Wednesday, December 27, 2006
We have the holiday tradition of decorating gingerbread houses and have always had fun doing them, usually spending that time with other friends or family. The past several years we decorated them the weekend after thanksgiving, thus having some of them for decorations during the Christmas season. This year we weren't able to do them that weekend and it looked as if we may not do them at all. They didn't seem all that excited about any of the usual craft making holiday traditions that we have had. Our boys aren't as into holiday tradition, memory making as I am, or so I thought. The week before Christmas they started asking about our gingerbread houses and when were we going to make them. Then my 8 year old nephew started asking and so my sister and I decided to get together the Friday before Christmas and decorate away. My two older sons, 16 and 13 decided to make a WWII scene with bunkers and boats and soldiers. They made templates, mixed, rolled, cut and baked gingerbread, enough for everyone. We ended up with a very large WWII scene, three houses and a Christmas tree of gingerbread between all of the cousins. They all had great fun and it was a lot less work for me, now that the boys are old enough to do the baking themselves.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
Yesterday, after worship service, we went to get our Christmas tree. Our family has the tradition of going to a you cut tree farm to cut a tree and we usually wait until a couple of weeks before Christmas to do this, but our schedules this year dictated us doing it this weekend or not everyone would get to go. It had been snowing a little in the morning on our way to church, but then it turned to rain and by the time we were heading out to get our tree, it was fairly pouring. While we were walking around the tree farm the rain started turning white and by the time we were leaving with our tree, it was snowing very hard. We were all very excited, you see we don't get much snow around these parts and so it is almost like a holiday when we do! After we got home, the boys played out all evening even though we only had about an inch. This morning when we woke up, there was about 8 inches and the boys have been out all morning. It is beautiful! Our backyard is still untouched, except for a few footprints along the side fence where boy #2 went to knock the heavy snow off of our little tree for me, we already had a branch break off of our rhododendron in the font yard from the weight of the snow and we didn't want the new little trees to get damaged. We are in a winter wonderland!
Thursday, November 09, 2006
1 can french onion soup
1/2 C. dry bread crumb
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 T. flour
1/4 C. water
1/4 C. catsup
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
Mix 1/2 c. of the soup, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Add beef and mix well. Shape into 8 patties. Brown in skillet for 3-4 minutes. Remove patties to plate. In the skillet, stire together flour and water until smooth. Add catsup, worcestershire sauce, mustard and remaining soup and bring to boil. Stir 2 minutes. Return patties to the skillet with the sauce. Simmer 15 minutes. Serve salsbury steak with the sauce and enjoy!
Our whole family enjoyed this one!
Monday, November 06, 2006
I am not someone who enjoys planning menus and cooking and therefore continually struggle with getting it done. Unfortunately for me, it is a necessary chore. Having a menu planned helps us to save money and also much frustration during the week. Years ago I came up with an outline that helped make the chore of menu planning easier and also provide a variety of foods during the week. For some reason I got away from using the outline and decided to try to go back to it. Here is the new outline that I just finished working on:
MONDAY: Fish: Salmon (2), Salmon Patties, Pizza Fish, Tuna Wedge, Tuna Melts, Tuna Noodle Casserole
TUESDAY: Beef: Meatloaf, Steak, Hamburger Patties, Spanish Rice
WEDNESDAY: Soup: canned or White Bean, Lentil, Minestrone, Vegetable, Chili
THURSDAY: New Recipe
FRIDAY: Chicken: Italian Parmesan Chicken, Chicken & Veggies (Prism pg 199), Chicken & Rice,
SATURDAY: Kids Favorites: Taco Bake, Sloppy Joes, Pasta & Meatballs, Frito Pie, Garlic Chicken, Ala mom
SUNDAY: (crockpot): Roast, Pork Chops, Creamy Chicken, Stew
Using the above outline for ideas and considering our activities for the week, here is this weeks Menu.
Monday: Tuna Melts with Peas
Tuesday: Spanish Rice with Green Beans
Wednesday: Chicken Soup, Canned and Rolls
Thursday: Salisbury Steak, Boiled Potatoes, Broccoli
Friday: Chicken & Rice, Carrots
Saturday: Youth Rally
Stop by Organizing Junkie's Blog for more Menu ideas.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
It has been so long since I posted anything here and there are so many things swimming around in my head. Our 5 weeks of chaos is about over - drivers ed. class is done and boy #1 successfully completed his course. He now must get more drive hours in and will also have to have his permit for at least 5 more months before he can take the drivers test for his license.
Boy #2 has been playing football for the local middle school and has thoroughly enjoyed it. He has one more week of football, including two games and then the season will be over. It has been a good experience for him, he has learned much about the game and about working together on a team. The school has been geat about working with us as homeschoolers and the other players have accepted our boy as a teammate.
Boy #3 has finished his second session of swim lessons and successfully passed to level 3. He will start level 3 in another week and he attends lessons two evenings a week. He has worked hard and it is paying off.
It has been a crazy, unusual time in our lives - but it was well worth it.
Our family is embarking on a new adventure. We have purchased a 1965 Mustang Coupe in great need of restoration. It was one of our goals for the boys to learn how engines and other automobile systems work prior to their graduation from our homeschool and now we have a hands on way for them to learn. The first step, as we see it, is to completely strip out the interior and see what we have to work with. Two engines and a rebuilt transmission came with the car and so we have something to work with there. This project will be a fun way for our boys to learn all about automobiles - from the inside out and to spend quality time with dad. I will post pictures periodically as things change.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
In the middle of the project:
After the project was done:
This project became a family project. Our dining room chairs desperately needed recovering. The old country plaid was beyond cleaning and starting to get holes on the edges. The project involved removing the seats from the chairs and then removing the old fabric. This was a huge undertaking - the manufacturer used a kazillian staples which were not easy to remove. While the chairs were apart, two of our boys helped clean the wood frames with Murphy's Oil Soap and my husband made sure they were tight. After removing the fabric, my husband beveled the edges of the plywood and then I cut out batting and fabric that was left from when I made our curtains several years back. After recovering the seats, my husband scotch guarded them and reassembled the chairs. All three of our boys helped with this project which took the better part of Saturday and a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon. I forgot to take the before pictures of the really ugly seats.
Thanks to 5 Minutes for Mom for hosting Tackle it Tuesday! Check out their blog for more completed projects and inspiration to Tackle it, whatever your "IT" is.
Here is my menu for this week:
Monday: Beef Taco Bake (easy dish and everyone loves it)
Tuesday: White Beans and Ham Soup (starting up soup days again)
Wednesday - Chicken Parmesan
Thursday - Dinner out at King's Buffet (to celebrate my birthday, which is actually on Wednesday - but our daughter is off on Thursday and I wanted her to be able to join us.)
Friday: Pizza Fish (this is a Prism recipe that we haven't had for a long time)
Saturday: We are going to visit the Museum of Flight - maybe soft tacos when we get home or maybe fast food.
Sunday: your on your own
I am still working on our breakfasts. Coffee Momma if you read this, could you post your breakfast cookie recipe? I have some Canadian Bacon in the refrigerator and so I will probably do some sort of breakfast casserole this week. Last week we did baked oatmeal, pancakes and scrambled eggs, strawberry & yogurt smoothies with instant oatmeal, waffles and the old standby: cold cereal. I found a website called Mr. Breakfast that looks interesting, I hope to have some time to investigate it more fully this week.
Thanks to Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Be sure to check her blog for other great menu ideas!
Monday, September 18, 2006
I had a busy weekend, mostly away from home and thus my menu got planned late. Here is what I have so far:
Monday: Tuna Noodle Casserole (it had been ages since we had this and everyone liked it)
Tuesday: Chicken Noodle Soup (out of the can - with home made muffins)
Wednesday: Grilled Burgers for the Kiddos, Steak and Potatoes for mom and dad
Thursday: Stuffed chicken (was on last weeks menu, but we substituted a different chicken dish as we didn't have all the ingredients for this one)
Friday: Baked Salmon, Brown Rice and steamed veggies.
Saturday: Youth Program Dinner at church
Sunday: Your on your own - usually burritos or sandwiches.
I am also trying to work on our breakfast menu. We have fallen into the rut of boxed cereal most mornings, which is less than healthy and also expensive. Last week I got up early and fixed baked oatmeal one morning, scrambled eggs one morning, Fruit smoothies & whole wheat toast once and plain old oatmeal once - we still fell back on cold cereal the rest of the time. What kind of breakfasts do you fix for your family?
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Leave the house at 2:15 pm and drop son #2 at the Middle School for football practice. Return home at about 2:45. (luckily everything is pretty close). Leave home at about 3:35 pm to take son #1 to Driver's Ed. Return home about 4:15. Leave home at about 4:50 to pick up son #2 at the middle school. Return home about 5:15pm. Leave home at about 5:45 to pick up son #1 at Drivers Ed. Return home at about 6:15. (on Wednesdays we will leave from Drivers Ed to go to bible class) On Tuesdays and Thursdays - Leave home at 6:50 to take son #3 to Swim Lessons, return home about 7:45 pm. Hopefully I will be able to stay on top of all of this - add to it, parent meeting for football, and scheduling drive time with the Drivers Ed school. Swimming stops in 4 weeks, drivers ed in about 5 weeks and football at the end of October and then we should be back to our normal hum drum schedule.
Monday, September 11, 2006
On 5 Minutes for Mom they have a Tackle it Tuesday encouragement post each week. The idea is to pick a project that needs doing in your home and then to do it. On Tuesday, blog about the project when it is done. The project that I picked is to clean up the floor along my side of the bed. This area tends to catch all of the mess that has no real home or that is in process for some other project. I was able to get the area cleaned up and even dusted the furniture. Over the weekend we shampooed all of the carpets in the house.
Chili (canned or homemade)
Fritos - Original or other (we like the chili cheese)
In a 9 x 13 or larger pan - Cover the bottom with Fritos. Over the Fritos add your Chili - you want enough to fill the pan and then top with the cheddar. For a 9 x 13, I use about four 15 oz. cans of chili. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. We usually serve with a green salad.
Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie started Menu Plan Monday. I think this is a great idea, hopefully it will help me to keep planning menus. Having a menu plan helps with the budget as well as keeping the dinners on time. My husband works swing shift and so we have to get dinner by 12:00 or 12:30 pm., which can be a challenge as we are also homeschooling our three boys and have very busy mornings. Here is my menu for this week.
1. Frito Pie
2. Stuffed Chicken
3. Quick Chili Rice Casserole
4. Tuna Wedge
5. Beef Stroganoff
Saturday, September 09, 2006
The Common Room family have a couple of funny posts about their new puppy - the probably Irish Wolfhound, Donovan here, here and an adorable picture here. That family is so much fun!
Athena in a Minivan has a great video that you must watch!
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Museum of History and Industry in Seattle
Burke Museum at the University of Washington - Seattle
Washington State History Museum - Tacoma (free from 5pm-8pm)
Seattle Museum of Flight - Seattle (free from 5pm - 9pm)
Seattle Asian Art Museum - Seattle (free on First Saturday too)
(the Seattle Art Museum usually has the First Thursday free too, but they are currently closed for remodeling.
Wing Luke Asian Museum - Seattle
Today we took our first field trip of the new school year. We went with some dear friends to the Burke Museum at the University of Washington. This museum contains a great variety of items from geological finds to dinosaur skeletons to cultural displays. The lower floor contains cultural displays from the many diverse groups of people living in the Seattle area. These included Native Americans, Japanese, Korean, Polynesian peoples, Laotian and others. They don't allow photography in the museum so you will have to go to their website to see the exhibits. The children enjoyed the trip as did the moms! This museum is well worth the time!
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
1) ONE HOMESCHOOLING BOOK YOU HAVE ENJOYED.
Educating the Whole Hearted Child by Sally Clarkson
2) ONE RESOURCE YOU WOULDN'T BE WITHOUT
Email groups and internet search engines
3) ONE RESOURCE YOU WISH YOU HAD NEVER BOUGHT
I can't really think of any off hand - I try to be very careful with my purchases and have used most of the items that I bought enough to justify their expense.
4) ONE RESOURCE YOU ENJOYED LAST YEAR
Ourselves by Charlotte Mason
5) ONE RESOURCE YOU WILL BE USING NEXT YEAR
Notgrass American History
6) ONE RESOURCE YOU WOULD LIKE TO BUY
CadCam student program
7) ONE RESOURCE YOU WISH EXISTED:
Someone that could come in and organize our family room area for a nominal fee. ;D
8) ONE HOMESCHOOLING CATALOGUE YOU ENJOY READING
I like Rainbow Resource catalogue
9) ONE HOMESCHOOLING WEBSITE YOU USE REGULARLY
Ambleside online and many other blogs
10) TAG FIVE OTHER HOMESCHOOLERS:
1. I tag whoever that wants to play that hasn't yet.
Five things I have in my:
1. Chicken Breasts
3. Pepperoni Hot Pockets
3. My dad's slides and slide projector
4. Craft Supplies
2. Power Invertor
3. hair brush
4. Mozart CD
5. Green Apple gum
1. Burt's Bees lip balm
5. Cell phone
People that I am tagging:
1. Beth Spera In Domino
2. Our Blue Castle
3. Any others who would like to participate
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Friday, August 18, 2006
On our way home from Montana, we stopped at Cataldo Mission State Park. We have driven past is so many times on our way to from other places and never stopped. I was driving and decided it was time to take a break. This mission is the oldest building in Idaho. It was a worthwhile stop and now my curiousity is satisfied.
This is a near arial view of Yellowstone Bible camp. I say near, because it is actually taken from what is called T-shirt mountain. Some of the men, boys and girls climbed this mountain and at the top there are T-shirts that they can sign. Our older two boys really enjoyed this challenge. This was a great vacation.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Friday, August 04, 2006
There is a fire burning on the east side of Glacier Park and at one point the Going to the Sun Road was closed halfway up. We were concerned that we might not be able to get across the park and make it to where we had a motel reserved. Well, they got the fire somewhat under control and the roads opened so we made it through. I took a couple of pictures - one of the smoke from the fire, it is taken from an overlook near Lake St. Mary, and the second of some of the devestation that the fire caused. We saw lots of charred trees and even some flames in the top of a tree, it was a terrible and sad sight.
We enjoyed seeing the Red Tour Buses that operate in the park and couldn't help taking pictures of them. I am including one of a bus going through one of the tunnels in the park. There are also many wildflowers in the alpine areas and I am partial to them so I am including one or two pictures of them too.
Yesterday we drove from Missoula up to West Glacier and then on into Glacier National Park. It took us a lot longer to drive up than we thought because there was much road construction. After we went into the park we had a picnic lunch at the Apgar picnic area. It was very pretty there on the end of Lake McDonald. The weather was warm and sunny. We spent the afternoon and early evening driving around in the west side of the park. We stopped at McDonald Lodge and walked through - it is very old and beautiful with log beams and a gianormous fireplace. Today we got up and drove across the rest of the park, we took our time and stopped many places along the way. I have a flair up of bursitis in my knee right now and so we could not do as much hiking or even walking as we would normally do. We did stop at Logan Pass Visitor Center and do a 3 mile hike up to Hidden Lake. I am sure I will pay for that later. We did get to see mountain goats, bighorn sheep, hairy marmots, ground squirrels, and chipmunks during this visit. This visit to Glacier was time well spent.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
It has been a very busy week. Our eldest child, Plant Lover, celebrated her 21st birthday on the 25th and her very dear friend Tiffany and husband Josiah and baby Anya came to visit from Nashville. We had a BBQ with friends and family this past Sunday and had a wonderful time celebrating with our dear daughter.
My grandfather, Clarence Raymond Smith, was born July 13th, 1917 in a small town in Arkansas. He was a father, a husband, a grandfather and great grandfather. He was a wonderful grandfather, who loved to spend time with us kids. When I was in grade school and junior high he used to take me fishing with him and we would catch bunches of fish and then grandma would fry up a mess. He always had a big garden, enough to feed and army and he teased me about my first garden - he said it was a "postage stamp garden". It thrilled him that I was interested in gardening. Grandpa loved to work with wood and was always puttering in his shop and his other favorite thing was grocery shopping and keeping the pantry full. You would find him with all the grocery ads and then he would go all day from store to store getting the good deals. He liked to cook and make a mess. Grandpa had a triple bipass surgery and then lived life to the fullest for about 15 more years. The man was stubborn but boy did he have some spunk. Grandpa loved the Lord and did he sing about it (although a bit off key). He went on to be with the Lord, December 1996 and he is sorely missed.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
A Christmas Carol
Reading Between the Lines
When God Writes Your Love Story
Best Friends for Life
Pride and Prejudice
The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Tom Sawyer Abroad
Tom Sawyer Detective
More Hours in My Day
I Gave Dating a Chance
The Scarlet Letter
Robinson Crusoe (with B#2)
Book of Indians (with B#3)
Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled
The Hurrier I Go: Finding Time for the People in Your Life
Th Man Who Was Thursday
For the Children's Sake
Dating with Integrity
How to Read a Book
"At the beginning I said there were Personalities in God. I will go further now. There are no real personalities anywhere else. Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self. Sameness is to be found most among the most "natural" men, not among those who surrender to Christ. How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different are the saints."
" In the same way the church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the bible itself are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. it is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose. It says in the Bible that the whole universe was made for Christ and that everything is to be gathered together in Him."
"But we must not remain babies. We must go on to recognise the real Giver. It is madness not to. Because, if we do not, we shall be relying on human beings. And that is going to let us down. The best of them will make mistakes; all of them will die. We must be thankful to all the people who have helped us, we must honour them and love them. But never, never pin your whole faith on any human being: not if he is the best and wisest in the whole world. There are lots of nice things you can do with sand; but do not try building a house on it."
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
20 years ago (1986)
1. I was 25 years old.
2. My oldest was almost one
3. I worked for the Federal Aviation Administration in their personnel office.
15 years ago (1991)
1. Our second oldest was 8 months old
2. We were getting ready for our dear friends to move in with us.
3. I was content to be a wife and mommy.
10 years ago (1996)
1. I was 35 and was 8 months pregnant with my fourth child.
2. My grandfather was very ill
3. We went to see a civil war reenactment
5 years ago (2001)
1. Went to my first Apple Cider Press Youth Rally
2. Spent lots of time with our friends the Reddings
3. Listened to our daughter sing with her friends at Youth Rallys
3 Years ago (2003)
1. We camped at Mt. Ranier, North Cascades, Olympic National Parks and Mt. St. Helens
2. I witnessed the birth of my dear friends daughter.
3. Our oldest graduated from our homeschool.
1 year ago (2005)
1. We went camping in Spokane, WA
2. We went to We Care Ministry training
3. We went camping at the Olympic National Park
This year so far (2006)
1. Our two oldest boys have committed their lives to Jesus.
2. We went on a mission trip to Texas.
3. We changed churches after 14 years at the same one.
1. Met some friends at the park
2. I did laundry
3. Planned for our reading program
1. Went to a garden with my daughter
2. Hosted neighborhood reading program
3. Worked on School Planning
1. I will watch my son at swimming lessons
2. I will fix dinner for my family
3. I will help with Summer Memory Madness
In the next year
1. I will go to Yellowstone bible camp
2. I will work on my scrapbook
3. I will work on decluttering my house
In the next minute
1. Get ready for Bed
Saturday, July 15, 2006
(found in A Man Who Was Thursday)
Megalomania: 1) a mental disorder characterized by delusions of grandeur, wealth, power, etc. 2) a passion for or for doing big things; 3) a tendency to exaggerate
(found in Mere Christianity)
Last Sunday afternoon, we went to see Pirate's of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. We are big fans of the first movie and we really enjoyed this one as well. There were a couple of creepy parts that I didn't like, especially the opening scene, but for the most part it was a very entertaining story. Johnny Depp was as creative as ever in his character of Captain Jack and the costuming for Davy Jones and his crew were favorites of our whole family. Sensitive individuals may be upset by a few of the scenes that contain violence.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Bouncy Boy, our youngest child, turned 10 last week. In our family, we have the tradition of letting the special birthday person select breakfast and dinner menus. On his birthday, we had cinnamon grands for breakfast and Pappa Murphys Pizza for dinner. Because he wanted his big brother to be at his party, he chose to wait until a few days after his birthday to celebrate with his friends. B#1 got home from his mission trip late Sunday night and we had Bouncy Boy's birthday party on Monday afternoon. He didn't want cake and chose to only have ice cream, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Vanilla. It seems just as if it were yesterday that Bouncy Boy came into our lives. My how time flies! This child fills our lives with much love and excitement. He is a very passionate child, there is no in between with him. He keeps us on our toes. Currently he is really into marvel comics and action figures.