Thursday, August 28, 2008

Plum Jam

Good Afternoon! I just wanted to Thank my Lord publicly for the great bounty He is supplying for our household. All this for $10! What a wonderful blessing.

Oh, here's one of that cute little chef! What will she make today? PB& Apples!

Gotta run...I'm making plum and raspberry jams. What are you up to today? Leave some love if you have a moment.

Hope to get a new camera with some good deals coming in the next couple of months.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

One of My Favorite Things!

Hey it's Works for Me Wednesday @ Rocks in My Dryer (check my side bar)!Helloooo. How is everyone this fine morning? I wanted to share a "new family secret" we made. It's calendula cream. It's good for what ails ya! Okay, not everything but certainly a lot of things...
Any sort of bite or sting, heat or diaper rash, burns, and a great moisturizer!

One of our chick's decided to plant it in her garden last fall. We harvest the leaves and flowers from the plant, then stew them down for a couple of days in organic coconut oil. Add a little beeswax and a pretty can. Wallah! A wonderful cream for itchy skin. We keep ours in the fridge to preserve the life of the product. It usually last between 8 months and a year. It feels great going on. I've even used it in place of deodorant for a couple of days due to very dry skin. (I've tried all the "odorent" but they all tend to make me itchy after awhile- even the homemade baking soda kind)
Sorry, the pics a bit fuzzy. But isn't the color pretty? It also makes a great gift for a new mom.

You can also use the calendula flowers for tea. These are herbs and should be used in moderation if your going to give it a whirl. Please don't drink the tea or use the cream more than 2 weeks consecutively. They are one of many natural medicines and really should be treated as such.

In other news: We've decided to keep our house on the market. Unless your buying a foreclosure the market is pretty tough here! But we're not willing to give up just yet. Thanks Barefootmama for your post the other day. We also got a call from our realtor with someone who maybe interested. Patience and Perseverance. Letting God be the Lord of our lives and reminding ourselves daily that He has it all under control. Seems oooh so simple until your in the mix! Anyway, I really thought (6 months ago) our house would sell quickly. It's new, well priced, and pretty nice if I do say so myself.... So that was hard to get over.

We have decided that we are still putting in our garden and tomorrow I hope to pop up a "mistreatment" I did in the laundry room.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Zeee Transformation!

It's Frugal Friday again! I really enjoy everyone's offerings. Please share your comments and head over to for more great tips. I have it listed in Friends and Interest for your convienece. Have a great weekend and enjoy!

I've been anxious to get these up here! This was one of Superman's and my summer projects. We finished just in time for our littlest chickadee's birthday and for use while I'm schooling the rest of the brood.
Here's what I found at a local thrift store....

The stove had a sad laminate door on it that someone else had used to repair it. I sanded down both the fridge and stove. I also traced the stove top. Then Superman took over. He did more sanding, replaced the door with scrap wood and cut out a window. So that she can see what's baking.
After that it was time to paint! I really wanted red because (for now) it's in my kitchen and it looks great with the other colors in there. Quite Spicy! And I found it in the oops bin for $5 a gallon - Yippee!!!

The one door has a bit of wonkiness that we think gives it character! We purchased new matching handles @ $1.27 a piece.

We cleaned up the original knobs and spray painted the hinges ( because a. we couldn't find any that matched, b. it was going to cost more moola and trouble to replace the). We also put a black chain inside to keep it from hanging to low.

See the wonderful job Superman did with the plexi-glass window? We had some laying around. It totally makes it! I want a oven like that!!

I painted the inside white to clean it up and used my drawings from before to transfer the old design back on. I really like the way it looks.

The little chick was so surprised! She started cooking immediately. She's had MANY fires in her oven and needed baking soda to put them out!

Everyday, "Oh, there's a fire in the oven!"

Here's the chef. Mac'n'cheese anyone? It's 6:30 a.m.!

This project took about 2 weeks (working an hour or so a night) and $30 (total, including the stove and fridge) to complete. The night before her birthday we brought it upstairs. Superman was putting the fridge doors on and realized I had painted the wrong sides!!! I felt sick... but he was able to take care of my oops within about an hour. He's so good!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fay, Fay Go Away!

Okay, sad title I know. Thanks to all who have kept us in prayer. The storm came in way below our area as a Tropical Storm, instead of a Hurricane. So that is wonderful for the folks where it did come ashore. Our county still had to shut down so no one (including myself) is up for school. Superman is even home! So I'm way off schedule. I do hope to get a couple of things in.

I REALLY enjoyed Nestor's Mistreatment Par-tay yesterday! I saw so many wonderful things ! I can't wait to try some out. You ladies out there in Blogland are SUPER talented.

On preparing for a storm: It really messes up my schedule and puts us behind in our school work. I always try to remind myself it is better to be prepared than not!
-The chickadees love it because they all hope for the power to go out! Not the oldest anymore-she's come to her senses. Who wants to swelter in 90 degree temps and upper 70's to low 80's at night with the windows closed? I'm not a wimp! It's a HUMIDTY thing!
- A good thing! I tend to put off some deeping cleaning of the freezers. Well, now there ready for another year (did I say that) I mean six months!
-I really spent extra time on the purchases I needed to make this year. We eat healthy regualarly but tend to buy junk for storms. Not this time I bought all items that can eaten without guilt once the season over. Lots of trail mix!
-I was even so organized in the food area that I was making out schedules of meals to eat without power! (We've done 4 and 3 days at time without power when we had a 10 day old chickie, a bad c-section, and toddlers and preschoolers getting cabin fever.)** This is one of the main reasons I prepare. It keeps my family peaceful.

Have a great day!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Just a quick update! The storm is wobbling and at this point will come ashore just before the Tampa Bay Area.....but as we all know that can change by the next update! Our power goes out frequently with any windy storm, but Praise the Lord! At this point it doesn't look like it will come up the bay which could/would be devastating for our communities.

Now why I'm really back on! I like when bloggy friends comment! Thank you! I get too excited...... Here is the what Nestor thought was purple polka dots on green walls. My camera has run out of batteries! So I guess I won't show my headboard and bedroom drapes made out of blue and light coffee colored table clothes...... I need to budget in batteries this month!

This room was/ still is the Lady Bug Princess Room. There are 4 big Ladies around the room and there used to be a gauzy canopy with purple tulle and crystals hanging from it when one of the older chicks had it. The new occupants prefer shabby so the Ladies will be leaving if the house doesn't sell.......
Thanks for the comments!
Hurricane Par-tay?
No! A mistreatment party at Nestor's Place! Truth be known I'm getting ready for the storm...but I thought I would take really quick moment to throw up some pics. Okay, don't actually get a tummy ache when you see them. They are not me best work and my computer is having some serious problems! These are before I knew it was okay not to do it the "proper way". They are all lined. Even my long ones in other rooms are. I'll not be doing that again! I did, however use spray paint and necklaces! That has to count for something????

Here's a bit of the schoolroom.

Here's the kitchen. I used spray paint for the clippys. The walls are actually cream and the color of the treatment is waayy off! It's got green, cream, red and blue in it.

Here's the little chicks room. I made hooky- do's out of necklaces.

So that's it. All dollar fabric and clearance rods.

I gotta go gas up and re- arrange the deep freeze in case the powers out over the next couple of days. Seriously, if you live on the Gulf Coast, be prepared! I hate doing it, but I've been in areas hardest hit after a storm and it's horrific! So get some water and non- perishables, clean your bath tubs, get your flash lights, and all your in important papers. Seek a shelter if your in doubt about your own homes safety. Just be prepared as much as you can be. But don't FREAK OUT! The Lord knows what each of His children needs.

The chicks were thinking they might not have school.....oh the treachery of homeschool. Never a break! HAHA!

Check out the Blinky Button on the side for more of Nestor's Par- tay!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Frugal Friday

Hi everyone!
I know it's not Friday anymore but I wanted to let you know of a deal on glasses. 4 out of the 6 of us wear them.... (okay you caught me) are supposed to wear them! Any how, Walmart is running a special through the beginning of October.
Drum Roll Please! $40.00 a pair,that's lenses and the works!!! Okay this deal is only on youth frames, but I usually (with ins.) pay $110 - $130 (and I thought I was getting a deal).

They also do special Rx's like prisms for $10 more! We have one of those and the scrip. changes every 6 months or so. And then there's the chickadee who puts them in "special places" for safe keeping and then can't find them!!!Ugh. So for this price I can get 2 pairs for less than the price I normally pay! Yippee!!!!

Check below for more Frugal Friday posts and please don't forget Crystal at Biblical Womanhood! She over in Friends and interests.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Taste of Fall

Look what's cookin'! I know. I know. But it's over cast here with sporadic down pours! It just felt like a stew day. The temp is in the 80's; but hey, that's why we have A/C! Do you know that I don't think I've ever made stew in my whole married life?! Somewhere back in my memory I recall flouring the meat, but that could have been BEFORE marriage. Truly I've stayed away from it because A) I'm a raw veggie girl and B) I never liked all the tomato sauce and sweetness...

Now, I realize I've been using the Internet for over a decade; but it never dawned on me to hunt down a new recipe! Well I didn't use the computer. No, No! I just gave that old gray matter a kick start and came up with my own recipe. Something I thought Superman and the chickadees could handle.

Here it is:

1 large onion- chopped and sauteed
4 stalks of celery- chopped and sauteed
1 cup chopped carrots (apx.)
5 to 6 LARGE Roma tomatoes- very ripe and chopped small (we got about 20lbs. from veg coop)
Any other veggies you like!
3/4 lb. stew beef or steak- cut into small cubes (mine was a steak I had cut from a roast when
they were on sale)
potatoes as many as you like- cut to a bit larger than bite size
32oz beef broth
olive oil for sauteing and frying
salt and pepper to taste
garlic to taste
a dash of nutmeg
flour to cover meat

So get your oil HOT throw in onion, celery and carrots. Saute till soft (except carrots). Take out and place on side. Flour meat pieces and place in pan, add oil (if needed). Where just trying to brown all the sides. Take out and place in bowl with veggies. Pour a cup or so of broth into pan to pull up drippings from the bottom and make a gravy. Yummy! Add rest of broth and tomatoes and bring just to a boil. Turn to low. Add meat and veggies. Stir and cover. Come back and hour or so later and add potatoes. Let cook for another hour or so on low. Add a little more flour to water if you desire a thicker gravy. Whole wheat pastry flour works great.

Serve with whole wheat biscuits. I can't wait!

I'm really trying to get us eating cooked veg a bit more. I've really enjoyed the new variety we are getting and having a chance to play with old recipes! I encourage you all to give it a try!

Time to get back to that Craft Room. HeeHeeHee...

Does anyone have a favorite soup or stew recipe they would like to share?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Craft Room

Well my oldest chickadee is having a meltdown over what she is going to do with her life until she marries and becomes a mother, while my youngest is mourning the lost of her first gold friend named Dori. Life is never boring around here.
We are still working on getting back into our schedule. I really like the bulk of my teaching to be over with by noon, but we've been an hour late starting each day this week. We are also praying with a new price reduction that our home will soon be sold. I've taken a break from keeping it immaculate and now I'm paying for it! We decluttered the 3 bedroom downstairs yesterday afternoon (I'll say it again.... It amazes me how much paper trash and clutter can build up in a couple of weeks)! I had hoped to do the upstairs rooms today, but I got side tracked with making some meals. We are the proud owners of a Shepherd's pie and 2 Lasagnas in the deep freeze! Now I'm here, instead of the Craft Room.

MY (our ) craft room started out as a small 10 x 11 den with a closet that held a Tv and Dvd. Then we had a beautiful little surprise come along and it became a nursery. Now 3 years later it's our craft room. We originally started out with a craft closet (where the Tv used to be). A sweet friend of mine told me how her husband had taken a hall closet and made it into her area. That sounded great to me! So Superman built a table top / counter and I painted it black and decoupaged it. I used the shelving and over head storage to hold crafts. Worked well, but I needed a bit more space for sewing and found myself at the kitchen table most times.

See how messy it has become! See the ornaments I scored for 49 cents! I think someone will like these this Christmas. See Superman (black frame) with his hair in Spikes! A wild day of fun with his daughters and nieces! Boy,do we need a bit more testosterone!!!

These days it tends to be a catch all for things I'm given, gifts and COP (crafts in progress). Now enter the chickadees. The all like to create, and 3 of the 4 are sewing. So we have 5 chicks in one 10 x 11 room trying to "create". We need help!!!!

Can't you just see the disgust, I mean creativity oozing out of this Chickie?

So we shall clean and organize yet again!

I need storage tips and help for 5 please! If you have any suggestions or ideas from what you have done it would be greatly appreciated. We have a 6 foot table that holds a serger, paper case, and other odds and ends. We also have a big wardrobe that is holding our science and nest videos and Tv. 4 drawer system to hold each girls items, but it doesn't seem to be enough. I also want ideas on paint colors! In case the house doesn't sell. I'm thinking a creamy cream?

Please show some love....let me know your thoughts!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Frugal Friday

Hi All! Happy Friday. The end of a crazy, but good school week. Our main computer is having trouble so I can't put up any pictures...bummer...

Some great frugal highlights (okay to me they are):

-Taking the teen Financial Peace with our teens - It really has given me a push to keep going and is it more intense than the adult version!

-Use leftover anything, ie. birthday plates! We used some for serving dishes (from Valentines day ) for our littlest chicks birthday this past weekend. (One mom commented on how cute they were!)

-Don't throw out if it seems cheap enough to rebuy. Those items add up!
This week I found a chip in my pyrex measuring cup (it's my old friend...). Superman being the clever man that he is, took my baby down stairs and filed her with a metal file until she was nice and smooth. What would a baker be with out her! (Actually I'm a dab here, a handful there kind of girl.)
Now, I also want to make a disclaimer!!!! Make sure it's really smooth (no chips, cracks,etc) and won't hurt any of your brood! When it DOUBT DO THROW IT OUT!

- If your into eating lot of veggies find a produce co-op, community garden, or 4-H to get involved in. Your Local Extension Service is there to help you with all your needs and cheer you on. We live in a very sandy area, 7 minutes to the nearest beach; so there has been a HUGE
learning curve in gardening for us!

-Don't buy it on clearance or at a rock bottom price if you can't use it within the next 6 months! Have I had to remind myself of this one!!! How many pairs of $1.98 shoes can one child wear??? The Lord has REALLY BEEN REMINDING me that HE is in charge and will take care of us. I don't have to buy shoes for little Jimmy 3 sizes to big. HE will bring other blessings my way when they are needed and sometimes just wanted.

Not to original, but a good reminder. For more Frugal Friday tips click on Biblicalwomanhood in my side bar. Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Back to School!

Hi there! I just wanted to do a quick post because it's been so crazy around here!

We are back to school. Yippee!! You would think after 10 years of this I would have a handle on everything and it would be a breeze...wouldn't you? But alas.... I don't. I am getting much better and around the time our 3rd or 4th is to graduate I should have it down pat. We have always homeschooled (yes, there were years when I begged Superman to let me send them! I just didn't think I had what it takes to do this). The funny thing is; that I was the one who suggested we home educate our children, before the 1st was even born (1993). When most people hadn't a clue of what it was, how to get started, and by the way don't those creepy parents over there subject their children to that kind of torture? Yes, I had NO idea how the Lord would change my life, all our lives through this one decision! I'm so glad I listened and my husband did also.

Truthfully speaking , I don't feel so "glad" today ( not to be confused with blessed, because I still feel that). It's ALL ME! Let me just say that from the get go. I would love to whine and complain about the pains of birthing a new year! But I won't, as I think you all have some clue. I have had a very selfish, rebellious spirit the last couple of weeks. I've realized over the past couple of years that it is better for all of us to have a 2 month summer. Around the end of the 2nd month, boredom sets in. This year we even continued with reading projects etc. The chickadees enjoyed it more and I felt they learned more. I enjoyed "free time", which ultimately led me too my Pity Party of having to start school!

I also had gotten way off a good sleeping schedule and even managed to put a large amount of the weight I was taking off, back on. My time with the Lord had been REALLY suffering and I was spiraling out of control. Superman said on more than one occasion what I needed to do to fix certain things (thank you honey). I thought I was heeding his words but I wasn't. So now, here I am flat on my face, asking for forgiveness and starting a new. I'm so overwhelmed and grateful for a Savior who will forgive me, pick me up, hug me tight and start me on the track again!

I've been back on a great sleeping schedule again, which has made a tremendous difference. Working on the pity part of wanting more "free time" and slowly working on the weight. Not expecting what I think "others" (outside of husband and children) expect of me. I've worked on these areas before, but I liken it to scripture. You read a passage and it helps you in that season. When you come back to it years later it helps you again but in a different way, maybe even deeper. So I'm digging. I still have some of the same issues I had years ago; just not as big, but there is still more to get rid of.

The one HUGE issue I have been dealing with for YEARS is patience. I"m talking about the frustration with reading or expecting the chicks to "get it" 4th time around. I feel like I haven't learned at all what I need too! It still creates anger and sadness when I want to create a happy, creative, loving atmosphere to learn and live in. But I know my Father will not forsake me. He wants me to succeed for His glory! I want to do all things that are honoring and pleasing to Him!

Again, I feel we are deeply blessed to be Home Educators of our brood. Just some days get the better of me!