Monday, May 31, 2010

Menu Plan ~ Week of May 31st

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with Ham, Veggies and Cheese, English Muffins
Lunch: What ever you can find in the fridge or pantry
Dinner: Memorial Day Cook Out ~ Burgers & Dogs, Potato Salad, Mac Salad, Veggie Tray, Deviled Eggs, Watermelon, Chips

Breakfast: Green Smoothies and Banana Muffins
Lunch: Tuna Pockets
Dinner: Spaghetti and Garlic Bread

Breakfast: Poached Eggs on Oatmeal Wheat Toast
Lunch: Orzo with Pesto and Tomatoes

Breakfast: Yogurt and Maple Almond Granola
Lunch: Egg Salad Pockets
Dinner: Taco Pie

Lunch: Baked Potatoes with Broccoli and Cheese Sauce
Dinner: Pizza and Salad

Lunch: On the road
Dinner: BBQ Chicken, Mac Salad, Corn Bread

Breakfast: Waffles, Bacon and Fresh Fruit
Lunch: Left Overs
Dinner: Dad's choice

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sundress Sewing

The weather has been just beautiful! Summer is here and early for New Hampshire, but I'm not complaining. And what is summer without a new sundress? So finding inspiration here and here, this simple sundress for Bekah was born. I had never sewn with elastic thread, and the first attempt was pretty much a failure. But I was determined to get this little dress made. After a little playing around and winding the bobbin tighter I got the look I was going for.
Bekah didn't want to pose for the camera, but I think these shots are cute. She loves to twirl in her new dress. I have plans to make a couple more for her and Sarah wants on too.

Friday, May 28, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda, aka Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.



In gratitude this week for:

  • Homeschool friends and field trips
  • Summer weather in May
  • A garden to work and that will provide
  • A daughter who is growing into such a beautiful young woman, both inside and out

Wishing all of you a glorious weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Potato Planting

We have been planing potatoes for a few years now with mixed success. We have tried the trash can method as well in the ground. This year we planted in the ground after getting some tips from here.

We planted both reds and kennebec varieties. I hope that we all we have learned and some good weather we have a good yeild this year. Last year's potato crop was small but delicious. And the potatoes kept really well in our cool pantry. I would love to be able to grow enough potatoes to last us through the year. Of course, I would have to have my darling husband build me a root cellar to store them in. And that is a whole other post.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wash Wednesday and WIP

The weather has been just perfect for hanging laundry out to dry. Warm and sunny! I took advantage and washed some fabric for some up and coming projects ~ these bread bags, this sundress, a few items for my shop, and a laundry apron. I love the sight of fabric blowing in the breeze. A pure and simple joy. Of course as I looked at the pieces of blue, green, yellow and rose fabric I started seeing many, many projects that I hadn't thought of before. There could even be a quilt in these pieces. But then there would be on dress nor apron. I guess one will have to wait and see where inspiration leads.

And of course there are all the towels from a jump in the pool and a dash through the sprinkler. The girls love when there are lot of towels and blankets on the line. Then they can lie on the hamock tucked in a cacoon of sweet smelling laundry. It is the perfect place to hide from a little sister and read a book.

Ah the lazy days of summer.

Wash Wednesday is a photo challenge over at the wonderful blog Garden Mama.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Simple Woman's Day Book

FOR TODAY ~ Tuesday, May 25th

Outside my window...The sun is shinning and the birds are busy at the feeder and the chickens are pecking in the grass.

I am thinking... Being a wife, a mother, and a homemaker. It saddens me to see how these rolls are being pushed aside for something "bigger", something "better". When really is there anything truly bigger or better than being a wife and a mother? I find so much joy in taking care of my family, feeding them, keeping a home for them. I can't imagine doing anything else. It truly is an honor.

I am thankful for... My beautiful family, our wonderful friends, and the gorgeous place we live.

From the learning rooms... Ordering our end of year tests, as we have decided to take that route this year. Finishing up math with Sarah. The last book club for Sarah. Selecting a new family read-a-loud.

From the kitchen... Tortillas with the "new" press, oatmeal~wheat bread, coffee cake, and pineapple pie. And on the dairy list - finish the kifer, yogurt, and mozzarella. And I am going to try my hand at kombucha.

I am wearing... My favorite white blouse, my long denim skirt, and my "new" floral apron, my uniform of sorts.

I am creating...I just finished the square for A Blanket of Love, I cried and prayed for this little boy and his father. I've cast on Sarah's sweater, but haven't gotten very far yet. I also have some bread bags and a laundry apron in the works.

I am going... The the ocean later this week. We have a homeschool field trip with the coast guard leading a tour of two light houses. The girls and I can't wait. I love the ocean.

I am reading... or thumbing through would be a better way of putting it: A stack of Mary Jane Farm magazines that a friend lent me.

I am hoping... To get the rest of the garden planted and that we wont have a frost. The peas, spinach, onions, and broccoli look good so far.

I am hearing...Nothing but the songs of the birds outside and the rhythmic breathing of my little one still asleep. Beautiful, peaceful quiet!

Around the house...A good mopping of the kitchen floor and scrub of the tub and then its outside. The wood shed needs a good hauling out.

One of my favorite things... Lemonade! I seemed to have forgotten how delightful a tall cold glass of lemonade is on a hot day. The pantry is full of bottles of organic lemonade I pick up for a song last week, but now I am thinking we may need to make some homemade.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Bike ride with the girls, Sew, Knit, Cook, Garden and Read!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

My City girl wasn't sure what to make of this snake that just wanted a kiss.

Join in the fun of the Simple Woman's Day Book here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Trip to the Dump Has its Rewards

Hauling trash and recyclables to the dump is not one of my favorite chores. But alas it needs to be done and on a regular basis. Getting to stop at the dump store is one of the way s I motivate myself to go. The dump store is a large garage at the dump where you can drop off items that you don't want but aren't really trash. And of course you can take items (treasures) that you find. Over the years I have come home with some great finds. But today I hit the mother load.

Everything was in like new condition. Rebekah loves the Melissa & Doug kitchen sets and all the pieces are here except for the number 9 for the calendar, but that is an easy fix. I couldn't find the clock on line, but it is really nice and much better than the little plastic one I used with the older girls. We once borrowed a Pampered Chef bread tube to make finger sandwiches for a little girls tea. They were a huge success and so much fun. Now we can make some fun tea sandwiches again. I have been wanting a tortilla press for a while and actually have to make tortillas tomorrow. Can't wait to see how it works. A "new" apron is always a treasure, they are part of my daily "uniform". And a vintage casserole dish, I just had to have it.

Some days it pays to do your chores!

A Dream Come True

Anyone who knows Hannah knows she has a thing for horses. She has always loved them. She has wanted to ride them as long as I can remember. She went to horse riding camp for a couple of summers, but never took lessons until now. For her 10th birthday all Hannah wanted was riding lessons. So between her grandparents and us we made her dream come true.

I can only imagine what Hannah was feeling as she and her instructor, Rose, walked up the hill to bring down the horse Hannah would ride for her lesson.

Hannah was thrilled with her horse, Moon. She loves painted horses. And leading Moon down to the barn was a grat way to start her lesson.

There was a lot of work to do before the actual riding started. I love that her lessons include all the care for the horses. A little reality for my dreamer girl who thinks you hop on your horse and ride off into the sunset. She actually enjoyed bushing and saddling up her horse.

Horse and rider are ready to go.

A few last adjustments and they were off.

Starting slow was OK for everyone. It has been over a year since Hannah has ridden, so I think she was even glad to get her bearings back.

However, it wasn't long before she was on her own and doing great! She was so serious. I don't think she smiled the entire time she was on Moon. I was beginning to worry that maybe she wasn't having as much fun as she had hoped.

Not to worry. She told me on the way home that she was just concentrating and that horse riding is serious stuff. Fine by me. As long as she is having fun while being serious. She is not the serious child in the house.

All done for today. An hour of riding is over already? Not to worry the lesson's not over yet. There is still work to be done.

Rebekah got in on the action brushing Moon. She is convinced that Papa is going to bring her home a real horse. Yes, we have another horse lover. I think we may in for some pony rides this summer.

Hannah cleaning out the hooves. Don't' want to leave any pebbles. I hate having a rock in my shoe, don't you?

And after all that work on a hot day, Moon was rewarded with a hosing down. I'm sure it felt good. I know I wouldn't have minded a quick spray.

A happy girl and her horse. I think it is going to be a great summer for this horse loving girl.

Menu Plan ~ Week of May 24th

Breakfast: Green Smoothies
Lunch: Picnic after Tennis: Cheese, Crackers, Almonds, Grapes, Carrot Sticks
Dinner: Scrambled Eggs with Veggies and Cheese, English Muffins

Breakfast: Fried Egg Sandwiches with Ham and Cheese, Cantaloupe
Dinner: Take Out Pizza - no time between sewing class and book club

Breakfast: Yogurt and Maple Almond Granola
Lunch: Picnic at the Ocean - Tuna Wraps, Apples, Cucumber Sticks
Dinner: American Chop Suey, Bread

Breakfast: Green Smoothies, Oatmeal Wheat Toast with Almond Butter
Lunch: Mac and Cheese, Cesar Salad

Breakfast: Banana Muffinsv>
Lunch: Egg Salad Pita Pockets, Pineapple
Dinner: Homemade Pizza

Breakfast: Pancakes and Sausage
Lunch: BLTs and Chips
Dinner: BBQ Ribs, Potato Salad, Corn on the Cob

Breakfast: Coffee Cake
Lunch: Left overs
Dinner: Chicken on the Grill (still looking for a recipe is you have one I'd love to hear it), Pasta Salad, Cornbread

Need more menu inspiration? Stop by I'm an Organizing Junkie for hundereds of menu plans and ideas.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Chance to Knit Some Love

I am so honored to be part of this amazing project with so many amazing woman. Kelley's story to sad yet amazing and truly inspiring. When I heard of her passing, I cried and cried, and hugged my children close.

I already have the yarn and pattern for my square picked out. Hopefully I will be able to start on it this evening. There is still time if you would like to join in and help create this wonderful blanket of love.

You can find out more about this project, as well as, Kelley and her family at The Wellness Tree.

Friday, May 21, 2010

{this moment}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda, aka Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
In gratitude this week for:
  • A garden that is starting to grow
  • Sunshine and warm weather
  • My children's laughter
  • Meals shared with friends

Wishing you all a glorious weekend.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

$10.00 Challenge

Here is the latest $10.00 challenge. A quick shopping trip tonight at Shaws. Funny thing is we ran in for shredded cheese that was on sale and of course I had coupons but they were sold out. So we got a rain cheque for that and pick up these items instead. We spent $8.92 for the eleven items, so about 81 cents each. Not bad for organic lemonade, ice cream and strawberries. We will be heading back for more lemonade as it is FREE with coupon and I have six more coupons!

And if you live near a Shaw's Hellmann's Mayo is on sale for $2.49 starting tomorrow. Pair that with this $.75 coupon that doubles and you get your mayo for $.99. And that's a good deal.

How is your grocery shopping / budget this month. I would love to hear about your great deals or any tips you may have.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wash Wednesday

There is such a simple beauty in a laundry line. They are one of my favorite yard decorations. It is sad to think that there are communities where they are not allowed.

Hanging laundry is one of my favorite tasks. It is a peaceful time of meditation. I often find myself reliving moments of the past ~ inspired by the article I'm hanging. Silly bath time splashing as I hang a towel. Morning snuggles as the sheets get hung. Family meal times relived through cloth napkins, aprons and dish towels.

The laundry line is always changing. Cloth diapers come and go. Favorite colors change. Every ones clothes seem to grow and at times shrink as the years march on. No longer to I have all those tiny white socks and t-shirts blowing in the breeze. Now my line is full of the unique and vibrant personalities that fill our house. I love the time I spend with my laundry line. Reflecting on all that I am blessed with. And to think I would have missed it all if I had thrown the wash into the dryer and pushed a button.

Thanks to Garden Mama for sponsoring Wash Wednesday.

Needle Book - A Tutorial

Needle books have been around for generations. Webster's 1913 dictionary defines them as "A book-shaped needle case, having leaves of cloth into which the needles are stuck." I've been carrying a needle book for a while now and I find it comes in handy for more than just my crafting. I've had a few people ask about my simple needle book and so I thought I would put a tutorial for those of you who would like a needle book of your own.

You will need three pieces of fabric 5"x7". One will be the outside. One will be the inside. And the third will be the pocket. You will also need a 5"x7" piece of fusible interfacing.

I like to use wool felt for the pages of my needle books, but any felt would work. You will need a 5"x5" piece for the page and the closure. Cut a one inch strip off the felt square. Set your felt pieces aside until later.

Follow the directions on the fusible interfacing and iron it to the wrong side of the piece of fabric that is to be the front of your needle book.

Next, fold the pocket piece in half and iron. The pieces should now measure 2.5"x7".

Next you will pin the layers together. Start with the piece that is to be the inside face up. Next place the folded pocket piece lining up the open edges along the bottom of the first piece. Then lay the one inch strip of felt halfway up the right hand side with the edges flush. It should line up closely with the height of the pocket. Place the front fabric on top with the interfacing facing up. Pin all the layers in place and then using a 1/2 seam stitch around leaving a two inch gap to turn it right side out.

Trim the corners being careful not to cut your stitches. This will help the corners from being too bulky. Turn the project right side out. Use a turning tool or knitting needle to help push out the corners and make them nice and square. Turn the opening under and press.

Top stitch close to the edge all the way around being sure to close the opening.

Center the large piece of felt in the middle of the book and stitch. Remember to stitch forward and back at the beginning and end to secure your sewing.

Fold your needle book along the center stitched line and press. Line up where your button should be placed and hand sew on. Cut the felt closure strip to size and cut a slit for a button hole. You're finished except to fill it with your needles and pins. I like to carry a few safety pins as well. They always seem to come in handy.

The pocket is a great place to tuck some thread and a band aid.

Hopefully this tutorial is clear. It is the first one I have written for a craft/sewing project. Please leave me a comment if something is unclear and I will try to explain it better. I would love to hear about the needle books you create or better yet see a picture. So please come back and leave me a comment.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Simple Woman's Day Book

FOR TODAY ~ Tuesday, May 18th

Outside my window...The sun is shinning and the birds are busy at the feeder and the chickens are pecking in the grass.

I am thinking... How much I love the quiet mornings when I can grab a cup of coffee and a few peaceful moments to myself to pray and organize my day!

I am thankful for... For everyday! Kelly, a dear young lady I knew via The Wellness Tree blog, recently passed away leaving her husband and soon to be two year old son. It makes one realize how precious every day is. I am going to focus on the small stuff ~ the joy, smiles and laughter found in the simple moments of my day with my children and husband. We often forget how precious and short those moments can be.

From the learning rooms...preparing for he end of year. This year we are going to take end of year test instead of having a portfolio evaluation. Something new and a little daunting for the girls, but I know they will shine.

From the kitchen...Whole wheat burger buns, tortillas, pumpkin coffee cake and hot pretzels.

I am wearing... My favorite white blouse, my long denim skirt, and my favorite floral apron, my uniform of sorts.

I am creating...Wool felt eggs, a dress/shirt for Sarah and cloth feminine pads. And I need to get to work on designing curtains for the kitchen and the bath.

I am going... to slow down this week. Hannah will be out for sewing class and we are headed to friends for the afternoon and dinner later in the week. Other than that we will be homebodies.

I am reading... or thumbing through would be a better way of putting it: One Yard wonders, Weekend Sewing and Weekend Knitting - lovely inspiration!

I am hoping... That the fact that Rebekah slept through the night last night wasn't a fluke, but the start of something wonderful.

I am hearing...Nothing but the songs of the birds outside and the rhythmic breathing of my little one still asleep. Beautiful, peaceful quiet!

Around the house...Tackling my desk. It needs a good hulling out!

One of my favorite things... Knitting. There is something so relaxing, so meditative about the whole process of knitting. The rhythm of the needles. The feel of the natural fibers. The sense of making something useful and beautiful.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Craft, Cook, Garden and Read!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

A moose from our Saturday morning walk in the bog.

Take a peak into the lives of other simple wonderful woman at this Tuesdays edition of the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Menu Plan ~ Week of May 17th

Breakfast: Yogurt and Maple Almond Granola
Lunch: Ham Salad Pita Pockets, Cucumber Sticks
Dinner: Cheesy Bow Tie Pasta with Peas and Ham French Bread

Breakfast: Poached Eggs and Oatmeal Wheat Toast
Lunch: Roasted Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Dinner: Spaghetti, Bread, and Salad

Breakfast: Green Smoothies
Lunch: Tuna Pita Pockets, Apple Wedges
Dinner: Sloppy Lentils, Green Beans, and Watermellon

Breakfast: Blueberry Pancakes
Lunch: Mac and Cheese, Broccoli
Dinner: We are headed to a friend's house!

Breakfast: Pumpkin Coffee Cake
Lunch: Egg Salad on Burger Buns, Carrot Sticks
Dinner: Enchilada Bake, Salad

Breakfast: Left over Coffee Cake or Cereal
Lunch: Hot Dogs, Chips, Pickles
Dinner: Haddock with Spinach and Tomatoes, Brown Rice

Breakfast: French Toast and Bacon
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: BBQ Chicken, Pasta Salad, and Corn Bread

Almond Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies


~2 1/2 cups oats (processed in a blended or food processor until small pieces, but not flour)
~1/2 cup butter
~1/2 cup coconut oil
~1 cup brown sugar
~1 cup evaporated cane juice crystals
~2 eggs
~1 tsp vanilla
~1 cup wheat flour
~1 cup all purpose flour
~1 tsp baking powder
~1 tsp baking soda
~1 cup shredded coconut
~1 cup almonds, chopped
~1-2 cups chocolate chips (we like dark)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and coconut oil. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Mix all the dry ingredients together and then gradually add to the creamed mixture. When combined add the coconut, almonds, and chocolate.

Roll dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven for 6 minutes. Then flatten cookies with a spatula and bake for another 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on pan for 2 minutes before moving cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

This recipe makes a ton of cookies! And boy were they delicious. The recipe can be found in its original form at Tropical Traditions. And if you are looking for more healthy recipes containing coconut oil they've got them. There are a ton I can't wait to try.

Friday, May 14, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda, aka Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.



In gratitude this week for:

  • adult friends of my children - multi-generational relationships are so important
  • opportunities to explore the beautiful and amazing world God created for us
  • a husband who works so hard to provide for his family
  • children who continue to amaze and teach me

Wishing all of you a glorious weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spring Birding

Spring has sprung and all our feathered friends have returned from their winter vacation down south. So a bunch of us headed into the bog to see what the feathered creatures are up to. It was a chilly start to the day at about 35 degrees, but it soon warmed up. A perfect day.

We were blessed to have two a Sarah's birding friends, Dixie and Lisa, join us. They are both such a wealth of information. Not to mention they brought the spotting scope and bird calls. The spotting scope brings the birds up close and personal, especially exciting for a new birder. At one point we had the scope on a Baltimore Oriel nest and saw the mama and papa flying in and out of it. Too cool! Thanks Dixie and Lisa!

Here is one of the many Oriels we saw. They are beautiful birds! The orange and black is so vibrant, especially this time of year when the male is trying to attract his mate.

This Yellow Warbler was nice enough to come out and pose for us.

We saw a lot of Eastern Kingbirds. This is a male with his black head and white tipped tail.

Above is a Warbling Vireo.

This Black and White Warbler followed us along the path. He was as interested in us as we were in him. He would sit on the branches right above our heads. I love his black and white markings. So striking and regal.

It was a great day! We spotted more that a dozen different species of birds and two active nests. There was also a painted turtle and snake spotted, alson with racoon and moose tracks. So much to see in the bog! We will be heading back over the weekend.