Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Knight In Shining Armor

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:10-18

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Whine and Brine

I've done a quick batch of garlic-dill pickle spears. As far as canning goes, it was an easy job, in about an hour they were in bein processed. We'll find out what they taste like in six weeks or so.

I need to put some pictures up here it's not like me to go this long without photos! Today there was a whine fest over here, we all were a bit tired and crabby. I'm grateful tomorrow is a new day, a clean slate to be the Mom I want to be.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. Jeremiah 17:5

A wonderful, busy Sunday is winding down and I am counting my blessings. I had the opportunity to be a blessing to others today. I am endlessly tired this week. I'm contemplating things (intentional vagueness) and I'm focused all too much on me and not enough on GOD! I am SO very grateful for my husband, that he understands me and cares for me and is so willing to help me. Enough about me! :-) I'm smiling today on the outside and in.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Friday, September 11, 2009

Brown Sugar and pickles

No, even I did crave anything quite that weird when I was pregnant. I'm not now either but it was a title that connected the two random things I'm writing about tonight.

I am considering making a batch of garlic dill pickle spears tomorrow or Sunday afternoon depending on my cucumber yield and a friends. I've never done pickles before but there's always a first time... I will be keeping you posted as to how it goes.

Something I've been doing over the last year or so is making my own brown sugar. It's so easy and it has saved me a trip to the store many times. It's molasses and white sugar, that's all it is. 1 Tablespoon molasses to one cup sugar (use more molasses if you like yours darker) mix together in a bowl using the back of a spoon or fork to get out all the lumps. Easy and done before you could get your car out of the driveway.

I think we are doing fairly well with the grocery challenge. The only thing non canning related I've purchased since the grocery trip on the first have been rubber gloves (for me an essential for dishes) and laundry detergent an bananas. I know I have made laundry soap before many times but I am only one person and I'm at about my max level now! I've decided not to count the $34 of canning jars, lids, pectin and peaches in my total for the month. This doesn't seem logical since we did spend the money this month but we will be eating the batches of jam and jars of peaches all year so for the purposes of this month I've opted to not count them in my total spending. The savings of canning tomatoes and jams will save us twice as much as I spent (easily) throughout the year so I'm ok with this investment.

We did go out to eat once more bringing our total to $50 for two meals out! Yikes I'm not feeling really good about that. Today though I would call a big success. We went to an event called Art in the Park. It is the big fundraiser for our local art museum, lots of artisans and food vendors. We left there at 5:30pm - very temping to go out. Instead we drove home and ate leftovers and it was all well and good!

I'm going to have to give an exact amount on my spending when I can get downstairs for my receipt. Currently, I'm tired and leaning toward the bed - night!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The alarm is set and I'm in bed!

What alarm you ask? Oh THE most frugal one one the planet, it's not going to call the emergency crews, nor will it wake the neighbors with it's shrieking sounds, but it will not let an intruder out at least not without them getting into a heap of a mess.

Pretty much anyone who would dare to enter my house tonight would find a few 'Home Alone' type encounters.

For example my kids have pretty much trashed the place over the last two days while I've been canning peaches and batch after batch of jam. So if the intruder didn't first trip over a shopping cart or a couple baby dolls they would most likely slip on a tiny car. After the ride into the kitchen they would be stuck to the sticky peachy goo the the dog didn't even lick up and be trapped like spiderman's webbing. Forget about the laundry snairs. Giving us ample time - and warning of his presence.

I'm giddy and tired and my feet are like jello. Pasta and pesto and peaches for dinner, hopefully pesto counts as a veggie lol!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

How Deep The Father's Love For Us

How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He would give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross
My guilt upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no powr's, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Words and Music by Stuart Townend

Click here to hear

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Oh The Blessings!

Alternately titled, Random happenings in our crazy house (mostly in the kitchen)in the last 24 hours!

Last night I made a new recipe I found for chocolate chip cookies, mmm. I needed chocolate chip cookies to get through today!

This morning is when things got busy, it was my first canning day of the season, usually I've canned something by now, not this year though. I have frozen a bunch of stuff, corn, pesto, and two batches or roasted tomato and garlic pasta sauce. So, some of the garden is put up. The list that follows, is not complete, merely things I jotted down throughout the day once I realized I was in a marathon!

Woken by my daughter's soft cry for 'milk please' (it's her cup o'joe) at 6:45am. Opened my eyes to my five year old's return gaze at 7:05am. Actually got out of bed at 7:50 after pestering everyone to be quiet so I could get just ten more blessed minutes of sleep.

Granola (from Mary's book) with yogurt for breakfast, prepared Adam's lunch, got him out the door and made a batch of grape jelly all processed and done by 9:30am.

Everyone dressed for a long walk/bike ride to the park followed by a long swing and park play. Home by 11:20.

My son spread almond butter and jam on tortillas for us for lunch while I started getting stuff ready to make my next batch of raspberry/peach jam. Meanwhile after lunch, the kids played campout in the baby crib and with train tracks and served me crazy smoothies they made in their kitchen. All processed and done my 1:35pm

Ahhhhh, quiet time. My baby nurses to sleep for her second real nap all week, praise God! My son has some Grandma story time (Babar) while I process a batch of tomatoes. Baby awakes at 3:15pm

Prepared and processed a batch of peach jam while the kids watched Prima Princessa presents the Nutcracker! And finally poured out the canning water at 4:50pm.

After the movie the kids chalk painted on the back patio for nearly an hour. My daughter figured out that the chalk gets really pretty when you dip it in the dog's water dish so they had a blast and were entertained while I cleaned the kitchen and prepared dinner.

Threw a peach crisp together with the leftover peeled peaches and prepared dinner. A quick chicken salad with leftover chicken tenders, chopped with an apple, celery, grated carrot, some mayo and salt and pepper. Sliced a mango and carrot sticks and pulled out the leftover Asian Noodle Salad (yup Mary's book again!)from dinner last night and viola dinner was on the table by 6pm.

All dinnered and full of crisp we sang and danced while Adam played the piano a bit and then we opened a box my son has been waiting since his birthday for. Caterpillars! He sat and observed them for quite some time, concerned that they weren't moving, then the big one moved it's head! Yippeeeee! Now we could go upstairs, get washed and ready for bed. There's a Wocket in my Pocket. Prayers. Bed. 8pm. Done!

Heading down to spend some QT with my man and then a shower and my pillow sounds great! The chalk foot/paw print, peach stickiness covered kitchen floor can wait until tomorrow!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Vaseline, Silly Putty, and Lipgloss, oh my!

Thanks to my busy, dirt and mess magnet, typical two year old I thought I'd share some things I've learned recently in the stain removal department..

A couple of months ago she reached the jar of Vaseline off the bathroom counter and it was wiped all over the front of my favorite dress of hers. Here's what worked to get it out:

First I scraped off as much as I could with a metal spatula. Then I scrubbed it with dawn dish soap and soaked for a long time (a couple days) scrubbing every so often. After air drying, I dabbed it with rubbing alcohol. Let dry again, rinse and repeat dawn/alcohol cycle again. An again and again for a couple weeks until it came out!

Next it was silly putty on a leg of pj's that my MIL noticed when she was folding the already washed and dried laundry (yup, I'm spoiled, she folds my laundry!!!). To remove the silly putty I first tried freezing it like gum but it was very stubborn. Then we read online to use hand sanitizer. My friends, it literally took all the gooey stuff right off! Then dawn again to get out the rest of the stain perfectly!

Next she found a glossy lipstick and painted it all over the front of a dress grandma made her! So to get out my glossy lipstick first I dusted it with cornstarch and rubbed it in a bit to absorb any excess so the stain wouldn't spread or bleed. Then I scraped it off a bit a put it through the wash cycle. Then I scrubbed the remaining stain with my current favorite grease stain remover. Yup, dawn dish soap is pretty high on my list at the moment!

A bonus tip that my Mom shared with me is that one package of lemonade kool-aid will take the hard water stains off my dishwasher. It did! And I'm not planning on ever drinking it again because I don't think my plumbing needs such a thorough cleaning thatnkyouverymuch!

So just in case anyone else out there has a child who seeks out the hardest to remove stains, it's out here!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Well, I've failed and succeeded already. Yesterday we all went shopping as a family and it went mostly well. $160 for a lot of staples and fruits - two bags of peaches to make jam with and $20 worth of rice milk all included in that. I'm figuring the rice milk will last most of the month but I'm not really happy about how expensive it is.

I've always known the price and always look to see which carton has the best price per ounce. It's funny but the store I buy it from (Winco) changes the prices a bit every month or so and every other time the smaller cartons are cheaper and then the larger ones are, it's so silly.

Another thing about Mary's book that is really opening my eyes has been starting a price book. There was something about coming back home and writing that price down, really taking ownership of my purchase so to speak, that drove home just how much money I save on months when I make my own. I think I know most of the best deals on what we use but for some reason just the sheer price of rice milk is hitting me hard today. I mean paying $5.14 for 62oz is really expensive.

I have made it from scratch before and I think my cost is about $1 for the same amount. It tastes a bit different but the savings, oh, the savings. I thought about making it this month for a fleeting moment before stocking my cart. Then I remembered the canning of tomatoes, peaches, jam and decided it was an ok indulgence.

I also totally jinxed us because someone came to look at our house last night right at dinner time. After a quick tidy and putting away groceries we went to a pizza place down the road that has "toss up Tuesdays." I gave up really trying to go frugal at this point, got both the kids their own pizza's because they let them put the sauce and cheese on it at the table and then watch it go into the brick oven. Adam and I each got our own and in the back of my mind I hoped we'd win the coin toss to offset it. And we did! So we got one pizza for free! Plus the kids and I ate the leftovers for lunch today. $30 (((ouch))) on dinner out, a pretty pricey day.

Tonight's dinner was a summer pasta with garlic, basil, tomatoes, olive oil and a tad of balsamic vinegar. Sliced cucumbers, salami and tomatoes with cheese as sides. Since the garlic, tomatoes, basil, and cucumbers were all from the garden there was a very small price tag on today's meals! Phew, hopefully I can pull a month more days like this together!