Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Sometimes homeschooling doesn't always equate to idyllic days of multi-age learning.  Sharing a good story with my kids is just about the best way to turn an upside down day into something we want to remember.   

Yesterday when math wasn't going quite as planned I grabbed a new book, gathered the kiddos on the couch and began reading.  It wasn't long before the bad attitudes evaporated and giggles were heard.

The book is a good one, The Cow Said Neigh! by Rory Feek.

The Cow Said Neigh! is the story of some peculiar farm animals who wish they were like otheranimals on the farm. The cow wants to run free like a horse, the sheep wants a snout like a pig,the dog wants to be inside like the cat. Soon the entire farm is in chaos!
With silly farm animal sounds, clever rhymes, and adorable art, The Cow Said Neigh! will havekids of all ages laughing out loud as they celebrate the unique strengths in each of us.
This delightful picture book is sure to be read time and time again.

Here's part of the back story.  Rory Feek is the father of a little girl, Indiana, with Down syndrome.  What a beautiful thing how this all lined up.  October is Down syndrome awareness month, Rory wrote this book for his little girl and I had a chance to read it (many times, now) to our son Joseph who also has Down syndrome.  

Farm animal books always top the list of favorites at my home and I bet it does at yours, too.  

 The pictures are real and cartoony at the same time.  The farmer has the greatest expressions and the kids especially loved calling out the animal sounds as I read.

Coloring pages.  Oh how my kids love coloring pages and this book comes with a free download of 3 coloring pages.  Joseph, Peter, and Maria had a blast adding their own details to the printable illustrations.

I received my copy of The Cow Said Neigh! in return for a review and link to the giveaway.  All opinions are mine.

Be sure to click here to enter to win your very own copy of this extra special farm story.

In case you simply can't wait and want it today, click here.

*If you make a purchase through my Amazon link I receive a small commission at no extra expense to you.  Thank you; I appreciate it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tons of Recipes from a Day of Cooking

Hello!!!  Are you here from YouTube?  From the day I went back and forth homeschooling and cooking all day?  I'm so glad you're here and you'll be happy to that all the recipes from that video are in one place.  Right here!

First up the meatballs.  In the video I showed me making Savory Meatballs, but I mentioned that I made meatballs the week before and everybody loved them.  Well, here's the long story.  I love trying new recipes and changing up existing recipes.  My family would prefer I just stick with what they like and stop changing things up.  The week before I made a different meatball recipe which we actually happened to like even better than these, but they are both good.  As a bonus I'm sharing both recipes here.  The first will be what you saw in the video.  The second will be the ones I made "last week".

Savory Meatballs
6 pounds beef and venison mix
1/3 c. dry minced onion
1/3 c. beef bouillon
2 cups evaporated milk or regular milk

Mix all together.  Shape into small meatballs.  I place mine on either aluminum foil or parchment paper so cleanup is a bit easier.  Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.  To test this cut one in half checking for doneness.

Use these in spaghetti sauce or brown gravy or however your family likes meatballs.  You can even combine 2 c. ketchup, 1 c. brown sugar and 1 T. Worcestershire sauce in crock-pot with meatballs.


4 1/2 pounds venison and beef mix
1 1/2 t. pepper
3 t. salt
3 t. parsley
3/4 c. diced onion
4 slices bread
1 1/4 c. milk

Soak bread in milk for 10 minutes.  Mix all above ingredients together and form into balls.  Bake on rimmed cookie sheet(s) at 350 for 45 minutes or more until meatballs are cooked through.

click here for recipe

Cheesy Potatoes (makes 1 9x13 casserole)
2 pounds frozen potato cubes
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 c. chopped onions
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. melted butter
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Combine all ingredients except potatoes.  Stir in potato cubes.  If they are frozen together bang them on the counter a few times to loosen up the potato cubes.  Spread in greased 9x13 pan.  Top with crushed potato chips or buttered crushed corn flakes (if desired).  I don't do that; I'm usually in too much of a hurry.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Crock-pot Scalloped Potatoes
2 pounds potatoes, sliced (make fast work of this in a food processor)
1/2 t. cream of tartar
1 c. water
1 small onion, sliced
1/4 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 T. butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 handfulls shredded cheddar or colby cheese
sliced ham

Toss sliced potatoes in water/cream of tartar solution for 10 minutes.  Drain.  Grease 4 quart crockpot.  Layer potatoes and onion.  Sprinkle with flour, salt and pepper.  Add ham slices and one handful cheese.  Make another layer just the same except do not put cheese on yet.  Spread cream soup over and add one more handful of cheese.  Cook on low for 7 - 9 hours.

Stove top Pepper Steak
click here for recipe

Although I never got to making the 7-Layer Salad that day I did just make it today and it was so good.  Here's how I make it.  It's quite forgiving

7-Layer Salad
1-2 heads of lettuce, torn into small pieces (it really depends on how big or little the heads of lettuce are)
1 very small red onion, sliced very thin
1/2 - 1 cup broccoli pieces
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1 c. frozen peas
half a cucumber, sliced
1 package of pre-cooked bacon (approx. 3 ounces), cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pkg. ranch dressing powder mix
2 cups mayonnaise
shredded cheddar cheese

You can really use any veggies you prefer.  Layer everything in a large glass casserole dish.  I have a 10x15 Pyrex dish that works perfectly for this.

Place bacon pieces on top.  Sprinkle ranch mix over entire top.  Spread mayo over all.  Cover with cheese.  Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or until supper.  You can toss the entire mixture when it's serving time, but we prefer to serve it as is and scoop out what we want.

This is so good.  I might go dish me up some right now.  It's 11:00 p.m.

The full video can be seen here.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Classic Chicken Pot Pie & Ice Cream Cake for Breakfast

Our oldest turned 21.  How in the world did that happen???

Anyway, let's talk about food because that always makes things better, right?

Emily's a girl of tradition so I've been making Chicken Pot Pie and Ice Cream Cake for many many years of birthdays.

These recipes in video version can be seen here.

Classic Chicken Pot Pie is the most comforting of all the comfort foods in the world and this recipe is super classic with the very basic of ingredients which makes it a crowd pleaser.  And it starts with a roux and we know that anything starting with a roux is bound to be DELICIOUS !!

CHICKEN POT PIE (recipe for 1 pie)

2 pie crusts (top & bottom) either homemade or store bought
1-2 cans Veg-all mixed veggies
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. diced onion
1/4 t. salt
pinch of sage or poultry seasoning
1/4 t. pepper
1 3/4 c. chicken broth
2/3 c. milk
3 cups cooked chicken

Roll out pie crusts if necessary.  Drain veggies.

Melt butter in saucepan, stir in flour, onion, seasonings.  Cook stirring constantly until mix is bubbly.  Stir in broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened.  Stir in milk.  Add chicken and veggies.  Pour into pie crust.  Sometimes there's a little filling leftover so just eat it because it's that good.  Place top crust and crimp edge well.  

Prick top crust and bake at 425 for about 35 minutes until crust is well done and prick holes bubble a bit.

Now for the ice cream cake.  This is adapted from a recipe found in a Duggar book.  This year we actually had ice cream cake for breakfast.  A bit unusual, but fun for everyone involved.

Emily's Ice Cream Cake

24 ice cream sandwiches
2 small cartons of Cool Whip
chocolate syrup
caramel syrup
3 crushed Butterfinger candy bars

Unwrap ice cream sandwiches and make one layer in 9x13 pan.  Top with 1 carton Cool Whip.  Squeeze chocolate syrup and caramel syrup over whipped topping (as much as you'd like).  Sprinkle with half the Butterfinger crumbs.  Create another layer just the same.  Place in freezer until time to serve.  You might need to let it thaw a little before cutting.

Watch the full length video at A Country Life.

Bible Camp Baked Oatmeal {Recipe}

Our older kids all went to a Bible Camp up North many summers.  This baked oatmeal was a breakfast staple.  One that Emily loved and looked forward to.

This recipe was first shared on my bulk cooking video here.


3/4 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. white sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1 t. salt
1 1/2 T. baking powder
4 1/2 c. quick cook oats (regular work fine, too, it'll be a little firmer)
1 t. cinnamon
3/4 c. raisins or any dried fruit you like (optional)

Mix all ingredients together.  Pour into greased 9x13 pan.  Sprinkle with brown sugar if you'd like.  Refrigerate overnight.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until oatmeal is set.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

I often split this into two smaller square pans, wrap with plastic wrap and then foil and freeze for up to 3 months.  To bake I set it on the counter before bed and bake in the morning for a little less time than a full pan - about 25-30 minutes.  This keeps well in the fridge once baked and can be warmed up on the following mornings.

You can watch this recipe in action on A Country Life.

Crock-Pot Venison (Beef) Stew

Stew.  Is there anything more comforting on a fall day?  I thought not!!

I first showed this Crock-Pot Venison Stew here on YouTube.


3 pounds venison, cubed (1 inch)
6 med. red potatoes, unpeeled, 1 inch cubes
6 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1-2 large onions, cut into large chunks
2 cups V-8/home-canned tomato juice
3 T. quick-cooking Tapioca
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. beef bouillon
1/4 t. pepper

Dredge meat in flour seasoned with garlic salt and pepper.  Quick fry in hot melted lard or shortening just to brown the outside.  Place in crock-pot (6 quart). Add all ingredients.  Slow cook on low for 5 1/2-6 hours or until meat and veggies are tender.

I've made a lot of stew recipes over the year and this one from my sister-in-law is always the favorite.  I think it's just so simple and doesn't have any surprising flavors.  Just good comfort food especially when served with warm crusty bread.

The full video including the recipe can be found at A Country Life.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Young Whit & the Traitor's Treasure Review & GIVEAWAY

I'm a huge sucker for chapter books.  Often, I don't know who enjoys the books more, me or the kids listening.

I've teamed up with FrontGate Media as a reviewer and I've reviewed some great books and DVDs.  This time they sent a chapter book....Alleluia!!

Young Whit & the Traitor's Treasure by Phil Lollar & Dave Arnold

Adventures in Odyssey is a popular Christian radio program and now John Avery Whittaker has made his way to the pages of this first in the series historical mystery.  Although the back book cover recommends this book for 10+, my 10, 6, and 5 year olds are all enjoying the story.  

More important though, is that I'm enjoying it because let's face it, come bedtime story time if the book is a dud I'm going to nod off and start making up sentences not even written on the pages.  You've done that, too, right?

FrontGate Media is giving away multiple copies so be sure to click over there and enter to win.

Enter to win here.

Of course, if you don't win or would like to score yourself a copy today, you can click over to Amazon.  If you'd prefer it's also available at Focus On the Family.