August 29, 2008

Baking Day

I have instituted today as a baking day, and, hopefully every Friday too. I want to have some baked items in the freezer for mornings when I just don't get it all together before Leiah goes off to school and for snacks.

So today I am making a loaf of sourdough bread, a sourdough pizza crust, apple cinnamon muffins and peanut butter cookies. The last two are new recipes, so we'll see how they do. I will be substituting more healthy ingredients like honey and some whole wheat flour, but I needed a base recipe to work from.

I am also going to focus clean in the kitchen a bit, such as bleaching my sink, wiping out the inside of the fridge, scrubbing some spots on the floor my swiffer will NOT get up, plus hanging out a load of laundry etc. I have a new cleaning plan/daily routine set up as well, which I will post soon. I am still working on a homeschool routine as well, I want it to be more organized. We are just winging it right now.

**I am slightly discouraged about the quilt. The hand stitching is taking awhile, however it is fun. I am quite addicted to it now, it's just hard to find the time to sit for a couple of hours in peace to do it :) For anyone interested I found a great website that has video instructions, woo hoo!! Drawings just don't work for me. then you go to the video library of stitches.

Off to get started!

August 28, 2008

God's Doing

(While I write this post, the girls have finally figured out how to make mud. Sarah and Alexa are outside with water and dirt, well mostly gravel, and an old mini muffin tin and a pot quite enjoying themselves. Sarah is still in her nightgown by the way, which is why I really don't care if they get filthy because the nightgown is old...anyways, it's cute.)

My husband ordered the fish oil from They have the best prices that we've found. The bottle was 20 some odd dollars plus the shipping. I don't really know how much. The girls have been faithfully take theirs and I missed my dose last night but I'll get it today- double up! I can imagine the oil would be greatly beneficial to those who live in very overcast areas with not a lot of sunshine and during the winter months. During that time you aren't getting the vitamin D needed for your body to function and the fish oil provides that. (vitamin D has to do with mood/depression, melatonin production, which affects sleep)

So, anyways, some of you may remember a post I did back at the beginning of the summer about my neighbors. They are a very young couple (20 and 21) and really don't know anything about being husband and wife. I really had a burden to help but didn't know them very personally. (the guy was a student in the youth group when I was youth pastor)

Well of course I've just been praying that God would bring us together and use us in their lives. God answers prayer. Over the last few months God has been creating relationships between us. My husband and he have been swimming together, playing pool, helping each other with stuff around the house/projects. (yeah, me and his wife were holding an air conditioner unit in the window of the house, while her husband was on top of the roof securing it with a rope- talk about team REDNECK!!!) I've been passing along health info, they've come to us for advice about jobs and family and for prayer.

Finally I shared the Fascinating Womanhood book with her. She actually read it and listened and put it into practice! I am so amazed. Her marriage is changing and her life is changing and it's awesome. They can't understand why we are so interested in them, because they feel like terrible sinners, but God has put such a burden on our hearts for them. Our children love them and they are so touched that the girls get so excited to be around them.

God gave us an opportunity to really show faith in action. A few weeks ago she ran over here because her little tiny kitten had gotten under her chair and she didn't know it and sat in it. The cat was hurt real bad. Matt went over and I felt like I should too so I did. The little cat was perfectly still, it had lost its bowels, its eyes were open, dilated and staring straight ahead. I felt in my heart this cat was gone, BUT, I knew my husband was praying, so I smiled and put my hand on the kitty and agreed with what he was praying. We kept touching it and it started to move and we talked to it and it tried getting up. By the time we left, that cat was 10 times better than before. She took it to the vet and it had a concussion! That was it- no internal bleeding or broken bones. Nothing is impossible- where you have faith He is there.

So, that was testimony to them to walk by faith and not by sight. It's a miracle cat. Now I can't keep it off of me when I visit- it's literally attacking me! Thanks a lot, Kit Kat!! (that's her name)

All of that to say, I believe that the main reason God opened this house up for us to move into, was for them. I told her that too- how special they are that God would work things out just right so that we would both move in to neighboring houses within a month of each other. Not a coincidence, not when things worked out like they did.

We are becoming good friends and thus are able to pass on whatever knowledge we have about marriage and health and Christian life to them. They are so overwhelmed and grateful they keep trying to give us stuff! We are blessed as well, to finally have some friends that are nearby and not too busy to get together! God answered my prayer from months ago, for good friends that were close by and available :)

Pretty cool huh?

Ok, time to clean up the muddy girls. I have cleaning to do and an errand to run. I am working on that quilt! Hopefully by tonight I will have some new pictures to show, and maybe by the time I'm done I can group all the pictures together in one post to make it easier to read.

August 26, 2008

New Bread recipe

I have been loving my sourdough bread. My children however have not. So, last week I happened up on a GREAT bread recipe. I found a dough recipe for cinnamon rolls, and the dough was so easy to handle and work with and tasty that I decided to try to make bread with it, and tweak the ingredients of course :)

While I understand that the health benefits of sourdough far outweight the common yeasted bread, I feel I need to compromise somewhere for the littles. Leiah is in school now and I'm packing her lunches and it's hard to make a normal sandwich with the sourdough bread since it's not as soft as storebought.

So, here are my loaves. I made the dough in the machine and then shaped it myself and baked like regular bread. This bread is 80% whole wheat and 20% unbleached white flour. I used raw honey, real butter, quality salt and bread machine yeast. It is absolutely perfect-in texture, taste and appearance. I will continue to make sourdough bread as well, but we are taking a little break from it for awhile.

I also wanted to add something I discovered. You know how everyone is going on and on about the benefits of fish oil supplements? Well, I've never been good at taking it because of the oily taste and the capsules make you burp which leaves a fish taste in your mouth. But, my husband ordered Carlson's Cod liver oil made and bottled in Norway- big family sized bottle. I watched my little girls take it easily and with a smile. I figured if they do it, mama should too. So I did and both yesterday and today I've felt so good. I haven't had mood swings or that stressed/panicked feeling, I've had lots of energy and an overall sense of wellbeing. That's the only change I made in the last two days. All last week I was worn out and moody and blah. What a difference!!!

Honey Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Place in this order in bread machine:

1.5 cups of water
2 t salt
1/2 cup butter, softened or melted
1/2 c honey
4.5 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour (preferably unbleached)
1 T yeast

Program to dough cycle. When dough is ready, divide in two pieces and shape as desired. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

August 25, 2008

A Case of the Mondays :)

Just a quick note to let you know I am here, just real busy. My husband is back at work this week, so I'm trying to get life flowing more normally again.

Leiah started school today. Unfortunately the school decided she should be in the special ed class again this year instead of kindergarten, so I'm trying to decide how far I want to push it. I can call another meeting and demand they do what I want and threaten to get a lawyer, but I'm not sure if that's the way to go here. I'm just not really happy with the situation, however, she was so excited about school I went ahead and started her today.

Now I'm down to two kids :) We did a little 'homeschool' today with Alexa, my four year old. She is so ready for reading. So I will be working with her each day on that. Sarah is picking up stuff too- smart little girls!

Our garden is planted and almost all of the seeds have sprouted. The weather is back to normal August Texas weather- HOT :) But it's mixed with badly needed rain too. My husband is also working on the chicken coop, so we'll be having chickens soon, maybe within a month and I am still in the middle of the quilt. My next step is to iron on the fusible web to all the little pieces, then cut them out, and then iron on the pieces to my white squares. Not hard, just grunt work :)

Well, it's time for my tea :) I am not sure when Leiah will be getting home (bus is bringing her) so I'm trying to get my work done. I'm already behind because of an unexpected outing I had to take for two hours!! Unpredictable Monday...

August 21, 2008

A Family Fun Day

What strange weather we have had. Rainy and cool. In August. In Texas...I mean, we did pray for the rain, we just didn't expect it to last so long. Two weeks.

Sooooo, this has cramped my husband's plan for his vacation majorly. Yesterday we HAD to get out of the house, so we went to the city to the Discovery Science Place. It's really really neat and only $5 per person. (Sarah was free) My husband loves science and is very intelligent in that area and the activities were lots of fun for the girls too. We were there from 2pm-4:30pm or so and then we ate dinner at a pizza place that had more games. We didn't get home till after 7pm.

This was my favorite. Basically you just throw nuts and bolts and washer onto those magnets. Me and the girls hung out there quite a bit.

One side of the place was dedicated as a miniature town and local businesses had sponsored the different areas. So, there was a local play bank, a play Brookshires (grocery store), and play hospital, vet, dairy, fire department etc. Plus, these businesses had donated real equipment for them to play on, such as uniforms, a live ambulance to play in, and the girls loved the hospital nursery area- the babies.

That one is my favorite.

Yea, sand...

In the 'fire truck'.

Silly kids...

Here is the little grocery store. My husband works for this company in the computer department, but at the real stores :)

Ok, I gotta get some bread shaped in the pans. I am using the bread machine today because I don't have enough flour and buttermilk for sourdough bread- my brain has all scattered! I also have laundry to hang up and take down and more sunbonnets to cut out!!!

August 20, 2008

Got started

Yesterday it rained all day long, so dear husband was trapped inside with me :) I kept him busy measuring and cutting the white blocks for Leiah's quilt. Then we both started cutting the pieces. We are doing 9 blocks with Sunbonnet Sue total. It's been fun, but I have since learned I should have gotten some solid fabric for some of the pieces.

Examples of what we're putting together:

Just for anyone really interested, this is how we've done it so far. We got a piece of paper and pinned it to some white muslin. Then dh cut out 10 blocks, one extra just in case. He cut a quarter of an inch extra around the pattern for the seam allowance. Then we printed two of the same pattern from and cut those out. Then we pinned and cut out the fabric. I bought 1/2 yd of 4 kinds of fabric plus the white muslin scraps I already have. This is going to be plenty for the sunbonnet sues. Today I will go buy the iron on stuff and hopefully the extra fabric for the strips in between the squares and border.

Mostly I better finish getting the Sue's cut out :)

On another note, has anyone noticed how hard it is to stay on task and in routine when your husband is home? I am so behind in my work just because we've been doing other things, but like yesterday we were 'stuck' in the house and I still didn't get some things finished that I normally do. He doesn't make messes like he used to and does help me with the girls a bit so I can't figure out the problem :) Well, we are spending more time with each other, so I'd rather do that than fold clothes or something :)

August 18, 2008

New Project

I am going to make a quilt! I never thought I'd be able to do something like that. However, I've figured it out in my mind how I can do it simply, so maybe it will work :) See, I am fixing my oldest daughter's room up. I had something in particular in mind, but of course I can't find anything that doesn't have characters on it like Disney Princess or that Hannah Montana crud.

So, I'll just have to make something. I have always loved the Sunbonnet Sue pattern, like this:

This type of quilt isn't that hard. Really all you have to do is get the pattern and cut out the pieces, iron them on the fabric, stitch a decorative stitch around the edges and then sew the blocks together. I am terrible at measuring, so that's where my dh comes in- he is awesome at measuring precisely :) I am going to do 9 blocks that are 8x12'', like a piece of paper. I wanted to do it in shades of yellow and white and some pastels, but I cannot find the fabric I want, so I chose yellow, blue, white and green florals and ginghams. I am planning to use a twin sheet for the back and use yarn to 'quilt' it- poke the yarn through the whole thing and tie it. Hopefully I can remember to take pictures of the process so you can see. Maybe it will work!

For more quilts go to

August 15, 2008

Silly people

I am a long time lover of Saturday Night Live. I really didn't like any of then newer episodes (by new I mean the last 5 years or so) until I saw this. Now it's like my favorite one ever!!!

Homemaking block

Man, I don't know what is going on. Monday- Wednesday I was busy as a bee, working happily at keeping my home and caring for the family, and then on Thursday- zap! Out of energy, out of motivation, out of patience etc. Just blah.

Did I overwork myself at the beginning of the week? What happened? Maybe if I made myself go to bed on time and got you know, more than 6 hours of sleep each night? Would that help? LOL

I have to admit, caring for 4 little people is hard. The actual care isn't hard, but basically I'm trapped here. And, it has been raining all week, which we need, but I've run out of things for them to do. If I need to run an errand or something, I can't because I have little ducklings following me :) People say, "Are they all yours?" and I say, "Most of them." I'd really blow their minds if I had a pregnant belly, which I could fake if I stuck my gut out really far and wore a maternity shirt, which I do still have and do still wear on occasion :)

However, my niece was able to get into daycare early, so today is my last day watching her. Next week my husband has a week of vacation, thank the Lord! Then the next week my little Leiah begins kindergarten and Alexa begins homeschool in the next few weeks. Next week we will be busy planting our garden and building the chicken coop, so I may not be around as much, however generally when I say that I post everyday, so take that with a grain of salt.

Maybe the break will help me re-establish my focus and get myself psyched up more. Maybe it's just the long summer...maybe I just need a nap...


I am amazed that someone is awarding me- what have I done that's special? I tend to look at others' blogs and how detailed and elaborate they are, or that the content is much more focused and interesting, but I guess I'm doing something good!

Thanks so much DeNiece and Shannon, I greatly appreciate your friendship.

Friendship award above and Brilliant weblog below.

I will have to pass the awards to others later...4 little girls are getting into mischief!

August 13, 2008

Ear Infection Cure

If I had known that Leiah had an ear infection, I would have treated it a long time ago. But since she doesn't have many words, it's hard to figure these things out without a doctor's help. My husband and I have used garlic for many things- mostly colds/sinus/allergies by making a tea with chopped fresh garlic.

Just the other day he heard about a product called Kyolic. We have used the capsules before, but this was specifically talking about the liquid version. Kyolic is garlic that has been fermented and it's so much more effective and powerful than fresh garlic. My husband had heard several testimonials about people with sinus problems or infections getting quick relief from the liquid kyolic when nothing else worked, including prescribed antibiotics.

So, when the doctor sent my dh to the store to pick up an antibiotic, I told him I'd much rather he went and got the kyolic instead. So he got both :) We have some virgin coconut oil as well, which is also antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. So we mixed the two together and dropped it in her ear. After the second dose, her fever was down and she was MUCH better. She even ate a normal dinner. This is huge- she felt horrible most of the day. We also all laid hands on her and prayed that God would aid the kyolic as well. She got another dose before bed and this morning she was back to her old self. She is still tired and easily upset, but no more fever or congestion. We will give her three doses today and then maybe one each day for a few more days. Yea garlic!

The Kyolic only cost $17 for two nice sized bottles. Methinks we will keep this on hand always :)

August 12, 2008

A Day in the Life of Me

********Note- all images are clickable, which is why I put such small pictures up, if you click on them, you can see everything very well!*****************

Today has not gone as planned, but I'll go ahead and share it with you. My alarm didn't go off, so I woke up at 6:30 when dh's alarm went off. Oops. Guess I needed the extra sleep...

I got up and got dressed, then headed to the kitchen. I had some leftover pumpkin so I made pumpkin pancakes- however my printer isn't working right so I had to go to my blog and use my recipe there,lol!

Oh, don't forget the apron. Here is my apron 'nook'- the red and white one is new, er, new to me.

The girls woke up and I saw that Leiah was very grouchy- she has fever. Again. Yea. She lays on the couch while the others kind of mill around for a minute. I move ahead with breakfast so Matt can have some before leaving for work. He got camera happy :)
Now you know what I look like :) I had Alexa (the redhead) get dressed while I made my bed and tidied the room. I usually do that first thing, but dh was still in bed :)

This bed was given to us before the bedframe was given to us, which is why the mattresses are still on the floor. I also do not have king size bedding anymore which is why the quilt barely covers the's on my list of things to buy :)

I got Sarah dressed and tidied their bedroom and Leiah's.

You can see Leiah's yellow room. It is nowhere near completed yet- much more work to be done there.

We decided that Leiah needed to go to the doctor, so Matt is staying home and taking her while I stay with the other three. (Emily hasn't arrived yet) So the other two eat breakfast while I finally fix my coffee! I drink an organic coffee that doesn't ever make me feel racy and jittery. So I drink two cups now :)

It's cloudy and humid today, lovely.

I continue frying pancakes and ham while they eat, drink my coffee and unload the dishwasher all at the same time :) Multitasking!!

Then I got a load of clothes washing.

Then I call the doctor and get Leiah an appointment for 10am. It takes 45 minutes to get there and it's a quarter to 9am so I get her dressed and ready. She is feeling a little better since I gave her some medicine for the fever. This is a new outfit given to us- I love it!!

Emily arrives and she's hungry.

Leiah eats a banana and goes with her daddy to the doctor. I get Emily dressed and get them some toys while I fold clothes from yesterday. They are nice and wrinkled since they were slightly damp from the rain.

I put the clothes away and took pictures of the goofy kids.

I changed the first poopy diaper of the day and then we cleaned up the blocks and got different toys. These animal sets were only $1 each at walmart and while cheap they have fun with them.

It's nap time for Emily now and I sat down to upload pictures. continued later...I'm doing this gradually so it won't take so long to post it.

The girls started fighting and Emily woke up, while I was in the midst of making playdough. So, the olders went outside where I could watch through the window and Emily just played near me. I got some water boiling to put the peaches into so I could get the skins off- my landlady got me these peaches from a nearby farm. I love fresh ripe peaches!

I also decided to finally try out a homemade playdough recipe. I put cinnamon in it and colored orange for a pumpkin pie scented one. Pumpkin on the brain!

The sun came out so we went outside. We've been getting lots of rain and thankfully it has cooled our weather a lot.

The house you see on the left is the lady we rent from. She raised her family on this land and in that house and her children and grandchildren live all around us- literally- we're surrounded :) They are like family though.

Here is the garden site:
A week ago this was powdery white sand. We've been getting rain everyday for almost a week now and it's finally dirt!

The girls' swingset and poor Fergus chained up :( We have no fence and we live right beside a busy highway-he'd get squished.

These are volunteer wild morning glories. They are covering an old stump! Also here is my gorgeous basil plant- it's loving the rain and sun. I love basil!

We came in the house to eat lunch. I reheated some homemade macaroni and cheese from last night and added some sliced hot dogs. They ate that with grapes and baby carrots and apple juice.

Matt and Leiah came home then. She has an ear infection. Antibiotics were prescribed of course, but we are trying out something called Kyolic, which is aged garlic juice basically. We put a few drops of that in some virgin coconut oil and dropped it in her ear. If it doesn't help we'll do the medicine. I just hate antibiotics though... anyways, so I did some dishes and then got everyone down for naps.

Next I made pie pastry. I am not good at it, but I have to keep trying you know. I used lard and butter this time and it turned out well. I use my standing mixer to cut the fat into the flour. Oh, and this is not a healthy pie, I used unbleached flour and regular white sugar.

I put the dough in the fridge and got some brown rice cooking for dinner.
Then I got to work on those peaches.
Time to get the pie together. I had plenty of extra dough to play around with.
Then I cleaned up the kitchen and started the dishwasher. Then I sat down!

I rested a few minutes before the first napper woke up :) She tested the playdough-still a bit sticky, I didn't have enough cream of tartar which could be why it was on the sticky side.

I folded the laundry while she played.

We just played for a little while as the girls woke up, they watched a little TV. My sister came to pick up Emily and then I started cooking dinner. I had some helpers washing the dishes I dirtied.

My husband let me rest my feet- they were hurting! And he made the salad.

Dinner is ready- time to eat.

Dessert- the pie was really good if I do say so myself. I cut the sugar in half and it was just right.

And I'm going to have to end it there. It was 7pm before we got done eating and I needed to go to the grocery store for food. That took it out of me! Anyways, the groceries are put away, the girls are in bed, and we're watching Shrek 2. Then it's bedtime :)

Not a typical day in the least, but oh well. By the way, the garlic oil we've been using is clearing up Leiah's ear infection. Cool huh? I'm sure our prayers have also helped. Alright, bye for now.

P.S. I hate to do this, but I'm going to need to put the verification code on the comments- I'm getting lots of spam. It's confusing...

P.P.S. Right after I finished this post our neighbor came over. She was all upset because her little kitten had gotten under her chair without her knowing and when she sat down she got squished. We came over and the cat was just laying there, its eyes open and not moving. We started praying over it and touching it and the kitty was breathing, then moving it's tail and legs, then it tried to get up, then it tried to walk. It's eyes still wouldn't close, but I figured it might be in shock. I assume it's insides got bruised because it kept pooping. I went to check on it today but they didn't hear me knock. I'll try later. God cares for little cats too :)