Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Homemade Applesauce

I am in the midst of making so much applesauce we will never eat it all.  But here it is.
At this point it is getting ready to cook down into its chunky, yummy consistency
Here is what I used this last time to cut and peel the apples.  For the first 24 jars I peeled and cut them all by hand.  Fun!  But then my lovely friend Stacey loaned me her magnificent device and it was oh so easy.  Kind of like when you deliver your first kid using no drugs and then the next one with drugs, it was a breeze.  It’s all about perspective!
So, I have 36 Quarts done and my great friend and partner in blogging just gave me two more boxes of apples.  So, you all can be sure that you will see many, many apple recipes in the months to come.
Oh, right here is my recipe for the homemade applesauce:
about 20 apples peeled and cut into slices or quarters
1 cup sugar
1Tablespoon of Cinnamon
1 cup water
Just throw it all in the pot and cook on Medium for about 30-45 min or until apples are really mushy and the sugar is even getting caramely looking.  Then leave the apples as is or use a potato masher on them.  While they are still very hot put them into the jars and seal with the lid.  You then water boil process them for 40 minutes in a canner.  Them take them out and listen for the popping of the lids sealing.  I love that sound, it is the sound of successful canning.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A little about me…

So, Melissa had a good idea tell you all a little about herself to help you understand where we are coming from.  Well, here is a little about me. 
I am a follower of Christ, a Wife of 20 years and a mother of four great children.  We sort of have two sets of kids.  We have a daughter that is 18 and a son that is 15.  Also, we have a daughter that is 6 and a son that is 4.  When our oldest was about 10 life was easy and we thought “hey let’s have another baby” and then God said “Hey how about one more”.
I am a stay at home mom now and I have always been at home but I have always worked in some way from home.  Now I am home and just homeschooling our younger two children.  I love to be at home.  I love all things domestic, except crafts those I am capable of but I don’t love.  I love gardening, cooking, baking and even cleaning on a good day.

I started blogging because I have felt in my heart that this is what I am suppose to be doing for years.  Now, God has freed me up to do it.  You see I have done daycare in my home for 10 years and just ended.  See the story about that here.  I am very excited to see what God gives me to write.  I say that God gives it to me because I really believe that through his Holy Spirit he speaks through my hands writing.  I so often get done writing something and say Wow that is really good, not to myself but to the Lord.  If you know me you realize that I am too scatterbrained to write anything good.  In fact, all of the articles about things like recipes, tips and things like that, well that’s just me and you will see.  Now, the inspirational stuff that is Him.

I love that Melissa and I are working together on this because we are so different and yet just like Melissa I need to have that third strand in all parts of my life in order to have order in my life.  We hope that you find good information, are inspired and have fun reading our blog.  Enjoy!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

So Here We Go!!!

So as I begin this adventure (blogging) I begin to ask myself what can I share and what will bring value to you the reader. I plan on sharing my successes, my failures, my thoughts and my ideas. So here goes nothing!! J

For my first blog I would like to just begin sharing a little bit more about me. This will hopefully help you to understand, or maybe even relate to me as I share every Monday my trials and successes of trying to balance it all.

I am a child of god, a wife to an amazing man for the past 12 years and a mother to four beautiful children ages 12 - 6. I am also a college student and a working professional attempting to build a successful career.  I have been a stay at home mom off and on for a total of almost seven years. I loved being a stay at home mom and would not have changed it for the world. Now my kids are all in school and I have been given the desire to achieve a career.  I work in the field of Human Resources and look forward to learning something every day.

Some things I like include gardening (both flowers and vegetable) and canning and working outside on the lawn. I also enjoy making people smile and help them feel valued. I am devoted to my family and love being a mom. I also like working and love the career path that I have chosen. I go to work every morning with a smile! Imagine that!!!

I have learned to coupon this past year and have become as frugal as I can. I do things like meal plan, make my own house cleaners, make my own laundry soap and will try anything new that will help me achieve a successfully managed home. Now with that said, that does not mean I have figured it out, I haven’t even scratched the surface! It is a trial and error process and plan on sharing some of that on this blog.

I would love to figure out how to keep a clean home with four kids…. And maybe how to keep up with laundry…. Those are two things I have never mastered even with being a stay at home mom or working. I can be a little A.D.D with my thoughts and sometimes overanalyze life too much.

Like our blog title, I can’t do anything that I have on my plate without having God in my life. A couple years ago, I learned the lesson of the braid and how it needs to have three strands to be strong… so I use this in all areas of my life. In my marriage, my children, relationship with friends, school and work….. I know I can’t do it alone and it is a relief to know that I don’t have to.  If that is one thing you take away from this blog… it is just that… two strands are good… but three strands… WOW! 

Have a GREAT week!  


My Bacon Solution

I don’t know about all of you but we love the taste of bacon in our house.  We don’t really eat it as a breakfast food so much but we like it in all kinds of things.  We eat it crumbled in things, on top of things and just added into all kinds of things.  I found this:IMG_0629
Sorry about the packaging, I ripped it open before thinking about it.  I just looovvve bacon.  Anyway, I found this at Walmart.  It is Wright Bacon ends and pieces.  It comes in a 3 lb. package for just over $6.  This is so much cheaper than buying the bacon by the pound in the package and this is very good bacon.  I just separate it into smaller ziplock bags and freeze it.
Then when we need some bacon I just thaw, cook and crumble.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Taking the leap out of the boat.

imagesVery soon now I will be ending my job of doing in home daycare.  I have done this for 14 years.  It had definitely been the thing God wanted me to do and I am thankful for the opportunity, it allowed me to be home with my children and also earn money to help our family.  For the last 6 months or so I have really been feeling like it is time to change what I am doing.  I just kept praying that God would provide a way for me to replace that income.  As the months wore on the job and kids have begun to wear on me.  In my experience this is one of God’s gentle but successful ways of leading us. 
He will gently nudge, then nudge a little harder and before you know it he is  tipping our boat for us and prying our fingers off of the thing he wants us to change, all the while loving us and telling us it will be o.k. and to trust him.  Mind you the longer we hold on the more painful things can become for us.  I was actually beginning to sink into depression.  Thank you Lord for giving the wisdom not to sink any farther than I had.  I heard Him and talked to my husband (I will tell you his exact response in another post) and here I am just a few weeks from being jobless. 
I have to tell you this is a huge leap of faith in our Provider.  We have our oldest daughter going off to a private Christian college which God was very clear he would provide for(at the time I thought he meant through my job).  Not to mention all of the things that you know come up when you have children.
In the 20 years we have been married I have seen God do some amazing things to provide and I have seen us stretch and grow because of all of it.  I encourage you to seek God for his will in your life and if he asks you to do something, listen  and listen quicker than I did.  God didn’t want me to hurt but he allowed it to get me to move in the direction he knows is best.  I thank him for the pain.  I just need to stop being stubborn and obey.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Q of the Week

The Question of the week is:
Whether you work outside the home or inside the home or from home, what one thing do you do on a regular basis that makes you feel like you are really connecting with your kids?  This can be a simple or extravagant as you like.  Just fill us in, we all could use some ideas.
Jeannie- For my teenagers it is just sitting with them and asking them a question and letting them just talk.  For my little ones it has to be reading with them and talking about the book as we read.
Melissa-Sitting down and really talking to them, really focusing on what they have to say.
Leave us your answers.

2 Are Better Than 1 But 3 Wow!

What exactly does that mean?  

In  Ecclesiastes it says:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return on their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is no quickly broken.”

This verse is all you need to get through life in our opinion, so we based our blog on that one verse.
Two are better than one- Relationships
They have a good return on their work- Team work
If one falls down-Having a friend
His friend can help him up-Being a friend
But pity the man who falls and has no one to help help him up-Loneliness  
If two lie down together-Marriage
They will keep Warm-Children
One may be overpowered, two can defend themselves-Fighting for what is right
A Third Cord- God
The last one is the glue.  If you include God(Jesus) in everything that you do all of the rest will hold together.  So, you can have and do everything with out the third strand, but with that third cord, WOW!!