Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shepherds Pie for Christmas

5lbs potatoes
2lb ground beef
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic chopped or pressed
8oz cheese shredded
2 cups mixed frozen vegetables
salt (or season salt)
other herbs as you like (I use herb de provence alot)
make a little brown gravy either packet or bouillon with some flour (1/2 to 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 to 400
Boil potatoes and make cream/mashed potatoes however it suits you.

Brown meat in skillet and cook through and then drain.  While meat drains cook onions and garlic in pan for a few minutes then add vegetables and continue to cook for a few minutes.  Add the meat and cook for a few minutes. 
Pour meat into a casserole (like 9X14 or equivalent), then make gravy in the pan.  Pour gravy over meat and veg mix.  Spread potatoes on top.  Sprinkle cheese on top of that. (you might not use all the cheese it just needs light sprinkle so you can still see plenty of potato)

Bake 20-30 min until cheese bubbles.

Technically shepherds pie is made with lamb and this is actually cottage pie, but that's all a bit technical and we call it shepherds pie anyway.

Monday, December 12, 2011


 I made this chocolate cake. I love to make cakes and I had never made this one before.
It's a keeper! YUM!

 My cousin Shelley brought these pretty table centerpieces.  She cut down a birch tree and had
holes drilled for tea lights!

 Oh, the delicious food!

 More awesome desserts!

 More delicious food!

 My girl!

 Good old friends!

 Kelle, Lora, Sebastian and Mom!

 The football crowd.

Our house lit up for Christmas!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fall 2011

 We have a big old tree with oodles and oodles of leaves.  So nice
and shady in the summer.  So many to rake in the fall!
Isabelle and Joseph helped clean up the front yard.
The yard is now covered in leaves again! 
 Someone sent us Flat Stanley.  He helped with the leaves.
We need to mail him back!
 This house will continue to be a work in progress, but here
it is so far. 

Halloween 2011

Isabelle and Joseph had a blast on Halloween!
Our Fairy Girl and Captain America
trick or treated with a pile of cousins and collected
a ridiculous amount of candy!
They must give Mommy
Mounds and Almond Joy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Beach Week Setember 2011

This year we decided to plan our vacation towards the end of September.  We wanted to go to the Florida Gulf coast.  The weather is so much more enjoyable in the fall or early spring, because it's not so scorching hot and humid.  We ended up in Destin this year and a very nice house where we could also have our dogs.
The weather was glorious! 
One day we were able to meet up with a family from our homeschool group and the kids had fun together.
Our main activity was sitting on the gorgeous beach!  Relaxing!  Soaking up sun!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Garden Sample 2011

A sample of our garden blessings this summer!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Bella Reese Bowtique and 3 Peanuts

Kim at 3 Peanuts is having a giveaway for the beautiful hair accessories from Bella Reese Bowtique!  I entered to win one! Go take a look!!!

Look at the fall 2011 line.  They even have one called Tamara!  They are all stunning!  Totally love the fall line!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Homeschool 2011-2012

Ready or NOT we begin our academic year very soon.  I attended the Southeast Homeschool Expo this past Friday. It was quite a good day!  It's a huge convention in Atlanta at the Cobb Galleria.  There is a gigantic vendors hall with hundreds of curriculum, extra-carricular and and pretty much anything you can think of to help with homeschool on site with ailes of booths.  One of my favorite vendors, Memoria Press, was not present this year.  However, other discount vendors were carrying some of their products and I picked up most of the items I needed.  I saved quite a bit of money and more than made up for the cost of admission which was $20.  I attended a couple of workshops as well and next year I might go to more.
I went with lists in hand of exactly what I needed and how much it costs on-line + shipping. Even with this it was tempting to buy more because you will just flip out with 1000's of beautiful books at your fingertips.  (I told Brendon I was scared to take him because he loves books so much!)  Several times I picked up an armful of books and then went through them and set down seventy-five percent of them.  That was great because I did not come home with anything I didn't need.  I went by the Real Science 4 Kids booth and looked through their curriculum.  I have been curious about this science curriculum provider and I did like what I saw.  I brought home a brochure and I will proably get their Chemistry I in the new year when we start studying that.

Our curriculum this year so far includes:

Isabelle:  Horizons Math 6,  Map Skills for 6th grade, Think a Minute Critical Thinking,  Prima Latina Copy book for handwriting,

Joseph:  Horizons Math 4, Map Skills for 4th grade, Handwriting Without Tears (2nd year of cursive), Critical Thinking

Both:  Rod and Staff Grammar and Writing Grade 5, First Form Latin, Rosetta Stone German, Lyrical Language Anatomy used together with books from Sonlight's Anatomy,  US History using books from Memoria Press and US Geography (memorizing states and capitals + some geographic features), numerous biography and historical fiction readers about various Americans, daily bible reading as a family..we are reading through Ergemeirer's Bible Story book.  It is thourough and has all the major bible plots, but not the x-rated bits.  We once started reading through the bible and wow..yeah I forgot about all the "stuff" and the kids would ask us why we were having these long pauses. LOL  So I found this Bible and it works very well!

We attend a couple of co-op classes each week and they will do soccer on Tuesdays. We would love to add back in piano lessons.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Easter 2011

Easter goodies:  We made the cupcakes and bought the special petit fours and cake eggs.
They were all really delicious.

A really bad up-close shot of the Easter Basket contents.

The Easter Bunny still comes around here just for fun!
The two baskets sitting out!

Isabelle on Easter Morning

Me on Easter Morning

Brendon and the children

The family

Mimi and the children

We enjoyed the morning.  Although I believe future Easter mornings may not see "us" eating very much chocolate before church!  Thankfully our church is festive on Easter Sunday, because my little man was sugared up for real! 
Love my family!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Isabelle's Birthday

Isabelle celebrated 11 years on April 10th!  She is growing into a little lady these days!
She's a honey and a talker!  Plus, look at her she even look beautiful at 6:30 in the morning!

 Rising very early to open gifts is a time honored tradition in our family!

 Isabelle just adored this hat and had been really wanting to have one to play around with!

 We had a combined birthday party at Aunt Becky and Uncle Tony's.  Here the birthday kids are looking at the cake while all those candles are being lit.

 Here are the assembled cousins who were somehow herded into a photo!
It's a little difficult to get that many little one lined up!

 Here's a special photo of Papaw and Granny!

 On her actual birthday we made her cake of choice: Molten chocolate cakes!
Yum..she has good taste!

 Blowing out the candles!'s one I missed from the family party!
A silly string fight!