The Life Giving Home – February Update

Another month, and another chapter from The Life Giving Home.  But before I delve into it, I wanted to give you a little update from January’s chapter.  In that chapter, Clarkson says that she always greets her children in the morning with loving affirmations.  I decided to try that, too.

I’ll be honest, when I did it, my kids groaned a bit and said, “Oh, mommy!”  But I noticed now that even though they still roll their eyes at me, they also smile when I give the affirmation, and now they happily expect it.

This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for your support!

This month in The Life Giving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging & Becoming by Sally & Sarah Clarkson, the theme is, appropriately, love.

What really stood out to me in this chapter is that to love well, you have to have the time to love well.  You have to make loving your family a priority.

I know that sounds strange, but making time is imperative.  Clarkson talks about finding out what your children’s love languages are so that you can love them in the way that they most appreciate.  (She also reminds us busy moms to make time to love our husbands and make them a priority.)

I learned my kids’ love languages four years ago when we started homeschooling, but now I think it’s time for a refresher.

Another take away from this chapter is to make spending one-on-one time with each of your children a priority.  In addition, she says you should set aside time for your husband.  He shouldn’t have to compete with the kids for your attention.

Finally, Clarkson also mentioned finding time to love your friends well, especially when they’re going through hard times.  This can be as simple as texting someone or inviting them over to your house for breakfast and a chat.  It doesn’t have to be a fancy night out.

This chapter felt less tangible to me than January’s chapter, but I did find some steps I’ll take to improve our family relationships and make our house more loving.  Time to order the love language books from the library!

I’m joining several other bloggers who are working their way through this book throughout the year.  (Thanks, Kids, Crunch, and Christ for hosting!)

How do you make your family members feel loved?

Freezer Cooking: Eating Healthy When You’re Short on Time

I first discovered freezer cooking when I was pregnant for one of my daughters.  Back then, my freezer cooking days were a lot different than they are now.  I would cook for an entire day and fill the freezer with meals that we could eat later in the month.

Sometimes I still do that, but now, I usually have a freezer cooking session that only lasts a few hours since I don’t seem to have as much time as I used to.

Freezer cooking is a great way for busy parents to get a homemade meal on the table in no time flat.  Cooking at home is more nutritious and it’s usually cheaper, so freezer cooking offers the best of both worlds.

If you’d like to begin freezer cooking but are intimidated by the process, I have some recommendations to help get you started.

How to Plan Your Time

There are several ways you can fill your freezer with meals.  The best method is based on how much time you have.  Here are several of the ways I get meals in the freezer on a regular basis:

Double up on your meals for a week.  This is the easiest way to stock the freezer.  Plan a week’s worth of meals, and each night when you’re cooking, make a double batch.  One batch will go in the freezer for later; the other you can enjoy that night for dinner.  Do this for a week, and you have another week’s worth of meals in the freezer.

Have a mini freezer cooking session.  Each weekend, make three or four meals for the freezer.  Double the recipes so that you’re making a total of six to eight meals.  Do this for a few weekends, a couple of hours at a time, and you’ll have a month’s worth of meals in the freezer.

Have a full day freezer cooking session.  This is what I used to do and what some people still do.  Cook all day, and get 30 or more meals in the freezer for the rest of the month.  The rest of the month you’ll do very little cooking.  The best part?  Most of your kitchen mess is made in one day, making clean up much easier in the coming days.

Where to Find Recipes

I find recipes in a multitude of places.

This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for your support!

MyFreezEasy.  I reviewed this last year, and it continues to be a fabulous resource.  Most of the meals that are in my freezer now are MyFreezEasy recipes.  Simply go to the site and choose either the type of meal you’d like to make such as Slow Cooker, Gluten Free, or Traditional, to name a few, or choose based on the type of protein that you want to use.  (This is a great feature if you want to take advantage of a sale at the grocery store.)  Pick your recipes, and MyFreezEasy will give you the directions for cooking as well as a grocery list.  Easy peasy.

There is a fee for this service, but if you don’t want to spend time hunting down recipes, this is the way to go.

Pinterest.  Another go to source is Pinterest.  I use Pinterest a lot for more specialized recipes, especially those for Paleo and Paleo AIP for my daughter.

Cookbooks.  There are several cookbooks you can buy or check out from the library that are especially designed for freezer cooking.

Final Thoughts

I’ll admit, freezer cooking can sometimes be a pain.  I no longer have a big freezer cooking session.  But the beauty is that I don’t have to.  There are many other, easier ways to fill the freezer.

Do you freezer cook?  If so, what meals are your favorite and what strategies do you use to make it easier to fill your freezer with freezer meals?

This post is part of Blogging through the Alphabet, Letter F, hosted by A Net in Time and Hopkins Homeschool.  To read more posts focusing on a topic starting with the letter “F” click on the button below:

A Net In Time Schooling

Homeschool Crew Review: Home School in the Woods – The Middle Ages

When we first started homeschooling, I found Home School in the Woods when looking for a timeline book, which Bookworm still uses three years later.  Then, we had the privilege of reviewing several of their products--Project Passport World History … [Continue reading]

The Broken Blade by William Durbin: A Book Review

Now that Bookworm is almost a teenager (how did that happen?!), he's fussier about the books that he reads.  I noticed that he's much more interested in books with a strong boy protagonist on an adventure. This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks … [Continue reading]

Grocery Report, 2017: Week 7

Week 7 of our grocery reports.  I've noticed that having our daughter on AIP is starting to cost us more money.  I was hoping it wouldn't, but she misses some of her regular food, so I've been making her coconut carob truffles for a treat.  I also … [Continue reading]

Exercise: Essential for Mamas and Kids

I've never enjoyed exercising.  Sometimes, especially in college, I would make exercising every day a priority.  After about a month, it became a habit, and then I didn't hate doing it so much.  I honestly can't say, though, that I've ever loved … [Continue reading]

The Loving Push by Temple Grandin & Debra Moore: A Book Review

A child with high functioning autism can be a blessing and a challenge.  These children are often very bright, which can bode well for academic success and possible career success if they find the right job niche.  However, these kids by nature may … [Continue reading]

Grocery Report, 2017: Week 6

It was the beginning of the month and we needed some staples. I thought I was doing pretty good with the groceries I bought, but I was surprised by the grand total of this trip!  I want to be under $1,000 this month, so I'll have to be careful in the … [Continue reading]

Kari Jobe “The Garden” CD Review and Giveaway

I'm always looking for music that blends into the background when I work.  I also look for inspiring music, especially with strong, encouraging lyrics. I have found both in Kari Jobe's new CD, The Garden. This full-length CD contains 14 songs, … [Continue reading]

A Fun History Supplement: Drive Through History

When I was in school, I loved learning about history.  What I didn't love was the dry, boring way history was presented.  So, most of my history knowledge came from books and documentaries that I watched. Now that we homeschool, we spend a lot of … [Continue reading]