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Monday, February 28, 2011

Menu Monday

It's Monday!  I am trying again! Mondays are for fresh starts.  May as well have good intentions, right?!  :)

So, here's the menu for this week:  It's a short week for me because my husband and I are leaving town Thursday for a mini vacation!!  YAY!

Sunday: Mexican - with a gift certificate!  :)
Monday: Baked Chicken Wings, Baked Potatoes, and SaladTuesday: Shrimp Alfredo and Salad
Wednesday: Trying a NEW recipe - Paula Deen's Beef Stroganoff

So, what's on your menu this week?  Trying something new?  Just share it!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

DING! Time's Up!

Hello again!  I am having a hard time finding time to blog.  If I have the time, I don't have the energy or I have a headache (which I probably will be making a trip to the dr soon for those).  But anyway, I WANT to blog and I WANT to share, so I'm going to try even harder to make the time to blog.  So, onto the post for today...

I want to share with you how the timer helps us.  When my kids were toddlers and they would need to pick their toys up, I would tell them that I was going to count to 10 or 20 and see how many toys they could put away.  I would sometimes challenge them to beat me.  For some reason, this always motivated them.  It was a fun way to get the job done.

Even now, everyday, we have chores that must be completed so we now set the timer. (Counting to 10 or 20 just won't work anymore.)  Sometimes, I will set it for 5 minutes and we will work together getting some things accomplished in one room.  Sometimes, 15 minutes is what is needed, depending on the room and the job.  I have charts for afternoon chores and the timer is set for 30 minutes.  For some reason, this still motivates my kids and myself.  I don't want chores to drag on forever and neither do they, so they look at that timer and know it will be accomplished before they hear the "ding".

I do the same thing for our homeschool.  I don't do this for every subject.  I don't time our Bible lessons or any of the subjects we all do together.  The main subject I time is MATH.  One of my children does not like Math, not because they aren't capable.  She just looks at 2 pages and gets discouraged and says, "I will never get this done!"  If I set the timer for 30 minutes, she has a goal then and she knows she can be finished in 30 minutes.  If not, she has to finish during her free time.  Yes, that's motivation!

Are your chores or homeschool days dragging, set that timer and see if it will help!  It works for us!  Thankful I can share with you!


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Menu Monday

 “Family dinners should be planned with as much thought and care as company dinners.”
~ Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book, 1946 

I read the above quote a while back and loved it.  I do put a lot of thought into our family dinners each week.  I love to try new recipes for my family and just really enjoy being able to prepare meals for them.  So here's what's for dinner this week:

Sunday: Out (Birthday party)
Monday: Lumpia, Broccoli, and Rice
Tuesday: Baked Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, and Corn
Wednesday: Jambalaya, Slaw, and Cornbread
Thursday: Fettucini Alfredo, Salad, and Garlic Bread
Friday: Pizza Night!!
Saturday: BBQ, Baked Beans, Slaw, Potato Salad, and Garlic Bread

So, what are you cooking this week?  Just share it!


Saturday, January 29, 2011


No, I'm not talking about the soap we use to wash with, but rather a method to studying the Bible. Until recently, I had never heard of the SOAP method. SOAP - S/Scripture, O/Observation, A/Application, and P/Prayer. I am using this method to study the book of James right now along with some other ladies from an online group. I will share more about that later. Each day I read a verse or two, I write out the verses (S). I write out my observations (O). Next, I write out how I can apply what I just read (A). Lastly, I write some things that I am praying about that day/ask God to help me with what I have just read (P). At the end of the study I will have written out the entire book of James in my notebook.

I can't tell you how much studying the Bible in this way has helped me. I have studied the Bible in various ways before. Honestly, a lot of times I would just read several chapters and close it, barely remembering what I had just read, let alone thinking about how to apply it to my life. I only wish someone had shared this with me sooner! I enjoy my reading everyday and when I am finished with the book of James, I plan to carry on with a different book of the Bible using the SOAP method as well.

So how do you study your Bible?  Have you ever used the SOAP method?  Remember to just share it with never know who you may help along the way.  Thankful someone shared it with me!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fighting the Flu

So for the last week we've been fighting the flu. It has not been fun to say the least. It all started last Wednesday when Mykenzie woke up with a fever, headache, and sore throat. She felt terrible and barely moved other than to drink water when I insisted. On Thursday, she was still feeling terrible. I was thinking it was a little "bug" that would pass in a couple of days. After talking to a church friend whose daughter had the same symptoms as Mykenzie and finding out she tested positive for the flu, I called the dr. Within a few hours and after a few tests (the dr was so convinced that she had strep and not the flu that he did the strep test twice before the flu test), Mykenzie had also tested positive for the flu. He prescribed tamiflu and gave me a lecture on the need for getting the flu shot. I've definitely added flu shots to the to-do list for next year. I think all 6 of us "tried" to get it, but thankfully some of our immune systems were stronger and fought it off. Friday was just a blur. Morgan, Nathan, Mykenzie, and I pretty much just slept off and on all day. We all felt pretty bad. By Friday night, Nathan and Morgan were feeling back to normal but Mykaela was running a fever. I continued to feel worse. Mykaela ran a fever through Sunday, off and on. Mykenzie was improving, but I insisted she rest periodically and continue the tamiflu. The weekend was soon over and I was feeling lousy. By Monday I knew I had an infection and called my dr, hoping they would just call me something in. No such luck. So I got us ready and made the 40 minute drive to the dr with 4 kids, told her I had an infection, she looked at me and said, "Yeah, you're right.", wrote me a couple of prescriptions and sent us on our way. (And of course collected that lovely co-pay!) Today has been a better day. None of us are still 100%, but definitely better.

I've been reading James and the whole time we've been going through this, I keep reminding myself to, "Count it all joy." It's hard to think that a trial is for our good. What good comes from the flu? I really can't say I have that answer right now. I have been reminded to be thankful for certain things. There was a time that we did not have health insurance and going to the dr and getting meds was financially difficult. When I paid those copays and filled those prescriptions, I remembered those times and thanked the Lord for the blessing of health insurance. I was also reminded that it could be a lot worse. I can honestly say this is the sickest I have ever seen Mykenzie and she is 10. What a blessing! I am also thankful that I didn't have to go to work or feel guilty for not going to work. I could stay home and take care of my children and myself. Although this sickness wasn't one that I could say gave me some time to read, gave me time to did give me some time to think. In between coughing, sneezing, blowing, giving out doses of medicine, while I was laying down in this (rarely ever) quiet house, I did a lot of thinking and one day I will share with you what I thought about. Until then, if you are going through a trial, look for the good and count it all joy. Even the flu? Sigh...Yes, even the flu.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wow, it's Wednesday!

I have been so busy. We had a week of snow which is unusual for us, I have been dealing with headaches everyday, and now I have a sick child. So, now it's Wednesday! Sometimes I wonder where the time goes.

On my list of goals for the year, was learning to coupon. I have been clipping for 2 weeks. Last week I saved over $60! I was very pleased. Last night I went to a coupon class. I really enjoyed it. I will share some of the things I learned another day.

I have also been doing a Bible study on the book of James. I am enjoying that so much. I joined a group of online homeschool moms from different areas and we share with each other everyday what the Lord is showing us through His Word. It has been very encouraging. I will share more of that another day also.

What do I want to share today? My menu...I know it's not Monday, but better late than never. Right?

Sunday - Showmars
Monday - Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
Tuesday - Spaghetti (Thanks Mom!)
Wednesday - Pizza
Thursday - Jambalaya, Beans, Slaw, and Jalapeno Cornbread
Friday - Beef Stew, French Bread, and Apple Crostata (co-op cooking class)
Saturday - Lumpia, Rice, and Broccoli
Sunday - Spaghetti Casserole and Garlic Bread

My menu is pretty basic this week. Maybe I will share my spaghetti casserole recipe with you on Sunday. I want to make a display for my kitchen that shows the menu for the week. If I get to that project, I will share it too. As for right now, I think I will head to bed and pray everyone stays well all night. It's been a long day!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Ultimate Comfort Food...Chicken Potpie!

This is how I make my chicken potpie. We love it!

2 1/4 cups self rising flour
2 COLD sticks of butter (cut into squares)
8-10 Tbsp ICE water
Place flour in bowl to mix with stand mixer. Add squares of COLD butter. Mix until mixture resembles wet sand. Slowly add water. Do not overmix. That and the cold butter are the key to a good crust. Divide dough into 2 balls and wrap separately with plastic wrap. Place in freezer to chill.

In the meantime, mix together:
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups chicken stock
Frozen carrots, peas, and corn
Shredded chicken
Pepper to taste

Spray dish or pie plate with cooking spray.

Flour work surface and take one ball of dough out of freezer. Roll to desired shape. Place in dish.

Pour chicken and veg mixture on top.

Roll second dough ball out. Place on top of mixture. Make it as pretty or plain as you like. I had a helper with mine tonight. :-) Poke holes on top with a fork.

Whisk one egg in a bowl and brush on top to make it golden brown.

Bake at 400 for 30 - 45 mins until bubbling and golden brown.


Give me the rolling pin!

You can have those frozen dumplings, canned biscuits, and bisquick! Just give me the rolling pin! I like doing it the hard way and as many try to convince me to simplify things in the kitchen, I just don't believe there's a substitute for the REAL thing. Now I'm not saying I've never cut those corners, but I'm not happy when I do. It's worth the little extra effort for truly homemade crusts, dumplings, biscuits, etc. We're having chicken potpie for supper tonight. I decided to switch out a couple meals this week. Stay tuned for the tutorial with pics after I make this meal for my family tonight. We are having another snow day here in the Carolinas and what better comfort food to feed my family than chicken potpie? Yummy. I can't wait!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Menu Monday

We have enjoyed a lazy snow day at home. We played in the snow, made snowcream, watched a movie, ate popcorn, and now a big pot of chili is simmering on the stove. I will make a pan of brownines too. I love SNOW DAY traditions.

Here's our menu for this week.

Sunday: BBQ chicken, baked potatoes, and salad
Monday: Chili
Tuesday:Jambalaya, slaw, and cornbread
Wednesday: Chicken potpie
Thursday: Lumpia and wild rice
Friday: Date night
Saturday: Spaghetti and salad

Here's how I make my chili.

1 pkg of ground beef, turkey, or deer meat
1 green pepper
1 jalapeno (seeded)
1/3 onion
Minced garlic
Place in a pan to brown meat and saute other ingredients.
Dump in:
2 cans rinsed pinto beans
2 cans rinsed kidney beans
1 can rinsed black beans
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato sauce
water to desired consistency
Chili powder
Frank's Red Hot
1 Tbsp Cocoa powder

Simmer for several hours or place in crockpot on low all day. Top with crackers or tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and sour cream. Yummy!

Well, I'm off to make our bowls of chili!


Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Reading List

So I have another list to share. This is my reading list for the year. Usually I just buy books that I see that interests me or maybe someone will suggest a book and I will buy it throughout the year. I've really never had a list, but I got the idea from another lady and decided to "copy" her. Glad she shared! This year I am trying to read more books that will help me to grow as a Christian, wife, mom, and friend. I started out with a list and then I went to my favorite used curriculum store and saw a couple more that sparked an interest and decided to add them. After reading them, I will post a review and let you know what I think of each one so stay tuned. Here's the list!

Sleep It Does a Family Good
One Million Arrows-Raising Your Children to Change the World
Redefining Beautiful
The Mission of Motherhood
Putting God Back in the Holidays
Intimate Issues
Intimacy Ignited
The Family
Raising Maidens of Virtue
Passionate Housewives Desperate for God
Grace is for Sinners
Bringing up Girls
Seasons of a Mother's Heart
The Joyful Home Schooler
The Relaxed Home School
Guiding Your Family in a Misguided World
The Five Love Languages

I am reading The Joyful Home Schooler right now and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It's just what I need right now. I am by nature pretty high strung. I like to have everything "just right" and when it's not, I'm not happy. One of my goals/desires is to relax with my family. I am training myself that it's okay if there are a couple of things on the kitchen counter, it's not the end of the world. Last night I reached a HUGE milestone. We had a family night with pizza and I actually RELAXED with my family, watched the movie and left a few cups in the sink all night. Now, I have to admit that as soon as my feet hit the floor this morning I went straight to the kitchen and took care of it. That may seem crazy to most people, but usually I wouldn't be able to do anything until I had everything "just right". I'm taking baby steps with God's help. I will keep you posted on what I learn through my reading.

So what are you reading?

Just share it!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

11 Goals for 2011

I decided to set goals for this year instead of just the usual resolution: LOSE WEIGHT. These aren't necessarily in order of importance. Being the person I am, I decided to have 11 for 2011. Just can't resist. :)

1. Read my Bible completely.
2. Find an area to serve at church.
3. Set aside more quality time with my husband.
4. Relax and enjoy my family more.
5. Make homeschooling more fun.
6. Read at least 1 "self help" book each month.
7. Eat/cook healthier.
8. Exercise more.
9. Become a better manager of my time.
10. Learn how to use coupons.
11. Learn how to "freezer cook."

So do you set resolutions or make goals for the new year? I'd love to hear yours!

Just share it!

Comfy In The Kitchen: Chicken Scaloppini

This is what's for dinner tonight. Love this blog and love trying NEW things!
Comfy In The Kitchen: Chicken Scaloppini: "A short while ago I asked some of my friends to send me some of their favorite recipes. One of my friends, Katie, gave me her favorite chic..."

Just share it!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cleaning out the Freezer

I'm taking this week and cleaning out the freezer and cabinets. I wanted to see what I could make with what I have and purchase a small amount to supplement with. So here's what's for dinner this week:

Sunday: Out to eat (Christmas gift cards are great!)
Monday: Roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions (from the freezer) and leftover peas (ladies Bible study night)
Tuesday: Lemon chicken with noodles and green beans
Wednesday: Taco soup (From a jar mix - another gift!)
Thursday: Pinto beans, cabbage, and cornbread
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Undecided/ I'm not sure what my hubby has planned for the day.

Just share YOUR menu with others too. You never may inspire someone to try something new!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcoming a new year!

It's hard to believe another year has come and gone! This has been an awesome beginning to 2011. I spent the entire day with my family, the most precious people in my life. I decided to do things differently this year. I typically cook a very nontraditional meal for New Year's Day, but this year I decided to be traditional. I am so glad I did! The meal was awesome. We enjoyed fried pork chops, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, black eyed peas, cornbread, and a chocolate heath bar cake featured on a blog I follow.

We also started a NEW tradition. I purchased a notebook this week. The cover reads, "I am Thankful". Today at our meal, we each wrote something we were thankful for today in the notebook. We will continue to do this the entire year and read it through on New Year's Eve 2011 and reflect back on the year's blessings. We were so excited as we wrote in the book that will be kept on our dining room table, as a gentle reminder to BE THANKFUL.

So as we begin this new year, my theme word will be: THANKFUL. I am going to try to look for the good in every situation, not dwell on what I don't have or what I need, but instead look around me and see just how blessed I am. "In everything give thanks..."

I hope you will all have a blessed 2011!

Did you begin new traditions or has God blessed you recently? Don't forget to just share it with others!