Friday, January 09, 2009

Black-eyed Peas with Ham

This recipe is so simple that it's almost embarrassing to post but it was also so yummy that I'd hate for someone to miss out on it if they've never tried it.

Since yesterday we had two music lessons and basketball practice, along with lots of errands to fit in around them, I knew I needed something in the crock pot ready for us when we arrived home in the evening. I had the bread baked and ready but what to throw in the crock pot? Here you go. It can't be any simpler than this! Takeout would take longer! And everyone thought it tasted great!

3 cans of Black-eyed Peas (could be more than this)
1 pound of ham, chopped however you like

That's it!

The bread is a new recipe I tried, Multi-Grain Seeded Bread, from the new Eating Well magazine.

I also wanted to include a link to an article that is a good reminder to all parents.
Top 10 Brain Foods for Kids

You can find more frugal recipes at The Grocery Cart Challenge.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Back to our Routine

Oh, it's so good to be back into our routine. I truly love my days. Days that are made up of minutes. I have few minutes alone. I have a wonderful family to take care of! A friend of mine always reminds me that never ending laundry, meals to cook, and dishes mounted high just mean that we are blessed. It means we have family and friends to love! And this is so very true!

Monday we spent our day cleaning, room by room. As always, we didn't get as much done as we would have liked, but we did accomplish a lot and had a great time doing it. Yesterday, we did a few activities that I suppose you could call "schoolish" but that's not what we were thinking as we did them. We watched a new Moody Science movie (Tim and I got the kids the set for Christmas.), while we ate bowls of popcorn. Oh, and we learned some new music! We've listened to Go and Tell Greater Vision Kids too many times for my to count. And we're all singing along already even though we hadn't heard any of the songs before Sunday night. (Thanks, Julie!) And there was basketball practice.

But today.....we got to read aloud, together, alone, and in pairs. Anytime that happens it would have to be a great day, right?! We just moved down our "list", which has such a comfortable feel to it. We baked together, too, and really enjoyed the new wheat bread we made! We have another Multi-grain bread raising right now. It's the kind I'll make into a round loaf, covered in seeds and bake in my new cast iron dutch oven. Can't wait. We mixed it up this morning and it will set all day, go in the refrigerator all night (to enhance the flavor) and then I'll let it rise one more time in the morning and into the oven it will go! I don't imagine it will last long after it comes out, bread never does around here.

Here in a little bit, I'll call the kids in from playing outside and we'll ready ourselves for our mid-week church service where we'll sing, pray, and worship together. And I'll thank God once again for the awesome blessing it is so meet with other believers without any fear of harm. In the mornings, as the children and I read our Bibles together, I often pause with overwhelming gratitude to thank God for the incredible privilege of spending my day, all day, with my children. I wouldn't trade it for anything! I want to savor every minute of these freedoms that I so enjoy!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

A Good Day

For the past few weeks I've been feeling especially blessed. I've been overwhelmed with the love and support from my family and friends. I was reminded of it again this morning when my sister in law woke me up just to tell me what she'd dreamed last night, my mom called soon after for just a little chat, and then my little brother, now traveling to his far off home, called to just let me know where he was. And the realization of just how rich my life is washed over me all over again.

During the Christmas season, I felt so thankful for my husband and children. I can't help but offer silent prayers of thanks as I sit with my children all curled up around me as we listen to Tim read God's Word to us. The night we opened our gifts together here at home was a little bit of heaven here on earth....peace, contentment, and thankfulness....we couldn't have asked for more.

And today was another sweet reminder of all God's goodness in my life. Today was the kind of day I would call a favorite of mine......

Enjoyed breakfast with my family. Did a little laundry. Puttered around in the kitchen a bit and then headed outside with temps already in the lower 60's. We all cleaned up a few things from the "leaf fort" that the kids had made. And did a few other odd and end jobs. I fixed a simple lunch (Kashmir Spinach-but not from scratch), but Kiersten made it all into a tea party and we all sat around a lot longer than normal just talking and enjoying the food and fellowship. After we cleaned up, I ordered my garden seeds for the year, most of them anyhow. I'm sure I'll find other things that I just can't resist but the bulk of the buying is done.

Just ordering those seeds made need to dig in the dirt a little bit. Tim turned over my compost pile for me and then I added that wonderful, rich, black dirt to some of my raised beds. We worked outside until supper time. Supper was a simple Taco Salad made with chicken. It's days like this that make you wish spring was already here. It certainly felt as though it could be spring today. Absolutely beautiful. I just closed my kitchen window a few minutes ago and the air still felt heavenly.

This evening we all watched "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington".

I think I have everything a girl could want. Dirt to dig in that is my own, plenty yummy food, and a family to share it with. And the knowledge that it is only of God's grace that I enjoy each of these gifts. It's the simple things in life that bring me the most enjoyment. That little plot of land in my back yard is one of my favorite spots. My favorite people live under my roof and I get to spend every day with them.

Life is good!