Saturday, December 31, 2011

fresh ground wheat

Well, as everyone knows, I finally got my grain mill. Here is our first goody we made with the freshly ground wheat. Delicious!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Scones
with fresh whipped cream!

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sucanat
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, cold
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sucanat, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Cut in the butter or coconut oil until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Add the milk and chocolate chips and mix. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead a few times and roll into a thick circle that is about 9-inches around and 1/2-inch thick.

 Cut the dough like you would a pie, into about 12 pieces. Lay pieces onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake about 15 to 18 minutes. Serve with fresh whipped cream!

Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Well, we finally got a grain mill. It was a gift from my father and mother-in-law for Christmas. Thank you!!!!

 I have been talking about getting one for a while now. I did quite a bit of research and decided the Nutrimill would be the one for me. We went to a homeschool convention in Memphis, TN this year and I got to see one up close. I am so excited about being able to grind fresh flour each time we make bread, cookies, anything that takes flour. I purchased some grains through one of our food co-ops a while back. My friend was nice enough to bring her mill over and grind some for me. I still had some grains left in the freezer so tonight, the girls and I got them out for a test run.

We decided to grind some hard red wheat.

It is amazing how these little grains can be ground so fine by this awesome machine.

We are looking forward to tomorrow so we can bake some delicious, fresh, whole grain bread. We will be using the bread recipe from the West ladies on our Homestead Blessings DVD, "The Art of Bread Making". Here is the recipe. It is delicious!

Bread Dough

2 1/2 cups warm water
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1 Tablespoon yeast

Mix the warm water and yeast in a bowl and let proof for about 5 minutes. Then mix in the salt, oil, honey and 2 cups of flour. Mix well and then add more flour until you have a nice dough, about 4 to 5 cups. Knead and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes in a warm place. Punch down and form into loaves. Place in greased loaf pans and use a fork to poke several holes into the top of the dough. Let rise for about an hour. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

We have even added 2 eggs to give it a little different texture. More like a sandwich bread.

With the flour we milled tonight, I plan on making some yummy Raisin Oatmeal Scones for breakfast in the morning.

God Bless!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

More Herbal Remedies

A few days before Christmas, I decided to make some herbal glycerites. Like I didn't have enough to do already! I read this book and began learning alot about herbs and herbal tinctures and glycerites. I highly recommend this book if you are wanting to make your own "herbal medicines". When I first started learning and making tincts and glycerites, I wanted something for the bugs to take to build their immune systems. I started with an Astragalus glycerite. Its key actions are antioxidant, immune support and tonic.

I recently made another Astragalus glycerite but added peppermint this time to help with the bitterness of the root.

I made a Mullein/peppermint glycerite to help one of my bugs with a cold. It is considered the herb of choice for respiratory problems. It loosens mucus and expels it out of the body.

I also made an activator which help to activate the healing energies in the body and another formula to help boost the immune system to prevent illness or to help the body fight infection. They call this formula "herbal vaccines". I found these recipes in the book mentioned above. These are only a few of what I want to make. It takes time to make tinctures and glycerites so I try to make a couple a month. There are so many that can be made. Play around with it and see what you can come up with.

This is something I am very passionate about but it is not for everyone and is not intended to replace any medical advice from a healthcare professional.

1 part yarrow flowers, 1 part elder flowers, 1 part peppermint

"Herbal Vaccine"
4 parts echinacea root, 2 parts thyme, 1 part licorice, 1 part elderberries

Juice of Many Oranges

A couple of weeks ago, we purchased a couple of boxes of navel oranges.

 One of our friends in our homeschool group offered to pick them up for us. We were able to purchase #1's or #2's ("seconds"). I purchased one of each. There wasn't much of a difference in the quality of the oranges, only the price. 
The girls and I decided it would be nice to have an abundance of freshly squeezed orange juice in the refrigerator. We have used many juicers here lately but the one in the picture is by far the best and easiest one to use. We were able to put a whole gallon of juice in the frig to enjoy!
We are hoping with all of that delicious Vitamin C, we will keep our immune systems healthy enough to fight off any nasty bugs we might come in contact with.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Homemade Christmas Goodies!

Every year around our home, we make everyone in the family some neat little homemade gifts. This year, so far, we decided to make really good taco seasoning, peppermint bath salts and whipped honey. Here is how we did it!

Peppermint Bath Salts

8 cups Epsom Salt
3 cups sea salt
1/2 tsp. vegetable glycerin
6 - 8 drops peppermint essential oil
1/4 cup dried peppermint leaves (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and put in a jar. We used 1/2 pint jelly jars.

Taco Seasoning

1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/8 cup ground cumin
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon sea salt

Mix all ingredients together and put in a container of your choice. We used 1/2 pint jelly jars with this also.

We buy our honey from a local farmer. We had a lot of honey on our shelves so we decided to whip some up and give it as gifts. I took about 1 cup of honey and used my Kitchenaid mixer with the whisk attachment. It only takes a few minutes to make this delicious whipped honey!

These are just a few of the homemade gifts we will be giving for Christmas. The girls and I really  enjoy making these together and giving them to our loved ones.

God Bless!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Semi-Healthy Homemade Pie Crust

At one of our Keepers meetings last year, a mom in our group taught the girls how to make homemade pie crusts. Ever since then, we have been enjoying the pie crust recipe. It is by far, the best crust I have come across in a long time. We try to cook and eat healthy in our family so I decided to make it a little healthier than the original recipe. Here is the original recipe.

3 cups plain flour
1 cup Butter flavored Crisco shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon white sugar
10 Tablespoons cold ice water


3 Cups organic pastry flour or whole wheat flour (I want to try spelt, just haven't gotten around to it)
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon Celtic grey salt
1 Tablespoon Organic sugar
10 Tablespoons cold ice water

Mix all of your dry ingredients. With a pastry cutter, cut in the coconut oil. If your coconut oil is liquid, stick it in the refrigerator for a few minutes until solid, and then cut it in. Add the cold ice water and knead it into a ball. This recipe makes three crusts.

It is best to use the pie crusts fresh. I made three of these crusts and used one of them and put the remaining two into the refrigerator for a day or two. When I was ready to use them, I realized that the coconut oil makes them rock hard. I let them sit out on the kitchen counter for a while. When they become room temperature, they are ready to use. You will need quite a bit of flour to roll them out on. They want to stick. All in all, I think they turned out pretty good.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


This past Friday, one of our homeschool groups got together for a little fun making gingerbread houses. We try to do this fun activity every year. This time, the gingerbread houses were mini sized. A little harder to make but still fun. Here are a few pictures.......
This one is Big Boys, as you can see in the picture, he was in a hurry to go play with the other boys with those CARS!
Red Bug having some fun!

That face says it all!


Friday, December 2, 2011


Here is our Christmas tree for this year. The picture does not show the real beauty of it. We have so many ornaments that we have collected over the years. It is so much fun to get out the ornaments and reminisce about them. Each of our bugs have the own "First Christmas" ornaments. They always get to hang their own ornament along with asking many questions about when they were born. One tradition in our home is to put up our tree on Thanksgiving night. It is so much fun for us putting up our tree and enjoying it for quite a while. Taking it down is another story!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Take The Challenge!

Check out the new button I just put on my blog .  23 Day Frugal Living Challenge! Go sign up and take the challenge of living frugally for 23 days. I'm excited. It starts Friday, January 6, 2012. Here are a few ways we will challenge ourselves:

                             ~Redefine "enough"
                             ~Learn how to use a 30 -  day list
                             ~Stop the impulse buys
                             ~Grow a garden
                             ~Cook ahead
                             ~And much more.......

Go check it out.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

The day before Thanksgiving we all decided to make these cute Christmas ornaments.

Every month in our homeschool group, the girls and moms get together for the Keepers at Home meeting. Its alot like girl scouts but more Christ-centered. For mothers, I believe its the most important time in our lives, THE most important time God has given us to teach our girls about our Lord Jesus Christ, about one day being a Christian woman and being prepared to be a wife, a mother, and how to manage a home. Being a "keeper at home" is a very enjoyable, sometimes hard and very worthwhile job.

A few weeks ago, I was suppose to teach the girls something new at our meeting and our whole family came down with a stomach bug and we had to cancel. So, the other day, we decided to make these little ornaments for our family to enjoy for Christmas this year. We gave each grandmother, aunt and great-grandmother one. They are really easy to make. We came across the idea in this Martha Stewart Christmas Book entitled "Parties and Projects for the Holidays".

In the book, they didn't make these gumdrop ornaments, they made a gumdrop ball into a gumdrop topiary. We decided to make the gumdrop balls and turn them into gumdrop Christmas ornaments. Here is how we did it.

You will need a 2" styrofoam ball, or whatever size styrofoam ball you want your ornaments to be, small gumdrop candies, toothpicks, ribbon and a hot glue gun.

First, cut your ribbon the length you want your ornaments to hang. If using them on your Christmas tree, I would cut them no less them six inches in length. If you want to use them as decorations, I would cut the ribbon alot longer. 

Take your styrofoam ball and punch a small hole in it big enough to glue your ribbon. We put the hot glue into the hole first (do this fast because the glue will start melting the styrofoam) and then we folded our ribbon in half and stuck it down in the hole with a toothpick so it would stick to the glue. Once your glue has dried, start breaking your toothpicks in half and poke the pointed ends into the foam; push small gumdrops onto exposed ends. Your ornament is complete once you cover the whole styrofoam ball.
Let me know if you try these cute ornaments and how it went. If you blog and have pictures, post your link so we can see how yours turned out.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

~Happy Thanksgiving~

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

                                                1 Chronicles 16:34

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Great Giveaway from Vision Forum

Vision Forum is one of our family's favorite places to shop for great, trust-worthy Christian books, DVDS, audiobooks and more. We have many of their products in our home. I love how they have a Deal of the Day. I check periodically to see if it's something we might could get one of the bugs for a birthday or Christmas present.

 As of right now, they are partnering with here, here, here, and here so go check it out.


Monday, November 21, 2011


We are pretty excited about Thanksgiving this year. We, for the past few days have been studying alot about the first Thanksgiving and doing quite a few Thanksgiving crafts. Today, the little ones made Thanksgiving books and the older ones made Thanksgiving placemats. I will try to post picture later.

Tomorrow we will make sure we have everything for our cooking and Wednesday, we will start cooking for the holiday. As of right now, we are having.......

Cornbread Dressing
Baked Mac-n-cheese
Candied Yams
Green Bean Casserole
Homemade Dinner Rolls
Sweet Potato Pie
Pecan Pie

The girls and I will start cooking all of this Wednesday to have everything ready for Thursday. It is also their dad's birthday on Thanksgiving Day, so we might need to add some kind of birthday cake to the menu. Maybe a Hershey's Chocolate Cake, YUM!!!!

We are looking forward to a weekend filled with love, celebration and thankfulness. We have so much to be thankful for!


I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with Thanksgiving.

                                                   Psalm 69:30

Friday, November 18, 2011

Our Day of FUNschooling!

We have been planning on taking one day before Thanksgiving to do a few crafts. Today was that day. We had so much fun just learning, playing and having fun. I am so thankful that we are able to teach our children at home and do things like this. We started out gathering leaves for one of our projects.

I was on Pinterest a few days ago and saw the cutest project using leaves from the yard, cardboard letters and glue. We cut the word THANKS out of cardboard, in individual letters and glued the leaves we collected out of the pasture onto the letters. We also used some scrapbooking paper on ours to make it a little more our own. We had such a good time.
Here are our letters we hung above the dining room entrance.
We also made us a Thankful Tree.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.                    
                                       Colossians 3:17

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Large Family Food Storage Solutions

Our current method of food storage is lots of glass, mason jars and gallon-size glass jars.

 We buy dill pickles at Sam's and eat the pickles and keep the jars for storage. We store most of our herbs in these jars above the cabinets in the kitchen. It keeps them fresh. We buy herbs, grains and beans in bulk. I try to keep our rice and beans in the freezer when there is enough room. I will take some of them out of the freezer and store them in quart size mason jars to free up some of the freezer space.

 We also use 5 gallon buckets to store our rolled oats, sugar and other things in. In the near future, I plan on investing in Gamma Lids. I found these at Walmart. They are really pretty and come in a few different sizes. I use these to store herbs. These are just a few ways to store food in bulk. Leave me a comment with your food storage solutions.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Baking Pumpkins!

Well, today was the day to bake our little pumpkins we got from the pumpkin patch. We have baked pumpkins before and put the pumpkin puree in the freezer but today we baked them a little different than we have ever baked them before. Instead of cutting them open, scraping out the seeds and putting them on a baking pan cut side down, we baked them whole. Has anyone ever done this? I recently saw someone do this on their blog and thought  I  really need to try this with our little pumpkins. Here are few pictures on how we did this. We baked a total of six pumpkins today. 13 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree went into the freezer. We are planning on making some of that yummy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread in a few days. Start by washing your pumpkins really good.

Then, as you can see you will need to poke about 6 holes in each pumpkin. Place them on baking sheets and bake them about one hour in a 350 degree oven. They will look like this when they are fully cooked.
When they cool enough to handle, you can peel the outer layer off or cut them in half and scoop out the seeds and then the yummy cooked pumpkin.
Now with a food processor, puree all of the pumpkin until smooth.

Now package into freezer containers of your choice. I have used freezer containers in the past but opted to use quart-size freezer ziploc bags this time. I freeze 1 cup in each bag. Although you can freeze any amount you want.

Now its ready for the freezer.



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Yummy Rolls!

I have been baking for quite some time. We love baking in our kitchen, especially bread. We always try to bake some kind of bread every few days. We have so many recipes for bread, rolls, pizza bread, and cinnamon rolls . Here is one of our favorite roll recipes. I ran across this recipe in a magazine a long time ago and kind of made it my own. We use a variety of flours and sweeteners in bread dough for these kinds of recipes. Enjoy making these rolls and let me know what you think.


2 cups warm water, around 110 degrees
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup sugar, I usually use sucanat or honey
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
6 cups flour, (I used organic, unbleached all-purpose and organic whole wheat in this recipe.)

Pour warm water into a large bowl and sprinkle with the yeast and let stand until foamy. Add sugar, butter, eggs and salt; whisk to combine. Add flour (in this recipe I used 4 cups of the all-purpose and 2 cups of the whole wheat). Mix until a sticky dough forms. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and set aside in a warm place until dough has doubled in bulk.

Turn the dough out onto a well floured work surface and roll into a thick log.

Cut the log into about 20 equal pieces.

Brush a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with butter. One at a time, flatten each piece of dough, then fold edges toward the center, pressing to secure, until a smooth ball forms. Place dough balls in prepared baking pan, smooth side up. Cover with dish towel and let rise until doubled in bulk.
These have already doubled in size and ready for the oven.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake until golden brown, about 34 to 40 minutes, depending on your oven.

Here is my little helper today in the kitchen. Isn't she so cute in my apron! I am so blessed, I always have little helpers around here.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
Psalm 34:8

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today is Veteran's Day. I am so thankful to all the American veterans and especially to our American veteran!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Painting Pumpkins, Art Class?

We went to a pumpkin patch at the end of October of this year. Each one of the bugs were able to pick a pumpkin and bring it home. We decided to paint them instead of carving. One reason we paint instead of carve is they last alot longer. Another reason is that we can wash all of the paint off with hot,soapy water and bake them. Once we bake them, we are then able to use them in many yummy recipes and leftover pumpkin freezes very well. Here they are in "Art Class" painting a masterpiece on pumpkins!