Saturday, September 29, 2007

Passing on "making do"

I am so proud of my oldest daughter. We recieved a used book on making hemp braclets from a co-worker of my husband but it only came with the hemp cord- no beads. My daughter solved the problem very quickly. She rooted out what we had left of our polymar clay stash (just little bits of a few colors) and made beads and then she told me..."See mom, we didn't have to go buy any!" Yes! She's learning! After I bake them in the oven she will be able to create jewelry with no cost outlay!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fall is here!

This is all that is left of my pie pumpkin. Yesterday I made my first pumpkin pie from a pumpkin. (Yes, you can do that.) You can find step by step instructions at . They even have pictures. My pie tasted great but it didn't look as pretty as I would have liked. (Whipping cream covers a multitued of sins.) It was pretty easy to do. The only difficulty I had was getting the darn pumpkin cut open. That would have made an interesting "you tube" video. But finally I succeeded and the rest was easy. (I used the microwave to cook the pumpkin.) Remember you do need to have a "pie" pumpkin not just any old pumpkin. Pie pumpkins are smaller and less stringy. I found mine at my grocery store (it was labeled as a pie pumpkin and was with the decorative corn and other pretty gourds and squashes) but most pumpkin patches should have them if you ask. There is also a link for roasting the seeds. . That is my project for today. If you aren't into pumpkins they also have lots of ideas and recipes for apples. The red items in my picture are the first of our leaves in our yard to turn. (Yeah... they look a bit like rose petals but they really are leaves.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pictures for grandmas

Posing at the Creation Museum

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

We're back!

We had a great time on vacation. Let me tell you... Ohio is a beautiful place. Having grown up in Seattle I was just blown away by some of the dates on some of the architecture we saw. The west coast doesn't have the late 1700's/early 1800 architecture etc. Even here in Michigan the history isn't as early as what I saw in Ohio. Imagine how I'll act when I get to go to Boston or Virginia.

We didn't get to go to Amish territory in Ohio but on the way home we drove through some of Indiana's Amish areas. It was so neat to see the buggies and the simple dress. We saw two little girls running around barefoot... they were so cute. We also saw a family playing volleyball in full Amish dress. We still need to get to Lancaster, Pennslyvannia and see the buggies hitched in front of Costco.

The Creation Museum was very well done. All of the kids liked the planetarium the best. I personally liked "going back in time" to the Garden through to Noah's ark. The only bummer was that the grounds aren't fully finished. (They have a lot more planned.) It was such a nice blessing to be surrounded by Christians. The dress was modest and well kempt- all sorts of variety but so much more proper then you see elsewhere. My kids were thrilled to see so many other families with kids there as it was a school day and that meant they were with "their own kind"- homeschooled. I wouldn't recommend it for families with really small children (our three year old did fine but she wasn't interested in it much) but for school age children it is good. I especially like how they compared (side by side) wordly thinking with Biblical thinking.

You might be a redneck if...

During our August camping trip we somehow lost one of the supports to the tent trailer. We had one on order but it didn't reach us in time for this last trip. We had to make due. Of course we got a call while on vacation that the part came in.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


We are off to the great states of OHIO and KENTUCKY for a week. We will see some Amish country and go to the Creation Museum outside Cincinnatti. Yeah!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Frugal Fridays

This is a different kind of post for a Frugal Friday. While I am working to stretch the dollars my hardworking husband brings home I also want to contribute to the family income the way the Proverbs 31 woman did entrepreneurly. I have been blessed/cursed with an entrepreneurial spirit. Here is a list of things I have thought that I might be able to do.

Lampshade design, cushion design, home fashion design( aprons, pot holders etc.), handbag design, video production (on home making and frugality), game inventor (relating to homemaking, frugality etc.), Homeschool tour organizer, Herb grower/seller, vegetable/fruit grower/seller, flower grower/seller (u-pick also), raising chickens and selling eggs, breadmaker, pie maker, cookie maker, cheese maker, dessert maker, calligrapher for hire, greeting card maker, photographer of stock photos for homemakers, cookbook writer, novelist, ebook writer, self publishing, web magazine, web newsletter

Here is my question... as frugal women what types of services above (and any I might not have listed) do you see a demand for or would spend your stretched dollars on and why?

Baptists may not dance, but...

We do have fun at parks. Some of us from church picked up pizza from Jet's, last night, and then headed to a local park to enjoy each other's company.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Proverbs 31 Entrepreneurship

It's on my heart to not only be able to wisely use the income my husband earns but also to use my position as a keeper of the home to bring in some income as well. I am on my knees before the Lord in this as I do not wish to embark on anything that does not have his blessing. I do not want to build a multi-national company or get "rich". That is not my intent. I am just blessed/cursed with an entrepreneurial spirit. My husband is for the idea as long as it doesn't take me from my current responsibilities and I very much agree. I would love to hear what readers see a need for in their lives or what products you would consider purchasing. Here is a list of some ideas I have:

1. Lampshade design (adding flare- fabric, beads etc. to basic bases.)
2. Cushion design (Unique home decor)
3. Handbag design (Unique handbags, totes, purses)
4. Video Production (Produce videos on home skills and arts from a Godly perspective.)
5. Game inventor (Games for children or adults to encourage and equip for Godly service.)
6. Homeschool tour provider (Organize and lead tours for homeschoolers)
7. Herb grower (sale of fresh herbs for cooking and crafting)
8. Vegetable grower (sale of fresh veges or u-pick)
9. Flower grower (sale of cut flowers or u-pick)
10. Provider of fresh eggs (Have never kept chickens before- a desire for the future)
11. Bread maker (not a bakery)
12. Cheese maker
13. Calligrapher ( for hire)
14. Greeting card maker
15. Photographer (still life, stock photos)
16. Pie maker (not a bakery)
17. Cookie maker (not a bakery)
18. Dessert maker (no store front)
19. Cookbook writer
20. Writer of e-b00ks, novels, non-fiction, magazine, newsletter
21. Designer of home fashions (pot holders, aprons, table clothes etc.)

What would you utilize and at what price points? Feel free to add something that didn't make it on the list. Please note, I do not currently have all the above skills but they are things I am interested in and would be willing to learn/perfect for income purposes.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Three recipe victories!

With the change of the weather to a more fall like pattern here in Michigan, I have been able to feel like I can cook more of a variety of "warmer" things. I tried three new things and the family voted them all wonderful.

1. From Seasonal Delights: Potato Chowder- I added garlic and some canned chicken to the recipe but other than that it was straight from the directions. My original plan was to add sausage but I didn't get it defrosted in time.

2. From Seasonal Delights: Tea with cream, sugar and vanilla. The kids were asking for hot chocolate but my stash is still secured away in our tent trailer as we have one more vacation trip coming up this weekend. I decided to try this recipe- hoping it would be sweet enough for their liking. Yep! Everyone but the 3 year old liked it. For the record she doesn't really like cocoa either.

3. From Musings and Mommy Stuff: Jendi's cake with fruit recipe that she just posted a few days ago. I chose to use blackberry filling. Even my husband who doesn't really like cake, liked this recipe. It was quick and easy too!

Here are the links: for the Seasonal Delights web magazine. They are offering a free year's subscription (4 issues) during the month of September. I recommend signing up for it. They've done a great job. Look for the post on Sept. 8th titled- Fruit Swirl Cake Recipe. Luckily I got the last piece (to eat and for a picture!)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Homeschool Field Trip

Kudos to Classic Corners Inc.- Fine Art and Framing of Hudsonville, MI! For my children's art class on Friday we were studying how artists use light in their work. So of course I wanted to show them the work of Thomas Kinkade- The Painter of Light. One can look at his work online and in pictures (like the calender we have) but I wanted them to see what happens in one of his actual paintings when the lights are lowered and brought back up. (Lights seem to come on and go off.) We don't have an actual gallery in our immediate area but Classic Corners advertised that they have Kinkade paintings so in we went to see if they had light set up for dimming etc. They did and they were great to us. They allowed us to work the lights ourselves and take as long as we wished. Then I allowed the children to each pick a small postcard of his work and went to pay and we were told that we could have them free of charge. Then the man at the counter asked if we wanted to borrow a video tape on Kinkade. Yes! Of course! He came back with two tapes. One for us to borrow for a week and one for us to keep. How generous! Just for taking the time to be kind, helpful and go out of his way for us, even though we weren't there to purchase anything, he gained our patronage because I will go back to the store before any other if I need any services they provide and I will recommend them to others. My kids asked if we could get a Kinkade painting- not knowing what art goes for. I laughed and told them that since we couldn't live in one of his paintings, wear it as clothing or eat it that it was not feasible at this time. They will have to make due with their postcards and our calander.

A picture for this post will come as soon as my techy husband comes home. I'm having trouble with downloading them from camera to computer for some reason.
Update: The process is working just fine today with no help from the DH. Technology is so fickle!

New breakfast favorite

My kids have a new favorite breakfast that is quick and easy to make: Cinnamon Toast! Toast your bread and add butter, sugar and cinnamon. For seven pieces of toast I melt 1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup) in the microwave for 30 seconds and add 2 tablespoons of sugar and a couple of healthy dashes of cinnamon. I stir it together and then apply to the toast using a pastry brush. I have a photo of the finished product but I'm having trouble transferring it from my camera to the computer so I need to wait until my techy husband comes home before I can post it.
Update: I forgot to have my husband look for the problem but I just decided to try it today and wouldn't you know it... works just fine. I transfered pics from my camera to the computer just fine. I really don't care for technology. It's fickle!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Book Review! A must read!!!!

When I was at the library the other day I found this book. HEIRLOOMS FROM LOVING HANDS- MAKING MEMORIES TO CHERISH FOREVER by Sandy Lynam Clough. I almost didn't check it out but I am so glad I did. It is a light, refreshing read that speaks to any woman with a heart for home. The author is full of simple wisdom regarding family traditions, heirlooms and the joy of making things with your hands. She shares wonderful memories of her past to inspire the reader's future. She lends simple suggestions for things that can be implemented by the reader in their own home. The book is full of beautiful illustrations drawn by the author. Women with only moments to spare in their day can pick up this book, read a page and come away inspired and refreshed. Here is an excerpt: Children ask their mothers to make many different things for them... paper crown or angel wings. Although few of these survive childhood and achieve heirloom status, a mother who takes time to make anything for her child creates for him a lasting memory of her loving hand and attentive heart.

This book is a joy that I highly recommend.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Reagan turns 3!

My baby had her 3rd birthday today. She had so much fun. She got a big girl bike and a yellow (her favorite color) cake. She spent most of the day insisting she was still two because we hadn't opened presents yet or had cake. A word to the wise... if you notice, in the picture of Reagan and her cake, that the cake is cracking... it is. I forgot to trim the bottom layer and just plopped layer two right on top. Doesn't make for a good foundation. TRIM YOUR CAKE LAYERS LADIES!


Wednesday nights are always hectic as we try to eat, clean up and make it to church on time. We were running late this week and I decided to clean up when we got back. Usually I'm diligent in picking up the food and crumbs that fall on the floor because we live in a very "anty" area and I hate the little buggers being inside my house. Well, I made a bad call! When we got back and I went to clean up the floor it was teeming with ants. Yucky! I quickly went for the ant spray and the Dyson. It wasn't anything like what Kim in San Antonio over at the Life in a Shoe blog has had to deal with. (Hordes of daddy long legs.) But it was creepy just the same. Next time I'll be late to church.


When the Lewis family goes to the library I feel like we are taking half of it home with us. My oldest loves books and gets an armload full that she reads through in about a week. My middle two aren't readers as much so they only get a few but by the time I pick out some and my littlest picks a few and we get what we need for school it is enough for me to worry that the book bag might break.

Last Beach Day

This week has flown by and I've hadn't had time to post much as we packed in a lot. Tuesday the public school kids went back to classes. My kids sometimes fall into the trap of thinking they are missing out because they don't get to climb on the bus with all their neighborhood friends. But I surprised them. I told them that if they got their school work done correctly and quickly that we could go to the beach, something no one else who "goes" to school could do. The kids lit into their work and were done in record time. They had a blast at the beach. (Living on Lake Michigan has perks.) Hardly any one was there and it was a scorcher of a day. We saw some school buses on the way home and not one word was uttered about wanting to "go" to school. The only downer was that it was probably the last beach day of the season as the weather will soon turn and we have other obligations and plans filling up the calander. (Oh and yes... I cheated with the picture. This is one from earlier in the August. I forgot to take the camera with me Tuesday.)

Monday, September 3, 2007

Low Key Labor Day

My husband is still recovering from back issues so we had a very inactive holiday. We spent a good amount of the day watching the Dirty Jobs marathon on Discovery. Our favorite was when the host was painting the Mackinac Bridge as we go over it to camp each summer. We also took the kids to the "blue" park (Reagan's request) to play and then took a drive. We are ending the day with burgers cooked on the G. Foreman.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

"C" is for cookie

... and that's good enough for me! While I confess to having a sweet tooth and love for all things candy and dessert there is nothing that I love more than a good cookie. The old traditionals are my favorites: chocolate chip, peanut butter, snickerdoodles and oatmeal! Today was a cookie making day even though the temps were a little warm for it. The kids all love to help mix up the batches, put them on the sheets to bake and then cleaning up. ( Licking the bowl!) I remember as a child wanting to just eat the dough and could never understand why my mom said, "I want to have some left for cookies." Boy have times changed. Now I'm the mom saying what I vowed I'd never say, "I want dough left for cookies!" AHHH... good times.

I took a few different pictures and after comparing them all I just had to go with the one with my youngest's fingers in the picture. She just couldn't resist all those cookies. LOL!

Bye, Bye Diapers

This is the last of the diapers. When this package is gone Reagan is onto pull ups and the potty chair! This is the first time that I am not pregnant or have another child still in diapers. We will be a diaper free household -for the time being at least. God could see fit to add another Lewis at any time.

Entrepreneurial Inspiration

I love a good success story. I also love a great entrepreneurial mind. As a home maker I am always looking for ways to bring income into the home and I admire all who have traveled that road. That is one of the reason why I'm highlighting Paula (Food Network star) Deen. As you may or may not know Paula had some struggles earlier in life and despite the hardships has done very well for herself. She started with a tiny sandwich business, moved on to catering and restaurantering, hosting her own t.v. cooking shows, writing cookbooks, snagging a movie role, becoming Editor-in-Chief of her own magazine, and publishing an autobiography. The thing that impresses me most about Ms. Deen, though, is not her many successful business ventures but her willingness to share her entrepreneurial success with her family and friends. In flipping through the lastest issue of Cooking with Paula Deen I saw: Captain Michaels's of Savannah- a coffee company she and her husband have started and Bloom- a Savannah Spa owned by her brother's daughter(?)- I forget the relation but it is family. She has helped her sons get Food Networks shows and cookbooks of their own and helped her brother open a restaurant. Family means a lot to her. Yes, she is in a financial position to do this but it really is more than money- its a giving of herself to others. A desire to see her loved ones reach their full potential and a chance for her to share her blessings with others. This is her true success and it is one that everyone can follow after.