Thursday, April 30, 2009

More signs of Spring/Summer

Ahhhhhh, the weather is getting warmer and we all want to be outside.

Here are some more signs of warmer weather...

1. Greg is barbequing alot. We have 2 grills and a smoker and they are working. I've already typed about how awesome the ribs were but last weekend he smoked a pork shoulder that was the best I have ever had! It was wonderful! That was dinner on Sat. night, lunch on Sunday and lunch on Monday. The rest was split up into 2 freezer packages for dinners later on. Super yummy! Last night he cooked pork chops (can ya tell we are on a pork kick?). So yummy! The grocery store has had some good "managers specials" on meat and we were able to stock up.

2. The garden is green and growing. Our corn stalks are about 3 inches tall. We have basil and bell peppers coming up. 2 tomato plants were planted in containers and they are thriving. The 2 square foot garden boxes of green beans are loaded with plants mostly about 6 inches tall. the blueberry bushes are growing and we have lots of little berries on them.

3. We bought 12 pounds of strawberries the other day to make into jelly. By the way, 12 lbs. of berries will make about 42 half pint jars of jelly. Will claims that will only last him a month. The berries are cleaned and pureed and frozen waiting for our canner to be delivered. Greg ordered us a pressure canner and it was shipped yesterday. We won't need to use the pressure for the jelly just a water bath to can it, but we will need the pressure canner for the green beans and squash and stuff like that. I would like to try making our own salsa and sweet pickle relish. We will have to see how ambitious we get. Our next preserving class is in 2 weeks and its on canning.

4. We are nearing the end of some of our school books. Katie will finish Algebra 2 today!!!!! Her average for the class is 96! Very good! She is going to do economics next and then Geometry in the fall. Amy and Will will be starting Pre-Algebra in the fall. We are investing in the Teaching Textbooks curriculum for all 3 kids. They can teach and explain everything and keep up with the grades...I will supply good lighting, a computer, notebooks, scratch paper and plenty of sharpened pencils. Yesterday was sign up for fall co-op classes for the next school year. Amy and Will are taking Physical Science and Beautiful Feet Geography. Katie will be taking Exploring American History. Hers will count for 3 grades since it covers history, bible and literature. We will be stimulating the Homeschool curriculum economy with our tax refund check when it comes.

5. Amy asks everyday to go swimming. She and Will went last Sat. and loved it. Granny bought Will a floating pool basketball game and they had fun with that. Today it looks like rain so I think swimming is out till the weekend.

6. The farm stands are opening in the area with some great produce. Also, the wheat order form came so we have to figure out what we will need for the next year...the order is once a year.
More economy stimulating going on.

Miss Katie will go back to the dr. on Tuesday, next week. We will go to the hospital first for x-rays and then to the surgeon. She has been exercising her foot everynight. She can move it up and down, sideways, and a slight circular rotation. Hopefully this progress will be enough so that we don't have to do rehab.

Thats all for now! Hope everyone has a great Spring Day! Gotta go do laundry!!!!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Friday Fill In Withdrawals

I guess my sis is really really tired. She left us all wanting some fill ins. Rest up Bri!

The Confederate Memorial Day Weekend is apon us. Everyone stand up, put your hand across your heart, Face South and sing Dixie!

Come on, like you mean it! Samantha, I can't hear you. Sing it girl friend!

Ok, now on to the bar b que plans for the weekend. Today, we set up the smoker. pictures were taken, they will come later. We smoked a shoulder and a ham. The ham was already cooked, I just threw it in to give it some smoke flavor. Left it on too long, and now it tastes like bar b que. I hate that (he he). The shoulder is going for a four hour ride in the hickory apple juice smoke. I put my fish cooker on as low as I could get it. The smoker fit perfectly right on top of it. Threw some hickory chunks in. Put a cup of apple juice in a pan under the meat and went to smokin'. After 3 hours I turned the gas off and now the chunks of hickory are still smoking away and going from char to ash. I am leaving the shoulder right where it is. I never turned it or nothing. I did prepare it yesterday with a dry rub and some garlic juice in a zip lock bag in the fridge. But that was all. We are trying the keep it simple recipe.

I will let you know how it turned out. If my fingers aren't too sticky!

Today is the first day of summer. Amy and Will christened the pool for the year. It is too cold for those of us with brains and responsibilities to get it. I put my feet in till the blood quit flowing.

Hey, GREAT NEWS. There is a dunkin donut open in Pearl now. WE Have ARIVED!!!! I do like the dd coffee. Today we all had breakfast for $9. That was a treat! It costs $25 for us all to go to waffle house. $40 to go to Craker Barrel. (mom's fave)

We got two of our garden boxes filled in with dirt. I got japalino's in one of them. Eddie and I are going to smoke some cheese filled fresh japalinos this summer. Maybe use some gouda cheese and some pecan wood for the smoke. Are you kidding me. That would make you stand up and cry for momma!

Donna got two of her tomoatoes planted. Will Amy and I got two leland cypress planted outside of our fence. We are preparing our yard to keep our nosey neihbors at bay. Donna wants to wrap the entire yard in them. Works for me.

You all have a great weekend! Remember Robert E. Lee and General Thomas Jackson! I am sure that we are related to both of them somehow! Just has to be. O' I wish I was in the land of cotton. Ol' times there are not forgotten. Look Away! Look Away! Look Away! Dixie Land!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Beautiful Day

It is a beautiful spring day in Mississippi. The sun is shining, slight breeze blowing and the temp is 73 degrees.

Our Monday wash is hanging on the clothesline. The warm weather and breeze can dry it for us today. School was mostly finished by noon. Lunch was yummy peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches on homemade bread.

Katie, Amy and I took a jelly making class on Friday at our county extension office and we made the strawberry jelly. I really like this jelly and I do not like strawberries! Go figure. We also made Hot Pepper Jelly. Both were easy to make and delicious to eat. Since it is now strawberry season, I see more jelly in our immediate future.

Greg has decided to be an expert Rib cooker (or smoker). Saturday, he cooked us ribs for dinner and they were wonderfully yummy. I am not sure how he can improve on his first try, but as long as he cooks the dinner, I won't argue. Last night, he grilled hamburgers for us.

Over the weekend we also went and bought some more plants for the "homestead". We bought another blueberry bush to got with the 3 we already planted. All 4 are full of berries (can you say blueberry jelly and blueberry muffins?). We bought a hydrangea for the front courtyard. 3 Big Boy Tomato plants and 3 cherry tomato plants. 3 jalapeno pepper plants. The green beans are popping up from the seeds I planted. Last week, Amy and I planted squash, corn, sunflower, tomato, oregano, nasturtium, okra and thyme seeds. Greg built us 2 more "square foot gardening boxes" to expand our garden. Katie and Amy's peach trees have 2 peaches on them. They are thrilled. My roses are blooming and our little butterfly flowers have bloomed (can't remember their name). So far, it looks like everything we planted or transplanted last year has come back. I don't know about the impatiens yet cause its too early for them. I thought my wisteria was history, but it is now bushy and has little tendrils looking for a hold on our back fence. I would love for the fence to be covered with the wisteria vine.

Have a great week!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Easter Sunday was so special. We had yummy cinnamon rolls and orange rolls for breakfast...the birthday girl got up and cooked for us. After breakfast we went to church with Mom. I got to see some "gals" that I grew up with and hadn't seen for years.

Then home to Mom's for Easter lunch with family. Yummy ham, potato salad, green beans, deviled eggs, pineapple casserole & rolls. That Sister Schubert can really cook and freeze some bread...she has contributed to many of our holiday dinners.

Next was the huge Easter Egg hunt. Our hunters this year were Will, Amy, Ben, Bethany, and Bobby. The hiders were me, Greg, Katie, Brenda, and Billy. It takes about 15 minutes for 5 kids to find over 200 eggs. Moms lawn service will find the eggs that the kids left behind. Katie decorated her air cast with lollipops for the kids to "find". It looked like a lollipop tree at the fair.

We had a great day, ate way too much food and candy.

But, all the food, family time and fun is not the real reason for the day.

I am so thankful and grateful to the Lord Jesus Christ for his sacrifice for us. Because of his love for us, we can have eternal life with him.

Amy is 13

Happy #13 Amy Lynn! Amy is very enthusiastic about pretty much everything. Her passion for life is exhausting to her Mom! She loves ballet, American Girl dolls and clothes, Build a Bear stuffed animals, jumping on the trampoline, swimming, cooking and crafts. She loves playing with her cousins. Shopping with Granny is definately a favorite activity. She is my most excited child every Christmas. She is a chocoholic, the only chocolate she turns down has nuts in it.

Since we were in GA for Easter and Amy's birthday, she got to use the official birthday candle...see how short it is? We lit the candle, quickly sang the birthday song and she blew it out...its gotta last many more birthdays.

Her "cake" we found on the Pillsbury website. It was so easy to make. I love it when something we try turns out like the original picture. The base is a sugar cookie. After you bake it, you top with marshmellows, m & m's and pastel jelly beans. Personally, I would leave off the jelly beans next time and add extra m & m's (jelly beans are pretty chewy).

See what Amy got for her birthday! Just what every 13 year old needs.....NOT. this is my cousins car and all the kids took a turn "driving".

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fun at Granny's

OK, it is now late Saturday afternoon and since Wed. I have managed to go to JoAnn's 3 times. Yep, I've had my fix now. I really need a JoAnn's in Miss. but there isn't one. Its very sad.

Wed. night after Mom's birthday dinner, Ben, Bethany and Bobby spent the night with us. I had really forgotten what goofy conversations you can have with a 3 year old. Here are 2 of them.

Bobby: What is wrong with Katie
Me: She hurt her foot
Bobby: You mean her ankle
Me: Yes
Bobby: Let's just cut off her leg and then her foot won't hurt anymore (guess this was logical to him)

Katie went to the "indoor plumbing room"
Bobby: Where is she going
Me: to the bathroom
Bobby: Why did she close the door
Me: For privacy
Bobby: Is she going p---
Me: I don't know, she wants privacy
Bobby: Well, I don't want to see her p---
Me: She doesn't want you in there
Bobby: I only look at my p--- Then he went into a dialogue about colors.
Me: Lets change the subject.

We played outside for awhile and then Brenda came to get them. Will went home with them to spend the night and play with Ben.

Amy went to her friend Katie's house to spend then night with her and with MacKenzie (her very best GA friends since they were all 3 years old) Those nutty girls stayed up till after 5 am. And then only slept for about 3 hours. Ahhhhhh, to be young again!

After we picked up Amy and Will, we went to Mall of GA. The wheel chair came in very handy cause that place is huge. By the time we ate lunch at Chick Fil A, I was on sensory overload. The food court was soooooo loud. We were all ready to leave.

Greg and I had a date last night and went to Red Robin to eat. We had never been there before so it was a good place to try. Greg loved the onion rings, they were his favorite part of the dinner. We personally think that the burgers are better at Backyard Burger. The prices were pretty steep for us too. The 5 of us ate at Backyard Burger for $28, the 2 of us ate at Red Robin for $23. Don't think we will be repeating that anytime soon. There is another place here in GA that we like to eat a burger...5 Guys Burgers and Fries. Yummy! Don't remember the prices to compare, but they cook an awesome burger.

We are going to Mom's church in the morning for Easter service. This is the church I grew up in. Then my family will come over for a big Ham dinner and easter egg hunt.

I hope you all have a wonderful, blessed Resurrection Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

GA for spring break visit

Tuesday morning, Katie and I were at the surgeon's office bright and early...9AM, for staple removal. The dr's assistant (David) removed the 21 staples. The staples coming out didn't hurt but him touching the bruising on her foot and ankle did. The prognosis now is that the foot still cannot touch the ground for the next 4 weeks. Then more x-rays and a visit to the surgeon again. Then limited foot use for 6 weeks after that and then more x-rays and another dr. visit. After that, she may be able to walk with full weight on her foot.

She can remove the air cast a couple of times a day and exercise her foot and wiggle her toes. But then it goes back on.

Since we have about 10 weeks of not using the foot, we decided to invest in a wheel chair. She can walk great with the crutches, but not for very far. Instead of running in and out of a store and looking for their wheel chairs, we bought one at Harbor Freight (They sell almost everything). Katie thanked Dad for buying her one and she and Amy took off when we got to JoAnn's to do their own shopping and looking.

Yep, I've been to JoAnn's once (yesterday) and I am going back today. Yesterday, we bought the girls stuff for their quilting class and I bought some material to learn how to hand quilt also. Today, I am going back to get some stuff for the girls that I saw yesterday and want to put up for Christmas. I really like the fact that JoAnn's is 5 minutes away from Mom's house.

Last night we went out to eat with my sis and her family and my cousin Buzz for Mom's 70th birthday. We went to Macaroni Grill and had a yummy dinner. Mom got serenaded in Italian for her birthday dessert. Then back to the house for cake. Ben, Bethany and Bobby spent the night over here, to play with Will, Amy and Katie.

Gotta go...time to go to JoAnn's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

fixing the Economy

I got an email with the following article....this guy in Florida has figured it out!

Subject: Recession Cure!
This was an article from the St. Petersburg Times Newspaper.
The Business Section asked readers for ideas on "How Would You Fix the
Economy?" I think this guy nailed it!
Dear Mr. President,
Patriotic retirement:
There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force - Pay them
$1 million apiece severance with the following stipulations:
1) They leave their jobs. Forty million job openings - Unemployment
2) They buy NEW American cars. Forty million cars ordered - Auto
Industry fixed.
3) They either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis
fixed. It can't get any easier than that!
P.S. - If more money is needed, have everyone on Capitol Hill pay their

Sounds like it would work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The weekend

Boy, Friday was a long time ago...

Saturday, Greg and I and the kiddies ran some errands and ate lunch at Backyard Burger, super yummy. I went to Penneys and exchanged a shirt. We went to Lowe's and bought 2 leyland cypress trees and 2 peach trees and a bunch of mulch. The peach trees are planted but the cypress are going to live in their plastic buckets till we get back from Georgia. I also planted 2 of my square foot gardening containers with green beans. We went to Hobby Lobby and bought some stuff and then went home to work outside.

Sunday was our morning to bring breakfast to Sunday School and then Greg did the power point for the 2nd service. He and I went back to Penneys and I got a skirt and top (for Easter) and 2 pairs of capri pants....yeah, Mom has something new to wear. Last night we ate popcorn shrimp (Seapak frozen shrimp), tater tots and cole slaw. (Hey Sabrina, take your moms dressing for the broccoli salad and put it over the bagged cole slaw and let it sit an hour or so, that is very yummy. Close to KFC) We were all set to watch Amazing Race when what to our wondering eyes should appear, the country music awards. So we ended up watching food network challenges and Iron Chef. So cakes and chocolate, did make for some sweet dreams.

This morning started the girls new Quilting Class with our 4H group. I think there were 9 girls. they all had fun and really got some work done. They are hand quilting a small piece (maybe 14" x 18") to make either a doll quilt or something similar. Then they are making a pillow top from fabric yo yo's. We had been taking a sewing class from another lady but her classes were more off then on. She has since moved to help her daughter and we now have 3 unfinished projects and no directions for finishing them. That was very frustrating. Anyway, they have a different class now and hopefully will be great. The new girl wants them to work and accomplish stuff, not get discouraged and want to give up. When you only have a class once a month, it takes forever for a project to be completed.

Tomorrow will be a very busy day....9 am will find Katie and I at the dr. for staple removal. 1:30 will find Greg and I at the dr. for him to have a small mole removed. Then the 5 of us are hitting the road and driving to GA. Mom's birthday is Wed. and Amy's is Easter Sunday. We will get to visit friends, go to JoAnns, see family, go to JoAnn's, celebrate Easter, and go to JoAnn's (got alot of coupons).

We are almost packed. Well, the kids are packed and I am not. Gotta get the laundry done first!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Something that amazed me

Let me start this post by saying...I love to go out to eat. I like to go to a restaurant, be seated, have someone wait on me, serve me dinner and then clean up. I just get to sit there and eat and enjoy the company (preferrably my dear hubbie).

But I overheard something the other night that amazed me...I was sitting outside the youth room at the church waiting on the kids. A man and a lady were talking about dinner at home and eating out. In the conversation the guy said, that at his house they went out to eat 3-4 times a week, every week. It was cheaper to go out to eat than to buy everything and cook and eat at home...WHAT? And the lady agreed with him and said thats what they did at her house too. It is so much cheaper to eat at home than out. His wife and her husband have been deceived about the price of groceries, if they are buying those fabrications of the truth. When I was telling Greg about the conversation his comments were...if they have to go buy the stove and pots and pans and every spice before they can even begin, then yeah, its cheaper to go out to eat.

He has decided to keep up with how many folks we feed at each meal for the next month. Whether at home or out to eat and compare. Now, since we have a grocery budget and a going out to eat budget, this should be relatively simple.

Last night, I fixed spaghetti and garlic bread and iced tea. It cost about $7 for this dinner, this includes the cost of my organic tomato sauce and organic Trader Joes spaghetti noodles. We fed the 5 of us plus Allen and a friend of his. So, about $1 a person. I also had 4 lunch size containers of leftovers to freeze and Greg took spaghetti and garlic bread for lunch today. Compare that to a spaghetti dinner least $8 per person and add the cost of the tea. Which is cheaper?

I was just amazed at the justification of going out to eat. I don't need an excuse to go and I don't need to make excuses about why we go out to eat. Everyone is different and every household operates differently. Reading some blogs, I know some people never go out to eat. That is not for me. And many people go out many times a week, haven't figured out how they can afford that every month. Especially for a family.

To me, eating out frequently makes a whole lot more sense for a single person or a single-again person (I really hate that W---w word). Making an entire balanced meal everynight for just one person would make me want to eat out more often. Yes, it would be cheaper to eat at home, but if you are in that situation, you just may need to be around people. It can be lonely to sit at home by yourself, night after night.

I love to cook and feed my family. I am one of those weird folks, who likes to grocery shop. I love finding bargains and stretching the food budget. I like knowing that the food my family eats is nutritious and yummy. I like teaching my children how to cook. I love to try new recipes (especially if they turn out really good). I love to open my cabinets, freezer and refrigerator and seeing them full of great ingredients for our meals.

On the other hand, I love to go out. My favorite meal to eat out is breakfast. Super yummy! IHOP & Cracker Barrel are my breakfast restaurants of choice (as long as the eggs aren't runny). Unfortunately (or fortunately), neither are close to our house. So, going there is a real treat!

OK, enough rambling about food...I am getting hungry!

I saw Greg has been playing with the blog...did you notice the Countdown to Retirement box. Do ya think he is getting excited?