1/28/2009

Baby It's Cold OUTSIDE!!!!!!


I didn't go to work on Tuesday because the weather forecast said we would have freezing rain beginning at 9 AM and around Noon we'd have sleet. I opted to stay in the safety and comfort of my home with my cherubs.
I started our day with a pot of malt-o-meal and homemade biscuits. Yum! However, we started our day so late, that it was actually brunch. HA HA
As the day progressed I began to think about what we would have for dinner. I thought a pot of chili would be good for a cold night...we were getting down into the 20's. Hmmmmmmm, we had no crackers to go with our chili and we love having crackers with it. So I googled home-made crackers and wasn't very impressed with the first recipe that came up. However, the next one was the one. I made the home-made crackers and they were a hit. We had to stop ourselves from eating them up before we had our chili to eat them with. Below is the recipe and then I'll explain what alterations I made.

Homemade Crackers

2 Cups Flour (I used unbleached all purpose, wasn't ready to experiment with wheat)
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2/3 Cups Warm Water
1/3 Cup Olive Oil (I used vegetable oil, it was all I had)
Herbs of your choice

Preheat oven to 400*

Lightly grease cookie sheets.
No grease needed if using a pizza stone.

combine dry ingredients then gradually stir in the water & oil mixture. Mix until a smooth dough forms. If you want to add herbs you can at this time. (In my first batch I added fresh rosemary, in the second batch I added Italian seasoning).
Divide the dough in half and flatten on cookie sheet or pizza stone. Once dough is spread thin, use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut into squares. Brush lightly with an egg wash or spray lightly with olive oil.(One egg white & 2 Tablespoons water...I did this but next time will try the olive oil)
Sprinkle with sea salt if desired (I didn't have sea salt, but used Kosher salt).

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden and crispy. (not all will be the same golden color)
These crackers are great with soup, dips, or cheese...Ask me how I know...LOL

Now the recipe said to sprinkle your desired herbs on top of the crackers. I opted for mixing my herbs into the dough itself.

OUR REVIEW: Simple, quick, DELICIOUS!!! These crackers had more taste and flavor than any store bought cracker we have ever had. So guess who is really ready to get the mixer I want so I can make bread and crackers for my family every weekend?!

1/26/2009

Home-made Laundry Soap

I did it!!!! I finally made my own laundry soap, as well as fabric softener.

The fabric softener was easy, but I am still looking for a home-made version. For the fabric softener, I poured a bottle of fabric softener into a 5 gallon bucket and then added 2 bottles of water. Cut 4 sponges in half and dropped them in as well.
What you do is put your clothes in the dryer and squeeze one of the sponges out (you don't want or need it to be drenched). Throw it in with the clothes and start the dryer as usual and voila.

The laundry soap, well, I got that recipe from the Duggar's
I didn't have the Fels Naptha, so replaced that with Ivory. I also picked up a LARGE box of baking soda in the laundry section, when I thought I was picking up washing soda. Then I googled and read that I could put the amount of baking soda I needed, in the oven for 30 min. on 350 and then use it. I did this.
It is supposed to gel after 24 hours and it did not. I was disappointed and was trying to figure out how to fix this problem. However, 24 hours later I opened the lid and it gelled. I stirred in my lavender oil (because the fabric softener was also lavender scented) and it smelled wonderful.

I was totally excited. I spent approx. $10 and got 10 gallons of laundry soap. With the amount suggested for a front load washing machine, I won't need to make laundry soap for a while. It says to use 1/4 cup per load and that would give me about 640 loads of laundry soap!!!

Next up, dish liquid and hand soap! Hmmmmmmmmmmm, wonder what else I can make and save money.

Oh and for those that are wondering if it cleaned our clothes...Y-E-S!!!

1/21/2009

NEW PRESIDENT-My daughters Essay

The day after the swearing in of our 44th president, I told my children to write a 2-3 page essay about what Obama's presidency means to them. Below is my oldest daughters essay. I am proud that she has been able to express herself so clearly.

Obama

January 20, 2009 marked a day in history for our nation and my generations first black president.

I personally did not want Obama as president. The reason for this is because of the things he stands for. I do not agree with the terms and what he stands for and upholds. I do not believe that our economy is the way it is because of one man, but began with the pin of individual greed and was accelerated by 9/11.
Obama's presidency to me, means that our economy will continue to fail and that most of everything he said will not happen.
In his inaugural speech he said that he was going to stop the killing of the innocent, referring to the innocent lives of those in war, but a few months ago during his campaign he said that he would pass more laws concerning abortions and the use of tax payers money to fund abortions around the globe. However, this is the killing of the innocent...the killing of human beings, babies. If he had said he agreed with people having babies and then giving them to a family member, friend, or just up for adoption I would have personally agreed to that.
I personally believe his presidency will bring a lot of trouble to the USA.
Most people didn't vote for him because of what he stood for, but because of the color of his skin. So in all of the Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream really didn't happen. I mean sure we have a black president and he is promising change right now, but the real reason people voted for him is because he is black and he made history. The reality of Kings dream was that ALL people would be treated equally, not based on the color of their skin, but on the content of one's character.
If I could have voted, honestly it would have been for McCain, simply because McCain was for most of the things I agree with and for one thing he didn't care how people looked at him on the outside. With Obama he knew people would look at the color of his skin and if he promised change long and hard enough that would be another way to gain votes.
I am proud that history was made, but I don't and will not agree with what Obama stands for.

1/20/2009

We Have Water, The House Is on the Move!!!

Well, things are STILL coming together. I had many plans for this past weekend, but not one of them transpired.
I woke up on Saturday morning with Joseph at the door, ready to put in the water/septic lines. As we did when we first moved to the country, I got out there and helped dig and cover up the lines as he got them connected and laid in the ground. Digging & Covering up…not fun at all!!!! But well worth the convenience of having water in our home. No more hauling the water from one house to the other. No more going into the other house to use the restroom. You do what you must do, but oh when you have the convenience back, it is a HUGE relief.
I turned the water on shortly after it was connected and was overwhelmed with how we take things for granted. We take it for granted that we will always be able to turn the knob and have water flow from the faucet. We take it for granted that we will always be able to flip a switch and have lights. We take it for granted that we can take a bath and use the restroom in the comfort of our own homes. When you stop and think about our ancestors and realize that they had no switches, no faucets, and no toilets; we are truly blessed and take these things for granted.

Then by Saturday evening my son is feeling not so great and running a fever. There go my plans to attend church. Ok, this will be the 2nd Sunday in a row to miss. Bummer!!!!!
Well, now with running water, I spent the day cleaning EVERYTHING…there was a layer of dust a mile thick. (I haven’t figured out where this dust is coming from but it’s there)
I wash every stitch of laundry that needed to be washed, including sheets and blankets. Then I mopped the kitchen floor. It looked like a brand new floor! LOL
It was so white and clean. I stayed up way to late rearranging the living room and getting the children set up with space for their school work and their computers. They will each have their own since they will have several subjects that will require the use of the computer and I didn’t want to have to deal with scheduling who would be on the computer at what time…God is good in that I only purchased one computer, one was given to us, along with an extra monitor and I need to purchase only one more CPU tower. Then they are all set. Oh…I’ll upgrade the memory and install new CD Rom Drives and that’s it!!!

Monday proved to be another SURPRISE! The mortgage company was to call and let me know the date they had arranged to pick up the double wide mobile home. UGHHHHHHHH,
They didn’t! So as I was sitting down to eat my breakfast burrito, I notice these large trucks in the front yard. Then it dawns on me…they are here to take the house. Thank God it was a holiday and I was off or else I would not have known a thing until I got home from work. They begin to work and get things taken care of and then as my daughter is on the phone SNAP goes the phone line and I am livid. I put the new line in myself, so that’s no big deal. What made me mad was I had just walked around the home telling them that EVERYTHING was connected to the single wide NOT the double wide. They clearly said they all understood and one guy rips the phone line out and then uses the cord to wrap around the door knob and hold the door open so they could throw the skirting from around the house inside. When I asked him why would he do this, he was very rude and asked me what did it matter it was no longer mine anyway. Clearly he was clueless to the fact that the telephone line was not to that house. Anyway I was livid and they ended up calling the owner out and he came to oversee the remainder of the work. As I talked to the owner towards the end of the day, I learned that the guy who pulled the line is the owners brother. So because of his rudeness, they cleaned up the area, which they don’t usually do. I was most grateful for that because it was a lot to clean up and I was feeling overwhelmed just looking at it.

Well, with the house being moved, we had to redo the septic line. It was sitting above the ground because we could not dig until the double wide was moved. So Joseph came after work to do this and once again I was out there as I was 8 years earlier helping to dig the trench to lay the line in and covering it up as well. We didn’t finish until well after 10:30 last night. Needless to say my body is sore and I’m tired, plus I think I am coming down with what my son has; yes he is still sick and yet he was out there in the cold insisting that he help his mama as much as he possibly could.

Is the Saga with the house over? Hmmmmmmm, almost. I’ll keep you posted.

1/13/2009

It's gonna require surgery

I won't say much on this post. My sister took my oldest daughter to the doctor for me. She injured her knee about a year ago and it flared up last weekend when we visited friends and she rode bikes.

Well, the outcome is she has torn her cartilage in her left knee and usually they do nothing about it, but because it has begun to swell up and cause excrutiating pain, they are talking about surgery.

I'll keep you posted as to when that will take place.

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