This Week at Our House: Week 10 of School

Our week began with a trip to our favorite beach. We headed south on HWY 12 to OBX. Its been way too long since we last visited this amazing place. From the time the first child was born we have been going to this amazing beach in the fall and winter ( non tourist season) . When my husband was no longer able to walk on the beach the trips became far and few between. So this trip was very special.
As always we take family photos.
 Sibs  ( Missing my oldest! This is his favorite place to be)
Always a Mom and Daughters shot.

 Our first stop. The bay side of the dunes. Wild and left to be natural. This is by far the best class room in the world! Hours have been spent here by my children.
 Water is shallow all the way to the middle of the sound. You can actually walk out to the middle. Of course the Jelly Fish are thick.
 Who knew a mushroom could grow in such conditions?
 Lots of photo ops.
LOTs of dead Jellys. ( its a good thing...many memories of jelly stings here)

 Pretty.This is Yaupon.    http://www.duke.edu/~cwcook/trees/ilvo.html
 Lunch. We use to use a blanket in the sand...but these old bones appreciate a chair and table!

 We drove right on by! Oh saddness! The kids were not really feeling a stop here ....it use to be the highlight of the day. This is Currituck Light.
 We drove right on by because this was our final destination! We are driving on the beach toward Corova. We had hoped to catch a glimpse of the Banker Ponies. I think the wind kept them on the other side of the dunes.


 This amazing beach is one of the only places left around here you can drive on. And this beach is actually a driveway for about 170 residents who live in isolated Corova. The Banker Pony Herd is protected here.This  photo of the some of the ponies  this was taken in 2001 at Backbay just North of Corova in Virginia. See more info on the ponies here: http://www.ncbeaches.com/Features/Wildlife/WildHorsesNorthCarolina/   I believe the Ponies are no longer able to access Backbay.

Catching these shore birds on film is challenging! Can you see them? Fast little things.  ( Plovers)

All in all it was a lovely day. Bringing to mind many memories of our day trips over the years.

So the rest of the week will be done by day on this post. This is my relaxed week...not so much on the calendar thus I have time to write. Time to dig in and finish stuff.
Each day starts with me getting up way before the family. I use this time to do prayer, devotions, feed all the critters and clean up after them and get the kitchen ready for breakfast. I enjoy the quiet time. I am currently in the book of Acts and will be finishing the Through the Bible in a Year for the second time by December.

Monday found us working diligently on our studies, cleaning the house, baking and barbecuing. The bread machine messed up a loaf ( I must not have inserted the paddle correctly). Anyway not wanting to waist the miss formed not quite mixed correctly blob, Emily and I turned it into yummy croutons. They were fabulous!!! It was the first day of the new quarter. I presented the kids with their schedules and plans. We have a total of nine days off this quarter...gonna be a challenge to stay on track. Oh holidays you undo our sensible schedules! I worked on my crocheting and am nearly done! We enjoyed grilled steak for dinner.

Tuesday was a day of cooking.I made yeast rolls ( enough for the week), Artisan Cheese Bread Batter ( to be baked on Wednesday), Fabulous Cheesy Meatballs, Pumpkin Muffins and a loaf of regular bread. The gals spent the morning at their enrichment classes and finished up school at home. Our neighbor and friend came by to help us fix our metal roof. During the last storm one of the corners lifted and was flapping and making all kinds of noise. Grateful for skillful friends with really tall ladders. Dinner was meatballs with sauce and noodles. Our evening was filled by Tuesday Church Outreach. ( dinner, praise and worship, bible story and craft with the kids who live in a very poor neighborhood)
Cheesy Meatballs
1 cup bread crumbs, 1/2 cup milk. 8 oz hamburger, 8oz ground pork, 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 2 large eggs, 2 cloves of garlic, minced
Soak bread crumbs in milk to soften. Mix all the ingredients together just enough to combine. Hands really do work the best! Chill for an hour. Line jelly roll pan with foil and oil the foil really well.  Form mixture into 2 inch balls.
Cook at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes about 24 meatballs
note: I will be using the other 1/2 pork and hamburger either in chili or sloppy joes.
Artisian  No Knead Bread
( this is a no knead so easy peasy recipe!. Sure to become a family favorite)
This week I wanted an Italian flavor and some cheese. This recipe is flexible.
3 cups bread flour, 1/4 teaspoon yeast, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder ( or less to your family's taste) 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning of your choice, 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese. 1 1/2 cups warm water. Combine all ingredients until just blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit out on the counter for at least 12 hours and no longer than 20 hours.
Use a wet spatula to get the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface. Fold the dough a few times to shape into a ball . I use my hands. Keep your hands wet so that the dough does not stick. Cover the dough for 2 hours with a towel that has been dusted with flour.
Preheat the pan ( I use a cast iron dutch oven) 450 degrees.
Using the towel turn the dough over into the hot preheated pot. Shake the pan to even it out. Cover and bake 30 minutes . Uncover and bake another 15 to 20 minutes.
Two Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins
( great for a last minute WOW dessert)
1 box spice cake mix
15 oz canned pumpkin
Mix the pumpkin and the spice cake mix together with the mixer.
Spoon into lined muffin tins 2/3 full
Smooth out the tops.
Bake at 350 for 18 to 22 minutes

Wednesday proved to be foggy hot and humid. I just got out our winter stuff...weather please make up your mind! It was in the 70s!  It was homework/school  as usual for the youngest, work for the oldest two and what seems like lots of time on my hands for me. In this new season ( we are no longer working the food pantry which took up a ton of our time each week) I need to be a good steward of my time. Made a list of unfinished projects and hope to tackle them one by one. I surely need to get out of the kitchen and stop baking or I will be looking for a new wardrobe! I did bake more rolls today. I should know that one large batch is not going to make it through the week. I also needed hamburger sized rolls for tonight's dinner. Sloppy Joes. I also made Pumpkin Pie Spice. Easy to do and quicker than running to the store for it. I found a wonderful recipe site. http://www.justapinch.com/ I like the daily emails with new ideas. I am always looking for fabulous new to me ideas in the kitchen.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Mix all ingredients together very well and store in an air tight container.
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon all spice, large pinch of mace
Here is a fabulous spur of the moment lesson on the dollar bill. Check it out! http://lenpenzo.com/blog/id734-a-primer-to-help-you-unravel-the-true-meaning-of-a-dollar.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LenPenzo+%28Len+Penzo+dot+Com%29 Did you know there is a spider on the dollar bill!? ( or maybe something else?)
Youngest daughter and I went to our favorite thrift store with a five dollar coupon in hand and hopes of helping her decide just how to get/make 8 Christmas gifts with her budget. She did very well! 3 gifts down and 5 to go! Of course I will have to share her creativity after the holidays.

Thursday dawned yet again foggy, humid and close to 70 degrees. The gals spent the morning at their enrichment classes and the afternoon finishing up school at home. Hubby and I took a short drive to view the changing fall color. So pretty this year. I made banana bread ( new recipe!), worked on crochet and ventured into the closet under the stairs to find craft supplies for gift making.
Banana Nut Bread
This amazing bread is like a buttery rich pound cake!
Makes 2 regular 4 by 8 loaves. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until center comes out clean.
3/4 c  butter, softened  ( use real butter...it taste soooo much better)
8 oz  cream cheese, room temperature
2 c  sugar
2 lg eggs
1 1/2 c   mashed ripe bananas
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 c  all  purpose  flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c  chopped pecans,
Be sure to oil the baking pans. Cool before removing from pans.

I am thankful I can make homemade breads and sweets and skip preservatives, additives and food colors in some of my families diet. Google  L-cysteine  sometime and learn just where it comes from. It can be found in all commercial bread products and some dairy products. Here are a few more...Mono & Di-glycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (SSL), and Diacetyl Esters of Tartaric Acid , Mono & Di-glycerides, Azodicarbonamide, Ammonium sulfate and Monocalcium phosphate.
Dinner was created from leftovers: Chinese Steak and Rice/Veggies.

Friday. I worked friday morning while oldest dd was at work and youngest finished up her school for the day. In the afternoon yougest dd and I finished up her Christmas shopping ( yes she did and all on a very tight budget). We still have to finish a few homemade gifts but all will be done by Thanksgiving.  ( I wish it were me as well but what can I say...I only have one gift done) I spent the afternoon teaching myself crochet stitches with videos. I really want to learn something besides the basics. http://www.nexstitch.com/index.html
 Dinner was leftovers. YUM. Went to a girl friends for a couple of hours to help her plan menus and share recipes.
 Found on line video help for oldest dd with her math!  Great examples and a real help.http://teachers.henrico.k12.va.us/math/hcpsalgebra2/modules.html 
That about sums up our week. School gets finished up on the weekend due to work schedules. I do not know if I can do a day by day each week. But I do know I can do a post a week.
Goals for this coming week are to finish up two gifts for Christmas, organize the Christmas boxes in the attic, ( too much stuff), and get a box together for the thrift store.


  1. Oh, how I love your week! What a faboulous outing. I am so curious about the ponies and will investigate more. We so loved seeing the Chincoteague ones. Look at all the baking/cooking. Lovely!

  2. What a great week. I love the beach pictures. We used to love homemade croutons when we could eat wheat.

  3. Sounds like a busy, but nice week. I love all your pretty pictures of the beach. Looks like a beautiful place to visit. Enjoy your weekend.

  4. Loved the beach photos! So glad you were able to go. Your week seems very full with lots of baking, something I love too, but am curtailing a little this season to try to loose some pounds before Christmas. I am hoping the holiday season doesn't derail us too much with our routines. That's always a draw back to taking time off.

  5. Sounds like a good week. Love the pictures, they are so pretty.

  6. Thank you so much for "taking us along" on your field trip - just beautiful!!!

    You're inspiring me in so many ways, Tina, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your week sounded lovely, and I for one am glad your schedule was lighter so you could come visit with us and share. xxx

    Have a lovely and peaceful rest-of-weekend!
    Shani (((hugs)))

  7. Wow, there's so much here...where to begin?!!

    I loved your beach walk...I find the ocean so calming (at least on a calm day, LOL!) when I'm on vacation. Here in the midwestern suburbs, all we have are retention ponds to "relax by." UGH.

    When we visited Virginia, I remember going to Virginia Beach. The water was pretty, but the beach was dirty-looking. I hate to hear that anyone can drive on a beach...but if there are out-islands that need it, well, I guess I can get over it! But it definitely impacts the appearance...good thing the tides come in and out! Your beach looks so pretty, though...I love the wild and untouched dune side photos.

    your ministry activities always inspire me, and I know you are making an eternal impact out there. :-)

    Spice cake and a can of pumpkin ... *PERFECT*

    Have a blessed week before Thanksgiving!
    {{{HUGS}}}, my friend!

  8. Wow! Thank you for giving us a full recap of your week :) I'm amazed at all the neat photo opportunities and even recipes! I am in the mood for trying new recipes, so I'm sure that I will try the Artisan bread..YUM!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week :)


Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Psalms 143:8