Monday, November 25, 2013

A Give Away!!!

A confession:
 I have 6 slow cookers!
 I am thinking of getting another one. ;)

Who doesn't love cooking in one? It is one way a busy family can always have a home cooked meal. Just add up all of the money you spend eating out just because it is convenient.

Go ahead.....I'll wait.

 Now, pick up you chin off of the floor. Yeah, eating out is expensive!

 All you need is a slow cooker and some wonderful recipes. Here is your chance!

 Stacy from Stacy Makes Cents has just released her new cookbook "Keep Crockin' A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook"
Click here to view more details

 Is that not brilliant~ "Poorganic" Love it!

And She has released the following recipe for your enjoyment! Chicken Tikki Masala 
 ( Just click that link and check it out AFTER you enter the give away.)
Enter using the widget below and good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bananas in a Blanket


That banana has BACON wrapped around it!
 Bacon, bacon, everywhere bacon, right?

 Well, I have never heard of such a thing! I was browsing through an old cookbook that we picked up at a flea market.

 Here it is:
The Joy of Cooking.
 An old copy. We bagged it for 5 bucks! On that note, did you know that the original 1931 copy of this book is going for $5000.00 bucks on used books sites? Yeah. I know, right? The edition we have is selling for $250.00 and so that makes it pretty awesome.

 You can get a new copy here: Joy of Cooking

 So, as I was browsing this lovely treasure I found this simple recipe.
I changed it only by using crushed pineapple and not pineapple strips, as called for in the book.  I cut a little well down the length of the banana and spooned the pineapple in it. Then broiled it until the bacon was done.
 Now, was I craving something crazy like this? No. I just couldn't help myself. I mean people are crazy over bacon right now. So just for fun I did it. You know, I could see this being an awesome thing for breakfast. Add some sort of drizzle made out of the leftover pineapple. 

So here is to bringing back a dead blog with bacon. I actually had a friend in mind when I made this. She loves bacon and bananas so I am going to send her a link now. ;) 
Go eat some bacon! And a banana, bananas are good.
  (This post contains an affiliate link.)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Talk About a Shock! (My blog was featured)

Homeschooling for Free

On Sunday, I think it was Sunday, I was just checking my emails and clicked on one that I was sure was just spam.

 It said that my blog was featured on another blog.

Really? Yeah right, what are they trying to get from me?

My blog as been anything but hopping lately. I just haven't had the time. I have lots of things to say, but no time to form them into anything coherent that you would understand. ;)

 Needless to say, when I clicked the link (cautiously) I was overwhelmed.
 I was also encouraged!
 Thank you so much!  I am humbled and happy. It really gives me a reason to get a little organized with my blogging.

 So, without further ado, here is the wonderful post where she list a wealth of wonderful homeschool blogs. Many of which I have been a long time follower and reader.

Go visit the site. I am sure that you will find many blessings on these wonderful blogs. (and truly, I am so shocked to be on this list) Have a blessed day!  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

THM Fuel Pull snack

This is one of my favorite FP snacks.  Very simple and fast

Wasa Light Rye
Laughing Cow
Sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper
Sprinkle of sea salt


Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Very Simple Menu Planner

Here it is. My very simple menu planner. It's so simple I wonder what possessed me to share it. ;) Well, I guess because if I could have found a printable online that was JUST LIKE IT then I would have not even made it. I like having the little square that list what we have to do that day. It helps me a lot. Since I am doing THM (Trim Healthy Mama) I print it two-sided. On the back I write the variation for the family. With THM we do eat mostly the same thing, with the exception of starchy veggies, breads and sweets. I am moving them toward more THM meals and snacks, but I really just needed time to get myself totally adjusted to it before adding the entire family.

This is my grocery list. It is organized aisle by aisle of my local Ingles Market. I do NOT go to the store without this list!

Do you meal plan or just wing it? My family hates it when I try to just wing it! They rejoice when I say that I'm off to the grocery store. I am not kidding, it really makes them happy. They also like to cook. It's really cool!

Here is what it looks like all filled out. I am a mess.... Look at all those colors and notes.

The funny thing is I am very much a techy girl. I love my iPhone and iPad, but I have yet to be able to do my meal planning on the digital gadgets. There is something about pen and paper that helps me think. (I need all the help I can get)
Linking up with Trim Healthy Tuesdays

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Banish that sink of Dirty Dishes

Oh really, in be gone....forever? Well, one can have high dreams and aspirations!
Are you ready?


Just kidding.  ;)

Seriously, we have tried paper products. With 6 of us eating 3 meals a day, plus snacks, that gets a little expensive. Not to mention the trees, if you are into that sort of thing.

 A little note about the author of this little blog. I am a child of 1969, a teen of the 1980's. Chores for me back in the day was a small list that my mother would leave out on Saturday morning. When I would stumble out of bed, say around noon, I would have to complete the task in order to be set free to "cruise town" that night. Aside from that, I did not help with the housework. I don't blame her for this. She was raised poor and worked hard. She tells me of working in the cotton fields, starching pants and rolling them up and putting them in the fridge ???? keeping house with 5 brothers and sister. I guess she just wanted it easier for me.

 I did not even wash clothes until around the age of 21.

I lived at home.

 I grumbled about not having something, some item of clothing, clean and in my room.....ha ha.....
What I got was a hamper in my room and laundry duty.

 I disliked it so bad that I would pay my mother to clean my room and my laundry.

 I married at 22.
 Poor fella.

It has taken me decades to learn things that most of you knew at 12.
This little lesson, banishing dirty dishes, came quiet unexpectedly. You see, I love organizing and neat little things for the house and kitchen.

As I was pondering the every-flowing stream of dirty dishes and nasty sinks AND countertop space, I clicked over to Amazon.

 Yes, I get everything from Amazon.
 Let's just get that out of the way.
 I love Amazon and the UPS truck. My hubby is okay with this.

 So, I think and ponder. I really hated that huge, 20 year-old dish drainer that took up a massive amount of space on the counter. What I got in mind was something for the sink. Something that could be cleaned easily. Something just plain neat.

Progressive International Collapsible Over the Sink Dish Drainer  

Now, you know how Amazon is. Prices change with the wind. I paid 19.99 for this, and it was on Prime.

20 Bucks well spent.

So, how does this end the dirty dishes parade? I knew you would ask.

First, my kids love cool stuff as much as I do. The two oldest also love a clean house. (we are working on the little ones)

Get a little scrubber, like the one in the picture. It is the bomb!

This is the wheel that makes it all go around.....

As you use a dish, as your kids use a dish....and even your hubby (If he is as good natured as mine) you quickly swish it out and plop it into the drainer. When dry, put it away.

I must be such a dork. I know there are those of you laughing that it took me 20 years to figure this out.

What it has saved, besides my sanity, is the amount of loads we run in the dishwasher. We have gone from running 2 loads a day to running it once in the last 3 days. 

It's the simple things in life that butter my bread.

Have a wonderful day of home-making. Kiss those babies and smile!

Linking up here:


Photobucket    Jesse Wilcox Smith~ On His Knee

This post contains an affiliate link. I don't make a killing a matter of fact I haven't even earned enough for a payout yet...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

When Failure Isn't an Option

This is a hard post for me.

 If you know me IRL (in real life) then you know that my iPhone is always nearby. The iPad isn't far behind. We have too many PC's and they are always on. 

I remember a time when going online meant dragging the phone cord across the room and connecting it and waiting for the crazy sounds of dial-up internet.

Some days I wish it was like that again.

Is the internet and smart phones a bad thing? No way! I love them and as a homeschool mama, this mama at least, I could not do it without them. Do I wish I had never heard of facebook? Yep. A lot. That is a whole other blog post. Speaking of blog....mine was much better before social media.

Anyway, what has all of this got to do with failure? For me, a whole lot. I spend waste a lot of time. Why, because it is easier than high-school math. Easier than housework. More enjoyable than laundry and dishes. I have been way down on myself for months because I know that I run away through my gadgets, yet I still do it. My oldest is almost 18, my baby is almost 5. Time marches on. I don't like how I spend a lot of mine. 

So, I bought this little ebook  The Unwired Mom. 
I bought it when it was first released. I DID NOT read it.....wonder why?

Yesterday I read about the challenge and I knew that I had to do it.  Our school will be getting into full swing. My oldest will be a senior.....I feel the tick of the clock. I want more time. This is how I will get it!  The Unwired Mom Two Week Challenge. 

I love technology but I have known no boundaries and I have led my oldest daughter into this pit as well. I am not going to bug her about it. I am going to try to set a healthy example.

I am just jumping right in. I printed my ebook so I would not need the iPad to access the challenge. Would you like to join in?  There is a link-up to do just that. Misery loves company.....just kidding. I expect this to be a very freeing experience!

 Considering what is at stake, precious family time, failure is not an option. Besides, I have a complete collection of awesome Lamplighter books that I bought intending on reading aloud to the kiddos.

 Blessings to you! If you feel so inclined, leave a note of encouragement. I will check them during my allotted computer time. :)


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fuel Cycle Week 1- My Food Journals

Okay, so I get behind on blogging, especially if I try to do it every day. I don't want to leave you hanging on my 1st Fuel Cycle. So, to do this the fastest way I am going to put a copy of my food journal here for each day. At the end of the first 6 days I was down 5 pounds. This is huge for me, especially considering that I have been doing THM for 3 months and not lost anything. (I bounced the same 5 pounds up and down)
 AS MANY HAVE REPORTED ( I am screaming at you because if you are affected by the number on the scale its real important you get this) THE LAST DAY OF FUEL CYCLE WEEK ONE I WAS UP 1 POUND. I DID NOTHING WRONG. IT WAS GONE THE NEXT DAY.  Got that? Don't freak out if it happens to you. Just trust and keep on keeping on.

You can see the other entires here: Fuel Cycle Day 1 , Day 2, and Day 3

Here we go:

Fuel Cycle Day 4 Fuel Pull
 Fuel Pull Day 2
 E day 1
 E day 1

I hope this helps someone. I know, I can eat some strange things....but, I am happy to report that I stayed on plan. Even when I found myself starving at McDonalds....YUCK!


Trim Healthy Peachy Dream~ E

I have stumbled on amazing! During my Fuel Cycle E days I realized that I was still very afraid of E meals, and basically I wasn't doing them correctly, my E was more of a FP. So.....being a Georgia girl, peaches are everywhere. On a whim I picked some up and really didn't have any plans for them. I am amazed at how good this is! My kids loved this drink! It tastes just like a milk shake. No kidding!
For this dreamy treat: (Makes 2 Servings)
 1 Cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk
 1/2 C of 1% Cottage Cheese (If you want to drink the whole batch :) use fat free cottage cheese)
 1/2 Tsp Glucomannan
 1 Tsp vanilla extract
 1 fresh peach,peeled & cut up 
1 Scoop whey powder
 6 Tsp Truvia A little dash of Nunaturals or Kal stevia extract

 Blend it all up!  Pour 1/2 if the recipe into a lovely glass and put a little fat free Rediwhip. Ah, It's a good day! 
UPDATE!!! ICE! I FORGOT TO TELL YOU ABOUT THE ICE! PUT SOME ICE IN THE BLENDER TOO! :))) It really makes it fantastic and more like a milk shake!! *sorry*
Linking up with Trim Healthy Tuesday at Stacy Makes Cents and Gwen's Nest.
What is all of this "Trim Healthy Mama" stuff...go here:THM Home Page

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fuel Cycle Day 3- Deep S

This was my intake for day 3 of my fuel cycle. Now, I know that THM is not about counting. However, I have not been able to lose weight, and I do not trust myself to not journal my food.
Hopefully one day I will, but not right now. The Deep S days have been fairly easy for me, as I expected. The cabbage that I had was wonderful! I made it like this: 1 Head of Cabbage, chopped into thin strips 1 Box of pre-cooked bacon ( I know, but I was in a hurry) Good shake of Onion powder and garlic powder EVOO, just pour some on...this is Deep S day. about a cup of water Sea salt and pepper Add whatever spices you like. Cook in a skillet, covered until the cabbage is tender. Delish

This was lunch:

Now, on to my Fuel Pull days. Gonna miss that cream and skinny chocolate! :) Gonna love seeing the pounds come off!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fuel Cycle-Day 2

Day two of my Trim Healthy Mama fuel cycle is almost over, and it was a good day. We went to the next town over and picked up some goodies that I can't get locally. Wild caught salmon, being one, and it was so good! I also found coconut flour for the first time, and I plan on making the Special Occasion cake when I am off this fuel cycle.

My meals for the day were:

B/f- 1 C unsweetened almond milk, 2 TBS coconut oil, 1 scoop Swanson's whey and a little ice. Blended it all up. Very good and filling

L- Baked chicken with EVOO and butter with broccoli and cauliflower and various herbs and seasoning.

Snack- skinny chocolate

Coffee- an Americano with 2 TBS heavy cream and stevia

Dinner- pictured above.

We found Zevia! It's a stevia sweetened, zero calorie soda. We tried the black cherry and my kids loved it. We don't do sodas at all here, but this new find will work for a treat!

Did I me mention that I bought a kettle bell yesterday? It's of the devil, and tonight there is a muscle I didn't know I had that will testify to that fact! :)

Oddly, I think I like the structure of the fuel cycle as opposed to free-styling.

Also, isn't it cool that when you have a question the author of the book will answer you?? I mean, how many times have you got a personal answer from the lady that started Weight Watchers? Trust me, I didn't and I gave them a ton of money!

One more thing. About yesterday. I happen to log my food in a journal. I had a caloric intake of right at 2000 kcals. It kind of freaked me out, but I know the fuel pull days are coming and they are low calorie. I am hopeful that the calorie zig-zag will jolt my metabolism!

Read Day 1 ( Deep S) here.

That's all for now. Have a blessed night!
Linking up at: Trim Healthy Tuesdays

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama! The Fuel Cycle

So, to say that I have a stubborn body is an understatement. I have been doing THM for about 3 months now and aside from an initial 6 pound loss, I have been at a stall. Actually, I bounce up and down. Just when I think I am on a downward streak, up it goes. *sigh* They say, over on the THM facebook page, that if you come from a very restrictive diet then your body may need time to adjust. I came in from the 17 Day diet, and that first cycle is VERY restrictive. That is my little explanation for beginning a fuel cycle. Today, a Deep S day, has been rather easy. It's those fuel pull and E days that I am most worried about. I will keep you posted and let you know how it all goes!

Just in case you are wondering......

Todays meals:
Breakfast: 3 Eggs scrambled in butter with 2 turkey sausage patties.
Lunch: A Double Chicken chopped salad from Subway with oil and vinegar and all veggies, light on the tomato. 
Snack: Skinny Chocolate....oh yeah!
Dinner: Baked chicken breast with broccoli.
Coffee: I had two cups of coffee and had 1 TBS of cream in each cup.
Very full and satisfied. Like I said, I can do S meals pretty good!

  Give me some encouragement! I need it!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Homeschooling~ Summer Style

Add caption

Hello! Long time, no post. How in the world is it June already?

As it goes, June comes and the question we get most often is, "Are you finished with school yet?" People just generally assume that we follow the same schedule as the local public school. Are you kidding? What would be the fun in that? I may be getting a little mellow in my older age, but I am very much a free-spirit still, and just the very thought of having to follow a rigid schedule make me get the hives....not really, but you get the point.

In my day, "summer school" was a dreaded time for many of my peers. But for us homeschooling people it has a totally different meaning. So, the answer is, no, we are not finished just yet. (Cue the strange look and questioning gaze) I try not to go into the whole spill about "learning happens all the time." That is just kind of foreign to the people who are only familiar with a traditional school. But you homeschoolers, you all know better, and I know you understand.

Freedom, yes glorious freedom, to school when we wish and break when we wish. Fabulous. So what does that look like here? For us, it is just too hot here in Georgia to spend our summer days unoccupied. The kids get bored and either want to be wet (in the pool) or inside. We want to be outdoors in the beautiful spring and wonderful autumn. We also like some flexibility at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The most time we will take off at once will be about 3 three weeks in July. School here is living life. When we need a break, we take one. When we need to school, we do it.

We are still plugging away at math and history while throwing in some fun field trips and little getaways to the lake. We will finish our lessons that are planned around August and then start our new materials in September. As usual, I will be tweaking our curriculum choices. I will use My Father's World as my core with some changes here and there.

How do you school?


Saturday, March 2, 2013

What I learn by teaching them.

There are days when I am sure that I am learning much more than I help them to learn.
Days when everything I do presents me with a huge mirror to see my true reflection.

It's not pretty....

I have no patience. I have known this for years. It has gotten better with time...but still....

I expect to say it once,  and have it!  Isn't that horrible and intimidating?
She was trying so hard....  :)

It is crazy, is what it is, because I have lived this once. Growing up my dad would often be the one to teach me things like:

 To ride a bike.....put me on a hill and push....instant bike riding.

 To learn to swim....well, throw me in the deep end and boom.....swimming.

 Learning to count money was horrible.  It involved a monopoly game and once you messed up all of it was thrown into a pile, and you start over, and he was disgusted when I didn't catch on right away....

Telling time, I remember that day and that clock.

I wont even talk about learning my multiplication tables.....numbers are just not my thing. :)

 The horrible part was knowing how much I disappointed him by not getting it. I could just feel it. It made me nervous, and that resulted in it being even harder to think. I rode the bike, but I still count multiplication tables on my fingers. His impatience and anger didn't help.

 I wont go on...
 I think you get the picture.

What I  have learned and what I would like to put into words is this: children learn best when you are slow to anger, kind, soft spoken and PATIENT. This is not a new revelation but
                                                                   This. Is. Hard. 
 Not because I do not love them, but because in an instant,  I am acting like the man with the monopoly game. And I assure you, if anyone else acted that way with my babies I would instantly end that situation.
I easily remember how stupid I would feel. It must of been my fault, right?

No, is wasn't, and it is not their fault when math is hard and piano lessons are hard.

Do you know what makes it easier?

A calm adult who is GENTLE in correction. Encouraging with her words. Long-suffering when those notes just sound like a bad dream.
See that smile.....

She had a hard new song.

It looked intimidating to her and all week she just avoided that page. Thankfully, I had the clarity of mind to not become impatient and we sat there and went measure by measure, clef by clef, and in 15 minutes she had played the entire song.

The heavens opened up, and I had a huge feeling of doing it right! A little grace fell on me, while I gave grace to her.

Man, that was so easy. And pleasant, it had never really been that pleasant. It was pure joy. Seeing her blossom under kindness and praise.

Why must learning these lessons take so long? To undo all of those times when I loaded their heart with my disapproving, impatient glare.

I apologized, and I apologize daily. I let them see that I am not perfect. Far, far from it.

I can remember, when my husband and I were just dating, he would say, "You are so hard on yourself, if I show you something and you don't master it the first time, you are just brutal on's okay if you don't understand....I will show you again."  (He was teaching me to put tack on the horses, btw).  I can remember how his words felt, so freeing, and the tension left. My mind cleared, and I could think better. I have thought of that day often.

As homeschool moms we are asked to bear a lot. The days get long and tedious sometimes. But lets remember why we are in this way. This is not a horse getting its saddle put on. It is my dear ones who are being molded by how I treat them. I can blog that gentleness is the way....but if I don't live it out then I am a hypocrite. If I can go to church and be kind and nice to all of those people who I see a few hours a week then doesn't my family deserve the same, if not better, treatment? Does my life bear out my confession? Do I look like Christ when I am speaking to them and teaching them?  Not always, but as long as I live I can try....

Make today the day you give grace.

Our Simple Country Life

Friday, March 1, 2013

March Reading

Please tell me I'm not the only person who reads more than one book at a time. {This doesn't include the ebooks on my iPad}


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 22, 2013

Love is spelled T.I.M.E

She left the comment on my Facebook picture. This picture:
 It said, "Love is spelled T.I.M.E"
It was profound to me. It spoke to where I have been lately.

Two young ladies, mature young ladies, they were having fun. They were including the little girls (can't find my pic of them all) and wondering how in the world we got our hair so big in the 80's. My honey told them they looked good, but that "Momma could do the big hair, back in the day, she did it the best." :) (The kids think its funny when he refers to me as Momma and I call him Daddy...who would have ever thought...)

We were making TIME for the kids to spend together because life is getting so busy, and there are so many happy things coming up, but that will also mean that we don't get to spend much time together. My friend and I sat and talked about the passing of time. How the girls have grown so fast. How we thanked God for more little ones because by the time you come to know how fast children grow, well, they are grown. We talked about homeschooling and how much of a blessing it is. How we never thought it would be what it is. About how losing that idea of "school at home" was the greatest gift and how we still, after all of these years, felt like we could still improve some things. You see, though, while you are planning and reading and learning all of these wonderful philosophies that you want to incorporate into your home, children are growing. There is no pause or rewind. Time is unrelenting sometimes and this momma wants to scream and make it stop so I can get it all together then press the "go" button when I am good and ready.  I want my vision in my head to be our reality, but there was no time to learn this before the children came.

This has been a learn as you go way.
Only one go at it.
Make the most of it!

No one told me that I would have Charlotte Mason dreams. No one told me that I would desire to cook three meals a day, teach phonics for years, clean up what will become a mess again tomorrow, learn hard-for-me math right along with my kids.

Everyone dreams glamorous dreams..... Then I come to see that this life is my glamorous life. What could be more glamorous then shaping souls and being adored by your children and loved unconditionally by the man who you fell in love while he was still  a boy?

So, you come to see the battle against time. How do you use that time? Do you win hearts or become a slave to educational and cultural ideas that are all failing? You only have so many days before that little baby is an adult and you have to let go. I know, moms of toddlers, it seems never ending, but it's not.  I guess what has brought this all so heavy on me is that my oldest is on the brink of 18. It has freaked me out. Period. She is fine. She wants to stay here and study more. She loves home. She has never said, " I am outta here as soon as I hit 18."  My husband tells me all of the time, when I feel so unlovable,  "You just don't see how your kids adore you. They love and care for you more than anything I've ever seen." Why can't I see that? I am working hard at living life from that truth instead of the lie that says I have messed up. 

So here is a little note to myself:
When the little one interrupts cooking with "Mom! Look!"  Melanie, look, smile and praise them.

When the young man want to show you what is fascinating him, be it gross, Melanie, look, listen, get excited with him.

When the 17 year old begs you to read The Scarlet Letter with her so that you can talk about it. Melanie, read it.....that is what those books you are reading now are trying to tell you anyway.... be with her, now!
When the little ones have drug out every dress-up dress and have red lipstick everywhere, take pictures and hug them, kiss them. Dance around like a princess with them.

When it is night time, Melanie, please, take the time to speak gently with them all instead of declaring how it is late and you are tired and to GO TO SLEEP!

Time is moving so fast. It wasn't long ago that Jessie was Janie's age and oh how I didn't know anything about how time can rob you. Like my favorite book, One Thousand Gifts, says:

“When I fully enter time’s swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here.” 

And she also writes this: “Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing.... Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.”  -Ann Voskamp

My goal is to teach them well through the gate of their heart. If I give them all knowledge and lose their heart. I have failed.

Capturing those hearts take TIME.

Be in the moment today, with gratitude, you will never get today back. How will they remember this day?


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