Sunday, September 30, 2012

October Menu Plan

One thing I do every month is make a menu plan.  This helps me prepare a grocery list, plus I always have a plan.  No last minute foraging through the pantry and freezer trying to figure out what I'm going to fix.   I frequently juggle the meals around depending on our schedule.  For me, it is easiest to grocery shop once a month and get all the food for the meal plans at one time.  Of course, I still have to make runs to the store through out the month for items such as milk, bread, etc. etc.,  Here's my meal plan for October.  I don't have side dishes listed for the meals that will need them.  Oh and Sunday's are always left over day.  Mamma's day off!!

 1.  Herb Roasted chicken  (click here for recipe)
 2.  Bean Burritos
 3.  Crock Pot BBQ Ribs (click here for recipe)
 4.  French Dip Sandwiches in Crock Pot  (click here for recipe)
 5.  Best Ever Hamburgers (click here for recipe)
 6.  Chicken Kabobs
 7.  Leftovers
 8.  Penne Noodles
 9.  Panninis
10.  Fish Taco's (blog post coming soon)
11.  Taco Bake  (click here for recipe)
12.  Chicken Kiev (click here for recipe)
13.  Crock Pot Pork Chops and Parmesan Potatoes (click here for recipe)
14.  Leftovers
15.  Oven Baked Frito Pie (click here for recipe)
16.  Chicken Fajitas
17.  Chicken Tetrazzini
18.  Pizza Bread
19.  Spaghetti Bread  (click here for recipe)
20.  Chicken Fettuccine
21.  Leftovers
22.  Chicken Nuggets and Fries
23.  Homemade Pizza
24.  Tilapia
25.  Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
26.  Chicken Lasagna
28.  Leftovers
29.  Homemade Vegetable Soup
30.  Hot Dogs roasted over the fire pit!
31.  Must-go Soup

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Taco Bake

If you love taco's you are going to LOVE this recipe.  It's a new family favorite for us!  You can view the original recipe here.  If you know me at all you know I rarely follow a recipe exactly .  As always I made a few little tweaks. ;)  Here's the recipe the way I did it. :):):)


1 1/2 - 2 lb. hamburger
1/2 pkg. taco seasoning
8 oz. sour cream
1 pkg. crescent rolls (8)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes (optional)
1 1/2 c. shredded cheese
1 can refried beans
1 bag Doritos chips (I use off brand) crumbled

1.  Brown and drain your hamburger.

2.  Add taco seasoning, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes

3.  Separate crescent rolls and spread them out into a 9x13 pan.  Press/roll forming a nice crust in the bottom.

4.  Spread refried beans over the crescent rolls.

5.  Add meat/tomato mixture on top of beans.

6.  Next layer sour cream and then cheddar cheese.

7.  Add 3/4 of the bag of crumpled dorritos on top.

9.  Bake on 350 for 25 minutes.

ENJOY!!  You can eat it as is or you can serve with extra tomatoes and lettuce!  SO YUMMY!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Decorated Clip Board

All you need to make a super cute decorated clip board is a clip board, scrapbook paper, ribbon, cork board and any other embellishments to make it cute!  I used Modge Podge to secure my paper onto the board.  I tied the ribbon around the clippy part and secured the cork board and small box with double sided self adhesive.  I added a few decorative clips for holding messages and voila!  Super quick, cheap and easy project!  I think this would make a great gift as well. 

I have it hanging on a door and we use it as our family message center!  

Bethany made one too!  Hers is simple but cute and she uses it for her schoolwork.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Backyard Visitor

As a homeschool mom I love those unplanned learning opportunities.  The other day we were blessed with just such an opportunity when I spied an owl through the kitchen window.  There he was perched on our old clothes line pole.  After observing him for about a half an hour and taking a ton of pictures we did some research and found out all we could about our feathered friend.  

We were blessed to see the owl turn his head completely around, clean itself and swoop down for it's supper.  

In case you are wondering it is a Barred Owl or better known as the hoot owl.  We know he is not the only one hanging around, for there are many nights we can hear him and his mate "hooting" at each other. It is awesome to hear!   

SO just a few fun facts.....The hoot owl mates for life and often reuses the same nest every year.  He is a homebody and usually stays within a few miles of his birthplace throughout his entire life which is about 10 years.   He appears to be very big.   He can be as tall as 25 inches with a wing span of 50 inches, but only weighs a little over one pound.   Pretty neat huh?!

I thank God for moments like these and when I look at such a beautiful creature as this I can't help but stand in awe of our magnificent Creator.  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

One Dark and Stormy Night

 Dark being the key word here.  Just as we were getting ready to walk out the door to go to the store this evening a storm blew up.  Lightening, thunder, hail and torrential rain fall.  Whew!  And then the lights went out!  Six hours without electricity makes for a very long night.   We made the best of it though.  Board games by candlelight!  

It is still storming and it is supposed to continue through tomorrow.  Hopefully we won't get any more hail like this!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Preserving Pressed Flowers

I love pressing flowers in between the pages of books.  Sometimes I even forget they are there, grab a book, open it up and out falls my pressed treasure.  Recently I found these great books at Hobby Lobby.  They are actually water color books for painting and such, but as soon as I seen it I impictured all my pressed flowers among the pages.

Here is what the book looks like.  It came in three different sized and I got the medium size.  I would love to have a large one eventually. :)  You can't really tell by the picture, but the pages are really thick and have torn looking edges.  We used to have a paper maker and the paper reminds me of that.

I decided to try Mod Podge for securing my treasures.  All I had was glossy so I definitely want to get some matte.  I still was very pleased with the outcome.  It kind of "seals" the flower.


A few Herbs


Queen Anne's Lace

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Smash Booking

I am pretty new to smash booking, but I know enough about it to know that I LOVE it!!! 
 It did take me a while to work up enough courage to start and I haven't even finished a whole book yet, but I'm getting there.  Here's a sample of a few of my pages.   


That's all folks!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Band Of Sisters - A Book of Review

The year is 1910 and Maureen O'Reilly is determined to protect her sister, Katie Rose from the kind of life Maureen, herself has been forced to live.  After her Aunt tells her of a promise that Colonel Wakefield made to her father to repay him for saving his life during the Civil War, Maureen and and Katie Rose head for America to see if the Colonel will uphold his promise.  Upon arrival at Ellis Island they began to face one obstacle after another.  When Katie Rose is diagnosed with chicken pox and is detained until she is well,  Maureen know she must get a job and find a place to live and fast.

Maureen goes to Colonel Wakefield's residence only to find out he is no longer alive.  His family knowing nothing of the debt, casts her out.   In fear of being deported, Maureen connives a plan to get a job at Darcy's Department Store.  She soon discovers a terrible secret.  Women are secretly being taken upstairs for "better jobs".  When women start disappearing, she fears the worst.  Soon she knows more than she should and her own life is in danger.  Along with some unexpected allies, the horrible business begins to be uncovered, but due to her own "stained" past Maureen finds it hard to trust anyone.  Will she be able to put aside all of that and trust anyone?  Will she ever realize that she is worthy of love?  Will she ever except the healing power of God?

Olivia Wakefield is the daughter of Colonel Wakefield.  Once Olivia discovers her deceased father's promise to the O'Reilly family she vows, despite her family's disapproval, to honor his wishes.  When Olivia finds out what is going on at the department store she rallies the ladies from her circle and they all begin to fight for the lives of the growing band of sisters.  Will they make it in time?   Will the women be able to open their hearts to divine leading or will it be too late?

This a compelling and convicting book that will pull at your heartstrings.  Cathy Gohlke had me so captivated by this story, I could hardly put the book down.  Anyone who reads it will likely be deeply moved by this gripping tale.  It was different then most books I read.  It touches on a topic that most of us give little consideration to.  In my own little corner of the world I sometimes forget that there is more than just the things I see going on.  Even though this story is set in 1910 it brings attention to modern-day slavery.   Human trafficking is a very real problem.   More real now than it was then.  Even though this book brings awareness to modern-day slavery we must remember this is a mild story.  The realities are far more grim then what you will read on these pages.   I found my self crying as I read how the women in this book were treated, but I know this was just a small glimpse into a world that I know little about.  It's easy to say "I'm just one person, how can I make a difference in such a big problem", but as the book states we must ask ourselves....What would JESUS do?    Here is an excerpt from Cathy Gohlke's Note to Readers at the end of the book:

If we all truly do what Jesus would do, slavery will end.  Jesus never exploited men or women.  He never used children or child labor for ease or gain.  He never bought or sold baby girls to fulfill the "bride needs" in one-child cultures favoring boys.  He never bought or sold human organs or fetuses or body parts.  He never lied to immigrants, never enslaved them, never threatened their families or their loved ones or their lives if they did not comply with His demands, never coerced or forced, never shamed or punished a single person into submission to His will.  But in every way He set a moral compass, employed divine compassion to the brokenhearted and broken-bodied, and held to account any and all who victimized others.  

So with that I must ask one more question.  What are you going to do?  This is our mother's, our sister's, our daughter's.  What are you going to do?  If you would like to know more about human trafficking or about what you can do to help you can go to

Here is a video that the Author of this story shares on her resource page!  Enjoy!

***The book Band of Sisters was provided to my through Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

All Things Are Ready - A Bride's Complete Christian Wedding Planner

I am so excited to tell you about All Things Are Ready.  I first seen this awesome wedding planner last March at the Homeschool Expo that I always attend.  Doorposts had it on display even though it was not available for purchase at that time.  I have bought several things from Doorposts in the past and I have always been so pleased so I knew this planner would be great as well!   I thought the idea of a christian wedding planner was brilliant and when I got the chance to review it a couple weeks ago I was so excited.

All Things Are Ready is a great organizational tool for planning a christian wedding.  It is about glorifying God in the details and honoring Him in all you do, but it also covers all the important parts of pulling off your dream wedding!!

What you get is a big binder, inside the binder you will find each chapter divided by tabs.  It has an extra big envelope attached in the back for storing important papers along the way.  In the beginning you will find a master list that is an overview of everything you need to do before the big day.  If there is something that doesn't apply to you, you can cross it off the list and remove that section from the binder!  Some of the sections include:  Finding a location, the Wedding Budget, Invitations, Wedding Style, Photography...and there is so so much more.  Amy Hayes has thought of everything and it's all centered around Christ.  She shares lots of scriptures throughout the planner and at the end of each section there is a special "For the Bride" meditation that helps you focus on the purpose of your wedding day - entering into a marriage covenant with the man God has provided to be your loving husband!

My favorite part of the whole planner is chapter 15.  It is especially for those interested in bringing biblical themes into their wedding.  This chapter is truly inspiring as it gives examples of ways to Glorify Christ and His word in every detail of the wedding.  There are sample ceremonies and sample vows all base on The Word of God.  It is amazing!!!

If you are a christian and are getting ready to head down the isle this is the planner for you!  I am certain that you will be satisfied and thank the Lord for this great tool that will not only help you plan your wedding, but also help you to take time to rejoice in what the Lord is doing in your life!

***All Things Are Ready - A Bride's Complete Christian Wedding Planner was provided to me by the publisher through BookCrash  in exchange for my honest review.

Meet Me in St. Louis

Today we decided to take in some of the sites of the great city of St. Louis.  Now that I'm home and thinking about how our day went I can't help but think of the quote from the movie Meet Me in St. Louis when Tootie says "Wasn't I lucky to be in born in my favorite city?"  :):)

It amazes me how many things there are to do in and around the St. Louis area for FREE!!  I plan on taking full advantage of some of these places.  We are studying Missouri History in school and we plan on taking LOTS and LOTS of field trips this year!  

Today we went to the zoo, had a picnic in Forest Park and then headed to The St. Louis Walk of Fame on the Loop.  It was a great day.  Besides gas money I spent $3.01 today and that was only because I was tempted by Starbucks. ;)  You can't beat that for an afternoon and evening full of fun and memories!!