Tuesday, December 31, 2013

yummy orange rolls......

Every year we buy citrus in bulk. This year we ended up getting 80 lbs. of oranges. We have really enjoyed eating fresh citrus and drinking freshly squeezed orange juice. We still have lots of oranges so I found this recipe on Pinterest the other day and decided to make it. I am glad I did! It was a big hit around here.

It is so easy and only requires a few ingredients.

Here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


3 packages of refrigerated canned biscuits
1 stick of butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 cap full of orange flavoring (I used freshly squeezed, more than a cap full.)
Zest of one orange
*Place biscuits standing up around the center of a bundt pan.
*In a small saucepan, melt the butter and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved.
*Then add orange flavoring or juice and zest, mix well.
*Pour sugar mixture over the top of the biscuits.
*Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until center is done and lightly brown.
*Let rest for 5 minutes, then turn out on a serving dish.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

turkey for Thanksgiving.....

Here is what's cooking in my oven as I type!

Last year I cooked our turkey overnight in the oven. I thought I would try something a little different this Thanksgiving. A bacon-wrapped turkey! I am still cooking it overnight, just covered in bacon.

I will let you know how it turns out.

Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Review: Christmas Comes To America

Well, the month of December is just around the corner. Everyone knows what that means: Family, Food and the Christmas holiday! Our family loves Christmas. We first want to remember what Christmas is all about, the most important thing, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus! There is nothing like the joy of Christmas. During this time of the year, I like to make school fun. A month or so ago, I was contacted by Homeschool Legacy and given the opportunity to review their Once-A-Week Unit Study----Christmas Comes to America. I thought what a perfect opportunity to have tons of fun learning other Christmas traditions.
Once-A-Week Unit Studies are written for homeschool families, in my opinion, to make learning fun. Why Once-A-Week unit studies? There is no prep-time or work, easily incorporated into anyones schedule, very flexible and Biblically-centered, which is a big plus for our family. Once-A-Week means to do your unit study one day each week.
Christmas Comes to America focuses on the history of American Christmas traditions. This study shows one common thread among the cultures. Gift-Givers: Sinterklaas, Christkindl, Father Christmas, among others. These symbols represent the True Saint Nicholas.
I will give you an example of no prep-time or work. Each once-a-week study comes with a pick & choose read-alouds list for non-readers, optional books, videos and music list. There are books you read to go along with the study. Each week you are to read one of the books independently and one as a family read-aloud. There are four weeks in this study:
Week 1: The Dutch
Week 2: The English
Week 3: The Germans
Week 4: An American Christmas
Each week we learned the different names of the gift giver for each country. For example, the Germans have Christkindl (where we get Kris Kringle from) - Christ Child. There are so many activities in this unit study. From making and drinking hot cocoa and marshmallows to building a gingerbread house. We are having so much fun with this. I am looking forward to doing some of the activities we were unable to do. This is definitely  a unit study you don't want to miss!
This once-a-week study can be purchased at Homeschool Legacy for $17.95. Go get this study and have a fun Christmas Study for the month of December. They also offer other studies like the one our family used here while back entitled Lewis & Clark: From Sea to Shining Sea which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of the product in exchange for my honest opinion. All my opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

red bug's big catch.....

Back on May 24th of this year, our red bug caught a nice bass out of our little pond. She was so excited about it that Dad and I decided to have it mounted for her. It has been six months and it is finally on our wall! Now there is a memory!

God Bless!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Meet Betty Grace!

Well, as you can see, it has been a little over two months since I posted anything. I have been a little busy these past two months. I thought it was time for you to meet what has been the top priority around our little homestead!

Betty Grace Freeman
9 lbs. 7 oz. , 21.5 inches
We were still in the hospital in this photo. The second one is the day we were released.
Here are a couple that were taken recently.

God Bless!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

TOS Review: Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura

As a child, I grew up reading Little House on the Prairie books and watching the TV shows. I loved it! I remember waiting for the show to come on TV everyday.

When I heard about an upcoming review about Almanzo and Laura from Legacy Documentaries, you can imagine how I felt. My bugs have all become fans of these books and shows, so when we had the opportunity to review one of two DVDs , we were ecstatic!!! We chose Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura.

Dean Butler is actually the executive producer, the actor who played Almanzo Wilder on the TV show. It tells the story of Farm Boy, one of the books in the Laura Ingalls Wilder series.

This documentary takes you back in time to Almanzo's childhood about his life in New York.

Almanzo Wilder was born in 1857 when America was in the Great Depression. He was raised to be a hard worker and was taught to do everything himself, not to depend or rely on anyone else. I really like how it focused on hard work and discipline. It also showed how much respect he had for his parents. These are traits that I think every parent wants to instill in their child/children. My husband and I work very hard everyday to instill these traits into our children.

This documentary touched on so many different topics. From how food was prepared back then, from whole foods not processed like today to Morgan horses.

We thoroughly enjoyed this documentary. We, as a family, watch many episodes of Little House on the Prairie that we have purchased on DVD. We also have the entire Laura Ingalls Wilder book series and in the near future, plan to do a Unit Study on the series. This DVD will just add more information and enjoyment to our DVD library and school studies.

Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura DVD sells for $21.95. It is 53 minutes long and is appropriate for all ages.

Go see what other crew members had to say about these awesome DVDs.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Circle Time Review!!!

As a Schoolhouse Review Crew member, I had the opportunity to review Circle Time: Plan the Best Part of Your Homeschool Day, from Preschoolers and Peace.

This ebook I received is 33 pages and has so much insight, tips and ideas from other moms that have used it. Kendra, the author, discusses strageties for accomplishing things you want to get done during this time.

Planning a Circle Time That Works for You
How to Get Your Kids on Board
Questions From Moms Like You
Words of Wisdom from other Moms who do Circle Time
Resources, Activities and Ideas
Printable Planner Sheets

This is a great book! Once I finished reading it, I was truly excited. It helped me with more ideas and how I could really improve our upcoming school year in a couple of weeks. We are almost ready to start our new year, so I was happy to have time to try this out. Well, I think it is something we will really enjoy and I am really excited to see how this will work for us. So far so good. I have to say I think since we started with this, it has become everyone's favorite part of the day.

One of the topics was having the older children teach and help out with certain topics. That gave me an idea. Since I will be giving birth to our sixth bug in about four weeks, I thought this would be perfect for the older two bugs. I am still trying to decide what I want them to be in charge of . I am sure with the help of this book, we can come up with something.

I really enjoyed this sweet, short read. This is a great resource for anyone with littles or just needs a little help.

This ebook sells for $4.99.

If you would like to see what other families are saying about Circle Time, head on over to the TOS Crew.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Couponing Made Simple.....Molly Crew Review

Are you one that wants to use coupons but really don't know how? I have the solution, Couponing Made Simple by Christi the Coupon Coach. The Molly Crew had the opportunity to review this product. Her books sells for $18.00 or $4.99 for the ebook.

Christi is a homeschooling mom of 4 and has been couponing for years. Her book teaches you how to use BOGO coupons (Buy One Get One Free), and how to "stack". This is what she calls successful couponing.

In her book, she shares a step-by-step process:

1. Buy Newspapers
2. Sort Newspapers
3. Find the Deals
4. Make Coupon Matches
5. Organize for Coupon Run
6. Shop and Save
7. Wrap Up at Home
8. Celebrate & Share

Here are the contents in her book:

1. Success Stories
2. A New Way to Shop
3. The Language of Couponing
4. Organization System
5. Step-by-Step Process
6. Tips & Tools
7. Couponing Ethics
8. Networking & Communicating
9. Bonus Section
10. Beyond Couponing

When the book arrived, I thought I would be overwhelmed by it but when I started reading it, I really enjoyed learning about the process which made it very simple to understand. She has so many ways of using coupons.

How it worked for me:

We live in a small town and the one newspaper that is available to buy has no coupons in it, not even on Sunday! So, I went online and found various websites where I could print coupons. After that, I went around town collecting all of the sales papers. When we put our minds and energy into this, we save anywhere from around $8 - $10 each shopping trip. That's not much compared to Christi but I am hoping to learn more and more each time and one day walk out saving 68%  or more like Christi.

My final thoughts:

If you want to learn how to coupon and don't have the time to figure it all out on your own, you may want to look into purchasing Chrisit's book. She has done all of the work for you! I am looking forward to learning more and more from her. I just scratched the surface!

I really like the best and last deal she says we will ever find. The deal of the universe----- SALVATION IN JESUS CHRIST!!!

Check out what other crew members had to say about Christi the Coupon Coach.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Couple of recipes

Here are two yummy recipes! I have no pictures because my computer and photos will not cooperate!

The first one is one of my favorites during the summer. I always make this one when my tomatoes start coming in and ripening on the vine.

The second one is also a summer recipe. It calls for yellow summer squash.

Try these, I promise you will not be disappointed!

Tomato-Leek Pie

1 pie crust
2 red tomatoes
2 yellow tomatoes
1 green tomatoes
1 leek
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonaise
1 egg
Salt and Pepper

Bake pie crust at 450° until golden brown. Slice tomatoes, place on paper towels, sprinkle with salt and let sit for 20 minutes. Slice the leek and saute in butter. Layer leek on bottom of crust. Top with tomatoes. Mix mayo, egg, cheese, salt and pepper. Spread on top and bake at 375° for 30 minutes.

Yellow Squash Pie

1 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup honey or 3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups cooked squash
1 unbaked pie crust

Cube and cook squash. Cool. In blender, blend milk, eggs, cinnamon and honey. Add the cooked squash and blend together in blender about 2-3 minutes. Pour into unbaked pie crust and bake on 400° for 10 minutes, then 350° for 35-40 minutes or until set. Set.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Moving Beyond the Page - Tornado and Amazing Weather - Schoolhouse Review

We received a Language Arts Study and a Science Study from Moving Beyond the Page. It is a literature-based curriculum. This curriculum works well for children that are hands-on learners. They sell complete curriculum and also individual units so you can pick and choose what studies you want to do.

We chose the Language Arts Unit Tornado and the Science Unit Amazing Weather. They can be used separately but are designed to be used together. These units are designed for ages 7-9 and include everything you need for a full study.


We received the physical book for Tornado. The set included the book, Tornado, How the Turtle Got It's Shell and the teachers guide.

The teachers guide is a spiral bound book with lesson plans and student worksheets for you children to work through as they read through the story. There are daily activities listed that you will do for that days lesson.
Amazing Weather

We received the online access for Amazing Weather. This unit includes the teacher guide (online), On The Same Day in March  
book and Weather and Climate - Geography Facts and Experiments book and a boiling point thermometer. For the student worksheets with the study, I would go online and print the pdf pages for each lesson. With the online access, you can print as much or as little of the pages as needed.

The printable online units seem like the more cost-effective way to go if you are wanting to use this curriculum with multiple students.

The physical unit for Tornado is $24.97 and there is also an online unit available.

The online unit for Amazing Weather is $29.91 and there is also a physical unit available.

Our Final Thoughts

We really enjoyed both of these units. They are really exciting. The teacher's guides are well laid out and easy to follow. All of the  bugs participated in these studies as much as they could. The were always excited to hear what would happen next in the Tornado book. I can see us using Moving Beyond the Page more often. I will be using the online version for our family for everything, that way, everyone can enjoy doing the worksheets. I highly recommendced this curriulum, especially for those who want full inclusive science, language arts or social studies.

Go see what other crew members has to say about Moving Beyond the Page.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Baker Publishing Group~~~Lily Lapp Books (Schoolhouse Review Crew)

If you and your family are looking for some wholesome, fun reading, then look no further! Life with Lily and A New Home for Lily, published through the Baker Publishing Group are just what you are looking for.

Members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew were asked to review these two wonderful books, the first two books in a series,  about a little girl growing up Old Order Amish.

We really enjoy reading Amish fiction books. Every two weeks we go to a Mennonite farm to buy raw cow's milk and raw cream. Although the Amish and Mennonite are different in ways, they also have some similarities. We have really enjoyed making friends with this Mennonite family. They are very genuine and plain people.
The first book, Life with Lily, she lives in upstate New York on an Amish farm and has many adventures along the way, including a new baby brother and starting school. There is always an adventure waiting to happen for Lily, plenty to do and people to love.

In the second book, A New Home for Lily, she moves to Pennsylvania, which means having to adjust to a new school, new friends and a new Amish community. She also meets the most annoying boy in the world, Aaron Yoder! Along this journey some things are good like exploring an attic full of adventure!

One of the authors of these books, Mary Ann Kinsinger was raised Old Order Amish. She started a blog, http://www.ajoyfulchaos.blogspot.com/, after she and her husband decided to leave the Amish church. Here she shares her journey from a happy little Amish girl to where she is today.

My oldest bug read these two books for this review and really enjoyed them. She would talk to me each and every night about what she had read that day. When I asked her how much she liked or disliked these books, she said, "Mom, I only have one word to describe them, AMAZING!"

The books are available, paperback or ebook form for only $12.99 each. They are very high quality books.

The ages are 8-12, according to the publisher but in our opinion, these would be great for all ages. These books would make a great family read-aloud. We highly recommend these two books.

There are two more books in The Adventures of Lily Lapp series coming. A Big Year for Lily and A Surprise for Lily.

Go see what other crew members had to say about these awesome books.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Everyone harvesting the potatoes this past Saturday morning. We didn't have quite the crop we were wanting but it is always a blessing to have any!

Dad on tractor!

Almost everyone pitching in!

Big Boy taking a break from the heat!

Little Bug taking a break with Mom and Red Bug!

Well, here are the potatoes we have been waiting for. Not many, but we will be thankful and enjoy!

God Bless!

Friday, June 14, 2013


I thought I would share two yummy recipes today! We have made both of these cakes this past week and have really enjoyed them. Beware, these cakes are not that healthy. 

Lemon Icebox Cake

1 butter recipe cake mix
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tub of Cool Whip

Mix and bake cake as per instructions on the box. Pour cake mix into three 9 inch round pans or like I did, a sheet cake pan. While cake is baking , mix the can of condensed milk with the lemon juice until well blended. Once the cake layers or cake is done, let them cool for just a few minutes. The layers or cake need to be warm. Use about 2 tablespoons of the milk and lemon mixture as the filling between each of the layers or like I did, poke holes in the cake and pour the mixture over it. Mix the remaining milk and lemon mixture with the tub of cool whip until completely blended. This will then be used as your icing. Ice the cake completely and refrigerate until chilled.

Coconut Cream Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1 cup condensed milk
1 cup coconut cream
1 large tub Cool Whip
1 package coconut

Mix and bake following directions on cake mix in a 9 X 13 inch pan. Let cake cool. Punch holes in the cake about 1/2 inch in diameter. Pour condensed milk over the cake, then pour the coconut cream. Next, spread cool whip evenly over the cake. Sprinkle coconut over the cool whip. Keep in refrigerator.

God Bless!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

green beans.....

This is what we were doing yesterday. GREEN BEANS!!! This was our first picking of green beans out of the garden.

We ended up with 6 gallons of beans to put in our freezer. This is just the beginning! Bring on the squash and cucumbers!

God Bless!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

pregnancy ups and downs

Well, I am 26 weeks pregnant this week. So far, this pregnncy has been ok. This morning, at 5am I awoke to contractions! Not Braxton Hicks, full blown contractions! You can just imagine how I felt. 26 weeks is to early for this baby girl to make her appearance. So, I remembered something I read in my favorite book. I think I have mentioned this book before, but if not, the title is Be Your Own "Doctor", an informative Guide to Herbal Home Health Care by Rachel Weaver M.H. I have been using this book for about two years now and would highly recommend it to anyone.

There is a chapter entitled "Pregnancy and Motherhood" and it gives all kinds of information and recipes for pregnancy. I truly love this book. So, when I realized I was having contractions, I went straight to my book for encouragement.

It has a section in this chapter that tells us what we need to do if we start experiencing Preterm Labor. She says for those who are at risk of developing or are currently experiencing true, preterm labor, here are some things you can do:

~Take a lukewarm water (not hot) bath loaded with epsom salt. Use two to three cups of salts. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate which is what they actually use to stop preterm labor in a hospital. Do it every day if you need, to keep strong contractions from coming back. Especially do it at bedtime to relax you so that you can sleep better.

~Drink at least 12-14 8-ounce glasses of water a day. More if you can take it. Dehydration (even mild) is a leading cause of contractions. But when you do, you need to take at least 1/2 teaspoon of salt to keep your minerals in balance so that you do not feel dizzy from flushing them all out with water.

~Eat a nice amount of good protein. Protein foods include milk, eggs, cheese, meat, nuts and peanut butter.

~Stop drinking all tea and coffee, whether caffeinated or not. Tannins in these beverages can be very irritating to the uterus.

~Stop drinking red raspberry leaf tea or eating anything with raspberries at all.

~Avoid all herbs in the mint family, including basil.

~Lie on your left side as much as possible. It improves blood flow and calms contractions.

~5-10 drops of false unicorn tincture every 15 minutes for an hour and then hourly for a few hours if needed (while lying down). A source if provided.

~Start taking at least 1000mg. of vitamin C per day, immediately and throughout your pregnancy and two to three grams of alfalfa per day or two to three cups of alfalfa tea, which will help prevent premature rupture of membranes and prevent bleeding.

Talk to your doctor or midwife to see if you should be on full bed rest.

She also says to drink a large protein drink. She gives a recipe for this in her book.

A Good Protein Shake

1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon powedered milk (extra protein)
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon instant chocolate powder or carob if you wish

Blend in the blender. Add a bit of ice and blend. This will give you two or more cups of drink. Drink two cups immediatelyu. This will give you a quick bit of protein that your baby needs.

I took an Epsom salts bath early this morning and it stopped my contractions! What a blessing. I also made me the protein shake and to my surprise it wasn't to bad. I cheated a little and added a little sucanat to make it a bit sweeter.

I will continue to use this book throughout my pregnancy and any other time I feel me or my family needs it.

This book was designed to provide information in regard to the subject matter covered. The author or publishers are not liable for the misuse of the material provided. If you choose to use the following or any information provided here you are doing so at your own risk!

God Bless!

Monday, June 3, 2013

our Auntie!!!

Well, three years ago, our Auntie (my little sister, Michelle Wroten) was accepted to LSU Law School. After many long, exhausting hours of studying, she finally made it to the day we were all looking forward to, GRADUATION! The wonderful day was Friday, May 31, 2013.  We are so proud of her and love her so very much. We knew all along this day would become a  reality. Here are a few snapshots I took on that very special day!

Here are a few pictures I took of the bugs on this great day!

Here is the cake a couple of our friends got for the celebration after graduation.

Way to go Auntie! We Love You!

Friday, May 24, 2013

big bass.......

Take a look at what Red Bug caught this afternoon out of our pond!

This bass weighed in at 3 lbs. She was so excited. We are going to have this nice fish mounted for her.

This will be a nice memory for when she is older.

God Bless!