Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pineapple Coconut PIe Filling

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
3 eggs beaten
1 stick butter
1 cup drained pineapple, crushed
1 cup flaked coconut

Heat, first four ingredients well and stir all the time while butter is melting. When butter is melted removed from stove and add 1 cup drained crushed pineapple and 1 cup flaked coconut. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Directing you to Another Give-Away

Ummmm....what would I choose if I were to win this $100.00 gift certificate from Vision Forum???

All of my children would have an opinion. One little boy in my family has a birthday coming up very soon and I think he'd have a wonderful time spending that money! :)

You can enter for a chance to win at Biblical Womanhood, just leave a comment on Crystal's blog.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pie Day, Frugality Week, and Budgeting

These subjects all collided today as I was so glad to have an excuse to bake a pie, but I had already over spent on my food budget for the month (yes, I realize I have quite a few days left in January). The National Creative Frugality Week idea saved the day, as I just decided to use what I had to bake a pie. I chose the one printed on the front of the Community section of our local newspaper, for no special reason other than that I already had all those ingredients on hand and I always enjoy trying out a new recipe! Here's a picture of our Coconut-Pineapple Pie.

I decided I'd make enough pie crust to throw together a Pot Pie for supper, using up leftover vegetables and meat. While the above pie was baking, I whipped up some gravy and added that along with some onions to the pie and baked it. I had a little bit of pie dough left over so I wrapped the dough around some Date Filling that I'd had sitting on my shelf for way too long. This is the picture of them baking as I was cleaning up the kitchen.

I am committed to sticking to our new budget for this year. I'm kind of an all or nothing kind of person and so can get discouraged when I realize I fall short, which obviously I did already this first month of the new year. But my husband tells me this is just a learning experience and we'll do fine and learn from this. :) I'll tell you what sent me over my limit. I bought a gallon of maple syrup at $45.89. Ouch! It will last me a long time which makes me feel better, you know, like buying it was a sort of investment. See, I'm thinking positively. The other set back of the month was spending a little over one hundred dollars on processing a side of beef. But, again, that was an investment. I really need to set aside between $50.00 and $100.00 a month for meat purchases that I'll make throughout this year from local farmers.

My food budget is $500.00 a month. I know there are many moms who feed their families for much less than this. And my hat's off to them! Food is very important to our family and there are some things we just aren't willing to give up. For example, we love honey, agave nectar, maple syrup and good chocolate. We use whole grains often and never use bleached flour. I try to purchase as much of my meat as possible from local farmers and we supplement our egg supply with local farm raised eggs. In the summer we support our local Farmer's Market. We love fresh vegetables and fruits and like for our diet to consist of as much of these fresh foods as possible!

We're off to enjoy our Pot Pie with a fresh mixed baby greens salad.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Quote from Gladys Taber

I'm thoroughly enjoying The Book of Stillmeadow by Gladys Taber. I find it to be a very relaxing read. I usually read a few pages after I crawl into bed for the night. I really like this paragraph and especially the part that is in italics.

As for the actual physical components of a home, they can be very simple. It is how they are put together that gives them charm. Color, for instance, is not expensive. A room can be warm with daffodil yellow, or cool and quiet with apple green, or poetic with blue, whether the curtains be cotton or satin. It is much better, it seems to me, to make something of what we have and can afford, than to yearn for something more expensive and fashionable.

Isn't that a wise attitude?! I am so blessed already and when I am content in my heart, I feel so rich! I love the feeling, usually felt when I come home from grocery shopping and my cupboards and counters are filled with delicious, whole, and healthful foods. I feel it when all of our family is home together cuddled up reading a good book or outside working together on some project. I feel it when I get to play in the rich, brown dirt in my little gardens. And I feel it when all the sheets are freshly laundered and back on the beds.

All pretty simple things, aren't they?!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Blueberries for the Queen

Another great historical fiction book!

From the cover flap:
"It's summertime in New England during World War II, and a boy named William likes to imagine at bedtime that he is a brave knight fighting great battles to end the war.......Then a real queen moves in just down the road: Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands."

Very cute story! And a true one!

Monday, January 07, 2008

A New Business

And another give-away! Storybook Woods is hosting a drawing for a free skirt or pants. Join in the fun, just leave a comment at her blog and you'll be entered! Click on the picture above to look at what Christy has to offer!

Kate DiCamillo

We've enjoyed several of her books now ~ The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Because of Winn-Dixie. Guess we'll have to look for her others! Tonight we read Great Joy, published just this year. It's just a sweet fictional story about a little girl who truly cares.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Picture Books

I picked up George Washington's Breakfast by Jean Fritz at the library yesterday. It's a brand new book to our library and therefore it's all shiny and perfect looking but in reality it was published in 1969. As we all gathered around for our read aloud time, Nathan said, "Oh, it's a Jean Fritz book, it'll be good!" Don't you just love it when your children recognize and love certain authors?! It's a good feeling knowing my children are making "friends" with books. Nathan has certain books that he tells me will be "required reading" for his children.

And so today we recommend to you George Washington's Breakfast!

We also enjoyed The Farewell Symphony by Anna Harwell Celenza, another new book to our library. The author explains that the story is true and the characters really did exist. You will meet Prince Nicholas, Haydn, Tomasini, and the other musicians. A CD of Symphony No. 45 "Farewell" (in F-sharp minor) is included with the book. What a fun way to learn!

I'm so glad to back into our school routine. Breaks are always welcomed but I'm always ready to be back into our normal routine. I'm off to play some math games now.

Edit: Micah just found George Washington's Breakfast on our shelves! :) It's not a sign that we have too many books, is it? Or that I'm getting very forgetful?

The Current "Stack"

I tend to always have a "stack" going beside my side of the bed. The "stack" includes articles I've printed off of the computer, magazines I plan to peruse, and books, always books!

I'm currently reading The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace, Shop, Save, and Share by Ellie Kay and the book of II Samuel. Yesterday I picked up three new to me books at the library that I hope to be able to read or at least glean some information from them. I've been waiting for The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. Our children's librarian is an amazing artist and this book comes highly recommended by her. I hope there are parts of this book that I can share with my children. I also happened to notice The Perricone Promise Look Younger, Live Longer, in Three Easy Steps by Nicholas Perricone, M.D.. We'll see what I think of this book. And the third book I picked up was The Book of Stillmeadow by Gladys Taber. I'm looking forward to lazily reading through this little journal of sorts. I picked it up because I always pay attention to book recommendation from my friend Gumbo Lily! (I've never met her in person but she's been my homeschool mentor for the past 7 years!)

I'm off now to enjoy some reading aloud time with the kids! I hope I will ALWAYS have someone who wants me to read to them!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Financial Challenge

Over the last few years I've enjoyed reading about Crystal's (Biblical Womanhood) daily life as a stay at home wife, mom, and home businesses owner. I loved it when Jesse and Crystal stayed out of debt, living only on $1,000 a month. Well, Crystal is hosting a financial challenge for the year 2008. She starts it off by posting their personal budget, something I'm just a bit too private to do. I do love looking at numbers, though. I like discussing grocery budgets, ways to save a few bucks, and of course, ways to live better on what we already have! I will follow her posts with interest.

And I will join in making the commitment to stick to the budget that my husband and I just created this past week.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Praising God for Who He Is

While thanking and praising God, I often find myself thanking Him for what He has done and for what He has given to me. I am so extremely blessed....physically and Spiritually! I have a wonderful husband, four precious children, an awesome extended family and many dear friends. I lack nothing physically speaking. The Lord has supplied all of my needs. And he deserves all of my praise and thanks!

As the children and I were reading together this morning from Lessons From the Farmyard by Emilie Poulsson, I was again reminded of the fact that (and I quote) "The Lord would be worthy of our praise and adoration even if He never created a wonderful world or saved a guilty soul." And this is so true. God is GOOD. It is His very nature. "Far too often, we permit our attitude of gratitude to slip away because we perceive that God is not giving us all the physical blessing we think we deserve."

Hymn of Thanksgiving

For the blessings of the field,
For the stores the gardens yield,
For the vine's exalted juice,
For the generous olive's use;

Flocks that whiten all the plain,
Yellow sheaves of ripened grain,
Clouds that drop their fattening dews,
Suns that temperate warmth diffuse;

All that Spring, with bounteous hand,
Scatters o'er the smiling land;
All that liberal Autumn pours
From her rich o'erflowing stores;

These to Thee, my God, we owe--
Source whence all our blessings flow!
And for these my soul shall raise
Grateful vows and solemn praise.

Yet should rising whirlwinds tear
From its stem the ripening ear,
Should the fig tree's blasted shoot
Drop her green untimely fruit--

Should the vine put forth no more,
Nor the olive yield her store,
Though the sickening flocks should fall,
And the herds desert the stall--

Should thine altered hand restrain
The early and the latter rain,
Blast each opening bud of joy,
And the rising year destroy--

Yet to Thee my soul should raise
Grateful vows and solemn praise,
And, when every blessing's flown,
Love Thee - for Thyself alone.
~~Anna Loetitla Barbauld