Saturday, November 22, 2014

FLEXIBILITY, PAYCHECKS, RELATIVES, & PICTURES

Tricks - Naomi busted this out last night. I had no idea she could do the splits and immediately sprinted for a camera. 


Employment - Tim applied for a job that is exactly what he spent five years doing in Salem, but didn't even land an interview. Strange, but I suppose that's about as clear as you can get about whether or not a job would be a good fit for your family. Meanwhile, he continues subbing just about full-time. 

He also applied for some local coaching jobs. He did get an interview that time, but the positions went to some other guys. However, the head coach offered him an AAU job. It pays a fraction of what the school job does, but it's also less responsibility ... and it's a foot in the door ... and it would help make up for the subbing days lost during the holiday season. Needless to say, he took the job and is now trying to teach basketball to a group of sixth grade boys, some of which have absolutely no experience.

Cousins - Tammy showed up for our first monthly open house last night. We hadn't seen each other in several years and our kids kept commenting about how much we look alike.


Pictures - I just got the last month's worth of pictures loaded on Picasa. The 11/7/14 album includes the bigs doing a presentation on Madagascar, a date night for Tim and I, games with friends, and a few other pictures. The 11/22/14 album includes a day with Tim's family, crafts with our homeschool group, an outing to OMSI with another family, and a few pictures taken around the house.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

MENU: 11/20/14 - 11/26/14

I made a spontaneous batch of cracked wheat & honey bread a few days ago, one loaf for us and one for the family of the gal who cuts my hair. I also tried one new recipe that we all liked, so we'll start things off with that.

* gingerbread with lemon sauce - This was our post-Bible study snack last night and it was good.

ADVANCED COOKING (These aren't always planned, so they'll often be things I did the previous week.)
* I made and froze the black bean dip on Tuesday that I'll need tomorrow night. 
* I'll make peanut butter and crockpot beans, just like I do once or twice every week.

BREAKFASTS
* Barbara's pancakes
* doughnuts at church
* oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, milk, homemade peanut butter, maple almond butter, raisins, dried cranberries, fresh or frozen fruit, huh-koe-pee milk, and/or energy mix as optional toppings x5

DINNERS
* do-it-all chicken (raw from the freezer, crockpot)/rice/frozen corn
crockpot beans & rice
* cabbage soup/simple focaccia
* penne with winter squash, pine nuts, and cheese sauce/frozen green beans
* black bean dip with carrot and red bell pepper sticks/popcorn (snacky stuff for an open house we're hosting)
* tacos - seasoned meat, crockpot beans from the freezer, and some other toppings served in a tortilla, bowl, as a salad over a pile of greens, or with mound of rice
* leftovers

SNACKS & DESSERTS
* coconut bread (post-Bible study snack)
* dark chocolate orange hazelnuts (for the open house)
* potato wedges
produce 
* popcorn (kernels from the Winco bulk department that get popped in my Lodge Dutch oven, but you can see my thoughts on both the wonderful Dutch oven and the fantastic West Bend Stir Crazy in this post)



(This post contains affiliate links.)

11/20/14 - THANKFUL THURSDAY



I'm thankful that I saw this  - a thoughtful card, pretty flowers, and a blue package of cookies because they noticed Granny liked blue as they did some sleuthing through my pictures to figure out something that would make the gift more personal -  on our doorstep when we came home from Bible study last night.

What's something that you are thankful for?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

GRANNY IS GONE

I got a call from my uncle this morning letting me know that Granny died last night. It was time and in that sense it's a good thing that she's gone, but I'm still sad.

Granny moved away 3 1/2 years ago, the longest I've ever gone without seeing her, but here are some pictures of the two of us together in the years before she left. She hated having her picture taken, so the fact that she's looking at the camera and has a smile on her face is a big deal.

This was Christmas at my dad's house in 2007.


This was at a birthday party at our home in the summer of 2009.


I blogged about the next photo in a post titled "GENERATIONS" back when it was taken, but I'm including it in this post because it's special to me and just seems fitting.


I have mixed emotions and scattered thoughts, none of which I feel like trying to articulate here, but the bottom line is that I loved her and there were many reasons I knew she loved me. I'm grateful for that. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

MENU: 11/13/14 - 11/19/14

I ended up making a few things that weren't on the menu last week - black bean dip with carrot and red bell pepper sticks (a last minute decision that replaced the black bean couscous salad I'd planned on taking to a family potluck), chocolate chip peanut butter bars (a spontaneous potluck contribution), and oatmeal pancakes (we had some leftover oats, so I decided to make pancakes one morning).  We also processed the eighty pounds of chicken I'd mentioned in the last menu. Here's the post with pictures and marinade recipes about that, in case you missed it.

Here is the one new recipe we tried last week.

* bonbon coco - This is a coconut candy that Devon made as part of a presentation for our homeschool group.

ADVANCED COOKING (These aren't always planned, so they'll often be things I did the previous week.)
* I had a bin of strawberries and juice frozen in a solid chunk, so I thawed it, then refroze it in ziploc bags and ice cube trays for convenience.
* I'll make a crockpot of navy beans to freeze for future recipes.

BREAKFASTS
* Tam's granola (crockpot)
* doughnuts at church
* oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, milk, homemade peanut butter, maple almond butter, raisins, dried cranberries, fresh or frozen fruit, huh-koe-pee milk, and/or energy mix as optional toppings x5

DINNERS
* pizza for the three bigs at an event & steak/rice/frozen green beans for the rest of us
* pumpkin soup with lentils/toast
* zesty chicken (crockpot) green salad
lentils & rice
* rice, kale (in the freezer from a summer harvest), & eggs 
* tacos - seasoned meat, crockpot beans from the freezer, and some other toppings served in a tortilla, bowl, as a salad over a pile of greens, or with mound of rice
* leftovers

SNACKS & DESSERTS
* new recipe (skipped last week because we ended up with a bunch of unexpected desserts from a day with Tim's family)
* potato wedges
produce 
* popcorn (kernels from the Winco bulk department that get popped in my Lodge Dutch oven, but you can see my thoughts on both the wonderful Dutch oven and the fantastic West Bend Stir Crazy in this post)



(This post contains affiliate links.)

11/13/14 - THANKFUL THURSDAY

I'm thankful for the women in my life who ask the hard questions, encourage me when I'm down, and challenge me to do what's right.

What's something that you're thankful for?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

MADAGASCAR PRESENTATION

Our homeschool group has started having one cultural day each month, a time for one family to present the country of their choice to the rest of the group. There's no rule for how it has to go and each family's situation and the ages of their children are different, which means some presentations are heavy on parents talking and others on kids, but we opted for the little Ws to do it all.

I vetoed Mexico (we live in a community that's about 65% Mexican and getting info about the country isn't hard), Russia (I visited there, but we have a Russian family in our group and wanted to leave it available to the experts if they wanted to do it), and the Philippines (my sister's family lives there and I've visited, but there's a Filipina that comes sometimes and we wanted to leave it open for her family for the same reason as Russia). The little Ws stood at our big map, looked at their options, then chose Madagascar. 

Naomi did the intro, then talked about clothing and housing. Devon went next and shared info about animals. Silas went last and taught the group about food, imports and exports, and some geographic details. 

We did a dress rehearsal the night before their presentation, as I wasn't sure I'd be able to get pictures during the real thing.

Naomi and the flag she drew.


Devon with a pie chart showing how many of the world's chameleons live in Madagascar.


Silas holding up his scale model of a baobab tree.


The next morning Devon busted out some bonbon coco, a coconut candy that's popular in Madagascar.


Then we all headed out for the real presentation and I got a few pictures. Naomi kicked things off.


Devon went next.


Silas wrapped up the talking part.


Then Devon and Teebs passed out bonbon coco to everyone at the end.


They each did a great job!