Not Oct Weather :)

IMG_9509Yesterday the boys and I made our way to a local pumpkin farm place. My friend Candra txted me the day before saying they had free admission from 10am-1pm at this place. I dont know about you but we love free things :) – and when you have a family of 6, free is always a blessing. So I decided we’d take the day off from schooling the boys (that is the beauty of home school)… and head on over to this farm.

The farm wasn’t to crowded when we first arrived… however it did quickly fill up and became a bit to crowded for my liking :) – but who can complain when its free, right?

The slide and zip line were a hit as well as the water table duck thing they had set up.

The corn maze tho.

ugh….

DO NOT GO THROUGH A CORN MAZE WITH A 2 year old, in 90 degree heat. Bad bad bad idea haha… unless you have a really nice jogging stroller and can push your baby through the maze. It was def. not something I will ever repeat ;-) – unless its much cooler out….

The boys had fun though for the most part… and we ended our trip with ice cream pops on the way home. Here are a few photos from the adventure…

IMG_9516

IMG_9517

IMG_9522

IMG_9525

IMG_9527

IMG_9529

IMG_9530

IMG_9537

IMG_9541

IMG_9547

IMG_9549

Reed and baby Heaven walking together. They are 1 day apart ;-)

IMG_9552

“Mom we’re lost”

IMG_9561

IMG_9569

Chicken Lazone – Using some of my Blue Ribbon Chicken

So! Thought I would post up a new recipe using some of the new Blue Ribbon Meat we got in. It has been a week now since getting our shipment in and I could not be happier. You can read about what Blue Ribbon is HERE and why I am loving them.

This recipe was a new one I grabbed off Pinterest. (source). I am always hesitant to try new recipes off pinterest. Seems like its always hit or miss. This one def. was a hit!

ED9A8843 ED9A8851 ED9A8852
So here is what you need….

Chicken Lazone – Using some of my Blue Ribbon Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp real salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 lb chicken tenders (I used Blue Ribbon Chicken Tenders)
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • noodles (of choice. I used bow pasta)

Instructions

  1. First thing you do is combine all your spices. So the real salt, chili powder, onion and garlic powder. Sprinkle this seasoning blend all over your chicken tenders (raw/thawed).
  2. In a large saute pan. I used my skillet pan btw. THAT Blue Ribbon GAVE ME for free, with our order. They have a huge list of items to choose from when you become a member. One thing I hate about our stove is how uneven it heats... so cooking with a skillet is something I tend to go to. This skillet is stainless steal and dish washer safe (yes please!). So I was excited to be able to cook this meal on my new skillet.
  3. I melted half the butter over medium heat. Cooked my chicken tenders (After seasoning them) until done. It took about 8 minutes or so. I flipped them half way at one point.
  4. One chicken is cooked, pour the cream and remaining butter over top of the chicken. Lower your heat, allowing the sauce to simmer and thicken. Takes about 6 minutes.
  5. Serve your chicken and sauce over your pasta of choice.
  6. Enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://dreawood.com/2014/10/chicken-lazone-using-some-of-my-blue-ribbon-chicken/

I served this recipe along side some of the organic green beans provided by Blue Ribbon Food’s as well.

ED9A8857
If you are interested in learning more about Blue Ribbon Food’s – feel free to contact my rep Matt (malbert[at]blueribbonfoods.com). He will help you learn all you need to know. [Be sure to tell him The Wood Family aka Andrea Wood sent you. They have an amazing referral program. So anyone who books an apt. with him or through him, will bless our family in return] Blue Ribbon as of right now only services areas from GA, NC, SC and parts of VA. From what I hear they are trying to expand into other parts as well. Because their food goes from farm to table, they rely on local farms… so those who live in their reach are fortunate ;-) – we love being a part of the Blue Ribbon Family so far.

Oh and this recipe, was so enjoyed by our boys, we had ZERO left overs. They ate every bite!

Story of the World

homeschoolThis is a totally random post between some schooling we are doing this morning. Today we studied more about Ancient China. We are working through the book Story of the World Vol. 1. I saw this on another bloggers blog back this summer… and it looked easy enough to follow, so that is what I chose to order for this years History. Caleb though who is grade 4 is doing this with us as well as History with Switched on Schoolhouse. (SOS). He so far is doing well with that too.

A lil warning to those who only like to use Christian curriculum. THIS is not a Christian book, although it has some bible stories in it… it does have some stories about pagen God’s and myths. To me tho it is VERY important to expose our children to more than just “Christian” perspectives (although they are very important too)… At least I think so :) – some may disagree. I am sure to give them biblical truth too, but learning about the Egyptians God’s and the Chinese traditions, etc..etc.. is so good for them too.

We learned today about how China invented Silk… and the story behind that. I had NO IDEA silk came from silkworms! I mean maybe I did know but just forgot over my many years not being in school? :) – I had heard of silkworms prior but just never thought they were associated.

I think its cool how as the parent and teacher, I am learning right along with them.

The Story of the World for those who may be looking for a simple and easy to follow book, is great. You work at your own pace and their activity book is great to go along with it. In fact, don’t get the book without the activity book. The activities, review questions, coloring sheets and so forth are well worth having.

I’ll leave you with some videos we watched today on silkworms as well as harvesting rice :) – youtube btw is a homeschoolers bestfriend. I go there for more videos than anything! Best thing is youtube is free ;-)


Also, if you have not heard of Usborne Quick Links, check it out. Great source of fun activities to go along with lessons.

Blue Ribbon Food’s – what is it?

blueribbonfoodSome of you who follow me on my personal facebook would have seen me post the photo to the right last week…. A photo that seemed to be great at catching peoples attention haha, because I got a TON of comments on that post. Kinda blew me away. Loved the conversation it created and was cool to pass on information about this company to all those who may find it to be a fit for their family.

To go ahead and get some disclaimers out there
, since I tend to feel the need to do so. I was 1) Not paid to write this post for Blue Ribbon. 2) My family signed up with Blue Ribbon Food’s just like anyone else would, through a friend. 3) I am no expert and I am brand new to this company, so what I am about to talk about is from a newbie’s experience. However, I plan to follow up in 6 mo. from now and share with my readers my thoughts as the time goes. I may even do a 3 mo. check in too, if yall want.

I saw a friend of ours on facebook post a similar image to the right, of their freezer. Packed full of foods. They also mentioned how the food was from a good source of local farms, free range and so forth. I am big on this but will be totally honest. We could not afford to buy all our foods organic… from whole foods, trader joes and other organic food stores in the area. I tried to find ways to make it work… but with our budget, we just couldn’t. We literally live pay check to pay check right now… and as much as I value quality food for my family, it was not worth buying it and then not having enough money to pay our mortgage or utilities. I have learned throughout my years of trying to live well, healthy, feeding my family real food, that living in fear is no way to live… and while everything we eat may not be 100% organic, I try my very best to make do with the resources we have and feed my family well.

So, when I saw these friends post about Blue Ribbon Food’s… I was immediately intrigued. I knew they didn’t live the high life and didn’t live lavishly with lots of money… I knew they had lots of little mouths to feed and shared similar values… and so I decided, why not… why not call the guy they referred me to, and check things out for myself.

So I made an apt. with Blue Ribbon Food’s. The rep who’s name is Matt Albert, came out to our house and cooked our family a meal. Yes, all 6 of us. He asked us prior to coming, what kind of meat we like and would prefer to try… and once he came, he began to cook it up, while talking to us about the company, the farms, the food and so forth. They btw have a list of all their farms. All of them local to the states they service.

Throughout the entire apt. my husband told me, he was just holding his breathe. Waiting for the big price tag to flash across our faces and bid the man goodbye, as he just knew we could not afford something that seemed so nice.

After Matt explained everything to us though, we ate the food, kids enjoyed it… he asked us a lot of questions, like what meats we eat, how often we eat at home, what veggies we eat and so forth… he then was able to quote us a price.

If you go to the Blue Ribbon website you will not see individual pricing. The way their service works isn’t based off a set price on a chicken breast, or a pound of turkey. The price varies depending on your family size… what meats you eat. Do you eat fish, lobster, beef, pork, chicken… or are you a vegetarian and only need their organic veggies. All of these things come into account and that ultimately determines the final price.

I will be honest I am not totally sure how all the numbers work in that regard.

What I do know is once he priced our family cost, my husband was shocked.

It was such a good deal… and even with the freezer we got through the company (commercial grade, frost free), the cost is still within our budget and LESS than what we had been spending at normal grocery stores, buying things on our own. (The freezer btw is something you will want to discuss with Blue Ribbon. It is amazing and so worth getting. It is not “required tho” to use their services. Still, ask about it.)

As soon as my husband heard the price, he was sold.

So, on Wednesday last week, a sweet man in a Blue Ribbon uniform, showed up. My kids were behaving as if this man was Santa :) – so excited about the huge freezer he was about to lug down our drive way and the boxes of food he was going to fill it with.

ED9A8773

The man who delivered our food was very patient with my kids 1,000 questions and remarks.

blue ribbon foods

ED9A8802As he loaded the freezer into our garage (where we felt it would best fit). I began chatting with him some about the company… and asked him about the largest family he delivers to. He said he has a family with 15 children he delivers to. Many foster kids… What a blessing this service has got to be for families that large… families who may have special needs children… who may not be easily taken to a grocery store. Families who’s husbands may work really late hours, leaving their wife to do all the housework, grocery shopping and tending to the children. I for one, do not enjoy grocery shopping with my kids. While some trips are kinda fun, if its just to pick up a few things here and there… If I had to choose, I would much rather do my grocery shopping alone :) – so that my brain can function properly haha… and I can think while I pick things out.

This guy took care of moving everything into place. He took care of unloading all the boxes himself. I felt like I needed to do something, but nope, he did it all. He didn’t even make that a possibility. He even took the time to properly organize and place all my meats/veggies and other items in the freezer. He explained to me how to use the freezer… its features and so forth. Oh and get this. IF YOU HAVE TO MOVE... as long as you move WITHIN the states that Blue Ribbon Service, they will come to your home on move day, pack up your food and freezer. They will then relocated it for you to your new home, even if that means taking it to a new state! Re-install and re-fill it for you, at no cost. I was blown away at that. They believe in taking care of their customers without a doubt.

Once we checked off the check list, he was on his way and that was it. Could not have been any easier.

ED9A8805

ED9A8814

ED9A8818

ED9A8821

To those curious, all their food is vacuum sealed… it is good in the freezer for up to 12 mo. It wont get all gross and freezer burnt. The way they package their meats is amazing, as well as their organic veggies. I really don’t think Id do it justice to talk about all that here though, you def. need to contact my rep Matt and have him answer all those questions for you.

blue ribbon foodsA few questions I can answer… that some may have.

1. How much food is it? how often do you order?

– You order a 6 mo. supply of food… but you can order as often as you like.
– If you do not use the food within the 6 mo. You do not have to order again after 6 mo. You order when you are ready.

2. Do you have to pay for it all at once?

– Heck no haha. You pay for it weekly. Also, be sure to ask them about what happens if you loose your job… and can’t pay for the food. Their costumer care is UNREAL. It is no wonder most of their clients stay with them for 10+ years.

3. Do you have to order the same stuff all the time?
– No, you can change what you order at any time. So if you end up using more turkey than you thought, but not much of the beef… you can switch it up next order.

There are TONS of questions to ask about the services Blue Ribbon Food’s provides… I don’t really feel I am qualified to answer them all…. However, what I will say is, book an apt. Talk to a rep. Ask a lots of questions and go from there. It cost NOTHING to have a rep come into your home, cook you free food… and tell you about the company. Its free and it is def. no pressure. If they quote the price for your family and you cannot afford it, they understand and its okay. They will work with you and make it work though if it is something you want.

To end, let me say this…

I feel incredibly blessed to live in a country that has the resources it has. You all, we are blessed! I mean look at that freezer! God has blessed this country and I am thankful for everything we have. I do not post any of this to boast… to brag… My family lives frugally…. and while we live very lavishly compared to many in third world countries or even in our own state, where many are homeless and don’t have anything… we have learned to live within our means and with a tight budget. God teaches us to be good stewards of our money… and we truly believe this is going to help us stay within our budget even better.

I look forward to not having to run to a grocery store to buy meat that may be bad… Have you ever purchased an organic chicken (that you paid a lot for) only to get it home and realize its rancid? what a pain… I look forward to trying new recipes with the many choices of food we have here… I also look forward to cutting our bills down even more, by eating at home, real, healthy foods…. rather than running out to eat because we didn’t have a chance to go buy meat, or veggies at the store that week. We have eaten out way to much the last few months and I know that is the culprit. Not being prepared… and not having the time in between home schooling, shooting for my business and keeping a home. Grocery shopping, is last on my list some weeks…

Having Blue Ribbon become a part of our normal, is fine by me :)

To wrap this up….

If you are interested in Blue Ribbon Food’s and live in, GA, NC, SC and parts of VA… contact my rep Matthew Albert on facebook HERE. Or you can email him at: malbert[at]blueribbonfoods.com. I have his phone number too if you want that… but because my blog is a bit to public, if you would like his phone number, just email me drea[at]dreawood.com and I will pass that onto you. One cool thing that Blue Ribbon does do, is offer some great rewards… so any time someone signs up with Blue Ribbon Foods, our family has the opt. to earn money towards paying for our food. So you can help our family out, and others can help you out, etc..etc… The way they have it laid out is great. So if you are interested, be sure to tell Matthew that “Andrea Wood” or “The Wood Family” sent you :) – and we would appreciate it.

With that said, even if Blue Ribbon Food’s had no reward program. We’d still use them. You really cannot beat the convenience and quality for the price.

Hopefully this post made SOME sense. I know it was really long :)

I leave you with baby Reed, enjoying some of his Blue Ribbon food, the first day we cooked it up last week. We’ve enjoyed many meals since then using their food and loved every single one.

ED9A8832

ED9A8833

ED9A8834

8 years in the making…

We had our family photos taken recently… by my sweet friend Laurie who lives in NC. She was traveling through GA and made a pit stop nearby our home, just for me! I felt so blessed. The pictures came out so so so SO good… I hope to share more of those next week some time. For today though. A little flash back. I had told her I wanted to do this one particular pose… that was honestly a bit OLD SCHOOL… and a bit “not my style” … but it was a photo we had taken when we had first moved to NC back in 2007… I have always loved the photo and wanted to recreate it. So! we did.

Here is the old photo. Taken Nov 2007 – so like 8 years ago? if I am doing my math right.


Its been 5 years?

and… taken last week…

12yrs


In 8 years we sure have grown :)

When I look at the above photo of our sweet family of 6… I first off begin to look at my flaws. Not sure I am loving the bangs… Wondering if I look a lot older… and you know, just finding things you find wrong with yourself.

I hate that my flesh goes straight to the flaws I see with my eyes… instead of naturally going to what does matter.

Look at how faithful God has been!

We are all healthy.

We are all safe…. growing and each passing year, blessed beyond measure.

Christ has seen us through 8 moves over the course of our marriage. Within those moves the Lord has blessed us with babies. All of them born in different cities and 3 different states.

God has radically done a work in our marriage.

He has seen us through so much… and in those moments when I begin to doubt His love for us, He lavishes us and blesses us, again and again.

We may not have a bank account with a nest egg… or savings.

We may not have the best clothing or shoes :) – in fact our entire wardrobe above was stuff we already had and made do with… I did go to a thrift store to buy Caleb a shirt and Reed some pants. Spent $4.00.

We don’t drive the most fancy cars… and the cars we do have may very well have over 100,000 miles right now :) – but they work and get us where we need, with AC, no complaints.

So despite my hair not being perfection (oh the woes of bang issues haha). Or my shoe falling off… or whatever small thing I may see that the flesh in me wants to fix. The above photo, is perfection to me, in that we are together… and I am so very thankful for this memory.