Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I'm still here...

I didn't disappear! But maybe my mental energy for blogging did temporarily....that happens from time to time:op

Tuesday, my mom and I took seven children (all one family, excluding the baby) to the zoo to give their mother a bit of a break. The weather was overcast, but beautifully cool and breezy. The place looked like a zoo within a garden this time of year...gorgeous flowers everywhere!

I've known these particular children since there were only two of them, and they're great kids. Even so, I was so tired afterwards that I came home and took a two-hour nap. I have new respect for mothers with eight children.

Lately, I've been impressed with how much I have to work on, and to learn. I've been gleaning a lot of great ideas from my various studies, but it can be overwhelming! As a perfectionist, I have to work hard at not comparing myself to others or feeling that if I can't do it all I'm a failure.

One of my main homemaking problems right now is coming up with good ideas for Micah's packed lunches so that he doesn't have to stop for fast food all the time. He doesn't have access to a microwave or anything, so the lunches have to be cold or room temperature. I'm having a hard time coming up with anything besides sandwiches and the occasional salad (which, to be satisfying, have to have some type of meat on it, or accompany something else of substance). Oh, and he doesn't mind cheese and crackers every once and a while. But day in and day out, these few choices seem pretty boring! Does anyone have any good ideas for us? I would really appreciate it!


Blogger Erin said...


My husband has the same microwave or fridge access. We got him a igloo cooler (small, with a handle) and use reusable ice packs. He rotates between two different kinds of sandwiches, and then normally carrots or celery, an apple or an orange and/or a banana, home-made cookies (ha-ha...that doesn't happen much lately), sometimes chips or crackers. I read on Crystal's blog that she liked putting different kinds of muffins in her husbands lunch. I haven't tried it, but it sounds good. Sometimes my husband takes peanut butter for his celery too. (Cream cheese is good on celery too.) Nuts are nice too, especially for the protein. Maybe in some sort of home-made trail mix... Once in a great while, we'll do something like doughnuts or "fruit pies" from the day-old bakery. I know they aren't healthy, but they aren't expensive, and it helps keep lunch time interesting. :-P My husband is tall and lanky, and is always hungry, so he loves as many carbohydrates as he can get...

10:00 AM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger deleted said...

Hi Erin!
Why not get a small thermos for soup and other hot items? Those little half-size lunch thermoses will keep food hot through lunch. Every now and then something hot might be a nice change of pace.

Other ideas: pita bread triangles and hummus for dipping, pasta salad, tabouli salad, fresh fruit, a slice of quiche or vegetable pie, a container of yogurt, potato salad, carrot sticks, etc. All these items will be fine to eat at lunch if put in the fridge or even left out until mealtime.

10:05 AM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

These are great ideas!:o)

11:44 AM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger Rachel said...

Hey Erin!! I was going to suggest the Thermos as well but the others beat me to it! :) So, instead I'll just give you the link to a site that talks about healthy packed lunches for kids. It has sandwich, food, and snack ideas. It might spark some ideas. Good luck! My Dh loves leftovers so I'm sure I'd be at my whits end if he had to take cold lunches each day!

4:31 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger Carrie said...

Sorry I haven't gotten a chance to comment lately, but I've still been checking in every day! :) I have to say that your post/picture of "A Market Lunch" looked SO good and made me hungry! I so envy your experiences in Europe!!

As far as cold lunches, I'm afraid I'm not very creative, but then again, my hubby is not very picky. As long as he has something sweet in there (usually homemade cookies), a few snacky type things, and a sandwich, he is good to go. (Just to give you an idea how little he cares, he doesn't even like mayo/mustard or anything on the bread except meat! Only on rare occasions does he want any kind of sauce.) One thing we do splurge on a bit, though, is nice deli meat for his sandwiches. Our grocery store has pretty good sales every week or two on ham or turkey, and once a month or so, on roast beef. We used to just buy the pre-packaged lunch meat, but after a while he asked me to start buying the nicer deli meat, as it makes his sandwiches much more interesting and enjoyable. Besides that, he also usually has baby carrots, string cheese, some kind of fruit (either fresh or canned) and cookies, as well as the occasional chips or snack mix. Another thing we do is about once a week or so we have pizza, so he takes a couple leftover slices in his lunch the next day and just eats them cold.

Sorry I'm not much help here, but that's what works for us. :) Others have given you some great ideas, as well. I'm sure you will come up with yummy options, and whatever you do is sure to end up cheaper than fast food (and of course, healthier!).

6:52 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger Jimena said...

Hi Erin,
I just read your post and thought of this website I think might help you.
God bless you guys.

10:49 AM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

Thanks for all your great ideas!

I'm definitely going to have to get a food thermos. I had thought of getting one to put soup in, but Micah pointed out that it's getting too hot for soup (He's outside much of the day) so I gave up on the idea. But I'm now thinking of other things I could put in one of those bowl-type thermoses besides soup!

Carrie...yes, I fussed at Micah for buying fast food a lot, but then I realized I wasn't providing good alternatives! I want to fix that:o)

Rachel and Jimena, thanks for the links! Here's another one I found yesterday:

Even though we're not anything approaching "vegan", I was inspired by the creativity with which this woman creates packed lunches. If she can have such good looking meals with the limitations of being a vegan, surely I can come up with things as well!

10:59 AM, March 10, 2006  

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