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.