Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thrifty Thursday

Today I want to share one of the best tricks I have learned to save money.  My aunt taught me this a long time ago and it is the only way I buy this product anymore....or don't buy this product very often anymore.  You decide....
A Glimpse of Normal Blog, Thrifty Thursday
I go to my local food service store to buy my aluminum foil.  I buy a big box of foil like they would use in food service or restaurants.  I purchased my first big box of foil in 2011.  I just purchased my second box of foil in December of 2017 because I knew I was getting close to running out.  I actually just opened my second box of foil this past weekend on February 10.  I purchased my second box for $25.99.  It took me 7 years to use the first box which means my foil cost me $3.71 a year.  I don't know what the cost of foil is at the grocery store, but I am guessing it is more than $3.71 a year.  This box of foil is great, heavy duty foil.  We use it fairly regularly.  It even goes camping with us to quickly cover food, cover the grill grate, or wrap up ice cream cones filled with s'mores ingredients.  This big box roll is totally worth it for me.  We do the same thing with film wrap and it lasts us for about 5 years.  For me this is the only way I buy foil and film wrap.  I write the date I start using it on the box to see how long it will last.
What do you think?  Are you planning a trip to your local food service store now?  What are some things you save money on by buying in bulk?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

A Look At Forgiveness

Sometimes it is hard to sit and write a blog.  Sometimes it is because you are busy and your brain is going in tons of directions.  Other times it is hard because you feel like you are supposed to write about hard subjects.  That is me right now.  I know what I should be writing about...God keeps putting it on my heart, I keep reading about it in the books I am reading, and the topic keeps popping up in other areas too.  That is how I know it is what I should be writing about, but the hard part is that writing about my topic means baring my soul which is always scary because you never know people's reactions.  So if you are reading this, I ask you to be kind if you choose to comment.
A Look At Forgiveness, A Glimpse of Normal Blog, Forgiveness
Forgiveness is the topic on my heart right now.  This is a topic that I have really struggled with and one I have wrestled with writing about for many reasons.  Forgiveness is the act of forgiving according to the dictionary which lead me to look up "forgive" so I can explain what is on my heart to you.  Forgive can mean to cease to feel resentment against an offender, to give up the resentment, or to grant relief from payment of according to Merriam-Webster.  I am by no means an expert on forgiveness nor am I a great example of forgiveness.  It is just a topic that I feel like God is really putting on my heart so that I work on forgiving, I become aware of giving and getting forgiveness, and it will lead me to more joy which is what I seek.

Through a couple of books I have read lately and a couple of Bible studies I have been watching with my teen son, I have been reminded of some important things about forgiveness and I have learned some new things about it too.  There are several situations in my life where I have tried and tried to give forgiveness, but the more I learn about it, the more I learn that I have not truly forgiven everyone involved in the situations.  Sometimes it is myself that I haven't forgiven and sometimes it is other people.  I really hate admitting this especially as a Christian because it isn't what we are supposed to do, but I am still human and struggle with areas of my life which is a reminder to me that God isn't done working in and on me and my life.

One of the main things lately that I have learned is that I can't say that I forgive someone and hold the pain, bitterness, and bad feelings against the person that hurt me.  This doesn't mean that I won't still feel hurt in a situation because sometimes we do get hurt and it takes time to let go of the hurt.  It means that when I say I forgive someone I have to make a choice.  I either truly let go of the offense or I choose to hold on to the hurt, disappointment, and bitterness.  If I choose to hold on to all the bad things it isn't doing anything to the one who hurt my feelings.  That disappointment and bitterness doesn't make that person angry or keep them awake at night it only hurts me.  No one can feel my grudge but me.  I can't keep acting hurt or play the victim when I truly forgive, if I do these things then I haven't truly forgiven.  Forgiveness doesn't mean that I won't be more cautious with a person because I don't want to get hurt again, but it does mean that I let go of the situation or the offense and I don't feel resentment towards that person.  This is no easy task that is why I have God to help me. 

I am so happy that I have God to help me with forgiveness because there are times that on my own, I would choose to hold a grudge, its the human in me.  I thought about this and what right do I have to hold a grudge when I have a perfect example of someone who has every right to hold a grudge, yet He chose forgiveness instead.  Think of it, Jesus has every right in the world according to human standards to hold a grudge.  He was sinless, blameless, and didn't deserve to die the horribly cruel death on the cross that He did.  He did nothing to warrant the cross, yet people blamed Him, lied about Him, and attacked Him.  He had every right to disown all people forevermore, but He didn't instead He took a punishment He didn't earn and He showed that He loved us more than we deserve.  He even asked for forgiveness for us before He died on the cross.  Thankfully He rose again 3 days later.  He didn't have to do any of that, but He did.  He followed God's will for Him and He showed what true forgiveness is.  If Jesus can do that, I can let go and forgive too.

There are some situations where you may not be able to ask someone for forgiveness or be able to tell someone that you forgive them maybe due to death or it is not safe to be around that person.  You can still forgive that person in your heart and let go of their offense so that you may heal.  God knows the true intentions of our heart and He can provide healing.  All of that being said, I have been working on giving forgiveness to the situations I have been holding on to.  I have been realizing that I have been the one holding on to the offenses in these situations and I have been praying and covering them with forgiveness and asking forgiveness for holding on to the grudge so that I could play the victim for so long.  God is good and gracious and He is showing me His forgiveness and bringing healing.  I know that the healing will eventually lead to the joy I seek.  God is good all of the time.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

February 2018 Menu Plan

It's that time again...the beginning of the month which means it is time for another menu plan.  This month I am trying to (1) use up some items I have had on hand for a couple of months in my pantry and (2) to keep my grocery budget down.  So you will see quite a few soups (they are almost always a great way to slash the grocery budget), recipes using beans and lentils (thanks to my Instant Pot I don't have to soak these overnight), and recipes that are quick but tasty.
A Glimpse of Normal Blog, February 2018 Menu plan, Whats for dinner
 I am trying to get better about planning around our schedule so this month I have planned crock pot (I can use my instant pot for them too) meals for Thursdays.  This is gymnastics night for us which means I have to have dinner going before I head out the door so the guys don't have to starve and I don't have to come home and cook which means dinner won't be done until 8 or later...ugh.  Friday nights are always pizza night at our house so it means I just had decide which pizza recipe to use or try out.  Having a set meal theme at least one night a week makes menu planning quicker.  So here is what is for dinner at our house this month:
  1. Slow Cooker Chicken and Quinoa Chili
  2. Calzones
  3. Lemon Butter Chicken
  4. Slow Cooker Hoppin' John
  5. Chili & Cornbread Skillet
  6. Love that Quinoa Burger
  7. Mexican Zucchini Beef Skillet
  8. Slow Cooker Ham & Beans
  9. Meal Lover's Pizza Cups
  10. Shepherd's Pie
  11. Baked Penne
  12. Chili Cheese Frito Bake
  13. Mulligatawny Soup
  14. Filet Mignon (normally we aren't so fancy, but someone gifted us steak for Christmas)
  15. Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin
  16. Italian Sausage & Pepperoni Stromboli
  17. Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
  18. Pasta e Fagioli Soup
  19. Taco Pizza
  20. Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole
  21. Bacon Pasta
  22. Chicken Fajita Soup
  23. Deep Dish Skillet Pizza
  24. Dinner for 8 - this is a small group dinner for church where everyone brings an assigned dish
  25. Copycat Carrabba's Sausage & Lentil Soup
  26. Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu
  27. Chili
  28. Shrimp Boil Foil Packets
As always you can find the recipes I use for my meal planning on Pinterest, specifically my February Menu Plan board.  You will also find other recipes on there that I have used in past years so if there is something on our menu for this month that you don't like you can find another meal on that board to substitute.  What is for dinner at your house this month?

I am linking up HERE.