Saturday, January 4, 2014

Great Book series for young readers- Dave and Pat Sargent Books

We have 3 little ones: ages 8,6 and 2. The older two are of course really getting in to reading. I happened across a book written by Pat Sargent a while back at a yard sale or something and it had been in my daughter's book shelf. One day she found it , and read it. She couldn't put it down!.

Then she read it again. And again. I started looking online at Ebay, Amazon etc. and found that Pat Sargent has a whole series of "Barney the Bear Killer" books, as well as many other books her and her husband Dave have written.

The series my daughter really loves, is about Barney a black and tan coon hound, and his owner an 8 year old little girl, and their adventures in the Ozark Mountains. It is a wonderful series and I have since read them all to myself, and aloud to my younger daughter. My older daughter has read them all herself multiple times.

They do have another series for younger readers that each one teach a moral or character lesson.
They are called the Animal Pride Series and are very nice as well.
They do have their own publishing company as well and I have found many books at a bargain price at  . Many of the paperback books on that site are only $1!
I know it can be hard to get kids interested in reading sometimes, but this is a series my kids all really really love, and hopefully some of you will find it as lovely as I do.

Friday, January 3, 2014

One Small Thing- Soup Bucket

Yes a Soup Bucket!

It's been unusually cold here, and soup is just nice on a cold night isn't it?
One small thing I've been doing for a while is to keep what I call a Soup Bucket in my freezer. It's really just a few freezer Tupperware type containers, but here's the premise:

- Every so often I have a few little tablespoons of veggies left over at the end of a meal.  Instead of throwing them out, I put them in the freezer. This works well for things like green beans, carrots, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, even kale or spinach. Just throw it in there.

- Also when I make corn on the cob and have maybe one or two cobs left, I'll cut it off the cob and put the kernels in my bucket.

- We had a wild boar ham about a month ago and I had a few pieces left, I cut it in hunks and put it in my bucket.

- So yesterday I had to take all three kids to the dentist, I had made a loaf of fresh bread, and soup sounded good.

For the base of the soup I freeze tomatoes from the garden, so I took a few out, defrosted them, and ran them through my blender. It made a great tomato base.

I put it all in the crock pot and by the time we were back from the dentist we had a lovely meal ready for us.

Happy Homesteading Ya'll!

Super Frugal and Fun Birthday Cake

With three little ones, plus a husband, plus myself it seems like birthdays are coming around pretty often.

Next time instead of purchasing a super expensive bakery cake, try this. I do it for most of the birthday's around here.
Make their favorite kind of cake, and frost it. Then spell out there name with colored chocolate candies ( aka M&Ms). It's always a hit and done for probably about $4 total, if that. The biggest expense are the candies. The kids love to help decorate as well.

Happy Homesteading Ya'll!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Adventure to Petit Jean Mountain

Time to get out of the house for a bit. Our weather can be crazy, flurries one day, 60 the next, sunshine, rain. oh my. But here is a little trip we took not to long ago to explore Petit Jean Mountain...
 I mean really, isn't it beautiful?
 You probably can't see this, but I'll paraphrase, basically when French settlers came over here, there was a young couple in love, and the girl couldn't bear to be away from her beau so she pretended to be a boy so she could take the trip with him. She was a tiny thing so they called her Petit Jean or " Little John". Once over here in the new world she made it for a while but passed away from some kind of fever, and the grave markers are still here. It is on a beautiful mountain on the river, and is a State Park now. It's wonderful to camp, hike and picnic at.

 The grave....
 I like this picture, don't worry they aren't close to the edge, there is a little shelf of rock just a few inches below what you see as the drop off, so they couldn't fall far from here.

We had a great time and love to get outside and explore.
Happy Homesteading guys!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Book Review- Sweetie-licious Pies: Eat Pie, Love Life

I have shared my recipe for my Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie before:
And I do love pies. I think pies are something that really epitomize hospitality and just old fashioned baking.
I am a member of Goodreads which is a great site for those of you that love books. There is an opportunity for giveaways for books that are newly released that you can enter, and then to share reviews with others, etc. It's a nifty little place. Recently I won a book about Pies!!
Sweetie-licious Pies: Eat Pie, Love Life Pies! A whole cookbook about Pies. This is a great cookbook that also talks about the people the recipes came from, stories about when the pie was served etc. There are great pictures and recipes of all kinds of pies as well as vintage photos from the authors family and friends. I read it through like a novel, not like a cookbook.

I like how it starts out with three options for crusts, ( including an original crust and a graham cracker crust, then also talks about different types of toppings like crumble. You can mix and match crusts and toppings and really have a lot of options for what your family likes. I'm looking forward to trying some of these recipes out this Fall and Holiday season with my family. I just wanted to share this super fun book, you can probably find it on Amazon, and I think it would make a great gift or even a coffee table type book.

Happy Homesteading Ya'll
(and Happy Pie making)!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Freeze your peppers to use later

I have posted before about my Pepper Relish. It's good stuff ya'll! People just love it. Me and the hubs just sit around thinking about what else it would be good on... Anyways, yesterday we picked some of the year end peppers. We have been slacking on picking them and I wanted to make sure I got them off the vines before they went bad. However I did not have time to make relish with them last night.

I use all kinds of peppers. Some are sweet, most are hot though. I love having different colors as well. The orange, red and yellows just really make beautiful relish.
 Then I just put them out on a dish towel and let them kind of air dry.

Then I package them up in gallon ziplock baggies and put in the freezer. I ended up with 5 of the large bags, then one little quart bag. Also I didn't notice, but the dishtowel I was using has little peppers on it .  How fun.  Then sometime this winter when it is getting dark early or we have some time to spend inside, I'll either can the relish myself or bring the frozen peppers to a canning party :) I'll probably end up with a few more bags before the the plants completly quit making....
we are still using many of the jalepenos ( they are our favorite) for cooking on a daily basis. I also will freeze a gallon or so of jalepeno pepper slices to use this winter in homeade salsas, pizzas, tacos etc.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Inspiration to be Godly from a Garth Brooks song??

Like my title??

Last night I was going for a run and had my iPod on shuffle. I have probably 10 years worth of songs on there, mostly Gospel and some bluegrass, but then Garth Brooks' song "The Change" came on.

To back up just a tiny bit it has been a hard few days. It seems like from every which direction I have getting slack if you will, for some of the decisions being made in MY family regarding the path we wish to take.

 Nothing too bad, but a few small things:
- I was made fun of at work when I declined an invitation to go out for "Happy Hour" when a collegue was leaving for a new job. We don't drink, I don't like to be around it, and I for sure wasn't going to waste 2 precious hours of my family time to go to a a bar to watch others get drunk. No thanks!
-When discussing back to school shopping with a few friends that have daughters my age I again was made fun of because of my decision to dress my children modestly and not allow certain items to be worn ( spaghetti straps in this instance) It just seemed a little hurtful to have to defend these actions.

So off for my run last night. ( have a listen to this song if you would like)

And here comes this song:

It's not the world that I am changing
I do this so
This world will know
It will not change me

Wow Rachel! Duh! I just got reminded that the decisions my husband and I make for our family isn't to change the world. I was not trying to put manufacturers of spaghetti strapped tops out of business. We make decisions based on what we beleive to be the right choice for US. For OUR family and at the end of the day we do it kind of in defiance of the world.
No matter how many spaghetti strapped tops are on the racks, we aren't buying them for our girls. We aren't caving in to alcohol and the bar scene. We aren't changing just because the world is!

Happy Homesteading Ya'll!