Friday, March 20, 2015

The Lunch Lady

One of the great things about homeschooling, is that I get to handle every aspect of my child's school day. One of my favorite jobs, is being the lunch lady! I LOVE to cook, so I'm always trying to come up with creative lunch menus.
 
Do you want to know what my absolute favorite food is?
 
EGG ROLLS.
 
Yes, in all their yummy glory.
 
There isn't one doubt in my mind, that I could live off of them, so rather than spend all that money buying them, I make them. 
The ideas for filling them are endless, but I'm going to share two with you, that are big hits with my family! 
 
Egg Rolls = LOVE. Really.
So, I hope you and your family enjoy!
 
First up, Crab Rangoon.
 
 
These were my personal favorite of the day! I can't even begin to tell you how easy these babies are to make. I like to give credit where credit is due, so let me first start by telling you that I found the recipe from a blog called http://pintsizedtreasures.com/crab-rangoon-egg-rolls/  She was sharing, so I took the recipe and made it work for my family.
 
Here's my recipe:
 
Ingredients
Vegetable Oil, for frying
8 ounces Imitation, or the good stuff, real Crab Meat (either tastes great to me)
6 ounces softened cream cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Nasoya Egg Roll Wrappers
 
Now, the recipe said that it made 12 egg rolls, but I NEVER get the same amount that any recipe calls for! Most of the time I end up saying to myself, " I don't know how they came up with that number, because that's not what I got!"
 
I got 8 egg rolls. I'm always short.
ALWAYS.
 
Anyway, here's how you make these things of pure deliciousness.
1. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, garlic, salt and pepper until blended well. (I used my Kitchen Aid mixer, just because it's my BFF in the kitchen)
2. Add the crab meat. Now, you could do this gently, but I really am just a rebel, and so I throw it in and crank the speed up on the mixer. It's just how I roll.
3. Once it's mixed well, lay out your egg roll wrapper and put about 2 tbsp. of the crab mixture in the middle of it. Wrap it. Seal the wrapper, by wetting the end with a little water. Otherwise, it'll come apart while your frying. Set aside for frying.
4. Once your about half way through wrapping, turn your stove on to about medium. Let the oil heat up, nice and hot.
5. Once your done wrapping, fry them for about 2-3 minutes per egg roll.
6. Drain on a paper towel.
7. Add dipping sauce if you like. Ranch dressing is a big thing in my house. I like sweet and sour sauce! Eat and enjoy.
 
Next up, (and my daughter HB loves these, because she is basically a cheeseburger fanatic) is Cheeseburger Egg Rolls.
 

 
The only thing that I regret NOT doing to these, is adding more cheese. I added plenty, but in the end I still wasn't satisfied. SO, just when you think  you have enough cheese, GO BIG, and add more!
 
Ingredients

Vegetable Oil, for frying
3/4 pound, lean ground beef
1-2 cups, chopped cabbage
1/2 tbsp. mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
Nasoya Egg Roll Wrappers
 
This recipe came from Rachel Ray. I just tweaked it for my family. Be sure to season to your taste! You may want more or less for your family. I know my crew LOVES seasoning, so even though this recipe says one thing, you can be sure that I really add more. To be honest, I usually never measure. I'm just not a measuring kind of girl. 
 
I'm a throw and go girl.
Most of the time, anyway.
 
Here's how you make them:
1. Brown and drain your ground beef.
2. Add the cabbage, seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard to your ground beef. Let simmer until the cabbage is soft.
3. When everything is cooked to perfection, put the mixture in a bowl and let cool.
4. Once it's cooled, add the cheese.
5. Lay out your egg roll wrappers and add about 2 tbsp. to each wrapper. Wrap. Don't forget to wet the ends to seal.
6. Halfway through, heat your oil. Medium heat until hot.
7. Finish your egg rolls and fry. 2-3 minutes per egg roll.
8. Drain on a paper towel.
9. Grab your favorite sauce, eat, enjoy.
 
It's as simple as that. I've learned, that simple but creative is the way to go when you are homeschooling. So, encourage your kids to get in the kitchen with you. There is no better way to learn than hands on. 
 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mercy and Grace Abound

I believe that any good marriage takes diligence and a lot of giving from each person. This morning, Chris and I had a minor disagreement. My stubbornness, and need to be right, got the best of me. Again. As I'm continuing to grow my relationship with the Lord, He's teaching me to go directly to His Word in everything.

So, as I'm reading, these verses were gently pointed out to me:

"Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." Colossians 3:13 (NLT)

"And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father." Colossians 3:17 (NLT)

A reminder, that none of us are perfect, and it's important to make allowance for our many imperfections. Life happens, and so do disagreements. As followers and representatives of Christ, we have to be cautious of our actions and the things we say to each other. Sometimes, that's tough for me, but it's a must because words can hurt and our actions can break down a marriage instead of building it up. Disagreements will come and go, but at the end of the day, I'm thankful that I have been blessed with a husband who loves and serves Jesus. If he resides at the head of a marriage, then there is absolutely nothing that you can't get through together.

Mercy and grace abound.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Adventures With Jesus

When our kids are born, maybe even before then, we immediately begin praying for them. We pray for their well being and health. We pray for their safety. We pray that they grow up to be well rounded, successful adults.
My whole life I've heard the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." It's a nice thought, but what do you do when 95% of the village can't be trusted?
You know, I have always felt drawn to mission work. I fully believe that if I wasn't married with kids, I'd be on a mission trip somewhere. Just thinking about traveling from place to place, telling everyone I meet about the man who saved my life, excites my soul. Adventures with Jesus! Me, Jesus, and my journal to write down the many stories I know  I would have. I hope you can feel my smile, because I am surely grinning from ear to ear just thinking of such adventures.
I am not made to be perfect, but I am made to serve Him. I am not made to live a worldly life. That's not who I am. That's not who I want to be. God knows the plans He has for me and He also knows the very desires of my heart.
I've prayed for quite a few years now, that God would open doors for me in the mission world. He has been faithful in doing that, but not in the way that I had pictured.
I wanted trips around the world. God said not right now. God said homeschooling. What I have failed to see clearly this whole time, is that mission work starts at home. My greatest mission started the day my daughters were born. I never dreamed though, that homeschooling would be a part of my journey.
When I think back to certain situations, and how He very brilliantly orchestrated, and fine tuned every detail up to this point, I can't help but be amazed.
Recently, Chris and I met a guy at a dealership. He was trying to sell us a car but bless his heart, the conversation was going in a completely different direction. If you know the Lord, then you know when His hand is all over a situation. As we continued to talk, we learned that his family home schools, and they have a Home Educators Association. I nearly fell out of my chair, right there in that dealership as he was telling us their story.
You see, I tried virtual public school, and transferring schools but none of those options seemed to be right. I was so worried and discouraged. I prayed and prayed because I was scared that I was ruining my kids educations with all of the inconsistency.
After our meeting, I left that dealership with renewed hope. God didn't use him to sell us a car. God used him for encouragement. God pointed us to him because his family was our next step into the world of homeschooling.
Shortly after, I found the A Beka curriculum. I searched for a while for a good curriculum but I couldn't seem to get away from A Beka. Eventually, I showed it to my sister, who's a teacher, and she told me that she had already been looking at it and raving over it before I called. I nearly fell out of my chair again. Homeschooling is her dream, but the Lord has led her in another direction. She has been my biggest supporter and motivator through out this whole process. The older I get, the more I genuinely appreciate her older sister wisdom. Let's not tell her though, because she might start to brag.
To make a long story short, I took the opportunities I was given by God, and I'm now homeschooling one of my kids with a Christ centered curriculum. The other one is still in a public school for now. I'm waiting on the Lord to help guide me in the direction that's right for her. My goal is to home school them both.
One day, I hope to be traveling all over this world sharing God's love, but until that day comes, I will continue my work of sharing and teaching about God's love right here, in my own home.
Let our many adventures begin.