Words of Wisdom Copywork – Proverbs 16:9

I thought I would create some new additions to my Words of Wisdom Copywork pages.

This month’s verse is Proverbs 16:9.
A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

When I reflect on this verse it reminds me that, while we can desire to do certain thing and may even make and begin to carry out plans to achieve that goal, quite often God will step in and completely change the direction we are taking to a better end result for His purposes.

You can download Proverbs 16:9 Copywork HERE.

All Words of Wisdom Copywork pages include a manuscript, transitional manuscript, and cursive pages with an illustration box on each.

Find more Words of Wisdom Copywork pages HERE.

Posted in Freebie Downloads, Home School Printables, Uncategorized, Words of Wisdom Copywork | Leave a comment

Lessons from Homeschooling – Me Time

Over our homeschooling years I was often asked “when do you have time for yourself”.  Truthfully, for me, “me time” was only an issue when I had sought the solitude of the bathroom and there would be a knock on the door followed by the inevitable question “Mom, can you (fill in the blank here with just about anything they could do for themselves but suddenly became completely helpless when the door is closed)?”.  I would then attempt to guard this “me time” with my secret weapon, “Go ask your Father”.

Now that all the kids have graduated, you would think that I had all the time in the world.  No more lessons to prepare.  No scoring and correcting work.  No scouring over curriculum sites and catalogs looking for just the right program to fit my student’s needs.  No more school.  I confess that I did think that I would have this big void of time to fill.  Boy, was I wrong!  I hadn’t realized that over the course of the last few years, as my daughter became more and more independent in her learning, I had already filled up any extra time I might have had with other things.

And you know what?  I now wish there had been less “me time” and more “us time” during our homeschooling days

Some of the most valuable lessons that were learned were those we discovered during this “us time”.  I wish we had followed more “rabbit trails” and not stressed so much over if we had covered enough instruction from the book for the day.  We should have made more time for outside adventures and not so much seat work.  We should have taken more trips to the parks to explore nature, made more excursions to shop together to understand the ins and outs of bargain hunting, seized more opportunities to fish with my Dad and visit with my Mom to value the experiences of other generations, spent more time talking about whatever came to mind instead of making everything an educational moment, and so many otherwise taken-for-granted activities.  While we did do all of these things on occasion, there should have been more.  Those moments provided life lessons that schoolbooks can’t come close to covering.  They taught the value of family, communication, observation, and life skills to navigate the everyday of life after school.

Lesson learned:

The benefits of the “us time” totally outweighs a lifetime of overrated “me time”. 

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New Year, New Direction

I can make no excuse for neglecting this blog.  A lot of things have changed in our lives over the past three years that needed attention more than this little pleasure.  But, as the new year begins, I think I might be ready to take some baby steps back into the blogging world.  I feel like the Lord is encouraging me to take up this path again. Only time will tell if this will come to fruition.

I am not totally sure what new direction this blog will take due to the changes in our lives. I am pretty sure it will still be a random mod podge of this and that, probably with a focus on family, homemaking, work, life after homeschooling, a retrospective view of those 11 years, and whatever the Spirit might put on my heart to share.

If you are interested in what has transpired over the past few years, I have tried to summarize below.

The last family event that I posted about was in August 2013 when our sweet-as-can-be granddaughter was born.  Shortly after that post, we brought her, my son, and his girlfriend back here to live with us.  They spent about 3 months here while trying to get their ducks in a row with employment and a place to live.  Fast forward to 2015.  Our granddaughter is now 2 years old and my son recently bought a house in the next county over where they all live.  He turns 22 this month.

MMDandAND-2015

On October 4, 2014, our oldest son and his wife welcomed their son into the world.  What a charmer he is!  I had the privilege to be able to babysit him the first month or so of his life.  His family bought their home in 2014 and live on the other side of town, about ½ hour from us.  We try to make it out to visit about once a week.  My son is now Returns Manager, a volunteer firefighter, and was named 2013 Firefighter of the Year for his station.  He will be 30 this year.

SWDandWJD2015

In May, 2015, my daughter graduated, thus ending our homeschooling journey.  She, like her brothers, has decided not to attend college (yet).  She is currently working long hours at two part-time jobs, one at a daycare and the other at a local jewelry store.  She is still unsure what she would like to do, but one of the lessons we have learned is that that is okay!  She turned 19 this week.

BTD12-2015

My husband and I celebrated our 31st anniversary this past October.  He has been my rock and my best friend all of these years and I can’t imagine a life without him.

WODandVMD-2015

In 2012 I resigned my position at my previous employ and began working for one of the best companies for which I have ever worked.  They are not only highly professional in their business practices, but they treat all of their employees (and customers) with respect and consideration and make known that we are valued and appreciated.  I am a customer service rep and also handle other various back end tasks that use my website skills.  I am also a writer for the ClickSchooling website with the same company.  This job has really given my writing skills a workout and allow me to continue to be of service to the homeschooling community.

I am pretty sure I have covered the highlights of the past few years.  I won’t sugar coat it. It has been a roller coaster of events these past few years, some pretty wonderful and others not so great.  I will not share the private details of those troublesome events, but God has taught us many lessons through it all, and it is my hope to share those lessons in time as my heart feels that it may be of an encouragement to someone.

Even though our homeschooling years are over, our family’s verse, Proverbs 22:6, still holds true for us. And now, as we move onto the next chapter in our lives, we are beginning to see the fruits of holding onto that verse. . .Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

AllProv226AcademyGrads

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Ginny’s Ham and Cheese Spinach Tomato Tortellini

While cruising the web the other day, came across a recipe that looked intriguing.  Using it as a base, I created this super simple and easy to make recipe that received my husband’s stamp of approval.  This is saying a lot as he is not fond of most white sauce based recipes.  It turned out really delicious, if I say so myself. (The picture does not do it justice)

GinnysHamANDCheeseSpinachTomatoTortellini

Ginny’s Ham and Cheese Spinach Tomato Tortellini

8 ounces tortellini, 3 cheese
2 teaspoon each minced garlic
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
14.5 ounces can diced tomatoes (with garlic, onion, & basil), undrained
8 ounces ham, cubed
2 tablespoons flour
1 ½ cup half-and-half
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

  1. Cook tortellini in boiling water per instructions.
  2. While tortellini is cooking, sautee garlic for a few seconds to release flavor.
  3. Add canned tomato with juice and spinach. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly.
  4. Add ham cubes and heat through.
  5. In separate bowl, whisk together flour and half and half.
  6.  Add flour-half and half mixture to garlic, tomato, and spinach mixture.
  7. Add parmesan cheese.
  8. Stir and cook over medium heat until thickened.
  9. Tortellini should be done now. Drain tortellini then stir into sauce and mix together.

Servings: 6

Click HERE for PDF version of this recipe.

Posted in Casseroles & One-Dish Meals, Monthly Munchies | 2 Comments

Hello Fresh Review

MosaicReviewDisclosure2013-Received product for review

Show of hands.  Who would love to have their meals planned, shopped for, and delivered to their doorstop once a week for them? With Hello Fresh this is a reality.

 

HelloFreshLogo

As my last review of the year and for the Mosaic Reviews team, I was so very excited to have the chance to check out this very cool food service program. Before you begin you will need to find out if Hello Fresh delivery is available in your area.  The way it works is you go to the Hello Fresh website, create your account, and then check out the week’s meal selections.  There are two package choices; a Classic Box and a Veggie Box.  Each package provides 3 meals for either 2 or 4 people, depending on your selection.  Currently the Classic box also allows for 2 alternative Meal Choices in case your family is not fond of something particular on the week’s menu.  To make your meal choices, after logging into your account, you simply select “Meal Choice” under the “Your Options” tab and make your selections.  It was really very easy to choose the meals that seemed appealing to my family and the whole ordering process was ultra simple. Hello Fresh is a ‘subscription’ program, so if you do not want the week’s meals, you will need to put your subscription on “hold” for that week.  You can cancel your subscription at any time.  There is no minimum to buy.

We were asked to review packages for 2 people.  I choose the Classic box and used the “Meal Choice” option.  Our choices were:

  • Sautéed Chicken with Ginger Parsnips and Carrots
  • Classic Beef Stew with Chickpeas and Green Beans
  • Yogurt Marinated Shrimp over Arugula Salad
  • Penne all’ Arrabbiata with Pancetta
  • Warm Eggplant Layered Salad

We choose Sautéed Chicken with Ginger Parsnips and Carrots, Classic Beef Stew with Chickpeas and Green Beans, and Penne all’ Arrabbiata with Pancetta.

Not only did my package arrive on the day that it was promised, but I was notified via email the day before that it was on its way.  I also received a courtesy call from the Hello Fresh customer support team just to check if I had any questions or concerns.  Talk about great customer service.  And check out how wonderfully packaged the meals are.

HelloFreshPackage1

The first meal we made was the Classic Beef Stew with Chickpeas and Green Beans.  The ingredients were very fresh (just as the Hello Fresh promises) and there were minimal processed foods for this meal.  Even though the instructions were thorough, it seemed strange to me to cook the string beans, potatoes, and carrots together when later the instructions tell you to cook the onion in oil, then add the garlic and potatoes and cook a few minutes.  Then they instruct to add the beans and carrots.  This meant that after originally cooking the vegetables all in the same pot, the potatoes needed to be separated from the carrots and green beans for the above step. Not something I would normally do for sure but not a deal breaker.

The only time we eat chickpeas are when they are in minestrone soup, so this was something new for us.  Overall the recipe was simple to make and took very little time.

3HelloFreshClassicBeefStew2

We then made the Penne all’ Arrabbiata with Pancetta. The fresh basil was a bit wilted and soggy, but I don’t know if it was because it was left in the fridge or came that way (I forgot to check when I put it in the fridge after unpacking) so we left it out of the dish.  We had never had pancetta so that was a new taste experience for us as well.  This was a pretty tasty dish and my son really liked it. This item did include canned diced tomatoes and we omitted the chili flakes as we do not like spicy food. (Heartburn issues.)

1HelloFreshPenneallArrabbiata1

The last meal we made was the Sautéed Chicken with Ginger Parsnips and Carrots.  This was actually our favorite, though everyone agreed that it didn’t need the slivered almonds.

2HelloFreshChicken2

These meals are meant to feed two people but we easily fed three people with each meal.  Overall, the quality of the food was excellent and very fresh.  The meat was lean and had little fat.  The veggies were very crisp and, well, again, fresh.

I really appreciated the fact that all of Hello Fresh meals were clearly marked and packaged individually so the ingredients were all together.  There is no hunting down a particular item.  The only things we needed to have on hand, and most households do, were olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Each meal was easily prepared and on the table in about 30 minutes.  According to the Hello Fresh website all of the recipes are created by in-house chefs who have graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education and have worked in fine restaurants like Momofuku and Eleven Madison Park so you can be assured that they are going to be interesting and creative.

While these meals are not particularly the types of foods we are used to, someone who is adventurous in their cooking will love the selections.  And because the ingredients are fresh and nutritious, these meals help to create a healthy lifestyle with little effort.

The pricing for the meal packages are as follows and include shipping:

  • 3 Classic Meal Box for Two – $69
  • 3 Classic Meal Box for Four – $129
  • 3 Vegetarian Meal Box for Two – $59
  • 3 Vegetarian Meal Box for Four – $109

Hello Fresh would be a wonderful program for those with busy careers and schedules who have little time for meal planning or shopping.  It would also be great for retired folks who have difficulty getting to the market regularly.  Those wanting to try new foods and healthy recipes will appreciate the direction that Hello Fresh can help with. While at this particular time in our life Hello Fresh may not fit into our budget guidelines, I could see us using it in the future when it is just my husband and me.

If you are interested in Hello Fresh check out their website at http://www.hellofresh.com/.  You can also follow them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/HelloFreshus or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HelloFresh.  The wonderful thing about this program is that you can cancel your subscription at any time, so if you are just curious about the program you can give it a try for a week or so and if you are not happy you can just shoot them an email and cancel.

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