Saturday, February 26, 2011

How to get ahead in the kitchen:   reposting this article that was really helpful:

Here are two of the simplest ways I’ve found to get ahead in the kitchen:

1.  Cook or bake just one extra thing each day, if at all possible.  This might mean that you brown up several pounds of hamburger to have on hand for an easy casserole, tacos, sloppy joes, etc.  Or it might be that you whip up some snacks to have on hand for the kids.  Or maybe you could cook up some brown rice to have for simple meal prep the next day.  It doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming.  But if you happen to be home and have a few extra moments during the day, utilize it for cooking up a little something extra to make for convenience on those days you barely have time to cook at all because you’re running around crazy-like.
2.  If you’re mixing up one batch, you might as well mix up two (or three) batches.  You’re already making a mess.  You’re already getting out the needed ingredients.  Why not double or triple up the recipe and make plenty of extra of whatever it is you’re making, then put the leftovers in the freezer for a busy day.  I love doing this with Whole Wheat Waffles, Easy Lasagnas, Muffins…whatever freezes well and reheats easily.
Here are just a few pictures of the food items I made this week in my efforts to get ahead.  Let me clarify something though:  Not every week is this productive for me in the kitchen.  I happened to be home most of the week without many outside engagements, allowing me to really focus on teaching my kids and working in the kitchen.  Now I  have several quick foods in the freezer to easily warm up on those days where we’re running to ball games and practices, or dentist appointments or any other event that makes it difficult to spend time cooking.
Homemade Whole Wheat Rolls (recipe found in Heavenly Homemaker’s Guide to Holiday Hospitality)
What did my kids do while I was doing this extra cooking?  Most of the time, they were sitting in the kitchen with me, doing their school work.  They also spent a fair amount of time playing with a huge box, shooting things, and eating the food I was making.
What did my dust and clutter do while I was doing all this extra cooking?  Let’s not talk about it.

If you click on the links below the photos there are some free recipes others are included in her ebooks, but there is a really nice tutorial on making whole wheat bread to watch and try.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy 12th Birthday Emma!!

We love you and are excited to watch your grow and mature! We look forward to the watching the Lord work in your life in the days and years to come. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What's for dinner tonight?

Going to try a new recipe this evening from my most favorite recipe site.

Cube Steak Parmesan


  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup crushed saltine crackers
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 (4 ounce) beef cube steaks
  • 1 1/4 cups canned tomato sauce
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a shallow dish, stir together the flour, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and water with a fork. In a third bowl, or shallow dish, mix together the cracker crumbs, 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese and basil.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dredge the cube steaks in the seasoned flour, dip into the egg mixture, and coat with the cracker crumb mixture. Place them in the skillet, and fry just until browned on each side. Arrange steaks in a single layer in a greased casserole dish.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the tomato sauce, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of oregano, and garlic powder. Spoon over steaks when the 25 minutes are up. Top each steak with mozzarella cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese; sprinkle remaining oregano over the top. Bake for 5 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted, and the sauce is hot.
  5. Vietnamese Coffee to finish it all off , recipe below, will try this this morning since we are missing our co-op day of vietnamese cooking:


  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dark roast ground coffee beans
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 16 ice cubes


  1. Brew coffee with water using your preferred method to make brewed coffee. Spoon 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk into each of 4 coffee cups. Pour 1 cup of fresh hot coffee into each cup, and stir to dissolve the milk.
  2. Serve guests cups of coffee, and give each one a tall glass with 4 ice cubes, and a long handled spoon. Guests pour hot coffee over the ice cubes and stir briskly with the long handled spoon, making an agreeable clatter with the ice cubes to chill the coffee.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Spring that's a plan

While doing some menu planning for the month of March, I ran across this post on organizing and cleaning children's rooms so I thought what a great plan of action for spring cleaning, so I hope we can implement this next week and maybe the weather will feel more springlike also?   The link to the blog it was taken from is:  she hasn't posted in a long time, but the info. there is still very relevant and helpful.

Week 1

Have the children straighten and de-clutter the tops of their desks, dressers, tables, window sills, or any other flat surfaces in their bedrooms. Assign one surface per day, or assign a time period per day, or assign a day of the week to spend some time on this area of their bedroom.

Week 2

This week have the children clean under the beds. After shoveling it all out (the fun part) they might be overwhelmed. Give them a trash bag for the trash. Then put all books away. Next, all stuffed animals, and the rest of the toys. Finally, whatever else is left. Hopefully, there are no rotten apple cores. Like everything else, if this is done on a regular basis, it never gets that bad. But left for 6 months, it can be quite a trial.

Week 3

This week is for the children to straighten their closets. Have them get in the corners, nooks, and crannies, and dig all the things out that they might have tossed in and forgotten about. After digging out, they must put things in their proper place. Put the clothes on the shelves or hang up. If they are old enough to sort out the torn, stained, too small, unworn clothes have them do so and put into the trash or a give-away box.

Week 4

This week, the children de-clutter, straighten, and thoroughly dust the shelves in their rooms.

Week 5

This week have the children clean windows, as needed and if able to, walls, de-clutter and catch cobwebs, light switches, wipe grime from, lights, dust and change bulbs if able to, door, dust top, wipe grime and door knob

Friday, February 18, 2011

Busy Bee...

I saw all kinds of motivating posts this week that got me excited to do some organizational crafts, here are some photos of what I was busy doing.

Stephen, Emma & Ruby's Workboxes

Menu Boards I made for our kitchen and Kara's

Found these cute stickers and bows for Kara's board

So if you are interested in either of these items here are the links to more info. on how and what they are for, now I'm waiting for my pocket chart to come in the mail so I can do the new chore chart!!! yipppeee!!!

Can you tell one of my most favorite blogs is Confessions of a homeschooler, her posts have been so awesome this past week, very helpful to me! but I'm always referring to her blog for ideas to use for our schooling, you can see why she won the best homeschool mom blog of the year in 2010.  And just a note, if I can do it, you can do it!! I'm not the most crafty person on the planet that's for sure and I was able to complete these 2 projects in a few hours! So you can too!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Soooo today while watching T.V. at the hospital....

I saw two things that were very interesting....and reminded me of all the reasons I don't like t.v. lol and that's besides the media frenzy to try and get you to spend the average $180 on a Valentine's Day Gift.  Not that I'd reject a gift that cost that much!! lol! and btw my dear sweet hubby brought me roses yesterday, he was planning ahead as he knew he would be resting up all weekend after his gallbladder surgery! So thank you dear for your thoughtfulness and caring!!! I love you too and promise to cook whatever you crave when you are hungry, Dr. Newman said tomorrow you can eat whatever you feel like! even a cheeseburger!

Anyhow there was a report on one of the morning news shows, not sure which channel, which shows how much I watch them, that was on Teen Pregnancy and questioning whether or not the latest MTV show called something like,"Teen Pregnancy" was actually increasing the rate of teen pregnancies in the country by glamorizing these girls and giving them all this attention.  Apparently the "star" of the show has 2 close friends who recently have gotten pregnant.  That was quite interesting when they say the goal of the show is to raise awareness and prevent more pregnancies.  Of course as most of us know these are man's ways and not God's ways and usually do backfire.  The part that I found most upsetting however was the interview with an author who told the host who said all statistics show teen births are down in the USA over the last several years, note the verbage used,  "births".  To which the author replied well actually births are down, but teen pregnancies are actually up!! and of course the conversation ended there. I was jumping out of my skin saying, "Wait, say that again and explain that, births are down but pregnancies are up!!!!".  What in the world does that tell us? Abortion is rising!!!!!!!! the only reason births are down is because we are killing the babies!  What a said state of the nation, not that you didn't know that already.  But I wonder how many other folks watched that show and didn't even catch that, just thought oh well births are down we must be doing something to headed in the right direction. 

I was glad I had brought along plenty to read and plan, I just got distracted by the idiot box those few times and followed those few stories.  Oh yes, the other was the very weird PETA Commercial, anyone seen that one? I had to watch that one to the end, as I was confused what they were actually trying to advertise and I knew they had a point they wanted to get across, it was just weird (the one with the garbage bags), bet you could look that up on line and watch it! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ever wanted a grain mill??? win one next week!

The Wondermill Junior Contest

WondermilljrUrban Homemaker’s 20th Anniversary celebration-The Wondermill Junior  Contest
This week I will be giving away one (1) Wondermill Junior Grainmill to a lucky winner. Contest entries will close on Monday, February 14, 2011.  Last week’s contest for the Sprouter winner was Rachel Manchester entry #226.  Rachel needs to email me at to claim her prize.
Here is how to participate in the contest:

There are up to five ways to enter the contest!

You get one contest entry for each of the following steps you take and you post that you did it in  the comments section of this blog page below:
1.  Post this article to your Facebook page and tell me you did so in the comments section below.
2.  Post this article to your Twitter page and tell me you did so in the comments section below.
3.  Sign up for receiving The Urban Homemaker blog posts by email above, and tell me you did so below in the comments.
4.  Mention this contest in your blog posting and link back to this page and post your blog link in the comments section below.
5.  Sign up to receive The Urban Homemaker Enewsletter, and tell me you did so below in the comments.
In a time of food shortage or emergency, having a non-electric grain mill could be a blessing to your family, your friends and your neighborhood.
The Wonder Junior is the highest quality most versatile hand mill available at an affordable price.
Features Include:
  • The hopper is large and holds over one quart or 4 cups
  • Wonder Junior is one-piece construction so the hopper will not come off during use.
  • Heavy-duty patented double clamp
  • Attaches to tables or counters up to 2 inches thick
  • Clamp will  never move or loosen up like other hand grain mills on the market t
  • Uses extra large lifetime lubricated bearings
  • Heavy duty base can be bolted to any table or counter, if desired.
  • Stone heads are one-third thicker than other hand grain mills will give a lifetime of use
  • High-quality stainless steel burr heads are for milling wet or oily grains,  seeds, or coffee.
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • You can create super fine flour or coarse cracked grains for cereals.
Stainless steel burrs come standard with the Wondermill Junior Deluxe and will easily grind oily seeds, nuts, grains or even coffee without gumming up.
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

whirlwind of a week and not just outside

It's been a busy week with Steve going in for his gallbladder attack on Tues. night. I'm so glad I was home to take him in to the hospital, I normally am at Ladies' Bible Study that night and God knew I needed to be home when the circumstances were changed that we canceled and decided to just leave it at that. I kept thinking guess we should have met tonight when the bad weather never arrived and Barb ended up being off work, but so thankful God had another plan. 

I knew it was time to go when I said, "Maybe you need to go to the hospital?" to Steve and he went and put on clothes and got ready right away.  He would not go to the hospital for any reason other than it was 100% necessary.  We just had an argument about this very subject a few weeks back about making that decision when you really need to go and when you don't, especially with children.  I'm very cautious when it comes to us as adults, especially with our huge $10,000 deductible.  This was the first year we were starting out with 'zero' in our medical bills from the previous years column so when my eye started hurting a few weeks back and I was told I'd probably need eye surgery I began praying. Everyday that goes by and I didn't hear back from the dr. I took it as, hang in there God is working.  He knows your desire to not have more bills! but after Tues. night and our visit to the ER for the EKG, Chest X-rays, Sonogram, doses of Morpheine and Dialaden, I've come to the realization that He just wants me to trust Him to take care of us financially and not dwell on my 'trying so hard' to not create more bills.  Here we were going in not for me, but for Steve, something that has never happened before.  Other than having his wisdom teeth removed our first yr. of marriage (the beginning of our annual trend to paying off medical bills) he's not had any dr./hospital intervention except for worker's comp. stitches.  I kind of chuckled and Ellen even asked, "Why I was smiling, as I told her we were headed to the hospital!" I wasn't quite sure why at the time, but just had this peace that, see God is in control you aren't! 

So last night I was struggling with this goofy skin tag (extra skin) that had grown under my eyelid again, wondering how in the world this was all going to work out.  Steve has joked about looking up "Eye Surgery for Dummies" on the net and I did ask him to look at it with some tweezers in hand and my strong, manly man said, "Uh no! what if you bleed to death!".  So I've just been praying it would fall off and of course I did some research on the net! see just can't get that saying "When men work, men work and when men pray, God works" from my head to my heart! So I read that sometimes you can remove these type of things by putting apple cider vinegar on them.  Ellen was like, "Mom you arent' going to put an acid in your eye are you?" I said , "Maybe!".  So I tried putting a drop on a Q-tip and doing it, it stung like the dickens, but I did it a few nights and last night when it was really irritating I did it once more.  This a.m. when I woke up to blood all over my face I was excited that this might be the means God would use to remove it. Now it's not gone, I can feel it in the corner of my eyelid, but I'm thankful that at least part is gone and I can call the dr. and check into another if I'm led to.  See I have to analyze everything to death, a very big fault of mine, "wonder if??? what if???" and most of the time I just need to pray about it and leave it at the Saviours feet and let Him carry the burden, "Cast all your cares on Him, BECAUSE He cares for you!".  So I've not arrived at that faith yet, I'm thankful that "He's still working on me" and have the hope that I'll glorify Him one day without even thinking of it, it'll just be a natural part of my being, probably not in this life I realize, but hey we are one day closer to eternity.