Menu Plan Monday–4/29/13   Leave a comment

Alice's Momma & Sibling

Took a week off The Farm to work on party prep. Glad to be back this morning. Harvested carrots–nothing smells better than freshly harvested carrots, but I digress–while ZK got some beets. Learned that black widows like the dark foliage on red beets. Good to know. Guess I’ll stick with golden. πŸ™‚ BC took all the carrots that didn’t cut it for bunches and fed them to the pigs. He had a great time and started pulling weeds to feed to them. I was pleased to see that he understood right away what he was told when one of the women working with us told him to take them to feed to the pigs. I never know what he gets until he has to act on it.

So, I haven’t been doing the meal planning because I haven’t been home on Sundays and last week showed it. We ate out way too much. Interesting thing I wonder about is that I was starving all the time. I was so hungry, even when I’d just eaten a burger. If I’m at home and only have a bowl of fruit with yogurt I’m much more satisfied than eating a “meal” at a fast food restaurant, even Chick-fil-A. It served as a serious impetus to my meal planning yesterday.

On to the meal plan…

Monday–Cream Cheese Chicken with Broccoli, Carrots (from The Farm), Garlic Potatoes, Birthday Cake

Tuesday–Leftovers, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches…I got home tonight to find that there was only enough of the chicken left to make lunch from, definitely not enough for 5 people to eat (veg-boy won’t eat, BC only eats carbs). It was very popular. Strawberry Crumble Pie

Wednesday–Pork Loin, (whatever veggies are available at The Farm), Chive Biscuits (if I have time), Fruit for dessert

Thursday–Leftovers, Deep Dish Apple Pie

Friday–PIzza, Salad from The Farm

Saturday–Tarragon Turkey & Pasta, Raw Veggies, Fruit for dessert

Sunday–Mac & Cheese, Raw Veggies, Fruit, Honey Pie

Read more menu ideas at


Easter Egg Hunt   Leave a comment

a b c d e f 3 g h i j k

Posted April 5, 2013 by Sara-Stanley in In the Beginning

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Menu Plan Monday–4/1/13   Leave a comment

Β 1

Menu Plan Monday (Participating in the link-up at

Wow, has it been insane around here…or maybe it’s just me. Either way, it or I are beginning to settle down and refocus. Spent last evening planning out the menu and the week. The middles are off school so they’ll be going down to the farm the three days I’m there. A friend will be spending the day with us on Wednesday and their friend they met at The Farm will be there on Wednesday and Thursday. That should keep them busy and hopefully not arguing. πŸ˜€

We had a nice Easter. The church service was as moving as always. It rarely used to be at the old church, maybe it’s because I knew how so many people there felt about emotions. It’s probably even here but the pastor seems more obviously interested in saving the lost. Novel idea, eh? πŸ˜‰

The kids had a few egg hunts. BC had 6 in as many days, and will have another this week since we don’t have time on Easter morning to do one at our own house. I’m glad the kids have this week off. I plan on dying eggs with them when their friend is here and he can help. Then we can have the hunt that day or Thursday before we go to the farm.

My goal this month is to post more. When I was it kept me more focused on getting the gardening stuff done. I just haven’t been motivated and neglecting the blog has helped that along. I got really motivated last week by some interesting news at The Farm. I was told about a woman in the area who has about the same size property we have which is farmed. She was offered a minimum wage job at a garden store for 30 hrs/wk and her accountant said she’ll make more off her land if she works it full time. It could definitely be a good supplemental income for us. I will write more on my thoughts about this in a post later this week.

OK, now for my menu for the week. (These are all crock pot cooked.)

Monday/Tuesday–Beef with Apples and Sweet Potatoes (onions from The Farm), Salad (also from The Farm)

Wednesday/Thursday–Sweet and Sour Shrimp with Pineapple, Salad (yeah, you know :))

Friday/Saturday–Irish Stew (carrots and leeks from The Farm), Salad (see above)

Sunday–Free-for-all. πŸ˜€

Will be going down with Spock on Saturday to paint his Fairy House in Poway and hope to pick up some seeds for our summer planting so we’ll have to decide what to plant.

One other thing I’m looking for is a good cook book on cooking seasonally, you know, where it uses vegetables that are concurrent growers. Trying to use more fresh grown/picked veggies and fruits. So if you know of one that you like please leave a comment. Thanks. πŸ™‚

God bless your week.


Posted April 1, 2013 by Sara-Stanley in In the Beginning

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013   1 comment

So, where was I? πŸ˜‰

The bad news first…read through the city codes…man, it’s scary to think they can dictate every, single, last thing you can do to your house down to the type of windows you install…but I digress. We cannot have any farm animals of any type on our property. Our neighbors had a few years ago so I guess I must have assumed that since we are pretty much right next to horse property, we could at least of chickens and goats. Nope. Can’t even have a peacock…though, having lived next to someone who had one years ago I can almost understand that. Their screech sounds like a woman being murdered. πŸ˜€

Almost forgot the cruel irony…We ordered Backwoods Home Magazine for The Teenager as a birthday gift and he got his first gift…it’s the chicken issue.

Took the younger kids out to see the new calf and play at the farm on Saturday and The Farmer asked if he couldn’t train The Teenager in more things as he feels the kid has a natural aptitude for this sort of work. I was good. I didn’t give him a huge hug and kiss. πŸ˜€ Can’t make a momma bear happier than giving ’em something good about their kids. πŸ™‚

We planted some quinoa at the house, and some Swiss Chard. Both are mostly for Braniac, who has a thing for rainbows. Both are “rainbow” types of the plants. πŸ™‚ Also got down to Poway and picked up some trees. Got a nectarine for the front yard and that’s in. Need to plant the others. Planted some bulbs. Need to make some room in the garage for all the junk in the old playroom so we can get moving with the remodel in there. The Teenager has been working longer hours at the farm. It seems to suit him. I think that’s about all the random homestead-y stuff I can come up with right now. For all the work we’ve been doing it seems it should take up more space. πŸ™‚

Here are some more pics.


The Teenager told me that Babycakes thought that it was the gloves that made The Farmer so strong to be able to lift up the buckets of dirt. He put the gloves on and was disappointed that he couldn’t do the same. πŸ™‚


New Calf


Yes, we do have the most awesome nursery. It’s Walter Andersen’s in Poway.



We did get some shopping done eventually. Needless to say, BC slept the whole way home. Even through dinner. πŸ™‚


Pics from when I took the middles to see the lamb a few weeks ago.



Braniac LOVES cows. Cows are the reason he became a vegetarian. He used to eat meat, then one day The Teenager told him that a hot dog was made from cows. Hasn’t touched the stuff since. Won’t even eat Jell-o.


I think The Farm has been really good for BC’s development. We’ll see if things continue that way. He’s been exploring more and I’ve tried not to worry too much about him.



Our bare root nectarine in our sad, messy front yard. I’m sure our neighbors will be happy when we are finished.

Posted February 5, 2013 by Sara-Stanley in In the Beginning

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January Money Diet in Review   Leave a comment

Today is the last day of the diet and, in short, we have much more money at the end of this month than usual. Go figure, eh? πŸ˜‰

The best thing is how I’ve been able to get the kids on board. If they aren’t happy about it, at least they are used to it. Spock is the best about it. He wasn’t happy to have to eat out in an emergency situation the other day. He understands that eating out is costing us possibly several thousand dollars a year. He gets money. The Teenager and Mr Great-heart seem to still be under the impression the stuff grows on trees. Hopefully as we continue this throughout the year they will finally start to understand.

I think the most helpful thing about this “diet” is it’s a cold turkey diet. You decide not to spend on anything other than necessities, but only for a month, and you are really forced to think through each purchase. I didn’t go to the store as much, didn’t look through the clearance racks at all, didn’t buy anything just because it was on sale. We still had some very nice times. We had two birthdays this month and had no problem celebrating them with homemade pizza and homemade desserts. We found that the kids like store brand soda just as well as name brand (we only have soda for special occasions and some weekends already, but I cut it down to only special occasions this month). Nobody died from it at all. I honestly can’t stand the stuff myself so it makes no never-mind to me.

The most difficult time for me was about mid-month. Around the 15th I suddenly was tired of it and wanted to just go get take-out. But I clamped down on that, reminding myself what was at stake (and that I have to be the adult in this since my dh is also under the impression the stuff grows on trees. lol).

The menu planning was a huge help in making sure we started eating at home. I flunked at it this week, but I’ve made it and mostly stuck to it each week. We were sick a significant chunk of the month but we still didn’t let that deter us from eating food from home instead of opting for drive-thru.

With The Teenager I’ve been trying to emphasize to him that with his desire to homestead he really needs to get over his supposed need to eat out all the time. Having been raised in the city he really doesn’t understand that once we are in the country, Lord willing, there is no corner In N Out, there is no Subway around the corner, no 7-11 Slurpees on the way to work. I suppose he’ll have to learn the hard way, like far too many of us. But I am very happy with this month’s results and plan to continue with this throughout the year. There are a few major purchases I put off until February, and over the course of the month I’ve decided that a few of them can be put off until March, or longer if necessary, since some of the things are only wants, not needs, or they are needs we can wait on until later.

Looking forward to seeing how much better off we are at the end of the whole year after a full year of living this way.


Posted January 31, 2013 by Sara-Stanley in In the Beginning

January 22, 2013   3 comments


OK, it’s been way too long since I wrote anything remotely homestead-y. I was sick for two weeks and when I’m sick I’m whiny and, well, no one should blog when they are whiny. I was feeling sorry for myself coz the weather had been so nice and I missed a whole perfect weekend to do stuff around our house. *sniff-sniff* ;D

Anyway, I’m better now and am starting to get re-motivated (it takes a bit for me to regain steam after that sort of thing). We prepped and planted onions and chives in the front yard this week. We’re going down to our fave nursery on Thursday to pick up some bare root trees. I’d like two peaches, one for the front and one for the back. I’d also like to get an avocado tree so we can get that going. The Teenager wants to try an apple tree. Supposedly Braeburn’s can do well here. We’ll see. As warm as our winters are (last week not withstanding) it makes me a bit nervous but if there’s one thing I’ve learned working on the farm is that the best way, or maybe just the most enjoyable way, to learn is trial and error. πŸ™‚

Below are some pictures of the past few weeks.

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OK, so this isn’t homesteading related. It was Spock’s baptismal remembrance day at school. Always a blessing to remember where he was when he was baptized (in a NICU isolet in the ECMO room at CHOC–3 days old) and how blessed we have been with his health and his intelligence and his physical development…shoot, just that he’s even alive and with us. πŸ™‚





All this homesteading stuff is tiring. πŸ™‚

Posted January 22, 2013 by Sara-Stanley in In the Beginning

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Menu Plan Monday: January 21, 2013   2 comments

Menu Plan Monday 1/21/13

(Go to I’m an Organizing Junkie for more.)


Tuesday–Ham & Potatoes

Wednesday–Thai Chicken

Thursday–Italian Chicken


Saturday–Chicken in Honey Sauce


I know, a week without pizza. Maybe I’ll change Sunday if I’m not too exhausted after everything I have to do that day.

Posted January 21, 2013 by Sara-Stanley in In the Beginning

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