Saturday, October 31, 2009

God's Own Child

38 years ago today, my parents brought me to the font where the pastor baptized me in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

God's Own Child, I Gladly Say It (LSB 594)
God's own child, I gladly say it:
I am baptized into Christ!
He, because I could not pay it,
Gave my full redemption price.
Do I need earth's treasures many?
I have one worth more than any
That brought me salvation free
Lasting to eternity!

Sin, disturb my soul no longer:
I am baptized into Christ!
I have comfort even stronger:
Jesus' cleansing sacrifice.
Should a guilty conscience seize me
Since my Baptism did release me
In a dear forgiving flood,
Sprinkling me with Jesus' blood?

Satan, hear this proclamation:
I am baptized into Christ!
Drop your ugly accusation,
I am not so soon enticed.
Now that to the font I've traveled,
All your might has come unraveled,
And, against your tyranny,
God, my Lord, unites with me!

Death, you cannot end my gladness:
I am baptized into Christ!
When I die, I leave all sadness
To inherit paradise!
Though I lie in dust and ashes
Faith's assurance brightly flashes:
Baptism has the strength divine
To make life immortal mine.

There is nothing worth comparing
To this life-long comfort sure!
Open-eyed my grave is staring:
Even there I'll sleep secure.
Though my flesh awaits its raising,
Still my soul continues praising:
I am baptized into Christ;
I'm a child of paradise!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another Supper Idea

Spaghetti and Meatballs with French Bread.
Step 1: Buy 10 lb of hamburger when it is on sale, make into meatballs and freeze in packages of thirty.

Step 2: During tomato season can quartered tomatoes or spaghetti sauce.

Step 4: Buy spaghetti noodles at the store.

On the day you decide to make spaghetti and meat balls with french bread:

Step 1: Take meatballs out of freezer to thaw.
Step 2: Make spaghetti sauce (or bring up the jar already made)
Step 3: Begin making three hour french bread.

You won't be sorry. Wow. I saw this recipe awhile ago, but never got around to trying it. Yesterday, though, I made the time, and nobody was sorry.
It was delicious. Crispy, chewy, warm, and with melted butter we all had seconds and thirds, and.....
and it is definitely a recipe I'll try again and again.

Oh and the only step above you cannot not do is
Step 3: Begin making three hour french bread.

Go. Plan. Bake. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Enchilada Pie

This is a recipe I had forgotten about until I noticed the few leftover tortillas. Is it like that at your house, one meal uses up most, but not all, of the tortillas and what remains is only enough to ensure bickering among the eaters at the smorgasbord meal? Try the following recipe next time and see if your diners have smiles.

Enchilada Pie
Olive Oil
1 cup chopped red or green pepper
1 lb ground beef
2 tsp cumin
1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes (seasoned kind if you desire)
1/2 cup enchilada sauce
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles (I frequently leave these out because I never think to buy them)
1 cup frozen corn
4-6 tortillas
8oz shredded cheese (your choice of kind)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Saute peppers in heated oil, add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Stir in cumin, tomatoes, enchilada sauce and chiles. Simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in corn.

Line bottom of baking dish (I use my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker) with two tortillas. Top with some of the meat mixture, then sprinkle on the cheese. Top with two more tortillas, more meat, more cheese, and layer again, ending with a top layer of tortillas (I think last night I used 8 total). Cover with lid or foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle on more cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Cool 5-10 minutes before cutting. Serve with toppings like sour cream, chopped tomatoes, onions, lettuce, whatever you like.

Last night I made this and added a can of black beans (undrained) when I added the tomatoes, sauce, etc, and I didn't use chiles. I also make my own enchilada sauce, (recipe follows) adding all of it, which I realize now was more than necessary and made ours more soupy, but it was still tasty! Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think.

Enchilada Sauce
olive oil
1 onion chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 can (15oz) tomato sauce
1 can (4oz) green chiles
2 tsps chili powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Saute onion and pepper in oil until tender. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for a few minutes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

2009 Spring, Summer, and Fall Harvest

Here's the rundown of the nuts I've stored for winter.

15 pint freezer jam
25 quarts of whole berries
9 quarts of sliced berries

Cherries (Bing)
31 and a half quart

Dill Pickles
6 quart

20 and a half quart
3 quart juice

Applesauce (canned by my mom)
54 quart

Apple Butter (canned by my mom)
9 and a half pint

Apple Jelly (canned by my mom)
11 pint

Tomato Juice
40 quart

Tomatoes quartered (both canned and frozen):
20 quart

Squash (canned by my mom)
19 and a half pint

Funny, at the beginning of the canning season, I wasn't sure I would get much canned, and look how wrong I was. All of the tomatoes and Squash were gifts from people's bountiful gardens. I think of those people all through the winter as I use up the goodies in the jars. It sure is nice to see the shelves like this once again (please ignore the rest of the mess).
Last year my mom came up in October and willingly agreed to can applesauce for us. She agreed to it again this year. That is so nice. Most of the apple butter she is taking home for herself and my nephew (who lives with her) to enjoy.

I had thought I would look for some pumpkins to can because we love pies and bars and cheesecakes and muffins all made with pumpkin. But someone called asking if we wanted butternut squash so we canned and froze that instead. I did that last year and we all liked it just fine.

Last year I did lots of spaghetti sauce and we all enjoyed that. But this year I wanted more juice, so I simply did that. Then, when I was gifted with a big bunch of tomatoes right before the first freeze, I decided to quarter them for soups and making spaghetti sauce. I'll see how it goes. It was easier to do the quartered tomatoes, but last year it sure was easy to pull the spaghetti sauce right off the shelf! I'll soon find out which side of the sauce I'll prefer to work.

I didn't get any corn this year, so once the few bags from last year are done, we'll buy from the store. The grapes didn't produce much this year so no more grape jelly but I still have a few pints from last year. I also didn't can any chow chow relish this year. I think I still have enough from last year to see us through, if not, well, we'll either do without or buy from the store.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What a Busy Week

Last Sunday afternoon, October 11, we drove to Wisconsin Dells where my sister and mom were waiting. We loaded my mom's things and her into our vehicle and turned around and drove home, stopping in LaCrosse for supper.

Monday we awoke to snow! The kids loved it and were outside right away (after I had dug through the boxes and bags to find the hats and mittens and boots) making a snowman.
Hannah's 14th birthday was on the 11th, but we celebrated on the 12th.
My mom stayed busy this past week canning applesauce and apple jelly and apple butter. I love that she doesn't mind helping me in this way! I stayed busy with errands and schoolwork and normal chores. Then on Friday night and all day Saturday I got to "play," that is I was at a scrapbooking retreat! The best part was the retreat was right next door at church, so I had no traveling! From 6pm till midnight on Friday and from 10am until midnight Saturday I was working on my album; I was able to finish 18 pages! Yee haw! All of us had great fun and we are coming up with another time either late winter or early spring to do this again.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Faces of Joseph

While on vacation in September, I was able once again to hold and cuddle (and give Amy a much needed break on occasion) my godson Joseph.

He is quite cute and I loved snapping pictures of him.
It is a good thing he is so cute as he would not ever win the award for "easiest baby" or "most content baby." He is a handful and quite demanding. Frankly, I am amazed Amy gets anything done with Joseph's demands. But we did see improvement from the week they spent with us in August to this vacation week in September, and Amy assures me that at home, it is improving.

When I took this shot:
I told Amy, "he is sneezing."

And with this shot:
I said, "he is happy."

Then we thought about the many faces of Joseph as the seven dwarfs would be a cute layout for her baby album. This one was the easiest to get:

I think "sleepy" will be the hardest, but Amy assures me she'll get it one way or the other. I can't wait to see the pages when she finishes.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


This year we are starting the history cycle over. That means we are learning Ancient History (5000 B.C. - 400 A.D), or, all about Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Every year I'm always trying to figure out how to do a better timeline, as much for my own learning as for the children's. After thinking it over and discussing it with David this is what I decided:

I wanted a visual timeline that showed the division of years equally so we could get a feel for how long it was from one event to another. The wall in the basement provided the perfect place. We measured and penciled in seven lines seven feet long. We added colored plastic tape along the pencil lines and then marked the years.
The years we broke down as 10 inches = 100 years. On those spots I added a half inch by one and three fourths inch white label with the year written in a gold pen. In between, we marked off every two and half inches to represent each 25 years.At the end of the first strip we realized there were years represented after the last 100, so we cut that part of the strip off and simply restarted on the next line with that same number. Therefore our breakdown works as follows: strip one - 5000 B.C. - 4200 B.C.
strip two - 4200 B.C. - 3400 B.C.
strip three - 3400 B.C. - 2600 B.C.
strip four - 2600 B.C. - 1800 B.C.
strip five - 1800 B.C. - 1000 B.C.
strip six - 1000 B.C. - 200 B.C.
strip seven - 200 B.C. - 600 A.D.

As we read and study about various events in history, I have the younger three color one of the timeline figures and then we put double sided sticky tape on the back, locate where it should go on our timeline, and stick it in place.

As my guide for history this year I'm using Veritas Press (year one and year two) and Story of the World. This website has great resources along with lists combining various history programs for ease of use. I printed off this one, and then re-typed it into a document adding the subject covered for my own benefit and ease of use. I also rearranged a few things, but for the most part that is our history plan for the year.

The other change is that for the two oldest, we decided to buy them their own copy of the Record of Time notebook. This way they would have a nice, personal copy of historical events they can take with them to college and beyond. The use the same timeline figures only reduced to fit in the book. I also purchased the suggested placement guide to give us a feel for what events are all on one page and how to lay them nicely on the page. We will do the same for the three youngest when they are older.

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Rundown

We started our school year at the end of August. The hardest part of planning for me is figuring out when all the music lessons will be. Piano will once again be on Thursdays and this year we're adding a new student to the teacher's line-up; Miss Abigail is pretty excited to finally begin piano lessons. (I also think it will help motivate her older brother so as not to have little sister pass him in the book.) That now makes four students of MLLA (Mumme Lutheran Latin Academy) learning piano.

Hannah's violin lessons are easy to plan, it was Ellie's flute that gave me the hardest decision. Last year she played with the 6th grade band in the local public school. It was once/week but in the next town over, so that meant a good hour out of my day to get her there and back. She could have continued with the band this year and we did consider the possibility. But when I talked to the band director I was a little more hesitant. Junior high band (7th-8th graders) meets Mondays and Wednesdays and every other Friday in the next town over. Three times a week? Even on our days off - aka Mondays? I wasn't sure I wanted that commitment, but I had yet to find another solution, so like other sticky situations, I put off the decision till later. Then the band director called and I felt guilty so we decided we would try it. I took her for the first time on a Friday before we left for vacation and the band director gave me the schedule. The week after vacation was homecoming. She would have the three practices plus two additional practices during the day at the football field plus a parade during the day on Friday and then the game on Friday night. YIKES! (The junior high band plays with the high school band.) All that potential running prompted me to look more urgently for a private instructor, and I was delighted to find one through a Bethany student. Now I'll take Ellie once/week to Bethany for her lesson and even though it will take more time out of my day to drive there and back, I will actually be able to accomplish more. The three youngest will go along, completing their math on the drive there and back and while Ellie is in her lesson, I will read to them either Science or a read aloud sitting in a nice lounge in the music building. Last week was the first week for her lesson and it worked quite nicely. I think this will be much better for my sanity (please, lets not talk about my pocketbook.)

Last week was the first week that we were able to see how a full school schedule would work, and overall it went well. I still never find time to get it all done, and I think I will have to rely more heavily on sandwiches, canned soups, other other easy, quick fix lunches as I simply don't have the time to make the big meal I once did. I have too many that still need my individual assistance and teaching and that is best done in the mornings.

We opted not to sign up the children for swim club this fall season. The thought of running three nights/week for practices and (lets be honest) the cost was a big detriment this time. We will consider it again for winter season (January-March). The three youngest are the ones who've commented about missing it. So now we have most our evenings free and that has been quite nice.