Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pray for the family

Please pray for the Klicka family. Chris has been suffering with MS for quite some time now and it looks like he has taken a turn for the worse quicker than the family anticipated.
This is from Doug Phillips Blog:

The hearts of America’s home school leaders were turned to our beloved friend and homeschool hero, Chris Klicka, who has suffered from MS for more than fifteen years, and was admitted into a Colorado hospital during the event. Chris has suffered greatly for years now, but this weekend his condition became life-threatening when his temperature dropped to eighty-five degrees. Though he has recently showed some positive signs, he remains in very serious condition. Both he and his dear wife Tracy have supreme confidence in the sovereign God, and are prepared for His will to be done, be that life or eternity.

It was my pleasure to serve with Chris on the legal staff of HSLDA for six years, during which time we had many adventures serving the Lord and fighting to defend home schooling families. Chris’ love for and principled commitment to Christian home education is legendary, and his tenacious efforts in defense of family freedom equally so. HSLDA president J. Michael Smith gave me the great honor to join a handful of other leaders in addressing the state leaders to share my love and appreciation of Chris in the context of a few very choice memories we have shared together. The evening also included a stirring hymn to God presented by Tracy. It was remarkable to see her courage and strength.

In 2007, I presented Chris with the John Smith Quadricentennial Award at the Jamestown Quadricentennial. He received a five-minute standing ovation from the more than 4,000 home educators present for the event.

Please remember to lift up Chris, Tracy, and the Klicka children in prayer at this time.

And this is from Christian Heritage:
Please pray for Chris Klicka and his family.
Chris Klicka, Senior Counsel and Director of State and International Relations for HSLDA, has been one God’s most powerful warriors on behalf of the Christian family and homeschooling in in our nation for many years.

As many of you know, he has been fighting multiple sclerosis since 1994. Last week he became very ill at the HSLDA National Leaders Conference in Colorado. He was taken to the emergency room with high temperature, low blood pressure and a lack of responsiveness.

Today his wife, Tracy, writes:
“Chris is close to going home we believe. He is fairly unconscious, non-responsive and has had no nutrition since Thursday except hydration and electrolyte and glucose supplementation.
He is not stable or responsive enough to move from the ICU unit here at St. Francis Medical Center in Colorado Springs. With almost complete certainty, he will not be coming home to Virginia.
Because of this, we flew Bethany, Megan, and John out here to be with their daddy. Chris parents just flew in early this morning. In addition, our family life pastor is flying in today at noon.
We don’t know how much time we have left with Chris, but we believe it is not long. As a family, we all knew that Daddy was getting worse; we just didn’t expect him to be getting ready to go home to be with his Abba Father quite this soon. We are all at peace with whatever God has planned, knowing that because He is there, it is all good.
Thank you for your prayers as we prepare and spend our last days and hours with Chris. May they be filled with many precious moments and
sweet fellowship with him!”

His CareBridge Address is:

And they are updating his progress there...

Chris has been such an advocate for all homeschoolers...fighting for our rights, speaking at conferences...he has done such amazing work on our behalf while this disease has been taking its toll on his body. He is a humble man and has a heart for the lost...please remember their family at this time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Suess-y Celebration

Welcome little Zach....We had a fun night of fellowship, games, sugar and holding babies as we celebrated a life...a boy...fearfully and wonderfully made...known from before the foundation of the world...who has a purpose to the glory of God...truly, an awesome thought...
As a very wonderful closing husband could not even tell we had a party here when he got home...well, except for the streamers...thank you to all of the ladies who helped put this together and to all of those who helped with the clean up afterwards! It was a good night!

Another picture...

Two of these....full...Yahooooo!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

One Cart, Two Cart, Empty Cart, Full Cart

Well, I have been on a rampage in my house because of a Baby Celebration that is going to be here...that was what started the motion...but the real cause of the rampage is all the energy it takes to deal with, I have been PURGING is what I have gotten rid of...TWO of Goodwill's Rolling blue carts that they store stuff in as they sort...TWO of them...FULL...two full carts that are NO LONGER IN MY HOUSE....Hannah...are you proud...I wish you could see it! Thanks for the help in getting it all started...Hannah is an amazing organizer and it was such a treat to watch how she worked...stuff we've all heard before...but she had a basket that she would put things in that didn't belong in the room...then she was making stacks of like things...paper, pencils, crayons, books, etc...and she just started in one corner and went methodically around the room...focused...not stopping to put things away until she was done picking made me see how off track I get as I am running from one thing to another...
So, my life is getting simpler...somehow...even though it was tough...I don't think I am going to be missing any of the THINGS we got rid of...and I KNOW I won't miss picking them up!
Pictures a little later...

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Clutter that Stole my house

Many of you know, I am a clutter bug...I have been trying and trying to keep it under control, but when there is too much stuff...there is NO I have been frantically far, it has been relatively easy...things I am tired of shuffling from here to there...clothes that don't fit and puzzles missing pieces or that we have never used...that kind of thing...but I know I need to go deeper...It is amazing to have about 7 boxes and 2 large bags go out of the house, but while you can doesn't really even scratch the surface.
But today...I have someone coming to help...she is really a dear and precious girl...but I have heard she is RUTHLESS...Now, while I say that in all fun...I know I need to be ruthless too...I am tired of the chaos that a bunch of clutter causes. So, the rule of the day is a place for eveything, and everything in its may want to pray for me!
I will see if there is anything picture worthy to post later....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Grocery Challenge

Well, It is challenge time again...the day of reckoning, so to speak...and I have just completely lost track...and here is why...the wonderful man I am married to can do two things that are related to, he does most of our shopping, which allows me to stay home and do the things I need to do...LIKE CLEAN (always a challenge with a houseful...and a Momma who would rather be sitting on the floor doing a puzzle with the 3 year old), and homeschool, and love on our blessings...and second...this man can COOK...and I don't mean like top ramen, or mac and cheese type "box" cooking...I mean, he can REALLY cook...last week he made Chili Verde...I am REALLY hoping that he will make Pork Carnitas on Sunday...those are my ABSOLUTE favorites...he is also wonderful with grilling...burgers, steaks, I have lost track where we are. What I appreciate about this challenge that it is challenging me to be more creative, think more in advance, use what we have, even if it is not our preference for that meal. It's helping me to look ahead for maybe what I will need for holiday gather staples now when there is a little more money in the budget rather than when everything is busier and money is stretched far too thin...use seasonal things that are cheaper and fresher and to REALLY watch the specials.
So, even though I have lost track of where I am, I have been reminded of some valuable lessons and I am so thankful for this challenge...and I tell you soon as I can, I am going to get Mary's book...Family Feasts for $75 a week...


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gleaning, again

I forgot to mention in my Gleaning post that there is a yearly fee to be in Gleaners...last year, it was $20 per family...this year, it was $50 because we had some unusual expenses, the roof being the biggest...
Now, I am not 100% sure, but I think I got well over $50 worth of items in just one shopping trip...very well worth the money spent.
Another thing I did not mention...probably because I forgot to ask if there were any...I USUALLY get diapers and sometimes wipes during a specialty was CRAZY when I was dropping off my run yesterday, and I completely forgot about asking.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

Mary at Owlhaven has an abundance of pumpkin, so I thought I would post this is such a delicious bread....not at all as healthy as it does freeze well, but usually does not last that least in my house it doesn't. This is also a great bread to give to friends and neighbors at Christmas.

5 eggs
1-1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 packages (3 ounces each) cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add oil and pumpkin; beat until smooth. Combine remaining ingredients; gradually beat into pumpkin mixture.
Pour batter into five greased 5-3/4-in. x 3-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Bake at 325° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 5 mini loaves (8 slices each). Editor's Note: Bread may also be baked in two greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans for 75-80 minutes.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Well, we have been SO blessed to have Gleaners in our area...I thought I would show what I got today...this includes a Specialty Glean, which memebers get when they work over so many hours per month, that is why there is so much...

So, some of the things I got were:
Borax (Score for making laundry soap)
Dish Soap ( I really needed this...Thank you Lord)
2 lipsticks and a compact
2 bottles of lotion
1 bottle of body wash
Pregnancy Test- you just never know...
a quart of sour cream
a pint of whipping cream
1 gallon milk
1 doz. eggs
1 package sausage patties
1 lb bacon
4 pack. hot dogs
2 pack. apple gouda sausages (THESE ARE SO GOOD!!!)
1 lg. can tuna
3 boxes pop tarts
2 boxes ritz type crackers
bag of jelly beans
2 bags frosted animal cookies
4 small bags chips
box of brownie mix
2 boxes cereal bars
bag of lollipops
5 pkg. gum
bag of cheese puffs
pkg. oatmeal cookies (these look real interesting with chocolate covered sunflower seeds on them)
a pkg. of oreo type cookies....double stuff!!!!
2 lbs coffee
5 cans soup
box of penne noodles
2 bottles hot sauce
bottle of salad dressing
can of pumpkin
qt of strawberries
freezer jam
4 Dove ice cream bars....YUMMY
2 Deli sandwiches
1 dz. biscuits
a bouquet of flowers
1 pr. pajamas...a Christmas gift for my nephew....shhhh....don't tell!

I am sure there were a few more items, but my brains aren't quite all there and so...this is it...I know that this has blessed our family TREMENDOUSLY...There have been a couple of really lean times when we have had to create from what we get from gleaning.
Well, I need to get ready for dinner...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Turkey, the easy way

As I promised, the turkey recipe....this is from a good friend's website, which I think she got from a friend...thanks for sharing Pamela!

For every pound the turkey weighs, it cooks for about one hour: a 20 pound bird will cook for at least 20 hours. The first hour (I usually go for 1.5 hours for a 20 pounder) it cooks at 350 which kills all of the bacteria. Then the heat is reduced to 190-200 and it is cooked for the remaining time at that temperature (18.5 hours for my 20 pound bird). Before I put the turkey in the oven I remove the neck and giblets and thoroughly wash it. Then I pat it dry with paper towels. I have my daughter pour some real salt into my hand and I salt the cavity. Then she pours organic olive oil in my hands and I spread it all over the skin of the bird. It cooks in a roasting pan on a rack, breast side down. This makes for a bird that is not quite as pretty (from the lines of the rack imprinting in the breast), but it self bastes and stays nice and juicy. I’ll go for awesome flavor over pretty looks any day. And that’s it. I do still use a meat thermometer to make sure that the internal temperature is right (180). Once the turkey is up to temperature it pretty much stays there, since that’s close to the temperature of the oven, and I can let it sit in there for a couple of hours if the other food is not ready. It’s still delicious. Once the turkey comes out of the oven it needs to rest for about 20 minutes before carving. At that time I put the potatoes and green beans in the oven and I make the gravy from the turkey drippings. Everything is done and ready at the same time.

I also put some onions, celery, etc in the off wonderful flavor!

Try it, you may like it!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Monthly Grocery Challenge

Well, it has been a few days since I posted on this...just busy with school starting this week and we are still going on this...I think we are still under budget...I need to check with my husband (He treated us to steaks one night, and I KNOW that was more expensive!). Breakfasts are usually whatever is available....leftovers, cereal, etc...yesterday, I made the children some potatoes with leftover chicken verde that I sauteed in butter and olive looked really good. I did take four of the children to taco bell for lunch too...we spent $9 for the 5 of us...not so great for you, but we were all hungry and that seemed the best option... We are trying to empty a freezer so we can defrost it, so that has been making life a little yesterday, I really needed to go to the store for dinner, but due to some circumstances, I was unable 4:30 ish came by and I thought...what on earth are we going to have for dinner...thankfully, I was able to come up with an idea. I made Tuna Casserole....not at all my favorite, but I was so grateful that we had all the makings...for those of you who live for Cream of Whatever soups...they do make life a little easier, but white sauce is SO easy to noodles, making white sauce, stirring it all up with the tuna and into the oven for a bit...we had some salad left and I cut up some tomatoes and onions and tossed that with some italian dressing...and even made dessert...brownies with strawberries and ice cream....
I think I am going to make Turkey this weekend...we still have one...I kept forgetting about it...I have a good friend who posted a great way to cook a turkey...maybe I will post that next....makes life a little easier...
I will be gone tonight, so I need to figure out something to be ready for everyone else...and then Friday is my hubby's birthday, so we are going to Red Robin...he gets a FREE burger...and I think we have a coupon or something...then I FOUND some money in my wallet...woo hoo!!!! I will be making my husband a german chocolate cake too...that is his yearly tradition...

White Sauce recipe (Sort of)

I do not measure this at all, I am sure that there are recipes out there, so you may wish to check on that, but here is what I do:

Equal parts butter and flour ( I usually do about 1/4 cup of each) in a pan...til thick and pasty looking...then add milk...again, I don't measure...just till it looks right...I add just a little at a time...seems like I don't have to wait as long to see if it is the right thickness or guess would be 2-3 cups of milk, but that is totally a guess...
I added some chicken base, parmesan and garlic to this last night...

I will post the turkey directions soon!


Friday, September 4, 2009

Early to Bed, Early to RIse....

Makes a woman feel alone in her night owl family!!!

Well, I have been trying to get up earlier to be prepared for a new school year, but unfortunately, I am the only one doing night owls seem to be having one last HURRAH to do all the late night stuff they will be too tired to do later...I was hoping this would help us ease into a new school schedule...but No...I guess they will just be awfully surprised next week...let me tell you sure get alot done (and sometimes undone and redone again) when you get up earlier...

Last week, (totally new subject, because that is the way my brain works!) I got together with a dear friend and we made some beeswax candles...they look lovely and burn nice, but it makes me realize that I would like to make so much more...what I made will never carry us through the year...maybe a month...we made some pairs of tapers, and then we had some fun and twisted some...mostly double twists, but a couple of triple twists...

God has blessed our family with a BUNCH of plums off of our tree, which we froze, some blueberries we picked up at Mount Baker (which I am sure are almost gone) and with bananas from gleaners, which we also froze) and I am so grateful for these...I would love to get some apples, because I want to try canning apple pie filling which sounds delicious and we canned some cherries this year too. I bought a box of peaches, but it was really just enough to make a big crisp and then to eat. They were SO good...I thought I was going to be able to freeze some, but we enjoyed them too much! The Crisp recipe was so delicious...I want to mess with it a little more and when I have it down, I will post that. I have some pictures to upload and I think I will just post a wordless post when I get that done.

I am loving going through the new books we have so far and making the plans...My techy guys books are the most fun to go through...I think he will have a very challenging may want to pray for both of us! We still need to get a few books, but that will come...I think we have enough to keep us busy even without those...that's the beauty of Homeschooling...there is always something to learn!

Well, I think I need to get some children moving,
So have a great day~

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Budget Crunching

Well, I briefly mentioned about the challenge Mary over at Owlhaven has presented and how I was going to try to do it this month. Now Mary spends $75 a week for everything, if I read that correctly...shampoo, etc...I am not sure if I will cut that far...but I think $75 a week for a family of 7 is a worthy challenge, so that is what I am aiming for...
Now this week, we are living on whatever we have or whatever we can get from Gleaners...Our Gleaner organization gets things from local grocery stores that they can no longer sell and we bring it back and it gets distributed among 80-ish families and let me tell is a BLESSING! Yesterday, I was able to get milk, orange juice, lots of veggies and breads...things we will really use this week FOR SURE! One unexpected find was KALE...well, no I am not a Kale freak, but Kale works beautifully in Green smoothies, which I need to get back to, so we will be enjoying that...I will post the "recipe" below...they are SO good for you!
So, for your info, I will post our plan thus far...I am not very far into the plan...I need to so that today...
So yesterday we had:
B:- It was an on your own morning...granola bars, yogurt, baked spaghetti...
L:- Leftover Taco Soup, fritos and peaches (Had all of these)
D:- Clam Chowder and rolls- We got the leeks, milk and rolls from gleaners and had all the rest.

B: French Toast- bread, milk and eggs from gleaners
L: Mac and cheese for children- good ole blue boxes...we have these...I think I got them from Gleaners...I will add veggies and fruit...whatever we have on hand...and I think I will have a green smoothie...
D: Chili and Cornbread...raw veggies...we have all of this...


B: Scones, Lemon Curd and something to balance the sugar...not sure...maybe bacon, maybe yogurt...we are not big egg people...
L: Leftover Clam Chowder and bread- We need to thicken this, so when we do that, I will need to get some cream....I will do that later...Bread from Gleaners
D: Baked Spaghetti, Salad or green beans and Garlic bread...
We either will get this from gleaners, already have it or will buy some lettuce...I haven't decided yet....
That's my plan thus far...such as it is...

Okay, a couple of recipes

Green Smoothies

40% green leafy things...spinach, kale, chard, parsley, etc...we usually use either spinach or parsley...if you use spinach and get the proportions right you cannot taste it...
60% fruit...I always use a banana or two...this sweetens it...we use frozen bananas for need for ice if you do...I also balance seeded fruit ( Berries) with unseeded (Bananas, peaches, plums, etc)...too many seeds and I don't care for it as much.
We add a little water to get it all blending in the Vitamix, you could use juice if you like...sometimes we add a little coconut milk or oil if we have it...and that is it.

Lemon Curd...this is SO easy and delicious...much better than a store bought jar...
I usually use bottled juice if we have it and it tastes fine..I also do not add the zest...I don't like that texture in it...and I have not noticed a noticible difference in the taste with vs. without...

Grated peel of 4 lemons
Juice of 4 lemons, about 1 cup
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter, cut in small pieces
2 c. sugar

In the top of a double boiler , combine zest, juice, eggs, butter and sugar. Place over simmering water and stil until sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and smooth. Strain through a sieve to remove bits of egg that cooked. Chill. The recipe says it lasts a couple of weeks...I think they are lying...mine never lasts that long! ;-)


It Works Now!

Thanks to my very good friend Jennifer, it works now so, you can go HERE and check out another one of my favorite blogs!
Thanks Jennifer!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Some New Blogs

Well, through the course of stumbling across things, I have found a few new blogs I would like to share with you all...again, because I don't have a clue, you will have to scroll down to my blog list to click on the link there, because HERE just does not work for me....anyone want to share that tip???
So without further ado...
A small list of new faves:
Mary from Owlhaven- I LOVE this new blog...she has some great posts, but my favorites are the ones where she really stretches herself to feed her family of 11 for next to nothing...this month she is challenging us to really cut our weekly budget and see if we can live on that for a month...she mentioned $75 a week and I think I will try can click on the link and read all about it...She recently posted about going to the fair and only spending $ we had a hard time doing that with only the two of us, much less pop over there to see if she did it!

What's in the Box- I love this with the workboxes...she has a lot of really great ideas to put in the boxes...very creative...gets those ideas flowing in me. This year, she added her high school daughter into the box concept, so I will love to see how that all plays out.

Girly Do's by Jenn- I think this is my all time new fave....I don't know, I could probably say that about every blog on my list....they all give me something I need....people much smarter than I am thankful they keep posting...anyway...this one is just for this momma hair dork...pony tail was about the limit of my capabilities...until this blog...she guides you literally step by step through some really great girly do's...if you think the principessa's hair looks nice, please give all the credit to this blog!!!

Ok, and one that is not so new, but you all may not know about it...
A Mother's Journal- I really love this blog...she has such an eclectic mix of gardening, homeschooling, and daily life, all wrapped up in wit...I just love her blog posts...she also has the MOST amazing photos in her garden where she gets up close and personal with all sorts of creepy crawlies...really breathtaking...she posted recently pictures of a butterfly just coming out of its chrysalis...I am so amazed that she had the eyes to see it all...I cannot tell you how many times that I am sure similar things were before me, but I did not have the eyes to see it...puts a little more understanding to the words of Scripture for me..."Whoever has eyes to see...."

So, tell me...which are your favorite blogs or new blogs...I really could have posted about every blog on my list...but I know many of you already read the Noa's blog and Fresh Thoughts and That's just Me, etc, etc....but...tell me why you like a particular never may show up in my blog list...