No Lack of Gain

Motivation to clean… and decorate

As I sit here in a house full of all things boy, I am a little bummed that I don’t have a gorgeously put together home.

Our first home was a cute little brick home in a neighborhood.  We quickly out grew that and ended up out on a farm in an old country farmhouse.  I love my home dearly (and all of the boys in it).  It was originally built over 100 years ago and has so much character, but I live on a dirt road, with 4 men, a heard of sheep, a couple goats, donkeys, chickens, dogs, cats…  the list goes on, and not to mention that the house has tons of remodeling projects that it feels like will never be done.

A little reflection on the character of our home.  It was originally a small farmhouse built in the 1880′s or 1890′s (exact date couldn’t be pinpointed), and was moved to it’s current location about 20 years ago and added on to and remodeled.  The first story was expanded and the second story was added.  The people who remodeled the house did a great job with lots of the features, but it is stuck between periods.  It has that farmhouse charm with a touch of Victorian elegance.  Add in my own rustic style, and it is a bit confusing to find a happy medium.

I know noting is going to complete my home quickly, but I thought I would leave you with some of the Pinterest dreaming I have been doing lately

 

First is a blog post from Adventures in Decorating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the elegance of the end chairs and lighting, the grand-ness (if that is even a word) of the drapes, the comfortable feel of the kitchen table, and the rustic patina of the cabinets.  All of this mixed with her beautiful mix of details in her wall hangings and knick-knacks, makes this absolutely beautiful!!!

 

The next picture that gives me total inspiration is from a Pinterest link that wasn’t good (if it is yours, send me your info, I’d love to give credit).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t it beautiful!!!! I love this gorgeous milk-can flower holder!!!!

 

The 3rd picture I will leave you with today is from The Swenglish Home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love this crate repourposed as a coffee table.  Isn’t it amazing?  I love the comfortable elegance of this whole home.

 

 

I was hoping to share a few actual pictures from my home, but alas there are train tracks and little green army men strewn about.  Maybe next time.

 

 

Hello… anyone home?

Sorry I’ve been gone. 

No real excuse… Life is busy and family always comes first.  I guess I haven’t shared that we are a homeschooling family.  That would explain why my blogging became almost non-existent mid-August. My oldest is 7 and is working at a 1st grade level and my middle is just starting Kinder.  We are part of a local homeschool group where I teach two classes, on top of running a farm, helping the hubby with his business, working from home, keeping everyone fed, bathed, and wearing clean clothes…

 

Ok, I’m tired just thinking about it all.

 

But I’m back, and I’m committed to give you little glimpses into our world, so don’t go away.

 

I LOVE MY READERS!!!!!

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Being from the South, there is only one kind of pie.  As a child, I’ll admit, it wasn’t my favorite.  Actually looking back, as a kid, I didn’t really like any pie at all.  But as I matured and began to enjoy things other than just chocolate cupcakes, I found that pie was pretty good.  And I came to love the Southern Tradition of Pecan Pie.


Pecan Pie is one of my father’s favorites, and in recent years I have tried many variations that are absolutely divine.  I have tried so many different ones, but recently was introduced to one of my favorite variations…

CHOCOLATE  PECAN  PIE

It  isn’t something I usually think about this early in the year, as Pecans are a fall treat and pies are usually saved as traditional holiday treats in our family, but today I awoke to find that is is National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day!!!! Hooray!!!
If you haven’t tried it before, you should.  Paula Deen has a pretty amazing recipe if you’d like to try your hand at one.
Hope you enjoy

Homemade Peach Cobbler

The other day the hubby was working late.  As the children and I were finishing dinner he called with those amazing words that make me swoon.  “I’m picking up some ice cream and I’ll be home in 10 minutes.  Get ready to make some cobbler, I’ve got peaches.”

Over the years I have learned not to question when he calls with those crazy impromptu requests, but to just get ready!!!  10 minutes later, this is what walked in my door!!!

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Actually that picture was taken after I had already cut up a bunch of peaches, but it is still a beautiful picture, don’t you think?

I set to washing, peeling and cutting peaches.

The prepping of the peaches really was the most tedious part of the cobbler and almost tripled the peaches, and oh was it good!!!!!

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About an hour and a half later, this is what came out of the oven.  Please excuse the fact that we had already dug into the cobbler when I thought to take a picture.

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This cobbler was absolutely wonderful.  I love that it is made with basic ingredients that I usually have in my kitchen as well as the fact that it is super fast and easy (minus the time cutting up the peaches).

Here is the link to the basic recipe that I used.

As I said above, I made some changes to the recipe.  I substituted whole wheat flour, and seriously cut down the amount of sugar that was mixed in with the peaches (less than 1/2 cup w/ more than 30 peaches) as the ones we had were perfectly ripe and super sweet already.  I made a large 9×13 glass pan (pictured) as well as a smaller pan to share with the neighbors.  I would caution you not to fill the pan too full.  Mine did bubble over and spill all over the bottom of the oven, but I’m sure the rest of you are way more adept in the kitchen than I.

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I link up to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free WednesdaysFat Tuesday, Pennywise Platter Thurs,  and Melt in your Mouth Monday.  Go check them out!!!

Our Creative Kitchen

Hello.  I pray you have all had a restful weekend.  We have had the opportunity to regroup as a family and get a few projects done around the house.

We try to use Sunday afternoons to make plans for the week. We often do our grocery shopping for the week on Sunday, but it has lately been done right after Church and without a plan, which can end up being a little stressful as well. This morning before church we actually planned Sunday lunch/dinner, which is way out of the norm for us.  Then on the way to Church we made a date to plan our weekly menu together as well as our monthly budget this afternoon.

We have this bit of tradition in our home… on occasion we play the “lets see if we can skip going to the grocery store this week” game.  (Please tell me that we’re not totally crazy on this one.) So you guessed it, that’s what hubby decided to do this week.  It is a bit of a challenge b/c we end up eating different things, and there aren’t many convenience foods, but it is a fun way to clean out the fridge and the back of the freezer.  Oh, who am I kidding, there is still plenty of food in the freezer!!!!

Breakfast Options:

Eggs w/ choice of

  • Pigs in a blanket
  • Bagel w/ cream cheese
  • Toast w/ cream cheese or jelly
  • Pumpkin or Banana Muffins
  • Cereal

Yes, we eat eggs daily.  We live on a farm and have found that our children function better if they start their day with a good protein.

Lunch Options:

Beans and Cornbread

Tacos

Beanie Weenies

Hot Dogs

Salad

Leftovers

Dinner:

Sun- Taco Salad

Mon- Spaghetti w/ Rolls and Salad

Tues- Chicken, Potatoes, Veggies and Salad

Wed- Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Thurs- French Toast, Eggs & Sausage

Fri- BBQ Chicken Pizza

Sat- Leftovers

Snack Options:

Pumpkin or Banana Muffin

Banana

Apple

Yogurt

Cantaloupe

Carrots

Avocado

Orange

And yes, all of those things are currently in our kitchen.  We do have a garden that is giving us a wonderful bounty.  I am sure I will have some more zucchini by the end of the week and will be able to make something wonderful with those as well!!!!

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

You’re back. I’m so glad you made it. The fact that you are even reading these words is close to a miracle. I have now written this post in full twice. I love writing, but the technical side of this blogging thing is more challenging than it seems, at least for a not so techie gal like myself.

Ok, so on to the real topic of today’s post. With three boys in the house we go through tons of fruit. So much, that I typically buy 2-3 large bunches of bananas each week. My kids love bananas and would eat them non-stop if I would let them, but alas I am afraid they may turn into bananas so I try to keep tabs on the banana gorging.

Even with all of that banana craziness, somehow this always happens.

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Please tell me that I am not the only one who ends up with brown bananas on my counter? OK, not every week, but once a month or so there are a few brown bananas around. I have gotten good at throwing them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer, but I haven’t perfected pulling them out and actually tackling the daunting task of making banana bread. I mean I love the stuff, it is just time consuming. You know, it takes prep, time to bake, and then there is always a big mess to clean up.

Not with this recipe. It is super easy and so fast, and you don’t have to be Martha Stewart to tackle this one, I promise.

We’re not a gluten-free family, but we have some friends who just moved super close to us and they are, so I have been paying more attention to these recipes. I came across this recipe a few weeks ago. I tried it and have tweaked it a bit to our liking, substituting ingredients that are typically in our house all of the time.

Ingredients:

-Old Fashioned Oats (not the quick cook stuff)

-Honey

-Bananas

-Plain Yogurt

-Baking Soda

-Baking Powder

-Eggs

-Pinch of Salt

(Full recipe is at the end of this post)

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Go ahead and gather all of the ingredients. Then dust off that old blender, that’s right, get the blender out an plug it in

And just in case you’re keeping score, yes I forgot to pull the eggs and salt out for the picture, but I’m sure you’re way cooler than I am.

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Next, you’re going to dump all of the ingredients into the blender. After making this a few times I have noticed that this works 1,000 times better if you put all of the wet ingredients in first and then top it off with the oats.
Once all of the ingredients are in, fire up that blender and let it work it’s blender magic.

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If you have a decent blender, then you can probably just walk away without much fuss. This would be a great time to make sure your oven is on because you almost ready to pop these bad boys in, that’s right it really is this easy. Give it a couple of minutes so that all of the oats are blended. I usually need to scrape around the top once and blend for a few more seconds.

While the blender is running, prep your muffin pan. The original recipe said not to use papers, but one of my most despised kitchen tasks is cleaning muffin tins, so I used papers with a little squirt of oil and thought it worked out great.

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Then pour the batter in to the muffin papers. You can fill them fuller than with traditional muffins since they don’t rise quite as much as their gluten-filled counterparts.

Then, go ahead, pop them in the oven. All you have to wash is your blender, maybe a scraper if you used one, and your measuring cups and spoons. How much easier does it get?
You even have plenty of time to make a pot of coffee while their baking.

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Then pull this wonderful baked goodness out of the oven. These are so simple, easy, and delicious.

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Now that you’ve done some baking and cleaned up your mess, grab a muffin and your nice hot coffee (or tea) and go enjoy your favorite blog. You deserve a break!!!!

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

-2 1/2 cup oats (old fashioned kind, not quick cooking)

-3/4 cup Plain yogurt

-2 eggs

-1/2 cup honey

-1 1/2 tsp baking powder

-1/2 tsp baking soda

-2 bananas

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place all of the ingredients, including bananas in a blender, and blend until oats are smooth.
3. Divide batter among cupcake liners, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
4. Enjoy!!!

Signature

Linking up to SS&GF, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Gluten Free Homemaker, Tessa the Domestic Diva, The Nourishing Gourmet, and Real Food Forager. Go check them out.

Always Learning

I can’t believe you guys keep coming back to read what I post.  Thanks for the support and encouragement.

I’m trying to make this blog more exciting without putting too much time and energy into it.  Like I’ve said before,  I am a gal whose plate is already too full, but this new adventure is kinda fun. and I’ve really felt led to start it.  So I’ve made it my goal to post every other day and to learn at least one new aspect of the whole “blogging thing” with each post.

This newest technique is pretty stinkin’ exciting (to me at least), so I thought I’d share.  I’ve learned how to schedule a post!!!  What does this mean?  It means I can write a post and then set it up to post at a later time.  I think this is really cool.

So cool in fact that I have the real post scheduled to post in the morning.  It is a super delicious recipe, so you won’t want to miss it.
And for those of you who were hoping for more content in your reading tonight, I’d like to encourage you to head over to Mom to Mom and check out her laundry soap recipe.  I have tried my hand at making laundry soap in the past but haven’t perfected getting the right consistency.  Her recipe sounds amazing and I can’t wait to try it out.

Don’t forget to stop back by here in the morning to read my next post and check out my mad blogging skills.

Welcome to the farm

Wow!!! I am shocked at how many of you read my first post. Thanks for the support. It really makes this journey more exciting!!!!

The purpose of this next post is two-fold. First, I downloaded the WordPress app for my phone, and really wanted to check it out. Please have some grace on me, as I am doing this whole thing from my phone!!!!! Second, yesterday I told you I am a woman who wears many hats, so I thought I’d let you have a little glimpse into my world.

Almost 4 years ago we purchased 10 acres not too far from town. I am a city girl, so living in the country has been a major adjustment, but one that I have adjusted pretty well to, if I do say so myself.

I’d like to introduce you to one of the other ladies here on the farm.

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This is Katy. She is a Saanen. It’s kind-of a funny story about how Katy came to live at our farm… I was in town one day running some errands and stopped by a friend’s house to drop some things off. Another lady (who has since become a dear friend of mine) was stopping by as well. We met for the first time in that driveway and she looked at me and asked, “Do you want a milk goat?”. Looking back I should have run, but I didn’t. A week later my husband and I were bringing Katy home, little did we know, that day would forever change our lives!!!!!

She is 3-4 years old, and is a bossy little lady. We’re both hard headed, but we do seem to get along pretty well. Katy is a milk goat. We’re still trying to figure out why we got her, but she has become part of our family.

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Katy is a serious milk producer. We’re talking up to two gallons a day!!!! We milked for almost two months and then almost two weeks ago decided to dry her up. We were overwhelmed with the lifestyle change, we couldn’t keep up with the process and were really just worn out… Problem is, a goat like this won’t just dry up. She will slow down, but we were told by her previous owner that she has milk all the time. We’ve been having to milk 2-3 times a week, just to keep her comfortable, but haven’t been able to use any of that milk. We’re currently trying to work out a schedule that works both for Katy and for us. This goat thing might be just as complicated as having children.

So shortly after Katy came, we noticed that she just wasn’t herself. After talking and researching, we realized that Katy was depressed. Yes, that’s right folks, I just said that the goat was depressed!!!! I’m not a lovey dovey animal person, so that really is an odd statement for me, but it is true. Goats can’t be alone. They need another goat or they will just lay down and die. I guess they’re like humans, they need companionship. So we were on a quest for (get this) another goat.

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So meet the other lady on our farm. This is Emily. She came named “M”. Her previous owner said that her horns looked like the letter M, so it stuck. We intend to get her horns removed and therefore changed her name to Emily. Emily is small. She is just over a year old. When she came she was super skittish. We couldn’t get within 30 feet without her taking off running. We have worked and worked and worked with Emily, and she will now come close (especially when I have food). She likes to come and sit at my feet and eat as I am milking Katy. We still have a long way to go before Emily will be milkable, but are excited to have her on our farm.

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So there you have it folks. You’re probably beginning to wonder,”who are these crazy people?”. Check back in a few days. Who knows what kind of random knowledge you’ll leave with!!!

Hello blogging world!

WOW!!!! Here I am writing my very first blog post! As I sit here banging my head against the wall trying to think of a more creative title, I realize that it doesn’t much matter because who’s really reading this anyways? I’m sure I will come up with a super creative title at about 2 am as I am trying to sleep, but for now, here it is!

A little about me… I am Leslie Cole, Lover of Jesus, wife to an amazing husband, and mother to three handsome little boys. I wear so many hats in life, I would be hard-pressed to list them all, so I’ll leave you wondering, “Who is this crazy lady?”

That said, I am super busy, and don’t really have time for one more thing in my life, so why blog? I’ve always enjoyed writing, I am ready for something in my life to be all about me (selfish, I know.) and I really feel like God keeps leading me down this path.

So here we are! Once it was established that I would be blogging. There was one decision to be made… a name. I didn’t realize it at first, but once I started thinking about it, I realized that this is a really BIG deal. I mean, once I start, it is there… FOREVER. I have contemplated this topic for MONTHS now. About 3 weeks ago, I thought I had one, and then it was gone. No longer available, someone else got it. grrrrr. Happy for them, but WHAT ABOUT ME?!?!?! (See, there’s that selfish side again.)

I had just about given up, until… A few days ago I was spending some quiet time with Jesus and He led me to reading Proverbs 31. This is a passage that is often referred to in Women’s Bible Studies, and for me, is one that can be super convicting, but I continue to read it. There is one particular verse that has spoken to me many times throughout the years, and I strive to live by.

The heart of her husband trusts in her,

And he will have no lack of gain. Proverbs 31:11

At first glance this is a verse that could easily be read through with not a lot of extra thought, but over the years it has become my anthem. No Lack of Gain. To me it means not being wasteful of what my husband has worked for. It means stretching the dollar. Putting together a nice meal without spending hundreds of dollars at the grocery store. Re-using things around the house. Not always having the newest things, but valuing what we have. My husband works hard and provides well for our family, but I work just as hard at the house to grow and stretch that money so that we would have more freedom to use the money, entrusted to us, to glorify God.

So there it is. No Lack of Gain. Thanks for reading, I pray you have enjoyed it, and I hope you come back soon!!!! Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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