Monday, July 25, 2016

Menu Monday!


This last week was another busy week with no time to blog. This coming week is looking busy as well. My daughter Leanne is coming home from S. Korea for a visit. It will be a short visit but we are all excited as she has not been home in a year. I'm planning a few meals that are her favorites. On Friday my daughter Emily & her hubby will be coming up from California to see Leanne and the family. We have a big family bbq planned over the weekend. So lots for me to do before the family starts rolling on in.

Today is grocery shopping day. I need to get stocked up on a few things. So tonight's dinner will be a hamburger, rice, salsa, cheese casserole. It is one of my hubby's favorites. The only twist to it will be that I plan to try it out in the Instant Pot. I also plan on making a double batch for Tuesday's dinner too. I'll serve green beans (from my garden :), chips and salsa along side it.

The rest of the week is looking like this..

Pulled Pork Sandwiches
This will be another IP meal that we will have the day my daughter gets here. I serve it on hamburger buns with coleslaw and add chips on the side.

For the night my daughter Emily & hubby arrive I'm tentatively planning pizza. However she often likes to cook us some yummy Asian food when she comes for a visit. We will see how she is feeling and if she is up to it. If not, then pizza it is!

Burgers & Brats
Family bbq night will be burgers and brats along with all the typical bbq sides. I'm planning on adding potato salad, summer fruits, chips & dip and whatever else may suit my fancy.

Tacos are on standby if we need some more food for the week. Otherwise it will go on next week's menu.

I think that should do it! How's your menu planning coming along?


Monday, July 18, 2016

Menu Monday!

Hard to believe we are in the second half of July already! That is what happens when you are busy, time just flies on by. :) This last week was a busy fun week with hubby's birthday and having friends from California visiting us.

This week, if the weather cooperates I need to get in my garden and do some weeding. Thanks to the rain we've had off and on the weeds have started growing like crazy.

This week's menu looks to be pretty basic. I'll be making some orange chicken (from Costco), egg rolls and rice for dinner tonight.

The rest of the week is looking like this...

Cabbage & Sausage
I'll do this in my Instant Pot. I will be using some Jimmy Dean sausage that I have in the fridge and need to use up plus a cabbage from my garden. I plan on adding onion and garlic and cooking it up for 4 to 5 minutes. I'll serve this with some fresh summer fruit and dinner rolls.

Summer Pasta
This is a one pot meal that I've made several times. Toss chicken, veggies and pasta in to a boiling pot of water/chicken broth and cook for a few minutes, drain it, add salt to taste and you are done. Goes great with fruit or a veggie platter and some french bread. I may give this recipe a try in my Instant Pot.

Pretty basic :) You can find my recipe HERE. I'll serve it with french bread and a salad. That should do it for the week!

Happy menu planning!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Instant Pot Cheesecake

I made this cheesecake a couple weeks ago. But it's been a busy couple weeks with so much going on that it is just now I have a few moments to sit and share this with you.

This was so good and so easy to make. I was shocked to see how simple a cheesecake can be. There is one thing you need to know. You will need a 7” springform pan for this. I have 2 cheesecake pans, a 10” and an 8”.. just figures. The 8” will not fit in the Instant Pot. So I found one on Amazon and ordered it. Worked perfect.

This cheesecake is an Oreo Cookie cheesecake.. I currently am planning on making a salted caramel one.. as soon as the busyness settles down.

The recipe can be found here:

I gathered together all my ingredients...

Ran the cookies through my food processor to grind them up for the crust and prepared the pan. You need to put foil on the bottom and spray the pan with non stick spray. I've been using a coconut oil spray for a while and really like it. No silicone in the ingredients! :)

Pressed the cookies into the pan and put it in the freezer while I mixed up the cheesecake ingredients...

Poured it into the pan...

I put the trivet into the bottom of the IP … and then made a “sling” with tinfoil to lower the pan into the Instant Pot.

Pressure cook for 40 minutes...

Pull it out and let it cool...

Refrigerate for a few hours to get cold and firm up and enjoy a delicious dessert!!

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Menu Monday!

It's been a strange summer so far. A few hot days then cool days, finally it started warming up only to currently be much cooler. I like the idea of planning summer meals but have to wonder if a pot of soup or chili would be better instead! I for one am trying to be patient and hope for a warm up soon. :)

Tonight I am making meatball sub sandwiches. I'll add a salad and potato chips on the side. I have a few errands to run today so I'll put my premade meatballs and spaghetti sauce in the crockpot before I leave. It will be ready when I get home for a quick to serve dinner.

The rest of the week looks like this...

BBQ Steak
My hubby's birthday is this week. I have some steaks in the freezer and we will bbq those to celebrate. Some super good garlic bread from Costco and roasted veggies will be served on the side. I'll make him something yummy for dessert. I may make a cheesecake in my Instant Pot (the last one I made was fantastic and I'll be sharing about that soon).

Chicken n Dumplings
I'm going to try this out in my Instant Pot. I'll serve either veggies or some fruit along with it.

BBQ Burgers
With 2 BBQ's planned this week you'd think the weather was better. Maybe it is one way I'm hoping to have a little summer despite the cool days. However we have some company coming and I thought a bbq would be fun. I'll serve some chips & dips, summer fruit salad, and potato salad.

That should do it for the week! How's your menu planning coming along?


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

It's a Boy!!

In this day an age everyone knows if they are having a boy or a girl before the baby is born. But my daughter Hannah and her hubby decided they wanted the surprise. They did this with the last baby as well.

I got the call about 1:30 am that she was in labor on Sunday morning. My hubby was at work so I quickly called him so he would know the time had finally come (my daughter was late, but we were all waiting on God's perfect timing). I drove over to my daughters house. She was having a home birth. The midwives were there and she was already in the birthing tub.

The house was quiet, the children were asleep and my daughter was doing an amazingly wonderful job with each contraction. It was so peaceful. Her hubby was in the tub with her, rubbing her back and helping her through each contraction. It was a beautiful picture of labor and love. It was also a beautiful picture of birth without intervention, my most treasured type of birth.

She pushed for about 20 minutes and little Lincoln Harvey was welcomed into his daddy's waiting hands on Sunday morning at 4:am. However he was not so little. He weighed 11lbs 4oz! We were all shocked to see how big he was. My daughter is in very good health and eats very well so maybe that had something to do with his size. But for sure she has some newborn size diapers to return now.

We are so thankful for one more little grandbaby. We now have as many grandchildren as we have children, which is a strange thought as I have one more grandbaby due in November and more children that I'm sure will have children in the years to come. When I think of the Scripture verse, “Blessed is the man that has his quiverfull”, years ago I did not contemplate how big our quiver could ultimately get.


Monday, July 4, 2016

Menu Monday!!

Happy 4th of July!!!

It's been a crazy busy week. The best news is we have a new grandbaby!! I'll be sharing about that soon.. I'm still soaking up the newborn phase and helping out my daughter. I also had several of my kids here over the weekend to help do some clean up and repair of one of our fenced areas so we can move the goats and they can start working on the blackberries that have taken over the area. As I sad, busy, busy but exciting.. :)

I threw this menu together quickly so I'd have some sort of guide but it is subject to change depending on how my week goes.

Due to all the busyness over the last week we've opted not to do anything big for the 4th. Typically we have a big get together with family and friends, but this year we are taking a break. So tonight we will be eating leftovers. Over the weekend with all the extra people here I ended up making enchiladas and sweet pork tacos to feed my crew of workers. We still have some to finish up tonight.

The rest of the week is looking like this..

BBQ Hamburgers
This won't be on the 4th but it is summer time and hamburgers on the grill is always a good thing. I'm planning on having watermelon and macaroni salad too.

Meatloaf and mac & cheese is a favorite around here. I'm thinking a big salad with lots of fresh veggies in it sounds like a perfect meal to me.

Baked Chicken Legs & Thighs
I will bake them or maybe IP them, we will see when I get there. Tater tots or roasted potatoes and fresh summer fruit will make an easy meal.

For now that should do it.

I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July celebration!!


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Homeschooling: Can I Adequately Prepare them for College?

As the school year ends for so many there are always many questions when it comes to homeschooling.  Can I really do this?  Can I prepare them for college?  And doubts and confusion are very strong.  Mama...  if you homeschool your child/children..  don't doubt yourself or your conviction.  I wrote this a couple years ago..  You can do this..  think outside the box..  and relax.. it will be ok..  

I received a comment on a previous article I'd written: “My Homeschooling Advice to my Daughter”. I was going to reply to her in the comment section but my reply got so long that I decided to share my thoughts on a blog post. ~smile~ Here was the comment/question:

“This was my approach to homeschooling too. My girls are now 9 and 6, and I'm worried about how to homeschool for the next 10 years. I don't know if I have it in me to homeschool for the next 10 years, and I don't know if I would do a good enough job preparing them for college. A future veterinarian and doctor.... as a mother who has "been there, done that" I hope you'll share your insight.”

When I began homeschooling my kids I honestly never worried about the next year or the next and certainly not 10 years. You see I felt that God had led us to homeschool our children. It became and still is a matter of conviction. I determined in my mind that there was no obstacle that was greater than my conviction. I believed that what God had brought me to, he would see me through. Homeschooling for me has been a lifestyle of learning.

And after 26 years of homeschooling, with 7 children graduated, God has seen us through each and every step of the way.

Here is the rundown of my children and where they are today: I have one son who is currently working to get his degree in software engineering (he also has his aircraft mechanics licenses and spent 5 years in the Army), one daughter in the Army, one daughter who is a homemaker and raising her 3 beautiful babies, one daughter is working as an Accountant (earned her degree in 2 ½ years), she was just given senior account status at her firm, and she also spent one year in Denmark working as au pair because she wanted to travel and see the world before she settled down, one daughter who has an English degree (earned in 2 ¾ years) and worked as an English teacher in S. Korea for one year and has since come home and been working as an ESL teacher and pursuing her desire to teach special ed students (something that has been on her heart for many years), a son who is working on his college degree in computer information & technology and currently has his A+ certificate (IT certificate) and will help anyone in a heartbeat solve their computer issues, a daughter who is currently in school to be a dental assistant and finally a son who is still being homeschooled.

Did I prepare them for these pursuits? Can I take credit for the direction their academic life has gone? In one way, yes, in another more important way... no. I can't take credit for where they have gone in their lives or what they have endeavored to do.

You see... I took it one year at a time, I taught them the basics. I taught them to read, write, mathematics (at least the younger grades, hubby handles the upper levels of math), I read classic books to them all the time.. we read all summer long, we read through the fall and winter evenings (we did not have TV reception and that is how we spent our evenings), I taught them to look and explore the world around them. I taught them to have a love for learning.. and here is the most important part.. I gave them the time and opportunity to pursue the things in life they had a passion for. I taught them HOW to learn, how to educate themselves on topics of interest, and this showed them they could learn anything they desired. I remember my oldest son as a teenager checking books out of the library on chemistry, because he was so fascinated with it.

When my children reached their young teen years or even before this and showed an interest in something, I sought opportunities for them to be able to enjoy what it was they were interested in. I let them have time enjoying the wonders of whatever topic they were curious about. I kept most outside busyness out of our lives and gave lots of opportunity for them to learn and love learning.

I encouraged my children to work and seek ways to help others and make money. They had their own businesses, they worked for neighbors, they volunteered their time. I taught them that life was not about what you don't have, but making the most of whatever it is you have. And each of them have gone on to prove this. I could never have adequately prepared (in today's sense of the meaning) a software engineer, an accountant, a teacher, an IT man, a dental assistant, and so on... this has to come from within the child. This has to be their will and their hearts desire, not mine. What I saw was that when my children decided on their path, they were more than adequately prepared to do whatever it took to achieve their goal.

I like to look at the job of a homeschooling parent as one who teaches a child how to learn. If I did not have what it took for a child to pursue something, I found someone who did. Piano teachers, computer volunteer time (my computer fascinated boys volunteered their time at a store in the city that refurbishes old computers), photography lessons, and so on.. and sometimes they found opportunities for themselves.

There are so many options out there today to learn, it is never just relegated to what a formal school could teach. There are classes, homeschool co-ops, dual enrollment in colleges, online courses, (My 2 daughters with degrees earned them without ever stepping into a college classroom), and there are tons of helpful websites and books that can walk a parent through every step of homeschooling in high school. Any mom that desires to, can lead and provide opportunities to allow their children to reach whatever goal they desire!!