A Week of Meals

Amazing how may have asked!  So here is our weekly menu for this week. With four-five kids at the house doing the day time-we need to have food ready all day long.  I have been reading a new book called The Secrets of Happy Families.  So far I am enjoying this book and have help seen benefits in the Family Dinner Chapter.  I love how families are rethinking family meal time.

But rethinking takes time.  As we are starting T-ball season now, and Monday’s we always have dance- on somedays everything starts at 5 p.m.  So dinner will be at 4p.m.  And then there will be a special healthy dessert later.  I don’t know what that is yet…but this is a goal.

I know it has been a while for a full week list….so drum roll-nothing fancy!


B-Yogurt and Breakfast Bars

L-Mac&Cheese w/Tuna

D-Homemade Chicken Dumplings (Well the Dumplings are frozen from the store)


B-Eggs and Bacon

L-Fish Sticks (We eat the ones from Costco)



B-Cold Cereal

L-Left Overs

D-Dinner at Church (Lenten Dinners)


B-Frozen Pancakes or Waffles (homemade -we make extra and freeze them)


D-Tuna Noodle Casserole








D-Left overs


We have a habit of eating out Sunday and snacking the rest of the day.  Even trying to change this it is 12 years in the making and will take some time to change.  We are in the process of trying to sell our house and moving so-this will be adaptable due to viewings of the house.

While I do cook in bulk, I find it does not work well for us to plan meals this way.  But it is nice to have things to pull when I need them.  So I will double batch cook and freeze. Also I use what is on sale and buy my meat at Costco every other month.

So over the next few weeks and months as I will look at new ways to have family meals – to spend time together at meal time-to feed my always hungry child.  AND keep the kitchen clean.  Yeah I don’t know about that one!




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Snow in the South

Today there is threat of snow. This is a big DEAL for us in the south. It’s not the snow that I am scared of. It is all the people who don’t know how to drive in snow. It’s the fact that we have a limited about of salt trucks and plows…like a handful.


When I started college I went from Florida-no snow-to Ann Arbor Michigan. I learned how to deal with snow-fast. I then with on to Seward, NE for my Graduate studies. Snow, and lots to it!! My internship as a DCE was in Kent Oh, just below Cleveland, we broke the snow record that year with over a 100 inches of snow.

Then I moved to Huntsville Al. I was warned that when there was a threat of snow all the eggs, bread and milk would fly off of the shelves. Our first forecast of snow back in 1998 I was driving home, I stopped to pick up milk-without thinking.

They were right. No milk. No bread. No eggs.

What did people do on snow days here make French toast?

Still people to this day buy those three items when snow is mentioned!

So when I got up this morning I decided to make bread. Pulled out the bread machine that I thought maybe I “killed” the last time I used it-too much dough.

It’s kneading now. It’s a small bread machine-was my husbands from before we got married. For six people the loaf lasts about 15 minutes….but fresh bread is yummy! Just the smell…on a cold day like today, it will be perfect!

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Stocking up on Pickle Pops (or Cups)

First day back in our school schedule. Also in a lets eats what is in the house and stock and freeze the freezer. So the kids asked for pickles, and FINALLY the big pickle jar is empty of pickles and we made pickle pops (or cups)!! My little kids love these!


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15 Bean Ham Soup

It is cold outside. And we are trying to eat simpler, not out as much, and a little cheaper.

So last week I bought a ham on sale. Yesterday we cooked it and everyone just ate from it. No formal dinner, just ham to eat off the stove. Now I don’t eat ham. Why I do if there is no sodium nitrates, but it is harder to find these hams. So I do love ham when I can eat it!

My family enjoys it though, so I got one. And on the stove was a beautiful ham bone staring at me. With lots of meat on it. Split pea soup first came to mind. But I had no split peas, but I had a bag of 15 beans.

So into the crockpot went
Bag of 15 beans(I did not use season packet)
Ham bone
1 onion cut
2 cans fire roasted dice tomatoes
6 cups water
Garlic (I used powered) eye it



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Making Beef Jerky

Ok, I don’t like beef jerky, but the rest of my family does. I had done some experiment with the dehydrator and it got me thinking… Maybe I should try beef jerky.

I bought beef flank steak at Costco. (I will do cost effectiveness later). A bottle of soy and Teriyaki sauce at Kroger’s. I also used pepper and salt for both, and crushed garlic in the soy mix.

Using my husband recipes as a guide (5 cups of soy seemed like a lot) I moved forward.







The kids seem to like it. I tried to use the vacuum sealer to help marinate it-not advisable -too much liquid. And it changed the meat. I use used a zip lock bag for the next batch.
I will try this again. This will be great for traveling and hiking. Plus it has to be a little healthier than store bought-at least it smells better! I personally still don’t like it…but I’ll make it for my family!!

Share with me any recipes or if you have tried!!

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Good Food We Ate This Season!

Alright some have asked, where did you get the recipe?  So here are some of the yummy dishes or drinks we have and where I found the recipes!

Christmas Punch….This one I make up on my own.  To be honest I eye it on Sherbet (although I don’t always use it) Pineapple juice,  cranberry juice, and ginger ale.

Stuff French Toast….a few years ago we were watching a  Food Channel show with Paula Dean and Robert Irvine was on and made this.  We thought it looked yummy and so we made it.  The recipe can be found here.  This year I made the cream cheese mixture the night before and added some strawberries too.  I used dried cranberries, first soaked them in some boiling water.  Made morning much easier.

 I also made a cheese cake-at the last minute Christmas Eve for Christmas Day.  Not pretty when it came out, but it was good!  Not a traditional New York Cheese Cake, creamery and a prefect ending to a great day!  It was from Tyler Florence –The Ultimate Cheesecake

Cheese Cake

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Nativity Cookie Cutters Fun for Advent!

Look what I found on Amazon! I love getting ready for Christmas and Advent! And I love Manger scenes. Not only can we bake cookies, but it will great for the kids to trace on paper and use for arts and crafts!


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School Lunches: What We can Learn from Disney {part 2of3}

Last week I started writing about school lunches and children who are really hungry.  It made me wonder, who should be teaching children to eat healthy?  The government has taken it upon themselves to tell schools, parents and children how much they may eat.

Seems to me that eating healthy starts with the parents. It starts when they have babies. It starts by promoting breast-feeding. Breast milk changes flavor with the things the mother eats/drinks. Babies will develop taste early on for different flavors. (please note I know that not all can breast feed and respect that. I bottle feed all my foster babies.) Just because baby turns his nose on carrots the first time doesn’t mean you stick a french fry in front of them. But it is from the beginning that babies and children learn how to eat.  It is not McDonald’s fault if a mom puts a french fry in front of their baby.  (ummm or gives them a french fry so they can drive a little bit longer!-yes I am guilty of that one!)

I am not a perfect mom when it comes to anything. I tried from the beginning to set healthy eating habit for my kids.  (I didn’t want them to end up like me!:) That meant I made “some” of my babies baby food. I didn’t give cow milk to any of my babies till after 2.   I didn’t jump in to feed them the “meat products” so soon. Yes we eat meat.

I gave choices.   I love toddle nibble trays.  I don’t know if all that worked? But I have children who eat veggies. Who love salad. Who love french fries. And who love candy.  I think that we balanced out the best of both worlds.

We have been going to Disney now for about six years now. When you have a child that prefers fruits and veggies verses fries eating there at first was hard. The children’s menu where the same “kid friendly” items.  After 10 days (yes our first family trip was 10 days to cram it all in…camping) it got old and boring.  My 4-year-old was begging for “adult foods”

As Disney changed, they changed their menu-but they didn’t get rid of the fries. They added more choices. Now my kids can choose what they feel like eating. Some days it’s grapes or carrots to dip. Other days it may be fries or maybe a brownie.

On the Disney cruise ships (or their restaurants)  meals are severed with portions in minds.  They are fun, and most of all good to eat.  I always say, if we could learn how to cook and eat like this, meaning food quality and portion control, we as Americans would be healthier and maybe have a bit more in our pockets for other things, like vacations.

I love Disney Buffets. They offer the best of both worlds. They have a kids size buffet with many of the kids favorite foods plus the kids can pick from the other parts of the buffet.  My kids get a little from there, then they get to taste all the other great foods out too. Most end up with many different veggies and fruits.  It was teaching to them to take smaller portions to try something.  It was also us, setting the example, that was the hard part still is. 

Disney makes dessert ok to have!  The desserts are small portions. There is no reason to get rid of the good stuff. The key is control portions and Disney does this well. One the Disney cruises we just took, our kids got to try three desserts after they ate. (our rule)

So while schools are getting rid of foods, cutting back calories, maybe they should be watching how Disney did it.  They gave choices, and then put the parents in charge of the choices-to help teach the kids.   Here is the deal.  We parents want great food for our kids.   Look at the market for organic baby food, wholesome foods….there is not a lack.  And at the same, it  seems healthier is more expensive.  In some regards it is.    Each family having to make their choices as to what they will feed their children.  Disney gives choices, and I love those choices.  They give fun portion control.  And even with portion control, you have the option to buy seconds.  Or if you are on a cruise ship, eat till your heart is content.   My kids normally don’t get seconds, unless they are hungry.  Sometimes their tummy trick their eye….

These desserts look large….the jello cup was about as tall as my finger and the spoon was tiny.  The plate was a tiny dessert plate.  Fun, but within limits.



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Summer Survival: Playing in the Kitchen {5 in 5}

Welcome Back to 5 days of Summer Survival-Day 4. Do you still have  your stillness? On Monday I focused on mom’s stopping for a moment to find their stillness-make sure you read the post if you are just joining us!

The center of our house is our kitchen.  It is one of the “well-loved” rooms in our house.  It is always a mess, always dishes in the sick always something on the counter. My kids always want to help me in the kitchen.  To be honest, I get more done if they are not in the kitchen but we know that is not realistic. Kids need to be in the kitchen. Kids at a young age need to playing in kitchen.  As they get older they need to learn how to cook and clean.

Summer time is a great time to get kids in the kitchen!

Things we do:

  • I have a drawer for my toddlers.  They can pull it out and play with whatever is in there.  I put toys and some Tupperware.  I use to let them play in the Tupperware cabinet, but to be honest, I was tired of putting it all back.
  • I let them play in the sink to “wash” dishes.  They love this.  It is messy, but fun for them.  Use non breakable dishes.
  • Have them help pour ingredients into the bowl.
  • Give them some rices, a funnel, a bowl, a cup and a spoon.  They will love this!
  • They love to stir. And stir, and stir.
  • We have two-step stools so the can see whats going on.
  • Have them look through cook books. My kids love this. We pick recipes and make them.
  • Flipping pancakes.  We have them help us flip them
  • Make Mickey pancakes
  • Unloading the dishwashing. This is the job of my 10-year-old.  The little kids help him.
  • Wiping.  Kids love to wipe and clean.
  • Make Glop
  • Sweeping.  Get a little broom and dust broom from each child.  They will love to sweep!
  • Let them experiment with cooking.
  • Make Cookies.  Lots of Cookies
No Bake Cookies

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Keep joining me and these other fine ladies for one-hundred high quality posts full of homeschooling activities and advice, child-friendly and specialized recipes, Biblical encouragement, and much much more!

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When Kids Get into Trouble

Our Rule of Thumb

Time out-1 minute for every year

This does not start till they are quite.

What kid wants to get caught?

One tattles.

One lies.

One gets caught.

One gets mad.

But as momma’s we must hold firm to our plan, and I am not always good at this. They play these sweet little eyes at me and can melt my heart. Or sometimes I just don’t want to deal with it.

Today, one got mad because they got caught lying. Put in time out. Screamed for 13 minutes “cause they had to go potty and I was a poop poop head.” Me reminding them that they just sat in two extra time outs cause they were screaming, and I didn’t do that. They are quite now. But my nerves get frazzled. So I count, with my eyes closed, sometimes standing one my tippy toes (in hopes that maybe the crying child will wonder what I am doing and stop crying) to not hear it. And now I have two in the kitchen in time out.

Time outs. When I bring them out I ask them why they where sent to time out. We process it. We will process these things many times. It is a training period.

Sometimes my oldest sometimes tells me I am grounded to my room. I smile-thinking this isn’t such a bad deal for me and say “ok, see you in a while!”

What happens in your house when kids get in trouble?

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