Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Homemaking Monday

The weather in my neck of the woods:
Cool and in the 50's. It should be in the high 70's today. After our strange summer I am wondering if fall is here to stay.

One of my simple pleasures:
The way my home smells when something is baking or simmering on the stove. Doesn't matter if it is cookies, break or a stew on the stove I love the simple, cozy feeling it gives to my home.

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:
Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Chips, Assortment of fresh veggies & dip

On my To Do List:
Clean Kitchen
Clean Oven
Pick up House
Some canning

New Recipe I tried last week:
Tomato Soup

In the craft basket:
Nothing. I plan to reward myself with some craft time after I get a few projects completed.

Looking forward to:
Having a clean house!

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

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
Kat @ Heart2Heart

Favorite photo from last week:

Meeting Baby Faith

Lesson learned the past few days:
I can't keep complaining about life moving to fast and not having enough time for things. For the most part I am in control of my time and I need to make time for things that are important and say no to things that cause stress or do not improve the quality of life for my family.

On my Prayer List:
My husband and daughter

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ~Confucius

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

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tomato Soup

8 quarts tomatoes
1 bunch celery
1 lg onion
1 cup butter
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup salt

Chop celery & onions. Cook in just enough water to prevent scorching. Once they start to become tender add tomatoes. (I removed the skin and seeds from the tomatoes. Basically a stewed tomato.) Bring to a boil and cook until all your veggies are soft. Run through sieve. I then strained through cheese cloth. Return to pan and add salt and sugar. Bring to a boil. Cream together butter and flour and add once mixture is boiling. Boil until desired consistency is reached. You may need to add some cornstarch to reach your desired consistency.

Pour into pint jars and process in a pressure cooker at 5 for 15 minutes.

I can already taste a warm bowl of soup and a grilled cheese on a cold day. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 1957 Farm Record

I am sharing another entry from my grandparents farm record book. I thought it would be nice to see the people behind the book. This is a picture of my mom's family. By looking at my mom I would guess that this picture was taken sometime around 1953 or 1954. At the time of the journal entry mom would have been seven.

From left to right: My grandparents, Pop and Mom, Bobby, Billy, Jack, Dianne and my mom, Vicki.

I am sorry that the August Income page is upside down. Blogger must be playing a trick on us all. I even tried to save the picture upside down hoping that it would flip it right side up, but no luck.

August Income 1957

8/03/57 12 dozen eggs .40 4.80
8/09/57 cream 37.8 .45 17.01
8/08/57 13 lamb 805# .16 128.80
8/08/57 4 lamb 290# .20 58.00
8/10/57 15 dozen eggs .40 6.00
8/14/57 cream 43.3 .45 19.48
8/16/57 16 dozen eggs .45 7.20
8/24/57 16 dozen eggs .45 7.20
8/31/57 18 dozen eggs .45 8.10
8/27/57 cream .45 19.98
5 heiffers @ $200 1000.00

5 heiffers $1000
17 lambs 186.80
77 dozen eggs 32.30
cream 56.47
$1275.57 total

$2539.95 - total income so far

August Expenses 1957 (please click to enlarge)

I just love being able to have a glimpse into the past. Can you imagine buying a bedroom suite for $259.75, paying $3.58 for phone service or buying school clothes for five children for $130! Boy, times have changed.
You can check out my July 1957 Farm Record post here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Farm Fresh Eggs

On my visit to the farmer's market I brought home a dozen beautiful farm fresh eggs. When I saw the vendor with eggs I almost did a little happy dance!

What better way to enjoy fresh eggs then to make a farmhouse breakfast!

Fried potatoes, thick, creamy gravy, fresh from the oven biscuits, homemade grape jelly and of course fluffy, fresh scrambled eggs. This is Chuck's favorite meal. I don't make it very often since I call it heart attack waiting to happen. When I do there is one happy man sitting at my table!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy Homemaking Monday

The weather in my neck of the woods:
Very nice! It is cool and will only be about 80* today. There has been a fall teaser and I am so happy!

One of my simple pleasures:
Sitting outside on a cool evening with a cup of tea.

On my bedside table:
Nothing. I really need to make a trip to the library.

On my TV:
Disney this morning then nothing.

On the menu for tonight:
Something from leftover pot roast. Beef stew or maybe beef pot pie.

On my To Do List:
Work on Kitchen
School Megan
Pick tomatoes

New Recipe I tried last week:
Zucchini Banana Bread This is really good, but don't tell my hubby there is zucchini in it! Shhh

In the craft basket:
Nothing. I really need to find some time to craft.

Looking forward to:
Starting Megan's home pre-school.

Homemaking Tip for this week:
While shredding zucchini for a recipe go ahead and shred all that you have. You can freeze it in portion size bags and only have the mess once.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
I really need to start bookmarking these!

Favorite photo from last week:

Lesson learned the past few days:
Don't wait until Sunday night to get everything ready school the next week. It is quite stressful to try to cut out everything and print everything all at once. I really hope I have learned by lesson and wont' do it again. Or at least often!

On my Prayer List:
My husband and daughter
Niece to by, Faith
Amber for a safe trip home

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Please stop by and visit Sandra to see what other happy homemaker are doing. Have a great Monday!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fair Time

While at the fair we saw some animals.

Pretend to be a farmer.

Rode the ferris wheel.

Saw displays from times past. One of my favorites was this 1920 kitchen display.

I remember my Granny having a wood stove in her kitchen. If these stoves could talk can you imagine the stories they could tell!

I have no idea why the jars where hung out on this post. All I know is that with my love for canning jars I couldn't resist taking this picture.

Of course some fair food was consumed. We had a great time and are looking forward to attending again next year.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Family Fun: Video Games

One year for Christmas Chuck and I were given some retro video games. They plug into the t.v. and are some classic 80's games. Over the years we have had so much fun with these!

I decided to have a family fun night around the games. We played Pole Position and

Pac Man.

Pole Position was Megan's favorite. She thought it was fun to run into the signs!

Along with the games we shared a bowl of popcorn.

It was a fun evening full of giggles. With Fall around the corner I am hoping to make family fun events more regular.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Home Preschool

The last few days I have been organizing worksheets and getting ideas together.

We had considered sending Megan to a preschool program at a christian school. After the sticker shock for two mornings a week we made other plans.

This year there will be home preschool! It is probably for the best. Megan still has separation issues and I don't know if I am really ready for her to go. It is a scary world out there!

Honestly, we are both excited! I love the idea of watching her grow and learn. She loves the idea of preschool and not leaving home. A win, win situation.

Although we are exploring and learning everyday we will begin our official preschool on Monday. I am sure that I will share some of the things we are doing. I found so many wonderful ideas from all the things other homeschooling moms share. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Grocery Shopping Fun!?

I know that this might not be the norm, but I love grocery shopping. I enjoy browsing the isles, looking for deals and matching coupons to stretch my dollar. I usually go early in the morning. I like to be there before it gets crowded. I do not enjoy a busy grocery store.

The one thing that doesn't make it enjoyable is having a cranky little along. I imagine we have all been there with a little who doesn't want to sit in the seat or who promises to hang onto the cart. One second things are fine the next you wonder how your little got half way under the cart so quick! I am sure you get the picture.

I have been thinking that I needed to find a way to make the shopping trip fun for both of us. My solution was to give Megan her own shopping list.

I choose to use a half sheet of paper and put two items we buy on a regular basis on her list. I cut out pictures from the grocery ads and then wrote out the words. I made four different list and laminated them with contact paper. Now I don't have to make a list for each trip and this gives her a little variety.

Not only is it a sanity saver for me, but it makes Megan feel like she is contributing to the shopping trip.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather in my neck of the woods:
Humid and about 73*. Looks like there should be a thunderstorm today. Hope it gets rid of the humidity.

One of my simple pleasures:
Sleeping on freshly washed sheets.

On my bedside table:
Preschool workbooks

On my TV:
Nothing this morning. Little House this afternoon.

On the menu for tonight:
Not sure.

On my To Do List:
Early morning appointment
Clean the kitchen, if time

New Recipe I tried last week:
Reece Peanut Butter Cookies. They tasted good, but didn't turn out how I envisioned. I will be to re-think this recipe.

In the craft basket:

Looking forward to:
Marking some things off my to do list.

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Freeze juice or lemonade in ice cube trays. On hot days use this in place of ice. That way your drink won't get watered down.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
Had internet issues again last week, so I wasn't reading many blogs.

Favorite photo from last week:

Cousins & Friends

Lesson learned the past few days:
Patience is something I constantly need to work on.

On my Prayer List:
My husband and daughter
Niece to be, Faith

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him... Psalm 37:7

Stop by and visit Sandra to see what other Happy Homemakers are up to.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Catching Up

I am hopeful that I won't have anymore internet interruptions. The repair man was here for about three hours this afternoon. I hope we don't have to call the poor guy out again. I missed my daily blog interaction.

Does anyone know why certain words in a post are being tagged? I am not pleased about the pop up screen that is there when you go over the word. Any idea how to stop this?

In this post I was asked about the muffins. I used a Betty Crocker Cinnamon Strudel mix. I am still looking for the perfect from scratch recipe for these.

The weekend looks to be full. There is a trip planned for the Farmer's Market in the morning, some yard work and then dinner with my father-in-law Saturday evening. The weather forecast is hot and humid so I hope to spend a lazy afternoon Sunday floating around my parent's pool.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


When Megan turned three we decided that it was time to start teaching her about family responsibility. I made a Megan can do it! poster.

I knew that over time that the responsibilities would change and wanted this poster to be flexible. In order to achieve that I knew that I could not put the specific responsibility directly on the poster.

I made the poster and then took it to the office store to be laminated. I then added a piece of velcro over each of the six rectangles. Next I printed out pictures of Megan completing her task. I then wrote out her responsibility and then attached the corresponding picture. I covered her task card in contact paper and then attached the other part of the velcro to the back.

Her task are: setting the table, helping me dust, putting things in the recycle bin, putting her dirty clothes in the hamper and sleeping in her bed all night. (She ends up getting up and sleeping on our bedroom floor most nights. We know that she does this and lay down a quilt so she won't be cold. We don't hear her come in and are trying to encourage her to stay in her bed all night.)

Once a task is complete then Megan removes her responsibility card and places it in the envelope above the poster. The responsibility card is then replaced with a star. Before going to bed each night we visit the post and remove the stars. We talk about how proud we are of her for being a responsible member of the family and how helpful it is to help out.

The cards are then put back on. I used the same color paper on the task cards and the poster. That way we can practice colors and matching each night when we put them back on.

For each star that she receives she receives a bead. The beads are then placed in this jar.

She can exchange the beads for treats, such as a trip to the bookstore. We are still trying to figure out if she needs to fill the jar for the treat or earn a certain number for certain treats. Figuring things out as you go along is what parenting is all about, right?

To help out with the responsibility of setting the table I made table setting placemats.

These are a huge hit! The only problem is that Megan thinks that we need to use every utensil with each meal. I have tried to explain that a spoon isn't needed for a certain meal and I get the "but Mama it shows a spoon!"

I would love to hear if you assign certain task to your children and if so are using a reward system. It is always great to hear how others are doing things.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Busy Day

Chuck had a dentist appointment yesterday and decided to take the whole day off. Megan was very excited when she found out that Daddy would be home for another day. It was a very busy day. It just flew by and when I finally slowed down around 8 o'clock I could not believe that Monday was almost gone!

I was on the move all day and although I didn't get everything accomplished it was a good day. The day started out with some cinnamon strudel muffins. Chuck walked into the kitchen and said "ooh muffins" so I think that was a good way to start the day.

I put up some more pickles and picked green beans. Summer is back and I was a little warm by the time I finished. This hot, humid stuff isn't my favorite. I was really spoiled by the mild July weather. There was lots of laundry done, some cleaning and I worked on a craft project.

We ended the night with an ice cream treat and

some quality television of the Andy Griffith Show. (picture courtesy of Miss Megan)

Then it was off to bed. After a restful night of sleep I am ready to start another glorious day!

Thursday, August 06, 2009


getting ready for a garage sale at my parents house. I will be back to posting on Monday. Enjoy the rest of your week and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Embracing the Moment

I was reminded today that it isn’t just planned events and schedules that make a simple life. It is also taking time to embrace the moment.

When I woke up I was not happy that I needed to leave home again. I needed to exchange a few things that I had purchased the day before. I keep thinking about all of the things that I needed to get accomplished at home.

I picked up my mom and we went to Kohl’s. By the time we finished it was close to lunchtime. We made a quick trip to the grocery store and then back to Mom’s for sandwiches.

I had a plan to eat lunch, hurry home to put Megan down for her nap and then rush through my list. After lunch and some chit chat with my parents Megan and her cousins were involved in play.

I ended up staying all afternoon and even for dinner. I am so glad that I decided to embrace the moment. If not I would have missed Megan and my nieces laying towels on the garage floor and putting on swimsuits. They were enjoying a day at the beach.

I would have missed the girls taking a quick swim. Even though I know the water was too cold, they all managed to tell me it was just fine.

I would have missed using spent day lily stems for swords and Megan doing a little dance when she picked a tomato.

When Megan is grown she won’t remember that the house was a disaster or that Daddy had to get socks from the dryer and not his drawer. What she will remember is a pretend day at the beach, a swim in the pool, a sword fight with flower stems, picking fresh tomatoes and a day spent with family.

Simple things that I hope will bring her memories of a simple childhood. I am so glad that I decided to embrace the moment.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


There is just something comforting about canning your own food.I love the look of all the jars lined up with my homegrown goodness. It just makes me happy.