Meal Plan for the Week of 10/27/13-11/2/13

It has been well over a year since I have updated my blog. So many changes to life…I will save that discussion for another day. in the meantime, here’s what we’re eating at our house this week.


Pancakes (homemade but in the freezer), cereal, oatmeal



Sandwiches (PB & J, eggsalad, tuna, grilled cheese, deli meat), Ramen noodles, leftovers, baked chicken nuggets

Pumpkin and Sausage Soup


Dinners (got a bunch of chicken to use up this week)

Sunday – casserole night at our small group Bible study – Italian Layer Bake, Pumpkin Bread (added nuts and raisins)

Monday – Grilled Chicken Breast (marinated in Dale’s Seasoning), Egg Noodles

Tuesday – Chicken Breast in Crockpot (will season with some herbs), Rice, Veggies

Wednesday – Pizza (I have a few Boboli pre-made pizza crusts)

Thursday – leftovers for the gals, guys have a Boy Scout function that they will be eating at

Friday – all day homeschool field trip – may have more Boboli pizza when we get back that night or sandwiches

Saturday – Ground Chicken Ranch Burgers on the Grill, Baked Potatoes, Veggies


I will be making some Pear Apple Butter this week too.


Find more great menu ideas at the Menu Plan Monday link-up on Organizing Junkie

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2012/2013 School Year – Preschool


This is our 4 year old Bapti-Costal daughter. She is a wild child sometimes yet love to have quiet time to cuddle, read, talk, do puzzles, etc too. We are the proud parents of a 15 year old son, 13 year old son, and this little firecracker. I will be posting what year 7 of our homeschool looks like for the our boys but today I’m going to focus on Preschool. We are doing on a blend of several curricula plus lots of extras thrown in :-)

First off, I fully believe preschool should be about learning through play – sometimes directed play and sometimes “teachable moments”. Find out what works for your child and then capitalize on it. Even before we started school Faith knows her letter, what sound they make, a few words that start with each, how to write some of them, numbers, very basics of math (concept of adding/subtracting, counting), and colors. She knows how to write her name and mine “Mom”.

Here is what we have been doing so far for preschool:

Week 1 – Letter A

Letter of the Week - we used a couple of the things listed

Letter “A” Activities with Food by Cullen’s Abc’s (Faith LOVED this)

ABC Song using sign language

Books we read from home or the library:

Ant Cities

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

Picking Apples

We explored these foods:





The rest of the teaching revolved around pointing out things around us that start with the letter A. Nothing overly structured but we had a good week.

Week 2 – Letter B

Letter of the Week – we used a couple of the things listed

Letter “B” Activities with Food by Cullen’s Abc’s (Faith LOVED this)

ABC Song using sign language

Books we read from home or the library:

Bubble Trouble

Berlioz the Bear

Little Ballerina


We explored these foods:



Brussel Sprouts (I ate them – Faith didn’t)



I also found here a bag of small, soft, brightly colored blocks at the Dollar Tree – she built a bridge with them.

We talked about colors that start with B (blue, brown, black) and bugs.

I’ll post about our week of C next weekend.

You can also check out my Preschool Homeschool Pinterest Board for more ideas!

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Menu Plan for 8/18/12-8/26/12


This week starts week 3 of our 2012/2013 schoolyear…I really need to get back to meal planning before there is a mutiny around here. Apparently leftover night involves actually cooking at some point so that you have leftovers…who knew?!?!

Here’s my plan for this week. I need to use up a few things in the cupboard and freezer so I’m thinking a Pantry Challenge may be on my horizon.


Cereal, toast, pancakes, eggs, oatmeal (usually it’s cereal though)


Sandwiches (PB & J, grilled cheese, ham, tuna, turkey, eggsalad), soup, leftovers, salad, ramen noodles


Saturday – (company over) Baked Potato Soup, salad with homemade croutons

Sunday – fend for yourself/leftovers after church; Salisbury Steak Hamburger Helper (made with ground turkey breast) and salad for dinner

Monday – Barbecue Chicken Thighs (in crockpot), Baked Potatoes, Corn on the Cob

Tuesday – Pork chops (probably in crockpot), buttered noodles, steamed vegetables

Wednesday – our church activities resume that evening – probably sandwiches and leftovers

Thursday – a large ham (need lots of leftovers since I will be gone for a couple of days – Mark Sr and Faith LOVE ham), butternut squash, green beans

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – some of us will be away for an in-state mission trip. We aren’t all coming back at the same time so I am going to make leftovers for help-yourself meals – leftover ham, baked potatoes, salad, steamed veggies, maybe some cookies and/or brownies too…wouldn’t want anyone to go hungry :-)

You can also check out some of my recipes I’ve been collecting from around the web on my Pinterest Board of “Recipes to Try“.

May God bless you!


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I Fall To Pieces

Patsy Cline (my all time favorite singer) put it best, I Fall To Pieces. OK, she was referring to a broken relationship, I am referring to some aspects of my life at the moment. One aspect that I haven’t discussed here on my blog is that we lost our home to foreclosure. After much prayer, my husband and I decided that this was the only option. It was an extremely hard decision but we have now moved into a rental home about 10 minutes away from the home we built 11 years ago. Although I have tried to put on a smiling brave face this has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with.  I have a bad habit of keeping things private and not being open about problems. I have these long prayer times with God but with friends and family I have a hard time sharing, not because they aren’t willing to listen but because I am a really private person.

The other big issue right now is my health. Since the beginning of the year I have had several health issues. I was hospitalized for several days for cellulitis of my abdomen (panniculitis of my abdominal wall). This has been a repeated problem for me. In March I went to my dermatologist for my psoriasis. It had been much worse since I was hospitalized. Along with the patches of psoriasis, I was also having joint pain and stiffness (mainly in the joint where my skin had patches of psoriasis). My doctors and I have talked for years about starting a TNF inhibitor but we had to weigh that against the fact that I have repeated infections. Since I was now showing signs of psoriatic arthritis the doctor felt I was at the point we needed to start Humira. If you aren’t familiar, this class of drug inhibits the body’s inflammation response. While clearing up something like an autoimmune disorder it leaves a person more vulnerable to infection. Of course, I am being careful to do what I can to prevent more infections. It took a long time before I got approved but my insurance company finally did approve the Humira. I have been on it for about a month now. My psoriasis patches are much, much better. But, my joints are more stiff and sore than ever. I am hoping that subsides soon.

Also, my doctor switched some other “personal”-type medications because I was having some nasty side effects. They also did a bunch of lab work. They found out I was pretty badly anemic plus my insulin resistance was back. My insulin levels were way up. Unfortunately I had gotten to a point where I was having trouble eating due to my lap-band. In retrospect my bariatric surgeon said stress can play a huge roll in how tight your lap-band is. He removed 1/2 of the saline in my lap-band thus making it much looser. I am having to be very deliberate on what I eat – trying to make better choices. Unfortunately my weight has been climbing since the beginning of the year. I have put back on a lot of weight I had lost with my lap-band.

Physically I have been very tired and with the medication changes I have not been the easiest person to live with. I am eating much better since I got some of the fluid removed from my band.

I am praying for God’s continued guidance and continued provision.

I told you I am falling to pieces :-)

May God bless you!


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Stuffed Green Pepper Soup

Stuffed Green Pepper Soup

2 pounds ground beef or turkey, browned and drained

1 cup uncooked long grain white rice (not minute rice)

2 green peppers, diced

1 onion, diced

28 oz can tomato sauce

28 oz can diced tomatoes (not drained)

56 oz water

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 beef boullion cubes

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)


Put all of the ingredients in a very large pot. Cook for 45 minutes on the stovetop or cook in a crockpot on high for 3 hours. Tastes even better the next day.

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Menu Plan for 5/6/12 – 5/12/12

I need to get back on track with making our menu plan up ahead of time. We have been eating way to much over-processed and/or restaurant/fast food meals lately.


Cereal, toast, pancakes, eggs (usually it’s cereal though)


Sandwiches (PB & J, grilled cheese, tuna, turkey, eggsalad), soup, leftovers, salad


Sunday – Chicken Crescent Casserole, Cut-up Watermelon

Monday – Deep Dish Pizza Casserole, Green Beans

Tuesday – Whole Chicken in the Crockpot, Brown Rice, Steamed Brussel Sprouts

Wednesday – Leftovers

Thursday – Pork Chops in the Crockpot, Buttered Noodles, Peas

Friday – Turkey and Cheddar Burgers, Potato Salad, Baked Beans

Saturday – Sweet and Sour Chicken, Fried Rice

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What To Do When your World Turns Upside-Down

I have not posted on here since January…several months ago. My life really has changed a lot in those months – not necessarily for the worse or for the better – just a lot of changes. First, during the week of my last post (mid-January) both of our vehicles broke down, a friend gave us a used car, plus I ended up in the hospital for a couple of days with cellulitis on my abdomen. This was followed by a decision we came to that was probably the hardest of our married life, we decided to stop our efforts to save our home from foreclosure. We decided to find somewhere to rent and make the best of it. We approached the issue with much, much, much prayer. The home we were leaving was the home we had built with our own specifications, knowing we would raise our children there, knowing we were going to grow old together there…It was such a difficult decision, compounded by the fact our neighbors were our family, literally – my parents live next door on one side, my sister and her family live next door on the other side. Well, long story short, we found a house to rent that is less than 15 minutes away from our other home. It is in a neighborhood (our other home was the country). We have been in the “new” house almost 2 months now. Some things we like better, some things not so much. My husband has been working a TON of long hours. I homeschool in the mornings, then Monday thru Thursday go in to work for a few hours as our church’s secretary. We are finally starting to feel somewhat settled in. My kids tease me because I went from cooking every meal from scratch to literally saying you are on your own – look for something in the fridge and if there isn’t anything quick and easy we’ll go out to eat.

Healthwise we have had some sickness pass through here, 2 of my kiddos came down with influenza A, my other son and I came down with a nasty stomach virus, plus since being hospitalized in January my psoriasis has been flared up pretty bad. I have been on every cream known to man for my psoriasis but nothing is even touching it anymore. If the insurance company approves it I will be starting on shots for it soon. If that weren’t enough, I have totally failed my lapband. Life has been so busy that I haven’t been following any of the lapband rules…my weight has been reflecting that too. I have an appointment in a week and a half to go see my lapband doctor. I’m not sure if I need a fill or a kick in the pants (probably both).

Anyway, I say all of that to get to my main point in all of this. Even though things have been chaotic, even though at times it has felt like my world has been crumbling around me, in my time of worry/anxiety/stress/despair…I “coincidently” came across this sermon by Steven Furtick. The brief introduction – Nevertheless, there is a God and He is supreme and He is all that matters and if He is for you, the world can be against you. Nevertheless, this foundation is secure the Lord knows those who belong to Him and He is God and He is here. Nevertheless.

May God bless you and keep you…


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