Saturday, March 28, 2015

Bacon Lovers, Have You Tried This?????????

Yes, I normally put up recipes that are healthy, but....not today!
Our church decided to have a "Men's" dinner with the theme being.....BACON.   They are even having a contest, with prizes, for the best bacon dish.  
I don't know about your home, but my hubby and children LOVE bacon.  So this is what they came up with.  (They even came up with the name.)


I am sure you can guess that they are mozzarella sticks and bacon.  My eldest son's FAVORITE two things.   So , logically, why not combine them? 

What you need (psst, by the way I got all this at Aldi's ):

-a package of mozzerella sticks : there are 12 in the package, but we cut them in half to make 24
-Pre-cooked bacon, not the kind in the refrigerated sections : there were 15 slices in the kind we got, you will need 4 slices per full stick.
-4 cups of flour
-1/3 cup of salt
-6 eggs
-1 cup of milk
-marinara sauce
-oil to deep fry in

So the guys cut each stick in half.  They then took 1 piece of bacon and wrapped the stick from the top to it's bottom.   Then took another and wrapped it,  or wound it, around the whole stick.    Put 1 or 2 toothpicks in to keep it all together and put them on a tray. 

They put the eggs and milk in one bowl and mixed well.  In another bowl they put the flour and salt. *Make sure to stir this well or you can get really salty ones and no salt in some.*    They took a bacon wrapped stick and dipped it into the egg mixture, then the flour mixture, BACK to the egg mixture and again in the flour mixture.  *messy process*

Then gently put in your heated oil.   I had my heat down low in order to get the cheese to melt a bit inside.  Turn them over as you see them getting nicely brown.  You can also see the Baconara Sauce cooking as well. 

They took the deep fried Baconella Sticks out and put them on some napkins to soak up the excess grease and to cool so they could pull out the toothpicks. 

When they were cool enough to touch, they pulled out the toothpicks...some with a little cheesey delight on the ends....and put them in a baking dish in the oven that was set to warm to keep until they were all finished.

The Baconara Sauce was easy to make.  They cut up some leftover bacon strips into small pieces and put them in a microwaveable bowl.   Cooked the pieces for about 2-4 minutes to get some "juice" cooked out.  Then they put some regular marinara sauce in a pot, added the bacon and "juice" from the bowl.  After mixing well, they slowly cooked it during the deep frying process of the Baconella Sticks, so it was cooked and ready when they were all done frying. 

Voila!  Let's hear the reviews!

If you try this recipe, let me know.  Would love to see your video of the bacon lovers in your house enjoying these Baconella Sticks!

A Homeschooler's Life - I Need More Time

As I have shared before, I also work part-time.   I have a paper route in the wee hours of the leaving the house at 2:30 am!!!   We are also night owls.   We all love to stay up late.  It is like we get our second wind come 8 pm and are ready for another 12 hours.   Can anyone relate? 

So you can imagine how difficult it is to get to sleep "early" to do the papers.  Yeah, never works.  We end up sleeping in after the route is done until almost noon.   Homeschooling then ensues.   There is a small window of time left before:
- dinner....oh dinner...."what are we having?" That night by night struggle with "what to have for dinner".   
-family time - game/tv/movie/etc

So after I took a hard look at my juggling act (check out my post "A Homeschooler's Life - Juggling Act"), I realized that I needed more time. 
So I:
-dropped one of my paper routes so we are now only doing papers for 3-4 hours instead of 6-7. 

-working on getting all of us to bed earlier so we get up earlier after our "post paper nap"

-changed some chores to "everyone chip in" chores

-freezer meals

(I will be doing a post in the next few days about our "Freezer Meal Adventure".  I think you will love it and be inspired!!!)

How is it working??   Fantastically!!  I already feel like we have gained at least 12 more hours.  The best part is that I am able to give the kids more playtime and me more "me" time.  That is always an awesome thing!

Are you looking for some more time?  Share the things YOU have done to help give you and your loves more time.   

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Curriculum on my left, Curriculum on my right......which shall I choose? Part 1

It is that time of year where I start analyzing how well our current curriculum has been as a match to my loves.   
Some years we haven't changed anything, but some years it is obvious that we spent the whole year trying to put a square post in a round hole.  
As I have said in my "About me" post, I have tried many different  curriculum over the years.   After I got myself out of the "school box", I was able to venture into different styles. 
What is the "school box"?   
It is usually the way every homeschooling mama starts......replicating public school.   I was guilty of doing this when I pulled Pumpkin Pie out of school in the middle of third grade.   I was able to get a school desk, got a white board, set up pictures around the bedroom, etc.   Using Abeka, I stood in front of her and taught each class.   When it was time for Mr. Man to start, I put him in a different room with the same set up.  I even "pretended" to be "Miss Flo" he wouldn't confuse "mama" with the teacher.   (By the way, he liked Miss Flo, much better.  LOL)  I would go back and forth between the rooms teaching all day.   

I am not saying anything is wrong with this method.  If it works for you and your love(s), then do it!!  But if you feel like something is "lacking".   Your loves are restless...YOU are restless....maybe you need to at least look into other methods of teaching.   

I have nothing bad to say about Abeka or BJU, I have used them many times during my years of homeschooling.  Their curriculum is challenging and if your child's learning style fits this method of homeschooling, you will see amazing results.   The only thing with Abeka or BJU , is that there is not alot of room for free thinkers.   If you have a child who likes doing more hands-on projects, more expressing themselves via videos, plays, songs, building projects, slide shows, etc, this is NOT a good match.  And, if you are wanting to let your kid explore possible career possibilities, BJU makes a long day and adding on classes will be difficult. 

When Mr. Man was in 7th grade, I purchased the BJU hard drive curriculum - he sat in front of his computer while he watched videos of different teachers teaching the subjects.   Half way  through the year, I felt, he wasn't really getting it.  His grades were good, but was he just "regurgitating" it all?  I was always a master at that in school - memorizing for the test, not for life.  Was he zoning out?   

Well, as I usually do, I ask him what he would like to do for the upcoming year.  After getting past the -"nothing, I don't want to do school anymore"- answer, he said he wasn't sure.  I asked him what curriculum he learned the most from and to my surprise, he said BJU!   He further said, he wasn't into "crafts and stuff" when we talked about other methods of curriculum.  I believe he meant "hands-on" activities.   He wants to get to his lesson, do homework and BE DONE!!   But he did admit he HATES essays more than "crafts and stuff" and would rather make the Nile River out of clay, painted up and labeled, than write an essay about it.   
So I am in pursuit of trying to find something in-between, if there is anything out there.  If not....I will try to tailor make one for him.   

I am going to share what I find in the next few posts.  I am sure I am not the only homeschooling Mama out there searching for the perfect curriculum match for their love.   If you have any suggestions, please share!! 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Homeschooler's Life - Juggling Act

I was doing a juggling act. I was juggling too many things.  I  looked away for one second and it all came crashing down on me.

Can you relate?

Here was what I was juggling:

being an attentive parent
chief cook
chief house cleaner
patient teacher
newspaper delivering
 attentive friend
time with my Heavenly Father
alone time
budget making
bill paying
having fun

NOW can you relate??

I love blogging!!   I have tried it before, but never really found my niche!  I am  enjoying sharing with all you Mamas the things I am finding, learning, eating, making,etc.  So much so.....that I was doing 2 and sometimes 3 posts a day!!!   That would be great if I didn't have to juggle everything else.   But that is not the life God has given me.   

On top of it all, I lost sight of some priorities.  The ole "I know I am not doing __________ but I will get back to that when I get the swing of doing_____."  I am sure you each can fill the blanks in on this one.   

When you are doing your juggling act, don't exclude your time with God.  I will tell you from experience, that the days I "skip out" on spending time with Him, my days are not peaceful ones.  When my eyes are fixed on God, and my priorities are in check, I can juggle through the day with ease.  Circuses would be calling me to perform!!  

If your juggling act seems "heavy" or like there are "too many" things....pray....check your priorities...pray some more...adjust and start again.

So thankful for new mercies every morning...not some mornings or a few mornings...but EVERY morning.