Monday, June 20, 2016

Playing House

When I was in elementary school, my favorite thing to play at recess was house.  

Sure I enjoyed swinging, monkey bars, tag, jumprope, and hula hooping; but my all time favorite was playing house.  

I had known since I was 5 that I wanted to be a mom.

Today baking homemade bread and drying laundry on the clothesline took me right back to elementary school. 

I realized I'm living that dream I always wanted.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Stuffed mushrooms to die for!

This recipe makes a TON of filling.  It overfills all the mushroom caps and then I feed the remaining filling to my kids that don't like mushrooms.  They don't know there are mushroom stems in it.  ;)

1 lb. mushrooms 
1 lb. Jimmy Dean sausage (I use the natural one without msg)
8 oz. full-fat cream cheese 
2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning 
Handful of shredded mozzarella optional 

Wipe dirt off mushrooms with paper towel.  (Do not rinse mushrooms.)

Pop the stems out of the mushrooms and chop (the stems) finely.  Set aside the mushroom caps on a baking sheet.  

Sauté mushroom stems, sausage, and Italian seasoning until sausage is no longer pink.

Turn off heat and stir in 8 oz. cream cheese until melted.  Stir in mozzarella cheese if you're adding it.

Stuff mushroom caps with filling.  And then add more.  Basically add as much as you can to the top without the mushrooms falling over.
The higher you stack the filling, the better!
Ready to go in!

Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes.

Enjoy!  Try to share.  Sharing is nice.  

For those of you without 8 kids to share the remaining filling with, I recommend these amounts:

1 lb. mushrooms 
1/2 lb. pork sausage (like Jimmy Dean)
4 oz. full-fat cream cheese 
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning 
2 oz. shredded mozzarella is optional-- 

I made it for years without mozzarella and we loved it.  
I typically only use it if I have it on hand.

Hope you like it!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

She considereth a field...

have been bitten by the gardening bug.  I love being able to grow my own food!  
Yesterday I sprayed these little clay pots with chalkboard paint and today after I made sure they were totally dry, I labeled them and set them out (even though they don't have the herbs in them yet).

I started about 3 dozen seedlings a week and a half ago.  Now that they're starting to sprout, I'm so excited to get all three Tower Gardens filled and running!  So I started more tonight.

I prepped some seeds for the Tower Gardens and some for the regular (soil) garden.
The weather has been perfect for seeds to sprout, so I decided to set the new ones out with the others.

It's been fun for us to check every morning for new sprouts.  Hoping this greatly increases those sightings and helps our produce budget!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Bun learns to crochet

When my mom was visiting, she taught a few of the kids (the ones interested) how to crochet.

Bun just finished his first washcloth.  What an amazing kid and amazing Grandma!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Life's sweet with Grandma and Papa

Yesterday, while my parents were visiting, the kids were asking what national day it was.  

Turns out it was strawberries and cream day.  So when I took the oldest to the commissary to see if he could get a job there, I picked up some strawberries and Cool Whip.  I knew they'd be pleasantly surprised to have a sweet dessert.

But while I was gone, my parents went to a few stores and returned with a couple cartons of ice cream, cookies, Reese's cups, crackers, and potato sticks.  So they had ice cream for dessert after dinner last night.  My kids were ELATED about that.  

Grandma and Papa for the win.

This morning after breakfast but before church, right after my parents left and the house seemed dull, I said, "Let's get out that special treat we bought."

So Pookie and I got out strawberries and Cool Whip and served up 8 little dishes.  They were super grateful and shared their thanks with me.

I said, "Do you know why I bought this?"

"No," they said in unison.

"I got it because yesterday was strawberries and cream day," I said.

"That's right!" they said. 

The twins said, "Grandma looked it up on her phone." 

"THANK YOU GRANDMA!!!"  They all yelled (in the general direction they had driven away).

Grandma for the win.  Again.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Dirty feet have found a place in my heart

There was a time when I found dirty little feet atrocious.  

Dirty feet used to mean I didn't take the time to bathe my child or I was delinquent in getting shoes on them before they escaped the house.  

These soiled feet meant that I must be so disorganized that I can't keep them in a scheduled routine for good hygiene.

Icky feet make the sheets sooty and they add to the unswept floors.  Or maybe the unswept floors add to the unsightly feet?

But then I read a fantastically crunchy post about how beneficial it is for your body to let your feet be in contact with the earth a little each day.  It said it was healthy!

And for only a moment I questioned it.  Why? 

I looked at my little barefoot twins gleeful faces race-crawling under the trampoline in search of roly-polies and any other critters for their little sisters.  

I looked at the little barefoot girls squatting in the dirt under the clothesline carefully searching for ladybugs.  

I saw Hammy also sans shoes playing in a jungle of tall weeds underneath the pomegranate tree and Bun beckoning him to join him from high up in the branches of the avocado tree. 

And I decided dirty feet were a sign of a well-lived childhood.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Picture frame menu board

You can easily make your own menu board with a multiple photo picture frame.  
April 25th sounded like a good time for me to change my menu board from Thanksgiving/autumn earthy colors to happy bright springy colors.

Instead of writing the day of the week on each one like I typically do, I used my label maker for the names.

I cleaned the glass and the frame and put it all together.

Then the kids' favorite part is making meal suggestions for the week.  Then I hung it on the wall.

Lastly, I put the wet erase marker on the top.

I promise, it's way easier to read in person.  

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

The Clothing Room aka The Family Closet

This feels kind of embarrassing to share but I have had several people ask how we do a family closet.  And since I took pics to answer in a KonMarie group I'm in, I'm finally ready to share with the friends and family who asked.

First of all, it's just the 8 kids who's clothing is kept here with the small amount in the closet that is my husband's physical fitness clothing.  Our clothing is in our own room. 

The only clothes the children have in their room is dirty and in a laundry basket waiting for their wash day.

Each kid has approximately 8 outfits (not counting swimsuits or church clothes) that they rotate through.  Piles are sparse because they need to wash or have washed and haven't folded and put away yet.

The clothes that are in-between sizes are kept in totes in the corner.  There are also a few extras of each type of clothing in most sizes, but we have found it much more manageable to limit the children to 8 outfits.  If one gets stained or a hole, then I get another out.

Shoes that are in-between sizes are in the tote under the bucket of black socks.

It's not beautiful, but it works really well for us.

I do intend to KonMarie this room.  When that happens, I'll probably share pics.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Covering a composition book

It's pretty simple:

1.  Trace -- I like to bring it right to the edge of the black bind.  
2.  Cut 
3.  Glue -- I've found Elmers glue sticks to work best.
4.  Smooth 

This is the paper I chose for the front.  I love it!  If I had two sheets, I would've done the same front and back.  

Sometimes there's a little extra paper after gluing.  Just trim it off carefully.

Now you have a beautiful unique notebook!  Embellish with stickers, buttons, flowers, quotes, or leave blank.  :)


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