Grateful hearts

Very grateful for this past year. I was thinking today of all that has happened this past year. Our move to California, getting this cozy little house, meeting new people, enrolling the boys in the Charter school, lots of people came to visit, our trips to the Village and this new baby on the way. Wow! There’s more I’m sure that I’m forgetting to mention.

This time last year we drove up to Auburn, Ca to have Thanksgiving dinner with the Pavao family. It was such a blessing (not to mention the fun!) to have them out here. I never would have made it without having them here our first 2 months. God was very gentle with me. I remember it being so hard. My first year celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas without family and lots of friends. The first in 10 years of marriage. I told David last year that it felt like I finally grew up, got married and moved away and I didn’t like it at all! So, having the Pavaos really made that hard thing a lot easier.

This year the apples are is season at Apple Hill, we went and picked Manderin oranges in Auburn, the boys are raking big leaf piles, my tiny pink flowers in my front bed have returned and my memories of our outings with Shammah, Hannah and the kids waft through the air like pumpkin pie (though I think they like cherry best:). God is good, all the time!

Today as I worked on making dinner I just felt grateful from the depths of my being. The boys were all in the backyard playing soccer with 5 of the neighbor kids. Loud shouts and laughter could be heard by all the neighbors I’m sure. Then, they were off! All bikes and scooters drug out of the garage. It was fun to hear them tell their friends, “You can ride my bike and I’ll ride the scooter”.  This Thanksgiving no family will be here with us, yet it all feels right. We miss home and would Love it if family or friends were here but I’m very grateful for what God has given us. This year we have made friends, we have awesome neighbors and there is no lack! So, we are making food for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow and might find a few homeless to share it with, who knows. I’m sure David will blog about it. 🙂 It’s not stressful at all, food will be eaten when it is ready and then sometime in the evening we are going to go to a friends house for yummy hot drinks!

We are also very grateful and anxiously awaiting Stephen and Ayala and family moving here with us in January! Glad we have Thanksgiving, a wedding, Christmas and moving to a new house to keep us busy til then.

Anyway, the main reason I wanted to post was to put up a few recent pictures so you could see what we’ve been up to. A picture is worth a thousand words, so Enjoy!

Our thankful tree

A few fall decorations in our 'drive thru' window.

River likes to read!

Or, be read to... Yes, Tristan Is actually reading!

He also Loves to draw! "Mommy, I wanna pencil"? is a most frequently asked question.

A man I am most grateful to have as my friend, my husband and the father of my boys!


Monthly Menu Plan

It’s late here and I know this is a boring post but I had a couple requests for it. So, here it its.

I wrote a menu theme for the dinners for each night, then for each week I changed up what we were having a little. Once I did the themes, coming up with the menu was easy.


Mon- Beef/Mexican

Tue- Chicken meal

Wed- Italian night

Thur- Soup/Crockpot

Fri- Salad and bread

Sat- Fish/Breakfast dinner/Leftovers

Sun- Casserole/ or a Bar- like baked potato bar, or burrito bar (we do a potluck at our Sunday gatherings so I usually do something to feed a crowd and then we just eat leftovers for dinner.


Ok, then I defined how it would look for the month of November so here is my personal menu…

Week 1

Mon- Stirfry

Tue-Chicken tortillia soup

Wed- Pizza and salad

Thur- Clam chowder- homemade

Fri- Apple, onion, feta salad w/ bread

Sat- Breakfast dinner – bacon, eggs, asparagus and hot apple cider

Sun- Baked Potato bar

Week 2

Mon- Beef bourguignon

Tue- Chicken fingers and sweet potato fries

Wed- Spaghetti over zuchinni

Thur- Zuppa Tuscana

Fri- Grilled chicken salad

Sat- Fish tacos

Sun- Burrito Bar

Week 3

Mon- Stew

Tue- Chicken cordon bleu

Wed- Pizza

Thur- Chicken and wild rice soup

Fri- 3 cheese salad

Sat- Cream cheese patties with rice and veggie (yes, a Hartle meal every once in a while won’t hurt)

Sun- Presto Pasta bake

Week 4

Mon- Taco salad

Tue- Sticky coconut chicken with rice

Wed- Quinoa lasagna

Thur- Irish Potato soup

Fri- Asian chicken salad

Sat- Fish, rice and steamed veggies

Sun- Chicken and yellow rice

That’s mostly it. I do grab extra veggies to have on hand for side dishes. And I know what you’re thinking ” Why fish/ breakfast/ leftover night???” Well, first of all any of those are easy, fast ideas for your ‘I’ve been gone all day Saturday and I still have to go home and feed everybody’ thought. And, you can have fish in the freezer and not use it if you need to eat up the leftovers, or… everyone usually has stuff on hand for a breakfast dinner.

Oh and I have a basic outline for breakfast and lunch ideas that I switch up a little week to week.


Scrambled eggs and fruit

Oatmeal/ hot cereal

French toast/Pancake or anything of that nature

Fried eggs/egg sandwiches

Green smoothies with toast or muffins

Cereal day!!

Granola and yogurt

Nicer egg day- breakfast burritos, casserole or omelets



Tuna/Salmon melts

Stir fry with leftover rice and veggies

Tomato soup with grilled cheese

PB & J’s or Pb and honey and banana sandwiches

Snack lunch- cheese, veggies, rice cakes, pepperoni, fruit, popcorn or whatever I have on hand.

Lunchmeat sandwiches- grilled with spinach is yummy!

Enjoy! We’re having pizza tomorrow night. Sounds good but beware when you make your menu not too make too many extravagant ( I mean long preparation time) meals. Hope this helps on a ‘late night before shopping, I have no ideas for meals’ night.