Monthly Archives: May 2007

So busy things blur……

Do you ever feel that way? It seems like the last week was really hectic and busy, it was filled with alot of good things though!

My grandma, for now, responded to antibiotics and is out of the hospital and still doing well. She got moved into a new apartment and loves it!

I got to help a good friend through a failed induction and ended up getting to watch a c-section, for the parts I could see by short little me peering over the drape (they lowered it a bit for me!). I was at the hospital alot this last week!

My little 16 year old sister (who is taller than me) had a Hope chest party where everyone dressed up old fashioned and had a lovely tea party. Even the moms who did not fit into some of the dresses, pinned on on the front of them for pictures and it looked like they were wearing it. I tried on a antique wedding gown that was really simple and plain, but lovely. We took lots of pictures and then printed some out right there and scrapbooked little story cards. It was alot of fun! G. got some nice gifts also for her hope chest which was fun too! Another sister made all kinds of lovely tea party food which was wonderful, she does not really like to cook, but is an amazing cook when she does!

On the way home from the hospital my muffler came disconnected! I sounded like a race car driver, or worse! It was awful! It was expected though as I did a temp. fix on it last year, so spent a day with the boys traipsing around muffler shops to find the cheapest one! Leave it to be the first one we tried! We did school in the car and in shop waiting rooms that day…

Today we tried to have a planning meeting for MOPS, but several people who want to beon the steering team could not make it, I think I may have signed up to be one of the leaders though and that scares me a bit, but it is good to step out a bit, isn’t it? I have had to do that with TEACH magazine and it is good for me, I think!

It seems weird though to think that T. will be 3 soon, that is scaring me! He has been working me over, this evening I feel like I ran a marathon and there was not an end in sight! My throat hurts from talking, telling and giving instructions. I guess that is the life of a mother!

F. is almost done with the school year and today his boss took, I think, the employees to a park and had a picnic for lunch.

Tonight we had baked macaroni and cheese which I baked in the microwave because of the heat. I know that is not too healthy for you, but we ate a big salad with cucumbers and melba toast crushed up on top! That was good, I have not had that in awhile and I forgot how easy it was!

I have books to read and review and you know, it is hard to get the time to sit down and blog, let alone read them!

Tomorrow we are going for a picnic! I need to get up early and make some stuff to eat, so good night!

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De-cluttering

I am one of the people in charge of a fund raiser garage sale this weekend, so I am trying to look around the house and think of everything I can get rid of. The problem is that i can think of clothes to get rid of, but things are harder. I did decide to get rid of the fax machine, it is difficult for me to use as I do not leave it hooked up and then i do not need to send faxes that often, pretty much never, so why keep it?

I have a few books to get rid of that I had to sell and have not sold them, so figured I would just get rid of them, I just keep looking and thinking of stuff and then wonder, should I?

I have some vases that I barely use and I should go through my dishes, but I keep everything pretty pared down there as I do not have much cupboard space.

The one thing I can get rid of is empty boxes for things like my computer and sewing machine, I think! I know that is silly, but we moved so much growing up that we saved them for safety!

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Frugal Friday-Homemade snacks

I had a really busy last couple of weeks, but one thing I did that I have decided to do every week is make some quick breads for a quick snack or breakfast.

Last week was Pumpkin bread and this week was Whole wheat cranberry bread. It was not very sweet, but was healthy enough that the boys enjoyed eating it with peanut butter.

Whole wheat cranberry bread

2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar

3 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
3 T. oil

1 c. + 2 T water
1/3 c. dry milk powder

1 t. orange extract

1 c. whole cranberries
Heat oven to 350. Mix altogether. Grease only bottom of loaf pan. This make 2 smaller loaves or one large one. Bake 55-65 min. or until toothpick comes clean.

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Creative? Hmmm…..

Where did  all my thoughts go to? It seems like I have been focusing on maintaining and putting one foot in front of the other lately. <p> The boys have had a cough and although most of them are not sick at all otherwise, H. cough sounds very deep and I am a little concerned about it.  I just feel like my brain is not functioning enough to think of the right remedies and I gave in and gave him cough syrup the one day.
<p>
Today we went to go practice for Homeschool track and field day, which I have never done before, so it should be interesting.  We got in some practice in between hard rain and small hailstones, but had a nice visit with some other ladies anyhow.  I do not know how good they will do, but oh well!<p>
I did get some reading done this weekend and read an excellent book that i am going to write a review of when I get my brain back……It was about a american young woman who survived in Siberia back after WW1, I think it was.<p>
I have grocery shopping to do, I made several loaves of pumpkin bread last week which was really nice for quick snacks. They like to eat it with peanut butter, but we are out of peanut butter, almost out of eggs, milk, and all other basics it seems.  <p>
Dinner tonight is Bean and cheese burritos with cucumbers for a vegetable! Our menu this last week has been really simple!

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Mothering

It seems like you can start to think about being a mother at times, especially when Mother’s day rolls around.

It is when you have days where you wonder what on earth God was thinking when He gave me of all people, children to raise, when I think about it!

I feel like I get frustrated an awful lot to thinkt hat I do a good job. Why, oh, why can they not just have a couple of good days?

But then they do have some good moments, and because they are good, I overlook them more than the bad ones, I think. It is so easy to remember the bad things and forget the good ones, because they are so easy when they are good.

So, anyhow, I have been a little tired, I ended up unexpectly at the Dentist yesterday with H. He has a cap on one of his teeth and it had come loose and because of that had some issues with it. It is painful for him, T. missed his nap and decided to be super naughty. I mean not just regular naughty, but super naughty. Because I have 4 boys with me, one of which i am trying to console in the dentist chair, another standing waiting to have a filling that fell out looked at, and yet another sitting quietly reading, but still i could not walk out to take care of the super naughty toddler. So, I did a tight grip hold in my arms and talked softly to him. I do not know if it worked and all the people who saw him, I sure were not impressed. In the end he sat quietly on a chair after me telling him he was in trouble, sort of like a corner, but we had no timer.

We went on a small picnic last night for Mother’s day and my dad’s birthday. My grandma came with us which was nice, we had a nice time, other than the gas prices to drive there. We had a whole bunch of food and the children ran and played! I made an amazing discovery! All these years I thought I went swimming in a certain lake 14 years ago, and discovered yesterday, it was a totally different one. Not a huge thing, but it showed me how your memory can mess you up!

Well, I am hoping to make strawberry shortcake tonight and maybe some egg rolls. I usually do fry them, but do it in olive oil and less than deep frying. They are still not healthy, but once a year it is not bad!

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Corn Crunch Cereal


Corn Crunch Cereal
<p>
6 c. buttermilk or sour milk
4 1/2 c. cornmeal (fresh ground, preferably)<p>
6 c. flour
3 t. salt<p>
3 t. baking soda
3 t. baking powder<p>
Mix dry ingredients, then mix milk in. Spread in greased cookie sheet and bake 350 for 35 minutes. Cool and crumble. Bake again at 200-250 until dry and crispy.<p>
We got this recipe I think originally, ages ago from Keepers At Home Magazine
I don’t remember who posted it, but if you have not  seen it, it is a wonderful magazine. The link above has the address, etc to order it.  I have subscribed to this magazine for a very long time!  It has alot of healthy recipes and encouraging articles in it!

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Fun school???

What kind of things do you  that are educational, easy and fun? <p> I know that many people don’t think fun and school should be in the same sentence, but for us, in the summer, I do not want them to forget everything, but I want  them to still learn some over the summer. <p> Last year we  did some math, but not much and we did lots of reading! It really helped  P. to improve his reading immensely, but I was trying to think of some other ideas  that are enjoyable, and yet learning. I was thinking about  them writing or making pictures of all the things they do this summer and was curious about what else other people do! <p> Yesterday we went to coop and had math lessons on money and fractions. First they all counted money, then listened to a reading on how money was made and the symbols on it, the older children did story problems and the younger ones played with the money. We had pizza for lunch  that Domino’s
donated. They left them whole for us, so we learned about fractions using the pizza before we ate it for lunch. It was fun and very productive!

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Nice weekend…..

We had a nice weekend. On Friday we went to visit my parents, we stopped first at the Amish store to collect the money for the bookstore that my parents and I have there. Black beans were
4/$1 so I bought a few cans for quick dinners! I like to get some of the good tasting ceaser dressing there, as it is 3/$1.00 or 4/$1.00. It is so expensive to buy in the store so i usually just make my own, but i can get the better ones cheap there so it was nice!

My moms kitchen looks great and she was moving stuff in, so we made dinner in there this time! It was really nice!

It was my sister and my brother’s birthday (they were born on the same day) so we had cake, presents and just enjoyed the evening. Mom had someone threatening labor all day and night, but she got a full nights sleep, this time anyway!

On Saturday a good friend got married. They had a really simple ceremony, that was really pretty! She had a really pretty dress and had cake and punch afterwards. It is funny because we met them years ago because they wanted to buy my parents house…. and we have been friends ever since!

Sunday, there was a meal at church which is always nice, it seemed like not too many people were there it seemed like, but the food sure disapeared!

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Frugal Friday- Homemade cold cereal

I thought it would be fun to post some of the homemade cold cereal recipes I have. I have not made them in awhile as I do not have such an abundance of milk around, but I may try it as I do have a bunch of powdered milk!

The brown sugar is not terribly healthy for you, but hey, at least you made it and you know what is in there! I think if you use some barley flour, it maybe sweeter and need less sugar.

Leah’s Grape nuts (I do not even remember where we got the first recipe from so cannot cite that, but we changed it a bit)

3 lbs brown sugar
2 1/2 qts. Sour milk

3/4 lb melted margarine or oil
8 lbs whole wheat flour

1 1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. maple flavoring

2 t. soda
2 T. vanilla

Dissolve soda in milk before adding dry ingredients. Add butter and flavorings. It will be a very thick batter. If it is too thick or too thin add more milk or flour accordingly.
Spread on cookie trays that are greased. Bake at 350 until a knife comes clean from the middle. Cool.

Break into chunks and rub through a screen to get small chunks or process a few seconds in the food processor. Do not get them too small or it will be like eating breadcrumbs. Spread on cookie trays and toast in a slow oven until browned lightly and very dry.

We also liked to eat the cake with frosting as a dessert. We would also just eat the cake plain with milk.

Granola

Preheat oven to 350
Melt in large roasting pan:
1/2 c oil
1 c. margarine or butter (I think I used less, but I cannot remember now)
2 t. molasses

1 T. vanilla
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. honey
1/2 t. salt

When mixed, let cool let cool slightly and add:

2 lbs rolled oats
1/2 c. sesame seeds

1 c. chopped nuts

2 c. grape nuts
1 c. wheat germ

1 lb coconut
1 c. sunflower seeds

(I do not like all this stuff, so if you do not have it or don’t like things like nuts or coconut, add more grape nuts or oatmeal instead so you have the same amount of dry ingredients. Stir thoroughly Bake in shallow pans for 20-25 minute.

Stir every 5-7 minutes after it cools it gets crunchy. After it has cooled you can add dried fruit if you like!

I have also a homemade corn cereal recipe we used to make also, it is sweeter and not as good for you, but better than cold cereal!

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Three days of ice cream….

or so the boys have nicknamed the last couple days!! We got these cards that were free ice cream cones at 2 different places and the .31 cent ice cream, plus they had it when we went out to eat, so they were thrilled!

Today after school was done, we met my mom, grandma and aunt at this old fashion ice cream, candy shop that also has newspapers and magazines. They have an old fashioned juke box and candy lining the walls with sodas, shakes, phosphates etc as well as hamburgers, fries and soup. Everyone had lunch there and it was really nice, except for a minor setback when T. had a disaster of the smelly kind…..

Afterwards was the semi-tough part because I had a list of all sorts of things to do in town. I have forgotten how long it has been since I have been in many stores, but since I have 2 birthdays, a graduation, a baby was born, and a wedding to all get presents for, it was alot of work! Plus, T. missed his nap, which meant it was more of a challenge to keep them obedient. At the last store, I felt like I had had it! Hey, the other stores I got alot of nice compliments…so they must be seeming okay! I also got a $10 gift certificate in the mail for JC Penny for mothers day so was attempting to spend that, but in the end could not decide!!! I tried on a bunch of underclothing as I needed a new one, but the only one I liked cost $30 and I just couldn’t do it! I had to go to the dollar store in the end for wrapping paper and cards. They were only $.50 each for nice cards and got a interesting roll of wrapping paper that is recycled paper!

The most exciting thing of the day is I got a new sewing machine! I had some money to spend on one from our tax refund, but then had to use alot on car repairs. My mom asked me if she paid for half of one, if I could get a better one with the money I had. I thought I could, which was really exciting as there was this one that I saw that was really, really nice! Well, guess what?

We went in and they had the same kind of machine with more stitches and super nice machine for the same price as the other one I looked at! I am really excited as it is supposed to sew on rayon and peachskin really well, so I can finally make the skirts I have the material for! I ended up for $250 (because my mom paid half) got a machine that goes for $799!!!

I need to make time to sew now!

Anyhow, in all of the tests of the day- there was alot of wonderful things! It is nice to have family to spend time with, it is nice that it was only in the last store that 2 of them misbehaved badly, and I got all the things I needed to get pretty much! I think I will have to try to go back to JC Penny’s without little boys. I think it would be worth it to hire a babysitter. Have you ever tried shopping for underclothing with little boys? Not a good thing to try to do!

I got my file folder games back in the mail today also, although I have not had a chance to look at them all, that is exciting. I gave 2 baths and now need to feed dinner and go to bed! A bath sounds nice to this tired girl too!

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