Monday, March 31, 2008

Dinner 3/29 - 4/4

I know this is a bit late in coming, but better late than never.

It appears that dh survived my trip, as well as ds. The house was clean, the twins were still alive and the two of them were still talking! What more can a mom ask for?

While I was gone: Sat - They had a rained out wienie roast with my friends dh and her son. They used the Hamilton Beach to grill and just ate cold smores............(I can hear the awwwwwwwww's from all you)

Sun: I came home exausted and brought home some take out Pizza with me. I added some salad from the house.

Mon: Mexican enchilada casserole w/ salad and melon

Tue: Crock Pot rotisserie chicken w/ rice and steamed carrots.

Wed: Church/mom's night off

Thur: Bean and Ham Soup (made with bone from Easter ham) w/ home made biscuits

Fri: Chicken Alfredo Pasta with broccoli

Had to rush out to the store first thing today to replenish supplies, so will resume cooking duties in full throttle tomorrow. On this weeks agenda is home made bread, crock pot applesauce (dh broke my middle size crock that I use for this, so will see how it works in my smaller one), home made croutons, banana pudding and what ever else my dear children dream up to ask me for.

Once again, the tip was a blast and will be posting about it off and on as my bff gets pic's to me and my ofb remembers things (ofb = old farts brain).

Blessings, Beth Ann

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Greetings all from middle TN. Just wanted to check in real quick to let everyone know we are back from our home schooling convention in Cincinnati. I am exhausted, but promise to post lots of info, pictures, funny stories and maybe some embarrassing ones as well in the near future!

Blessings, Beth Ann

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Love in a cup

Here is my cup. Don't touch it! It is my favorite cup. It is from South Carolina. It broke. Had to get a new one last year. From South Carolina. I drink my coffee out of this cup every day (maybe I should take it with me on my trip?). Coffee doesn't taste the same in other cups. Silly? I bet each and everyone of you has a "cup." I was just pondering my cup while getting ready to blog this, and thought I would share this with you. To me this picture means so many things. Comfort. Warmth. Love. Memories. And much more. I will leave it home while I'm traveling to Cincinnati this week. Not sure how it would hold up in a mini van full of 3 pre-teen girls, two moms and more luggage than you can shake a stick at! Yes, it is a SAHM like me ~ LOL Stay at home mug that is! LOL See I have a different "cup" in our RV. I don't like her as much, but she is still a fine cup. I use to have a similar cup, but red with a panda on it from the Memphis zoo. It broke. Haven't been back to Memphis. Planning to go this year. So my white Gulf Shores Zoo cup has to fill in. (You may have seen this zoo on Animal Planet, "The little zoo that could.")
This was an ode to my "cup", my friend. Tell me about yours!
Blessings, Beth Ann

Monday, March 24, 2008

After Easter

Another Easter has come and gone. It was a nice day here. We did the basket and hide the egg thing, first time the twins really got into it. Then a nice service at church. Ever wonder why there are more people at church on holidays then just regular Sundays? Do they think God isn't paying attention? What are the implications of this? Am I the only one pondering this? Hmmmmmmmmmmm... Anyway, we then had our big meal for lunch. First time we have done this, and I must say I prefer this and wonder why I have never done this before in all my advanced years. Only reason we did so yesterday is because DH had to work. That's right, work. I know I shouldn't be shock since so many places stay open on holidays. I was surprised that 2 of the 3 stores in my tiny town were open though. I won't apologize for being disappointed in this and made sure not to go anywhere yesterday that would require someone having to be employed to serve my needs. My DH and I are trying to implement this on all Sundays, which is hard since he works almost all of them. But he does stick up for his Christian rights. Again not an easy thing to do. When he started he told them he couldn't work Sundays or Wed. Well then it changed when he needed Tue. off to teach guitar at the home school co-op. So now he works on Sunday's, but not until after church and lunch. Well I came unglued when I saw he worked Easter Sunday. I asked why, and he said they are only closed on Christmas and Thanksgiving. Why I asked again, they told him because those are religious holidays!!!!!! Are they kidding? Anyway, I said he had to be here for one meal, either lunch or dinner. Usually he rushes through lunch after church to get there by one o'clock. I wasn't having any rushing on Easter. So he told them. Either he has a very nice boss or they sympathize with a DH who is whipped by his wife ~ LOL

Blessings, Beth Ann

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Menus for this coming week 3/22 ~ 3/28

Greetings on this beatiful spring day, sunny and 60 here. Hope where you are, you are enjoying a blessed holiday week-end.

Meals this week are a bit less structured as I am still using up freezer items and at the end of the week I am leaving for 4 days. I am heading off to Cincinati, Ohio, to a home school convention. Myself, my dd, my bff and her 2 dd are heading off for this learning "girls day out" adventure. So we will be leaving dh, ds and twins home alone - - ahg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL Keep them in your prayers.

Whats for dinner this week ~

Sat: Pizza w/salad

Sun: Easter ~ Honey glazed ham, crockpot green bean casserole, mashed potatoes w/gravy. Pickles and olives w/deviled eggs. Apple Pie.

Mon: Leftovers!!!!!!! Yea :)

Tue: Crockpot meatloaf w/ glazed pearl onions and carrots

Wed: Church/mom's night off

Thur: (mom gone ~ dad cooking) Taco salad

Friday: (mom gone~ dad cooking) Hamburgers w/fries and veggie stixs

Other cooking this week is mostly for my trip. We are taking several coolers with us, so we won't have to eat at expensive reasturants and we have healthy snack options. There is an ice machine at the Best Western as well as a mini frige in our room. Wonder about a coffee pot............

Cooking for the trip, two batches of home made graham crackers. Double batch of home made hummus. Home made trail mix and ranch dressing. I did purchase whole wheat sprouted tortilla shells, guacamole and nut butter to take as well. Will dip cut up veggies in guac, and hummus. Will spread nut butter w/ no sugar fruit spread on tortillas. Also planning on taking a couple of dozen hard boiled eggs as well as apples, oranges and bananas.

Cooking for the house will be light, bread, apple sauce, crutons and home made salad dressings.

Blessings, Beth Ann

Friday, March 21, 2008

Discovery Center

Today is Good Friday, and I was glad to see so many families out spending time together since there was no public school. At least that is what I am choosing to believe. Other choice was, since the kids had no school the parents didn't know what else to do with them.

On Friday's our local Discovery Center (hands on science center) does a "Fetch" science lab, based on the PBS show. Our kids love the show and the center. There is always something new there and something for everyone. Example: While ds is building a replica of a stone arch from Rome, twins are playing in a life size Brio train engine and dd working a real miniature crane .
Here is E in the art room putting all the colored corks in the board. Most people make pictures with the corks (like the tree someone left on the board), but to a 3 year old with OCD... all he can see are empty holes that have to be filled ~ now! LOL

Here is other E in the are room also , pretending to be Van Goat, I mean Van Goagh (to much baby Einstein) LOL

Here is B, also in the art room (spent almost an hour in there after science). She is using the tracing table and back light.

And here is Z. What more can I say, he was taking a break in the only place available as the center was so packed today. LOL
I am totally embarrassed to say I forget today was Good Friday, and there was no PS., until we arrived at the center. I asked the receptionist why they were soooooo busy today. Since we go almost every week we knew this was not the norm during ps time. Last week there were only 2 other families there besides ourselves. She is the one who informed me. So shame on me. Sometimes I just get so wrapped up in our little world here, I forget there is another world out there.
Well we are coloring eggs tonight, one of our two concessions to somes take on the Easter holiday. But otherwise I will just nod and wish you all a Happy Resurrection Sabbath.
Blessings, Beth Ann

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy St. Patrick Day!!!

This is a big day for me and my family. I had to stress this numerous times yesterday. People down south just don't get into the Irish spirit much. Just as I was emphasising how important this day was for the umpteenth time, my mom called. My dh looked at me and said, "what does she want, she only calls like twice a year". I was like ~ Duh! She called because IT IS A BIG DEAL DAY to us! LOL So mom, thanks for calling at just the right time to emphasise my statement. He is right though, she usually only calls like on major holidays ~ maybe. So, see the significance now?

Our day started with green eggs and ham. This spurred a debate (everything does with my ds) over if that means the ham should be green as well. I confess, once confronted with the plate of green eggs in front of me, the idea was a little less appealing.

For lunch we had green waffles and lime jello. Simply because everyone likes waffles (except me) and ds loves to make them. I agreed since they were easy to color green! LOL

We ended the day with a traditional meal of corn beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread and green cheese cake. Here are my ds and dd, she is excited about the cheese cake and he is wondering if there is anything else left that his mother hasn't already colored green!
It was 75 at our house yesterday and we were please to be able to eat our Irish fare and drink our faux green beer outside on our screened in deck. It is truly days like that, that remind us of how blessed we are and how grateful we are for God bringing us down here and steeping us in the hospitality of the South.
Blessings, Beth Ann

Monday, March 17, 2008

Garlic update

Attention all garlic groupies, and you know who you are, I have new news on my garlic! For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, and you know who you are, back in December I set upon a quest to find a pickled garlic recipe. I fell in love with this treat after tasting it in a small town in South Carolina, but it was sooo expensive! Well I found a easy and more economical recipe and around Christmas I pickled my first batch. The recipe said to wait at least 6 weeks before trying. Well I am here to tell you that as of today, well over 3 months later, it is perfect! It is now a wonderful smooth sweet/sour consistency. I didn't make anymore for fear that I might not like the final outcome, but now that I know... I had better get cracking!!!

Pickled Garlic

1/2 lb. garlic, peeled
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups distilled white vinegar
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1. Place garlic cloves in a medium bowl, first cutting the large cloves in half. Mix in the red bell pepper.

2. In a large saucepan over medium high heat, place the distilled white vinegar and white sugar. Add the ground dry mustard and celery seed to vinegar mixture. Bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper. Continue boiling 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

3. Place garlic and peppers in a sterile container to within 1 inch of the top. Fill with remaining liquid to within 1/4 inch from the tip. Seal and store in the refrigerator approximately tree weeks before serving. I prefer more like 3 months.

Serve on side as a special treat as you would pickles or olives. Also may eat one whole clove a day to help with blood clotting in a preventive way.

Blessings, Beth

Winter Princess Ball

Here they are, the pictures of my middle dd, going to the Lion's Club sponsored and much anticipated "Winter Princess Ball".

Here is B with a tiara she won at a cheerleader event, and the corsage that grandpa D brought her - her first one ever! I can not get over how grown up she is looking. I am about to start one of those, "seems like yesterday spiels...."

Here is B with a shawl from grandma S, to keep the winter chill (like 55 that day) at bay.

Now about these shows... B has very big feet, just like her mama. She has been wearing a woman's size for two years now. As soon as she found out that woman's size meant "high heels", there has been no piece and very little compromise. I still insist she wears flats, and she shows a maturity to match her shoe size by throwing fits to make her 3 year old sister proud. Anyway, here she is in silver, rhinestone - low heels - big sigh. Also of note, she is sporting her very first pair of nylons/pantyhose here. Where is my baby?

Finely, here is B with her grandpa D.
A very big thanks to D & S for all the times they have done grandparent duty, because they wanted to. We live so far away from our own families and many have passed that this a relationship my children might never have experienced. I know first hand how important it is for that unconditional love, as I grew up with no grandparents ( all had passed), no aunts or uncles or even a father. So lets all give a big hand to those in our lives who fill in the missing pieces. I myself fuss about D & S, but just like any daughter would ~ they are the parents I wish I'd had. I love my own mom, in a way I have made peace with, but kudos to S for telling me what she thinks and not trying to just be another "friend".
Blessings, Beth Ann

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Just checking in

Just checking in to let everyone know I am still alive, barely. I have had what I call a migraine sandwich. I start with a really bad headache (Friday) and then the next day it is a full blown migraine (Saturday) followed the next day by another bad headache (Sunday). I am hoping that it will be better tomorrow. DH will be home, so might get some rest then.

Yesterday middle dd had a big day, she went to the Lion's Club "Winter Princess Ball". Kind of funny since it has been in the 60 and 70 here, but she was thrilled to go. Our dear friends from the radio station have adopted the kids as their own grandchildren, since they never see theirs, and grandpa D took dd. I took many pictures and will post a couple of the best ones in a couple days. She was beaming from ear to ear when D gave her a corsage, her first one ever.

That is about all your getting out of me, I am going to get more aspirin with a caffeine chaser.

Blessings, Beth Ann

Menu for 3/15 ~ 3/21

Whats for dinner this week?

Sat: Pizza w/salad ( I made a 2lb. loaf of dough in my bread machine and then split it into 3 rounds. First pizza is a cheese one for twins and middle dd, second is pepperoni for oldest ds and the last is usually a specialty pizza for dh and myself. Last night it was a white pizza, made from a Weight Watcher recipe. Spinach, ricotta cheese and caramelized onion ~ yummy!

Sun: Country fried steak with potato and veggies. (Not very health, but friend gave me about 10lbs. of these patty things. So very budget friendly.)

Mon: Happy ST. Patricks Day!!!!!!!!!!!! I am about 80% Irish and love to celebrate this holiday, in a big (read food here) way~ LOL Breakfast - Green eggs and ham
Lunch = Green pancakes w/lime jello
Dinner - Corn beef and cabbage or as my grandpa called it, bubble and squeak (that's what you do after you eat it~ LOL) w/Irish soda bread and green cheese cake.

Tue: Crockpot pulled beef sandwiches w/salad (this is from last week as dh took me out to dinner on Friday last week)

Wed: Church/mom's night off

Thur: Baked chicken w/brown rice and steamed veggies

Fri: Hamburgers w/home made baked beans and veggie stixs

Last week, this week and if I am lucky the next few weeks will be pretty much what I have in my freezer. I have found out when my local stores mark their meat and other items down, and that is about all I buy anymore. Then I come home and make a meal out of them. Like yesterday I picked up two whole baking hens at half price each. I also grabbed about a dozen top sirloin steaks, packed in 1lb. packages and about a $1.25 each! This will make great stir fry or be available when we start having our pool parties and grill out. I am also trying to eat a more low carb diet, so protein is good. The week before, from the same store grabbed about a dozen 1lb. packages of ground burger for about $1 each! These are great in Taco salad, lasagna, meatloaf and just plain burgers. Took some camping, cooked it over the fire and it was the best! I suggest to anyone reading they might do the same. Wal-mart occasional marks things down, sometimes I get bratwurst there, but smaller , local stores are best. Get there either first thing in the morning (by 8 or so) or right before they close, for best selection. I find Saturday mornings are best for me, followed by Thursday mornings or Tuesday nights. This is how the trucks run down here and the dating of the meat goes in and out. We are blessed to have a chest freezer in our basement and keep items there.

Blessings, Beth Ann

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Aquarium II

Here we are, the end of our first camping trip/mini-vacation of the year. It has now officially taken me longer to blog it, than the trip lasted! LOL I am sitting here on the 12th day of March and it is 73 degrees outside, wow, and I remember the day these pictures were taken, that we came home to one of the biggest snowfall in years for TN. So in one weeks time we went from 74-75 degree weather, to snow and sledding, back to 73-74 degree weather. Is this what they call the circle of life? I don't hear any chanting African cartoon animals, so... nah. Anyway, when I lived in northern MI for over 30 years they always said, "If you don't like Michigan weather just wait ten minutes and it will change." Guess what they say in TN.? You guessed it, "If you don't like TN. weather just wait ten minutes and it will change." Suppose if I lived in...say California, they would say the same thing there? Hmmmmmm.

Here is my middle dd in the Ocean Cave of Secrets. I should also have taken a picture of the sign reminding us that there was 5 billion tons of water over our heads as we went through it!

Here is middle dd trying her hand, litterly, at catching butterflies in the butterfly habituate. See the black on almost on her finger.

Here is a whole dish of butterflies on a plate of fresh fruit. Why doesn't this work for me at home? Oh yeah! I don't have a captive audience.

Here is my twin son petting a sting ray in the petting pool. They were pretty aggressive. They would come up out of the water just to get petted. We had never seen this before. But again, it is usually packed and it is hard for the kids to get this close and spend as much time as the would like. Lets here it one more time for week day field trips and home schooling.

Here are the twins together, looking at the sting rays in the petting pool.

End of the cave, end of the aquarium, end of our vacation ~ end of our money! LOL Here is DH with twin dd, resting in a carpeted cove in the ocean cave. They are all pooped out, and only one of them will get a nap on the way home. Which one do you think?
Blessings, Beth Ann

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Our saga continues... we last left our faithful blogger dangling from their computer chairs in hysterics over the adventures of Sid and Barb, Canadian camping geese! Today we pick up on the last day of our mini mid-week vacation, or as we like to call it, "home schooling rocks!". We have been to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga before, but with friends, family or groups. Today it was just us and the place was less than a quarter full compared to other trips. This is sooo one of the benefits of home schooling, being able to just pack up and go when it is convenient for you. As a field trip it was a smash hit. My twin dd had been begging to see the river otters, their her favorite don't you know, but someone had put a heat lamp in their habitat and they were sleeping! My twin ds tried to count every turtle there (can we say OCD)! My older two were great, they kept the twins with them and seemed to see the old stuff with new eyes through the twins.

Here is my oldest ds with his little bro, on the bridge outside the Ocean Journey building.

Here is dh, dd and little dd on the bridge outside the River Journey building.

DH and myself at Penguin Rock! We got to there right after feeding time and guess what... penguins poop in the water while they swim, we saw them! LOL

Here are my four youngest darlings, at the top of the Ocean Journey building, and the bay/TN. river right behind them.
Our next stop is the sting ray petting pool, which is where we will pick up tomorrow for out second half of Aquarium blog.
Blessings, Beth Ann

Monday, March 10, 2008

Camping II

I received a few inquires about our camping location, as I only mentioned it was in Marion county. It was just outside a very picturesque unincorporated town called Guild. I never heard of it either. Lets just leave it at we camped on lake Nickajack outside of Chattanooga. LOL
Here is my DH with one of the twins, starting her young, building a blazing fire. The weather was so nice we were able to cook all our meals over an open fire, and have smores at night. I made home made graham crackers, and they were a huge hit. As a matter of fact, the day we got back a snow front moved across TN. The next morning my bff called and asked us to meet her at the church to go sledding. So about five families in all turned up and we also had hot cocoa and my home made graham crackers (recipe to follow). Only crumbs left after 9 adults and 13 kids got done with them! Best recommendation anyone could ask for and no corn syrup, sugar or MSG.

There were two Canadian Geese at the lake, and we enjoyed feeding them. They enjoyed being fed. So they hung around alot. We needed a name for them, couldn't keep calling them "those geese". We ended up calling them Barb and Sid, after a couple at our church.

Here is one of the twins feeding some real ugly ducks! After we got home we looked them up in our "bird book". They are actually called American Coots. Huh.

And here are the twins showing off their "duck dance". All the kids enjoyed feeding the birds, but the twins took to acting like them!
We camped for two full days and then spent the third at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. Worked out well as the third day was gray and overcast with drooping temps. (snow front moving in after 70 degree weather, who would have thunk) Tomorrow I will post about how much fun the aquarium is when other kids are in school ~ LOL
Home made graham crackers
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
In a large mixing bowl using a rubber spatula mix combine olive oil, milk, honey, molasses and vanilla. In a smaller mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. Add this to the liquid mixture. Add an extra 1/2 cup flour if your dough is sticky. A little sticky is ok. Pre heat over to 300 degrees. While the oven is heating up divide dough in half. Spray a large cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Now roll out one of the dough halves onto the cookie sheet. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into squares and poke with a fork to form classic graham cracker pattern. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet and recut with pizza cutter to separate and carefully remove them.
Above recipe will make traditional graham crackers, meaning crisp. I didn't halve my dough, thus making thicker, biscuit like crackers. My kids liked that better for smores as they didn't fall to pieces when bitten into. They also really stick with you, the equivalent of one full cracker (broken in half for smores) filled me up!
Enjoy and Blessings, Beth Ann

Sunday, March 09, 2008

First camping trip of the year!

We returned from our first camping trip of the year and couldn't have had a better time! Although we had no idea bad weather was coming our way. I mean it was 75 in Chattanooga, so who thought that when we pulled into our drive it would start to rain/sleet and then turn into one of the biggest snow falls in TN. Not us ~ LOL Just another of example of God watching out for us. We had planned to camp on lake Nickajack. DH had looked at two different locations and I thought had picked one. Well we got off the express way and he looked at the first one and said no. Then we got off at the next exit and he didn't like that either, but saw a little sign for a privet camp ground that was on like an island in the middle of the lake, with a view of the bridge that bisects the lake. So we trundled down there and finely stayed at Marion County Park, which was very wet and under some major landscaping. But it was almost empty and closer to real camping than an RV park, which is what we prefer. Here is a picture of our site with our Minnie Winnie all nestled in. See how close we are to the lake. Could have been closer, but chose to show caution with the twins in tow.

Here is a picture of one of my twins on the over the cab bunk. That is were my oldest ds makes his room. It allows him some privacy (when the curtain is pulled) and to be able to stay up reading after everyone else goes to sleep.

Here is my mini dachshund, Howard, in his special place. When at home we have a playpen (left over from the twins) to stay in because he is handicap. In the RV he has this bed between the captain chairs where you have to step down to get into the cab.

And this is our dixi cup tower! This is a running joke with us. On our maiden voyage my middle dd built a tower with the dixi cups in the camper bathroom. I didn't know it was her and was a little surprised when I saw it. I just shrugged and dismantled it. It reappeared. I dismantled it. This cycle repeated about 3 times, until I just gave up. Now this tower just appears sometime during the first day of every trip and we just let it go and get a good chuckle out of it!
Will post more on the trip tomorrow.
Blessings, Beth Ann

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Dinner this week

Greetings all! Back to the cooking grind stone now that camping is over for this month. But I was sure glad that I had cooked/made about 95% of everything ahead, including my home made graham crackers.

This weeks menu ~ 3/8 to 3/14

Sat: Pizza w/ salad

Sun: Grilled pork chops w/ Bohemian crab rice and veggie sticks

Mon: Split pea Soup (made with the ham bone from the picnic ham I bought for our camping trip) with garlic cheese biscuts and salad

Tue: Mexican garlic lime chicken(shredded into taco's) with Spanish rice

Wed: Church/mom's night off

Thur: Oven baked Salisbury steak with mashed potato and steamed veggies.

Fri: Crock pot pulled beef sandwiches w/ pineapple corn muffins and a salad

I know the categories are out of their typical order, but I had to make a few deviations here and there to use up some leftovers and what not.. Still the same game plan though, pick a meal from one category per a certain day... ex. Monday = Mexican, Tuesday = Crock pot meal, etc....

I have come across two new cook books and am in the process of implementing them into our routine. The first one is Women's Heart "All Heart Family Cookbook". It is from the American Heart Association. I checked mine out from the library but enjoying so much considering buying it. All kinds of healthy tips and recipes for people with health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. I suffer from the latter and it seems to be getting worse. I need to be more pro-active in helping myself. The answer is to not keep going to the doc and getting my pills up. This book is awesome with info to help. For example, the average daily intake of sodium for one adult around the age of 40 is 2,4oo mg. or 1 teaspoon! Also, both eating 1 raw clove of garlic a day and drinking an 8 oz. glass of low sodium tomato juice have both proven to help prevent blood clotting. There is so much more and every recipe with tell you how many heart heart healthy ingredients it is made of.

My second book is a little less serious, or is it???? "101 things to do with Ramen Noodles" by Toni Patrick. First I am sure your all thinking, Ramen Noodles, ewe they are nasty. Second thing you should be thinking is, Ramen Noodles, hey their cheap! That's right, and in this time of price increases every where it seems the only place to cut the budget is in the food dept. Now yes, they are unhealthy but I have been making my own version for about 6 months now (much to my middle dd dismay as she was addicted to the MSG) and they only cost about 5 cents more a serving and are a healthy source of fiber, omega 3, whole grains and are low in sodium. That's right, I use the reg. whole wheat, fortified spaghetti noodles with a tablespoon of low sodium, veggie broth powder that I get from a food co=op. So actually when you look at this book you should really read, "101 Things to do with any noodle". Cool huh? It really is just common sense, but sometimes we all need that boost ~ LoL There is also a book called, "101 Things to do with Tortilla shells", and that will most likely be my next purchase! I already make my own shells and they are cheap too! Unite with me to save money on our grocery bill and keep our money where it belongs, with us - not the grocery store/establishments! LOL

Blessings, Beth Ann

Monday, March 03, 2008

Sunny days ...

Sunny days, (humming Sesame Street song). Today was another warm one here in middle TN., 74 today vs. 75 yesterday at our house. DH went to work, ds went to animal clinic and dd and I worked on school work while twins napped. But after nap.... Play time. Here are some pic's to share of a sunny day on our home stead with kids playing outside on the play ground equipment. Enjoy.
Blessings, Beth Ann

God given words

I have been reading the Redemption series of books by Karen Kingsbury, off and on over the past year. They are wonderful books and I highly recommend them. I just usually have five or so books I am reading at one time, not counting the kids school books we do as read aloud, that is why so long on the first series. I have just moved on to next group of books in the series, First born. Again I highly recommend these books. But that is not what today's blog is about. I did not call you here to give you a book report. Yesterday I blogged about having a disappointment in my life over common beliefs at our home schooling co=op. It took me almost a week to be able to put down in words what needed to be said without being ugly or basically acting like the people in charge, like high schoolers. The common denominator here is that in the books the character's regularly pray to God for the right words for the given situation. I was impressed with this but never felt it had happened to me and wondered if it was just wishful thinking. I guess I should have made the connection when a couple weeks ago I was having a conversation with a friend and we were talking about her art. She is one of the most talented artist I have seen, but to look at her you would never guess it. Her life is a mess, and the outside isn't in any better order. But she said that when she sits down to paint it is like she isn't herself, she isn't in control. These beautiful, peaceful visions just flow out of her. I am by no means an artist or necessarily talented in any one area, but I commented that I felt a little of that sometimes while typing/writing. I will seem to just be filled with words and know how to convey the appropriate feelings with the right words. See usually I run on at the mouth, have verbal dyslexia and just in general put my foot in my mouth. But when I am journaling, blogging, sending words of encouragement.... well it is something a bit like Cyrano De Bergerac. Never said I could spell though ~ LOL Anyway, I felt yesterday was about as long as I could put off sending in my letter of resignation for co=op. I was nervous and my stomach was knotted all week. Just didn't know what to say. It all sounded petty, childish and full of anger (which I was). Yesterday when I came home from church I felt revived a bit spiritually, even though I almost missed communion and my friend had to notify the pastor that some of us who work in the back would like to partake. Anyway, I was still putting it off. After I put the twins down for a nap, I puttered around until I couldn't put it off any longer. Guess what happened when I sat down and prayed to God to give me the right words? That's right, one of the most prolific letters stating my faith emerged from my keyboard. I showed my DH when he came home from work and he almost cried and told me how proud of me he was and that it conveyed what needed to be said without degrading or tearing down others. Sounds silly, but I feel it is hard to do just that when you are hurt and feeling bereft of human compassion from the other party. Our natural first instinct is to lash out and hurt as we have been hurt. This is what I tell my kids, "some times the hardest thing to do is nothing". Now where have I heard this whole turn the other cheek thing before? ... Oh that's right, the bible!

Blessings, Beth Ann

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Dinner this week

Week of March 1st. ~ 7Th. Dinner menu

Sat: Pizza w/salad

Sun: Oven baked chicken Parmesan w/ broccoli cheese rice

Mon: Oriental (ethnic night) Orange cashew chicken stir fry w/salad

Tue: Crock pot Black eyed peas w/ pork chops and steamed veggies

Wed: Camping/moms night off ~ camping chili w/ veggie sticks and smore's for dessert!

Thur: Camping/moms night off`~ hamburgers w/dd favorite mustard potato salad!

Fri: Mac & Cheese Pasta w/ grilled bratwurst and salad

Other cooking for this week is mostly cooking ahead for our camping trip, so that mom can take a break, including a couple loafs of bread, home made graham crackers, home made ranch dressing, and pre making pancake batter and pot salad as well as chili. That way I just pack it and heat it as needed. Mom likes to have lazy days and free time too, which is a foreign concept to my kids ~LOL

Blessings, Beth Ann

In like a lamb

A warm 73 degrees greeting from us here in middle TN! I guess March is coming in like a lamb. Thank goodness, as February didn't end so well for us here at my homestead. Potty training has been tiring and is still going on. I figure if I can out wait them until their 18 then their on their own! ~ LOL Lets see, other news... My friend lent me her bread machine while I am trying to replace mine,it doesn't work any better than mine and she didn't remember this until after she lent it to me and I tried my first loaf. I called and she was like, "oh yeah. Now I remember why I don't use it", or something like that(slapping myself in the head here). Still not sure on the health care thing and had to make a special trip to doc last week, more on that in a moment, and had to use bill money to pay for it. Of course, even with in. we would have to pay out of pocket until deductible is meet and that might not happen if we stay healthy. Big Sigh. Okay here is the skinny on why I have been a bit down this week and haven't posted. My family and I have parted ways with our home school co-op, and in not a so nice way. It is a bit depressing to think these people call themselves Christians and yet the people in charge are morally challenged, lie and are hypocritical. With that said, I am trying to find closer this week and move ahead with what is best for the kids. We have started going back to the Discovery Center (hands on scenic center) and are looking to break off with a few other locale families. The up side is with gas going up we won't be doing that long drive, freeing up our cash for camping, which is a great family outing that incorporates all aspects of learning. I feel this is God's will, as I search back over events. It was truly fortuitous that my ds got hired into the animal clinic recently, a great way for God to teach him biology! God is working in our lives to help us make the most of what we have and looking out for us when we neglect to do so ourselves. Case in point, gas to the co-op. We were going broke making that trip every week and we were starting find that this semesters group of families didn't share our same belief system. God is helping us to hang onto our money for our own family time, and protecting us from worldly views, not christian values. This will all be important with the health care issue. Things are tight as is for us, but with health care deducted on top of this... Well saving on gas will be huge and when the new Zone opens in our sleepy town, DH won't have to commute to work! This could all save us close to $300 a month, the right amount to cover our insurance! Who said God doesn't provide? The trick is remembering that he gives us what we NEED, not what we WANT. That is huge.

Here are the two high points of the past week and the upcoming one as well. First I was disappointed that my women's groups at church had canceled their annual spring outing. It was the first one I could go on since the twins were born. But my bff has been looking on a get away just for us girls as soon as she found this out. Well we settled on a home schooling convention in Cincinnati Ohio. Not to long a drive from here and we will stop at the Hands on Creation Museum in Kentucky on our way. She is bringing her two dd's and I will bring my middle dd as well. My dd is soooo excited! I forget how tough it is for her, being the middle child and all. I am a little nervous leaving my dh and ds in charge for 3 days, but am looking forward to some adult company and faith affirmation on my schooling beliefs.

Secondly, we are going camping this week!!!!Yea!!!! First time this year. Last year we didn't get out hardly at all. We promised this year would be different. When we see how excited the kids are when we go, we know it is worth the time and effort. We will be going to Chattanooga to the Tennessee Aquarium, to make good on the membership we bought last summer when my oldest dd was here with my grandson. I bought my dh a magazine subscription to Trailer Life for his birthday this year, and they featured the TN. Aquarium in their top ten list. Cool huh? Think we will try the Atlanta Aquarium next. Not to far from us and is the worlds largest, housing 3 full grown Beluga Whales, including the oldest at 39 years old.

Well it is now up to 74 outside and the twins just got up from their nap. Think it is time to take them out and let them play our our play fort.

Blessings, Beth Ann