Crock Pot or Stove Top Onion Soup…..YUMO!!!

A cold night…you are just coming home from work or a long day… and you want a nice warm bowl of soup?  That’s what I like to do on a Fall or Winter evening.  But normally I find that I don’t have the time to whip something up on the day that I want it. So instead I  make large batches of soup 4 – 6 times  a year and freeze them for when I need a quick hot meal with not a lot of fuss.

Onion Soup….so simple to make and so simple to enjoy!

Here is my recipe that I make…I hope you enjoy this!

(BTW this recipe is very forgiving….so a little more of this and a little less of that, based on what you have in your pantry is fine)

Ingredients:

  • 2 bag of onions (3 – 5 lbs)
  • 2 containers of Beef Broth (homemade is better if you have some stashed in your freezer)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ stick of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tables spoons of parsley or basil (your choice)
  • My secret ingredient is Marmite – one heaping teaspoon
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions:

  • Melt butter and garlic in a sauce pan
  • Once melted, add onions (slice onions very thin)
  • Add spices to onions
  • Sauté onions until a gold brown
  • Pour onion mixture into crock pot and add broth and bay leaves for 2 hours on high or on stove top on low for 2 hours.
  • Take out the Bay Leaves
  • Grab a bowl, pour in some soup, get some bread or crackers and enjoy!

Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

Tea for two …for you and me!

How great is it to have a “girls day” out?  I so enjoy getting together with friends and enjoying a cup of tea.  I was privileged to have a double duty day the other day with two “Teas” in one day.

The first one was at my church for our kick off “Ladies Fellowship”.  It was designed to gather the ladies for a fun morning filled with some yummy food, tea, a devo, a few games and some fun costumes to wear.

The second one was just for me….yup just for me!  My daughter-in-law took me out for a belated Mother’s Day present to a “high tea” at a tea room.  What a treat….not only to have a day for me but to spend the entire afternoon with my daughter-in-law and one of my best friends!  We drank one cup of tea after another, we enjoyed tea sandwiches, tea cakes and treats and of course scones.  I just loved the fact that when we first walked in….we were able to smell all the teas in little cups so we could choose just the right one for us to make a pot of tea from. The twinkling lights, the decor, the cute little tables …..the entire place was so charming!  I can’t wait to go back for a Christmas High Tea and then to do some Christmas shopping with the girls this year.

How about you….do you ever host a tea at your church?  What ideas can you share with me?  I would love to see pictures of your teas as well.  Send me some comments and pics below.

Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

Hubbard Squash and pumpkin Goodies

At one point we became members of a 4H group… for a fund raiser they would make pumpkin pies to sell at a annual fall festival. People swarmed over to our table to get these homemade pumpkin pie’s as if they were something really special. Being new to the group I couldn’t figure out what was so interesting about these pies… since it didn’t looked any different from any other pumpkin pie I’ve seen in the local supermarket. So I had to ask them what the secret was… and they shared it with me, it was Hubbard Squash.

First of all I have never heard of that style squash… and when I went to look for it here in New Jersey I had a hard time finding it. One fall afternoon we were in Pennsylvania… and I spotted this weird looking blue colored squash, when I asked them what the name of it was lo and behold it was “the Hubbard squash”. Absolutely overjoyed that I found it… I picked it up for just a couple of dollars and brought it home.

At first glance I thought I would just cut it into chunks and cook it down like I would for a pumpkin. There was no way in the world unless I got an axe that I could actually cut into this thing. So I decided to put the whole thing in the oven and cook it down and it took about 12 hours. So I have continued doing this for the past 12 years or so.

One of our favorite outings is to go to Pennsylvania and hit the Amish farm markets in the Fall. There I can get a 5 to 7 pounds Hubbard Squash… anywhere from $3 to $5 dollars. This is a good size to make several loaves of bread, muffins, soup and or cookies. It freezes well… And taste just like pumpkin but even better!

Here are a few pictures of it going into the oven, what it looks like coming out of the oven, cutting it open and scooping up the pulp etc. I will put it in freezer bags… and freeze it for when I need to bake. Check out this funny looking squash… try it out and taste and see how delicious it is! Let me know if you have any good pumpkin bread recipes to share!

Before going in the oven…

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After cooking on 200 for about 10 hours…

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The first cut before cleaning out the pulp…

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Cleaning out the seeds….

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all cleaned out….

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yummy pulp for pumpkin pie, bread, soup, muffins and cookies….

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Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

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Homemade Laundry Detergent! Yay or Nay?

I used to watch people make their own detergent and I thought that they were nuts!!!! I could not understand why anyone would take the time to do this when you could go to your local grocery store with a coupon in hand and catch a good sale and purchase some that was already made up in a pretty bottle.

I am on a kick to make everything homemade these days…that I can make for our home. I really enjoy making things for my family whether it be for a delicious meal, something pretty for the house… or even laundry detergent.

We struggle with hard water/ high iron and my wash has never looked better after making this detergent. My cloths stay newer looking. I love the simplicity of it…simple to make, simple to use and no fragrances to deal with.

When I make a batch it seems to last me about 6 months or so and it costs about $7 to make. I tend to use a little more in my wash since I usually only do extra-large loads and also I use a little more than normal due to the hard water. (Normal amount would be 1 tablespoon per size of load… For example 1 tablespoon for small, 2 tablespoons for medium load.) But all in all for $7 and it lasting 6-8 months, I think that is pretty good deal. As well as I just down right like it!!!! When is the last time that you only paid $7 dollars for laundry detergent that lasted you six months?

Here is my recipie….hope you enjoy it. Let me know in the comments below if you make your own and if you like it. Also do you have any other different recipes to share?

Homemade laundry detergent recipe:

I will let you know I get a big tub and I dump all the ingredients into it. I then store it in an airtight container… and I put some in a smaller container to use on a daily basis. On the larger container that I store the bulk of it in… I have the recipe written on the lid of it so that I always know where to find the recipe.

Lynn A.C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

I hit a wall!!!! Emotional whiplash!

Have you ever been there?  Have you ever hit an emotional wall so hard that it felt like whiplash?  Well I have….and yikes!

Our summer season is usually filled with lots of fun day trips, but not this season. We usually have one day where we would run some errands… and maybe hit the beach or similar afterwards. Then one day is spent doing a day trip or a mini vacation day. And of course the evenings would be filled with visiting friends, listening to some local concerts on the beach, and any other summer event that’s here at the Jersey shore. Why wouldn’t you… why not fill your summer with lots of fun before you settle into the fall and winter seasons. This is the normal for us… but not the case this summer! Somehow we slipped in and out of this summer with out ever really taking advantage of a summer fun season. We were extremely busy, with on going things, but when all is said and done we really didn’t feel like we had a relaxing and enjoyable summer, but one that was filled with just extreme busyness. But the question remains in our minds… what were we even busy with? Why did we come out exhausted… and not feeling refreshed and rejuvenated from a beautiful summer season. Why do we feel like we’re spinning our wheels and feeling fried and an emotional wreck?

My schedule is normally full with work and our regular activities of life…but we soon started to realize that so many unusual things were happening and I could feel myself slipping into a wall of emotional overload.  With extended family, church, ministry, friends and our normal needs of a “special needs” family…we seemed to be on overdrive for the past few months.  I woke up one day realizing that I could hardly breathe, lift my head and or want to even do anything at all.

I had a friend who suffered from “work burnout”.  I have heard of this but could not really relate.  My friend in the end… ended up in recovery for several months.  I was not at that point ….but looking over a 10 day period of our life that took place this past summer, we began to realize that 7 different major stressful events took place in that short amount of time. This left me feeling completely empty.

I am blessed to have a husband and partner in life who noticed how I was feeling and he also realized that he was falling into the same situation. So it was time to sit, chat and make a list of what all just happened to us.  We were both amazed that we could almost still function with all that hit us so hard and fast. After chatting with each other we needed to dissect each area where there was an emotional wall.

We gathered our emotional bandages, an emotional neck brace and some emotional crutches and started making a plan.  It was not easy to dissect all of this but we needed to do it. With some time in prayer and reflecting on some verses of scripture and a good hard look at what was happening we have made a recovery plan.

I normally know myself enough and when I am reaching “overload”, I can stop, stand still and regroup but not this time.  It came too fast and too hard.  Now that we have a plan we can take one step at a time and regroup together.

I hope all of this makes sense to you….if you break your arm you see the hurt and discomfort.  But when you break your spirit it does not leave any visible things for people to see that you have discomfort.  This made me realize even more that behind every face is a story and to be more kind to those around me as well…since you never know what people are going through.

One brick at a time of the wall is now coming down.  In some case we just got a bulldozer and took the wall down and oh boy did that feel really good. We are on the road to recovery… by making better decisions, better choices, and being wiser people. Life is enjoyable and should be… But we need to sit back and realize when we are overloaded with stress and stressful situations. There needs to be a time of refreshment, a time to be able to regroup, and a time to be able to reflect what has just happened so that you don’t hit an emotional wall.

Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

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Quick and easy breakfast on the go…

If you’re like me… Breakfast is one of the hardest meals to make. I am not a big egg eater… and neither are my kids, although my husband will enjoy one now and again. I find it hard to come up with some recipe ideas for something quick and easy.  Especially when we’re always running out the door first thing in the morning most days.

So what’s a mom to do when you work full-time and you need to have a healthy quick breakfast that you can grab and go with? Breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos and many of these other types of quick breakfasts are good too, but I just found a quick and easy recipe that turned out to be very yummy and simple to make when you have a busy schedule.

Only three ingredients:

  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups of rolled oats (I found 2 1/2 cups worked out better)
  • Half a cup of honey or half a cup of maple syrup (your choice and I preferred to only use 1/4 of a cup)
  • One cup of peanut butter (natural is better for less sugar)
  • Mix all three ingredients together, place a piece of wax paper in a baking dish, add your mixture to the dish and pressed down firmly to even out the mixture in the dish. Put it in the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight, and then enjoy.

Let me know if you have any other ideas for a quick and easy breakfast. Send a comment below with your recipe.

Lynn A. C. Wilson –  Resume of a Mother

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Autism and Routine….

Routine is something hard to create and stick with in our lives….but it is a necessary thing.  I watch a You-Tube channel with “Andrea Mills”.  She talks about doing things routinely if they are important enough to you. Check out her website and channel for this topic and more.

https://www.andreamills.tv

With any type of special needs and we have two types in our family, I find as a homemaker that I need to create a way of organization for them; and not necessarily for me.  With epilepsy and Autism in our home, I find that this affects everything that we do!  For example, just leaving the house to go out for the day…we need to make a list on the back door of what we need to bring with us.  This way my husband who has Epilepsy, whether it be a good day or not, does not have to think about what to bring. Especially when it is an “off” day for him, he just looks at his list on the door.

(example list for the door)

  • travel bag
  • pills
  • water bottle
  • phone
  • phone charger

For our son has Autism.…so for his needs we have created labels in the refrigerator and also a routine of where to put things.  This way there is no frustration of where things go.  We also labeled where all of our coats go.  Again, this way it keeps things simple and organized!

We have created a “white board” system to help with all those daily questions that you find Autistic kids always asking.  They want to know what the next days meals will be 24 hours ahead of time. Our board includes 3 meals, 3 chores, 3 school events (we homeschool), and whatever the special event of the day is also.

This has proven to relieve many meltdowns, and crazy evenings in our home.  When he asks the questions that he always does by 5pm sharp, we can just refer him to the white board.

Special needs can be a struggle to the caregiver as well as the person who struggles with it.  Why not make life as routine as you can to avoid any chaos and confusion.  There will always be other issues to deal with, but when things are routine it helps out a great deal.

Lynn A. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

Being of Like Mind…Autism!

It was interesting to sit and watch the other night at a group of kids all of whom had Autism.  I learned a very valuable lesson that night!

Let me back track a little for you to get the whole picture.  Our youngest son has Autism and we belong to two different support groups.  One group especially offers a wide variety of support for parents and lots of activities for the kiddos.  This night happened to be a night for the kids, it was filled with fun, running around and freedom for them.

Freedom for them!….what I mean is that they could be who they were created to be. It was a time for them not to be judged, made fun of, no one was looking at them as if they were weird. They could speak their own language, wave their hands if they needed to, swing their legs and jump as high as they wanted. They are a unique group of people!  They have uniqueness that are their own…..and yet they don’t judge each other and they seem to relate to each other on a higher level.  They are like minded and understand each other.  Most of them have never even met before, and yet they can get along as if they were best friends forever.

What a lesson for me to learn!  Here I live in the ‘average” world without Autism.  My friends and acquaintances are “average” people.  And yet we seem to judge, talk about each other, and we are not like minded.  If we enter a room with people we haven’t met before ….we tend to look at our phones or just down right ignore each other.  Oh if we could only have the mind of someone who is Autistic….and let loose and be free!  Be free to say hello to a stranger, be free to play with someone we met for the first time, be free to jump as high as we wanted to and swing around in circles if we felt like it.

I am so glad that we have a place that allows our son to be free!  A place for us to be with other parents who we can relate to!  A place for him to be able to feel like and where he can say…..“I can just be me”.  God has given him a uniqueness called Autism…he is not strange or weird just different.

Lynn A. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

Are you writing your Eulogy?

I know this is a very odd question to ask, “are you writing your own eulogy”? This is not something that we usually ask each other.  Let me explain.  Recently a friend of mine lost her dad.  As we were talking she said that the service was graciously done but that they were really struggling with what to say.  You see he had lived a very hard life.  The life that he lived was not a very good one; the choices that he made in life were not the best.img_9069

Just prior to chatting with him….I was discussing with another friend about what people think of us in general. We were discussing about when someone walks in the door and what you immediately think of them.  If I were to walk in the door ….do my friends get excited to see me? Or am I one of those people who when you see me, you say “great….she here now”.  You know what I mean…there are those people who we love to see and those we don’t.  Why would you want a personality that no one wanted to be around?

I heard someone say a long time ago….while you are living you are writing your eulogy.  What a thought…but so true.  What you do now, how you treat people, how you are around others will ultimately be in the end, what you are known for.

What do people say about you now?  What will they say about you then?  Something to thing over today! See if you need to make some changes in your life!

Lynn A. Wilson – Resume of a Mother