Each person should judge his own actions and not compare himself with others. Then he can be proud for what he himself has done. Galatians 6:4

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Eat your heart out Domino's, Pizza Hut, and where ever else pizza is made....

As I've mentioned before .. I'm on a mission to save $$. The cost of things going up and up is driving me insane as I feel MOST of the increase is not justified. Some yes I can see.. but others.. NO WAY!

I'm not big on eating out anyway.. but every once in awhile my family DOES ... So I improvised and asked them if I could make homemade pizza instead of ordering it.. They agreed.. This was two weeks ago.. and now it's requested daily ( next to my mac & cheese Ü)... So it was Friday night last night and hubby asked for the pizza.. so I made it... Here are a couple pics.. One pepperoni and the other ( hubby request) hamburger and mushrooms...

And a picture of a couple of lovely children enjoying it!!
Want the Recipe? Here it is...

It is a Bread Machine Recipe. I have two bread machines so I took the time to make 4 pizza's last night. I also bought blocked cheese and shredded it myself to keep the cost down.. We like Colby Jack on our pizza.. that's why you see the white and yellow cheese.

This is BASIC Pizza Dough .. Feel free to add any spices you would like to the dough.

Basic Pizza Dough
1 cup water
2 TBSP of olive or vegetable oil
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
2 tsp of yeast
1 TBSP cornmeal

Add water, oil, salt, bread flour,and yeast to bread machine pan in the order of suggested by manufacturer. Select dough cycle. When cycle is complete, remove dough from machine to a lightly floured surface. If necessary, knead in enough flour to make dough easy to handle.
For EACH pizza, grease pan and sprinkle with cornmeal. Roll out dough and place on pan or pat dough in p an. Top each pizza with sauce and the toppings of YOUR choice. Bake at 425* for 15-25 minutes or until done --pizza is done when the edges of crust are golden and cheese is bubbly.

Another recipe I wanted to make was Homemade Waffles... I was going to whip up a batch and flash freeze them and then bag them up for morning breakfasts. So I wanted to do a test run on a FRUGAL recipe.. I didn't want to make them from a box mix ( because that too is going up in price).. so I whipped some up!!

So here they are Chocolate Chip Pancakes.. and to make the chocolate chips go further.. I chopped them up into pieces...

UNFORTUNATELY...... They did not last long... Rule #1.. Make these when NO children are around.... They were PROCLAIMED the BEST WAFFLES ever eaten by all 3.....I'm not sure though.. the ones I had at Disney World were pretty dog-gone good!!!

Chocolate Chip Waffles
1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups milk
1 TBSP butter, melted
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, separated
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large mixing bowl;set aside. Whisk milk, butter, vanilla and egg yolk together until frothy; add to flour mixture, stirring well. Set aside. Blend egg white until stiff peaks form; fold into flour mixture. Gently stir in chocolate chips. Pour by 1/2 cupfuls onto a hot, greased waffle iron; heat according to manufacturer's instructions. Makes 6 servings.

No Syrup NEEDED!~!~

Because I have spent so much time on my cooking I just wanted to share quickly what I'm reading now...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

***** WARNING today is a small history lesson.. if you hate history.. well.. sorry to bore you.. LOL LOL*****


I'm always late with birthdays..... sigh...

I wanted to share a bit about Mr. Frost... Although he was born in California.. he spent most of his life right here in New Hampshire. I spent 180 days in the room he taught English in and always imagined what it would have been like to be taught by him. His picture graces above the doorway next to the clock ( or it did 20 years ago).. and of course.. I was a clock watcher in school.. shhh don't tell... However English ( are you surprised by my choppy writing skills) and History were my two BEST subjects. The English must have smudged down to my daughter who EXCELS in it and has taken every AP class she can in it.

Mr. Frost was given a farm house in Derry, New Hampshire by his Grandfather. This is where he gave a go at farming, though unsuccessful at farming.. he wrote his many famous poems during this time. After nine years of trying he gave up farming and went to teach at Pinkerton Academy.

Pinkerton Academy is the highschool that I went to and is the LARGEST Independent Academy in the United States and spans on 170 acres of land. So needless to say.. this highschool is quite huge and STILL growing. It pains me to see where my children go to highschool and the condition it is in... BUT..... Derry and the surroundings is greatly congested and I wouldn't raise my children there having been raised in that area. However if you look more closely into it.. in the year 2006 53% of the graduating class were accepted into 4 year college programs, 18% were accepted in to 2 year programs and 29% were not college bound... The academics were brutal there... having 7 classes a day with high expectations was enough to wear me down that's for sure! It also has 28 varieties of sports.. ( more than I had while there). Many famous people have come from my highschool.. such as Samantha Brown from the Travel Channel... Alan Shepard... The first American Astronaut in space ( big building named after him)...and many more... BUT.. the only acclaimed famous Teacher.. ROBERT FROST.

My 35 years of living in this state I have never graced the insides of this farm! I can't believe it. So my goal this summer is to grace it.. and soak in all that I can. If you're in the area you should check it out too if you love history! Robert Frost Farm.

Here's a small poem that he wrote.. I wonder if he felt the same we all of us New Englanders do now..???

To The Thawing Wind by Robert Frost

COME with rain. O loud Southwester!
Bring the singer, bring the nester;
Give the buried flower a dream;
make the settled snowbank steam;
Find the brown beneath the white;
But whate'er you do tonight,
bath my window, make it flow,
Melt it as the ice will go;
Melt the glass and leave the sticks
Like a hermit's crucifix;
Burst into my narrow stall;
Swing the picture on the wall;
Run the rattling pages o'er;
Scatter poems on the floor;
Turn the poet out of door.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter to you all! Easter to me represents one of the most important holidays. I can't stress enough to those around me why it's so important. OUR KING HAS RISEN! What more could anyone ask for? NOTHING!

Normally when I blog, I blog about the fun stuff I do.. the things I've made.. what the kids have been up to. I normally don't talk about the disappointment I some times feel when it comes to family. But today I do want to share something that lies heavy on my heart. I don't want to come off sounding like a BRAT either...

When I was growing up we did NOT have Christ in our home. PERIOD. However our family got together on the holidays and got a long for the most part. I remembered the Easter Baskets... the cupcakes my gram would make.. spending time with my cousins and searching for Easter Eggs... Seemed my cousins were always the lucky ones to get the ones with MONEY.. LOL LOL..and I'll never forget the year my older sister ATE my WHITE BUNNY!!! she snuck it and ATE IT!!! CREEP!! LOL LOL!!

Now that I'm older and I have found Christ... Easter means something more.. and something different... He died on that Cross to give me.. and who ever else wants it.. eternal life! There is NO greater gift in this world!

Here's where my human feelings come in to play.. Eight years ago.. we bought our home and I was SUPER excited to invite the family to my house for Easter! We finally worked hard to buy our home. Hubby and I BOTH worked hard. We never had to live with our parents as his siblings did... we saved and worked on becoming debt free while still living on our own. I was so proud of hubby and his accomplishments for us... I decided that first Easter I wanted EVERYONE to come to our home and have a great dinner with us and an Easter egg hunt.

I invited family.. and the words that came out of my MIL mouth brought me to almost tears "Why would you want to do a dinner.. we never do dinners on Easter that is our nap day"...My heart sank... my dear fellow blog readers.. she WHINED about this dinner for almost two weeks every time I talked to her. Telling me it wasn't her tradition.. they never did this.... etc.. She really broke my heart.. and made me feel that my home wasn't good enough.. and I shouldn't have not even bothered to ask. More heartbreaking is they are suppose to be the example of Christian Love for their family. In the years that have passed I have come to realize that my in-laws church family is more near and dear to them then her children's family. ( at least this son's)...

When they "stop by" .. because they never visit... I ALWAYS hear my mil say.. "oh we got to go.. we have to hurry..." but it's always under her breath a couple times before she comes out and says it... Does she not think I don't hear it?? Does she not realize that the last two times she stopped she's been this way? The ONLY time they stay for any length is on Christmas.... and to me that feels like an "obligation" to them.

It's sad when they will drive 9 hours one way to visit two grandkids and a brother for three days... and not stop and spend an hour with grand kids that live 15 minutes away. In truth they spend more time with grandkids in three states away then they do with grandkids 15 minutes away. They just don't know my kids.. PERIOD! and don't try!

Sooo this Easter.. it's dinner alone with my sole family. I have given up inviting family to my home because in truth... to them it's not good enough. I don't sit in a million dollar home and because my hubby is a blue collar worker... well... to them.. he'll never make it anywhere in life... Little do they know if they opened their eyes... they would actually see how far he has come! But instead their focus is on their church family... because let's face it... because if you sit on a church pew every week.. that makes you a Christian... RIGHT??? Forget the outreach and living by example... RIGHT?...

So this Easter... spend time with your family.. LOVE them.. and TELL them... our lives are GIFTS... When the day comes when my children have families.. and loved ones.. they will always know that our doors will be open ANYTIME... and we will always come together if possible!! My heart aches for those who can't see what they have right in front of their faces! I believe each of us is God's gift to one another!

Friday, March 21, 2008

This is a picture of my friend Jon ( right) and his cousin Andy. Both of these good looking young men are natives of NH... Jon is embarking on an adventure here soon.. Can you believe he is going to HIKE from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian trail ALL for a Good Cause... Our Local Home away from Home called David's House. It is a comparison as to what many know as a Ronald McDonald's house. About 9 years ago our family was faced with a situation that was unknown to us concerning my son. After 9 days stay in our hospital our son came home. Unfortunately MANY children that we met and talked with never had the chance. For those parents who came miles, states, countries away had a safe haven called David's House. It's a non profit organization that rely's solely on donations. I'm going to add a widget on the side of my blog... if you have an extra few pennies... I know that they would love to have the support... I would NEVER EVER EVER solicit anything that I never knew about.... and I have to tell you hands down.. this is an AWESOME Cause!! So if you're looking to donate this month.. or next.. PLEASE think of them!!

I have something to show you... I found this on the Martha Stewart Web-Site.. gosh a few months back and thought it was the neatest thing! However I didn't have many extra T-shirts laying around.. UNTIL I went to our thrift store and found this!
Which I turned into this.. You'll see why this shirt was PERFECT!Are you tired of the GAZILLION plastic bags that hold nothing that you get from either Wal*Mart or the grocery stores!! Well, I'm on a mission to make a few of these to carry my goods in! Here's a look INTO the bag..
Wanna Make your own.. here's the link to the video to make your own.... all you need is a sewing machine and a GREAT pair of scissors!! It's SUPER EASY!! I promise!!

Martha Stewart T-Shirt Bag
<-------- Click the Link

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dear Fellow Patrons of my Local Library~

This is an open letter to all of you who love to read. Please keep in mind there are many other people who love to read as much as you if not more. However, when I go and grab the book I've been looking for and open it to have food fall out, that really does not appeal to me. These books are not solely yours. I do NOT enjoy cake crumbs, pretzel pieces, and sometimes unfortunately, what seems to be crusty boogers smooshed in between pages. If you have the need to pick your nose.. feel free.. but DO NOT WIPE it in the books! That's just RUDE and GROSS. I am a tax payer just like you and I would appreciate it if you could return the book in the same shape you got it.
Thank You for your understanding...
Your Friendly Fellow Patron.

This is the second book in the "Annie's People Series"... The first book.. well.. it was ok.. It's about an Amish girl who loves ART and she has to hide the fact that she is talented and can paint because such art is considered Prideful. Something the Amish try to achieve in their lives. Annie however has an English friend who she has penpaled with all her life that comes to visit. She herself is an Art Major in the "English" world. Late on in the book.. Annie's secret comes out and she has to make choices in her life. You will be surprised the choice she chooses. Annie and a few other group of the Amish are haunted by a mysterious kidnapping that took place several years before and Annie's poor friend Essie is in the middle of her husband's abusive wrath. Zeke, Essie's husband was there the day his little "brudder" was kidnapped and he has been troubled since. Annie can't understand why Essie just doesn't obey her husband because that's what Amish Women are called to do. Essie takes refuge in a Mennonite home where she has learned about Jesus and being "saved". Another Prideful act according to the Bishop. The end of the book picks up immediately in "The Englisher".. I'll give more details on that after I'm finished!

It's taking me so long to read though. We are almost done with my hallway/ and linen closet.. YAY!!! Sunday I stayed most of the time in the kitchen cooking dinner.. baking breads.. and making cupcakes!
As you can see.. there was BARELY any room up there for me... It's nice to have friends who know what they're doing and willing to work for food.. LOL LOL!! You can get a glimpse of the color I picked out... it's much darker in the picture.. but a final picture will come soon..!! OH MY.. the wood work is a MESS and their is dust everywhere in my home... but I can't complain.. it already looks 100% better... NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWW to do my kitchen next.. LOL LOL!!

These are the cute little cupcakes that my daughters friend and I made... They were so good! I made homemade buttercream frosting and we tinted it green.. and I had these froggies from store bought Wal*Mart cupcakes... anywhere we go.. if someone is going to toss these.. I grab them... I love to decorate.. even cupcakes..

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Yesterday my son's 7th grade math class celebrated "Pi" day! We had to make "PIES" for class!
So I asked him what kind of pie do you want...??? Apple right? Because MOM has LOTS of canned apple pie filling...

Umm.. NOPE.. he wanted pumpkin... Plain pumpkin I ask... YUP!!

So.. I went one step further and didn't tell him at first!
I scoped out the cupboard because I needed EVAPORATED MILK.... I found a can... I was PSYCHED... until the smell hit me!! BOGUS! LISTEN TO THE EXPIRATION DATES on food!! NO IF ANDS OR BUTTS... <-------- because that's what the milk smelled like... GAG!! So my daughter with the NEW license.. trekked out to Wal*Mart to get me a new can!! So we go the crust made.. and I opened two jars of my canned apples.. mmmm the smell is heavenly..... And then I proceeded to make pumpkin pie filling... My son at this point came and in and helped me... he poured the pumpkin filling on TOP of the apples... We baked those for 30 minutes.. and while that was baking... we made a crumb topping.. flour/sugar/butter... SUPER easy!!!After the 30 minutes we topped the pies with crumb topping and baked another 20 minutes!! We had so much pumpkin pie filling we made a pie for ourselves... My son's final thought to the taste.. TWO THUMBS UP!! LOL LOL... My CANNED apples...
The Pumpkin filling over it.. and believe it or not.. it DID NOT spill out!!
And a slice.. it was HOT when I cut it.. because it was 10pm after all.. but we had to TASTE TEST!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


My son: "So mom your little girl is growing up huh?"
Me...: "un yup she is"
My son: "Kids grow up so fast these days"..
Me.. "ummm yup"... seriously hides my chuckle
Wonder if he's heard that many times????

Wisdom from a twelve year old!

And.. a little song for my daughter... Had to share with you all... LOVE IT!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"Sir's", he said, "please don't go any further. Stop awhile and rest here in the shade of this tree while I get water to refresh your feet,and a bite to eat to strengthen you. Do stay awhile before continuing your journey" -- Genesis 18:3-5

I'm struggling with the food increases... no.. not to the point I can't feed my family.. but in the idea that they are increasing because of the greediness of oil prices. It infuriates me to no end. I'm frugal to begin with. As I've described here many times before.. I bake.. I cook from scratch.. and we are NOT the McDonald's kind of family. I have to be honest.. and I've said this before.. I don't enjoy eating out. I just don't. I'm not a big shopper. Where I grew up there were MALLS GALORE and shopping GALORE.. every store you could imagine. When I first moved to my area there was NOTHING.. Wal*Mart didn't exist and the recession was on. At first I missed home.. SEVERELY! But as time went on... I have no regrets not going back. NONE! Now when I do go down to Southern NH I see it as a treat to go to a few stores that I enjoy, But nothing more. I'm sorry .. I just don't get excited to go clothes shopping... or shoe shopping.. or.. even purse shopping. NOW.. throw me in a thrift store.. or a yardsale.. and I am SUPER excited.. because I love getting something I LOVE for a mere bargain!

Well.. I'm more on a mission for food prices.. I made myself a handy dandy notebook...and no.. it doesn't look like this..
But it works for me. It holds all my coupons.. ALL that I WILL use... and not ones that have maybe's in it. I also keep the weeks flyers in with it as well. Last week I went shopping at two stores and with coupons I saved a total of $25! I didn't think that was bad for a good start... I love coupons that read...
or just have a variety to paw through and keep. I'm thankful for my friends who throw them at me... some think I'm crazy.. and other want me to shop for them.. LOL LOL.. Hey.. just last week at our local Wal*mart I got 4 bottles of palmolive for $2.00.. I didn't think that was bad at all!!

Now where I live I have no room for chickens.. but I have a friend that does! So.. I put my name in over at Jaydee's blog. For a spring give away she is giving a GC to her favorite hatchery Ideal Poultry
If you are interested hop on over and put your name in the POT as well... I never knew there was such a thing as New Hampshire reds!! And one named Plymouth Rock.. hmmm.. interesting!! Anyway, with today's increasing prices.. it would be nice to run out and get your own eggs.. and not have to worry about what the price will be next time you need them.

So on my frugal journey I have visited many web-sites, checked out many freebie samples to get in the mail.. and I found this site.. HAVE A HOUSE PARTY .. you sign up.. fill out a few easy questions and pick the party you would like to host.. NO.. it's not like a tupperware party/Pampered Chef party.. you buy NOTHING.. the company sends you FREE samples to try with you and family and friends.. I signed up for the Hershey Party!! From my understanding you don't know you got chosen until the box arrives on your doorstep. I thought this would be cool.. and WHY NOT??

Ok.. now on to a COOLER thing... GUESS WHAT?? MY washing machine came in!! WOO HOO!!!
Here it is... the first picture I took.. well.. I would have posted but if my son ever saw it.. he would have DIED.. his whitey tighties were showing.. and well.. we couldn't have that!! So here is a different look at his clothes being washed! You can put some SERIOUS laundry in there!

Monday, March 10, 2008

My house is a MESS and I'm pulling my HAIR out!! I hate messes.. really HATE messes.. yet.. this mess is for a REALLY good purpose! We have decided ( well I) that it was time to take the original wallpaper off of our front entry way and up the hallway stairs. I thought because the paper was old.. really OLD... Like 1914 old it would pop right off... umm WRONG! Here's a before picture.. and a during picture.

Here is our lovely assistant.. my daughter.. doesn't she looked super thrilled?? She did this all day and then headed out to her job!!
Here is what it looks like after.. the walls are HORRID.. they are cracked and just old looking so we skim coated half off the walls today.. I have to tell you.. that's a LOT Of work!!
But here's a sneak peek at some of the features in my home.. please ignore the dirt.. You know.. tearing off wall paper is like taking a dead Christmas Tree out the door... you keep finding needles for weeks after. There is wallpaper ALL through my home.. I feel like I vacuumed all day long and it looks like NOTHING has been touched! I guess that having neighbor boys tear through your home doesn't help either....This is the stained glass window that sits at the top of my stairway. See the house through the window? It's for sale.. Wanna be my neighbor? We sit higher up then they do, but they have a cute little yard!

And here is the future linen closet.. I know.. doesn't look like much now.. but I can't wait to actually have something to put my towels and bath products in. When this house was built so many years ago.. people didn't bath like we do now. Most people probably had one towel per/person that they used til wash day.. so why bother having a closet.. right? One bar of soap probably sat in the bathtub... so what was the worth of a linen closet?? Probably nothing to them.

Here's another stained glass window.. it's a smaller portion of a HUGE window.. I blocked it with my craft shelf.. hmm kind of wonder if I should move it out of the way.. I AM blocking it's beauty!!

And here is an original light fixture to the house.. hubby wants to replace it.. I don't.. I LOVE it... we've replaced just about every other light.. but this one has character that I REALLY love! What do you think? It's also hanging from tin ceilings....

this isn't original to my home.. but I had to share ( we had to move it to take the wallpaper off).. It's a old cabinet from a church here in town that was built in the 1700's. The Cabinet says Parish Library.. I'm assuming it held the library's books. It now holds my canned goods.. It's a great eye level cabinet. The age of the cabinet I'm not sure.. but it's well built and REAL wood.. so I'd have to say at least in the 1800's if not early 1900's.. They were just going to throw this away!! I think it was a lucky find!

On a side note STILL NO WASHING MACHINE!!! I'll leave that story for tomorrow.. Still on the same book as I've had NO reading time this weekend... boo hoo!! HOPEFULLY tonight!! My book IS getting better... but I've been so tired.. who has time!!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What a cold and dreary day for New Hampshire. I woke up surely believing that my kids would have a two hour delay this morning with the sheets of ice that were on my road.. and more pouring down.. but I was wrong.. and SHOCKED! However.. I kept telling them.. look on the bright side.. while others are sitting in hot steamy classrooms... you'll be able to sleep in or hang out! Some how my son couldn't for see the future on that one. At 12 I'm sure I wouldn't have either!!
So I'm not going to bore you with Ice/Snow pictures.. because honestly.. I don't know if I can even fathom taking anymore pictures of it.. ICK!! Show me a Palm Tree!!

So I'm sharing a picture of my washing machine.. I didn't buy the dryer because ours is still good.. and I'm on a mission to SAVE money.. instead of spending it.. however.. I'm thinking our Good Lord has other plans for me lately.. LOL LOL.. oh well!!
I stayed up all night one night on my vacation reading reviews.. after reviews.. after reviews and this one came up the BEST for our area.. and price range. It had 4.8 stars out of 5. I gave up looking for the perfect 5.. because in truth.. there is always someone out there that's going to complain about something... and you know what I mean! So I'm still praying that it comes TOMORROW like they said.. if not.. MAN!! I think my heads going to blow off!! I've spent to much money and time at the creepy Laundromat.. and when we went Monday.. one of the washers BROKE on us!!! Not cool!!

So.. here's what I read this past week!!
this is the second book in the series.. it was GOOD.. and somewhat SAD.. reading about two families struggling through the depression and dealing with the death of loved ones right around the corner of Christmas! It really makes you think about how spoiled we REALLY are today vs what they had to endure during that time! I'm truly grateful for what I do have.. ( even if I complain about washing machines... I guess I should be glad I'm not down by the creek scrubbing in a ice storm.. right?)

I'm really enjoying this series!! I can't wait for more to come. I just became SOAKED into the story and had a hard time putting it down. The book is about a girl who is forced to leave her home country due to false charges brought against her father and in order to save her from the same fate he sends her to America! Five years later she is an elaborate dress designer with a secret! Of course she falls in love.. and has a jealous enemy..You won't be sorry you read it!

So I jump from the Depression, then to the late 1880's and then in to the Contemporary Amish Times. I have to admit.. right now.. I'm about 6 chapters in and I'm a smidge board with it. I normally dive right into Amish stories.. but this one is having a hard time grasping my attention. However I won't give up on it.. and will read it as it's second in the series is awaiting as well!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hola!! Mi Amigos!! My vacation is officially over.. hubby went back to work..and my kids are home and sucking up the computer... Life is good!! Thank you all so much for your awesome comments... I'm going to get back to reading all of your blogs that I have come to treasure and ADORE.. I DID miss you all!! Can't wait to catch up with you all!!
I've been reading.. and I'll post what I have read tomorrow..
I DID find a WASHER!! however.. it's still is NOT in my home!! Still waiting for it to come in!! sighhh.. They said they had ordered the exact one I did.. and more than likely it would come in last week.. Well.. they LIED to me!! Grrr.. and when we called they told us that it's coming in later than the fellow originally told us..But You'll be the first to know when it's here!

Praise GOD for spell check.. WOO HOO!! and I didn't know you could get so much Junk "comments" on your blogs.. WOW!! LOL LOL!! Guess I need to change my settings.. BUMMER!

Anyway.. I'm going to head off for the night and hopefully share more with you tomorrow.. but for now.. I'll leave you with a picture my son took on his Florida Vacation!!