November 30, 2009

Cleaning out

What a week!

Everything went very well, excluding the fact that Wednesday morning I woke up with allergy or sinus problems and a UTI! Guess I should have resisted the Dr. Pepper in the checkout aisle Tuesday night, eh? (yeah I've been around Yoopers and the 'eh' creeps in)

I pushed on and we got everything ready and I got everything cooked and the food was good. Still, I was quite miserable and Friday was even worse because of 3 days of little sleep, lots of work, a house full of people and the lingering symptoms of the allergies and bladder problems.

I ate LOTS! And guess what, I have gained like 10 lbs since birth!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, do you know what is happening today?


Actually, I am cleaning out, and it is going extremely well. I am eating raw fruits and veggies, water and cranberry juice, and some cooked veggies today. I have been literally addicted to coffee for weeks, and today I didn't even miss it. All the while, like for 2 months, I have felt in my gut that I should clean out my body just from pregnancy itself and I didn't want to listen.

I'm listening and doing now :) I plan to add some brown rice tomorrow evening, a potato the next day, then on Thursday I am planning to fast from sundown to sundown. (just liquids- water) I'm not sure how I will proceed after that. It's more of 'resetting' time for my body. I have GOT to get rid of the extra body fat. I will need to lose almost 60lbs to get below 200. I don't look terribly heavy, but apparently I am!

Anyone hit the stores last Friday? We went to walmart for a few things and it was pretty busy. Many people had their carts mound over with stuff! I didn't have the money for that :)

Getting ready for Christmas now...I am thinking of getting rid of almost all my Christmas decor and starting over with more natural things. If I don't love it, why keep it?

So anyways, I am waist deep in piled up laundry needing to be folded, everything needs to be put back in order and the floor is atrocious. I'm taking a break though, because with the cleaning out of my body, I don't want to overtax the system.

Well, time to do the next thing :)

November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Menu again and recipes

I should be doing something else, but I need a little break :) I am posting my menu again, but with recipes this time.

Ok, we found a great deal on ham and turkey. So, we bought two turkeys and 1 spiral sliced ham. I"m just going to use the glaze the ham came with and heat it up.

The turkey- saw this on TV and looks good. (blogger did something weird with my words being in all CAPS, but I don't have time to fix it.)

Herb Roasted Turkey

1 onion
1 head garlic
1 bunch fresh thyme
butter and more herbs (whatever I can find- sage, thyme, rosemary)
White cooking wine


place in roasting pan and poor the wine in the bottom> Cook at 325 degrees 15 minutes per pound of turkey. Baste every half hour until the last 30 minutes so the skin can get crispy.

Sausage Apple Stuffing

Stale bread
1lb cooked sausage
2 granny smith apples
1 large onion
2-3 stalks celery
dried cranberries
chicken broth

Cube the bread and toast in oven till very dry. Cook apples, onion and celery in half a stick of butter till softened. Cook the sausage in another pan, crumbling well. Throw everything together in a bowl and add the broth/stock until desired wetness is achieved. Poor into a baking pan and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Jamaican Cranberry Sauce

1 package fresh cranberries
1 orange, juice and zest
1/2 to 1 cup of brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 inches of grated fresh ginger root

Wash cranberries and discard any bad ones. Put in saucepan with all ingredients, adding extra water to cover the berries if needed. Cook on medium-low heat until simmering, then turn down to slow simmer. Cook till berries pop and create a thick sauce. Taste for tartness/sweetness and add more sugar if needed. Chill overnight for flavors to develop.

Homemade Green Bean casserole

Humming Bird Cake

We will also have mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top, pickles and olives, possibly deviled eggs, pecan pie, pumpkin pie and maybe a cranberry raisin one....umm, I think that's it!

I will add that I grew up eating cornbread dressing, not bread stuffing. I am from the south and almost no one uses bread for the 'dressing'- it's cornbread. However, my dear husband is from the north and so are his folks and they prefer the bread kind, so that's what we'll do :) Should be fun to experiment.

I may sound frazzled in my post from yesterday, but I am delighted to host Thanksgiving. I love having 'control' over what food we eat and love preparing it. Yes there is a lot of components and I have small children and YES I get stressed when I've got many things to do with lots of people underfoot. But, I'm not dreading it. I just pray my body will hold up!!!

November 23, 2009

Martha, Martha, Martha in my brain!!!!


I'm trying to rearrange this house to fit in the Christmas tree! We are so packed in here! I am working so hard to make it look like we're NOT using every inch of available space to store things. As soon as we get our money for buying a house (you know, the govt. is giving up to $8000 for those who are buying a house this year) we are buying our OWN storage building!!!!!

The way our living room is, it is so hard to arrange it where there's room to walk through. Yet, there really isn't anything we can get rid of, like for good. We need to store it!

Why am I doing Christmas stuff so early? Because we'll be getting it out in about a week anyways, and we're doing 'Christmas' with my husband's family Friday.

I still have to get the froze solid turkey into the fridge, clean out the fridge, do laundry, puree the pumpkins I cooked, make bread, go to the store for formula, and continue shuffling stuff around to make it look like we are perfectly organized, LOL :)

"Ok, Martha, slow down and learn the lesson from Mary. Quit hustling and bustling about to make life perfect and sit at the Savior's feet awhile. And lay off the coffee."

November 20, 2009


Alrighty, dear readers, the inevitable has come.

I gotta stop the blog...

Well, not stop it or shut it down, but I have to be released from it. It's weighing me down because I know you all are interested in things but I'm pressed on every side right now, and I don't have the ability to make my blog what I want it to be.

I want to do videos, and pictures, and how tos and all kinds of stuff. But, it's not happening.

This doesn't mean that I will never post, it just means that I'm not obligated to post. It means that I can post when I have the time and have something good to say and not because I feel I'm failing 'my people' LOL!

I am thinking that after Christmas I should be able to post regularly again. Since I am hosting Thanksgiving, there's a lot going on. I have MUCHO yard work, housework, cooking etc. to do, plus help my mom clean her house. (remember she's crippled right now) I've also somehow sprained my lower back, so it's very sore from the chiropractic adjustments and I have to ice it a few times a day.

I am sure you all understand. As wives and moms our work is NEVER complete. As Samantha grows and becomes more independent, I will be freed up a bit more. I already feel overwhelmed because I am constantly looking back at my old self and how capable I was. I have to accept my new self and adjust!! Still though, in my mind, I get worked up about it.

SO, today, I have to do SEVERAL loads of laundry, re-sort the toys yet again, pick up around the house the things that are out of place, bake 3 pumpkins, make 4-6 loaves of bread, other kitchen stuff, AND finish the sewing. Hmmm, maybe I should have started last night and just not slept...oh wait, I was exhausted because baby hasn't slept well a few nights in a row. No, sleep was essential.

Oh but last night we ALL went to the grocery store to buy food for next week. My husband kept telling me how it would be fine for us to ALL go. Well, let's just say it felt like we were in that store for 4 hrs, but it was only 1! Anyhow, there were a few spankings (in the bathroom), several bouts of crying, a few bathroom trips (for actual using the bathroom) lots of deliberating over prices (dh and me) lots of multitasking (me feeding the baby, pushing the cart, holding my list and crossing things off and directing the kids with the miniature shopping carts all at the same time), I got my ankles slammed into 3-4 times, then I rolled the cart over Alexa's toes (not on purpose!) AND, we bought everything, including a spiral sliced ham and TWO turkeys for $111.

How? If you bought an outrageously priced spiral cut ham you got a turkey for free, and you can get a second turkey for .79 cents a pound, AND, lots of stuff was on sale, AND I had a 20% off coupon. Cool huh? I still have to make a lot from scratch, like bread and stuffing and pie crusts and my own pumpkin, but oh well, that's the fun part!

Alright, it's GO time. I'll be around.

November 17, 2009

from the Abundance of my heart


Been having some computer issues and camera issues and emotional issues.

Computer had to be reformatted completely, which meant we had to copy everything we wanted to keep to the other computer, then wipe this one out and reload it all back. That took some time.

The camera is...I can't remember, but something on it won't close right so my husband has to figure that one out.

Emotionally...well, since I can't help but be brutally honest on here, it was 'time' for my 'monthly friend' and it didn't come when I thought it should and it freaked me out because I thought I was the 1-3/1000 women whose tubals failed and oh my gosh! I'm going to have a baby in July!!!!

No. It didn't fail as of last evening :) But the ENTIRE weekend, I was crampy and achy and on the emotional roller coaster, and cravings were INSANE! Poor, poor hubby.

But I found out something this weekend. I married one of the best men in the world. After the initial outburst and argument, he 'got it'. He was loving and patient and sweet and encouraging and has decided that from now on, every Saturday morning, we as a family would clean the house- every part of it including projects and the outside. He also decided that every Sunday evening we would buy groceries together.

Wow. This man also, yesterday, did NOT wake me up early enough, and when I did get up, he had finished programming the computer, gotten himself and the school girls dressed, lunches made, breakfast made (homemade oatmeal that I had soaked the night before) girls' hair fixed, bags packed... and they were ready to walk out the door.

Wow. This man could SO NOT multi-task things when we first married. This is the same man, who I can be having a conversation with, and then 10 minutes into it, look over at me and say ' what?' Um, yeah, he didn't hear a thing.

I can see what marriage and children have done for him. It basically made him a man. He went from a 29 year old young adult type to being a man. This transformation occurred over the span of 5 years. It technically didn't start until after our second one was born. There were many hard times. But each time we hit a low point, there was growth.

Now I understand one of the reasons why we get married and have children. It's not just for our joy and fulfillment, but it is to mold us into what God has planned for us to be. He can see us many years ahead, what we will become, and guides our way so that we become that. Neat huh?
We would not be who we are now if we were without children. My goodness- what journey!

Anyways, sorry to get off topic or whatever. Just letting you know, that things have not been normal. In fact last night somehow I pulled something in my back and could hardly move! Even this morning I was prepared to go to the chiropractor first thing, but 3 advil took care of it :) Oh, and of course, our prayers.

I have been SEWING!! Finally!!! It's been, oh, 4 months? I am making all the girls a soft and cozy flannel nightgown. I'm doing two at a time, and have just the sleeves and hem on two of them left. Hopefully, you'll get a picture of that :)

Baby's awake!

November 15, 2009

Frugal Thanksgiving

This year I am hosting the Thanksgiving meal for my family and my husband's parents. Typically for holidays, my inner Martha Stewart comes out and I go overboard on everything, including spending money on food and other things.

This year we are trying to save some extra money for Christmas, so I'm challenging myself to trim down Thanksgiving.

1. Do you really need 10 side dishes? No! Pick your favorites and make plenty of it for the day and some leftovers.

2. Do you really need 6 desserts? Baking can get pricey, especially if you choose something with nuts like pecans- oh my-or chocolate etc.

3. If cooking a turkey, they are usually a good price, so you could get one bigger than you need to have leftovers to freeze.

4. Instead of buying premade pie crusts and rolls/bread, make some ahead and freeze them. Flour is cheap, butter isn't necessarily cheap, but in our case we prefer not to use margarine or shortening, which is usually in the premade crusts. Yeast rolls would come out pretty cheap cost wise too.

5. Frugal doesn't necessarily mean cheap to me. Frugal means, getting the best I can for the least amount of money. This year I plan to make a homemade green bean casserole. This will likely cost a little more than the usual canned green beans with cream of mushroom soup, but it would be healthier.

So what is my menu plan?

Roasted turkey, I may brine it the night before to flavor it and make it juicy
stuffing made from homemade bread (I use apple, onion and celery in mine)
mashed potatoes and gravy
sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top (the kid fave- and from fresh potatoes)
homemade green bean casserole
my homemade spicy/citrusy cranberry sauce
*deviled eggs
ice tea

pumpkin pie, cranberry raisin pie, pecan pie if on sale if not, mini cheesecakes

Seems like plenty to me. I might also throw in a fresh salad or a jello fruit salad if I fancy it at the time. But I'm not planning it. The deviled eggs may or may not make it either, we'll see.

November 12, 2009

Mom song

November 11, 2009

So many topics to blog!

Ok everyone, I have SO many things I want to blog about! Yet, it's been another busy week. I have to be out of the house today, tomorrow, and Friday, and yesterday I had guests for part of the day. My laundry is PILED on my bed so I will be forced to do it before I can go to bed. Well, that's the idea. Dh has been known to just rake it off on the floor...

I have so been wanting to do a video but haven't settled down to do it.

I have been thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas and getting all excited about it. I have decided that we will deck out the front of our house and have been previewing what the stores have in yard ornaments and lights. (I don't want to spend $300 on it you know)

Every year I promise myself I will not go overboard on presents, and just about every year I do it anyways. As a parent, I want to give my children things that will make them happy. And I don't usually just buy them toys, maybe occasionally, AND my two oldest daughters' birthdays are right around Christmas. But again, when I think on it, a lot of the stuff we get them breaks or is lost pretty soon after Christmas.

While I want them to have fun receiving presents, and yes we do the dreaded Santa Clause for fun, I want to focus on the other parts of Christmas. Making things festive and beautiful, going to cut down the tree, the music, the traditions of making everyone's favorite candy (mine would be peanut butter filled ritz crackers dipped in chocolate), Christmas crafts, being with family, and ultimately, that the whole purpose behind it is celebrating the Savior's birth.

My husband and I are at a place now where we could really care less about getting gifts- we just want to give it all to the kids and others. I plan to share some of our Christmas traditions in the coming weeks along with recipes. I am planning to make some gifts this year, but I better get on the ball if that's going to happen. These days I really think most people would be satisfied with something simple and homemade.

One of the things I want to do for the children was this, in fact I went and bought the exact fabric she used for it.

Also, Crystal from the Homemaking Homestead on the left sidebar has some good ideas. Bags filled with rice that you can heat or freeze and use as cold/hot packs, clothespin bags,potholders...personally, my pot holders are in some SAD shape right now.

Anyways, my goal is to not get stressed and to not go overboard, but to just enjoy every minute because it only comes once a year. Sometimes I get all Martha Stewart-ish and try to make everything perfect, but I'm human with 4 little ones who ain't gonna remember the many details that I can get stuck on.

Which reminds me, baby Samantha is three months old today. She is trying to SIT UP! If I lay her back at an angle, she pulls herself up. She is starting baby talk, loves to be talked to, and knows and loves her family. She is eating MUCH better, and has started taking 6oz in her bottles- remember, for awhile I could only get her to take 1-2oz. God just healed her, because I never even used the medicine. She continues to eat cereal and some baby foods and is doing really well, but it's more of a supplement now rather than a mainstay of her diet.

I hope to get her back on the NT formula after Christmas. She'll be 5 months old then and should tolerate it much better.

I tried a new recipe today and am about to go take a picture of the final project. See you tomorrow.

November 9, 2009

Herbs- rather long

Herbs work.

I found that out about 5 years ago when they were the only thing helping me get healthier. I was using products from Dr. Schulze. They are amazing- the best you can buy I believe.

But, they are pricey, and for my ' large' family, we can't afford to get much. However, over the years I've been researching homemade herbal products and just never got around to it. This year though, I felt the push and decided I really could handle it.

And, it was very simple. First though, you have to know all about the herbs. There are so many! There are many that have the same result, but may function a little different. Sometimes one herb may not work, so you try another. Over the years I have learned about various herbs, but the best resource I found was an ebook written by a self taught mommy. If you go the left sidebar, and click on Fields and Gardens, the lady has an ebook called "The Kitchen Apothecary". There is a lot of good info, and it's not overwhelming. It's very easy to understand and it only cost me around $8.

Another good free resource is going to Not only do they sell the herbs, but they have LOADS of articles and information on what to use and how. I am very thankful that they provide it for free.

So, I took what I knew, and decided what herbs I wanted to buy. At the time I bought it, I had a very large lemon balm bush, peppermint bush and a big thyme plant. My intent was to uproot them and dry the leaves when we moved. Then, something started eating them! They dried up before I could do anything. Oh, well, we'll improvise.

For my immune booster tincture, I chose to use the recipe in the ebook.

2 parts echinacea tops
2 parts echinacea roots
1 part yarrow
1 part elderberries

I used enough to fill a quart mason jar half way. Then you just cover it with alcohol, I used vodka, and allow to sit. You are supposed to shake up the jar each day, but mine is more like each week. I am planning to check on it this week, as it will mark 3-4 weeks since I started them.

I also made a sleepy time or calming tincture.

1 part catnip
1 part passionflower
1 part stress buster tea blend (from the website)
I think I threw in some peppermint tea bags too, will double check

This is good for times of major stress or insomnia. Or using that instead of benadryl when the kids won't calm down. Just kidding! (I've only done that once, ok, and we'd been in the car for 24hrs...the child would NOT sleep!!!)

The herbs I chose and why: (info excerpted from

Echinacea is often put in combinations with other herbs. It is an excellent infection fighter and is used as a powerful natural antibiotic.

  • Especially good in glandular infections and problems. A good cleanser for glands and the lymphatic system.
  • One of the best herbs for helping enlargements and weakness of the prostrate gland.
  • Used in ear aches, strep throat, and lymph glands.
  • Effective blood purifier. Used for blood poisoning and poisonous spider and snake bites.
  • Used in combination with goldenseal, Yarrow and Cayenne to form a powerhouse infection fighting formula.

Recent studies show Echinacea to have immuno stimulant, antiviral, antiexudative, anti-inflammatory, bacteriostatic, and fungistatic properties. In practical use today, Echinacea is used primarily to build resistance to infections of the respiratory and digestive tracts.

The proven actions of Echinacea are due to water-soluble polysaccharides. They act by sequestering the attacks of various microbes and allow the body to heal itself. Upon reaching an infected area, the polysaccharides have an immunostimulant effect, which results in the production of leucocytes (white blood cells). The resulting phagocytic action of the leucocytes effectively eradicates a number of infectious organisms.

Echinacea is a contact healer. It can be used for a variety of inflammatory conditions externally. As such, it is a good idea to have some on hand in emergencies and know how to use it.
  • Unlike most herbs, Echinacea should only be used when you know you have a need, rather than on a regular basis as a supplement.

Elderberries are tasty flu fighters. They contain compounds that inhibit the enzyme flu viruses from penetrating our cell membranes and also prevent the virus from invading respiratory tract cells. Taken early enough, as a tea or tincture, you may be able to head off an upcoming illness before it becomes a full-blown flu. They are especially good for bronchitis, colds, coughing, and influenza. Also contains substances that ease inflammation and pain and soothe the intestines, thus making them useful in all inflammatory bowel diseases. It is known to have a gentle laxative action, and their mild tonic action helps to arrest diarrhea.

Yarrow ~

Yarrow is an important herb to have in storage in your home. The comment was made that it would be one of the only things that work against the coming plagues, which would be flu type diseases. Yarrow is unsurpassed for flu and fevers.

  • Used abundantly at the beginning of a cold it will usually break it up within 24 hours.
  • Especially good for fevers-produces perspiration. Opens pores and has relaxing action on skin.
  • For fever must be drunk warm or take capsules with warm water or peppermint tea. Yarrow tea is bitter to the taste, but effective.
  • Good for all childhood diseases. A yarrow ointment or tea is used for sores, including chicken pox and smallpox, also old wounds.
  • Helping to glandular system. Regulates and tones liver.
  • Relieves kidney and bladder problems, infections and mucus discharge from bladder.
  • Equalizes circulation.
  • Used in fomentations for external hemorrhoids or inject one ounce of tea in a retention enema for internal hemorrhoids.
  • Corrects diarrhea in infants.
  • Healing and soothing to all mucous membranes.
  • Benefits respiratory problems, including bleeding from lungs.
  • Combined with sage, it is good for profuse or irregular menstruation.

Has been used in the following:

  • Chicken pox
  • Colds
  • Female problems
  • Fever
  • Flu-influenza
  • Menstruation, profuse, irregular
  • Mucous membranes
  • Pleurisy
  • Pneumonia
  • Urinary problems
  • Urine, suppressed

  • Passionflower ~

    Herbalists have had great success using it to treat imbalances of the nervous system including insomnia, nervous tension and stress headaches. Besides being an excellent herbal sedative, Passion Flower relieves smooth muscle spasms. This makes it useful for treating spasmodic dysmenorrhea, colic, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, blood pressure, and epilepsy.

    Passion Flower also has an antifungal principle called passicol that shows intermediate killing power on candida species.

    Passion Flower is high or very high on the following nutrients:

  • Chromium
  • Magnesium
  • Niacin
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Protein
  • Vitamin A

  • Indicated Usages - Internal:

  • Anxiety
  • Convulsions
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Hiccough
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperactivity
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle tension, spasms, twitches
  • Stress
  • Neuralgia
  • Parkinson’s
  • Restlessness
  • Sciatica
  • Seizures
  • Tachycardia

  • Catnip ~ (have you ever seen a cat on catnip? HILARIOUS!)

    is one of the traditional cold and flu remedies. It is an excellent diaphoretic, and its ability to induce sleep while producing perspiration without increasing the heat of the system makes it a valuable drink in any case of fever. Owing to its gentle nature, catnip is highly prized in the treatment of children's ailments.

    Catnip is one of the traditional cold and flu remedies. It is an excellent diaphoretic, and its ability to induce sleep while producing perspiration without increasing the heat of the system makes it a valuable drink in every case of fever.

    As a carminative with antispasmodic properties, the herb also eases any stomach upsets, dyspepsia, flatulence, and colic. Its sedative action on the nerves adds to its generally relaxing properties.

    Owing to its gentle nature, catnip is highly prized in the treatment of children's ailments. It is good in colic, anxiety, and nervousness, and is used as a mild nervine. Catnip is an ideal remedy for the treatment of diarrhea in children.

    Indicated Usages - Internal:

  • Anxiety, Nervousness
  • Bronchitis
  • Colds, Flu
  • Colic
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Gas, Bloating
  • Headache
  • Indigestion
  • Insomnia
  • Menstrual Difficulty
  • Morning Sickness
  • Stomach cramps
  • Toothache

  • Stress Buster Tea blend ~

    Contains: St. John's Wort, Ginkgo leaf, Siberian ginseng root, Green Tea, Jasmine flowers, peppermint leaf, raspberry leaf, and stevia leaves.

    Stress-Buster Tea is a mix of herbs that aid the circulatory, immune, glandular, digestive, and respiratory system. Simplified, this combination of herbs relaxes the muscles, feeds the brain, and strengthens the body.

    I also ordered mullein for this reason :

    As an aid for chronic lung and respiratory problems, mullein was universally recognized by European, Asian, and Native American herbalists. Oil extracts of the flowers were considered excellent in soothing and healing any inflamed surface, and for easing ear problems. A decoction of its roots was used to alleviate a toothache, and thought to be good for cramps and convulsions. An early morning draught of the distilled water of the flowers was often recommended for gout.

    In more recent times, one of mullein's greatest advocates was Dr. John Christopher. He states, "It is the only herb known to man that has remarkable narcotic properties without being poisonous or harmful. It is a great herbal pain killer and nervous soporific, calming and quieting all inflamed and irritated nerves. In wasting diseases (such as tuberculosis or consumption), the weight steadily increases, expectoration becomes easy, cough calms, and the general condition is improved. Mullein soothes and strengthens the bowels and renal system, and is one of the most important for the glands and serous and mucous membranes. It stops the escape of fluids from ruptured vessels, and eliminates toxins."

    Mullein's gentle nature makes it one of the very best herbs for use with children's health problems. It combines wonderfully with chamomile, catnip and lemon balm where appropriate, and can be used to address a wide variety of childhood diseases.

    **In times past, my oldest daughter Leiah would seem like, overnight develop major chest congestion. She gets gagged very easily, and coughing up the mucus would cause vomiting. So, I decided to order some of this rather than used the children's mucinex for a month. I am not expecting her to get sick, because we believe in God's protection, but it is there nonetheless, and we can give it to others if they need it. It is very bitter though!

    I think that's all I ordered this time. I had ordered some mother's milk tea, which worked awesome-ly!!! I sent to another lady who needed it more than me, since nursing didn't continue with Samantha. I wanted to order everything! I would need to create my own herb shop though :) I hope to get a few more soon, especially since my peppermint died...

    November 5, 2009


    I'm nosy and like to know what other people are eating, so, I'll post what our menu is for the week, starting this past Monday. (just dinners, breakfasts aren't consistent or that interesting)

    Monday: "Goulash"- ground meat, veggies, tomato sauce, pasta

    Tuesday: Italian ham and bean soup (onion, celery, carrot, garlic, white beans, ham, chicken broth, tomato paste, basil, finely chopped spinach and tiny pasta called ditalini)
    More salad with homemade ranch dressing
    cornbread and butter

    Wednesday: "Sloppy Cornbread" (sloppy joe mix with cornbread on top)
    cole slaw
    sour cream apple pie

    Thursday: Crockpot roasted chicken
    brown rice pilaf and chicken gravy
    bacon green beans

    Friday: homemade baked macaroni and cheese
    homemade baked beans
    cole slaw
    possibly homemade chocolate ice cream

    Saturday: bean and beef burritos with fixings

    Sunday: leftovers or sandwiches/eggs and toast

    Monday: chicken curry
    brown rice and ginger carrot salad

    Tuesday: Awesome salmon patties (the recipe is here somewhere)
    mashed potatoes

    Wednesday: spaghetti, garlic bread, salad


    Just letting you all know I am still here- just too busy!

    I finished my project Tuesday, but didn't have time to take pictures.

    Wednesday I ran errands ALL morning, then cooked for my mom, came home and got my other girls from school and unloaded groceries, then went back to my mom's to finish dinner, then back here and WORE OUT!

    Today I am going to the Discovery Science Place with a new mom I met whose husband is in the military and gone right now. I'm tired, but I must go and force myself to have fun :)

    Tomorrow is an at home day. See you then if not before!

    November 2, 2009

    An Everything Post

    This is going to a bit of everything post today. Mainly because if I don't do it all now, it may not get done later :)

    First off, we had a fun weekend. Like I said, we don't really 'do' Halloween, but our pastor hosts a "weiner roast" every year and we allow the girls to dress up. Or in this case, get covered in makeup. This is our ATTEMPT to paint them like cats. I say attempt because, well, we didn't decide to do this until 30 minutes before we had to leave!!!

    Our cats:

    Oh well. They thought it was fun :)

    The next morning, Sunday, I dressed them in casual but new clothes. Sometimes I just don't feel like getting them all frilly with tights and all that- especially when it's cold out. I haven't put pictures of the older girls up in awhile, so here they are.

    They sure are growing! One could certainly go broke trying to keep them in clothes that fit and look nice :)

    Next topic- recipes!

    This is me and my husband's new favorite meal. I watch the cooking show "Nigella Feasts" on Saturday mornings, and her recipes are fabulous. This is one I tried and have been craving it every week- great for fall and winter.

    Cornbread topped Chili

    2lbs ground beef
    1 large onion
    1 red or green bell pepper
    1 T red pepper flakes, or less if you wish
    1 T ground cumin
    (I add) 2-3 T chili powder
    1 T garlic powder
    1 T cocoa powder
    salt and pepper
    1 small can tomato paste
    1/2 cup ketchup
    1 14oz can diced tomatoes
    1-2 cans kidney beans or other beans (the second time I used pinto beans I had cooked and frozen)
    Some water if needed to cover.

    Just saute the onion and pepper in olive oil, then add meat and spices. When meat is cooked add everything else and let simmer at least 30-45 minutes. Transfer to oven safe dish. Make cornbread topping:

    1/2 cup cornmeal
    1/2 cup flour
    1 T baking powder
    1/2 t baking soda
    2 T sugar
    1 t salt
    1 egg
    1/4 cup oil or butter
    1/2-1 cup milk

    Mix dry ingredients together then add wet ingredients making a smooth batter. Spoon on top of chili and an even layer. Put into preheated oven (400 degrees) and cook approximately 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown.

    I serve with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole if possible, and salad. (we mix the salad with the chili- must be a southern thing) You can also serve corn chips with it. YUM! I plan to make it this week for my mom and dad- mom is having surgery to fix her broken foot that she's been walking on for over two weeks!

    Since we're in the kitchen, I am going to reveal my worst um, procrastination. I hate cleaning the fridge. I mean, I hate emptying out leftovers that no one ate that are now expired. The problem is I put it off for WAY too long, and by then things start growing fuzz. Today was THE day to fix it- lovely. Here is the aftermath- be glad you didn't see what was in these dishes.

    The sink and counter are piled with dishes that had been living in the fridge for weeks. Yack!

    So what is your dirty homemaking procrastination secret? Anyone got any?

    One more thing- last week I was cleaning out toys. The girls' bedroom is quite blank. We just didn't have the time to paint it or anything before we moved in. I was really wishing I had one of those nets you can hang in the corner of the room to hold stuffed animals and dolls. And then an idea came to me. This is what it looked like.

    Notice the animals are 'suspended' on the wall? I used pink ribbon, tied it around their necks and then hung them with a push pin.

    I also found a calendar I'd had since 2004! So I cut the pictures out and used my trusty clear push pins to hang them. I AM the thumb tack/ push pin queen. You should see what I can do with them :)

    I have another project going that hopefully I can get done today. We'll see...but it's just using what you have to decorate.

    Anyways, that's that. Enjoy the drive by posting :)