Monday, March 30, 2020

Homemaker's Journal: Monday, March 30, 2020

Joining Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday. 


Good morning... we're on day 17 of our self-isolation/quarantine at home. It feels like forever. My husband began working from home last week and while it has been nice having him home all the time, he's also still busy working so I have the extra task of keeping the kids away from the "home office" he has set up in Juliette's nursery.

THE WEATHER THIS WEEK...

Monday: 77/50 Mostly Sunny
Tuesday: 61/44 PM Rain
Wednesday: 55/42 AM Showers
Thursday: 64/42 PM Sunny
Friday: 66/42 Mostly Sunny
Saturday: 68/47 Mostly Sunny
Sunday: 71/50 Partly Cloudy

Tree pollen is reportedly very high, and grass pollen is moderate. I have fortunately not been suffering from allergies so far this year. I am beyond grateful for that.

AROUND THE HOME...

The older children are currently working on math and Juliette finally went down for her morning nap in the swing. I did some writing work with George this morning before he started on his math lesson. We managed to read three chapters in our scriptures this morning before Juliette decided she was done and wanted to start crying loudly.

AGENDA FOR TODAY...

We'll continue on with math and writing this morning and then work on science and history after lunch. The children are excited they get to watch two scripture videos this evening to go along with what we read. Bridget has her virtual dance classes this afternoon. They began them last week with ballet at 2:30 on Tuesday and tap on Wednesday, but the schedule changed this week to accommodate the students that are doing "online school" and do not get done early enough. Now she has ballet and tap back to back, beginning at 4:30. I set up an area in her room that she can dance in, with the laptop set up on her dresser. I'll probably send the boys outside to play since the weather will be nice.  We'll have dinner without her, as her class will not get over until 6:30.

FROM THE CAMERA...

"Brown headed cowbirds"
We've been doing some bird watching lately, as there is not much else to do around the house. We see a lot of sparrows and finches at the bird feeder and doves eating the fallen seeds on the ground, but this weekend these cowbirds came by for a meal. There was one female and two males. 

A FAVORITE QUOTE FOR TODAY...

Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
-Isaiah 26:20 (KJV)

ON THE MENU...

Monday

Breakfast: Banana-Orange Smoothies
Noon Meal: Macaroni & Cheese w/ Baked Beans, Yellow Squash
Supper: BLT's or leftovers

Tuesday

Breakfast: Banana Muffins w/ Maple Glaze
Noon Meal: Sesame Tofu w/ Brown Rice, Green Beans
Supper: Garlicky Tomato and Zucchini Soup w/ Breadsticks

Wednesday

Breakfast: Chocolate Oatmeal
Noon Meal: Smokey Cheese Pasta w/ Garlic Bread
Supper: Sandwiches or leftovers

Thursday

Breakfast: Crumb Cake
Noon Meal: Black Bean & Rice Enchiladas
Supper: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches w/ Tomato Soup

Friday

Breakfast: Tofu Scramble w/ Toast
Noon Meal: Leftovers
Supper: Pizza

Saturday (General Conference)

Breakfast: ---
Noon Meal: Pizza Bagels, Fresh Fruit
Supper: Corn Chowder

Sunday (General Conference)

Breakfast: ---
Noon Meal: Burgers, Baked Beans, Potato Salad
Supper: Leftovers

I AM READING...



PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK...

About the same as everybody else. We'll do school lessons, the kids will play outside, we'll eat our meals, watch a movie on Friday, and we'll keep doing it week after week until this virus dies down.

LINKING UP WITH...



Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sabbath Day Worship at Home

Self-imposed quarantine is hard, and many of us around the country are having a difficult time adjusting to a "new normal". Sundays can be especially hard when you have a habit of attending church as part of your Sabbath day. For some, church was cancelled last week at the beginning of the COVID-19 precautions, but for many tomorrow may be your first Sunday at home. As our days seem to run together during this time, it is important to never forget the Lord.

"Family Worship" by Nathan Greene

For the most part, we've kept our usual Sabbath day routine, but when it came time to go to church, we got dressed in our Sunday best to meet together in our living room. Why did we wear our Sunday best? Well, the answer is simple. When we wear our best, we behave differently. It sets aside the time spent playing and the time spent in worship. It would be easy to continue wearing our pajamas and to lounge on the couch when we gather together, but is it being reverent? Is it being respectful? What we wear reminds us and our children of the sacredness of the occasion. 


We kept our service last week rather simple. An opening hymn, an opening prayer, the administration of the sacrament, testimonies, and a closing hymn and prayer. This week we're expanding on that a little bit more by having scripture readings, more hymns, and a time to also sing the children's church songs that they would typically be singing during their Sunday school hour. 


We don't know for how long we will be needing to worship in this way, but we are making the most of it. It is important to never forget that special time with the Lord, on His day, and every day. May God bless you with health, peace, and happiness as we wait to see what's in store for the future. 


Thursday, March 19, 2020

Miso Ramen w/ Baby Bok Choy & Shiitake Mushrooms

Ramen is a great food storage item and something to have on hand when you don't feel like making dinner. However, the same old flavors can get rather boring after awhile. I've begun jazzing up our ramen lately with fresh vegetables and tofu and it's a total game changer.


Miso Ramen w/ Baby Bok Choy & Shiitake Mushrooms


Ingredients
1 block of tofu
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
3 small baby bok choy, chopped into 1" pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp. white miso paste
1/3 c. soy sauce
3 c. water
3 pkg. ramen (throw the flavor packet away)

Directions
1. Prepare tofu as desired*, and set aside.
2. In a wok or large pan, heat sesame oil and saute the bottom portion of the baby bok choy until slightly tender.
3. Add garlic, the remaining baby bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, miso paste, and soy sauce. Continue cooking until mushrooms begin to get tender.
4. Add water and prepared tofu and bring to a low boil.
5. Place uncooked ramen into the water. Continue boiling until ramen is done, stirring occasionally and letting the ramen absorb the broth.
6. Top with black sesame seeds, cilantro (Chinese parsley) or green onion. Serve hot.


*I cut mine in strips and pan fry in oil until light browned. It can also be baked.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Homemaker's Journal: Monday, March 16, 2020

Joining Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday. 


Good morning! We've officially started our "social distancing" to minimize the effects of COVID-19, though my children have been referring to it as "house arrest". We're a homeschooling family, so staying home is nothing new, but having no interaction with anyone but our little family is going to be a challenge. Usually my parents visit at least a couple times a week but my mom works in a hospital and has no other choice but to keep going to work (a major downside of the medical profession), so I've had to ask them not to visit during this time to protect the 5-month-old from getting sick. I've heard that children bounce back pretty quick from the virus but I haven't seen any data on babies, so I'd rather not risk her getting sick so young. Better safe than sorry, but I still hate it. Moving on...

THE WEATHER THIS WEEK...

Monday: 62/45 Partly Cloudy
Tuesday: 65/51 Cloudy
Wednesday: 70/57 Partly Cloudy
Thursday: 81/64 PM Showers
Friday: 86/65 Partly Cloudy
Saturday: 70/41 Showers
Sunday: 54/42 Partly Cloudy

Tree pollen is reportedly high, which troubles me. Pine tree pollen is the only thing that causes my allergies to act up, but I'm hoping I can avoid having any problems this year.

AROUND THE HOME...

The children are upstairs taking a break. I'm downstairs with time to myself. The baby is asleep in the swing. I'll need to prepare lunch soon. I have not yet cleaned the kitchen or started the laundry. With everything cancelled, I feel like I have extra time to get things done. I need to work on not becoming lazy during the next few weeks.

AGENDA FOR TODAY...

We are reviewing history and working on organizing our notebooks before we move on with new lessons. The sun is shining so I'd like to send the children out to play. I'd also like to go out and continue working on a project I started on Friday of transplanting our blueberry bushes. They're currently in raised bed garden boxes but I'm going to move them along the fence. The soil there is horrible (mostly clay), so I'm needing to build a trench to fill with good soil before replanting the blueberry bushes.

FROM THE CAMERA...

Juliette enjoying her new swing!

A FAVORITE QUOTE FOR TODAY...

These unique challenges will pass in due time. I remain optimistic for the future. I know the great and marvelous blessings that God has in store for those who love Him and serve Him. I see evidence of His hand in this holy work in so many ways.

So, during these uncertain times, be comforted by this promise from the Savior. He said, “I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say.” I promise you that joy is always within the reach of everyone who will hear Him and obey His laws.”
-Russell M. Nelson

ON THE MENU...


Monday: Baked Eggplant, Marinara w/ Angel Hair Pasta, Salad
Tuesday: Cabbage, Peas, and Potato Pie (St. Patrick's Day)
Thursday: Teppanyaki-Style Tofu and Vegetables with Brown Rice
Friday: Cheeseburger Pizza
Saturday: Minestrone w/ Bread sticks
Sunday: Falafel w/ Pita, Cucumber, Hummus

I AM READING...



PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK...

We're going nowhere. That's pretty much it. I'm hoping the children can spend a lot of time outside burning off energy so they won't get grumpy. We're homebodies anyway, but we've always had a couple of activities to attend every week. This week feels very strange and I know it will be difficult for all of us. Even our public library has shut down until March 31st (or later).

LINKING UP WITH...



Sunday, March 15, 2020

Banana Muffins w/ Maple Glaze




Banana Muffins w/ Maple Glaze

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients
2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
2 bananas, mashed
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. plant-based milk
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, oil, plant-based milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
5. Fill the cupcake liners with about 1/4 c. of batter.
6. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.


Maple Glaze

Ingredients
1 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. plant-based milk

Directions
1. In a bowl, whisk all ingredients together until well combined.
2. Either dip the top of the muffins in the glaze or drizzle it over the muffins.


Monday, March 9, 2020

Homemaker's Journal: Monday, March 9, 2020

Joining Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday. 

THE WEATHER THIS WEEK...

Currently 71 degrees this afternoon and partly cloudy. Temperatures will remain in the 70's through the week, with a high of 79 on Friday! The weekend will be cool again. Rain is expected for Wednesday afternoon and possibly Sunday. I love this weather!

AROUND THE HOME...

The children are playing in their rooms after a busy day. We woke up late (thank you, daylight savings time) and had to get going on chores and schoolwork, so I haven't had the time to sit down at the computer until now. Springing forward always sets our schedule back even more. The dining room floor has been swept, the table cleans, and a load of dishes are running. Two loads of laundry have been washed and dried. The kitchen counters are semi-clean, but I'm honestly too tired to do any more house work at the moment (a good reason for a blogging break).

AGENDA FOR TODAY...

We did our school lessons, piano lessons, and later tonight we have the my older son's first baseball game for his pre-season tournament. My children got a treat this afternoon when their piano teacher showed up with two of her grandchildren. They've been here before and the children love playing together. They're also homeschooled, so they've got that in common.

FROM THE CAMERA...

The garden coming back to life

A FAVORITE QUOTE FOR TODAY...

Giving our all doesn't mean that we will be continually enveloped in blessings or always have success. But it does mean that we will have joy. Joy is not fleeting pleasure, or even temporary happiness. Joy is enduring, and is founded on our efforts being accepted by the Lord.”

-Terence M. Vinson

ON THE MENU...


Monday: Sandwiches (at the baseball game)
Tuesday: Burritos
Wednesday: Lentil Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, Corn
Thursday:  Sub Sandwiches (at the baseball game)
Friday: Cheeseburger Pizza 
Saturday: Falafel, Pita, Hummus
Sunday: TBD

I AM READING...



PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK...

The pre-season tournament for baseball begins tonight. If we win tonight's game, my son will be playing again on Thursday. If he wins that one too, we'll have another game on Friday. Oldest daughter has ballet on Tuesday and tap on Thursday. It is parent's observation on Thursday since the original date was cancelled due to snow. Tomorrow, I'm hoping to take the children to the local plant nursery to purchase some lettuce and other vegetable plants for our garden. We will hopefully get them in the ground this week, preferably before the rain on Wednesday. The baby's outdoor swing arrived this morning, so we'll be able to put that together for her. I hope she likes it!

LINKING UP WITH...



Friday, March 6, 2020

Homeschool Confessions

I have a confession to make...

We've been slacking off in our homeschool lately.


We've been doing our math and language arts lessons but I'm embarrassed to admit that we've stopped working on history, geography, and science.  Those subjects are our favorites, but they take a lot of time to prepare.

Last school year, we started off strong with our study of ancient history. It included a lot of reading from the Old Testament and books from the library. Then we switched our study to the life of Christ to follow along with our church Sunday School curriculum. While this was enjoyable and the children learned a lot, we didn't stick to our original plan. This school year, we picked up where we left off on our ancient history curriculum. That lasted until October when our sweet Juliette was born. We have not done history since! Needless to say, we'll have to do a bit of reviewing before moving forward.

We do a lot of restarting in our homeschool. Major events happen that put us behind, and then we try to catch up, which never works. Next week, I plan to restart our "fun" subjects again. The children miss them and so do I.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Time for Mother

My children and I recently watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie in which Ma is asked to bake pies for a church bazaar. She and her family had planned on heading out early, but she insists that Pa take the girls and she'll catch up in a few days. She's happy and smiling and Pa jokingly tells her that she must be looking forward to her time alone. She insists she'll be busy making pies but does acknowledge that sometimes mothers enjoy a bit of quiet time.


I think we can all identify with Ma in this instance. While I love my children dearly, and truly enjoy their company in the home, it is nice to have some time alone. I would often have alone time when the children were much younger and they would take naps. It was a glorious time. I would get some uninterrupted cleaning done, perhaps work on dinner prep, catch up on e-mails or blog reading, or simply sit on the couch in complete silence and enjoy those few moments to relax.


My children are older now and the only one who naps is the baby. They are always on-the-go and we keep ourselves very busy. Before our sweet baby was born, my husband would occasionally take the children with him out of town to visit his parents and I would have the day to myself. It allowed me to catch up on housework and take things slow. I missed them very much when they were gone and had an excitement build within me when I knew they would be home very soon.


Motherhood is strange in that way. We spend the first season of our lives thinking mostly of ourselves, only to be followed by the joyous season of marriage and family, in which we begin to think mostly of others. I believe it is part of God's design that mother's miss their children when they are not around; a longing of the heart. It encourages us to be better mother's when they return.