enjoy the delicious, strong, pure vanilla which includes no added ingredients to water it down or sweeten it up. (This means you can use half the amount called for in recipes to make it last twice as long!)

This time, we only have a few 4-ounce bottles and a lot of 8-ounce bottles. This is a better price-per-ounce for you anyway, so I’ll stop feeling bad that I forgot to order more 4-ounce sized bottles to fill. :)

We have a limited supply, so get yours before it’s gone! The price includes shipping and handling, so the price you see is the price you pay. U.S. only please.

4-ounce bottle
$16.00
Add to Cart

8-ounce bottle
$29.00
Add to Cart

 

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We Are So Loved! (A Free Printable)

While we were at church camp the past two weeks, we spent many hours in the Word and many hours with teenagers. The first week was with middle schoolers (Matt and I taught a split class of guys/girls); the other week was with high schoolers (Matt and I taught a mixed class together). All of the hours were rich.

The first week I was privileged to teach 43 middle school girls (divided into three classes each morning). In a world full of lies, I continued to emphasize Truth. One Truth I repeated over and over (and prayed to show them through my own heart) was this:

There is no one God loves more than you. 

Truth.

The week’s lessons progressed as follows:

  1. You are loved. (Ephesians 3:16-19)
  2. You are blessed. (Luke 1:45)
  3. You are a blessing. (Ephesians 2:10)
  4. You are strong because of Jesus. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
  5. We are a team. (John 17:22-23)

How important it is for us all to realize these Truths. When we recognize and accept God’s unconditional and abundant love for us, when we are open to receive His blessings, when we understand that He uses us to bless others, when we embrace our weaknesses knowing that God is working His power through us – and then we put all of that together and recognize that we are all a team shining the light of Jesus to others…what beauty we have to offer as body of Christian sisters.

So that was 225 minutes of Bible class time wrapped up in a few paragraphs. There was much discussion, detail, and diving into scripture. We also pulled out the markers, crayons, scrapbook paper, glue, and cardstock each day to put together a big project that helped pull all the lessons together on Friday. Yay for girliness (and a way to keep 43 middle school girls engaged during five lengthy class periods).

No matter if we’re 13, 33, 63, or 103 – we all need to recognize Truth. We all need to be reminded of Christ’s love for us. His love is enormous! I find this comforting, empowering, peaceful, and delightful.

I made the following printable for each girl, and I am making it available here as well. What a wonderful passage to meditate on and digest as Truth.

Ephesians3

Download The Love of Christ Printable Here

I pray God’s rich blessings on you today as you reflect on His great love for you!

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From Frosty Freezers to Defrosted Freezers to Full Freezers

It may not look like much of a difference to you when you see my pictures, but trust me on this one. My freezers were completely disorganized and full of frost. I didn’t know what I had in there, much less where anything was.

Before I show you my before and after pictures, let’s establish this right away: No one ever accused me of not having enough food on hand. No one ever said, “Laura I think you should really consider buying more than one pound of meat at a time.” No one ever said, “Have you ever considered buying in bulk?”

“I sure hope the Coppingers can find something to eat today,” said no one ever. I’m thankful for the abundance, and you’ll read more about how we afford full freezers below.

Instead, this is what people say:

“If ever there is a food crisis, we will go to Laura’s house.” and “What are you guys, carnivores?!” and also “I would never have time to do all that freezer cooking.”

That final statement always makes me bang my head on my freezer since time is something I often feel that I am severely lacking and freezer cooking is what saves my meals (and ironically, my time).

So how do we afford to buy so much at once? True statement: We can’t afford not to.

Buying meat, cheese, nuts, grains, and butter in bulk and when we find good deals is the only way to feed a family full of teenage boys (and guests) without breaking our bank. If it’s a good price, I buy a cartful – which is a lot of cost upfront but saves $1,000’s in the long run.

How do I find time to do freezer cooking? I make time, spending an additional two hours or so here and there to save a dozen or more hours of cooking later. Or my favorite tip of all, when I’m making one casserole to eat at dinner, I typically make an additional one or two while I’m at it. Same effort, same amount of dishes, twice or three times the eats. It only makes sense.

So let’s take a look now at my freezers, and then let’s encourage Laura not to buy any more meat for a while. Seriously.

First I will show you (because I love splashing my disorganizational skills all over the internet) my two frost-filled, haphazard freezers in which one can only hope to reach in to grab a chicken and actually come away with a chicken.

Freezer #1

freezer1

Freezer #2

freezer2

Operation defrost and reorganize the freezers began Saturday afternoon.

Half the fun of this project was actually discovering that I had over 12 prepared freezer meals scattered all over the place. Thinking a better idea would be to put them all one one shelf so I’d know just where to look, I…you know, put them all on one shelf so I’d know just where to look. Brilliance. I’ll be saving these meals for the first few weeks of school/soccer season. This is what sanity is made of.

I put all the chicken on the top shelf, all the beef on the second shelf, all the butter in the door, and all the frozen fruits and veggies on aisle 4.

freezer4

Freezer #2 then only contained only our lamb meat, nuts, and a couple packs of cheese.  But wait. There’s more.

freezer5

On Tuesday, Matt picked up the grass-fed beef we had ordered from local farmer friends. Did we need to order beef right now? No, we still had some. But our friend’s cows were ready right now…and later would be too late. Saying no now would have made us run out of beef before next spring/summer, so we ordered before we needed it. I think we’re set on beef for a while. Although we will go through this faster than many would think. You’ve seen teenagers eat, right?

freezer6

In other freezer cooking news, I made a batch of Whole Wheat Pizza Crusts for an easy lunch once school starts. I also cooked 3 pounds of hamburger meat (seeing as I had some to cook). We’ll use it on the pizzas and for other easy meals.

pizza crust for freezer

I have more to share about how I used my Eat Right Away Beef and Chicken Slow Cooker Editions (my fav so far!) to make many meals in a tiny amount of time – but that’s another post for another day.

I also planned to make a bunch of muffin batter for the freezer, but I am completely out of eggs (and beef is a poor substitute). We will be getting several dozen eggs today from our friend with chickens, then the muffin-batter-for-the-freezer plans will commence.

So now you tell me about your freezer(s). And about your beef. And about your eggs. And about your experiences in watching teenagers eat.

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No-Bake Chocolate Fudge Bites (Low Sugar, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

I always hesitate to put “Gluten Free” or “Dairy Free” in the title of a recipe. Why? Because some people see it and think, “I don’t need to eat gluten free (or dairy free) so I don’t need to look at this recipe.”

No wait! Come baaaaaaack! Do you eat apples? Strawberries? Chicken? Carrots? Then sometimes you eat gluten and dairy free. Right? Because that’s what those foods are, without even having to try.

There are soooo many foods that are naturally gluten and/or dairy free because God made a big variety of food to provide nourishment and balance. I wanted to put “GF” and “DF” in the title of this recipe so that the “GF” and “DF” people would know they could join this party. Everyone wins. Especially because this recipe involves chocolate. Amen and amen.

So gather around all you gluten free and dairy free and I can eat anything people. There are fudge bites to be had! These are cousins to No-Bake Snickerdoodle Bites (which are also GF and DF). Both of these snacks are awesome to have in the fridge for a quick pick-me-up.

Note: I noticed two things about this recipe when I tried them on my family:

  1. They were too sweet for me but my boys wished they were sweeter. Add or subtract that 1/4 cup honey amount as you wish.
  2. These tasted a thousand times better after they had been in the fridge an entire day. I don’t know why. Eat them right away if you wish, but chilling these in the fridge for over 24 hours makes these much fudgy-er and tastier.

No-Bake Chocolate Fudge Bites

1 cup almond butter or peanut butter
1/4 cup honey (more if you prefer)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/3 cup coconut flour

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Roll the mixture into teaspoon-sized (or whatever sized) balls. Refrigerate before serving.

No-Bake Fudge Bites

Have you tried the No-Bake Snickerdoodle Bites yet? These No-Bake Bites are my favorite way to add coconut flour to our diet (which is rich in fiber, protein, and other great nutrients). It doesn’t hurt that they only take a few minutes and little effort to make. :)

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While I’ve got you, I’m going to get caught up on posting giveaway winners since I’m behind!

The winners of the sets of Themed Bobby Pins from Lilla Rose are:

1) Jocy: jocyw4ever@
2) Katie: kpretot@
3) Elizabeth B: elannbefb@

Don’t forget: Get a FREE SURPRISE FLEXI-CLIP when you place an order of $40 or more!*

*To redeem your surprise flexi, you must message Paula after placing your qualifying order of $40 or more, excluding tax and shipping, through Paula’s website. Say that Heavenly Homemakers sent you, and if you are a new or returning customer.

Offer valid for U.S. customers only and expires July 31, 2015. This is for both new and Paula’s returning customers, but if you already have another Lilla Rose consultant, please stay with her; I’m sure she will appreciate it! Thank you!

The winners of the Organic Seasoning Gift Box from Redmond are:

1) Melody: lickemfo@
2) Carolyn Gibbens: hosannagal@
3) Kim: kim713@

Winners, email me and I’ll forward your info on for your prizes!

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Gratituesday: How Much You Mean to Me

I decided it’s high time I wrote another Gratituesday post. Please join me today as I celebrate God’s goodness in my friend Edith.

gratituesday[2]

She first emailed me in 2009 to say, “I want to tell you how much I enjoy your blog newsletters. I have shared many of them with our two daughters.”

That email came when my blog was a baby. She was one of my first blog followers. Her name was Edith. She was from Ohio.

Edith and I continued to email from time to time during the next few months. Then something I said in one of my posts sparked an interest, and would you believe? Her husband was born in the very same town where I grew up. Wonderful thing, this internet – connecting people who otherwise would not have met.

The email she sent in June, 2010 took our relationship to a new level. I had just written a blog post about our oldest son becoming a teenager. She wrote to tell me how wonderful teenagers are. Then she went on to say:

“Count your blessings every day – treasure every moment. And I know it’s trite, but do live each moment as though it truly were the last moment you have with your loved ones. We recently unexpectedly lost our elder daughter at age 36 in a matter of just a few hours.”

This began a friendship that was absolutely God given and beautifully selected. You see, the daughter Edith had lost was just my age. And my mom. Well, my mom had been gone already for a few years.

No one takes the place of a lost loved one. But Edith and I – well, I suppose we needed each other. She continued to send me emails of encouragement every few weeks, often to let me know she was praying for me. She sent me beautiful eCards for every holiday, which she personalized.

Edith loved me. Her love blessed me in ways I cannot describe. She was on my team. She was my prayer warrior. She was my friend. I loved her so.

Edith died unexpectedly last week. When I received the email from her younger daughter, who was so kind to think of me and share the news, I fell tearfully onto Matt’s chest. Not my Edith. I need my Edith.

I am going to miss this precious lady. Edith – the lady I never met face-to-face. The lady I could count on hearing from every few weeks as she cheered me on in my parenting, my writing, and my Christian walk.

My dear readers, I share this to let you know how much you mean to me. You’re not just “some people out there who read my blog.” You are a part of my life – a God given part that I do not take for granted. I treasure you and I am thankful for you.

When her oldest daughter died in 2010, this is what Edith said to me in her email:

“We are truly at peace even in our sadness. We know she’s having the time of her life in the presence of her beloved Lord and Savior. As her sister said, ‘She beat us home.’ And in that we rejoice.”

Now I say goodbye to my dear friend Edith, using her very words.

Thank you for loving me, Edith. Thank you for allowing God to work through you to be such a blessing in my life. I miss you already. But you’re having the time of your life in the presence of your beloved Lord and Savior. You beat us home. In that, I rejoice.

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Great Deal on Organic Raw Honey and Organic Cacao Powder

Food is definitely on my mind now that I’m home and getting into the swing of the kitchen again. (Fine. Food is always on my mind.) With the boys being gone so much all summer, I’ve cut way back on grocery spending the past two months. I plan to get stocked up again on staples before the beginning of the school year, and I am loving all the great deals Amazon is offering right now.

Hopefully you saw these deals I posted last week. Here is a great raw honey deal I wanted to let you know about:

Get a coupon for 15% off Organic Fair Trade Raw Honey. Plus if you buy at least 4 other subscribe and save items, you’ll get an additional 15% off. This means you can get three 16-ounce jars of honey for just $5.60 each.

wholesome sweeteners honey

This Raw Cacao deal seemed too good to be true, so I looked at it multiple times before deciding it actually is for real! Clip this 25% off coupon at Amazon. Pair it with the 15% off bonus you get when you purchase at least 4 other subscribe and save items during the month, and you can get 2 pounds of Organic Cacao Powder for just $13.90 total.

cacao powder 2

To keep all the deals in one place, I have finally updated our Amazon Deals page. It’s full of great savings, so click here to check it out! I’m gonna be stocked up in no time!

This post contains affiliate links. 

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About Our Garden and Our Cat. Wait. We Have a Cat?

I don’t even know where to start.

Mostly I want to tell you about our garden, but what I have to share isn’t terribly exciting because most of our garden produce isn’t ready yet. (Yes I know it’s almost August. It’s a Nebraska thing. It’s also a Coppinger thing as we got our garden planted a little bit late this year. We blame this on the Nebraska thing.) So just pretend to be interested when I say, oh look – it’s a picture of green tomatoes that aren’t ready to eat yet.

garden2

We do have a single yellow squash that appears to be an over-achiever. It got nice and big while we were away at camp, and while we wish it wasn’t so big and stringy, it will taste nice sliced and grilled along with some barbecue chicken. Otherwise though, there are no more squash ready.

garden1

As you can hopefully see below, we have two tiny zucchini which will be ready soon. All the squash plants are full of flowers, so in a couple weeks I’ll be begging you to come take some off my hands. At the very least, you should share your favorite squash recipes with me.

garden4

While we are lacking in abundant produce from our garden so far this year, there is one thing we are not lacking:

Bunnies.

I am here to tell you that bunnies are not cute. Bunnies are naughty. Like wag your finger and tsk like your great aunt naughty. Would you look at this?

garden5

What is that in the picture, pray tell? That is a nothing. It was a green bean plant. But now it is a nothing. We have two whole rows of nothings. That is because all the bunnies (every single one of them in the whole wide neighborhood) held a meeting to announce that the Coppinger fam was doing this thing called church camp which means that they were not around to say “scat bunny!” for 14 whole days. They decided to get their party on. In our garden. Within our rows of green beans. Naughty, naughty, naughty.

We have about 1.5 green bean plants that just might survive, which of course will feed our family of six for two bites each. This leads me to tell about our cat.

I can’t believe any of what I am about to write, mostly because we don’t have a cat, nor do we want a cat, nor do we want any pet at all because do I or do I not have enough mouths to feed said the mother of many, many teenage boys.

So this cat. It showed up in our yard over the weekend all hungry and meowy and stuff. Before I knew it, my husband – my husband – was outside giving it some milk. Wha??? We know better than to feed stray cats, do we not? I think we do. “Why are you doing that?” asked the mother of many, many teenage boys.

He was doing it because he was mad at the bunnies.

Oh, well in that case.

Wait. Wha???

No, but really. Matt explained to me (and I’m assuming he’s done hours of research on this) that bunnies do not like cats. Having a cat around might make the bunnies run the other way.

Being quite mad at the bunnies myself, I suddenly joined my husband in liking and wanting the cat.

Seriously, who is writing this? Like, want, cat, same sentence – I don’t even know who I am anymore. But I weighed the benefits. Bunnies eating all my bean plants or a cat rubbing its back against my porch rail? It’s a no brainer.

By the next morning, our ten year old had named the cat Wiggams (or Wigs for short) (or Wiggie if it’s being especially cute). He asked for string to play with it, and made it a home out of a cardboard box (because cats love this).

Then somebody else – who shall remain nameless – found herself scooping some pieces of chicken and tuna from the fridge onto a little plastic lid to put into the cat’s house, calling “here Wiggams” while doing so, because poor little Wiggie looked hungry and oh my goodness what in the world and who even am I??

So are you missing this cat? If so, call 555-BUNNIESARENAUGHTY. Trust that your cat is well fed but now answers to the name Wiggams. If you take the cat, you have to also take all of the bunnies.

cat1

I learned that if you say “look at the camera” to a cat, the cat will not respond accordingly. It’s like he doesn’t even appreciate the tuna. Dude. Wiggams. Just look up for a second.

cat2

Okay, then.

I suppose this story is “to be continued.” Stay tuned to hear more about garden produce and a camera shy cat named Wiggams. But not about fresh green beans -because bunnies are naughty.

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The First Thing I Did When I Got Home From Camp – Plus What I’ll Be Up to This Week

I bet you can guess. What’s the first thing I did the moment I got out of the van after being at camp for two weeks?

Okay fine. I went potty. But after that? Well, yes I started a load of laundry. But then??? Well I filled a glass of water to make sure I was hydrated.

But none of those count. What’s the really first thing I did after being away from my kitchen for two weeks?

groceries725
Ahhhhh, yes. I made a big price-matching list and headed to the store. The fridge was all but empty, we’re craving more fresh produce, and I’ve missed cooking. I loved the break (especially from the dishes!) – but I am so excited about being back in my kitchen!

I must admit that our three teenage boys are still at camp for another week and a half which means that I might have over-purchased just a wee bit. All you see in the picture up there? That’s just for Matt, Malachi (age 10), and me. We’re that hungry for freggies. I couldn’t hold back.

Case in point: Matt washed one of the containers of blueberries as soon as I gave him permission (aka, as soon as I got a picture taken – it’s a food blogger thing). I snagged a few of the berries as I scrubbed refrigerator shelves and put away groceries. A few minutes later, Matt appeared with the blueberry container and a grin. The blueberries were almost completely gone. The guy ate an entire pint (minus the 17 little berries I ate) in about 5 minutes. We’re craving this stuff, I tell ya.

Cravings aside, I would not have gotten 6 pounds of strawberries and 6 pints of blueberries for just the three of us – but I was able to price match them for just $1.00 each. Who can pass up filling the cart when they’re only a buck?? If we can’t finish them before they go bad, we’ll just freeze them for muffins and smoothies. It’s too easy.

So here’s what I’m thinking. I’m thinking that while I still just have one boy at home and therefore don’t need to prep large meals – I’m going to do some freezer cooking this week. My list is too long, which means I won’t likely get around to all of this since I have so much other work to catch up on after being away for two weeks. But here’s my crazy-lady list nonetheless:

1. Defrost the freezer.

We’re getting a quarter of grass-fed beef this week, so that along with putting prepped food in the freezer means I need to get rid of the terrible ice build up I’ve been ignoring for way too long.

2. Make a few batches of Strawberry and Blueberry Cream Muffins – freezing the batter to bake fresh later. (Read more about this wonderful freezer tip here.)

3. Work through my Eat Right Away Beef and Chicken Slow Cooker Editions to get easy meals in the freezer ready for upcoming school/soccer/busy days.

4. Make Whole Wheat Pizza Crusts for the freezer so the boys can quickly make their own pizzas on busy days.

5. Make and freeze Chicken Fried Steak Strips with the beef we’re picking up from the butcher.

6. Stop making this list before I become overwhelmed.

There are too many great freezer cooking ideas. I made myself stop adding to the list so I don’t overwhelm myself. I’ll take pictures of my progress throughout the week and share an update with you soon!

What are you going to be doing this week?

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