May 31, 2011

Summer is here

This day happens for four times a year (maybe more) where I get upset that time is just flying by, I wish I could hold onto time better, there is so much more I want to do and I feel like the door is closing.

May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Prayer

This collection of Memorial Day prayers offers a selection of Christian prayers for our military families, our troops, and our nation.
O Lord,
As we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day, we think of how they have followed in the footsteps of your son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Please hold our servicemen and women in your strong arms. Cover them with your sheltering grace and your presence as they stand in the gap for our protection.

We also remember the families of our troops. We ask for your unique blessings to fill their homes, and we pray your peace, provision, and strength will fill their lives.

May the members of our armed forces be supplied with courage to face each day and may they trust in the Lord's mighty power to accomplish each task. Let our military brothers and sisters feel our love and support.

Blessed is our Lord, always, now and forever and unto ages of ages Amen

As my husband says, Thank the Lord then Thank a Veteran.  Have a great weekend and holiday, see you Tuesday!

May 26, 2011

Festive pork roast

1 3-pound boneless pork top loin roast (single loin)
3/4 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1. Place roast in a large plastic bag set in a large, deep bowl. For marinade, in a small bowl combine wine, sugar, vinegar, ketchup, water, oil, soy sauce, garlic, curry powder, ginger, and pepper. Pour marinade over meat; seal bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight, turning bag several times. Drain meat, reserving 1-1/4 cups marinade; cover marinade and chill. Pat meat dry with paper towels.
2. Place the meat on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into center of roast. Roast in a 325 degree F oven for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until meat thermometer registers 150 degrees F.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan stir reserved marinade into the cornstarch. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Brush roast frequently with sauce after 1 hour of roasting.
4. Cover meat with foil and let stand 15 minutes. The temperature of the meat after standing should be 160 degrees F. Bring remaining sauce to boiling and pass with meat.
5. Makes 8 to 10 servings
6. Double-Loin Festive Pork Roast: Prepare as above, except use a 5-pound boneless pork top loin roast (double loin, tied) and double the marinade mixture. Reserve 2-1/2 cups marinade for sauce and increase cornstarch to 4 teaspoons. Roast pork in a 325 degree F oven for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until thermometer registers 150 degrees F. Let stand and serve as above. Makes

May 25, 2011

Meal Plan week of May 28-June 3

This isn't going to be a cheap week, we have some kind of company coming over from Friday night till Sunday.
Babysitting Saturday: Beef Taco Bake with tortilla chips (total cost $7 for 2 adults and 4 kids)
Family Sunday: Roasted Chicken with potato salad carrots and green beans plus biscuits (total cost $8.50 for 7 servings)

Memorial Day BBQ: London Broil Garden Salad Corn-on-the-cob with a garden salad (total cost $6.5 for 4 servings)

Tuesday: Beer Brats with cucumber salad (total cost $7.00 for 3 servings)

Wednesday: Piled High Fish Sandwich with steamed broccoli (total cost $5 for 3 servings)

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta with Cesar salad and garlic toast (total cost $6 for 3 servings)

Sweet and Snacks
Patriotic Berry Triffle (total cost $7 for 7 servings)
Dark Chocolate brownie Sundays!! ( total cost $3 for 2 adults and 4 kids hehe)
Fresh Fruit (Strawberry-Bananas-Apples) $5
Yogurts $5

Red, White, and Blue (strawberry, apples, and blueberry) pancakes $3
Cereal, Coffee, Juice, and Milk $5
Sandwiches, chips, V8, water for Lunch $20
Pasta, Pizza, Nuggets, Fruit, Veggies for Monkey’s Lunch $7

These entire recipes can be found on kitchen monki, you search for the recipe or just find my recipe (Amanda Ann) 

May 24, 2011

My little Container Garden

It’s been two weeks of….RAIN, I got a little creative and put some of my plants under our outside table for those terrible hard wet days. 

Looking good
Peppers are getting taller but no fruits yet
Blueberry bush, I see green fruit!
Parsley, Lavender, Rosemary, and LOTS of basil

Just seeded

Tomato plant
Strawberry plant

Eaten :)
Spinach! I fancy spinach

Aren’t tomato and strawberry supposed to be the two easiest vegetable plants? I am heartbroken that I killed them :(

May 20, 2011

Monkey Says

Last night I was a little cranky and getting pretty short with my 2 year old who wouldn't put on his PJs when he pulls out one of his underwear and puts it on my head then says "underwear head" and starts laughing and repeating “underwear head”.  Of course I couldn't help laugh too which is what I needed that day a good laugh.  I love my son.

May 18, 2011

Meal Plan for week of May 21-May 27

I am happy to see scallops are on sale so I can make Scallops in garlic cream sauce, very yummy!  Also I'll be using my spianch from the garden, that will save me $2 this week!

Saturday: Out with Family
Sunday: Chicago style hotdogs with sweet potato fries (total cost $5.50 for 3 servings)
Monday: Meatloaf with healthy-mash potatoes and peas (total cost $7 for 5 servings)
Tuesday: Baked Chicken with noodles and carrots (total cost $5 for 4 servings)
Wednesday: Healthish Ravioli’s  with a garden salad (total cost $6 for 4 servings)
Thursday: LeftOvers
Home Date Night Friday: Scallops in Garlic Cream Sauce with my favorite spinach strawberry salad (total cost $15 for 3 servings)
Sweet and Snacks
Cookies-and-Cream Parfaits (total cost $1.5 for 3 servings)
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (for my dad’s birthday) (total cost $2 for about 25 big cookies)
Fresh Fruit (Strawberry-Kiwi-Bananas-Apples) $6
Yogurts $4

May 17, 2011

BookClub:A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown and Inspired Shakespeare'sThe Tempest

I had high hopes for A Brave Vessel it could have had adventure during the English-American colony time frame but it was too wordy for me.  Maybe that’s the author’s style but it’s not mine.  I would get easily distracted, the book just never grab me.  I found myself skipping pages hoping it was going to get better.  I gave up half way through the book.

I really can't give a great review because I didn't read enough, but I found this from the Washington post....

The fierce storm that leaves a small band of travelers stranded on a magical island in Shakespeare's "The Tempest" -- the last of his great plays, probably written in 1610-11 -- was considerably more than a product of the playwright's fertile imagination. Though scholars have squabbled over its exact source, there is general agreement that it is based on the hurricane that caused the wreck of the ship Sea Venture on Bermuda in 1609, and that an account of this event composed by an aspiring writer named William Strachey was among Shakespeare's chief sources. As Hobson Woodward writes in "A Brave Vessel":
"The greatest writer of the English language was a bit of a literary pickpocket. Shakespeare was a voracious reader and extracted language and ideas from contemporary and classical literature alike. Such homage to the works of others was not only tolerated in Jacobean England, it was expected, and Shakespeare was a master. In his supremely creative mind, merely good language was made both accessible and profound for readers of his time and those of ages far beyond his own. The ability to select and transform language was one of Shakespeare's greatest gifts."
Woodward, associate editor of the Adams Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society, takes his title from lines spoken by the enchanting Miranda in Shakespeare's play: "O, I have suffered/With those that I saw suffer -- a brave vessel/Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her,/Dash'd all to pieces." That is exactly what happened to the Sea Venture as, in the last week of July 1609, it was en route from England to the struggling settlement at Jamestown. It was the flagship in a convoy of eight vessels carrying several hundred people -- there were 153 aboard the Sea Venture -- recruited by the Virginia Company, which hoped "this new infusion of people and provisions would fortify their outpost in the New World."
The voyage proceeded without notable incident for two months until, a week's sail from Virginia, it encountered "a kind of storm that few English mariners had seen but many had heard about since Europeans began crossing the Atlantic -- a hurricano of the West Indies." Strachey, who had joined the expedition with plans to write a New World travelogue and thus establish his career, called it "a dreadful storm, and hideous . . . , which swelling and roaring as it were by fits, some hours with more violence than others, at length did beat all light from heaven, which like a hell of darkness turned black upon us." Then, about two days into the storm, a huge wave picked up the ship, separated it from the convoy and left it awash. Only by heroic bailing were the crew and passengers able to keep it afloat, and only by exceptional seamanship and even more exceptional luck was the ship -- still afloat but wrecked beyond any possibility of repair -- steered into safe harbor on one of the islands of the Bermuda archipelago.
Miraculously, all 153 aboard survived an ordeal of almost indescribable horror, though many nearly died of fright. They landed with trepidation, as Bermuda was widely rumored to be "a bewitched place" known as the Devil's Island, but once on land they moved quickly to make the place habitable. They learned that the island's waters teemed with fish, most of them unknown to the English but mostly edible and many deliciously so. Soon, they had created "a tiny village that was well appointed beyond all expectation," largely because the crew had removed many valuable articles, "including mattresses and blankets, furniture, and chests filled with personal goods," from the abandoned ship. People settled in and made themselves at home. Predictably, there were complaints and even mutinies, but the group held together:
"The castaways had been on Bermuda for eight months. Despite the turmoil of the mutinies, they had managed to create an island community that by wilderness standards was remarkably prosperous. Castaway society was a version of English culture with its hard work and class conflict. The unusual elements of island existence, though, were almost all good -- swan spit roasted over a fire, bibby [homemade alcoholic drink] shared around a camp table, birds on the nest at Christmastime, and an existence remarkably free of disease. They had found a wonderful place, and many still did not want to leave."
They were concerned about the fate of the other ships, though, and the leaders of the expedition felt obliged to fulfill their commitment to the Virginia Company to reinforce the settlement at Jamestown. So they built two new ships: the Deliverance, which "with a keel of forty feet and a beam of nineteen . . . was a little under half the length of the Sea Venture," and the Patience, "with a keel of twenty-nine feet and a beam of just over fifteen." In the second week of May 1610 they set sail for Virginia, and arrived about 10 days later. The survivors of the rest of the colony greeted them with amazement, having long believed them to have been lost, and for their part the castaways themselves were in for a surprise: "When William Strachey and the other castaways came ashore at Jamestown . . . they had their first look at the settlement they had been told was a miniature England in the Virginia woodland. What they found instead was a band of skeletal people who had faced starvation while the castaways lived in ease and plenty on the Devil's Isle."
From this point the story of Jamestown is well known, and Woodward adds nothing new to our understanding of it. Once he moves along to Strachey's return to London in 1611 and his attendance at the new play by Shakespeare, which "featured a storm and a shipwreck on an enchanted island, much like the one he had just experienced himself," the narrative picks up again, but the most interesting and effective part of "A Brave Vessel" remains its account of the little community on Bermuda and its remarkable survival.
To which I cannot resist appending a personal note. Three paragraphs from the end of his narrative, Woodward mentions an "amateur diver" who found the wreckage of the Sea Venture in 1958. He identifies this person as "a descendant of Sea Venture passenger George Yardley." My eyes almost popped out of my head. At once I ran a search on my ancient and distant kinsman, George Yeardley (for that's how he spelled it), and was astonished to discover that he had indeed been aboard the Sea Venture and a castaway on Bermuda. I had known much else about him -- he was knighted in 1618, became the first colonial governor of Virginia and established a famous plantation on the James River called Flowerdew Hundred, the vestiges of which are now open to the public -- but somehow I had never known that he had helped inspire one of my favorites among all of Shakespeare's plays. That is something to crow about.

May 16, 2011


We are not suppose to know all the details of what our future holds, God will show us when we are ready.  We need to have patience, we need to pray, and we need to love each other even when we are angry.

When I was younger I prayed every night to have this life, even though many people told me I couldn't, I had faith in God had better plans than those people did for me.  And it all worked out, I love me every little thing about my life. And now the God gave me glimpse of what my future can hold if I have a little more patience, prayers, and love. 

Thank you Lord for this beautiful life

May 11, 2011

Meal Plan Week of 5/14-5/20

I am going back to adding up how much each dinner cost because I am starting to spend around $95 a week, I was around $85 a week when I first started this meal plan.  My DH bought a large jar of pesto sauce, my first thought was pesto pizza, I am going to make this a fast meal and buy pizza dough already made, which is expensive I know but it's still cheaper than ordering in pizza.  Maybe we will top it with slice tomato, yum.

Saturday: Out to steakhouse with friends ($50)
Sunday: Kansas City Style Pork Ribs with grilled corn and corn bread (serves 2 1/2 cost $4.50)
Monday: Margarita Chicken with grilled pineapple and spanish rice (serves 2 1/2 cost $4.50)
Tuesday: Ham and Potato Casserole, bummped from last week (serves 4 cost $6.50)
Wednesday: Black Bean Enchiladas with a garden salad (serves 4 cost $7.50)
Thursday: LeftOvers
Friday: Homemade Pesto Pizza with Cesar salad (serves 2 1/2 cost $5.50)

Sweet and Snacks
V8 fusion ice pops
Ice cream
Bananas and Watermelons

These entire recipes can be found on kitchen monki, you search for the recipe or just find my recipe (Amanda Ann)  You must try the margarita chicken, it's very yummy

May 10, 2011

The Story of My Life

Why is it that every time I get extra cash an unexpected bill follows.  Expect this time my extra cash is coming Thursday and the bill is getting paid today.  I am bless that we have this extra cash to pay for this unexpected bill but I had plans this that cash (tithe, debt, play money) errr.  This is why I never get excited when I get a random check

ps I am not venting, I am just stating facts that 99.99% always happen in my life

May 9, 2011

My little Container Garden

I always like to concurred my faults and I have a brown thumb (I killed a cactus brown thumb) I have great memories of my grandma’s garden and I wanted to add some greenery to my 2*2 backyard.  So a few weeks ago I started my little container garden, I wasn’t smart and spent way too much at first but I needed containers, soil, even a watering can.  So maybe next year it will be cheaper (plus I’ll start with seeds) but my son and I are having a lot of fun digging and watering (he might be overwatering on some plants)

Looking good
Spinach plants are almost ready to be harvest
Peppers are getting tall but no fruits yet
Blueberry bush, I want to plant another just on how pretty the actual bush is
Basil, Parsley, Lavender, and Rosemary

Not looking good
Tomato plant isn’t going to make it but I do see some fruits
Strawberry plant didn’t make it (I planted this and learned afterwards it likes sand-soil and my ground is muddy-dirt)    

Just seeded


If I could eat just five things from my garden this year I will call it a success, I am more hoping to learn from my mistakes this year to have successful gardens in the future.

May 6, 2011

April lesson

Monkey didn’t learn a lot in April, I blame Pascha :) but we did do some cute some things with blue paint and stickers!

I don't think I will ever throw away this Easter egg wreath

May 5, 2011

BookClub:A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown and Inspired Shakespeare'sThe Tempest

It's been way too long since I read a book just for me and I think I am starting to get cranky and desperate need of some me time so I hit up the library and was excited to see that they finally got A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown and Inspired Shakespeare's The Tempest by Hobson Woodward.  I have been eyeing it up for almost a year now on BOMClub (thats where I find most of the books I want to read, then search for them at my library).  I love English-American history so I am this book will fulfill my needs.


A gripping tale of shipwreck and survival that changed the fate of the colonies and enriched our literary legacy
In 1609, aspiring writer William Strachey set sail aboard the Sea Venture, bound for the New World. Caught in a hurricane, the ship separated from its fleet and wrecked on uninhabited Bermuda, a bountiful island paradise its passengers would inhabit for nearly a year before reaching their intended destination, the famine-stricken colony of Jamestown. Strachey's meticulous account of the wreck, the castaways' time on Bermuda, and their arrival in a devastated Jamestown was read by his contemporaries and remains among the most vivid writings of the early colonial period. Following the life of this ordinary man, Hobson Woodward tells one of the neglected but defining stories of America's founding.
Strachey had literary aspirations and sought to capitalize on his epic experience, but his writings did not bring him the acclaim he sought. Only in the hands of another William would his tale of the wreck and its aftermath make history as The Tempest. A Brave Vessel is the fascinating account of a near-miss in the settling of Virginia, the true story behind one of Shakespeare's great plays, and the tragedy of the man who failed as an author but who contributed to the creation of a masterpiece.

May 4, 2011

Meal Plan week of May 7- May 14

I am going to spend a lot of money on fresh produce this week, tis the season :) Wish me luck with the shrimp lettuce wrap, DH never had it and this is my first time making it.  These entire recipes can be found on kitchen monki, you search for the recipe or just find my recipe (Amanda Ann) 

Saturday: Dinner on the boardwalk
Mother’s day: BBQ Hamburgers, Grilled Corn-on-a-cob, and Strawberry spinach salad
Monday: Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes and Carrot sticks
Tuesday: Ham and Potato Casserole
Wednesday: Hot-n-Sweet Shrimp lettuce Wrap with Asian rice and frozen snap peas
Thursday: Beer Grill Pork Chops with Pasta Salad and Grilled Squash
Friday: Chipotle Fish Tacos with Cucumbers and Coleslaw

Sweet and Snacks
Chocolate covered strawberries
Berry Smoothies
Stella D'oro Cookies (coupon and sale)

Wordless Wednesday

Monkey in daddy's shoes