5 Tips to Making Eating Dinner as a Family a Priority

family dinners

Food is a big part of my job as a mom. They want food all the time and it is my job to make sure it is there. I am convinced that in this day and age of the internet we have
made dinner time way too complicated. Remember when people used cookbooks and not Pinterest to choose new recipes. These days we are bombarded with so much info organic, Gluten free, healthy, crock pot, quick meals to name a few. Not to mention our schedules which are way too overbooked which makes meal time a huge time crunch.

But think about it we have to feed our families every day not just once but 3 times. It is a job of motherhood we can’t just decided to quit. You can take days, weeks, even months off of cleaning the bathtub or making beds but the need to make meals is not going to go away.

So just accept it and let’s work together to make this a priority. We all are at different levels with meal planning and dinner time. I was blessed to grow up in a home where dinner as a family was a priority. My mom cooked dinner and we ate together. I know this is not everyone’s experience so I am hoping to help you.

So here are my tips to get you started.

1. Start small. Pick 1 day a week that you can make dinner and eat together. Choose a night that you don’t have a sports event or a meeting and you have the time to make dinner.

2. Make something you know your family likes. Keep it simple something like rotisserie chicken from Costco, grapes, steamed broccoli and french bread.

3. Sit at the table with the TV off.

4. Don’t expect dinner to be this sweet quiet event.  Dinner at our house is crazy.  There is a lot of training going on.  In fact there has been a time that Spiderman showed up at dinner time.  There have been some great conversations and some really funny times too.

5.  Ask friends for favorite family recipes.  I have used Facebook for getting new recipes so much.  Check out my Menu Planning Monday posts.

Time together as a family is so important to me.  I believe that dinner time is a way to keep our families connected.  My goal is to create a place were my kids feel safe and have a play to belong.  In a world were there is so much uncertainty I want my family to be able to count on family dinners.  The task can be overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be.  Join the community on my Facebook page to be encouraged in your journey to make family dinners part of your day.



Wild Obedience In The Small Things


My outfits were chosen, business cards made, and plane flights booked.  The day had finally come for me to attend The Declare Conference.  Five days away from the regular routine without my family to learn more about the art of blogging.  My nerves were definitely on high alert.  Generally speaking I am an extrovert so meeting new people was exciting but a little scary too. What would people think of me? Would I fit in?

My sweet friend Becky at Declare.

In the last month my mind and heart continue to process all that God taught me while I was in Dallas.

The theme of the conference was Wild Obedience. When I think about Wild Obedience I tend to go big like moving to Africa and serving Jesus.  It seems like growing up in the church that was what I learned.  What I didn’t realize back then was that wild obedience is small decisions made daily to obey.  Following Jesus in my life hasn’t been big moves to Africa or moving to the inner city but daily choices to build my relationship with Jesus.  In turn as I build my relationship with Jesus my life begins to look different.  Choosing to wildly obey each day leads me to what I believe is God’s will for me which has to do more with my character than it has to do with my location.

It is funny as I sit and write this today over a month after getting back from my trip I am better able to process all that I learned there.  I have always loved blogs.  They have been inspirational, helpful, and just fun to read.  Over the years I have always wanted to blog more regularly.  I want to encourage other moms in this journey of motherhood, share recipes and make people laugh about the craziness that goes on in my house.

But to be honest blogging was more about me than it was about God.  I wanted people to know me and like me.  Validate who I am and that I am doing a good job as a mom.  What I found at Declare was that I wanted people to know me there too.  It was so interesting to watch the “Big Bloggers” and want them to see me.  I recently finished a book called Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee.  The premise of the book is that we have made the need to  be loved and in my case validated from others an idol.  We spend so much time wanting people to like us when the God, who we should see as our audience, already loves us no matter what.  The God of all creation has told us that we are already “pre approved”.  He loves us unconditionally.  That so goes against this world we live in.  Man is that something I struggle with. Even here on this blog I want people to comment and tell me ow much they like it.

So many things learned and so many lessons I was taught while at Declare.  My biggest take away was that I am to Wildly Obey God in my daily life here at 1367 Valeview Ave.  Each day I chose to place God first in my day as I teach and love on my own family.  As far as blogging goes I want to use this space online to encourage and love on people on this journey.  I want God to be honored ad glorified in what I do here not seek approval from anyone but God.  I want this place to be more of Jesus and less of me.  I don’t want to seek my validation here when I already have it in Jesus.


Airport fun with Tex Mex and my friends Jacque and Alia

Join me on this journey of blogging as I put into practice all the spiritual and practical things I learned at my first blogging conference.  Stay tuned for more encouragement and practical tips here at Laundry Prayers.

Things you should know about me. (Declare 4×4)

This next week I am attending my very first blogging conference in Dallas Texas.  The name of the conference is Declare. It is a gathering of Christian women who write about declaring God’s word online.  So in order to get to know everyone a little bit better Declare is hosting a link up party and asking everyone to share some fun facts about ourselves. beach family

4 Fun Facts About Me.

  1. I have been married to my sweet husband for 13 years.  We met when we were 18 and dated off and on for 8 years including breaking up 3 times.  He is am amazing blessing to me and the best father to our kiddos.
  2. God has blessed me with 4 kids Cadyn 11, Griffin 9, Tanner 6, and Madeline Joy almost 4.  I always wanted 4 kids and had no idea how crazy having 4 kids would be.  Being a mom of a bigger family has taught me more about God and myself than I ever imagined.
  3. Before I was a stay at home Mom I was an elementary school teacher.  My favorite grade to teach was 1st because I love to be a part of kids learning to read.
  4. I have lived all over California.  Some of my childhood was spent in Southern California but most of it in the San Francisco Bay Area in a town called Pleasanton.  I went to college in San Diego and now live in the Los Angeles area.

4 Endearing Quirks

  1. I don’t want anyone to touch my feet with their feet.  Like if my someone’s feet touch mine under the table YUCK! A pedicure doesn’t bother me in fact I love a good pedicure.
  2. I love old school hip hop and rap music.  When I listen to it in the car by myself then I imagine that I am an amazing dancer.
  3. When I am given change at a drive thru it grosses me out for the person to touch my hand.  Especially if they have long dirty nails.
  4. I have a really dry sense of humor.  Most of the time my jokes are only for those to hear sitting by me.  I have dreams of being a stand up comedian some day.

4 Things About My Blog/Writing.

  1. I have been reading blogs since 2005 and even started a blog way back then.  I have always wanted to write more consistently and be part of the blogging community.  So Declare is a big move for me that I am beyond thrilled for.
  2. Writing is not something I feel very confident about.  I was more of a math and sports girl myself.
  3. My blog name, Laundry Prayers, comes from all the time I have spent in the garage at the washing machine praying for strength, wisdom, and forgiveness to get me through another day as a Mom.
  4. I am not a grammar nazi in fact I am sure there are lots of mistakes and misuses of commas.

4 Of My Favorite Things.

  1. I love the St Louis Cardinals and have been a huge fan my whole life.  My parents grew up outside of St Louis and have generations of Cardinal fans in their family.  Unfortunately my husband is a Dodger fan.  My 3 boys are Cardinal fans but my daughter is being swayed by her Dad.
  2. Dr Pepper is my drink of choice.   I would drink it all the time if it wasn’t so bad for me. Hoping to find some fun Dr Pepper stuff in Texas.
  3. When going on a road trip I would always choose chips over cookies for a snack. I am a salty snack fan.
  4. This year I have started baking my own bread.  I have made sourdough, sandwich, hamburger buns, English muffins, and breadsticks.  By far the most delicious kind is pretzel bread. I wrote about my bread making here.

4x4 Declare

Five Minute Friday -Begin

Five Minute Friday New

Today i am joining Lisa-Jo Baker for her last time hosting Five Minute Friday. Each week a group of writers come together to write on a particular word.  The plan is to write for 5 minutes only with overthinking, over editing, or over stressing.  Just write what is put on your heart without worrying about it being perfect.

The word is begin. Continue reading

Menu planning Monday – July 7th

MPM-SummerWell this week’s menu plan has some cross overs from last week.  We had a great trip to Palm Springs.  We were able to hang out with family on Wednesday and Thursday so I didn’t have to make dinner.  Yippee!

I did however take lots of time to make homemade strawberry jam.  This is my second year canning jam.  We were able to have homemade jam all year.  The jam made great gifts too.  I will hopefully be writing up a detailed post about my jam making sessions.  So stay tuned.

Monday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches served on Hawaiian Rolls with fruit and carrots. I put the pork roasts in the crockpot around 10 pm and cooked them on low through the night.  It is really helpful to have the pork ready to be pulled in the morning.  This way I can add BBQ sauce and put it back in the crockpot.  Then it will be ready for dinner time.  One warning if you cook it over night open a window near your crockpot in the kitchen.  If you don’t you might wake up to an overwhelming spell of pulled pork.  Smells yummy but not when it is overpowering in the middle of the night.

Tuesday:  Chinese Chicken Salad.  This is pretty simple especially when you use rotisserie chicken from Costco. I buy a head of cabbage which is super cheap and shred it using my food processor.

Wednesday: BBQ Chicken Pizza. Homemade dough makes this extra delicious.  But if you don’t want to make homemade Trader Joe’s has a really good one.  Just be careful because once you buy it, you need to use it within a few days or it will go bad.

Thursday:  Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos.  I had this meal planned for last week.  But when I went to the store and chicken breast were $3 to $4 a pound.  I decided to wait for this week hoping chicken is on sale.

Friday: Egg burritos or Chick Fil A for free.  Have you heard about Cow Appreciation Day?  If you dress up like a cow you get a free meal.  Any meal on the menu!  Check out their website to see all the details and print out your cow costume. 280474_10150304554885572_5365533_oSaturday:  Eating Out

Sunday:  Pizza  We are packing to go camping for a week in Twin Lakes.

Coming next week… Menu Planning for Camping. 

Head on over to OrgJunkie for some other menu planning ideas.

Five Minute Friday- Exhale

Five Minute Friday New

Today I am joining the community over at Lisa-Jo Baker‘s blog for Five Minute Friday.  The idea is to write for 5 minutes without over thinking it.  Just share what is on your heart and mind without worrying about it being perfect.

This week’s word is Exhale

As I run up the big hill just in front of my kids’s school during my I remember to “exhale”.  It is about 5:55 or so and I am heading toward the last leg of my morning run with my friend.  It seems that as I am struggling to make it up to top I am forgetting to breath.  I am working so hard to put one foot in front of the other.  But I finally make it to almost the same spot every time and I inhale deeply and then exhale.

I am not a runner or at least that is what I tell people when they ask me.  “So your a runner?”  My response is usually “I run but I am not a runner.”

This past April I ran my first 5K. It was a big deal. I trained 3 times a week for about 8 weeks at 5:30 am. I bought new shoes, a sports bra, and running shoes. But most important was that I set a goal for myself and I stuck to it and met it.
The stage of life I am in is like nothing I ever expected. It is full of never completed tasks or goals not met.The laundry is never done neither are the dishes. The kids homework just keeps on coming. The bathroom spells like pee ALL the time.

So I decided to set a goal that I could work for.  One of the most important things I have learned through my running journey was the importance of a friend to help you stick to it. Neither of us had every run a race or even run for any distance at all.  I am the girl who only played soccer for one year because I hated to run.

We started off by walking to Starbucks getting a yummy drink and walking back.  We figured that we were doing more than those sleeping.  But my goal of running a 5K was still in the back of my mind.  So we started the program Couch to 5K.  Have you heard of it?  It is a slow progression of running and walking.  You start out running 90 seconds and then walking.  Each day you run for a little more and walk a little less.  We both thought there was no way we could do it.  But we did slowly but surely we were becoming runners and it felt so good.

During my motherhood journey there are times (a lot) that I feel like I am not really good at anything any more. There are days I feel like there is no way I am going to make it kind of like running up the hill. Motherhood isn’t measurable.  It can’t be graded or scored but man I wish it could.  Even though I don’t receive a score I keep seeking wisdom from God daily in my journey.  A new favorite verse for me has been in James 1: 4-5. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Running and motherhood have more in common than I ever thought.  We need to persevere, let friends help us, and seek wisdom or a plan.

Come check out some other wonderful blogs at Five Minute Friday.