Hello! Happy Monday!
The kids and I spent some time "in town" last week getting a few things for school, and I couldn't believe how fast this summer went! Well, first it felt slow, but then it flew by! Does that make any sense? Anyway, I'm gonna miss the kids when they head back to school. I know the "usual" joke heading back into school is the (tongue-in-cheek, soaked in sarcasm) "sooooo sad, the kids are heading back to school!", but I actually enjoyed the kids this summer! Hahaha, well, that sounded bad! Seriously though, the kids do the usual fighting, complaining, whining and asking "what are we going to do today" instead of just doing and being kids, but overall, I've really enjoyed watching my kids grow and change this summer. We had some pretty serious road bumps like the surfacing of some pretty little liars, and Caleb developing a stutter, but it was good. It was really good. And, besides that, it's the only summer I'll ever have with them being 12 (turned 13), 7 & 8. So, that's worth cherishing!
I wanted to share today some school lunch ideas! A few years ago it dawned on me that sending "the typical" lunch with my kids was weird....because I never (ever!) give my kids a "normal" lunch all summer or on the weekends, so why would I send a "traditional" lunch to school?!? During the summer (besides when they're at camp) and every weekend, lunch is something like a 1 hour grazing period that includes fruits, veggies, leftovers, and, well, whatever! If I make the kids sit for a lunch during the summer and weekends, it's usually a "Dutch Lunch" as we call it, which consists of fruits, veggies, usually meats and cheese, crackers, pickles, raisins, ya know, basically a large snack.
I know a lot of Moms feed their kids like this is real life, so adding stress to the school year by thinking we're suddenly required to make a proper (sandwich, etc.) lunch is silly! ***SIDE NOTE**** If you do make sandwiches for your kids because they like them and actually eat them - then make sandwiches! This is not an "anti-sandwich" post, it's a "do what you've been doing!" post! :) Does that make sense??? No Mommy guilt here is what I'm trying to say! It takes all kinds of Moms to make the world go 'round, so do what you do, and do it the best you can!
If you journey with me to Fall 2014, you'll find a post a wrote about Back To School, where I share some of my tips & tricks for making the school year *relatively* stress-free (if your school year seems completely stress free...you're missing something....you may need your meds adjusted). I joke. Ok, I only joke a little. Anywho, read that post, then come back here.
Ok, so, today I just want to share some easy, healthy, snack-meals for kids lunches!
Enjoy! Oh, and don't forget to take a minute to comment and share some good kids lunch ideas with me!
This is the lunch menu I use for my kids. It's from a site called "Hello, Cuteness", which is currently on hiatus for some reason. Anyway, it's really cute, and I've been using it for about 4 years.
I mention this in the Back To School post from 2014, but for me, making a lunch menu saves me grief. I don't want to stand and stare into the fridge wondering what to pack my kids for lunches. And because we do our grocery shopping only once a week, and at a grocery store 40 minutes away, I can't just helter skelter pack my kids lunches because I can't just run to the store to replace what I've used if I realize I needed it for a planned dinner. Yes, we have a little grocer here where I live, but things are more expensive, and therefore not cost effective for this one-income house.
If you don't want a lunch menu, then don't do one! Again, no Mommy-guilt here! I've said it before, and I'll say it again (and again!) it's about finding what works for you, and making it work!
In the lunch menu shown below, the girls are separate from Caleb because there are a few differences in their preferences, and so it was easier for me to have 2 menus. Also, "special fruit" in the girls' menu refers to a different fruit they get to choose during our Sunday shopping trip that I'll pack into their lunches. It's just a chance for them to have a fruit we wouldn't ordinarily buy, but that they really enjoy!
Caleb's menu says "fruits" on opposite days of "Apple" because I didn't want to have to put exactly what that "fruit" would be, but I wanted to try to not send the same fruit every day because of a faulty memory! :) So, "fruit" usually means a banana, orange, clementine, pineapple, peach, berries, basically whatever might be seasonal or on sale that Caleb enjoys!
I've found that my kids eat the most when they have a variety, and not too much of anything. If your child does like sandwiches, maybe just make them a half sandwich so that they aren't overwhelmed by an entire sandwich that they may not want or have time to eat.
Here's a site you might not look at for kids lunches, but Beach Body on Demand has a post called "6 Simple No-Cook Snacks To make This Week" (it's a long title....and it's not no cook because hard-boiled eggs don't come out of a chicken that way!), but anyway, I still like the snack (lunches, really) ideas.
Rachel over at Following in my Shoes shares a post called "Paleo & Primal Lunch Box Ideas", and I love the cute food list she's created for it! Even if you're not feeding your kids Paleo or Primal, it's a super healthy food list, which any kid could benefit from.
You'll want to check the post out because she shares the downloadable file for the list! Print it out, and stick it inside a cupboard door for easy reference!
Check out my Pinterest board for "School Lunch Ideas" to see all I've been pinning, or check out my board "For Adam To Take To Work" for your older children or kids with a more adult palette!
I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know in the comments below if you did, or share with me your favourite lunch as a kid, and be sure to share any of your lunch packing tips!
Motivational Monday: Being Honest
Hey there! Thanks for taking the time to stop by!
Can I just be honest for a minute?
Blogging has been hard for the last few months, but, truth be told, so has life.
I know Christmas was almost 2 months ago, but this past Christmas left me drained. I don’t need to get into any of the reasons, but when we finally got back from weeks away visiting family and friends back home, I had hopes that my feelings of anxiety and depression would get better. I fully anticipated getting home, and life getting back to “normal”, and that I’d feel like myself again.
Instead I spent the nights tossing and turning, not getting decent sleep. I’d burst into tears for no reason during the day, and felt so anxious and sad I could hardly cope.
I lacked the motivation to get out of bed in the morning, or even to do things I generally enjoy like painting, baking, cooking, or singing. It took me about 2 weeks after getting home to even start working out regularly again.
I was not doing great.
Sometimes life is really hard for clear and obvious reasons, and sometimes life is hard for what could appear to be “no reason” at all.
This “no reason” hard life is often because of one thing: mental health.
Mental health is a topic often discussed in my home, and among my close friends. Why? Because it matters! Why does it matter? Because, for some of us (myself included), mental health steers the ship of life. It can sometimes seem like a “no reason” reason for life to be hard because mental health is (largely) invisible, and that adds to the difficulty in dealing with it.
It’s like if you have heart disease, your whole life becomes focused on getting better. You eat, sleep and breath staying alive and living a healthier life.
Well, the people of the world battling mental health issues feel this way all the time! Going back to my analogy of heart disease, if you don’t have heart disease, you generally get on in life without worrying about sickness because you’re not sick. Right? Perhaps you’re consciously eating well and getting some exercise, but you’re not constantly thinking “am I helping my sick heart become better?”
That’s how a lot of people who aren’t fighting mental health do life. They wake up with anticipation for their day, look forward to the events and tasks, or people they will see. They enjoy a relatively steady emotional state, becoming happy and sad, but never to extremes, and always get back to “normal” quickly.
Waking up with a brain that tells you that you have nothing worthwhile to offer the day, or sucks every ounce of energy out of your body, leaving you aching and miserable gets (obviously) exhausting.
Where’s the motivation for today? I know so far I’ve just been Debbie Downer, but here’s the thing: I always feel better talking to, and listening to others who are struggling. Not because I think “well, I’m not THAT bad”, but because there is strength in not feeling alone in a struggle.
I take my meds, I do the things I know should help me feel better like eating right and exercising, but sometimes, I just need to feel connected with someone else who wakes up in the morning feeling like life maybe isn’t worthwhile. We know on some level life is worth it, but it can be hard to really believe it sometimes, so sharing with someone who also faces more than an “off day”, has the effect of building up.
So, today, if you’re struggling, especially with mental health issues, stop and think, “who will let me talk about what I’m feeling without judgement?”. Then, reach out to that person. Asses yourself and see where you’re at emotionally, then separate what will make things worse, and what will make things better. For some, a face-to-face sharing is better, for others it’s chatting on the phone, and for some, it’s just writing something out in a text or e-mail, and sending it off.
If you have no one you feel you can talk to, feel free to comment here or by privately e-mailing me! Just reach out, I promise I won’t judge you. I am there with you!
Can I offer another tip? It may seem a little random, but it’s not, I promise!
Music can heal your soul….so, when you’re feeling awful, resist the urge to listen to music that is depressing.
Instead, turn on an album or playlist that you feel creates energy in you. Honestly, this can be very different things for each person, but you know what does it for you!
My favourite thing to do is to go onto YouTube to find a playlist that’ll fill me up. I find that having music playing in the background of my day helps enormously. If you picture a movie or t.v. show, you know that the music drives the mood of a scene. So, pick happy music for your “scene” today!
Thanks for letting me share. Sometimes this blog is just my online diary, and that’s what it is today! I appreciate so much that I can do this, that I can share my heart, and know I am not alone in my struggles.
I thought I'd also share some mental health memes, if that's ok. I don't take mental health issues lightly, but sometimes I can take it too seriously, if that makes sense? So, I thought I'd share some memes that were on the funnier side (as memes were intended to be!), because after some good music and sharing, laughing (out loud) is really good for mental health! And these made me laugh out loud!
So much love,
....Ok, one more.....I can't help it. This IS ME!!!
Oh, also, I did post over on Health & Fitness today too! Check that out if you want!
Five Minute Friday
It's a week of firsts for me here on Bushel & A Peck!
On Monday I opened up my first ever giveaway (go there quickly and enter if you haven't already!), and today I'm trying out something I've been meaning to do for OVER A YEAR!!!! Seriously, this is how long it's taken me to actually do this thing called "Five Minute Friday" that is hosted by a woman named Kate Motaung from Heading Home.
It started with another woman, Lisa-Jo Baker, who passed the torch to Kate in 2014. Both Lisa-Jo and Kate are honest, real women. Get digging around their blogs to see what I mean!
Anyway, "Five Minute Friday" is a weekly event that encourages anyone to write for 5 minutes (no cheating!) about whatever the prompt is.
I've enjoyed reading many, many of the writings from bloggers around the world (and people who write their 5 minutes worth into the comments), and I kept wanting to try it....but then I kept forgetting.
Even though the link-up is open for the whole week (Friday to Thursday), I've always wanted to do it on a Friday! No real reason (except perhaps being slightly OCD.....?), but that really held me back because I would usually remember on any day but Friday! Haha, I know, I'm reading back now and seeing how crazy it is that I was so insistent on it being done on a Friday, but there you have it!
So, again, this is a 5 minute writing challenge, for no real reason except to push yourself to write what comes to mind, unfiltered, un-edited, and share with others! It's a welcome challenge when writing feels stale and forced.
I went to Kate's website this morning to see the prompt, opened a Word document, set my iPhone timer, and let it go (let it go! Don't hold back anymore! Crap, "Frozen" has ruined everything!) :)
So, here it is! My 5 minutes worth of writing!
Five Minute Friday: Safe
Living in an area that is considered “rural” (aka-the sticks!), I think about our safety a lot.
We often have the power go out, we are a one vehicle family and if I need to pick up a child from school, I can’t because I am home all day without a vehicle! We have slippery stairs and woolen socks, we have a youngest daughter named Keziah who was properly nick-named “kez-aster” by one of her cousins! We have an outdoor wood stove that gets to 190 degrees and can be treacherous to fill, the list could go on and on!
I could be gripped with fear everyday about what could happen. But instead, I turn to what I find safety in. My family. My husband, my 3 children, our 2 babies in heaven, and my God & faith.
I am safe and loved. Within the walls of our beautiful century farmhouse is laughter, good meals, lots of sweets, hugs and kisses, prayers and crying, honesty and trust.
Those things change in the quality and quantity on a day to day basis, but I know that there will always be some of it. Something there to call home, to feel safe. To belong.
I want to create an atmosphere in our home of safety. Knowing that no matter what kind of day was had at school, work, or whatever, that we can meet up here, safe and loved and valued for who we are as individuals. Separate, but together. Created fearfully and wonderfully. Knit together in the womb, and brought together as a family.
My home (where my heart is), my family, feels safe.
Well, that's it!
I was going to share a recipe today too....except it's not ready, and if I don't post this right now, it just won't happen!
I've been finding it hard to carve out the time to blog recently (hence the lack of posts around here!), and that's part of why I want to participate in Five Minute Friday. It won't get me any new readers, it won't really become a Pinterest sensation, but, it will get me writing again for FUN! Just quick, don't-overthink-it, kind of writing, which is refreshing!
So, don't forget me over here in my corner of the internet, I'm still here!
Ok, let me show you something that is happening right now though, it's part of the reason I feel like I have no time these days!
We've been converting our guest room into Caleb's new bedroom, so that his bedroom can become--well, I'll leave the reason why we're moving Caleb for another day.
But, his new room is small and funny shaped, and he is getting BIG (he's 5'6" now!), so he needed a bigger bed, and yadda yadda, planning planning, searching Pinterest, and finally we decided to build him a hanging loft bed! Then we decided to cover up the ugly pipe running up the corner of his room (we got a new furnace put it, and heat runs going upstairs, which means ugly pipes everywhere now!!!) and build a bench around it...then we ripped out the flooring to see what was underneath! Oh, and I painted everything first! Long story short (or short story long...?) it's been quite the project, but I see light at the end of the tunnel! I think we should be done really soon, then I'll share the finished product!
Ok, that's all!
We have a busy weekend ahead of us with friends coming over tonight for dinner, then tomorrow heading off to Kingston for a Valentines dance that I'll be singing at with The Lasalle Causeway Swing Band, then Sunday I'm teaching Sunday School while Adam plays piano for worship team, and then we're going to have lunch with some friends!!! Phew!
It'll be good!
Have a great weekend, whatever your plans!
I love history, but I wouldn't claim to know much about it at all. I just love knowing that I am grounded here in Canada. My house, for instance, was built more than 100 years ago, and young men who lived in my house may have fought in some of the wars.
But knowing all of the details of history, and honouring the people who gave their lives for my freedom aren't the same things, in my opinion.
I wasn't going to write today, but this morning while at a Remembrance Day Service at the Tweed Cenotaph, the ceremony MC said at the end of the service a thank-you to all the children who came out to the service because the children are "the interest on debts so dearly paid". I couldn't help but get teared up, looking my my kids standing there with students from their school, and thanking God that we live somewhere that is safe, and free.
So I thought, why not write something today? Why not say "thank-you" to all those who have fought, and are currently fighting for the freedom we value so highly here in Canada.
I wouldn't encourage fighting, but I think that the brave individuals who stepped (or still step) forward, or had been drafted and went forth with courage, deserve honour. As a nation, we are who we are because of brave men and women who believe in our country.
Last summer, while in Europe, my husband and I had the opportunity to visit many war memorials, and it was overwhelming, to say the least.
So, instead of prattling on, I just wanted to share some of the photos I have from the memorials we visited.
Below are photos from some of the memorials we visited in Belgium
Here you see a marked grave, and a photo of the young man buried (elsewhere) in the cemetery. Also a grave with the marking "Just a thought of sweet remembrance by Mother", as well as graves marked with "Gone but not forgotten", and "known unto God" (which are marked on many graves where the soldier could not be identified).
Pictured here is "Sanctuary Wood", located in Belgium.
"After the First World War a farmer returned to reclaim his land in and around what was left of the wood he had left in 1914. A section of the original wood and the trenches in it were cleared of debris and casualties but generally the farmer left a section of a British trench system as he found it" (source).
This is Hill 62 Memorial,
"The memorial is located beside Sanctuary Wood on the top of Mount Sorrel, which lies next to 'Hill 62' all of which the Canadians held or recaptured from the Germans during those offensive operations in early June 1916. The British Official History of the war recorded "The first Canadian deliberately planned attack in any force, had resulted in an unqualified success."
These are photos from a very emotional ceremony, the Last Post Ceremony, in Ypres, Belgium. It is similar to a Remembrance Day Ceremony you may attend with the sounding of the Last Post, a minute of silence, the “Réveille” bugle call, and laying of wreaths in memoriam.
After the wreath-laying a member or guest of the Last Post Association, a visiting dignitary or a visitor will have been invited to say the words of the Exhortation, taken from Laurence Binyon's poem “For the Fallen” (fourth verse). Standing in the centre of the road under the arch of the Hall of Memory the person will say the words:
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”
The Flanders Field cemetery is in the area known as Flanders Fields, where fierce fighting took place throughout the war on the Western Front.
Canadian Lieutenant Colonel, John McCrae, was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I, and he wrote the poem "In Flanders Fields" on May 3rd, 1915, after witnessing the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, the day before.
The animation below gives a quick summary of how the poppy became our symbol of Remembrance (Source)
Below is the poem "Flanders Field" by Colonel John McCrae
I was sitting and talking with my 8 year old daughter the other day, and she was asking about the wars and Remembrance Day. I couldn't help crying talking with her about it all, and what it meant to those families all those years ago, and today. Seeing graves in Europe marked "Known unto God" because they could not be identified, broke my heart. And the "just a thought of sweet remembrance by Mother" left me feeling so much pain for all the mothers who lost their sons in The Great War.
Whatever your views on war, and conflicts between countries, you cannot deny that we live in a place that is beautiful, strong and free.
My children can play outside without fear, they can attend church services, go to school, spend lazy Saturdays in their pajamas watching Netflix. They are free! I am proud to be a Canadian, and to celebrate Remembrance Day.
Lest We Forget
Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
3 amazing kids!
Here you'll find things from recipes (gluten-free, paleo, and strait up junk food!), DIY ideas, thoughts on raising a son with autism, and whatever else pops into my brain! : )
Read more about me by clicking here!
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