Happy 2014 – I am back!

Jeremiah 29:11:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

You may have noticed that the blog has been sitting here unminded for a few weeks months.  My wonderful dad passed away, and blogging moved way way down my list of priorities.  But I’m definitely feeling the lack of planning and really need to get back on track and get a few things done, so I thought I’d better plan a bit if I’m to have a successful and productive semester! If you are looking for my menu plan, scroll to the bottom of the page for it.

My work focus this week: Prepping for a new semester
I’ve got 2 syllabi to finish off so that I’m ready for my class, plus we’ve got a conference presentation on some research we’ve been doing, and we need to see where we are with that.  In addition, there are lots of little details on my to-do list to take care of!

My family focus this week: Enjoying quality time together
I’ve really loved the opportunities I’ve had over the holidays to just spend time playing and working with my boys. We’ve built Legos, played games, gone to the park, read books, and curled up watching movies together.  I am realizing so much how important it is for me to turn off the screens and just me a focused Mom more often!

Currently
Enjoying my last couple vacation days before I head back to work
Thinking about making some yummy THM treats
Wishing I didn’t have to clean my house

What I accomplished this week:
I spent time with my boys
I made a menu plan (for the first time in months)
I had some ME time

Language goals this week
I need to find a better language plan for this year!

From the Camera:
Today I am sharing some pics of my wonderful dad, who lived 70+ good years and has now gone on to his Heavenly reward.  Pooh loved him dearly, and so did I!

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Summer 2011: Dad and Pooh headed off for a walk together. Pooh insisted on carrying a walking stick just like his Papaw. But Dad walked 3 miles, which was a little much for Pooh, so sometimes they’d come back like this:

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January 2012:  Just a month or two before Dad was diagnosed with cancer.  He was already having trouble walking at this point, but he still welcomed Pooh for big hugs and snuggles.

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April 2012: Dad with his grandkids and great-grandkids. Dad was in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down, and the doctors had told him not to expect to walk again, but he still had a great Easter celebration with the family.

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September 2012: Dad and Pooh playing CandyLand together. At this point, Dad’s cancer was in remission and he was able to do many things on his own.  By October, he was walking with the aid of a walker and getting stronger every day.

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December 2012: Our last Christmas with Dad, though we didn’t know it at the time.  Pooh had a great time reading with him on Christmas Eve.

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March 2013: Dad and Pooh just enjoying some Papaw and Pooh time together. This weekend, Dad shared his testimony at church – standing on his own two feet the whole time, with only the aid of a cane. He continued to share his miraculous story at various churches over the next few months.

Dad’s cancer began to grow again in July 2013, and after 3 months of unsuccessful chemo, the doctors gently suggested that it was time to arrange hospice for him.  He passed away, peacefully, at home, on October 29, 2013. When Pooh sees me crying, he reminds me not to be sad, and just to think of all the good times we had together.

I am so thankful that Pooh got a chance to know his grandfather! I never lived close enough to my maternal grandfather to develop a close relationship with him, and my paternal grandfather passed away before I was even born. We are so blessed!  That is my theme for 2014 – we are BLESSED!

Menu Plan for the Rest of the Week
This is a Trim Healthy Mama menu plan, and meals and snacks are marked accordingly, where S = Satisfying, E = Energizing, and FP = Fuel Pull.

Thursday (FP)
B: 2 soft-boiled eggs, Joseph’s lavash quesadilla, coffee w/ cream (S)
L: Turkey and swiss roll-ups, cucumber slices (S)
D: Beans and greens with a slice of Deutsche Kuche bread (E)
Sn: FF greek yogurt w/ berries (FP), cottage berry whip (FP), chocolate nut slab (S)

Friday
B: Steel-cut oatmeal with dark sweet cherries, light trimmaccino (E)
L: Mexican cottage cheese salad, Canary (FP)
D: Pork chops and buttered broccoli (S)
Sn: Cheesecake berry crunch (S), Wasa with Laughing Cow (FP), cucumber slices (FP)

Saturday
B: Sprouted french toast with slim belly jelly, coffee w/ FF half n half (E)
L: Beef and bean burritos, brown rice, Shrinker (E)
D: 7-layer-Southwest salad, hot tea with cream (light S)
Sn: FF greek yogurt w/ berries (FP), apple w/ pb (E), Canary (FP)

Sunday
B: Peaches and cream oatmeal, coffee w/ FF half-n-half (E)
L: Grilled steak and brussel sprouts (S)
D: Joseph’s lavash pizza (S)
Sn: Cheesecake berry crunch (S), chocolate nut slab (S), nuts (S)

I know it’s the middle of the week, but I wanted to get started back with blogging rather than waiting until Monday when I normally would link up to Start Successful on Monday over at Felicia’s Red Door Life, to Menu Plan Monday over at Organizing Junkie, and to Monday Coffee at The Move to America.

I wish you all a wonderful New Year, and may you feel the blessing and peace of the PLAN for you no matter where you are or what you are doing!

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