Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Updated Pics of Baby & Family

It’s been a busy week for sure around here!!  After Hannah had her little guy I took care of her girls while she spent a few days recovering.   Her and hubby came and picked them up and Sierra took some pictures of them all.  I just wanted to share them..  they are so sweet  (at least from this grandma’s point of view ;)  )

 The sisters and new baby brother

Little Will

(my favorite)

Family pics...

I thank for God His incredible blessings!! 


Monday, July 29, 2013

This Week's Menu


Fish sticks, mac & cheese, salad

Lasagna, french bread, salad



Chili, tortilla chips, salad


Thursday, July 25, 2013

It’s a Boy!!

Fifteen days late… little William Thomas V arrived safe and sound last night (they chose not to find out ahead of time if it was a boy or girl, so it was a lovely surprise for us all!). My daughter did an amazing job. She was sure being pressured into inducing. She kept saying, no.. they looked at her amniotic fluid levels, they were great… did a stress test on the baby, all was fine.. so we waited. As anyone who has had a very late baby you know well how hard that wait can be. She was just determined that this baby would come on God’s timetable, not the doctors.

Very early on the morning of the 15th day past her due date, she woke up to contractions and spent the next 12 hours with stop & go contractions. Finally at about 3:pm things started picking up. I arrived at her house at about 3:30. I had her try a few different positions to labor in and that seemed to really kick things into gear. Her goal was to labor at home for as long as she could. She wanted to do this birth naturally, no induction, no epidural… so she figured the longer she stayed at home, the better it would be. Finally we all felt that due to the timing of her contractions and the duration of them (and intensity) that we were ready to head to the hospital. My son Isaac stayed behind to babysit. Sierra & I followed them to the hospital and we checked in at about 7:30. She was 7cm dilated! We were thrilled. They got her into a room and the nurses jumped into action. Little William was born at 8:15… just 45 minutes after arriving. Could not have been timed better. He weighed 8lbs 10oz… big boy!!

In this day and age it seems to me women who desire to birth naturally in a hospital really have to fight for it. Hannah says if she has another baby, she will have a homebirth. My daughter did an amazing job of laboring and delivering!! And I could not be more proud of her. I had the joy and blessing to be right by her side all the way. I am a blessed grandma indeed. I have been right there with both of my daughters and watched (and for one participated in) the birth of my grandchildren.

My daughter Sierra took some awesome pictures. She is still in the process of editing them and I will have them soon and share them. For now, here are a few that were taken with my camera.

Hannah & little Will…

Very happy & proud daddy..

Blessed Grandma…

Monday, July 22, 2013

This Week’s Menu

I had a hard time knowing where to go this week with the menu.  We still do not have a baby.  Last week I planned an easy menu so I could be ready to drop it all and leave to help my daughter…  and my family could still eat!  LOL..  Since there was no baby I cooked anyway and made meals for my daughter’s freezer for after the baby comes.   I’m planning the same routine for this week.  I KNOW baby will be here!!  Sooo..  my meals are simple, each day there is no baby, I’ll keep cooking for Hannah’s freezer!  ~smile~

Bbq chicken legs, pesto pasta, salad

Buffalo chicken salad (we never made this last week), potato salad, french bread

Tacos w/all the trimmings, tortilla chips & salsa

Sub sandwiches, watermelon, salad


Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, salad

Spaghetti, french bread, salad


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Homestead Moments: Hope!

This morning I woke up early. I looked outside to see it overcast and cloudy. Not really what you want to see in the middle of July. Where is the sunshine? The weather man has assured me that it will burn off and the sun will be out once again. I have some hope! :)

While out on my deck taking the above picture I saw my poor little plant. It is supposed to be an indoor plant. I’ve nearly killed it countless times since it was given to me. I do great with a garden but horrible with keeping any indoor plant alive. However despite how it has been battered and mistreated it continues to live on! I saw those beautiful blooms a sign of hope as well today! At times life can throw us all curve balls and unexpected bumps in the road will happen. Let’s never lose sight of hope!

Psalm 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.

Psalm 31:24 Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the LORD.

Psalm 39:7 And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.

Baby Update
One more thing we have hope in!! New life!! We are still waiting for Hannah’s baby to make his/her appearance

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal

My daughter Emily shared this recipe with me. She found it on a super neat blog. She was looking for easy, quick, healthy, frugal breakfast ideas. And I’m like.. aren’t we all?! ~smile~ . I took a look at the recipe and heard her rave reviews and gave it a try. I was very impressed!! I did make a few changes to the original recipe. As is my style.. I like to simplify everything in life.. :) Here is the link to the original instructions and links to the recipes this nice lady shares: 

After reading the original recipe and then seeing what I had on hand, I made changes based on what was available to me. Here is what I made using this awesome idea…

1/4 cup oats (mine were quick cooking oats)
1/4 cup yogurt, I used flavored yogurt. I have Yoplait yogurt on hand. I used a scant 1/4 cup and was able to make 3 jars with one 6oz container of yogurt
1/4 cup fresh fruit: I had fresh blueberries and mango on hand. According to the original instructions you can also use frozen or canned fruit. I have yet to try that but it sounds like a great option in the winter when fresh fruit options are at a minimum
1/3 cup milk, I used whole milk

That was it.. I first chopped up my mango and got my blueberries washed…

Then I layered the oats, yogurt (for these jars I used strawberry and peach yogurt) and fruit into ½ pint canning jars..

Finally added the milk, put on a lid and shook it all up….

Refrigerate overnight.. 

So far I’ve found they last at least 4 days in the fridge. They are a big hit with the family. Even my hubby who is not a huge oatmeal fan has loved the ease and convenience of just grabbing one out of the fridge and having a healthy meal without fuss..

Check out the awesome options on the original blog post.. she has a lot of neat ideas of fruit, spices and such to combine for some yummy looking breakfast options!!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Chicken Parmesan

This recipe is soooo good!! And not too hard. I started out with about 3lbs of boneless, skinless, chicken thighs. So adjust according to your needs. 

I began by pounding the chicken thighs until they were fairly thin. Then I beat 3 eggs in a bowl and in a separate bowl mixed about ½ cup flour with a little salt & pepper. I dipped the chicken thighs in the egg, then the flour and browned them in a frying pan using coconut oil. 

After they were nicely browned on each side I laid them on a large tray that had been greased with coconut oil and spread with a little spaghetti sauce. When they were all done I topped them with more spaghetti sauce and then laid mozzarella cheese slices on top (all in all I used just a little shy of 1 quart of sauce, a jar of store bought sauce would be about perfect).

Baked for 30 minutes at 350 and served over whole wheat spaghetti noodles and a nice green salad on the side… very yummy!!


This Week’s Menu

This week’s menu is looking a little different.  My daughter Hannah is, as of today, 6 days overdue.  So we know we are going to have a baby very soon!  I picked simple quick meals because I don’t know when I’ll be dropping everything to head to the hospital with her.  After baby comes the grandgirls will be coming back to stay with me while she recuperates.  So for the most part I picked easy simple foods this week that require a minimum amount of prep. 

Fish sticks, mac & cheese, salad

Hot dogs, chips, coleslaw

Sub sandwiches, watermelon, veggie plate

Buffalo chicken salad w/homemade bleu cheese dressing, crockpot bean dish, french bread

Chili, tortilla chips, salad


Pizza casserole, coleslaw

Monday, July 8, 2013

This Week’s Menu

Sierra’s night to cook – Brown sugar chicken, brown rice pilaf, salad

Crockpot chicken parmesan (a new recipe, I’ll share it if it turns out good) over spaghetti noodles, french bread, salad

Tacos w/all the trimmings, tortilla chips & salsa

Tuna noodle casserole, salad


Fish sticks, mac & cheese, salad



Sunday, July 7, 2013

Updates From the Homestead

It has been a super nice week & weekend. On Monday Tobin & I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. We chose not to go out and celebrate but instead stayed home and enjoyed a bbq, camp fire and swimming down by our pond with our two youngest children, Sierra & Isaac. It was the perfect evening for us and we reflected on all of God’s blessings in our life…

I’ve also spent a lot of time this last week on my garden. After I planted the garden we had over a week of rain. The weeds just exploded and the garden needed a lot of attention. We’ve now had lots of heat and sun and the garden is growing great!

Currently we are waiting patiently for Hannah’s new little one to be born. Her due date is in two days. So we are counting down the days!! Hannah seems to have taken after me and has gone past her due date both times. I was late on several of my pregnancies .. so we are ready for the possibility that this baby could be late as well.

That is all from the Homestead for now!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

I’ve made these a couple times now and my family loves them! They go great with a salad, some tortilla chips and salsa. They go together even quicker if you have already cooked rice in the freezer. I make a point to have rice in the freezer at all times. Cooked chicken in the freezer would be another plus! If you have pre cooked chicken in your freezer you can sub 2 cups of chopped chicken for the “1lb boneless, skinless chicken” in the recipe.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
10 flour tortillas
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cooked, chopped
2 ½ cups cooked brown rice
3 cups grated cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack or a mix), divided
3T butter
3T flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 can (4oz) chopped green chilies

In a large bowl combine chicken, brown rice, and 2 cups cheese for tortilla filling. Set aside. In a sauce pan melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and bring to a boil and cook for about a minute. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened (a couple minutes). Remove from heat and let cool.

Lay tortillas on a plate and put about ½ cup of the chicken/rice/cheese mixture in the center. Roll up and lay them in a 9x13 pan (that has been greased.. I use coconut oil to grease pan). 

To the chicken gravy mixture stir in sour cream and chopped green chilies. Pour over tortillas in pan. Make sure the sauce gets in between the tortillas as well. Sprinkle the last 1 cup of cheese over the top.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350. Serve with tortilla chips, salsa and a salad and enjoy!!


I buy my tortillas at Costco. Ultimately whole wheat tortillas would be a better choice. I use to buy them many years ago from Azure Standard. They were fairly pricey, and when the price doubled it was just simply too expensive for our budget. I looked at whole wheat tortillas in the grocery store and the ingredient list was horrible. I’ve come to a compromise that we can use on occasion. They are fresh tortillas that I cook myself. They have 5 ingredients and I can live with this.

Here is the recipe in pics...

Begin by mixing up the chicken, rice and cheese in a bowl and set aside…

Make the sauce…

Cook the butter and flour together..

Add chicken broth and cook until thick and bubbly (and set aside to cool for a few minutes)...

Then while the sauce cools (before adding the sour cream) you can fill the tortillas. I use about a ½ cup of filling for each tortillas…

Roll them up and put in a 9x13 pan that has been greased. You can use non stick spray or oil. Lately I’ve been using coconut oil for greasing pans and been happy with the results.

Add the sour cream and green chilies to the sauce and pour over tortillas and top with remaining cheese..

Bake, serve & enjoy!!!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Homemade Bug Spray

I’ve read a ton on homemade bug sprays. We have a huge mosquito problem in our area. I am totally against chemical laden bug sprays. I don’t want to slather my family or myself in DEET. So took in all the info I read and came up with a pretty simple recipe. Last night we tried out. We were having a bbq outside and used this spray.

Here is my opinion on the results. We had to spray it on often. We did get bit a couple of times. Which is way better than it has been in the past where we would be covered in bites. So it did work for us. It smelled nice too! ~smile~ … 

Here was my recipe..

Put following ingredients into a spray bottle:

½ cup water
½ cup alcohol
30 drops essential oil: lemongrass (could also use lavender, rosemary, citronella)
½ t vanilla extract

A friend of mine, Tiffani, shared a recipe on her blog the other day and shared how she had very good results with it. I did not have all the ingredients on hand to make hers but I am eager to try it out and keep experimenting with this. You can see Tiffani’s recipe here: 

Thanks Tiffani for posting a great recipe!! :)