Hello There...

Welcome to my blog. I'm a full-time mommy of a 4-year-old & a 0-year-old, part-time waitress and a rookie blogger. Living on a farm with my son, daughter and husband among dogs, chickens, ducks and other various wildlife keeps life interesting and anything but normal!

Friday, October 25, 2013


One of my recent posts highlighted my excitement about Cross Point Church's big move to West Allis and the fabulous building God provided for us. Well, only a few short days after that post, as we were about to submit our offer an offer much higher than ours was submitted to the credit union that owns the property.

Today I was reminded of a few simple truths about God's love. And here is why I believe that God still has mighty plans for that building.

A couple weeks ago when the leadership stood before Cross Point Church and told us all about the miracles that had happened before their eyes with the sale of our building, the encouraging correspondence, negotiations and agreement to purchase the building in West Allis for an amount within our means and finally all of our people coming together to raise the final sum of money we needed to move forward with our big move - my pastor stood up and talked about how he had prayed for this building and for it to be redeemed for God's glory. He said he had often driven into the parking lot, sat there and prayed very specifically and intentionally for that building that it would be used for God's glory. He also said that he never prayed that we would get the building, only that it would be redeemed for God's purposes.

I thought that was awesome. And last week I encouraged my pastor and thanked him for his steadfast guidance through the past few weeks. His vision for our church has never waivered and his focus has remained the same. He reminded me that the building we meet in does not define us. And he is so right. Cross Point Church is not defined by a gym or a huge office, or a computer lab, or 126,000 square feet. My pastor - who just so happens to be my brother-in-law - has been an awesome encouragement to me and has helped me increase my faith. This move always was "God-sized" but it became "God-sized" of epic proportions when that second offer came in.

[side note: the credit union has accepted the other offer, but there is a period of due-diligence on their part so nothing is a "done-deal" yet and so we are still waiting on God's timing and not throwing in the towel for that building just yet]

So that brings me to today. I was out and about on my way to Sam's Club - which just so happens to be a hop, skip and a jump from the building we were so excited about moving into before the year's end. And I remembered what Dave had said about sitting in the parking lot and praying for the building. Not that it would one day be OUR building, but just simply praying for the building and for God's plans.

As I pulled out of the Sam's Club parking lot KLOVE was playing "My God" by Jeremy Camp - probably one of my favorite songs.


And then it dawned on me. God is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Things may look different now, but God's plan never changed. So I drove up to 1300 S 109th Street. Parked my car in the parking lot in front of the building. To which my four-year-old asked "Mom, why are we at my new church?"
...Oh yea - I hadn't filled the four-year-old in on any of the new developments. So I tried explaining that it might not actually be our new church after all. He literally started crying. He said to me "but mom, I will be so sad if I can't have this church. I won't be able to have a gym!" And I was reminded of what Dave said about not being defined about the building and this came to mind:

 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. [2 Corinthians 4:16-18]

So I softly told Jack that God might not have this building in His plans, so we might have to find a new one. And I told him he could pray with me for this building. His prayer was sweet and simple:

"Dear Jesus,
Thank you for this day. Please let this be my new church because if it is not, I will not have a gym and I will be sad. In Jesus name, Amen."

So adorable.

Then I prayed out loud with Jacks hands folded and his head bowed. We prayed that God would use that building for His purposes, not for ours. That we would see that this building is temporary and that we need to fix our eyes on the unseen. That He would redeem it for His purposes. That our faith would not be shaken if the outcome is not what we expect. I had tears in my eyes when I was done.

God's plan is mighty. Mightier than we can understand. It's hard to wait on His timing, but we know based on the promises in the Bible that he has plans to prosper us and not to harm us - plans for hope and a future [Jeremiah 29:11]. And that is the promise I rest in.

One thing is certain - God is moving us. We are on the move to redeem people. Our prayer is that God also redeems this building. Whether we are part of that redemption or not is still unknown but I am fixing my eyes on the unseen and waiting for God's glorious plan to be revealed to us.

God is good. All the time.

-The Farmer's Wife

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall Recipes, Fires & Hot Coffee

My Facebook news feed has been blowing up with everyone's fall recipes with pumpkins, apples and tales of pumpkin farms and apple orchards, so I couldn't help but jump on the bandwagon.

However all I had in the fridge was 3 Honey Crisp apples. But I had to try. Chopped apples. Sprinkled cinnamon sugar. Poured in pie plate. Topped with brown sugar, flour and butter crumble topping. Baked for some amount of time that I'm not really sure of. And while it was baking I made this amazing caramel *whiskey* sauce. Yes. I just said that. Caramel. Whiskey. Sauce. Because if there is something better than apple crisp on a fall day it's apple crisp with caramel whiskey sauce.

Of course the alcohol gets cooked off but it leaves this rich flavor that is fabulous! I just found a simple caramel sauce recipe from Pinterest and doctored it up. I am pretty impressed with myself that I actually have enough culinary knowledge to just kind of wing it when it comes to things like that. I wasn't 100% confident in my ability to create something edible, but now that I accomplished it I will be a little more liberal in my attempts to "doctor" recipes.

Haven't eaten it yet (well, I haven't had my serving yet - I've definitely sneaked a few tastes!) but I just warmed up my Keurig and I'm going to have a piece of apple crisp with caramel whiskey sauce with a hot cup of coffee and finish up some emails in front of the fireplace.

[right after I clean up - per the farmer's request] I left him with Princess for some daddy-daughter bonding time while I baked my apple creation and he quickly retreated to the garage to find a project to do...he's just not into babies. He actually admitted to me yesterday that he often forgets that we have two children. [sigh]

So now there's a 20x20 square hole in my wall and he's installing vents so that the fireplace heat will make its way into Jack's room so we don't have to thaw him out every morning this winter. And I get the lovely task of picking up the drywall pieces and vacuuming the dust. Yay.

Happy Fall from the Farm,

The Farmer's Wife

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

God of this City


My blog is really not a "spiritual" blog, but every once in a while when I really feel the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart in a particular area of my spiritual life I decide to sit down and blog about it.

And I couldn't think of a better time than 1:00 AM on a Wednesday morning. Really.

So as I lie awake pondering all the wonderful ways God has been moving in Cross Point Church (formerly New Hope & Fair Park Community Churches) - I just can't help but be SO FREAKING EXCITED about what God has in store for us. This past Sunday our leadership unveiled plans that have been long in the works to purchase a huge, I mean HUGE new building located on hwy 100 & Greenfield Ave in West Allis. It has been our intention since early this year to move into the city of West Allis.

Now, from a person who, in the first year of my marriage moved 3 times - and have since moved 2 more times! - I am pretty used to this idea of "being on the move". But I have to say when I learned of our intentions to move I was emotional. I grew up in Franklin. Franklin has been my home for many years, I went to high school and spent 4 great years wearing black and gold as a Saber (saber tooth tiger, not a stupid sword), New Hope was the church I was married in, my son was dedicated there I have been on staff there for over 4 years and while I was not part of the founding group of people that started that church, a lot of my blood, sweat and tears went into the growth of the church. It was home. 

But with movement comes change and while change can be scary and emotional, it can also be exciting! Monday night there was an open house for the building that we are set to purchase sometime before the end of 2013. I have been to this building quite a bit - it was formerly Heritage Christian School - the school which the Farmer attended for many years and graduated from in 2002. I also was on staff there for a short time when I coached the high school JV Girls Volleyball team. I spent many fall nights there in 2007 and lead my team to an almost perfect 9-1 season.

The building is BEAUTIFUL. Part of the building is quite old, but there was an addition put on a few years ago that includes a humongous brand new gym, classrooms, computer labs, huge offices - it's gorgeous. New Hope Community Church - the little white church with tons of character and that storybook look about it was a great church, but it limited us in so many ways. Any time we have a large gathering we have to rent another facility. We host an AWANA program every Friday night that sees over 200 K-8th graders through the doors each week - doors of another church, that we rent. So this move is going to be good. It's not going to be good, it's going to be GREAT. We will finally be able to house ALL of our AWANA clubs, at the same time, in the same building. Most of you don't realize how huge that really is for us! It's such a blessing. We will be able to host all of our own Thanksgiving Dinners and Chili Cook Offs and AWANA Olympics. We will be able to add things to the list of events we can host.  I already plan on having Volleyball open gyms and eventually hopefully leagues. I want to contact all the old team from FHS and get the girls back together to play and srimmage. I mean I might just have to Facebook them all after I'm done writing this. I am so excited to have all the things that come with this new building.

On Sunday when the leadership was talking about all the new opportunities we have with this new building it was just so clear what God's plan is for us as His church. All the things that had to coordinate and fall into place for this to happen, happened within a matter of days. I mean anyone who's dealt with real estate in any capacity knows that's a miracle in and of itself. We negotiated and sold our old building in Franklin in about 4 days (from what I understand)!!! God has been performing miracles before our very eyes and I'm so excited (have I mentioned that I'm excited?!) to see what the future holds for Cross Point Church.

The meeting on Sunday included a slide show of pictures of the people of West Allis, the businesses, all the new things that are going to surround us. There were pictures of our new building and all the great opportunities we are going to be able to offer the city of West Allis. The music behind the slideshow was "God of this City" by Chris Tomlin. And I have to be honest as the slide show was playing I had a really hard time staying seated. I honestly just wanted to stand in humble adoration and praise God for this amazing opportunity. It took all I had in me to just sit and watch the pictures scroll. The song gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes.

"For greater things have yet to come
Greater things are still to be done in this city..."

Another reason I think God is on the move. The excitement and emotion that it has stirred up in our people is so encouraging. I think walking through the new building on Monday brought us together and helped us realize what can be accomplished for the city of West Allis in the name of gospel when we're in this building. It means we have room for a food pantry, it means we can offer sports leagues, we can host zumba, yoga, aerobics classes, there's room for a library, computer lab, weight room, there's a kitchen, cafeteria for large gatherings. We are no longer confined to our 5 little classrooms and cold dingy basement. (Don't get me wrong, that building has served us a great deal over the past 12 years and it's going to be missed, but I think we are all ready for this change) God is so much bigger than even this new building we're moving to, but I think we will finally get to put our faith to the test and watch God do great things with Cross Point Church.

So I'm not really sure where this post is really leading, all to say that I"M REALLY EXCITED! Did you get that? I'm super excited to see what God has planned for Cross Point Church and how He wants us to use this great new tool He's provided for us. Miracles are happening before our eyes and it will be a matter of weeks before we are worshiping together in West Allis. You're all invited to join us on this journey! The more the merrier.

Ok...hopefully my Venti Soy Latte has worn off now...that's the last time I drink coffee at 8:30 pm. I think I'm getting old.

Good night,

1300 S 109th Street, West Allis, WI - *Future* Home of Cross Point Church!!!!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The week in review...

Well, it's been a week since I sat down and wrote my little rant on my failures to be a health nut. So what have I learned? Well, I decided not to go all gung-ho with this because I knew I would burn myself out sooner than later and that was confirmed. The first three days of this week were a clean eating success. I ate fresh fuits and veggies at every meal and didn't indulge in a single processed food or drink! Then Thursday happened.

Thursday was one of those days when I just said screw it. I ran around doing errands all day, all while attempting to be healthy - I packed my apple and peanut butter snack, ate a healthy protien filled breakfast of eggs and veggies. But as I ran around doing errands for both the farmer and Cross Point Church with two kids in tow, I had a moment of weakness. One of our errands actually put us out on 164 & West in Waukesha...and anyone that knows me well enough - which may actually be no one - knows that whenever I'm in Waukesha - ESPECIALLY if I'm on West - I NEED to go to...

TACO JOHNS. Potato Oles. Yum. Nostalgia.

So I caved and shared some Potato Oles with Jack...and they just aren't the same without the totally evil nacho cheese dipping sauce. I mean if there isn't a more processed thing than nacho cheese dipping sauce. Seriously. But it was good. I mean SO good.

So really that wasn't too bad...it was just one little treat. Dinner that night was left overs from the various meals I had made. I never got around to making the chili - so that one will be carried over to next weeks menu. Friday was another OK day. Again I was crazy busy running all over the place. I had a burger at PS23 for lunch because I ran an errand out that way...it was a burger but it was grassfed beef -that has to count for something, right? And the ranch I dipped it in was not hidden valley, it was homemade ... that also gives me "clean" points, right? Haha, I just keep justifying it to myself. Oh well, I cheated two days. But other than those two little blips I think I did a pretty good job.

If nothing else I at least put more thought into what I ate and when I ate it. I was much more concious of the snacks I chose and the ingredients on the label. I even drank just plain coffee at Starbucks instead of the crazy high calorie White Chocolate Mochas I usually order or the Vanilla Lattes with a bajillion grams of fat. I even went so far as to have soy milk added instead of half and half. Now you know I'm serious when my coffee gets involved. I did my best to choose whole foods over processed ones. And so in my book this week was a victory. This is going to be a transition, not an over night conversion.

What I want to know is...don't all you health nuts out there ever just have a day when you flip out and say "screw it, I'm just having a Snickers bar"? Because truth be told I just ate a candy bar while I wrote this post. But it's just been one of those days. I've been working since I woke up, and I have 45 minutes of silence at the office  by myself - which almost never happens. And I decided that I deserved a candy bar. That is all.

Here's to week 2 coming more naturally to me, less temptation to eat silly things like candy bars and potato ole's, and more motivation to get my butt in shape. This week I'm going to add a work out schedule to my plan. Yikes.

-The Farmer's Wife

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Spaghetti Squash = Mind Blown

Ground Turkey &Veggies
Clean Chicken Tacos
As day 2 of my clean eating journey comes to a close I have a few reflections/confessions.

I'll start with confessions:
1. I ate a string cheese as a snack
2. I used a little bit of butter to saute some veggies

...phew! Glad I got that off my chest. Other than that today has been great. I started with my breakfast of avocado and a hard boiled egg. The avocado was creamy and delicious today - not hard and nasty like yesterdays. I had a snack of apples and peanut butter around 1pm then when I got home from my staff meeting at church I started cooking - which is something that I seriously love to do. Fall might be the start of some serious cooking - now that summer is winding down and being outside will soon be less and less.
Finished Meat Sauce

I think I swapped the order of my original menu, but I forgot to soak the black beans last night and so I decided to hold off on making the chili. I probably will make chili on Thursday since I work a dinner shift tomorrow PM.  Oh, aaaaand I made spaghetti squash to eat with my homemade Paleo meat sauce. Now I'm not trying to go straight Paleo just yet, but I am going to try out some Paleo recipes here and there in hopes of making a slow transition being completely Paleo. The spaghetti squash was SO yummy. A little watery but a really awesome substitute for pasta! The farmer even sucked it up and tried some...he wasn't really convinced - but I commend him for trying. I offered to make him noodles but he was starving so he just ate- he said, and I quote "It tastes like flavored water" ... I'm really not sure how to take that...but I guess I'm just glad he tried it. I think I am going to check out how to make zoodles  next - which is like noodles made with zucchini because that seems interesting and I LOVE zucchini!

I did most of the prep for making the meat sauce last night while I my chicken was simmering. Which made it super easy to make this sauce. I just sauteed the onion, added the ground turkey to the stock pot and browned it with the onions. Oh-and remember my giant tub of already-minced-just-throw-it-in-the-pan garlic...I left it out last night by accident and it's totally spoiled. Grrrr! So I had to make some garlic powder work - it did the trick. I seasoned the turkey and onions with just a dash of coarse sea salt and some garlic powder. Then drained the meat while heating some more olive oil in the bottom of my stock pot (which I've quickly learned to love - best Christmas present ever) Once the oil was heated I threw in all the veggies I had prepped last night (zucchini, red bell pepper & mushrooms) cooked them until they were soft and then added my meat back to the pot. I threw in some dried herbs for flavor and mixed it all together with the can of crushed tomatoes. Then just let it simmer on low for a couple hours. It was DElish.

Ok, time for another confession: I ate my fill at dinner but only an hour later I was hungry again. So I decided to warm up a small bowl of just the meat sauce and made it unPaleo by adding a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top...yum! Then after I finished my little bowl of meat sauce I was still hungry...this is where the butter came in. Sauteed mushrooms have got to be one of my favorite things in life. Seriously if you're one of those people that turns their nose up and makes a face at mushrooms, I just don't understand you. They are SO delicious. So I threw some butter, olive oil, mushrooms and asparagus into my sautee pan and was seriously eating them out of the pan before they were done I was so excited. But now I have a burnt tongue from eating blistering hot mushrooms. But my belly is full and I made it through another day of this little experiment.

So I need to get out to the chicken coop to get more eggs because I am currently unsure of what I will eat for breakfast if I don't have eggs...lunch will probably be some sort of my left overs (today I had lettuce wraps with the left over chicken from last night, they were also very yummy) and since I'll be at work tomorrow night I'll most likely pack another salad and get some yummy Caesar dressing as a treat! MMMmmm I can already taste it. Ok, time for bed because now I'm thinking about food...ugh - and so it starts.

 thank you Pinterest - you saved the day, again.
Cut lengthwise and scoop out seeds.

 Drizzle with EVOO & give a sprinkle of sea salt place flesh side down on baking sheet
Roast in oven @ 400 for 45ish minutes, until its soft. Use a fork to pull the strands out- serve with sauce. YUM

Please excuse my plastic plate...ew.

PS - would it be super terrible of me to have a beer? Or maybe a "skinny" margarita - tequila & fresh squeezed lime...or a gimlet - hmmm... 

The Farmers Wife

Monday, October 7, 2013

Happy Monday!

Again, feeling encouraged I decided to update the blogosphere with my progress for the day.

Let me just start with a shout out to working moms everywhere. I went back to work last Monday working lunches - just once a week because a dear coworker volunteered to watch my children for me. So this morning I rose (wayyyy to early because Princess slept terribly) tired, eyes blurried from my contacts that I sleep in and I stumbled to the kitchen to make Princess her bottle. Then I ran around for the next hour making the farmer's lunch, dressing my pre-schooler who would have rather been watching TV, feeding and dressing the baby, then preparing my own lunch, packing the diaper bag and ran out the door in a crazy whirlwind. The farmer all the while still resting peacefully in bed...

I just wanted to give props to working moms everywhere - single, married, divorced, whatever you are. You are amazing for doing that every morning. Don't get me wrong, stay-at-home-moms are amazing in their own way. But that was a lot of work. I am glad I only do it once a week! And I love my job so it's not a big deal but that is quite a show we put on in the morning...oh what will my life look like next year when school starts *gasp!* I feel blessed though to be able to see both sides of the fence here. I love spending time with my children and my days at home are challenging and tiring and emotional and stressful all the same. But days when I go to work are like getting a little break  - as soon as I jump over all the hurdles to get there! So way to go working moms! You rock.

...And then there's this whole clean eating challenge that I embarked on this morning, I packed my breakfast and ate it when I got to work because it was just not happening any other way. I ate two hard boiled eggs and an avocado with a little salt and pepper. The avocado was weird though because it had been in my fridge since last week -  I thought it might be a little over ripe - but it was like totally unripe in some parts and brown and over ripe in other parts...so that was just OK. I only ate about half of it. But the hard boiled eggs were delish.

That got me through until about 12:30 when I made a Caesar salad with the Romaine hearts I got at Woodmans dressed with Parkside's Caesar dressing (while not super high on the "low fat" or "low calorie" list - it was still made with nothing processed, entirely whole ingredients, freshly this morning!) I paid $4 (after employee discount) for a chicken breast to go with it. For a snack I had some of the organic peanut butter and one of my Honey Crisp apples sliced up - that was SO yummy. I'll admit I've never had apples and peanut butter before, and it was very good! Another confession  - the organic peanut butter alone is pretty nasty but with the natural sweetness of the apple it was delicious! And I ate one of the fruit leathers on my way home from work this afternoon.

Now my house smells amazing because my two ingredient clean chicken tacos are simmering on the stove. I modified the recipe from a crock pot recipe. It only called to cook for 4 hours and that wasn't really a good window of time for me since I was at work most of the day. Not to mention I can't find my crock pot anywhere (and it's a Green Bay Packers one too...boo!) I used a dutch oven stock pot over the stove - heated some olive oil on medium high and seared the chicken breasts on both sides to brown them, then deglazed with a little chicken stock and poured the fresh salsa over the breasts and they are simmering away  on LOW heat. And it seriously smells soooooooo good in my kitchen.

Ok just checked the chicken and it literally fell apart when I tried to pick it up with my tongs. I hope these taste as awesome as they smell! Can't wait for the farmer to come home so we can eat dinner. Then I have a volleyball game at Elmbrook tonight and I'm hitting the sack early. I'm so tired, but so glad that this day was yet again encouraging and not a total fail!

1 down, infinity to go!

Happy Monday from the Farm,
The Farmer's Wife

Sunday, October 6, 2013

I Said I Was Dead Serious!

I feel so encouraged after my post last night about my general inability to committ to any type of healthy diet/lifestyle. I received many comments on my Facebook link to the post, inbox messages, I even had many dear friends approach me personally at church this morning to encourage me and offer their advice. So if you are reading this and you were one of those people- I am grateful because I have so much more motivation to follow through this time. Your love and prayers are SO appreciated, thank you.

Another reason I feel totally encouraged is that I went grocery shopping tonight. I had planned on hitting Trader Joes this afternoon with both kids after the Packer game, however after talking with many friends today and getting lots of recommendations for Woodman's I decided to check out the new one in Waukesha on HWY 164. The farmer let me go sans the 4-year-old so with princess in tow (wearing her on the Baby Bjorn) I did my weekly shopping at Woodman's. I survived - although that store is GIANT and I'll have to get used to organizing my list appropriately. It was such a great experience! It is open 24/7 which is another plus because here on the farm we run on an anything-but-normal schedule. Princess Elle & I headed out about 9pm and we returned around 11. Shopping with just the baby was so nice...I can't even imagine what it would have been like if I was actually alone!

Yet another encouraging thing, I got EVERYTHING on my list PLUS a couple extra things for only about $3 more than I had planned to spend. I was planning on spending about $70 at Woodman's and price-matching a few things at Wal Mart either later tonight or tomorrow and spending another $15. For $88.07 I got everything on my list and didn't have to go to two stores - totally worth the extra $3! And our grocery budget still has $200 left for the rest of the month.

I thought I would share what I bought for $88.07 since the majority of it was meat and fresh produce - and I'll share with you what I have planned for my meals this week. *Fingers crossed* the farmer doesn't totally hate some/all of them. I bought a few organic things, a few gluten free, mostly just tried going  for fresh over processed this time...I will refine my process as I go along. I figured fresh is better than processed and if I decided to go totally gung-ho organic and all that I might just wear myself out. OK ready, here it goes:

4 28oz Cans of Crushed Tomatoes
1 16oz Jar of *Organic* Peanut Butter
1 container dried Thyme leaves
1 container dried Rosemary
1 Container dried basil
2 6oz cans Tomato Paste
1 box Shur Shine Pancake Mix (NOT for me)
3 cans of pringles (for the farmer)
1 package corn tortillas
1 box *gluten free* pizza crust mix
1 lb bag of dried black beans
1 bottle of pancake syrup (again, NOT for me)
2.5 lbs of Ground Jenni-O turkey
1 lb of salmon filets (frozen)
2 lbs of Just Bare Chicken Breast Filets (Just Bare is my FAVORITE brand of "all natural" chicken)
1 16 oz tub of fresh salsa
1 3.84lb Spaghetti Squash
1 lb Mini Bella Mushrooms
2 avacados
1 lemon
1 lime
1 22oz package of Romaine hearts
1.85 lbs of Honey Crisp apples (which I just noticed on the reciept she rang me up for Pink Lady apples which were $1.00 less per pound - SCORE!)
3/4 lb fresh green beans
1 lb fresh asparagus
2 zucchini
1 10 oz package of matchstick carrots (shredded carrots)
2 Red Bell Peppers
8oz container of fresh mozzarella pearls
1/2 gallon of Chocolate milk (for the farmer & Jack)
1 gallon of 1% milk
2 lbs of salted butter
1 8oz tub of Sour Cream (farmer)
2 boxes of Motts Fruit snacks (for Jack)
2 Fruit leathers (organic fruit roll up type things - for me!)
1 bag Quaker Oats Rice cake snacks (for Jack)

48 items for $88.07

I was proud and impressed. I did not get a case of water as I had intended and we're almost out of the farmer's soda, so I might need to make a Walmart run yet, but I think I did pretty well. The scary thing is we're doing this budget thing all with cash and so when the "food" envelope is out of cash, that's it! So I am probably going to hold off on the soda for a bit, maybe get him some 2L bottles to get him through the next week or so until we see how well I really did with the grocery budget.

I also went through my cabinets (just two of them for starters) and threw away all the cookies and bags of candy that were opened (the unopened ones I did save). That felt good. Now the cabinets look orderly and I did the same with the fridge. Threw things away that have just been in there for too long and made room for all my fresh produce!!

So to close I'll leave you with my menu for the week (my lunches and family dinners). Note that I did make a Sam's Club run last week and picked up lunch meat and bread for the farmer's sandwiches so he's set for his lunches for the week. Also just a weird random side note: Almond Butter is FREAKING expensive. I wanted to get some because I read it on a blog as a yummy snack with apples - NOT FOR $14.99 a JAR. Holy cow. . . ok that's all I want to say about that.

**For breakfast I plan on eating hard cooked eggs (which we have no shortage of here on the farm!), apples with *organic* peanut butter, organic granola with milk, and/or lightly salted avacado**

Menu for 10/7-10/13//2013

Lunch - Caesar Salad (bring my greens and shredded parm cheese to work & use the *homemade* parkside caesar dressing) & bring a fruit leather or apple & peanut butter for a snack
Dinner: 2 ingredient clean chicken tacos I got the recipe from Pinterest and it looks both delicious and super easy! And of course the farmer can just have his with cheese, sour cream, and in flour tortillas. Mine will be with corn tortillas & avacado

Lunch - tuna salad lettuce wraps-not sure yet what/if I am going to substitute the mayo with but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
Dinner - Chili (recipe here) - gonna substitute ground turkey and use dry beans (which I've never done before so that'll be interesting) instead of canned

Lunch - left over chili (barring a catastrophe & the chili is terrible or something)
Dinner - Spaghetti Squash & Paleo Meat Sauce - this is where the farmer is going to need your prayers & some serious coaxing!

Lunch - Salad
Dinner - Sauteed chicken breast & Veggies (bell peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini)

Lunch - Variation of leftovers from the week (hoping there's left overs of the chicken tacos from monday)
Dinner - Gluten free homemade pizza (fresh mozzarella, sauteed veggies - simple)

Lunch - Chicken Caesar Salad
Dinner - Date Night?? Hoping for a reward from the farmer for doing my best

Lunch - Friends house for the Packer Game - lunch is usually served (although if I'm feeling super ambitious I'll pack myself a salad)
Dinner - Steamed salmon and sauteed veggies (green beans and carrots)

I hope maybe this was helpful/encouraging to some of you. I have learned a lot over the past 24 hours just from talking to people and reading on Pinterest. I would love to keep learning and know more about how I can make foods that taste good and are good for my body. I am excited to start this journey and as long as people are interested I'll keep posting on my progress. Thanks again for all the encouragement - it meant the world to me!

Good night from the farm -
The Farmer's Wife

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Clean Eating...a No Brainer for the "Farmers Wife", right? Wrong.

So as a self-proclaimed "farmers wife" I have been contemplating the idea of "clean eating" for quite some time now. I'd say about 6-8 months. You'd think living on a farm would make this whole idea of organic and natural foods a no-brainer, right? Wrong. I am a fast-food junkie, potato-chip-eating, ranch-sauce-dipping, soda-drinking, healthy-lifestyle failure. And as much as I really want to overhaul my diet and change my eating habits--I am having the hardest time taking the plunge and committing.

I am a serial crash-dieter with a bathroom cabinet full of those belly-fat-loss green tea pills, slim quick, and every other get-skinny quick diet pill. I've done extreme cleanses - only drninking water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and pure maple syrup for 10 days - all while running off more calories than I was taking in. You name it, I've done it.

For a while it worked actually. I was feeling pretty good about my body in August and September of 2012...only to find that our little princess was cooking beneath my almost-flat-stomach. Ugh...back to square one.

And here I sit, having just finished my dinner of sauteed chicken breast and green beans...good, right? Wrong, because I washed it down with a diet Pepsi - possibly the most toxic beverage I could have possibly chosen - and polished off the pot of Kraft Mac n Cheese that I made for my son for dinner. Hashtag epicfail.

Seriously, everytime I find myself in the Taco Bell drive-thru I say OK this is it! And I vow to stop eating fast food...until reality slaps me and says "who are you kidding?" And while I'd like to say I've had my last Beef Chalupa Supreme and finished my last pot of Mac n Cheese - I honestly just don't think I have it in me. Not to mention how much I love to enjoy a Miller High Life or 4 from time to time.

Another thing: I have a billion questions about this eating clean thing. Like tonight, for instance. I am sauteeing my beans - which I always do with garlic and olive oil - I have the giant tub of minced garlic from the grocery store. Does eating clean mean I have to ditch the tub of super-convenient-already-minced-just-throw-it-in-the-pan garlic and mince my own garlic - because that's just NOT happening.
Can I still use butter? Because I LOVE me some butter. Don't get me wrong,  EVOO is delicious in it's own right but you just can't beat the creamy-deliciousness of REAL butter.
Can I still season things with regular salt and pepper? How does salt come into play here?? I'm just so confused as to what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to seasonings. I know there's organic spices and stuff - do I go that route? Oh and Lawry's Seasoned Salt - I don't think I could part with it...is that "clean"?

And really, how "clean" do I have to be for it to be effective? I want more energy, I want to feel better, I want to be healthier and I want NEED to lose some weight. But I don't want to do it half-heartedly only to fail again.

I have read blogs and was scouring Pinterest tonight looking for some information and I swear all the blogs on "clean eating for beginnners" are just too vague for me. Where do I shop? Because that's another little issue we have here on the farm  -- budget cuts. We're on a serious spending hiatus and our grocery budget has gone from small to miniscule. Which is fine, I have accepted the farmer's challenge with grace and agree that we could stand to shave a little extra off our spending. I'm not going to use the "eating healthy is just too expensive" excuse because I hate lame excuses and I don't buy that excuse for a second.

Does Trader Joes count as a good place to buy these "clean" foods? Because if that's the case then I'm in! I ♥ Trader Joes. Trader Joes I can do. It's the Heath Huts & Whole Foods that scare me. Not so sure about those. And meal planning. Because the problem with eating foods that are fresh and not processed is they go bad a lot quicker! No such thing as stock piling fresh fruits and veggies - so meal planning and shopping 1 week at a time.

Accountablility is my last little obstacle. I mean the farmer would be great at that...all while eating his cheesy-creamy-preservative-filled plate of chicken alfredo and garlic bread. Because hell would literally have to freeze over before he joined me in my "clean eating" adventure. So I would seriously need to find a buddy or something. Someone to keep me in check. And I don't have time/money for like a personal trainer/dietician either. I live in the real world - where kids cost a bajillion dollars and mortgage bills come every month, cars break down and kids break their legs and go to the ER, then the hospital, then back to the ER for an ear infection. In other words pre-paid meal plans and personal trainers are out of the question for this girl.

So I guess with all that being said, I'm ready to make the change and I want to, but it's one of those "easier said than done" type things. So here's to really committing and kicking my habits of poor meal choices and half-hearted work outs and "crash diets" and "jumping on the bandwagon" and all that. I am going to work on a meal plan, grocery shop tomorrow and even go through my cabinets and nix everything that is really unhealthy and shouldn't be there. (AAAHHHHH!!!) Seriously though, I am going to do it.

Ready. Set. Go!

-The Farmer's [dead serious about this] Wife