Saturday, January 30, 2010

Update on Febreeze Type Recipe

Thank you Tammy for the great link. I thought that I would share two of the recipes that I found.

first recipe:

2 cups water (warm)

 1/4 cup fabric softner ( can break down fire retardent on fabric)

1 tbs. baking soda

shake well

second recipe:

1 cup vinegar

1 cup water

1/2 tsp vegetable glycerine

1/2 tsp essential oil of your choice

shake well

I will try the second recipe it seems safer and healthier for the home. I don't know what the cost difference will be. I'm sure the home made one will be less :) Let me know if any of you try one of these recipes.

( never reuse a bottle that has any kind of chemical in it.)



Friday, January 29, 2010

Does anyone have a febreeze type recipe?

I was wondering if anyone has a recipe to make a febreeze type spray? I like to use it on my furniture and other things around the house. If you can share that would be great.



Wednesday, January 27, 2010

After Midnight

Well, it is Thursday, 12:37 am. No, I'm not an early riser :) We are night owls. My husband got called to winch out a car stuck in an orchard. We have a towing company and we take the calls after the office is closed. It is not always fun to have the phones, but it puts food on the table and we are thankful that the Lord always provides. He just called and said he would be about an hour and half, so I thought I would read some blogs and decided to post one myself. Today, or I guess it's yesterday was great, the kids got their school work done and with out any frustration! That might be a first. Roger took Joey to check on the workers pruning the field and when he got in the back of the field he let Joey drive! I'm glad I wasn't there. He is only 3 !/2 :) Don't worry he was on Dad's lap. He was so excited when he got home and had to tell me and the girls all about it. Isn't being a kid so wonderful and to be a mom is the best.  Then Jenna got out her cup cake maker she got for christmas and made us some cup cakes for snack! They were interesting! Smile and eat it, I told myself :) The things we will swallow for our kids. Kristen went out to the office which is about 100 feet in front of our house and hung out with dad until he came home at 5:00 ( she is a daddy's girl.). I did my usual and enjoyed it! Dinner was a huge hit! Yeah, I like it when everyone loves dinner especially my 3 year old.

We are going to get our land ready this week for our garden. My mom and dad will be down in Feb to help. They have some blueberrys and trees that need planting. The land where we are going to grow our garden is uneven, so Roger is going to level it. My mom and dad are so excited and so are we. We only see them once a week on Sat. With my mom retiring I'll get to see them so much more! We have a lot of work to do. I hope we can get it all done so we have a garden full of yummy fruit and veggies.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and I think I'll work on some laundry now. I can't sleep when Rogers gone. Hope he's home soon.





Monday, January 25, 2010

Menu Monday

This weeks dinner palns:

Monday:       Cracker and Cheese Meat loaf                                                                  

                    mash potatos/ gray and green beans

Tuesday:       Pizza casserole

                     garlic bread, salad, green beans

Wednessday: Dutch Oven Pot Roast

                     carrots, potato, onion, bread

Thursday:      Chicken Tortilla Soup

                     served with rice, cheese and salsa

Friday:         Tri-Tip

                     bake potato, salad w/ranch dressing

Saturday:      Mom's for dinner :)

Sunday:         Catch a Chicken named Tore ( Chicken Cacciatore)

                      served over rice  w/ garlic bread



Friday, January 22, 2010

Country Gravy Chicken and Dumplings

I had some left over baked chicken breast and my daughter Kristen asked if we could make Chicken and Dumplings. We have made it before and we use potatos, carrots, ect. She had a sleep over at a friends house and they made a very creamy chicken and dumplings w/ out veggies. So I thought we could try to replicate it. Kristen was a big help. She is really growing up.

Our Recipe:

Bring two small cans of chicken stock and 3 tbsp butter to a boil

make a basic dumpling mix and add to pot (The kids love to drop them in the pot)

cut up chicken breast add to pot

when dumplings are ready pour in one package of white country gravy slowly to dissolve ( The gravy adds plenty of pepper flavor, but you might want to add salt.)


We had it for lunch and it was so, so, so, good. We all enjoyed it! It served all five of us and Dad had seconds. He usually does, He can't resist my cook'n! :)



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My New Curtains!

My Mom made me some curtains for my dinning room! She did such a nice job and I'm very thankful for them. They really warm up the room and we spend alot of time here.  Thank you Mom! Are'nt moms great?



Saturday, January 16, 2010

Defeated by Hobo Bread

Yesterday I took the girls to my mom-in-law's aka Mema's house to finish up a sewing project they have been working on. She had a new Amish cookbook I was thumbing through and I spotted a recipe for Hobo Bread. ( This should of been my first clue it would not turn out well. Do the Amish trade recipes with Hobo's?)It called for raisins and I have raisins coming out of my ears. I decided that I would bake it after dinner and we would have it for breakfast this mornig. I was excited, the recipe called for two cups of raisins to be boiled in one cup of water w/ 4 teaspooons of baking soda and let cool. After dinner clean up was done. I took the raisin mixture and added it to the dry ingrediance. It made alot! But I followed the directions, it said to bake @ 350* for 1 hr. in a 4 x 8 pan. I put it in and went to watch TV with Roger.  About 20 min later he asked is something burning?

I got up to look and the kitchen was full of smoke. I opened up the oven and my bread had seriously over flowed. I took the bread out and was sad. My husband came in and right away said get a spatula and he got right to work cleaning out the oven and saving the day! He is so sweet. I got a cookie sheet and placed foil around it  and back into the oven the bread went. Long story short after pulling it out and putting it back in, it never really cooked through. It looked like a mushy, sticky, pan of goo! My sweet husband tasted it anyways. Did I mention he was sweet? Jenna and Joey liked it and Kristen wouldn't go near it. I don't think I will try this one again for a while.



Thursday, January 14, 2010

       This morning we made some yummy blueberry muffins. They were so good and made the kitchen smell wonderful for school. I love to homeschool the kids. I remember rushing around in the morning trying to get everyone ready to go to school. We only had time for cereal or a piece of toast in the car. I'm thankful that the Lord lead us to the homeschool life. It is so peaceful and I love the time that we have as a family. When my oldest daughter started 4th grade the amount of homework and stress that came along with it was not fun. I often get asked How are you able to homeschool? Don't you need time by yourself? Aren't you stressed out all the time? The fact is I have never felt closer to my kids. With just a little preperation it's easy. I do get time for myself, but I'd rather be with my family anyways. I used to be stressed out when they went to school. The homework, parties, volunteering, The tuition! I love to homeschool the kids. My husband and I wouldn't change this time we have with the kids for anything. It's not always blueberry muffins in the morning but the time is always special.



Monday, January 11, 2010

A Day at the Beach! Yes, in January


Here are our feet in the sand. We decided to take the kids to Morro Bay, a two hour drive from our home. It was so nice, the sun was shinning and it was a warm 67 degrees!  It was nice to see and feel the sun. We visited an aquarium where we fed fish pieces to a very entertaining seal. Then it was across the street to the shell shop. The kids all picked out cute creatures made out of shells. We then hit the beach with one major rule! NO ONE IS TO GET WET. That lasted about 5 seconds.  Good thing I brought a change of clothes for the kids. We fed the seagulls some bread and headed off to get some salt water taffy. It was a nice day and I'm glad that the Lord made it a sunny day. We needed a break from the fog!




Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Apple Cake With Caramel Frosting

Yesterday after school the kids and I made a cake. I got the recipe out of a cook book I got for Christmas. We cooked it in my 10 in. cast iron skillet that I also got for Christmas. It was so good! Pictures of it are on my photo album, but I haven't figured out how to post it on my page yet.  Joey (3) with a full mouth said "It's delicious!" Here is the recipe

Preheat oven to 350. Butter the 10 in. skillet, dust with flour and tap out excess

2 1/3 cups all purpase flour * 2 cups granulated sugar * 2 teaspoons baking soda * 1/2 teaspoon salt * 1 teaspoon cinnamon * 4 cups peeled and  grated apples * 1/2 cup veg. shortening * 2 eggs 

Mix dry together and add wet and blend on medium until well blended. Batter will be thick. Place batter in skillet and bake 40 to 45 min. Cool in pan.

The frosting

1/3 cup butter * 1/2 cup light brown sugar * 3 tablespoons whole milk * 1/2 teaspoon vanilla * 1 1/2 cup powder sugar                                                                                           

In a saucepan melt butter and then add brown sugar stir until it dissloves. Add milk and bring to a boil. Pour in to a bowl let cool 10 min. Add the vanilla and powder sugar, mix. Pour on top of cake and serve in skillet.

Jenna grated all the apples and Kristen and Joey helped me with all the measuring, pouring, and mixing. Dad helped by eating it! We all did! It was yummy.



Monday, January 4, 2010

My First Blog

Hello everyone! I'm excited to start sharing the McLain family with everyone. I'm blessed to have a Christian home. We thank the Lord daily for his blessings. I have been married to a wonderful man Roger for the past 15 years. We have 3 amazing children Kristen 11, Jenna 8, and Joey 3. I'm a stay at home mom and we homeschool our girls who are in the 6th and 3rd grade. We live here in sunny California in the heart of the San Joaquin valley. We are surrounded by lots of orchards, vineyards, and row crops. We live on 20 acres of vines and we grow thompson seedless grapes which in the late summer we turn into raisins. We also own a couple of buisnesses that allow us to spend alot of time together.

I'm looking forward to this year! My mom who is a pre-school teacher will retire this year!! My Dad and her will be spending 2-3 days a week up here, so we will be building a guest cottage . They live about 1 hr. away. We are going to have a garden this year! I'm excited! Pop (Rogers grandpa) Has grown tomatoes and peppers but this year we plan to go big! My husband will also be building our chicken coop and I only have one request. It must be barn red w/ white trim. The girls also got a sewing machine for Christmas from Mema and have already started on PJ's. They look great!

I'm thrilled to start my homestead blog! I've been reading so many of yours and I must say what a wealth of information!