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


Blog Archive

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!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - February 28, 2011

We spent our weekend celebrating Emelie's birthday and painting the girls' bedroom. I'm very pleased with how it's turning out. It won't be "done" for a while as Bryan is making built-in bunk beds, but I'll try to post some "almost after" photos later this week.

Bryan also blessed me by replacing my "second-string" washer and dryer. Since it was delivered yesterday, the children have been so excited to do laundry that I'm beginning to suspect that clean clothes are getting washed! They had to pull Rubbermaid totes up from the basement because we ran out of laundry baskets to hold all the clean clothes. I guess this is a good problem to have?!

On this week's menu:

Monday - BBQ Chicken, Mashed Potatoes

Tuesday (Horse Judging) - Eggs Benedict, Grits

Wednesday (AWANA) - Hot Dogs, Chips

Thursday (Homeschool Group, Karate)- Franks & Beans, Cherry Cake

Friday (Bible Study)

Saturday - Beef Manhattens, Orange Cake
Our menus for past years can be found at our website. Breakfast menu is here; lunch menu is here.

Find more menus at:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Boxes to Chic Storage Part 2

Last week I linked to an ingenious way to turn diaper boxes into decorative storage. Thanks to Hunter, I ended up with an empty box just the other day. Today, in less than an hour, I turned that Walmart diaper box into this:

This replaces two plastic bins that hold our materials for Cocoa Time and our Character Study. Very excited! I'm seeing all kinds of potential, and I even had a brainstorm for the girls' room (stay tuned!). I didn't have the spray adhesive called for in the tutorial, but the children's glue stick worked just fine!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A great way to help New Zealand

A powerful earthquake struck New Zealand's already-bruised city of Christchurch on Tuesday, collapsing buildings, burying vehicles under debris and sending rescuers scrambling to help trapped people amid reports of multiple deaths.

CurrClick and several publishers have teamed up to raise funds to aid those affected by this earthquake. They have a new bundle of great products available now.

The bundle includes over $230.00 worth of items from our publishers and can be purchased for a $20.00 donation. 100% of all proceeds for the bundle go to the New Zealand Red Cross.

The bundle included download curriculum like Apologia lapbooks, Shakespeare, Math, Copywork, Online Music Lessons, and Monthly Meal Planners. What a great way to help out and have some new resources!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Happy 15th Birthday, Emelie!

My beautiful baby is a young lady of 15 today. She is such a joy to us. Not only is she one of the smartest people I know, she's bust-a-gut funny. She I rely on her so much to keep this place going and she does it with such a generous heart.

Sadly she isn't feeling well today. She even asked me to postpone her favorite dinner. We'll just have to celebrate her even more this upcoming weekend!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - February 21, 2011

The temperatures here last week were such a tease. Made us all excited for spring. Now it is 33 degrees and raining. The rain and melted snow have made our house an island in a sea of mud. When the girls go to the barn to take care of the animals, they get quite the workout with having to lift their boots from ankle-deep mud with every step. Anyone want to come visit the farm now? Ahhh, charm of the country!

Bryan and I will be painting the girls' bathroom after little ones are in bed this week. I'm giddy-excited about getting color on the walls! What to do in the living room? Taking suggestions....

On this week's menu:

Monday - Garden Quiche, Cinnamon Rolls, Sausage

Tuesday (Horse Judging) - Sweet & Sour Meatballs (sub frozen meatballs for the smoke sausage in the recipe), Rice, Apple Pudding

Wednesday (EMELIE'S 15TH BIRTHDAY!!, AWANA) - Sausage Braid (If you haven't tried it yet, you're missing out!)

Thursday (Karate)- Dropped Biscuits & Ham, Pistachio Salad

Friday (Roller Skating Party and Bible Study)

Saturday - Potato Sausage Casserole, Scrambled Eggs

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

Find more menus at:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beginning of Girls' Room Makeover

We've lived in our home for five years. It's about time we started looking like we intend to stay.

First on the list of fix-ups is the girls' room.We finally found an idea that appealed to four young ladies ages 4 to 14 no easy task). We hoped to get the painting started, but the Wallies flowers we wanted to use are not available for purchase in the greater Indianapolis area (and I have 128 miles on the car to prove it!). Amazon order being placed tonight...

Here are the "before" pictures. Perhaps a nicely decorated room will inspire them to be a smidge neater???

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Diaper Boxes into Chic Storage

Check out this wonderful tutorial on re-purposing diaper boxes. The only thing that bums me out is how many boxes I've recycled before now! Don't have diaper boxes? I know some of you out there with more than one amazon box lying around...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Adoption Update

We received some good news yesterday. Since we completed all our paperwork, and our social worker has completed the homestudy report, he submitted us for the SNAP board's agenda (those are the folks that will give us the thumbs up or down to adopt).

We'd been thinking for a month and a half it would likely be the April meeting, perhaps May. Nope - MARCH 14! There will be even more praying going on here, both for approval (naturally!) and for the children that we're hoping God has planned for our family.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you were able to spend it with the ones you love!

Bryan started a new job today which makes for an exciting time. The rest of us got back into the routine of school and jobs around the house. The warm weather is making us hope that spring is just around the corner!

Emelie made Twice Baked Potatoes for our dinner tonight. She didn't anticipate the amount of work that goes into them. She said they looked like they were attacked by zombies. The potatoes really looked fine and tasted delicious!

As is typical for this time of year, our evenings are spent with many of us on the run. Dinners will still be eaten together, just in an abreviated fashion! This week we'll be enjoying:

Monday (Bryan night meeting) - Twice Baked Potatoes, Cheesy Brocolli

Tuesday (Horse Judging, 4-H Aerospace) - Pot Roast, Chocolate Cake

Wednesday (AWANA, 4-H Aviation) - Cold Cut Sandwiches, Popcorn

Thursday (Homeschool Group, Karate)- Baked Hashbrown Casserole, Peach Cobbler, Eggs

Friday (Bible Study)

Saturday - Beef Stir-Fry, Rice, Strawberry Pie

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

Find more menus at:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Waterpark Adventure Recap

Back to real life - sigh. Our surprise road trip to Wisconsin Dells (water park capitol of the world!) was enjoyed by everyone.

The Wilderness Resort was better than we expected. They only allow registered guests in their waterparks and admission to the waterparks is included for everyone registered - quite a benefit for  a party of 10. Having a condo where we could cook our meals made for a very relaxing time. If you're within a day's drive, this is a "must do!"

We woke the children at 7:15 and told them they had one hour to be packed and in the bus. All but Emelie (who was mucking stalls), made it with time to spare!
Diving down our road. Excited, but they had no
clue where we were going!
Eating lunch north of Chicago.

The Destination!

Everyone was still pretty excited about the
Packers' Super Bowl win!

Our condo building from the outside.

The view from our room of one of the several
outdoor waterparks - we passed on this one!
Bryan gets trapped in the indoor playground
Somebody's looking tired! Time to head home.

Hunter gave up while we were waiting
to get the bus started.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

On the road only 4 hours behind schedule. The back of the bus is completely silent with children slumped over in all sorts of uncomfortable looking positions!
Good to know...Carry an 50' extension cord for the bus. SUE won't start in the sub-zero temps. God's wanting to teach us some patience!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We're spending a couple days in the waterpark capitol of the world - Wisconsin Dells. The children are loving this as much as a trip to Disney World!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Celebrating the Super Bowl victory with our Wisconsin buddies. Cheese for everyone! Less than one hour to destination...
Just enjoyed lunch northwest of Chicago. Only 2.5 hours more to drive!
We woke the children up less than 2 hours ago and told them to get packed for a surprise road trip. Destination???? We're heading north...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Our Monthly Food Costs

Every time I've gone to the grocery lately, I lament about how the cost of food has gone up. I pay close attention to the cost of things and can usually rattle off the changes in costs for a pound of butter or can of tomato sauce over the past five years (I'm really fun to have at parties!).

I started looking back to see how much we're spending on groceries because it feels like a TON. Our quantities go up every few months since we've got some boys that eat, and eat, and eat (13 pancakes each, 11 muffins each, and don't even get me started on pizza!).

Bryan breaks our shopping trips down into different categories (food, household, clothing, crafting, etc.) The man is VERY detail-oriented. The only thing that goes into our "Grocery" category on Quicken, are non-taxable food items.

For the Nov. 2010 - Jan. 2011 shopping period, we spent $1225.88 on groceries. We shopped for a nine-week period, so it works out to $593.48 per month ($136.21 per week) to feed the 10 of us. That's not as bad as I thought!

Just to make myself feel good, I moseyed over to the USDA Food Plans. According to the government, on a "Thrifty Plan," I should be spending $1,324.62 per month on food for our family.

Kind of calls into question their budgeting and bargain-hunting ability. No wonder those numbers about the cost to raise a child seem so far from my reality.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Will she get it done in time for Feb. 14?

No she will not! But I have been enjoying our ice-bound week by crocheting a new afghan. This cute Valentine-themed afghan is worked in 12-inch-squares which is great for taking to 4-H meetings and our homeschool group.

They work up quickly, with 4 completed so far. It won't be done in time for this Valentine's Day, but I'm on track for next year!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WFMW - A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family

Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family, AI needed something to put me over the top for Amazon free shipping (do you do that, too?), so I purchased A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family by Mary Ostin. I ended up being very please with my purchase.

The book is full of practical organizational tips that can be applied in a family of any size (Ohhhh, how I love tips!). What I enjoyed most were some of her "experienced mom" insights:
I'd love it if my insides matched my outsides all the time. I'd love it if I could actually feel serene all the time instead of just faking serenity. But despite what others assume about me, endless serenity is not my personal reality as a mother.
Maybe that;s the heart of patience: refusing to get sucked down into negativity and instead choosing kindness; not avoiding the negative emotions - wouldn't that take a lobotomy? - but resisting them, rising above them, and prevailing over them.
I'm planning to loan this one out to my friends and have them jot down their favorite pages inside the cover. Thought it would be fun to see what speaks to different people.