May 31, 2010

Memorial Day


We're putting flowers on my Daddy's and my grandparent's graves today.
Take some time today to remember. Whether it's someone who fought for our country's freedom or a loved one that you miss terribly. Remember.

May 30, 2010

Gooseberry Patch Preview Party


Thursday I had the privalege of hosting a preview party for Gooseberry Patch's new cookbook.
There were 7 of us total (not including Abby who stayed home while Daddy took the rest of the kiddos to DQ and the park).

The menu was:


Slow Cooker Mac-n-Cheese, Creamy Chicken Sandwiches (recipe forthcoming)
served with home made buns, corn on the cob,



Pioneer Beef Stew (again...recipe's coming), and


Southern Fried Apples with vanilla ice cream for dessert.



Everyone seemed to enjoy the dishes.


I tried to make the theme a down-home country style meal. I used handkerchiefs in the napkin basket and made a country style table centerpiece with canning jars, handkerchiefs, candles and peonies.



We drank pink lemonade and sweet tea in canning jars -- super country!



I put slips of paper that had suggestions like "Share with us what book you are reading", or "Share with us your favorite meal you can't live without". We had some fun conversations!




GBP gave me a copy of the cookbook and a copy to give away. I gave away a few other little goodies so everyone had something to take home.


All in all I think we had a fun time!

May 29, 2010

Homestead Blessings: The Art of Gardening

I've borrowed some Homestead Blessings videos from the library. The West sisters and mother share their great home keeping tips and inspiration! My mom and I watched the Homestead Blessings: The Art of Gardening the other night. It was very informative! It was filmed in their own garden! They share tips on starting a compost pile, container gardening, lasagna gardening, an easy way to grow potatoes, and more! There are also a few recipes that they share, too! They have a lot of other helpful videos; from canning, to herbs, to soap and candle making! Check out this clip from the Gardening video.




Go here to order: Homestead Blessings: The Art of Gardening

May 28, 2010

Crock Pot Mac & Cheese

My husband absolutely loves this recipe!  It's his first pick of any macaroni and cheese recipe that I make.  The kids are kind of partial to it, too!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Crock Pot Mac & Cheese

16-oz. pkg. elbow macaroni, cooked
12-oz. can evaporated milk
10.5-oz. can cream of chicken soup
2 c. sharp cheddar cheese shredded
2 c. five cheese blend shredded (or mozzarella)
2 c. co-jack cheese shredded
1 - 2 sticks of butter, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a slightly greased slow cooker. Cover and cook on low setting for 3 to 4 hours. Makes 12-16 servings.

May 27, 2010

Queen of the Castle: Week 21

For those of you playing along...(if you've just joined us you can get caught up a bit here) we are on week 20 of the book Queen of the Castle: 52 weeks of encouragement for the uninspired, domestically challenged or just plain tired homemaker.

Chapter 21 is "Warm Weather Homemaking". "You wake up in the morning planning to catch up on laundry, change the sheets, and make a fancy dinner. But when you look out the window, you find it's a gorgeous, sun-filled day. What do you do?", asks the author. She has a lot of great advice. "Take time to wander amond the flowerbeds or push your children on the swings. Sit in the grass and paint your toenails or spread out a blanket and read to the kids", she suggests. I suggest you do both! You know, multi-tasking! ; ) "You can sit at the picnic table and pay bills while the kiddos play." The ideas are unlimited!

Lynn, the author, also has some snack ideas such as grapes, lemonade frozen in plastic cups, smoothies, etc. They all sound very yummy and summery to me!!

She gives some tips on line drying clothes, one of my greatest memories as a child, helping my mom at the line, the clean smell of line dried clothes. Snniiiffff!! Can you smell it?! These days I can't line dry much, we have horses to the west of us near the clothesline and our girls are allergic to anything with fur. I've tried line drying and it's not a great idea here, trust me.

May is National Salad Month! Did you know that?! I betcha didn't. That's o.k., I didn't either. She gives some great salad ideas and some salad dressing ideas. May is also Fungal Infection Awareness Month. Glad she didn't share tips for that one, huh?! ; )

I'll leave you with this great warm-weather homemaking idea:


Make a pitcher of sun tea. Fill a clear glass pitcher (or jar) with water, drop in a few tea bags, cover with plastic, and a place in full sun for an hour or two. When it's strong enough, take inside and pour over ice.

May 26, 2010

Oreo Cookie Dessert

I was just thinking about posting this recipe and then my friend, Tina, decided to post it. So...hop on over to her bloggy to snag the recipe, K? Enjoy!

It's very yummy and a very common dessert made here at the Old House!



*pic from artruch.wordpress

May 25, 2010

Kitchen Tip Tuesday

Howdy ya'll! Yep...still feelin' a little country! ; )

I'm not sure I've shared this here on the blog, but I was chosen to host a Gooseberry Patch Cookbook Preview Party!! I must say I was very excited to receive my very own copy of Slow Cookers, Casseroles & Skillets and a copy to give away at my party!!

If you are a fan of Gooseberry Patch, you'll know that at the bottom of most pages are little decorating, cleaning, or cooking tips. Here are two of my favorite tips that I found while perusing the pages...


"Here's how to check whether a slow cooker is heating to the right temperature. Pour 8 cups of water into the crock, cover and heat on low setting for 8 hours. Uncover and immediately check to water temperature with an instant-read kitchen thermometer. If the slow cooker is working properly, it will read 185 degrees."


"
If a favorite non-stick skillet has gotten sticky, here's a simple solution. Fill it with one cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Bring to a boil for a few minutes. Rinse well with hot water and wipe clean...no more stickiness!"


Do ya'll have any kitchen tips you'd like to share?

Do tell!





May 24, 2010

Menu Plan Monday -- Week of May 24

We're still plugging away trying to save money on the grocery budget so we can have a little extra cash for fun things when we go camping this summer. Since last week I was spoiled for a few days by hubby's students' food projects I will repeat a few things on the menu that didn't get prepared last week.


Monday (May 24)
Breakfast: Old House French Toast
Lunch: Cheese Quesadillas, chips, salsa, sour cream
Dinner: Breakfast for dinner...maybe pancakes, eggs, sausage gravy and biscuits?

Tuesday (May 25)
Breakfast: egg and bagel (or english muffin) sandwiches
Lunch: grilled cheese, carrots, apples
Dinner: beef and noodles, Smashed Potatoes, veggies, rolls

Wednesday
(May 26)
Breakfast: cereal
Lunch: left overs
Dinner: Sloppy Joes, chips, carrots

Thursday (May 27)
Breakfast: eggs and toast or bagels
Lunch: left over sloppy joes, carrots, chips(or popcorn), apple slices
Dinner: ?? Hosting a Gooseberrry Patch cookbook preview party...haven't got that menu planned yet. Eeek!!

Friday (May 28)
Breakfast: Old House French Toast
Lunch: Grilled cheese or left overs?
Dinner: Stuffed Crust Pizza, carrots, chips, fruit

Saturday (May 29)
Breakfast: bagels
Lunch: left over pizza and/or sandwiches
Dinner: grilled burgers and hot dogs, baked beans, chips, carrots, fruit

Sunday (May 30)
Breakfast: Sour Cream Blueberry Bread
Lunch: Sandwiches (not sure what we're doing this day...maybe more gardening "stuff")
Dinner: Clean out the fridge night!

May 23, 2010

An Old House Visitor

We found this little guy hanging out on our doorstep the other morning. He's such a cutie patootie. The kiddos begged and pleaded to keep him.


He's probably about 4 weeks old and he missed his mama terribly. How he got up on the steps I have no idea but he couldn't get down. Hubby tried to coax him off with the broom handle but he snarled and bit at it. He may be cute but I had to remind the gang that he's also a wild animal.


We had a little impromptu raccoon lesson this morning. After informing them how much trouble raccoons can be they understood that we couldn't keep him. Thankfully the county Humane Society came out and took him on a little ride to an animal preserve.

I'm glad he's on his way to a meal and a new home, but I kinda miss his little cries and all the excitement he added to the day!

May 22, 2010

A Book and a Blog!

Howdy, Ya'll!! (Can you tell I'm in a country kinda mood today?!) Today I'm sharing with you a book and a blog.


First off, if you are in need of any advice and motivation, Back to Basics: Traditional Kitchen Wisdom: Techniques and Recipes for Living A Simpler, More Sustainable Life is chock full of advice on living a simpler, more sustainable life. You can learn about composting, pickling, canning, gardening, and even beekeeping! It's what peaked our interest in beekeeping and we're thinking about getting started next year! You should really check it out to get some great motivation!




Now. Onto the blog. I found this adorable blog the other day and it is soooo....country! I love it!
Go say howdy to Dee at Farmhouse Country Style. There are a few pages under construction but you must check out her Farmhouse Album for some great decorating ideas! Love, love, love her blog!! Oh! And check out some of her links and other blogs she visits. Good, country fun!! Enjoy!

May 21, 2010

Baked Mushrooms

While at a restaurant a while ago I tried an appetizer that was wonderful! I loved it so much that I had to try to make it at home. I think I succeeded. I'll share it with you!

Baked Mushrooms

1/2 stick butter
1 lb. container mushrooms (sliced)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 block cream cheese (softened)
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese

Melt butter in a skillet. Saute mushrooms with salt and pepper until tender. Stir in cream cheese until melted and carefully blended well with the mushrooms. Pour into a small baking dish. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until melted, bubbly and slightly browned. Enjoy!

May 20, 2010

Queen (or King) of the Castle:

For those of you playing along...(if you've just joined us you can get caught up a bit here) we are on week 20 of the book Queen of the Castle: 52 weeks of encouragement for the uninspired, domestically challenged or just plain tired homemaker.

Chapter 20 is "Mother's Day". The author writes about our motherly duties and that children get the trophies and rewards and while we rack up the mileage to practices, etc. She also touches on the fact that God gives us what He thinks we need. "You may have ordered polite, athletic, intelligent, beautiful children. (Who didn't?) You may have wound up with kids who have physical ailments you've never heard of, a stubborn streak a mile wide, a revulsion to music you love, and Great-Grandpa's nose. You may may have longed for a large, boisterous family. You may have wound up with one child and a hurting heart. When we take on the o of mother-hood, we have no idea what's coming."

She shares this commencement speech of Barbara Bush, wife of then-president George Bush, gave to Wellesley College in 1990. I leave you with that today...to think about, to act on.

"For several years, you've had impressed upon you the importance to your career of dedication and hard work. This is true, but as important as your obligations as a doctor, lawyer, or business leader will be, you are a human being first, and those human connections -- with spouses, with children, with friends -- are the most important investments you will ever make.

At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spend with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent...

One thing will never change: fathers and mothers, if you have children...they must come first. Your success as a family...our success as a society...depends not on what happens at the White House, but on what happens inside your house."

May 19, 2010

Lemon Shake Ups

Once again, since fair season is upon us I thought I would share the recipe I use for Lemon Shake Ups...you know, that yummy, but overpriced lemony drink?

Lemon Shake Ups

2 lemons (cut in half)
1/2 cup sugar
crushed ice
water

Squeeze lemons in a large glass or cup, add sugar and crushed ice (how much is up to you). Place the squeezed lemon halves in and add water (your desired amount). Cover and shake, shake, shake! Remove the lemon halves and enjoy!

*Feel free to add more sugar, less lemon, etc. to get your desired taste.
*Try boiling the sugar and lemon to make a syrup which can be frozen (into ice cubes) and used when desired.

*pic from jolicoeurodesign.blosgspot.com

May 18, 2010

Kitchen Tip Tuesday: Napkins

This may seem simple to some of you. To others it may be a "Why didn't I think of that?" moment. Instead of spending money on paper napkins or buying expensive napkins and having to feel like they need to be ironed to look pretty, I buy multi-packs of inexpensive washcloths. I keep them in a big basket on the baker's rack in the dining room. They get laundered right along with the kitchen towels and hand towels. When they get really used and abused looking they get designated to the rag basket for heavy duty cleaning chores. Now, I do have to tell you that when we have company we use paper napkins, so I keep a pack in the pantry. I don't want company to feel uncomfortable because they are using washcloths at the dinner table. ; ) There's my little kitchen tip from me to you!

*Picture from CountryPorch.com (one of my favorite kitchen linen supply websites!)

May 17, 2010

Menu Plan Monday -- Week of May 17

In an attempt to save some cash this week (for our camping excursions this summer) I'm using what I have on hand so if they seem a bit boring or weird, you know why. : )

Monday (May 17)
Breakfast: Old House French Toast
Lunch: Cheese Quesadillas, chips, salsa, sour cream
Dinner: grilled chicken breasts, potato skins, salad

Tuesday (May 18)
Breakfast: egg and bagel sandwiches
Lunch: grilled cheese, carrots, apples
Dinner: Creamy Chicken and Noodle Casserole, Smashed Potatoes, veggies, crescent rolls

Wednesday
(May 19)
Breakfast: cereal
Lunch: Chicken wraps using left over grilled chicken, carrots, apples, pretzels or chips
Dinner: Sloppy Joes, chips, carrots

Thursday (May 20)
Breakfast: eggs and toast or bagels
Lunch: left over sloppy joes, carrots, chips(or popcorn), apple slices
Dinner: beef and noodles, Smashed Potatoes, veggies, rolls

Friday (May 21)
Breakfast: Old House French Toast
Lunch: Grilled cheese or left overs?
Dinner: Stuffed Crust Pizza, carrots, chips, fruit

Saturday (May 22)
Breakfast: bagels
Lunch: left over pizza and/or sandwiches
Dinner: grilled hot dogs, baked beans, chips, carrots, fruit

Sunday (May 23)
Breakfast: Sour Cream Blueberry Bread
Lunch: Creamy Chicken and Stuffing, Smashed potatoes, veggies, rolls
Dinner: Clean out the fridge night!

May 16, 2010

The Old House Outhouse

Thought I would share a pic of the outhouse that is outside of one of our side/back doors near the herb garden and near our hopefully someday patio. It's now used as a potting shed. If it wasn't an original outhouse then it is at least a very old one!


May 15, 2010

Hilarious!

So...seems I'm starting a tradition with Saturdays being video days. I found this video on Facebook the other day and I just laughed and laughed. I've had this song in my head ever since! Anita Renfroe is a comedienne who loves the Lord. She likes to keep it real! This video is a spoof of Beyonce's "Single Ladies". (I'd watch Beyonce's with no children around...it is Beyonce, after all.) I hope you all enjoy this one! It's very PG. : )

May 14, 2010

Cinnamon Candied Apples

Cinnamon Candied Apples

I know this recipe is a little more fall-ish than anything but since fair food season is just around the corner, I thought I would share this recipe with you. We tried this recipe last fall. It was a big hit but had everyone running for water when they were done with their apple! It's a little caliente, but totally worth it!


2 bags of Brach's cinnamon red hots
1/2 c. water
12 medium sized apples (we used golden delicious)
12 popsicle sticks or skewers

Mix the red hots and water in a saucepan over medium high heat. Mix constantly to prevent burning the candy. Mix until all the red hots are melted and remove from heat. Let it sit for a minute or so to let it cool a bit. While the candy is cooling put the apples on the sticks and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray (they'll stick to wax paper). **Tilt the saucepan and dip the apples in the candy while spinning to coat the apples. Let them cool for a few minutes and enjoy!! The candy coating is nice and chewy but spicy hot! It sure clears the nasal passages!!

** If you are called away from your apples for a bit and the candy in the pan has gotten too thick to put on your apple you can add a smidge of water and then put the pot back on the stove and mix to thin the candy a bit.

May 13, 2010

Queen of the Castle: Week 19

Drudgery, Schmudgery

For those of you playing along...(if you've just joined us you can get caught up a bit here) we are on week 19 of the book Queen of the Castle: 52 weeks of encouragement for the uninspired, domestically challenged or just plain tired homemaker.

Chapter 19 is "Drudgery, Schmudgery" "While our job gives us the freedom to make our homes in all kinds of ways, let's face it: eventually the house has to get vacuumed, the kitchen must be scrubbed, and the need for Honey Toasty-Os will drive us to the grocery. How we handle doing things we know we should but don't really want to comes down to a little thing called character." Ouch! I was just lamenting this afternoon that I have no energy and really could care less that the house was cleaned then I reviewed this chapter, read this paragraph and the ones that followed and BAM! Can you say "conviction"?

Here are a few tips from this chapter:

*Think of all the women around the world who don't have access to clean running water or electricity or a grocery store filled with more food items than we can identify. Realize how blessed we are with resources as we do our work at home. I know I get bogged down with laundry but then I remember how blessed I am to have a working washer and dryer to help in that chore!

*As you work, remember what you're working for. You are doing this to support the family you love. What could be more important than taking care of your family? I know they appreciate good home cooked meals and clean linens! I also know that they will take those memories of home made love with them into adulthood.

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'" (Matthew 25:21)

May 12, 2010

Simple Roast

I stumbled across a really inexpensive beef roast at the store yesterday morning. What kind? I forget. I can't keep round, sirloin, rump, or whatever straight. It's beef and they eat it. : ) So I decided to cook a roast this afternoon instead of what was on the menu (again). I got it home, sprinkled it with pepper and onion powder and seared it on both sides in the fry pan for a bit. Then I transferred it to a baking dish and poured over a half bottle of Kraft Sun-Ripened Tomato Vinaigrette salad dressing. I figured it's got tomatoes and oil and vinegar so it'd have to work, right? I baked it (covered with aluminum foil) at 350 degrees for about 3 hours and then 250 for about an hour or so. Let me tell you that it was heavenly!! It had a slight tangy flavor and the vinegar from the dressing was a great meat tenderizer. Mmm mmm good!! Give it a try next time!

Do you have something that you stumbled upon and would like to share?? Please leave a comment!


*artwork from artcountrycanada.com

May 11, 2010

Kitchen Tip Tuesday: Lower Your Grocery Bill



I am a subscriber to MaryJane's Farm magazine. While I don't agree 100% with everything that's in the magazine, there are a lot of wonderful ideas and recipes for healthy, frugal living. The June-July issue has this article for lowering your grocery bill.


7 Steps for Lowering Your Grocery Bill
The part of your budget that has the most flexibility is often the dollars you spend on food. If you're feeling the pinch in this challenging economic climate, don't trade quality for quantity -- with my simple solutions, your savings are in the bag.

1. But outside the box Shop the perimeter of the store - the outer aisles - where you'll find produce, meat, eggs, and dairy. When you delve into the other aisles, look for slow-cook brown rice, quinoa, dried lentils and beans, and rolled or steel-cut oats and avoid the expensive, boxed, highly processed foods.

2. Think big Bigger is better Save $$ by buying larger sizes and checking the shelf tags that tell you how much the product costs per ounce. (For example, you'll save about $2 buying a 32-ounce tub of yogurt -- transfer into smaller reusable containers for lunches.) Every ounces (and penny) counts.

3. Freeze it Shop the sales and freeze your bargains. Fish, meat, juice, and even dairy choices like milk, hard cheeses, and butter freeze well for short periods of time. It's like a store-wide sale in your freezer.

4. Heads up Buy fresh salad ingredients instead of those packaged lettuce mixes. The small pieces in the packages spoil quicker because their cut ends are exposed to more oxygen.

5. Weighty issues Buy bagged potatoes, onions, and fruit -- and weigh them first. Because they're bagged as 3 pounds, 5 pounds, or more, weights can vary a little and you can get up to 3/4 pound for free.

6. Herbal magic If you love fresh herbs but find yourself with spoilers before you can use them up, just refrigerate only what you can use within a week and hang the rest with a clothespin upside down to dry for later.

7. Tote it with you Many stores are now giving bag refunds when you shop with a reusable bag. Pick up a few -- think of them as fashion accessories!


Go to MaryJanesFarm.org to subscribe, find recipes, crafts, purchase wholesome foods and more.

May 10, 2010

Abigail's Birthday Pics

As promised...Abby's 2 year birthday family celebration pictures.

Abby's cherry chip cake.


Abby got a Little People Wedding set.



Amongst other toys she got a Nurse Kit. She was having fun with big brother!


I can't believe she's 2 already. Where has the time gone??
What a blessing she is!!

Menu Plan Monday -- Week of May 10

Monday (May 10)
Breakfast: Sour Cream Blueberry Bread
Lunch: grilled cheese, carrots, apples
Dinner: Chicken Burritoes, Mexican rice, refried beans, sour cream

Tuesday (May 11)
Breakfast: french toast
Lunch: left over chicken burritoes, Cheese Quesadillas, nacho chips
Dinner: Parmesan Crusted Chicken, Smashed Potatoes, corn on the cob, raw veggies rolls

Wednesday
(May 12) -- this is our busy day so I use the crock pot for lunch and dinner
Breakfast: cereal
Lunch: Chicken wraps using left over parm. crusted chicken, carrots, apples, pretzels or chips
Dinner: Sloppy Joes, chips, carrots

Thursday (May 13)
Breakfast: eggs and toast or bagels
Lunch: left over sloppy joes, carrots, chips(or popcorn), apple slices
Dinner: I'm trying to find something different. I guess it depends on what's on sale this week!

Friday (May 14)
Breakfast: muffins
Lunch: Grilled cheese or left overs?
Dinner: Ceaser Chicken Pizza

Saturday (May 15)
Breakfast: french toast
Lunch: left over pizza and/or sandwiches
Dinner: Grilled burgers, hot dogs, Steak Fries, baked beans, chips, carrots

Sunday (May 16)
Breakfast: muffins
Lunch: Creamy Chicken and Stuffing, smashed potatoes, veggies, rolls
Dinner: Clean out the fridge night!

May 9, 2010

Our Week in Pics & a Happy Mother's Day!!

We had dance...oh so many pictures so little time! I'll share my favorites, though.


Three little maidens all in a row!



Look at those tootsies!



A smoochie for little sissy!



And...Friday was Abby's birthday but we're celebrating it today so I'll share some pictures of her celebration tomorrow.


A tired and not-feeling-so-well baby.



An impromptu self-pic. No makeup ... au natural was the way to go. Sorry. : )



Here are pics from last week of Abby...it's her first *sniff, sniff* haircut. I prefer to say "trim" because only a little bit from the back was taken off. *sniff, sniff* My baby isn't a baby anymore. *sigh*


Before



After. Not much taken off, but still...first hair cut. *biting knuckle*

Happy Mother's Day!
I will leave you with something I had read at a mother/daughter banquet one time... Enjoy!

Priceless


The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into $8,896.66 a year, $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That's a mere $24.24 a day! Just over a dollar an hour.


Still, you might think the best financial advice is don't have children if you want to be "rich." Actually, it is just the opposite. What do you get for your $160,140?


Naming rights. First, middle, and last!


Glimpses of God every day.


Giggles.... under the covers every night.


More love than your heart can hold


Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.


Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.


A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.


A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sandcastles, and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain.


Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.


For $160,140, you never have to grow up.


You get to finger-paint, play hide-and-seek, and catch lightning bugs.


You have an excuse to keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh, watching Saturday morning cartoons, and wishing on stars.

You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off a bike, removing a splinter, filling a wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.


You get a front row seat to history to witness the first step, first word, first bra, first date, and first time behind the wheel.


You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're blessed, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren.


You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.


In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so . . one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.

May 8, 2010

Chicken Heart

As I mentioned last Saturday we love Bill Cosby! My parents listened to him all the time as a child. I know some of his "skits" can be a little iffy but my memories are all good. We let the kiddos listen to the "Chicken Heart" the other day and they laughed and laughed. Good 'ol family fun! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. (By the way, it's a two-parter.)



May 7, 2010

More Linky-Love

Is this week over yet? I enjoy watching my girls dance but the practices and performances and all the hair pins, hair spray, tights, and costumes can be a bit much for this homebody! O.K....done venting!


Today I bring you yogurt making 101 over at Stay-At-Home Missionary. Joy takes you step by step in her yogurt making adventure. Go check it out here!

May 6, 2010

Queen of the Castle: Week 18

Housework, Done Correctly, Can Kill You

For those of you playing along...(if you've just joined us you can get caught up a bit here) we are on week 18 of the book Queen of the Castle: 52 weeks of encouragement for the uninspired, domestically challenged or just plain tired homemaker.

Chapter 18 is "Housework, Done Correctly, Can Kill You" "I have learned that keeping us with chores is not a sentence to lifetime membership in the household drudge club, but rather a path to freedom: the freedom to reach into your drawer and be greeted by clean underwear and socks, the freedom to find a pencil with a point when you need it, the freedom to find your kitchen table and be able to eat off it." Yep. That pretty much sums it up! ;)

Here are a few tips that Lynn shares with us:

*"Wash your dishes after the meal, not the next morning when the melted cheese has become superglued to the fork tines." (Remember the phrase a place for everything and everything in its place? Do things one step at a time and don't put things off...that superglue cheese is a doozy!)

*"Have people over often, preferably once a week. That way you'll get the house presentable on a regular basis, stopping the entropy before it multiplies into full-blown chaos." (I try to have people over at least every other week...it really helps! Trust me!)

*This one cracked me up: "Did you know that cows reportedly give more milk when they listen to music? Turn up the radio and clean like a madwoman for two songs' worth." (Ha! All I could think of is how us nursing mama's feel like 'ol Bessy at times! Seriously, though, music does help. A. Lot.!!)

Lynn goes on to talk about a hard working Amish woman. (I can so relate since I have Amish neighbors!) This hard working woman was content with what she has and with what the Lord has called her to do. She was satisfied with her work at home.

"Do all things without grumbling or disputing." Phillipians 2:14

May 5, 2010

Linky-Love

Yes I said "Linky-Love". ; ) You will have to bear with me, here. This week is crazy busy and I'm going to go nuts and it's not even the middle of the week, yet. *breath in* *breath out* So...I'm linking over to my good friend Karla at the The Culinary Enthusiast.


Please go visit her and see what she's got going on today. You must check out Cannelloni, Margherita Pizza, and Farm Wife's Fresh Pear Tart. While you're there, tell her Howdy for me, will ya?! ; )

May 4, 2010

Kitchen Tip Tuesday: Gardening Woes

I think I mentioned before that I have a very non-green thumb. I don't own indoor plants...nor do I ever want to unless they are cactus and I don't care for the look of cactus so...no indoor plants. I love to look at plants and flowers outside. I love to harvest wonderful fresh veggies from the garden. Problem is similar to what I explained before...I have crafter ADD. I start a project and can't follow through with it to the end. I get bored. I think it trickles into the garden. Just the other day I went out to the potting shed (the really old outhouse transformed into the potting shed) to look for the new hummingbird feeder I know I bought last season on clearance (and I still can't find it!) but then I got distracted by some weeds in the path to the back mudroom door so I started weeding it. That turned into an hour or so job. Then I thought I'd go transplant some hostas and that turned into transplanting some pretty purple plant (not sure what it is, some kind of violet, maybe?) then I decided to dig out some nasty invasive ornamental grass. Needless to say I got seriously sidetracked but I did (mostly) finish my jobs that I started so that's good. Well, except the weeding of the path. I got tired of that so there's a section that still needs to be finished, but I Preened the living daylights out of the path so that I (hopefully) won't have to worry about it. The problem I have is that I get bored with my projects. I always get so gung-ho on gardening and then come August when it's hot, humid, and I couldn't give a flying leap about weeds I get bored. So out of the goodness of their hearts my Hubby and my mom pick up the pieces for me and take care of gardening while I process the goods by way of freezing and canning. I get bored with that, too, but thankfully by the time I get bored with it canning time is over. : ) I do have a point to this story, really! I need lots of gardening motivation. Lots. So I want to share with you what keeps me going. Margaret used to be the garden editor for Martha Stewart and now she's on her own. Margaret's blog A Way To Garden is a wonderful source of gardening info. Whether it's flower gardening or veggie gardening, she's got great advice for you! I particularly love her month to month garden chore list. It keeps me on my toes. Now I didn't say I do every activity necessarily, but it's good to have a goal, right? ; )


*The peonies in the picture are mine. I love them! I have several peony bushes around the homestead. I plan on transplanting several of them out in front of the house. Then again I planned on transplanting them last year, too. It might get done this year. Unless something else that intrigues me comes along. I'll keep you posted. ; )

May 3, 2010

Menu Plan Monday -- Week of May 3

We have several days this week that three girlies will be at dance recital practice during dinner and they will need their dinner packed for them. They'll be eating sandwiches, yogurt, fruit and pretzels. Since I need to shuttle them to and from and run other errands in between I need to have dinner that's easy and ready to eat when I get home from getting them settled at their practices. The actual recitals make for odd eating times for us as well, so we're just playing it by ear. I have a plan but I'm flexible and willing to tweak my plan when need be. I'm also trying to use what I have on hand to make life a little easier.

Monday
(May 3)
Breakfast: Sour Cream Blueberry Bread
Lunch: grilled cheese, carrots, apples
Dinner: Pancakes, Baked Eggs, fruit, Sausage Rolls


Tuesday (May 4)
Breakfast: french toast
Lunch: left over breakfast food??
Dinner: Baked Rigatoni (in the crock pot), garlic bread, salad


Wednesday
(May 5) The one night we will all be home and eating together this week!
Breakfast: cereal
Lunch: left overs
Dinner: Cinco de Mayo!! Tacos, refried beans, taco rice, tortilla chips and all the side fixin's.

Thursday (May 6)
Breakfast: eggs and toast or bagels
Lunch: left over tacos, etc.
Dinner: Grilled chicken, baked potatoes, veggies, rolls

Friday (May 7)
Breakfast: muffins
Lunch: Grilled cheese or left overs?
Dinner: Deli meat sandwiches, fruit, veggies, chips

Saturday (May 8) Since we have an odd schedule that day we are skipping breakfast and just having brunch.
Brunch: French Toast, bagels, scrambled eggs, bacon
Dinner: Pizza...not sure if it will be home made or store bought...

Sunday (May 9) Mother's Day and Abby's 2 year birthday celebration!
Breakfast: muffins
Lunch: Grill hamburgers and hot dogs, Mac-n-cheese, fruit, veggies and dip, chips, brownies, cake and ice cream
Dinner: ??

May 2, 2010

More Birthdays!!!

We now have a teenager. Never mind the fact that he's been eating us out of house and home for over a year now. Never mind the fact that he has passed my shoe size and gaining on Nathan's for months. Never mind the fact that he's reached my height! He's 13!!! Where did the time go? He is such a sweet kid with a tender heart for others and a desire to serve the Lord. He's so good with the little kids and gets along swimmingly with the older ones. He's a good "daddy" to his chickens. When he goes out to visit them he hollers "Oh giiiiirrls..." and they come running. When he lets them out of their run they follow him around like puppies. Too cute! We love him so much! Happy 13th Birthday, Noah!! You are such a blessing!




My mom had a birthday this week, too. I won't share her age...it wouldn't be polite, you know. My mom is my right-hand man (so to speak). She helps me with the laundry. Believe me, there are mountains of it some days! She helps the kiddos with their kitchen clean-up chores. I make the messes, er, I mean cook, and she helps clean up. She watches the kiddos whenever I need her to. She'll go shopping with me even though she hates to shop. She'll let me pick her hairstyle and what she wears. My mom and dad lived in Michigan (where I grew up). After my dad passed away from cancer almost 6 years ago my mom moved down here. She felt quite alone after dad passed and whenever she came down to visit she was much happier. So she bought a house about 2 miles from us. It worked out great, but it was a lot of work for her. When we knew our family was expanding with number 7 we also thought we were going to move to Omaha for hubby to take a pastor position. Mom sold her house and moved in with us. After Omaha fell through and hubby got a job a lot closer we sold our house and moved in to a larger one (the one in the pics in the blog header). We all have our moments but all in all we've had a lot of fun in our Old House so far!! ; ) Happy Birthday, Mom!! I hope we have many more years together!!



This is a picture of my mom and dad a few months before he passed away.


May 1, 2010

A Classic

We love Bill Cosby! I remember listening to my dad's LP's of Bill Cosby. "Chicken Heart"...bum bum...he's comin'...bum bum... Hilarious! I thought I share with you his Chocolate Cake story. Since, well...we make cake in the kitchen, don't we? Enjoy. : )
video
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