Monday, September 1, 2014

Weekend in Review

I can't believe it is Monday afternoon already, this long weekend sure flew by didn't it?

We didn't do anything special, didn't go camping or have barbecues or go anywhere at all, but still managed to have a packed weekend with lots of family time, which is always a good thing.

So let me tell you how it went and what we DID do.

Friday the kids didn't come over for homeschooling, as I mentioned in my Friday night post, but Jasmine did go sleep over at their house, so after dinner we went to drop her off and then end up staying until after 10pm just chatting with the family.

Saturday morning the hubster, Nicholas and I, set off for base.  I had to get groceries and just couldn't hold off doing it anymore, so we got that done and then on the way home, we picked Jasmine up from my brother's house.

I used to write up my menus and then throw them out when I was done using them for that week or two weeks, I also threw out the grocery list and the receipt etc.  But I've decided to start keeping them as a record, as I think it is going to help me figure out where the money is going, what we're eating and will also give me ideas for upcoming menus, plus show me around how much money I spent.

For that I bought a really cute notebook and will keep everything in there, let me show you....


I've dated the menus as I always do, but won't be tearing out the pages, will just leave them on for future reference.


I've also stapled my receipt onto the page so that I know how much I spent on that shopping trip, and also have the grocery list behind it to see what I bought.


I got some laundry done, picked up the house a bit and then sat down for a few minutes to relax, and that usually means some coffee, a delicious cookie and some knitting.


I just love how the leg warmers are turning out and it's one of those projects that don't require a lot of attention or counting of stitches, so I can grab it and work on it while I watch something on TV or even when I'm teaching the kids during school time.


I updated the chalkboard wall with the new menu for this upcoming week.  I didn't really get to do anything cute, just basically jotted down the days and the meals.  I think I will work on it tomorrow morning.

The family ended up coming over for a coffee late afternoon, we sat outside on the deck with the wonderful weather, and we got into talking and reminiscing again and before we knew it,it was 8:30pm.

Time just seems to fly, especially when you're in good company.

Sunday, I had nothing going on, so took it easy, relaxed, got some housework and a little more laundry taken care of and then stepped outside to take some pictures.  There are quite a few signs of Fall around.  Oh that makes me so very happy.

This is the Sycamore tree in my neighbors yard, but it hangs over onto ours and I just love looking at it.  See the seed balls?  A sure sign of Fall being just around the corner.


I am so looking forward to Fall.


Over on my other neighbors yard, his apple tree is filled to the brim.  Look at those delicious apples.


I would love to have an apple tree like this.  Maybe one day :)


There will be a lot of things I will miss about Summer, but these two below are something I really won't miss and matter of fact I am just dying for them to go away.


We have had the biggest flies around here, I actually thought they were bees at first, but nope, just really gross nasty ugly flies, and I can't stand them.   Gross!!


And these......*shiver*  

I'm glad they are in a spot that is not frequented by the dogs or us humans, but I really would prefer if they weren't there altogether.  Just creep me out.

Then last night, we decided to watch The Quiet Ones which is supposed to be quite a scary movie.  We all love a good scary one, and the funny thing is that I watch the whole movie through my fingertips, like that is supposed to do something or protect me somehow LOL  I don't know why I do that.

We ended up inviting my niece and nephew to come sleep over.  Tiffany loves scary movies and Colby was keeping Nicholas company because the boys don't watch stuff like this.

My brother and sister in law came to drop them off around 7pm, and again, we ended up at the kitchen table chatting and laughing until 11pm.  Hahahah

So by the time they left and we watched the movie, it was really really late. 

Today, started off quite slow, the kids all woke up pretty early and then my brother and sister in law came by around 10am to pick them up.......and wouldn't you know it, before we could blink, we were all at the kitchen table eating breakfast.  My husband made everyone omelettes and we had toast and some grilled ham and juice and coffee. 

Then went to hang out on the deck again, just chatting and enjoying the beautiful weather.  They ended up leaving around 3:30pm, I watched a quick vlog and now I am getting dinner finished up.

Made a simple Chicken Pot Pie, which is always a very welcome meal at my house, not only for it's simplicity but because it is so filling.

And that is it.....that was my weekend, and as you see nothing major went on but lots of unplanned family time which I love.

Tomorrow is back at it, another week of schooling is upon us, for some of us work and the usual homemaking chores.

I do so hope you've all had a lovely long weekend.  Let me know what you got up to and if you went anywhere fun, or watched anything good.


Happy Homemaker Monday - 09/01/2014

Good morning friends.  Happy Labor Day and happy first day of September.  Can you believe that we are already in September?  Didn't August just fly by so very fast?

Well, let's see what our first week of September holds.

Breakfast time....what is on the plate this morning::::
I just sat down to compose this post while my coffee is making, so here in a few minutes I will have a cup of Nescafe coffee with some vanilla creamer, and my usual toast.....although it feels so much like fall this morning that I am going to add some apple butter to it.  Yum! 

On today's to do list::::

Sweep and mop floors
Get lessons ready for tomorrow

Currently reading::::
The Spanish Queen by Carolly Erickson....finishing it today, and returning it to the library this week.

On the TV today::::
Portuguese Soaps - Beijo do Escorpiao, Mulheres
Lots of documentaries

The weather outside is::::
50 degrees at the moment and loving it.

On the menu this week::::

D:  Steaks with Cream Sauce and Mash

D: Goulash

D:  Chicken Pot Pie

D:  German pizza

D:  Baked pork chops, Bean salad

D: Stuffed Peppers

D: Gonzalez Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Corn

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::
Well it's a public holiday, so I WILL have a few minutes to myself.  I plan on working on the leg warmers, watching some tv and enjoying copious amounts of tea or coffee. 

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::
Last week I made my mother in law's Hot and Spicy Lasagna which is SO yummy.  This week there are a few I am trying for the first time, the one I am most excited to try though is the German Pizza.

In the garden::::
I finally harvested my chili peppers, gave one to my brother.  They were so big.  I have new growth coming in though so can't wait for more.  My lettuce is growing rapidly and I think I need to transplant it to a bigger pot.

Favorite photo from the camera::::
First day of school :)

Looking Around the House::::
My niece and nephew slept over so there is quite a bit of cleaning and tidying I need to do, as there always is when there are sleepovers right?

Visiting with Blog friends (blog you want to share, blog post that caught your eye)::::
Honestly, last week I didn't get much blog visiting done....or rather, I did stop and say hi to a couple of you but not many and I certainly didn't have time to visit anyone new.  It was just one of those weeks for me.  I hope to do that today though as I have more time to relax.

Praying for::::
Praying for you, all of my blog readers, for whatever it is that you may be needing at the moment.  If you want, leave a simple note down below letting me know what I can pray for and I will do it.

Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating with me at the moment:::: 

PLEASE, don't add links to this list that are not part of the Happy Homemaker Monday. I've asked numerous times, and I'm frankly quite tired of having to remove links to other posts that shouldn't be in this list. Please be respectful of my request!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Rainy Friday night!

Rainy sunset

The clouds started moving in as the sun started setting, and before we knew it, the rain was coming down.

I took this picture out of my back door looking towards the sunset.   So pretty!

You wouldn't know that it was starting to rain at this moment, it doesn't really look like it does it?

So I spent a quiet day.  My niece and nephew didn't come over for homeschooling today, so I did schooling with Nicholas and Jasmine, and they did it at their house, but I did have to call a few times to walk Colby through a few things.

It did seem like the day went by so fast though.

My husband is now going to class 3 times a week, and he has to drive 45 minutes to campus for his classes.  We're starting to feel it gas wise, and then it seems that every single thing he does on campus requires money.  From the parking ($10 a day), to his student ID ($25), to having to purchase a clicker for questions ($50).  We won't even talk about the price of books and other things needed for the classes.

Absolutely crazy.  I'm sure those of you with kids in college will know exactly what I'm talking about.  I just can't believe how expensive everything is and how much is needed for every little thing you do on campus.  I thank the Lord every day that we can count on the GI Bill for the cost of the classes and for some of the books, or this would just not be possible.

My husband already has a Bachelors in Management, but he is going for a Bachelors in Physics.  Smart man that he is.

Anyway, Monday and Wednesday he is gone to college all day and is usually around home by 5pm....on Fridays he is gone all day too but his last class doesn't end until 7:15pm, so he doesn't get home until about 8:30pm.  It's a lot of work and time.

Prepping dinner

I wasn't expecting him home until much later, but his last class was cancelled so he came home earlier which made me very happy.  There's nothing like seeing my husband walk in the door, I miss him when he is not with me.

Anyway, after doing the schooling with the kids, I did some housework and then sat and worked on Nic's laptop.  He uses it for school and it just wasn't running properly.  Something that is very normal when the kids download every single game they can find online, and indirectly load viruses and all sorts of adware onto their computers.

It took me an hour to delete all the unwanted items, update some of his drivers and software and install some programs he needed for school.

By the time I was done, I needed to get dinner going, and I knew just what I wanted to make.  The book above was given to me by my mother in law, many years ago.  It is a church cookbook from her old church in Lawton, Oklahoma, and in it are recipes from my husband's grandmother, cousin, aunt and my mother in law too.

Hot and Spicy Lasagna Recipe

Years ago, when we were visiting the family in Oklahoma, she made us her Hot and Spicy Lasagna and I loved it.  I've only made it once or twice since then, but was craving it and so that is what was on the menu.

I will have the recipe up on my food blog in the morning.  But here is a sneak is so good.

Hot and Spicy Lasagna

And while we're on the subject of the food blog, I just posted the recipe for Cherry Cheese Coffee Cake.  If you're familiar with Pampered Chef then you will know exactly what I'm talking about, but if you're not, then you have to give this recipe a try.

It is delicious, and quite dangerous as I could easy eat the whole thing myself, which wouldn't be a very good thing for my thighs.

Cherry Cheese Coffee Cake

This one is on the blog, I actually posted it earlier this evening.  Cherry Cheese Coffee Cake.

Tired mommy

Makes me smile really big when I think about food.  I have this love affair with yummy stuff.  Hahahaha

This is what a 40 year old tired mama looks like.  I used to think that as I got older, I would have a big problem with wrinkles and seeing them in the mirror, but I've changed my way of thinking over the years and I actually like seeing how I am aging.

I still don't think of myself as a 40 year old though, maybe I'm in denial? LOL

Scentsy burner

It is now 10pm and I am quite ready for bed, or maybe to watch something, I am not sure.  To be honest, it will probably be more of a *try to watch something and falling asleep within 5 minutes* kinda night.

Before I leave though, I wanted to show you what I'm working on.  I finished the boot cuffs for Jasmine, but had to set aside the shawl because I did indeed run out of the black yarn I was using and just can't get more at the moment.

I'm making do with what I have on hand, so I pulled out this pretty light purple and am knitting up some leg warmers.  I do love leg warmers.

Leg warmers

These will probably be for my niece as she loves purple.  Jasmine has requested a pair for her but I'll let her pick the color, then I think I will make myself and my sister in law a pair too.  Depends on how fast these knit up.

You know me, I tend to get bored with the same project and need to change things up constantly.  Speaking of which, my v stitch blanket has also been set aside, I should work on it a little more....maybe this weekend.

Oh my word, I feel like I've babbled for so long, I hope I didn't bore anyone with my jabbering.

I think I'm going to go call my girl real quick, she is sleeping over at her cousin's but I already miss her.  Isn't it crazy?  The minute the kids are out of my sight, I miss them so much and can't wait for them to come home.

First thing tomorrow morning I have grocery shopping to do, and also need to drop off the books at the library though I'm not picking any up this time.  I might next week, but not tomorrow.

Ok....there, I think I got all my chattiness out of my system and I can say that now I'm ready for bed.

Have a wonderful night friends and I'll see you back here tomorrow :)

Show and Tell Friday - 08/29/2014

First I have to apologize for this going up so late.  I couldn't get on the internet this morning, it was constantly disconnecting, but it seems to be fine now, so let's hope I can this post up before it decides to mess up again.

Anyway, let's get on with our Show and Tell Friday.

What I bring you today has a lot of meaning to me.  When I first met my husband, I was still back in South Africa and he was here in the States.  We communicated back and forth for a year and during that period, he had a deployment to Bahrain.

While he was there he bought me a few things, all of which I still have to this day, 17 years later.

This was one of those treasures......

Show and Tell Friday

I was so excited when I received this necklace in the mail, I just love it so much.  The fact that he had picked it out himself while deployed and had it sent to me in South Africa, was just the icing on the cake.

That is the front of the necklace, with my name.  This is the back.....

Show and Tell Friday

How cool is that?

My name in Egyptian Hieroglyphics.  Love, love, love.

I have cherished this necklace for as long as I can remember, I mean this was something given to me while we were still dating and long before we got married.

Next week, I will show something else that he sent me while in Bahrain.  Truthfully, I don't think I'll ever run out of treasures to show.

What do you have for Show and Tell today?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

This schooling thing.....and some homemaking!

Oh my friends, I can't believe I didn't post anything yesterday.  I know you forgive me though, after all, we have just started school again and it's taking a little bit to get everyone back on a routine.

It's always like this, you have your 3 months of summer and then school comes around and no one is used to it, so it is like a shock to the system.

Let's just say that this year, all 4 kids will have a very heavy work curriculum with no time to spare or mess around.  Long gone are the days where the boys would be able to get all their schooling done in 2 hours and then get to play for the rest of the day.

Nowadays, they are working consistently for hours on end, and sometimes, even at night.

I think though it is just an adjustment, they are going from 5th Grade to 6th and are no longer little ones, so they are finding it a bit hard to adjust to harder work and longer hours.  We will conquer it though.

Nicholas is still doing really well on his own, he enjoys being in his room in the quiet working.  The other 3 are doing ok as well, though they do tend to get a little distracted at times, so I spend a lot of my time going "sshhhhhhh" and "come on guys, concentrate".  But again, I think it is just these first few days while they get back into school routine mode.

I am often asked why I do this, why don't I just send them to public school.  I have answered that question so many times.  I don't like public schools, my kids don't do well in that environment and if I am able to be a part of their daily learning and see how they do, then THAT is what I will be doing.

I wouldn't trade homeschooling for nothing in this world, and neither would the kids.

They have all been in public school, and they are well aware of what that environment is like compared to being at home.  Every single one of them has reiterated over and over how much they prefer learning at their own pace and not being forced to go at the same pace as everyone else.

So there may be hard days, there may be days where my head is not in it, or the kids are not feeling it, but that is normal.  We deal with it, we take it one day at a time and we come back the next day refreshed and ready to go again.

Do you know how cool it is to be able to say that I know exactly what they are doing?

That I know what their strengths and weaknesses are?  That I know who is a visual learner and who is not, who can soak up the information just by reading and who needs to take notes?

It is a feeling like no other, to be able to be that involved in their education.  I absolutely love it.

Now, on the homemaking front,nothing major has been going on.  I'm kind of trying to find my place right  now too.  I have noticed that as I get back into this homeschooling routine, I am having to find ways of getting my housework done when I can.

Remember the laundry that I was so proud of not having on Monday?   Well it's back and with a vengeance, so I have to tackle that today.

I haven't had a chance to sit and knit or crochet either, but I do miss it so much.  I try to do it at night but it's not even worth trying because I nod off to sleep.

Last night I was watching The Great British Bake Off with Jasmine, and within 30 minutes I was asleep on the couch, so I just gave up.  Frustrating!

I am hoping and yearning for the next few weeks where I'll be able to get into some sort of rhythm and be able to juggle the school stuff and the homemaking stuff.  It's always quite the juggling act at first, but I do admit that after a while I am able to do both and not let my house suffer.

I will try my best not to let my blog suffer either, I've been so good about posting every single day and when I didn't yesterday it felt like I was missing something.  I can't have that, no sirree, something will be done about it.

Alrighty, so here is what is happening the rest of the day.........

Not sure what I'm having for lunch.  My husband son had some French Bread Pepperoni Pizzas but I don't feel like those.  I might just stick with a sandwich.  For dinner, I have chicken wings marinating with some Korean Spare Rib Sauce.  I have to get groceries tomorrow and didn't have anything I needed to make my wings, so I am using what I have on hand.  We'll see how they turn out.

I have started the Vikings, we'll see how I like that series.

I just finished The Borgias and really enjoyed those and I also have Rome to watch.  If you know of others along these lines, let me know.  Oh and Game of Thrones, I only watched Season 1 so I guess I could catch up on that one.

I'll also be watching The Great British Bake Off tonight with Jasmine.

Clean bathrooms
Menu planning and grocery list
Budget and paying bills

Slow Cooking Thursday - 08/28/2014


Good morning everyone :) Well, here we are, another Thursday and time for another Slow Cooking Thursday.

As the weather starts cooling off, I find myself wanting more slow cooked meals, so I thought it would be a good idea to go with the Slow Cooking Thursday as opposed to the Cooking Thursday. BUT, by all means, feel free to share your recipes even if they're not made in the crockpot.

One of my favorite things about Fall is Applesauce and Apple Butter, and this one is so easy to make, plus, the scent in the house while it is cooking, is divine.

Homemade Crockpot Applesauce

Homemade Crockpot Applesauce

5 big apples or 10 small ones (I like using Honeycrisp)
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of sugar

Peel, core and cut the apples into small chunks, drop them in the crockpot. Add the water and the sugar. You don't have to add the cinnamon but we love it, so I sprinkle a good amount on top, just according to taste.

Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or until the apples are mushy.

You can leave them chunky if you like your applesauce that way, but we like ours pureed, so I just use my immersion blender and puree them right in the crockpot.

Pour into jars and either process them for canning, or if you're eating them right away, let the applesauce cool down and then place in the refrigerator.

We also like eating the applesauce warm.


Homemade Crockpot Applesauce

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

You're Late Again, Lord!!!

You're late again, Lord!

It's here....the book is finally here and I've already been reading it.  I actually put aside the book I was in the middle of to start on this one.

I've mentioned before, but just as a reminder, this book is about learning to leave things in God's control and to know what to do when you're waiting for something to happen.  More importantly to recognize that things are done in God's timing and not ours.

I'm so bad in this department.  I put things in His hand and 5 minutes later I snatch them back, because it's just not being done as fast as I want it to.  Over and over I make this mistake, for years now I have constantly questioned Him about the fact that I ask for things that I think I need right away, or I get tired of waiting.  I'm always waiting it seems.

But he doesn't say wait and hope and sit quietly.  This is so huge for me, and such a light bulb moment.

Look, I've read this book before, many many years ago, but like everything else in life, as I've grown older, I've changed.  The way I see life, the way I approach things, the way I deal with problems, is very different from my 20 something old self.  This book couldn't have come at a better time for me, because I feel that right now is when I need it the most.

"What do I need the most?"

"You need ME.  You need to feel Me beside you and know that that's enough for whatever lies ahead, instead of trying to harness Me into your schedule.  You need to renew your spirit first and continually.  Slow down and let Me help you."

That is me to a tee.  Such a busy life, running around from place to place, sometimes too busy for God, and then something happens that forces me to slow down and instead of taking that time to wait, and to listen, really listen to what He has to say.

I've been in the Impatient Woman's Club for most of my life, and from what I gather it is quite a big club. 

It's not always easy to admit our faults and especially do it publicly, but I've always been extremely vocal about this battle I've had with losing control  and learning to wait with purpose.

This book has been a life saver, it has opened my eyes in ways that nothing and no one else, has ever done. 

Does God not know that I need this done, or that I want that by next week, or that I think I really really really need something?   Like it says in the book, yes He does, but thankfully He is smarter than we are.

Waiting purposefully means working while we wait, following God's word and surrendering to his will.  Oh yes indeed.  But, easier said than done, it is by far the biggest and toughest lesson I have had to learn, and am still learning to this day.

I hope to one day be able to say that I've finally learned to let go, that I've finally realized that just because I want something doesn't mean that it is something good for me. 

You know it's almost like when we tell the kids up front that we are going somewhere that they really want to go, and then for days leading up to it happening we are bombarded with "is it time yet?  can we go now?  why do we have to wait until so and so, maybe I don't want to go anymore."

I think that is exactly what I sound like at times when I'm talking to my Lord.  Accusingly, disrespectfully, judging, annoying.....

I'm willing to learn, to mount up and be ready for battle.  Most importantly I am going to read this book again, from cover to cover and really look at it through different eyes.  I am sure that as I read through it's pages, moments of clarity will engulf me and by the time I am done, I will be able to say that I finally get it and that I am now waiting with purpose.