Freezer Cooking Session, January 2017

My mom went home after visiting us for 5 weeks.  I’ll greatly miss both her company and her help around the house!  To try to ease the transition and since Sprout’s had grass-fed beef on sale for $3.99 a pound, I decided I’ll make a slew of beef freezer meals this Sunday and Monday.  (Whenever ground beef is on sale at that price, I try to stock up!)

I’m making freezer meals with 8 servings each so that I’ll hopefully have leftovers for lunch the next day and cut down on my cooking time in the middle of the homeschool day.

Plus one of my kids has to go on the Paleo AIP diet for 8 weeks per our doctor’s instructions.  It’s not possible to feed my entire family AIP (too expensive and Bookworm eats too much!), so this way, I’ll have freezer meals for the family, and then I’ll only have to cook one separate meal for her, which sounds MUCH better to me than fixing two different meals for both lunch and dinner!

I’m spreading my freezer cooking over two days so I’ll have time for all of the meals to freeze.  You can follow my progress Sunday and Monday on Instagram.

Here’s what I’m planning to make (all recipes are from My FreezEasy):

Cheesy Hamburger Helper x2

Pumpkin Chili x2

Slow Cooker Beef & Vegetable Soup x2

Slow Cooker Chili Mac x2

Spanish Rice Soup x2

Slow Cooker Taco Soup x2

Spanish Rice Skillet x2

Split Pea Soup x2

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup x2

Swirly Taco Pasta Skillet x2

Wish me luck!

The Giver by Lois Lowry: A Book Review

As much as possible, I like to read the same books Bookworm is reading for school so we can discuss them as he reads.  All I can say is that I’m a lucky homeschool mom to read so much great literature that I otherwise likely wouldn’t read.

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One of the books Bookworm needs to read and complete a literature guide for is The Giver by Lois Lowry.  What a fabulous, haunting book!

Jonah is 11 years old when the story opens.  He lives in a utopian society where everything is the same.  Every December, there is a large gathering when newborn babies are assigned to families who requested them.  (Families don’t have their own babies.  Instead, babies are conceived and carried by “Birth Mothers.”  Once the baby is born, it’s taken to a nursery to be raised by “Nurturers” until the baby is given to an assigned family in December.)  Each family is allowed one boy and one girl baby.

Also during this ceremony, each child moves to the next age and level.  For instance, when Eights become Nines, they get a bicycle.  The most important transition is when Elevens move to Twelves because that’s when their careers are assigned.

In the weeks leading up to the December gathering, Jonah is very nervous about what his assignment might be.  The day of the ceremony, he’s horrified when he’s skipped and not given an assignment until the very end.  Rather than being assigned one of the typical roles in the community such as Nurturer, Laborer, or Caretaker of the Old, Jonah is assigned the very unusual role of Receiver.

There is only one Receiver in the community.  This person holds all the memories throughout time.  The current Receiver is old, and he’s eager to pass his knowledge on to Jonah so he can retire.  Jonah hesitantly embarks on his assignment, not knowing his life will change forever.

Like everyone in his community, Jonah doesn’t question his life of sameness.  It’s all he’s known, and he’s comfortable with it.  However, as the Giver (the name Jonah calls the current Receiver) begins to transmit memories to Jonah, Jonah learns what it’s like to feel the sun, to play in snow, to feel emotions such as love, and suddenly Jonah’s no longer happy with the current world he lives in.  His life and his entire outlook change as he receives more and more memories from the Giver.

I didn’t realize that this is the first book in a quartet.  There are three more books that come after The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son, each of which I now plan to read this year.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.


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