December 31, 2014

December Menu

It is cookie month for me! Cookies for my family, cookies for various parties and activities, and three large trays of cookies for my husband to bring to work.
That explains the photo above.
(I won't add that cookies become their own food group in the month of December.)
Also, both high schoolers start winter sports today, which means quick (or make ahead) dinners with easy clean up.

01  Mon  Pasta Night:  Ziti with jarred sauce and lots of mozzarella cheese, salad, garlic toast (note to self: preheat oven before picking them up).
02  Tue  Chicken Enchilada Casserole, corn.
03  Wed  Fast Food from practice to youth group.
04  Thu  Soup and Sandwiches (btw practice and scouts)
05  Fri  Calzones/pizza for two (everyone else is gone).
06  Sat  School Play:  Pantry Taco Soup
07  Sun  Boston Road trip to see daughter's dance performance.
08  Mon  Pasta Night:  pasta with jarred sauce and mozzarella cheese, salad, garlic toast
09  Tue  leftover Thanksgiving turkey (from freezer), stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans
10  Wed  sloppy joes, rice, mixed veggies *note, cook chicken for Friday
11  Thu  hot dogs, baked beans, corn
12  Fri  chicken quesadillas 
13  Sat  something out or pizza, a busy night - tis the season!
14  Sun  time for some chicken soup
23  Tue  pasta, salad, garlic bread
24  Wed  Christmas Eve at my sister's: bringing green bean casserole, chocolate chip cookies
25  Thu  Bringing Christmas dinner to my in-laws:  Spiral sliced ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls
26  Fri  TIME TO REST pasta for kids, rice and beans for me and hubby
27  Sat  Quesadillas, corn
28  Sun  Chicken soup
29  Mon  pasta, salad, bread
30  Tue  Take kids really far away to large dance, who knows about dinner
31  Wed New Year's Eve - who knows about dinner
Note for New Year's Day:  salmon!

December 29, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday

I don't know about you, but I am finally feeling like I can take a deep breath and relax. I love the holidays, I love having my family around me, but it is such a busy time for us moms, isn't it? All of the shopping, wrapping (my daughter did all of that, love her!), decorating, cookie baking, meal planning, shopping, preparing, and events to attend, it is crazy busy. I would really like to take advantage of this hiatus from school and seminary to do some cleaning out, but so far I haven't done any. Do you do anything for New Year's Eve? We might be; those plans always come together last minute for us.

The weather outside is
starting to catch up to the calendar. It isn't horrible - 34 degrees right now - but it has been in the 40's and 50's, which meant it was comfortable in the house, but now I am starting to get chilly. It is, however, sunny with blue skies, and that is much appreciated! No snow in the forecast so far...

On the breakfast plate this morning
was waffles with peanut butter. And some candy. I have SO MUCH candy - I always overbuy for stockings. So glad the kids are home for another week to help me eat it up!

As I look outside my window
the sky is blue, the trees are brown/gray, and my deck is holding just the table and my covered grill. Hopefully it will work in the cold on Thursday - I have been craving salmon and that is the day we will eat it! Would be nice if we can cook it outside.

Right now I am
typing this up before going grocery shopping. I cannot procrastinate that because my daughter needs the car to go to work this afternoon. Our van is being unreliable and is going back in the shop tomorrow (yep, here we go again!). So, I have to be back with the groceries (and a full tank of gas) in time for her. Fortunately I will have a couple of boys plus my husband to help unload and put away!

As I look around the house
my tree is lit, and I am still enjoying it. We put it up so late this year (one week before Christmas) so I will probably let it go until this weekend to put it away. We still have our gifts piled in the family room, and empty boxes that we use every year, but it looks festive and bright and cheery, so I am not complaining.

On today's to do list
For laundry I will be washing at least one load of bed sheets, plus I have whites to do. And, I have a load of rags in the dryer that need to be folded and put away. I am guessing my daughter has some laundry to to, so the whites may be put off another day.

For shopping I have groceries and gas. Tonight we are going to the mall for returns and then the movies to see Into the Woods.

For cleaning the main floor needs a good vacuuming, and the kitchen floor needs to be mopped. (Notice I wrote what needs to be done, not necessarily what will be done!)

For cooking I will be making chicken soup (switched with pasta which we had yesterday) and rolls - a quick meal so we can get to the mall and the movies when my daughter gets home from work.

Currently reading
I have a few books on my kindle. Hopefully I will get to read at least one during my hiatus...will post when I have read something.

On the TV today
Besides watching Christmas movies (we have gotten to Scrooge, The Homecoming (the Waltons), A Christmas Story, Mrs. Santa Claus, and A Christmas Carol), I have been watching Jesus of Nazareth - am about half way through.

On the menu this week
You can see my monthly menu here and here (which are not complete).

Favorite photo
My gift from my foster son, LOL!

Prayers, Inspiration

Have a great week!

December 8, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday December 8, 2014

I finally participated last week after a two month absence, but never linked up! So maybe today I can actually do that. It's the most wonderful and busiest time of the year! What am I most looking forward to this Christmas? My daughter being home! I have seen her a few times - she was home for Thanksgiving - but it goes by so fast and she had a lot of studying to do, but she has five weeks home at Christmas, woohoo! Back to Happy Homemaker Monday, coming at you from Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom! Here goes:

The weather outside is
confusing! I woke up this morning with a weather alert on my phone - flood warnings - yet it is dry as a bone outside. I guess I should be grateful, lol. But it is COLD 18 degrees this morning but it warmed up to a balmy 23 (it's now 3 pm). We are supposed to get rain the rest of the week, but at least it is also supposed to be above freezing. Ice is a big concern around here.

On the breakfast plate this morning
was waffles with peanut butter.

As I look outside my window
I see gray skies. All of the color is gone, sigh.

Right now I am
listening to Christmas music (that is pretty much constant this time of year) and sitting at my kitchen table. I am also putting off grocery shopping, lol.

As I look around the house
I kept the house looking so good last week! But then I got involved in a project that I could not finish due to other obligations, and now there are things hanging around that need to be put away. The main floor also needs to be dusted and vacuumed, kitchen floor washed.

On today's to do list
last week I spelled out my entire week, and it was great because I did a good job answering to that list. I didn't complete everything (every time I dust and vacuum I am compelled to organize...), but I did get a lot done. So here is my week:

Today:  quickly running out of time for grocery shopping, so it will be a quick stop at my local grocery store, pick up son #2, let him drive home (learner's permit, help!), make dinner, possibly pick up son #3 (he may get a ride), seminary lesson

Tuesday:  dust and vacuum kitchen and living area, mop kitchen floor, clean bathroom, same pick up routine, seminary lesson

Wednesday:  upstairs bathrooms, seminary lesson, pick up son, laundry

Thursday:  tax seminar all day, have no idea how I am going to get son from school, dinner, seminary lesson

Friday:  tax seminar all day, hopefully husband will take the day off and pick up son from school, same husband whom I have been trying to call all day and hasn't responded..., laundry

Saturday:  bookkeeping, seminary lesson, be in two places at once at night, laundry

Sunday: lesson, rest!, dinner, keep thinking there is something I am forgetting...oh yea, put up the tree!

On the menu this week
You can find my menu here.

Favorite photo
son #2 was his school's production of Dracula this weekend. He played Grimm. This photo is courtesy of my wonderful neighbor with an excellent camera!

Prayers, Quotes, Devotionals

Have a great week!

December 1, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday December 1, 2014

My my, I haven't participated in HHM since October. I don't really know why. Well, I guess I do. I have been working very hard on my seminary teaching - trying to follow the Lord's direction on what and how to teach and contemplating and praying for my students. It has been a wonderful and edifying experience, but also very draining. So I manage to peruse Facebook and Instagram, but that is about it. But I miss Sandra and HHM, so instead of napping I am here, ready to participate! And let me start by saying, Happy December! And please visit Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for more Happy Homemaker Monday!

The weather outside is
frightful. Actually, it isn't, but I wanted to say it! It is currently 48 degrees. The snow we slowly accumulated over the Thanksgiving holiday is also slowly melting. I am hoping for dry roads by the time it gets into freezing temperatures again. Especially because I once again have a student driver in the house. (And another on the way.)

On the breakfast plate this morning
oatmeal, if I get around to making it!

As I look outside my window
I still see some areas of snow, bare trees, but a blue sky!

Right now I am
sitting at my kitchen table, listening to the washing machine. I am so backed up on laundry. We have a well instead of city water and we tend to run out of water on Thanksgiving; I guess because of all of the dishwashing and cleaning going on. So, I held off on the laundry right before and the few days after and my, oh my, what a load. Still, I have to pace it out, three loads spaced throughout the day, no more.

As I look around the house
I see a lot of Christmas decorations. My daughter was home for Thanksgiving and she has taken over the decorating of this house, which is fine with me! But, as I look to my left, I see an orange chrysathemum that my husband bought for our anniversary, and a fall decoration that was missed when packing things up. So I am sitting between two holiday seasons!

On today's to do list
I really need to list the whole week, because it is a doozy:

Today:  lesson preparation, laundry, teeth cleaning, stop by mechanics to have him check out the van (check engine light is on), credit union deposit, grocery shopping, dinner preparation, back to mechanics with car #2 and return with car #1 (we have four cars that need fixing - the van is car #4), pick up youngest at 5, have him practice driving until picking up second youngest at 5:30, eat dinner, finish lesson, pack for tomorrow, go to bed by 9 pm!

Tuesday: lesson prep, laundry, upstairs bathroom cleaning, dinner prep, switch car at mechanic (if he is done), pick up boys from school

Wednesday: lesson prep, laundry, dust and vacuum bedroom, clean basement bathroom, switch cars?, pick up boys, fast food, youth group

Thursday:  lesson prep, laundry, main floor dust and vacuum, switch cars?, dinner prep, pick up boys, drop off at scouts, pick up from scouts

Friday:  lesson overview, laundry, clean kitchen, bake cookies for bake sale, take youngest to rehearsal, pick up dinner,  go to play

Saturday: bookkeeping, lesson prep, laundry, bake cookies for bake sale, dinner prep, take youngest to rehearsal, eat dinner, go to play

Sunday: church (hopefully), drive to Boston for daughter's dance program, drive home, fall into bed exhausted

Currently reading
What constitutes current? I have lots of books that I have started, but I haven't read in weeks.


On the menu this week
you can find that info here or just scroll up to the top post

Favorite photo from camera (phone)
Saturday was our girls day at the mall (and I mean all day). This year we had my daughter and her friend from college to keep us company.

Our mall has a Cheesecake Factory!


Have a great week!

November 13, 2014

Quick, Easy and Yummy Barbecue Sauce

I have to get this recipe up right away because it was really, really good but I made a lot of adaptions and will not remember!

This is adapted from one I found on line at All
You can find the original recipe here.
It called for 1 1/2 cups of ketchup and 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar. 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, really?
I cut it back to 1/2 cup and it was still a little sweet, but nicely counteracted the hot tangy side that makes this sauce so good.

1.5 C Ketchup
0.5 C Brown Sugar (not packed)
0.5 C Cider Vinegar
0.5 C Water
1T Worcestershire Sauce
2.5 T dry mustard
2 t paprika
1 t salt
0.5 t black pepper
2 dashes hot pepper sauce

Combine all in a blender & heat and eat!

November 10, 2014

November Menu

10  Mon  Cross Country Dinner
11  Tue  Split pea soup with rolls
12  Wed  Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Tomato Soup
13  Thu  Loaded Baked Potatoes
14  Fri  Chicken Quesadillas, Corn
15  Happy Anniversary, Honey, we are eating in! Salmon, Rice, Green Beans
16 Sun  Pasta
17 Mon  Chicken Soup, Biscuits
18. Tue. Taco soup
19. Wed. Roast beef Sub's, broccoli salad
20. Thu. Pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, green beans
21. Boys camping
22. Boys camping
23. Sun. Hash and eggs

October 27, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday October 27 2014

Good morning everyone! I haven't participated in over a month, what is wrong with me? The days just fly by in my life. Well here I am, it is almost noon and I am, quite frankly, putting off going to the store! I have missed all of you, however, so I needed to stop by and say hello today.

The weather outside is beautiful. It is 49 degrees with a high of 59 today and sunny.

On the breakfast plate this morning I am really struggling with breakfast now that the weather is getting colder. During the summer I was eating fresh berries and doing really well with my diet. Not anymore. I have been eating oatmeal more, but I cannot eat it without some sweetener, so I have been having it with brown sugar and cinnamon, but I have got to get away from the sugar, because it just sets me off craving more sugar. Another thing I have been making is a smoothie of sorts with about a cup of apple cider and a fresh apple. It is sort of like drinking applesauce. The problem again is that the apple cider I buy, which is all natural, has 30 grams of sugar per cup. 30 grams!!! Yes, so I need some advice here!

As I look outside my window I see bright orange! The trees in my backyard are in full color bloom and it is a beautiful site!

Right now I am fielding phone calls from DCF. I am a foster parent and my license has to be renewed. I have a pile of paperwork to fill out and sign and forms to bring to the vet to fill out. This is the part of being a foster parent that I do not love.

As I look around the house you can tell people live here! It is not horrible but there is stuff lying around that needs to be put away. Thanks to Halloween parties I have a Freddy Kruger glove with blades and a hat sitting on my counter, and way too much candy sitting around.

On today's to do list: some grocery shopping, pick up son from school, talk to other son about expectations, make dinner, prepare tomorrow's seminary lesson, laundry.

Currently reading How Do I Know If I Know? by John Bytheway

Recipe to try 

Favorite photo this one I had to scan to share on Facebook. My little ghost

who now looks like this

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes, Devotionals
Saw this on Facebook today and loved it:

"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies." - Proverbs 31:10

Have a great week!

October 13, 2014

Monthly Menu October

13  Mon  Taco casserole, corn
14  Tue  pasta, salad, bread
15  Wed  Cross Country NVL's + youth group = fast food
16  Thu  franks and beans, crispy crowns
17  Fri  chili?
18  Sat  possibly beans and rice
19  Sun  Crazy, mixed up, soup (leftover homemade chicken soup from freezer, plus various cans of soup in pantry, rolls
20  Mon Enchilada Pasta, salad

September 22, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday September 22 2014

Well, it is 9:40 pm but it's still Monday! I had a doctor's appointment today which kept me from HHM, and I thank God for reminding me about it, because it popped into my head while I was praying this morning. A friend once told me that God is a good secretary - ask Him how you should prioritize your day, or what you should be doing, and He will tell you. He is also wonderful at reminders. I am truly grateful that He helped me with that today. And I should NEVER make appointments on the day after a weekend or holiday, because I have a very hard time remembering them.

Breakfast Time
Lately I have been eating oatmeal, cooked oatmeal! I used to hate it, but I have been making it with milk instead of water and adding brown sugar and a good amount of cinnamon. My only problem is using the sugar, but I cannot bring myself to eat it without some sugar.

Looking Around the House
Clean!!! We had family over yesterday to celebrate birthdays and the house got cleaned Friday and Saturday, so today I was able to take a little break. Now I just need to climb up to attic and take down some fall decorations.

On Today's To Do List
The doctor's appointment was the biggest thing, but I also had to soak and bleach my white rags and towels and pick up the boys from cross country practice. Oh, and prepare my seminary lesson. And I got roped into more laundry because my son fell asleep with his half finished. That is why I am still up, waiting for the dryer to finish.

Currently Reading
Nothing at the moment.

The Weather Outside Is
Beautiful! Our first day of autumn was perfect. Cloudy in the morning, but the sun prevailed and it was in the 70's with a nice breeze. The leaves are changing color too!

On the Menu This Week
Not much. It is Durham Fair week, which means my husband won't be here past Wednesday and the boys will be coming and going. We have leftovers from yesterday's party, so this will be an easy week. My menu can be found here.

If I Have a Few Minutes to Myself I Will
These days the answer is take a nap. I get up at 4 am, but I am finding that I cannot sleep more than 5 hours usually. My bladder wakes me up and then I most often cannot fall back to sleep. Yesterday I slept from 9:30ish to 2 am. So when I can, I take a nap.

One of My Simple Pleasures
Driving down a country road in New England on a rainy day in the fall. When it is cloudy and rainy, the colored leaves seem especially bright. I just love this time of year.

Favorite Photo From the Camera
My mom and I took a trip to north to see this girl. I miss her but I wouldn't want her hanging around here! It is fun to share her life with her and see her spreading her wings. Plus, we get to share in the experience a little bit!

Praying for
My kids, always, our parents.

Bible Verse, Devotional
While preparing my seminary lesson, I thought of Peter beginning to doubt while he was walking on the water towards the Savior, and how he began to sink. I thought of how we are almost always met with opposition whenever we try to get close the Lord, and how easily I can get discouraged or forget my desire to be closer to Him. Inconsistency is a big weakness of mine. But I find hope in the example of Peter. We learn of his weaknesses, but in spite of them he became a great defender and ambassador of Christ. So instead of beating myself up whenever I falter, I am trying to remember to get right back at it, working my way toward the one who loves me unconditionally, in spite of my weaknesses, the one who suffered in Gethsemane and died for me because of my weaknesses. It has finally sunk in, that He wants me to come to Him when I falter; that is what He is waiting for. He will always be there waiting for me, helping me get back up and keep going.

Have a great week!

September 19, 2014

Hamburger Soup

Another recipe I cannot believe I haven't shared until now. This gets the Yummy designation, although I did notice the salt content AFTER I ate it (tasted great) in that I was downing water like crazy. So I will cut back on that. I am sorry I do not have a photo, will try to remember next time I make it.

I have decided that I will make soup at least once a week.

I doubled this to make enough for the six of us:

3/4 C soup mix (dried bean soup mix)
1.5 lbs ground beef, browned and drained
2 potatoes cubed
3 carrots diced
3/4 C celery, diced
2 T fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 T sugar
1 tsp salt (originally was 2)
2 C V-8 juice
6 C water

Mix all together and simmer 2 hours

September 8, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday September 8 2014

Good morning! Last Monday I was catching up on everything after a busy weekend, so I am glad to be back, joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday!

Breakfast Time
Oh, not a good choice. Perhaps if I thought about the fact that I would have to tell you I would have chosen differently! This morning I had to bring one son to the doctor for his physical, then bring him to school. Another son called begging for a breakfast sandwich from Dunkin Donuts (pretty much one of the main food groups in this part of the country) and by the time I got to D&D I was really hungry (mind you I am up at 4 am every day) and they have their pumpkin donuts again, and, well, how was I supposed to fight it? So, not a good choice this morning, but they were very good.

On Today's To Do List
Grocery shopping, NAP, maybe a load of laundry. Plan tomorrow's seminary lesson. Make dinner and pick up the boys after practice at 5 pm. There is much more to be done but I am realistic.

Currently Reading
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin

On the TV Today
Nothing but son 2 and I watched Divergent on Saturday. I liked it.

The Weather Outside Is
Perfect! Last week was the worst weather of the entire summer, hot and HUMID and miserable, which figures because the kids were going back to school and the schools around here don't have air conditioning in the classrooms. My sons' coach teaches at the middle school and he said his classroom was 97 degrees one day last week. 97 degrees! Oh, and last Sunday, when we were driving home from bringing my daughter to school in Boston, I got a tornado warning on my phone. It was for RIGHT WHERE WE WERE AT THE TIME. Fortunately we made out okay. The worst was some heavy rain that made visibility terrible, but that only came in patches. I prayed the entire time we were in the danger zone. Love that God answers prayers! Anyway, today it hasn't hit 70 yet, and the high is 75. It is clear and sunny with lower humidity. Perfect.

On the Menu This Week
It's planned! Have my shopping list ready too! You can find my menu here.

If I Have a Few Moments to Myself, I will
Already put it on my to do list: NAP

In the Garden
We have a couple of cucumbers waiting for us on the counter, and hopefully more tomatoes waiting in the garden. We actually had to throw some away because they rotted really fast. We also have a pumpkin, it is already sitting on our steps!

Favorite photo from the camera
There are so many, but I will share this one from walking the streets of Boston. So quaint and so busy! Of course, all of the college students and their families were in town.

Looking Around the House
It needs to be cleaned, which will happen this week, but it is relatively picked up. I do have bags of clothes sitting around to donate.

Praying for
My kids, my seminary students

Bible Verse, Devotional
I saw this on my Facebook news feed this morning:

Have a great week!

September 6, 2014

Kitchen Sink Quesadillas

I cannot believe I have not posted this yet. It is so easy that it is embarrassing. I don't remember where I got this recipe; it is not my own.

1 15.5 oz can black beans, drained
1 11 oz can corn, drained
3/4 C salsa, drained
8 flour tortillas
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

mix beans, corn, salsa
lay four tortillas on a baking sheet lined with foil
spread 1/2 of the cheese
spread bean mixture
spread remaining cheese
lay remaining tortillas on top
bake @ 400 degrees for about 10 minutes

Yes, that is all. So quick, so easy, perfect for a night when you have about 1/2 hour to eat!

September 2, 2014

The Busy Life

That is what I think I need to change the name of this blog to. That slow, boring summer? Gone. Our August was crazy. Every weekend was busy. We celebrated my daughter's 18th birthday and graduation with the family, my in-law's 60th anniversary and my mother in-law's birthday, my nephew's 16th birthday and my son's 21st birthday. My daughter had her wisdom teeth removed, plus all of the back to school shopping, including dorm stuff for my daughter.

Friday we went out to eat for my oldest's 21st birthday

Saturday my sister was having a picnic so I was making food before hand.

Then on Sunday we moved my daughter into her dorm (2 1/2 hours away):

Then we said goodbye and the rest of us headed to Boston's north end for Italian food:

It is such a beautiful city (my son took this photo)

Labor day was spent menu planning and food shopping and just getting ready for school and seminary. This coming weekend I am making only ONE plan, going to lunch with my sister. That's it!

Have a great week!

September 1, 2014

Monthly Menu - September

September is a great month! The beginning of school is exciting, at least in this house, and it is apple month! There is not much better in life than a crisp, tangy, fresh apple. Finally, it is time to think about autumn and all of its goodness, my favorite season. Really it is the best of both worlds, we can still get farm fresh corn on the cob, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, but we can also get those delicious apples.

One thing about school starting is that all of the other activities start also, which means my menu choices have to fit to our schedule. My oldest goes to work for 5 pm, and the other two have cross country practice until 5 pm. My husband comes home from work LATE, sometimes as late as 8 pm, so we eat in shifts. My goal is to have dinner ready and in the oven when I pick up the boys after practice, we will see how that goes. On top of that they have youth group on Wednesday nights and Boy Scouts on Thursday nights, and once we get to mid September, meets will be on Tuesdays. They are after school but last longer than practice, especially the away meets because they have to travel. Every Saturday there is at least one person who has an event to attend, and somewhere in there I have to schedule a family birthday party for two of my boys. And I thought life would slow down a little with my daughter in college!

01  Mon  Happy Labor Day! It is leftovers in this house, namely pasta. Some of it is from Boston's north end in the Italian section. Delicious, homemade, and very hearty. One of the advantages of having a daughter going to college in that area!
02  Tue  The first day of school! My boys have cross country practice 5 - 6:30, most inconvenient for a mom trying to make dinner. Baked pork tenderloin (no grilling, supposed to rain), mashed potatoes, green beans, watermelon.
03  Wed  rice and beans for the adults, quesedillas, watermelon, and carrot sticks for the rest
04  Thu  chili, rice, broccoli and tomato salad
05  Fri  bacon pizza bake, rice and beans for adults
06  Sat  fend for yourself (most everyone is away)
07  Sun  New England chuck roast, mashed potatoes, peas
08  Mon  pasta with Vegetable Pasta Sauce
09  Tue  chicken soup, biscuits
10  Wed  
11  Thu  
12  Fri
13  Sat  pizza
14  Sun  hamburgers, crispy crowns, store made salads
15 Mon pasta with lentil sauce, salad
16 Tue Kitchen Sink Quesadillas
17  Wed taco soup
18  Thu  eat out, everyone's on the move
19  Fri chicken nacho bake, corn on the cob
20  pizza
21  family birthday party: pulled bbq chicken, macaroni salad, baked beans, hot dogs, hamburgers, fruit salad, cake and ice cream
22  Mon  pasta with meat sauce made from leftover ground beef, broccoli salad
23  Tue cross country meet, bbq pulled chicken from Sunday on hamburger rolls, leftover macaroni salad and baked beans
24  Wed  beans and rice for us, hot dogs & mac-n-cheese for boys
25  Thu  chicken soup from freezer, sweet potato rolls
26  Fri  on the road - Durham Fair
27  Sat  food truck, then fasting
28  Sun P b'day  his choice, ice cream cake

August 25, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday August 25 2014

Good morning! I love participating in this meme, but today I am taking my daughter clothes shopping and any minute now she is going to come downstairs and tell me she is ready to go. So, I thought I would get as much done as possible and see what happens! Thank you Sandra for Happy Homemaker Monday!

A smoothie made from frozen fruit with bananas and water. Need that energy!

To Do Today
I already told you that!

nothing at the moment

no tv today

Sunny and 75 degrees! Perfect!

On the Menu
You will have to ask my son! He has to menu plan for his cooking merit badge. We are working on that Eagle!

If I Have a Few Minutes to Myself
Ha, Ha, Ha!

Lots of cucumbers and tomatoes!


August 18, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday August 18 2014

Monday, Monday. It was a busy weekend, and today I want to just sit around and do nothing, but my house is a mess, so that plan will not work out! It was a good busy though. Yesterday we celebrated my in-laws' 60th wedding anniversary. 60 years! I could not even find a 60th anniversary card! At least not at Target. Anyway, tis time once again for Happy Homemaker Monday, hosted by our friend Sandra at Diary of a Stay At Home Mom

Breakfast time...what's on the plate this morning
Ugh, I woke up at 3 am with such a sore throat, so this morning is a hard boiled egg and a smoothie made with 6 fresh strawberries, 1/2 a frozen banana, and 1/2 cup of orange juice.

On today's to-do list
Cleaning. My bed sheets are in the wash now, but mostly I want to tackle the main floor today and upstairs tomorrow. My house was relatively neat all summer with half of us gone, but now the boys are home (which I am glad, I missed them) and I am getting ready for seminary, my daughter is getting ready to move into her dorm, and we have been busy, which amounts to a mess! The dorm stuff is not going anywhere for two weeks, but we have to clean around it. Other than that, it is Monday and therefore Moe's Monday and I promised my peeps that we would go for lunch, which means I will have to take a shower and make myself presentable sooner rather than later.

Currently reading
I am back to jumping around, with not a lot of time to  spend on reading. Here is what is on my Kindle, but I do not know what I will get around to reading: A Handful of Pebbles, Postcards From Nam (started), The Virtues of Oxygen (started), and Portrait of a Girl.

On the tv today
nothing planned

The weather outside is
I am just waiting for winter so I can type "frightful"! But, it is not frightful, it is beautiful! Albeit it feels like a wonderful autumn morning, not summer and we haven't been in the pool in quite some time. Actually, I haven't been in the pool at all this summer. Right now it is 64 and sunny and today's high will be 78. All week will be in the upper 70's with one day hitting 81. No rain in sight though, which we desperately need.

On the menu this week
My monthly menu (which needs to be updated) can be found here.

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will
Nap, hopefully, it was a tough night of sleep. Also, work on seminary.

New recipe I want to try this week
When meal planning I want to look through this cookbook that my husband bought me for Christmas last year:

If I try any I will try to post it here.

In the garden
I harvested all of the ripe tomatoes a couple of days ago, but my husband tells me more are ready, which is perfect, because salad is on the menu tonight. I did get a green pepper last week, so crispy and good!

Favorite photo from the camera
My favorite photo is of my favorite thing.

My favorite people hanging around me, taking and laughing.

Homemaking tip
Sorry, I am drawing a blank today, probably because I have been lax on the homemaking!

Blog post to share
nothing this week

Praying for
my family and friends

Bible verse, devotional

Have a great week!

August 11, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday August 11 2014

Good morning! It was a busy weekend, but a very fulfilling one. I had training for my seminary class which was fantastic - I cannot wait to start! When I got home my daughter and I went to Target for goodies for her dorm. She bought everything. Love her sense of responsibility. Yesterday we visited with my in-laws and brought dinner. They are getting older and and it is nice to be able to do for them, they have done so much for us. So it is Monday again, and time for Happy Homemaker Monday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay At Home Mom! Go see her for more Happy Homemaker Monday and lots of inspiration!

Breakfast Time...What's on the Plate This Morning
Nothing yet! I may indulge and fry a couple of pieces of bacon and eggs - my favorite breakfast - along with a piece of whole wheat toast. By the way, I have lost 19 pounds so far! Then I may make a small fruit smoothie for more goodness. Everyone else is gone already.

On Today's To Do List
I have to call the oral surgeon to reschedule my daughter's follow up appointment (she had her wisdom teeth out last week), take my car for an emissions test, hopefully get my hair cut, a couple of loads of laundry, pick up around the house, quick vacuum of the main floor, clean upstairs bathrooms, and (hopefully) pick up my two boys from scout camp. I haven't seen them in three weeks!

Currently Reading
I am all over the place right now. Started a couple of books but didn't like them enough to continue. I just downloaded Letters From Nam but haven't started it yet. Now that seminary is near, my fiction reading will probably slow down.

On the TV Today
Probably nothing. With the boys coming home today we will want to catch up with them.

The Weather Outside is
Beautiful! We have had such a wonderful summer! This morning I have the windows open, it is cool and clear (humidity level is comfortable), 68 degrees according to, with a high of 83. Looks like we may get some heavy rain the next couple of days, but that is okay because we really need it. That is the down side to so much beautiful weather, unfortunately we need a balance of both. Our pool's water level is too low to run the filter now.

On the Menu This Week
I will have my whole family back by the end of the week, so it is time to menu plan once again! I will be updating my monthly menu and you can see it here.

If I Have a Few Minutes to Myself, I Will
Probably work on seminary - there is a new teacher's manual I need to start reading.

New Recipe I tried, or want to try this week
I don't know if I will get to it this week, but this looks so good: 

In the garden
We have gotten a couple of tomatoes and cucumbers, but with little rain we haven't gotten more than that. Cannot wait for more tomatoes - there is nothing better than garden grown tomatoes.

Favorite photo from the camera
My 17 year old's birthday with his favorite things - lots of friends!

Homemaking Tip
Found this on one of the memes you see on Facebook: cook fish on the grill without sticking by laying it on top of lemon slices. You are infusing it with lemon at the same time! Think I may try that this week.

Blog Post to share
With my kids getting close to leaving the nest, this is important to me (it is not specific to a particular church):

Praying for
My kids, my mom, my in-laws.

Bible Verse, Devotional

Have a great week!

August 4, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday August 4 2014

Good morning! The house is quiet - my teenager and young adult are still sleeping - and it's time for Happy Homemaker Monday! This comes from Sandra's blog at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. See her for more Happy Homemaker Monday.

Breakfast Time

We had family over to (finally) celebrate my daughter's graduation and 18th birthday, and this morning I am having some of the leftovers from my mom's fruit salad. I love it when healthy food is ready and waiting for me in the fridge!

On Today's To Do List
The house was cleaned for the party, and I kept up with the clean up yesterday, but there are a few things to do today. We have to empty the coolers of the leftover soda cans and water bottles, drain them and leave them open to dry. Rinse and bring all of the empties to the garage, a quick vacuum in the kitchen, and put away the coffee maker that is draining in the sink. Not a bad list! Oh, and fold and put away the towels sitting in the dryer. There is always some laundry to do!

Currently Reading
the namesake by jhumpa lahiri. It is a story of a couple from India who migrate to the USA and their adjustment, especially to the cultural differences in their children that become more Americanized.

On the TV
We have been watching Veronica Mars and John Adams via Amazon Prime.

The Weather Outside is
Beautiful, although a bit humid, thus the air conditioner is running even though it is only 70 degrees outside right now. The temp will continue to climb up to 86 for tomorrow. Looks like we will be having thunderstorms this week, typical for humid New England summers.

On the Menu This Week
I am sticking to my new eating plan, although I did indulge a little this weekend. We have tons of leftovers from yesterday, so tonight we will be having hamburgers, hot dogs, macaroni salad, and baked beans. (I will be having a chicken burger and a salad.) After that I am going to look to my freezer - I have various forms of frozen chicken in there, and I have been wanting to use up the food and clean it out before the summer is over, so I anticipate a lot of chicken cooked in the crock pot these next couple of weeks! There are still only four of us home, and I am anticipating a low grocery bill this week, which will be lovely. So far all I need to buy is milk.

If I Have a Few Minutes to Myself I will
Oh, I will have a lot of minutes to myself, woohoo! I will read and start preparing for seminary which starts the day after Labor Day.

New Recipe I Tried, or Want To Try
I don't have a recipe to share, but I do have a product:

It has about half of the sodium of Tostidos brand salsa (which is what I used to buy from our BJ's Warehouse Store), it is offered at BJ's, and my family liked it a lot! 

In the Garden
We have a couple of tomatoes! That means toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches, my favorite!

Favorite Photo From the Camera
I have less than a month with this wonderful child, and then we leave her at college.

Homemaking Tip
To go along with Sandra's tip this week on laundry stains: the sun will bleach out tomato sauce! My mother in-law told me this one and it works!

Praying for
My kids and parents.

Bible Verse
1 Chronicles 16:11 "Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually."

Have a great week!

July 30, 2014

Losing Weight - What I Ate Today


This doesn't look particularly pretty, but it was tasty and very filling. So filling that I could not drink all of it.

1/2 frozen banana
@ 1 cup frozen chopped fruit (peach, mango, grapes, strawberries)
a few fresh blueberries
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tbs wheat germ
1 tbs ground flaxseed
water to thin

makes 16 ounces

tomorrow I will split it and put half away for the next day


1/2 cup brown rice (cooked plain)
topped with one cup of the following mixture:
collard greens (16 oz bag)
black beans (canned)
chopped tomatoes (canned)
yellow apple


I indulged by having the corn.
I couldn't resist, it was so fresh and sweet.
Grilled chicken marinated in Italian dressing
one piece corn on the cob
salad drizzled with a little Italian dressing
yellow squash microwaved with rosemary and thyme


red grapes
one cheese stick
one oreo

No Ben and Jerry's tonight.

*this does not completely follow DASH