Monday, April 30, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday

Oh Blogger, it's been such a nuisance to me the past week.

Anyway, hope you all have a great weekend and here's wishing for a wonderful week ahead :)

Happy Homemaker Monday
If you want to save and use the new button, just click here.

The weather:::
72 degrees right now and it's only 6:30 am LOL  It's already warm here in AZ and it's going to continue getting warmer.  I don't mind it that much yet, but I'm sure I'll be crying "Uncle" when we get to 120.   

On my reading pile:::  
Joyce Meyer Devotional
Joseph Prince Devotional
The Uninvited Guests (for a review on Wednesday) 

On my TV:::
Watched The Awakening yesterday, it was a great movie.  Also watched the new Underworld movie with hubby, we love all the movies but were bummed to see that Michael Corvin wasn't included.  
Today I hope to watch The Victorian Garden and Kitchen.

On the menu for this week:::
 Monday -   Chicken Curry
Tuesday - Will be at the car dealership so will get something while we're out.
Wednesday - 
Thursday -  
Friday -  Homemade Pizza with Garlic Crust
Saturday -  
Sunday -  

Have to finish Menu Planning today, so not sure yet what the rest of the week looks like.  

On my to do list:::
Some ironing
Mop the floors
Math tests for the kids
Menu Planning/Grocery List 

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Almost finished with the ripply cushion, just need 2 more rows then I can put it together.

In Homeschooling:::
Have some Math tests to administer to the kids.
Nicholas will be working with magnets, friction, force, gravity etc in Science.
Jasmine is also learning about Motion in Science.
We're down to the crunch and will be finishing off the school year this week, we're so excited :) 

Looking around the house:::
Hubby is on the computer checking his Castleville before leaving for work LOL  
I'm sitting on my recliner with the laptop on my legs, typing this post and trying not to move my neck much, I pulled a muscle while watching the movie last night because I fell asleep with my neck all twisted and it's really bugging me this morning.  Kids are still asleep.
The back door is open and I'm hearing the birds chirping outside, it's a beautiful morning.

From the camera:::

Homemade Cheese Crackers, really easy, just a few ingredients and the kids loved them.


Something fun to share:::
I love YouTube.  I love the fact that I can find pretty much anything on there and I have a few Channels bookmarked for some of my favorite shows.
Here are some of my favorites:

Homesteading Today - Homesteading, do it yourself, self sufficient.
Imperial War Museum - Lots of videos from wartime England, Make do and Mend, Dig for Victory etc.
Victorian TV Series - Victorian Kitchen, Victorian Garden 
Shazzandfred's Channel - A lot of the River Cottage Episodes, which I really enjoy
Supersizers - All the Supersizer episodes, Wartime, Ancient Rome, Medieval etc

On my prayer list:::
After so many years, and both vehicles being paid off, this week we have to get a new one for me.  My 1998 Durango is no longer running so we've been relying on my husband's truck.  Problem is that it's a 1998 as well and it's starting to fall apart.  He has to drive to Texas soon and we really need a reliable vehicle.  I'm praying that the Lord helps us find the perfect one at a good price.

Bible verse, Devotional::: 
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

– James 4:7 (NIV)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Wartime Kitchen

As someone who loves cooking and experimenting with ingredients at hand, I have always been fascinated by the Wartime kitchens and rationing. I won't say that I wish I had gone through that, but sometimes I wonder if we are just too used to having everything at our fingertips, to having life be so easy that we have become lazy.

 As with everything else that I go into, I like to research and read and watch as much as I can about certain periods in time, different eras, different ways of doing things. Why? Because I yearn for a simpler time, for a time where we may not have had everything readily available, but family came first, neighbors helped each other and really opened their homes to everyone around them.

Unfortunately nowadays, and I'm speaking from my own personal experience, I've noticed that it's every man for themselves and how can we make a quick buck with the least work possible. Honestly, it seems that if there was a robot that could do everything for us, many would jump on that bandwagon pretty quick.

But back to the topic at hand.  The Wartime Kitchen, rationing and surviving through it.

Rationing was introduced in England on January 8, 1940.  Here is a little info about it:

At the beginning of World War II, the UK imported 55 million tons of foodstuffs per year (70%), including more than 50% of its meat, 70% of its cheese and sugar, nearly 80% of fruits and about 90% of cereals and fats. 

It was one of the principal strategies of the Axis to attack shipping bound for the UK, restricting British industry and potentially starving the nation into submission.

Each person would register with their local shops, and was provided with a ration book containing coupons. The shopkeeper was then provided with enough food for his or her registered customers. 
When purchasing goods, the purchaser had to give the shopkeeper a coupon as well as money.

Rations were the fairest way to ensure people had enough to eat, and many poorer families had the healthiest diet they ever had. Children benefited greatly from this. For example, the number of children in Scotland who died before they reached 1 year of age fell by 27 per cent between 1939 and 1945. In Glasgow, the average height of 13 year olds increased by almost 2 inches (5 cm) by the end of the war.
Weekly ration for 1 adult
  • Bacon & Ham 4 oz
  • Meat to the value of 1 shilling and sixpence (around about 1/2 lb minced beef)
  • Butter 2 oz
  • Cheese 2 oz
  • Margarine 4 oz
  • Cooking fat 4 oz
  • Milk 3 pints
  • Sugar 8 oz
  • Preserves 1 lb every 2 months
  • Tea 2 oz
  • Eggs 1 fresh egg per week
  • Sweets/Candy 12 oz every 4 weeks
In addition to this a points system was put in place which limited your purchase of tinned or imported goods. 16 points were available in your ration book for every 4 weeks and that 16 points would enable you to purchase for instance, 1 can of tinned fish or 2lbs of dried fruit or 8 lbs of split peas.
 Here is the Food Minister talking about the food rationing in 1939.... 

He explains what the Ration books are and how to use them.

Women really had to become inventive, they had to learn to make do with the little they got and food was stretched as far as it would go.

Aside from the ingredients, there were ways to save on fuel as well while cooking, things like "cooking two at a time", which meant covering a cooking pan with a biscuit tin lid then standing a second pan on top.  I don't know how safe that would be or how well the food would turn out, but I think in those days and time, it was a matter of survival.

From 1942, there was no more white flour available, so that meant that everyone was consuming the National Wholemeal Bread.

There were no supermarkets, so shopping for groceries would mean going to different stores, such as the butcher, grocer etc.

Actually, growing up I remember that is the way we did food shopping too, we went to the butcher, we went to the market and the bakery etc.

Eggs were extremely hard to come by, so most people used powdered eggs.  One packet would be equal to 12 eggs and those had to last you at least 8 weeks, as even the powdered eggs were rationed.

 One of the items not rationed and available probably most of the time, were potatoes.

The Government even came up with a "Dig for Victory" campaign, encouraging everyone to grow vegetables in their gardens or on any spare piece of land they could find.

The Ministry of Food organized local cookery classes and demonstrations to teach people how to cook with what they had and how to use the vegetables they grew in meals.

It was hard to come by food.  Once you registered with a certain shop, you couldn't really go anywhere else to get your rations, so it usually meant standing in long lines for a very long time just to get your food.

It was about this time that the Black Market came into play, and even though if you were caught you were punished with huge fines, people still risked it in order to get butter, sugar and even cigarettes and often times at exuberant prices.

Rationing officially ended July 4, 1954.

I've often thought about trying to cook just Wartime recipes for a pay period, and seeing how we do.  I think the only thing that has held me back from trying, is the family, I'm not sure my husband and children would be interested in this sort of experiment.

I may just come up with a menu anyway and introduce a few meals here and there, might be easier to do it that way than shock them into it LOL

When it comes to wartime cooking and depression recipes, there are a few places online you can go to.  I think one of my favorite YouTube Channels is the Great Depression Cooking with Clara.  Love it :)

Great Depression Cooking with Clara Season 1

Another great one to watch is Granny Doris, though I've only found 3 episodes so far.

Here is a PDF booklet with some recipes for you....

Home Front Recipes

You can find many on Clara's videos and by googling for wartime recipes.

I think if anything, after all the reading and the video watching I've done, it's taught me that I need to be more flexible in the kitchen, to really push myself to use what I have on hand and not just ignore the ingredient because it doesn't fit into a specific dish or recipe.

I don't know about you all, but I will admit that I have stuff in the freezer, refrigerator and pantry that tends to just sit there and not get used, and yes, I've even had to throw something out because it's past it's due date.

In a day and time where everything is getting so expensive, I want to be able to use what I have available and not be wasteful.  Will I succeed every step of the way?  Probably not.  But I am determined to give it a good try.

I'm going to continue researching, applying what I have learned and strive towards a more self sustainable way of life.  Growing some of my own vegetables is definitely a step in the right direction.

I do hope you have found some of this information interesting, matter of fact I'm using it with my kids for homeschooling and they find it just as fascinating as I do.  Though with them, we're not just concentrating on the cooking side of the wartime and depression eras, but on everything else too.....the war itself, air raids, etc.

I'm off to watch The Wartime Kitchen and Garden.  It is quite an old series that unfortunately was never made into DVD or sold to the public (much to my chagrin).  I managed to find a few episodes on YouTube so you can watch too if you would like :)

Episode 2
Episode 3

Hope you enjoy it :)

Images found online through BBC.  Videos from YouTube

Cooking Thursday

Good morning everyone. Here I thought that once we were done with the testing last week, this week would be much easier and quieter. Ummmmm, nope haven't had much of a chance to do anything, I haven't even had a chance to go buy and say hi to the HHM participants. I will try to do that this morning....try being the key word here. Anyway, onto today's recipe:

If you want to use the picture, just click here for the original.

Today I'm sharing the Iced Mint Tea recipe. Hope you get a chance to try it :)

Iced Mint Tea

Iced Mint Tea

4 cups of water
1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice (I use fresh lemons)
4 tea bags
About a cup of loosely packed mint leaves (I use a mix of spearmint and peppermint)
4 cups of cold water

You can do it on the stove, but I make mine in the microwave just to be quicker.

Iced Mint Tea

Using my Pampered Chef mixing bowl, I add the first 4 cups of water, pop it in the microwave for about 6 minutes or until boiling hot. Remove, and add in the cup of sugar. Stir it up until the sugar is dissolved.

Then add the tea bags, lemon juice and mint leaves.

Iced Mint Tea

Pop the lid on and let it sit for an hour.

Remove the tea bags from the water and discard. Strain the tea mixture into a 2 Quart pitcher. Stir in the 4 cups of cold water, then cover and refrigerate for another hour or so.
Pour into mason jars and add in a few ice cubes and a small leaf of peppermint, if you wish :) Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Amish shows

You're probably thinking "oh she's on to Amish things again" LOL

I can't help it, I have immense respect for the Amish and their way of life, of thinking and especially their faith.

When I have a few spare moments to watch something on the TV or the computer, I like to find Amish shows to watch, and this morning I came across these on YouTube.

The first one is called Trouble in Amish Paradise, it's only 6 parts long and they're all about 10 minutes, so not long to watch, but I really enjoyed them.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

I have to say that I really loved this family and I hope that God continues to watch over them and Bless them.

And then I saw that there was a sequel to this short series, called "Leaving Amish Paradise".

You can find those clips on YouTube as well.

Here is the first part:

Part 2

Part 3

and the last part

So there you have it, something for those of you out there who love watching Amish shows as much as I do.  :)

I'm off to take some Motrin, after what seems 3 weeks of dancing around a cold, I am not feeling very hot today.  Bad timing though as my little baby girl is turning 13 years old today.


Wow time sure as flown, I can't believe I'm the mother of a teenager :)  A teenager who doesn't think taking pictures is cool anymore, and really dislikes smiling for the camera..........HELP ME!

Lord give me strength LOL

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday #15

Morning everyone.  Sorry this is going up a little late, I'm moving a little slow this morning, actually overslept.  Oops :)

Again, thank you to all who participate, I'll be coming around to say hi shortly as there is no rushing around for testing this week.

Just a quick reminder, please don't add any other links to the list, unless it's a Happy Homemaker Monday post.  Any other links will be deleted.  :)

Happy Homemaker Monday
If you want to save and use the new button, just click here.

The weather:::
108 degrees this weekend.  Yes, we are well on our way to an Arizona summer and I'm already trying to get myself used to it but it's not easy.  You go outside for 5 minutes and you're literally soaking wet from the sweating and can't handle being out there any longer.  I think this week it's supposed to cool off a little and there's even a chance of some rain on Thursday.  I won't hold much to that because 99% of the rain and thunderstorm predictions never come true here in the Valley LOL  

On my reading pile:::  
Joyce Meyer Devotional
Joseph Prince Devotional
Recently got my hands on all the Janette Oke books for my Kindle.  I'm SO excited.  Actually plan on starting The Centurion's Wife this week :) 

On my TV:::
Yesterday I watched The Conspirator on Instant Netflix.  It was a fantastic movie about the assassination of President Lincoln, I think you would all enjoy it very much :) 
Will be catching up on the Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener on YouTube. 

On the menu for this week:::
 Monday -   Broiled Parmesan Tilapia, Salad
Tuesday - Sausages in Tomato Sauce w/ mashed potatoes
Wednesday - Jasmine's Birthday.  She has requested my Creamy Chicken Florentine
Thursday -  Feijoada (Portuguese Bean Stew)
Friday -  Homemade Pizza with Garlic Crust
Saturday - Chicken Curry 
Sunday -   Burgers with Jalapeno Cheddar Burger Buns

On my to do list:::
Finish the laundry, iron and put away two baskets
Some more shopping for Jasmine's Birthday  

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Still working on the ripply cushion.  The front is finished and only have another 2 rows to finish on the back, then just have to put it together.  Can't wait to see the finished product :)  
I'm also going to be making some Vicks Vapor Shower Discs this week.
I have some crochet jar toppers in mind as well.
Would like to make some more progress on my Spring Quilt.

In Homeschooling:::
Last week due to testing, we didn't do much schooling, so this week we are catching up and actually pushing ahead so we can finish this year within the next 2 weeks or so.  The kids are about done with school and truth be told, so am I.  
Around this time of the year I think everyone is just ready to have it over with and to start the summer break :)   

Looking around the house:::
Jasmine is still asleep.  I had forgotten how much teens like sleeping, good grief LOL
Nicholas is up and playing a game on his computer.  My dishwasher is swishing behind me.  I have a cup of not so hot coffee sitting next to me, which I'm sure I'll have to top off here shortly, nothing worse than taking a sip out of the mug and swallowing cold coffee.  BLECH!
House is clean, just have to mop the floors.  

From the camera:::

Iced Mint Tea....a favorite around here for the hot days.

Iced Mint Tea

Something fun to share:::
This weekend, I was searching online for Amish related blogs and came across a really neat one called About Amish.   

As I started going back through the posts and reading, I was fascinated to find out that the owner of this blog is none other than Saloma Furlong, the ex Amish lady that was in the The Amish show on PBS a few weeks ago.  Do you remember me mentioning the show???  

It was really good.  You may still be able to watch it online at the PBS site :)

On my prayer list:::
Friends and family.  Praying for whatever it may be that they're going through at the moment.
For me, I'm praying for the continued focus to keep reading the Bible daily and to not give up....I'm doing so well, I'm proud of myself :)

Bible verse, Devotional::: 
But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

1 Samuel 15:22

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In the garden.....

It's past 8pm and I am sitting outside, under my canopy in the backyard.  It's dark, but it's a stunning night, not a single cloud in the sky, 108 degree weather earlier and it feels sooooo good now that the sun has set.

There is a game of badminton going on right in front of me, hubby and the kids are playing in the dark, with a few lights, but it's hilarious watching and hearing them play.  Giggles and loud cackles reverberate through the neighborhood, signalling the beginning of summer nights and fun time spent outside.

We've had a fantastic weekend!

A lot of yard work has been done, things moved around here and there, mowing, water sprinklers, grilling and gaming.

I think it's what summer is all about.  Minus the crazy high temps which make it very hard to be out here for longer than 10 minutes at a time.

I've got my veggie garden going again because it was so successful last year.  For so long I was terrified, intimidated and just overwhelmed with the thought of gardening and especially growing my own vegetables.  I couldn't keep the simplest of plants alive, but I guess I moved past that , even my hubby is impressed with my progress, and honestly, what's better than homegrown goodness??

I thought tonight I would show you a little of what I'm growing.

Right now I have two different lettuce's my bibb lettuce


And my Romaine Lettuce 


Here are my beans, these guys grow so fast


my squash...


I have spearmint and peppermint growing extremely well in my kitchen, so I've been using them in as many ways as possible.  At night for hot tea, and during the hot day, for some Iced Mint Tea.  You should give it a try, it's amazing :)
Iced Mint Tea 

As the garden grows, I'll continue to take pictures and show you how it's coming along. I have Broccoli, Thyme, Parsley, Cilantro, Cantaloupe, Bibb and Romaine Lettuce, Yellow Onions, Chives, Green Onions, Tomatoes, Beans and Squash....oh and Blueberries. I just can't wait for it all to start producing so we can start enjoying it :) 

To protect the lettuce especially from the groundhogs, as they ate all of ours last year....we created raised beds and lined the bottom with chicken wire, then lay the soil on top before planting. Last week though, I noticed the birds swarming down and trying to eat my bean stalks, so hubby and I spent yesterday morning fashioning some protection that would still allow the sunshine in and accessible to watering, but would keep the critters out. This is what we came up with.....just using what we had at hand....bamboo sticks and a little netting.


Definitely not going for pretty or perfect here. I love it though, it works great and does the job.


And here is my next project in progress, have two of these going, but don't have enough soil or the plants yet. Need to pick up some pretty flowers and then it will look perfect :)


And now I'll leave you with a little glimpse of the weekend fun..... 


Lots of rehydrating going on. 


I'm off to have a hot cup of tea and then it's an early bedtime. Hubby returns to work tomorrow after a week of being off, it was so much fun having him home. 

 Our AIMS State Testing also took place last week so it was crazy busy around here, so we're heading back to our normal relaxed schedule and finishing off homeschooling for the year in the next 2 or 3 weeks. 

 Have a great night everyone!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

In the moment

I don't think it's any lie that I don't like Arizona, don't like living here and am counting the days until hubby retires so we can return to Idaho.


I've done my fair share of crying, of asking why, of getting upset, of seeing just the bad in the area we live in.

And then came the moment where I realized that what matters is being in the moment.

God doesn't expect me to love everything I'm doing, or everywhere I am.  What a revelation that was to me.  Almost five years of wasted time, complaining, whining and stating that this sucks, that this place is not what I want, when can we leave, I can't wait until we're gone.

It's frozen me in time, so to speak.

I never really allowed myself to look around and to just be in the moment, to find the beauty in certain things, to allow myself to be truly content.

But as my journey to a closer relationship with God, has progressed, I've seen many changes in the way I see things and this week, for the first time in almost 5 years, I have allowed myself to look around me and to really take in God's work before me.


We've been doing State Testing, which means every day this week we have had to drive the kids to a location not too far from where we live, but it seems like a world away now that I've opened my eyes.


The kind of greenery that I dream of living in......


Farming, crops, mountains in the distance


A ranch surrounded by white fencing, with a barn or two


and an orchard filled with all different kinds of fruit tree.

I envision myself walking between them, reaching up to grab an apple, or lugging a big basket full home to make a homemade apple pie.

And it's still a dream of mine, which may never come to fruition but it doesn't hurt to think and imagine.

What I've found though, the past week, as we have driven by these fields, surrounded by the deepest blue of the sky, the warmth of the sun and the activity of field life, is that I really am where I'm supposed to be for the moment.

I'm supposed to see all of this and to take it in, to soak in the beauty amongst the thorns, the brown, the desert and the stuff that I don't like.

Because for now, I am willing to accept it and to live vicariously through these moments.  I can drive by these white fences and imagine that I'm driving by my own property.


Oh I could continue to dislike it all and to pray for orders out of here, but how tiring is that? So much energy wasted. I think I've learned an important lesson. Stop, take time to breathe, accept your surroundings and be really content with what you have. I think I'm finally there and I think the Father above is smiling down on me, proud that His child is finally GETTING IT! :)

God Bless,

Cooking Thursday

Good morning everyone :) I apologize for my absence this past week, but we've been extremely busy with State Testing and I haven't had a chance to do much of anything. Can't wait to get back to normal schedule next week, I have some posts to go up :)

If you want to use the picture, just click here for the original.
On to today's recipe:

Grilled Bacon Burger

Grilled Bacon Burgers

1 egg
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pound ground beef
5 bacon strips
5 hamburger buns, split
Leaf lettuce, tomato slices and onion slices, optional

In a small bowl, combine the egg, cheese, onion, soy sauce, ketchup and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into five patties. Wrap a bacon strip around each; secure with a toothpick.

Grilled Bacon Burger
Grill the patties, uncovered,

Grilled Bacon Burger
over medium-hot heat for 5 to 6 minutes

Grilled Bacon Burger
on each side

or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees and juices run clear.

Grilled Bacon Burger
Discard toothpicks. Serve on buns with lettuce, tomato and onion if desired.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Queen's Lover TLC Book Tour

The Queen's Lover by Francine Du Plessix Gray

The Queen’s Lover begins at a masquerade ball in Paris in 1774, when the dashing Swedish nobleman Count Axel Von Fersen first meets the mesmerizing nineteen-year old Dauphine Marie Antoinette, wife of the shy, reclusive prince who will soon become Louis XVI. This electric encounter launches a life-long romance that will span the course of the French Revolution.

            The affair begins in friendship, however, and Fersen quickly becomes a devoted companion to the entire royal family. As he roams through the halls of Versailles and visits the private haven of Petit Trianon, Fersen discovers the deepest secrets of the court, even learning about the startling erotic details of Marie-Antoinette’s marriage to Louis XVI. But the events of the American Revolution tear Fersen away. Moved by the colonists’ fight for freedom, he is one of the very first to enlist in the French contingent of troops that will fight for America’s independence.


I'm a huge Historical Fiction fan.  Oh my, anything I can get my hands on in this genre, has been read or is currently on my TBR Pile.

When given the opportunity to review this one, I obviously said yes immediately.

Just reading through the summary was enough to convince me that this would be a great read and immensely entertaining.

Marie Antoinette!

The name itself conjures up visions of a young beautiful Queen.  Of crazy stories based on truth and of some based on rumors and gossip.  I admit to having a preconceived notion of what I thought of Marie Antoinette, but the author gives me so much more than what I had already read and seen in the movies.

The story is told from the perspective of Count Axel von Fersten, through letters and recorded facts.  He takes us into the court life, their secrets and goings on and we also get a much better understanding of the Queen herself and what she went through, I found myself feeling sorry for her at times and kind of getting why she did the things she did.

For this being my first book by Francine Du Plessix Gray, I have to say that I really enjoyed it.  It was right up my alley.

Thumbs up for sure :)


 Here are the next tour stops:

Wednesday, April 18th: Life in Review
Monday, April 23rd: Kritters Ramblings
Wednesday, April 25th: Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, April 26th: Broken Teepee
Friday, April 27th: Unabridged Chick
Tuesday, May 1st: Amused By Books
Wednesday, May 2nd: Life is Short. Read Fast.
Thursday, May 3rd: Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
Wednesday, May 9th: Historical Tapestry
Thursday, May 10th: A Bookish Affair
Monday, May 14th: Scandalous Women
Wednesday, May 16th: Enchanted by Josephine

Happy Homemaker Monday #14

Another weekend just seemed to creep up on us and just as quick disappear.  Seriously, slow down there Father Time.

Quick Note:  I have asked numerous times for people to ONLY link up to Happy Homemaker Monday posts.  Please, don't add links to other posts on the list, it makes it very confusing to the HHM participants.  Thank you!!!

Happy Homemaker Monday
If you want to save and use the new button, just click here.

The weather:::
We had some really high winds this weekend and cloudy, gloomy weather though no rain.  Looks like we're back to higher temps and sunshine today :) 

On my reading pile:::  
Sisters of the Heart Trilogy by Shelley Shepard Gray (almost finished with this one)
A Woman who trusts God by Debbie Alsdorf (this is such an amazing book, oh I love it so much)

On my TV:::
Next episode of the Titanic special.  
Doomsday Preppers (just found this one and looks interesting, going to start watching)
Amish - Out of Order (new series starting tomorrow on the National Geographic Channel)

On the menu for this week:::
 Monday -   Rice with Bacon, Ham and Oregano
Tuesday - Mexican Lasagna
Wednesday - Portuguese Steak with Mushroom sauce and fries
Thursday -  Grilled Tilapia with Salad
Friday -  Roast pork with potatoes and carrots
Saturday - Chicken Spaghetti 
Sunday -   Shepherds Pie

On my to do list:::
Two loads of laundry to iron and put away
AIMS testing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for the kids

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Grabbed my ripply cushion this weekend and made some progress on it.  I haven't had much time for crocheting and I have missed immensely :)

In Homeschooling:::
Our Monday's are usually catch up days since we take Friday's off :)  We also have AIMS testing coming up on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Aside from that, we have some POST tests to do and we're cranking down on the work to finish off this year early, just like we did last year :) 

Looking around the house:::
Children are still fast asleep.  I have hubby up with me, he has this week off so there's no early getting up or rushing around, we're just enjoying some coffee.  Dishwasher is running as usual and other than that, the only other sound is that of birds chirping out in the back yard.

From the camera:::

My beans are growing SO well, I'm thrilled with them, as well as the rest of the veggie garden.  I'll be sharing some pics with you soon.

Something fun to share:::
In the weeks leading up to the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of Titanic, I have literally devoured every single show/movie/documentary that I came across, and I have to say that I have learned so much.  I feel like I've come to know more about the the passengers, the crew, the individuals.  Where they came from and where they were going.  How the ship was built, by whom and how it sank.  So much information that has really opened up my eyes to a lot of things.  Hubby and I spent this weekend watching some wonderful shows on the National Geographic Channel, honestly if there is one channel on the dish that I would never get rid of, it would be this one :)

On my prayer list:::
Still praying for family and friends and for you all out there.
For our troops still overseas, for their safety and for their return home.
I've found myself in constant prayer lately, and just at any moment of the day, no matter what I'm doing.  It's like reconnecting with a good friend that you hadn't seen in years and finding that you still CLICK.  I love it, I love God and I love that I'm on the right track and every day forging a new bond with Him. 

Bible verse, Devotional::: 
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it."
Mark 8:34-35

Sunday, April 15, 2012

In everything we do

Blue Jar DIY

Lord of all pots and pans and things
Since I’ve no time to be
A saint by doing lovely things
Or watching late with Thee
Or dreaming in the sweet dawn light
Or storming Heaven’s gates,
Make me a saint by getting meals
And washing up the plates.

Although I must have Martha’s hands,
I have a Mary mind,
And when I black the boots and shoes,
Thy sandals, Lord, I find.
I think of how they trod the earth,
What time I scrub the floor:
Accept this meditation, Lord.
I haven’t time for more.

Warm all the kitchen with Thy love
And light it with Thy peace;
Forgive me all my worrying,
And make all grumbling cease.
Thou who didst love to give men food,
In room or by the sea,
Accept this service that I do–
I do it unto Thee

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cooking Thursday

Thursday, already????  Goodness, this week has flown.

Hope you're all having a fantastic week, mine is going pretty well :)

If you want to use the picture, just click here for the original.

So the recipe I'm sharing with you today is for a delicious bread loaf. It was easy to make and REALLY good, it didn't last 30 minutes after it was removed from the oven.

Multigrain Bread

Multigrain Bread

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup steel cut oats
4 tbsp flax seeds
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp table salt or 3/4 tbsp kosher salt
1 1/3 cups water
1 tbsp white distilled vinegar
1/4 tsp instant yeast

Whisk flour, steel cut oats, flax seeds, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Add water and vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy, sticky ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Lay 12X18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.

About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6-8 quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 475 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make 3 slits along top of dough.

Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer.

Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature before slicing.

Fresh bread sandwiches