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!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How much is your food bill?

What's for Dinner: Corn Dogs & Popcorn (Bryan has a meeting)

At the Sewing Machine: Just finished a tiered skirt for Bitta

On the Scrapbook Table: Maybe some scrap time in St. Louis?

Just for fun, I ran the numbers of how much it would cost to feed our family according to the government. Amazingly they must have added in some "pork" (pun intended), because our monthly total came to $1198.16 on the THRIFTY plan! I didn't even count Hunter since his diet doesn't count toward our grocery bill (at least not directly).

I'm assuming this number is only for food, not other items like paper products. It makes me wonder how huge we would be if we ate as much as the government expects us to! Kind of makes me wonder about those daunting estimates of how much it costs to raise a child. Does anyone smell a birth-control agenda? But I digress...

For the record, we spend around $400 per month to feed the 10 of us. This is our food-only number. Do your own calculations here. The directions are in the fine print at the bottom of the page.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gobs of Granola

Since Emelie's Horse Judging meeting was cancelled due to snow, I decided to take advantage of an evening at home to stock up our granola supply. Bryan takes a cup of this to work every day, so I always want to make sure we have it on hand. I made 7 batches for a total of around 95 cups. The house smelled so good, and the children kept hanging about to try to snitch some off the trays. It does taste best fresh out of the oven!

Some of our favorite
recipes can be found here.


Mixing in the Bosch makes it easier.

One batch cooling.

The finished product. Done for another 6 weeks!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Stumpf Bus

What's for Dinner: Beef Stroganoff (Crockpot!), Egg Noodles, Green Beans

At the Sewing Machine: Can I get a skirt done for Bitta by Friday?

On the Scrapbook Table: Cropping Tonight, weather permitting

Bryan just sent me this picture and asked if this is what we'll look like as we head to St. Louis this weekend. We'll only be gone one night, but the children want to take every stuffed animal in their collection. The picture might not be that far off!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Blissful in the Busy

What's for Dinner: Tacos w/Homemade Tortillas (Awesome!)

At the Sewing Machine: A toxic dump site

On the Scrapbook Table: Hoping to crop at Em's meeting tomorrow!

Tonight was supposed to be a "free" night: Bryan home on time and no scheduled activities. Last minute meetings kept him away until around 8pm. This is not unusual. Its significance lies in the fact that this was to be the last "free" weekday evening until February 16 and then February 27. Yup, for the next five weeks we have something going on every night, save 2.

Considering my homebody nature and love for routine and normalcy, this is going to be a stretching time for me. I knew this was coming when I allowed my children to sign up for every 4-H project available (or so it seems), but I felt it was important to let them try their wings and explore new things.

So now the goal is to find joy in this journey, or my new phrase: Bliss in the Busy. I want us all to look back on what we've accomplished with positive feelings from working hard together. Since gratitude is essential for bliss, this is what I'm thankful for:
  • I'm thankful that my children are excited about their projects and are motivated to get them finished.
  • I'm thankful that there are so many leaders that are willing to mentor them through the process.
  • I'm thankful that the experiences in reasoning and public speaking will help the children where ever God calls them in life.
  • I'm thankful that they are learning about responsibility and time management.
  • I'm thankful that they are understanding the importance of organization and keeping track of schedules.
  • I'm thankful for my husband who is willing to sacrificially give his time to his family.
  • I'm thankful that I'm home with my blessings all day, so it's a little easier to let them be gone for a few hours in the evenings.


Menu Plan Monday - January 26, 2009

Continuing with our themes of crockpot, soups, and beans, this week we'll be enjoying:

Monday - Tacos with Rice and Beans

Tuesday - Stroganoff and Noodles, Green Beans (didn't have it over the weekend)

Wednesday - Corn Dogs & Popcorn (AWANA Night)

Thursday - Creamy Chicken & Potato Chowder, Fresh Bread

Friday - Driving to St. Louis!

Saturday -Returning home from St. Louis!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Switching to Digital?

What's for Dinner: Chicken Patty Sandwiches & Pretzels (AWANA Night)

At the Sewing Machine: The craft room has become a holding tank for un-picked-up toys. Scary!

On the Scrapbook Table: See above

With the February 17 deadline for the DTV switch fast approaching, we are getting around to purchasing our converter box. We don't watch much TV and considered skipping the hassle of retrofitting our old TV, but we do like to watch the Colts play, PBS sometimes babysits the little ones, and we are certified Olympic junkies!

Below are some options available that have FREE SHIPPING. You can use the $40 government coupon when you order. If you don't have your coupon, you can apply to be put on the waiting list for one.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Things You Never Thought You'd Say...

"Caleb, why is there duct tape on your face?"


Ode to Aquaphor

What's for Dinner: Pasta with Cream Sauce, Green Beans

At the Sewing Machine: Stuff that shouldn't be there

On the Scrapbook Table: Cropping on Saturday!!!

Hunter has been plagued with a nasty case of eczema since about two hours after his baby acne cleared up. Nothing seemed to help. His own loving father said he looked like a burn victim. He rubbed his eyes so much that he looked like he'd gone two rounds with a prize fighter and lost.

We tried herbal salve, two different steroids (which I hated putting on my baby), and plain Cetaphil lotion. I was considering trying my boundless supply of lanolin when I came across some samples of Aquaphor that I'd received in the post-birth hospital goodie bags.

After one bedtime application he looked improved, and now, 48 hours later, the redness is almost all gone. I give him a healthy coat on his spots at every diaper change. He loves having me rub his face and now get excited when he sees the tube. Best of all, he's just a happier guy!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - January 19, 2009

What a blessing to have just groceried for the next eight weeks! I'm working on getting my menus for this year over to PeacefulHome.net. The first half of 2008 are over there - the second half I was too pregnant or with a newborn!

Tonight I just browned 8 lbs. of ground beef with onions. I baggied and froze it to be ready for meals over the next couple months. Such a time saver!

Most of my meals are coming from the Jeub cookbook, Love in the House. Economical and nourishing. Also I'm using Quick Cooking's 2001 Annual Recipes, and ones from The Family Homestead. Our themes are crockpot, soups, beans. We're trying to keep our costs down, but with 4-H ramping up, meals need to be quick to prepare and eat.

This week we'll be enjoying:

Monday - Cheesy Wild Rice Soup and Biscuits

Tuesday - Pasta with Cream Sauce, Fruit

Wednesday - Chicken Patty Sandwiches & Popcorn (AWANA Night)

Thursday - Spaghetti & Meatballs, Garlic Bread, Salad (Heidi's 2nd Birthday!!)

Friday - Pizza at Bible Study

Saturday - Stroganoff and Noodles, Green Beans


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Get Organized!

Org Junkie is hosting her second annual Monthly Organizing Round-Up. The tasks are small and do-able. Click the link and organize your way though 2009!

Organizing Blog


Friday, January 16, 2009

What a Week!

What's for Dinner: Goulash and Noodles/Rice, Orange Jell-O, Mashed Potatoes (Sick Tummy Fare)

At the Sewing Machine: Do I have a machine? I don't see it!

On the Scrapbook Table: Working on September boy birthday layouts

The flu has ripped though our family this week, toppling one Stumpf after another. We thought we were all done, but Teddy started turning colors after breakfast this morning. Fortunately, the Pollards had agreed earlier this week to host tonight's Bible study.

Between the obnoxiously cold temperatures and the spontaneous releasing of body fluids, we've stuck pretty close to home. I did sing when I found out that AWANA had been canceled because of weather on Wednesday. We then decided to cancel an orthodontist appointment so we could stay home in our jammies.

Thursday I postponed Hunter's baby check-up because it seemed wrong to take an infant out in -15 degree weather so the doctor could tell me he looks great.

We've jumping back into the swing of things tomorrow. In the morning, Bryan will take most of the children to cut out their cars for next weekend's AWANA Grand Prix. We will do our part to stimulate the economy tomorrow afternoon when we do our bi-monthly grocery trip. Much needed. You can hear an echo in my fridge.

After church on Sunday, the oldest three have their first 4-H club meeting of the year. It looks like Bryan and I are going to help lead the club. With the number of members we're contributing, it seems only fair!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lapbook Sale!

What's for Dinner: Cold Cut Sandwiches & Chips (AWANA night)

At the Sewing Machine: A mess!

On the Scrapbook Table: Crop this weekend???

A Message from our friends at "In the Hands of a Child." FYI - A Kit Pack contains the supplies to make a lapbook from a separately purchased project pack.

Kit Pack Sale Announcement

January 12, 2009
Dear Valued Customers,
Due to the new CPSIA law
In the Hands of a Child, for the time being, is discounting our Kit Pack inventory in order to lessen our possible loss in the event that an exemption is not granted.

While we are still praying for this situation to work out for all small businesses we feel that it is in our best interest to lessen our possible loss. And what better way than to pass the savings on to you, our wonderful customers, who are praying with us through this difficult situation!!

Please help us clear our shelves and enjoy a 35% savings on all Kit Packs!! Savings will be automatic! Spread the word and help us empty the shelves!!

This sale will continue until our Kit Pack inventory has been exhausted, so purchases will be on a first-come-first-served basis.

Once they are gone, they are gone!

In the event the law is modified, In the Hands of a Child reserves the right to bring back Kit Packs in the future at full price without any discount, implied or expressed, during this sale.

Cannot be combined with any other offer, special, discount, coupon or sale. Super Member discount DOES NOT apply to this sale.Tax and Shipping not included in calculating discount price. Not valid toward prior purchases. No rainchecks

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Schedule

What's for Dinner: Frozen Pizza, Boxed Mac 'n Cheese, Smoked Sausage Sandwiches (AWANA night)

At the Sewing Machine: On hold...

On the Scrapbook Table: On hold...

Staring school back up this week required a new schedule for the group. Hunter (3.5 months) responded very well to the schedule I created around Thanksgiving, and it is such a blessing to be able accomplish the schooling while still meeting his needs. I'm always amazed at how much we can get done and how well things flow when we stick to the schedule!

Click on the schedule below to view it larger. Past schedules can be found at Peaceful Home.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Versatile Lapbooks

What's for Dinner: Taco Salad

At the Sewing Machine: Finished Em's culottes!

On the Scrapbook Table: Em's meeting canceled so no cropping for me :-(

Since it's been awhile since I last professed my love of all things lapbook, I thought I'd use this week's free curriculum download from CurrClick as an excuse to cover a few of our recent favorites. Click on the icon below to download a FREE lapbook on Galaxies.


Last year the four oldest created lapbooks on Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Thanksgiving.

The two preschoolers created "Five Little Pumpkins," "Little Miss Muffet," Goodnight Moon, and Thanksgiving.

When we gathered them all up for our homeschool group's Spring "Share Fair," they made quite an impressive display!


This past fall, Emelie and Teddy created lapbooks covering the 2008 election. Both said they were their favorite ones so far. We all learned so much about the election process. When we stayed up late on election night to watch the returns, they could discuss the election like pros!

After last summer's 4-H Fair, I started thinking of ways to integrate the children's 4-H projects into our schoolwork. Since the have a "self-directed" project category, why not enter a lapbook?

Emelie chose Veterinary Science, Teddy chose Chemistry, and Meghan chose Sled Dogs (a former FREE download).

There is a lapbook on virtually any subject you would want to include in your schooling. The best part is how excited the students are at sharing the information in their finished products!


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - Jan. 5, 2009

Since we are less than two weeks away from our big, once-every-two-months grocery trip, our meals are becoming an creative effort to clean out the pantry, fridge, and freezer. I love to be free of all little bits of anything before I stock back up. This also makes it much easier to see what I still have on hand when planning my meals for the next eight-to-nine weeks.

So here’s our plan:

Monday (Bryan night meeting): Frozen Salisbury Steak (from Angel Food) and Cheesy Potato Soup

Tuesday (Emelie 4-H Horse Judging): Taco Salad

Wednesday (AWANA night): Frozen Pizza, Boxed Mac ‘n Cheese, and Smoked Sausage Sandwiches (not enough of any one thing to feed all of us!)

Thursday (
C.R.O.S.S. day): Hot Chili Cheese Dip and Chips

Friday: Pizza and other yummies at Bible study

Saturday: Sweet & Sour Sausage over egg noodles, broccoli


Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Project

What's for Dinner: Pork Roast, Cranberry Orange Jell-O, Broccoli

At the Sewing Machine: Culotte for Emelie

On the Scrapbook Table: Em's 4-H Projects

Every New Year Bryan and I try to tackle a home improvement project over the long weekend. It is a tradition that started when I was pregnant with Meghan (nine years ago) and we painted her nursery. (She was the last child to have a "nursery" all to herself.)

This year the winning room was the kitchen. The walls were very dinged up with three years of use, and I was hoping for a change in the room I spend most of my time in. I was thinking a coat of paint. Bryan was ready to tackle tiling the backsplash.
HPIM5096 HPIM5097

Once at Lowes, we ended up going in a completely different direction when we came across
this product. It looks like the old-fashioned tin ceilings, but is plastic and easier to work with. It was about the same cost as tile but didn't require special tools. We decided to give it a go!

Ready To Go:

This is what we got done the first night in about 2.25 hours. (We started with the hardest part. Cutting for the pass-through, sink anchor, and switch plate):

Finished after another 2.5 hours!
HPIM5100 HPIM5101

A close-up of that same corner:
I love it! I've got such a great husband!