Friday, December 30, 2011

The Homeschooling Mother's Journal

In my life this week…we had a wonderful Christmas weekend. We spent Saturday with my folks and Sunday at my Mother-In-Love's. Daughter spent two nights this week with my folks and two nights with my MIL. This gave hubby and I some time alone and we rented three movies from Red Box! We have only watched two, but so far Captain America has been my favorite.

In our homeschool this week…we are off school until January 9th!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…met some wonderful folks at my MIL's on Sunday. Daughter made two new friends there. We are already making plans to get them together.

My favorite thing this week was…spending time as a family before hubby begins work and will be out of town for a couple of weeks with new employee training.

Things I’m working on…New Year's Resolutions. Yep, I make them every year.

I’m reading…not a whole lot. But I am still reading Mansfield Park and The House of the Seven Gables. Having trouble getting into a reading mood of late.

I’m cooking…up a turkey this weekend and going to make some turkey freezer meals and feed the freezer.

I’m grateful for…God's providence.

I’m praying for…friends who are unemployed and friends who are having difficulties in their marriages. Safe travel for my hubby during his first few weeks of new employee training.

Thanks for stopping by Second Star Academy. Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

End of the Year Reflection

It's nearing the end of 2011 and nearing the beginning of a brand new start with 2012. So I thought I would review my resolutions I made at the beginning of the year and see how we/I did.


We continued to declutter and take things to our favorite thrift store throughout the year, although, not as much as I would like. More on that a little later.

The bathroom in the basement and the entrance from the garage into the basement got new tiled floors and the bathroom walls got a nice new coat of paint. The new light fixture wasn't installed as we decided to use that one in daughter's bathroom and paint the basement bath light fixture with some oil rubbed bronze paint. So that is going to be moved to the 2012 list.

We didn't have to replace the toilet in the master bath and only had to have it repaired. New faucets were put in our master bath and daughter's bath.

We were able to sell our pub table and four chairs that we used to have in the kitchen. We also gave away our second-hand sectional that was in our den and we received a nice love seat and two big club chairs from my Mother-In-Love to use in their place and they fit much nicer in that room.

We continued throughout the year to declutter our books and take them to McKays for cash or McKays cash which we can turn around and purchase more books with. We haven't used the McKays cash yet, but will probably let daughter pick out books for herself with that.

My house received a nice pressure washing this summer.

We rented a storage unit to put our things in as we make our house less cluttered and more presentable for sale.

We did not place our house on the market. We will do that in the spring of 2012.


I have seen improvement in my attitude toward my husband. I made a resolution at the beginning of the year to be less nagging. I think I have improved, but you may have to ask my hubby for the truth on that one :). My husband getting employment, beginning January 3rd has definitely lifted my spirits and made me much more pleasurable to be around.

As a family, we have begun praying more together.

We were able to spend two weeks in South Carolina on vacation which was very nice.


I have gotten much better with my vitamin/supplement taking, but could still do better.

I am continuing to read God's Word but not really doing much intensive studying of it.

I have read quite a few books this year.


We are doing much better with home schooling our daughter this year than we did the first year. I love the flexibility of it and daughter is very happy being home schooled, which is always a good thing.

On New Years day, I will post my new goals and resolutions for 2012.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Menu for week of December 26th

Happy Boxing Day!

It's a new week and it almost feels like the new year. When the holidays are over I feel like a new year has begun. I hope everyone had a wonderful time with their families on Christmas. I know we did! Here is what I plan on feeding my family this week.

Monday: Breakfast-slept in :) ate Christmas junk-Buckeyes, Cranberry Bread, Coffee
Lunch-Hubby and daughter are eating out and I will probably just have a PB&J
Dinner-Macaroni and Ham Cheese Pie (new recipe-if we like it, I will post the recipe tomorrow), Green Veggies

Tuesday: Breakfast-Biscuit Sandwiches (egg-Canadian Bacon on Grands), freeze extras for future.
Dinner-Chili Corn Dog Casserole (freeze one), Oven Fries, Salad

Chili corn dog casserole

2 cans chili with beans (I use turkey chili)

1 pound hotdogs cut in 1/2 in. pieces

1 can drained cut up canned tomatoes

1 can drained whole kernel corn

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese.

2 boxes jiffy brand corn bread.

Mix all ingredients and put in 2 sprayed 8x8 baking pans. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese on each casserole. Bake for 20 minutes until bubbly. Make cornbread according to package directions. (do not bake!) Spread on hot chili mixture. Return to oven and bake about 25-30 minutes or until cornbread is cooked and golden brown.

Wednesday:Breakfast-Ham and Cheese Muffins (freeze extras), scrambled eggs
Dinner-Spaghetti Casserole (freeze two extra), Salad, French Bread

Spaghetti Casserole

(Makes 2 casseroles, 6 servings each)

16 oz. pkg. angel hair pasta

1 ½ pound ground beef (I use ground chicken or turkey)

26 oz. jar spaghetti sauce

2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup sour cream

2 c. shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese

Cook pasta. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium heat, cook beef, drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce. Remove from heat. Drain pasta. Combine soup and sour cream. In two 8 inch square baking dishes, layer half of the meat sauce, pasta, soup mixture and cheese. Repeat layers. Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining casserole 350 degrees 55-65 minutes or until cheese is melted.

To use frozen casserole: Thaw in fridge overnight. Remove from fridge, 30 minutes before baking. Bake as directed.

Thursday: Breakfast-Oatmeal
Dinner-Turkey Burgers, Oven Fries

Friday: Breakfast-One Eyed Jacks, Sausage
Lunch-PB&J, Apple
Dinner-Lasagna Roll-ups (freeze extra), Salad, French Bread

Saturday: Breakfast-Pancakes
Lunch-Soup and Grilled Cheese
Dinner-Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Stuffing, Green Beans, Rolls

Sunday: Banana Oat Muffin (from freezer)
Lunch-Leftover Buffet

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Homeschooling Mother's Journal

In my life this week…it's been a week of getting ready for Christmas Eve with my folks and Christmas Day with my hubby's folks. It's been fun, don't get me wrong. I love this time of the year. I love the Christmas programs at churches, the Christmas shows on TV, and all the wonderful Christmas music.

In our homeschool this week…nothing new. Just plugging along. Hubby has been helping with this while I'm cooking and washing dishes, and baking and washing dishes, and doing laundry, and making goodies, and washing dishes, and did I say washing dishes???

I am inspired by…blessings far beyond what I deserve.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…well, we went to the movies on Tuesday and daughter and I saw A Dolphin's Tale. What a wonderful heartwarming movie it was. Hubby saw the new Planet of the Apes movie and he said it was better than he thought it would be. Also this week, we went to dinner with friends from out of town and a couple from our Adult Bible Fellowship. It was a nice time catching up with one another and enjoying a meal at a nice restaurant. We used to be in a small group together. We miss that so much. One couple moved out of state and another out of town.

My favorite thing this week was…probably seeing my friends and having dinner together.

Things I’m working on…finishing up the goodie bags of yumminess for Christmas. Nothing says Lovin' like something from the oven!

I’m reading…Mansfield Park, House of Seven Gables and A Woman's Call to Prayer.

I’m cooking…I've made some yummy things as gifts this year: Ritz Cookies, Mini Pumpkin Breads, Mini Cranberry Breads. Tomorrow I'm making Chai Latte Mix and Buckeyes. I've put some things in the freezer: Dump Cranberry Chicken and Banana Oatmeal Muffins. I've already baked my Sausage and Cheese balls and bagged them up and put them in the fridge for Christmas Eve brunch. I'm making Taco Soup and Dad is making Mexican cornbread from Christmas Eve. I like having something different like that. Christmas Day will be traditional fare at my MIL's and I'm bringing a Broccoli and Rice Casserole, Jalapeno Corn Casserole, a party-size pan of Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese (delicious!), Wassail and Sweet Southern Tea.

I’m grateful for…family and friends.

I’m praying for…a healthy and happy holiday with family and a nice school break together and our last full days with hubby as he starts work on January 3rd. We want to make the most of these days together. Praying for friends who are unemployed and for marriages that are falling apart.

Thanks for stopping by Second Star Academy. Have a Merry Christmas!


Reindeer Sodas

Me and hubby made these yesterday for some "deer" friends of ours. They just loved them and I do too. I'm gonna make some more. Aren't they just the cutest?

I got the idea from Pinterest. I'm telling you, you gotta check it out!

I have a busy day today doing baking and cookie and candy making and other such things. Sweet hubby is being a "deer" and helping with homeschool today and running out to get us lunch. Gotta love him!

Have a terrific Thursday!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Menu for week of December 19th

Final week before Christmas. Do you have all your shopping, decorating, card sending, and baking done? No me. But it is all in the works. It will all get done If you haven't joined yet, click on my Pinterest button to the right and join. You will love it too.

Here is what is on my dinner menu plan this week:

Monday-Chicken Enchiladas (freeze a pan), Mexican Rice

Tuesday-Lovely Leftovers-popcorn at the Movies

Wednesday-Spaghetti Casserole (freeze two pans), Salad, French Bread

Thursday-Baked Beans with Smoked Sausage, Buttermilk Cornbread

Friday-Dump Cranberry Chicken (crockpot) (freeze a bag), Mashed Potatoes, Italian Green Beans, French Bread

Saturday-Christmas Eve fun at my parents

Sunday-Christmas day at MIL's home. I'm bringing my Broccoli and Rice Casserole, Jalapeno Corn Casserole, Ginormous Party sized Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese, and Wassail.

That's my week. How about you. Go to Organized Junkie to read more menus and get some new ideas on how to feed your family.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Homeschooling Mother's Journal

In my life this week…I have just been trying to get things done to get ready for Christmas. Went to our church's Christmas program on Saturday night and to daughter's best friend's church on Sunday night because her "bestie" got to sing a solo. I love Christmas songs! Monday, I went to my Mother-In-Love's house and Hubby put her tree up and daughter helped to decorate it. I made some cute candy cane candelabras that I found on Pinterest. They turned out cute. I left them with MIL but plan on making some for myself as well. Hubby and daughter went back again the next day to help MIL with another tree for another room. We are having Christmas at her house this year.

In our homeschool this week…Didn't do school for a couple of days with all the Christmas decorating at MIL's going on, so we have been catching up AGAIN. Today, Hubby has been doing math with daughter so I can get some baking done.

I am inspired by…love. I love my Hubby more and more every day.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…besides church programs and MIL's we have pretty much stayed home. Going to go grocery shopping tomorrow while Hubby teaches more math.

My favorite thing this week was…our church's Christmas program. What talent God has given those musicians and singers.

Things I’m working on…looking for IBC root beer or any other cute glass sodas and transforming them into Reindeer. Another Pinterest idea. Gotta love it! I will post a photo when I make them.

I’m reading…my Bible and Mansfield Park by Jane Austen and A Woman's Call to Prayer (with workbook) by Elizabeth George.

I’m cooking…at the moment I have mini loaves of pumpkin bread in the oven and apple muffins are going in next. I made a ton of meatless bean burritos for the freezer this week. These will come in handy for Hubby's lunch when he begins work next month.

I’m grateful for…God's unending love.

I’m praying for…family to have a wonderful Christmas this year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Menu for week of December 12th

I'm going to try again, like I did last week, and follow up during the week with photos and recipes of certain foods. Mondays can be busy around here and it makes me stick to the menu more and hone my photography and computer skills.

Monday: Pork Chops, Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potatoes

Tuesday: Taco Chicken Meat (crock pot), all the fixin's

Wednesday: Leftovers or freezer surprise

Thursday: Dump BBQ Chicken (freeze a bag), Corn on the Cob, Salad, Buns

Friday: Sausage Casserole, Salad, Rolls

Saturday: Leftovers or $5 Hot and Ready Pizza or if my hubby gets his wish, a BACON, BACON BACON, pizza from Papa Murphy's

Sunday: Cajun Chicken (crock pot), Mashed Potatoes, Carol's Corn Casserole

I didn't get to the Apple Muffins last week and I'm gonna try to make those and put them into the freezer along with an old favorite, Banana Oat Muffins, if I can get any bananas to stick around long enough for the muffins. Hubby eats one every day!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Breakfast Treats

I made some seasonal breakfast treats for my classmates at church. Actually it was kinda fun making them and my hubby and daughter joined in. I must admit getting the black gel icing to stick to the powdered donuts was not easy. It kept trying to lift back up. But aren't they cute? I got the idea from Pinterest. I love Pinterest. If you haven't caught the latest addiction, click on my button to the right and join.


Friday, December 9, 2011

The Homeschooling Mother's Journal

In my life this week…

It's good to be back home from South Carolina. Robyn and I left a day early just because we were ready to be home again. Robert joined us after we got there and then had to leave early due to things he had to do for his new job, which starts January 3rd.

In our homeschool this week…

While in South Carolina we didn't do the school we planned on doing due to technical difficulties getting our laptops to work together. So we have been doing extra work since we got home and will continue to do so even on Saturday.

I am inspired by…

my husband's happiness. His mood is so much better knowing he has a job starting next month and that he will be able to support his family once again. It is nice to hear him laugh again.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

We spent two weeks in Surfside Beach, SC and had our Thanksgiving meal there. We went out for Black Friday on the night before and my daughter was so overwhelmed with the crowds at Kohls that she was ready to leave. We think she will not be so interested in Black Friday any longer. I'm okay with that :)

My favorite thing this week was…

getting back home and sleeping in my own bed. Love my king size bed.

Things I’m working on…

finishing up my Christmas shopping. I have my Christmas baking left to do and we aren't doing much decorating as most of the Christmas decorations are stored away in preparation of our move.

I’m reading…

Mansfield Park by Jane Austin

I’m cooking…

good homecooked meals. Look at my Monday menu postings and I even posted some photos this week!

I’m grateful for…

God's blessings on my family.

I’m praying for…

husband's new job. He has a January 3rd start date and I'm praying that all goes well.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Yummy No Meat Lunch Burritos

I found this recipe on the web many years ago. I am not sure where, but I wanted to share it with all of you because these are so good and inexpensive. Keep these in the freezer to send in packed lunches where you have a microwave, or for fast lunches at home.

Yummy No-Meat Lunch Burritos

There is no meat involved, but you don't miss it at all! To make a truly fab meal, serve with sour cream, your favorite salsa and guacamole!"

o 2 cups uncooked brown rice (or whatever rice you have on hand)

o 4 cups water

o 4 (15 ounce) cans black beans

o 2 (15 1/2 ounce) cans pinto beans

o 1 (10 ounce) cans whole kernel corn

o 1 (10 ounce) cans rotel

o 25 (10 inch) flour tortillas ( whole wheat if you want to be healthy!)

o 1 lb shredded monterey jack pepper cheese (or your favorite cheese)

1. Cook rice in water according to package directions.

2. Once done, add drained beans, corn and Rotel to rice.

3. Mix thoroughly.

4. Add cheese.

5. Mix thoroughly again.

6. Divide mix evenly on the tortillas.

7. Fold up to make burritos.

8. Wrap each burrito in plastic wrap then foil.

9. Freeze what won't be used that week.

10. *When ready to use*.

11. Remove foil.

12. Pop in microwave oven for 1 - 1 1/2 min or until center is hot and then carefully remove plastic wrap.

After wrapping in plastic wrap, I just placed mine back in the tortilla zip bag that they came in and then placed them in the freezer.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011



1lb of ground beef (I used ground chicken)

1 onion chopped or diced

1 26oz jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

1 15 oz can of corn

1 cup of shredded cheese

1 12 oz package of your favorite noodles

Prepare the noodles as directed. (I had a package of Wacky Mac bow ties). Brown your ground beef and onion together. (I used 1/2 onion and 1/2 green pepper). I chose to season the meat and the onion with some Italian seasoning and some garlic powder and a little salt and pepper. You can choose whatever you want to kind of kick it up a notch. Drain your ground beef and onion. Toss the noodles, spaghetti sauce, and corn all in with your meat mixture and heat up. If you are going to throw in the cheese you would want to do that now too. If not just heat up the items together and enjoy. This goes great with garlic bread or a salad to top it off. This is a great recipe to have when you are looking for something easy and quick. We also end up with leftovers for a great lunch or dinner the next night.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Chicken Tetrazzini

I am sure I have posted this recipe before, but here is the picture. It is super easy and super cheap to make. I already had a couple cooked and frozen chicken breasts in the freezer and one boneless frozen breast which I cooked. So I just doubled the recipe, cut up all the cooked chicken and mixed it with the other ingredients except the cheese. I made a pan to go in the freezer for a really easy meal on another day.

Chicken Tetrazzini

8 oz. thin spaghetti, cooked, drained

1 can cream of chicken soup

½ cup milk

2 cups diced cooked chicken

4 oz. can sliced mushrooms

¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese

Place spaghetti in buttered 2 qt. casserole. Mix soup and milk. Add diced chicken and drained mushrooms. Combine chicken mixture with spaghetti. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.



Sunday, December 4, 2011

Menu for week of December 5th

I've been MIA for a couple of weeks, as we were out of town enjoying a little time away before hubby begins his new job. We don't have a start date yet, but it will be soon. Here is my plan on what to feed my family this week. I am also challenging myself to post more often and learn how to take the photos off my camera and put them on my laptop (hubby usually does this) and then I can put more photos in my posts. So look for photos and recipes to follow my menu throughout the week.


B- Oatmeal, Orange Juice
L-Our Favorite Chinese Take Out


B-Toaster Strudel
L-Soup and PB&J
D-Chicken Tetrazzini (freeze one), Salad, Rolls (I will post this recipe on Tuesday with a photograph


B-Breakfast Sammies (make up extras to freeze)
L-Sammies, Carrots and Dip
D-Beef Goulash, Rolls or Garlic Bread (photo of recipe on Wednesday with the recipe)


B-Oatmeal, Sliced Apple
L-Yummy No Meat Lunch Wraps (freeze the remainder) (recipe will be posted Thursday with the recipe)
D-Quick Breaded Chicken Strips (or chicken tenders and fish tenders from the freezer), Oven Fries

B-Apple Muffins (freeze remainder) (will post recipe on Friday with a photo)
L-Sammies, Carrots and Dip
D-Navy Beans and Ham, Fried Cabbage, Fried Taters, Cornbread Muffins


B-One Eyed Sailors, Turkey Sausage
L-Leftovers (make pumpkin bread in mini loaves for the freezer)
D-Chicken Helper (I think it's lemon bow-ties or something like that), Salad, Corn, Rolls


L-Crock Pot Baked Beans and Wieners or Smoked Sausage, Salad, Rolls or Cornbread Muffins

Make Chicken Gumbo Soup for the freezer. (will post the recipe on Sunday with a photo)

Thanks for stopping by. Please come back again and again!


Saturday, December 3, 2011

There's no place like home!

It's feels so good to be back home. Robyn and I pulled into our driveway about 9:10 last night to the arms of my loving hubby and two of our three cats. It felt so good to sleep in my bed last night and again today. Yep, I took a nap. Don't be jealous :) The third cat is still at his grandparents until Monday, being spoiled rotten.

I am tired today. It always takes me a while to get readjusted after a trip that required a long drive. But it was worth it. I don't know when we will have a vacation of two weeks again. We were ready to be home though.

Thank you for the prayers for safe travel. We had an uneventful ride home, no traffic, and no scary accident scenes to look at. Thank you Lord.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday in South Carolina

It's just Robyn and I right now. Hubby is on his way back to Tennessee. Please pray for safe travel for him today. He has an appointment in Chattanooga on Wednesday regarding his job. We are so glad we had both vehicles here with us. Robyn and I are going to leave a day early and come home on Friday and avoid some Saturday traffic.

Today Robyn is going to go swimming in the indoor pool here and then I think we may go do some shopping for new shoes for her and maybe go by our favorite bookstore. We love bookstores. It's what we do! We may watch some educational videos today as well, I'm thinking history!

Tonight we plan on playing some Yahtzee and a new game called Farkel. The reason we have the new game is that we had a dice missing in our Yahtzee box and the Farkel game comes in a cute little travel cup (doesn't take up much room) and comes with dice so we can just use the same dice for both games. That should provide us with some entertainment and take our mind off of our missing hubby/daddy.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Homeschooling Mother's Journal

In my life this week…we are in South Carolina this week and next enjoying some timeshare love. We had a week that was going to expire so we just tacked it on back to back with our Thanksgiving week. Only thing is, we have to go to another resort tomorrow to start our second week. We have to pack and unpack again, but we will be visiting a resort where we don't own a timeshare and it will be fun to see the differences.

In our homeschool this week…ha ha ha...what homeschool? Really? We had good intentions of schooling a few days this week but we have just been taking it easy. We will do some work today, I promise.

I am inspired by…I can't stress this enough - prayer! My praying friends and family have gotten us through the last three years. We couldn't have done it without them and our faithful Lord.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…well, we went to Kohl's last night at midnight! Yep, we wanted to give it a try. Daughter was completely overwhelmed. She's not going to want to see those crowds again. Then we went to Denny's and were bad. lol We have gone to a few bookstores this week and of course Wally World for our groceries. Today, daughter and her dad are visiting her favorite bookstores again to get in on the Black Friday specials on some books she has been wanting.

My favorite thing this week was…seeing my husband make it safely to South Carolina after having a physical Monday morning in Alabama and driving to us afterwards. Also, getting the email that he had passed his physical and his background check for the new job! PTL!

Things I’m working on…nothing! I'm on vacation!

I’m reading…books on my ipod touch. I need to update my books I'm reading section here on my blog. I've read several books on queens of England. One was about Elizabeth I and several on Queen Victoria. I haven't gotten back to Seven Gables as I downloaded so many other books that sounded more interesting to me of late.

I’m cooking…yep, even on vacation. Although I did make it easy on me by bringing foods already cooked and frozen that I just need to reheat and things like that. But we have been eating way too much junk. When we get home, it's back to eating better again.

I’m grateful for…a loving Father, a loving father, a husband who is a loving father too!

I’m praying for…safe travels back home next week, fun for our remaining week, and singing praises to God for his wonderful gifts.

Thanks for stopping by Second Star Academy at Chaos Cottage.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

A little Thanksgiving humor for you!

We are enjoying our time in South Carolina and are so thankful for God's blessings on us. This will be one of our best Thanksgivings ever as we have so much to thank Him for. God has truly blessed us. After nearly three years of unemployment, my husband was offered a job, a good job. We are so elated. God is so good. It has been a trying time, a testing of our faith, and a growing time in our faith and as a family. We have learned a lot during this time which I will share at another time. But just let it suffice, that we are very thankful today!

We have been sleeping late and getting a lot of rest. I have been pinning on Pinterest. My newest hobby :) We have been reading and enjoying being together as a family. We have not done any homeschooling with our daughter! She is happy with that but we know that we will have to play some catch-up later. We are going to eat our Thanksgiving meal out today at Cracker Barrel. Their food is delicious. We may have to wait a while for a table, but it is worth the wait.

Yesterday, we got out and went to a couple of bookstores. I know, we are so nerdy. But it is what we like to do. We enjoyed some nice cups of coffee and fellowship with one another. We made some plans for our Black Friday and found out about some special sales at the bookstores as well. I want to go to Kohl's and back to the bookstores. Hubby is going out to find a paper and then decide where he would like to shop.

I think it still hasn't hit me that my hubby has a job. In my head I know it is true but I still feel a bit dazed by it. Maybe when I see that first paycheck, it will hit me! Woot woot! LOL

Well, I think I will have a cup of coffee and some toast before getting ready to go out for our Thanksgiving meal. It's so nice to be lazy and let someone else cook for me.

Thanksgiving blessings to all of you!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Homeschooling Mother's Journal

In my life this week…I have had the lazy's this week. This is not good, but I just gave in to it.

In our homeschool this week…didn't get to everything assigned. We will have to make up for that next week.

I am inspired by…answered prayers. Thank you Lord for your blessings on me!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…daughter and I are leaving in the morning to drive to South Carolina for a few weeks. Hubby will be going to Alabama Sunday evening for his physical the next day. Then, he will join us in South Carolina. We will be gone a few weeks. We do have a house sitter, so don't even think about breaking into our house. LOL

My favorite thing this week was…seeing my Mom and Dad again. Dad was sweet and let us borrow his van for the trip. It gets so much better mileage than the old Lexus. Hubby will drive my Mazda which is also good on gas. Thank you Dad.

Things I’m working on…since finding Pinterest, I have found so many ideas for things I want to do in the future. I'm not working on anything at the moment. I have big ideas, but the body isn't willing.

I’m reading…several books this week. I'm still reading the House of Seven Gables on my Ipod. I downloaded several more books. I started on a History of England and a book about Queen Victoria by a Mr. Brown. I'd have to check to get his full name.

I’m cooking…made muffins today with chocolate cake mix and canned pumpkin. My family just loves those and they're so easy to make.

I’m grateful for…friends and family and my husband's good health!

I’m praying for…safe travels for all of us and a blessed Thanksgiving vacation.

That's my week at Second Star Academy and Chaos Cottage. Thank you for stopping by and please come back again.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Menu for week of November 14th


B-Apple Muffins (Freeze extras), Banana, Coffee
L-Leftovers and/or Yogurt and Sliced Apple
D-Potato Soup with all the fixin's


B-Oatmeal with Blueberries, Banana, Coffee
L-Celery with Peanut Butter, Yogurt
D-Breakfast for Dinner-Pancakes, Sausage Patties, Fruit Salad


B-Pumpkin Muffins (freeze leftovers), Banana, Coffee
L-Freezer Meal Surprise? ? ? or Leftover Potato Soup, Fruit Salad
D-Lasagna Roll-ups (freeze a pan or two of these), Salad, Texas Toast


B-Oatmeal with Blueberries, Banana, Coffee
L-Favorite China Take Out (go to Mom and Dad's to borrow van)
D-Snack Plate-Wheat Thins, Cheese, Fruit, etc.


B-Oatmeal with Strawberries, Banana, Coffee
L-Celery with Peanut Butter, Sliced Apple, Yogurt?
D-Chicken Fingers (freeze extras), Oven Fried Potato Wedges, Salad or Fruit


Daughter and I leaving for out of town trip-woot-woot! Road trip! Treating ourselves to McD's Mocha Fraps and a Biscuit!

That's my week. How about you?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tennessee Volunteers

On Monday of this week, we volunteered to serve the seniors lunch at our church. There were over 70 people there and a few employees of the church. These older folks make us younger folks look pitiful. It was amazing how nicely dressed they all were and how happy they were to be there. Some of these seniors had exercised that morning in the church gym and gone home to change to come back for lunch. I wish I had their energy NOW. They are amazing.

They were served ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, bread, and a choice of pumpkin, apple or cherry pie. They also had a small salad bar, tea, coffee, and lemonade. We got to eat after serving them and to also listen to the Scott family sing and play guitar and violin. What a treat.

We really enjoyed doing this. Our church serves lunch once a month for the seniors and it is a nice way for them to socialize. They also had the parish nurse there to take their blood pressure and provide them with information on how to tell the difference between the cold, flu and sinus.

I am hoping we get to volunteer many more times at church. It was a pleasure to do this and our 12 year old enjoyed it too. We love our church.


Friday, November 11, 2011

In my life this week…I have been a bit of a couch potato this week. I have big ideas sometimes but following through with them is a weakness of mine. I have put off going grocery shopping several times this week. I must go tomorrow. I must!

In our homeschool this week…we took a few days off as daughter went to her grandparent's house for a few days of visiting.

I am inspired by…God's promises.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…Robyn went to see Puss N Boots with her dad and some friends Friday evening (today). She got in a few days visiting with her grandparents this week as well.

My favorite thing this week was…the call! Hubby heard from a prospective employer and they offered him a job! We were ecstatic and singing and praising God for his blessings on us. More blessings that we deserve.

Things I’m working on…trying to stick to my "to do" list in an attempt to get things done in a timely manner.

I’m reading…my book has been placed on the black burner as I have discovered Pinterest and I can't get enough of it!

I’m cooking…good eats and freezer meals for our vacation. Still need to post some photos and blog about some of these freezer meals that are new to us.

I’m grateful for…my hubby who is happy about his new job and this good news is having a great effect on his blood pressure which is continually coming down closer to normal levels.

I’m praying for…hubby to pass his physical for this new job with flying colors!

That's my week at Second Star Academy at Chaos Cottage. Thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011


My hubby got a phone call today about the job we have been praying about. Assuming he passes the physical and background check, he will have the job of his dreams!

Thank you all my praying friends. It is a blessing to have family and friends who have interceded for us and we are thanking God for answering those prayers.

Continue to pray for Robert's blood pressure to normalize and that he passes his physical with flying colors!



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Menu for week of November 7th

I didn't get to everything last week due to too many leftovers to eat and one night we felt the call of Little Caesar's $5.00 pizza, which also makes for lovely leftovers! So, this week you may see a few repeats from last week's menu.


Breakfast- Pepperidge Farm's Pumpkin Swirl bread, toasted with butter (couldn't resist this in the bread aisle and wanted to try it before it was out of season), Banana and Coffee

Lunch-Serving Seniors lunch at church-either eat there or a sammie when we get home.

Dinner- Impossible South West Pie and Salad (see last week's menu for this recipe)


Breakfast- Apple Muffins (freeze leftovers for trip), Yogurt, Coffee

Lunch- Leftovers

Dinner- Husband going to Men's Night Out and they are eating Thanksgiving food so I am making a Corn Casserole and Stuffing for him to take. Daughter is going to her grandparents for several days so I will be all alone for dinner. I may eat more leftovers and go to the bookstore!

Apple Muffins

2 cup all purpose flour
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. b. soda
½ t. salt
2 eggs
1 c. oil
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
4 c. apples, peeled and chopped
1 c. chopped nuts (opt.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir flour, cinnamon, b. soda and salt in small bowl. Set aside. In large bowl, beat eggs with beaters until foamy. Beat in oil, sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture; fold in apples and nuts. Spoon mixture into muffin pan or baking cups. Fill half full. Baked 350 degrees 15-20 minutes.


Breakfast- Eggs, Sausage, Toast, Juice and Coffee

Lunch- PB&J and Sliced Apple

Dinner- Chicken Casserole, Corn, Mashed Potatoes (from last week)


Breakfast- Oatmeal and Yogurt, Coffee

Lunch- Lovely leftovers

Dinner- Our favorite Chinese takeout


Breakfast- Cream of Wheat and Cinnamon Rolls, Coffee

Lunch- Make Ahead Lunch Wraps (eat a few and freeze the rest for vacation)

Dinner- Lasagna Roll-ups (make a couple of pans for the freezer and to take on vacation), Salad, Texas Toast

Make Ahead Lunch Wraps

"These are a delicious make-ahead lunch to freeze as a handy lunch to bring to work! Just make, freeze, and then heat in the microwave for a very balanced meal." Original recipe yield: 16 wraps.

· 2 cups uncooked brown rice (I'll use white as that is what i have on hand)
· 4 cups water
· 4 (15 ounce) cans black beans
· 2 (15.5 ounce) cans pinto beans
· 1 (10 ounce) can whole kernel corn
· 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
· 16 (10 inch) flour tortillas
· 1 pound shredded pepperjack cheese (I'll use sharp Cheddar)

Combine rice and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat, and cool.
Place black beans and pinto beans into a colander or strainer, and rinse. Add corn and diced tomatoes with green chilies, and toss to mix. Transfer to a large bowl, and mix in rice and cheese.

Divide the mixture evenly among the tortillas, and roll up. Wrap individually in plastic wrap, place into a large freezer bag, and freeze. Reheat as needed in the microwave for lunch or snacks.


Breakfast- Pancakes, Coffee

Lunch- Chicken Salad Sammies

Dinner- Game Night with church group-eating there I think


Breakfast- Toaster Strudel before church, Coffee

Lunch- Bean Burritos, Mexican Rice, Yum-o!

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's official! I'm a pinhead!

I just recently joined Pinterest. I am just now figuring all the ins and outs about it and will be creating various boards of the things I like. I think this will be fun. Are you a member? You can go to their website and ask for a membership. Or you can just click on my button below to join.

Follow Me on Pinterest

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…post Halloween, lots of candy, no self-control...On the home front, we have made the decision to wait until spring to list the house. Our realtor says the business really slows down in the winter as no one really wants to get out and look at houses. Robert did load up a bunch of our packed things that had been boxed and sitting in the dining room and took them to our storage unit.

In our homeschool this week…Robyn caught up all her projects and we are working ahead so that she can spend a couple nights with her grandparents next week. That is the joy of homeschooling. If she was in regular school, we could not do this.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…I have been nowhere this week folks. Nowhere. But, I am going grocery shopping today. Does that count? Robyn went to lunch with her Aunt on Monday to her favorite restaurant of the moment, Famous Daves. Robert and his discipleship group helped our friends, the Nuebeck's with their Shine group host a Halloween party on Monday and Robert was the bounce house guard.

My favorite thing this week was…was watching a couple of really old movies with daughter and watching her actually enjoy them. One was the Alfred Hitchcock classic, Dial M for Murder and the other was a Sci-Fi classic, Them. Them has giant ants in it and they were really giving her the heebie-jeebies. We all enjoyed both of these movies.

Things I’m working on…still thinking about our two week visit to South Carolina, and everything I need to do to prepare for that. Like make some freezer meals to take with us. Another big grocery trip before that to buy all the ingredients needed to make those meals too. I hate grocery shopping of late. Blah.

I’m reading…didn't do much reading this week. Just a little Bible and maybe a few pages of my latest book, The House of the Seven Gables. I've been playing a lot of solitaire on my I pod before going to sleep. Or surfing Wikipedia.

I’m cooking…still enjoying the pumpkins of the season by making a pumpkin pie this week and pumpkin spice muffins. Still have some in the fridge to use up. Probably will make some pumpkin bread with it.

I’m grateful for…God's forgiveness daily.
I’m praying for…Robert's blood pressure. Some days are better than others. Praying that the meds work and he is able to stick to his walking regimen. Praying that he gets a job very soon.

Thanks for visiting Second Star Academy at Chaos Cottage. Please come back.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Holidays, Schmolidays...

This year the holidays will be a little weird. First of all, Halloween was weird. Daughter didn't dress up and was visiting her aunt and I had to call her and ask her to come home so she could hand out candy here. My hubby was at another house that was hosting a party for kids from church and he was guarding the bounce house. It was just weird not having him here but he was doing a good deed with his dicipleship group.

Thanksgiving we will be in another state and eating our dinner at Cracker Barrel. I hope to host Thanksgiving again one day in my new home. I like a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings and I must say that Cracker Barrel does a good job, but there is nothing like having this feast at home and getting to enjoy all those leftovers days later.

Christmas. Where do I begin? We have been paring down the house and storing things in a rented storage unit and I had hoped we would be out of this house months ago and the house would be sold or at least listed and on the market. Guess what? That ain't happening. Hubby's health has taken precedent and he isn't supposed to do anything strenuous so we are still storing stuff but things have slowed waaay doown...Hubby thinks most of our Christmas decor is stored away. Ugh. We sold our dining room furniture, so no Christmas dinner in there this year. I am hoping my Mother-In-Love will be hosting Christmas this year. Even so, it won't be feeling much like Christmas around here. My house isn't going to look very festive without the lighted deer in the yard, candles in the windows, Christmas tree twinkling in the window and Christmas decor strewn throughout the house. It is just gonna be kinda weird.

I guess we should just focus on what Thanksgiving and Christmas are really about this year. Daughter is 12 years old and can truly understand the true meanings of these holidays and we should emphasize that this year. I'll get back with you with some ideas later. In the meantime, if you have any ideas, please share.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Menu for week of October 31st


B-Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
L-Chicken Noodle Soup and Mexican Grilled Cheese
D-Mummies, Tots, Pumpkin Pie

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

3 cups quick cooking oats
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup brown sugar (for the top)

In a large bowl mix together all ingredients except the ¼ cup brown sugar for the top. Spread into a greased 9×13 pan. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup brown sugar on top.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Serve with milk and enjoy! (new recipe I am trying)

Magic Pumpkin Pie

1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell
16 oz. pumpkin
1 can sweetened condensed milk (I'm using Fat Free)
1 egg
½ t. salt
½ t. nutmeg
½ t. ginger
¾ t. cinnamon

In large size bowl, blend together all ingredients. Turn into shell. Bake 375 degrees 50-55 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate 1 hour.


B-Baked Doughnuts, Scrambled Eggs, Pears
L-PB&J, Sliced Apple
D-Impossible Southwestern Pie, Salad, Rolls

1 can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Separate the dough into 10 biscuits and flatten each into 2 ½-inch rounds. With a 1-inch biscuit cutter, cut a hole in the center of each biscuit round. Dip all surfaces of doughnuts (and holes) in melted butter, then in sugar. Bake 10-to-14 minutes until golden brown.


1 1/2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
8 medium green onions, chopped
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar
1/2 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup thick-and-chunky salsa
2 eggs
Additional thick-and-chunky salsa
Heat oven to 400°. Grease 9-inch pie plate. Layer corn, onions and beans in pie plate. Sprinkle with cheese. Stir baking mix, milk, 1/2 cup salsa and the eggs until blended. Pour into pie plate. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Serve with salsa.
Makes 6 servings


B-Biscuit Sammies made with Ham, Egg and Cheese (freeze extras), OJ
L-Leftovers or Turkey or Ham Sammies
D-Salmon Patties, Macaroni and Cheese, Collards with Diced Turnips, Cornbread

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) Butter, divided
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
1/2 lb Large Elbow Macaroni
1/4 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Ground Mustard
3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1 3/4 cups Whole Milk
3/4 cup Chicken Broth
4 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Salt & Pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a small bowl. Mix in the bread crumbs, and set aside.

In a large pot of water, pour in 1/2 tablespoon of salt and boil the macaroni until tender. About 11 minutes. Drain water. Leave macaroni in the strainer. Set aside.

Use the same large pot, and wipe it dry. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, and melt over medium heat.
Stir in the garlic and ground mustard. Cook until fragrant. About 30 seconds or so. Stir in the flour and cook until golden, about a minute. Whisk in milk and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, and continue to cook, whisking often. Cook until mixture has thickened, about 6 minutes.

Remove from heat and add in all the cheese. Stir until cheese has completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the macaroni until well combined. Pour into a greased 8x8 baking dish. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.


B-Oatmeal and Yogurt
L-Leftovers or PB&J, Sliced Apple
D-Chef Walter's Cabbage with Sausage, Fried Taters, Pintos, Leftover Cornbread

Chef Walter's Cabbage with Sausage

1 T oil
6-8 cups cabbage, finely shredded
1 c. onion, chopped
1 apple, peeled and sliced thin
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces
½ c. water or chicken stock
salt and pepper

Heat oil in skillet or Dutch oven. Add onion and cook until soft and transparent. Stir in cabbage and apple and cook, stirring until cabbage is wilted. Stir in sausage and water and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook 15 minutes until cabbage is tender-crisp. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at once with Dijon mustard.


B-One Eyed Sailors, Ham, OJ
D-Homemade Pizza, One BBQ Chicken and One Pepperoni and Cheese, Salad


B-Pancakes and Sausage, OJ
L-Leftovers or Sammies and Fruit
D-Chicken Casserole, Corn, Mashed Potatoes

Hazel's Chicken Casserole

4 large chicken breasts, cooked and boned and diced
1 box Stove Top stuffing
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. sour cream
1 cup chicken broth

Prepare stuffing. Put stuffing in baking dish. Put the chicken next. Mix soup, sour cream and broth. Pour over chicken. Bake uncovered 350 degrees for 40 minutes.


B-Toaster Strudel before church
L-Crock Pot Pork Chops, Peas, Rice Almondine and Rolls
D-Clean Out Refrigerator Night

Crock Pot Pork Chops

Salt and pepper pork chops. Brown on stove top before placing in crock pot. After placing in crock pot, add 1 can undiluted cream of mushroom soup. Cover pot and cook about 4 hours.

Rice Almondine

¼ c. slivered almonds
2 ½ c. chicken broth
1 T parsley flakes
1 c. uncooked long grain or converted rice
1 T margarine

Toast almonds in nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly. In 2 qt. saucepan, combine broth, parsley and margarine. Bring to a boil. Stir in rice. Cover and reduce heat to simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Gently toss in almonds and serve. 6 servings.

Do The Next Thing

A poem quoted by Elisabeth Elliot

Do The Next Thing

"At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
there came in the twilight a message to me.
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven
that, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
like a low inspiration, 'Do the next thing.'

Many a questioning, many a fear,
many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven,
time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrow, child of the King,
trust that with Jesus, do the next thing.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer,
do it reliantly, casting all care.
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand,
who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing,
leave all resultings, do the next thing.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
working or suffering be thy demeanor,
in His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
the light of His countenance, be thy psalm.
Do the next thing."

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Homeschooling Mother's Journal

In my life this week…we were pumped this week by hubby's interview on Friday last week. It went well and we are praying he gets the job. We should know something in about a month or so.

In our homeschool this week…we are just plugging along and everything seems to be working out fine. Daughter does have some projects to work on this weekend. I think I might need to add more work as she seems to find most of the SOS work pretty easy. I really want her to read more. I probably ought to just focus on that for more.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…we drove over to the Smoky Mountains yesterday to see the fall colors. We were a bit disappointed. The colors looked brilliant through Gatlinburg but once a couple miles into the park, the colors disappeared. There is some sort of blight or something attacking the trees. So many of them were gray and leafless. It was so sad. We did stop at Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Pigeon Forge on our way back and got coffee and one doughnut apiece. Mine was the pumpkin spice flavor and it was delicious.

My favorite thing this week was…date night with hubby. We went to the cheap movie theater and saw Cowboys and Aliens. It was a goofy movie and I don't recommend it. But it was nice to get out of the house, just the two of us, and enjoy a date.

What’s working/not working for us…
still struggling to get to bed earlier. Hubby is sleeping better and my sleeping is so so. Some nights I can't get to sleep and have to sleep late into the day to get in my sleep quota. Other nights I sleep well. I think it just comes with the season of life I am in. And, I'm just getting old. :(
We also need to walk more. Hubby needs to walk several times a day and I just haven't been going out and walking with him like I should. I need to work on that more.

Things I’m working on…I've already planned our menu for our vacation and I will begin making some of the recipes and freezing foods for this vacation. I'm going shopping tomorrow and will pick up some of the ingredients needed.

I’m reading…The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I'm not far enough into it yet to decide if I like it. It's a classic and I am trying to read more of those.

I’m cooking…I cooked Pork Chops Italiano this week and they were delicious. It was new recipe and it is going into my Tried and True recipes to be made again.

I’m grateful for…friends and family and God's provision.

I’m praying for…employment for my husband and good health. He will be taking a physical if he is offered the job he interviewed for last week and he needs to get that blood pressure down.

Thank you for stopping by Second Star Academy and Chaos Cottage. Please come back again!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Freezer Meals

How did you like the previous post? I guess all of us feel that way sometimes, don't we? But seriously, we are going to be gone a couple of weeks next month. We have a couple of time shares and our weeks our piling up on us. We haven't been traveling, due to finances and other things and needed to use up a couple of weeks, so we booked them back to back. We thought that was pretty thrifty and a two week vacation can be so relaxing.

To make our mealtimes easier and cheaper, I've decided to prepare some foods ahead of time and freeze them to take with us. We can transport them in a cooler and then just place them in the freezer when we get there. Here is what I am planning:

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins and Apple Muffins (these will be easily heated up as we need them, along with yogurt and fruit for a healthy and easy breakfast.)

Make Ahead Lunch Wraps, Corn Dog Muffins, Tomato Chicken Gumbo (these will supplement our lunches when we don't have leftovers to eat.)

Baked Chicken Fingers, Picnic Chicken, Texas Lasagna, Black Beans with Smoked Sausage and Rice, Lasagna Roll-ups and Slow Cooker Chili.

As I make these to feed our freezer in the next weeks, I will photograph them and post the menus for you.

Thanks for stopping by,


Labels for Freezer Meals

I have changed my system for labeling homemade freezer meals. I used to carefully note in large clear letters, "Meatloaf" or "Pot Roast" or "Steak and Vegetables or "Chicken and Dumplings" or "Beef Pot Pie."

However, I used to get very frustrated when I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner because he never asked for any of those things. So, I decided to stock the freezer with what he really likes.

If you look in my freezer now you'll see a whole new set of labels. You'll find dinners with neat, legible tags that say: "Whatever," "Anything," "I Don't Know," "I Don't Care," "Something Good," or "Food." My frustration is reduced because no matter what my husband replies when I ask him what he wants for dinner, I know that it will be there waiting.

Bra ha ha ha...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Menu for week of October 24th

Monday: Chicken and Dumplings (didn't get to this over the weekend)

Tuesday: Pork Chops Italiano, Pasta, Salad

Pork Chops Italiano

4 chops
1 T olive oil
8 oz. tomato sauce
½ t. oregano
½ t. basil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 small green pepper, sliced
4 slices Mozzarella cheese

Brown chops in oil in large skillet. In small bowl combine sauce, oregano and basil. Pour over chops. Top with onion and green pepper. Cover and cook 30 minutes. Several minutes before serving, top with cheese slices and heat until melted. Serve immediately.

UPDATE: This was so delicious. I used jarred spaghetti sauce in place of the tomato sauce and didn't have to add the spices. I heated the remaining sauce up to pour over angel hair pasta. I will definitely be making this again.

Wednesday: Fish Tenders and Potato Wedges

Thursday: Green Beans, Potatoes and Smoked Turkey Sausage, Cornbread

Friday: Chili from the freezer or make Slow Cooker Chili

Slow Cooker Chili

2 lb. ground beef (I use ground chicken)
2 cans kidney or pinto beans, rinsed and drained or homemade
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
8 oz. tomato sauce
2 medium onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T chili powder
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper

In skillet, brown beef, drain. Transfer to crock pot and add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 3-4 hours. Makes 10 servings.

Saturday: Cheese Quesas, Refried Beans and Rice

Sunday: Taco Salad (using leftover chili)

That's what I have planned. How about you?


Friday, October 21, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…Monday we celebrated my dad's 77th birthday by bringing him Chinese food. Yum it was so good. Dad is doing well, just feeling his age :) Also on Thursday, a good friend popped in just to say hi and bring us some homemade pumpkin muffins. What a sweet surprise.

In our homeschool this week…daughter is enjoying astronomy and history of the United States.

I am inspired by…my husband keeping his spirits up despite his high blood pressure and unemployment.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…going to drive to Rhea County today. It's a couple of counties away. Hubby has a job interview.

My favorite thing this week was…visiting with my folks and eating yummy Chinese food.

What’s working/not working for us…getting to bed earlier has been a challenge. It hasn't been easy. We are all such night owls. Now, by night owls, I don't mean we have energy in the evening. No, we are pretty much couch potatoes and we surf the web and the TV channels. It's just hard to get to bed and fall asleep before midnight anymore it seems.

Things I’m working on…nothing really new on the home front. Same old stuff, laundry, homeschooling, cooking, dishes, vacuuming, herding cats, etc. :) I have been searching for homes on the MLS in other counties, in the event hubby is offered a job in one of them. Just dreaming, really.

I’m reading…I've been persuing a lot of blogs on decorating, homemaking, recipes, etc. It's a favorite past time of mine. Besides some reading in my bible, I haven't picked up a novel this week.

I’m cooking…I'm making my famous chicken and dumplings tomorrow. I haven't made any in a while and it is such a yummy and frugal meal to make.

I’m grateful for…
friends and family who lift our spirits and bless us with their love.

I’m praying for…my hubby's job interview to go well today and praying that this is the job God wants for him.

Thanks for visiting Chaos Cottage and Second Star Academy. Come back again.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Menu for week of October 17th

Monday: Little China (our favorite Chinese restaurant in a town north of us)

Tuesday: Chili with Spaghetti, Salad (this will make some lovely leftover lunch the next day)

Chili with Spaghetti
2 lb. ground beef (I use ground chicken or turkey)
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 t. salt
3 cans tomato soup
1 large can tomatoes
4 cans red kidney beans
2 T sugar
½ pkg. spaghetti, cooked
2 T chili powder
Sauté ground beef, pepper and onion until meat loses red color. Add remaining ingredients; simmer slowly 1 hour. 8-10 servings.

Wednesday: BBQ Chicken (CP) on buns, Baked Beans, Slaw (we will eat this again for a lovely leftover lunch tomorrow)

Thursday: Golden Potatoes and Franks, Leftover Slaw, Biscuits

Golden Potatoes and Franks

3 c. hot mashed potatoes
8 oz. jar Cheez Whiz
¼ c. green onion slices
1 T prepared mustard
1 lb. frankfurters, cut in half lengthwise

Combine potatoes, Cheez Whiz, onion and mustard; mix well. In lightly greased 10 x 6 inch baking dish layer half of potatoes mixture and frankfurters; repeat layers. Bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Garnish with green onions, if desired. 4-6 servings.

Friday: Chicken Stir-fry, Rice

Chicken Stir Fry
Makes 4 servings
¾ cup Catalina French Dressing
¼ cup soy sauce
½ tsp. garlic powder

1. Heat ingredients in skillet.
2. Stir in one pound boneless/skinless chicken breast, cubed. Cook 8 minutes or until chicken is done.
3. Add 16 oz. frozen mixed vegetables. Stir until cooked. Serve over rice.
Nutrition Information
¼ of recipe (1¼ cup chicken and vegetable) = 245 calories, 2.5 gm fat, 1 gm saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 24 gm protein, 30 gm carbohydrate, 2 gm fiber, 495 mg sodium.
Exchange 3 very lean meat, 1 carbohydrate choice (or starch), 2 vegetables.

Saturday: Chicken and Dumplings, Fried Okra, Country Ham and Corn Casserole (from the freezer)

Sunday: Hoping for good ole leftovers so I don't have to cook today :)

That's my plan. Thanks for stopping by. Come back again!