10 Goals for the Week

10 Goals to Tackle This Week

Last week, we drove to Chicago to visit the hospital for two scheduled appointments for David, enjoyed a fun family day together at Six Flags Great America (Chevy invited a group of bloggers and their families to an event there, and after it was over, we got to experience the park on our own. Much hand sanitizer and wet wipes were used that day. Thankfully, no one ended up sick.), and on Sunday, we invited Ruben’s parents over for a visit.

All that to say, a few of my goals ended up being neglected. ;)

Here’s what I did get accomplished last week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Type up plans for David’s Make-A-Wish trip

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 85 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein — I believe I read about 12 pages.

6. Read 10 pages of The Early to Rise Experience for Moms (affiliate link) by Andy Traub — I didn’t get to this book at all.

Home Management Goals:

7. Clean refrigerator

8. Continue home school planning

Business Goals:

9. Get caught up on email

10. Spend 15 minutes each weekday writing blog posts — I only did this three days last week.

Here are my goals for this week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Go shopping for clothes to wear on David’s wish trip! I need to pick up some things for myself and the kids.

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 60 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein

6. Read 10 pages of The Early to Rise Experience for Moms (affiliate link) by Andy Traub

Home Management Goals:

7. Vacuum stairs

8. Continue home school planning

Business Goals:

9. Shoot and edit photographs for an upcoming blog post

10. Spend 15 minutes a day writing blog posts

What are your goals for this week?

10 Goals for the Week

10 Goals to Tackle This Week

This week is going to be busier than usual, so I’m going to try to keep my goals a bit simpler.

We have a fun family day out planned one day and then a not-so-fun day planned at the hospital for David. He has two appointments this week (on the same day), and we’re also going to be meeting with a dermatologist for his most recent skin issues.

Thankfully, the dermatologist will be coming to see David during his appointment with his transplant doctor and nurse as opposed to us having to schedule a third appointment and get on a shuttle to go from the hospital to the dermatologist’s office.

David’s skin is a constant issue because of his bone marrow transplant. It breaks my heart. :( I’m planning on writing an update soon about how he’s doing, and I’ll explain more then.

On a happier note, David is very excited about his Make-A-Wish trip this year! We’re going to spend extra time planning it this week.

Here’s what I accomplished last week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Make zucchini bread

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 85 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein — By the way, the new Hobbit teaser trailer came out today for the final movie. Not that I was waiting for it or anything…

6. Read 10 pages of The Early to Rise Experience for Moms (affiliate link) by Andy Traub

Home Management Goals:

7. Clean bathrooms

8. Start home school planning

Business Goals:

9. Make and photograph a recipe to include in an upcoming post

10. Spend 15 minutes per day writing blog posts — I was able to get this done during the week, but then missed writing over the weekend. After mulling things over, I actually think it is best to take a break over the weekend. On Sundays, we try to really limit time spent online, and Saturdays aren’t always predictable.

Here are my goals for this week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Type up plans for David’s Make-A-Wish trip

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 85 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein

6. Read 10 pages of The Early to Rise Experience for Moms (affiliate link) by Andy Traub

Home Management Goals:

7. Clean refrigerator

8. Continue home school planning

Business Goals:

9. Get caught up on email

10. Spend 15 minutes each weekday writing blog posts

What are your goals for this week?

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman Soy Sauce

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Kikkoman and Latina Bloggers Connect.

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman #carnitas #KikkomanSabor

My favorite food in the world is tacos.

I remember the summers I spent in Mexico as a kid, and the many times my family and I took a very familiar one minute stroll to our neighborhood taco stand to eat seriously scrumptious soft tacos. Oh, they were good!

Those are fond childhood memories that I’ll never forget. It is perhaps because of all those trips to the taco stand near my aunt’s house in Mexico that I love tacos so much today. :)

So Many Varieties of Tacos to Choose From

I have tried so many different types of tacos over the years, but if I had to choose just one that would win over the rest, it would be tacos filled with carnitas.

Yes, I have a deep fondness for carnita tacos. Can you blame me? ;)

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman #carnitas #KikkomanSabor

Easy Carnitas Recipe

I know what you may be thinking, especially if you’ve never made carnitas at home before. You might be thinking that carnita tacos sound absolutely delicious, but they’re probably difficult and incredibly time-consuming to prepare. At least that’s what I thought before I started making this dish for my family.

You might be surprised to find out that it is not at all difficult to cook carnitas in your very own kitchen. It’s quite easy, and you can get that same authentic flavor infused into your homemade carnitas by using a versatile ingredient like Kikkoman soy sauce.

Easy Carnitas Recipe #KikkomanSabor

How to Cook Carnitas with Kikkoman Soy Sauce

I use Kikkoman soy sauce to enhance the flavor of the carnitas both before and during the cooking process. Beforehand, I marinate the meat in Kikkoman for thirty minutes before putting it into the oven. Then as the meat cooks, I add a little more soy sauce to bump up the flavor even further.

By doing things this way, the carnitas end up flavorful and mouthwatering.

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman #carnitas #KikkomanSabor

Green Salsa or “Salsa Verde”

When it comes to Kikkman soy sauce and carnitas, I don’t stop at the meat. Part of the fun of eating tacos is about what you choose to put inside of your taco besides the meat, right?

For carnita tacos, green salsa is a fantastic accompaniment. And like carnitas, green salsa (also known as “salsa verde”) is easy to make at home.

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman #carnitas #KikkomanSabor

Green salsa isn’t just spicy. It’s savory and adds a burst of freshness to your taco.

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman #carnitas #KikkomanSabor

Carnitas and green salsa go very well together. To be honest, my eyes and my stomach both wanted tacos with green salsa as I sat and edited pictures for this blog post. ;)

Other Ideas for What You Might Include in Your Taco:

  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • avocado
  • lemon/lime
  • cilantro
  • pico de gallo

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman #carnitas #KikkomanSabor

I’m hoping at this point you’re hungry and would like the recipes now. :)

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman #carnitas #KikkomanSabor

Here is the Easy Carnitas Recipe:

Easy Carnitas

Ingredients

  • 1 5-lb. bone-in pork shoulder butt roast, cut in half (feel free to trim a little of the excess fat)
  • 5 teaspoons Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. Place pork roast pieces in a large baking pan. Sprinkle sea salt all over the meat and rub both the tops and bottoms of the meat with one teaspoon each of Kikkoman soy sauce. Then cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once 30 minutes have passed, remove the meat from the refrigerator, uncover, and add water to the bottom of the pan. Then, once again, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and place the baking pan in the oven. Cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove the meat from the oven, remove the aluminum foil, then brush the top of the meat with one teaspoon of Kikkoman soy sauce and sprinkle with sea salt. Turn the temperature of the oven up to 425 degrees, place the now uncovered meat in the oven, and cook for 50 minutes more. *Very important: Flip the meat every 10 minutes during this time.
  4. Once the meat is done cooking, remove it from the oven, flip it one more time, and then let it sit in the pan for at least 20 minutes to cool before shredding.
  5. Once the meat is safe enough to handle, transfer it to a plate, and shred it.
  6. Serve carnitas with warm corn tortillas and your favorite accompaniments.
http://thesensiblemom.com/2014/07/easy-carnitas-recipe/

A few additional notes about preparing carnitas:

  • Bumping the temperature of the oven up to 425 degrees after the meat cooks for 90 minutes allows the carnitas to develop a nice outer crust.
  • My favorite way to prepare carnitas is in a glass baking pan. I’ve made them in a ceramic baking pan a couple of times, and while they still turned out great, I found that the carnitas cooked much faster in that type of pan, which meant that I had to keep a close eye on the oven.
  • Cooking times may vary depending upon the weight of the piece of meat you’re preparing.

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman #carnitas #KikkomanSabor

Here is the Green Salsa Recipe:

Green Salsa (Salsa Verde)

Ingredients

  • 3 to 5 tomatillos (Only 3 are needed, if they're medium in size. Use 4 to 5, if they're small in size.), husked and rinsed
  • 3 cloves garlic, whole with skins left on
  • 1 jalapeño chile, whole
  • 5 to 7 green onions (also known as scallions), trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kikkoman soy sauce
  • salt
  • pepper
  • water (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place tomatillos, garlic, jalapeño chile, and green onions on a baking sheet. Then place the baking sheet in the oven, and broil ingredients on high for 5 minutes.
  2. After 5 minutes are up, remove the baking sheet from the oven, and turn everything over. Repeat this step until ingredients are soft. *Very Important: Ingredients will not soften all at the same time. Once you notice an ingredient is soft, remove it, and place it on a plate to cool. Repeat this will the remaining ingredients until everything is cooling on the plate.
  3. Once ingredients have cooled, peel the skins off the garlic, and remove the seeds from the jalapeño chile. Peel away any overly charred pieces of skin on the vegetables.
  4. Place everything in a blender, add Kikkoman soy sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. *Optional: Add a little water until you get the consistency you desire.
  5. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until you're ready to enjoy the green salsa with food.
http://thesensiblemom.com/2014/07/easy-carnitas-recipe/

Carnitas and Family Time Together

If you’re a regular reader, you know that my family and I make a big deal about spending intentional time together every week. Well, I’m really looking forward to our next family day, which happens to be on Sunday.

The green salsa is already in the fridge, and my husband brought home the meat to make carnitas on that day!

I can’t wait. :)

What’s your favorite way to eat tacos?

7 Things I Learned from the Book: 52 Things Kids Need From a Mom

7 Things I Learned from the Book: 52 Things Kids Need from a Mom #motherhood

Motherhood is hard work.

But it can also be a beautiful journey — even when there’s pain involved.

In my own journey as a mom, I’ve experienced many, many joy-filled moments. It’s truly a blessing to have five children. There’s laughter and comedy going on in our home all the time.

But…there’s also a lot of pain that’s been written into my personal story as a mother. The most terrifying night of my life happened this past year as I held my then 4-year-old son in the pediatric intensive care unit.

I thought he was dying right in front of me. As the tears filled my eyes, I thought he was dying even as I held him up in my arms struggling to help him in any way that I could while the nurses and doctor did their job to save his life.

By God’s grace, David survived and ultimately underwent a bone marrow transplant. He’s doing well now, but there are bumps along the way. And these little “bumps” that at times steal my joy because of their ability to turn into “mountains” are hard to live with.

But I’m not in control.

God is steering this ship.

I was reminded of that and so many other wonderful things about motherhood and what our kids need from us as moms as I read through the book by Angela Thomas, 52 Things Kids Need from a Mom.

After I finished reading this particular book, I thought it would be a good idea if I shared a post about the tips and ideas that I walked away with and started putting into practice in my own life.

Here’s My Top 7 List:

1. The little things matter. Turning down beds at night. Talking to your kids like they are fascinating. Getting to know their friends and treating their friends like family. Touching your children. It all makes a difference. Seemingly tiny acts of love can speak volumes to those on the receiving end of it. The little things matter.

2. A private family blog is a great idea. Why did I not think of this sooner? Instead of hoping your kids will remember important facts, special events, and even fun stories about your family, why not document it for them in a private a family blog?

Birthdays, where you were born, your family tree, and that vast wealth of knowledge you’ve gained over the years…why not put it all into a blog? A blog that is NOT public. A blog that is only for your family’s eyes to see. When I read about this concept in Angela’s book, I thought: this is genius!

3. You set the tone in your home. It’s true. Our children do not set the tone and frankly, they should not be allowed to set the tone in our homes. They’re kids. They should be following our good example. Yes, as moms and human beings (and sinners!), we will fail at this sometimes, but ultimately, setting the atmosphere in our homes is our responsibility.

4. Share your family’s “highs” and “lows” around the dinner table. This idea wasn’t one of the “52 things” but it’s something that Angela’s family does that really stuck out to me.

Basically, you go around the dinner table, and have each member of your family share one high point and one low point about their day. Our family has started doing this, and we now look forward to hearing each person’s response. You may even be surprised by what you hear.

5. Just keep praying even when you there’s no such thing as “quiet time” in your home. When I only had two kids, it seemed like having quiet time with the Lord was relatively easy. I could read seven chapters a day in my Bible. I had a PRAYER CLOSET that I would visit often. I had it together. ;)

Then I had my third child…and the wheels fell off.

Truthfully, since then, I haven’t been able to get back to the place that I was at with my quiet time as when I only had two children. And that’s perfectly okay. Angela reminded me of this and encouraged us moms to just keep praying around our kids. Praying in the same noisy room that they’re in (just because they want to be with us) is sufficient.

6. It’s okay to do something extra-special for your kids every once in awhile. Plan an over-the-top birthday party for the birthday child, even if it’s just your immediate family that’ll be celebrating with them. Make a homemade Valentine’s Day card. Go on a special outing. The possibilities are endless, but remember, this is only an every-once-in-awhile event.

7. Make much of God, and your kids will notice. In Angela’s words, “Our kids need moms who will teach them that no matter what and no matter where, God is a really big deal.” My greatest joy in life would be to see all of my children come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and that they’d each walk with Him.

So that’s it. Those are 7 things I took away from reading the book 52 Things Kids Need from a Moma book that was given to me by my mom. ;)

I’d love to hear anything you’d like to share from your motherhood journey!

10 Goals for the Week

10 Goals to Tackle This Week

Once again, I met most of the goals I had set last week, but I didn’t meet my goal of writing at least three blog posts.

After thinking about it, the thought crossed my mind to actually put together a plan for how I can make this goal a reality each week. So this week, instead of simply setting a goal to write a certain number of posts, I’ve decided to create a goal to write for 15 minutes each day.

More specifically, my goal will be to write blog posts for 15 minutes a day.

Next Monday, I’ll report back with how things went. :)

Here’s what I accomplished last week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Plan a fun Family Day at home

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 90 minutes on the treadmill

5. Juice 1x

6. Finish reading the last few pages of Tasty Food Photography and watch videos from the book

Home Management Goals:

7. Vacuum upstairs

8. Move photos and videos from my computer to an external hard drive

Business Goals:

9. Purchase black foam board or simply something else that I feel I can use as a background for food photography

10. Write 3 blog posts — Once again, I didn’t meet this goal, but I have a plan to make it happen this week. ;)

Here are my goals for this week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Make zucchini bread

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 85 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein — By the way, the new Hobbit teaser trailer came out today for the final movie. Not that I was waiting for it or anything…

6. Read 10 pages of The Early to Rise Experience for Moms (affiliate link) by Andy Traub — This year, reading short ebooks on areas in life and work where I need improvement has been such a blessing! The last book that I finished is helping me to improve my food photography in ways I hadn’t even though of, and this next book should help me to FINALLY be able to get into the habit of waking up before my children.

Home Management Goals:

7. Clean bathrooms — It’s amazing how bathrooms can get so icky so quickly. I do basic daily maintenance of our bathrooms, but they need more serious cleaning on a regular basis!

8. Start home school planning

Business Goals:

9. Make and photograph a recipe to include in an upcoming post

10. Spend 15 minutes per day writing blog posts

What are your goals for this week?

10 Goals for the Week

10 Goals to Tackle This Week

Similar to last week, the next seven days should be pretty laid-back.

So, I’m going to try to break out the juicer at least once, and I’m planning on working hard to actually write three posts this week! I feel like I just need to get into a rhythm with my writing, and then it’ll become a habit.

Or not.

Because I do have five beautiful children that tend to keep life sort of unpredictable. ;)

Anyway, here’s what I accomplished last week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Plan a fun Family Day at home — We watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (again! :) ) and ate hobbit/dwarf-themed food.

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 100 minutes on the treadmill

5. Drink water with lemon (or lime) and cayenne pepper 4x — We ran out of lemons…

6. Read 20 pages of Tasty Food Photography by Pinch of Yum

Home Management Goals:

7. Mop the floors

8. Fill a bag with items to donate

Business Goals:

9. Bring in a piece of furniture from the garage to use for food photography

10. Write 3 blog posts — I wrote two posts.

Here are my goals for this week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Plan a fun Family Day at home

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 90 minutes on the treadmill

5. Juice 1x

6. Finish reading the last few pages of Tasty Food Photography and watch videos from the book

Home Management Goals:

7. Vacuum upstairs

8. Move photos and videos from my computer to an external hard drive

Business Goals:

9. Purchase black foam board or simply something else that I feel I can use as a background for food photography

10. Write 3 blog posts

What are your goals for this week?