Friday, December 31, 2010

. . .fun!!!!!!

So, I haven't purchased a 2011 calendar yet and desperately need one if we are to be ORGANIZED! so I was working on making my own when I remembered this fantastic website I found back in my teaching days!  Talk about FUN!  This website has some fun, crazy, silly thing listed for each day of the month plus weekly things.  We are definitely going to do something from this calendar on every Monday homeschool day!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I'm so gonna get organized in 2011!  I've dabbled with Fly Lady, and Home Sanctuary, and now I'm going to give the month of January over to becoming truly organized then I'll keep up with my other favorites!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

. . .a planner!

. . .planning our Christmas cookies, that is! Oh my mouth is watering! I set out to find the perfect gingerbread man recipe. Who knew there were so many ways to make gingerbread? I finally found one from Williams-Sonoma that looks like the perfect crispness and color. I am also going to make Snowy Bonbons, Peanut Butter Balls, Fudge from, Raspberry Frosted Canes, and . . .

. . . Mr. Melty.  You simply must check out this cookie by Meaghan Mountford--she used the Williams-Sonoma recipe for her cutout Snowflake ornaments. She has also written a fantastic cookie cookbook--my wish list is getting longer!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

a baker!

Today many things were accomplished: 5 loads of laundry because we've been out of detergent and the mountains were climbing!, cleaning out of toys for a toy swap next weekend, decluttering of entryway--I am determinded to see carpet again!, and baking for Tuesday Treats. I teach Bible classes on Tuesday at my husband's school and bring in treats to make the time more enjoyable. Well, Heidi has been sick so we are going in tomorrow instead.

Pictured above: Pumpkin Flop, Banana Bread, Layers of Love Chocolate Brownies, and Gingerbread.

Pumpkin Flop was my first choice for treats. The recipe looked so yummy BUT it tastes like some kind of hockey puck. The recipe called for 4 cups all-purpose baking mix. Well, I didn't have baking mix and figured flour would do. NOPE! Hence the hockey puckishness yuckiness.

Gingerbread came to the rescue! Banana Bread was in the plans since we just happened to have over ripe bananas on hand and I am in possession of a fabulous recipe--mostly fabulous because I have always doubled the butter on accident. My husband doesn't understand why I just can't follow a recipe. Sometimes it's on purpose and sometimes not. Mostly things turn out well as in the case of the banana bread but sometimes there is a major flop as in the case of the pumpkin tragedy--sigh!

With all the goodies on hand tonight I knew that something else needed to be made for the family or they would dig into Tuesday treats out of desperation. I found this recipe on the back of the Nestle Toll House bag on Monday and have been dying to try it out.

Layers of Love Chocolate Brownies

combine in small bowl:
3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. baking cocoa
1/4 t. salt

beat till smooth:
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar

add 2 eggs, beating well.

add vanilla and mix well.

gradually beat in flour mix. reserve 3/4 c. batter.

spread remaining batter into prepared 8x8 pan.

sprinkle over batter:
1 c. chopped pecans
3/4 c. white chocolate morsels

drizzle 1/2 c. carmel topping over top.

beat remaining egg and reserved batter until light in color.

stir in 3/4 c. semi-sweet morsels and spread evenly over carmel topping.

bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. cool completely.

I thought the name came from all the layers involved in putting the brownies together but after tasting this incredibly decadent delight I am convinced that the eating of said brownies add layers to one's already existing love handles, thus, adding more Layers to Love on one's person. So be warned--your family will love you for making this delicious recipe but there will also be more of YOU to love afterward!

**an aside: The ingredients for this recipe were already in the cupboard. I had little bits of this and that from other recipes and didn't want anything to go to waste so just tucked it away--pecans, white choco chips, choco chips, carmel topping. So this recipe is a good one to have on hand to help use all those things that just seem to collect in the cupboard with no where to go. You could probably switch the nuts around, add coconut, choco or butterscotch syrup instead of carmel. . .see, this is a very handy and verstile recipe to have on hand!

***my eyes are crossing and spell check isn't working so hopefully everything looks right--ugh!

****Have you heard of Bakerella? Look her up! She makes these amazing cake balls and pops. And she just had a book published! Go Bakerella!!!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

not Julia Child. . .not Rachel Ray. . .but. . .

Lemon Basil Chicken

Pioneer Woman!!!!!

Have you heard of Pioneer Woman? I came across her blog from another crafty blog whose author had just visited "The Lodge" for vacation. I was intrigued by her description of their vacation so checked out "The Lodge" for myself and was instantly a Pioneer Woman fan! First I was captured by the posts describing Pioneer Woman's romance and wooing by the Marlboro Man. Then I became a faithful follower of all her blog postings: cooking, photography, homeschooling, and home & garden.

The Pioneer Woman is really Ree Drummond and she is feisty, fun, and so talented. Even my husband has come to love her blog and enjoys finding recipes for me to try. Any time he hears that we are having a Pioneer Woman recipe for dinner he comes home drooling!

Oh. . .almost forgot why I'm writing this post! I just got a copy of Pioneer Woman Cooks from the library!!!!!!! I didn't even realize our library had a copy until one day I was picking up our books on hold and saw that my sister-in-law had a copy of the book sitting there waiting for her. I came home and immediately put in my reservation. When I picked up my copy the next week, I saw my sister-in-law's book still sitting there on the shelf--What?!?!?!?!?

Anyway, the book is sitting here beside me on the piano and is an absolute feast for the eyes! The pictures are beautiful! With the pictures she has little tidbits and stories of her family and ranch. The are also recipes in the book--imagine that! The recipes have little stories that go with them and step-by-step instructions. I can't wait to pick out recipes, make a shopping list, and get cooking!

What are you waiting for? Check out The Pioneer Woman!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

. . .a gamer. . .

Well, I've had lots of ideas of things to blog about but it seems that the only times I'm sitting are when nursing a baby and only one hand is available to type or late at night after everyone has finally gone to bed and the only thing I want to do is sit and stare at the wall for a few minutes or frantically catch up from the day. . .you know how it goes!

In looking around for some Thanksgiving decorating ideas I came across some great websites and one had this amazing giveaway contest going on!!!!!!!!! I cannot tell you how happy my family would be with any ONE of these prizes let alone the grand prize of ALL! So pop on over to Today's Mama blog and check out her site yourself!

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme
TodaysMama (link to: and GameStop (link to: are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

From Sheri. . .
1. What is your holiday wish for your family?

My holiday wish for our family is that we would be content and happy to be together as a family.
2. What is your Christmas morning tradition?

Christmas morning we wake up, eat some yummy kind of baked goodies, {patiently} wait for Grandma to arrive, then open presents. . .usually still in our jammies, of course!
3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?

a decadent wish for myself? hmmmmm. . .a trip to a spa/health resort in some faraway beautiful spot where I would be pampered and trained to exercise & eat properly and come home totally refreshed with those last 20 lbs. or so finally gone!
4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?

sleeping in, staying up late, watching movies together, playing games, trips to the park, cooking & baking together--just being together.
5. What games did you play with your family growing up?

We played lots of games: Uno, Spades, Careers, Clue, Rook, Boggle, Scrabble, Take Two, Dutch Blitz, Hand and Foot, double Solitare, Connect Four, Yahtzee, to name just a few. . .
6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?

Growing up we always went to cut our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving and then left it up as long as absolutely possible. We usually use a fake {ugh!} tree but it goes up the day after Thanksgiving and stays up well into January.
7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?

Christmas away from home I would go to Florida where my in-laws are. One of my husband's sister's family also comes there and I would love to spend time with them all. Of course a trip to Disney World would be snuck in there somewhere too;-)
8. Check out GameStop (link to: and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?

1. Xbox 360 4 GB Console with Kinect

2. Nintendo Wii Red Bundle

3. Nintendo DSi XL Red Bundle

dreamin'. . .dreamin'. . .dreamin'

Not quite sure why I picked orange to highlight my words for a Christmas dreamin' wishlist except for the fact that Thanksgiving is tomorrow!!!!! My absolute hands down favorite holiday!!!!!!!

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I love the Taste of Home cooking magazine!!!!!!! In the most recent issue I was stunned to learn this:

58% the number of evening snackers who prefer popcorn, followed by ice cream, crackers, and cookies.

Now that's my husband's kind of bedtime snack!


oh so tired. . .

BUT instead of snuggling with precious baby girl and taking a nap too!!!!! I made a pot of tea

in this very special Mary Engelbreit teapot-cup combo. My Grandma passed away the day before last Thanksgiving. My mom had already bought her Christmas present--the teapot--and asked if I would like it. So I made tea and thought of Grammer. . .and cleaned like Grammer would! She was an immaculate housekeeper. . . so here I sit in a nice clean house with cookies cooling in the kitchen--yea!!!!!!! my little helper is most excited about that part of cleaning;-)
Notice the crockpot next to the teapot. . .dinner is on the way--"easy roast beef", but I used a rump roast--eh, it's almost the same thing, right? You pour bbque sauce in the bottom of the crockpot, put in the roast, then cover with the remaining sauce--Fix-It-And-Forget-It!

a Mountain Climber

a mountain of laundry, of course!

plus regular laundry. . .

plus clean laundry which is folded and waiting to be put away. . .

and a willing helper. . .

How does this happen? I am a stay at home mom! Oh yes! I was gone on Mon & Tue with dr. appts and errands for hubby and chaufferring for daughter. Tuesday night someone who had too many late nights and too much to drink wet the bed AND Crosby the cat threw up on my bed!

Ah well, sure am thankful for my little maids called washer and dryer--can't imagine having to hand wash that pile! How did our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers do it?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

this week I was . . .


My hair was driving me crazy so. . .I walked into the beauty shop--Lollipop--and asked them to cut my hair. . .here's the front view. . .

and the back. . .

It's not exactly what I wanted but it's new and different--yea!!!!!
a Seamstress

hemmed a skirt for my daughter, sewed another skirt, and pre-washed material for another skirt. It was wonderful to be at the sewing machine again!!!!!

Julia Child

Potato Cheese Soup was on the menu. Fix-It and Forget-It is one of my favorite crockpot recipe books for ideas but I usually end up changing the recipe a little. My husband rolls his eyes and can't believe I won't follow a recipe--this is one of the reasons he doubts my ability as a cook--that and the fact that I don't stay in the kitchen and pay absolute attention to the dinner whick is cooking on the stove--but, I ask you, what mom does? So in his eyes I will never be a gourmet--which is fine by me--I'm more of a meat and potatoes girl anyway. So maybe I'm not a Julia Child--maybe more like Rachel Ray? I do love Julia Child's attitude toward cooking anyway--if the butter burns, heat more; if the chicken goes flying, laugh and clean it off; but whatever you are doing in the kitchen, be bold and enjoy it!

While I was peeling and chopping, our baby girl was in her swing to take a nap.

Oh yes, sound asleep! and here's the finished soup. . .

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

a beginning

Why in the world am I starting another blog when I can't seem to keep up with the ones I already have? A few reasons. . .one is personal, family type and the other is for books and things and this one is because, well, mainly because I'm feeling a little lost and I'm looking for some grounding. I don't know where I fit into this world any more. I'm not working so I don't have that outlet or co-workers, we have a church we belong to but it's really small and for some reason or other don't really have "close" friends there, my main world is my family and while I love them dearly and truly love being around them and spending time with them, something just seems to be missing--my life consists of mainly talking to a six year old all day, visiting with my husband and teenaged daughter a little in the evenings, and taking care of a 4 month old who loves to eat. During the time we sit while the little one eats I look around the house and think about everything that needs to be done and everything that I would like to do and feel like I need some type of "mission" in life. You know, like Amelia Earhart or Julia Child! We've watched those movies recently and each of those ladies kind of grew into her dreams--of course, one ended in death but she always said that she would prefer a "watery death" over the ocean while doing what she loved! So that's made me think what do I want to DO in my life? This thought always takes me back to high school and one of our chapel sessions with our pastor, Pastor Charles Wood. I loved hearing our pastor preach--especially when he was our chapel speaker--we never knew what to expect. One chapel time he asked a question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" He then had some kids from one of the elementary classes come in and say what they wanted to be--policeman, nurse, teacher, fireman, etc. When all the little kids left, pastor proceeded to tell us that all of the kids had said what they wanted to DO not what they wanted to BE. To BE had more of the idea of character and attitudes not occupation. So now I'm thinking what do I want to DO, what do I want to BE? And there's so many things I want to do and be that it all seems overwhelming! There are things I know I should be--a good wife, a patient mom, a perseverant homeschooler, a tidy housekeeper--but there's so much more that I WANT to be and do. I feel like the creative side of me gets lost in all of the duty things that need to be done. I feel like my house will never be clean again after "taking it easy" for the pregnancy of the little one--I'm still trying to catch up 4 months later; we're always off track with school things because frequently we're needed to do other things for my husband & daughter--good thing Eddy is so far ahead--we'd have to be busy for years for him to get behind; and life with a little one on a two hour eating schedule is a challenge--she is sitting beside me semi-patiently waiting to eat again! Somewhere we are going to have to find a balance because there are other things that need doing--sewing for a cute little girl, alterations for a teen girl, quilts for beds, gardening, and oh so much more!

Well, it is way past time to be done with this post but at least it's started and out there and I'm on my way. Since there is no time for proof-reading, today I will not be an English teacher!