20 November 2014

Brown Sugar

Today I made brown sugar. I'm not fundamentally opposed to buying brown sugar. I am fundamentally opposed to paying extra for something I can do myself. So. Cheaper, yes. Still good, yes. Better, maybe? Here are the ridiculously easy instructions.  


Right here I have five cups of sugar in my kitchenaid mixer. 


I added five tablespoons unsulphured mild flavor molasses. 


Then I mixed. And mixed. And mixed. In total it was about six minutes. 


And there it is. 98¢ worth of sugar. About $1.35 worth of molasses. For five cups. The bags at the store usually have a little over four cups and the price is between $2.00-$3.00. The savings isn't dramatic but it's there. Also, I know it's fresh. And, since I know the easy ratio I can whip the stuff up if I have none but need it for a recipe. Easy peasy. :) 

16 November 2014


Around here we're plugging along. I'm a bit cranky the temperatures changed so rapidly. My thin blood from the summer isn't helping me out any. To attempt to combat the crankiness, I'm looking through the things we've been up to lately. If you follow me on Instagram, some of these are not new.  

This is at my sister's house. If she ever moves, we'll all miss her maples in the fall. 


Daniel spent most of yesterday putting up conduit and pulling wire for more outlets in the kitchen. Bea spent a lot of time trying to get to the top of the ladders without us seeing. :/ 


With her other time she was sneaking off to eat some butter. :(


Gigi lost another tooth. It was soooo super ready but she's developed some weirdness about pulling teeth. I finally convinced her to let me see how wiggly it was and it popped out when I touched it. Goofball. 

The bigs have been taking on the chore of unloading and reloading the dishwasher. I would say they do this chore maybe 40% of the times it needs to be done. That's 40% of the time I don't have to do it. Wahoo! And they actually get it done correctly. :) 


It's a little blurry but that's a typical morning. Lunch bags on the counter. Milk out. Phinn messing around (dawdling is his newest favorite pastime) with a sister. 


I was busy while Daniel was working on electrical stuff. I roasted and puréed 4 pumpkins and yielded 10 c. I made chicken stock, 10 c. I diced some tomatoes from a friend and froze them, 6 c. I cooked up a package of chorizo we'd forgotten about and portioned it to freeze. I cleaned out our refrigerator. I did a ton of dishes. I thoroughly enjoyed the day inside with the family being productive.  

14 November 2014

Friday Gifts 2.0

971.  A pediatrician who knows us. 
972.  An appointment with the audiologist available quickly. 
973.  Being able to know othing wrong with the boy, his head or ears. 
974.  Realistic information to help make decisions. 
975.  Being able to let go of worries. 
976.  Knowing God doesn't mind that I have to let go of worries minute by minute. 
977.  Substituting: money, time out of the house and interactions with lots of kiddos. 
978.  Good business news. 
979.  Heat. 
980.  Blankets. 
981.  A new baby for friends!
982.  Fun activities at he kids' school. 
983.  Gentle reminders from the Lord to count ourselves fortunate. 
984.  Friday!
985.  Being able to see insecurities of the past stay in the past. 

10 November 2014

Friday Gifts 2.0 (so, so late)

956.  Letting go of some guilt. 
957.  Finishing something big on my list of stuff to do. 
958.  Sorting through kid clothes. 
959.  Giving away a bunch of clothes to be put to good use. 
960.  Work for Daniel. 
961.  Safety for him as he drove 2400 miles round trip for a day of work. 
962.  Spending time with family. 
963.  Heavily discounted Russell Stovers chocolate. 
964.  Continuing the organization of the house and slowly figuring out systems that work. 
965.  The most glorious Fall ever. 
966.  Hearing the right message at the right time. 
967.  El Zarape salsa and friends willing to go a bit out of the way to bring it. 
968.  Being financially unstable. It's uncomfortable but brings me to a place of humility with my God. 
969.  Pumpkins ready to roast. 
970.  Downtown Christmas decorations going up!

Some kid books

We've found some fun books to read lately. I'm not usually one for recommending books. I never know if you'll enjoy what I enjoy and if you don't it sort of bums me out and it's just a lot of pressure. However, these two books are great. They tickled my wonder fancy so I thought I would share. Hopefully you'll enjoy them big if you don't I prefer not to know. ;) 

Dragons Love Tacos. Dragons:  Fun. Tacos:  AWESOME!  What could be better. (Ok, so there is one thing k have a beef with. They use the word hate many times. It's in reference to spicy things. We have one little girl who uses the H word with regularity around here. It comes mostly from a lack of vocabulary and knowledge of the severity of the word but it would be helpful if this awesome book didn't have to use it so often.) all the digression to say, I'll still read it to the kids but we will probably have to talk about the use of the word hate. 

"The best way to judge is to get a boat and fill the boat with tacos." Gets me every time. 

Also this. The Dark. So good. It seems scary but it turns out fine. The kids were on the edge of their seats every time I read it to them. It actually seemed to have a calming effect on our girl who has previously had issues with fear in the dark. 

There you go. It's not much but it's here. :)

31 October 2014

Friday Gifts 2.0 and a DIY project

931.  Finding my path.
932.  My beautiful stainless steel island countertop and sink (which is right by my dishwasher!).
933.  Talking with my friend Jill.
934.  Fall weather.
935.  Walking with the little girls in the stroller.
936.  Walking by myself.
937.  Finishing Clementine's quilt.
938.  Joy in her face.
939.  Moving onto other projects.
940.  Finding some of Phinn's old clothes to give to a friend.
941.  Getting to start substitute teaching.
942.  Watching my boy maturing.
943.  Seeing babies be born to friends and family.
944.  Rejoicing with the families with newborns.
945.  Feeling sure of our decision to not have anymore biological children.
946.  Vicks.
947.  Being uncertain about some things but not giving in to the anxiety.
948.  Spray paint.
949.  Being able to put one foot in front of the other.
950.  Taking inventory of my "autobiography"  and realizing it's a good story.
951.  A relatively clean desk.
952.  Having a healthy church to be a part of.
953.  Being able to do so many things digitally.
954.  Continuing the process of making the kitchen the hub of the house.
955.  Sticking with my man even when this life is hard and knowing he's sticking with me.

And, here's my latest project.  I found these barstools at the Bearly Makin' It Mill.  They were old black metal stools from a bar in Hays.  Oggie had a ton and he was selling them for $18/piece.  The seats were ripped red vinyl and they were filthy.  You guys, I looked at tons of stools for our kitchen bar.  Barstools are expensive.  If they're not expensive, they're poorly constructed and won't last through four kids.  
So, I got these.  One for each of us.  Then I painted everything but the chrome foot rest.  I tore off the seat covers, bought some vinyl (on sale) at Hobby Lobby, and went to work.  Once I got over the initial idea this was going to be a horrible and time consuming project, it went very fast.  Total cost for stools, spray paint, and vinyl:  $145.  I had some padding to use for the seats.  Repurposing and reusing is awesome!  
Each kid gets their own color.  There have already been some fights.  I am loving having the stools in the kitchen.  It's only been one day and already it has made a huge difference.  I want and need to be in the kitchen often.  Having the stools in the kitchen at the island makes it so the kids want to be in there with me and have a place to sit and eat or color or do homework.  Rainbow barstools for the win!

28 October 2014

Clementine's Quilt

I finally finished Clementine's quilt. I make s quilt for each kid when they turn three and move into a twin bed. Clementine will be four in three months. :/ But it's still within the year so in counting it as good. 
Forgive the pictures. When I finished and wanted to take the pictures I didn't have anyone who was taller than 38" around. 



On the bed

I had a lot of help from my mom on this one. She did much of the cutting and a fair amount of ironing. She also loaned me her walking foot (it helped prevent excessive bunching and puckering while quilting). You guys, why didn't o get one of those things years ago? Amazing! 

There you go! Onto my next sewing projects:  Christmas presents.