Substitute Teaching

I took elementary education in college. I have a teaching degree. I am a dog breeder. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN??? Oh yeah, I wanted to stay home and raise my kids, and home school them. I did what I wanted to do, and I’m happy about that.

But now they are all in school and it was my goal this year to do a little substitute teaching, and today was a day that I got to do just that. I worked at Kendrick’s school today and I loved every minute of it! I know I need to be a teacher for a living, someday, but for now, I’m happy just being the sub. It allows me to still be mom, still raise adorable puppies, and still have time to my self, without the pressure of having a full-time job.

I have to say that these kids are some of the best kids I’ve ever worked with, and I did a fair amount of subbing back before I was married. This is the 3rd time I’ve subbed at this school and I feel the kids really don’t give me a hard time at all. They are well-behaved and respectful, and that’s actually a lot to say about kids of this generation.

The day began like a normal day with worship, songs, prayer, and math class. The kids did some work on the computers for math today, an easy option when the sub takes over. After math, we piled into 3 vehicles and headed to a local church to help them clean up their “Journey Through Bethlehem” presentation that they had performed the previous weekend. I’m quite sorry that I didn’t know anything about it, as even the remnants of the activity looked amazing. I’m definitely putting this on my holiday to-do list for next season!

The kids worked in teams to tear down each little booth, depicting different elements that would have been normal in the town of Bethlehem when Baby Jesus was born. We bagged up lots of baskets, herbs, grains, pottery, jewels, and those are just a few of the ones I helped with. Each booth had several storage containers tucked away amidst the decorations, and we all dutifully filled them, and then hauled everything to a storage building near the church.

After we were all done with the project, they fed us pizza and Sprite, and there was plenty of food for all! The kids had worked up quite an appetite and I was glad they provided enough food for everyone to eat till they were plumb full! We then returned to the school and did some Christmas poetry reading before heading up to the Academy gym for basketball.

I loved the idea of playing basketball with the kids. Not only should I have been a teacher, but I should have been a P.E. teacher. The only reason I didn’t do it was because all my Academy classmates said that is what I was going to be, and somehow I got stubborn and decided to prove them wrong. I had so much fun helping the kids through some basketball drills, and finally setting up a couple 3 on 3 games, where I helped be sure everyone had a chance to handle the ball.

Before I knew it, I looked at my phone and it was 1:29pm, and I was supposed to have the kids back to the elementary campus by 1:30!! We all scrambled to put the balls away, and then scurried down to the elementary school, feeling a little guilty! After PE, it was time for music, and practicing for the upcoming Christmas program this Sabbath. During this time, the teacher’s aide took over, as she knew more about what was coming, and it was supposed to be a bit of a surprise for the parents.

After the practice time, we headed back to the school room, the kids did their BYL (before you leave) chores, and we said prayer and dismissed.

I know the day will come when I will teach in a classroom. I’m thinking once Kendrick is in high school, I would be able to handle a full-time job. But in the meantime, I am happy to sub, especially if all the days are enjoyable as today!! I felt happy all day long!


Remember how I said I had helping hands on bread making day? Remember how I clarified that they went on to find more entertaining things to do than just make bread??

Well, this is what you get when a 12 year old boy helps in the kitchen…


Tongue Bread


Let’s get another look at that.


Maybe take a bite??




Never a dull moment!

Dinner Rolls & Cloverleaf Rolls

It’s Thanksgiving week and I’ve been cooking and baking. (Ok, I know it was last week, but I’m just now finally getting this done!) It feels so refreshing to do these jobs in my new kitchen and I’m continually amazed at how quickly I’m able to get things cleaned up when I’m done.

One of the items I contributed to our Thanksgiving dinner was dinner rolls.

Earlier this week, my friend Eva posted a picture on FB of her cloverleaf dinner rolls and I immediately decided I would make them for our Thanksgiving as well.

I began looking for a white bread recipe since the only bread recipe I had ever really made was whole wheat, and I wanted the rolls to be nice and light. After finding recipes with milk and eggs (and knowing most people at our gathering were mostly vegan), I decided to just use my tried and true recipe with some simple adjustments.

In no time at all, I had things mixing up. It always amazes me how the “thought” of making bread takes so much more energy than just actually doing it!


There were lots of willing hands to help.

Ok, mostly willing hands.

You’ll see in future posts that two sets of these hands went on to do other things that they found to be much more entertaining. More on that later.


It wasn’t long before everything was ready for the oven.


We made regular rolls in the round pans, a couple small loaves with what was left, and Kendrick made a little shape thingy there in the middle pan (more on that later too).


And these are the Cloverleaf Rolls. They were fun to make!

Everything came out of the oven a beautiful toasty brown. I brushed olive oil over everything when it came out of the oven. Mmmmmm, the house always smells so good when bread is baking!



This was how they were actually served, with my vegetable platter in the background. They were a huge hit, and I’m definitely going to make them again sometime!


A special Thank You to all my helpers! I couldn’t have done it without you all!



1/2 c. Oil
1/2 c. Honey
5-6 c. Warm Water (I always use 6 cups)
1/8 c. Dough Enhancer
1/4 c. Gluten Flour
1 1/2 T Salt
3 T Yeast
Enough flour so the dough doesn’t stick to the sides of the mixer

I have a Bosch mixer, which does all the kneading for me. Place the water, oil, and honey in the mixer. Add the Dough Enhancer, Gluten Flour, and Salt. Then add a couple cups of flour. Add the Yeast next. Mix slowly to get everything combined. Keep adding flour (I’m sorry, but I have no idea how many cups it takes). The dough will begin to pull away from the sides of the mixer. When the sides wipe clean, it’s enough flour. This takes some practice, and maybe in a future post, I’ll take a picture of what “clean sides” looks like!

I usually use mostly hard white wheat flour (that I grind myself). I mix in some white flour to give it a lightness, but the white wheat keeps whole wheat bread nice and light. I used to use Hard Red wheat, but never with these nice light results.

For these rolls, I used a few cups of the whole wheat, a couple cups of Bread Flour (yellow bag at the grocery stores), and the rest was white flour. I wanted them nice and light and “store-bought”ish! I love that there is freedom to add whatever type of flour you want. Sometimes I throw in some oats. But for this recipe, I used Hard White Wheat flour, White Flour, and Bread Flour.

Once there is enough flour, I let it mix (knead) for 15 minutes. After that, I turn it off and let it sit for about 10 minutes to rise a little bit. I then grease my hands and pull it out of the mixer onto my mat on the counter. Then comes the fun of forming the loaves, or rolls, or whatever you want to make out of your dough.

I let things rise again until about double in size and then put into the 350 degree oven and bake till nice and toasty brown. I don’t know how helpful this recipe will really be because I’m realizing that I just kind of wing it each time and don’t have any specific measurements or times for baking, but just kind of “know” what I’m looking for. I guess that would make me an experienced bread maker. Since I don’t consider myself to be a great cook, I’m happy to say that I DO know how to make bread.

Feel free to leave any questions in the comments section. It’s entirely possible that my recipe and directions could have something missing.

This is the actual recipe card that I use. It is bare bones basic!


Happy Bread Baking!

Ugly Dog

Sometimes I wonder how we ended up with such an ugly dog.


She might be ugly, but she is the BEST dog ever!


We’re hanging in the office this morning trying to stay warm. Redford is crated and we’re all just “chillin”!

Sheaf of Wheat

Yesterday I made bread rolls for Thanksgiving. While I was putting together these…


And these…


Horse Girl decided to make this…


I had no doubt that she would pull it off.




Ready to bake!




It took a long time but the result was well worth it. I should mention that Grandma also helped form all the kernels of wheat.

Retiring An Old Friend



This apron was a craft project from long ago. I remember purchasing the kit with all the supplies and I remember having a great time making it. I had always used stitches to embellish the borders of fabric shapes, so using paint was fun and something different. I loved the cute picture and all the buttons that added character.

My life was not so full back in those days and I found time for craft projects. A part of me misses those days. The best part about the apron was all the things I cooked and baked while wearing it.

I found the apron while unpacking boxes a few weeks ago. It looked old and tired. A few buttons were missing and the fabric was lifting in some places. I considered mending it, but the apron itself was stained and I felt it was time to let it go. So I’m sharing it here to preserve the memory.

It always made me smile when I saw it and those are the types of “things” that are worth having in a house. I think I will wear it one more time to bake for Thanksgiving.

Forgotten Post

I found this draft of a post and have no idea where I was going with it. I think the pictures were to show a bit of the…


New changes, no more carpet and a hard surface floor instead…


Temporary horse containment, until The Woodman builds a nice fence for them to have space to run!…


Kids helping keep the orphan litter alive during and after our move in August…


And a quick Happy Birthday to The Woodman back in September.

Things were a whirlwind three months ago. I’m thankful things have settled into a basic routine and my days are generally happy!

The Basement

We have some organizing to do in this basement. I had no idea how much food we had until we had to pack it all up and move it. We had a beautiful cold storage/pantry in our other house with custom shelving that The Woodman built. Now we have to start from scratch again.

We have 4 unfinished book shelves that had homeschool materials on them. It seems like a good idea to repurpose them as canning jar shelves.

So the process begins. The Woodman got started a few days ago.



Things were starting to take shape…


Until another load of canning jars and supplies came down from the other house.


I’m not sure if this is everything yet, but I think we are getting pretty close!


I am blessed with friendship. My friends drove almost 2 hours today, to take me out to lunch for a late B-day celebration!


I introduced them to Chipotle, my favorite new “fast food” that isn’t really fast food, and then we went to another place for pie.


I was stuffed and could only manage 4 bites of pie.

We talked about dogs. We talked about our kids. We talked about dogs. We talked about our plans for Thanksgiving. We talked about dogs. We talked about the food. And we talked about dogs some more.

We are all dog breeders, so we just can’t help it!

It was a great afternoon and I felt grateful when we said our good byes. I love that my friends would go out of their way to make my day special!

First Snow

We got our first snow last week. It made everything magical! Did I mention I love my new house and property? It all looks cute dressed in snow!


I think my house smiles. It definitely makes me smile!


I think my dog barn and chicken shed are adorable too!


Even the machine shed and horses look good in their snow clothes!


Picture edit to cut out the roof of the house that was visible when I snapped the photo of the barn and chicken house.


The road to our house. I thought the lighting at that moment while I was driving was magical! The sky was so bright and fresh!