Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I want to save this recipe here and share it.  This is the link to the original recipe: Crackers  It has some great tips and ideas.  It just doesn't make much.

Homemade “Wheat Thins”-Style Crackers
Recipe type: Breads
Author: Katie Kimball
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook
  • 1 ¼ c. whole wheat flour (can use spelt flour, traditional whole wheat or white whole wheat)
  • 1 ½ Tbs. sugar (or honey)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • ¼ c. water
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla
  • salt for topping
  1. Mix ‘em: Combine the whole wheat flour, sugar, salt and paprika in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter thoroughly into the dry mixture until it looks like large crumbs, no bigger than a pea. Some people use a food processor to cut in the fat, but I prefer to save dishes and keep it all in one bowl. Combine the water and vanilla in a measuring cup, plus honey if using, and add to the flour mixture. Mix well until combined and dough forms, but only as long as necessary for the most tender crackers.
  2. Prep ‘em: Use parchment paper, a lightly greased cookie sheet, or an ungreased baking stone. For crackers, I would HIGHLY recommend using a baking stone (I love my Pampered Chef Rectangular Stone), or at least parchment paper or a Nonstick Silicone Baking Mat. I roll the dough right out on the stone or mat, after flouring it lightly, and bake them. Yep, right on the stone. That way I don’t have to worry about rumpled crackers as I move the fragile dough. People say, “Those are homeMADE?” because most of my crackers have perfect shape and are sooooo delectably thin.
  3. Roll ‘em: Only use one fourth of the dough at a time. Cover all your surfaces with flour and roll the dough as evenly as you can. You might flip the dough to make it easier to roll, but I don’t always have to. Keep rolling until the dough is as thin as humanly possible without tearing. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife and cut the dough into squares or triangles, about 1 1/2 inches each. Fork pokes make them look extra authentic. If you want all beautifully square crackers, you can trim the edges square. I skip the trimming and just deal with weird shaped crackers. Those go to the toddler right away! (Note: be sure you don’t cut your silicone mat!)
  4. Bake ‘em: Make sure your oven is preheated to 400 F. If you have used a mat or parchment paper, just slide it onto a cookie sheet. If you don’t have either, you’ll have to move each cracker individually. Sprinkle the squares lightly with real salt, if Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
  5. Bake the crackers, one sheet at a time, until crisp and browned, 5 to 10 minutes. (If you want to do two trays at once, you can put one on top and one and bottom and switch them halfway through the baking time.) If some of the thinner crackers on the edges brown too quickly, remove them and return the remaining crackers to the oven to finish baking. These crackers bake quickly, so watch them closely – even 30 seconds can turn them from golden brown to toast!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Heart of Motherhood

A retreat for women of all ages who need to be encouraged, inspired and uplifted.

1 Thessalonians 2:7 “…we cared for you the way a mother cares for her children. We loved you dearly. Not content to just pass on the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts. (The Message Bible)

"the nutritional info, babies everywhere, listening to the testimonies of the ladies, the call to serve God and our families in a deeper way"
"I find it re-energizes me as a mom. It helps me see my role as mom and wife in a better light."
"Such good family based living and learning with the bible! The best experience ever. Meeting and socializing with other women is outstandin

The heart of motherhood enrichment retreat is a retreat for women that need to be encouraged, inspired and uplifted by the word of God. We will look to God to give us a clearer, burden free path of raising and discipling our families. God desires for us to have peace, joy, and even rest on our motherhood journey! Join us this year as we welcome a group of Godly women as our speakers:

Julie Zesch, Kristi McClellen, Bonnie Robertson, and Dara Halydier.

Friday, February 1, 2013 - Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013
Heart of Texas Bible Camp
Brownwood, TX
Cost: $120.00
(Includes: lodging, meals, and packets)
Registration deadline is January 20th
Earlybird registration $110.00 - due December 31st.

As a part of our ministry we believe in feeding your body with God given healthful foods. Our meals will be served with whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, preservative free, home-baked, nutritious and delicious!!!

Join us on Facebook at Heart of Motherhood retreat for more info

Register by sending your name, address, phone number, and email address via
email (scholarships available) If you would like to contribute to the scholarship fund you can when you register. If 10 ladies contribute $10.00 you will bless someone with a full scholarship to retreat.
If you would like to pay on line, let us know and we will send you an invoice where you can use your pay pal account, credit card, or debit card.

Tenative schedule:
Fri. Arrival from 5 - 6
Supper, followed by our first session and a pajama tea party to wrap up the evening.
Sat. Yummy meals, 4 fabulous sessions including our nutrition talk, open panel discussion, free time, and prayer.
Sun. Wrap up session, testimonies and sharing, grand finale, healthy lunch, pack up and head home to our families.

Unable to attend all weekend, consider coming for the day on Saturday. The cost for one day will be $60.00

We will have a selection of helpful books and nutritional supplements available for purchase!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving is done!  What a wonderful blessing and fun fun fun day!!!!   We had about 50 people throughout the day.   I think the number of littles is what surprised me the most.  We counted over a dozen 2-6, and then we had 4 in the 0-1 category.   Older kids we had I think 11.  That isn’t counting adults!   20 or so adults if I counted right.  I count and then think of someone else so this is an about count.  

We had lots of food and lots of leftovers.   I do know I like turkey, dressing and gravy better the day after.   In fact that is usually the first day to have dressing and gravy.   J  I had some this morning for breakfast with turkey cut up in it. 
Here or some of the pictures of life yesterday.  I was to busy to get many pictures.  I think my DIL got more. 

Teen boys and food just go together.
My nephew was in his element, teaching tether ball to a passel of littles. 
 Then they went on to climb mountains!  
 While new mommies and babies got some much needed rest. 
I missed the really good picture of T and two littles.  One of the littles walked away before I could grab the camera. 
 This might be my favorite picture, New Friends!   Grand son and a new friend learning about dirt and building and other boy things.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

More getting ready!

Tortiala roll ups being made  This is a boys job, so we have been told.  Over the years it started out that MJ was allowed to do this as it was easy.  Then he took pride in it and went from "helping" to taking it over.   The year we got the other 2 boys he was very proud at being able to teach them.
Now it is a boy thing!  They do it all! 

 Here is one of MN's pretty pies!  Didn't she do good for the first time making a lattice crust?  
 DIL does a great job on hers!   Just think how good they will taste, and hey they are made with whole wheat flour so they are healthy right?

Here is a picture of my turkey fryer doing a turkey.  See how beautiful and brown it becomes?  

 This is the first one in the frig.  Might have been sampled on just a little bit.  Trust me it is good!
 Oh and for those that didn't do their school right and decided to see if mom really meant they could do school instead of Thanksgiving preparations and maybe even Thanksgiving........ 

I really am a mom of my word!   He wasn't willing to take a few of the others word for it, as they also sat out about once.  
I even put grands to work!  This is grand daughter putting up dishes she has washed.

It's beganing to look a lot like Thanksgiving!

It also smells a lot like Thanksgiving!  
D13 is busy anointing the turkey with olive oil!   I have this awesome amazing oil-less turkey fryer that makes them moist and yummy like fried with just the oil we rub on it.   He is in charge of cooking turkeys today.   He started about 7 getting the fryer out and first turkey on to cook.  He has watched the timer and is very responsible with checking.   He is doing a great job of it.   He has one done and the second one frying.   The next two are injected with seasoning to add a different flavor.   I can't wait to see how they taste.  
 I love it this picture of 3 yo learning to roll out pie dough.  The apron just sets it off.  Baby foot in the picture is little sister on mommies back!
 Baby sister, with those big blue eyes!
 MN learning to make pretty pies!  DIL does this type and they are so pretty so MN did it also today. 
 T pulling pies out of the oven.   Maybe a pecan pie there will a chess pie on the top of the stove.  
 Her rolled out pie crust!   She did good!  
Pie count: 10 done, 7 in the oven and 3 still waiting in line to be cooked!

DIL has a lot more pictures on her camera.  Maybe she will blog and I can link. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thinking Thanksgiving with Recipes

The smell is in the air!   Trash (Checks Mix) is in the oven. 
Trash (Party Mix)

Rice Checks
Wheat Checks
Corn Check
¼ lb. butter
1 c. bacon drippings
5T.Tabasco sauce
2T. savory salt
1T garlic or powder
5T. Worcester sauce
cook at 250* for 2 ½ hours stir about every 15 or 20 min.
Kids chat back and forth about what they liked best last year.   Everyone has a different favorite.  Some of them have favorites that change depending on the moment.   Today we make trash, or at least the first batch.   I usually do two batches, some how this batch over filled the roasters so I will have some extra to play with.   With two kids on a nut free diet because of braces I may do one without nuts.

D13 votes Grandmothers dip, MN always votes grandmothers dip.  It brings fond memories of my mom.  We usually had dip which is somewhat the rotel/Velveeta dip with changes.  We would have dip for breakfast Thanksgiving morning on bread, toasted in the toaster oven. 
1 lb ground beef
1 lb sausage
1 onion
1 bx 2# Velveeta cheese
1 can Rotel
Fry meat add finely chopped onion, cheese and rotel. Heat until cheese is melted and mixed well.

My mom use to make this the day before Thanksgiving. Then we would snack on this for breakfast. It is good with chips or spread on bread and toasted. Kids beg for it several times a year.

Here is how I have changed it over the years.

First I double everything. I use 2 lbs of hamburger and 2 of sausage. I like the hot breakfast sausage for it. Then I got lazy and buy a can of nacho cheese instead of the Velveeta. I never buy rotel. That stuff is expensive! I can toss tomatoes, onions and peppers in the vita mix and have the same thing at a fraction of the cost. Besides I can control the hot. We use it as a dip, and pour it on chips for nachos. For Thanksgiving I keep it warm in a crock pot.

Tortilla roll ups are a favorite of many of us.  Those came from my SIL Kay.  She would make them each year, not in the quantity we do, but enough for everyone to enjoy.   This is a food that I was told today the boys do.  :)  Usually, ok every year for the past few it has been a boys job.  First it was MJ with help then with we got the two D's it became their job.  Now it has become their job, while girls do pies. 
Tortilla Roll ups
2 8 oz pks cream cheese
3 Tbs pimento chopped
3 Tbs sour cream
1- 4oz can chopped chilies
1c. diced green pepper or 1or 2 hot peppers
4 T Bacon bits
4 green onions
salt and onion salt
6 big flour tortillas
Pies!  Pies! and even a few more Pies.  Probably my favorite is Chess.  Again from my mom and I am pretty sure from my grandmother.   This is one of those simple old fashion recipes that is good, but not hard to make.  If my niece doesn't come then I will get extra, she and I grew up fighting over who got them most chess pie.
Chess Pie
1 ½ cup sugar
½ cup sweet milk cream
6 egg yolks
3 tablespoons butter
Bake in unbaked pie crust
After Chess is Pecan.  Again, Grandmothers.  I can remember being little and getting to 'measure' that cup of pecans to put in the unbaked shell before she poured the goodies on it.   When I got married my dh didn't like pecans but loved the filling.  Like a good MIL she adjusted the recipe and always made one pecan less one.  So you can take the same recipe and do it without pecans and it is still good.   Something I didn't know was corn syrup doesn't have the high fructose in it.   Or so it says on the bottle.
Pecan Pie
4 eggs
2/3 c. syrup (light Karo)
1c. pecans
Makes one pie.
For those that like coconut pie or just coconut in general I do make a coconut pie.   I am not a fan if you haven't figured it out.  Everyone says it is good. 
Grandmothers Coconut Pie
4 eggs, beaten
½ c. self rising flour
(1/2 self-rising flour equals:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus
¾ teaspoons baking powder, plus
1/8 teaspoons salt.)
1 ½ c. sugar
½ stick butter, melted
2 c. milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
6-7 oz coconut
mix all in order given. Pour in 9 inch pie pan bake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes or until done in center.
I do pumpkin, but since I don't have a recipe I won't include it.  I do use fresh or frozen pumpkin.  This year it is fresh frozen from the garden.   I toss it in the vita mix, add some cream some sugar, some cinnamon, ok a LOT of cinnamon and some eggs.   Blend until smooth and fill pie shells until I run out out.  Last year I had some left over pecans so I made a pumpkin pecan pie.  I just added pecans to the pumpkin pie filling.  It has been requested this year. 

We do cheat and do apple and cherry out of a can.  Just home made whole wheat crust.   Usually we do 2 of each with an extra here or there as we feel led.   There is no perfect number. 

We do a bowl of fruit salad.  I do cheat and add fruit cocktail.  I use a gallon of the regular and a gallon of the tropical.   We then add a 1/2 gallon of maraschino cherries.  That is the base!  Well not a full half gallon since we cut them in half and a percent gets ate.   To that we add oranges, apples, bananas until the bowl is full.   Think somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-5 gallons of fruit salad mix.  Strange as it sounds usually this is one of the first things we run out of. 

Dressing I am behind on this year.  I do need some extra biscuits made and NOT ate.  We make, we eat and none or very few go in the freezer.   Maybe Sunday morning we can do a double batch and Monday morning and then will have enough to finish off the dressing.   I will crumble that on Tue.  Add my seasonings and let it soak them up.  Lots of sage!   Then Thursday morning I will add the eggs, onions, celery, and broth to make the dressing put it in the oven and PRAY it gets done.  Some years.... well we try.  

Giblet gravy is another favorite that is my moms.  I really don't know if any one else does it like she did and now me.  I make a white gravy.  Then at the last minute I add gibbles, cooked and ready and sliced boiled eggs.   Why do I do this?  Because Grandmother did!  It is good!  Don't knock it until you have tried it.  Some years it gets thick some years.......  It seems to always get ate! 

This year we are doing 4 turkeys.  I bought a new fryer, it is oil less.     You grease your turkey and put it in the basket, cook about as long as you do fried turkeys.   Taste amazing!   It has a drip pan in the bottom, I will use the dripping for gravy and dressing.  I will let you know how it works out.   Then we will do a spiral sliced honey glazed ham for those that do pork. 

We finish off our cooking with a pan of sweet potatoes topped with all the sweet yucky stuff like sugar and marshmallows.  It also has cinnamon and butter.  Then the other pan that is just sweet potatoes and butter.  

Anyone want to come?   Some how I think there will be plenty!  Come join us!  It is fun!   We are so blessed.  Come join us as we celebrate our Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Life is an Adventure...

  Life is never dull here.   Yesterday and today were no exceptions.  

Yesterday I check my ewes to start the day.  I had a set of twins. Then walked a bit more and found 1 lamb with two mamas.  The lamb was laying on it's side.  I wasn't sure it was alive.  It was, but for what ever reason it couldn't stand up.  I'm not sure if it was down to long or what, it would fall over on the side it was down on.  While I tried to figure out who mama was, since both ewes wanted the baby and also to eat my dog it was fun.  Finally I decided that the white ewe was mama and the black ewe was in hard labor.   I called for back up and MN took the lamb and the mama to the house.  

We stood lamb up and got it to nurse.  If you think of a lamb with enter ear issues you have this lamb.  It could nurse but not stand.   Then I discovered the other ewe was having issues. Of course she wasn't easy to catch now.  After much work we got her to the barn and a small pen.  While MN held her I checked, sure enough we had an ear where we should have a nose or feet would have been best.   Much work later we pulled a lamb, but it didn't make it.   Mama still wanted white ewes lamb.  Throughout the day we worked with floppsy mopsy lamb.  She improved throughout the day.  By night she would stand and walk if you stood her up, but if she fell she was down for the count.  Today she is doing much better. 

Then evening came and I again walked through my sheep.  This time I found an other ewe with feet hanging out.  Again I sent for reinforcements.  This time we caught and had a much better result.  We pulled a BIG live lamb.   In a short time mama took her new baby and off they went.  

Today was dentist day!  MN and MJ are both getting braces.  Today they had to have teeth pulled to make room.  MN had to have 4 teeth pulled, and MJ only 2.  With much excitement on kids part, mainly MN's off we went to the dentist.   They pulled all 4 of hers, I was surprised!   She came out looking shell shocked.  She didn't think it would be that hard.  :)   She soon found her sense of humor though.  It wasn't long until she informed me she now knows what her donkey felt like when it got rattlesnake bit!   She sounded just like Hank the Cowdog on the CD about the Double Bumblebee Sting.   :)   I couldn't help laughing, she would have, but her face was numb and she couldn't even smile.  I did get it on my phone so we have it recorded her talking about the rattlesnake that was needles :)  MJ didn't have but 2 out and he wasn't a chatter box all the way home.  They are both doing good.  

Just before I left to do the dentist our Guest case worker called and said that the foster mom messed our Thanksgiving plans up with her.  She invited guest older brother to Thanksgiving, it isn't fair to make guest choose.  Please pray for the foster mom's heart to soften toward her being adopted, where she will work to make this work for her not mess it up and create doubt and confusion.   So sad to say we won't have that special guest (unless God does something about it) for Thanksgiving, but will have her the next weekend.  I am sad but trusting  that this is all part of God's plan.  

Kids get braces on Thursday.  They are excited.  I am glad for them, especially MN as this is something she has wanted for years, but she had to get to a emotionally mature enough spot for it to work.  We have talked about why I made her wait.  She started understanding as her mouth hurt so with just the spacers.  Today she looked so shell shocked when she came out.  I am so thankful we waited.   MJ seems to be handling it well.  I'm not sure if he has less pain or if he deals with pain better.  I would have said before we started this that MN had a high pain tolerance.   I know they will get through this.  Even this evening MN is very excited about Thur. and the braces.  


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lost Hat and lambs

DIL went to go home.  Five year old had a melt down.  He had to find his hat!!!  So she told him to find it.  He "couldn't".  Yes, he looked about that long.  She sent him back out to find it. The 15 yo told her where it was, double checked to see if she was right even.   It was here.

Some of his "looking".  He did come in once and tell me the dogs got it.  All said in major meltdown whine.  I told him he needed to gather the pieces then, I didn't want them in my yard.   With total seriousness he told me, "The dogs ate ALL of it."   I was sweet, I felt around on the dogs and told him I didn't feel a hat in them.  Keep looking. 
 He looked HARD!  Notice the red grill in this picture, it is the same red grill that is in the top picture beside the hat. 
 I left him looking and took my camera with me to check sheep.   I love lambs!  We have about 50 now.  It is hard to count as they are running and playing and moving around way to much. 

This set is the first set.  They have grown a lot.

Brown and white lambs are new this year.   We do have a new buck.   They are pretty.
I like the black and white ones too.  Where they are black they are so black!   Since they are hair sheep their color doesn't fade like with wool sheep.  A black wool sheep baby will become a faded reddish brown.  These stay black.  

 Supper time?  Not really!  This lamb is last years lamb.  Yes she had a large mama.  But not this mama.   Hers was a Jersey, but hey what ever you can grab a snack from!  

I met grandson heading home hat-less as I came back from checking sheep and taking pictures.  I shared my pictures of him "looking".  She told him it was on the porch and sent him back.  I did offer to let him have a blanket if he couldn't find it and had to sleep on the porch.   He didn't seem impressed.   Amazingly he found it!  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pictures! To go with blog earlier

Life lessons 101.  Everyone is setting at the table waiting to debone a deer.  This was a totally new experience for them.  They have saw it done but handing them knives and saying do it was new.  No stitches required so they did good.  No super glue either!  
 I did manage to catch a picture of the lambs.  The black and white one is about 10 days old.  The white lamb is probably younger.   See a little size difference?   Tiny lamb has mastered a 6 oz bottle of milk 4 times a day.  Big lamb will take a 10 oz bottle and beg for more.   We will be upping his milk, maybe up to a cow :)  

 I again wanted to share my table idea.   This is some of the wonderful quotes that float around facebook.  I copy them and scatter them on the table.  Some times we pull some add others.   Kids can tell you where their favorites are.  Lots of food for thought scattered here.  I have also been known to suggest they think about a certain quote that covers what they are dealing with. 


I know pictures would be better but I don't have any to share.  Just haven't slowed down to do it.  

Grandson made his arrival on Friday.  He looks a lot like his brother. 

Lamb count is up to 42.  I still have a lot of ewes left to lamb.  We counted over 15 yesterday as we were driving through them.   Yesterday we picked up the second bottle baby lamb.  He is a few days old.  I think had a mommy that loved him right up to the dinner table then would butt him off.   We watched him all day off and on and then MN picked him up just before dark.   She warmed a bottle and after a struggle to get the nipple in his mouth when the milk hit he attacked it.  Tiny lamb is still doing well.  She is over a week old now.  She is still not as big as a grown cat.   MN leaves her outside all day then takes her into her bed/tub for the night.   It stays beside MN's bed.  Last night is the first time she hasn't gotten up and warmed milk about 3 AM.

Deer season started Sat. morning.  My nephew came out and up in the middle of the day went for a walk.  He was open to shooting a deer but really just enjoying the walk.  He got a small doe.   Then Sunday morning son went out and got a large buck.  It sure wasn't a trophy buck.  One antler was missing.  The other side was a nice size. 

Kids ask to try liver and heart.  So we saved them from both deer and last night they tried them.  I fried them with onions.  Part of them liked the heart, one thought the liver was OK, most would rather fast than have it again.   I was proud of them for wanting to try it and for trying it. 

No news on the adoption front.  I know our guest case worker was out of state last week.  She should be back in today. 

Thanksgiving plans are going great.  Kids are SOOO excited.   They have a list of what we lack for making all the food.  Each day is filled with, "I can't wait for Thanksgiving".   I laugh and assure them that they can.   They have even tried to rush things and ask to fix things ahead.  Maybe they also want to eat the things ahead. 

Youngest grand daughter will be a year old this week.  Time flies.  She is walking some, just not a lot yet.  She is working on being a redhead.  Her hair has a very red cast.