Sunday, February 1, 2015

Journey of Grace: Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) - Chris Tomlin

Songs and music are an amazing way to express, share, and sometimes gain new understanding of life. This song by Chris Tomblin is a beautiful expression of the beauty and healing to be found in living this life in His grace. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Week in Review in Photos

It's been a good busy week. Here are some pictures of our work and play together - schoolwork, games, cooking, housework and just plain fun.

How was your week? I'd love to read about it in the comments.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I Want to Plant My Garden!

The holidays are over and the new year has begun and as usually happens this time of year my fingers are itching to plant something. But January really isn't a good month for planting much of anything - at least not here in Virginia. So instead I look at seeds and gardening tools and beautiful pictures of other people's gardens. And I read about gardens and all things related.

I thought since I have this obsession I may as well share it so here are some of the things I've been looking at, reading about and dreaming of.


Seeds, seeds and more seeds! There are so many things I want to plant this year that I'm not sure where we'll find room for all of it. The last two years we increased our garden space and it looks like this year we'll have to increase it again.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Stalker Fish, Traveling Chickens and Happy Rabbits

My Betas make me laugh every morning when I find them staring at me waiting for their food. I call them my stalker fish because they seem to watch my every move until they get fed.

I'm trying to decide what to do with the chicken run. We've been letting the chickens free range but they are starting to expand their territory. Two of them have discovered the dogs across the road will share his food with them. So I need to keep them in more. And if I do that I who like to expand the size of the run.   I'll still let them free range a few hours a day but not all day like they have been. I've noticed in the past that they don't go as far if their free time is limited. I caught one coming back home this morning. 

Our rabbits are doing well. The litter of six born in September are almost as big as their mother now. They all seem to get along great live happily in their little home. Austin brought one in this morning for us to see.

THURSDAY - HomeAcre Hop

Friday, January 23, 2015

Keeping It Real - Oops!

This is what happens when I walk away from the oven on broil for a "minute" and then forget to come back. As it turned out they actually tasted better than they looked and we ate them anyway. Couldn't waste that bacon!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Banana Cookies

Almost every week I buy lots of bananas. Some weeks the kids eat them all up in the first few days and other weeks they just sit on the shelf until they start to turn brown. This was a sit on the shelf and turn brown week so I ended up with a lot of bananas to find ways to use. So I made a batch of these banana cookies for the kid to eat for snacks. Here's the recipe

Banana Cookies

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (180 degrees C)

Cream butter, add brown sugar, beating well. Add eggs, vanilla and bananas, beating well.

Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Add to creamed mixture; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons full on top greased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes. Place on wire racks to cool.

*I replaced 1/2 cup of white flour with wheat flour.

I also used a bunch of bananas in this Banana Berry Bread.

A few other good things from the kitchen recently were Veggie Tuna Noodle Casserole, Homemade Bread, and Cheese Pizza.


12+ Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Priorities and Making the Most of Five Minutes

Since I've just begun my new posting schedule I really don't have a good post full of projects accomplished ready to share today. So I thought I'd share a few tips I use to help keep things running smoothly.

The first one is something I began using years ago when things were even crazier than they are now. The main reason it was chaotic was the number of small kids I had to care for. In order to keep my head above water I HAD to prioritize. So this is the mental priority list I would repeat in my head all day long

1. God
2. Kids
3. Food for the Kids
4. Clean Clothes for the Kids
5. Everything Else

It was simple but for me, in that season it worked. It gave me a mental guideline I desperately needed.

My other go to tip was to always make the most of five minutes. If there was 5 minutes of time between activities I would make a game of seeing what I could get done - sweep a floor, wash a window, make a phone call - anything to chip away at the never ending to do list. And it's amazing how fast those little five minutes add up. During the years when Michael did not seem to ever sleep at night sometimes the most important thing I could
do was simply close my eyes for five minutes (while keeping my ears open). But even that was so helpful and five minutes well invested.

Also, today I have a few helpful links to share from my reading around the web. 

Monthly Budget Printable

What's So Great About "Homemaking"?

Please don't feed the dust bunnies. - Author Unknown

WEDNESDAY - Wake Up Wednesday