Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I spent some time today looking at these ADORABLE newborn diapers!  I really like the way they are designed.  It looks like it is the best of both worlds in that you have an "all in one" type diaper, but due to how it's put together it will still wash well and dry fast.  Of course, I'm no cloth expert as I have only used cloth diapers sporadically.  However, the color choices are just too adorable!

OK...back to teaching math and writing...and I better check on the 8 year old that is SEWING on the machine while I'm distracted looking at diapers.  I wonder what she is up to!  And I also need to check on the teen who is sick with a flu type bug....and get the toddler down for a nap...Really, what AM I doing on the computer?!?!

Have a blessed day,
Mrs. P

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's a Handmade Christmas at the Farm!

Miss J and I have been itching to do some crafting, so I've deemed it a handmade Christmas here at our farm.  Mr. C and Baby C will also be crafting and Miss A may or may not craft handmade gifts.  Her high school load has been pretty hefty and she doesn't have nearly as much time for the fun stuff as she used to have.  She is currently up to her eyeballs in silk dupioni finishing a Shakespeare era gown for her final project in her Shakespeare class.  I'll post pics when she finishes it.  Right now, the pics wouldn't be much as she is sewing miles of boning into the bodice.  So back to my original thought... I'll be adding handmade Christmas gifts, pictures, and links to instructions as we make them and maybe you will make a few handmade gifts for your Christmas as well.  The first thing we are making is using a tutorial called, Hot Dog! It's a pillowcase.  It is a super easy method for making a very neat pillow case.  Join us tomorrow as we post pics of Miss J making her pair of pillowcases.  And if you are family and happen to open up some pillowcases (or other crafty goodness), pretend you've never seen such craftiness before.  ;-)

Mrs. P

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

FYI...Don't Search "maternity" on Pinterest

One cute top found on pinterest whose only flaw is the plunging neckline...and that it would only fit until you are about 7 months pregnant.  :-)

Just so you know and are warned.  If you search "maternity" on pinterest you will NOT get a collection of fashionable maternity clothes.  You will instead get artsy photos of every naked pregnant woman out on the internet.  And sometimes they were so thoughtful as to include their naked husband in the photo as well.  ?!?!?!  Seriously?  I wouldn't pose nude when I'm not pregnant and let me just say that regardless of how all those naked preggos feel, their pregnant tummy doesn't really improve their nude photos.  So all of that to say, if you are searching for "not ugly" maternity clothes, just skip the internet all together - better to prevent the trauma I've just experienced - and head to a maternity store and actually try on some clothes.  Because truly, until you try it on, you can't tell anything.  I have a certain maternity sweater that was absolutely adorable on the JC Penney website.  However, in reality, it's pretty much hideous...couple that with the enormous prices on maternity clothes and it's a situation that I just don't care to repeat.  I did clarify my search and put maternity fashion, but it also yielded very little that a mom my age would actually consider wearing, much less purchasing.

Also, another FYI...since I'm sharing and all...don't take your 14 year old with you and then certainly don't add in a toddler with a poopy pull-up and your diaper bag is in the car.  (I thought I'd just run in really quickly and grab a top and a pair of pants.)  Regardless of how many times you explain it, the 14 year old will never understand that as a 40 year old, you will not and should not wear maternity fashions designed with the 20 year old in mind.  In other words, I didn't do skin tight with plunging necklines at 20, so I probably should not start now!  Although it might detract from my graying hair.  And the poopy toddler will just smell worse by the minute, as well as begin to get fussy.  He won't care that the maternity store only has ONE check out and the line is 4 people long with a super chatty sales person.  In fact, he will just start announcing that he has pooped his pants and needs a new pull-up.  His volume may even increase the longer you stand in line.  And you may or may not take turns standing in the mall area with the other children, who have located "dipping dots" and trading spots in line with your husband just hoping that you can somehow get out of the maternity store in one piece, without anymore of a scene than has already happened.   Because let me just say that 20 something, 10 week pregnant girls and their hubbies can surely give some looks!  And then the checker may want you to come and choose a "free" top because you bought 2 and one more is free!  But, the poopy toddler and middle kids in the mall asking if they can have dipping dots is about to put you over the edge.  So you glance around to see if there is anything that might work, while the toddler escapes.  After you chase him and catch him under a rack, the sales clerk comes to say that she made a mistake and you really don't get a free top. And then you will say thank you and get to the car hoping that you bought things that will work out after the 15 minute speech on the non-return-ability of maternity clothes by the friendly sales clerk.  And at this point, you just really have forgotten all about ugly maternity and decide that ugly will be ok as long as it fits, because fashion just isn't worth the shopping trip you just barely survived.

Just thought I'd share in case there are other 40 year olds out there pregnant with #5 and looking for some sort of modest, yet un-hideous maternity fashion.

Mrs. P

Monday, November 19, 2012

Morning Reading

Deep Roots at Home

I spent some time enjoying this blog this morning.  The first thing to catch my attention is that the author has been married for 38 years, which is quite a feat in today's society.  She also had a recipe for Starbucks Pumpkin Scones, which look delightful.  Anyway, I read several encouraging things and enjoyed the look and feel of her blog so much that I am certain to make visits to it a regular thing.  Who couldn't use a dose of positive, warm blogginess?  It's perfect with a cup of hot apple cider or herbal tea!

Mrs. P                                                            

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Library Day

Library Day

Our Wednesdays are pretty set as far as schedules go.   We rise early to complete barn chores and household tasks and then we are out the door by 8:45 to go to our local library.  I live in a tiny town of 1,500 people.  Actually, I live in the country near a tiny town.  One huge blessing of this town is the local library.  I found it when Mr. C was about 2 and Miss J was just a tiny baby.  I've volunteered as the story time leader, served on the board for a VERY short time, and now utilize it solely as a patron at this busy season of life.  Toddler C is now enjoying the weekly story time and even Miss A enjoys the uninterrupted quiet at the table in the back while she works on Latin or Algebra in peace.  We usually pair this trip with a run through the local grocery store for milk and bananas or a run through the bank to deposit 4-H money.  There is also a little hardware store there and I am thinking I might can get supplies for science labs there, instead of having to drive 30 milks to the nearest Wal-Mart.  Our goal on Library day is to be home by 11:00, when we have lunch and then get right to work on the remaining school work of the day...that is, after, I pry the new library books from their hands and put old yucky math workbooks in their place.  They don't like this part of the day.  School work is followed by an early supper and then AWANA at church and Youth Group for Miss A. 

So my Wednesday Morning Chores are a little different since we are gone most of the morning.
  1. Pick up living room
  2. Put dinner in the crockpot  (Tonight it is Crockpot Sticky Drumsticks)
  3. Sometimes, I put lunch in the crockpot too.  (Today is leftover chicken tortilla soup)
  4. Find library books to return, sometimes often a difficult feat!  Oh the places, I find library books!
  5. Make sure all kids are dressed, teeth brushed, hair brushed, beds made, etc
  6. Pack a bag for Toddler C
  7. Make a list of anything else needed to be done in town (bank deposit, milk, etc)
  8. Normal Morning Chores (barn, rabbits, tortoise, cat, etc)
And looking at that list reminds me to get my franny moving.  I have lots still to do!

Mrs. P

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday is Kitchen Day

Cooking Baking Day by Janet Kruskamp

Today I'm having a "kitchen day."  That means that I started off my morning with one of my largest pots and filled it with 2 frozen whole chickens.  I will debone them once they are cooked and then return the carcass along with onion, celery, and carrots to make chicken broth.  I will sneak the carrots in, so that a certain 10 year old boy doesn't notice, and then I will peel 3 or 4 of the biggest carrots for the remaining kids who think they are God's gift of a perfect snack.  Mr. C is VIOLENTLY opposed to carrots in all forms, even if strained out.  Somehow I must have gone wrong with him.  Every meal, he asks the same question.  "Are we having meat?"  Should I pray he doesn't someday marry a vegetarian?  Or should I pray he does?  Anyway...  I'm hoping these will make lunch and dinner more simplified with the often used ingredients all ready and waiting in my freezer.  I'm also going to make a half batch of this bread recipe from Passionate Homemaking.  I will be honest here and say that it has been many, many moons since I baked a batch of fresh bread.  While I work in the kitchen, I have the big kids working on school at the kitchen table.  The littlest is riding his tiny bicycle around the loop that runs through the kitchen, dining room, and living room.  Every so often he stops to "help" me and usually I can find something for him to stir. I also have a leg of lamb thawing for dinner.  This will be a first and at the price of lamb, I really, really hope I don't mess it up!  In fact, Mr. P has commented on the leg of lamb in the freezer ever since we bought it.  He texts me recipes and says, "don't mess up that lamb."  He is mess.  I resolved the other night that if he said anything else, I just might reply that maybe HE should cook the lamb.  If time permits, I also plan to wash a shelf or two in the fridge and clean out a drawer or cabinet.  My hope is that by Christmas I will have a kitchen in much better shape than it is today.  For now, I'm planning on one kitchen day a week, but closer to the holidays I may end up with 2-3 days per week, especially after we are finished with Classical Conversations on December 7.

So do you have a baking or kitchen day?  What sorts of things do you like to keep stocked in the pantry and freezer?

Mrs. P

Saturday, November 10, 2012

6 Week Bran Muffins

These muffins will keep in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.  Just scoop out what is needed each day and refrigerate the rest.  You will need a large container that holds 2+ quarts of batter with a lid.  I use my dough rising bowl and lid that I got from King Arthur, but in the past I used a half gallon pitcher with a lid.

6 Week Bran Muffins
5 c. flour
5 t. baking soda
2 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
3 c. sugar
1 box of Raisin Bran Cereal (Mueslix may also be used)
4 eggs
1 c. oil
1 quart of buttermilk

Combine first 6 ingredients.  Mix eggs, oil, and buttermilk together and add to dry ingredients.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350*.

Refrigerate unused muffin batter.  Do not stir down batter; just dip out what you need into muffin tins.  Will keep up to 6 weeks in the refrigerator.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I need a BELL!!!

With baby #5 on the way and "baby" #4 now two and into everything, I've been looking at large family blogs.  Specifically how do they..... feed that many kids lunch, wash that much laundry, keep the house from looking like a tornado struck, get everyone's school work complete....etc.  And today I was looking for lunch recipes to feed a crowd and found this post on having a bell.  The only thing is that I DO live in the country and so I guess I need TWO bells.  One to hang on my porch and another for inside the house.  I know it seems that I could surely just run upstairs and find whatever child is missing, but I'm super busy on pinterest, lazy, you fill in the blank   usually in the middle of something and need a smallish helper in a quick manner.  Poop explosion and wipes are in another room, kind of busy.  (Sadly, my pinterest time has been really cut short due to the massive amounts of school, laundry, food, etc.)  Of course, then my bell would probably be sitting next to the wipes, but still I like the idea of a bell.  I had one when I taught public school and I loved it.  Does that make me weird?  Yeah, but that isn't the only thing that contributes to my weirdness.  So now I better run and switch out the laundry and start lunch for a crowd.  Mr. P and the kidlets will be hungry when they come in from the barn after washing and shearing almost a dozen goats and lambs for the upcoming show.

Mrs. P

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Today is my Monday...

We came home from a camping trip yesterday.  And with camping for 6 days, comes mountains of campfire scented, s'mores filled, laundry.  I started on it right away yesterday and this morning the last load is in the washer.  I also emptied the car and even got it vacuumed out.  I managed to get all of the coats back on hangers and I just delegated a certain 10 year old to deliver each of the TEN pairs of shoes that were in said laundry to bedrooms.  I put beans on to soak for tomorrow and thawed hamburger for tacos and tonight's dinner.  But there is still much to do.  It looks like our RV exploded in my house.  I have to somehow convince the children to sit by my side and complete 2-3 days of math, science, history, reading, spelling, writing, and copywork.  I have to come up with a "humorous interepretation" for the two middle children's presentation at classical conversations tomorrow.  I have to edit the oldest child's essay on "courage"... after I get her to write it, of course.  I have to prepare to teach my Challenge 1 class tomorrow...including LATIN.  I have to remember to take the littlest to the potty every hour and keep him nearby always so that I can train him and not have to clean up in his aftermath...and so on and so on.  So instead of sitting and thinking on all that is yet to be done, I will just "do the next thing."  I'll print out a pretty to do list and write down everything I get done as I finish it.  (sort of a to do list, but reversed?)  And then when the day ends, I will look at it and remind myself that my Thursday was still productive even if my house still looks somewhat like an RV exploded in it.  And I'll remind myself that bad company corrupts good character and tell Thursday that is what she gets for hanging our with the likes of "Monday."  We all know Monday's reputation!  And I'll sip blueberry tea with lots of honey and I'll try and not forget to hug the littles and remember they are just as frustrated with having to endure a MonThursday as I am and I'll encourage them instead of yell at them...well, that's how I'm envisioning it anyway.  So here's to a happy MonThursday to you all.  And just maybe you will have a regular Thursday instead, which is normally a very nice day on it's own.

Many Blessings,
Mrs. P