Friday, October 29, 2010

Public School Parents Guide to Homeschool Parents by Kris

We are a first year homeschooling family, and when we began to share that decision with family, friends, brief acquaintances and those random people in the grocery store that want to know how old your kids are and when they start school, where they will go...etc. Many conversations went something like this...
Person: Your kids are getting so big! How old are they?
Me: William is 5, Cade 3 and Brennan 2
Person: Oh William will start Kinder in the fall?
Me: Yes, he is so excited.
Person: Oh, do you know his teacher yet, what campus will he be on?
Me: We are going to be homeschooling.
Person: Oh.......(insert strange awkwardness here).....
Me: Yes we are really excited... (enter change of subject here)

I didn't change the subject because I was ashamed, or because I didn't want to talk about school. We are so happy with our decision, but I just wasn't sure what to say, so many people are uncomfortable about the subject. Which is why I loved the following article... It is a must read for all parents... Home school and public school alike. Just a sound understanding to help us both through the "awkward silence".

Public School Parents' Guide to Home school Parents  By Kris

A must Read, so true!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Last Minute , Budget Friendly, Halloween Costumes

Well, as I have mentioned before I am all about simplicity...especially when it comes to Halloween costumes! I love love love to make costumes every year and until this year we have succeeded with that. I know with fall comes busier schedules and not a lot of time. Here are a few costumes you can throw together in about the same amount of time as going to buy those super expensive costumes at the store, but these are budget friendly, so simple, and so cute!!

Puppy Dogs  To be a puppy dog, I took solid shirts and glued patches of fuzzy fabric all over, For the ears, I stitched two "beagle" ears out of the same fabric onto a solid toboggan (the boys still wear these all the time), the Collar is just a ribbon tied around his neck.  An eyeliner eye patch, nose, and whiskers... and you have a cute and cuddly costume, that your kid will actually wear. This can also be done on a sweatshirt or hoodie if you live in a cooler climate.

Pirates: To Make a Pirate costume. We stuck with the basics. We did purchase two eye patches and a few pirate hats for the boys, but they didn't last the night (waste of money). Some old pants, cut to look ragged at the bottom, and an old white shirt with the collar and bottom hem cut out and sleeves ragged. a few yards of red and white striped fabric, was more than enough for "do-rags", belts and a wrap for me. We made guns and knives from a box . What's a pirate without a weapon? Eyeliner beards and a few temporary tattoos.... AArrrgggg!!!

Baseball Theme: I am a fan of homemade costumes, this was probably one of the easiest and cutest costumes so far...  We were everything baseball. Pic your local ball team for easy finds on shirts and hats.
The Fan: completed with a team t-shirt, and red hair.
The Coach: Team shirt, whistle, and clipboard 
The Player: team shirt, ball cap, black eye, and glove 
The Ball: A white shirt, in this case a onesie, with laces drawn on with a red fabric marker.

Sorry for the sideways pic... but isn't this the cutest ball you have ever seen? Complete with bald head! So Kissable!!

This year the boys are using their super hero dress up clothes, but Michael and I will be
Super Mom: Made with a beauty sash, with iron on letters "Super Mom" a mask of fabric and eye holes to match. Be creative with your powers. I will be using an oven mitt as a shield, and a pair of tongs and whisk as my weapons of choice. I may stick a cleaning rag in my back pocket to clean up the messes too. And of course I will be wearing pearls. :) he he.
Super Dad: Super Dad will be sporting a super man shirt and a fabric mask with the word "Dad" on the side in Iron on letters. Complete the look with a utility belt of grilling tools, wipes, and band aids. 

 I do hope this has given you a few good ideas, or at least inspired you to keep it simple, make your costumes comfy and enjoy the time with family and friends. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Columbus Day

The boys at the Nina
So Columbus day was like two weeks ago... October 11th. But I didn't get a chance to post any pics of our fun outing until now. We are fortunate to have replicas of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria here in our city. We took advantage of Columbus Day and headed out to the ships.  I can't even imagine going a mile into the Gulf in a ship like this, however Columbus and his crew traveled across the entire Atlantic ocean, No thank you!

What a blessed nation we live in to have the freedom we do. Just stop and think about the history of our great nation for a minute. One day a long time ago, God put it in a man's heart to try something new. Something daring, and something that most people thought was idiotic.... God has a plan, I don't understand it, that is for sure, but I can't deny God's guiding hand in America's history or mine.

Thank the Lord for Christopher Columbus, and for the freedom you have provided to our current generation through so many that have come before us.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shake the Nation Album Release!!!

The Release of Shake the Nation's first Album, is HERE!!!

If you don't know who Shake the Nation is, just wait.. you will. This band has totally embraced God's will in their life and I, along with our entire church family, have witnessed the great things He is doing with their open hearts and musical gifts. Please consider ordering their album today and know that by doing so you are not only gaining a great uplifting, life changing album, but also helping to "Shake" up our great Nation and  reach people for Christ!

Shake the Nation Homepage

My personal Favorite:  Satisfy!!!  Check it out!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday and My Freezer

I have a confession... Please don't judge... You promise?  Ok, here it goes....... I am in love with my freezer!!!  There I said it, It's out in the open.  Glad to see you are still here.:)  I freeze everything!!For example, that left over wine from dinner a month ago, freezer.  The half onion from that casserole, freezer.  The bananas that were starting to turn a little too brown, freezer. I could go on and on... but I think you get the idea. I have found that my obsession with baggies and the freezer have come in quite handy.

Every so often I find myself in a budget pickle. There seem to be more days in the month than money in the wallet; That girls is where the challenge begins!  I find some sort of accomplishment when feeding my family with a good freezer clean out, $25 dollars, and a whole lot of cooking imagination.  I have to admit, there have been some creations that didn't turn out so good, but for the most part I have found success. Good, healthy, filling meals, and a clean freezer!! So this week is one of those times... You may look at the menu and think... RANDOM!! But rest assured, you are not alone, that is probably what my family will be thinking too.  Menu Planning is so fun!! :) Hope you find inspiration to turn to your freezer too!! You never know what you might find... and I mean that in a good way; not a creepy something is lurking in the depths, kind of way! :)  Make sure to leave a comment with the creation you found in your freezer.


Everything in purple is something I already have on hand... aka in the freezer or pantry! :)

Stuffed Bell Peppers and Salad

Baked Ham and Pineapple, Green Beans, and Rolls

Wednesday: Trunk or Treat

Chili , veggie dippers, and Grilled Smoked Gouda Sandwiches

Friday: Family Movie Night
Homemade Pizza, Popcorn, fruit cocktail


Sunday: Halloween Small Group (Here)
Mummies (pigs in a blanket), Spooky Snickers Cake, Almond Bark Popcorn, Pumpkin Juice (orange kool-aid), and Tea

This will be my first attempt at Snickers Cake, but I'm thinking it is going to be a must... Click the link to see the recipe!!

What creation did you find in your freezer?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Back to Basics with Meatballs

A friend of mine emailed earlier this week asking for my meatball recipe. So I thought if I was sharing I might as well share for all to see.  I have to say first, it's pretty basic; but you are guaranteed good moist, meatballs to add to any dish, home style or Italian.

Homemade Meatballs
  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 1 1/4 c. of bread crumbs or old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
1. Heat Oven to 400 Degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients together, I find it is easiest to use my hands.
3. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a greased jelly roll pan or (2)9x13 pans
4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Until center is no longer pink and juices run clear.

*sometimes I add 1/2 c of grated cheddar cheese and 1/4 c of grated Parmesan cheese  Depending on what I'm serving with.

These are great to add to any pasta dish or with mushroom gravy and rice, YUMMY!!! Try them at your next family movie night! What do you serve with your meatballs?

Top 5 Ways to Pull a Loose Tooth

Well, no matter what I do, my sweet boy just keeps growing. Last week, William had the nerve to actually lose the loose tooth that has been hanging on for the last month. His very first loose tooth... It was so tiny!!! And of course, He handled it like a champ. He now looks so much older, but so precious too!

So for any of you other mothers, with children who have yet to lose a tooth... Here are my

Top 5 Ways to Pull a Tooth
 (disclaimer: Proceed at your own risk, Always check with you dentist first)

1. The Door:  Tie a string/dental floss to lower part of the loose tooth... tie the other end to a door, and proceed to slam the door shut. Make sure there is no slack, as this will not pull the tooth and terrify your child, who probably won't let you attempt again.

2. The Car: Same as number one, only this time tie the opposite end to a high powered, remote control vehicle. Vroom Vroom, Let'er Rip... literally.  Be careful of flying teeth, you don't want to lose these little treasures.

3. Sugar daddy's Carmel on a stick candy...(MY FAV.)  Just get that Carmel nice, warm and melty; bite down using loose tooth, and pull the caramel out... Viola, you have one tooth stuck in the candy. No risk of lost teeth flying through the air, but you may eventually lose extra teeth from the sugar bugs.

4. Eating apples, carrots, or other food that forces you to bite with your front teeth... or like my nephew; you can just bite down on your desk at school. ( I know gross, pretty sure mom and dad had a talk with him about that)

5. The Original:  If all else fails and you can't come up with anything more creative. Give daddy a washrag, have your child open wide, grip and pull.  It will be out in a jiffy. (this is what we eventually reverted to)

Happy Teeth Pulling to everyone!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm on Blissfully Domestic

My first posting on Blissfully Domestic is LIVE today!!!!!


Check it out!!!

IDY2C (I'm a Rapper)

This is a must see video!!!

I DareYouToChange (I'm a Rapper)

Although the video is halarious, the book is really a serious call to change the way you view life. What are your dreams and potentials, or rather what are God's dreams and potentials for you... I read it! and will read it again! You should too!

I Dare You to Change
By Bil Cornelius

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Anniversary!!

Today, October 19th is the day I married the man of my dreams 8 years ago. It has been such a journey, one with ups and downs, with sadness and happiness, with anger and peace, with trials and successes; but one that I treasure every minute of every day! It seems so strange to think that Michael and I have only known each other for 9 years... 9 years!! My how our life has changed over the last 9 years...  What would I do without this amazing friend, leader, and mate in my life?

Fun Numbers One for each year.

1   The number of Girls that live in our house... yep, I'm outnumbered. Big Time!
2   Cars we have bought
3   Towns we have lived in
4    The boys that live in our house... 3 kids + 1 daddy
5    Homes we have lived in
6   Years that we have been parents (well, actually only 5 yrs and 10 months)
7   Most pet we have had at one time (Tadpoles,Bugs, and Dogs; they all had names so they count.)
8  Years on this amazing journey with the one I love. (I know sappy, but sincere)

 It is so fun to look back at the last 8 years and see where God has led us. I can't wait to see what He has in store for this year. I love you Michael!!  XOXO

Monday, October 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Well, It's that time again... Time for another Menu Plan Monday! Thank you for making this such a great community to share recipes and ideas! This week, I'm laying a little low. I have several projects I'm trying to tackle, and I can only do so much... but here it is anyways, SIMPLE!

I am also only posting dinners again,
Breakfast will consist of yoguart, cereal, and breakfast wraps.
Lunches will be PB&J, Pimento and cheese, and Ham.
Leftover Night. (I know we are starting this week with quite a bang!)

Tuesday: Our 8th Anniversary (this is one of Michael's fav's, plus we got to celebrate this weekend)
Chicken and Dumplings, Salad

Wednesday: Awana's Night
Potatoe Ham Bake with Green Beans

Leftovers again?!? YES!!

Friday: Family Movie Night
Corndogs, Fruit, and Popcorn

Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese, Salad

Sunday: Small Group @ the ball park
Ham Sandwiches, chips, fruit

You Made It!! Seasons of Change.

Well, If you are reading this I'm assuming you made the change. I'm going to encourage you to please take the time to update/change any links you may have to my previous blogs, it will be deleted eventually. and subscribe to the RSS feed... (meaning you will be emailed any new posts from Cup of Daisies)

So go ahead...  Take your time... I'll wait....  You almost done?  Last chance..... ok moving on 

With the change of seasons, also came a change for me personally. I have faced a few crossroads over the past several months, and recently decided to give in to God's new direction in my life (always better if you do this in the first place)and embrace the love I have for writing. No, I'm not talking about a book, or even anything professional (YET), but to make the time during the day to come here and share my experiences, thoughts, and heart. So I am making a commitment to myself and to you that I will be updating more! Some updates you will like, some you won't, some you will probably start to think I've lost my mind (and secretly I'm probably thinking the same thing).  But please take the time to comment, it does mean so much to me and helps me to stay motivated,  Just let me know what you think, or share some of your similar or non similar thoughts. Even a comment of something you would like me to write about would be great!

Also in this season of change,  I was accepted to be a food contributor for and have already begun to submit some of my cooking experiments. Be looking for them here if you wish. I  feel it a great honor to have this opportunity, and hope that it will lead to a fun new adventure with many new friends.

I also want to quickly point out a few new things on my blog... One the buttons across the top. The first three won't change much, but "Sites I Love" will be updated regularly with sites I use for shopping, homeschooling, inspiration, or just keeping up with good friends.  You will always be able to find a link to Blissfully Domestic there.  I  have also added some store links, Amazon and Google. Please feel free to access Amazon by way of my blog, I assure you it will be appreciated. 

Anyways, I guess that is it for now. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Where are all the pumpkins??

Have I mentioned that I love fall?  And also that I love squash (every kind, except summer squash YUCK!!) and also that I love pumpkins!!! I love the beautiful shades of orange and smooth texture. I love that every pumpkin I see seems to have a personality just waiting to be set free with a few wonderful ingredients, or some fellow decorations. 
I was so excited for the first day of fall, I had a whole fun menu planned and some special baking projects for me and the kids to tackle.  Well as the eve of the autumn solstice arrived, I remembered, "oh no, I never bought the canned pumpkin for the muffins we are making TOMORROW morning!!".  So off to the store I went to grab a few cans of pumpkin.... I raced to the baking isle, only to find,  NO PUMPKIN!!!!  Well, actually that is a lie. There was canned pumpkin, cute cans of organic pumpkin for almost $3.00 a can.  Now I'm not against organic or anything, but I am against blowing my small grocery budget for canned pumpkin. 
I am usually all about taking short cuts, like canned pumpkin, but since that didn't seem like a logical option I went on a pie pumpkin hunt, however again found NOTHING!!  Finally I did spot something, my heart began to beat, my hands became sweaty, it was something huge, round and bright orange.  IT WAS A PUMPKIN!!!  Now, I know you are not supposed to use those huge pumpkins for cooking, something about the not as sweet flavor, and stringy texture, but I was in a crunch... and that is all I had. I decided if I was going to go big, I was going to GO BIG!! So 3 minutes and $4.50 later; I drove home with the largest pumpkin I could get my hands on nesting safely in the seat next to me. 

SIDE NOTE: Apparently I'm not the only person that has missed canned pumpkin, so a heads up... Due to weather related problems, The pumpkin crops did not yield as well as they have in the past; so if you come across canned pumpkin and it is something you use regularly during this season BUY IT!!!! 

Anyways, Got home with my pumpkin and started cooking him.... and here is my experience.

After poking holes with a meat fork and cooking for about 2.5 at 350. I decided it was time to cut open this yummy smelling gourd!! After letting the pumpkin cool. I peeled off the skin, and started mashing... I'm pretty sure I now have almost  enough pumpkin to make it through the fall and winter season. The pumpkin is slightly stringier(is that a word?) so probably not the best for a smooth pumpkin pie, but works great for breads, cakes, cookies, and muffins!
8 cups of mashed pumpkin in my freezer and 4 more already made into SO YUMMY muffins!! For only $4.50 and a little bit of time.
And the best thing about using a real pumpkin and not canned- roasted pumpkin seeds. 
Sweet and Salty pumpkin seeds.
These are coated with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and a little ginger and salt!!! So good.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Menu Plan Monday or Tuesday.

Easy chicken Dinners is the name of the Game this week! Yesterday got so busy... one thing after another. But I will be posting recipes for Monday's and Thursday's Dinner Later today!!
Tangerine Marmalade Chicken, Stuffing, Veggie

Grilled Chicken, Loaded Mashed Potatoes!!, Veggie

Wednesday: Awanas
Chicken Salad, Multi grain Crackers, (using Leftover Chicken)

Thursday: Lego Club
Crock pot Chili, Cornbread

Friday: Family Movie Night
Corn dogs, french fries, & Fruit Slices

Saturday: Out on the Town with Hubby!!!
B: Cereal
L: Turkey and Cheese, Fruit,  Pretzels
D: Aunt Jen's Pick

Sunday:Small Group
B: Sister Schubert's Kolaches
L: Out
D: Small Group

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pics of Smilin' Sweetness

Just thought I would leave you with a few pics to keep you smiling as you move into the weekend!! At least they make me smile!

I promise, this is his cheesy, "Oh mom has the camera" smile. I mean who could be that unhappy with a spoonFUL of chocolate? I love it!!! 

Next week in my Blog: Menu Plan Monday, The Big Pumpkin Bash, and a yummy new recipe Peach Basil Chicken!! Hope you have an excellent weekend, see you Monday!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Simple Heritage of True Greatness

Aunt Hallie shares her love With Greg, Jeanifer, and Michael

Hallie Smith, better known as Aunt Hallie, is somewhat of an iconic figure in our family. I never had the privilege of knowing Aunt Hallie, she had already gone home to the Father before I came into the Caldwell family; but it didn't take long for me to realize what an impact she had on those who knew her. As a new bride, in a new family; I eagerly soaked up Caldwell family traditions, time and time again they were traced back to none other than our dear Aunt Hallie! There is not a family gathering that one of Aunt Hallie's famous dishes is not made, or a memory or thought is not shared; and although I didn't personally know her, I feel so privileged to hear the memories that she left behind.
Recently Michael and I inherited a table from his Grandfather's estate. It is a beautifully made table; simple and elegant, with a few love dents on top, but otherwise in very good condition. When the table first came to us we didn't know much about it, other than at some point it belonged to our beloved Aunt Hallie. About a month after the table came to our home, a newspaper clipping was passed along to us. A picture of our Aunt Hallie graces the front,  holding a quilt from the year 1860, and an article highlighting her love and compassion that she so willingly gave to those around her.
The article titled "Cornerstones: People in our lives" is as follows,

"Miss Hallie Smith, who was 86 last week, is seen in the photo above with a quilt a sister of her grandmother made in 1860.Hallie's sister showed the "Drunkard Path" pattern quilt in the art show at the State Fair of Texas in 1934 and won a first-place blue ribbon. The youngest of seven children, Hallie was born in Nevada, Texas, in 1901 and lived there until she moved to Royse City fie years ago. Even though Hallie fell in love several times, she was always too busy taking care of sick people to marry. Hallie not only took care of people, she always took care of things. She is still using the bed and dresser her mother had when she married in 1883. Her dining table belonged to her grandmother and grandfather in the early 1800's and the furniture is in like new condition. Hallie said, "Everthing is alright with me, I'm just as happy as I can be, and I love my home here in Royce City." She added that person can do anything in the world if they try hard enough." By Jan Peoples

There is no doubt in my mind that Aunt Hallie was a vivacious woman, through out her entire life. She had a great knowledge for the blessings in her life and respect for all things, living and non-living.

I feel so overwhelmed when I begin to think of the food, joy, study, love, and sorrow, that was shared around the table, this 200+ year old table; the very table I sit at this instant. What great responsibility to pass on this legacy; the legacy of love, of care, and of greatness that has been poured out around this old wood.

To anyone else this is probably just an old table and a small yellowed  piece of insignificance, but to me and those that knew or long to know Aunt Hallie they bring to light the true greatness of Christ love. A love which touched the life of a truly great woman, whose legacy continues to teach a tremendous life lesson; to those who choose to embrace it.