December 16, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday December 16, 2013


I came on here to write another post and realized it was Monday. I don't want to miss too many weeks in a row! Happy Christmas! Not much longer now, and I admit I am feeling the stress. I have not had time to think about what to get my kids, let alone buy it. Thank goodness for Amazon! Right now I am up to my elbows in cookie dough, but I'll tell you about that below. Thank you, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for hosting! Go see her blog for more Happy Homemaker Monday posts!

As I Look Outside My Window
I am looking at about 4 inches of snow on my deck, and I understand we are getting some more tomorrow. Snow days sometimes provide a nice break from the craziness that is December, but it also messes up my game. This morning it took my awhile to realize that the kids had to get up and get ready for school!

Right Now I Am
Baking cookies. My husband is a manager overseeing three shifts and he brings in a tray of my cookies for each shift. He says my cookies are probably the only reason they like him. I started baking yesterday, but we ran out of water (love well water, grrr) so that was the end of that. I managed one batch, and that was for my family.

Thinking and Pondering
I must admit I am not very spiritually minded right now, with my huge to do list, but I do try to think about the Savior and his great gift of His Atonement and what it means for me. I am also thinking about what I have left to buy for presents and what other cookies I am going to bake. Right now I am baking the second batch of the Pioneer Woman's Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies. The only thing I did differently is using light brown sugar instead of dark (because that is what I had) and I did include the optional pecans. They are delicious - I have to keep myself from eating them! Anyway, I first came on my blog to write a post about what cookies I made this year, since I never remember from one year to the next, and then realized that it was Monday. So that post will be coming next.

On My Bedside Table
Mostly the scriptures right now. Doing my best to focus on the Savior when I can.

On My TV
Christmas, Christmas, Christmas! We watched It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story this weekend. Tonight may be the Walton's Homecoming.

Listening To
Pandora's Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas station. Right now is Canon in D by Brian Crain.

On the Menu for This Week
Cookies! Not really, but since I will be spending two days baking, well, tonight will be pizza anyway.

On My To Do List
Um, bake cookies. Shop, wrap, and CLEAN THE HOUSE. It's a mess.

My Simple Pleasure
Having my kids walk in the door after school and comment on how good it smells in the kitchen because of what I am cooking/baking.

Lesson Learned
That I desperately need the Atonement as I struggle to become better.

Looking Around the House
Christmas cards to send out, a box from Amazon, and cookies are on the table. Paper plates and plastic silverware are sitting around the kitchen and dining room since we had no water to wash dishes last night. Last night's lasagna pan is still sitting on the table waiting to be washed. And cookie baking supplies and ingredients are on the counter.

From the Camera
My wonderful kids:



Prayer List
My kids, mom, in-laws, a few friends with serious health issues, and myself.

Bible Verse
Psalm 24:9-10: "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory."

Look to Him, the Lord of Glory, whose birth we celebrate this month!

Have a great week!

December 2, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday December 2, 2013


Good morning! Can you believe it is December already! I have been trying to think of things that I love about the month that we are in, so that I can appreciate the season and not grumble at any unpleasantness it offers. However, December is easy. I love the Christmas holiday - the whole season as well as the day. I love my Savior, and love the opportunity to focus on Him as well as all of the other fun aspects of the holiday. So let's celebrate!

As I Look Outside My Window
It's a gloomy day. The sky is gray and completely overcast. Although it is not as cold as it has been (36 degrees right now), the air is wet and it seeps right into your bones. I came home from seminary and crawled under my electric blanket and slept for 3 hours. Caught up on sleep from our busy weekend, but I still had to force myself to get out from under that blanket.

Right Now I Am
Sitting at my kitchen table, as usual. I am, however, in a different chair and am facing my family room and fireplace. It sure would be nice if there was a fire burning in there! Everyone else is at work or school.

Thinking and Pondering
about how to make the Christmas season more focused on the Savior - more for myself than anything. It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle as we try to shop for our loved ones and keep up with everything else. The stores are much busier and we are going to get in peoples' way, and they are going to get in our way. Some of them are going to be rude, and, to be honest, I know I have come across that way too at times, especially when in a hurry, as I often am. So I need to find ways to keep my focus on the Savior, and put all the other things into perspective. And I need to remember to be kind and to be forgiving when others are not.

On My Bedside Table
I am all over the place with reading. Right now I am trying to listen to The Infinite Atonement. But, I have a recommendation for you. The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn. I love the write up they have on Amazon:

It all started when Jeff Guinn was assigned to write a piece full of little-known facts about Christmas for his paper, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. A few months later, he received a call from a gentleman who told him that he showed the story to an important friend who didn’t think much of it. And who might that be? asked Jeff. The next thing he knew, he was whisked off to the North Pole to meet with this “very important friend,” and the rest is, well, as they say, history.

It is an interesting look at history and the history of the Christmas and Santa Claus tradition. And, it is written in a way that is perfectly safe for believers to read/hear.

On My TV
Caught up on Glee, which I am finding a bit boring this season, with the exception of The Quarterback, which was phenomenal. Hopefully I will get in a holiday movie tonight to help with keeping me in the right spirit of the season.

Playing on the Radio
I have Pandora's Peaceful Christmas station on, which is instrumental. I love Windham Hill.

On the Menu for This Week
I am actually looking forward to having a week of menu planning, but alas, this is not the week for a full menu plan:

Monday turkey soup (stayed up until 2 am on Thanksgiving night until that broth was cooked down to a flavorful concoction), rolls
Tuesday pasta, salad
Wednesday ham, mashed potatoes, green beans
Thursday freezer leftovers
Friday taco casserole
Saturday son's Christmas concert in the afternoon, and daughter's play at night. So it's dinner out.
Sunday beef stew or some such yummy, one bowl meal

On My To Do List
One load of laundry, grocery shop, take son to orthodontist. Now, all I want to do is turn on that oven to warm up the kitchen and bake some cookies. So, I'm thinking I'll do that and my laundry, go pick up my son and take him to the orthodontist, then stop at the store for just the necessary items. Yes, I like that plan! I won't venture out until I have to!

My Simple Pleasure
Baking cookies while listening to Christmas music

Lesson Learned
My lesson comes from Mary, mother of Jesus. When the shepherds came to visit the baby Jesus, Mary was quiet, and pondered the things they said. Too often I react too quickly to things, and later regret how I handled a situation. Saturday I came across a rude shopper (to his defense, I am sure he thought I was rude, because I honed in on what he was looking at, but I was friendly about it). I replied pleasantly and moved on, then worked the situation out in my head, prayerfully processing it so that I would not let it ruin my mood, or think badly of the person. And it worked. I need to do this more often, letting Mary be my example.

Looking Around the House
There are Christmas decorations everywhere! Two of my kids did most of the work, including getting the boxes down from the attic, and I get to sit and enjoy them! Now, if I turn around, I will see all of the stuff leftover from Thanksgiving sitting on my kitchen counter. Ugh.

From the Camera


On My Prayer List
Me, I am having trouble with sores in my mouth, which can be a result of Lupus (or the medication, I cannot remember which), my kids, mom, in-laws.

Bible Verse
Luke 2:19   "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart."  (see above)

Have a great week!

December 1, 2013

Monthly Menu December

Thu  ham, mashed potatoes, green beans
Fri  Irish beef stew
Sat  
Sun lasagna, garlic bread, salad

November 18, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday November 18, 2013


Good morning! I wasn't going to join in today because I have a lot to do, but I have to menu plan and write a grocery list and I can't seem to do it without including it in this post! Matter of habit, I guess. Thank you, Sandra, from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for hosting! Please pay her a visit!

As I Look Outside My Window
I see sunshine and blue skies, which is great because we were encased in fog yesterday. The temperatures are unnaturally warm for this time of year, our high today is 60, but it is going to drop back to normal for the rest of the week (40's). That means we are going to get some wind, which should take care of any remaining leaves.

Right Now I Am
Enjoying some quiet time while I check my email, catch up on Facebook and my blogs, and prepare my grocery list. Everyone else is at work or at school.

Thinking and Pondering
about my to do list. We are in the middle of moving my mom from her house to her condo, so that takes up some time, but it is fun. I will show you what I came across while consolidating her files down below.

On My Bedside Table
Not much! My mom gave away her beds and downsized to a twin mattress to prepare for her move, so we took back the head board from her bed. It is part of a set that was my in-laws, then became mine and my husband's when we first got married, then went to my mom when we got another one. She loves it (I love it too), and we didn't want the headboard to get separated from the set (she is keeping the chest and dresser), so we took it to our house. I thought we were going to put it in the attic, but my husband put it at the top of our bed. It is a bookcase style headboard, and although it is meant for a double bed and we have a king, it sits at the head of our bed and holds all kinds of stuff and I am thrilled to have it back. So right now all I have on my nightstand is a lamp and three chapsticks. I still have lots of books on my Kindle that need my attention, but Freecell is still occupying my free time.

On My TV
Absolutely nothing.

Playing on the Radio
I have been listening to The Spirit of God by Brigham Welch and Michael Hardey. 

On the Menu for This Week
It is going to be a busy week helping my mom move, so there will be lots of freezer food or pizza!

Monday We are home tonight so it will be pasta. I also have to make a meal for a church family. I will be making ground beef vegetable soup.
Tuesday We will be spending the night at Mom's finishing packing the Uhaul truck, so it will be pizza or something similar.
Wednesday Chili with rice, broccoli salad
Thursday It's Mexican food night: chicken tacos, corn
Friday It is moving Mom into her condo night, so again it will be pizza or some such take-out food
Saturday anything goes
Sunday time for a homemade dinner: ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls

On My To Do List
Laundry, laundry, laundry. I am so far behind. Grocery shopping, and bathrooms.

My Simple Pleasure
Hot chocolate, made from scratch with milk. I cannot drink it often because I have a tendency to get kidney stones, but once in awhile I will indulge.

Lesson Learned This Past Week
This isn't really a new lesson for me, but it was reinforced once again. If we look for them, we will see the tender mercies the Lord shows us: little acts of love. While helping my mom sort through her files, I found a note in my dad's handwriting. I took a picture with my phone and then threw it away. (We cannot keep everything!) The picture is below. (My dad passed away in May, which is why we are moving my mom from their house to a condo.)

Looking Around the House
I'd rather not! No, it isn't horrible, just a few things to put away.

From the Camera
My dad's note, nothing fancy of earth shattering, just a reminder of him:


On My Prayer List
My kids, mom, in-laws.

Bible Verse
Matthew 5:16: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven."

We are having a "bring a friend to church" day in December, initiated by my children's Sunday school teacher. They have been diligent talking to their friends about coming. They have also been asked to talk and are working on a musical number to sing. I am amazed at how good they are at living according to what they know, and how willing they are to share their beliefs with others. They are great examples to me.

Have a great week!


November 11, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday November 11 2013


This is a special Monday because it is Veteran's Day, a day to give thanks to the men and women who have risked their lives to protect our country. THANK YOU. I am grateful for your service. Veteran's day also means kids are home today, and they have made plans for me which includes spending my money on them! So, it will not be a peaceful day at home for me, but it will be a day to spend with some of my awesome kids! Thank you, Sandra, at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for hosting Happy Homemaker Monday.

As I Look Outside My Window
I see bare trees, so sad. It is 39 degrees with a high of 53, and tomorrow it looks like a mixture of rain and snow. We are not ready for snow! We have an unregistered car sitting in our driveway that needs to go away first! My husband is actually on his way to the junkyard to see about taking it away. *they are coming to tow the car away tomorrow!

Right Now I Am
Sitting alone at the kitchen table. One son is up and either downstairs or outside (he and his friend camped out last night, although his friend is currently sleeping on the couch downstairs), one son has left for work, and my third son and my daughter are still sleeping upstairs. I am waiting for my oven to heat up so that I can make some cinnamon rolls to lure them out of bed. Cinnamon rolls are the special treat breakfast they get on days off.

Thinking and Pondering
About all of the blessings in my life. Yesterday I posted on Facebook about a former seminary student who just returned from a mission. My nephew commented and asked what made him decide to serve. The thought that my nephew is interesting in knowing this just thrills me. He has had a rough life, mostly because of his own choices, and the thought that there is a seed of faith that may be growing in his heart is making me very, very happy!

On My Bedside Table
My kindle, with a lot of books that I am not reading.

On My TV
nothing at the moment

Playing on the Radio
Nothing, it is very quiet in the house right now!

On the Menu for This Week
Monday lasagna, salad, bread
Tuesday chicken soup with garlic cheddar bread
Wednesday chili, broccoli salad
Friday beef stew
Saturday happy anniversary to me and my husband! 22 years!! Dinner out!!!
Sunday leftovers, something from the freezer

On My To Do List
Bring one son and his friend to a boy scout flag burning ceremony, take other son and daughter to the mall, bring son to get haircut, buy groceries (I think after the mall...that way I have helpers!), clean up the house because we are feeding missionaries tonight! Oh, and prepare my seminary lesson sometime...

My Simple Pleasure
sitting in a clean house while something I have made is baking in the oven

Lesson Learned This Past Week
This has been a week of hurt feelings - my seminary students hurting the feelings of another student, and me hurting the feelings of my son. So what have I learned? To ALWAYS consider the feelings of another as you think about what you are going to say. I have been trying to open hearts: my seminary students' and my sons', so when those hearts open, they become vulnerable, and I, and those around me, need to make sure that we are contributing good messages and therefore good feelings.

Looking Around the House
There is some picking up to do, but it is not bad. Floors need to be vacuumed and bathrooms need to be cleaned, luckily I have lots of helpers here today!

From the Camera
Just a few left


On My Prayer List
My kids, mom, in-laws, friends going through hard times.

Bible Verse
Joshua chapter 3: The Lord commands the Israelite priests to carry the ark of the covenant into the Jordan River. Once their feet were in the water, the Lord stopped the flow of the river so they could cross on dry ground. This is one of my favorite Old Testament stories. Often times the Lord wants us to take that first step, and then He will do what we need to move forward. I think of my seminary student who served a mission. He left, knowing it is what the Lord wanted, but not fully knowing how important it was to serve. But as he served, he learned for himself the joys, blessings, and importance of serving the Lord.

Have a great week!

November 4, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday November 4, 2013


Good morning! I hope you are keeping warm! It is 33 degrees outside right now. I have on long underwear under my jeans and sweater, have had a warm cup of hot chocolate, and now I am ready for a fire in the fireplace, but no on is home to make me one! (I could do it under duress, but I have to go buy groceries and gas for the car anyway, so no point in starting one now.) It may be cold, but it is Thanksgiving season! My favorite time of year! So let's begin with Happy Homemaker Monday, which was started and is hosted by the wonderful Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. Go see her for lots and lots of inspiration!

As I Look Outside My Window
I see lots of sunshine but not a lot of leaves, most are on the ground at this point. I see beautiful blue skies without clouds.

Right Now I am
Sitting at my kitchen table, which is where I usually am when on my computer, I've just finished a breakfast of waffles and hot chocolate. Not the healthiest breakfast, but a WARM breakfast! My oldest is at work, my other kids are at school, my husband is on a plane flying to Atlanta for work, the dog is sleeping on the electric throw on the couch, and the cat is curled up in his bed in the family room. It is quiet enough for me to hear the airplane overhead. No machines are running at the moment.

Thinking and Pondering
About gratitude. I have been posting a daily list of my blessings on Facebook and my personal blog, and it makes me so happy! I did this about 5 years ago as a countdown to Thanksgiving and was amazed at how it lifted my spirits. This time around, I am finding that once I think about the blessings of one thing, it leads to another, and before I know it, I have a whole paragraph written around one theme. It is amazing how once you start thinking about your blessings, your eyes open to see more and more.

On My Bedside Table
Is always, always my kindle. I have been on a Free Cell kick lately, which, alas, is keeping me from reading. But I do read the scriptures almost daily.

On My TV Tonight
My husband and I watched Poltergeist on Friday or Saturday. Am I glad it was free on Amazon Prime! I hadn't watched it since it first came out, and boy was it cheesy in comparison to today's movies. There is nothing planned for tonight, although I finally caught up on Glee, and I think they did a phenomenal job on addressing the death of Finn and therefore Cory Monteith, by the way. And since that episode was so heart wrenching, I am hankering to start watching the show from the beginning again...

Playing on the Radio
I LOVE music! I mostly listen to my MP3 player, but lately I have gotten back into Pandora. My daughter had on the station of the BYU combined choirs and it was beautiful, so that is what is playing now as I type.

On the Menu for This Week
My husband is away and we have a freezer full of leftovers (love, love, love my Foodsaver), so I have nothing to share this week. 

On My To Do List
A few groceries, gas for the car, wash whites, and the cross country team banquet tonight.

My Simple Pleasure
Walking on dried leaves and hearing the crunching sound. Love it!

Lesson I've Learned
I am going to combine it with the scripture I am sharing below because they go together (and happen to be my gratitude post of the day).

Looking Around the House
It is in relatively good shape. My daughter's basket of laundry is in the bathroom, but I will let her take care of that. There are Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations about and I love that. I think orange is replacing red as my favorite color. It reminds me of sunshine but is bolder than yellow. And I have lots of orange pumpkins around.

From the Camera

I have two - Halloween for one son (it was warm that night, but I wasn't thrilled about the lack of a t-shirt under the costume, however authentic it was - there were shorts under there however).




And Halloween for my two AP students, who had a test the next day.



On My Prayer List
My kids, my husband, my mom, my in-laws, lots of people.

Bible Verse
So I figured something out - lightbulb! - we are told to give thanks unto the Lord. Philippians 4:6 says, "Be careful for nothing; but by every thing in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." So, is it that God doesn't want to give us anything unless we thank Him first? NO! When we are grateful (and we concentrate on the that thankfulness) we feel the spirit! When we feel the spirit, we are more in tune with the Lord and can ask for things in faith, knowing we can receive, and knowing what we should ask for. I have learned that the Lord's commandments are always, ALWAYS for our benefit. He knows what will make us happy. His commandments are Him showing us the way to feel it. I continue to stand amazed at the love the Lord has for us! And for that, I am grateful. Life is good!

Have a great week!




October 29, 2013

Tomato Baked Chicken from Mostly Homemade Mom

Here is the link:

http://www.mostlyhomemademom.com/2013/01/easy-tomato-baked-chicken.html

Easy Tomato Baked Chicken

1 lb chicken pieces, I used thighs
3/4 cup zesty Italian dressing, divided
2 (14oz) cans diced tomatoes with garlic, basil, and oregano, drained
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
white rice (if desired)

Pour 1/4 cup dressing over chicken and place in refrigerator to marinade for at least 30 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade and place in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish (discard used marinade). In a separate bowl, combine both cans of drained tomatoes, 1/2 cup dressing, and garlic powder. Pour tomatoes over chicken. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 425 for about 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Serve chicken alongside rice topped with tomatoes. If using a crockpot, arrange chicken and tomato mixture the same as above and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.

This was a big hit with my family, but next time I will use boneless & skinless chicken. Other than that, perfection! (We had it with pasta.)

Vegetable Pasta Sauce


This recipe comes from the Rival Crock Pot Cook Book, but next time I make it, I think I will stick to the stove. The vegetables were overdone for my taste. So it is worth trying again.

2  14 1/2 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1  14 1/2 oz can whole tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow squash, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 6 oz can tomato paste
4 green onions, sliced
2 T dried Italian seasoning
1 T chopped fresh parsley
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t salt
1 t red pepper flakes (optional)*
1 t black pepper*

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker, stirring to blend. Cover, cook on LOW 6-8 hours. Serve over pasta.**

*The amount of pepper made this sauce too hot for our taste, so I will cut both in half next time.
**Try cooking on stove for about 1 hour, adding squash slices during last 20 minutes

October 28, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday October 28, 2013


Good morning! As I look out my window I see a lot less leaves than last week, but there is still one tree with plenty of bright yellow & orange foliage. The house is quiet, although I heard the furnace turn on, and even though that means $$$ spent, hurray! I like to be warm. So we have come around to another Monday, which makes it time for Happy Homemaker Monday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay-at-Home Mom. Thank you for hosting Sandra!

The Weather
Brrr, is it ever cold. I needed to put some gas in the car this morning on my way home from seminary but had to go home first to get a coat and some gloves. I couldn't bear the thought of standing outside and holding that gas pump without protection from the cold. The highs are in the 50s, so I am thinking I can finally pack away my t-shirts and need to buy some more sweaters. In spite of the cold, the sky is clear and blue and the sun is shining away. It is a bright, beautiful day. As long as you are dressed warm.

Right Now
I am typing this post as a precursor to writing my grocery list and going to the store. My oldest left for his first day of work, my other three are at school, and my husband is also at work. The dog is curled up on the couch and who knows where the cat is, but I suspect he is asleep in the basement. I appreciate the quiet when I am alone in the house.

Thinking
About my to do list, and how nice it is to sit here and contemplate my life and my blessings while writing this post before I start my work for the day.

On My Reading Pile
Well, let me tell you what my top priorities are: Jane Eyre and The Crucible, because my kids are reading them in school now, and I like to talk with them about it. But I haven't had a chance to read either so far.

On My TV
Not much! Our cable isn't even working now and we haven't done anything to fix it because we never have time! My husband is finishing up Friday Night Lights and I catch an episode or two with him on the weekend. We haven't even watched Glee yet. 

On the Menu
I thought I was getting away with leftovers and freezer items because my husband is going away for work, but alas, that is next week. So I had to come up with a menu.
Monday pasta with vegetable sauce*, salad
Tuesday crockpot loaded baked potato soup, rolls
Wednesday tomato baked chicken on pasta, salad
Thursday not homemade pizza, salad
Friday - Saturday unplanned

* new recipe to try, will post if a keeper

To Do
grocery shop, dishes, laundry, vacuum

Looking Around the House
There are a few things to put away and the floors need cleaning. House is full of fall/Halloween decorations.

From the Camera
These came from my yard. Just a sample of the colors outside. As I wrote on Facebook, even with their imperfections they are simply beautiful.


On My Prayer List
My kids, mom, friends.

Bible Verse
Isaiah 9:12, 17, 21, & 10:4

"For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still."

Did you know that in the Hebrew language there is no superlative word form? I learned this from teaching my seminary class. So when you see a word repeated three times, it means the superlative "est", as in holy, holy holy = holiest. And yet, Isaiah repeats the above phrase four times. So that we will remember! No matter what trouble we cause ourselves and others, no matter how badly we have strayed, His hand is always stretched out to us to bring us back to Him. Always, Always, Always.

Have a great week!

October 24, 2013

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes


(image courtesy of http://www.cookingclassy.com)

This recipe came from 


  • 4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 C chopped onion
  • 1 C chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 (28 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cans condensed tomato soup
  • 1/4 -1/3 C packed brown sugar (The original recipe calls for 1 whole cup but I cut it back to a little under 1/2 and think it could still use less.)
  • 1/4 C ketchup
  • 3 T Worcerstershire sauce
  • 1 T dry mustard
  • 1 T prepared mustard
  • 1 1/2 t chili powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
Cook beef in skillet in batches over medium-high heat until no longer pink, drain fat.
Add onion and green pepper to the pan and cook 5 minutes
Transfer meat mixture and vegetables to slow cooker and add remaining ingredients, stir well
Cover, cook on LOW 4-6 hours

My kids had this the traditional way on rolls, but I also made rice and my husband and I ate it over rice (it is a bit saucy, but that might be because I was 1/4 pound shy of 4 pounds of ground beef). I thought this would make so much (recipe says it serves 20-25 people) that I would be freezing a couple meals' worth, but we ate a lot of it that night, and are slowly eating the rest this week.

You could easily just finish cooking this on the stove, but I needed the slow cooker option because we were eating at different times that night.

Very tasty! I am making more rice and having some for lunch today : )




October 21, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday October 21, 2013


Wow, I guess it has been awhile since I have posted. I think I have a HHM post in progress from a previous week - just never got around to finishing it. How are you? We are busy in this household! We are also in the middle of a beautiful fall season. I look out my door and see yellow and various shades of orange. Here, I'll show you:


So now let's get on to Happy Homemaker Monday. Thanks to Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for hosting. See her blog for more HHM posts and lots of inspiration!

The Weather
It is chilly (35 degrees with a high of 60), but the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the leaves are bright, bright colors. It is my favorite season of the year! So I put on a sweater, a couple of layers of clothes, my fur lined clogs, and go out and enjoy it. I cannot wait for our first fire. No one has been home long enough to get one going!

Right Now
My oldest son is sleeping. He just got a new job but doesn't start training until next week, so I am sure he is taking advantage of his last week to sleep in! The dishwasher is going (forgot to start that last night) and I am gearing up for a grocery run.

Thinking
How little time I have today. My kids have a half day so they are home at 12:15. I probably won't be back from grocery shopping yet, but I have to hurry because I have to bring my boys back to school for a cross country meet. They have to come home to eat though.

On My Reading Pile
A lot of books. None of it is getting read though.

On My TV
My husband is in the 5th season of Friday Night Lights, so I watch that with him on the weekends. Nothing else at the moment. Too busy to watch!

On the Menu
I am trying to switch my grocery day to Friday (last week it didn't work), so I only have a partial week's menu today. Also, we have parent teacher conferences three nights, so meals will be made in the slow cooker for multiple eating times and easy cleanup.

Monday creamy chicken and egg noodles, peas and carrots
Tuesday sloppy joes on rice or rolls, broccoli, corn
Wednesday ham with sweet potatoes and carrots
Thursday pasta with vegetable sauce, garlic bread, salad

* all of these recipes came from a Rival Crock Pot cookbook. I will share if I think they are keepers.

To Do
One load of laundry, grocery shopping, vacuum kitchen & entryways, drive son back to school for cross country meet, plan seminary lesson

Looking Around the House
It is a bit messy, but with the kids around a lot this week, there is not point in getting too crazy with the clean up, besides, I can let them do it! They have half days every day but Friday, which means they will be coming home for lunch and I will be running the dishwasher twice a day. My bathroom/laundry room is clean - that got a good cleaning and organizing on Friday. So glad to have that done. Hope to get to my bedroom this week - it is the last to get cleaned and is very neglected, and very dusty.

From the Camera
Some of my favorite people. My seminary class.


On My Prayer List
My kids (including the ones above that are not mine), my mom, my in-laws, various friends facing tough trials.

Bible Verse
Isaiah 55:8-9:  "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." 

I like this verse because it helps me to trust in the Lord. When things seem impossible because of my limited sight or way of thinking, I try to remember that the Lord sees and knows all, and knows how it will work and will guide me through it. When I was asked to teach seminary I was overwhelmed. I had to leave the house at 5:30 am with my three kids in tow, teach a lesson (with the help of a co-teacher), and get them all to school (at the time they were in three different schools with three different start times). Then my car overheated and the engine was ruined. We drained our savings to buy another (used) car. Gas prices skyrocketed to $4/gallon and my annual mileage more than doubled. Finally, my oldest son had a mental breakdown and we were in the middle of that and trying to understand what was happening. Somehow we made it through, and this is my seventh year of teaching. It is the most rewarding thing I have done (outside of motherhood, but this is part of parenting).

Only the Lord knows what we are truly capable of.

Have a great week!

October 1, 2013

Monthly Menu October

Tue  pot roast, mashed potatoes, green beans
Wed  taco casserole, corn
Thu  tater tot casserole
Fri pizza
Sat
Sun
Mon  pasta, salad
Tue  chuck roast, mashed potatoes, green beans
Wed  grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, tomato soup
Thu  honey glazed chicken, mashed sweet potatoes, peas

September 30, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday September 30 2013


Good afternoon everyone! Today is the last day of September and it flew by. Although, when I told my kids they have been in school almost a month my son said, is that all? They have been really, really  busy with school and have been working hard. Here's hoping they can keep it up. Meanwhile, it is on to Happy Homemaker Monday. Thank you, Sandra, for hosting this every week. You are an inspiration! See her at Diary of a Stay-at-Home Mom.

Weather
It is that time of year, when the heat is running when it is dark out and the air conditioner is running during the day (in the car at least). I've gone from freezing and can't get warm to sweating today. But, I love the fall weather and so I will take the bad with all of the good. Today's high is 70, but Wednesday's is 83. Then it falls to the upper 60's next week. Today we have clear blue skies and lots of sun. And the colors are finally coming out on our trees! It's starting to look amazing!

Right Now
I am eating a couple of chocolate chip cookies that I made yesterday. My oldest is between jobs and so he helped me with my grocery run today. Thank goodness, because buying (almost) a week's worth of groceries is exhausting for me. My daughter is staying after school for play auditions, and my younger sons are staying after for cross country practice. 

Thinking
That I feel I need to shower after being in my kitchen, it is so dirty. I planned on giving it a good cleaning on Saturday, but spent the day catching up on bookkeeping (that always takes longer than it should). Today was grocery day, so tomorrow I get out the steam cleaner and tackle the kitchen. I cannot wait for it to be clean again, especially because it is the place where I spend most of my time.

On My Reading Pile
I bought The Crucible and downloaded the Scarlet Letter for my kindle because they are books my two boys will be reading this year, but I haven't looked at them yet.

On My TV
Nothing lately. Missed the first episode of Glee. I forgot about it but had meet the teachers night anyway.

On the Menu for this Week
This weekend my church holds a semiannual conference, so I don't know what I will be doing for meals, but will be at my mother's house watching it on her tv. So, Saturday and Sunday are not filled in.

Monday pasta with sausage and peppers, salad (Monday is always pasta night, unless it is a holiday)
Tuesday slow cooker roast with potatoes and green beans
Wednesday taco casserole
Thursday chicken tater bake (a Taste of Home recipe)
Friday pizza
Saturday ?
Sunday ?

On My To Do List
mostly getting the house clean. We have a piano tuner coming on Thursday so I do not want to be embarrassed! Today is my turn to drive kids home from cross country practice. I won't get to any laundry because my kids are backed up with theirs.

Looking Around the House
I refuse to!

From the Camera
In my backyard. The leaves are just beginning to turn. I should have taken this in the morning when the sun is in the front of the house because the sun has washed out the color.


On My Prayer List
My kids, mom, various friends in need.

Bible Verse
Ezra 8:23:  "So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was entreated of us."

I fasted and prayed for my oldest son this weekend, in hopes that he will be touched by the Spirit and one day gain a desire to return to God. Today he hung around the house (instead of hanging with his friends) and helped me with the groceries (that's just a bonus!). He is a pack-a-day smoker and today he has only had two cigarettes so far. It is a start in the right direction, but I know there will be many more fasts until that time comes. And I am willing.

Have a wonderful week!




September 23, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday September 23, 2013


Good morning! It is almost noon, and once again, I have managed to menu plan and buy my groceries already. Woohoo! It is so much quieter and less crowded in the mornings. This week was super easy though. Not much to buy. See Sandra at Diary of a Stay-at-Home Mom for more Happy Homemaking Monday.

The Weather
Chilly, and loving it! This morning, when coming home from my seminary class, it was 49 degrees. It is now up to 53, with a high of 63. The rest of this week should be a little warmer: high 60's to low 70's. The sky is clear blue and the humidity level is 51%, a perfect fall day.

Right Now
My oldest is laying on the couch talking to the dog, I am at the kitchen table, the husband is at work, and the rest of the kids are at school.

Thinking
Once again we are trying to conserve water. We had family over yesterday and the pump has been running a lot, meaning the water level in the well has dropped. So no laundry today and I am waiting to run the dishwasher until this afternoon. Fun times.

On My Reading Pile
I bought two books for my kindle: Blackmoore and You Have Liptstick on Your Teeth and Other Things You Will Only Hear from Your Friends In The Powder Room. 

On My TV
Friday Night Lights

On the Menu
It's fair week - and our boy scout troop helps empty the 400 trash cans at the fair - which means I won't see much of my husband this week, and three of my children will be working it this weekend. So not much meal preparation, plus we have leftovers! Love it!

Monday high school boys have a pasta dinner after cross country practice, the rest of us will also have pasta and leftover veggies from the veggie platter I made yesterday
Tuesday hot dogs and leftover beans and salads from yesterday
Wednesday taco salad
Thursday I have to be at the school for Meet the Teacher night (3 kids worth of teachers in one night - have to narrow it down to the 8 I have never met) so it is fend for yourself night!
Friday have to bring two boys to a fair so I will eat there or get something on the way back.
Saturday four at the fair, oldest is usually with friends on the weekend, and I will fend for myself
Sunday chicken soup and rolls - probably my most frequently made meal

On My To Do List
run and empty dishwasher, take large bowl of salad to cross country dinner, hang out, take kids home, feed the rest of the family

Looking Around the House
I am slowly getting my fall decorating done. It is pretty clean thanks to having family over yesterday. The kitchen floor could use a cleaning though.

From the Camera
We celebrated two birthdays with our extended family: my oldest's which is at the end of August, and my youngest's which is at the end of September. Ages 15 and 20. (I don't bother taking the cakes out of the pan anymore!)


On My Prayer List
My kids, my co-teacher, a family in my church whose son just died in a horrible car accident.

Bible Verse
John 14:18:  "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." 

I just read this scripture, quoted by a friend's daughter who is serving a mission in Germany. Her grandfather just died and the Lord has comforted her while she is living so far from her family. 

This scripture has meaning for me as I think of the family who just lost their son. I do not know them, but my children know who their son and daughter are, and had just seen them last weekend at a youth dance. Families throughout the state are praying for them and for the other victims of the accident. Knowing that the Lord lives, and that He does comfort those who seek Him, I know that they are feeling His love at this time.

Have a wonderful week!


September 16, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday September 16 2013


Good afternoon everyone! I am late in posting today because I realized that mornings are better than afternoons to go shopping, so grocery shopping came first. I knew I would never get out here before noon if I got on my computer first! The leaves are changing! Just a little so far, our peak is the middle of October, but I am seeing a little bit of yellow in my backyard.

Please see Sandra at Diary of a Stay-at-Home Mom for more Happy Homemaker Monday.

The Weather
They keep promising us sunny days and we keep getting rain! It hasn't been too terribly rainy, and now the sun is finding its way through the clouds. Now it looks like tomorrow will be sunny and the rest of the week is partly cloudy. Highs are between upper 60's and mid 70's. Perfect temperatures!

Right Now I am
I just finished lunch and grocery shopping. I am looking forward to a quick nap! Then it will be time to start dinner.

Thinking
That I am tired of not having my own car to use! My daughter has taken over my minivan - she drives it (and my sons) to school, comes home for a snack, then goes to work. I drive our truck when I need a car, which is easy to drive (not so much to park), but not fun for buying groceries. Today I opened the back to load my warehouse purchases, and there were car parts in there. Last week it was dirt from some plants we brought my in-laws. So I had to load everything in the back seat, not fun and not a lot of room. Sometimes I take the car my son drives, which gets better gas mileage. So I never know which car I will be driving, I cannot keep my reusable grocery bags in the car, I cannot keep my keys for our seminary meeting place on a key chain, I do not have a "home"! Next year my daughter will be away at college and I will get my van back.

On My Reading Pile
...

On My TV
Still watching Friday Night Lights

On the Menu for this Week
Monday baked ziti, salad, bread
Tuesday chili, broccoli salad
Wednesday quesadillas, salad
Thursday baked chicken and rice, green beans
Friday pizza
Saturday ? possibly leftovers
Sunday family cookout/birthday celebration do not have the menu planned yet

On My To Do List
Wash towels, NAP!, make dinner, review seminary lesson

Looking Around the House
It's fairly clean, still some groceries to put away (waiting for my son to get off the phone to help with that).

From the Camera
Three of my kids before a church dance


On My Prayer List
My kids, mom, in-laws, 3 former seminary students that are serving missions and the people they are teaching.

Bible Verse
A familiar one: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."

Psalm 23

Have a great week!