Baby in charge

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This will probably be a short post, as the title gives you a hint as to who decides how much time I have to myself! I am writing this, sitting in my van, in our church parking lot. Why, you’re wondering? Because I am DESPARATE for the baby to get a nap! Daddy is in the church with the other four children, yes, being a brave man with three and five year old boys on a Sunday night! So thankful for a brave husband, willing to go to the front lines for his woman! Baby sister fell asleep on the way here, so I am stealing a little bit of quiet time! Going to (GASP) play on my phone now…are mommies allowed to have time for that? I guess baby will decide!

A Day In The Shoe

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Just a typical day around here today. Woke up at 7:00 am, to two kids up, three still sleeping, and Daddy leaving for work. Yay, I got to go to the bathroom by myself, and managed to brew a cup of coffee. before they were all up! Nursed the baby. Made some Cocoa Wheats for breakfast, which they devoured.

Started our day school day with some kids worship music, and a Bible story on DVD, while I nursed the baby again. Then the kids were hungry again! Finished off the last of the banana bread we made yesterday, with some milk and cut up fruit. Got the two older girls working on their actual book work while I spent a little time with the younger ones. Should probably tell you, that time is usually spent trying to keep the boys from tackling each other to the floor! Managed to get through a game of Memory without the boys killing each other, and nurse the baby…again.

All too soon, time for lunch! Today we had fish sticks, pierogies, and carrots, with milk. I think these kids are a bottomless pit sometimes! I have to add in the part where I thought it would be a good idea to let them have “recess” for 20 minutes outside, while I got lunch together. After just a few minutes, I hear crying, so I run outside! Ahhh, my daughter has been hit in the forehead with a softball! Major goose egg, and lines on her head to match the lines on the ball! What was I thinking, letting them go outside?! Everyone is concerned, babying her and fighting now over who gets to take her the icepack!

After lunch and the goose egg incident, it was nap time, finally! Got the 3 and 5 year old boys down within just a few minutes, they were exhausted from all the fighting they had done! I made sure the girls had plenty of work they could do without me direct help, before I settled down to nurse the baby and get her down for a nap. She went right to sleep today. Let’s see, all three little ones sleeping at the same time, which is very rare, what should I do? Take a nap, you say? I sure did! Got to close my eyes for an hour and a half! Yes!

When they all got up, they wanted into their Easter candy, so I gave in, just a few pieces…while I nursed the baby, again.

Then I remembered my oldest has softball practice! Got them all loaded up in the van, drove 10 minutes away to drop her off, since we are in the middle of nowhere in a rural county, and came back home with the others. Time for Daddy to be home from work! Some relief! Just enough time to heat up the lasagna leftover from last night, scarf it down, and do a pick up from practice!

Seemingly, the day is winding down, right? Haha, not around here! You see, I had come up with this hair-brained idea, I’m pretty good for that! I have been bugging my husband for two years now about getting chickens, to no avail! I really want chickens! Well, I talked him into us all picking the daughter up from practice, and taking the kids all to Rural King to see the baby chicks! I had thoroughly done my research online. I’m pretty good for that, too. I devised this whole plan to convert our small shed into a chicken coop! It can be done, eHow tells you how to do it! So….Rural King had some ISA Browns on sale, half price! So….we bought 25! Along a few basics, some feed and bedding, and a heat lamp. We’re in business now! I am so excited!

Oh, yeah, still had to stop at the grocery to grab a few things, since I won’t get back in town for a few days. Finally got home around 10:00! Got the kiddos all to bed, put the groceries away, did a quick clean up, and finished off some dishes that didn’t get done earlier. You would think I would go to bed. But, I have really been wanting to make some homemade yogurt! I bought one small, high quality container to be my starter, and it was just itching to be opened! So…I started the yogurt. Took one hour, start to finish. It should be ready in the morning, if it works out well, maybe I’ll write a post about that.

Still couldn’t go to bed yet. The wheels in my head just never want to stop turning! I have really been wanting to start this blog! What better time than tonight! I already went crazy and bought 25 chickens, so why not write about one crazy day for this woman in this crazy shoe with all these crazy kids?

Now, I will sleep. After I nurse the baby that is waking up! 🙂

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Happy Homemaking 101-2

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Super Spaghetti and Chicken Stew

      I said I would be back, and here I am!  Have you come up with some Staple Dinners? We had Super Spaghetti tonight! Sound interesting? Would you like the recipe? Only if you promise not to wrinkle your nose up when you see what makes it so super! Promise?  Alright…

Super Spaghetti

1 Jar Spaghetti sauce, whatever brand or flavor you like

1 Box Spaghetti

2 Cups Spinich, fresh (you could probably sub. canned or frozed, thawed…)

1 Can of Beans, whatever your preference, I normally use white navy peas

Prepare water and cook spaghetti as directed on package…Meanwhile, chop the spinich in a food processor, or blender. Add to a med saucepan with the spaghetti sauce. Now, puree the can of beans in the food processor or blender! Add beans to sauce. Heat. Cook spagetti, drain.  Top with sauce, sprinkle with parmesan, you have Super Spaghetti!  You cannot tell there are beans in there, really!  It is so good and good for you!  My kids love it! Serve with Texas Toast, or garlic bread, if you like.

Once you have come up with a plan for using your Staple Dinners, you need to figure out how many other nights there are that you need to plan meals for.  Consider what types of small appliances you have that can really save time and make your life easier if you put them to work for you.  Crockpot, quesadilla maker, electric skillet, waffle maker, microwave…

I LOVE cooking things in the crockpot! Cook things that you can make more than one meal out of.  I recently made a chicken roast.  I put 2 large packages of chicken in the crockpot, added carrots, potatoes and onions like I would a beef roast. Then I tossed in some yellow squash that I had in the freezer from the summer.  Poured a little water in, sprinkled with some salt, pepper and parsley and YUM! The next evening was a Staple Dinner evening so I stayed with that. The day after, I used the leftovers. I deboned and diced up the chicken first, then tossed it in a large pot along with all the veggies and broth leftover.  I added some rice and chicken broth and it was AMAZING! And there was so much stew, we couldn’t beging to eat it all, so I FROZE 2 large containers of it for an easy dinner to fix on a busy day!

     I think I will stop there for now…I will continue tomorrow night 🙂

Happy Homemaking 101-1

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What’s For Dinner???

Do you sometimes (or ALL the time) feel completely overwhelmed by maintaining your home? All the cleaning and cooking never ends! This is true whether you are a stay at home mom or you work outside the home, isn’t it? It is also true whether you homeschool or send your children to public or private school, am I right? No matter what scenario describes your family, life is always so busy!

That is why I decided to start this blog. As a very busy homeschooling mom of 4, I would like to share some of my ideas for making the hilly, bumpy road of homemaking a little bit smoother! I will try to add a new thought or idea each night, unless a major disaster or bout of fatigue interrupts!

Let’s start with feeding that ravenous family of yours…Do you often find yourself near dinnertime, or even past dinnertime, having no idea what is for dinner? Come on, admit it, you know you do! That is about to end! First thing your’re going to do is come up with a plan!

Grab a pen and paper….Got one yet?….Still waiting….Ok, good!

Now, think of at least 2-4 easy to fix dinners that your family would be happy to eat once a week or every other week. These are going to be your “staple dinners”. Want to know what ours are? Grilled cheese and soup, spaghetti, breakfast and pizza. Now, set a specific day for these “staple dinners”. Consider which days you always have activities to attend in the evening and plan on something simple for that day.

For example at our house, Monday is grilled cheese & soup day. I make large batches of soup and freeze, I’ll talk about that another day! Canned soup is fine, though.

Wednesday we have church and need something simple, so it is spaghetti day.

Thursday is always breakfast night, usually Special Scrambled Eggs and toast. I will add the egg recipe at the end. Sometimes we have pancake or waffle night, with toppings such as chocolate chips, peanut butter, strawberries and whipped cream, which is really a hit with the kids!

Friday is always pizza night. I use Jiffy Pizza Crust Mix and jarred pizza sauce, you can add whatever toppings you like! My kids love helping make the pizza!

Plan to use your Staple Dinners on a night that fits that meal. Use your simplest Staple Dinners on your busiest evenings! You will soon be on the path to Happy Homemaking! Get started working on your Staple Dinner Menu!

In the coming blogs, I will be have more tips on meal planning, as well as simplifying other areas of homemaking!

To Be Continued…

Special Scrambled Eggs

 1 Dozen Large Eggs

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

1/4 Cup Chives

Salt and Pepper, optional (tastes fine without it)

Preheat a large non-stick skillet over med-low heat for approximately 5 minutes.  Drop a bit of water in the skillet, when it sizzles and disappears, the skillet is hot enough! While skillet is preheating, whisk all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl for about 2 minutes, until well mixed and ‘frothy’.  Add to skillet.  For fluffier eggs, do NOT stir the eggs until they begin to set!  Once they begin to set, gently use a spatula to carefully lift sections and turn.  This will make for larger, fluffier scrambled egg.  Just trust me!  (When you over stir, you could get tiny little pieces of rubbery eggs, not good.) Continue to cook and gently move/flip the eggs until they look done. Remove from heat.  Enjoy!