Saturday, January 31, 2009

Life at our house

We have had a busy but fun day. I thought I would share some of the goings on.

This morning after breakfast I headed west of town to the dairy where I get our milk. I was wanting to do it as efficiently as possible as there was a work day going on at the church building and I was hoping to get there in fairly good time. I got to the farm and got my milk and everything went smoothly. After leaving I was driving down the dirt road that the farm was on at around 45- 50 mph. There was a crossroads coming up and a vehicle was coming on it but they had to stop and I had the right of way and so I didn't think much about it. As I got up to it I realized "They are not stopping" and now it was to late for me to stop on a snowy road. It looked like she was surely going to run into the side of my car. I swerved out of the way and into the ditch but my car had enough momentum that I was able to hit the side of the ditch and then bounce back up on the road and keep going and then the other vehicle plowed into the ditch where I had just been. When I stopped I was just shaking but thought I had better check on the other person. The lady got out and said she was fine and that she was sorry but her brakes had gone out. Lesson for the future: Slow down when you see a vehicle coming to make sure that it is stopping! It also helped me to remember that I don't know what is going to happen in life, we never know when it will be our time to die. Either one of us could easily have died today had timing been a second different. We need to be ready whenever the time might be.

We had a fun time working at the church building today. There were quite a few that came and quite a lot was accomplished. God has blessed us a lot with the new building and we really want to use it for Him. It is starting to feel so very "homey" and comfortable there now. The kids love playing in the new nursery with the pretty thick carpet and bunches of new toys that a lady from church bought. The kitchen is also so cheery and nice to work in.

While we were at the church building one of our friends that is black was there with her little boy, Aaron was talking to them and he asked Tomisha, "Does David (her son) drink a lot of pop, is that why he is like you?" Tomisha and I puzzled a moment over that question and then with some discussion figured out that he thought they were dark because they drank pop! We had a good laugh over that and then explained that pop drinking did not cause dark skin it was from who your parents were. It made me remember when Mara was little (around 4) and I heard her discussing with herself why a friend of ours was black and she was peach. She thought that God and Jesus had a conversation about each person to decide what color they would make them.

Aaron made me laugh again a bit later when he discovered a new broom that Ken had bought for us. He asked about it and when I said Daddy had got it, he very seriously said "Daddy is a GOOD man!" The new broom he got ended up being quite fancy with a handle that you can twist and then the bottom of the broom opens up and the sweeping part gets twice as wide. Jonathan was quite fascinated with it and was quite eager to sweep when I asked him to. (That isn't a job he enjoys very much normally.)

This evening Ken took us out for supper at Applebees. He had been given a gift certificate so we ended up spending less than $15 including the tip. One thing we do to save money often is that we don't buy kids meals. We buy an adult meal (or today we bought an appetizer trio platter which had cheeseburgers, chicken, celery and quesadillas for $12) and then split it between the kids. We also often just drink water (as we did tonight). All the food was quite good and while we were waiting for it a man came by our table and offered to show us some magic tricks. He did a very good job and had the kids (and Ken and I for the most part) pretty stumped. Mara's tried very hard to figure things out but just couldn't get it. Aaron is quite sure that 2 sponge balls turned into a number 1 in his (Aaron's ) hand completely by magic.

We had beautifully warm weather today! It was around 40 degrees. The kids played outside some and we thought it would be fun to make snowmen but we ended up having to much other stuff going on. Hopefully we will have another day we can do that in soon. We thought maybe tomorrow but when we were out this evening it turned very windy and cold and snowy, so I am doubting that tomorrow will be a good snowman day.

Well that was our day. I hope yours went well and that you have a great weekend!

Super Saving Saturday

This week I had a fun shopping trip to Target so I thought I would share.

The above items cost $10.61.

The 3 packages of cheese were $2 each (on sale, not a great deal but we needed them) = $6

The yogurt was .67 each but I had a target coupon for $1 off 8 and 2 manufactures coupons for $1 off 4. The total was $2.36 for 8 = .29 cents each. (This is not a normal buy for us as usually I make our own or get big containers but everybody thought it was a pretty fun treat.)
Money saving mom shows has links for yogurt and Kashi coupons.

The Kashi granola bars were on sale for $2.75. I had coupons for $2 off each box. total for granola bars: $2.25

The creamer was on sale 2/$3. I had 2 coupons for $1.50 off. Total: FREE
(I can't find where I got the $1.50 coupon - perhaps they don't have it anymore- but here is a $1 one. ) By the way we don't drink Coffee in our house but I have found that this creamer is very yummy (and probably not very healthy) in my Chai tea.

For more stories of savings visit MoneySavingMom.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fresh flowers frugally

I really really enjoy flowers. I am so glad that God chose to make beautiful flowers that make me smile when I see them and so often smell so very good. Even though I have a business that revolves around flowers, I still enjoy and appreciate all flowers in my house and try to get my moneys worth out of them. I thought I would share some tips that help to make flowers last longer and other various tips.

  1. Choose flowers that last a long time such as Carnations, Chrysanthemums (daises), Orchids and Alstroemeria.
  2. Change the water often! (Dirty water makes they stems rot and will make everything stink too! Its yucky!)
  3. Make sure to cut the stems when you change the water.
  4. Pull out the dead flowers and make a smaller arrangement with the ones that still look okay.
  5. When you have only a few blooms try floating them in water for a very pretty look.
  6. Make sure there are no leaves in the water as they rot quickly too.

By following those tips I can usually keep flowers around for a couple of weeks. After wards you can always try drying them too.

For more Frugal tips visit Biblical Womanhood.

A Giveaway!!

Currently there is a carnival going on at Bloggy Giveaways with around 1500 giveaways participating! I thought it would be fun to get in on the action too.
I am giving away this homemade vintage look set of hot pads and a bag holder. The hot pads have the floral print on one side and red fabric on the other side.

To enter in the giveaway please leave a comment with contact information (If there isn't either a blog address or an e-mail address it will be deleted.)

For a 2nd entry become a follower of my blog (or if you are one already) and then leave another comment stating that you are a follower.

This is open to only US residents. (But come back later for at least one more giveaway that is for everybody!)

I will randomly chose one person to win on Sunday, February 1st.

Be sure to check out all the other giveaways at Bloggy Giveaways!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A well rounded education

One thing very fun about teaching your own children at home is getting to teach them far beyond what is normally taught it school (of course you can do this if your kids go away to school as well, you just don't have as much time). One thing that I have had lots of fun teaching is how to use what you have, not waste and recycle things ourselves. Sewing is a big part of that at our house.
I have enjoyed teaching Mara to sew but it hasn't stopped there, Jonathan and Aaron also think it is lots of fun, especially using the sewing machine. I suppose some might think sewing is girlish but I am glad to have my boys express interest as long as they are still manly. My older brother Peter is one of the manliest guys I know (I always thought he could do about anything!) and yet he enjoyed (I don't think he does it much now that he has his own family) knitting, crocheting and a little sewing. Sewing can be very useful even for boys.

This winter I happily taught Jonathan how to sew a button back on his shirt. (A talent that might prove very useful later in life!)
We also had fun working together to make a case for his new Bible. He chose an old pair of black jeans to make them out of and under my instruction did all the cutting out and then he also did a lot of the sewing. He was very happy to have it done and has enjoyed taking it to church.

Mending clothes and sewing new stuff from old clothes are wonderful ways to save money and to care for our environment. I am glad that I have the opportunity to teach my kids how to do that when they are young! Right now they get very excited about it and can learn quickly and easily.
Kids can get very passionate about things too. We do a lot of recycling around here but Mara is especially passionate about it. A few weeks ago I replaced a pair of shoes that I had worn for 3 plus years. They were cracked at the bottom and had a hole in the toe. Before dumping them in the trash I also cut of the buckles to use for a future project, then into the trash they went. Mara saw them there and was quite appalled. "Mom! Can't you recycle those!"

How do you teach your kids to be thrifty and careful?
For more Thrifty Green Thursday visit Green Baby Guide.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

WFMW ~A Schedule of our own choosing

One of the (out of MANY!) things that I love about homeschooling is the fact that we can dictate our own schedule. Last week we did schoolwork on Martin Luther King day while the rest of the schools in our area were out but on Wednesday we had some errands to run in the morning and when we got home I knew we would be having to rush if we tried to do schoolwork and besides the weather was simply beautiful for the middle of January so I asked "Do you want to go in and do schoolwork or do you want to play outside?" Guess what they chose...
Outside it was and we had a lot of fun. The kids got Clover (the rabbit) out as well and she had a jolly time running up and down our trails and seeing what edible things she could find. In the picture above she was checking out what I was taking to the compost pile.
We had fun doing a little sledding and then the kids also got out their bikes.

Megan loves getting to ride on her push bike.

This bike of Aaron's we won this winter in a drawing at our local grocery store. It is still on the big side for him but he did a lot of practising that day and can use it pretty well now.
Not having to do things according to the schedule dictated by the school district really works for me!

I can dress myself!

Megan has been getting better and better at dressing herself. It is rather fun because she can end up with some pretty interesting combinations. Here is one from a few days ago. You can't tell that well in the picture but she had added some old plastic training pants to the outfit and they were sticking out a bit in the back. It was pretty cute! :-)

Monday, January 26, 2009

A frugal Forum

Sorry I haven't been blogging this evening... I have been having fun participating in a Frugal Forum over at Frugal Hacks. If you want to learn more ways to live frugally or if you would like to share your frugal tips with others, this is a good place to go!

Since this Forum just started, it is starting with a contest. The first 50 people to have 25 posts in the forum will be entered in a drawing to win $100. I am halfway there and am planning on still working at it.

You should check it out!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

"Can I want this?"

Lately Megan has been cracking me up with the way she has been phrasing many of her questions. They go a bit like this: "Can I want some chocolate chips?", "Can I want to draw? and so on. We laugh and say "Of course you can want it, but that doesn't mean you get to have it." Obviously she always means "Can I have or do whatever it might be" but it started me thinking.

When asking God for things maybe I should be asking a little more often "Can I want that?". Sometimes I am so sure that what I want is the right thing that I forget to say "Is it Your will God?". He is the One who knows what I truly need and what it best for me. It is His will I want not mine because I don't see everything and I don't have all the answers. I am so thankful that He does!!

"Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that."
James 4:13-15

Friday, January 23, 2009

Frugal Networking

Crystal at Biblical Womanhood wrote about Frugal Networking today and wondered if we did that as well. I do and thought it would be fun to think of and share some of the ways that Frugal networking has been beneficial for us.
  1. We give and receive hand-me-down clothes. This helps our clothing expenses out immensely! This networking happens with family, church family, friends and those in our homeschool group.
  2. We share berry (mushroom, etc.) picking spots and when they are ripe.
  3. Years ago friends clued us in on a place we could glean potatoes. We now go every year and get enough for the year (Free!) and we have been spreading the word along to others.
  4. A friend and I enjoy comparing notes on bargains found and also blogs that have helped us in our frugal journeys.
  5. Mom and I alert each other to sales we know the other wouldn't want to miss. Another lady at church also makes sure we know about really good sales.
  6. I have lots of frugal friends (including sisters and such) whom I enjoy visiting with, sharing ideas and learning from each other about how to make our money stretch farther.
  7. Just this week a friend at church gave us some homeschooling stuff that she no longer used and it just so happened we had also discussed a sewing project she was working on and I was able to share with her something that she needed for the project.
  8. Another friend at church when shopping with me once and found out I liked coupons, since then she has been clipping out lots of coupons for me. We have her over fairly regularly and often send home food with her.
  9. We have family and friends that are very sharing with their garden produce (as we also try to be, when we have abundance). Case in point: today I have have spent hours working up a bunch of squash from my parents that I am putting in the freezer.
  10. I have a friend who loves to garage sale and will tell me about a sale that she thinks I might want something from and that has good deals.

That is just a drop in the bucket of the many ways I have been blessed through frugal giving friends.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A skirt from old jeans

Last week I wrote about making a skirt from shirts and mentioned that I had also made another skirt for Mara lately. This one is from old jeans.

My original idea was to have it a little fuller and also all the same color but when going through the old jeans I had I realized that I didn't have enough big pieces for me to do that. So I decided to make a two tone skirt that is fairly straight.
I used four leg pieces of the light denim and two leg pieces of the dark denim. I cut them so they were wider at the bottom than at the top. I sew them all together lengthwise (also inserting a zipper in the back seam.) and then put a few darts in the top so it would fit well around her waist and attached a denim waistband. It was a pretty easy project and I think it looks cute with Mara's new boots that we found on sale.

It is also nice for wearing with sweaters. A nice warm Sunday outfit.
And of course we have to extra benefit of it being free and using up what would otherwise be trash. For more Thrifty Green tips visit Green Baby Guide.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

WFMW ~ Reading with kids

What really works for us at our house is reading! There is so much to be learned and so much fun to be had by really getting into a good book. We enjoy non-fiction reading where we are learning something as well fiction.
All of our kids love books (though Mara is are only true bookworm so far as Jonathan hasn't taken off on reading his own books yet.) Some of the things that I think have helped a lot with that are:
  • Almost no TV time for the kids.
  • Examples of us and others around reading.
  • We have read aloud to them a lot (as do their grandparents). I read to them every naptime and Ken reads to them at night and sometimes I will throw in other reading times too.
  • We have a lot of books available and go to the Library regularly.

A set of books we are currently reading through which has been enjoyed very much by all of us (well, I can't say Megan is to into it yet...) is the Biographies of Ralph Moody. Little Britches is the first one and there are a bunch more. It is the true story of his life growing up in Colorado (and beyond) in the early 1900s. He is a great writer and the kids are always begging for more. The books are full of lessons that he learned and written in such an engaging way that it is totally enjoyable. Some of the lessons were:
  • Having the courage to always tell the truth. (Even when you think the penalty might be going to jail or worse.)
  • Fighting is not the right way to solve your problems.
  • Learning to be a man.
  • Always giving your employer a good days work.
  • Thinking things through before acting.
  • Measure twice, cut once.
  • Learning how to make do with what you have.

One word of warning! The language in the book is not at all perfect. I have been reading these books aloud and I edit a lot as I go. To keep the record straight, I am VERY picky about language. I do not like any type of swearing including Euphemisms. In the books neither Ralph or his family use bad language and in fact there are some lessons that teach against it but he quotes many of the cowboys and people he was around verbatim so bad language is included. It is my plan to go through all our books with a permanent marker so that I don't even have to see the other.

So if you are looking for some neat historical books for Boys and Girls, try these out. I think you will like them!

"So much better than TV!"

What books have you really enjoyed reading aloud to your kids?

For more works for me Wednesday tips visit Rocks in my Dryer.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Freezer meals

Today Lindsey from Passionate Homemaking (a neat blog!) is holding a Nutritious freezer meal carnival. Though I don't always double (or triple plus) cook I do like to do it on a fairly regular basis to help use my time wisely in the kitchen. I also really appreciate having meals in the freezer for those busy times when it is hard to find time to cook.
Here are some of my favorites:
Pizza~ I rarely make homemade pizza without making an extra one to freeze. I like this crust recipe:
~6 cups flour ( I make around 1/2 of the flour whole wheat.)
~2 teaspoons salt
~ 3 teaspoons sugar
~2 Tablespoons yeast
~1/4 cup oil
~2 cups hot water
Mix dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients and mix well. Let sit 8-10 minutes. Spread out on a greased cookie sheets. This recipe makes to 10 X 15 inch crusts.
For eating right away: Put on toppings (I like to use spaghetti sauce, browned hamburger, sausage or ham, sliced olives, mushrooms and cheese) and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
For freezing: Bake crust at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool and then put on toppings (usually the crust cools while we are eating the other pizza for supper), cover with aluminum foil and I also put it in a plastic grocery bag and put in the freezer. To get ready for eating I stick it from the freezer into the oven while it is preheating to 350 degrees and cook it until the cheese is all melted.
For 2 loaf pans:
~2 lbs hamburger
~ 1 onion chopped small
~2 eggs
~2 cups oatmeal
~Salt and pepper to taste
~enough moisture to make it all stick together nicely. I use a variety of things for this, I might choose any of the following: Milk, tomato sauce, salsa, pureed pumpkin or squash, pureed greens or water.
Put in pans and spread ketchup or BBQ sauce on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. I bake the one for the freezer completely and then just wrap in in tin foil and freeze. When we want to eat it I let it thaw and then warm it in the microwave.
The above recipe can also be used for meatballs, I just make it into little balls and put on a jelly roll pan and bake for a while and then turn over and then bake until done.
Tuna pasta hotdish~
~8 ounces pasta
~1/2 cup salad dressing
~1/2 cup milk
~1 can cream soup (I make my own by sauteing some mushrooms, onions or celery in 1 tablespoon butter, adding 1 tablespoon flour and then adding 1 1/2 cups milk and cooking and stirring like you would gravy.)
~1 c. cheese (I use whatever type I have on hand.)
~1/2 teaspoon dry mustard or dill weed.
~1 can tuna, drained
Cook pasta and drain it. Then put all ingredients in a casserole dish and stir together. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The recipe above is for just one dish, I just double it (or you could triple or whatever) to make extra. I bake it almost completely, let it cool and then freeze it.
Chicken Rice Burritos are another meal that is very simple to make extra of and freeze.
We like to eat homemade bread and the way I have found that works best for me is to have a baking day once a week in which I bake our bread and other things that we might be wanting. I then freeze all but one loaf. As you may have noticed homemade bread (without all the extra preservatives!) molds much faster than the stuff from the store so freezing the extra helps a lot.
I have just started in the last couple of years freezing pies. We enjoy pies but I think they take quite a bit of work with the rolling out of crusts and all. So when I make crusts I like to do it in bulk. You can get an apple pie (or zucchini and apple pie) all ready for baking and then freeze it and bake it when you take it out of the freezer. You can also freeze just the crusts and then add the pumpkin filling or something like that just before baking.
Other things that I like to freeze are:
  • Soups (some cream soups don't do so well but pretty much everything else does fine.)
  • Cookies.
  • Quick breads and muffins.
  • Spanish Rice.
  • Lasagna

What things do you find freezes well? I encourage you to go check out all the different ideas at Passionate Homemaking.

Monday, January 19, 2009

lovely little moments of life

As I mentioned before I have been working at living in the moment and enjoying the little things in life. There has been so many beautiful, fun and sweet things in my life and I wanted to share with you.

This past week I have been privileged to do a lot of work with flowers. I am so amazed by the creativity and beauty that God put in to making flowers. It tells me that He loves beauty too and also I think He did it to make us smile and enjoy life. The bouquet above is one of my new favorite color combinations (though it doesn't look as pretty in the photo as it does in real life.)

Oh how I love seeing a "baby" that falls asleep wherever they may be. Megan was worn out tonight at supper.

A couple of days lately the boys have enjoyed making a "boat" in the living room. They have had fun sailing all over. Jonathan was the captain, Aaron the guard, Megan was the resident princes and Mara the housekeeper.

Out shopping lately I have really enjoyed observing some old men. One that I have met before at Republican events saw me looking at grapes and took the time to tell me his trick for making them last longer. (The tip is: stick a paper towel in the bag with them and shake them a bit. Then rotate them every day so any moisture can drain onto the paper towel.)
Another old man that made me grin was in the dollar store, snapping his fingers and rather dancing along to the store music.

Last night something that really warmed my heart was seeing my brother Luke going on a walk around the inside of the church building with a severely mentally handicapped man who had grabbed his hand and was leading him along. After a bit though the man saw Jonathan and thought he would make a good walking partner. Jonathan was quite serious about it all but he didn't resist and walked all over the church building with him. I was so happy to see him not afraid to show love to those that are "different".
This week I found a good deal on shoes at Target. (They are both leather and were under $5 each.) Jonathan and Aaron were both very excited and happy about the shoes. What cracks me up is that after they get ready for bed (wearing just boxers and a t-shirt) they put their shoes back on until the actually get in bed.

More on enjoying flowers.... I tried something new for me with immersing orchids in a vase. It looks so pretty! Since the show is over we now have it on our dining room table. Some people might like a fancy car when they are rich or who knows what else. When I am "rich", I'll take fresh flowers on my table every day. :-)

On Friday Keren was over with the baby she watches. He was sleeping on the floor and Megan thought she would join him.
I have also been enjoying sweet notes from my eldest daughter, songs on worship that make me think and warmer weather!!
God is so good to us. I hope you are enjoying the beauty of life as well!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Busy weekend

I just thought I would write quickly to tell you that things are going well here. I have had a very busy weekend with a Bridal Show that I set up before church, went to church quickly and then had to sneak out early so I could go take care of my booth. I got the both cleaned up just in time to go to church this evening. Tonight my legs ache and I am tired, but the Bridal Show went quite well and I am happy about that.

I was going to post more tonight, I have a bunch of pictures I want to share and things that I would like to write about but my photos wouldn't upload and so I decided that might be just as well... I think I will take a shower and head to bed!

Talk to you again soon!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Homeschool co-op classes

The last two school years we were involved in a very fun and frugal way of learning. One of our fellow homeschoolers organized a Learning Co-op that we could participate in. The rules were pretty simple: each family that wanted to be involved had to host at least one class (taught be the parent(s) or by a teacher they brought in) and then they could be involved in as many other classes that they chose to be as long as there was room. (We had to rank the classes we chose so that if a class ran out of room whoever ranked it the highest would get to go.) Each family could require a fee for the class they taught to cover material expenses.
I have heard of more complicated homeschool co-ops that cost a lot but I think this one worked wonderfully, the kids learned a lot and it was also a fun time to spend time with other families.
One of the classes we had fun going to was on Nature Notebooking. We each brought our own notebook and colored pencils and then the teacher (a fellow homeschool mom) talked with the kids about the different ways we could observe (using all our senses) and also common sense rules for spending time in nature.
After visiting about it we went out and did it. We tried things like bark rubbing, drawing and attaching little pieces to our pages. Also writing down what we observed and looking things up on our flower guide. We had a good time.
Another class that I taught was on "Fun with Music" where we worked on rhythm and other basic theory through games and other fun activities.
I also had a lot of fun teaching a flower arranging class. (this one I did have to charge for to cover the cost of the flowers but they each brought their own containers.)
Some other classes we have enjoyed have been:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A skirt from shirts

A tale of two shirts....
Ken had these two shirts but they both developed holes in them and weren't easily mended and didn't work for him anymore. I thought had neat colors and fabric and thought it would be fun to do something with them so I...
Turned them into a skirt for Mara. It was rather fun figuring out how to creatively use up most all of the fabric so we had enough. I also decided to add a large piece of cream rick rack that I had (I think it was from Grandma.) and then put the buttons from the shirt on top of the rick rack. In the end Mara had a nice comfortable skirt that was definitely an original. :-)

Saving 2 shirts from the trash to create a free skirt is my Thrifty Green Thursday activity. I also lately made a skirt from old jeans but I failed to get a picture yet so that will have to be a post another day.

WFMW ~ Personal cookbooks

What really works for me this morning is being in my warm cozy house since it is -24 degrees outside. :-) But beyond that....

At one of my bridal showers (over 10 years ago) I received this cookbook. It is actually a photo album but each lady that came to the shower provided a recipe to go in it and then as I collected recipes I could put them in their as well. The friend that put it together put tabs on to divide it into categories.

This cookbook has definitely been the most used one that I have.(As you can probably tell from the picture!!) When I was newly married I remember getting from mom her cornbread, biscuit, doughnut and various other recipes.When living by my Grandma I added quite a few recipes from her. I also got quite a few recipes from my friend Tina who is a great cook as well as many other friends. In later years I have started adding ones that I found on the Internet and we tried and liked. But lately this cookbook has been less useful since it was falling apart. It was time to do something about it.

I got one of the many 3 ring binders we have around our house, bought some page protectors to go in it and then decided to use some colored paper that we had a bunch of (it was given to us in 3 colors: pink, orange and green and it was 15 inches long but I just cut it to fit.) and then I just started securing the recipes to the page. Originally I had thought that I would type all the recipes out put decided it would be easier and also more interesting to put in the recipes the way I had them as many of them are written by the person they came from and they all bring back memories. I divided them into categories the way that I liked best and had a certain color of paper for the categories (rotating the colors throughout the book), I also made a title page and tab for each category.
I am really looking forward to putting my new book to work. Some of the other benefits of this book include washable pages and a cover that has pockets on the inside so I can stick recipes that I want to put in the book in the pocket until I get around to putting them in. For recipes that I think look neat but haven't tried I stick in my recipe card box to wait until I have time to try them and see if they are actually good or not. A personal cookbook really works for me!!

Another way I have personal cookbooks is with my regular ones I make notes a lot of the time. If I try a new recipe I try to write what we thought of it and what adjustments I made. This really helps when I go back to use it again.
What do you do with all your recipes? What methods or tips do you have?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

learning from life

I read this and it made me grin, so I thought I would share it with you all.

Q: How does a homeschooler change a light bulb?

A: First, mom checks three books on electricity out of the library, then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison and do a skit based on his life. Next, everyone studies the history of lighting methods, wrapping up with dipping their own candles. Next, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices and figure out how much change they'll get if they buy two bulbs for $1.99 and pay with a five dollar bill. On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Abraham Lincoln, as his picture is on the five dollar bill. Finally, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed. And there is light. ~Author Unknown

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Little lovely parts of life

I had mentioned in my goals for this year that I wanted to spend more time "living in the moment". Meaning slowing down and taking time to enjoy each small thing around me and really learning to listen to and enjoy the people around me.

I though it would be fun to share some of the fun "moments" in my life lately. (Most of them are from today as my memory isn't that great:-).) I think this will be fun to share every so often including cute things that are said, things said that make me think, stuff that makes me smile and pictures that I think are beautiful. I know I will enjoy it, I hope you might too.

Here we go.....

An excited Aaron: "5+3 is 8, I just figured that out!!" Last week we worked on flashcards some and now he is really understanding this adding business and thinks it is pretty neat.


A sweet Megan singing "Jesus loves me, I am so..." I never did find out what she was, as that is when the song started over each time.


Aaron and Megan having lots of fun playing house together. I really enjoy watching my kids interact, for the most part they play so nicely and the boys are especially tender around Megan.
Getting to share clothes with Mara for the first time. She had on a sweater(that had been given to her) this morning with sleeves that were quite a bit to long and so we rolled them up. This afternoon I was going to try to figure out some way to shorten them but first thought maybe I should just try the sweater on. Sure enough it fit... Perfectly. So sorry Mara, I am afraid you lost a cute sweater. Meanwhile mine had 3 quarter length sleeves so I said "Here, you can wear mine". It worked just fine. Mara is getting so big, before long we will be the same size for real.
Getting to point out the words to Jonathan in the hymn book this morning and enjoying hearing him sing along softly.
This photo is actually Megan at church last week. Before church I had told her to brush her hair but figured Mara or I would do the final touch up. I sent Mara in the bathroom to help her but Megan sang out "I am brushing my hair." I went to find this fancy do that she had worked very hard at. I didn't have the heart to redo it so off to church she went with a fancy bump on the front.
I had fun visiting after church tonight especially hearing Ed (an older man from church) tell a funny story but he started laughing so hard before he had hardly started and was turning red and couldn't talk that we all started laughing just because it was so contagious, not even knowing why we were laughing.

Yesterday we had fun having a simple birthday lunch for Tomisha at our house (I think we had 16 here). Tomisha loves pink so we thought it would be fun to do a little decorating. I don't have a lot of pink around but found some pink cloth to go over white tablecloths, tide of the silverware, wrapped in white napkins with pink ribbon and tucked a pink (for girls) or blue (for the boys) feather in it. Emily brought pink balloons which we blew up with a helium tank we had on hand. The girls and I also wore pink. I am not a huge pink fan but I think I am starting to like it a lot more. All the pink looked really pretty!

Mary sent over a musical candle for her cake which was rather fun. The cake, which Keren made, was a very yummy chocolate with peanut butter frosting and Reeses chunks on top. Oh I am wanting some now!


Enjoying the style of my dress-up girl. Don't you love the hat? It is supposed to be a sleeve for a princess outfit but she is sure it is for your head.


Having fun decoding a sweet e-mail message from my husband, then shooting one back in code as well.


Taking the time to read 2 chapters in our very fun naptime book several days to the delight of my oldest 3.

How has your week been? Are you enjoying the simple little moments?


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