Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's Carnival Tuesday, So Check Out These Carnivals!

My favorite two carnivals are on Tuesdays, so don't miss out on any great ideas:
Festival of Frugality over at Broke Grad Student
Make It From Scratch! Carnival over at chezartz.com

They are loaded with wonderful tips, recipes, and such and I always seem to learn something! have fun browsing through and let me know if you find something helpful!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Recycled Newspaper Purse

Well, we (Penny, our intern, and I) finally finished our clutch-style recycled newspaper purse! It took way more time than I would have thought, but I think it turned out quite cute. I had been trying to figure out exactly how to do the wrist strap for the clutch-style for quite a while and it finally came to me early one morning - use a ribbon! I just happened to have this cute green ribbon, so I used it, but I could substitute it for a black and white or gray print, too.

This purse will be for sale in my Etsy store, so check it out along with some other candy wrapper purses and a rag quilt that are also available. All proceeds will go to support our mission work here in Mexico at Hope House International, which is a place of refuge and training for single moms and teen girls.For directions on how to make your own recycled candy wrapper purse (to make the newsprint one, just use newsprint and clear celophane on the outside), go on over to this blog to see a great tutorial with photos.

Hope House International -
Creating a Refuge, Equipping for Life, Preparing for Eternity!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Carnival of Homesteading - Tribute to Fathers Edition

For this edition of the Homesteading Carnival, I would like to pay tribute to my wonderful husband who is the love of my life, and all the fathers out there. Take time to love them extra special this week and let them know what they mean to you!

"The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother." - Unknown

My husband and I were married for 12 years before our son came to be part of our family. That gave us a lot of time to grow our friendship and do things together like working on cruise ships for several years in both Alaska and the Caribbean.

Tipper presents Appalachian Tea It's Good For The Garden posted at Blind Pig & The Acorn.

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me. - Jim Valvano

HowToMe presents How To Dry and Use Dried Lavender posted at HowToMe and says, "Our neighbor kindly offered to let us collect some of their lavender before it died back. She suggested that we might want to make some potpourri and an eye pillow for headaches. What neat ideas! "

Any fool can be a Father, but it takes a real man to be a Daddy!! - Philip Whitmore Sr.

When our son, Cody, entered our lives it changed our world! And my loving hubby became Daddy.

Here is a wonderful recipe for Easy Parmesan Potatoes that my family just LOVES!

He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. - Clarence Budington Kelland

I learned to make these German Paper Stars from watching my Grandmother, and I am hoping my children will also learn to make them to pass it on to their children, too.

HowToMe presents How to "Line Dry" Discretely posted at HowToMe. "Hang to dry" laundry tags (especially on unmentionables) have historically left me searching for a way to rope items over a shower head, hanger or shower curtain rod to drip dry. Well, not any more. :-)

It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons. - Johann Schiller

Since our children are both adopted, we can tell you how true this is! Two years later, our daughter, Alissa, came into our family and again, our lives changed forever.

And speaking of changing your lives, I think remodeling the kitchen floor might fall in that category. Jacque presents Homeschooling 201: Remodeling the Kitchen Floor posted at Walking Therein.

A father carries pictures where his money used to be. - Unknown

Alex presents Make Your Own Free Printable Wedding Invitations posted at Home Life Weekly. Wedding invitations can be very expensive, so why not make your own printable wedding invitations. These are really easy to make.

I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich. - M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter

Grandma Rosie presents Grandma Rosie's Texas Home - Garden Plans for Birds & Butterflies posted at Grandma Rosie's Texas Home.

By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong. - Charles Wadworth
Children look up to their Dads and want to be like them. It is very important to us that we be godly examples for our children so that in emulating us, the are becoming more like Christ.

Jennifer in OR presents Of Deer Sheds and Eggshells posted at Diary of 1.

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection.- Sigmund Freud

As our children are growing up and entering those teen years, it is more important than ever to be there for them. I am so grateful to God for giving me the gift of a man who stands by my side, walks with me every step of the way, and loves me and our children unconditionally!

Card Blogger presents The Best Gas Rebate Credit Cards posted at Credit Card Blog.

I just want to say "THANKS A MILLION" to my amazing husband and the father to my dear children whom I love with all my heart. I love you, Joe, and wish you a Happy Father's Day!

Don't forget to submit your articles for the next Homesteading Carnival hosted over at Laura Williams' Musings.

Very Easy Parmesan Potatoes

This recipe is SO simple, but we just love it! Although the thought of using the oven today is a little hard (it is almost 100 degrees at 10am!!!) I am not quite ready for these blistering desert temps, but I guess I have no choice!

So here is the scrumptious recipe:

Take 1 stick of butter and place in a 9x13 pan. Put this in a 425 degree pre-heated oven until all the butter is melted. Then sprinkle parmesan cheese all over the bottom of the pan (I would guess about 1/2 cup).

After scrubbing your potatoes, cut them in half lengthwise and place cut side down on top of all that buttery cheesy goodness. Put them into the oven to bake for about 25-30 minutes (until the bottoms are crispy brown and the potatoes are tender). Then serve with a dollop of sour cream for dipping and you have an elegant and yummy side dish to complement any meal.

German Paper Stars

When I was a little girl, my grandmother taught me how to make these German Paper Stars. All my life, we have had these on our Christmas trees and when I grew up, I decided to continue making them to pass on to my children and share with many others in my life.

I was very happy to find a tutorial that someone had already put on the internet, so that I didn't have to figure out how to explain the folding process!Our Christmas tree is so beautiful covered in these dainty paper stars!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Check Out This Cookbook Giveaway!

I just found this over on 5 Minutes For Mom and wanted to share it with all of you! You, too, can enter to win Rachael Ray's new cookbook Yum-o: The Family Cookbook. My kids are helping out more and more in the kitchen and I would love to help motivate them along those lines. They are getting old enough to cook some meals on their own now, so this would be a great guide for them. Check it out and enter for yourself. Let me know if you win! You will KNOW if I do:-)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Recipes for Eggs

I just found a new blog Frugal Upstate that is running a Frugal Food Series with Part One being Eggs! So I thought I would share about our Chilaquiles breakfast that we enjoy every so often. It is frugal, yummy and uses eggs. So go on over and add your own egg recipes to the Frugal Food - Part One: Eggs!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Finding a hole in an inflatable pool

We have one of those Quikset pools where you inflate a ring at the top of the pool and as you fill it up with water, the sides rise up. Well, several weeks ago, our cat decided to lay on the side - and apparently fell off! She poked several holes in the ring with her claws! Well, I found several of them right away and patched them. But the ring has had a slow leak (which causes problems with the skimmer and pump) since then. I have tried several times to find the leak - I mean I have spent ALOT of time searching. I was sure it was close to where the others were, but could NOT find it.

Well, today my dh told me to try using the soapy scrubby thing that we use to wash dishes to rub soap over the ring and see if it bubbles up. I was desperate, so I tried it. And voila! I found it - about 3 inches left of where I started, but, you guessed it, I went to the right!!! Well, now the edges are all nice and clean ALL the way around:-).

So, as you begin setting up your swimming pools and other inflatable things for the summer, remember this tip and you will save yourself alot of aggravation and time. Use soap to find the small holes. It actually bubbled up in one big bubble, kind of like bubble gum. It was actually pretty cool and much easier to find than all the previous times I had tried. That sure Worked For Me!

For more Works For Me Wednesday tips and ideas, check out Rocks In My Dryer.

Kitchen Tip - Subsitute for Evaporated Milk

Yesterday, I was making a recipe for macaroni and cheese (using whole grain macaroni, of course) that called for evaporated milk. I didn't happen to have any and it is too expensive to buy here in Mexico. I knew there had to be a substitute for it. I did a search online and sure enough, you can used dry milk with only 40% of the water called for in order to make the equivalent of evaporated milk. So there you go! I DO happen to keep dry milk on hand for making hot chocolate in the winter, so it was a very easy substitute.

And FYI, you could also use cream, but evaporated milk has much less fat and calories and does a great job of thickening as well. Just though I would share that Kitchen Tip for Tuesday. For more tips, go over to Tammy's Recipes.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Wow, WOW Hits 1!

I just cruised over to Rocks In My Dryer and found out that she is giving away 20 huge bricks of 17 CDs just for blogging about WOW Hits 1! As she says, that is a big honkin' bunch of music! And she has 20 TWENTY to give away!! I can hardly believe it, so you bet I want to enter to win, too. So if you blog and would like to enter, too, go on over the Rocks In My Dryer and check out this giveaway. If you don't blog, you can check out the WOW Hits 1 online and buy it for yourself. It is the best of all the WOW projects and you will just love it!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Coloring STILL Works!

Well, I thought the days of coloring books were past, but I was wrong! Even though my children are almost 12 and almost 13, they STILL like to color! Most of the time, the coloring books are more "educational" and "challenging", but to my amazement, my son (almost 14) actually requested a Garfield coloring book and both of them share the pages. They love to color while I am reading to them (yes, we read aloud every day and I plan to continue until college:-).

My son recently showed me his philosophy of life through the eyes of Garfield. I thought it was a pretty creative way to express himself. Now my daughter is "dying" to get a coloring book I told her about that is very detailed and has "hidden" animals in the pictures. I saw it at Michael's a couple weeks ago and thought my son would like it. But, alas, no. He just really wanted Garfield!

So when they are bored, don't discount the power of the old faithful coloring book, no matter how old they get.

Oh, and one other thing that my kids have discovered recently - Radio Disney! They love to play it while they do their chores or other times when they are playing. We actually listen via our DirectTV, but cable may have it also. This way, the TV is off, but the music motivates.

This is what Works For Me! For more ideas on keeping your kids from being bored this summer, go over and visit Rocks In My Dryer with her "Mom, I'm Bored" Edition of Works For Me Wednesday.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Make It From Scratch - Ode to Grandmothers Edition

Today, June 3rd, is both of my grandmothers' birthdays, so I am going to dedicate this edition of Make It From Scratch to them and grandmothers everywhere.

My dad's mother was your typical little German grandmother with her long white hair in a bun at the back of her head. She wore old-fashioned "house coats", baked her bread from scratch, and still spoke in German with her siblings. We called her Muchen Grandma, but I am not sure of the translation of that word from the German. She was the grandmother you went to for cooking instruction, to learn to make bread, to make grape juice, she canned all of our vegetables and kept them in the root cellar down off of her basement. So for all things relating to cooking and food, here are the entries:

ChristineMM presents Hot Chocolate Souffle Recipe posted at The Thinking Mother.

Amy Allen Clark presents Adventures in Breadmaking: Artisan Bread in 5 posted at Amy Allen Clark.

Stephanie presents Crockpot Mexican Lasagna posted at Stop the Ride!.

MamaBird presents Dem Bones: Beef Broth posted at Surely You Nest. Making beef broth is easier than it sounds...and the French Onion soup you'll be able to make is out of this world.

Teresa presents Platanos Maduros en Caldero posted at Changing Seasons.

Maria presents A new recipe-- MIFS posted at Life on Both Sides of the Pond.

Deborah presents The Easiest, Cheapest Dinner Ever posted at Pennies To Nickels.

Jimson Lee presents 111 Egg Recipies and Egg White Recipes posted at SpeedEndurance.com. A free cookbook of over 100 Egg Recipes! Just right click and save to your computer.

Linda presents Cooking : Coconut milk rice posted at Mes crazy expériences. She wants us to try to see rice differently.

Robbyn presents Trying Moroccan Part 2: Tagine of Moroccan Chicken posted at The Back Forty. This is her second Moroccan recipe experiment...yum!

Suzanne presents chocolate happiness cake posted at Adventures in Daily Living.

Kate presents Our Red House: Mix'n'Match Cooking: Honey Oat Bars posted at Our Red House.

Mother Hen presents I'm Feelin' th' Heat posted at Ship Full O' Pirates. She has some great recipes for when the temperatures are rising.

GP presents Travel Lean and Green posted at Innstyle Montana- Your Home on the Range. GP gives us some "green" tips, as well as a great scone recipe.

HowToMe says, "My Mom used to buy Vidalia onions in bulk. When one does that they have to be stored well and for a long time. This storage tip works for both onions and potatoes. Enjoy!" as she presents How to Store Onions posted at HowToMe.

My Muchen Grandma was also pretty "crafty". She taught me how to make German Paper Stars when I was very young, and I still make them today. Unfortunately, she died shortly after I was married and my children never got to meet her. But I am teaching my children to make German Paper Stars to carry on the tradition.

My mom's mother was the working woman. She had a great career with Mellon Bank and was in the department that created and launched the first Master Charge card (now known as MasterCard). She was very smart and had great business-sense. My grandparents lived in an apartment complex with many squirrels in the trees out front. So when we were little, we would say we were going to "Squirrel" Grandma's house when we were visiting them. She outlived my mom and became a very dear friend to my husband and me in her last years here on earth. She was an encourager and inspired so many women to great things. So here are a few posts to inspire your creative side:

Cindy says, "I have simply fallen in love with felting. Here is my latest bag which is a cute little felted handbag." She includes a free pattern to crochet this bag over at My Recycled Bags.

Grandmother Wren presents Little girls, dolls and doll clothes - make it from scratch with the Thursday thirteen posted at Grandmother Wren.

Lisa at Tissuepaper says, "I love turning what I have in my home into something fabulous. Here I show how to turn an old towel into a cute vintage-inspired Jiffy Beach Cover-Up. I include the pattern too. "

Melanie Rimmer presents Kool-Aid Dyed Yarn posted at Bean-Sprouts.

Patric Herber presents The Perfect Gift for Golfers - Golf Ball Carvings posted at Carved Golf Balls. He hand carves scenes on the inside of real golf balls!

Joanna presents The Story of a Daybed posted at keeping feet.

Julie presents Fun Family Crafts and Projects Made Easy with the Cricut posted at More4kids. There is a new product on the market that she has found to be extremely fun and productive when it comes to creating fun projects from scratch with kids.

Jane @ Kidzarama presents Bath Salts Recipe posted at Kidzarama. Wren loves adding nice~smelling, colorful stuff to the bathtub and having a soak. The problem is that she’s not that sparing with her sprinkling, and those sprinkles don’t come cheap.

A. Lee presents Why You Must Consider The Healing Powers of Colors When Choosing Color Schemes For Your Home posted at World Healing. Thanks to Home Improvement shows, home owners want their houses outfitted with just what they saw on television. However, perhaps before racing off to the paint shops, it may be best to take a look at color significance and their respective healing powers. An article for inspiration and insight into your world!

MBB presents Build Your Own Custom Capital One Lab Credit Card posted at Money Blue Book: Personal Finance Blog.

Both of my grandmas were great women and loved the Lord with all their hearts. I am so blessed to have such a great heritage on both sides of my family! Happy Birthday, Muchen Grandma and Squirrel Grandma! Here's a little poem I found that says it so nicely:


What ever on earth, can a grandma be for?
She's older than dirt, with one foot out the door.
And what can she know about living today'
When nothing is done in her old fashioned way.
Oh sure, she's sweet, and you love her a lot.
But in terms of real life, what's an ol' grandma got?

Well listen, my sweetie, you might be surprised
To find that your grandma's a youngster disguised.
She still has her dreams, and her values intact,
She's just a bit wiser, yes dear, that's a fact.
Experience has put a few lines on her face.
And that's how she knows, what its like in your place.

I know this idea may seem baffling and new.
But honey, your grandmas "Been There, Done That", too.
So when your young life isn't going as planned.
Talk to your grandma ~she'll sure understand.
She's got lots of love and good counsel to give.
And she'll be on your side for as long as you live...

~Author Unknown~

Don't forget to submit your posts for next week's edition of Make It From Scratch which will be hosted over at Life on Both Sides of the Pond.