Monday, October 01, 2007

Good Morning Monday!

Let's Simplify our lives shall we?

These Monday Morning posts come to you from an effort to make my life less cluttered. Read this post to understand better.

Todays tip is:
Slow down your morning. Take at least the first hour of your morning and press the sllllloooooowwwww button on your life's remote. There is no need to zip through your morning routine as if your life will pass you by unless you hurry hurry hurry. actually, I have found it to be the opposite. Life passes you by while you hurry and scurry doing things that don't really count as living. However, if you slow things down a bit (ok- a lot) you will find that you have time to do a lot of living in those simple mundane moments.

Choose something you love for that first hour of the morning. If you have a task that MUST be done, find a way to enjoy doing it. Do it slowly with reverence and calm for the gift of a new day that God has given you.
*Make your bed and take a deep breath. Sigh with pleasure about crawling into a nice soft bed after a long day.
*Take your dog outside and don't hurry him. Even if it's raining. Take time to enjoy the rain. Take a deep breath.
* SIT DOWN with a cup of coffee and your favorite magazine. Take a deep breath.

I want to also say that in this age of rushing, rushing, and more rushing our children are likely feeling as frazzled as we are. Let them slow down too. I payed close attention to my mornings for a week, and I noticed that when my children sat down to curl up on the couch, went outside on our deck to snuggle with Heidi, or laid down on the floor for a good old fashioned stretch, I was quick to give them a barrage of to-do questions.
Did you make you bed?
Have you gone to the bathroom?
Did flush the toilet, wash your hands?
Marcus, take this washcloth and wipe down the bathroom sinks.
Weston, bring down your laundry baskets so I can do the laundry.
Esther, go straighten up the shoes in the foyer.
all of you, get over here and eat your breakfast.
Are you done with that?
I need to wash these dishes. Hurry up.
Lets' get our school work started. Sit down. get your glasses on. Go get your math book.

And on and on and on.

No wonder it felt like our lives were cluttered

Our new mornings are clear from all this garbage for at least one hour. We have things we have to get done. Breakfast has to be eaten, the dog has to be taken out. But we slow it down, and we enjoy each other while we do those things. Anything that can wait until hour two, waits until hour two.

For those of you who have to leave the house in the morning- you will probably need to wake up and hour early for this to work. I homeschool and can allow ourselves an extra hour in the morning. However, I have found myself getting up earlier in order to extend the morning calm. Now I usually have at least half an hour of time to myself before the kids wake up. I slllloooowwwwwly make myself a cup of coffee and stand on my deck watching all the suburban wildlife scamper through my yard.

This slow time always feels a bit like camping. Which hapens to have been the point.

And because it's Monday: Here's my weekly menu

Fennel-Crusted Pork Loin with roasted potatoes and pears
Roasted pacific cod with olives and lemons
Spanish chicken and rice
Easy Shepherd's Pie
Chicken Picada
Tamale Pie
Autumn veggie Minestrone (Crockpot meal)
2 14.5 oz cans vegetable broth
1 18 oz can crushed tomatoes's undrained
3 medium carrots -- chopped (1 ½ cups)
3 small zucchini -- cut into 1/2" slices
1 medium yellow bell pepper -- cut into 1/2" pieces
8 medium green onions -- sliced (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic -- finely chopped
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Mix all ingredients except rice and basil in a 3 ½ to 6 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or until vegetables are tender. Stir in rice. Cover and cook on low heat setting for about 15 minutes or until rice is tender.

Per serving: WW Points: 1; 195 Calories (kcal); 2g Total Fat; 7g Protein; 39g Carbohydrate; 1mg Cholesterol; 1198mg Sodium


Slava Bogu said...

You menu sounds good...I like the spiciness of it. The Spanish chicken sounds really yummy. I finally got my recipe up for Oyako Donburi from last week, so feel free to check it out. Happy Monday!

Gina said...

It all looks good Becka. Thanks for your comments on my site.. I just emailed you the recipes. I completely agree with you about slowing down in the morning. I think it's actually easier to do when you have a lot to accomplish. I homeschooled for a few years and during that time I was more organized than I had ever been, and consequently I was more relaxed because I was never rushing to fit a two hour job into thirty minutes.


Val said...

That soup is one I am going to try this weekend. YUMMY! Thanks for the recipe. I just snitched my moms crockpot (it's small, and really old, but I like it) and today I am making a batch of black beans with a head of garlic, three toamtoes from the garden, a 1/2 cup of wild rice, 1/2 an onion and a 1/2 cup of salsa. I am going to top it with sour cream, chedder cheese, and perhaps some chopped cilantro if I can get Sarah to bring me some. It is a side to the chimichangas we are having tonight while our husbands are away and we are stuck with 6 kids. :)


Val said...

Oh and speaking of simplifing... ditto that sister. Thanks for the inspiration. I am going to watch how often I ask them to do something in their moments of peace now because of your post. I really appriciate posts like this. They make me understand why I stay at home and teach my children at home.