Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Now that I just got in from the garden (those darn beans won't stop!!!!), I decided it was cold enough to NEED some HOT CHOCOLATE!!! I used to buy SWISS MISS, ya know, the convienent little packages, but because they are FULL of WHO KNOWS WHAT??? I decided that I needed to make my own little packets..... SOOO here is how you do it!!!!

First you will need POWDERED MILK, COCOA, and SUGAR

Next, put 1/3 C. Powdered Milk in each little baggie

Then, put 1 Table Spoon of Cocoa in the baggie

Then you put in 1 Table Spoon of Sugar in each baggie

And for the LAST STEP, you seal the baggie up and mix it around!!!!!

There you have it! A little packet of HOT CHOCOLATE MIX! Just Add to 1 C. of Boiling Water and stir VERY WELL! Let cool until you are able to sip it!!!!!! Because we all know that playing in the snow is much more fun if we know HOT CHOCOLATE is waiting for us in the Kitchen!!!!

Gratituesday: A Wonderful Home!

So, a few years ago I decided to LOOK for land to build our home! We owned one already but knew that we wanted 4 kids and already was bursting out of our old home with 3 kids. I say "I" because my husband is a chicken! I found land and figured out how we could swing a land payment while we waited for our home to sell! I set everything up with the bank and with a realitor. Then it was my Husbands job to be the Contractor!!!! AND he did a great job!

We Bought the land and Sold our home in Nov. 2004. I found us a great place to rent while we built our home! (This would be where we adopted a set of grandparents and a large apple orchard!) We broke ground in May of 2005 and then I found out I was PREGO in June! That didn't stop me though, I still shingled, painted, tiled, put up siding, layed laminate flooring, helped hang cabinets, helped build the wooden railing by the stairs, put together the closets organizers, etc.... 5 months later we moved in (we celebrate our 3 yr HOME anniversary on Saturday!)

I am so grateful that we had the perfect opportunity and the perfect outcome! Timing was just right and everything went smoothly! Now, I don't have the house exactly the way I want it, but it is wondeful just the same!!!!

So blessing be to God for a wonderful HOME were we LIVE ON LOVE!!!!!

I do pray daily that God helps us hang onto our home and not lose it like so many others hit hard with money issues! Not saying that we don't have the same issues, but my husband informed me he would work 20 hours a day to not lose the home we love so dearly! Thus one big reason I am so scared about being out of my job in 3 months! BUT with God and Prayer, I know it will all be OK!!!!!!

Read MORE Gratituesday HERE!

Monday, September 29, 2008


These are one of our VERY favorite muffins!!! They freeze VERY well! I do use Canola Oil, Whole Wheat Flour and sometimes Vanilla yogurt if that is what I have on hand (even homemade yogurt works great!) I do use muffin liners, but if you don't, make sure to grease your cups! I also use the LARGE scoop from Pampered chef to fill my cups! 3 T. is the perfect Muffin cup amount!!!!!!

Pumpkin Chip Muffins
4 eggs
1 Can of Pumpkin
3/4 C. Plain Yogurt
2 C. Sugar
3/4 C. Oil
3 C. Flour
2 t. Baking Soda
2 t. Baking Powder
1 t. Cinnamon
1 t. Salt
1 C. Mini Chips

In a bowl, beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil, and yogurt until smooth. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients Add to wet mixture until moistened. Fold in chips. Fill 36 muffin cups.
Bake for 17-19 min @ 400.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wise Words For Today!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oh My Gosh....

Aren't these just cute???!!!!

I just purchased them off of etsy at this great SHOP!

They are for my kids for christmas this year! I am so super excited! I got the idea because when I was growing up, my favorite aunt drew a cartoony picture of me (she was an artist). I still have it to this day! I will have to see if I can get it out sometime! I just hope my kids love them as much as I loved mine way back when!!!!!

Check out LullaLoo's Shop, she does great work!



OK, so..... if you are anything like me, sometimes your dest gets alittle out of hand....

Here is mine.... OUT OF HAND!!!!!

What is on there anyways????? A empty Barney Tape box, an apron I NEED to get listed in my shop, my coupon purse, a purse that needs to be put away, my MP3 for work and the speakers, pins used to pin a quilt, blue tape for holding down a quilt to USE those pins to pin it, money that needs to go to the bank, papers that have to be filed....etc... Does yours look like this too??? THEN LETS CLEAN THEM OFF!!!!!

#1. Take off and PUT AWAY any thing that doesn't even belong on the desk in the first place!!!

#2. Now clean up what does belong on the desk... (but first make sure to wipe it down as you do this!) File the papers that need to be put away! Put the receipts where they need to go (I have a basket on the desk corner that holds IMPORTANT receipts until I file them where they belong!) Clean up any organizing unit that you have. JUST PUT THINGS WHERE THEY BELONG!!!!

THANKS for cleaning your desk off with me today! NOW, mine looks nice and pretty! and so does yours!!!!! This big mess only took me 15 min. to clean up and that was with blogging!!! 15 Min a day to a cleaner ORGANIZED house! (NOW if I can just remember to get those cameras in the corner of the desk developed, my kids would be happy!)

NOW, on to clean my kitchen floor...Does the dirt ever end????????

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gratituesday: My talent to sew....

Today this will be short and sweet....
I am most grateful today for my sewing talent!
With the "SHOP" opportunity I wrote about yesterday, I am so happy that I know I am good at sewing!
SOOOO, if you haven't yet checked out my ETSY shop, please do so and let me know if you think like I do!!! LOL!!!! AND, I would love to hear feedback as I am trying to decide on what to sell at the shop I have been invited to sell at!!!!!

This is a new style MY FIRST PURSE I made yesterday.... How do you like it????? I thought My first purses would be good to sell at the shop!!! What do you think????
Make sure to head on over to heavenlyhomemakers for MORE Gratituesday!

Monday, September 22, 2008


OK, here it is guys the frosting recipe I told you all about!!!!!!!!! Don't make it unless you plan on eating a BUNCH! It is super super super yummy!!!!!!!!!

2 (1 ounce) baking chocolate squares
6 ounces cream cheese
2 teaspoons milk
5 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 dash salt

1.Melt chocolate on low setting of microwave.
2.Blend cream cheese with milk.
3.Beat in sugar.
4.Gradually blend in chocolate, vanilla, and salt.

NOW, go and make it.... I bet it would be GREAT on these homemade graham crackers



That is right, HE canned these mostly while I was at work yesterday with the help of the kids and then the rest while I sat on my bum lastnight resting after my LONG weekend of work!


I met a girl GABBY at a craft fair 2 weekends ago. The fair wasn't that profitable for me, but since then, things have gone VERY WELL!!! Gabby sent a friend my way who is buying a quilt and 6 halloween bags.... She also came by my house and bought a waitress apron and a small quilt for her son. BUT the best news of all is.......

Gabby's sister owns her own little shop in a town close to me. She has invited me to sell my items in her shop!!!! For little commission!!!!! I am so excited I could scream!

This is an opportunity that one could only dream of! With my job ending in 3 months, I couldn't be more happier! NOW, the big job is to get sewing! AND figure out what will sell and make TONS of that item! I will update you in the future about how it is going!
I don't know if any of you have heard of hearts-at-home, but it is something ALL of you should chckout! My big news about it is that I am going to the CONFRENCE in 2 months and am super excited!!!! This will be my 4th year going and each year it gets more and more exciting!!!! This year will be the first year I am NOT going with the ladies I usually go with... BUT I am going with a wonderful friend of mine and 2 other ladies she knows! I will let you know more about that as it gets closer too!
That is it for my BIG news flash this monday morning!!!!! Anyone else have anything exciting to share????

Sunday, September 21, 2008

OH, I have such great news....

BUT alas, I am so tired from working 15 hours yesterday and 8 hours today on very little sleep...
Just wanted to get you excited to come back tomorrow and hear my GREAT news!!!! Lets just say that even opportunities that start out horrible or bad, can whirl into something wonderful!!!!
(This has to do with a craft fair I did 2 weekends ago....!)

Friday, September 19, 2008

OH, Halloween is just around the corner....

WOW, October will be here soon, and so will Halloween.....
I am sort of wishing Halloween would come and go and my kids wouldn't notice...
I must say, I have really NEVER wanted my children to Trick Or Treat.... I don't like the way halloween came about and like I said, wished my children didn't trick or treat. I found info here and here... just google it and there is a ton of info out there!!!! I don't know if it is bad to let your kids trick or treat.... but in my heart, I don't like it... and mostly this year it is bigger than ever with me to NOT have them go.... With the change in our eating habits, and getting rid of Dyes and Corn Syrup and Trans Fats, I just can't see my kids going out and getting bags of CRAP to bring home.... what will they do with it all?????
If you are not asking yourselves, WHY NOT JUST KEEP THEM HOME???? The answer is this.... My hubby INSISTS that they go.... He says he sees NO harm at all..... This is the same with Santa. I would LOVE to NOT DO Santa in our home, but he says that would be taking from the childrens lives... We do focus on Jesus at christmas, but of course they are children and get caught up in the whirl wind of santa.
Please remember when you read this.... it is ONLY my opinion.... Thing I feel are right and wrong in my heart.... I talk about Sex with my children WHENEVER they have a question.... I didn't tell them when I was Prego with my last baby that the stork will bring the baby or that she was growing in my stomach.... When they asked where she was growing, I explained the uterus... When they asked where she would come out of, I explained about God giving girls a special hole.... Some people are uncomfortable with these things.... I have told me 8 yr old about prision and drinking and driving , smoking and drugs, etc.... It is never toooo early! Kids are getting older YOUNGER.... they are doing things at 12 yrs old I didn't even know about until I was atleast 16 and didn't try until way later in LOVE!
OK this has all been a crazy tangent I have gone on... but I feel alittle better about figuring out what to do about halloween, Better have another talk with my hubby!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


OK, we are going to tackle something BIG today!!!! It is your BEDROOM CLOSET!!!!!

I know, breathe, breathe..... take a big breath.... let it out..... it will be OK!!!!!Remember, take baby steps you you will get through this challenge!

OK, here is what I want you to do... I want you to open your closet doors and CLEAN IT OUT! OK, just kidding, well sort of.... but I will help you through the process by having you ask yourself some questions about your clothes!

1. Pull out ALL the clothes that don't fit anymore! If you want to keep some clothes for "JUST IN CASE I gain or lose a few pounds, etc.... Store them in a box under the bed, in the attic, or the basement. Keep ONLY the clothes that fit you in your closet!

2. Stained Clothes! OR Ripped clothes that you REALLY aren't going to repair! (the exception to this is WORKING clothes... ie; garden clothes, painting clothes, etc.... Do keep these in ONE place in your closet and don't keep tooooo many, you really don't need more than 2 working outfits! I keep mine on my husbands side... He already has working clothes there, they just blend in!)

3. Shoes that HURT your FEET or that you haven't really worn in YEARS! Come on, are you really going to BUY a dress to match your OLD shoes?????

4. Socks, Bras, and underwear with holes or rips. COME on ladies, these things are fairly inexpensive... if you have been wearing that same ol' bra and panties for years... TREAT yourself to some new unders.... you will feel beautiful when you put them on!

5. Clothes you REALLY don't even like.... things you haven't worn in the past year (with the exception of the holiday sweater, the perfect dress to wear to a wedding, etc...) You know the clothes that you don't really love, GET THEM OUT! Why keep them???? They are taking up precious space!

My husband and I choose to NOT have dressers when we built out new home.... There for we have a closet system....

SO, I do have to put away off season clothes... My closet now has my winter stuff, and most of my tank tops (I am a tank top queen!) and my shorts are put away, along with my summer PJ's. So my winter sweaters, long sleeve t's, and dress shirts are out. My husband on the other hand doesn't need to switch out his clothes, he is a simple man. His shelves on the bottom of his side hold just his flannel pants (pj's) his shorts, and his tanks. He hangs all of his jeans (something I do not do) and also has work Uniforms. In his little org. unit, are his WORKING clothes, he definitely has MORE than the 2 outfits, but he wears his YUCKY jeans to work with his work shirt and then usually wears crappy clothes at home. He is always ready to get dirty at any minute!

What ever you have in your closet to store your clothes in or on, Don't stuff it full!

DON'T keep things just because they COST you money! Remember these THINGS are costing you time and space... Time because you have to dig around them to find what you want to wear and space... WELL, that is a NO brainer!

DON'T keep more than you have space for!

DON'T hold onto things for MEMORY purposes.... Take a photo instead! It takes up less space!

Remember to DONATE anything that is in good shape (plus it is a tax write off!) and THROW away what is not! If you have a friend your same size, see if she needs anything (JUST don't offer her your 10 yr old Bra!)

AND for goodness sakes, GET rid of the NURSING bra if your baby is DONE nursing!!!!!!!!

What's New Wednesday??!!

Let's see.... what is new with me since last we spoke.....

1. My job is done in 3 1/2 months and I am going crazy... but I already blogged about that days ago....LOL!

2. I have already had to confront my oldest boys teacher about homework.... GGGGRRRR! COME ON LADY, last week was the first full week of school, let's make sure the kids are getting all that you say...... (Trevor never got a spelling packet last week, so he didn't have one to turn in on friday and he bombed his spelling test because we didn't know he had spelling, so there was NO practicing at home....UGH!)

3. I just made the MOST FANTASTIC CHOCOLATE FROSTING IN THE WORLD (I used to be a huge tub frosting fan (ya know betty and phils) I hate the buttercream I make for my kids cakes (everyone else loves it) but today I made the most wonderful frosting EVER!!!!) I will have to post the recipe next monday!!!! SOOO, look for that!

4. With the loss of my job I am trying to come up with other ways to bring in money..... HINT HINT .... go to my ETSY shop!!!!!

5. I have a few orders to get done in the next week, including a I SPY QUILT . A couple MONEY aprons, and some HALLOWEEN BAGS. Better get to sewing!

6. I have been REALLY good about working out 1 hour a day on my eliptical! With the exception of my WORK days....(which is a work out) I have NOT missed a day for the past 9 days! It helps that I watch the DOCTORS and DR. PHIL (does it count as TV time while you are working out????)

7. Did I mention that I made the best chocolate frosting ever????

8. I have to find more things to dehydrate so I can justify the purchase of these....
We borrowed my inlaws and have been dehydrating trays of onions everynight! NEXT I wanna do banana's and apples!!! YUMMMY!!!!! (any ideas ladies????)
9. I decorated for Halloween today! YEP, for real! This is our 3rd Halloween since we moved into our house and I didn't decorate at all the first 2 yrs, so I figure I better do it this year! My 5 yr old said it all looks soooo "PRETTY MOMMY"
10. Have I mentioned the frosting???? I bet you can't wait until monday now!!!!! YUMMM! Better put on an extra 20 min on the eliptical today!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gratituesday: MOOOOOCHING!

I was working on running my NEIGHBORS tomatoes through my kitchenaid strainer, thinking... HMMMM I wonder what I am grateful for today????? AND like a bat to the head, it hit me...
Yes, you read that right.... mooching! That is what I am most grateful for today! I don't mean SELFISH mooching either. I mean good ol' fashion giving and taking! The way our grandparents used to do!
When I look into our garden I am grateful for the Rasperry plants my inlaws gave to us! Also the Rhubarb plants we transplanted from their garden this summer!
I am grateful for our ADOPTED grandparents (Ralph and Caron). We rented a house from them while we were building! You couldn't ask for better, nicer, landlords! They invite us back every summer (for the past 3 summers) to pick ALL the apples that we want! We make applesauce and thank them every time we open a jar! (So far we have canned 77 quarts ) AND I just picked about 100 pounds of apples yesterday that we still need to can!)
I am grateful to my Neighbor BECKY.... She allowed me to pick her stawberries this summer when she didn't have time or was sick of doing it! (we do have our own beds, but you can NEVER get enough Strawberries!) For her patch I probably yeilded 10 Quarts of the yummy things! I am also grateful that she just shared all of her BABY roma's with me because they are tooooooo small (in her words) to can. SOOO, I am making sauce with them instead! My Husband is DEHYDRATING (with a dehydrator borrowed from his parents), Becky's Onions, and for payment we get to keep one of the LOADS of onions (GOOD thing because we didn't get as many from our garden this year!) She has also given us Peppers and other garden items!
I am grateful that we had an OVER stock of GREEN BEANS this year and we were able to share probably AT LEAST 40 quarts with others! AND I will be VERY grateful when others take the over flow of Cantalope we have growing also!!!!!
SEEEE, it is truly a blessing to be able to MOOCH! I love when people ask me for something or when I can BLESS someone else with something! Remember "IT ALL COMES AROUND IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER!!!"
Make sure to check out other Gratituesday posts at Laura's BLOG!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Two Great HOMEMADE (used to be Store bought) RECIPES

I thought Today I would share two of my very favorite things that I NOW make homemade instead of buying it! These are easy and GREAT!!!!!

Pancake Syrup
(my kids HATE the taste of REAL maple syrup, so here is what I do to fix that!)

2 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1 C. Water
2-3 T. REAL Maple Syrup
1-2 t. Vanilla

In a large saucepan combine the white sugar, brown sugar and water; bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer stirring for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and maple syrup; cool to almost room temperature, then I like to put it in a MASON JAR! Seal tightly and refrigerate.
This will thicken more when it cools in the fridge!

(YES, I do realize that that is ALOT of sugar... but it has NO corn Syrup like other store bought syrup, and if I have whipping cream on hand, my kids would much rather have that than syrup anyways... cause you can eat it with REAL FRUIT!)

and this is the BEST over HOMEMADE CUSTARD ICECREAM!!!!

Magic Shell Chocolate Sauce

1/2 C. Butter
6 oz. Chocolate chips (either semi-sweet OR milk chocolate)
1 t. Vanilla

Melt butter over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan.
Add the chocolate chips.
Whisk them around until they are melted.
Add the vanilla.
Pour the delicious sauce over any flavor ice cream.

I store this in a PINT MASON JAR in the fridge. All you do to use it OVER and OVER again is put the jar in the microwave for 30-45 seconds (depending on how much is left in the jar!)
This is so good!!! I think when this batch is GONE, I will try adding toffee to it!!!!! YUMM!!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Orange hands mean????

That I have harvested the Carrots and cut them and froze them.

Here is how you freeze enough carrots for all your soups in the winter! (I love freezing them, they come out of the freezer like they have been 1/2 way cooked.... because they get broken down... you can throw them into the soup and it takes 1/2 the time to cook them!)

First you pull up all your carrots and wash them up! Make sure to recruit people to do this for you! It was great because it had just rained all day and our CLAY dirt was nice and soft... If you are not so lucky, you can use a pitchfork to get them out!

Then you throw them into your sink filled with water to WASH them alittle more! Then PEEL, PEEL, PEEL!!! Make sure you get some help with this also....! You hands get sore after awhile and you will still need to CUT them!

THEN, and here is where the ORANGE hands come in to play! CUT THEM all up! Into whatever size you like in your soups and stews! Just try and make sure they are around the same size! Just like you would when you cut them for stuff!

Then here is what I love to do... Make sure you have some celery on hand (I got 6 hearts of Organic Celery), clean and chop that up too. I then add 1 3/4 C. Carrots and 1 C. Celery to each baggie..... I got 8 baggies like this before I ran out of Celery! Then I put 1 3/4 C. carrots into 11 other baggies for a total of 33 CUPS of cut up carrots! AND 19 meals worth! I do put the bags into LARGE Freezer Baggies, this helps with the Potential Freezer Burn!

I will use the Carrots and Celery for our FAVORITE Hamburger Soup, Chicken noodle or Barley soup, Turkey soup, Wild rice chicken bake, etc..... I will use the plain carrots for Split Pea Soup, Noodle salads, Etc....

AND while writing this, I am kicking myself... I SHOULD have saved some of the peels and parts of celery I didn't use to make STOCK with.... I love to cook up the chicken bones when we make a roasted chicken.... UGH, I am hitting my head on my desk! I suppose I could pull them out of the compost pile...LOL, ok just kidding! BUT NOW you remember that whenever you peel carrots or cut up celery, save your leftover stuff in a baggie in the freezer! It cooks up some great stock!

Friday, September 12, 2008

OH, things just turned sour!!!!

WOW, why is it when you think things are going GREAT and everything is falling into place, your sister calls you and give you horrible news???? WHY?????
OK, here is the story!
I have worked on a dinner train for 2 yrs now. Last fall we were told the train was closing down. AND, it did from Jan 1st to Mothers Day Sunday this year. The owner decided to OPEN it back up, but we had to re-apply for our job.... which I was fine doing since I know I was NOT one of the BAD APPLES that he wanted to get rid of!
So, I have had my Job back since that wonderful Sunday!
OK, I love my work, I love to work, it makes me feel FULL, it makes me happy... People at my job don't make me feel happy, but for the most part I love working and look forward to my weekend shifts!
OK, here is where things turn for the bad..... My sister informed me that the train is REALLY closing down on Dec 31... THIS YEAR! I thought that that was going to happen at the END of 2009 (Minnesota wants to buy the 7 miles of land/ tracks for a bike trail and we all knew that was in the works) BUT WHY THIS YEAR????? OH, my stomach is in Knots, My head is spinning.... We need the money that I make from my job..... I can't make that good of money working anywhere else (Just a stay at home mom here with no college education)....
I wish that I could just DO what I REALLY WANT TO DO with my life right now.... but with one baby still at home for 3 more years....
(I really want to be a at home consultant for a HEALTHY KITCHEN.... Combining an Organized Kitchen with Nutrition.... teaching people that the reason most people eat out is because they DON'T want to cook in their Kitchen because A- it is disorganized B- they can't find anything to eat C- they don't know how to cook D- ALL of the above! Ok that is my WHAT I WANT TO BE WHEN I GROW UP story!!!!)
OK, soooo where do we go from here..... I have 3 1/2 months of work left at this point..... There is a resteraunt attached to the building where the train runs out of.... that the owner of the train (he also owns the resteraunt) RE- OPENED in July.... Everyone BUT ME works in the resteraunt besides the train.... I do not because I live 64 miles round trip from work and the money I would make inside wouldn't pay for me to drive there... KWIM! SOOO, pretty much I am the only one up a creek with out a paddle!
AHHHH, I am going to hit my knees today and pray about all of this.... I can feel the depression setting in on the job loss that isn't for a few months.... I can feel the stress of it all already....
Please pray that I figure it all out soon so I can move my thoughts on to better things!
Thanks for listening to my vent today!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I know we all love to carry lovely purses, great bags, diaper bags, etc... (Ok, maybe we don't LOVE to carry the diaper bag, but that is just part of baby life!)
SOOO, todays challenge is.....
Grab those bags and sift though them! Here are some things to GET RID OF!
1. Throw any Receipts that you REALLY don't need (Come on, get rid of them, unless there is something on them that you MIGHT REALLY NEED to return, throw it out!)
2. Get all the change weighing down your purse OUT, put it is a JAR, you would be surprised to see how much money all your change is worth. (we have a family fun jar and I never pay with change at a store, so I ALWAYS have change to put in it.... we just bought a Year Family pass for underwater world with the change from the past 5 months...!!!) SO SAVE THAT CHANGE SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN YOUR PURSE!!!!!
3. Go through your billfold/ wallet. Are there card you have been carrying around that you don't need to. Credit cards you DON'T use, expired cards, "where did this come from" cards, Any thing you don't need or USE, take it out!
4. Little sheets of paper with little notes on them.... WHY ARE YOU KEEPING THESE??? Get rid of them!!!!
5. Look at your key chain. Are there Keys on there that you don't even use??? Why weigh down your self with them???? Take them off and give them to your kids, I know my 2nd child LOVES keys and key chains!
6. Coupons, COME ON LADIES.... why do you have coupons floating around your purse anyways.... will you really use them if they are not filed away somewhere neat that you can carry into the store with you???? (more on this another day.... I just love to file coupons! When I was a coupon queen, I had TONS of them to file... Now there are not as many, but they are all still in a cute little holder I sew'd up!)
7. OK, seriously, dump that thing out! Stop digging through the mess... just pour it out onto a table and get some BIG TIME cleaning done! You know what you NEED in your purse/bag and what is just taking up space.
HERE is what my purse/bag has.... My purse has my wallet with minimal cards and such in it (ins. cards, 1 Credit card, my Business Credit card, my Licence, My Zoo membership card, my Sam's club card, and 2 gift cards) It also has my $ for OTHER STUFF like gas/ Health and beauty/etc... and my $ for FOOD! I also have 1 lip gloss, 1 chapstick stuff, a pack of gum, my Van keys, My Car Keys, a SMALL first aid kit (ya know with bandaids and ointment) SMALL because there is a larger one in our van. It also has a small zip up pouch with a small bottle of lotion, a couple tampons, a travel size hand sanitizer, a small nail clippers, and a toothbrush and travel paste (I do brush right before my shift at work starts.... bad breath is a real turnoff!) When I am flying out the door, I sometimes throw a small snack in there like a kids cliff bar (my fav is brownie!!!!) or a baggie of cut up apples. That is all I have! I throw out my receipts after I put them on our budget sheet and file the ones that we NEED to keep. I hate digging and digging in public trying to find something.... COME ONE LADIES, we don't need the Kitchen Sink in our purses!!!!!!!
NOW, put back the things you REALLY NEED in your purse and clean up/ throw out, the rest of the items!!!! Doesn't that feel good????
Drop a message and let me know what ODD thing you found in your bag today!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What's New Wednesday??!!

Today will be a day of Useless information for you to read... about MY life... LOL!

1. Busy season starts next week at work.... People LOVE to ride the dinner train and look at the leaves.... for me this means having to work weekdays and weekends and figure out daycare during the week and someone to pick up my 5 yr old from preschool... SOOOO welcome 5 weeks of being tired, crabby, cranky, short fused, etc....

2. I am sadly loving the older kids being in school... Is that bad???? My first three are so close in age that they drive eachother crazy... When the boys are gone, there is WAY less fighting... and when Shayla is gone in the morning for almost 5 hours for preschool, Kaylin gets to swim in the river of attention... something the youngest rarely gets to do! PLUS, I get to get SOMETHINGS done around here....

3. I heard that for the next 50 yrs (farmers alminac) that the temps will be BELOW normal, and that this year we can expect a GOOD OLD FASHION WINTER.... YIPPIE... our snow mobiles haven't seen the snow in YEARS..... And my hubby and I plan on taking a trip to Northern Wisconisn to go Sledding for our 10 yr anniversary this year... so, BRING ON THE SNOW!!!!!

4. I realized I am spending more on Grocheries than budgeted for.... When I was a Coupon Queen buying YUCKY for your food, I only spent around $300 a month to feed my family.... then when we switched gears at the beginning of the year, I budgeted $600 every 4 weeks.... BUT I am now spending an average of $179 a week on food.... I know that isn't bad for 6 people eating Natural and Organic foods most of the time..... but still hurts the pocket book alittle.... so I am going to re-think my food spending....

5. I am tackeling the daunting task of switching out the kids clothes... I did the girls on monday, and today I PLAN to tackel the boys clothes..... BUT I can't put anything away until they get home, because they are SOOOO picky in their old age (LOL!) that they need to choose what goes and what stays..... UGH, maybe I will just wait until they get home to tackel any of it... Sounds like a plan to me!

6. OK, I NEVER or RARELY ever watch TV during the day.... but with me being into health and nutrition, I decided to give the NEW tv show "Doctors" a try... BUT fear not my friends, I am not just sitting on my fanny eating BonBon's NOW people, I am working out on my Eliptical machine... YES, Multi Tasking! Gotta love it.... TV watching with minimal guilt! Soon our favorite shows will start (I am so SUPER excited for BIGGEST LOSER I have never missed an episod even if if meant recording it!) I only watch CSI Miami on mondays, Biggest Loser on Tuesdays, CSI New York on Wed. and sometimes MUST SEE TV on thursdays, but I am hoping to NOT do that this year... we shall see.... And then I don't watch tv on fridays and on the weekends.... AND, I must say that I CAN'T just sit there and watch tv... I must do SOMETHING...... cut fabric for sewing, read during commercials, do chores during commercials, fold laundry, ANYTHING.... just not TALKING to my hubby! I can not talk and watch at the same time!

7. I am going to start trying to remember to SOAK my grains.... as seen here on Laura's blog. and I must get the book Nourishing Traditions....

8. I am excited about Jeans and Sweatshirt weather... is that bad???? I am a HUGE Tank Top Girl... wearing a tank most days of the summer... for I am a sweater and VERY hot blooded in the summer...... (I must say I got a nice GARDEN tan this year!) So, I get very excited to pull out the good ol' jeans and sweatshirts! SOOO comfy....
CONFESSION TIME: I am sad to say that when my work closed for 5 months at the beginning of this year, I gained 12 pounds.... and have only lost about 4 of it..... SOOOO most of my jeans are WAY TO SNUG.... HELLO, why do you think I am watching the "DOCTORS"????

9. AND my useless bit of knowledge for today is......
Pour boiling hot water into your theamos before filling it with hot food... it will keep the food warmer longer..... OH, but don't let your 2 yr old get ahold of it (even if you screw the cover on) She will burn her finger and you will cry.... (Sorry baby!!!!!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Will the canning EVER END????

OK, not that I am complaining, but FOR REAL... when this time of the year comes, I sometimes wish things would can themselves. (of course we still have many MANY quarts of Apple sauce to do..... OK, I need to stop complaining! GOD IS GOOD!)

Lastnight my husband and I canned 19 pints of diced tomatoes. I am so excited and exausted in the same sentence..... here is how we do it!


they have so much nice meat to them!

First you wash up all your tomatoes and bring a pot of water to a boil. Then throw in some tomatoes and scald them for 30-45 seconds. Then remove them to a cold ice water soak!

Next skin them (make sure to compost the skins!). Then dice them up and put them into clean jars! Make sure to leave the head space. Add 1T. of lemon juice to each pint. (last year I did not do this and my tomatoes have been fine, but I thought this year WHY RISK IT!)

Then you line them up all and put the lids that were in boiling water, and the ring on them.

Next you put them into a canner with boiling water (we use 3 quarts of water and a splash of vinegar.) Our canner holds 20 pints OR 7 quarts. You then do your pressure cooker according to the book.... Steam for 10 min.... put pressure stopper thingy on..... then wait for it to get to 10 pounds of pressure. Set timer for 25 min and regulate 10 pounds of pressure. When timer goes off, shut of heat and take a shower.... TO WASTE TIME!

Last but not least, when it hits ZERO pounds of pressure, take off the stopper thingy and open the canner.... Take our your beautiful cans of tomatoes and admire them!

Gratituesday: A Loving Man


Today I am giving thanks for my wonderful Husband Jim!

He is in 2 words,


Not only is he handsome, he is a good worker with wonderful work ethics! He is the very best provider he can be to our family. He not only works hard at his job everyday, he comes home and works some more. He rarely sits still and must feel as if he has contributed enough to our family each day. He almost always cleans up after dinner, giving me the chance to just sit at the kitchen table and relax. (He actually gets upset when I clean up if he leaves the room for a minute.) He begs me to leave him laundry to fold, something to pick up, and doesn't allow me to mow the lawn, because it is HIS FAVORITE thing to do outside! He does most of the GRUNT gardening work, and NEVER complains! He helps do all the canning and gets upset if I do some of it while he is at work. He truly enjoys staying home with the children when I work on the weekends and I ALWAYS come home to a VERY picked up house and sparkeling kitchen! He Begs for me to make plans for myself or with a girlfriend so I can have ME TIME! AND, he tells me daily how much he appriciates all I do for our family! The only thing he wants each day in return is a smile on my face and to hear I had a good day.

Of course I could mush about him for many more paragraphs, but I think you get the picture.

I do know that I don't always treat him with the highest respect and for that I am sorry. Sometimes my past memories of my childhood take over and I loss control of my mouth and my words. Saying things that I don't really mean. I am sure we have all been there! BUT today I am letting the TRUE feeling fly! DON'T worry guys, I will BLESS my husband when he gets home tonight ;-) wink wink!

SOOO, everyone, tonight, tell your spouse how much you love them and that you appreciate them very much! They will LOVE hearing it!

Please visit Laurs's Blog for more Gratituesday!

Monday, September 8, 2008

What I will miss when SUMMER is GONE!

Here are just a few things I will miss when summer is GONE!

I will truly miss hanging the clothes on the line.... when we lived in town a few years ago, we had great clothes lines that we used all the time.... then we rented for a year while we built our home, and didn't hang out the clothes. Then the past 2 summers have come and gone with NO CLOTHES POLES.... but thanks to FREE CYCLE, we got our hands on these dandy's and Jim painted them. HERE is to AIR DRYING!!!!!

I already miss hearing the kids laughing and playing on the playset when I "KICK" them outside to "RUN OFF SOME ENERGY". With them in school now, there is little time to PLAY PLAY PLAY after school.... I do play with the youngest after hanging up a load of clothes... she loves to "RIDE IN MY SWING" as she says! BUT it is just not the same as HANGIN' on the monkey bars with all of them running and laughing!

I will miss the fires in our fire pit.... The sticky fingers and chocolate mouths of the kids as the scarf down yummy S'Mores.

AND above everything else... I will MOST MISS my garden! Which is looking SOOO sad since the plants are dying, the tomatoes are almost picked clean, the squash plants are passing away, the corn is drying up to make the havest stalks with, and the beans....WELL, those darn bean plants just keep making beans.... We have picked about 125 Quarts of beans out of the garden this year so far.... we canned 72 quarts, froze about 20 more quarts and have either canned and given them away, or just given them away as is.... The rest of the beans....

(SOOO, there is NO photo of my SAD SAD garden.... all I can say about it is.... it is bigger than ever and we are adding 25 more feet to the length when we till this fall.... so MORE fence and MORE food!)

Taco Seasoning Mix

OK, so I am a BIG huge McCormick Taco Seasoning FAN!!!! To me there is NOTHING better.... BUT the price keeps going up and up and up and with having to spend more money on healthy food, I thought I would try and find ways to cut money other places.... SOOO here is a recipe that is ALMOST as good and the McCormicks!

2 t. Minced Dry Onion
1 t. Chili Power
1/2 t. Dried Red Peppers, crushed
1/4 t. Dried Oregano
1 t. Salt
1/2 t. Cornstarch
1/2 t. Garlic powder
1/2 t. Ground Cumin

Mix all together and store in a cool dry place... this makes JUST ABOUT 2 T. of mix. Use like you would any other taco seasoning packets.

What I like to do is mix up about 4 packets worth... then just use 2 T. of the mix when I make Taco's OR My VERY VERY favorite


1 lb. Browned Hamburger (you can omit this for a Meatless meal , I usually just use whatever leftover taco meat is in the freezer)
1 Can Kidney Beans (light or dark)
1 Can Black Beans
2 Cans Diced Tomatoes (I like to use my garden canned pints)
1 Packet Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning (we buy this in bulk at Sams Club... so then I use 2 T.)
2 Cans Corn
1 Packet Taco Seasoning (or 2 T. Taco Mix from above)

Place ALL of the ingredients into a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 min. Serve with Shredded Cheese and Sour Cream. It is VERY FUN to eat with Totilla Chips!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Natural RED dye!

OK, we are having the first birthday party where I have to make a cake, since we took dyes out of Shayla's diet. SOOOOO, she wanted a barbie cake, and I wanted to make her one.
Now, the challenge was making PINK frosting for her dress!
So, here is what I ended up doing....
First: I took frozen cherries and let them thaw (about 25 cherries or so). Then I pushed them in the strainer over the bowl to get out ALL the juice!
Then I mixed it up really well. (Oh, by the way, this is butter cream frosting. Made with Spectrum Shortening so NO Hyd. Oils!)

Then I decorated the cake... Yummm!!!! Pink Frosting and NO RED #40 !!!! I figure you can do this with Beet Juice, Raspberry juice, etc...

And, I have ONE QUESTION.... I am a Great Baker and a Good Cook, so why on earth can I NOT COOK HARD BOILED EGGS?????? I have tried every way "THEY" tell you to do it, and pretty much 95% of the time.... they peel HORRIBLE.... I chunk out egg trying to shell it....


Friday, September 5, 2008

T-Shirt Quilts....

OK, have you ever heard of a T-Shirt quilt before???? Well, up until a few years ago, I hadn't either. BUT since then, I have really REALLY wanted to make one.... WELL, I got the chance to do it when a girl at a craft fair asked me if I would make her one for her graduation gift. OF COURSE I SAID YES! Her Mom and her dropped off her shirts on a Sunday, and by Sunday night, I had it all pieced.... (She had given me 11 MONTHS to get it done.... LOL, I was just so excited, I had to get right on it!) SOOO after finding a LONG ARM quilter to quilt it for me, Here is the finished quilt! By the way, the girl LOVED it... Now her Brother is praying I am still sewing in 4 yrs when he Graduates..!

I am also working on a wedding quilt for a friend of mine.... I had the Guests sign pieces of white fabric with a PERM. pen.... Then I am adding Photos of them at their wedding to the quilt... OH, it is going to be sooooo PRETTY!

HEY, you can also do this with baby clothes, kids sports shirst, photos, etc... the possibilities are endless! Can you think of a quilt you would like to have and what it would be made out of????

I was thinking that I would offer (I am not sure HOW to offer this, so if you have any ideas, please let me know) To make a quilt out of a womans Hankerchieft that she wears on her head due to Cancer treatments (you can read about her Here, beware, her story will make you cry!). See, it is terminal cancer and I made a quilt for her Silent Auction which her friends bought for her. I was wanting to ASK, or OFFER to make a quilt out of the Dew Rags for her family for a "In Memory" quilt when she is no longer with us.... BUT like I said, how do you offer that???? Maybe it is a bad idea???? Anyhow, here is the quilt that I made for her auction.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


OK, today we are going to have alittle fun in the bathroom!
I want you to open the drawers, cabinet doors, and that linen closet!
NOW, purge through your things....
*Take out all soaps and shampoos that you are NEVER going to use (if these are new you can donate them to a womans shelter!)
*Take out all your medications, and GET RID of the out of date ones or ones that you are NEVER going to use! (please discard with care so that NO children can get into them. You can take out of date PX to the pharmacy to digard)
*If you haven't changed your toothbrush in the past 3 months, NOW IS THE TIME!!!!
*Take anything that DOESN'T belong in the bathroom OUT!
*Throw out any make up that is OLDER than a year and any mascara that is over 3 months old! Also any makeup that you ARE NOT going to wear again.... why hang onto it????
*If your stuff is super dis - organized.... head to the nearest store or into your stacks of organizing things and get some handy totes! Pick sizes that will fit best and serve a purpose in the space you have!
*Wash out all the drawers and shelfs BEFORE you put things back!!!!

NOW stand back and look at all you have done! Pretty great isn't it!

Leave a comment about how your bathroom NOW looks compaired to how it USED to look. Also tell the what ODD things you found in your bathroom!

NOW stand back and


OK, today I am going to brag alittle bit on my Etsy Shop.... Because with so many kids heading to College, I have the perfect gift to send them off with!
LAUNDRY BAGS! Yep, that is right, Laundry bags! Right now I have 8 finished ones in my shop....

Here are a few

You can see the rest here.... in my Etsy Shop. I also have other canvas to choose from in case there isn't any that you like in my shop!
Tell your friends to tell their friends to tell their friends.... These are great bags even for the camper, someone who owns a cabin, and for anyone who has to go to the laundrymat to do their laundry!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

WOW, do they grow like weeds!

SOOO, tradition in our house is to take a picture of the kids by the front door the first day of school. So today everyone line up for their photos. THEN of course I have fun uploading them onto the computer and pulling up the ones from last year.... HOLY COW! That is all I have to say....

My 1st born has grown probably 4 inches in a year. The 2nd one is atleast 3 inches taller... and of course, the 3rd child, well, she just turned 5, but she is in our 4 K program... SO, needless to say she will be the tallest in her class for a long time.

OH, wow, it is hard to realize how big they get every year when you live with them... but pictures really do speak a thousand words! Don't they all look excited to run down the driveway and board the bus???!!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gratituesday: A Great Public School System!

Today is the first day of school (well sort of, it is a day the kids HAVE to show up sometime during the day for an open house, but still, considered the first day!) It is also my 3rd childs 5th birthday today and my babies 2 1/2 birthday (we do celebrate the 1/2's with cake at our house!)

So, today I am so very very thankful for a wonderful school district to send my children to. Our school still belives in celebrating the CHRISTIAN holidays... Yes, we celebrate CHRISTMAS, at our school, with christmas trees, christian songs, etc.... We can also send home made goodies to school for snack (YIPPIE). Our class sizes are SMALL.... due to a "sage program grant" that keeps the class sizes small until 4 th grade! Our school principal is one of the lead singers in our church band along with the music teachers, the gifted and talented teacher. I feel blessed that we choose this place to build our home with such a great school system that hasn't felt the need to "GET ON THE BAND WAGON" with neighboring districs with all of the politics. The kids love school and this year, they started a 4K program that my SOOOON to be 5 yr old will go to. FREE of charge, 4 days a week, free busing (this is such a blessing for our family :-) way to go God!)

Sooo, even though I do not homeschool my children, I feel blessed that they have a wonderful district to learn at!

Happy Tuesday everyone!
Visit Laurs's Blog for more Gratituesday!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Honey Muffins

YUM YUM! I told you in an earlier post that I would post the recipe for these super yummy and super easy Muffins that taste more like a dinner roll!
SOOOO, here it is!

2 C. Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 C. Sugar
3 t. Baking Powder
1/2 t. Salt
1 Egg
1 C. Milk
1/4 C. Butter, melted
1/4 C. Honey

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, butter, and honey; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 way full. Bake @ 400 for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan to wire rack. Serve warm
Yield 1 dozen