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It’s been a while…

and it’s not because nothing has been going on at the Huffman house worth writing about. It’s that I don’t know where to begin!

The first bit of news I have to share is that my husband is changing jobs. I know that some of you are very sad about this, and there are aspects of it that make him sad as well. I know that he will miss the patients that he has cared for over the years. He will still be around though, helping out at the clinic and being involved in the community. He is very excited about being back in the hospital setting and is glad that he will be able to provide care for any of his patients that have to be hospitalized.

Now, may I tell you my favorite part about the new job? He will be on a 7 day on, 7 day off schedule. Now, I klnow that a lot of you have raised your eyebrows at him working 7 12 hour days, but 12 hour days are nothing new for him and that 7 days off is going to be great. He will be more involved with our homeschooling and he has plans to really get our farm up and running. The kids are looking forward to having lots of time to spend with their dad, and so am I. It is going to be a lifestye change for us and I am sure that some adjustments will have to be made, but we are excited.

We have a new little foster baby at our house. He’s so sweet! The question everyone asks me is, “How are you ever going to let him go?” The truth is, it will break my heart. I’ve had to let go before and it’s so painful. There really is no way to guard your heart. I have to hold on to the reality, which is, “This baby does not belong to me.”  At the same time, I need to love that baby like it does belong to me. (That’s the easy part for me) When it comes time to let go it will cost me a part of my heart, but I wouldn’t trade a single second of what I am doing.

So, job change, new baby and starting school next week. This year I will teach 5th, 3rd, and kindergarten. Yikes! I’m still having trouble imagining what it is all going to look like. The first few weeks will be a learning curve for me. I know that if we can get into a good routine everything will fall into place, so that’s what we will be working on. It might be kind of crazy at first, as most things are around here.

Well, this is short and sweet. There is much to do!

Happy Spring

I am looking forward to a very beautiful weekend. I’m hoping to get some spring cleaning done, and maybe some gardening. I always look forward to spring and summer, but this year, I am especially excited. There is just so much to look forward to.

My mom is moving to Kentucky. She will be three and a half hours away, a straight shot down the parkway. She used to be 7 hours away and we had to fight Nashville and Memphis traffic to get to her. Her new home is right smack dab in the middle of my brother and I, so hopefully this means more family gatherings. Also exciting is the fact that her house has an inground pool and is less than a mile from Kentucky Dam. Now we have a “Lake House” to visit. This was a well thought out plan on my mom’s part.

We are also going to Disney World soon. This is a rare nonworking vacation for us. Usually we travel along with my husband for work conferences. A few days ago I was reading Disney travel guides and was most excited about visiting Animal Kingdom and taking my little girl to see the princesses. Things have shifted a bit though.

Now, I am looking forward to something totally Un-Disney. We are going to meet a real Princess along the way. This little princess is waiting for her forever family. Maybe it’s us!  Or, maybe her Heavenly Father has other plans. We will trust Him to open all the right doors and close the wrong ones.

I hope you enjoy this weekend. It sounds like it’s going to be picture perfect. Thank you Lord for spring!

Coming Up With a Plan

Okay, this is as random as it gets on here, as this post has nothing to do with any of the stuff I typically write about. Today I am posting a meal plan. Here’s why.

A few weeks back I had a dream that I got arrested. My punishment was that I had to take cooking lessons taught by a jail warden who just happened to be a female version of Gordon Ramsey. Although the reason for my arrest wasn’t clear, I can only assume that it had something to do with the food police.  In the dream, I was at the bottom of the class and was constantly berated and whacked on the head with wooden cooking spoons. Finally, the last day of my punishment arrived. I showed up late for class and was sentenced to repeat the class. It was a true nightmare which left my cooking confidence shaken.

The day after the dream, I burnt dinner, to a crisp. This past Sunday  I made soup, which turned to mush. It was completely inedible.  I’m not sure what’s going on with me and my cooking, but I have been off my game for the past couple of months.  So, I have decided, it’s time to come up with a plan.

Following the advice of an expert, I have made a list of all the things that I cook on a regular basis. Then, I took that list and made a schedule. I’m starting with a 4 week plan. The next step is that I need to make shopping lists for the menus. I confess, being a very non-detail-oriented person, that this is the part I dread the most. But, for starters, I will post my plan here.  I am only planning 5 meals per week, as we often go out, I might try a new recipe, or my husband takes a turn in the kitchen. His cooking style is much fancier than mine, so he plans his own menu.

I don’t exactly know how to post a table  on here, so this may not look pretty. And, before I forget, my favorite cooking diva is Ree at http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/. Any of my recipes that have the Marlboro Man in the title are hers. She’s fun and she has some awesome recipes.

My Meal Plan:
Week 1

Monday-Spaghetti with meatballs, salad, garlic cheese bread
Tuesday-Chicken in foil, green beans, corn, roasted potatoes
Wednesday-Chicken corn chowder (Using leftovers from Tues), bread
Thursday-Grilled salmon, rice, broccoli with cheese, salad
Weekend-Meatball subs (using leftovers from Mon.) oven fries

Week 2:

Monday- Lasagna, salad, bread
Tuesday- Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn
Wednesday-Taco soup, bread
Thursday- Tuna casserole, broccoli, salad
Weekend-Crockpot pizza, salad

Week 3:

Monday- Marlboro Man’s pasta, salad, garlic bread
Tuesday- Oven fried chicken, green beans, corn, potatoes
Wednesday-Essie’s chicken and dumplings, peas, applesauce
Thursday-Hoppin’ Johns, salad, bread
Weekend-Marlboro Man’s favorite sandwich, oven fries

Week 4:(Hmmm…looks like I made week 4 a pricey and fancy one. I will either tweak it or have someone over for dinner.)

Monday: Rachael Ray’s Venetian shrimp and scallops, salad, crusty bread (Pricey but one of my favorite recipes!)
Tuesday-Emeril’s steak with onions, rice pilaf, his fancy corn, broccoli
Wednesday-Chili, salad, bread
Thursday-Baked tilapia, green beans, baked potatoes, corn on the cob
Weekend- Chicken spaghetti casserole, salad, bread

A quick update

I’m sorry that you haven’t heard from me in a while.  Things have been crazy around my house. I can’t think of any other word to describe this phase of life. There is just so much going on.

I got to be a foster mom to an absolutely scrumptious baby boy for about 5 weeks. He was such a sweetie and we enjoyed him so much. He’s back with his mom and dad now and we all miss the little guy. The kids are praying daily that a new baby will come soon.

It’s funny. They weren’t too keen on being a foster family at first. They told Joshua and I, “We don’t want to be babysitters. We want brothers and sisters that we can keep forever.” However, I think that they have come to the conclusion that “babysitting” is pretty fun too. Babysitting is not the word I would choose, but for kids, it’s the word that best explains what we are doing here.

I don’t have time for a long post this morning, as it’s just about time for school to start. I have been thinking about a good many things though and I will try to write out those thoughts real soon. To be honest, I haven’t written in a long time and the wheels are turning pretty slowly. I’ll get them spinning again, slowly but surely.

I hope you have a great day! God is good all the time.

What a storm!

I personally am very thankful that the Ice storm of 2009 is almost behind us! We managed pretty well here at the Huffman house though. We were without power for 52 hours, which can be daunting with 5 little ones.;-) We all huddled around the wood stove, read books and played board games. We cooked meals on the gas stove top. We were just getting ready to throw in the towel and and go stay in Lexington. We had decided to stick it out for one more night. Then, the power came on, just in time for American Idol, I might add. Talk about perfect timing!
Today is clean up day. The kids have been bathed, the laundry is just about caught up and the house is toasty warm. It was fun being a “Pioneer” for a few days, but I sure am thankful for hot water and electricity.

I hope you made it through the storm and stayed warm as well!

A Wonderful Christmas

I hope that you and yours had a very merry Christmas.  We did at my house! We spent the first part of Christmas week traveling. We went to visit my family near Memphis. I was thrilled to see my mom, my little nephew (and his parents), my favorite aunt and uncle and my cousins. On the way home we stopped for a night in Nashville. We went to the Opryland Hotel to see the Christmas lights and the giant nativity. We took the riverboat ride through the hotel. The next day we went to Opry Mills mall and did one of my favorite things…we shopped! I just picked up a few stocking stuffers, but being that I never go to the mall anymore, it felt like a big day out. The kids rode a carousel and we ate at the Rainforest Cafe. Everyone had a great time.

We spent Christmas Eve with Joshua’s family, and this is always fun. We all came home with new pajamas, which we wore a lot during the next two days. My favorite thing about Christmas day was that it was so relaxing.  We opened gifts, we ate a simple breakfast, and we relaxed. We ate a simple dinner, and we relaxed some more. For two days, we didn’t go anywhere or do anything, other than rest. This has never happened before! It was heavenly.

Yesterday after church we all pitched in and had a big work day around the house. Joshua cleaned up the porches and the garage, while some of kids and I cleaned up the inside of the house. Today, we have no school, the house is cleaned, I’m refreshed and I actually feel ready for anything. What a great feeling.  What an amazing way to head into the new year!

I’ve had a lot of things that I have been thinking and praying about. Our church is getting ready for our annual fast. This is a time when we seek direction from the Lord for the upcoming year. I am very exited about the fast this year, which for me, is highly unusual. I rarely look forward to fasting! Most especially, I am looking forward to meeting with God and I’m looking forward to what He is going to do in our county, in our church, and in my family this coming year. God is good!

Free Stuff

I had a wonderful weekend away with my family. We had lots of time to play together and enjoy each other’s company. We played Uno, we rode the rides at Dollywood together, my daughter and I raced in the pool and rode the water slides together and we all shopped together. It was just a great time.

I didn’t have as much time to pray and seek God as I wanted to, but I did have some time. One thing that really hit me over the weekend was that my life at home is too complicated. I was able to enjoy time with my family because at the hotel, things were simple. I didn’t have a bunch of “stuff” to deal with. I had six plates to wash, six cups to wash, three changes of clothes for everybody and a few simple things for the kids to play with. I had some time to pray on Sunday while the kids were at the pool with Joshua. During that time I felt like God was telling me to simplify my life. I think my family is about to get a whole lot busier and I need to be able to devote my time to the truly important things.

So, step one is that I am getting rid of everything that we don’t need. I probably gave away about 200 pounds of stuff yesterday and I am giving away more today.  Do you need anything? Name it. I might just have it to give away.

Tomorrow my husband is going to the Air National Guard base to turn in his application and to get his physical. We should hear back from them in a few weeks. My husband is very excited about joining up and getting to serve his country.

I’m working on another love dare. This time it involves listening to what my husband has to say. More on that later.