Friday, February 26, 2010

Online Yard Sale!

I have another site that I call my Online Yard Sale.
I have listed quite a few new items.
Go check it out!
And if you don't see something, check back again, I am adding new items ALL the time! :)
My Clothesline and Etc.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thankful

When plans change and health fails... it is so good to know that nothing takes God by surprise. Sickness came on Sunday night, it began with Eli and has slowly worked its way through us all... almost.
The wood heater did not work out.
There has been many moments of quiet and rest and reflection.
I am thankful that God knows better than I.
I am glad to know that His plans are far greater than my own.
Still not feeling our best, but thankfully feeling much better than we did...
Blessings to you my friends and I hope to be back with you again soon.
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wood Stove

 
Not a great picture, but we found a wood stove!!!
Had one fire built in it.
Coming to our home for many fires to be built in. :)
Now to get it home and installed! 
Hooray for wood stoves!!
Yippee for wood cutting days with the family.
Hurrah for lower power bills! :)
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Friday, February 19, 2010

Surprise Luffas-from the archives


With such lovely weather yesterday, gardening has been on my mind. 
I found this post as I was going through some of my older ones... Is there anything much cuter than a little farm girl in her thrift store dress and muck boots? Be still my heart.  This is Carlie Jean helping Moma gather luffas.
Yesterday, we were hanging some clothes out on the line (yes, it has been that nice!) and I noticed one of my, what I thought, ruined luffas.  They got so big and lovely but then it got cold before they hardened on the vine.  I was utterly disappointed because I got them from a dear lady in Australia. So I went to pick it up and throw it into the compost pile... when what do my wandering eyes spy?
The outer layer is partly peeled to show that, YES! I believe I can save these!!!!
I start pulling off that outer layer, I find all kinds of seeds and a beautiful, although somewhat dirty sponge.
I immediately went traipsing through the garden picking up all that I could find and ended up with 2 buckets full of sponges soaking and plenty of seeds!!
Here is one of the freshly peeled luffas... Nice eh?
WOOHOO!
Score!
Today if the rain holds off I will lay the soaked sponges in the sun to dry out and then they will be ready for use!
I guess now it is time for me to try my hand at soap-making. :) You can't grow a nice sponge like this and not make some handmade soap to go with it.
Have a great day my friends and I hope you have some wonderful surprises as well!
My Cup Runneth Over...

Chas

Thursday, February 18, 2010

We made butter-from the archives

A post from my old blog...
One day last week I remembered that I had bought some heavy cream over the holidays for Moma's Favorite Cookie, which I am GOING to post the recipe for! REALLY! :)  Well, I thought with this much cream, it would be a good time to show the children how to make butter... well the easy way to make butter.
We pulled out the ole food processor.
Poured in all that cream and turned it on...
There were a few different stages that I told them we would see...
First of all we saw it just as a liquid, as it is as cream.
We would start seeing the cream slowly becoming thicker, until we had it at the whipped cream stage.
They all tried it at this point and sneered... sadly they thought it would taste like cool whip.  Pitiful, huh? I told them at the enormous amounts of 'stuff' added to cool whip and this was so much better, and that we could add a little sweetner if we wanted whipped cream, but we want butter!
Keep it moving, keep it moving...
FINALLY!
BUTTER! :) HURRAH!
Please forgive the skunk stripes down my child's hair... our New Years Party got a bit crazy! :) haha
Mmm... this butter is good, Mom!
We even took the buttermilk and put it in a jar to use later and washed the curds with ice water to help get all the milk off so the butter would last longer.
Now a solid. How crazy are we? Doing school when we are supposed to be on holiday? haha... so is the life of a homeschooler.
I hope you have a great day friends.
My Cup Runneth Over...

Chas

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Snowy Days

Monday, I took a walk down to the mailbox... forgetting it was President's Day.. duh. But I enjoyed my walk albeit c.o.l.d.
I took my handy dandy camera along and got some nice shots of our snow.
 

  

  
I can honestly say, I have never seen it like this in our neck of the woods. Snow, and more snow. Although we have not gotten 'a lot' at one time, we have been getting it quite regular. I wonder what this weekend will bring? :) 
I know the Good Lord gives us what we need. So instead of whining about what we don't have, I am trying to remember to thank Him and be happy with what we have.
Have a beautiful day...
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas 

*** P.S. Week 3 menu is down at the bottom of the page, they are so boring I hated to post them each week. :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A place for everything...

Cameo is now old enough that she has a variety of earrings and doesn't really have a place to keep them. I came up with a neat way to display and hang them when she isn't wearing them.
 

  

 
If she gets a new pair, there is more than enough room to move some over and make room for the new set.
It looks pretty and it is handy.
Love that...

My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Monday, February 15, 2010

Crocheted "Paper" Chain

Over the weekend Mel posted the cutest picture of a crocheted 'paper' chain. I thought it was so sweet, I laid down my knitting needles and picked up my crochet hook and went to work.
I had to stop after a while to get some things ready for the Valentine's Banquet (that was canceled :( ).
 
Not where I am going to keep it, but it looks pretty cute there. :)
I have quite a bit more to make, I wanted to have some made up for birthday season coming up. I have almost one birthday a month starting in May. :) 
What a cute alternative to streamers, huh? :)
Now once quiet time gets here I will pick my knitting needles back up and begin my dishcloth making once again... unless the urge to quilt gets any stronger. I have had a severe hankering to make up a smallish quilt to work up with Cameo. :)
hmmmm
Choices, choices. The beauty of homeschooling and days snowed in. :)
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Knitting Projects

I follow Mel over on Twitter and the other day she suggested a knit-a-long.
Making dishcloths... right up my alley. :)
Perfect timing for me to practice the RIGHT way to knit right? :)

I am really loving it now that I have a bit of rhythm going about it. :)
I even tried a pattern from The Purl Bee! Talk about gutsy. haha
Now I am off to try out a waffle-knit pattern.
I will let you know how it goes, but so far... so good.
Have a great weekend.
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Thursday, February 11, 2010

'Stained Glass' Hearts

I try my best to include arts and crafts in our homeschool activities.  My children LOVE to make things. 
All you need is some old crayons, a crayon sharpener, wax paper, scissors, a dish towel and a warm iron.
Shave the crayons with a knife or gather the shavings from a crayon sharpener. Lay the shavings in between two sheets of wax paper. 
Place a dish towel over the creation and iron gently with a warm iron.
The crayon shavings will melt and make a lovely swirl of colors.
Cut hearts out of the multi-colored wax paper and tape to windows and let the light shine through...Have a great day!
My Cup Runneth Over...

Chas

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Week 2 Menu and Spending

Here is how we have fared for this week....  so far. :)

Menu for 2/7-2/13

Sunday
(We were at the hospital with Shannon's Grandmother from early till lunchtime so both of those meals were not eaten at home)
Supper-Leftover chicken and lasagna

Monday-
Breakfast- Eggs and Applesauce
Lunch- Chicken Stew
Supper- Chuckwagon Casserole made with venison

Tuesday-
Breakfast- Sourdough Pancakes
Lunch- Salad
Supper- Cowboy Sandwiches and fried potatoes

Wednesday-
Breakfast- Sourdough Biscuits
Lunch- Cowboy Sandwich leftovers
Supper- Bar-b-que, potato salad, baked beans

Thursday-
Breakfast- Cinnamon Rolls
Lunch- Tuna Salad
Supper- Valentine Banquet!

Friday-
Breakfast- Smoothies
Lunch- Leftovers
Supper- Chicken Parmesan, Salad, Fresh Bread

Saturday-
Breakfast- Granola and yogurt
Lunch- Ladies Luncheon
Supper- Oatmeal and Biscuits

Snacks for this week- Apples, Tangerines, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Drinks- Water, Milk, Fruit Tea

Spendings for this week:
Bi-Lo
Corn-2 for $1.50
Chili Beans-2 @ .89 = $1.18
Whole Milk- $3.09
Cream Cheese- $1.79
Bagels-2 for $3.00
London Broil-2 for $9.77
Broccoli-$1.79
Cucumber-.79
Bananas-$1.01
Diced Tomatoes-2 for $1.50
Total =$25.42

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sourdough Pancakes

A little while back, I began a Sourdough Starter. I am determined to learn how to make my own Sourdough bread... a feat that I have yet to tackle.  But some new friends of ours posted on their blog about some Sourdough Pancakes! Divine intervention! :)
I can do pancakes!
Cameo can do pancakes! :)

They directed me to a great blog called Chiot's Run.
We tried out the recipe and it was absolutely the BEST pancakes we have ever tried!
 So good, we are having them again this morning! :)

My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Monday, February 8, 2010

Whew...


Never in my life have I seen a winter like this around here. Snow, more snow than I have seen... well, since the blizzard of '93 I suppose.
Today, snow. Flakes SO big that I could hardly believe it.
It is cold. My hands feel like ice all the time.
I am doing my best to enjoy the time we have right now...
Although I admit that these little cabbage seedlings sprouting beside me in the windowsill have me aching for a bit dryer, warmer weather. Weather that I can dig in the soil and plant. :)
In the meantime, the Lord has given us this, and I plan on using it wisely.
I have been working on my knitting, I am coming along... albeit a bit slow. :) hee hee
I am going to work up some 9 patch quilt blocks for the girls and I, and maybe Eli today. Going to give them something to practice their stitching with.
I made up a very happy apron today for a friend... it is going out in the mail this afternoon if the weather doesn't get to hairy Rachel. :)
School is basically complete...
I need to work up some bread and get my menu posted on here.
So, my reminder to myself and to you my readers is...
     Enjoy today.
Tomorrow will be here soon enough. :)
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Skills

(This was a picture from a good while back... I have since learned that I was holding my needles wrong) :)
On the path to more self sufficient living I have a desire to learn more skills, to be able to make and do more things myself, of course. :)
One thing that I have wanted to do for a long time is knit.  I have picked it up before, but it was awkward and cumbersome... I felt very backwards.  Being one that crochets rather rapidly (in my own opinion... haha) I knew this would take some getting used to.  I picked up my first knitting needles years ago only to lay them back down. 

 I have been practicing on and off and then last week I was shown that I was indeed not knitting correctly... (not a surprise) :) 
Now I am again learning the correct method and am actually working on a pattern that includes knitting and purling! Tell me how impressed you are... ha ha. :)
It is incredibly slow go, but with each row I feel more confident and more capable and very excited to know that I am learning and who knows what I will be able to do before long. I have a Christmas present in mind already once I get the hang of it a bit better. :)
So are you on the path also?
 Do you long for a more self-sufficient lifestyle?
 If so what are you doing to make that path a reality?
Are you learning all you can about raising chickens?
Are you baking your own breads?
Have  you kicked out your urge to buy convenience foods?
Do you have plans for a garden this year?
Do you have land you plan on farming?
Share with me your plans, your steps, no matter how small or big...
Steps or steps... remember a baby doesn't start with giant leaps, it starts with the smallest of steps. :)
Have a wonderful day and learn something new! :)
My Cup Runneth Over...

Chas

Friday, February 5, 2010

Working... and some questions answered.

When I go to the grocery, I browse as I always do, trying to find the best deal and the most nutritious food I can...
When I'm there I try to make sure I get what we need and check for some exceptional deals (this is when I am not keeping at $40 a week) :)
After browsing down each and every aisle I begin asking myself...
$3.49!!! I can make crackers...
$2.99!Whew, I am glad I make my own bread?
$4.49, good grief, look at those additives, I can make the kids some whole wheat snickerdoodles...
and the list went on!!
I would  like to eventually raise a couple of pigs for slaughter and I hope to get our dairy goats as soon as our pasture is ready, and in a couple of years the fruit trees are going to be ready to produce.  I can see the Chas of about 10 years ago looking at the Chas of nowadays and saying "Good grief Woman, you have lost your mind!!"
I get that from sometimes anyways... ha ha... some ask me why I would want to put that much trouble on myself. 
This is how I look at it....
What do you do for a living?  Many of you might work outside the home.  When you go to that job, do you laze around and just eek by?  Do you draw your check by the fruits of your labor?  Do you try your best to work as unto the Lord?  Do you try to do your best and produce the best and get the most out of your hours at work?
What is my job??  I am a Wife, I am a Mother, I am a Homemaker, I am a Teacher, I am a Money Manager, I am a Nutritionist, I am a Chef, I am a Bookkeeper, I am a Farmer, I am a Energy Conservationist, I am a Baker, I am a Accountant, I am a Seeker of Truth, and the list goes on!!
So, am I just putting too much on myself?  I don't think so, I want to look back on my life and realize that I did all that I could do for my family.  I gave them love, nurturing, healthful habits, tools for learning, and a love for the Lord!  I want to make sure that they know that I took my job as a Mother and Wife very seriously and tried my best to be the best I could.  I want to instill in them the knowledge of time past traditions, such as making your own bread, farming, canning and so on. 
I will press on and I will do my best at my job.

As for some of the questions I have had lately...
Picky husband question.
-Thankfully I have a husband who is pleased as punch with most everything. :) We have never been name brand shoppers, even when we didn't shop frugally.
I would suggest going generic on somethings first... like say cheese, really if you are buying cheese for a meal, you can't tell the difference between Generic and Kraft.
Then maybe some of your canned veggies.
Also, Aldi... if you have an Aldi they guarantee that you will like their product or it is double your money back (I think) :)

Linz, I ended up opening up a jar of our homemade applesauce and serving it with the eggs. It was yummy. We don't have other things a lot of times, just eggs. But it is mainly because I don't have anything else to go with them. :) So we just accept it. haha

Samantha, our turnip greens are canned ones from Shannon's Grandparents garden. I will put some type of fat in there to cook them. Honestly turnip greens are pretty new to me. :)

Ruthie, I was really surprised at the difference in much of their prices. Some by just a few cents but then the sour cream was a good bit. :) I don't go to many different Wal-Marts but if I do, I will be checking. :)

Renee, I do make my own buttermilk if I am out. But my oh my this buttermilk is SOOOO amazing. I usually end up only having to buy a gallon a month.

Wendy, I go to Crocker's here on Sand Mtn.

My friends from HSB... SO glad you have stopped by!!!! Come back soon. (((HUGS)))

My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tomato Soup

This recipe for tomato soup is so wonderful... It calls for cans of this and that, but I just use the tomatoes canned from last summer and stock that I made earlier in the week. And to keep away from the HFCS there are some wonderful Organic Ketchup brands out there.

We make this soup often for lunch. It is that easy and that good. You could add some small pasta to make it more like a spaghetti-o type treat (only SOOOO much better for you) :)

Tomato Soup

1 29 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 10 1/2 oz can of condensed chicken stock
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp onion chopped fine
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups of heavy cream (I used half & half.  Not as rich but much cheaper!)
I also added a little ketchup to make it a bit more tomato-ey!!

Simmer all ingredients except cream together in a stock pot for 1 hour.
Add cream and take a hand blender or whatever type of blender you have to puree your soup. 

Serve Hot with some homemade bread!!!

Enjoy!    

My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Grocery Purchases for Week 1

From the Farmer's Market:
2 gallons of Whole Non-Homogenized Milk- $5.99 each
1 gallon Buttermilk- $5.99
3 dozen Farm Fresh Eggs- $1.75 a dozen
3 Tomatoes- $1.00
3 Tangerines- $1.00
3 Apples- $1.00

Total= $26.22 plus tax

From Wal-Mart:
1 Green Leaf Lettuce- $1.78
2 (24 oz) Sour Cream- $1.27 each (went to a different Wal-Mart than I usually go to and it was 30 cents CHEAPER!)
Strawberries- $2.50
Bagels- 2 for $3.00

Total= $9.82 plus tax

From Bi-Lo:
2 Lasagna Noodles- 2 for $3.00


Total= $3.00

Total from all three stores= $39.04

All the meals on my menu are made by me except the pop tarts that the children had on Monday.
Hopefully this is making sense to you guys as much as it is to me. If I need to explain more, let me know.

Remember also, I am using what I have in my pantry, fridge and freezer too.

I plan on posting some recipes soon.
Have a great day!

My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Week 1 of $40 Week Challenge

Here is a copy of my weekly menu for this week 1/31-2/6
It results from my $40 a week challenge.


Sunday- Breakfast- Bagels w/ Cream Cheese, Coffee, Milk
              Lunch- Leftovers, Lemonade
              Supper- Chinese Noodles, Water

Monday- Breakfast- Organic Pop Tarts, Milk
               Lunch- (Kids went to Grandmaw's, I had salad)
               Supper- Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Veggies with Dip, Fruit, Water

Tuesday- Breakfast- Eggs, Juice
               Lunch- Tomato Soup, Water
               Supper- Chicken Casserole, Mashed Potatoes, Green Peas, Fruit Tea

Wednesday- Breakfast- Soaked Oatmeal (NT), Milk
                    Lunch- Grilled Cheese, Veggies with Dip, Water
                    Supper- Homemade Vegetable Pizza, Fruit Tea

Thursday-  Breakfast- Sourdough Pancakes, Homemade Syrup, Milk
                  Lunch- Veggie Burritos, Water
                  Supper- Potato Soup, Cornbread, Tea

Friday- Breakfast- Biscuits and Gravy, Juice
             Lunch- Leftover Potato Soup, Salad, Water
             Supper- Pinto Beans, Fried Potatoes, Turnip Greens, Tea

Saturday- Breakfast- Farina, Milk
                Lunch- Leftovers of the week, Water
               Supper- Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Bread, Fruit Tea

Snacks for the week- Apples, Grapes, Bananas, Oranges, Amish Cookies

Now, realize... I am trying to s.t.r.e.t.c.h. our budget... this might not be the BEST menu plan for some, but this is what I can come up with while keeping us at $40 and using what is in our pantry and freezer.

Have a great day.

My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Grocery Challenge

For a while now I have been trying to cut our grocery costs and still feed my family well.
I went through January on this challenge and did pretty well, a couple of times going over but cutting somewhere else to make it.
This February I am going to document (hopefully ;) ) my attempt at keeping our grocery budget at $40 a week.
 
Now know this... I have some meat in my freezer and some items in my pantry. 
My plan will be to use the $40 to buy fresh fruit, veggies and dairy. 
I will be making all of the bread items we will need, bread, buns, cinnamon rolls... whatever. (I have some wheat still in my bucket)
I will post my weekly grocery list and our menu (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks).
I will also post what I bought and how much it was.
If all works as planned, by the end of February, I will have cleared out some of my freezer and pantry and only spent $160 dollars on groceries. 
Stay tuned... 

My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas