Essential Traditions/Real Food Real Frugal

The archives for the old Essential Traditions blog and the old Real Food Real Frugal Blog

Fishing in the Stock Tank

Yesterday evening, Marty and Riley went down to the stock tank to go fishing. They caught about 20 small fish and had a great time!



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Works For Me Wedneday – July 30, 2008

It’s time for Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Rocks in My Dryer.

Cleaning Checklist

I’ve created cleaning checklists for each room of the house. This makes it really easy to delegate tasks, especially during times when I can’t do the cleaning myself. This allows all family members to know exactlly what they need to do to clean that room. I also have a checklist for how to do such chores like laundry. This is really a big help when Mom is sick or out of town. Anyway, it works for me!

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Kitchen Tip Tuesday – July 29, 2008

It’s time for another Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, hosted by Tammy at Tammy’s Recipes!

When you have littles around you want to encourage them to be self-sufficient whenever possible. They love being able to do things themselves. One of the easiest ways to do this is by placing their plastic dishes, cups and silverware in a lower cabinet. This allows them to be able to get what they need on their own and also allow them to help you by setting their place at the table. I’ve also started keeping individual baggies of favorite snacks in that cabinet. This lets Riley get snacks easily on his own when he’d like one. Another idea, is to keep it stocked with juice boxes or bottles of water. This allows the kiddos to practice being self-sufficient and allows them to be helpful around the house.

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Menu Plan Monday – July 28, 2008

It’s time for another Menu Plan Monday, hosted by Laura over at Organizing Junkie.

Here is our menu for the week, it runs from Friday, July 25 through Thursday, July 31. This menu contains breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with some of the recipes that I’m using this week.

Menu for July 25, 2008 – July 31, 2008

Breakfast – Oatmeal
Lunch – Lunch out at Pizza Inn (meeting Marty)
Dinner – Dinner out (not sure where yet)
Prep – Friday evening, start oatmeal soaking for breakfast Saturday

Breakfast – Oatmeal
Lunch – Lunch out at Homestead Heritage Deli (meeting my friend Dee for lunch)
Dinner – Tuna Mac with peas and salad
Prep – Saturday evening, start black-eyed peas soaking for dinner on Sunday

Breakfast – Breakfast burritos
Prep – Start black-eyed peas cooking in crockpot for dinner Sunday
Lunch – Sandwiches with veggie sticks & dip
Dinner – Baked cabbage with black-eyed Pea Salad
Prep – Sunday evening, start oatmeal soaking for breakfast on Monday. Start Lentils soaking for Lentil chili for Dinner on Monday.

Breakfast – Oatmeal
Prep – Start lentil chili cooking in crockpot for dinner Monday
Lunch – Spaghetti with salad
Dinner – Lentil Chili with salad and bread
Prep – Monday evening, start oatmeal soaking for breakfast on Tuesday.

Breakfast – Oatmeal
Lunch – Baked potatoes topped with left-over lentil chili
Dinner – Pot roast with roasted carrots and mashed potatoes
Prep – Tuesday evening, start oatmeal soaking for breakfast on Wednesday. Start beans soaking for Beef & Bean Taco Salad for Dinner on Wednesday

Breakfast – Oatmeal
Prep – Start Beef & Bean Taco Salad filling in crockpot for dinner Wednesday
Lunch – Baked cabbage
Dinner – Beef & Bean Taco Salad
Prep – Wednesday evening, start oatmeal soaking for breakfast on Thursday. Start rice soaking for Dinner on Thursday.

Breakfast – Oatmeal
Lunch – Left over Beans & Cornbread
Prep – start cooking rice for dinner (about 1 hour before)
Dinner – Parmesan Crusted Baked chicken with rice and broccoli
Prep –Thursday evening, start oatmeal soaking for breakfast on Friday.




2 cups rolled oats
3 cups warm water for soaking, plus 1-1/2 cups for cooking
4 tablespoons whey
dash of salt

The night before put the oats in a pot and add 3 cups water and 4 tbsp. Whey. Cover and soak overnight. The next morning, rinse and drain the oats in a colander. Put them back in the post and add the remaining 1-1/2 cups water. Bring the water to a boil, uncovered, and then lower the heat to medium-low. Cook until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

We usually flavor ours with Maple Syrup, Agave or Stevia . The kids like to add cinnamon and raisins or dried apples. Another favorite is banana chips with nuts, with cinnamon and agave.


Tuna Mac

1 pkg. Sunchoke or rice flour macaroni
1 can Amy’s cream of mushroom soup (organic)
2 cans tuna
grated cheddar cheese
bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese

Cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Mix together the macaroni, cream of mushroom soup, drained tuna and grated cheese. Put in a casserole dish and top with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.


Baked Cabbage

1 head cabbage
1 cup water
2 stick real butter
Seasoning of choice (I use Taco seasoning or Italian seasoning)

Preheat oven to about 400 degrees. Take a head of cabbage and cut it into pieces. Put it in a casserole dish with a lid. Add about 1 cup water and a couple sticks of real butter. I also season it at this point. Garlic and onion are good, but believe it or not, my kids REALLY like it with taco seasoning or Italian dressing seasoning mixes! I put it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until its’ soft and translucent. I don’t add salt until it’s done and then salt and pepper to taste. This works really good and I use the butter “sauce” over it (or freeze any dripping to use in soup


Black-eyed Pea Salad

6 cups cooked black-eyed peas
½ tsp. Salt
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 small bell peppers, chopped
1 bottle Italian dressing

Drain and rinse cooked beans. Add ½ tsp. Salt, onion, celery bell pepper and Italian dressing. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serve


Lentil Chili

2 lb. Organic Lentils
Enough filtered water to cover lentils
12 tbsp. whey
6 cups organic chicken broth
6 cups water
2 (15-oz) can organic tomato sauce
2 can organic diced tomatoes, undrained
2 organic onion, chopped
2 tbsp. organic chili powder
2 tbsp. organic taco seasoning
2 tbsp. organic dried garlic
sea salt & pepper to taste

Place the lentils in a bowl and cover with filtered water and whey. Let soak for at least 12 hours. After the soaking period, drain off the liquid. In a big stock pot or Dutch oven, add the drained lentils and all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes, until lentils are done all the way through. Chili is best the next day because flavors have a chance to mingle.


Mashed Potatoes

2-1/2 pounds potatoes, cut into chunks
1 stick Butter
1 carton Sour cream (8 oz.)
1 jar/package Real bacon bits
about 1 cup Chives
grated cheddar cheese (I use sharp cheddar)

In a big pot cover the potato chunks with water and boil, until potatoes are soft. Add all the remaining ingredients and mash. Top with a bit of reserved cheddar and chives and serve. These are just taste just like a baked potato with all the trimmings!


Parmesan Crusted Baked Chicken

Parmesan cheese
Unseasoned bread crumbs
Chicken pieces (I generally use drumsticks or leg quarters)

Mix together equal parts of the Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk and then dip into the paremesan/bread crumb mix. Place on a cookie sheet and bake until chicken is done through (I use my table top convection oven set at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, but just cook until chicken is done through and juices run clear.)

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My Parent’s 40th Anniversary

Back in the 1st part of June, we threw a party for my Parent’s 40th Wedding Anniversary. I made this video to show at the party. I’ve been trying to remember to upload it and finally got did it. So, here it is!

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It’s Friday!!!

Yea!! It’s Friday!! My Dad came back today to do some more work on the trail to the deer blind. He and Colt are out back hard at work. Riley’s still asleep, so I have a nice quiet morning. Today is my errand running day. We’ll go meet Marty for lunch and then I need to go to the post office and run a couple of other errands. I’ll probably also hit any garage sales I see. My Dad and Colt are going to have a Grandpa/Grandson day, so they won’t be joining us for lunch with Marty. They enjoy each other’s company, and it isn’t often that my Dad and Colt get to spend time just the two of them. I’m sure they will have fun! After I run my errands, I’ll come home and do a few things around the house. At least until it’s time to pick up Marty. I’m not sure what the plans are for this evening yet. We usually hit the outlet mall and Walmart, but we’re going to Waco tomorrow to run some errands, so we may just stay home. There’s no telling!

Saturday, we’re going to Waco. I”m going to meet my friend Dee at the Homestead Heritage Deli for lunch and then the boys are going to have a father/son lunch somewhere else. They’ll come back and pick me up and then we’ll run some errands. I know we’re going to JoAnn’s and Harbor Freight. I’ll also hit Hobby Lobby and maybe Target.


It’s time for another Feminine Friday, hosted by Kelly over at The Barefoot Mama!

This is an outfit I haven’t worn in a while! The top is just a red t-shirt from Cabela’s. It has a nice ribbed pattern and is really comfortable. As you know Friday’s are my big errand days. Currently our Suburban is without air-conditioning, so it’s hot! Also, I’m in and out of the car so I need something comfortable and cool. The skirt is one I designed and made myself. It’s also really comfortable and I think it cute. It got buried in the bottom of my drawers, so I had forgotten about it. I found it the other day and washed it and now I’m wearing it again! Wish I had found it for the 4th of July…lol! Anyway, I have a tutuorial for how to make this skirt up on my blog. My shoes, BTW, are my favorite Mary Jane Crocks….so comfortable!

Here’s my outfit for the day…



Okay, I know I’m not the best at doing hair! I also know that I don’t have a big variety of hair-dos that I can do. So when I find something I CAN do, I tend to play around with it and experiment. So, you will probably be seeing lots of different styles that include the inside-out ponytail (also called knots). Today’s hairstyle is a variation of the one I did a couple of weeks back. With this one, I pulled back the top half of my hair into a ponytail and the did a inside-out ponytail. I liked the way that this turned out and I think it would look really nice with curled hair. BUT, since it’s incredibly humid here today, I didn’t even attempt to curl my hair (hehehe). I know it’s not the fanciest hair-do ever, but it keeps my hair out of my face and it still looks “done”. Plus, Marty really prefers my hair down, so this is a nice compromise. So without further ado… is my hair-do for the day!


Wanna join in on Hair-Do Fridays? Post a photo or other hair tip on you blog and join in!


It’s also time for another Frugal Friday, hosted by Crystal over at Biblical Womanhood!

Here’s my frugal tip for the day. I love pretty hair-do-dad’s especially scruncies and barretts. But some of these can be REALLY expensive, so I’ve started making my own. Here are some links that I’ve enjoyed using.

Here are a bunch of links to Crocheted Hair Accessories

How to Make Hair Scrunchies out of fabric scraps

How to Make Beaded Hair Barretts

These are more geared toward young girls…unless you like to wear big bows in your hair…lol!

Girly Things

Hair bow instructions

The Ribbon Retreat

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Thursday Doin’s

Good morning everyone! I hope everyone is off to a good start this morning. So far, I’ve done really well this morning. This will be another one of those all-in-one posts, as I’ve got a TON to do today! I’m slowly but surely getting back in control of my house. I didn’t get as much done yesterday as I had hoped, but that’s okay. I had fun visiting with my Dad and Marty was even able to take off work a bit early so he could help Dad a bit. I was so proud of Colt! He went out with my Dad and helped him. He showed a lot of maturity and a very good work ethinc. There was no complaining (that I heard…lol!) and Dad said he worked really hard. Colt was so thrilled to earn money for helping Grandpa and I was please with his attitude. He’s certainly growing up!

Today’s plan is to continue working as I have been doing. I work for 45 minutes and then take a 15 minute break. I’m currently working on my 2nd load of laundry in the washer…waiting for the 1st load to get dried. I’ve already got the menu plan made for next week, I’ll post it on Monday for Menu Monday (along with the recipes). I’m getting back into the “Nourishing Traditions” way of eating, so it will also have my list of preps for that. I’m going to be spending my time in my sewing room working on organizing that room. So, there’s lots to do today!

Daily To-Do

Breakfast – Oatmeal
Lunch – Spaghetti with salad
Dinner – Baked chicken with Baked Cabbage

* Read Bible
* Get ready for Bible Study this afternoon
* Wash laundry1 2 3
* Dry laundry – 1 2 3
* Fold & put up laundry – 1 2 3
* Work on sewing room
* Straighten Riley’s drawers (Marty had to fix a broken one)
* Menu plan, Shopping List & Recipe List for next week
* Get books ready to mail tomorrow for Paper Back Swap



Bible Study Chats are held each Thursday at 1:00 p.m. CST – 11:00 a.m. PST – 12:00 p.m. MST – 2:00 p.m. EST in the Bible Study chat room. We’d love to have you join us! We are currently studying The Gospel of John.

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Wednesday Update

Another busy day ahead here! My Dad’s in town. He’s mowing a trail out to one of the deer blinds and then he’s going to do some work on the deer blind. The kids and I are working on the house and doing our regular stuff. We’ll probably be picking Marty for lunch in town.

I’m still working on laundry from storage. Before I can sell it or give it away, I feel like I need to wash it first. We may be having a big garage sale early this fall (when it’s cooler), and I want to have it as fresh and ready as possible. So far, I’ve got 2 big bags of clothing, 1 box of clothing and 1 box of books & miscellaneous stuff to get rid off. I’ll probably freecycle it them this weekend and get them out of my hair. I’m still working on the bookshelves in my sewing room. I’m going to move all our homeschool books in there and also will be moving in 2 other book shelves. I’ve been sorting through our books as I clean off shelves. So, I’ll be doing more work in there today. I also have a bag of crocheted baby blankets and hats that I need to get off to the hospital, but I need to wash them first, as some have been in storage a while and I want them to be fresh.

So here’s my schedule for the day:

Lunch – Out with Marty & Dad
Dinner – Baked cabbage in butter sauce

* Read my Bible
* Wash Laundry 1 2 3
* Dry laundry 1 2 3
* Fold & Put up Laundry 1 2 3
* Work on sewing room

I’ll post updates through out the day, so watch for things to be marked off my list :-). Doing this has really helped me to be more accountable with my time! Especailly since I’m working really hard on taking back over my house!

UPDATE 2:15 p.m.
Got 3 loads washed. The 3rd load is about to go into the dryer and then I’m off to fold load #2. I haven’t gotten as much done as I wanted, but Riley was sick this morning and then we went to town to eat with Marty and my Dad. My Dad and Colt are still working on the path to the deer blind, I’m sure they are enjoying spending time with each other…even in this heat! I’m still working on the bookshelves in my sewing room. I do a little bit and then take a break. Lots of books to go through! I also sent off 2 big black trash bag of clothes off on Freecycle, someone’s picking them up this afternooon. So, some un-needed items are gone! I’m purging like crazy!! Currently, I’m taking a little break to get Riley down for a nap.
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Don’t have much time to post today, so today’s post is one of those all-in-one posts 🙂

Lunchtime Chat Today!

Lunchtime chat is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. CST – 10:00 a.m. PST – 11:00 a.m. MST – 1:00 p.m. EST today. We will no longer be meeting in the Meez chat room, because it keeps locking up my computer. We will be meeting in the chat room –> HERE <–. If you get a chance, come by and join us!

Kitchen Tip Tuesday

Deydrating leftovers is a great way to preserve them. It makes them easily portable and requires no refrigeration, which makes them great for camping, hunting, etc. We’ve started dehydrating nearly all of our leftovers and then vacuum sealing them into bags. My husband often takes them to work this way, as well as on fishing, hunting & camping trips. It’s much cheaper than purchasing dehydrated “camping” food from the outdoors store. He recently made a huge batch of refried beans. First, he ground the beans in my grain grider and then cooked them in water until they were the consistency of what refried beans should be. He then spread the beans out on the dehydrator trays and let dry. The then put them in vacuum bags and he keeps them in his camp bag. He also did the same with ground beef. He cooked it and then dried it in the dehydrator. Now he’s all set when he goes camping/fishing for a quick and easy meal. There’s pretty much nothing that can’t be dehyrated!

Daily Update:

Breakfast – Oatmeal
Lunch – Tuna Mac
Dinner – Cabbage rolls
Bible Reading – Currently in Acts
Other Reading – Passionate Housewives Desperate for God and The Family Meal Table and Hospitality.

Today, I’m still working on washing up stuff from storage. Golly, I can’t believe how much clothing we have! I’m going through it and getting rid of quite a bit, some I’ll post online to sell, but the majority of it will be freecycled because they have small problems like stains.

* Bible
* Wash at least 3 loads (1234)
* Dry at least 3 loads (1234)
* Fold & put up at least 3 loads (1234)
* Work on organizing sewing room
* Work on my daily schedule

Well that’s my fun and exciting day ahead! I may be doing more of these all-in-one updates for the next few weeks, as I’m going to be busy organizing my house (which it’s in desperate need of!!)

**6:00 p.m. Update
I was able to get 6 chapters of Acts read. I also managed to wash, dry, fold & put away 4 loads of laundry instead of just 3. I started working on my sewing room and got 3 book shelves cleared off and organized (I’m working on our homeschool bookshelves currently. Filled a box to freecycle and posted some on Paper Back Swap. I have 2 bags of clothes to go to freecycle and more things I’ll be listing for sale. Also ran across 4-5 pairs of jeans to put up for Riley for when he’s bigger. I currently have 4 tubs filled with seasonal clothing for storage for winter, and 1 tub partially filled with clothing for longterm storage. Yikes!

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It’s Monday :-)

This weekend was rather busy. Friday, we met Marty for lunch and then ran a few errands and hit a couple of garage sales. I was able to buy a cute blue floral jumper and a pretty red/white/blue denim and plaids broomstick skirt. I didn’t take pictures of them though…they’re in the washing machine right now. I also bought 3 movies for $1, I got “The Goonies”, “The Princess Diaries”, and “The Little Princess”. That was all that I bought. This weekend was not a good one for garage sales, there weren’t many and most had nothing we needed. Then the kids and I came home. About 4:00 we headed back to town to wash and vacuume the Suburban. It was one of Marty’s co-workers last day of work. He and his wife were moving back to Florida. They are a young couple, she’s 19 and he’s in his early 20’s (not sure), they have 2 cute little girls. Anyway, we took them out to dinner at the Lone Star Cafe. We also hit the outlet mall, because they needed a few things for the trip. I stopped at The Children’s Place and found a cute pair of camo pants for Riley for $1.99 and some new tennis shoes for $8, they were regularly priced at nearly $26! After that we took them to Wal-mart and we all got a few things. We got a new air conditioner for our bedroom!! Our old one went out about 2 months ago. We took our company home and then came home ourselves. We sat down and watched “The Goonies”, which Colt really enjoyed and I kept cracking up at “Samwise Gamgee” – Sean Astin as a little boy…lol! Loved those braces on his teeth 🙂

Saturday, Marty had to work, so the kids and I went to get breakfast burritos and took one to Marty along with some coffee. I mailed out a couple of packages, ran a few errands and then hit a few more garage sales…still nothing! So, we headed on home and I started a bit of laundry. I was suppose to meet my friend Dee for lunch, but Marty had to work, so I had to run his errands. After we got home I started a load of laundry and got it in the dryer. They it was time to pick up Marty and we ended eating lunch out. We then all came home and I worked on laundry and Marty tinkered around with different projects…oh yeah, he also installed the air conditioner in the bedroom. But, it was suppose to come with a remote, and the remote wasn’t in the box, so we had to go back to Wal-mart and get a remote. We got some stuff for dinner and Marty bought “Batman Begins” and we came home and ate dinner and watched the movie. The movie was actually pretty good, it was much better than the older ones I thought. Then we all went to bed and I enjoyed sleeping in a cold room for a change!

Sunday, we woke up late, so we didn’t make it to church. We generally don’t make it on Sundays when Marty has had to work on Saturday. He was building fence all afternoon on Saturday with the sun beating down on him and he was exhausted and needed the extra rest. Anyway, he spent the day tinkering around with his hammock (which he built) and I worked on laundry. I’m working on going through all the clothing and getting it organized. I’ve got several things I’m going to sell, just waiting until I get a good sized box ready, before I start posting it. I also have a big sack of clothing that I’ll Freecycle this weekend, will probably be adding more to it this week.



I also stared vacuum bagging clothing that was I wanted to save that was too big for the kids. This saves us a lot of room while storing things but also helps to keep them clean, fresh and bug free. I vacummed up a bunch of shirts that were still too big for Riley that we’ve gotten recently, 12 to be exact. All different sizes ranging from 7/8 – 12/14. Some were some of Colt’s old shirts that were still in excellent shape other were some we got from Freecycle, garage sales, and their cousin Elijah. I vacuum bag them and then put them in a plastic tub for storage. I have one tub for clothing for Riley and one for clothing for Colt. So far though, I don’t have anything really in Colt’s…LOL! I don’t mind purchasing larger and/or saving clothes, as in the long run it saves us money, especially when I get them for pennies on the dollar!

After doing all that, we ran to the grocery store (finally) to buy groceries for the rest of the week.

For dinner sunday, we ate Pork steaks, our big “meat” meal of the week. I also started soaking a pot of beans Sunday morning and started it last night. We’re having black beans for lunch and dinner tonight. I’ll start another pot soaking after lunch. Marty’s going to take a batch to work. We watched a little TV and then went to bed (and enjoyed a 2nd night of airconditioned sleep! LOL!)

Here’s my plan for today…

Wash Marty’s work clothes
Wash some bedding (Marty needs a blanket on the bed, he’s cold now at night…lol!)
Wash more storage clothing
Fold and sort clothing (mine, Marty’s, Colt’s, Riley’s, Storage, & giveaway)
List a couple of books on
Get beans started soaking.
Start Beans cooking after soaking (just before bed)
Do some organizing on my fabric stash
Put up the dehydrated ground beef
Put up the dehydrated refried beans

Here’s my menu for the week (BTW, generally, our menus run from Friday – Thursday, because that’s when Marty gets paid)…

Friday – Dinner at Lone Star Cafe as a going away gift to co-worker
Saturday – Ham and turkey sandwiches with chips and dips
Sunday – Pork Steaks with sauteed cabbage
Monday – Black beans and biscuits
Tuesday – Lentil Chili
Wednesday – Baked cabbage with butter sauce
Thursday – Cabbage rolls stuffed with taco meat with tomato sauce over the top.

Can you tell that cabbage was on sale…lol! We do eat a lot of cabbage around here, we all really like it. I often chop up a whole head and just bake it with a little water, butter and seasoning for lunch. It’s just soooo good that way.

Well I need to get busy. I’ve got a ton to do today and lots of laundry to do. I’ll “see” you all later! Have a great Monday!

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