Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Bye 2011, Hello 2012!

The year 2011 has been filled with good and bad, as most years are want to do.

In April of 2011 we found our family packed up and driving across country. We saw some beautiful sights along the way and learned about the states as we drove through them. We traveled through California to the southern part, then through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

We lived in Virginia for about 6 months before picking up and moving again one more time to North Carolina.

This year my husband got a job using his skills and then quickly got a job with another company that promoted him and gave him a pay raise. The new company appreciates his skill which is a big blessing in our lives.

The children have all grown steadily. The move has been great in so many aspects for all of us that I can not find fault with the little bits that have been hard.

In the time since I left California I have found that true friends love you no matter what the distance. That some friends are only in your life for a moment. And that love in a family is strengthened when you make the best choices for the whole family with love and respect.

In 2012 I hope that all my friends find happiness, love, peace and health in their new year.

I will be working on many things in the new year.
I will continue to build and grow my business online. Selling my own personal creations is a big reward. I love doing things that people will love. I will also continue to encourage my children to grow and learn in as many ways as I could. I am looking forward to getting a garden planted this spring, as well as building a compost bin for us  to improve our recycling.

I hope that you all have an amazing new years eve and a completely blessed new year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A little walk through Franklinton NC

Our new home has a lovely little town feel, probably because it is a lovely little town. The town of Franklinton has a grand total of aprox. 1800 people living in the town limits. 

The kids and I have been enjoying the towns lovely little library. Its a mile walk from our house along beautiful tree lined streets with big beautiful homes. 

On one of our recent walks I took a few pictures along the way, so I could show you what the town looks like. 
Dr J.H. Harris House
Big Victorian down the street from where we walked.
The original Railroad Depot
Then we finally arrived at the library and there is a massive church on the opposite corner. 
The Library
quaint sign
The church
This concludes our journey through the town of Franklinton today. We love our new hometown and hope that we stay here for years to come.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Baked Oatmeal

I am beginning to wonder if my blog has become a food blog with all the food posts lately. I love to bake and cook so for me it is a natural progression to share the lovely dishes I create.

Today's blog is all about the wonderful baked oatmeal I made for breakfast today.

I found this recipe and totally adapted it. I wanted to give credit since I adapted her recipe for my creation.

4 TBSP Butter (melted)
1/4 cup olive oil (or coconut oil)
2 TBSP Crunchy peanut butter (or any other nut butter would work)
3/4 cups sugar
2 TBSP molasses
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup whole flax seeds
1/2 cup shredded apple
1/2 cup sliced whole cranberries
3 cups oatmeal *edit* (How could I forget to tell you how much oatmeal? chalk it up to being excited to share this recipe with you!)

In a medium sized bowl mix the oats,flax seeds, spices and baking powder together and set aside. In another bowl mix melted butter (and coconut oil if you use that) the eggs, peanut butter, sugar, milk (yes you can use coconut milk, flax milk, almond milk or rice milk) and vanilla together. slice your cranberries in half and then add them into the dry ingredients. Add shredded apple to the wet ingredients and then blend the wet into the dry. This looks a little soupy but it bakes up wonderfully.

Preheat oven to 350* and bake for 30 minutes.

I heated the milk up and added 1 tbsp of honey to it to sweeten it slightly. Then when the baked oatmeal was done I served it up in a bowl with a pouring of milk over the top.

The results were a grin from this happy boy. 
The Cuddlebug

Friday, December 2, 2011

Herman Waffles

Today's blog is brought to you by Herman. Our Herman has made the move with us and we continue to create wonderful recipes with Herman. If you have never made Herman before you can find the blog about Herman Here.

I created a recipe for Herman Waffles and I am going to share it here. This recipe is my own creation, it is a large batch and enough to do more then 30 waffles. (remember I have a large family!)

Herman Waffles

6 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbs baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup oil
6 large eggs
5 1/2 cups milk (I have used regular milk, flax milk or almond milk)
1 cup of herman starter

In a medium sized bowl mix all wet ingredients including herman starter, wisk well. In large bowl mix all dry ingredients, sift or use a wire wisk to blend ingredients together. Slowly beat the wet ingredients into the dry being sure to mix all the flour well but do not over beat the mixture. Let stand 5-10 minutes before use. The longer it stands the fluffier they will become. Be sure your waffle iron is hot and ready to go and under load the iron as these waffles expand a lot!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Well I have been absent from my own blog for a little while and the reason is I have been busy sewing and creating a facebook page just for the sale of my lovely creations.

I have mostly Apron's on the page right now and have the fabric choices listed so that I can do custom orders.

You can find my facebook page Here.

Some of the adorable styles I have up on my page are my finished Cherries apron (this one is mine, I have a policy to always sew for me first. Then I can sew whatever I want for others.)

My Apron on me
My Apron on the Bookworm
Reversible Half Moon Apron

Other side of Apron

Up close of pattern 
I have several more apron's in the works and am taking special orders for the holiday season. I have fabric listed on my page so the order can be placed for custom orders.

I am still awaiting the replacement for my camera and I am using my daughters camera. The color on the camera is not very true and I have limited ability to edit the pictures well enough to get the shading right. I miss my camera and my ability to take pictures that turn out beautifully.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekly Organic Learning report

Ahh its been a while since we had a weekly report so I thought I would toss one out there this morning.

Moving is always an adventure in learning. You learn what you are made of, either you can't handle doing it all or you are the kind of person who doesn't stop until its all done.

My kids are all in the second category. They are awesome. Even The Spitfire and The Cuddlebug pitched in and packed loads of boxes and brought them to the truck!

As for learning well We have been watching a show on netflix called The Colony. This show was done with test subjects where they were all from different walks of life and the senerio is that there has been catastrophic disaster. These people have had to come together to build a safe place to stay. They have shown us how to build a battery bank and how to recharge it with solar power so far. Its pretty cool and we all have enjoyed it.

We are also building our own bench seats for the kitchen. This has been great for teaching the kids some very practical math skills as well as how to recycle wood used for other projects previously.

We are getting ready to craft some stuff for Christmas gifts as well as Christmas cards for our beloved friends back in California. It is a lovely time of year to be settling into a routine and having our family be together again. The move from Virginia to North Carolina was costly but has been well worth it in family time. We are enjoying the family dinners together again and having quality time with Dad. It is nice to have the ability to spend little moments together everyday.

The routine is slowly forming and I am sure that in the coming weeks our Organic learning will develop into a much richer format soon.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Trying to unpack with a cold

Well what happens when you stress yourself out moving quickly and have sick kids the week before you move?

Why you get sick of course!

I came down with a real dozy. I got exactly two rooms unpacked before I woke up with a throbbing ear ache and pounding headache. The cough has settled in my chest and the headache is finally gone. I am still working on getting better but at least the headache is gone.

The house is lovely! We want to paint the walls, I doubt it will get done before Thanksgiving but perhaps before Christmas... or maybe not.

I hope to have pictures up this weekend. I have to get batteries for my daughters point and shoot camera before I can get any pictures put up here on the blog. I am enjoying the beautiful quiet neighborhood I now live in. We are close to a major city (15 minutes by car) yet in the country. There are trees and fields all around us. I can not wait to be healthy so the kids and I can go for a bike ride to the library.

I hope to be able to post pictures soon and get back to blogging on a more regular basis. Now I must go and rest more.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy 236th Birthday Marine Corps

I had wanted to post a lovely post like I did last year with some more facts about the Corps but being in the midst of boxes and not having a ton of time to sit down and compose such a thing I am just going to share the blog from last year again. 

I do hope you all don't mind. 

Happy 236th Birthday Marine Corps. To my husband I love you and will always be the supporting force behind your Marine Corps Career. 

Message from the Commandant

Last years blog post semper-fidelis

And just because its the most "motto" song my whole family loves:

Semper Fi

Monday, October 31, 2011

Moving again

I know it seems like I just got here to Virginia, Right?

Well the truth is that my husband has been staying 2 hours away during the week to work because his job is down in North Carolina.

So we found a lovely home to rent that will be ours for the next year, or more.
Here is a picture of the front of the house. 

We are hoping to be moved in a week so that next week my husband will be able to come home during the week again. It will take a lot of work on my part to box up our lives here during this week so that come this weekend we can get the truck and load everything up.

I may not be around to blog for just a short bit but hopefully soon afterwards I will be able to settle in and get back to sharing my world.

The new house does not have a separate dinning room, only an eat in kitchen so I am going to be building a breakfast nook. I have already found the perfect round table and I will have to build a the benches along two walls.

I am going for a look that resembles this one:
google search image from elle decor

Of course I will use entirely different fabric and make it more colorful. But the table looks a lot like this and the benches will be white. I am going to install piano hinges in the lids of the benches so that they can be used for extra storage in the kitchen. I will also have to find a few extra chairs to use for the other side of the table but I think this situation will work out perfectly for the space we have.

I will update my blog followers as soon as I can.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall on the east coast

My goodness I am in love!

The east coast sure serves up a beautiful eye catching array of colors. I wish now more then ever that my camera was fixed. I am still waiting.

The colors on the trees range from light green to deep red. I love on stormy days how the trees dance with their leaves of all colors waving in the wind. Slowly one will drop and float to the ground where its brothers and sisters are scattered all across the yard.

The children love running and tossing the lovely jewel toned leaves in the sky and pile them up. Running and jumping in them or kicking them through the yard.

I love fall for the crisp air and need of sweaters. I love cool mornings that allow for extra cuddle time. I love that cool crisp fall days mean lovely pots of soup. Soup always makes me feel good. There are so many different types of soup and I enjoy making all of them. I enjoy baking in the fall too. I like to bake bread, cakes, and cookies.

What are your favorite things about fall?

This fall and winter my goal is to learn to quilt. I have always wanted to learn and I have decided that this fall and winter I will take the plunge and learn. I always enjoy crocheting during the fall and winter and I am sure that I will continue to do so but I love learning new things.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Weekly Organic Learning report

This week so far has been a fun week.

The Spitfire has decided to learn to sew, by hand. I searched through fabric and found some cute printed fabric that someone gave me long ago. This fabric has printed candy canes with giant bows on them. You cut out the pattern and sew it together to make decorations. I think we will make a strand of these and then tie them together to make a garland. Spitfire has finished sewing one together and we are going to stuff it.

There was lots of outside learning the last two weeks. The kids are having a blast playing in the falling leaves.

Sunday was my Bookworm's birthday party and the kids all helped her clean up the fire pit area, gather and chop wood for a bon fire. They were all so excited about doing it on their own. They helped cut down dead and fallen trees and cleaned up the area to have a lovely fire.

We took a trip to the thrift store and found parts and pieces for costumes. The Bookworm is going to sew her own cape for her costume. This is the ultimate in recycling because the pattern is vintage from the 1960's from a stash my mother in law had given me years ago. The fabric is from a bolt I bought years ago that was on clearance. The bolt was 1$ a yard and there was 22 yards on it. So I bought the whole thing. I made a skirt out of it before and still have loads of fabric left so this cape is costing me nothing to make. The Spitfire is going to be a ballerina since we found a costume for a couple of bucks at the thrift store. I did have to buy her slippers but she will wear them for a while still I am sure. The Adventurer has yet to decide what he wants to be, and waffles between not wanting to dress up at all and then of course thinking maybe he will. The Cuddlebug has not come up with a solid costume yet. I told him he was running out of time. He just can't seem to think of what he should be.

I think the fall has been lovely so far. We have learned to make jam and now apple jelly. We are loving watching the leaves change on the trees around us. I personally am loving the cooler weather, it feels crisp and lovely. I am planning a few projects for the next week and hope that I can share some pictures with you all.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

French Onion Soup

I had a request from a friend to post this recipe so here it is.
*sorry there are no photos, Its just so hard to get pictures taken when your camera is broken*

3 medium sized onions
8 cups beef broth
1/4 cup butter
crusty french bread
Gouda Cheese

Thinly slice the onions. I like to cut mine in half first then thinly slice each half. Melt butter in pot. Place all onions in the pot and allow to cook until translucent. This typically takes 8- 10 minutes on medium heat. Stir frequently. Once onions are translucent pour 8 cups of beef broth (I make my own as often as I can but when I run out I just use store bought low sodium beef broth.) Allow to simmer for 30 minutes. While soup simmers thinly slice crusty french bread and toast in the oven. I like to toast mine by coating both the front and back with coconut oil and laying on a baking sheet in a 350* oven for 5-10 minutes per side. Once the soup has simmered for at least 30 minutes and the bread is toasted fill *oven safe* bowls with soup, place a piece of toasted bread on top and cover with slices of gouda cheese. Broil in the oven until the cheese is melted and brown around the edges. remove and serve.

Now I don't happen to have oven safe bowls so I have skipped the last step and just placed the cheese over the hot bread and soup with lovely results but for authentic soup you need to broil the cheese so it melts over the entire bowl of soup.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Roasted Root Veggie Soup

In honor of fall I am sharing my favorite fall soup. There are so many lovely roots available this time of the year. I love to make soups and stews out of them.

Butternut squash
Olive oil
veggie or chicken broth
sprig of rosemary

Peel the squash and the rutabegas. Dice all roots place in large baking dish season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Be sure to toss the veggies around to coat in the olive oil. The amount of oil I use depends on the amount of veggies, you only need enough to coat the veggies. Bake in the oven for 20 -35 minutes at 400*. If there is any oil in the bottom of the roasting pan after the veggies are done I pour this flavored oil into my dutch oven, dice up the onion and celery, then saute it until they are soft and translucent. Pour the roasted veggies into the pot with enough broth to cover 1 inch over the veggies, place rosemary on top. Simmer for 45 minutes to allow flavors to come together. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy.

*I will update with pictures tonight since this is today's meal*

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Weekly report on Organic Learning

I am going to try hard to post each week about our Organic Learning adventures. This is not always easy for me to do since each day, and each week is a totally different adventure. We never stay in one place long and we often bounce from idea and thought to project and back again.

My kids love computer time. So I have worked hard to find great free websites they can play on and play games that encourage learning. The new favorite for The Spitfire and The Cuddlebug is a site called Go Go Kabongo. There is a free option and they love playing there. The nice thing is that it encourages reading in a fun playful way. The kids enjoy the games and that makes it more fun for them to learn.

My son The Creator is teaching himself to play guitar and I found a wonderful website that is completely free for him to use. The site is called Justinguitar and they start at the most basic level. Using Youtube videos to show you how to play.

The Bookworm is officially "Graduated" so she does not have any set type of work however she is writing several books. How she keeps them all straight in her head at once is beyond me. She loves to write and I keep wondering how long it will be before she publishes her work.

Last week we watched documentaries on Herod's tomb, we also watched episodes of Mythbusters. We love that show! There were also episodes of Quantum leap which we love.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Herman Bread

Well I promised a couple of weeks ago to come back and post about some of the things that I can make with Herman. Then my whole family got sick. When you live in a house with 4 kids and two adults this always takes a bit of time to over come. I am on the tail end of it, for a second time. Thankfully this second time was not nearly as bad as the first time I got it.

I have made several things with my Herman Starter and even shared starter with my neighbor. I can not tell you which my favorite thing to make thus far is but I do know that we all enjoy the bread. The bread can be made into cinnamon rolls or lovely free formed french bread. As the starter ages it gets more sour and not so sweet. Right now my starter is still on the sweeter side but it is turning out lovely rich tasting bread.

The recipe for the bread is simple (as far as bread from scratch goes) I don't have any pictures *yet* I hope to come and update with pictures later today since I have to bake more bread today.

1 envelope (or 2 1/4 tsp) yeast
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 cup Herman starter
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
aprox 6 cups flour divided
1/2 tsp baking soda

in large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Add starter, salt, sugar, and 2 1/2 cups flour. Mix well until there are no lumps. I use a wire whisk for this but you could use an electric mixer if you wanted to. cover with a towel and let rise in a warm draft free place about 1 1/2 hours until the mixture has risen and is bubbly. Combine 2 1/2 cups flour with baking soda and add to the mixture. With your hands add enough flour to make a stiff dough 1/4 cup at a time. Place on a floured surface and kneed 5-7 minutes. Divide dough in 1/2 shape dough. Allow dough to rise another 30 minutes to 1 hour, until doubled in size. Bake in a 400* oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

I have also made lovely muffins with the Herman Starter, as well as pancakes. I have a recipe for cookies but have not attempted those just yet. I am thinking of making some Herman Doughnuts as well...

Tell me have you started your Herman yet? No? Want to? If so check out the link Here to see how to start. Then come back and tell me all about it in the comments section.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Reconsider Columbus Day

I posted a rather lengthy blog last year about Columbus and his heinous crimes. You can read it here.

I still stand behind that post and think that this man is not someone we should be celebrating.

Today I saw this video that I wanted to share. 

I would like to urge all American's to PLEASE Reconsider Columbus Day. This day is not a day to celebrate. This man was no hero. If he came here today he would be tried and convicted of many crimes against humanity.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I decided to try and make my own Jam with things I had on hand.

I had several apples and read online that I could make my own pectin with apples. So decided that I could probably make my own jam if I combined apple with some frozen fruit.

This is entirely an experiment and I have no idea if it will work or not. But I *think* it will. :) If nothing else we will have some lovely topping for some pancakes or something.

So what I have done is cut and quartered 5 medium sized apples and added 2 cups of water. I waited until those were cooked util they were soft and then I added 2 cups of frozen mixed raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. I cooked those until they were completely soft and then mashed the whole pot together. I picked the apple skins out of the pot since I did not want them in my finished product.

I then added 3 cups of sugar and a half a cup of water to the mashed fruit. I continued to cook this until it was about half its volume and was thicker then before. This took a few hours on very low heat. I did not want the fruit to scorch so I cooked it very low and stirred it often. Once it seemed thick enough I did the "freezer test" which requires you to place a small bit and place it in a bowl then put it in the freezer. If it sets up then it is done.

I placed my jam into several recycled containers I had on hand since I did not have any mason jars. The kids loved this jam and it turned out perfectly, especially since it was an experiment and I was not sure it would turn out.

Monday, October 3, 2011


One of the things that my mother in law gave me not long after my husband and I were married was a recipe for "Herman". This is one of my husbands favorite things and we have not had it in many many years. You see Herman is a yeast starter. You have to grow and feed Herman and he requires work on certain days. I am not so great at keeping Herman alive. I often tend to forget about him when he sits in the fridge. I have to mark the calendar and keep an eye on him or I forget. Herman has to be stirred constantly the first few days.. well ok not constantly but over a period of a few days. Of course because you feed Herman he grows and sometimes you have more then you need, if that is the case you can give some to friends and share the love of Herman with everyone.

Last summer when I went to my Mother in laws for the fourth of July she copied off some other recipes she found in her stash for several Herman recipes. These recipes use some Herman and then you add to it to create other foods. There is a recipe for pancakes, coffee cake, a 'white bread' that is a bit more like sourdough because of the Herman starter. There is also a recipe for cookies. I was a bit shocked by that.

Today I have started Herman. It is sitting on top of my fridge covered with a towel and growing as we speak. I am hoping that by Friday night when my husband is able to come home to have lovely dishes of Herman making set out for him to enjoy. Well ok I will likely be trying out the bread as I am baking bread constantly and honestly anything that makes it a little more accessible is always a plus. I also will have coffee cake for breakfast on Saturday when we wake up and share a meal together.

On another note I am also making some apple berry jam from scratch today and bread is rising for the day. I am feeling a tad better but still a bit loopy in moments as the crud rolls round in my head.

I am also roasting a chicken that will then get boiled and pulled apart for two meals this week. Cooking on a severe budget doesn't have to mean nothing good for the belly. I am contemplating what dishes to do with this chicken but at least the chicken is cooking and the house smells good.


Here is the recipe for the starter, as well as the directions.
2 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 envelope yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast)
1 tsp salt
2 cups warm water

In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, yeast, salt then gradually stir in water. beat or whisk until smooth. Place bowl in a warm draft free place in the kitchen (mine is on top of the fridge) cover with a towel. Stir 2 -3 times a day for 3 days or until starter is bubbly and produces a yeasty aroma. After day 3 you can use part of the starter and refrigerate the remaining Herman. Herman must be stirred everyday so even when you are not using any Herman you must stir him. Be sure not to cover tightly when it is refrigerated, either cover with plastic wrap or with a lid off to the side. When you use Herman you feed it, so you use some and feed the remaining starter.

To feed Herman:
1 cup of flour
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of sugar
add to starter whisk or stir well.

If it will be more then 14 days before you use Herman again then you can pop the starter in the freezer and pull it out again when you want to use it.

Check back in 3 days to see what I have used my Herman for first.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Sometimes when I get sick I just want to curl up and let the world fall away from me. Unfortunately when you are a mom you often do not have that luxury. I am not sure what it is about being the mom but sleeping in doesn't happen when I am at home. Even when I am sick. I slept until 10:30 this morning and was shocked, I could not believe it was so late. When I got up I discovered the only reason I slept so late was because the kids were all still asleep.

I have a nasty head cold that seems to be spreading like wildfire to everyone I know. Most of my friends are far away from me but so many of them have this exact same cold and all of us have come down with it at relatively the same few weeks. I hope that I can get over it without it going down into my chest the way it has for so many of my friends.

Until I get better I probably wont have many blog posts. I hope you all stay healthy and don't catch this bugger of a cold. It's not fun at all.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Reading Corner

I love reading.

I do not get the chance to read nearly as often as I used to before kids, but I do so love to read for pleasure.

I just finished reading the last book in the "Earth Children" series named "The Painted Cave" written by Jean M Auel.

I did not love this book, I found it to be full of a lot of repeats from previous books. There were bits of new story in there and I liked getting to live in Alya's world for just a tiny bit longer. I also could never in good conciseness knowing there was one last book out there and never read it.

I am now reading one of my all time favorites by one of my favorite authors,
An Old Fashion Girl by Louisa May Alcott

I have a list started of books I have read but need to go back and add more that I missed putting on there and include the ones that I have read recently.
If you want to check out that list click here.

What are some of your favorite books?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Good Morning Monday...

err ummm I mean Tuesday!

No I didn't forget what day it was, really I didn't!

Ok So over the weekend I got to see my husband. This was a rare and wonderful treat since he is staying out of town for work and coming home on the weekends. It sure has cut down on our gas expenses though! We didn't do much for excitement other then enjoy some fun family meals together, do some grocery shopping together, and watch a few movies. All normal everyday things that we couldn't do during the week.

I also finished up the other sock to match the one I created the first time. I followed my own pattern and actually made another sock. This is a good sign as I hope to write the pattern and make it available for others to use. The socks have the same stitch on the Fingerless gloves on the top of the foot and around the ankle, but the bottom is just a tight even single crochet stitch. The whole thing is worked in the round so the top half of the round is done in the pattern and the bottom half is done with a simple stitch. I prefer ankle socks so my socks did not come up to far, however you can make them taller by simply continuing the pattern around to the desired height. These lovely little socks were done using sock weight yarn in a red colorway of dark burgundy shading out to a deep pink.

I am contemplating refinishing chairs today, They still have not been finished because first it was to hot to try painting them and now it has been raining so much that I cant possibly do it yet. I need to get them done before it really starts raining and I will have to wait until spring. I want to get them done. I have the fabric cut to refinish the seats, I have the staple gun loaded and ready,  I have the paint, the brushes, and the chairs lightly sanded. I just need a day when its not pouring rain or threatening to. :)

Later today I am getting a dresser that needs to be painted and put in my daughter The Bookworm's room. I got a steal of a deal, a real wood dresser (not that particle board crud) and they are delivering it for 20.00! It has a broken wooden handle but that is a fairly easy thing to fix, either with a new handle or a small piece of wood to replace it. That will have to be evaluated after we get it here.

I am considering board games for school today....

What lovely things did you do over the weekend?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Finger-less Gloves~ A Picture

So did my description from the other day do these justice? 

Here are a set of cell phone pictures... 

Shell detail at top of fingers

Inside of glove

You can see the scaling better

Here you can see the thumb detail

So what do you think? 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Beef Stew

The weather is cooling down a lot and I promised a month or so ago to post pictures my friend took of my Beef Stew. Honestly this had completely slipped my mind until last night! SO without further ado...

Beef Stew~
2 lbs beef, cubed
6 large carrots
4 large potatoes
4 celery stalks
1 large onion
2 cloves whole garlic
1/4 cup flour
All spices are divided
1 tbsp cummin
1 tbsp smokey paprika
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1tbsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2-4 Tbsp olive oil
12 cups water
1 sprig fresh rosemary
*1 tbsp corn starch if needed*

Now that is the basic ingredients list. What makes my beef stew so special? The way I cook it!

we cook in layers for this stew. Its the only way to make it taste wonderful.

I start with my onion, chopping it into about 1/2 squares. While you are chopping heat 2 tbsp of oil in the bottom of the stock pot or dutch oven, when onions are chopped add them to the pot and stir them around. Allow them to cook while you chop the Carrots. The onions should be slightly carmalized in color and soft, add the chopped carrots (they should be no bigger then 1/2" as well) Saute these and allow them to cook until they have softened and started to carmalize. While those are cooking chop the celery and add it to the pot. Next the potatoes go in. I always cut my potatoes in half then into cubes except one half of one potato that is chopped into small pieces. I want this one potato to break down a lot during cooking and help thicken the stew naturally. Once all the veggies have been added I allow this to cook for about 10 minutes then I remove all of the veggies from the pot.

They look like this (O my a picture!)

In the pot
Once it has cooked and removed from pot
Next put half of all the spices in a bowl with the flour, mix well. Trim your meat so that there is very little fat on it and place it in the bowl of flour. Stir to coat all of the meat. Heat the 2 tbsp of oil in the same pot you used to cook the veggies. Be sure not to over crowd your meat. Cook it in batches if you must but do not try putting it all in the pot at once. Brown the meat, taking it out of the pot as it browns and adding a little more oil if need be. Once all the meat is browned add the remaining meat back to the pot and start deglazing your pan. I most often use water because that is what I have on hand however you can substitute burgundy or white wine for some of the water in this step to make a richer flavored stew.

Here is what that should look like:

During this step you need to add any remaining flour that was left after you browned your meat cooking it slightly and making a rue while you deglaze the pan. I typically use 2 cups of water, or wine to deglaze. (BTW Deglazing is just a fancy word for saying removing the bits from the bottom of the pan.)

Next add all of the veggies, the remaining seasonings that you did not use in the flour, the water and that sprig of rosemary to the pot. Cover and let simmer on low for at least 2 hours. This brings your flavors together and thickens your stew.

After an hour if you happen to have fresh green beans like I did you can add them at this point.
Here is what the stew looks like :
After one hour
With Green Beans added
After two hours your stew will look like this:

If the stew is not as thick as you would like it at this point you can take 1/4 cup warm water and add the 1 tbsp of corn starch to it and whisk  it until it is dissolved. Add that to the stew and bring stew to a boil for 1 minute. This will thicken the stew even more and you will have a nice lovely Stew.

A few substitutions can be made. For example if you don't like green beans but love peas you can add those instead. If they are fresh I would add them 30 minutes before you want to serve the stew. Frozen should only be added after the stew is at its desired thickness and no more then 5 or 10 minutes before you want to serve it. You can completely omit the green veggies if you do not like either, or have either on hand.

I hope that you all enjoy this post and this recipe it is one of our fall favorites. I also make a beef stew with a tomato base. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Crocheted finger-less Gloves~ A description

Since the suggestion was made that I attempt to describe these lovely finished gloves with words I am going to do my best.

I sure hope that the words do it justice and that you can get a glimpse of what they *might* look like.

I started this project with 'scrap' yarn. Acrylic yarn from my stash. *gasp!* she said acrylic! well yes I do find acrylic to be good for some projects and if worked properly can be quiet comfortable. I chose a lovely shade of deep red. There was a medium sized ball of yarn left over from another project that I did for a friend. I believe it was from the Simply Soft collection of Caron yarns. I believe the color is Garnet now, but I know thats not what it was called when I bought it. :)

Because I do a lot with my fingers I wanted to have the ability to have my fingers free and my wrists still covered when I work as it gets colder. So I started looking around at free patterns for fingerless gloves. There are some but none that had a thumb hole, more of just a slit in the side for the thumb to come out. That's what got me thinking "why not just create my own?"

I started at the top and worked my way down.
These gloves are done in a tight single crochet stitch so that there are not a lot of  'holes' in them. I went for warmth as well as beauty. I started at the top so that I could create the thumb hole and work down towards the wrists. I use a special decrease stitch that allows for a lacy pattern all the way around the glove. I think it looks a little like scales. The decrease stitch has a raised effect so that the stitches on either side of it lay flat giving a nice detail to the glove. I then finished the top of the gloves, only on the backsides not all the way around, with a shell pattern that provides a lovely decorated finish to the tops. The bottoms down by the forearm are just simply straight so that they can be worn under a coat if need be.

I may try to take pictures with the inadequate camera's at my disposal and post them tomorrow, then you can tell me how I did at describing them.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bloging style, life run amok.

I have discovered since my camera is not working that I find it very hard to come here and post a daily blog.

I love to post pictures of what I am talking about. I am certainly a more visual person rather then a just write words about it and describe it all. I just do not really know how to re-invent myself right now so please bear with me and stay tuned.

My camera is still sitting here because I can not find the papers for the warranty information. I know I have it but gosh who knows what happened to it when we moved.

We have been busy around here. Since Spitfire has decided she could read she has been doing it a lot. She reads to me everyday and we are having lots of fun with it. We have all been watching a ton of documentaries too. I simply love netflix for that fact. The documentaries alone make it worth the 7.99 to stream in movies to my wii. Our most recent one was a wonderful one all about the food industry called Ingredients. This film talks about eating locally and in season. It is the best way to eat if you can not grow your own food. I however am convinced that people everywhere no matter where you live CAN grow their own food, it just might take a little creativity. Using planters and green houses instead of just straight in the ground. I think if everyone grew some of their own food the savings would be phenomenal not to mention the taste difference of growing your own food. Learning to eat in season according to where you live is also a really great money saving tool. If you buy locally grown fresh produce you can cut your grocery bill a lot because the local in season food is less expensive then the stuff that is imported from other states, or countries.

We have switched to only fresh baked bread. I have dough that I keep in the refrigerator and use a portion of everyday. Feeding the rest for another day. Then I make a loaf of bread in the morning and we have fresh baked bread for lunches. This has cut our grocery budget a lot too.

I have been crocheting a ton, little things for me. I wrote up a pattern for a pair of fingerless gloves (mitts?) I also created a toe up pair of socks that I totally love. I wish that I could show them to you. I only have one sock finished but the other one is in the works.

I am working on being a better blogger even without pictures. I just am not sure how to get there, so hang in there with me.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Today marks the 10 year anniversary of one singular event that took place in the United States. It is hard to imagine for some what life was like before that day. The following years brought us changes to this nation that, in my opinion, limit our freedoms and should raise questions as to truth and justice.

When we throw stones into a lake the water ripples out farther and farther. We have got to question the actions we have taken thus far in the 10 years since a tragedy occurred here on American Soil. What are our ripples? what legacy do we leave to our children?  How are we going to be remembered after having this awful blow dealt to us?

Today I remember but do not dwell. Today I honor but do not focus solely on that day 10 years ago, instead I focus on today, and on the future today's. In what little way I can I choose not to allow the negative to impact my everyday. I choose to celebrate and live, laugh and love.

In honor of life I am having a fall celebration with my neighbors. We will gather and have a beautiful day filled with fall foods.

I want to encourage you all to not focus on the negative impact of the few, that is how terror wins. Instead focus on the life you have the love that is in it and the ripples made by that love.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

When life gets crazy

Have you ever had one of those weeks that was so crazy it takes you all week to actually process it?

That is pretty much what has happened this last week. I still can not process where each of the things that happened.

We were each busy with school stuff, the kids are all learning so much its hard to break it down. Spitfire is loving the freedom of reading on her own and is trying out new books constantly. I have been exploring things with my adventurer. The Bookworm and I have been talking about possible part time jobs and what her options for the future are. She thinks she wants to try college part time and since she is a graduate it will require some tests so we are doing some review and practice for testing as well as talking about what to do for test anxiety.

On Monday my husbands director told him he should apply for this other company that will be taking over part of the policing for the hospital he works for so he did. Then on Tuesday the head of the new company was there and wanted to interview him, she had already reviewed his resume. So he interviewed on Tuesday and by Wednesday night he got a call offering him a full time position as the Supervisor of the whole operation with the potential to become the director for 3 other hospitals. This position sort of just fell into his lap. It means a regular shift with decent pay and benefits. He will also still be working part time for the other hospital, how they do not have a conflict of interest is beyond me. They will work him a few extra hours a day during the transition period for each company.

Now comes the hard part. We currently live 2 hours away from where he works. Obviously we can not afford to stay so far away. So we have to decide how and when we can move. Right now we do not have the expenses to move, it costs a bit of money to pack up your stuff and move it, not to mention the fact that we have to have the money for a deposit and rent. So now comes the crunch time. squeezing every penny until there is nothing left to squeeze.

I am still searching for papers for my warranty for my camera to get it fixed. I know that the warranty covers ANYTHING so it should fix my camera if I can just find the silly papers! ahh the joys of moving cross country!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Well to the faithful friends who have hung out waiting for me to come post here I appreciate it!

I finally have my internet back. The camera on the other hand has sat waiting to go to the repair place because in the move I somehow misplaced the important papers for the warranty info. I am not sure yet what to do about it yet.

The past week has been spent doing so many things that I just never seemed to have the time to come over here and blog about it.

We started a free month of netflix and have been watching tons of documentaries. We love them. They are so fun to sit and watch. We learn from them, they spark interesting discussions and are entertaining. I think our favorite so far is one about the civil war.

We did a study on the weather since we have been getting a lot of different weather then we were used to in California. That was an interesting study. We discussed why a lot of weather comes up to where we are and looked at The Weather channel where they show a lot of great break downs of weather.

My son the recycler, builder, adventurer (you choose because they all fit) found some treasures on one of his many hunts. This time it was old coins. So we did some research and discovered that his treasures are worth about 40.00 right now.

This week marks the year anniversary of my beautiful Bookworm almost died. Her appendix ruptured and slowly leaked into her body for almost a week before we finally discovered that's what was going on. She did not have all the typical symptoms of an appendicitis and when we finally took her to the ER she was near death. She had 2 surgeries and was  in the ICU for 11 days and in the hospital for 13 total. It has taken most of the year for her to really recover and she still has some days where she is exhausted even when she hasn't done anything. I am forever grateful for the treatment she received. She had some of the best nurses in the ICU. Her surgeon was amazing! She is now a year into her healing and is working towards a healthy life.

The Spitfire has decided this week that she can read. Yep you read that right... She just decided she could. She walked in and asked me "mom, can I read this book to you?" I said "sure" and we sat here and she read the whole 16 page book to me on her own. I only had to help her with words like The, And, and Was. those pesky sight words can be annoying. As unschoolers we do not force the issue. I had faith that she would learn in her own time and she has done so without any struggle, anger or frustration. She can read many words without any formal instruction. The fact that we are readers in this house probably helped. The fact that we read to them almost every night and they are allowed to look at books whenever they want to for however long they want to is a big help too.

The cuddlebug, not to be outdone by his older sister has declared he will read too. Of course this has not come as easy for him but his eagerness to try is refreshing and I am certain he will excel in his own time and space. Until then I continue to encourage his learning with fun and activities he will enjoy.

I am so glad that I have learned to have faith. Faith comes in so many forms and is needed for so many reasons. I trust that what I am doing for them for school is working even when on the outside it does not always appear that way.

In my in-between time I have been writing a crochet pattern for a pair of finger-less gloves that I made, as well as a pair of toe up socks. I am trying to decide how to publish these. I am not sure I want to just post them free, and what about copy write issues... to many things to think about so I am off to do other things instead.

I think we shall all sit and play a game together today. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nothing new here

Because of the complications with trying to connect to the internet at all I will be away for a little bit.

I get to rejoin the world of High Speed Internet on Saturday!

They come between 11am-2pm and will be connecting me then.

I will be able to connect and stop having "network timed out" issues.

I will be able to upload pictures, even if they are just from the point and shoot and not my awesome camera.

I will be able to come and post blogs that will be awesome again.

So until Saturday I hope you all have an awesome week.

O and for the record because of the silly "network timed out" issue I can not even read my favorite blogs. Sending my favorite blogs much love I am sure your posts this week have been awesome! I will enjoy going back and reading them all this weekend once I have my high speed net back.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Over the weekend I pulled out a project I had started about 8 months ago. It is a pattern I picked up over on Ravelry (if you are a crocheter or knitter you really need to check out that website! They have tons of free patterns and groups for hookers and knitters alike.)

Anyway the pattern is for a pair of socks. They are the first pair of socks I have ever crocheted. I tried a different pattern once before but it just was not turning out the way it was supposed to. So I scrapped that first project and picked up this one. The pattern is called Origami Turkish Socks and the pattern is free on Ravelry.

My review of these socks:
They fit very nicely. I like how snug they are without feeling tight or pinched. I do not like that I have to sew them up at the end. I do however like that they are easy to custom fit because it is made in a flat pattern. The most complicated part of the whole thing is that you have to measure your foot there is no stitch count to get it right with.

I wish that I could share a picture of these cute socks right now but you all know about the picture issue I am having.

I also made a completely adorable Crocheted choker necklace. That one was my own creation and I will share pictures of it when I get the ability to do so.

Happy Monday to you all~
Have a fantastic;

Where ever you are!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I forgot...

Just how much I love to kneed bread dough.

It's been YEARS since I have made a batch of dough by hand.

So tonight I took the wooden spoon in hand.

Grabbed a large mixing bowl and got started.

I used a recipe I found online because the only books I have that are bread dough recipes are for the bread machine that I no longer own. I used this recipe and modified it slightly, I added ground flax seed powder, and whole wheat bread as well as allowing the yeast to proof before mixing the dough. I mixed half the flour in slowly then added the second half and the flax seed powder. I also used coconut oil for the oil and honey in one loaf and sugar in the other.

I just made a whole wheat loaf. I used my great grandmothers loaf pan that is really long super tall and heavy duty! This thing is the size of a long store bought loaf of bread. It is maybe the size of those wonder bread loafs. You know that pasty white bread that some people love? Personally I can not stand the stuff. The only "white" bread I like at all happens to be potato bread, which really isn't white but is more of an eggy yellow color.

I also made 18 buns. 18 buns to go with tomorrow nights dinner...

Drum Roll Please....

Barbecue Beef Sandwiches. A whole lot like pulled pork but I never eat pork, it upsets my stomach so severely that it is not worth the effort. We will also be having home made coleslaw and watermelon sorbet for desert.

Speaking of pork products I recently discovered something that has thrilled me! The one thing I have missed more then anything when I gave up pork was bacon. I mean really good crispy smokey bacon. I have tried every turkey bacon there is and they all taste bad. They either do not crisp up or they are just so fake tasting that I can not fake my way into eating it. But I was at the dreaded box store recently and I discovered ...
BEEF bacon! That's right. Bacon that is made from beef. It does not get quite as crispy as pork bacon does but the flavor is superb and the smell is o so divine! I found this review that gives a good bit of info on it, as well as a picture of the exact brand I bought.

(we wont talk about how long it took me to upload that photo!)

Anyway back to the bread, since I just took the buns out of the oven and they smell heavenly...

Do any of you bake bread? Kneed it by hand?
I was so excited with how good it felt that I just knew I had to make a second batch! I will be making as many more batches as I can in the coming weeks. If I can freeze dough then I wont feel obligated to buy bread if I get tired of making it. Plus I could pull a loaf of dough out of the freezer at night pop it in the oven early in the morning and then bake it and have fresh bread each day to eat.

I wonder why so many women found it so challenging to bake a loaf of bread for their family each day? It isn't that challenging nor time consuming. The hardest part is waiting for it to raise to bake it which is why freezing the dough is perfect. I think tomorrow when I make a batch of dough I will also make some cinnamon rolls... They are a sinful treat that I have not had in years because I simply could not bring myself to eat the kind that are made from a can. I smell them and they smell wonderful but O how disappointing they are.

So until next time folks, Have a fantastic
Wherever you are!

Friday, August 19, 2011

When Good Electronics Go Bad...

First it was my internet... which still is so slow that most of the time pages do not load. Which is a great joke since its supposed to be high speed broadband internet. Its enough to almost make it worth while to spend the 40 a month on Comcast.

When the internet IS working my laptop seems to want to disconnect from the slow connection and then wont reconnect. I am not sure if it is because the connection is so slow that my computer just figures there must be a better connection or what.

Now it  is my camera. My beloved camera is not working. I went to take pictures with it a few days ago and even though the batteries were not that old in it it wouldnt turn on and stay on. So I opened the battery compartment to discover one of the batteries had leaked. I cleaned it out and put fresh batteries in it. Now it turns on but after about a minute and a half it turns back off again. The SD card that was in there also appears to have been erased. My Brother in law has a program that he is going to use to try to recover the 1000 pictures that were still on the card.

So I am now without a camera until I can send it to the warranty place and hope that it will be able to be fixed.

What this means for my blog is that I wont be able to post pictures, unless you want to see pictures taken with a cell phone camera. I might be able to take a few pictures with my daughters point and shoot, but they wont be quality shots. It is just a little poloroid point and shoot. Not great shots.

With the lack of ability to load pages properly with my internet connection being so slow loading pictures is a challenge anyway. I am looking into other internet options. I am just not sure yet what I can afford and what its worth to pay for net. I do know that we as unsschoolers life learners we tend to use the internet a whole lot. We download stuff constantly, print stuff more, and use the internet to watch documentaries online as well. Having a slow connection, or non existent connection at times has really slowed down things in the learning area of our lives. when my kids ask me questions that I do not know the answers to, YES that happens and they know it does. We go to the internet and utilize searches to find the answers. I am not happy that we are not able to just zoom around on the interwebs to find the answers we need so that we can go about our lives. The problem I have is that we are on a really tight budget right now and adding even a little to it might just be to much.

So I hope you readers and friends will stick around and listen to the crazy ramblings of a mom without pictorials on some of my loved crafts and adventures, at least for a little bit.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Birthday Boy

Today my sweet little baby turns 7. How time does fly!

I remember the day perfectly. He wasn't born until night time. 7 years ago today I spent the entire day in labor. I woke up at 6:30 am and was clearly in labor. I called my midwife and told her that today was the day and that she should get to my house soon.

Yep thats right folks, I had my youngest at home with a midwife. I was home in my own bed relaxing. I even slept through transition and woke up when he was ready to be born. I had no drug interventions, no IV, nothing but my family supporting me. My parents and sister came and stayed at the house until he was born.

My youngest is my sweetest child. He has a big heart and is always concerned about others around him. He is content in this life to just do what he wants. He loves music and he has taught himself to play instruments on sound alone. He is quiet amazing!

For some reason it is his birth that makes me feel old. I know I am not old, I am only in my mid 30s but man o man do I feel old. I am blessed to be this little ones mom. I look forward to what the rest of his life will bring.

Now off to bake a cake for the little man. He wants vanilla cake with chocolate frosting... So I shall go and create something that tastes devine... not sure how "pretty" it will be though. Cake decorating is NOT my strong suit.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hopes, Dreams & visions

Well I am still having net issues so we are not posting any pictures anytime soon. However I am still going to try to keep posting. Even if I find blogs without pictures lacking some.

Today I have spent the day dreaming.

There is a little town not far from where my husband's job is that has many victorian homes in need of some pretty major repairs. These homes are for sale for very little. There are actually houses with some great 'bones' for sale for as little as 9,000.00! I found one home that I simply fell in love with. It is called the Smith House. It is in need of some fairly major repairs but O my she could sure be shined up and made beautiful!

I have never made it a secret that I have dreamed of owning and running a Bed & Breakfast. If I could possibly swing a loan and get this house that I am so in love with AND we did a whole ton of the work ourselves I could own my piece of history. The Smith house would be a perfect conversion because it was already at one point converted to an apartment building. So there are already multiple bathrooms in the house. It could easily be transformed back to a single family home. The lot is large enough to have a beautiful rich garden.

So as you can see I have already started dreaming. I do this a lot when I see a fantastic old home. I seem to be drawn to them like moths to flames. I can not seem to get enough of them. I long to live in one again. I grew up in a beautiful victorian home as a child, until my parents moved us out of the city and into the woods. I love the beauty of nature but still long to live in an old home. I long to live in a beautiful home where I can invite people in to admire the work I have done restoring it. I long to feed people my lovely home made dishes and I long to do it sooner rather then later in this life.

I can envision my home and its always a big house with a wrap around porch and gabled roofs. One day She will come to me, My lovely dream home. One day I will own her.

It is important to dream. It is important to set that goal in your life and have it there. It is even more important to take out that dream, dust it off and look at it again. Does it still fit your life? is it still what you long for? If so live in it for a moment and then continue to dream.

Until tomorrows post...

Have a fantastic day Dreaming!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Still no net..

So since the internet is still down and I can not post pictures using this stick I am having to post-pone the Stew and Chili recipes for a bit longer.

Since everyone is talking back to school I thought now might be a good time to talk about "school" in our house.

To say we are eclectic would be a good way to describe it. We do not define ourselves with labels, however most people would consider us "unschoolers"

What is an unschooler? Well there is no real definition that fits the same mold. Easily spotted by a lack of set curriculum and a more child led learning environment.

We rarely use store bought curriculum. I have used work books from time to time and the kids sometimes enjoy them as "fun" when they just want something to do. Yep thats right they consider work books fun.

There are many "styles" out there and we have tried a lot of them. When we first started homeschooling we enrolled our oldest in a charter school. This first charter school was a good school and had classes that met daily but you had to sign up for them. they were different classes and this worked well while we were there. We moved away and I enrolled my children in a another charter school but found that it lacked some of the things I loved about the other one. I also felt that it really was not working for my children. This is about the time I started to study John Holt and Charlotte Mason. Recently many people have taken a Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling. I personally skipped right past it although I do find that I use some of the beliefs of CM style as we consider ourselves to be "life learners". My friend over at Golden Acorn Homeschool just posted a fantastic post all about CM style, head on over there to see her post.

As Life learners we tend to incorporate learning into everything we do. Even if it is a trip to the grocery store. Walks outside are nature walks where we study the trees and the animals we see. We see the changes in everyday life and take note of them. This is how we approach everything in life. I do not tell my children "its time to start school" instead we just live. We learn each and everyday through learning. Sometimes we watch movies or play games. sometimes they sit and read books. I have not "taught" my children to read. I have encouraged them to read on their own at their own pace. We read to them everyday and sometimes they ask me how to spell a word and I help them, then they learn how to read the word as well as how to spell it.

So while I sit back watching people frantically "plan" their school year out I find myself wondering exactly what the year has in store for my family and I. We do not plan, or have a set schedule. I do not make them do work everyday. I know some people find that this is an important and it works for them. For me it does not work. I find that my children respond better to having control. If my 8 year old tells me that she wants to learn math today we sit and learn math. If they want to work in work books we do that. If they want to practice handwriting thats ok too. We sometimes do what appears to be nothing but is really a whole lot, like playing on the wii or watching a movie together. I encourage them to experiment new things and we enjoy learning all about things that are not typically taught in school. My oldest teen has done many unit studies on certain places. she has books on Rome, on ancient Greek, as well as hundreds on Ancient Egypt. She loves to paint and is very good.

So a peak at the life of our unschooling might be hard to capture what "looks" like learning. I can promise learning is happening. I notice it over time suddenly my children say something that makes me realize just how much they learned over a period of time. My youngest two can tell you all about why the leaves fall from trees, or how to tell if a tree is an evergreen or not. They also are learning to read on their own and spelling at their own pace. Its what works for us.

Now off to watch a movie while I crochet and enjoy spending time with my kiddos, we have a walk planned for later today.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Today's post is just a bit of blathering.

We had a freak thunder storm here yesterday that lasted all of 10 minutes. This storm rolled in late afternoon. Shortly before it actually hit my internet started acting funny. I opted to go do other things since I couldn't get online, when I looked up I saw the storm cloud coming in. The lightening struck the house down our drive way just behind my friends house. Struck the ground! we felt the whole earth shake. Wow what a site.

Since then my net has been off and on, touch and go. I was all set to post about my beef stew and I can not get this net to stay on long enough or load my pictures. So instead I find myself just blathering.

I wonder if there is anything you, my 24 loyal followers, would like to ask me? is there a question you have been dying to ask but never did? or perhaps there is something you would like to know about me that I never talk about? Here is your chance... Ask away in the comments section and I will gladly answer them.

I hope that tomorrow the net works more like it is supposed to. I have a lovely post all set just need to ad the pictures of the stew. I Can't do it until the net is back to normal because it would take me just far to long to upload pictures when I keep getting errors telling me the server has stopped working.

Have a lovely~
where ever you are and what ever time it is where you are.

Now off to make my healthier for you Mac & Cheese for dinner. My Cuddlebugs favorite!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Photo Shoot

Some of you may, or may not, have noticed my absense of posts for the past few days. I had an out of town guest and we were just hanging out. She is from texas, and I met her online! I met her about 5 years ago on the antiquated Myspace. Back when there were groups and people interacted together there. We have been great friends and I have always loved the stories of her boys. She was coming my way and said that she would come a day early if I would like to meet in person. I went the extra step and said she could come stay with us and visit! crazy I know but I am so glad that I did!

We had a great time. She learned to cook a few of my recipes and we had some lovely meals together. I taught her how to make my beef stew, and my chili. She took some lovely photos of each step of the stew, I will be posting that recipe this week. I will also be posting my recipe for Chili but we only have a finished shot of the chili no step by steps there.

My friend also happens to be a wonderful professional photographer. I know she has her own studio and I will have to see if she has a web page for it so I can link it! While she was here she did a photo shoot with each of us and family portraits outside in the beautiful Virginia countryside. I am so happy to be able to share these pictures with you all.
The whole family

My husband and I
The Bookworm

Mr Fixit

The Spitfire

My cuddlebug

Dad & kids

 Mom & Kids

 I hope that you all enjoyed these pictures! I am so grateful for them.