Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Homemade Wheat Bread

 I love homemade bread.

I grew up on homemade bread.

So today I thought I would share with you the recipe that we use constantly.

  I usually make a batch a bread once a week.

Sometimes more.

Before I start, let me tell you right now a few things. I use freshly ground wheat. I always grind a fresh batch right before I make bread. Any extra wheat goes into the freezer for things like pancakes, but I never use old ground wheat in my bread.  Here you go:

 Homemade Wheat Bread

1 can evaporated milk
2 Tablespoons Salt
1/2-2/3 cup Shortening
3/4 cup honey or sugar
3 1/4 cup, hot water
8 cups whole wheat flour.

Let this mix. While mixing put 2 Tablespoons sugar, 3 Tablespoons yeast & 1 cup warm water in a cup & mix together. Once it rises a little bit, dump it into the the mixture above. Mix until yeast mixture is all mixed in. Then shut off & let sit for 15 minutes.

Then add 5-6 cups flour. (3 of these are wheat & the rest is white flour).
Knead for 9 minutes.

Take out & put in a bowl.

Let it raise.

Then roll out into bread pans. I get 5 loaves out of this batch. (I only have 5 bread pans too, so that is the main reason.)

Once they have risen. Bake at 350 for 25-28 minutes  Or until the are golden done. I then dump mine out & let cool outside the pan & baste a little butter on the top of the loaves to keep them soft.

Cut & enjoy!!

Once everything is cool, I usually pre-cut everything up & freeze 3-4 loaves depending how much the first loaf got devoured in the first hour because nothing is better than hot bread & fresh strawberry freezer jam.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Unit on Money Part #1

"I have to sleep in a box?" my 5 year old asked in partial surprise & a bit of excitement.

I had just gotten done explaining today's project dealing with money & that was the only thing my boy understood?

As mentioned earlier we are in the middle of reading the book Ragged Dick.  It is  the story of a 14 year old boot-black living on the Streets of a New York. In the beginning of the book Ragged Dick was sleeping in the streets in, you guessed it, a box.

I thought in the midst of our reading this would be a great time to introduce a unit on money to the boys. In the story Ragged Dick, Dick has to earn his own money & pay for everything.

 This was going to be our first unit on money & what better way to grasp the concept of the book & life than doing them same for my boys.

                   I evenly distributed 54 cents to each of my boys.

  Then we counted everything. I wanted to make sure my boys could count the money we had been given.

We discussed nickels, quarters, pennies & dimes. Then the boys took turns counting their money & showing their ability to tell me the value of each coin.

 Then it got interesting. I told them our plan for the day. "Just like Ragged Dick had to pay for everything in the story, today you will too."

 Hence the statement from my five year old about sleeping in a box.  I reassured him, he could pay for housing if he so desired & still sleep in his room.

 Now don't panic, my boys love sleeping outside & I am in an area where I don't have to worry to much about them if they do. So to them, sleeping outside in a box sounded way better than actually sleeping in their bedroom.

We tried to keep our prices similar to what Dick had to pay in the story:

  •       Snacks would be 3 cents. 
  •  Meals 5 cents/meal. 
  • A bed with a roof over it 10 cents a day. 
  • Any entertainment would be 5 cents/half hour. 

    I was initially worried how this would go over, but they were excited!!

   They immediately realized the need to budget out their $$ for the entire day. I didn't suggest this at all. They just thought about their plan for the day & decided they better write down the cost of things & the best use of their money. I was surprised at this suggestion, but proud that they would think about it.

  They paid for breakfast & we began our day. They did ask for a few chores in which to earn a few extra pennies, but no one got paid more than 7 cents for their day labors.

By mid-day they had all paid for at least one snack.

Lunch came & they were eager to have to "pay" to eat.

Mid-afternoon was my hardest time. They all wanted to pay for snacks & some entertainment (Wild Kratts) at the exact same moment my baby was almost asleep for his nap. So one after another they would come in & trade $$ for food & entertainment & it took way to long for my grumpy baby to go to sleep.

By supper my 5 year old  had lost his money. His older brother, had carefully budgeted his & paid for his littler brother to eat supper.

 "Just like in the book mom, when Dick paid for his friend to eat." He remembered.

Shortly after supper my five year old had found his money again.

 At the end of the day they all still could pay for room & board. Some even had a few cents left.

But they still wanted to sleep in a box they told me as I had tucked them into their beds

 Determined, little boys, this was how a found them 40 minutes after bedtime.


Sleeping in boxes.

And that wraps up our 1st day talking about $$$.

It was a huge success & they loved it. We haven't done it again, but they continue to ask, so I imagine we will soon.

Warning:  If you decide to take upon yourself this awesome activity, be warned.  Your enthusiastic little boys will then go to around telling everyone how their mom makes them pay for their meals & sleep in boxes.

 But don't say I didn't warn you.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hand stitching . . .

I love being a mother.

 A full time, stay at home mother.

 Who homeschools.

 To 4 boys.

 If you know boys, you know how that goes.

 And I love it.

 But every now & then I need a break.

 To do something that I enjoy.

 I normally love to sew, but as we travel a lot, that isn't always feasible.

 So I hand embroidery.

 It is nice, it gives me a break even if it is only 5 minutes.

 Creating new things makes me happy. I have been doing handwork since I was little, so it also relaxes me.
  (this isn't the pattern I have, just an example)

I use these iron on transfers. I love them. They are only a couple of dollars & if you iron gently you can usually get 3 or 4 transfers from the same pattern. It is a great way of sharing.

My mom picked some up, ironed them & then gave them for me to use. Once I am done I will pass them along to one of my other sisters or someone that wants them.

I recently just finished my first one & am working on the other 6.

 There is a pattern for everyday of the week. I iron them on flour sacks cloths. They are light, & incredible durable & hold moisture amazing.

Then I use them, &  smile. I love the little details & designs on the cloths as I use them in everyday.

Like I said, hand stitching is incredibly relaxing for me. And it travels nicely.

So what do you do, to help relax you?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pasta Primavera

Here is a quick dish, that is yummy & requires only 5 ingredients.

Pasta Primavera

 1/2 box of thin Spaghetti
 1 bunch of Asparagus
 1 zucchini
  1 cup diced ham or prosciutto (or more or less according to your desires).
  Parmesan cheese.

 Boil your noodles until they reach your desired tenderness.

In a separate pan pour a little extra virgin olive oil & break up your asparagus. (If you snap asparagus, like you would a green bean, it will snap easily until you reach the woody part of the stem. Once it gets difficult to snap, throw that section away & your asparagus will always be delicious & you will never be stuck with the woody section again.).  Cut up your zucchini in small pieces & saute these vegetables until done.

Drain your pasta, & add to the pan on vegetables  Take 1-2 teaspoons of a Chicken Base or Bouillon & add just a 1/2 cup of water. Mix it up & then pour over your noodles & veggies. Mix up & let this cook into your noodles for a little extra flavor. Add ham & mix up. Once everything is hot & mixed. Put on plates & sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Its a light, delicious
 meal. That would yummy with hot garlic bread or even just a lone.

It is quick, easy & very kid friendly.

Bon Appetite!

Friday, April 12, 2013

It Works. . .

 "I just don't get how some marriages work."

Earlier this week, I was having a discussion on marriages. From outside looking in, I see a husband & wife happily married & how they each take on different roles in their home & I shake my head wondering how in the heck does that work for them.

Because the way they do things, wouldn't ever work in this home.

Then I imagine people looking at my own marriage & wondering the exact same same thing.

We will celebrate our 10th anniversary next month. I realize that isn't huge, but it certainly is longer than some. Not quite the 70th anniversary I have every intention in celebrating with my handsome hubby in 60 years, but we are getting there.

My own grandma was married 50+ years before the love of her life died from Cancer. They had a candy cane on their Christmas tree for every year they were married.

I loved that.

I love my marriage. I love how we are so different, but we have an great marriage.

My hubby doesn't do dishes or laundry. Never has, probably never will.

If it is stinky, nasty, dirty or heavy lifting, I don't do it.

There are certain things I consider "his job" & things that he considers "my job".

Don't get me wrong we still help each other out.

In the middle of this discussion I thought of 2 songs  I love.

Now you can hear them too.

"Love Like Crazy" by Lee Brice

"It Works"  by Alabama.

And as I play these songs over today, I think how  we make our marriage work.

And I cannot imagine my life without my husband.  at my side.

I don't need to know how other marriages work, just how to make mine be wonderful.

And it is.

Like the 1 hour & 45 minute conversation we had at 3 a.m. because my husband woke up & couldn't go back to sleep last night.

As I was contemplating how others make it work & my dear friend told me how things in our marriage would not  "work" in her house. We both smiled.

Blessed to be married to the men we are. Blessed to have the marriages we do. 

My life is so much better because of it & I can't wait to see what the next 60 years will hold.

So take time today to go on a hot date with your spouse, or snuggle a little more, send him a love note.

Or do whatever you do to make yours work.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Conference Gifts

Every year I intend to do something for the ladies I go visiting teaching to for General Conference.

In past years it hasn't happened.

Until this year.

I found these at SAMs club. They were cute & extremely discounted. I knew the minute I saw them exactly what I wanted to use them for.

The bottom ones say, "Don't let your weekend ROLL by without taking time to listen to the prophets voice."

The top one is a thank you for a lady that covered nursery for me at the last minute.

It says, "Thank you for helping me out of that sticky situation."

They took it less than 20 minutes to put together. The more I thought of sayings, the more I decided you can use gumballs for myriad of little gifts.

Now I kind of wish I would have picked up a few more.

- Tiffany

Thursday, April 4, 2013

It's Monumental

I have so many blog posts in head. There are things I want to write about, but not today.

Today is Monumental!!!

Today is the 1st day we bring our lambs to spring range.

My first time ever. There will never be another day like this ever.

There will be a lot similar.

But there is only one 1st.

My sheep are branded, with our brand.

It's almost like Christmas. Okay maybe not. But still exciting!!!!

I will take pictures. A lot of pictures.

We missed loading this morning, so we arrived early at range.

We are waiting for the semi's trailers loaded with our sheep.

So we are chilling.

And exploring.

And waiting for the sound of rumbling trucks.

Yes, it a monumental day.

- Tiffany

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Fresh Air & Sunshine

Yesterday we took a break & headed outside. Not because we hardly ever get outside, just the opposite, but yesterday most of our day had been indoors.

I was feeling crowded.

I also had been working on stuff all afternoon & felt like I needed to give a little more undivided attention to my kids.

So we headed to a park.

We spend so much time outdoors, we don't actually frequent parks very often.

So this was a treat to my boys.

And boy do they love parks.

To practice more of their climbing skills.

And "surfing" skills.

It so fun to watch them, & push them on the swing.

To hear their laughter, & an occasional, "Watch this!"

Even my baby discovered a love of soft sand.

And exploring every inch of it.

It was an enjoyable, but quick hour.

We came home calmer, nicer, & feeling a little more connected.

It's amazing what a little fresh air & sunshine can do for the soul.

- Tiffany

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

March Goals Follow-up

 So March went by way to fast, but it went great. Last month I decided to try something new & make goals for the month of March. You can read more about it here.

 So how did it go? It went fairly well, but as always there is room for some improvement. 

Goal #1. Was to take better care of myself.  
    I took a little more time for myself, I sewed more. I watched more carefully what I was eating  & tried to move a little more. I tried to enjoy time more. I tried to say no on things instead of stretching myself to thin. 

Goal #2, Was to try to be better of , "Make it up, wear it out, make it do or go without." To heart this month

          Here are some frugal things I did this month:
  • Made Cookies, instead of bought them.
  • Fixed  the zipper on one sleeping bag & patched holes in another.
  • Vacuumed out my car at home instead of a car wash.
  • Made Bread.
  • Stayed home from 2 different trips, & had my husband go alone, instead of taking the whole family. This was hard to do, because I really wanted to go, but I knew if we all went more $$ would have been spent.
  • Touched up paint & patched some whole in walls myself
  • Worked on making a quilt with material I already had on hand.
  • I put 5 items back on almost every trip at the store. (I learned this trick awhile ago, but haven't used it for awhile.) Right before going up to the checkout. I would go through my cart & choose 5 items to put away. Usually they were impulse buys on things I wanted or didn't need. I would say this saved me an average of $10-20 dollars each trip.
  • Rented movies on Netflix for free with the promo codes Breakroom & DVDONME. They go buy credit card, so I could use the same codes different times with a different bank accounts.
  • Bought new long T-shirt & tank tops at a local thrift shop (same brand name) instead of the department store.
  • When we did eat out we split an adult entree into thirds & bagged getting my kids each a separate kiddie meal.
  • Butchered our pigs & filled our freezer with pork.
  • I stopped my garbage service for the few weeks I wasn't in town. 
  • I have have been reading these 2 blogs a lot. The Prudent Homemaker & Blissful & Domestic.  Trying to get more ideas on how to be more frugal.
So there are some ideas. The more I thought about this & studied it the more I want to learn more about frugality.

As for Goal #3 of learning more Spanish. 
   I have been studying the Book of Mormon in Spanish  & practicing more vocab.
  After a month of this I am understanding more. Not everything just more. However I still really struggle when it comes to forming the words into my head of what I need to relate to the herders. So this one I will just have to keep at it. 

So there you have it. My follow-up on March. How did your March goals go?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Month Menu for April

 I am going to try something different this month. We will see how it goes. Instead of doing my normal Menu Monday, I decided for to plan out my entire month of April menu. (Right now this excludes lunches, I will work on that one later this week, because as most of you know I cook lunch as well).
      I am also going to try to do 75% of my shopping at the 1st of this month. We drink about 6-8 gallons of milk a week, so fresh produce & milk I am going to buy at the 1st of each week. I just don't have freezer space for that much milk right now.

For breakfast we will just rotate between these ideas throughout the month.


  •   Oatmeal
  • Waffles
  • Rancho juevos
  • Muffins/Fruit
  • Bacon & Eggs
  • Bagels
  • Sticky Rolls
  • Cream egg on Toast
  • French Toast
  • Biscuits & gravy
  • Pancakes
1.Steak & Baked Potato
2 Turkey Noodle Soup
3 Carnitas
4 Spaghetti & Breadsticks
5 Pork Enchiladas
6 Blue Chicken
7 Ham & Mashed Potatoes
8 Italian Chicken
9 Ham & Bean Soup
10 Pasta Primavera
11 Pizza
12 Mexican Chicken Casserole
13 Out of Town (Baptism)
14 Roast & Potatoes
15 Crockpot Orange Chicken
16 Santa Fe Pork Packets
17 Parmesean Tilipia
18 Enchilada Pie
19 Porcupine Meatballs
20 Beef & Broccoli
21 Out of Town ( Baby Blessing)
22 Chicken Cordon Bleu
23 Little meatloaves
24 Alfredo
25 Navajo Tacos
26 Pork Chops w/ maple glaze
27 Hawaiian Haystacks
28 Beef Noodles
29 Crockpot Captain Chicken 
30 Potato, Rice, Hamburger, Carrot Casserole

So there you have it. Aprils Menu. I know that almost everything is different & for shopping some of you may think that it means buying a whole lot of different ingredients. But if you look closer. One week we may have Mexican Chicken Casserole, the next week it is Enchilada pie. The main ingredients are almost identical, the sauce & meat are about the only thing that changes. The same for the different pasta  we will eat. One week it will be spaghetti the next week it is Beef noodles. Also  if you see anything you are curious about, or interested in a recipe let me know & I can get one to you!

So there you have it. Now I just need to figure out when to go shopping.  I am hoping that less trips to the store mean more money saved. I will let you know how it goes.

So what are you eating this month?