Home Management – Meal Planning – Run a Smoother Household!
April 4, 2018
Hey Mama,

One . . . day . . . at . . . a . . . time

God doesn’t want us to handle the drama of a week, a month, or a year—just ONE day! He knows we are busy trying to maintain the “normal” of life (ha!) and wants us to fully trust in Him for our strength for today. So as you go about planning meals, running your home, homeschooling your littles, and just handling daily tasks, keep in mind that God has promised us strength for this day. Make it count! Rest in Him, and He will see you through each TODAY.

If you need a few new ideas for managing your home (especially the kitchen), take a look at these great ideas from The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine:

And remember, Mama. . .

Today is just another day of making breakfast, schooling, getting dressed, running around doing errands, helping a friend, thinking about what to make for dinner, meltdowns, sibling squabbles to handle, potty accidents from little ones at the worst times, cleaning up spills, wiping noses, having heart talks with the older ones, stopping midstream to handle (fill in the blank), responding to unlimited texts from your older ones, silly antics that take us by surprise and make us laugh hysterically, emergencies that really aren’t, diapers, diapers, and more diapers, wasted food from angry toddlers, cold food (your own) because there’s no time to eat the full meal without interruption . . . yeah.

That’s a day in the life of a Mama.

And today may seem like a blur which smears into all the other todays and yesterdays, but it’s not random at all. I know it feels that way. But Daughter of the King, today there is PURPOSE in all of this motherhood madness, and the end result is absolute beauty. I promise. Keep walking towards that prize. It’s coming, faithful Mama.

And you will be there when your own daughter has a bunch of littles of her own. You will smile when she is going through all this same stuff you are today—because you will know. You will be her wisest “Mama counselor,” because you KNOW. 

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Stacy Farrell
Do you feel overwhelmed? Is your environment making you a little crazy? Do you worry about whether you’re giving the people you love the attention they need?

With the flood of demands and opportunities that rush toward us, it’s easy to be swept away . . . .

As the manager of my home, often the first challenge I face is just getting quiet enough to ask the question: “What is most important right now?” 

If you find yourself asking the same question, I have three concepts to help you clear away clutter, expedite meal preparation, and invest in family relationships: 

Stuff requires attention. Physical clutter can undermine mental clarity. 

Before we got married, I watched my fiancé sort through a box and get rid of several items I would’ve kept—not because I needed them but just because they were useful. 

His philosophy was so different from mine! I stockpiled for the future; he minimized clutter, even if that meant he might need to buy a replacement later. 

It took me several years to recognize that “Everything you own, owns you back.”

Now, before I make any acquisition (even one that is “free”), I carefully consider what it will ultimately cost in terms of physical space and mental energy. 

Are you familiar with batch cooking (also known as freezer cooking)? If not, there are excellent resources available to help you plan batch cooking sessions that will fill your freezer with meals. 

However, sometimes tackling a new task can require more energy than we can spare. The pace of life can be so stinking fast . . . .

If your life is in a state of chaos, perhaps try something less demanding than freezer cooking. Instead, whatever you cook for dinner, simply “double it, and hide it.” 

Double your recipe, and then—before you serve your family—put away for tomorrow half of what you prepared today (In our house, if I don’t “hide” that second, it’s at risk of being eaten).  
Shortly after my first baby was born, a friend taught me how to make homemade bread (This was long before “gluten-free” had woven its way into our vocabulary). Delighted by the result, I began to study the art of breadmaking. 

In one book I read, the author made a suggestion that lingered with me long after I ended my breadmaking era. She said, “Bake bread on Saturdays.” 

She emphasized the value of being available to your family at a consistent time and place each week. 

Whether your spouse and children can expect to find you kneading dough at the kitchen table or weeding in your garden, establish a regular activity that leaves you free to listen and talk in a place your family will know they can find you. 

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step,” but sometimes the pattern we follow looks like “two steps forward, one step back.” 

Keep walking! 

And be patient with yourself and others as you labor to overcome chaos and bring order to your household.

With love & joy (Phil. 1:4),


P.S. - Are you attending any of the Great Homeschool Conventions? I’ll be speaking on time management, writing, and philosophy. I’d love to meet you. 

If you’re on Facebook, stop by to “like” and “follow” our page for inspiration and encouragement!

Stacy Farrell is the author of more than ten books on a variety of topics, including time management, motherhood, manhood, philosophy ( Philosophy Adventure), and writing. This year, she is a featured speaker at the Great Homeschool Conventions. Although she loves to write, speak, and teach, Stacy considers her role as wife to Roger and mother to two precious sons to be her greatest work and privilege. Learn more about her resources at HomeschoolAdventure.com
Dara Halydier
I’ve always known that I have to feed my crew three times a day, but for years, I treated it as a surprise at 5:00 each evening. “Oh no, what are we going to have for dinner tonight?” Then I began a simple plan that got me on track and ready to go. 

Breakfast became routine.

Monday: oatmeal
Tuesday: pancakes
Wednesday: eggs and toast
Thursday: waffles
Friday: French toast

This leaves the weekends for egg tacos, omelets, or dad’s request. This takes the early morning guess work out of “What’s for breakfast?” I also try to have yogurt or fruit available—usually berries or bananas or grapefruit.

With schooling right up until 11:45, there isn’t time to get fancy with lunch. Weekday lunches are usually sandwiches or leftovers with lots of fresh raw vegetables and fruit which fulfill my requirement of “living” food at each meal—food that came from a live source. Whatever we didn’t eat at lunch, I would leave out on plates on the kitchen cabinet and the boys would grab and go throughout the day. Healthy snacks with no added preparation!

Dinner planning has always been a challenge for me. I find that when I take the time to have a plan, my days go much better, and I am not scrambling to the grocery store at the last minute for one more ingredient. Whether planning one week or one month at a time, I always try to include a variety of meats. There are 101 ways to fix chicken, but even the hardiest chicken lover can get tired of chicken night after night!

I include lots of crockpot meals. My husband will occasionally pull out his big smoker and smoke a bucket load of meat. He will leave them just a bit under cooked. We vacuum pack these and throw them in the freezer. It sure is nice to be able to grab some meat, thaw it, and throw it in the crockpot.
It is easier for me to stick to salads and vegetables as side dishes. I try for a variety of cooked vegetables. Salad often contains whatever raw vegetables or fruit were left after lunch. 

Weekends are for fancier dishes. I love to bake and will bake bread and desserts on the weekend for the week to come. Meals are planned, groceries bought, and I’m not stressed!

Dara Halydier is a pastor’s wife, a Bible teacher, a conference and retreat speaker, a mentor, a friend, and the mother of 5 grown boys! She homeschooled for 21 wonderful years and is now encouraging other homeschooling families by speaking across the nation at homeschool conferences. Dara helped to start local support groups in Fort Worth, TX and in Georgetown, TX. She is the executive director of Abiding Truth Ministry and the author of the Practical Proverbs series and As They Sit and Stand: A Resource and Guide for Teaching Your children the Bible. Dara has learned life’s lessons the hard way – experience! The lessons she shares come from truths that she has learned from dealing with chronic pain and a disability, from having moved over thirty times, having four boys with learning disabilities, and having overcome a past of abuse and shame to proclaim God’s grace, forgiveness, and freedom. Dara teaches with humor, wisdom, and vulnerability as she reaches out to encourage and equip the next generation.
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This Month’s Menu on SchoolhouseTeachers.com is a great answer to the question, “What’s for supper?” Here you’ll find hundreds of recipes for everything from Mexican Cornbread to Diddle Diddle Dumplins, a bonus section of more than 100 gluten free and vegan recipes, and five downloadable eBooks of even more recipes! Members have access to all these recipes plus hundreds of self-paced courses for all ages. 

If you haven’t yet joined SchoolhouseTeachers.com, come give us a try. You can try the entire site for 30 days for $5! If you or someone you know would be interested in teaching or writing for us, let us know. You can email me at bhudson@TheOldSchoolhouse.com. We look forward to serving you and your family! 

in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Contest Corner  
For the month of April

Art Class, from See the Light, is a video-based art curriculum. The lessons are taught by Master Artist Pat Knepley and are designed to teach children incrementally from beginning art skills to advanced techniques. There are nine DVD volumes that are titled The Basics, Shape & Space, Value & Color, Color Blending Techniques, Proportions for Composition, Texture & Form, Perspective for the Landscape, Balance, & Foreshadowing and The Portrait. Each volume contains four primary lessons, so at 36 lessons, you have enough material for a traditional school year. Additionally, there are a few bonus lessons spread throughout the course that are taught by different See the Light artists, so you have more diversity in lessons.

The full course teaches the fundamentals of art and drawing, and the first DVD, The Basics, introduces the student to the basic art materials an artist needs. We spent time learning how to build our toolbox, and how the basic supplies worked, such as a kneaded eraser being preferred to the little pink eraser on a pencil. From there, we started with the foundational technique of drawing different types of lines. As the lessons progressed, we were learning how to draw contour lines, but also training our eyes and hand to work together, so we were looking at the object of our drawing, and not our paper. I think Knepley’s approach of starting simple helps younger children to see that it does take people time and practice to develop skills.

Each volume focuses on one concept, so as you move through the volumes, you are building your skills, but you are also given that time to practice. For example, Volume 3 is all about Value & Color, and teaches concepts of value, shading and shadowing, colors and the color wheel, and complements and intermediate colors. The color wheel that we made is used for future lessons. Then moving into Volume 4: Color Blending Techniques, there is more practice with color, with two lessons on blending with colored pencils, and two that focus on blending with chalk pastels. The entire course uses these incremental lessons, making it easy to build skill and confidence at the same time. (. . .)

We lean towards the Charlotte Mason philosophy in our homeschool, and I feel that having a solid foundation in drawing and basic art skills will be useful not just for the pure beauty of drawing, but also for a Book of Centuries, nature journaling, notebooking assignments and other pursuits. However, I fully believe this video series can be beneficial to homeschool families of all philosophies, large and small. I would recommend Art Class for anyone who wants professional art lessons with a friendly Master Artist from the comforts of their own home.

YOU can WIN all this awesome art set for your homeschool! 

TO ENTER: Click on over to our entry page and follow the instructions! Contest ends at midnight, the last day of the month.
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