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January 2014
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March 2014

yaki mandu.


Years ago...and I mean years. Like 20 plus years, I lived in South Korea. I was in the Air Force and I got stationed on an Army post, Camp Humphreys, forecasting the weather. I also met Hoosier Man. He and I, and most often seperately over the year we lived there (because we only dated the last few months), would visit the little town outside the army post and would stop at one of the little sidewalk carts selling Yaki Mandu.

After all these years I still remember those tasty little morsels, steaming and succelent - just wonderful. I've wanted to 're-create' Yaki Mandu for many years but there has always been an intimidation factor involved. It's the same for roasting a chicken or baking homemade bread from scratch - intimidation! It's not a fun place to be.

In November of this past year I made a 50 in my 50th year list. Number 18 on the list is make homemade Yaki Mandu. I was determined to drive through that intimidation factor and overcome.



This past weekend I made Yaki Mandu.

And it was fabulous!!!!

It was amazing!

We all loved it immensely and I will definitely make it again - very soon. The boys suggested making it for our next Small Group potluck. I'm thinking I don't want to share just yet...heehee.


sauteed balsamic mushrooms.


Divine! We've eaten balsamic roasted mushrooms together with green beans and loved the flavors so I knew making a saute of mushrooms with balsamic and herbs would go fabulous with a new steak recipe we were trying out this past weekend.

I was right. These mushrooms are fantastic. I could eat these as a side dish with anything, and not just steak. Or as a main dish. Or over a baked potato - yum!

Sauteed Balsamic Mushrooms

Side Note: I picked up a pretty good sized order of recipe cards from Walgreens ready for my Kids' Recipe Books. John and Jarrod's are in our office closet and I add as I print more and they'll take them with them when they leave home. Elizabeth and Ashley already have their books and I need to send off their copies. I'm getting another set for my own recipe books.

I changed up my recipe books to a 6 x 12 size Turquoise album (I have two albums), using stacked 3 - 4 x 6 document protectors (each protector holds 6 - 4 x 6 recipe cards). I adore this size because the recipe books fit better on my kitchen counter and they aren't as cumbersome as the 12 x 12 albums (although the 12 x 12 album can certainly hold more recipes).


beer cheese chicken soup.

Good. Creamy. Cheesey. Lovely.

Make sure you add those freshly minced chives at the end. The onion flavor comes through boldly and adds such yumminess to the soup - not overpowering, but perfection.

Talkin' through the recipe with Hoosier Man, I thought some diced potatoes would be a nice addition to the soup and make it creamier and thicker - but, definitely good as is. I served this with another new recipe, a Jalapeno Popper Beer Bread that turned out wonderful too (recipe coming soon!)


project life 2014 | week 8


Absolutely love the right side of Week 8 and so so on the left side. Putting that right side together was time consuming but fun. I should have mimicked the circles somehow on the left side - but I called it done instead. It truly was a week of new recipes.


Once again Ali Edwards and Cathy Zielske reigns supreme in my book using their digital products. Love, love, love them.

This week:

New glasses

New recipes

Lots of playtime with the cats

Pre-colonoscopy appointment for me

Dissecting worms and taking exams in history.

All the food was fabulous. We especially loved the Yaki Mandu and while time consuming with one person making it it would be short work with two or three even and working together. So, so good!


a day in the life of our homeschool.

Sons of thunder

Monday - Thursday we are doing school at home. Friday's are Kingdom Builders Co-op day, in which my Sons of Thunder attend three morning classes and an afternoon science class. Lunch is in there too. Our home school looks something like this on any given day:

7:00 am - I get up between 7:00 and 9:00 am depending on what shift I've worked and depending on what needs to be accomplished in the morning. The Sons of Thunder are already up and out completing their morning walk. Coffee is usually already on or I start the pot grabbing a cup as soon as the coffee pot makes enough. I head into the office for emails and checking out my favorite blogs.

7:30 am - The boys have breakfast and always have a book they've chosen to read propped up in front of their plate. Breakfast varies between an omelette, breakfast burrito, homemade waffles or pancakes from dinner earlier in the week, or grits and toast and usually a banana. If I eat it is usually scrambled eggs or omelette, leftover waffles/pancakes, grits, or oatmeal.

8:00 am - School begins. If it is a Monday, and I haven't done it over the weekend (which happens often), I'll write the boys' schedule for the week. I use a template that looks like this:

This can take up to 30 minutes or so depending on assignments that are included into the week. At some point during the end of each month I write a monthly syllabus for their Spanish III, which I then just assign as (See Syllabus).

While I am doing this the boys are listening to Uncle Tom's Cabin on audio for the next couple weeks. They knock this out along with their Adventures in Oydessey series for American History (Wednesday's).

9:00 am - The boys either begin working on American History or we go ahead and read our read-a-louds for American History. This week we are still reading another American Literature selection, Co. Aytc,h so I read that out loud while they snuggle up in blankets sprawled somewhere in the living room. If I am reading a couple of books at once I could read up to an hour.

Around 9:45 - 10:00 am - American History assignments, Biology assignments, and Bible begin here. Every other week in Biology are either assignments or studying for a test, and usually Pre- or Post- Biology Labs. American History is pretty much the same but studying for a test may be every third week depending on how many lessons are included. We have found that if they accomplish all of the assignments earlier and leave a week before the test for study time they do so much better on their tests.

They are in a Bible class at co-op and have been memorizing the Sermon on the Mount with a written recitation when they are done. Each week they are adding a couple more verses, so I make sure each week they are beginning with Matthew 5:1 up through where they've left off, so they don't forget anything. On Thursday's they'll recite verbally their verses (and because they have to write their verses they have to do this sometime during the week too).

If I'm not needed during this time I am either blogging, preparing posts, scrapbooking, working on projects around the house, and/or prepping dinner for the boys.

Around 11:00 - 11:30 - By now, the boys are usually ready to go over Biology and/or American History. Each day of the week of the test we review aloud. I read the questions and they give me, verbally, the answers - no multiple choice - but, give me short answers, and we discuss the questions.

12:00 pm - The boys get their lunch and I get ready for work (shower, dress, pack my bag/lunch). The boys will inevitably pull the books they've been reading out and enjoy it while they are eating. Sometimes they'll draw after they get done eating too.

Around 12:30 - 12:45 pm - The boys commondeer the office chairs and computer for their Spanish III lessons and Algebra II DVD lessons. They are usually engrossed in one or the other through the 1:15 pm hour when I leave for work so at this point the remainder of the afternoon is up to the boys to schedule.

1:15 - 3:30 pm or so - I leave for work and the boys work on the remainder of their lessons. Usually, completing Algebra II assignments, and remaining history assignments that I assign, and Merit Badges (or work on their Eagle Scout projects).

It's pretty obvious that the Sons of Thunder are mostly responsible for their own learning - as it should be for 10th graders. We read aloud because we have found all of us enjoy this the most. And we review for tests together out of necessity - I can make sure they know the material.

Because of their taking responsibility for their school work, I have been able to go back to work full time while still homeschooling, which in turn has afforded us many advantages, with few negatives. In other words, it's working for us.

On Fridays, the boys and I attend homeschool co-op all day (until 2:30 pm). The boys are in American History, Bible, and Art 3D in the morning, lunch at 12:30 pm, and Biology from 1:00 - 2:30 pm. I stamp Elementary students notebooks until 10-ish am, then I am in the teacher's lounge grading my own classes papers or chatting with other mom's. My Meteorology science class begins at 1:00 - 2:30 pm. We almost always go to the library after school on Friday.

I'm positive our week of homeschool looks nothing like others'. That is one of the beauties of homeschooling - none of them have to look alike.



broccoli ham casserole.

Broccoli-Ham Bake

Perfect for breakfast or for dinner with a Caesar Salad, which is how we served it and it made a fantastic tasting and quick-to-put-together meal. I imagine we'll mostly keep this on the dinner rotation but it would be great to take to Elevate, or to feed a crowd over for breakfast.

Surprisingly, the combination of cheeses, Swiss and Monteray Jack Pepper was perfect, with the pepper jack moderating the 'swissy' taste that I know Hoosier Man doesn't like as much as other cheeses. The broccoli remained crunchy, yet cooked through. It was just real tasty.



buttermilk blueberry coffee cake.


This very moist, loaded with blueberry, decadent coffee cake is perfect for a breakfast and coffee get together - or in our case we took it to church for an Elevate (K-5 ministry) breakfast.

I'm considering increasing my breakfast-sharing with Elevate to twice a month. I'm finding loads of yummy recipes and really want to try them out - perfect opportunity.



cinnamon roll cake.

The cinnamon, sugary swirls with a sweet confectioner's glaze takes this cake over the top and absolutely rivals any cinnamon roll for top dog - I mean - dessert.

I made this decadent dessert for small group and bless their heart they ate sparingly and left the boys several of the moist, delightful pieces of cake to enjoy over the next couple of days. This will definitely be in my go-to recipes for a breakfast delight with coffee, or a pot luck dessert.


a thought.





Recently, a gentlemen (I'll call him Bill) rejoined our small home group. Bill used to attend our home group with his wife. And then they stopped coming. Now Bill comes alone. Bill let my husband, as the leader of our home group, know the situation, as much as he could, but mostly the superficial situation. This is ok. Why should he be more open with people he hasn't seen, or talked to for quite some time. But, we are fortunate that my husband gave him some of his time, attention, and ears. Now Bill is coming back to our group. My husband didn't divulge any of what transpired in their conversation with the rest of the group but rather allowed Bill to share when he felt okay.

Last Sunday evening he shared a bit of his situation.

It is a difficult situation. But, a thought that struck me...God is there. Bill isn't focusing on negatives but, instead, is seeking God every step of the way. I was struck by his humility. He spoke about what God had been teaching him in this situation or that, showing him where he went wrong, and his confessions of failure on his part. At no time did he lay blame on anyone but himself. Was he the only culprit? Absolutely not! But, he realized he is responsible for himself and responsible to God, and let God have the other.

It reminded me of times long ago when my husband and I were struggling but the reminder that our marriage vows are a covenant with God first, was the foundation for healing, reconciliation, and thriving.