Gratituesday: Food is Fun!

I decided to let my Gratituesday post become my “here’s what we ate on Monday post”. Why? Because feeding my family is fun for me. Because I think it’s important to be grateful for all of the “little” things in life – like food – that we don’t typically give much thought to each day.  And because I’m thankful for all of the variety God has provided. (Let’s all give a big hooray for the fact that we don’t have to eat a diet exclusively of manna and quail for 40 years straight, eh?)  So here we go:

I was the first one awake this morning (as is typical) and was ready to get started making blueberry pancakes when Elias, usually the first boy of the house to wake up, joined me in the kitchen. He had received a “Snacks on a Stick Maker” for Christmas, which has been so much fun to play with. Since we hadn’t tried pancakes on a stick yet, he asked if we could try it this morning. Sure? Why not. ;)  (By the way, I didn’t have any fresh blueberries so decided to use freeze dried berries that I’d bought from Vitacost. These worked great!)


Well, the “pancakes on a stick” turned out to be a big hit with the whole family.  However, making breakfast this morning took approximately two hundred hours. The machine only makes six at a time, and the boys could all eat about that many per minute.  I cranked them out as fast as I could, while reading Bible to the boys and getting them started on their other assignments for the morning.


Check out our mis-matched drinking glasses. Being the same would be so boring, don’t you think?


I thought the blueberry pancakes on a stick turned out especially pretty.

After a morning filled with world history, math, laundry, and answering a few emails – I started making our lunch of Chicken and Noodles with carrots.  While it was cooking, I mixed up the Bbq meatballs which were to be our dinner. I was also planning to take dinner to our friends who just had a baby! Four pounds of hamburger later, our meatballs were put into the fridge, ready to bake at dinner time. (My meatball recipe is in this ebook.)


I finished up our lunch, “cheating” just a little bit by using purchased whole wheat fettuccini noodles. Ya can’t make noodles without eggs – and I had used the last of mine in the meatballs. :)  I also rewarmed some homemade cabbage rolls (recipe coming to you soon) to help make the soup stretch a little farther.


To help clean out the fridge, and to add more nutrients, I threw some leftover peas into my soup.  Yum!


Not surprisingly, we still needed to stretch our lunch to fill the boys. A jar of this summer’s applesauce to the rescue!


After lunch I got out a few frozen cookie dough balls I had made a while ago and baked them to take to our friends tonight. 


Apparently this move was a little bit cruel since I only made enough cookies to take to our friends, and didn’t make enough for our kids. (The poor little dears had to settle for the leftover fudge brownies I had made a few days ago.)


Sometime mid-afternoon as the boys were wrapping up their school work for the day, I had them head into the kitchen to take turns scrubbing potatoes for dinner.  Elias and I left to pick up a few things at the store – including jeans for his ever-growing long legs. 


In the meantime, Matt got the meatballs and potatoes into the oven to bake for dinner. When we got home, all the boys unloaded the van while I made green beans and packed up the food to deliver to our friends. I was blessed to have a wonderful visit with them while I held their new baby. Bliss!

When I got home, we sat down to eat our own dinner. Not only had Matt baked the potatoes and meatballs for me, he had put a spaghetti squash into the oven. What a great addition to our meal!


And there you have it. I mostly followed my meal plan, with several additions and adaptations to round everything out and to fill up the boys. Plus, why make pancakes when you can make pancakes on a stick (and kill two hundred hours of your morning)?! :) 

God is good. Food is fun. Thanks for letting me share!

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.

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Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!


  1. says

    Ooh, I wonder if that snackmaker would work for corndogs – what fun! My friend freezes cookie dough too – what a great idea.


    Laura Reply:

    YES!!!!! That’s the original reason we got it for him. The kid loves corndogs, so this was one of his favorite gifts. SO much fun!


    Dana Reply:

    We have one of those fancy machines too, a Christmas present for my corndog-loving husband. Recently we made pancake-wrapped sausage links in it and they were delicious! We dipped the whole thing in maple syrup.


    Ashleigh Reply:

    We also got one for xmas bec of corndogs and having a couple with allergy issues! Pancakes wrapped in sausage are great-we even made tons extra and froze them. Reheat in microwave wrapped in a paper towel for about 1 min. 15 secs for 2 of them! Perfect for late mornings. They are fun to mak, but it is better to make a bunch at a time because it was time consuming! Any other ideas for what to make on a stick???


  2. says

    I really enjoyed this post because it totally sounds like my life! My four boys (younger than yours – 9, 6, 3, 1) eat like horses. It would totally take two hundred hours to make enough pancakes on a stick to feed them! We love your recipes, especially the sloppy joes which we make often. This summer I’m hoping to start a garden in our new large backyard and learn how to can food to feed my crowd!


  3. says

    Thanks for the linkup!!

    Thanks for the recipes too!! You really had a full day with homeschooling and making all those wonderful things!!

    I already have plan to eat. How can I get the recipes that you shared today??

    Thanks so much!!


    Laura Reply:

    If the recipes are on my site, I’ve linked to them in this post. I need to check into setting them up at Plan to Eat.


  4. gina says

    My family had the same thing for supper last night. BBQ meatballs, Green Beans with onions and homemade home style baked mac and cheese. Although I’m on a diet and could not eat it. I looked good anyway.


  5. says

    Oh I LOVE the pancakes on the a stick idea! So fun! I’m struggling with getting my 4-year-old boy to eat ANYTHING these days so thanks for the inspiration to make food a bit more fun!


  6. Cindy says

    Just a note – you can indeed make noodles without eggs. My husband just started making pasta (since I got him a ravioli press for Christmas), and he makes eggless pasta:

    We’ve had ravioli twice out of it, and lasagna once. We don’t use semolina flour in it – just regular AP flour. We’re starting to use white whole wheat in many things, but haven’t made the switch yet in pasta.

    And in some things, you can also use 1 T flaxseed mixed with 3 T water to replace one egg. In fact, I used that this morning, to make our quinoa pancakes. We love eggs, but would rather eat them, than have them hidden in recipes. Also helps to keep cholesterol lower.


    Cindy Reply:

    But also, please don’t think I’m “coming down” on you for using packaged noodles. We use them all the time (for now), as the homemade pasta DOES take time, and sounds like you make so much from scratch already, as we do also.


    Laura Reply:

    Thanks – I’ll look into that! :)


  7. Jacquelyn says

    I have really enjoyed you sharing what your family actually eats. It is hard to switch to a whole foods kitchen when you don’t know what one looks like in the real world. I was wondering if you would include the snacks that your family eats in a day also. Snacks are the hardest thing for me to stay on top of. I would love to see how you feed four hungry boys whole food snacks, in a real daily schedule.


  8. Charlotte Moore says

    I am grateful for the LORD’S protection of our son last week. He was run off the road by a tractor trailer. So thankful there was nothing in the median or any more cars. It could have been a very tragic day. GOD is GOOD!!!!


  9. Kimberlee says

    You had leftover brownies? What is happening in your house? Is everyone okay? :p Smirk!


    Brooke Reply:

    LOL! She must have been hiding them in the back of the fridge so no one was able to find them, even when she said the other day, “boys, go look in the fridge and pick out leftovers for dinner”.


    Laura Reply:

    Ha! Yeah, amazing, huh? :)


  10. Brooke says

    How fun! Pancakes on a stick :)
    Funny b/c yesterday when I was out picking some lettuce and other greens from our garden, washing them, and later using them to make a salad, I kept thinking about how grateful I am for food. So grateful for to have a garden. So grateful to be able to have healthy food readily available. So grateful to I could just walk out to my backyard and grab some lettuce. What a blessing!


  11. Antoinette says

    Thank you so much for this post. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed trying to homeschool, make meals, & do everything else associated with a stay at home, homeschooling Mom. Cooking is the last thing I want to do. But when I read of the joy that you have, it inspires me to find that same joy in feeding my family. I don’t hate it, I just forget that it is a privilege to offer them such healthy, nourishing food. What would my life be like if I did not have them to feed? And I love the mismatched glasses. No mistaking which glass is yours :-)


  12. Annette says

    Oh my goodness! I wish I had your energy. I also wish I lived close to you so you could prepare a meal for me. I really enjoy reading about your family. Have a great day!


  13. says

    How fun – when I was in elementary school, one of my favorite lunches was Pancakes on a stick… I bet it took 200 hours to make them… But they were worth it, I’m sure! =) Hope you have a GREAT week!!


  14. says

    Food IS another one of those things we take for granted. Not only that we have it in abundance, but it’s also healthy and yummy. I need to remember to be thankful for that EVERYDAY!


  15. says

    I just loved your story today Laura. I had never heard of a machine like that, how cool is that?

    I posted on my blog the next baby I helped deliver, baby “I” which was a water birth. I am loving being a midwife.


  16. Amanda says

    Thank you for this! Your light-hearted perspective puts a smile on my face! Which one of your cookie dough recipes is that? Chocolate chip? What a great idea to freeze the dough balls! Think I’m going to so that for a friend I know who is expecting her first baby soon!


    Laura Reply:

    Yep, chocolate chip. Forgot to link that one. :)


    Brandette Winblad Reply:

    I was wondering the same thing, thank you!


  17. darialauren says

    Would u do a post with what your morning routine looks like? Like do u have devotions before your kids get up? And are u all dressed and ready prior to breakfast? Im trying to find what worms best for my family but love to hear how others frame their mornings with children:) thanks!!


    Laura Reply:

    Hmmm, I may try to do that sometimes. I promise though, my morning routine is not very exciting. :)


  18. A.S. says

    Delurking after years of following your blog to say that this type of post may be my favorite. I love seeing your weekly menu and then following in this post to see the reality of it all. Please consider making it a regular topic! Thanks for your lovely blog.


    Laura Reply:

    Thanks for the feedback! I may just try to do this more often. :)


  19. Lyndsay says

    Homemade cabbage rolls? They look like something we make here with hamburger and cabbage in bread…a favorite recipe from a Nebraska restaurant that starts with an R and ends in an UNZA ;) In school they called them Bunzas! We just had them for dinner the other night, one batch I make makes about 3 dozen, enough to eat for dinner and freeze for my husband to grab for work.


    Laura Reply:

    Woohoo, Runza! (Although, ironically, I don’t really like the runzas from Runza.) I’ve heard them called so many things. Growing up, we called them “Beiroxs” or something like that. I call them something different everytime I make them now, just because I can’t decide where to land on a name for these. :) (Never heard of Bunzas, though. That one cracks me up!)


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