Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Chickens are Here!

Rhode Island Reds

If you have been following me on face book you have noticed that we have a couple of additions to the family. I have been working hard on their new chicken yard and coop. A friend of mine offered to give us some chickens and then she also offered to help me gather the supplies to build our pen and coop. I was so excited I could envision those chickens in our yard and strutting their stuff. Did you realize chicken eggs grown from free range chickens are much more healthy than the regular store bought chickens?

First, I set up some pallets hap hazardously and wired them together. Then our friend came over with the chickens and helped me to just use our old fence panels that had never gotten put up because of the rocky ground we were on. We used some old trampoline posts to be our posts for now and are keeping our eyes open for some re-bar or other posts that are longer to replace them with in the future. Fortunately this part of the yard isn't as full of rocks as the outer edge is.

I am plum worn out from stringing up the chicken wire and my hands are sore from the wire. If you ever try this you need to have some gloves. A nail gun and at least a staple gun would be great also, for running the chicken wire.

Right now, we are using an old wire dog crate for a chicken coop. I hope to get a larger one someday so that we can have more chickens. We found out the hard way that even though they have their wings cliped on one side they can fly up to the top of the dog crate if it is on the ground and then fly out of the yard.

We raised it off of the ground by using an old bed frame that we had rescued from the neighbors before it got hauled away. We just took an old piece of fence panel and screwed it between the two sides of the wooden head and foot board and then lifted the dog crate up on top of the newly made legs. If you have been following all of my pinterest boards then you can see that I have been busy collecting chicken raising information and looking at interesting chicken coops.

If you have info for me drop by my face book page and leave your links there. I would love to look over them when I get a moment.

I can't wait until they begin to start laying eggs it should be just a few months until they are old enough. I would like to learn all about organic chicken farming. Are you a chicken farmer? Watching the chickens in the yard doing their chicken thing and having the children enjoy their presence is a wonderful blessing to me. The zildren were a great big help with the yard as well. I think it helped to build up some character for them to help with this project.





I didn't want them to fly away again so I put some extra chicken wire above the highest part of the chicken walk.

Before the chicken wire.




Now I am looking for some little wind chimes to hang on the pen to add some more stress relieving qualities to our chicken yard.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Quick and Easy Yeast Rolls



Today I am sharing with you one of my favorite recipes. It only takes about 30 minutes to finish this one start to finish. Give it a try and tell me what you think. Don't forget to pin it.

1 cup and 2 tbls. of warm water
1/3 cup of oil
2 tbls. of dry yeast
1/4 cup of honey
1 1/2 tep. of salt
1 egg
3 1/2 cups of flour

What tools you will need:

2 bowls one large and one medium
Casserole dish or cookie sheet
Something to render the dish non-stick (spray or butter and flour etc.)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Whisk together your yeast combination of water (1 cup and 2 tbls. )  oil and honey  in the smaller bowl and allow to set n a warm location for 15 minutes until it starts to bubble some.

3. Meanwhile Mix your dry ingredients together plus the egg and set that aside for the rest of the 15 minutes is up on the yeast mixture.

4. Prepare your pan for the rolls and your surface for a quick one minute knead with a sprinkling of flour.

5. Ding your timer has rung so add your two bowls together and mix gently with a wooden spoon.

6. Knead your rolls or really just form them and put them onto your dish or cookie sheet.

7. Allow them to rise for 10 minutes.

8. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown on top.


Do you like quick and easy recipes like this one?



Missional Women

Monday, February 11, 2013

Glade Expressions Mist Kit

Recently, I was given a coupon to receive a free Glad Expressions mist kit in as a buzz agent in exchange for making a post and sharing some coupons with my friends. The store I found it at didn't have a lot of selection so I picked the fresh smelling cotton and Italian mandarin. Next time I buy it I can choose a different one because the unit is refillable.

Here are the places I like to use my spray:

* the furniture (ours is well used and it helps to keep it smelling fresh)
* the zildren's beds
* the bathrooms
* the kitchen
* the dog area (we still have to bring our barker, Hannah dog, in at night)

The only thing that I wished was different is that the fragrance was even more natural because I have to make sure that I have sprayed it early in the day or my husband will get sick from it.

You can buy your Glade Expressions mist at Walgreens, Wal-mart, Target, Amazon and direct online from Glade.

There are places online that you can get a coupon for your refill.



I'm looking forward to trying the fugi apple and Cardamon fragrance next. How will you express your-self with Glade?


Re-kindling the Romance-14 Creative Ideas


I have been trying to do something everyday leading up to Valentines so that my husband knows how much I care about him and so far its been a great experience for us both. I thought about the many homes where the romance or the love is dying and how that we can encourage each other by making efforts to show our love. It may not even be Valentines when you read this post or you may not even celebrate the holiday and that's your choice. I just use this day as a pleasant excuse to show the ones that I love how much I care.

Here are some ideas that I have tried and that I plan to try in the future.

1. Send each other a meaningful poem, I sent it via e-mail.

2. Send each other a mushy poem.

3. Write a scripture that expressed how you will love or are loving and decorate
 it with glitter or even some confetti. (from my friend)

4. Text your husband at work and let him know that the work that he does for your family is not forgotten and that you are proud that he makes the effort every day and is not a bum. In your own words of course.

5. Send him a love song or two or three or maybe spread them out for a few days.

6. Vow not to correct anything he says for the day.

7. Vow to show him more honor when he asks the children to do something or act better.

8. Take his shoes off for him when he gets home.

9. Cut his toe nails or fingernails.

10. Pamper him with a massage.

11. Decorate for the Holiday but don't spend any extra money.

12. Learn a new hair style.

13. Create a pretty Framed photo of you and your sweetheart.

14. Make a new album with your wedding photos.

What have you done to show your love? If its G rated, please share in the comments. I would like to have lots of ideas to draw from through the year.

 My husband has really responded well and I'm hoping yours will too!




Photobucket TheBetterMom.com  TheBlissProject
Missional Women

Free Valentines Worksheets for Your Home School


I love having something special for the zildren (if you are new here all of my children's names start with a z so they are the zildren) to do for the holidays it just makes it more memorable. Here is what I have found around the net.

1.  Math Drills- has a great selection of fun math pages

2. Coloring Sheets- great Valentines Day coloring sheets from kids know it all

3. Kindergarden Worksheets- great site, you do have to sign up but it is free to do so

4. K-12 Valentines- I found some great activities here

Feel free to add your own sites in the comments below. I would love to see them and so would our readers.
My Zoi has some ideas about crafts for Valentines.




Missional Women


3Boys&aDog DEALS!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Homemade Pretend Band-aids

Around my house the little ones are always wanting to wear a band aid. So they raid my band aid stash. I know that none of you have this problem, but it can get to be very expensive to keep up with their band aid habit. So I came up with a solution that works most of the time.

I have started making my own pretend band aids. They work a little bit for a little while and that seems to be all that they really require.


Here's how I made them:

Items needed:

Old blue jean material
colored fabric of any kind
sewing machine and contrasting thread

1. Cut out some band aid shapes large and small.
2. Cut out some colored fabric in small rectangular shapes for the center.
3. Sew around the outer edges with a zig zag stitch.
4. Sew around the center portion as well.
5. Apply past to the outer edges I used my homemade school glue to make mine.
6. Allow to dry.

 To use or play with these, just moisten them and hold on for a few seconds and tell your little patient to blow on it for a while and be careful not to loose it.

It doesn't take long to whip up a batch of these and you could store them in a Altoids tin or a old band-aid box or a zip lock. You could even make some to give as gifts.

 They are washable but you should reapply the paste. Have you ever made any of these before? The kids can help cut the shapes out.



Create & Inspire Linky Party

Monday, February 4, 2013

Croissants For a Crowd

I love having croissants. Yes, I had to look up the spelling on that one. Usually I just spell it wrong but this time I wanted to get it right.

You can make all kinds of great meals and appetizers with croissants and then you can also add condiments and butter and have a yummy treat for breakfast or a snack. Another good thing you can do is to make extra and have some the next day without having to mix them up again. This takes some rush out of your day. Oh yes you are probably a lot more organized than I am even though I am trying. I suppose its entirely possible that you never rush because you are so ultimately organized. If you are please share your secret.

Croissants: (large recipe about 72 or if they are made large 36)

5 tsp. of dry yeast
4 c. of warm milk
13 to 14 c. of all purpose flour (or half white half wheat)
4 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
6 tbs of honey or sugar
2 tsp. salt

Take out a large mixing bowl and when I say large I mean extra large something like a chip bowl will work. Dissolve the yeast in milk and add to that 8 cups of flour,eggs,butter,honey/sugar, and salt; beat until smooth.

Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto floured board; knead until smooth and elastic; about 6 to 8 minutes.

Place your dough into a greased bowl  or the same bowl from earlier just rinsed , dried and oiled.

 Then turn your dough so that the down side is up that way the grease will be on the top side.

Cover your bowl and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about a half hour.

Punch dough down and divide into 6 equal pieces by first setting your ball of dough on your board and cutting it in half with an oiled pizza cutter or knife and then cutting three pieces on each side of your half to make 6.

Return to your bowl and then take one section, shape into a ball and cut that section into 12 wedges flatten each wedge or triangular portion and roll from the large side to the point side until you have made 12 croissants.

 Then do this again and again or save some dough in a bag in the refrigerator for another meal or 2. You could also combine two of your 6 sections to form larger croissants for a fine lunch meal and add a meat to the center or cut in half and add a fish salad or chicken salad. there are many ideas that will pop into your mind I'm sure.

After you form them and place on a greased cookie sheet or casserole then cover and allow to rise again for about 30 minutes.

Bake your croissants on 400 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes or until done. Your fork will come out clean. Brush with the butter that you got out and serve when cool enough to the touch.



While you are waiting for these great treats to rise or to cook you can read a few more posts. Or get some laundry on the way or maybe do some kitchen duty. Try to schedule your croissants so that you have about an hour an a half or maybe two if you are cooking them all at once. Let me know how you like these. Or do you even like croissants at all?



TheBlissProjectLivingInTheShoe

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen Game!

Last night my husband Lonnie was explaining to the children about how we should act at the table when we have supper or when we are out to eat or dining with another family. He spent some time explaining the basics and then he got into talking about Ladies how they are not bossy and demanding what they want from the table and Gentlemen are not grouchy and chauvinistic or superior acting towards the women that they are around. In other words, quit fighting at the table.

Then my dear hubby came up with a grand idea to drive home the issue a little farther, a chance to do some training and have fun at the same time. They were excited then and ready to finish up their supper and clean off the table so that they could find out what game he had planned for them.

First Lonnie explained how there are Ladies and then there are Women. A Lady can be spotted by how she is dressed and how she acts usually on sight. She will be dressed modestly and she will not be loud or obnoxious.

Ladies and Gentlemen Game

Directions:

Preliminary Setup- Explain how Gentlemen are supposed to allow a Lady to go through the door if they are both coming up to the door at the same time and hold the door for the lady or if it is an automatic door stop and motion for the woman or Lady to go first.

1. Pair up your children and let the girl stand on the side or the door like she had just gotten there and then ask the boy to come up to the door and open it or motion for the woman or Lady to go ahead of him.

*if the female is not a Lady then she will demand that the door is opened for her or get angry when the door is opened for her. The boy is instructed that even if he is treated this way he is to treat the woman as if she were a lady because when she is treated like a lady many times she will begin to act like one.

2.  Find an open space like a living room for this next part.

Setup- explain how a gentleman will hold his arm to his stomach and hold it there not stiffly but strong so that the Lady can put her arm through his elbow and hold his arm to be escorted by the gentlemen.  Tell them how that if they don't hold their arm right the Lady will fall and hurt herself.

Pair up a girl with a boy and if you run out you can use Mom and Dad as well.  Take the ladies on a little spin around the living room or area and have the girl pretend to fall and the gentleman help her up. Be ready for some really fun giggles!


Maybe you could come up with some more at your house. If you do let me know.





The Girl Creative
3Boys&aDog DEALS!

A Helping Hand, Not A Handout

Today I have a dear friend Amy, who is going to share with you about her experience babysitting my children. She has also started a great new blog that is well worth the read. You don't find a whole lot of people in the world that are as sweet and genuinely caring like she is. Enjoy!

"A HELPING HAND. NOT A HANDOUT."

This week I had a somewhat rare but glorious opportunity...to babysit 7 of the sweetest, cutest, and craziest kids I know... the "Z-kids"!

My friends were celebrating their Anniversary (13 years!) and God gave me the opportunity to lend a helping hand on their special day. I decided to host the kids at our house and serve a delicious crock-pot spaghetti dinner (yum!). Upon their arrival I proceeded to (try to) entertain these little characters with "paper plate and bean tambourines" (a craft I quickly threw together), with the traditional crayons, stamps, and stickers. 

After completing our musical project and thoroughly annoying each other with our maraca-like-tambourines, we moved on to other things... like FOOD!  Three apples, a crock-pot full of spaghetti, a bag of carrots, multiple glasses of juice, 8 croissants, and several burps later we were done.

By this time, my wonderful husband had come home from work and joined the rowdy banshee in conversation, pillow fighting, and (soon to come) NERF warfare!  Books, puzzles, dolls, dress-up, and a large stuffed animal Bull (which was widely referred to as a "Moose" the whole evening) were scattered across our living room floor getting plenty of use, abuse and love!

In an effort to calm things down and let our food properly digest (yeah right!), I plugged in one of Josh and my favorite movies... the old That Darn Cat! (with Haley Mills). It proved to be entertaining to only about half the lot...the younger kids reverted back to riding Mr. Moose and placing books in my lap (which they then crawled up onto) for me to read to them. No problem! They know "story reading" is a favorite of mine. After the movie and a quick Cheeto snack break, I went back to reading and playing Mrs. Cow and Mrs. Rabbit (little dolls I have) with the little ones on the floor while Josh incited a NERF Revolution in the kitchen! Considering a
potential loss of ALL his ammo (NERF darts), Josh cleverly decided to issue only ONE Nerf bullet per child, per gun. Therefore, when they shoot, they HAVE to go find it in order to keep playing. 

With the four older kids occupied with a "child-adult-uprise" in the kitchen, I played the occasional referee (from the living room). These kids are amazing and our evening with them was priceless! We love getting to play "parents" (or at least "entertainers") for these little ones. I hope that our friends (the PARENTS) had a relaxing, romantic, and memorable evening... we sure did! (minus the relaxing and romantic part). Later, when the army retreated home, I commented to my husband, "You had a long day at work. You didn't have to stay in here with the kids." He just laughed and said, "It's good practice!" (in reference of future parenthood). We love these kiddos!

With all that said, if you (readers) get an opportunity to "lend a helping hand" to a large family, or to a worn-out mom... DO IT! The Word tells us to make the most of every opportunity (Eph 5:16). Let 1 Peter 4:9 be our motivator, "Use hospitality one to another without grudging". We should do this with the right intentions, the right attitude, and with the right heart-set (like mind-set). Don't do it grudgingly. 

The Lord loves a cheerful giver (and giving your time is a lifesaver for mothers!) It doesn't have to be four hours, it can be ten minutes! Just drop by and entertain the kids so mom can, I don't know, "sit down for a second!" :-) Sweep the kitchen, fold the laundry, do the dishes so the mom can take a break or get in a quick reading lesson. You don't have to feel like you're sacrificing the WHOLE day!

 Fifteen minutes of assistance goes a long way in any household with kids (just ask a mother!). Don't do it with the selfish intention of getting something back either (like gratitude, credit, or whatever... that's all "pride before the fall" stuff). You're not doing anyone a "favor". You're not doing anything special. You're simply doing what God has already commanded us to do; to love our neighbors as ourselves.

 If I had 7 kids, I know I'd need a LOT of help! I've just got one husband (and no kids) and I need a LOT of help! It all goes back to the Golden Rule, Luke 6:31 "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise". So put it in the right perspective and remember... it's A HELPING HAND. NOT A HANDOUT.

Amy and Josh G.

(follow me at www.amyhomemaker.blogspot.com)

Here's some photos that really "captured the moment" while our house was full of the "Zs"...





Now didn't Amy brighten your day? She has posted here another time a while back about her and her husband. Don't forget to check out her NEW blog and surprise her with some great comments. Thanks!

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