Saturday, June 11, 2011

My Sister is How Old?

I hope to be back blogging this week! I have truly missed reading all of yours and sharing on mine! Our garden is in full swing and so much is going on around here!

Happy Birthday Hope!

I am Happy,

Sarah

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Got Freezer Meals?

This past week there was not a lot of cooking going on in my house. My girls did make some spaghetti and warmed up some soup, but there was no real meal for my family to enjoy while I was sick in bed. I never get sick and for a whole week that is very unlikely to happen again I hope, but if it does I want to be better prepared. 

 So do you have a freezer meal that you can share?

You can leave it in my comments or share a link to your blog. I think this will be fun and something we can all use! Hope to hear from you.

I am Happy,

Sarah

Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy Spring!


Hi Everyone! I'm so excited that it is Spring it is one of my favorite times of the year. I'm sorry that I have been MIA lately, but I have been very sick and today is the first day in a week that I feel all most normal. I have lots of house work and tons of laundry to catch up on. I guess you can say I will be Spring cleaning..LOL. I hope to get back here soon for some visiting. Have a wonderful first day of Spring!

I am Happy,

Sarah

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jenna Made Me Pillows

These are very sweet little pillows. She got the idea from a Highlight magazine. They are a no sew and a great re-purpose idea.

What you will need:

old pair of blue jeans
ribbon
filling
tacky glue
scissors

Cut the thigh part of the legs. Stuff legs with filling. Then tie ends with ribbon and decorate pillow with ribbon using tacky glue to secure it.

It would be cute to use buttons on these too!

Thanks Miss. Jenna. I love my new pillows and they are so me! A crafty girl after my own heart.

I am Happy,

Sarah

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Almond Blossoms


I was surprise to here that not everyone have seen an almond tree. We have so many different things growing here in our valley. I just saw some corn already a knee high (for cow feed). I am mostly surrounded by orchards or vineyards, but on the west side of our valley is where most of the row crops are grown. I remember as a little girl my parents would drive down the road telling us what kinds of things were growing out in the fields. Roger and I find ourselves doing the same things. The funny thing is when I was young all I could think was what's the big deal? It's just plants.. LOL.
Your windshield will not be a very pretty sight with all these bees pollinating
Have you ever seen an almond orchard being harvested? They take a machine/tractor that is totally enclosed and really low to the ground so it fits under the trees. It has an arm with a claw on the front of it that grabs ahold of the tree trunk and shakes all the almonds off the tree unto the ground. Then they have a machine that is a large vacuum that comes and vacuums up the almonds. Both of these cause tons of dust in the air and during school days the schools around here do not let the kids outside to play because of the bad air quality.


I am not an expert on almonds and just sharing what I have observed living here for the past 16 years. I'm sure I have given you the simple version of almond harvesting :). I just really enjoy the beautiful spring they provide and the yummy almond of course.

                        http://goblossomtrail.com/                                                                                      


We also have this really neat Blossom Trail here in the valley so if you are ever in Ca. in the spring it is a must do! I plan to do it this year it will be our first time.

I am Happy,

Sarah

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Adorable White Cows


I took pictures this weekend of these adorable cows. I looked online to see what breed they are. I think that they are French Charolair and are used for beef. I grew up just down the street from them. They were very excited to see me and one even came up and licked my arm. Hope you all have a blessed day.

I am Happy,

Sarah

Friday, March 4, 2011

Catching Up

I'm back due to popular demand from my fans! My Mom and Dad..LOL. I have been enjoying my blog vacation. I did not mean to be gone for so long, but when I got ready to come back my computer was not working. Roger has fixed it and I'm ready to go. I have missed reading your post and look forward to getting back to reading them. I must tell you I have been able to get so much more done around here and that has been really nice. I have decided to only spend 1 hr a day online.

Life has been great around The Vineyard Homestead. We have been enjoying some really nice weather. Roger has been really busy with work and we have gotten to spend lots of time in the truck making deliveries and picking up materials. We have really been blessed with lots of sales and keeping busy.

My Mom had a birthday on Feb 19th!!!! Happy Birthday Mom!!!! She turned 60 years old and is doing fantastic! I love her so much. We are celebrating her birthday this Sat. I am looking forward to tacos and I hope my sister makes her really yummy Mexican rice. I will make sure I get the recipe to share with all of you.

The girls started horse back riding lessons and they love it! Their teacher is so great. Of course the girls have started to work on Roger about getting a horse. Poor guy has a hard time saying no to his girls (me included :) ). He has told them that if they continue their lessons and learn all they can about horses and caring for them we can look at doing it next spring. That has satisfied them for now.

Joey is doing so well in school! He is so excited to go in the mornings. They will be starting a Kindergarten in the fall and with lots of prayer on this subject we have decided that Joey will be attending. It is a Christian school and the class size will be no larger than 20. Here in Ca. I was told that the class size will be 30-35 students per teacher. I can't imagine Joey doing well in a class that large. I was really struggling with where to send him and now I have a great peace about it! I am truly thankful for the Lord!

My Mom and Dad will be up next week to do some more work in the garden. I really can't wait to plant and to start to see them poking out of the ground. The birds are sing and flying all around outside. The almond orchards are blossoming with pink and white blossoms it is so pretty!  I did get a large bag of oranges form our dispatcher in the office. I hope to make some orange marmalade this Sunday afternoon. I have never made it so I hope it turns out well.

Roger ordered me a book called THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO HOMESTEADING AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF INDEPENDENT LIVING by: Nicole Faires. I have really been enjoying it. I have discovered that we are seriously lacking in our food storage which was one of my goals for this year. She has a chart in her book of how much you should have on hand for a family of five for 1 year. I'm not even a quarter of the way there :(. It is a great book to add to your collection it has tons of information in it.

Well I am going to head on over to read what has been happening around your place. I'm glad to be back!

I am Happy,

Sarah

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Jenna!

Wow! I can't believe that Jenna is 10. Double Digits! Jenna is such a joy and we love her so much. 

Her Grandma and Papa told her they had a big surprise for her and she had no idea it was a day all about horses. She got to go to my cousins place in the foot hills and learn how to groom, saddle, and ride. She had such a great time and has not stopped talking about it.

We will be having her birthday party this Saturday and she has invited  a friend over. It should be a real fun time.

Have a wonderful week. I have been out of town and really busy so I will be back to visiting you all next week. I do miss reading your post.

I am Happy,

Sarah

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day with the ones you love most!


I am Happy,

Sarah

Friday, February 11, 2011

Kristen's Fun Trip

 My daughter Kristen got to go on a great trip with Grandma and Papa and I thought it would be fun for her to share about it. Please give a warm welcome and enjoy reading about Kristen's trip.

  Grandma and Papa took me on a fun trip to Palm Springs in southern California. It took a long time to get there, about six hours. Yucca Valley is were we stayed for two of the three nights.We nicknamed it Yucky Ville, because all there is is dirt! LOL.


 We went to Joshua Tree National Park the following morning. But first we stopped at a souvenir shop and brought some surprises  for Jenna, Joey, and Abby. There had to be at least 5,000 Joshua Trees, there was just one after other! The park is also known for great rock climbing rocks. All that was there was huge boulders that made up the mountains and Joshua Trees. Did you know that Joshua Trees only grow an 1/2 inch each year?
I'm taller than my Grandma!

This guy is free climbing

 
    After that we drove to Palm Springs to tour the air museum there. There was lots of World War I and II planes. Papa knew a lot about the air planes, fighters, bombers, etc. He told me some great stories about most of them. Papa was in the Vietnam War. He was a gunner's mate in the navy. They had a flight simulator upstairs. There I learned  how to fly PF 51 Mustang, and I shot a German Bomber's wing! That was the best air museum I have ever been to ( and I've been to a lot)! 
The Corsair. Papa's favorite plane. 

My favorite plane comes with a story.The Spitfire would be hiding in a fake haystack in England in World War II. When the German bombers flew over to bomb the cities the Spitfire would come out from the haystack and shoot them down.

After the air museum we went to check out the aerial tram. We didn't think we would go because it was late, but we decided to go. There was a lot of people, but we got to see all sides because the floors turned so you could see out all the windows. We were six thousand feet up and just hanging by a cable. When we got to the top of the mountain there was icy snow and it was super windy. We could see six cities and the Salton Sea from there. I now have a shirt that says that I made it to the top.

You didn't believe me when I said it was windy?


The next morning we went to the Living Desert Zoo. It was like an African safari. They had giraffes, ostriches, gazelles, zebras, and meerkats. I got to feed the giraffe. He had a really long tongue that felt like sand paper and it was blue. I got to pet the miniature goats in the petting pin. We went into the Discovery Center and did lots of fun things.  We also saw a hummingbird hatching eggs in her nest. In the Indian kitchen I got to use the mortar and pestle.
My favorite animals were the meerkats. They were playing freeze tag. Two others were having a nap rolled up in a ball. They were sooooooooo cute!


Then we stared our long trip home.

I had so much fun,

Kristen
  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mommy is Blind

I have a cute story to share about what Joey said to me on the way home from Pre-K today. I should share a  little background first. I am suppose to wear glasses. I choose not to for vain reasons ( I know that is a silly reason). The kids and Roger always tease me about being blind and having to read things to me, so today at Pre-K Joey learned the bible story of how Jesus spit in the mud and healed a blind man.

Joey said very excitedly "Mom! I know how you don't have to be blind anymore". I said, "You do, how?" Joey said "All you need to do is rub some mud in your eyes, and then wash it out. Then you won't be blind anymore!" I think he is missing the part about Jesus..LOL. I'm so blessed to be a mom to this little boy.

John 9 1-12

A Man Born Blind Receives Sight
 1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. 4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. 7 And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.
8 Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?”
9 Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.”
He said, “I am he.
10 Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”
11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”
12 Then they said to him, “Where is He?”
He said, “I do not know.”

I am Happy,

Sarah

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Joey's First Day at Pre-K



Monday was Joey's first day at Pre-K! He had so much fun and did really well. I didn't! It was really hard to leave him and go home. I was able to get a lot more done around the house and that was nice. He goes on Monday and Wednesday from 8:00 to 12:00 and He gets to take a lunch which he thinks is really fun. His favorite part is to play on the playground.

My mom and dad bought a travel trailer! This is great news, because they will be living about three days a week down here! This is really going to be fun to have my parents living right next door! It will be fun for the kids too! They are really excited and can't wait to eat grandma's chocolate chip cookies on a weekly bases! I'm excited that they will be able to be more involved with the garden and my mom and I can get lots of preserving done this season. I will have to post pictures of the travel trailer it is really nice and they plan on adding patio space with a cover. It should be a nice home away from home!

Roger and Jenna left this morning at 5:30 to make a delivery to Bakersfield. This was a great sell and it will pay down some bills that are needing to be payed. God always provides for us even when we have no idea how He is going to do it! I am also glad that Jenna got to spend some time with her dad.

Tonight we are having Lasagna, asparagus, and homemade (bread maker) french bread! Have a wonderful day!

I am Happy,

Sarah

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Valentine Clothesline



I made this adorable and easy Valentine Clothesline for my hutch.

Here's what you need:
Heart shape paper doily large and medium in color of your choice
Clothes pin
Yarn
Glue
Valentine art ( I printed mine from graphicsfairy.blogspot.com )


I took the paper doilies and layered and glued them together. I took the Valentine's art and glued it on top after cutting it out. I strung my yarn across my hutch and then clipped the heart to it with clothes pins! It is really cute.



I am Happy,


Sarah

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Braces, Pre-K, and Home Life

Our Kristen is ready for braces. We took her Tuesday for her first appointment and they took x-rays and pictures of her teeth. Kristen has an over bite and her lower jaw is not aliened correctly. She will be required to ware a Herbst Appliance for 15 months. It's not pretty! The poor girl. The orthodontist says that you won't be able to see it unless she shows someone and that it won't hurt.



Along with the Herbst Appliance she will have braces to straiten her teeth and fix her front teeth from flaring. She will have the braces for 24 months and then wear a retainer for the rest of her life (only at night after the first year). All this will cost us $5,810.00. Is that not crazy? She is worth it and we are glad to be able to do it for her.

My mom and I went and visited a Christian preschool in our area. I have been thinking about sending Joey a couple days a week. The girls are so much older then him and even though they include and play with him I think he would enjoy the interaction with kids (boys) his age. We thought it would be a great place for him to go. The staff was really nice and it looks like they do all kinds of fun things. He will also get one on one time with a reading teacher! That's a plus. It will cost us $35.00 a week which is doable.

We have not decided  where he will go to school when kindergarten starts. My girls went to a Christian school here in town before we home schooled. It is over $300 a month per kid and we don't have that kind of money. We have looked into the county school here and think that it might be the best place for him. I would home school him, but I don't want to be responsible to teach him to read. That makes me nervous. We are praying about it and I know God will lead us in the right direction!

It is nice and sunny here today and it feel around 60 degrees outside. We don't have any big plans today other than school. Kristen left today to go with Grandma and Papa to Palm Springs. She was really excited to be invited. My parents like to take one of the grand kids with them on trips. They all get their turns and always have such a fun time. They are planning on doing some hiking in Joshua Tree and maybe a trip to the zoo. They will not be back until Saturday and I am already missing Kristen. She bought a camera before she left with some of the money she has saved. I can't wait to see her pictures. Jenna has two test today one in math and one in science, so school will go by quickly. She has asked to go to the dollar store latter ( a girl after my own heart) so we will do that.

We will have chicken tortilla soup for dinner tonight served over rice. It should be really good and hit the spot.

I am Happy,

Sarah

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Putting Christmas Presents to Use




I got a wonderful! (can't believe I lived without one) Apple peeler/corer. I have been using this quite often. My kids love their apples cut up this way. Thanks mom and dad for the great gift.


I also received a dehydrator from my husband for Christmas. It is an Excalibur 2900, 9 tray dehydrator. I got it out and loaded it up with apples. It worked so well and the apples turned out perfect. I bought a bag of apples for $2.99 and used them all. It filled three and half trays up and I ended up with a quart jar full. I really can't wait to use it this garden season.

Applesauce using dehydrated apples

2 cups of dehydrated apples 
1 quart of water
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
cinnamon to taste

Before adding apples to water, cut into small pieces. Bring to a boil. Add sugar and cinnamon.Simmer for 30 to 40 min. covered, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate.

ENJOY!
I am Happy,

Sarah

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nest Building Basket

I have been wanting to make one of these for a while now. Last fall when I picked up a garden magazine at Home Depot while Roger was looking for man things. I saw a picture of a nest building basket hanging on a fence. I had never seen one or even thought to of done something like this. It was really pretty and how fun it would be to find pieces of yarn or ribbon in a nest that came from your building supplies. Yesterday the kids had a dentist appointment in our little town and across the street is a Hinds Hospice thrift store. After their appointment we walked over and was looking at all the fun things when I came across this white basket with a flat back for $.50. It was perfect for a nest building basket and what a great price. I bought it of course and when I got home I started looking around for things to fill it with.  I put some spanish moss, red yarn, twigs from the yard, and some straw basket filler.

I put it out today and hung it on one of our evergreen trees that is always full of birds. Spring comes early around our parts and I have already noticed lots more birds sing around here. I can't wait till they start to use it to build their homes!

I am Happy,

Sarah  

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hummingbird Cake

We went to my mom and dad's house for dinner last night. We had tacos and tamales YUM! My sister made this Hummingbird cake for dessert. It is so delicious and she gave me the recipe. The drive home was a little scary the fog was so thick and people were driving 30 mph. down the freeway. We prayed for a safe trip home and Praise The Lord! We made it just fine. It just took a lot longer than usually a 45 min drive turned into 1 1/2 hour drive.

Hummingbird Cake

1 yellow cake mix (plus ingredients on box)
1 tsp vanilla (my sister adds vanilla to white/yellow cake mixes)
Bake with directions on box in a 13"x9" pan. Let cool

1 8 oz box soften cream cheese
1 small box of vanilla instant pudding
2 cups cold milk
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple  drained
mix this together and spread on cake. Place cake into refrigerator for 1 hour to set.

1/2 cup pecans (chopped) 
1/2 cup coconut
toast under broiler (watch!) 2 min

Spread 1 small carton of cool whip onto cake. Sprinkle toasted pecans and coconut and place cherries on top.

                                                                    ENJOY!


I am Happy,

Sarah
 



Saturday, January 22, 2011

Rooster Pie


Rooster Pie

2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1/2 cup frozen carrots
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 onion diced
salt and pepper to taste
1 10 3/4 oz. cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 cup chicken broth
1 tube refrigerated biscuits

Combine chicken, carrots, peas, onion, salt and pepper and set aside. Combine soup, sour cream, broth and stir into chicken mixture. Spread in greased 13"x9" casserole dish. Top with biscuits. Cook at 350* for 30 min. Done when biscuits are golden brown.

recipe help from Goose Berry Patch One Pot Meals

This is Scramble our rooster (Silkie) going after Joey. I guess he did not like him jumping in the puddles. What to do? Well of course he got a big KICK, STOMP, YELL and he decided that he would not win against me and ran off. Well, Roger and I talked about it and felt that instead of a nice Rooster Pie we needed to teach Joey to KICK, STOMP, YELL at him. Scramble no longer bothers Joey, but he did chase Jenna home from the driveway :) I guess we will be teaching her to KICK, STOMP, YELL as well. Have a wonderful weekend with your family!

I am Happy,

Sarah

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weekend Fun

We took a drive up to Pine Flat Lake and had a picnic (one of the perks of living in Ca. nice weather). It is about 45min drive from our home. We had never been up here and Roger wanted to get familiar with the area because we have towed vehicles from here. There was a lot of people out fishing and boating. There even was some people in the camp ground mostly travel trailers, but there were some tents. The picnic areas were closed so we just sat on the ground and ate our lunch.


Isn't this a cute name for a store? They had gas for $3.47 (not one of the perks of living in Ca).

We had hot dogs, chips, fruit salad, oranges, chocolate chip cookies, apple juice and root beer. 
Someone needs to teach Joey how to eat a hot dog :).


We all took turns shooting Kristen's sling shot. That was fun Roger and Kristen were the only ones to make it into the lake from the top of the hill.

This is around sunset. Isn't it so pretty how the lake is pink? It was really pretty in person.


When we were driving around the lake there were lots of run offs and they were really pretty.

 Poor Joey got car sick so I was glad that I brought him a change of clothes. We had a nice day and I was glad to get away even for just a day.

I am Happy,

Sarah

Monday, January 10, 2011

Getting Garden Ready!


I am getting very excited about our garden this year! It will be our second year and we learned a lot about gardening from our first garden. This year I wanted to keep track of the garden so I made up a binder.



In the binder I have made a sheet that has a place for what was planted, the date, where it was planted, the weight and date it was harvested. Can you think of anything else it might need?

We work the garden with my mom and dad and we will get together soon to figure out what we will plant! I'm so glad they do this with us! My mom also helps me when it is time to can and preserve our harvest. My dad just loves to be out in the garden. I also look forward to the time when we all sit outside and watch it grow :).

Have you started you garden plans? I would love to see your garden journals or hear what you are planning on planting this year!

I am Happy,

Sarah

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Apple Butter Oatmeal Muffins

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We had these for breakfast this morning warm out of the oven with a spread of butter. YUM! I'm not a big baker so this is a real treat for my family. The kids were very patient while the muffins had their photo shoot :).  We even shared some with the office and they loved them. I got the idea to use my apple butter to bake with from my blog friend Cheryl. I'm glad I gave it a try it is a great use of all the apple butter I have in my pantry.

Apple Butter Oatmeal Muffins:

1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda

mix and then add

1 cup apple butter
1/2 cup milk ( I used 2%)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tbsp veg oil
1 egg

mix until moist

Topping:

1/4 cup oatmeal
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp melted butter

Fill greased muffin tin with muffin mixture, top each muffin with topping, bake at 400* for 15-20 min.

ENJOY!

I am Happy,

Sarah

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday

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Well today has been a nice day. It is so warm and sunny it must be in the 60's. It's nice to see and feel the sun. This morning we got up and after breakfast we took the girls to their friends house. It is about a 30 min drive from us and ended up being about a 45 min drive because the road we take was closed due to a large sink whole caused by the rain. We could see the mountains and they are covered with snow. We are about 1- 11/2 hour form Yosemite. We also saw lots of orange orchards with a lot of oranges on the trees and I started to crave them, so I think I will pick some up this week.

We got the girls dropped off and Roger, Joey and I headed over to the hospital to see Kathy and talk to the a person about her next step in recovery. She will have to go to a care facility because she will have a wound vac until her wound closes (She has very large open wound where they had to cut out her flesh that was infected by the bacteria). She is doing so much better and thank you all for your prayers. Because of some other health issues they are not sure where she will be going. It looks like it may be in the bay area about 3 hours from us. We are hoping that she can get in somewhere in the valley! Then we will be able to visit her more. She should only be there for about 7-10 days. She will also get some physical therapy so when she comes home she is able to get around.

After our visit with Kathy we took Joey to lunch at John's Incredible Pizza. This is similar to Chuck E Cheese, but it is a buffet with an awesome salad bar! We played a few games and Roger hit the JACKPOT on one of the games and gave us over 1000 tickets. Joey got to pick out some really fun stuff with his tickets and he got somethings for his sisters. He picked out a puzzle (he loves puzzle) that was holographic and when we got home we put it together. It was hard because the picture on the pieces changed, but we got it together and he wanted to watch Thomas. My chance to blog! We will be leaving soon to go and pick the girls up. I think we will have breaded chicken tenders, mash potatoes/ gravy, green beans and I will steam me some brussels sprouts (I LOVE THEM).

I hope you all have a wonderful night.

I am Happy,

Sarah 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011

I am really excited to see what 2011 will bring our way. I hope our second garden is a bigger success this year. I hope to be able to do more canning and preserving of all that comes form the garden. We would also like to raise our own chickens not only for eggs but for meat this year. I would like to learn more about homesteading and make some soap and candles to. I would like to learn to make healthier meals for my family and learn more about home remedies. My biggest goal this year is food storage. Roger and I really think that it will be important to have a good year supply of food as soon as possible and have been working towards that. I am excited to do some camping and use my new dutch oven / tripod and maybe do some fishing!  I look forward to all the seasons and enjoying all that God has given to us and all the days we have to serve Him!  
I pray that you all have a very blessed year filled with Faith, Family, and Simplicity!

I am Happy,

Sarah