Can you say

stir fry?
Our garden is producing. Yea!
3 zucchinis
1 summer squash
1 head bok choy cabbage
bunch spinach

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Hobo Dinner

Our favorite dinner to make while camping is our version of the Hobo dinner. Pearly has become quite the photojournalist and documented the process so you all can see:

ground beef
garlic - lots of garlic

In the center of a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil, layer in this order: chunked potatoes, onions, crushed garlic, seasonings, butter, carrots, more garlic

Next, pile on the ground beef, add seasonings . . . . . and garlic

Peppers on top make this a very colorful meal. Oh, and please do not skimp on the garlic.

Hold the long edges together and make a fold down maybe 1/2-inch. Keep folding this same way until you can't fold anymore. Now fold the ends the same way. This makes a nice leak-proof package.

Place over coals, not directly on flame. If you look closely, you can see the orange coals between the rocks.

Ta-da - The finished product. Yum!

Compliments of Pearly
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Frugal Living

The last day of my employment outside the home was the day of my eldest daughter's birthday 21-1/2 yrs ago. Thankfully, dh has been blessed with jobs decent enough that I have been able to stay home with the children. We haven't had much "discretionary" money, so we have to be careful how we spend our money.

Over the years, people have asked how do we do it raising seven children on one income. Some of the ways are obvious: thrift stores and garage sales for clothes, cooking from scratch at home, not going out to restaurants very much, etc.

With today's economy as it is, I thought I'd share some ideas that work for me in this blog.

Here's a great one. Bananas are about $.55 cents a pound - they sure shot up in price this year. I was paying $.33 per pound just a couple months ago.

We make a lot of smoothies for breakfast around here. I'll have to post some recipes on a future post. But the common ingredient for our smoothies is frozen bananas. We use the frozen bananas to act as the "ice". Not only does it help to freeze the smoothy, but it is also used as the primary sweetener avoiding the need for sugar or other unhealthy sweetener. So it is to my advantage to find a good source of bananas.

I go to a restaurant supply store here called Cash and Carry. I think they are in quite a few states. Regardless, even your grocery store sells bananas and all bananas get overripe and sometimes there are too many overripe bananas and they THROW THEM AWAY (scandalous)!

So, I make friends with store managers, produce people and ask for the overripe bananas. "Hey Bill, can you cut me a deal so I can relieve you of these overripe bananas?" They always say yes. So, see that box of bananas? I paid $4.50 for it - 75% off regular price. That's a great deal on something that we use regularly.

After we take them home, we peel, slice into 1-2-inch cubes and put on a cookie sheet in the freezer. When they are frozen, move the frozen banana pieces to a ziplock bags and they are ready to go for smoothies.


How does your garden grow?

As any gardener knows, this is the most exciting time of having a garden - the anticipation of the first produce. Things are happening. Some plants grow literally inches overnight - it's amazing!

4-in. zucchini - can you say chocolate chip zucchini muffins? Hurry up and GROW!

I love my flower bed surrounded by vegetables.

Pepper plant

Hydrangea and fuschia

Was I the only kid who got in trouble for popping her mother's fuschia buds? It must be the musician in me - I love the sound it makes when it pops, but don't tell my kids that. They need to grow up thinking that they were the only kids whose mother told them not to pop the fuschia buds. Hannah, please zip your lip.
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Camping Trip from the Eyes of a 13-yr Old

Pearly took the digital camera on their camping trip and came home with these pictures. It's great fun to see what interests children when they have the camera. I think she's well on her way to being a photojournalist. Stay tuned for follow-up post on hobo dinners!

Mt. Jefferson, Oregon

They tried to get the perfect camping spot and went to four lakes, but none of them were good, so they ended up spending the first night in a hotel. Here are 2 monkeys jumping on the hotel bed!
Detroit Lake and Dam

Currently my favorite picture of Bunny. Pearly really captured him in this shot.

Orange Boy (10 yrs) gets credit for this eagle shot and the following 2 pictures.



We have 3 cherry trees. In the seven years we have lived in our house, they have been for the most part unproductive or the birds get to them faster than we can. This year has been different. We are in cherry heaven. They are sooooo good.


Pearl Tapioca, Sago Pudding, Guinataan

A while back I posted about a pudding I craved when living in the Philippines.

It is a big process to make it. Last night Tall Dude wanted some pearl tapioca which is in that recipe. We've failed many times, but we finally think we have it down now. The key is to pour the pearl tapioca into boiling water and keep at a low boil for an hour or so until the pearls are transparent. After the pearls are cooked, the water it was cooked in becomes very thick and gooey. I added coconut milk, a little half and half, sugar, and a bit of butter and vanilla. We served it room temperature with sliced bananas. The pearl tapioca is so fun to eat.

Have you had bubble tea before? Pearl tapioca is used in bubble tea. Now I guess I'm going to have to learn how to make bubble tea.

Next time we make the tapioca pearls, we will have to go all out and add the glutenous rice balls to the above recipe - they are the absolute best things to squish on the roof of your mouth. I sound like a kid!



I am a redhead. The only other redhead in my family was my great-grandmother. So I really did not have high expectations for having my own redheads. I actually prayed for redheaded babies. Yes, I was teased as a child. The most common tease that I thought was hilarious was "carrot top". Well, anyone knows that the top of a carrot is green! Thankfully, the positive comments far outnumbered the negative comments and the teasing had no lasting effect on me. I feel very blessed to have three redheads: eldest daughter and these 2 cuties. Orange boy has pretty straight hair, but Bunny, our eldest daughter, and I have natural curls or wavy hair. I've heard some rumors that redheads will be going extinct. At least we've done our part in helping squelch that rumor for the time being :)


Unexpected Surprises

We have a bird feeder:

Underneath the bird feeder we have been given a couple surprises from the bird seed that has dropped.


And seeing the wheat reminded me of a song that comes from this verse:

23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

John 12:23-25 NKJV


A quiet home

Dh and 4 children left on Thursday to go tent camping near Mt. Bachelor and so it's been a bit quiet around home. Little Jonathan has been practically attached to me the whole time. And . . . he doesn't like sleeping in a room without brothers, so he's been walking upstairs to visit me in the wee hours for the past 2 nights. It doesn't make for very good sleep.

I'm looking forward to a visit from our eldest daughter today and will hopefully do a little sewing.


Cleanse your digestive system and feel great

In my junk mail I saw the above-titled e-mail. The sender's e-mail: colonexperts@c______

I feel sick just reading that title. I guess it could be worse.


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