GIVEAWAY at New Life On A Homestead!

New Life on a Homestead is a blog  I have been following for some time and I love her site!  All kinds of neat ideas for homesteading and how to do it!

There is a GIVEAWAY there for an awesome Homekeeping Kit.

I love to enter these kinds of things.

Can’t hurt to try, right? 🙂

So get yourselves over there and enter for your chance to win

a Homekeeping Kit  by Irish Twins Soap Co.

Check out their site too!  I love soaps! 🙂

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!?!?

Our New Year’s Eve was spent at Cabela’s.  Believe it or not, it was pretty picked over and the food was not that great for the price we paid.  It was a bummer of a trip!  The things Eric wanted were gone.  😦  BUT I was delighted to find a pair of winter boots!  I haven’t bought any in such a long time, so with the money “Santa” left for me, I purchased a pair!  Another thing I bought the day after Christmas was a new purse!  I have never paid so much money for a purse in my entire life, but I love my new purse – it has the glorious smell of leather.

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We rang in the new year with a very sick husband/father.  He pretty much stayed in bed ALL week, except for Thursday, when he HAD to go to work.  He also went to the doctor’s while he was out that day.  They tested him for pneumonia and the flu.  Tested positive for Influenza A.   Eric ran some pretty high fevers, had aches, froze and sweat all week long.  It’s been a really rough week for him.  I’ve never seen someone have such nasty fevers for such a long time!

While the week has been spent battling sickness, I’ve been busy nursing Eric, and now Nathan, and taking care of chickens, laundry, etc.  Nothing overly thrilling.  I made chicken noodle soup twice this week.  Today I also made a huge stock pot of chicken stock because I was using my frozen stock all up.  We’re using it like crazy these days! It’s a necessity.  I’m getting good at making gluten-free noodles.  The family is crazy about it too.  Everyone eats at least 2 bowls, so my normal pot doesn’t last as long as it used to.  Kinda sad, but I’m glad they love to scarf it down and give rave reviews about it the whole time.

We’ve been reading through the Bible, starting on January 1st.  It’s going ok so far.  We’ll just keep pressing on!  I’m sure it’ll be hard, sometimes it’s hard already.  It’s all about priorities though.  That’s for sure! **Update since I started this post** We missed yesterday (January 6th),  and I decided to change reading plans.  I found one that isn’t so overwhelming for us and we’ll be starting that this evening (Jan 7th).

There’s been a tragedy in the family. . . well, it’s nothing that dramatic really.  Grace somehow lost her precious blankie between the boy’s bedroom and her bedroom.  We’ve searched both rooms and can’t find it anywhere!  She slept in the boy’s room on the floor the one night, took her blankets and pillow back to her room and has lost her little blue blankie!  There have been many tears over this thing.  It’s a mystery, really.  I just can’t figure out how it is missing!  There’s no where for it to have gone!

Speaking of battling sickness, both boys have fevers and so do I.  Nathan’s was super high yesterday, but seems to not be so bad today.  Ryan and I have low-grade fevers happening right now, along with aches.  I also have this awful, choking cough and my throat hurts from it.  The joys of flu season!  Thankfully it’s not the stomach flu!

So that is how our new year has gone, so far! 🙂  Eric returned to work today and I think he’s doing much better, thankfully!

Goodbye 2012

It has been a most interesting year!  God has been SO good to us  – again – and  I can’t thank Him enough for all the MANY blessings!

Here was what I had hoped to accomplish through this past year:  Organizing My Life in 2012

I didn’t go crazy and make a bunch of goals and, yet, I still failed at many of them.

Thankfully I can take that list I made from last year and start it again.   Why not, right? 🙂

My goals are still the same.

DSC_3888 My main goal is to be HERE, in the present, with my children.

I feel like a failure in this department and time is getting away from us.

The kids and I have made a goal to read through the Bible this year!

I’m quite excited about starting this with them TOMORROW!!

The thought occurred to me the other day and just seemed like a wonderful idea!

I found the New Year Bible Reading Challenge through Pinterest!

Join us if you’d like!  We would welcome the encouragement!

Another goal for the children and I,  is to memorize Scripture!

It’s been a fail for me/us since just after the beginning of our school year started in August.

Been reading through the book of James a lot and plan on memorizing the rest of it.

I have chapter 1 down pretty good and most of chapter 2, but I need to get busy!

God has much to teach me through His Word, but it does help to spend time in the Word!

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 One goal I have accomplished is taking a photo per day this year!

Sometimes it was hard, but it was such a great experience!

My goal is to do the same starting tomorrow and improve more in my photography.

One of my highlights this year was meeting Tracy and Kristal!

 Such a blessing to meet internet friends in REAL life!

Not sure if anyone follows this blog much, as I haven’t been writing much these days.

That’s pretty sad.   😦

I was thinking about dusting off my pen and start writing in a journal again.

Some of my crazy thoughts I don’t always want to share on my blog,

but writing does help me sort my thoughts out and think things through better.

So while I may not be on here blogging as much, I will do some updates here and

will definitely be keeping up with my Em’s Photography Adventure blog.

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We’ve been enjoying school a lot this year.

I’m so thankful for Paths of Exploration!

The kids are thankful too! 🙂

Now I must close with this last post of 2012 on Strobel’s Happenings.

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Have a blessed New Year!

My Infomercial Top 10

On Christmas I was chatting with my brother-in-law and somehow I ended up musing about some infomercials I had seen parts and pieces of.  I’m pretty sure he thought it was sad that I knew what these items were, but I can’t help myself.  The commercials always amuse me or even interest me!

Remembering that I made a post about infomercials last year I did a search and found it HERE.  I thought it was closer to Christmas, but it was actually in August of 2011.  Well, this year is almost over already and I didn’t do a top 10 this year!  What was I thinking?

These are in no particular order, just the top 10 in my book! 🙂   Watch the videos if you have time!

1.  Wax Vac.  We all need clean ears, right?  It’s such a strange thing, but maybe it’s more wonderful than cotton swabs.  I don’t know for sure.

2.  Forever Comfy Cushion.  This is something I might actually find useful.  I find most chairs, couches, and most other seating to be uncomfortable.

3.  Skin Tag Remover.  Nothing really good to say about this one, but the commercial always grosses me out.

4.  Magic Mesh.  It would be great if it would keep stink bugs out.  I hate stink bugs.

5.  Fix A Flop.  Because we all want to repair a $2 pair of flip flops?

6.  Red Fusion Heat Wrap.  I saw something similar to this at the mall a few weeks ago and was seriously close to getting one!  It’s a great idea and they do get really hot!  Would be great for neck and/or back pain or just something to warm up my hands and toes!

7.  The Dog Dicer, only because I was reading reviews for the Huntzler 571 Banana Slicer.  I can’t stop reading and laughing at the reviews for the Banana Slicer – take time to read a few if you need a good laugh!!  I’m not kidding!  The Dog Dicer seems similar to it for some reason. 🙂

8.  Hot Booties.  I have always wanted to put my slippers in the microwave. . .

9.  Brazil Butt Lift.  Always joke with my husband about getting this one.  😉

10.  Olde Brooklyn Lantern.  Something like this would actually be very useful if our lights went out.

There are so many other infomercials out there, but these are ones that have made my top 10.

Cheese Crackers

Yesterday I was busy trying a few new things in the kitchen and had 2 successful recipes!  I LOVE it when that happens!   I would love to link to the site I originally found this recipe, but it keeps saying there’s a server error.  I’m so thankful I printed it when I did!

Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Crackers

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2 1/2 cups almond flour

2 cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

4 Tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese

2 egs

3 Tbsp oil (original recipe call for grapeseed, but I used expeller pressed coconut oil)

 

 

Directions: 

* Mix together the almond flour, salt and baking soda.

* Add in cheeses.

* Add in the eggs and then slowly drizzle in the oil.

*  Beat slowly until mixture is doughy.  Should be mostly firm.

*  Half the mixture.   You can cook both batches or freeze one for another day.

*Place the dough in the center of a large piece of parchement.  Place another piece of parchment on top and using a rolling pin, roll from center outwards until dough is about 1/8 inch thick.

*  Trim around edges and/or cut through dough to make squares – a pizza cutter works well.

*  Top with an extra sprinkling of salt if you like extra salty crackers.

*  Bake aDSC_7492t 325 degrees for about 15 – 20 minutes until dough is browning and edges and middle are no longer moist.  Check often as ovens differ.  (I baked mine 10 minutes more, turning them over to make them crispier).

*  Let cool completely before breaking or cutting – at least one hour

** The site I got this recipe says Recipe by:  Greynonymous.  So Thank you, whoever you are, for this wonderful recipe!! 

 

 

 

DSC_7499 The finished product!  Delicious!  I was putting some cheeseball cheese on these!  Wonderful!

 

Another recipe I made is Paleo Apple Crisp.  So tasty!  I did make a couple subs – I used organic cane sugar in place of the muscovado sugar.  I also just used all pecans instead of the walnuts the recipe called for.  Don’t have walnuts, so that is the main reason, but I’m not really a walnut fan.  🙂

The only other cooking adventure I had yesterday was using my convection oven to bake frozen chicken breasts.  I love how they came out of the oven and even Eric said they were not bad and he is not a fan of chicken.

 

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup – Revisited

I’ve been meaning to write something here for weeks, but obviously haven’t done it lately.  It’s not that there isn’t anything going on these days, it’s just a matter of time and motivation.

Anyway, Eric was sick a couple of weeks ago, and I am currently sick (though feeling much better than last week).  When Eric was sick I thought chicken noodle soup would be perfect.  So instead of making noodles the first day, I went and bought some at the store.  The “homemade” store-bought kind.  😀  Mainly I didn’t feel like making any and I didn’t know how to go about making gluten-free ones.

The next day I made some gluten-free egg noodles.  It was an interesting experience.  I was working with this homemade mix for the noodles:

2 cups brown rice flour,
2 cups white rice flour (I used sweet white rice since it’s all I have)
1 cup potato starch (the recipe called for cornstarch, but I switched it and it worked just fine)

Then if you remember THIS post (which you might not because a lot of time has passed since I wrote it), you’ll see the recipe I used to make Homemade Egg Noodles.

Anyway, I did make a couple of modifications to the recipe and here it is:

2 cups rice mix (from above),  3 egg yolks,  1 whole egg, 1 tsp salt,  1/2 tsp xanthan gum (this is added, would probably work without it, but I wanted to try it with),  1/3 to 1/2 cup water (I used more water than that until it stuck together).

I mixed the rice mix, salt and xanthan gum with a fork in a bowl just to get it blended together. Then made a well in the middle and put in 3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg and started mixing it and then added water by the Tbsp until I got the mixture to hold together. You don’t want it too sticky, but you do want it to hold together.

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I separated it into 4 equal parts and worked with one at a time.

I dusted the counter and top of the batter with potato starch and rolled it out. Cut it into the size strips I wanted with a pizza cutter. I don’t have a pasta cutter, so I don’t know how it would work in there.

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I boiled it batch by batch for 10 minutes.

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And this is the wonderfully, delicious finished product.

Everyone in the house loved it!  I love when a new recipe works out so well!

Still Wheat Free (mostly)

Yes, after the holidays and eating a little bit of bad stuff here and there, I have decided that I am going to remain wheat-free.  My belly can’t handle it anymore, it honestly can’t.  I thought “If I just eat a little here and a little there I’ll be ok.”  Yeah, not even close!   Eric – who doesn’t believe this kind of thing – has admitted (again) that it really does bother him too.

Food and meals are a frustrating thing for me.   I am trying to do better for us, but change comes hard.  We are a serial snacking crowd and it’s hard to get everyone on board.  It wouldn’t be so hard if the hubby fully cooperated, but he finds it difficult to do that completely, as he doesn’t “believe” a lot of things.  Me and my “hippy” ways humor him. LOL  I’ll just keep trying and definitely keep it up for myself.  My belly feels sick for days after I eat anything with wheat and even most grains.  It’s not a good feeling and tired of feeling so blah because of it!

Today I’m going to make some more almond flour.  That stuff is pricey,  but you can get a lot of almonds at Sam’s Club and just make your own almond flour/meal.  I found a bread recipe I want to try and a biscuit recipe I also want to try.  I had tried THIS biscuit recipe last week and while they were fluffy and nice looking, you could taste the coconut flour in them.  Eric has coconut radar and just couldn’t even eat them. It was the slightest hint of coconut, but enough to turn make him not want to eat them.  So I’m going to try that other biscuit recipe today.  While I miss bready things (a little), I don’t miss what it does to me!

Really I’m just trying to find some good recipes that are husband approved so MAYBE I can get him off ALL bad things.  Most likely not, but I can hope, right? 🙂

I must get busy making some almond flour and working on dinner.  Today seems like such a great day for some sirloin tip gravy over biscuits!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Decorations

Grace is getting in the Christmas mood already and wanting to decorate the house!  She loves everything pretty and shiny and gaudy.

In fact, the more gaudy the better for her. 🙂  Anyway, she started yesterday!

Her pretty paper chain hanging over the doorway in the kitchen.

She added ribbon around the stairway light switch.

It makes it “prettier.”  🙂

I’ll be adding more and more decoration pictures when she/we do more.

I’m trying to hold her off until after Thanksgiving. . . trying.

New Stove

Eric and I bought our first stove back in March of 1999 when we moved into a rental home, it wasn’t a new one.  It has been with all this time . . . until Saturday, when it decided to burn out an element.  It was pretty freaky to see the oven glowing inside, even after I turned it off.  It wasn’t until I unplugged it that the glowing finally stopped.  Last year we had oven issues around this time of year, had to replace the thermal gauge inside the oven.  It would burn the tops of whatever I was cooking and everything else wasn’t done cooking yet.  Anyway, it was a mess, but Eric fixed it.  He’s handy like that!  🙂  Some time  during the past year one of my burners on the top quit working, so I only had 3 burners and even they weren’t the best.

After Saturday’s oven glowing experience, we decided we’d go oven shopping.  Nothing like having to do this before the holidays!  But it was time and I was ready for  a new oven!  Saturday, Sunday and Monday were interesting cooking days since I didn’t have burners to even use.  I used a crock pot, griddle (it is part of this awesome waffle iron that I got many years ago), and microwave a little bit.  I hate microwave cooking, I really do.

Yesterday our new stove came and they hauled our old one away!  Set up the new stove and there it was . . . all nice and shiny, just staring at me.  I stared back at it.  To be honest, I was afraid of it! LOL  I’ve never had or used a brand new stove, so it was a little intimidating!

Anyway, here are pictures of my new stove and some of the things I’ve baked in it already! 🙂

                                                                      

It’s so nice and shiny!  I LOVE it!  It got a lot of use yesterday, its first day in our home!

            

The inside of the oven before I used it.  Then coconut macaroons are the first batch of cookies I made for my husband.  Not pictured are chocolate chip cookies I made for the kids and a butternut squash that I baked.  And then there are the pictures of the Gluten-Free/Grain-Free Almond Scones.  I was drooling and couldn’t wait for these things to finish baking!

                                                                                       

The finished scones!  They are SO very good!  I ate a couple last night and one for breakfast this morning!

The picture of my arm is showing a boo boo I got from my new oven.  I burned it on the top rack putting something in yesterday.  Silly me!

Anyway, it has been so fun to have a new stove/oven!

Not sure what I’m going to make with it today, but I want to try out the convection part of the oven.

I have a chicken I want to throw in there – not one that is walking around my yard though. . .

PS.  My shiny appliances are waiting for their new kitchen to come . . . some day! 🙂