Friday, December 31, 2010

Almost 2011

Well, my plans to be more active on the blog didn't end up working out. I'm thankful though that we've had alot to keep us busy the past couple months. Visits from family, holiday's, and things around the homestead.
The weather here has been so odd. Yesterday the girls were wading in the pond & again today we had temps in the 70's. It looks like a cold front is moving in tonight so I guess the winter temps will be back soon.
As for our new year's eve our plans are to stay around home. Tyler's girlfriend and one of my nephew's will be here to celebrate. We're having tacos, pico, and cookies.
My daughter and I have ventured in to starting our own business which I plan on sharing here after the new year as well.
I think 2011 will be a productive year. We've got a list of projects to be done & food storage is coming along. Hubby still has his job so we're just praying things will work out the way they should. No sense in worrying too much about it any longer.
I suppose I should go get supper started.
Hope everyone has a wonderful new year!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Holiday's

We had a lovely Thanksgiving day. Now we're looking forward to my mother's visit on Sunday and then decorating for Christmas!
I really don't do a whole lot as I like to keep things sweet & simple. I also adore just about anything homemade or on the old fashioned side.
Since my last post my daughter had a birthday. She turned 12. I can hardly believe she is that old already. Makes me really stop and think about alot of things. She is becoming a really sweet young lady!
Today it's in the 50's here which is a big switch from the past week where we've had temps in the high 70's. Tim just built a fire in the fireplace so we'll be nice & toasty pretty soon.
Plans for today are to get the house cleaned up-me & daughter. Get some posts set in for the new barn- Tim & Tyler.
I've got a bit of a cold so I'm going to prefer to stay indoors for a bit as it's cold & wet outside right now.
No black Friday shopping for us this year. -I've stopped the maddness- lol
There is nothing on sale we need anyway.
Well that's about it for us. I'm hoping to find time to share some more recipes & Christmas type stuff pretty soon along with some pictures of winter around the homestead.
Hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Playing around

I've been having fun playing around with the blog templates this afternoon. I'm waiting for dinner to come out of the oven. We're having chicken casserole, peas, & apple pie for dessert.
We watch Survivor on Wednesday's so we'll have our pie then! Just wish I had some fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to go with it...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Prices going up...

Prices are going up again! I saw on abc news that another part of the stimulus is taking effect & things like clothing, groceries, & gas will be going up soon.
I wonder if the timing has anything to do with the fact that Republicans will be getting "another chance" in January. Could it get blamed on that? I've found that some people will always believe the way they want, but I have opened my eyes so much in the past years since Sept. 11. I don't believe much of what I hear until I check it out.
So anyway with things already gone up some we're stocking up on corn to stretch the animals feed through the winter. Husband & son have gone to pick it up from a local farmer. We'll use it to stretch out the feed for pigs, ducks, & chickens. Of course we'll have to crack it up for the birds but we have a hand crank out in the shed.
Also we're going to be starting on our new barn. It will house the rest of the chickens & be used for a little storage. ~Exciting for us. We already have all the metal & hubby bought the main poles & concrete yesterday. We'll buy a little more wood each week until it's done.

Oh it's C*O*L*D

Woke up to a very chilly house this morning. The thermometer outside said 30*. Tim's going to get the chimney cleaned out today. It's suppose to warm up over the next week, but it would have been nice to have a warm fire this morning!


Bathroom furniture
"Looking for a new cookware set or even bathroom furniture? Check out Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker for an awesome $100 giveaway to CSN Stores."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Halloween

Canned fruit dessert

Ok so I've been using up some of the things in my pantry & I've vowed not to shop this next week. Tonight we are having hamburgers on homemade buns, sweet potato fries & pineapple peach dessert.

Canned or frozen fruit dessert

I made this one up and used a cobbler type top.

Today I used abou 2 cups frozen peach slices & 1 can crushed pineapple.

Take 2 cans of fruit or about 4 cups frozen. Put them in a pan with a little cinnamon & 1/2 cup sugar. (if your fruit has syrup then only put 1/4 cup sugar or none at all depending how sweet you like things. So put this in a pan and bring to a boil.
While waiting on this to boil, mix up 3/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, & 2 tsp baking powder. Mix together and then pour in 3/4 cup milk. Mix until smooth.
Now, grease a 9x13 pan with some butter. Pour in the fruit. Then pour the batter over the top. Bake for about 40 minutes. Then sprinkle with some cinnamon & sugar. Put back in the oven for a few minutes until set & golden.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What's important & what's not...

As I am about to make another "trip around the sun," I have come to see some thing in a different view than I would have even a couple of years ago. Mostly about what's important to me. And what is important to me I've found is my God, my family, close friends, and my little farm.
That's what is important to me.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday night dinner...

Tonight pork roast in the crockpot, pinto beans, corn, & zucchini.
Trying to make room in the freezer for our years supply of meat that we will be picking up on Saturday!

Sweet potato count...

I used a few from my other box & ended up with 19 qts and 1 pint of sweet potatoes!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Locally Grown Sweet Potatoes

We went to the local produce stand and bought 2 big boxes of sweet potatoes yesterday. One was a box of nice pretty medium sized potatoes for $15. The other was a box of "culls" for $5. When I got home I went through the culls box. Peeled, washed, and canned 13 quarts.

I'd never done this before so I looked on the internet and tried 2 different ways.
The first I just cut up the raw potatoes into chunks and placed them in the jar. Added 1/2 tsp of kosher salt and then filled with boiling water. Put into the pressure canner at 11lbs for 90 minutes....yes it was a long one! This is also how I can regular potatoes.

The second I cut them up in chunks and boiled them for about 5 minutes. Then placed into the jars with 1/2 tsp salt & 1 tsp lemon juice. Filled with boiling water & again pressure canned at 11lbs for 90 minutes.

Here were the results of my canning. Anyone want to know what one looks pretty & what one looks blurry?

The uncooked, salt & water only are to your left. The cooked ones with the lemon juice all look blurry. Of course they are perfectly fine but I think I'll stick with method #1 when I do it again.

So I paid $5 for the box. Ended up with 13 qts. and enough to make about 4 more. So lets say 17 qts. I had the salt & lemon juice (which I won't use again) So let's add the salt in to the price...So I'll be generous and say .30 for that. I already had the jars & seals but you always need new seals so let's add $1.50 for those. I really don't know how much propane it took to cook them so let's add in one more $1. Total would be $7.80.
So per jar would come to: .46 per jar. Not bad when last I checked Wal-Mart was selling their cans for $2.50 each!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why I Love Rummage Sales

There are so many neat things you can use & then again you will sometimes find a bunch of old, broken junk. It doesn't matter to me or most of the women in our family. We just love to go!
Being as the holiday's are approaching I thought I'd share some of the things I look for & why...
plates: If you find a pretty plate it makes a great tray for putting homemade treats for Christmas gifts. Just wrap it all up with some celophane & tie on a pretty bow & card. A great gift. This is also good as it can be for the whole family so it saves money.
Cups & saucers: When I find a set of cute ones I get them. You can put in a few herbal tea bags, or some hot chocolate mix and perhaps a cute spoon or candy cane. Wrap it all up & tie on a bow for a nice get well, birthday, or whatever gift.
Canning jars: Well, because I can foods and you can use them for those cute gifts in a jar type things.
Ribbon: for just about everything.
Old cookie sheets & muffin tins: When the children were little I would use cookie sheets for them to do artwork on. (like instead of laying down newspaper) Muffin tins make great sorters and paint cups.
Material: If it's not all stained up I will buy it and then use for quilts, or whatever. This includes using table clothes, pillow cases, & large skirts.
Holiday decorations: I used to not decorate too much for the holiday's but lately I've been getting into the spirit of it. I found some nice Christmas decorations & a croched tablecloth the other day for only $1 each.
I know what things normally cost so I only buy if they are a good deal.
So next Saturday get up early and head on might see me there.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My new brew...

I've heard of kombucha for a while now but really didn't want to try to make my own. (I'm a little afraid of the whole fermenting process as I'm so scared of food poisoning) So for now I'll leave it to the experts.
My sister has also been giving me some of her views on it & has been drinking it for a while. So I decided to give it a try.
This was the only flavor at the store I went to. When I first opened up the bottle it smelled a bit like apple cider vinegar...not too appealing. The first few sips weren't impressive either. It tastes a bit like beer, which I'm not a fan.
However after a little while it started to taste rather good. I guess my "buds" just had to adjust. I bought a couple of bottles & have been drinking a little here and there during the day. I actually like it now!
I decided to try it for many reasons but mostly because I've just had the blah's lately. Is it helping my moods or curbing my appetite, I really think might be helping.
It does contain sugar but it's so minimal compaired to a soft drink or juice.
The co-op I'm in sell this in a different brand. I think it's worth buying a case.
Has anyone tried it? What flavors do you like?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Early Morning

Let the fall decorating begin...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pulled pork sandwiches

1 pork roast
1 can root beer
1 bottle bbq sauce

Place all in crockpot. Cook on high for about 6 hours. Remove roast to a platter. Shred or pull meat with a fork, removing fat & bone. Place meat back into the crockpot & set on warm or low until ready to serve on some homemade rolls.

~Then go treat your favorite dog with the fat & bone!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This little piggie went to market...

(actually not this particular one but 2 others like it)

We are now down 2 pigs. Good because we've decided 5 is too many for us to deal with. In a couple of weeks the freezer will be buldging again!

Now, get out & enjoy the beautiful day.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Temps in the 80's

This morning...garage sales with my daughter & sister.

This afternoon...a trip to the feed store & to buy a shelf for daughter's room.

This evening...a fish fry on the front porch with just the 4 of us.

Hope ya'll have a great weekend!

Friday, September 24, 2010

It is now officially fall...
It still is in the 90's here but there is a slight breeze here & there. So what does fall mean around here?
Clothes on the line. There is just something about hanging out the clothes that I enjoy. I usually do this in the early morning where I'm usually the only other person around. I here the chickens stirring & the dogs greet me but it's just usually a really calm and peaceful time. A short time to think & reflect on the day to come.
What else does this fall bring besides the better weather? Rain, I hope. We really need some. Also not as many homestead chores as the fall garden will tend to itself.
Another thing this fall brings is a change in our family. My son is driving now & working 3 days per week. It's quite different when he is gone during the days. Fall will also bring what will probably be our last halloween party where my daughter will want to dress up. Changing seasons, children getting older, mom getting older too!
I cautiously look forward to this fall & plan on taking many pictures...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


We've done some really neat things around our little homestead this past year. Really neat & really expensive for our budget. So we're tightening up around here. Since we have high-speed internet now I've been browsing over at you tube. ~I know some are against it and you do have to be careful with the kiddos due to content but there's alot of great information on there too.
I've found several videos with tips for saving money. You may like to check them out if you have time. Just type in frugal families, frugal living, etc.
Also today I need to restock my freezer with a meal or two for busy nights. We ate the chili last night so that was the last of my freezer meals.
One little tip I'll share is if you like to grill meats, always make extra & freeze some or refrigerate to use later in the week. You'll use the same charcoal & time so why not? Hamburgers, sausages, & pork chops already grilled freeze well. I will be honest though, I'm not a big fan of re-heated burgers...oh my! I will eat them, but I just think they are much better fresh. My family doesn't seem to mind at all though.

The second verse...

This is just beautiful!
If you have a minute today I encourage you to go to and type in: Tea party member stuns crowd!ORIGIONAL!!!
I tried to copy & paste the link on here but I must be doing something wrong because it wasn't working.
May God bless you today!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Do you ever have one of those days, weeks, or possibly months where you wish you could just wrap your own little world up & sail away? I'm having one of those...
Since I cannot pick up my family and move to a deserted island or high up in the mountains I'll have to settle for a day of laundry & other home chores.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Freezer Meals

I enjoy cooking most of the time, but we all have days where we're gone or just really don't want to go to the trouble of making, mixing, & cleaning up lots of things. So that's why I LOVE to have a freezer meal or two on hand for a night like tonight!

So, tonight we're having a really delicious meal with very little effort from me. We're having:

Beef enchilada casserole and a hearty green salad.

Casserole was in the freezer, now in the oven. Salad is some left-over lettuce and sliced cucumbers from yesterday and to that I'm sprinkling on a little bit of left-over chopped chicken breast and a boiled egg. (All already cooked & in the fridge)

The enchilada casserole is the same recipe as my rolled beef enchiladas that I already posted but I just layered the ingredients.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fall Garden

We had decided to not do a fall garden, but we've changed our minds. So this week we'll be planting english peas, turnips, mustard greens, irish potatoes, & onions. I actually enjoy the fall garden much more because it's not so hot to get out there & tend to.


Yesterday for breakfast I made up a batch of banana pancakes...yumm-O!
See the little green molds? My mom sent these. Aren't they cute?
Banana Pancakes
2 cups flour (wheat or white)
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups milk
1/4 cup oil or melted butter
2 eggs
Combine all in a blender or wisk in a big bowl. Fry on hot griddle or skillet.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hi Honey

Around here I've switched to using honey in most recipes in place of sugar. But honey is too expensive you may say...I say nope. It may be bee's liquid gold, but I've found a person nearby that sells 2 pints for $10. I use honey in bread baking, to sweeten tea, & in some baked goods.

We also use it as a cough supressent & throat soother.

Just brew a cup of, camomile, or regular. Then add in a good spoonful of honey and a squeeze of lemon juice. Sip.

If you're looking for some infomation on honey try here:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Homesteading updates

Let's see... my son now has a job 3 days per week. 4-h has started but we missed the first meeting because my daughter was sick. Is she better now? Well, she's happily swimming away in the pool with her cousin listening to the radio so I'd say yes! It only lasted a day!!!
I thank the Lord we've been blessed with good health. I really atribute that to our way of eating & living. We try to not take medicines & eat as natural as we can. Now if I could just get my weight down I'd be really happy. It's getting a tad cool in the mornings & evenings so I've been walking & doing more chores around here so I am hoping that will help...can't hurt! lol
If you have time I encourage you to scroll down to the bottom of my page & push play on the beautiful song by Katherine Scott while you read my pages.--Very peaceful.
So take care all and hope you have a blessed weekend.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Buying in Bulk

For a few months now I've been a happy member of a local food co-op. Now I get to order things in bulk. While there is an initial bigger check to write, I've found I'm saving some money in the long run. Most of the products are organic. So I thought I'd share what I've gotten so far:

soft white wheat berries, 25# bags

hard white wheat berries, 25# bags

pinto beans, 25# bags

ground cinnamon, 1#

basil, 1#

sesame seeds, 1#

onion powder, 1#

frozen rhubarb, 12 packages

I think that's all that I've ordered so far. The catalogs have SO much to chose from. We try to eat as natural & organic as we can, but it does get costly sometimes. I'm in the process of budgeting how I can get some more things. So far I've come up with $100 to be my budget. I spend about that at the grocery/discount stores per week so if I just replenish our milk & a couple of necessities to be bought that week I can buy some things in bulk that month.

I've introduced my sister to this too & that way if we want we can split some things. -like the rhubarb. (you can't find it anywhere around here)

I store my bulk in white 5 gallon buckets I bought new at a paint store. Make sure to get some with a good seal for the lid. Also in case you were wondering about the spices as I was...the onion powder filled 1 quart canning jar. The same for the sesame seeds & cinnamon. The basil fit tightly into 3 quart jars. Guess I'm set on basil for quite some time! :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Working around the homestead

Yesterday we ended up borrowing my mother-in-laws power washer & went to town! Actually went to washing... We did the back porches, walls & skirting of the trailer, patio furniture, and more! It looks so much nicer now. We were going to do the front today, but the neighbors came over earlier & asked him to come help them with their plumming problems...yuck! Glad he's a good neighbor though.
So Tyler & I got the house cleaned up & Abby painted her big barbie house she's hoping to sell in the yard sale next week.
Did I mention that? We're having a yard sale on Saturday. I really do not enjoy having yard sales but I promised her that we would. I love to go to them, just not put them on. We're making it as easy as possible though. All clothing will be 25cents a piece & except for a few good items the rest will be good prices too. I want to get rid of it all!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

This morning's weather is just wonderful! For around here anyway. Any morning you can walk outside and not be sweating in a few minutes is a good one!
Monday is typical laundry day around here. I did laundry on Monday but by now we've got some towels & hubby's work clothes. Since today seems so nice I'm going to wash up those loads & finally get to hang them out on the line.
As far as the rest of our day it will be the routine feedings & taking care of our homestead. I am hoping to get to cut out some more quilt squares and then we'll grill something for supper. It looks to be an all-around great day spent at home...great!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Green Hot Pepper Sauce

6 or so tomatillos, papers removed & washed

3 jalapeno peppers (depends on heat you like), cut off stems & wash

1 big white or yellow onion

Juice of 1 lime


In a cast iron skillet put just a dab of oil. Get skillet hot & then add the peppers, tomatillos, & onion. Allow to char a little. -Where it will turn brown but not burned. This will take no more than 3-5 minutes.

Then blend all together with the lime juice & about 1/2 tsp salt. Taste & you may need to add a tad more salt or lime.

Serve with chips, on tacos, or whatever needs a little heat!

Enchilada Sauce

Upon request I'd love to share my enchilada sauce recipe, but I really don't have an exact one.
What I did is wash & core my garden tomatoes. Then put them into the blender in batches & blended them up very well. I also blend up an onion or two & a couple of jalapeno peppers. Next poured it all into my big stockpot. Then added the following spices:
chili powder
garlic powder (or fresh chopped garlic)

It really just depends on what your tastes are. I used about 3 tablespoons of the spices (except the salt & pepper)

Let this simmer for at least an hour. Taste it & if it's desired, put in jars & pressure can.

Basic Beef Enchiladas

1 lb ground meat
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cups shredded monteray jack or cheddar or mixed
1 jar homemade enchilada sauce
corn tortillias

Brown meat & onion in a skillet. Drain off any fat.
Heat enchilada sauce in a pan.
Dip corn tortillia in sauce to coat (do it fast as the tortillias will break easily)
Then place in a greased 9x13 casserole dish.
Put in a little meat & then some cheese. Roll up or just fold in half.
Continue until pan is full.
Pour extra sauce over all.
Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes until all is bubbly & melted.
*Optional- when done drizzle with a little mexican creama...oh so good!

Tuesday- Baking and Cooking Day

What will I make today? 2 loaves of bread & 1 batch of cinnamon rolls.

Yes, we grind our own wheat. My mill is a nutrimill & our preferred grain is hard white wheat.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday around the homestead

Around here Monday is the designated laundry day. I've got my last load going right now & then when the children get up they will each have a load or two. We've done laundry several different ways but I find it easier if they each have a clothes basket in their rooms and they do their own. Then I don't hear "Where's my this or why am I missing socks, etc." They are responsible for doing their things from start to putting it away in their drawers.
I've got some milk in the fridge that's just starting to go sour so instead of wasting it I'm going to make a bunch of pancakes this morning. I plan on giving some of them to my sister for her children. When I make pancakes, waffles, or french toast I usually make extra. Allow them to cool & then place in gallon size freezer bags & freeze. They are still really good re-heated.
Today is also a school day so we will be getting that going around 9:00.
We're having friends over this afternoon so we need to get everything done before then.
Hope ya'll have a great day!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Canning Log 2010

This is just what we grew and canned this year.

7 qts/1pt crushed tomatoes

5 qts/15 pts tomato sauce

13 pints red enchilada sauce

15 qts pasta sauce

15 half pints pizza sauce

18 pints salsa

7 qts green beans

6 qts potatoes

9 half-pints strawberry jam (I bought the strawberries at farmers market)

8 pints peach jam

11 half pints squash sweet relish

6 pts/4 half pints pickled banana peppers

5 pints pickled jalapeno peppers

I still had quite a bit from last year so we are pretty much full for a while on most things.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Our Carly

We went to look at some pigs for sale last summer & ended up not getting one. We did, however, leave with a cute little puppy in my daughter's arms. We saw both parents & they seemed nice. We thought oh neat, a cattle dog for the little farm. -Now as with anything, we should have done some research. You should NEVER bring home any animal without much research. I know & knew all of that, but that day we disreguarded everything we know & "Carly" became part of the homestead family.

She is an outside dog & gets along pretty well with the other dogs but she has grown to be the leader of the pack. She is very friendly but will definately bark & let us know when things are awry.

She has hearded pigs out of the chicken pen & well, tries to heard just about everything! Chickens, ducks, children...

We have had to put the ducks up as I don't think she really means to hurt them, but will put a big paw on their back & then then start squaking & flapping & then the rat terrier thinks that is the green light for him to get involved. (not good)

So the ducks now have their own pen with a little pool to swim & will hopefully be let out to the big pond when it is full.

Carly is unlike any other dog I've owned. She is highly intelligent & sweet but has also come with some definate draw backs. She is probably the most hard-headed, hyper dog we've owned as well. She chews up everything possible, including dog food bowls, wood, pool toys, the side of the storage building, and then some. She is finally after about a year getting to where she will finally stop jumping up on us.

Truth is I know we should have worked with her more & I'm doing it more now. I don't at all think it's too late, but it's a long process. After researching I find that these dogs need lots of attention & need a "job." I am hoping to get a couple goats in the near future so I have been researching this and I think this will be a good activity/ "job" for her to do some.

My main point to all of this is a cute cattle dog just seems to go along with the farm picture...And she will, but please do not get any animals without research, even if they are really, really cute!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Not all homeschoolers fit into the same box...

I thought I'd share just a bit about how the Robinson is going....In a word, GREAT!

We've learned a few things already though...Saxon Algebra is a long lesson if you aren't familiar with it. The RC says to schedule in 1 hour for math so I did, but really thinking it wouldn't take nearly that, but after watching the lesson & doing the book problems (around 30) it does take the hour...or longer depending on how much your child focuses. ;) -The teacher cd is wonderful for the mom who may not be totally gifted in the art of algebra.
The reading is going ok too. To be honest I have really enjoyed the couple hours of silence the house has during this time. I have been reading during this time as well. The vocabulary is good also. We are also using the flash cards from "English from the roots up" as vocabulary to get Greek & Latin roots down. My daughter has already quoted some of them at different occasions so I know they are sinking in!!!
The writing assignments have been good for my daughter as she actually seems to enjoy writing stories. My son doesn't enjoy it at all, but it's getting done.
I've also enjoyed that they seem to already understand that "they" are responsible for their own work. Not coming to mommy every 5 minutes asking what to do, etc. They each have a calendar & a reading log that they fill in & I check off. I also check their math after they are finished. -That is one of the main focuses of the RC is to make them responsible for themselves.
So I would say the children rate it at a 5-6 (just because they would) I would rate it at a 9 because nothing is perfect! lol

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Baking and Cooking Day Around the Homestead

I've dedicated Tuesday's to my baking & cooking day. Most of the time we are home on Tuesday's so it made sense. Today we'll be making:
Regular bread, hamburger buns, & chocolate chip cookies.
We're going to get this going early so the house won't be too hot around afternoon. The only reason I haven't started already is I want my daughter to help me. Actually I don't need the help, I'm going to teach her how to make the bread. I have a daughter who really could care less about cooking most of the time, but at her age she should know how to do a little more, I think.
Hope everyone has a blessed day!


They are having a contest over at raising homemakers. Best wishes to you, but I still hope I win! lol

Monday, August 23, 2010

Jeremiah 29:13

In Jeremiah 29:13 God promises...
When you seek me with all your heart you will find me.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My Banana Cream Pie

Now I know there are very complicated recipes out there for banana cream pie, but I'm not the complicated type. You can buy all of the ingredients ready made or if you chose to make everything from scratch then good for you. It just depends the mood I'm in...

Here is the quick version:

1 graham cracker crust

1 box banana OR vanilla flavored instant pudding

1 2/3 cups whole milk

2 bananas

1 container cool whip

Wisk up pudding mix with milk for about 2 minutes. Pour into crust. Slice bananas over that. Top with cool whip. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until ready to serve.
Easy as pie!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Good Morning!

Today is our first day of homeschool for the 2010-2011 school year!
Also the first day of my new routine...mainly the same but it includes getting up with hubby. Which for me is very early. I can only go one day at a time so today was a good start.
Hope you all have a nice day. As for me I'm headed for another cup of coffee & to turn on the news...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

All-around home organization...

I didn't want to say at the time, but my children were on vacation to Alabama & Virginia with my mother for a couple of weeks. So I was here all alone during the work days. I got so much accomplished though & worked out a few things around the home that I'd been putting off for one reason or another.

In my home binder: a new monthly menu planned, pantry/shopping lists, bills in order, & new daily routines printed out

In my home: kitchen floor down, cubbords wiped down & organized, fridge wiped down & organized, all bookshelves organized, slip covers washed, bathroom cabinets all washed & organized, I also bought a potato/onion bin at a yard sale for $5 and love I just need 2 more!

Homeschool: All books ordered & are now here ready to go, put a couple things on ebay, school supplies bought

I had plenty of extra time on my hands so I was able to accomplish alot. I mostly wanted to get things in order so come school time we can get back to a routine & be able to basically "upkeep" what was done.

Another thing I worked on was scheduling in a baking/cooking day. Now I prepare the majority of our meals anyway, but I am meaning like a day to bake our weekly bread & extras to freeze. I'm really trying to keep eating healthier and part of the drawbacks to all scratch meals is time. I usually have the time, but when it's getting late & we've been out or whatever then it's like what do I do now. So I made up a few things that are in the freezer now & will make at least 1 extra thing on baking day to keep it stocked.

Right now I have 2 meals frozen:

chili & vegetable barley soup

Other I made:

1 gallon bag filled with french toast

1 bag of pancakes

2 loaves strawberry bread

2 single layer zucchini cakes

All made with low or no sugar (honey) and my freshly ground flour so they are more healthy.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Old Fashioned Peach Jam

Our last peach tree was picked the other day. Small peaches, but tasty. So I made a batch of peach jam. The insides were very dark so my jam looks more like a very bright fushia instead of peachy in color. ~It looks pretty~

Old Fashioned Peach Jam

4 cups peaches (peeled, pitted, & mashed)
5 1/2 cups sugar --yep, jam takes alot
2 T. lemon juice
1 box pectin

Pour peaches & lemon juice into a pot. Then sprinkle with the pectin. Stir. Bring to a rolling boil. Then add all the sugar at once. Stir until boils again. Allow to boil for 1 full minute. (sugar should be dissolved) Then pour into clean jars. Wipe rims & put lids & bands on. Turn upside down on a towel & let set for 5 minutes. Then flip up-right & let set until sealed. (You can also waterbath can these, but this works) --Make sure the lids have sealed after a few hours. If not refrigerate the ones that didn't & use that first.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Thank Goodness

Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.
Beatrix Potter
Well, I have all of our materials ordered and most of them delivered for our schooling this year. We are mainly going to go by the guidelines set in "The Robinson Curriculum." I have done homeschool a few different ways in the years we have homeschooled. I have come to realize that no two children are alike...
There are things that have worked for my son, the oldest, that just did not seem to connect with my daughter. I've also learned that it's ok to let them learn at their own pace!
My son will be completing his homeschooling this year! Our plan is for him to take his GED at the end of the year & the for him to go on to college.
My daughter will technically be in the 6th grade but to be honest I've come to realize grades really don't matter.
While everyone needs to evaluate what they want for their children & should make their own choices, I will share what we will be using this year now that it's finalized.
The Robinson Curriculum (as a spine & for reading lists)
Saxon Math (with the teacher cd's) & GED math study book
GED Language arts study book
English from the Roots up flashcards & vocabulary words from RC
Science- will be suggested readers in the RC
History- will be suggested readers in the RC but focusing on American History
Also per RC he will do writing every day
Basically the same schedule with the readers for her ability & without the GED books.
I did also order a magic school bus science kit because my daughter really enjoys experiments. If it's good then we'll probably order another one or two during the year.
My son is really wanting to get a part-time job so that will basically be his extra curricular activity. I am hoping to get my daughter involved in GEMS.
~So that's the plan~

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Been a busy couple of days

I've been getting quite a bit done in the past couple of days. Friday we spent the day at the flea market. Saturday I go up early & went to rummage sales with my sister & we got alot done around the homestead. Sunday we drove my mother-in-laws camper down to the lake for her & spent the day there. Then yesterday I went through all of the boxes of pictures & things we still had from the remodel of the kitchen & decluttered alot. I bought a nice tall bookcase at the rummage sale for $15.00. I almost ordered one online for much more & was so excited to find this one for such a good price! It is now sitting in the hallway dusted & organized.
Today I plan on deep cleaning the bathrooms. The children's bath has a mess going on under the sink so I definately need to tackle that.
Temperatures for the next couple of days are in the 100's and that's the actual temps, not the heat index. So I will probably spend most of the day indoors, other than a quick dip in the pool perhaps. I might make a run to the library, but that will be about it. Hopefully I will find a good movie there to watch.
I've got another batch of tomato paste in the crockpot. It should be ready in a couple of hours. This time I added some italian seasonings & a tad of sugar to it so I'll label it "italian tomato paste." So that will make 2 gallon size bags of tomato paste in the freezer. -That should last quite a while.
I hope you all have a great day!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Homemade Relish

I made squash relish today. It tastes really good & can be used in the same way you would use sweet pickle relish.

Squash Relish

10 cups finely shredded squash (I used zucchini & yellow)
3 T. salt

Wash squash & cut out most of the seeds. Then shred it. I put mine through the food processor. Then put it in a bowl & sprinkle with the salt. Allow this to set in the fridge overnight.

Next day- Drain off the water. Put it into a big pot & then add:

1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. ground turmeric
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
5 cups sugar

Stir & bring this to a boil. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
Then put into clean jars.
You may water bath can this, but if it's boiling and you get the seals & bands on it will seal on the counter.

This made 11 half-pint/jelly jars full.

Attention Congress...

Wouldn't it be nice...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My experiment...

We had about 40 small tomatoes so I washed them up. Cored them, and threw them into the blender. Then poured all of the juice into the crockpot. Turned it on low about 3:00 yesterday and let it cook for 24 hours. I stirred it now & then. So at 3:00 today what did I have??? Tomato paste. Now it wasn't quite as thick as the canned stuff, but pretty close.
I let it cool & poured it into a gallon size freezer bag.
The reason I freeze it is because when I use tomato paste I only need a little. So I just take out my gallon block of paste & chizzle off a little chunk.
Why you may ask do I need so much tomato paste? Mostly because when I make homemade spaghetti sauce it's not quite as thick as I like it so I just add a little chunk of the paste & it thickens right up!
So, was it worth a 24 hour cooking? I guess because I don't think the crockpot uses too much electricity. I do know that I have healthy, homegrown, organic tomato paste & I found another way to use up my tomato excess!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


No, this is not my house...the yard is way too well-kept! LOL I saw this on the internet & got a little laugh so I thought I'd share it!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday around the homestead

The thunder is rumbling right now & I'm hoping that the rain will reach us today. My pumpkins could use a little shower.

I've got quite a bit done already today. Laundry done, kitchen cleaned, dinner started (crockpot), school room turned craft room cleaned, & cut out some quilt squares. Now here I sit in front of this box with my other box on too. I've got on something about the dust bowl on the history channel. Wonder why when it is that I have time to watch a movie or something, nothing seems to be on.

I only got 6 eggs yesterday from the hens. As I was about to walk out I got a slight fright. Yep, a big old nasty snake! I ran in & got hubby to shoot it. It had obviously already made a meal out of a few eggs. What gets me is I noticed the last 2 days the egg count was low so he was probably already out there. ~shudder~

Even though it's just hubby & I here this week I put a big pork roast in the crockpot today. Seasoned it with a bit of chopped garlic, salt & pepper. We'll eat some tonight with potatoes & corn & then eat on that for the rest of the week. I like to shred some up with some sauted onions & add a little bbq sauce for sandwiches. mmm...

Hope ya'll have a great day!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Boy, it's been really hot & dry around here. It's all just about's been a great season with many, many jars on the shelves. Another summer garden come & almost gone.

So, plan for next year???

~Will plant half the tomato plants as we were WAY over on them.

~Plant more onions (and at the right time)

~Plant more corn

~Plant more potatoes & try the idaho variety (we've always just done new red potatoes)

~I found green beans quite a hassle. So to be honest I'll check prices at the stores & stands and may just buy those.

My pumpkins are starting to grow!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Warning this will probably raise an eyebrow...

I watched a show last week about Uganda & the laws that they have there on homosexuals. It was a bit eye-opening for me. --It, among many other things talked about how they believe that being gay still makes you a human, but it's not a human right. Make sense? Well, it has me thinking how this nation, America, really isn't a Christian nation anymore. It's become so accepting of such non-biblical things that it's just the norm now. I personally believe that is why we are having such of the problems we have now. Many people here believe that there is no restriction on ANYTHING. Spending, religion, race, television shows, movies, and things of a sexual nature. The BIBLE states what the rules are. I for one will follow the rules set by GOD. Do I hate homesexuals? No. Do I disagree with them...definately. I think they are just lost in the confusion of the world we live in. The world where people keep saying "If it feels good then do it. If you want it then take it. You deserve it."
The day after I watched this program I happened to see a commercial for a new movie coming out. I won't even say the title, but it's about 2 homosexual women who have 2 children & they are looking for the sperm donor who got them pregnant about 12 years before. It's set up with nice music & all & they comment that it's a family film for the new family.
All I can say is please read what the Bible says about this. Does the Bible condone any sin No. However what I read is when we sin we must repent and ask the Lord to forgive us and stop the sin. If someone is sinning ongoing every day how can they truly repent?
I understand that God loves us all but how can something so cut & dry as being a homosexual be so distorted? I just don't get it.
If you look on youtube & other sites you will see where even school teachers are teaching that it's "Ok to be gay."
Be careful & try your very best to make sure your children are getting the message you know to be true. My very favorite line of a song is "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything." If you do not teach your children, I assure you there are pleanty of devils out there waiting to.

Keep on Truckin'

Today is one of those days where my body is telling me to just go curl back up into bed. However my head, and children, are telling me it's time to finalize everything before they leave for vacation. In other words, they need to go shopping...NEED??? Where do they want to go.....ugh it's an ugly 4 letter word......M...A...L...L...!
Anyhow, I just took some advil & am drinking a giant cup of coffee so I'm thinking I just need to suck it up & get on with our day. I'm really hoping to feel better soon so we can make it a fun time.
Take care & hope ya'll have a blessed day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Un-fried jalapeno poppers

*Warning- if you like spicy you will make these often because they're really, really good!*
Amounts will depend on how many peppers you want to make. For this big tray full (about 20 peppers) is what I will give the ingredients for.
Un-fried jalapeno poppers
20 med-large jalapeno peppers
1/2 lb ground sausage
1 package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
First, carefully slice peppers in half & seed.- Set this on a baking sheet or grill pan.
In a skillet brown the sausage.
Then add the cream cheese & stir until melted & smooth.
Then add the cheddar and mix.
Spoon filling into peppers.
Then either bake at 450 for about 15-20 minutes OR put on the bbq grill until peppers are tender & filling is bubbly.
*on another note, be sure to wear gloves when slicing & seeding your peppers. I was canning some this year & thought I was being careful to not touch the seeds but about an hour after I was done, my hand felt like it was on fire! Really. I soaked it in milk, rubbing alcohol, etc and finally had to walk around with a ziploc baggy filled with ice to lay my hand on. So take my advice & wear some gloves. No gloves? Try baggies on your hands. Anything would be better than nothing.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Last week...

Well, it's the last week before my children leave on vacation with Grandma. I think we've got everything they need & will start packing the suitcases this week. We pack by usually leaving a suitcase open by the foot of the bed so if there are things they forgot they will need it can go right in. BTW...if you have an Academy Sports nearby they had teen/men's nice levi's shorts on sale for $19.99. (My son loves them) They also had a bunch of nice tennis shoes on sale. (Kids both got a pair) Also water shoes for only $4.99. (They are hard to find elsewhere because some stores have already taken alot of summer things down)

So...I have a couple of big projects lined up for myself. Mainly getting our old schoolroom cleaned up & making it more into a craft room. ~Perhaps I will call it my studio as I've heard people on tv referring to a room or area as their "studio." LOL

Around the homestead, we're hoping for as much rain as possible. We're so anxious for our pond to fill up, but who knows when that will be. We're thinking of having a well dug next year if we need to. My husband has also come up with a really neat idea, all by I really want to share this, but I'll keep it to myself for the time being. When it's in the works, then I'll share...

Today we have one of my niece's birthday parties to attend. For the present we got her a magazine supscription. I think for presents for Christmas this year we may just do that too. I placed our order with Amazon as they sometimes have discounts. We bought the first issue at Wal-mart along with a cd & Abby wrapped it all up in a cute bag. They are serving a taco dinner so no cooking dinner for me tonight!

I do need to make some bread and some type of sweet to go with lunches so I'll need to figure that out.

Well, I'll end now. Going to enjoy my coffee & other people's blogs. ~Take Care~

Friday, July 16, 2010

In desparate need of an adventure

Anyone ever wish to just sell everything & pick up and move far off? I've had the itch lately. -Actually I've had the itch for a few years now. Alaska? It looks so beautiful on tv. So, I've been day-dreaming and looking up real estate there. It's much, much cheaper than around here. Of course I have no idea about job situations and things there, but it sure would be a big change from Louisiana. Would I really leave all of our stuff & what we know? You betcha!!! You know, it never hurts to dream!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I have a small home and in my small home there is not much room for storage, therefore there is quite a bit of clutter that if left for even a day or two seems to throw the whole house off! It doesn't look like we will be building our new house anytime soon (ugh) so I'm left to reorganize this one...again. So now I have a few things that I need that will help me. So I'm starting a list of things I want & need:

Plastic bins for blankets to be stored in closets(need several)

Big bookcase/shelf/armoir to hold board games, dvds, videos, books in hallway

New clothes baskets for kids rooms

Bigger projects to do in house:

Lay wood floors in living room, hall, & kitchen

Paint living room

Get new or used kitchen table & chairs (ours is pretty much shot)

Pannel kids rooms

Fix porch

I do not need all new things, I have been checking craigslist just about every day. I went to look at a kitchen table a couple weeks ago & it was not at all as described. I don't know if they thought I'd give them my money & take it anyway or what, but I'm not paying for something that's not as described.

Anyhow, today will be spent around home getting things together. Hope ya'll have a nice day!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Green from the Garden

Now all nicely sliced up & put into gallon size freezer bags. I did keep out a couple for stuffed peppers that will be on the menu for tonight!
Stuffed Bell Peppers
4 bell peppers (or 1 per person depending on size)
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 lb ground meat (beef, venison, pork)
1 can tomato soup
garlic powder
onion powder
salt & pepper
In a bowl combine rice, meat, & spices. Mix well -I usually do this with my hands. Next stuff this meat mixture into the peppers. Lay them meat side up in a lightly greased casserole dish. Then pour tomato soup on top of the peppers. Put about 1/3 cup of water in the dish & cover with foil. Bake at 350 for about an hour.
We like this served with mashed potatoes & a tossed salad.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Speaking of books...

Here are a few that we own & have learned much from. The pictures I copied from amazon & are available there or at some other stores. Most of ours came from Tractor Supply.

My all time favorite one is:
Our little homestead is set up very similar to the one they have drawn out in this book!


Fellow book lovers will understand the joy's of the UPS gal knocking at the door...Bliss...
Here are a few of the books just waiting to be eaten up by me and the children for the new school year!

“Government schooling is the most radical adventure in history. It kills the family by monopolizing the best times of childhood and by teaching disrespect for home and parents."
--John Taylor Gatto, former New York State Teacher of the Year

Sunday, July 11, 2010


We're going to plant our pumpkin seeds today. I usually get a small pack of seeds every year and never get around to planting them :( So, this year will be different. I have some jack-o-lantern ones and some mini seeds. I am hoping to throw a fall party this year for some of our friends where we can provide the pumpkins for decorating. I also LOVE fall decorating. I think it's mostly because I love fall weather. I detest these 100* humid temps we have here this time of year and can't wait for it to finally get cooler. Less mosquitos, sitting around an outdoor fire, etc. Even the farm chores become more fun when it's not so darn hot!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Baking and Cooking Day Around the Homestead

Yesterday we all went out to the lake for the day so nothing got accomplished at home. We did have a pretty good day though.

Saturday is not always the day I do cooking & baking, but that's what's on the plan for the day.
I need to make & put up:

Fresh salsa
Peach lunch box pies
2 loaves bread
hamburger buns

When hubby wakes up we will run by the produce stand to get a watermelon for our fruit for the week!

Here's our list of dinner meals for the coming week:

cowboy beans, rice, zucchini cornbread, watermelon
sloppy joes, macaroni salad, corn on cob
pork chops, baked taters, green beans
venison fajitas, pinto beans
hamburgers, fries
apple pork roast, mashed potatoes, brocoli
smoked sausage, pinto beans, salad

With those fairly big dinners we will make enough most days for left-overs for lunches. If no left-overs we'll have tuna or pb sandwiches, chips & salsa, watermelon. Breakfasts either raisin bran cereal (was on sale), pancakes, eggs, or oatmeal.

Well, soon as I finish this cup of coffee I'll get started! Hope ya'll have a super day!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Apple Butter

This was the first time I've tried this & it turned out really well.

First peel and core your apples. (Would be much faster if you had one of those neat crank peeler things, but we don't.)
Then slice them & put into a crockpot. I really didn't count how many apples, as they were on the small side. It filled up my 5 qt crockpot to over the top.
Then turn on high and allow to start cooking down a little. The lid just sat on top of the apples for about an hour or so and then it started going down.
When lid can fit right, sprinkle with 1 T. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp salt, & 4 cups white sugar.
Stir occasionally & turn on low. Allow to cook for about 8 hours or so until it looks brown & tastes yummy.
Put into jars or freezer containers. Refrigerate or freeze.
It is pretty thick, but really yummy!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Life's filled with possibilities
that challenge us each day
To take a chance, try something new
see things a different way
And it's thru these special moments
that we learn to change and grow
To explore the special gift
of who we are and what we know
For it's not until we try
that we find out what we can do
So don't wait until tomorrow
to discover something new!

What a lovely sight

A view from my Mom's kitchen...
Good lookin pickles & tomatoes!