Monday, October 21, 2013


Its FALL and for me that means apple time. I am so blessed to have people around me who have such an abundance of apples that they were willing to share. I also have a couple friends who wanted to get together to make all kinds of apple goodies. Although my recipes aren't original, I wanted to share the links to them because they were so stinking amazing!

So we started out with 2 bathtubs full of apples. It made me laugh, but we had so many the best way to clean them was in the bathtub! =)

Then we used a nifty little gadget called an apple peeler corer slicer. If you want to do apples and don't have this thing, go get one. It makes apple life so much easier!
Yes, my hubby and my brother joined in.

Next we peeled, and sliced, and cored.

Finally, we peeled, and sliced, and cored some more. Seriously thought it would never end. My sweet husband kept peeling, slicing and coring so that the three of us could start making some yummy apple goodies.

We started with apple butter in 5 crockpots sitting throughout the house. This was interesting with 5 kids, 3 adult men, and 3 adult women to get around. But we managed and it was so worth it! So, so yummy! Here is the link for the recipe we used.

Next we went to making applesauce. This was very easy and again, so tasty. We didn't even add any sugar or spices it was so good plain. Here is what we used for the applesauce recipe.

We also made apple chips by simply slicing and dehydrating at 140 degree for 12-24 hours. You can make them as crunchy or soft as you like. We also sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on them before dehydrating.

Silly me, I didn't get a picture of these, but we also made simple canned apple rings, spiced apple rings, and cran-apple jam.

I wanted to make canned apple pie filling, but after reading that it wasn't safe to use cornstarch in canning products, and I didn't have time to order the stuff I really needed, we settled for canned apple rings which are easy enough to add the apple pie spices for a pie.

And, finally, here is what we ended up with. We used so many jars, I have no more left-which is a good thing. =)

Happy Canning!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Weekly Cleaning Chart

The past couple of months I have wanted to organize my house a little better which includes the way we clean. We used to have Saturday mornings as cleaning time. That worked great for awhile, but then we got into the habit of trying to get done quickly and things started not getting done very well. Additionally, summer came along and most of our Saturdays were jam packed with things to do. Our house started getting neglected. Thats when I started researching weekly cleaning charts. Each day if I do a little something my house will always be clean. That's the idea anyway. I based my chart off of this one I found. I changed a few things according to my schedule and came up with my own chart.

I would love to tell you how this is going for me, but the day after I made this chart, my husband and I got into an impromptu kitchen remodel (which I have been taking pics of and will post someday;). Hopefully, soon, the kitchen will be done and I can try out my old but new cleaning chart.

(Pin it please ;)

Monday, October 7, 2013

School/Home Relationship

I am a firm believer in the home/school relationship. I want my children to know that what happens at school is important to their home life. They are not two separate things, and if something happens at school, it carries home. I am very interested in how my children do at school each day, and this chart helps me know as well as being a good reminder to my kids that behavior is important in every aspect of life.

Last year, I started with my 1st kindergartner. First, I talked to the teacher to let her know what I was planning and asked for suggestions and if she was okay with it. Then I went home and made a simple chart that allowed the teacher to put a smily face for yes, my child behaved well at school or write what my child did that was not the best choice at school. It worked really well. If my daughter got a frown face, she did not get her sticker for the day on her chart at home.

This year, I wanted to start my second kindergartner off this way as well. I made some changes on the chart. I added a note to the bottom of the chart. I have my daughter sign it at the beginning of each week after we review what the note says. This chart stays in her folder that comes home everyday and it is simple for the teacher to add a smily face. So far my daughter has not had one frowny face. If she keeps it up, we may retire the chart. But for now, it is a good motivator for her to work hard and behave well at school.

(So you have something to pin ;)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

School time "chore" chart

As my kids are getting older and have started school I needed to update their contribution charts. If you want to see my original charts you can do so here. This go around I have linked them to Scribd so you can simply change the names and a few of the chores if you need and print them off. Much easier than my previous post!

Here is my 3 year old's chart.

This is my 5 year old's chart.

And, this is my 7 year old's chart.

For each day and activity, they get a sticker. If they get all their stickers that day, they get a candy. We have a ton of candy all throughout the year because of all the holidays. Since I started these charts over a year ago we have yet to run out of little candies because each time we get low, another holiday comes up and we get a candy refill. Usually the candy is a small piece of parade type candy (tootsie rolls, mini suckers, etc). If they get 5 days with all their stickers that week, they get to participate in some kind of extra activity. We have done movie and popcorn, and for the girls we have done nails. Another fav is a picnic. These charts have been a great motivator for my kids and they remember to work hard to get their stickers each day.

(So you have something to pin :)