Recent Posts by Tera Bare

A Homeschooling, Blogging Mom’s Work is Never Done

My desk was covered today with work to catch up on.  My printer went crazy on me awhile ago and I couldn’t print or set-up anything correctly. Which meant I couldn’t even work on my book, but woohoo it’s finally fixed! I also lost a day of school yesterday since I had to take Emily to the doctor.  Actually I’ve taken one child to the doctor every week for the past three weeks. So today, I’m playing catch up and I thought it was crazy how everything was all over my desk.  I figured all of you homeschooling, blogging moms would understand and maybe get a laugh out of it, too.Homeschool Mom Desk

 

My desk with all my work all spread out and someone is hiding behind my computer.  I love the light through the window. I still need to redo my lampshade.  It’s driving me nuts!  Papers to grade like my son’s chemistry test.  My To-Do list which is never ending like all moms.  The rough draft of my new book that I was proofing while Spencer was testing and Emily was doing Math.  My weekly planner/blog planner out so that I can make notes about what I’ve gotten done and everything that still needs to be done.  And look, my inbox is full of papers to grade!

 

And Tux pops out from behind my laptop to see what I’m up to now.  I think I disturbed his nap.  He’s so fluffy!  And least someone can nap while there’s so much to do!

Blog Signature

Need a Minute to Have a Mommy Meltdown

I’m going to apologize in advance for my meltdown.  I just want to act like a two year old for a minute.  I want to kick my feet and bang my head against the wall and scream not fair!

My daughter Emily, who is only 14, and has a disease called Ehler’s Danlos with Hypermobility Syndrome, now may have one more thing to contend with.  She already has reflux, asthma, normal allergies, skin sensitivities to all kinds of things, allergies to certain medicines and now may have an allergy to a food.  She is already allergic to tomatoes, crazy, I know.  Not a severe allergy but enough that it triggers her reflux which then aggravates her asthma.

The past couple of days she has been breaking out with hives and which each day they are getting bigger and more spread out and with a stronger reaction.  Since I already have one child with severe allergies (my son) I knew what this meant, get to the doctor.  Last night the place where the hives were, was as large as a volleyball.  Bright pink and full of huge hives.  We even snapped a pic on her IPod so we could show the doctor.  I highly recommend doing that because even though we didn’t get a great pic, it still was enough for the doctor to look at it and say, “Yep, that’s a food allergy!”

So today my baby girl had her blood drawn for the umpteenth time and now we wait to find out if it’s nut (been eating some nutty buddies), eggs, dairy, wheat, etc.  And I’ve been doing some research and found out that people with Ehler’s Danlos seem to be predisposition to have food allergies.  Go figure!

I was really hoping we were done with new things. Each person in my house already has some type of food allergy/sensitivity, but I was really hoping we were done with all of this.  Everything seemed to be cruising along, normal even.  It was really nice!  Please don’t get me wrong, I know that this is certainly not the worst thing in the world.  Simple even and could be 100 times worse.  But it is scary dealing with epi-pens and food allergies and I didn’t want her to have one more thing to worry about.  It already overwhelms her at times.  No child should have to go through illness, no matter what it is.

Ok, I’m done whining (I’m actually smiling now, really!)  Thanks for letting me vent.  I just needed to get it out of my system. Blog Signature

 

Creamy Southern White Slaw

Creamy Southern White Slaw is one of those things us Southerners can be very territorial about.  It’s not really hard to make, matter of fact, it’s really easy.  But down here every family has their own version.  This one is mine.

It’s so creamy and it goes great on hotdogs, hamburgers, salmon patty burgers and even as a side all by itself.  The one super important thing that you have to know about making slaw is that every time you make it, it will be a little different.  That’s because each head of cabbage has its own unique personality.  Sometimes it sweet, sometimes it’s a little bitter.  So start small with the ingredients and taste it as you go and then make adjustments.  It may take you some time, but you’ll get the hang of it!  This makes enough for about 4 people.

Ingredients

1 head of cabbage (depending on the size you may not need the whole head)

3 heaping tbsp. mayonnaise (I use JFG another thing we Southerners fight about:)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

2 tsp. sugar

Directions

I had a rather large head and only used 1/3 of the cabbage, you may need more or less depending on the size of the cabbage.  Cut off a good chunk and slice the cabbage really thin and then go back and chop/dice it, or use a food processor to shred and chop it for you.  Just be careful not to over do it and turn it into water.  You can slice it or dice it by hand if you like which is what I did, but if I’m doing it for a large crowd, then I’m pulling out the food processor.

Put cabbage in a medium size bowl and add seasonings and then mayonnaise.  Stir well making sure to coat everything and making sure that the mayonnaise is well incorporated.  Taste.  At this point I would be careful.  You can always add more of everything but it’s really hard to take it away.  If it seems dry add a little more mayo. The more you stir, or the more salt you add or the more you allow it to sit, the more moisture that will be drawn out of the cabbage.  So don’t overdo it with the mayo.  If it’s bitter add a little more sugar.

When you think you’ve got it close to how you want it to taste, allow it to sit for a few minutes in the fridge.  You’ll notice that it is a little creamier due to the salt drawing out the moisture.  Stir well again and re-taste.  Adjust the seasonings to your liking.  If you wind up with more cream than you’d like add a little more cabbage. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

It’s just that easy.  Cabbage, sugar, salt, pepper and mayo for a  perfect slaw!

Blog Signature

Southern Style Baked Beans

Nothing says a summer meal like a big batch of Southern style baked beans.  I couldn’t resist making them tonight to go with our Simply Southern Meal in honor of spring and firing up the grill!

Ingredients

4 to 5 slices of bacon cooked, chopped and be sure to reserve about 2 tbsp. of the bacon grease

2 -16oz. cans of pork and beans (I love Van Camps)

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. mustard

1 tbsp. ketchup

1 tbsp. of your favorite barbeque sauce

3 – 4 tbsp. brown sugar

Directions

Cook bacon and set aside to drain on paper towels.  Reserve about 2 tbsp. of the bacon grease.  Chop bacon.  Spray a small bacon dish with Pam and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Pour beans into the dish.  Remove any fat that may be in the beans.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.  Taste and adjust to your liking.  Depending on the brand of beans you may want it sweeter (add more brown sugar).  If you like it a little more mellow, add a little more onion powder.  Play with it until it’s just the way you want it.  Put in oven for 3ominutes or until bubbling and hot.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before eating so you don’t burn your tongue!

There you are! A perfect side for the perfect southern meal!  Enjoy!

Blog Signature

Menu for the Week

Here’s what we’re having this week and it’s going to be simple and yummy.  We’re firing up the grill in honor of getting some warm spring temps, finally!  Lunch will be simple this week, sandwiches, pizza, etc. and hopefully this will give you inspiration when planing your menu for the week.

Saturday

Supper: Hotdogs, chili, homemade slaw, chips and homemade baked beans with brownies for dessert.

Sunday

Breakfast: Cinnamon rolls recipe i found on Pinterest at Set the Table.

Lunch:  Roast with potatoes and carrots (either in the crockpot or the oven not sure which way yet) Update!!! Due to an amazing sale at Food Lion I have made a change.  We are now having Smoked Boston Butt in place of the roast.  My brother-in-law will be using his special rub and smoking it for us.  It will be amazing!!!

Supper:  Leftovers baby!

Monday

Supper:  Barbeque Meatballs, rice and corn on the cob and toast

Tuesday

Supper:  Hawaiian Grilled Chicken (will post recipe) with salad and baked potatoes and cheesecake for dessert

Wednesday

Supper:  Breakfast Casserole (will post recipe)

Thursday

Supper:  Southern Salmon Patties, slaw and french fries

Friday

Supper:  Maybe I’ll get lucky and we can have a date night!

Blog Signature

Creamy Potato, Gnocchi and Ham Soup

Today I was looking at the pouring down, cold rain and wondering what to make for supper.  Then I stood in front of my open refrigerator staring at the leftover ham from Easter and wondered what else can I do with it? Potato, Gnocchi and Ham Soup…

Then a friend suggested ham and potato soup. It sounded wonderful and then for some reason that I can’t explain, I started craving gnocchi.  I searched and searched everywhere for soup recipes that contained ham, gnocchi and potatoes.  I couldn’t find one that had all three, so not to be defeated I came up with this recipe, Creamy Potato, Gnocchi and Ham Soup.  It is totally my own!  It is warm and yummy and delicate.  But so easy to make.  My recipe made enough for 5 people with seconds and a little leftover for lunch tomorrow. It took about one hour total time from start to finish.  Try it and tell me what you think!

Ingredients:

8 medium potatoes cubed

1 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. garlic

1/4 tsp. thyme

salt

1 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

2 chicken bouillon cubes

3 cans of chicken broth

1 cup of half and half

2 cups of chopped ham

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 stick butter

4 tbsp. flour

1 16 oz. package of gnocchi

Directions:

Boil potatoes in a large pot of water with bouillon cubes and a little salt.  Cook till just done and then drain.  In a large pot melt butter on a med. low temp and then sprinkle in flour. Let flour cook in the butter for a few minutes to get rid of the flour taste.  Then with a whisk mix the butter and flour together in a paste and add onion powder and garlic powder and mix well.  Turn the temperature up to high to get a boil and add stock one can at a time and whisk well with each one.

When stock is boiling and well mixed add the potatoes back in and the ham.  Allow to cook till potatoes are tender.  While stock is boiling add gnocchi.  Stir often.  Cook till gnocchi is tender, about 3 minutes.  Turn down to medium and add half and half, thyme and pepper.  Add cheese and stir until completely melted and mixed into the soup.  Adjust salt and seasonings if needed.

Suggestions:  Serve topped with shredded cheese, add diced cooked bacon, try Italian sausage instead of ham.  For a little heat add a dash or two of cayenne powder.

Blog Signature

 

 

Classroom Makeover!

I haven’t been blogging a lot lately because I’ve been really busy with a surprise that my hubby brought home, a new desk!  A big executive desk that was given to him for free!  Ain’t God grand?  I think so!

So what was the first thing I needed to do?  Make it mine and since it wasn’t my hubby’s desk from childhood or an antique that someone gave me, I had no problems or guilt about wanting to paint it.  My hubby wasn’t so sure though.

Here it is!  It’s so big and it was really nice, but it had some rough spots.  So I sanded the finish off to take off the shine so the primer and paint would adhere.

Next I gave it 3 coats of Behr paint and primer in Decorator White.  Once it was all covered, I sanded it down in a few places to reveal the dark wood underneath.  I was going for a shabby chic look but I only did a little because I didn’t want it to look too old. Then I coated it in 2 coats of varnish.  I may do a 3rd coat later, but for now I’m really happy with the results.

Next I moved it into it’s new home right by the window of our classroom.  I love it! There’s so much room on top to work and spread out and I love the worn look after I got the desk personalized.  I still need to redo the lamp to match and I need to paint the trim on the white board to match the corkboard.  That’s next on the list! 

I went to Hobby Lobby and got the urn and the candle this morning for next to nothing, on sale baby!  The vase I had and the flowers I also had from an old arrangement. Emily wants to paint the pencil holder she made when she was little, but I like it just the way it is.

Here you can see a close up of the drawers and the handles.  It’s kinda hard to tell in the picture, but the handles were that gold-brass color.  I actually painted the round parts red and the curves in the handles red.  When it dried it looked really pretty.  Then I gave them a quick varnish.

Here’s the finished desk and yes as you can see I’m on my Facebook page!  I can’t wait to blog and write and do school from here!  And what does hubby think of my finished product?  He really likes it and I can’t believe how it turned out!

 

Blog Signature

 

Basketball Banquet 2013

I love decorating for banquets!  This year I had to go really simple because I’ve had that yucky cold that’s going around and won’t let go.  But I think my girls, their friends and I pulled it off!

We had a great time at the banquet and it’s always sad when another season comes to an end but getting to hang out with these great kids makes it all worth it.  I love homeschool!  Have I said that lately?

Banquet 1

I literally dreamed about this centerpiece.  I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do and then at 4am I woke up and knew what I wanted to do.  Too bad I couldn’t go back to sleep! I took balloon weights, (the big ones) and cut a balloon stick in half (10 inches) and put it in the center of the balloon weight. Then I made a balloon cluster out of 7 balloon and attached them with the clips that came with the sticks.  Then I used my publisher program and printed out the team banners and table numbers on card stock and attached them to balloon sticks and crammed them in the weights.  They looked so cool and they were really easy to make.

Banquet 2

Last year we used a giant roll of paper tablecloth and it was a huge hit with the kids both big and small so we decided to use it again.  For the runner we cut black wrapping paper into 3rds.  Let me give you a warning about using paper make sure to have some really good tape on hand because you will need to tape the runner and the tablecloth down on the ends or they will not stay put.  I think they may have even used scrapbook dots under the runner.  But once in place they are great!  Add crayons and you can doodle on the paper and the runner!  We even add candy on the tables which is always a hit!

Banquet 3

A close up of the centerpiece.  They turned out so cool and we got lots of compliments!  Below shows how we did the buffet tables.  Once everything was in place, (very important) I took a giant Sharpie and labeled what everything was.  Why did I do that?  I saw it on Pinterest and thought it was cool!  Haha!  Also because I usually print out a menu because it’s typically catered, but this year it was only partially catered (the meat, slaw and cake) and everyone else divided up the sides that are typically catered.  It made identifying the sides quick and easy since there were 4 or more containers of baked beans, mac and cheese and so forth.  It eliminated the question, “What is this?” and I didn’t have to make placecards for each dish.  And then there’s the cake with each team and players names on it!  Yum!

PicMonkey Collage

To mark the beginning of the buffet, I wrote a big “Welcome to the Stallions Banquet!” so there would be no question as to where the line should start.  Plus I was in a doodling mood!  We wound up with about 130 players, parents, siblings and family in attendance.  A big Thank You to Hendrick’s Motor Sports for letting us use their Team Center for our banquet.  It is a great facility and you are so welcoming!Banquet 4

I love this picture because you can see how many people were there and you can really see how the decorations look in the space.  This is Emily, her bf Brandon and the Varsity Girls team (isn’t he lucky!)  goofing off and chowing down.  Now I know where the missing crockpot of nacho dip went!  You have been caught! Ha!

Banquet 9

Don’t forget about a trophy table!  Use this to showcase your program’s accomplishments throughout the years. Cover with a tablecloth and attach banners.  We brought just a few trophies this year instead of all of them and we also used the tables to hold the shirts and awards the players would be getting from their coaches.

Banquet 10

These are just some of my favorite pics of the evening.  It was so hard to choose!  The first is my sweet boy Spencer getting his awards; the second is Lindsey receiving her Senior recognition from her longtime coach Phil; the 3rd is my daughter Becca and her bff Lindsey; the 4th is Jonathan an honorary coach of the varsity boys team with his cowboy hat, he is the sweetest; and the 5th is a really cool picture of Emily’s bff Karley and Kara that are on the varsity girls team.

PicMonkey Collage 2

My advice is to make your banquets fun, include posters that fans made over the season to hang on the walls or from tables.  Use balloons because they are always festive. And let different people take turns taking pictures of the evening.  I didn’t take a single shot all night.  My camera was passed from my kids to their friends all night.  Luckily I really trust them, but they took the coolest pics I’ve ever had.  Wish I had room to show them all to you but you can go to my Facebook page if you want to see more!

East Coast Homeschool Basketball Championship 2013 Fun!

If you ever get the chance to go and watch the East Coast Homeschool Basketball Championships, I highly recommend it!  We had a blast, but we do every year.  From watching both of our varsity teams, to goofing off at the hotel to eating out together, there is nothing like it.   It is the “school sports” experience we wanted our kids to have.  Here’s just a few of the several hundred pictures that we took.  This doesn’t even come close to all the pics the kids took on their IPods, IPads and phones!

My son Spencer #20 doing a great job and being tough!Liberty 2013

Me helping a friend’s mom with her daughter’s number. Please pay no attention to my hair.  We had a 10pm game the night before and had to be up early.  I was exhausted and it was a ponytail kinda day.  But you should have seen her a couple of days later, when the girls made the championship game.  I must find a picture of her!  She had a red curly wig, makeup, crazy red and black clothes.  She brought the spirit!Liberty 2 2013

This is homeschool sports at its best!  After the championship game, both teams huddled together for prayer.  What a way to close out the week and to show that yes, winning is amazing, but it’s the friendships and our walk that’s the most important.  After all God is the reason we can play so tough!Liberty 1 2013

I love snapping pictures of coaches talking to their teams.  The intensity on their faces and the players.  I got this one of our guys right before the game started.  They are hanging on his every word.Liberty 3 2013

The girls and their trophy!  They played so amazing and we are so proud of them.  They got to play in the Vines Center!  The Dome!  They fought hard and played with heart and placed 2nd.  Congratulations!Liberty 4 2013

The guys and their big trophy.  Wonder why they aren’t so happy?  It was a really tough game and they fought hard, but it just didn’t go their way.  It was a hard loss.  But they did get to play in the Vines Center under the dome and that was awesome! Congratulations!Liberty 5 2013

Liberty 6 2013

Fans, siblings and friends! We laughed, we shouted, we argued a little with the ref’s, we ate, we stayed up way too late, but it was all worth it!  I love homeschooling and homeschool sports.

Liberty7 2013

Liberty 8 2013

 

Chic Basketball Mom Style

I go to tons of games every season, so much so that I have to tell my kids not to let me buy anything that is red or black!  Right now I’m packing for our last basketball trip of the year.  It’s East Coast National Championships!!!  Here is what I’m packing.  Everything is mix and match which makes it super easy in case it’s a little cold or decides to warm up or I just ain’t feeling it. 

Chic Basketball Mom

  • I’m bringing three tanks:  white, red, black. 
  • Three pairs of jeans: skinny, flared and straight all in a dark wash
  • Four pairs of shoes: sparkly black flats, red/black satin flats, tennis shoes and pink Sperry’s.
  • Red jacket
  • Black short sleeve shirt with a mock turtleneck.  (My fave cuz I can do the Audrey Hepburn look and slick my hair back in a ponytail and do simple makeup with a cat eye and red lips)  Easy peasy!
  • Grey shirt with a ruffle
  • Red and beige baseball shirt
  • Team shirt that is sleeveless
  • White long sleeve shirt.
  • A lightweight sweater in case it gets really cold one day.
  • White and pink short sleeve for a day when I’m not in the mood for team colors.

Packing for trips is really easy if you can mix and match.  Even the jewelry I’m taking can be worn with each of the outfits.  Now to go cheer on the team!

Blog signature