Tuesday, December 31, 2013


A lot has happened in 2013.  I get an unexpected call stating that I am being transferred to another school, which was not a happy moment.  I like who I work with, but I am not happy with WHAT I am doing.

I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and even began my Master's program.  I am also still working as an instructional assistant and not a teacher. :-(

This year welcomed a new grand niece and THREE, yes three new granddaughters.

I am overall happy with 2013 and look forward to whatever 2014 has to offer!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Here are the latest grandbabies!

This is Kimberly and Brianna.  They choose to arrive earlier than planned, but they are healthy!

Please keep in mind that I had not had a lot of sleep the days before this picture was taken, and I had also worked all day that day!  I was tired!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Back to Basics--Food Costs

So, I decided to take a gander at the USDA's website concerning monthly food costs.  For our household, their "thrifty" plan would have me spending $839.80 a month on food.  Let me tell you that I don't spend that a month even when I don't follow a budget!

I need to get my monthly spending back down to $350.00 a month because I want to use the $50.00 for prepping supplies.  Since we are beginning December soon, I decided this is a good time to get myself back into the groove.  December usually has some good sales on basics, so I hope to use that to get a jump start on my pantry principle way of shopping.  I have also been fortunate that DH has gotten several deer already this season with the potential to get many more.  I already have at least 40 lbs* of ground venison in the freezer, along with a few roasts, so that will help with meat costs each month.

I need to dig out my old posts about price books and other ways to cut food costs and refresh my memories.  It also helps that it is the winter season and stews and soups are more cost saving meals.

*I am sure it is more than that, but do not feel like going to check right now.  I do plan to get a good inventory of the freezer soon so that I know what I have on hand so I can decide how much to spend if I find a really GOOD deal at the store.

Isn't she precious????

I am not posting any names, but please welcome my newest grandbaby!

9 lbs, 6 oz. 21 inches long

Monday, November 18, 2013

French Onion Soup--Slowcooker

French Onion Soup Crock Pot Recipe

The Ingredients.

--2 cans of beef broth
--3 T butter
--2 yellow onions
--1/2 T granulated sugar
--1/4 cup cooking sherry (or dry white wine would probably work)
--1/2 t kosher salt (you might need more if your butter isn't salted)
--slices of brown rice bread (or french bread)
--gruyere cheese (swiss could work too)

The Directions.

--heat your crockpot to high and plop your butter in to start melting
--slice the yellow onions into rings
--break up the onion slices with your fingers, and rub them around in the melted butter
--add the beef broth, sugar, salt, and sherry
--cook on high for 6-8 hours or low for 10-12. It takes a while for the onions to get translucent and pliable

before serving:

--preheat oven to the broiling option
--toast 4 slices of the bread that you are going to use. That Trader Joe's brown rice bread needed to be toasted twice in my toaster to get to the desired crunchiness.
--cut gruyere cheese into slices
--put the cheese onto the toasted bread, and carefully float the bread and cheese on the top of the soup
--remove stoneware from crockpot and place the UNCOVERED stoneware into the oven
--broil for a minute or two--the cheese should be all melty and turn a golden color

ladle into 4 bowls.

From the blog A year of slow cooking.

The above is how it is written on the blog.

This is what I do:

I add ALOT more onions.  I also brown at least half of them before putting them in the slow cooker, since I like the flavor it adds.  

I also use a nice sherry or Port for the cooking sherry.  

I use a mixture of provolone and mozzarella for my cheese.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Long-term Prepping

I have been searching the web and looking at different lists for doing weekly shopping to build up a long-term supply of shelf stable foods.

I think I will end up combining several into one that will work for my family.  I will post when I decide on one and then I will start posting what I buy to go with it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Oh goodness

I had not realized so much time had passed since I last posted.

I will do better, but I will still blame my graduate classes for taking up most of my waking hours that are not at work or doing what HAS to be done around the house.

I promise to give at least weekly updates in the future.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

It's Official

I have official earned my Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education.

Now onto the Masters!

Friday, July 19, 2013


Gardening when it is 85 degrees, but feels like 95 at 8:30 in the morning is not fun. LOL

Just means I check it early in the morning or in the evening.  Which is fine, because that is when I check the chickens.

Hoping the heat does not kill anything.  I have gotten 6 yellow squash and 4 cukes so far.  Cooked the squash and cut up the cukes for salad.  Not enough of the cukes to pickle yet.  But if the heat doesn't kill them and I get all that are blooming, then I will be busy soon!

Still waiting for my degree to be "awarded" so that I can start going on interviews.  I am getting frustrated having to wait!  Oh well.... if it is meant to be, it will be.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I'm still here.....

But I am finishing up my Bachelor's degree by taking 5 8-week courses ending next week....so I have not been doing much of anything besides school work.

I hope to be blogging more after July 5th or 7th.  I also hope to get some canning done after those dates also. :-)

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Tomorrow is the first day of summer break.

I have a list of what I want to get accomplished.  I have 4 more weeks left on my bachelor's degree, and hopefully I will get hired on as a teacher next fall.

Monday, May 13, 2013

How's That College Thing Going?

Spring semester ending yesterday, and Summer semester started today.

This is my last semester for my bachelor's degree.  Whew.... I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Of course, the Master's program starts in the Fall.........

I think I can, I think I can........ :-D

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Texas Caviar

This is the original recipe, but I change it to match our tastes.

I omit the cilantro and only use a small jalapeno.

Texas Caviar
By Gina Rae Vinson on August 11, 2006
About This Recipe
"Slightly sweet, not too spicy. Serve with tortilla chips. Print copies of this recipe, people always ask for it!"
o    1 yellow bell peppers
o    1 orange bell peppers
o    1 red bell peppers
o    2 jalapeno peppers
o    1 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas
o    1 (15 ounce) cans black beans
o    1 (11 ounce) cans white shoepeg corn
o    1 (16 ounce) bottles Italian dressing
o    4 roma tomatoes
o    1 bunch cilantro
1.    Remove membranes and seeds from peppers.
2.    Dice peppers and place in a large plastic bowl (jalapenos should be finely chopped).
3.    Drain and rinse the black beans, blackeye peas, and shoepeg corn and add to peppers.
4.    Add italian dressing and stir well.
5.    Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 8 hours.
6.    Drain.
7.    Dice roma tomatoes and cilantro and stir into mixture.
8.    Serve with tortilla chips.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Working on April's Menu

I am working on April's menu.  I need some new meal ideas.....

Off to do some surfing...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Menu Board

I finished it!

Here are some pictures:

I only planned two weeks at a time this month.  I have planned until next Friday after next.  I will be adding to this and tweaking it as the need arises.

Here is the blog that I got the directions from:  http://robbygurlscreations.blogspot.com/2011/04/robins-menu-board.html

**Pictures are not cooperating with me.  I will try and fix it later.

Friday, February 22, 2013


I will be canning this weekend.  I was able to get a great price on dried beans this past week (and will get some more before the sale is over) and plan to can some of them this weekend.

I also have about three ladies that I know that are telling me that they want me to teach them to can this summer.  That's scary on my part.  Of course, I am going to school to teach elementary kids, so I think I should be able to teach three adults how to can. :-)

I am also itching to start planning the garden for this summer.  I want to try a few new things to see if it makes a difference.

Also, I am determined to get the chicken coop up this spring! 

What are all of you planning and/or working on?

Quote of the Day

My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.
Charles Kettering

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The month so far....

The menu has been working out very nicely.  I have not been following it 100%,  but it is more than switching days around than anything else. :-)

That is what the menu is for, isn't it?  I think so anyways.....

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Month of Meals

This is already going onto the third day of the month, but I will put the first two days on here also since I did do a whole month of meals. :-)

1:      Tacos
2:       Pizza
3:       Super Bowl party--leftovers for lunch and taking sausage balls with dipping sauces to party.
4:      Beef and Broccoli over rice
5:      Salad Night
6:      Ham and Bean soup with cornbread (crockpot)
7:      H'made pizza night
8:      Jam Chicken over rice (crockpot)
9:      Leftovers night
10:     Chili over noodles
11:     French's Onion Chicken
12:     Salad Night
13:     Fiesta Chicken over rice (crockpot)
14:    Leftovers night
15:    Pizza/calzone night
16:     Taco Night
17:     Breakfast for Dinner
18:     Venison Stew
19:     Jam Chicken over rice (crockpot)
20:    Chile w/cornbread
21:     Leftovers night
22:     40 Clove Garlic Chicken (crockpot)
23:     Pork Chops with homemade shake-n-bake
24:     Venison Fajitas
25:     Salad Night
26:     Stir-fry over rice
27:     Leftovers night
28:     Vocelli's Pizza night

There it is!  I will try and prepare each meal on the day it is planned, but understand life happens and I might have to switch things around, but these are still planned and besides perishables, all the ingredients have been purchased!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Working on a system

I want to get to where I am planning my meals a month in advance.  I feel that I might be biting off more than I can chew because right now I am doing good to get two weeks planned and sticking to the plan.

Should I jump right on in and see if I sink or swim, or should I stick with two weeks at a time until it is routine?

What are you thoughts?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

That Terrible Moment......

when you get to school and realize you forgot to start dinner in the slow cooker!  I will cook the chicken differently I guess. LOL

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Here is what I have so far:

Tonight:  Son made Tomato chicken over rice and our neighbors brought over some chicken noodle soup since the yucks have been visiting. :-)

Jan. 13:     French onion soup (crockpot)
Jan. 14:     Homemade pizza
Jan. 15:     Leftovers night
Jan. 16:     Potato soup
Jan. 17:     Venison Stew
Jan. 18:     Tacos
Jan. 19:     Jam Chicken over rice
Jan. 20:     Venison Roast
Jan. 21:     Chili
Jan. 22:     Leftover night
Jan. 23:     Salad night

Not quite two weeks, but 10 days are not bad.  I feel like I can not think of anything new or interesting.

Jan. 13-- Change is being made.  I have way too much in the fridge NOT to do a leftovers night.  So, the menu will just move one day and move the leftovers day to where it is needed.  So... 11 days of meals instead of 10. Yay me!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Menus and More menus

The crud has hit the house the last couple of days.  Now that I am feeling somewhat human again, I hope to plan my menu for the next couple of weeks.  I was not too bad at following the last menu, so that is encouraging.

Back later.....

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Daily Inspiration

I like this one!

Inspirational Quote of the Day (Wed, 09 Jan 2013)
The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.
Tom Bodett


I am almost stayed with my original menu, just two changes!  Back on schedule today. :-)

I way overspent last month at the grocery store.  Not sure how or on what, but I did.  So.... this month will be bare bones, no extras, and back to watching sales and shopping wisely in February!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year

Wow... another year done and another one beginning!

Wonder what I can get into this year???? LOL