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Showing posts from June, 2011

When Paula Deen Lets You Down

(Now don't hate me because of that title~I adore Paula Deen! However, from now on I plan to only use her recipes that have lots of butter in them. This recipe includes no butter and clearly that was a mistake).
A couple of weeks ago I decided to include my daughter in the weekly menu planning and let her prepare a meal from one of her very own cookbooks.
We chose*Porcupine Meatballs* from her Paula Deen children's cookbook.
It was a very simple recipe consisting of meatballs made mainly of ground beef, Italian seasonings and rice. I was very impressed that The Princess dove right in with her hands making the meatballs. I know some adult women who wouldn't do that;)
The meatballs were placed on a bed of more rice and canned tomatoes, then covered and baked for something like an hour. (If you haven't picked up on it yet, I'm not sharing the recipe in its entirety here. You can thank me later).
Well, after the dish had baked for-e-ver, we took it out and prepared t…

Wheelin' & Dealin'

We have been on a selling frenzy around here lately! I think my husband would sell every stitch of our furniture if I would let him, just so he wouldn't have to move it again. Unfortunately for him, I'm kind of attached to some of it. But there was plenty I've been willing to part with. So we decided to have a big yard sale!
The kiddos were set on having a lemonade stand and I baked my favorite chocolate chip cookies for them to sell also~who can resist a cookie, right? Then you've gotta buy some lemonade to go with it, don't you? Yeah, we're all about the marketing and suggestive selling here:)
We got busy that weekend! We decided we were only up for a one-day sale, especially in this horrible summer heat, but we started setting up on Friday. I think we almost made more sales on Friday than we did on Saturday! The people just kept popping by as we were setting up~it was a great day.
On Saturday we were up bright and early (me, with a big cup of hazel…

My Top 5 Ways to Save $$

Three years ago this very week we had a major shift in our finances~we became self-employed. Accordingly, we made some major spending adjustments. Lately I've been reflecting on some of the things we've learned and how we've grown in ways to make a dollar stretch. It's been a great (while not always fun) learning experience. We definitely have a better understanding of the value of a dollar.
Some of the ways we have saved: Menu Planning: I had already begun to do this when our circumstances changed, but I began to do it even more in earnest. Because here's the deal: if you have a plan you're more likely not to do something else. In this case, that means not eating out as much. No more of the 4pm panic attack, "what are we going to eat for dinner?!" Now that's not to say that once in a while you've had one of those days and you just need to skip the plan and head out for the night, but that's the exception and not the rule. M…

Boy, Do I Have News For You!

I'm sure some of you have been wondering about me lately, what with my sporadic and random postings (at least that's what it feels like to me) and there being absolutely no mention of decorating the house we recently moved into.
That's because I really haven't been decorating and we still have boxes sitting around.
And I'll tell you why...
When we signed the lease on this house in March we had to sign for a year, but we thought that would be okay because we thought we would likely be here most of that time if not the entirety. However, God had some different plans for us. And they began to reveal themselves within 2 weeks of moving into this house. (Thus my complete lack of motivation to unpack more boxes!).
To make a somewhat lengthy story short, God has opened up a wonderful ministry opportunity for our family! We have been asked to be~and it is now confirmed just this past weekend that we will be~the next pastors of Christ Community Church in Hopkinsville, K…

Menu Plan Monday: June 27th

I'm still working on cleaning out the freezer around here. With Vince being out of town last week, not much cooking happened. Being a single mom is one hectic job, especially when you throw in t-ball games, vacation Bible school and one sick kiddo. Hopefully this week will go a bit more smoothly!
So there are some repeats that haven't been made yet, I'm determined they will get made~and eaten~this week.

Monday: {game night} Tostadas
Tuesday: {game night} Pesto Meatball Soup with Cheese & Pepperoni Bread
Wednesday:Stuffed Pizza Rolls
Thursday:Stuffed Chicken Rolls, mashed potatoes and English peas
Friday:Grilled Tuna Melts with grilled corn-on-the-cob
Saturday: {leftovers!}
This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Making Egg Rolls

Recently I tried my hand at making egg rolls. I've been wanting to make them for a while. We currently live where there are lots of wonderful, authentic Asian restaurants, but that hasn't always been the case for us. So I'd like to learn how to make a few of our favorite Asian foods just in case they aren't readily available to us:) The things that are my priorities...
Well, this recipe turned out really great! I look forward to making it again.
Egg Rolls
(from my friend Brandi) 1 lb. of ground turkey
1 bag of coleslaw mix
1 package of egg roll wrappers
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. sweet & sour sauce
oil for frying
*****
Brown the turkey (I added some minced onion to the meat, too) and drain. Return the turkey to skillet and add the bag of coleslaw mix a little at a time until the while bag is mixed in and wilted. Stir in the soy sauce and sweet & sour sauce. Next, follow the directions on the egg roll wrapper package for how to roll and seal (it's sort of like f…

A Visit to Hot Springs National Park

We were recently in Hot Springs, AR and before heading back home we decided to take the kiddos to visit the *Bathhouse Row* of Hot Springs National Park. Way back in the 19th century the hot springs were discovered and started to be used for their "healing" properties. By the early 1900's large, beautiful bathhouses were being built. I have always loved driving by~Bathhouse Row is right in the heart of downtown~the architecture is amazing and each so different!
This one (below) is the Fordyce Bath House and it houses the Visitors Center for the park. You can also take free tours of it~on your own or guided.

The porch of this house is so pretty~I can imagine the view must have been so much nicer at the turn of the century when it was built.
I loved that this Scripture verse was painted on the wall of the foyer.
I also adored these antique fans mounted on the walls! Vince and I are big *fans* of vintage fans (pun intended!).
We took the self-guided tour of the house a…

One Thousand Gifts

The list continues...
0426. a growing garden
0427. children's laughter from the backyard
0428. watching the kiddos gently swing on a lazy summer afternoon
0429. flowers in window boxes~they just make me smile:)
0430. the quiet simplicity of tending the blooms in the window boxes each day.
0431. the joy of The Princess when I ask if she will water them for me~so sweet!
0432. lemonade stands
0433. seeing my kiddos help their *customers* so well
0434. chocolate cookies
0435. sneaking bites of cookie dough
0436. the simple pleasures of nature
0437. my son's delight in wearing his backpack everywhere he goes
0438. watching Mr. B *making* lily pads in our little pond
0439. time to read a good book
0440. watching my son's game at the ball fields in a slightly cooler summer evening


Menu Plan Monday: June 20th

Why is it that each Monday lately I'm saying something like "well, I made it through this past week!"? Has May and June really been that crazy? Yes, they have. Each week I think it'll slow down, but it never does.
This week Vince is speaking at a youth camp in Alabama, the kiddos are attending VBS and I'm attempting to get my house back in order after the yard sale this past weekend. Plus catch up on everything else I neglected this past week.
Some good cooking is in order!

Monday:BBQ stuffed baked potatoes
Tuesday: {I'm cooking a whole chicken in my crockpot this day and will use some of the meat for dinner and then freeze the rest for more meals later) Special Delivery Chicken with a veggie
Wednesday:Tostadas
Thursday:Pesto Meatball Soup
Friday:Parmesan Baked Fish with Swiss Potatoes
Saturday:{leftovers and snacks}
What are you cooking this week?
This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Happy Fathers Day!

I hope you're having a great day with your dad today!

Busy, Busy, Busy

Folks, it's crazy around here this weekend! We're busy getting ready for a yard sale and my house is an absolute disaster. Frankly, I can't wait till it's over, the leftovers are hauled off to donation and I can put things back in order:)
Do you ever have yard sales? I only do occasionally.
Here are some great tips for how to have a good one:
4 tips on how to have a great yard sale from Econobusters10 tips for having a successful garage sale from Money Saving Mom
See you on the other side:)

Visiting the Mid-America Science Museum

This past week we took a field trip with The Princess' Girl Scout troop to the Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs, AR. We had such a great time! If you've never been, I highly recommend a visit.
To start the day off I got to sit in with the troop and see all of their science experiments while Vince took Mr. B to check out the museum.

There was the mixing of different liquids with different results.
Then we made some *Gak*.
Next there was a building exercise with Keva Planks.
They even got to test out hand-cranked generators.
Finally they learned about reverse engineering by taking apart some toys and putting them back together.
The girls had a blast completing their class and earning another badge.
In the meantime...Mr. B was exploring the nature trail (the museum is set in a lovely wooded area)...
...testing the heat sensor cameras...
...*capturing* shadows...
...climbing through tunnels...and much more! There were tons of great interactive displays.





All in all, it was a very f…