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Friday, March 22, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Have You Ever Felt This Way?

I'm taking a few weeks off from blogging. My family and I got away to Monterey this week, which was so wonderful and much-needed.
Carmel Mission
Colton Hall, where the California Constitution was signed

Beach Fun

Monterey Bay Aquarium

But I still read several blogs, and came across this one that I thought was so relate-able.

Have you ever felt like this?

I Want to Run Away

Saturday, February 23, 2013


They're almost big enough to taste!

This bunny-mama is due to have babies next weekend. She looks so happy about it - about like any Mama who's a week away from giving birth.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Keep Battling the Body


My neck is out right now and my chiropractor is on vacation this week. I've awakened every morning for four days with a splitting headache. Can't wait until he returns Monday!

That nasty cold/flu keeps trying to make its way into our family - each child and parent has had their opportunity to do battle with it. Bought a larger bottle of my elderberry syrup and we're going to town on it. So far, it hasn't won over any of us. We're all still functioning and active. All symptoms have been very mild and totally manageable. Elderberry syrup rocks!

If you missed my post about how our large family wins the battle over illness, here it is.

Working on our kids' spring/summer clothing inventory this week. What's a clothing inventory, you ask? Click here:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Valentine's Dinner Recipes

Many of you enjoyed the pictures of our home Valentine's dinner that I put on Instagram and Facebook. Many of my male friends were lusting - you must repent!

I'm going to share with you how it all came together. For some of you, this may seem basic and you could do something far more elegant. For others, this may be helpful.

We had rib-eyes in the freezer, but I prefer sirloins, as they are less fatty.

I don't usually do this, but for Valentine's, I marinated the steaks in a bit of Worcerstershire and soy sauce.

Seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion powder (that's my favorite combination for most things)

My husband barbequed just right.

My mother-in-law taught me how to saute the best mushrooms.

WARNING: This is NOT whole, real food here, and we only eat these on special occasions.

1. I break off all the stems and only use the caps. The stems go to the pigs. NOTE: Mushrooms shrink when you cook them, so make sure you start with enough mushrooms - my pan was full at the beginning and mushrooms were stacked on top of each other, but the pan was half empty by the end of cooking.
2. Melt two sticks of butter in a saute pan.
3. Add diced onions & minced garlic.
4. Add mushroom caps.
5. Sprinkle GENEROUSLY salt, pepper, & garlic salt - don't skimp here!
6. Put a lid on and let them saute for about 15 minutes or until they are all tender. Walla!

The key: Mushroom caps must be floating in butter!!!

ASPARAGUS (there's many ways to make asparagus, but this is how I do it most of the time)
1. Melt a little bit of butter with some olive oil in a frying pan.
2. Add minced garlic.
3. Break of woody ends of asparagus spears. Place them in the pan.
4. Toss them around so they are well coated.
5. Sprinkle with salt, lemon pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder (you could add diced onions, but my kids freak at the sight of onions)
6. Cook until tender, but not limp. They are best when they maintain their bright color.

I bake my potatoes in the oven, no foil, at about 425 degrees. Depending on their size, they could take up to an hour. If I'm in a hurry, I'll microwave them first for like 10-20 minutes, then put them in the oven to finish.

I like my potatoes to have a slightly crisp skin.

So for the last 15 minutes of baking, here's my trick
1. Pull the potatoes out of the oven and drizzle olive oil on top of each potato.
2. Sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt.
3. Bake for remaining 15 minutes.

We topped our potatoes with:
  • freshly grated cheddar cheese (I like the taste of cheese better when I grate it myself than buying it already shredded)
  • real bacon bits - I take a few slices of bacon, and cut bite-sized pieces with my kitchen sheers. Then I fry the pieces in a pan. Once they are really crisp, I drain them on a paper towel.
  • chopped green onion
  • butter, of course
  • sour cream, if you like
We had some sparkling cider to go with dinner, and See's candy for dessert! There you have it!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How Our Large Family Wards Off Illness

Just like any other group of individuals, our family tends to share germs really well. When one of us comes down with something, its not long before others in the family get sick, too.

This past cold/flu season, I've discovered a remedy that has prevented us from getting sick (except my husband, who isn't always the best patient and doesn't allow me to nurse him like I do my children).

One at least three occasions, I have felt my body starting to get sick - sore throat, nasal drip or congestion, etc. But I've kept it from growing into a full-blown illness with God's naturally provided "medicine."

My kids, also, have started with sniffles or complained of sore throats, and I immediately begin this natural treatment, and symptoms go away without ever worsening.

I even treated my mother-in-law a few weeks ago, and she got well.

For the record, our family doesn't get the flu shot and hasn't for several years.

So are you ready to hear my natural remedies? Treatments that do not come with harmful side-effects? Remedies that God Himself gave us in nature?

When I sense a cold or flu is trying to manifest, I begin this treatment, RIGHT AWAY! (This isn't nearly as effective if a cold or flu is already full-blown.)

1. Elderberry Syrup - This is powerful stuff!!! I cannot take it on an empty stomach or I will get nauseated immediately, it's that strong. But it's oh-so effective! It's so strong, you only have to take it once a day. You can also take it for the entirety of cold/flu season as prevention, if you desire. Elderberry is a natural immune system booster. I even like the Immune System formula in the second picture below, as it also contains echinacea and other things to fight illness.
For the kids, I give this:

2. Echinacea Tea - Echinacea is a very effective natural remedy for fighting colds and flus, but only if its taken right at the start of symptoms. I like to drop some local honey in my echinacea tea. Drink as much as you like.

If you do end up getting nasal congestion, one of my tried and true remedies to speed up relief is a nasal wash like this. I have yet to get try this on my kids.

I hope you find these remedies to be helpful for you and your family!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Blog Posts I Really Liked This Week

Before I share with you my favorite blog posts from this week, I wanted to share with you some of the pictures I've been taking in my photography class. Just remember, I'm a beginner!!!!!

We've been learning how to do blurred backgrounds.

blogs i enjoyed this week
Your Care Guide: 25 Point Manifesto for Sanity in 2013 - Holy Experience
5 Things You Need to Know Before You Begin Your 2nd Term of Life - Holy Experience
How We Use Essential Oils to Fight Colds and Flus - The Prairie Homestead
2012 Homestead Yields & Cost Analysis - On Just a Couple of Acres
Encouraging Maturity in Children - Smockity Frocks
We're Going Around the World Literally - Keeper of the Home
Do I Parent Out of Fear or Faith? - Inspired to Action
A No Waste Kitchen  - New Life on a Homestead
Love Your Neighbor. Even If You Don't Think They Deserve It - New Life on a Homestead