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, June 30, 2011

Photos for the Grandparents Brag Book

We spent last Friday through Sunday at our local fairgounds watching Emelie compete at two horse shows. While her horse, Ripley, sometimes let it be known that he'd rather be doing other things (meaning eat!!), overall they did very well.

I'm constantly amazed at how much Emelie knows about horse, most of which is self-taught. She has some followers in the family and three siblings and Dad all were able to ride a bit. Unfortunately, Hunter flipped when he saw his dad go into the arena, so I wasn't able to get video of Bryan trying to run barrels. He could have achieved youtube stardom with that one!

Ready for the halter class

Neither Em nor Rip like Showmanship - they
don't like to wear makeup and look perky!

Showing English for the
 first time in Hunt Seat

"Hamming" it up at one of our many picnic meals

Jake with one of his dapper buddies

Jake "places first" in his lead-line class

Even Ted entered a walk class!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WFMW – What to do with Leftover Rice?

Every Tuesday morning, we use our rice cooker to make hot rice for breakfast – sprinkled with sugar and milk on top…Yummy! There always seems to be a smidge leftover in the bottom of the cooker. Too much to toss with a clean conscience, not enough to serve as a complete meal.

Cooked rice freezes really well. I often throw the leftovers into a Ziploc and freeze. When I have 4-6 cups, I make our favorite fried rice (remind me to post that recipe. It's fantastic!). This side is a staple with Teriyaki chicken or Chinese Cole Slaw.
My boys especially love it when I use the leftovers to make rice pudding. I heard that rice pudding can be made in the oven, but I’ve never had much luck. The super easy way to come up with rice pudding is to make a box or two of vanilla pudding, then mix in the leftover rice.

It really is not much harder to make some vanilla pudding from scratch before putting in the rice. Here’s and easy homemade recipe for vanilla pudding that is healthier and more lip-lickin’ than what comes out of a cardboard box.

Homemade Vanilla Pudding
This makes about the equivalent of a regular-sized box of pudding. (That means the Stumpfs double or triple it!)

1/3 C Sugar
1.5 Tblspn Cornstarch
1/8 teaspn salt2 C Milk
2 teaspn Vanilla Extract
1 Tblspn Butter

Combine sugar, cornstartch, salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in 1 cup milk until smooth. Whisk in remaining milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, stirring gently.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, butter, and rice, if desired, stirring until butter is melted.

We usually serve this warm, but can be chilled if you prefer. We serve this as a side dish and call it “dessert for dinner.” Gives us some “cool parents” points. My boys usually have to be reminded about good manners when we have this as they are likely to fill their plates with it!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Recipe for Chocolate/Peanut Butter Lovers

Falling into the category of just too yummy....We are pretty serious Reese's fans around here. I've even developed a granola flavor with chocolate and peanut butter for Bryan. When Jacob decided today was his stuffed Guinea pig, Hampie's, birthday, we decided that it was the perfect occasion to make this quick and tasty treat.

Peanut Butter Bars
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons peanut butter

In a medium bowl, mix together the butter or margarine, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners' sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 inch pan.

In a metal bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Spread over the prepared crust. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

Tip: I obliterate the graham crackers in my food processor then dump the next 3 ingredients in. Bam! Bottom layer mixed in a flash.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Now this is too funny...

Bryan and a couple older children were laughing 'till they cried tonight looking over Engrish.com. Very funny misuses of the English language. A couple posts might not be suitable for children, so you'll want to preview. This was one of our favorites:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Surfin' Stumpf Lake

Yesterday it rained. I mean it R-A-I-N-E-D! We woke before 6am to thunderstorms and naps were cut short because of thunderstorms. We had to have the lights on most of the morning because it was so dark outside.

In about 20 minutes, we went from zero water over our driveway to about a foot of water. We finally had a break around 4 in the afternoon. The children took advantage of the new lake in our front yard. Note: there is usually only grass, wheat, and weeds out there!

The children are standing on our driveway.

Hunter wasn't too keen on getting wet,
but he liked the accessories!

Won't need to water
this tree for a while!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - June 20, 2011

Hope everyone enjoyed Father's Day yesterday! We went to church and brunched with dear friends, then took a long nap. Afterward, Bryan hunkered down on the living room floor with the boys to watch Star Wars. Fun and relaxing!

Tonight Meghan made these delicious biscuits. While hardly low-fat, they don't use vegetable shortening and are a snap to whip up. I think she made around 30 and not a crumb was left!

E-Z Drop Biscuits
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup melted butter
2 cups milk

1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2.In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Stir in butter and milk just until moistened. Drop batter on a lightly greased cookie sheet by the tablespoon.

3.Bake in preheated oven until golden on the edges, about 8 to 12 minutes. Serve warm.

This week we will be enjoying:

Monday - Calico Beans and Biscuits

Tuesday (Rabbit Agility, 4-H Horse & Pony) - Cheese Enchiladas, Spanish Rice

Wednesday (4-H Council Meeting) - Smoked Sausage Sandwiches, Baked Potatoes

Thursday (4-H Photography) - Taco Salad

Friday (Horse Show) - Stumpf Chili, Cornbread

Saturday (Horse Show) - Sausage Braid, Sweet Potatoes

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

Find more menus at:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our friends need prayer

Around the first of this year I blogged about our friends moving to Haiti for a year or so to help with the reconstruction after the 2010 earthquake. While life down there could be challenging, overall things were moving ahead.

Last week, Jay, the dad, was involved in an accident that has left him without feeling below his belly button. He was air lifted to a hospital in Miami. There are challenges daily, but their faith in God and his mercies is strong.

Visit their blog for what they've been doing in Haiti. For up-to-date information, they have a Caring Bridge site. Please help pray for the miracles we know are coming!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WFMW - Make Boutique Hair Bows

I am so excited out the Hair Bow Instructions that I downloaded from YouCanMakeThis.com. I've tried countless times to try to make bows and wasn't successful until I got this ebook.

There are tons of color photos and excellent step-by-step instructions for 17 different types of bows. For only $7.99, this is a great value! I made both of the bows below in about an hour.

Emelie is even going to do hairbows as one of her 4-H projects. There are a couple little girls pretty excited about that!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our latest additions

We've known for weeks that one of our barn cats was "with kitten." While I've had cats for most of my life, we've never had the awesome experience of having kittens born. I was pretty nervous for the safety of the "teen mom" as well as for the kittens.

Last week a very pregnant Smudge followed Brigitta to the house after Bitta returned from checking for eggs. She called me to come take a look at the cat. I could tell that things would be happening soon. I'd never seen a cat with that look on her face, but I knew what it meant! So I called for a laundry basket and towels. I considered having someone boil water, but decided against it.

About 3 hours later, she delivered 4 beautiful babies. Even though Smudgie is not much more than a kitten herself, she's been a great mama. The kittens are getting very plump. We have 2 boys and 2 girls.

Today the children divided into teams to name them. So far we have Jedi, Persephone, and Saga. Ted and Heidi can't come to an agreement on the final boy's name. She wants Black Tiger, but Ted has vetoed that. The rest of us are pushing for Nikabrik. Hopefully the little guy will have a name soon!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - June 13, 2011

What a great weekend! Great weather, great friends, great food. This morning it was actually too cold for the children's swim lessons, so we took advantage of the free time to sign up for the summer reading program. I think we overwhelmed the library workers with all our books, applications and energy. Hopefully we increased their numbers so they'll get more funding next year!

Time to get serious about preparing for the 4-H fair next month. We have three different commitments tomorrow night and Bryan will be out of town. We'll be enjoying a fast-food picnic while watching rabbit and horse practice!

Monday - Sam's Club pizza while we picked up a few things

Tuesday (Rabbit Agility, 4-H Horse & Pony, 4-H Aerospace) - probably McD's since I'll be vastly outnumbered by children under 10!

Wednesday - Korean Eggs Rolls, Asian Noodle Salad

Thursday - Brawt Potato Skillet, Lemon Garlic Broccoli

Friday - Greek Ham Wraps, Micro-Roasted Potatoes

Saturday - Grilled Pizza Sandwiches

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

Find more menus at:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

WFMW - Easy Breezy Sundresses

After working on the girls' Easter dresses, I was looking for a fun, simple pattern to use up some of the fun fabric I had purchased for them. I came across this tiered flouncy sundress at YouCanMakeThis.com.

The discerning among you will notice that it uses the same fabric as the skorts I recently posted about.

These dresses went together in a flash. They're made flat for fast construction, and there is no front or back so the girls can just pop it on for quick cuteness!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Tuesday Tip - Scrapbooking Tips

I've been in scrapbook mode lately. I'm finally crawling out of the hole I've been in since Hunter was born, so I'm fired up to get some albums done. Here are some quick tips to help those pages come together quicker.

Run out of adhesive dots to hold down your ribbon to the page? Fret not, tack down the ribbons using brads at each end. Or wrap the ribbon to the back of the page and secure with regular tape.

Want an eye-catching background? Cut a piece of patterned paper into a large curved shape and attach it to your cardstock. It instantly creates visual interest to your background. You can use freehand, bowls, plates and anything round to help you draw the curved shape.

Lace a strip of ribbon through punched holes along one side of the border to create a pretty-looking page accent.

Do you love the stitched-look but can't sew or you want a simpler method? Use rub-on stitches or here's what I normally do, use a fine-tip pen and draw the dashes to resemble the stitched-look without needle and thread! Not perfect, but it saves me plenty of time.

Add on a premade envelope to your layout to tuck in extra journaling or additional. Give your envelope a unique look by customizing it to your own preference. You can also use library pocket to tuck in your extra journaling too.

And the #1 tip for fast scrapbooking....

Make 8x10 collages of up to 15 or so photos in a program like Picasa. This is a great way to use all 30 of those wonderful birthday photos without making 5 birthday layouts! I print mine at Sam's Club for around $1.50 each.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - June 6, 2011

I've been such a blog-slacker lately. We've been embracing some lazy summer days lately, and there really has been little news that's fit to print. Swim lessons started today, so we have a little more motivation to get going these days.

On our dinner table this week will be:

Monday - Chipped Beef Gravy, Toast, Eggs

Tuesday (Rabbit Agility, 4-H Horse & Pony) - Mexican Dinner, Sweet Potatoes

Wednesday - Cold Cuts, Chips

Thursday - Teriyaki Chicken, Rice, Edamame

Friday - Baked French Toast, Sausage

Saturday (4-H Foods) - Swedish Meatballs, Noodles, Steamed Broccoli

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

Find more menus at: