Saturday, October 29, 2011

25 Slow Cooker Recipes Ebook from Gooseberry Patch

Get Gooseberry Patch Circle of Friends 25 Slow Cooker Recipes free on They have several free recipe ebooks as well as a menu planner.

25 Slow-Cooker Recipes by Gooseberry Patch

Hummingbird Food Recipe

This is the recipe we use to make hummingbird food in the summer.

4 cups water
1 cup sugar

Put this in a pan and heat until the sugar has melted into the water. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool completely down before filling feeders and hanging out for the birds.

We love to watch hummingbirds during the summer at our feeders on the porch.

How to make food for hummingbirds

I'm Part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed - Quote

I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colourless dreams tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labour by power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problems recognizing me - my banner will be clear!

~Anonymous African Pastor - Nailed to his wall~

Being a Mother is Special Quote by JR Miller

"Oh that God would give every mother a vision of the glory and splendor of the work that is given to her when a babe is placed in her bosom to be nursed and trained! Could she have but one glimpse in to the future of that life as it reaches on into eternity; could she look into it's soul to see its possibilities; could she be made to understand her own personal responsibility for the training of this child, for the development of its life, and for its destiny,--she would see that in all God's world there is no other work so noble and so worthy of her best powers, and she would commit to no others hands the sacred and holy trust given to her."  ~JR Miller~

Help and Guidance Quote

"When your little boy or girl thrusts his small hand into yours, it may be smeared with chocolate ice cream, or grimy from petting a dog. There may be a wart under the right thumb and a bandage around the little finger. But the important thing about this hand is that it is the hand that some day may hold a Bible or a Colt Revolver; play a piano or spin a gambling wheel; gently dress a leper's wound or tremble wretchedly, uncontrolled by an alcoholic mind. Right now, that hand is asks for help and guidance." ~Author Unknown~

Ronald Reagan Quotes

Here is a link to lots of quotes by Ronald Reagan. I used several of them during July when we studied American Freedom. I would write a quote each day on the white board for the whole family to see. I also used Bible verses.

"All great change in America begins at the dinner table" ~ Ronald Reagan ~

A Heart for Home Newsletter

I have also saved many favorite websites, blogs and newsletters in my favorites and hope to share those with you as well. This is one of my favorite email newsletters it is called "A Heart for Home" and is a free, bi-monthly e-mail newsletter which contains articles on homeschooling, homekeeping, reading, crafting, mothering and walking in the ways of the Lord.

Subscribe by sending a blank e-mail to:
You can also visit Julie's blog called Life in Skunk Hollow where she shares ideas that anyone can do.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Easy Sugar Cookies

I shared this recipe earlier but I had to add it to the Christmas Cookie Countdown.

I love to make these easy cookies and they are also very good to eat. I have tried for years to make cut out cookies with the kids for the holidays and they never worked out until this recipe. I like them because I don't have to wait for them to be refrigerated in order to roll them out.

Sugar Cookies
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shortening ( I have used oil and it has worked fine)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350 degree
Cream shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour a little at a time to form the dough. Roll on a floured surface and cut out in desired shape. Bake about 8 -10 minutes.

Recipe for Cookie Icing

Make Cookie Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoon milk
2 teaspoon corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Mix sugar and milk until smooth. Add corn syrup and vanilla and mix until it is stiff. If you need to thin it add more milk and if it is too thin you can add more sugar. You can also tint with a small amount of food coloring to achieve your desired color. Then spread on cookies and ad sprinkles and colored sugars and let the cookie dry.

Cookie Bouquet Directions

Make your own Cookie Bouquet for any special occasion from birthdays to Valentines  Day.

Things You will need:
  • Cookies
  • Icing
  • Colored Sugars
  • Sprinkles
  • Wooden skewers
  • Desired shaped cookie cutters
  • Glass jar
  • Ribbon
  • Filler for jar such as candy conversation hearts, red hots candy, chocolate kisses,etc or a mixture of candies
  • Floral foam or any foam you have around the house that can be cut down to fit inside the jar
You may already have a favorite cookie recipe or you can even use the refrigerated kind at the grocery store or you can use my favorite sugar cookie recipe here.

Use your cookie cutters to cut out the desired shapes. If you have no  shaped cutter you can use a cardboard template by laying it on top of the dough and use a knife to cut around it. Push your wooden skewers all the way into the cookie but make sure not to go through to the other end. Make sure the cookie isn't too big for the skewer to hold it up or it will fall apart. You will not be able to get many skewered cookies on the cookie sheet at once so you will have to bake several batches. Bake about 8 – 10 minutes. Let them completely cool before even attempting to remove them from the pan.
When completely cool you can decorate them with homemade icing using this  recipe  and colored sugars or sprinkles or you can use store bought icing and spread thinly over the cookies and still decorate them with the sugars and sprinkles.

Arrange the Cookie Bouquet

Take the clear glass jar and put the foam into it and then add your filler candy around it and on the top of it. Make sure the foam is covered completely. Then begin pushing your skewered cookies into the foam until you get the amount of cookies and the look you want. Using the ribbon you can tie it in a bow around the jar.

Organizing Ideas

1. Outdoor Toys - Organize outside toys by keeping a large plastic tub or crate on the porch/deck or in the garage. Go through and throw away toys that are broken and give away or sell toys that have been outgrown or are no longer in use.
2. Snacks - Keep children's dishes and snacks on low shelves so they can access them.
3. Baskets - Keep baskets or crates for toys in each room to avoid scattered toys everywhere.
4. Videos - Label all video movies and turn them so that kids can easily find the movie they are looking for. Go through and do away with those that you no longer watch.
5. Make a Sandwich Center - Simply put lunch meat, pre-sliced tomatoes, lettuce and what ever else your children eat on sandwiches in a plastic container and label it "Sandwich Center" and teach them to make their own sandwich. All they have to do is open the fridge and grab the "Sandwich Center" which contains everything they need to put the sandwich together and return the container to the fridge when finished.
6. Chore Time - Give children appropriate chores for their ages. It is so easy for us as parents to do it ourselves to save time and arguments but this is not doing our children any good in the long run. Give them a choice of chores, trade chores among each other in order to combat boredom make it a fun process and they will want to do the chores. When they do a good job let them know and likewise if they do a bad job because they are in a hurry let them know that also and have them do it better next time.
7. Clean out and Donate Toys - Have children go through toys and donate them or help them have a yard sale and earn extra money.

Planning Ahead for Thanksgiving

1. Plan your menu. If you have guests bring items let them know what to bring so they can be getting their items together. This isn't really the time to experiment with new recipes. If you have something you want to try you could make it before the Thanksgiving dinner and see if your family likes it.
2. Make Your Shopping List - Lots of things are on sale this time of year and coupons are everywhere. If it is a product you use a lot then buy some extra and put it back for future use.
3. Do your detailed cleaning at the beginning of November making it one less worry for you leading up to the holiday. Then you can spot clean throughout the month keeping things picked up and put away.
4. Make sure you have enough plates, glasses, silverware, napkins, chairs, etc. Having extras would be a great idea for those unexpected guests.
5. If you have family spend the night you can go ahead and make your guest room ready and welcoming to them.
6. Clean your fridge so you will have room for all your cold foods.
7. Don't forget the small things like having enough ice, filling your salt and pepper shakers, enough paper towels and toilet paper, etc.

It is a good idea to make a list of to-dos and write down everything you can think of that will need to be bought, made, cleaned.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Free Online CPR and First Aid Course

This is an idea from my homeschool ideas but would be great for anyone to learn. That is a self-guided CPR course and First Aid course online and it is free if you want a certificate they do charge for that but if you just want to learn or have your children take the course it is a great idea. So if you have wanted to take a first aid course then this would be for you. You can visit here to get started or find out more about the program.

Isaiah 41:10

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God:  I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."  Isaiah 41:10

Homemade Breakfast Sausage

I make our own breakfast sausage and it is very good. I buy the ground pork at the grocery and then add in my spices. You can do a search for sausage recipes and you will find lots that have a long list of spices but we just like the basics in this recipe. You may have to play around with the amounts of the spices to see what your family like. Be sure you mix the spices in the meat really well, I didn't get it mixed up in the last bacth I made so it was a little exciting to see who got the spices : )

Homemade Breakfast Sausage

1 ½ teaspoon sage
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound ground pork

Mix all the spices together and then mix the spices into the pork. Mix very well. Refrigerate.
Make into patties as needed and fry until done.

*Be sure to remember you can add more or less of the spices to suit the taste of your family.

The Monkeys Disgrace - Poem

This is a neat old poem that makes you think!

The Monkeys Disgrace

Three monkeys sat in a coconut tree
Discussing things as they're said to be.
Said one to another, "Now listen, you two,
There's a certain rumor that cannot be true,
That man descends from our noble race -
The very idea is a disgrace.

No monkey ever deserted his wife,
Starved her babies and ruined her life;
And you've never known a mother monk
To leave her babies with others to bunk,
Or pass them on from one to another
Til they scarcely know who is their mother.

And another thing you'll never see -
A monk build a fence around a coconut tree
And let the coconuts go to waste,
Forbidding all other monks to taste.
Why, if I put a fence around this tree,
Starvation would force you to steal from me.

Here's another thing a monk won't do -
Go out at night and get on a stew,
Or use a gun or club or knife
To take some other monkey's life;

Yes, Man Descended - That ornery cuss -
But, brother, he didn't descend from us!"


10 Easy Ways to Use Autumn Leaves

Ideas for Using all those beautiful Autumn leaves in the yard.

1. Make a collage by gluing the leaves on construction paper.
2. Frame the pretty leaves and hang up.
3. Put some leaves and acorns in a bowl for display.
4. Give the children a piece of contact paper to arrange the leaves on and when they are finished put another piece of clear contact paper on top to hold it all in place. Makes a neat placemat.
5. Lay the pretty leaves in a line down the middle of the table to make a table runner.
6. Write each guests name on a leaf with a marker to use as a place setting.
7. Make leaf people, by gluing a leaf on paper and then adding a head, arms, legs and whatever else you can think of. Read Leaf Man to your kids.
8. Make a leaf mobile - Put individual leaves on clear contact paper and cover with more clear contact paper and then cut out around the leaf and punch a hole in the top and add ribbon to hang it from a coat hanger. Add the amount of leaves you want.
9. Make leaf rubbings.
10. Rake a pile of leaves and play in them!

Autumn Bliss - Over 200 ways to celebrate the Fall Harvest Season through faith, home, and family a "Family Celebration series"

Pine Cone Turkey and Table Cloth

Here are a couple of easy ideas for Thanksgiving:

  1. Let the children make a pine cone turkey. Simply lay the pine cone on its side and cut small colorful feathers from construction paper and glue them on the large end of the cone and then glue wiggly eyes and orange paper beak for its facial features.
  2. Use a light colored sheet as a table cloth and let all your guests sign their name and write what they are thankful for. Save it and reuse it again the following year and compare from year to year what you are thankful for.

Tips for Fall Decorating in the Home

6 Easy Tips to Decorate for Fall

  1. Pick up acorns and let them dry out and then add to baskets and jars for a fall look. You can put them in the oven on a cookie sheet for a couple of hours at about 250. Just keep an eye on them and use your own judgment on this.
  2. Pick up fallen leaves of assorted colors and make an arrangement of them in a vase or maybe a jar.
  3. Scatter mini pumpkins and other gourds around the house and in baskets.
  4. Hollow out a pumpkin to make room for a glass jar in which you add water to the jar and put flowers in the jar which makes the pumpkin look like a vase.
  5. Hollow out mini and smaller pumpkins and use as candle holders. (If you light the candles always use care and common sense in any situation you use lit candles and never leave them unattended.)
  6. Use mini pumpkins, gourds or leaves as name tags at place settings, simply write the name on the item.
Find more tips in Autumn Bliss - Over 200 ways to celebrate the Fall Harvest Season through faith, home, and family a "Family Celebration series"

Fun Fall Family Activities

Fun Autumn Activity Ideas for the Family
  • Watch a family movie while eating popcorn - It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a great movie to watch in the fall.
  • Roast hotdogs and marshmallows
  • Play a board game
  • Make cupcakes that look like scarecrows or pumpkins.
  • Decorate your home with natural fall items such as straw/hay, pumpkins, gourds, leaves and acorns.
  • Make pumpkin pie
  • Make pumpkin bread
  • Make old fashioned Molasses Popcorn Balls.
  • Go to your local pumpkin patch. Here is a list of pumpkin patches and corn mazes listed by state to help you find one in your area.
  • Most churches have a fall fun fest or hayride that you can attend.

More Fall Articles:

Make a Scarecrow Family

Using old jeans or pants of any kind, an old flannel shirt, some hay and a hat, you can make a scarecrow for each member of your family.
The other supplies you’ll need are twine, permanent marker, an old pillowcase and an outdoor chairs or place for them to sit or stand.

Stuff the pants and shirt firmly with hay, leave some of the hay sticking out from the bottom of the legs and bottom of the sleeves.

Tie the arms and legs at the end with twine or string. Stuff the old pillowcase with hay. Tie bottom with twine and position the pillowcase inside the shirt collar to make the head of the scarecrow. Secure the pillowcase to the shirt by tying  with twine. With the permanent marker, draw a scarecrow face and place the hat on top.

You can also use overalls and for babies in the family you can use a sleeper.

You might also find some of these fall articles helpful.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pie of the Month Club

I stumbled across this post over the weekend and thought it would be a great idea. It is starting a routine of making a pie each month that your family would enjoy.

Here are my ideas:

January -  Lemon
February - Cherry
March - Chess
April - Peanut Butter
May - Strawberry
June - Peach
July - Blackberry
August - Coconut
September - Apple
October - Pumpkin
November - Pecan
December - Chocolate

You can visit the post here that got me to planning our very own Pie of the Month Club. Visit around her blog it has very useful information.

From Garbage to Gourmet

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thrify Homemaker on Pinterest

I would love to have you follow me on Pinterest if you are interested in lots of neat homemaking, recipes, homeschool and holiday activities.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Homemaking Quote by Katherine Short

"The career of motherhood and homemaking is beyond value and needs no justification. It's importance is incalculable." Katherine Short

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pumpkins - Homeschool Idea Tuesday

Today I have some cute pumpkin ideas to add a little fun to your homeschool day.

This is a cute vintage story called Twin Pumpkins in the old book  Some Little Cooks: And What They Did (1912) edited by Elisabeth Hoyt.

After you read the book you can make a pumpkin pie like the little girl in the story. You can find a recipe for pumpkin pie and the crust on along with a great video to show you how to make the pie.

Try to go to your local Pumpkin Patch.

Easy Fun School has a Pumpkin Unit Study

We like the book The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll. After reading this you could have a pumpkin on hand to measure and cut the top off and have the kids count the seeds in the pumpkin. They could even estimate how many they think is in it first. You can help the kids roast the pumpkin seeds after they have counted them.
*Counting the pumpkin seeds is very messy!*

Pumpkin Coloring Sheet

Draw a patch of pumpkins.

Free Pumpkin Carving Patterns - They even have one of the flag called America the Beautiful.