Friday, February 27, 2009

Fill Your Freezer Friday

OK, have I started a new theme for Fridays? Probably not, but it fits for this family on this particular Friday.

Yesterday, I made a quick run-through Kroger and scored big in the poultry department. Whole fryers were 67 cents a pound with a limit of three and they even had boneless, skinless chicken breasts for 1.29 a pound.

Today was my scheduled grocery day, so back to Kroger I go for more chicken and other sale items. Then on to Sam's where ground chuck was reduced.

Last night I made 3 "dump" chicken recipes for my family's freezer and 2 for Lauren's freezer. Today, so far, I have added 18 hamburger patties and five pounds of taco meat. I have three chickens roasting in the oven and three boiling away on the stove. I still have three packages of boneless/skinless in the freezer, but they may have to wait until tomorrow. I will cut and freeze the roasted chicken. Some for my freezer and some for Lauren's. The boiling chickens will be turned into chicken spaghetti, chimichangas, poppy seed chicken casserole and chicken salad. And I will have a huge pot of chicken stock to strain and add to the freezer as well.

I also have ground chuck cooking in the crock pot for a pasta dish that I will put together this evening. This is a new recipe to me, but sounds easy and different from our normal pasta dishes. Try it and see how you like it.

Pizza Pasta Casserole Freezer Recipe

2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 jars (28 oz each) spaghetti sauce
1 pkg (16 oz) spiral pasta
4 cups (16 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
8 oz sliced pepperoni

Cook spiral pasta noodles according to package instructions. While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef and onion together ground beef is no longer pink; drain fat. Stir in spaghetti sauce and pasta, once noodles are cooked and drained. Spray 2 9"x13" baking casseroles with non-stick cooking spray, and divide mixture into both casseroles evenly. Sprinkle each with cheese and top with pepperoni. Cool if needed, then cover and freeze.
To cook: Thaw casserole in fridge overnight. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes or until heated through.

Monday, February 23, 2009

This Week's Preview

Last week we were studying the Great Lake states. We read another great Holling C. Holling book Paddle to the Sea, which took us on a tour of the Great Lakes from Lake Superior all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Holling's books are terrific. If you haven't read them, please do!

Another aspect we looked at when studying the Great Lakes was the dairy industry. We read a few books on dairy cows, drew a few pictures of cows and Saturday evening had a fabulous fondue dinner. Becky made a terrific parmesan cheese fondue and we dipped baked chicken morsels, steamed broccoli and cauliflower and toasted bread cubes into the fondue. We added a salad and then topped it all off with ice cream cones and homemade chocolate ice cream!! We are going to be so fat after studying this unit!!

This week we are studying the midwest states and will be covering many fun topics: the Pony Express, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Oregon Trail, Sitting Bull and George Custer, Mt. Rushmore, buffaloes, and farming. That is a tremendous amount of info to cover in one week, but we have some great resources to help us tackle that feat. My kids already know a lot about the Oregon Trail through playing the Oregon Trail game on the computer. Weather permitting, we are planning a trip to our local farming implement store to ask questions about and get close up to some John Deere equipment. Then we are thinking of re-enacting the Lewis and Clark expedition and/or Oregon Trail on the nature trail at the Natchez Trace Visitor's Center.

Someone else has discovered my favorite cookbook series for this unit at the library, so we may not be cooking much for this week. A few years ago when studying Lewis and Clark we had a large group over and cooked venison over an open fire and had several other dishes that they would have had on that expedition. Need to pull out the frontier shirts that the older boys made years ago...Jackson can use them now and make powder horns, possible bags and sketchbooks. My creative juices are flowing--now if we can just find the time to make it all happen.

We also begin our enrichment classes this week. Jordan will be taking drama, a Dave Ramsey money class and a intro to physics lab. Aaron will also be in the Dave Ramsey class, music theory and health/nutrition/volleyball. Kaelan will be taking drama, arts and crafts and a science lab. This is our first time doing something like this, so I am praying it will be a rewarding time for the children. Kaelan and Aaron also have violin, piano and chorale, so we are staying on our toes keeping up with everything this semester. Oh, and while they are at enrichment classes, I plan on hitting the clearance racks or the library with the little boys tagging along.

Jordan is continuing his history studies this semester with the Renaissance and Reformation period and is taking a biology course. He is also doing lots of writing, a Shakespeare study and finishing up algebra. Lots going on a the Chamblee house!

What will you be learning/studying this week? You don't have to be a homeschool mom to continue learning. Education is for life!

What's in Your Freezer

Friday night I was privileged to share with about 30 other women the joys of bulk cooking. To me it just makes sense to make the most of my time in the kitchen by cooking in bulk. If I want to make a casserole, it makes more sense to me to prepare3-4 at a time than to make just one. It is just more budget friendly, time and money-wise. I also shared about purchasing reduced food items. This is something I have been doing since my early married/college days and I can only recall a couple of times that the product that I purchased was not good when I opened it. I love, love, love having a freezer full of food ready to pull out in the morning for our evening meal or to share with a family in need. This makes our lives so much easier when it comes to menu planning and makes it easier to minister to others as well.

What freezes well? Cooked roasts, shredded or cubed chicken and turkey, ground beef, casseroles galore, soups and stews, rice dishes, beans, biscuits, sausage biscuits, cinnamon rolls, breads, muffins, cookies, pancakes, waffles, cakes and pies.

If you have any questions about freezer cooking, I would be glad to answer them here. Maybe you are a kindred-spirit with regards to freezer cooking and have a recipe to share? Please leave it in the comment section. I am always looking for new recipes.

So, what's in your freezer?

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Quick Dinner Only Version

Monday-Anita on Longview--traditional spaghetti dish topped with Italian sausage and multi-colored bell peppers and onions; salad; garlic bread

Tuesday-BBQ chicken, purple hull peas, squash, bread

Wednesday-little cheesy meatloaves, mashed potatoes, butter beans


Friday-hot roast beef sandwiches, fried potatoes, salad

Saturday-red beans, rice, corn bread

Sunday-turkey broccoli rice casserole, green beans, corn on the cob, bread

Friday, February 20, 2009

Clearance Rack Kids

I love shopping and finding great clearance rack deals!! With seven children and two grandchildren to shop for I can't afford any other kind of shopping. My mom taught me the joys of clearance shopping growing up and I find it quite rewarding to dress my family well for a fraction of the cost. Most items I purchase are much cheaper than like items from a consignment store. I hate shopping consignment stores because I have to dig through things and I have found many items at the consignment store to cost more or about the same as what I can purchase new on clearance.

Yesterday, Aaron, Kaelan, Caedmon and I had a couple of hours between activities, so we made a quick run through our local Belk store... They have fantastic clearance sales...if you wait long enough. Yesterday's clearance prices were an additional 40% off. I purchased 14 items for around $75 dollars saving $277 off the original price. I purchased 5 shirts for the older boys for around $2.25 each, got a cute Christmas vest that the very little boys can pass around for about $3.00 (Chase, Caedmon and the new baby---$1.00 per boy!) and loaded up on several things for Kaelan. One winter dress that we found leggings to for entire ensemble...around $10. Several tops and a pair of culottes also clearance priced. A dress for this spring/summer wasn't on clearance, but was 40% off making the final price under $15. Sometimes when we find something we like for Kaelan that is modest, we have to get it before they are all gone.

Now if I can just find khakis and shoes....hmmm, is it any coincidence that the kids' enrichment classes this semester are just north of the mall. And I have 3 hours to spend looking the sale racks over! Isn't God good?!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Can It Get Any Better?

Good morning in school....
Good piano lessons...
Fun field trip with friends...
Date with my hubby and baby...
Delicious tender medium rare steak cooked just right...
Loaded baked potato...
Sauted mushrooms...
DOUBLE scoop of strawberry cream cheese ice cream in a warm waffle cone...
Quick run through at Sam's...
Kid's fed and bathed, kitchen clean and all ready for bed...


We just won't talk about the broken camera...shhhh!

This Week in the Great Lake States

This week we are studying those states that are in the Great Lakes area..Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Our main focus will be reading Holling C. Hollings book Paddle to the Sea which tells the tale of a carved canoe making its way from the source of the Great Lakes through all the lakes and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean. We are also reading biographies of Henry Ford (Detroit, Michigan is the capital of the automobile industry) and today we are going to our local automobile museum which is huge! I have been there before, but the children haven't. The cars are lined up in several rows from the earliest days to the latest. I think they will enjoy seeing this museum and I hope to have pictures to post tomorrow.

We are also reading lots of great books about each state and I am reading a biography of John Kellogg, you know...Kellogg's Corn Flakes? Seems he was a little loony, but I haven't had time to really get into the book yet.

We will also study the dairy industry and will cap it all off with a fabulous dinner Saturday night. We are planning a cheese fondue dinner with a chocolate fondue and homemade ice cream dessert! My lactose intolerant stomach is already protesting, but I will enjoy the good eats!!

Hope you all are having a great week.

Monday, February 16, 2009

He'll Make a Fine Daddy One Day!

The other day Aaron was rocking Caedmon to sleep humming my made-up song for Caedmon. Caedmon, Caedmon, you're my little honey bun. Caedmon, Caedmon, oh, I think you're oh so fun. You're so sweet you're really neat. I just want to kiss your feet. Caedmon, Caedmon, you're my little honeybun....

I think Aaron will make a fine daddy some day....All of my guys are getting lots of practice.

They have a good example in their own daddy.

My Valentine's Day!

Devin and Kaelan were spending the weekend with Lauren, getting things ready for the new baby's arrival. Jeff was involved in the symphony this weekend (I know, many of you don't know about our past lives....Jeff is a great trumpet player and plays with the Tupelo Symphony...we both have master's degrees in music!). So, at home it was just me and my four boys. Sounds ridiculous to say this, but things were a little quiet around here!

One thing on my to do list that I accomplished was cleaning out my fridge. I hadn't taken out all of the shelves and drawers to clean since we purchased it last year. I wish I had taken a before picture (no I don't, that would be too gross to post!). What a great Valentine's gift to myself!!

Cleaned out!!

And organized!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Some Good Eats!!

Redneck Caviar

1 can shoepeg corn
1 can black beans
1 can black-eyed peas
1 can seasoned tomatoes with oregano
1 can Rotel
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup Italian dressing

Drain corn, beans and peas. Pour into large bowl. Add tomatoes, Rotel and onions. Add dressing and stir. Refrigerate for at least four hours. Serve with corn chips.

This doubles well!!


Breakfast--Finnish pancakes with cream cheese and strawberry puree
Lunch--pizza quesadillas or wheat crackers with hummus
Supper-baked pork loin, hash brown casserole, butter beans, glazed carrots, cranberry-apple crunch

Breakfast-applesauce muffins and granola
Lunch-red beans with rice and cornbread, spinach salad

Breakfast-baked oatmeal and apple slices
Lunch-personal pizzas
Dinner-kids--breaded cheesy chicken, over fries and green beans
Mom and night

Breakfast--waffles with strawberry puree and bacon
Lunch-potato soup and homemade bread with butter
Dinner-turkey spinach casserole, corn on the cob and sweet and sour green beans

Breakfast-sausage biscuits
Dinner-enchiladas, Mexican rice, refried beans

Lunch-pizza quesadillas
Dinner-Anita on Longview (my verson of Angel on Gloster from Vanelli's...a local Italian restaurant)

Breakfast-biscuits, sausage, eggs, grits
Dinner-roast beef, rice, gravy, okra, butter beans

Friday, February 13, 2009

Do You Know Where They Are?

The link above will take you to a neat game where you are asked to put each state in its proper place. Think you know where they go? Try it and see!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Regrets? I Have a Few

I was brought up to believe that I could do whatever I set my mind to do. And I still believe that way. Only what I have set my mind to do is not probably what others would have had me do. I have absolutely no regrets in the decision that Jeff and I made over 20 years ago for me to be at home with our children. No regrets about that at all. However, I do have regrets about some other things..time wasted on television, not spending more time in Bible study with the older ones when they were young, cultural influences that were allowed, etc. But, I truly believe that my job is the most important job that a mother can stay and home and daily see to the needs and training of her own children. I am so very thankful that God has allowed me to have this career. It is definitely challenging, thought-provoking, tedious at times, and joyous always even in the midst of challenges.

Below is a link to an article I found on Doug Phillips blog. This is written by a 37 year old single career woman. She is regretting much. Cut and paste this link to read the article.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Are You Washed?

It has been our family's practice for many years to meet together each evening for family worship. During this time we read Scripture, sing and pray. We are now attending a church where the hymns are not very familiar to us and we are missing some of the standard gospel hymns from our Southern Baptist upbringing. We typically sing from an old Baptist Hymnal during our home worship. Tonight we sang an old favorite "Are You Washed in the Blood?" Are you?

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in his grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless?
Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you walking daily by the Saviour's side?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Do you rest each moment in the crucified?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

When the Bridegroom cometh will your robes be white?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Will your soul be ready for the mansions bright
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb.
There's a fountain flowing for the soul unclean,
O be washed in the blood of the Lamb.

Monday, February 9, 2009

What Do You Do If Your Dough Won't Rise?

In the previous post, I pictured a few pans of rolls and bread ready to put into the oven.. The rolls didn't rise as much as normal and wound up being as hard as rocks. So, what to do with these rolls? Give them to the boys for skeet shooting practice, use them as weapons for the spooks that come out at night and dig in our garbage cans or I can just cut them into cubes and doused with a mixture of extra vigin olive oil and Spike Natural Seasoning.. and toast them in the oven. I have 4 pans of CROUTONS for all of the salad that is in my fridge. What we don't eat, I can simply put in the freezer.

Or I could have sliced and toasted the rolls, then put them in the blender to make bread crumbs to top casseroles.

This disaster-diverting frugal tip was brought to you by Anita's Kitchen....where mistakes always happen but can be turned into tasty treats.

What a Week!

Busy Hands Busy Minds is really an excellent title for my blog....We are always busy...even without leaving our home!

This week we finished our study of New England. My goal was for the children to do some fiction and non-fiction reading about New England to get a feel for the region, explore the geography through learning the capitals and location of each state, and sample some typical foods for the region. This week we will cover the mid-Atlantic states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. Our studies will mainly focus on New York and Pennsylvania and our cooking will be mainly Amish. I love reading about the Amish. It is so easy to romanticize their lifestyle, though. I know they do not live easy lives, but how blessed it would be to simply shut the world out at times.

Caedmon turned four months old Friday and is wearing 9-12 months clothes. I think he is a little bigger than the other three boys at this age! He is so very precious, rarely fusses and gets lots of love from his parents and ALL of his siblings.

Look at those chunky legs!! We don't get to see them much because it has been so cold. Can't wait for it to warm up so he can go without pants and socks. Love those precious little toes.

This weekend was incredibly busy. Devin was in Memphis all day Saturday. Jeff and the middles worked outside cleaning out some flower beds and just looking around. Jackson picked two crocuses for me. It's hard to believe that just the week before we were in 9 or more inches of snow, while here at home we are expecting 70 degree weather today!

While they were all outside, I baked....and baked.....and baked some more! I baked three loaves of bread, five pans of rolls, two buttermilk cakes, one recipe of buttermilk cookies, and several dozen applesauce muffins. And baked a 13 pound roast and made turkey salad. Delicious and now I have lots of food prepared for the week.

Here is a picture of bread rising. If you have never made your own bread you are missing out on a blessing. I love seeing a countertop of rising bread or bread freshly pulled from the oven. And it smells heavenly!!!

James has an out-of-town trip again, so Lauren and Chase are heading up here this morning. She has five weeks left until her due date and seems to be doing well. She is getting antsy to get everything ready for the baby. Their church blessed them with a new stroller/car seat combo yesterday along with a few other items. She was very excited. Devin and Kaelan are going down to her home later this week to help her get some things completed before the new baby arrives. Pray for her to continue to be healthy and to have an uncomplicated delivery. Her asthma has not been as bad with this pregnancy, praise the Lord. After delivering Chase without an epidural she is making sure that she has one this time. I pray that her delivery goes as easy as my last one!

Everyone is busy with chores, so I need to get busy as well. Hope to have more time to post this week.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Duplo Mania

The older children take turns playing with Jackson throughout our school day. Yesterday Kaelan and Jackson were playing with Duplos and decided to see how tall they could make a stack of them. Then Kaelan took pictures to document. She is getting the hang of blogging!!

This view is from the floor looking up toward the ceiling.

More Pictures from the Icy, Snowy, Cold North

Monday's Dinner-New England Clam Chowder

I told you yesterday that I really like to incorporate cooking into our school day, especially when studying history or geography. Today's cooking lesson was New England Clam Chowder. Our recipe comes form Exploring History through Simple Recipes: Cooking on Nineteenth-Century Whaling Ships. Whalers in the 1800s would look forward to returning home for this dish. This is the most traditional New England meal. The word chowder in New England meant both a social event and a meal. This recipe is much thinner than the canned variety, but was good. We served in typical New England fashion with biscuits on the side.

New England Clam Chowder
small onion
1/4 pound salt pork
2 medium potatoes
1 1/2 cups water
1 6 1/2 ounce can minced clams in juice
1 8 ounce bottle of clam juice
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups milk

1. Cut salt pork into 1 inch pieces.
2. Peel and chop onion into 1/4 inch pieces. Set aside.
3. In saucepan, cook salt pork pieces over medium heat. Turn pieces with spatula and cook 10 to 12 minutes until browned.
4. Peel potatoes. Slice 1/8 inch thick. Set aside.
5. Add chopped onion to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
6. Add potato slices to saucepan. Cover with 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and cook over low heat 10-12 minutes until potatoes are very tender.
7. Add can of clams. Do not drain. Add clam juice and 1/8 tsp. of pepper.
8. Cook over medium heat until steamy.
9. Add 1 1/2 cups milk. Heat 5 minutes over medium heat.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Back to New England

Today we head back to the New England states in our KONOS study of the states and regions. There were several things that we haven't completed and lots of recipes still to prepare. More whales, finishing up Seabird, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, cranberries, clam chowder, Boston baked beans and lots of writing and notebooking. Back to real life!! Oh, and a huge mound of laundry as well.

Some of my favorite resources for this unit are Red-Flannel Hash and Shoo-fly Pie by Lila Perl, the Exploring History through Simple Recipes published by Blue Earth books and the States and Capitals Songs from Audio Memory. These three resources will be used throughout this unit. Can you tell I like to incorporate FOOD? And if you can sing it, it sure is easier to memorize.

Our Venture to the Snowy, Icy, Cold North Country

OK, so it really wasn't technically THE NORTH, but it was north to us!! Our trip to northern Kentucky was quite an adventure. When the trip was planned, snow and ice were not on the agenda. However, snow and ice there was aplenty! It was so very beautiful!! The interstate was clear; however, Mammoth Cave was closed! Our hotel where we had reservations on Wednesday was closed because there was no power. We found another close by that was under boil water notice which meant all the nearby resaurants were closed. Pray for those who live in that region..I hear that they may not have electricity for several weeks!!

The Creation Museum was great. The older children enjoyed it, but Jackson thought it was scary! The presentation of the Gospel is very clear. If you haven't gone yet, please make plans to do so. My only complaints were that there were NO clearly designated nursing areas and there was only one small interactive display. I am all about hands-on learning and what better topic for hands-on than Creation? The outside exhibits were closed due to the 9 or so inches of snow. There is a petting zoo and other things that younger children would enjoy....but I still feel like they need some hands-on activities inside.

The children enjoyed playing in the snow for about 10 minutes. It was VERY cold! We wouldn't make good northerners. We were quite happy to get home Saturday evening and find much warmer weather.

I am posting some of Devin's pictures. I am so techno challenged that I can't figure out how to upload pics from my camera. Hopefully, I can do that tonight.

Driving north of Louisville... Jeff and the kids thought this looked like a scene from Narnia.

Jackson throwing his first snowball.

I have never, ever had opportunity to go sledding, but this spot looks perfect.

Jackson couldn't resist tromping through the snow each time we headed to the van.

Jeff and Marvin Sanders interviewing Ken Ham.

Serious.Life Magazine

I wanted you to know about this publication I’m a part of called Serious.Life Magazine. They just published the February issue today, and I am in their Featured Blog Directory. It’s a very high quality magazine… you’ll really like it.

The magazine includes a lot of great content from bloggers you’ll appreciate, as well as great features, photos and other content. The magazine is owned and published by a family who have seven kids, three adopted and one who has Leukemia ( The magazine gives away a bunch of ads to charities and ministries. Besides great articles on interesting people, there is a lot about family, adoption, personal finance, spiritual life, humor… all sorts of “life” topics.

Again, the subscription is free, and I know you’ll enjoy the magazine, so take a minute to check it out and sign up to get future issues.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...