Monthly Archives: March 2014

My exciting menu for the week…..

That sounds much better than just menu for the week, right? I know, I do the most boring titles, but basically….our food is pretty just food. It goes by way too fast!

Wednesday: Cabbage rolls, mashed potatoes, coleslaw

Thursday: Queso Taco Pasta bake, salad

Friday: Potato soup, Raspberry Orange muffins 

Saturday: Grilled orange chicken, broccoli, rice

Sunday: Leftovers, Fried rice, popcorn

Monday: Steak salad with balsamic vinaigrette, baked potatoes.

Tuesday: 5 ingredient Pizza I am hoping to make the crusts myself ahead of time. Salad

Life is going to be hectic the next couple of weeks!

Any great bake sale ideas?


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Filed under Bargain Dinners, Recipes

The Failure Trap


We all have days of failure. We all have days of triumph. There are days when we work together with our schedule, our children, family, friends and others just as peacefully as the two boys seem to be working together above. However, pictures only tell part of the story. One of the first lies we tell ourselves is that we are the only ones that fail.

There are blogs of all types out there. It doesn’t matter if you homeschool, are a homemaker, work out of the home, work in the home, are a world class baker or whatever your life looks like, we all are human. Humans fail. They have bad days. When we admit that, we are not bragging, revealing anything personal, but often the relief others feel when they see it is something you can almost taste.

If we believe we will never fail, we can feel ashamed to reveal our failures. Real life is wrought with trials, unless you live in a bubble. News articles can soon burst that bubble and lead you to be thankful for the life you live.

The second lie is the one we tell ourselves on what is actual failure.

What is failure to you?

All humans have different gauges at where they find failure. I remember keenly the doctor’s visit when I went in with a child whom had a ruptured eardrum. Said child had not been complaining about ear pain, until it ruptured, and I felt so bad! I truly believed that it is always very painful for an eardrum to rupture. On the same visit, I mentioned that my other son had a sore throat he only complained about during school time. I did not believe it was a real malady, but more an excuse. Was I ever embarrassed when I discovered a raging case of strep throat? I felt like I had just won the failure of the year award for mothers.

Have you had a moment like that? Was it really a failure? In looking back, I realize now, that I could only do the best that I can. My son with the ruptured eardrum,  had no complained. I could not have prevented it. He had issues with his ears and likely was used to the pain. My other son was notorious for making excuses to get out of school. Why wouldn’t I have pressed him to work on school anyhow? I was actually trying to be a good mom. Yet, the memory sticks with me of how I failed. I do not remember the days where I weighed why he was troubling me about doing school. I lay awake wondering what was the best way to mother my sons.

I berated myself for my “failure”, when in truth, I am not sure that it was a failure. Even if I would have rushed them both to the doctor earlier, which would have taken time, money and the doctor’s valuable time, it still may not have been really manifesting itself yet and we may have had to wait and come back later. I do not know that.

Mothers are especially the ones that beat themselves up over the everyday fails. We may allow them to eat a whole bag of jellybeans sometimes. We might let them do something and realize we forgot to ask pertinent questions that all good mothers ask. We may feel we did not mete out duties in the right way sometimes.

I will say….this is a trap.

It will catch you and impede you from parenting with joy. It can cause you to second guess every single decision you make, while you are trapped by the guilt of failure.

No….You should probably not feed your children jellybeans every day. It leads to cavities and poor health.

No….You should probably not always skip doctor, dentist and other appointments when needed.

No….You should probably not allow your children to skip out the door with other people without double checking who they are.

Yes…You should do the best you can.

Yes…You will still always have some fear of failure.

Yes….guilt and worry can be a part of mothering.

Yes….You should research and do what is best for your child as far as health, diet, exercise, etc.

But over all, remember that all mothers are human. It will not always turn and go smoothly like the two boys working together. I am sure, later that day, they likely had several arguments to break up. But sometimes online, it is easy to just see the pretty pictures and think that bloggers or other online people are not real humans like us.

Do your best, leave the rest of it to God. You can only do what you can do. If you mess up or do truly fail….laugh, cry or whatever makes you feel better. Then pick yourself up, say your are sorry and move on.

Tomorrow is another day.


Filed under Daily Happenings

Menu for the week



This is often what morning looks like when we have to leave the house lately, so I have been trying to come up with healthy snacks and lunches to take out of the house as well as healthy, filling breakfasts too. 


Monday:  Leftovers/Fried potatoes and vegetables

Tuesday: Potato Ham chowder  (I left the corn out, but it would have been yummy. I used homemade chicken broth and changed a couple of other things too). 

Wednesday:  Scalloped potatoes and ham, green beans, applesauce 

Thursday: Skillet Enchiladas, salad 

Friday:  Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo, salad 

Saturday:  Shepherds Pie, dessert/cookies for sports day

Sunday: Leftovers, popcorn

Monday: Beef Lo-Mein (Probably make it with venison)

Tuesday: Chicken spaghetti, salad

Now, the hard part is just sticking to it!!!


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Filed under Bargain Dinners, Daily Happenings, Recipes

Week #29

P1070248Apple Crisp for family birthday party

P1070242My newly minted 16 year old chatting on the telephone. It is hard to see in the picture, but it has a telephone cord and he was playing with it!

P1070243 P1070244He really enjoyed putting the right amount of salt and ice and keeping it full while it froze.

P1070245 P1070246 P1070247Learning how to make ice cream!

P1070256Hugging little cousins are the best, especially when they are soft and squishy!

P1070262You can also let them play with your iPod!

P1070275H. and his reading companion. Don’t they look happy? I am so thankful for this young woman and the work she does with him!

P1070276This was a joyful part of the week! T. took it upon himself to read this entire thick book of Curious George. It is the harder, older one and he got faster and faster each night as he was reading.

P1070277L. working on math problems on the computer.

I did really poorly on taking pictures the rest of the week. We are working through Bound For Oregon. The boys have been listening to the Little House series as well. For science, we are still working on our botany, but I am ready to start seeds inside next week! We are going to be studying a lot of botany first hand these next couple of weeks. I am thinking about testing our soil as well!

Our weekend was full of spending time on the bleachers, which is not always the most comfortable, but  your children make it worth it! H. was tired out after the weekend, but really enjoyed it!

P1070284The group of some very fine young men and coaches! I am so thankful to have people that will take time out  of their busy lives to care about our young people.

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We are getting ready for a short spring break, or mom is ready.



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Filed under Daily Happenings, Homeschooling, MFW

Balanced: Finding Center as a Work at Home Mom by Tricia Goyer

Balanced-Finding Center as a Work at home mom

By Tricia Goyer


Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

About the Book:

Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom 

How can a work-at-home mom raise kids, juggle a career and take care of family responsibilities with only 24-hour days? Working at home while raising kids and juggling a career and family responsibilities is no easy feat. Author and homeschooling mom Tricia Goyer shares her tips for finding balance among all your many hats as a mom. Balancing is a process and a journey, one that Tricia herself has yet to perfect. But between writing more than forty books, raising and homeschooling six kids, being a wife, and being active in her community, she has amassed valuable tips she shares in “Balanced.”

My review:

Have you ever wanted a book that was a down to earth organizing book? You know, not one of those books that you read and think, “That was nice, wish I could really do that.”

Well, this is not one of those. Even if you are not a work at home mom, this eBook is worth the purchase.

Tricia is a mom of 6, grandmother of two, yet has toddlers still at home that she is homeschooling. She speaks to how to balance your priorities, while taking care of yourself and your family. How to figure out what are the priorities for you and not just what they are for her.

Tricia spoke at our local MOPS group many years back, and the topic that she taught on was one that stuck with me. She spoke on prioritizing your life and living deliberately. The one point that I really remember was her telling us that we are making the memories with our children today, not someday. I appreciate Tricia’s voice throughout this book. She is real. She tells you how it is and she doesn’t waste a lot of time or flowery phrases doing it. She lets you know that she works hard, and she has not gained perfection, but you can also see the proof. She has successful children that are grown and living lives that speak for how their mother raised them.

I am so glad Tricia wrote this book. I wish it were in print form, so I could buy 100 copies to give away that is how good it is! Right now, instead, I am wracking my brain trying to figure out how to get it to my friends that don’t have an eReader! If you have an eReader, go and buy a copy! If you work at home, you will be blessed, but if you are just a mom that is juggling the many stresses of all you do on a regular basis, you will be blessed as well. This book is a must read for all mothers!

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Week #28

I cannot believe it is Friday already! It seemed this week flew by!

P1070220I found these parts of speech games online that we tried out this week.

P1070221Breakfast and a book? Sounds good to me!

P1070222We read a lot from The Story of the world this week. I didn’t take pictures, but H. went out and did crayon tracing to identify the different tree bark in the yard. It was pretty easy since we already know what kinds we have.

P1070223These were a couple of our book basket books we read as well this week.

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They were laughing by the end of me taking these pictures as I was snapping them while giving my best teacher lecture of getting to work now!!!

I had a birth in the middle of the week, which meant not only did they get a day off, I also was easier on them while catching up on sleep! One more birth coming up too! They have been doing a ton of reading, well, L. especially! He is begging to read instead of doing school!

We had two birthdays this week….and had hamburgers for one special dinner and Lasagna for the other.

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Earlier this week, we watched A Tale of Two Cities as part of the high school curriculum. It was such a sobering movie and taught some deep lessons. I am surprised though how it is hard to follow if people don’t know the story in those kind of movies.


We had play practice for 4 hours as well today, so I made the lasagna this morning and put it in the oven when we got home. I made the sauce last night, with the help of my son. This morning, my second son made a yummy peach coffee cake as well. I made the bread when I came home!

It was a great meal and a lovely week. With the birthdays and the birth, we did not get to try the African dishes suggested this week. However, they did not sound like something the children wanted to waste their peanut butter on. So we had peanut butter sandwiches instead….



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Filed under Homeschooling, MFW, Recipes