Roses

Do you have roses?  We have several rose bushes that we have to cover in the fall before the frost or they will freeze. We then uncover them in the spring. Anyhow here are a few tips on roses.

  •  Grow in full sun.
  •  Moderately moist soil.
  •   Fertilize monthly with a balanced garden fertilizer.
  •   Can use a rose spray  every two weeks in hot weather.

Instructions for cut roses:

  •  Fill your sink with water.
  •   Give each rose stem a fresh cut underwater.
  •   Put each rose immediately into a vase of water.

Did you know?

  •  Roses form an air pocket when cut out water.
  •  Air pockets prevent roses from sucking water up their stems.
  •  A healthy rose head will droop if it has an air pocket in it’s stem.roses-flower-nature-macro-63638.jpeg

 

 

 

 

Baskets….Containers…and More

We all need to be better organized. There are so many areas of our home that could use a facelift in the way of organization.  It is so easy to accumulate stuff but if we don’t purge and reorganize our homes, our homes become a mess of clutter. I know myself that I have a long way to go even in our home….and this is quite a large feat with so many little ones running around. I admit that I cannot keep my house as clean as I would like it to be! It seems that I just get one room cleaned or organize one small space in our home only to find that after a very short time (ahem, and I mean short time) that space is no longer clean like it was. Will keep on trying though won’t we! 😀

Now when it comes to organization I just love to use baskets. Baskets are easy to come by. You can get them pretty cheaply at garage sales, thrift stores, or even dollar stores. What I love about baskets is that they come in different sizes, colors, shapes, you name it.  Some baskets are made of wood, some of plastic, others out of colored paper, or if you are really frugal even a cardboard box that you fixed up!

What you put in those baskets is totally up to your imagination!!! Anything from smaller household items, baby things, cleaning supplies, spices, etc.

So what I thought I would do is share some of the ways that I organize some of our stuff in baskets……(some of them I guess you would really consider them a basket, just a container, but I thought I would share them anyway.)

IN THE KITCHEN:

spices

extracts and others

cleaning scrubber dish thingy

Here we store most of our spices, everything from salt, pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, italian seasoning, etc. Not sure where I got the wicker basket but the black container was an old hair clipper box.  It came in handy for all the little bags of spices we get at our natural food store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here we have a small red basket which I got at a garage sale, probably for fifty cents. In it we keep all of our food extracts, cornstarch, meringue powder, agave syrup and a couple of vitamins that we sometimes add into our smoothies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This picture is just a small wire basket that we keep all of our scrub brushes, scrapers, and sink plugs in at the kitchen sink. This was a one dollar purchase at a nearby thrift store.

 

 

 

 

 

IN THE BATHROOM:

cloths and toilet paper

 

In one of our bathrooms under the sink we have a black basket for toilet paper, got that one at the dollar store. (They have some really great storage items and for a good price!) The brown basket seemed the perfect size for our wash cloths and the basket in the back is for storing personal items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hair stuff in plastic drawers and plastic bucket

My daughters and myself have fairly long hair and so we needed a place to put our hair stuff. The three compartment drawer holds all the small ponytails, bows, hair clips that my daughters use and that came from Wal-Mart many, many years ago. (We don’t shop at Walmart anymore.) The plastic container (I think it was a garage sale, I have forgotten) holds all of my hair bands and ponytails, bobby pins, etc.

 

 

 

 

BABY ITEMS:

baby basket

 

This little white basket has been used for many things…First I used it as a diaper/wet wipe basket for our sixth child….then after she grew out of that, I used it for a snack basket. Now it is back to a diaper/wet wipe, extra clothes, diaper rash cream for our seventh baby. It is just the perfect size for diapers and stuff and is handy to carry around from room to room if needed. (My other kids are really good and going to get the basket when Mama asks for it!)  I think this one came from Wal-Mart as well.

 

 

baby food basket

Our seventh child is now eating solid food besides bottle feeding. I originally bought this basket for all the baby soaps and samples we originally received in the mail. It is now used to store bottles, baby jars of food, her spoons, etc. I got this one at Aldi’s during one of their special items of the week. We have another just like it on our change table and I store the baby monitors in it. I think these were four dollars, but my mama brain can’t remember the exact amount.

IN OUR GIRLS ROOM:

Shoes in used flower container

two year old basket

Our girls have a few pair of shoes and one day finding the basket that they were using to be too small, I moved their shoes into this container. This was from a garage sale. It has a lid and we have used it for toys, doll items, etc. It makes for a good chair too in their room with its lid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The basket that once held shoes is now for our two-year old’s underwear, socks, and tights. We put it in a convenient place for her to be able to grab what she needs as she has only been potty trained for about four months. This basket came from Wal-Mart and is made of canvas. It has a little clear pocket in the front if you want to put a label.

corking material

 

The other canvas basket contains my daughter and my corking yarn and needles. We have made a few corking projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLEANING:

 

cleaners

This black basket came from a garage sale for a dollar. I think it once came from a salon shop. I store some cleaning products in it under our kitchen sink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS:

socks

We all have socks and we all have those socks that seem to lose their pair when they go through the wash and dryer. I don’t know if any of you do this but I have a basket for missing socks. If its matching pair shows up later at least I have the other one saved. After many months if that missing sock never shows up that one sock goes to the trash. This is something that I remember my own mother doing. This basket probably came from a garage sale or thrift store.

 

 

 

 

SCHOOL:

 

kids school books

 

These baskets came from the dollar store about three-years ago. I bought it for the three kids that are in school. A different color for each kid. They keep their school books, notebooks and binder in these baskets. They have handles and at one time I had their names on labels in the front but they came off  or should I say someone ripped them off. They were just paper. I should have laminated them. 😦

 

 

 

 

AND THE LAST ONE:

essential oils

This is not really a basket but like I said before you can even use a cardboard box. You can cover it or like I did just use it the way it is. This little box was from some natural company and I like the way it looked so I just sticked a laminated label on it and put our little bottles of essential oils in it. It seemed the perfect size for the amount we have so far. I enjoy using essential oils for quite a few things and I will share you with another post on what I like to do with them.

So those are some of the containers or baskets we use around the house and as I sit here typing I begin to think about all the other containers I haven’t shared with you that we use around the house.

We have some great plastic containers to store some of our dry goods, like our gluten-free flours, noodles, raisins, sugars, oats, etc. We have containers for our vitamins, herbal supplements, medicines in our hall closet. We have some larger baskets that we store garbage bags, extension cords, and miscellaneous items for around the house. I could probably find more if I were to walk around the house, but I also know that I could maybe better organize things around the home, but like I said before it takes time.  We just have to do what we can!

WOULD LOVE TO HEAR HOW YOU ORGANIZE THINGS IN YOUR HOME? HOW DO YOU STORE YOUR STUFF?

 

 

 

 

 

Tuna cakes

IMG_20180202_191751We can all get tired of the same old boring tuna sandwiches or we need a meatless meal. Or if like most tuna is a frugal item you most always have in your pantry. I am all about simple and easy when you are raising a growing family. Tuna is not only economical but also easy on the budget. That’s where tuna cakes come into play. You can pretty add whatever vegetables suit your family and whatever seasonings/dressings you desire. Be creative!

 

TUNA CAKES (larger recipe)

4 cans of tuna, drained-we use white albacore

2 eggs

1 cup of green relish or dill pickles

1 cup of chopped celery

1/2 onion chopped

1 cup of mayo and or sour cream

Salt and pepper

1-2 cups of bread crumbs-we used gluten free

Open tuna and drain cans. Put into large bowl. Add eggs, relish, celery, onions, mayo, breadcrumbs, and seasonings. Mix well and form into patties. Fry in frying ppan sprayed with olive oil until both sides are browned. Serve hot. Tastes really good with a garlic aoili sauce!!

 

 

Our Story Part 2

We were naive, newly married, adjusting, but always praying for God to help us to be resolved. There was so much more to come…so much more love to follow!

Continued from OUR STORY PART 1

Fast forward to January 2007, I took a rather nervous trip on an airplane (first time flying and first time being separated from my husband for the first time since we were married)  to go visit my parents for a week.  I would then meet my husband the following week in Vancouver at the airport so we could go to the counselet office for my visa.

What an adventure that was! Vancouver, British Columbia was fun, full of ice and snow, and surprises. The best site ever was when I my eyes saw my husband at the airport! I had such a hard time being separated from him and to this day we have never been separated for long periods of time.  With a few bumps along the way in Vancouver, after about three days, I got my visa and we got a flight back to Kansas. airplane with snow

We arrived in Kansas amidst a cold rough ice storm! Our car was in the airport parking lot and was covered with ice. I remember sitting there shivering in our coats as we waited for the layers of ice to melt off our car, so we could go to a nearby hotel.  We would go to our fairly new home in a couple of days (we had purchased a mobile home back in December 2006 and had just settled in before I had left).

March 2007 we found out the most exciting news! We were expecting again!!! I immediately went to the doctor after having lost the first one. The doctor decided to put me on progesterone pills since the miscarried baby had been really low. (For most of my babies I was on progesterone.  I will be writing another post on this subject someday, on the cons of such a decision and things I have learned along the way regarding  hormone replacement therapy. )   How exciting it was to think that we were going to have a baby! I had always wanted to be a mother and have a large family! Things went the usual way-fatigue, morning sickness, the most common of pregnancy symptoms.

But then at around 20 weeks, we were told something we didn’t at least suspect. We thought everything had been going just fine. Our baby had a blockage in his bladder. For now, it was okay but after so many weeks babies no longer urinate through the skin and that would mean,  he (we found out during that ultrasound),  would not be able to urinate properly. Crushing! We were then told their would be routinely ultrasounds to keep an eye on things.  By 34 weeks, things didn’t look so good for our little one, and it was decided that he would have to come early! At 36 weeks, after nearly a day and half  labor, our first-born son, came into this world.baby boy 1.jpg

I remember thinking for the two seconds that I held him, how small he was, how fragile he was, and that here we were : PARENTS! He was all ours, sent by God, into our care! Nurses were all around as they checked him over and sent him over to the NICU. He was immediately put in an incubator but was breathing just fine.  Two days later he was transported to the nearest children’s hospital, had surgery, and recovering time.  Here we would spend three grueling weeks, loving, protecting,  and worried sick about our newborn son as he recovered from his surgery. Once again were learning, we were adjusting…..

Several days later we learned that his kidney’s had been slightly damaged and that we would have to a careful eye over them as he would grow up. After three long weeks at the hospital (we were tired of hospitals, doctors, nurses by this time, even though they had helped our son) we were able to bring our son home.

February 2009, to our delight, a second son was born. Everything had gone by smoothly, no complications and a very healthy baby, which made for really happy parents. Our first son, was doing great health wise, and loved his new baby brother.

big-brother-clip-art-5.jpg

Time goes so fast and before you know it I was once again pregnant, with our third child. My second pregnancy had been progesterone pills, this one was progesterone pills and cream.  The months flew by and on October 19th, 2010 our first daughter was born. I still remember the day we found out we were having a girl via ultrasound a tear rolled down by cheek as I thought of our little girl.

Three months went by and she was a very happy and contented baby. Things however, did not go so well for this mama! I started to have pain in my side, pain which would come and go, and be worse with certain foods. The pain got worse and worse till finally we had to go to the E.R.  The doctor confirmed a gallbladder full of sludge. Several hours later he sent me to a bigger hospital for gallbladder surgery. (Once again, looking back, I wish I had changed my eating and health habits. I could have prevented a surgery, I could have prevented the problems I have today! But these are all life lessons that we can share with others!)

I had many rough weeks, surgery did not go well, but had to have another surgery due to complications from the first one. All the while my brave and steadfast husband was holding down the fort. He had gotten some help with the older ones and was trying so hard to take care of the newest one, while this mama got better. The baby had to be put on the bottle because of the drugs I was taking. My husband was there making sure she got fed, cleaned, warmed and loved, all the while keeping a loving eye on me.

Things did get better and before you know it was past experience, that we shall never forget. April 2012 brought about another baby boy, number four. God was definitely sending babies our way and we are so blessed that He has!

Number four was the biggest test of our love and trust in Him. About six weeks after giving birth, I got postpartum depression really bad!! At first we didn’t know what to do! Doctors were not helpful, told me I was crazy, put me on a lot of scary depression drugs, and practically helped to create the biggest nightmare in my life that I have every gone through!

It was only through the grace of God and many prayers that both my husband and I (and the kids too!) got through it all. So many women fall prey to the health system telling them that they need this drug and that drug or need psychiatric help. Now, I know there are some cases like that, but most of the time doctors don’t know what to do. It’s hormones. The woman’s body has had a lot of adjusting and changes after having a baby. She needs time to rest, relax and recover. If she isn’t harming anyone and doesn’t want to hurt anyone (herself and baby included) she just needs love, space, understanding, and compassion. Not stick her in some institution  and drug her up more, to make her even more messed up!

Post partum depression.jpg(My husband and I hope to share more experiences on this important subject on a later post as we would like to help as many families as we can on this not quite understood topic.)

June 2013, baby number five, came in a very unexpecting way. We had hoped to have a more natural birth (by this time we were exhausted by the whole medical system). But once again, we  were sent right back into it whether we liked it or not. Had gone to the birth center only to turn around and head to the hospital as there was a lot of bleeding. C-section was all I could here as nurses prepped me for a hospital stay.

Several hours later after waking up from anesthesia, and quite sore from an emergency C-section, I beheld our little boy! Once again, we were parents and we had come a long way since number one. We now were a happy and healthy family of seven (minus the c-section, of course!)   Our family was growing! Our love was spreading to five little blessings from God. We surely had been blessed! We had a nice house with an acreage (we had just moved into a larger home the week prior to having him), an income,  and each other! What more could we ask for………!

Family image

The road ahead had many more adventures!

 

To Be continued……..

 

Homeschooling Supplies

Homeschooling is a big feat! It is not easy and requires a lot of dedication and effort. Homeschooling is very flexible, however. Amidst the chaos of the day, house cleaning, meal planning/preparing meals, laundry, having babies, etc., sometimes homeschooling can get a bit behind, but if you are like most families homeschooling becomes a round the year job.

Sometimes I feel so bad that I haven’t spent as much time with one child as another child on a certain subject. But we have to all give ourselves some kind of grace as a growing family (having 7 kids, under the age of 10, in 11 years). We need to get our older children to help the younger one’s with their numbers and alphabet. If we are able to get a tutor, great! Even just implementing math in cooking with our kids will be a great way to teach them what they need to learn.

Now, when it comes to homeschooling we can never have enough school supplies. We never seem to have enough pens and pencils to go around. My kids are always loosing their erasers. (“Hey, mom have you seen the eraser?!” … When it is most likely right where it should be or other times somehow it managed to end up under the couch! LOL)  Scissors are quite popular with my older kids as they are constantly crafting up their own play things with paper and cardboard; anything from paper money to cardboard castles.

Notebooks are a common use in our home. Not only do we use them for school but also personal use from making grocery and to do lists, business plans, travel directions, etc.  Of course, you want to buy good quality products. This is where FIVESTAR.COM  comes to the rescue!!

FIVESTAR.COM sells top quality school supplies. Everything from notebooks, to binders, to folders. They have a great list of art supplies as well as school essentials. Their products give students the high-quality learning tools they need to succeed in the classroom.  FIVESTAR.COM helps busy people to organize their lives. They are a member of ACCO Brands  and have been helping individuals and business for over 150 years. They offer a product guarantee!

Five star school supplies

We all can use backpacks at sometime or another in our lives. We have used many a calendar in our home and it isn’t too late to purchase yours!  We surely could use a few more around the home. We could use a planner and we are always using binders in our home. We have binders for organization, gardening, cooking, school pages, religious topics, a couple of our boys have binders for art work. Binders are something we can all use. If we want our homes to run smoothly and efficiently our families need good quality products for their homes and for schooling. Like I said before homeschooling is not easy and what better way to make it run like clockwork than to invest in FIVESTAR.COM supplies today!

Gluten Free Flour Blend

 

All Purpose  Gluten Free Flour Blend Gluten Free

3 cups of white rice flour Gluten Free

3 cups of brown rice flour or oat flour

2 cups of potato starch

1 cup of tapioca starch

1 1/2 tablespoons xanthum gum

Whisk together in a large bowl and store in an airtight container. Use in place of all purpose flour in recipes.

You can  sub and experiment with flours. The important part is keeping these ratios. You could use all brown rice in the place of white rice and oat, or use a 50:50 mix of sorghum and millet, or a white rice/brown rice mix, etc. As long as you keep the flour/starch/xanthum gum ratios the same, the possibilities are endless. 🙂

Gluten Free Fruit Bread Recipe

Pumpkin bread         Yields: 3 or 4 loaves

Enjoy wonderful blueberry, apple, banana, or pumpkin bread with your family!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of blueberries (apple sauce, mashed bananas, pumpkin puree depending on what fruit bread you are making)

1/2 c. of oil

3 eggs

2 1/2 tsp of vanilla

1 c. of milk

2 1/2 tsp of baking soda

1 tsp of salt

1 1/2 c. white sugar

1 c brown sugar

3 1/2 c. gluten free flour blend (Find my blend here)

Instructions:

1.Combine your dry ingredients in one bowl and mix well.

2. Add your wet ingredients in another bowl and blend together.

3. Join your dry and wet ingredients together and mix till blended.

4. Fill your loaf pans 1/2 full with mixture.

5 Place filled loaf pans in preheated oven at 350 for 50 minutes. (Check with toothpick to see if loaf is done.)

Freezing Directions:

Let your loaves cool. Wrap with foil and place in gallon size freezer bags. Freeze for 2-3 months. Before use place in refrigerator  the night before needed.