Saturday, April 30, 2016

Quick Breakfast Ideas

Keeping breakfasts quick and simple is one way I save myself time and frustration on busy mornings. Many of these ideas are very adaptable to use whatever you have on hand or to change to your family's tastes and preferences. Many of these can be made ahead of time to keep mornings easier.

Here are some breakfast meals I incorporate into our routines:

  • Eggs, fruit, and toast 75% of our breakfasts include eggs and lots of them. I buy the 15 dozen boxes of eggs from Sam's Club.
  • Crock pot oatmeal cooks overnight-many different variations of this online
  • Breakfast casseroles I buy the 50# box of potatoes and shred my own hashbrowns in under three minutes with this powerful food processor. I make more than one casserole at a time so I can keep put one or two in my freezer for later. I get up to turn it on in the middle of the night if in the crock pot, or thaw it the day before and cook it in the oven first thing in the morning. Our family likes the Mexican version.
  • Hot ham and cheese sandwiches, or sausage patty and cheese, or egg, etc.
  • Breakfast tortilla pizzas many variations, quick if prep work is done the night before
  • Egg muffin cups 
  • Peanut butter on toast served with fresh fruit
  • Grits
  • Pumpkin or Sweet Potato pancakes/waffles precooked and ready to heat and serve
  • Fruit Smoothies with whey protein
  • Breakfast tortilla wraps roll up your favorite foods in a tortilla
  • Breakfast muffins cooked ahead of time makes it quick and easy
  • Yogurt with fruit (make your own in a crock pot or cooler far cheaper)
  • Sausage gravy over canned biscuits I admit this is not my idea of healthy, but we only make it a couple of times a year. This is super fast and easy for those hectic mornings when nothing has gone well, nothing is prepared ahead of time, and your time and patience are limited. I add 2 pounds of frozen pre-cooked Jimmy Dean Sausage to satisfy our children longer.
We cook bacon in cookie trays in the oven. It works great!

One thing our family really enjoys is having a "Big Breakfast." I make all of the traditional breakfast foods on Saturday. Sunday morning, we heat it up and invite everyone to come join us for a buffet style meal. The rest of the week, we finish up what is left over. I only mess up the kitchen once and we have a nice morning meal followed by very quick to serve meals later in the week. Our children request this quite often.

Note: A better sized slow cooker for a large family is a Nesco Classic Oven. This is similar to the one I use.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Goose Babysitting

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I have five sitting Toulouse geese with one gander. It was a surprise to me since I thought I had two ganders! This goose left to parent the goslings who are wandering around with the gander. She had four hatch. I've already sold two. The other sister geese took her five eggs into their nests so she could keep up with her toddlers with the gander!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Long Time Dream Come True

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When I was in my early 20s, I'd get the hatchery catalogs and dream of what I'd like to raise. Eventually, we moved to our farm. In 1995, I still couldn't afford the Sebastopol geese. Last year, I asked myself what was I waiting for? Bethany had just asked for swans, and we told her it was far too expensive for us to have them. (We'd have to put in a 1-2 acre pond and fence it for their safety.) I showed Bethany pictures and asked her if the Sebastopol were close enough. She said yes and was delighted by their curly feathers!

I sold off some extra birds to raise the money to buy three pair of them. I lost two of the goslings during a freak thing that happened in the brooder. I had no idea what genders we had left. Three female with one male, two pair, or three males with one female? I see now that we have two pair. Two geese are sitting on a clutch of eggs. The ganders are guarding over them. I wish I could include sound in this picture because it was very, very noisy!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sometimes Mom Gets Mothered!

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Years ago, prayed that if glass from something broken was on the floor for my feet to find it and not the children's. That was not a wise prayer. One, I had no idea how many children I'd have when I prayed that. Two, I had no idea how much stuff seven children would break! Three, I should have prayed the vacuum found it!

I had a tiny piece of glass in my foot for FIVE days. I could not get it out. I soaked my foot hoping the salt would pull it out, but it didn't. Amanda found out about the glass when I was limping. She ordered me to, "Sit! Then, she tried her best to remove it for me. I love how she loves me!


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Clean Hog Auto Waterer

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This is how we made our automatic pig waterer for our American Guinea Hogs. If you have swine, you know they push over anything they can, and this makes it hard to give them clean water. We took two 55 gallon barrels that cost $10 each. Clint drilled a hole and then used a 1/2" tap to put threads in the barrel. We have 110 gallons of clean water available for them all of the time. We will soon hook this up to a gutter on our barn that will top the barrels off when it rains. This can be modified to make sheep and goat waterers also. I've seen a few online saying they use them for cows and horses. It is important especially in hot weather to make sure the animals know how to get the water before you take their original water source away. We had one pig who took to it instantly, and our others learned within a day from watching him.

Friday, April 22, 2016

He Made Me Look at That Shirt All Day

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I went to Brandon's to help him do some yard work. As I was watching him use the chainsaw, I reflected on how much he moves and works like Clint does. I also wondered where the time went. Twenty four years ago, my heartfelt prayers were answered and I was waiting to be a mama. Blink! He's a grown man working in an excellent job and working on his very own home with 3 acres.

I use to look at mothers who had grown children and my heart would seize up knowing my children would grow up too. As I expected, I miss what was, but NOW is just as beautiful in its own way. I honestly would not go back to an earlier time in my life. Enjoy each season for all it's worth while it is here for they all pass very quickly.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My Little Joys Return-Barn Swallows

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They flew high circling wherever I was in the yard when they returned last week.
They do this every year since I helped Chip survive. If I go outside, I soon see them chirping over me. If I sit on the deck, they usually come to sit on the line for a little while and chirp, chirp, chirp at me. They are already building a nest under the awning which we moved from the house to a building. They successfully raised two nests there last year.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Time to Be Silent

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Hannah learned to ride her bike!

I saw she was making progress so I quieted myself from reminding her to put on her helmet...and she rode it!! If I had interrupted her progress and personal boost in confidence with my worries for her safety, would it have thrown her off and kept her from reaching a goal she wanted?

Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 7 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven--A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Young Guns for God's Glory

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Joshua, 16, and Caleb, 14

We grow them big and strong on the farm!

Strength is a gift from God which enables us to help the weak. I hope they always see their abilities as a gift God gives that allows them to help others.

 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well.  If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Romans 12:6-8

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Looking for Daffodil Bulbs?

Brent and Becky's offers a beautiful catalog with so many choices! I highly recommend them!

Joshua is Driving

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Joshua finished the classroom portion a few months ago and is driving with Clint beside him in our homeschooled Driver's Ed. We use a very rigorous and lengthy state approved program with parental additions. Please say a prayer for their safety. Thank you!

Monday, April 04, 2016

Labor On!

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My three sons worked together without words to clear Brandon's back yard. I am so thankful to the Lord for leading me to homeschool and have a large family. I am so thankful He provided strength, as promised when called upon, to persist so I could see this fruit of my labor! Even though I am in the middle of the job, there are blessings in every day now. It encourages me to "Labor On!" and finish this race. There is much to do still, but I glimpse a bit more where we the Shepherd is leading His sheep. It is good; it is very good!

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Dog Bark Controller

I bought one of these. It works consistently with the dogs that have deeper barks. It does not seem to work as well with dogs who have a higher pitched bark. I have several dogs that live outside. When a chicken or cat walk by, one of them will set to barking which gets all of them barking. This has been helpful in training them not to bark every time something goes by their area. According to the comments, a lot of people are buying these to stop their neighbor's dogs from barking!