Lemon Pork Chops Recipe

Hi everyone! I have a new recipe for you today: Lemon Pork Chops. I first got this recipe from my Betty Crocker Cookbook probably about 15 years ago. I have to say, out of all the cookbooks out there, Betty Crocker has always been my favorite. Maybe it’s because I remember my mom using her old, orange copy so many times and when I asked for a cookbook for Christmas one year when I was around 16 years old, my mom got me a Betty Crocker! I’m not sure, but I have always loved my Betty Crocker Cookbook and use it very often even now.

I came across this recipe when I had been married just a few years (some of you know that we’re now coming onto our 20th Anniversary this October, so that was quite awhile ago!). At first glance, this recipe looks a little strange and you wouldn’t think this combination of food could really be that good. But we tried it and Jason LOVED it! So it has been one of our old faithful recipes over the years.




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How to Make a Cherry Pie and See The USA

I just finished up How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the USA by Marjorie Priceman for school with the boys. This was our first book study of the new school year. I had done this book several years ago with Popstar and Flash and it was so much fun. It’s a great book to do around the 4th of July, because that is the theme and everything is fresh on your mind that time of year. This book is so creative, I love it! It is not a Five in a Row book, but it does have a companion book that is called How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by the same author and that is a Five in a Row book from Volume 1. That book is a lot of fun too! This book has a unit study and lapbook components that you can find (for free!) on Homeschoolshare.com.




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Are You Ready For A Challenge??

How I Plan For Five In a Row (6)


A new month is approaching and this month Jason and I have decided to challenge ourselves to not spend any money on eating out or fast food meals for the entire month of August. So I thought I would invite you all to join us! We’ve done this challenge before and it can actually be a lot of fun. You can sort of make a game out of it to see how much money you can save.

We sometimes spend way too much money on food and right now we really want to save up a little extra cash for Christmas. It’s hard to believe that is just around the corner! So I’m really going to have to get my meal plans looking good for this month. I will stock up on frozen pizzas and things like that for super busy days. Also, I will expect to spend a little more at the grocery store but I don’t think it will be as much as buying fast food can cost for a family of 6!

I want to encourage you to challenge you and your family to see how much you can save this coming month by not eating out. You might be thinking, I could never do that. But if you just give it a try, you may be surprised. Your meals will be a lot healthier most likely and you may even have a chance to spend more family time with your kids and teach them a little about cooking and even menu planning.

So get your calendar out and start thinking about what meals you can make this month that your family will enjoy. Look for ways to double the recipe as well, so you can have leftovers and maybe even freeze some.

I would love to hear if anyone is doing the challenge with me and how it is going for you as we get started in 5 days from now! I will be posting about how it is going for us each week.



How I Do Menu Planning

How I Plan For Five In a Row (4)


Ever since we first got married, Jason and I have planned out our week for dinner meals before we go to the grocery store. I can remember sometimes making up the list on the way to the store, but at least we planned ahead and were able to buy what we needed to make dinners for the week.

As the years have gone by, we still work on that together but we try to plan out for longer than just the week ahead. At one point a few years ago we were doing a monthly shopping trip to Aldi and Walmart (which is where we buy the majority of our food) so we would plan for a whole month of dinners. This last year, we have cut back to planning and  buying for 1 to 2 weeks at a time.

This has helped us tremendously to not spend more than we need to as well as to be prepared for those times when you just don’t have time to cook. I try to always get things at the store that can be cooked quickly, even if it’s just frozen pizzas or some kind of pre-cooked frozen chicken. I would much rather do that than to have to spend money on fast food, wouldn’t you? I feel like this process saves us not only money, but time, energy and stress.

There are lots of different ways to meal plan. The first thing I do is get my calendar and see what all we have going on. Our family obviously homeschools and so we are home a lot. We are not highly involved in sports activities or really anything that takes us away from home very much in the evenings. That may change one day as the kids get older, but for right now this is where we are and what keeps us sane.

Once I have looked at the calendar to make sure what days I need to plan meals for, I start looking in my freezer and pantry to see what all we have on hand already. Some people I have heard call it “shopping the pantry”. It’s always good to use up food that you already have. It can save you money at the store as well as avoid having to throw out food that got old before you realized it. So I try to see what meals we can make out of what we already have.

Next I check out my master list of meal ideas. I wrote down a list of all the meals we enjoy for dinner, I probably have 30-40 on the list right now. I start penciling in those on the calendar. I try to keep in mind the days that I know I will be gone in the afternoon and may need to do a crockpot meal, leftovers or maybe a frozen pizza.

Sometimes it makes sense to have a “theme” for each night every week. For example, a lot of people do “Taco Tuesday”. You could do a Mexican night, an Italian night, a chicken night, a Finger Food Friday, etc.

After I fill in with the regular meals we enjoy, I try to add one new recipe to try. I always enjoy trying new things. So once I have my menu planned out, whether it’s for one week or four weeks, it’s always makes my brain rest easier knowing that I have a plan. I always go over it with Jason, unless we worked on it together and he already knows. Then I go to my master Aldi shopping list that I created on Excel. I print it out and use a highlighter to mark what we need to buy. I will go through all of the recipes I have planned for the dinner meals and make sure I have everything we need for those marked as well.

Here is my menu plan for this week:

Monday-Chicken Potpie and rice

Tuesday-Homemade Pizza

Wednesday-Spam Sandwiches, mac & cheese, cucumbers

Thursday-Sloppy Joe and Tater tots



So, that’s about all there is to it. I’d love to hear how you plan for your meals and shopping trips! I’m always looking for new ideas. Also, stay tuned I have a challenge coming up in the next few days that I’m going to let you know about!





The Boxcar Children, Chapter 1 (BYFIAR)

Beyond Five in a Row is laid out in chapters, so you read a chapter and then in the manual you have lessons to go along with that chapter. It covers Science, Social Studies, Art, Language and Bible. Popstar started her first Beyond book for school this week and since it is laid out by chapter, I will be doing a post about each chapter as we go along. Her first book is The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner from Beyond Five in a Row Volume 1.




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