Monday Meal Plan on Tuesday *Again*

I’ve got some big news…

(NO. I am NOT pregnant.)

I got a promotion!

This is mostly why it’s been so quiet around these parts, I’ve been trying to keep it on the DL until a bit closer to my start date, but I just can’t resist anymore. Plus, we’re due for a “Monday” meal plan.

I will still be working with New Americans but now, instead of the Employment Specialist, I will be the Resettlement Coordinator for the Grand Forks office. I.am.STOK.ED. (<–So stoked I had to separate that last word into two. I know, party animal.) So instead of focusing mainly on employment for clients, I will be overseeing my sub-office (LSS is based out of Fargo), completing assurances, finding apartments, working on community relations & giving presentations, writing grants, etc. It’s a big step, a big promo for me, and I can’t wait to start.

I’ve been training on and off throughout last week and my first day will be Monday, March 18th. (It’s getting SO close.) Then after that I have a relatively quiet week to situate myself into the new position before all the conferences barrage my spring schedule (Building Bridges, LIRS/EMM—luckily for me they’re doing a tri-agency conference this year so I don’t have to worry about being gone for 2 weeks, and NDACP). It’ll definitely be a “jumping in” experience but I’m looking forward to it (anticipating it gleefully, even…there may be something wrong with me).

This change also means we’ll get to see a bit more of Dylan, which the girls and I are exceptionally excited about. Instead of being gone Thursday-Monday every other week, we’ll just be Daddy/husband-less for Saturday-Monday. Much, much, MUCH more manageable. And since this is the weekend that he works, I’m excited to see how much quicker it will pass by since it’s only three days now…

“Monday” Meal Plan 3.4-3.10

Monday 3.4
D: Tacos (because we have a ton left from Ada’s party)
Tuesday 3.5
D: Eat the World: Bosnia and Herzgovina …Seriously. We’re actually going to make it happen tonight.
Wednesday 3.6
D: Coconut shrimp soup w/cilantro
Thursday 3.7
D: Nellie & Dylan will be on their own as Ada and I will be in Fargo getting fitted for dresses for my cousin’s wedding.
Friday 3.8
B: Pancakes (I typically freeze leftover pancakes every other week that I make them so that I can use them as quick and easy breakfasts/snacks. Put 1-2 in the microwave for about 40 seconds and they’re good to go.)
L & Tea: Ada will be at Grandpa Terry’s
D: Pizza Night!
*Extra*
Feed Brucie and mix up a sponge for Sourdough 1.
Saturday 3.9* Happy birthday Sheilaaaaaaa!
B: Rhubarb cream cheese strudel
L: Peanut Sesame Noodles
D: Birthday dinner for Sheila @ Texas Roadhouse
*Extra*
Mix & raise Sourdough 1 & mix up sponge for Sourdough 2.
Prep the scones to bake tomorrow morning.
Sunday 3.10*
B: Birthday scones for Sheila
L, Tea & Dinner: Terry & Sheila’s House
*Extra*
Bake Sourdough 1 & Final raise Sourdough 2 (bake Monday morning).

Bright and shiny

Goodbye Redrum!

Goodbye Redrum!

I am pleased to announce my departure from the REduRuM that I once called my office. Hurrah for me! No, I am not leaving my job but rather participated in a fairly large, inter-office switcheroo today. I am over.the.moon about it.

Before I had about a large, walk-in-closet space and would have to crawl/shimmy/awkwardly decide front or back when passing over my clients to retrieve papers from the printer during enrollments. I would constantly bang into the two drawer filing cabinet behind my chair because it stuck out an average amount and I had a not-meant-for-my-desk-hutch that took up more than its fair share of my work area. Not to mention that I shared my little RedRuM with interns as needed. And clients were constantly waiting for their appointments by just sitting in my office or peering into my door over my side shoulder as I tried to work. Not ideal.

This move is great. Great for us all. The women who moved back into our old office space now have room for the new supervisor they’re hiring by taking the two main offices open and the traveling, once-a-week supervisor will re-home in the RedRuM. (And truthfully, it is a small space but if we wouldn’t have moved and I would’ve stayed, I would’ve just dealt with it because I like my job.)

Goodbye inconvenient and insufficient work space!

Goodbye inconvenient and insufficient work space!

Bright and shiny! And very messy...

Bright and shiny! And very messy…

Which brings me to my new, bright and shiny office! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! I may be teensy bit excited. 

I know it looks disastrous at the moment but my space has nearly tripled by this switch and now I have great space for paperwork and computer work (105+ application questionnaires may be the death of me) AND I have adequate space for clients to sit comfortably and work on applications, etc; AND I have comfortable space for an intern! AND, if that’s not good enough, I’ve got space to store kid supplies for little clients that aren’t in school yet. Needless to say because I’ve all but bashed your brains in about it, I’m excited. And happy. And excited.

Now it only they could get my NEW (didn’t I mention I also get a new, full-functioning) computer and phone line hooked up, we’d be golden…

Monday meal plan on Friday

I know, I know…disorganization reigns in my house prior to, during, and immediately after holidays. It’s a mess. BUT at least I’m attempting to get back on track, right? Right?!

Dylan works the next few days (those 40 hour weekend spurts are something that the girls and I will definitely NOT miss when he gets his first teaching gig–Dylan too, I’m sure) and will be gone for approximately two breakfasts, two lunches, and five dinners, with approximately four or five snacks. Being the Betty Crockery wife that I am (stifle your snickering, please), I usually try to make a little extra for him to take along for meals. Plus the need for snacks = baking time! Because truthfully, how many sandwiches and cans of soup does one person really want to consume in less than a week? Which, after typing that sentence, I realize it needs a hash tag to call it like it is: #firstwordproblemsfosho 

Monday Friday Meal Plan

12.28 Friday

Breakfast: Cereal and/or toast. Maybe yogurt with honey and blackberries or whatever the girls feel like that’s quick and easy since I have to work.   

Lunch: Ginger garlic chicken porridge. New recipe to try! I’m going to swap out the chicken for turkey since Dad sent us home with a bag of leftovers from Christmas Eve. Yes, I know that tomorrow is probably the last day for them…

Tea Time: Assam w/sugar & milk and cookies. Ada loves this loose leaf stuff I pick up at the international market near our house.

Dinner: Dahl for Dylan and me (deliciousness incarnate and a great pick me up for his cold). Leftovers for the girls, which might seem cruel but there’s a ton of their favorites lingering in the fridge and I hate wasting food.   

*Extras*

Cherry chocolate coconut granola. This is to DIE for. Seeeeeriously. My kids eat it for snack by the fistfuls and truthfully, I’m never found too far off. Poured in a bowl with a healthy dash of almond milk and it is my go-to breakfast of choice.

No bake chocolate chip granola bars. Every time I’ve made these they’ve disappeared within the day. Single, double, even a triple batch! Crazy good.

12.29 Saturday

Breakfast: Easy raspberry strudel. Another newbie that’s been sitting in my recipe box for far too long. If I make it the night before it’ll be easy to bake in the morning? Warm strudel and a cup of coffee with my hubby? Hopefully he’ll be feeling better so I can drag him out of bed to spend time with me before he heads off to work his monstrously long day.

Lunch: American goulash. A “newish” recipe that sounds exactly like the stuff I remember devouring from childhood. It’s one of those hotdishy recipes that I get to indulge in guiltless when Dylan works because apparently I married a food snob,

who knew?

Tea Time: Chamomile tea & leftover strudel—if there is any. Or chocolate chip cookies leftover from Nellie’s Cookie Monster cake.

Dinner: Korean ground beef, fried eggs and kimchi. SO good. Quick, delicious,comfort food that’s right up my alley.

12.30 Sunday = All day Pierogi making affair with Sheila! My tummy is I’m so excited!

12.31 Monday

Breakfast: Cereal, toast, whatever floats Dylan and the girls’ boat since they’ll be home. I’ll probably have granola.

Lunch: Leftovers, to make it easy on Dylan and to eliminate waste. Seriously, I hate, hate, hate wasting food!

Tea Time: Whatever Dylan feels like giving them—I’ll be at work.

Dinner: Skillet eggplant lasagna. New recipe to use up the lingering bags of summer stash I have in my deep freeze.

*Extra*

Ranger cookies. I’ve been meaning to try this recipe out and see if it comes close to these cookies that I buy at the grocery store because I dislike having to buy them when I could make them. Anyone else out there like that?

I’m thankful for…

Day 14: I am thankful for fresh produce. We are so incredibly blessed to have access and the means to eat fresh produce everyday. My daughters love bananas to pomegranates to tomatoes to pineapple to mangoes and the like. They will chop away on spinach salads, corn, caramelized onions, avocados, broccoli, and kale. Dylan and I love to have fresh berries with our yogurt and pears, scallions, and cucumbers. The list is truly endless and I am so, so, SO thankful that we have been blessed to eat healthy and well.

Day 15: I am thankful for other crafty, foodie, stylish, bookish mom-bloggers who are willing to share their gifts with others and unafraid to show their imperfections. Sometimes being a mom can be lonely. There may be millions of us but for whatever reason when it comes to making mom friends it instantly can transport you to another place and time where awkwardness seeped through your being. And with our world being so global now, it’s nice to peek into other moms’ lives and know that they let the laundry go, they have tantrums now and then, and get behind schedule. Life isn’t picture perfect and I appreciate and am thankful for other mom bloggers out there who simply are trying and doing their best. I’m grateful to them for their willingness to show all the messiness of life and still are able to find the beauty. It’s refreshing, and encouraging to me.

Day 16: I’m thankful for my co-workers. I know that I was thankful earlier for my job, but really, I think that they deserve more distinction. They truly are a group of people that are working to make the world a better place, even our cold, ice-bitten piece of home in North Dakota. I’m continually inspired and encouraged, challenged and supported by my peers. It makes my day interesting and so much richer.

A couple of my co-workers and I at World Refugee Day 2012.

Day 17: I’m thankful for humor. My daughters crack me up. My husband cracks me up. In fact, I think that’s a main tenant of my good relationships, humor. My family’s wit continually reminds me to not be so serious and to embrace the mishaps as graciously as I can.

Day 18: I’m thankful for movies and Netflix. As annoyed as I get by my children constantly wanting to watch something, I am grateful that they are available for sick days such as these. Charlie Brown and Dora have enabled me to finish the laundry, dishes, organize the bedroom closets, make lunch and freeze extra breakfast burritos for this week, and now, now during glorrrrrrrrrrious nap time, those very same movies have allowed me to read through the Sunday paper and catch up with the blogosphere. I am thankful for movies.

I’m thankful for…

Day 9: I’m thankful for my job. I love my job. Seriously. It’s such a blessing to wake up every morning and be excited to go to work with other people who really care about what they do and want to make a difference. I’m so blessed to be apart of a team, of an organization, that believes all people are created in God’s image and thus deserve to be treated with respect. I could go on and on (seriously) about my job and how it makes not being home with my girls bearable doable.

Day 10: I’m thankful for Moses. My annoying, smelly, snorting, farting, almost-5-year-old pug. As aggravated and enraged that he makes me (he is now a 3x pound convict), I can’t imagine how less snuggly my life would be.

Day 11: I’m thankful for my parents, who will drive to my house and entertain my girls and install a beautiful new sink in my kitchen for a day and think nothing of it. I’m continually reminded and inspired by their willingness to give and I’m thankful that I have been given such an example to pass onto my daughters.

Day 12: (Hey, might as well get a jump start on the week while I’m on a roll.) I’m thankful for all the men and women who have served our country throughout the years. Thank you for your willingness to serve and for all the sacrifices that you made. I cherish the freedoms that you have pledged to protect and uphold for me.

Day Twenty-Nine: Your Talent

My new job has opened my eyes to a new talent that I possess–interview magic.

Seriously. 

I am awesome at interviews.
And more accurately, I am awesome at getting people jobs or “gainful employment.”

Today I was able to help three clients start work at Little Caesar’s, one client will start in 1.5 weeks and another three clients have a high possibility of getting hired on as housekeepers at the local AmericInn. Not to mention that last week I was able to help one client get a job at Olive Garden, another three clients get work at Drunken Noodle, and hopefully (if all goes well) another two at Pelusa (an electric cord factory) and three at Hilton as housekeepers.

And that’s just the last two weeks.

Needless to say, I love the new job and am so happy that it’s such a good fit for me, my family life and for my self-esteem. It’s awesome to excel at something I get paid to do and even more awesome that I don’t dread going to work–here’s to hoping that I can find something similar (if not the same) after Dylan gets his first teaching job!

Shame On Me

I know, I know. Another heart-felt post about being a terrible blogger with sloppy apologies flung here and there.

But truly, I am.
Life is busy. You all know that. And lately with the lovely onset of February’s disease and pestilence the Dachtler household got.rock.ed.

Hopefully we’ll be picking up with where we left off our “ETW” adventures this week with Bahrain (the menu is still the same). I must mention however that ETW will be effected by Lent and our decision to give up meat–so expect a lot of tofu, beans (yes, yes, I know tofu is technically from beans) and seafood in the very near future.

Also, if you haven’t noticed this is an incredibly random post–what better way to make my walk of shame debut onto the blogging scene?

Britney came to visit us. We miss her.

Ada turned 4! Can you believe that? I have a 4-year-old!!
And Nellie is still NOT walking. I am convinced I will be carrying her to kindergarten.

Dylan is still chipping away at biochem and organic. I am still hanging in with communications and work. Work! Oh yes, did I mention that I got a new job?? I started working at Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota in their New American Services department as their Employment Specialist. I even have a card.
I love it. Seriously, it’s been such a change of pace and a needed breath of fresh air to get me intrigued and fired up for nonprofits again.

So now I am back. Back in action. Back in the driver’s seat (oh yes, we also bought a van. Traded in the lovely pickup for a ’01 Oldsmobile Silhoutte–never thought I’d live to see the day.). Back in the game.

Well, you get the picture.

New Job: Employment Specialist

Hello all. It’s been a while…

Just wanted to update a little bit about what’s going on in our little corner of the world.

* Nellie So turned one on November 30th!
  -She is a crawling champ and has moved onto pulling herself up on EVERYTHING. Ada and Moses have  
   had quite enough of it and it’s only just begun…
  -She’ll stand holding your hands and then gets mad that her legs don’t move. She wants to walk so badly but  
   hasn’t quite figured it out yet. Only time will tell.
* Ada is LOVING Head Start. Riding the bus, having “jobs” and brings home wonderful works of art!
* Dylan is still chugging away at school–Fall 2011 semester is almost over. *Phew*
* I started school this Fall (Communications with a Nonprofit Minor) and am excited for my upcoming conference in Kansas City, MO. It’s for my nonprofit minor and should be pretty informative.
* Thanksgiving was wonderful–we were able to see both sides of the family. 😀
* My little brother got married! Can you believe it? He and Nina (the new sister-in-law) had a beautiful wedding that Ada and I were able to participate in. I’m excited to post the fancy pictures of it soon.

* I started a new job! Lutheran Social Services hired me on as their Employment Specialist in their New American Services department! I’m pretty pumped about it (today was day #2 on the job) and look forward to working with the Bhutanese and Somali populations that we settle.

I guess that’s a brief wrap up of the Dachtler shenanigans for now. I promise to get pictures up someday when I’m not so lazy. And I have been feeling sad that this blog has been ignored for so long, so I pledge to make a comeback and ring out 2011 with regular posting!

Eat the World: 196 Countries

I’m half-way through day camp at work.

I. Am. EXHAUSTED.

(That also could be due to Nellie’s sleepless teething/sickly/growth-spurty-nights.)
This summer I chose and wrote an 11 week program centering on an around the world theme, in fact, it’s aptly titled “Around the World in 11 Weeks.” We started out in the Carribean and now, seven weeks later find ourselves studying the Middle East. Today we focused on Jordan, Kuwait and Iraq. We had three speakers from the ESL school in town from Kuwait to talk to the campers about their home country. The kids even got their names written in Arabic! And later this afternoon we took them to Bauer Honey Farm in Fertile, MN (you know, Middle East–honey…makes sense…right? Okay, I admit, I was stretching the tie-in a bit…), where they got a tour of the business and complimentary honey jars to bring home. 
Anyhow, the whole point of this was to say that I’ve really enjoyed exploring the different countries and continuents with my campers this summer and the few times that Ada has been able to attend, she has LOVED it too. Thus, I pitched the idea of eating a meal from every country in the world as a family. 
I should back track a little bit, during camp I have put together a “cookbook” of “authentic” (as authentic as I can get for some of them) recipes that we eat at lunch. The meal is sometimes a compilation of the countries that we focus on for the day and sometimes all entirely from one. It’s been an interesting ride with the kids as most of them are used to pretty tame, heavily salted, pre-packaged fare. (<—-This particular statement is not meant as a slur against their parents, we too indulge in some ready-made, fast-foody type consumables…but we are blessed enough to be able to purchase more fresh produce than some of the families that I work with.)

The rules of thumbs are as follows:

1.) All kids must try at least one bite of everything on the plate. 
2.) They are allowed to like and dislike foods but they must not loudly go on and on about how much they hate something. 
3.) They are not allowed to complain about being hungry at all if they do not eat their lunch that day. 
Considering we’ve got 22 kids ranging in age from 6-11 years of age, they’ve done exceptionally well being polite and adventurous. 
So…back to the food challenge. While looking for all the different recipes I’ve stumbled across many food sites that were helpful and also piqued my interest (as if I really needed help doing that with food). I brought up the idea of eating a meal from all of the 196 countries in the world (some say 195 and others 196…we’ve chosen to air on the side of 196 and count Taiwan as a country)…please don’t censor me China. Plus, Dylan and I both love to travel and even though we aren’t able to do so right now, this will help us fill the void a bit and enable us to enjoy good food and good times with our friends and family. Dylan agreed that it would be fun and educational for our family to do this too …so…off we go!
We’ve started searching for our first meal and we will be going on a weekly basis of each country…although during Holidays and such this plan may deviate a bit. But that is our intent to travel the world gastronomically week by week, country by country. 

Day Sixteen: Someone That’s Not in Your State/Country

They literally just left this morning but I already miss them. They accepted a job in Wisconsin, a six hour or so drive away from us and even though we didn’t see them a ton necessarily, we will definitely feel the greater span acutely nonetheless. 
Congrats on the new job Ben and we pray you are doubly blessed on your new adventure!