This is the first time, at 8 years old, that Tyler has taken a true interest in the Olympics. I think he has been too young in the past to really understand, or the big hoopla of the Winter Olympics being in Canada this year makes it too hard to ignore, but he has been following the Olympic Torch make it's way across the country for weeks now. He kept asking me what day the torch would be in our city and could we go. I said "of course", while praying that it was not going to be during a sudden -30 cold snap. The day soon arrived, and the smart mothers took their kids out of school at lunch time to go to the torch relay activities, while the less bright mothers, such as myself, volunteered to chaperone a group of children from my child's classroom to the festivities. Oh well. I gave 2 other children a chance to experience the chance of a lifetime, right? The city put on a fun event, with lots of things to do....such as crazy carpeting, snowboarding, cross country skiing, and hockey skills. The 3 boys I chaperoned were like magnets to the hockey skills event. There were also FREE hot dogs, and a very LONG line up for FREE hot dogs. What is it with kids & free hot dogs? Nevermind that they just ate lunch....we had to stand in the lineup for FREE hot dogs...the nice, cold 40 minute line up for free hot dogs. To be honest, I could have drove home, made 4 hot dogs and been back to the event faster than waiting in that line-up...I won't deny that the thought crossed my mind. I was not really interested in having a free hot dog, but my inner child could not deny these children their hearts desire. So in the hot dog line up we go. It just so happens just as we were getting to the hot dog table, the torch arrived. I was left standing with 4 hot dogs while 3 children ran closer to see the torch on the stage. I am not sure how I did it, but I managed to take this picture of Tyler waving at the torch with 4 hot dogs in my hands. Then I briefly entertained the thought of sliding those warm dogs in my pockets for hand warmers, because by that time I was chittering & chattering with cold. But this post was supposed to be about Tyler and the magic he had in his little heart for the dream of everything that the Olympic torch embodies. And it is. I think the picture says it all.
I really love 'Menu Plan Monday'. It has become a nice habit for me...I enjoy weekly menu planning. It makes the week just feel so much better having a plan. January is a great time of year for soups. I am so lucky that my family truly loves a good bowl of soup....lots of my friends tell me that they can't get their families to eat soup for dinner. Tonight we had a favorite....taco soup. This time I added tons of mushrooms for a different twist.
One thing I have noticed about menu planning among my friends is that my generation really has menu planning backwards. Yes. I say backwards. Why? My generation makes a menu plan, a grocery list based on the menu plan, and then goes shopping for the items on the list. This method does not make the best use of a family's grocery dollar. A wise plan would be to look around the pantry and freezer first to see what is already on hand...and then make a menu plan based on what is on hand (and has been, hopefully,purchased on sale). This is one step that takes a little extra time, but saves money in the end because you are not paying full price for something at the grocery store because a grocery list says you need it. I always take a good look through my freezer and fridge before I determine the week's menu. I look at what is about to expire, or what needs to be eaten up, before I decide on meals. I have a weekly goal of trying one new recipe for dinner...which doesn't always happen for different reason, but I do try. In generations past, meals were made with what was on hand, in the pantry or came from the garden. There was no last minute dashing to the grocery store to buy items at a King's ransom price. My grocery list is always made after I have studied the sales fliers.
I am really surprised by the large number in our generation who either don't cook or eat out several times a week on a regular basis. I know of 2 families among our circle of friends where Mom openly states that she doesn't "like to cook". One mom is a busy mother to 3 children who all have extra-curricular activities, and supper is eaten out 3 or 4 times a week. I can't imagine what their monthly food bill totals. I feel so thankful that I grew up with a mother who cooked supper every single night and always made amazing meals with whatever she had on hand. She set a wonderful example to me. My Grammie Ada was another woman who cooked supper every night and I have vivid memories of her dinner waiting on the stove for my Grandfather to arrive home from work. There was no driving through Mcdonalds for a hamburger. Not ever.
Nothing says 'family' to me like a homemade supper eaten around a dining table with all bodies present. It's an important part of our day and the only daily meal that we eat together.
This week's menu plan:
Monday-Taco Soup with shredded cheese, tortilla chips, and sour cream. Everything for this meal came from our pantry and freezer.
Tuesday-Paula Deen's wild rice, cheese & shrimp casserole with a spinach salad. This meal is inspired by a box of fresh spinach in our fridge that needs to be eaten, along with shredded cheese that needs to be used very soon.
Wednesday-Baked chicken with roast potatoes, green beans & carrots.
Thursday-Homemade pizza with a whole wheat crust and fresh veggies.
Friday-Pulled pork sandwiches and veggies & dip.
The best part...I didn't need to go to the grocery store this week to buy anything for these meals. I am using what we already have.
The defintion for illuminate is:
1. To provide or brighten with light.
2. To decorate or hang with lights.
3. To make understandable; clarify: 4. To enlighten intellectually or spiritually; enable to understand.
5. To endow with fame or splendor; celebrate.
6. To adorn (a page of a book, for example) with ornamental designs, miniatures, or lettering in brilliant colors or precious metals.
7. To expose to or reveal by radiation.
8.To become lighted; glow.
9. To provide intellectual or spiritual enlightenment and understanding
What does all this mean? There are several areas of my life I want to illuminate. The bright areas of my life...I want to make brighter. The dark areas of my life...I want to bring light in. This includes relationships with family & friends, conversations, intentions, my heart and spirit. It's kind of like tending a garden.....trimming and weeding and watering to make everything shine in it's very best light.
I am so glad you are here! I'm Angie and I'm a Nova Scotia girl now making my home in Alberta. I met my husband while on a blind date on New Year's Eve. We've been married for 17 years & we have 2 freckled sweeties who we love dearly~a hockey-loving tween & a social butterfly teen. I love creative projects, organizing & decorating, cooking, baking, and all things domestic.