Monday, September 23, 2013

Money Vs. Time

 Lately I've heard several friends talking about wishing that they had a clothesline outside. I have a clothesline in the backyard. I've used it multiple times, but not every time I do laundry. Today was a nice day, so I decided to use it as I won't have many more opportunities this year. As I hung each piece of clothing, I thought about the time and money that I was using and saving. I like to hang my laundry sometimes, just to feel like I can survive without something (the dryer); to try to experience the workload of the women who have gone before me; to prepare for a lifestyle I may soon face by living in another part of the world. I don't come anywhere near the workload of the pioneer women, but I wonder did they have things that they wanted to spend time doing that they couldn't because they were busy doing the everyday chores? ? For those of us living in the Western world, where things are very easy, it really seems to be a matter of priorities in some of these areas. Do you spend extra time hanging each piece of clothing to dry and then take each one down, or throw them in the dryer for a few dollars a month and have time to do other things? I love making things cheaply and think that it is a wiser use of the money that God has given. For instance, sometimes I make my own wipe solution and laundry soap. I feel like I really save a lot of money by doing those things, so I spend the time to do them. However, in one way or another, something is being spent. I know the balance of time and money will be different for each person, but I wonder if anyone else has wondered, is it really worth it to save a few pennies here and there, for the time that I am spending on a job?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cabbage Rolls

This recipe is an adaptation of the recipe from Trim Healthy Mama. It's super good!!! I don't have much experience with cabbage, so when I made this I was so surprised at how good was. I ended up eating the whole batch over the next couple of days. It is a Satisfying (S) meal. It will be something I make over and over again.

 Cabbage Rolls

Step1: Blanch 14(+/-) large cabbage leaves in boiling water for about 5 minutes to soften.

Step 2: Cook 1-2 lbs. of ground beef. Drain, then return to pan and add chopped peppers and onions. Season with salt and pepper and whatever other seasonings you like (chili powder, onion, garlic, etc.). Cook until everything is cooked well.

Step 3: Plop a little filling in the middle of each cabbage leaf and roll it up, tucking the sides in as you roll so you end up with an enclosed cylindrical shape.

Step 4: Put rolls in a 9x13 baking dish and cover with 1 (8 oz.) can of tomato sauce.

 Step 5: Bake covered in oven at 350 for 30-35 minutes until steaming hot.

Step 6: Enjoy!!! :)

The original recipe is for a crockpot, which I haven't tried yet, but here are the differences:
Step 2: Mix ground beef with 2 eggs, 1 finely chopped onion, and one finely diced green pepper. Season. (without cooking)

Step 5: Put rolls in crockpot and cover with above sauce, or diced tomatoes seasoned with Worchester sauce, salt, and pepper.

Step 6: Cook on med/high in crockpot for 7-9 hours.

*Another idea if you are doing THM is to add quinoa to the meat mixture (which would make it an S Helper).*    

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Beginnings of "Tot School"

Since Jabin turned 2 years old, I have been very interested in starting some kind of educational program with him. I've looked online at some ideas, but there are so many ideas it was easy to feel overwhelmed. I found one site, though, that had a lot of good ideas that I am hoping to start implementing to some degree.

I will be making "trays" with different activities that he will play with for set periods of time (10-20 minutes) depending on his interest level. Each of the trays will have a different theme. Themes would be things like pouring, spoons, matching, sorting, beads, strings, stacking, stickers, cutting, gluing, etc. Activities would be pouring beans, rice, etc. from different containers into other containers; using different sized spoons to move rice, beans from different containers to others; stacking blocks, lining them up; using play dough and cookie cutters; gluing papers, etc.

Another idea that I liked is making "sensory boxes." These are boxes that are filled with different things to explore and find. For instance, I may make a wood-themed box, filled with bark, grass, plants, acorns, plastic forest animals; or a dinosaur-themed box filled with beans or sand with plastic dinosaurs, rocks, and other things that could go along with that. They can be filled with anything that you have around the house, for instance, cotton balls, rice, beans, then put other little things in the box to find and play with. At the time of using the sensory box, I could also read books that would go along with the theme.

My goal is to have three planned activities each day, Monday-Friday. (Of course, some days I may not be able to when I have other plans or unexpected changes in plans, which is almost expected lately. :) ) These activities would include using a tray activity, sensory box, reading together, playing/working outside, working in the garden, bath time play, going to the park, or coloring, etc. Later this year, it may include learning some letter sounds and numbers. For now, though, I just want to enjoy life together with him and let him explore the world by experiencing different things and learning how things work.
(Jabin playing, and trying to eat, his first sensory box.)

For more information on sensory boxes and learning tray ideas go to:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

5 "Easy" Ways to Help Keep a Tidy House

     Here are just some simple ways that may help you as you go about your daily tasks as a housewife. We all know there are up and downs on keeping our homes looking nice. Whether you're having a new baby, or going on a trip, or having people over, there will be times when you can't always have a neat home. But there are some ways that may help you to not have such a huge task when you are trying get things "back to normal." Hopefully, we can use these steps and keep our homes looking neat and tidy!

Step One: Put your WHOLE heart into your work. When we work in our homes, we are fulfilling a God-given task. When we clean up messes, vacuum, wash laundry, etc. we do it as working for the Lord. We don't want to be lazy or half-hearted. Proverbs 31:17 says, "She sets about her work vigorouslyher arms are strong for her tasks" (emphasis added).

Step Two: Make a schedule. I love lists and schedules but I think that even people that aren't "natural" organizers can benefit from having a basic schedule. Depending on where you are in this category, this may be harder or easier. But despite whether you like schedules, you have to plan ahead on what you are going to do, in order for things to run smoothly. For instance, maybe you want to have certain days for certain jobs. I like to do laundry on Mondays that way I have clean clothes for the rest of the week. Some people like to do their laundry throughout the week as they get a load. Having that idea though will save you from getting to an event and not having clothes to wear because you didn't plan ahead. Things are more likely to get done if you plan to do it, even if you don't get it done the specific day you planned.

Step Three: Put things in a specific place. Let everything have a home. If you can't find a home for it, ask yourself whether it's something you really need or want to keep. If it is, find a place to keep it; if not, find a new home for it- Goodwill, garage sale, give it away, sell it online, etc. This will make things much easier for you in the long run as you will know where everything is and won't spend valuable time trying to find it (unless you have small children who move it). Have a place for incoming mail and bills so they don't get lost, then once they've been taken care of, have a place to keep them for your records.

Step Four: Pick up after yourself. This goes back to the previous step, in putting things away. Try to put things back where they belong after you use them or when you see that they are out of place. Even young children can put things away when they get them out; I know because I have a 22-month old. If you are there with them, have them put away their toys after playing with them instead of getting everything out and having a huge job of putting everything back at once. This also helps them not to feel overwhelmed with a huge task. You won't feel as overwhelmed either, if you put away a few things here and there, before it becomes a huge looming pile.  :)

Step Five: Do "light" cleaning. Sweep the floor if it needs it, vacuum, etc. Clean the dishes up and wipe up spills or other messes. Clean up as you go about your day. These are besides doing your main scheduled "event" (laundry, bathrooms, organizing, grocery shopping, etc.).

These tips are all "easier said, than done" at times, but just remember that your work is done for the Lord and He will help you with them.

Home-made Playdough :)

Today I made home-made playdough for Jabin to play with. We made 4 different colors and then used animal cookie cutters to make cows, chickens, pigs, geese, and sheep. :) Jabin did pretty well for his first time. He licked it a couple of times, but it was made with salt, so he didn't really want to eat it.

Here's the recipe:

No-Cook Playdough Recipe

1 cup salt
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons oil
A few drops of food coloring
1. Mix all ingredients very well and store in plastic bag or covered jar.