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Friday, March 30, 2012

what’s in your garden?

We started the Green Acres Garden last weekend.  I am so excited.  Mr. Miller and the boys worked very hard all day Sunday preparing and planting seeds.

Of course I had to pull out my trusty “Carrots love Tomatoes” book, use the University of Missouri extension website and then put the plans to paper.  Sorry Deacon I had to use a tablet I seem to be out of graph paper. Smile
We used the organic seeds from Seeds of Change.  We haven’t used these before so I am excited to see what will happen.  While I was out watering this morning I noticed radishes, carrots and spinach are already peeking through.  We have put in Garlic, Sweet Onions, Spinach, Sugar Snap Peas, Peas, Radish and Carrots so far.  Junior Mint picked out Sunflowers to plant by our cucumber and radish bed.  The flowers provide a little shade from that hot afternoon sun.  My boy loves those yellow ladies as much as his Mama.  I am getting my compost this weekend for the potatoes that are “scabbing” over right now.  Our potato bin will be made from recycled pallets.  Oh how I love my Mr. Miller.  He can repurpose pallets into just about anything.

I can’t wait till its time to put the tomatoes, peppers and cukes in.  Cameron’s strawberries are off to a promising start.  I think there could be some great jam this year.  What’s in your garden?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

oops I did it again…

Almost 2 years ago I cut my hair for the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program.  Well yesterday I did it again for Locks of Love program.  It felt so right and good the first time I had to do it again.  Cancer is something that can strike anyone at anytime.  I am the daughter and daughter –in-law of 2 said survivors.  My Daddy is a Prostate Cancer survivor and The Deacon fought the battle with Colon Cancer and won.  I feel that this is a very minor thing that I can do to help those that need it.  We all love our hair and I can’t imagine having mine fall out.  Dad and The Deacon were both very lucky to not lose theirs, although my Dad is a little bare on top already.  Sorry Daddy I couldn’t resist.

If you have long hair won’t you at least think about it?  It is simple and it does grow back.  I also look at it as a way to get a new boost of confidence about how I look.    Are you ready for the transformation?




After:  Please excuse the no makeup in the after shot. Smile




My new friend, Kristi, did the honors.  She is a fellow Mama from St. Thomas More.  She is amazing.  If you live in the KC area and are looking for a new Hair Goddess, let me know!  Thank you again Miss Kristi for making me feel pretty again!



I was able to send 8.5 inches 2 years ago.  This time I had over 12 with the braid stretched out.  It takes several braids just like mine to make one wig.  Think of how many people we could all help.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Its Spring! The hens are laying again, no not mine, but I would love to have some chickens.  My Mom has a client who often brings eggs to her from her daughter’s hens.  I graciously accept them anytime I can.  They are incredible and very fresh.  We even had a double “yolker” on Sunday. 

I love taking pictures of these little treasurers.  Each one so unique and independent.  I don’t know about you but it concerns me how uniform eggs are in the store. 




Henry is my little egg eater.  He would eat them at least 2 meals a day.  Often my little Junior Mint and I share breakfast after we take Cameron to school.  Here is what we had this morning.  Potatoes with fresh spinach and those glorious eggs.


Monday, March 26, 2012

what’s cookin’

I have changed up my days a little bit.  I have started to do my grocery shopping on Thursday nights.  Therefore my menu’s now run from Saturday through Friday!  Don’t forget to see what other talented Mama’s are fixing this week at Stone Gable.  This week I will be concentrating on Sewing and getting the rest of the spring garden in. 

Don't forget to stop by Green Acres Closet for free shipping today on all orders.  Simply use "FREESHIP" at checkout!

Saturday:  Mama and Daddy won tickets to the KC Home Show so the boys had a sitter.

Cheeseburgers on the grill
Baked Beans

Monday:  Pack Meeting for Scouts
Hot Dogs
Slaw and Fruit Salad

Tuesday: Soccer Practice

Roasted Chicken
Spinach Salad
Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Toast
Cucumber and Feta Salad

Teriyaki Rice and Broccoli

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

my infirmary

It started out as most morning with the hustle and bustle of getting Mr. Miller out the door.  Trying to keep Cameron focused on his task at hand which isn't always the easiest.  Henry did tell me his tummy hurt but in the same sentence started joking with his brother. 

Maybe I should have listened more intently.  Note to self:  When a 3 year old says his tummy hurts, it probably does!  Yep I am thankful for my hard wood floors and the fact that we hadn't gotten in the car yet.  I am also thankful that Mr. Miller's new location is just a couple minutes from home.  He rushed home to take Cameron to school. 

Henry and I decided to cuddle in my bed.  Phone rings and I see its STM.  Yep, Cameron didn't make it through Mass.  Bless his heart.  I asked him before he left for school and he said he was great.  I believed him because one thing with Aspies they are honest.  When I got to the school he said "honest Mama it didn't start feeling up/down (his term for nausea) until we got into mass" .

I am running an infirmary today.  We have survived and we haven't had any more "messes".  Just sleepy and achy boys.  They are starting to drink some Spite and I am going to heat up some Chicken Broth with rice for dinner if they want it.  Tomorrow we will lay low, work on the homework Cameron brought home for today and put out Easter decor.  I know he could probably go to school but I would rather have it be a full 24 hours. 

I am very grateful for Mrs. Spiller's quick reaction with Cameron this morning and for helping him.  Thank you to Mrs. Tanner in advance for bringing our Thursday homework home tomorrow.

Back to the laundry and fresh bed linens for my patients.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

brotherly love…

Why is it that they can spend all morning bickering and the minute Henry realizes that Cameron is back at school for the day he wants to know if its time to pick him up yet?

Why is it that they can be so excited to see each other at 3:00 and by 4:00 they are picking on each other?

Why is it that they each no how to push each others buttons?

Why is it that by 8:00 last night I was ready to jump in a tub of Calgon?

Why is it that I get nervous when it gets eerily quiet in our room when I know they are in there together? 

When I went to find out why I found this:

boys sleeping

Yep, they fell asleep.  Cameron holding his brothers little pigs and all.  That is brotherly love.  All the before questions have been forgotten by just looking at these two in this perfectly blissful moment.  Brothers.  Best Friends. Companion for life.  My boys, how can I not love them?

Monday, March 19, 2012

what's cookin'?

A little peek into what's cookin' this week at Green Acres.  Don't forget to check out Stone Gable's "On the Menu Monday" too.

Sunday:  Leftover Corned Beef and Cabbage with potatoes

Monday:  The Best Lasagna Ever by the Pioneer Woman
                Salad, GF Garlic Cheese Biscuits

Tuesday:  It's Soccer night so that means Sandwiches and Fruit

Wednesday:  Leftover Lasagna
                      Green Beans

Thursday:  Roasted Chicken
                  Carrots and Potatoes

Friday:  Cheese Pizza
              Spinach Salad

Satuday:  Chicken and Rice Soup

Friday, March 16, 2012

one way to reuse water

Last night we had to scrub the boys down after spending the evening running around the yard after dinner.  Let’s just say there was a definite ring around the tub.  Mr. Miller forever trying to be conscious about reusing everything here grabbed the watering can and headed to the bathroom while I was dressing Henry.  He said he hated to see the water in the tub go to waste.  I couldn’t help but agree.  (My first thought was that I was not going to share their water for my bath.)


He made 8 trips out to the front beds and the plants inside watering.  We were able to use 16 gallons of the water for our plants.  Pretty amazing when you think of how much water just goes down the drain after you bathe your kids.


We just have one of those Green Rubbermaid water cans when I would really love to find some like this!

March 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

perfect popcorn with a side of pinterest

My new latest obsession is Pinterest.  Which I am sure many of you have discovered.  Why it can suck me in for hours at a time is fascinating.  Mr. Miller has discovered it too, he just goes in under my name.  We have a variety of boards.  I have used quite a few of the ideas and plan on many more for the garden this year.

I was stalking boards the other day and came across this on a board.  The recipe for Perfect Popcorn.  Let me tell you it works.  Simply put 1/3 c of un popped kernels in a brown paper lunch sack, fold top over twice, place in microwave with the bottom fold on the bag upwards and set timer for 2:25.  Ouila'!
Perfect air popped popcorn!  I am seriously addicted to this!  Mr. Miller sprinkled a little Louisiana Hot Sauce on his bowl last night and I just ate mine plain.  So good, pure and natural.  Try it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

what’s happening around here today…



Spring 2009 023

Savoring Summer Weekends 013

::  Spring cleaning, trust me I am feeling my age after scrubbing the kitchen floor on my hands and knees.

::  Peanut doing what she does best.

::  Finding all of the new awakenings in the yard.

::  Washing diapers and getting to put them out for a sunbath.

::  Painting a file cabinet that I found in one of my Urban Treasure Hunts.

::  Baking St. Patrick’s Day cookies with my Cameron and Henry.

::  Enjoying this amazing day!

Monday, March 12, 2012

what’s cookin’?

Spring Break is here!  Lots of outside play planned for the boys since we will be blessed with sunshine and 70’s all week.  While Cameron is on a play date and Junior Mint is sleeping I thought I would sneak in a blog post.

Corn Pasta with Basil, Garlic, Cherry Tomatoes
Herbed Chicken – lightly rub olive oil over chicken, add basil, garlic salt and pepper.  Bake at 350, 50 minutes.
march 2012

Corn Pasta with Basil, Garlic, Cherry Tomatoes
Pasta of your liking
3 Tbsp  Olive Oil
4 medium garlic cloves thinly sliced
3 C cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 C fresh basil, sliced into ribbons
1/3 C grated Parmesan Cheese
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cook the Pasta, drain and set aside.
  2. While Pasta is cooking, pour the oil into a large skillet over medium heat and add the garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently until garlic is golden brown, about 10 min.  Add the tomatoes.  Increase the heat to medium high.  Cover and cook until tomatoes are warm and softened but still retain their shape.  About 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add Pasta, Basil and Cheese.  Mix well.  Salt and Pepper to taste. 

Mr. Miller took the leftovers today in his lunch.

Sausage and Potato Casserole
Green Beans and Apple Sauce

Black Bean Nachos
Slice Apples

Cowboy Bake


Fish Sticks
Macaroni and Cheese

Corned Beef and Cabbage
Red Potatoes

Check out some other kitchens in the "blogosphere" and see what's cookin' in their homes this week.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Yesterday was going very well.  Lot's of sunshine, production in Green Acres Closet, totally prepared for my STM 4 All Meeting and Henry gently playing along side me wherever I was working.  I left to get Cameron and as well pull in the school parking lot Henry fell asleep as usual so I decided in the 10 minutes of peace to myself I would check my emails.  That is when I let an email ruin my day.  I say "let" very strongly.

I had a reader leave a comment that was not what I would call respectful to me, my family or my way of raising my family.  It immediately sent a black cloud over head.  I tried to hide it but my sweet, gentle Cameron figured his Mama out.  As we were sitting there waiting our turn to pull out I felt this warm little hand on my shoulder, which for a child with Asperger's says a lot.  I take every touch as a blessing and savor them.

His soft voice said, "Mama are you mad?"
Me:  "No Cameron, Mama is just a little sad."
Cameron:  " Why?"
Me:  "Because someone used some words that hurt me, I will be OK."
Cameron:  "I am sorry, Mama.  I love you, does that help?"
Me:  " More than you know Cameron!"

Last night I was checking Facebook and had some very sweet comments about my Leftovers post.  Thank you my sweet friends, you defiantly were a big part of turning my frown upwards.  OK God, "post it note" 1 received.

Then this morning I was doing my "blog stalking" and I came across a new favorite, Passionate Homemaking , she brought things into perspective for me.  This was my "post it note" 2 from upstairs.  She talks about Ma Ingall's and some words of advise she gave to Charles.  In an episode Pa had done something to anger her and it was growing deep inside of her.  She finally had enough and said to Pa "It's such a waste of time to be angry at you!"

No truer words ever spoken.  I let this person ruin my day.  Why?  Why did it matter?  Lindsay you are so right.  Feeling sorry for myself didn't improve the situation and it was a big WASTE of my time. I should have stopped and prayed for her.  I am praying today for her.  I am hoping that whatever trials she is going through she can find solace in.  I am a good Mother, Wife, Friend and Person.  I took a moment to re read Proverbs 31 this morning and Proverbs 31:25 is so true here.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come

So yes, I am smiling again this morning.  Laughing at life's little lessons and how I need to stop and realize that people are people.  I know that I am doing what's right for my family and me.  We try to serve God, help our neighbors and I know I can go to sleep at night knowing I served my God with grace and dignity.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

are you using all your leftovers?

Disclaimer:  I am going to get on my soapbox for a minute now.

I was listening to the news this morning and something really caught my attention, 1 in 7 families is on Food Stamps right now in the United States.  I was shocked.  It has gotten so bad that families can't afford to feed themselves.

 I know its hard. We struggle each week.  I have dear friends that receive assistance right now, and they are very hard working and it was a hard decision to make but they needed to do it to survive.  When is it going to stop? 

I know that we are making a conscious effort here to make use off every last scrap.  Sometimes its hard but we have to.  Let's face it money is tight.  Food and Fuel prices are on the rise and it makes it just plain hard for the average family to feed themselves let alone buy healthy options.  We plant a garden each year and some years have been better than others but we do it and we eat from that garden.  I am looking forward to a few "canning parties" with my girlfriends this summer.  I also buy from the local Farmer's Markets.  I like supporting local vendors and plus the produce is so fresh.

I am continuing to plan, preserve and pray for my families needs and the needs of others.  It has to get better, doesn't it?

OK I will get off my tangent....

My original intent today was to talk about leftovers.  So here it goes.  Last week I made Crockpot Beef Stroganoff.  Super simple and tasty.

Beef Stroganoff

2 lbs ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, mined
1 C fresh mushrooms, diced
1 1/2 C sour cream
4 TBSP flour, I use rice flour
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C beef broth
3 TBSP tomato paste

1.  In a skillet, brown beef, onions, garlic and mushrooms.  Drain and add to slow cooker.
2.  Combine sour cream and flour.  Add to beef mixture.  Stir in remaining ingredients.
3.  Cover. Cook on low for 6 hours.
4.  Serve over hot buttered noodles.  I used corn noodles.

This is a great recipe and the boys love it.  I finely mince the mushrooms and they don't even know that they are in there. 

Here is how this became our lunch on Sunday.  I still had the better part of a box of beef broth in the fridge.  I simply added it to the Stroganoff and it became beef and noodles.  Mr. Miller loves beef and noodles over Mashed Potatoes so that is what we had it over.  Henry doesn't care for mashed potatoes so he ate his like soup and had 2 bowls at that.  We even had a little left over that Mr. Miller finished in his lunch yesterday.

Great way to use up what is in the fridge.  Get creative, you might surprise yourself.

Monday, March 5, 2012

what’s cookin’?

Cameron and Henry's Garden 002

Here is a little look into our kitchen this week.  We have a super busy week with Scouts, First Communion Meeting, Itsa Baby Diaperswap and Mama’s has two meetings herself.  What’s on your menu?


Pizza and Salad



Beef Enchilada Casserole, Corn, Apple Slices



Spaghetti and Salad



Green Chile and Cheese Tamales, Bean Burritos, Salad






Black Beans and Rice, Peas, Salad



Greek Salad and Spanikopita