So, the frost is here, the frost is here. We picked like crazy last night. We picked anything and everything. We have a lot of green tomatoes. I know that you can put them in the windowsill to ripen. Are there any other ways to ripen a lot of green tomatoes all at once so that I can can them? Anyway, I decided to bake some potatoes and having chili over them, but our oven decided to put on a fire work display. We were having problems with our element, and we thought we have fixed it without getting a new element. Not so much. Today it sparked and burned and then the element fell into 2 pieces. Hum...I guess I will go to the store and get an element. That's okay, no harm came to the potatoes or the oven. It will be easy to fix and something I can do. Since I will be stuck in the house for a little while before I can get outside and clean up the flower beds and put everything in the shed. Goodbye fall. It was nice to have for 1 week. I will miss you. This is my day.
I have a new secret. I love wearing an apron while I cook. Shh. Don't tell too many people. At first I put one one because I was getting way too much food on my cloths, but now, I love it. Why does wearing an apron make me feel like a better cook? So I had an apron that I simply used for decoration in my old house, now I started cooking with it. Then, I saw this really cute black and white apron at a store and I bought it. I have 2 little aprons for the girls. But, I want more. I saw on a blog where this lady had a gardening apron that she could put her produce in as she picked it and then when it was full take it over to the bag or whatever to haul it home. This would be very convenient when there are three or four of us in the garden trying to pick at the same time, but we only brought 2 bags. However, I haven't seen these aprons anywhere. They looked like they just tied around the waist rather than the neck and the waist. I think if I had any sewing skills I could make one. So, what's a girl to do? Well, I will learn. My mother in law is a very talented lady. She can sew just about anything. I have taken this for granted and now she is a little busy to teach me how to sew. So, when she is done with her current task of being very busy, I am going to ask her to teach me how to make aprons and to make quilts (because my kids adore the quilts she made them). And any other project she is willing to teach me. That way I can pass it on to my kids and 3 generations down my posterity will all be master cooks and gardeners because they have aprons on.
Fall is a busy time of year. I have noticed that some of those projects that have been put on hold are coming the front. For example, we organized our wood pile and bundled all of the little sticks that for from our trees. Chad removed out air conditioner and helped clean up the patio. This week we will be getting the rest of the garden produce out of the garden. The temperatures are suppose to drop down to about 26 degrees her Wednesday night, and there is no recovering from that kind of frost. I will be canning everything that can be saved and organizing the rest. I will hopefully have time in the next couple of weeks to clean out the garden. I need to rip all of the good plants up and put them in our compost pile. Then I need to get rid of any weeds that might have grown up within the plants. Then The leaves will come. I will have to be mowing up leaves every other day so and putting them on the garden spot. Chad will have to till in all of the grass clippings and leaves into the garden so they can compost over the winter. Leaves are a chore in a whole different category. We have a lot of trees on our little property. We have enough leaves that if I didn't rake them up, they would be well over a foot deep. Good times. I love this time of year though. I love the crisp mornings and mild days. I love to see the colors change and squeezing out the last few minutes of fall and summer before the cold weather starts. I love decorating for the holidays and the anticipation of spending time with family. Hooray for fall.
I love cooking. Sadly, my waist does not. Being 4'10 I need very few calories to keep going, I just like to eat more calories,because they are yummy, and I am less cranky. Anyway, my parents came over last night because my mother was riding the shuttle to SLC at 2:00am. Yep, I got up and took her because my dad had to sub today. Anyway, I tried this new recipe out on them and it was pretty good. Give it a try!
Turkey or Chicken Casserole
6oz Stove top stuffing 1 can of cream of chicken soup 1 C sour cream 2 to 3 cups of chicken or turkey
Mix stuffing according to package directions and cook. Mix soup and sour cream in bowl. In a 9 by 9 dish put 1/2 of the stuffing Then add all of the chicken Put sauce mix on top of Chicken Finish off by adding the last of the stuffing Put in oven at 350 for 25-30 minutes Eat and enjoy!
Today I tried to do my old yoga video. Honestly, it was pretty fun. I have a head ache, but I think that is just from concentrating so hard. I liked it. I am noticing that getting up first ting and focusing on me and my health goes a long way. Soon the kids will be up and I love to see their smiling faces, but for now I am not needed. It is difficult to a mother. At times I wonder if those without children realize the responsibility and selflessness it requires to be a mother. I know I didn't. Even when I was working and being a mother, I didn't know how hard it would be to devote my entire day to my family. Chad has a tough job. He gets up at 6 with me and does homework for 2 hours. Then he gets ready for work. After work he does homework until 6 pm. Then he comes home and gives the girls 100% of his attention from 6-8. after that, he either does more homework or we relax with a movie. His day is packed. My day consist of taking care of everything so that he doesn't have to. I try to make our budget stretch, and the food stretch. I am in charge of organizing and keeping the family on track. I know some people may see this a a step back into the past where the man worked and the woman stayed home. I know that I once thought that I could never be a full-time stay at home mother. Now I know better. My husband I have equal parts in this relationship. He is responsible for taking care of our physical needs and giving emotional support. He is a cheerleader and supported when he can be. I am blessed to have a husband that jumps in and helps whenever and where it is needed. I, however, am there to see to the nurturing of the family. Physical nurturing in the way of making sure my kids eat good food and exercising. I also try to make sure they are dressed, bathed and clean little girls. Even if there is no proof of it by the end of the day. Emotional nurturing by talking through emotions and teaching my kids to be balanced individuals while helping them when trouble does arise. Mental nurturing by teaching my children. I teach by example, making them do things, reading to them, and trying to answer the many questions they have. Lastly, I am the constant rock. I know I may not always be the most popular, but I am Mom. I am there no matter what. Friens come and go, seasons pass, but I am noticing more and more that my kids need a solid rock these days, and it is my. Sorry for the apparent ramblings with no paragraph structure or organization. These are simply my thoughts.
Okay mental health update. i am doing so much better. I have implemented some of the trick I wrote about. I especially feel great when I get up early and exercise. I don't know why, but it fells great. this morning I was able to workout on my elliptical for an hour. It said I burn 736 calories, but I think it is high in it's estimation. Anyway, anther thing that I have been trying to do is reach our to others. I make myself come out of my shell and try to be nice to others. I have had the opportunity to try and be a better person and help other 2 this week. they were easy talk. All I did was tell the people I was thinking about them and say hi. I feel great about that. I'm sure as the day wears on my good feeling and patience will dwindle as well, but for now I am at peace.
It was cold here last night. It is also going to be cold tonight. I tried to cover my garden. Okay, I confess, Chad covered the garden while I cooked dinner. I haven't gone to see the results. Do I dare look? However, what I cooked for dinner is perfect for fall. My garden my soon die and we may be buried in leaves for all of our trees, but I can start cooking winter dishes. Give it a try!
1 lb. ground beef 1.5 tsp salt divided 1/4 tsp pepper 4 med. potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 4 med carrots peeled and cut into slices 1 lg onion chopped (or pureed if you are me) 1 C. ketchup 1 C. water 1.5 tsp vinegar .5 tsp basil
In a bowl. Combine beef, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; mix well. Shape into 1-inch balls. In skillet over medium heat, brown meatballs on all sides; drain. Place potatoes, carrots, and onion in crock pot. Top with meatballs. Combine ketchup, water, vinegar,basil, and remaining salt and pepper. Pour over meatballs. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or until the vegetables are tender.
I love cold weather cooking. It makes the house smell good and it heats up the kitchen nicely too! What are some of your favorite recipes?
I've had people ask how I find time to grind my own wheat, can my produce, and fix all my meals from scratch. I decided to write down a few tips that I use to help me get things done. 1. Plan out your days and week. Know what days you are planning to can, because it will take up most of your day. Decided when weekly chores will be done and stick to it. By dividing the chores throughout the week, it helps the to-do list seem more manageable. I live by my planner. I can jot down thing I need to do and make sure I plan time for my girls. I find that I can keep doing chores all day and not take time to read to my kids or play a game with them. I also make sure that I schedule personal time for me to exercise or read. 2. Plan your meals. Have your breakfast lunch and dinner planned out by the week. You can always fill in with healthy snack and produce through the day. That way you can go to the store and only buy what you will need and not just buy items. You should also try to plan around what is on sell and what you already have. In season produce also is something to be aware of. 3. You might take note of what items you know you use a lot of, such as cream of chicken, then when Smith's or Albertsons has their case lot sale, you can stock up and save money. This is hard for me because we have a very tight budget, but if you can do it, it saves so much time and money. I also love using coupons. They can really save up. Even if you only save $2 a week using coupons, that adds up to $104 per year of savings. Another thing I have learned is that sometimes when items are on "sale" you really don't save money. Be aware of prices so you know when something is on sale. 4. Do food prep the night before. Look at your menu and figure out what you can do the day before. I love making my waffle/pancake mixes the night before and then I set them in the fridge, so all I have to do is cook them up in the morning. I don't use pancake mixes from the store, mine is 100% whole wheat and from scratch. Also, set your meat in the fridge to thaw. It is safer to thaw it this way. Cut up and veggies or fruits. 5. Find joy in what you are doing. At times it is overwhelming to be a parent. We are all doing the best we can. I know everyone has different situations and abilities. Some moms work and others stay home. Some have older kids while some have little kids. Do what you can and be proud of what you do. I know that I feel upset when I start comparing all the "should-haves". I am grateful that I am learning things as I go.
If you have any tips that help you please feel free to let me know.
This post is not amusing or clever. Really it's a look into my weird mind. Nothing about the kids or any fun events, so you may want to skip it. Just a warning. About a year ago I because severely depressed. By this I mean I voluntarily went to the doctor and asked for a prescription. I hate the doctor and I hate taking medication. But, things were not well inside of my head. It was a very dark place. That prescription ran out about 3 weeks ago. I have not gone to the doctor to get it refilled. I am trying to monitor myself and see how I can fix thing naturally before resorting to medication. First, it's not really working because I am having a hard time doing what I need to do. My brain is become darker and darker every day. Also I am noticing that my temper is flaring up. I used to have a terrible temper, I wanted to fight with people. Doing judo and growing up has helped me a lot in this area, but I find I am slipping. I yell at drivers who are being dumb, but are of no threat to my vehicle, I snap at my children and husband. I mentally rip myself apart throughout the day. This all equals not good. So, just going off medication is not working. I have trying to put some things is place. They are writing in a journal. I try to write a blessing journal and an activity journal. I try to focus on the good things that happen that day, especially what fun things my kids say and do. I try to write down what I did during the day. I want my kids to know I canned for 5 hours at a time or that I worked in the garden for hours. I want them to know I work hard as a mother. I also try to note my emotional state and really define it. That is harder than one thinks. I won't allow myself to just say that I am sad. I have to state what is making me sad and why it could trigger those emotions. I have to play counselor with my thoughts and sometimes it is a real pain. I also pray more. I try to tell Heavenly Father what is going on ans I beg for help to be a better wife and mother. My family does not deserve to be living with a snarly monster. I am trying to exercise more. I want the happy endorphins that exercise releases into the brain. In doing this I realize how far out of shape I am. I used to love the feel of using my muscles. No matter how long I would go between workouts, exercising was fun. Now it is just plain hard work. I feel good that i do it, but I don't enjoy it in it's self. I am contemplating finding a martial art that I can do, hopefully judo to help with my anger and work out. I have also contemplated dance or yoga. Those things can be fun and maybe I can reverse my mind set. I am making myself go to bed by 10. Thanks to all of those that made good suggestions on that post. I woke up early today. I think all of these things will help. If not, I will go back to the doctor, but I am trying other alternatives first. Wish me luck.
My wonderful husband changed jobs about 3 weeks ago. We thought it was going to change a lot of things and it has, just not like we expected. My husband used to get off work at 11:30pm. Then we would watch a movie and hang out until 2:00am. Then we would get up between 8-9am. We knew this was bad. We both felt tired and rundown. Now he works from 9-4. We have really been working hard to go to bed before midnight and wake up at 6:00am. We are making slow progress. Chad can usually fall asleep before 11:00, but has a hard time waking up. I can usually get to bed before midnight, but then I'm up around 7:00. I want to get up early to get some exercising in before the kids wake up, it is so not happening. So we will struggle on to get our bodies used to a normal sleeping pattern. Has anyone faced this before? What are your suggestions. If I take a sleep aid, even a small amount, I can't get up in the morning. I am very sensitive to stimulants and sleep aid. Almost to the point of silly, because that is how I become when I take them. I am learning that 2 years of the old pattern is not replaced in 3 weeks. Sigh. Maybe tomorrow I will feel refreshed when I wake up. Right now, I'm ready for a nap.
I had someone ask about the salsa. The way that I know to do it is to make the salsa, then cook it down for a very long time. Once you get the consistency that you want, then can it. I have 1 salsa recipe from my mother-in-law that is very good. It is a sweeter salsa and not very spicy. Due to this nature, you can use it in your toco meat or just it it out of the jar with chips. I will post it down below. I have also been considering going online to find some other recipes to try. I'm not sure if this answers the question that I was asked. I am think that all tomato products really need to be cooked a lot. Ever when i simply slip the skins and toss them in a jar to cook down later, I have to pressure cook them for 45 minutes. Anyone else have any canning tips or recipes that they would like to share
Making Salsa 16 C of tomatoes 1/4 C vinegar 1/8 C sugar 1/4 Tb salt 1 large onion 1 green pepper 1/2 jalapeno
Cook until thick Pressure cook for 15 minutes at 15 ponds of pressure
I canned and prepared veggies for the freezer for 4 hours this morning. I'm beat. I was able to can 3 quarts of tomatoes sauce and 13 pints of carrots. Then I froze 9 cups of carrots and 5 ears of corn. Freezing veggies is a lot simpler than canning them, but it does take up space. On the other hand, canning is more time consuming, but you can store it anywhere that is relatively cool, dark, and dry. I thought I would quickly go over some how-tos because I had some people ask. First, I have a large, heavy pressure cooker. It is older than I am, and it weighs more than my children. However, it does a great job. It has a pressure gauge on it to let you know the pressure inside. You should read your instructions before operating your pressure cooker. I am not afraid of it blowing up, but I also know what I am doing. Once It reaches the desired pressure I simply turn down the heat to medium and let it cook for the proper amount of time. Beans are one of the easiest to can because you snap the ends off, snap them into smaller pieces, add salt, add water, put the lid on and pressure cook at 15lbs for 20 minutes. Carrots take a little more work. You need to peel them and then chop them in to 1/4 pieces. Then add salt and boiling water to them. Pressure cook at 15 lbs for 25 minutes. Tomatoes are still more labor intensive. You boil the tomatoes just long enough to have the skin slip off. then you cut them into chunks. After than you add hot tomatoes sauce (I use V8). Then you add salt and cook them at 15lbs of pressure for 45 minutes. You can do a lot more with tomatoes. You can cook them down and make a tomatoes sauce, spaghetti sauce, or salsa. All are great ways to use up the multiple pound of tomatoes. I made my 12 lbs yesterday into a think sauce by simmering it for 10 hours on low.
Freezing is similar in the prep work, but not in the finishing. Tomatoes can be placed on a cookie sheet whole, then frozen solid. Once they are frozen, place in Ziploc bags and store in freezer. (They sound like pool balls once they are frozen.) When you thaw them they are not as firm as fresh tomatoes, but still taste great. You can use them for tacos, or any recipe you add tomatoes to. Carrots need to be peeled and cut up. Then you need to place them into a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. After that they need to be placed into a pot of cold water for 2 minutes. Then you are free to stick them in the freezer in whatever serving size fits you best. Corn needs to have the husk removed then boil it for about 7 minutes. Then place it in cold water for 7 minutes. Stick it in Ziploc bags and store in freezer. Zucchini can be shredded and frozen.
I encourage all those that can to look into canning and freezing produce. It sure saves money during the winter when the produce is so expensive. It also nice to know that your kids are getting healthy garden veggies throughout the whole year. Anyone that wants to learn, I will be happy to teach. i am not an expert and I know their are others that know so much more, but I willing to so my best:) I know there are web sites and stores that will teach as well.
McKayla really wants a Halloween party. I think it mostly stems from the cool things that super cooks can do with food that she sees in the check out line. I'm impressed too. I could just imagine having a great party in our back yard with yummy treats and everyone sitting and chatting while the kids played games and entertained themselves. Then reality come to mind. The cooking for 2 days to have all of the cool goodies. Being thankful that it is Halloween food so that it doesn't have to look pretty. Trying to keep the house cleaned so that others are fooled into thinking it is always this clean. Trying to convince McKayla that she can not change costumes again. trying to decided to who want to come to a lame party at our house. Then worrying that too few/too many will show up. Hearing children fight. Then at the end of the party realizing that you were so busy that you didn't even get a chance to sit down and talk to anyone. Yet, I am still tempted. What is every one's opinion. how have you had low stress get together? Maybe it is a girl thing because my brothers manage get together all of the time and look so relaxed. maybe it's the kid factor that throws everyone for a loop. Ideas? Comments? Good therapist recommendations? ;)
Ariana is certainly growing into her own little person. She loves to write on things. If she can find a crayon, marker, pen, or chalk, she will use it to write on something. It seems like she a has a stash of them somewhere because as soon as a take one away from her, she has another one. It makes me laugh. She is also very into baby dolls. McKayla sometimes likes dolls, but is more into the theatrical dressing up . It is fun to see her pat her babies and she makes a sad face when she is holding them to let me know they are sad. It's so cute.
McKayla is loving school and dance. She thrives in social areas. She loves people and animals and she talks to everything. She also wants to know why. Why this and why that. She really has some good questions. Such as, "If God made the sky pink, what color would sunsets be?" And "Why is it not Halloween yet?" "How long is a long time?" "Why does everyone have to go to school and work? We should all just play together and then we would be happy." And last, "No mom, we don't have to wait and see, we just have to do it. It easy."
These two make me smile and laugh. At times I miss working, but for the most part I couldn't imagine not being here to see them do their silly little things every day. I am greatful for the opportunity I have to watch them and learn from my two sweet girls.
I realize that time passes and I am getting older. However, the fair reminded me of my age with stark reality. Here are some things I noticed yesterday when we went to the fair. They are not in any order, but more rambling of my mind. I will put up a slide show of the fair tomorrow, but I am too lazy to go get my camera out of the car right now.
After being at the fair about 2 hours I was tired. I used to go the the fair all day and never even stop.
I was appalled at the rip off the rides are. $30 for all rides, but we would have had to pay that per person. Then we started looking at the rides that McKayla could go on by herself, there were 4. With an adult there were a few more, but not really $30 worth. I wasn't going to pay $60 for rides yesterday. We could go to Lagoon and it would be cheaper. I used to not care about the money. It was the state fair and I had to ride everything.
We ate more food during the 6 hours we were there than we normally do in 2 days. The food was one the most exciting parts of the fair. I used to never eat the food at the fair. I only rode ride after ride.
We went though the commercial building to look at the vender's and the exhibits. I especially loved the wedding cake displays. They were incredible. In my younger day, I hated walking around looking at things.
The crowd really annoyed me. There were too many people and too little space. I used to love the excitement of the people and being around everyone.
I looked forward to running into people I know. I used to simply rush from ride to ride, not stopping to look at anyone.
I used to dress to go to the fair to be noticed. Now I dressed as comfortably as possible.
The money was a big issue. I used to get upset that my parents would gripe about the cost of everything. Now I totally agree with them.
That is all I can think of for now. What differences do you notice as you go to the fair?
If you have seen Flushed, that song was my favorite part of the movie. I don't know why, but it amused me greatly. I was reading a blog the other day when a mom talked about how lonely she was. She talked about how she sometimes wished for those carefree days before marriage and motherhood settled on her shoulders. I also read a note on facebook from a person my age that is not married and has no children, who is very attractive that is lonely as well. My conclusion? Well, I think we are are lonely. I wonder why this is. I am a busy mother of 2. I love being a stay at home mom and I do my best to find ways to save money, teach my children, and better run our household. Yet, sometimes I am simply lonely. I think that the age of technology has replaced human interaction. Of course comments on my blog or on facebook can brighten my day. However, they are no substitute for a nice phone call or a good chat. Now, I love to walk my neighborhood. Sometimes people are in their yards and we will chat for a bit. I love connecting with those that live around me. Of course my favorite person to chat with is my best friend and love. Mr Chad is a great person. He encourages me to play Guitar Hero and listens to my silly jokes. He loves to hear my silly made up songs and encourages me to do what ever I want to do. I love to have him with me. We don't always get along, and sometimes we have miscommunication, but all in all, he his my favorite person. He is working right now and striving to receive his masters degree. At times it is hard to let him focus on these goals because I want someone to talk to. I have a feeling that many people feel the same way. So, how do we start to feel comfortable with ourselves and reach out to others? How do we start friendships that are so important to women? How do have time to sit and visit and share our woes of child rearing and house cleaning? How do we break out of the comfort zone of the Internet and have actual people over for dinner and games? It seems easy, but it is not. My question is this: What do you do? How do you faster relationships beyond facebook, twitter, or myspace. Especially those stay at home mothers, how do step outside of your comfort zone and embrace your fellow man? Or is this all just me and my insecurities about calling people up and making friends?
My family and I love salsa. Unfortunately our favorite salsa is garden fresh salsa. We put tomatoes, green peppers, jalapenos, cilantro, corn, cucumbers, and onions. I have yet to figure out how to bottle our fresh salsa so that it still taste like fresh salsa. My mother in law cans salsa and it taste great, but it's not the same. Has anyone out there canned salsa and had it taste fresh? Please send me your salsa experiences and recipes.
I was running back through my blog and noticed a comment on my "My Kids" post. Here is my response to the anonymous commenter: First of all, you know nothing about how I raise my children. Second, I have a testimony of Jesus Christ. I know that He came to this earth. I know He died for me and atoned for my sins and my pain. I know that He rose triumphant from the grave and conquered death. I know that My family will be together forever. I also know that the teaching of Jesus are to be good and kind. What is so wrong about that? I have felt Christ's power in my life. I feel it as strongly as I feel the current in a stream and the wind in the air. I may not see Him, but I can't deny His love and existence. I feel sorry that you are so bias that you cannot leave people to believe what they wish without writing mean comments. Obviously you are a coward because you wouldn't put your name to the comment. At least I am proud of my religion and what I teaching my children. Your comment was not intelligent or even a good argument. It was mean and spiteful. Please feel free to read my blog, but be strong enough to leave your name and honestly, think about what you are saying. Reading my blog is your choice, I don't force it on people. If you don't like what I write, don't read it and don't comment.
This is the picture that I wanted to do last, but it showed up first. Okay, I know you are sick of hearing about my garden and canning, but I had to share. This tomato weighs 1 pound and 2 ounces. Really, that's huge! You could cut it and it would cover an entire piece of bread. We call it Monster. I can't wait to eat it! PS-please ignore the messy scale. just pretend it is sparkling clean, because by the end of today it will be. I hate when my mess shows up on camera.
Forgive me, I did the pictures wrong, but I don't want to re-do them. I will try to tell the pictures as I go. Maybe by the end of the post it will make some since. This blog does not have the option to copy and paste, so now It really is a jumble mess. I wish I had time to fix it, but alas I do not.
I'm not really fond of these pictures of McKayla. To me they do not really show her. I don't even think it looks like her, but we were running late, so I had to go with what I have. Maybe I will try to get a different picture after school. it still counts right? McKalya was so very excited about going to school. She is super smart, but really needs the socialization. I think this will be great for her. I worry about her being the kid that always wants to talk rather than waiting for her turn to answer. I worry that in her quest to be friendly, other kids will be turned off. She seems to love everyone instantly and seems to believe that everyone should feel the same way. I have tried to explain to her that some kids want some space and some time. She just wants to jump in with both feet and be best friends with the world.
I always thought that I would be ready for this day to arrive. Especially since McKayla went to daycare for the first 2 years of her life. Well, almost three. Anyway, this week marks the beginning of me being a taxi cab and the end of me being the center of McKayla's world. She started dance yesterday and today she started pre-school. We found both at reasonable prices and McKayla couldn't wait to start. Yesterday she was upset because she had very high expectations. She thought that she would learn to dance like a ballerina, in one day. She was upset because she messed up and thought her teacher was mad at her. Oh boy. Not that I am hard on myself or anything, but the poor dear.
I love this picture because that is my McKayla. She is such a pretty child and so full of life and love. She is growing up too fast and I can't seem to capture it.
This blog is about life. I think my life is very simple. I like it that way. I do similar things on a daily basis, yet my kids always like to throw in a few suprises. This blog is a small glimps into my world.