Bloomin’ Becca’s Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Bloomin’ Becca’s Chicken Pot Pie Soup

3 qts water

4 T chicken base

2 ½ t Texadus Two-Step seasoning blend

1 ½ t black pepper

1 t celery seed

5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed

1lb carrots, peeled and sliced thinly

2 15oz cans green peas, drained

1 ½ stick butter

1 chopped onion

1- 1 1/2cup all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

  1. In a medium pot, combine first 8 ingredients . Cook on medium heat till at a rolling boil. Turn it down to low and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour. Slowly stir in milk. Add to soup and mix in well till at least most of the lumps are gone. (mom’s note make a roux instead!)
  3. Cook for about 30 min or until thick and creamy, stirring occasionally.

Can also be made in the crock pot!

Tastes great with warm buttermilk biscuits or a fresh loaf of crusty artisan hearth bread.

Tip * If it’s not as thick as ya like, then pull out about 3/4c broth from soup and add about ½ cup flour to it. Mix till it’s a thick paste then stir into soup. Ah… roux is here. Yes, mom is inserting comments. LOL

Remodeling Our Store

Our store is closed this week for remodeling.  September 8-14th

As always though we welcome appointments if you need anything.


We bought a stainless steel sink last summer with the intention of installing it in the shop so we can move the soap MAKING out of the kitchen and to the shop. We are finally getting that installed and set up.


This is the base to hold the sink. Isaac (18) and Samuel (5) are painting it to match the shop.





The week Ella was born we were offered some counter tops and shelving for FREE. FREE is our favorite price. Aaron used some on our kitchen remodel, but there were some left over. They are perfect to create a *work space* for soaping in the shop.

Samuel (5) and Miss Kaye bringing in 2x 4’s to Aaron (20) to install the counters.





Aaron measuring before cutting the counter top.



Checking what is needed to get the sink *hooked up*.


Counter top in place. Needs a shelf underneath still.



We are going to use these shelves both to replace the tables for *display* and in the back storage and work area side. What a blessing!!! I still plan to cover them somehow.


Isaac is working to clean and reorganize the back section of the shop so it is more user friendly.


Thank you for your patience during this time.








Ella is 3 weeks old today… update on us and pictures

She is such a sweet doll. It feels like she has always been with us.

She has outgrown her NB clothes and is comfortably wearing 0-3mos. She is still in the XS cloth diapers though.

We just weighed her and she is about 11lbs… by my scale… at birth she was 8lbs 4oz.

We have learned I can NOT eat chocolate. If I do… she will FUSS ALL NIGHT.

She is well loved by all her siblings… and loves to be held… and walked. Samuel (5)  likes to pat her and talk to her.

We took her off the property for the first time Sat evening. She did pretty good. We went to Sam’s. 60min trip there went ok. Time in the store went ok. Trip home… she cried about half of it. Went to Walmart Sunday and she did great.

She is nursing good and usually sleeping good.

She likes her feet and legs rubbed.

She loves baths… but NOT being washed.

She is aware of what is around her… and does a lot of rubber necking to be sure she is not missing anything. Like yesterday when I tried to nurse her, but brother Isaac was working behind us… she had her head all the way back to watch him. LOL

She has started smiling when awake and cooing and making adorable faces.

She is mixed on the idea of floor time… liked it Monday… hated it Tuesday.

We are so very blessed to have her. :bh

Oh when we headed out Saturday dh wondered how many people would question the *grandparents* being out with such a young baby. I think we had 1… as a young lady asked “Is she yours?” LOL I just said yes, and noted she is our 11th. This is what happens when you have a baby when you are a bit ahem more mature… LOL I am 46 and dh is 53.

I got up and about more on Saturday… and am working to reclaim my house (slowly) and starting school.

I had a bout of mastitis, but it only lasted 2-3 days.

I am back off soda since right before she was born… 23 days today. I am back to drinking Cranky Lady Tea… or UNsweet tea with lemon if we are out. I bought fruit and salad things Sunday… and am enjoying them. My weight is hovering 180-182 (which is 30lbs UNDER my pre-pregnancy weight). Becca is going to sew me two new skirts… from our fabric stash.



Baby Ella smile



Baby Ella Frog Princess



Baby Ella *floor time*


Baby Ella having floor time next to Micah (7) while the littles watch Grammar Rock for school.


We don’t *put that baby down* at our house… if mommy needs to do something daddy or a sibling holds the baby. Isaac had her yesterday for a bit while I did some school prep and laundry.



Homemade Potato Chips

My talented daughter Rebecca has started making homemade potato chips for our family. They are delicious and so MUCH healthier than the store versions. Have you read the ingredients in those???? Ick!

Salted Potato Chips

high heat oil (coconut or peanut)
kosher salt

Wash potatoes and leave on peels. Using either a mandolin slicer or a vegetable peeler and slice the potatoes very thinly. Soak them in a bowl of lightly salt water for 20-30 min. (This helps make a crisp chip) Meanwhile fill a skillet 1/2 full of oil and turn it to a med/high heat.

Place potatoes on a towel and lightly dry them. Put a double handful of sliced potatoes in the skillet (be careful! Will bubble up!) and cook them till a golden brown, stirring once or twice.

Drain them and put them in a stainless steel bowl. Salt well. Enjoy!



BBQ version


2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

sprinkle onto hot chips and toss

Ranch Version

sprinkle on our Ranch Spice Blend

These are seriously the BEST potato chips I have ever eaten.


Rebecca’s Fabulous Knits and Sugar the Red’s Crochet Creations

Rebecca has been knitting up a storm! It is getting a bit challenging for her to keep up especially when I am always saying “Becca wouldn’t —- be CUTE!”

All our knitting and crocheting is done by hand by our daughter Rebecca (red shirt) or our daughter in law *Sugar the Red* (blue shirt).

Since we know how children can be (after all we have 10 of them!) Rebecca knits the faces INTO all of her hats versus sewing them on. Here you can see her working with 4 skeins of yarn at once to knit together the monkey hat.

They gladly take special orders with a 50% deposit.


Wise Old Owl – $12

Owl Hat – Infant $12, small child $15, larger child & adult $20

Penguin – $15

Penguin Hat – $15 infant, $18 small child, $22 large child or adult

(Penguin & Penguin Hats can be done in yellow, purple, or orange)

Lady Bug – $8

Lady Bug Hat (cotton) – $15 infant, $20 small child, $25 larger child or adult

Elephant – $12

Lion – $12

Giraffe – $12

Fish – $8

Monkey Hat – Infant $12, small child $15, larger child & adult $20


Monkey is a work in progress… Becca is not thrilled with the results yet, but he is kinda cute and is $10 (Here he is in the Jungle Basket)

Simple Hat (cotton, Bamboo, or Bamboo/Wool) – $8 infant, $12 child, $16 adult

Camouflage hats made with bamboo yarn

Puff Ball Hats (especially nice for newborns, but also great for babies & younger children alike) (cotton or Bamboo/Wool) – $10 infant, $15 child, $18 adult


Snug Hat with Ties – $12 infant, $15 child, $20 adult


Mr. Gobbles finger Puppet – $5



Our Candy Corn doesn’t go on sale half-price, but it also doesn’t go to your hips! – $2.50 sm, $3.50 med, $5.00 lg or a *family* for $9.00

Perfect Pumpkins (These are great decorations or perfect *play food* for the little girl in your life. Or pair one with a bar of our Sweet Pumpkin Spice Goats Milk Soap for a unique hostess gift!) – $3.00 sm, $5.00 lg (brighter or more earthy colors available)


Don’t forget our *Pumpkin Pie Special*

Knit pumpkin, a bar of Pumpkin, Vanilla, or Autumn Harvest Soap, and a small soap holder for $12. It makes a great hostess gift!

Adorable Acorns $1.00 each or 3 for $2.50

Scrumptious Chocolate Chip Cookie $3.50


Sweet Cherries $2.50


Banana $5


Colonel Corn $5


Peas in a Pod $3.50


Mushroom $3


Pear $3


Sugar the Red’s Crochet Creations

Sugar the Red crochets wonderfully sturdy UPcycled bags. She gladly accepts donations of clean and dry plastic bags on Saturday’s at the Nacogdoches Farmers Market.

To create these bags she first cuts the bags into strips, knots them together, forms a ball, and THEN she crochets them.

UP- Cycled Bags $10



What is Advent? I was asked that on Sunday on Face Book as I was talking about Advent starting. I love questions like that because they make me think. So often we believe things or do things without a good understanding of why.

This was my answer, which does need a little work I think, but wasn’t too bad.

Advent is the time on the Christian calender prior to Christmas (encompasses the 4 Sundays before Christmas and the weeks of them) when we turn our hearts toward preparing to celebrate the remembrance of the birth of Jesus. In our home we do a Jesse Tree. I’ll be blogging about it and sharing it on FB, but we read a portion of Scripture each night that point to the coming of Jesus and his lineage, we each color a picture ornament that goes with the reading, and tape it to our construction paper tree on the wall, sing together, and usually have a special goodie (cookie, piece of fudge, cocoa, etc).

This is the site I use to get the BONES of what our family does –

It says this about Advent –

Advent is a time of preparation, a time to remember all the ways God has come to us and will come, a time to prepare ourselves–as well as our houses–for the great festival, Christmas. It’s a time of waiting and expectancy, a time of contemplation. Purple or (royal) blue (the liturgical color choices for Advent) suggests a mood of repentance and preparation for the King.

So the next question… I’ve been a Christian for years and I’ve never heard of Advent before. How come?

Well Advent (and most of the church calender) has traditionally only been observed by the more *liturgical* denominations – Presbyterian, Methodist, Anglican, Roman Catholic, etc.

However over the last 10-12 years I have seen that change (among families vs churches). More families are looking to put more meaning back into celebrations. This was also helped by a series of books written for families for this time period. I am NOT going to mention them here, because I really actively dislike them and this is my blog. My family instead chose to use the Jesse Tree to celebrate Advent.

So what IS a Jesse Tree?

What is a Jesse Tree? It is a tree branch decorated with symbols representing the stories of people in Jesus’ family tree. In Isaiah 11:1 we read, “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” Jesse was the father of David, Israel’s greatest king. And it was from David’s lineage that Jesus came. That’s where the idea of using a Jesse Tree to celebrate Advent came from. Before a symbol is hung on the branch, a Bible passage or a story from a story Bible is read.

The Jesse Tree represents the family tree, or genealogy of Jesus Christ. It tells the story of God’s salvation plan, beginning with creation and continuing through the Old Testament, to the coming of the Messiah. The name comes from Isaiah 11:1, “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.” (NASB)

So what exactly do we do on Texadus Family Farm?

We start with a construction paper tree on our living rm wall. Aaron made it this year.

I print out the readings, the *ornaments*, and make sure we have fresh new boxes of crayons. Rebecca traces a circle around each ornament and cuts them out.

When the first night of Advent arrives we all gather in the living room and Farmer Jones reads the assigned passage from the Bible, we talk about it, then we sing the assigned song for the day, then we usually let at least the 3 youngest each pick a song. After that we all color our pictures and hang them on the tree and then have a *goodie* (hot cocoa, cookies, fudge, spiced cider, etc). It is a simple celebration, but one we look forward to each night.

Day 1

reading –

Isaiah 11:1-2

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

Song –

O Come O Come Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory o’er the grave.


O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.


O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.


O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.


O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.


Day 1 symbol – Stump with a branch growing from it

Day 2 – Genesis 1:26-31 Creation (world)

O Come O Come Emmanuel


Coloring the pictures –

Molly (14), Farmer Jones, and Samuel (4)

Isaac (17) and Caleb (10)

Day 3 Genesis 3:1-19 The Fall (apple & snake)

O Come O Come Emmanuel

Day 4 Genesis 6:11-14, 7:17 to 8:3, 9:8-13 Noah (ark & rainbow)

Angels We Have Heard on High

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.


Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?


Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.


See Him in a manger laid,
Whom the choirs of angels praise;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While our hearts in love we raise.


Day 5 Genesis 6:11-14, 7:17 to 8:3, 9:8-13 Abraham  (tent and camel)

Angels We Have Heard on High

Day 6 Genesis 21:1-7 Sarah (cradle)

Angels We Have Heard on High

Day 7 Genesis 22:1-14  Isaac (ram)

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”


Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.


Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.


Day 8 Genesis 28:10-22 Jacob (ladder)

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Day 9 Genesis 37:1-36, 50:15-21 Joseph (coat)

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Day 10 Deuteronomy 5:1-22 Moses (tablets)

Joy To the World

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Praise the Lord from Whom ALL blessings flow!!

Most (all) of you know we have a larger than average family. We have been blessed with 10 children on earth. Some of you know we are what is referred to as *quiverfull*. Basically what this means is we believe and trust that God is Sovereign. We believe that God opens and closes the womb. We believe that children are a blessing. And yes, we eschew all forms of birth control. Though this is now a *movement* in many circles… we see it more as part of our personal faith and beliefs.

Psalm 127 Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat- for he grants sleep to those he loves. Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 128 Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, and may you live to see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel.

Psalm 139:13-16 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret,  And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

These are our personal beliefs… we don’t ask anyone to agree with them, but we hope you will respect them.

When we first became quiverfull we already had 6 children. We had actually been considering a vasectomy because my pregnancy with Molly was so rough. But we kept putting it off… and God got a hold of our hearts. It was a very simple decision after reading the verses and praying.

Soon we were pregnant and thrilled… only to find out at 12 weeks that our baby had died in utero. We were to go on to lose 2 more precious babies… while many around us tried to convince us that “God was trying to tell us something.” We prayed, we talked, we held each other… and we continued to trust in Him.

And then we were blessed with Caleb.

Then another loss, then Noah, another loss, then Micah, then Samuel… we were so blessed by these 4 boys that many said we should not have had.

Since Samuel we have been blessed to become pregnant 4 more times… but the Lord took each of those babies home. And still… we praise Him.

With the last loss I crossed the threshhold of now having more babies gone before me than here on earth… 10 in heaven and 9 on earth (our 10th is my step son).

I am growing older… and we know the time of childbearing is coming to an end. And still we praise Him. In December I will turn 46. Dh is 52.

We have been blessed with our first grandchildren –


daughter of Jeremy and Bre

And CaeLynn

daughter of Bryan and Virginia

We were told a month ago that Bryan and Virginia are expecting their second child… due in June 2013.


And so we were shocked, excited, and thrilled this week to see this.

Lord willing this baby will be born in mid August. We hope you will join us in prayer for this precious blessing. And YES, our dc are also thrilled and excited.

And you should know… I have the sweetest dh!

He brought me this….

until he has the money to get me real ones.

We had talked months ago… he said he feels guilty he can’t buy me chocolates at Christmas and flowers for my birthday (traditions in our extended families)…

I told him those did not matter to me…. I’d rather not have him spend the money…

BUT… I shared it means A LOT to me when he brings me flowers when we find out I am pregnant… that is the time it really touches my heart.

I am so touched by this flower… that he thought of it… that he drew it for me… sniffle sniffle

Praise the Lord from Whom ALL blessings flow.


Sweet Potato Angel Biscuits


  • 6 ¾ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3/4  cup  warm water
  • 7 1/2  cups  hard white flour
  • 1  tablespoon  baking powder
  • 1  tablespoon  salt
  • 1 1/2  cups  sugar
  • 1 1/2  cups  shortening
  • 3  cups  mashed sweet potatoes


Combine yeast and 3/4 cup warm water in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Stir in yeast mixture and sweet potatoes just until blended.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and chill 8 hours, if desired.

Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness; cut with a 2-inch round cutter. Place on an un-greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 20 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Bake at 400° for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Makes about 4 dozen



Noah’s Solar System

With 4 little boys… 10, 8, 6, and 4… I am not a fan of scissors. Noah got tired of asking and learned to tear his paper for his pictures carefully. Becca says *this* is why he won’t let daddy clip his nails! LOL


Noah worked on his own to create this solar system… I think he did a great job. Again and again the creativity my dc show amazes me.


the artist and his work


close up

Saturn (this is where the finger nails came in handy)….


Noah is an intensely visual child. He sees something and wants to recreate it. He loves to draw and write. When younger he loved to create words and notes with our letter blocks. He has frequently *labeled* our home… in fact did it again in sidewalk chalk this week. So yes, I live and live gladly with writing and pictures on my floors, furniture, and walls. Now he is expanding out… last week it was using the wooden logs to create outlines of the country and states. This week it is tearing paper. Besides the solar system he has done the alphabet and numbers 0-9.


What will he come up with next?