Sunday, June 30, 2013

This Week’s Menu



 
Monday
Steak bbq, sushi (take out), french bread, green salad w/homemade bleu cheese dressing (Tobin & I celebrating our 29th wedding anniversary at home :) )

Tuesday
Chicken stir fry over brown rice, salad

Wednesday
Lasagna, french bread, salad

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Sweet & sour roaster chicken (made in the roaster oven, new recipe and I will post if it turns out :), brown rice pilaf, salad

Saturday
Mexican hamburger rice bake, tortillas & salsa, salad

Sunday
Korean chicken, egg rolls, brown rice, salad

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Dad


This last weekend was Father’s Day. I reflected on what an awesome husband I have. He has been an amazing father to our children, and I am certainly blessed. I am thankful that my children have grown up with a good, hardworking, loving and caring father. I had this as well in my childhood.

Father’s Day also made me reflect on my own father. He was a wonderful father. He was always there for me no matter what happened. He believed in me. He always told me I could do whatever I set my mind to do. He encouraged my life’s endeavors and supported the decisions I made. He was an independent thinker, always thought outside the box and passed this trait on to me. I learned from him that being my own person, having my own thoughts and ideas (even if they go against “mainstream”) is ok. I see this trait in me in many ways.. I homeschooled when no one else I knew was doing this, back in the day when people would find out I homeschooled and ask, “Is that legal?”. I and my hubby had our own conviction, and felt it was what God wanted from us. I home birthed when no one else around me was doing this; and so very many other things such as this.

My father had a love for the great outdoors. He loved to hike. Even into his 60’s (and up until he died at age 72) he would set out into the forest with a backpack and camp and hike for a week or two at a time. I have many memories of dropping him off at his favorite hiking spots and picking him back up when he was done. Sometimes he went with friends or family. His grandchildren enjoyed hiking with him. Sometimes he went alone because he craved the peace & quiet that only time in the mountains would provide him. He was my real life example of a modern day “mountain man”.

He loved to garden and this is where and how I learned to garden and love it as much as he did. One of his joys was coming to my house and helping me weed and rototill my garden. He also loved to can and had no problem helping me during canning season.

He loved his grandchildren and would often come to my house just to be able to spend time with my children. Take them for walks, help them with their chores and spend time talking with them. My older children (and nieces) have loving memories of time spent with him. He loved to read and would always spend time with his grandchildren reading to them.

He was a good friend to many. He was always there for his many friends being the first to lend a hand and help them. He could fix and repair anything. He often befriended older people and would help them with simple things like grocery shopping or mowing their yard. Not only did he give of his time to many people, he had very little financially but what he had he would give without hesitation if he found someone in need. He had a huge heart.

My father at age 72 set out for one of his hikes late one summer. When he did not return when he should have we contacted the Ranger Station near where he had gone hiking. They knew who he was from his many trips into the forest. A friend of my dad’s knew one special place he liked to go. They got a search team and followed his friend into the forest. They found my dad, sitting in a camp chair with a book in his hand. He had passed away quietly, without stress and right where he loved to be. I know for a fact that this is exactly how my dad would have wanted to go if he had been able to make the choice.

I miss him so much. So many times I just want to sit and have coffee with him (he & I shared a love of a good cup of strong coffee :), or even have a phone conversation with him. Today I cherish each and every memory of him.

My Dad… all packed up and ready to head out on one of his hiking adventures:



Monday, June 17, 2013

This Week’s Menu



Monday
Leftover buffet!  -- several leftovers from the weekend to eat up

Tuesday
Fish sticks, mac & cheese, salad

Wednesday
Chicken enchiladas, tortilla chips & salsa, salad

Thursday

Friday
Leftovers

Saturday
Korean chicken, egg rolls, brown rice, salad

Sunday
Pizza chili, crackers, salad

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Guest Room


While raising 8 children one thing we never had in our home was a “guest room”. Whenever we had company here for the night someone would bunk with a sibling so our guests could use their room or with family they often would camp out in our living room. As my children have grown and moved I suddenly realized I had a room available to turn into a guest room.

My life has been so busy starting back in November with Emily’s wedding, then the holidays, my hand and the adjustments with moving my father in law in, that I had given up my hope to get this room cleaned out, painted and redecorated. But my incredible sister in law, Debbie, has been staying with us and helping us out in so many ways. She and I are not just sisters in law, but much more like sisters. We have the best relationship and I feel truly blessed. She saw the room, listened to my desire to turn it into a guest room and was more than willing to jump in and tackle the project.

I really wish I’d taken before pictures. The room was filled with junk left behind by kids and in desperate need for a fresh coat of paint. She cleaned out the room and painted it. After that it was time to decorate. She knew I was working on a limited budget. She has to be the world’s best deal finder. Pretty much everything in the room came from Craigslist, Goodwill/thrift stores or garage sales. The few things she did purchase were pillows and a few dried flowers.

When she finished the project we calculated what it would have cost to purchase everything brand new and came up with a price around $2000+ .. bed frame, mattress, end table, bookcase, bedding, curtains, rug, etc.. I figured everything (including paint) came to about $500. The desk and dresser where furniture I already had in the room.

Sierra took some pics for me to share of this project. Our house is an older farm house and the room is small and ceilings are slanted so it was a challenge to bring it all together…







 


Monday, June 10, 2013

This Week’s Menu



 
Monday
Tuna noodle casserole (did not make it last week!), salad

Tuesday
Chicken n’ gravy over brown rice, salad (another meal that did not get made last week!)

Wednesday
Baked ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Tuna patties, baked mac & cheese, salad

Saturday
Bqq ham (from leftover ham – going to fry up leftover ham pieces and smother in bbq sauce.. simple and quick!  :), mac & cheese (leftover), coleslaw

Sunday
Meat loaf, mashed potatoes, salad

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Updates from the Homestead & Garden is Planted!!


This last week has been beautiful! The sun has been shining and I’ve spent as much time enjoying it as possible. Sierra & I spent a couple afternoons getting the garden planted. I put in 37 roma tomato plants and then we planted lettuce, small zucchini squash, beets, green beans, yellow wax beans and pumpkins. Due to my hand limitations and not quite sure what I could handle I planted a much smaller garden than in years past. I am ever so thankful that I have a garden this year, small or not!! I so love being out in the sun and playing in the dirt ~smile~

Sierra took a few pics of the garden for me. Not a lot to see as yet, but here are a few pics…



When the garden season ended last year I left the wild flowers growing.  They are blooming and so pretty right now..






This last week I also spent a wonderful afternoon with my daughters Sierra and Hannah and granddaughters. Hannah has 5 weeks to go before her due date. We are all so excited! Can’t wait to hold this new little one in our arms. We enjoyed coffee at Starbucks, lunch out and shopping. We had a wonderful time and once again my budding photographer, Sierra, took a few pics of mama and the girlies.




 


Monday, June 3, 2013

This Weeks Menu



 

Monday
Yummy pinto beans, french bread, salad

Tuesday
Sour cream enchiladas, tortilla chips, salad

Wednesday
Pizza rice casserole, salad

Thursday
Crockpot sloppy joes over sandwich rolls, coleslaw

Friday
Leftovers

Saturday
Chicken n’ gravy over mashed potatoes, garlic roasted brussel sprouts

Sunday
Tuna noodle casserole, salad

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Baked Spaghetti



I made this the other night and my budding photographer, Sierra, took pics of it. I have to say not only is a lot of fun to have her snapping pictures but it makes it so much easier for me! Typically I have to stop what I’m doing and take the pics.. but this way I was able to work and she snapped away. 

So a BIG thank you to Sierra for helping mama out!!  ~smile~

In any case this was on our menu this week and so I thought I’d share it with you…

Baked Spaghetti
12 oz whole wheat spaghetti noodles (or rice noodles work too)
1 lb sausage - I used Jimmy Dean
1 medium onion, chopped
1 quart spaghetti sauce – or equivalent store bought size
2 eggs
1/3 cup paremesan cheese
5T butter, melted
16oz cottage cheese
4 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

Begin by cooking your spaghetti noodles. While you are waiting for the water to come to a boil chop the onion and cook it a few minutes and then add the sausage and cook until it is no longer pink. Add spaghetti sauce and heat until bubbly. Turn off heat and prepare the noodles.

When spaghetti noodles have finished cooking drain them, rinse them with cold water and let sit to drain. In a small bowl combine the eggs, parmesan cheese and melted butter with a whisk. Put drained noodles in a bowl and add egg mixture. Combine well. It really easiest to do this job with your (clean) hands.

Now it’s time to assemble the meal. Grease a 9x13 pan (I use coconut oil). Cover the bottom of the pan with half of the spaghetti noodle mixture. Put half the spaghetti sauce/sausage mixture over the top of the noodles, half the cottage cheese, half the mozzarella cheese, reapeat layers… just like lasagna!

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to one hour. If the cheese begins to get too brown you can cover with foil. After you remove it from the oven, wait 15 minutes or so before cutting.

In pictures..

Gather together your ingredients…



Measure out spaghetti and cook….




While it is cooking chop onion and cook up onion & sausage..





Add spaghetti sauce…




When noodles are done cooking drain them, rinse them in cool/cold water….




Mix eggs, melted butter & parmesan cheese together..



Add to noodles….




Grease a 9x13 pan (I used coconut oil)….



Layer: Noodles…



Sauce…



Cottage cheese…



Mozzarella….


Repeat…



Bake and serve with some garlic bread & a salad and enjoy!! …