Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Garden Season 2015!!


Last year, for several reasons, I decided not to plant a garden. It was a good choice for me. But one thing is for sure, I missed it!! So this year I'm ready for a garden again. Actually my daughter Hannah and I are planting the garden together. She does not have enough sunshine in her back yard for a garden so we thought, why don't we do it together? So that is the plan.

I ordered my seeds a few weeks ago. Nothing like an order of seeds to get a person excited at the possibilities!! 




Over the weekend I got my tomato seeds planted. They are now warm and germinating. Should be an exciting garden season!! 

 


Monday, April 13, 2015

Menu Monday!



Finally this week (tonight actually) the chicken pot pie will get made. I've had it on my menu for a couple weeks. Seems like there are either more leftovers than planned or my kids have other dinner plans. Such is the way it goes with planning. :) Hope your menu planning is going well this week!


Monday
Chicken pot pie, salad


Tuesday
Clam chowder, dinner rolls, salad


Wednesday
Creamy burrito casserole, chips & salsa, salad


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Cabbage & hamburger skillet, broccoli


Saturday
Chili, cornbread, salad


Sunday
Leftovers




 
 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Getting Fit in the 50's!



I'm continuing to walk as often as possible. The weather here has been a mixture of sun and nice days and strings of rainy days. I'm not great at being motivated to walk in the rain. Ok.. the truth.. I'm terrible at it!! I dislike the rain and somehow going out for a 2 or 3 mile walk in the rain has zero appeal to me.

When the weather can be rainy for several days in a row I really start to feel my lack of exercise time. My solution? Leslie Sansone Walk at Home dvd's. I love them. My preference is being outside in the fresh air and sunshine, but when that is not possible I use her dvd's.

She's inspiring and the dvd's make walking in your living room fun. I have several of her videos and below I have links to a couple of my favorite ones. (these are affiliate links and I thank you for any support to my little blog)

 



 


So all my walking had me thinking about how much in a day do I actually walk? Not just my official walk times. The easiest way for me to get an idea was to download an app on my phone that counts my steps. I thought at first, how can this be? My son in law explained it to me, and while I still only get it a little.. all I know is it works! It has been interesting to see how far I've walked in a day. Actually more than I thought!

However, the only downside for me is that I have to carry my phone around with me all day long. For some people that may not be a big deal, but for me, it is. I don't normally carry a phone with me all over the house. I do when I go out, but not at home. That got me thinking about a FitBit (there are other brands as well available).

You wear a FitBit around your wrist like a watch and it does the same thing (counting your steps) and apparently more (can track food, sleep, etc..). You can upload the info to your computer and keep a log of your activity.

I'm super curious about them and am wondering if any of you have one? If you do, what do you think of it? Do you like it? Pro's, con's, I'd love a little feedback on this!  :)



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Homemade Cloth Napkins



I've posted about this over the years, so it's not anything new or revolutionary.. but it is economical and I'm still doing it. Several years back (like 15+ years) I was looking at several pieces of material that I wanted to use up. I decided making cloth napkins from it would be worth a try (the fabric was 100% cotton). So I pulled out my serger and figured out measurements and whipped up a few dozen.

Over the years they have worn out, gotten lost (who knows where, I suspect with all the lost socks from years past!! Ha, ha!) and a few have found their way into the pockets of my kids and taken home as many have said to me.. oh yeah, I found a couple at my house! LOL.. So every now and again I need to make more.

I have saved so much money with my humble little cloth napkins. Washing them and reusing them saves on garbage as well.

Not too long ago I decided it was time to make more. I had fabric needing to be used and made another 3 dozen.
 
 



I fold them and put them in a little basket that sits on my dining room table...




I have instructions on how I make these on my website. Here is the link: http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/clothnapkins.htm

 
 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Menu Monday!




When I wrote out my menu last week I totally forgot that Sunday was Easter! Probably because we did not have any big plans. My hubby had to work, my son, Jacob, was having dinner with his girlfriends family so that just left my youngest son at home. I did make a ham, potato salad and green salad. So this week is all about using up the ham leftovers!

Hope you all had a joyous Easter!


Monday
Leftovers: ham, potato salad, green salad


Tuesday
Navy bean soup w/ham, dinner rolls, green salad


Wednesday
Tater tot casserole (made with ham instead of hamburger), salad


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Creamy burrito casserole, chips & salsa, salad


Saturday
Chicken pot pie, salad


Sunday
Leftovers


 
 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sweet Potato Bacon Soup

I've made this soup a few times now. It is easy and so good. It's a lot like potato soup but with a twist... sweet potatoes or yams. I've done it with both. And it is good no matter what. In the pic below I did add few red pepper pieces when I cooked the onion.  I had some to use up in the fridge.  The soup is versatile. 




Sweet Potato Bacon Soup

4#'s sweet potatoes, peeled, and cubed
1# bacon
1 onion, chopped
1 cup whole cream (approx.. could have been a bit more as I just dumped it in)
1t granulated garlic
Salt and pepper to taste


Put the sweet potatoes in a soup pot, cover with water, let cook until they are soft. While that is cooking.. cut up the bacon and onion and fry them until the bacon is crisp.

When the sweet potatoes are done cooking, pour off the almost all of the water (save it!). Add the bacon and onions, the cream and garlic.

Add enough of the reserved cooking water to make it a nice soup consistency. It does thicken up by the next day. You could either add more cooking water (if you save it) or a little more cream.

Add salt and pepper to taste..

Very easy!! And good!! :D


 
 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Updates from the Homestead


I know it's been a bit since I've blogged. Life has been busy.

The first update is a very happy one!! My youngest son, Isaac, now has his drivers license!! And I'm finally able to say.. 8 down.. 0 to go! My job as a drive instructor.. is officially over. I could not be happier. Along with this milestone Isaac got a part time job. So the license came just in time. He started his new job yesterday and is doing great. Has already gotten compliments on what a hard, enthusiastic worker he is. He is excited about life. And I'm very happy for him.



My birthday was last week and hubby and I made an escape to the Oregon Coast for a few days. It was wonderful to take a break and just get away. Enjoyed relaxation, walks on the beach and some great seafood. We felt refreshed when we got back.



When I got home, I had the most wonderful surprise. People that know me, know that I have a love of all things tropical. I've always wanted a palm tree. But we live in the Northwest.. So, I figured maybe one day I'd get an artificial palm tree. But, my kids (bless their sweet, kind hearts) did their research and found a cold blooded palm tree that thrives in our climate (is that cool or what??? :) … so all of my kids chipped in and bought me one for my birthday. I could not have felt more blessed.. I almost cried when I came home from my trip and saw it.. I have amazing children!! Now I'm trying to figure out the best spot for it.. and get it planted as soon as possible.. so it can grow!! A gift that will bless me for years to come.



Then a couple days after we got home my daughter Emily and her hubby Brandon came for a visit from California. They moved to CA in December. I've really missed them, as they would come often to spend the weekends with us. So it was a huge bright spot in our week. My son Richard came and we had a great family visit and bbq on their last night.






Now that so much activity is behind me, I'm hoping to get back to blogging.. I do miss it when I am not here.. but love my family time..