Saturday, March 23, 2013

Major Meal Planning

I experienced a huge victory over Spring Break.  I was able to spend much-needed quality time with my husband and children and take care of some things at home.

With our transition last summer [leaving Gospel for Asia, Joel taking a part-time youth pastor position--which meant we also left our church here in Carrollton, Joel starting seminary full-time, and me starting to work full-time], Joel and I basically switched roles when it came to taking care of the house needs and earning an income.  I went to work to support our family and he happily took over the bulk of grocery shopping, cooking, and laundry.

After 8 years of being a stay-at-home mom, however, it was a lot harder to let go of than I thought it would be.  Don't get me wrong...I had no trouble not doing laundry or not cooking a meal.  I simply didn't have any time to do it.  I would leave the house at 7 am and return around 6 pm every day.  After we would eat dinner and get the kids in bed by 8 pm, I would plan, prep, or grade for the next day of school.  Then, I would try to get in bed by 11 pm so I could force myself to get out of bed the next morning by 5:30 am.  (If you know me well, you know I thrive on at least 7 hours of sleep and could really use more like 8 to be good to go.)

I love my teaching job.  I can't even describe how grateful I am for the gift God has given me in this role in this season.  However, it has taken everything I have to give.  Part of that is my own desire to do things well.  I don't do things half-heartedly.  I am either in or I'm out.  I am committed.  I am loyal.  I am devoted.  Good or bad, it's who I am and how I'm made.

So, while I simply could not do the things I was doing for the last 8 years, I struggled internally on a regular basis.  I felt extreme guilt.  I felt like a failure as a wife and mom.  I cried.  I got mad.  I was frustrated.  But, I really couldn't do much.

However, I have finally come into a rhythm.  I'm still in my first year in the classroom, so it's still all new to me.  I'm still teaching concepts and lessons I've never before taught.  But, the routines of everything are much easier.  I've learned what's important and what can wait.  I've learned how to do things faster and not to procrastinate on some tasks.

Therefore, as Spring Break arrived, I committed to spending a portion of the time at home planning meals for the rest of the school year.  I wanted to cook.  I enjoy cooking and planning the food my family will eat.  I'm pretty good at it, too, so it feeds that need to do something well.

So, that's where this post came from.  I posted my victories on Facebook and had many friends ask for the meal plan and/or recipes.  I've done my best to collect them all in these two posts.  This post is the PLAN portion.  The next post has all the links to the recipes, most of which come from all over the web.

I hope you find great success as you plan, prep, and serve your family through feeding them!  It really is a LABOR of LOVE.

March/April Meal Plan (PDF in google docs; sorry it's flipped sideways)

April/May Meal Plan (PDF in google docs; sorry it's flipped sideways)

Since I created the plan over Spring Break, my calendars are dated from mid-March through mid-May.  Our family tends to eat leftovers about once a week (a clean-out-the-fridge night).  However, I didn't plan a lot of gaps in the first month.  We also like to do a pizza night either Friday or Saturday night.  I also didn't account for those.  So, often times I will circle a date and "move" it to another day later in the month.  If you notice empty days, they were left empty so they could account for these changes.  We also have church every Wednesday.  Joel is the youth pastor so we need to be there early and the church is in Ft. Worth (about 45 minutes from our house on a good traffic day).  Our three big kids go with us and we eat a quick dinner out that night.  [My mom generously keeps Jett each Wednesday, which is great since we don't get back home until almost 10 pm.]


  1. Good for you!! It must have felt so great to get this all organized!

  2. Megan, Enjoyed reading your post. You sound like things are going well for you and your family. I liked the statement about you feeling better about yourself. That is very important. You are a very busy person. you have a very beautiful family and I know that you are proud andlove them very much.

    Say hello to your Mom. Hope she is doing well I will check your Blog more often. love to all delaine & ed