Monday, February 28, 2011

Once a Month Cooking and Menu Monday

At the book sale a friend came over and said,  "Do you have this book?  It is wonderful."  Of course, I bought it.  Sheesh.  It's a book, right, for .50.   It is by Deborah Taylor-Hough.

I am still looking and thinking.  There is a section about how to cook and freeze two weeks worth of meals and I think that would be a great start.  I have a problem though.  I do plan my meals each week,  but sometimes I get the urge just to cook something different.  Like Indian food, or Chinese, or Mexican, or food that reminds me of a book I just read.  I think that having the meals in the freezer will be great,  a good preventative to going out or picking up pizza, although we don't do either too much.  So, instead  of thinking so much on this,  (it's not THAT big of a deal)  I am going to take the plunge and do it.  Next weekend, after the Memphis conference  that is this weekend.  Let me know if you have ever tried this kind of cooking or have wanted to.

So now to the Menu part of this post.

Mon.  Tonight is VERY busy with us leaving the house at 4 and some getting home earlier and some not til 9 or so.  I had made refried beans last week for quick lunches and left some of the pinto beans whole to make up a quick supper (dare I say I have already begun cooking and freezing and it is great?)  So pinto beans with leftover sausage and rice and cornbread.

Tues.  Slow Cooker Loose Meat Sandwiches  These look really good and I like that we MIGHT be able to have leftovers for lunch.

Wed.  Homemade Pizza  --Since I will be gone from Thur to Sat night,  I want to leave the family WANTING me to come home.  Homemade pizza should do the trick.

Thur.  I will premake Mac and Cheese and toss a salad before I go.  They will love it!    My eldest and I, ON THE OTHER HAND, will be eating at some great BBQ joint in Memphis.  Anyone have one they love?

Fri.   We tend to make Fri. nights breakfast night.  They can do this on their own.  I will write out directions for the 9 yr old to make Monkey bread with canned biscuits, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  I, ON THE OTHER HAND, will be eating a sandwich and going to a Tim Hawkins concert and laughing my head off.  Hopefully not literally.  I really need what little there is left in there.

Sat.  Dad can take them to Wendy's as a treat.  They may be going to a concert anyway.  I, ON THE OTHER HAND,  don't know what our plans are for this night.

Sun.  Potlunch at church.  Probably cookies and a chicken casserole I can make up quickly Sun. morning

Next week I can write out all the meals for my big cooking day. Maybe I can convince my sister to come over and do it with me.  It would be way more fun. 

thanks for reading,


ps.  Don't forget to tell me your favorite book and why.  Give away ends Sat.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Give Aways

I don't sign up for many give aways on blogs.  For one I feel a little greedy, and for another better excuse,  I have a difficult time figuring out HOW TO SIGN UP FOR THEM.   I know,  what in the world am I doing in blog land?  My mom said it would be good and therapeutic.  Not sure about you, but it is nice to rant and rave and share things.  Kind of like a diary, which in my case is only read by a few and therefore really like a diary.

ANYWHO....I signed up for a give away over at Prarie Flower Farm.  She is friends with the ladies at Gooseberry Patch.  My daughter and I picked up a Christmas book of theirs from the library and LOVED IT. 

We made some of the crafts and would have kept it to make some recipes, but had to give it back.  I would love to own one of these.  If you want to sign up for the giveaway,  go over to Linda's.    She is such an encourager and loves Jesus.  I am encouraged just reading her blog. 

thanks for reading,



Good Finds at the Book Sale

This past Friday was the library book sale.  It comes around 3 times a year, and the whole family looks forward to it.  Well,  they look forward to the new books, but they have learned by now that it is not a couple of hours ordeal,  but MOST OF THE DAY and so they DON'T look forward to that. 

Sometimes I let them stay home with their older sister, or some of them come with me and some go to my sisters.  But this Friday they ALL had to come with me.  It BEHOOVES them to come because then they can look for books they really want, not just what I want.  And they found many many books this time.

We came home with over 70 books.  That may sound like SOOO many to some of you,  but if you divide that by 6 people, it is only 12 books per person.  That's not so bad, is it? 

I picked up a couple of books I had never heard of because I like to try different authors, especially if the book looks old.  One was a sweet book on Japan about a missionary family living there in the late 1800's.  I read through the first chapter and loved it.  I think Japan was on my mind because I found three books about Japan.  This next one is a factual book  titled Japan  by Cornelia Spencer.  I love the cover,  and the inside has some pretty good information also. 

  I tend to buy books sometimes based on the cover.  I do look through them, and look at the author, although sometimes the author has one good book and few others.  The last Japanese book was Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr.

This is a true story that takes place during and after the dropping of the Atomic Bomb in Japan.  I have heard great things about it,  sad but good.  So it looks like we may have to read up on Japan this spring.  Maybe buy a Japanese Cherry tree.  Oh,  I saw them blooming in D.C. the spring of my senior year.  Absolutely breath taking.  Not sure how they would do in the heat of Arkansas.

I may try to post more good finds.  I really love that books can teach,  transport, instruct, entertain, enlighten, and just plain add joy to a day.  If you haven't picked up a good one lately, and don't know what to pick up,  let me know.  I would LOVE to give you ideas.  I pick up sets of books I love, in order to give away.  In fact,  you wonderful readers,  email me your favorite book  and what you loved about it, and I will send you one of mine.  I guess this would be my first give away.  I will keep it open until Sat., March 5.  Then Sunday I will choose a winner, and mail it Monday, March 7. 

thanks for reading,


Monday, February 21, 2011

The Day After

Have you ever heard a good sermon, or read a great article, or listened to a great speaker and thought,  "I am going to do that as soon I get home and get it together."   My brain has usually forgotten whatever it was by the time I get out of the church or car or get up from the chair.  But NOT this time!! 

This past weekend my mom, sister, sister-in-law, good friend and myself went to a MOM HEART Conference by the Clarksons in Las Colenas, in Dallas. This was my 3rd year and my friends 4th.  I LOVE IT.  I can never decide if it is the drive down with great conversation and laughter,  or the good food at restaurants we don't have here in Arkansas, or the wonderful hotel,  or the dreamy BEDS,  which I get to sleep in ALONE),  or the conference with singing, talking, laughing and crying, or the walking around the lake and more talking, or just the time to think, read, and pray.  It is probably ALL OF IT. 

I was convicted...AGAIN.. of bringing beauty into my children's lives,  of being patient and kind and loving and forgiving like Christ,  to enjoy life so my children will enjoy life,  to read great books to them....oh wait,  I do that... I love that Sally reaffirms books..(there is another sale this weekend!!  HIP HIP HURRAH!!)  I will try to bring out some of the great quotes I wrote down.  Here is the first one.   "Do you wake up TO your kids, or FOR your kids." 

Now I wake up BEFORE my kids, but many days as they wake up I am thinking,  "Oh no,  here they come.  Brace yourself, Rebekah."  Not the best thinking is it.  But I heard some great things this weekend, simple things like telling my kids what I prayed for them that morning,  encouraging them for the day. 

And as for bringing more beauty into their lives,  I made lunch today of cheese, crackers, grapes and apple juice,  then we had cookies I bought at IKEA (another story).   I put them on glass antique party plates, and lit candles, and read to them from Emma and Company, by Ralph Moody.  Let's just say they were shocked surprised.  Their manners were great,  they listened well, and it was very enjoyable,  even in the midst of my allergy attack begun at IKEA.  (see another story)

I am sure I will fill you in on more from the conference and  car trip.   I am planning for next year already.

I would show you pictures, BUT  I CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO BRING A CAMERA OR DOWNLOAD PICS FROM THE WEB.    I will blame it on this ALLERGY ATTACK. 

thanks for reading,


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chillin' at Starbucks

I have finished an AMAZING conference here in Dallas.  I am waiting to get into a USED BOOKSALE!  Can you believe it?  And with two favorite people.  I will tell you all about it in the next post.  Let me just say..if you have never been to a Sally Clarkson conference...YOU NEED TO GO.    It is REFRESHING..CONVICTING...INSPIRING...FUN!    

But in the meantime,  I will be buying some books.   After I finish my coffe from Starbucks.  

thanks for reading,


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Menu for this week

As soon as I get the time, maybe this weekend,  I will learn how to link up to things like Menu Monday.  But for now,  I am a lone chicken. 

Can I do a menu three days into the week?  Yes,  I Can,  and I Will, and I Am.  Here it is.

Mon.   Husband I went to Mimi's and I made the kids homemade mac and cheese from the
Pioneer Woman's cookbook.  I am sure you could find it on her blog.
Tues.  Stir fry with leftover rice and chicken and frozen veggies
Wed.  Eldest making ham, cheese, and potato casserole
Thur.  Beef and cheese enchiladas
Fri.  I will make homemade cinnamon rolls, and then head out for the conference.  The husband is a good egg scrambler and bacon cooker.
Sat.  I told them to order two Little Ceasar's Pizzas.  The family would have anyway, and this way I look benevolent.
Sun.  Lunch at Wendy's with half our church.  Again,  it's all about me looking so kind in their eyes. 

Two things I want to work on these next few weeks:  Eating up food in our fridge and pantry until it looks almost bare.  I have a feeling I buy too much and don't use what I have.  I don't throw much away,  but we always seem to have very full cabinets and fridge. 

Second, I want to use more coupons and make menus from the sales flyers.  I have learned a couple of secrets of couponing,  and would like to try them out.  But if my fridge and freezer are full, I feel guilty about buying like that.  Hence,  the first plan on eating up stuff. 

Anyone else have  kids that wish they lived in a house with a mom who just cooked normal food and didn't like trying different ethnic foods?  I keep telling them they may be missionaries in a very foreign country and will have to at least try strange food.  They may as well get used to it while they are young.  In honor of this thought,  maybe I should try what the Headmistress ate last week over at the Common Room.  Now I think that is brave.

thanks for reading,


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines, Princesses, and Indians

We had an unbelievably full week last week.  On Wednesday the weathermen predicted LOTS of snow, which we, of course, did not believe would amount to much.  Oh. My.  Kid Heaven. 

Yes, this say 7 1/2 inches, but I think we ended up with 9 total.  Unheard of in Arkansas.  And I would like to point out that I believe Global Warming is a big fib!

By Friday the roads had cleared up enough we could go to the annual Valentine party.  The kids make or take valentines, boxes,  and we moms bring snacks.  Some moms bring crafts, and games.  The favorite game is Valentine Bingo.   This mom brings little things she collects from around her house and they are the prizes.  You should see all the gathering and talking that goes before the game begins.  And whoever wins the prize they wanted,  boy howdy,  hootin' and hollerin'.

The shirts with the flowers my mom and daughter made for all the granddaughters.  They are so talented. 

Saturday morning, was Princess Party Day.  Once a year some wonderful ladies at church give a Princess Party for all the girls, age 3 to high school.  My girls love it.  They pick out pretty dresses,  plan their hair do's,  practice their catwalk, and talk, talk, talk.  The morning of I am running around crazy because my princesses don't look all ...put together.  This is not my cup of tea, and if I were their age I probably wouldn't have gone because it is very intimidating. 

At the party they drink tea,

  talk,  put on makeup,  some people like to have their hair fixed by my talented eldest daughter, 

they make a craft, and then prance down the catwalk to music.  It is very fun and special.  My girls, and I know the other girls, feel very beautiful and special.

THEN,  and because I know you all want to know EVERY detail of our week,  we had and Indian dinner for the the other men left at the airbase.  I forgot to get pictures of this.  But the Indian men sure didn't  They took pictures and made lots of videos to take home to their families.  This lets them know Americans are as crazy as they thought. 

Sunday was the Day of Carnage which was in a previous post and...I really don't want to talk about it anymore.  Just saying,   

This weekend I will be going to a wonderful conference.  I really hope I remember a camera.  And food money,  and I am a little anxious since my sister wants to go to IKEA and you know...she's a designer and we have ANOTHER designer coming with us and then my sister in law who likes to decorate,   and my mom who loves IKEA...and then ME.  HMMM. Should be interesting,

thanks for reading,



We had a very busy weekend.   Parties, dinners, shopping, cooking, and on top of all that...we lost 8 chickens.  Well actually, we know where they are,  but they are capoot,  nixed,  done in,  gone.    We were very foolish and lazy owners of 9 WONDERFUL CHICKENS WHO GAVE US 7-8 FRESH EGGS A DAY.  We foolishly left not one, not two, but three different gates open,  and a HUGE  dog came and had his fill.  Only one little black chicken left,  and she is very traumatized.  We took two chickens from our  church and brought them to be pals with her,  and she laid us a beautiful egg today.  Very sweet of her.

It was awful to view the carnage, and then my absolutely wonderful valentine-of-a-husband took the remains away so I wouldn't have to see the results of my foolish  lazy behavior .  Can I just say I learned a valuable lesson?  And can I also say the way to my heart is through deeds like this?  Thanks, Honey!!

And yes,  we plan on ordering more chickens to come in three weeks from now.  I really like my farm fresh eggs.    I will get a pic up of the borrowed chickens soon.  They are my girls very favorite from when some friends and I began a chicken coop two years ago. 

Sad but very valuable day, 

thanks for reading,


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Feeling a litte...GUILTY!!

Snow!  and I mean real snow that sticks to the ground and makes snowballs and snow forts snow.  And I don't want to step a foot in it.  I think I feel guilty,  not sure.  The kids seem to be having fun without me.  The chickens are doing well. (7 eggs yesterday!!)  I am not eating myself silly.  So,  should I go out? 

Ok,  I WILL.  I will find out what all the fuss is about.  I will spend time layering,  pulling, pushing, and scraping and embrace the brisk air,  the full sunshine,  the crispy white manna from heaven.  (We've been reading in Exodus as a family.)  I will let you know how it goes.

It was very nice out there in the snow.  I think that if I were a child I would love to spend the day out in it.  But...when all 4 children are in the snow,  and I have peace and quiet within,  well.....

Snow Days.  I love them. 

thanks for reading,


Tuesday, February 8, 2011 Name is Rebekah

Last night my mom and I went to a WW meeting. When I first came home from college __yrs ago, my mom asked if I wanted to do Weight Watchers WITH HER. I knew it was FOR ME, but I went with her and low and behold we both lost weight, became lifetime members, and lived a very healthy lifestyle for many years.

Our first meeting ___yrs ago, we got the giggles thinking we would have to introduce ourselves as overeaters, candyholics, french fry lovers, cookie dough makers, icing get the sordid picture. Thankfully, we didn't have to introduce ourselves, but from then on we referred to WW as Overeaters Anonymous.

Last night I walked in to fill out paper work and weigh in, (UGGG!!) and I looked at my mom and thought, "Hi, my name is Rebekah. It's been 2 hrs since my last binge." In situations like these, humor must reign. We talked and asked ourselves questions throughout the whole meeting. We glanced amusingly at the other overeaters members and I have to say,  felt a little out of place.  But after looking in the mirror this morning,  I knew I was in the RIGHT place. 

I'd let you know the befores and durings and afters,  but my personality is such that if I do that,  I might sabotage my own plan just to prove you wrong.  (Don't ask!  It's something the Lord has been digging out of me for centuries years.  As in more than ___yrs. )

But I might let something out every now and then.

thansk for reading,


Monday, February 7, 2011


What is it about we bloggers that makes us want to know minute details about each others lives?   Is it easier to write things and have other write back, (or not :) )  and then we don't feel the emotion behind the words?  I know in our house sometimes writing things out in a letter is better.  We communicate what our feelings and emotions are, without the feelings and emotions getting in the way of the "missage".  (Piglet) 

And that was  a philosophical intro into our menu,  I think,  for the week.   I always like to see other menus, for it gives me ideas.  When making menus I search a couple of places,  A Year of Slow Cooking, cause I like my crock pot more and more and more.....,   $5 Dinners, cause I am hoping to  cut down our grocery bill ...AGAIN,  and I LOVE looking at The Pioneer Woman for her very tasty, but not so cheap meals,    and then I look in my Weight Watchers cook book and Sugar Busters cook book, and then I ask the kids.   Then I look at lists I have made in the past and then I think of something I have always wanted to try.   I try to ask my husband but he says,  very sweetly and generously,  "I love whatever you make." 

So,  here is what I have for this week.

Breakfast:  We try to have a schedule for each day.  That way I know what to buy each week for breakfast,  and mostly for lunch also, although with all this snow we are having,  my crockpot is looking better and better for lunches.

Whole wheat pancakes
Eggs how you like it (kids make their own) with a bread and sometimes fruit
Oatmeal/Grits  (We have strong preferences here.  They make this themselves most of the time.  I ain't NO short order cook.)
Waffles ALWAYS on Sat.
Cereal in a pinch
I like homemade yogurt (learned how to do it in the crockpot from A Year of Slow Cooking) and homemade granola or the yogurt blended with fruit and spinach (you can't taste the spinach!)

Lunch:  We tend to be very full of bread at lunch.  I would like to steer away from that and get into more veggies and filling soup.

Egg salad (when we has excess eggs)
PB and J
something frozen like chicken nuggets/mini pizza

Previously cooked and frozen beef stew.  I will make homemade bread.  Mondays I take food to an elderly gentleman in our church and try to have hot fresh bread and desserts for him. We benefit also.
Shepherds Pie
My eldest makes dinner on Wed.  Ham and potato casserole
Beans and rice
Friday night breakfast with muffins and orange julius
Pizza Calzones

Of course,  this is subject to change,  but I am trying to use up things in my house and freezer and not spend anything except for milk this week.  I will work out next weeks and use things in the freezer and just add to it.  We need  to eat more veggies and fruit this week.

If you have any great dinner or lunch ideas,  let me know, MOM..CHARITY...KELLY...

thanks for reading,


I am linking up to

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Redecorating update!!

Really,  I don't know how much you really want to know about my redecorating around here.  It is MAJOR in my in nauseating   consuming,  but  I know if I go to another blog and only see a partial redo,  I like to see the finished.  Here is a short update with a couple of pics.  Feel free to let me know of any changes you might make,  not including the WALL COLOR.  Must keep that awhile and let it grow on me. 

We'll begin in a corner of the room.  I love this chair  for reading and praying.  The shelves and books have to stay for school reasons,  and I love looking at books.

We swing around to the wall facing the chair, or the wall the chair faces depending on where you are located in the room.  This the music corner.  We play 6 instruments  and a harmonica that is  lying around somewhere.  This stuff has to stay, although I am working up a collage for above the piano.

Now we are looking at the room from the entrance by the door.  I love this view...cause I can see many, (not all)  the books.  Again,  I am working up decor for over the little book shelf here and on the other side of the couch.  Probably a cute chalk board and map.  They need to be useful as well and pleasing to the eye  (hmm,  Charity, dear?)

And now one my youngest took of her sister.  They love books so much,  they must sit with them, smell them, organize them.  Just kidding. That last part was just dreaming!! They love books, but usually the children are found in every possible room, yes even the bathroom, with them.  And I find them all over the place.  They just pick up a book, read their favorite parts, and then go for another.  I guess this is ok.  I am probably over analyzing but really,  can't they just stick with one thing at a time? Is this a sign I have not taught them consistency,  or follow through, or  even how to pick up?   Breathe, Rebekah.   It's just they love books.  And I didn't teach them to pick up.

Ok,  so there is the room.  I am posting a before shot of the blue entrance wall.   When SEPTEMBER and I can get together,  I will show you the results.  But don't hold your breath.  Between the two of us, I don't know how we sleep.  Or do we?   

thanks for reading,


Getting to Know .....ME!

As if you didn't already know me....Linda over at Prairie Flower Farm blog is having a question and answer time...5 questions.   I am copying them here and will send her the link.  That way you can read them and she can also. 

1. Would you rather be knitting, crocheting, hand stitching doing embroidery, sewing using your sewing machine or all of the above?

Actually..I am a crafter wantabe.   I have a difficult time figuring out the how tos of hand stitching, although I did some rough cross stitching when I was in my teens.  I love the IDEA,  but the actually doing is so frustrating I can't stand it for long.  Put it this way.  My 11 yr old son and 6 yr old daughter had to show me numerous times how to use a knifty knitter.  Sad...but very TRUE!  maybe someday. 

2. Do you have any kind of crafty or sewing thing that you are working on now?

See above answer and no.

3. Do you like to cook from scratch or do you use prepared food?

AHHH,  a question I CAN answer well.  I love to cook from scratch.  There is something amazing to me about mixing and stirring and cutting and boiling and WALLAH,  there is wonderful, filling, nourishing food on the table.  I have loved learning how to make breads,  of all kinds, and now am learning how to make homemade cakes,  something I have NOT been good at in the past.  And something I can thank CAKE BOSS for,  he inspired me.

4. Will you have a garden this next summer......what will you grow and will you start your own seeds?

I will have a garden this year,  hopefully beginning soon, although the weather has been cold here lately.  I will grow tomatoes,  carrots, lettuce, broccoli, peppers, beans, corn, melons.   Some from seed, some not.  I have a list of foods I want to try like potatoes, both sweet and regular,  some herbs,  and a variety of heirloom tomatoes.

5. Do you live in the city or on a farm which would you rather if you could?

We say we pretend to live in the country.  We live 1/2 mi outside city limits,  so we can thankfully have chickens and other livestock if we want.  We all LOVE the idea of living in the country on a farm,  but not sure if we really have the GUTS to do it.  It's take a lot of hard work and love of the field.  I was raised an Air Force brat so I can get around a city,  but I have a natural love for....the natural.   Maybe some day. 

Well,  you know  a little more about me.  If you want,  you can copy and paste the questions and let me know a little more about you.  

thanks for reading,


Thursday, February 3, 2011


It has been very GREY for the last few days.  We did not get the nasty weather that other states have,  but we sure got the cold.   I am an all 4 seasons kind of girl,  so the cold doesn't bother me.  I just snuggle under hand crochet blankets and read with or without children.  But the GREY skies do get to me.  I began  the week with a two day allergy attack.  I do not know if it was related to the painting going on,  but it was ferocious.  I am still smearing lotion on my nose and upper lip to relieve the rawness.  Then two days later I woke up with  a migraine type of headache.  It took awhile for that to go away,  and I was so tired afterwards.  Then we were off today to see a Children's Theater Production of The Jungle Book, with errands following.  This kind of week wears me out. 

And now,  I am feeling GREY.  When I get this way, and it happens EVERY January/February,  I feel like everyone else I know has great energy,  they are making and doing and laughing and enjoying.  I feel quiet,  unproductive, little laughter.  Not great for the homeschooled kids who are with their mom ALL day. 

I am trying to get over this.  I am beginning to plan my garden.  I am decluttering a few areas of my house.  I am going on a couple of small trips.  I am reading some interesting books.  And I am praying. 

This post has not been fun.  But I will end on a happy note.   CHICKENS!!!    With the cold weather I have been a little concerned that the chickens are warm and happy.  I read   that feeding them a warm mash of chicken food and warm drinking water would help with egg production.  I guess it did.  We got 7 eggs yesterday and the same today.  I have also kept them in the pen til 3 or so in the afternoon.  SOOO,  we have two thoughts:  the chickens are laying eggs in a hiding place I can't find,  and I have looked all over, or they are so distracted with eating outside the pen,   they forget to go in the pen to lay.   I will continue this pattern and see what happens.  Silly Chickens....

thanks for reading,