Our life in B-town

Attempting family life that is frugal, organic and eco-friendly

Brenda’s Italian White Bean Soup/Stew August 14, 2012

Filed under: Doing for others,recipes,Sean,Zephaniah — rorosarahbeth @ 1:11 am

I made this last week and I had been meaning to post it but I had other things I wanted to post too!

  • 1 lb Dried great northern beans (or other white, mild flavored beans -I used White Lima beans)
  • 4 Chicken or veggie bullion cubes (Or about 1 quart of broth-I used home-made chicken broth)
  • 1 quart of water to cook beans (Omit if you use broth, you can always add extra water if the beans soak it all up)
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning (I omitted because I used home-made spaghetti which was already spiced to my liking)
  • 2.5ish cups spaghetti sauce (or one of the cans from the dollar store -I used home-made I had in the freezer)
  • 1 bunch spinach or half block frozen chopped spinach

*Optional* None of these things are required for the recipe to turn out but I will comment on what I added to mine. ūüôā

  • Up to 1 lb ¬†ground beef or¬†Italian¬†sausage ( I used sweet Italian sausage links)
  • Dried or fresh garlic to taste
  • 1/4 cup of shredded zucchini (I had some in the freezer so I tossed it in)
  • 1/2 cup of sliced carrots (I had some shredded in the freezer so I added that)
  • 1/2 cup of Sliced green, yellow, orange or red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup of sliced eggplant
  • 1/4 cup of mushrooms
  • 1/2 olive slices

Put beans, water, bullion (or broth), seasoning and sauce and garlic if using in pot or crock pot. Cook until beans are soft. If you are adding sausage or beef, brown that and add now. Chop spinach (and other veggies) and add to soup and bring back up to simmer. More water/broth makes it more like soup, and  less water like a thick stew or chilli texture. This makes a TON of food. Definitely enough for leftovers several times though!

My yummy bowl of soup!

My family LOVED this recipe and even my pickiest (Sean!) said we should make it again. It was an easy throw together dinner that is good for everyone. Zephaniah was the only one who couldn’t eat it because he is¬†sensitive¬†to tomatoes and gets a rash but it wasn’t a big deal to boil a few beans and veggies into his own little soup though. I am sending part of the left overs over to a friend that just had a baby along with lasagna, blueberry muffins and¬†vegetarian¬†chilli. Perhaps a few other things too but we shall see how ambitious I am!



Filed under: About me,Birth,Pregnancy,Sean,Zephaniah — rorosarahbeth @ 1:22 am

Meredith was finally able to get our announcement pictures back to us! Darn her working 3 jobs! This makes the official announcement!

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We are having our third BOY! His name will be Solomon David Hezekiah!


I did not want to cook tonight! August 6, 2012

Filed under: Johnathon,recipes,Sean,Self sufficiency,Solomon,Zephaniah — rorosarahbeth @ 11:00 pm

So I guess I will make crock pot mac and cheese. I found this recipe on Pinterest and it is the best and easiest one I have found! You don’t even have to cook the noodles! ¬†I do pop it into the oven and add a¬†crumb¬†topping . The original recipe is here. I find this is a great recipe for sneaking veggies into! Tonight I added shredded zucchini¬†and summer squash and even Sean couldn’t tell! I mean yeah he knew it was in there since it was greenish but he could barely taste it! ¬†Johnathon thought I was super cool for making GREEN in the Mac and Cheese! He is pretty good at veggies but it is always good to sneak in a few more!

2 cups  milk
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 egg
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (Or a little more if you like it cheesy!)
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/2 grated summer squash
1/2 grated zucchini
Salt and pepper to taste (my family is not really a fan of either so I don’t add any to the pot and each adds their own)
Crumb topping(optional)
1/4 cup of bread crumbs
1/2 cup of wheat germ
2 tbsp of butter
Grease or spray your crock pot really well. Then just put everything into your crock pot and mix well. Don’t cook the noodles before adding them! Turn the pot on LOW and cook for 3-4 hours. I like the slightly browned crisp edges so I usually cook it for closer to the 4 hour mark.If desired then mix the bread crumbs and wheat germ and melt the butter, mix this all together and put on the top of the finished¬†macaroni¬†and cheese and pop into the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 350 or until the crumbs are slightly browned. This feeds my family as a main dish easily and has enough for left overs.

Mac and Cheese crock pot style!

With the crumb topping!

My bowl of yuminess!


We decided on a name! August 5, 2012

Filed under: Birth,names,Parenting,Pregnancy,Sean,Solomon — rorosarahbeth @ 10:02 pm

If you hadn’t guess from my previous post we are having another little boy!

We also decided on the name. For us the meaning of the name is very important and I always wanted to give my kids first names from the Bible.

His name will be Solomon David Hezekiah.

Solomon means peaceable; perfect; one who recompenses. David means well-beloved, dear; beloved. Hezekiah means strength of the Lord. A good strong name and it fits.

My husband and I talked about and we knew we wanted to use the name David after our good friend and doula David. He is an amazing man who has been a huge help and blessing for our whole family. We love him dearly and he is truly become one of the family.

This kiddo feels much more mellow and even keel to me like Johnathon was, Zephaniah was and still is my wild child. ūüôā I can’t wait to get to know him more and meet him face to face when he comes out!

I am working on my birth plan and I am also starting to do my pregnancy yoga youtube video every day in hopes of getting this baby into an optimal birth position. I am also trying to do the miles circuit a few times a week at least. David is also going to teach Sean how to sift to hopefully help that some too. I really want this baby born at the birth center in the water. I had to transfer last time for pitocin because my water broke and my labor stalled out. I want to prevent that if at all possible this time!


Restful Day of Hodge Podge :-) July 30, 2012

Filed under: names,Parenting,Pregnancy,Sean — rorosarahbeth @ 6:54 am

Today was just a lazy day. We did a few cleaning projects but we mostly just spent quiet time as a family. I am working on Zephaniah’s crib mobile (I know, bad mommy!) and in my¬†defense¬†I haven’t had a chance to work on it since we were homeless when he was born. But I guess I could have worked on it when we moved in but I just haven’t wanted to. ūüėČ Anyway we had grilled veggies (on our George Foreman Grill since we apartment dwellers!) ¬†for lunch and dinner since this is what Fergie demanded.

We find out -baby willing,  in a few days what we are having. For some reason I keep thinking of the letter M in my head when I think of names. I wonder if we will pick an M name! Sean is horrible and shooting down all my name choices again, just like he did with Zephaniah, you think he would learn by now!  And believe it or not I have found the best resource for baby names I have found is Wikipedia! Easy to use and from what I can tell (After asking the experts!) that it is pretty accurate as far as meanings go and it has convenient lists prepared for me since I want to use Bible names.

For now I think most people are just waiting to hear PINK OR BLUE? Including me! I am super excited to find out!


Zephaniah’s FIRST Birthday Party! July 29, 2012

Filed under: Event planning,Johnathon,Sean,Zephaniah — rorosarahbeth @ 6:16 am

Today had a rough start since Sean had a seizure this morning. I had to move him so he wouldn’t hurt himself really bad and hurt myself in the process. I guess lifting your husband who weighs more than you do while pregnant isn’t always a good idea. ūüôā He’s fine and I will be fine. ¬†I had many amazing friends come together and we made his party happen. It was wonderful and low-key and the kids all seemed to love it!

Zephaniah seemed to enjoy his smash cake a whole lot which I am so happy about. He started slow but eventually just started flinging it everywhere!  He made a lovely mess out of the table and himself but that was an easy fix since I put a plastic table cover down and he is easy to hose off.

He also loved his presents from everyone! However he also loved the grass and the paper too! You know kids though, no matter how expensive and cool the toy is they will play with the box!

Anyway here are some pictures ūüôā


Self-Sufficient Kids July 18, 2012

Filed under: Johnathon,Parenting,Sean,Self sufficiency — rorosarahbeth @ 5:51 am

I was going through old papers and ran into some old school work. In high school I wrote a short children’s story in creative writing . The jist of the story is Bethany Bunny gets lost enjoying nature. She is so busy noticing things along the way like flowers and bumble bees that she doesn’t realize how far away she had gotten away from her mamma. She was lost in an¬†unfamiliar¬†place!¬†She remains calm and ¬†figures out how to get back on her own by remembering the things she saw on her way. I also read through the criticism cards I received from when I read the story aloud in class. Most said it wasn’t a safe story because it taught kids not to stay put and ask an adult for help when they got lost. Which yes, I get but it showed her using her noggin and the good sense she was blessed with to be self-sufficient¬†and get back on her own. I guess it was a small hint about what kind of parent I would be.

We can’t expect kids to grow into self-sufficient adults who can think for themselves and get out of a situation if they are always standing around waiting for someone else to “Rescue” them or tell them what to think or how to think it. I knew this as a young teen but I didn’t quite understand how to express that then. I want my kids to know that yes, there are adults you can trust and it is okay to ask for help the only person who can get them out of a jam every time is themselves. I want them to use their heads and try to reason a way out of situations safely.
I am trying to give them tools to do just that. He knows what to do when he is lost in the store or a crowd, (Try to¬†find mamma and find a cashier or police officer if you cannot) but always follow your instincts. If the person, whoever they are, seems creepy then stay away and it is never okay for someone to do anything to you that makes you uncomfortable. ¬†My most recent¬†endeavor¬†is teaching Johnathon to call 911 and in what situations this is needed. Learning when and how to ask for help with the appropriate tools to do so. Daddy is having a seizure? Dial 911 and open the front door. Tell the dispatcher “My daddy is having a seizure and I need help.” Going and getting the medication and medical history list from the¬†refrigerator and staying on the phone until the fire department gets there and showing them where daddy is and handing them the paper with my contact number and all of his medical information on it. Thankfully he has yet to be tested on this skill but we are going for a dry run here soon and I am nervous for him. I know he can do it and I trust his ability I just never want him to have to do that for real.