April 30, 2012


Hi there!  *me waving*  I know so many of you are new and I wanted to fill you in a bit on what's going on over here at Old House Kitchen. 

You can click on tabs right under the header to find a topical index.  You can also find a button link to my etsy shop, Old House Mercantile

Over on the left hand column you can view my profile, click on the "email me" link to send me a question or a comment, and become a follower or a Facebook fan (or both...please and thank you!). You can also follow me on Pinterest for some fun and exciting ideas and recipes!

You'll also find the button for very inexpensive and highly effective time management tools. You can order Motivated Moms  HERE and Tell Your Time HERE.

Read my interview over at Gooseberry Patch by clicking on the "Featured Friday" button. There's also my Amazon store listing some of my favorite cookbooks.  (I'd like to add that any time you want to order something from Amazon, if you would click to Amazon through one of my links and start shopping, I would appreciate it!  Every little click helps...that's how I've been able to give some items away this month!)

There's a button for Raising Homemakers where I am a contributing writer.  Bargains to Bounty is a wonderful site that lists store deals and coupons.  I go there first before I make my shopping lists!  I also have a few of my favorite kitchen links...like my dear friend, Karla, over at The Culinary Enthusiast.

There you have it!  A brief tour of the Old House Kitchen!  I hope you like what you see and visit the links!

April 29, 2012


Seems like yesterday this big kid ...

was this little guy in the middle!  

 You are the best big brother your siblings could ever wish for!  
You are so loving and caring and (mostly) patient with the other kiddos.  

You are one great kid and we love you so much!

H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y  ! !

Birthday dude with his "N" pancake his daddy made him!

April 26, 2012

Lemon Lime Marinade

I was going to post a yummy breakfast recipe, but I've misplaced my paper with the original recipe and my notes on it.  *sigh*  But...I do have a very yummy marinade that we tried tonight!  I asked who liked the chicken with the lemon lime marinade and all hands flew in the air! Guess it was a winner!  It's from the "Meals In Minutes" cookbook by Gooseberry Patch.  Hope you like it as much as my clan! 

Lemon Lime Marinade

1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
3 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
juice of one lime (or 2 T. bottled juice)
juice of one lemon (or 2 T. bottled juice)
6 T. olive oil
pepper to taste

Whisk ingredients together.  Makes enough marinade for 2 pounds of chicken.


April 25, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Today is the love of my life's birthday.  

He is such a good daddy.  Always glowing with fatherly pride.

 He's willing to make dinner when I'm not up for it.  And it's always very yummy!

He enjoys spending time with his children; 
making simple things into meaningful teachable moments.

 He enjoys music in many forms.

He is a wonderful husband.  Always thoughtful and caring.  

We all love you so much!  

H A P P Y  B I R T H D A Y ! !

April 23, 2012

birthday boy!!!

Today is our Isaac's 10th birthday!

  We made a "Star Wars" cake.  He made the cake part, I frosted it, piped it and he decorated it.

Half of our children are double digits now! That makes me feel old.  Time flies so fast!  

Always so full of expression!

It seems just yesterday he was toddling around giggling and smiling at everyone.  

He still giggles.  And smiles.  A lot! 

 He is a joy in our lives.  

He is so full of energy and finds hilarity in every day things.  

We love you Isaac!

H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y !

April 19, 2012


Hey there!  (another post with happy serene pictures from Country Living sprinkled here and there!)

The next three weeks are going to be crazy busy around here so I'm hoping ya'll will be patient with me!  

Over the course of the coming weeks we have five birthdays in our house, a dance awards night, a piano recital for the oldest five kiddos, dance recital week for two girlies, missionary conference (the same week of the dance recital week!) ...

... a garden to plant, baby chicks to get out in the coop, and of course the house needs to be kept in tip top shape, meals on the table, laundry tended to, and children bathed! 

  Not to mention that due to very high winds and wacky weather hubby has yet to get all of the new roofing put on the house.  

I am also trying to finalize my "Summer on the Homestead" cookbook (it'll be an ebook), and finish a few projects that are halfway done for my Etsy site!
Anyone who said a stay at home mama doesn't work has no idea! 

So...big hugs from me to you and look for a yummy breakfast recipe here soon!

April 15, 2012

Spring Cleaning Series: Week 5

Are you almost caught up with your spring cleaning?  Don't worry, I'm not caught up yet. Oh well the dust bunnies have no where to go so I'll get to them when I can.  But...for those of you who are caught up (kudos to you!) here is the last list of spring cleaning chores!



declutter -- use 3 trash bags to divide up clutter (trash, donate, keep) and work around the room clockwise from the door
vacuum ceiling corners and corners

clean ceiling fan/light

clean off cabinets and dust/wash

vacuum furniture

vacuum under furniture

vacuum baseboards and floor

clean out game cabinet and organize

clean out art cabinet and organize

clean off bookshelves, dust and organize

wash windows

wash wall spots 


clean ceiling fan and light

sort through coats - donate what you don't want or need

sort through shoes - donate

vacuum corners and cobwebs

sweep and mop

wash windows 

This post is linked to The Morristribe Blog Carnival!

This post is part of Homestead Barn Hop.


April 12, 2012

Shipshewana Fun!

So I promised the other day that I would post some pics from our fun day in Shipshewana last week.  Shipshewana is an Amish town.  Quite a bit commercialized, but the food and shops make up for it.  We're not overly fascinated with Amish life since we have Amish neighbors next door, down the road, and enjoy the sound of buggies going by regularly.  It's just become part of our lives.

We first stopped at the Rise 'n Roll Bakery in Middlebury.  Love their doughnut holes!  A bit pricey, but their melt-in-your-mouth-goodness makes up for each expensive bite!  *wink* 

We bought seedless red raspberry jam!  They make their own jams and other canned goods to sell.  I *love* red raspberry jam, but dislike the seeds so this was perfect!  The only thing is I have to ward off my kiddos because they want to slather half the jar on their toast!  They have something interesting called F.R.O.G. Jam!  Super deeelish!  Rest assured there are no frogs harmed in the making of the jam...it's main ingredients are Figs, Raspberries, Orange peels and Ginger.  Hence the name!  We bought "Hoppin' F.R.O.G. Jam"...it's about the same sweetness but with a little hot kick on the backside.  Still deelish! 

After the bakery we stopped at the Guggisburg Deutsch Kase Haus otherwise known as The Cheese Factory. 

We all enjoyed watching the large vats of milk being turned into cheese!  

Our little guy, Elijah, loves to learn...most of all he loves to eat so he loved learning about what he was eating!  Food...it's his passion in life! 

Sampling various types of cheeses was a treat,too!  

My mom's favorite was the spicy "ThunderJack" cheese.  A bit too spice for me!  I loved the Amish Cheese...kind of like Farm Cheese in it's mild nature.  Very yummy! 

They also had various treats like peanut brittle and candies to sample!  Super yummy!  (Samuel's trying to figure out what he can reach for from the backpack carrier!)

Here's hubby and I with our little guy, Samuel.  He enjoyed riding in the backpack carrier at times...mostly he enjoyed pulling on my hair and trying to eat it! 

After the Cheese Factory we drove in to Shipshewana.  It was quite a bit chillier than we had hoped for, but we still managed to picnic.  Needless to say we ate very quickly!

After our speed picnic we went to the Davis Mercantile building.  

We *love* that building.  So beautifully made!  Large wood beams inside!  Lovely to look at! 

Our first stop was Simple Sounds.  Our family loves music so it's a favorite store we spend lots of time at!  They have all sorts of instruments to try.  From auto harps to maracas to hammered dulcimers (my *favorite* instrument that I would *love* to own and play one day!

Daddy and Elijah playing the lap harp.

Abby enjoyed the bongos...a lot!

Hannah and Isaac playing something...I think it's on an odd angle, but really, I think it's a lap harp, too.  They all really liked the lap harps.  May have to put that on their Christmas list. 

After that we visited some other shops in the mercantile.  One of my favorites is Lollys Fabrics!

Talk about creative eye candy! 

Love it!  Unfortunately my camera batteries decided to run out of oomph. Fortunately I was able to get one last picture of a few of the kiddos on the carousel in the Mercantile building!

Lastly we visited JoJo's pretzels!  They have the best pretzels!  They even had gluten free pretzels so my mom was able to enjoy one!

It was a very fun day and the kiddos can't wait to go back again!

April 9, 2012

Please Pray!

Prayer warriors...I have a friend whose little girl started having seizures just out of the blue last week...sometimes 20 a day.  The doctors have done an MRI and can't figure out what is wrong.  They have a cross country trip coming up next month and would really like some answers.  The medicines haven't helped so far and it's really tiring her mama out!  Please pray for answers, comfort, peace, and for the seizures to go away.  Thank you!

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

Well actually we're having eggs, french toast, and fruit for dinner tonight, but "Winner, Winner French Toast and Eggs Dinner" doesn't really have the ring to it that "Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner" does, ya know?  *wink*

I would like to thank ya'll for your overwhelming response to the giveaway! We had a bunch of entries!  I haven't gotten the chance to stop by your neck of the web, yet, but I will try real soon! So...drumroll please....

The winner of the Gooseberry Patch "Meals In Minutes" 
cookbook giveaway is...


Congrats Jenny!  I'll be emailing you in a matter of minutes!


April 8, 2012

Spring Cleaning Series: Week 4

Phew!  We're more than half way done, right?  Well...I...um, am not. I have gotten behind between various appointments, ill children, a teething baby, fun spring break day trips (I'll post some Shipshewana pictures soon!) and all of life's other items.  But our homes don't have to be perfect so I'm settling with doing things on the lists that have to get done.  This week one of those absolutes is the string of cobwebs between the wall and ceiling of the living room (which, if you've been following along, was a task for last week).  Plus I've been saved by the fact that a lot of the items on my list are done on a regular basis in the Motivated Mom's Planner.  If you've been keeping up with that then you don't have to do as much. *wink*  Go HERE to order the planner.  It's only $8!

So if you're starting now, don't worry.  Go back and begin with week one and go from there.  Accomplish what you can. Tackle the chores a bit at a time...like doing all closets on the list at one time, all ceiling fans on the list at one time, etc.  Break it up into doable lists. Go through and decide what you need to get done this week and divide it up into however many days this week you have the time. 

I have the entire five week Spring Cleaning Check-List over HERE for you to print out.
I'll go through the list and share ideas for this week's chores...

Downstairs Bathroom
Vacuum ceilings, corners, baseboard, and floor 
Sort through drawers and medicine cabinets -- check for expireds and ask your local pharmacy where to dispose of meds.  They are harmful for the ground and water table...especially if you have well water!

Clean lights -- make sure to wash light bulbs when they are cool. If you use a damp rag and they are hot they will burn out.  Not that I'd have any experience or anything.  *wink*

Wash sink and toilet -- I use baking soda and vinegar!  Natural and inexpensive!

Wash walls -- You can use either a Magic Eraser or some baking soda/water paste on a dampened rag to wipe away difficult marks.  Be sure to follow after with a clean damp rag...both processes leave a residue.
Scrub tub -- again...baking soda and vinegar

Scrub floor -- I use a wet, hot rag and a toothbrush if needed.  (Make sure it's an old toothbrush that has a strip of tape or something to distinguish it from the currently used ones. Again...not that I'd have any experience at. all. )

Downstairs Hallway (this is adjacent to our laundry room, bathroom and playroom)

Vacuum ceilings, corners, baseboard, and floor
Clean lights -- make sure to wash light bulbs when they are cool. 
Vacuum hampers
Wash cabinet, walls and trim --again, Magic Eraser or some baking soda/water paste on a dampened rag
Scrub floor --again, wet hot rag and a toothbrush if needed. 

Laundry Room
Declutter room -- use 3 trash bags to divide up clutter (trash, donate, keep) and work around the room clockwise from the door
Vacuum ceilings, corners, baseboard, and floor
Vacuum  dryer vent -- This needs to be done twice a year not only to prevent fires, but also so your dryer won't waste energy.
Wash appliances -- add 1/2 c. vinegar to a quick wash cycle in the washing machine to give it a good cleaning (I use vinegar as my fabric softener!  1/4 c.)
Wash walls  -- again, Magic Eraser or some baking soda/water paste on a dampened rag

Clean out pantry -- check for expireds
Clean shelves
Vacuum corners and floor
Vacuum curtain (wash if needed) -- our pantry "door" is a curtain 

This is part of The Morristribe's Homestead Carnival!

This post is also part of Homestead Barn Hop.

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