Creating peace amidst the chaos, that's what today is all about! Tips on how to keep cooking enjoyable, kids happy, mind's centered, and a few more TIDBITS I learned from my kids.
This is life about 9 years ago. I recall feeling like life couldn't possibly ever be more crazy than 18-month-old twins and an energetic 3-year-old. And guess what, I was right!
Homeschooling, quarantines, toilet paper shortage, HA! Walk in the park compared to diapers being flushed down the toilet, dragging two shopping carts through a store, late nights, early mornings, no sleep . . . yeah, I can do hard things.
Okay, yes I'm being a little facetious. My kids would be calling me a liar right now because they got front row seats to mommy breakdowns all week long. But amidst the chaos, I've learned a few things that I feel are important that I write down.
Maybe it will help some of you or maybe it's a basically journal entry that I'm meant to have on hand for the next “hard thing” that comes to my life.
As I'm writing this, I can hear my kids in the background playing BINGO together. At the moment they are getting along harmoniously and my home is filled with the sounds of laughter and cheering.
Long forgotten are their memories of this past week when mom (me) fell apart approximately 86 times into sobs of defeat as I tried to figure out how to homeschool 3 children from home.
Do you know what's great about kids?
- They don't waste time fearing the unknown.
- They don't create stories in their minds of the worst-case scenario.
- They don't become limp at the thought that their favorite Thai restaurant might not be open tonight
- They look forward to the challenge of homeschooling.
- They put on their helmets and chase each other around the yard on an electric scooter.
- They jump on the trampoline with as many balls as they can possibly round up, and guess what?
- They are filled with joy and excitement of what each day might bring.
My heart is so full and my puffy eyes are again filling with tears as I realize how much I have to learn from my kids.
There is so much happiness and love to wrap yourself up in this life! Take a second to see the world through the eyes of a child and discover how magical it really is.
Now go put on a brand new pair of shoes and stomp in the biggest, muddiest puddle you can possibly find! Because according to my 7-year-old, clean shoes make it even more fun.
NAVIGATING MY NEW LIFE AS A HOMESCHOOL MOM
This week rocked my boat – I'm sure many of you can relate.
My children needed me approximately every 30 seconds:
- MOM! I pushed the wrong button!
- MOM! Now what do I do!
- MOM! I don't understand this question!
- MOM! I spilled my smoothie on the school's computer!
I haven't felt anxiety like this since I was a mom of twin preemie newborns.
While I wasn't able to get new recipes out to you this week (and I'm sorry to say, this week will likely be quiet as well!), I did want to take a moment to tell you of a few things I found that helped me to turn things around.
And then you better believe I will be bringing you some of my brand new favorite springtime Instant Pot recipes come April! These fresh, bright recipes will be worth the wait, I can promise you that! Here's a little sneak peek:
HOW TO THRIVE AMIDST THE CHAOS – MARCI'S TOOLKIT
I definitely don't have all the answers, but I will say, I happen to be a professional “Overthinker” so I want to share with you some things that are making life more manageable right now.
INSTANT POT FREEZER MEALS
I've been dying to tell you this little story so hear me out!
My little sister recently had a baby and luckily has a freezer full of freezer meals from attending one of our recent, local InstaFreeze Meals classes.
She has told me several times how grateful she is to be able to stay home and still enjoy food that not only tastes good, but makes her healing body feel good too.
Earlier this week a customer sent me this screenshot of a text message conversation she had with a friend and it warmed me to the core!
Our local InstaFreeze Meal classes have been shut down for now due to grocery shortage and the store is unable to tell us when they will be up and running again. We had hoped we could continue to provide this service somehow because we knew it would be an enormous relief to people, but recent food safety restrictions have made it impossible to continue.
Ironically, a few months ago, my sister Maegan and I felt an inspired urgency to create an online version of InstaFreeze Meals. At the time, the idea seemed absurd because we worried that it would put a painful halt in our local class signups.
Regardless of this fear, we both felt it was something we needed to make happen. So amidst the busyness of Christmas, we worked hard to create a packet that contains all of our recipes, shopping lists, and assembly lists for new Instant Pot Freezer Meal menu plans each month.
And guess what happened!?
People loved it!
Guess what else happened!?
Our local class sales dropped.
Our hearts sank and we said, “What have we done?”
Well, little did we know what the future was about to unfold.
As the grocery stores became empty the past couple weeks, it became impossible to stock our classes and we were forced to close our registrations and refund all of the class members currently signed up.
Suddenly it was very obvious to my sister and me why we had felt inspired to create an online version of InstaFreeze Meals. It was an unforgettable lesson and reminder to “Trust in the Lord” and I'm so very grateful that we listened to those promptings.
We might not be able to serve you in person for a while, but with this online version of InstaFreeze Meals, it will be incredibly simple for you to execute the same meals at home!
When you purchase an InstaFreeze Meals subscription, you will receive the recipes, shopping lists, and to-do checklists you will need to quickly and efficiently assemble 15 Instant Pot freezer meals that can be cooked straight from the freezer.
We've also thrown in a few more helpful goodies with your subscription, visit InstaFreeze Meals Online to check it out!
I think we can all agree that good food heals a lot of hurts, and having dinner time be easy, convenient, and incredibly delicious, is the perfect medicine at the end of the day.
We are aware that money might be tight for many right now. We wholeheartedly believe that our meal plans will save you money at the grocery store, but we want you to be able to try it out at no charge to see if this system will work for you.
For a limited time, we are offering a ONE MONTH FREE trial of our subscription!
Our current March menu is honestly my favorite menu so far and I believe it will be the perfect menu plan for you to test out this freezer style of cooking.
To try it out, go to InstaFreeze Meals Online and use the code FIRSTMONTHFREE at checkout.
Your materials will be instantly available to view, download, and/or print.
If you decide this service is not for you, no worries! You can cancel it at any time and won't be charged a dime for your first month of freezer meal menu plans.
We won't deny that having our local classes shut down wasn't initially a devastating blow, but in retrospect, we are very grateful to be able to spend that extra time with our family during this confusing time.
We are also thrilled that we can continue to serve you through InstaFreeze Meals Online and make your lives a little easier, less stressful, and infinitely tastier.
If you have any questions about the Menu Plans right now or after you have downloaded them, please leave a comment below and I will provide you with answers quickly.
Head to InstaFreeze Meals Online for all the details. Remember to use the code FIRSTMONTHFREE at checkout to try it out for free!
HAVE PROJECTS TO KEEP THE KIDS BUSY AND HAPPY
- Homemade Chocolates in the Instant Pot: Chocolate will 100% of the time make things better. I've made homemade chocolates many times with my kids, allowing them the freedom to add what fillings and toppings they like. We've made them in silicone trays, silicone cupcake liners, and even mini foil bread pans. Get creative!
- Homemade Crayons from Broken Crayons: Simply pile busted crayons into a silicone cupcake liner, set them on top of a trivet inside the pressure cooker with a cup of water, and cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. It melts the crayons perfectly and once they are cooled you have a beautiful homemade crayon. Careful, this one gets addicting and before you know it, an entire box of brand new crayons have been busted into pieces. Just warning you!
- Make Natural Easter Egg Dye in the Instant Pot: This project basically uses food scraps and is enormously fun for kids. Give your kids the challenge of coming up with new colors using different scraps (and let me know if you discover some new ones!)
For even more activity ideas, check out Mel's incredible post all about what to do as a family while you're all stuck at home.
TEACH KIDS TO COOK
Normally teaching my kids to cook does not bring me peace, but compared to teaching school it's an absolute party! My kids get especially excited when they get to use the pressure cooker (under my supervision of course). My daughter is becoming more and more confident in the kitchen and amidst her experimental cookies and cupcakes, she is also learning to make her own Instant Pot Crio Bru, Mashed Potatoes, and Chocolate Chip Beebo Bites.
My greatest tool for overcoming anxiety in my life is meditation! I've read a lot of books and took a lot of courses on my journey to finding what worked for me and I'm happy to report that I have found a form of meditation that I wholeheartedly believe will help anyone and everyone. Brooke Snow's 40 Day Christian Meditation course changed my life. Both of my sisters have also taken her course and we all agree that it should be required for all women. Check it out!
MESSAGES OF HOPE
Brooke Snow also has a podcast and she recently released a message that helped me crawl out of my scared hole this week and see the big picture of everything that is going on. Check out Contrast Helps You See. You will feel greater peace immediately, I promise you.
I feel blessed to live close to the mountains with plenty of open space, but regardless of where you live, a walk outside in this beautiful spring air will do your mind, body, and soul a lot of good. I always tell my kids, “Look at the beauty around you. This is one of Heavenly Father's ways of telling you how much he loves you.” Give it a try 🙂
Nothing makes you feel better than putting your own needs aside for a moment. I've also noticed that kid attitudes can be immediately switched to the positive when they make an effort to help brighten someone else's world.
Introducing: Happy Rocks (at least that's what we call them). On a visit to the ER, my kids discovered some colorful rocks on the sidewalks with messages such as, “Be Kind”, “Love Wins”, “Life is Good”, etc. Since I'm hesitant to bring food to neighbors right now, my kids gathered up piles of rocks and spent 3 hours washing, painting, and writing inspiring messages on each of them. We will be sneakily scattering them on the sidewalks of our neighbors and my kids can't wait to do it! Here's is a link you can look at for more message ideas for your rocks.
After “Dark Wednesday” last week, AKA, Day 1 of homeschooling, I felt a need to erase the rough parts of the day. We headed to a drive-through for ice cream and parked ourselves at a vacant soccer field. The kids giggled and chased each other and my daughter proclaimed, “this is the best day ever!” She then stopped, looked confused, and said, “that's weird, a little while ago I thought it was the worst day ever.” I told myself to try out some of their medicine and I joined their game of tag. My goodness, I haven't laughed that hard in a long time, it felt sooooo good! I'm happy to say, Wednesday actually turned into a great day.
ORGANIZE THE HOME AND MAKE IT FUN
Little did I know that my kids (and I) just needed a handy caddy to make cleaning more enjoyable. My sister Cami put out 2 new posts this week to help you organize and get excited for Spring Cleaning. Check out how she creates a cleaning caddy with natural cleaning solutions and also how she assembled her kids a caddy as well.
LAUGH – HARD
Honestly, I don't spend a lot of time on Instagram, but if I'm in desperate need of a laugh, Johnson Files is where it's at. If you haven't watched his videos yet, you are in for a real treat.
When all else fails – LEGOS. This feels like a slightly weird way to wrap up this post, but Legos have legitimately saved me this week. I don't know if it is worldwide, but my store had an incredible sale on Legos and I happily snatched up 6 of the small sets to have on hand for when I get really desperate.
What have you been doing lately to bring more fun, joy, and peace to your homes? I would love to hear it! I will definitely need more tools in my kit in the coming weeks!
Sending love out to all of you!!! You got this, we got this, LET'S DO THIS TOGETHER!