Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chrome extensions

About a week ago I read an article that mentioned 2 new chrome extensions created by former google employees. I was very excited to give them a try, so I downloaded and installed the free extensions and WOW!!! The first product I will mention is AdBlock. This program downloads and installs quickly and is very effective for most ads. The integration is practically flawless, you don't even really notice anything is missing unless you are looking for it and even then it may take a minute, lol. It is great at keeping unwanted ads from appearing but it does not prevent information from being collected. For that I found Disconnect, this great little extension also integrates seamlessly and works great. Much like a pop up blocker it keeps track of how many times it blocks sites from collecting your info. Both extensions can be "paused" and restarted when needed. They are easy to install and most importantly, they work! If you are a Chrome user looking for tighter security and less advertisements, check out these two.

Don't forget to enter the 2 in 1 Cast Iron Casserole Pan giveaway

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ring in the New Year Giveaway :)

Kinetic Color Cast 4.86-Quart Casserole with Grill Pan Lid

It's a two in one pan. It's a full sized covered casserole and the casserole lid doubles as a 10" round grill pan. You get two products for the price of one. The cast iron absorbs heat evenly and spreads it out gently while cooking and the porcelain enamel allows for quick and easy clean up when done. With its easy to clean surface, a lid to lock in freshness and comfortable stay cool handles, this dutch oven is perfect for any home chef.

Color: Red
Heats up fast and allows even heat distribution
It works with all heat sources: gas, electric, induction and ceramic top ranges
Heavy gauge handles and knobs allow for easy carrying and handling

4.8 quart capacity
Cast iron construction
Porcelain enamel exterior
Oven proof and dishwasher safe
25 Year Limited Warranty
Safe to use on top of the stove or in the oven up to 400 degrees
Cannot be used in a broiler

Check out our Giveaways tab for details on how to enter.

Friday, December 24, 2010


From our family to yours :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Déjà vu, irony and sweets

Dh was in a car accident this morning (yes it was a year and 3 days ago) . . . this time none of the kids were with him, thank God! Some cows escaped their fence and came running out onto the highway (yes I am fully aware of the irony). As dh tried to avoid the brown cow, he slammed into the black cow. She flew over the car and was last seen slowly walking away. The local police officer made it out and verified what happened, took pics and secured the scene as they waited for the deputy to arrive. Dh believes the car is totaled, guess we'll know more later. Please keep us in your prayers, especially DH as he has to be on the road so early in the morning. :( I don't think I'm gonna be catching up on my sleep after all :(

In other news: stay tuned for our next blog giveaway and review :) The kids and I have been busily working on hot process soap making, lots of baking and fun gifts to share. If you still have someone on your list that you haven't found a gift for, here are a few of our favorite homemade gift ideas from across the web.

1. Hot Chocolate on a stick (with Marshmallow)

2. Marshmallow Bonbons

3. Cream cheese chocolate fudge or peanut butter fudge

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

'Pedophile Guide' Author Arrested on Obscenity Charges

You may remember that I removed my Amazon affiliate links from the side bar when this matter first came to light. I have opted not to replace the amazon links. Instead I'll be taking my business to CSN Stores. They sell everything from furniture to modern décor and a whole lot more. I am so pleased with the cast iron skillet that I got from them, as well as the cooling racks and spring form cake pans. I highly recommend checking them out if you are looking for a shopping alternative. :)

Here is the story from Fox News:
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The author of a self-published how-to guide for pedophiles that was pulled from last month after widespread outrage has been arrested on obscenity charges.

Phillip Ray Greaves, a 47-year-old retired nurse's aide in Pueblo, Colo., was arrested at his home by sheriff's deputies from Florida's Polk County and charged with violating Florida's obscenity law.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said his office was able to arrest Greaves on Florida charges because Greaves sold and mailed his book -- "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct" -- directly to undercover Polk deputies. Greaves even signed the book, Judd said.

"He very proudly sold us his personal copy," Judd told The Associated Press. "I was outraged by the content. It was clearly a manifesto on how to sexually batter children ... You just can't believe how absolutely disgusting it was."

Greaves told last month that nearly 300 copies of his self-published e-book were sold on's Kindle Store in 24 hours prior to its disappearance from the site on Nov. 11. He said he also received more than 3,000 complaints about the $4.79 e-book, which seeks to make "pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them," according to the product description that was posted while the book was available for sale.

Read more here

Monday, December 20, 2010

Eggnog pie, oh my!

This dessert can be summed up in 1 word . . . YUMMY!!! At least that's what I'm told, not being a fan of eggnog I made it for DH and the kids who LOVE it. The pie never had a chance, lol. The recipe is simple enough and can be semi-homemade.

1 large box vanilla pudding, cook and serve
3 c. eggnog
1 c. heavy whipping cream, whipped with 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar and ½ tsp. vanilla

1. Combine the pudding mix and eggnog in a sauce pan. Stirring constantly, cook until thickened (about 10 minutes) then cool.
2. Fold the whipped cream into the eggnog pudding mix and put into a baked pie shell of your choice (pastry, graham cracker, gingerbread cookie…)
3. Bake for 15 mins at 350 degrees, let cool and then refrigerate.

I added the #3 to the basic recipe provided by Jamie @ Everyday Art. :)

Marie @ Make and Takes has a wonderful semi-homemade donut recipe that we also made yesterday. We made them in cinnamon and sugar and in glazed.

Basic Glaze Recipe

2 tbsp melted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat until smooth and creamy, adding a little more milk if necessary.
Drizzle over a cooled donuts.


Friday, December 17, 2010


Our well pump died a few days ago and suddenly we were stuck without running water. But let's start at the beginning. I turned on the tap only to find that the water pressure was horribly low, usually that means that one of the guys has left the hose on. I called to dh to go check it out and came back with the news, there was no power in the well house. We checked the breaker and it was not tripped, so we were confused. We suddenly had to find the source of the power and after making a few calls we discovered that the power for the well comes from the garage. Now this was both good news and bad news at that time. It was great because we finally had that information, but it was bad because the only breaker box we knew of in there had a nest in it since before we moved here. After some tinkering we discovered that that was not in fact the box and so the hunt continued. On the opposite side of the garage there was an old fuse box, wouldn't ya know it, it had blown a fuse. DH went to the hardware store and picked up a new fuse and replaced the blown one. When he flipped the breaker in the well house to test it, the fuse immediately blew again :( In an effort to narrow things down DH took off the wires from the well pump and then started over, sure enough all the lights came on. He then attached the well pump again and the fuse blew as it had before. :(

As I have probably mentioned before, trying to get an electrician or plumber out to this area is almost impossible. We made a few calls and no luck. Finally we found an electrician who was willing to talk and he verified that the well pump was indeed the problem. DH went to work and was chatting with one of the regulars and the guy offered to come help us with the pump. We felt so blessed. The next day he came over and checked things out, not only was the well pump dead, so was the pressure tank :( We would need to buy practically a whole new set up to get water back to the house. Not good.

DH brought the pump into the house and asked me to start looking as he headed off to work again. There were quite a few pumps that seemed so similar, that I finally called my dad to figure it out. Once again we were blessed. We were able to find all the parts we needed at Lowes and so we got them home and were ready to begin. But life likes to throw curves so we suddenly found our self without help to install the new pump. The regular is a truck driver and he had to get back on the road. DH went out and began working on hooking up the pump and he got as much of it done as he could. We called every plumber we could find and even had one promise to show up . . . I'm still waiting. I was chatting with a friend and she suggested that I post an ad on craigslist, I had nothing to lose so I did.

Last night I got an email from a guy whose name I immediately recognized, but couldn't remember why. He was a local and estimated that the job couldn't be more than an hour or 2 and left me his number. I called him and sure enough we did know him, his wife is a para at EE's school and I'm pretty sure he had come by when we first moved here to see if he could rent our pasture. Once he realized who we were he said he'd come over first thing in the morning before he went to work and take care of it. Again we were blessed. True to his word he showed up with some of his men that he was taking to a job site and they had it installed in 30 minutes. He charged us $20, we were so thankful.

So I told you all this to say, what's your preparedness plan? Do you know how you would get by if you had to go days or even weeks without water? The farmer's Almanac promises that this winter will be VERY cold, what is you plan if your pipes freeze? Have you stocked up enough water to get by and if so, for how long? Here are a few things to consider:

1. Most important is water to drink
2. Water to wash your hands is also important, winter is cold and flu season
3. Water to cook/wash veggies etc
4. make sure you have a way to collect grey water to be able to flush your toilets.
5. Water to wash up, obviously a bubble bath is out of the question but a quick wash is very doable.
6. Don't forget that your animals will also need water.

Please add to this list.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Set your alarm . . .

1. Make sure you "like" Lowe's. (Are a fan of Lowe's.)
2. RSVP on this page by clicking "I'm Attending" and "Share."
3. Do NOT type "RSVP" in a comment here.
4. Do NOT type your e-mail address in a comment here.
5. Come to Lowe's Facebook wall at 10 a.m. (Eastern) Friday morning.
6. Waste your whole weekend with us having a ball. : )

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Consumer Reports Home & Garden Blog: Lowe’s gives us the early line on Friday's Facebook Gift-A-Thon

Lowe’s has given Consumer Reports an early look at some of the 21 items—including some stellar performers from our tests—that the retailer will be offering for 90 percent off at its next Facebook Gift-A-Thon beginning at 10 a.m. ET this Friday. While quantities for the 90 percent discount are limited, many of the same items will be available for 20 percent off (free shipping included) on Lowe’s website throughout the event. The lineup includes:

300 KitchenAid K45SSWH 5-quart stand mixers for $14.48. The CR Best Buy has topped our Ratings of stand mixers for the past three years. The price will be $144.80.
100 Dyson Animal DC28 upright vacuums for $59.99. It’s the top-scoring Dyson model in our tests (although not tops overall).
25 GE GeoSpring hybrid heat pump water heaters for $159.99. In our tests, the GeoSpring and other hybrid heat pump models used almost 60 percent less energy than standard electric water heaters. The 20 percent discount does not extend to the GeoSpring.
Featured in the 90 percent discount but not available for the 20 percent discount will be:

200 Sylvania 78675 60-watt equivalent A19 dimmable lightbulbs for $3.99;
100 GE JES0737DNWW countertop microwave ovens for $5.99;
100 Ninja QB1004 Master Prep professional food processor for $4.78;
100 Electrolux EL85AA Unirapido cordless vacuum for $7.18;
100 Dremel 300-2/28 1.15-amp keyed rotary tool for $7.49.

Read more Consumer Reports Home & Garden Blog: Lowe’s gives us the early line on Friday's Facebook Gift-A-Thon

Carrie Underwood - Mama's Song

It certainly does go by fast. This week we celebrated the last birthday of the year and I still cannot believe that my little girl is already 10. The years just seem to be flying by :( A big Happy Birthday to my darling daughter EE :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas shopping

We try to shop all year long for the kids Christmas presents, this year worked better than in years past. Here are some great site we found great deals: is great for adult and kid deals, check out their and (NOTE: the lower section of the page may contain deals for lingerie w/ pics). What makes woot really great is that they have a $5 flat shipping charge :) In the same vein as deals woot is which has some nice things from time to time, I signed up for their newsletter so that I didn't have to actively go looking for it each day, AR got a nice beginner microscope for his birthday last month from there.

Ever since Black Friday stores have scrambled to try to out do each other, I am pleased to see that Walmart is getting some good competition this year. Thus far they haven't had anything that was newsworthy. Amazon has taken them on and is beating them on price, didn't think that could happen. Since I use swagbucks and collect Amazon gift cards, this is very good news :) (We have opted to only get 1 item from amazon this year after the recent issue and the light that it shed on Amazon.)

Mattel sells directly to the public, I was surprised by that and thrilled when had a great deal that I found on facebook. Facebook is hands down the BEST place to find out about great deals. I subscribe to several blogs that check for deal but it's their facebook pages that really help the most. But then again, friends on facebook are just as great. Earlier this week JcPenney had a Great (for me) deal - ok so I should mention that this deal was a direct result of a screw up in their system, however, the fact still remains that I got over $260 (regular price) [marked down to just under $100] for $25 and that includes shipping, YAY!!! They have since fixed this glitch. Here is their 2-day coupon valid Dec 5th & 6th.

Haven't had a chance to use this one yet but Office Depot has a ‎$10 off $50 Coupon.

Hands down the best deal I have found, that isn't a glitch, comes from Kohl's. I was really impressed that they allow you to use 2 coupon codes in the same transaction, and that they allow % off coupons even on sale/clearance items. Here are the current codes that I've used:

20% off : NEXTORDER20
Free Shipping (no purchase limit) : FREECCDEC

Oh and for those who love to sew, here is you JoAnn's codes:

40% Off Any one regular priced itemOnline Promo Code BES358A
50% Off Any one regular priced itemOnline Promo Code DFP358

For those who haven't heard, this year Sears/Kmart and even Toys R Us have added online lay-away. Not every item will be available to do this but it's a great option for those who don't use credit cards and want to pay as they can. :) So what great deal have you found and/or used this season?


TODAY ONLY! Radio Flyer Retro Rocket Foot-to-Floor Ride On Reg: $79.99 On Sale: $29.99 & Ships FREE!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Miss me?

Long time no see, lol :) I have missed you guys, we have been swamped trying to get ready for winter. [WARNING: THIS POST IS A BIT OF A RAMBLE :) ] The great clothing switch out is finally over, the chickens are butchered (I even made some chicken breakfast sausage, yum!) Thanksgiving was a challenge until we found the awesome Oster Extra Large Convection Toaster oven (not a paid advertisement), it is deceptively small looking in the store but after much deliberation and many pans being inserted in the display model, we got it. It's about the size of a microwave so it's not tiny but it is great. It holds the really large lasagna pan with some room on each side and cooks evenly. Kansas mom brought us a delicious baked mac and cheese (it is very similar to my macaroni pie) that was a great addition to our Thanksgiving dinner. I found a terrific meat grinder for $5, I made the chicken sausage and then did ground sirloin for the Thanksgiving stuffing. The stuffing was delicious, but boy did I have doubts that it would turn out right. The night before I began working on some Black cake (think + rum fruit cake and lots more rum, lol), preparations, I cut up the fruit and got it soaking in a bottle of rum and cherry brandy. I completely spaced and allowed IL to have the left over raisins, forgetting that I would need them for stuffing. DH and I had discussed the menu and I asked about olives and he assured me that we had a jar, turns out there was all of 6 in said jar. So I was cutting up the handful of raisins that IL left and the 6 olives to put in the stuffing on Thanksgiving day as I hadn't gotten to it the night before. Not being a fan of turkey we had a nice fat chicken and no one even noticed that I forgot to put out the cranberry sauce :). Hmmm, what else have you missed . . . oh, now that we don't have pigs the layers are in their glee as they are the recipients of all the produce. Though the cows do like the cabbage leaves an such, the girls are doing well and have fattened up rather nicely for the winter. I am really glad we found a new hay guy, I prefer the quality of this hay over last couple years. It's not as cheap and we don't have a way to buy in bulk (his bales are HUGE, there is no way we could push them around), but the girls are MUCH happier. All the kids are doing well, they are super excited for Christmas (Go figure). The baby is getting big and I think he recognizes me, he even smiles at me :) Oh, thanks for all who have been praying for my mom, she did wonderfully and is recovering very well. How could I forget, we took the kids fishing this week. Now, we didn't catch anything but I don't think that's the point of the exercise :) They had a blast and we had a great bon fire after so they could make real s'mores. Now it wasn't quite what they had in mind, they were hoping to have the full camping experience but 20 degrees seemed a bit too cold to sleep outside, especially for a first time camping trip. We will continue to collect camping stuff as we find them and get ready to go in the spring. Fortunately we don't have to go but a couple miles to be in the woods, lol and a friend owns a great property over by the river that he maintains much like a camp ground. We didn't fish there as we could find any great places to take the kids down safely but we found the park off the old highway in our used to be city and it was perfect, though I think the mini waterfall may scare away the fish. It was really great to finally find it though, I had been hearing about it for sometime and never new where it was. Well that's all I've got for now, DH has a few new irons in the fire, keep us in prayer as we try to see where He is leading :) Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Oh and here are a few (actually quite a few really) pics :) Enjoy.

It was this big, honest. lol :) No fishing trip is complete without a one that got away story :)

Ever peal a raw egg?

AR was thrilled to see what the egg looked like minus the shell for his science experiment :)