Mama Duck
This week will have a 'loose' meal plan. DH wants to go to his parents or have them come up to support them. Yesterday they went out in the morning and when they came back Mia, their miniature pincher, was lying on the porch. She had passed away during the short time they were out.

In addition to that, my mom has been at the bedside in ICU of her longtime companion. John has been in a nursing home for several months, and took a terrible turn for the worse the other night. His passing is inevitable, and its just a waiting game right now. Although she's stayed in the relationship more from duty (love passed a long time ago) she will of course still grieve and I need to be there for her. I am so grateful that our move occurred when it did as I am able to care for her dog and cats with ease and its one responsibility off her shoulders. While I was in driving distance before, a 6 minute drive makes it much easier then a 30min drive.

With all that said - here's this weeks dinner menu plan:

Sunday - Chicken and dumplings - one of our cool weather favorites!
Monday - moo shu pork
Tuesday - simple fried chicken
Wednesday - Soup and sandwiches, nothing fancy
Thursday - grilled steak, baked potatoes, mixed veggies  - recipe is for pork, but I'm using it for beef
Friday - dinner out somewhere per Joe's request
Saturday - BBQ with the new neighbors at our place, I think I'll do just hot dogs and these burgers, one neighbor is bringing pasta salad, not sure about the others.. we'll make do with whatever shows up, lol.. and worse comes to worse.. the grocery store is 2 min away, lol. May also make my favorite mac and cheese recipe for the kids as there will be 5 or 6 ( possibly 8 or 9) here as well, lol.
Mama Duck
I am starving today, lol.

My breakfast was a lovely nutritional shake this morning, that held me over till about 10:45am. Then I started to get very hungry... a fact that was not helped when my coworker came into my office and started discussing hot fudge sundaes... ugh. Then I started having daydreams about Arby's roast beef sandwiches .. with double meat.

that should give you a good idea of how hungry I was, lol.

Over the years with Joe I have often had debates with him over the amount of money he spends on take-out. Since August was so expensive for us, I'm trying to limit my lunch budget to $0, until at least the next payday. Today that meant my lowly can of chicken noodle soup in the kitchen cabinet.

Sigh. Egg noodles don't have all that much substance when you're really hungry, lol.

However being a good girl, I dutifully ate (sucked down every last noodle) and decided to distract myself with the computer (not working all that great) and realized that I don't focus enough on lunch menu planning. I had started to do a bento box style lunch many many months ago, but fell off the bento wagon from life distracting me too much. Oddly enough I also recently found an article on bento box style lunches for kids and school and that got me thinking about it again, especially today with my simple can of soup, lol.

My work week is over until next Tuesday ( or will be at 5pm!).  So here's a plan for next week. These are shorter then my weekly dinner plans due to my odd schedule. Ideally I'd like to bring for lunch, what Joe and JP are eating at home... but Joe is unpredictable. I'm also toying with the idea of going home for lunch on the 2 days I'd need to pack a lunch and then we can eat a healthy lunch as a family. For next week I'm going to attempt to plan around what I know I have at home.

Tuesday - staff meeting - lunch provided by offfice
Wednesday -tuna melt on a wrap, grapes, oreo cookies

Friday - probably the same thing as I have lots of tuna in stock, lol. I'm not a big fan of most tuna.. but it works in a pinch.

I really want to invest in 2 sets of bento box, one for myself and one for JP. That way I know he's eating a somewhat balanced meal and the portions are a great size for my picky little sweetheart, lol.  The one's I've been looking at are by LapTop Lunch, but would really like to find something I don't have to order online... and that's a bit less expensive to start. Of course I could just go to a local Target or Walmart and pick up individual containers... but I like the idea of the sets, makes it more appealing. It will be interesting to see if the creative side or the frugal side wins out first, lol.

Oh! here's a nice looking one for kids - I may order this for when JP starts school in 2 years or so..  Goodbyn Lunch Box