Household

What’s in a Name?

Shakespeare had a good question in Romeo and Juliet, “What’s in a name?” I have been asking myself this same question. Not about roses or anything, but rather about media sites.

So, this blog, obviously, has a name. Our YouTube channel also has a name….a different one (Eat Learn Love). I just can’t figure out if the two should have the SAME name.

I had not thought about coming back here to write when I created the YouTube channel. But now that I have both going, I wonder if I should make them the same in name.

So let me know what you think:

  • Same name, as Eat Learn Love?
  • Same name, as Life As Mom Knows It?
  • Same name but something different than those two listed?
  • Different names – as they are now?

I started them both, in different seasons, to just share what we are up to with homeschool and baking and life with a bunch of kids. I kind of feel like they should have the same name. But I don’t know if I am loving either name right now. Eat Learn Love sounds a little like that movie with a very similar name. Life As Mom Knows It kind of excludes Dad. Neither seem to really encapsulate everything we’re about. I feel like a name should do that. I mean, my name is Angela….hello, “angel; messenger of God”…this is sooo me. Hahahaha. Totally kidding. I am not that full of myself. πŸ˜‰

You should also know I am the MOST INDECISIVE person on the planet. So there is that to consider, too.

Leave me a comment with what I should do. You are literally deciding it for me. LOL.

β€œWhat’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

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Household

Like Riding a Bike…..?

Wow. It has been almost two full years since I shared anything here. I think of the blog every couple of weeks. Usually when I am attempting to record a video for our YouTube channel Eat Learn Love. As you’ll notice if you watch any of the videos, being on camera is not a natural thing for me. πŸ™‚ My eyes are everywhere…except looking into the camera. My camera holding skills are lacking. And the content? Well, I always FEEL like it could be super helpful for another new or stressed mama, but then after recording it I have serious doubts about being allowed to be a mom myself. Ha!

But two years since writing on here. That is a long time in motherhood. So much happens in two years. We have moved to another state. My husband has a different employer. We attend a different church.

The one thing that has stayed the same is that we still homeschool. And I still love it.

So, after finding our groove in the new home/town/church, I have decided to start writing on here again. Not sure what all that will entail or how well it will be written, but I like sharing. I could probably talk for hours about homeschool and food and mothering and cleaning and all that really exciting stuff, but I just never get the chance to talk for hours. πŸ˜‰ So, if I can type it all out here, that should satisfy my need to blab.

No official topic for this post. Just…Hello again! I hope to find a routine on here to share what we are up to. If you want to see my beautiful face, check us out on YouTube. And then come back here once I collect my thoughts.

Thanks for reading!

Gluten-free · Menu Plan

Menu Plan

We are working back into healthier dinners this week. I have slacked for the past couple months just because we were busy, and it was a challenging Summer for us. Now that school is back in session, our regular menu planning will commence. My husband was off this week, and we did a lot of appointments and running around. I was able to plan out some delicious dinners and grocery shop…ALONE! πŸ˜‰

So, here is the lineup for this week (fingers crossed we stick to it!!)…

DINNER

Cauliflower Pizza “Bread”, Salad, Green Beans

Parmesan Chicken Bake (with either rice or quinoa…no pasta), Salad, veggies and ranch

Turkey Taco Quinoa Skillet, Tortilla Chips, Salad

Portabella “Steaks”, Rice, Carrots

Marinated Lentils, Smashed Crispy Potatoes, Salad

Breakfast (eggs and hashbrown skillet)

LUNCH

Leftovers

PB&J

Chicken Salad pita pockets, salad

Snacky

Smoothies, fruit, veggies and ranch

BREAKFAST

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins, fruit

Eggs

English Muffins, fruit, yogurt

Baked Oatmeal

Cereal

SNACKS

Energy balls, yogurt

Muffins

Homemade Larabars (dark chocolate brownie flavor…mmmm)

Fruit (this week we have grapes, apples, bananas)

Homemade granola bars

I am also working on being more consistent with avoiding gluten (mostly in processed foods). My belly has not been happy after a weekend of bread items (although sooo yummy). 😦 I feel better all over if I avoid it, at least in store-bought items like bread, pasta, and snacks. Oh, getting older stinks! πŸ˜‰

Menu Plan

Meals for The Week

Even though I was away from here, I continued with meal planning. It is definitely a necessity for us. Between classes through the park district for each kiddo, doctor appointments, work schedule changes, and so on, we NEEDED a meal plan each week in order to not be eating PB&J every night. (To be honest, most of my kids wouldn’t have minded that, but those of us with normal palates needed more.)

Here is what we’ve got for this week:

DINNER

Cheesy Chicken Fritters

Pizza

Risotto

Chicken Parmesan

Pork Chops

Cauliflower Pizza

BBQ Chicken Tostadas

LUNCH

PB&J

Hardboiled eggs, yogurt, crackers, fruit

Leftovers

Cream cheese and crackers, ham slices, fruit

BREAKFAST

Cereal

Oatmeal

Scrambled eggs

Breakfast bowls (eggs,sausage,hash browns,cheese)

Energy Balls, yogurt

SNACKS

smoothies

fruit

pretzels and ranch

chocolate oatmeal bars

energy balls

banana chocolate chip bread

We are keeping it simple. Lots of chicken this week because it is easy (and I had a bunch in the freezer!). The breakfast bowls are supposed to be a make-ahead freezer item, but I doubt I will get that done….so, we will probably eat them the same day I make them. πŸ˜‰

Anything exciting in your menu this week??

Homeschool · lessons in love

It’s Time

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…”

(Ecclesiastes 3:1)

 

I’m back. After some much-needed time away from babbling, I am returning. I am finding this was the perfect outlet for me, and so I am coming back to babble some more. Even if no one ever reads, I need to write. Even if my writing never gets any better (I have sort of lost hope for that one…), I need to write.

It is August. Schools are starting back up after a strange Summer….I mean, what crazy weather patterns this Summer! Hot, cold, rainy, overly dry – we had it all! My garden was less than cooperative, and I am certain it was mostly just confused as to what it was supposed to do because of the ups and downs in temperature. So, here it is August and my tomatoes are FINALLY ripening. Our corn produced ears that had no kernels, and the peppers had stunted growth after having such a good start. We are left with naked corn cobs, miniature peppers, and lots of green tomatoes. Oh well…

We are entering our SEVENTH year of homeschool! I just cannot believe we have been at it that long. Doesn’t seem possible. I will probably dedicate a whole post to what we plan to do/learn this year in school, but I just wanted to mention how much in awe I am of how long we have been schooling at home. Every year is stressful and requires more patience than I have, but every year I come away so thankful for the time I have at home with my kids. I will certainly miss this season when it is over. *sniffle* Ok, on to more positive things…

 

The weather today is AMAZING! We have all the windows open and are enjoying this slightly crisp fresh air – a sort of taste of Fall. I am looking forward to sweatshirts and tea (I drink it in any weather, but I love cinnamon tea in the Fall!) and pumpkin muffins and fires in the backyard wearing blankets and hats and snuggling. I could go on forever. I love something about every season, really, but after a sketchy Summer weather pattern I am looking forward to Fall.

That’s really all I have for this post. I have been working on this little bit for a few days, sadly. My posting probably won’t be regular, but I hope to get up my menu plans, some homeschool posts, and some thoughts on what I am learning in my quiet time. I have so much I could share on my spiritual growth, but I will save that for a few posts in the future. My husband and I have done several Bible studies (just us, together) this Summer, and we are learning a lot about seeing God in the small things, the big things, and everything. He truly is amazing.

Now, off to make some tea and get dinner started!

Recipes

Recipe: Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup

 

I have said it many times before but I LOVE my slow cooker (or crock pot, whichever you call it). It is a huge help on busy days, tired days, or days I just don’t want to think about prepping dinner at 4:00 PM. As a home school mom, the slow cooker really helps me be able to focus my efforts on school and not feel rushed to plan out work in the afternoon and fit in dinner prep. I often find myself searching online for a slow cooker version of a favorite meal; it is pretty safe to say there is always someone who has attempted the slow cooker for any and every meal.

One of my favorite meals growing up was ham and bean soup. My mom’s ham and bean soup was so delicious, and, paired with some cornbread, it was a super filling and the best on a cool day. Honestly, I could say that about any of my mom’s soups, but ham and bean was my absolute favorite.

I realize Spring is here and the weather is (or SHOULD BE) warming up soon, but I am still in soup season here. With chilly days or chilly evenings, soups just hit the spot for me. So, I found and have used a slow cooker version of the soup. And it is delicious!

I should mention that online people always say not to use the water that dry beans soak/cook in because that is was causes gas. For me, I live with 6 other people and (not to be gross) but someone always has gas here. Ha! πŸ˜‰ So, the increase in gas potential doesn’t bother me. If you want to avoid the gaseous broth, use canned beans or soak and cook your dry beans separate and add them to the slow cooker later in the day. Either way, this is a deliciousΒ soup that everyone should make….often.

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup

  • 1 pound dry cannellini or great northern beans (or, really, any beans you like…i just prefer a white bean for this soup)
  • 1 ham bone with meat on it or 2 cups chopped ham off the bone (I typically freeze a ham bone with meat left on it after a meal, so we have it for use in this soup later. The meat falls off the bone in the slow cooker and the bone adds tremendous flavor.)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 chopped sweet onion (or onion powder)
  • 1 clove minced garlic (or some garlic powder)
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed (or chopped celery pieces)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt….I wait until the end to salt this. Between the chicken broth and the ham bone/meat, it can be salty enough already. If I taste it around 3PM and it needs more, I add it then. If it is TOO salty, take the ham bone out for the remaining cook time. Sometimes I do that.

Add the beans to the bottom of the slow cooker. Set the ham and other dry ingredients on top. Pour in the liquids, making sure all beans are in the liquid and not on top of the ham bone uncovered. Cook on low 7-8 hours, tasting the salt flavoring about 5-6 hrs in. If short on time, cook on high for 4 hours, making sure the beans are tender.

You could also add some chopped carrots to this for more flavor. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Just depends on how much time I have to get it all in the slow cooker before the kids get restless here.

Serve with a giant piece of cornbread. πŸ™‚ We like to sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top of the soup, too. But we have a cheese obsession, so it gets included in every dinner!

Enjoy!

Menu Plan

Menu Plan

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I am a little behind on posting my menu plan, but we have been sticking to it! Menu planning has literally saved my behind some days….when life gets a little crazy. πŸ™‚ This week we are sticking to some simpler meals because of our schedule. We have a couple out-of-the-normal events this week, and I didn’t want to plan any meals that required a lot of thinking!

When the weather is nice, I plan to be over at our local historical farm/park with a picnic lunch as much as possible. It gets the kids outside and running around….AND the other schools are not out yet, so the lines for the attractions are super short. πŸ˜‰ The kids will be doing one class each this Summer, and our chances to be over at the historical farm/park will go down. So, the more days we can get over there now and get our money’s worth for the season passes the better!

Here is our lineup for the week:

Breakfast

Cereal

Bagels/Toast

Eggs

Oatmeal

Lunch

Snack/Picnic

Leftovers

Sandwiches, salads, hardboiled eggs

Dinner

Ham and Bean Soup, cornbread

Spaghetti and homemade meat sauce, salads

Chicken Tacos, Salad, Corn

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Pizza/Salad

BBQ Shredded Pork Sandwiches (or over rice/quinoa), salad, green beans

Chicken Chowder, salad, bread

Snack Options

Yogurt

Fruit

Energy Balls

Flourless PB & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brownies