Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 Random Facts

1. I was an only child until I was 19.
2. I moved around a lot, went to 8 different schools.
3. I watch way too much tv, especially reality tv.
4. My favorite movie is Sixteen Candles. Can you believe Molly Ringwald is on TV every week now?
5. I wanted to grow up to be a career woman, and wear high heels and power suits and carry a briefcase.
6. Instead, I stay at home, homeschool my kids, cook dinner every night and knit dish rags. What the......?
7. I have a fabulous husband who works hard everyday so I can be home and he never complains about it.
8. One of my favorite possessions is my label maker.
9. Another is my Ugg slippers. I live in them.
10. My closet is arranged by color.
11. My bathroom is *never clean, no matter how hard I try. Did I mention I have three boys? Mothers, heed my warning.................teach them to aim when they are young!
12. I am addicted to blogging.
13. I graduated from OSU with a BS in Sociolgy, emphasizing in deviant behavior.
14. One of my college roomates was Benny the Beaver.
15. I worked at a KOA campground.
16. The first car I bought myself was a 1991 Red Jeep Wrangler. I loved it.
17. I have never been to Las Vegas or Hawaii. Sometimes it feels like I'm the only one.
18. My favorite place to eat is Red Robin. Unlimited fries and diet pepsi . What more could you ask for?
19. I just ordered a new bedding set and my husband is thrilled because it doesn't have pink flowers. It is a nice manly brown.
20. I don't have a single plant in my house. I kill everything.
21. I skipped the fifth grade.
22. I taught myself to knit from a book.
23. I've just started liking country music. I NEVER thought I would say that.
24. I order my pizza without sauce.
25. I alphabetize everything. My spices, movies, cd's.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Laundry Schedule

I have a laundry schedule.

Every person in our family has an assigned laundry day. Each family member has a laundry basket in their room. They keep all their dirties in there. On their scheduled laundry day, I remind them to bring the basket out to the laundry room. I wash and dry their clothes (and if I'm feeling especially energetic, I'll even fold them). Then I return the basket full of clean clothes to them and they put them away. After I've done the scheduled laundry, I throw in whatever else needs done (towels, sheets, rugs, wrestling gear, etc). Now, here is the payoff of my laundry room is closed on Sunday. CLOSED. What better motivator to keep myself on "schedule" than being able to take a whole day off! That's what works for me.

Check out other great tips at Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Something in the Air

Do you know what this is?

It is a barometer! We are continuing our study of the atmosphere by taking a look at atmospheric pressure, and by attempting to measure it as it changes in our house. Who thinks I can keep this experiment in the kitchen all week without knocking it over???

Monday, January 26, 2009

Menu Plan for Jan 26- 31


Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch: Macaroni 'n' Cheese, corn
Dinner: Smothered Pork Chops, Rice Pilaf


Breakfast: Pancakes
Lunch: Chicken Nuggets, Corn
Dinner: Bee rocks


Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Grilled Cheese, Cream of Chicken Soup
Dinner: Massaman Curry


Breakfast: English Muffin with Peanut Butter
Lunch: Leftovers


Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs
Lunch: Sandwiches


Breakfast: Pancakes

Be sure to visit orgjunkie for hundreds of other menu plans.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dee-Licious Soup

It is a chilly, winter day outside and we are having soup for dinner tonight. This soup was named by BJ when he was only 3 or 4 years old. It was adapted from a Love Soup in a jar we made for gifts one year. It only takes about an hour to make this soup. Very simple. I make it without meat, but of course you could add some if you like.

1/4 cup beef bouillon granules
1/4 cup dried minced onion
1/2 cup dried split peas
1/4 cup barley
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/4 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup uncooked tri-color spiral pasta

In large kettle, Add all ingredients except pasta to 12 cups water. Let come to a boil and simmer 45 minutes. Add tricolor pasta and simmer 15 minutes more. Serve with your favorite bread or rolls and a tossed salad.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Puffy Pancakes

This "Puffy Pancake" is one of my kids' favorite breakfasts. The single recipe can be made in a glass pie dish but I usually double it and make it in my Pampered Chef Stoneware. When it comes out of the oven, we just slice it up and sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top. Yumm. Here is the single recipe which will serve 2-3.

1/2 cup flour
2 T sugar
dash salt
1/2 c milk
2 eggs
2 T butter

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, milk, and eggs. Beat with wire whisk until smooth. Place butter in 9" pie pan and heat in oven until butter sizzles, 2-4 minutes. Remove from oven and tilt to coat bottom of pan with butter. Immediately pour batter into hot coated pan. Bake at 425 for 14-18 minutes, until pancake is puffed and golden. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Up High in the Sky

We began a new unit in science this week, studying the

Coolest fact About...................
The troposphere: It produces our weather.
The stratosphere:It is dust free and cloud free.
The mesosphere: The winds are very strong.
The thermosphere: Meteoroids get vaporized!!

Things Kids Say

"I hate it when you are carrying something around and it is really dumb and boring, so you just stick it in your pocket. Then later, you feel something in your pocket and you get all excited because you think it is going to be something really cool. Then it turns out to be that dumb old boring thing you put in your pocket. Like, today I felt in my pocket, and I thought, Cool! A sucker! It was just this dumb old flashlight I put in there. Boring." ~ Z (age 8)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blog Search

I stumbled upon something new last week and I am loving it. I'm sure most of the world is already aware of it, but on the off chance there is someone as behind the times as me, I wanted to share.

Blog Search is a Google search focused on blogs. It is a great way to search for blogs and blog posts that share your interests. It allows you to search on whatever topic or subject you can think of.

Try It!

Be sure to check out all the other tips at Rocks In My Dryer.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Look What I Made

At Christmas, my grandma gave me a hand knitted round dishcloth. I fell in LOVE with it. I sent her an email asking if she'd give me the pattern. A few days later, a package arrived in the mail containing the pattern, a set of circular needles, and a sample of the yarn. My grandma rocks. Now would probably be a good time to mention that I just taught myself to knit (from a book) last year. So, after looking up some of the abbreviations in the pattern and watching some online videos, I set out to make my own dishcloth. I started it on Sunday night and finished it this afternoon. Isn't it cute?? and look how well it drapes in the middle of the sink!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Menu Plan for Jan 19-24


Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch: Hot Dogs, Peaches

Lasagna, Salad

Breakfast: Pancakes

Lunch: Chicken Nuggets, Corn

Dinner: Potato Soup, Salad, Bread

Breakfast: Cereal

Lunch: Grilled Cheese, Tomato Soup

Hawaiian Chicken, Rice, Egg Rolls

Breakfast: English Muffin with Peanut Butter

Bean and Cheese Burritos
Taco Salad

Scrambled Eggs
Lunch: Sandwiches

Dinner: Burgers "n" Fries



Be sure to visit orgjunkie for hundreds of other menu plans.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Coop de Coop's Potato Soup

3- 14 oz cans chicken broth
5 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cubed
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
garlic powder
dehydrated onion
ground black pepper
green onions (optional)
sour cream (optional)

Pour chicken broth in large pot. Bring to a boil. Add potatoes and seasonings, simmer until potatoes are tender. I use an immersion blender to puree the soup to the desired consistency. You can make it as chunky or smooth as you like. My family prefers to find bites of potato. If you don't have an immersion blender, you could use a blender as well. Once soup is desired consistency, stir in cheese until melted and add bacon. If you top with green onion and sour cream, it tastes like a baked potato. I serve this with a nice crusty bread and a green salad.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Coop de Coop's Egg Rolls

I don't know if these meet the actual specifications of an egg roll, but that is what we call them.
1 package large egg roll wrappers
1 bag coleslaw mix
1 can sliced water chestnuts, chopped
green onions, sliced
1 /2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. ginger
1 T sesame oil
1/4 c soy sauce

vegetable oil for frying

The measurements are guesses. I just pour it all in a bowl and mix it up. You can add any veggies you like to the filling. Then scoop some filling into the middle of an egg roll wrapper. Roll them up, being sure to tuck the ends in. Use a little water on the edge to seal them up. Fry in oil, turning once, until golden brown and crispy. I serve with a sweet and sour dipping sauce.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Easily Distracted

Z got out the plastic tangrams in order to solve a math problem during school this AM. I watched him work through the problem until it was solved and then turned my attention to someone else. After a while, I realized he was no longer at the table and went to find him. This is what I found...............................

BJ and Z had built this set of "bowling pins" at the end of the hallway. By the way, the guy in front is "Mr. Greenleg" . He is eco-friendly.

They then took a plate, launched it like frisbee and

knocked them all down. They laughed. A lot. I don't get it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shopping List

I don't like to run out of things.

I only go grocery shopping once a week. I refuse to go more than that.

In order to keep our house fully supplied AND not make frequent trips to the store, I keep this notepad on the refrigerator.

I have my family trained to write something down on the list whenever they use something up. I keep extras of the basics in the pantry or linen closet. So, when they go to get a new ketchup out of the pantry or bottle of shampoo out of the closet, they head directly to the list . As in straight to the list. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Then when I do my weekly shopping I pick up the items on the list. Even the younger ones are able to copy from the label in order to add an item to the list. They can also add things to the list like socks, underwear, toothbrush, etc.

Be sure to check out all the other tips at Rocks In My Dryer.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Brown Rice and Lentils

I had planned to try a new recipe for dinner tonight, a lentil brown rice casserole. Well, I was having so much fun playing with my new blog, that I didn't notice that the dish required 1 3/4 hour cooking time. So, I went into the kitchen to start dinner about an hour before it was due on the table, and promptly realized it wouldn't actually be on the table until nearly 8 PM. (oops!) I had hungry boys due back from wrestling practice and it would not be pretty if they were greeted with "Dinner should be ready in an hour or so". With some scrambling, some improvising, and a bunch of math to figure out liquid amounts and cooking time (don't worry I had my 12 yro check my math), I came up with this recipe. It was sooooo good. I should mention that when I served it up, everyone thought it was oatmeal. It does not have a real pleasing appearance, but it was yummy. Next time I need to make more, there was barely enough left over for hubby's lunch tomorrow. Try it!

2 cans chicken broth (about 3 1/2 cups liquid)
1 c brown rice
1/2 c lentils
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dehydrated onion
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 c grated cheddar cheese

Combine broth, lentils, brown rice, lemon juice and seasonings in pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir in cheese.

*Note: I added the lemon juice because my friend, Jenny, says it is the *only way to eat lentils.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Shape Poem

Some poets arrange the words into shapes. The shape may help the reader see what the poem is about. Here is Z's shape poem.


with bright

white stripes goes

high when you fly it in the

sky red string controls

Its flight



Wrestling Photos

Z competing at a dual meet.

Sense Poem

One of the best ways to describe something is to tell how it affects each of the five senses. Here is BJ's sense poem on bacon. Yes, I said bacon. It is a real obsession in our house.


You can feel the warmth of the bacon

You can smell the grease

You can hear the grease popping

You can see the rectangular meat

You taste the smoked flavor

Menu Plan for Jan 12-17

Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch: Hot Dogs, Peaches

Dinner: Tortellini Soup, Salad, Bread


Breakfast: Pancakes

Lunch: Chicken Nuggets, Corn

Dinner: Oven Baked Chicken, Lentil Casserole

Breakfast: Cereal

Lunch: Grilled Cheese, Cream of Chicken Soup

Dinner: Burritos


Breakfast: English Muffin with Peanut Butter

Lunch: Leftover Burritos

Dinner: Skateworld Snack Bar


Scrambled Eggs
Lunch: Sandwiches

Dinner: Date Night
here or here

@ Wrestling Tournament
Dinner: BLT's ,
Tator Tots, Baked Beans

Be sure to visit orgjunkie for hundreds of other menu plans.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Iced Down

"By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen" ~Job 37:10

Objective: To simulate the movement of glaciers and observe the debris they can leave behind

First we made two glaciers. One made of solid ice, the other half debris, half ice. We set them up on an incline and observed.

This is what was left behind.
(along with the puddle of water all over the
counter and the floor)

After observing what was left behind by our tiny glacier, and reading how the combination of rocks, dirt, ice, and water along the path erodes the land, the kids were able to imagine the damage a massive glacier could do.

Heather's Hawaiian Chicken

Here is a super simple, family pleasing meal that I got from my friend Heather. You can just dump the frozen chicken breasts or tenders straight from the bag into the baking dish. The ingredients cook up into a yummy sauce so it serves great over rice or noodles. The first time I made the recipe there was too much sauce for my family so I scaled it back a bit. I also omitted the cheese. I'm posting both versions, decide which you like best.

Heather's Original Recipe

chicken breasts
1 can sliced pineapple rings (reserve juice)
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c flour
1/2 c soy sauce
1/2 c pineapple juice
grated cheese

Put chx in a baking pan and cover with mixture of brown sugar and flour. Pour soy sauce mixed with pineapple juice (from a can of sliced pineapple rings) over the top. Put the rings of pineapple on top of THAT. Cover with grated cheese. Bake one hour at 350.

My Revised Version

1 pkg frozen chicken tenders
1/2 can pineapple chunks
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c pineapple juice
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c flour

Put chx in a baking pan and cover with mixture of brown sugar and flour. Pour soy sauce mixed with pineapple juice (from a can of pineapple chunks) over the top. Put the pineapple on top of THAT. Bake one hour at 350.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Leap of Faith

B and I have decided, based on the leading of God, to let our oldest son return to public school. I started getting nudges from God last summer, but I refused to listen. I stuck my fingers in my ears and sang "la,la,la" at the top of my lungs. Even when I did hear him, I thought I must have misunderstood. Why on earth would he want me to do that? I've been struggling with this for months. Reluctantly, I brought it up to B. Now B was able to come up with some good reasons why he thought returning was a good idea. I still, have come up with none, other than God told me when to pull him out and he has told me to send him back. I have to believe there is a great purpose for M to serve.

So, Today, with much fear and trepidation, I walked my baby into the office and said "We'd like to enroll". At that very moment, I felt God's arms around me in a warm and re-assuring embrace. We were greeted in the most friendly and positive way. Nobody grilled me about why he was coming back . We were made to feel welcome.

You're calling me to lay aside the worries of my day

To quiet down my busy mind and find a hiding place

Worthy, Worthy

I open up my heart and let my spirit worship Yours

I open up my mouth and let a song of praise come forth

Worthy, You are worthy

Of a child-like faith

And of my honest praise

And of my unashamed love

Of a holy life

And of my sacrifice

And of my unashamed love

Artist: Ten Shekel Shirt

Title: Unashamed Love