Saturday, March 27, 2010

Happy Spring!

It's beginning to look like spring around here.
I hope you're enjoying nice weather.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It Was a Regular Slug Fest!

My little kiddles, Michael and Amy, were inspired to create these cute little creatures after viewing the movie, Flushed Away. They, along with our older daughter, Emily, serenaded us for days with sluggish tunes. Don't you just love the creativity kids bring to life?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Skillet Beef Stew

Skillet Beef Stew

I made this in my Saladmaster Electric Skillet. No oil is needed with Saladmaster. You may need to modify the recipe if you are using a regular electric skillet or pot.

1 or 2 lbs of round steak, tenderized

Cut round steak into cubes. Fry half the beef in an electric skillet at 450 degrees until brown. Remove the fried cubes to a bowl. Fry the other half of the beef while you cut up the potatoes and carrots on the number 3 Saladmaster cone. If you don't have a Saladmaster machine, just cut the pieces small. I was out of onions. I used a couple of tablespoons of onion powder. Ideally add one or two onions. Put all the beef together in the skillet and add potatoes, carrots, and onions until the skillet is full. Then add a couple of cups of water, some salt, and pepper. Cook at 450 for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 225 for 30 minutes.

This is a very hearty stew. There's not a lot of broth in it. If you like your stew brothy, just add more water.

Ummmmm....Not So Great a Day for a BBQ!

Spring and Winter are battling it out in Southwest Missouri. We enjoyed the most perfect weather on Friday. It was so nice, we just couldn't stay inside! The children played outside with friends for most of the afternoon. I gave my oldest daughter her spelling test on the porch in the sunshine. Then, I just closed my eyes and soaked in the vitamin D and warmth. I awoke a short time later, refreshed.

Well, Winter didn't like that one bit! It came back with a vengeance early Saturday morning. Rain followed by sleet followed by snow followed by more sleet. I was so thankful for our warm home and our old fashioned radiators. Our chickens are none too pleased by the snow. They huddled in the little concrete playhouse in the straw all day Saturday.

About 8:00 this morning, we received a call from our Pastor. Church was called off. I don't even remember that happening before. Well, you've probably already guessed that we didn't have our cook out today. Instead, Honey is making his favorite meatloaf for dinner. We'll no doubt have some potatoes with it. What else? I'm not sure. I'll just have to see what we have.

Are you enjoying the first day of Spring?

Under about 6" of Snow

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Celebrating Spring's Arrival

I don't really celebrate St. Patrick's Day with my children. Last week, we did read a book about St. Patrick. My children are wearing green today by their own choice. That, however, is the extent of our celebration. I'm not really a stick-in-the-mud; I just don't like what the holiday has become. The focus is as much on drinking as on anything else. I've decided instead to celebrate the first day of Spring with our children.

Sunday is the first day of Spring in the United States. We'll have our first cook-out to celebrate. I'm still working out the details; but, we'll probably bbq some hamburgers, have some potato salad, and maybe some corn on the cob from the freezer that we picked together last summer. Hopefully, it will be a nice day to be outside.

We're also going to cut flowers out of colored paper and maybe color some flowers with crayons. We'll decorate the house with these to make our rooms pretty and bright. I'll also bring in a few blooms from the garden to enjoy.

I'm sure my Honey will be out digging soon!

How will you celebrate?


So Blessed

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring Brings Change

It's that time again! Spring is just around the corner. My little girl asked me to cut out shamrocks with her. We'll probably do that tomorrow. I may make a few sugar cookies also if I can find the cutter. I think I'll make a few dinner rolls in a shamrock shape as well.

Truthfully, shamrocks and such are not on my mind. My oldest son, Matthew, is going to Job Corps. He's leaving Tuesday and will be 7 hours away. As I understand it, he won't be able to come home for a break for 6 months. The program lasts from 16 months to 2 years. He'll learn job skills that will help him begin a career. Right now, he thinks he wants to do heavy equipment operation.

I know that this separation is nothing compared to sending a son off to the military; but, my momma's heart is still fluttery. I'm going to miss him so much. I know it's best for him. I know it's best for the family. It's just hard to realize that this part of my life with him is over.

I quit work 19 years ago to be a full-time wife and momma. It was a major change for me. I was not planning to stay home with him. I had given it some thought. I didn't realize that I really wanted to stay home until he was five weeks old. You see, I couldn't imagine giving him to someone else every day to raise. At five weeks, I realized I hadn't even looked for a babysitter! So, in agreement with my Lowell, I set out on this adventure called life with a newborn and homemaking. Now I have 3 more children. I'm glad. I'm not ready for an empty nest.

Happy Pre-Spring to you!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Emilie Barnes on Blessing the Ones We Love

"Slow me down, Lord.
I want to be available for
the minute conversation,
or the gentle hug,
or the quick smile.
Don't let me miss those
important opportunities to
bless those I love."
Emilie Barnes

Spicy Can Opener Soup


My pantry and freezer are getting rather bare. It will be time for a trip to the grocery soon. Yesterday I needed something quick for lunch. My hubby was home; so, it had to be something good. The kiddos are happy with PBJ. I didn't find much to inspire me in the refrigerator. So, I turned to my cupboards.

I found a can of black beans, a can of mexican style corn, and a can of off-brand Rotel tomatoes with chiles.

I put it all in a two quart saucepan and added a little taco seasoning. It was pretty with the red, yellow, and black.

Goodness, it was delicious! It's definitely a keeper for a quick dinner. I served it with grilled cheese sandwiches made with homemade whole wheat bread.

Now, I prefer not to use canned goods often; because, I believe fresh and frozen to be more nutritious. This was a great emergency dinner; I think I'll keep these ingredients on hand just in case!

Spicy Can Opener Soup

1 can black beans
1 can Mexican corn with peppers
1 can Rotel type tomatoes w/chiles
1 package of Taco Seasoning

Mix and simmer 5-10 minutes.

Updated 11/10/13:  My recipe was included in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook!  They called it Spicy Pantry Soup!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Louisa May Alcott on Books and Friends

"Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen;
the more select, the more enjoyable."

~Louisa May Alcott

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Okay, I'm Feeling Guilty!

Okay, I'm feeling guilty! I think I'm the only person I know who actually wants to have one more good snow! All my friends, my husband, my children, and especially my sister-in-law in New Jersey are wishing that Spring would just rush right in.

I was delighted to enjoy a snowy visit to Judy at Cutest Little Things. She has the most scrumptious snowy play day photos! You really must go see.

Thanks so much for sharing with us Judy!