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My youngest daughter, Shannon, and I both graduated this year (me from the University of Washington and my daughter from high school).  To celebrate, we were given a 7 day cruise of the Caribbean on the Disney Fantasy by assorted family members who pooled their gifts together to give us the cruise, the airfare, ground transportation, and port adventures.

We arrived home Saturday evening and I think I’ve slept more than I’ve been awake ever since. Jet lag, mainly, but I often come home from vacations ready to sleep for several days even though I actually do feel rested from the vacation.

Anyway, a great time was had by all. I’d never been to the Caribbean before … I was absolutely blown away by the color of the water. I didn’t know water came in so many shades of deep vibrant blues and greens (and even purples!). Hope you’re having a great summer (or winter if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere).

I should be back to at least semi-regular posting again now that I’m back home (and awake).  Also, I won’t have homework looming over me for a couple of more months.  I start Grad School at the end of September.  :)

 

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Loving Myself for Lent

Debi:

My daughter’s latest blog post.

Originally posted on Kelsey Munger:

CC Loco Steve

CC Image courtesy of Loco Steve Flickr

I was in eighth grade the first time I was ever introduced to the idea of “fasting.” My youth group, like many evangelical youth groups throughout the country, was participating in the 30 Hour Famine — a fundraiser for a very Christian-y relief organization. We were sent out to knock on doors and beg family and friends into supporting us as we fasted for 30 hours in order to get a taste of poverty.

I hadn’t wanted to participate in the event but Youth Pastor had guilted me into it (that’s why I ended up going on a lot of youth group activities, now that I think about it).  I hadn’t liked the idea of going without food for 30 hours, worried about my blood sugar, and that style of fund raising made me a little uncomfortable, but people were starving so who was…

View original 1,350 more words

I regularly have people ask me what I’ve gone back to school to study. Since it’s become such a common question, I thought I’d let you all know what keeps me busy and keeps me offline and not blogging much these days. I’m working toward getting my BA in “Arts, Media, & Culture” from the University of Washington. My area of focus is Literature.

I’ll be graduating this June (Hooray!) and I have several Grad School applications out there that I’m waiting to hear back about. I hope to get a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing & Poetics and then teach college-level creative writing.

So now you know. In case you were wondering.

by Deborah Taylor-Hough

ImageFollowing the premature birth of our first child, a group of ladies from church filled our freezer with two weeks of frozen meals. Between frequent visits to the I.C.U. Nursery and the normal stresses of starting a family, those meals in the freezer were a lifesaver.

This was my introduction to the idea of freezing meals ahead. Since then, I’ve applied this concept to our regular family meals. I save substantial time, effort and money in the process.

Some cookbooks refer to this as “investment cooking.” Often I’ll cook one day each month and have 30+ main dinner meals tucked away in my freezer, ready to thaw and heat for a month’s worth of easy meals.

The popular book Once-a-Month Cooking, by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg, outlines step-by-step menu plans for cooking 30 meals in a day. I found the meals inOnce-a-Month Cooking to be too expensive for my limited grocery budget (lots of expensive pre-made ingredients), but by applying their methods to my own less expensive recipes I’ve been able to save money by purchasing in bulk.

This method also cuts down on those quick (and expensive!) trips through the local drive-thru when I’m rushing the kids to T- Ball practice or an evening meeting. I call my personal method of cooking ahead “Frozen Assets.”

If you’re thinking, “I could never do this. I only have a small fridge top freezer,” don’t tune me out. When I first started cooking ahead, I only had the small freezer attached to the refrigerator. By packaging meals in plastic freezer bags and freezing the bags flat, I was able to store a month’s worth of Frozen Assets in my small freezer.

An easy way to start building up Frozen Assets is doubling or tripling recipes as you prepare them during the week. If you’re making Lasagna, prepare three: one for eating tonight and two for the freezer. Just one week of tripling recipes will give you a stock-pile in your freezer of two weeks of meals with virtually no extra effort.

Andrea, the mother of a two-year-old and seven months pregnant with twins, is starting investment cooking. Realizing her hands will be full during those busy post-partum days, she says, “I don’t have the stamina to devote an entire day to standing on my feet cooking, unless I want to send myself into labor right now! So, I’m going to triple recipes of easy meals every night until the babies arrive. I know the extra work now will pay off when I find myself less harried later. I can devote my energy to caring for my little ones.”

No matter who you are, how big your family or what your lifestyle, whether you’re a single working mother or a mom at home full-time with your children, investment cooking has something to offer everyone.Frozen Assets could be the answer you’ve been looking for:

  • Save $$$ on your food budget.
  • Save time in the kitchen each day.
  • Increase the outreach opportunities frozen meals can provide (meals for the sick, the young mom on bedrest, a grieving family, etc.).

We could all use a few more minutes in our day, couldn’t we? Anyone out there have enough time for everything they want to accomplish? No? I didn’t think so. :-)

~Debi

(author of Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month)

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You can order your copy of Frozen Assets right now from Amazon.com by clicking here. (Currently discounted – nearly 30% off the cover price!)

My oldest daughter’s latest blog post:

Healing Takes Time: Thoughts on PTSD

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