Sunday, January 11, 2015

Weekends are not for resting around here.

Weekends are a free for all around here.  At any given time we are making something, getting crafty, or driving around to find an adventure.

This weekend was full of cookin' and junkin' and experimentin'.

Our piles of cookies pre frosting
I made a meat heavy gumbo that wasn't really a gumbo because I didn't really use a recipe and we don't like okra too much.  I taught the hubs how to make a roux.  It was not as dark as it should have been but roux is intimidating.  I don't think I will do this meal again.  It was just ok.

I made this no chill sugar cookie recipe.  It was very easy but the cookies tasted a little eggy.  I didn't have the almond extract so next time I will be sure to add it. The cookies were firm with sharp edges.  We frosted some and sprinkled some.

I prepped veggies for the SUPER FAT BURNING CABBAGE SOUP I plan to make later in the week.  Eh, we'll see if there is any fat burning going on.  I don't plan to eat this every meal for a week and I am mainly making it because I love some cabbage.

I made this Beef Lo Mein for dinner on Friday.  It was phenomenal.  I used thinly sliced skirt steak from Walmart as the meat.  It was about $6.50.  I had the other ingredients on hand already (we love Asian food).  Even though I cringe at spending that much on meat, it was so cheap compared to a restaurant and not even remotely as greasy.

I also did some prep for Taco Tuesday.  Except that it will be on Monday.  And we don't really have a regular Taco Tuesday, it's just fun to say.  I made this hummus and added 1/2 an avocado for flavor and creaminess. Oh and I didn't actually use Old El Paso Taco Seasoning.  I make my own.  I may never buy store bought hummus again because this rocked my face off.

These can be yours for the bargain price of eleventy million dollars!

Originally, I was going to go to some Flea Malls with my dad.  He and my stepmom have the flu or something like it and he decided to stay home on Saturday.  Ain't nobody here got time for the flu so I'm glad he got his rest and we avoided the exposure.  Sweet girl and I decided to visit a huge flea mall about an hour away.  This place was packed to the gills with junk...some good and some bad.  I was on the hunt for some Pyrex type fridge storage with lids.  You know what I'm talking about, right?  The rectangle dishes your granny put leftovers in?  Christy Jordan at Southern Plate has a collection I drool over.  My word in heaven that stuff is pricey!  I found one sublime dish with a lid and it was $44.  Mama can't afford that honey.  The other thing I was on the hunt for is vintage embroidered tea towels.  I use these as hand towels in my bathroom.  Again, people think a lot of their stuff in this area.  I paid $4 for a small dresser scarf that will work nicely as a hand towel.  I will stick to lots on Ebay for these in the future though.  Sweet girl did find a million Beanie Babies and some an American Eagle Outfitters sweater for $3.  It was fun to spend time with her one on one and even though I did not find what I wanted, I'm glad we went.

We are learning about Thermodynamics in science and my kids were having a hard time understanding temperature gradient and heat sink.  I used this walking water experiment to not only explain what gradient means in general but also concepts of permeability/saturation/capillary action.  We used yellow in one jar as our "heat source" and blue in the other for the "colder temperature".  This was fun, simple, and effective as a visual representation.

I also learned all about potato batteries this weekend.  Another homeschool friend asked for help with their experiment on Facebook and after helping her troubleshoot their setup, I want to do this with our kids!

We also got a book delivery from ThriftBooks.  I cannot tell you how much I love this website.  Cheap books and free shipping.  HEAVEN!  My only complaint is that they use several warehouses around the country and some items have arrived ahead of others so we got the 3rd book in a series before the 2nd.

Oh and I forgot to mention watching TV.  We do a lot of that around here.  When the hubs picks what we watch I often find myself taking that time to bake or whatever.  He and I have very different ideas of what is entertaining.  Yeah, I'm looking at you Gold Rush Alaska.

Monday, January 5, 2015


Just a little this and that recap of the year and what's on the horizon.

We have obviously been busy the past few weeks with the holidays.  We had a few family gatherings.  And we have been doing almost nothing outside of that because it has rained and rained and rained some more in the South.

We have been fortunate enough not to catch the flu and crud and pneumonia that has been floating around our extended family.  I attribute that to diligent hand washing and lots and lots of Young Living products.  We use the Thieves cleaner to clean every surface (including light switches and door knobs), we slather on diluted Thieves, RC, Oregano often, we use Thieves hand sanitizer when out, and we diffuse the oils regularly.  So regularly, in fact, I broke my diffuser.  BOO!  I am on the hunt for another one.  I am choosing not to repurchase the Young Living one because it is more expensive than I can afford.  Plus, I would like to have 2 diffusers, one for our room and one for the living area.  I will post what I find and a review later.  My husband and I have also been taking Super B and Sulfurzyme to help with energy, joint support, and immunity support.  I have noticed a huge difference on the days I miss them.

I found an internal medicine doctor that is committed to helping me feel better.  Her attitude was "Autoimmune disease or not, you don't feel well and we need to fix that."  I don't know that I will ever get a definitive, neatly wrapped diagnosis but having someone help me get back to "normal" is a blessing.  She did lots of blood work and found some unusual things.  More tests are on the horizon but her main goal is to get me through the winter without being incredibly ill.  So far, so good!

Homeschooling has been so very bumpy the last few weeks.  Lots of interruptions.  We did not take a formal Christmas break because we had so many randomly timed events.  I did find a new curriculum though.  Discovery K12 is a free, online curriculum that is easy to follow. The kids log in and that day's assignments are right there.  Scores, reading logs, some worksheets are online.  It even records attendance.  The kids click "Completed" at the end of each assignment and move on down the page.  Since everything is in one place, they can work more independently than with even Easy Peasy Homeschool (we had to click to different pages for Math, Science, History).

Alabama History is a required subject here and we have been studying the early settlers and native Americans of the state.  We are planning a trip to Fort Toulouse soon.  The hubs and I love living history.  The kids waver on their love of it.  haha

We are still working on our budget and sticking to it.  We are planning and organizing better which helps.  I am shopping once every pay period.  I still have to get a few things now and then but I prefer shopping in one huge trip.  I am planning our meals before shopping, making a list, and adapting based on what's available at the store.  This week, I was able to get a HUGE ham for $14ish and that will make several meals, including a crockpot of ham n beans.  Such a traditional Southern thing BUT I discovered I only had dried black beans in the pantry.  Oh well...adapt, right?


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