Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sweet Cream Cornbread

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup oil
1 cup half and half

Mix dry ingredients; add wet ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Pour into greased, round 9" pan. Bake 18 - 20 minutes at 400.

Soft Breadsticks

1 package active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
5-6 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
butter for brushing tops
more garlic salt
parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water; let stand for five minutes. Add the milk, egg, oil, salt, whole wheat and 3 cups white flour. Beat until smooth. Beat five minutes longer. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead 8-10 minutes, turn into greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise for one hour. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Combine cornmeal and italian seasoning, sprinkle over work surface. Roll each section of dough into the cornmeal and shape into a 15 inch long rope. Divide into 3 pieces, twist each, and place on greased baking sheet. Let rise for another 10-15 minutes, bake at 400 for 8-12 minutes. Brush twists with butter, sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan. Delish!!

Toscana Soup

(like Olive Garden's)

1 lb. Italian sausage
8 ounces smoked bacon, chopped
5 cups water
4 chicken boullion cubes
3 large potatoes, scrubbed, cut into quarters, and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
2 cups half and half

Brown sausage, drain and set aside. Fry bacon, drain and set aside. Mix water, boullion cubes, potatoes, garlic and onion in a pot. Simmer over medium heat, about 10-15 minutes. Add sausage and bacon. Simmer 10 minutes. Add spinach and half and half. Season with salt and pepper. Heat through but do not allow to boil.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thoughts on teaching my kids at home. . .

I wonder if I could be termed a reluctant homeschooler? I dislike the images and labels that instantly come to mind and often find myself frustrated by the extremes that homeschooling can seem to cause. Then comes the fact that I just don't consider myself a teacher! Say the words "dream career" and teaching wouldn't even cross my mind.

But. . . here we are, embarking on the journey of teaching our kids at home. For us it is a positive choice, not a negative one. We aren't out to criticize those who choose a different educational path. We aren't seeking to imply that we are smarter and wiser than the many gifted educators in our community. It is simply the best choice for our family.

We want our kids to love God; we want them to intelligently contribute their gifts and abilities to society in a way that glorifies Him. Teaching our kids at home is the best way to accomplish those goals right now. Homeschooling - not our main purpose. Raising our kids to love God . . . that's what matters to us above all else.

But on a lighter note. . .

I never thought I would enjoy this teaching stuff as much as I am. We are having a blast. Our biggest challenge is making sure Cambria doesn't tear apart anything major while we are studying.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

His Idea

Jacob Daniel, explaining to someone that we are going to have a new baby at our house: "We are having it because I asked for it. We were at a park, and I told my mommy that I would like a baby, so we are having one!"

That is interesting . . . I do remember the park conversation; I did not, however, lead him to believe that he is the reason we are expecting number three!

Watch the Language, Little Lady


{after finally figuring out how to manage the straw in her milkshake}

Cambria, ecstatic, voice at top volume:

"Mommy, I not blow, I suck!!"


Movie: Foovie

Mercy: Moocy

McDonald's: Donald's

French Fries: Fufies

Any Meal: Beffust (breakfast)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Puppy Party

Tea for the mommies. . .Real PA system + fascinated kids = barking contest. Priceless.

Poor deprived JD and Cambria had to bring stuffed dogs. At least they were named. Cambria's: Charlie. JD's: Menards. (It's his favorite place, people.)

A real dog. . . beloved Wally.
Cambria, Charlie, and a quick thumb sucking moment.
I really think my little sisters are the most creative teenagers ever. Seriously, a puppy party?! It was just too cute, from the introduce-your-dog beginning to the puppy chow snack ending. They had 57 guests, 6 real dogs, and numerous Menards and Charlie type breeds.

The Great Annual Canoe Trip

Boys climb trees when they're camping. . .
Girls giggle. . .
We try to canoe without tipping. . . (successful once again)
The kids are getting some quality Aunt E'beth and Wally time. . .
And then there is the annual kickball game, as well!
Daniel models resourcefulness yet again: if a hammer cannot be located, use an ax!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Use what talents you possess:
The woods would be very silent
If no birds sang
Except those that sang best.

Henry Van Dyke

Saturday, September 12, 2009

September Eleventh

I won't forget 9/11. I'm thankful for the heroes who gave their lives. I can't help but think about the firefighters who met eternity on the date of 9/11 since my husband chose that career.

But- here's the other side. 9/11 is over. Terrorism continues, and the heroes now are wearing fatigues and still laying their lives on the line for the freedom and safety of Americans.

{The picture at the top is my brother-in-law's vehicle for the next year.}

We're proud of you, Stephen- can't wait until you come home!

What is there to Love?

I am rinsing frozen shrimp at the sink and I can't resist sampling one. Ahhh. Bliss.

Me: (to no one in particular) "I so love shrimp!"

JD: "I so don't love shrimp!"

All the more for me!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tent Time

. . .picture from a father/son campout that was one of the highlights of JD's summer.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

UNI- 16 vs. Iowa- 17. . . Whew!

I woke up this morning to JD standing at my bedside asking if he could "call Daddy to find out what time the game started." Only a heartless mamma would deny that earnest request, so- here he is, getting the stats from his dad.
In lieu of the black and gold flag that I am a) too cheap to buy and b) unwilling to swap for the red, white and blue.

Friday, September 4, 2009

No, I don't hate reporters, but. . .

. . . this is just too funny. I couldn't resist one more.

our phone date last night. . .

Daniel and I spend so much time apart; it's a treat to spend it together and we don't take it for granted.

But. . .if you can't be together, you can always laugh until your stomach hurts watching YouTube videos simultaneously, via the phone. Yep, we're weird. You can go ahead and say it. (You were thinking it, right?)

Two faves from last night. . .