Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Number five is Alive!

There was a movie in the 80's called Short Circut where a robot is struck by lightening causing a power surge which brings the robot to life.  Throughout the movie the robot says "Number 5 is Alive!"  This movie was a favorite in my house growing up and when Jim and I found out we were expecting baby number five my dad uttered those famous words.

Well we welcomed "Number 5" into the world on March 20th.  She was 8 lb 10oz and sweet as can be.
Her name means Given to God. 
All our children have names with meanings from Hebrew.  Number five's name means "Given to God" with her middle name being Joy. 

On the blog she'll be Given.

She is a fabulous baby.  Sweet and laid back.  I keep saying that I don't know if my babies get better or if I'm just a better mom with each one.  In either case, she's a doll.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Back in the Gutsy Saddle

I know I've been a blogging slacker this fall.  We've been so busy, it just got placed on the back burner.  But, among other exciting things happening in our house, we found out we are expecting baby number 5 in late March.  But now that work has slowed down, morning sickness has all but disappeared and the holidays are over (whew!).  It's about time I got back in the kitchen and got Gutsy!

We've changed the way we're doing things.  We're no longer using the Kitchen Bible, we'll have a new theme each month with a few different recipes to try each week.  January is bucket list month, with several people suggesting different recipes, ingredients or methods they have always wanted to try.  Here's this month's line up.  I chose Spaghetti al Limone.  Now when I tried to go to this website on grocery day, it wouldn't connect.  So I used this recipie.  I liked this one because it had cream in it, and I have an easier time convincing the family to eat a creamy sauce.

So these are all the ingredients.  This is it.  So easy.  My only issue was that I didn't think I had any fresh basil, my basil plant died earlier this winter,  and so I used the dry.  As we were eating dinner, Jim asked why I hadn't used the fresh basil from the freezer.  Grrrrr...  Oh well, just one more reason to make this again!

Dinner... yummy!
I really loved the light fresh taste of this pasta.  I felt like it was missing a little something, but I think that problem will be solved when I use the fresh basil.  I can't wait to pull this recipie out again this summer, it really seems like the perfect summer pasta dish.  Jim wished it had some chicken, so maybe a grilled chicken breast on the side.  We'll see.
This kids gave it varying grades from an A++++++ to a D+.  But I think I would give it a solid B.  And it will definitely be filed in the 'make again' file.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


I LOVE my mother's meatloaf.  It is seriously one of my favorite meals of all time.  Jim, on the other hand, is not really a fan of the tasty loaf of meat.  (That doesn't sound very appetizing.  I won't use that again)  Anyway, over the years we've discussed different ways to make the meatloaf that might be more acceptable to him.  I made it in the shape of a pizza for a while and he would eat it, but he just didn't love it the way I do.  Last time I made it, he decided that maybe the reason that he didn't like it that much was that it was cooked in the grease.  So this time I made the meatloaf mixture into patties and then put them on a raised rack so that the grease would drip away.
 This was the winner!  Hooray!  Not only was Jim pleased with the result, but now the meatloaf is the perfect shape and size for a tasty meatloaf sandwich tomorrow.
Brenda's Mom's Meatloaf
2 lb hamburger
2 tblsp A1 Steak sauce
2 tsp salt
1 c. Pepridge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing (in the blue bag)
2 eggs
3/4 c. milk
1 sm. onion, minced

For sauce mix together:
1 8oz can tomato sauce
2 tblsp A1 Steak Sauce

Mix first 7 ingredients together along with 1/2 the sauce and put mixture into a loaf pan and top with remaining sauce then bake  for 1 hour at 400 degrees.  OR form the mixture into about 10 patties, place on wire rack in a roasting pan, top each patty with sauce and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Gearing up for homeschool

     Well all the boxes have arrived and now I just have to find places to store all our new school books and start reading all the teacher's manuals.  We've been using My Father's World for the last several years and this year is no exception.  I love the books they choose and I think that their Teacher's manual and schedule and terrific.  This year I had to pick a different language arts program than then recomend.  They suggest Primary Language Lessons and Intermediate Language Lessons which are classic volumes with some updated language.  I really liked them, but the kids had a hard time doing them on their own, and since I work outside the home, I really needed something that could be more self-directed.  The LA curriculum I choose this year also includes spelling so we won't be using Spelling Power (also recommended by My Father's World).  I really really liked Spelling Power's method, but once again it was difficult for the kids to do on their own. 

     This year Treasure will be in the 6th grade, and for the most part doing 6th grade work.  Joy will be in the 4th grade, but since she's not really up to grade level in reading or math, she's starting out with 3rd grade language arts and math, but I'm really hoping that next year she'll be able to start with 5th grade work.  And the same goes for Asked who should be in 2nd grade, will be doing mostly 1st grade work.
    Alright, enough of the talky-talky, here's what we're doing.  This year we'll be studying Creation to the Greeks:
These will cover Bible and History:  Journey through the Bible, Usborne Ancient World, Streams of Civilization volume 1, The Children's Homer, Aesop's Fables for Children, Make it work Ancient Egypt, The Trojan Horse and Celebrating Biblical Feasts.
This is for vocabulary.  We'll use the Greek word this year and the Latin next year.
  I'm not sure how much we'll use this.  We'll see.  I'll try it and see how the kids respond.  Since they'll already have daily language arts, they MAY take issue with more work.  Like I said, we'll see.
Dinosaurs of Eden by Ken Ham, Genesis for Kids, Pyramids (this has projects and information about pyramids) and Archimedes and the Door of Science.
So that's what all came with the My Father's World package.  Now the other stuff.
Treasure will continue with Saxon math.  Joy and Asked will be starting Singapore math this year.  We've been mostly just supplementing worksheets the last few years, this will be the first year that they both have math books.  I'm looking forward to not having quite so much planning to do for them.
We're using Christian Light language arts this year.  I think that they're Menonite.  It covers grammer, spelling and penmanship.  It also has...
SENTENCE DIAGRAMMING!  Am I a total nerd that I actually enjoyed this in school?  I told Treasure that it was like a puzzle and she didn't totally reject it. 
Honestly, in my over all 'homeschool philophy' I'm not really big on workbooks and busy work.  I think my kids learn more from hands on and real word experiences.  But I must say I'm a little excited for the ease (I hope) that using workbooks will bring.  The kids will be able to know exactly what the assignment is, what I expect them to accomplish and see their progress.  Maybe I'm more of a fan then I thought.  As I said before, we'll see.
Here are some of the "extra" stuff we'll try to get in.  Art from Berry Stebbing (I'm not sure if anyone but Joy will use this but I got it at a good price so we'll give it a shot), I found this great Usborne Introduction to Music book (they don't seem to offer it anymore, how sad), Computer Keyboarding (I'm going to try and teach Treasure so proper typing skills) and then Handwriting Without Tears.  Even though our Language Arts covers handwriting, we've been using these books for several years and in all honesty, my kids can use all the handwriting practice they can get.
New sketch books for Nature Notebooks!
We're going to continue reading about missionaries and other heroes.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bucket of Life

 I really love to just randomly make you look at pictures of my kids.  Soooo... TADA!
Little Life can fit in a bucket.  She sat in there forever on one of the steamy hot days we had.  We have a little pool and all the other kids were playing in there.  But not Life, she was happy in her bucket... a bucket of Life.

Food at our house today

So even though Gutsy cooks are taking a break over the summer, I'm still cooking for my family.  Most nights anyway.  This is what I made today.  I enjoyed both things and so I'll share with you... so you'll be jealous.  Of course tomorrow when I make my kids eat cereal for dinner, maybe you'll be glad you stayed home after all.
I made cheeseburgers. 
I also made a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie SO BIG that Indiana Jones, a pilot and a deep sea diver could not conquer it.  I have a feeling, though, that my family will make quick work of it.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Today I was thinking about splurging.  It came about as I was thinking about getting out my trusty box of Nice 'n Easy and coloring my hair.  There was a short time in my life when I got to have a professional color my hair.  And give it pretty blond highlights.  I miss them sometimes.  Jim is a student right now and some things, like highlights are not necessities.  Anyway, blond highlights made me think about splurging and I let my mind wonder to some things that, maybe, in the future, may go from 'splurge' to 'necessity'.  I thought about highlights and the occasional pedicure, and having someone else clean and press Jim's dress shirts,  and then I thought of coffee. 

Right now I buy my coffee in a brick at Wal Mart, it's not THE cheapest, but it's super close.  I love coffee, not just the drink but the whole experience.  Coffee can be an experience, you know.  I love measuring the beans and the sound of the grinder, the smell of the brew.  I love the sound of pouring it into my favorite mug and the click of the spoon as I mix in the sugar.  I love the color it turns when I add the cream and the feel of the warm mug in my hands.  Then that first deep whiff and hot sip on my tongue... ahhhhhh.  It's love.  I also love reading a good book and sipping in the coffee's warmth.  An experience for sure.  But what makes it even better is sharing it with friends.  The smells, the sounds and the laughter.  ahhhhhh, it's love, love of the experience.

Yes, someday, good coffee will not be a splurge but a necessity, but until then, I will make due.  The people and places I've experienced in this time far out weigh the joy of blond highlights or coffee beans.