Monday, January 30, 2017

Menu Monday for 1/30/2017

Week 5. I did not follow my healthy eating plans as carefully as I should have, but nevertheless at my Jenny Craig weigh in I had lost 1.8 pounds for the week! Yea!

This week we do not have any plans to eat out - cooking every night, mostly healthy. On hot dog night I will eat something else. Here are the plans:

Saturday (1/28):  spaghetti (Spaghetti squash), Meatballs, salad

Sunday (1/29):  baked chicken thighs, steamed broccoli, riced cauliflower

Monday (1/30)(Boy Scouts):  hot dogs, beans, carrots, chips

Tuesday (1/31)(Lecturn Training):  London Broil, mashed potatoes, broccoli, kale

Wednesday (2/1):  roast chicken with vegetables, rice, fresh cauliflower

Thursday (2/2)(CAP):  Chicken Breasts w/green beans, egg noodles

Friday (2/3)(Care Group):  Burrito Bowls, Tostitos chips


Monday, January 23, 2017

Menu Monday for 1/23/17

Galloping into a new week.

Weight report: weighed in Friday; weight unchanged. Nothing lost, nothing gained.

Activities: This week we have evening meetings Monday and Thursday. Sunday we decided to go to a movie after dinner.

Here's the meal plan for our dinners:

Saturday (1/21):  cheeseburgers, baby carrots

Sunday (1/22)rosemary chicken thighs, riced cauliflower, broccoli

Monday (1/23):  BLTs, milkshakes

Tuesday (1/24):  flank steak, mashed potatoes, green beans

Wednesday (1/25):  chicken fingers, rice, sautéed kale

Thursday (1/26)(CAP):  corn chowder, salad

Friday (1/27):  dinner out

Friday, January 20, 2017

2017 Week 3 in Review

This week has been quite a week for us in comparison to the quiet life we normally lead.

Monday night we had a Boy Scout meeting. My husband is Scoutmaster and I am an Assistant Scoutmaster. There is an issue going on in our troop right now that we are working through -- regarding something that happened on a recent camping trip. It's not an easy issue to work through, and I certainly won't go into it here, but it's taking up a lot of my husband's time and is leaving us drained. My son is not involved -- wasn't on that trip. He stayed home Monday to do some work on his Eagle Scout Project Proposal.

Wednesday my son was scheduled to take his Driver's License test, but there were all these things we needed to take with us for the test -- papers I had lost track of when I cleaned up for Christmas. So Tuesday I tore through boxes and storage folders and bags of papers looking for the New Driver's Logbook, the Driver's Handbook and the two pink pieces of paper given to my son that certified he had taken the driver's ed course and done the six hours of driving with the course. Then once I had found those I had to go through calendars and lesson planners to transfer records of hours driven to the logbook, because the notes had not been written in the logbook as the driving was done. Then there was a form to print out to certify that we have him insured. Finally got it done.

Wednesday we drove to Frederick, Maryland (not the closest Motor Vehicle Administration to us) because we had heard bad things about going to our local MVA for the driving test. We left at 11:00 a.m. for a 2:00 appointment. I figured we'd eat when we got there, but my son ate breakfast late and had no appetite for lunch. We were at the MVA and my son was practicing some driving and parking, but I realized we had only a quarter of a tank of gas, and the MVA specified to make sure the car had half a tank, so we left and got gas.

We reported in at 1:45 for the 2:00 appointment, turned in the paperwork, and then we had to wait. And wait. And wait. At a little before 3:00 hubby was texting me to ask how the test went, but we were still waiting. We had been sent to the car and were in a queue behind the building, but we were still waiting. Finally my son's turn. I got kicked out of the car by a nice instructor (I guess you'd call her) and I went inside to wait.

My son was nervous, but he passed first time and is now a licensed driver! :) 

He is still a little nervous to drive in certain settings, but is willingly tackling small driving tasks. When we got home from the driver's test I let him "solo" driving around the neighborhood. Next day he wanted a haircut and decided to drive himself. Then that night he drove to the store (1 mile) to get a few things.

Wednesday we got a call from an old friend we knew from Denver, Colorado 25 years ago (he now lives in West Virginia). 

He wanted to go to the Inauguration and wondered if he could stay at our house for a couple of nights. We said, "Sure!" He arrived Thursday and went downtown to enjoy some of the pre-inaugural events Thursday. That night the Scoutmaster visited a Cub Scout pack while the young man attended a CAP meeting. The dad met the cadet for the meeting when he was done at Cub Scouts.

Now on Monday my 17 year old son had said to me, "Can we go to the Inauguration?" It wasn't an unreasonable request -- we're really close! But I had no intention of going, so I said, "No." But now our friend was coming and was planning to go. So I asked Don if he would consider taking our son with him, and he did! So my son got to go to the Inauguration! They got up at "0-dark-something" and drove to the local Metro stop, parked there and took the Subway down to DC for the day. My son had a good time, and I was so glad he got to go!

My son, who has a certain amount of anxiety hanging in groups of people he knows, has no anxiety meeting and talking with strangers. Don commented how my son was very sociable and a very pleasant person to make the trip with. I joked with him about "Unsocialized Homeschoolers"!

Friday night mom and dad had a small group meeting ("Care Group"). Saturday will probably be menu planning, grocery shopping, and a movie in the evening. Next week the lad's classes start up at the local community college. I NEED him to take that Accuplacer test, but it hasn't happened, and he needs to get serious about his Eagle project.

How was your week?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Menu Monday for 1/16/17

This was my first week trying to get back on track with my weight loss. Well... I lost weight, but nothing stellar -- 0.2 of a pound weight loss at my weekly weigh-in at Jenny Craig. Boy, kicking sugar is tough. Why did I think it was okay to divert from the "straight and narrow"...?

This week's menu plan was thought through, but is still a balance between meals that I am happy with vs. meals that make my family smile. I'm eating Jenny Craig on the nights when I scheduled hot dogs and French Bread Pizza. (I actually make Italian bread pizza...) Most nights I eat primarily paleo. Here's the plan:

Saturday (1/14):  salmon, sweet potatoes, green beans

Sunday (1/15):  rotisserie chicken, potatoes, broccoli

Monday (1/16):  hot dogs, baked beans, carrots

Tuesday (1/17):  Chili, corn bread, salad

Wednesday (1/18):  pork chops, noodles, brussel sprouts

Thursday (1/19)(CAP):  French Bread Pizza

Friday (1/20):  salmon, yams, green beans

Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 Week 2 in Review

Week 2 of 2017 is history. 

The week began with some decluttering -- a request I saw on a Freecycle email prompted me to declutter my board games and get rid of ones we don't use. Please don't ask me why we had two sets of Battleship, Monopoly and Clue, plus all those sets of chess and checkers... So the individual picked up my give-aways at the beginning of Week 2.

The student is still on break from his college courses. Next semester he is taking Spanish 101 and Sociology 100 for his two dual enrollment courses. This week his books for these courses were acquired.

During his college break the student has been working through practice questions for the Math Accuplacer test. He has been working some on his Geometry, and he has been doing some of the paperwork for his Eagle Project Proposal.

Monday night we had a Boy Scout meeting.

Tuesday took us to the dentist so the student could get his teeth cleaned. After I took him home I had a doctor's appointment.

The highlight of Wednesday and Thursday was some nice weather that replaced some cold weather we'd been having. Thursday night the dad had one meeting the mom had a Boy Scout Roundtable meeting and the cadet had a Civil Air Patrol meeting. I was the taxi, driving cadets to their meeting on the way to mine and picking them up after.

Friday the weather was still mild. I weighed in at Jenny Craig and did some shopping at Trader Joe's. Hubby surprised me and took me out to dinner.

Saturday morning was my quilting day, but our church was also planning a women's brunch. Hubs and cadet were supposed to go to SARs training with CAP. However an ice storm was predicted. CAP decided to cancel SARs. The ice storm never came, though, so I still did both my activities.

Since I wasn't expecting the guys to be home, I hadn't completed menu planning and the creation of the shopping list, so I finished that Saturday night.

Those are the highlights. The student is getting bored with his present "light load" (academically), but is anticipating next semester with some trepidation. He has one more week til the next semester starts.

How was your week?

Recipe Share: Mom's Chili

Category: Whole Foods

This is the chili recipe I use whenever I make chili. It is adapted from someone else's recipe, but I've changed it and made it my own.


2 lbs. ground beef
1 sweet onion, diced
1 green or red bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 15-ounce cans kidney beans
2 16-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream

Combine ground beef, onion, pepper and garlic in large pot. Cook ground beef, breaking beef into small pieces. (Onion, pepper and garlic cook while the beef browns.)

To the cooked ground beef add tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, tomato paste and cinnamon. Stir to mix completely. Bring to a simmer; cover pot and reduce heat. Simmer on lowest heat for two hours or more, stirring periodically.

Serve with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese. My family likes to eat this served with corn bread and salad, though in a pinch the chili is a meal in itself. This chili can be bagged and frozen. It can be broken up into smaller servings, served over hot dogs (for chili dogs), over corn chips (with lettuce) for taco salad, etc. Our favorite!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - A Homeschool Crew Review

Review Crew
Members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to receive a Yearly Membership to and were welcomed to write a review.
I have had a Yearly Membership to for several years as a member of the Homeschool Review Crew. I don't use this as much as I wish I could -- my only student is in 11th Grade and takes most of his courses through dual enrollment at the local community college.

Whenever I visit SchoolhouseTeachers and see the wealth of materials it offers to a homeschool family, it makes me wish I had had this resource ten years ago, when my son was a seven-year-old 1st Grader! Then I would have had, in one place and for a small one-time annual price, access for my son to lessons in Bible, Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, Art, Music and much more! That means I would have had everything I needed to teach six of the eight subject areas my state requires, plus more. (The other two subjects my state requires are Health and Physical Education.) Then I found links for PE and Health under Quick Links -- they're just not listed at the 1st grade level.

Each grade level has its own spread of basic subjects, from pre-school through high school, with additional materials just for teacher enrichment. Everything is laid out very intuitively, with a very helpful tab for "Start Here" (for the new user).

Each option on the menu bar goes to another array of selections. Here are the choices when you select "Start Here":

The resources on SchoolhouseTeachers include downloadable, printable items, videos and online classes. The gems that I have found for my son and I (remember, he's an 11th Grader) are:

  • College Choice Guidance;
  • SAT-ACT Math Prep;
  • Writing: College Admission Essay;
  • Whole Foods Cooking with Sue Gregg;
  • Geometry; and
  • This Month’s Menu.

There were also courses in English Composition, History, Spanish and Science that we could have used, but my son is taking those courses at the Community College this year.

The best news I have for you today is that a Yearly Membership to is currently on sale!

Join during's Super Christmas Sale and Save!

Use Code:CHRISTMAS for $9.95/month or CHRISTMASYEAR for $90/year.

50% discount on upcoming price increase ends: 15 January 2017

In mid-January,  SchoolhouseTeachers is having a price increase. The promotion is to LOCK IN NOW at the $9.95/month rate so that you save 50% on the NEW prices. In about a week and a half this same monthly service will be $19.95/month--approximately twice as much!

Read the whole thing here:
Also, members of SchoolhouseTeachers are allowed to be affiliates. I am an affiliate. I haven't earned anything yet, but if you join after clicking one of my affiliate links I will earn a little something to use toward my son's college books.

To see more reviews of click on the link below.
High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {}
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, January 9, 2017

Menu Monday for 1/9/17

Week 1 of 2017 is now history. I basically took two weeks off of proper eating for the holidays. I weighed in at Jenny Craig and was up two pounds. By my home scale my starting weight for 2017 is 150.8.

This week I purchased Jenny Craig dinners for one more week (to get me "jump started" back to eating proper sized portions). So the plans below are for my family's meals, and they look a bit different from what I will serve when I am eating with the family (more "bready"). Here are this week's plans:

Friday (1/6): fish sticks, spinach, sweet potatoes

Saturday (1/7): orange glazed chicken, stuffing, California Mix vegetables

Sunday (1/8): broiled Italian Steak, steamed broccoli, cauliflower faux mashed potatoes

Monday (1/9): hamburger baked bean casserole, carrot sticks

Tuesday (1/10):  chicken tortilla soup, salad, tortilla chips

Wednesday (1/11): spaghetti and meat balls, salad, TX Toast

Thursday (1/12):  French Bread Pizza

Friday (1/13):  Wild caught fish (sautéed with butter and lemon), steamed green beans and sweet potatoes

Saturday (1/14): Dinner out

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 Week 1 in Review

First week of 2017 down. My student is on winter break from his dual enrollment college courses. He has been focusing on personal interests, but has found time to do some other work that he should be doing.

First, though, on Sunday we celebrated a late "Christmas" get together with my brother's family. Did I even think to take a single photo? ::sigh:: No. I need to do better and remember to take photos.

Monday was "New Year's Day Observed", so hubby had the day off. We got the Christmas tree taken down and got all of "Christmas" stored and put away. We got things cleaned up and got our normal decorations back in place and re-established our household "normal".

Tuesday it was pouring rain, but it was basically the first regular day of the new year, and it was time for me to get back some routine. I started the day by going to the gym. I also got to the gym on Thursday. Monday, Wednesday, Friday works better for me, so I'm going to try to do that schedule next week.

It rained again on Wednesday, and we got light snow on Friday and Saturday. Thursday night the student and his dad attended their Civil Air Patrol meeting, and Friday night we had our church small group meeting ("Care Group").

During the week the student did some Geometry. He also spent time preparing for the Math Accuplacer test.

The student, a Life Scout, also began work to get his Eagle Project rolling. At one point he was considering a renovation project at the building where our Boy Scout Troop meets, but this project just wasn't something that his heart was in. In the fall he had met with a representative from our county's Park and Planning Department and had discussed a reforestation project at a local public park area. Basically there is an area that used to have a hiking path. The path was rerouted, and the county wants trees planted in the area where the path used to be. My son always liked the idea of this project and is back in contact with the County representative to get the project going.

The representative has let our Scout know there is work to be done, however the Scout is not clear yet if the reforestation project is still available or if the project will be different. There were other projects discussed -- projects related to creating new sections of the hiking path. This is not what my son wanted to do, but he will probably prefer an outdoor project with the county over an indoor renovation project. So for now he is waiting to hear back from the County.

While the Scout waits, he is working on Eagle Scout Project Proposal paperwork. It is a good exercise in reality, having to work through the planning, proposal and paperwork. He needs to create the proposal and get lots of different approvals before the Project date. The target date is February 25 -- cold, but not muddy. This is work that can be done in winter, weather permitting, but can be bumped to March if necessary.

As we launch into 2017 Week 2, the young man will be continuing to work on Geometry, Accuplacer Math Test Preparation and Eagle Scout Project preparation. His spring college courses begin on January 23. We are encouraging him to go for his Driver's License before classes start, but he is not in a hurry and we're trying not to push him too hard.

That's all the highlights for this week. The student is still creating YouTube videos for his YouTube channel and making bull whips out of para-cord. 

The snow is lightly falling, and the birds are enjoying the bird feeders. We've got dark-eyed junkos, house sparrows, Carolina wrens, song sparrows, downy woodpeckers, cardinals and tufted titmouses feasting in the snow. And I need a nicer camera...