Saturday, September 10, 2011

Recipes for Week 2 and 3 Dinners

Succulent Roast Chicken ( I do this in the crockpot and double it.)

Make broth with bones overnight!

Chicken pot pie

Add some leftover chicken to a 9x13 pan. Make gravy with broth, flour and margarine roux, salt and pepper. Add to pan with frozen peas and carrots and whatever veggies are in season. Top with a pie crust or and bisquick crust. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until crust is golden brown.

Pasta Carbonara (I 3x this recipe)

From Better Homes New CookBook

1 egg
1 tbsp milk (I use rice milk)
1 tbsp margarine
4 slices bacon chopped up
4 oz spaghetti
1/4 cup parm cheese (I omit)

Cook bacon until crisp. Combine egg, milk, butter. Cook noodles until al dente. Drain pasta and add sauce. Stir until creamy. Add bacon, salt and pepper to taste, and cheese if desired.

Chicken Soup

Add homemade broth, leftover chicken, whatever veggies you have and cook until veggies are soft. Add noodles. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with bread.

Chicken Spaghetti

Add leftover chicken to some spaghetti sauce. Add a green pepper, 1/2 an onion, 2 cloves garlic minced. Serve over pasta.

Overnight Brisket

Place one large brisket into a crockpot, fat side up. Coat meat with onion powder and one palmful of dried onion flakes. Coat with salt and cook overnight, about 12 hours. In the morning shred meat and remove fat. Serve with mashed potatoes and set aside extra for later dinners.

Shepard's pie

Add brisket to 9x13 pan with broth from brisket. Add veggies, we use frozen peas and carrots, sometimes cabbage and onion. Cover with leftover mashed potatoes. Bake at 350 until heated through. Add cheese on top if desired.

Oven Baked Chicken

Coat Leg and thigh pieces with:
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Bake at 400* for 1.5 hours or until cooked through.

Fried Rice

add chicken, cabbage, peas and carrrots, onion to pan. Add leftover rice and cook over high heat until hot and browning. Add 1 egg and then add this sauce...1/2 cup soy sauce, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tsp honey, 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard, 2 tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp ginger. Cook until hot.

Split pea soup

1 bag split peas
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 large carrots
1/2 lb ham or bacon-browned

Add to soup pot and cover with water. Cook until thick. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with bread.

Recipes for Week 1 Meal Plan Dinners

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Moosewood Refried Beans (from my friend De'Etta)

"Moosewood" Refried beans - Crock pot version

2 C raw pinto beans
6 C water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C chopped onion
3 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 C minced green pepper (I didn't have any so left this out)
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 C rice

Mix all in your crock pot. Cook on high. At 5 hours it was "beans and rice",
by 8 hours I only had to stir and it was mashed...with a few chunks...we
like chunks. I could have put it in the blender or mixer and made it really
smooth. Again - add oil if you like the taste. You could fry it if you'd

Nacho Layer Dip

Mix leftover meat with beans, rice, and salsa. Spread on bottom of 9x13 pan. Mix sour cream and homemade taco seasoning and spread on meat mix. Cover with cheese. Bake until hot. Serve over chips with extra sour cream, cheese, lettuce, salsa, and guacamole.


Pork LoMein

Boil 1/2 package of egg noodles.

Make sauce: 1/2 cup soy sauce, 2 cloves of garlic-minced, 1/4 tsp ginger, 2 tsp honey and a squirt of spicy brown mustard, 2 tbsp oil

Chop up leftover pork. Add whatever veggies you like. We use chopped cabbage, onion, frozen peas and carrots, and broccoli. Saute over high heat. Add one egg and scramble. Add sauce and noodles. Enjoy. :)

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

4 ounces bacon or 5 tbsps spanish olive oil

1 med onion, finely chopped
1 med green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup dried black beans, rinsed and soaked or 2 16oz cans black beans
2 cups raw white rice
4 1/2 cups water
2 tsps salt
1 bay leaf
2 tbsps Spanish olive oil
1/4 tsp cumin
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. In a large saucepan, cook the bacon 6-8 minutes over low heat, or
heat the oil until fragrant. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic
and cook, stirring, until tender, 6-8 minutes. Add the remaining
ingredients and cook over med-high heat until all the water has been
absorbed and small craters form over the surface of the rice, 10-15

2. Stir with a fork, cover, and cook over low heat until the rice is
tender, 10-15 min. Discard bay leaf and serve.

Makes 8 large servings.
From the cookbook: Memories of a Cuban Kitchen by Mary Urrutia

Fall-Winter Meal Plan 2011

Here's a three week meal plan with grocery list.

Fall-Winter Meal Plan 2011




Homemade Pizza
Homemade Pretzels
Homemade Bread

With: Fruit


Week 1:

Pork Carnitas w/Pintos and Rice
Nacho Layer Dip
Oven Baked Chicken w/mac and cheese
Pork LoMein
Black beans and rice

Week 2:

2 Whole Chickens (crockpot), mashed tators
Chicken Pot Pie
Pasta Carb
Soup w/bread
Chicken spaghetti w/g-b biscuits
Brisket , mac and cheese

Week 3:

Brisket, potatoes
Shepherd’s Pie
Oven Baked Chicken or Fried, rice
Fried Rice

Grocery List:

Frozen strawberries and blueberries
Frozen Peas and carrots x2
Frozen Spinach x2
Cheddar Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese
Sour cream
Rice milk x2
Soy milk x2
Eggs 5dz
Soy yogurt
Orange juice
Veggie Oil
Brown rice
Mustard powder
Egg noodles
Soy Sauce
Lemon Juice
Spicy Brown Mustard
Tortilla chips
Black refried beans
Mac and cheese x4
Black beans x4
Spaghetti sauce x2
Spaghetti noodles x2
Flour x2
Baking Soda
Baking powder
Chocolate chips
Cereal (shredded wheat)
Onion powder
Onion flakes
Baby food
Juice boxes
Diced tomatoes
Tomato sauce
Garlic powder
Bay leaf
Split peas
Chili powder
Bacon x2
Chicken legs and thighs x2
2 whole chickens
Pork roast
Potatoes x2
Broccoli x 3
Green peppers
Green beans
Onion (bag)

Just print them out and cross off what you already have in your pantry/fridge. I'll upload recipes or links in another post. :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Jr. Homemakers Club

I've been working through some cute projects for a Jr. Homemakers Club that I'm starting in August. I thought I'd post finished work, by me, and sometimes by Genevieve, as I get the curricula settled for this semester. I'll also post links to where I found the ideas.

We'll be working on Sewing first and this is our first project...

A Bandana Shirt that Genevieve made herself...

I got the project from Trey and Lucy . On the site, it's a dress, but for girls this age, it'll be a shirt. :)

Next up, a Tie on Dish Towel, also from Trey and Lucy . I'll post a photo once it's complete. :)

Our next project will take two classes. It's an Oliver + S pattern that's free here...Lazy Days Skirt

It should be fun!

I'll post the photos later and in the next post I'll list our Crochet projects.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

It's Bounce House Season!

I just pulled out the bounce house for the summer. Wow, the kids sure have grown. lol  David, the newest bounce houser is in love. lol  What a fun way to spend a too hot day.

I wish I could go in there. :)


Sunday, July 03, 2011

David 16 months...

I felt it was time to get some good photos of David. You know, the kind of photo that would grace the walls of the grandparents houses. :)

This is one of Davids favorite expressions...

(Why did you just hit me with your camera?)

Or how about this one...

(What is that smell?!)

These next two are my very favorites though...

(Mr. Cute)

(Mr. Adorable)

I can't believe how big he is already! He's walking really good now. His favorite thing to say is, "Mommy? Mommy? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." It's hilarious. We were at Genevieve's dance recital and David would wait until it was dark and really quiet and then shout out, "Mommy?...Mommy?" (like he was lost and frightened) and then he would say, "Blah, blah, blah, blah." Everyone in the whole back row would start cracking up. Lots of fun with this little guy. :)


Friday, July 01, 2011

Spelling Program...

Here's some of my new program that I am working on for Genevieve.

First, she'll grab a bag of one of these phonograms...

Long a sounds: ai, ay, eigh, ea

Long e sounds: ee, ey, ie, ea, y
Long i sounds: igh, ie, y
Long o sounds: oa, oe, ow
Long u sounds: oo,ui,ue,ew
Short Vowels: a, e, i, o, u
Diagraphs: ch, tch, wh, ph, sh, th
R controlled sounds: ar, er, ir, or, ur
Long vowels with silent e: a_e, i_e, o_e, u_e
Soft c, Soft g, oi, oy, ou, ow, ing, ang, ong, ung, wor, ear, kn, wr, qu, dge, ck, aw, au, ea (bread), oo (foot)

Let's say she picks Short Vowel "a."

She'll first look at the bag to see how many short vowel a's she needs to write.

Then she'll grab a piece of paper and write them in red ink.

Now, she opens her bag and finds 8 photos that have the Short A sound. (The pink cards in this photo were from )

She also pulls out these little wooden alphabet pieces. I got these from a craft swap years ago, but I think they are from Oriental Trading Company.

After she gets them all correctly spelled, she can put everything back into the bag for tomorrow. It is self correcting because she will run out of letters or have left-overs if she has some incorrect. It's also good for perfectionists since she's using moveable letters instead of writing them down and "getting them wrong."

She completes this project over again until Friday.

On Friday, she pulls out her paper with the 8 a's on it. She then pulls out her photos. Using the photos from the week, she WRITES the words around the letter a's on the page.

The project is complete once she gets all words correct. She then puts her paper into her new dictionary of spelling and moves onto the next spelling phonogram.

I'm still tweeking the program in that I'd like to have paper that allows for room between words and I'm also going to give the wooden letters a paint job so that they stand out better on the paper.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Our New School Year...

This past year I bought a whole Montessori program. Then I turned Allison's old bedroom into our new classroom. We really didn't get to do much before our school year ended bu,t I was able to set up the new room. I figured, I'd start with a tour...

Here is the left wall as you walk contains the sand tray, maps, puzzles, geometric trays and a small table to do work on...

This is the far back has all the sensorial items, language arts, and math...

The next wall has a little table and the farm table...

Here is the closet that now has two cabinets that house our book work and our dressing frame stands by the door...

One of the first things that I work on with my younger ones is learning to read. We do lots of work on recognizing the alphabet, the sounds each letter makes and listening to many great read alouds.

Now, Genevieve is reading quite well but she has been having trouble spelling and writing. I began to research what I could do to help her and was lead to this program... Now, I liked what I saw, but the price, well it left a lot to be

It got me thinking though...
(cute baby photo...David 15mos)
What if I used my Montessori Pink, Blue, and Green cards to make my own spelling program? You can get these cards for free online and you can get them cheap here...

(Cute Sophia photo, dance costume)

So, my plan is this. First, collect 60 paper lunch bags. For each bag, write a phonogram on it, like "ai". Genevieve will see on the bag the letters ai with a number with it. She'll need to write ai in the middle of her paper however many times the bag says. Then she'll open the bag and out will come photos of things that have ai in them, like; sail, hail, mail, tail, rail, fail, etc...
(Sophia's dance costume)

Also, in each bag will be little wooden letters, only enough to complete each word. So for sail, there would be an "s" and an "l" in the bag. When she has built each word around the phonogram that she has written, she will run out of letters in the bag. If she runs out too early, or has letters left over, then she'd know something was off. She would then leave it for 5 minutes and then return to try to read the words she made.
(Evie right after her recital)

Basically, it would be self-checking. After she completed each word group, she would then go back and WRITE the letters before and after her phonogram in a different color. The goal would be for her to be able to look at the photos and be able to write the words without the wooden letters.
(My little monkeys being silly)

For language arts, I found a really neat, simple program that I'll be using for Genevieve to go along with her's the website...

The material looks good. And it's a really good price. I bought the first level Phonics for the littles, the 3rd grade language arts, and the 3-12th grade spelling that I'll add on to her learning. She has samples of each level and now that I have it, it's exactly what I was looking for. It reminds me of Queen Homeschool without all the bells and whistles.

My next find is this FREE Literature/History program...
This is a program quite like TOG but I think the activities for the younger ones are more creative and SIMPLE. Simple is essential when you have 4 young kids and not a lot of time for collecting supplies. I like the book choices and it's set up like a Sonlight manual.

Math will continue with Genevieve doing Singapore and Isaac doing MUS.

Science will be simple too. I found that Rod and Staff's science is simple but interesting for Genevieve. We also suppliment with A LOT of extra reading.

So, that's it for now. I'll take photos of the spelling program once I have all the materials completed. I hope this helps someone else with a struggling writer/speller.


A Small Update from Me...

A lot has happened since my last post. I'd rather just get to why I'm blogging again but I also know that I'll thank myself later if I do a quick update first. :)

May 1st was a big day for us. My very first child grew up and flew the nest. Wow, it happens fast. It was one of those happy-sad moments that has made it hard for me to blog. I'm so glad that she is doing well on her own, is happy, and is able to fly on her own without help from us. I'm sad that she's gone and that we only see her once a week or so. I'm sure all of you Mother's of older-grown kids understand all the emotions that have been coursing their way through me as I learn how to be a Mom to a grown up.

The second one to leave, but only for 3.5 weeks is Jon. He's off in the mountains of Georgia right now enjoying his last year of Boy Scout camp. He returns Saturday and will be home a week. Then he's off to Engineering camp. He was selected to go to Rose-Hulman's Operation Catapult for a 2.5 week camp. It should be fun and I'm hoping it will help him to decide what he'd like to major in. This coming year is his senior year. He only needs one credit in a foreign language and he can graduate but I think he's going to take a couple of credits at the college in addition to his one homeschool credit. I'll be playing guidance counsellor again this year. Not too bad since most of my students will be in elementary school, but still it's another hat and I'm feeling the pressure.

And last but not least, Genevieve is off on vacation with my parents for the next two weeks. She's going all over the East Coast and will no doubt have a blast. My Dad is a big roller coaster fiend and I'm sure she'll get her fill. :)

So that leaves me with the 6 and under crowd. Not too bad... almost like a It's funny to think back to when I only had three and I thought it was overwhelming. lol We've had some fun this summer. We had a membership to a local country club for two months and swam at least 2 days a week, sometimes more. We've also been swimming in our own pool and Eric was so kind to refill the sandbox with all new sand. The kids spend a lot of time covered in sand. lol I'm going to try and pretend that I'm a summer camp host for the next month and see if we can enjoy the outside and each other this summer. We'll be putting up the bounce house, playing on the slip and slide, having water gun fights, swimming in the pool, building sandcastles, painting and otherwise playing until the new school year. I NEED a vacation and I'm going to make the most of it. :)

Well, there's my update. The next post will be about what I'm up to in the land of schooling this next year. I'm hoping to post more but we all know that life happens so I'll just do my best.


Wednesday, March 02, 2011


I'm sure that everyone who follows my blog, knows who Noah is, but if you don't please go check him and his wonderful family out today. They are having an online auction this week and have some amazing things listed for sale and auction. Here is the site of the auction... This amazing family has been through the wringer and really needs your help.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Old Faithful...

Eight years ago, we were on our way to Universal and needed a really compact yet full sized stroller. I happened to find this one at a Babies R Us...

Peg Perego Pliko P3

It had everything I wanted in a stroller. It folds like an umbrella, into a small rectangle. It has a wonderful sunshade that would completely cover a child in a sudden downpour. It gives a wonderful ride for the child, no matter what size they are. It has a step that older kids can stand on if they get tired and I've put two kids in it without trouble many times when an older child has given out during an outing.

A few years ago, we were given a Ford Expedition by my MIL. It has no trunk space at all, but this wonderful stroller will fit in the crack behind the seats that is called a "trunk."

To say that this stroller has been a lifesaver, is an understatement. After eight years of faithful service, it is now going into retirement. It STILL works, mind you, but many things are starting to give out and we think that it's ready for a life of mild service instead of what we do to things around The foot broke off of one of the brakes, the seat belt no longer functions and the poor dear sunshade has many holes from lots of use. But it STILL works.


So, when looking for something "new" and "fun", what do you suppose we decided upon?

No contest. P3 is our favorite and we'll stick with it till the end. Amazon has this beauty on sale for $220 and I think it's worth every penny.
Here it is folded up...
And if I couldn't have possibly loved my older one anymore, this one has many features that I wished our first one had. The shade can be unzipped in the back so you can shade them in front but they aren't stuck without a breeze. It has two cup holders for the little one. The harness is stationary, unlike the first one which would get all tangled up and my littles could get out of and it's orange which is one of my favorite colors. lol

So, if you are ever in need of a new stroller...this one is my hands down favorite and no, I didn't get paid to say it


Some Spring photos...

We've been pretty sick the past week or so, but the weather has been so nice that we all have been out in it anyway. :) I thought to actually take some pictures while we were enjoying the sunny day yesterday.

David loves to roam around outside while I hang laundry. Lucky for him, my dryer broke and I've had to hang often. :)
Genevieve is in need of a hair maintenence class or something.
Isaac, planting in the garden.
Biggest brother and littlest brother.
David enjoying the shade of his laundry house.

I don't have any good photos of Sophia. Her lips are so chapped that she looks beat up. Hopefully, she'll be feeling better soon.

I'm hoping after David's nap today, we'll get more time out of doors. I think it really helped our moods tremendously.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Many Faces of Mr. Wiggles...

Here are some photos of little David. He sure is growing up really fast! He now has 4 teeth and is very fast. I think he'll be walking soon, but so far he's just cruising around the furniture. He is the sweetest baby.






Finished projects...

I never did update on my big project for Christmas...

A Griffindor scarf for my oldest ds...

It took me until just after Christmas to finish but it really turned out nice. It's really come in handy this winter!



Saturday, January 15, 2011

My diet...

For the past 3 1/2 years I've been living completely sugar free. Yep, I gave it all up. I know it sounds impossible, but it's true.

Before my diet, I was always sick. I was having a lot of stomach trouble, anxiety issues, heart palpitations, and severe exhaustion. Just getting up in the morning seemed to be all I could do.

I went to many Dr's and specialists and no one could figure out what was going on.

Finally, I found a Dr who listened to me and prayed for me. He asked me about my diet and all I could really say was I knew that I couldn't have milk products because they upset my stomach and at the time I couldn't have fruit. He asked me to go on a special diet for people with a yeast over-growth. It would entail me going completely free of these items...

sugar of any kind
and a bunch of other things that I can't remember... :)

The week before I finally decided to try this diet, I was the sickest I have ever been. It scared me and I decided that I'd try it for a month, no matter what and then I'd see how I felt. The first three weeks were terrible and I almost gave up just about every hour I was awake but I knew that if this was the problem that it would take a month to start seeing anything positive come out of my efforts. I kept on, trying to figure out what in the world I *could* eat and trying really hard not to eat the other stuff that I had practically lived off of the past dozen years or so.

By the end of the first month, I felt better. Not all better, but I could definitely feel a difference. I kept on and on and well, on and now I'm better than I have been in 20 years. I still eat this way and I've decided to eat this way from now on. I'm healthy, feel great, and more energy than I've had in years. Here's my modified diet that I eat now...

barley-free soft wheat flour (for tortillas, biscuits, pancakes, and muffins)
honey for sweetner, but in very limited quantities
fruit- one piece a day

So, I eat pancakes or shredded wheat for breakfast each day. I add raisins on my cereal and raw almond butter on my pancakes, sometimes unsweetened jam. I use unsweetened rice milk on my cereal.

For lunch, I eat leftovers of dinner or a salad. I've found an organic Italian dressing from WinnDixie that is completely sugar free, but it does have vinegar in it. I do make my own dressings with lemon juice but it's nice to have an easy alternative.

For dinner, I make all kinds of things! Last night we had spaghetti with meatballs. I used oatmeal instead of cracker crumbs and canned tomatoes instead of spaghetti sauce. Then I add spices, veggies, and salt and it's done. Everyone else can add some cheese to theirs. The night before I made fried chicken, brown rice and steamed veggies. I used soft wheat flour that has no malted barley in it and egg to fry with my own spices.

The hardest thing about cooking this way is that you can't make casseroles but you can make some one-pot meals. I make pepper steak, beef stroganoff, even pizza. I make all my own broths and freeze them for meals and I shred all the chicken or turkey for later meals, like lomien or cook beef briskets in my crockpot over night and then make egg fried rice with beef and broth instead of soy sauce. I use only rice milk in my cooking, only non-dairy-no soy for my margarine, no mixes or sauces that aren't homemade. It works for me.

The biggest thing is that I am healthy enough to run around with my kids and we're having fun. It's only by God's grace and mercy that I am healthy and that I found something that works for me. I hope this helps!


Friday, January 14, 2011

It's the busiest I've been in a long while...

That about sums it up. lol

It started with Jon. It's alllll his fault. He told us right after his semester ended that he wanted something to do this next semester. Well, he's been doing scouts and he's enrolled in 3 college classes but he had a lot of free time and he wanted "something". So we went to the local martial arts place down the street and checked it out. It's a really nice place and he can even walk it's so close. We looked at the price sheet and noted that it was cheaper to have two in the class than it was to have one in. I thought, maybe someone else would like to go also...enter She not only would love to go, she was terribly excited. We reasoned that it's easier to learn and to keep it up when you have a buddy so we decided to sign her up also. Then Isaac hears about it and he says, "I want to be a ninja too!" and really, can you say no to that sweet face? So, we now have three students for their new

You're now thinking, that's the end of this story, right? That's no big deal, one class three times a week but they are all in it. Well, my dh and I were talking and thought it may be a good idea for Genevieve to begin violin lessons. She's always wanted to play but the timing was off. So I go to sign her up and Sophia sees the pink ballet outfits and says she wants to take that class. Well, I can't say no to that considering she's not in We left with ballet and tap classes for Sophia and Fiddle classes for Genevieve. Then Genevieve starts with the, I'd rather dance than play the fiddle. Well, I don't know how but she talks us into dance classes too!

So, we went from Genevieve in gymnastics and Jon in scouts to Jon in scouts and martial arts, Genevieve dropping gym for martial arts, dance, and violin, Isaac in martial arts, and Sophia in ballet and tap.

And all because Jon was bored.