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July 2012
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September 2012

september menu plan

our little family kicks off september in two different states as hoosier man heads home to mom and the boys and i head south to my mom for the labor day weekend.

a couple date nights on the menu, of course; a boy scout camp out; hoping with september afternoon thunderstorms will let up and we'll be able to get our family swim nights in too.

weekends are hairy as i work each one and we serve at church; i'm beginning a new bible study on saturday with service to follow so dinner gets jumbled. hoping the meals i've planned can be prepped before church so we can just bake and eat.

a couple new recipes on the plate for september: an ultimate beef stroganoff made with a roast beef instead of hamburger but with the goodness of mushrooms, beef stock, and sour cream of course. the recipe looks divine and i thought we'd check out an old fashioned favorite ramped up.

as we head into fall i'm hoping it will cool down some and along with our carrot soup i'm planning a new quiche recipe...because you know that real men eat quiche. this one has all the flavors of jalapeno poppers. and we love our poppers.

a blueberry poppyseed bread for one of our small group gatherings. this looks absolutely yummy. and can't wait to try it on the group.

in keeping with fall i'll be making a pot of chili at the end of the month and while we always have fritos with our chili with diced onions, cheddar cheese, and sour cream i'm also planning a jalapeno cheddar cornbread. oh my!

this will bring our new recipes for the year up to 35 of 40 - and can't wait to finish this project.

can't say enough about having a plan for the month. the stress-relief is amazing.

40 recipes l jalapeno popper grilled cheese

#31 of 40 new recipes for this year.

i love jalapenos. i love cream cheese. i love ciabatta bread. and then there is bacon. i have been seeing jalapeno poppler grilled cheese sandwiches all over the world wide web, in food blogs, pinterest, even food network chefs have come up with their own version. thought i'd do the same.

most of the recipes i found kept the jalapeno's whole (de-seeded, de-veined, and de-stemmed). i chose to chop the jalapeno's finely after the whole roasting, de-seeding, de-veining, and de-stemming process. then combined with the cream cheese which had been softened in the microwave.

i used my panini press that my daughter ash got me from pampered chef - which i love by the way - now that i've used it; the sandwiches/panini's turned out amazing.

definitely a keeper recipe and one we'll make fairly regularly. maybe this fall served with the first soup of the season.


I haven’t read this book, Dinner: a Love Story. but I want to. I feel a kindred spirit with just the title of the book. After listening to the author, jenny rosenstrach’s… trailer for the book what resonated the most weren’t the recipes, although I’m always up for more additions to our never-ending, already expansive recipe collection that is so ours – just ours; but, what resonated deep to the heart was what has happened, what could happen, what possibilities dinner with family could look like, had looked like, in different seasons of life.

We’ve had our own possibilities, our own seasons of life at the dinner table over the years and some amazing memories. This season’s dinner love story begins long before we sit down to our meal. It begins at the end of each month when I make our meal plan for the next month and post it on our refrigerator.  The boys, teenagers, 15-years old, attack the plan as soon as I post it. They want to see what I’m making. They want to see when Hoosier Man and I are going on dates. They want to see homemade pizza night. They want to see their favorites on the menu. I get such a kick out of making this plan. In fact I need to get on that for September.

This season continues including new recipes to our dinner repertoire – and old ones. No picky eaters in our house except jarrod and his fish fetish; other than that I can just relax in the kitchen. With the boys older, it is definitely all-hands-on-deck for dinner preparations: they chop vegetables, hard-boil eggs, mince garlic (a john favorite), make spaghetti from start to finish, prepare the amazing homemade salsa, and can even cook our homemade tacos but they prefer me making them. They have found their way around our kitchen. And when we sit down to dinner…

We dig into some amazing recipes. Like many others, I search the world-wide-web for new recipes to grace our table. The excitement mounts when I place that new recipe on the menu plan; then, buy the ingredients; then, make the meal; then, devour the meal. Without fail the recipe is rated. Is it a keeper? Or, does it get put on the back burners.

I’m not sure if this excitement stems from “this would be normal for every family” or our family just has the temperament, the personalities, the lifestyle – that new recipes shared with the family, a menu plan, works well for our family – or maybe it has been how we’ve honed our family dinner time – it’s part of our love story.

gentle giants, sons of thunder


I’ve wanted to name our little homeschool academy for a while now and the Bowers’ Academy, although smashing, wasn’t the consummate name, the transcendent identity reflecting john and jarrod. Oh, sure, Bowers is truly perfect. Come on – it is our name. But, I also wanted unique.

I considered gentle giants.

My, almost 6-foot tall and getting taller, 15-year old boys look like giants at times; definitely, to me at only 5’3”, and often, to other 15-year olds. And - they are gentle, and innocent, and kind, and endearing. The Gentile Giant’s Academy; It has a certain je ne sais quoi that is very appealing.

But years ago, when the boys were about 6 or so, a children’s pastor (actually, I think then, he was still volunteering and not actually on staff) dubbed john and Jarrod the Sons of Thunder. In our church’s children ministry skits are often used to enforce, or re-enforce a specific teaching lesson. The hero that day, in this particular skit, was being attacked by a villain. Because John and Jarrod, almost always found their way to the front of the audience of young, eager-to-learn, impressionable children, they were in the perfect position to defend the hero from the villainous attack. It must be a twin characteristic, but both boys, zealously, plowed forward onto the stage, and proceeded to thwart the villain’s attack.

While I wouldn’t assume that this one incident would be enough to dub my sons, the Sons of Thunder, it was their zeal over a period of time, their righteous indignation for good against evil, for the cause for Christ, their unhesitatingly, steadfast courage for Christ that ultimately earned them the moniker.

The Sons of Thunder

Mark 3:17 says, “James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder)”…

The Barnes’ Notes on the Bible says Boanerges is made up of two Hebrew words signifying "sons of thunder," meaning that they, on some accounts, "resembled" thunder;  It is, however, more probable that it was on account of something fervid, and glowing, and powerful in their genius and eloquence ;  

Ok. I think our children’s ministry volunteer, now pastor, got it right somehow.

The Clarks Commentary says, “They were probably so named because of their zeal and power in preaching the Gospel” and Gill’s Expository suggested, “For their courage in opposing the enemies of Christ.”

And didn’t they do just that during the skit. They had to be pulled off the villain and off the stage.

Sons of Thunder Academy

I like it.

10 things

not my typical 10 things. I"VE BEEN CRAZY BUSY!

1. made an amazing grilled cheese sandwich last night for dinner: jalapeno popper grilled cheese (recipe later today - or tomorrow)

2. kingdom builders co-op begins today! excited, but filled with trepidation too. boys worked on co-op class assignments until 9pm last night. they just aren't staying on task.

3. i have worked 7 straight day shifts and i'm tired.

4. then i've come home and become a homeschool mom

5. then i've fixed dinner and worked on homeschool/co-op activities

6. little time to blog, or the photos to accompany them, or even the motivation.

7. it's date night tonight. i absolutely can't wait! our date nights have all been so much fun. we are into our eighth month straight of 2-3 dates every month. we love it and the boys love it.

8. the bourne legacy + dinner

9. my bible study for this fall was approved and is on the women's bible study schedule at church. i'll begin leading nehemiah, by kelly minter on saturday afternoons (4:30). so looking forward to the serving, and study time.

10. we had the windows open yesterday evening, all night, and this morning. it was only 70 degrees outside. i'm sure it won't stay that way but so nice to give the air conditioner a reprieve. and our electric bill

etsy window shopping l excursion 4

for my next travel excursion somewhere out of the country where i'll need a passport i want to take along this awesome tangerine with elephants passport book.

i could wear this colorful, handcrafted, bohemian-inspired cuff bracelet with just about anything.

i'm considering replacing all of my blankets in my living with fresh, new ones and this beautiful and luxurious hand-knitted lap blanket would be a fabulous first edition.

vintage tangerine side table; yumm! i'm always on the look out for things to go in my backyard, or on our deck - oh - wait we don't have a deck; i can dream can't i. plus it would be awesome next to a couple adirondaks which are next to a large firepit for grillin' and roastin' marshmellows. i've got it all figured out.


j & s; this cutie would go awesome in our master bedroom. i might even considering making it myself.

aren't these precious earrings just gorgeous. love love the colors.

window shopping is so much fun. hoosier man shouldn't have any trouble for my birthday. for christmas. for a surprise here or there. and handmade things are best!

5 by 5

5 lists of 5 different topics with 5 things in each list...

5 television shows on DVD I want

1. the rest of the Closer

2. Covert Affairs

3. Rizzoli & Isles

4. the rest of In Plain Sight

5. this past season of NCIS

5 places I want to visit (not necessarily in order)

1. Nova Scotia (i've always wanted to visit)

2. Washington D.C. (really, i do!)

3. Alaska (well, my daughter and granddaughter are there...)

4. Israel

5. Venice

5 favorite foods

1. hoosier man’s homemade pizza

2. homemade tacos

3. baked lemon chicken (after serving this recently, i can still taste it; and it is soo yummy)

4. spicy broccoli

5. whiskey sliders (just ate these last night; and, today for lunch)

5 favorite blogs of late

1. ali edwards (hands down #1), still; although this summer she has been blogging and adding projects quite less; hope this picks up

2. karen russell, still, her photography is amazing and she just makes me laugh

3. a beautiful mess, really loving the inspiration

4. elisha blaha cripe, still, and so inspiring

5. house of smiths, inspiring (but wish she blogged more often – like every day)

5 books I want to read

1. the creative habit by twila tharp

2. made to crave by lysa terkeurst

3. the help by kathryn stockett

4. black list by brad thor

5. delusion in death by j.d. robb

life is full

life is crazy full right now. so much of just everything.

homeschool is in full swing. we have added the boys' co-op classes into the mix of lessons. i spent sunday evening (hours) scheduling the first week of lessons with co-op classes: spanish, bible history, physical science, and art/design. thankfully no art/design homework but a full suite of lessons for the other three classes plus algebra, grammar/daily grams, literature, bible, geography, and vocabulary. the boys looked at their homework for the week and i heard the groans. hoosier man had to offer a bit of intervention.

it wasn't pretty. but he got the point across. and today wasn't bad at all.

i've been working shifts. a couple last week. this weekend. and four this week. good money, yes. but exhausting too.

still working on my own homeschool co-op curriculum - meteorology. i'm struggling with putting one lab together. then i realized i didn't have chapter tests for the first three chapters. and i need to make sure i have reviews worked up. and class is this friday.

our vehicles have been giving us fits. it has put a strain on us, but you know not to much. a couple days there we had no vehicles except hoosier man's company trunk. that is a praise. it meant we had to walk to an appointment (but we got a ride part way). blessings. and now the van is fixed. our auto repair man hasn't charged us yet either. he wants to make sure it's a permanent fix. we'd already just paid him a chunk for those brakes.

hoosier man and the boys have been spending some time putting in a friends entire kitchen cabinets. again, it'll be some money but several things have been added here and there to the original job. and thus more time. the air compressor broke but, another blessing, it only took $4 to fix it.

hoosier man and the boys are now serving in the children's ministry at our church. they've interviewed with the children's pastor and hoosier man is a sheriff (kind of like security but in a kindly sort of way), and the boys are working on the tech team (manning the technical booths, sound, lights, computers, etc.) and loving it. all of them both served saturday night and sunday morning. we all attended service saturday night, second service. we are studying the story by max lucado.

wednesday night services begin again soon at church. we still spend time preparing and sharing our home for a small group on sunday evenings. a couple more weeks in the book of esther - so good. then we'll begin the book of acts. and my bible study that i'm leading will begin after labor day and i'm hoping to join precepts again this fall. we'll be studying the book of ezekial.

so so crazy. so so full. hoosier man heads to indiana and his mom labor day weekend and the georgia boys and i will be heading to florida and my mom. all good.

i...inspired and revisited


i was…a hard core traditional scrapper with a room and all the supplies to prove it…now I am pretty much all digital

i am…seeing progress but sure wish it would come faster

i think…progress will continue to be slow if i don’t move my behind more

i wonder... if i should purge all those traditional scrapping supplies or just start using them again

i wish... it was fall already; this heat is killing me

i save ... scrapbooking ideas, movie tickets, recipes, and homeschool ideas

i always... prefer simple, organized, purged as oppose to cluttered, hoarding, or saving (except see above)

i can't... seem to get motivated on one thing I need to get motivated on

i believe ... my boys (and me) are going to get a lot of learning in this year

i promise ... my kids are going to love their recipe books

i love ... to do lists

i scrap ... because I see the faces of my kids when they peruse our memories…and they remember too

a photo walk

the boys had a meet with the children's pastor at scc for an interview so they could begin serving on weekends with the kid's ministry. we left the house pretty early because we had to walk to church...4 miles away. it would be hot, and draining but i took my mp3 player for some music and my camera for some photos along our walk.

the georgia boys walked well ahead. long legged punks. i grabbed pictures here and there that seemed interesting to me. i noticed i snapped alot of 'round' things.

thankfully, we ended up getting a ride mid way to scc. then, the children's pastor drove us home...God's pretty awesome!