How I’m Feeding My Family Next Week (Yep. It’ll be another busy one.)

Today I thought I’d share a little fun family news, show you a picture of my groceries (you know you love looking at my butter), and share how I’m going to try and keep myself from being overwhelmed as I get meals on the table during a busy week.

First, some family news.

Soccer season ends next week!! I love soccer like crazy, but it also does make me crazy, so I’m always relieved when the season comes to an end. I mostly feel this way because Matt is assistant coach for the York College women’s team and he’s been on the road a lot. I look forward to him being home more.


Just as soccer season ends, basketball season begins. This doesn’t add much busyness to my life yet as Justus is driving now and can get Elias and himself to and from practices. My biggest job right now is to make sure they’ve had dinner in time to digest before they leave for practice (and provide a big snack when they get home, obviously).

Here’s a fun picture from YC Homecoming last weekend:


Malachi tried out for our downtown Christmas theater production and got a part!! He is beyond excited and we’re all pretty excited for him. If you’re familiar with The Christmas Story movie, then you can picture Malachi as Flick. And if you’re familiar with Malachi, you know that role fits him perfectly! His practices are every weeknight from now until the shows are live in December.

Matt and I are leading a marriage retreat next weekend out of town, something we are looking forward to very much.

Justus and Elias are heading to a youth rally this weekend, and then to a big concert on Monday. Therefore, they are working double time on school work to get ahead so they can take a couple days off.

Malachi has decided to dress up like his biggest brother Asa for trick-or-treating. (Is that sweet, or is that sweet?) This plan only works if the two of them dress exactly alike for the evening and Asa is the one taking him from door to door. We’re working on coordinating their “costumes” which will likely be some form of athletic wear. I’ll take pictures to share after the big night! We’re blessed that York College opens up the women’s dorm and apartments for all the kids in the community to trick-or-treat. So, since almost everyone on campus knows Asa, and Malachi looks a lot like Asa (and gets called “Little Asa” by several on Asa’s college soccer team) – this should be a lot of fun!

That catches you up on our lives just a little bit. I’d love for you to leave a comment to share about yours!

Let’s talk food

I had plans to take a picture of my most recent trip to Fresh Thyme Market (the store I always visit when I have appointments in Lincoln because it’s my favorite!). When I got home this time, we threw all the groceries in the fridge and headed out to college soccer games. So the next day I cheated. I grabbed out a few items that I’d bought and took a quick picture. This is obviously not everything I bought (because this amount will only last us about a day and a half). But it gives you an idea of some of the fruits and veggies we’ll be eating with our meals next week. And sure enough, there’s a pound of butter.


How I’m Feeding My Family Next Week

This leads me to sharing about how I plan to get everyone fed and out the door to all of our events next week. The Simple Meals program we just rolled out this week? It’s definitely for all of you. But this mama is also relying heavily on all it provides. So I guess I should say, “thank you.” Preparing this each week for you is going to be a huge help to my family and me!

Today I thought I’d show you how I’m using Simple Meals to keep my kitchen life running smoothly.

Every menu plan comes with a page that looks like this:


With this in mind, I’ll look at the calendar to see everything going on so I can plug in the best meals for the best nights.

Here’s a sketch of our calendar for next week:

Sunday – Malachi soccer game in the afternoon, then Bible study at the Mission in the evening; Justus, Elias, and Malachi to youth group

Monday – Justus and Elias at concert; Asa takes Malachi trick-or-treating at the college dorms – eat dinner after

Tuesday –  Matt out of town for YC soccer; Bball practice begins for Justus and Elias – leave at 6:30; Malachi play practice 6:30 – eat by 5:30

Wednesday – (Busiest day this week) Laura appointment in Lincoln; Justus full morning with piano and college class; Bible class 6:30, then rush Malachi to play practice right after – eat by 5:30…crock pot night?

Thursday – Bball practice for Justus and Elias – leave at 6:30; Malachi play practice 6:30 – eat by 5:30

Friday – Matt and I leave for marriage retreat, boys make dinner on their own

Saturday – Matt and I arrive home from marriage retreat, boys make dinner to be eaten when we get home

After getting a good feel for all that fills next week…

I printed off the Simple Meals plan for next week and jotted down notes for the nights I plan to use each meal idea:


Well, that was fun!

Want to print off this same menu plan to work with? You’ll find it here. I love how it makes prepping for healthy meals so much easier!

Check out Simple Meals program here. (And really go nuts spreading the word about it so you can earn $10 per referral!)



Do you have a busy week coming up? How are you working to prepare?

20-Minute Taco Soup Your Family Will Love

I’m going to start this post off by saying that this soup can be made from start to finish in about 20 minutes, but it actually only takes about 5 minutes of effort on your part, so you can be even happier about this Taco Soup than you were when you first saw the title.


The Simple Crock Pot Chicken Soup with a Kick recipe I shared a couple weeks ago has been such a hit that I decided to try the same idea, subbing hamburger meat for the chicken. You know me. I love me some beef.

You guys, adding beef to this soup was a very, very good idea. The soup came together very quickly and my family loved it like crazy. I served it with homemade applesauce (because applesauce is what October is made of) and carrot sticks (because I needed to quickly throw out a veggie to compliment this meal before we left for a soccer game).

The very next day, I made this soup again because at the last minute it was decided that our oldest son, Asa, and a couple of his college buddies were going to come have dinner with us. I quickly thawed some hamburger in hot water like this (best trick ever!), made the soup, sliced some peaches and strawberries, cut up some sweet peppers, and set out a buffet.

Everyone who has tried this Taco Soup loves it, and seeing as it only takes a few minutes to make, I see myself falling back on this recipe often this winter!

Why shouldn’t you make this soup in the crock pot like the chicken version? Because it’s not necessary and will not save you time. The chicken soup does best in a crock pot because you can dump the chicken in while frozen and the crock pot will thaw and cook it and after a few hours you’ll have soup. For this hamburger version, you simply need to brown the meat, stir in the other ingredients, let the cheese melt, and serve it right away.

This soup and the Chicken Version are about to become your frequent dinner guests.

20-Minute Taco SoupYum

5.0 from 3 reviews
20-Minute Taco Soup Your Family Will Love
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 16-ounces salsa (more or less is fine; mild to hot is fine - your preference)
  • 32-ounces (1 quart) chicken or beef broth
  • 8-ounces cheese (Colby jack or cheddar)
  1. In a medium to large sized pot, brown the hamburger meat until no longer pink.
  2. Stir in salsa and broth and heat with the meat.
  3. Cut cheese into small chunks and stir into the soup, whisking until melted.

What to serve with this 20-Minute Taco Soup:

  • Tossed salad
  • Fresh fruit
  • Applesauce
  • Raw veggies

Consider adding to your bowl of 20-Minute Taco Soup:

  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Sour Cream
  • Sliced Olives
  • Black Beans
  • Corn


Don’t miss our other Simple Recipe ideas shared here so far:

This series has been so much fun so far and I’m excited about more new simple recipes I’ve been playing with to share. More to come!

It’s here! Check out our amazing Simple Meals program!