Tuesday, December 18, 2007

World's Easiest Christmas Candy

Ok, I've talked so much about health, eating organically, eating simply, cooking from scratch, etc., and now I'm going to shatter all these wonderful ideals you've built up in your minds concerning me! I do allow myself and my family to splurge at the holidays, and we've taken advantage of it this year! Crystal posted on her site last year about the World's Easiest Christmas Candy. Oh, my! It is SCRUMPTIOUS! But it sounds a little strange to make. Hear me out though....

Preheat over to 350 F.

1 sleeve Saltines (yes, the crackers) spread out on a baking sheet. (Make sure to lay them out so that they're all touching, not spread out over the entire baking sheet.)

Combine 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until gooey (great cooking directions, I know!).

Pour EVENLY over the saltines. I messed this up the first time and poured it in one big glop. It dries quickly and is not very spreadable, so try to pour evenly so that there is not much to spread. If you do mess up, just push the crackers in it and hope for the best. Ours still was very yummy!

Pop in the oven for 5 minutes, until bubbling.

Remove and pour 2 cups chocolate chips EVENLY over entire thing. Wait a minute or two until it's spreadable and spread to coat.

Pop in the refrigerator until it hardens.

Oh, my, ladies, is this ever good! You will want to keep the candy in the refrigerator as it stays more crunchy. It's a great idea for gift-giving (if you can keep your own hands off of it!). Enjoy!

Ron Paul #2

I know that I haven't written my story about my journey to becoming a Ron Paul supporter yet. It's still a desire of mine to do so when I get a little bit of time. We've had some circumstances in our family that have prevented me from spending any amount of time on that project, but maybe over the holidays I can do so. Until then, I wanted to post 2 videos to youtube. These will take about 15 minutes of your time, if you have it.

Ron Paul on Morning Joe (interview with Joe Scarborough of MSNBC)

Ron Paul on CNN American Morning

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ron Paul

Did you hear that Ron Paul raised over $6 million in one day? He broke the previous record which he had set on November 5! If you don't know much about Ron Paul check him out here. My husband and I are proud supporters. Come join us in supporting a man with impeccable character (30 years of voting records in Congress will prove that) and one who is a true defender of the Constitution.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Menu-plan Monday

(My daughter, Energizer Bunny, REALLY likes this picture!)

Monday -- turkey burgers, roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli & cauliflower
Tuesday -- bean soup, cornbread, salad
Wednesday -- turkey tetrazzini (didn't get made last week), steamed broccoli
Thursday -- hamburger gravy over rice, frozen veggie, salad
Friday -- beans & rice, leftover cornbread, kale, salad
Saturday -- Sweet Potato, Sausage and Kale Soup (thanks, Catherine!), salad
Sunday -- brisket, carrots, potatoes (all in crockpot), frozen veggie, salad

Friday, December 7, 2007

Frugal Fridays: Millet for Breakfast! *important update added*

For those of you wanting to eat healthy and are worried about pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, etc. in your food, frugality in your grocery shopping may seem like something of an oxymoron. For our family, we have chosen to sacrifice in other areas rather than sacrifice in the quality of the food that we eat. For this reason, I'm always thrilled when I can find a very healthy, inexpensive meal that my children love.

Enter millet.

What a versatile grain! It can be used as a side dish or main staple, just as rice can. In fact, you can be just as creative with millet as you can with rice. But for our family, millet is a staple for breakfast.

It was the first cereal for my oldest two, Reader Rabbit (RR) and Energizer Bunny (EB). Since Goofy Boy (GB) has had some unusual health issues, I just started him on it this week. He's 15 months old. Thankfully, he loves it too!

If you can do cream of wheat or oatmeal, you can easily do cream of millet. And it's extremely yummy to boot! My mother-in-law visited my sister when she was quite ill about a year ago. (They lived in the same town.) She made a pot of this for her to help nurse her back to health and my sister loved it! She now makes it often for her own family. Sometimes she even gets a craving for it!

I have the privilege of having a grain grinder, so I can crack my millet to give it a little more texture. But if you have a blender, you can grind it to a flour or even slightly less for a more textured cereal.

You may want to experiment with the water to grain ratio. I have my own little formula that I will share, but that's simply because it's the consistency that I like.

1 c. whole millet/4 c. water
1 c. whole millet = 1 1/4 c. cracked millet
1 1/4 c. cracked millet/5 c. water
1 c. cracked millet/3 1/2 c. water

If I'm grinding only 1 c. of whole millet, it makes about 1 1/4 c. cracked millet. That cracked millet will simmer with 5 c. water. Sometimes though, I'll cracked lots and lots of millet at one time. Then I will cook 1 c. cracked millet with 3 1/2 c. water.

Now that GB is eating this, I'm going to have to figure it out for 1 1/2 c. cracked millet. It's really not an easy math problem, in my opinion. I've tried simply doubling the amount of water or cutting it in half from what I know works, but it doesn't work for me. So, I'll go back to experimenting. The good thing is that it's edible no matter what!

So, how's it done? I thought you'd never ask.

1. Combine millet and water. *Add a pinch or a dash of salt (whichever you think is more). The salt really does affect the flavor.*

2. Turn burner to medium heat.

3. Stir frequently (very important!) until it begins to bubble.
-- This is the tricky step. You begin to think that it will never come to a bubble, so you decide to stop stirring it. DON'T!!!!!!! I've had to clean more millet scorched onto the bottom of my pan than I care to admit. Sure, you can do some things around the kitchen. Just make sure that every time you walk by the stove, you stir a little. That's all. :-)

4. When it begins to bubble, it will look grainy. This is good! Take it off the heat and cover. Wait 5-10 minutes and your breakfast is ready.

Our family likes it in a variety of different ways. I'll mention some of them to start your creative juices flowing!

--mixed with applesauce

--mixed with mashed banana and milk

--mixed with honey (or sucanat, or Rapadura) and milk

--with butter, salt and freshly cracked pepper (similar to grits)

--for my little babies, I've often used millet as a base for their mashed veggies. Sounds gross, I know, but babies have no idea!

Enjoy and return next week for more Frugal Fridays hosted by biblicalwomanhood.com!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Homeschooling: Kindergarten Edition

I would like to post from time to time about our homeschooling experience, since I'm just starting out. As I've mentioned before, I LOVE homeschooling!

We've been using Sonlight curriculum for going on 3 years now. I really, really like it -- most of the time. There have been a few issues that we've had to deal with, but I can get into those in future posts.

Today, I thought I would focus on the literature that it exposes students to. We used the preschool curriculum for Reader Rabbit (RR) when he was 3 and 4. He really did well with it and soaked up all the literature that was read to him. That's why we decided to continue with Sonlight for kindergarten. Here's a look at all that we've read so far. (We are 11 weeks into the school year.)

We had several of these books already and therefore did not need to purchase them this year. Although I've often wished we would have and we could have given them as gifts.

I'll just focus on a few of the books to whet your appetite!

My Father's Dragon. This book was actually recommended to us by our very close friends and RR's best friend. It's about a little boy, Elmer Elevator, who travels to rescue a baby dragon from Wild Island. He takes with him lollipops, combs, chewing gum and many other unusual items to help him in his quest. He ends up using them all! As an aside, Elmer Elevator lives in Popsicornia. My daughter, Energizer Bunny (EB), has a new imaginary friend named Popsicornia! Elmer succeeds in his quest and he and baby dragon prepare to leave.

Unfortunately, that's where the book ends. We could never leave Elmer on Tangerina (where he and the dragon flew after Wild Island), could we? So, we picked up the sequels at the library -- Elmer and the Dragon and the Dragons of Blueland. We thoroughly enjoyed all of them. We finally meet Boris' family (the baby dragon of My Father's Dragon fame) and see them safely left alone in the Blueland mountains. Even EB understood a lot of this and it was fun family time for all.

The Light at Tern Rock. We have just finished this book and it's engaging and didactic at the same time. It's about a young boy (Ronnie) and his aunt who are asked to fill in for the lighthouse keeper at Tern Rock for about a week. Ronnie is excited but hesitant as he wants to make sure he's home in time for Christmas. He is assured, by the lighthouse keeper, that he will be. December 15 (the promised pick-up date) comes and goes. By December 23, they realize that they will be spending Christmas on Tern Rock. Then on December 24, a discovery is made that challenges Ronnie's faith in mankind. This is a great work for discussing injustices with your child. I plan to read this many, many times with my children. We could have a different type of discussion each time.

Maybe in my next post, we'll discuss some of the other books.

Making Your Home a Haven

I have been wanting to participate in Crystal's Making Your Home a Haven all week. I just have not had the time. But today, I thought I might just be able to do it, but not in the laundry room as was suggested.

Last night, it snowed! The first snow of the season! My daughter, Energizer Bunny (EB) was soooooooooo excited that she got ALL of her stuffed animals and lined them up at the door to look outside. Then she proceeded to skip around the house cheering at the top of her lungs. Oh, to be a child again!

My husband is out of town until tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow evening he has an orchestra rehearsal for a Friday and Saturday concert. By the way, for you locals who view this blog, his symphony, the Anderson Symphony Orchestra, is having their debut Christmas concert in Noblesville on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. It's at the Noblesville High School and the High School Chorale and the Anderson University Chorale will be participating as well. The tickets are very affordable. Adults are $10, students 13 and older are $5 and 12 and under are free. Can you beat that? Please come. There are conflicts with other activities that night and they would like for their debut in Noblesville to be well-attended.

Enough of my sales spiel! As I was saying, my husband is out of town until tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow evening he has an orchestra rehearsal for a Friday and Saturday concert. So, he would not be able to shovel the driveway at all.

Now, you all know how it is. Everyone looks around to see who is not responsible enough to clean their driveway and who just lets the snow and ice pack down and look more and more unkempt. You've been guilty of it yourself, haven't you? Remember that I have 3 kids. The oldest two (5 and 3) have to be shoved outside in the summer and the door locked and bolted in order to get them to play outside. Sometimes I have to threaten them with punishment if they don't stop staring at me through our patio doorway for the entire 30 minutes they're required to stay outside. Are my kids abnormal or what?

So, now it's cold and they are loaded down with 20 extra pounds of gear to keep them warm. Is this going to work?

Then I have a 1 year old, Goofy Boy (GB).

NONE of my children would ever let me sit them outside when they were 1. Both of the others cried and screamed and tried to hyperventilate until I took them inside. BUT I was determined to get the driveway shoveled as a special surprise for my husband. (I figured that I have tomorrow to work on the house.)

Here's the before

and here's the after!

Yay for me! I did it!

And guess what? Here's how GB sat for the entire hour it took me to do this. No crying whatsoever! I think he truly enjoyed watching his brother and sister play. They played and played and played and got out more toys than they ever have in the summer. Go figure!

My only regret is that I didn't get any pictures of their playing together. Now you know what tomorrow's post will be!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I just wanted to write and share with all of you something that I have been learning about lately -- how selfish I am. It's actually quite easy to think highly of myself -- I stay home with my children, I homeschool my oldest, I make all of our food from scratch, etc., but I'm a sinner saved by grace. I've realized anew how often I struggle with that "old man" of sin.

"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." (Rom. 6:6)

When we went on vacation for Thanksgiving, I took along TWO bags full of books to read! I didn't actually think I'd read them all, I just wanted to be sure that I had a selection whenever the opportunity presented itself. I didn't know, for example, whether I'd be in the mood to read theology, history, history of education, a novel, parenting books, education books, a magazine....You get the picture.

By the way, this is where we've had the privilege of spending the last six Thanksgivings! Isn't it beautiful?

Well, my daughter, Energizer Bunny (EB), became ill on Wednesday night, and we had a long night. She ended up sleeping in my bed, with RR sleeping with Daddy and GB in his pack 'n' play. She was up every 15-30 minutes until 3 a.m. acting delirious. She would yell, say unitelligible words, stare at me, walk around, etc. and then just decide to lay back down. She finally slept until 5:45 when she woke up screaming hysterically. She was SO loud that my mother-in-law, sleeping next door, came running over to find out what had happened.

Because of all of that, we decided to limit her activity for the day and part of the next. So...no nice meals in the several dining rooms they had, but room service. No pool time, but reading aloud time. No hike in the beautiful Allegheny mountains, but coloring time. The list goes on and on.

Do you know what I remember most from all of this though? (I think I read a grand total of 3 verses in Genesis the entire vacation.) But I remember my daughter falling asleep in my arms, my daughter smiling at me when I whispered that I loved her, some one-on-one time with my daughter that is often neglected in the midst of homeschooling RR and tending to GB's many needs -- complimenting her coloring abilities and seeing her face light up as I exclaimed over her recognition of letters.

When we follow Christ, Who did not look "on his own things" but only "on the things of others", we reap a multitude of benefits that far surpass the temporal joys we are seeking. Would I remember the words of the books I read during Thanksgiving? Maybe, maybe not, but I don't think that I will soon forget the special one-on-one time that presented itself to my daughter and me. I don't think she will either.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Menu-plan Monday

Monday -- Turkey/rice bake, Kale, Salad
Tuesday -- Potato soup, Salad, Cornbread
Wednesday -- Turkey Tetrazzini, Asparagus, Salad
Thursday -- Beans & Rice, Leftover Cornbread, Kale, Salad
Friday -- Turkey Squares, Steamed Broccoli & Cauliflower, Salad
Satuday -- Hamburgers, Roasted Potatoes, Frozen Veggie, Salad
Sunday-- Brisket, Potatoes and Carrots in the Crockpot, Frozen Veggie, Salad

We'll see just how close to this I stick as my husband will not be eating dinner with us on several evenings. It's soooooooo tempting not to cook when he's not here, but I'm really trying to strengthen my children's immune systems for this cold/flu season and one of the best ways is having food prepared from scratch.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Frugal Fridays: Chicken Stock

One of the very most frugal things one can do is to use ALL of the chicken. Yes, even the neck and gizzards! We only buy pasture chicken (free-range and organic), so I find it even more important to get my money's worth out of it. As an aside, our Wild Oats is switching over to Whole Foods since they were bought out. The Whole Foods brand chicken does not include the neck and gizzards, so I have informed them that I will be getting my chicken elsewhere in the future.

I used to worry about making my chicken stock because I didn't have leeks or fresh herbs for a bouquet garni. My mother-in-law said that I didn't need all of that. Onions and celery work perfectly by themselves. So now I just throw in celery, quartered onions and some salt and pepper and voila!--chicken stock for pennies!

Here is how I do it. FYI, the neck and gizzards make a much more rich stock, but since this was my first Whole Foods chicken, I didn't have that luxury!

First, I stewed 2 chickens all day in the crockpot. I find it best only to cook until it's done, then the carcass isn't falling apart as mine will be, but it works either way!

Separated into meat, skin and bones.

In the pot with celery and onions.

Add water to cover, along with salt and peppercorns or freshly-cracked pepper.

Straining the chicken parts from the broth.

I then had the lighter stock(right) from the chicken stock and the more concentrated broth from the crockpot during the actual cooking.

Simmer together for a short time for yummy chicken broth!

Check out here for more Frugal Friday ideas!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

0 -- "I'm Just a Big Nuthin"

That's how I feel. Here I start this blog and then I can't even keep up with posting on a regular basis. Anyone else have this problem?

For those of you who didn't reconize the quote, it's from the Math Circus by LeapFrog. We've been listening to LeapFrog videos quite a bit in our house and I'm now quoting from them. Scary, huh? Ah, the life of a homeschooling mom!

We've had quite a few things happen in our lives the past few months. I won't go into much detail. But 2 weeks ago, we discovered that my oldest boy, Reader Rabbit (RR), needed glasses! Not just any glasses, but bifocals! The jury is still out on whether he will also need vision therapy in conjunction with the glasses. But doesn't he look adorable?

If anyone else is a perfectionist out there, then they will understand why I haven't been posting. I've heard that with perfectionists, often their house is worse than others. That's true. It's hard for me to do something partially if it can't be done completely the right way at one time. Thus, nothing much gets done. With 3 kids, 5 and under there aren't many opportunities to do things completely, the right way, at one time!

Hence the reason that my Ron Paul posts have not been posted. I want to write the entire article and then submit it little by little. That will not happen, so I'm just going to need to do it and let the results fall where they may.

I went to the library the other night with all 3 children, waiting for my husband in a meeting. I even took along my laptop, thinking that I would write more on my Ron Paul article. I edited the first bit and wrote all of two sentences! So much for all at one time!

Oh, and I've decided that the lovely desk from this post will have to remain in its' current state. Thankfully, my husband agrees, that for the moment, homeschooling, food preparation, house cleaning and holiday preparations need to be our/my focus. So, I'm officially dropping out of the 30-day organizational challenge!

More later....

Thursday, November 15, 2007

L'Oreal Infallible lipcolor

I just want to say that this lipstick is the real McCoy! It is truly infallible! I put it on at 7:30 this morning and at 8:00 this evening, it still looked great! I purchased it at CVS as part of my weekly run and later bemoaned the fact that it made me spend more money than I wanted and I really didn't need it. Boy, was I wrong! It's more like a lip stain that you seal in with a topcoat that is provided. I drank coffee, ate 3 meals, kissed my kids and husband and applied chapstick several times. I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Book Review: The Home at Greylock

I will give you my opinion. I don't like this book. Ok, ok, I know that a review has to be a little more in depth, so I'll go in depth. I still don't like this book.

I had heard wondrous praise for Elizabeth Prentiss and her work Stepping Heavenward. Almost everyone that I know has praised that work and highly recommended it. I have it, but have not read it. Maybe that's where my trouble started. I had such high expectations for this book, and they were definitely not met.

The book is about Mrs. Grey, who has much wisdom to offer in rearing children, keeping a house, and progressing in one's sanctification. I purchased the book because of this review:

A masterpiece which explains the task of Christian parenting in story form. The wisdom of Mrs. Grey of the town of Greylock can be yours, and your own family can enjoy a piece of heaven on earth by learning her ways. Read these delightful episodes of those who meet Mrs. Grey and learn her kind, gentle, thoughtful and serving approach to life.

Needless to say, I was looking for help in my parenting and my Christian walk and I thought this book would fit that description.

First of all, I must admit, the style of writing went completely over my head. It was written in the late 1800's and I thought Elizabeth Prentiss was British because of the cultural references. She's not, but New England in the 1800's was definitely a different culture than we have now.

Secondly, I was a bit put off at the constant mention of things -- items that should be valued because of their sentimental associations.

I don't value objects. Some people would most likely say that that is to my detriment. I have wonderful memories of people and occasions, and I try to keep calendars in which to record memories, but if an item is broken, accidentally discarded, etc., I don't usually lose any sleep over it. This book referred often to the sentimental value of items.

Thirdly, I have a hard time relating with people who have maids, carriages, servants, etc. I realize that this was the custom, but it is very hard for me to take advice from someone who truly does not understand my circumstances.

Next, and this is where I really began to dislike the book. Mrs. Grey begins to scrutinize one of her daughters-in-law. This quote from the book left a poor taste in my mouth that I never recovered from. "Frank would not have married this poor, languid, inefficient woman if I had had the faith I ought, "thought Mrs. Grey. "But she is not accountable for gifts never afforded her, dear child." Now, I'll grant you, the daughter-in-law had some shortcomings. But nothing to warrant that kind of criticism. She needed to be taught not pitied.

In that vein, instead of teaching her daughter-in-law how to raise her children (what I thought this book was about), Mrs. Grey takes her children away from her and farms them out to different relatives, herself included, who could do a better job in the rearing of them.

Finally (and this is closely related with the last paragraph), Mrs. Grey intimates to her son that though he made a mistake in impulsively choosing his wife, he is still bound to love her. I agree that he is bound to love her, but to say he made a mistake is going a little too far. Is not God sovereign?

At the end of the book, there is quite a bit of death. Even Mrs. Grey herself dies. And though the characters that remain retain a bit of the grace, elegance and goodness of Mrs. Grey, there is no real application to sink your teeth into.

All in all, what I learned from this book, I've read in one chapter of many other very good parenting books. This was a storybook and not a very good one at that, in my opinion.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Whole-grain carrot and cream cheese muffins

I'm in a MAJOR blogging slump. I want to blog, but the thought of organizing words so that they can be comprehended is overwhelming. Anyone have any help to offer?

I'm sure that this is due to the fact that my husband is out of town (until tonight thankfully), and I cannot sleep when he is gone. Literally, cannot sleep.

I usually stay up so late that I just drop into bed and fall asleep immediately. Of course, then I can't get up in the morning. Then school doesn't get accomplished, the house doesn't get cleaned, extra projects are not completed and everything looks generally messy!

Then my guilt trip starts and I head into the depths of despair. That's where I am right now. Not quite sure if I will come out of it by the end of the week. Hopefully.....

I'm leaving you with pictures of a rare occasion. I baked this weekend. With freshly ground kamut. I rarely take the time because I only like to bake with freshly ground grain, and I don't like taking the time to grind when my children are sleeping because it's too loud. I don't like doing it when they are awake because there are other things to be done. Like my reasoning?

Anyway, they were scrumptious and 10 of them were eaten between 4 of us for breakfast the next morning!

Self-denial for Christ's Sake

Yesterday morning, our pastor preached a message from Matthew 5, the interpretation of which my husband and I have discussed for quite some time. The text is, "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain." (Mt. 5:39-41)

Our discussion started after 2 incidents this summer with our 5-year old son. Both times he was playing with a neighborhood friend who either pushed or hit him. Being a depraved son of Adam, he returned the offense. He was immediately dealt with using the aforementioned passage of Scripture. His response -- "That doesn't make any sense."

It really doesn't. But God tells us that He has "chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise."(I Cor. 1:27) Not retaliating is, in the eyes of the world, foolish.

Pastor gave the example of Paul and Silas singing in prison when they were miraculously delivered by the earthquake. Most of us would rejoice in God's providence and get out of there! But not Paul and Silas. They denied themselves for Christ's sake, gathered all the prisoners together and were able to see the jailer and "all his house" believe.(Acts 16:22-34)

However, the following verses (vv. 35-40) show that Paul and Silas were not passive nor willing to overlook transgressions against them. They stood their ground and insisted that their rights be honored. What was the difference?

They were willing to deny themselves (e.g. turn the other cheek, give the cloak also, go the extra mile) for Christ's sake.

What a thought for us! Pastor did not differentiate amongst the 3 examples. He believed that they were all dealing with the same issue -- self-denial.

So, as Christians, when do we assert ourselves, demand our rights and right the wrongs done to us and when do we stand down? I don't believe that there is a formula for any of it. But I do believe that, in each situation we need to present it before God and wait for Him to reveal His will. I daresay that it will be different for each person.

Above all else, we are to deny ourselves so that we may accomplish our chief end -- "to glorify God and to enjoy him forever".

Ron Paul Series

So sorry to those of you who have been waiting for my views on Ron Paul. As I was writing out what I was going to say, it kept getting longer and longer and....Well, you get the point.

Anyways, since what I am going to be posting also represents my husband, since he is the one who has led me in this direction, I want to make sure that I do not misrepresent him and his views. He is on business for the first part of this week, so I will not post until he returns and has a chance to edit my deliberations.

Since it is so long, I will be making it a series and will be open for any friendly dialogue. The first post will be explaining my journey into supporting Ron Paul. If you absolutely cannot wait to read from a supporter of Ron Paul, let me direct you to this site. Chuck Baldwin is a Baptist pastor who is an outspoken supporter of Ron Paul. You'll find many enlightening articles on his site (to help stem your curiosity!). You may even find him quoted on my site from time to time!

Thanks for your patience.

Menu-plan Monday

Hello, all!

Plans have changed slightly since last week and since my husband is on a business trip, I will get to save myself a little cooking (and money) and my children and I can eat leftovers! On to my plan...

Monday -- Leftover Italian Beef Bake, spinach, salad

Tuesday -- Leftover Italian Beef Bake, Leftover Spaghetti Squash/Sauce, kale, salad

Wednesday -- Rice & Beans, Kale, Salad

Thursday -- Baked potatoes with ground turkey, cheese, sour cream, Frozen Green Beans, Salad

Friday -- Bean soup, Cornbread, Salad

-- Chicken Rice Bake, Leftover Cornbread, Salad

Sunday -- Nothing! We're eating at my husband's great-aunt's assisted living place to celebrate Thanksgiving with her. (Did that make sense?)

Very easy week for me. No complaints here!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Frugal Fridays: CVS & baby food

Well, since we're coming up on the end of my first full week of blogging, I thought I'd steal somebody else's idea again. I give full credit to Crystal of BiblicalWomanhood for the Frugal Friday idea. By the way, check out her blog. It's full of information! Well, onto my first of two posts for Frugal Friday.


This is what I purchased at CVS yesterday. So what? So...I only paid $3.61 for all of it and got $5 off of my next purchase there. Yay for me! Now shopping at CVS and getting these great deals are not for the faint of heart. (in my opinion) It's taken some time and research, but look what I have to show for it! Yes, that is a blood glucose measuring device and, no, I don't have diabetes. But my mom does. And I used to. So, it can't hurt to check it every now and then, can it? Besides, I got it for free! How? you may ask. Be sure to check out this link for very detailed instructions. It's how I got my start!

I'm afraid that our family is not as frugal as Crystal when it comes to grocery shopping. She feeds her family of 4 for $35 a week! While I would love to attempt that, it is not a priority for my husband. We tend to tighten our budget in other areas because of our priority of eating organic/primarily grassfed meats. So, our meat cost alone this week was double Crystal's weekly budget, but I figure that I can save LOTS of money on our toiletries by shopping at CVS. Onto my second post!

Making baby food.

Since our produce/meat/grocery budget tends to be much more expensive than most people's due to our insistence on organic/grassfed, I try to be frugal in other areas. I also believe strongly in preventive maintenance when it comes to our health. This is one reason I have ALWAYS made my children's baby food. Our oldest ate baby food for 18 months, so, yes, it was time consuming. Our daughter was on table foods by 12 months. I thought I had it down. "All of our future children will be on table food by 12 months," I proclaimed. Then we had GB. GB has been a challenge almost from the beginning. He's had several health issues, and, since starting him on solids, several allergy issues. So I thought I'd demonstrate making baby food for a 14-month old. Hopefully, none of you will need to make it for that long!

Foods I started out with. Cut into 1/2" to 1" chunks.

I did not use all that I had, but a portion of each food.

This is partially blended. I add liquid to start off (broth, water, etc.). If it doesn't blend fully after a reasonable period of time and scraping down the sides, add more liquid.

Final product. Warning: not for the weak of stomach!

GB didn't seem to mind though! He loves his food!

Stay tuned for my Ron Paul article!

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I absolutely LOVE homeschooling! I feel like I've been doing it since my oldest was 3. It is so much fun and so rewarding to see the progress they make. I thought I would share a few photos.

This is my oldest after he said, in frustration, "You ONLY like my 14 and my 17?" I circle all his handwriting letters and numbers that deserve special recognition. Obviously, he disagreed with my choices.

This is my daughter as she watches the Letter Factory in the playroom during handwriting time with my oldest. That is the only facet of our schooling in which I don't include her. My attention needs to be on the oldest. By the way, we don't watch many videos, but the Letter Factory is one that we all LOVE! It's helped immensely in teaching my oldest his letters and words and my daughter is starting to pick up on it as well. Yay!

This is my oldest as he does his math work. Believe it or not, math is his favorite subject!

And here's GB as he tries to do school too!