Saturday, October 31, 2009

Giveaway over at Prairie Flower Farm!

There is a wonderful blog I've been following called Prairie Flower Farm. She is doing an awesome GIVEAWAY for her 100th Blog entry. It's a beautiful window with scripture on it, and you just have to check it out! Be sure and tell her The Finicky Frog says, "HI!"

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fanny Packs

Our schedule for the weekend was changed a little with unexpected sleep overs for the kids. That tends to throw my menu that I planned for the week off. When the kids are gone, it makes sense to make some simpler meals for dinner.
I've really fallen in love with this No-Knead Bread Recipe, and I decided to do a little experiment with it for dinner tonight. I made some super delicious little dinner pockets that were made out of the bread recipe. I stuffed them with ground sausage, onion, mixed veggies and mozzarella cheese. They ended up being HUGE because they rose so much in the oven. We laughed about how they were no longer just little pockets. Now they were "Fanny Packs".

The Bread Recipe is:
1 1/2 TBS Active Dry Yeast
1 1/2 TBS Sea Salt
3 Cups Warm Water
6 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour

Mix it all together and it makes a big wet ball of dough. You don't knead it! It needs to sit for at least 2 hours to rise and then you can use it. Or, if you have it in the fridge, it should be set out for about 40 minutes.

It makes a really wet dough that can stay in the fridge for up to two weeks covered with a little tiny bit of air allowed in the container. One batch makes four pizzas or fanny packs. Check out the link above for more recipes.
When the dough has set out for at least 20 minutes, sprinkle a little flour over the top of the batch to make it easier to cut. Divide it into fourths and form dough balls. Sprinkle corn meal on a pizza peel or cutting board and let the dough rest while you get all of your filling ingredients together. Cooking all the filling will take about another 20 minutes and that will give you your 40 minutes. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 550 degrees.
For the filling I used:
1 lb of sausage
1 small chopped onion
1/2 a small bag of mixed veggies
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Shape the dough into a pizza.
Put filling and cheese
on one half.
Fold over and slide onto a baking stone in a 550 deg. preheated oven for about 8 minutes.
This was so good! We sat around talking about all the different things we could fill it with. For example, sloppy Joe's, pie filling, pizza fixings, chicken pot pie, etc.
I'm so glad when a cooking experiment turns out so easy and delicious.
I'd love to hear what you would put in your "Fanny Pack".

Have a Blessed Week Everyone!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fabeau Chapeau

The Finicky Frog hopped home one day with her parcels full of beautiful vintage hats. "The craftsmanship is just simply divine.", she said. "Oh how I long for those prim and proper days."
I completely agreed and told her that this dusty pink Henry Pollack Bucket Hat
was my favorite. "You should definitely wear it out as the weather gets colder," I said.
"Look at the detail!", she exclaimed. "The satin trim gives it just the right amount of shimmer. And the wide grosgrain ribbon matches the wool felt just perfectly!" She went on about how its delicate veil wrapped around creating the illusion of a soft glow. She decided that when she wasn't wearing it out, she would have it displayed on her dressing table for everyone to admire.
I may be able to convince The Finicky Frog to part with this beautiful hat if you would like it for yourself.
Stop into my ♥shop♥and take a little peek and tell me what you think. There are several other hats that I'll be adding over the next week, so, be sure to stop in often and see

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What's On The Menu

The weekend Daryn was laid off, we decided to go to Lowery's Meat Market to stock up on some good meat. We spent $200 almost right on the nose, and that has provided enough meat to last at least 2 months (we're hoping 3). I had learned so much from not eating out in September, and it helped me be more intentional about making a menu and sticking to it. So, I thought that I would share with all of you what we'll be having this week!

Monday: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (made from leftover hamburger from Friday's Pizza Night)

Tuesday: NY Strip ($2.58/lb) w/ Baked Potatoes

Wednesday: Beef Stew with Potatoes, Carrots and Onions

Thursday:Cheeseburgers and Homemade Steak Fries

Friday: Leftovers (there are always plenty)

Saturday: Homemade Pizza

Sunday: Maddie will be cooking for school and she's selected the Mediterranean (menu still to be announced)

Here's the amazing part...we had all the ingredients for everything already in the house. I won't really have to go to the grocery for much at all this week. This is such a blessing and God has really pressed on my heart about using what he's already given.

1 Timothy 6:17

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

When you go through a lay off, you realize that fortune is fleeting and how quickly things can suddenly take a challenging turn. Even during these times we can be comforted by His provision. In this verse, it doesn't say that God just provides enough. It says he "richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." I've also learned that when I'm more intentional about using what God has provided, it makes it easier to do the second part of the verse.

"Be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share." This tells me that there will also always be enough to give away, but I find it difficult to do when I don't even recognize what I already have.

When things were tight as a child, my mom would always make "OOO Golly!" This meal often was a soup or rice dish with a little bit of anything and everything in it. It never was the same and sometimes, I'll admit, it looked a little funny. It was called that because sometimes when we would see what was for dinner we'd say, "Oooo Golly! What's that!!???" Most times it went from "Ooooo" to "Mmmmm", and there was always plenty to last several days.

So, here's the challenge: Make a menu, stick to it, and plan at least two meals with food that is already in you cupboard. Easy!

I would love to hear about what wonderful recipes you come up with.

Also, I would like to open an opportunity for prayer. We totally understand getting to the point that you feel you just can't pray any more. So, please let us know if there is anything you would like us to intercede for. Our God is a Mighty God and he is able to take care of all your needs.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fix It Friday

We all have those unfinished projects that, due to lack of time (or energy!), have been sitting and waiting for the final touches. We have set a goal to get at least one of these projects done per week while Daryn is laid off. We've had everything that we needed to finish a padded headboard and we decided to get going on it Friday.

A while back we had replaced the cheap-looking, flat-faced wooden doors with new six panel doors throughout our house (keep in mind that we got these new doors at Lowe's for $19 a piece, and it makes a HUGE difference in the look in the house!). That project left us with a lot of worthless doors sitting in the garage that we would pull out when we needed extra tables for garage sales (which works really well). We had the frugal idea to take one of the 32" doors and turn it into a padded headboard for our queen size bed.
We already had all of the supplies: 2 two by fours for legs, the door, left over batting from the kitchen cushion project, fabric that I had bought 4 years ago for curtains that I changed my mind on, and some more scrap fabric for the back.
First, Daryn cut the door to the width of the bed. Then, he cut the two by fours to slide up into the door to add more stability because the doors were hollow. It's like having a giant mortise and tenon joint for you woodworkers. He added a bunch of screws to hold them in, and it was done. He primed and painted the half sticking out as the legs of the headboard.

It only took about an hour to cover the headboard and finish it all up. First, we stapled the batting to the door. Morgan was eager to lend a hand.
Then we stretched and stapled the fabric over the batting, making sure it was nice and smooth.
Then we stapled the scrap fabric on the back to finish off the project and make it look nice and tidy (even where no one will see).

Voila! It's done and it's super easy.
I now know why all of those design redo's use this project. It looks great, it's fast, and it's easy.
I encourage you to use your time wisely during a lay off. It can be a very productive period, and remember, as soon as you get your next job you won't have the same amount of time that you do now. Gather up the supplies that you need for a project that's needed to be finished. If you are like us, you already have most, if not all, of the supplies that you need to get it done.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Surviving A Lay Off

On Friday, October 2nd my dear husband was laid off from work....again. Seeing how he is a union electrician, we've been around this block several times . "Praise God" the last job he was on lasted over a year which was such a blessing. But, in the end, we knew that the job would wrap up eventually, and here we are again.

We know that we aren't alone in times like these, and we are deciding to use the knowledge that we've gained over the many lay offs we've been through to help those that are facing this challenge for the first time.

So, over the next few months, we intend to shine some light into these dark times.

First and foremost know that God is always with us!

Our memory verse for school this week is...

2 Peter 1:3

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who has called us by his own glory and goodness.

If you are going through any difficult time, be it a lay off, illness, or trial of any kind, memorize this verse and hide it in your heart. Pick it apart and pray over it. Start with the first three words, "His divine power" and find comfort in them. We aren't talking human power. This is supernatural power. That is the power through our Lord Jesus Christ.

"...has given us everything we need for life...", this means food, clothing, shelter, friendships, family, work, etc.. It's all taken care of. It doesn't say will give us. It says has given us.
"....has given us everything we need for....godliness..." Every spiritual need has been given.

"...through our knowledge of him..." Know him, seek him, find him = everything we need for life and godliness.

"who has called us by his own glory and goodness." He's calling you right now in the midst of this trial to trust in who He is, glorious and good.

I will be adding some insights on how to spend wisely and make meals stretch farther. There are a lot of ways to save on expenses and many that we always fall back on. Our family knows this for sure, we eat better, spend more time together and love each other more when we have less. Be encouraged in this time because you will discover new things about your family and yourself. It is a time of revelation as to where your treasure truly is.

Please stop in often and know that you will always be encouraged here. Also, if you have any frugal tips that will help others, be sure to post them in the comments. May God Bless You ALL!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pirates of Penzance

I grew up watching musicals and old movies, and I hardly remember a weekend going by when I didn't get to see Cary Grant or Gene Kelly. Music was a huge part of my childhood, and I had many musically talented aunts and uncles. My mom was a trained opera singer who was constantly singing in the car with me and my brother. In fact, I really don't remember listening to the radio much, because if we went somewhere with my Uncle, we sang in the car too....sorry, side thought there. My dear husband, however, did not grow up knowing the lyrics to almost every MGM musical. He came from more of a Nascar environment and somehow, thankfully, came out musically talented as well. But, he was very unfamiliar with the old movie scene and often didn't know what I was talking about when I said things like, "Oh yeah, like in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."
I was determined at an early age to expose the children to the phenomenon of musical theatrics. One of the most memorable moments was when we watched West Side Story and the kids cried because they didn't understand all the fighting and violence. "Mommy, (sniff, sniff) why are you making us watch this?"
Since the kids have recently had a growing interest in this genre, it has been a much better experience for everyone. I've gotten to relive a lot of wonderful memories, and I have loved watching them be enthralled by the musicals and movies for the first time.
One of our most loved favorites, that has become a staple in our house, has been The Pirates of Penzance. Daryn is always giving a try at being "the very model of the Modern Major General" and the kids "often" are claiming to be "Orphans." I'll chime in with my rendition of "poor wandering one!"
We jumped at the opportunity to go and see it at the Nappanee Round Barn Theatre this weekend. My brother, sister-in-law and my nephew all decided to go, too, and it was a great to make it a big family. We were in the mezzanine seating and it was perfect. I really can't imagine a bad seat in the house. It's such a small theatre and they have it set up so well.

Pictures from Amish Acres Round Barn Theatre
Now, of course it wasn't Linda Ronstadt or Kevin Kline, but this little band of performers gave it their all. My favorite scene are when they sing "WITH CAT LIKE TREAD!" and "Sighing Softly to the River." It was just hysterical!
What is your favorite old movie or musical?


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