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!

Friday, May 11, 2012

And here she is!

Lorelei Prentice Stumpf arrived yesterday morning at 8:13 am. The delivery was uneventful, and she's been a delight for the past 36 hours. We are so thankful to God for this beautiful blessing!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Birthday Time for Sweet Girls!

This past weekend we celebrated Meghan's 12th birthday and Brigitta's 7th. These are two of the sweetest, happiest girls any mom could wish for! We had a wonderful time going out to eat and enjoying an ice cream cake.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Meet the yard crew

Bryan took some time last week to try to tame the wilds that is our yard. He enlisted quite a bit of help, and the place really shaped up!

And some did more goofing around than actual helping, but I think we'll keep them anyway!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Update on the new & improved Stumpf Family

Here’s the long-overdue, much-asked-for update on how things are going around here.
The children arrive last Monday (April 2, 2012) at around 7pm. Tuesday morning started before 6am! Fortunately, everyone is waking at a much more acceptable (in my mind) time now!

Last week was a tough one for me, not because of anything the new children were doing, but the stress and anxiety going on in my head. I stopped sleeping and was an emotional wreck. It reminded me of bringing my first few babies home. The overwhelming “what have I done?” feeling.
Once I was able to get a few nights of quality sleep, things started looking up. Not crying over green beans was a blessing to everyone.

Bringing home a 12 and 14-year-old and integrating them into the family is not without adjustment! Bryan equated it with having foreign exchange students with the bonus that they speak English.
There is a learning curve as they try to fit into the culture of our family. We’ve been blessed with two children that are very anxious to please. They are trying very hard to learn how we do things. Emelie says that she’s noticed that they are even beginning to talk like Stumpfs!

Because of state law, the new children will need to be in public school until the adoption is finalized, about six months. Trying to enroll children this close to the end of the school year has not been a speedy process. By the time they finally get into school (looking like next Tuesday), they will have only about 28 days left until summer break.
I’ll admit that venturing into the public school system has been one of the things that was stressing me out. Things like gym clothes, proper school supplies, and lunch money are things I’ve never had to think about before. God has resolved many of these issues. I should have let Him handle things from the beginning! Shocker!

For the fall, we’re looking into an on-line public charter school to plug the gap until we can officially homeschool them.

I cannot express how much I appreciate all the prayers and support from my family, near-to-home friends and my on-line friends. Knowing that our family is being lifted up to the Father has gotten be through my days. This adventure is just beginning, and in four weeks we will get to meet the newest member of our family.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Our double blessing arrived today!

As I posted on Facebook earlier today, a change in the placement plan resulted in the our two children coming home to us this evening!

Last Friday, as Bryan and I pulled into the parking lot of a Japanese restaurant, we received a phone call telling us that the placement might need to be moved up. We were attending the state homeschool convention and suddenly we had a hard time keeping focus!

This morning we had a meeting and knew it would likely happen this week. We found out at 1 o'clock that confirmed that tonight would be the night.

So now it's 10 p.m., exactly one month after we received a phone call asking if we would be interested in these children, and 8 of our 10 children are settled in bed. Not sure that anyone is actually sleeping yet!

On tomorrow's agenda will be getting things unpacked, trying to figure out how to handle the rest of the school year, and loving on two children that have just entered their forever home. I'm thinking that making Easter clothes might have to wait for a while!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Don't I look good for carrying triplets?

Over the past couple weeks, Bryan and I have been blessed to be part of an adventure that will hopefully end in the adoption of two young people that have been "children of our hearts" since last summer. Within weeks of having our ninth little one, we will be blessed to be the parents of eleven! Sounds unreal, even to us!

Here's the timeline of how this has come about:
June 2011 - We were given information on a boy and girl that might be available for adoption. For much of last summer we pictured these children becoming part of our family.

Fall 2011 - Communication on the siblings dwindled to nothing. I assumed the plan had changed and they were no longer available. But we had a new pregnancy to focus on!

Fast forward to March 2, 2012 - I get a call from my adoption worker saying that the case worker for these children was anxious to interview us as soon as possible.  We inform her we are interested, but that we are pregnant: a scenario our home study said would impact our ability to adopt.

March 8 - During the interview, God's hand in the process and timeline becomes very apparent to all of us.  When the children were asked in what type of home would they like live, the girl answered she hoped they would have a baby.  The interview went fabulously and the review team voted unanimously to match us with the children.

March 14 - The case workers told the children about us and showed them our scrapbook. The girl said, "I would be blessed to be part of this family."

March 16 - We met them in person for the first time. I can't remember ever being so nervous. It went great!

March 18 - We introduced them to the whole family at a park. We started counting to ten when counting noses.

March 24 - The children were able to spend the day here at the farm and see our house.

Moving forward, we'll have more visits during their Spring Break and on weekends. Shortly after they wrap up their school year at the end of May, they'll be joining our family forever!

It's only been a couple weeks, but we feel these children have been in our lives forever! I guess God knew that all along!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - March 26, 2012

We're enjoying a cozy jammie morning after a busy weekend. I love homeschooling!

We received our official delivery date this past week. Baby Stumpf will be born around 8am on May 10th. Bryan really won that round with the doctor who was looking at 1-3 weeks before that date. He has an important meeting on May 7th, so he convinced the doctor to delay it.

Would I be out of line to insist on supreme pampering at the end for having to carry this child a week or so longer? Actually, Bryan treats me like a queen much of the time, so I think I'll be fine (huge, but fine!)

This week we will be enjoying:

Monday - Apple Kielbasa Coins, Florentine Crepe Cups

Tuesday (Mock Math Tournament, Bryan night meeting, Horse Judging) - Waffles, Fruit Syrup, Sausage

Wednesday (AWANA) - Corn Dogs, Chips

Thursday (Boy Dr. Appointments, Karate) - Black Beans & Smoked Sausage over Rice

Friday (Homeschool Convention!) - Stumpf Chili, Cornbread

Saturday (Homeschool Convention!) - Hamburgers, Potato Wedges

Breakfast menu is here; lunch menu is here.

Find more menus at:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - March 12, 2012

Nothing is safe around here. I'm in super-nesting mode. Today the laundry room and mud room submitted to the the organizing tornado. I had the children clean under one of the couches while I read to them this evening (in my defense, there were more papers under there than a filing cabinet!). I even put ripped books back together with packing tape.

We've got a busy week and weekend coming up. Par for the course for this time of year! 

This week we will be enjoying:

Monday (Bryan Night Meeting) - Black Bean Quesadillas, Skillet Corn

Tuesday (Mom's Meeting, Horse Judging) - Hashbrown Casserole, Peach Cobbler

Wednesday (AWANA) - Chicken Nuggets, Popcorn

Thursday (Karate) - Tomato Soup, Grilled Cheese

Friday - Greek Ham Wraps, Micro-Roasted Potatoes

Saturday (Awana Grand Prix, Horse Judging Contest, 4-H Aerospace) - Grilled Pizza Sandwiches, Salad

Breakfast menu is here; lunch menu is here.

Find more menus at:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Recipe - Microwave Fruit Syrup

Tonight we enjoyed one of the children's favorite dinners - Brinner! Breakfast for dinner. A couple of my dinner chefs pick it every time it's their turn to cook.

For a special treat, we enjoy making fruit syrup for our pancakes and waffles. (Be sure to try the Homemade Pancake Mix. Double the oil amount for waffles.) This fruit syrup can also be used as jam if you refrigerate it.

Microwave Fruit Syrup
1.5 Cups fresh or frozen fruit (strawberry is our favorite)
1/4 Cup White Sugar

Mix fruit and sugar together in a microwave safe container (at least 6-cup capacity). Microwave on High for 6 minutes, stirring half-way through. Mash fruit to desired consistency (I love using the Pampered Chef Twist & Chop for this!). Enjoy it warm.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Are You Done?"

It's the question we've been fielding since the birth of our second child over 14 years ago. After all, we had a girl and a boy. "A girl for me, a boy for you. Thank goodness we're through!" And when we got married we certainly didn't plan on having enough children to field a baseball team!

But along the way, God showed us his truths. The first command God gave to man was to “Be fruitful and increase in number..." (Genesis 1:28) This command was never rescended.

Children are a blessing from Him. "Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him." (Psalm 127:3). If God handed me the reward of a bag of money, I wouldn't turn that down. Why should I turn away the reward of precious babies if He blesses me with them? Especially when people I love are crying out to God for children but their arms remain empty?

So when Bryan and I felt convicted to let God plan our family, it was "all oars in." Kind of like marriage: for better or worse. The conviction wasn't removed when finances were a concern, when we were tired, when overwhelmed, when people start looking at us like we're nuts, when we started being asked if we were trying to keep us with the Duggars. (For the record, we had six children before we'd ever heard of the Duggars. And, no, we don't know them. There is no "large family cult" despite the desire of some members of the press to portray it otherwise.)

And the conviction hasn't been removed even though I'm a "mature" mama looking at a 9th c-section in a couple months. Going into every delivery, I asked my doctor to evaluate the health of my insides and whether it looked like it could handle another pregnancy.

Babies #3 through #6 were all delivered by a wonderful Christian who was also a father of 7. Every time he gave me a thumbs-up. After he retired, I had to find a new OB. I have no doubt that my new doctor would have recommended a tubal during delivery #7, but,  as God would have it, I was at a Catholic hospital where it was against their policy to do so.

I found a new doctor for Baby #8 and now #9. I love this wonderful Christian practice so much that I drive an hour for my appointments. After he delivered #8, he was amazed at how good the insides looked. We'll have to see what #9 holds.

I'm not looking to put my health in danger, but I refuse to let fear alone be the reason to turn from what we feel God has called us to. If it doesn't look like I could safely carry another baby, we will take the appropriate steps. But if everything looks good, let it be a testimony to the fact that nothing is impossible with God!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - February 27, 2012

So I've been choosing sleep over blogging lately. Sorry about that. Hopefully once the baby's born, I'll be able to blog while nursing. There are posts in my head, just a lack of energy to get them out right now.

Meghan made our favorite tomato soup for dinner the other night (Heidi calls it orange soup). I posted the recipe a couple years ago, but it's worth repeating. It's a staple around here for lunch and dinner when paired with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Homemade Tomato Soup
4 T Butter
1/2 C Flour
12 C Milk
64 oz. Tomato Sauce
salt & pepper to taste (about 2t and 1/2t respectively)
Parmesan Cheese

In a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until combined. Whisk in milk until smooth and creamy. Heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Add tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Heat through. We like it sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese.

This week we will be enjoying:

Monday (Bryan Night Meeting) - Chinese Salad, Fried Rice

Tuesday (Math Practice, Horse Judging) - Turkey Ranch Wraps, Jello, Potato Wedges

Wednesday (AWANA) - Hot Dogs, Popcorn

Thursday (Karate) - Black Beans, Cheese, Chips

Friday - BBQ Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Saturday - Stroganoff Meatballs, Noodles, Peas

Breakfast menu is here; lunch menu is here.

Find more menus at:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Why I'm the best homeschool mom

Because this is what is sitting on my kitchen counter: 

It might not be easy to see all the creepy-crawly ants, but trust me, they're there! Anyone who knows me is well aware that I am terrified of anything with more than four legs.

This is part of Heidi's My Father's World Kindergarten program for her unit on "I - Insect." What I won't do for my children's education!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

And Let the Sewing Begin

Today the oldest 3 girls and I went on a shopping trip to the fabric store to buy the materials for their Resurrection Sunday outfits. Last year we went with a tie-die/Hawaiian theme (see banner photo). This year the girls chose....

African Animal! Because nothing says spring and the Resurrection of our Lord like neon zebra!

Here's the pattern that I'm using for the little girls.

It's much easier than the dresses I gave birth to last year! Only one small pattern piece! I making longer sleeves and including a sash. Click here for more info on the pattern. I had Heidi's cut out before dinner and am hoping to have made progress made before bed tonight.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - February 13, 2012

Just got back from an OB check-up. We actually talked about delivery dates! Looks like 11 or 12 weeks from now - crazy!

Making dinner together is something that all my children look forward to. It's the one evening job that is always tackled enthusiastically. I let the child playing dinner chef pick their meal from our grid of meals I've planned for.

Some of my chefs are getting very proficient. Even when they can get dinner done on their own, I still hang around the kitchen. I like to use the fellowship time to also tidy the counters or straighten a drawer while being near if needed.

This week my children will be cooking:

Monday - Bean Burritos, Homemade Tortillas, Salad

Tuesday (Math Practice, Horse Judging) - Puffy Pancake, Sausage

Wednesday (AWANA) - Mac 'N Cheese, Frozen Pizza

Thursday (4-H Rabbit, Karate, Mom's Meeting) - Hamburgers & Fries

Friday - Tacos, Skillet Corn

Saturday - Broccoli Cheese Soup, Bread Bowls

Breakfast menu is here; lunch menu is here.

Find more menus at:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

We came, we saw, we bought large quantities of food

This morning was one of the coldest so far this winter. About 14 degrees. What better time to do our grocery shopping for the next 9 weeks?

Actually, it turned out to be a time to great to go. The crowds were so light, we rocked through Aldi and Walmart in two hours. Home and unloaded in 3. And we're done until April!

For the first time in 16 years, we didn't need to buy diapers. Hunter has done amazing with potty training. It was like he was just waiting for me to give him the chance to be a big guy. Of course, diapers go back in the cart next shopping trip - newborn ones!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

So this is pretty cool...

A couple weeks ago I was approached to have one of my past posts included in a soon-to-be-released ebook, That Works for Me: Tried and True Tips from Works for Me Wednesday. It will be full of tips from the popular blog carnaval, Works for Me Wednesday. That Works for Me will be organized, categorized, and highly useful with hot links to 1,001 of the best tips.

I'll post more information when the book is released this spring. In addition, a portion of all proceeds will be used to bless Mercy House.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Three C's - A Belated New Year's Resolution

Actually this was a New School Year's Resolution. I just haven't gotten around to blogging about it. Anyway....

I do hereby resolve to aspire to uphold the Three "C's" of parenting:

1. Calm - Ohhh, this is a toughie for me. But I can't expect the kiddos to keep their cool if I'm losing mine.

2. Consistent - Say what I mean and mean what I say. Why is this harder with #8 than with any of the others?

3. Caring - My children need to know that no matter what, I care deeply about them. This is easier to convey if I can remember #1.

Since I made this pledge months ago, how am I doing in achieving these goals? Well, some days are better than others, and God is still continuing a good work in me. :-)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - January 30, 2012

Wow, January is about done! And yet we're enjoying Spring-like temps. To be able to send the children outside to play without umpteen layers of clothes is a beautiful thing.

We're less than two weeks away from our once-every-9-weeks-or-so grocery trip. My pantry is really showing it. So our some of our meals. While I love having supplies for 2 months of meals at my disposal, my tendency to substitute here and there results in some interesting dinnertime bedfellows.

Tonight, as Ted was cooking up dinner, it was "Well, here's a can of sliced pineapple. Don't know why I bought that. Let's have it as a side dish!"

Assuming I haven't used the ingredients for something else, this week we will be enjoying:

Monday - Homemade Pizza

Tuesday (Math Practice, Horse Judging) - Blueberry Pancakes, Eggs

Wednesday (AWANA) - Frozen Burritos, Corn Casserole

Thursday (Karate) - Franks & Beans, Ho Cakes

Friday - Dinner at Friends'

Saturday - Tamale Pie, fresh fruit
Breakfast menu is here; lunch menu is here.

Find more menus at:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

An ode to carrots

I was recently gifted with a large bag of baby carrots that had been frozen (thank you, Kristie!). As soon as I saw the bag, I knew exactly how those orange babies would end up.

I'm not a huge fan of cooked carrots, so that option's out. Since these were fresh carrots that were then frozen, they cannot be thawed and eaten "raw." They're soft and turn gray - yummy.

About once or twice a week I steam about 4 cups of the carrots until soft. Then I puree them until smooth, adding a bit of the  steaming water to make a smooth puree. This makes about 2 cups of puree.

Then when I cook throughout the week, I slip in a cup of carrot puree. It's easy to hide the carrots like spaghetti sauce, hamburgers, BBQ sauce, and even sweet potato casserole.

Why go to this trouble (besides waste not, want not)?

Carrots are loaded with beta carotene. Carrots are very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. They are also a good source of thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, folate and manganese, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium. 

Carrots are also good at fighting inflammation in the body because they contain antioxidents and fiber. The amount of B vitamins present in carrots are especially good at regulating the body's circulation that the heart and lungs have nutrients available to do their job efficiently. Additionally, carrots also help lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Raw is almost always the best option but, when looking at veggies, think outside the side dish, especially if you have picky eaters. What they don't know about can help them!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cooking Substitution Tips

I'm pretty good at keeping a well stocked fridge and pantry, but there are times when I run out of a staple or two.

Here are a couple that have saved my bacon more than once. They also have the added benefit of being lower in fat than the original ingredients. If you don't keep dry milk in the pantry, I encourage you to pick up a box at the grocery. Not only for the recipes below, but also for Homemade Pancake Mix and Chai Tea Mix (I couldn't find this recipe posted. I'll remedy that!) - essentials around here!

Sour Cream Substitute (for 1 Cup sour cream for use in a casserole or soup - not to top a baked potato!)
1 C Evaporated Milk
1 Tblspn White Vinegar
Mix together and let sit in the fridge for as long as you can (hours not days). It will appear thick and curdled.

Evaporated Milk (for 12 oz can)
1-1/3 C Milk
1 C Dry Milk
Mix together until smooth.

Sweetened Condensed Milk (for a 14oz. can)
1 C. Dry Milk
2/3 C Sugar

1/3 C Very Hot Water
3 Tbsp. Melted Butter
In blender, combine instant dry milk, sugar, hot water and melted butter. Blend until smooth. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Heidi!

Our little Adelaide Kathleen turned one whole hand this past Sunday. How is that possible?

As the youngest Stumpf girl, she regularly plays the part of half-imp, half-dictator. She's so charming that the other children don't really mind being bossed around (most of the time!).

Grandma Nan surprised Heidi and Brigitta by taking them to Disney on Ice on Saturday. Thanks to a tip from Jamers, I busted out their princess dresses and enough hair glitter to clog our septic system.

These two are only about a 1.5 years
apart and the best of friends.
After church on Sunday, we had lunch at "Little Red Robin Hood" a.k.a. Red Robin. It's a favorite birthday destination because the birthday girl gets an ice cream sundae and no one makes her share (but she usually does!). The we came home for presents and cake.

Heidi had picked a "Tangled" sheet cake from Walmart. (Gasp - a store bought cake!) Bryan was happy to take a break from his usual cake artistry. But Meghan really wanted to make some creative cupcakes. Heidi chose monsters!? The one without 3D eyeballs is for Ted and his braces. I think Meg got some of her Daddy's talent!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - January 23, 2012

What a great weekend of scrapbooking with friends and then celebrating my "baby girl's" 5th birthday! I'll post more on that, but before she went to be, she proclaimed it "the best birthday EVER!"

We've got a busy week going on, but that's the morn for this time of year. So long as the roads stay snow & ice free, I'm a happy girl. I'm posting the recipe for our Snickerdoodle Granola below since I was reminded yesterday that I've been remiss getting it to the favorite recipes page.

Bryan eats a cup of dry granola everyday on his way to work. We have it here for breakfast several times a week. My latest nighttime snack is to put some in a bowl, pour milk on, and microwave for a minute and a half. Yummy, warm, and comforting!

Snickerdoodle Granola

12 C Oats
2 C Sugar
1 C Oil
1 C Butter, Melted
2 tea. Cinnamon
2 tea. Vanilla
1 tea. Cream of Tartar
1 tea. Salt

Mix all together and spread into 2-3 pans. Bake at 350 for 18 minutes. Cool in pans while trying to keep little fingers from snitching it. Store in baggies or tubs. Can be frozen for longer storage.

This week we will be enjoying:
Monday - We actually had enough leftovers for a dinner buffet - unheard of!

Tuesday (Horse Judging) - Waffles with fruit syrup

Wednesday (AWANA, 4-H Council Mtg) - Corn Dogs, Chips

Thursday (Dentist Day, Karate, 4-H Rabbit Mtg) - Korean BBQ Beef, Ramen, Rice, Peas

Friday - Sausage Stroganoff Soup, Fresh Veggies

Saturday - Hamburgers, Fries

Breakfast menu is here; lunch menu is here.

Find more menus at:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Quick Scrapbook Layouts

I get to spend tomorrow afternoon and evening scrapbooking. Happy dance! I'm trying to get all caught up before bambino arrives in May and all crafting grinds to a halt for several months. I admit that, for me, the feeling of being on top of things is as enjoyable as the process of creating the pages.

I've managed to keep relatively current in my books by using 8 x 10 photo collages to reduce the number of layouts I need to make.

A similar concept was being touted in the latest Archiver's newsletter. Now they're promoting the use of their pocket pages (cool, but can get pricey). The same result can be achieved by using a piece of cardstock as your base. The bottom line is to fill your pages with more photos than bling since it's the memories that you're trying to get out of the shoeboxes (or off the SD card).

Below are some of the Archiver's examples. I do really like the clean lines of these pages. (There's that need for order and structure again!)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Seven Lies about Homeschoolers

This video has been showing up all over my Facebook page, but in case you missed it, it's quite the giggle. When he got to #1, I looked around at all the children watching and everyone (including me!) were in their jammies! And this was at lunchtime!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - January 16, 2012

We're doing a happy dance around here. Our beloved bus, SUE, has been at the repair shop since last week. Bryan was fearing the diagnosis of rebuilding an engine and thousands of dollars. It looks to be not as bad as all that (an answer to our prayers!). While not cheap, I think we can still buy groceries!

Now I get to choose which children I love the most to go to this week's activities since only three can fit in Bryan's car. Hopefully SUE will be back on the road before Heidi's big birthday celebration this weekend!
Here's a recipe for Taco Salad. We enjoy several versions of Taco Salad, but this is an especially good one to bring to pitch-ins.

Taco Salad
1 pound lean ground beef
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans
1 (16 ounce) bottle French dressing (start with 1/2 bottle, then add more as needed)
1 head iceberg lettuce
1 (14.5 ounce) package tortilla chips
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped tomatoes
4 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup prepared salsa
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and drain excess fat. Stir in the taco seasoning, chili beans and French-style dressing. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add water if it gets too dry.

Crush the bag of chips, open the bag, and toss the broken chips into a large bowl with the lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. When the meat mixture is done, combine it with the lettuce, tomatoes, chips and mix well. Then, add salsa and sour cream.
This week we will be enjoying:
Monday - Baked Sandwiches, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday (Horse Judging & Homeschool Mom's Mtg) - Cheese Enchiladas, Spanish Rice

Wednesday (AWANA) - Smoked Sausage Sandwiches, Baked Potatoes

Thursday (Karate) - Taco Salad

Friday - Stumpf Chili, Cornbread

Saturday - Korean Egg Rolls, Asian Noodle Salad

Breakfast menu is here; lunch menu is here.

Find more menus at:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mudroom Makeover - "After" Photos

FINALLY... Here are the photos of our completed mudroom makeover. We started this project before Thanksgiving, and it was mostly done within a couple days. I've been dragging my feet in making the doors for the lower cubbies simply because, well, I really don't have a good reason. When I buckled down and did it, it only took one evening.

We are very pleased with how it turned out. It's amazing how moving a couple things around has given us more room. And, overall, it stays more tidy. I think I will put initials back over the hooks because the younger set can't remember which hook is theirs. But if coats make it to any hook, I count it a victory!

Just a reminder, here's the very real "before" shot:
And here is the "after:"
We painted the walls in two shades of green.
We added another set of shoe cubbies.
The hooks are mounted to door trim that
we had in the basement leftover from the
construction of the house.
The mirror says "Stumpf - established by God 1993"

The upper cubbies store out of season items like
sunscreen and sand buckets

The lower cubbies hold socks, hats & mittens.
The numbers are for the children to remember
which cubbie has their socks.
We added a curtain to the shelf to hide
sports equipment and things that need
to go to the barn. Bryan made the rod from
a piece of metal pipe and brackets.

I made a fabric cover for this clear plastic tub. It holds
our big flashlight for finding predators at night, as well
as extra bags and Bibles for AWANA.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Clutter Buster - Dresser Top

I can't stand clutter. Clean surfaces make my heart sing! Unfortunately life gets in the way of my quest for junk-free areas. And a little stuff breeds more stuff.

I'm determined to de-clutter the different areas of my home that tend to be the catch-all for whatever we don't want to put away. First on the attack list: the top of the dresser in my bedroom.

This is keeping it real, folks - Here is the untouched "before" shot.

Let's see what we have here:

  • unclaimed 4-H ribbons
  • Hunter's nebulizer (which the bucket contained three butter knives purchased in September to spread peanut butter during a road trip, two batteries, and three acorns)
  • a rock
  • hospital bracelets from Hunter's birth (he's 3!!)
  • a lonely puzzle piece
  • everything Bryan carries in his pockets daily
  • fabric from a skirt I completed weeks ago
  • misc. papers, books, and junk, junk, junk!! 
I keep this out for my children's amusement.
This is Bryan and I twenty-one years ago.
Recognize the frame, Megan?

And here's what it looks like at this very moment. Is that angels singing that I hear? The plate is for Bryan's keys and phone at the end of the day. That little basket for those mystery screws and buttons that need a home.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

'Tis the Season to Organize!!

I love that this time of year, the retailers capitalize on everyone's good intentions to get organized by highlighting organizations products. Just bought some myself last night to hold some new Christmas toys, and it makes me pretty happy. (Emelie just shakes her head when I extol the joy of plastic totes!)

But I'm not alone in my passion for corralling the clutter...Cruise on over to OrgJunkie to check out her post on how to organize without breaking the bank. I especially love the suggestions of repurposing tea and tissue boxes. Now that's a green slice of happy!

Organizing Junkie

Monday, January 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - January 9, 2012

The Christmas decorations are coming down. We've got a full week of school to do. The holidays are behind us. Sigh. We usually don't take much, if any, Spring Break (so we can finish by early May), so we feel like the marathon of four solid months of school is ahead of us.

We have been enjoying the beautiful weather of the last few days. Temps in the 50s in January! Do I still live in Indiana?

Below is one of our favorite easy dinners. If the tortillas are already made, even young ones can put this together. It's also a great way to get non-bean-eaters to try the "wonderful fruit!"

Black Bean Quesadillas
•2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
•1-2/3 cups salsa, divided
•10 flour tortillas (8 inches)
•2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
•2/3 cup sour cream

In a large bowl, mash beans; add 1 cup salsa. Place five tortillas on ungreased baking sheets; spread with bean mixture. Sprinkle with cheese; top with the remaining tortillas.

Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes or until crisp and heated through. Cut each quesadilla into six wedges. Serve with sour cream and remaining salsa. Yield: 30 wedges.

This week we will be enjoying:
Monday - Bryan picked up pizza from Sam's Club :-)

Tuesday - Black Bean Quesadillas, Skillet Corn

Wednesday (AWANA) - Chicken Nuggets, Popcorn

Thursday (Karate) - Tomato Soup, Grilled Cheese

Friday - Greek Ham Wraps, Micro-Roasted Potatoes

Saturday - Grilled Pizza Sandwiches
 Breakfast menu is here; lunch menu is here.

Find more menus at:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kitchen Paint Job

We spent Friday evening and Saturday painting the rest of our kitchen. Our favorite paint is the Valspar Signature paint available at Lowes, and I love the Eddie Bauer Colors. Our kitchen is now a combination of Cabin Red and Brook.

The "before" shots:

The "after" look:

We're almost done with the wall we painted in the dining room, so more photos to come!