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Showing posts from May, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

(Google images)

I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

It's a beautiful day here! We are enjoying some time
at home this morning, then this afternoon we're
joining our church small group for some grilling out
and some pool fun.

As we are enjoying our day, may we all remember
the fallen soldiers who have made our freedom possible.

Happy Memorial Day!

Menu Plan Monday: May 30th

This week is already off to a great cooking start. Yesterday I tried a new slow cooker recipe for our Sunday lunch and it turned out wonderfully! I have to share it with you.


Slow Cooker Stuffed Chicken Rolls
(Fix It and Forget It cookbook)
6 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
6 slices deli ham
6 slices Swiss cheese
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup oil
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup chicken broth
chopped fresh parsley, optional
*****
1. Flatten the chicken breasts to 1/8" thickness. Place ham and cheese slices on each breast. Roll up and tuck ends. Secure with a toothpick.
2. Combine flour, Parmesan cheese, sage, smoked paprika and pepper. Coat chicken on all sides. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or so.
3. Brown chicken in oil in skillet. Transfer to slow cooker.
4. Combine soup and broth. Pour over chicken.
5. Cover and cook on Low 4-5 hours.
6. Remove toothpicks. …

Baked Beans & Other Great Holiday Weekend Foods

I have to say that baked beans are one of my favorite foods. I grew up eating my mom's and her's are SO yummy. She taught me how to make them ages ago and I've recently realized that this is one dish that I don't even have a written recipe for. So in order to share it with you I actually measured (sort of) all of the ingredients, although it's entirely acceptable to modify it to your own tastes (I did).

My Fave Baked Beans
2 cans Pork & Beans
1 small onion, finely diced*
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 BBQ sauce
3 slices of bacon
*****
Empty the canned beans (removing the piece of fat) into a mixing bowl. Add in the onions,
brown sugar, ketchup and BBQ sauce. I recommend tasting it to see if you would like to add more ketchup or BBQ sauce. Also this is a great time to add in about a 1/2 lb. of cooked ground beef, if you'd like. My hubby loves it that way!
Pour the beans into a 8x8 baking dish. Cut the 3 slices of bacon in half, then lay them on top
of th…

A Garden Update

(click for a larger view)

Our little garden is growing! Thank goodness all of this crazy rain hasn't washed it away, although I have lost a few seedlings~as you can note by the bare spots. I'm not complaining too much though because I've hardly had to water it at all. Over all, I am really excited about how it's doing!

This is only my 3rd year to try vegetable gardening and I learn something new every year, of course. I would imagine that will be true every year I garden.

This year so far I have learned:

start my seeds earlierespecially start the tomato seeds earlierI'm probably going to have A LOT of zucchiniSo I guess you can start sending me your fave zucchini recipes right now:)

Seriously, I am really looking forward to having fresh veggies before too long. Maybe by the next month's update!

How is your garden growing?

This post is linked to the Garden Challenge at The Homeschool Village.

Surviving the Storms {updated}

I don't know about where you live, but it has been one crazy Spring here in Western Arkansas.

We've had rain like nobody's business. And then there are all of the tornadoes that have been passing through. I'm so thankful that none have touched down here.

I've been through that before and it is heartbreaking. I've been so saddened by all that has happened this year in Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. And now Arkansas.

Last night was another rough one. Monday was even worse in our area with crazy winds.

A tree two houses over from us fell on the power lines, thus blowing the transformer about 10 pm Monday. As of late last night we still don't have power. Yesterday afternoon we loaded up all of the food from our refrigerator/freezer and brought it over to my parents' house (deja vu!). We also spent the night here. There's nothing like trying to sleep during a storm when it's killer muggy outside and you can't even …

One Thousand Gifts

0411. baby birds just learning to fly

0412. sleeping with a ceiling fan

0413. picking your own strawberries

0414. making my own jam for the first time with the strawberries I picked



0415. burgers fresh off the backyard grill

0416. springtime's baby animals on the farm

0417. knowing God is in control when the storm is raging outside

0418. herb gardens~they make me smile:)

0419. listening to my wind chimes blowing in the wind

0420. taking my kiddos to their first *big* baseball game

0421. cracking up at a *funny* by one of my kiddos

0422. my *big* little boy on his K5 graduation day~he was so proud and excited!

0423. watching the delight in my kids' eyes (and my husband's) as they catch frogs in the backyard

0424. finding my favorite style of shoe in the last pair of my size

0425. snuggling up at bedtime with a good book and reading until you fall asleep



Menu Plan Monday: May 23rd

Well, last week's dinner were hit and miss. On Monday I tried the carrot and cilantro soup...which was good. Except it barely made enough to talk about and I splattered it all over the kitchen. Don't try to puree hot liquids in the blender, I'm just sayin'. It was a mess!

Hopefully I'll be more on my game this week. I have really been in a cooking funk. Gotta shake that!

I'm excited about lots of foods on the grill this week, too! That is always yummy!

Monday: {game night} Grilled Burgers with Onion Strings and Baked Beans
Tuesday: {game night and *Moms Nite Out* w/my homeschool group} everyone on their own
Wednesday:Slow Cooker BBQ Sandwiches with potatoes
Thursday: Grilled Fish Tacos
Friday: {game night} Grilled Tuna Melts
Saturday:Egg Rolls with ....something else Asian...I'm just dying to try this new egg roll recipe:)

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Book Club: The Ministry of Motherhood

It's book club time again! This time I am joining up with the Good Morning Girls and Jolanthe as we read through The Ministry of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson.

I LOVE Sally's books! I have read two others: The Mission of Motherhood and Educating the Wholehearted Child and they have been such a blessing to me. I've had The Ministry of Motherhood for a while now and even started it once, but haven't finished it. I think having this study guide and accountability group will be good motivation for me.

We don't actually start reading through the book until this coming Monday. This week was spent on some good Bible study using the S.O.A.P. method.

S.O.A.P. stands for the following:“S” ~ reading/writing the scripture. This is the time to really focus on the verse and think about what it means.“O” ~ writing down observations about the scripture that was read. You can write your own summary, but this is the time to focus on what God is saying to you through His word…

{Easy Peasy} Fire & Ice Pickles

Just had to share this oh-so-yummy recipe with you all. We like our foods hot and spicy around here and if they are sweet and hot, then it's even better! These are all of that!

These pickles are amazing, whether you're putting them on your burgers or eating them straight out of the jar (which I do often!). They are the absolute easiest things to make~and your friends and family will think you really spent hours on them. I won't tell. I promise!


Fire & Ice Pickles
(Taste of Home)
2 jars (32 oz. each) dill pickle slices or spears
4 cups sugar
1 tbsp. hot pepper sauce
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, peeled*
*****
Drain and discard juice from pickles. In a large bowl, combine pickles, sugar, pepper sauce, and pepper flakes; mix well.Cover and let stand 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Spoon pickles and liquid into 3 pint-size jars; add a garlic clove to each.Cover and refrigerate 1 week before serving. Store in the refrigerator.
*I used 3 tsp. of ch…

Creepy Crawly Flip Flops

Quite a long time ago I saw this idea for boys' flip flops and tucked it away in my mind. However, it's only been just this week that I've taken the time to try it. After my son got over the fact that I had glued his toy *creepy crawlies* onto his shoes, he actually liked the idea. (Yes, I made him cry over his fave lizard. Total bad parenting moment).

First I picked up some new flip flops at the store. Then I came home and ransacked Mr. B's bug box, choosing the longest and flattest *bugs*. Finally I grabbed some super glue gel and some clothes pins.

Then I positioned the *bugs* on the flip flops, one on each, and glued them. I clamped them down with the clothes pins to dry.

They turned out very cute!

I must tell you, the orange ones (above) had a harder time gluing because the toe straps were shinier than the one on the blue pair (below). I think I'm going to re-glue these with a different glue (flip flop glue maybe) just to be on the safe side.

Overa…

Pretty Pedestal Plates

Ever need just a pretty little place to toss your loose change, a piece of jewelry, random Legos, hold soaps in the bathroom or what-have-you? Well, I recently made something just perfect for that: these little pedestal plates.

I saw this idea from a friend's facebook page and couldn't resist making some of my own. I found these pretty initial plates at Hobby Lobby for just $5 and the glass candle holders came from the Dollar Tree...for $1, of course:)

I simply used Gorilla Glue around the top of the candle holder and stuck it to the center of the bottom of the plate. I balanced a couple of heavy books on it overnight for good measure and then it was good to go.

Of course, when I saw these blue and white plates at Target (for $3) I had to have one. Won't this look pretty in the kitchen with some fruit? Or for serving snacks guests?

Another place to look for very inexpensive pieces to make these with would be thrift stores. My friend found glass candle holders there fo…

Menu Plan Monday: May 16th

Yes, I'm slow posting this today. I'm lacking in motivation. I think it's that my hubby has been out-of-town all weekend and I'm exhausted from single-parenthood. That is one tough job! I miss my hubby!

But I must feed my family's bellies, so I press on !

Monday: {t-ball game night} Carrot & Cilantro Soup, Salad with Garlic Bread
Tuesday:Chicken Jambalaya and Roasted Carrots
Wednesday:Turkey & Black Bean Tostadas
Thursday: {t-ball game night} Grilled Fish Tacos with Rice
Friday:Spaghetti Pie
Saturday: {leftovers}
Sunday: Slow-Cooker Pot Roast, Carrots & Potatoes, Gravy and Rolls

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

The Weekly Wrap-Up: the One with Baseball, Frogs and Graduation

This week has been pretty full with an event nearly every day. In between events we are wrapping up the *loose ends* of our school subjects.

I have to admit, I'm just as ready as the kiddos to wrap up our school year. This has been a long, drawn-out semester and I'm looking forward to summer break.

Don't get me wrong though. I am eagerly researching curriculum for next year and am even already looking forward to the fresh start in the Fall, but I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say how excited about summer break I am. However, I do plan to continue some things throughout the summer. We'll be reviewing and continuing math, building thinking skills and, of course, reading lots of books. I'm also planning to throw in a unit study or two. What are your summer plans? Do you school throughout the year or take a summer break?

Here are some highlights from our week:

We took the kiddos to Springdale, AR to see The Naturals (minor league) play baseb…

Our Little Graduate

Well, Mr. B did it! He has made it through Kindergarten! I even survived:)

Yesterday there was a small ceremony and celebration with our homeschool group and Mr. B was SO excited! He woke up shouting "today I'm in 1st grade" and "today is my day". Pretty funny:)

We met with the other K5ers' families at the park. We decorated the park gazebo, then the graduates were presented with their diplomas and after much picture-taking we enjoyed some yummy cupcakes.

I couldn't resist these fun glasses from the Dollar Tree~and Mr. B looked adorable in them!

I also found these great {free} downloadable cupcake toppers over at Living Locurto and they turned out very cute!

The graduates were certainly ready to have some!

I was so glad that we had a break from the rain, it was just right for Mr. B's special day.

Strawberry Season!

This past weekend we decided it was time for some fresh strawberries, so we headed to our local berry farm to pick our own. It was the perfect day for it!

The farm was having their *spring festival* so we even got a hayride straight from our car to down on the farm~the kiddos were pretty excited:)

Once we got to the strawberry field they gave us our picking buckets and off we went.

The berries were gorgeous! I love all their different shapes, especially this little heart-shaped one that's capped at an angle~so cute!

The kiddos did very well picking~although it got hot for them pretty quickly. They would definitely have to toughen up if they were going to be farmers~ha!

Finally we were finished picking.

We always end up picking about 2x more than we originally intend to, it's hard to stop picking every ripe one you see.

The very next day was Mothers Day and I had my family over for lunch. We had strawberry shortcake for dessert~yum!!

Then it was time to address the large amount…