Freezer Cooking for a Family of 7: Trying to Keep it Simple

freezercookingKaraMe, getting my freezer cooking groove on a few weeks ago.

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“Hey Kara, what’s up with all the freezer cooking?” You’ve been asking me questions here and on social media for a few months now, so I thought I’d share how I make freezer cooking work for me.

Freezer cooking has been a life saver for me! Well, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but it has been a sanity saver, which sometimes translates to the same thing.

I’m working from home as a freelance web content writer, I’m running two blogs, we homeschool, plus all of the general noise, hijinks, busy schedules, and chaos of life in a family of seven.

This could add up to a recipe for dinner disaster every night, but about six months ago I re-discovered freezer cooking and it’s been making a world of difference.

With seven people (3 adults and 4 kids from preschool to seventh grade) I have to make the freezer cooking process as simple as possible.

Here are a few things that are currently working for me when it comes to freezer cooking:

1) I don’t set aside a big freezer cooking day. I’ve found an 8 or 10 hour day in the kitchen, on top of a mega shopping trip before-hand to prepare, just doesn’t work with my life right now.

Don’t get me wrong: I’d really love to make a big once a month freezer cooking day work for me, because I can see the advantages of it.

It’s just that every time I’ve tried, at the end of the loooong day the results have been a cranky mama, cranky kids, and a big mess in my kitchen.* All of these things are, I’m sure, my own personal issues. But, I have to go with what IS and not what I wish was.

*However, after reading on my friend Cheri’s blog about this freezer cooking session from $5 Dinners that can be accomplished in just a couple of hours (as opposed to a whole day or even a weekend) I decided to give it a try.

I’m happy to report that I was able to pull the meals all together in less than three hours (okay, that does not include shopping time the day before, but still I think that was pretty good). I’ll let you know what we think of the recipes as we try them (so far, so good) and I’ll come back and update this post, okay?

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Kara’s Journal and No Spend Month update

Kara's Journal, January 25, 2015 | SimpleKids.netNote: there are affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

As we start the week …  I’m finding myself struggling a little bit with the January Blahs. I’ve decided to take some positive action, including forcing some flower bulbs, doing a bit of cleaning and organizing, and making sure I get plenty of mama time to recharge and daydream. There are some great ideas for being the blahs in this post from Confessions of a Homeschooler, too.

Just for fun … I took this quiz after Reading Rainbow linked to it on Twitter: Which Children’s Book Character are You? I was The Giving Tree. Which one are you?

I am thankful … for the opportunity to apologize. I was very cranky this morning (see January Blahs above) and my temper got the best of me. It was humbling, but good soul food, to apologize to my family. If it is a good thing to teach our children about humility and how to sincerely apologize when we mess up (and I think it is) then I’m thankful that my mistake can be used as an example.

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Kiddin’ Around 10.31.14

ScoobyDooBatman

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Welcome to Kiddin’ Around, where I share different activities, games, crafts, and links the kids and I have loved each week as a way of sharing the fun with all of you but also to help me add these moments to our family memory bank.

Right now my kids are ages 3, 6, 8, and 12 or preschool, kindergarten, second grade, and seventh grade.

Here’s how we’ve been kiddin’ around:

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Kiddin’ Around 10.18.14

Kiddin' Around | SimpleKids.net
It has been a few weeks (months!) since I shared with all of you a Kiddin’ Around post. We’ve been having an awesome autumn so far, but I want to make sure that I take the time to write some things down so that we remember.

So, without any further delay, welcome to Kiddin’ Around, where I share different activities, games, crafts, and links the kids and I have loved each week as a way of sharing the fun but also to help me add these moments to our family memory bank.

Right now my kids are ages 3, 6, 8, and 12 or preschool, kindergarten, second grade, and seventh grade.

Here’s how we’ve been kiddin’ around:

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A Hot Apple Cider Recipe

hot apple cider recipe | SimpleKids.net

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In our neck of the woods, October has decided to start to show off.  Autumn so far has been gorgeous! Even the rainy days have had a certain coziness to them, as the rain adds a happy drip-drip-drop rhythm to our days.

My middle two kids, ages 6 and 8, seem to be especially impressed by the changing of the seasons this year and their enthusiasm is a nice reminder to slow down and take some time to observe this time of year through a child’s eyes.

As a family we’ve had a lot of fun going on nature walks, driving in the country, baking cookies, and doing activities like picking pumpkins from Grandpa’s pumpkin patch and we’ve gotten started making Halloween decorations together.

Springtime is magical, yes, but there’s something pretty special about Autumn, too.  If only all transitions could be as beautiful and smooth, right?  There’s a lot to learn from the way the natural world puts itself to bed this time of year and we have some favorite seasonal traditions.

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