Friday, September 30, 2011

The Civil War 2011

Just a few weeks ago was our local Civil War Muster.
While we haven't joined a group yet, we all participated as walk ons.
We had SO much fun! 
Here are a few pictures of the weekend.

Good Ole Boy was offered a chance to set off the Confederates cannon! Can you tell he was super excited?! 

 Looking forward to doing more of this! 


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Peach Cobbler

We have gobs of peaches!
The softest ones I wanted to use up straight away.
So Sunday I made my first peach cobbler.

4 Cups flour
1/2 pound butter; chilled and cut into small pieces
1 cup shortening (chilled, although I don't know why?)
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 Tablespoons ice water (ok, I admit it - I guessed and it was tap)

To prepare the crust: Place the flour, butter, shortening and salt into a bowl. Using a pastry blender cut the butter into the flour. Add the water a bit at a time. Refrigerate an hour.
Preheat oven to 375'.
Using half the dough, press it into the bottom and sides of a 9x13 pan.

10 cups (which was about 10 peaches) peeled, pitted and sliced peaches
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 Cup flour

Prepare the filling: Gently toss the peaches and lemon juice together in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss again.

Spoon filling onto bottom crust.
Taking small chinks of dough I squished them and fit them around the top of the filling, leaving spaces for steam vents.
(ok, I was supposed to roll it out on a floured board.....blah blah to much work, squish it and make a puzzle was easier! lol)
Flute the edges together if you can.

Bake for 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours or until golden and bubbly.
Then we sprinkled brown sugar on the top as it cooled.

Oh this was yummy! 
Wish I would've had some vanilla ice cream. 


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Voyager News - September Edition


We started out our school year with our local homeschool groups Kick Off event.
A fun event that takes place at an area park, 
Kick Off is a laid back picnic event. 
Families eat, play and catch up with each other, 
while meeting new friends.

We began back to school needing to finish the chapter we quit in the middle of. (not my intent to end there, but it happened)

So we are in Weaver Chapter 8 - 
The Parables of Jesus.
We do Weaver about 3 days a week.
This month we've done days 12 through 18.

Most of our Bible lessons have been taken from Matthew and Luke.
We've had some pretty good discussions about the meanings of these parables. 
I love discussing with my kids!

In Weaver science we've reviewed photosynthesis, and gone in depth into flowers and seeds,
even dissecting a seed pod.
Sis of course has extra supplement work to do digging even deeper into some topics. 
She has done an amazing job! 
Going above and beyond what was even assigned to her. 
This chapter also includes Money Management.
Really stressing how EVERYTHING is God's, on loan to us...
How we should be helping others,
giving to them...
and being faithful in the little things given to us before we will be entrusted with more.
There is really alot to learn here! 

~ Read Alouds ~
 From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - finished the final 2 chapters.
Little House in the Big Woods - have read Chapters 1 - 7.

In photography we have been learning about its early history.
We've been memorizing quotes that go along with the lessons - 
todays was "A picture is worth a thousand words",
and they've been learning words that relate to the art.
The people we've studied thus far -
Niepce, Daguerre and Fox Talbot and how they have influenced photography with their inventions.
They have done a few sketching and photography assignments,
as we learn about their equipment, and some lighting basics.

Now chemistry has been a HUGE hit!
After learning about the history of chemistry and exactly who can be a scientist, we've had fun assignments, games and labs.
They absolutely LOVE element bingo and beg to play it daily.
It's REALLY helping them to learn their periodic table.
The labs are FUN and very hands on!

We begun the year reviewing Latin.

Sis and I picked up where we ended in Lit - which is with reading The Wedding Dress by Marian Wells.
The story is set in a Mormon community so we've had lots of very good discussions. 

While we haven't made it real far in Hebrew we (meaning ***I***) have been trying to learn the alphabet.

We have gone on one field trip thus far,
to our local Civil War Muster.

We've had 16 school days this month.


The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window... It is a beautiful fall day.
Cool, crisp and semi sunny,
leaves are changing into a splendid display of colors.

I am thinking...
What could we make to help offset the cost of reenacting?

I am thankful...
For life.

From the learning rooms...
Dissecting bean seeds this week.

In the kitchen...
Water is on for dinner.

I am wearing...
Black t-shirt hoodie, Blue windpants and tennis shoes.

I am creating...
Mental lists of projects to do.
Mittens, purses, lip balm, scarves....
would love to learn how to do socks.....

I am going...
To be more caring?
In Weaver we've been talking about being good stewards with what God has given us.
Which also means that what we have - isn't ours.
And we need to give to others.
So while I'm not sure 'caring' is exactly the right word,
it's what I need to be.
Do I care enough about others to notice their needs?
How can I help?

I am wondering...
How we will survive winter's bills?

I am reading...
Angel of the Outback - its a really good book and I AM reading daily, but it seems to be taking me FOREVER!
Little House in the Big Woods - school
The Wedding Dress - Lit with Sis

I am hoping...
God provides Good Ole Boy with a better job.

I am looking forward to...
Going back to the Amish store!

I am hearing...Bug bawling because she found her outside cat - Copper - that has been AWOL for about 3 months (or more).

Around the house...
I've gone through the sock pile on the dryer and matched many pairs. I've swapped Hunny's summer clothes for winter ones and put anything that won't fit her next year into a box to get rid of. I've been working on packing civil war items into a tote so they are handy and in one place.

I am pondering...
Garfields new desire to constantly escape?
I'd leave him outside, but he attacks our outside cats.
Sis worries that he will hurt her Lucky, 
who is old and declawed.

One of my favorite things...
A snuggly kitty.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Soccer practice, School, Work, Alpaca Farm day (* I hope*), Church, and Soccer games.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Come and Get it!

Another great week of meals that went well. 
While I still don't LIKE planning, shopping, and putting away (sigh)
I do like knowing in advance what to make and delegating as I can.
(can you say Home Ec for Sis? haha)

Here is this weeks line up - 

Breakfast - toast
Lunch - Sandwiches, chips, apples - picnic because of soccer games
Supper - Cabbage soup - if I think of it, I'll post the recipe this week.
Desert - Peach cobbler (WOW!)

Breakfast - Bagel with cream cheese and fruit
Snack - pretzels
Lunch - Leftovers
Snack - Fruit
Supper - Sis asked to make Meatloaf, mashed potatoes

Breakfast - French toast (sticks?) and fruit
Snack - Crackers (Einstein has Dr apt so portable snack)
Lunch - Leftovers
Snack - Veggies and dip
Supper - Tuna "helper" (my concoction) easy for soccer night

Breakfast - Sausage and toast
Snack - Strawberry muffins
Lunch - Leftovers
Snack - Pudding? Jello?
 Supper - Lentil soup with roasted tomatoes and french bread with oil for dipping
(soup recipe found here)

Breakfast - Pancakes and fruit
Snack - Applesauce
Lunch - Leftovers
Snack - Cookies
Supper - Pork Roast, mashed potatoes OR pasta

Breakfast - Eggs and toast
Snack - Rice Krispy treat
Lunch - Leftovers
Snack - Fruit
Supper - Chicken Enchiladas
(recipe here)

Breakfast - Cold cereal, toast, fruit, etc.
Supper - Steak, potatoes OR pasta, broccoli
*not planning for day time as we have an event I hope to attend*

Fresh fruit on hand this week - Apples, peaches, and plums.

I've learned that the kids usually don't ask for snacks during school hours so we often aren't using both I plan for, but I think I'll still plan on them so  I know I have things on hand, most I can plug into next weeks menu.

What's on your menu?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Photo Challenge - Summer Color

I LOVE the colors of summer.

The brilliant blue sky with big, fat, puffy, bright white clouds...
The glorious blaze of the sunset...

The dazzling turquoise of the water glinting with the sun...
The gorgeous John Deere Fields...

 John Deere Fields?

Yes, the deep, inviting green grass covered with the sunny yellow dandelions.
I didn't use to feel this way.
But then I had kids.

My kids LOVE dandelions.
I remember when they were little,
we were driving, and they pointed out a yard.
"Mom, isn't that just beautiful?! 
Look at ALL those dandelions!"

It touched me in that special way that only a childs words can.

Since then, I think of the John Deere Fields.
Green and yellow.
The colors of Summer.
They ARE beautiful.
And they remind me of how fleeting childhood is,
and the need to enjoy the little things.

I didn't have a decent picture of a John Deere Field, 
you'll have to pretend this is full of yellow dandelions!

Come over to Creative 2X Mom and see what she's been photographing this summer.


The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...It's dark, and cold.

I am thinking... I'm tired and need to go to bed.
But I feel badly that I haven't been on here all week!

I am thankful...That I have great parents.

From the learning rooms...We are having fun. 
Learning about stewardship in Weaver which includes botany and money management.
We are reviewing Latin, and having a great time with chemistry.

In the kitchen... Not much right now except for those nasty flies.
I made a great dinner (IMHO!) of pork steak, butternut squash, mashed neeps and potatoes, and turnip greens. MMMM wonderful. 
I also started a baggie of pork bones that I stuck in the freezer until I get enough to try and make broth.

I am wearing... Red CCCB t, blk sweatpants and socks.

I am creating... I am ATTEMPTING to print off student ID cards from the Homeschool Buyers Coop.
Sis is planning on going to Homecoming with a girlfriend and I think she needs a student ID.
It doesn't want to load her picture onto the ID card!
I was successful in making one for myself and Bug, but no luck so far in Hunny or Sis.

I am going... To learn how to sew!

I am wondering...What to do about these nasty flies?! 
Anyone else dealing with them? 
I'm not having success getting rid of them but I do NOT want to resort to chemicals.

I am reading... Angel of the Outback.
Little House in the Big Woods in school.
The Wedding Dress in literature with Sis.

I am hoping... That God provides Good Ole Boy with a better job.

I am looking forward to... The Civil War Ball!

I am hearing... Good Ole Boy snoring on the couch, and Family Ties is playing on Netflix.

Around the house...Cleaned the goat pen yesterday, got it scraped down to the cement for the last time before snow.

I am pondering... Next weeks menu as I will be going shopping tomorrow.

One of my favorite things...The smell of a campfire.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Bug goes hunting this weekend for the first time!, groceries, church, soccer games, work, and school.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...


Monday, September 19, 2011

Come and Get it!

Last weeks meals went very well.
No huge complaints or issues, yay! 
I was able to hit the stores Friday to prepare for this week, 
even though we had a REALLY busy weekend!

Was a different kind of day 
because of our activities with the C.W. Muster.
We made eggs for breakfast, 
grabbed some cold chicken and biscuits to eat while in character for lunch,
and had YUMMY potatoes and pork given to us by the Confederate artillery for supper.
I had apples, crackers and tortilla chips available for snacks. 
(the crackers were eaten out of a burlap bag - 
sometimes ya gotta bend for little ones....
and the chips were for AFTER the event 
while we were chatting during tear down)

Breakfast - Oatmeal with blueberries (frozen)
Snack - Toast with cinnamon and sugar
Lunch - Leftovers - tuna noodle, potatoes and pork or Sandwiches
Snack - Veggies and dip
Supper - Tonight we have a 4H meeting that is potluck.
The club is providing chicken, potatoes and beverages and so I am bringing corn

Breakfast - Eggs and toast
Snack - Applesauce
Lunch - Sandwich
Snack - Banana bread
Supper - Chili and cornbread 
(didn't end up making this last week as planned)

Breakfast - Sausage biscuits and gravy
Snack - Fruit
Lunch - Leftovers or Sandwich
Snack - Cookies (didn't end up making last week)
Supper - Stir fry - Chicken, Cabbage, veggies, rice

Breakfast - Pancakes with berries (frozen)
Snack - Frozen yogurt sandwiches (didn't make last week)
Lunch - Leftovers
Snack - Crackers
Supper - Veggie spaghetti *meatless*

Breakfast - Eggs - burritos if desired
Snack - Fruit
Lunch - Leftovers
Snack - Veggies and dip
Supper - Pork Chops, potatoes

Breakfast - Cold Cereal or toast
Snack - yogurt
Lunch - Leftovers
Snack - Fruit
Supper - Something with burger....haven't decided yet!

Fresh fruit available this week - Apples, bananas, watermelon, grapes & plums.
You might have noticed I didn't do everything planned last week - I'm ok with that. When that happens I plan on just putting it in the next weeks line up. 
How's your menu look this week?


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Simple Woman's DayBook


Outside my window...It is very dark. lol.
It was a fairly nice fall feeling day, 
however as evening approached the temps REALLY dropped! 
It was probably mid 60's? 

I am thinking...  Of schedules and craziness.

I am thankful... For good times.

From the learning rooms... Things are starting to shape up well.
There are still a few things I need to work back into our schedules but we are getting off to a good start.
We are wrapping up the chapter that never got finished in June.
In the kitchen...Only partially cleaned.
Earlier we had the no water issue - stupid pump.
Then when Einstein was trying to do dishes, the rinse side of the sink clogged up and Good Ole Boy hasn't gotten that fixed yet (motorcycle issues and since he needs to take that to work tomorrow.....he's in the garage and dishes are sitting til tomorrow) 

I am wearing...A grey t with Pac Man on it that says Love your enemies, pj pants and socks.

I am creating...Starting to think about next weeks menu plan.

I am going...To be gathering Plantain tomorrow. 
I plan to make some infused oil like this 
and some salve like this.
I've never tried anything like that before so it'll be a new experience for me! 

I am wondering...

I am reading...Angel of the Outback by Patricia Hickman
 31 Days to Clean
The Wedding Dress in Lit
Little House in the Big Woods - school read aloud 

I am hoping...That God provides Good Ole Boy with a better job.

I am looking forward to...The Civil War Muster this weekend!

I am hearing...Only the computer whir. 

Around the house...Kinda scattered.
Dining Room table has Good Ole Boys uniforms dumped on them.
You heard about the kitchen...
Living Room is unorganized since we got back and hustled to get dinner and then kids to bed and I haven't gotten to it yet. 

I am pondering...Things. Just things.
Soccer practice twice a week, how are we going to go down and get those rabbits and cages for Sis, when can we make it to the beach, wanting to do more stuff outside and in the garage. 
My thoughts are rambling and tumble from one to the other. 

One of my favorite things...Spending time with my girls.

A few plans for the rest of the week: School, shooting sports leader banquet/meeting, work, and Civil War Muster.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Come and Get It!

I need to work on meals.
Kids are ALWAYS complaining about being hungry.
I need to have meals ready on time so our evenings go well.
I hate to cook.
I feel stuck in a rut and get bored.
I need to see where we can cut grocery costs and I need to feed us healthier meals.
We have about 2-3 "feast" weeks and 1-2 "famine" weeks each month depending on how our budget falls and I'd like to try and even that out more.
I want to have more meatless meals for health and money savings.

How do I do this?
I'm not really sure!
But one thing I KNOW will help is to meal plan.

They are having a meal planning challenge!
It hasn't officially begun yet, but I have!

*Shopping day - planned dinner only*
Zucchini boats - turkey burger, rice & 2 large zucchini

Breakfast - Banana
*Sundays are light because everyone likes to grab the donuts at church!*
Lunch - Church event so lunch was provided there
Supper - Steak, mashed potato, corn on the cob, cottage cheese
**please note that steaks for us is really a roast that we slice into "steaks". There is no way we could actually afford steak!**

Breakfast - Grits - banana available
Snack - pb wrap - flour tortilla & pb
**pb for Sis is Sunbutter since she is allergic to peanuts**
Lunch - leftovers - zucchini boats   
Snack - Rice Krispy Treats
Supper - Veggie Stir Fry *meatless* - Rice, cabbage, various veggies from garden and purchased frozen bags

Breakfast - French toast, banana
Snack - Applesauce
Lunch - Leftovers - Beans, Zuc boats, steak/potato, or sandwich
Snack - Roll ups - lunchmeat and flour tortilla  
Supper - Salad - Using a variety of items!
(fast night since soccer practice starts and we'll be getting home later)

Breakfast - Bacon, eggs, toast & juice
Snack - Cookies
Lunch - Leftovers or sandwich
Snack - Carrots & dip
Supper - Chili & Cornbread for the kids
(easy with an evening meeting)

Breakfast - Pancakes & banana
Snack - Fruit
Lunch - Leftovers or sandwich
Snack - Frozen yogurt sandwich 
Supper - Pork steak, mac & cheese, brocolli

Breakfast - Eggs & toast
Snack - crackers
Lunch - Sandwich
Snack - popcorn
Supper - Taco's

Breakfast - Cold cereal, toast or fruit
Snack - fruit, crackers, or cereal bar
Lunch - Sandwich, chips, fruit
*Snacks and lunch will be packed since we'll be at the Civil War Muster during the day*
Snack - fruit, roll ups, or crackers
Supper - Tuna Noodle - tuna, pasta, peas/carrots, cream soup  

Fresh Fruit available this week - Bananas, apples, plums, peaches, nectarines & watermelon.
Fruit is ALWAYS available for snack.

Water is encouraged ALL DAY!
Milk can be chosen for breakfast (unless juice is listed) or supper.
I buy organic, non-homogenized whole milk (until I have access to raw!).

Come check out the challenge.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Photo Challenge - Summer Sky

I had planned on taking beautiful sky pictures out at the lake.
Only it hasn't happened.
Good Ole Boy has had to work.
The weather has been too cold.

So, I'm borrowing pictures from LAST summer.
I love these pics of the sunset over the lake.

Come check out the 
summer photo challenge at

Have you been out taking pictures this summer?


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Home Sweet School 2011

Yesterday we started back to school!

 My homeschool Voyagers of 2011-2012!

 Sis is 14 and a Sophomore.

 Bug is 11 and in 6th grade.

 Hunny is 6!

We are preparing for an awesome year together! 
And while I'm sharing first day homeschool pics, I better also share Einsteins first day of (public) High School pic too.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Simple Woman's DayBook


Outside my window...It's a beautiful but VERY cool day.
I think we topped out at 60', BRRR! 

I am thinking... Of life. 
Our neighbor passed away last night.
She had just turned 50.
She had just found out she was ill last month.
Her son is Einsteins age.
Makes you stop and think. 

I am thankful...  That we've been able to get some things done around here.

From the learning rooms... Today was our first day back to school.
Einstein had a good day, although was locked out of his locker at the end of the day...
We didn't get nearly as much done as I'd wanted, but oh well.
It was a start! 
Math and review today.

In the kitchen... Dishes waiting for Einstein,
A big ole pot of beans for dinner.

I am wearing... Old GS cookie t, blk jeans & socks.
I've also worn my favorite old quilted flannel shirt most of the day.
I am creating... A nicer looking homestead. 

I am going...To put together 'black boxes' for tomorrows Chemistry lesson.

I am wondering...  Why am I SO  tired today?

I am reading... The Shunning.
31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae
The Wedding Dress with Sis in Lit 
(we didn't finish before school let out)  
Tomorrow we begin our school read aloud - 
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I am hoping...  That God provides Good Ole Boy with a better job.

I am looking forward to...  Bed!
I told ya I was tired! lol. :)

I am hearing...  A movie the kids are watching.

Around the house... Garbage is burning, the yard has been mowed, it's looking great where we've been working!, We spent yesterday cleansing the garage and got about half done , Bug got her first laundry lessons today.

I am pondering... How to fit it ALL in...

One of my favorite things...  My family.

A few plans for the rest of the week: School, Taking Hunny to the Childrens Hospital for an appointment, Bug might have Hunters Safety this weekend I need to call and check on that!, Church.
Cindy's memorial service will be Saturday but I'm not sure yet if we can make that or not. 

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
Just a picture I found online.
Pretty isn't it?