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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Worship / Seeing Others as God See Them / COMPASSION

We had an RTS intern give our sermon this morning at church.  We were studying Mark 8 and he used this video to make one of his points.  Get your tissues ready and be prepared for your heart to change...

It is about seeing others as the Lord sees them, without the "masks" they regularly wear. Go to THIS LINK to view.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Homeschool Field Trips From Your Home : Art Museums Around the World

I have really got to sit down this summer and learn about all the new things Google is doing and has available.  I keep hearing about Google docs, Google earth, Google photos... they have it all covered.  You can check out the  many options available to you at THIS LINK.  I think the only one I have used is Google maps which shows our home almost TOO close for comfort. :)

Anyway, last weekend my husband and I had breakfast with a dear friend who told us about the Google Art Project.  Thanks, Dave.    This is a wonderful site to virtually visit art museums around the world.  It is especially nice because in many of them (some I have been to myself), photos are not allowed.  So sit back, grab a cup of coffee (also not generally  allowed in museums) and enjoy.  Go to THIS LINK to start your visit and have fun.

Some of the museums you can "tour" are:
  • State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
  • Feer Gallery of Art, Washington, C
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
  • State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia
  • Museum Kampa, Prague
The list goes on...

This is an excellent resource for homeschoolers as well as the public or private school classroom.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Butterbeer Recipe / Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Here is the recipe for butterbeer that I made for the tea party  we attended this weekend.  It tasted much more like the butterbeer we drank at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter than the one I had tried previously.  Still not, exact, but very close.  :)  Enjoy!

This is what it looks like when served.

Harry Potter Butterbeer Recipe #2

My notes are in italics

1 pint of vanilla ice cream, softened
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar [I used artificial sweetener]
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 bottle (24 oz.) vanilla cream soda (very cold)
1. Allow ice cream to soften, about 30 minutes, and bring butter to room temperature, about 2 hours
2. Blend butter, sugar, and spices in large bowl [Be sure to use a blender and not just a spoon to REALLY mix it up]
3. Add to ice cream and freeze [Stir it well into the softened ice cream. You might even want to blend it rather than just stir]
4. Heat cream soda in a pot until warm but still carbonated (at least 3 minutes).  You could also just go with the very cold cream soda (my preference) and have a more frozen/slushy drink.  [We drank it very cold, like in the theme park]
5. Fill each glass with a scoop of ice cream mixture and pour warmed or chilled cream soda over ice cream
6. Serve!

For more similar recipes for butterbeer, go to THIS LINK.

Monday, May 23, 2011

WEEKEND FUN: Royal Wedding Tea Party / Let's Make Hats

My husband's cousin and her husband invited us over on Saturday for a fun afternoon/evening together.  We had all enjoyed watching the Royal Wedding a few weeks ago and since my husband had visited England in March (while the kids and I were in DC), we decided to have a fun tea party.

She set a lovely afternoon high tea for us.  Doesn't this look beautiful?  Two kinds of English teas, cucumber/mint sandwiches, clotted cream, lemon curd, scones, shortbread...all of course, on beautiful china.

While having tea, we turned on a pre-wedding show about the Royal Wedding preparations and  busied ourselves with decorating our hats.  We were dressed in fancy dresses for the occasion.  [I know the royal wedding invitations specified long sleeves, but hey, it was 95 degrees that day!]  Our husbands had plenty to do playing with a new high-tech gadget we had just purchased that morning for our anniversary.  :)

The men were told they could just wear plain T-shirts and shorts and we decorated their shirts with royal doo-dads, too.  They tolerated the royal fittings and I think they enjoyed it all, too.   Notice the royal garters, "military" mortarboards and "medals" they are wearing?   :)   :)

Several hours later, we sat down to a delicious candlelight dinner of salad, homemade bread and shepherd's pie. 

I made butterbeer for dessert.  I'll post the recipe tomorrow since it was much better than the one I made after visiting Harry Potter at Universal Studios last summer.  You'll love it!

After dinner, we watched a slideshow of my husband's trip to England and fell asleep (just kidding--well, I did doze off a bit).  :)    A very fun, creative  time with family.  

NOTE:  This would be so much fun to do as an activity for a little girl's birthday, ladies event, or even a bridal shower.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Using Leftovers: Homemade Banana Bread

One of my favorite cookbooks is this one:   Use It All The Leftovers Cookbook.   As you can see, it's been well-used.  I picked it up from a yard sale several years ago and really like it.  It alphabetizes basic ingredients and then gives several recipes for using them up when you just have a few of whatever left.  

I like to date and mark up recipes when I use them  in a cookbook so I know whether to make that item again or toss it.   This recipe was first made in 2008 and was a winner.  I see that it makes two loaves which is always a plus since I'm using the oven.   I used fresh ground flour and a little less of the sugar.    Still tastes great. 

It's amazing how you can go from this... this in just one hour!

My husband has been asking for banana bread for a few weeks now (I generally freeze brown bananas for smoothies), so he's going to be happy when he gets home and smells this in the kitchen.... :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy Mothers Day 2011 / Her children rise up and bless her...

I just realized that I never posted anything for Mother's Day...

This year, our two sons made a lovely lunch for us all and we spent the entire day together... a treat for any mom.  I'd rather be with them than anywhere else.   :)

Roses from our Mothers Day church service

Lunch at home for four
(I really don't enjoy going out on Mother's Day due to the crowds)

Salmon stuffed with crab, fresh asparagus, homemade bread and watermelon, with cheesecake for dessert later.  Mmmm....

They know I love outings for gifts as much or more than things (although I still do like presents).  :)  Our college-aged son will be taking me out to lunch in the next few weeks and our high school senior will be taking me to the midnight premiere of the final movie in the Harry Potter series in July.  We had SO much fun at last year's premiere which was my first midnight movie EVER.

As always, they made me sweet Mother's Day cards...we've given each other homemade cards since they were very small.  No more glitter and glue for them (I have kept all of those)...we all like making graphics cards on the computer/printer (I still use glitter and glue to touch them up though).  :)

A lovely Mother's Day at our house.

This is my when our older son was born, when I first became a mother.  :)

I am richly blessed.

Proverbs 31:28 
Her children rise up and bless her; 
Her husband also, and he praises her...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole /

I made this breakfast casserole this morning for some friends from college whom I had not seen in many, many years.  It's easy to do most of the prep (slicing meat and veggies, processing the cheese) the night before and just combine everything an hour or so before you want to have it ready to serve.  One person brought sweet rolls and another, fresh fruit.  Some pretty china and flowers, and  an ordinary meal can make old friends feel as special as they are...

Here is THE LINK to the original recipe at with my changes in italics below.

Charleston Breakfast Casserole


  • 12 slices bacon  [I used sliced turkey sausage]
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 cups croutons [crumbled Ritz crackers]
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 6 eggs  [8 eggs for a deep dish]
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), diced [1/2 red, 1/2 green]
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard [did not use]
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. [sliced sausage and peppers, stored in frig until ready to prepare]
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  3. Melt butter in the microwave, or in a small pan on the stove over low heat. Spray a 9x12 inch baking dish with vegetable spray. Place croutons [crackers]  in the bottom of the dish, and drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with grated Cheddar cheese.
  4. Crack the eggs into a bowl, whisking to break up the yolks. Add milk, peppers, mustard, salt, and pepper, and beat until well-combined. Pour over the croutons and cheese, and sprinkle with crumbled bacon. [I blended the eggs in a VitaMix and then added all other ingredients, including the cheese,  for one or two pulses, then poured it all on top of the buttered crackers]
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes [I cooked for 50 minutes due to extra liquid (eggs)]. Remove from oven and allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

You can also make individual casseroles using this same recipe.  Just reduce the cooking time by about 5 minutes or so.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Homeschool Books For Sale / Ebay Store

Please check my Ebay store to see the homeschool books that I have for sale.   Publishers include:

  • ChalkDust
  • Princeton Review
  • Apologia
  • Larry Burkett
  • Truth Quest


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stamp Out Hunger Fill a Bag Feed a Family May 14, 2011

With the couponing we've all learned, 
remember to put a filled bag out by your mailbox on Saturday morning and be generous to others.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Titus 2 Moms / Older Women Younger Women Older Women? / Elisabeth Elliot

I attended our Titus 2 Moms group last night and looking around the room I realized (not for the first time) that there were only 2 women over 60, 3 in their 50s and about 15 aged 30 or younger.  I love being one of the "older moms" these days but sometimes we older ones need women even older than we are to talk to and learn from.  One of my favorites is Elisabeth Elliot to whom I was introduced (literally) when I was in my 20s.  A dear friend invited me to  a relatively small luncheon of about 100 women to hear her speak on her latest book at the time, Discipline: The Glad Surrender.  At that time I did not even know who Elisabeth Elliot  was or anything about her famous husband Jim.  Here is a LINK Elisabeth's  background if you are unfamiliar with her story.

I think I have read almost all of her books. Here is a LINK to where here books are listed.   I would recommend any of them to you.  In previous blog posts I did a book study on her classic Let Me Be A Woman.

I was so excited to discover a terrific website that has quite a few of her talks and downloaded them to my iPod Touch.   Sadly, Elisabeth no longer travels or speaks at conferences, but her legacy lives on in her books and audio messages (as well as my memory).   I plan on spending a little time with Elisabeth, now 84, while walking in the mornings or when I'd just like to hear the wisdom of an older godly woman.   :)  If you would like to listen to Elisabeth Elliot yourself,  go to THIS LINK to download or play one or more of her messages.   Her teaching is like fresh water to the soul.

NOTE:  These are not podcasts so if you click the DOWNLOAD icon they will just begin to play. I downloaded them all to iTunes, then created a Playlist titled Elisabeth Elliot, and check-marked  it so that my iPod Touch would recognize the list.  I  then synched my iPod.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Starbucks Frapuccino Happy Hour May 6-15, 2011

Coffee Lovers Alert!

Starbucks is having a special with some  new summer frappuccino flavors.   You can also have them blend what you request as well.  50% off from 3:00-5:00 p.m.  May 6-15, 2011.  Begins this Friday.  Go to THIS LINK for more info.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Recipe: Chicken with Paprika Cream from Taste of Home

My goal this week is to cook a couple of new main dishes for my family from cookbooks that I own.  I have quite a few cookbooks that just sit on the shelf that I rarely use.   I found this recipe in  Taste of Home's 2005 annual cookbook  but it is also online at THIS LINK.  I have three of their cookbooks.  I  subscribed to Country Woman Magazine for many years where I was first introduced to the great recipes and the line of magazines published by Reiman Publications.  You can try a free issue of Taste of Home at this link.   

I made this meal [Chicken with Paprika Cream] last night.  From start to finish, it took about 30 minutes.  The paprika cream sauce in this recipe  is delicious.  I served the chicken over rice with iced tea, fresh corn on the cob, broccoli and strawberries.  Mmmm...

Everyone loved it and went back for seconds (one got thirds)...  :)

Very simple using ingredients I usually have on hand. That's my favorite kind of recipe.  Give it a try.  Your family will enjoy it as will any guests in your home.

Chicken With Paprika Cream Recipe


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves [I used 8]
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided [I used 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil [I used olive oil]
  • 6 green onions, chopped [I used one small Vidalia onion]
  • [I also added a head (not clove) of garlic and a splash of wine while the sauce was simmering]
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 c. wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Additional chopped green onions, optional


    • In a large skillet, brown chicken in 1 tablespoon butter and oil over medium heat. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes or until juices run clear. Remove chicken; keep warm.
    • In same skillet, sauté onions until tender. Reduce heat to medium. Add paprika and remaining butter; heat until butter is melted. Stir in cream, salt and pepper, garlic and wine; cook and stir until sauce is thickened, about 4 minutes. Serve with chicken over rice. Garnish with onions if desired. Yield: 6 servings.

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