"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future! "
Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A New Car For Goose & Tang


The other day a white car drove up our driveway. I had absolutely NO IDEA who it was. At first I thought it was our family friend, but she was at work. Then I looked at the license plate....white and red tags....what state is that? Well, as the drove up the driveway and opened the window, I realized that it was Goose & Tang. They just bought a car and were on their way back home and wanted to stop and show us their new car. It is 2009 Volkswagon Jetta. Isn't it pretty?

Good luck, Goose & Tang, with your new baby!

What Is It? Wednesday



Question Posted May 27th, 2009












Answer posted May 30, 1009





It's a dragonfly! We were at my sister's house one day last summer and it just flew up and landed on the deck railing. It was amazing that I actually had my camera with me. COOL!

What A Day!



Our morning yesterday, started out with a trip to the vet with our cat, Mopey (it was origingally Hope, until we found out SHE was a HE). He has had respiratory issues since birth, but recently it has gotten really bad. On top of that, he has lost weight and his breath STINKS!!! Our vet, at first, thought that he was in the final stages of Feline Lukemia. Thank God, however, after further examining him, said that he has a serious sinus infection which has almost completely closed off his nasal passages making it extremely hard for him to breathe. That in turn, is causing him to only be able to eat a tiny bit of food at a time. And the stink? Wasn't his breath, but his nose from the infection. So, for the next 6 weeks, monsieur Mopey will be on heaving antibiotics. Hopefully, this will do the trick.

After we got back from the vet's office, my sister called and invited us over for dinner. We had homemade broccoli, cauliflower, and cheese soup, followed by an amazing buffalo chicken wing dip that I forgot to get the recipe for....but I WILL! After that, we were too stuffed to eat dinner of sauteed sausage and mashed potatoes. After dinner it was Cinnamon Bun Scones for dessert....YUMMM!

Here are a few pics from Cath's house.

This first pic is the view from her laundry room. BEAUTIFUL!

This is Squeaky. I am so amazed at how this picture turned out. I LOVE IT!

This is Loki. She is the sweetest thing!

And this, is Cody! Awww!

And here is my niece, Boog. They boys were inside on the computer playing games.What a beautiful way to end our visit.

After dinner, Kiddo and I met Skippy at the plaze in town. Every Friday evening, during the late spring and summer months, our town puts on a free "Concert in the Park" with all different types of music. Last night it was the blues. Here are some of the pictures I took at the plaza. Hmmm....who is that man in that nice looking jacket? LOL That's my SKIPPY MAN! :> )

There are benches provided but some brought their own lawn chairs

Some even packed a cooler of wine and cheese along with a table and cloth like the couple sitting on the right.

There are two swings under the massive pergola. The Hawksbill Creek runs right in front of them. When it is quiet, you can hear the water running.

This young man kept riding around the swings all night. He was so cute, I had to take a picture. His bike was pretty cool too! :> )

As you can see, we had a full day yesterday. We all had such a great time. I am sooo looking forward to next Friday! :> )

Blessings~
Laura

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday


There is not much going on here today. Just being a little lazy and taking it easy. I have some projects in the works that I will probably be working on. I wanted to mow the grass, but it looks like it is going to pour any moment, so inside we shall be.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Blessings~
Laura

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's Embroidery Time Again.....YES!


MONTHS ago, a piece on my embroidery maching broke and we just didn't have the resources we needed to purchase a new one. So, needless to say, I have not been able to do any embroidery work. However, my machine not only embroiders, but it is also a sewing machine, so at least I have still been able to use it.

Well on Monday, Skippy ordered the part for me off of eBay and IT HAS ARRIVED! WAHOO! I am sooooo excited! I think Skippy is more than I, because he has already embroidered up a t-shirt for himself! :D

Thank you, Sweetie, for this wonderful gift.

I LOVE YOU, MY SKIPPY MAN!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What's On The Menu

Tonight's dinner on the farm:
Having dinner at Goose's house.
Steak-ums w/peppers & onions and Monteray Jack
French fries

Dessert:
Nilla Apple Crisp WITHOUT ice cream
(insert HYSTERICALLYcrying woman here. YES, that would be MOI!!)

(This menu is subject to change at any given moment!)


WAHOO......A Giveaway!!!!

Joyous Notions Blog Giveaways!

I am so excited that I found a blog called Joyous Notions. Each month, they will be giving away TWO full subscriptions to their magazine, Seasons At Home! How AWESOME is that? I just LOVE giveaways......don't you?

Seasons At Home magazine is a full-color, print publication created to encourage families and better prepare themselves through the passing on of life skills needed in the home. Seasons is filled with articles and projects that revolve around homeschooling, sewing, cooking and baking, gardening, Titus 2 encouragement, themed teas for mothers and daughters, father/son projects, and daughters at home.

You have many opportunities to be entered into the drawing. You will get one entry for each of the following:

1. One entry just for leaving your name (First name and last name initial or full name)

2. One entry for tweeting the giveaway on your Twitter page (you must leave a link in the comment to your Twitter page for us verify)

3. One entry for blogging about the giveaway (again leave a link in the comment to your blog for us to verify)

4. You may grab one of the graphics below to link to us from your sidebar. (Again, leave a link in the comment for us to verify!)

For a full list of entry details, please go here
Good luck and God Bless!

Monday, May 25, 2009

What's On The Menu?


Tonight's dinner on the farm:
Leftover - YIPPEE
Now that's what I call a "HAPPY MEAL!"

Dessert:
Mint Chocolate/Chocolate Dipped Skinny Cow Stick Ice Cream

(This menu is subject to change at any given moment!)


Feelin' Frugal

I have had a pair of curtains hanging in our bedroom window where our air conditioner sits for the longest time. They are waaaaay to long for the window PLUS, they looked HORRIBLE all bunched up on top so they wouldn't block the air coming in. I searched around for material that I thought would match the walls which are painted in Victorian Garnet, so I could make valances for the tops of each window. I was extremely unsuccessful in my quest until one day, when my sister, C. and I were out galavanting (a fancy term I use for yard sale hopping), I came across a set of matching pillow cases with a beautiful floral pattern that matched my walls for, get this..... .50 cents! That' right, folks FIFTY CENTS!!! You can't get much more "frugal" than that, huh?

"Ah, hah!" I said as put them under my arm and ran to pay for them before some other nut decided she wanted them. "Now I have you in my clutches and I shall NEVER let go, you hear me? NEVER LET GO! MWUAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (insert maniacal laugh here) Ahem....sorry!

After we were done "galavanting" and returned home, I took them out, washed them up, took the seams out, ironed them, and then proceeded to.........put them......oh, dear.....where did I put those pillow cases?


After quite awhile of searching, I finally found them. So, today, I took down the ugly curtains above the window and made a make shift one using both of the cases. So what do you think? I really like the way they turned out! :> )

Blessings~

Memorial Day


Feeding the Beast


OMGosh.....Are You Serious?!?!?

In between ironing material, blog-surfing, and breaking up the snarling and growling matches between Mollie, the fur baby we are watching, and our cats last night, I was chatting with my sweet friend, Renee. I asked if she saw the picture I had posted above my scalloped vadalia onion recipe. (it was a cute little pic of two onions turned upside with faces on them with their roots for hair) I went back to view my post to see if my brother had shown up and left a comment, and noticed that I had no sidebar. WHAT? There is no sidebar?

"RENEEEEEEEEE!!!!" my fat fingers typed, "What happend to my blog? My sidebar is gone. Wait a minute....not it's not. It's........ON THE BOTTOM?" Well, faster than I could say, "OMGosh, Skippy.....we're out of toilet paper!" Renee was over trying to help me figure out the problem. I looked at my layout, thinking maybe I had SOMEHOW moved the gadget boxes around, but everything was RIGHT WHERE IT SHOULD BE!

Well, for about 45 minutes to an hour (correct me if I'm wrong Renee) we tried using a new template, a new background, or trying this, or trying that, but every time, the result was still the same......sidebar on the bottom. Ok, by now I am REALLY starting to become frustrated. "Renee....is there some kind of customer service section on here? If not, I'm just going to leave it and go to bed. Maybe it's just a glitch on blogger and in the morning, everything will be back the way it should be."

"Hold on a minute", she said, "Let me look."

Well, this girl can find a "french fry" in a room full of hungry toddlers, I'm telling you! Within 30 seconds, not only did she find the help section, but she found a post that said..."HELP...my sidebar is on the bottom of my blog!" ROFLOL! Blog Queen Renee, to the rescue! LOL After reading the post, I was amazed to find out that something as simple as a code being too long (I didn't know that was possible) or a pic being too big, can make your sidebar move around on your blog. OMGosh.....Are You Serious?!?!?(insert look of utter amazement here)

So, back to my blog I go, determined now to figure out which code or pic was the culprit. First, I quickly scanned each post, looking for a picture that was obviously too big...nothing. Then I went back, starting with the most recent post, to look through the html code. Hmmmm.....wait a minute.......this problem didn't start until AFTER I posted my scalloped vadalia onion recipe. No.....it couldn't be.......THE ONION PIC? I immediately went back and deleted that adorable little picture and what do you know.........WAHOOO......MY SIDEBAR IS BACK! YES!!!!

I know that onions make me cry when I cut them....but I had NO IDEA how much onions would make me cry when I posted about them! ROFLOL!

Blessings~
Laura

P.S. I'm sorry, BLOGGER, for ever doubting that this problem COULD HAVE BEEN your fault!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

DELICIOUS Scalloped Vadalia Onions

I made this AWESOME recipe for scalloped vadalia onions to go with our BBQ this afternoon. They are so easy and so DELICIOUS! I love onions, so when I saw this side dish, I just had to make them.

For this recipe you will need:

Scalloped Vidalia Onions
6 large Vidalia onions, thinly sliced
8 tbsp. (1 stick) of butter
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 cup milk
8 oz. grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
melted butter for topping - about 2 tbsp.

Sautée onion slices in 4 tbsp. butter. Melt 4 tbsp. butter in a separate pan; stir in flour & seasonings and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly stir in milk and cheese, stirring constantly until cheese is melted and mixture thickens.

In a 1-quart baking dish, alternate layers of onions and sauce. Sprinkle top with crumbs and drizzle with melted butter.

Bake at 400° until browned - about 15-20 minutes.
ENJOY!

Blessings~

Best Friends

Yesterday, one of my best friends, Daisy, came over to drop off her fur baby, Mollie. Mollie gets so excited when she gets to come and spend time with Aunt Laura and Uncle Skippy. We have the pleasure this time of having her for the long weekend.

I was so excited that Daisy was able to spend a few hours with us before she had to leave. We had dinner, talked, and played Mancala.



Then it was off to the porch for some SUN TEA and to just relax and enjoy each others company.




Later on she also battled with Kiddo on Guitar Hero. That was a hoot to see. I even took a video but my battery died before the song was finished. I think it was the longest song on the game, "Free Bird!"


I thank God for Daisy. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful friend.

Love ya!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

When we decided to homeschool, I knew I had to find ways to help us live a more frugal lifestyle, now that we were going back to one income. Not only that, I just LOVE things that are home made, no matter what it is. (unless they are dust bunnies) My kids have always known that I have a very hard time spending money, but when I started making the detergent, they thought I had gone "CRAZY!" We have been making and using this recipe for 2 years now. I just love it and I don't thing I will ever go back to store bought.

So, here are the directions.......and with pictures too! :> ) I am a "visual" person and need to see how things are done. I have a hard time reading directions sometimes, so when we first made this, I had my husband read the directions and do it with me. For some reason, I can read the same directions, book passage, scripture verse, etc., and get something out of it completely different than you. So, the last time I made the detergent, I decided to take pictures in case someone wanted to make it.

There are 2 ways to make this detergent, liquid and powder, but they both use the same 3 basic indredients. Also, if you can, whatever utensils you use to make the detergent, it is a good idea to label them and keep them separate so you won't cook with them. I can't remember if I got my untensils at the thrift store or at a yard sale. This detergent will not suds up very much, which also makes this great for front loading washers, but it is still cleaning your clothes. The first time I used it, I put in my detergent and the clothes, but I forgot to close the lid. When I went back and looked at the water it was dark. I thought something had run because of the BORAX of the Washing Soda. Looking more closely, I realized that nothing had run, it was the dirt from our clothes. Y U C K !!!! I know, I know.....stop talking and get on with the directions!

The 3 basic ingredients you need for your detergent are:

1 cup of Grated bar soap - (Fels Naptha, Ivory, Coast, Irish Spring, basically any kind you like...scented or not) you can add a little bit more soap if you want a stronger scent or you can add essential oils to scent it.
(Now you know what to do with all those bars of hotel soap)


1/2 cup BORAX - you can get this at Wal-Mart or almost any grocery store down the detergent aisle

I purchased mine at Wal-Mart for $2.97 for a 4 lb 12oz box.

1/2 cup Super Washing Soda (not to be confused with Baking Soda....they are NOT the same thing) You can find this at Martin's, Kroger's, and Farmer Food's here in VA. You would need to call your local grocery store to see if they carry it. I purchased mine at Martin's for $1.99 for a 3 lb 7oz box.

Other items you will need:

5 gallon bucket or container with a lid (if making the liquid or some other container for the powder)
Grater ( or you can use a food processor, but you need to grate the soap for both kinds )
Cooking Spray or something else to "lightly" grease your grater for easy clean-up later (trust me on this one from personal experience!
Pot - big enough to hold 1/2 gallon (this is needed to dissolve the ingredients)Measuring cup - 1/2 cup size
Mixing spoon with a long handle - to stir your mixture in the bucket

Ok, we are going to make the powder first.

The first thing you need to do is to "lightly" spray your grater with cooking spray to make cleaning the grater easy later on.


Now, grate your bar soap. Grate the whole bar even though you only need 1 cup, as you can save the remaining soap for another batch. Put soap into a bowl or container.


Measure out a 1/2 cup each of BORAX and Super Washing Soda. Put them in the bowl/container with the grated soap.

Stir or shake your 3 ingredients together.

Now if you have a food processor, some have even used a coffee grinder, you can grind it up to make a finer powder. I did that to mine. The picture above is with the soap just grated, the pictures below, is what it looked like before and after I used my Ultimate Chopper. I prefer to make a finer powder.

See the difference? It is just a matter of preference. Now all you need to do is store it in some kind of container.

How much powder do I use? I use 1 tablespoon for a normal load and 2 tablespoons for a large or extra dirty load.


Onward to the liquid~


Follow the same directions for grating and measuring the soap (you do not need to put this in the food processor because you are going to dissolve it in water), BORAX, and Washing Soda only this time keep them separated.

Take your pot and put about 2 quarts of water in and put it over a medium flame till heated.




(you don't have to be EXACT with this recipe. As my mom would say, "It's not rocket science, Laura!" ha ha (LOVE AND MISS YOU, MOM!)

While the weather was warm and we cooked outside, I would make my detergent on the grill using the left over coals. This way I was not wasting the charcoal or using the electricity.

Ok, now we are going to add our ingredients ONE AT A TIIME, stirring and dissolving each one before adding the next one. The mix will get thicker but to what degree all depends on the soap that you use.


1 cup grated soap,



1/2 cup BORAX,



and 1/2 cup Washing Soda





Are you still with me? It's pretty easy, huh? It's okay, we are almost finished!!!

Alright, after those three ingredients are dissolved, turn off the heat and remove pot from burner. Get your bucket/container and put again about 2 quarts of water in it.

I like to use warm water for this part, only because I am ALWAYS FREEZING and if I get my hands in it, it's WARM!


Next, pour your soap mixture into the bucket and stir.

Now add about a gallon of warm water and stir again.







Coming to the home stretch..........................Now all you have to do is put a cover on it and let it sit overnight, however, I have used it right after making it because I waited to long to make more and I really NEEDED to do laundry.



The next day when you remove the lid, there are a few different ways it may look. There is no WRONG way, as again, it all depends on the kind of soap you used. I don't have a picture because mine looked the same as before.



  • It may look just like it did before you put the lid on
  • It may look like nothing but a big blob of gel
  • It may have the look and consistency of egg drop soup

In any case, all you need to do, if it has gelled, is to stir/shake before use.


How much liquid do I use? I use 1/2 cup per normal load and up to a cup for large and extra dirty loads.

Well, there you have it in a nut shell. Homemade laundry detergent. I hope you enjoy making this as much as I do.

Should you have ANY questions, please feel free to e-mail me.


~COMING SOON TO A BLOG NEAR YOU.....................

HOMEMADE FABRIC SOFTENER~



Do I really need a DISCLAIMER?
Should this say something different? "As with any recipe, please take caution using any/all appliances. Results may vary. I do not assume any responsibility for your results." Unless they come out amazing, then I will! :> )