Monday, November 30, 2020

Menu Plan Monday 11/30



Pasta with garlic bread

Baked Potato Soup with cheese and bacon (Hash browns and Eggs for my son)

Sweet and Spicy Stir Fry Chicken with White Rice and Green Beans

French Dip Sloppy Joes with mac and cheese and corn bread

Homemade Pizza (Pepperoni, Garlic Chicken, Buffalo Chicken and Pizza Knuckle Roll Ups)

Movie Night with Leftovers and Apps

Chicken Fries, Chicken Wraps and Homemade French Fries

I think that I forgot to post my meals the last few weeks because Sunday night and Monday are very hectic.  I could normally get things going after school started and now I am kind of running school with my virtual learner on Monday.  I will start working out a better system but it has been an adjustment for sure.  We have a menu plan set up for the week from the freezer and pantry inventory that I took over the weekend.  I still have about 5 days to fill in for the rest of the month but tons of options on what to put in the meal plan.   Looking forward to figuring out how to best use the great things in the pantry and freezer this month.

Can you guys believe that it is December already?  Hope you have started your inventory and figuring out your meal plan? Is anything changing with the months getting colder?  We are working on adding in more casseroles and soups but we are going to be missing the grilled food for sure!!

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Softly Blow the Bugle Book Review

 I have read a few books by this author so I was excited to check this one out even though I hadn't read any of the other books in the series.  Softly Blows the Bugle (The Amish of Weaver's Creek) was the third book in the series which I didn't know when starting but I have become a little flexible in checking out new series wherever I can start out.  I am sure that the books can stand on their own as books so I decided to jump right in.


When Elizabeth Kaufman received the news of her husband's death at the Battle of Vicksburg in 1863, she felt only relief. She determined that she would never be at the mercy of any man again, even if it meant she would never have a family of her own. Then Aaron Zook comes home with her brother when the war ends two years later.

Despite the severity of his injuries, Aaron resolves to move West and leave the pain of the past behind him. He never imagined that the Amish way of life his grandfather had rejected long ago would be so enticing. That, and a certain widow he can't get out of his mind.

Yet, even in a simple community, life has a way of getting complicated. Aaron soon finds that while he may have left the battlefield behind, there is another fight he must win--the one for the heart of the woman he loves. Welcome back to the Amish community at Weaver's Creek, where the bonds of family and faith bind up the brokenhearted.

I was excited to start on this book and after reading nothing about it, I was surprised that it was a war novel.  It seemed to be totally opposite of the beliefs of the religion but I was interested to find out what was going on. I quickly learned that the men had not joined the church so I guess this was considered against the religion but I was still surprised and ready to learn more.  Jonas came home from the war to see his family including his sister Elizabeth Kaufman. Elizabeth was instantly looking at Aaron Zook who came home with her brother because there were things about him that reminded her of her late husband who was killed in the war.  Aaron Zook has dealt with a lot of things and met Jonas while he was recovering.  He decided that he would come home with Jonas before heading West to start his new life.  He was set that he was going to overcome his loss of his leg and work hard to make his new life in the West.  I was drawn in and ready to find out what was going to happen next.  I hope that you check out this book and see what happens.  I am sure that starting at the beginning would maybe not start off with as many questions. 

**I did get a copy of the book to read to provide my review but I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions here are my own.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas: Tucker Book Review

 I was excited that there was a new book in this series.  Tucker: Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas by Emily March is the 17th book in the series. There is a smaller series in the Eternity Springs with the McBrides of Texas and this is the second book.  I was excited to go back to the small town of Eternity Springs in this book and see all of the characters that were so memorable from the first book.


In Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas, New York Times bestselling author Emily March presents a brand new arc set in the Lone Star State that features a family-linked trilogy within the author's romantic series.

Hope springs eternal in this enchanting Texas town.

Meet Gillian Thacker. Her business: Bliss Bridal Salon. Her passion: Weddings. Her own wedding: It’s complicated. Life isn’t turning out like she’d planned. The last thing she wants is for a real-life hero to ride to her rescue when an unexpected event puts her entire future in Redemption, Texas, at risk. So what’s a broken-hearted bridal expert to do? Maybe a new set of survival skills is exactly what she needs…

Tucker McBride has been proud to call himself a U.S. Army Ranger. But now that his days of service are over, he’s decided to put his expertise to use by founding a wilderness skills training school. He sets up shop in Redemption, next to Bliss Bridal, and so begins life: Part Two. Marriage has been pretty low on his agenda, but as soon as he meets Gillian, Tucker can’t help but contemplate the ultimate challenge: Convincing the reluctant bride to take his hand and leap into the adventure of a lifetime. . .until death do they part. 

Gillian is going through things in her relationship with her fiance and trying to plan her wedding.  She is questioning a lot of things about her life but she is clear about her plan to have a family and start a new business with her husband.  Gillian continues to have fights with her fiance over things that she thinks are little issues that he wouldn't normally care about which is making her more confused.  At the same time, she is trying to run her business with the wedding dress shop with her mom.  She has her hands full with her schedule.  Tucker is leaving the Army and heading back to the town where his cousins live so that he doesn't have to be peppered with questions from the rest of the family.  He runs across Gillian walking down the side of the road and immediately drawn to her spunk and good looks.  She realizes quickly that he is related to people she knows and although he looks a little tough, Gillian realizes that she can trust him. Tucker brings her back to meet up with her fiance that she ran away from in the first place when she crashed her car. They both leave their chance meeting in the past when they see each other in town again.  You have to pick up the book to find out what decisions they both make that change their lives and the entire story along the way.  It  I hope that you check this book out and the rest of the series. I know that you will enjoy it as much as I have!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Their Perfect Match Book Review

 I was going through the books that I needed to read in my library pile before their were due back at the library. I have been going very slowly on the books so there were a bunch that were due.  I started this book and I was really confused because I didn't know this book but I totally knew this first story.  Their Perfect Match: A 2-in-1 Collection by Debbie Macomber is made up of two books. The first book is Promise Me Forever and the second is Adam's Image.  Promise Me Forever is also in another book that I read here. But I got a chance to read the other book included in this anthology.




Two classic romances of women discovering that the unlikely hero might be their perfect partner.


Physical therapist Joy Nielsen has never been daunted by the challenges of her career. And her latest patient, businessman Sloan Whittaker, isn’t going to change that, no matter how hard he’s making things. After a serious accident, he’s refusing to relearn how to walk. Joy is determined to make sure he recovers, and once he does, she’s prepared to move on to her next patient. There’s only one problem: after a soul-searing kiss, she doesn’t think she can get over him…


To all the world, Susan McKenzie, successful romance editor, seemed to be the perfect heroine. But there was one thing missing in her life, and that was the perfect hero. Then she met Dr. Adam Gallagher. He seemed to fit the role perfectly—surely together they would live happily ever after. But Adam didn’t seem to want to play the hero’s role. Aloof and somewhat mysterious, his professional detachment could drive any woman wild. Was he throwing a twist into Susan’s well-plotted life?

I thought this was a good story but very dated because it is an old story reprinted.  It was funny to see life before cell phones because it is certainly different then the way things go now.  Susan was working most of the time and she was fairly shy personally.  She spent most of her extra time doing work in her extra time.  When she went to a party, she was sitting off to the side and observing things that were going on and she noticed Adam.  She thought he was kind of plain looking but she was drawn to him.  Susan went up to Adam to talk to him and found him to be interesting.  They decided that they wanted coffee and Adam took her to the kitchen where the women there went out of her way to get him coffee and apple pie.  There was an up and down relationship between the two of them because Adam believes that she is too beautiful and can't possibly be attracted to him because he is plain.  It causes a lot of issues and you have to pick up the book to find out what happens.  I hope that you check out the book and the two stories included here. If you have questions about the first story, check out my first review.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Survior Mom Book Review

 I was excited to find Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios by Lisa Bedford.  I was interested to see what information was included in the book.  What was very clear is that this book written in 2012 was right on track for the things happening in 2020.  It was interesting to see someone who was talking about preparing long before everything hit and some of the things that she said we right on the money of how things went this year with food shortages and other issues.




“Lisa Bedford’s Survival Mom is a much needed resource of practical preparedness and survival knowledge that anybody (even ‘Survival Dads’) will find an indispensable addition to their self-reliance library!” — Survivalist Magazine

When a global pandemic makes you feel out of control, anxious, and unprepared, let the "Survival Mom," Lisa Bedford, show how you can put plans into place to give you peace of mind and keep your family safe. 

Undaunted by the prospect of TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know It) Lisa Bedford tackles every what-if and worst-case scenario head-on, offering practical and upbeat advice on how to prepare your family for whatever might come your way.

From a how to prepare food storage so that we can quarantine at home, to preparing for days without electricity, or an unexpected job loss, or chaos after a natural disaster, Survival Mom provides everything you need to become self-reliant and establish plans for your family, including:

•       preparing the home for a natural disaster

·        everything you need to know about food storage

•       alternative sources of energy in a power’s-out situation

·        the ins and outs of sanitation

·        keeping your family safe and secure

Lisa started her blog ( when she realized that all the literature on survival and preparedness was written by men, for men. Long a teacher and trainer, she took it upon herself to be the missing voice for the many moms out there and has quickly become an expert in the subject of survival, speaking around the nation about disaster preparedness.

Whether you’re a full-fledged “prepper” or just getting started, Lisa’s real-life stories and customizable forms and checklists along with an “you can do it” attitude, Survival Mom replaces paranoia and panic with the peace of knowing YOU have the power to keep your loved ones safe and secure.

I thought this was an interesting book and well worth the read.  The beginning has a quiz to say what kind of prepper mom are you with humorous questions to start off the book on the right step.  My answers led me to "Your Survival Mom DNA is starting to show!" It has helpful chapters like prepare more, panic less and survival begins with water.  It proceeds to some of the more extreme chapters such as Survival Finances and It Takes a Compound.  The great stories are what makes you go quickly through the book because you want to find out what happens next. I thought that it had a lot of information such as storing water for individuals at least 1 gallon per person per day. We are stocked up on lots of foods but maybe not enough to last through a year because we have been using the last 9 months while we have been at home and using it.  I found it to be really interesting to read all of the tips including preparing go bags and other things to be ready for emergency evacuation.  I hope that I can be more organized and ready for more emergencies. If you want to check out more, she has a website that has more information.  I hope that you check out this book and enjoy it as much as I did. So much information in a great story format.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Menu Plan Monday 11/9



Pasta with garlic bread

Salsa Sloppy Joes with mac and cheese and corn bread

Grilled Montreal Chicken  with White Rice

Rosemary Chicken and Egg Noodles

Homemade Pizza (Pepperoni, Garlic Chicken, Buffalo Chicken and Pizza Knuckle Roll Ups)

Southwest Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Fries, Chicken Wraps and Homemade French Fries

Last week went fairly close to plan although I didn't take out the meat soon enough so we did have Tacos until Wednesday so we just switched meals. I was glad to have everything to make the meals that we planned and thought that meant that I was pushing back the grocery shopping trip. I knew that we were going to need a few things in the middle of the month so I thought I was aiming around the middle of the month. We have most of the things to put meals on the table this week too but did that stop me from going to the store?!  Nope!!

We went out to drop off my husband's car for service so I took the advantage of having a driver and being close to the stores to hit a few.  I went to Aldi and got milk, tater tots, and a few things I thought would hold us over. Giant was on the way so I stopped to get $0.77 brownies after coupons. Safeway posted a $5 off $5 coupon on my account so I knew that my family would love some Cheez Its.  They were out of the big box so I thought I was leaving but the small boxes were on sale for 2/$5 so I got two boxes and paid only tax.  Ibotta made it hard to resist because they put out a free Thanksgiving meal so I went to pick it up at the store because it wasn't available on the grocery pick up.  I decided to go to the store closer to my house so that I could get the items that the other store was out of.  I was glad to get almost all but two items.  I also used a gift card for the purchase so there was no money out of pocket and I got money back.  I earned an additional $1 bonus too.  I totally forgot the lettuce when I was at Walmart (and the parchment paper but that isn't essential) so I had to go to Giant to get the sale on cereal and  Ritz crackers.  Luckily, the lettuce was on sale and on my way around the store I saw some clearance whole chickens so I decided to get enough to use a $5 off $25 coupon that my neighbor gave me. What was the start of the month with no shopping ended up with almost $60 in money spent so not sure that was the stock up once a month plan that I had in mind but I got a bunch of great deals.  Here is hoping to do better planning next time.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

The Price of Valor Book Review

 I was excited to see that there was another book in the Global Search and Rescue. Price of Valor (Global Search and Rescue) by Susan May Warren which is the third book in the series.  It says there are only three books in the series which I never know if that means that is because that is all that are published or all that are going to be published.  I am going to patiently wait for the next book in the series to read too!!

The Price of Valor (Global Search and Rescue Book #3) 


Former Navy SEAL Hamilton Jones thought that the love of his life was dead. But when a girl claiming to be his daughter shows up with a dire message from his wife, Ham knows he will stop at nothing to find her and bring her home.

Kidnapped by rebels while serving as an interpreter in Ukraine, Signe Kincaid has spent the past decade secreting out valuable information about Russian assets in the US to her CIA handler. Fearing for her daughter after being discovered as an operative, Signe sends her to Ham for safekeeping. She's ready to give her life for her country, and she can hardly expect Ham to rescue her after breaking his heart over and over.

When Ham discovers the reason Signe has kept her distance, he must choose between love for his wife and love for the nation he has vowed to protect. Will he save the many? Or the few?

This book seems to leave off where the last book stopped because Hamilton, called Ham by his friends, is looking for his wife who he thought was dead.  His life was turned upside down when his daughter shows up and he is trying to figure out what this means.  He works hard to solve the mystery and find the woman he loves.  As a life long hero, it is hard for him to give up on anything because he feels that it should end well.  He wants to make sure that he makes the best life for his daughter including finding her mother.  You won't know all the twists and turns unless you pick up the book for yourself.  I know that you will be on the edge of your seat and have trouble putting the book down. I hope that you check out this book and the rest of the series.  I can't wait to read the first book in the series which is the only one that I have missed so far. I can't wait to go back and find out how the series started.  Have you read any of the books in this series??