Our Family

Our Family

Monday, December 31, 2018

Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

Every Sunday night is soup and sandwich night at our house.  One of the reasons I love soup is because they are inexpensive to make and hard to mess up.  A lot of times you can just use a little of whatever you have in the house to make a vegetable or chicken soup.  One of my favorite soups to make is Broccoli Cheese Soup.  I have made it on the stove, in the crockpot, and in the InstantPot.  I have made it with different kinds of cheeses.  The recipe below is my favorite recipe (and yes it would be healthier if you used regular cheese instead of Velveeta but it is so good!)

6 tbsp butter
a small onion finely chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup flour
3 cups of milk
1 bag of frozen broccoli
1 lb processed cheese (Velveeta) cubed

In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour. Add milk slowly and stir until thick and bubbly. At the same time, bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan. Add broccoli and boil for 10 minutes. Stir in to milk mixture until smooth. Add cubed cheese and stir until melted over medium heat. Do not let soup boil after adding cheese or it can separate.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Review: On Magnolia Lane by Denise Hunter

Book Description

"From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie) comes the final book in Hunter’s Blue Ridge Romance series.

Pastor Jack McReady has secretly carried a torch for Daisy for two long years. She’s a member of his congregation, after all, and she’ll never see him as more than a trusted counselor. Jack’s best friend Noah has taken every opportunity to encourage his lovesick friend, but when Noah catches wind that Daisy has joined an online dating site, he takes matters into his own hands and orchestrates a meet-cute of the most unconventional kind.

Owner of the local flower shop, Daisy Pendleton is content with her small-town life, but she’d sure like someone to share it with. After several disastrous first dates, she’s about to give up—and then she finds a seemingly wonderful man online. Daisy gets to know TJ through a series of messages but finds herself spending more time with Pastor Jack outside of the church at the same time. What she doesn’t know is that her online prospect and Jack are one and the same.

Just as Daisy’s love life starts to look promising, a mysterious woman appears in town. Daisy is faced with a revelation about her family that turns her world upside down, and she looks to both TJ and Jack for help.

Jack must find a way to reveal himself as her online suitor without breaking her heart and losing her trust. As Daisy faces Jack’s betrayal, she’ll have to learn to extend grace to herself, her family, and the man she’s grown to love."

On Magnolia Lane is the last book in the Blue Ridge Romance series.   The other books in the series are: Sweetbriar Cottage, Blue Ridge Sunrise, and Honeysuckle Dreams.  It can be read as a stand alone book, but it is much better if you have read the entire series.  I really enjoyed the other books and could not wait for this one to come out.  Then I had to wait even longer for my review copy to arrive.  On Magnolia Lane was worth the wait.

Part of the story ("meeting" someone on an online date site that you know in real life) is similar to other books I have read.  But there were many elements added to this story that made it unique.  The perspective of a pastor looking for romance is not your typical romance.  Then the mystery woman that appears in town, how that affects Daisy's life changing her ideas on how she thought her life was supposed to be and teaching her to forgive those who hurt her deeply.  The problems in town when Hope House was damaged and the way the community came together to help solve the problem was another interesting aspect of the story.  As a mom with a dyslexic child I was glad to see that written as a difficulty Daisy deals with and thought the way she helped another young girl through it was wonderful. Ms. Hunter crafts an amazing story around all of the characters while wrapping up the series and teaching the importance of grace and forgiveness.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own and I have received no other compensation. I am disclosing this in accordance to the FTC regulations.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 18

Some weeks don't go as planned.  This week was one of those weeks.

We did very little formal schoolwork.  One day of math I think.  We did do other things such as baking, crafting (many of those were gifts that I cannot post), sewing (also gifts), reading, cleaning, and the boys also worked on the goat fence.  We also had to take a trip to the doctor.

Monday we had our 4 H Christmas party.  We made two kinds of ornaments (bought on clearance at after Christmas sales last year), ate food, and played two minute to win it games called Candy Cane Fishing and Snow Shovel.

Christian, Art, and Anthony had cleaned up a dead tree on Sunday.  Monday Christian had a small rash on one arm and a little spot on his face that appeared to be poison ivy. I started giving Benadryl every four hours even through out the night.

Tuesday morning we got up and Christian's face was so swollen his eyes were almost swelled shut. Made a doctor's appointment for him which resulted in a steroid shot, steroids to take, and another antihistamine to take along with Benadryl.  As of today (Sunday) he has finally started being less itchy.  Anthony did not get poison ivy at all.  Art did but not as bad as Christian.

The girls had gymnastics in the afternoon.

Thursday we had piano and dance and grocery shopping for Christmas dinner and the rest of the week.

Friday my mom and dad arrived to spend a few days for Christmas.

I hope you had a great week!

Have a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 17

I have never been a napper.  I am not good at sleeping during the day.  But after the very busy week we had I did go upstairs and lay down and rest for a but today after church.  Even though I didn't sleep much, it was nice to lay down and rest for a little while.

Our Activities This Week

Monday - The parade that was supposed to be last week-end was postponed because of weather.  Monday afternoon we were asked to come and help get the 4 H float ready for the parade.  I am NOT creative when it comes to these types of things.  None of the ideas were mine, we just had to follow directions :)

Tuesday was the parade.  We had the baby that day and as soon as he got up from his nap headed back to the EH House to finish up getting things ready and then get them over to the parking lot where the judging would be and get the float assembled.  Our theme was Whoville.  Nicholas was the Grinch, the girls dressed as Whos and Christian was the 4 H clover.  Anthony and Alex and I also rode on the float. We won 3rd place.

Wednesday our STEM co-op from last week was also postponed because of weather and rescheduled for Wednesday morning.  Wednesday are already busy days for us but the children really wanted to go so off to Grandview we went.  We did Dutch Oven Cooking and made pizza and monkey bread.  Now they want to buy a Dutch Oven to take camping with us.

After Grandview we went to Walmart and then to the church to get ready for Kid's Club and after that Children's Choir.

Thursday we had Liam in the afternoon.  We went to the church that the piano recital is held and helped set up for the recital.  Then headed to the EH House so Lily and Christian could decorate gingerbread houses made from graham crackers. Emmie had dance so she couldn't stay.  I ran her to dance then back to the EH House until she was finished.  There was an extra house so they sent it home with me so Emmie could decorate it.

Friday we went grocery shopping and ran errands in the morning.  That evening Nick and Alex had a 4 H Christmas party and the rest of us went to Lily's Christmas Music Recital.  She played My Favorite Things and did a great job.  It was a late night for my children who are usually in bed by 8 and didn't even get home until 10:15.

The girls made some reindeer cupcakes to take to the piano recital potluck.

Saturday we went on a hay ride to sing carols and then had a Christmas Party.  It was a little chilly but a beautiful night and it did not rain on us! I did not get any pictures. 

Sunday was the Christmas Cantata at church and Children's Choir sang one song with the adults.  This evening the older boys have gone Christmas caroling to some shut ins and then out for pizza.

Week 17 in Our Homeschool

With all the activities this week we ended up missing about a day and a half of school work.

Read Aloud: We finished The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  I read this aloud every year and cry every year that I read it.  It is a wonderful story. "HEY! Unto you a child is born!"  We also read a few chapters of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and Dragonspell.

History: We read the last 5 chapters of  America's Story 3.  We will be starting The Mystery of History after Christmas break.

Music Appreciation: This weeks we completed chapter 22 in Music Appreciation I on The Sorcerer's Apprentice.  Rather then just listening to it we watched it on Fantasia 2000.

Spelling/Reading: The boys finished step 4 in AAS 6.  Emmie completed lesson 27 in AAR Level 2.

Language Arts: Anthony had to catch up from being sick last week so he completed his paper on The boy Who Cried Wolf for SWI A.  Emmie completed 3 lessons for LLFLE.  Lily completed the activities for chapter 2 in Little House in the Big Woods.

Math: We did 3 days of math this week.

Next week we will only be working on a few things to finish up the semester and then will be on Christmas break.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 16

I've been seeing lots of pictures on the internet of children playing in the snow.  No snow for us here, just a LOT of rain that caused many plans to be rescheduled or cancelled.  Anthony has been a bit under the weather. He ran fever late Wednesday and still felt headachy and not great for the rest of the week which gave him a free pass from completing any school work Wednesday or Thursday.

Week 16 in our Homeschool

Bible: We finished up the first packet of lessons (1-26) from Bible Study Guide for All Ages.  The packet ended with the wise men's visit to Jesus and Joseph taking his family to flee to Egypt, and then young Jesus' visit to the temple.  I like BSGFAA but sometimes feel like the children pay more attention to what they are supposed to be completing in the packet rather then listening to the Bible reading.

Read Aloud: We finished our biography on Ronald Reagan and started our yearly reading of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson.  In the evening we are reading The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe and Dragonspell.

History: We are trying to finish up America's Story before Christmas break and read through chapters 21,22, and 23.

Science: We finished reading Lesson 9 in Apologia Anatomy.  There were not any fun experiments or activities to go along with this lesson but we still need to finish up the notebooking activities.

Music Appreciation: We completed chapter 21 in Music Appreciation I on Peter and the Wolf.  Several years ago when Christian was around 4 years old, we reviewed Peter and the Wolf from Maestro Classics.  He loved it!  So much so that he was heartbroken when something happened to the CD and we couldn't listen to it anymore so I purchased a download of it.  A few months later, he started having bad dreams about wolves and we stopped lirstening to it.  This was the first time we have heard it since then.  It was very familiar to him and the first time the girls had ever listened to it.

Spelling/Reading: The boys started step 4 of AAS Level 6 but did not get it finished since Anthony was sick.  Emmie completed lessons 24, 25, and 26 in AAR Level 2.  She is still struggling a bit with remembering when to read short vowel vs.long vowel sounds but we will still keep working at it.

Language Arts: The boys started lesson 6 in IEW SWI A on The Boy Who Cried Wolves (our wolf theme this week was not intentional.)  Christian finished his key paper, but Anthony did not.  Emmie completed 4 lessons in LLFLE. Lily did chapter two of Little House in the Big Woods in the Prairie Primer and AJTL Binder Builder.  One of her activities was to make butter.  She did one day of Hake/Saxon Grammar which btw she very strongly dislikes.

Math: 2  days of math for Anthony in Rod and Staff 7.  Lily and Emmie completed 4 lessons in MLFLE and Christian completed 6 lessons in his MLFLE trying to get finished with book 5 before Christmas break.

Art: One of the activities from the Binder Builder was to do Jack Frost pictures using Epsom Salts so Christian and Emmie joined Lily in this activity.

Other Activities This Week
Liam has been a good little napper for his Mimi

Monday we worked decorating the tree and I had Mom's Night Out.

Alex played us Holly Jolly Christmas while we decorated until I needed his tallness

Tuesday We were supposed to be working on a parade float which was cancelled at the very last minute (after we were already there) and the girls had gymnastics.

Wednesday We had Kid's Club and Children's Choir

Thursday was piano and dance.

Friday was supposed to be our STEM co-op which was cancelled because of weather.  Art and I went and had a movie date.

Saturday was supposed to be the parade which was postponed until next week.  I really wanted to go to Christmas and Candlelight at Old Washington, but not enough to go in the nasty weather. So it ended up being a stay at home day, which was nice.  Nick and Lily worked on his ugly Christmas sweater and Alex, Lily, Emmie, and Christian decorated this year's gingerbread house.

Sunday Children's Choir sang (and signed) Away in a Manger in church and the boys have a youth Christmas Party.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!