The Buschel Digest: September 2017

How is it the last day in September? This year is going so fast! This is the post where I share anything noteworthy I have been reading this month. I discovered an amazing fiction series that I devoured and as always there are several articles from other blogs. Happy reading!

Rethinking “God Hates The Sin But Loves The Sinner”

“The Bible teaches that every person is guilty of crimes against God and deserves to be punished, but that message doesn’t give non-believers a warm, fuzzy feeling. So, we attempt to soften the blow of this bad news with a cliché.”

10 Family Worship Ideas For Busy Families 

This is a great list. For reference our family reads the same story out of the The Gospel Story Bible for a week (I also use the companion book Old Story New) and we go over a new question each week from New City Catechism. This takes about 15 minutes during breakfast.

I’d Really Just Like To Be In Control

“I am anxious when I am not in control.  Yet I am never in control, I only deceive myself into thinking I am.  Which is probably one of the reasons why God continually puts things into my life to remind myself of this fact.  Like the Israelites in the desert, often I don’t trust the manna will come the next day, even after years and years of experiencing it.  Even though he’s promised it.  And proven himself trustworthy.”

10 Things You Should Know About Chrisitan Meditation 

“Unlike eastern meditation, which advocates mental passivity, Christian meditation calls on us to actively exert our mental energy. This is nowhere better stated than by Paul in Philippians 4:8. Here he encourages us to “let our minds dwell on” whatever is “true,” “honorable,” “right,” “pure,” “lovely,” and of “good repute.” Those things that are “excellent” and “worthy of praise” are to be the targets of our mental aim. It isn’t enough merely to acknowledge that things and ideas of moral and mental excellence are important. Merely affirming such truths and virtues will avail little in a time of testing. We must energetically reckon, take into account, and give deliberative weight to these things. Our minds must be captivated by them in such a way that the tawdry, sleazy, fictitious, and fanciful fluff of the world loses its appeal.”

Online Tribalism Threatens Women’s Ministry

“Discipleship requires more than inspiration—it requires confrontation. But because online platforms rely on maintaining consumer goodwill and group cohesion, it’s difficult to offer an alternative perspective without unsettling the tribe—the very tribe on which the entire platform rests.”

Out Of a Dream (Sandy Cove Series Book 1) by Rosemary Hines

This was such a good series. Yes, I read all 8 books this month. I was really sick for several days and laid in bed and just read. It would have been amazing had I not been sick. This series weaves a the story of a family over the years and the stories transition smoothly from one book to the next. The characters were relatable and felt like good friends by the end of the first book. These novels deal with issues such as the prevalence of New Age beliefs and practices in today’s society, the tragedy of suicide in families of all walks of life, the struggles of children from broken homes, the heartache of infertility as well as unwanted pregnancies and abortions, and the difficulties of aging. And if you have Kindle Unlimited read can read them for free!

Dark Power Collection (Forbidden Doors) by Bill Myers

I had read this series when I was in junior high and thought I had saved the books. Unfortunately, I think they were lost in one of our moves and I really wanted to read them again. I was surprised to find that the author had combined several of these stories into different collections under the Forbidden Doors title. These books freaked me out in a good way when I was younger and really educated me on the occult, witchcraft, reincarnation, ouija boards, and shamanism. I am constantly thinking ahead to when our kids become older and how Josh and I can have ways to start more in depth conversations and to continue our children to think about these topics from a Biblical worldview. If you have later elementary school or middle school aged children these are faced paced, short novels, that are entertaining and educational at the same time.

The Forgotten Trinity by James White

This is a short and easy to understand theological book on the topic of the Trinity. I learned so much reading this book and it made me dig into my Bible deeper. Which is always a good thing. I gained new insights on scripture, learned about the early church, and have more love for God’s truth. Worth the read!

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On Becoming Babywise: 25 to 40 Weeks

I blogged about our Babywise experience with Caden and I am sharing how our experience with Babywise is going with our third baby. Here are the links to all the posts I have done in this series:

Schedule

Jesse dropped a feeding and is now nursing 4 times in 24 hours. The transition happened at 38 weeks. He began sleeping longer for his first nap and instead of waking up at 10am woke up a 11am. Which was perfect! Because the older two are back in preschool now and his feeding/nap schedule works great for drop off and pickup!

Week 25 – 37
  • 6:30am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 8:30am: Nap
  • 10am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 12pm Nap
  • 1pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 2:45pm: Nap
  • 4pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 6:00pm: Nap
  • 7pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
Week 38 – 40
  • 6:50am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 7:30am: Breakfast*
  • 9am: Nap
  • 11am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 12pm: Lunch*
  • 1pm: Nap
  • 3pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 5pm: Dinner*
  • 6:30pm: Eat/Diaper/Bedtime

*Jesse joins us for family mealtime at the table for his cereal, fruits, and veggies.

Nursing

Jesse is nursing every 3.5 to 4 hours during the day and is now going to bed around 7pm and sleeping 12 hours at night. The only bummer about nursing right now is that Jesse has 7 total teeth now, 4 on top and 3 on the bottom. He is also cutting more teeth! Which has left my nipples (sorry if that is tmi) super sore and cut up. I have been having to pump a few days worth of bottle here and there to allow them to heal up. He total thinks the biting and grinding is a game and I can sense when he is going to do it or tell by this smirking grin/look he gets. It is getting a little better over this last week but yikes! Teething and nursing can be rough.

Additional Reading: Pumping, Dumping, and Freezing Breastmilk & Bottle Feeding

Merge Five and Six

Jesse didn’t drop his afternoon/before bedtime nap (Merge 5) until he started sleeping longer stretches for the first nap of the day. Once that happened he dropped from a five feed-wake-sleep cycle to four (Merge 6). On pages 101-103 there is more information about these merges. There is such a huge span of weeks separating Merge Five and Six that you have to figure out what is going to work best for your individual baby. 

All three times we have done Babywise there has been huge variations with our babies during these weeks. For our family while the book proved helpful up to this point the first time around with Caden I felt like I was flying blind in sense because there can be such differences depending on your baby, family schedule, and routine.

Solids

I was a little reluctant to add foods because nursing is just so easy, well when your baby isn’t biting you that is, but then I started feeing him food and I remembered how much fun this phase is too. The faces when they try something new, the eagerness to put more in their mouth if they like it, and the chubby fingers learning to grab puffs.

So here is what we have fed Jesse so far. We started out with baby oatmeal/breastmilk, pureed fruits/veggies (sweet potatoes, apples, pears, carrots, bananas), and have moved on to puffs, little pieces of banana and avocados as well as thicker purees.

Jesse comes to the table now for all of our meals and has his own mini meal with us. He really enjoys table time and seeing what Caden and Maisie are doing.

Waketime

There is so much waketime and he loves to try and get into whatever Caden and Maisie are playing withbecause he can crawl now! He is into everything and putting everything in his mouth! We even had to take him to the emergency room because he swallowed something he shouldn’t have.

He LOVES bath time, and being cuddled, sitting up, drinking water out of sippy cups, eating at the table, and chewing on anything.

Naps & Night Sleep

He will generally wakeup in the morning around 6:15am or so and cry for a few minutes before falling back asleep for another 30 minutes.

His first nap in the morning is usually 2 hours now. Although I am sure I will post this and it will change again ;).

Jesse is now ten months old! When did this happen. He is the sweetest and best natured baby full or smiles and laughs.

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Fry’s ClickList & Once A Month Meals

Disclosure: The following post contains affiliate links. This means if you purchase an item from a link I provide to those shops, I might receive a commission. I only share products and services that I would personally use and think are a good fit for my readers. Thank you for supporting the brands that support our family. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

This summer our family was fortunate enough to go on two separate vacations. We ventured to the beach and to the mountains and it was wonderful to get out of the Arizona heat. But once we returned from vacation we never really left “vacation” in regards to our eating.

I started making multiple trips to the grocery store each week because I had no plan of what we were going to be eating for our meals. Which in turn led to the amount of money we were spending on food being over what we budget for monthly. I found myself not being a great steward of my time or our family’s finances as June turned into July and somehow I ended up in September.

Having used Once a Month Meals multiple times in the last year I knew what I needed to do in order to get our food budget back on track.

Once A Month Meals

Once a Month Meals provides everything you need to shop, prep and cook the bulk of your monthly meals in just one day — and freeze those meals for when you want to eat them. To start you can pick a meal plan that is based on 7 different dietary preference or you can customize your own.

The recipes are easily adaptable to the needs of your own family. For example, our family stays away from soy and two of the recipes I selected called for soy sauce which I swapped out for coconut aminos.

When your menu is finalized you print out the shopping list, prep instructions, cooking day instructions, recipes, labels, and thaw sheet. Everything is organized for you to be able to succeed in prepping meals ahead of time for you and your family! It is very well organized.

everything-you-need-728-bags

Fry’s ClickList 

This leads me to this last weekend. On Saturday night after the kids went to bed I got my laptop out and signed in to my Once A Month Meals account to meal plan and prep for the week ahead. I quickly created my meal plan of 5 recipes, that can be cooked from frozen in my Instant Pot, and went to town on my grocery shopping list with Fry’s ClickList.

I love Fry’s ClickList! If you don’t know about this little gem it is amazing and a huge game changer in how you shop for your groceries. ClickList is an online grocery ordering service from Fry’s. You can shop online and pick up your order at the store…without having to leave your car!

Saturday night I ordered our groceries using the shopping list that was generated based on my meal plan I created. In less than an hour the meal plan was done, groceries ordered, and I never even had to leave my house. Sunday morning after church we drove over to Fry’s at 10am and within 10 minutes we were back on the road with our groceries heading home.

Time To Prep & Freeze

Once we were home Josh headed out to Costco to pick up two packages of organic ground beef that I still needed and I got to work prepping the vegetables and cutting up the chicken. I was able to freeze 2 recipes by the time Josh came home.

My customized meal plan included…

  • Instant Pot Bourbon Chicken
  • Instant Pot Teriyaki Honey Chicken
  • Instant Pot Southwest Casserole
  • Instant Pot Pumpkin Sloppy Joes
  • Instant Pot Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
  • Eggo Breakfast Sandwiches (I used gluten free Vans waffles instead)

Each recipe serves 4 and was doubled. When I was finished prepping all my meals my freezer was filled with 10 dinners!

I went from a sad empty freezer…

to a freezer full of yummy meals for my family.

By 2pm my kitchen was all cleaned and I had a loaf of pumpkin bread baking in the oven.

I happen to pick fairly low prep recipes to freeze this time which is why I was able to pick up my groceries, prep the food, put the recipes together, and get my freezer stocked in such a small window of time.

Recommend Reading: Once A Month Meals & Instant Pot Review

The Instant Pot Is Amazing!

The recipes I made called for 6.5 pounds of cooked ground beef. I had noticed in the past that Once A Month Meals suggests using your pressure cooker for ground beef and I have always opted to use my skillet instead.

I decided to use my Instant Pot because there was such a large amount of ground beef to cook.  And I am so glad I did! I dumped all my meat in my instant pot added 2 cups of water, sealed the lid, and set the timer for 10 minutes.

I was nervous to open the lid when it was done because I was certain I was going to see a huge glob of meat. To my surprise it worked beautifully! It  might be hard to tell in the picture but the meat is finely separated.

The Instant Pot has truly changed the way I use my kitchen and allowed me more time with my family. Once A Month Meals is adding new recipes to their library and has over 80 recipes specifically for the Instant Pot. It is great to be able to take a meal from my freezer directly to the Instant Pot and know it will be fully cooked from frozen and ready to eat in less than an hour.

What I Spent & How Long It Took

The total cost for 10 meals and 12 breakfast sandwiches was $190. It works out to $15 a meal and $2 per breakfast sandwich. I purchased organic meat and produce but depending on the menu you choose, the region you live in, how you shop, and how big your family is the cost of your meals will vary. Once a Month Meals reports that shopping for a monthly menu can average between $150-300.

From the time I picked up my groceries to when my kitchen was clean took 4 hours. Each time I make multiple freezer meals I get a little faster and my system becomes more streamlined.

My kitchen however, is still just as messy.

The length of time this take does depend on the recipes you select and how much prep is involved before the recipes can be assembled.

Ready To Make Your Own Freezer Meals?

Once a Month Meals has two membership options for you to choose between. You can select either a $16 monthly subscription or a $170 yearly subscription. Regardless of whether you choose the monthly or yearly option, your membership will give you access to all nine menus and associated documents (shopping, recipes, instructions, etc.) as well as the ability to mix and match recipes from different menus to create your own custom menus in MenuBuilder.

I would love to know if you have ever made freezer meals? Do you own an Instant Pot?

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