Mornings. Most mornings in the Higham house are a flurry of kids getting ready for school, animals being fed, breakfast being made, and parents trying to get out the door for work. It wasn't always like it is now. But we're learning to adjust. And in learning to adjust, we're learning to be a little more thoughtful and prepared.
Amy has been back to work for almost a year. It's been a bit of a transition figuring out what life looks like with two working adults and a house full of kids. And one of the areas that we have the most to learn is in the morning. And while some mornings are better than others, we are learning how to make the most of the morning routines.
So we thought we'd share a few things that we are learning in hope that they might help you as work through your mornings!
prep, bedtime, dinner clean up, homework duty, and carpooling. If one morning is going to be uniquely busy, make a plan of who will do what.
We know that our most crazy mornings come when we aren't ready for them. So as much as we can, we try to plan ahead.
2. Do it the Night Before
Our mornings can be chaotic. 5 kids and 2 adults all getting ready at the same time can be a challenge. And it's really easy to lose our patience in the midst of all the chaos. But when we think ahead we can use our time to help alleviate some of the morning stress.
One of the ways we reduce stress is by getting things done the night before. Making lunches, laying out clothes, staging school bags and coats, and making sure you have everything you need for the next day is ready to go before bedtime has proven to be most helpful. In general, these tasks only take a few minutes to do, but in the morning, when you're running around, any one of these things could take up considerable time. So avoid the monkey wrench and pinpoint the tasks that can be accomplished the night before.
3. Work as a Team
Before Amy went back to work, we had a pretty good routine. We worked well together getting the kids ready for school, serving breakfast, and getting our day going. I had a job with flexible hours so getting into the office at a particular time wasn't always an issue. And while I still have some flexibility, Amy has to be at work at a specific time. That introduced a new stress. But a light went on one morning when Amy, while totally stressed out, said that she needed my help in the mornings.
That morning was a reminder of how important it is that we work together as a team. By Jay jumping in to help with the morning routine, the stress and frustration of mornings is greatly reduced. We know that the best way to make it through the morning is to work as a team. So as you make your plans, accomplish your task the night before, remember to work together as a team.
4. Involve Your Kids
When the kids were little Amy was able to pack lunches, clean up the dinner dishes, get the kids ready for bed, and plan your bible study. But the kids of have grown and the amount of lunches has increased. And while some of the kids eat the school lunches, there is still a bit of work to do to get them ready for school. The nice thing is, the kids are now old enough to help.
It was a great day when we finally ditched the stroller and diaper bag. But it was an even better day when the kids were old enough to do some tasks for themselves. Now, we have the kids help with the tasks they are able to do. So some nights our younger kids make their own lunches, help with breakfast or straighten up the house before school. Having the extra hands can be super helpful!
5. Remember, This Too Shall Pass
When the house is quiet and the kids are all in bed, we often think, "Where has the time gone?" Our oldest graduates this spring. Number two will graduate next spring. After that it will only be a matter time till our youngest heads off to college. Time flies! With that in mind, remember, this too shall pass.
Yes, mornings can be absolutely crazy, but that craziest is only for a short period of time. Before you know it, it will be gone. The kids will be grown and gone. And these crazy mornings will be memories. So in the midst of your morning routines, pause and remember that it only for a short time.
We haven't mastered mornings yet. Believe me, we still struggle to get everyone out the door. Some mornings are better that others. But we're doing our best.
How do you manage your busy mornings? Share your best morning tips and practices.
- the higham family
Breakfast. One of the most favorite meals of the day, especially here in the Higham house. We like breakfast. And, one of our families favorite breakfast meals is the sausage and egg breakfast sandwich. Today, we want to share with you a delicious, and easy breakfast to help you start your day!
Let's start with your ingredients. You'll need a bagel, choose your favorite. For the most part, our kids love the simple plain bagel. Amy and Jay, we often opt for an everything bagel, or when we're really lucky and have fresh bagels in the house, an Asiago Cheese bagel is pretty amazing.
Grab an egg; our eggs are "home grown," provided by our ladies in the yard! You will also need a sausage patty and a slice of cheese. We use a pre-cooked sausage patty found in the frozen section of your local grocery store. As for the cheese, again, our kiddo's prefer a yellow American cheese, while Amy and Jay like to fancy up their sandwiches with Swiss, Provolone, Pepperjack, Colby, or Munster.
Step One: Heat. Grease. Toast.
Heat your pan with a high to medium heat. We've learned that a pan that is too hot will cook the egg to fast, or burn it up. You want the egg fried evenly on both side with the white thoroughly cooked without it becoming to be too brown or burned, or the yoke becoming hard.
(That is unless you prefer a hard yoke.)
As the pan heats up, drop a slice of butter into the pan. Not too much butter, but enough to pool in the pan. Of course if you'd rather not use butter a veggie oil or an olive oil works just as well. However, we like the flavor of the butter, so butter it is.
With the butter, you'll know if your pan is too hot if the burn turns brown or burns.
If that happens, start over because it will leave your eggs brown and crispy.
If you have a second pan, heat it up for the sausage patty. Again, a high to medium heat is sufficient.
As you heat you pan, drop your bagel into the toaster, set to you desired level of toasting.
Step Two: The Egg & The Sausage.
As the butter melts in your pan, move it around so that it coats the entire cooking surface. When evenly covered, crack your eggs and drop them into the pan. At the same time, place your frozen patty into the second pan. (On school mornings, when we are usually rushed for time, we place our frozen patties into the microwave on high for 45 to 60 seconds. This thaws and warms the sausage patty. Then we place it into the pan to finish the heating and browning of the patty.)
Now back to the egg. Do you like your egg wet or dry?
Among our crew, the preference is split. Some of our guys like their egg to be runny, we call that "wet," while others prefer to have the yoke broken and mixed in with the egg. We call that, "dry."
As you watch your egg, you're looking to see that the white is just about cooked while the yoke is not. Here's where the pan heat matters. Too hot and the yoke will begin to harden on the bottom. If you look closely, you'll see a clear ring of white surrounding the yoke. This is when it's time to flip.
Timing is everything. Flipping the egg now will help with an even cooking of the white,
without the yoke becoming hard.
Don't forget to season your egg. Salt and pepper. Maybe a little paprika or parsley flakes.
Oh, and iIt's probably time to flip the sausage patty as well.
Step Three: The Construction.
By now, your bagel should be toasted, so grab a plate and start building up with the bottom of the bagel on the plate. We prefer to have the sausage patty on the bottom of the sandwich. With the sausage on the bottom, and the egg on top, you find that the sandwich stacks nicely. With the sausage on top, we learned that the sandwich is unbalanced and sausage patty slides out leaving a mess as you eat.
Add your cheese selection as the next layer.
Now add your egg.
For the sake of examples, the egg on the left is the "wet" egg. You can see that it still looks runny, yet the white around it is cooked. The egg on the right is the "dry" egg. The yellow yoke is cooked into the white of the egg. Note: the "dry" egg is not scrambled or mixed. We simply pop the yoke after we flip the egg and leave it cook as it is.
Top your egg off with your favorite condiment; ketchup, hot sauce, mayo, or whatever.
Then finish off with your bagel top, and your good to go!
There you have it, a sausage and egg breakfast sandwich!
Now if you're really adventurous, dress your sandwich up with a few additional toppings.
How about some spinach leaves, lettuce, a little red onion, or a pickle?
So, are you hungry yet?
Thanks for taking the time to read today's blog post. We hope you enjoyed the first installment of our new, Favorite Recipes, category. We hope to continue sharing our favorite recipes and cooking tips in the weeks and months to come.
We want to hear from you!
Since we're talking breakfast sandwiches, what's your favorite breakfast sandwich?
Please take a few minutes and leave a short comment below.
What's your favorite breakfast sandwich?
What toppings do you like to add to finish off your breakfast sandwich?
We'd love to hear from you!
Till next time, enjoy!
- the higham family -
With the arrival of Spring come the long list of DIY projects to help you get ready for the summer! This year, our list of projects is a bit longer than usual as we get ready for our first borns graduation from high school and our second summer living in the manse! Since we use our home as an extension of our ministry, we have planned for a few projects that will allow us to comfortably welcome friends and family into our home.
Over the next couple of weeks we are hoping to accomplish some necessary spring cleaning and DIY projects as we prepare for the summer ministry season. One of our first projects is to construct a new loft bed for one of our boys.
Our home is small, but we are working to make it as comfortable for our family as possible. Right now, we have all the kids doubled up in the bedrooms we have. Two of our kids sleep in a room in the basement while our youngest two (brother and sister) share a room on the first floor. But lately we've notice that our one son, who has a number of allergies, has been a little sick than usual. We can't pinpoint the exact reason, but knowing that he is allergic to mold, must and mildew, we suspect that sleeping in the lower level might not be super helpful.
In addition, Logan is getting ready to head off to college. That will also allow us to move some of the kids around a bit so that all are more comfortable. Now do that, we need to reconfigure the bedrooms upstairs. And part of the reconfiguration requires that we build a new bed so that two of the boys can share a room. And since we can't really afford to go out and buy a brand new bedroom suit, we're building a loft bed that will fit around the current bedroom furnisher.
Watch our short DIY vlog as we build our new loft bed.
The bed itself needed to fit over a queen-size bed frame. For flexibility, we wanted to be able to turn the queen bed so that it fit in a "L"-shape as well as "flush" under the bed. We also wanted to be able to add different accessories to the bed such as shelves for books and treasures and eventually, lighting which allow for reading and or illumination.
It didn't take us that long to construct the bed. But we did make sure to take the time to get some measurements and think through the plan. Once we knew what we wanted, the build went quick and smooth.
But not only did we get a new bed out the project, we had some quality time building the bed. Logan and Jay have worked on a number of projects together, so to have Asher helping was fun. But we think the true treasure is in having that time together and watching a project go from paper to finished project. We want to teach our guys that good, hard work leads to positive results.
Later this summer we will be painting the loft bed and adding some of the accessories as we can. All total, it took us about 6 hours to build the bed. Cost wise, we came in around $130 for materials, which we paid for in cash. It's nice to be on a budget where you can put aside some money for project like this.
There will be more DIY projects coming to the blog as we get closer and closer to the warm summer months!
- the higham family
This week we want to share our favorite bedtime diffuser recipe. Not long after we received our starter kit from Young Living, we discovered what has become our favorite bedtime recipe; Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint.
Every night before going to bed, we fill our Young Living, Dewdrop Diffuser with water, a couple drops of Lavender, a couple drops of peppermint and a couple drops Lemon. We discovered that these three scents together create an aroma that is clean, fresh and relaxing. For Jay, the combined oils help combat his seasonal discomforts, while giving him a more restful night's sleep. For Amy, it helps to keep her season discomforts and allows for a more peaceful rest.
If you're looking for a restful, fresh, clean night's sleep, we would recommend a mix of Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint. Become a Young Living member, and begin sleeping better as you enjoy your essential oils.
The Bedtime Recipe
Fill your diffuser to it suggest level.
Add 3 to 5 drops of Lavender.
Add 2 to 4 drops of Peppermint.
Add 2 to 3 drops of Lemon.
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Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.