Thursday, October 31, 2013

Homestead Moments


In the midst of daily busyness I’ve found something that I think is valuable as a homemaker. Every now and again give yourself a little reward. Something that makes you smile when you see it. I’m not talking about anything huge. In fact small and simple sometimes brings me the most joy.

I love mums. I was in the grocery store a few weeks ago and saw a pretty pot of mums for $2.99. I bought it and it now sits on my back porch. I enjoy seeing it as I walk in and out of the house.




Another one: these pretty candles. My daughter Sierra made them for our table using items we already had in the house. Very simple: wine glasses, coffee beans, tea lights. 




Find joy in the small things in life!


 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

25 Things to Contemplate When Turning 18


 
 
As my Father in Law once said to me, "Life is not a race to the end, it's a journey".  As my children grow up and one by one begin their journey I think about how prepared they are for it.  My youngest daughter is turning 18 next month. She is my 7th child to hit this landmark age. I've been thinking about when my older children turned 18 and the life lessons I had/have hoped they understand as they begin their journey into adulthood. I decided to start writing these things down. I’d like to think the things I’ve written are basic character traits I’ve instilled in my children over the years. It is a list of advice I’ve tried to pass on to them. It’s not a comprehensive list and I’m sure not everyone would agree on the best advice to give an 18 year old, but this is just my own personal list. I wrote this list down as it came to me; they are not in any particular order.


25 Things to Contemplate When Turning 18

1. Becoming 18 does not automatically make you an adult, in the eyes of the law it means you are now responsible for your own debt and actions. Becoming an adult takes time.

2. Your relationship with God is most important.

3. Think before you act, do my choices in life honor God, honor my parents, and lead me in a direction that God wants me go?

4. Don’t spend your time worrying about having a boyfriend/girlfriend. God has a plan for you and this is the time in your life to focus on Him, your relationship with Him and that plan. Move forward in your life, follow your dreams, be passionate and work hard to achieve them. Wait patiently on God’s timing for the right person for your life.

5. Remember no one owes you anything. If you want something in life you must figure out how to make it happen. Allow God to lead you.

6. Never stop learning. Read books, explore topics that interest you. Always be learning and increasing in knowledge.

7. Read your Bible. Never stop learning and increasing in knowledge about our Lord & Savior and His Word.

8. Be content with where God has you for the moment. The desire to be on your own, do your own thing, provide for yourself is normal. Be patient to work towards these goals but on God’s time frame. The second part that goes right along with contentment is learn to make the most of your life with what you have, right where God has you for the moment.

9. Take care of your responsibilities and work hard. Hard work is not something to avoid it’s something to embrace. Whatever goals you make understand it will take work to get there.

10. Understand the value of TRUST. Be a person others can trust. Trust that is broken is very hard to regain.

11. Pray often! Pray for others; keep a prayer journal that is filled with the thoughts and prayers of loved ones, friends and those in need. Focus less on yourself and more on others.

12. Be generous. Be Generous in love, generous in forgiveness, generous in longsuffering, generous with encouragement to others, generous with your time & finances.

13. Be Kind. The world is a rough place. Many people hurt and are struggling with issues that no one sees. Every day in every way you are able take time to show kindness to others.

14. Don’t be afraid to think “outside the box” in life. Be an independent thinker. It is ok to go against societal norms if you feel God is leading you in that direction. Just make sure your choices reflect #3.

15. Be wise with your finances. All that you have comes from God; prayerfully consider how to use your money.

16. Be willing to say, “I’m sorry” if a situation requires it. Be humble and admit when you are wrong. Life is not about always proving we are right.

17. Mistakes in life are unavoidable. We have all made them. We can either chose to let them bring us down or we can learn from them. No matter what the mistake is, learn from it, ask God for forgiveness and commit to walking forward having learned from it.

18. Be thankful always, no matter the situation. Life will have its ups and downs. At times life will seem like a walk in the park on a sunny day and at other times life will make you feel as though you are being tossed about on a turbulent stormy sea. Always hang onto God. And every day give God thanks! Don’t get caught up in a vortex of self-pity… Look to God, give thanks to Him and ask for guidance. God is good.. all the time.

19. Love is a choice. Choose to love daily and allow the love of God to flow through you, even in difficult situations.

20. Pray for wisdom. God has said in his Word that he will give wisdom to those that ask. Desire and pray for godly wisdom. Avoid the wisdom of this world and pray for God’s wisdom and direction.

21. Learn to make a really good cup of coffee (or tea). Many heartfelt memories with others in your life will come over a good cup of coffee.

22. . Know how to cook a meal, or rather many meals. As in #21 many heartfelt memories with others will come to you over a good home cooked meal. Not to mention that it is also practical and economical to know how to cook and not be at the mercy of fast food.

23. Know what you believe and why and stand firm. The loss of a friend, event, or opportunity in life that goes against what you believe is not worth stepping away from your convictions and beliefs

24. On a practical note, make sure you learn how to change a flat tire, check and be able to change the oil in your car.

25. Spend time serving others. This can be as simple as your family right in your home or your next door neighbor, your community, your church. Be willing to give of your time and talents as you can.

 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Menu Monday

 


Monday
Crockpot chicken, mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, green beans

Tuesday
Crockpot sloppy joe’s over dinner rolls, coleslaw

Wednesday
Fish sticks, fried rice, coleslaw

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Crockpot chili, chips & salsa, salad

Saturday
Salmon patties, crockpot mac & cheese, roasted broccoli

Sunday
Beef & rice enchiladas (using the leftover pot roast from last week - the link is for chicken & rice enchiladas and I will sub the pot roast meat for the chicken-- scroll down to the last recipe on the page), chips & salsa, salad


 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Soup Week: Tomato Soup

 


This is the last of my Soup Week posts.  I still had Chicken Pot Pie Soup on my list to make but ran out of time and space in the week to make it.  I plan to make it soon and when I do, I'll share the recipe. 
 
When I stopped buying Campbell’s soups years ago the one soup I missed the most was tomato soup. It was a family favorite for lunch time. The MSG in the soup would really throw my hubby for a loop so it had to go. I was on a quest to find my own recipe that was simple to make and tasted delish. I figured it out. This is a standard soup I now serve often for lunch or a light dinner. Goes great with sandwiches or wraps.
 



Easy Creamy Homemade Tomato Soup

2 15oz cans diced tomatoes
2 cans (the ones from the tomatoes) whole milk
1T cane juice crystal’s (organic sugar) or regular white sugar
1 T butter
1/8 t. baking soda
Salt and pepper to taste

Open the cans of diced tomatoes and pour them into your blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into soup pot. Add the 2 cans of milk, stir and turn heat to medium. Add cane juice crystal’s and butter and warm the soup until the butter melts. Do not let the soup boil. Taste and add salt and pepper. Then add the baking soda. Stir and serve warm.
 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Soup Week: Sausage Potato Chowder






This is one of my favorite soups to make. To me it’s like comfort food. When the temps drop outside, the house is warmed by a fire, and the family is hungry it’s time to serve up a pot of this chowder. The soup goes great with French bread or dinner rolls and a nice green salad. This hearty chowder is sure to satisfy everyone’s appetite. If you try this recipe I hope your family enjoys it as well.




Sausage Potato Chowder

4lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
1t salt
1 to 2lbs ground sausage (I used Jimmy Dean brand)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans corn, drained or 4 cups frozen corn
Whole milk, as needed
Salt & pepper to taste

In a large stock pot (6 to 8 quart) add chopped potatoes. Just cover with water. Add salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Drain almost all the water off and set aside.

In a frying pan cook sausage with onion until the sausage is fully cooked and onion is soft. Add this to the potatoes. Add corn.

Add milk and mix gently. The amount of milk you add depends on how thick or thin you prefer your chowder. If you add too much milk, simply mash up a few of the potatoes to help thicken. Taste and add salt & pepper as desired.


 
 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Soup Week: Crockpot Hamburger Veggie Soup

 


This is an easy, hearty and delicious soup to make for a cool fall day. I’ve made it many times. I have the recipe posted on my website and will share the link. I made it yesterday and it was nice to get it into the crockpot early in the day. I spent the rest of the day finishing up all my fall cleaning projects and dinner was simply making a quick salad and serving the soup with some rice crackers.

The recipe uses cream of mushroom soup. I rarely use cream of anything soup, but on the few occasions I do I use the organic brand, Pacific. The ingredients are good and it adds a lot of flavor to this soup. If you don’t want to use it, you can skip it. Or you can make your own white sauce or your own homemade version of cream soup instead.

One change I made from the original recipe was to us my own veggie stock in place of the water and bullion called for in the recipe.
 
 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Soup Week: Cream Cheese Chicken Veggie Soup





Last night’s dinner was delish!! This soup was sooo good! It was super easy to make as well. I used my homemade veggie broth that I talked about yesterday for this recipe instead of chicken broth. I served it with cornbread and a salad.

One reason I like veggie stock (other than it’s super easy to make) is that it is very versatile. It can be used to replace either beef or chicken stock in a recipe.

If you try this recipe I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!

 


Cream Cheese Chicken Veggie Soup

4T butter
1 large onion
2 cups sliced carrots
4 stalks celery, sliced
2lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cut up
1 ½ lbs red potatoes, cut up
2 quarts chicken or veggie broth
2 8oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
Salt & pepper, to taste

In a large stockpot melt butter. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Saute until onion is soft. Add chicken and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Add broth and potatoes. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Add cream cheese and stir to combine and mix in well. Add salt if desired. Serve with cornbread and a salad for a super yummy meal!

 
 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Soup Week: Making Stock & Pot Roast Soup

 


Over the weekend I made a couple small batches of soup stock. I made veggie stock and beef stock. Making your own soup stock is not that difficult. I’ve shared how to do this in past posts and on my website.

In my 8 quart stock pot I added a few frozen yellow and zucchini squash, a large onion, carrots, mushrooms, a few handfuls of spinach leaves and 1T salt. I let this simmer for several hours and then cool down. I strained the broth and poured it into quart size canning jars. I currently have the stock in my fridge for use this week. Whatever I don’t use I will freeze. If you make stock and desire to freeze it in canning jars don’t fill your jars as full as my picture shows. You need to give plenty of space for expansion. I fill about ¾ of the way full and freeze them without the lid on. After they are frozen I put the lid on.




The next day I made beef stock. Early in the morning I started by putting a few beef shank pieces and about ½ lb short ribs into an 8 quart stock pot and filled with water. I added one onion, garlic and salt. I let this simmer for 24 hours, divided it into 1 quart jars and then put it in the freezer for about 1 hour so the fat would congeal on the top so I could remove it. Two jars of the stock were used to make last night’s dinner, Pot Roast Soup. The other quart and a half jars are in the freezer.


This soup came as in inspiration to me based on the fact that I had a chuck pot roast in my freezer and wanted to make soup! Plus I know how fast a pot roast goes down in one meal and thought if I made soup with it I could stretch the meat out for 2 meals. The roast I used was about 3 ½ lbs. I put it, frozen, into the crockpot the night before I planned to make this soup. I put it on low and let it cook all night (about 12 hours). By that time it was falling apart tender. I removed it from the crockpot and cut chopped it all up. I put half in the freezer (for a future meal) and used the other half in the following soup recipe.



Pot Roast Soup

2 to 3 T olive oil
1 medium onion
5 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
2quarts beef stock
1 can (14/15 oz) green beans
2 cups sliced carrots
1 can (14/15oz) diced tomatoes
1T Italian spices (or a equal mix of basil & oregano)
8oz pasta of your choice or cut up red potatoes ( ½ to 1lb )
1 ½ lbs beef pot roast meat, cooked, cut up


In a large stock pot heat olive oil and add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion is soft. Add beef stock, green beans, carrots, diced tomatoes and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until carrots are soft. Add pasta or potatoes (whichever you choose), bring to a boil, cover, simmer until pasta or potatoes are cooked. Add pot roast meat, taste and add salt & pepper as desired. Serve with garlic bread, cornbread or crackers and enjoy!

 
 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Menu Monday!




This week I’m making soup on several different days. I hope to be putting extra servings in the freezer to enjoy over the next few weeks. Soup can be economical and healthy as well. With the fall days getting cooler soup is warmly welcomed at the dinner table. This will be the focus on my blog as well… making stock/broth and sharing soup recipes.

Monday
Pot roast soup, french bread, salad

Tuesday
Cream cheese chicken & veggie soup, french bread, salad

Wednesday
Super Easy Crockpot Hamburger Veggie Soup, cornbread, salad

Thursday
Sausage potato chowder, crackers, salad

Friday
Pork chops, brown rice, roasted carrots, salad

Saturday
Crockpot chicken pot pie soup, biscuits, veggie platter w/ranch dressing

Sunday
Leftovers

 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Updates from the Homestead



I’ve so enjoyed the last few days!! A friend of my daughters’ from France came to visit. She is currently working in the US and wanted to visit us and see another state while she is here. I love the way Marie met my daughters’, Emily & Leanne. Years ago (back in the Homestead Blogger days for those of you who have been long time readers) Marie’s mother contacted me wondering if her daughter could be pen pals with my girls as they were about the same ages. My girls enthusiastically said yes and the friendship began. Over the years the girls have kept in contact through emails, facebook, postcards and such.


Marie, who speaks English just amazingly, is here doing an internship teaching French to American children at a French school in the Midwest. She had a few days off and wrote to see if she could come and visit and we said, of course!! We were all disappointed that Leanne could not be here. But Sierra and I picked her up from the airport and took her Starbucks (when she told us she LOVED Starbucks we knew right away she would fit in just fine.. ;) ) and so our fun and adventure with her began. We had a great time visiting, getting to know each other better, learning about France, talking about many varied topics, watching movies, enjoying meals together and coffee in the morning together. All in all it was a very fun visit. She left yesterday afternoon to spend the rest of the weekend with Emily & Brandon to see the sights of the city.  It was a lovely visit and she is a lovely girl with a beautiful heart!! She seemed to fit right in like family. I’m always amazed at the relationships that can be made online. This one has certainly been a blessing to my girls as well as our family!

Here is a pic of Marie and I that Sierra took at the airport right after we picked her up…



 


The countdown begins!! Leanne will be home in 6 weeks!! We are sooo excited. She will have been gone one year and two weeks… She is ready and eager to come home and be with family once again.
 


Fall in our Part of the World

I thought I’d finish off this post with a few photos of fall in our area. My daughter Sierra took a walk around our property and down the road to the river and took a few pics of the beautiful fall colors and sights. I hope you enjoy them!









 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Frugal Grocery Budget Tips

 

 
How do you save money on the grocery budget and still eat as healthy as possible, especially in this day of rising grocery costs.  One thing I learned from having 8 children and living on one income is that you can’t always eat “perfectly healthy”.  It is often not a matter of seeing where else the budget can flex, but that there simply is not the funds available for a perfect, healthy, organic, etc. diet.    My conclusion was always this:  do the best I can with what God has given me. 

Here are a few of my own ideas I’ve used over the years to help with grocery costs.  If you have any other ones, please share in the comment section!!  It may be a great help to other readers who are trying to keep their grocery budget under control! 

1.  Add more beans to your diet.  Beans don’t have to be the main attraction, especially if your family is not that found of them.  2 ½ cups of cooked beans is about the same as 1# hamburger.   You can mash the beans up and add them to meatloaf, spaghetti, casseroles, etc…  They can be added to soups, or they can be the main attraction.  The trick is learning how to cook a delicious pot of beans and knowing what to do with those beans

2.   Make food from scratch and avoid as many convenience foods as possible.  Cook with more basic foods.  From a fairly small list of basic foods in the pantry, freezer and fridge you can come up with an amazing amount of meal variety.

3. Purchase little to no junk food.  Snacks can be healthier homemade options such as popcorn, cookies, muffins, granola bars, trail mix, etc

4. Drink water.  Incredible amounts of money are spent in this country on soda pop and various flavored waters.  The sugar and artificial sweeteners used in these are bad enough but the money spent on them is bad too.   Water is good for you, necessary for life, keeps your body hydrated and functioning properly.  On occasion I’ve made my family fun drinks for special times.  I like to use carbonated soda water in place of water when making apple, orange or grape juice.  Another favorite is Apple Peach Tea made from concentrated apple juice and peach tea bags.   As I said these types of drinks are reserved for special occasions.

5. Serve more oatmeal for breakfast and skip the boxed cereal.  When you add up the price per pound you are paying for boxed cereal you could be eating steak instead!  ;)  Oatmeal can be made into other things besides hot cereal: baked oatmeal, oatmeal pancakes, granola, and more

6.  Use less cheese in a meal.  Cheese is expensive.  I try and use less of it when cooking.  If a recipe says to add 2 cups I add 1 cup, if it says to top with cheese I either lightly sprinkle the cheese on top or skip it altogether.

7.  Make your own soup stock.  You can make beef or chicken or even veggie stock.  I like veggie stock because is a great way to utilize vegetable scraps and limp looking veggies in your fridge that might otherwise get tossed.

8.  Be as diligent as possible to avoid food waste.  It’s not just about starving children in the world; it’s about your food dollars.   When we throw away food it is like taking our hard earned money and tossing it right in the garbage and no one would do that.  I know it can be difficult.  I’m way to familiar with those unknown science projects growing and hiding in the back of fridge.  Here is what I’ve learned; you have to be super diligent to be as mindful as possible about the status of food in your fridge.  If you make to much of something, learn to make less next time.  Freeze extra portions if needed and also calculate amounts of food to feed your family.  An example is this:  I use to always have excess pasta left when cooking because I would just guess how much we needed.  Often it would go to waste.  Then I started weighing my pasta and figured out how much I needed to feed my family a meal.  If there was any leftover it was something that could be easily consumed the next day.  The last part would be to be a good steward of what is in your fridge and learn to adjust your meal plans when you see something needs to be eaten up before it goes bad.  Learn to be creative in your cooking.  Google is your best friend when searching for recipes.  Sometimes if I’m stuck for ideas I put the ingredient into a search and see what kinds of recipes pop up. 

9. I don’t use coupons.  I rarely see coupons for basic staple type foods.  They are most always for prepackaged processed foods.  I’ve never seen coupons for wheat, brown rice, oats, fresh meats, fruits, vegetables, etc..  Know the grocery stores in your areas and shop where the best prices can be found on basic items.

10.  Pack your lunches.  Whether it’s for work, school, or a day away from home with the kids, avoid fast food.  Making your own lunches is not only healthier but much less expensive.  I’ve been sending my hubby off to work with homemade home packed lunches for the last 30 years and it has saved us an incredible amount of money and he has eaten healthier as well.

11.  Plan a menu (checking weekly store flyers help to make menus based on what is on sale).  Menu planning is the best way to keep from overspending.  You plan your meals (for a week, 2 weeks a month, whatever you choose), create a grocery list from the plan and stick with the list when shopping. 

12.  Make a master list of foods you buy regularly.  Every shopping trip you can print the list and circle what you need.  Then add any extras needed. 

13.  If you know how to can up food, do it!  I can meat, soups, stews, chili, etc for quick, healthy and easy meals.  It’s a great way to take advantage of food when it is on sale or in season.  Much better for you than buying the processed store bought versions!

It takes a lot of work and time to organize, plan, cook and stay on top of the grocery budget.  But the end results are worth the effort.  You can save money and your family will eat healthier as well! 


Monday, October 14, 2013

Menu Monday!





Monday
Leftover spaghetti dinner and chicken dinner from the weekend

Tuesday
Hamburger stroganoff over egg noodles, salad

Wednesday
Chicken pot pie, green beans, coleslaw

Thursday
Tacos w/all the trimmings

Friday
Pizza

Saturday
Leftovers

Sunday
Crockpot pot roast, mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, salad

 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Making use of Bulk Foods to Ease the Budget






Sometimes it is hard to know how to incorporate bulk foods into your diet if you are not use to cooking them. I remember years ago reading cookbooks and health related books and filling my head with great ideas on how to save money and cook better food for my family. I found a store way on the other end of town that sold bulk foods in barrels that you scooped out, bagged and labeled yourself. I felt so, oh I don’t know, 60’s or 70’s ish! LOL But I loved it! So I brought home my treasures and then thought.. now what do I do with it. I tried some recipes and a few turned out and some did not but in the end most days I went back to what I knew how to cook and the bulk items sat on my shelf. However, slowly I began to learn more, cook more and figured out how to incorporate these cost saving, nutritious foods into my diet. That began my journey into not only saving money (I admit this was my biggest desire when I started) but also I began to see and understand the health benefits for my family.



So now I fast forward some 20 years later and I have large buckets and a 15 cubic foot freezer full of bulk foods that we eat all the time. I have learned a lot when it comes to incorporating these foods into a basic everyday diet.

But if you are similar to me and trying to move away from packaged convenience foods and cook more naturally, healthy and ultimately cheaper meals than I hope to be able to show you how to do this.

What types of Bulk Foods?
 
What type of bulk foods am I referring to? They would be mostly grains and beans and a few other miscellaneous types of foods. Here is a list of what I buy in bulk:

Beans:
Red beans
White beans
Pinto beans
Black beans
Split peas
Lentils

Grains:
Oats
Wheat (I use to buy flour before I started grinding my own wheat)
Brown rice
Corn (this would also include cornmeal if you don’t grind your own)
Pop corn (a great snack and very inexpensive snack when you buy it in bulk)

Miscellaneous Foods
Seasonings
Powdered milk
Honey
Whole wheat pasta
Cane juice crystals
Sucanat
Baking items such as:
Salt
Baking soda
Baking powder
Nuts
Coconut

It is amazing with the above list and a few items from your freezer and refrigerator what you can create to feed your family.

Where to Find Bulk Foods

I often get emails from people asking where they can find bulk foods. I live in the Northwest and use a food co-op for mine. My co-op is Azure Standard. I know there are other co-ops that work similarly all around the US. Some health food stores will also carry bulk items. We also have a grocery store that sells the scoop, bag and label your items as well as carrying various items in 25 and 50# packages. So you will need to do a little shopping around to find a supplier. Some places will also mail order. This could be work (as far as cost savings) if you order with one or more other people and split the shipping costs. You will have to pencil out the math to see what the best choice is for you.

Where to Start

If you start simply you will be more likely to be able to incorporate these bulk foods into your diet. Begin with something easy. Try whole wheat flour. When you bake substitute whole wheat flour for white flour. Use hard white or hard red wheat in yeast breads. If you are buying flour it should say something like “best for bread”. Use soft white wheat for all quick breads like muffins, biscuits, cookies, etc. This is often called “pastry flour”.

The next place to start is with a basic grain like oatmeal. If you currently buy breakfast cereals then replacing this with oatmeal or granola is a huge cost savings. If you would like other recipes for using oats I have a nice list of ideas and recipes here: http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/25lboats.htm

Now it is time to move on to a really big cost saver and that is.. beans! I can’t begin to say how much I have helped our grocery budget over the years by learning how to cook and use beans. Beans are inexpensive and full of nutrition. Many people don’t like beans or don’t really know what to do with them beyond making chili. I have created many bean recipes over the years that are creative and delicious. You can find some of them here: http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/beanrecipes.htm  If you need more ideas I have an article on what can be done with a 25lb bag of beans here: http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/25lbsbeans.htm  I have also written an ebook on cooking with beans that has step by step instructions, with pictures, on how to cook a delicious pot of beans. The ebook has even more recipes and a few photo tutorials to walk you through some of our favorite recipes. You can find more info on this here: http://crystalscountrystore.com/cookingwithbeansebook.htm

Another easy grain to incorporate into your diet is brown rice. Brown rice is so good for you! Switching from white rice to brown rice is often one of the hardest transitions to make for some. But I have some advice on how to make this transition here: http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/enjoyingbrownricel.htm  Plus another nice list of ideas and recipes here: http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/brownricegrocerybudget.htm

Conclusion

When learning how to incorporate healthy bulk foods to your diet remember to start slowly. Make goals to try and add something new to your family’s menu each week. Try incorporating these bulk foods into your own recipes to make the transition a little more familiar to your family. And then you can begin to reap the
 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fall Cleaning List



 
Do you do a yearly fall cleaning?  How is it going if you do?  I typically like to attack the cobwebs, dust and such from weeks of open windows and do some reorganizing of shelves, drawers, cupboards.  It’s always a nice feeling to get the house cleaned up from summer and prepare for the holidays.  I started a list this week and slowly been working on it as time permits.  I’m hoping today to make more headway on it.  I have my chicken soup simmering on the stove, the laundry humming away,  and dinner will be simple so I don’t have to worry about it and can keep on tackling the cleaning jobs.  

Kitchen:
Wipe down cupboards
Clean out inside of drawers and cupboards, as needed
Wipe down counter tops
Clean stove top, wash vent cover and screen

Laundry room/Pantry:
Reorganize shelves
Go through shoe tote and clean out summer shoes
Move buckets (I keep my bulk goods in buckets with gamma seal lids in my laundry room) and sweep/wash floor
Dust shelves

Dining room:
Dust and wipe down hutch
Wipe spots on walls
Vacuum cobwebs
Wash floor

Bathroom:
Go through drawers in vanity and reorganize
Wash down corners & edges of walls and floor
Go through small storage closet and reorganize
Do thorough cleaning, wash shower curtain, wash bathroom tile

Other:
Wash all throw rugs
Sweep/mop hallway floors
Wipe down walls and vacuum cobwebs
Remove light fixtures and wash

Upstairs:
Vacuum/wash stairs
Vacuum floors & cobwebs
Reorganize closets as needed
Dust/vacuum/wash windows in my daughter Leanne’s room (she will be home in a few weeks and I want her room ready for her)
Kids to wash their bedroom windows, get out winter blankets and go through summer clothes and pack away to make room for winter clothes



Monday, October 7, 2013

Menu Monday!





I’m back from my internet break and a few days away with my hubby. Had a great break and ready to jump back into life again. However I came home to a house without much food left (kids will do that.. ha, ha!! ) and today I grocery shopped and worked on getting life back in order again. I have amazing kids, they held down the homestead while we were gone and did a great job in being responsible. I always have to laugh when people we meet are shocked that we left a houseful of teenagers at home alone and are not worried. Nope, I have great kids that have my trust and they know the value of what that means.


Monday
Fish sticks, mac & cheese, green beans

Tuesday
Oven fried pork chops, pesto pasta, salad

Wednesday
Chicken noodle soup, crackers, salad

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Baked chicken legs, fried potatoes, garlic roasted broccoli

Saturday
Spaghetti, french bread , salad

Sunday
Chicken enchiladas, Spanish rice, salad