Ham and Spinach PieI had this at Nikki's house a while back, so I already knew that I liked it, but Adam and the children like it too. It's quick and easy to make, and it's smells wonderful while it's baking. I had a little bit of a problem with it overflowing and making a huge mess in my oven, but I don't recall Nikki having the same problem, so I must have done something wrong. I may make 1 1/2 times the filling next time and bake two of them since we just had one tiny sliver left over. I also had to bake it for almost twice as long the recipe said. So dinner was a little late that day, but it was good! I wanted to use plain spinach instead of creamed spinach since it's healthier, but I couldn't find any at the grocery store. Next time I may just try fresh spinach.
1 9-inch frozen deep dish pie shell
1 8-oz package diced, lean ham
1 10-oz package frozen creamed spinach, defrosted
1 cup frozen part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup ricotta or cottage cheese
4 eggs, beaten
1 pinch grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Stir the ham, creamed spinach, mozzarella, ricotta or cottage cheese together in a large bowl. Add the eggs, and season with the nutmeg and pepper to taste.
Pour mixture into the pie shell and bake for 45 – 50 minutes until center is set.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Posted by Laura at 4:03 PM
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I had my ultrasound today to re-check the spot on the baby's heart, and everything looks good! The spot is gone and I won't have to see a specialist. Thanks to everyone for your prayers! I'm measuring 2cm small (which is normal for me) and I only gained 3 pounds last month (which is NOT normal, especially at this point in the pregnancy. I usually pack on the pounds in the last trimester!), so the doctor wanted to check the baby's growth as well. They said he weighs 4lbs 7oz and is a little ahead of the normal range for 31 weeks. So everything is good there too. I've gained 22 pounds total. Oh, and he's not breech anymore! Now my goal is to make it through Thanksgiving and Christmas without gaining 50 more pounds. :) I'll try to remember to ask Adam to take a belly picture tonight so that I can post it.
Posted by Laura at 3:54 PM
Monday, October 27, 2008
I just went to The Children's Place online in hopes that they would be having a big sale, and they are! They have a lot of things at 50% off of already reduced items. Their colors and sizes are very limited, but if you hurry you may find a great deal. Shipping is $5, no matter how much you order, and you can return items to the store if they don't fit. And, if you use the coupon code R28Q2GR3LLA8 at checkout, you will get an extra 15% off of your whole order!
Posted by Laura at 3:39 PM
Due to having lots of leftovers a couple of weeks ago, I've rearranged things a bit and we are eating a few dishes this week that were previously on the menu but didn't get made. What are you eating this week?
Monday - Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup and Fresh Homemade Bread
Tuesday - Ham and Spinach Pie (a recipe from Nikki!)
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Lentil Rice Casserole and Broccoli
Friday - Burritos
Saturday - Leftovers or Sandwiches
Sunday - It's a new month...haven't gotten that far yet! :)
Planning our meals for November (November already?!??!) is on my list of things to do this week. For more Menu Plan Monday ideas, visit Laura.
Posted by Laura at 1:08 PM
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I am not going to post videos of my children every time they memorize a new passage of Scripture, but I just had to post this one. I play it over and over just to hear Esther say "will guard your hawats" and "whatever is tuwoo". :) Plus she looked so cute in her little church outfit that I couldn't help it!
I added a list of passages that we have memorized to my sidebar. The one on the top is what we are currently working on. I'm doing this in part as accountability for myself. I'm very motivated with our memorization plan right now, but sometimes I tend to be really excited about things at first and then after a while I kind of drop them. But this is definitely something that I want to keep up with, so I'm going to keep a running list going.
Posted by Laura at 11:17 PM
Saturday, October 25, 2008
The Flourishing Mother has a great post about kindness.
Because we are around our children so much, especially if homeschooling, then it seems there are more opportunities to be frustrated or agitated at our children. We can also look at it another way: more opportunities to practice kindness, cultivate patience, and and to be gentle with our children. It seems, like so many other things in our lives, it is about perspective. We are wired as humans to respond to gentleness and kindness...not harshness.I often have a hard time remembering to be kind, particularly when everyone is cranky, arguing, or when I have repeated myself for the fifth time in two minutes! Andrea has several great tips, and one that especially stood out to me was recognizing the difference between childish immaturity and sin. Sometimes I forget that my children are only 4, 3, 2, and 1. I think that it is definitely a good thing to expect a lot of our children, but it is easy (for me, anyway) to expect more than they are capable of without even realizing it. Be sure to read the full article here.
Posted by Laura at 11:03 AM
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Vision Forum is having having a huge clearance now through October 27th. They have lots of great things and it's a perfect time to buy Christmas gifts! Oh, and by the way, I'm a Vision Forum Affiliate, so feel free to use the link in my sidebar. :)
Posted by Laura at 12:00 PM
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The other night it was cold and we snuggled under blankets and had family worship in front of the fire. When we were done, Adam asked if I would take Hannah upstairs and get her ready for bed while he "read a poem to the bigs". Without skipping a beat Esther said, "We not pigs"! I don't know...maybe you had to be there. But I laughed so hard that I cried!
Posted by Laura at 4:41 PM
We went to a pumpkin farm this morning with Nikki and one other friend. It was a little bit of a drive (almost 4 hours round trip) and it was kind of chilly out, but we had a great time and everyone got a little pumpkin! They had a petting zoo and a hay ride too. Most of my pictures didn't turn out so well, but here are a few that did.
Hannah and Daniel checking out the baby goat
Hannah heard someone talking about pumpkin pie!
Fun group picture
Posted by Laura at 3:55 PM
Monday, October 20, 2008
We ended up with a lot of leftovers last week and I did not make everything that I had planned on making. So those recipes will probably be showing up again in the next couple of weeks! This is what we plan to eat this week. For more Menu Plan Monday ideas, visit Laura.
Monday - Amish Skillet (another new-to-us recipe from Christine!)
Tuesday - Taco Chip Ole'
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Pancakes, Eggs and Grits
Friday - Chili Supper at Church
Saturday - Sandwiches
Sunday - Taco Salad (lunch), Homemade Pizza (dinner)
Posted by Laura at 2:57 PM
Adam's sister Tami is in China right now bringing home a sweet little boy! She got Abraham Caleb-Shunwei yesterday and he's a cutie! He will be 20 months old on November 1. We can't wait to meet him! I tried to swipe a picture off of Tami's blog, but I wasn't able to. For pictures and updates be sure to visit Tami's travel blog. You can read their family blog here.
Posted by Laura at 8:17 AM
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I re-covered the chairs that go to our breakfast room table today! This table used to be in our dining room. The upholstery was white, and it's endured 4 1/2 years of booster seats, spills, etc, so it was rather disgusting! I used a pretty red patterned fabric that I got for free at a yardsale, so the cost of the whole project was about 50 cents for the staples! I didn't think that it would be too hard to do, and it turned out to be a lot easier than I thought. It took me about an hour to finish 6 chairs. At first I wasn't sure about the fabric, but Adam likes it and it's growing on me. And hey, it was free!
Posted by Laura at 6:13 PM
Ivy and Nikki both gave me the Blogging Friends for Life award! I've never gotten a blogging award before. :) I don't want to leave anyone out, so if you read and comment on this blog regularly, consider yourself bestowed with the BFF reward!
Ivy also tagged me a while back and I forgot to do it. :-0 So here are six quirks about me!
1. I have two different colored eyes.
2. I like a little bit of pancake with my syrup. :)
3. I'm very particular about the way the laundry is folded. The girls like to help me (and I want them to), but after they've left to go do something else I refold it all.
4. I have big feet...size 10 or 11.
5. I'm an incredibly slow reader...like 30 minutes for 3 or 4 pages.
6. I like hospitals...they make me think of new babies!
Posted by Laura at 5:53 PM
Friday, October 17, 2008
I actually made several new recipes this week. They were all really good, but I'm going to save one to post on a week that I don't try anything new. The first is Garlic Vegetable Soup from Allrecipes (can you tell that I like that website?). It is very tasty, and I only made a few minor changes to the recipe listed below. I added a few extra veggies that I had on hand, and I sauteed the garlic with the vegetables instead of adding it after the soup was done cooking. I also cut out some of the liquid just to cut down on cleanup after the kids were done eating it. :) This soup has a great flavor, but I think that next time I will cook only enough noodles for the amount of soup that we're eating that night and just add them to our individual bowls. That way they won't soak up all of the liquid and get soggy.
Garlic Vegetable SoupThe second recipe is for Pumpkin Bread. The only change I made was to cut out 1 cup of sugar. This makes a huge batch, but 4 cups of sugar still seemed like an awful lot to me. And I'm glad I did because it was definitely sweet enough with 3 cups. I may cut even more next time. Oh, I also used half whole wheat flour and half white flour. This would be an easy recipe to add some flax seed or wheat germ to, though I didn't think about it at the time. My batch turned out a little dry, but that was my fault for thinking that I could change Hannah's dirty diaper and wash my hands in the 2 minutes that were left on the timer. Oops. :) I won't try that again!
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 medium head cabbage, shredded
6 cups chicken broth
2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup elbow macaroni
3 cloves garlic, minced
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the carrots, celery and cabbage in the oil for about 8 minutes, stirring well. Raise heat to high and pour in the broth, tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove lid, stir in macaroni and heat for 5 minutes, or until macaroni is tender. Remove from heat and stir in the garlic and ground black pepper.
For more Recipe Fun Friday ideas, visit Nikki!
Posted by Laura at 10:11 AM
Thursday, October 16, 2008
When we moved to our new house a little over two months ago, Joshua could not hold a pencil properly or even come close to coloring in the lines in a coloring book. Abigail has been way ahead of him as far as motor skills go. I didn't know if that was normal for a four year-old boy, and frankly I wasn't too worried about it. He has really progressed since we have moved though. He has gone from not being able to color in the lines to drawing his own pictures and coloring them! Since he has better control with a pencil now we've been working more with the penmanship program that we're using, and he loves it! Here are two of the pictures that Joshua has drawn recently. I'm very proud of him. :)
A moving truck.
A farm. The round black things at the bottom are "chicken heads". :)
Joshua fell in the driveway last night and skinned his knee up pretty badly. He's been rather dramatic about it, which is funny and quite uncharacteristic. He's been limping around and holding his knee...unless he forgets about it, at which point he races around the house like a wild man. :) When he woke up this morning I asked him how his knee felt and he said that it "hurt worser than fire".
Oh, and a funny story from the other day. Joshua was up in his room during naptime and Adam heard some banging on the floor. When he went up to see what was going on, Joshua stuck his head out from under the bed. Adam asked him what he was doing and he said, "Um, I'm making a cheese for my rat". In all honesty I was really glad to hear that! For one thing it gave me a good laugh, but it also made me thankful that Joshua has an imagination. I don't think I had much imagination when I was little (though maybe my parents have some stories that I don't know about!). I never liked to pretend because it just wasn't real. I didn't like to play with baby dolls because I wanted to hold a real baby and the fake ones were just frustrating to me. The idea of pretending to make a cheese for my rat wouldn't have occurred to me in a million years! The girls don't seem to have a problem imagining things, but up until now Joshua has for the most part stuck with being pretty realistic. I am glad to know that he enjoys being creative!
Posted by Laura at 9:28 AM
Monday, October 13, 2008
Here is our menu plan for the week! I am going to try a new pumpkin bread recipe at some point too...if it's good I'll post it.
Monday - Garlic Vegetable Soup, Homemade Bread
Tuesday - Thai Peanut Noodles (thanks to Christine for the recipe. I can't wait to try it!)
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Taco Salad
Friday - Lasagna, Salad, Homemade Bread
Saturday - Leftovers or Sandwiches
Sunday - Leftover Lasagna, Salad and Bread (lunch); Grilled Cheese with Apples, Fresh Veggies (dinner)
For more Menu Plan Monday ideas, visit Laura.
Posted by Laura at 11:13 AM
Friday, October 10, 2008
I made Apple-Cinnamon Baked French Toast from Allrecipes for dinner last night. It turned out to be very tasty! Our only complaint was that it is kind of soggy...not at all crispy like French toast cooked on the stove. The sogginess was not from the eggs, but from the apples. I'm not exactly sure what to do differently. Any ideas? I thought of using fewer apples, but they taste so good that I hate to cut some of them out. Maybe I could use more bread or follow Adam's suggestion and cook the apples for a while first before adding them to the pan. At any rate, the only other thing that I plan to change is the amount of sugar. It was a little on the sweet side and I think I'll try cutting the sugar in half next time. If I can get rid of the sog problem, this may have to become my staple recipe for brunches!
10 (3/4 inch thick) slices day-old French bread
6 eggs, lightly beaten
2 3/4 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 medium apples - peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
Place bread in a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Combine eggs, milk, 1/3 cup sugar and vanilla; pour half over bread. Top with half of the apples. Combine cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining sugar; sprinkle half over apples. Top with the remaining apples. Pour remaining egg mixture over apples and sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture. Dot with butter. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight. remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Oh, and I remembered to take a picture! It looks a little burnt, but it's not. The apples are dark because they were sprinkled with the cinnamon/sugar/nutmeg mixture.
For more Recipe Fun Friday ideas, visit Nikki!
Posted by Laura at 1:53 PM
Thursday, October 09, 2008
We just got an email from the American Family Association stating that they are ending their boycott of McDonalds! Woohoo! Not that I'm all that excited about McDonalds food, but I am excited that they have decided to remain neutral on the issue of homosexual marriage. This is directly from the email:
McDonald’s said McDonald’s Vice President Richard Ellis has resigned his position on the board of NGLCC and that his seat on the board will not be replaced. McDonald’s also said that the company has no plans to renew their membership in NGLCC when it expires in December.I really don't like McDonalds' food very much (and what I do like I try to stay away from since it's so unhealthy), but I may have to celebrate by getting one of those yummy $.99 sundaes! :)
In an e-mail to McDonald’s franchised owners the company said, “It is our policy to not be involved in political and social issues. McDonald’s remains neutral on same sex marriage or any ‘homosexual agenda’ as defined by the American Family Association."
Posted by Laura at 2:21 PM
Posted by Laura at 9:27 AM
Monday, October 06, 2008
Here is what we plan to eat this week! I did my monthly shopping trip last week. Well, one of them. :) I'm trying to have one big shopping trip at the beginning of the month and then a smaller one in the middle of the month so that we can have fresh produce and milk all month long. Anyway, I've gradually been cooking and freezing some meals for this month and next month. I love tripling a batch of soup, putting two-thirds of it away in the freezer, and knowing that I have two dinners taken care of for those days when cooking dinner just isn't likely to happen.
Monday - Chili over Rice, Fresh Veggies, Homemade Bread
Tuesday - Pecan Crusted Chicken (the last of our Dream Dinners), Corn, Homemade Bread
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Apple Cinnamon Baked French Toast, Eggs
Friday - Lentil Rice Casserole, Broccoli, Homemade Bread
Saturday - Leftovers or Sandwiches
Sunday - Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, Fresh Fruit and Veggies (lunch); Baked Potatoes with Chili (dinner)
For Menu Plan Monday ideas, visit Laura.
Posted by Laura at 10:37 AM
Sunday, October 05, 2008
As I mentioned before, I have made a couple of skirts recently. I used New Look pattern #6730 (thanks again, Emily!) and it is SO easy! If you can thread a machine, read, and cut with scissors then you can make this skirt. :) My mom taught me to sew when I was younger, but sadly enough I didn't keep up with it and consequently I have forgotten essentially everything. I know what it means when the pattern says to cut on the fold, but I couldn't remember what a selvage was! I have made two of these skirts so far. It is not a maternity pattern, so I made the first one a size larger than I would normally make. It turned out to be too big, but I can still wear it and I'm sure it will fit me in a couple of months. The second one (pictured below) is my normal size and fits really well right now. It has an elastic waist, so it's great to use as a maternity skirt...I can just fold the waistband down under my growing belly. Oh, I forgot to mention that this pattern is only $3.99 full price. I think that's really good, but if you go to JoAnns or somewhere else that has coupons you can get it even cheaper!
That's my almost-28-week baby belly there too. :) I had a doctors appointment last week and he told me that he wants to re-check the ultrasound at my next appointment. I usually only have one ultrasound around 20 weeks, so of course I asked him why. He said that they saw a spot in the baby's left ventricle and they think that it is calcium. If so, it often goes away by itself, but if it doesn't then the baby could develop an arrhythmia. If that happens it could be no big deal, or it could mean that the baby would need surgery or who knows what else. We're not worried about it, and of course we're praying that it just goes away. I was a little miffed that they didn't mention it to me when they did the ultrasound. I'm not sure if I'm going to have one at my next appointment. I need to find out if it's okay to just postpone it until December. If I have one at the end of this month and it's still there, then I figure they're probably going to want to do at least one in November and again in December to recheck it. I don't want any more than are necessary for several reasons, so we may just decide to postpone it. If it does not go away, there is nothing that I can be doing about now anyway. They just want to know so that they can have certain pediatric doctors at the birth if necessary.
My doctor did say it was alright with him if I skip the gestational diabetes test though, so that is good. I really don't mind having it, but I've never had it before and I'm so low risk that I don't really feel the need this time around. I've gained a total of 19 pounds now, which is right about where I usually am at this point. I have a feeling I'll gain more than 30 pounds total this time though, since this pregnancy spans Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Posted by Laura at 10:18 PM
Friday, October 03, 2008
Adam likes to have things on hand to grab and eat in the car if he doesn't have time to eat breakfast at home. Since we're almost out of the 80 SoyJoy bars that we got for free from CVS, I made this granola bar recipe yesterday. I did change a few things, so here is the recipe with my additions and substitutions. They turned out to be good, but they are a little dry, so I think I'll add a little oil next time. I'd also like to substitute honey for the brown sugar...maybe that would help with the dryness as well. And I'll probably use whole wheat flour next time. I was in a hurry this afternoon and didn't want to get out (and clean) the wheat grinder just for one cup of flour!
4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter (I'll use more next time since I can't really taste it in this batch)
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup flax seed
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease one 9x13 inch pan. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, baking soda, vanilla, butter or margarine, honey and brown sugar. Stir in the 2 cups assorted chocolate chips, raisins, nuts etc. Lightly press mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes then cut into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing or serving.
For more Recipe Fun Friday ideas, visit Nikki!
Posted by Laura at 11:00 AM
Thursday, October 02, 2008
I've been trying my hand at some sewing in the past few weeks. Emily and Christine have inspired me with some of their projects and some links that they have posted. :) I have made two skirts...I keep forgetting to ask Adam to take a picture of me wearing one, so I'll post about them later. I've also made a Christmas gift for one of my little nephews. Maybe I'll post a picture of that after Christmas. My most recent project was a bag (thanks for the link, Emily!). I was planning on giving it as a Christmas gift, but there's a problem. Can you tell?
Here, take another look.
Want to see it a little closer?
THE FABRIC IS SIDEWAYS!!! I can't believe I did that! Well, I sort of can. Pregnancy brain. :) When I discovered what I had done, I was all by myself in the laundry room and I couldn't stop laughing. I guess that's better than crying, which wouldn't have surprised me with all these pregnancy hormones I've got. The fabric was free, so that makes me feel a little better. I guess I'll be keeping this bag! Maybe I'll use it as a diaper bag now that Hannah is older and I'm not having to carry around multiple outfits, burp cloths, bibs, etc. It was lots of fun to make, and now that I've done it I'm going to implement a few changes next time around. The handles are too short, the bag a little too big, I didn't place the pockets exactly right, it would be nice if there was a pocket inside, etc. I'm looking forward to making another one, and hopefully this time it will be presentable enough to give away!
Posted by Laura at 5:33 PM