If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

DIY children fun, batch cooking and etc:

Hello everyone,
school is back in session for all our grands that go to school and our grown children that work in education.   We are settling into a new schedule and so far,  everything is going pretty smooth.

I am still helping with childcare for some of the grands but I don't have a single grand that is here for any full weekdays,  this is a big change for me as I've been caring for different combinations of grands for the last 8 years while their parents worked.
Whatever will I do with all my free time?
So far,  I haven't seen that much extra free time but I am sure I will stay busy no matter who is here.


Here a few things our grands had end of summer fun with.

This was homemade chalk paint.  Each muffin cup held 2 T of cornstarch, 2 T water and 5 drops of food coloring.
Stir it up well and then paint.  Please look on Pinterest if you want more instructions but that is truly all we did
The grands had a great time stirring it and painting with it.  
It didn't really show up so well on the driveway but it was still lots of fun.  
It also completely washed away  when it rained.


All the grands like to pour and this 2 year old is having a great time with just water and a plastic tea set on a tray covered with a kitchen towel.
The towel controlled most of the spills and it was just water so it wasn't much a mess.

When the bigger grands wanted to have a tea party,  I got out a tea set my mom found at a yardsale years ago.  It is pottery and looks a lot like Fiesta ware.
My parents were here for this tea party.  They had some lemonade for pouring and some Ninja Turtle cookies the grands baked with a mix from Dollar Tree.
They all had a very sweet time and I know the tea sets will be used often when grands are here.

Children love to cook and help in the kitchen.  This 5 year old was helping me roll out noodles.
It costs nothing to have them help and they enjoy it so much.


Today I did some big batch cooking.  
I made a recipe of Energy Balls.  It is based loosely on a YouTube video by Keep Calm and Clean

I make them a little differently.  I mix up the peanut butter, honey and vanilla and then I add the quick oats and either mini chocolate chips or mini M&Ms.  Once mixed,  I use a little scoop and make balls,  chill until ready to eat.  In the video,  she also adds brown sugar but I think these are plenty sweet like this.
These are a favorite of the grands and they are quite filling and hunger satisfying.
If you look for other Energy balls or protein balls recipes,  most have a lot more ingredients.   We really like this simple recipe just fine.

I made a triple recipe of  Freezer Biscuits I've made this recipe many times and they are always good.  They are freezing and will get bagged up with frozen solid.
I also baked a triple recipe of banana bread/muffins and a double batch of chocolate chip muffins.



When everything was cool,  I put it in plastic containers for the freezer and in sandwich bags for school lunches.  We are having company this weekend and will probably serve some of the banana bread and chocolate chip muffins.
I also packaged up some to take to my parents at their retirement home.

I want to mix up a new recipe for a Cajun seasoning but I was out of onion powder.  I did have a couple quarts of the dried onion flakes.  I tried grinding them up a  little coffee grinder,,,,,
and it worked just fine!  I will be using this homemade onion powder for the Cajun seasoning as well as when I make more Taco Seasoning and Rub for smoked meat.
It always a win when you can use what you have instead of adding things to a shopping list, right?


Keeping it real though....
All that baking and cooking used lots of dishes.  The dishwasher was full and running as well as all the dishes I hand washed and have air drying.  (hmmm,  I'm not sure that is a complete and proper  sentence but you get the picture)


I'm still doing bargain shopping in small amounts  This was last week at Dollar General.  
I used just digital coupons on the Dollar General app and website.  
After deducting all the coupons as well as a $5 off $30 coupon for buying Gain products,  I spent $12.71
Before coupons, it was about $35.

I'm still walking everyday and keeping track of my steps with a Fitbit.
They sent me this badge last week.

Way back in 2009,  we canceled out satellite TV.  We've lived just fine without pay tv all these years and got most of my shows through a rooftop antenna.
But the weather has really been blowing that antenna around, and to adjust it,  someone had to go up on the roof.  My husband has no business being a roof anymore and our sons are helpful but all have busy lives.
So I pretty much insisted we get cable tv.   It is through the same company we have had our internet and landline phone with so the TV gets bundled in and the price was not bad at all.
Also,  there is no contract and we can cancel anytime if needed.

My husband really likes TV but I don't watch it much.  I did finally watch my first episode ever of "Fixer Upper"  It was OK but I haven't watched any more.  I thought I might of been really missing something and the show is nice but it turns out  I wasn't really missing anything.

I have only sewed for 3 days since I last posted about the 100 Day sewing challenge
I did finish a new top and have 2 more garments for me cut out.  Hopefully I will show those to you all soon.  

 That's the homemaking that's been going on here- thank you for visiting.  

Jeff and Rhonda

Jeff and Rhonda