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Showing posts from February, 2013

I’ve had 8… you will survive.. I promise..

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I just read a post from a friend who has 3 kids and is pregnant with her 4th. She has been sick and the kids are suffering from cabin fever and she is exhausted. Oh my, can I relate! She was so happy for bedtime.. yep, I can relate! As I read posts similar to this (as one I saw recently.. I’ve had 3 and survived)… it is a challenge!! I read these posts and think about my life with 8 kids.. I had 6 of them in 9 years and 8 in less than 15 years… I just kind of sigh… yes! It is hard.. it is work, it is a challenge! No doubt!! But at the end of the day… you will survive.. and every minute is worth it! So.. hang in there mom..

Challenges.. I get it… first child starts throwing up… I’m up all night with him.. then I get it.. I’m throwing up now.. and the next child gets it.. I’m up another night with them (and me too)… then the next 2 or 3 or 4 kids get it… everyone is racing to the bathroom or their bowls (we’ve only ever had one bathroom)… and then just when I think it may …

This Week’s Menu

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Monday
Leftovers – I switched up my menu last week and made the meatballs & mac & cheese on Sunday and we have enough for tonight’s dinner.

Tuesday
Tacos w/all the trimmings, tortilla chips & salsa

Wednesday
Asian chicken noodle soup (new recipe I'm trying), rolls, salad

Thursday
Sierra’s night to cook: Spinach stuffed chicken breasts, garlic roasted broccoli, dinner rolls

Friday
Crockpot pork roast, baked potatoes, dinner rolls, salad

Saturday
Leftovers

Sunday
Spaghetti, french bread, salad


Pizza Chili

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Sometimes I like to come up with a new twist on an old favorite meal. This is the case with this recipe. A couple of weeks ago I did a beef veggie chili that was really good and this week I was wanting to try putting two favorite food flavors together, pizza & chili. The verdict: it was awesome! My family ate it up and raved about it. 
This recipe is also very versatile.. you can add more veggies or more beans if you want to stretch the meal to feed more people.  You can vary the types of veggies you useas well.  When choosing the veggies for this meal I thought of the toppings we would normally put on pizza. 

Here is the recipe:

Pizza Chili
1 to 2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red or green pepper, chopped
4 to 5 mushrooms, sliced
1 lb hamburger
½ lb sausage
1 qt spaghetti sauce
4 cups cooked beans, any type (red, black, pintos, etc)
3oz pepperoni, sliced and chopped, roughly
2 cups bean broth (from cooked beans)
1T Italian seasonings
salt & pepper to taste
mo…

This Week’s Menu

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Monday
Beef & bean soup (made from my canned beef and veggies), dinner rolls, salad

Tuesday
Dijon & garlic baked pork chops, onions, mushrooms & cabbage sautéed in butter (I’ll be using my cabbage I canned last summer for this), mashed potatoes, salad

Wednesday
Homemade pizza, salad

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Meatballs, mac & cheese, salad

Saturday
Leftovers

Sunday
Beef & rice chile relleno casserole, refried beans, salad

Finding Purpose as a Homemaker (and in Life!)

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This has been a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately.  We will be dealing with some changes in our life at home soon (which I'll share at another time) and it seems that part of the decision making process has led me to think on our purpose in life. In this post I speak from the viewpoint of a homemaker because that is what I know personally.
Sometimes as a homemaker we find it hard to look at our life and see our purpose.  Especially when children are small and the days filled with changing diapers and tasks of the home or when the nest is empty and seasons change in our lives. Finding purpose in life as a homemaker may be a challenge. Or maybe not for everyone, but the hope of this post is to encourage us all in knowing our purpose.

Finding purpose in life is one of those goals we don’t think about as we are becoming adults. It’s not like we say to ourselves, “I need a purpose in life”. We follow our dreams, goals, and interests because they fulfill “somethin…

Hot Processed Soap Making Fun

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Well I know I’m feeling better because I had the desire to make some soap over the weekend for fun! I needed some soap for my family and I like to use this opportunity to try out new recipes. I also did not want to wait for the cure time so I decided to make hot processed soap in the crockpot.

There are 2 ways to make soap. One is called cold process and the other hot process. Here is the difference:

Cold Processed (CP): This method involves combining your liquid/lye mixture with your oils and stirring until the mixture thickens (also known as “trace”) . Then pouring the mixture into molds. In a day or two you unmold, cut the bars and let the soap lay out on a flat surface to cure anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks depending on the recipe. This ensures the soap is free from all traces of lye.

Hot Processed (HP): You follow the same procedures as CP but instead of pouring into your mold you keep cooking the soap. The soap is heated and cooked all the way through to the end (meaning t…

This Week’s Menu

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I don’t know why it is but some weeks I really struggle to come up with a menu and some weeks the ideas just flow without effort. This week was a struggle! But I persevered until I came up with a menu that I was happy with. I have couple recipes that are new to try out (marked with a “*”). If they are hits with the family, I’ll share them!

Monday
Beef & rice enchiladas, tortilla chips & salsa, salad

Tuesday
Hamburgers w/trimmings, chips, salad

Wednesday
Cajun chicken, macaroni & cheese, garlic roasted brussel sprouts

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Pizza chili*, dinner rolls, salad

Saturday
Leftovers

Sunday
Garlic & lemon chicken*, brown rice pilaf, salad


A Couple Updates from the Homestead

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The best update I’ve had is my hand. I went to the doctor earlier this week and was told that it looks like we have beaten this infection! I still have a bit of swelling in my hand (especially my two middle fingers) but the doctor said it was just going to take time for that to continue to heal. I have MUCH more use of my hand now. I’ve been doing lots and lots of physical therapy exercises to gain movement and increase strength and they are working! Praise the Lord I’m on the mend. I will finally be off my antibiotics tomorrow. Three plus weeks of antibiotics is enough for me! The side effects of those have been difficult to handle, but obviously necessary.

I also wanted to thank so many of you who left me comments on my blog post when I told you what happened and those who left comments on my Facebook as well. I so appreciate the love, concern and prayers, it meant a lot to me.

I also wanted to update those of you who’ve been following my blog about my daughter Leanne.…

Dishwasher Soap Sub

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One of the most common emails I receive is ladies asking if I have a good homemade substitute for dishwasher detergent. After making my own homemade laundry detergent and having such great success I was eager to try and find something that worked as well in my dishwasher. I found and tried a couple different recipes. I was not happy with the results at all. The most common recipe I came across was a combination of washing soda, borax and citric acid (some recipes used Kool-Aid in place of the citric acid). What I discovered is that this combination left a cloudy film all over my dishes that was hard as heck to remove. I quickly went back to Cascade and gave up trying to find a substitute.

Well, last week I ran out of dishwasher soap. Because I live rurally just hopping in the car to run and pick up one item is out of the question. Plus, at that point my hand had not healed enough to be able to drive (I have a stick shift and could not shift with my right hand). I had the …

This Week’s Menu

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Monday
Leftovers – I switched my menu around last week and made the sausage and peppers on Sunday and we have enough left for dinner tonight

Tuesday
Lasagna, french bread, salad

Wednesday
Leftovers (with only 4 of us we seem to end up with a lot of leftovers lately!)

Thursday
Crockpot BBQ chicken (I’m using this recipe and subbing chicken for the beef), baked potatoes, salad

Friday
Leftovers

Saturday
Meatloaf, macaroni & cheese, salad

Sunday
Leftovers


Crockpot Pork Roast

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This meal was incredibly easy to make. I had a 3 ½ pound pork roast that I wanted to cook in the crockpot. Last summer I canned some sweet/spiced cabbage (you can find that post here). I put the pork roast in the crockpot and opened a pint jar of the cabbage and poured it on top (doesn't get much simpler than that! :) ….


Put the lid on the crockpot, set it on "low" and 10 hours later the meat was tender, falling apart and tasted delicious!


I served the meal with mashed potatoes and a green salad (photo taken by my daughter Sierra Beth)…

If you don’t have the canned cabbage mentioned above 2 cups of sauerkraut and 2 to 4 tablespoons of brown sugar (or Sucanat) could be added instead. 


Newsletter and Monthly Menu Calendar

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Better late than never!!  The newsletter for February has been sent out.  I’m having a tough time with the side effects of the antibiotics and between that and my hand still healing…  well, I’m a bit late and slow on everything lately!  :)  If you did not receive the newsletter and would like to read it or would like to sign up for it you can do that here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HomesteadHappenings/
The February menu calendar is also up on my site:  http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/menuplanningcalendars.htm