Friday, October 23, 2009

Hot Soup for Mommy

This morning I had to stay in bed just a little longer. The sound of the rain falling on the roof was peaceful and I knew that once I got up- life would start. But I have to tell you about the wonderful food we had yesterday on our day out on the town!
Yesterday I finally got out of the house. Our whole family went to do our weekly shopping and stopped at the Country Folks Deli for lunch. It's one of my favorites! We all chose some delicious food, although I must admit I couldn't taste 100% because of my congestion but what I could taste.. was wonderful!

On The Menu

For Derek
BLT Sandwhich with a huge pile of fries

For Kristin
1/2 Turkey and Cranberry Sandwich with cream cheese and lettuce
Steaming HOT Cup of Harvest Chicken Soup
Hot Peppermint Tea with Lemon

For Caleb

1/2 Tuna Sandwich
Cup of Beer Cheese Soup
(hmm.. I wonder why he wanted to try that??)

For Aidan
Chicken Strips with a huge pile of fries

For Talia
Bites from everyone else

We had a wonderful time. We were finally getting out but feeling like we were also stepping out of our bubble of protection where germs are concerned. At the grocery store I wiped the seat of the cart and handle off with hand sanitizer. I'm usually not very good about doing that because I don't take the time but it felt seriously necessary when so many around us were coughing, sneezing... yuk.

Today on my to-do list I'm going to hopefully get upstairs and organize my sewing/craft things. It needs some time and TLC. THEN, I just might be able to start posting some projects that are getting done.
Good day to you!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When all in the house is asleep...Mommy's up roasting garlic

No, I'm not just going to tell you how sick and tired I am of being... sick ...and tired. But if ever you feel like me- try roasting garlic. It's good for that yukky sick stuff going around this time of year.

I'm now thinking my "flu" turned into strep throat. What next. Being the 4th day on this roller coaster, I don't think I'm having fun anymore. I pray my kids don't get it! Or my husband! Speaking of them... since my nose cannot smell a whiff of anything- I wonder if they will wake up and smell the garlic roasting in the oven.... at 10:50pm! tee hee.

And speaking of roasted garlic, here's how I do it:

Roasted Garlic

You Will Need:

1 head/flower of garlic- YES! THE WHOLE THING!

1-2 Tablespoons Olive oil- or whatever you have in a hurry- I've used Canola Oil

a dash of salt

a sharp knife

a warm crusty slice of lightly buttered toast

a small pan or small stoneware works awesome

a small piece of foil

an oven...of course! Preheat to 400'.

Tear off some of the peel on the outer edges of the garlic head- but leave it whole. Carefully cut off 1/4 inch of the top ends of the garlic. (The hairy-root side will still be attatched.) Place in your pan. Drizzle olive oil all over the garlic and sprinkle with salt. Cover with piece of foil and bake in oven on 400' until it smells nutty- or about 40 minutes (for those of us who can't smell). Then take off the foil and bake for 5 more minutes. It will be sticky and carmel -looking. Don't let it fool you ~ it's not caramel~.

Pop each of the garlic cloves out and let them cool a few minutes while you make your toast. Be careful- the garlic is HOT! Spread the cloves all over the piece of bread. Enjoy with this drink: hot water with fresh pressed lemon and raw honey.

You might be surprised at how delicious this 'good-for-you-medicine' is!

PS. This can be done the microwave-supposedly- but I do NOT recommend it. I tried it because it's quicker- EW! It was so tough I could hardly cut it with a knife! If you only have a micro and want to try it- leave off the foil- *wink wink* and cook for about 2 minutes, turning it upside -down 3/4 of the way through.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Rain in Spain Stays Mainly in the Plain

.....The RAAAAIN...the RAAAAIN....

The forecast for the next 200 days: rain, with a chance of showers and snow. :)

My munchkins last spring... in our back yard

One of my favorite pictures of Talia

 So, it's fall now. I'm discovering things I needed to do that I haven't yet done before the rain came. I did get one last lawn mowing in, a bunch of canning done and Pampered Chef Shows accomplished. (I'm a consultant).

Also, we did quite a bit of family stuff but it just feels like, I should have done MORE projects. With the 'help' of 3 small home-schooled children and being a Mom who likes to do lots of homemaking things/projects, it's hard to keep your house straightened.

Aren't we thankful for modern conveniences?
I really wanted to FINISH my fall cleaning and get rid of excess. So, now with the rain, hopefully I will become more energetic about getting the other things done too.

How do Mom's do it?

Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall... at other's houses during their day?

It encourages me to see other mom's houses not "perfect"....Clean, but not perfect, I should say.

This is one of the days I let the boys play
with the hose in the garden. What fun for boys!

I keep thinking I should pretend like we're moving out and into a new house and get rid of a ton of stuff. Why? Because I LOVE the feeling of moving INTO a big space and just having what you need. No, we won't start sleeping on only matresses. We'll save the things that are precious to us but really... the more we have, the more we have to put away! (I heard that somewhere.) So, because I'm a 'list' kind of girl, I'm going to make one for some of these needful things to do.

Don't you just feel less stressed out when everything is in order anyway? I do! I have a wonderful husband who helps me but I want to work harder than I have been!
As I'm writing this, I'm realizing that God wants me to do MY best. If it's about raising the kids to be kind-hearted, disciplined and followers of Christ, do my best. If it's about being a faithful, supportive, loving wife- do my best. (ha ha...that sounds funny; almost like an exageration but REALLY my best!!) If it's about making sure the laundry is done everyday- my best. This doesn't mean I'll be THE best! I will not ever be perfect. But I do need to use the time God has given me, wisely.

Aidan loves watermelon

These are the things that I think about often- that need doing and they are so hard for me to get done. Maybe I'll add them to my list this week:

~ write letters to our grandma's (long distance) so they remember how much we do love them and think about them
My Great Grandma with my kids. I love her so.

My husband's grandma holding our youngest

~visit with my friends more

Some of my best friends that I rarely see...

~be there for others more even if it's not convenient for me

~have more patience with my children and sit with them and hug them more (I find myself sitting in church doing this every Sunday and dream of taking more time to do this at home.)

Our baby girl.

Our Cowboys.
~do things for people that are encouraging and do it annonymously. (My best friend and I did this so much when we were young.)

~say 'no' more often. :)

~Be honest about how I really feel TO the person who's asking. (Why, o why is that SO hard?)

~Forgive more and let things go that need to be let go of.

Gosh, I think I could go on longer but it's kind of getting to me. I really, really want to be worthy of my existance on this earth. God has my purpose planned and I soooo, do not want to dissapoint Him.

Tomorrow is not even Monday. It's Thursday. And actually I won't even start this tomorrow. I will start it tonight. At 12:30AM I will write a letter to my Great-Grandma and...

tell her how much I love her and appreciate her.

My great grandma with her great-great granddaughter

She's going to be 91 or 92 next week. And she is one of my favorites!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ok, God.... I know... YOU do provide!

This week God has been working on my heart, chiseling away my distrust. :) I'm slowly learning that He provides EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING we need. When we need bills paid, they are covered. When we, by faith, give our tithe, He provides it. When we give to others, we have plenty to share. When we need groceries.....this is what happens:

Today I went to the largest grocery store around here. Typically there are people shopping who have full carts of junk food. Sadly, I don't very often see people in this place with lots of veggies - or good-for- you-foods unless they are Mexican or Asian. (They cook fresh foods!! We could learn a lot from the way they cook!) Sometimes single people do have healthy food, but often families, with children have tons of boxed, convenience foods. We all know that those kinds of foods aren't the healthiest but they are easy and that's why mom's like them. I always look at what people have in their carts. I know snoopy huh? I just can't help it. :) (Did you know that you can tell if someone cooks, what kind of people they are or if they ever have company by what's in their grocery cart?? LOL)

While I was in line, beside another couple, I was noticing all of the tons of "fun" foods and I became jealous of their cartful. (he he) I know, I shouldn't be, but it was hard. Here I came to the store, keeping track of what I buying so that I just got the neccesities. It appears to me that usually the people with those carts get their groceries from Tax-dollars. I felt bad as I left. Really, I was feeling sorry for myself. But I prayed about this and told God, "I know. I should be grateful. YOU provide for us!" I was kind of half-heartedly saying it, to be honest, not meaning to but... trying to have faith. (I don't 'need' the goverment to provide although there have been times when I hoped we could qualify.) I have God. I don't mean that with any pride or boasting, I just mean that God, the Creator of the World provides and cares for us. Why do I worry about our needs?

After coming home with my week's groceries, I decided to go to my mom's and grandma's to get the tomatoes they said that I could have. I brought a huge stockpot because I knew there would be alot. (ha ha... alot???) I got over 5 paper bags full and the stockpot- loaded full! (I'm using these to can for us to use in soups and sauces throughout the year.) While I was driving home, a thought came to me... and I prayed, " Thank you LORD for providing! And we don't 'get' to have junk food but we get to have fresh, delicious abundant tomatoes that YOU created!" I really felt humbled and thankful. He knows our every need. And not only that- He gives us better and more than we expect!

Now, I know that the services the government provides are great for those that need them. BUT they do not very well teach us to trust in our Heavenly Father who does provide! In saying that though, our Lord can use any person, tool, or type of payment He chooses. He can use a family garden, or a 'welfare card'. How does He provide for you??

"Ok, God.... I know... YOU DO PROVIDE!! More than I ever hope for!"

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Homemaking Workshop

This last week I've been planning a Homemaker's Workshop for ladies -young and old- in our community. The reason I'm doing this is to promote good, quality family life, to teach skills that are lost in the last generations and to help families live more self-sufficient. Of we course we know the Lord is always the One who provides, but he's given us so many tools to make our houses, homes.
I would LOVE this kitchen! Where is their pile of mail??

I will not be the only teacher. I'd like to find people who are really good at the things we need taught and have the 'older women teach the younger women', sort of thing. The workshops that will be provided will range from Making Homemade Baby Food ...

...and Canning Turkey

to Learning to Repair Clothing. I know, I know, we sometimes pay good money for holes, BUT sometimes you just don't want them in the places they appear!

The land we live in is getter better, but we're still pretty wasteful. We will learn ways to Use What We Have for Homemade Cleaners, and helpful recipes for delicious inexpensive soups! Eventually I'd like to have a class called Cars, Trucks, and The Basics and one on How to Maintain Your Home (for minor repairs, saving heating bills..etc.). (Don't you just love these ideas?) I am SO excited to start doing this class. Many young and middle-aged woman are very interested in learning these things.
Some days my home is this peaceful, but it's not this beautiful! How about a Home Decorating Class too?? LOL

Do you have any ideas for our class? Or have you ever thought of doing this? Communities need famlies who are capable of taking care of themselves. (duh, I know- but you'd be surprised at how many people know very little about a home.) Some things I've just been learning and want to share my excitement with others about them!

Our first Workshop will be the First Week/end in November I think. YAY! I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Canning Turkey

I LOVE vintage, and this fits right in with today's blog!
It's been too long. I've been thinking about getting into blogging again, along with everything else I do, I guess. But I really want to blog to be able to share awesome recipes, ideas and maybe some insight from a 30 year-old's viewpoint on life. LOL

Isn't he cute? A thanksgiving turkey that some little child probably lovingly made for his mother. :)
So, starting with Canning. It's fall, which means ripe veggies and fruit to "put up". If you haven't done this yet and you're wondering why you should consider it, here are my reasons: It's Affordable, healthy, safe and convenient! (Have you ever thought of all of THOSE reasons for canning?) Here is how it works: get fresh, good produce- either from your own garden- or from a grower/market.

Mmm.. Fresh tomatoes...
(These are the jars I filled with soup! Yummy, huh??!)

That's how it's Affordable! If you're using food that fits your healthy lifestyle, good-for-you fruits and veggies, less sugar, less salt, no "preservatives", it's much healthier than store-bought. It IS safe to can foods, AS LONG AS you follow the rules. They are there for a reason. Don't let them overwhelm you, just use them as a good guideline, because really, you do not want your family sick. There are some short cuts that are OK, but the important steps- PLEASE follow. My, is it convenient when I am able to open up a jar of tuna, or turkey or soup and have a meal for my family. (We really have no excuse for eating out because there's "nothing to eat. We have the food ready.") Did I just say turkey??? Canned turkey?? LOL You do realize that's it's got to be the least expensive meat? In November you can actually get it for .22cents/pound. I get between 9-11 pints of meat (which is up to 11 dinners with 2 cups meat for our family). It all depends on if we ate a very much. You cannot can turkey and not have at least ONE dinner with it. It's just not right. LOL
Turkey Dinner is one of MY favorites!! Don't forget the cranberry sauce!
You can either use parchment or foil for baking your turkey. (Foil's cheaper! Parchment is prettier and probably healthier!)

So, this is where I'll do some sharing of how I can turkey. I've heard of other ways, like boiling it, but I think this way has better flavor. I buy at least a 22 pound turkey- the biggest I can find so that I'm not paying for the bones so many times. (I use almost all of the turkey, eventually; broth.) Take out the insides (if they are still inside).Rinse the turkey inside and out and stuff with sliced onion and some celery stalks. Spinkle salt and pepper and paprika on the top and every other place you can get it. Bake at 350' for appropriate amount of time, covered with foil. A 22 pound turkey will take around 5 hours to cook. So start it in the morning, or cook it at a lower temp starting at night and start the canning process in the morning! Then the fun part begins, getting your hands totally slimy and greasy in the tearing apart stage. I use a sharp knife and cut it all away from the bone, and chop it into 2-3 inch pieces, some smaller. Keep in mind that when it's fresh out of th oven, it's super hot. Be careful! I've burnt myself a few times. (Just comes with the process! LOL) Start stuffing the jars, leaving an inch of headspace. (Measure an inch down from the top, where the lid would go on. Do not fill above this line. I add 1/2 teaspoon of salt on top of the turkey in each jar and then fill each jar with hot water (from my teapot). In some books it says to not use water- that the meat has it's own juices. I may try that this year! Put on your prepared lids and rings and pressure cook for 70 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. For all of the canning "rules" please read through a reliable canning website like: It will tell you everything you need to know AND MORE, I'm sure!

Can you imagine?? No, this is not me! LOL But that size just might last a whole year!
We use our turkey for soup, turkey-salad sandwiches, casseroles, nachos, pot pies. I also can some larger quart jars with bigger pieces of meat for a "turkey dinner." It really makes a mealtime convenient when you have even one step done ahead of time for you, like cooked meat! My jars are actually fuller than these and not as watery, but this is basicly what you will get. Yum!