February 28, 2009


Today, I made homemade fabric softener! I've been wanting to do this for quite some time! I needed material...so I ran into Goodwill and found a brand new thermal baby blanket..a really pretty periwinkle blue, for $1.99. I came home, washed it and then went to town, cutting it up into strips, similar to a fabric sheet!
Oh, sure...I could of used ugly-stained rags that I had in our rag-bag...but, well you know -- those fabric sheets have to be PRETTY!

This is so EASY to make...just pick a scent... I used a cheap .99 cent bottle of VO5 Strawberry Hair Conditioner! Dump the whole entire bottle in a big bowl...

Add a cup of white vinegar and 3 quarts of water to it!

Mix it all together, put your cut up fabric-rags in and store it in a large plastic container... then when you're ready to use...just take one out- wring it out a little and viola'! VERY CHEAP FABRIC SOFTENER! I'm not sure how many loads this will go through...but it has to be a lot cheaper then buying store bought Downy! smile, wink, nod! Plus it was fun to make!

February 27, 2009

I've been meaning to share my Valentine's Day present that Brad and Tommie gave me! It's this really, really awesome Praise and Worship c.d. It's called, Songs that Changed Church. I really wanted something that would uplift me, longer then flowers. Let me tell you...this CD does just that! It adds tremendous joy during homeschooling. And, it added so much joy today.. which I desperately needed.

My mom also lifted me up today. She knew I needed a boost. So, she buzzed over and brought, bought and taught me how to make penny rugs! I started on this one! I know my stitches aren't perfect..but I think that's what makes it unique.

I'll be adding soft yellow flowers and leaves in the center of the hearts. The pink hearts are actually a felted sweater!

Whoops..the pictures are a little mixed up...below is the beginning! It was such good therapy today! Thanks mom for teaching me this!

I'm excited to share this breakfast cookie recipe with you! I'll be back sometime this weekend to share it with you! Get your peanut butter, oatmeal, cornflakes or rice krispies and soda, flour, sugars and vanillas... ready! You're going to love this one!

I'm snagging this fun, little Friday Me-me, from Robyn's blog! You can see her fill-in, if you click on Parton My Dust...located in my sidebar.
Friday Fill-In:
1. I'm sorry we missed the lambs being born last night. We were at a scout meeting, instead. I'm hoping we get the opportunity to witness this miracle again, someday.
2. Why do I have a house in constant clutter and not an organized, super efficient, tidy home?
3. How does this stimulus package work anyway?
4. Every morning I put make-up, jewelry and perfume on my body.
5. I consider myself lucky because I have a wonderful husband, family and terrific group of friends!
6. One day we'll see our loved ones who've passed on.
7. And, as for the weekend, tonight I'm keeping the families moral up- movie night or game night? tomorrow I'm nothing planned. and Sunday church and boy, I can't wait!

February 25, 2009

Delivering lambs!

Why will we be sleeping in our blue jeans and sweatshirts tonight? Because.... our neighbor just called and has two sheep ready to give birth, suppose to be sometime between tonight and tomorrow morning. I volunteered Tommie and I to help deliver them... whatever that involves? We've been anticipating this night for a long time! Neither of us have seen animals born! Brad, growing up on a farm... would prefer a good nights sleep with his warm blankets, instead. Now, it's off to put our boots by the door, digital camera and wait.........for the call!

February 24, 2009

I found a big freezer bag full of cut up cabbage yesterday... cabbage that we grew in the garden last summer! That and a bagful of nickle sliced leeks! I found a really super easy crockpot cabbage soup recipe ... and decided it was time to enjoy the fresh gems!
My Aunt Janet taught me that in order to have GOOD CABBAGE SOUP, you need to saute' it in olive oil and get "rue" on the bottom of the pan. So, I did. My little, tiny kitchen smelled really fresh! Leeks, cabbage, carrots and celery!
Then I added a can of V8 juice, 2 chicken bullion's and a little bit of water. Plugged in the crockpot, turned it on low and viola'. One really cheap dinner! And, mega-healthy. Next time, as suggested by my friend Rhonda...I will be using spicy V8 juice.

We're having a couple birthdays in my immediate family...and instead of buying store bought cards...even if I DO BUY them at the dollar store...I thought it would be fun to make homemade...

I cut up this cake and skittle box... and just wrote it like a postcard! The post office charged me the regular price and informed me if I made them postcard size, they would be delivered at postcard rates.
The next soup I plan to make is this... CELERY SOUP! What's your favorite recipe for homemade soup? Please share!

February 23, 2009


The Simple Woman's Daybook for today!

Outside my window: a dark clear night and a security light!

From the learning room: our adventure with Lewis and Clark continues! Today, we (yep, me too!) learned about the Continental Divide!

I am thankful for: good friends, Trident Sugar-less gum, seed catalogs that come in the mail-although I never order...it's fun to dream, dollar store reading glasses!

From the kitchen: Blueberry muffins and pumpkin bread and a clean kitchen!

I am wearing: Oh boy...am I a sight! Wet hair (just got out of the shower!), black long sleeved tee shirt, white man's tee shirt over top, grey yoga pants, big socks from Meijers. I'm-a-looking-good! NOT!!!!!!!!!!

I am reading: This, that and the other on other people's blogs!

I am hoping: To get a lot- A LOT- a lot... of homeschooling done tomorrow!

I am creating: nothing! Why do I feel like a looser when I write this???

I am hearing: Tommie talking to the dog in an alien voice!

Around the house: We're all settled in and watching Jon and Kate Plus 8! Lego's everywhere. Brad in the recliner- looking drowsy!

One of my favorite things: knowing we're one more day closer to SpRInG!

My plans for the rest of the week: Michigan History class, Tuck EverLasting Play, Cub Scout Meeting, and I'd like to look into making homemade spice mixes.

Here's a picture thought I'm sharing: I found a bagful of frozen blueberries in our freezer, that I picked last summer..... weeeeeee HApPY mE! I made a double batch of homemade blueberry muffins! And, ya just can't eat one! smile, wink, nod!

February 22, 2009

Sunday Night!

Are you watching The Oscar's tonight? I am. Yep...I really enjoy seeing all of the beautiful dresses and I must admit, the jewelry is beyond outstanding this year! Angelina is absolutely breath-taking. Mickey Rourke is the comeback kid and Heidi Klum seems really humble.

I spent yesterday and today... in a pretty humble state, myself. I did the housewife thing...grocery's, post-office and Goodwill, laundry, church, visited a different homeschool co-op and I blew up the starter on our vacuum cleaner.

Today, I cleaned like a maniac...and I'm most proud that I stayed off of the internet for the entire day! I even cleaned cupboards! I must tell you.... I used my homemade cleaning products, that I blogged about a few posts back... I am utterly amazed at how fabulous they worked! All of them - especially the scouring paste did the trick!

I thought I'd take a picture of some of my favorite things around the house! Above, is what one corner of my kitchen counter looks like. It's not for show...I use it all. And, most of it came from garage sales or thrift shops! I am itching for those yard sales to start up again!

See the chair above? I bought it from our favorite neighbor. $4. It had been in his barn forever...literally. It is really shabby chic. Really banged up with history.

This is what houses our balsamic vinegar! The olive oil stands behind it...like a secret service agent!

Yesterday, I found this workout video for a dollar at Goodwill! It's been a really long time, since I kickboxed...and I have to tell you, this tape is pretty awesome! It's broke down into two 20 minute cardio workouts- which works out well for my choppy lifestyle.

I saved a couple of gifts that I received from Christmas. Sometimes, I do that. It's a treat to bring them out.... right about this time of year...you know, when you need a lift? Above: a fresh green apple candle and olive oil kitchen soap!
I hope your weekend unfolded nicely, too!

February 20, 2009

Friday Fill-In's!

Friday fill-in's:

I'm playing the Friday Fill-in game...hat tip goes over to Penny's blog and Lisa's Cornerstone Homeschooling blog!

Give me a chance to talk to my dad again and I'll give up all my material things! In a snap!

Whenever, I have soy or terriyaki sauce....I have wicked wicked nightmares and I wake up in cold sweats! Not nice.

I wish for nothing. I am 100% content.

Homemade warm banana-chocolate chip bread was the last thing I ate that was utterly delish!

To live in this world you have to have charisma, kindness and 100% good intentions for everything you do, common sense, a spring in your step and street smarts!

Other then this one, A Mother's Journal is the last blog I commented on.

And, as for the weekend: Tonight...just chilling in front of the t.v. with my laptop, a hot shower, warm and cozy pajamas and fluffy warm socks, tomorrow my plans include: it depends on this crazy weather! More then likely, staying home and organizing, baking, lesson planning and maybe crafting. For Sunday: I'm really looking forward to church...and more of domestic stuff!

February 19, 2009

Want to go back in time and
see what your
community was like?
This is so very cool! Just click here: PeNnY POstCarDs!
Find your state and click away!

February 18, 2009

For Presidents Day-Week....

Today, before lunch....we made Hoe Cakes! Just like George Washington used to eat for breakfast!

People from that time period, used to cook these on the blades of their hoes. So, they say.

They're really easy to make! And, they're not the best...but it's fun to say you tried them... Here's the recipe!


After lunch, we headed to a local nature center and pretended to go exploring like Lewis and Clark!

Come along on our adventure...click here: OUR FICTITIOUS JOURNEY ALONG THE MISSOURI RIVER!


I realize this may not be big news to you..but, it breaks my heart! Sympathy welcome! My most favorite pair of jeans...ripped out at the crotch! My Levi low rider, boot cuts... I purchased for $3. from Salvation Army have gone to the great beyond! The landfill to the south! Oh how I loved LOVED loved these! The perfect length. The perfect weight. I will miss you, laying on the laundry room floor...yearning to be washed and worn again! Will I ever find another to take your place? I can only hope. smile-wink-nod!

February 16, 2009


OUTSIDE MY WINDOW: It's dark. Except for the security lights and the branches are bare! And, it's cold. And, damp.

FROM THE LEARNING ROOM: We're taking an adventure with Lewis and Clark, this week! And, learning about Thomas Jefferson. Fractions. And, lots of review games that I made...so I can pass them along to friends.

I AM THANKFUL FOR: wool socks, my freezer, empty jars for crafting, the Internet, cloth napkins, my church, and all of the good people in my circle, just trying to be happy and upbeat and trying to do the right thing.

FROM THE KITCHEN: warm banana-chocolate chip bread! It's for breakfast!

I AM WEARING: A really pretty blue wool sweater that I bought at the .25 store. Black turtle neck, earrings that Tommie made me, blue jeans, wool socks and ropers.

I AM READING: Two VERY INSPIRATIONAL AND WONDERFUL books about Tasha Tudor, that my mom gave me.

I AM HOPING: The pains in my legs go away soon...I've overdone it on the treadmill...my calves are really bothering me! I'm also hoping, for a good nights sleep.

I AM CREATING: Nothing at the moment...but Tommie is NEEDLE-POINTING, a train pillow. Don't tell him I told you... he wouldn't want anyone to tease him about sewing!

I AM HEARING: Brad and Tommie discussing something about NCIS.

AROUND THE HOUSE: The dog's sleeping in the recliner by Brad. Tommie is needle-pointing- like Little House on the Prairie, my nose is cold.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS: emails from friends!

MY PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK: Groceries, Michigan History Class, Homeschool Co-op, Tommie's friend on Thursday, I hope to finish up our read-aloud...it's dragged on way, way too long... the book is, "Waiting for Anya." Church.

HERE'S A PICTURE THOUGHT I'M SHARING WITH YOU: I found two large containers of hot pink broken glass at the dollar store. I need white grout to start making a project with it.... a vase? a flower box? Stay tuned...

February 15, 2009


How cheap can I be? Yesterday, found me whistling the Fiddler on the Roof (see my Twisted Education blog entry) and making super extra cheap household-good for-the-environment cleaners! I'm not sure the exact cost of the homemade cleaners...but I do know I forked out $2.37 for a big jug of Meijers brand white vinegar. The rest of the ingredients I already had. I had most of the containers, too....leftover jars and clean pop bottle! The spray bottles came from the dollar store. And, the floral and butterfly stickers came from the Dollar Tree, too. They're actually wall decals and adhere to the plastic and glass containers, like no body's business.
The recipes came from: HERE. I made: scouring paste, glass cleaner (which works wonderful!), furniture polish, all-purpose cleaner, 2 washing machine rinses, microwave cleaner and scouring powder. And, I still had a lot of ingredients left over. I didn't even open the second vinegar.

My coupon came for my free bottle of SUAVE SHAMPOO. I went to Wallyworld yesterday and picked the Tangerine scent.
On Valentine's night, I made pork chops, baked apples, squash and twice baked potatoes. Afterwards, I served a really horrible dessert that went straight into the garbage...it was Cranberry Upside Down Cake, taken from Cranberry Valentine picture book. We settled in and watched the video, I found at the .25 store: Second Hand Lions. IT IS EXCELLENT! Very excellent. A wonderful family movie...but it does have mild language. RENT IT. BORROW IT OR GET IT FROM YOUR LIBRARY and make a big bowl of buttery popcorn!

February 13, 2009


Crock Pot - Poultry
90s Style Crockpot Coq Au Vin
Bacon Wrapped Chicken
Baked Cajun Chicken
Baked Chicken Breasts in Crock Pot
Basil Chicken
Broccoli Rice & Chicken
Café Chicken
Cantonese Sweet & Sour Chicken
Caribbean Chicken
Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken
Chicken & Cherries Jubilee
Chicken a la King
Chicken and Cherries Jubilee C/P
Chicken & Rice Casserole
Chicken and Artichoke Casserole
Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken Breasts Supreme
Chicken Creole
Chicken Crock Pie
Chicken Curry
Chicken Curry #2
Chicken Curry Hurry
Chicken Hearts Crockpot
Chicken in the Crock Pot
Chicken Marengo
Chicken Merlot with Mushrooms
Chicken Olé
Chicken Paprika
Chicken Parisienne
Chicken Parmigiana
Chicken Sesame
Chicken Stew
Chicken Stroganoff in Crock Pot
Chicken Taco Filling
Creamy Chicken with Vegetables
Crockpot Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip
Crock Pot Chicken
Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore
Crock Pot Chicken Dinner
Crock Pot Chicken in Mushroom Gravy
Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki
Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla
Crock Pot Garlic Chicken
Crock Pot Lacquered Chicken
Crock Pot Robust Chicken
Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
Forty-clove Chicken
Garlic Lemon Chicken
Ham 'n' Swiss Chicken
International Chicken
Italian Chicken and Potatoes
Italian Chicken Breast
Lemonemonade Chicken
Lemony Roasted Chicken
Lo-Cal Crock Pot Chicken
Low-Fat Glazed Chicken in Crock Pot
Mama's Chicken Stew
Pat's Creamy Chicken
Portugese Garlic Chicken
Turkey Casserole
Turkey Rice South with Tomatoes
Working Woman's Chicken and Rice

This week, I was able to pick up a few freebie's at Meijers, with coupons! I did it by using coupons that were doubled on sale items. I was also able to pick up a free tub of Betty Crocker frosting...free! We're not a hot-sauce type family...but we go through tons of it during the summer....we spray it on our garden to keep the critters away!
Oh my...this picture didn't come out as well as I thought! It's a snowman... a Valentine snowman! I cut up and used a wool sweater! It's adorable in person...sorry the snap is a mess! See you tomorrow!


Friday Fill-in's:

1. It seems like.... an eternity since I laughed with and talked to my dad.

2. Leave me a comment when you're done, please?

3. If I thought you would still read my blog I'd... really lay my opinions out there !

4. Friends with depth is what I think of when I think of you!

5. To me, Valentine's Day means... Hallmark, restaurants and flower shops will have a slight increase of sales. And, how men think buying flowers on this date will make their wife run to the bedroom and turn into this incredible Victoria's Secret love machine! Okay, remember I warned you on #3.

6. Jesus, calcium supplements, family and friends and my second cup of coffee gives me strength!

7. And, as for the weekend....tonight I'm looking forward to I'm not sure exactly...maybe a pot roast dinner and family movie? Tomorrow, okay...I just realized how utterly boring I am. I have nothing else planned for the entire weekend, except church.

February 12, 2009

Wink, Charlotte!

Yesterday, we took advantage of the abnormally-good weather here in Michigan..the last day before winter revisits us...we met up with a couple of homeschool families, for a 4 mile hike. It was 50-ish and misty rain. Lots of mud. Lots of mom-talk and laughter, recipes, and book-talk. Just plain good fun.

The boys burned off some of their boy energy... I think they ran most of the way! There were a bazillion giggles. Tommie is in the back, AJ is in the middle and Jacob is leading the way! The great thing about homeschooling is... there is no teacher telling you not to throw snow balls..there is no teacher telling you to stay on the trail and there is no bus waiting to pull you away from your fun. There is no push and shove to see hundreds of dead fish like in the pictures below...and there is no one ignoring the kids questions...and no one telling them to be silent... best of all there is no competition...no raising your hand and shaking it and moaning, me-me... like you're having an epileptic seizure, no humiliation for asking a weak question. Indeed, Charlotte Mason would smile, wink and nod...I'm sure of it.

In one marshy area, there were tons of fish...big, little, really little and huge! All dead. It was amazing. Some, still frozen in the ice chunks. Others waiting to be had in the food chain. Today, we'll dig a little deeper and see why this happens. There's something to be said about seeing it first hand and seeing it in a science text.

and, the beat goes on. lad-di-da-di-da!

February 11, 2009

Feeling plucky!

This guy...right here...Glenn Beck, from FOX has rocked my world of late. Have you seen him? He makes it easy for people like me to understand this world wide economic and political mess! He speaks on my level. He calls a spade a spade. Unlike the left-winged media who talk in circles and leaves me wondering why I even tuned it or whats more, I find myself staring at their make up and hair? I don't get that with Glenn Beck. I get it when he talks! He is a self proclaimed: former alcoholic, a Mormon, and homeschool dad. And often says, " I'm just a self-educated man"...
Which by the way...he recently mentioned the governments plan for homeschooling, which makes me want to move unobtrusively to the backwoods! If it wasn't for him dissecting this Economic Stimulus package...and bringing to the attention of millions, like me that, the universal health care plan was tucked in and hidden into the knee deep package... I would of never known, what decsion and role the government will have in my health care. AND yours, my friend. My husband and I pay our own Blue Cross. And, a lot of it. Being self-employed, we always have. No complaints. Seems sort of wild to me that..something we willingly pay for..on our own, with no government help..wants to control the future of MY health. What's more, every doctor will have to get permission from the government, in order to issue tests. If the government doesn't think you need the test and says no..well then...so much for your request for a colonoscopy or desired endoscopy....so much for early cancer detection. Looks like socialism to me. Let's pray the House votes this plan down.
Here is how Glenn Beck usually ends his show:
There is a lot of bad news out there. Our economy is tanking and does not show signs of improving. People are losing their jobs 500 million a month according to Nancy Pelosi and there are more cuts on the way.

People around the world are taking to the streets. Our government responds to problem with "bailouts." When you reach out to them you get no response while Ponzi scheme crooks get away with millions and tax cheats get promotions.
Terrorists are on the run, and you just want to keep your family safe.
It is enough to make you want to just give up!

But I am here to tell you something important: You are not alone, and if you believe in a majority of these nine principles then keep watching because I am going to prove it to you to.

1. America is good place, not perfect, but good.
2. I believe in God and He is the center of my life.
3. I must try to be a better, more honest person than I was yesterday.
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority.
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and not a guarantee of equal results.
7. I work hard for what I have. I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree or share my personal opinion.
9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them. They answer to me.

If you believe in those things then I have a project for you. Believe me, this will be worth your while. I want you to take a picture of yourself — keep your clothes on, please — and e-mail it to me at wesurroundthem@foxnews.com. I am going to ask you every day for the next two or three weeks.
Please, if you agree with these principles then help me fight for them.

February 09, 2009


For today, February 9th!

Outside my window: It's pitch dark out. I can only see the reflection of the street light. I just let the dog out...and it feels like SPRING!

From the learning room: This week, it's all about Eli Whitney.

I'm thankful for: Oil of Olay Night Creme, a super-extra long phone cord for this laptop, libraries, my church and the good service, yesterday...and my entire family...

From the kitchen: It's all clean..since we just had dinner. Oh, and there's a fattening chicken casserole, waiting to be cooled down, so I can stick it in the refridgerator. And, a jar of instant coffee.

I am wearing: My favorite Levi jeans, black socks, black v-neck, black cardigan, fake diamond earrings, make-up almost wore off and ropers. Whoops, almost forgot, Arbonne's Black Orchid perfume.

I am reading: I'm still reading, Wolf By the Ears... and I find that while Thomas Jefferson was no saint, he was one hell of a nice guy!

I'm hoping: For much more kindness in the world and that the government allocates the stimulus money, to "we the people," instead of just select groups...

I am creating: Homemade Valentines, more mosaics, a pile of ironing!

I am hearing: Tommie and Brad giggling over America's Funniest Videos.

Around the house: Lego creations strewn everywhere on the floor and tables. Dog sleeping. Tommie doing his PSP, Thrillville- which I should blog about soon, Brad, tapping his foot to the background music on t.v.

One of my favorite things: Going to church on Sunday morning, inspiring blogs, this weather!!

My plans for the rest of the week: A rock solid week of home-educating, Tommie having a friend over Thursday, Cub Scout meeting, Valentine's Day...

Here's a picture thought I'm sharing: Me, yesterday...shooting a Crossman Air soft pistol. At a target. A bulls eye target, silly...what did you think?

February 08, 2009

Valentine's Day decorating!

Today, found me in the mood to decorate this tiny little house for Valentine's Day! It was another beautiful afternoon here in Michigan... I went outside...gathered some branches, painted them white, laid them in the sun to dry and then set off for a long outdoor walk... letting the sunshine drive some vitamin C and D into my bones and breathing in the fresh fresh air!

I made the hearts above, a few weeks back. I cut up a .25 cent sweater. I've had plans to hang them from our Valentines tree.... Today, it all came into fruition!

I'm not sure what our Valentine's plans are? I'm thinking of maybe a fondue! With lots of chocolate for dipping! How about you? What are your plans?