Sunday, November 20, 2011

Really at Wal-Mart?

On Monday I spent the day in Franklin, Indiana with a good friend of mine. We had a wonderful time hanging out with each other. After we were done with what we went there to do, we decided to go to Wal-Mart. I would just like to say that I hate Wal-Mart. It is really all there is in my small town, and they know it so prices are higher and they do not treat the customer with and respect at all (even though we are who pays their bills). Anyways, I may have found a new appreciation for Wally World. While there I just "had" to go to the baking supplies and day dream, and you'll never guess what I found......WHEAT BERRIES!! I was very surprised it made me think that maybe it's just my Wal-Mart that stinks so bad.

This wonderful find has made me realize how much I have changed in the past few years. I no longer go straight to shoes or purses (I do still go right to the books and crafts) I now go to the baking aisle. I don't get excited about a pair of heals on sale or a new "cool" purse. Instead, I almost have a heart attack over wheat berries. I was so excited I could hardly breath. I called DH out of breath and so excited I could hardly ask if it was ok to buy them. (I didn't need to ask permission, but I just wanted him to be ok with this new adventure) He, of course, said it was ok, and I spent $13.98 on a 25lb bag. I have no idea if that is a good deal or not, but it was the only time I have seen them without going to the mill.

I came home and started looking for a way to grind these bad boys up and no such luck....after moving I seem to be missing one piece of every small kitchen appliance I own. Not to be discouraged I head to my moms. Anything can be accomplished at mom's house. First I tried the food processor, I think it would have worked, but I don't have that kind of time. Next was a coffee grinder, it worked well, but was way too small. Finally I pulled out the blender. It worked great!!! It is a little bit course, but I still made my own flour darn it!!  My moms is very sophisticated and had lots of fancy buttons that mine does not have, so I'll have to experiment when I find the pieces to mine.

Of course I HAD to make something with my freshly ground flour, so my mother and I had pizza. I used my normal recipe, but this time I put my wheat in place of just over 1/2 of the flour in the recipe. IT WAS WONDERFUL!!! The texture was perfect, it was nice and moist fluffy and filling. I ate 2 pieces and I was very very full. It was strange, I was super full, but I never got to the miserable full that I normally get.

The next day I had my friend and her children come over for dinner with my babies A and B and two of my step kids R and Z. Since she was the one with me when I made my find I had to make her something with it. I made dinner rolls and once again used whole wheat in place of about 1/2 of the flour. They were really good. I had never made dinner rolls before and I must say that my first try was a success. It is not very often that I get something right on the first try so I am very proud of myself.  My friend loved them and so did the kids. It made me so happy that something I put so much effort in came out so good. (If you read about my bread fiasco you should understand) I lost my charger for my camera so I couldn't take pics, sorry....I'll have to take some as soon as I find it.

Well I guess I have rambled enough for today, I'll let everyone get back to their lives again.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Trick or Treat!!

This year, since the twins are now 1 year old, we went trick or treating. I hadn't planned on taking them, but a friend of mine wanted to go, so i figured what the will be fun. And it was!! I haven't been trick or treating in about 8 years. I forgot how much fun it was. Apparently the people passing out candy do not like 1 year old trick or treaters. they kept saying how I was going to eat all the candy. Well I would just like to say that I only ate the Kit Kat's and I gave the rest to my step kids.

Is this what the candy goes in mom??

Sorry Sis..this ones mine.

Come on guys....your wasting time!!

Guess what................Baby B is WALKING!! It's not fair, where did my little 4 pound baby go? Now that she is walking I know it will only be a matter of time before they are both up and running. And I mean RUNNING!!! Baby B is so cute when she gets excited and tries to run. She falls flat on her belly and laughs as hard as she can.

Every time I snap the picture she stopped...oh well she's cute anyways

Just because he's so darn cute,and I can't take pictures of one without getting a few
 of the other one too..

This weekend I had my 2 younger step children. I was tired of sitting around, but with the twins having colds we couldn't really go outside to do much. So we made butter. I just took some heavy whipping cream and put it in a mason jar and had them shake the life out of it. They thought it was the best thing ever. After making and trying our butter the oldest kept asking when I was getting a cow. As much as I would like a milk cow, I don't think my 1/4 acre lot could handle it. Today we went to my sisters house for a house warming party. As I have said, I plan on getting chickens in the spring, and my sister has chickens. I didn't know how my step kids would like them, so we gave it a try today. The oldest loved them. She got right in there with them and petted one. She said she can't wait for us to get them so she can help me feed them and collect the eggs. Now if only I could get some more materials for my "free" chicken coop .

Thursday, October 27, 2011

They Won't Stop Growing!!!

A week ago my family and I celibrated the twins first birthday! I know i should have posted this a week ago, however, with party planning and school i tend to get a little behind.  Anyways, the twins woke up to cake and presents for breakfast. I had never seen baby A more excited about anything. He was COVERED in icing! He loved it! Baby B, however, tried to grab her candle realized it was just a touch warm lol. She didn't get burnt but I think it scared her. She wouldn't touch her cake after that and I had to grab a fork and feed it to her.
It was a great day! They loved it! Mommy it a a little sad babies are growing up! It won't be long until they are starting school.....

The night before my c-section

Baby A

Baby A was 4 lbs. and 8 oz and 18 inches long

Baby B

Baby B was 4 lbs. and 11 ozs. and was 18 in long.

My Sweet little twins!

Baby A and his cake!

Baby A now weighs 22 lbs!! and is 29 1/4 inch long!! He is mommy's little "tank"

Baby B and her cake!

Baby B is now 18 lbs and 28 inches long!! Looking at her now, you never would think that she was the bigger one!!

Baby A after his cake!! (he loved it!!)

Baby B was not nearly as into it as Baby A.

Needless to say it was a wonderful day. We also got baths right away. Baby A had icing in his ear, I didn't think we would ever get them clean. 

Growing Home

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baking.....A LOT!

Sorry I have been MIA for a few days. I have been busy baking and doing school work. I am going in school hoping to get in the nursing program. I have always wanted to be a nurse. It just seems to be my calling. I love to take care of people and pray that I can do well enough in school to make it. The nursing programs at my school of choice is very competitive. It seems like everyone in my generation wants to be a nurse. Hopefully I am one of the lucky few that make it into the program.

Now to let everyone know what I have been up to.

Well, I have been taking care of baby A and Baby B. They have both been sick. I hate not being able to fix them! Baby B would just lay her head down on my chest and whimper. Now they are both back to their mischievous-selves. However, now that they are back 100%  My darling hubby (DH) is sick. It turns out her has bronchitis and pleurisy. I figured the had bronchitis. He gets it every year, but the pleurisy was a surprise. He is now done with his meds, but is still in a lot of pain. Poor guy! He is pumping himself with pain killers to try to get through his nights at work, and praying he doesn't have to work over. Hopefully he will be better soon,.

I have been great though (I got my flu shot!!).

DH and I went to Sams Club a few weeks ago and bought me some baking supplies. When making the Artisan Bread I didn't have any yeast. I do however have wonderful neighbors do have yeast lol. I NOW HAVE YEAST! A pound of yeast to be more accurate. I also have 25 lbs of sugar and of flour. I have been putting it to good use too.

I made some cinnamon rolls the other day. They were wonderful. I used half AP flour and half whole wheat flour. They turned out great and I will definitely be making them again, very soon. you can find them here.

I also made some bread. I am apparently having issues with my bread baking. I have made bread before. This is not my first rodeo. Well I made this recipe 3 times and not once did it turn out right. The first time it rose in the bowl but wouldn't rise int he pan. Very frustrating! I baked it anyways hoping it would rise a little in the oven, but no such luck. I ended up with the hard little brick of what I would be ashamed to call bread. The second time I forgot the oil. I wish I could blame this on someone else, but no, the twins were napping so this one was all me. The got be super frustrated so i tossed it and started fresh. The last time it all went great! I didn't forget anything, it rose both times wonderfully. I baked it, it smelled great! I went to the oven to get it out and the darn thing fell!!!!!! GRRRRR!!!!!!!!! Not happy! I kinda wanted to cry. I called my mommy almost in tears and she said i let it rise too long. Ok...I can fix that! Next time keep a closer eye and try not to get distracted.

I also made an Amish Friendship bread starter. I am very excited about this! I haven't had it in forever. I can't wait until my 10 days are up so I can make it!!!

And lastly to prove to myself and DH that I can bake I made pizza. I had never made pizza crust before so I was really taking a chance here. but it was great!!!I got 6 thumbs up!! (DH, Baby A, and I, Baby B was sleeping) I took this recipe and cut in half. It was a little thicker than I liked so next time I'll make bread sticks out of it too. I got it here

2 Tbls yeast
2 1/4 C warm water
3/4 tsp salt
6 1/2 C flour
Knead all these together until a soft elastic dough forms.
Let rise 30 minutes
Divide into 3 or 4 parts.
Roll and press out onto 3 or 4 greased cookie sheets or pizza pans
Top with sauce, toppings, and cheese
Bake at 450 for about 10 minutes

Thanks for reading!!
Sweet Mama


Monday, October 3, 2011

My wonderful Sister!

Last night I went to my sister Carrie's house.  We had a wonderful visit and, like most times we see each other, I left with some awesome recipes. A few weeks ago she told me about an artisan bread she was making. At the time it sounded good but i had no interest in trying it out. However in the last few weeks I have decided that there is absolutely no reason for me to buy things i can make myself.

She gave me a recipe a while back for taco seasoning and my husband and I LOVE it! So here it is.

3 tablespoons chili powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder (we use dried minced onion)
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon and 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon black pepper

I just stir it all together and put it in a cheese shaker. When i make tacos (about once a week) i just shake a bunch on it until i think it smells right (great measuring right?)

Today I made the bread she told me about you can find the recipe here. It was very easy and smells wonderful! I tried to take pictures as i went along so you could see how it looked. I have no idea if it looked right but it seems to be OK. I did not have a bowl large enough, so I used the pan I got in the hospital when i had the twins....don't worry I washed and sanitized it lol
This is what it looked like After I mixed it all together

The dough half way through the rising process

My dough ball before rising.

After rising and I cut the slits in the top.

It's DONE!! Ok, so it doesn't look like the one on the website, but I'm proud of myself!

She gave me other recipes and as I try them out I will update.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The sale barn

Yesterday my husband and I went to a local flee market. When I was growing up we called it the sale barn. I went hoping to find some old windows, lumber or something to help me with my chicken coop project. As it turns out i had no such luck, however I did buy a very nice cast iron skillet for $8.

I stoped to  look at some of the chickens they had for sale there. I was very disappointed at the condition on the bird they were selling. One farmer had about 15 full grown chickens crammed packed in a a little crate about 2' by 3'. These poor little chickens couldn't even stand up the crate was so darn small. Now everything I have read says to look at how the chickens are taken care of, and if it seems unsatisfactory then don't buy them. But I felt to bad for these poor cramped chickens. I wanted to buy everyone of them just to get them out of that tiny little box. Don't worry I didn't buy them, I don't even have a coop yet. This is the same reason I am no longer allowed to go to the pound. I feel so bad for them I just want to bring them all home with me. I know, I have a problem. I need help.

On a brighter note, I did get a small stack of lumber from a guy on FreeCycle. It's not much but it is a start. If only I could find a bit more. I just don't know how to go about asking people to give me things. I am sure someone out there has old lumber or even chicken supplies that they don't need, but I don't know to get in contact with them, or how to ask for it without seeming like a mooch. There is an older man that goes to church with me who is always saying how no one asks him for help any more, and that all he does is sit around all day. So I am considering asking him if he can help me track down some old building materials and maybe give me instructions on how to go about building it. I dont' know, maybe he can help, but it might be worth a try.

I had to take my mother in for a procedure the other day (no worries, she's fine) and while I waited for her i drew up some plans for a coop. It's 6' by 8'. Has a slanted roof, and windows in the shorter side. A door on one side wall, and the nesting boxes acrossed from it, with the pop hole under them. The roosts are on the wall acrossed from the windows. I don't know how it will work but I'm hoping it will work for 8 chickens.

Thursday, September 8, 2011



                 Well my name is Stephanie and I live in Indiana. My husband and I were blessed from the very beginning with a wonderful set of twins, Cameron and Olivia. They are now 10 months old and growing like weeds!

                   We just moved a small "town" out in the middle of nowhere and have decided to try to start a small backyard flock of laying hens. I have had several well grown gardens in the past and hope to continue this here at our new home. Hopefully before long I will have my own "little patch of heaven" right here in Indiana.
                  Seeing as we just moved in there was no garden this year for me :( However we have a wonderful church who's pastor let me pick off his green beans. Surprisingly we ended up with 25 pints yesterday! Major suprise to me and my mother, who helped me can them.  So far this yearn I have had 9 pints of pasta sauce, thanks to my mothers wonderful garden, and 25 pints of beans! Not too bad for a girl without a garden.  Hopefully next year i can give back to those who have helped me.