Monday, December 22, 2008

Downstairs Kitchen

Rec Room

New House

Here are a few pictures. I will get the rest of the rooms when I can.

Living Room

Entry way from garage

Dining Room


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

We have a house!

We are anxiously awaiting the phone to ring letting us know we can pick up the keys to our new house!

Friday, December 5, 2008

TruthQuest History

Well, I got part of the lesson plans completed for TruthQuest History Ancient Greece which we will start after Christmas. Now all I have left are the timeline and mapping activities as well as the writing assignments. I can really tell I'm used to having it all laid out for me. But I am excited about using TQ as I feel it will add a depth to our history studies that is currently lacking.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Enjoying Sister's New Toys

Belated Birthday Shopping - Thank you!

Playing ping pong with Daddy at Thanksgiving

Playing cars with sister on my new (to me) rug

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cheesy Broccoli Rice

I can't believe I haven't posted this before. (At least I couldn't find where I had.) It is so easy and our family really enjoys it.

Here is the original recipe but I have made a few modifications for our family.

3 cups water
3 cubes chicken bouillon

1 cup dry brown rice or converted white rice
1 cup frozen broccoli (pureed)
1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 to 4 Tbsp onion, chopped
1 tsp mustard
1 can chicken breast

Bring water and bouillon to boil. Add rest of ingredients and return to boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes for white rice / 45-50 minutes for brown rice.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Grocery Shopping Tip of the Day

If you use anywhere close to 3 cans of tomato sauce in a single recipe, buy the 108oz cans of tomato sauce and just double your recipe. Here I can buy one can for $2.72 and use it instead of 7-15 oz cans.

So this morning I put 1-108 oz can of tomato sauce, two pounds of cooked hamburger, some chopped onion, garlic, and 1-1/2 Tbsp of basil in the crockpot. I then made some French bread and dinner is about to be served.

PS. It works great to buy peaches and pears in the large cans too. They last in the fridge long enough for a family to eat them up.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Birthday Time

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin Sloppy Joes

This recipe was family approved tonight!

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 hamburger buns

Monday, October 20, 2008

MCITP: Database Administrator

Once again I am super proud of dh! He passed the two tests he needed to add Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Database Administrator to his transcript. It's been a long time coming and we are very happy! God is good all the time!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fun Weekend

The day started with the "Kid's Train" including a yummy breakfast.

Next a sight of Mt McKinley on the way to Talkeetna.

Then an enjoyable walk into town.

Next came lunch and a little ice cream.

Finally there was the waiting for the train back to Anchorage.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Hairsylist in the Making

Dd11 fixed dd4's hair this morning.

First Haircut

Thursday, August 21, 2008

School as It Should Be

It's so fun when they love their little brother.
It's too bad the impish smile doesn't show up very well.

My Guys

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cindy's Porch

My sister sent me the link to Cindy's Porch last week so I thought I would pass it along to you.

I printed out the pantry and freezer inventory sheets and filled them out today. Turns out I have ingredients for about 14+ meals. It's a great way to see what you already have and maybe you don't have to go grocery shopping right away after all.

Monday, August 11, 2008

To the Sea - Week 5 Project

To the Sea

After going a great distance, the soldiers came to a large city named Gymnias. They didn’t bother to look around, as they were quite weary from their journey. However, when they left the city, they were earnestly marching forward, for the guide had said that they would catch sight of the sea in five days, or they could kill him. So they were in high spirits as they traveled through the hostile country, pillaging and burning whatever they saw, with great encouragement from their guide. He obviously had come for this, the destruction of an enemy country.

On the morn of the fifth day, as they were climbing the mountain called Theches, some of the men in the front of the regiment, catching sight of the sea, cried out in progressively louder volume as they got nearer to their destination. Xenophon, however, in the rearguard, did not know what was going on, and hearing their shouts, was afraid that enemies had attacked them. This should have been expected, for they had left almost nothing untouched in the land behind them, and the angry inhabitants were following them. In fact, the rearguard had killed some and captured others by lying in ambush, and had taken about twenty shields covered with the hides of shaggy oxen.

Having come to the conclusion that they were under attack, Xenophon quickly assembled the cavalry, and taking them and Lycius with him, rode forward to save his comrades. However, as he got closer, the joyous shouts of “the sea, the sea” put aside all his fears and sent him rushing to see that which was making everyone else so happy.

As he came thundering to the summit, Xenophon saw a sight many others would never see. Everyone was crying and hugging. Rank was forgotten as generals hugged soldiers and everyone hugged everyone else. Having reached their destination, the soldiers set about building a great monument of stones to commemorate the occasion. With this done, their guide put all twenty of the enemy shields against the cairn and began hacking them to pieces. He encouraged the others to do the same and they did.

With the mission complete, Hellenes dismissed the guide and gave him many presents. A horse, a silver bowl, a Persian dress, and ten darics were the aforementioned gifts. However, what their guide really wished to have were their rings, and many of them gave their rings to him willingly. After this, he pointed out a village in which they could find quarters and the road back to Macrones. Then he left.

Frogs Desiring a King - Week 4 Project

Here is dd13's writing project from week 4. The original was from the Aesop Fable The Frogs Desiring a King.

The Frogs Desiring a King

The Frogs were perfectly content in a marshy area that was ideal for their lifestyle. They led simple lives where no one bothered with them and they left everyone else alone. But for some of the amphibians, this just wasn’t enough, and they decided to do something about getting a set of rules and a ruler to enforce those rules. So they sent a request to Jove. “Give us a king,” they whined,” for we are unable to govern ourselves.”

Jove roared with laughter and sent down a great oak tree, which caused pandemonium to break out as it landed among the frogs. The terrified frogs scurried for the shore as if more trees were going to fall on top of them. For a few minutes, the frogs perched on the bank, waiting for the terrible monster to do something. But the log stayed still. After a moment more, two of the most courageous frogs in the group hopped into the water and swam cautiously toward their new king. Seeing that their approach did not disturb it, the greatest hero of the frogs leaped on top of the log and began to dance. Soon all the others joined him on top of their ruler, dancing a making merry.

For a while, the frogs were happy to ignore their new King Log. But once again, some of them became dissatisfied. “Jove,” they demanded, “give us a real king, one who does something.” Jove, finding this insulting, became upset and sent down a stork, who lost no time eating its subjects. By the time the frogs apologized, it did no good. They realized that no rule was better than cruel rule.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tough Scrabble Game

All My Books

So I am doing a 30-day trial on a book catalog software called All My Books from Bolide Software. I am wanting something to keep track of both my paper books and my e-books. I especially want it for the books I use for school but it would be nice for my personal books as well. For school I have many living books for history but have no way of knowing what they all are so I can make use of them when we are studying a particular time frame. Using a book catalog would let me know what resources I have available and also allow me to put the books together by category so they are easy to find when I need them.

Here are the features I like about All My Books so far:

All you need to do is enter an ISBN, book title, or author, and it will search for books online that meet that criteria.

When you enter an e-book it not only lists the information on the book but puts a link to the file so you can access the e-book directly from All My Books.

You can group books by category including what series they belong to.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Online Grocery Guide - Free

Just enter your zip code and see what stores it covers in your area:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pork Chop Success

I had pork chops out for dinner last night but couldn't figure out what I was going to fix. So I just threw them into the crock pot with some chicken broth, onion, garlic and basil. Then I remembered I had instant mashed potatoes so made those with some gravy and corn. Added some fresh bread and it was really yummy.

Bean Flour

I was perusing the Budget 101 website yesterday. They have many recipes on how to make convenience foods from scratch. One I found was for refried beans. It involves grinding your beans into flour and then cooking it like cream of wheat. I have never used bean flour before but I will be now - not only for refried beans but for thickener in white sauces and soups. It can also be used in place of up to 1/4 of your flour in bread. The bean flour combined with the wheat flour makes a complete protein. They suggest using white beans for bread as their flavor is mild.

I was a little concerned when I ground the pinto beans in my grain grinder even though the manual said you could. It sounded pretty bad. So I called the company to make sure that it wouldn't hurt the machine. The man said that it was perfectly okay and that the sound was because beans don't have any moisture or oils like grains do.

My little guy liked the refried beans and I had them for lunch on nachos. So I am happy I don't need to purchase them canned anymore AND I have learned a way to make my white sauce more nutritious.

Here is a website I came across for using bean flour.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fun Weekend

A manicure set for the birthday girl!

A wrist watch for the birthday girl!
(And several other gifts.)

And a pony ride for our 4yo.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Two Weeks Down - 34 to Go

We just completed Week 2 of our new school year. Things are settling into a groove finally. I really dislike the first couple weeks of school until we get into a routine and wrap our heads around everything.

The biggest changes for us this year are:

Old Fashioned Education 8th grade for history and literature. Dd is really enjoying the material though. I even found Beacon Lights of History Volumes 1-14 on Ebay for less than $2.50/volume including shipping. The rest of the books I have found online and printed. It was a very good feeling to get a handle on printing the online books. It makes OFE so much more doable.

She is also doing History Odyssey which is new but easy to implement. (And, yes, she does have A LOT of history this year. But she is okay with it so far.)

Classical Writing Workbook for Older Beginners for dd (8th grade) is taking some study to wrap my head around. I do like their approach with working with the selection, then words, sentences, then paragraphs. They also do a weekly writing project.

They Are Off!

The training wheels are officially off!
And dd4 is riding around like a pro!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

All Dressed Up

Looks good in greens just like his Daddy!

Mystery Flower

Can someone please help me identify what type of flower this is?

I received it as a Mother's Day gift and it has just taken off growing. I'd like to know what kind it is so I can get it again.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Day at the Lake

We spent last Sunday afternoon at the lake. The property belongs to a man from church.

Yummy Meatloaf!!!

I made meatloaf again last night. I keep forgetting how yummy it is and that I should make it every week. I use about 1 pound ground beef and 3/4 pound pork sausage and make one loaf instead of two. I also add garlic. I like to serve it with mashed potatoes, gravy, steamed carrots, and rolls. The leftover meatloaf (if there is any) is excellent for sandwiches.

Double Meat Loaf
Quick Cooking Magazine, January/February 2006

1 egg
1 cup beef broth (or bouillon and water)
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 tablespoon dried minced onion (I use regular onion run through the garlic press)
2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes (I never have used this as I don't have it)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 pounds lean ground meat
1 pound bulk pork sausage

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Crumble beef and sausage over mixture; mix well. Pat into two greased 8-in x 4-in x 2-in loaf pans.

Cover and freeze one meat loaf for up to 3 months. Bake the remaining loaf, uncovered, at 350 for 55-60 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160.

To use frozen meat loaf: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bake as directed.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Little School Girl

Most of dd4's math is hands on but once in a while there is a worksheet to do. She prefers to do them outside in the sunshine.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rules Without Relationship

There's not a much warmer feeling than when your children are willing to open up and talk to you about something they are struggling with. But how do we get them to do that? It takes stepping outside of ourselves and building a relationship with them. Relationships with others take time and energy to build and that is no different with our children.

What is the cost if we don't lay aside our selfishness and pursue their good? It's children who chafe against the rules. And we wonder why they aren't just openly embracing all we are trying to teach them. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you open up to someone who doesn't respect you as an individual? Would you accept what that person has to say if he or she won't take the time to get to know you for who YOU are and not just what he or she wants you to be?

I see this happening in so many church families and it breaks my heart. We are failing our children because of our busyness and our selfishness. The Bible says that it is better for a millstone to be hung around our necks and to be cast into the sea than to offend one of His little ones. (Matthew 18:5-6)

Our children are adults-in-training.
They have thoughts and ideas all their own. If we fail to see that, we do them a great disservice. They are not, nor should they be, carbon copies of us. God created them as individuals that we are entrusted to train. Our job is not to MAKE them be Godly. Our job is to lead them to the Cross. How do we do that? We SHOW them how to be Godly. That means loving unconditionally like God loves. That means desiring a relationship with them like God desires with us. Our talk does more harm than good if we aren't going to step outside ourselves and be Jesus in the flesh to them.

Friday, June 13, 2008

One-syllable Word Books

I have been fun finding books to use for history. In that search I came across books written in one-syllable words. I haven't found very many but will definitely be keeping my eyes open for them. They aren't necessarily all words with one-syllable, but if they are longer, they are broken up into syllables for easy reading.

You can find several here.

Friday, June 6, 2008

79 words

Speed test

Special Birthday

I had a really nice birthday yesterday. My oldest 2 girls took extra care to make sure it was special.

Dinner of yummy macaroni and cheese made by dd12.

Dessert of yummy strawberry shortcake made by dd11.
Thanks for the flowers, too!

Thursday, June 5, 2008


My Reader Girl

Check out all my teeth!

Three Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide