Sunday, January 15, 2017

Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 16, 2017

I received my second HelloFresh box yesterday!  For dinner tonight, we cooked their recipe, hearty steak with balsamic-cranberry pan sauce along with a side of cabbage.  The flavors of the cabbage and the steak went very well together and complimented each other nicely.

Try out Hello Fresh and get $40 off your first box!!  They have different plans including a classic, vegetarian, and a family plan.  I am enjoying the flexibility and variety of food it is providing my family to eat.  Recipes are simple to create and are high in flavor.  I am thankful for getting back on schedule with our menu planning since it is helping our budget.

Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 16, 2017

Tuesday, 1/17: Dining Out
Wednesday, 1/18: Baked Ham
Thursday, 1/19: Rapid Maple Balsamic Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

Friday, 1/20: Leftover Buffet
Saturday, 1/21: Dining Out
Sunday, 1/22: Chicken Spaghetti

Ashlyn's Kindergarten Report Card - 3rd Six Weeks

Ashlyn has sure enjoyed Kindergarten which makes my heart happy!  She has a love of learning and is currently on her fourth sight word list.  Students are given a list of ten words and then once they know all the words, they move onto another list.  We have flash cards at home that she continues to practice all the words together also.  Her teacher, Mr. Stein, has been sending home level D books which is slightly ahead of where the district expectation is for her age.

Ashlyn was working on reading a book for homework recently and realized the picture of the ship was like the one we went on with her Uncle Randy who is in the US Navy.  She was estactic to receive the 100 Words and My Little Pony books for Christmas from her Uncle Randy, Aunt Nikki, and her cousin Sophie along with the Bob Books from us.  Whenever she gets a chance, she also enjoys logging into iStation to practice her math and reading.

Our district uses standards based grading for elementary which indicates what level students are on for specific student friendly TEKS.  I personally love it especially for the younger grades because it helps parents know what their children are working on and where we can help give support at home.  The report cards also indicate which topics will be upcoming.  

The report card grading scale:
  • meets standards 3
  • developing 2
  • beginning 1

Integrated Language Arts


Use strategies to comprehend a variety of texts - 2

Writing Process and Conventions

Use the writing process to compose a variety of texts - 3

Listening and Speaking Conversations

Listen attentively - 3
Communicate ideas, experiences, and needs using academic language - 3

Early Literacy Inventory (ELI/SELI)

Letter Identification - 3
Letter Sounds - 3
Concepts about Print - 2
Phonological Awareness - 2

Guided Reading Level

Student Guiding Reading Level - C
Student Uses Strategies to Comprehend Guided Reading Text - 2


Compose and decompose numbers with objects and pictures - 3
Model addition and subtraction as the joining and separating of numbers - 3

Assessing Math Concepts

Counting Objects

Keep track while counting accurately, remember how many, and cont up to a particular quantity - 3

Social Studies

Social Studies Conceptual Understanding
Participate as an Informed citizen of a Constitutional Republic

Identify rules and their purpose - 3
Describe the process of working, earning money, and using money to meet needs and wants - 3


Physical Science

Describe the way objects move - 3

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Weight Watchers: Your Toolkit

I went to my Weight Watcher's meeting this morning.  Roni, my Weight Watcher's leader, asked, "What tools help you live better?"  I am always inspired after attending a meeting because other members mention things that you might be doing, but did not think about it right away.  Members mentioned the following: Fitbit, food scale, attending weekly meetings, logging food, and the Facebook group.

Roni mentioned how she and her husband were listening to a podcast from Andy Andrews.  One of the hardest things when losing weight is beating yourself up on the rough days.  She mentioned that in the podcast, Andy was discussing how many times he had been turned down for his book proposals and how he was tearing himself apart because of it until he realized what he was doing.  He stated how he just needed to talk to himself and not question himself.  The same applies with our continual process of attempting to stay healthy!

In 2016, I have learned to consistently do more physical activities which included walking, running, and getting my workouts in on my elliptical machine!

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 9, 2017

I am so excited to receive my second box from Hello Fresh!  The selection of food was primarily organic and extremely fresh!  The family and kids loved the recipes.  I love how you can preview the menus ahead of time and choose when you want to have it delivered.

Arriving next Saturday, January 14th:
  • Rapid Maple Balsamic Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli
  • Hearty Steak and Potatoes with Balsamic-Cranberry Pan Sauce
  • Thai Pork Stir-Fry with Mint and Ginger

Try out Hello Fresh and get $40 off your first box!!  They have different plans including a classic, vegetarian, and a family plan.

I created this upcoming week's menu plan primarily on what we currently had on hand in the house to help save on our grocery budget this week.

Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 9, 2017

Monday, 1/9: Chicken and Zucchini Noodle Caprese

Tuesday, 1/10: Dining Out
Wednesday, 1/11: Leftover Buffet
Thursday, 1/12: Chicken Sandwiches and Roasted Yellow Squash
Friday, 1/13: Hot Dogs & Chips
Saturday, 1/14: Hello Fresh Menu
Sunday: 1/15: Chicken Enchilada Soup

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 2, 2017

Last week, I had my first Hello Fresh box delivered on Tuesday, December 26th.  This was super convenient after traveling with the holidays because we were low on groceries.

Our menu from the classic plan included:

  • Honey Mustard Chicken with Baked Veggies
  • Sizzling Beef Stir-Fry over Jasmine Rice
  • Shawarma-Spiced Pork with Couscous and Peas
The selection of food was primarily organic and extremely fresh!  The family and kids loved the recipes especially the chicken and beef stir-fry.  Jakob made an exciting comment when he saw me cooking another meal from it stating not to judge books by their covers, because these dinners were fantastic!

Try out Hello Fresh and get $40 off your first box!  They have different plans including a classic, vegetarian, and a family plan.  I love how you can choose the menu on the classic plan and select when you receive it.  My next box will arrive on Saturday, January 14th and so excited to try out another set of good looking recipes!

I am also participating in Simple Green Smoothies' challenge between January 1 - January 7th.  It focuses on seven different smoothies over the seven days.  Today's smoothie was called, Beginner's Luck.  I doubled the recipe because Ashlyn, my five year old, gets excited when I make any type of smoothie which is great since she's getting additional vitamins and nutrients.

1 cup spinach
1 cup water
1/2 cup mango
1/2 cup pineapple
1 banana

Blending Directions:
1. Place spinach and water in blender.  Puree until smooth.
2. Add fruit and blend again.

Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 2, 2017

Monday, 1/2: Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce and French Bread
Tuesday, 1/3: Dining Out
Wednesday, 1/4: Sandwiches
Thursday, 1/5: Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

Friday, 1/6: Pizza with Salad
Saturday, 1/7: Dining Out
Sunday, 1/8: Overnight Lasagna with French Bread

2017 Goals

Morgan recently wrote on I'm an Organizing Junkie, "We have dreams that remain just that, dreams.  It's pretty amazing what you can accomplish, when you commit to organizing your goals."  As I plan my 2017 goals, I want them to be:
  • Realistic – carefully consider your current season: ability and availability.
  • Accountable – announce your goals, ask for support, and share your progress.
  • Flexible – change, revise, and update your goals and/or methods, as necessary.
I hope that you can look ahead and take an even more determined approach with your goal setting. You can do anything that you set your mind to, and I hope that you do!

2017 Goals

  • Exercise (3 times / week) and Daily Step Goals (8,000 daily; 56,000 weekly)
    • In 2016, my weight was creeping back between 160-165 pounds and my ankles were swelling.  I rejoined Weight Watchers on April 27, 2016.  I have reached my goal and currently working toward obtaining lifetime membership with them.  I am amazed at how much I have toned and the inches I have lost.  Over the next five weeks, the goal is to maintain my weight between a plus / minus two pounds of my goal weight.
    • Jeff and I have continued to exercise in 2016 and we both ran the Abilene Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day.  We both beat our goals with Jeff finishing in 26:08.1 and I finished in 36:55.  Personally, my goal is to run three 5K races in 2017 split throughout the year to give us time to continue to train and become healthier and more fit.
  • Read at least six books
    • With a combination of being busy and many other excuses, I would like to read a minimum of six books in 2017 with hopes of reading more.  I have learned in 2016 to take more time for me.  I have found that I do not have to "go-go-go".  I am finishing up on Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers and plan to read her next book in the series, Her Daughter's Dream after finishing the first.
  • Read my bible and continue to grow my faith
    • Reality for this goal to obtained, it all goes back to slowing down, taking time for me, and spending purposeful time reading my bible, reading devotions, and taking time to learn more.  The Proverbs 31 ministry provides free daily devotionals and other online bible studies.  Last June, I ordered a study guide over the book of Numbers and did not finish it.  So with a combination of using their app, First 5, I am planning to spend more time with God.  
    • My church, Cross Way UMC, is offering new classes this upcoming spring which I am excited about attending including Sunday School, Life Groups, and Illustration Journaling!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Abilene Turkey Trot

My "why":
After my youngest, Ashlyn, was born in 2011, I weighed 170.2 pounds when she started preschool / daycare.  I am committed to this weight-loss journey because this past March, my weight was fluctuating between 160-165 pounds and my ankles were swelling.  I rejoined Weight Watchers on April 27, 2016.

Current Update:
Since rejoining Weight Watchers, I have been able to slowly build back up and have been walking / running.  When I started back with Weight Watchers, my ankles had been swelling with no official explanation.  I went to the doctor's office and many test were completed.  The Run-On store helped me pick out new shoes and mentioned the possibility of doing too much too quick and/or not having the right support.

On Thanksgiving, my family and I ran in the Abilene Turkey Trot.  There were over 1300 people who either walked or ran the 5K that morning.  Ashlyn cheered us all on from the sidelines along with Lana and Gregg, my mother and father-in-law.  Jeff's goal was to finish under thirty minutes and my goal was to finish under 45 minutes.  We both beat our goals with Jeff finishing in 26:08.1 and I finished in 36:55.  When the race begin, the boys took off ahead of me.  I caught up to Jakob and was able to help challenge him to run a little more and he actually finished before me with a time of 36:38.6.  We were proud of him because he had only done a little training prior to running this 5K.  Roland did not give up and finished in 54:38.

Last Friday, I spoke with my Weight Watcher's leader, Roni, about adjusting my goal and she agreed.  She stated if I made it too low, I could become frustrated.  I am amazed at how much I have toned and the inches I have lost since this past April.  Over the next six weeks, the goal is to maintain my weight between a plus / minus two pounds of my goal weight.


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