Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Scarves for Christmas

My godson gave me two scarf kits from Anna Maria Horner for Christmas. And let me say, they are fabulous!

I love the colors. I love the flowiness. I love the size (72x12) and that I can wrap them so many different ways. I love that they sew up fast! I love the vintagey feel. And I love the softness (can't beat viole!).

Happy New Years to All!!!!!


Friday, December 30, 2011

Play Kitchen DIY

This is really one of those projects where I kick myself in the behind for not taking a before picture. So just imagine one of those old beat up cabinets you see at a thrift store. You know, with missing shelves, missing hinges and drawers that don't work that are an ugly shade of brown from the late 70s/early 80s? And then you bring it home in the backseat of your little midsized car and your significant other gives you one of those looks that says..."Oh man, now what hairbrained idea does the nut job have." Okay then. That's what I started with.

My kids LOVE creative play and I love that they love it. They love tea parties so I decided to build up that love of tea parties and add a play kitchen. Because, you know, when you have a house that's 900 square feet, it's always good to add another piece of furniture.  :)

The only cost we had in this was the initial price of the cabinet ($20) and a piano hinge to make the oven and the faucet (which I think was about $5 at Menards). The back piece was added from scrap lumber found in the barn and shed. The knobs came off another old piece of furniture laying around and the sink is an old dog dish! The paint was white paint that I already had.

Shelves were added to make a fridge.

And the two lower drawers were kept for storage.

The top drawer was removed and the front was saved. Added a piece of plexiglass and a piano hinge to make an oven.

There's still some work. I still need to find knobs for the stovetop, hang the rack in the oven and it really needs some color. But I wanted the kids to have a say in it so it's a work in progress.

We found some of the kitchen play items from a thrift store and some the kids got for Christmas. I've also been looking at after-christmas sales to pick up some more pieces.

It may take up quite a bit of space in my little kitchen but it's definately worth it. They spend so much time playing house, making meals, hot chocolate and cookies. Making up little stories and play acting it's worth the lose of space.


Monday, December 26, 2011

'Twas the day after Christmas...

And all through the house.

Not a mama was sleeping, nowhere in this house.

The presents all opened, the cookies all ate.

While wrappings and boxes sat waiting in haste.

And me in my analness to have my house all organized.

Spent hours and hours, fluttering anxiously about.

Cleaning with bins and boxes and such.

When up from above there arose such a patter, now who could that be?

While its three little children coming running towards me.

Oh mama, oh mama, have you seen my new toys?

I left them right here, they must be hiding from me!

Now children, be calm and have no fear, your toys are all here.

Mama cleaned and organized and lined them all up.

In neat little stacks, tucked in boxes and such.

The children all stared at their mother in fear,

With thoughts of their childhood spent sorting and cleaning and such.

Then mama laughed and told them to go play.

Lucky for you your mama's favorite chore is to sort.

So go play with your toys, take them out of their bins.

Mama's playtime will come at the end of the day.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kindle Fire Case

My mom has a birthday in December so we sometimes go together with my brother's family and buy her a big birthday/Christmas present. This year we got her  a Kindle Fire (which is really cool and now I really, really want one).

So this morning I whipped up a little case for her Kindle.

It was really one of those projects that went together seamingly all too well. Where you think, "Since I'm wingin' this, really, I'm not paying attention and something isn't right."

It took me until I had the whole thing together to figure it out. Drum's backwards! It doesn't open like a book. But I'm not sweating it, not a huge deal. I was going to create corner pockets to slip the Kindle into but when I tried it, it didn't hold it as snugly as I would want it to. My solution...stickly velcro.

The coordinating material strip down the backside is a handholder so when you fold it back to read, you can slip your hand in to hold it. The pocket on the backside is for the charger.

Not bad and I'm pretty pleased with it.

Hope mom likes it!!

Merry Christmas!!


Christmas Pajamas

I like to make my kids at least one thing for Christmas. The tradition seems to be leaning towards pajamas. I didn't make pajamas for the baby but will work him into the tradition next year.

Both kids picked out their material awhile ago. I put it away so they'd forget about it.

Only two blankets and one Kindle cover left to sew!

Merry Christmas!!!


Monday, December 12, 2011

14 days 'til Christmas

And my sewing space looks like this right now...

I'm pursuing blogs while trying to decide if I clean it out or just dig to find the stuff I need to finish Christmas presents...


Saturday, December 10, 2011

A 3rd Birthday

Happy Birthday to my crazy wild little man.

You are my second unplanned** child and my second blessing from God. You make me laugh daily usually because you are driving me absolutely nuts. You are in love with your mama and your dad often teases you that you haven't figured out that you're cordless. You wake up in the middle of the night to crawl into bed with me, you snuggle in and kiss my check and then wrap my arm around your body. You're wild, unpredictable, spontaneous, stubborn, and full of joy and happiness. You attack life with intensity and passion. Mama loves you little man.

My middle child turned 3 today. Those are the things I told him this morning as we lay snuggled in bed. My little man entered this world struggling to breathe after an emergency c-section because he was in distress. I first saw and held him when he was four hours old. My little man was 23 inches long and 10.3 pounds. And then he slept in the hospital bed with me nonstop for almost 4 days straight. If the nurses tried to move him to a bassinet he would howl so they let him sleep with me. And to this day, he is still a mama's boy and melts his mama's heart.


**I was told when I was 24 years old that I was infertile and although we were quite shocked, my children are truly blessings to me.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

MadeOn: Skin Care Products Hard Lotion

The Farmer has "man hands." Rough, dry, callused. They split and crack in the winter. He covers them with bandaids. It's par for the course between being a farmer and a mechanic who works outside in the elements on helicopters.

For the past couple of years, he's used Burt's Bees Farmers Friend salve. Which helps keep his skin from cracking but it tends to be greasy and well, it has a very strong herbal scent. But it has worked so we've put up with the smell and the greasiness.

And then I found MadeOn Skin Products website and started reading. And then I bought some of her recipes for lotions. But I hadn't gotten around to making the Hard Lotion but was intrigued since her story is the Farmer's story...the crack, splitting skin.

Source: MadeOn Hard Lotion

And then Renee (the fabulous owner and maker of these uber fabulous items) had a Cyber Monday sale and I ordered a gift pack for the Farmer. I ordered the cute pack shown above. I LOVE the chap stick and the free sample of goat's milk soap she sent in my package and the Farmer LOVE LOVE LOVED the lotion. So much so that when I asked to use some the other night, he told me no, to go get my own. Ha!

My mom has the same problems with dry, splitting skin on her hands so I'm ordering more for Christmas presents. This time I'm going to try the chocolate one!!!

The is a fabulous lotion. It's a hard bar and as you rub the bar, your hands soften the lotion to apply. It's not greasy and has a nice light fragrance.

MadeOn Skin Products has a lot of really great products that I can't wait to try and she also has some great ebooks as well as a ton of information on their website.


Monday, December 5, 2011

The Deer Holiday

While most of the country just finished celebrating Thanksgiving, here in Wisconsin, we just finished deer hunting. Thanksgiving is just that big meal right in the middle of deer hunting where hunters will come out of the woods for a big meal, after which they watch football and/or nap. Sometimes they even dress up...but typically it's a sea of bright orange and flannel shirts at Thanksgiving dinner.

The Farmer got a deer this year. On the last day, right before I needed to leave for work. And then the Farmer worked a lot of hours last week so we've been slowly trimming this deer for the last week. I would not make a good butcher. It involves a lot of patience doing all that trimming. Finally, Saturday I'd had enough and took the last two shoulders and put them on a rack and cookie sheet, covered them with seasoning and let them bake at 300 degrees for 4 hours.

WOW. YUMMY. Tender and juicy with a nice crust on the outside. I started shredding it and soon the Farmer and the kids were standing at the stove pulling pieces of meat off to eat. That is definately a sign that something turned out good.

After I shredded it, I portioned it into two cup freezer bags and labeled. I've done this with chicken backs and necks after butchering and it's nice to have around for quick meals.

Then the Farmer informed me that there is a doe season this weekend...sigh.  :)

Since I don't have any pictures of the deer, here's one of my kidlets with Santa with weekend and two of the kidlets playing in the snow...which it's been doing here all weekend and still snowing today.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kids and Christmas Decorating

The kids have been chomping at the bit to decorate for Christmas. The tree and lights were put up on Sunday nite and tonight I opened up the bins and they went to town. Here is some of what they've decorated.

Thomas the Train and the bulldozer moving the construction trucks. The donkeys must have been really tired so Mary and Joseph took a train but the bulldozer needed to move the construction equipment out of the manger so they had a place to stay??

The snowman on mama's rocking chair.

And the elves hangin' out on daddy's chair.

Kids...never a dull moment!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Caramel Rice Krispies

There are probably 482 different ways to make Rice Krispies. Right now, this is my absolute favorite. Even after three days of eating foods outside my normal diet and my body screaming for the return of fresh fruits and veggies, I would eat one of these if there were any left in the house.

They are also so simple to make.

Make a batch of Rice Krispies according to the cereal box. Pour one can of sweetened condensed milk, top with a layer of caramel, top with a layer of marshmellow fluff and then top with another batch of Rice Krispies.

It's like ooey gooey sickenly sweet madness.

Now I must go exercise...another thing my body has been missing the past three days!


Monday, November 21, 2011


I've been reading the book, Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD. The book discusses how today's wheat has been genetically altered eliminating much of the nutritional value of the grain. Food manufacturers have processed this once sturdy staple causing foods containing wheat to make blood sugar spike as well as having addictive qualities that make us hungry causing us to overeat.

The book discusses many different ways that today's wheat negatively effects our body. Diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, acid reflux, obesity, joint pain to name a few. It gives examples of research and case studies of what happens when wheat is eliminated from the diet.

One of the things discussed in the book is that because wheat has been altered, it causes us to crave more, we aren't satisified and eat more and more. It discusses the chemical reaction that occurs in our brains because of the addictive qualities.

Wheat is a cheap "filler" and is used in a variety of foods. Foods that completely surprised me. Some of the culprits in our house are ranch dressing and ketchup. Another one is Crystal Lite. Yes, I know. Not the best thing in the world and water would be better. Our two-year-old (3 in a couple of weeks!!) loves juice. I mean we would have battles over juice. So we eliminated juice and now offer Crystal Lite or water. But reading the label it states that there may be trace amounts of wheat in there. Eliminating juice also helped with some behavioral problems we were having.

Another issue that hit home with me was weight. Since my first child and gaining weight over the course of five years, I've struggled to lose that weight I've gained. Since my third babe was born, I've exercised and counted my calories and after 6 months had lost 15 pounds. And that was during the first two months and nothing for the next four. After one week of almost eliminating wheat from my diet, I lost 3 pounds. I'm also sleeping better and have less joint pain.

Wheat Belly encourages individuals to give up wheat, starches, and gluten as well as legumes, bran, oats and many other types of grains. The author doesn't give a lot of a reason for eliminating legumes, brans, oats and some other grains other than there is a potential for these types of food to contain wheat.

I don't agree with this. I think legumes are very nutritional  and I don't see eliminating them because there is a potential for them to contain wheat.

It's been two weeks since I've eliminated most wheat and startches from my diet. The Farmer and the kids are still eating cereals for breakfast and some wheat products but have cut back on the amount they consume. And one thing I've noticed in the last week is that my kids are eating less between meals. Although since they are still quite young, it's hard to tell if this is due to them coming out of growth spurts or the change in their diet.

We're going to keep slowly making changes to our diet continually striving towards a healthier, natural diet and lifestyle. I want to do more research on using spelt for making breads and crackers. We're going to be more aware of where we're buying our processed products such as ketchup and ranch dressing as well as our oats and other grain products we do have in our diets.

I'll never completely eliminate wheat from my diet. I mean, I truly do not think I could give up cakes and cookies. But I do know that as a family, we've been eating healthier and making better choices. Where we used to have a startch or grain on our plate at mealtime, we've replaced it with a larger portion of fruits and vegetables. I've also been able to eliminate more processed foods from our diets such as no more chicken nuggets and replacing them with grilled chicken or turkey.

I do wish the book discussed organic wheat and grains versus non-organic wheat and grains. I would like to know if there is the same genetic alterations made to organics. I will definately be doing more research.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kids and carrots

I love cooked carrots. But I'm the only one in our family who likes cooked carrots. Everyone else likes theirs raw. But the kids complain that the carrots are hard to eat. So we rarely had carrots.

Then one afternoon I was peeling a carrot for a crock pot meal and Em came up and started eating the peels and declared..."I love eating carrots this way."

Now they eat carrots several times a week.

Do you ever have those A-HA! moments where you wish you would have thought of that a long time ago!?!?


Tuesday, November 15, 2011


The pumpkins are roasted, pureed and in the freezer. The pumpkin seeds are toasted. My favorite...cinnamon. YUMMY!

And I have been trying to figure out how I'm going to use all that pureed pumpkin. We don't eat a lot of sweets or sweet breads and my apologies if I offend anyone but pumpkin pie makes me gag.

My dilemna was solved with my dinner mistake the other night. It was last minute and I grabbed a bag of pureed sweet potatoes out of the freeze but they weren't sweet potatoes. It went quite nicely with the roasted chicken and green beans.

Pumpkin is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Great source of Vitamin E, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, copper and mangenese and a good source of dietary fiber. And at 49 calories per 1 cup is a good low calorie side dish.

And the best part....the kids ate it up!!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thanksgiving Snack Mix

I've seen quite a few of these types of recipes floating around.

To Make:
Mix together Bugles, mini pretzels, candy corn, gold fish, cranberries and raisins, pumpkin seeds. You could add peanuts and others seeds or nuts but since my kids are young, I choose to omit them.

Each item in the snack mix symbolizes an aspect of the Thanksgiving season.

Bugles represent a cornucopia, a horn of plenty.
Pretzels represent arms folded in thanks and prayer.
Candy corn represents the first winter when food was scarce and the pilgrims survived on corn.
Dried fruits represent the celebration of a harvest.
Peanuts and/or seeds represent the potential of future harvests.

While not 100% healthy, this is a good snack for the diaper bag for running errands or church. It does have a nice mixture of chewy from the raisins and craisins along with saltiness and crunch with a little sweetness.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sewing for my boys

The boys often get left out of sewing projects. This morning I got busy making something for each of the boys and they are also functional.

First up...a neckwarmer for the middle man.

He's been wanting one since last year and usually stole his sister's. This one is a little more his size.

I also made a pair of booties for the lil' man. He's too young for winter boots but we don't always need a snowsuit on. Fleece on the outside, fleece on the inside with a layer of cotton batting. Perfect for winter weather. I'm hoping the elastic at the top will help them stay on since right now socks stay on his feet for about the time it takes him to get from the bathroom to the living room.

This side of Wisconsin didn't get the lovely snow like many of my friends on the other side of the state. I was kind of sad, I was actually looking forward to having some snow!

That is until it actually snows!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011


This is Oscar.

Oscar is 3 years old and a new addition to our family. We've been calling him mini-moose.

Moose (Sedrick) was our dog who died last winter at the age of almost 13 years old. Moose was 125 pounds and believed himself to be a lap dog. He loved to "share" the couch and bed with anyone he could talk into it. Moose also was gentle with the kids, loved to go for car rides to visit people, and play with the barn animals.

Oscar is a great little dog. He's gentle with the kids and sleeps with one of them every night. He's never been around farm animals but loves playing with them. This morning he was head butting with the goats. He also loves to go visit people and go on car rides.

Oscar, our mini-moose, also believes himself to be a lap dog. However, since there is 110 pound difference between Oscar and Moose, Oscar ets to be a lap dog more often then Moose did.

And seriously, how could you not love that face!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Every so often us moms have to remember to breath

I seem to be going in many directions right now.

I'm trying to remember to breath.

I'm trying to remember to capture these moments when my children are still young and fresh.

I often whisper in my children's ear..."I love all of our moments together."

I often whisper this when they are naughty...please don't tell the Farmer.  :)

I worked 22 days in a row. Quite a feat for someone who will soon be unemployed and was only hired to work part-time.

I had this weekend off. I did very little except putz around the house and go to church and fall conference.

I've been very busy at church. Between KOOL (Kids of Our Lord), Sunday school, fundraising (I don't remember volunteering to be on that committee - funny how that happens), church dinners, fall conferences, and ladies group...I'm going lots of directions there also.

There was a 5 day period where the Farmer and I saw each other for a total of 114 minutes (I kept track).

I've also been preserving sweet potatoes and pumpkins and still have some beets to do.

We're slowly getting ready for winter...the weatherman did say snow in Wisconsin this week.

We got a new puppy (he's 3) and his name is Oscar.

Oscar is at the vet today or I would take his picture for you. He's a pug. He's adorable. He's great with the kids. His face is so smashed and ugly it's makes me smile.

My van is broke. I'm driving the Farmer's "run-around" car. It isn't doing a lot for my image of a hip, cool, farmer's wife.  HA!

I'm exercising every day, watching what I eat, drinking lots of water and I'm still struggling to lose weight. This is a huge struggle for me. It causes me a lot of emotional pain.

On the same note, I'm reading the book "Wheat Belly." It makes lots of sense. When I'm done, I'll write a little book review and why I believe a lot of the things said in the book.

I'm looking forward to Christmas and am restraining myself from putting up decorations now. I'm pacifying myself by telling the kids we can make Thanksgiving decorations.

I did tell the kids they can have a christmas tree upstairs...that may go up before Thanksgiving.

I will have a giveaway this week. Look forward to "talking" to you all again soon.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Our feathered friends

I never wanted to be a farm girl. I was perfectly content with my high heels, manicured nails and hip haircut. I loved my little house in town that was oh so stylish and clean and organized.

Then I met and fell in love with a man who wanted to be a farmer. Fast forward to moving to the farm and being pregnant. I seriously think it was the pregnancy hormones that did it. I was six months pregnant and one of the guys at work said, "Hey you're livin' on that ol' farm now, I think you need some chickens. I have too many roosters right now, I'll bring some out." Roosters. What am I supposed to do with roosters. Seriously! Hens everyone said, now you need some hens. The Farmer was excited. I thought okay, I'm into organics...fresh chickens eggs would be kinda neat.

So I found a lady who had three little banty chickens. And they laid the cutest little eggs. Then the following spring our bird population exploded. We had hens and roosters of all shapes and sizes, turkeys and ducks and geese. We ordered our first batch of Cornish Cross for meat.

And that is one of the ways that I fell in love with farming.

I love finding little mother hens around the farm who find little hidden places to have a nest.

I love watching birds hatch in the spring (or sometimes the fall if I don't find those nests quick enough).

I love their curiousity. Their beautiful colors and funny hats.

I love their lovely colored shells.

And I love how they supply hours of entertainment for persons big and small.


First Annual Hen House Hop

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

May your day be filled with sweetness, love, and fun!


ps - I'll be back blogging soon. I have a giveaway for a MyMemories software package and a blogger's award to pass forward (cuz the wonderful blogger that I am I got an award and then went MIA!).

Friday, October 21, 2011


I think I've said it before on here (like when I posted Easter outfits (boys) and (Em)) that I never wanted to be one of those moms who put her kids into matching outfits. I so lied to myself.

I can't help it. It's addicting, it's adorable, and I will continue to do this until they roll their eyes and call me a freak. Which unfortunately will happen sooner than I want it too.  :)


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Curly Scarf

In an attempt to get ready for winter in this chilly Wisconsin weather we're having lately, I crochetted a scarf for lil' Miss Em.

This is the Curly Scarf from Guide to Crochet from Chicks with Sticks. I did want it a little thicker so when I finished the last row, I repeated the pattern again using the original chain row so it's twice as wide. Following the original pattern directions would make a nice decorative scarf to wear with an outfit but doubling it (and using a little chunkier yarn) gave a nice weight scarf for this danged cold weather we're having (it's 36 degrees as I type this!).

Now I'm going to try my hand at a pair of mittens!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Apple Pie in a Jar

A few weeks back, Sparing Change had a recipe for Apple Pie in a Jar. She's currently doing a gift series called 25 Weeks 'til Christmas about making homemade christmas presents. It's pretty cool and filled with lots of fun ideas. Like this week's Wire Candlestick Holders which I'm pretty sure I'll be making some for me for christmas decorating.

Anyways, I had some apples to use up so decided to play around with this recipe because it sounded absolutely delicious.

And it is delicious. Like lick your fingers delicious.

Apple Pie in a Jar

4 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch (originally calls for 1 cup but 1/4 cup worked just fine)
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
10 cups water

I started by mixing together the ingredients above and bringing to boil. When it reached a boil, I reduced heat and let simmer and bubble until it was a nice, thick, goey consistency.

I cleaned and sterilized 8 quart jars and peeled and cubed apples until the jars were nice and filled up tight. Then I ladled the sauce over the apples and processed 30 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Then I had one jelly jar of sauce left over so I cut up an apple and stood in the kitchen dipping apple slices into it and then licking my fingers while making yum sounds to turn around and find the farmer leaning against the fridge with a smirky smile on his face. So I gave him a bite and he said, "Boy that's good." Then I went to wash my hands and came out of the bathroom to find the Farmer dipping apples and licking his fingers.

So yeah, it's really that good. 

It would be cute with a little ribbon and tag on it.

Or if you're like me and not sure if you want to share...try it over cheesecake.

Oh yeah, that's what I'm thinkin'.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My washing machine has super powers

My washing machine and dryer have cloaks of invisibility. Seriously, they only reveal themselves to me. I'm quite surprised they actually showed up for this picture.

Fortunately they did or there may be no record of them even existing at all! Unfortunately, the pile of towels and diapers do have a cloak of invisibility.

You may think I'm joking but I've asked other people in this house about them and they look at me like I'm quite odd. I try to explain them but I usually get a glassed over look like they've gone into a trance.

I've tried to figure out if there is a secret word or phrase that makes them reveal themselves so that I could share this secret with others but I've had no success in unlocking their magical powers. Is it the soap I use? Do they have a secret sniffer and can detect my scent??

At first I was quite offended that they only choose me. What a mundane task to be given. But then I realized that this is quite a gift. This secret that I share with my washer and dryer.

I'm honored! You've choosen me!!

It's kinda like the saying, "Money don't grow on trees."

I always think, "They must think the clothes just magically clean themselves!" BUT really, in their eyes they do!

The Farmer gave me the ol' stink eye while I was writing this and said, "So you think the garbage just magically disappears?"

And I looked at him like he was quite odd and said, "But it does! You see, I put the garbage outside the door and the next time I look it's gone!"

And then he said my eyes glazed over...


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Spinning Out Honey

The Farmer started processing honey today. We don't use a lot (or any) fancy equipment. We've looked at it, but by the time we think we've made a decision about what we want, it's time to process so we just tell ourselves, we'll look at it again next year. And then next year comes and repeat.  :) The equipment can also be quite expensive.

So we have a system. And it works. We have a garbage can (we store honey supplies in here so the only thing it gets used for is honey). Inside (you'll see in a picture down below) is a frame that holds two honey frames and has a nut for attaching the drill.

This is a frame pulled from the beehive.

The Farmer uncapping the frames by scrapping with a dinner fork.

This will all be run through a strainer to get every last drop of sweetness. The honeycomb in the corner is gone because Con and Farmer have a sweet tooth for it.

The Farmer spinning out the frames. We (and by we I hope you all know that I mean the Farmer because I have no mechanical or construction abilities) need to add a frame across the top. There's no way I'm strong enough to hold onto this while it's spinning. The Farmer wanted me to try but only because he wanted to laugh at me while I flailed helplessly around the barrel.

The inside of the barrel. Let the barrel sit overnight so the honey all runs to the bottom.

A frame that has been spun out. We set these outside behind the shop and the bees will have these picked clean in a couple of days.

A collander, cheesecloth, and a stive (I think that's's the fancy collander for smashing juice out of fruit) to strain the honey.

Cute baby entirely optional but it's always nice to have someone sing with you while you work.