About Me

My photo
Indiana, United States
Updates on our homeschooling family with ten children, a handful of chickens, a couple horses, three bunnies, and six cats. Visit our website at PeacefulHome.net


Grocery Spending

Food Only

Oct 2010 - $231.39

Nov 2010 - $998.22

Dec 2010 - $340.29

Jan 2011 - $855.15

Feb 2011 - $203.17

Mar 2011 - $916.52

Monthly Average $590.79

Weekly Average $137.85
Our family's website, PeacefulHome.net, is in the process of changing hosting companies and is currently inactive. Our plan is to move this blog over once construction is complete. Please stay tuned for updates!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wonderful Pancake Mix Recipe

What's for Dinner: 3 Bean Chili with Fritos and Sour Cream

At the Sewing Machine: Nothing right now

On the Scrapbook Table: A layout from VBS

In my effort to get back to the way I know we should be eating, and away from post-partum survival cooking, I'm trying to eliminate some of the convenience foods I've allowed to creep in. This month I focused on complete pancake mix. I love that stuff! I use it in muffins and coffee cake, as well as pancakes and waffles. However, it's time for it to go! I ran a search and came up with this homemade mix. While more labor intensive than a just-add-water variety, there are no harmful chemicals or soy products. The pancakes were sooooo good! The kiddos gobbled them up and asked for more.

Pancake Mix
12 C Flour (part white, part whole wheat)
4 C Dry Milk
3/4 C Baking Powder
3/4 C Sugar
2 T Salt

To make the pancakes, mix together:
1 1/2 C Mix
1 C Water
1 egg
2 T oil

This makes around 15 pancakes. We make a double batch - triple if Dad's home! I love to freeze leftover pancakes for a quick breakfast later on. Now if only I could find a tree to tap for Maple Syrup!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Lapbook Fever

What's for Dinner: Turkey Ranch Wraps (Black & White Cookbook!)

At the Sewing Machine: Starting a new smock, dress, and blommers for Brigitta

On the Scrapbook Table: Preparing for Saturday's Crop

I am not a project-driven homeschooler. Mess and clutter make me very uptight. While I love to craft, I really have to practice deep-breathing when my children get a creative bug. Since we're starting back in Ancient History this year, some (Jane Ann!) might say this is the perfect opportunity to build a ziggurat out of sugar cubes.

I have found a great compromise! Lapbooks! They've been around for a while, but this is the first time I've seriously looked at them. Kits are available from stores like homeschoolestore.com. Take a couple file folders, the printables, and voila! A great project that the children are proud of, is easy to store, and looks great at the end-of-the-year homeschool program!

All my children are enjoying this so much! The older ones love to show them off to whoever walks through the door. We finished Mesopotamia last week. Today we started Egypt. My littles were feeling very left-out, so I downloaded a book for them based on the Five Little Pumpkins nursery rhyme.

They have lapbooks for just about every topic - including chocolate! Also, homeschoolestore.com has a free item every week. I download them all! You never know...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Great Weekend!

What’s for Dinner: Bryan Picked Up Dinner! Yipee!

At the Sewing Machine: Bloomers for Brigitta

On the Scrapbook Table: Sale at Snapfish! Time to Print Photos

What a fun weeked around here! Fabric shopping and a birthday lunch out on Saturday. Birthday Cake on Sunday. The Miller Family over for fun on Monday. It was a little hard for everyone to get back in the swing of things today.

A very busy week is ahead - AWANA, CROSS, Skating and Small Group. Whew! I'll be needing a cup of Chai Tea come Saturday.

Brigitta thinks the guns the men are shooting are too loud!

This is why we live out here - a beautiful country morning! Jacob and Caleb had to blow some bubbles before breakfast.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Some big changes this week!

What’s for Dinner: Enchilada Style Burritos

At the Sewing Machine: Finished the Jumper! Working on some smocks for Brigitta.

On the Scrapbook Table: Nothing New

Baby Heidi is a bit fussy today, so this will have to be brief. The big events of the week are (drum roll)...

Brigitta moves to a big girl bed! After learning a week or so ago to crawl out of her crib, we decided to stop taking the easy way out and move her into the toddler bed. She loves it and has so far given us no problems at naps or bedtime. Here she is having room-time in her bed.

And second, Teddy got his braces put on! He's handling it very well, and is taking very good care of his teeth with his new special toothbrush.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Day at King's Island

What’s for Dinner: Turkey and Swiss Calzones

At the Sewing Machine: Half-way through that jumper

On the Scrapbook Table: Need to print some photos

What a wonderful day we had last Friday! Attending "Homeschool Days" at King's Island for Bryan's birthday was a treat enjoyed by one and all. We literally walked onto every ride and were even asked if we'd like to go around again. Although it was a day of record-breaking heat (around 100 degrees), the water rides and the strong breeze kept us very comfortable. The children have declared this to be a new yearly tradition!

Enjoying a little snack.

Brigitta on the train.

Jacob on the train.

The merry-go-round was Jacob's favorite!

Loved the spinny ride!

We wore out the baby.

Going for a swing!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Wonderful Bryan's Birthday Celebration

What’s for Dinner: Aloha Chicken and Rice

At the Sewing Machine: A new jumper for me!

On the Scrapbook Table: Need to print some photos

Last Thursday we celebrated Bryan's birthday a day early since he decided to take us to King's Island for his birthday on Friday. (More on that later!) Here are some of the party guests displaying their best manners:

Friday, April 27, 2007

Pre-Teen Uglies

What’s for Dinner: Chinese Pork and Rice

At the Sewing Machine: Those blackout curtains

On the Scrapbook Table: A mess to be cleared away this weekend

One of my dearest friends and I were talking today and I've been mulling the discussion over ever since: How much of our children's behavior should we accept as normal or a phase, and when do we need to step in and halt the ugly in its tracks. Specifically, that lovely pre-teen female eye rolling, glaring looks, and other forms of rebellion with which we are familiar and may have adopted a time or two in our own youth (or so I've heard). Tune into any sitcom, and the children usually treat their parents as nothing more than a doormat. The putdowns fly without consequences for their behavior. The world has accepted this as normal, and raising children is something to be endured, not enjoyed. This is exactly what Satan wants us to think.

If we are raising children for the glory of God, we need to help them obey the fifth commandment to honor their mother and father. How do we do this when everything inside us is screaming "Wipe that look off your face, or I'll do it for you!?" Proper training for obedience early on certainly gets everyone going in the right direction. However, more than anything, having the child's heart will prevent so much of the angst. Spending time with them in meaningful fellowship will do so much more than a lecture on expected behavior. The child that is driving you the most crazy is the one that needs your attention the most. Don't send them away to think about what they've done, said, etc. Pull them right into your life and what you are doing at the moment.

Emelie and I enjoy cooking together. Preparing meals for 32 plates a day (as she likes to point out) gives us ample opportunity to be in the kitchen together. It is also a wonderful opportunity to practice serving others and putting the needs of others ahead of our own (even when she does have a new horse magazine to look at). When our children serve others, it forces the focus off themselves and the fit they might be throwing. Not to mention the sense of self-worth they comes from being truly needed to keep the family running smoothly.

When the behavior starts heading downhill around here, although it's so tempting to start blaming the children, I need to try to remember to examine my own behavior. Have I spent meaningful time with them lately? Have I been available to listen to their stories? Have I been praising them or only seeing their shortcomings?

As I'm standing near the edge of that unknown precipice of the teen years, I pray that my children's hearts are knit to Bryan's and mine. Only with God's help can we train up our children in the way they should go, so when they grow up they will not depart from it.


This beautiful girl doesn't know the meaning of the word disrespect!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Breakfast's Ready!

What's for Dinner: Lasagna, Bread, Green Beans

At the Sewing Machine: Blackout Curtains for the Boy's Room

On the Scrapbook Table: Big Mess!

Those that know me would say that I have a schedule for just about everything. It's the only way to function around this funny farm without going loony myself. Breakfast doesn't escape the scheduling ritual. It makes it easier to shop for a month of breakfasts at one time and almost eliminates fussing over the selection because the children know what to expect.

With the cost of cold cereal reaching obnoxious levels (and questionable nutrition contained therein), we have cereal only a couple days a week since my kiddos think nothing about putting away a box or more at one sitting. Most of our breakfast meals are prepared hot in the morning. Since I'm not known for my morning glory attitude, that's another benefit to already having an answer when Jacob pries my eyes open at 6:30 asking "What's for breakfast, Mom?" Here's our breakfast menu for a week, with a recipe to follow:

Sunday: Cereal & Granola
Monday: Hot Cereal (Coco Wheats, Malto-Meal or Oatmeal)
Tuesday: Bagels or English Muffins
Wednesday: Muffins (quick and easy recipe below)
Thursday: Cereal & Granola
Friday: Toast
Saturday: Pancakes and Sausage

How do you turn a $.50 box of Jiffy Muffin Mix (yield 6 muffins) into 24 muffins for six hungry kids?

Quick and Easy Muffins
2 C Complete Pancake Mix (the just add water kind)
1 Box of Jiffy Mix, any flavor (try apples & cinnamon)
1/4 C Oil
3/4 C Sugar
2 C Water
2 Eggs (optional, but we always have eggs around here!)

Preheat oven to 400. Mix until well blended. I bake mine in a greased 10 X 15 Pamper Chef Bar Pan and then cut it into squares. Much easer to clean up than a muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

If you don't have a need for this quantity, try freezing the leftovers for a quick breakfast in the future!


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Planning Nights

Brigitta feels that if you have to have a breathing treatment, do it in style!

What’s for Dinner: Broccoli Cheese Soup in Bread Bowls

At the Sewing Machine: Caleb’s Construction Jammies

On the Scrapbook Table: Preparing for Saturday’s Crop

Time is going by WAY too fast! Since Heidi blessed us with her presence, Bryan and I have found it to be more and more difficult to discuss what needs discussing: money, schedules, etc. Miss Heidi doesn’t like to settle down until around 11:30, and then it’s a mad dash for me to get some things done before I go to bed. Things were falling through the cracks.

This weekend, God inspired a plan that was perfect for my type-A nature. I ran it by Bryan (almost as compulsive as I), and he enthusiastically agreed. The jist is to have one topic of discussion every evening. Ours breaks down like this:

Monday – Home Improvement Projects

Tuesday – Finances

Wednesday – Weekend Planning

Thursday – Businesses

Friday – Chill Out

Saturday – Date Night

Sunday – School/work Planning

I posted a chart on the cupboard with columns for the different days. That way we can jot things down on the appropriate day as we think of them through the week.

Last night, as I nursed the baby, we discussed things we wanted to get done around the house – both big and small. We even came up with the most workable barn design to date. In all, a very productive talk!


Thursday, April 5, 2007

A Busy Thursday

What’s for Dinner: BBQ Meatball Sandwiches and Fries

At the Sewing Machine: Emelie’s Horse Culottes

On the Scrapbook Table: A Big Mess!

Today was our out on the town day. Emelie and Heidi had their well check-ups. Both are healthy and doing well. Baby is up to 12.4 lbs, Emelie is up to 58.5 inches. Only two inches away from my statuesque height.

I had Dr. Kelly check Brigitta, since I suspected an ear infection. She had that and more! A double ear infection, plus wheezing indicating a asthmatic episode. That’s a new one for us. So the child that didn’t even have an appointment came home with a nebulizer and two prescriptions. She needs breathing treatments three times a day for the next week or so. We’re praying she feels better since we’re celebrating her second birthday on Saturday!

Emelie and I went shopping for Itta’s presents and more. What a blessing to have an older child that is a joy to spend time with. Unfortunately, fitting her foot for Easter shoes is not always fun, but we finally found a pair that fits and doesn’t have a four-inch heel.

Friday night is our small group Bible study. We’re watching a video of a one-act play portraying John on the Isle of Patmos. Should be interesting!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A House Full of Friends!

What’s for Dinner: Turkey Ranch Wraps and Potato Soup

At the Sewing Machine: Emelie’s Horse Culottes

On the Scrapbook Table: A Big Mess!

Make new friends but keep the old.

One is silver and the other gold.

I learned that song thirty (gasp!) years ago as a Daisy Bluebird. Today I was reminded of its truth as my friend Cate and her five children visited from Pennsylvania. We hadn’t communicated much in the last two years since we both moved out of the old neighborhood. The busy-ness of life had just gotten in the way. When we first met we had five children between us--now we have twelve! Twice we were pregnant at the same time. We shared a lot of laughter and tears through the various struggles of parenting and just, well, life. Not to mention a whole lot of scrapbooking fun!

In other news: Bryan just installed a storm door at our front door to let in fresh air and lots more light. Wonderful! Looking forward to a relatively calm school day tomorrow and hopefully some much needed home organization.