Saturday, February 27, 2010

Framing Progress...

This is the front of the house coming up the driveaway..
Back of the house...
This is the study with a beautiful triple window overlooking the woods...
This is the great room with double windows and a wood burning fireplace.
Snow is in the forecast for Tuesday again so progress may slow next week...I'll keep updating!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

If I take the snow feature off of my blog, will the weather get warmer? 

No School today...

Today we are all sick.  Nini-banini is the sickest of all (so far) we are taking a sick today from school.  The boys are playing chess right now wrapped in blankets.    I think this day calls for Netflix science videos, ten mothers soup, and cuddles...lots of cuddles...

Neck and Neck...

Well it seems that two of my farm name ideas are popular, while one is not.
Hickory Nut Homestead and Heritage Acres Homestead are neck and neck...
Please keep voting if you haven't already (-:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


My heart is heavy today.  Some personal news has been shared with me by someone I love and care about and it makes me sad.  It makes me sad because some parties involved do not understand what it means to have Grace...How do you help someone you love who is so blinded by pride and legalism?  How do you show them how to truely love?  Do you stand by and just let the cards fall as they may?  Do you intervene because of personal experience has told you what will happen next?  Do you try and change fate to save something that may already be dead?  Or do you just pray?...........
Dear Heavenly Father-Please allow this special person in my life to wake up out of this fog.  Please let this happen before this person experiences more loss and rejection by people they love.  Please help this person see the cycle has to stop...whatever is causing this person to do these things-over and over and over-please Lord help this person see that by continuing they are pushing people away-the only people on your Earth that truely love this person.  Please show this person HOW to love...and please Lord use me... use me to be a light and a testimony to this person that your Grace is good enough, that Jesus heals...that thru him, we are all forgiven and we can stop forgiving when God stops forgiving us...
We can change to who he has called us to be if we just turn toward him instead of away from him...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday afternoon...


Framing has begun...



We went skating on Friday for homeschool skate. The boys had a great time and Nicholas actually fell out of the car when we got home because his legs hurt so much from skating so was pretty funny(-;
I had a great time catching up with friends as well...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Grocery Budget revisited

Well, this week I spent alot. It was a milk run week, plus we had our food co-op order pickup. We only order this every other month so they are usually large amounts. This month I didn't order too much but you buy in bulk so a 25lb bag of rice is $22.50. Yes, a great price for organic brown rice, but it's still $22.50 0ut of my budget. So, with that said I spent $68.19 with the co-op and $163.06  for the week. With this weeks total, I've spent $412.96 leaving me $137.04 for the remainder of the month. I'm hoping that I can come under that amount and save the rest for March because I'd like to buy a large quantity of beef next month since it's not a food co-op month. I think I've done well and knew I could do it I just had to get back on track. I've always been very frugal with shopping and make almost everything from scratch, I just needed to get settled from the craziness of our lives for the last 4 months. I'm back!!!

Cuddliest kid in America...

I told you he was the cuddliest kid in America. Yes, I might be a bit biased...but he's mine and he's soooo cuddly. He tricks me into laying down with him so that I'll fall asleep in his bed(really both the boys are guilty of this) they try and trick Darryl too. With their sweet cheeks, warm bodies, kisses and hugs..they both even love to play with my hair...
Yes, I fell asleep...I can't help it...

Dress up gone wild...

A trip to the lake..

We set out to do some exploring the other day and found, by looking at the maps, our new home is pretty close to a big river and some nice lakes as well as some mountains. So, we decided to head out and do some exploring. It was a beautiful drive and of course, the boys(daddy included) had to stop and throw rocks. What is it about boys that feel the need to throw rocks..over and over and over again? They had a great time competing with daddy.

Yes, that's me in the did see the snow on the ground, right? No thank you..I'll just look at it from inside..with the heat on...thank you very much...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Menu

Creamy Fettucine Alfredo topped with Chicken
Spinach Salad with Red Onions, blue cheese, walnuts and Balasamic Vinegrette
Garlic Knots
Strawberry Chocolate Mousse Cake
To My Valentine-
You are the love of my life and I thank God for you.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Our Friday night...

Watching the snow fall...

Snuggles with Bo Bear...
More snuggles with Bo Bear and wrapping him in a blanket in case he's cold...

Homemade pizza topped with red onions, olives and banana peppers..

Dark chocolate brownies and milk..

Blankets on the floor with all the pillows we own for a movie night together.
Pretty typical for a Friday night...our favorite night of the week...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Homeschool field trip, continued...

Here is Matthew and Ms. Vivian at a display...

Here is Nicholas heading down one of the shafts...

The general store...

Homeschool field trip

We braved the freezing temperatures and heading out for a field trip today to Gold Hill, NC. Gold Hill was a thriving gold mining town in the 1800's. It was said it was so thriving, that the mayor of Charlotte aspired to make Charlotte like Gold Hill. Can you imagine the irony today? Charlotte is a major city and now Gold Hill is just a precious, small town with one stoplight, a handful of charming shops and restaurants, and a historical park. We had a wonderful tour guide Vivian, who is also a talented painter and writer. We all purchased a book she wrote on Gold Hill ghosts. I can't wait to read it to the boys!

Our host, Vivian...

We visited the Gold Hill Jail, some old shops with historic artifacts and a bunch of old mining shafts that went down up to 800 feet. We learned alot about miners in those days and how poor they were and how rich the owners and managers were. I found it interesting that some of the homes back then were worth $50,000! Can you imagine back then? Considering a miner only made $1.25 a week! Those mine owners must have had so much money! They also had a charming general store that has music every Friday night. As soon as the weather warms up, we will definitely head out there for some ice cream and good music.

Just Because....

Because I'm often taking pictures of them sleeping...because they look so precious...because I love them...

Matthew...aka..Angel baby doll...

Nicholas..aka..Nini-ba-nini...aka...Cuddliest kid in America(we even have a song we made up about him being so cuddly-he secretly loves it!!)


Progress has finally begun with our home. Between weekly snow storms or rain, issues with our land clearing and issues with the builder, it has taken forever (it seems) to get to this point. Footers have been set and the foundation is being laid. I believe they are out there working right now but we are expecting another snow storm tonight with 3-6 inches again so I'm assumming work will be halted until next week(although another storm is being predicted for early next week too)

Well, at least we've made some progress (-:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday dinner

A little bit of summer in the middle of winter:

Southern style fried chicken
New England Baked beans(in the yummy!)
Georgia Cracker Salad...this is so easy to make and it sounds weird..but it's soooo goood!

Georgia Cracker Salad(A Paula Deen Recipe)

1 sleeve of Saltine crackers crushed into a bowl
Add 1-2 seeded, chopped tomatoes
Add some chopped grean onions
2 hardboiled eggs
Add enough mayonaise to make you happy (-:

It's so good I love it!!


Friday, February 5, 2010

Farm Name

I need your help! I've set up a poll on the right side of my blog to help us name our farm. I will probably add more selections as time moves on and I get more ideas, but if you have another idea please share! I really have always wanted a little farm since I was a teenager so this is a big decision on what to name it. We will eventually be selling products on the farm like honey, eggs, chickens,etc so I'll want to eventually have a logo for labels and such.

The names I have so far are:

Hickory Nut Homestead-(My friend's daughter whom is very versed on plants, trees and such(Hi! Tori!) told me we have a lot of Hickory Nut trees on our property so I thought this fit and was kindof cute)

Rocky Hill Farm/Homestead-this is kindof tongue in cheek because we have uncovered a ghastly number of rocks on our property. It's going to be alot of work to get this land ready for vegetables and pasture for chickens. If anyone knows how I can have a little side business on selling rocks, please tell me because we have a ton!! However, I do like the name so I put it on the poll.

Heritage Acres Homestead-

I like this because heritage signifies tradition, generational, passing on something. I hope to pass on first the love of the Lord to my boys, to love and serve others first, and also an appreciation for all that we have been given including this beautiful that's why I chose this name as well...

So, help us decide...which name should we choose?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My house is never going to get finished if the weather continues like this. Just as the snow is melting, it seems we are going to get hit again...and then possibly again on Tuesday. While normally, I would think this is pretty cool, I don't when I know my house is on hold due to bad weather....This is truely a lesson in patience and learning to let go and let God...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Grocery Budget

I don't know what the average families grocery budget is but mine is out of control! We sat down a couple of days ago to revisit the budget and put goals together that we wanted to save for this year(I'll be posting them on my sidebar to try and keep track). I've always had a budget for groceries, but never stuck to it. Well, last month our groceries were over $700 and we still spent over $300 eating out. In our defense we were moving so that's why the eating out is so high but the $700 is too high. I'm going to aim for $550 this month. It may mean more meatless meals. We are completely out of beef so that will have to wait because we buy a portion of a cow. We do have some frozen chickens from a friends farm and a turkey breast or two. We do spend $70 a month on milk(We buy raw milk and it's $7 a gallon) and I'm also going to buy $5 a week of groceries for the food pantry(so $20 for the month) Oh, and I placed an order for our food co-op(We buy alot of our grains, beans, rice, etc in bulk) which was around $60... So, really I have $420 after those things. I'm really going to try and get creative with beans and legumes. What has helped so far is I wrote out a menu plan sheet for the month. Usually, I menu plan for the week but I really like the month calendar. I put this on my refrigerator... I haven't filled it in completely yet, but what I like is when I get an idea for a meal, I can just pop it into the calendar. I've also placed a column for breakfast items we usually have and left the weekends open for some fun breakfast treats(like homemade bagels or cinnamon buns) Our staple breakfasts consist of oatmeal, homemade muffins, eggs, homemade granola, toast, grits and Kasha(that's buckwheat-I grew up eating this and I love it I buy it in bulk!) I also printed our a sheet for Quick Meals and have listed meals that are quick to make with items we always have on hand. That way if we are tempted to eat out because we feel like we have nothing to eat, I can go to this list for ideas. I'll post some of those meals as well and I'll post my menu's for the week to give some ideas of frugal, healthy recipes as well as to help keep me accountable.

Tonight for dinner we are having:

Whole wheat spagetti tossed with olive oil and garlic topped with chickpeas, tomatoes, feta cheese and garlic simmered in white wine

Spinach salad with red onions and walnuts and homemade balamic vinagrette.

(Oh, our dining out budget this month...$40.00!!! Certainly is a lot less than the $300 we spent last month but I love a good challenge!)

Here's to a Frugal February!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Another Kefir Smoothie Recipe

I'm battling a pretty serious infection right now. I'm on two antibiotics and it seems the infection isn't clearing up(Please include me in your prayers for healing)...Anyway, I knew I needed some serious probiotic help. Probiotics are known for immune boosting and help with infections. I knew I needed large doses of Kefir so I experimented today with a new recipe. The measurements are approximate because I just dumped everything into the blender, so you may need to adjust to your own taste.

3 cups of Kefir
2 heaping tablespoons of cocoa(Carob would be good too)
3 bananas
A large squirt (I'd say about 2 tbspns) of honey (I ran out of raw honey this week-that would have been ideal-had to use the bear)

Blend until smooth. This was really good. It tastes like a shake and had just get a tiny hint of the sourness of the Kefir. If that bothers you, use a little more honey.
Some folks have been asking me about other uses for kefir. I use it whenever a recipe calls for buttermilk or plain yogurt. It's great in pancakes and waffles. I marinated some chicken in it two weeks ago with spices and then baked the chicken after draining off the was devine! I'm going to marinate some chicken this weekend with Kefir for fried chicken . It really helps to tenderize the chicken just like buttermilk.
Hope this helps!

Book Recommendation

I love to read. I don't have alot of extra time to read, but when I find a good book it's hard to put it down. Well, I've found a sweet, little book that is really precious. It's called Amish Peace-Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World by Suzanne Woods Fisher. This book is so wonderful. It has little chapters with questions at the end on how you can apply Amish living to your life. It also has these wonderful Amish proverbs at the beginning of each chapter. I want to make little country signs with all of these and place them around my house. Some of my favorites:
*If you sense your faith is unraveling, go back to where you dropped the thread of obedience.

*It is better to hold out a helping hand than to point a finger.

*Trusting God turns problems into opportunities.

*Our duty is not to see through one another but to see one another through.

*Beware of the man who knows the answer before he understands the question.

*God likes small people. He cannot use big ones.

*Enjoy today, it won't come back.

*We live simply so that others may simply live.

*It's better to have a wife on your team than on your back.(I need to memorize this one!)

*We should not put a question mark where God has put a period.

*The person that forgives does more for himself than anyone else.(I know someone in my life that we talked about this recently...I hope she's reading)

*There are no degrees of honesty.

*Swallowing words before you say them is so much better than having to eat them afterwards.
(I need to memorize this one also!!)

*We can stop forgiving others when Christ stops forgiving us.(another one about the power of forgiveness!)

*Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

*We are not promised skies always blue, but a Helper to see us through.

* The higher a man gets in divine grace, the lower he will be in his own esteem.

*Before we can pray "Thy Kingdom Come" we must pray " My kingdom go"

As you can see, I love these little proverbs. There are many more is this book and precious stories about the Amish and there way of living. Although I wasn't born into an Amish family, it doesn't mean that I can't adopt some of there values and ways of thinking. They truely are a special people and I've enjoyed reading this book.
(P.S. If you live near me...the library has one copy-I still have it but it's due Feb. 6 so reserve it-you won't be disappointed)