Last night at about 7 o'clock everyone came to me like a pack of starving mongrels. LOL
We are hungry and we want to eat NOW!! So, I looked in my kitchen and what did I see, not much. LOL You know how it is when you are moving you try to eat up what you have so, you only buy what you NEED. Well, with my husband and son having gone off to the new house this past weekend, we did not go grocery shopping this week. Pickin's was bare. ;) Then it popped into my head... Fried Rice!! Quick, easy, and uses left overs. I took a couple of pictures of my fried rice (cus everyone said it looked so good) and thought I would share the recipe and pictures with you all.

Fried Rice:
serves 4-6
3-4 cups of cold rice from the fridge (break up any clumps of rice before you put it in the pan)
¼ cup of soy sauce
3 tbs of oil + 1 tbs of sesame oil (if you don't have any just use reg oil)
2 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped or ½ tbs of garlic powder (we like a lot of garlic)
1 tsp of paprika
1 tsp of pepper
1 tsp of chicken bullion
2 cups of frozen mixed vegetables
¼ cup of water
4 eggs cracked and beaten to make scrambled eggs
**optional** 1 cup of cooked meat cut into bite size pieces – Chicken , semi-soft bacon, beef, hamburger, chicken nuggets, pork, garbanzo beans, you get the point you add what you like.

If you are blessed to have a wok awesome. If however you do not have one no problem. Just heat a large pan with the 4 tbs of oil. When the oil begins to ripple add in your rice. Stir the rice in a “fluffing” motion. Make sure to coat all of the rice with the oil. Let fry for about 3-5 mins.
Add the soy sauce and using the fluffing method make sure all of the rice is coated with the soy sauce. Let the liquid boil off this will take about 3-5 mins.
Next add all of your spices and bullion. Stir to incorporate. Once all the spices and bullion are wrapped snugly around your rice add the water. Stir this mixture and cook for 5-7 mins. I made this step up but, I find it essential to making great rice. The extra liquid allows you to replump the rice so to speak.
Once the water is absorbed add your frozen vegetables. (you can add leftover vegetables here I won't look I promise) If you are adding meat add it here as well.
Now, you just cook till the vegetables and meat are warmed through. About 7 mins or so.
Here is the part that gives people trouble. (so, I been told anyway) Time to do the eggs.
There are two ways to do this. 1. cook the eggs in a separate pan and add to finished rice. Or 2. You push the rice to the sides of the pan and cook the eggs in the middle then stir it all together. What do not want to do is pour the eggs onto the rice and cook that way. ICK!! You want lovely pieces of fluffy yellow egg in your rice. There you are you have just made fried rice. Ta-da!! So easy right?? This dish should take you 30 mins or less. After you have cooked it several times you can get the time down to as little as 18 mins. Take out, who needs it you can make fried rice. ;)

Have fun making this recipe. Have a blessed weekend with your families. From our home to yours. (((((((((HUGS)))))))))
You didn't think I forgot about freebie Fridays did you?? Here are this weeks freebies:

1. - this site is a christian based curriculum that is tuition free. There is a 5.00 fee for each class that you take. (still a great deal) There is a deposit of 10.00 that you put down in order to receive the video's that go with the lessons. There are also optional courses that cost a very reasonable fee that you can choose to purchase. They keep track of grades.

2. - This site has tons of information about natural habitats, animals, and nature in general. Really worth a glance or two or three.

3. - This is a relatively new site. Each day you pop on over there and take a look at what is being offered that day. If you like it follow the link and or directions and ta-da it's yours. There is even a newsletter you can sign up for that will tell you what will be coming in the new week. There is a catch though the links are only available for the one day. All past links become dead the next day. (bummer right) So, getting the newsletter is a really big help. That way you know which days stuff you want will be available.
Wow!! The countdown is upon us. Ten days left till the move. It is really exciting to be moving into a new house.

The kids will all have their own rooms!! My new kitchen is really lovely. The kitchen I am in now is well, crappy. Honestly, the fridge clicks when ever it goes into a cycle as it is about to die and our lease says that they do not have to replace it. It is really old and very energy wasteful. Our utility bills are horrendous. In the hot months of the summer we pay just over 400.00 for a monthly electric bill!! In the new house the highest electric bill in the hottest months of the year has been 200.00!! The rent is a lot less than what we are paying now. I can not tell you how blessed we feel about this.

I have not even told you the best part yet..... ready...... We will be living very close to lots of relatives. Having been a military family for most of our marriage, we have never really lived near family. So, this is going to be a truly wonderful experience. I am also excited to be able to have some animals like goats and rabbits oh yeah and chickens. We have a plot of land big enough for a nice size garden. Oh my goodness I am going to turn into farmer Jane. *LOL*

We are even going to be able to get high speed internet (my husband needs it for his job). I was so dreading the thought of having dial up aaaakkkkkk. While high speed internet does not come cheep in rural Texas it is a job expense and we will be able to claim it on our taxes next year.
My in-laws who live across the street from us are truly wonderful people. Grandpa is so excited that he will be able to take the kids fishing and other fun grandpa stuffs. Grandma is excited to be able to pass on her love of crafting not only to my girls who love any and every craft they can get their hands on but, I am also happy that I will be learning some wonderful crafts too.

The quality of my photo's will be improving as well. I know you are all excited by this. he he he.... this is because my in-laws have a digital camera that we will be able to borrow/use when ever we want. My goal is: as I get each room all set up and situated the way we want it, I will then take pictures for you all. Kinda like taking "the 50cent tour" only virtually.

We will even have room for a classroom. WOW!! I love typing that. We do school at the table and on the couch and on beds and well, where ever we feel comfy. ;) I am sure that will not change. We will have a classroom with a full size chalk board, to go with our dry erase board, and plenty of room to start projects and leave them out while they dry or if they need to be worked on for more than one day.

I am so thankful for the internet. When my husband and I went to our first base as a married couple we did not have internet. AOL was the only internet then and they still charged by the hour!! So we had the phone (which can get pretty darn expensive) and snail mail. OH man snail mail was such a treat as a young Navy wife. When in military housing we all knew if some one's spouse was deployed so when some one got a letter we would all be so happy for them. Wives are also known to call all their friends when they got a letter or a package. ;) I am so thankful that the military is able to offer it's members e-mail and web cams so that the distance is not so bad and that children can see their parent. How amazing that truly is. (sorry, I was on a tangent there for a few mins)

Please keep our move in your prayers. God had truly blessed this move so far and we are very tankful to him. You know some times I think it is really important to thank God publicly for the blessing that he is giving you. It is also a good thing to share when God has helped you through some thing tough or challenging. This move is tough and challenging for me. Last time we lived in rural Texas I hated it. I was miserable. I just have so much peace about it this time. I know that we are doing the right thing. I am also thankful that God has blessed me with the friends I have made on the homeschool lounge and for returning a friend to me Julie. So, thank you God for your blessings and the challenge of following you.

Have a great day every one I will try to keep you all updated during the move.
Well, the time came for Julie and her children to return home yesterday. ;( Don't cry we all knew it would have to happen. I am happy to report that we packed our few precious days with as much laughter, conversation, and fellowship as they could possibly hold. We stayed up till the wee hours of the morning each night. We had the best slumber party ever!!

While I was sad to see Julie and the kids pull away from the curb and drive down the road, I am so filled with joy that we are in each others lives again and I am ecstatic for her that she will be moving in March to their duty station in Japan!! I have such fond memories of Japan and I know Julie will too. I also have an open invitation to go visit her there. (yippee!!!!!) I am also looking forward to exchanging "care packages" with her.

Now that you are all caught up on whats been going on I can fill you in on the missing details like who in the world is Julie. ;)

Julie is a friend that I met while stationed in Florida. Florida was my first duty station as a Navy wife. I met Julie at another wife's house as she was baby sitting both our children. One afternoon we both showed up to pick up our children and we struck up a conversation. We were very compatible. (it kinda sounds like I am comparing us to computer software or machine parts *LOL*) We discovered that our husbands were both on the same ship. Too cool!! So that is how we met not one of my usual funny stories but... stay tuned you know I would not let you down. ;)

Ok fast forward several months... the ship deploys for 6 months. Sad I know but, that is Navy life. We have many coping skills as military spouses. Wives that are friends/compatible get together to share meals, go out for lunch or dinner, go shopping together, have game nights, get together and let the kids play, and we like to get together in groups and have potlucks. If your husband has ever been on a business trip or gone off for a few days and left you alone with THE CHILDREN (dun dun duuuuun) you will understand the following information. It is sooooooooooo lovely to have dinner with someone who will eat something other than mac & cheese and chicken nuggets *LOL* so we make dishes that are our favorites but ones that the kids will not eat. The quality of dinner conversation also improves. (my son was very young at this time and the girls were not born yet) So you can see how important it is to try to find a small group of wonderful ladies. Julie was part of my group.

The night before the ship pulls into port is like a combination of anticipation of Christmas morning and the way a child feels the night before their first trip to Disney World. We were on pins and needles we had scrubbed our houses from ceiling to floor and rearranged furniture and made welcome signs planned special meals and anything else that would let our sailors know how special they are to us and how much we missed them. Some how one of the ladies found out that our ship was supposed to be first in line to pull into port in the morning. We came up with the brilliant idea to go out unto the base beach/jetties and send morse code messages to the ship with Julies mega watt flash light. ( do you see the potential for funny here well, buckle up and enjoy the ride)
So, we get the kids all bundled up and bring some toys for them to play with in the sand. Now it is important to mention here that Julie used to be in the Navy and part of what she did was translate morse code ( I am gonna use MC for morse code for now on). We begin by asking the ship in MC if they are ship ***** at this point we are not sure if they will even be able to see our flashes of light. We are hoping that they will be able to see us in the "big eyes" this is a large set of binoculars with a lens magnification of a bijillion and 2. We wait giggling at what we are doing and as a result of our excitement and the stories and conversations we are having. "Shhhh Shhhhh Shhhh I think I see something Julie says" ..... Yes it was in fact a reply back from the ship!! How cool is that right?? We begin sending messages back and forth to the ship us sending then them responding. We start out with sweet "we miss you messages" and "I love yous" we decide that we are gonna kick it up a notch... "I can't wait to get you alone" and other slightly riske' messages were sent. The ship kept right up with us and sent us some pretty sailorish stuff. (I am sure that you have heard the saying He/She swears like a sailor) After a little while of this we decide to pack up and go back home and TRY to sleep so we can meet the ship in the morning.

The next morning we rush out to get a good place on the pier to watch the ship come in. If you have never seen a Navy ship pull into port with all of the sailors in their uniforms standing up on the deck. It is awesometastic and worth the view. All the wives and children are waving in the hopes that their sailor will see them or the large sign that they are holding up.
We spot each other and speak in whispers about what we did the night before and how much fun it was when a group of sailors (from another ship) walk by and are talking about how they want to find those awesome ladies who they spoke to in MC last night!!!! OH MY GOODNESS can you feel the heat of embarrassment that rose up our faces?? We lean in a little to make sure that this is really happening when one of them says something only a person who was translating our MC could know. We were mortified!! We laugh about it now!! It truly is funny. It is also one of my fondest memories of being a Navy wife. Stay tuned for other stories in the future.

I have neglected to post any Friday Freebies for a couple of weeks so here they are:

1. --The American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the understanding and teaching of America's factual and philosophical heritage to promote freedom, unity, progress, and responsibility among students and citizens. Provides free K-12 curriculum for all educators in social studies, U. S. history, U. S. government, philosophy, political science, or economics.

2. -- This a virtual pig dissection for those of you who's children do not want to dissect a live animal this is a great alternative. It is also great for those who want to have a practice run before doing the real thing.

3. --The goal is to be "The Library To The World", a web portal in which books, education materials, information, and content will be freely to anyone who has an internet connection. The Bookyards has a total of 16,078 books,41,782 external web links,4,197 news & blog links, 384 videos, 32,963 E-book links and access to hundreds of online libraries all for your reading pleasure.

Have a great weekend!!
Hello my lovely friends!!

Oh my goodness I am so excited to see Julie and her children. It has been so hard these past few weeks waiting for the day that she would arrive. So, on monday when she called and said that she was on the road and the three hour timer was set.

We flew through the house with brooms, cleaning cloths, and scrub brushes. Each person had a list of what they had to clean or straiten up. It was really wonderful to see everyone come together in an effort to make sure that our home was tidy and welcoming for our guests.

Then we go the call that Julie was in Austin city limits!! We were all atwitter. Yipee!! Wohooo!! Rang loud and clear through out our house.

The minutes ticked by, agonizing minute by excruciating minute. (Can you feel it??)

We jumped up at the sound of every car that passed by. Have you ever wondered why so many cars come down your road when you are expecting someone. I am not kidding you when I tell you that a billjilion cars came down our road in that thirty mins. ;)

Finally, they pulled up in front of the house we all ran out side to greet them. Julie and I hugged for a biljilion mins. (like my new measurement) ;) It was nice to hug her after ten years.
For a few mins I just could not bear to let go.

We have had hours of conversation shared meals and of course lot's of hugs.;) Of course we stayed up much to late. He he he Adult slumber parties are the BEST!!

I wish you all a wonderful homeschooling week. I apologize in advance for my sparce posting this week. I will catch up with you all later this week. I am sure I will have plenty to talk about. Till then have a blessed and happy week.

A Poem to celebrate reconnecting with Julie and her family.

Friends so quickly come
And friends sometimes go
But if a friendship is true
It will always continue to grow.

For the qualities of a friend
Are too many to describe,
But one thing is certain
They're never hard to find.

Always remember that
Friends have feelings too,
Don't forget little things that matter
Like saying please, and thank you.

They often do so much
To help us out everyday,
Which is definitely why
Friends are needed in every way.

So take not for granted
The qualities of your friends,
For you never know
When you may see them again.

A Wish For You, Child
By Author Unknown

May all your wishes come true
May you always do for others,
and let others do for you.

May you build a ladder to the stars
and climb on every rung
and may you stay forever young

May you grow to be righteous

May you grow up to be true

May you always know the truth,
and see the light that's surrounding you

May you always be courageous,
stand upright and be strong
And may you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy,
and may your feet always be swift

May you have a strong foundation
when he winds of change shift

May your heart always be joyful,
and my your song always be sung

We here at our house would like to welcome the arrival of Judy's precious newest granddaughter Jozy Elizabeth. We are very grateful for God's protecting hand during the c-section delivery. Jozy has a wonderful big sister who is eager to show her the ropes and a gaggle of auties and uncles to love her to pieces.

Our field trip to the Natural Bridge Caverns Wildlife Ranch and Safari was AWESOMETASTIC!!

We had so much fun. The fun started right at the front gate. As we pulled up to the ticket booth, we were greeted by a very pleasant woman. She told all about what to expect while in the park and she gave us our complimentary (yes folks free) bag of animal feed. As we were about to pull away safety girl pops up from the back seat and says "I want to buy a bag of animal food" so, she pulls out her little change purse and begins counting her nickels and dimes, this touches the very nice ticket seller and she gives safety girl two bags of feed cus she thought it was so cute (and it was) that she paid with her own money. So off we drove.

First, we had a quick pee break after all it was a hour and a half drive there. Finally we approached the gate to the wild life area. We slowly drive into the gate (it's a 5 mile per hour speed limit) and right away we see some Watusi, bison, deer, and several other wonderful creatures.

Safety girl tosses some food out of the car window just like the information booklet says to do, and the watusi comes up to car to eat it!! Well this watusi was pretty smart cus he figured out that we had the food so he stuck his head right in the window of the car (let me just tell you he needed a tic-tack and bad) and ate food right out of her hand!! The 6 foot span of his horns were the only thing preventing him from telling one of kids to shove over and make some room for him. LOL

We drove on some more and all you could hear form the kids in the back was gasps and "look over here" and "wow, Look at that" My son was the official guide for our tour. He had the information booklet and would look up the animals that we would point out and he would read the information provided in the book.

We made our way around the twists and turns of the path each bend having us on the edge of our seat in anticipation of what we might see. All the while safety girl, who was in charge of rationing out the animal food, kept asking are we almost to the zebras?? Not yet safety girl was told about 90 times. ;)

We finally pull into the section that shows pictures of zebra on the sign. We were all pretty excited at this point. Lukas begins to read us the fact sheet about the zebra's while we twist and turn down the path we are straining and craining our necks to try to find some animals (at this point we had not gone this long with out seeing an animal). Finally we round the bend and we see stripes!! We pull up closer to where they are and stop the car. We all roll down our windows and toss out some food in the hopes that they would come over and see us. They did!! They came right up to the car and stuck their heads in and let us touch them and my mom leaned in and kissed the one right at her window. You would think that this would have shocked him right?? No way he kept popping his head in the window for her to kiss him again!! I kid you not. I think they are engaged now, wonder how she will break it to my step-dad poor guy. LOL

Just a little tip for you... If you ever decide to do something like this large birds such as rhea's and emu and ostriches are aggressive (I mean aggressive kinda like me with the last piece of cake;)). They were tapping the windows with their beaks it was funny but a little disturbing (all I could see was a scene from Jurassic park.... the rapters are gonna get us ahhhhhhhh) LOL

After we exited the drive thru area which takes about an hour or so we went to the gift shop and the petting area. Maddy and Riss each got a stuffed animal Lukas got a really pretty fleece blanket and I got a really cool zebra mask (Thank you very much Mom).

The best part is that you can do the drive thru part as many times as you want to. (well, until they close)

We did the drive thru twice and it was like a whole new adventure we had different animals come up to car this time and the animals had moved around and we were able so see ones that we had not seen the first time around. Like I said we had an awesometastic time.
I am feeling the need to return to some sorta normalcy. So, I am posting my purposed menu of the week. Though with having a guest and doing activities who knows what will happen. ;)

  • Orange chicken and vegetable fried rice
  • tomato soup and grilled cheese
  • omeletes du fromage (cheese omelets)
  • Pinto beans, collard greens
  • mac & cheese with ranch taco's
  • cereal
  • Crockpot meat loaf mashed potatoes gravy peas
  • Tuna melts with chips
  • French toast
  • Bean burritos & rice with mixed vegetables
  • Nachos
  • cereal
  • Chili cornbread and rice
  • Ramen
  • Oatmeal with apples and raisins

  • My favorite night--LeftOvers!!
  • Hot dogs w/buns and fries
  • Bagels with cream cheese

As someone who has been to culinary school I have to tell you, I secretly long to cook foods that my children just will not eat. I am happy with the vast array of foods that my kids will eat. I am so very blessed that they are so willing to try new foods.

Field trip!!
Guess where we are going tomorrow?? We are going to Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. The kids and I are so excited. The greatest part is that all the animals are free roaming. There are over 500 animals from 40 species. Many of the animals are endangered or threatened species. Part of what the ranch is famous for their very successful breading programs. How cool right?? Since the animals are all free roaming you fill up your car with eager animal watchers and drive through the ranch on the designated trails and when you see some animals you want to look at you stop and stay there as long as you like oh yeah I almost forgot to tell you they give you a bag of food that you can feed the little critters when they wander on over to your car!! How cool is that. We are going to be snapping pictures left and right. I hope to have some pretty good ones for you tomorrow. Here is a link for you to look at till we have pictures for you to see.

I am happy to report that Safety Girl has managed to keep her eye safe and sound today thank's to her swim goggles that she will not leave the house wearing. The folks at church were tickled pink at the sight of her wearing them.
Have a great day tomorrow.