Thursday, December 31, 2009

The 30 Day Shred Day 3 & 4

It took me a bit of time to catch my breath... 2 days to be exact but I'm still at it. Since I was "on a date" Tuesday I wasn't able to squeeze in the 20 min workout. Getting home past midnight and having to get up at 7 was bad enough and I wasn't about to take any extra time before I crawled into my cozy bed. So I did skip a day and I'm ok with that.

A birthday party and grocery shopping were on the menu last night. After getting everything put away, I was NOT in the mood  SUPER excited to pick up my weights and get to workin out. I will say that I don't really care for Jillian's mouth - I detest motivational speaking (when working out) and if someone says "just a couple more" they should practice what the preach. Hopefully after tonights workout I will know the routine enough to just listen to music until I hit up level 2 (Jan 7th). 

How do I feel? I feel great and have noticed that I have more energy. My muscles are tighter and I feel a difference when wearing a pair of my jeans. I am tempted to take my measurements and weight but I holding off until day 10.

How do I look? The same :)

I hope everyone has a safe and blessed New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Yes, I am one of those gals who don't usually care for surprises. Not sure why but I have always been that way.

BUT last night...that was a nice surprise!

You see our schedule at home has been just a bit nuts lately and for some reason I haven't been writing things down on our family calendar (it would help if I could find it). Because of this I keep forgetting-remembering-forgettig about birthday parties, new years parties, etc. Move forward to yesterday - I was supposed to bring my bread machine to work for a friend to come pick it up. Usually I am making more than 1 loaf and I really like to make bread, with my hands ;) so when she mentioned that she was going to buy one to make her gluten free bread I told her to take mine to try. Needless to say I didn't remember the bread machine and when she called to meet me, I had to tell her I forgot it but could bring it to her house later on. Being the dear friend she is, she invited us to have dinner. Bread maching = diner for 3 and not cooking, yup I was in... Then on my way home I remember that Haily had been invited to stay overnight for a slumber party. The surpise was that I got to double date and play scrabble for hours without hearing {can we go yet, I'm tired, Mommmmmm let's go}.

Yea for surprises!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The 30 Day Shred Day 2

If you google 30 day shred and read the reviews on the program, you will most likely find most people couldn't do the 2nd day because of being so sore from day 1. I was determined to get through day 2 and I am I proud to say that I did it!!! It wasn't easy and during some of the lunges I couldn't lift my weights but I continued; during the last 1 min of bicycle crunches I had to do just crunches (no legs) but I pressed on. I can tell that this is going to be a great all around workout that can be done in 20 min. I am a busy working wife and mother and still have found time to do it. Of course I could make excuses about time and wanting to get other things done around the house but as with any task you just need a "I am gonna get this done now" attitude. If I am not a healthy homemaker than I am not going to be a productive homemaker nor will I be a good role model to my daughter. Here's to day 2, day 3 here I come...

Has anyone else tried this workout? Let me know what you thought...

Monday, December 28, 2009

The 30 Day Shred Day 1

Say it with me "I think I can, I think I can"... 

It's official - I started the 30 day shred yesterday. I knew it was going to be tough but it totally kicked my rump!!! And if that wasn't enough, it was just as hard to see my measurements down on paper. When your pants get a bit tighter you know that you have gained weight but I guess I didn't realize how much. OK, I am just gonna get down to business so I can hit up day 2 of the shred. Please understand that it takes great difficulty in putting my "body" out there so please choose to Edify  with your words as Amy puts it.

Weight 185 
Bust 40
Waist 35 1/2
Hip 47 1/2
R/L Arm 12 1/2
R/L Thigh 25 3/4 & 25 1/4
R/L Calf 15 1/2

Stay tuned to see my progress...Yep, I am planning on progression not regression :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

This moment in time...

Today we didn't have any plans to do anything and with no practices for praise team or evening service I decided to get some baking for the upcoming week done. Haily has started taking her lunch to school so I have been making healthy snacks for her to pack. Today I am going to try Honey Pumpkin Muffins and whip up some granola. These will take the place of a snack cake and chips. 

Watch for my series on the 30 Day Shred and Budgeting for the New Year. -I have been wanting to do a series on budgeting for a while but with my life being so busy for the last couple of months I haven't had time to put it together. -As far as the 30 Day Shred, that's another story. Normally when I have more time to garden and really work around the house I don't need to put much effort into exercising. Doing a days worth of housework and yard/garden work is plenty of movement. Now with my daytime desk job and trying to get the business underway I haven't been getting much exercise at all. This has added to my waistline and just being overall uncomfortable. So dear friends, I will be taking you on my journey to get back into shape. Keep in mind I want to be healthy {not just lose weight}. To me pounds don't matter as much as being able to rake my lawn without getting winded or carrying laundry baskets up and down the stairs without my legs feeling like jello. I will be updating you on all the details including my starting weight and measurements. I might even be real brave by posting before pics :)

That's all for now- gotta get baking!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas to you!

Sorry no posts lately. My business has picked up in the last month so I have been jammin it up! We have been busy going to Christmas parties, watching Haily's program at church and practicing for choir. I hope everyone has a joyous time celebrating the birth of our Savior!!! Merry Christmas to you and your families too...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What's cookin...

Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home is hosting what I consider a "Yummy" idea. The Healthy Holiday Eats and Sweets Carnival is all about good food for the holiday time. Who said that healthy food had to be drab? So blog hop on over to Keeper of the Home and check out all the recipes. I have mention two below that will be at my Christmas table. 

Sweet Potato Maple Cups
Cook 3-4 sweet potatoes however you wish (I like to boil mine) until tender. You can peel them or leave the peel on, doesn't matter either way. Add about 1/3-1/2 cup of butter, 1/3-1/2 cup of pure maple syrup, 4 tsp orange zest or orange juice,  and 1 tsp salt - mix until creamy. You can also add in cinnamon and nuts. YUM! At this point I put mine into individual baking cups but an 8x8 baking dish also works well. 

Beat 4 egg whites and unrefined sugar (to taste, the original recipe call for 1/2 cup but that is way too much for me) until stiff peaks form. Add to the top of the sweet potatoes, this takes the place of marshmallows on the top. 

Bake at 400 for about 10min or until the egg whites are golden brown.

Cinnamon Oranges
Peel 4-5 navel oranges, core, and separate. Mix 2 table orange juice, 2 table lemon juice, 1 table unrefined sugar, and 1/4 tea cinnamon. Toss and serve chilled.

I hope you enjoy these and all the other recipes submitted. Let me know which one your family liked the best.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

{It's the most wonderful time of the year}

It's been a while since I have posted all because it's been a little busy in my house. My family took off to the hills of Virginia to visit family for Thanksgiving. We had a great time with my brother at his little "cabin" and spent Thanksgiving at my Aunt and Uncles in Knoxville, TN. All the ladies were in the kitchen cooking and baking... Now, usually if there are more than 2 women in a kitchen at one time someone ends up in a huff. I am happy to say that we ended up with 4 1/2 (the 1/2 was my daughter) in the kitchen and managed to get the food on the table at the same time, with everything warm and big smiles from everyone. YES, all the "cooks" helped each other out. We made lots of memories and hope to make it a tradition each year.

The Friday after we got back I was scheduled to be at a show. This usually isn't a problem but I had no clue how much jam to bring. I went for overkill and decided I should have 150 jars. I spent the entire week making jam and getting ready. I think the total was 75-85 jars in 3 days. After working a full work week and making jam all night, I was pooped.

This week has settled down and my house is in full swing Christmas mode. The tree is up and the lights are on the house. We have our manger on display and oh...Gifts??? I like to give, my daughter likes to give and my husband likes to save ;) You see Aaron and I are geared differently. I would give everything I had away and he makes sure we still have a place to sleep at night. I am glad that God knew what he was doing when he put us together. We truly balance each other out. Since we are trying to pay off debt (only 1 year left on our car and another small loan) and are working toward me being able to stay at home with our children (1 here, more to come) we have to keep our budget in check. We spend about $10 on our close friends, $20-$30 on family, and buy something we need for each other (I already received my pots and pans this year). My husband also has employees that we do something for. We usually spend around $500. To some this might seem cheap and to some it might be generous but it works for us and our budget. I also like to give a little something to people in our lives that are special or we think might need cheering up. You don't have to spend much money to show someone you care and appreciate them.
Here are some gift ideas:

When doing your holiday baking, just bake a little extra. Your neighbor that snow blows your driveway or the widow down the street would love receiving a home baked treat from you. Cookies and bread can be frozen, so bake in bulk then freeze. You will have it on hand when a person comes to mind.

If you sew, crochet, or knit make some dishcloths or towels. I love getting these each year. Not only does it keep me from buying them throughout the year, I think of the person who made the gift and say a quick prayer for them when I use it.

I have several friends that started a business on the side. I like to use them as a source for gifts as they are local and I am helping to support their family. Beth has been a dear friend for several years. She is very artistic and that shows in the jewelry she makes. I have bought many items from her and love each one. Stop by her site to check out some of her items. Melissa has just branched out and started a photography business. I know that I can't "buy" something from her but I can put money towards someone to have pictures taken by her. She is awesome to work with and I love her photos. You can check them out here.  Patricia over at Primele can offer custom gift tags and calligraphy for you stationary needs. Personalized items are fun gifts. Maybe you have a friend that has something to offer. Call them up and see what they have to offer.

Hand written cards:
Never under estimate the power of a hand written note. Since email and texting came in the picture our lives seem a little less personal. Pick up a pack of cards from the $ store and write out a note to someone special. They will appreciate the time you took out of your busy life to think of them.

I hope this gives you some ideas for inexpensive gifts. You don't need to have a large budget to warm a heart this Christmas season.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I forgot how much I miss the mountains. I am spending some time with my brother and family for Thanksgiving. I don't have any internet (or phone) connection where he lives so I won't be posting for a couple of days.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A couple tablespoons a day keeps the Doctor away!!!

{Update} Here are some pictures of the last batch I made...

Never turn the blender on before putting the lid on. You will end up with a mess.

The finished project. I bought this bottle at Target and it works perfect for pouring out the  syrup.

Every mom knows that this time of year is hard. The kids are getting excited about the holidays coming up, you have lots of shopping, cooking, wrapping, planning, and cleaning to do. Add a mom who works outside the home on top of that and your time (and patience) is running thin. Who has time for a cough? Sometimes you child may not be sick but just have a cough that you can't get rid of. Many times I have whisked Haily off to the Dr. just to be told to buy an over the counter cough syrup (YUCK) and wait it out. Do they work? Not generally and they are full of artificial junk. TWO THUMBS DOWN! I have started using a recipe that I found online. It's simple to make, doesn't taste worse than the store bought (notice I didn't say it tastes better) and it's all natural. Try it next time that pesky cough comes around...

You will need:
1 bunch of radishes
1 red onion
1 head of garlic
3-4 lemons
1 cup of honey

I have adjusted my recipe from this one to my taste.

Directions: Chop the greens off the radishes and wash really, really well then chop 3-4 of them. Peel and chop 1/2 onion. Peel 3 cloves of garlic. Juice 3-4 lemons. Add all to a blender and whip it, whip it good (I know you're singing along too). When mixed, add 1 cup honey (I use raw but any will work). You should have a lovely shade of bright red syrup. Depending on your blender you might need to strain (so it's not gritty). This can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Take 2 tablespoons about 3 times a day.

Here is another source of homemade recipes for coughs.

Honey is used to sooth sore throats
Garlic acts as an antibiotic with vitamins and minerals
Onion has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
Radishes have been used as an alternative for whooping cough

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Busy Mom = Crockpot cooking

Lindsay is hosting a

I love to make simple but delicious meals on days when I need to get dinner on the table FAST. That usually means using the crock pot. Here is one of my favorites...

{Pork roast and sauerkraut}

Only two ingredients (unless you want to add some spices) go into the pot... a Pork Loin Roast and Sauerkraut. Just put the roast in your crockpot and dump sauerkraut over it. Cook on high if the roast is frozen and low if thawed. I cook for 8 hrs while I'm at work but it could be done before that. You can use sauerkraut bought from the store but I made the recipe that Lindsay makes and loved it. YUMMY! My husband even likes this recipe and he doesn't care for sauerkraut. I will make him a steamed veggie to go with the roast and I "hog" all the kraut. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My brother the "Dentist"

My daughter has been losing teeth like crazy lately. She loves to wiggle them but doesn't like when it's time for them to come out. Last Christmas when my brother Eric was visiting and Haily kept complaining about a loose tooth she had. Whining and complaining is not a friend of my brothers so he "talked" her into letting him pull it.

Here's the story:

It was his last day here; I was on the computer upstairs and Haily, Aaron, & Eric were downstairs. I heard this hair curling scream from downstairs and ran as fast as I could to see what happened to my baby. The kitchen floor was painted in blood and the trail led to the bathroom. I peek in to see Aaron and Eric surrounding Haily, whose head was in the sink. They were splashing water in her face and she was not happy about it. I finally was able to give her a hug and ask what happened. She told me that "Uncle Eric promised he wouldn't pull until I said ok..." Eric had distracted her enough to tap the tooth out. It was that loose (not sure why she bled so much).

(Move forward to today)

We are planning to visit Eric in Virginia for Thanksgiving. Haily has a tooth that is loose but won't come out because the new tooth is starting to come in behind it. I couldn't resist telling her "It's a good thing we will be at Eric's soon. He will get that tooth out for you"

Can you hear the screams yet?? Do you have any funny stories or memories about teeth?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Blankets and toys and books OH MY!

I was visiting Our Family Highlights and loved the poem she shared. I thought it would encourage us moms with young children so I am sharing it with you. 

"The Toy-Strewn Home" by Edgar Guest

Give me the house where the toys are strewn,
Where the dolls are asleep in the chairs,
Where the building blocks and the toy balloon
And the soldiers guard the stairs.
Let me step in a house where the tiny cart
With the horses rules the floor,
And rest comes into my weary heart,
For I am at home once more.
Give me the house with the toys about,
With the battered old train of cars,
The box of paints and the books left out,
And the ship with her broken spars.
Let me step in a house at the close of day
That is littered with children’s toys,
And dwell once more in the haunts of play,
With the echoes of by-gone noise.
Give me the house where the toys are seen,
The house where the children romp,
And I’ll happier be than man has been
‘Neath the gilded dome of pomp.
Let me see the litter of bright-eyed play
Strewn over the parlor floor,
And the joys I knew in a far-off day
Will gladden my heart once more.
Whoever has lived in a toy-strewn home.
Though feeble he be and gray,
Will yearn, no matter how far he roam,
For the glorious disarray
Of the little home with its littered floor
That was his in the by-gone days ;
And his heart will throb as it throbbed before,
When he rests where a baby plays.

Garden Journal 2009

Stephanie over at Keeper of the Home is hosting an Organic Gardening Carnival. Well, she was hosting it on November 4th but I have been sick for the past couple of days and just got my "color" back so I am adding my post now. I had to realize that it's ok to let everything go for a couple of days - Family and health first!!!

This year was my 3rd attempt at a garden. Let's take a look at my progress...

♦The first year was a flop since I was gone almost every weekend. I work full time so that was when I could really work in the garden and preserve my bounty. 

♦The 2nd year I only put in tomato, cucumber, and banana pepper plants. I did well with the cucumbers and peppers but I couldn't keep up with the tomatoes. I didn't really know was scared to try preserving them. I never wanted to learn to can from my mom (oh my, teenagers can be so silly) and now that she is gone I had no one to teach me. They rotted! What a waste.

♦Third times a charm! This year I was a little more ambitious. I live in the village with  .20 acre of land which my house and garage are on so I only have room for small garden. This year I planted lettuce, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers. I also was able to utilize some of my Father-in-laws garden space for planting a large crop of tomatoes (4 varieties) and peppers (3 varieties). I wanted to be able to have enough for hot pepper relish and salsa for my business I started in May (BTW, I have learned how to can! Hooray). Things were off to a great start early in the season. I planted peas in April via seed. I live in Western New York so I was a little worried about the ground being workable for them but they did fine. I soaked the seeds for a hour before planting (this gives them a boost in my clay soil). I started my lettuce and cucumbers from seed indoors then tried transplanting them. The lettuce did ok but the cucumbers didn't make it. I ended up buying cucumber plants when I bought my tomato and pepper plants. Next year I plan on planting more peas so I can preserve some (all the kids in the neighborhood raided them). Maybe a late season crop will go in around August. I would like to plant different cucumbers so I can make some pickles and relish. My tomatoes at both my house and my FIL's got blight, apparently almost everyone's tomatoes around here were hit with this disease. Any tips to battle this? I have a friend who gave me her spaghetti sauce recipe and  was able to get a batch out of the tomatoes (together we had at least 5 doz planted). The peppers did wonderful and got several batches of hot pepper relish out of them. I know I planted banana and a purple variety (not sure on the other 2) and would like to add more for next year. My FIL always has an abundance of zucchini and squash so I get his extra. As far as pests...I didn't have any problems except for the blight. 

Here is one of my only pictures from the season. 

I am looking forward to another sucessfull year of planting, harvesting, and preserving.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Down for the count

I will be back soon. Family is down for the count with what seems to be the flu.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

So, a needle pulling thread

I have been sewing since I got home and have successfully made a snail costume for "Hail the Snail". Yes, she is a slow snail when it comes to...just about everything.

Making the costume put me in the sewing mood so I started another project that just makes me giddy inside. Bread bags for my homemade bread!!! Can't wait :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009


  • I had a very productive day at work.
  • I spent a few minutes with my Hubby when he stopped by work.
  • I went to dinner "Authentic Mexican Style" with dear sisters in Christ. 13 to be exact!!
  • I saw Avalon & Selah in concert with the same gals. Wonderful!!
  • I got home just time time to tuck my little Haily in bed.
  • Now I will do some tidying up and watch the Yankees snuggled up with my Hubby.
I must mention that Aaron helped Haily with her homework, cleaned up the house and is now folding the laundry. He did all of this gladly so that I could enjoy a night out. Thank you Lord for my husband you have given me!

Sweet Dreams, Jac

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Meal Planning

Do you find yourself approaching dinner with panic? You rummage through the fridge and cabinets in hopes to find something quick to make. Or your in the middle of making dinner and realize you don't have the ingredients to make what you planned. I’ve been there too many times to count and I dislike the feeling. I usually end up throwing something together that isn’t appealing or the least bit nutritious. One of the best tips I could give a mother who works outside the home is to meal plan, it is a good idea for anyone really.

I didn’t meal plan for many years. My mother didn't meal plan therefore it wasn't something I even knew about. When going to the grocery store I threw things in the cart that "looked good". I ended up spending way more than necessary on items that I couldn’t even make a balanced meal with. Now when I go with a plan, I spend less and have more with a BIG smile. This is one of our budget eaters (it also includes all household products).

There are many ways to meal plan and I have adapted mine several times. Please take the information I give you and make it your own. I don’t have any fancy shopping lists or meal calendars, nor do I spend a ton of time doing this task (it takes about 20 minutes).

Let's get started

-I clean out my refrigerator/freezer (Easy tip 1: keep the fridge clean) and make note of what I still have on hand (meat, veggies, etc.)

-From there, I sit down with the sale papers and my running list that I keep (Easy tip 2: Write down items as you start to run low). Look through the paper and see what's on sale. Remember just because it’s cheap, if your family won’t eat it, you are wasting money.

-Now that I have a list of items I can plan start planning. By looking at the sale list and knowing what meals my family likes, I form a menu. Items may need to be added depending on the meals I want to make. For breakfast I keep oatmeal, granola bars, waffles and pancakes on hand. No one is home for lunch. I plan 6 meals for dinner and we either have leftovers on the 7th day or eat with friends/family. When doing this I keep in mind how much time I have to cook. Plan simple things like salad with grilled chicken on nights that are going to be rushed (Easy tip 3: think ahead = less stress)- Save the more time consuming meals for another day. Some of my friends like to theme their meals for each night of the week. My husband is not a planning kind of guy so this doesn’t work for us although I think it would be fun.

-After I have finished, I write the meals on the bottom of our family calendar, the one with all of our appointments, events, etc. By having everything in the same place there isn't any excuses for not knowing what is going on or what is for dinner. I use a free printable calendar that I found online. I keep ours right above our command station which has pens, paper, church directory/phone book, extra calendars, etc.  This is where I also keep the cook books, recipes we want to try, my running list. (Easy tip 4: keep things together).

-When heading to the store I take my list with me, sometimes taped to my forehead (this is just a reminder for those who need it :). Most of the time I stick to the list but I hardly feel bad if I stray a bit. If an item that I use often is on sale then I might buy extra so I will have it "in stock" for those times my husband wants something "unplanned" (Easy tip 5: be flexible).

Easy tip 1: keep the fridge clean
Easy tip 2: write down items as you start to run low
Easy tip 3: think ahead = less stress
Easy tip 4: keep things together
 Easy tip 5: be flexible

There you have it! It took much longer to think and type the process than it does to actually do my meal planning. Feel free to ask me questions or better yet tell me how do you meal plan?

Monday, October 26, 2009

This moment in time...

  • Finished my meal planning
  • Went grocery shopping 
  • DH put up hooks for my aprons and robes
  • Tucked my silly girl in bed
  • Got back on the treadmill for the first time in a long time
    Now it time for some BBB with DH. Night folks.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

All the laundry supplies are up on the shelf...

...use what you need but do it yourself!

This recipe was given to me by a friend which she got from The Duggar Family website. I made my first batch back in March and have been using ever since. Our family does about 1 load of laundry per day for a family of 3. Here is the breakdown of the cost to get started (I don't remember exactly what I paid, so I used prices from an online store).
  • 5 gallon bucket w/lid                                   $5
  • 1 bar Fels-Naptha Soap                               $2
  • 1 box Washing Soda                                    $8
  • 1 box Borax                                                  $8
That is $23 which breaks down to $3.29 per month for laundry soap. Keep in mind that you have enough washing soda and borax to last for 3 more batches. It could add up to be a great savings for your family.

You will need a 5gal bucket, 1 Fels-Naptha soap, 1 box Washing Soda (not baking soda), & 1 box Borax. Now let's get cookin' makin' some soap...
*Put 4 cups of water in a pot (I use one I don't cook with) and bring to a boil

*Shred the bar of soap

*Add the shredded soap to the boiling water and stir until melted

*Fill the 5 gal bucket half full with steamy hot water

*When all the soap is melted pour it into the bucket. Add the 1 cup Washing Soda and 1/2 cup Borax.

*Mix, mix, mix!!! Then fill the bucket up to the top with hot water.

*Put the lid on and let it sit over night. It will get very thick.

* The next day (or whenever you get to it) you are ready to finish up the soap. Get a couple of containers and something to pour with. I bought these at Wal-Mart but you can use some old laundry soap containers too.

* Fill each container half full with the soap and then fill with hot water to the top. Shake each time you use it because it will settle some. I use the same two containers and keep the bucket in the basement.

Wasn't that easy :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Stack'em up

It's Sunday at 6am 8am and my family is  waking up with a rumble in the tummy.We have to be a church at 9:15 with belly's fed or else we'll be famished by the time Sunday School rolls around. I would love to eat something warm and filling but I just don't think there is time. Maybe I will set out the milk and cereal, DRAB, DRAB, DRAB.

Does this sound like any of you out there? C'mon tell the truth... read on for "the rest of the story" (said in my Paul Harvey voice)

{Oh, but wait} What is this?!?!?!

Why it's the Pancake and Waffle mix that I whipped up the other day. HALLELUJAH, breakfast has been saved! Scroll down to find out how you can save breakfast for your family too ~smile~

Here is the base recipe: 
3 1/2 cups of flour
    you can use whole wheat
    or white (I use a mixture
    of both)
1/4 cups of sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt                         
*make sure all ingredients won't expire before you will use all of the mix

I use a big glass jar with a screw on lid. Just add everything and whisk around. I suppose that you could put the lid on and shake but I like to whisk!!

To make Pancakes:     1 cup mix
                                  1/2 cup butter milk*
                                  1/2 cup milk*
                                  1 egg*
                                  1 tablespoon melted butter*
                                  1/4 teaspoon vanilla*
                                  *whisk together first
Let batter rest for 2 minutes before cooking. Cook on medium-low on a lightly greased pan or griddle. Makes about 6 Pancakes.

To make Waffles:     1 cup mix
                               3/4 cup milk*                      
                               1 egg*
                               1 tablespoon melted butter*
                               1/4 teaspoon vanilla*
                               *whisk together first

Lightly oil the iron plates and cook until golden brown. Makes about 4 Waffles.

This recipe is one of the best I have tried for Pancakes or Waffles. You can add in wheat germ, ground flax, fresh fruit (Pancakes), etc. They whip up in no time and I feel like I am giving my family something hot and nutritious with out giving up time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Yup, She's a giver and a keeper!!!

My daughter has a heart of gold. She is a caring, compassionate little girl who wants to put a smile on every face she comes in contact with. These YUMMY, OH SO YUMMY cookies are just what she ordered up for some people in our church. Bill, who is going through treatment for cancer (throat) and Debbie, who has Lou Gehrig’s frequent our hearts and lips. We are praying for their strength and their families as they face the unknown. God is their guiding light, which no matter what the outcome may be, will be eternally with them. Haily was set on making these cookies for them so they know that she was thinking and praying for them. How sweet is that (you can get a Kleenex now). {She’s a giver and I think I’ll keep her}

It is pure joy that God has given me this child to raise up. I need to constantly be reminded that she is only mine for a while and I need to use that time to train her in the ways of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I always knew it!

I found this little quiz on a blog I check just about every day. The tempation to see if I was correct about my style was too strong (even though I don't like taking these things). Here it is.......

Your home expresses your open, easygoing approach to life. You love unique finds, and can turn a few mismatched garden chairs or floral teacups into a charming arrangement. You appreciate a pretty mix of relaxed pieces, like painted wood or weathered furniture, lovely florals and other patterns, lots of throws and pillows, mementos and bunches of fresh flowers that give your home a unique sense of breeziness and charm.

You value comfort. Your home is a warm and open friendly place, and you feel happiest when everyone is cared for and relaxed in your space. Elements like pillows, throws, overstuffed furniture, and good lighting set the mood. You may also enjoy layering different fabrics or mixing patterns to create a cozy effect.

Do you have a certain style?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Power of Prayer

I just thought I would share how excited I was tonight. Our church holds a prayer meeting every Wednesday from 7-8. Most of the time there aren't  more than 20 people there, mainly due to the summer months taking up time with yard work or sports, etc.. Tonight was a different story-there was about 35 people. It's not really about numbers but when you think about it there are 20-35 people right in our own community praying for needs in our little town, our country, our world and for those who we hold near to our hearts. These people are faithfully meeting every week. I know of a group of women who gather every Thursday night taking turns at their houses for prayer group. So many answered prayers have come out of us faithfully gathering to lift up prayers to our Father! I encourage each one of you to take time to meet with Him daily. Find a prayer partner to meet with weekly or monthly.

Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matthew 10:20

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

These hands were made for workin'

I'm back!!! Lately I have had way too much to do and somthing had to give. I wanted to let the laundry go since that is the one thing I could put off. Well when I think about it I don't mind sorting or putting into the washer. I also like to smell the clean fresh clothes drying and to feel their warmth as I take them out of the dryer...that's where the task turns from love to hate not really like. My wonderful husband on the other hand despises laundry left unfolded and not put away. The next logical thing that had to be put to the back burner was the computer. Don't get me wrong I have hopped on fb at midnight for like 5 min or so but I have really stayed away from the computer. The reason for my sabbatical you ask... 1) I had my first and second show to get ready for 2) Haily started 5th grade-my how the time goes quickly 3) Fall programs started at church and I had Sunday School stuff to get ready :) 4) Gardening HAD to get done... I could keep going but mentioning gardening brings me to a thought. I'm thinking that my arm (the inside fleshy part, the part that shakes when you raise your arm to all know what I'm talking about) and rump hurt. As I was cleaning out the mint that has taken over my herb garden bees started to buzz around. Before I knew it I was stung in the arm. I ran around my back yard like someone was chasing me with a knife. Then before my sweet husband could stop me I was stripping off my shirt and swinging it all around. The bee was STUCK inside my shirt. I felt stupid after I realized what I had done and made a glance up to make sure my neighbors didn't see me (I knew they could hear me). I slowly put my shirt back on and went to digging again. Then came the bees; 20 or so this time. I ran like a mad women, they chased me, they were in my shirt again, off it came again!!! I could still hear it buzz, buzz, buzz. I realized that I had a BEEhive hair do. Yup they were in my hair. I started shaking my head all around and next thing I knew my hand went to my rump. It got me right smack dab in the middle of my behind...I was DONE!! I have to say that getting stung 2 times is enough for me to call it quits. So that is what I have been up to. Things are getting back into a schedule for us.

I hope to share more on organizing our everyday stuff as it can get nuts if we don't stay on top of things. I have many little tips that I use to keep my house in check while still serving in other areas.

Do you have any ideas you would like to share?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Crazy, I was crazy once!

Here's the lowdown on what's been going on... CRAZINESS!!!
At the Chamberlain household on quaint Cary Ave things have been nuts. We started 4 projects this summer and by we I mean we are handing out the bucks not doing the work because that would be way, way too much on the plate. We instead chose to have contractors redo the front steps + platform, back steps + small deck, install a fence to enclose the entire back yard (including 4 gates (who needs 4 gates for a 50x100 lot???apparently I thought we did)), and finish basement. In the midst of this I am trying earnestly to get my business ready for my first show (2 weeks and hoping that if I count slowly it will be longer than 2 weeks), have some girlfriends over, and go on a mother/daughter retreat. WHEW... I think that I might have bit off more than I can chew. BUT I don't think I have gone CRAZY as I would have in the past. Yes, the good Lord above has taught me something (no, it's not the word no- I am sure He will be molding me on that really soon). I realized it's ok if my life isn't perfect, it's ok to have a messy house when the girls come over, who cares!! (I used to care a lot but not anymore, nope that's not me, I'm done with that). Life is not about how clean your house is or if the weeding is done-hey we could have dirt floors and a drought so that nothing grows not even those pesky weeds. The fellowship and bonding that we do with one another is more important. NOW, I'm not saying that nobody will care-we all have those friends (can we really call them that???) who might mention that you could use a couple hours of housework but use selective hearing when it comes to that. This is a big one accomplishment for me especially since my MIL is a housekeeper...Even she says who cares. LOVE that woman!!! Hopefully my husband will be delighted when he reads this (Honey, do you read my blog?) because it was a source of friction during that WONDERFUL first year of marriage for us.

Bye for now ♥Jac

Monday, August 17, 2009

Colors of nature

When it's time to harvest you'd better be ready. I had other plans for this week but now I will be swimming in the colors of nature. Yes, harvesting time is here. I plan on some help from the family to wash, separate and store these yummy veggies. Some will get used right away in relish, while the rest will either be frozen or canned. Don't ya think food tastes better when you grow it yourself?

Happy harvesting everyone ;)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I've WHEYed the options

In a previous post I shared a recipe for soaked oatmeal. Part of the process was soaking the oats in whey overnight to maximize the nutritional benefits. There are many sites that I have read about why we should include this process in our baking and you can read more on this topic at Nourished Magazine & health banquet. Many different types of acid solutions are used for soaking (buttermilk, kefir, apple cider vinegar, whey, lemon juice, etc.) but I like to use whey. I start with yogurt and separate it into whey and yogurt cheese. By using this method I get 3 different foods to use. Here is step by step instructions on making whey.

Items needed: bowl, small strainer, cheese cloth or flour sack, plain yogurt (I use organic but any will work)

  • Place the strainer over the bowl and lay the cloth over the strainer. I have found that if you wet the cloth it won't soak up the whey as easily.

  • Pour the yogurt into the cloth up to the rim of the strainer. The whey almost instantly starts dripping out.

  • Twist the cloth and lay to one side. Leave on the counter overnight. Mine usually is done separating within 24 hours. You can test by lifting up the cloth from the strainer and feel the bottom. If it feels slightly dry then it's ready.

  • You will have whey (a yellowish liquid) in the bowl and yogurt cheese (like cream cheese) in the cloth. I put my whey into a mason jar and use the cheese for spreads (add garlic and other fresh herbs) or add to recipes calling for cheese (mac & cheese, lasagna, etc.)
Happy soaking!

Friday, August 14, 2009


I came home yesterday with fresh brown eggs (co-wokers farm), fresh raw honey (another co-workers F-I-L) and fresh cinnamon apple walnut bread (famers marker). YUMMY! I found a recipe for the bread and will be adapting it to my liking. When I get it just right I will share with all of you. I love buying from locals. Knowing that I could go see where my food was grown (or layed♥) is just...neat!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Back to basics

Over the last several months I have been trying to get back to the basics in life. Things like making my own bread so that my family is getting more of the natural nutrients, canning food from my own garden, mixing up batches of laundry soap, etc. So when I arrived at church last Wednesday my dear Aunt Amy gave me a copy of The Backyard Homestead.

I have to say that I LOVE this book. I doesn't go into too much detail but gives you a little information on many different topics so you will know whether it's something you might want to try. The book is helpful in explaining the practicality of growing certain things as oppose to buying them, the space needed for vegetation and livestock, and how to preserve the fruits of your labor.

The first thing on my list is to make a bigger garden for next year. I would also like to plant the cold and flu herb garden. I already have many of the herbs needed in my current herb garden. Hopefully one day I will be able to put to use the chapter on chickens (yes, I really want chickens).

What are some ways you are going "back to basics" on?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Forget it all!!!

Forget the words of slander heard; forget the harsh, the cruel word; forget the strife, the bitter test; forget it all, in Him find rest. Forget the storms of yesteryear; forget the rocks, the days so drear; forget the clouds you must pass through; forget it all, for He loves you. Forget the foe, the wounds we've had; forget the rain, the weather bad; forget the snow, the days so cold; forget it all as time grows old. Remember this- His sovereign grace, is all sufficient every place; we'll overcome, the victory win; Over every foe when Christ's within. Ernest O. Sellers

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Soaked Oatmeal

I have recently been reading on how to soak my grains. I have some digestive problems that have been decreased by eating more naturally. This is one of the many food that is simple to incorporate into your diet with the added benefits of soaking. This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare at night and very little effort in the morning. So here it goes...

1/2 cup of oats (I use 7 grain for variety)

1/2 cup of water
1 T. whey
1 T. whole wheat flour (optional for a creamier oatmeal)
flax seed mill, wheat germ, or wheat bran (optional)

Add all of the ingredients into a mason jar and shake. Let sit overnight (at least 12 hrs). Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water to a small pot and bring to a boil. Add the oats to the water and stir until smooth. It doesn't take long at all to cook. You can eat plain or add some yummy mix-ins. I like to add some natural sugar and white raisins.

I will explain about whey and the benefits in a later post.
(click here to read about whey)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Smile you might make someone's day

CLOSED FINALLY!!! This afternoon Aaron and I went to the lawyers to close on our refinance. We took advantage of the low rates like many homeowners. It has been such a long and exhausting process. The people we have had to deal with were not the best but I would like to point out one thing that I was reminded of-NICE MATTERS!! The lady who did our closing was wonderful. She was friendly and pleasant. Although she had to wait for all the documents to come through, 3 separate emails to be exact she was patient, respectful of the bank and didn't let it get the best of her. If she had been like the rest of the people we came in contact with I think I would have gone crazy. So remember the next time you are dealing with someone or something frustrating, be nice and "smile you might make someone's day"

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ok, so it's been 2 months since I have made a post. That is pretty sad in blogger world. It's not that I haven't wanted to but I have been busy with my daily schedule as well as adding the new business stuff. That being said, I am starting fresh. It's fathers day and I want to let you know about the fathers in my life.

My Daddy: My Dad wasn't around much during my younger years but I grew to know him shortly before my daughter was born. He always called to check on her progress and to make sure his little girl was doing ok. I came across a card after both of my parents death that was written by my father to my mother when I was born. His words let me know that just because he wasn't the best father and wasn't there to watch me grow up, he still loved my more that I will ever know. I thank God that I was able to read his words and fill a void in my heart that I had my whole life.

My oldest brother-James: James isn't very emotional or at least he doesn't show it; it just means you have to look past the armor. He has a wonderful wife and son with a baby on the way. He is a strong military man but loving and gentle at the same time. I am glad that he has become such a devoted father.

My youngest older brother- Eric: I can't tell you how much I care for Eric. Although he is not a father yet, I look forward to the day that a little boy or girl calls him Dad. He will be one of the best Dads I know. He is patient and full of wisdom. He sees Gods earth and wants to teach everyone he meets about it. When I am racing through life he tells me to stop and look at what is around me. He is so good to Haily and has filled in so many times that she needed a father. I was thinking about all the times that he has traveled up here and it just happened that Haily had something special going on-preschool graduation, dance recitals, singing in church. God knew when she needed him to be here.

My father-in-law- Bob: WOW, what a father to have. He has been there for me even before he was officially my FIL. Haily adores him and her "Big G". He is understanding in every situation and full of advise every time we need it. He has raised 2 wonderful children and I am blessed to have him in my life.

My husband-Aaron: God has truly given me a gift when Aaron came into my life. He knew that I needed a Godly husband and father for Haily. He has strengths where I am weak, he gives support and is a perfect helper. He stepped up to the plate and became the father to Haily. She loves him so much and I love him for loving her like his own. Thank you Aaron for being the leader of this family.

My Heavenly father: He gave the most precious gift by sending his Son to save all of his children here on earth. He loves unconditionally and provides all of our needs. He is there each and every time I call on his name to comfort me. I find myself talking to him more each day. When driving in the car people must think I'm crazy cause I am talking and no one is in the car with me. I am grateful to call him Abba!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It might be spring but something smells like fall!

The evening started off with a delicious dinner of fish, brown rice, broccoli, and homemade wheat bread. YUM! I am trying to serve a variety of foods and was very proud of dinner tonight. After church, Haily wanted to bake some pumpkin bread. I let her do everything (except lick the entire bowl) from start to finish. I feel it's important for young girls to learn thier way around the kitchen. I certainly benefited from the fact my mom let me "experiment" often. It is baking right now and I will have a taste in the morning with my coffee.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This is only the beginning

I did it! I have set up my blog. This blog will keep you updated on my "Homestead", family life, and soon to be business. I am just learning about how to blog so forgive me as I chug along.

So, this is what's up...I am preparing to go through "Becoming the Women God Wants Me to Be" A 90-Day Guide to Living the Proverbs 31 Life (by Donna Partow). I've put into the works a Jam and Jelly business called "Jars of Joy" (thanks to Haily for the name). I see God working in my life more now that ever before-I'm just trying to keep up. I know that this is only the beginning of what is to come...


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