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, October 28, 2010

Seasonal Clothing Change

I'm up to my elbows in boxes and piles of clothes. I've put it off as long as I can, but with temps going into below freezing tonight, it's time to bust out the fall and winter clothes. The little girls have almost all seersucker and sleeveless on their rack in the closet. "Pull a sweater over it" is sounding a little heartless now.

For a post I wrote a while back on how we handle the change, click here. My inspiration came from Kimberly over at Raising Olives. She really lays it out. I just re-read her article today to get me pumped up!

The biggest thing to remember is: Less is Best!! Less to fall on the floor. Less to end up in the laundry while with the hanger still attached. Less to fold and put away. The children are much more responsible about their clothes when there isn't an endless supply.

OK, time to attack it. Go Team!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - October 25, 2010

So sorry for falling of the face of the blogging world last week. Life just kept getting in the way!

It amazes me that even though we had nothing written down on our calendar for this past weekend, we were busy the entire time! Saturday, while Emelie and I ran errands, Bryan and the other children helped pack a semi container on its way to Haiti. After church on Sunday, we enjoyed a fun afternoon outside at a friends' party. Everyone tumbled into bed early last night!

Here's a recipe that can be made ahead, frozen, and only the amount needed can be baked.

Hot Bunwiches
8 Hamburger Buns
8 Slices Swiss Cheese
8 Slices Ham
8 Slices Turkey
8 Slices American Cheese

Lay out all 8 buns. On each bun, place slice of Swiss cheese, ham, turkey, and American cheese. Place top bun over American cheese. Wrap each in foil and place in freezer.

Take out of freezer 2-3 hours before serving.

Leave in foil and bake at 325 for 30 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 6-8.

Notes: We doubled this recipe and it was perfect for our dinner. Since I baked them all at once, I skipped the wrapping step. I put them in a big pan and then covered the pan with foil. Worked great!

This week we'll be enjoying:

Monday  - Pepperoni Dip & Fresh Bread

Tuesday - Adobe Chicken & Rice

Wednesday - Mac & Cheese, Pizza

Thursday - Philly Meatball Subs on Hoagie Rolls

Friday - Bible Study

Saturday - Black Eyed Pea Chowder, Cornbread

Our menus for last year can be found at our website. Breakfast menu is here; lunch menu is here.

Find more menus at:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Be Careful Little Tongue What You Say...

Our weekly Bible Study has been reading through Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages for Children. It's an eye-opening read, that has made us try to be more purposeful in showing love to our children.

At least one of my older children's primary love language is "Words of Affirmation." Not always something I excel in. I can point out problems in a flash, but am rarely as quick to say positive things. My favorite humbling moment is when I'm barking at them for snapping at a sibling. No mixed message there!

I was most convicted when Dr. Chapman described how a child that feels love from positive words, feels the twice the pain from critical words. Ouch!

I am hereby resolving this week to speak to all my children with a soft voice, gentle words, and notice much more good than bad. Everyone, from the tall to the small, will receive "pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Recipe - Quick Parmesan Potatoes

Here is a recipe that's sure to become one of your go-to side dishes. Since it's made in the microwave, once the potatoes are chopped (no need to peel!), it's on the table in 15 minutes. Perfect for those nights when you need something to round out the meal.

Parmesan Potatoes

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 teaspoons onion salt
6 medium potatoes, cubed
1/4 cup butter, melted
Dash of pepper

Melt butter in a 9x13 microwave-safe dish. Add potatoes and toss to coat. Sprinkle the potatoes with the remaining ingredients. Cover and microwave on high 13-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Yield: 6 servings

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WFMW- Basement Update #1

As I posted last week, we are overhauling how we store things in our basement. Bryan and I try to work down there for about 20 minutes every evening. Little-by-little, it's really starting to look better!

To date, 4 trash bags and one box of trash have been taken out, plus 3 bags donated.

I just have to gush a bit on the boxes we bought for the job:
These are wonderful! They stack beautifully and are the basis for the "walls" I'm creating in our new storage "room."

I've bought both the Sam's Club version (heavy duty) and Wal-mart's (regular). For the additional $1.50 or so, the Sam's Club version is a clear winner. Set up is MUCH quicker and the boxes are more substantial. The cost is about $16.50 for 10 boxes. We started out with 10 heavy-duty and 10 regular. Now we just plan to buy 10 every time we run errands at Sam's (every month or so).

The numbers on the boxes coordinate with the file box I am creating. Toys have a different numbering system (the 100's). No one can see in to them, so hopefully there will be no un-authorized snooping!

For more details on this system, check out Emilie Barne's Survival Guide for Busy Women.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Indian Summer at the Park

We celebrated the near-record warm temperatures with a Sunday afternoon at one of Indianapolis' most beautiful city parks. It has something for everyone: nature trails, gardens, and the most-awesome play structures anywhere!

We all had a great time, and more than one child was asleep before we left the parking lot. to head home.

Someone's excited to go to the park!

Hunter is feeling healthy and ready to take on the tunnel

The cutest tree-hugger I've ever seen!

Wading with tennis shoes on -
it seemed like a good idea at the time...

The Buddy System!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - October 11, 2010

What a beautiful Indian Summer weekend! The warm temperatures has necessitated a slight shift in my scheduled meals away from anything resembling soup. On Friday we enjoyed a wonderfully easy main-dish salad that was filling, too:

Frito Salad
1/2 Head Lettuce, washed and torn
1 Can Chili Beans, washed and drained
2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 C Catalina Dressing
1 Bag Fritos
Tomatoes, chopped (on the side in this house!)

Right before serving, throw everything in a bowl and toss. Even my non-salad eaters snarfed it up!

Come back Thursday for another yummy recipe...

This week we'll be enjoying:

Monday  - Chili con Queso, Chips

Tuesday - Alfredo Chicken Spaghetti

Wednesday (AWANA)- Chicken Nuggets, Popcorn

Thursday (Mom's Meeting) - Hot Cornbread Sandwiches

Friday - Bible Study

Saturday - French Onion Soup, Lots of Fresh Bread

Our menus for last year can be found at our website. Breakfast menu is here; lunch menu is here.

Find more menus at:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A New Must-Have

Sewing Clothes Kids Love: Sewing Patterns and Instructions for Boys' and Girls' OutfitsYesterday, a birthday book arrived that I ordered with a gift card (thanks, Mom!). I had seen it a few weeks ago at Borders, but the cost made me pause.I found it for $10 less on Amazon. Score!

If you enjoy sewing clothes for your children,Sewing Clothes Kids Love needs to be on your wish-list! The clothes are so fun and funky - I'm in love! One of those can't sleep at night, head full of ideas kind of love! I hope I remember to feed my family over the next couple weeks!


Included are 10 patterns in sizes 18 months to 12 years (or 59 inches tall). There are a couple cute boy patterns that I will definitely use, but I wouldn't have bought the book for those alone. It's really about the girl fun, and mine have already started a wish list!
The patterns are European-styled and creative, but it's the fabric and trims that put the looks over the top. I don't know how much I'm going to be able to imitate, but I'll have a ton of fun trying!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy Dance!

Now I need all my fellow scrapbookers to join me in a little Happy Dance. I just finished scrapping all of our Disney World Vacation from 2009! I felt compelled to get it done before the memories start blending together.
I'll be spending time cropping on Saturday where I hope to get closer to wrapping up 2009. As for 2010 pages, well, we don't need to go there!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

WFMW - Basement Storage Overhaul

I call our basement "The Pit of Despair." Truth is, I avoid going down there because I can feel myself getting uptight when I look at the mess.

We are very blessed to have this large, unfinished space for the children to keep all their toys and play. We have swings and rings, and they can roller skate and scooter year-round. And while it's almost perpetually trashed, it's not the children's things that make me the most crazy.
This mop bucket is the #1 toy! It's been everything from a Roman
Chariot to a space ship. Put one on your Christmas list!
Since we haven't built our garage yet, the basement is our main storage area. The original idea was to use boxes and bins to keep the children out of the central area where the utilities are. Good concept, but after four years it's become quite a mess.

I'm tackling the beast using the wonderful storage-box plan in Emelie Barnes' book, Survival for Busy Women. I will post updates to keep me motivated and accountable. My goal is a relatively uncluttered space where it is easy to see what we have.

So far, two bags have gone to the trash, and three trash bags of items will be given away to the Crisis Pregnancy Center and Goodwill!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hunter's New "Do"

Over the weekend I took one of the hardest steps a mama has to take: cutting the curls off my baby boy's head. Problem is, he's a big two-year-old man now. Plus going into fall, there's not enough humidity to keep it curly.

We knew the Florida humidity would keep it curly.

But after coming home, he looked like he belonged in "The Monkeys."

And the "After" shot. Any trace of curls is the result of my scrunching and scrunching. They're really not there. But maybe with a bit of gel...

I'm still getting used to it. Caleb didn't realize what we were doing and was rather upset with us we he came up from the basement. I guess no one wants our '"Bub" to grow up!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - October 4, 2010

One of my favorite parts of fall is the return to chilly weather like soups, stews and a bunch of comfort foods. The day after returning from vacation, Bryan and I tackled our two-month big grocery trip. My two week planning process had to be condensed down to about two hours!

We got it done, though, and the pantry is stocked for the next 7 weeks. Plus we got to spend some time alone together strolling the aisles of walmart!

This week I'll be fixing:

Monday  - Cheese Fondue in Bread Bowls

Tuesday - Franks & Beans, Corn Casserole

Wednesday (AWANA)- Chicken Patties, Chips

Thursday - Hot Bunwiches, Potato Wedges

Friday - Sweet & Sour Sausage, Noodles

Saturday - Red Beans and Rice

Our menus for last year can be found at our website. Breakfast menu is here; lunch menu is here.

Find more menus at:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Post-Vacation Recovery Mode

Exactly one week ago tonight we were pulling back into our driveway after spending a wonderful week at Walt Disney World. Can I go back yet?
Our trip was as fun and exhausting as a tour through "The World" always is. I was pretty sick most of the week, but tried not to let it slow me down too much. We all kept thinking about how we ended last year's trip! No desire to go that route again!

I'll post more photos soon. Emelie was our photographer, and she took over 3000 photos. Praise God for digital! We've got a bit of sorting to do!

Once we got home, everyone started coming down with the sniffles. By Tuesday, Hunter was having difficulty breathing. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and narrowly escaped another hospitalization. After a bunch of meds and breathing treatments, he's doing much better!

Needless to say, we're moving slow in getting back in the swing of things. When my type-A, get-it-done personality rears its ugly head, I'm trying reminding myself that the beauty of our homeschooling lifestyle is the ability to adjust to what life is throwing at us at the time!