Not Your Norm Sweet Potato Casserole

Not Your Norm

Two things you should know.

  1. I experiment in the kitchen.
  2. I take pictures with my phone after the fact.

Now with those out of the way, we had a yummy dinner tonight. Approved by every single one of the girls. Two of them loved it. The other said it was really good but not her favorite dish ever. I don’t know about you but I’ll take that! Especially when it was a complete guess at how to proceed. Since this was an experiment, I didn’t take any pictures until every had been eating for a bit.

I did look up a couple of recipes for using up leftover ham and one of them was a hashbrown casserole. Well, the problem with that is I don’t buy hashbrowns. Or canned soup. Or have a desire to use up almost a dozen eggs in a single recipe! So, off to make up my own.

Because we have a dairy allergy, I did a couple of different things. I used almond milk but regular cow’s milk would probably not take as long to bake. Also, I did half of the dish with mozzarella and half of it with pecorino romano (grated sheep cheese that is similar to parmesan). My favorite was the pecorino romano end. It was more savory than the mozzarella portion. All of it was good though. So good, that 6 year old J wants a picture and the recipe for when she grows up. (Let me tell you, that melted my heart!)

Not Your Norm Casserole

Not Your Norm Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, shredded
  • 1 medium onion, shredded
  • 3 cups diced ham
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup almond milk or cow’s milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 cup pecorino romano

Prepare a 9×13 casserole dish. If you are using a stoneware pan, it won’t need greasing; if you are using a metal or glass dish, it will need to be greased so it doesn’t stick too badly.

Mix the sweet potatoes, onion, and ham together. Spread it in your casserole dish.

Mix the egg and milk. Stir and pour over the mixture in the casserole dish. Salt and pepper. I just eyeballed it.

Sprinkle the grated cheese over the mixture, covered it with aluminum foil, and baked it at 375 degrees. I baked it covered for about 45 minutes and the uncovered it and let it bake about 15 minutes more or until the cheese was browned a bit. I did check to make sure it was set, as well.

This served our family of five with no other dishes with a serving of leftovers.

Not Your Norm Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Download a copy of the recipe to print by clicking this link: Not Your Norm Sweet Potato Casserole PDF

If you enjoy this, please feel free to share it. Enjoy!

At Home.

A Christmas Tradition: Nightly Story Time

Nightly Story Time


We have a wonderful Christmas tradition: we read together. Our tradition and our book choices for this year are featured today on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog. I’d love for you to head over there and read more about our tradition.

At Home.


Now The Day Is Over

Now the day is over

This hymn is one of At Home Dad’s favorites. The calmness and hope contained in the lyrics is a blessing as the day comes to a close.

Now The Day Is Over

words: Sabine Baring-Gould (1865)
music: Joseph Barnby (1868)

Now the day is over,
Night is drawing nigh,
Shadows of the evening
Steal across the sky.

Now the darkness gathers,
Stars begin to peep,
Birds, and beasts and flowers
Soon will be asleep.

Jesus, give the weary
Calm and sweet repose;
With Thy tenderest blessing
May mine eyelids close.

Grant to little children
Visions bright of Thee;
Guard the sailors tossing
On the deep, blue sea.

Comfort those who suffer,
Watching late in pain;
Those who plan some evil
From their sin restrain.

Through the long night watches
May Thine angels spread
Their white wings above me,
Watching round my bed.

When the morning wakens,
Then may I arise
Pure, and fresh, and sinless
In Thy holy eyes.

Glory to the Father,
Glory to the Son,
And to Thee, blest Spirit,
While all ages run.

$5 Limit (and a giveaway)

$5 Limit

So as the holidays approach, money always becomes tighter, doesn’t it? We try to stretch that dollar farther and farther. With that in mind, I was visiting Family Christian the other day and looking for items with a $5 price limit. I found some interesting things that I want to share and then I will have a giveaway for a $5 gift certificate for three (3) of you! I know it doesn’t do your shopping but it might help Santa out a bit.

I found a number of book possibilities at Family Christian for under $5. One of my favorites was The Berenstain Bears The Very First Christmas. I added this to our Christmas book tradition this year.

There were also these little activity books that are pencil rubbing books. The giggly girls love these! I got each of them two. However, I can’t find them on the Family Christian website.


Every time I go in, there seems to be a VeggieTales video or an Iesodo video on the $5 table. These are the ones on sale on the site at this time: VeggieTales: Noah’s ArkBuck Denver Asks…Why Do We Call It Christmas?, Veggie Tales:It’s A Wonderful Life/Christmas Sing Along Songs, Iesodo: Faith, Iesodo: Love. There are also a choice or two of more grown-up movies on the table, including Courageous and Fireproof.

Gift Giving:

What about some notepads? There are a selection of three notepad sets. There is Good News of Great Joy, Celebrate The Savior, and Celebrate Christmas.

Do you make goodies in the kitchen to give? Here are some cute containers you could package them in. There is a bowl , a tub, and a tray.


There are pencils, erasers, little toys, and more that can be found in the children’s section of our local Family Christian. These are always fun little additions to a gift if you need something more. Or if you are looking for several items to get with the $5 appreciation certificate you are going to win, these will fit the bill. They are not something typically shown on the website, though.

I will be purchasing some stickers soon and they all fall under less than $5 in cost. The ones I am going to get are the names of God because that is an upcoming monthly theme for Write the Word. These stickers will be a fun addition. There are a number you can choose from for whatever might fit your needs. I know that our girls have all enjoyed stickers, even now as they grow older. So, here is the page for the stickers sold on the website.

If your child is a reader, a bookmark might be a good choice. And Family Christian has a large selection. These could also be given as gifts to other children you know since they come in packs of varying numbers.

Looking for a highlighter that won’t bleed through? These Accu-gel Bible highlighters look pretty good. I haven’t used them but am always on the lookout for something like this.


A few ideas, right? There are many more available on the website and in store. If you are an email subscriber or part of the 1:27 program, you also probably have a coupon that will help you find some great stocking stuffer ideas.

At Home.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Three winners will be selected to each receive a $5 appreciation certificate to Family Christian Stores. This is open to US/CAN residents only.





Wise Words from Corrie

Look at God - Corrie ten Boom

We have been studying the life of Corrie ten Boom recently. All of us have thoroughly enjoyed it. We started by reading the YWAM biography of Corrie’s life out loud. We them watched an animated version of her life on RightNow Media, which is available through We also watched a documentary on Corrie ten Boom’s life found on RightNow Media. The animated version took quite a few liberties and that provided some good discussion. The documentary was fantastic!

The ten Boom family was deeply rooted in Christ and much of their history shows that. I found great joy in hearing the things they would say to each other, especially Betsie and Corrie while they were imprisoned. These wise words came through Corrie to the world since her father and sister did not make it out of the concentration camps alive.

Corrie took the love of Christ to heart and traveled throughout the world sharing God. She always said her message must have two parts: 1) the cross and 2) forgiveness.

Love is the strongest force in the world. – Casper ten Boom, Corrie’s father

There are no “ifs” with God. – Betsie ten Boom, Corrie’s sister

There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still. – Betsie ten Boom

Tell everyone who will listen. – Betsie ten Boom

Psalm 91:1 – Whoever dwells in the shelter of the most high will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Colossians 2:14 – having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

Romans 5:5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Psalm 31:15 – My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.

Look around and be distressed.
Look within and be depressed.
Look at Jesus and be at rest. – Corrie ten Boom

At Home.


**This post contains an affiliate link. If you click the link and choose to purchase from it, our family will get a monetary payment from that.**

The Weaving poem shared by Corrie ten Boom

The Weaving, as popularized by Corrie ten Boom.

I first heard this lovely poem in a documentary about Corrie’s life. I don’t know if she wrote it or just shared it often. Most of what I have found claim she is the author but there is indication that she just shared it but didn’t know who wrote it.

She would show folks the underside of a weaving, which was messy with all sorts of knots and crossed threads. You could not tell what it was or even see a hint of the true beauty of the piece. But when she turned it over, there was a lovely crown, beautifully woven out of all those messy threads from the underside. We often only see the underside but God is the master weaver and will make something beautiful out of our lives if we allow him to.

The Weaving

The Weaving

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.




At Home.

Blue Ribbon Awards

2015 Schoolhouse Review Crew Blue Ribbon Awards
We have reached the end of the 2015 Review Crew year. Sad but true. We are about to take a holiday break from reviews but we have been accepted to continue to participate with the Crew for 2016. We’ll start back up in January and February with reviews for The Old Schoolhouse. As the finally “hurrah” for the year, we always enjoy thinking back over our year and all we have done. The Review Crew votes for our favorites out of all of the slots we have reviewed through the year. Want to know what the top vendors were for 2015 for the whole Review Crew? Head over to the Crew blog and find out.

But before you go, check out what our family decided on for our own Blue Ribbon awards. There were a few categories that we did not vote in, either because we did not review any of the products for that area or we did not particularly love what we did use so we opted not to vote. (The below links all go to our reviews of the chosen vendors. Those reviews all have links to the specific vendor’s site if you would like to learn even more about the vendors.)

Favorite Reading Curriculum: Alpha Omega Publishers (Horizon 1st Grade Phonics)

Favorite Spelling Program: IEW Phonetic Zoo

Favorite Grammar Program: Editor In Chief from The Critical Thinking Co.

Favorite Penmanship Program: New American Cursive from Memoria Press

Favorite Literature Program: Progeny Press: Sarah, Plain and Tall, though YWAM Publishing (CS Lewis) was an extremely close second

History/Social Studies Curriculum: Project Passport: Egypt from Homeschool In The Woods

History/Social Studies Supplement: Heirloom Audio Productions was the clear favorite for us here but whether to choose In Freedom’s Cause or With Lee In Virginia was terribly difficult

Favorite Science Curriculum: Surfing the Net: Science from The Critical Thinking Co.

Favorite Science Supplement: SmartKidz Media

Favorite Math Curriculum: Alpha Omega Publications (Horizons 1st Grade Math) – we did not actually review this one but we have bought it and are loving it due to recommendations from Crew members. This link goes to our review of the phonics program but has links to the vendor’s site so you can learn more about their math.

Favorite Math Supplement: Simply Fun: Shape Whiz

Favorite Foreign Language: Middlebury Interactive Languages (Spanish)

Favorite FineArts Curriculum/Product: Maestro Classics: the Nutcracker

Favorite Elective Curriculum: LaLaLogic

Favorite Christian Education Curriculum: Egglo Eggs

Favorite Elementary Product: Susan K Marlow: Tales from Circle C Ranch (All of Susan’s books are fantastic, though!)

Favorite Middle School Product: Susan K Marlow: Thick as Thieves (See? Susan’s books were chosen by all three girls as a favorite.)

Favorite Parent Product: Classical Conversations

Best Resource I Didn’t Know I Needed: IEW: Phonetic Zoo

Best Online Resource: SmartKidz Media

Best e-product: Homeschool In The Woods

Favorite Book, Novel, Audio Book, or Audio Drama: Star Toaster: Orphs of the Woodlands

Favorite Video: Living Waters

Just For Fun: Shape Whiz from Simply Fun

And, last but not least, the girls’ choices:
E – Thick As Thieves
L – Surfing the Net: Science and Progeny Press: Sarah, Plain and Tall
J – LaLaLogic


That is a lot of learning the girls did! The voting was hard because they really enjoyed several of the products that were in categories against each other. But, in the end, we were able to include all of our favorite vendors and products. We had a great Crew year and we can’t wait to see what 2016 brings!

At Home.


2015 Schoolhouse Review Crew Blue Ribbon Awards


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