Sunday, September 30, 2012

COTM: Cherry Chip Cupcake

Yes, Cupcake of the Month is Back...But yes late (as usual)

This month I was just playing with this one. The boys all loved it.

Gluten Free Cherry Chip Cupcake
By Marcie Dingerson

1/2 cup fresh cherries, chopped (or frozen and defrosted if fresh not available)

2 1/2 cups gf flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons cf butter, at room temperature (I use earth balance)

1 cup sugar

1 Cup Pumpkin (2 eggs)

2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, plus seeds from 1 vanilla bean

1 1/4 cups coconut milk

Chocolate Chips

Mix together dry ingredients and set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin.
Add the vanilla to the milk.

Add a third of the dry ingredients to the bowl, followed by a third of the milk. Mix thoroughly. Repeat. Using a spatula, gently fold in the cherries and chocolate chips.

Scoop the batter into the cupcake pan using a standard-size ice cream scoop, and bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting was buttercream. Powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, some coconut oil. I added some cherries. But then I wanted color. I had blackberries sitting on the counter. I tossed a few in. But play with it. I did add a few chocolate chips.

Updating 9-30-12

The boys got permission this week to use hammers and nails and wood. OH BOY. But no saws. So mommy has to make any cuts for them. So I have been hearing hammering and NO that is MY wood. Tucker has made a wood city. This wood city seems to travel around the house.

Wednesday we ran away. We went to Westport for the day. Had a Blast. We all so needed this. We got to the beach two hours before low tide and never in my life had I seen so many sand dollars. We didn't get far down the beach and our bags were full. So full and heavy we had to head back to the van. Just amazing. Tucker went into the Ocean for the first time ever. His pants got soaked and were dragging him down. He took off his pants and was playing in the Ocean in his undies. And Yes, I have photos.

With our amazing weather right now. I'm trying to be out in the garden every moment I can. I have been trying to move this Lemon Balm for about a year now. See Momma Balm had babies, before I moved her. I didn't know and I moved Momma. But the babies grew before I found them. Then the babies grow up and had more babies. So it came to the point I HAD to move it. So I had a 8 foot bed. I gutted it. I lifted up the sides. I filled it with dirt. Not fully full. But then I started to think I don't need a 8 foot full of Lemon Balm! So I put in a divider and Lemon Balm will now share with Savory. My Savory is so very unhappy in a pot. So I will move it to the other half of this 8 foot bed.

I just added a Herb Page at the top of the blog. I am currently growing 46 herbs and adding new ones all the time. I will add them to the list when I add them to the garden. 

Friday, September 21, 2012


So as I'm laying in bed last night, not sleeping. My mind a-racing. See we are in the midst of the parents move. And I was to go up today to help finish packing. But the mind is racing on how much there is left to pack, and move and such. Granted I haven't even seen the new rental.

So I'm laying in bed and mind is a-racing and I'm trying to think of something else. So I start to think about how happy I am. WAIT? Happy? Your parents are about to loose their house and you are Happy?



Because my mortgage is paid. Because I pay my mortgage every month. Because we have utter control of our debt. The van will be paid off shortly. And then we work on paying off the house. Because I get to wake up every morning (on the nights I sleep) and see my three babies. I get to be home all day with my babies. I get to have utter control over their learning. And because of that I'm able to bring in things, schools would never.

Because we have control of our debt now, and have been in control of every penny, our budget is starting to look better. Also because I'm not shelling out 125 plus a week in gas, dragging kids back and fourth to school. We are able to do other things with that money.

So I have been buying one or two school books a week. Of course I'm dirt cheap and I watch things on Amazon. Lately the kids are into 101 How to Draw books. Their fourth book arrived today. The second they got it, out comes the sketch books and they are all over it. We will get all the 101 How to Draw books and go onto other serious draw books.

And this makes me happy. I get to let my kids be creative. There is no time limit on them to be creative. I will even catch my 5 year old curled up with a sketch book. Once he really gets into things his drawings have been awesome. These are so cool I have been making copies and tucking them away.

So yes, this makes me happy.

I get to be out in the garden, and I have kids that like to be out there with me. I have an ever growing herb garden.

I think this was Ethan's drawing?

Tucker playing with the colorful cubes I made.

Cupcake of the Month to come...

So on Saturday I will be out helping my parents move. They are moving from a house of 33 years into a rental in a camp ground. After looking at the rental, I don't know how they will be happy. People everywhere, right off the road. People can see into your living room. No storage. They have a lot of purging to do, or live with all the crap. But after we are done moving them on Saturday, then I am done. They will have to unpack. Because I'm DONE.

Come Sunday I will be turning off my phone and distressing from my mother. I need to distress. I need some time away from her.

Come Sunday I will be planning a run away trip. Because of all the stress I have not taken the boys to the Beach once this summer. Next week I will be waking up and yelling FIELD TRIP. And telling them they have 10 minutes to get into the car. We will run away to the Beach for the day. We will be shopping (they earned money last weekend selling some toys), learning about shells and other critters. We will be on the beach, we will be looking at boats. We will do anything and have fun doing it.

So Yes. Gosh Dang it I'm happy. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Playful Tuesday 9-18-12

So I saw this post yesterday here And I know I JUST had to do it. I have loads of Lemon Verbena out in the garden just waiting for the right time. If you have never smelled this herb OMG. It smells AMAZING. Hubby said if there is any left over I need to put it on the dehydrator and grind it into a powder for cupcakes or icing or something.

Basically I followed the directions I did two different batches and got 3 small jars worth.

Then I thought OH Chocolate Mint....Could you see adding this to some cocoa or something?

I will be canning them probably 5-10 minutes in the bwb because I really lack fridge space.

Now go and play....

Friday, September 14, 2012

Life On Hold

For the last few months I feel like my life has been on hold. My parents house is set to close on the 28th. Garage sale is this weekend along with packing. So for the next two weeks I will be helping my parents off and on. It's hard, because it's their mess, I want them to deal with it, and I really can't spend the gas back and fourth.

This whole thing has been so very stressful. To the point I wake up in the middle of the night throwing up. I have lost over 11 pounds and honestly I don't have much more to loose.

I just can't understand how someone who has owned their home for 33 years can just loose it. How do you not pay your mortgage for 2 years and not tell your kids? Or ask for help. I know people, well I use to know people, I'm sure people have moved on.

Last week, there was a surprise. BOA sent them a modification packet. They will take off x amount of money and lower their payment to x amount. Hum, their house is closing in three weeks. So I race up to help with the phone call, because the home person no longer comes down here. We would have to travel to see her. I got the paperwork in and dad decided he would try and do this all by phone. But after days of calling and being on the phone for hours on end. There is still no answer. The modification looks good to go through, dad was told, but he needs to talk to another person to see if they can stop the closing of the house. Well that guy has not kept his phone appointments with dad.

So at this point if no concrete answer from BOA by next Wednesday, dad will be going out and renting a house they have lined up. And walking away from their house.

This is just beyond stressful. How do you explain to kids that their Grandparents have lost their minds. They are giving up their house and going to go and live in a mobile, in a run down camp ground.

I have been trying to put this on the back burner. I have been saying no to things. Like packing, helping with the garage sale, finding them a rental, making the calls to BOA for them. I have been trying to keep my life going. But it's hard as this is constantly on my mind. And because this is always on my mind, I have been setting so many things aside to deal with later. I have trips to make, people to call, appointments to make.

I then sit here and wonder how much stress will I loose when my parents are moved and the house is gone, and we have laid down the law with my mother. See my mother use to work at Wal Mart and would shop the clearance aisle's on her lunch hour, and so after Christmas our house looked like the clearance aisle at Wal Mart. Last year we took back two carts worth of crap. Sister and I will be telling her 3 gifts per child. PERIOD. Anything else will be left and you can return it, or save it for a birthday. And on that note, we will NOT be spending Christmas in a mobile, in a run down camp ground. I will open my doors and if they want to come over and do gifts and have dinner my door is open.

Well our Mortgage is paid monthly, and up to date. It's a good day around here when the Mortgage clears the bank. We try and pay more as we want to be debt free as soon as we can. I actually keep track of our debt load on the front page of this blog. We have plans and it's really hard to stay on track, but then I think of my parents and I don't spend, I wait, I don't buy, instead I send the money to the bank to pay off the van. Or the house.

We do money class for the boys at part of their homeschooling. They get their allowance during the class and they figure out how much goes into savings and how much they can spend. They have saving goals, they are investing money. I will teach them to be NOTHING like my parents. My parents were never taught anything about money. They are buy it now and pay later. Well later is here and look what is happening. I am totally honest with the boys about money. If we can't afford something they understand, because a lot of times I have to say no and save for the Mortgage or pay this or that.

On a side note. We picked up this wind mill. We planned on putting it in the back yard as we are dressing up the back yard. But it has found a home in the front yard.

Tucker Bongo Monkey needed new pj's.

I did a photo shoot tonight.

Trying to get back on my feet now. I will be making calls, making appointments and planning trips. I will be turning off the phone and not being there for my parents. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Playful Tuesday

Well I didn't say all the playing would be done in the kitchen did I? So I wanted to buy this but this is wayyyyy out of my price range. Consider if I got one for one child I would have to get one for each, and 100 blocks just wouldn't be enough. So yesterday I ran to Home Depot and got some wooden dowels in 1/2 inch size. Circles and Squares. I came home and cut them on the saw. NOT recommended for the circles.

I then sanded and painted. I went to Wal Mart and got a magnet sheet so I could cut it down to the tiny size I needed. I got cookies sheets at the dollar store and we are in business. This is just the first round, when the rest are cut I will be sanding and painting some more. So for well under 20 dollars I have a very large set that all the boys can share. This is just a few of them.

Now if you really want to keep your kids busy. Get some Gold and Silver paint well you are at Wal Mart and come home and paint some rocks, and then go and hid them in the front yard. Kept the boys busy for hours hunting treasure. Once the first one was spotted there was no stopping them. The boys have NO idea why we have Gold and Silver but are setting a trap to catch who ever put it in our front yard.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Playful Tuesday Freezing Herbs

I'm starting something new. I am always telling people to go and play in the kitchen. I am always playing in the kitchen. Success or Fail I will post them. Not every Tuesday, but the Tuesday's I can get my act together.
I grow herbs. LOTS of herbs. I am always looking for ways to preserve them. After some googling I came across this blog  And thought BINGO, I could do that. OH could I do that. So I went out and chopped the chives. Now dried chives are not very tasty, they don't dry well. But I have high hopes for chives frozen in Olive Oil.
So it's easy peasy.
Chop up your herb of choice.
Put these in your handy dandy silicon ice tray. If you have a Kitchen Collections I found them there 2 for 5.00 dollars.

Fill with oil, run out of oil, quickly dress kids and change out of your farm boots, and head on down to the little store in town. Buy more Organic Olive Oil. Race home and finish filling the ice tray. Put into the freezer for 24 plus hours.

Pop out, label and store.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Garden Winding Down

So I finally went out and bought antivirus software, and updated this computer, so now I can update my blog.

So look to hear from me more often now.

Cupcake of the Month will be back, I have a great one for this month. I'll make icing in the morning and post as soon as I can.

I also plan on something new here. I need to think on the name of it. But I'm always in the kitchen playing and I always tell people to go and play. Positive or Failure I will post me playing in the kitchen. It won't post every Tuesday, but look for those on Tuesday. Starting this Tuesday!

The garden is winding down. So a lot of my time now is spent in the garden, clearing out beds and putting up food. This has not been a good garden year. Out of the 50 plus cucumber plants I planted, yes 50. It was suppose to be the year of the cucumber. I got one...ONE cucumber. A total of about 5 zucchini's. Things just did not grow this year, or they stopped growing.

So I have been trying to spend 30 plus minutes in the garden, now I"m working on clearing beds. Aiming to do one a day. Getting them closed down for winter. I have also been working out front. In between the beds cutting down the grass. Weed blocker down, some bricks and soon mulch. My front yard garden area is looking really good and I will be sharing soon.

Well I was out back today cutting chives for my playing in the kitchen debut. I saw Red in my tomato bed...RED? Sure enough 4 little red tomatoes.

We started school last week. After a brutal start, we have hit a grove. I hope it continues as I will add subjects and require so much work a day. Tucker has taken off in English and Ethan adores Math. Cole, well I'm grateful if I can get him to sit for over an hour before he tells me he is done with school!

I have removed a lot of stress out of our lives. Which has been so very nice around here. Still extremely busy. But once the garden is done that will help. We are in mega mode to pay down the van. We want it paid off by Christmas and with me not driving anymore, that gas money will now go towards the van. Currently at 2498....Every spare penny is being sent towards the loan.

I have my parents move up ahead. But they found a rental, they will rent a moving van. I just hope to gosh they pay their rent. Sister and I are going to law down some rules. Usually my mother really over does it for Christmas. Well sister and I are DONE. She will be limited to three gifts per child. Anything over three will be returned and money put into savings. Pay your rent! Period! We also won't be doing Christmas at their rental, in a run down camp ground. My door will be open they can come here, un-drunk!