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

Monday, September 9, 2013

Purchase a New Car lately?

My teenage son did this.  If you have a teenage driver you know the stress, worry and money it takes to ''let" them drive.   The one phone call you don't want is, the report of an accident.   This accident was my sons first accident.  He's had his license over a year.  It was minor. No one got hurt (except his car) the other driver and his pickup truck were fine.  This did total this car of ours.  He was sad, we were sad, but so grateful no one was hurt.  Cars can be replaced.

My husband and I now had some decisions to make regarding a new car purchase and how we were going to let our son "feel the consequences" of his accident.  One rule we have before the kids get there license is that they have to have the insurance deductible in there savings account.  If the have a job they pay for there own gas, we are providing the car and paying the insurance.  If the kids do not have a job then we have given them a gas budget.  If they burn through it fast then, oh, too bad I guess you are staying home friday night.  If you have an accident then you will now have to pay for the increase in insurance.  A second accident or many tickets, You get to pay for it all, the car, insurance, and gas. This really has worked well for our family.  Having a drivers license is a great privilege and responsibility.  It isn't a right everyone in society is given.  We want our children to understand this and appreciate this.
We live 15-20 minutes out of town, and my son does have a job so he needs a car in order to keep it. So we knew being down a car was going to put a lot of stress on mom running him back and forth.   So we began searching for a new car.

Buying a new car can be stressful.  Everybody wants to get what they want, and they want it to be shiny and fun, but reliable and affordable.  So what is the best way to approach this large purchase?
I thought I would share what we have learned over the last 21 years that we have owned a car.  In that time we have owned a total of 11 cars.  We've made some bad purchases, but we have learned from them.  Our last several (5) purchases have been great deals and nice dependable affordable cars.  However you can take this information and use it or you can not...just thought I would share.

You always want to start with a budget.  
A realistic budget.  So sit down and go over your finances before you even start looking at vehicles.  You are going to determine how much money you have for a down payment.  Are we going to have  a car payment, if so what's the amount you are comfortable with.  I like to have a range.  For example I 5-10,000 dollars was my range for a new car purchase.  We have 4 drivers in this house and depending on what I found would depend on who was going to drive the car.  I have room to shuffle things.  

Next call the bank.  Check around for who has the lowest interest rates and what they are.  Taking note of older cars will have an higher interest rate than newer cars.  Also most of the time a Car Dealership can get you an even better rate than the bank.  DO NOT have them run your credit or have an application open for this.  You are still in the information gathering phase.  You are not certain what you are going to do yet.  If you know however, that you don't want a larger than 200 dollar car payment then ask questions like: " 5,000 dollar loan with a 200 dollar payment at the current interest rate would take how long to pay off?" Or, "A loan for a 10,000 dollar car on both the higher and lower interest rate.  That is the payment?"   Once you have an idea of  the numbers then we shop.

I shop for cars everywhere.  The side of the road, Craig's list the thrifty nickel, online, and at dealers.  I start looking to see what's out there.  I make lots of phones calls and start weeding things out Based on year of vehicle, amount and mileage, and if the car has been wrecked.  

Then I find out all I can about the cars I like.  
So I'm looking up on line at reviews. I'm finding out what the car is worth..not what the people are asking but what the car value is. You can do that by calling the bank, checking on Edmonds or Kelley Blue Book.  YOU NEVER, NEVER want to pay more for a vehicle than what it is worth.  NEVER!  Always find out how much the car would be if buying brand new too.  Why?  Well its a good thing to know how fast the car is depreciating.  How much is this car really going to cost you to drive it.  I also like to call the insurance company and know how much the insurance will be on the vehicles we are looking at.

Then we test drive.  I am a have to see, touch, feel and hear kind of gal.  I will not purchase a car sight unseen.  To high of a risk for me.  (I do tend to be picky!)   I want to look at the car.  I want to see all the nooks and crannies.  You cant tell a lot about how well the car has been maintained by the condition the car is in.  It's a great feeling to go test drive a car that you know all the specs on.  How much it should be worth how much the insurance will cost.  The reviews.  All this information will help you to decide if you really want to proceed or walk away.  The dealers don't like informed shoppers. They can't get the money out of them that they would like.  They also don't want you to leave.  They know if you go home and do some research , it will be a lot harder to sell the car to you.

Then Next,  If I like then car I always take it to a mechanic to have a peek at it.  In this case that is my Dad.  Find someone who knows a lot about car motors. Not the mechanic at the dealer you are trying to purchase the car from.  Not the sales person either.  Someone whom you trust to give you an none biased opinion.  They should be able to tell you what the most common problem that piticular engine has.  Not all engines are equal.  There are a few vehicles my dad has told me to run from.  

You have to consider the mileage on any car you purchase.  Mileage does matter.  Around town with lots of stop and start mileage is harder on a motor than a vehicle that has been out on the highway.  How do you know if the car is highway miles or town miles?  One of two ways.   The first is if you can find out the story of the car.  Who's been it's owners.  Second look at the body of the car.  Town driven cars have way more door and body dings than cars that have been mostly on the highway.  Above all remember mileage is wear on the car.  A car that has 150,000 miles on it obviously has more wear or more worn out than a vehicle with 50,000 miles.  Keep that in mind especially if you are taking any kind of loan out on the car.  A great question to ask if you have to take a loan is ..."  How much more life will this car have when I'm through paying it off."  Ideally any car you purchase you want a long life and no car payment.  

Then if you found the car you love.  Go home and sleep on it.  If everything still looks great the next day..proceed to purchase your new car.  

Something that's happening right now with used cars is they are over priced.  Most cars we looked at were 1,500-2,000 dollars over what the car at the most should be worth.  No one was that willing to come down at all either.  So keep looking!  Be smart!  Sometimes think out of the box a little.  There are some great deals on new cars.  Some dealers still have brand new 2012's sitting on there lots with the 2014's soon to arrive.    In this case we bought Dad a new car and shuffled.  We were going to have to spend $10,000 dollars on a car that had over 100,000 miles on it and take a loan at the 4.8 percent...NO WAY!  So we upped the budget bought a 2012 with 30,000 miles at 1.8% for 6,000 dollars more.  It's not the color we wanted but the numbers, mileage, and everything else ticked off the list.  In the end it was a better purchase for us.

Good luck in your next car purchase.  Biggest thing...DO YOUR HOMEWORK on it.  NEVER make a blind car purchase.  Shiny wheels are great..but what's under the hood and in that pocket book is what really counts!

Also when thinking about the car loan Dave Ramsey, Suzie Orman and many other financial advisors, advise to always pay the car off in three years or less. 

What have you learned about purchasing a new car?

Keeping It Simple

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Homemade Pickles

What a busy time of year!  Harvest season is well underway.  I love all the fresh produce coming out of my garden.  My family loves homemade pickles.  It's a recipe that has been passed down a few generations on my husbands side.  His father is one of thirteen children.  They lived about 20 minutes outside of a small town on a small farm.  Growing up they had a huge garden, a large orchard, and many acres of raspberries.  Having such a large family Grandma had to do all she could to feed her family.  Of course during that time many families did the same.  Now a days we can find anything we want at the store and obtain it very easily.  Not many of us have gardens anymore.   Those of us that do, do it because we enjoy it and we love the taste of food that's been home grown and preserved with love.
I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Everyone I know, loves it.

Grandma's Homemade Pickle's
Cucumbers (smaller ones are best, leave them whole)
Pack the cucumbers into wide mouth mason jars.
The put 1 heaping tablespoon of dill seed into each jar.
Add 1 tsp of mustard seed to each jar.

Boil together
1 3/4 cup of water
1 cup Apple cider vinegar
1 heaping TBSP of salt
This makes enough liquid for more than one jar.

Pour over cucumbers.  Seal in water bath for 10 min.


Keeping it Simple 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mouth Watering Chicken Taco's in the Crock Pot

This is such an easy, WAY easy dish.  What's even better its a crock pot meal.  All you need is three ingredients.  Chicken, salsa, and taco seasonings.  What?  That's it?  Yep!

This meal is perfect for a light summer meal.  Especially since it cooks in the crock pot and not in the oven.  You can throw this in the crock pot then go do your yard work or spend the day at the pool, whatever your busy schedule is. Then come home to a nice meal.

The flavor of this is so mouth watering!....YUMMY!

Chicken Tacos
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 small jar of salsa
1 packet of taco seasonings
Place chicken in crock pot or slow cooker.  Mix the other ingredient's together and pour over chicken.  Let cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Shred with a fork serve in hard or soft taco shells.  Top with whatever taco toppings you like.  Our favorites are grated cheese, guacamole, sour cream, tomatoes and lettuce.
Keeping it Simple

Friday, August 2, 2013

French Bread

Ok, this bread recipe is to die for!  Did ya hear?  To Die For!  I love this French bread!  Haven't had another loaf of French bread that is equal to this.  What's great is that it is so fast and easy!  I have a friend who is an excellent cook.  She makes pretty much everything from scratch.  She shared this with me and it has become a family favorite.  I make it ALL the time.

Mix and set aside:
1/2 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

Add yeast mixture to above ingredients mix well.  Add 2 cups unbleached white flour. (this will be lumpy.)  Add 3-4 cups more flour until you have a soft dough.  It should be soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff.  ( I add 3 cups of flour then a little at a time with the last cup)
Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl and let rise for one hour.

Punch down and divide the dough in half.  Roll into 2 large rectangles, roll into French loaves.  Put loaves on greased cookie sheet or a stone.  Let rise for 30 more minutes. (Cover again with towel.)

Slash the top of the bread with a knife and brush with beaten egg white.  Bake at 350 until golden brown. (about 30-35 min).

So Yummy!  I hope you enjoy it.  If you want to check out my friends recipe post on this you can at  I have changed a few things.  Anything that I find in a recipe that I think really isn't a necessary thing, I skip.  And after making this a few times I left out a step and didn't see any difference.  (It was punching down the dough every 20 minutes while it was raising)  

Truly the BEST French Bread you will ever eat!

If you want to turn this Yummy bread into a Herb French Bread do this:
Add 1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp of Basil
1 tsp of Thyme
1 tsp of Dried Chives

Add with the first 2 cups of flour.  Mix well  

Keeping it Simple

Monday, July 29, 2013

Shepherds Pie

When you come from a large family, you eat a lot of one pan dishes.  Most commonly known as "Casseroles".  Which I did groaning up, eat A LOT of casseroles.  Casseroles of every kind, beef chicken, noodle, tuna, pork,  they were all good.  My mother is an excellent cook, and great at cooking on a tight budget.  She had too, she had 6 children in 9 years.  Some of those casseroles have made there way into my families favorite recipes.  We however, never use the word casserole in our home.  That is a discussing word to my husband.  He too being the oldest of 5 children at a lot of casseroles growing up and can't force himself to eat something that bares its name.  Hehehe this always makes me laugh.  Anyway I call things by what's in them except for one dish, and it does have the name casserole in it.

Shepherds Pie is a super easy one dish wonder.  You can have it mixed up really fast.  Especially if you use instant potatoes..(sometimes I do use instant, don't tell my hubby). If you put it in a glass dish with a glass lid you can cook it in the microwave in like 5-10 min.  But my favorite thing to do, is to make it up and then bake it in the oven for 30 min to warm it through.  Perfect if you have somewhere you have to be during the dinner hour.  You can pre-make this and either bakes in the oven using your timed bake so the oven shuts off for you and keeps dinner warm.  Or  just pull out when you get home, pop it in the microwave and 10 min later you have dinner.  A jello or green salad goes great with this. This is also a dish that is a great left over.  Almost better the second day than the first.

Another great thing about this dish it is so easy to adjust the amount.  You can make this smaller or larger.  It freezes great too.  So if there is just a couple of you or just your wonderful self. You can mix this up and freeze in smaller quanties.   Just remember to use a dish that could be both in the oven or microwave so it will be ready for whatever kind of day you are having.

Shepherd's Pie

1 Can of Green Beans, Drained (you can use frozen or fresh)
1 lb. Hamburger
Cold Mashed Potatoes
1/4 Onion
Cheddar Cheese, Grated
1 Can Tomato Soup

Brown hamburger with onion.  Add the can of tomato soup.  Spread in the bottom of a glass dish.  Then layer green beans,  Spread evenly.  Then put the mashed potatoes on top.  Sprinkle grated cheese on top.  You can sprinkle with salt and pepper and paprika.  

Bake at 350 for 30-40 min. or until heated through.


Keeping it Simple

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Great Summer Treat, (that won't heat up the house).

Wow!  I can not believe how busy this summer has been so far.  I have had zero time to devote to my blog.  Which makes me sad because I was having such a great time with it.  I know all of you are having the same fun I am with your families too.  Life is just busy.  Well here is a favorite treat we have at our house.  Rice Krispy Treats.  I love this because you can always have the ingriendents on hand.  It's fast, easy and cheap.  Seriously, from start to finish we are talking 15 minutes.  What mom doesn't like a 15 minute treat?  Plus, it won't heat up your house on these Hot summer days.

I think the biggest mistake people make with this treat is, not watching it close enough so the butter and marshmallows burn a little.  This totally messes with the taste of it.  Also putting too much crispes in the mix.  Always measure it out and then if you feel like you need a little more add just a little bit at a time.  We like them a little more gooey than crispy and hard.

I always put my Krispy treats in a cookie sheet.  My kids don't need a mile high crispie bar.  They divinely seem to last a little longer this way.  Just remember to cover them somehow.  I have a lid that fits my cookie sheet.

If you use your knuckles to press it out in the pan, it won't get stuck all over your hands.  The mixture is warm and it doesn't seem to burn using your knuckles.

Push it into the corners and try and make it even all over the pan.

I hope you enjoy this easy, fast treat that won't heat up your house on those hot summer days.

Rice Krispy Treat -- My Mom's version

1 cube butter or margarine--melt in a large roasting pan on medium heat.
1-10 1/2 ounce bag marshmallows--add to melted butter and stir CONSTANTLY till smooth.  Take off stove and add
6-10 cups or more rice krispys depending on how gooey or crunchy you want your bars to be.
Pour into a large greased cookie sheet.
Can add M&M's.  Press in pan with lightly buttered hands.
Cool and cut
(can use Cheerios instead of rice krispies.)


Keeping it Simple

Monday, July 15, 2013

Are you suffering from TOO much FUN in the Sun?


Beautiful Day!  
Perfect to take the kiddos and meet some family members at the local pool.  

This is our local water park.  It's not a huge place, but we live in a small town.  It's still lots of fun!  My brother from Oklahoma  is here with his family this week, and we thought it would be fun to start the week of activities off at the local water park.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  Windy.  The wind helped with the 94+ temperatures that we had that day.  We put on our suits, piled in the car and headed out.  We did sunscreen before we got in the pool and about half way through.  But that just wasn't enough.  We all got fried!  Some worse than others.  Most of us do not tan,  we BURN.  Very fair skinned people!  Well after two days of whinny kids I thought and lots of aloe vera and some Ibprophen I thought I would figure out what we could of done to help prevent or reduce our burned skin.  After all we will go again and again.   

Day TWO of the Burn OUCH!

How to prevent a SUNBURN:

When outside wear light weight clothing, and a wide brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible.  Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block UV light.

Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF of at least 30: REAPPLY at least every 2 hours.  Especially when swimming or sweating.  (OOPS!  We went wrong here.)

 *SEEK SHADE:  Limit direct exposure to sunlight.  ESPECIALLY during the hours of 10 a.m. to
    4 p.m. .  (UV rays are the strongest at this time) (OOPS! We were there 12:30 - 5:30 p.m.)

Treatment for a SUNBURN

Take an over -the- counter pain reliever:  
Ibuprofen and aspirin are good choices to help reduce the inflammation around your sunburn as well as lessen the pain.  Do not give aspirin to children use something that is marketed for a child like tylenol.

Use some form of ANTI-INFLAMMATORY paste:  
Aloe vera, cortisone cream, or other soothing agent specified for irritated and sunburned skin.

Take a cooling shower or Bath: 
 Set the water on a cool temperature thats just below luke warm.  If you have blisters take a bath instead of a shower.  The shower pounding out will hurt.  Or you could use cool damp washcloth.  Air dry or pat.  DO NOT RUB!  

Drink Plenty of Water:  
Sunburns can be dehydrating, so drink lots of water.

Protect sunburned skin:  
Keep covered up.  Sunscreen the burn to prevent further damage.

Do not pop them.  If you have a question about your blisters, see you doctor.

If you experience : 
Increased pain, swelling redness, or warmth around the blister, red streaks extending away from the blister, Drainage of pus from the blister , Swollen lymph nodes in your neck, armpit or groin.  Fever.  Seek medical attention immediately.

Also if you are experiencing: 
Feeling faint, dizzy.  Rapid pulse or rapid breathing.  Extreme thirst, no urine output or sunken eyes. Pale, clammy or cool skin, Nausea, fever chills, or rash.  Your eyes hurt and are sensitive to light. Sever, painful blisters.  SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION!


Want more info? Check out wikiHow

Keeping it Simple

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ways to cope with STRESS..

This Charlie Brown picture of Lucy pretty muchs sums up how I've been feeling lately.  The last few weeks, like four months have been a little stressful for me.  We have had a surgery in the family, church and community commitments.  End of school plays, recitals, exams, and parties.  The spring clean up of the yard and planting of the garden, family reunions to plan and attend, more church service and classes to attend.  Doctor appoints every week.   Grass to mow, weeds to pull ....not to mention to feed and wash ourselves and the up keep of the house.  I feel like I have been running to and fro with no breathing time in between.   And now I am feeling depleted.  Ready for a vacation and down time.  Which cause me to be crabby, tired, and very irritable. Can you say... STRESSED OUT! 

This has made me have very long conversations with my hubby about what's going on in our lives, and where we need to focus our energy and attention.  What needs to happen to have more peace and less stress.  After all, I don't care who you are...eventually your reserves run out, and you feel stress..we have all felt it, all dealt with it at one time or another.  Some of us are so depleted that we aren't functioning normally any more too.  That is something that I don't want to happen.  Again....  Because I've been there...and it's no fun.. So what's got to happen?.

I love Pinterest and some of the quotes that people have posted on there have buoyed me up.  Made me take a step back and are some of my favorite things to ponder related to stress..

Mary poppins quote..

I love that...remember she goes on to say " and you find the fun, and snap the jobs a game!"  Isn't that so true!  It's all about our attitudes.  We can make things fun or make them miserable!  

This quote is so true, yet so hard for me to remember!   This should be a huge siren for me.  If I'm not getting these things done then I am too busy.  Especially since this brings so much peace to my life. 

Why do we always think that everyone has it easier than we do?  I know that I should never compare my life to anyone else's.  It's never going to be a fair comparison.  I will always be a little hard on myself.  My Heavenly Father doesn't want me to do this, yet somedays I totally have a pity party and go there.  In stead of counting my blessings...

Some of my favorite quotes from the late President Gordon B. Hinckley....  "It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is.  It all works out.  Don't worry.  I say that to my self every morning.  It will all work out.  If you do your best, it will all work out.  Put your trust in God and move forward with faith and confidence in the future.  The Lord will not forsake us.  He will not forsake us.  If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers."

"Respect yourself.  Do not feel sorry for your self.  Do not dwell on unkind things others may say about you.  Polish and refine whatever talents the Lord has given you.  Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face,  but with great and strong purpose in your heart."

These quotes really need to be on my bedroom mirror so that I may recite them daily and be reminded.
Can you chant with me?...."It will all work out.  It will all work out.  It will all work out.......

I love President Dieter F. Uchtdorf!  I am always inspired after listening to this amazing man! 

"When our wagon gets stuck in the mud, God is much more likely to assist the man who gets out to push than, the man who merely raises his voice in prayer---no matter how eloquent the oration."  

What?  You mean I can't stay in bed winning in prayer...hoping everything will magically be solved?...Loved this reminder!  

Marjorie Pay Hinckley was, and still is such an inspiration to me.  She said...

"The Only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it.  You either have to laugh or cray.  I prefer to laugh.  Crying gives me a headache."  

So true!  I so need to laugh more.  Learning to laugh, or see the humor in life is so important.  Besides laughter makes you feel so good cuz it releases stress.  

I can not do what everyone else is doing.  Nor should I care.  I had a dear friend that would say to me "Katie, put the whip down".  What a great reminder that was to me to take a step back and then move forward.

So if you are finding that this above quote is true....and you and I both know this sooo happens!


Take a step back and evaluate....

And above all......

Attitude is EVERYTHING!

Keeping it Simple

Monday, July 1, 2013

Have you got the Tools?

Having the right tools for the job is a Must!

I can't believe how much time and energy, stress, and sometimes money that it saves.  So why do we often try and get buy with what we have?  Cussing and screaming as we try and accomplish the job?  I know you just can't always go get all the equipment you want when you want, right?  Well, this summer  we have been hauling loads of dirt and bark, and I mean a lot of dirt and bark. 24 yards of bark so far with more to come.  I need a new wheelbarrow!  I need a new rake that the head doesn't fall off.  A new shovel that doesn't give me a splinter every time I use it even with gloves on....mmmmmm..maybe a new pair of gloves too!

This week I have been staining my deck.  Someone I don't know, who I think it was the paint guy...told me you should always use a sponge to stain with.  Ok, so I started this project with several sponge brushes.  They were  big ones, but it was all I had....took me FOREVER to stain the railing. 4 1/2 hours  and I still wasn't through.  My husband seemed frustrated with my choice in brush, but bit his lip...probably because I said that's what they said to do it with.  Well I was hot, tired and sore.  So the next day I went into town, back to the paint store, ready to buy a normal brush for the job.  I decided to ask a few more questions and the paint guy gave me a funny look. "Sponges?" He said.  "Let me go ask."  He came back with a kind smile and pointed out a stain brush and said, "that is the best thing to use."  No roller, no sponges.  Brush it on.  I stared at the brush..17 dollars...not a huge amount, but did it really make a difference?  I purchased the brush and brought it home.  After dinner last night I decided I would try it out and see.  I was tired, hot and exhausted so I told myself I would give it an hour.  How much more could I get done in 1 hour compared to the 4 1/2 I had spent the day before?  I had over half the deck to complete.  One hour later I was COMPLETELY finished but the stairs,  and I easily could of finished if I didn't run out if stain.  So yes!  Having the right tools saves so much time, energy and stress!  It may cost some extra...but what is your time worth to you and your stress level?  Sometimes I know we have to get by...and thats fine.  But certain jobs require certain tools....remember to budget for them also.  I'm going to town again tomorrow to buy another stain brush and more stain to do the play house.  We are going to breeze through this project!

Doesn't it look so nice freshly stained?  Don't make projects harder than they have to be.  It takes all the fun out!  It also makes you not want to start another project again.  Don't get sucked into that mind set either.  Pick a project make sure you have the right tools and have some fun accomplishing something that will make you smile every time you walk by it!

Keeping it Simple 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Yummy Cheese Potatoes

Funeral Potatoes, Potato Casserole, Cheese Potatoes,  it has many names, but no matter how or what you name it,  they taste good!

This first time I ever ate these yummy potatoes, I was a teenage girl visiting my Great-Grandma and Grandpa at their home in Bountiful Utah.  We were having our annual visit to "Operation Grandma and Grandpa's house" ( a name I gave them when I was a year old just learning to talk.  Grandma had open heart surgery at that time and the name stuck.  Of course it helped me keep all my Grandparents straight since I was fifth generation living on two differnet lines with still two more sets of Grandparents on the other side.) I was extremely blessed to know my Great Grandparents.  They had a huge impact on my life.  Grandpa died in 1994 and Grandma in 1998, I grew up with them always around and being a part of my life.  My husband got to meet them and get to know them.  Two of my children were born while Grandma was still living.  We knew them well, saw them often and felt their love for us always.  I can never smell cheese potatoes or peaches and not think of them.  Grandma always invited all the extended family over for a dinner and visit while we were in town and I remember her telling us that she had a new reciepe she wanted to try out on all of us while we we there.  Grandma was an excellent cook.  Everything I ever ate made by her tasted Oh So Good!  These  spuds were no different!  Since that time they have become a yummy potatoe dish that we serve up often.  I don't like to call them funeral potatoes...though I know alot of people call them that because they are served  at a lot of funeral dinners...I don't like to eat a dish with the name funeral apart of it.  So cheese potatoes is what we call them at our house....
This is all you need. Potatoes that have been boiled, peeled and diced up, or you can cheat and do frozen hash browns, which a lot of people, I know make them that way.  My family doesn't like them the frozen hash brown way.  To mushy!  I do make them that way sometimes when I haven't gotten the time to boil potatoes and all that.  But it's rare I make them with hash browns.  If you haven't ever tried boiling the spuds and dicing them up this way, you totally should try.  It is way better!  You need some cheese, sour cream, butter, salt and pepper and I like cheddar cheese soup and cream of chicken in it.

This is what this looks like before it has gone into the oven to bake or warm through..

All done.  Yummy cheesy potatoe goodness!  Makes me thing of my sweet Operation Grandma everytime.

Cheese Potatoes
7 medium- boiled, peeled, diced potatoes
1/2 pint sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup green onions, or yellow onion
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 can cheddar cheese soup ( if you want,  I love it this way!)

Put potatoes in a 9 x 13 pan, evenly.  Melt some butter ( about 1/2 a cube) on stove and add onions.  Stir in soup, sour cream and cheese.  Heat together.  Pour over potatoes and stir in.  If it seems a little dry you can add a little bit of milk.  Stir that in.    Crush cornflakes really fine and add 1/2 tbsp of butter or margarine, melted to the cornflakes.  Spread that on top of potatoes and add a little grated cheese to the top; not very much.  Heat in oven until nice and hot @ 350 degrees.   Serves 10-12

Keeping it Simple