I get so many comments on wondering how I do it...
-How do you shop for that many?
-How do you cook for that many?
-What kind of meals do you make?
-What do you do for snacks?
-How often do you go grocery shopping?
-How many gallons of milk do you buy a week?
And the list goes on and on...
Well, I have been so often helped by others that I often think what I have to say is not that important or helpful but as I was driving today, I began to think that if I could help just one person find something that might help them, then that would bless me!
My average grocery bill is about $125-$150 a week...that is for 13 people
I do not freeze many meals, I make them on a daily basis- I have tried other ways but it is just easier for me to make them everyday. I will on occasion make a double batch of something and freeze it.
So far, my family eats about a 9x13 and a 9x9 dish at meals. We ALWAYS have sides with our meals such as fruit and/or veggies and a bread of some type
I make casseroles about 3 times a week for dinners
I usually start with what my meat will be and let that simmer in a crock pot and do the add-ons later in the day
Lunches are sandwiches or tortilla wraps with fruit and crackers
We don't snack except for rare occasions and then we have popcorn or apples with p-nut butter and raisins
I shop once a week for the bulk and then 2 other times for fill-ins
We go through about 6-7 gallons of milk a week
We make most things from scratch
We hardly ever buy desserts...my husband LOVES his chocolate so my girls are GREAT at making him treats quite often! :)
We do not drink pop or juices. Water most of the time with a cup of milk for one meal a day
Cheese is our big expense and we go through MUCH of that in a week! Like 20 cups or so!
I buy flour, sugar, spices and oatmeal in bulk at our Amish store about once a month
I use pasta, potatoes,eggs and rice often! They are GREAT fillers!
Hamburger and other meat I use lightly...about 1 lb per recipe. I usually just double up on other ingredients that are less costly...ground turkey is also very reasonable!
Biscuits are so versatile and we use them often! Pizza boats, homemade donuts, baked sloppy joes, etc.
Once a week I make about 60 pancakes or french toast to use the rest of the week for another meal
I fry hamburger up all at once and freeze it in 1 lb packages to save time
Breakfasts are our lightest meals...my kids seem to eat very little at that meal
Dinner is our biggest meal but if dad is home during lunch, we change that around
I am going to keep going a little bit on this subject. Please tell me some things you would like to know and I will try to accommodate! If you have any insight, I would love that also!
and you realize that you are no longer the only "woman" in his life
~When you go with your daughter to try on bridesmaid dresses
and all of the sudden it hits you that WAY too soon, SHE will be the one looking for a wedding dress!
~When you go to your son's room and look at the mess
and you realize that you should have complained less in the previous years because now, there will be no mess from him in your home anymore and it is something you knew would happen but one time it seemed so far away and you NEVER dreamed you would miss it but you already do
~When you know that family plans may not always include ALL of your children anymore
~When you realize that once the first one leaves home, it's just the beginning of the next one, and the next one and so on...
~When you pick up your "baby" and you realize she is really not a baby anymore
~When you think of your age and remember when your parents were that age you thought they were SOOOOO old!
~When you realize that your years as a grandma are possibly closer than you ever thought possible!
I am going through a new phase in my life. Sometimes I get confused because I have SO many little ones to still focus on and the realization what is about to take place in my life in about a month, hits me like a ton of bricks. No time to really just sit and think about how I am going to have to let go of my oldest boy, it has just crept up on me! I can give him advice, but what he does with it now, is up to him. In some ways there is freedom in that and other ways, I want to tell him what to do knowing that I still have more years on him! If I could just sit with him on the couch and stroke his hair and chat.
Then I am reminded that wherever this journey of motherhood has ever lead me, God's grace has ALWAYS seen me through.
However, I know that God has ALWAYS kept me and He too will keep my son and in this new territory of his journey!
Knowing that, I can rest knowing although this is uncharted territory for me, God has already gone before me!
Then I take a deep breath and the air fills my lungs and realize,
It has been 2 whole months! Time has slipped by and SO many things have happened in my life! Life changing and monumental in some ways!
~ I was for the first time, on the other side of delivering a baby! I am now looking into becoming a certified doula! I will just say I was SO in my element!
~ Thanksgiving came and went and we had a beautiful day with family
~ I had the opportunity to help a VERY needy neighbor in a great time of need (more to come about that!)
~ Started a new business with Spa Products! They are AMAZING! :) Go to go here to see for yourself and PLEASE let me know if you are interested! The products are all botanically based and literally change your skin from the first day of use!
~ I have watched my oldest son make life-changing decisions
~ I have met the soon to be newest member of our family (no I am not pregnant yet, unfortunately!)
~ My son became engaged on December 13th so we have a new daughter to welcome into our family!
~ We have stayed away from all the illnesses going around
~ I have watched my daughter play AND sing in her first guitar recital
~My son and his fiance played Mary and Joseph and the baby whom I witnessed his birth, played baby Jesus in our church Christmas presentation
~ We had a wonderful Christmas with much less material things than previous years but also had much soul searching and had the ability to teach our children many things through it
~ Hubby still no permanent job but he did have a few interviews with all of them sending rejection letters :/ Many lessons learned through those times!
~ Realizing continually day in and day out, that Jesus MUST be source for EVERYTHING!
~ I have had a HUGE prayer answered after many years that God would send me a friend who I could be with, in my area. I have a dear lady that has taken up a place in my heart and we have such kindred spirits! So Blessed to have her in my life! We have grown towards God because of each other!
I am so thankful for all the provision God has given us in 2012! I remember wondering where I would be last year at this time in 2013. We were getting ready to move, I had just had a miscarriage and my life was spinning out of control right in front of me! (So I thought...)
We have come full circle and I now see much more clearer of the things God was desiring for us to learn:
-This life is NOT about "stuff" and what this world has to offer - The enemy would like to help us focus on those things and what we can get for ourselves - It is SO tempting and easy to get caught up in what we DON'T have - God's ways are not our ways - But when we focus on Him and rest in HIS plan, our desires do begin to fall in line with His - His concern is people and their eternity - That is what our focus should be! - We don't have to go outside of our country to be missionaries! - We are called to be missionaries day in and day out in our homes and our little "world" around us
I will tell you I have by NO means "arrived" yet, but I am so thankful for the grace God gives and the road He has lead us down to see His heart. I pray I will continually look at His heart and focus on HIS ways not follow my selfish desires. I hope to live this life for Him so when I meet Him face to face He will say to me, "Well done my good and faithful servant!" I wonder what this year is going to hold! I do not know, but I take rest in knowing He knows and I will follow wherever He leads!