Monday, September 30, 2013

Planning and Making Do... What I Hope I Get Done in the Next Week or So

Hello Ladies!

So good of you to drop in today.  I've been thinking of things I would like to get done over the next week or so.  You know how it is.  Always something to do.  So, here are some things I hope to do this week.  I think I'll come back here and change items to italics as I do them just to give myself a little encouragement along the way.


*Update, while I didn't do it all, I think I did more than I would have without the list.


Baking:
I'm going to make a batch of my chocolate chip cookies Remember my plan for making cookies?  
Hubby made them instead.  He wanted to try out a giant cookie scoop.  It's actually a big ice cream soup. 
~  Italian Cream Muffin in a Mug

Decorating:  All finished!
Finish putting out my Autumn decorations.  
~  Wash up my autumn glasses. I found some more that match to complete my set at the Dollar Tree.

Cooking:  
~ Make Spicy Can Opener Soup and photograph it for blog.
~ Kombucha tea 

Harvesting:
~ I'll check for jalapenos in the garden.  If we get blessed, maybe there may even be a tomato or two.  It wasn't a good garden year for us.  Tuesday ~ Nothing yet, we'll keep checking.

Canning or Freezing:
~ I'm trying to get enough peppers at once to make jalapeno jelly.  I need 24 at once!

 Reading:  
YouVersion's Daystar Television 6-month Reading Plan It's a read through the Bible plan.  I'm on Day 56, and I've read or listened to 54% of the Bible so far.  I'll do this each day and post my final %  the end of the week. ~smile~  I made it to 57.8%. 
~  Return to Me by Lynn Austin.  It's a historical novel set in the time when the Persians and Medes took over Babylon from the Babylonians.  It's the time of Daniel and the return to Jerusalem to build the temple.  So far so good. ~smile~  I almost finished.

~ The Book of Sight by Deborah Dunlevy is my current read aloud with the children.  As they get older, it's harder to get everyone together to read.  It's just so important though. ~ I read a few chapters to the children this week.

Sewing:
~ Last week, I sandwiched a large quilt top that my husband's grandmother made.  Upon inspection, I found that I had a large wrinkle in the backing.  I need to un-pin and un-baste, then re-sandwich it.  I'll only get this done if I spend some time at the church.  I don't have a big enough area in my home unless I move the furniture out!  ~smile~  I hope to have it in the frame by the end of the week.  I enjoy hand quilting, but I haven't done it for many years.  Too many children too quickly!
~ My mending basket needs some attention, too.  It always does with a family of five.  ~smile~ I mended a pair of slacks for Lowell and a pair of gym pants for Amy.
~ If I am inspired and have time, I'll finish cutting out a new black dress with little red cherries on it. 

Studying:
~ Trim Healthy Mama book

Working:  
~ Photograph some items for my etsy shop, ebay, and my blog.  I might just have Amy, my little photographer do it for me.
~ List some items in my etsy shop.
~ I need to work on an out-line for an upcoming writing project.  ~ Very late Monday night, the Lord gave me a title which lead to a rough outline.  I'm ready to narrow it a bit and begin writing.
~ Write a couple of posts.

If I finish all this list, I'll have been very busy indeed.  I also need to spend time with my kids, teach, check papers, and do some ironing and cleaning.  Thanks so much for dropping in!  I'd love to hear some of your plans for this week.  It's so nice to have a chat over the back fence  internet with you today!

Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage
Happy at Home

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler

The Reading Lesson by Helen Allingham

Ever wonder what life's like for a Homeschooler?  It can be summed up in one word:

Busy. 
 
Maria at Five Simple Things asked me to share about what a homeschooling day in our family looks like.   It was a hard task.  We're rather eclectic and flexible in our learning.  I do hope you'll pop over to Maria's blog and read my guest post.  



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Looking for Tips to Make Perfect Caramel Apples?



Like caramel apples but your caramel doesn't stick?
Gooseberry Patch has shared their tips to make perfect caramel apples at their blog.

Secrets to Success:  Caramel Apples

Check out their new recipes for caramel apples using some rather unusual toppings like bacon and Oreos.

Take a Dip  5 New Toppings for Caramel Apples


I like Gala apples best for eating fresh.  They have a crisp, sweet flesh that doesn't bruise as easily as Red Delicious.

Enjoy the season!

Blessings,
Laura
Happy at Home

~~~~~
May I suggest?
~~~~~
The Art of Homemaking     

Monday, September 23, 2013

September and October: Busy Days and Holiday Prep


These cool days of fall are the perfect time to prepare for the busy holiday season coming in November and December.  In an ideal world and when we're not recovering from a tornado, these are some of the ways I like to prepare for the busy days of November and December:

Prepare double batches of soups and casseroles.  I do this on normal evenings as I'm preparing dinner.  It's easy to put the extra in the freezer for a busy day meal.  Just be sure to label it.  I've had a few surprises over the years.  Oh my, did I say that aloud?  ~smile~

I'll be sharing favorite soup recipes over the next few weeks to help you.  For now, I think you'll find some lovely soups and stews on this list from my blog:

An Autumn Mix: Warming Up with Soups and Stews... A List of Favorites


Begin now to prepare cookies for your family often.  I bake a dozen for the family to enjoy now and freeze the rest for busy November and December days.  I often go ahead and shape the dough into balls for easy thawing and baking right on the cookie sheet.  This is a huge help when unexpected guests pop in during the holidays or you find that you need a treat to take to a gathering.

Now's the time to gather ideas and make your lists.  Look at all the ideas you've come up with over the last few months.  Start making lists.  Think about what you'd like the next few months to look like and start breaking it all down.

Well, I've given you something to think about.  Go, think, scribble a few thoughts down, and try some of my soups.  Have a terrific week!

Laura
Happy at Home
~~~~~
May I suggest?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Welcome Fall! Welcome Autumn!

I'm welcoming cooler weather and just a few colored leaves.  Today, I'm meeting up with Danni of Silo Hill Farm and Marci of Stone Cottage Adventures for a little shopping and a ladies' luncheon.  What a fun way to welcome Autumn!

Have a terrific weekend and make a pot of soup to welcome the season!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Autumn Thoughts...


Leaves just tinged red and gold
The slightest chill on the breeze
Sun playing hide and seek
Can we read in the tree, please?

Pulling out the recipes
for all the soups and stews
It's still dark in the morning
Just one more time- hit snooze

Crafting, cooking, reading, cleaning
Learning, planning, dreaming
Secret plans for Christmas gifts
Talking about the holidays and scheming!
Blessings,
Laura
~~~~~
May I suggest?
~~~~~

This post was featured at:
Welcome Home Wednesdays

Friday, September 13, 2013

I'm a Stay-at-Home Mom.


Hey y'all!
I'm just finishing up birthday season around here.  One more party, then it's fall!  In the last three weeks, Amy turned 12, Michael turned 14, and Emily is now sweet sixteen and never been kissed.  I just like my kids. My oldest, Matthew, is 22.  He's out on his own now, but calls and comes by often.  It's been so neat to have the privilege of being with my children as their personalities and interests develop.  I wouldn't trade being a stay-at-home mom for anything.  I never made a paycheck that was worth the relationships I have with my four children.

Thank you Lowell!
Thank you God!

Laura
Thankful to be Momma

P.S.  Big myth, your husband has to make a lot of money if you're going to stay home.  Truth, you have to stretch your money if you're going to stay home.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Just Playing Around...

 Just playing around with Tagxedo.


Happy to Be Hospitable

We took Friday afternoon to do some deep cleaning in preparation for our first guests of the season.  We've been rather inhospitable for quite awhile due to hubby being very busy with tornado rebuilding volunteer teams.  He did all the coordinating and much of the cooking over the last couple of years.

Last night our dear friends, Gene & Joyce and their family joined us for dinner.  The occasion was Michael's 14th birthday.  As far as I can remember, we've shared every one of Michael's birthdays with them.  The boys had an air soft war.  Lots of protective goggles protected lots of eyes.  Praise God for goggles!

So, now that we've had a terrific time with old friends, the next occasion will be my daughter Emily's party.  I hope to open our home to friends, family and acquaintances on a regular basis from now on.

Do you have any quick, easy, and inexpensive hospitality tips to share?  I need to get back in the swing. ~smile~

Now, do talk back!

Blessings,
Laura
Happy to be Hospitable

I was unable to find the original source of this cover photo.  The Housewife was a quarterly magazine around the turn of the 20th Century.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Super Quick, Super Cheap Laundry Detergent

It seems everyone and their second pup is making homemade laundry detergent these days.  I've tried my share, too.  I tried a powdered type once, but I found that the soap didn't dissolve in the water.  I had bits of Ivory soap all over our clothes.  Although I love the convenience of powder, the mess wasn't worth it for me.  I tried Jillee's recipe and liked it.  I just didn't like fiddling with gallon jugs.   So I changed things up a bit and tweaked some of the proportions to better fit my family's needs.  We wash a lot of jeans and towels around here.

This is so easy, I could have my 22 year old son make it.  I know, usually you'd say your 12 year old, but she's a girl.  ~smile~  I like using some small 50 oz. detergent jugs that I saved from detergent bought on sale.  That was before I tried this super quick, super cheap laundry detergent.  I have experimented a bit to find the strength that I like.  Here's how I do it super quick!


Super Quick Super Cheap Laundry Detergent
  •  1 T* concentrated Dawn dish soap
  •     ~ or ~
  • 2 T original Dawn dish soap
  • 1 T Borax*
  • 1 T Arm & Hammer Washing Soda* (not baking soda)
  1. Line however many empty bottles you have up in your sink.  (You could even use two liter bottles if you want.)
  2. Put 1 T concentrated or 2 T original Dawn dish soap in each bottle.
  3. Put 1 T Borax in each bottle.
  4. Put 1 T Washing soda (not baking soda) in each bottle.
  5. Add approximately 4 cups hot water to each bottle, cap it, and swish it around. 
  6. Add water to reach the neck of the bottle, cap and swish it around.  It's okay if some suds overflow.
That's it!  You're done!

It's been working fine for our family so far.  I use one capful* for regular clothes, two for towels and jeans and other dirty items.  I've even used it for my 22 year old's super dirty work clothes.  I used 4 capfuls.   It's a super simple, super cheap way to make detergent.  If you have to use a little more, or your kids use too much, it's only pennies to make more.  My budget loves it!  Give it a try, and tell me what you think!


Both the Borax and washing soda are in the laundry aisle at my Wal-Mart.

Mind you, I've not used this detergent with bleach yet.  I don't know of any trouble with mixing these ingredients with bleach in the water, but I'd use caution.

Blessings,
Laura
Happy at Home

*Edited to answer a question from Lisa Grace regarding cup size.
What an excellent question!  It's the very question that makes comparing prices at the store so hard.
My capful measures 3/4 cup.  I don't think you need to be very precise with the measurement you use. 
I use extra if I have an extra large load or very dirty items.

*Edited to answer a question from Alyssa:
T is the abbreviation for a measuring tablespoon.


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This post was featured in issue #134 of The Christian Home Magazine.



Mommy Monday Warm Heart