Monday, October 29, 2007

There are Simply....

...not enough hours in the day. After dropping the children off at school this morning, I came home and exercised for 1/2 hour (seems to be all I can fit in). Then I worked on our Craft and Cookie sale for our church that will be held next month. After that, I headed out for lunch with friends (boy do I love 2-1/2 hours lunches)!! Then came home and attended to some personal business, did laundry, made dinner, ran our oldest son to one of his activities, came home and started bath water for our younger son, discovered a "Behavior Contract" in our older son's backpack (lovely) and sat down to discuss it with my husband, and then went back to pick our son up. It's now around 8:30 p.m. and I'm exhausted and yawning! That long lunch must have really tired me out!! I hope your home was more "peaceful" than mine today!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Halloween Cupcakes



We have a Halloween party to attend tonight for children with disabilities and our family volunteered to bring cupcakes. These were plain old cupcakes out of the box, and then I used Wilton's Buttercream frosting (idea taken from "The Sparrow's Nest" blog) to finish up. I also used both orange and black edible glitter to make them a little nicer. Cupcakes are one of my favorite things to make and I enjoy decorating them so much!! Have a blessed weekend!!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Country Breakfast Casserole


I pulled this recipe from over at allrecipes.com--one of my favorite websites!! I did modify some of the quantity of the ingredients. Breakfast casseroles are so wonderful!! This is very easy to make and tastes delicious!!

Country Breakfast Casserole

1 lb. of breakfast sausage
1/8 cup of onion (add enough onion for your taste)
1-1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (or your choosing)
5 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons milk
3/4 package (2.64 ounce) country gravy mix
5 slices bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons melted butter (I think I used a little more)

paprika to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 11 x 8 inch baking dish. (I have none that size so I used a 9 x 13.)


Brown the sausage and drain the grease. Mix the onion and sausage together and spread over bottom of baking dish. Sprinkle cheese on top. Whisk the eggs, water, milk, and gravy mix and pour over the cheese and sausage. Take your bread cubes and put evenly over the top. I then drizzled the melted butter over the bread. I did not use any paprika.

Cover with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes in the oven or until done. I took the tin foil off after the 40 minutes and baked an additional 5-7 minutes so the bread would get crispy. Enjoy!!



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

We Are Very Fortunate!!

This is the view as we walk out our back garage door. The colors in the Maple tree are just glorious!! I can also see the Pine tree (to the left) and the Maple out of our kitchen window. We are very blessed to live where we live. Thinking about all of the individuals who are suffering now out on the West Coast who have lost everything and all of those who live in poverty having only the bare necessities makes me realize how fortunate we are to live where we do. There is color all over our yard, from the mum garden (I should post another picture now that all of the plants are in full bloom) to the small pumpkin patch to the trees. Please say a prayer for those who have been forced to evacuate in California that they are safe and may return to their homes soon. Blessings.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Coleus

I snapped this picture of this beautiful Coleus while we were in Branson. The color was absolutely gorgeous!! I haven't planted Coleus at our home in years--think we're more of perennial people than annual people. There are many different colors of this plant, and they are quite beautiful. If you like planting annuals, try the Coleus. The color is amazing!! Have a blessed day!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Homemade Soaps

...I believe this is an indulgence!! When we were in Silver Dollar City and Branson, I had the opportunity to buy some homemade soaps. The one in front is Honeysuckle (it smells great), while the two in back are Eucalyptus and Lime--they both smell wonderful also. This is a skill that I would like to learn--that of making homemade soap. The thought of using lye somehow bothers me. In the meantime, I will just have to make due with the wonderful homemade soaps that others make.

If any of you have purchased homemade soaps via the web, please point me to their website. I'd be interested in buying some more. Have a blessed day!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Table Rock Lake

Every morning while on vacation, we tried to hike along the rocky shore line. We usually walked out onto the docks to take in the stunning view across the lake. It is so pretty there!! It makes you not want to leave. Our sons try to skip stones on the water and look for little shells. Imagine my surprise when walking along the natural rocks and coming across a retaining stone (the kind I use at home in our landscaping--ugh!!). I actually thought for a moment about picking it up and bringing it back with us!? The trees had not quite turned their glorious color yet, but were just beginning as we needed to pack up and head home. Have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Celebration City Foliage

This was some of the beautiful foliage at Celebration City in Branson, Missouri--complete with the meandering waterfall and gorgeous spruce tree. We had never been to Celebration City before. It is a more downsized amusement park. The children loved riding the go-karts, the bumper cars, and the log ride. I enjoyed all of the wonderful trees and plants they had. It is open in the evenings and very, very clean. The park was really decked out for Fall, and we had quite a laugh when our younger son was walking around the perimeter of a tree and said "Look Mom, a scarecrow," and then the scarecrow actually started talking to him. Both of our children "jumped" pretty high. We had a wonderful evening there and I'm sure we'll travel there again in the future.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Silver Dollar City

We just got back from a few days in Branson, Missouri. We normally stay on Indian Point not far from Silver Dollar City. There are many places on Indian Point which overlook Table Rock Lake. It's a safe bet to say it is our favorite vacation spot and we've been several times. This picture was taken near the entrance of Silver Dollar City. I don't know how to explain the park, other than to say it will take you back in time to a bygone era. And the potatoes fried up in large round skillets with vegetables are my favorite. The women all wear long flowery dresses while working in their shops. During the Fall, they host a craftsmen festival with some of the most beautiful crafts I've seen. Our children love to ride the rides and had such fun getting soaking wet on the log ride. Silver Dollar City has a few hilly areas, and I think our vacation was somewhat of a workout because my legs were stiff after doing lots of walking. It's good to be back home and will try to share some pictures of the area during the week. Blessings!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I LOVE Cookbooks!!

...don't you? I love very practical cookbooks. This Gooseberry Patch cookbook, Christmas in the Country, has some wonderful recipes that I can't wait to try now that the weather is turning colder. I've picked up many cookbooks throughout the years, and some I just keep reaching for again and again, and I'm sure this will be one of them. You know how it is when you are searching for a recipe, and then you skim the ingredient list, and realize there is not a store near you that sells any of the exotic spices the recipe calls for. I have a few cookbooks like that and I haven't looked at a recipe in them for years. I love comfort foods and this cookbook has plenty of recipes along that line--especially some wonderful breakfast recipes I can't wait to try.

What is your favorite cookbook?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Gourds for Decorating

What would Fall be without gourds for decorating? Our younger son had a cub scout outing at a local farm this past Friday and we came home with all sorts of gourds. The kids had a blast finding their own unique gourds and were very anxious to show us adults what they had found. The white-colored pumpkins were especially wonderful, but I think the children didn't want to stray far from the usual orange-colored pumpkins as there weren't too many takers of the white variety. We also went to a small field full of Indian corn, and many were on the lookout for the red variety, which is especially pretty. This does give me the idea that next year we should plant some Indian corn. But for now, the gourds happily decorate our front steps.

What unusual variety of gourds do you have? Have a blessed day!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

How Full Are Your Baskets??

Do you have baskets that sometimes look like this? This is just a plain 'ole laundry basket absolutely filled beyond capacity. Sometimes life can be like this also. Being a homemaker you would think I would have it together, but a lot of times there is absolute overload. Much of it comes from doing things outside the home--volunteer work comes to mind, along with too many errands, as well as childrens' activities. But how does one do away with it? I enjoy serving others in some capacity, but at what expense to the home. I have a hard time saying no to serving on committees, and realize the time is going to come where I will need to say "no" in order to keep our home in order, otherwise it can get out of control too fast. Our children aren't in a tremendous amount of activities, but it does take time running them back and forth to activities--this is not something I'm fond of, especially as it seems to appear that our society feels that children need to start sports and activities when they are in pre-school--huh?? It wasn't that way when we were kids. For those of you who are homemakers who are considering taking on too many activities outside the home, ask yourself first if it is absolutely necessary. There is just way too much work to be done inside the home, then you will be able to have "baskets" that aren't overflowing. Have a blessed day!!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Clean Scents

This dish and hand soap from Yankee Candle is wonderful if you are looking for clean smelling dish soap for your pots and pans. I purchased this from a garden/feed supply store that carries Yankee Candle products and it was half price. This has the wonderful smell of lavender. I use it quite often to clean large pots that will not fit into our dishwasher. If you are looking for some great smelling dish soaps, you might want to give this a try. Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Chicken and Noodles

Chicken and noodles we make at our home are pretty simple. We don't use many ingredients and it's simple to put together. Fall is a busy time around our home with many gardening projects and our children's and church events. I do as much slow cooking as possible.

Chicken and Noodles

8 ounces homestyle noodles
1 large can of Swanson chicken broth (49 ounce size)

2 cans Swanson white meat chunk chicken breast (9-3/4 ounce cans)

Bring your chicken broth to a boil. Cook your noodles in the chicken broth. Read your directions for how long your noodles should cook--normally 10-12 minutes, but some types of noodles take longer. Place your cooked noodles and broth, along with the chicken meat, in a slow cooker on low for a few hours. This can be served for dinner with a vegetable and dinner rolls or bread.

You can also use cooked chicken breasts that you have cut up in place of the canned chicken. I prefer the canned--I think it's because it has the right amount of salt. I don't put any seasonings in this--just pepper when we sit down to eat. Have a blessed day!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Fall Gardening Project

This has been one of my fall gardening projects. These gardening beds were full of weeds that were unmanageable. In order to make a nicer space for gardening, I pulled all the weeds and then put down landscaping cloth. And then, one by one, carried these retaining blocks in order to make an enclosed border. Before, the border consisted of old railroad ties and they were all rotting out. Instead of replacing the ties, we decided that the bricks would be much better with little maintenance required. Now, when next spring rolls around, we will be ready to go. Have a blessed day!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sedum

These are some of the last blooming flowers that we have in our garden--they are sedum. This variety of sedum has pretty white blooms that open in the late summer. We have so much of it, we need to cut it back. We also have some, I believe it's called, Autumn Joy sedum, more of a purplish red bloom that are also very beautiful. The only drawback to these flowers that I can think of is that they tend to attract a lot of bees. Sedum is a nice perennial that would make a great addition to any garden!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Glitter Pumpkins


I give total credit to Martha Stewart for these wonderful pumpkins! I was watching Martha well over one year ago when she was making these beautiful pumpkins, so I decided I would have to try them. Last October, my children and I made the glitter pumpkins using glitter purchased at our local Wal-mart store. We mixed colors, such as blue and gold. We also used red. This weekend I was in a craft store that actually had the Martha Stewart line of glitter, so I decided to pick some up. These are very easy to make. Your supplies should include a pumpkin (small works wonderfully), a bottle of glue (I used Elmer's), a sponge paint brush, glitter of your choosing, and some wax paper to sit the pumpkin on. This year, our children weren't the least bit interested in making these, so I did two of them myself. Simply put some of the glue into a small dish and then use the sponge paint brush and apply glue all over the pumpkin, making sure the glue is applied as evenly as possible. Then spoon the glitter on all over the pumpkin (don't worry about applying too much because it will shake off) and let dry. If you missed some spots on the pumpkin, try and dab on the glue and then reapply your glitter. That's its!! These pumpkins have such a beautiful sheen to them! This is a wonderful project to do with your daughters!! (I also should say that if you notice a slight smell in a week or so after having done these, please check your pumpkin, as it might be leaking a bit.) Have a blessed day!!