Friday, November 16, 2012

Budget saving recipes

I am always on the hunt for idea to help lower the food bill.   I like to cook so that does helps some and it is always possible to make something yummy out of almost anything.   Here are two of my latest findings which probably aren't news to everyone.

I tried these out in the last few weeks.

Fortified refried beans.

Soaked pinto beans - four cups
1 pound ground sausage or any sort of leftover meat (2.50 at aldis)
Any salsa or tomato product from the fridge you want to use up.
One large onion
a few cloves of garlic

I saute the onion and garlic with the sausage, add the soaked beans, and water to cover beans.   I throw in all those jars of salsa and sauce in the mix and then simmer it for several hours if possible.   Mush up the mixture a bit with a spoon when cooked or hand blender.   I serve this with tortillas for lunches, over rice and even mixed with noodles to stretch the meal to feed many.

Pork roast revisited

It takes a five pound pork roast to feed around 14 without worrying you won't have enough.   This truly was plenty.   On day two I simmer the meat with an onion and barbeque sauce and again.....whatever jars which have the potential to go to waste in the fridge forgotten and forlorn.  Then I put the meat and sauce through the food processor.    Cook as long as you like and process as soon as you like.   It can keep cooking in a crockpot and serve with sandwich buns.....over rice......or mixed with noodles.   My kids like the Spaetzle noodles from Aldis in these mixes.   It feeds family literally for days and many meals.   Yum.   Hope that made sense.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

And then there is reality

I have awesome thoughts about what to do but in reality, we trip through the day slowly and hope to not either wallow in filth, hope to have a pair of socks to wear, hope to know what is for dinner etc.   Today I have two appointments in the morning, tomorrow hopefully only one as I change the time of another.   The in-laws need attention, and husband is away again.   Staying home as much as possible is still my mantra.   If I am not here, things fall apart (never read that book).   So my son gets a staph infection, I stand vigil and pray for healing, days are not as I think they will be and we muddle along.   Thanks be to God for Christ's Mercy.   That is my other mantra.   So much going on and I know I am finite and frail in many ways so will do my best to not allow the devil to get his crooks in me and to cry out to the Lord daily.   So much to write about so little time.......

Saturday, November 10, 2012

What do we teach them?

Today during a piano thingie, (not a competition but don't know what to call it), I had a long talk with another mom and the election came up as I was on my soap box of what IS taught to our kids in school.   I am reading a book about the Japanese Americans who were put into captivity in suspicion of their nationality after Pearl Harbor.   The book is written from the first hand accounts of the people who lived here before and after Pearl Harbor.   Ironically one of the victims told how they thoroughly they were taught the Constitution and what was great about the freedom afforded to all men in American no matter what race or religion.    And then.....after Pearl Harbor that all changed and it was not brought up in the schools, at least not immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor.  

So the mom and I were truly wondering what is taught now in the schools.   We both home educate but two of her kids are in school and she could not really say what is mentioned concerning our government.   She feels school is taught to the test nowadays.   My own mantra for my kids is to teach them how to think.   Ask questions.   How do we do this if the test is the most important thing?  How do I teach my kids to understand their freedoms.   I feel I have done a poor job myself for them and for myself.   The best conversations have come from watching the news and reading news articles to them.   Discussing history and what has happened in the past.   Many generations have failed in practicing the principals laid out by the Constitution.   That sin thing   bunch will always be by our sinful nature a mixed up.   I teach by living and talking with my kids.   We do *book* work, but we also do a lot of talking.   The parents involvement in explaining all of the book work on the Constitution seems to be the key to educating.   I am rambling again, but remembering how much we teach to tests, even home educators, is a wake up call to teach our children to think.   Ask them lots of questions to prick their brains to think.   Listen to both sides of political issues and ask questions.   Ask your friends which you agree with questions to increase understanding.

 I suppose the answer to the question, what should we teach them, is to teach them to ask questions and to listen.    I already drive them nuts with this, but will continue on the path and perhaps direct their thoughts to knowing a bit more about their government.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Politics, the Constitution and the Catechism

Politics today seem to mean that we should not feel good about having a specific opinion about anything.   If you believe something to be true, then it offends people as you are not open minded.   The catechism and catehesis are related to politics.   If you understand the difference between our faith and government, between our Constitution, the law and how freedoms are effected by the interpretation of the law, then a person can *think* and draw conclusions based on something and not on Tupperware party rah, rah sessions.  

Studying the Catechism grounds your knowledge of what your opinions are about murder (abortion), work ethic, love of neighbor, etc.   You love your neighbor by listening to their views but  your love of neighbor does not mean condoning adultery and murder and deceit.

Teach your children what you believe and what GOD commands.  Ground them to be able to hear red flags when they hear them.   Teach your children about the Constitution, if you live in America.  Ground them in what it means to be American or what it did mean.   I read a lot of history growing up and my teachers actually did understand the Constitution but today I am thinking that it isn't taught or discussed.   I want my kids to understand.  I want a LOT of kids to understand.   I am sad how we  have become more and more a country which believes in entitlement and that is NOT what the country was grounded and built on.  

I am sure I am not waxing eloquent, but the election was disturbing to me and the lack of reason in voting decisions was also disturbing.   I would like to know the reason people voted for who they voted no matter which side.   Did they understand?   I actually do not love voting for local races which I have little to no knowledge of the candidates.   Disturbing.   I leave those blank much of the time.   But why do we vote for who we vote for?   Why?   Help me understand.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Contentment training

There has been some discussion elsewhere about loneliness at home with the kiddos.   I have certainly struggled with this over the years but the more I think about it and live this crazy life, I do see that learning a little more self control over my ADD desire to do stuff with others, does help me be happier to just be at home.   I pile the guilt higher and deeper when I am not here and we accomplish little.   It is the life of bunches of kids to begin with, especially if you aspire to home educate the kids.   Our hands seem to be tied in this regard.

There are things I would like to do better with the kids at home anyway so how can I do that if I am itching to be with adults????   I have to build time in life to do these things.   I want my kids to learn to read to me.   I want to read more to them.   I want to help them learn to do their own laundry and care about what the house looks like....more.....not perfectly, just more.   I want to cook more yummy nutritious foods so the kids whine less and are more content themselves.   Talking to the kids only happens if I am home more.   When I am not home, I need to take some kids with me and not just crave time to escape.   It really helps their little selves feel better and then we all feel better.

One day at a time.   Conscientious effort to make appointments later in the day and bunch a few together.   Plan meals so I don't make lots of little trips to the store.   Revolve the family life also around prayer and the church.  If we start skipping morning Catechesis we are already off to a bad unsettling start.

Norms of society, especially American society, give us all ADD.   ADHD really.  Hyper life.   Scrambled family.   I can't take too much of that for very long so am trying to choose not to choose that life.   Scouts and church and piano lessons about kill me.   These are all rambling thoughts.   Perhaps I will gather my thoughts and make this a more organized thought.   Feel free to add your own thoughts and frustrations.

Staying home more

Now that my in-laws are moved to a better situation for everyone, I need to guard my time and calendar from trips out of the house with vigilance.   Every time I have to leave it is as if I have thrown the whole day away.    My hubby is working three hours away for three days of the week right now and that will probably become the norm.    We home educate......that might require being home.   I hate how it is assumed since my kids are at home that their appointments can be made any time of the day.   With dad away and then mom is away.....ugh.  Does not work.   I have been thinking much about the benefit to the kids to just be home with them and the dividends are small children who are more settled and secure and older kids who are also more secure and not weaseling out of their responsibilities.   More later......