This is a topic that has come up at several Meet&Greets. It would seem as though meeting our family on the road makes people curious about what we’re eating along the way! I don’t blame you for asking. Hopefully you haven’t been terribly shocked or disappointed when I’ve shared that we enjoy treating ourselves to some Chick-fil-A here and there on our trips. :)
As much as possible, I do try to pack healthy food for the road. The difficulty comes when we’re traveling for several days in a row. Homemade food can only last so long, and a person can only eat so many sandwiches.
We don’t feel worry over eating out occasionally. Although I will say that we certainly don’t love spending money on it and our guts don’t always feel great afterward. But since our family eats very, very well MOST of the time, eating at a restaurant is a special treat that my family enjoys without guilt. We usually try to make it count, as in, we don’t settle for icky tasting (in our opinion) restaurants and usually opt for one we all really like. I mean, if we’re going to eat french fries, we want to enjoy them, right?
So, now that I’ve explained that part, I’d also like to share some ideas for foods I try to pack for the first leg of our trips to at least get us off to a good start. In addition, I’ve made note of ideas others have shared with me.
Breakfast on the Road
- Giant Breakfast Cookies
- Scrambled Egg Sandwiches
- Breakfast Burritos
- Homemade Muffins
- Warm Vanilla or Chocolate Soother
Lunch/Dinner on the Road
- Meat and Cheese Burritos
- Leftover Homemade Pizza
- Tuna or Chicken Salad with Pitas or Crackers
- Tossed Salads with Chicken (either from home or purchased on the road at a grocery store)
- Chicken Patty Sandwiches
- Pigs in a Blanket
- Sloppy Cornbread Muffins
- Taco Corn Fritters
- Fresh Fruit – lots and lots of fruit! If we eat nothing else good during the day, at least we have fruit. It’s the best convenience food ever! (Grapes, Berries, Apples, Oranges, Clementines, Bananas, and Pears all travel well.)
- Applesauce – I splurge on individul applesauce cups for a fun treat on a trip
- Baby Carrots
- Grape Tomatoes
- Homemade Granola Bars
- Crispy Cheese Crackers
As much as possible (while doing laundry, packing, and finishing up four hundred last minute details) before leaving for a trip – I try to prep the food so that all we have to do is warm it up, grab it, and go. Phew! It’s a lot of work. But it’s worth it for the money it saves and the gut issues it helps us avoid. :)
Please share your ideas for healthy foods you pack to take on the road while you’re traveling. Also, have you found some good foods to make in a hotel room? Please share!
Our boys’ schedules have been pretty full so far this summer with mission trips and camps. Our oldest two have been gone more than they’ve been home, and their summer fun has just begun.
I’m thankful to have them home for a couple of weeks after missing them while they’ve been off having grand adventures. Today, I had a great day planned (in my ideal mind). Malachi and I had appointments in Lincoln, which is about an hour away, and all of the boys needed to do some shopping, which required their feet coming along to Lincoln with me so that they could try on shoes.
Therefore, I thought that having all four of my boys together for a special outing sounded like a perfect way to enjoy time together since we’ve been so scattered for the past few weeks.
Uh-huh. Well, parts of it were fine and fun. And of course, I always love being with my kids even when they don’t act like angels. I don’t always act like an angel either, so I can’t fault them for being less than perfect. But wow. Today was a bit of a doozy.
There were too many feet and too many shoes that needed my ”here let me feel your toe” expertise all at the same time – not to mention the fact that some of them weren’t looking at price tags before trying on shoes, so even if the toe was in the right place, it didn’t matter because $59 for a pair of shoes was not going to come close to making the cut. Then while one was trying on shorts, the others didn’t seem to know what to do with themselves so they found ridiculous ways to occupy themselves within the racks of clothes.
That was all before lunch. You don’t want to know what happened after that. I’m not kidding.
I’m sharing this on Gratituesday because while it’s tough to be grateful for a day that didn’t go the way I wanted it to go, and while I’m a bit discouraged and so tired I can barely type, life could be so much worse. It’s all a matter of perspective and hey, I still got to spend the day with all my boys. I’ve learned through parenting that it’s best to let go of the “ideal” and just embrace reality and be thankful for God’s grace. Today (especially the after lunch part) was a lesson in humility. It was good for me (she says as she chokes down pride).
For the record – and I may feel differently after a good night’s rest – I’m not sure I plan to take them shopping ever again so help me…or until their feet grow another shoe size, whichever happens first. So I think I should be good for about another two weeks.
Share how God is working in your life on your blog, then come link up with us here. If you don’t have a blog, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you’re grateful for! Please read through the Gratituesday Guidelines so that you understand what kinds of posts you can link up to share here. Posts that are linked but do not fit our Gratituesday theme will be deleted.
If you are linking up a blog post for Gratituesday, please copy and paste the following sentence into your post! Thanks!
Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!
If you haven’t purchased the Natural Mothering eBook Bundle, today is the final day of the sale! After midnight tonight, this bundle will no longer be available, ever. :)
I got this bundle over the weekend (yay me!) and have been very blessed by many the ebooks it contains. I don’t need them all, so I plan to pass several on to my friends. But the bundle is still a great deal that even though I really only plan to use about half of the ebooks myself. And what a blessing to pass the rest to others!
What I’m enjoying most in the bundle are the eBooks about:
- Cleaning and making natural cleaners
- Natural and healthy dental care
- Herbs and natural remedies for my family
What you might enjoy most about the bundle are the eBooks about:
- Everything I just listed above (so much great info!)
- Pregnancy and fertility
- Babies and Toddlers
And there’s more than that too! Don’t forget about all the free eBooks that are available to everyone, whether you buy the package deal or not.
Remember, if you’re interested in this bundle, you’ve got to get it now or it goes away forever (midnight Eastern). Learn all the details about what is included in the bundle here.
First I talked about how God and I have been meeting recently for some very important one-on-one quiet time. I have found this time to be crucial, powerful, and absolutely necessary in my life so that I can be in tune with what He wants me to do with my time each day.
Then I shared that some of you may have a hard time finding quiet time in the midst of crazy schedules and the terrible twos (which is so not limited to two year olds – if only). I understand the difficulty that comes with trying to find personal devotion time each day.
The first post was not meant to bring on the guilt. The second post was not meant to give you an out. The third post (that would be this one) is letting you know that no matter what your season in life, God is gracious, God understands what you’re going through, and God should come first always.
Your time with God may look different than mine. It doesn’t really matter what it looks like as long as it looks like something. Yes?
Because obviously, this is how we all spend our “quiet time” each day.
I couldn’t even type that with a straight face.
Let me remind you of an important phrase I used in the second post: God understands your need for quiet, and will provide it for you when you ask.
Have you asked?
Take time (there’s that four letter word again) to reflect on how you spend your awake hours each day. We likely all say that God comes first in our list of priorities. But is our life a reflection of that conviction? Mine isn’t always. Sometimes I’d rather play than pray, and that’s just the stinky truth of what sometimes hangs out in my heart as I’m choosing how to spend my time.
Or, if I fall back on the “I’m so busy” excuse, I’m ultimately choosing my kids, my husband, my kitchen, or even my doggone toilets over God. (Although nothin’ says you can’t become one with the toilet bowl while having some powerful prayer time. Been there, done that, glory hallelujah.)
Some questions to consider:
Is the desire to feed your family healthy food taking so much time that you feel “too busy” for anything else? While healthy food is important (this is the Heavenly Homemakers site after all) – if the time it takes to prepare the food is taking hours each day and stressing you out, something needs to change. Continue to learn to serve healthy foods that are simple and quick. (My book and this site are full of info and recipes that combine healthy with simple.) Save the detailed, time consuming recipes for special occasions. Scrambled eggs and fruit are healthy and quick, as are hundreds of other meals and snacks. God first, not food.
When you find yourself with a few moments to spare, do you turn to your Bible and prayer – or to Facebook, blogs, TV, or you-name-it-whatever-you-love-to-do? None of those are evil (usually), but neither are they as rich in blessing as time spent with God.
Have you signed your kids (or yourself) up for too many activities? Ask God to show you if you need to cut back. Running all over town (or out of town) is a time and energy killer. Ask me how I know.
Are you involved with friends and ministries (yes, even really good ones) that keep you on the run so much serving God that you can’t find time to sit with Him? Oh, have I been there. Upon reflection, it turns out that God doesn’t need me to be all and do all. (Surprising fact: He already is all and does all. Without my help.) When I have taken time to ask and listen, He puts me in place with just the ministries He would like me to be a part of. Imagine that.
Share with us! What holds you back? What can you say no to so that you can say yes to God?
It’s time! We’ve got a batch of Vanilla Extract bottled and ready to go. There is a limited quantity, and each time we offer this, it has always sold out quickly, so get it while you can! I will update this post throughout the day to keep you informed as supplies run low.
But if you don’t want to make your own, or yours isn’t ready yet, we’re happy to offer four and eight ounce bottles today. Our vanilla is completely pure, not watered down, no sugar added. You can see how we make our vanilla here. Because this vanilla is so strong and pure, you can use half the amount called for in a recipe. Therefore, this vanilla should last you twice as long! More bang for your buck!
We are only able to ship to the U.S. The prices you see include shipping costs.
8 ounce bottle
You’re gonna love this!
Tropical Traditions is one of my favorite online sources for organic products. When you find a good sale and free shipping, their prices for such high quality foods are great! I am so impressed with the standard they hold themselves to, and I really appreciate how great they are about customer service. And they are always willing to offer fun giveaways to you here. As I said, you’re gonna love this one!
The winner of this giveaway will receive $100 to spend however you wish at Tropical Traditions! You can even use it on their grass fed meat! (Which is awesome, by the way.)
Their coconut oil is the best I’ve found. (Read this article to learn lots of uses for coconut oil.) I use their Palm Shortening frequently, as well as their Organic Coconut Flour, Raw Honey, Organic Shredded Coconut.
Beyond food, we love their Natural Soap, Oxygen Bleach, and their Powdered Dishwasher Detergent. I have actually tried most of the products they carry and love them all! Again, the quality of their products can’t be beat.
I’m so excited for one of you to have a free $100 to spend on whatever Tropical Traditions products your family would use the most. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. Tropical Traditions requires that the winners of their giveaways are subscribers to their newsletter, so head over and sign up for the Tropical Traditions Newsletter if you haven’t already.
I’ll draw a random winner on Tuesday, June 18. Be watching for a post stating the winner as you will be responsible for contacting me if your name is chosen.
Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of some of these products to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.
I remember the days. And I remember the guilt.
So let’s just stop a minute and talk together about how to find quiet time to spend with God when your days are filled to the brim with fussy babies, dirty dishes, needy toddlers, muddy preschoolers, full-scheduled teenagers, work and ministry commitments, spilled oatmeal, missed naps, doctor appointments, broken washing machines, unexpected company, puke on the couch, arguing siblings, burned gunk on the stove-top, and poop that didn’t quite make it to the toilet on time.
How do we find time for God when it seems our prayer life consists mainly of, “Help God! I can’t find my keys and please give me patience so I don’t scream at my kids again and could you please make them obey me so that I don’t have to scream again but seriously, I can’t find my keys!!”
It doesn’t help when we read that others are getting up early to watch the sun rise while they have precious devotion time with the Father (after they exercise, spend quality time with their darling husband before work, journal, and balance the checkbook). When?? How?? Do these people never sleep? I must be doing something wrong. My priorities must not be right. I am failing. My relationship with God is not where it should be. Oh, but I’m so tired. Weary. Discouraged.
My dear reader: You are not failing. You are not “less-than.” The other women don’t “have it all together” better than you. None of them. Don’t listen to lies and become discouraged.
Getting a healthy amount of sleep (or at least as much as your season in life will allow) is as important a task as anything you can do. Without sleep, everything else is harder. So sleep. Rest. The dust on the picture frames is not important, nor is it a big deal that your kid occasionally wears the same shirt (with a dried-on booger smeared across the sleeve) two days in a row.
Give yourself grace. God does. If that’s not permission to relax, I don’t know what is.
Understand that time with God happens all day long. He is with you and hears your cry for help. He rejoices with you in your moments of triumph and cheers you on. He understands how full your day is and how hard you are working. He understands your need for quiet, and will provide it for you when you ask.
Did you hear that? He will provide. He wants quiet time with you as much or more than you want it with Him.
Grab hold of those few minutes you might find while you’re stirring the sauce for dinner. Everyone playing in the living room while you’re washing dishes? Sounds like you just found yourself some God time! Taking a quick shower before hubby heads out to work? God’s listening. Nursing the baby…again? Close your eyes, breathe, and spend some time in prayer (if you can stay awake). Running your pre-teen to sports practice? Crank up the Christian music and worship. Or better yet, turn the music off and enjoy the few minutes of silence. Can’t seem to find any time alone, ever? Then read the Word out loud to whoever is in the room with you. Pray aloud. Share that time with your kids.
Some day soon, you might find yourself in a season that allows for pulling up a chair and having regular times of quiet God time. It’s beautiful and it’s necessary. In the meantime, pray for God to provide you just what you need so that your soul will be refreshed and your heart will be at peace.
And if you fall asleep during your prayer again, take comfort, knowing that there’s no better place to find rest.
Coming this Saturday morning, June 15, our Heavenly Homemakers Homemade Vanilla Extract will be offered for sale. We will begin at 8:00 am. It will be first come first serve, and there is a very limited supply. So, watch for it, and be ready if you are interested!
Be sure to check out how our homemade vanilla is made, and learn to make your own vanilla here. :) We highly encourage you to make your own as a way to save money on high quality vanilla. But a couple of times a year, while you’re waiting for your vanilla to “brew” or if you’d really just rather not make your own, we are happy to share ours!
My family eats gluten.
I buy wheat in abundance and grind it several times a week to make flour for our baking needs. We eat regular oats frequently, and the occasional barley or rye. We experimented with eating gluten free a couple of years ago to see if it would help our son’s eczema. (It didn’t.)
But thanks to that experiment and the time I’ve spent learning from my friend Kim (who has been cooking gluten free for several years and who helped me put these books together) – I am well informed about how to prepare gluten free foods. I know how to keep food safe for those who can’t have gluten. I have in my head a big list of food options that are gluten free. I have many foods on hand in my kitchen at all times that are just fine for serving to the gluten sensitive. It’s really not difficult.
I really hadn’t thought much about the importance of having gluten free recipes and knowledge until last week.
We had invited some college students over for a meal after church. On Saturday, I had prepared in advance two big dishes of Italian Pasta Bake, and a double batch of Whole Wheat Butterhorns. The next morning, right before we left for church, Asa came down and said, “Mom, you know what I just realized? I remember from camp that one of the girls coming over today can’t have gluten or dairy.”
Umm…Italian Pasta Bake and Whole Wheat Butterhorns are both very full of gluten and dairy. I knew that at least she could eat the salad and green beans I had planned to go with our meal. But what else? And with that thought in mind…we headed off for church.
We caught the young lady after worship to let her know we were so glad she was coming and we asked about her food sensitivities. She told us not to worry about her and assured us that she was used to not eating when she went places and that she’d just come hang out.
Oh nonononono. Not at my house. I aim to please! Thou shalt not eat a meager little salad and a few green beans when dining at my table if I can help it.
Without even having to try, and because I had Tinkyada rice pasta on hand (yay!), I was able to quickly throw together a gluten free, cheeseless Italian Pasta Bake for her while I was tossing the salad and baking the rolls. I was very careful not to cross contaminate any of the foods (because Kim taught me well). I loved being able to present her with plenty of food that day so that she didn’t have to just sit there and watch us all eat.
That’s just one story to explain why I am so thankful to know how to cook gluten free foods. I can’t tell you how often this knowledge comes in handy. We’ve got friends coming to stay with us for several days this summer who can’t have gluten. When we were in Denver last month, staying with someone who couldn’t have gluten, I was easily able to help cook. Our boys have a gluten sensitive friend who has come over for a birthday party and I was able to have food for him. I made gluten free food when I hosted bunco because one of my friends in the group has Celiac. And on and on it goes. It is not hard to cook gluten free food once you know for sure which foods to avoid.
In preparation for our guests this summer, I recently took the time to update my Gluten Free Recipes page. Would you believe that 115 of the recipes on my site are naturally gluten free?? Naturally – as in, that’s how I make those recipes on any given day when I’m not thinking about gluten or non-gluten. There are no special ingredients or products needed. You can make many gluten free recipes with the ingredients you already have in your kitchen!! I love this.
Check out my Gluten Free Recipes page, and bookmark it or pin it so that you have easy access to it. Then you will also be well prepared to serve food to someone who can’t have gluten. Feel confident, knowing that many, many regular pantry and refrigerator staples are naturally gluten free. My page of 115 recipes proves it!
How comfortable do you feel preparing gluten free foods? Have any gluten free recipes to share?