Monday, August 20, 2012

What's on the Menu

Here's a peek at our menu for the next two weeks, if you are into that sort of thing...

Cheesy Enchilada Soup ( Paula Deen's recipe.  Surprisingly, no butter or cream cheese was harmed during the making of this recipe. )

Shrimp Fried Rice and Pot Stickers.

Maple Dijon Chicken, Roasted Garlic Herb Potatoes and Broccoli

Italian Beef Sandwiches (thanks to the slow cooker) and fresh fruit

Stuffed Shells, Salad and Bread

Chef's Salad and Homemade Rolls

Yes, I said 2 weeks.  I make a big meal so we can have leftovers for a day or so.

I don't know about you all, but I'm excited about Fall and using my slow cooker more and more for those yummy Fall dishes!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

One More Reason I Love Homeschooling

I love homeschooling mostly because of those "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" moments.

Yesterday we had a lesson on scientists and inventors of the past and their contributions to physical science...Isaac Newton, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Otto Lilienthal, Robbert Goddard, Neil Armstrong.

Which lead to us YouTube-ing footage of Armstrong's first steps on the moon. 

Which lead to us finding videos of astronauts playing around in weightlessness.  Which prompted great questions such as "If there is no gravity, how do you go to the bathroom?" And "Why do they have to workout while in zero-gravity for an extended period of time?"

Which lead us to videos of pilots in a zero-gravity plane popping water balloons.

Which lead to conversations of how an airplane can simulate the weightlessness of outer space by flying in a parabola.

Which lead my son to dig out a 'Magic of Flight' dvd that was purchased years ago at a Pensacola museum of aviation.

Which lead to discussions of how a planes wing is modeled after a birds wing and how wind speed differences create lift.

Those are the moments when I sit back and think, if this took place in a classroom, the lesson would have ended with Newton, the Wright Brothers, and Armstrong. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

13 Things

My son turned 13 today. 

He was my first baby.  The ubiquitous 'guinea pig', the one who taught me in so many ways how to be a mom.

Here are 13 things I learned since August 7,1999:

1.  It all washes off.  No, really.

2.  Even if you don't have a clue in what you are doing, keep in mind the baby hasn't been to this rodeo either.  He won't be judgemental if it takes you three tries to put that diaper on right.

3.  Your baby won't explode if they eat REAL food.  Real HUMAN food.  That stuff in the jars? Not human food.

4.  It takes 3 days of no sleep for one to begin to questions one's sanity.  (Actually, I learned this from my daughter.  My son slept like an angel.  An angel that led me to believe I was the Best Mom Ever. Until I had my daughter.  But that's a whole 'nother story.)

5.  It's all cute and fun when you have pets before you have a kid.  You refer to them as your 'babies'.  Then you bring that baby home and all those pets suddenly become hairy, noisy, germy animals. Amazing, really.

6.  Watching nature documentaries, particularly the ones that show baby animals being hunted down by packs of hungry lions while the mother fights with all her might to protect her young become more emotionally gripping than anything Hollywood could concoct.  My heart goes out to those mommas.

7.  Along with #6...every child becomes 'your' child.  That child on the news who is missing?  It hurts your heart because...'that could be MY child'.

8.  Nothing is better on a day when you are feeling fat or frumpy than a crayon drawing with 'to my beeyoutifull mommy, the best mommy ever' scrawled across the bottom.  Heaven.

9.  You learn the true meaning of grace.  Yeah, you lose it when something gets broken or destroyed, but you still love the socks off of that kid.  And thus you realize how much God loves you in the same manner.

10.  Watching that first baseball game when the kids are pitching and they all want to pitch a 100 mph fast ball but have NO accuracy what so ever requires many trips to the concessions.  I can't watch.

11.  I'd rather be punched in the face than see someone hurt my kids' feelings.

12.  My parents really WERE smart.

13.  No matter how old they get, when I look at them I still see their little chubby smiles and feel those sweet kisses.  I always will.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sometimes He Sends a Spider

I love Joel Osteen, don't you? He looks perpetually happy everytime you see him on television, and I truly believe he really is that happy 99 % of the time.

Anyway, I caught his sermon on television yesterday morning before church and it has stuck with me, so much so that I want to share it here.

In a nutshell, it was about a soldier in Vietnam who was alone in the jungle.  He could hear the enemy getting closer and closer.  He started to run, but could only go deeper into the jungle.

Finally he came to a cluster of caves, and out of desperation, he chose one and hid in its darkness.

All the while he could hear the enemy approaching.

So he prayed. He prayed for a brick wall, an iron fist, anything to stop them from capturing him.

He came to terms with his mortality.  And he waited.

Suddenly he noticed a spider in the mouth of the cave.  It began to spin a web from one side of the cave to the other, and in no time it had woven it's web across the mouth of that cave.

The enemy approached the caves, and began searching them for the soldier.

When they came to his cave, one of the soldiers saw the spiderweb and suggested there was no way anyone could be in that cave...they would surely have disturbed that web when entering.  And they moved on.  One little spider saved that soldiers life.

How many times do we pray for that brick wall, that iron fist...or at least expect something huge and amazing to answer our prayers, all the while forgetting that God can take a lowly spider and create something extraordinary out of it?

The next time you pray and think that God hasn't heard you because he didn't send what you requested...look again.  Closely.

Sometimes He just sends a spider.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Blueberries and Cream Pie

Yesterday I came across some blueberries in the freezer.  Not enough for a cobbler, but I really wanted to make a dessert.  Then I found cream cheese. 

This is what I made:

I made a pie crust and pre-baked it for a few minutes. You can use a refridgerated store bought one if you wish.  Preheat oven to 400.

1 block cream cheese, softened
1 egg
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp AP flour

Cream these together till well blended.

2 1/2 c frozen blueberries (or fresh would be fine)

Stir berries into cream cheese mixture.  Pour into pie shell.  Bake 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

Mix together:

1 1/2 Tbsp butter, softened
3 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp chopped walnuts

Remove pie from oven.  Sprinkle nut mixture over pie and bake 10 more minutes.

Let cool on counter, then chill in fridge.