Tuesday, October 9, 2012

School lunches

Do you find yourself struggling with lunch ideas?  Lunch is rough for this home school mom.  We get our lessons done and even fit in a little exercise.  Then comes the infamous words around 11:30, "When is lunch, I am hungry, what are we having?"   AAAAAAAHHHHH!  I don't know.

This year I have a plan to make school lunch a little easier.  For many years I have prepped and frozen food for supper time meals.  I am attempting to do the same for lunches.

My first attempt at school lunch preparation was chicken nuggets.  I have not done any research on the ingredients in store bought/fast food chicken nuggets.I have heard rumors and this is enough for me. I simply do not want to know for myself.  Therefore I am not going to research it.  I do know that I can take boneless chicken breasts, some buttermilk, and some seasoned bread crumbs and make my own.  Cut chicken into small finger-food sized pieces.  Coat with buttermilk then bread crumbs.  Bake at 375 until cooked through. Cool.  Fill a ziplock bag.  Freeze.  When ready to eat.  Put desired amount on baking sheet.  Preheat oven to 375.  Cook, frozen, for about 10 minutes.  Turn nuggets over and cook for another 10 minutes.  Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.  Yum!  These were delicious.  LE  was a little hesitant, but she will come around. 

Overall we do not eat many store prepared meals.  At the beginning of the school year WD requested some Kraft Easy Mac and Cheese. (a rare treat...if you can call that a treat)  That got me thinking.  I could make my own homemade mac and cheese and freeze it.  Mom's Easy Freezey Mac and Cheesey.  Simple.  Boil some whole wheat pasta (under cook so it isn't mushy when reheated).  Make a cheese sauce using cheese and milk.  Mix together.  Fill freezer jars.  Freeze.  Perfect for a school lunch.  Just defrost and heat. 


With cooler weather here it  is nice to have a hot meal at lunch time. We do not have a hot meal everyday.  We fill in with sandwiches, cheese and crackers, yogurt.  Having simple hot lunch options in the freezer is one more step in making the home school day run smoothly...now if we could some how make ahead and freeze long division...

If you have any recipes that you use I would LOVE to hear them.
Di













Monday, September 10, 2012

We made it!

Today, our first day of school, started with our first grader up at the "crack of dawn" and our fifth grader having to be dragged out of bed.  LE (the first grader) was up and ready...chores done and everything...well before WD even made an appearance.  Despite the sleepy son things went well and we were able to start school on time.

School starts with devotions.  Then WD is off to do some independent work while LE and I do some cleaning.  The rest of the school day is spent hopping between both kids.  Things went very smoothly for the first day with only a few minor "melt downs."

This past spring I attended a Homeschool Convention where I was greatly encouraged and learned many things to help me through another school year.  I am so thankful I was able to go and would love to attend another one.  My prayer is that I would be able to implement the things I have learned and allow the Holy Spirit to order my day. 

Just a little thought...if you teach your children at home, do you consider yourself a "home schooler" or a "home educator"  I think I fall somewhere in between.  What does homeschooling mean to you?

As moms we must remember that whether our children are taught at home or in a classroom the best teachers our children will ever have is us.  How are we measuring up?

Take a few minutes each day and ask the Lord to help you be the teacher He would want you to be.  Our ultimate goal should be to raise children that have eternal purpose.

God bless you as you train your children for His glory!
Di


Monday, August 27, 2012

Lists

Yesterday my hubby and I were talking about our camping trip coming up.  I pulled out my notebook and started writing my "to do" list for the week.  Then I turned the page and started my food list.  The other pages contain packing lists and previous "to do" lists.  The comment was made by my husband that I have a list for everything.  I do.  I am a list person.  I love to have everything written on out so I can cross things out as a I do them and yes, it has to be on paper.  I may make an spreadsheet list on the computer, but I must print it.  What fun is a list if you can't cross something off with a pen.  I need my paper!!!

As school and vacation are fast approaching I have many things to do, so my lists increase.  I find myself  wondering,  "does everyone write lists to stay on top of their days?"  If not, what other methods are used?  Are you a pen and paper "lister" or do you prefer electronics? Do you have another method?  I would love to hear your list organization tips.

Going to get my notebook...
Di


Sunday, August 5, 2012

August New Month Resolutions

The first two months of summer are always a whirlwind of activity...finishing school, vacations, camp meeting...so much going on.  August comes and I feel like I can breathe again.  I can stop to take time to think about re-organizing, cleaning out. AND getting things ready for school?   Yes, school.  I think a home school mom always has school/education somewhere on her brain.

 I do have to say this year when official school was finished, I was finished.  I have never enjoyed the ending of school and beginning of summer more than I did this year.  Was it because I taught 2 this year?  Maybe it was the early warm weather?  I am not sure why, but it was nice to start summer vacation and it has been nice to be on summer vacation.  No schedule, just down time.  (Well, other than the cooking, cleaning, mothering, and all that regular stuff.)

With school only a month away, I am working on getting our home prepared. I made my weekly to do lists and have been crossing things off each week.  It is exciting to see each task completed and crossed off the list.  Some things have had been put on hold (Like re-staining or painting kitchen cabinets...I would love suggestions, but guess that is a different post).  This post is not about "to do" lists, so I will not bore you with those details and get right to the point (ok, so I already blew that...now I will get right to the point)

First, last month resolutions...how did I do? (comments in italics)

Spiritual Resolutions:

1.  To be spiritually minded.  A work in progress.  So hard to do with so much carnality in me.
2.  To be more encouraging.  To praise my children more.  See above note. :)

Physical Resolutions:

1.  Laundry. Going well.  Folding right out of the dryer.  Doing full load...wash, dry, fold...most days.  Now, I just need to put it away everyday.

2.  Ten minute chore. Still working on "to do lists"  These are more like hour chores.  Will start Popsicle sticks back up in September.

3.  Exercise. Ummm....let's not go there. 

4.  Write 2 more blog posts this month. Maybe this month????


Now for August

August Resolutions:

1.   Continue to work on spiritual resolutions

2.  Laundry.  Put folded clothes away daily.

3.  Exercise.

4.  Write 1 more blog post this month.  Is that possible???

What are your goals for this month?  Do you have a summer "to do" list or do you take the summer off from lists?  That makes me panic.  No lists.  How can someone function without lists...lists on clip boards, lists on the computer, lists on the refrigerator...is it possible to be "listless"?  :)

Today is the Lord's Day.  The first day of the week.  What better day to sit down, take a few minutes to pray and ask Him to order your week and give you a fresh start.

Enjoy the day.  Take time to worship and praise the God of new beginnings and fresh starts.
Di




Monday, July 2, 2012

July-New Month Resolutions

How long has it been since I made new month resolutions?  Probably as long as it has been since I have kept them.  Honestly, that is one reason I like to set "New Month Resolutions."  About every 30 days there is a clean slate, a new start, a time to look back and see where I have failed and a time to look ahead and see what changes I need to make.  You can read about my previous resolutions in earlier posts, if you have nothing else to do. 

I am not looking back in this post, though.  I am looking forward.  School is out and has been for about 2 months now.  It has been a whirlwind of vacations, a home school convention, de-cluttering, cleaning, and just plain busyness.  I would like to say things are slowing down now, but looking ahead to our church's Camp Meeting next week I don't think that will happen for a little bit.  I do feel as if things are slowing a little and I am looking forward to the break.  Maybe we will even make some day trips or have pool time at a friend's house.  We will see how all that goes. 

As for my resolutions...

Spiritual Resolutions:

1.  To be spiritually minded.
  • Romans 8: 6, "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
  • Romans 8:13, " For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."
2.  To be more encouraging.  To praise my children more.
  • Proverbs 25:11,  "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver."

Physical Resolutions:

1.  Laundry.  One of my resolutions back in February was to do one full load of laundry each day.  Some weeks have gone well with this, others not so much.  Lately, I have been doing well.  One thing that has helped is folding clothes right out of the dryer.  I haven't timed myself, but I would guess it only takes 5minutes to fold a full load of laundry.  Then I just bring it up and put it away or have the kids put it away (a better option).    So my resolution is to maintain.  Keep doing daily loads and folding right out of the dryer.

2.  Ten minute chore.  I have found the popsicle sticks have gone a little by the wayside with our end of school/summer vacation mindset.  I have been cleaning out around the house.  I am trying to take one task in each of the kids rooms most days.  This seems to be working with our schedule.  I do hope to get back to the popsicle sticks once school starts up again.  I like the randomness of it.  I think for summer when I have more time a little more focused cleaning/decluttering is necessary.

3.  Exercise.  I just need to do it.  Period.  I have a treadmill in my family room.  I have no excuse.  I have lost about 10 pounds this year.  I would like to lose 15 more.  I know exercise would help that.  I need to get in gear and do it. 

4.  Write 2 more blog posts this month.  I am not a writer.  It doesn't come easy and I don't really enjoy it (you can probably tell).  I have to be in the mood.   I have a blog though.  There is no sense having a blog if I am not going to write posts.

We are a little more than half way through the year.  How are your goals coming for the year?  Any suggestions or tips?  I would love to hear them.

Enjoy your day!
Di




Saturday, April 28, 2012

Counsel


I am in I Kings in my daily Bible reading.  Today I read I Kings 12-13.  One of the things the Lord has been showing me in my Bible reading is seek counsel.  We don't know everything there is to know.  Other people have gone through things and can help us sort out some of the things we are going through.  Get counsel!!! 

Today in my reading the Lord showed me some things about counsel.

I Kings 12 is about Rehoboam, Solomon's son.  Rehoboam has just become king.  His "subjects" come to him and say, "Your dad was a rough king.   Give us a break and we will be your servants."  (my version).  Rehoboam wisely tells them to come back in three days so he can think about it.  During these three days Rehoboam gets counsel. 

Rehoboam starts out right.  He goes to the older, wiser men who counseled his father, Kind Solomon...the wisest man who ever lived...good choice, Rehoboam.   I Kings 12:7 gives their answer, "...If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever."  Isn't that what Rehoboam wanted?  I guess the process of getting to  having loyal servants was the hard part.  It says there that Rehoboam would have to be a servant first before he would have loyal servants...he would have to be humble before his subjects before they would give him their heart, love and servitude.   Rehoboam apparently didn't care for this advice.  He was the king after all.  Why would he serve the people?  They should be serving him.

What happens now?  Verse 8, "But he forsook the counsel of the old men...and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him..."   So, now he didn't like the older, wiser counsel so he goes to his friends and says, "What counsel give ye that we may answer this people?"  In verse 10, his friends basically tell him, "Make it hard for these people.  They thought your dad was tough!  Just wait. they haven't seen bondage and servitude." (my version, again). 

Rehoboam has his counsel.  What does he choose?  Verse 13 tells us that he forsook the counsel of the old men.  The result...The people reject David's (Rehoboam's grandpa) house from being king (verse 19).  Israel is now going to have a man named Jeroboam for a king.  There is more to the story, but I really want to focus on the fact that Rehoboam didn't listen to the counsel of the older men.  What does this teach us?  Seek counsel among the elders

BUT...

Then I continued my reading in I Kings 13.   The people of Israel have rejected Rehoboam from being king and established Jeroboam to be king.  (You really need to read this for yourself.) Chapter 13 opens with a man of God coming out of Judah to prophesy to King Jeroboam.  It is important what he said, but I can't go into all the details because I don't have time to write a book.  Anyway, Jeroboam has made idols and has the people worshipping them and the prophet comes and speaks against Jeroboam (see chapter 13:1-11). 

I am going to switch our focus from King Jeroboam to the prophet.  Here comes this prophet.  God has not only given him what to say, but He has given him some other instructions.  Verses 7 tells us, "And the king (Jeroboam) said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward."   The man of God answers him in verses 8-9, "If thou give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat...nor drink...For so it was charged me by the Lord..."  The next verse tells us this man leaves "another way." 

Something interesting happens next.  Verses 11-13 tell us there was an old Prophet...old, elderly, older and wiser?...in Bethel (where all this is taking place).  His sons tell him about the man of God who came and prophesied to Jeroboam.  Their father then sets out to find this other prophet.  The older prophet finds the prophet and in verse 15 we see he says, "...come home with me, and eat." 

In verse 16 the prophet tells the older prophet (I should give them names it would be easier) that God told him not to eat and stuff in that place(vs, 16-17).  Now pay attention to the next verse.  Verse 18...the older prophet is speaking...you really need to pull out your Bible and read this yourself...the older prophet says, "I am a prophet...an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house...But he lied unto him."   Wait a minute!!!  I thought this was the older, wise man...the older, wiser counsel.  I won't take the time to tell all that happens you can read it for yourself in I Kings 13...basically this younger prophet is killed by a lion.  WHY????  He listened to the older, wiser prophet.

Ok, Lord, I am confused.  First Rehoboam rejects the older, wiser counsel and he is rejected from being Israel's king.  Now the prophet listens to the older, wiser counsel and he is killed by a lion.

Remember I said in a previous post I read a Proverb daily.  Well, today I read Proverbs 28.  Verse 5 says, "Evil men understand not judgement: but they that seek the Lord understand all things."

"They that SEEK the Lord"  I get it, Lord!!!  What was missing?  The seeking the Lord part.  Neither Rehoboam nor the prophet sought GOD's Counsel.  Counsel is good.  But seeking the Lord is where it is at.  What does HE say about our situation?  Is the counsel we are receiving in line with HIS word or are we "leaning to our own understanding."  Choosing what we want and how we think things should be handled instead of seeking what God wants us to do.  Seek counsel.  Seek counsel from the older and wiser...even seek it from your friends.  BUT ultimately we must filter it through God's counsel. Remember, Proverbs 19:21, "...nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand."

I know this is kind of long.  I again say this is a personal blog.  It is for me.  I can keep my thoughts here.  If someone reads it and gets a blessing...well...Praise the Lord!!!  If not, God showed this to me.  It was for me.  We have a God that wants to speak to us, use us and have a relationship with us.  Take some time today to see what He has for you.  This was for me, but I know he has something for you.

Seek Him today.
Di

Friday, April 27, 2012

Guest Post by WD-Take Your Child to Work Day

Today I have a guest blogger.  WD wrote a post about his experience at the hospital with Dad for Take Your Child to Work Day.  He and dad had a great time as you will read.  He also had fun with his cousin who went to work with Grandpa for the day.  Dad and Grandpa work at the same hospital.  Thanks for being a "guest poster" on my blog WD. 


April 26, 2012

Today was take your child to work day. Dad took me with him to work!!  We inspected a machine that measures your blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature.  We also worked on a thermometer that was electric, a blood warmer, and a feeding pump.  My Grandpa called us and said that life star had landed.  We went up a little while later.  I got my picture taken in front of it.  A man told us what you do a in hospital if their is a fire. We saw its generators, one was a BULLDOZER engine!!!!!!! I also saw where the OR is.  My dad gave me an ECG.  I had wires going under my shirt. What was really cool was that I got to go in an ambulance!!!!!!:):):):):)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thoughts from Proverbs 19

I read a Proverb everyday in my daily Bible reading.  The following verses really stood out to me today.  I have a few comments, but mostly wanted readers to plainly see the Word of God for themselves.  Because this blog is kind of a personal blog it is a good place for me to put things the Lord has shown me.

Proverbs 19:19, "A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again." 

Proverbs 19: 20, "Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end."

I need wisdom and where does that come from...getting counsel...counsel from godly friends and family...counsel primarily from the Word of God.   Notice it doesn't just say "hear counsel."  It also says, "receive instruction."  Anyone can hear something, but receiving requires moving if you will.  I can hear it, but I don't have to act upon it.  When I receive godly counsel and instruction I must act on it.   Why?  So I can have wisdom in my  "latter end."  

Proverbs 19:21, "There are many devices in a man's heart: nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand." 

I wish I could tell you how much I needed this verse today.  Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart: and lean not unto thine own understanding."  (emphasis added...I am supposed to say that right? :) )  Lean not unto my own understanding.  I have many devices in my heart.  I have my own understanding of how things should be.  My own plans and purposes.  My own ways.  BUT Proverbs 19:21 tells us the Lord's counsel shall stand.  What is the Lord's counsel?  Where do we find it?  His holy, pure, and perfect word.  (see Pr. 30:5, Ps. 12:6, Ps. 119:140).  I might not always understand what the Lord is doing or how His plan works, but His counsels are right and in the end they "shall stand." 

Proverbs 19:23, "The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied, he shall not be visited with evil." 

I don't want to be visited with evil.  Do I deserve evil?  Yes.  Do I fear the Lord as I should?  No.  Do I want life? Yes.  Why not just fear the Lord then since it tendeth to life?  My flesh.  My flesh needs to be subdued. (I Cor. 6:12).  A great book for ladies regarding the flesh...other than the Bible, of course...is Having a Mary Spirit by Joanna Weaver.  WARNING:  The author does not use the King James Bible, so you will have to read this with your Bible open beside it...do it...it is worth reading every scripture. 

Proverbs 19:26 and 27, "He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.  Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge."

Cease.  Stop.  Psalm 1...don't walk in the ungodly's way...get away...don't look that way...Pr. 4:14-15...run...avoid it.  In the end you will be like a tree planted by the water.  What is the water?  God's word.  Isn't that my goal?  To be a christian with depth.  Sometimes pushing my roots through the dirt is slow, hard work, but that is what I want...to be grounded in God's word.  Then when the winds of life blow and the storms come I won't be moved because my roots are deep.  How deep are my roots now?  I think maybe I just barely sprouted. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Low-Fat Italian Dressing

Salad is a staple in my home and my diet.  I love to get a nice spring mix or baby romaine with spinach. Sometimes I like just plain romaine or artisan mix lettuce.  I top my salads with apples and walnuts or cheddar cheese; chicken;  black beans and corn; almonds and dried cranberries; and lots of veggies.  But salad isn't salad to me without the dressing.

Growing up...and while pregnant for one of my kids...French was my favorite.  That changed to Ranch or Italian when I grew up.  I gave up Ranch for the most part because of how bad it is for you...not just the fat content, but the other yucky stuff in it like MSG.  I don't care for the natural Ranches because I don't like mayo and they seem to have a mayo taste.  Then I switched to Balsamic.  I love the sweetness of balsamic.  Being on a hypoglycemic diet I am supposed to reduce my sugar so that counts that out.  My new favorite has been Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar.  The vinegar flavor is mild...which I like...it is natural...I can clearly read all the ingredients...and there is no added sugar...a plus for me as I avoid white sugar.  It does have a higher fat content, so that really limits how much I can use.

Recently, I have become very diligent (again!) about what I eat.  I am really trying to get the weight off.  So far I have lost about 8-10 pounds.  I also feel terrible when I eat too much and things I am not supposed to eat...Duh!  I found a low fat Italian dressing on Taste of Home.com.  Of course, I can't ever make a recipe without changing it.  So here you will find my modification to the recipe. 

Low Fat Italian Dressing
5 Tbl. thawed apple juice concentrate
1/8 cup Bragg's apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp each onion powder, ground mustard, dried oregano, dried basil, salt

Combine all ingredients in an jar with a tight fitting lid (an old vinegar bottle works great!!).  Chill several hours or overnight.  Shake well before serving. Yield 3/4 cup.

This was really yummy!!!!  It is a great substitute for Balsamic Vinaigrette...probably could use balsamic instead of cider vinegar.  Next time I may reduce the apple juice to 3 TBL and use 2 TBL water.  It was a little sweet, but I like it...my sweet tooth coming out.  The recipe doesn't call for oil, but oil definitely can be added.  I am going low fat and am not a big olive oil fan, so I will keep it how it is.  I am excited because now I can have as much salad as I want WITH dressing and not have to worry too much about it.  

If anyone has any other HEALTHY low fat/low sugar dressing recipes I would love to hear them.

Enjoy!
Di

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Is it April already?????

Where did March go?  I was just posting my March Resolutions, wasn't I?  As I was washing the bathroom floor I realized we are in April and I have not written a post about my April Resolutions.  I guess that is because I don't have any.  March was a rough month on so many levels.  I did a terrible job keeping my previous resolutions and barely did any of March's resolutions.

So...my April resolution is simply...

GET BACK ON TRACK!

That is the good thing about focusing on a month at a time.   Each new month is a new start...mentally anyway...except for when you miss the beginning of the month and don't realize it until 5 days in...anyway...I am going to be working on getting myself back in order. 

Next week we have our church's anniversary celebration.  It is a week of special evening services...with preaching and singing.  In addition to that my hubby will be on call during the night for work.  It will be a busy week!!! 

Yesterday I spent almost the entire morning ironing clothes for all of us (except LE...her clothes rarely need ironing...yay!!!) to wear to each service...that is about 22 outfits...not fun, but I will be thankful next week.   Today I am trying to completely clean the house and maybe get a few meals together.  I am hopeful this will help get me back on track with my 10 minute chores, exercises and such. 

One thing that has been going well is my diet.  There hasn't been much weight loss which is discouraging.  The encouraging part is the way I feel...so much better when I eat right.

Well, I must sign off for now.  LE got a Fancy Nancy book from the library and is making her room "Fancy"  I need to go check and make sure "Fancy" isn't turning into "Messy."  I am not sure I can take all this "poshness"  ( You will have to read the book...posh is a fancy word for fancy).  :) 

Enjoy the day!
Di

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Month Resolutions-March

Looking ahead to March, I am looking forward to warmer weather, hubby starting plants for the garden, and the kids being able to spend more time outside.  About this time of year I think we all start to get the spring cleaning itch.  There are so many areas that desperately need spring cleaning in my home.  It is hard to keep focused on little steps. 

Here are my resolutions for March:

1.  Continue to follow February's resolutions

2.  "Target Room Cleaning"  I have divided my home into sections to clean each day.  Here is my schedule (Sorry it is blurry.  I am not exactly sure how to insert a document):



3.  Pick 2 Popsicle Stick exercises to do each weekday. My exercise ideas are simple and include crunches, push-ups, arm exercises, jumping jacks.  I plan on having the kids participate as well. 

That is all for this month.  I am pleased with how things are going as I move to more order in our  home.  It is a satisfying feeling to look around and see things that have been cluttered or needing attention cleaned up.

Go pick a Popsicle stick.  :)
Di

Monday, February 27, 2012

February-New Month Resolution Check up

Two more days and I made it.

On January 31, I set some new New Month Resolutions (see earlier post).  I am happy to say that 98% of the time I was able to complete each task. 

Here were my resolutions and a little note on how I did (in bold):

1.  Set New Month Resolutions for March during the last week of February.  In the works.  Should be ready by Wednesday.

2.  Do one full load of laundry (wash, dry, fold, put away) every weekday and as much as possible on the weekends.  Do one delicate load on the days that are necessary.  I shocked my self at how well this went.  Mondays are hard after not doing much on the weekend.  I wash and dry in the morning.  In the afternoon the kids and I fold and put away.  Really has helped a lot.

3.  Complete one 10 minute chore (see http://stephanieodea.com/) each weekday.  This has been great!!  The kids are having fun seeing how quickly they can get their chore done.  I am pleased with how much I have been able to get accomplished in a short time.  There is still much to do!!! 

4.  Work on "after meal chores" with the kids (washing dishes, wiping table, cleaning under their chair).  My main focus with this one has been breakfast.  So far, so good. 

The Popsicle Stick Jars have worked great.  The kids have really "risen to the occasion" and helped out.  We have started some other things with the kids as well.including nightly bedroom checks before supper and new chore charts (a post for another time)...same chores new chart.  I feel good about the progress we have made.   I like little steps.  There is still so much to do, but I feel like we will get there...one little step at a time.

Enjoy the day!
Di

Sunday, February 5, 2012

New Month Resolution Check-up-Week One

It wasn't a full week.  February started on Wednesday.  It was a challenging week to keep up with my resolutions.  Dentists appointments, home school chapel, a sick little girl leading to lack of sleep, not feeling well myself really pushed me to the limits.  On top of all that, I had the bright idea of organizing all of the kid's clothes I have in the attic.   I am talking 10 years plus of clothes here both genders.  What was I thinking!!!???!!!! 

I have to say I was able to keep up with the laundry as well as complete a 10 minute chore each day.  Since I didn't want to bring a coughing little girl to church she and I stayed home today.  That helped me stay on top of the weekend laundry.  There isn't much on the schedule this week, so I should have a better week. 

Working on the kids table chores has been a little inconsistent, but I am trying.

I made this little system to help with our 10 minute chores. I didn't come up with the idea on my own.  I am pretty sure a fellow home school mom told me about it many years ago.  The basic idea for 10 minute chores came from http://www.stephaniodea.com/ and http://www.flylady.net/.


1.  Get some Popsicle sticks.  Write one chore on each Popsicle stick. 

2.  Put Popsicle sticks in a jar.


3.  Each day pick one Popsicle stick and complete the chore written on it.  Remember this is a 10 minute chore.  The goal is to complete it in 10 minutes.  So, set your timer and get to work.  If your time is up and you haven't completed your chore you can keep working if you have time or pick up where you left off on the next day.   I made a jar for the kids too.  It will be a challenge to see who can complete their chore in 10 minutes.

4.  Store all of your jars in a basket.  I have a jar for me, a jar for the kids and two discard jars.  Some chores will go back into the jar when completed.  Some will go in the discard jar and after a month will be put back in the rotation.



5.  Do it.  I am a planner.  I love to write lists and make up chore charts.  The hard part is the action.   The last part of the 10 minute chore jar is action.  Pick a stick and get going. 

Some 10 minute chore ideas:

  • Clean a section of a closet
  • Sweep porch or deck
  • Clean one drawer (kitchen, bath, bedroom)
  • Dust the top of door jams and windows
  • Clean of top of your washer/dryer or laundry area
  • Wash the windows in one room
  • Clean 2 kitchen appliances
  • Wipe off light switches
  • Clean out one linen closet shelf
  • Clean out one kitchen cabinet
  • Disinfect one garbage can
  • Wipe off refrigerator shelf
  • Dust random knick-knacks
  • Wipe down kitchen cabinets, furniture
  • Wash one bathroom wall
  • Wash stairs
  • Dust trim/corners

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Month Resolution

A new year means new resolutions for most...a clean slate, a new beginning, a fresh start. Three months later the new year is no longer new.  Resolutions have faded into the background and old habits have once again taken over.   Several years I ago while thinking this over I thought why can't every week be like this.  Maybe a week is too much, but what about every month? Why not?  Why not sit down on the last day of the month and set some monthly goals?  Maybe sit down with your husband and set some goals together.  Talk over what new things have worked during the past month, what goals (projects, habits, etc.) you want to accomplish/establish during the new month.  Discuss your children...behaviour issues, school situations, schedule time to spend with each one (a kid date).  Talk over the month's schedule.

So, what will my New Month Resolutions be? 

1.  Set New Month Resolutions for March during the last week of February.

2.  Do one full load of laundry (wash, dry, fold, put away) every weekday and as much as possible on the weekends.  Do one delicate load on the days that are necessary.

3.  Complete one 10 minute chore (see http://stephanieodea.com/) each weekday.

4.  Work on "after meal chores" with the kids (washing dishes, wiping table, cleaning under their chair).

God's plan for us is one of order.  God is a God of order.  The Bible tells us in 1Corinthians 14:40, "Let all things be done decently and in order."  The books of the law are full of order.  As Christians our lives should show order.  We shouldn't be running from one thing to the next leaving behind a trail of chaos.  We should have a plan, a purpose in everything we do.   A plan and purpose that is attainable. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Quick Buttermilk Herb Bread

A friend of mine made this it was so good. Of course, I had to try it with some adjustments.  The is the original recipe.  Very yummy!!!!  The post that follows contains my experiment...my attempts to make this a white flour and cornmeal free recipe.  It came out decent.  It needs a little adjusting, but I think with those adjustments it will be a good quick bread base.  I served this  with quiche.  It not a sweet quick bread...more like a cornbread. 


Quick Buttermilk Herb Bread

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 TBL.  finely minced fresh rosemary
1 1/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 TBL. honey
2 TBL. olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray interior of 8X4 inch loaf pan with oil spray.

In large bowl, combine dry ingredients and rosemary.

In separate bowl, combine buttermilk, egg, honey and oil. Stir into flour mixture just until blended. Spoon batter into the baking pan.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool slightly on a rack.  Turn out the bread and cool completely on a wire rack. Serve immediately or store wrapped in plastic wrap or foil.

Quick Buttermilk Bread-Experiment

Quick Buttermilk Bread
(Experiment )

3/4 cup  whole wheat flour
3/4 cup  oat flour
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 TBL. honey
2 TBL. olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray interior of 8X4 inch loaf pan with oil spray.

In large bowl, combine dry ingredients.

In separate bowl, combine buttermilk, egg, honey and oil. Stir into flour mixture just until blended. Spoon batter into the baking pan.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool slightly on a rack.  Turn out the bread and cool completely on a wire rack. Serve immediately or store wrapped in plastic wrap or foil.

NOTE:  Add more salt.  Try with ripe bananas, raisins, apples, applesauce.

Oat Flour Pizza Crust

I have been fairly successful in eliminating white flour from my diet while at home.  (With the exception of last week when I was sick and didn't care what I ate).  I came up with this pizza dough made of oat and whole wheat flour.  It was adapted from a regular pizza dough recipe.  I took my chances and the results were...ok...nothing spectacular.  It wasn't great, but not terrible either.  I am going to keep it as a base that needs tweaking.  It didn't rise hardly at all.  The final texture was not bad, but not pizza "doughish." 

Oat Flour Pizza Dough

2 cups oat flour
1/2-3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup warm water
1 tsp. honey
1 scant Tbl. active dry yeast or 1 package
2 Tbl. Olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Stir honey into warm water in a large bowl.  Stir in yeast until dissolved.  Let stand for 10 minutes or until foamy.  Add flour, salt and oil.  Combine.  Knead for 6-8 minutes until you have moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic.  Let rest for about an hour or so.  Lightly grease pizza pan.  Roll dough onto pan.  Top as desired.  Bake for 10-20 minutes uni done. 

NOTES:  All the mixing and kneading was done in Kitchen Aid Stand mixer.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stephanie O'dea Post

I liked the following article/encouragement from the "Crock Pot Lady" (http://stephanieodea.com/):

http://totallytogetherjournal.com/the-daily-7-for-a-highly-successful-household/

Rice and Beans-No tomatoes

In my attempt to save money in this new year I decided to have at least one meatless or low meat meal a week.  I would like to try to have two.  That would be a challenge.  I am a big meat eater and my husband...well.... every time I serve a dinner without meat I get comments like, "Where's the beef?"  You have to know my hubby.  He needs his protein and really can't afford to lose weight.  I have another challenge.  WD hates tomatoes.  In our house you eat what you are served, but I do consider our tastes when I plan my menus.  I don't want to constantly serve things the kids don't like.  Many meatless meals use tomatoes.  I searched the web for "tomato-less" beans and rice.  I found a few, but decided to take one as a base and make my own.  Here it is:

Rice and Beans

1small onion, chopped
1/2 cup or so carrots, chopped in very small pieces
2 cans of beans (any you like), drained and rinsed
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp Thyme
2 TBL. McCormick Premium Taco Seasoning mix...any taco seasoning would be fine or some cumin, chili powder, etc.
2 tsp. Garlic powder
3-4 cups brown rice, cooked
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring broth to a boil in a medium pot or large skillet.  Add onions and carrot.  Once broth returns to a boil reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp tender.  Add beans.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Stir in rice a cup at a time until you have the desired bean to rice ratio.  Cook for another 10 minutes stirring frequently.  Season with Salt and Pepper.

NOTE(for personal reference):  Try cooking rice in Chicken broth instead of water with spices.  Add beans half way through. Try with more veggies (i.e. celery, peppers, corn)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Goals

"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14

We must press toward a mark...spiritually as well as physically and practically.  We need to know where we are going and how to get there.  Once we have a plan the work begins...taking each task and working to accomplish it.   Write down the "big picture," but don't focus too much on the big picture.  Focusing on the big picture causes us to feel overwhelmed.  Start with number 1.  When it is completed cross it off...yes paper and pencil here...cross it off with a pencil... a very satisfying feeling.  Now move onto number 2.  Keep going through the list.  It is amazing how much can be completed by setting a goal and focusing on each task individually.

Now to make it personal...

I have a few goals this year...some are personal and I don't want to share with the entire cyber-world, but here are a few:

1.  Get our house in order (a never ending task).  My hubby and I sat down and wrote a list of household goals for this year.  Redoing rooms, cleaning out clutter, putting on a new roof...everything we could think of.

2.  Lose 15 pounds...I wish it were as easy as it sounds.

3.  Have a devotional life...interesting wording...a life filled with devotion...to my Lord...it must start with a devotional time.  I don't mean just reading the Word here...I have done that for years.  I mean really getting to know the Bible and the Lord.

4.  Increase my prayer time.  Praying when I don't have a need.  Just talking to my Saviour.

5.  Be more encouraging.

6.  Work harder at being a friend.

7.  Be a witness for the Lord.

I would love to hear others personal goals for the year as well as any tips for organizing and keeping your goals.  It always helps to have some encouragement along the way.

"Let all things be done decently and in order." -1Corinthians 14:40