Currently :: April 2020

This has been on the list of things to do for a few weeks, but I've apparently hit that point in our sheltering in place that I've dusted off the blog!

Cooking: all the things. I know I'm not the only one who has funneled all their monthly money into groceries! I'm not spending it on gas or sports or (too many) books. I'm not complaining though - this time at home as rekindled my love of slowly chopping veggies, simmering sauces, and cooking dinner. I won't complain when our evening sports start up, but I have really enjoyed cooking real meals and not something that we eat hurriedly before heading out the door or warm up when we get home (or figure out how to pack it). Some favorites that we've enjoyed:

  • Whole Kitchen Sink's beef and broccoli. If you don't have the coconut aminos and arrowroot flour to make it Whole 30 (sometimes I do and sometimes I don't), you can easily sub soy sauce and cornstarch. Delicious and came together super fast in the instant pot.
  • Naptime Kitchen's Salsa Verde chicken. Yum and one that I made substitutions with as well - I didn't have salsa verde so just threw in regular salsa instead. I love recipes that I can tweak with what's in the cabinet. Of note: her greek-ish crockpot chicken is in regular rotation around here and it is so good. 
  • Lazy Genius' from scratch tikki masala. SO GOOD. I usually use a jar of sauce to make this, but no more.
  • homemade sausage gravy with biscuits (from a can). This was a huge crowd pleaser so I need to do this again.

Lest you think dinner is from scratch every night, I've also bought a ton of frozen pizzas from Sam's as well. I'm so thankful that some of the food buying frenzy has slowed down in the last week or so - at least I can tell it has in my local store. They still are limiting things like bread and eggs, but the last couple times I went in, I was able to get everything on my list (minus yeast which I can't find anywhere!) The first few weeks when I would go, I would get a horrible tightness in my chest and pit of my stomach just looking at all that was picked over and empty. The Lord has totally provided and we haven't missed a single meal, but seeing those empty cases and shelves made it seem very scary and real.

Empty meat cases at Sam's
Baking: not me, but the girls. Almost every day someone is asking me if they can make chocolate chip cookies, muffins, etc. It's a blessing ... and a curse! They, like me with dinner, have time to do it, and unfortunately, they are pretty good at it. I will leave you with the one thing that I have baked several times now and think about all the time: SkinnyTaste's everything-but-the-bagel bagel balls stuffed with cream cheese. So so good.

Going: no where for the most part. Perks of this - I'm on the same tank of gas going on three weeks now! Downside: the only time I get out is a hurried trip into Walmart or Sam's. I've just decided that those are the two places I'm going to go and I get in and get out. I made an exception yesterday with a trip to Target (my first in a couple months it seems like) to try and by some yeast for a request for homemade pizza dough but I totally struck out. We have made a couple trips into the pediatricians for wellness appointments and their office has done a great job getting us in and out the door. I would have put those off like everything else, but my school girls needed some forms for registration for the fall and I felt like we would be safe doing it. 

Reading: currently I have a couple books that are in the queue or in process: 
  • Christine Hoover's With All Your Heart: Living Joyfully through Allegiance to King Jesus. This book hasn't been the easiest to read. It's pointing out some sin in my life that has been uncomfortable, but I'm thankful for the words that she's put out there for me to work through. 
  • Ethan and I have read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH together, and just finished the 4th Paddington book, Paddington Abroad, last week. Reading aloud with him after lunch has been a gift (and a needed screen break for him) with so much home time. We're about to start the first book in the Wingfeather series by Andrew Peterson. I've never read these aloud with any of the kids, but since I've been wanting to reread them, Ethan will be a willing participant along with me.
  • The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. Natalie (the 14 year old) has read this twice in the last few years and I'm jealous. One of my favorites and most significant books in my life and I am overdue for a re-read.
There are always others on the shelf waiting to be read as well! I've really cut back on the number of books that I've bought in the last couple of years, choosing to utilize the library for the most part, but I've treated myself to a few used books the last few weeks and hopefully I'll come back and share those finds after I've read them.

Studying: I've been in a CBS (Community Bible Study) study of the minor prophets this year but when school let out mid-March, it ended. I've worked a little on finishing the lessons, but the class has moved to zoom meetings for the last 4-6 class times. To be honest, I don't have time (even with being home so much!) to do zoom meetings during the day ... it's hard with a 9 year old that wants help with math and other kids coming in and out for help as well. I've chalked this up to one of the unfinished things of the season and have pulled a study on James off my shelf to work through. Since he starts right off with a word about steadfastness during trials and handling it with joy, it seems like it might be timely.

Schooling: Several have asked me how it's been going with my two school girls returning home. (In case it's new info, our 16 year old is a sophomore at a public high school and our 12 year old is in 6th grade in public school. The 8th grader and 3rd grader and I are still in Classical Conversations / homeschooling). The 6th grader has settled back into working at home really well - huge props to her school, they have done an outstanding job getting packets of work together for the students. She works a little each day, and even knowing that it's review material and it won't be graded on return; the fact that she has a little work to do each day helps her have something to do and she's keeping up with it. My 10th grader is a different story - her school has NOT provided a lot of guidance or instruction while she's been out, unfortunately, and has really only encouraged the kids to use this time to complete any outstanding assignments. She doesn't have any so as of now, she's in the midst of a six week spring break or so. Nice for her, but I'm curious how they will handle the rest of the year's work? That's the question on everyone's mind ... along with whether or not they will call school in our state for the rest of the year. As of now, our two are supposed to go back the last week in April, but I'm highly doubtful. 

The homeschoolers are plugging along as normal, for the most part. Natalie (8th grade) has a ton of zoom calls a week with her Challenge B class. At least half are for mock trial which she is still preparing for even though they will miss the experience of trying their case in a real courtroom with a real judge. That's been a disappointment after all their hard work for sure! Ethan has gotten to zoom with his little homeschool peeps and it's been precious. He has a great class and you can tell they miss being together. He and I have done the CC science experiments we would have done in class together, like building an egg protector and throwing it off the roof of the house, so that has given us some fun projects to do. 

This is gone on long enough for an update! It's a beautiful Saturday and I have a strawberry pie to bake for our small Easter lunch we'll have tomorrow. Thankful that even though I can't celebrate with others, I still have a Savior who is with me today and who I'll celebrate tomorrow. Hallelujah.


  1. I clicked over on a whim (and because I'm feeling nostalgic and longing for the good old days), and lo and behold, here you are! I'm so glad to see you! :-)

    Things are hopping here. Our school (all four kids go, I teach) had a fast turnaround (as in 3 days!) of cancelling school and scrambling to make a virtual learning plan. I use Google Classroom with my fourth graders and meet with them virtually for about an hour four days a week. All of my kids have varying amounts of things to do, and the high schoolers in particular have used this opportunity to sleep in and chill in their rooms. Ha! We're out for the rest of the year.
    We're doing okay--spending lots on groceries, going on walks, playing games, and essentially living in an extremely messy house. I suspect we're doing what the rest of the country is doing.
    I'm so glad to get a peek into your life! I miss all my peeps.


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