Monday, August 31, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 8/31 - 9/4

With homeschooling and all that entails we are trying to be very purposeful with eating meals at home. If I don't have a plan then we don't do very well.

Here's what our Menu looks like for the week.

Tuesday: Chili (made by handsome hubby and oh so yummy!!!)

Wednesday: Roast with potatoes, carrots and onions. I make this in the crockpot. I throw it all in in the morning and it's ready at dinner time. We usually do something in the crockpot on Wednesday's because of church.

Thursday: Smothered Chicken with brown rice with green beans and spinach

Friday: Velveeta Tex Mex beef and potatoes I chose this so that I can use the other 1/2 lb of my velveeta that I will be using in my recipe on Monday.

Three out of five of my recipes this week come from a free magazine that I get. I will be telling you about it on Wednesday in my What Works for Me post. So come back and see me on Wednesday and learn we I get all these yummy recipes from!

Until then head over to the Organizing Junkie and check out what everyone else is eating this week. I know I found a few new recipes that you will probably be seeing on my menu in the upcoming weeks!

Have a blessed week!

Smothered Chicken with brown rice

4 slices Bacon, chopped
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
4 large carrots (1 lb.), thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
3 cups hot cooked brown rice

Cook and stir bacon in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 5 min. or until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings from skillet.
ADD chicken to skillet; cook 5 to 6 min. on each side or until golden brown on both sides and done (165ºF). Transfer chicken to plate; cover to keep warm. Add vegetables and 1/2 cup broth to skillet; cover and simmer 10 min. or until vegetables are tender.
STIR in broth and Neufchatel; cook, uncovered, 2 min. or until Neufchatel is melted and sauce is thickened, stirring frequently. Return chicken to skillet; cook 2 min. or until heated through. Spoon rice onto serving plate; top with chicken, sauce and bacon.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Homeschool - Week One

We had a great first week of  homeschooling. The A Beka curriculum that we chose teaches them to write in cursive. So far this week we have learned the letter I and the letter U. She has done really well with those two letters, and I know she will getter better and better as we continue to practice. That's not to say there weren't a few tears shed. There may have even been a few I can't do it and but momma's spoken. Momma gave her the "we're not quitters" pep talk and dried the tears. She rallied and kept at it and wound up doing pretty good on those cursive letters.

We have been doubling up on some lessons because of our upcoming vacation in September. Which is why we covered two letters in one week. This will allow us to be on vacation and not have to worry about getting behind. We will be taking our flashcards and such to keep progressing though.

Here are some pictures from this past week.

This is our official first day of kindergarten photo. She even put shoes on, which I told her she didn't have to. 

Here we are working at the kitchen table. This is where we started the week out. 

Here she is at her desk we wound up and purchased Tuesday night. She made the letter I out of pretzels. 
We decided to buy a small desk because our kitchen table has benches and not chairs. After her and I sat there for two hours with no back support and her little legs hanging down it became difficult to be comfortable and still for both of us. We picked up this little desk at Big Lots for $25. Can't beat that!
Overall we had a great first week and looking forward to next week! 

Friday, August 28, 2009

Flowers, Ducks and a Wedding dress

First I started the weekend off with a cupcake bouquet for a friends mom. I was really excited because I got to use my new airbrush machine my hubby just bought me for my birthday.

This was a dozen white cupcakes with vanilla butter cream icing. I arranged them in this bowl to look like a bouquet of flowers.

I added tissue paper under the cupcakes to give it that bouquet look. I also tied some ribbon around the bowl to fancy it up a little.

Next up was a baby shower cake for a friend. The shower theme was ducky. I searched all over looking for an idea and couldn't really find anything that just jumped out at me. Wilton has the 3-D duck pan. All the pictures of the cakes made with that pan I didn't really care for.

I hate doing the star tip on a cake to make an image or cover a cake. It give my hand major cramps. So I steer away from that if at all possible. So instead of using the duck pan to make a cake out of, I used half of the pan and made a chocolate mold out it.

I used pre-colored yellow chocolate melts. I melted them down, poured them in half the pan and stuck in refrigerator to harden. Then I just popped it out and painted on the eye and bill with more pre-colored melted chocolate. You can actually do it in stages where you put in the white for the eye, and orange for the bill and stick in fridge and let that harden. Then pour the yellow in on top of that and let that layer harden and it all pops out together, it's just that I forgot to do that. :o) So, I opted for painting it on, then smoothed it with my gloved finger. The chocolate will soften from the heat of your hand and will allow you to smooth it out.
The cake was a 12 in. chocolate cake with vanilla butter cream icing. Around the bottom is a piece of yellow grosgrain ribbon. I think he turned out adorable!

And, last but not least was a wedding shower cake for our Children's Minister and his fiance at church. This was again a 12 in. chocolate cake with vanilla butter cream icing. The wedding dress and bouquet are made from fondant. There are also tiny edible pearls adorning the dress and bouquet. She loved it so much, it made her tear up.

That's all I got for now!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WFMW - Target Dollar Spot

Since we are homeschooling now I am always on the look out for good teacher aids. I happened upon this goldmine at the Target Dollar spot a couple of weeks ago.

These are all kinds of flashcards, from your basic mathematics flashcards to USA Landmark flashcards. There were phonic, science, and animal flashcards. Also at the top of the picture next to the clock is a alphabet bingo game and a math bingo game. There was so much more stuff that I didn't purchase.

I have decided the two shelves I cleared out on my bookcase are not going to be enough room for homeschool goodies. I know all of you veteran home schooler's are chuckling at me. But, that's ok...I'm learning!

Target Dollar Spot works for me! Now go check out what works for everyone else at We are THAT family!

Monday, August 24, 2009

New Teacher in Town

That's right....there's a new teacher in town.

It's me.

Today was our first day of homeschool. My baby girl started kindergarten.

We had a great first day.

When I got up this morning, I heard some commotion and went to find her.

There she was in her room. I said "Good Morning, whatcha doin'?" She said, I have brushed my teeth, brushed my hair and now I am getting dressed. I said "Oh wow, are you ready for school?" She said, "Yes!!" Now ya'll, normally I have to MAKE her do all these things. Not today though, she was so excited to get started.

I told her we would get breakfast first and start around nine. She then told me to only give her a little bit of cereal, because she wasn't real hungry and she was ready to get started with school.

She hounded me until nine o'clock and we finally got started. I took her picture by the fireplace and made her walk out the back door and back in. She thought that was funny.

We started the day with a prayer. Then for Bible, we worked on our Awana verse. Then in phonics, we talked about the letter I. In Math we counted to 10, focusing on numbers 1-3. She kept looking at me like..."Are you serious? This is it?" I kept trying to tell her that we would be starting slow and reviewing a lot of what she learned in pre-K last year. Overall it was a great first day and she was very excited.

I hope that excitement and enthusiasm stays for a long time. I know all days won't be like this.  I know there will be days I will have to drag her kicking and screaming gently nudge her to the kitchen table. I just hope that is not for several more years. ( Just let me live in my dream world, m'kay)

We are using the A Beka curriculum. So far, I have liked what I have seen. It really lays it out nicely for the "teacher". Which is what I wanted being my first year. I just wanted someone to spell it out for me.

I have been watching everyone today update their facebooks with pictures of their little ones going off to school for the first day; can I just say I am so thankful I didn't have to kiss her goodbye this morning!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cakes, Cakes and More Cakes

I have been very lax in posting the cakes I have done over the past several here goes.

This cake I did for a friend of a friend. This is a 8 inch chocolate cake with butter cream icing. Spiderman, the letters and numbers are fondant. I made the webs on the side out of chocolate.

I made this cake for my office. They had a Biggest Loser Competition and they asked me to make this on the last day of the competition when the winner was announced. This is a kit kat cake. It was a white cake with vanilla butter cream, surrounded by kitkats and filled in with m&m's on top.

This cake I made for Teacher Appreciation Week at Emma's preschool. It was an 8 in chocolate cake and a 6 inch vanilla cake; both with vanilla butter cream. The flowers, faces and sun were made out of fondant. Grass, clouds, stems and leaves are all butter cream. The teachers loved it!

Another cake I made for a friend of a friend. This is the Mickey head pan made by Wilton. This was chocolate cake with part vanilla and part chocolate butter cream. Black butter cream is so much easier to make if you start out with chocolate butter cream.

This was a chocolate sheet cake with chocolate butter cream. The hills were formed from cake. The bales of hay were made from fondant. The flag is paper taped to sucker sticks. The motorcycle/rider is a toy provided by the mom. My husband rigged it with some wire so that it would look like he was jumping.

This was my first topsy turvy cake to make. It was for my niece Cheyenne's 17th birthday. This was a Red Velvet and vanilla cake. 10, 8 and 6 inch tiers iced in vanilla butter cream with fondant accents. The candy on the cake is actual candy....smarties, jolly ranchers, suckers, dum dum suckers.

I made this cake for a friends son at work. This was a 9 inch vanilla cake with vanilla butter cream and fondant accents.

Well I think that finally catches me all up. I sorry for the quality of the pictures. I think I need to take some photography classes.

Princess and Little Man are so funny...every cake that I do, they decide that's the cake they want for their next birthday. So it changes often. I am so blessed because Steven helps me with all my fondant work. I love working together with him on these things. He's really good at it too.

Today happens to be my birthday and he bought me an airbrush system for my cake decorating. I am SO excited. I can't wait to try it out.