Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Are You Ready for Fall?

I Love when the seasons change.  I love the changing colors and temperatures.  This time of year is clean up time.  Getting our yards and homes all ready for the winter months .  I also love to do some quick de-cluttering around my home.  I try to take a load of our excess to our local thrift store.  It helps with bringing in the new stuff we will at christmas.  It always amazes me at how much I end up giving away because we just don't use it or the kids have out grown it etc. I try and set a goal of a bag a week from now through november.  You should try it.  Its amazing how great you will feel, your house will be cleaner and have less clutter.  You will also really be able to figure out some great christmas gifts that hopefully will be useful as well as fun.

This time of year I always like to go through our coat closet to see who needs what and what needs repaired or donated.  

Here is the before picture.

What we parted with.

And the after picture.  Oh, the closet can breath easier now.  Looks great!

How do you get ready for Fall and the Holiday's?  

Happy Cleaning!

Keeping it Simple 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Are You Paitent?

This is my right hand.  I am right handed.  The injury is a pulled tendon in my hand between the last two fingers.  

How did I do this?  Pulling laundry out of my front loader washer.  I Know!  So crazy!  It was a load of jeans, and I was on the phone, and I did go to pull them out one handed without bending over.  I also didn't know that the jeans were tangled big time and very stuck.  I did this three weeks ago yesterday.  I am healing slowly and still hope for a full recovery without a surgeon.  Tendons can take quite sometime to heal.  This has been so painful, so frustrating, and such a learning experience.
It's funny because I had been complaing to my husband that I could never get anything done.  There was too much and I was feeling overwhelmed.  Well this has made almost everything clear from my calendar and lists of have to do now.  The first week I couldn't stand to move any of my fingers or the pain would be just awful.  So my daughter ( who just graduated from cosmetology school) did my hair and make up for me every day.  My family pitched in, in the kitchen and with the laundry and other chores around the house.  We decided that we would give all the produce in the garden away and that I would do no canning.  My husband took over paying the bills seeing how I couldn't remotely write anything that some one could read.  We've managed I'm dong much better....what has this experience taught me.  Well Patients.  So much patients.  Everything takes longer to do when you don't have the use of both of your hands.  Even something as little as wanting a slice of cheese and not being able do slice it your self and then have to wait for someone to do it for you. Constantly tring to do something but  finding out I couldn't because I really needed the other hand.  (I'm so not coordinated with my left hand.)  But what a gift to have some time to reflect on my life, my goals, and things that are most important in our family.  To re-prioritize things.  Some things really don't matter.  There is always tomorrow to get this or that project done.  We truly  create the crazy or the peace in our lives. 
I came across this quote and loved it. 

My family was great in taking care of me and the house.  I realize it was a lot more for them to do.  As long as I kept a good attitude.  They did.  Our Attitudes are so important to our well being.  Having a positive attitude is essential if we want to be happy and have peace.

"When life gives you every reason to be negative, think of all the reasons to be Positive there's always someone who has it worse."

There is a woman we know, that a few years ago she had a bad reaction to some flu shots and lost the use of her hands.  She can't move her fingers.  So all that fine motor skill she doesn't have anymore.  I have thought of her daily.  What strength and determination she has had to learn to do things a different way.  To be patient and positive.  I will heal and regain full use of my hand.  She really has no hope of that now because its been several years.  

Sorry to be rambling on...I just wanted you all the stop and reflect on what really matters in your lives.  What do you really want to have.  Attitude is everything.  Not matter what happens, God has a plan, there is always a lesson to learn.

Keeping It Simple

Friday, September 20, 2013

Update on the Summer Chores


Just thought I would give you a little update on how our summer chore chart went....

I LOVED IT!   Now did my children do every single chore? No.  My older children who worked full time this summer were not home much and did very little around here.  My younger children did quite a bit and even picked up some of the older kids chores on occasion.  We started off the beginning of the summer great!  The first two weeks the kids pretty much did all they had to do.  Then the summer camps came and they feel out of habit.  They had made some money, Which the younger ones thought it was alot, and the momentum slowed way down.  The older kids told me they make more working why should i have to do chores here...You know how that whole thing goes.  So why did I love it?

Well first of all it held everyone accountable.  My older kids were alwasy complaing that they were doing everything whikle the younger ones did nothing but got everything.  We proved who really was pulling there weight and helping out.  So no more arguments on that topic is a huge score for mom.  
Secondly when it came to do that back to school shopping everyone had there amount of money they had saved, some very little, and there was no arguments shopping.  When they ran out of money they were done.  Even my big shopper daughter that has to have everything and is good at getting her mom to cave in didn't argue in the least.  She did have the most to spend,  she did the most, made a lits of must have's for herself and got it all so she was happy.  Mom and Dad were happy too!  Third the budgeting of there money went great.  they learned to wait for thing they really wanted.  They learned what happens when you spend on a bunch of little things and how that adds up.  It was great!  I will say this wouldn't of worked if we hadn't stuck to the rules we made at the beginning of the summer.  If my husband or I would of caved in on those bad days or gave them more money i  the end so they could have all there wants, this wouldn't of worked.  What's even better is that the kids loved it!  I asked them how they felt about still continuing to do chores this way verses how we did them in the past and they all voted to continue. So we are still using the chores list with a dollar amount.  THose that are up to doing the work they get the money for it.  Those that don't get to stay home with me every friday and saturday night seeing how they don't have movie money.  

I love when I try something new and it works!

If you want to check out my original post about this, check it out... getting-ready-for-summer

Keeping it Simple

Monday, September 16, 2013

Onion Cheese Buns

Ok, these sound like they are going to be slightly more difficult than what its worth.  BUT they are so EASY!  You take the French Bread Reciepe and make rolls out if it.  So Good!  I was asked to bring rolls to a funeral so I made these,  because I didn't want to make a run into town just for rolls.  ( I live 20 minutes from a Grocery store)  Again this is from my friend who is thrifty and is always coming up with some new reciepe with one of her favorites.

Don't these look like they came from the Bakery or what?!  I heard they were a big hit at the dinner.  My family enjoys these.  If I'm all out of buns, (I try and keep buns in the freezer for fast go to meals) otherwise I will make these. 

Homemade Onion and Cheese Buns 
Mix and set aside until bubbly:
½ cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp yeast

Mix the following together in a mixer:
1 Tbsp Olive oil
3 Tbsp. Sugar
2 tsp salt
2 cups HOT tap water
1 Tbsp. Dried Onion Flakes

Add yeast mixture to above ingredients, mix well.
Add 2 cups unbleached white flour. (this will be lumpy).
Add 3-4 more cups unbleached white flour until you have soft should be soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff (I add in 3 cups of flour and then add in more flour in 1/4 cup intervals until you have a nice soft dough)
Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl and let rise for one hour.  
Punch down every 20 minutes.

Punch down and then divide into 12 pieces
Shape into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet and let rise 30 minutes. 
Slash top of each dough ball with a serrated knife and brush with beaten egg white.
Top with grated Parmesan & Asiago Cheese (or whatever cheese you would like)
Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (35 minutes)

Keeping it Simple

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Grandpa's Dutch Oven Cheesy Potatoes

I love summer!  I love the warm weather and beautiful sunshine.  I love all the family gatherings that take place in the summer.  One of my most favorite things is my Grandpa's Dutch Oven Cheesy Potatoes.  Grandpa makes these for our Fourth of July festivities every summer.  The are rich, creamy and oh so good!  I've had a lot of Dutch oven potatoes over the years and no one else's compare to these.

Grandpa has had a battle with cancer this last year so we didn't expect any potatoes this summer.  So grateful and excited that he is doing well. I wanted to make sure I had this family favorite written down.  It seems to me the "old" recipes that have been passed down are always the best. I hope you enjoy one of our family favorites.

Grandpa's Dutch Oven Cheesy Potatoes

For a 10 inch Dutch Oven, (Double for a 16 inch)
5-7 lbs of Potatoes
1/2 lb of Bacon, cut and cooked
1 can cheddar cheese soup
11/2 cups grated cheese
2 medium onions
1 sq. Butter or Margarine
Salt and Pepper

Heat Dutch Oven.  Cook Bacon until Semi-crisp add onions, cook until transparent.  Add Potatoes Season with salt and pepper.  Stir-if sticking add some water.  Cook on low heat until done.  Be careful not to over cook.  You don't want it mushy.  When spuds are done stir in soup. Top with grated cheese.  Cover with lid and leave it covered until cheese is melted.  

Keeping it Simple