Monday, November 11, 2013

weekend life: dating, painting, and my personal cooks

Weekends are the best.

Something about homeschooling four kiddos full-time makes me appreciate the weekend days like never before. :) Maybe because the weeknights look like this by about 9:30 at our house these days:


But our weekends are free and easy. They're usually unstructured, include lots of sleep, church with friends, and a date night alone. 

On Friday night our gym hosted a date night for the parents, and we were all over that $5 per kid childcare. :)

Where did we go for dinner?  You probably know the answer. :)


Chuy's is our favorite. We're a little weird- we always pick one place and go there until something changes. We become such regulars that everyone remembers us. :) And we always order the same thing. We like comfort zones. ;)

After dinner on Friday night, we headed over to Barnes and Noble for the hubs favorite coffee drink and this cupcake:


And yes, I always take pictures with my desserts. ;) That's how much I love my cake.  And chocolate fudge cupcakes may be my favorite. {Though tres leches is extremely good too.}

 I have to be honest, though- Rob had some serious competition on this date:


He's a good sport- he understood why I was so charmed by another fellow when he saw the smile.


Ahhh. It's so cute I can hardly stand it. That smile keeps me entertained all day long. :)

While at B&N, we picked this up for me, thanks to so many of your recommendations:


And then at the register, they gave me this, and I would love to know if you have any insight on their recommendations???


The Communist Manifesto is to the Power of a Praying Wife as ______________ is to ______________? I used to be good at analogies but this one stumped me. haha!

Another great weekend moment? We did what Texans do for fun...


Try on cowboy boots. ;) It was our first time and we were looking for something specific at the western store, so we had a little fun while we were there. I've never seen so many boots in one place before! They have some amazing boots. I think tall embroidered western boots need to go mainstream. They're so pretty! :D

It was a fun experiment, anyway. Another out-of-the-ordinary experiment we're trying? We decided to start sampling a strange, mostly foreign cheese every week. 


Last week was Irish natural cheddar from Irish farm cows, and this week is Jarlsberg imported from Norway. The Irish cheddar was excellent, but the the Jarlsburg is a little too sweet for me. I don't eat it with or on anything, though. Maybe I should?

We ended the weekend with Rob making his very first primitive fire {is there anything the man can't do??}:


And then a little painting time before bed last night. I tried watercolors for the first time!! 


And then it was Monday again, and I put my three cooks back to work:



We're having beans and rice for dinner tonight, and I'm teaching BODYCOMBAT after we get done with school and picking up the house today.  

The good news about Mondays? They're great days to get things done! Hey, if fun weekends were all we ever had, our house would be a mess and we'd have no food to eat. ;)

How was your weekend? :D

Any favorite imported cheeses you love that we have to try? 
I'm a cheese novice. I like feta and cheddar- anything salty and sharp.

Random question- do you ever make taco shells at home without buying them pre-made? Do you have a recipe? Please tell me it's not just pure lard and flour. Or don't tell me if it is. ;)

35 comments:

Heather said...

I make our soft shell tortillas: 3 c whole wheat flour, 1/3 c oil (coconut or extra virgin olive), 1 c water and 1 t of salt. Super easy and makes about 12-15 shells depending on how big you make them. I really like the taste too.

Veronica Sampson said...

Smoked gouda is my favorite, although I would probably like anything smoked since it add such a different flavor. But, I'm pretty much a novice too since I don't think gouda's a fancy imported cheese. Fun experiment though! :)

Anonymous said...

our ladies did the Power of a praying wife, it was exceptional!!! Love it and will more then likely do it myself once a year for now on. Something for everyone, I do recommend doing this at some point with a group cause woman bring specific things to the table and views you might not had thought about. A truly great devotional/study!

Rema Burghul said...

Have you tried provel cheese before? It is so delicious on salads :D (it's not imported from another country, but some friends of Suna's used to bring her some from St. Louis, Missouri). Mmmmm :)

Nicole Black said...

what's your beans and rice recipe? I am looking for a good one, my husband loves Poppey's Chicken - Beans and Rice.

Mamastiks said...

I make corn tortillas all the time. I use Maseca mixed with water and salt in a tortilla press. It's a little tricky until you get the hang of it. The key is to use wax paper or ziplocs on each side of the press - well sprayed with Pam so they come off easily. Then you just put on the griddle to cook. I have also found that if it is too humid, I have a hard time making them. So good and so much better than the store-bought variety. I have also made flour tortillas, but I'm not so good at those, yet.

Mamastiks said...

Oh, and if you can find BellaVitano (Costco has it) the balsamic parmesan is excellent.

KBrell said...

I second the request for your beans and rice recipe! We're always looking for something quick and healthy that the kids will eat.

Jen said...

A wife after God's own heart is a must read! Run don't walk to get it :). I read it ten years ago and it has stayed with me and I still reference it. Love your top picture of the kids sleeping, just precious.

Liz said...

I love Gruyere cheese. By itself, or in a layered potato casserole (sweet potatoes, regular potatoes).

Anonymous said...

I agree!! That book really touched my heart.

debi jo said...

I'd also love your beans and rice recipe! If you'd ever like to share other recipes, I could feature them on my meal-planning blog - allthingsdebijo.blogspot.com and direct them back to your amazing blog! Let me also say how much of an encouragement you are to me through your posts!

Anonymous said...

I haven't read 'A Wife After God's Own Heart' but I have read 'A Woman After God's Own Heart and it's Great!!! I also recommend that book along with the 'Power of A Praying Wife'. I also have 'A Couple After God's Own Heart' :) Last but not least "Power of a Praying Husband' is great if your hubby likes to read! :) As for the other books on the list I have no comment lol

fitfullfun.com said...

I love how honest this post is! Thanks for sharing!

Mandy said...

Oh I have to try that!! Thank you for sharing!

Mandy said...

Mmm I can't remember if I've ever had smoked cheese! They definitely had that one- it might be next!

Mandy said...

No I don't think I have! It is soft or crumbly? I miss you and Suna so much! Please move back home when you get done, okay? ;)

Mandy said...

Oh I am embarassed to say I don't have one. :) I cook the beans all day after soaking all night and we use basmati rice in the rice maker and add cheese and salsa every now and then. :)

Chaeli Meerman said...

We have a dairy farm and make our own cheese so I'm kind of partial to those. We make Cheddar and Gouda, as well as several spiced kinds of Gouda.

Ashley Rigunay said...

LOOVED Power of a Praying Wife. I need to get mine back off the shelf.

Pamela said...

Jarlsberg is great on when toasted on a bagel with granny smith apples. Yum!

bettercountry said...

I agree with Pamela that Jarlsberg would be good with a granny smith apple. Salty cheese: while Gouda and Gruyere are probably the easier fiends in the US, if you can find Comté (a hard salty cheese, especially if it was made during winter months when the cows ate hay instead of grass), it's just divine.

Anonymous said...

What are your eggs sitting on? I've never seen anything like that before.

Alicia Clinton said...

After a long two weeks of visits to the hospital for my dad, then grandfather, we stayed home and did almost nothing on saturday, which made sunday busy, but it was cute to watch my boys play video games - Lego Pirates of the Caribbean and then setting up a huge Thomas the Train Railway Adventure plus, that's boys right, all while dealing with a sciatic nerve gone wrong and last minute laundry and meal preparation after our usual hyper busy Sunday services.

Lisa Marie said...

Sartori Cheese: Bellavitano ....with or without crackers is amaza-zing!

Erika Lane said...

Your posts always make my day, Mandy! :) :) I tried to hunt through your site before asking this and didn't see a list anywhere, but would you be willing to share your favorite cookbooks??

Deborah said...

drunken goat and manchego cheeses are easy faves. if you have a deli or market with great cheeses near where you live you could make a "field trip" out of going and sampling to find something you like.

Tresa said...

I made my first soft shell tortillas using this recipe:

http://www.thecafesucrefarine.com/2013/08/best-ever-homemade-flour-tortillas.html

It's tedious work, but once you get the hang of it, they turn out beautifully. I used a paper plate as my guide for measurement. I rolled out each one as large as the plate, and found that to be the right 'thinness' I was looking for in the shell. I just redusted my rolling pin and plate with each new dough ball. I have a flat crepe maker (Aldis' -$12!) and used that to "fry" them on-it worked wonderfully! Side note: I just wanted to thank you for the audio Laundry Devotions, they really add encouragement to my day. I'm a stay at home mom (of one)/ pastors wife, and sometimes struggle with feeling disconnected. To hear your encouragement through the scriptures as my morning devotion time, it's really helped. I pray that God strengthens you and your family as you draw near to Him. God bless :)

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth George's books are very good.

Anonymous said...

Camembert is my fave. And if you spread some fig jam on it, wrap it in puff pastry and sprinkle slivered almonds on it, cook for 20 mins, i like it even more :-D

Stephanie Fereday Liebert said...

I had to laugh at the Communist Manifesto recommendation. I have taught history for years and have my World Civilizations 102 students read it and we discuss the Proletariat and the Bourgeoisie. I really am not sure how that relates to prayer, but it is an interesting read if you are looking for something different :)

Anna Wegner said...

Edam is one of my favorites. It's mild, similar to Gouda, which I like but not quite as much. Some people I know really like Brie, but I haven't really developed a taste for it. Another favorite is Fol Epi. Unfortunately, I can't eat dairy now. :( Sad because I love cheese!

Maggie said...

Gruyere cheese is one of my favorites, and love a brie wheel wrapped in pastry with toasted nuts and raspberry jam on top! I buy almost all my cheese at Trader Joes, they have the best prices and you can try different types of cheese without breaking the bank! Love that baby smile...so sweet :)

Monica @ The Modern Mrs. Blog said...

I absolutely love Stormie Omartian's The power of a Praying Wife! You will love it. I love that its an easy format to pray a different chapter for your husband each day of the month! Awesome.

Anna Topal said...

Mandy,
I recently joined the biblical homemaking "family" and let me tell ya', it has been a wonderful blessing!!! Glory be to God ! I pray that you can reach even more people with the Gospel and also encourage fellow believers in their walk with the Lord. Im so grateful that such a site exists. Thank you for all the time you put into this. May God continue to bless your family!

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