About Me

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Indiana, United States
Updates on our homeschooling family with ten children, a handful of chickens, a couple horses, three bunnies, and six cats. Visit our website at PeacefulHome.net


Blog Archive

Grocery Spending

Food Only

Oct 2010 - $231.39

Nov 2010 - $998.22

Dec 2010 - $340.29

Jan 2011 - $855.15

Feb 2011 - $203.17

Mar 2011 - $916.52

Monthly Average $590.79

Weekly Average $137.85
Our family's website, PeacefulHome.net, is in the process of changing hosting companies and is currently inactive. Our plan is to move this blog over once construction is complete. Please stay tuned for updates!

Monday, August 31, 2009

A new skirt for me! Yipee!

I rarely take time to make anything for myself. I usually sew for Emelie (because she always needs clothes) or the little girls (because I love sewing little girl clothes). But when I saw this fabric at the store, I had to have it for myself. I love it so much, I've also used it in my latest baby carrier creation.

I had intended to use it in a wrap skirt. Unfortunately, I hadn't read the pattern directions closely. One-way directional prints were not an option.

A friend at church had given me two boxes of old patterns and this vintage dress caught my eye. I knew I didn't want a dress, but loved the look of the skirt.

I modified the pattern, cut it out, and then it sat in the craft room for about two months. Last week I decided it had marinated long enough. I sewed the bulk of it in one night, put in the zipper and waistband the next night, and hemmed it Saturday morning before the picnic.

Voila! A new favorite!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - August 31, 2009

What?! Did I just type August 31? I really don't understand how that is possible! To say this year has gone by in a blink is understating things.

And now we're heading into September. This week I'll celebrate my last birthday as a thirtysomething. Bryan and I will have our anniversary on the eighth anniversary of 9/11. The whole Stumpf crew will head down to Florida for the week (a first for all the children). Then we'll return to "Boy Birthday Week." My littlest baby will turn 1, Jacob - 6, and Caleb - 8. Whew! I guess September will probably fly by, too!

This weekend we enjoyed a picnic with Bryan's Rotary Club. Sunday, Bryan and Jamers' husband attended the Moto GP at the Indianapolis Speedway. Unfortunately, Jamers was sick and she and the girls couldn't come up to spend the day with us.

Tomorrow we begin our only full week of school until late September. AWANA starts this week. Why do I feel like I need a nap?
Here's what we will be enjoying this week:

Monday - Baked Potato Salad

Tuesday (Homeschool Mom's Meeting) - Bean Burritos, Homemade Tortillas, Corn

Wednesday (AWANA) - Chicken Patty Sandwiches, Popcorn

Thursday - Hashbrown Casserole, Peach Cobbler, Eggs

Friday - My Birthday so I won't be cooking!!!

Saturday - BBQ Pork Sandwiches

What's on your menu? Find more menus at orgjunkie.com.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Another shameless boast

Earlier this week we picked up the children's exhibits that made it to the Indiana State Fair. All 5 (3 for Emelie, 1 each for Meg and Teddy) earned blue ribbons. We are so proud of the children and all their hard work!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Our Six Flags Adventure

Now that we're back in the swing of school, I thought we'd look back on the day we spent at Six Flags Great America north of Chicago at the beginning of August. (To be perfectly honest, I'm just now pulling the photos of Emelie's camera.)

Through a reading program, we all had free tickets (which made the crowds, lines, and heat easier to bear). As always, the best part was spending the day with our favorite family of 11!

No photos of Emelie since she was usually off riding a roller coaster with one or both dads. And special commendation and thanks to Grandma Nan who stayed home with BOTH 11-month-old baby boys!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


While spending some time in the mall this past weekend, we wandered into the Disney Store. Brigitta was thoroughly enjoying looking at everything princess. There was a young mother there with her 4ish-year-old daughter, and the little girl was picking out a toy.

She was indecisive and mom was trying to hurry her up. After she made her selection, they walked in front of me and I heard the mother say to her daughter. "We need to hurry since we fibbed to Daddy about where we were going."

Now I'm pretty sure that the pink princess purse and makeup set was not a surprise birthday gift for Dad. I was stunned thinking of all the possible repercussions that lying to the husband/father could have.
  1. Mom lies to Dad. That's what married people do.
  2. Little girl knows about the lie. Since Mom said it, lying is OK, little girl will definitely lie to her parents as she gets older. Very handy as a teenager.
  3. There's a difference in the severity of untruthfulness and so long as no one gets hurt (or finds out). It's OK to tell "white lies."

I hope I'm completely off base on what I heard and that there's a very good explanation for it. It just seems to be another glimpse of the deterioration of the line between right and wrong in society.

You shall not give false testimony...Exodus 20:16

The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. Proverbs 12:22

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WFMW - Dirty Rag Game Part 2

As I alluded to a few weeks ago in my Dirty Rag Game Part 1 post, when the children grew older and greater in number, cleaning the floors became a competitive sport in our home.

Handing each child a cleaning rag and a spray bottle of water or diluted cleaner (depending on their age), I told them they had three minutes to get their white rag as disgusting as possible. I learned to tell them the boundaries of where they could wipe (Teddy figured out early on that the rag would get extremely disgusting by running along the track of the sliding glass door). Then I would stand back and watch them squirt and wipe their hearts out.

The best part would be when they would squeal with glee at finding a particularly disgusting glob on the floor (this is revealing way to much info about the state of my home!).

When the timer sounded, they would lay out their filthy rags for inspection. The winner would receive 5 M&Ms or marshmallows, while everyone else would get 3 for effort. If the floor needed more work, we'd set the timer again. Fun, laughter and a floor cleaned in minutes!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sears Laundry Soap

As a frugal venture I have made my own laundry soap in the past. Not a success. Our clothes were dingy and gummy. Husband asked me to please stop. However, after Lisa's recent effort, I might be persuaded to make a go of it again.

In the meantime, we buy our soap from the local Sears store. The prices beat name brand soap (especially he soap for front loaders) by a long-shot. We by the super-stain-removing type (I wonder why?) and it does a great job. Since we have soft water, I only use 3/4 of the little cupful for each load.

It frequently goes on sale, too. I recently bought enough to do 240 loads for 12.99. That's $.05 per load, and it will last us about 4 months!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Couple Crockpot Recipes

I love my crockpot when things get busy. I really, really do! It seems so simple to toss something in while I'm getting breakfast ready. Sometimes it even frees me up enough to make more exciting side dishes like fresh yeast rolls. I also enjoy how it fills the house with such comforting smells that makes everyone look forward to dinner. Here are a couple recipes that we have enjoyed lately.

Japanese Chicken

3 T soy sauce

3/4 C sugar

3 T water

1/2 C white vinegar

Chicken breasts cut into pieces (I used 2, next time I'll make more)

In a crockpot, add soy sauce, sugar, water, and white vinegar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add chicken pieces. Cook on low for at least 5 hours (until tender). Serve over rice.

Beef & Noodles

1.5 lbs. beef stew meat

1 env. onion soup mix

1 can cream of mushroom soup (I used cream of chicken)

1 can ginger ale or Sprite

Egg noodles

Combine in crockpot and cook on low all day. Cook noodles and add before serving.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - August 24, 2009

We have been enjoying a fun weekend with Bryan's mom visiting from California. It is always such a delight to have Bryan home and spend time together as a family.

Bryan's birthday is Monday which begins our annual tradition of me telling him how old he is - until I turn the same age in 10 more days. At that point we both become very youthful again!

This week we will be enjoying:

Monday - Tater Tot Casserole, Green Beans

Tuesday - Biscuits and Gravy, Peach Cobbler

Wednesday - Spaghetti & Meatballs, Garlic Bread, Salad

Thursday - Pizza, Mac N Cheese

Friday - Teriyaki Chicken and Rice, Sesame Broccoli

Saturday - Ham & Cheese Sandwiches, Oven Fries

Find more menus at orgjunkie.com. What's on your menu this week?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Requested Recipes

Here are four more recipes requested off the past couple Menu Plan Mondays. Enjoy!

Polar Chicken (I have no idea why this is named thus. Use your imagination and come up with something good and post in the comments!)

Chicken Breasts (I used 3)

1 (8 oz.) bottle Catalina salad dressing

1 (16 oz.) can whole cranberry sauce

1 env. onion soup mix

Combine the dressing, cranberry sauce, and onion soup in a bowl and mix well. Arrange the chicken in a shallow baking dish. Spoon the mixture over the chicken. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Serve with rice.

Notes: This was a huge hit for our family. I made it in the pressure cooker. The crockpot would be another possibility. I chopped up the chicken after cooking and we spooned it over our rice.

Upside Down Pizza

2 lbs. ground beef (I skimped here and used .5 lb beef and .5 lb sausage)

1/4 C onion

15 oz. can tomato sauce

1 pkg. spaghetti mix

1 C sour cream

1.5 C mozzarella cheese

1 pkg. crescent rolls

1 T butter

Parmesan cheese
Brown and drain ground beef and onion. Mix in tomato sauce and spaghetti mix. Press into 13 x 9 pan. Spread sour cream on meat. Sprinkle cheese on top of sour cream. Roll crescent rolls over cheese without separating. Melt butter and baste on rolls. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 375 for 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more.

Notes: My boys snarfed this up! Ted said that next time I should make one pan for his, one for Caleb, and one for the rest of us! I used jarred spaghetti sauce instead of the tomato sauce and seasoning mix.

Poppy Seed Chicken

2 sleeves Ritz crackers, crushed

1 T poppy seeds

1 stick butter

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 C sour cream

4 chicken breasts, cooked and cut up

Mix together crushed crackers and poppy seeds. Melt butter and mix into cracker mixture. Put half of crumb mixture in the bottom of a 13 x 9 dish. Mix together soup, sour cream, and chicken. Pour over cracker mixture and top with remaining cracker mixture. Bake at 350 got 40 min-1 hour.

Notes: I actually haven't made this yet because I discovered I am out of poppy seeds! Looking forward to it though!

Kidney Bean Casserole

1 lg. can kidney beans

1 lb. hamburger

1 onion, chopped

1 can tomato soup

1/2 tea. oregano

salt & pepper to taste

1 box Jiffy cornbread mix

Brown onion and hamburger, drain. Add soup, beans, and spices. Pour into casserole dish. Top with cornbread (prepared according to package directions). Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.

Notes: I omitted the meat and doubled the beans. It was still very well-received. I baked it in a 13 x 9 and the cornbread was a little skimpy. Next time I'll double the mix or make a batch of cornbread from scratch.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Download the Job Lists

By popular demand, I've put our current Job Lists up on our website. It's in an MS Word format that you can tweak to your heart's content.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

WFMW - Our Beloved Schedule

At least once or twice a year, more often with a nursing babe, we tweak our Master Schedule. It is the key to keeping our days running smoothly. Or, dare I say it, a Peaceful Home! I created it using the Managers of Their Homes book.

I hear so many homeschoolers lament that they can't get their schoolwork done in a day, or the baby's schedule is wrecking havoc with the day's plans, or their housework never gets done. The solution to all these problems is a written schedule!

Not that this is the domain for homeschoolers only. Any home with children will benefit with structure and a schedule, especially during school breaks. Children love to know what "comes next," and moving from activity to activity keeps them from getting bored.

Managers of Their Homes walks you through the scheduling process in a way that is not intimidating and easy to follow.

Download a copy of our current schedule here. What works for you?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Move over PAM!

I enjoy cooking and baking, but cleaning up afterward can be a drag. Plus, the many cans of non-stick cooking spray I was using wasn't helping our budget. Then I learned of this nifty trick:

Combine equal amounts of canola or olive oil with liquid lecithin (available at any health food store or natural foods co-op). Store in the fridge. It can be stored in a pump bottle to squirt it on. I keep mine in a container and paint it on with a silicone pastry brush. Actually, my little ones love to "paint" the dishes for me.

This is very economical because a little goes a long way. The lecithin lasts forever, and it makes clean-up a breeze!

Monday, August 17, 2009

School Year Resolution

I realized a couple weeks ago while making our schedule, that waiting to drag myself out of bed whenever the first little one wandered into my room in the morning wasn't going to work this year.

We're adding a new student this year bringing our count to 5, and I really want to spend some time first thing every morning with Brigitta and Heidi reading stories.

Since I'm not ready to discontinue my nap (even though I only lay down to make sure that Brigitta goes to sleep ;-), the change will have to be made with my to bed and wake-up time. I'm very much a night person, but I'm prepared to change my ways.

Therefore I hereby resolve to:
  1. Be in bed by midnight every school night (it's not uncommon to force myself into bed at 1:30 am).
  2. Set an alarm to go off at 6:45 am and immediately get dressed.
  3. Wake children at 7:00 am.

I let you know how this goes. I'll be the one clutching my Diet Pepsi with a death-grip.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - August 17, 2009

First day of school tomorrow! I'm mostly ready which is as good as it's going to get. Jacob is super excited to begin Kindergarten, and that pretty much makes up for some of the groans coming from the Jr. High-ers.

We were able to spend the afternoon today at the Indianapolis Children's Museum and see the King Tut exhibit. Some of the younger children had never even been to the museum. We had a wonderful time, and it was truly awe inspiring to see things that are that old that we had seen pictures of in books. Caleb and Jacob came home and pulled out an Egyptian activity book and wrote everyone's name in hieroglyphics. I think we can count this as a school day!

As we start our new school year, the Stumpfs will be enjoying:

Monday - Polar Chicken, Rice

Tuesday (Lainie Teacher's Lounge)- Waffles, Fruit Syrup, Sausage

Wednesday - Pinto Beans, Cornbread, Mac 'n Cheese

Thursday (Grandma Mary Lou Arrives!)- Chili con Queso, Chips, Corn Casserole

Friday - Ham & Cheese Sandwiches, Fries

Saturday - Island Pork Delight, Rice

Find more meal plans at orgjunkie.com! If you've requested a recipe, I hope to post them later this week.

Friday, August 14, 2009

You know you live in the country when...

This is the view out your front door...

This is the view out your back door...
And when you go for a walk around the block, you take a horse with you.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Product Review - Castle Cards

Anything that can keep and hold the attention of active boys (ages 5-12) that doesn't plug in is worth checking out. I bought a set of Castle Cards by Klutz (gotta love Klutz!) when we were studying the Middle Ages. Every now and again they rediscover them and play with nothing else for several days. This time around they even introduced little Lego characters into their play. They've been talking about pooling their money to purchase additional packs of cards so they can build "some REALLY big stuff."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Preschool Room Time

On last week's WFMW I posted about the Table Time portion of our schedule. Another important part of our preschooler's day is Room Time.

While I'm reading History to the school-age children and the baby is down for a nap, the preschoolers select a toy to play with by themselves in a designated location for around 30 minutes. The location used to be their bedrooms, but since this year's preschoolers share a room, one girl will have have a different room assignment.
This usually takes more training to keep them in their room than I always think it should. Since they are used to having their choice of siblings to play with, "alone time" sometimes takes an adjustment. The key here is to start with 5 or 10 minutes and use the kitchen timer. Let them know that they are not to come out until they hear the timer. Gradually increase their time in the room. Train them to clean up completely before they come out.
It is just as important for mom to be disciplined when room time is over. Even if they are playing nicely, when room time is over, they need to clean up and move to the next activity. In our house Table Time comes next, so they are usually anxious to clean up and get to the next fun thing.

We keep our Room Time toys up high and they are only available for Room Time to keep things fresh. Here are some of the playthings to choose from:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our Job Lists

Since the countdown is on for starting school on Monday, I'm spending a lot of preparation time now to get things organized. I'm hoping to have several weeks of what we call "job lists" prepared to make Sunday night crunch time a little easier over the next couple months.

The job lists are a combination of chore list and school assignments. We call them "jobs" because just as Dad has a job to go earn money for the family, the children's jobs are to get their schoolwork done and help keep the house running smoothly. "Chores" sound like such drudgery, and we're trying to inspire a cheerful attitude about work. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might... Ecclesiastes 9:10

The top has two different sections for chores. One for before school, and one for after school. Not being morning people, we do just basic hygene and animal jobs in the morning and save the housecleaning for late afternoon.

I tried several different formats and charts before I developed this one as a table in Word. For pre-readers, I just use clipart. They are color-coded by child, of course. After I print them out, they live on the fridge which is starting to get very crowded now that we have six sheets on there. It's great to have both school work and chores for the week on one paper.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - August 10, 2009

Wow. Last week of our "summer." Didn't feel as restful or relaxing as it looked last Spring. I didn't get every closet and drawer cleaned out. Didn't paint any rooms in my house. Didn't read any great novels.

But it was an incredible summer to be the mother of my children. Watching them accomplish great things, have long-awaited dreams realized, and see them experience life that did not include a computer screen or TV program has made it possible for me to ignore the crayon and fingerprints on my wall (well, maybe not ignore, but accept).

This past weekend we worked on the fence on Saturday, and now it is done. That was an elephant sized project! On Sunday we went, along with most of the population of the upper mid-west, to Six Flags Great America north of Chicago. Today, Meg's best buddy, Mary, received her pony, Mac who will be living with us. We've gone from 0 to 2 horses in two weeks. We're jumping in with both feet!

We're looking forward to a "quieter" week, and I'm hoping to get some bulk baking done. This is what we'll be enjoying this week:

Monday - Poppy Seed Chicken

Tuesday - Breakfast Burritos

Wednesday -Kidney Bean Casserole

Thursday - California Meatballs, Rice

Friday - Small Group Bible Study

Saturday - Cheese Enchiladas

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Granola Flavor - Snickerdoodle!

As I have posted before, granola is a major staple around here. Bryan eats it everyday for breakfast; the rest of us have it 3-4 days per week.

I took a granola recipe from the Mother's Little Helper Cookbook and have resized and reflavored it to six different flavors. My latest concoction is Snickerdoodle. It's received several sticky thumbs-up, and I especially love it when paired with Rice Crispies. More granola recipes can be found at our website.

Snickerdoodle Granola

12 C Oats

2 C Sugar

1 C Oil

1 C Butter, Melted

2 tea. Cinnamon

2 tea. Vanilla

1 tea. Cream of Tartar

1 tea. Salt

Mix all together and spread into 2-3 pans. Bake at 350 for 18 minutes. Cool in pans while trying to keep little fingers from snitching it. Store in baggies or tubs. Can be frozen for longer storage.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Happy 12th Birthday Ted!

OK. So I'm a couple weeks late with this one.

Ted's actual birthday fell on opening day of the County Fair. The weekend before, he'd gotten his present and we went out for the traditional birthday lunch. The day after his BD, Emelie made him a lemon cake with cheesecake frosting, and Ted always loves to have an ice cream sundae bar. A sweet treat for a sweet young man!

Here are the top 12 things we love about Ted:

  1. He loves to be a helper.

  2. He is an excellent big buddy to Heidi. She adores him.

  3. Even though there are four years between them, it's wonderful that he and Caleb are the best of friends.

  4. He's getting very good at fixing things. Very handy to have around.

  5. Ted is so creative. I never knew legos could become so many things.

  6. He is a natural teacher.

  7. Ted wants to be just like his dad, which is a pretty good goal.

  8. He has a very clear sense of justice.

  9. He is very loyal.

  10. Ted is very affectionate - not too old for cuddles or a goodnight kiss.

  11. He is very enthusiastic.

  12. He wants to become a man of God. He'll make an incredible husband someday. We're taking applications now.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

WFMW - Preschool Table Time

I'm very excited about the fun things I've found to round out this year's Table Time section of our new school schedule!
What is Table Time? We schedule 30-45 minutes every morning for our preschoolers (ages 2 and 4 this year) to work on an engaging activity at the kitchen table (although we're expanding locations this year). Since I have the luxury of older siblings, the oldest three children rotate as supervisors (they won't admit it, but they have just as much fun as the littles). This frees me up to have one-on-one school time with another child.
What if your preschooler can't sit at one activity for that long? Then it becomes a point of training. Starting with 10 minutes, set the timer and explain that they need to sit there until it beeps. Getting up from the table results in correction. Gradually increase the length of time until it meets with your goal.

This is also great practice for cleaning up when the time's up. Don't be tempted to let it go over time just because they are still enjoying the activity. They must learn to have the self-control to move on to the next part of the schedule.

Below is our list for the year. We have a set activity for each day of the month, so as we rotate through, one buddy supervisor is not always watching the same thing. These don't come out at any other time to keep the activities fresh and exciting.
  1. Bath Time - Put about 3 inches of water in the tub, dress them in swimsuits and give them kitchen play toys and measuring cups. They'll be pruney before they want to get out! (Of course, this must be CLOSELY supervised!)
  2. Bead and Baubles by Lauri - Fun for them to "sew"
  3. Play Foam - We're still waiting for this to come in the mail. Sounds great!
  4. Cornmeal Sandbox - If it's nice outside I put cornmeal in a shoebox-sized Rubbermaid with toys to scoop and pour. Chalk on Construction Paper - the alternative if it's cold or wet.
  5. Coupon Cutting - Save all those flyers that come in the mail.
  6. Duplo Legos - Since this can be noisy, they play in the guest room.
  7. Little People Day - Ditto for the guest room.
  8. Water Paint Books - I always loved these as a child!
  9. Enviro Blox (also known as Magic Nuudles) - Make sculptures with just water
  10. Play-Doh - Homemade or store-bought, always a favorite!
  11. Puzzle Cupboard - We usually keep it locked to keep down the mess, so it's a treat to get in there
  12. Water Color Painting - We buy the cheap paints ($1) from Big Lots and Wal-Mart and replace them often as they get gross
  13. Workbook Day - My children love Kumon Books for "doing school"

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Contact Paper is your friend!

We love books, and since we homeschool we have lots of books, and since we use Sonlight we have TONS of books!

A long, long time ago I grew frustrated with finding precious books destroyed by precocious preschoolers. I tried putting them back together with Scotch tape and packing tape, but what was really needed was a way to protect them from damage in the first place.

A light bulb moment resulted in covering books in Clear Contact Paper. Books that are almost 10 years old, still look great. The insides wear out before the cover. I can even put a drink on the cover and it does no damage. (This is starting to sound like an infomercial!)

Since this can take some practice to perfect, Emelie videoed me covering one of our books that had already sustained some damage before I got a hold of it. We were cracking each other up, so please disregard the giggling.
Give the Contact Paper a shot! It's a great way to protect your investment.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Requested Recipes

All of these recipes are MUCH quicker to put together when the meat is already cooked and waiting in the freezer!

Easy Taco Bake
1 lb. ground beef
1 sm. onion, diced
1 can nacho cheese soup
1 C milk
1/2 pkg taco seasoning (I use 1 Tbl. chili powder, 3/4 tea. cumin)
2 tubes crescent rolls
1 C nacho chips, crushed
1 C cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef and onion until done, drain; add taco seasoning. In a small bowl, mix soup and milk; pour into a greased 9x13 dish. Unroll crescent rolls. Form each tube into a rectangle and cut each into 8 squares (16 total). Fill each square with 1-2 Tbls. of beef mixture and draw corners of crescent together, sealing to make a pouch. Place each in the baking dish. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until crescents are browned. Remove and top with shredded cheese. Return to oven until cheese melts. Prior to serving, top with crushed nacho chips.

Notes: This was a huge hit! We had only 2.5 little pouches left over which were gobbled for lunch the next day!

Au Gratin Beef Bake

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery ribs (I omitted - we're not celery people)
1/2 C green pepper (didn't have one of these around)
1 pkg. (5 1/4 oz) au gratin potatoes
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 tea. Worcestershire sauce
1 3/4 C water
2/3 C milk

In a large skillet, cook beef, onion, celery and green pepper until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender; drain. In a greased 2.5 qt. baking dish, combine beef mixture, potatoes with contents of sauce packet, soup, and W-sauce. Stir in water and milk. Bake uncovered at 400 for 45-50 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Notes: I was surprised at how well this went over. Bryan especially enjoyed it.

Chuck Wagon Beans

3 T bacon drippings or shortening (I didn't use this)
1/2 C chopped onion
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 clove garlic
2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 can kidney beans (I doubled this)
1/4 C water
3/4 tea. salt
2 tsp. chili powder

Cook ground beef, onion, and garlic in drippings or shortening until browned. Add remaining ingredients and simmer. Serve with cornbread.

Notes: This is like a thick version of our regular chili (hear that Melanie?) that we love served on top of cornbread. I mixed in the crockpot at put it on high for two hours. Super yum!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - August 3, 2009

The theme for this past weekend was fence, fence, fence punctuated by my panic attacks at not being ready to start school in a couple weeks. I did stock up on the traditional school supplies and even stumbled upon Teacher Appreciation Day at Big Lots. 10% off! Whoo Hoo! Today, Bryan packed my off to the library to hunker down for a few hours with my books and computer. I'm feeling a little better now.

If you've sent me a request for a recipe, check back tomorrow. I'm hoping to start getting some yummy ones up starting then. This week the Stumpfs will be enjoying:

Monday - Japanese Chicken, Rice, Salad

Tuesday - Hashbrown Casserole, Eggs, Peach Cobbler

Wednesday - Upside Down Pizza

Thursday - Skillet Beef Taco, Tortillas, Corn

Friday - Small Group Bible Study goes to the Indians game

Saturday - Sweet 'n Sour Sausage, Rice, Salad

Find more yummy menus at thehappyhousewife.com (for this week). What's on your menu this week?