About Me

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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, April 22, 2009

Requested Recipes

Here are two of the recipes that were requested from this week's Menu Plan Monday.

Stumpf Chili

This is a very child-friendly chili. No offending chuncks of veggies (although I've been know to sneak in a veggie puree)!

1 lb. ground beef, browned with onion and drained

32 oz. tomato sauce

4 C water

2 - 15 oz. cans kidney beans

2 T chili powder

1 t cumin

1/2 t salt

2 t garlic powder

2 t dried basil

2 t dried oregano

Combine all and simmer for one hour, or cook in the Crockpot all day on low.

We love it served over cornbread topped with cheese, raw onion, and sour cream.

Enchilada Chicken Soup

This is a new one for us, but it sounded so quick and easy I had to try it! This makes 7 servings, so we'll double it to have lunch leftovers.

1 - 11 oz. can fiesta nacho cheese soup, undiluted

1 - 10 3/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup, undiluted

2 2/3 C milk

1 - 10 oz. can chunk white chicken (I'll use leftover chicken here)

1 - 10 oz. can enchilada sauce

1 - 4 oz. can chopped green chilis (I run these through the food processor to be chunk-free)

Sour cream

In a large saucepan combine everything except sour cream. Heat through. Garnish with sour cream.



Monday, April 20, 2009

"Move That Bus!" Day

Here are just a few of the 160 photos Emelie took on the day of the big reveal of the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition house in Indianapolis.

Ted entertains the crowd with a joke while waiting for the family to come home. We stood for around 6 hours, but the EMHE people kept things moving so that time went by quickly.

Ted Tells Joke

Waiting in the lovely sunshine for the family to come home.


This photo cracks us up! Bryan and I had just schlepped that pot from the back of house when designer Michael Malloney pretended to place it there as part of shooting a sequence.


Designer Ed Sanders brings a table in from the art tent. They were still polishing it as they drove it up the street.


Ty Pennington comes out of the house and says, "We're all done. Let's bring the family home!"


Ty goofing with the bus for the camera. We couldn't hear what he was saying...


After being shown his house, Bernard McFarland (in the striped shirt) took off running down the street. Later he went all through the crowd giving everyone high-fives.


The McFarlands had to go through many takes of pretending to go into their house before they actually got to see inside.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - April 20, 2009

Wow! Where has this month gone? I can't believe we're looking at the last full week of April. We're excited because this is our last full week of school. We'll still be doing a lot of reading all summer long, but the bulk of our school work will be done! done! done! For those of you thinking about making a trip up to the farm, we'll soon have lots of free time. Come on over!

Here's what will be simmering in my kitchen this week:

Monday (4-H) - Enchilada Chicken Soup

Tuesday (4-H) - Hashbrowns & Smoked Sausages (Crockpot)

Wednesday (AWANA/4-H) - Lunch Meat Sandwiches & Popcorn

Thursday (CROSS/4-H) - Stumpf Chili & Cornbread (Crockpot)

Friday (Field Trip) - Waffles, Fruit Syrup, Sausage

Saturday (Math Tournaments) - Franks & Beans, Peaches


Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Photos

One thing I've learned as my family has grown is how to let things go. There was a time when I started planning Easter outfits in January. Not this year! The day before Easter I was rummaging through boxes to come up with something for all the little loves that would look like they had a mother that cared.

Look how God provides! Through hand-me-downs from older siblings and others, I think they look pretty spiffy. (Recognize Heidi's outfit, Jane Ann? Gasp! It's gingham!)


Emelie was concerned that she wasn't in shades of blue (which she found ironic because she is always wearing blue), but I loved the outfit she selected and encouraged her not to change a thing!

This is happy Hunter on his way to church.


This is what happens to Heidi's hair after she pulls all the bands out. The back seat of our van is a graveyard for hair do-dads. She goes into the van with cute girl hair and emerges looking like a Nick Nolte DUI photo.


Happy Birthday Brigitta!


The first of our double April birthdays was celebrated this past weekend. Brigitta Danielle turned a very big-girl four-years-old.


While she was disappointed that this did not mean that she would be giving up afternoon naps, she did enjoy playing the birthday card to get first computer time, preferential toy privileges, and just about anything else she could think of. Who can blame her? Being #6 of 8, waiting your turn is a fact of life. Take advantage of perks when you can!


We enjoyed her ballerina cake (skillfully decorated by Bryan) after lunch followed by a couple presents. For her "eating-out" experience, she chose Ice Cream Paradise. It was a chilly event with the temps in the 50s and quite breezy! Still, only Mom and Hunter were ready to go when Dad called "Time's Up."



And now from the home office in the middle of a muddy yard in Indiana -

The Top 4 Things We Love About Brigitta:

  1. Those eyes, that smile - an angel here on earth!
  2. She is so full of joy. The smallest thing can make her absolutely giddy.
  3. She adores he little sister Heidi. Those two will grow up to be the closest of friends.
  4. What a little lady! Her greatest desire is to be a princess for Jesus (preferably while dancing ballet)!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - April 13, 2009

Oh, it does feel good to be settling back down to the "normal" of things. Like sharing our meal plans with all my friends! We have another busy week of evening activities, but I'll use the Crockpot and microwave to help smooth out dinner.

During the week of Extreme Makeover, the Crockpot was a lifesaver! I would throw together dinner around midnight and put a post-it with directions on the fridge for my mom (because we were usually leaving home around 5:30am). When I'd drag in around 4:30 in the afternoon, I could focus on the children and nursing Hunter. If you haven't embraced your Crockpot, do it! It's a real sanity-saver!

Climbing down from my soap-box, this week we'll be enjoying:

Monday - Speedy Southwest Salad, Fresh Tortillas

Tuesday (Mom's Mtg., 4-H) - Spicy Lemon Chicken (Crockpot)

Wednesday (Indianapolis Tea Party) - Chicken Patty Sandwiches, Chips

Thursday (4-H) - Cashew Chicken Toss (microwave)

Friday (Meghan's 9!, Bible Study) - Our assignment is desserts

Satuday (Judging Contest) - 4-H BBQ Fundraiser


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Looking Back on our Extreme Week

What an incredible week we had participating in the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition build. I didn't expect to be involved to the extent that I was, but, thanks to my wonderful mother watching the children, I was at the site every day for a week. We didn't get much sleep (hence the Red Bull in the photo!), but I was ready to be down there as much as possible and always hated to leave. Bryan needed some help coordinating the neighborhood improvement projects, and I was more than happy to spend some time with that man that I haven't seen much of for a couple months! I'm very proud that Estridge has taken this show to a whole new level, and Bryan was instrumental in that change!

The following is an e-mail that Paul Estridge sent out to the employees on the evening after the bus was moved. It captures the spirit that surrounded the week.

We Gathered Sticks
We Lit Fires
We Left Them Burning

I know most everyone has had the opportunity to visit and experience the EMHE site this week. For those of you who have not been able to be apart of it, I am sorry you could not for it has been life changing for so many.

I want everyone to know this is by far the most proud thing I have ever been of our entire company. For the first time I feel the world has gotten to see what we all know exists within us. The most talented and committed and professional building team in America. The entire thing was undoubtedly the most extreme thing we have ever taken on. We have been tremendously successful. Our image, our organization, our marketing, our volunteerism, our leadership, our professionalism, our teamwork, our character, our creativity, our integrity our experience, our knowledge, our talent, our commitment and vision is the best there is in America.

As we always do, we have taken the show to an entirely new standard in absolutely all ways. I have been told that we have very likely inspired a new concept for
the show: The neighborhood.
22 Homes Repainted, Reroofed or Rehabed
6 Miles and 1200 Street trees planted
5 Miles of Alleys graded, cleared and redressed.
450 Homes to receive Free Internet Access
An entire school Building given to the community as it’s new community center.

Two abandoned homes demolished and hauled away.
100 new Dell Computers for every IPS child in the neighborhood
A new neighborhood Library and home built for a great American Family.

The design and execution of the design by our building teams is even to me staggering. The home and Library are simply beautiful. I know what we have done
here will drive an entirely new look and style of homes and neighborhood.

Literally everyone involved with the show has come up to all of us on the build to tell us how much they love the home and that for many they believe it is the best they have ever seen.

Lastly I just want to say none of this could have been done without the dedication and unselfish sacrifices made by so many of our past employees. Yes past. The ones that got let go. This to me has moved me as much as anything I have experienced. Maybe it is because they had nothing else to do. Or maybe it is just because of who they are and how much they love who we are.

Please thank them when you see them. Our roots run deep. We will not blow down easily. It was our finest hour.

We Truly do, Build Together.

Thank you everyone for Living the Vision

This shot of Meghan was taken by an Indianpolis Star photographer while we were waiting for the family to come home. Teddy also entertained the crowd by
telling one of his jokes. I'll post more photos soon!