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!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Another reason my husband rocks!

I'll admit it - I actually like planning out our school year. I like touching all the books we're going to use. It helps me to picture how the year will go. The problem comes in finding the time and space to get 'er done.

This is where my awesome husband stepped in. He sent me to a hotel Friday after dinner. I was able to work into the wee hours of the morning and, after a few hours sleep, up until lunch time. Then I drove to a library nearby to wrap up a few more details.

I'm feeling really good about starting school next week. I'm excited about some of the new things we are tying. I'll be posting about those in the next few days....

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Favorite Kitchen Gizmos

I just love Pampered Chef, don't you? And while it is my goal to acquire a half-dozen of their loaf pans (they make the BEST bread), dropping $40 on a stone is not always in the budget.

I've found a couple tools that run around $10. Perfect for when a friend is hosting a party that you want to support without blowing your budget. Makes the husband happier too!

The Mix 'n Mash is like a whisk except it can mash potatoes and cooked beans easily. I use it instead of my electric mixer much of the time since it's so much easier to clean.

The Twist 'n Chop is the perfect tool for breaking apart ground beef, turkey or sausage. You can also throw salsa ingredients in a bowl and have it chopped up in a couple minutes. I like to use it to make scrambled eggs.

And they can both go right in the dishwasher, because what's the point of owning something that can't?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

4-H Fair Recap #1

Here is a photo (lots of photos!!) round-up of the first few days of our local 4-H fair. The children's hard work was rewarded with a lot of blue and some purple! The fair closes tomorrow, and there are a couple more highlights to come....

Ted's Electric Poster - Reserve Champion

Caleb's Rocketry - Blue
In the poster behind, you can see this
rocket launching and a photo of Ted.

Ted's Rocketry - Blue

Meghan's Floracutlure - Blue

Emelie's Horse & Pony Poster  - Champion
Third year in a row!

Emelie's Photography - Honor Group
She also entered three salon prints
which all earned blue

Emelie's Photography - Champion

Meghan's Sewing - Blue

Emelie's Misc. Crafts - Blue

Emelie's Self Determined - Reserve Champion

Meghan showing Dove - 2nd place
Ghirardelli - 1st place
Cadbury - 2nd place

Emelie showing Ripley in English Halter
She showed in 12 classes and placed in 6.

Emelie, with some of the Horse & Pony Judging Team,
being recognized as State Champion.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - July 25, 2011

We're trying to find our "normal" around here. The fair is still going on, but since all our animals have finished exhibiting and are home, our days are much quieter. More on the fair in the next post...

We're planning on opening Stumpf University in two weeks, so I'm busy trying to prepare for the 7.5 students enrolled this year. I'm looking forward to the structure the school year brings (even if I will have to start going to be earlier and getting up earlier!).

This week on the Stumpf menu....

Monday - Chinese Salad, Fried Rice

Tuesday - Turkey Ranch Wraps, Potato Wedges, Jello

Wednesday - Hot Dogs, Popcorn

Thursday (Busy evening at the 4-H Fair) - Black Beans. Cheese, Chips

Friday - Teriyaki Chicken, Rice, Edamame

Saturday - Stroganoff Meatballs, Noodles, Peas

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

Find more menus at:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy 14th Birthday Ted!

Today we were able to take a short break from all the 4H Fair happenings to celebrate Ted's 14th birthday. He picked a big buffet for his restaurant so everyone could have something they like (awwww, so sweet!)

Ted's getting a little excited here....He just opened a card saying "see you 49 days" signed "Mickey." Yup, we're headed back to Disney World in September. Note that Caleb is out of his seat and coming to see for himself. It was pretty much pandemonium after this.

We were going to wait a couple weeks to let the children know about the trip, but Ted couldn't come up with anything he wanted for his birthday. I asked if he'd like some spending money, and Caleb said "Yes! For Disney World." Later when I asked Ted where he'd like to go to eat for his birthday, he and Caleb just started naming off restaurants at Disney. It seemed the right thing to give him his wish for his birthday. Also, the children now understand why I'm wanting to start school again in a couple weeks!

And he got a little ammo too. What more could a young man want?

He's a pretty amazing guy! While 14 years with him have rarely been quiet, we are so proud of the responsible man he's growing up to be!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - July 11, 2011

We are in the middle of 4-H project joy. I do hereby pledge to not procrastinate next year. Today was especially fun between juggling the four 4-Hers' questions, a toddler in a steroid-induced temper tantrum most of the day (harvesting the wheat field brought on another asthma attack), and the 4-year-old fell off our porch into the rose bush resulting in cuts from head to toe. Never dull!

Projects begin checking in on Saturday and continue through next week. Fair opens a week from Friday. Crazy but worth it!We just shopped for 9 weeks of groceries last Saturday. I love meal planning when things are this nuts! This week we will be enjoying:

Monday - Bean Burritos (using Pinto Bean Mix), Salad

Tuesday - Puffy Pancake, Sausage

Wednesday - Sweet & Sour Sausage, Noodles, Green Beans

Thursday (4-H Fair Set Up) - Mac 'n Cheese, Frozen Pizza

Friday - Tacos, Skillet Corn

Saturday (Project Check-In) - 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:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Girls' Room - Sleeps 6

Look what my amazing man is working on now. Not one bed, not two, but a built-in sextuple bunk bed for the girls' room. He came up with the design himself, and we'll paint it to match the walls. This is still very much a work in progress - there will be rails on the upper four beds! The girls can't wait to sleep in their new beds!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist, wrist

One of the highlights of our 4th of July celebration is attending the local parade. Our 4H club entered a float again this year.

After working on it for several days, the children loved riding on it or walking beside throwing candy. Mine weren't too interested in the dressing up (except for Caleb in his farm-boy get up), but loved being part of our local tradition.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Great weekend and challenging toddlers

 I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful holiday weekend. We were kept hopping with our favorite brand of busy - wonderful fellowship with great friends. Today we're resting up and trying to find the floor of the house, since we've just been "dumping and running" all weekend.

Being so busy with little ones can be a challenge. When we only had littles, our entire schedule revolved around their needs. Now we have to balance activites for the older ones with what the young ones require. The end result is that, on weekends like this past one, naps sometimes get skipped and meals can be at unsual times.

Anytime children are stretched in this way, their behavior can often become challenging (insert visual of Hunter screaming so loud at the Walmart checkout that he could be heard at the back of store).

As parents, when our little darlings (or big darlings) are being challenging, we need to remembers that we have a choice in how we respond. I try to remind myself that God is giving me a test. It is up to me if I pass or fail.

"A soft answer turns away wrath." When I lower my voice, get down on their level, and look the child in the eyes, it's almost like dumping water on the flame of their fit. I remind them of the appropriate words to use and have them repeat them back to me. A hug and a little tickle and fellowship is usually restored.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Introducing the next Food Channel star

Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can MakeMeghan picked up Hello, Cupcake at the library last week. The book is filled with amazing cupcake designs that don't require fancy equipment to achieve. She was chopping at the bit to get started.

This was her very first attempt. Not too shabby!

Emelie has already put in a request for the Starry, Starry Night cupcake design for her birthday. Stay tuned to see if that happens!