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Showing posts from November, 2014

Homemade Christmas Gift Idea: Chalkboard Table for Kids

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With the Thanksgiving holiday behind us, we are moving on to Christmas in our home. Today the tree goes up and the Christmas decorations come out and a little Christmas music will be playing to get everyone in the holiday mood.

Every year I like to make a few gift for my family. I don't make them all, that would completely overwhelming to me!! ~smile~ But I do pick out a few gifts each year to make.


I made this gift last year for my granddaughters. It was super easy. Chalkboard paint is easy to use! It was the first time I'd tried it and was pleasantly surprised at how simple it was and how quick the little homemade gift went together.

I found the idea from this website: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/08/cheap-and-easy-diy-chalkboard-table.html

I am fortunate enough to have an IKEA not far from me. As far as I know the items listed for this table (and chairs) could be mail ordered as well. However, any little table would work. It could be an end table (as thi…

Updates from the Homestead

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It's been a busy month. So much happening... our family Thanksgiving and birthdays for my kids...

My oldest son, Richard, turned 32 on the 16th of this month. I can hardly believe this! I was 18 when I had him. The moment the doctor laid him in my arms my whole entire life changed.. in an instant. He's grown to be a wonderful man. I love him... the picture here is one of him when he was in the Army. He spent 5 years in the Army. Two deployments... one to Cuba for a year and one to Iraq for 15 months. I'm very proud of him. He is currently finishing up his degree in Computer Software Engineering..



My daughter Sierra also celebrated her 19th birthday on the 23rd. She is such a sweet young lady. I love her so much and am so proud of her. This is a pic of her and her best friend (they've been friends since they were born as her friends mother and I have been best friend for 20 years) .. Sierra is on the left.. ...


My daughter, Emily, and her husband are moving…

How to Roast a Turkey

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In case this is your first Thanksgiving turkey...  :)





I am sure a lot of you reading this already know how to cook a turkey.  But I also know that many ladies have never done it before.  I was in my late 20’s before I cooked my first turkey.  My grandma or mom or mother in law had always done that part.  When I went to cook my first turkey I was reading lots of cookbooks and talking with my mother to learn.  It is not like we have the opportunity to practice turkey roasting too often! 
I thought I would just share from my own turkey roasting experience how I have done it.  There are lots of ways to do this and tips, etc..  and I am sure I won’t cover them all but will share what has worked for me. 
First is the actual buying of the turkey.  I typically have purchased frozen turkeys.  The week before Thanksgiving you can find turkeys at the best price of the year.  In fact I usually take advantage of these great prices and buy another turkey or two for the freezer. A mini Tha…

Menu Monday!

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The weekend was so busy with lots of family here and celebrating our Thanksgiving dinner that my weekly menu was not even on my mind. But I managed to get one put together so I can do some grocery shopping... the week does march on!


Monday
Leftover Thanksgiving dinner


Tuesday
Turkey soup, dinner rolls, salad


Wednesday
Crockpot pork chops, brown rice, salad


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Enchilada bake, tortilla chips & salsa, salad


Saturday
Split pea soup w/sausage, biscuits, salad


Sunday
Cream cheese chicken casserole, rice, salad



Thanksgiving Planner!

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Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year at your home?  If you are, this list might help you to be a bit more organized.   

I'll be hosting my family's Thanksgiving meal on Sunday the 23rd.  We'll have about 16 people here including grandchildren.   Being prepared with good planning is a must!!  



3 weeks ahead of time  Figure out how many people will you be serving and how big of a turkey you will need.  To calculate this, you need to figure about 1 ½ lbs of turkey per person.  So if you are feeding 8 people you would need a turkey that was about 12 pounds.  I usually buy them bigger so I will have leftovers.  Write out guest list Plan out menu Gather recipes Write out grocery list 2 weeks ahead Buy turkey (if buying frozen ones) Make dinner rolls and freeze.  I like to freeze them before baking.  I shape them into rolls; lay them out on a tray and flash freeze them.  On Thanksgiving Day I bring them out in the morning to defrost and rise.  If your guests are con…

Menu Monday!

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This week will be busy! I have shopping and prep to think about for my family's Thanksgiving dinner and a couple of sewing projects that I need to make progress on if they are going to be finished by Christmas! A planned out menu is a life saver on busy days. How is your menu looking this week?


Monday
Hot roast beef sandwiches, salad


Tuesday
Homemade pizza, coleslaw


Wednesday
Mexican chicken casserole, tortilla chips & salsa, salad


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Teriyaki pork chops, brown rice, green beans


Saturday
Chili, cornbread, salad


Sunday
Our Family Thanksgiving Dinner


Hot Process Soap Making – New Video!

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Making soap is fun and rewarding. It can be scary to start out but once you do it you realize how simple it is. And you realize how useful it is! I know my family and I could never go back to store bought soap.

In this video I'm showing you how to make hot process soap in a crockpot. There are 2 ways to make soap. One is called Cold Process and the other Hot Process. Here is the difference...

CP - This stands for Cold Processing. This is a soap making method. This is the method I use for making soap to sell. It involves combining your liquid/lye mixture with your oils and stirring until you reach trace (as defined below). Then pouring the mixture into molds. In a day or two you unmold, cut the bars and let the soap cure anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks depending on the recipe.

HP – This stands for Hot Processing. 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. Af…

Striving for a Heart of Gratefulness

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This is a repost from last year..  but my feelings are still the same!!  Be grateful, be thankful for all of God's blessings..  the big ones and the little tiny ones..  God's love is everywhere when we take the time to look and see them.. 


Thanksgiving always means to me a time to stop and give thanks. I’ve seen many lists on the things people are thankful for in their life. I have my own list as well. But I have really been contemplating something beyond this. I’ve been contemplating and thinking about a heart of gratefulness.

How is this different you might ask? Well I’ll share my thoughts. In my mind a true heart of gratefulness goes beyond my list of what I’m thankful for. It is a deeper meaning that I am going to strive for in my life. I looked it like this.. if you were walking through a desert of heat you would be so thankful, deeply grateful for every drop of water you had. If you stood next to a huge lake, water would be taken for granted. How many things in …

Homemaking Challenge for November – Update

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I've met most of my goals.. but the months not over yet!! The windows are still on my to-do list.

The kitchen has been given a good cleaning.. wiped down, cleaned up, etc.. preparing for our holiday baking and cooking which is coming up soon!

I wanted to get my “baking cupboard” cleaned out. It was messy, over crowded and a few items that needed to be tossed. Here was the before pic...



The first step was to clear everything out and go through it all. Then wipe down the shelves...



Then it was time to put it back....



Aww.. looks much better, easier to use and I even have that top shelf area for storage if needed.


Now I feel ready to do some baking. I've gone through my spices and other ingredients to make sure we are ready to tackle the pumpkin pies and other goodies.

My family will be celebrating Thanksgiving on the 23rd of November. Last year we celebrated a few days late so that my daughter Leanne could be home from S. Korea to join us. What I really enjoyed is th…

Menu Monday!

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Last week was just busy! We had a fun trip up north to visit my in-laws, and then busy days for the rest of the week. This week should be slower paced. For now, the menu has been planned and that is always the best start to my week. How is your menu planning going?



Monday
Crockpot pork roast, roasted potatoes, coleslaw


Tuesday

Chicken/spinach casserole, brown rice pilaf, salad


Wednesday
Chicken veggie soup, dinner rolls, salad


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Hamburger/rice enchiladas, chips & salsa, salad


Saturday
Chili, corn bread, veggie platter


Sunday
Leftovers


Menu Monday!

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Monday
Bibimbap (Korean meal that Leanne will be making that did not get made yesterday as originally planned)


Tuesday
Dinner with my in laws



Wednesday
Navy bean soup, dinner rolls, salad


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Dutch oven creamy chicken & veggie soup, easy dinner rolls, salad


Saturday
Lasagna, french bread, salad


Sunday
Breakfast for dinner: Sausage gravy over biscuits, scrambled eggs, brown rice and oat waffles, fruit platter