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!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Emelie's on the road to D.C.

If you could read the time stamp of this post, you would see that it's just after 4am. I woke up thinking of my girl who is currently on a Purdue University bus somewhere around the Pennsylvania/Ohio line. Better than last night when I had nightmares of lost money and cell phones!

About a month ago Emelie was offered a 4-H achievement trip to Washington D.C. because of winning the State Horse Judging Contest. At first Bryan and I dismissed it. We are very much NOT in the habit of letting our children go 14 hours away with people we don't know!

But I kept thinking about the trip that she had earned.

We looked into it further. The other young adults from all over the state had achieved similar honors (like Crops Judging Champ and Dairy Foods Judging Champ). The itinerary was crazy, but they'd see everything there is to see in D.C. in just three days. Our cost is minimal. It seemed like such a great opportunity, especially for a girl with her head on straight like Em.

So last evening she boarded a bus with 34 of her new best friends (actually she's hoping to find someone who doesn't talk who wants to go to the bookstore during the 2 hour allotted shopping time - someone just like her!)
Emelie getting on the bus. How can she look so
grown-up and still like my little girl at the same time?

When they arrive at the National 4-H Center later this morning they have just enough time to change before heading to Capitol Hill for Congressional visits, tour of Capitol, tour of Supreme Court and Library of Congress. Tonight it will be a night view of Washington with stops at the Jefferson, Lincoln, Vietnam, and Korean Memorials. Whew!

On the homefront, we're all counting the minutes until her return. And mama will be overflowing the throne room of heaven with prayers for her safety (and hoping for a little sleep!)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mr. C!

Today my handsome, steady man turns the big 1-0. The decade has flown by and I'm the proud mama to a boy that is always looking out for me. He's the one to always put others first. Sweet guy!

No baby picture for this one since he was born in the dark ages - before digital! I could always take a photo out of an album and scan it, but you'll just have to trust me that he was a cute little baby!

Opening a book about Star Wars LEGO - with
exclusive Hans Solo Mini-Fig! Be still my heart!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's Soup Weather - 2 Favorite Recipes

While I'm not too happy about fall coming on, I am enjoying the return of soup weather. With the colds going around our family, we've enjoyed these two soup recipes. I've posted both before, but they are so good that they deserve another mention!

Cream Cheese Potato Soup

6 C water
7 tea. chicken bouillon (I like this kind)
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, cubed
1 package (30 oz.) frozen hash brown potatoes
1 1/2 C cubes cooked ham
1/2 C chopped onion
1 tea. dill weed
1 tea. garlic powder
1 tea. salt (taste before adding)

In a Dutch oven, combine the water and bouillon. Add the cream cheese; cook and stir until cheese is melted. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, for 18-20 minuted or until vegetables are tender.

Yield: 12 servings (3 quarts). This was a perfect amount for my crew. Several had seconds and there was a bit left over for lunch.

Stumpf Chili
This is a very child-friendly chili. No offending chuncks of veggies (although I've been know to sneak in a veggie puree)!

1 lb. ground beef, browned with onion and drained
32 oz. tomato sauce
4 C water
2 - 15 oz. cans kidney beans
2 T chili powder
1 t cumin
1/2 t salt
2 t garlic powder
2 t dried basil
2 t dried oregano

Combine all and simmer for one hour, or cook in the Crockpot all day on low. Serve over cornbread and top with cheddar cheese and sour cream.

We double this recipe which exceeds my crockpot capacity. I simmer it all day in a 20 qt. roaster.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mr. McGakers

Today my redheaded firecracker turns eight. Jacob is a freckle-faced bundle of energy with a flair for the dramatic, but he still loves to cuddle with mama (he'll kill me for saying that!)
Jacob's first Christmas
(about 3 months old)

Hamming it up as usual!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Boy Birthday Bash 2011!

Yesterday we celebrated our annual cake-fest for our three boys whose birthdays are within 5 days of each other. In case anyone thinks they're being slighted by having a one day celebration, the boys ask to do it this way.

They'd picked out their presents while we were at Disney World (LEGO store - need I say more?). They requested the local Chinese Buffet for lunch, and we had LOTS of cake and ice cream for dinner. And yet we still have cakes all over the counter.

Jacob requested cake for breakfast on his actual birthday (tomorrow). I'm thinking we just might start our day with one huge sugar buzz!

In the "Stumpf Room" at the Chinese Buffet

Caleb requested a "pizza" instead of cake -
shocker!  I used this recipe and loved how it
turned out!

Bryan showed his amazing skills as a frosting
artist again this year. This is Hunter's Toy
Story Alien cake.
Jacob requested a "Gronkle" from
How to Train Your Dragon.

Our Birthday Boys during round #2 of 3
of "Happy Birthday" singing.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bub!

Our little man turned three today. Hunter's an active little guy that keeps us all busy! He has the talent of making me crazy one minute and melting my heart the next.

Hunter 3 years ago

Hunter's favorite photo taken last week.
 He calls it "Bubbie Pumpkin!"

Enter a giveaway or two...

Since I've been down with my cold, and my husband is enjoying watching the Rugby World Cup, I spent some time on my favorite blogs. A couple are having some giveaways you might be interested in...

Over at Life in a Shoe, one very happy winner will receive her choice of a skirt or a $50 gift certificate from Marie Madeline Studio. Amazingly cute stuff. Ends today, so hurry!!

Life in a Shoe is also giving away 5 copies of the e-book,  Visionary Womanhood Gatherings: A Family Strengthening Mentorship Tool for Women and Maidens. Use the link to get more information.

Raising Olives is hosting a DVD givaway for the Moore Family Film, It's Your Life: The Moss Family. It looks like it would be a great thing for our Bible Study to watch.

Just go to these blogs and leave a comment to enter. I'm heading that way right now!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

We're home!

We made it home from our Disney Adventure 2011. Naturally a little weary and trying to wade through the mountains of laundry. Half of us are dealing with our "Disney Cold," but fortunately there weren't any ambulance rides this year! More highlights coming soon...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fool-proof Bread Dough

This is my go-to bread recipe. I make about four loaves every week or so. Sometimes I save some dough to freeze for Baked Sandwiches. You can use it in any recipe calling for frozen bread dough.

(Hint: I've been known to throw other things into the dough like leftover oatmeal, purred white beans, pureed cauliflower, or pureed squash. They'll never know unless you tell them...)

Here is the one-loaf version. Great to set for delay start on the bread machine (does anyone still have one of those?)

1 C warm water

1.5 teaspn yeast

1.5 Tblspn sugar

3 C Flour (can combine white & wheat so long as there is more white flour)

1.5 Tblspn Dry Milk

1.5 Tblspn Oil

1.5 teaspn salt

Put in bread machine in the order listed by your manufacturer (I think mine used to be water first and yeast last). Set for delay start on a regular or white bread cycle. If you’re making in a mixer or by hand, follow the directions below.

Here’s the version I use. This makes four loaves. The loaves freeze well after they are completely cooled.

4 C warm water

2T yeast

1/3 C sugar

12 C Flour (can combine white & wheat so long as there is more white flour)

1/3 C Dry Milk

1/3 C Oil

2 T salt

Combine warm water, yeast, sugar, and 6 C flour in bowl for big mixer. Mix until just combined. Let sit for 10-15 minutes (this is called “the sponge”). Add in the rest of the ingredients. Knead in mixer for 8 minutes. Chop into 4 equal sections. Put each section into a greased loaf pan. Let rise, covered in warm place for 45 minutes. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove immediately from pans. Cool completely on racks.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Brigitta chillin' at Ecot

Menu Plan Monday - Disney Edition

OK. So this isn’t a real Menu Plan Monday post. But this is what the Stumpfs will be eating this week….

Sunday (Arrival Day) – We’ll head to the Polynesian for a quick dinner (maybe some sushi?) and Dole Whips – our favorite pineapple soft-serve ice cream. We dream about the Whips all year! Available only at the Poly and Magic Kingdom.

Monday (Epcot) – Lunch: Dining around the World Showcase, Dinner: Beirgarten (Bryan’s absolute favorite!!)

Tuesday (Magic Kingdom) – Lunch: Probably Pecos Bill’s or Pinocchio’s, Dinner: Liberty Tree Tavern

Wednesday (Hollywood Studios) – Lunch: Something at Downtown Disney, Dinner: Probably Toy Story Pizza Planet

Thursday (Magic Kingdom) – Lunch: Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Dinner: Our resort’s food court

Friday (Animal Kingdom) – Breakfast: Tusker House with Donald Duck, Dinner: ‘Ohana at the Polynesian

Most breakfasts will be eaten our room or as we’re driving to the park.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

On this day 18 Years Ago...

I married my friend
With whom I share
My dreams, my life, my love

Happy 18th Anniversary, Sweetheart!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Out of Office Reply

Tomorrow, bright and early, we head for Florida. The third annual Stumpf trip to Walt Disney World is  for about to begin!

I've got a couple posts scheduled for the next week, so hopefully you won't miss me :-) !

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My latest crochet craze...

A couple weeks ago I started another one of my favorite potholders. After a couple rows, I decided that the yarn was just too lovely to be a lowly potholder. I immediately started this floral shawl pattern.

It came together so quickly. The main shawl and three of the flowers are done. I just need to get to the craft store to get a couple other colors for the remaining flowers. It will be perfect for fall! Excited!

Tonight I started my first pair of socks. This is similar to what they will look like (but prettier colors!).

My mom gave me the pattern. It looks like it is available at local yarn stores. Never attempted a sock before. The hook is really small. Thin yarn, small hook...Might send me to bifocals before my time.

I can almost feel these cozy socks warming my feet as I sip my hot cocoa this winter!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - September 5, 2011

Only five more days until we leave for Disney World!! Or five more "sleeps" as the girlies are saying. We'll only school for two days this week and spend the rest of the week packing.

In honor of our trip, here are some of the snacks that we usually take into the parks:
  • Peanuts (unsalted or children get too thirsty)
  • Individual boxes of raisins
  • Little gummie fruit snacks
  • Individual bags of pretzels
  • Dum Dums (keeps mouths quiet if you make it a contest to see whose lasts longest)
  • Lots of water bottles (we refill them all day long)
This week we will be enjoying:

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

Tuesday - Puffy Pancake, Sausage

Wednesday (AWANA) - Sweet & Sour Sausage, Noodles, Green Beans

Thursday (Karate) - Mac 'n Cheese, Frozen Pizza

Friday - Tacos, Skillet Corn

Saturday - Leave on vacation!!

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

Find more menus at:

When Hunter puts himself to bed...

After we finished the movie last night, when we walked into the living room and found Hunter on the floor. The best part was that he had put his Pooh Bear to bed before he fell asleep!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Celebrating the aniversary of my 29th birthday

Happy Birthday to me!! We're watching Mars Needs Moms and about to have my favorite - Dairy Queen ice cream cake. My husband had them make it all blue (my favorite color). I can't wait to see the mouths of some very happy children smeared with blue frosting!

Later, the older children, Bryan, and I will watch Soul Surfer. I've been wanting to see it for months. Redbox is awsome!

I have to sing the praises of my oldest boy for a moment, was able to connect my netbook to the Switched-On Schoolhouse to the main database. That's something we haven't been able to do since we bought a new router 6 months ago. We were even planning to call a "geek" to get it fixes. Our own "geek" saved us some cash!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Quick & Easy Mani-Pedi

It am NOT into nail polish. Way to high maintenance for me. I can't stand it if it doesn't look good. And in my world that happens about 30 seconds after it's applied.

So how excited was I to learn about a quick way to have super fun nails? Have you seen these babies while cruising your local drug store?
Sally Hansen Salon Effects are real nail polish strips (they even smell like nail polish) that go on quick and require no dry time. My fingers stayed decent looking for about a week, my toes for over 2! The patterns are so fun, I'm stockpiling. The older girls and I can't wait to put on our next pattern for our vacation!

I watched a YouTube clip on how to apply them easily. That really helped! They retail for around $10, but I've bought all mine off ebay for about $6.50 including shipping!