Today I thought I would post some recipes. I hope you all enjoy these. I also wanted to apologize for yesterday's dead link. If you type 599sherlockholmes into google search it will be the first result option. Please let me know if you all have any problems. OK now onto the recipes.

SOS over mashed potatoes.
This recipe was taught to me by my mother. It was my favorite meal when I was a kid. My mother learned it when she was a girl scout in the 60's.
2 lbs of ground beef or ground turkey
2 cups grated carrots
2 TBS of gravy master or kitchen bouquet or a packet or two of gravy mix
1 cup of flour water slurry
4 cups of broth or bouillon dissolved in water
To Taste salt and pepper
you can add what ever your favorite spices you like. My favorites are garlic, paprika, parsley,and a splash of soy sauce.
In a large pan cook the ground meat till there is no more pink. Drain the meat. I keep about 1 or 2 tbs of this yummy stuff naughty huh??. Add your grated carrots to the cooked meat. This is where I add all the spices I am gonna add. Add the gravy master or equivalent. Stir all of this together to incorporate. Next pour in the broth. Let this all boil for 15 mins or till the carrots are tender. If you are using gravy mix add it now and stir till it is completely dissolved. It should thicken up nicely. If you are adding a slurry add once the carrots are tender. Stir till a nice gravy forms. Turn off the burner and let the SOS sit on the stove for a few mins too cool. We want to serve dinner not lava. LOL I serve this several different ways. 1. over mashed potatoes 2. over rice 3. over toast 4. over baked potatoes. I bet you can come up with other ways to serve this. I really hope you enjoy this as much as my family and I do. Ok except for Lukas.

I also love this recipe so I thought I would share it.

Crock pot chicken
1 whole chicken
1-2 cups of water
2 TBS of soy sauce
2 TBS of bouillon
and your favorite spices.
My combo is: garlic powder, paprika, pepper, parsley, chili powder, Italian herb mix.

This is soooooooo simple. You put the water, the bouillon, and soy sauce in the crock pot. Stir all of this to combine. Place the chicken into the liquid and then cover with your spices. Put the lid on and turn the crock pot on low, and cook 8-12 hours. I personally like to let it cook all night. In the morning I take the chicken out of the crock pot and let it cool. When the chicken is cooled remove the meat from the bones. Viola you have plenty of cooked chicken on hand for any number of recipes. I usually make soup the first day and Tetrazini the next day and some sorta casserole on the third day. If I find chickens on sale I will cook all of them over a few days and portion and freeze the meat.

Today Julie and her family boarded the plane bound for Japan. I am so excited for her. I am also very sad that it will be a while till I get to talk to her and even longer before I will get to see her. I would like for you all to pray for safe travels and for getting set up with an apartment and a car.

Our garden is sprouting!! With all the rain we have had our garden is blooming and so are my plum and fig trees. I am so happy to see all of this beautiful foliage. I guess you could say my yard is bursting with life. What a wonderful time of year. There is new life all around us, kittens, flowers, trees, and our garden. WOW!!

Wow!! Monday already?? How is that the weekend goes by so fast??

We had a lovely weekend out here in the boonies.;) This Friday the man for who will be installing our new internet came out to hook it up. Well, it turn out we live in the internet Bermuda Triangle LOL. I found it comical that he was able to get a signal just down the street from us but not on our roof. So, on Monday he will return with a 50ft pole, a 50foot pole can you imagine. My hubby wants to hang a Jolly Rodger Flag from it. I am still shaking my head about that one. LOL With the new internet my husband will be able to work from home again and not have to go to the coffee shop every day. Hey!! Wait just a minute, that means that my days of getting an ice coffee and a muffin are over. Hurumph. Guess I will go back to making my own. ;) It was nice to be pampered coffee wise for a while.

I have been an infrequent poster lately. That is gonna change. I am bound and determined to get back on my normal schedule. With that in mind, Mondays are menu for the week and my goals. So here goes.

Cereal (we always have cereal on Mondays)
BLT's and chips (I have been craving this for several weeks now)
Chili Baked potatoes with sour cream and salad

SOS over mashed potatoes (one of my favs)
Tuna sandwiches and carrot sticks
French toast

Chicken Parmesan over spaghetti
Ramen with add ins

Fried Chicken legs, mashed potatoes, corn, and salad
Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Refried bean burritos with rice and vegetable
Beef stew
Biscuits and gravy (I gotta spoil um sometimes)

A pretty simple and unfussy menu this week. So, I am curious what do you all make for dinner?? I love new ideas.

This weeks goals are pretty simple. Since we have been on vacation for a little while, I thought we would ease back into our school schedule. I am happy to say that I found a Sherlock Holmes unit study. It looks fantastic. You can check it out here when you click on this it will bring up a google search just click on the first option listed. I hope you have a lot of fun with it. If you decide to do the study tell us what changes you made. Did you add to it?? Did you come up with fun and challenging projects that were not included?? I also want to know if you made it more challenging for an older student or easier for a younger student.

My goals for this week are really simple. I want to make sure the dishes are done every night before bed (I am starting flylady), I want to type up chore charts, type up daily schedules, type up April's menus, write in my blog every day, get my son's room all set up, and I want to get my class room all done. I think those are very reasonable goals.

On the 3rd we will be getting our 8 chickens. Yippeee!! We have been eating and cooking with fresh eggs since we moved here. I love it.

I have to tell you that it is fantastic living across the street from my in-laws. Take today for instance, we got invited to come over and hang out. Then we were treated to dinner. (have you ever noticed that food tastes better when someone else cooks it ;0) We played in the garden for a while then watched food network challenge. We had a really fun time.

The kittens are opening their eyes now and their mother is leaving them for short periods of time. Wow, I can't believe they are big enough for that already. We went out and bought some kitten food so that when they are ready for it we have it. Speaking of the cat and her kittens, Ginger will not pick up her kittens. She will put her mouth on them and then run to where she wants them. She will do this till one of us catches on and moves her kittens to the spot and then she will lick us as if to say “hey, thanks” and then she lays downs and purrs while nursing them.

Well, it's time for me to do the dishes so I can go lay down and read my Charlotte Mason study guide. I am really wanting to switch the girls to Miss Mason's curriculum. Have you all had any exposure to it?? If you have please tell me what you think. I am very curios to hear from you all about it. Talk to you all tomorrow. ❤❤


Rissa's Room:

Helloooooooooooooooo every one!! What a chill we have had here in East Texas this week. I hope that all my friends/readers (you are all my friends) are not having to battle to much with the sickness that has plagued families this winter. I have been hearing talk of just terrible “bugs” that people are getting this year. I have been very blessed to that we have had two runny noses and two with sore throats each occasion only lasting a few days and that is it!! PTL. Speaking of not feeling well, please lift of Judy from benmakesten her father is ill and she and her siblings are at his bedside praying over him. Another prayer request if you don't mind. Julie and her family are moving to Japan as you all know. Well, her husband is due to report so VERY soon and they have no tickets issued to them yet. While I know for a FACT that Julie secretly wants to stay with me for a bit longer, I would like for you all the pray that they get their tickets all taken care of and that their trip is safe and uneventful. (ok, I have to confess that I would not mind at all if they have to come here and stay while they wait for tickets to meet up with her hubby)
Oh yeah please pray for housing to open up there for them. Living in a hotel for months at a time is not very fun at all. I was a military wife once and I remember all to well what it is like. All righty then that is all of the requests I can think of right now. OHH nope please pray for a job for Bobbi's husband. Truly that is all for right now. If you think of any please feel free to let me know and I will add them to my list.

On Wednesday Lukas and David went back to the city so Lukas could attend his permaculture class. He had a great time. They are home safe and sound. Speaking of permaculture Lukas started his first compost pile!! If any of you have successful compost piles and want to offer any advice/helpful hints we would love to hear them. He has also picked the spot that he wants to till for our garden. This weekend if it is dry enough he will be tilling it with the help of my brother in-law. (you know I will be taking pictures of my son's first time using the tiller)

I am happy to announce that in just a few short weeks we will be getting our chickens!! Yippee. We are getting about 8 of them. We have been enjoying fresh eggs from my in-laws chickens, so yummy. MMMMMMMM chicken. LOL Now I have visions of chickens in the pot cooking. Enchalada's, roasted chicken dinner, chicken pot pie, fried chicken, I better stop now. Ha ha ha... I guess I am gonna have to start getting on track and posting recipes more often. ;)

Our foster pets are settling in very well. You all saw a picture of Star isn't she a cutie?? Now it is time for you to meet Stormy our foster parakeet. He is such a talker. He loves to chat to us while we are watching tv. He also loves to dance. It is so cute to see him jammin' out and
getting all jiggy with it when ever music is played. Though I have to admit he only dances to music he likes. I like the music he has chosen though. Stormy does some really neat tricks. Not only does he talk, he allows you to touch him under his wing, and he will also come out and play on his play gym. While we have not gotten him to come out and fly around he has come all the way out of the door and he has eaten millet out of our hands and he lets us touch him. I am sure that flying around and dive bombing us is soon to follow. LOL “pilot to bombardier this is Stormy speaking am I clear for take off” Ha ha ha ( am such a joker) Star does all kinds a tricks as well. She plays dead, rolls over, lays down, sits, sits pretty, and we are currently teaching her “disco”. Introducing new pets into a home with old pets is really a challenge. We have had some funny situations come up.

I have to tell you all that on Wednesday night at about 10:00 pm my cat Ginger went into labor!! She had her first ever kittens. She only had two but, they are just so cute and precious. We named one Milkyway (who was snowball at first) and the other Hide 'N' Seek. There are some pictures in todays post for you. The guys had left about an hour and half before she went into labor. My poor hubby misses all kinds of stuff poor guy. It was my first time to see kittens born. The girls and I were enthralled. Our cat Ginger was so loving (a rarity for her she is soooo mean) and wanted to be petted during most of it. We really enjoyed petting her. Normally she barely tolerates us but, she LOVES Lukas. It was so neat to see her contractions and to see her kittens emerge. It was wonderful I will never forget it.

I also wanted to include some pictures of the house but, my cat Ginger went into labor again today, sadly this kitten did not make it. :( We named him Tiger and my husband and the girls said a prayer and laid him to rest. That took up most of the afternoon and evening. I will post house pictures and inside pictures of the wigwam tomorrow. I wish you all the best. Hugs and blessings to you all. ❤❤

So my husband finally got around to uploading some pics. Star Barnett is the newest member of the house. We are foster parenting for a few years ;)

This is me and Safety Girl in the back yard.

The house, and the wigwham.

Our coop.

The wigwham up close.

This is my view every morning when I wake up. Isn't it beautiful??

Pictures inside the wigwam and in the house will follow tomorrow. Hugs and blessings!!
Hello everyone!! I sure missed you all. I hope you all had a great weekend. We and our stuff are all here in at the new house. What a move we had. ;)

Let me back up a few days for you so I can fill you in. Thursday my husbands cousin and his fiance' came to our house and helped us finish packing and load the truck. Honestly we could not have done it without them. We are so very thankful to them. After my husbands cousin got there they went to the Budget truck rental place to pick up the truck. We got a 24' truck for two days unlimited mileage and no deposit fee (the guy waived it cus he said my husband looked like a nice guy) all this for under ninety dollars!! We stayed up till two on Thursday packing and loading. On Friday we woke up at eight made some french toast and went to packing and loading the truck full force. We finally locked the doors and windows to the old house on Friday at six o'clock pm. You know riding in that truck is both scary and exhilarating. It is scary because you are so high up and every bump in the road feels like you are riding on the bumpiest road in existence. LOL The great part is that you are in this monster truck and you could just run over anything like those trucks at monster truck rallies. Bwwwaaaahaaaahaaaa!!

At six o'clock we hopped in our vehicles and we left the big city behind. The ride to the new house was pretty uneventful till we hit the dirt road that leads to our house. We were about a ½ mile or less out from the house when a deer ran out in front of the truck we put on the breaks and managed to miss the little bugger by only two feet. (I can tell you that I was freaking out remember the breathing you do when you give birth picture that and my little girl holding my hand saying “it's ok mommy just hold my hand”) LOL When we got here we saw flash lights bobbing in the dark. My father in-law and my brother in-law both came over to help unload the truck. My husband was convinced that it was going to take us a really long time to unload but, it only took two or three hours. We were so happy to go to sleep that night. ;)

I finished my kitchen last night!! It looks great. It is so much bigger than the old one. I have lots of counter space. I gotta tell you all something silly but, cool to me. My new stove works so great. The old stove took 45mins to and hour to boil a pot of water not here 15 mins tops. Yipeee!! Speaking of cooking last night was the first night that I cooked for just us 5. I have enjoyed feeding everyone. I have made Swedish Meatballs over spaghetti, Cupboard casserole, and last night we had a lovely vegetable soup with alphabet pasta as requested by safety girl.

Today my hubby is going into town to run errands and what not. While he is there he will be buying batteries for the digital camera so, there will be pictures VERY soon. I can't wait to show you all the view from my windows and to take you all on a tour of the property. Most of all I can't wait to show the rooms as they get finished.

One last thing I have to share because I think it is sooooo cute. My mother in-law mowed a “Grandmothers trail” (as she calls it) between our houses. ;)

Hugs from our country cottage. ❤❤ Country gal. (he he he)