Whole Wheat Pancakes

whole wheat pancakes titled

Whole wheat pancakes tend to be heavy but the following recipe is not! Making your own, rather than using a store bought mix, is both economical and healthier. Whether you use fresh ground or store bought flour, this is a great recipe!

We buy enough whole wheat berries in bulk to last for one year and store them in 5-gal buckets with oxygen absorbers. As needed, we grind the wheat berries to make flour and use it fresh. This way we have the nutritional benefits of fresh ground flour and the economical savings of buying at a reduced price of bulk purchasing direct from the grower. For more information on preparing grains, see Grain Preparation.

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Pouring Concrete for the Slab!

Here are some pictures of the basement slab being poured. We ended up having 5 cement trucks come – which was very exciting for our little boys, the big ones too actually!  OK, we were all excited about it!

Because the trucks were coming from 50 miles away, the slab was worked in sections. As the concrete was poured it was spread out over the plastic.

After spreading the concrete, it was leveled.

Once leveled, the men used a wire mesh tamper to cause the stones in the concrete mix to sink. This helps give a smoother surface to the finished slab.

After the surface had become dry enough, a whirlybird was used to finish the concrete to a smooth surface.

Needless to say, with a family our size, we had plenty of supervisors!

Here is the slab almost completed and we are waiting on one more truck!

Once sufficiently dried and the surface finished with the whirlybird, the slab was covered with plastic. This prevents the concrete from drying to quickly and allows it to cure slowly giving a stronger slab.

The walls will be next!

Almost Ready!

We are almost ready to pour the concrete for the slab of the basement! John designed and put in the plumbing, which will be under the slab, after these pictures were taken. It is amazing how much money he saves us by being so handy – God has certainly blessed him with talent!

Now, all we are waiting for is the weather. We are very thankful for the rain – it is great for the grapes, as well as, for the other farmers in the area. Hopefully, tomorrow (if the road is not to soupy for the cement truck to maneuver) or Monday we will be able to pour!

Without anything to give perspective, it really looks  small. But, realizing that it is actually larger than the house we are renting, helps me gain some perspective.

Breaking Ground!

As mentioned in New House we had picked out a spot for our new house – Now we have officially broken ground! Until our house in Alabama sells (or our grapes are in full production), we plan to build the basement and live in it. It will actually be larger than the rental house we are in now! After a few plan modifications, I think we have a very workable, comfortable living space designed.

After several unsuccessful attempts to have someone do the slab for us (digging out, forming and then the concrete work), we decided that John would do it himself. I had a backhoe lined up to be delivered Monday. But then, last Thursday, in our mailbox was a card advertising concrete work. After calling the number, the man came out on Friday and looked the site over. On Saturday, he called with an estimate and on Monday, he started. He was actually not much more expensive than we could have done it ourselves. I checked all the prices – backhoe rental, concrete and then there was the wood to form the slab, rebar, nails, plastic…. and most of all time!

Spinach Lasagna W/ Meat Option!

spinach lasagna served

Spinach lasagna – who doesn’t like it?

Maybe I should say, Lasagna – who doesn’t like it?

Even children who don’t care for spinach like this lasagna recipe! But, with Popeye as a hero, what child doesn’t like spinach?

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Dating Ideas

In the movies which follow, I have linked to my affiliate partner that I personally use and recommend.

Dating ideas – do you have any?

Earlier in Date your Man 2, I mentioned that my husband and I watch movies together. This is after the children are in bed and often by candlelight. This is special time for us to be together. Whether we just “veg” in front of a fun and frivolous movie or watch a more thought provoking movie, we enjoy this time together.

I have compiled a list of five movies that are especially meaningful. I have each linked to amazon.com of which I am an affiliate. While I will make a small amount of each sale when you purchase anything from amazon through my site, you may be able to find these less expensive at other stores.

**Please note: These movies are “mommy/daddy” movies and have adult content which our children are not allowed to view.**

Story of Us

“The Story of Us” With Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer, this is probably our favorite. It is extremely realistic in showing the consequences of holding grudges, not forgiving and taking relationships for granted. It also show that reconciliation even in extreme circumstances is possible. This movie does contain profanity and crude language.

Late for Dinner

“Late for Dinner” With Brian Wimmer and Peter Berg, this is a light-hearted movie and very enjoyable. While the plot is unrealistic, it shows that extenuating circumstances are possible. Another lesson is that there are always two sides to every story.

“Return to Me” With David Duchovney and Minnie Driver this is a very emotive movie! It shows how fragile life, as well as, our relationships are. It has encouraged us to plan for tomorrow while living for today.

family man

“The Family Man” With Nicholas Cage and Tea Leoni this movie shows choices completely opposite to the ones we have chosen. It made us sympathetic to people like the main character who made choices out of ignorance or misinformation. People who, when shown differently, desired to change.

For Richer For poorer

“For Richer For Poorer” With Tim Allen and Kirstey Alley this movie provides another example of people who have made wrong choices. When confronted with a different way of life, they see the shallowness of their own life and values.

How Do These Work?

Parenting has such joyful moments!

Gardening From Seeds

As I mentioned earlier in Gardening Time Part 2, I am doing a combination of purchased plants and plants which I have started from seeds. I thought it might be helpful to show some pictures of how we start the seeds.

For our flats to start the seeds in, we (John, actually) cut the bottoms off 5 gallon buckets which I got from a bakery – their icing comes in them and when they use the icing up, they throw the buckets away! The top of the buckets are saved to use in the garden around the young plants to protect them from the stiff west Texas wind.

The flats are then filled with sterile potting soil. Using a knife, the soil is smoothed and rows.

The seeds are then sowed very close to each other in the rows and soil is sifted over them to cover the seeds. Sorry the picture is a bit fuzzy :)

The soil should be kept moist. The watering must be done carefully so as not to disturb the soil. We kept ours inside the warm house until the threat of freeze was past and the seeds were sprouting. At this point, the daytime temperature was warm enough in the sun to encourage rapid growth.

You can see from the picture, that they are still sprouting and growing. When the seedlings reach about 2 inches tall, we will carefully separate them with a spoon and transplant into 2 inch pots. The seedlings will be allowed to grow in the 2 inch pots until large enough to transplant into the garden.

I appreciate those of you have emailed me with questions – feel free to do so – I am not an expert by any means, but I will be glad to help if I can!

Further reading: Garden Time: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Gardening With Children.

Another Oswald!!!

This morning at 3:30am I became a grandmother for the third time! Weighing in at 7lbs 15.4 oz another precious Oswald baby girl was born. Mother and baby are doing fine and we will be taking her siblings (as well as aunts and uncles) to see her later this morning. Our youngest daughter finally has a niece younger than she is!

Funny, I do not feel old enough to be a grandmother! I prefer to think of myself as a fine wine – just getting better!

“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord: The fruit of the womb is a reward.”  Psalm 127:3

House For Sale in Alabama

I have had several comments suggesting that I post pictures of our house for sale in Alabama, so, here it is! It is located about 40 minutes from Mobile, Alabama on 27 acres of wooded property. The house itself is almost 5,000 sq ft and has 6 bedrooms, 4 and 1/2 baths, a large rec room, a basement apartment and a large back deck which spans the length of the house (50 ft). The kitchen has granite counter tops (which we brought back from Italy), an industrial stove with 2 ovens, 6 burners and a griddle located in an arched alcove. There are hardwood floors on the first floor along with carpet and hardwood on the remaining floors and tile in the bathrooms. The front porch is accented with decorative tile we brought back with us from Spain.

Pictures of the inside may be seen at Southern Style Realty in Citronelle, Al.

This house is just waiting for the opportunity to be home to a special family!