"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

jones and his 1st day of school

i remember being excited for each of the girls as they started kindergarden.  i don't remember feeling nearly as nervous as i did for jones!  i do remember having the thought of calling the school , but it wasn't so much to check on them as much as it was to hear about how much fun they were having.  all day yesterday, i was mostly concerned that he was alright.  i was also concerned that he was getting in trouble. 

ah!  but he wasn't!  he had a great day!  he loved it.  he loved the bus and the playground and the snack!!! 

he's a big boy... even though it's hard for me to admit!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

gratituesday - education

we hear people complain all the time about "schools these days" or the "problems in the education system"... 
well, i am fully thankful that we, as adults, teens, and children alike, all have the opportunity to further our education.  we have the freedom to educate our children as we see fit.  we also have the resources to learn and keep learning until the day we die.
i am so grateful for this.

today was jones' first day of school.  aleemay had her first day of first grade.  and adejay is the big girl in 7th grade this year!  i am so thankful that my kids can go to school.  i'm so thankful that i can trust the teachers they are appointed to teach them the skills and lessons that they feel fit.  i'm glad that i can trust God in our educational decisions.  He is our leader.

maybe later i'll post some pictures and give some details on our "first day of school"... until then, think of something that you can lean on and be grateful for today! 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Sunday, August 28, 2011

monday menu, bright and early!

i went to my favorite place to get ideas for meals and came up with this loverly one for this week.  it's sandwich themed, because someone else had the idea and i had the gaul to use it too!  can you believe me?!  (to help ease my conscience, i linked her blog, but i haven't really checked it out much.  it's not a food blog.  it seems as if she's a teacher/mom/reader... that's all i got on her.  but now my conscience is eased)  i love sandwiches, so if no one else likes it... i will!!!!
  • chicken enchiladas (note to self, make extra chicken) with refried beans and rice.
  • chicken salad sandwiches (note to self, use the extra chicken from the enchilada night) on PHR's (friday food post this, anwat), served with veggies galore.
  • roast beef (note to self, make a very large beef) with all the yummies (ie. carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, and potatoes).
  • bbq beef sandwiches (made from leftover roast beef) with tator tots.
  • tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • homemade hamburger helper beef stroganoff, without the hamburger helper (brillant, eh?!), with green beans.
  • tuna melts with raw veggies and fresh fruit.
sorry about all the self-notes...  if i don't write it down, i'll forget.  but anyway, i sure think it all sounds good!  what are you eating this week?  did you make your menu???

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

pizzle sticks

today we might head to lowe's to build a quick and fun project with some of the kids.  twice a month they have a free wood project for kids ages 5-12.  today it's a little locker. 
adejay has been drawing lots of pictures lately.  she asked me if she could publish them to the web.  we brainstormed for a bit on how she could do that safely... and then i thought i could have a adejay art day of the week, yay?!  so, perhaps you, my lovely reader, can see her beautiful art work once a week.  that would be fun.  she wants them for the world to see.  and, as i check my stats, i see that you, my lovely reader, come from all around the world.  and my most popular blog is viewed at least half-a-century of times every week BECAUSE of one of the photos in it.
so... on that note.  get ready!
and keep reading.  because wow!  i'm such a great blog aren't i?!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Friday, August 26, 2011

friday food post - ground beef and spinach lasagna rollups

i've made this a few times.  the first time was quite a while ago and i made them in rollups and everyone liked them a lot.  this last time (w/ pictures) i thought the recipe was pretty close to my stuffed shells recipe that i thought i'd make them into shells instead. 
here's the recipe that comes from my famous hamburger cookbook:
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 (14 oz.) jar of tomato pasta sauce
1 egg
3/4 c. ricotta cheese
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
5 oz (1 1/4 c) shredded mozzarella cheese
4 (8X2 1/2 in) frozen precooked lasagna noodles, thawed (anwat note: i couldn't ever find these in the store.  i just bought lasagna noodles and cooked them... probably didn't take much longer than it would to unthaw noodles!)
1 c. fresh baby spinach leaves, washed with stems removed

1.  heat oven to 350 degrees.  in med. skillet, cook ground beef and onion over med-hi heat until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently.  drain.  stir in /2 c. of the pasta sauce.  remove skillet from heat.  (anwat note:  cook the noodles as per directions on the back of the package.)

2.  spread 3 T of the remaining pasta sauce in bottom of ungreased 8 in' square (2 qt) glass baking dish. 
3.  beat egg in medium bowl.  add ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, oregano, and 3/4 c. of the mozzarella cheese;  mix well.

4.  spread 1/4 each of ricotta mixture, spinach leaves, and beef mixture over each lasagna noodle.  starting with short side, gently and loosely roll each noodle;  place seam side down over sauce in baking dish.  top rollups with remaining sauce.  cover with foil.

5.  bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated.  remove foil;  sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese.  bake an additional 2-4 minutes or until cheese is melted.  let stand 5 min. before serving.

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

lame blogging since the break

i have been on a real lull with my blogging lately.  in a recent post, i explained that we were going on a little vacation and would be breaking for that.  well, we're back now (got back last friday), but we've been gearing up for school to start next week and have been souring our house because we've had such a 'lax summer. 
so, that's my excuse, not that i need one.
another excuse, not that i need two, is that i've been nurturing my baby in uterus quite a bit more than my computer time.  yes, that means that i'm pregnant.
baby 6 is due around the middle of march in 2012. 
God has given us another little one.  He is good and His blessings never cease to amaze me.  He is faithful and i am so thankful for that!
jones, aleemay, and i think that it'll be a boy.  boo wants a girl.  the rest are undecided that i know of.  that's kinda a fun game that we haven't participated much in previously.  we have a great pattern going though (girl, boy -miscarried, girl, boy, girl, boy) so you can't ignore that fact...

anyway, i have several food posts piling up, because that seems to be what i think about most.  :)  you can skip on over to a new blog i created with my gramma's handwritten recipes if you wish.  she was an amazing baker and cook too! 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Monday, August 22, 2011

menu time!

  1. bbq ribs (but not really barbecued... just with bbq sauce), rice, and garlicky corn.
  2. chicken sandwiches with ham/swiss/and pineapple slices.  on a bun with bbq sauce.
  3. slow cooker coconut chicken curry over steamed rice.
  4. grilled hamburgers with tator tots and corn on the cob.
  5. roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans.
  6. grilled baked potatoes with crock pot chili, zucchini cornbread (because we have some zucchini to use up), and broccoli.
  7. pan fried pork chops with twice baked potatoes and creamed green beans.
what're you havin'???
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

blog break

after this short unintentional blog break this week, i'm going to intentionally take another week off as the children and i drive out of state to visit some close friends/family.  really it's my brother, sister-in-law, and niece... and the family that are also friends (pretty much all of ours) is the best kind!!!!
sisters make the best friends! ;)
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

gratituesday - encouragement

i'm so happy and thankful that God puts people in our life to remind us of the good things and encourage us on our walk with Christ.  i also am happy and thankful that the Bible is full of God's promises and His encouragement. 
i cannot imagine going through life without such Hope.  encouragement is sometimes that little nudge that gets me through the day and i'm so thankful that i can open God's Word and get it ANYTIME.  i'm also everly grateful that God has blessed me with encouraging friends. 
and now i'd like to encourage you, to try to be an encouragement for others in everything you say and do.  if you're a Christian, encourage others in Christ... you are a light that shines for Him.  don't go out, don't let Satan blow you out, don't dim yourself... just shine brightly!  if you're not a Christian, please know that the only real joy comes from Christ, and i'd love to introduce you to Him and His Word!  God created us with a void that only He can fill... if you're struggling in your life, if you feel depressed or like something is missing, leave me a comment with your email address and i'd really like to take you on a walk to remember! 
thanks for reading.  thanks for your comments, they are such encouragement for me!
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Monday, August 8, 2011

friday food post without the friday : hamburger ramen

hamburger ramen, aka "anwat" ramen
this was a recipe i made up when we were pretty poor.  as in, even poorer than we are now.  or, maybe we weren't, but we were poor with time.  or, maybe it was that i just got married and didn't know much about cooking. 
i always liked boxed foods growing up.  they were kinda a treat, ironically enough.  such a treat, huh?!  i guess they were just something new... i dunno. 
anyway, when i got married and started cooking for a family i realized they're really not that cheap, for what they have in them!  nor are they really any easier... it's just a box with everything in it.  but it doesn't even have that!  you still have to add your own hamburger!!!  so, anyway, after this realization, and with the prompting of my husband (who, by the way, has always had an unexplainable extreme confidence in my cooking) i decided to try to make those boxed meals out of my own brain. 
this anwat ramen, was my first attempt and my hubs and my little adejay DEVOURED it!  they loved it.  and they still do.  them and four others now too!
so, here's the "how to" and funny enough, it's even quicker than any box meal i've made!  it takes like, 7 minutes!   (well, depending on how much beef you're browning.)
  1. ground beef (however much you want to put in to feed your family.)  for us, 7, i usually use about 1.5-2lbs. --in the pictures though i used twice that, probably!
  2. at least 1 package of beef flavored top ramen noodle soup.  (we use 2-3 pkgs.  the kids love the noodles)
that's it. 
  1. brown the ground beef.
  2. boil some water for the noodles and cook the noodles according to the package.
  3. add the beef seasoning packet from the soup to the hamburger.
  4. drain the hamburger.
  5. drain the noodles.
  6. dump the noodles on top of the hamburger. 
  7. serve.
7 steps.  7 minutes.  here's my pix:
the soup variety. 
the beef variety. 
added the seasoning packet here. 
boiling the water for the noodles.
noodles dumped atop. 
a hungry boy awaits! 
the dish!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

monday menu

we start this wonderful week in august celebrating 8 years of marriage.  some of you might think that 8 years is nothin'... but others might be amazed that a couple could stay married for 8 whole years!  and then maybe there's a few others that are just happy for us. 
we didn't do if for any of you types.  we've done it for us and for our future.  and honestly (even though you're not supposed to start a sentence with and) we did it through Christ, who strengthened us!!!
so, here's our menu: 
  • tonight was the night for the steak and asparagus and mashed per taters, but otter had a class, so we all just ate left overs... :)  --which, by the way, is a bonus because i haven't gone grocery shopping yet, but now i'll just delete the steak from the list!!!  it's amazing that man still puts up with me after 8 years of this filth he has to put up with.  geesh!
  • another request for hamburger ramen.  since it's so poplular, i've posted a recipe HERE.  with green beans on the side.  or on the top.  whichever you dish it up like.
  • double layer tacos.  ---now i LOVE hard shell tacos, but dang! are they messy and hard to eat!!!  especially if you're under the age of 100!  so, i think it was taco bell, or some stupid taco fast food restaurant that gets credit for the awesome idea of melting cheese to a tortilla for OUTSIDE the hard shell to catch everything that breaks off and falls AND it keeps it right there in the same area of bite!  so that's what my double layer tacos are.  hard shell tacos with protection, if you will.  maybe that's what i should call them instead.  heehaw
  • grilled hamburgers, baked beans, and corn on the cob. 
  • enchiladas, refried beans, and rice.
  • homemade pizzas.  (haven't had those in a while ---like years)
  • chicken stir fry with chicken fried rice.
and next week (which will actually be the week after that, for menus at least) mr. pop suggested we try doing a different ethnicity each night.  i'm excited for greek night, but that's because i've never made anything greek... or had anything either.  i know gyro's are all popular these days.  ??? whatever those are! 
wow, hardly any recipes on this one!  i guess that gives me good goals for my friday food posts!!!
what's on your menu?  what have you got going for the week???

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Friday, August 5, 2011

friday food post : cheddar biscuit barbecue

this is such a good and easy home cooked meal.  the ingredients are few, but the taste is many yums!  we've even had people over when serving this (last minute invitation) and it wasn't embarrassing!  it pleases man, woman, and child alike!!!
prep time approx 15-20 min.  (ready in 40-45 min)
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion (1 med)
1 (16 oz.) can barbecue beans or pork and beans with molasses
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can condensed tomato soup
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 (12 oz) can refregerated biscuits (or, see recipe below for the extra 5 min. of homemade)
1 c. shredded cheddar or american cheese

1.) heat oven to 375 degrees.  in large skillet, cook ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently.  drain.
i brown the onions first, because i always like to make sure they're cooked and not crunchy.  also, i added chopped garlic here instead of the powdered garlic later. 
2.)  stir in beans, soup, chili powder, and garlic powder; mix well.  bring to a boil.  reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes.

while this is getting hot and ready, i ask my cheese grater to start working:

and i start on my buscuits:
which are actually great-granny's buscuits.  they're awesome and full of fat.  if you want a similar recipe but changed a little for fat (shortening)'s sake, go HERE for a few substitutions. 
here's great-granny's recipe.  it's easy to cut in half (which we usually do).
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder (that i corrected because it's not enough to 1 Tbsp)
1 tsp soda
1 T sugar
1 tsp salt
sift together and then cut in 1/3 c shortening (Granny's tip:  if leaning any way, always go liberal with the shortening.  also, Crisco brand is the best (by far) shortening).
until it's crumbly like this:
and then pour in 1 c. buttermilk and stir from under...
...until moistened (like this):

at this point is when the recipe says to dump dough onto 1/2 cup of flour and knead until easy to spread without sticking.  melt some shortening into your baking pan (again go liberal for better biscuits).  cut out circle bisquits and dip in the shortening and then turn over to bake.  bake at 400 degrees for 17 minutes.
however, for this recipe, i just formed the biscuits flat in my hand and plopped them atop the mixture, here's my recipe's next step:
3.  separate dough into 10 biscuits.  spoon hot beef mixture into ungreased 8 inch square pan (or 2 qt. baking dish).  arrange biscuits over hot mixture.  sprinkle with cheese.

4.)  bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown and mixture is bubbly.

approx. 5 servings.   very easy to expand or decrease this recipe.  and also easy to variate it on if you like more biscuit/less meat, or vice verse. 
this is a 7 star meal at our house.  (7 stars from each member).

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

wednesday hair post 5

um.  today's hair post is me pulling out all my hair!  today has been THE absolute MOST STRESSFUL DAY of my parenting life! 
because i have a beautiful gorgeous really naive (or at least naive-acting) almost-teen daughter and the world is FULL of perverted boys/men.  i can't go into details because i'm shaking so bad.  (stress, anger, confusion, almost every negative emotion running through my body).  but don't worry.  everyone is alive and whole in our home.  you all don't need the details anyway. 
however, i would really appreciate a boat load of prayers for the next 35 years concerning me, otter pop, parenting, and my three beautiful growing girls!  please?!  please!! 
and then, on the other hand, if you have boys... please do all in your power, all that you possibly can to raise them up to be Bible believing and obeying, God-fearing, God-honoring, Jesus-centered, Jesus-loving, women-respecting men.  i know it's hard... parenting is.  but please?!  please!!

and then, also, if you don't ever see any little member of my family for the next 35 years... don't worry.  we're just staying home.  inside.  away from everything.  in fact i'm getting rid of the tv and internet right now.  and the phone.  for the rest of my life! 
:)  just kidding. 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

gratituesday : sunshine

in an effort to turn my negative thoughts upward, today i am going to be grateful for sunshine.  i'm happy that i live in an area where i can see the sun shining.  we don't have a whole lot of clouds to cover up the beautiful rays from the sun... and the clouds that we do have are the prettiest ones in the world.  -not that i've really traveled the world, but i've seen a lot of cloud pictures (and who would take pictures of clouds unless they thought they were pretty ones) and ours here -where i call home- are the PRETTIEST!
the sun is so healthy and warm and i'm thankful that we get it.  the sun makes everything so bright and pretty (except the plants if they doesn't get ample water).  so i'm also thankful for ample water.  it helps bare the suns warmth.  and we have it.  we have ample water that is cold and clean and refreshing!  not everyone has ample water and of those that do, not all of them have clean water!!!  what a blessing it is to have ample CLEAN water to do with what we choose!
God provides for us just what we need and we're so predictable to complain about what He doesn't give us.  well, i'm thankful for the sun.  yes, it's hot.  yes, it's bright.  yes, it's so good to have all summer long!!!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."