Thursday, April 30, 2015

Garden Season 2015!


A little over 2 weeks ago I got my tomato seeds started. I have a little box my hubby made me that has grow lights for my seed starts. They are growing so big!! I was hoping to get them transplanted yesterday.. but instead spent the day in town with hubby.. :) Best choice.. :) Today they are on my to do list!



Do any of you start your own plants or buy them? I'd like to do more, but my grow space is limited so I just stick to tomatoes. I mentioned to hubby expanding so I could do more.. he thought that was a possibility.. so maybe next year I'll do some more.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Menu Monday!



Hope your menu planning is going well this week! I was busy this weekend and almost forgot to sit down and write out a menu.. :) But I need to feed my family so I put it together before bedtime... I need the organization in my life.. Ha, ha!


Monday
Marinated chicken, rice, salad


Tuesday
Pulled pork (crockpot) sandwiches, coleslaw


Wednesday
Cheeseburger soup, crackers, salad


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Chicken noodle soup, dinner rolls, salad


Saturday
Lasagna, french bread, salad


Sunday
Leftovers


 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Kindness



One of the things that has always been an important part of character training for my children over the years has been kindness. I've stressed the value of being kind. At first it was simply to each other. I never allowed mean teasing or making fun of each other. I stressed how this would make them feel and do they like that feeling?

There are simple ways in life to be kind. One that I practice is to smile. Sounds small, but I smile at people when I'm out and about. I've seen grumpy faces light up with just a simple smile. I've seen smiles come back to me that made my so-so day brighter.

I have one daughter who is a cashier at a grocery store. It's amazing the amount of grumpy, grouchy, and sometimes just unkind people she comes across in a day at work. I know we don't think much about how we interact with the person checking out our groceries or items at a department store. But, they deal with a lot of people and it would be easy to get callous and be rude. And I've experienced that with cashiers. But no matter what I encounter I smile, I talk to them, I ask them how their day is going. I thank them and tell them I hope they have a great day. I've seen amazing things happen. The most grumpiest of cashiers are no longer grumpy when I walk away and they are smiling. And I pray that a small act of kindness means as much to them in that day as it did to me. Because giving a little kindness can be a blessing to both the giver and receiver.

The other thing I try and remember is that when in a difficult situation, I stop and think before replying. Because when something happens, honestly, my first thoughts (if it is a difficult situation) are not always the most kind. But, I remember that the Bible says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 NIV.

Kindness is always the best route. As I've told my children seek peace and give kindness first. There has been a quote I've seen on the internet that I can agree with: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.“ I'm not exactly sure who wrote this as I find different answers on line. But the meaning to me says.. we don't know what is going on in someones life that may make them grumpy or unhappy. Maybe today they just need a little kindness, a smile, a nice word spoken. It is an important character trait and will make less drama and more joy for all involved.



 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Delish Spring Salad


I love salads. I make them almost daily. I think fresh veggies are great source of vitamins and nutrition so I try more nights than not to serve a fresh salad with our meals. But they are often the same ol', same ol'...

My daughter Sierra came home the other day with some fresh strawberries and the idea for a super delish spring salad.

I had some mixed spring greens that I had bought (in a bag).. and we added chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and radishes and then sliced strawberries over the top... oh my!! What a treat.

She made a quick red wine vinaigrette. I don't have and exact recipe but basically she used a 2 to 1 ration of olive oil and red wine vinegar (twice as much olive oil as red wine vinegar). She added chopped up fresh garlic and a little salt and pepper.

The tangy taste of the salad dressing mixed with the sweet taste of the strawberries was divine!!




If you're looking for a little change of pace with your salad.. try this! It was so good!



 
 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Menu Monday!


Some weeks the menu ideas just flow from my brain, and other weeks it's an effort! This was one of those “other weeks”. I felt very uninspired. But I took an inventory of my pantry and freezers and pulled together the weeks meals. Only thing I should have to buy this week is fresh veggies and fruit.


Monday
Hamburger cheese enchiladas, tortilla chips & salsa, salad


Tuesday
Hamburgers w/all the trimmings


Wednesday
Tuna noodle casserole, biscuits, salad


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Easy shepherds pie, salad


Saturday
Baked chicken, mac & cheese, green beans



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Garden Season 2015!!


Last year, for several reasons, I decided not to plant a garden. It was a good choice for me. But one thing is for sure, I missed it!! So this year I'm ready for a garden again. Actually my daughter Hannah and I are planting the garden together. She does not have enough sunshine in her back yard for a garden so we thought, why don't we do it together? So that is the plan.

I ordered my seeds a few weeks ago. Nothing like an order of seeds to get a person excited at the possibilities!! 




Over the weekend I got my tomato seeds planted. They are now warm and germinating. Should be an exciting garden season!! 

 


Monday, April 13, 2015

Menu Monday!



Finally this week (tonight actually) the chicken pot pie will get made. I've had it on my menu for a couple weeks. Seems like there are either more leftovers than planned or my kids have other dinner plans. Such is the way it goes with planning. :) Hope your menu planning is going well this week!


Monday
Chicken pot pie, salad


Tuesday
Clam chowder, dinner rolls, salad


Wednesday
Creamy burrito casserole, chips & salsa, salad


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Cabbage & hamburger skillet, broccoli


Saturday
Chili, cornbread, salad


Sunday
Leftovers




 
 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Getting Fit in the 50's!



I'm continuing to walk as often as possible. The weather here has been a mixture of sun and nice days and strings of rainy days. I'm not great at being motivated to walk in the rain. Ok.. the truth.. I'm terrible at it!! I dislike the rain and somehow going out for a 2 or 3 mile walk in the rain has zero appeal to me.

When the weather can be rainy for several days in a row I really start to feel my lack of exercise time. My solution? Leslie Sansone Walk at Home dvd's. I love them. My preference is being outside in the fresh air and sunshine, but when that is not possible I use her dvd's.

She's inspiring and the dvd's make walking in your living room fun. I have several of her videos and below I have links to a couple of my favorite ones. (these are affiliate links and I thank you for any support to my little blog)

 



 


So all my walking had me thinking about how much in a day do I actually walk? Not just my official walk times. The easiest way for me to get an idea was to download an app on my phone that counts my steps. I thought at first, how can this be? My son in law explained it to me, and while I still only get it a little.. all I know is it works! It has been interesting to see how far I've walked in a day. Actually more than I thought!

However, the only downside for me is that I have to carry my phone around with me all day long. For some people that may not be a big deal, but for me, it is. I don't normally carry a phone with me all over the house. I do when I go out, but not at home. That got me thinking about a FitBit (there are other brands as well available).

You wear a FitBit around your wrist like a watch and it does the same thing (counting your steps) and apparently more (can track food, sleep, etc..). You can upload the info to your computer and keep a log of your activity.

I'm super curious about them and am wondering if any of you have one? If you do, what do you think of it? Do you like it? Pro's, con's, I'd love a little feedback on this!  :)



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Homemade Cloth Napkins



I've posted about this over the years, so it's not anything new or revolutionary.. but it is economical and I'm still doing it. Several years back (like 15+ years) I was looking at several pieces of material that I wanted to use up. I decided making cloth napkins from it would be worth a try (the fabric was 100% cotton). So I pulled out my serger and figured out measurements and whipped up a few dozen.

Over the years they have worn out, gotten lost (who knows where, I suspect with all the lost socks from years past!! Ha, ha!) and a few have found their way into the pockets of my kids and taken home as many have said to me.. oh yeah, I found a couple at my house! LOL.. So every now and again I need to make more.

I have saved so much money with my humble little cloth napkins. Washing them and reusing them saves on garbage as well.

Not too long ago I decided it was time to make more. I had fabric needing to be used and made another 3 dozen.
 
 



I fold them and put them in a little basket that sits on my dining room table...




I have instructions on how I make these on my website. Here is the link: http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/clothnapkins.htm

 
 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Menu Monday!




When I wrote out my menu last week I totally forgot that Sunday was Easter! Probably because we did not have any big plans. My hubby had to work, my son, Jacob, was having dinner with his girlfriends family so that just left my youngest son at home. I did make a ham, potato salad and green salad. So this week is all about using up the ham leftovers!

Hope you all had a joyous Easter!


Monday
Leftovers: ham, potato salad, green salad


Tuesday
Navy bean soup w/ham, dinner rolls, green salad


Wednesday
Tater tot casserole (made with ham instead of hamburger), salad


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Creamy burrito casserole, chips & salsa, salad


Saturday
Chicken pot pie, salad


Sunday
Leftovers


 
 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sweet Potato Bacon Soup

I've made this soup a few times now. It is easy and so good. It's a lot like potato soup but with a twist... sweet potatoes or yams. I've done it with both. And it is good no matter what. In the pic below I did add few red pepper pieces when I cooked the onion.  I had some to use up in the fridge.  The soup is versatile. 




Sweet Potato Bacon Soup

4#'s sweet potatoes, peeled, and cubed
1# bacon
1 onion, chopped
1 cup whole cream (approx.. could have been a bit more as I just dumped it in)
1t granulated garlic
Salt and pepper to taste


Put the sweet potatoes in a soup pot, cover with water, let cook until they are soft. While that is cooking.. cut up the bacon and onion and fry them until the bacon is crisp.

When the sweet potatoes are done cooking, pour off the almost all of the water (save it!). Add the bacon and onions, the cream and garlic.

Add enough of the reserved cooking water to make it a nice soup consistency. It does thicken up by the next day. You could either add more cooking water (if you save it) or a little more cream.

Add salt and pepper to taste..

Very easy!! And good!! :D