Friday, September 24, 2010

My Husband Rocks!!

It has been way too long since I have done a MHRF post, but  I have been inspired to remind my husband how much he means to me!! And since I air everything else out here on this lovely blog, it only makes sense to include posts such as these.

 One reason Michael rocks is his absolute dedication to hard work and his love and passion for being the protector of our family! Last Sunday we drove in the rain to church, praised and worshiped while listening to the rain pounding outside. Ran to the car in the rain, and got home in soaked clothes, to find a house full of rain.  Well a bedroom full of rain. Apparently we were having a drainage issue and the 9 inches of rain we had gotten that morning had started seeping in the weep holes of our home, right into the boys bedroom.  At this point I was ready to close the door and put our house on the market, but Michael didn't even hesitate, didn't ask for help, he calmly went to change and spent the rest of his day outside, in the rain, digging ditches, cleaning french drains and gutters, and with no complaining or grumbling! Then to top it off he finished outside, to come in and start sucking the water out of the carpet with a rental carpet cleaner for the rest of the night.  I was so overwhelmed with it all, and he could tell... he told me to take care of the kids and go on to small group that night... When I got home, the room was cleaned, there was a carpet fan going and I didn't even have to look at it. He never ceases to amaze me with his attention to detail (not my strong suit) and ability to spring into action and take care of a problem. My sweet husband worked all day in the rain and hunching over a small carpet cleaner (and at 6'7" anything short is a backache)... proving his love and commitment to our family and more so me... by doing it all without grumbling or complaining. 

 I'm sure he was thinking, "Yep, this is about to go on the blog" :) I love him so much!!

Michael, I am so blessed that you chose me! Thank you so much for making God and our family the highest priorites in your life. I love you!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday.

Do you even know how excited I am?  Do you know what this week is?  Well as of Wednesday, it will officially be FALL!!!!! I love Autumn... and lucky for me, here in South Texas we pretty much skip over winter for an extra long autumn season, and also we have been so blessed with a nice bout of rain this week, and the tempurature is actually nice and cooling down! So it actually feels like fall outside this week. :) Well, we are a little ahead on our lessons, so we are taking a day off from formal school on Wednesday to make a few decorations, decorate the house, and do some special baking/cooking projects. I love homeschooling!
 So of course to follow the new season, we have a great yummy savory menu this week. Enjoy, Hope it spurs on some ideas for you.

Honey glazed Grilled Chicken, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Snow Peas
Rachel's Shredded Crockpot Chicken tacos, beans
Wednesday: First day of FALL!! Awanas
Breakfast: Pumpkin Muffins
Lunch: Leaf Shaped, Grilled turkey and cheese, apples with carmel sauce, chips
Dinner: Butternut Squash Bisque, whole grain crackers
Loaded Chicken Nachos (leftover shredded chicken), guacamole
Friday: Family Movie Night
Little Ceasars Pizza, Popcorn, Green Smoothies
Saturday: Another fun day of cooking
Breakfast:Monkey Bread, scrambled eggs
Lunch: Chili, cheese, Crackers
Dinner: Chicken, Brocolli, & Rice Casserole, with Fresh Baked Bread* and butter
Lunch:  Texas Enchiladas, (with leftover chili) Chips, and Guacamole
Dinner: Small Group

*Notice I said Fresh baked and not Homemade Lets not get too crazy here... I'll buy the frozen dough and let it rise :)

Sorry there is not a plan for every meal, they all run together and I seem to very rarely follow what I plan for breakfast and lunch, so I only put special or specific meals that I have planned for the week. Breakfast will for that likely consist of yoguart, cereal, or toast... and lunch will be sandwiches and leftovers. Easy enough, huh?  Hope you all have a wonderful day of meal plannin and cooking this wonderful week of fall! :)

Butternut Squash Bisque!!!

So if I haven't mentioned it before... FALL is my FAVORITE SEASON!!! I mean, like I really love it!! How could you not, all good things happen in fall, for example; Thanksgiving, cool weather, pumpkins, my birthday (Oct 7th in case you where wondering), the day I married the man of my dreams, beautiful landscapes, I love to look at God's extraordinary creation in the fall ... and fantastic fresh fall produce. One of my newly discovered favorites is Butternut Squash!  I followed a recipe for butternut squash soup(Better Homes and Gardens) last year, but have found several others and since tweaked  them all to come up with this one! Our family loves it, so of course it will be our dinner on the first day of fall! Hooray!!

Butternut Squash Bisque

3 lbs of Butternut squash (peeled, seeded, and cubed)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 c. butter
2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
1 stalk of celery, coarsely chopped
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 48oz box low sodium chicken broth
1 c. apple juice
3 canned chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, chopped
1/2 c. sour cream

On a large dutch oven, melt butter. Add squash, carrots, celery, and garlic; stirring frequently until tender.
Add apples, broth, juice, ginger, and peppers. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Puree in batches in a blender; return to dutch oven. Whisk in sour cream until well blended. Heat thoroughly. Remove from heat and serve. Top with Smoked Gouda (a must), and bacon crumbles.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Grilled Chicken Tacos

I love casseroles, I love spending hours in the kitchen at least when it is cold I mean cool (it doesn't get cold here in South Texas) But that is not the case when it is hot out!  In that case it is a Grill ONLY evening. Keep the heat outside where it belongs and is not interfering with my lovely air conditioning.  So, here is one of our faves.  TACOS!! I mean who doesn't love a soft warm tortilla stuffed with all things fresh and savory?

So here it is...

Grilled Chicken Tacos

4 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 pkg taco seasoning(dry)
1/4c olive oil
3/4c low sodium chicken stock
10 flour tortillas
2 c. lettuce shredded
1 tomato  diced
1 can sliced black olives
fave. taco sauce. (We love Taco Bell's!!)

Place chicken, taco seasoning, olive oil, and stock in a gallon size storage bag, shake to coat chicken well and marinate at least 1 hour.  Grill on medium heat 10 minutes each side or until chicken is cooked throughout. (Hint: For busy days keep marinated chicken stored in the freezer so all you have to do is thaw the day before, it marinates longer and all you have to do is hand it to your husband the next evening as he is walking to the grill.)

Slice Chicken into long strips, place 2-3 strips in a warm tortilla, top with your favorite taco goodness. Serve along side black beans and rice.  (PS. if you get the right kind you can microwave it)  Makes for one warm meal in one cool house! :)


Monday, September 13, 2010

Smarty Pants

Last night, Sunday, William gets out of bed and comes to the living room to "tell us something". Which usually means, "I'm thirsty" or "What are we doing tomorrow" or some other reason to stall sleep and possibly miss out on some sort of excitement. Well last night his "something" was worth it....

William: Mom, I think when it is night on this day, we should call it moon night.
Me: What?
William: Because it is Sunday, so when it is night we should call it moon night.
Me: (still trying to figure out what he is talking about) Ok, why do you think we should do that?
William: Because the moon is out and the sun is gone...
Me:(the epiphany of actually how thought provoking this concept is) You know you are absolutely right, we should call it moon night!

In case you are still lost....

Look at it this way...
Sun Day = Sunday
however the opposite would be
Moon Night = Moonnight.

What a smarty pants.

Menu Plan Monday.

Menu Plan for the week of September 13-19
B: Toast and Jelly
L: Crackers and Peanut Butter, Fruit
D: Chicken Taco Salad, Chips and Salsa
B: Scrambled Eggs, Fruit
L: Crackers and Tuna Salad, Fruit
D: Peach Grilled Chicken, Baked Potatoes, green beans
Wednesday: Awana's
B: Cereal
L: Peanut Butter and Jelly, Chips, Fruit
D: Sloppy Chicken Dinner, Rice and Pea Pillows
B: Cereal
L: Leftovers (clean out fridge)
D: Italian Grilled Chicken, spaghetti, Salad
Friday: Family Movie Night
B:Cheesy Breakfast Roll ups
L:Peanut Butter and Jelly, Popcorn, Orange Slices
D:Chicken Nuggets, Chips, Veggie Dippers, Watermelon Sorbet
Saturday: Church
B:Monkey Bread, Scrambled Eggs
D:Grilled cheese, Tomato soup, popcorn
Sunday: Schlitterbahn
B:Granola Bars
L:Turkey, Cheese, Crackers, Fruit
D: Out

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Grandma's Spaghetti and Meat

Well a few posts ago I shared a special recipe. Grandma's Spaghetti and Meat, and a few of you asked for pics. Well, here they are. I have to say... I made it early in the day, because we had a busy evening, and I wanted to be able to just heat up dinner. So around 4:00, dinner was ready, cornbread was warm and I just couldn't help myself... I ate!! An entire serving!! and then ate again at dinner time... I just couldn't help it:) Ok, I could help it, but I didn't want to.

Grandma's Spaghetti and Meat (exactly as she wrote it on a recipe card for me)

1 1/2 c. Small Elbow Macaroni
1/2 lb Hamburger meat
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp Sugar
1 46oz can of tomato juice

Cook Macaroni in enough water to be loose. While it's cooking brown meat loose or in small balls. Drain off water on macaroni and add tomato juice, meat, salt & sugar. Heat to a boil. Very good with Cornbread or butter and crackers.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Our First Week of School.

William has officially started Kinder... and I am officially a Kindergartin teacher. If you didn't know we have decided to homeschool this year, and it is going really well. Since we have decided this route for our family, there have been so many decisions to be made; what is our classroom setting going to be, what curriculum to use, what will the other two brothers do while William is schooling... I had no idea how many philosophies, and choices there where. But here is what we decided on for this year.

We are using A beka K5 curriculum for Phonics, Numbers/math, handwriting, and science. A friend and I are co-oping geography/social studies. using "Hands On Geography". We start that next week, and I'm super excited!!
For Bible, we are going to use the A Beka Bible Cards, and also "God's Little Devotional Book for Boys" by David Cook.
We will continue in the "Box Car Children" series by Gertrude Chandler Warner and also venture into a few others.

Here is our school room, Well actually it is our formal dining room, but who really needs one of those?

And here is our School Room, It is small and compact, but for now it is working like a charm.

William on his first day, working on his school box.
All 3 brothers do the Bible Lesson, read alouds, and any craft/art projects for that week. But during Kinder time/seat work time, Brennan and Cade play with their "school toys" on a blanket at one end of the room. There are definatley some adjustments and scheduling that we are working out as we go, but so far the first week of school has been very productive and tons of fun!!