Friday, July 31, 2009

Lemon Meringue Pie! (Part 2)

Yes, we had lemon meringue pie for breakfast yesterday, am I the coolest mom or what? Luke kept looking confused and saying, "but we've never HAD pie for breakfast before!" And, as I suspected, Susanna wanted the meringue but not the lemon or the pie....

Gotta tell you, when eating a lemon meringue pie made with Watkins Lemon Dessert mix, you keep wanted to look for a seed or honestly tastes like you've used fresh squeezed lemons.

There's one piece left....and I want to get it before the kids do for breakfast, so....see ya later!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lemon Meringue Pie!

We're winding down strawberry season. We're in the midst of raspberry season. And yet, for the past three weeks, my daughter has been asking me, "when can we make a lemon meringue pie again?" Since I'm usually not working at our market on Tuesday, Monday night I whispered in her ear at bed time "tomorrow we'll make a lemon meringue pie."

You've gotta know Susi. When she gets excited about something, specifically some kind of food, she gets the funniest giggles going. And that's what she did Monday night.

I'm ashamed to say, we didn't make a lemon meringue pie yesterday. I canned cherries in the morning, then Tony stopped by and took the kids with him to the farm. They got home in time for supper, baths, and bed. And as I was tucking Susanna in for the night, she whispered in my ear "We didn't make a lemon meringue pie today." I whispered back, "but we will on Thursday" (my only other day not at the market).

However, we stopped at the grocery store today on the way to the market, and one of the things we picked up was a premade roll-out pie crust (yes, I cheat at pie crusts sometimes!). Tonight, after supper, we made lemon meringue pie (yes, from Watkins lemon dessert mix). And my daughter couldn't stop high-fiving me. And as I tucked her into bed tonight, she whispered in my ear, "Mama, we made a LEMON MERINGUE PIE tonight!" Of course, I think the joy was more in licking out the meringue from the mixing bowl....

I was tempted to have a midnight snack....but I think we'll have it for breakfast instead.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


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Now that I wrote that 50 times (okay, copied and pasted), it won't be today, but I WILL update my blog soon (with something other than that).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Circus!

Yesterday afternoon, we took the kids to the circus. It was just a small, one-ring circus that comes through here about every two years, but it's perfect for kids. They were amazed when the tigers and lion came out...shoot, I was amazed! I've seen 'em before, but something about the sleekness and size of those jungle cats is incredible. Luke kept asking later, "were those REAL tigers? I've never SEEN a real tiger!"

Next came the lovely young lady on the trapeze. She pranced out in her fancy long robe and high heels, strutted to the center of the mat, and dropped her robe to show a rather revealing outfit, conveniently covering her body but in nude coloring with some "regular" cloth in there, too. Luke turned to me and said, "I didn't know she was going to get undressed!" Neither did I!

Susi was fascinated, never really having much reaction as she was taking it all in (other than her wide-eyes), but when I'd ask her if she liked whatever was going on, she'd assure me, "oh yes!"

Watching the tight rope artists, the trapeeze artist swinging around and also spinning around by her neck (with a kind of rope cradling her head), I repeatedly told the kids, "Don't you EVER try this EVER!" Susanna assured me, "oh no, Mama. I won't!" And I believe her. Luke's reply? "Mama, I won't! I can't even do tricks like those!" But...God willing....he won't even attempt!

It was a great time. This year they both took their own money to buy some things -- they both got peanuts, and Susanna got some cotton candy that she made the mistake of sharing with Luke.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"Just the Thing I Need."

We've had one of those strong-willed child threw tantrum after fit after whining complaint. The limit was finally pushed, the warning breeched, and we had a visit to the steps, wooden spoon in hand. Tears were shed, hug were shared, warnings were given that no more naughty behavior would be tolerated. Back to the lunch table with a few sniffs but much improved attitudes. Finally, my strong willed child looked at me and said, "Mama, sometimes a little spanking is just what I need."

Good thing, because they both just got another one. Sigh. But it is finally silent and rests are being taken before our big night at the circus tonight!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


It's been awhile since I blogged about Watkins, other than an occasional reference to a product here and I have some time on my hands (okay, not really), here's some more info!

First of all, if you haven't figured it out by now, I LOVE Watkins products. The question I hate most in regards to Watkins is "What's your favorite product?" I can't pick! I love the vanilla...double strength Madagascar vanilla beans, use half as much as the recipe calls for, doesn't lose flavor when heating or freezing. I also love the other extracts, and the maple and butter extracts are part of the secret to my cinnamon rolls! The baking powder is aluminum free (yeah, you read that right...did you know Calamut and other major brands have ALUMINUM in them...for leavening? Get real!) and my baked goods -- biscuits, scones, cakes, cinnamon rolls and more are lighter and fluffier that ever before. My husband's aunt could give you a great testimonial.... The soups and dips -- shoot, EVERYTHING -- is MSG-free. And when you use the soup bases for flavoring, you really are getting flavor, not a salty taste. The mushroom soup makes such a great sauce, I haven't used Campbell's for my casseroles (or hot dishes, here in MN!) for years...and it just tastes better (and doesn't have the MSG Campbell's does). The cooking spray -- wow. It actually sprays on what you're spraying, not the air around you. It doesn't bake that yellow gunk on, and it's equal to about 2.5 or more cans of Pam. Then there's the grapeseed oil, the dessert mixes, the dip mixes and more.....

Then there's the Petro Carbo salve that our family couldn't live without. It repairs dried, cracked skin overnight. It draws out splinters, zits, poison from insect and spider bites (another of Tony's relatives can give you a great testimonial on a spider bite that almost killed her grandson). It draws out and prevents infection. It gets rid of warts in about a week. It helps skin heal from just about anything...cuts, scrapes, infection, chicken pox, bed sores, whatever.

The supplements are awesome....check out a recent post from Brownie about how the supplements help her overly active four year old. The E+CoQ12 has really helped me get through each day with just enough energy, and not the jittery, fake kind either.
Then there are the cleaner and personal care line...all natural, plant-based, and they work better than anything you'll find in the store! Honestly, speaking as a farmer's wife and mom to two pre-schoolers, all this stuff is great and cleans so well! I can't do without the all purpose cleaner and the laundry detergent...the dish soap and hand soap....and the list goes on!

Watkins has been in business for over 140 year now and has never had a product recall. Not many companies can say that! Each batch of our products are rigorously tested before being sold to make sure they meet the high standards we and our customers expect. And Watkins is known for the high quality in all our products. And all of our products are 100% satisfaction guaranteed or your full money back.

While we have always pretty much been all natural in our products, over the past several years, Watkins has successfully made the attempt to "go green" in production. That means our packing peanuts are biodegradable and safe for the environment (which is great when a kid accidentally swallows just safely dissolves!); processing is "gravity-fed" to conserve energy; our product packaging is lighter weight, saving thousands of pounds of plastic each year...when the packaging IS plastic. Several items are packaged in glass and in tin to better preserve freshness. Everything at our plant and offices is recycled in a strict paper, plastic, and aluminum recycling program. And even the ink in our labeling is soy based! Oh, and if paper doesn't have to be used (mail to associates, etc.), everything is paperless....even bonus checks to associates whch is direct deposited!

What I love about being part of Watkins, besides the great products, is that it is so easy to take advantage of wholesale prices or to earn a secondary income or to earn a full income. In the States, it is only $39.95, less than the price of a warehouse club, to join and get wholesale pricing on all products. If you're looking for something to help bring in extra money, working at your own schedule (stay-at-home parent, second job, etc.), this is it! If you sign up to do the parties, Watkins pays ALL the hostess rewards (10-30% of party sales), and you can easily make $125 or more for only 3 hours work...most parties are at least $500 in total sales. That gets the hostess 30% in products, $150 of her/his choice in Watkins. That earns you a minimum of $125 cash, not counting bonus commissions. Do the math...have two parties a week, four weeks a month, and you're talking a MINIMUM of $1,000 take home money, not counting bonus commissions (provided the parties are $500 or higher), for maybe 24 hours worth of work. How many other jobs can you get that from...legally?

Yeah, but so many direct sales companies make you do so many purchases or you don't get discounts. Yep, I did Mary Kay, too. I looked into Pampered Chef, Tupperware, and more. Here's the thing. With Watkins there are NEVER any minimums for ordering or frequency requirements. If you order once a week, it's the same discount as once a year. $5 or $5,000, same discount. What happens is once you have a certain amount of points each month, you start earning bonus income, anywhere from 10-40% of bonus values. That's a nice tidy profit for those who are interested in making Watkins a full or part time career...but great for those who just want to use it for personal use, since they'll always get the discount.

And the coolest thing about signing up right now, whether it's for personal use or to generate extra income? If you sign up with me in July, you'll receive a $10 Watkins gift certificate. Not only that, I have a great "welcome to my team" basket with approxiately $40-50 worth of products.

Interested in learning more about the products and or business opportunity? Please check out my website at or shoot me a comment or email here or on facebook or give me a call if you have my can even click on this link for a great presentation I'd love to pass this wonderful opportunity on to you!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What I Did This Morning...

Some days, I actually feel like Wonder Woman. Most days, I just feel overwhelmed. Figure out what kind of day today has been (so far!)

Kids fighting and arguing from the moment they wake up. Yelling, screaming, jumping up and down, red in the face (okay, so that was only Susanna, but Luke was egging her on).

8:45, still haven't gotten breakfast for me or the kids. Faced with so much stuff to do, I just want to crawl in bed. Have a conference call scheduled for 10:00, not sure how I'm gonna pull THAT off! Call Tony, beg, I mean, ask him if I can drop the kids off in an hour at the farm so I can get some stuff done. may go better....he says yes!

Start really cranking...ignore the yelling and screaming and red face and inform Susanna that I'm tired of seeing her naked, go get clothes on and that's the last time I'm gonna tell her. Tell Luke to be quiet as he reminds me (again) that HE's already dressed. Oh yeah, I'm still in my night gown...but at least I've got some form of clothing on!

Empty and reload the dishwasher, getting that started....again. Do my first load of laundry (again...I forgot I had it in there three days ago and it had been sitting damp in there since), all of Susanna's clothes that she'd worn before being diagnosed with poison ivy. Oh well, they could probably use a second washing anyway! Rinse and clean the basil I clipped yesterday, pick out bad leaves, put it on the dehydrator (getting ready for when I can my spaghetti sauce in a few months!). Still in my night gown, but feeling like I'm getting something accomplished (man, just getting those dishes put away and reloaded made a diference...don't ask why they weren't done last night!).

Put all the peas we shelled last night (okay, so that's part of it) into jars to get ready to can. Ten pints! Not that I'll enjoy any of them. I don't enjoy peas unless they're fresh. Like the ones on Veggie Tales. Okay, kids are fed (oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I just gave 'em cereal...but honestly, they get it so infrequently, cereal is a treat for them!). Throw on some clothes, get them piled in the car, and off to the farm we go! Oops, I also dealt with a couple farm/market related calls in between there.....

Kids are gone, time to fix a quick breakfast (brunch? it's almost 10:00) before my call. Pop tarts! Yeah, don't even start. Have my now-lukewarm tea ready to drink, check the email really quick...ANOTHER new Watkins associate sign up, thanks, God! Telephone conference call. That runs much longer than usual, was a great one, so well worth it!

Head downstairs, start cleaning off the counter and figure out what bills still need paid (thankfully, none are late). Put in an order for more stock at the Market....we've really been selling out of quite a bit of things this year! Realize I should have the canner going while I'm working on cleaning I get the peas going and decide to run out and cut some more fresh herbs to dry (thyme and oregano)...wash those good, set them out to dry before putting them in the dehydrator. Hm, why not clean that bucket of berries in the fridge? Another batch of freezer jam! Another couple of farm/market calls. Canner's jiggling, I'm taking a break....and writing to you all.

Boy, I'm sure glad this week is slower than the past two have been (and no, I'm not being sarcastic...this actually has been a slower week....)

Hey, I'm on a roll...and I'm outta here for now!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Verdicts

Well, the doctor thinks it is just a simple case of poison ivy. I didn't think mom is highly allergic, and Susi's been all over her this past week. However, she said it definitely is some kind of contact dermititis (we looked at Fifth's Disease before going to the doctor and highly doubted it...even though it swept thru our community last Christmas time). She got a pretty strong cream prescription for her body with the okay to continue using Watkins petro carbo on her hands (great to dry up poison ivy!) and Watkins red clover salve for her face (again, great for skin conditions and gentle enough for the face...and the perfect thing to use to get rid of under eye puffiness, instead of hemroid creams!) After her first dose of the prescripted cream and a continue layer of red clover and petro carbo, she is looking soooo much better! She's still a bit itchy, and she tends to keep rubbing, so we also gave her the dosage of Children's Benadryl recommended by the doctor to keep the itching down. Continue to keep her in your prayers, please....she said "everyone MUST keep praying for my itchies! All the time!"

The other verdict: It was a fly. Emphasis on "fly." Mama became the afternoon's hero when I swatted and killed it and put it in the toilet ("just like Grandma, Mama! She has LOTS of flies in HER potty!"). Susi was worried when I went after it, but she was reassured when I told her it was just a fly. Daddy didn't have to sacrifice his body being stung....

I think the Benadryl kicked in....she's pretty quiet while Luke keeps jabbering.

And yet another day is closing.

Oh No!

Now Luke has seen the bee, too!!!!

Daddy, where are you? Come be our hero!

How To Kill a Bumble Bee

We've had a crazy two weeks. As I recuperate (and find time!), I'll post more about the Fourth of July parade, visits from all of Tony's siblings, my parents' visit, and our county fair.

Meanwhile, Susanna came into our room today to inform me there was a bumble bee buzzing around down stairs. She was very excited that Luke came up with a great way to kill it, and whispered in my ear:

We'll call Daddy at the farm and have him come home. The bumble bee can land on his arm and sting him, then it will die!

Laughing, and a bit appalled, I suggested to Susanna, "Well, why don't I just come downstairs and swat it?" She was horrified! "But Mama! YOU might get stung!!!"

I think I'll wait to tell this story to Tony until well after he gets home, so as not to "scare" him away, haha! I think it's also probably a good thing that only Susanna saw the "bumble bee."

On a more serious note, please keep my little girl in your prayers. She's had a raised rash now for over a week that was stagnant for a bit and has steadily been getting worse from Thursday on. We've an appointment in an hour to see what's going on. Thanks.....

Friday, July 3, 2009

More Morning Mumblings!

"Luke, when I get big, aren't you going to be so glad when I get mawwied? I'm going to have lots and lots and LOTS of babies, lots mowe than you!"

"Susanna, if you have too many babies, your house is going to explode."

"No, Luke, actually, I mean, I want to have a weally, weally, WEALLY big house! Big enough for lots and lots of babies. Isn't that so exciting?"

And so....another day begins.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

After the Storm

My cousin Liz (blog link listed to the right) wrote today about storms and how much she enjoys them. Like her family, I've been in some pretty bad storms, literally and figuratively. A few days before my high school graduation, one of the worst tornadoes on record (I believe it was an F5) destroyed much of my small home town. It was just a few years later while living in Florida that I was in the middle of Hurricane Andrew (that was definitely an F5!). And after moving to Minnesota, we've had many a bad thunder storm as well as several hail storms, even a tornado last year.

A few weeks back, we had another pretty stormy day, but after the rain was done, Tony and I took the kids outside to show them the beauty that came from that storm. It wasn't just a rainbow, but a double, luminescent rainbow that we saw forming before our eyes. I think this was the first time I actually saw the full visible colors of the rainbow, from red all the way down to the purple/violet. Absolutely gorgeous! (please...ignore the Christmas lights still hanging from our overhang!)
As we go through life, we're going to face many storms. Some may be small, personal ones that those around us aren't even aware of. Others involve many other people around us. Still others may pass by us without affecting us, while we see others going through the storm.
A dear friend of mine right now is going through a family storm. Her brother was in a horrible car accident. The other driver was killed, and her brother's life is forever changed. He faces a long recovery, and in some areas things will never go back to "normal." Just before this happened, another lady who is a pioneer in the home school field, was also in a terrible car accident. She, too, had extensive injuries and her life has been altered forever, too.

I have friends who have lost children; friends who have children with different diseases, many of which there are no cures who have no hope of what many would consider a "normal" life. Loved ones who have lost jobs and are wondering what is going to happen when the money runs out. We wonder daily about weather and crop conditions and how that is going to affect our farm. There are other loved ones still who are taking care of aging parents, some who are taking care of little children, sick friends and relatives. People who have someone close to them...or perhaps are themselves...serving in the miltary, far from home, wondering if they'll ever see home again...and if they'll ever not see the horrors war brings. There are lives put "on hold" from what we'd rather be doing while we deal instead with a hidden (sometimes very hidden!) blessing God has given to us for the time being.
And yet, through it all, God is there. We may not be able to see Him, but He gives us visible signs that He is with us through the storms...and all the times. Rainbows. Smiles on children's faces. A hug. Unexpected blessings and reminders of how good He is and how much He loves us. And remembers us. And is there to carry us through the storms we face. And the cool thing is...He will never let us experience a storm that we cannot get through. We may not think we can last, our faith may waiver, but God knows we can get thru....with His help. When you go thru your storms...don't give up on God -- cuz He sure isn't giving up on you!
God is so awesome!