Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Easter and Menu Planning

Before I get started on my simplifying for today, I thought I would share a few pics of the kids in their Easter duds. We had a good Easter - the big bunny brought the older kids some treats and things, and thoughtfully left them at the foot of their beds so as to keep them occupied for a little longer before waking up mom and dad. Seriously - that is one thoughtful bunny. Church was good and dinner was yummy. Nothing too exciting, just hanging out with the family.

Here's Juliana in her dress

Danielle being too cute

Love this one of Abby and Isaac in front of the ocean

And we're doing a ward picture directory for the ward here (seems this job keeps following us a round) so we had someone take our picture. I think it turned out really great. I'm not sure why Isaac is so somber, but the rest of us are looking pretty happy.
OK -on to the menu planning...

Well, I have to say that I've run into a few snags working on my shopping lists this week. I did come up with enough meals (and repeats) to make 10 weeks of meals. But I've found as I've been planning them that I prefer cooking based on my mood. I thought it would be easier to just cook my assigned meal, but it doesn't seem to be working out that way. I don't know. It almost seems like I'm making it harder than it should be with so many choices/weeks, so I've decided that I need to simplify but yet allow for some flexibility.
As I've been thinking about it this week, I remembered that I took a class years ago, through UVSC's (UVU now) continuing education program. It was called House of Order. Amazingly I still have all the info from it. It was a fabulous class, and I think it is now taught at BYU's Education Week, too. Anyway, I pulled out the binder to look over how the teacher had suggested menu planning. From that and my experiences over the last week or so, this is what I've come up with as a plan:
  • I'm going to poll the family for their very favorite meals
  • I'll use those results to come up with a 4 week program - so a total of about 20-22 meals (you'll see why below)
  • The key is that I will leave one or two blank nights each week for any cravings, whims, etc. that I might have that week, or just to stick in those meals that we like every once in a while, but not so regularly.
    Then I'll go back to my shopping lists.
So, I've got to do a little revamping here. For all of you that means you get a little more time to keep working on those shopping lists. But really, once you get that done - you're set! That wasn't too painful, was it?
Oh, and I just looked up the teacher of that class I took and it turns out that she has her own website now. Feel free to check it out. There is a little section about menu planning under 'Food'. I'm sure there's a lot more there, but I haven't looked around it all yet.
Let me know how you guys are all doing on your menus.


Tonia said...

I LOVE the girls dresses! Issac is quite a stud too! I agree about the meals. I found that I come up with a week's worth of meals, but don't assign days. Life happens and sometimes it just is easier to pick from a couple of options. Talk to you soon!

Kerry said...

The dresses are super cute..I can't believe they're wearing long sleeves-aren't you guys cooking out there?

Meal planning-I'm not doing your new thing even though I'm sure it's great..I just wanted to say that for me I plan 7-10 meals that I shop for-those are listed on my fridge, about lunch time I check them out and decide which of those things I'm in the mood for--so you could do the same thing--Make a M-S schedule or whatever and if you want to cook what's planned for Wed on Monday do it, just swap the meals around..who cares!

shannon (The Daily Balance) said...

BEAUTIFUL photos! ;)

Naihe Family said...

I LOVE the pics!! Just beautiful!!!

Karen Lambarth said...

Lisa, the Easter outfits are awesome! You always do such a great job matching the kids out Easter and Christmas.

Menus . . . I got stuck in your same place, cooking to my mood.
Maybe I will try to do like you and Kerry: have a plan that I shop for and then decide specifically at dinner prep time!

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

You all look fantastic. Loved all the photos. The kids are growing up, aren't they?