Saturday, February 28, 2009

Such a Winter's Day: a photo essay

Friday, February 27th was a sunny winter day, the kind I (and skiiers) love...We did chores all morning, then left home at 1050am to pick up Addie from early release at school. This is what our house looked like as we left.
This is what our street looked like as we pulled out of our driveway.
This is what Park street looked like at about 11:30am.
I promised James he could visit the caboose today, so we trudged through the snow and climbed on the caboose at the Yellowstone Gateway museum.

James, Heidi, & Addie on the caboose.
James even liked looking at the wheels!

Addie had wild ponytails for crazy hair day at school, but she still looked sweet!
We left the caboose, got some hot cocoa, and drove down to Carter's bridge to look at the river...
This is the red house just past the bridge...it's so photogenic!
Here is the barn just past the bridge.
Carter's Bridge, at the opening of Paradise Valley
On the bridge, looking south over the Yellowstone River (YNP is over thos mountains inthe distance).
Coming back into town for lunch, we pass a little local grocery store and bank...
...and don't forget PAMIDA, Livingston's answer to Walmart, a tiny, glorified Big Lots.
Icicles on the Dairy Quessn window (Addie took this)
James & Addie in DQ ready for some hot chili and fries!
Branches outside Daddy's office
(across the street from Dairy Queen, in front of Pamida).
I-90 westbound, heading toward Bozeman
(this is the last photo I took of the day, as I was alone, heading to Belgrade to see the opthamologist--it was a good day, not just because of the gorgeous sunshine, but also because my eyes are totally healthy and NOT swollen!)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mis Ninos

So lately James has shown signs of being borderline obsessive-compulsive. For example, he rarely enjoys his trains anymore because he spends hours crying hysterically when the tracks don't line up just right (even though the trains drive on them JUST FINE) or when a train derails itself. So while we got dinner ready tonight we were laughing so hard at all the weeping and wailing we heard from downstairs where James was vocalizing his frustration with his tracks. Just now when we called him up for dinner, it went something like this:

Me: Where's my Captain Whiny-Pants?
James: Coming...

***
Also, Addie and I had a super fun date to Billings yesterday, despite driving home in a blizzard. We listened to the Sound of Music twice going and twice coming home. The Captain's guitar version of Edelweiss never ceases to melt me...it's so beautiful (you can imagine that I just about cried while we were hiking around in the forest between Mary's Bridge and Neuschwanstein in Germany and I saw little white flowers!!). When Addie was a baby, I sang all these made-up or altered lullabyes to her, and Edelweiss was one of them. Her version goes like this:

"Adeline, Adeline
Every morning you greet me
Small and white, clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Adeline, Adeline
Bless our family forever."

(I called her "blossom of snow" because she was born on the night of the first snowfall of 2001--I watched it fall through the window as I snuggled her, so it really made an impression). I told her about this, so she made us sing along the right way once, then hit repeat so we could sing it HER way again. On the way home, driving through the snow storm, singing with my Addie is another thing that will always be an impression. I am so lucky to be her mom.

Sam is a Cute Daddy

This picture makes me cry.
***
Also, I am getting my ginormous thyroid removed next Friday, so Rich and I will be in Billings March 5 (happy bday, Candace)-March 7 for surgery. Jill is coming up to take care of my posse while we're gone (thanks, Drew!), so that makes me feel better. I've never been hospitalized or had surgery--it was my goal not to--but it'll probably be just awesome.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Week So Far

Yesterday I went to Addie's class to tell them about Washington, DC (that was really fun). The day before I went and read The Maggie B. (by Irene Haas) to them because it is Love of Reading Week and The Maggie B. was my favorite book when I was their age. Today I am going to Billings for my surgical consult and I am going to take Addie with me. Heidi will have a little date with Aunt Debbie and James will play with Lydia ("Nee-nee") and console poor Baby Suzy, who has a cough. I am hoping everything goes smoothly and we get to stop at the fabric store and choose some fabric for Easter dresses. I made beef stew last night so Rich (hi, hunny, I love you) can just heat it up, cook some breadsticks, and hopefully Addie and I will be home close to dinner time.

The highlight of the week was getting a new baby nephew, of course. He has a name now, but I will let Sammy and Kristen introduce him on thier blog when they get home and settled. I do have some sweet pix, though, courtesy of my sister Lisa. Enjoy...I gotta get ready to drive 4 hours RT today...

SO SWEET! Kristen getting a hug from Grandpa Bill.

The Man of the Hour...I love him already!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Literal Take On Me

Another link stolen from Amy Buchert...and I dedicate it to my brother, Willy--we were the biggest a-ha freaks of 1986!



this will crack you up, too.

I am still waiting for a nephew update, dangit. I want to see more of that boy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Golden Boy is on His Way!

Remember THIS LITTLE BABY?
Well, he is, right this very minute, making his way into the world!

YAY! Sam called at 3:30 to say Kristen has been in labor all day and she's going into transition now...so I will keep you posted on the status (and statistics) of Golden Boy!
***
...And HE'S HERE! No name yet, but the boy has arrived in an uncomplicated birth at 4:45pm on 2/23/09...
7lbs-9oz
21.5 inches tall
Sam says he's got a full head of hair and girly fingernails, and I'm betting he's GORGEOUS!!!! YAY! My baby bro is finally a daddy! I am so excited!
Congratulations, Laytons!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Sum-Sum-Summertime..."

This is the face of Pure Awesomeness:My dear sister friend, Summer, came to cheer me up and let me rest on Friday. She read my earlier blog and drove all the way from her ranch Harrison (an hour & a half away) to bring me a treat and entertain my kids so I could rest. I love her and miss her so much. We were visiting teaching companions for 4 years while we served as YW counselors and then I was her Primary Secretary for, like, a minute last year, til she moved to Nebraska then Harrison. She grew up in Eastern Idaho, got a degree in Agriculture (you should see her rope calves!), and served a mission to Argentina. Then she married Cowboy Dan (Daniel) and had three kids and gets awesom-er each year!
Thank You, Summer! I Love You!

Addie was so excited to meet Summer's baby Kiley (who was born on Halloween Eve).

Here are Summer's 2 daughters, Kiley and Cailin, and my Heidi

Here are all of our kids together--Cailin, Heidi and Addie adoring Kiley, James and Colton climbing the couches.

Here they are again. We had such a nice visit! It was great to have the kids occupied, but even just the thought that Summer would come all this way means so much to me. I am doubly blessed with a wonderful family and angelic friends!
(PS: Summer, I had the most heavenly shower this morning with the shower gel & body butter you brought--I had no idea it would be so luxurious! Thanks so much--you know my weakness for bath stuff! ;))
"For worthy friends whose lives proclaim
Devotion to the Savior's name
Who bless our days with peace & love
We praise thy goodness, Lord above."






Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Anoop Dawg

Here's an update: I went to the doctor this afternoon to be diagnosed with an ear and sinus infection, and then pay $66 for some amoxicillin and some nasonex. NICE. The only good parts? My temperature was only 99 degrees and I am a full 10 pounds lighter than I was last Thursday. So, you know, yay that...10 down, 60 to go.

Also, we had a lovely pasta/salad/breadstix dinner with the missionaries tonight. I recommend Bertolli Portobello Alfredo sauce--best sauce from a jar we have ever had an it was 2/$4 at Albertson's last week.

Also, what reason have I , really, to watch American Idol now that Anoop Desai has been eliminated? Seriously. I don't even get what is going on this season, but he better come back as a wild card because I love him. He reminds of that Math guy on Mean Girls--the hip-hop-hindu. But good riddance to that puerto rican drama queen.

My Fit

So I had a fit this morning. First, I was mad because I woke up feeling sicker...fierce sinus headache AND nausea from said pain. Addie was already running late for school and I did NOT have time for this crap. So I ignored myself and got her ready for school, and got James & Heidi fed and dressed. By the time I finished that, my body threw a little tantrum, trying to get attention like always, and I threw up my breakfast toast and juice and medicine (illustrations by nataliedee.com).


This little tantrum threw out my back, and I called Rich to come from the office and fix me real quick. He came home, got the kids a snack and turned on Diego for them, then came in our room and put some heat and massage on my back. While he was doing that, the frickin' Billings Clinic called with my lab results from Monday (backtrack: On Monday I finally saw the endocrinologist, an appointment made in November; he checked out all the Graves' disease symptoms, treatments, progress, complications, etc. , and recommended that I have my thyroid removed- thyroidectomy-- in the next month or two because RAI could aggravate the eye situation, which is awesome lately--the steroid infusions totally took down the inflamation and my eyes look normal-ish). Here's how the lab results call went (prettymuch):

cliniclady: I have your lab results from Monday. First of all your T3 was blahblah, your T4 was blahblah and TSH was at 2, which are all in the normal range, so the methimazole is working great and you are still good to go for the surgery.
me: oh, good.
cliniclady: And your blahblah glucose test blahblahblah random blah blah 8, which is a little high. so we need to do some at-home blood sugar montoring and talk to your nutritionist...wait...are you diabetic?
me: No. I mean, I don't know...you tell me, you're the endocrinologist.
cliniclady: Oh, wait...you've been on a round of corticosteroids? For...uhh...
me: I came in for Graves Disease, not diabetes. The steroids were to control the occular protrusion...
cliniclady: Okay, yeeeahhh...so the steroids raised your blood sugar a little and we need you to talk to a nutritionist and nurse educator to make sure all the side effects are managed and we get you back on track...we can make appointments for you here...
me: Well, I am in Livingston, so can we do this through my regular doctor and Park Clinic?
cliniclady: Oh, I bet we can...do you want to hold whileI talk to Judy [like I know who Judy is], or do you want us to call you back...?
me: Would you go ahead and talk to Judy and see if we can take care of all of that in Livingston or Bozeman and call me back? I'm kinda busy right now...
cliniclady: Yes. We'll figure out what you can do there and call you back.


Um, YEAH, you will. Don't call me and ask me if I am diabetic while I am in the middle of some other health crisis! Sheesh!

So Rich loosened up my back and went back to the office, and I re-took all my morning meds plus an Excedrin migraine. Then I was so frustrated about my health, I started crying. I got my coat and bundled up the kids and we just went for a brisk walk. At first I was just going to take them over to the playground, but I was so sad, we just kept walking. We cut across three big railroad tracks (which James LOVED--ususally I go up to the intersection and cross there, but I was just too mad to go three blocks down and three blocks back up--the kids were totally excited to explore the tracks), across a car lot, through the park along the bike path where all the gophers had closed up their holes for winter. It got colder and cloudier as we walked, so we stopped at the office to warm up. Rich had already left for Kiwanis Club meeting, so we went across the street to have some broccoli cheddar soup at Dairy Queen. It was delicious and warm (but we did not get Wheat Montana rolls as promised which is a bummer, but probably better for my health) and the kids were so cute and good.

It was kind of a fun date with the kids, and the walk had relieved my stress. I decided to (a) stop taking so much different advice about my health, (b) pray about it more, (c) exercise more, and (d) make my family doc and her nurse be in charge of coordinating all this stuff because it's turning into a part-time job and I just don't have time or brain power to manage all these appointments, routines, numbers, etc. that they're asking me to be responsible for. I can barely remember my own name, for Pete's sake!

Anyway, I don't know what's going on with the blood sugar thing, but one thing that's cool is that my body has been quite finicky since having that stomach virus over the weekend. For example, I didn't eat even ONE of the chocolates Rich gave me for Vday because they nauseated me when I looked at them. I haven't had a soda since I was sick either, again, because the thought nauseates me. Last night we had pasta pomodoro, but I just ate the tomato sauce and green beans because the pasta sounded gross. So it's kinda like when I was prego and my body would be super selective about what it was hungry for.

It makes me feel a little bit more confident about listening to my own body because even without a blood test, it was cutting its own carbs and sugars in response to high glucose. Or at least I like to think so. I hope the road ahead will be a little straighter than the winding path we've traveled the past three years. I'm SO FREAKING TIRED of having to worry about myself when there is so much else that needs to be done, and my kids are growing up so fast. I'm ready to do anything that will take my mind off my health and let me think about and do the things that matter most to me. Sickness totally bites.

***
Also, adding insult to injury, is the fact that I am dealing with THE WORST haircut of my life. Well, it's actually a three-way tie, because my hairdresser has accidentally given me this haircut three times...the last time was two years ago, exactly, because I remember having to go to my Grandma Layton's funeral (may she rest in peace) with what I refer to as The Softball Mullet. And now I have it again, but hopefully I can get a Repair trim before I go to AZ again, lest everyone in AZ think I keep getting this haircut on purpose.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Breakfast at Casa Melin







We had waffles with strawberries and cream, and it was all over and cleaned up by 8:20am--worse than Christmas! Rich and I are still sick a dawgs, so we're putting on a movie and going back to bed (we told the kids that's what we wanted for our Vday gift--a rest!). Hope y'all have a sweet day with the ones you love most! XOXOXO
***
2/15/09 UPDATE: Rich didn't get much rest because I started barfing at noon and didn't stop until 1 o'clock this morning. I have pulled every muscle in my torso, my back is killing me, and my lips are cracked (I am keeping down liquids just fine, so no worries, and I just had a vanilla activia). The funny part is that the entire Primary Presidency is sick today and the bishopric has to take care of Sharing and singing time today. That should be interesting. How was your luv day??

Friday, February 13, 2009

Princess Monster Truck

Heidi's pre-school has a child-led curriculum where they study what the kids seem interested in--they fit letters, colors, numbers, shapes, and scientific method stuff into whatever the kids want to explore. Addie's class was into robots. Heidi's class is into vehicles, especially monster trucks (this speaks volumes about where her fellow students are coming from, but that's another post).

To wrap up their unit of study, they all built their own cars and trucks at home last week and had a car show/ pizza party last night. I was dog tired, but we went and had fun. It's funny to see Heidi interacting with her peeps--she's such a character. If you click on the picture below, you can see the details. Basically, it's a cereal box, a cracker box, and 4 canning lids on skewers. I helped her with the duct-tape construction and gold spray paint, she did the rest with markers and scrapbooking stickers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Buzzy Head

It's wednesday night/ thurs morning, and after a sleepy evening, now I cannot sleep. But I am also too tired to write, so I want you to go HERE and read a funny story about one of Addie's best friends who moved away to South Dakota. It's a hoot.

And I will try to come back tomorrow with pictures and stories of life at Casa Melin. I have been quite sick this entire week but I don't even have the energy to log on and whine about it, so happy stuff (and tales of our Utah trip for nephew Liam's baptism) coming soon.

PS: LAST INFUSION (I hope) TODAY!
Bye, bye, you bloating prednisone drip!

natalie dee
nataliedee.com

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Some of you peeps may be lucky enough to remember the bluechair: a place to read--a little webzine I fired up with my friend/web designer extraordinaire, Tom, and some other literary folk close to my heart nearly 10 years ago. Um, yeah, that was fun.



I lost a lot of the content when bluechair.net was deconstructed, but I was looking for an old set of digital letters tonight and I happened upon a folder with some bluechair content in it. I though you might enjoy this bit. It kind of makes me sad to think how unlike the NOW-ME it is, but it also motivates me to stop focusing on hausfrau-ness and make a little time for Jamie-ness. It reminds me of that old Innocence Mission song, "I Remember Me." As in, "Oh, yeah, I used to think about stuff other than calendars, timers, stain removal, nutrition, recipes, budgeting, sanitizing, laundry, bedtime, checklists...huh? What was I saying?..." So travel back in time with me to 1999...(cue special effects, swirling spiral, me with the same bad choppy bob I have right now, driving Atticus the Galant around Tucson)


***

My Law of Witnesses
["In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." 2 Corinthians 13:1:]

Witness

"Did you see the moonrise?"
I ask the question hopefully,
As if your seeing it, too, makes it actual,
because I have decided to live my life by the law of witnesses.
Through the eyes of two or three kindred spirits
Shall all of my experiences be had,
shall all the searing sunsets
and the beautiful babies,
and periwinkle moonrises
and tender exchanges
and hot summer meteor showers
be observed.
To my right tonight
the full moon rose elegantly in the east
hovering in blue glory over my valley
while on my left the sun sunk
in orange fire and brimstone
behind roaring, toothy mountains
and I bolted northward to take it in
while my solitary soul longed for a witness.

-jamie, 1998


I have always savored being alone. Perhaps it's because solitude was a rare and precious thing for me, being the oldest of so many kids, having a brother 13 months younger, then twin sisters two years later, and so on.

Perhaps it was my twisted, pensive personality, obsessed even at age four with analyzing and finding causes for things (not exactly the most faithful little girl). I needed time to figure stuff out.

Whatever the reason, I loved being alone. When I first went away to college, I was thrilled with the peace and quiet and time for thought afforded me. Even with great roommates, I had lots of solitude. I lived in a small, beautiful town where it was safe and pleasant to take long walks. And boy, did I walk. My brain reeled and absorbed and pondered as I walked.

I began to have further adventures--road trips, hikes, library epiphanies-- and I wanted to share them. I would write essays and poems, and tell stories to friends and family. Some how, the magic was lost in the relay. Even with an expanding command of the language, with the rich English vocabulary at my disposal, I could not share all of my experiences. This began to be so frustrating, I found myself keeping the most amazing moments to myself, because I simply could not do them justice.

But this wasn't how I wanted to live. I am a social being-- I do not live only for myself, and I didn't want to keep having experiences I couldn't share.

There is a line in the movie Say Anything, when Diane Court says to her dad, "If I can't share it with you, it's almost like it didn't happen." That pretty sums up how I'd begun to feel. I began to anticipate encounters with the amazing and beautiful, and I would seek out an appropriate witness for the occasion. Somebody who loved what I loved, who saw what I saw, was recruited to be my witness. Then we could recall the experience, knowing the other person understood even when words failed us. There would be an exchange of knowing nods and longing sighs, and the lookers-on could only wish they knew what we were sighing about.

I don't think this is such an odd thing, now that I'm a little older. At the time, of course, I thought there was something wrong with me, that my fierce independence was slipping into some sort of co-dependence. Now I see that it is a human need, a fairly common desire instilled by the divine. After all, if the grand design has us working in twos forever, why wouldn't I be moved to share things?

That's what Witness is all about. I wrote it shortly after having read Milton's Paradise Lost, which moved me in so many ways. One of the best things it did was to validate my desire for a witness. In PL, Adam recounts his version of the creation to the angel Raphael (Book VIII, lines 351-451). Adam tells how the beauty and perfection of the garden were meaningless without someone to share them with, and God responds by creating Adam's "fit help":

"I nam'd them [the creatures] as they pass'd and understood
Thir nature, with such knowledge God endu'd
My sudden apprehension: but in these
I found not what me thought I wanted still...how may I
Adore thee, Author of this universe,
And all this good to man, for whose well being
So amply and with hands so liberal
Thou hast provided all things: but with me
I see not who partakes. In solitude
What happiness, who can enjoy alone,
Or all enjoying, what contentment find?
...Among unequals, what societies
Can sort, what harmony or true delight?


...[Then came] This answer from the gratious voice Divine,
Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleas'd
And find thee knowing not of beasts alone,
Which thou hast rightly nam'd, but of thyself,
Expressing well the spirit within thee free...I, e're thou spak'st
Knew it not good for man to be alone,
And no such companie as then thou saw'st
Intended thee for trial onely brought,
To see how thou couldst judge of fit and meet:
What next I bring shall please thee, be assur'd,
Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self,
Thy wish exactly to thy heart's desire."

I love how God calls Eve Adam's "other self." Later, Adam explains that between him and Eve, there is "unfeigned union of mind, or in us both one soul" (VIII: 603-604). Yeah, that sounds good to me. If Adam wanted it, I can want it, right?



There is a less romantic view to take of this whole witness thing, though: It is just more fun with two. Of course I still need solitude-- that pensive, analytical personality is still there. It's the little demon that has me reading in the slats of evening sun on my bed on a perfectly groovy Friday night when I should be living it up with my peers. It's the shady side of me that sits scribbling in a journal or pounding away at this keyboard at midnight. But I have found that companionship is a simple, common desire. Anne of Green Gables looked for "kindred spirits"-- so do I. So do most people. Experiences mean more when they're shared. Some experiences mean nothing if they aren't .

Annie Dillard once wrote an essay based on witnessing a total eclipse over Washington State. In this essay, she says of the moon's shadow:

"Seeing this black body was like seeing a mushroom cloud. The heart screeched. The meaning of the sight overwhelmed its fascination. It obliterated meaning itself. If you were to glance out one day and see a row of mushroom clouds rising on the horizon, you would know at once what you were seeing, remarkable as it was, was intrinsically not worth remarking. No use running to tell anyone. Significant as it was, it did not matter a whit. For what is significance? It is significance for people. No people, no significance. This is all I have to tell you."

What I like about that is: "No people, no significance." To take it one step further, one person-- one witness-- without the words to convey the experience must simple keep it to himself, then it becomes a vague, inexpressible memory.

Yet another example of hoping for a witness:
"Did you get to see the blue wonder moon last night? Did you know it was a special one? Yep, not since 1915 have we had a blue moon in January, NO moon at all in February and then another blue moon in March. I was pretty excited about the whole thing, but last night was so mucky and cloudy that I just had to imagine that big singin' face up in the heavens. (For me, that moon man has always been singing.) I'd like to think that someone else got to enjoy the lunar beauty last night, and can share with me a little vicarious thrill." -georgia, 03.99

It means so much to "share...a little vicarious thrill." It's precious to have a witness who loves what you love, with whom you can share these natural thrills, first-hand or vicariously.I am thankful for the witnesses I have. Many of them write for this magazine, and we have seen many beautiful things together--those sunsets and beautiful babies and moonrises and meteor showers, and much more. I also anxiously await my permanent witness who will share all those beautiful things, as well as the hard and ugly and painful things that make the beautiful things that much sweeter. Until then, I'll keep doing what I do: bolting northward to take it all in, and writing to share the vicarious thrill.


***
Recycled blog...I'm so green.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Domestic Goddess? Not Quite.

9pm update: It seems I have fallen behind in keeping up with my dear joh, who is living and working and serving and mothering over in Malawi. I just spent nearly a half hour reading about her wonderful birthday traditions--it made me so happy! you should read them, too. Happiest belated birthday, amiga! I will dream up wonderful gifts for you tonight.

Since I have been doing infusions on Wednesdays, Thursdays have become my get-it-done days because I am almost guaranteed to feel awesome on Thursdays (after having a hellish headache and sweaty hotflashes all night long). My face is puffy on Thursdays and it looks and feels like I have a sunburn, but I just pretend I just got back from Mexico and then I feel fab.

Anyway, in my race to make the most of the steroidal energy, I do a big cook-ahead thing now. I have always tried to freeze extra dinners or dinner ingredients since dinner is the nemesis of my domestic life, but I’ve got a good thang goin’ now. Here’s what I have been doing:

I buy +/- 1lb lean ground beef, a big bag of boneless skinless chicken breasts (with at least 12 pieces in the bag), and a bunch of fruits and veggies (along with all the other shelf-stable stuff like tortillas, Country Farms stone ground wheat bread, cereal, oatmeal, pasta, beans, rice, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, sauces, etc., and I do indulge in big costco bags of pre-grated cheeses, tortilla chips, and sour cream).

So Thursday morning after the kids and daddy are off to school and the kitchen is clean, I break out the aluminum foil and heat the oven to 325 and start Cooking-Ahead. I make little foil packes for chicken breasts— 4 chicken breasts in teriyaki or sesame ginger sauce, 2 in Italian Dressing, and 6 in medium Pace Picante Sauce. I just lay the frozen breasts out on the foil, pour ½-1 cup of the sauce on top, fold up the foil and throw the three packets into the oven for about 3 hours.



Meanwhile, I chop 1 yellow onion, a bunch of green onions, carrots, broccoli, celery, mushrooms, cabbage, (and I always have jars of minced garlic and ginger and a tube of cilantro) and freeze them in zipoc bags. James helps until he gets bored, and then I make the TV babysit him with Thomas the Tank Engine or Little Einsteins. I wash all the apples, grapes, and lettuce and put them back in the fridge for later with a couple of bell peppers, plum tomatoes, and avocados. At the same time, I brown the ground beef with a bit of onion, garlic, and salsa, then drain it really well and freeze it in a ziploc bowl to use in crock pot chili later. When the chicken is done, I let it cool a little then open the packets and slice the chicken into thin strips and store them in the fridge according to flavor. I also shred three of the salsa-flavored chicken breasts for tacos or tostadas.

SO—then I am ready (or pretty much ready) to make any of the following dinners the rest of the week:
Chicken-Ramen Oriental Salad
Chicken Stir Fry with Brown Rice
Left-over chicken stir fry Egg Rolls with fried Brown Rice
Chili and Cornbread/ Chili-ritos
Chicken Alfredo with salad and breadsticks
Chicken-Bacon Pasta Salad
Chicken-Caesar Salad and breadsticks
Chicken Tacos
Taco Salad
Chicken Tostadas
Chicken Enchilada Casserole with Salad
Tortilla Soup with chicken and avocado
On Sundays I usually make a pork roast with veggies, and use the left overs for shredded pork tacos or stir fry on Monday.


Let me know if you want to try any recipes or you want a shopping list. I’m trying to get this down to a science, while working in some more vegetarian/ camping/ food storage meals, too.


FAMILY LETTER 11.19.17

Dear Loved Ones,                                                                                                                          ...