Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekly Menu 1/30 - 2/5

I usually don't get around to posting our weekly menu until Monday mornings, but since we are leaving for Jackson at about 5:00 a.m. I decided to post early. 

Menu plan for this week:

Sunday - Dinner after singing at church in Pontotoc
Monday - Hamburgers and chips
Tuesday - Stir Fry, rice
Wednesday - breakfast for supper (quiche, pancakes,
                      grits, etc.)
Thursday - Ham, biscuits, potatoes/gravy, green beans,
Friday - chicken strips, salad, potato wedges

Breakfast - muffins, toast, ham and eggs, hot or cold cereal, fruit

Lunches - leftovers, sandwiches, soup

Snacks/desserts - apple crisp, popcorn, fruit, muffins

Friday, January 28, 2011

Crockpot Meatloaf

I've been trying to do more crockpot cooking lately, which has led to experimenting with recipes that I usually cook in the oven.   This is my usual meatloaf recipe that I thought I would try cooking in the crockpot and it turned out great.  I don't see any reason why you couldn't mix it up and freeze it to be cooked in the crockpot later if you want to.   I already do that for meatloaf to be cooked in the oven and don't see why it wouldn't work in the crockpot.

I really don't use an actual recipe so all amounts are my best guess.  

2 pounds ground beef (I used ground deer)
3 eggs
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/2 onion (chopped)
1 medium sized can of tomato sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all together and shape to fit your crockpot.  I have one oval shaped crockpot so I made my meatloaf into a log, but you could make it round and it should work fine.  I cooked it on low for 7 hours.  

Since I used deer meat I didn't have a lot of grease settle on the bottom of the crock, but if you are using ground beef you may need to use a rack or possibly drain the meat part way through cooking.  Also, we don't put a sauce on top of our meatloaf.  I'm not sure how it would work to put the sauce on at the beginning of your cooking time, but it may be fine.  You could possibly add it about an hour or so before it's finished cooking.  Play around with it and see what works for you.   Half the fun of cooking is trying new things :)   

So far I've had two successful crockpot experiments this week and this makes me very happy :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Homemade Bar-b-que Sauce

I posted this recipe a while back, but since it is our absolute favorite Bar-b-que sauce I thought I would share it again.  We love this on pulled pork sandwiches, hamburgers, deer meat and really just about anything else you would serve with bar-b-que sauce.   You can make it as hot or mild as you like by adjusting the amount of red pepper used.

Bar-b-que Sauce

80 oz. ketchup
1 pint water
1 1/2 teaspoons cloves
1/2 box red peppers (I use ground red pepper)
1 pint vinegar
1 cup mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder

After ingredients are dissolved, cook on low for about 20 minutes.   Let cool and put into containers.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sneaky Onions

When my children were younger they were convinced that they did not like onions.  I knew that it wasn't the flavor of onions they didn't like, but the texture.  My solution to that problem was to peel and chop the onions and run them through the food processor.  The onions were chopped so tiny that they could be added to a dish without detection by my children.    As they have gotten older, with the exception of one, all of my children will eat onion without complaint.

Amanda has the same issue, not with her children, but with her husband.  He thinks that he doesn't like onions, but she has discovered that if he can't see them, he likes them just fine.  So what she does is run the onions through the blender until they are finely chopped (almost liquified) and freezes them in ice cube trays.  When frozen she puts the onion cubes into a ziploc bag and adds a couple of cubes to her soups, stews, casseroles, etc.    Alan has never made any complaint on the added flavor and usually will eat more than one helping. 

Chopped onions freeze well and although you may cry buckets of tears while preparing them for the freezer, it is really nice to have your onions already peeled and chopped when you need them.  You can also freeze them in ziploc bags in larger portions when cooking for a larger  family.   Maybe we should feel guilty for "sneaking" onions into our food, but they are really good for you and, in our opinion, they greatly enhance the flavor of most dishes.  Do any of you "hide" vegetables in your meals?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crockpot Chicken Pie

I had never made Chicken Pie in the crockpot until recently, but I knew there had to be a way.   This is what I did and it turned out great.

Crockpot Chicken Pie

If you spray the the crock of your crockpot before adding ingredients it should help with clean up later.

Chicken    (I chopped up a couple of uncooked chicken
                 breasts into small pieces, but you could use
                 turkey, beef, or whatever you have on hand). 

Vegetables (chopped) ( I used potatoes, carrots, onion,
                  and garlic, but you could use corn,
                  green beans, peas, etc.)

Seasonings - (I used salt, pepper, celery salt, and
                       onion powder)

1 can of cream of chicken soup (I used my homemade cream of turkey soup)

Milk ( I didn't measure, but it was probably about a cup of milk.)

Put all of this into the crockpot and cover with biscuit topping.

2 cups of gluten free baking mix
1 stick butter (melted)
Add milk until it reaches spreadable consistency. 

I cooked this for about six hours on low.  We usually eat our chicken pie over rice, but next time I will probably skip the rice and serve it with a salad for a complete meal. 

It was really good and so easy and by using the vegetables and meat I already had on hand it was very inexpensive.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Weekly Menu - 1/23/2011 - 1/29/2011

This will be a busy week for us, so I'm hoping that having a plan in place will make life a little easier.   Since I already have some of the items prepared and in the freezer and I also have several crockpots it shouldn't be toooo bad :)    Here's the plan.

Sunday - Deer Roast, potatoes, carrots, peas and
Monday - Chicken Pot Pie, Rice
Tuesday - Hamburgers, potato salad, and
                 homemade baked beans
Wednesday - leftovers
Thursday - Meat loaf, peas, squash, cornbread
Friday - Potato Soup or Chili
Saturday - leftovers

Breakfasts - muffins (freezer), pancakes (freezer), bacon, eggs, toast, hot or cold cereal, fruit, or smoothies

Lunch - leftovers, soup, sandwiches, muffins with fruit

Snacks - cookies, fruit, popcorn, peanut butter crackers

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Our Favorite Herbal Tea

Actually, we have more than one favorite herbal tea.  Amanda and I both love herbal teas and have been able to grow some of the herbs ourselves, which for some reason makes the tea taste even better :)  For the herbs that we don't raise ourself, we purchase in bulk from the Bulk Herb Store.  We also use some of the herbal teas found in our local grocery store.  However, with the exception of Celestial Seasonings Red Raspberry Zinger, I really prefer tea blends that I make myself. 

Amanda and I both like the Red Raspberry Zinger on it's own,  but lately I've been adding one tea bag of it to my pot of tea made with the Hawthorn powder from the Bulk Herb Store.  I also, occasionally, use the loose Red Raspberry leaf that I have and mix it with the Hawthorn powder.  We actually drink Red Raspberry Tea because we love it, but it has health benefits as well.  Red Raspberry is good to use during the later part of pregnancy and also helps with things like menstrual cramps, etc.

Another tea that we like, especially in the winter, is Ginger Root tea.  I like the flavor of Ginger Root Tea and it is a good warming tea, but we also use it to help with nausea, diarrhea, immune building, etc.    We sometimes mix it with Peppermint leaves to enhance the digestive benefits and also to enjoy a slightly different flavor.  We've found that the peppermint helps to relieve mild congestion if we have a cold.

Cinnamon Tea is another favorite and we use it mostly during the winter to help with sore throats and mild congestion.  It is also good to help warm you up on a cold day and I have read that it is good for mental stimulation as well, which I desperately need :)

There are several other herbal teas that we enjoy, but the ones listed above are the ones we use most often for the taste and for the medicinal benefits.  Occasionally we make lemon balm, chamomile or maybe  a cup of the Celestial Seasonings Peach or Blueberry.  I also plan to start drinking more dandelion tea, mainly because I've been reading a lot about the health benefits, but also because we have such an abundance of dandelion in the summer.  

I would love to hear from you about the tea your family enjoys.  Leave me a comment!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hawthorn Tea

I've been interested in raising and using herbs for a few years now and the more I learn about them the more I'm reminded of God's provision for His people.   One of the herbs I've recently begun using is Hawthorn.   According to the book "Practical Herbalism" by Philip Fritchey, research has shown that the historical uses of  Hawthorn for treating congestive heart failure, helping to prevent a heart attack, and helping maintain healthy blood pressure was right on the mark.   

Drinking Hawthorn tea (in addition to implementing an overall healthier lifestyle (diet/exercise)) is believed to be effective in helping maintain heart health.  However, Hawthorn has to be used consistently to gain the maximum benefits. 

Many of my family members (father, grandfather, aunt, cousins, etc.)  have suffered with high blood pressure and heart disease, so in addition to making dietary changes (baby steps) and exercising, I have also begun drinking Hawthorn tea on a daily basis.  

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of Hawthorn or many other beneficial herbs I highly recommend the book "Practical Herbalism" by Philip Fritchey.   It's packed full of information that is not too complicated for even me to understand :)  

If you are interested in purchasing herbs, I recommend The Bulk Herb Store (  I've used them for several years now and have never been disappointed.  The service is good and we have been very satisfied with all of the products we've purchased.  If you decide to purchase herbs from there I would appreciate it if you used my affiliate link, located in sidebar or just click the link above.  It would help me out and I think you will be pleased with their service.  They also (sometimes) carry the book "Practical Herbalism", but if you can't get it there you can get it from Amazon by clicking this link Practical Herbalism: Ordinary Plants with Extraordinary Powers.  As with The Bulk Herb Store, if you are ordering from Amazon it would help me out if you went through one of my links and will be greatly appreciated.

(I'm sure everyone knows this, but always check with your personal physician before taking any medications, including herbal medicine.  This is especially important if you have a known medical condition or you are taking prescription medication.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Homemade Baked Beans

These beans are delicious and since I already have all of the ingredients on hand it's inexpensive for me to make.  I like to keep some in the freezer for a quick and easy side dish that's good with just about anything.

(I got this recipe from Southern Food and adapt it as needed to the ingredients I have on hand)

Homemade Baked Beans

3 cups of dried white navy beans, soaked and simmered until tender (I also used mixed beans on occasion)
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup molasses
1 large onion chopped
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon salt
6 slices of uncooked salt pork or bacon, diced
1 cup brown sugar

Place all ingredients in slow cooker; cover and cook for 8-10 hours on low.  Stir a few times if possible.

(If you use gluten free bacon and ketchup then this also makes a delicious gluten free side dish)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Spur of the Moment Pasta Salad

Thought I would share a pasta salad recipe that my daughter came up with last week.  Like all  mothers, many of her recipes are created spur of the moment, with the ingredients on hand.  Since Alan was out of town and Amanda was preparing meals for only Rachel and herself, she decided on pasta salad.

Spur of the Moment Pasta Salad
  "Amanda's Way"

1 package gluten free pasta (prepared according to label directions)
Small amount of nice-n-cheesy (amount of cheese differs according to how much pasta you have)
Poppy Seed Dressing
Lightly steamed vegetables of choice (She used carrots, broccoli, snap peas, onion, garlic)
Turkey or Chicken (already cooked and chopped) (optional)

Melt nice-n-cheesy in microwave and add poppy seed dressing to taste (or until preferred consistency).  Mix vegetables and pasta together and then drizzle dressing over the top.  You can serve this either hot or cold, but I personally prefer it hot.   Amanda added already cooked and chopped turkey to her serving.

Although this is a quick and simple recipe it is delicious.  Give it a try!

Lightly steamed vegetables

The finished product.  Delicious!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rachel's Favorite Foods

As everyone knows, toddlers can be notoriously picky eaters and my oldest grandaughter is no exception.  The funny thing is that she is picky in her own unique way.

Rachel loves cucumbers and has loved cucumbers since before she had teeth.   When Rachel was younger and we would go to a restaurant, Amanda would get a salad and give Rachel the cucumber and sometimes a lemon slice.  Rachel would sit happily gnawing away until we were finished eating.

Rachel still likes strange things to eat.  At least they are strange things for a toddler to eat.  In addition to loving raw cucumber, Rachel loves broccoli.  She definitely prefers it lightly steamed with a very thin cheese sauce, but she will try it any way that it's served. 

For Rachel, apples are preferred over cookies and vegetables over meat.  Pasta is acceptable but only if served with lightly steamed vegetables or a light cheese sauce, but definitely no meat.  

Pancakes are a favorite of Rachels as long as they are served without syrup.  A little peanut butter, lightly spread is her pancake topping of choice, although chopped apples may be served on the side without complaint. 

Brown Rice is a  favorite as long as it doesn't have gravy.  A little butter, no sugar, is just about right. 

Oatmeal is also high on the list of acceptable foods for this toddler.  Sometimes a little applesauce or chopped fruit may be added, but quite often she prefers it "plain."

I don't know about anyone else, but I think I could take some healthy eating tips from this picky little girl.  Toddlers can change their likes and dislikes overnight, so I can only pray that she keeps it up.   It is totally amazing to me to see Rachel offered a cookie which she turns down in favor of an apple or cucumber.  Now, I ask you, how awesome is that?

Rachel eating a cucumber

Ellen wanted one too!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekly Menu

This weeks menus are going to be very simple and as always are subject to change depending on how our week is going.  This is the plan:

Sunday - Leftovers (hamburger steak w/gravy and steamed vegetables made yesterday)
Monday - Chicken Stir Fry over rice
Tuesday - lentil soup and chicken salad sandwiches
Wednesday - hamburgers, crockpot potato wedges
Thursday - Bar-b-que chicken, cole slaw, homemade baked  beans
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - Chili, cornbread

Lunches - leftovers, sandwiches and soups.

Breakfasts - eggs & toast, muffins (freezer), smoothies, fruit, pancakes (freezer), cold or hot cereal

Snacks - fruit, veggies, smoothies, muffins, cookies

Friday, January 14, 2011

Getting Ready for Valentines Day

Now that things are "somewhat" back to normal Amanda and I have been working on our soaps and other crafts again.  Recently we've been working on Valentine's Day Projects.   So far we've made Peppermint Chocolate Milk, Citrus Blend, Lavender, and Oatmeal Milk and Honey soaps that are curing right now and today we are working on new fragrances and shapes that we'll tell you about later.    Below is a picture of  the flower and heart shapes we have curing in addition to our round and rectangular shaped soaps.     The flower shape is Peppermint Chocolate Milk  and the hearts are Lavender.    We've also got some other things that we've been working on and will share with you another day.   
Peppermint Chocolate Milk and Lavender Soaps (fresh from the mold and untrimmed)

In addition to the soaps and crafts, Amanda has been working hard with her Avon and has really done quite well with it.  She is putting together some Valentine's Day Sets with Avon products as well as the joint projects that we have going.  I'm proud of her for working so hard and doing such a good job.  We'll be sharing pictures of our recent projects in the near future.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

(Oh, if you're interested in learning more about Avon check out Amanda's website at

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Waking Up on the Homestead

See these guys?  I have been waking up to the wonderful sound of roosters crowing for the last couple of weeks.  I didn't realize how much I had missed it until now, and I'm really glad that I decided to get chickens again.  There's nothing like the sound of  hens clucking and roosters crowing.  I guess that's means I'll always be country girl :)

(Those awesome pictures were taken by my son Caleb.  He did a great job, don't you think? )


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Healthy Snack

I absolutely love homemade salsa.  This version uses all raw ingredients and since onion and garlic have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties it is a very healthy snack that's quick to make.  If you have organic produce available that's even better.

For this batch of salsa I used one tomato, half of a large white onion, and 2 cloves of garlic.  I chopped it all together into a bowl and sprinkled it with lime juice and a little salt and pepper.  If you have cilantro, avocado, or green onions available you can add that for a little different flavor.  I ate the whole batch with tortilla chips.   Delicious!

The finished product!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Applesauce Muffins

I thought I would share one of my families favorite muffin recipes.

Applesauce Muffins

1 cup softened butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 (16 oz) can applesauce (You can use homemade)
2 tsp. soda
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. ground allspice

Cream sugar and butter; add eggs and vanilla.  Beat well.  Sift flour, cinnamon and allspice together.  Heat applesauce; remove from heat and add soda.  Add applesauce and flour alternately to butter and sugar, mixing well after each addition.  Place batter in greased muffin pans and bake for 15-20 minutes in 350 degree preheated oven.  When done, roll in powdered sugar.  This batter will keep in the refrigerator several days.  Makes 7 dozen miniature muffins.

This recipe is easily adapted to gluten free.  I haven't made it without eggs or using egg substitutes, but I do make it using the gluten free flour blend that I make.  My family cannot tell any difference between the muffins using the gluten free flour and the ones using "regular" flour.  I don't roll my muffins in the powdered sugar either.  Some of my children like them with the powdered sugar, but I don't like the fact that they get a little sticky with the sugar on them.    I usually end up with 24 miniature muffins, 12 regular muffins and one small loaf of bread from this recipe.   This is all that's left from the ones I baked yesterday!

Applesauce Muffins

Weekly Menu

All of my dinner menus are subject to change, but here's the plan for this week.

Sunday - Deer Roast, vegetables
Monday - Taco soup, sandwiches
Tuesday - Vegetable soup, cornbread
Wednesday - deer burgers, potato salad, homemade baked beans
Thursday - Tacos
Friday - Chicken dumplings, salad, homemade bread
Saturday - leftovers

Breakfasts will consist of pancakes (Freezer), muffins (freezer), hot cereal, cold cereal, bacon and eggs w/toast

Lunches eaten at home or carried to work will consist of sandwiches (I keep chicken, roast, etc. cooked and shredded in the freezer for this), burgers, fruit, applesauce, and leftovers

Snacks - muffins, fruit, cheese sticks, cookies

I'm planning to go out and enjoy the remaining snow today.  Hope you have a good week!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow on the Homestead

We occasionally have ice, but rarely do we have a good "old fashioned" snow here in Mississippi.  When we do actually get a good snow it creates a festive spirit around the old homestead and requires me to throw out all schedules and schooling to take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy it while it lasts.  Here's a few pictures of  our snowy homestead.
Watering the chickens
Feeding the horses

Rachel & Uncle Caleb having a snowball fight!

Watering the horses

Shoveling snow out of the horse trough

Rascal patiently waiting for breakfast

Snowball fight!

Daddy enjoys a good snowball fight as much as anyone!

My mother got in on the fun!

I hope everyone else is enjoying the snow as much as we have!  

Saturday, January 8, 2011


With the possibility of snow and ice moving in for the next few days, I've been spending most of my time this morning and late yesterday making preparations.  We keep a stockpile of basic items on hand most of the time and thanks to the salvage store we have an abundance of canned and ready made gluten free items as well.

 Murry and Ferrell spent yesterday afternoon (since Murry was off), making sure the chicken coop was insulated against the cold and today we'll be taking care of the turkeys.  I'm also in the process of making a big pot of taco soup, chili, and potato soup, as well as baking brownies, an apple crisp, gluten free bread, cornbread, haystacks, etc.  We have a gas stove and usually when we have an ice storm we put things in a cooler on the porch so we don't have to worry about opening the refrigerator  if the power goes out.  I can really do without the ice, but I love snow.  My biggest concern is the large pine trees close to our home.  I always fear that the tops will break out and land on our house, but since I can't do anything about that at the moment, I'll just focus on having some hardy, cold weather foods available.  What are you doing to prepare?

Friday, January 7, 2011


I haven't made any soap since before Christmas so I decided that it is now time for me to get back into my soapmaking routine.  I usually try to devote one day a week to soapmaking.  Sometimes I'll make several large batches and sometimes I'll only make one or two small ones (especially if I'm experimenting with new recipes).  Today I decided to experiment with a small batch using cocoa powder and peppermint essential oil.  It smells so good and I can't wait until it cures so that I can give it a try.   I am calling it "Peppermint Chocolate Milk".  (As you can tell I have absolutely no imagination when it comes to naming things :)  

Amanda and I are planning to sell our soaps at a local farmers market this year as well as a couple of other "festivals" that we are in the process of checking out, so I am trying to build a good inventory of soaps to have on hand.  During Christmas we sold most of what we had so it is definitely time for me to get busy. 

I'll be posting pictures of some of our newest soaps soon.  Hope everyone has a great weekend and can stay warm in spite of the weather that's predicted for our area.  (Oh and by the way, if this post sounds rushed and disjointed, that's because it is.  We're having internet issues (AGAIN) and I'm trying to post before it goes out.)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Was Today a Good Day or Not?

I'm trying to decide if today was a good day or not.   I really don't like days where I have to get up early and leave the house knowing that I won't be home to until late afternoon.   This was one of those days!  Amanda and I were in town running errands by 8:00 this morning.  We carried Ellen with us, but since Rachel was still sleeping Alan said that he would let her stay home with him.  We were back home by 10:00 at which point we unloaded the car, changed the girls diapers, picked up my mother and headed to Grenada.  Amanda had some Avon deliveries there and since both of my parents are from Grenada we usually try to stop by and see one or two family members while we are there.  

Most of the time I ride with Amanda when she makes deliveries to Grenada for a couple of  reasons.  One because of the family members that live there and since my mother doesn't drive anymore and my Dad rarely feels like driving they don't get to go visit family unless one of us takes them. 

Secondly, there is a salvage grocery store there that always seems to have quite a bit of gluten free food in stock.  Today I bought three banana boxes of food for next to nothing.  If you have ever bought gluten free you know that it can add up quick!  I have to say it really is worth the hour drive to get there when I can get $150 worth of  gluten free food for $45 to $50.    Usually we make it up there twice a month (depending on the number of Avon orders) and we always make a point to stop by the salvage store.  Sometimes we luck out like today and get a lot and other times there may only be a couple of things gluten free, but we also buy most of our canned goods, juice for the girls, peanut butter, etc. there.   

I think I have decided that today WAS a good day if I quit thinking about what DIDN'T  get done and start thinking about what DID get done.   Being able to have a good supply of "cheap" gluten free foods on hand definitely saves us money, therefore it's a good thing don't you think?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Frugal Kitchen Tip - Leftover Soup

Thought I would share an idea for those "not quite enough for another meal" leftovers.  For years I have kept a soup bucket in my freezer.  My soup bucket is a recycled ice cream bucket, but any medium or large sized bowl with a lid will work. 

Usually our leftovers are warmed over for another meal or possibly carried to work for lunch, but sometimes we have small amounts that aren't really enough for another meal or no one really wants to take it for lunch.   Those leftovers are added to the soup bucket.  Now the first time this was mentioned to me my thought was "HOW GROSS!"  After thinking about it awhile though I realized that it might actually be a good idea.  If nothing else the end result could be quite interesting. 

The way it works is that anytime we have a few leftovers like peas, corn (off the cob), green beans, pieces of meat (cut into bite size portions), rice, potatoes, gravy, and vegetable broth, etc.  they are tossed into the soup bucket.  When we need a quick meal, or the bucket gets full, or maybe we're just feeling adventuresome, we pull out the bucket and dump the contents into a soup pot and add liquid if needed.  Quite often water is all that is needed since most of the leftover vegetables already have some liquid with them.  Occasionally I will add turkey or chicken stock or maybe even tomato juice if I have it on hand.  Since the leftovers were already seasoned I don't usually worry about adding additional seasoning.  After that you just heat it up and it's ready.  You would be amazed at how many really delicious soups we have made this way and since it is made with leftovers you can actually consider it a "free" (or at least almost free) meal.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday's Tasks

One of my goals for the New Year was to blog more consistently.  I know myself well enough to know that I will never be able to consistently blog everyday, but I am at least hoping to blog once a week.  So far I'm off to a good start.  Two days in a row, for me, is an accomplishment :)   Everyone else may get tired of hearing about our "somewhat humdrum" lives, but my plan is to use my blog to help me become more accountable in certain areas of my life.  Organization is one of those areas.  Somehow, when I tell others my plans I seem more inclined to follow through with them. 

Yesterday I did not get up and moving until 10:00 a.m.  That's abolutely awful, I know, but I had been up until 2:30 a.m. unable to breathe due to this cold/crud I have.  I finally went to sleep at 2:30 a.m., but was up again at 4:15 a.m. and didn't go back to sleep until after 5:30 a.m., so I decided to cut myself some slack and not beat myself up over it.

Thanks to Ferrell being wonderfully, self-motivated towards school, he was able to start back with a few basic subjects.  I was absolutely NO help to him at all yesterday as I was still feeling crummy.  I began to feel better last night though and was able to sleep (again after 2:00 a.m.).  Today I am planning on breaking my day into "tasks" that I feel MUST be done today in order to get my home back into some semblance of order.  Ferrell will be (again) working totally independent of me, while I try to get myself back on track while still feeling somewhat as if I'm living in a fog. 

Today's Tasks:

SWEEP & MOP  (that may not seem like something you would put on a TO DO list, but believe me, right here today, it needs to TOP my list!

LAUNDRY (if we miss a day it takes over the house and poor Ferrell was so busy trying to do school and help me with other things that laundry just didn't happen yesterday.  Not a good thing on the heels of a busy weekend!)

DUST ( I know that there is some furniture here somewhere.  I just have to find it!)

STRAIGHTEN & CLEAN BATHROOMS  ( I live here with FOUR men, need I say more?)

STRAIGHTEN & INVENTORY PANTRY AREA (Holiday chaos, need I say more?)

There are quite a few more things that need my attention, but I figure if I get all of the things done that are on my list for today I'll be doing good.  Especially, since I'm having a little trouble with being dizzy everytime I move my head.   Amanda is also running a slight temp this morning, so if she gets to feeling worse I may find myself enjoying my sweet little grandaughters so that their Mom can get some much needed rest.  Oh well, if I don't get started I won't get finished.  Hope ya'll have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

What Are You Having This Week?

Weekly dinner menus are something that I have been doing for awhile now (at least off and on), but recently I have gotten slack in this area and that's one of the things I want to change this year.   I have found that we spend far less on groceries when I take the time to do this.  Not only does it prevent the desire to pick up fast food on busy days, it helps me to meet the needs of family members that have food sensitivies.  Also, when I plan our menus, it's easier for me to plan to make extra for the freezer as I go along and not have to depend on a day set apart just for freezer cooking.  So, in the effort of more consistent meal planning I will be posting our weekly menus on Monday of each week (that's the goal anyway) to help encourage myself to plan ahead.   So here's my plan for the week (subject to change if the need arises of course :)

Sunday -  Chili (already in the freezer)  (The band had a singing so we only needed one meal)

Monday - Deer meatloaf, peas, squash and cornbread.

Tuesday - Turkey dressing, sweet potato casserole, ham, and homemade GF bread
                 (most of which is already cooked and in the freezer)

Wednesday - leftovers

Thursday - Deer steak w/gravy, rice, green beans and homemade GF bread

Friday - Potato Soup and Taco Soup with cornbread

Saturday - leftovers

Due to everyone having a different schedule we rarely have breakfast or lunch together and since all of may children are older they usually have to fend for themselves for those meals.  I do usually have muffins and pancakes in the freezer as well as homemade bread.

Breakfasts (for those that eat breakfast) usually consists of  muffins (cooked and in the freezer), pancakes (cooked and in the freezer), cold cereal, hot cereal, scrambled eggs with toast, fruit smoothies or plain fruit.  Lunches will vary.  Caleb (and sometimes Murry) will take leftovers for lunch, Heath takes a sandwich (unless he eats out which he does quite often), and Ferrell and I eat leftovers or a sandwich.  Desserts and snacks usually depend on my mood.  This week I'm planning to have pudding cookies, apple crisp w/ice cream, and fresh fruit. 

Soooo, what are you having for dinner this week?

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I've spent most of this morning thinking about my personal goals for 2011.  As I mentioned before, I'm not much for making (and keeping) New Year's Resolutions, but I do like to set (hopefully attainable) goals for myself.   I thought I would share a few for the purpose of accountability.  I somehow think that if I share my goals, then maybe I will be more likely to fulfill them :)  Don't worry I won't share the WHOLE list. 

Scripture Memorization (I've gotten slack on this in the past year)
Have a closer walk with my Heavenly Father
Lose 10 pounds  (this will put me fitting into my clothes a little more comfortably)
Exercise at least three times a week
Blog more consistently (at least once a week)
Be more consistent with menu planning (possibly posting menu plans to help me follow through better)
Begin Christmas shopping/crafting in January (DO NOT wait until the last minute)
Expand my herb garden and learn more about medicinal herbs
Go wildcrafting (would love to learn to identify beneficial plants in the wild)

I have quite a few more, but some of them are more "dreams" than actual goals.   We also have quite a few goals for our family as a whole, but those are a subject for another day.  What are your goals for 2011?