Menu Plan Monday: Countdown Week 11/15-11/21

Five more sleeps!

Five more sleeps!

Five more sleeps!

Until my mom and dad arrive from Louisiana. I am so very excited. Actually, we all are, especially my kids. They are driving all the way from North Louisiana. I am sure each day we will get the reports on driving conditions, scenic vistas, rest stops, etc. Although I wish they would have flown, we are excited about all the goodies they are bringing, specifically Louisiana honey. My, almost 80 year-old, dad is a beekeeper. He has around 15 beehives and we LOVE his award-winning honey. It’s so good. My mom has been gathering and collecting things to bring for months now. I have no idea where we are going to put everything, but I am sure we will find homes for it all!

We haven’t seen them since March ’09, almost two years. That’s a long time. The kids have grown and changed so much; we all have, if truth be told. I have just missed my mom and my dad. We have a lot of catching up to do. The last five years have been challenging in many ways for all of us. It’s my prayer that many memories will be made.

Most of our married life, we haven’t lived near either sets of our parents. After we had kids, I realized how fortunate I was to grow up living near my mom’s parents. (My dad’s folks were from Wisconsin.) I spent a lot of time with MawMaw and PawPaw during the week.

As I rode my bike from my house to theirs after school (we lived about a 1.5 miles from them), I knew there would be a snack waiting for me. The best after school snack was one of MawMaw’s biscuits, which was just as good cold as hot. We’d sit on their porch swing and watch the train go by, counting the cars as they passed. After I got my driver’s license, I was able to take them to town to grocery shop, or for an afternoon drive just to get out of the house, as neither one of them ever drove.

Growing up, I’d go fishing with PawPaw. There were two ponds near my house: one right beside it, the other right across the road, along with a creek right behind my our house. Cane poles and earthworms were my choice of fishing equipment. And a Sunkist orange soda with fig newtons were the best take-a-break-from-fishing-snack. PawPaw and I kept every fish we caught, large or small. Mostly, we caught small ones. MawMaw would fry them up, and they were de-li-cious! YUM!

When I was 10 years old, PawPaw died. Nearly every weekend until I went to college, I spent with MawMaw. I loved hearing her stories, hearing her sing, and hearing her laugh. And, what a laugh she had. I can still hear it.

In her last few years, she was moved to an assisted living facility near my college, and I’d go see her. Not nearly as often as I should have, though. She passed away the week that I graduated from college. Two chapters of my life ended at once. Yet, I was blessed to be holding her hand as she passed away in the wee hours of the morning surrounded by some of my closest friends from that season of my life. She was an amazingly strong, soft-hearted woman, who taught me so much.

So, all the reminiscing because this visit with my folks is special. Not being able  to see my parents regularly, and have them be a part of our daily lives, celebrations, and traditions has been an adjustment, especially since having children. This week is going to go by so slowly, as we wait for them to arrive. Yet, there is so much to do! Work for me and my husband. School for the kids. Several meetings. Not to mention cleaning the house, getting their room ready and planning many fun-filled events to enjoy with them. I just hope to make it until Friday, when they are scheduled to pull into my driveway. (When? I have no idea. But, we will be on pins and needles until then!)

So, what will eat this week? Who can think about eating at a time like this? Surely, not me. Yet, as a wife and mom, I do need to think about my family!

Monday: DATE NIGHT DINNER-Red Beans and Rice

Tuesday: Freezer Meal-Lentil Chili and Southern Cornbread

Wednesday: Crock pot Soup

Thursday: Freezer Meal-Gumbo and Rice

Friday: Nana’s Tuna Fish Croquettes, Homefries and Vegetable Medley

Saturday: Teriyaki Chicken and Rice, Gingered Carrots with Cumin and Basil and Sesame Green Beans

Sunday: Jada’s Jambalaya with Roasted Broccoli

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