Friday, November 30, 2012

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

It's been a few weeks since I've participated in this blog hop.  We have been out of town and super busy.  But here is what's been happening around here.

In my life this week:  My daughter and I returned from a week out of state and I have spent a good part of this week catching up on laundry, restocking the pantry and fridge and doing lots of cooking.

In our homeschool this week:  It seems like we are forever trying to get caught up.  I'm determined to get daughter through most of her pre-algebra before her SAT's in March so that she can at least have some familiarity with the concepts!  lol

My favorite thing this week:  Coming home.  I love going on vacation but when it is time to return home it always feels so good.  Why is that?  I think I just love my home too much to stay away too long.

Things I'm working on:  Daughter and I have been using the treadmill and exercise bike.  Since we sold our dining room furniture, we have turned out dining room into a gym.  Doesn't everyone peddle on their exercise bike under a brass chandelier?  We do.  It keeps us from walking into it and bumping our head and feeling like an idiot.  lol

I'm reading:  I have way too many books going.  I have been reading three things on my phone at night, Mark Twain's biography, a Lincoln biography and believe it or not a biography of Susan B. Anthony.  All are very interesting.  While on vacation, I bought a book called The Story of England which I think my MIL will enjoy when I am finished with it.  Daughter wants me to read all of her Percy Jackson and the Olympians books.  I want to, but I haven't finished the Harry Potter series yet.  I think I need to curb my Youtube obsession and do more reading.

I'm cooking:  I did a lot of home cooking this week. We ate too much take out on vacation, not the worst food, but not the healthiest either, and I had a hankering for some good cookin'.  I made Texas Lasagna which is a Seay favorite that we haven't had in a while.  I made an extra pan for the freezer.  I made a pot of mixed beans and fried potatoes along with a new recipe of macaroni and cheese this week for a little southern flavor.  I made a long time favorite of sausage casserole along with some yummy green beans and an apple crisp.  I think this was my favorite supper this week.  All of this made for some delicious packed lunches for hubby too.

I'm grateful for: I am most grateful for my family and our love for one another.

I'm praying for:  Family and friends who have lost loved ones in the past few weeks and have very sick family members.

Photo to share:  Our little Christmas tree in the kitchen.

Thanks for stopping by Second Star Academy.  You are always welcome to visit here!



Monday, November 26, 2012

Making Your Home a Haven, Week 4

Okay, this week's challenge to make our home a haven, is to decorate for Christmas.  This should be pretty easy for most of us.  We have our Christmas decorations in storage, in preparation for the big move, whenever that's going to happen, so I had to pick up a few things.  I didn't go crazy or anything. We purchased a small (4 ft.) white prelit tree and placed in on the back of the kitchen table, closest to the window.  We bought red and blue ornaments to make it a real American Christmas tree.  I have a cute little decoration of a cross that says peace hanging on the front door to welcome all and a Merry Christmas plaque with dangling snowflakes hanging above the fireplace.  Since our stockings are packed away, I may just place baskets on the heart with our name tags on them for our little Christmas stocking stuffings.  I just love the stuffing!  I have some awesome smelling candles from Bath and Body Works which makes the house smell like Christmas too.  Not sure what else I may do, but anything I purchase will just be incorporated into all the decorations I have collected over the years and when we get into a new house, it will be so much more fun to pull all those items out and make our home festive.

So, go to Women Living Well to find out more about making your home a have. 



Menu for week of November 26th

Monday:  Texas Lasagna, Salad

Tuesday:  Mixed Beans, Sauteed Cabbage, Fried Taters and Cornbread

Wednesday:  Chicken  Chow Mein, Asian Veggies

Thursday:  Sausage Casserole, Italian Green Beans

Friday:  Pizza Casserole, leftover green beans, Salad

Saturday: Date night!  Oh yeah!!!

Sunday:  Chicken Tetrazzini, Spinach and Strawberry Salad

That's my week.  Doesn't it sound yummy?  If you want any recipes, just ask.

Go to I'm an Organizing Junkie to view hundred's of menu plans for this week.

Have a blessed week,


Monday, November 19, 2012

Making Your Home a Haven, week 3

I'm on vacation this week.  We are staying in our condo in South Carolina and I can still make it a haven.  As a matter of fact, it is so neat and decluttered it feels more like a haven!

So this week's challenge is about cooking.  Yep, I still cook on vacation.  We have a full kitchen and so far I have made eggs in a hole and grilled cheese.  Today we will be out and about but I will probably still come back here and fix dinner.  This time, I am going to get my 13 year old to help and make some vacation memories!

Go to Women Living Well  to learn more about making your home a haven.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Making Your Home a Haven, week 2

This week we are to play soft music in our homes.  I'll be tuning into the Sounds of the Seasons channel on my TV to hear Christmas music.  Yep, you got that right.  I just love Christmas music.

Go to Women Living Well   to follow the weekly posts on how to make  your home a haven.

God Bless,


Monday, November 12, 2012

Menu for week of November 12th

I can't really post a real menu this week as it is a crazy one.  My daughter and I are leaving tonight to stay at my mom and dad's so that I can get up early to take my dad to the hospital for, hopefully, a one day surgery.  If there are complications, he has to stay an additional night, which means a second night at my mom and dad's.  So it's possible I may not get back home to cook dinner until Wednesday night.  Either way, if we get home Tuesday night or Wednesday night, I pass by our favorite Chinese restaurant and I plan on picking up take-out.  Also, Saturday morning, daughter and I are leaving for a week in South Carolina.  We will probably do pizza on Friday night so there aren't any dishes to clean up.  So here's an attempt at my week:

Monday-out of town
Tuesday-possibly out of town (Chinese take-out)
Wednesday-possibly out of town (Chinese take-out or Soup with Grilled Cheese Sammies)
Thursday-homemade Potato Soup (hubby's fav) with sour cream, bacon and cheese on top!
Friday-Pizza night
Saturday-leave on vacation with daughter

That's my week, easy peasy!  Hope you have a fab one too!

Go to I'm an Organized Junkie   to see 100's of menu plans.


P.S.  My new recipes from last week were great! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Menu for week of November 5th

I did much better this week sticking to my menu.  How about you?  This week I am doubling a few recipes to feed my freezer.  Recipes will be down below.  Here is my plan for this week:

Monday:  Crock Pot BBQ Chicken, Buns, Baked Beans, Kettle Cooked Chips

Tuesday:  Tacos in a  Sleeping Bag (feeding the freezer), Lettuce, Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Tortilla Chips and Cheese Dip

Wednesday:  Ziti Bake with Kielbasa (feeding the freezer), Salad, Blueberry Bread

Thursday:  Going to my folks house and taking some Blueberry Bread and making Taco Soup for them.

Friday:  Chicken Supreme (feeding the freezer), Salad

Saturday:  Baked Chicken Meatballs (feeding the freezer), Pasta and Pasta Sauce, Salad or Green Veggies

Sunday:  Ranch Crock Pot Chops (feeding the freezer), Brussel Sprouts, Mashed Potatoes

Tacos in a Sleeping Bag

2 packages refrigerated crescent roll or biscuit dough
1 lbs. ground beef or turkey
1 package taco seasoning
.5 cup cheddar or mozzarella cheese, shredded
shredded lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, etc. if desired

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Brown the ground beef or turkey in a skillet. Drain in a colander and rinse well in hot water to remove grease. Return to skillet. Add taco seasoning; mix well. Unroll crescent rolls or biscuits. Top each piece of dough with approx. 2 TBSP taco meat and a sprinkling of cheese. Roll crescent roll around filling (fold over and pinch edges to seal if using biscuit dough). Place on a baking sheet at bake at 375ºF for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
Freezing Directions:

Follow directions as above. When finished baking, allow to cool completely then flash freeze on a cool cookie sheet. When frozen, place in a gallon freezer bag. To serve: Heat frozen taco rolls in microwave for about a minute or reheat in the oven until heated through.
Servings: 16 rolls

Ziti Bake With Kielbasa

Servings: 8

"A nice way to add some ZIP to your ziti, made healthier with whole wheat pasta and part-skim mozzarella! Add a tossed salad to round out the meal!"

1 lb ziti pasta ( Ronzoni Whole Wheat pasta)
1 1/2 lbs polska kielbasa, sliced diagonally ( Hillshire Farms)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (26 1/2 ounce) cans spaghetti sauce ( Hunt's Roasted Garlic)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C); lightly oil a 13X9 baking pan or grab a non-stick one.
Cook pasta per package directions and drain.
While pasta cooks, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat; Cook kielbasa in skillet until browned on both sides, 5-7 min; drain.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta, kielbasa, spaghetti sauce, oregano, salt and pepper and mix well.
Pour into the baking pan; sprinkle with parsley and then the mozzarella.
Cover lightly with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes until casserole is bubbly and the cheese is completely melted.
For OAMC: Prepare casserole but use a disposable (foil) baking pan; do NOT bake; double wrap casserole in plastic wrap, then in foil wrap and freeze; remove from freezer 24 hours or more in advance of need; remove wrapping and thaw in fridge; once thawed, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C); then cover lightly with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes until casserole is bubbly and the cheese is completely melted.

Blueberry Bread

1 cup sugar
2 Tbls butter
2 eggs -- beaten
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup sour cream
2 cups blueberries

Cream together first 3 ingredients. Mix dry ingredients and add to creamed
mixture alternately with sour cream. Fold in blueberries and sprinkle with
cinnamon-sugar (& nutmeg, optional).
Bake in greased & floured loaf pan. Bake at 375 for 1 hour.
Chicken Supreme

1 lb chicken, ground
1 Tbsp butter
3.33 cups packaged dressing/stuffing
16 oz frozen french style green beans
10 oz cream of mushroom soup
10 oz cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup colby jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup french fried onions
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup almonds, slivered
1/4 cup butter, melted

If you haven’t already done so, brown the ground chicken in butter, seasoning it with salt and pepper if desired. Place 2/3 of the dry dressing in the bottom of ungreased 9×13 baking pan. On stovetop, cook green beans in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain. Pour beans in a bowl and combine with both soups, french fried onions,milk, and cheese. Pour over dressing in pan and spread evenly. Layer chicken on top. Spread remaining dressing and slivered almonds over pan. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake 375 for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with cranberry sauce and rolls.
Freezing Directions:

Before cooking, cover baking pan with aluminum foil and freeze. To Serve: Thaw and bake 375 for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly
Servings: 6
Baked Ground Chicken Meatballs Recipe

2 pounds ground chicken and/or pork
1 med onion minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup uncooked instant oatmeal
2 eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp ground sage
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Mince your onion and garlic or throw them in a food processor if you don't want to chop them. Add all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. I usually mix by hand.

I use a #30 (3 Tbsp) scoop and scrape the side on the bowl so they are all the same size.

Cover your sheet or pan with tin foil for easy clean up. There is no need to put baked ground chicken meatballs on a rack because they are really lean and won't have much grease. They bake fine even if they are touching, just keep them in a single layer.

Bake at 425F (240 C) 20-25 minutes. Don't overcook or they will be dry. Don't under cook for food safety reasons. Break one open and make sure the center is cooked through before serving or cooling to freeze.

Ranch Crock Pot Chops

6 pork chops
1 packet Ranch seasonings
10 oz Cream of Chicken soup

Place Pork Chops, Ranch Seasoning packet and soup in large ziplock bag. Zipper shut and squish to mix. When ready to cook pour mixture into crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours. May be frozen.

Go to I'm an Organizing Junkie to see 100's of menu plans.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Making your Home a Haven

Courtney, over at Women Living Well, has a new challenge, called Making your Home a Haven.  Our challenge this week is to light a candle in our home daily and each time the candle catches our eye we should say a prayer for our home.  Pray for peace, pray for peace within each other and pray for peace within ourselves.  Please go to  Women Living Well   to read more about this exciting challenge.

Thanks for stopping by,


Friday, November 2, 2012

The Homeschooling Mother's Journal

In my life this week...I was home bound this week.  Hubby had to take his car in for repair and they had to order a part and we get to pick the car up today.  He used mine all week for work and I was stuck at home.  But guess what?  I loved it.

In our homeschool this week...since we were studying about the American Revolution Tuesday afternoon, daughter and I decided to break out our DVD, The Patriot.  I hadn't seen it in awhile, forgot about how graphic it was, but enjoyed it all the same. 

I am inspired by...all the volunteers who are helping everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy.  What devastation!  I cannot imagine.

Places we're going and people we're was just too cold and damp last weekend to attempt to go to Dollywood.  It is going to be warmer this weekend so we may try again tomorrow or Sunday after church.

I'm reading...Wikipedia.  I know!  It's just that I'll hear about a person in history or something, and I want to know more about that person and viola!  I read about him or her on Wiki.  Lately, due to the History channel's show on The Men Who Built America, I have been reading about Robber Barons.  Very interesting.  Really.

I'm grateful insurance.  We basically went without for three years during hubby's unemployment and I am so so grateful to have it back.  This month I get to have my boobies squished and a gyno visit.  Yay me!

Thanks for stopping by.  Please come and visit me again.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy November 1st!

It's November, it feels and looks like fall.  I just love this time of year, don't you?  We didn't "do" Halloween last night. We set out a huge bowl of candy with a sign that said please take two and Happy Halloween.  I think the first group through took the majority of it.  It was chilly here and none of us wanted door duty tonight.  Are we party poopers or what?  Actually it was daughter and I who were the poopers.  Hubby had a good excuse.  He has a test at work today and needed to study.

It's a new month so I've set a few goals for myself this month, at least, while I am at home.  We are going to South Carolina on the 17th for a week.  Here are my goals:

Drink 8 glasses of water a day (I have a hard time doing this, do you?)
Take my vitamins
Exercise on the bike or treadmill or a neighborhood walk five days a week
Clean and organize my craft room (it's in there somewhere!)

I guess I could exercise on vacation and drink my water and take my vitamins while on vacation as well, couldn't I?

How about you?  Do you find yourself wanting to set goals at the beginning of the month, week or year?  I do.  There's something about a new (fill in the blank) that makes me feel like I'm starting with a clean slate and I'm more motivated to set goals for myself.

Have a Happy November 1st and thanks for stopping by Chaos Cottage.