Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas present

So, leave it up to hubby and I to come up with creative projects before Christmas. Over our fireplace, we had this large mirror

Here is a view. We also had several cases holding our CD's and DVD's. We had been talking about taking down the mirror and putting up shelves where the amoire was.
So, Jason called my dad and borrowed his grinder. The mirror was held by two slids, but the rubber inside the slides was hard. The mirror was not going to move.
We removed the mirror. It exposed that lovely wood paneling ( cough cough)

 So with the mirror gone, I then primered and painted the paneling. Its too cold to mess with drywall right now ( and who wants the mess two days before Christmas)

We then waited for it to dry, then moved the TV.
I really liked how it turned out. My boys and husband then constructed the new shelfing unit.
I was getting excited to make more room in my living room and to open up the space.
Here is the final result:

The best thing- this cost us a fraction by doing the work ourselves. We still have finishing touches, however it will have to wait. Jason is getting ready to leave for school, so it will be on his "honey do list" when he returns. Its nice having more space!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pre Christmas

So, here I sit, listening to Christmas music and watching my kids play video games. I have made one batch of carrot cake muffins, baked two loaves of chocolate chip banana bread, and am waiting for my butter to warm up to bake some mini cupcakes for my in-laws Christmas tonite. I'm sad Christmas is almost here, I have really enjoyed it this year. My shopping is done ( yes, I started in OCTOBER this year). I love explaining the importance of this holiday, why the Saviors birth is important. I love creating memories, so my kids can reflect and smile and/ or laugh.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Preparing for Thanksgiving

This past week, we celebrated our oldest turning 17. I think, where has the time gone. He chose to stay home. It was a nice, relaxing evening.

I have spent the last couple weeks looking up gardening ideas on Pinterest. I have found several. I am going to try them this spring. I am already planning my to do list for this spring. I really want to build an awning this year.
I want the back patio to be covered. I plan to also string a clothesline once it is built. I love hanging clothes to dry. Not only do they smell better, but it's money I save by not running the dryer. 

I have been working hard on being frugal, especially since we are living on one income while my husband is in school.  So far, we are doing ok. There is always room for improvement.

I have been working on getting more organized. The kids and I gathered 6 garbage bags of clothes and one big box of shoes. I gave these to a friend who was collecting clothing items for the Union Gospel Mission. I am still going thru items, some which I am trying to sell. I fixed a quilt I got from my Grandmother years ago. The boys were excited to use it again. It's a flannel patchwork quilt. It's soft and warm. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Canning updates

So, wanted to make some peach pie filling.
I started with peaches. I peeled and sliced them

I then placed them in a pot, and added all the other ingredients.

I cooked this until it was thick, then I placed it in jars. I then water bathed it; and set the jars on the counter to cool.

It smelled so good!

My garden has been bountiful, I have been thankful
Today I picked, 10 bell peppers, 3 zucchini, 6 cucumbers and approximately 2 cups of strawberries. I dont remember my strawberries every producing as much fruit as I have gotten this year. This has been a blessing, especially since Jason is away in Idaho, and we are trying to save as much money as we can.

This picture is from a month ago, but it is just an example of what it has been producing.
I have canned tomatoes, tomatoe sauce, peaches, pear sauce, pear butter, and frozen nectarine.

Yesterday I began to make fruit leather.

Once it is done curing, I will post the results!
Happy Fall everyone!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


One of my favorite things to do is can. I like being able to eat what I have prepared, and knowing what is in it. I have already canned peaches, made and canned pear sauce and pear butter. Today I am going to try to make peach pie filling. I have made apple pie filling in the past, today I want to try something new. I will try to take pictures to post later...

Monday, August 13, 2012


    This was a picture I took a few weeks ago. It is located on Lake Union. Its a fern growing out of an old pier. It was really nice that day, so I took a walk to take advantage of the sunny weather we are typically devoid of.
    I have decided I am going to have my brood come up with some short term and long term goals. For example, my goal will be to create a menu for the next 2 weeks- I did this several weeks ago,it was helpful, especially when nights were chaotic. I would like my group to help think of ideas for what they would like to eat. My only complaint is that when it is hot, I lack the energy to cook.
    Another one of my goals has been to work on my budget. I have been doing that- I feel pretty happy with myself over that. My goal is to have it set before Jason leaves for school ( which is fastly approaching). Did I mention its suppose to be hot in the Seattle area this weekend, I have ordered approx 75 pounds of fruit to can? I like canning. Its satisfying to see how my hard work has paid off. I want to make pear sauce this year. That will be something new. My plan is to chart how much fruit I use, how much I make of what; so next year I will know if I need to increase or decrease the amount. For example; I made dill pickles. I dont know how many; I think 24 jars. I only have 9 jars left. I would not have any left had I not hidden some of the jars. The problem is I have no idea how many cucumbers ( weight ) I bought to make them. Just more goals for me :) Guess I need to tomorrow to begin to dig out my glass jars/canning seals so I can begin to prepare for this weekend. I'll post some pics of my progress when I am done.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

dog days of summer

       Summer is here. It was finally more than 80 degrees last weekend. It hasnt been that warm up here in over 2 years. I forgot what it felt like to be that warm outside. We have a new FK. He is great. He is quiet, polite. D plays well with other kids. We could not have asked for a bettter fit here in our little abode. Trying to get things organzied. Sometimes I feel as if I take one step forward and two back. Such is life. My little garden is putting out quite the amount of vegetables so far. For that I am thankful. There is nothing better than to go out and pick your own veggies for a salad. We are talking about building a green house to extend our growing season. I just need to figure out how to get one to fit at the south side of the house ( it gets the most sun).
    My chickens have begun to molt. I have only been getting 2-3 eggs a day. I asked the boys to cut back on the number of eggs they have been consuming so I have eggs for baking.
        I made my own granola last week. It was incredibly easy and cheap. I think it tastes a lot better than the granola you can buy in the store. I made 6 cups, its already half gone.Guess thats better than making something and having it go to waste.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New Cabinets

Here are the new cabinets that my husband and boys built. I absolutely love them! I love having my food storage upstairs in my kitchen. I still have space left to fill! We built them because it was a fraction of the cost. My pantry is 34 inched wide, 24 inches deep and 7 feet tall.  I look forward to canning with having the extra space available.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fourth of July

      The Fourth was busy here. We have been working on building our own kitchen cabinets. Jason did a great job on the pantry; now we are working on the kitchen nook area. I am excited. I have finished staining and sealing them. All we have left to do is make the doors and put on the counter tops ( which I have in the back of my truck).
      My garden is doing wonderful. I have gotten more strawberries than last year, I have zucchini that is starting to produce as well. We should have a good harvest this year.
      The boys put a window in the chicken coup- my one hen has finally stopped brooding. I am getting 5-7 eggs a day; we are really enjoying. I dont think I could ever go back to store eggs.
     I will post some pictures soon of our work around our home.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

End of School

I enjoy the kids being home and not having to go to school.
Yesterday was the last day for our school district.  The kids played outside until late, it was great to see them hang out with their friends.

I have been working on Cub Scout day camp program write ups- camp is only 3 weeks away, I cant believe its come around so quickly.

Jason plans on beginning the pantry this weekend. I am excited to see how that turns out. I am definately going to take before and after pictures. I think I am excited to have more cabinet/counter space; especially this fall for canning.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

How does your garden grow...

Its been pretty wet around here so far this spring, we had such nice weather for May, I suppose Mother Nature must have decided she spoiled us too much with all the sun. My tomatoes have blossoms on them, and my strawberry plaints are full of berries. All we need is a little more sun :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

This and that..

    Things have been busy here. We have been weeding the garden, cleaning out the shed and the garage, preparing for my husband to leave for school. We have been going over the budget to see where we can trim to save money while he is away. 
     My garden is doing well so far, my strawberry plants are loaded. I should get a decent amount this year. Last year was sad, I only had enough to make 24 1/2 pints of jam. My peas are growing, my pepper plant and tomatoe plants have blossoms on them as well.
    Jason plans on beginning the kitchen cabinets once he is home from  his annual training. I look forward to having a pantry, and to not have all my extra groceries in the garage :)
   The boys have 12 days of school left. I will be glad. I like the summer; things are slower pace and more laid back. It is nice to take a step back and breath. Fall is busy here, canning, football and soccer; school beginning. I enjoy when the boys are home.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

    Today was a great day. We went up to Snoqualmie Falls.  We were hoping to go on the trail down to the river, but it is still closed. We came home, made lunch, and made a fire pit in the backyard. I made a fire later this afternoon, and the boys roasted hot dogs for dinner. It is so warm and sunny- I have missed this type of weather.
     Andrew and I planted lettuce, onions and carrots yesterday. My strawberry plants are beginning to blossom and my peas are beginning to sprout. I am contemplating what else to plant- this weekend I believe I will buy tomatoe plants.   I may have to buy some more containers for gardening. I know I want to plant at least one zucchini plant.I will be glad when my garden is producing enough I wont have to buy my veggies in the store. I think I may look into building a green house to extend the growing season here. I want to work at being more self reliant, and we are slowly succeeding. We now have our own chickens, we have garden spaces with the ability to expand, and lots of ideas to help us achieve our goal.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 15th 2012

We attended an Eagle Court of Honor today. It was great. There was a great turnout. The scout's parents and his grandparents beamed with happiness. It was wonderful. Andrew made an earth worm compost. He is working on his gardening merit badge. It has several requirements, and will take several months to complete.  Jonathon completed Tenderfoot rank; and has one more item to complete for his second class. TJ also has one item left for his first class.

The weather has been nice, it has felt good to go outside and garden. I have planted some seeds, now to just wait for them to grow. I wonder how much I would have to grow to be more self reliant, and to be able to eat better.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


It felt so good to work outdoors today! The sun actually made an appearance. We widened and begun to gravel the driveway, Jason and the boys picked up a yard of dirt, which we added to the garden and to some low spots in the backyard. My backyard is finally looking more organized. I am getting ready to paint the inside of the house again, I'm just trying to pick out the colors. I think the kitchen is going to a light green ( I like the maroon, its just a little too dark for me). Thomas and Andrew want me to paint their room, they are trying to decide what color scheme to use. I hope we see the sun more this year than last, the rain usually doesnt bother me but as of late, I'd really like to see some more sun!

Monday, March 5, 2012

March 2012

I'm ready for spring. For the warmer weather, the ability to set up my garden, hang clothes out on the line, air out my house, the list goes on and on. Andrew turns 11 this month, and I look at him and wonder where the time has gone. He will be moving up to boy scouts; he is ready and looks forward to it. He definately had the drive that he others do not have.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

February 2012

Alot has happened since my last post. We got licensed for foster parenting. We currently have an 8 year old boy. Some days with him are better than others. Andrew is preparing to cross over into Boy Scouts. He is already asking me about working on merit badges- he's definately my go getter. Jason has been appling to different universities, so we'll see if he gets into an engineering program. I know he will do well, if he can just get in. He was accepted to BYU Idaho, we have to wait for the paperwork to see if the engineering program will accept him. All I can do is put it in Heavenly Father's plan. Matthew is working on driving, so hopefully he can get his license by next month. Jonathon is doing well, just needs to focus more and Thomas is still Thomas; what can I say.