Menu Planning Monday

I am getting back on the Menu Planning Bandwagon. Here are the menu plans for the week.

Cream of Wheat
Piece of Fruit

Peanut Butter & Jelly
Grilled Cheese
Cheese Quesidellas
Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

Lunch Sides (Pick 2)
Ritz/Club Crackers w/Laughing Cow
Piece of Fruit
Cheese stick

Piece of Fruit
Cheese stick


Chicken Breasts
Herbed Noodles

Pork Chops
Baked Potatoes
Green Beans

Meat Loaf
Baked Sweet Potatoes

Thursday — Scouts
Fend for Yourself
Clean out the Fridge


Roasted Chicken
Alfredo Noodles

Easter Sunday
Spiral Ham
Candied Yams
Green Bean Casserole
Mashed Potatoes

What do your menus look like for the week?

Pax Christi!


A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework
~~St. Francis of Rome

Self Evaluation

As you know, the Zoo has been going through extremely tough times the past few years. If I list them out it is amazing what the family has had to endure and live through:

  • Liz losing her eyesight
  • my dad’s illness
  • Liz’s shunt failing twice in the first year requiring two additional surgeries
  • my MIL’s diagnose of breast cancer
  • my dad’s death
  • Richard’s retirement from the fire department for medical reasons
  • mom’s COPD flaring up
  • multiple hospitalizations of Liz and my mom throughout the last two years
  • the death of my mom on Christmas Day
  • the death of my MIL a month after my mom’s

Now that the rush has calmed down, my anxiety and stress levels have gone through the roof.  I am feeling out of control in all areas.  I have done some reflection over the past few days and I think I have come to the conclusion about what has happened in my life and why I am feeling like this.  I have fallen away from the routines I used to follow.

I had a working schedule of schooling, chores, meals and errands which the family followed. The house ran relatively smoothly.  Schooling was completed, the house was presentable at all times, and the house felt more peaceful overall. Over time as I was needed elsewhere outside of the house more and more, these things slowly fell by the wayside. First the meal planning gave way to seat of the pants fixing of meals.  Schooling was fit in when I was at home. Chores were done when someone noticed mold growing in the tub.  And even as things have settled down, these bad habits have remained in place. It has ended up affecting everyone and everything in the house.

The schooling barely gets accomplished, and it is always involves a struggle with at least one child and often more of them.  The cleanliness of the house is the lowest acceptable level.  Meals are hit or miss because nothing is planned.  Errands are done almost on a daily basis because the monthly big shopping trips have not been done, so we run out of things unexpectedly and we need them NOW!

One of the major areas of my life which has been short changed is my prayer life. As life became more complicated, I lost the routine of prayer.  Last week I took the time to reboot my prayer life. Some days I only said a rosary in the car after dropping the older ones off at the college, but it was something. It felt good to be back in conversation with God and I felt a sense of peace slowly returning to my soul.  Prayer should be a large part of my life as a Catholic.  To get back on tract of daily prayer, I have decided to rely on the old standards for two months or so.  We will be praying:

  • The Morning Offering
  • A Daily Rosary
  • Reading the Day’s Gospel and discussing it with the children
  • Daily Proverbs Reading

This evening, I sat down planned out the menu for the week.  It feels so freeing to have the meals back under control. Home school has just been happening without thought or purpose for this year. Over the next week I am going to evaluate the home school schedule and get that moving forward again. For the short term, I decided to enroll the older four home schooled children in Time 4 Learning , to get an idea of where or if there are gaps in learning.  As I evaluate the home school schedule, I feel this program will help me plan to fill in their gaps.

I am also going to evaluate the chores which need to be done throughout the day and week then assign chores to the children.  I realized I need to become more proactive with the follow through when I assign chores. I will making sure they complete the chore assignments to my standards and if not, then I will make them complete them to the standard.

I have my assignments for the week.  What do you have planned?

Pax Christi!


A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework
~~St. Francis of Rome

An Irish Prayer

May God give you…
     For every storm, a rainbow,
     For every tear, a smile,
     For every care, a promise
     And a blessing in each trial.
     For every problem life sends,
     A faithful friend to share,
     For every sigh, a sweet song,
    And an answer for each prayer.

Have a wonderful and blessed St. Patrick’s Day!

Pax Christi!


A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework

~~St. Francis of Rome

You never realize…

I never realize how important my basic appliances are to the smooth running of the family until they are not longer working properly.

Tuesday, I came downstairs to a puddle coming out from under the kitchen sink counter. I couldn’t find a leak, but I called out plumber. He said it sounded like the dishwasher has sprung a leak. Thankfully we have an extended warranty, but they can’t come until next Tuesday. Can you imagine washing all the family’s dishes three times or more a day? I know many of you do hand wash all your dishes, but we haven’t in years. I took a trip to the big box store to pick up paper plates, plastic cups and plastic silverware. I don’t like to make it a habit to use the paper products, but desperate times call for desperate measures. We have the dish washing down to pots and pans and just a few utensils a day.

Wednesday evening, I put the chicken legs and thighs in the pre-heated oven to cook dinner. About 20 minutes later, there was an odor in the kitchen, I just thought it was something in the oven that was burning off the element. When the timer went off Douglas took the chicken out and said “Mom are sure this is done? The oven is cold and the chicken looks raw.” Sure enough the oven had stopped working.

I went to pack up the vegetables and potatoes and the plastic supporting as glass shelf snapped when I put the bowls down. This made two shelves that were seriously broken. Duct tape only holds up so long. Plus the ice maker has been working intermittently.

We called to check on the cost of a repair for the stove and looked on line for the cost of replacement parts for the fridge. The service call to check out the oven would start at $100. Once he determines what is what is necessary you have to add the price of all the parts, time etc. The cost to replace the shelves in the 10 year old fridge was about $150 each.

Richard and I headed up to the appliance store around 6:30 PM. We walked out about an hour later having purchased a new stove and refrigerator, scheduled for delivery on Friday morning. Thankfully, they were delivered and set up in a timely manner. I cannot wait until Tuesday when I have a functional dishwasher!

I hope your week has been not as costly as mine and your appliances are working.

Pax Christi!


A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework
~~St. Francis of Rome

Pope Francis

“Building: to build the Church. There is talk of stones: stones have consistency, but [the stones spoken of are] living stones, stones anointed by the Holy Spirit. Build up the Church, the Bride of Christ, the cornerstone of which is the same Lord. With [every] movement in our lives, let us build!”~Pope Francis

Pax Christi!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework

~~St. Francis of Rome

Thankful Thursday


Tell me 10 things for which you are thankful.

1) The richness of my Catholic Faith
2) We have a hew Holy Father, Pope Francis
3) My husband and children.
4) We have a roof over our heads.
5) We have food in our pantry.
6) We are all in relatively good health.
7) We are able to home school.
8) We live in America.
9) Through the loss of our mothers, we have re-established family ties with distant relatives.
10) Having a large family means lots of birthdays and cakes

11) Children to do all of my chores (the children made sure I added this!)

Pax Christi!
A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework
~~St. Francis of Rome

Habemus Papam

What an exciting day around the Zoo. As a Catholic, we have been “fatherless” for a little while now. As a Catholic I know that it is ok, it will not last forever. I trust the Holy Spirit to guide the Cardinals to make the correct choice for our Church and looked forward to seeing their choice. I knew we did not have a pope with the morning ballots, so we tuned into EWTN around 12:30 to watch for the afternoon ballet.

My children and I cracked up seeing this:

But it took longer and longer to see the smoke. So I shouted at the TV, “Just smoke already!” Of course my children bust out laughing, since I am such an anti-smoking advocate.

Then the smoke started, and it looked black. We were a little disappointed, and then it turned white and the cheers went up! I would have loved to be in St. Peter’s square. You could sense the excitement and anticipation. Almost an hour later we received the official announcement of Habemus Papam. We have a pope. And then the wait began for the first glimpse of the new pope. The children were all sitting on the floor waiting.  It was wonderful to watch them all excited about the Church receiving a new shepherd, a new father.

I, personally, felt a huge sense of relief. We have a father again. It is very reassuring to have the Pope as the head of the Church, knowing he is there watching out for us and praying for us. I look forward to the Eucharistic Prayers saying Our Pope, Francis. The prayer seemed so empty the past two weeks without a name.

I look forward to the direction our new Holy Father will take us. He chose the name Francis. I wonder if he chose for St. Francis Xavier and his evangelizing or St. Francis of Assisi for his humbleness and reform of the church? Both of them sounds like wonderful people to emulate.

God Bless Pope Francis!

Pax Christi!


A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework

~~St. Francis of Rome