Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Honey-Whole Wheat Bread


Megan and I tried a new to us bread recipe recently.


You can find the recipe here. This recipe is a keeper! Enjoy.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday


The weather in my neck of the woods:
Cool and in the 50's. It should be a great fall day in the low 70's.


One of my simple pleasures:
Sitting outside on a beautiful day reading a book.

On my bedside table:
A Bright Tomorrow by Gilbert Morris

On my TV:
Love Comes Softly series I only watch this during quiet time so it will take me a while to get through it.

On the menu for tonight:
Baked Spaghetti, Bread & Salad

On my To Do List:
Laundry
Clean Kitchen

Paint trim in Kitchen
Schooling
Crafting

Babysit

New Recipe I tried last week:
None

In the craft basket:
Some Christmas presents!

Looking forward to:
Finally completing my kitchen. We are putting on the finishing touches. I hope to be able to share in by next week.

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Put things away as you go. Nothing is worse then finishing a project or making a meal and you see a wake of destruction left behind.


Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
I don't think I had a favorite post last week.


Favorite photo from last week:



Always ready to go!

Lesson learned the past few days:
I should wear gloves when painting with black paint. I always forget! That stuff is hard to get off, especially from under the nails. Will I ever learn!?

On my Prayer List:
My husband and daughter
My brother-in-law Brian, currently serving in Afghanistan.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU," Hebrews 13:5

Please stop by and visit Sandra to see what other Happy Homemakers are up to. Have a great Monday!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Family Fun: Fall Festival


There is a small town not far from us that has this little, wonderful fall festival every year. I just love it! They have the kind of parade that is little league players in the back of pick up trucks, veterans and the local marching band.


Everyone is throwing candy and the kids are running to grab some!

Everywhere you look you see American pride.


After the parade we headed down to the festival. Megan has fun playing a game


and riding a couple of rides.


A healthy (ha ha) lunch of fair food was had and then we headed home for a much needed nap.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pumpkins!

I found the idea for these pumpkins here.


I used a plate of Megan's that measured just a little more then 8 inches in diameter to make a pattern. I then cut out four circles.


Next I sewed around the edge with dental floss. About a 1/2 inch to an inch from the edge with large stitches. Leave extra floss at the beginning and end to gather the pumpkin.


Place a balled up grocery store bag in the middle and pull the ends of the floss to gather the fabric around the bag. Tie off the ends and cut them. Stuff the ends of the fabric into the center to hide the bag. For the stem use a small stick. I added hot glue to the center and then inserted the stick. I thought the hot glue would keep the fabric and stick in place. They will be mini pumpkins.

I placed my pumpkins into a small berry basket lined with a piece of fabric.


I thought these turned out super cute and they were easy to make. Let me know if you make some.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Welcoming Fall

Yesterday certainly didn't feel like the first day of fall. All of the wonderful fall like weather we have been having was replaced by lots of humidity. I am not complaining though. I know soon enough the wonderful fall weather will be here to stay.

We welcomed the start of this great season by having a breakfast of an egg in a nest. For the fall flair I made the cut out with a pumpkin cookie cutter.



I know it is hard to tell since the stem seems to have gotten lost!

During school time we talked about the start of fall and all the great things that would occur during fall. This wreath was made by gluing some leave cut outs to a paper plate.


Anything that involves glue is a hit with Megan!

Here is a glimpse at the fall touches around the homeplace. A berry basket filled with fabric pumpkins. (I will share tomorrow how I made these).




There is a simple wreath on the front door and some window clings. I know that they don't look great, but they are for Megan. I figure she will only be three once and she has been having tons of fun moving these all around.


As you walk up to the front door this is what greets you.


There are a few other touches of fall, but all in all I keep it pretty simple.

Happy Fall!



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hospitality

When I think of hospitality I usually think of having people over, being a good host. I admit that I am not very good at this. I have a million excuses not to have people over. I am sure many of you have the same excuses; my house isn't big enough, clean enough etc. I am learning that there are many ways to show hospitality.

One way is to take a meal to others. My mother-in-law has been without a working stove for well over a week. On Sunday it was a dark, rainy day... perfect for a stew to simmer all day. I decided to extend a little bit of hospitality to my mother-in-law.

I sent over a jar of homemade beef stew, fresh from the oven rolls and some cupcakes for dessert.


Saying she was thrilled is an understatement! I would love to hear your ideas on different ways to extend hospitality.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy Homemakers Monday


The weather in my neck of the woods:
Cool and in the 50's. It should be in the upper 70's with a chance of rain.


One of my simple pleasures:
Soup simmering away on a cool day. Ahh, the smell and cozy feel!

On my bedside table:
Schoolhouse Brides

On my TV:
Love Comes Softly series

On the menu for tonight:
Tacos

On my To Do List:
Laundry
Clean Kitchen
Pick up house
Schooling
Crafting

New Recipe I tried last week:
None

In the craft basket:
Fabric pumpkins


Looking forward to:
A wonderful week at home!

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Have a container in your freezer where you can put leftover beef and veggies. It makes a great start to a stew or soup and keeps you from tossing a little bit of this and that.


Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
I don't think I had a favorite post last week.


Favorite photo from last week:




Lesson learned the past few days:
Always take safety precautions! Especially when don't think you need them. Chuck was putting some tree branches on the burn pile and one flipped up and hit him in the eye. After a trip to the ER we found out that he has massive scratching on his eye. He should be fine with time, but this could have all been prevented if he had wore his sunglasses!

On my Prayer List:
My husband and daughter
My brother-in-law Brian, currently serving in Afghanistan.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
"I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air."- Nathaniel Hawthorne

Please stop by and visit Sandra to see what other Happy Homemakers are up to. Have a great Monday!

Friday, September 18, 2009

This -n- That

This week has just flown by! We have been busy with a little bit of this and that.

Over the weekend this shed was moved from our neighbors yard into our yard. We were blessed to not only receive the shed but everything in it!


It is now in it's new spot in the corner of our back yard. After a paint job and little tweaking I will be sure to show you a picture of it in it's new home.

The weather has been so wonderful that we have been spending lots of time outside. Megan has been riding her bike and Chuck has been working on a tree stump. It was pulled out of the ground over the weekend and he is trying to cut it down so it can be moved. I have been spending my outside time just enjoying the change of season and doing a little reading.

As always there has been housework completed.


My little helper is always eager to lend a hand. Such a good Mama that she can hold her "baby" and still sweep! hehe

This weekend we are hoping to hit a little Fall Festival and then spend some time hanging out at home. You never know how many more outside weekends we will have, so we will be making the most of the ones we have.

I am off to hit the shower and then will be heading out to browse the craft store. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Brown Sugar


Did you know that you can freeze brown sugar? You certainly can! I am bringing this up because the baking product sales are around the corner. I try to be a years supply when prices are at their lowest and then store the bags in my freezer. It takes only takes a few minutes for it to thaw and it back to it's original form.



This bag had been out of the freezer for about five minutes and with a quick stir it was as fluffy as the day I bought it.

Now I know that it doesn't need to be stored in the freezer. Leaving it in the bag or in an airtight container works just as well. I have limited store space and this is what works best for me.

Now for more information then you probably need...

Did you know that if your brown sugar gets hard that you can add a piece of bread? The brown sugar soaks up the moisture from the bread and becomes soft again.

If you try the bread trick and it doesn't work the you can spread out the sugar (the best you can) onto a cookie sheet. Place in a 350* oven for a couple of minutes or until soft.

I tried to find out the shelf life but could find none. I looks like it keeps and keeps. I am sure you now know more about brown sugar then you ever needed to know!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fall Cleaning: Deep Freeze

I was a little under the weather with a cold last week so I didn't get anything accomplished on my fall cleaning list. Now that I am mostly back to normal it is time to get some things done!

First on the list was to clean out the freezer in the garage. Before:


After:


A couple of things were taken into the house but other then that everything went back in. I love having the extra freezer space and the ability to stock up on clearance meat and sales items.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Best Friends

Sharing drinks and a seat...


along with fun and giggles.


Megan is so excited when I tell her Conner is coming over. Conner tells her Mamaw that Megan is his girlfriend.

Best friends... so sweet!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Homemaking Monday


The weather in my neck of the woods:
Cool and in the 50's. It should be about sunny and 80 today. A perfect day in my opion!

One of my simple pleasures:
Quiet. Not tv or radio just the sounds of nature.

On my bedside table:
Tales From Grace Chapel Inn: Spring is in the Air by Jane Orcutt. I have a series of Grace Chapel Inn books by Guidepost. Most things from Guidepost are good reads.

On my TV:
Some Disney or PBS this morning, then nothing.

On the menu for tonight:
Chicken on the grill along with some veggies.

On my To Do List:
Laundry
Clean Kitchen
Weeding & trimming in the front landscape

Schooling
Babysit

New Recipe I tried last week:
None

In the craft basket:
I hope to do a little sewing.

Looking forward to:
Getting back on schedule. We have had to many days of no naps or late naps last week.

Homemaking Tip for this week:
I can't think of anything right now.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
I don't think I had a favorite post last week.


Favorite photo from last week:
I love imaginative play!


Lesson learned the past few days:
When I am under the weather it is okay for me to take time off. Life doesn't fall apart to much if I spend a couple of day vegging on the couch.

On my Prayer List:
My husband and daughter
My brother-in-law Brian. He is leaving tomorrow for another tour in Afghanistan.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Colossian 3:15

Please stop by and visit Sandra to see what other Happy Homemakers are up to. Have a great Monday!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fall Banner

I have started doing a little fall decorating. I started with my kitchen window sill. After adding a couple of things I thought that it needed something else. I made a simple Fall banner.

(Sorry about the quality of the picture. I forgot to take one until after it was dark out. It is hard to capture a window shot with the glare of the kitchen lights!)

I picked four fall colors of scrapbook paper from my stash. Using Word I ran each sheet through and printed out the letters using font size 200. I then found a pattern for a maple leaf on the net and enlarged it to the size I was looking for. I then layed the leaf pattern centered over the letters and then cut out my letters into the shape of a leaf. I folded over the stem and used double stick tape to secure it over a piece of twine.

Easy to make and I am so happy with the simple way it looks.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bill's Vine


Over the weekend our neighbor, Bill passed away. He was 85 and had been bedridden for the last year or so due to a stroke two years past. He was a great neighbor! His favorite thing to do was sit out on his back porch. He liked to yell over at us and ask us to come sit a spell. He had great stories. He talked about visiting family in Kansas during the depression. He thought it was fantastic that they had fried chicken and watermelon the whole time they were there. He was just a boy and probably didn't realize that was about all there was to eat.

He lived a fascinating life. He had gun shop in California during the sixties where he raised three children. He and his first wife divorced and several years later he married Celia. I often wonder how they got together since she is an Indiana girl. I never asked since I thought that would be rude.

Bill and Celia were married for 23 years and lived in a number of places. They farmed in Oregon, ranched in Tennessee and then traveled in a motor home before settling back in Indiana. Not many people can say they have lived such a broad life.

He has a vine growing on a section of fence between our property. He once told me that the vine had been in his family for 100 years! Everywhere he went he took a piece of it with him. I don't know what it is called, but I think of it as Bill's Vine. If we ever move I will certainly be taking a piece of vine with us. We loved Bill and he will be missed!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Green Tomato Pickles

As the end of the growing season draws near I find that we still have an abundance of tomatoes, mostly green. After overhearing my step-father-in-law say that he hadn't had green tomato pickles in a long time I knew exactly what to do with all these green little guys.


I adapted a recipe I found at cooks.com

2 lbs green tomatoes
4 onions
1/4 cup canning salt
4 peppers, chopped
1 qt vinegar
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1 tbs whole allspice (could not find, I used ground)
1 tbs whole cloves
1 lb sugar

Choose firm, small to medium green tomatoes (entirely green, not partially ripe) and firm, white onions. Wash well. Remove stem ends.

Slice tomatoes (I skipped since using cherry tomatoes) and onions, sprinkle with salt and let stand overnight. Rice well in cold water; add peppers.

To the vinegar, add spices (tied in a cheesecloth bag) and sugar. Cook over low heat (or in crock pot) for about 2 hours. Remove spice bag.

Put vegetables into clean jars and cover with hot vinegar, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust and seal lids. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Makes five or six 1 pint jars, depending on size of vegetables used.


I can't say if these are tasty or not because this is something that I would eat. Just not my taste. These will be put back and go into my Christmas stash. It is a tradition to give my mother-in-law and step-father-in-law home canned goods each year. They love it!