Monday, February 22, 2010

Ben's First "Real" Job

One minute your children are crawling around your feet while you cook dinner and the next time you turn around they are cooking dinner themselves...well, pizza rolls and ramen noodle soup anyways!
That is exactly how I have been feeling these last few weeks as I realize how quickly time passes and my children are truly growing up. A wise woman once said to me, "The days are long, but the years are short". This is one of the truest statements I have ever heard and something for young mothers to remember in the early years when they have those grueling days where everybody needs something from them. One day they will look around and see that that their children no longer need their physical care as much as their listening ear, open heart, and encouraging words.
Anyways, our oldest son, Ben, is transitioning into this phase of his life. He no longer needs help with schoolwork, he is completely in charge of his wardrobe (including washing, drying, and putting away), and now he is earning his own money!
Just last week, he started his first "real" job at Chick-Fil-A. Of course we, being his embarrassing parents, had to take some pictures and celebrate this new phase of his life.
Actually, Jason took him to work, which was worse, because he has completely forgotten what it was like to be nearly 15 and be followed around by your Dad with a camera on your first day of work! I would have been much more compassionate, which explains why I get foot rubs and Jason doesn't! Well, that and the he has stinky feet...but that's another subject!
Ben was greeted by his new fellow employees with a homemade "Benjamin" banner on the wall, lots of cheers, and his name being chanted as he walked in. (All the while being followed by Jason, the paparazzi!)
Being pretty shy by nature, I am sure he was mortified, but he took it all in stride and had a great time on his 1st night at work. So far, he has loved every minute of it and has done well keeping keeping up with his busy schedule.
As his parents, we are very proud of him and are enjoying watching God prepare him for his future outside of our home one day. Unfortunately, I'm sure it will be sooner than we think!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snowing in Georgia!!!!!

Finally, the weather predictions have come true and the snow has arrived. My boys were super excited (Jason, too!) and enjoyed hours of playing in it. I loved it too, but wasn't able to sled or have a snowball fight, so I spent the day taking pics, doing the snow laundry, and baking warm goodies for the boys to enjoy in between being outdoors. It was a beautiful and fun day!!!

Our Trip To Bentley's Meat Market

Although I haven't taken the time to write about the subject of free range (or grassfed) meats -vs- grain fed (or barn kept) meats, I wanted to share our experience at Bentley's.
Jason and I have chosen to switch to grassfed/free range meats based on the research I have been doing. Basically, the grassfed meats are all natural, meaning no hormones, steroids, or antibiotics and they are fed grass, which is full of Omega 3 fats, instead of the harmful Omega 6 fats that grain fed animals have. Grassfed meat is also leaner and healthier. Anyways, I will write more about that later...
In our search to find better meats, we heard about a meat market in Winder that sells what we were looking for. Winder is only about 30 minutes from us and so we decided to head over there one evening and check it out. We had to leave around 5:00 though, because Bentley's closes at 6:30, and I wanted to have time enough to speak to the "meat man" and make sure I was getting what I was looking for. You know, you have to be careful these days, because packaging and advertising will deceive you. I don't know how many times I have looked at a label that said "all natural" on the front and then flipped it over to find out it wasn't exactly "all natural" at all!

We arrived at Bentley's around 5:30. It was in a little strip mall section on Main Street and smaller than I expected. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by an extremely friendly black gentleman, calling each person who walked through the door either "sister" or "brother" and he knew most of them by name as well. We were surprised to find it quite busy in our time there, mostly with repeat customers...which was a good sign!
We decided to choose a meat package, since I didn't have a menu plan. The one that best suited us (because of the size of our family) was the $99.99 package. The only issue was that we quit eating pork and there were quite a few pork products in the package. I spoke with the owner and he said it would be no problem to substitute with other meats.
The meats all looked really good, especially the ones that were seasoned or stuffed. There were several varieties of beef, pork, and chicken cuts, as well as a meatloaf mixture (already seasoned), stuffed bell peppers, and stuffed chicken breasts.

Here is what we ended up with for $99.99:
3 lb eye of round roast
3 lb chuck roast
3 lb bottom round roast
1 whole chicken
6 lb split chicken breast
8- 1/4 lb hamburger patties
6 lb ground chuck
3 lb meatloaf (preseasoned)
3 generously stuffed bell peppers
2 lb boneless/skinless chicken breasts

As we waited for the meat to be wrapped and labeled, we were entertained and encouraged the whole time by the sweet black gentleman. He was a pastor of a church in Lilburn and spent the majority of his time speaking on God's goodness and sharing God's Word with every single person who opened the door. Not only in English, but Spanish as well!!!
Once the meat was all packaged, we were surprised how much it actually turned out to be! Judging by the looks of it, we think it will last our family around 3 weeks! When we discussed what we usually spend on supermarket meat -vs- what we spent at Bentley's we feel that the price was about the same but the quality was obviously much higher.
As of today, we have eaten the stuffed bell peppers (yummy!!!) and one pkg of the ground chuck and we are extremely pleased with the taste and texture of both.
If you want to check it out for yourself, the address is 105 E. May St., Winder, Ga 30680 and the phone number is 678-963-9877