Category Archives: Food

(Home School) Moms Only Christmas Party

I always feel refreshed after I hang with my home school moms. We understand each other very, very (did I say very?) well. A few nights ago a dozen or so of my favorite home school moms joined me for a Christmas party. We chatted, and ate, and chatted, and ate. And toward the end of the evening, we shared some music and prayed for one another. What a tremendous blessing, full of encouragement. Thank you, God for this wonderful group of women!

Brian’s Birthday

My little guy hit the jackpot on his birthday.

We stumbled upon cake and punch when we stopped into the library.

We nearly had a private showing of Astro Boy at the local movie theater.

We even let him put his feet up to get comfy. (BIG treat.)

When we arrived at Friendly’s, our favorite entertainer (Applejohn) was there making snowman balloons, and Friendly’s had just rolled out their winter Snowman Sundae.

To top it all off, the new movie he’d been waiting for, The Dog Who Saved Christmas, was on television. We couldn’t have planned the day more perfectly if we’d tried.

Happy 6th Birthday, Brian!!

Sabbath Sweetness: Puppy Dogs

Brian had a bunch of puppies over to celebrate his sixth birthday.

They played all the games puppies like to play:

Tug of War

Scooby Says

And greeting other puppies.

They also built prototypes for doggie  parks, doggy hospitals, and doggy obstacle courses.

For kibbles and bits, they scarfed up puppy-paw cupcakes and ice cream…

out of real doggie bowls.

We didn’t have time to post the fire hydrant on the bathroom door or pretend to pee on trees. Well, maybe we had time, but Mama censored things a bit. But these little puppies are all worn out and ready for their warm, soft puppy beds.

Sabbath Sweetness: Peanut Butter Balls

Sometimes my Sabbath Sweet is figuratively sweet, sometimes literally. This week I gave a new recipe a try. Andrea at The Train to Crazy posted her recipe for Peanut Butter Balls. Oh, sweets, where have you been my whole life?

We hadn’t yet dipped them in chocolate when we snapped this photo. But we were too busy bickering over who got to lick the bowl by then. TeeHee.

What’s For Dinner?

I struggle with dinner. I don’t mind breakfast, which is typically cold cereal, or lunch, which is often some type of sandwich. I suppose I don’t mind those much because my children make their own. But I just can’t seem to muster up excitement about the meal that’s supposed to bring us closer together as a family. I  just can’t stomach preparing the meal that will burn itself into our memories for eternity. The meal that comes at the end of a full day of home schooling, cleaning, errand-running, dog-managing, and trying to find some little piece of quiet for something that brings me peace and joy.

Ugh. Dinner.

A meat and a veggie. Maybe a bread. Sometimes a side salad. And a glass of Country Time Lemonade. Nothing spectacular, but a necessity.

Needing a little inspiration, recenlty I borrowed a dozen cookbooks from the library and found two I really liked. I ordered them on Amazon and they arrived today.

I’ve already chosen next week’s meals! (I sure hope this kind of enthusiasm sticks.) I chose recipes that looked interesting and included meats I have in my freezer.

  • Fri: Pizza Night
  • Sat: North Woods Wild Rice Soup
  • Sun: Leftovers
  • Mon: Cranberry Chicken
  • Tue: French Steak
  • Wed: Honey Pork Chops
  • Thu: Penne with Chicken, Broccoli and Cheese

If you know me in real life, hold me accountable. Ask me how my kids liked the soup or the chicken. Make me tell you the details of putting together the meal. Don’t let me snow you.

If you know me from blogland or facebook, comment on here to let me know you’re waiting for an update. Maybe a little peer pressure will help.

For pete’s sake, something has to help…my kids can’t eat many more dinners of homemade waffles or scrambled eggs. And I can’t stand anymore pizza! (Well, except for Friday Pizza Night.)

Warm Apple Pie Spiced Cider


My friend Kathy made this for our homeschool mom get-together last year, and I made some for our Cowboy Campfire last night. The recipe is from good ‘ole Martha, and you can watch her making it online, which I think is hilarious. I don’t want to take the time to watch her when I can be getting it done in my own kitchen. But if you like to watch cooking, go for it.


Warm Apple Pie Spiced Cider


  • 1 1/4 quarts apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick, plus 6 for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup Calvados or other brandy (optional)



In a medium saucepan, whisk together cider, sugar, spices, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from heat; pour in brandy, if desired. Remove cinnamon stick and transfer cider to a pitcher. Serve immediately, garnished with cinnamon sticks.

Yum yum yum yum yum! By the way, I’ve never used the brandy and it’s quite tasty!

(Serves 6…and yes, it’s okay to triple everything. Two cinnamon sticks might do in that case.)

Mary, Mary, Not Quite So Contrary

If you’ve been following my garden this summer, you’ll know it’s our first try and we had high hopes. This is what our garden looks like now:


Tomatoes (see some stevia foreground center)

pineapple sage

Pineapple Sage (MmmMmmMmm)

cucumbers and pumpkins

Cucumbers and Pumpkins


teddy bear sunflower

small sunflower

sunset sunflower

What a blessing this summer garden has been. If you look hard, you can even find some dirt under my fingernails. ~gasp~

My favorite part of gardening is harvesting the bounty.

vase of flowers

Brooke and Daddy’s Date

Sweet Brooke emailed Dad to ask if he’d like to go to dinner. Then, she emailed him to tell him what to wear.

silly at home


He did look handsome, though he didn’t take her wardrobe advice.

at the restaurant

Daddy taught her to cross her silverware on her plate to signal she was finished eating. She loved it so much, she decided to do it with everything. Silly girl!

crossing the silverware

What fun memories she’s making with her daddy.