Monday, April 24, 2017


Every day there is something to be thankful for, something that we can see and appreciate the beauty of, or that we can take some enjoyment in, or something that we can realize that, this. is. grace.... 
Every. Day.
Sometimes I am really good at this. Sometimes though, I really stink at it.
On Easter we had a hardship hit us, and it shook me pretty hard. I know God is with us. I know He will see us through things, because I know His ways are best. 

But sometimes, I don't do what I need to do. 

I got scared, upset, and even a little angry. 
Sigh.... will I ever learn?
I knew each day through His word He was telling me, "I can be trusted."
I've got a big head and a thick skull, and even when I *KNOW* sometimes I struggle. 
As the Lord began to quieten my worried heart, I began to see.
Seeing those sweet mercies. Those tender graces ALL AROUND.
New life. New opportunities. New experiences. Renewed hope.
I've used the adage here more than once before.
Use it up
Wear it out
Make it do
Do without
So much we can do with what we already have, if we just take the time, energy, effort... to make it happen. 
Maybe you are dealing with something too, something that gave you an eye-opener. Don't be a blockhead like me. Allow the Lord to use the experience and show you His mercies and His grace. 
And then open your eyes and see all the beauty that surrounds you.
All the glories of His creation!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Ginger Juice

I use a lot of ginger... I put it in my drinks, but I will tell you, in the past I would just grate it and put it in the bottle with my water, unsweetened tea,  and ACV (apple cider vinegar) but I did NOT like getting the gritty ginger sucked up in my straw. Maybe I'm a wimp, but I didn't care for it.
So, I decided I would try something out and I really love the results.
I took one large, peeled, ginger root and 1.5-2 cups of water. I placed them in my blender and pureed it together with the water. 
Then I took a thin flour sack type of towel and strained. The juice flowed through easily and the pulp remained in the towel. After the initial juice flowed through, I clipped it to help force out any remaining juice. 

I let that strain for several hours. Then labeled the jar and put a lid on and stuck it in the refrigerator. 
If it makes too much, freeze some in an ice tray and then take the cubes out, once frozen, and put them into a ziplock type bag and label. The ginger is great to use in any of my drinks and the pulp is not wasted either. It can be frozen and used in dishes where I would use grated or ground ginger! 
I get the healthy benefits of ginger, with none of the grit for my drinks and plenty of pulp to put in any of my cooking dishes.
Win. Win.

Hope this is a helpful hint for y'all too! 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Zoo with Cousins

Last Friday we had the opportunity to visit the Chattanooga Zoo and meet up with some cousins and take our little sidekick cousin as well. It started off as a bit of a chilly, windy day, but turned out beautiful and we had a great time!
Most of the animals were very active and even showing out for everyone. Although, I don't believe this male peacock was showing out for us as much as the female peacocks. 
And note, I said... "most" haha, these two macaws were having a lunchtime siesta! 

The whole gang.

Our little buddy loved looking at all the animals! 

But... he did NOT like touching the animals. Haha. Only looking. ;) 

Abe was the goat whisperer... most of the goats only wanted the sweet feed that you can get from the dispensers... but Abe was able to get the goats to come up and eat the hay. 

It's a small zoo, but it's a whole lot of fun and we enjoyed the animals! 
What a blessing to get to spend a few hours with family and a big THANK YOU to my friend who sent us some free passes to go!

Monday, March 27, 2017


I mentioned lately on Instagram, that I may be turning into an old lady... because my love of nature has grown by leaps and bounds. I think it may be because of my age, but I think more overly it has to do with my desire to express that love to my children and have them love and appreciate this world that the Lord has made for us. 

Lately, during lessons we have spent more time outside reading and nature exploring. Birds being on of our favorite topics, we have started sketching and identifying. I am impressed with my children's ability to draw, especially Carlie who puts the most effort into the creative aspect of her lessons. That's an area in which she shines.

We've been adding more feeders at our bird watching station and I've added a new houseplant.

On our nature jaunts we look for unusual items and if they are really beautiful and can be saved, we take them home and add them to our nature shelf.

Eli found this beautifully smooth river rock! It came home with us! 
I recently joined a group called "Nature Pal Exchange". We just finished with a swap for moms. This was the gift I received and I am thrilled with the contents! That at the bottom in the ziplock bag is an owl pellet! Once spring break is over, we will dissect that! I'm tickled!!! 

Goldfinches at our feeder!
My dear, dear friend who knows me so well gave me this shelf to help display some of our nature finds. I'm so excited to fill it up! 

Red winged blackbird in the tree. 

My feeble attempt at bird sketching! 

Our friend "Woody" the Red-Bellied Woodpecker.
Flowers from our yard before the frost.

I hope you have a wonderful day, take a few minutes to enjoy this beautiful world the Lord has made for yourself.