Monday, November 30, 2009

Much To Be Thankful...

Tonight, my family is beginning to feel better. The past four days have been fevers, snot, coughing, yucky stuff , and more coughing. My husband has returned to work tonight after four days in the bed. He is still suffering with sinus pain, but he endures this every year at this time. A gift he inherited from his father, I suppose.

My children still have nasty coughs periodically, but no fever sickness. All are on the mend...Thankfully!

But my heart is aching for the mothers and fathers sitting beside hospital beds tonight. Sitting, praying,....Begging for God's healing hand to reach down and touch. I hurt for that mother tonight...I pray that your little boy or girl receives that healing tonight. I pray that those doctors are amazed by all the miracles tomorrow morning. I pray that hearts that ache tonight, rejoice in the morning light. Singing the Lord's praise for His miracles.

Please Precious Saviour, heal Andrew tonight. Dissolve those monster cancer cells. They are intruders in his body and are not welcome. Please, bring this family a renewal of hope and peace during these difficult days.

My children are getting better, and I am so thankful. When, I sat for hours rubbing a little feverish head, I couldn't help but feel a small bit of the fear those Mommy's and daddy's are feeling everyday. Praying for her to be better by morning. Watching her feel a little better with each new day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Homemade Artisan bread in five minutes a day

If your family enjoys fresh baked bread, then you are gonna love this recipe. This recipe is from the book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. This loaf makes a crusty bread that can be prepped in five minutes straight out of the refrigerator. This recipe will make four, one pound loaves. The dough can rest in the refrigerator for up to fourteen days, but once you make a loaf your gonna use it within a few days. It's that yummy! The recipe can be doubled or halved.

Ingredients needed
3 cups of warm water
1 1/2 TB spoon granulated yeast
1 1/2 TB spoons kosher or coarse salt
6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all purpose flour white flour
cornmeal for dusting rising board

items recommended: small wooden cutting board or pizza peel, and a baking stone (or pizza stone)

Mixing and storing the dough

1. Add yeast and salt to warm water in a 5-quart bowl or resealable plastic container (not airtight). Let yeast activate for a few minutes.

2. Add all of the flour at once, measuring it using the scoop and sweep method. Mix in flour with a wooden spoon, or a heavy -duty stand mixer fitted with the dough hook until the mixture is uniform. If hand mixing and the dough becomes to difficult with a spoon,you can reach into your mixing vessel with very wet hands and press the mixture together. Don't knead! No kneading required for this dough. This step is done in minutes.

3. Dough will be wet and loose enough to rise and take shape of container. Cover with a lid and allow to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse approx. 2 hours but up to five hours. (see picture below) this dough will rise to fill this container. At this point, you can use a portion of this dough. Fully refrigerated dough is less sticky and easier to work with. The first time you make this bread, refrigerate the dough for at least three hours before baking.
4. When you are ready to bake a loaf, first dust a wooden board or pizza peel by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal to prevent the loaf from sticking to it when you slide it into the oven. Sprinkle the surface of your refrigerated dough with flour. Pull up and cut off a 1-pound (grape fruit size) piece of dough. Holding the dough in your hands add a little more flour as needed, to help the dough from sticking to your hands. Gently stretch the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Most dusting flour will fall off. The bottom will appear to be a collection of bunched ends, but will flatten out and adhere during resting and baking. The entire process should take no more than one minute.
5. Place the ball shaped dough on the corn meal covered board. Allow to rest on the peel for about 40 minutes. Depending on the age of the dough, you may not see much rise during this period; more rising will occur during baking ("oven spring").
6. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on the other shelf that won't interfere with the rising bread.
7. Just before putting dough into the oven, dust the top with flour and slash bread with a serrated knife. Slash 1/4 inch deep, three or four lines /or in a tic-tac-toe pattern.
8. Oven is ready after twenty minutes, even if not fully preheated. With a quick forward jerking motion of the wrist (this took a few practice trys to perfect), slide the loaf off the board and onto the preheated baking stone. Quickly and carefully pour one cup of hot water into the boiler tray and close the oven to trap the steam. (steam is important).

9. Bake for 30 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch. Allow bread to cool completely on a wire rack. I usually take a pastry brush and brush off the excess flour used to dust.

10. Store remaining dough in the refrigerator for up to 14 days. You'll find that even one days storage improves flavor of the bread.
Dough can be frozen and stored in one pound portions in an airtight container. Then defrost overnight in the refrigerator prior to baking day.
This is a very tasty crusty bread. Goes excellent with Italian cuisine or slathered with butter while still warm. Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you try it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On my heart

Tonight, I have something on my heart and I feel like there is someone out there struggling with her decision. A mother is trying to decide to stay a career mom or come home to be more of a full time stay at home wife/mother. I would say to her, first of all, make no decision without taking it to God in prayer. I try to make NO decisions without consulting The Father.
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. Isaiah 58:11

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

I reference these scriptures because you may not be able to see how your family can make it with the loss of your income. I'm pulling from my own experiences with making this life move. When I put everything on paper (income/bills) I couldn't see how we could afford me not working, but I knew that God was telling me to "trust Him and lean not on my understanding." This was His will for our lives. On paper we couldn't make it, but in Faith we have made it.
Once, the decision was made and notice was given. I began to seek out ways to cut cost in our monthly spending. We paid off all credit card debt and dropped my cell phone service. I have a prepaid cell phone I keep for occasional needs. I spend about $120 a year for my cell phone usage. Not bad, considering I used to pay about $50 per month for a basic plan. Another BIG way of saving each month is in the grocery and toiletry budget. From my blog, you can see, I am big with the coupons and stockpiling. I also make the weekly rounds at CVS and Walgreens. They have great customer reward programs. I have not paid for shampoo and toothpaste in over a year. ;0)
Perhaps, you think that doing these things is too much work. Trust me its not as much work as punching a clock everyday all day. I love finding ways to save and provide for our family. When I worked, I had no time for coupons and shopping for the best price. It's kind of like my job one day a week to clip, plan, and execute this task. I have a huge full pantry and closet of necessity items to show for my efforts. I take pride in my work, whatever it may be.
The key to being a Happy stay at home wife/mother is Contentment. Learn to be content with each new day. Learn to be content to "make do" or "do without" certain things. You have to have a perspective of what really matters in your life. Is it getting your hair and nails done and shopping for new cloths? Or is it packing a picnic basket and spreading a blanket in the backyard with your children/husband? I would rather be with my family every moment of the day and be wearing consignment store cloths. Shopping and salons where never a big deal for me, but buying "things" for my children used to be a big money pit. Until, we put our lives into perspective. Sure, I still have my eye on that super cute playhouse for my little girl, but instead of charging it to a credit card, we are saving up.
Have a accurate perspective of what life will be like at home all day. Because the romantic notions (June Cleaver) wear off after the first week. I prefer, to channel Mrs. Walton. She was a simple, hard working mother, and she was always sewing or cooking something in her kitchen. Embrace a simple way of life. Don't let friends with careers make you feel resentful with your decision. Don't feel a need to keep up with what others do or have. Know everyday that what you are doing matters. Raising children and creating a peaceful comfortable home matters.

Proverbs 31:10-31 The Wife of Noble Character (summarized)
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life......

She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family...

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks....

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy...

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a women who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Homeschool Prayer

I will teach my children because I love God, And because I love them.

I will know my children, and my children will know God.

Together, we will travel this road of learning.

If they learn by seeing-I will let them look.

If they learn by hearing-I will let them listen.

If they learn by doing-I will let them do.

I will take time for each child to grow and blossom.

If one falls behind, I will slow down until they catch up.

If one is soaring, I will give them the wings they need to fly higher.

I will take time to listen, to hear, what they need.

I will learn what makes them special.

I will give them what they need for this life, and for the next.

I will love them, teach them, train them, adore them.

What we do is not always EASY-but it is ALWAYS worth it!

-Author unknown

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Mommy Dees Frr You"

This is a gift I receive everyday. I might be neck deep in laundry and this sweetness comes to find me with a bouquet of fresh flowers. Yes, I count my blessing's daily. I am so thankful that the Lord blessed me to be their mommy.

Today's Bounty!!

Instead of posting a picture of everything I purchased today, i'm just showing the free or $1.00 or less items.

These deals came from Walmart and Publix.

6 glade candles bogo 3.49-1.50/2=1.00each (my house is smellin some kinda good)
2 Kellog's Crispix bogo 3.99-2.00cp= 1.00 each (makin some Pioneer Women chex mix this weekend. If you don't know the Pioneer Women's recipes, YOU are missing out BIG TIME. She's da Bomb!!
Milk 3.09-2.00cp=1.09
soft soap .79-.40cp=.39
8x McCormick gravy packets bogo .99-.50/2=.25 each
2x smart balance butter bogo 3.09-2.00cp=1.09/2 (not pictured) FREE SB sour cream wyb SB spread.
4x Lindsay olives bogo 1.99-1.00/2=.50 each

2x Kikkoman soy sauce .98-1.00/2=.50 each
4 x carefree products 1.00 each- 4x 1.00cp= FREE
4 x kotex products 1.00 each - 4x1.00cp= FREE
1 EPT test (hopeful thinking) 4.44 -4.00cp= .44
1 Bic razors 2.88- 2.00cp= .88
2 x mission tortilla 1.44-1.00cp=.44 each

The Disney movie UP. Walmart 19.99-10.00cp=9.99-send of for two rebates at 5.00 each=free movie. We like to have a movie night once a week. Guess what tonights feature film is gonna be? I'm not telling them until movie time. They are gonna be so excited to have this movie. Love that!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trash to Treasure

You know the saying, "One man's trash is another man's (or women's) treasure." Well, I have been trash collecting lately. My dear sweet beloved was helping some family move recently. When they where clearing out their shed, they where pointing out things to leave or throw away. This 100 year old church pew was really rough looking with cob webs and some broken pieces. They didn't want to bother moving it as they where downsizing home wise. So my smart hubby had a light bulb moment! He loaded it up and brought it home. Needless to say I was not thrilled. I informed him that thing was not coming in this house. We decided to put it out on our pool deck for extra seating. Works for me!!

He was not thrilled because he had a vision for this church pew, but i was not listening. Silly me, because he was right. That's right ladies, let me say it again, He Was Right! My husband is not the decorator type. Don't get me wrong, when we built our house, he has good ideas and really nice taste. Last year we took a cruise, one morning he went for a walk. About a hour later, he came back and told me, I just bought a Thomas Kincaid picture in the art gallery. Hmmmm, okay sweetheart. Can we afford a Thomas Kincaid picture? It's really a beautiful picture. (whisper) I was really shocked he did this, but I loved that he did it. It made him feel good to choose something nice. No, it's not a TK original it's a lithograph but to him, it was a priceless painting. It was beautifully framed and shipped to us. We actually got a free painting with our TK and that painting is hanging in the picture below. He knows what he likes but I have to really think about it....visualize it....sleep on it....then make my decision. Okay, back to the pew. So the bench sat on the pool deck for about the last two months of summer and some of September. One night while flipping through a magazine, I saw IT! I saw the same pew and it was beautifully refinished. It sat in the front entryway of a home. It was beautiful! I ran over to him with the magazine,"look at this," I said. "Yeah, that's what I wanted to do with that bench," he said. Well, slap me silly! My man is a decorator!! Who'd a thunkit? Yes ladies, listen to your man. When, he shows up with an old piece of furniture and says he has a vision. I couldn't visualize his vision, so I dismissed it. There is a lesson (for me) here.
So the next day, he went to work on his 100 year old church pew. He sanded, removed some rotted pieces, and stained. It really turned out beautiful and without further ado, our pew that adorns our front entry way.

I love how this turned out. I'll have to post a picture of that TK painting sometime. I walk past it everyday and at least once a day, I still stop and stare at it. So much detail, I suppose that's why they call him the "painter of light."

This is my trash to treasure find. Driving home from town one day I saw this bench on the side of the road. RRRRrrrrrrr, tires squealing.......My 9 month pregnant sister and I loaded it in my truck. Score!!!! Once again, my dear Jason sanded it down and now it awaits a shlackin (that's what I call it) to make it waterproof. It's gonna be our new coffee table. I saw this idea in a magazine too. Luv it!!
These cuties I found on the side of the road sitting beside a pile of trash. RRRRrrrrrr, brakes a smokin..... I'm gonna ware out my breaks stopping for roadside treasure ;) The owner yelled to me, "if you want'um, i'll help you load'em" ouhhhhh, I squealed in delight. "Yes sir, I want'em, Thankyou!"
Perfect little retro school desk for our school area. Take a closer look, that's right, they are orange and blue. Gator colors! (First thing my husband noticed) It was meant to be! My littles just love them. My sweet man gave them a good scrub and whalaa!

So remember folks, the next time you put your trash out, if you hear breaks squealing, it's just me. ;0)
Love it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

They never seen it coming.....

She who gathers money little by little makes it grow. Proverbs 13:11

It's been a while since I posted my awesome deal Thursday. That's because there really hasn't been that great of sales and savings. Publix stores have changed up their coupon policy some since so many wise shoppers have gotten on board the coupon wagon. So, I had to adjust my strategy and regroup my couponing mission. ;-) Well, I'M BACK and Publix can't keep a girl down.

First up CVS
OOP 12.00 after coupons and ECBs
I got 6x glade oil scented candle holders and 7x refills for about 3.00 3x bags of MM's 4.00, and 2x bottles of ensamble 2x dawn for 5.00. This was done in two CVS stores. Kickin hiny and taken names baby!! FYI, no I don't need all these smell goods but they make awesome Christmas gifts for ladies.
Okay, next up is club PUB. Since my freezer is stuffed full of whole chickens, chic breast and tenderloin, chuck roast, ribs, pork loins today was not a meat shopping day. Just the best deals going that we needed for the pantry.

Total spent OOP 44.52 total saved 105.33 cha ching!! The man behind me gasped when when the lovely cashier announced my savings. At first he was not liking the wait but when he seen how much my savings was, I think he understood.
Lots of freebies or near freebies going on...
Welch's juice bogo 2.99-2x1.00mf.=.99/2
Special K bogo 3.99-2x1.00mf.=2.00/2 plus 2.00 off milk wyb 2 kellogs c. peelie
Nestle refrig. cookie dough 3.39 bogo-2x1.00mf=1.39/2 x 8 (freezer stockup for holidays)
greenworks detergent 7.99-3.00mf-2.00pub cp.=2.99/1 (good buy)
Kashi cereal 2.50x2 -3.00x2 mf cp (mailer)= +1.00
Betty crocker pot. bogo 1.39-.40x2=.60/2
Ragu bogo 2.53-.75/2mf-.50/1 foodlion=1.28/2
Hunts tom. 1.39 bogo -.50/2=.90/2 + pam spray 2.50-1.25pub cp wyb hunts tom.
tylenol 40ct. 3.99-3.00 grn adv flyer cp. -1.00mf= free
Energizer 16ct. 9.97-3.50pb cp-1mf=4.57 (all those battery toys)
The best deal of the day is this large bottle of Bertolli EVOO for FREE!!! Had a coupon, no longer available.
Last of the deals today 12 cans gg veg .50ea at wolly world on sale. I know there are gg veg cps out there but I did not have them with me when I came upon this deal. These are usually .98 ea so a good deal without cp. I also have my produce pile not pictured. 10# russett pot. price match with local veg. market 1.89. Grapes 1.49lb wm.
That's all folks!! I just get tickled when I save some money!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

working with a joyful heart......

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.....(Ecc.9:10)

My children actually enjoy hard work. In fact, my son chose to help us scrub the floor rather than, begin his lesson for the day. Yes, he still had to do his school work but he would rather work with me.

I don't even have to ask. I make a bucket of hot water and here they come ready and asking to help. Working with a smile and a joyful heart. It is so important for children to learn to work and to work with a happy heart. If we all walk around grumbling about our work all day, what a miserable life that would be.

Mops just push the dirt around. Hands and knees scrubbing really do the job. I like clean floors!!
He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgemnet. Proverbs 12:11
Good day mates!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009's been a non stop on the go weekend....can't wait for Monday and a restful school day...

It has been one thing or another this weekend. All fun but I am looking forward to slowing down for the week. When most folks are gearing up for the Monday morning rush....we are settling in for a relaxed school week.

This was the Fall festivities Saturday night at our church. They really do it up for the community. About ten of these bouce castles and tons of candy booths. There goes country mouse (oh but today she is tiger girl) and cousin Andrew coming down the slide.
The most awesome praise and worship team. I could of sat down and listened for hours but "mom I want to go over here, come on".......
Dad and Tiger girl.

This was Friday night in the downtown park. They had a costume contest and a live band. Then at dark Monster vs. Alien movie.

We packed our dinner picnic and ate supper on the court house steps. I made bags of popcorn for the movie and the candy was all around. ENOUGH with the candy. Please...... Oh, the dental bills.....
This was our first trip to the movie in the park. It goes on from March to October the last Friday of the month. This will definately be something fun to do in the spring. I don't know about those hot humid summer nights. This is our small town community fellowship.