Showing posts from July, 2010

New Goat on the Homestead

I bought a new goat for our homestead a couple of days ago. Her name is Bonnie…

She is a little Alpine doe.. and so far is doing great at intermingling with the other two goats. My herd is a lot smaller than it use to be, and I am just fine with that. Goats tend to be one of those things that can get overwhelming in a short time.. so I had to downscale and get back to something I could easily handle in life!! ~smile~ So far Bonnie seems like a great addition..

Flowers and a Little Back Porch Beauty

A home decorator I am not. I like things that look clean, neat and organized and I know what colors I like and what looks good to me, but I guess with most all of my energy over the years (the last 27 to be precise) going to the raising of 8 children, homeschooling, learning to run a home and all that my life style entails.. well, decorating just has been at the bottom of the list.

However, I do like flowers. I have found that flowers can make any area look pretty, cared for and homey. During the spring and summer I like to pick wild flowers on my property and put them in vases in my home. Right now I have really been enjoying the wildflowers that are growing on the hillside below our house…

Can’t ask for better decorating than that!!! :)

I always plant lots of flowers in my garden. My dad’s favorite flowers were zinnias. For years I have planted them in my garden and would cut them and bring them in the house. When I planted my packet of zinnias in my garden this year I thought of my d…


In my last blog post I promised to share the recipes that Leanne used to make her cheesecakes for Tobin’s birthday.

There are literally thousands of recipes out there on the web for cheesecake. However you really have to search to find the ones that don’t use things like pudding mixes and sweetened condensed milk. I try and keep the foods we make as basic as possible and stay away from as much pre packaged foods as possible. The only exception to these recipes is that we did purchase graham crackers. But many times we have made our own graham crackers and used those to make the crusts. If you would want to do that you can find my recipe here:  I have also bought them from health food stores before  and the ingredient list is a lot better.

The first cheesecake was a Cherry Cheesecake…

She did not use the crust recipe for this cheesecake, she used the crust recipe from the Mar…

Updates from the Homestead

The last two or three weeks has been kind of busy and lots has happened. Tests taken, milestones reached, and changes in our household have all been the cause of the busyness.

My daughter Emily went to visit friends in California for a few weeks. She really needed the break and also had an opportunity to do a little volunteering in an art center and for the local city hall there in Cali. She is having a great time.. but it has also provided her the opportunity to focus on the last 9 credits of her degree. Hopefully very soon she will be done with the last of her online classes! In the meantime Jacob immediately claimed her bedroom while she was gone! LOL.. I told Em that she would have to work that one out with him when she got back home. While I know she is having a super trip, she has sure been missed here at home…

My daughter Leanne took her drivers test yesterday and passed!! We were both so excited!! She is now a licensed driver. That makes 5 children I have taught to drive and 3…

Garden Update

It has been about a month now since I planted my garden and it is growing great! The weather here has really warmed up and my plants are thriving.

On Saturday Isaac and I spent an hour or so weeding the garden and then went swimming and enjoyed the sunshine. I took a few pics and later in the evening we went down to water and Leanne came along to take some more pics.

I took this pic from my deck. You can see the big pond and the small pond. The small pond is actually bigger than it looks.. lots of stuff has grown up and around the pond this spring and we have not cleared it away yet. The little pond is actually a spring and it is what I use to water the garden. The water is piped underground over to the garden..

I then use PVC pipe to water each row. I dig a little ditch near or around the row of veggies and then we water each row by letting the water run down the row and then connecting the next piece of pipe at the top of the row to water the next row. This method works the best a…

Super Easy Kefir Smoothie

Finally I can say summer is here. Yesterday my thermometer read 91 degrees.. aww.. gotta love it; at least I do, my garden does and my kids do too..

One of my favorite things to make during hot summer afternoons when the kids come in hungry is a smoothie. They are quick, make a minimal mess, don’t heat up the kitchen and they are healthy!!
I make my smoothies with kefir. I make kefir from a powdered culture. Kefir is a cultured milk product much like yogurt, only it is thinner than yogurt (like thick buttermilk in consistency) and much, much easier to make. I have step by step instructions with pictures on how to make kefir right here:

So for yesterday’s smoothie I combined about 3 cups kefir with 2 bananas that really needed to be used up and two big spoonfuls of organic peanut butter in my blender. I added some honey and mixed it all up. Then I added some ice cubes to make it cold and thick. I poured by boys (they were the only …

Shopping and Cooking for a Week at My House, Conclusion

In conclusion....Friday NightLasagna
On Friday we had lasagna for dinner. I have step by step picture instructions to make lasagna here. I made my lasagna bigger than the one shown on that webpage.  I used an 11x15 pan instead of a 9x13. To make a larger portion I used 10 whole wheat lasagna noodles. I buy those in bulk (a 10lb box) from Azure Standard. I added a more cheese and cottage cheese and made a bigger batch of sauce.For the sauce I used one pound of hamburger (from my beef in the freezer), a quart of home canned spaghetti sauce and added 1 6oz can tomato paste and a 15oz can of diced tomatoes (had these in my pantry). I use to buy all my tomato products from Azure because I wanted the organic tomatoes. I always am trying to avoid GMO products where I am able to. Now that Costco is selling organic diced tomatoes and organic paste, I buy it from them. I still buy my tomato sauce from Azure. I mixed the tomato products in with my sauce and added a couple of teaspoons of Italian …

Shopping and Cooking for a Week at My House, Part 2

Part Two....

Wednesday Night

I had another day of running kids to the airport and testing. So again, I wanted something that was not to taxing! ~smile~

We had bbq hamburgers.  I made a comment that we don't buy beef from the grocery store, however there is one exception.I do purchase frozen hamburger patties from Costco, occasionally. Right now I am doing it
because I am almost out of beef (have another cow on order), and wanted to save the hamburger I have left for other meals.

While I was waiting for my son to finish up a test he was taking I stopped by Walmart. I picked up 2 cabbages and some green chilies. Remind me not get my canned green chilies from Walmart.. at least not that one, I don’t shop at Super Walmart for groceries typically because they never seem to have what I need and this was the case once again. All they had were the little cans of chilies. I typically buy whole chilies in a big can to make chili rellenos (on the menu Sunday night). Not much of a grocery t…