September 23rd, 2011

7 Quick Takes, For the Win

— 1 —
Excavator Update

We are having a new septic system put in this week. I am not embarrassed to admit that I am all kinds of excited about this. Yes, we are paying someone a ridiculous amount of money for the privilege of having our yard torn up and … being able to flush the toilet on a regular basis. Oh, and take showers. This is country living at its best and I am over the moon.

— 2 —
Book Report

I have been working on a new book project for several months now. I go through periods of time where I focus on it and make great progress and then other periods where I neglect it for long stretches of time. Soft deadlines will do that to a project. I have just gotten a hard deadline of early next year, however, and the plans are for the book to release in Fall 2012. I am happy! And trying not to panic! This book is a bit different for me and with a new publisher, so I am a little bit outside of my comfort zone. But here goes …

— 3 —
Cuteness Overdose

What was wrong with me all those years ago when I first began homeschooling my oldest kids? I used to freak out on a regular basis and I stressed about school every single day. But I had no idea how adorable they were. I must be more chilled out with my age and experience now, though, because this year, every morning when I sit down with phonics books, crayons, and flashcards with my Kindergartner and First Grader, I almost die of the cuteness. They are so sweet. And earnest. It’s such a privilege to be their mom and teacher.

— 4 —
Old Books Made New

Speaking of the little kids, I am currently reading a chapter a day of Charlotte’s Web with my youngest four. It is, of course, the perfect read-aloud book and every child has a God-given right to hear it read aloud while snuggling on the couch with his family, but I have thus far neglected to do so with my littlest kids.

We are currently on the chapter where Charlotte writes TERRIFIC in the web. I knew I was in trouble when I teared up reading the very first chapter. The beautifully familiar words just do that to me. I am going to be a complete mess by the end. And I am okay with that.

— 5 —
Quick & Easy Dinner

I have been experimenting with baking mix dinner recipes this week. Some have been hits and some have been less so, but all have been quick and easy. I am not too proud to admit that I need that right now. If you don’t have an aversion to “cream of soup” kinds of recipes that also call for baking mix, you should try this Chicken Pot Pie. It has a large amount of vegetables (I might have put an extra couple of cups in my triple batch) and most of my family actually ate them.

I am not a gourmet chef. I’m a mom who needs to get dinner for ten on the table night after night. I will take my wins wherever I can find them.

— 6 —
Joy of Baking

Speaking of wins, I have been continuing to enjoy the bread machine my mom and dad gave me for my birthday this summer. I find this cookbook quite helpful.

Dan makes fun of me every time he sees the machine on the counter (“Ooooooh, Mama’s making bread. HOMEMADE bread!”) but I don’t let that discourage me. The kids eat an entire loaf of freshly baked bread with dinner and for breakfast a couple of times a week. That’s a win for me. Next up: sour dough. I just need to remember to start that starter …

— 7 —
Pumpkin Crisis

Can you buy canned pumpkin where you live? Its not available here and I hear there’s some sort of shortage (Hurricane Irene?). Oktoberfest is next weekend, I’ve got a colossal amount of baking to do, and I am trying not to panic. Is there a patron saint of hard-to-find pantry items? I’d like to pray to him. Or her. Of course it would be a her.

I hope you have a great weekend! And be sure to check out all the other Quick Takes over at Jen’s place.

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