Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'm BACK!!!!!

My computer is finally BACK!!! YEAH!!!
This poor thing will be extra busy in the next two weeks.... 4H projects must be completed. I also have some exciting Simple Family Supper things in the works.

So, what have I been up to without a computer for 2 weeks??? A LOT!!
  • I did borrow a laptop from hubby's niece to complete the July Simple Family Supper Menu Kit. Each addition takes me about 20 hours to put together.
  • Celebrated my 32nd birthday on June 21st. Hubby and I hired our sitter to watch the kids and we went out on a date!
  • Up-graded to a queen size mattress. We have had the same FULL size mattress for the entire 12 years of our marriage. (my hubby is 6' 6"!!! His feet have hung over the end of the bed for the entire time!)
  • 4H projects (we have a combined 16 projects in the works)
  • Gardening and Barn chores
  • Mowing the yard
  • BABY-Sat all week for my adorable 6 month old GREAT-niece!
  • Attended SIX softball games. My daughter's team is doing GREAT! They are in a tourney right now and have a big chance of going all the way! It has been exciting.... my daughter is a catcher... she did NOT get her natural athletic ability from me! She has also been hitting really well! It is fun to cheer on the team!
I do have a prayer request to pass on. My sister's husband broke his leg. He is a horse trainer and was in a bad horse accident. He will be COMPLETELY off his feet and out of work the next 3-4 months.

Tour Tuesday will be back..... I can't wait to go on your tours!


It is 5 o'clock.... What is for supper???
To end this daily stress join me at

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

July Simple Family Supper Menu Kit is UP!

It is UP andready! Go to If you are a current subscriber all you have to do is LOG in with your username and password. If you haven't signed up yet it is easy to do. Now is the time to join! The simple family supper menu kit gets you completely organized! The month's menu plan, all the EASY to prepare recipes and weekly shopping lists take the stress out of supper. Menus are FAMILY friendly, and only use ingredients that are "normal" and easy to find. There is nothing I hate more than recipes that call for random, unusual ingredients. I need to keep things simple! Join me in keeping supper simple and enjoy healthy, easy to prepare meals with your family!


It is 5 o'clock.... What is for supper???
To end this daily stress join me at

FRUSTRATING.....Can God use this to teach me patience???

Can I allow God to use this FRUSTRATING computer break down to teach me patience?? I am TRYING to have a willing spirit. I was able to borrow a computer to complete the July addition of Simple Family Supper. (Thank you, Britteny!) Within the next week I will either have a FIXED computer or a NEW computer. I NEED one for both my business, my husband's and for the numerous 4H projects the kids are working on. I miss you all!
Have a great day and please know I will be back just as SOON as possible!


It is 5 o'clock.... What is for supper???
To end this daily stress join me at

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Issues and updates......

My computer is having some issues... so I probably won't be on consistently for a week or so.....
Please be patient, I will be back as soon as possible. I am thankful for libraries and checking in on their computer.

The GREAT PURGE is going great! Yesterday the kids and I went through the BIG upstairs closet yesterday. We pulled out all the totes of clothes.... summer clothes are all out now and I know what we have for next winter. We were able to eliminate FOUR BIG bags of stuff! YEAH!

Well, I'm off to take the computer in.... the fan has gone out and it over heats....


It is 5 o'clock.... What is for supper???
To end this daily stress join me at

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Putting summer in a jar!

Today was one of those PERFECT summer days! There was a nice breeze, the sun was shining and the humidity was down! There were tons of beautiful puffy clouds in the sky and the air smelled so... well at my house like a hint of pig! Anyway, I kept busy today putting up the strawberries the kids and I picked yesterday. We came home with 28 pounds of yummy berries. I made canned strawberry jam for the first time. In the past I have made freezer jam, but I am trying to conserve freezer space for the afore mentioned pigs! I used Sure Gel liquid pectin. I just followed the easy directions that came with the package. I made 4 batches. YUMMY! I would like to make a batch without using pectin.... they didn't have pectin "back in the day" and I know LOTS of Grandmas made fantastic jams. I have found excellent directions here. I have some berries growing in the garden and will try it with them.

I also prepared 6 quarts of strawberries for the freezer. I will use them for strawberry pies. As I was taking these bags of berries out to the freezer (in the barn) I was thanking God for such a beautiful day... I LOVE summer! I jokingly told God I wish I could "can a jar of summer" to get out in the middle of winter. Later as I looked at the pretty jars of strawberry jam I realized God had answered that funny prayer... I do have 28 "jars of summer" ready for the long winter months. Every time I open one of these jars I can remember the fun we had picking the strawberries, the beautiful day I put them up and the laughter shared in the kitchen! God is GOOD and he cares about everything!!!!

Get the Simple Family Supper newsletter

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tour Tuesday

Tour Tuesday!
I'm a little late getting it up...I 'm sorry! I was up LATE last night making strawberry jam (more on that later) and I crashed in bed when I was done!

Tour Tuesday is a chance to exercise my God given nosiness! Go here to see the last addition of Tour Tuesday. I have always loved to see how others live, what their homes are like, what their gardens are like, what their barns, etc.........
I enjoy giving you a glimpse into my life and I love getting peeks into yours! So, here is this weeks tour... join in with your own... follow directions at end of post!

Here is my **NEW** (to me) car! It gets a TON better gas mileage than my suburban. I had been exclusively driving the gas hog for a couple of months and NEEDED to replace my van. God is soooo good. This was a GOD find! It is a 1993 Ford Taurus with only 74,ooo miles on it! It is in fantastic shape... just needs new back brakes. It has never been owned by a family with kids... I made sure to take pics of the inside, it will never be the same again! LOL! We were blessed to find this deal...$900 cash! NO CAR PAYMENT! Our goal is to be DEBT FREE! We haven't had a car payment in almost 2 years!

Summer is officially here.... at least according to me! Summer is officially here because my hubby put in the screen doors. This is the front door. I just love letting in the fresh air.

Now here is the back door with the screen in it! I just love the view.....

We get really great cross ventilation in our 1911 home... we haven't used the air yet, and don't plan to for a long time. We count the days we run the air and really try to keep them to a minimum. These old homes were designed to stay cool. We also have GREAT shade trees all around that really help keep the hot sun out. In fact I have my SHADE loving plants planted on the WEST side of our house because the trees have it COMPLETELY shaded.

This picture of my bathroom window always brings back fond memories of my childhood. I spent a lot of time at my Dad's parents house.... Grandma had this style of white curtains in her bathroom. The breeze would blow in just like this! It is fun to have things in my home that evoke great memories from my childhood.... it makes me wonder what things my kids will remember!

If washing your hair in rain water makes it extra soft... will having your clothes rinsed in rain water do the same for them???? This rain shower came out of nowhere! The kids were out in the pasture and by the time they got in they were soaked! My poor clothes... I'm sure that they were dry!

Well, this brings us to the end of my tour... I am looking forward to yours. Just post a tour of some part of your life on your blog and then put a link on Mr. Linky. I would just appreciate you including a link back to here on your post.


Summer is here! Don't stress about supper!
To end this daily stress join me at
Join the FREE Simple Family Supper Yahoo group!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Paper Dolls....

Is it rainy or HOT today where you are??? You might need an inside activity for the kids. It is HOT here... and I am LOVING it! We are going strawberry picking. Anyway, I remember playing paper dolls when I was a kid. My sister and I had a blast! Here is a link to some really wonderful paper doll patterns. Have a GREAT day!


It is 5 o'clock.... What is for supper???
To end this daily stress join me at

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Keeping things simple.. in the kitchen

The crock pot is my SECRET WEAPON!!! Seriously. It is my weapon against stress and it fights off wasted money I might spend in the drive through. If I get supper in the crock pot I don't have to think about it the rest of the lingering stress of "what is for supper?"! It saves us money because I know supper is waiting at home.... deters the temptation to eat out. The crock pot also saves us money because it turns even the toughest cuts of meat into a tender, melt in your mouth, meal.

Today I have one of our favorites cooking away in the crock pot. All I will have to do for supper is toss a salad, set the table (well the kids will do this) and pour our milk.

Here is the recipe that I have cooking: (It is on the sample menu for Simple Family Supper):

Sneaky Beef and Bean Enchiladas

***Crock Pot or Oven*** 6 servings

They are sneaky because no one will know there are beans in this dish! Kids won’t complain!


1 pound ground beef or turkey (I am married to a hunter so I use ground venison)

2 cans Mexican style chili beans

1 can diced tomatoes (can use diced tomatoes with chilies if you like more spice)

1 package soft tortilla shells

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Crock Pot directions:

1) Brown the meat in skillet cooking on medium heat and stirring often. Drain the meat from the grease.

2) Pour beans, one can at a time (un-drained), and tomatoes into blender. Blend on high till completely liquid. Add to meat. The beans add fiber and protein and no one will know!

3) Mix together beans and meat. Set aside.

4) Cut tortilla shells into strips (about 1 inch by 3 inches, but don’t have to exact)

5) In bottom of crock pot pour in ¾ cup of meat and bean mixture and then add a layer of sliced tortilla shells. Add more meat and bean Mixture, sprinkle on some cheese and another layer of tortillas. Repeat till all remaining ingredients are added finishing up with meat/bean mixture and sprinkle cheese on top.

6) Cover and cook on low 5-7 hours or on high 1 ½ - 3 hours.

Oven Directions:

1) Steps 1-5 are the same except layer ingredients into a baking dish.

2) Bake at 350 degrees (uncovered) for 30 minutes or until bubbly

Side suggestions: Low fat sour cream, bagged salad, baby carrots

Give this recipe a try sometime!


It is 5 o'clock.... What is for supper???
To end this daily stress join me at
Join the FREE Simple Family Supper Yahoo group today!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Flavored Iced Coffee... Saving Money, making it at home!

Flavored Iced Coffee: I have a weakness for it.... but I hate paying the price for it at the coffee shop (or fast food chain). I am all about keeping things simple and saving money. I did some research, I did some experimenting and I have come up with a recipe I LOVE!!!! You can make it ANY time you want and it costs only a FRACTION of what it does to buy it already made. Here is the easy recipe:

All you need is four ingredients:

Freshly brewed coffee... double strength
half and half or milk
your choice of flavored syrup ( they come unsweetened, sweetened and sugar free)

1) Brew your coffee in your coffee pot, just use double the grounds.
2) Pour your fresh coffee over ice to cool
3) Place some ice in a cup (I use an insulated mug) and pour in the cooled coffee. Add to it the half and half or milk (use as much or as little as you like). Add in the flavored syrup. (I started off with a TBL of syrup and went up from there... find the level of flavor that you love)



Wednesday, June 4, 2008

muddy pig pen... muddy life?

We have had a LOT of rain in the last 5 days! Our pigs are knee deep in mud! It is a MESS out there.... trying to keep them with clean food and water is a 24 hour job... I have given up for the time being.... they are pigs after all! They get their food and their water... if they choose to step in it and get it muddy, well what am I supposed to do about that??

Watching them walk through all that mud and work ten times harder to get across the pen has got me thinking. Sometimes life feels like that. Walking through all the "mud" in life is HARD! Muddy times are DRAINING to the energy. Just getting through the day is all we can handle. Then I have to think: How much of this "mud" is my own making? When my house turns into a literal "pig pen", when my finances are all a'muck, when I haven't a clue what we are having for supper, when I miss an appointment, when I have conflict with my hubby, when I yell at the kids do I not have a lot to do with all this "mud" I am sludging through??? Procrastination is my biggest mud maker.... I'll just do that later, I don't have time right now, I would rather do x. Well, all that later really adds up and the mud gets deep! That mud makes me stressed out, and grumpy! YUCK!!!

Not living in mud and having our energy drained starts with baby steps! Take care of things NOW! Don't wait for later.... Just do in now! Write that event on the calendar right away, put the bills where they belong as soon as you walk in the door, have a menu plan to follow, start a load of laundry first thing! Doing builds momentum.... clears away the mud!

OK... I'm off to take my own advice... I am going to finish cleaning up the kitchen! Not putting it off till the morning will help me start the new day off with a smile!


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"NO complaining".... update

OK... I will give you an honest update:
I complain.
Mostly with the tone of my voice and my facial expressions.
I do this more than I ever dreamed!
God is doing a great job of pointing this out to me... I pray that after this experience I continue to be aware of my "complaining".
Replace the negative with a positive!
Is anyone else joining in with the challenge??


Monday, June 2, 2008

Tour Tuesday... will be back NEXT week!

This week I am a little extra busy having a lot of extra FUN!
My niece and nephew are spending the week here with us and attending VBS with our kids. We have been having a GREAT time! Go here to see last week's addition of Tour Tuesday.

Please join me next week for another addition of "Tour Tuesday"... I really enjoy going on your tours! I have been taking a ton of pictures.... I will have plenty to show you next week!


Choosing Simplicity... Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

My sister's kids are staying with us all this week. They are going to VBS with my kids. Since my sister, Melissa, and her husband came to drop off the kids we made a cook-out time of it! We had a BLAST!!!! Melissa brought water balloons that turned into an all out water fight, we ate GREAT food, played baseball and made s'mores at the campfire. It was a wonderful night!

I like to keep things SIMPLE! One way I do that is to use my crock pots for as many things as possible. Last night for desert we had a crock pot Hot Fudge Sundae Cake. The cake rises to the top during cooking and this incredible fudge sauce is on the bottom. Melissa brought vanilla ice cream to go with it. Let me just say that we had kids BEGGING for more! (well, I will admit, even the adults wanted seconds! Next time I am going to try a double batch.)

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBL oil
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

2 cups BOILING water
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa

cooking spray

1) Spray crock pot with cooking spray.
2) Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add
the milk, oil and vanilla. Stir well.
3) Spread batter (will be thick) in the bottom of grease crock pot.
4) whisk together the boiling water, brown sugar and cocoa. Pour over
the batter in crock pot.
5) Cover, cook on HIGH 2-21/2 hours. uncover and allow to cool 30+
minutes before serving. Serve with ice cream.... ENJOY!! Stove left
overs in the fridge. (not that we ever have any!)