Friday, December 30, 2011

Storing Grains

I recently heard the shocking news that you will be on the list for being a potential terrorist if you have more than seven days worth of food stored. So I guess that makes us Pantry Terrorists.   God Bless America! 
That's crazy, right?  (Vote for Ron Paul!)  It's also crazy to have any LESS than seven days stored up! All through history, humans and animals have stored up the harvest.  It's common sense. You can't even buy wheat in a bag that lasts less than seven days, unless you're feeding an army.  And I'm trying to feed a small army.
I've already told you about my grain mill, which I dearly love.  I grind wheat almost every day so I buy it in bulk from a semi-truck that comes through our area from somewhere in Montana.  There's lots of different places that you can buy bulk grains.  I order from here.  It's much cheaper that way.  But it does take a while to use it up. That's why we set out to learn how to store it properly so that it stays fresh until I'm ready to use it.  Here's what we came up with.... the most economical and effective method that we could find.

 Here's what you need:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday Recovery Plan

I remember reading years ago in a health-type book that depression is your body's natural response to stress.  I found it surprising, because I always thought of depression as a BAD thing and something to be resisted.  It can become a bad thing, if allowed to go on too long, but it is actually healthy and perfectly natural.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ruthie's Birthday!

The first wave of Christmas company is past. But before we visit with family for New Year's, we've got to celebrate another very important birthday.  Ruth Mercy is 13!!!  Yep, that makes four teenagers in one house.  Lord help us all!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Recap

 Whew!  That was fast and furious.  Yeah, I'm beat.  It's the biggest party of the year.  It takes at least a month to prepare for that one magical hour.  Now it's all over.  Now it's time to breathe.  And nap.  And eat leftovers for about a week. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Considering Santa

Benjamin informed me the other day that kids who believe in Santa are lucky because they get lots of stuff.  I'm not sure what kind of stuff he was referring to.  It seems to me that he has gotten more "stuff" than he knows what to do with.  I guess he means "magical" stuff.

I'm not sure when we decided that our kids weren't going to believe in Santa.  We just never really brought it up.  We also tell them that daddy is the tooth fairy.  Pretty unimaginative, huh.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Surviving Relatives

We've done almost all the shopping.  We've baked our cookies and decorated our tree.  We've planned our menus.  So, now that we're almost there...only a few days to's time for a whole new Christmas challenge.


Yeah, all those people that you love and hate at the same time.

That you miss like crazy, but who drive you crazy when you're with them.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Spicy Gingerbread Men

The Vaughn family has come to a consensus...  These are the best gingerbread men we have ever baked. (and we've tried a lot of different recipes through the years)  These actually taste good!  Nice and soft, but firm enough to stack and store.
Get a bunch of cheap candy from the dollar store.  Mix up some icing.
Make a big mess and have fun!!!

So, here's the yummy recipe:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Changing Tradition

OK, so I said that I wasn't going to stress out this Christmas.
I've got less than a week.  I haven't stockpiled any cookies.  I am not done shopping.  My craft projects are still unfinished.  I still need to take seven kids to do their shopping.  Our second car's transmission bit the dust last week.  Thus, I do not have a car with which to complete these tasks.  I am not going to stress out.  I am talking to myself.  If I was a yoga person, I'd be doing yoga right now.

But I'm not, so here's my plan...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Surprising Deals

How's your shopping going?
If you're done, You are amazing and you can skip this article.
If you're like me, read on...
Alot of people ask how we afford Christmas presents for so many children.  Sister, it ain't easy!  But, it IS possible, with some creative tactics. First, ya gotta think outside the (wal-mart) box.
This year, there's a surprising bunch of deals to be had at the mall.

All my handsome guys, and my coffee.  ♡

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Epic Sugar Cookies

Oh, yeah, you know you want 'em!  These are super easy and turn out alot like those big, soft grocery store cookies.  Best chilling or rolling.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Humble Pride

Have you ever considered taking pride in your humble circumstances?
What does that even mean???

This Christmas is a good opportunity for many of us to practice.  When your income stays the same, but the price of groceries practically doubles, something's gotta give.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

In Honor of Rudolph...

I cooked deer for supper.  I know, it's called venison.  But when you chop it all apart in your very own kitchen, it still seems like deer.

I mean, chicken is still called "chicken" right?  I've also cooked chickens that we raised and slaughtered.  But this deer thing is a whole new thing.  We've been eating chicken our whole lives, so we're used to it.  Home-raised chicken tastes the same, or better.  It tastes like chicken! But the deer is another story.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Homemade Cards

Here's an easy project for making homemade Christmas cards.

I did this printmaking project in art class yesterday with seven 2nd and 3rd graders.  We were all pleasantly surprised by the results.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Family Glue

Have you decided on a Christmas craft project yet?  Or maybe you're way ahead of the game and you've been working on it for weeks already.  I'm impressed!  But whatever the case, I'd like to encourage you to do some crafting with your kids.  These really are the memory makers... that bonding time when you're giving your children your full attention, helping them with something that is really important to them.  And having fun together.  As you can see in this picture from last year, it is a real mess.  There's going to be piles of supplies in the corners of your kitchen and stuff drying on the windowsill.
 You might even be asked to bake some toxic-smelling stuff in your oven in between batches of cookies.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Van Moments 2

Yes, we actually put our Christmas tree INSIDE our van!  I'm not sure why, that's just the way the Captain wanted it so, there ya go.  We got a great deal at Kroger, of all places, and were starving so we bought a loaf of bread, too, and devoured it on the way home, which explains what is

Crafting With Toddlers

Here's a quick,  fun craft project that little kids really enjoy.  It's also cheap and easy to clean up, so moms can enjoy it, too!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Busy Little Elves

Hey there crafty ladies!

Yesterday at co-op, some friends were asking me about Christmas craft ideas.  The criteria was that they needed to be easy, fun and CHEAP!  Here's a fun project that works for toddlers to teens, and also makes a nice little gift for grandmas.  : )

Snowflake ornaments: