What a wonderful, refreshing summer.
First, our 16-year old went to Ecuador.
This is him (gray shirt, black pants) playing soccer with some Ecuadorian children.
In June we went to Arkansas for a family reunion to celebrate our darling Nana’s 90th birthday. Here’s a picture of me with several of my 1st cousins and Nana. (I’m second from the right in the back row.)
The boys spent several weeks out at our church camp – either as campers or counselors depending on the session. Yay for time to grow spiritually as leaders!
I grabbed some pictures of one of the boys’ favorite evening camp activities – Lip Sync Night.
Justus (16) is on the far right:
Here’s Elias (14)
Asa (19) is on the far right:
Malachi (11) got to go to camp for the first time as a camper this year. He’s there in the middle between one of his buddies and his counselor:
Back at home, Malachi also spend hours and hours building with Legos (and taking pictures of his creations):
It’s all been fantastic. It’s been so fantastic, in fact, that I’ve not been at all ready to start up again with ACT prep, Algebra, history lessons, intense schedules, ball games, practices, music lessons, running, running, running….
Ooooh! But Justus got his driver’s license! So that right there has been very freeing (after the first breath-catching experience of letting him head out on his own without a parent). He can get himself to his college class, soccer reffing games, music lessons – AND HE CAN DRIVE HIS BROTHERS AROUND TOO. This is all very happy.
God always provides. He’s actually made me excited again about a new school year. I might be mostly excited about the routine the school year brings. But even the actual school part. That is starting to make me excited too!
We begin school this week. The books are organized; the software has been installed; the assignment lists are on the fridge.
I’ve been freezer cooking a little bit each week in an effort to make the transition smooth. I’m also writing down this week’s menu in an effort to save my brain from having all the organization swim around and try to keep itself in order. I may begin sharing my menus here again if you and I both find it to be helpful.
This Week’s Back to School Menu Plan
We usually make some form of meat and/or eggs with our breakfasts because our teens really crave protein. Also, we always serve a fruit or two with our breakfast. So to go with our protein and fruit, we’ll serve:
- Giant Breakfast Cookies (freezer)
- Poptarts (freezer)
- Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- Quick Mix Pancakes
- Ham and Egg Breakfast Bowls (with spinach)
I’ve got watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, nectarines, apples, applesauce, pickles, sweet peppers, mixed greens, and carrots to serve with our lunches. I usually put out 2-4 fruits and veggies for everyone to pick from during our meals.
- Beef and Cheese Burritos (freezer)
- Chicken Sandwiches (in the freezer/recipe coming soon)
- Homemade Corndogs (freezer)
- Chef Salads (with leftover grilled chicken)
- Homemade Pizza (crusts in the freezer)
I try to serve 2-4 fruits/veggies with our evening meal, varying them with what we ate for breakfast and lunch. I’ve got broccoli, peas, green beans, zucchini, spinach, sweet potatoes, and mixed greens to work with, plus all the fruit mentioned above.
- Grilled Lamb Chops
- Taco Salad
- Grilled Burgers
- Easy Noodle Stir Fry
- BLTs (if our tomatoes would ever ripen)
How’s my grain-free journey going?
If you recall, my natural doctor took me off all grains in early July. Why? Well, she’s been working with me for four (long) years to cleanse and detox my body to get all systems functioning well again. Trust me when I say that there’s been a lot of junk to cleanse out of me (from heavy metals to bad bacteria). This process has been way less than fun as there have been many days during the past four years I have not felt well.
And then there are the days I feel amazing. So I know we’re onto something here.
My health has improved in incredible ways. Probably more importantly, my emotional health has experienced a huge overhaul along with the physical detox. I didn’t see that coming. It’s amazing how our mental and physical are connected. I invite you to read more about that journey here. God is incredible, gentle, and faithful.
So the grain-free thing?
As really old bacteria and metals have been pulling out from all their hiding places from decades ago and finding their way into my blood stream where the remedies I’ve been given are helping my body get rid of them forever – sugar and carbs have not been playing nice. So cutting out sugar and grains has been a must for me.
But praise the Lord it is not a must for me forever!!!
In fact, this phase of detox is happening quite rapidly (part of why I haven’t felt great some days). My digestive organs are healthy now, so my body can actually handle grains in small amounts. (I’ll continue to avoid refined sugar and only eat honey and maple syrup in small amounts.)
If none of this makes sense, trust me when I say that I barely understand it either. But I trust my doctor who focuses on getting to the root of our problems. It all makes sense when she explains it (except for the parts that don’t, but since she knows what she’s talking about…).
I’ve learned that I do need a few whole grains and I feel fine when I eat them now.
But I’ve also learned that my 43-year old, non-athletic self does not need many. Going grain free for several weeks really taught me how to sub grains for even more veggies in my diet. I’m eating tons of leafy greens instead of bread. Sweet potatoes are amazing. It’s such a win to eat this way! Also, you must try fried zucchini with this Real Food “Velveeta” and Rotel Dip.
I eat a little bit of whole grain a couple times each day. I enjoy every bite!! Otherwise I eat veggies, meat, fruit, and dairy – and as much good fat as I can incorporate into my meals and snacks.
So that’s the update. I’m eating a little whole grain again. I’m eating more veggies than ever. I’m on the last phases of healing detox (please, Lord).
When you see grainy food in my recipes and menus, you can assume I’m likely not eating many of them. I’m feeding my family whole grains as normal – because they are active and can handle it. I typically eat what they eat, just a grain free version. (Like my BLT will be in a big bowl of greens instead of between two slices of bread. Don’t feel sorry for me. I’ll eat all the bacon I want with garden fresh tomatoes. There’s nothing sad about this.)
Here’s to a great new school year and all the delicious food that goes with it!
Has your family started school yet? What’s on your menu this week?
You’ll find more great menu plans at OrgJunkie. :)