Monday, November 30, 2009

leftover turkey

How do you use up your leftover turkey?

People think that with 9 children we must eat a lot of food. Well, we do eat more than the average American family, but no as much as you might think. Of course, that will probably change when they get older. (We'll have 3 boys in a row entering their teens - whoa!). But for now, they are still pretty young and so their helpings are still small.

So that means we did in fact have leftover turkey.

We picked all the turkey off the bones and put it in the refrigerator. The next day we had macaroni and cheese with turkey in it.

Then we had turkey and cheese quesadillas.

And third, we had turkey in mixed vegetables and brown rice.

Sorry I don't have any pictures of any of these delicious turkey leftover recipes. :)

And that sums up our turkey leftovers. Simple, easy and we all liked them.

So what did you do with your leftover turkey?

Until next time...

and the winner is...

...chosen through number 11...


Yay!! Congratulations, Arlene! You'll be getting your book, mug, and hot chocolate in the mail sometime this week.

Thanks to all who participated.

And...good news. You'll have more chances to win books throughout December. Someone generously donated some more good Christian fiction books to be given away. So check back often to find more giveaways here.

Until next time...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

last chance to enter the giveaway!

I'm leaving the Friday Freebie open for a few more hours. If you missed commenting, thus not entering the giveaway, go here and comment.

The giveway is open until midnight tonight. I'll draw the winner tomorrow morning and announce it directly afterward.

Until next time...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Freebie over here!

Sacred and Profane

Guess what!?

That's right!

Heidi's letting me host (hostess?) a Friday Freebie!

Let me just send a quick "Thank you" to Heidi. Thanks, Heidi!

Now I realize that this is (or was, depending on when you read this) Black Friday. As for me - I stayed home. I'm not quite the courageous soul I once was. I don't care much for the crowds and rush, rush of the biggest shopping day of the year.

I would much rather curl up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. Not that I actually did, but that I would love to. :)

And since I also love to give away things I like, I thought I would share with you a good book, a mug, and some hot chocolate. How does that sound? One lucky winner will win this book:

Plus this:

One or the other or both. Haven't decided yet. :)

And a mug. I don't have a picture for that. But be assured, a mug will be with it. :)

So, here's what you need to do. Leave a comment on this post anytime between now and Sunday evening. I'll draw a winner using a random service and announce the winner Monday.

NOTE: If I can't reach you through your comment id to send you an email, please come back and see if you've won. I actually had someone win and I couldn't get in touch with them to let them know and to get their address. So, please, have some way I can contact you if you win.

Oh, and if you didn't come here via Heidi's place, go visit her now.

And now, let the commenting commence...

Until next time...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all who read this post.

Since it is Thanksgiving, I thought I would list a few things I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful that my children are healthy, I am healthy, and my husband is healthy.

I'm thankful that my husband has a job in this time that many do not.

I'm thankful for family that lives nearby.

I'm thankful for friends. (Had a great visit with some friends the other night. Hope, you might know them. ;))

I'm thankful for friends who are willing to drop everything and help out.

I'm thankful for new friends who are willing to give up a whole day just to meet us in person.

I'm thankful for being able to get back in touch with old friends via the internet.

I'm thankful that we still have the freedom to worship as we choose. I just skimmed through a book about martyrs in the last 100 years. Very eye-opening.

I'm thankful that I can choose where to school my children. I'm grateful to those that have blazed the homeschooling trail before me and that I can teach my children at home.

I'm thankful for many things we often take for granted; reading, writing, seeing, hearing, tasting (although sometimes I'm NOT thankful for the pounds that some tasting adds on).

I'm thankful for the weather these last few days. Not too cold, not too hot; perfect fall weather.

I'm thankful for so many things, that it would take all day and night to list them, and then I would have to start over again. :)

So tell me...what are YOU thankful for?

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Project: girls' beds

I'm posting about a project we have in our home for a couple of reasons. One: it gives me something to post about. :) And two: it gives me an entry in a giveaway for a $25 Lowe's gift card. (More about that later).

Ok. Here's the dilemma; we have 3 bedrooms and 9 children. One of the bedrooms is the master bed, so we split the children up into the other two. Girls' room, boys' room (four in each room, with the youngest boy in our closet-turned-nursery). When we moved we had some friends take the girls' twin mattresses to keep for a little while until we were all moved in. My husband went by their house one day and saw that they had been left outside in the weather and were in bad shape. So no beds for the older girls (the younger ones have toddler beds).

Fast forward a few months; my husband's boss also owns motels and he was replacing some of the beds. So we ended up with 3 queen size beds! Not the best as they were motel beds, but was what we needed. Since we had only had a full size bed the entire time we've been married, it was like a dream come true for me. We quickly gave the full size bed to our second daughter, one of the queen beds went to us, and the other two we stacked for a bed for our oldest daughter. So she's literally sleeping on two queen size beds. How many 11 year olds do you know with a queen size bed? :)

Now, however, the girls' have hardly any room in their room. So we've decided to get rid of the big beds and build the older girls a couple of loft beds, twin size. (Click on the link and you'll see the one we decided on. There were some really nice ones, but we decided to stick with the simple design). With this design the younger girls' toddler beds can easily slide right underneath and become a sort of bunk bed. And they will have so much more room in their bedroom.

Our oldest on her double stack of queen beds. Sorry for the poor quality of the picture. I was going through my pictures on the computer and this was the only one of their room that showed a large portion of it. The full size bed was closer to the door and the toddler beds were squeezed in between them and at the foot of the queen bed.

And that's our current project; putting in loft beds for the older girls. Getting rid of the bigger beds was the easy part. I just listed them on I now have about 30 emails in my inbox from people who are more than willing to take them off my hands.

Now if you want to get in on the giveaway for a $25 Lowe's gift card, go over to Miscellaneous Musings of a 5X Mom. It's a really good giveaway...what am I saying? She always has good giveaways! And we personally could really use that card about now. The girls are also wanting to paint their room (and for that matter, so am I), so we'll have more projects coming up in the near future.

So, if you have a project you've got going or are starting or are just thinking about...go over to her site and get in on the giveaway. Or to just get ideas. Anyway...go have fun!

Until next time...

new dishes for Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving I wanted to try out some new dishes. I presented the idea to my family and they were agreeable. (BTW - my brother couldn't get off work this weekend, so we had Thanksgiving this past Saturday at my mom's. We'll probably do something at home on the actual day, but the meal with my mom and brother is already a done deal).

So for our large family Thanksgiving meal we had all new dishes.

Lemon-Herb Roasted Turkey
Lemon-Butter New Potatoes
Honey-Pineapple Sweet Potatoes
Sweet & Sour Brussels Sprouts
Colorful Corn Medley (the website calls it Fresh Corn Medley, but it's the same recipe)
Comforting Cranberry-Apple Crisp

Then we added an old favorite. One of my aunts recipes, Four Layer Dessert. (This one I posted here).

The new recipes I got from a booklet sent to me from Taste of Home magazine. They were fun to make and delicious to eat.

And...I've got more marked in the book to try for Christmas. :) Fun and yum!

What's on your plate this Thanksgiving?

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

on the crafty side

Do your kids get bored with a day off from school and it's too cold to play outside for long? Do they help with making Thanksgiving dinner? If not, what do they do to keep busy?

I found a few craft ideas that I wanted to try out on my kids this year. Then I thought I'd share them with you. I'll put a picture up, then put the link that will take you to the instructions.

Instructions for this Thankful Garland can be found here.

Pipe cleaner turkey.

Teepee centerpiece. My kids will go crazy for these.

For those little ones that can't do the crafts or those that just don't want to, here is a link to some coloring pages that might tempt them.

When you follow those links you'll find more crafts on that site. Have fun!

And you adults, let the kid inside of you out for a while. I fully intend to make my own craft. You do it, too!

Until next time...

Monday, November 23, 2009

a little history lesson

Who will you have around your table this Thanksgiving? How would you like to cook for 53 people this year? Actually, maybe some of you are cooking for that many people. I won't be. At least I don't think I will be.

Anyway, consider the very first Thanksgiving in our country. From I copied this guest list of that first memorable meal.

4 MARRIED WOMEN : Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Elizabeth Hopkins, Susanna White Winslow.
5 ADOLESCENT GIRLS : Mary Chilton (14), Constance Hopkins (13 or 14), Priscilla Mullins (19), Elizabeth Tilley (14 or15) and Dorothy, the Carver's unnamed maidservant, perhaps 18 or 19.
9 ADOLESCENT BOYS : Francis & John Billington, John Cooke, John Crackston, Samuel Fuller (2d), Giles Hopkins, William Latham, Joseph Rogers, Henry Samson.
13 YOUNG CHILDREN : Bartholomew, Mary & Remember Allerton, Love & Wrestling Brewster, Humility Cooper, Samuel Eaton, Damaris & Oceanus Hopkins, Desire Minter, Richard More, Resolved & Peregrine White.
22 MEN : John Alden, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, William Bradford, William Brewster, Peter Brown, Francis Cooke, Edward Doty, Francis Eaton, [first name unknown] Ely, Samuel Fuller, Richard Gardiner, John Goodman, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland, Edward Lester, George Soule, Myles Standish, William Trevor, Richard Warren, Edward Winslow, Gilbert Winslow

Quite a guest list, huh?

These people had a lot to be thankful for. They were the remaining survivors of the Mayflower after a harsh winter in a strange country. The natives had been friendly and even helped them to find food.

In the words of William Bradford, author of Of Plymouth Plantation:

"They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports."

I hope you enjoyed your history class today. :) For homework, find interesting facts about that first Thanksgiving so long ago.

Until next time...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Book Review - The Husband Tree

Oh. My. Goodness.

I love this book!

The Husband Tree

I just finished The Husband Tree by Mary Connealy. She is fast becoming one of my very favorite authors. Remember the reviews I wrote on her last book? If not, read it here.

The Husband Tree is book two in her Montana Marriages series.

She writes about Belle Tanner, who you meet in book one, Montana Rose. Belle has been through 3 husbands and has totally sworn off men. She has four daughters to raise and a ranch to run and so far has done it all without one bit of help from any man; especially her deadbeat late husbands.

When she discovers she has more cattle than she thought she had, she knows she needs to sell some to survive the winter. That means a cattle drive. And that means more help than just her daughters. She hires Silas Harden and that starts a journey she didn't plan to take.

Silas is more than she bargained for. He actually works! And he cares for her and her girls. The six of them start off on the drive and on the way pick up 3 more good men looking for a bit of work. In order to protect "his" girls, Silas pretends to be Belle's husband. But it turns out to be kind of nice.

Belle is starting to change her mind about another husband, and for once her girls agree. Does she want to make this pretend marriage a real one? Is Silas as really as good as he seems? What happens when they make it back to the ranch?

To find out you have to read this book. Really! The only sad thing's not going to be released until Jan 1st, 2010. BUT WAIT - you can pre-order it through Christian Book Distributors online. Just go to my CBD search engine, type in Mary Connealy or The Husband Tree and you should be able to find it.

If I was rating this book on a star basis, with 5 being the top...I would give this book a 5 but definitely!

So put this book on your to-be-read list and go pre-order today! You'll be glad you did!

Until next time...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chocolate Friday - Heath bar history and recipe

"In 1914 an Illinois schoolteacher named L.S. Heath mortgaged his house for $3,000 to buy his sons a soda shop. A year later he quit his teaching job to join them and expanded the business into homemade ice cream and candy. One afternoon in the mid-1920s a salesman told them about a candy called Trail-Toffee that he'd seen in an other store. The Heath brothers took the basic recipe - almonds, butter, and sugar - and spent the next several months experimenting. In 1928 they finally came up with a chocolate-covered English toffee bar - the Heath Bar."
~Copied from Uncle John's Supremely Satisfying Bathroom Reader

I love Heath bars. I love cookies with Heath bars broken up in them. Yum! So I thought I'd share a recipe with Heath bars and a little bit of history about them.

After you've drooled over and copied this recipe, head over to Lisa's (@ Stop and Smell the Chocolates) and find some more goodies. You'll be glad you did! :)

Heath Bar Cookies Recipe


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped Heath Bar pieces (Eight 1.4 ounce bars)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine Heath Bar pieces and chopped walnuts. Set aside.

2 Cream butter until fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy (a couple minutes). Beat in eggs one at a time, and vanilla.

3 Alternatively mix in the Heath Bar mixture and the flour mixture, a third at a time, until well blended. Chill cookie dough for at least 30 minutes (better an hour).

4 Preheat oven to 350°F. On cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat, spoon out the cookie dough in small 1-inch diameter balls (size of a large marble). Place dough balls 3 inches away from each other on the cookie sheets. (Make sure there is plenty of room between the cookie balls, and that the cookie balls aren't too big. These cookies spread!)


5 Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.


Until next time...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

32 of 52 photos of me

Forever In Blue Jeans'm not sure what that expression is about. But, oh well, we were having fun. :)

This is part of Carin's challenge of mom's getting in front of the camera instead of always hiding behind it. Join in, then go see other moms taking the plunge over at Forever in Blue Jeans.

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

once in a blue moon

Have you ever heard the phrase "once in a blue moon"? You know... something that rarely happens. Have you ever wondered where it originated? Is there such a thing as a "blue" moon?

Actually, yes, there is. And one is going to happen this year!

That's right. This Dec. 31st is going to be a blue moon. Oh, not literally, of course.

A blue moon is a second full moon in the same month. For more information on the blue moon, go here.

It's interesting what you can learn if you just ask the right questions. :)

Until next time...

Is America being destoyed from within?

To everyone who reads this post:

I urge you to watch this video on youtube and share it with your friends and family. Link back to this post if you want, or post about it yourself. Get it out to the public. America as we know and love it is in danger and it's up to US to stand up and stop what is going on.

Watch Fall of the Republic now!

Until next time...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Funnies - TX deputy vs NY lawyer

A lawyer runs a stop sign and gets pulled over by a sheriff's deputy.

He thinks that he is smarter than the deputy because he is a lawyer from New York

and is certain that he has a better education then any cop from Houston , TX ..

He decides to prove this to himself and have some fun at the Texas deputy's expense.

The deputy says, "License and registration, please."

"What for?" says the lawyer.

The deputy says, "You didn't come to a complete stop at the stop sign."

Then the lawyer says, "I slowed down, and no one was coming."

"You still didn't come to a complete stop," says the deputy. "License and registration, please."

The lawyer says, "What's the difference?"

"The difference is you have to come to complete stop, that's the law.

License and registration, please!" the Deputy repeats.

Lawyer says, "If you can show me the legal difference between slow down and stop,

I'll give you my license and registration; and you give me the ticket.

If not, you let me go and don't give me the ticket."

"That sounds fair. Please exit your vehicle, sir," the deputy says.

At this point, the deputy takes out his nightstick and starts

beating the daylights out of the lawyer and says,

"Do you want me to stop, or just slow down?"

I mean absolutely no offense to any New Yorkers out there. It's just that coming from Texas...well...

For more funnies head on over to Kim's at Homesteader's Heart.

Until next time...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

31 of 52 photos of me

Forever In Blue Jeans

You know what this means. Yep, another picture of me.

Here I am with A.Z. our youngest. A.M. our 4 year old can be seen in the background.

Carin has issued the challenge and if you're up to it, head over to her place to link up. It's pretty easy; just get in front of the camera instead of behind it all the time. Easy, huh? Yeah, you'd think so. Actually, I have a hard time remembering to do this. But I've only missed a few weeks. I just jump back in where I missed and keep on. You can, too. Go for it!

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

step by step

Last month I mentioned moving our "baby" out of our room. Well, we're still in the process. Here's the next step. We've moved him into our closet. It has no door so it's just like a little alcove in the room.

This closet also doubles as a changing station and A.Z.'s clothes are in there.

And that's just a little peek into what we've been doing these days.

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

new blog and giveaway

I've found a new blog! It's really interesting. There's babywearing, cloth-diapering, healthy eating, natural living, homeschooling; all kinds of neat things.

And she's having a giveaway for a baby wrap! To enter, simply go here.

You can also visit Felicia's website here.

Now go visit her! And enter the giveaway!

Until next time...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall Festival

Some friends hosted a Fall Festival yesterday. It wasn't the "official" name, but let's call it that. :)

Working the two-man saw was the host, on the far side, and his brother.

Ladies were not exempt from trying either. Sisters-in-law try their hand at it. They did pretty good, too. :)

Talking by the fire.

Our eighth, A.L., with a friend. :)

Can you believe they made homemade ice cream? It's fall, people! Seriously, though, they worked hard and it was yuuu-mmmy!

Do you notice how little girls copy the older ones and women? Here's our A.M. watching closely to see if she's sitting and holding her baby right. So cute!

Later in the evening we had a devotion, with singing.

NO we didn't give the kids COFFEE!! The definitely don't need it! They heated up some apple cider that comes from a local "pick your own fruit" place; The Fruit and Berry Patch. They have some really good fresh apple cider.

Two of our boys are in this picture above. S.T. is on the left in the white t-shirt, and M.J. is on the right in the navy shirt with the stripes across the chest. They look pretty rough after a long afternoon of playing with friends.

A very rare picture. Our oldest, M.D. (She doesn't like her picture taken).

Ok. A mystery picture. Can anyone tell me what this was used for?

Until next time...