Baking day with the Maryon’s

Ok, I promised a few videos of our family.  This was done on our baking day last week.  Hope you enjoy.

Eating meals out of the pantry

When making a large family move to a completely different state and area, I was glad to bring with me food that would last for at least a few months.  We packed our freezer and pantry full and brought it along with us.  That has afforded me much less stress when it comes to making meals.  With moving there are so many things that you are getting acclimated to.  Do you know how long it has taken me to find the same grocery store in the SAME spot??? I am thankful for grocery store chains like Aldi’s and Walmart because I know that the food is similar and so are the prices.

My goal is to eat out of our pantry before I go and spend any money on groceries.  We do buy milk and fruits /vegetables for eating fresh but the rest of our food is what we brought. That makes for one less thing that I have to do right now as we are just starting to settle into regular routines.  I had to laugh because as we were unpacking items, my children were having some frozen grapes for a snack.  IMG 20141115 144322 168x300 Eating meals out of the pantry

Well Jentzen must of gotten creative when looking for a spoon to eat them.  He decided to use a WRENCH—yes a wrench to eat his grapes with!!!IMG 20141115 144326 168x300 Eating meals out of the pantryThank goodness it appeared clean—–one of those things you do when trying to locate all of our items!!!

Our pantry has stored up many months of  rice, beans, pasta, and tomato products and that is what we base our meals on. You can look at our Large Family Foods menu and view many of those meals that we make regularly.

Repetition is good, but sometimes I bore of the same foods.  Once in a while I try and change things up and add some new foods to our menu.

We have never tried baked oatmeal before.  Since it was super easy to just mix oatmeal and water for breakfast, why would I bother with making baked???  Well I came across a recipe online that was for a baked overnight pumpkin pie oatmeal and I thought I would give it a try.  This one required soaking and seemed time consuming for me, so I had to adapt it to my own.

IMG 20141119 135406 300x168 Eating meals out of the pantryThis was something new and different, less sugary than pumpkin muffins but gave “oatmeal” a new taste.  It tastes just as it sounds like “pumpkin pie but a baked oatmeal.”  We enjoyed it more the day after when we had leftovers in the refrigerator.  Mix up a batch it is worth a try.  Click here for recipe.

For dinner on Sunday, we tried a meal that one of my friends makes each Sunday for her family.

IMG 20141115 163152 168x300 Eating meals out of the pantryMy husband grew up having a specific meal on a set day each week —like spaghetti every Tuesday and meatloaf every Friday, but I did not.  I like to change things often, where he would like same.  I compromise and have spaghetti night every Wednesday but that is about it.  I think I am going to adapt Danielle’s haystacks as my “official” Sunday meal to go along with our  spaghetti Wednesday meal.  It is super easy and convenient.  Repetition is good as you don’t need to “think” about what to eat you just make.

Her recipe is great because it is super easy, filling, you can make it for many people, plus all the prep work can be done the day before.  Click here for Danielle’s Sunday haystack recipe.  

Another plus about making that meal on Sunday, you can put the leftover chicken mixture with any rice you have leftover and heat it up for Monday’s lunch.

IMG 20141117 072119 300x168 Eating meals out of the pantryWe heated this mixture up and put it on tortillas for an easy lunch.

For our dinner’s we enjoy making homemade pizza often. My little ones like our macaroni and cheese pizza while the other’s prefer the supreme.  Well since we are cooking out of the pantry, I didn’t have as many items as I would have liked to put together a pizza meal, so I decided to do it differently.

IMG 20141119 133059 300x168 Eating meals out of the pantryI made some homemade macaroni and cheese and upside down pizza.  It was nice because I did not have as much cheese as I needed to make regular pizza but this worked because the pizza was made “upside” down and that covered the missing ingredients that we usually have for our pizzas.  Try this recipe out, it is different, but tastes good and works good if you are “short” on a few pizza toppings.

For dessert, we had some apples that we brought down with us from Michigan that were starting to go bad.  I had Jadyn makes some apple crisp bars.  They were yummy.  Basically apple crisp but in a bar form.

IMG 20141117 173529 300x168 Eating meals out of the pantryClick here for recipe.

We will make an exception to shopping as it will be Thanksgiving soon.  I believe the “whole” family looks forward to eating a grand feast with a variety of dishes.

How about you?  Can you help the family budget by planning your meals from your pantry?? Any favorites that are simple to make?

What I wake up to on Mondays….

This past Monday I woke up and was going to do a video blog of the shape my house was in, I chickened out!!  What I should have done was take shorter video clips of my productivity during the day, it would show how we go about accomplishing things in our day.

Usually the weekends are NOT spent cleaning  and keeping things in order.  Even though I do try and maintain some sort of order, I do not want the only time my husband is home spent cleaning.  Plus I would love to get back to doing NOTHING unimportant on Sunday.  God does say it is a day of rest.  I do know that we are ALL in different seasons of life and when I had many little ones, if I deviated from the schedule, even on a Sunday, my Mondays would amount to double the workload and it was hard.  But I do know that my life HAS gotten easier and I CAN have more of a relaxing time on Sunday.  So for you Mom’s of little ones, remember that even if it feels like your seasons have gone on for weeks, maybe months, or sometimes years—life will get easier!!!

My kitchen…….wasn’t looking too badly, the counters had a few items out of place but not a crazy amount.  I am learning the power of LESS.  Less items to complicate my lifestyle, less items to pick up each day, less items to create clutter in my home.  Blog post coming soon!!:)

IMG 20141117 070852 300x168 What I wake up to on Mondays....

Dishes, the unexplainable amount of dishes.  Even if we wash AND put away the dishes after every meal I still am amazed at the amount of dishes we use.  We of course have snacks at night time and that can lead to many more, on this particular Monday, I was pulling out leftovers from the refrigerator to be heated up for lunchtime and that is the reason for so many. Now the sink was ready for breakfast dishes to accumulate.  IMG 20141117 070927 300x168 What I wake up to on Mondays....

Here was the laundry pile.  I haven’t gotten a plan down that I like for laundry just yet.  We keep 2 hampers, one in the boys bathroom and one in the girls bathroom every Monday and Thursday I drag them out and separate them on the floor–darks, lights, towels, and work clothes.  As the piles get smaller, I know I am almost done!!  This morning I started the loads at 7 am and put the last load in at 7 pm at night. I diligently kept the washer and dryer rotating, oh how I miss my larger washer and dryer.IMG 20141117 070940 300x168 What I wake up to on Mondays....Our home is equipped with a washer and dryer. Even though we have a much LARGER high efficiency washer/dryer that washes  laundry at a much faster rate, I decided for now to put them in the garage for storage and use the ones provided.  Less wear and tear on mine, plus will keep me on my toes for doing laundry regularly.

As we were putting laundry away, I had each child count the amount of outfits that they were hanging up.  I said that it has been only 3 days since our last laundry day, why is it that you have 6-7 outfits that you are hanging up?  I let them know we were going to work on not wasting so much of the laundry time to clothing that was not dirty.  That will help us ALL to be more effective.


IMG 20141117 072109 300x168 What I wake up to on Mondays....

KOMBUCHA…….Oh  how I have missed drinking kombucha. I brought all of my SCOBYS with me but it has taken some time to help build back up our stash.  Here I was making 3 new gallons of starter and turning my 2 gallon container to a second ferment with fruit.  I know there are not any “miracle” foods out there, but I do believe in foods and drinks helping us.  I KNOW my body and energy level benefits hugely from drinking kombucha regularly.  I am also careful to mix that with a good diet and regular exercise.

Then it was time for the children to wake up and start their days.  They had breakfast and chores then it was time for school.IMG 20141117 100720 168x300 What I wake up to on Mondays....

We were able to glide back  into school fairly easily.  We usually start in the morning and by lunchtime most of them are finished.  In the afternoon I like to have them do some extra reading or we watch educational videos to enhance learning.

IMG 20141117 132939 300x168 What I wake up to on Mondays....

I usually do ALL of my baking on Wednesdays, but this particular Monday the children were a little more full of energy and it was too cold to go outdoors.  We decided to mix up a batch of pretzel dough and let the children create.IMG 20141117 132952 300x168 What I wake up to on Mondays....

They had fun making letters for everyone, we even had some “blobs” and snakes.  Good fun plus educational:)

After this we cleaned things up and had dinner ready.  Dad came home and we ate together.  Let me share, that is probably one of the greatest blessings that we have received by making the move down here.  In Michigan my husband worked long hours and had a long drive home each evening.  We almost NEVER had meals together.  I would sometimes pray and long for “family” meal times but knew it just wasn’t for our situation.  But God heard that prayer and desire and answered it.  Since living here in North Carolina, we eat almost always every dinner together as a family.  A strange thing for us, but enjoyed by all.  Dad’s job is 15 minutes from home.

Desiring a lifestyle change?  God WILL give you the desires of your heart.  Pray and diligently seek Him and He will be faithful.

Modge podge photos on wood a diy inexpensive photo hang


IMG 20141118 120757 168x300 Modge podge photos on wood a diy inexpensive photo hang

I have had this idea to Modge Podge my children’s photos onto a piece of wood and hang them in our living room for over a year now.  I took photos last year of everyone at the beach and I was never completely happy with the photos that I took.  We had many little ones and some were not cooperative at all for the photo taking ceremony.

Well this past summer, all that changed.  We took all of the children for a photo shoot to the lake right down from our home.  It took about an hour and we had everyone’s photos completed, I was super happy.

After we arrived here in our new home, I knew I wanted to have them done for our walls.  I already had them printed off months earlier when they had a good deal online.  I picked up a piece of pine wood from our local Home Depot and got to work.  I had my husband cut the boards into 10 inch lengths to fit my photos.


IMG 20141117 153109 168x300 Modge podge photos on wood a diy inexpensive photo hang


I then joined him in the garage and stained the edges.  I am not a perfectionist when it comes to neat staining as you can see:)  But it did not matter because all you would see are the edges.

IMG 20141117 153118 168x300 Modge podge photos on wood a diy inexpensive photo hang


I then wiped a thin layer of Modge Podge onto the back of the photo so that it would stick to the wood.  I have always bought the matte kind but all the store had was glossy.  I think it turned out nicely with this type.IMG 20141117 153132 300x168 Modge podge photos on wood a diy inexpensive photo hangI then proceeded to wipe Modge Podge onto the photos.

IMG 20141117 153138 300x168 Modge podge photos on wood a diy inexpensive photo hangI wiped in the same direction the glue.  Be careful not to let it accumulate over the edges.  It is okay to get some on the edges it will just try shiny, but we had one spot that accumulated a ridge of glue and it dried like that.  Thankfully you cannot see it when it is hanging but just an FYI for you.

IMG 20141117 153334 300x168 Modge podge photos on wood a diy inexpensive photo hangI put one coat on them and let them semi dry.  They will appear clear.  I then put about 3 layers of glue on the wood.  It is okay if it dries and it looks like spots on it.  Those will dry eventually too.

I let them dry overnight and attached hanger hooks to the backs.  We then hung them up to view.

IMG 20141118 120550 300x168 Modge podge photos on wood a diy inexpensive photo hang

I am waiting for an “All because two people fell in love” sign from our family business to put among these photos.       IMG 20141118 120747 168x300 Modge podge photos on wood a diy inexpensive photo hangThis is a great inexpensive DIY photo hang.  It looks great and very clean and simple on the walls.

Exercising on the mountains…..again?!?!?!

I apologize I posted this last weekend and accidentally had “private” clicked.  I have since fixed it and am reposting our time that we went walking on the mountains for exercise.  Just a short silly video of us.