Click Here For Free Blog Backgrounds!!!
Blogaholic Designs

Friday, November 30, 2012

Celebrate Advent


Celebrate Advent

Each year I try to find some kind of creative way to celebrate Advent.  We usually will do something that follows the Jesse Tree theme. Last year I wanted something that was not too intense but fun and creative… 

I found Truth in the Tinsel, it was a great fit for us.  I was a little concerned that it would be too young for my girls…

but I found it was a nice change from some of our more intense devotions we have done and helped us to remember the simple truths of the season. We had so much fun making the ornaments and reading the daily devotions. 

   Truth in the Tinsel Printable Ornaments Amanda  has made ornaments that match the devotions.  They are only $3.99. So if you want a simple but effective way to celebrate the truth in the midst of the tinsel... this is your answer...

  It was my plan to use the same devotion this year… but we are in the process of closing on buying a house and may be packing much of December...  so this year I am all about easy, simple (completely put together for me) and not time comsuming to complete each day...

Jesse Tree Calendar ConnectionsI love the Calender Connections over at 1+1+1=1.
The facts are written at a 3-6th grade level but you will be able to water them down for younger kids.
 I was planning on using her Chritmas Around the World Calendar Connections cards in our Calendar Chart (since we are planning on  doing a mini unit on Chritmas Around the World for December.)  I am not sure we will be able to complete all I want to on this Unit so the Jesse Tree Calendar Connection Cards will be a better fit.
The Jesse Tree eBook 1
Jesse Tree OrnamentsCarrisa has made e-books to go with the Calender Connections, for subscribers of her site. They are also downloadable to read on your i-pad or kindle. One of her readers put together these ornaments for the tree to go with the calendar connections.  When I saw them, I new they would be a perfect match for us in this busy month for us.  I will have the girls find the card from the calender chart and we will read and talk about the scripture then place the ornament on our Learning Tree that sits on the kitchen table.   I will place the Ornaments in the calendar pockets along with the calendar number and informations card.  I will take a pitcute and post on how it is working as we get it all set up and working.

I so appreciate others work and investment of time in making celebrating the season easier... 
Truth in the Tinsel
Pin It

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chile Rellenos

Chile Rellenos

  • 1 large can wWhole Green Chiles
  • 1-1/2 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
  • 8 whole Large Eggs
  • 1 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Salt And Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix together eggs, milk, four, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne.

Cut chilies in half and add a single layer of chilies on the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch dish.

Top chilies with half the grated cheese.

Repeat with another layer of chilies and another layer of cheese.

Pour egg mixture all over the top.

Place into a larger baking dish or rimmed baking sheet. Pour in 1/2 inch of water and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until completely set.

Pin It

Monday, November 26, 2012

May we be the Blessing

I made this post on facebook after the election…

  Abraham Lincoln shared these words...

A house divided against itself...

Will not stand, in regards to our nation...

Words that came straight from the mouth of the greatest man to walk this earth (Jesus)...

So, I ask myself what am I doing,

         what can I do today, tomorrow and the day after that...     

To help, to work toward,

     My nation...               My state...                 My community...               My neighborhood...

Being united.       

Pondering this and praying for wisdom and grace...

After I wrote this I came across this pray over at: Melissa Green Music

May we be the blessing today and not the curse.
May we encourage one another towards an abundant life.
May we seek peace and reconciliation in our own hearts and with the hearts of those around us.
May we live humbly.
May we give people, all people; our family, our friends, our neighbors, our communities and our leaders, the benefit of the doubt.
May we let LOVE lead us.
May we let generosity guide our actions.
May we stand for what Christ stood for or rather stand with those whom Christ stands with. ALL.
May we get down off our fences and high posts and come down into the level ground, into the open space where all truly live.
May we dwell in this fertile ground

where our lives WILL eventually turn outward toward others.
May we allow our focus to turn from me to them to you and finally to us.
May we live united.
May we seek SHALOM.
May we be reminded of the image of God in all of our lives.
May we seek communion with all.
May we be the blessing not the curse.

      my prayer. Melissa Greene – Nov 7th, 2012… the day after the election.


                A prayer, I want to pray continually….

and one I have written down and placed as a bookmark in the book….

which is a love letter to me….   

         filled with words of wisdom…

                   words of grace….

I place this prayer between the pages written in red…

           the words of my Savior…   God’s Chosen servant…

“Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen.

He is my Beloved, who pleases me.

I will put my Spirit upon him,

and he will proclaim justice to the nations.

He will not fight or shout

or raise his voice in public.

He will not crush the weakest reed

or put out a flickering candle.

Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.

And his name will be the hope of all the world.”

~Mathew 12


words spoken by the one that lead the way…

     not with words shouted out…   ready to pick a fight…

                  not with words that crushed…   or burned out a small flickering flame…

but words of justice…             words of victory…           words of hope…  

                  words from the beloved…                 graced with love…


Things I am thankful for this week:

my beloved

graced love

lunch with encouragement on monday

traditions on tuesday

lessons learned from a cartoon of wednesday

chicken and easy meal on thursday

relaxation of friday – no shopping chaos in this house

turkey on saturday

words in red

examples that went before us

family together

hope of restoration for families apart

growth in the deepest places

understanding and peace…

~ May your days be filled with graced love…

Pin It

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Menu Plan

clip_image002Week of 11/25 – 12/1

Sunday – Turkey Noodle Soup
Monday – Burritos & Rice
Tuesday – Chicken Enchiladas
Wednesday – Tuna/Pea Sauce & Biscuits
Thursday – Baked Spaghetti
Friday – Pizza Bread
Saturday – Chili Relleno Casserole

I have looked at many monthly menu plan subscriptions over the years.  I have tried a few but the thing I did not like about most of them is that they plan the meals…  and honestly (even though there were some really awesome meals)  we did not like all the meals, or they required ingredients that I did not regularly purchase.  We are usually on a food budget, and I like to use items that we find good deals on -  see these posts:

I have looked at the Plan to Eat menu planning program but I was not sure I wanted to for the $39.00 a month (I am kind a cheap when it comes to things like this.)  But the Pan to Eat Simple Menu Plan is on sale  until Monday, you can purchase a yearly subscription to Plan to Eat  for just $19.50 (which works out to about $1.60 a month). You can also buy unlimited gift subscriptions for $15.50.

So I decided to go for it and give it a try. 
I like that you can enter in all your own recipes, and quickly add ones from other web sites or Pinterest… which I have been getting allot of recipes from lately.  You are able to plan for all three meals plus snacks. (not just dinner)  I will post next week how I liked using it.

linking to:

Pin It

Greek Pita Sandwiches & BLT Salad

Sundays are our soup & sandwich days, during the fall and winter and salad & sandwiches during the spring and summer.   I found these recipes at Eat at Home.  They look so easy and fun.  We love meatballs and like to find new ways to use them.

 Greek Pita Sandwich

You’ll need:

  • A bag of frozen meatballs
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Feta (my family isn’t real big on Feta so we would use other kinds of cheese too)
  • Dill and cucumber dip (store bought or homemade)
  • Pita


  1. First things first, get the meatballs in the oven baking. Just follow the instructions on the bag. (or microwave them)
  2. Chop up the lettuce and tomato.
  3. Once the meatballs are ready, let them cool. Then put everything in the pita pocket. And last but not least top with the dill and cucumber dip.

  BLT Salad


  • Chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 2-3 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • A handful of onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp of mayo
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • A dash of milk
  • croutons


    For the salad:

  1. Put the lettuce, tomatoes, onions in a bowl.
  2. Crisp up the bacon in the micro.
  3. While the bacon is cooking, start making the dressing.

    For the dressing:

  4. All you have to do is put the mayo, salt/pepper, and dash of milk in a container and shake until smooth. If you like a thicker dressing, use less milk. If you like a thinner dressing, add more milk.
  5. Then mix all together and enjoy!

Enjoying easy meals on a day of rest~

Pin It

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Reflection




Thanks Living…

In our household we have certain traditions we hold on to…  DSCN1012

We learned from our Magic Tree House book - “Pilgrims- a Companion to Thanksgiving on Thursday,”  that traditions  are ways of doing the same things from generation to generation…   

Webster says a Tradition is:  an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)

So, some of the actions, or customs that we have been practicing from year to year for Thanksgiving are these:

DSCN1107Listening to Thanksgiving music while we prepare the food… this one is for me…  keeps me calm and uplifted.

Having cheese, crackers and salami for lunch…  no lie - we have had this for years…DSCN1110  DSCN1128 DSCN1129

DSCN1170Going to the park by our house… DSCN1151 DSCN1143  



Looking at the ads for “black Friday”  to see if there is anything worth going out for… this year we will not be, as my giving son and rock star son will be working, my unique son will be fishing with his boss, and my missionary daughter is with YWAM right now. It is still fun to look though…



My special son loves traditions… 

he gets ready for Christmas right after Thanksgiving… 

                                                             sporting his Christmas hat…

DSCN1115The past two years our missionary daughter has not been with us for Thanksgiving but we have been able to talk to her on the phone.

2010-029_thumb2 Another Tradition we do is to write down on some sort of shape or list – 3 things we are thankful for and add that list  to our “Learning Tree.” 

DSCN1200On a whim, about a month ago, I threw out our Learning Tree… I was decluttering for moving (was thinking DSCN1113we would be moving  before the holidays… which we haven’t yet… still waiting – but that is another post for another day.)  So, I sent out my unique son on a tree hunt.  He came back with this awesome branch…

As, tradition dictates… we wrote and shared the things we were thankful for.

It is so fun to hear all the items each person had on their list.  They went way beyond the three items… so grateful to see them living thanks…

DSCN1130DSCN1211  DSCN1219 

Tree before our thankful leaves and after the leaves are added…

DSCN1194DSCN1202 DSCN1203  

During dinner time we played a game we play when we have family gathering dinners… (with having older/adult children – the conversation can tend to be geared toward things the younger kids do not understand or have a hard time participating in)  We started playing this trivia type of game – we call “family questions.” 

Someone comes up with a question and everyone goes around and shares…  It can be as simple as – What is your favorite flower?  to Who is your favorite “Psych” character or what is your favorite Psych episode? (one of our favorite family show and one of the favorite topic for questions this year)

some random family goofiness…

DSCN1112DSCN1142  DSCN1199  

I am so thankful… for this family… for this place and time we are in… 

where we have been and where we are going…

            but most of all I am thankful for/and to our Creator…

who decided that this crazy, unique bunch of people would be a good idea and would be

                                              a good fit together… to reflect His image…

Reflecting on  Thanks – Giving and  Thanks – Living

Pin It

Friday, November 23, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up – Week 12

We did not do a whole lot of school this week as my special son was home all week.  I thought he had school Mon-Tues. because these were “unassigned days” – which I found out this week means they are off.  I thought “unassigned” meant they had not decided  if they were off or not. Well, now I know… not a big deal, we just re-adjusted our schedule a bit. I am realizing after all these years that it is best to keep a “light” schedule when he is home. 

We official finish our 1st quarter – completing 12 weeks of regular school weeks.  We have been doing school since the summer…. we had a light (1/2 days) school schedule, were we worked on math, reading and some extra learning activities.  I have been wanting to switch our school schedules to seasons.  The Lord just seems to speak to me in seasons.  My record keeping this year reflects these seasons:DSCN1089
I have color coded each season as follows:

Summer – Yellow
Fall – Red
Winter – Blue
Spring – Green

I have my school planning binder divided into those four sections.
In the front section of my planner I have all of our essential record keeping forms such as schedules, attendance forms, course study forms and our curriculum planner forms.

DSCN1090 DSCN1091

This is what our Fall session looks like:
DSCN1096  DSCN1098  DSCN1101
In the front of this section is a Learning Goal form divided into the three months of that season.  I write down the different areas I want us to cover.  This is sort of a brainstorming form.  Next are the actual weekly planning sheets.  I have a section at the end for our “week in review.” The top section of the week in review is divided into 4 boxes – one for each of my children I am homeschooling.  This is were I write down areas for each child that they are growing in, need help in.  The section under that I write about our week as a whole and ideas I have.  At the end of each season section is a folder slot to put papers or forms I may need for that season.

DSCN1105 One of the things I started a few weeks ago was taking outDSCN1104 work from our monthly file in my Office Apprentice and putting a weeks worth of work in each of these folders.  This has really helped to me accomplish work in each subject area more efficiently. 

So, with all that in mind we will completed our fall season on school at the end of next week as  we wrap up all of our November Unit work.

As of December 1st we will be starting our winter season of school.  The month of December we usually work on holidays type units and activities.  We will be doing a unit on Christmas Around the World along with Advent type activities.  Stay tuned to that.

Linking up to:   Homegrown Learners  Pin It