Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A funny surprise

Earlier today, my Sweet Husband called me and said...
 "Honey, you need to come to my work."
 I replied, "Ok... but why?"

To which he says, "Jasmine has had a kitten in my truck."
So I hurriedly went to his place of employment and picked up our cat and one kitten...
I started back towards home and decided to call him back.
"Are you sure there was only one kitten?"
He started looking around and there were two more!
I turned around and went back to get the other two.
SO funny.
Not sure why our animals want to have their babies in such odd places around our house, but that is the case.
If you remember , Winn-Dixie had pups under our boys bed.



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Friday, May 27, 2011

Life is hard... but God is good.


I would LOVE for the above picture to be part of a creek that runs through our land... it's not. It's from the creek where the children and I went last week. It's really beautiful and I so enjoy visiting.
My heart is very much heavy with the burdens of the world right now.

Families being torn apart by divorce 
Tornadoes destroying homes and lives and livelihoods 
Not having enough money to pay the bills
Homes that are filled with people and not families
Families that hardly know each other
Floods
Droughts
Economic hardships
Cancer

So many things that are around us every day. Things that make us hurt and sigh. 

The Bible says...

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. 
                         John 16:33

 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
        Romans:38-39

It is a difficult life we lead. All the bad can sometimes seem to outweigh the good... but it doesn't. He is our redeemer, our comforter, our friend.  He is greater than all our struggles.

So remember.... Life is hard, but God is good!

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Celebrating my eldest

On Sunday, our eldest daughter will turn 14!!!

Whoa.

14

She is such a joy in our lives... She is so caring and compassionate. So discerning and wise for a young lady.
She is funny too. And I love that.
Laughter is one of my favorite things. I LOVE to laugh and she and I laugh together so often.

The photo above is my daughter (on the far left) and her bosom friends. These four have grown up together since infancy... and they still are the best of friends.


Last weekend they spent their days together. On Friday we went into town and looked for dresses, went to Starbucks and watched movies...and on Saturday we went to the creek, made ice cream and cookie cake.
They laughed a LOT.
Such sweet girls. I love them all soooo dearly and I am so glad my daughter has such wonderful friends!
I hope she has many, many more birthdays with such joy.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The quilt parade


Handmade beauty at it's finest.
This quilt was given to me and I am in L.O.V.E.
I love that there is NO rhyme or reason to the piece.
It is made out of necessity and without even trying it is lovely.
It is one of many old quilts I was blessed to receive over the weekend, and by far it is my favorite.
The blocks are obviously scraps. I imagine from house dresses, and work shirts and flour sacks.
The back was probably a sheet or perhaps a curtain. It is so functional and sweet.
The batting is cotton and it is warm, actually a bit TOO warm for these hot Southern days of late.
The stitches are by hand. Every. Single. One.
Amazing.
Knotted with pink yarn at the corners of the 'pillowcased' squares.
I wish I knew more of the history behind this lovely quilt.
I know it was from Missouri and a little old lady who was very proficient in many arts and crafts made it... I guess my imagination can play out the rest.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Make Your Own Convenience Foods: Sausage Pinwheels


Hey Y'all!
I've got a super easy and yummy treat for you today! There are so many ways you can do this to help cut down on your time and work effort in the mornings, because I think most of us are b.u.s.y in the mornings, right?

The recipe is simple.
1 lb sausage (thankfully we have a local grocery that makes their own sausage and it is fab!)
1 package of crescent rolls or make your own recipe (will follow)
Seasonings if you like. I like chives and garlic
SOFT Cream cheese

Brown up your sausage and add your herbs and seasonings.
Meanwhile lay out your crescent rolls, not in triangles but make one big rectangle and press seams together.
Spread your softened cream cheese onto the crescent rolls and then add browned sausage.
Now, roll everything up just like you would if you were making cinnamon rolls.
Slice and place on a baking stone or a cookie sheet.
Bake at 375* til the crescents are nice and brown.
Serve with some salsa or some fruit for a fantastic breakfast!

Ok, here are some ways you can make this easier (If it weren't easy enough already!)
Have the sausage browned ahead of time, or if you have it browned and put in the freezer, let it thaw beforehand.
Assemble the pinwheels and cover tightly with plastic wrap the night before and then bring them out the morning of and let them come to almost room temp before baking.

Here is a recipe for crescent rolls that my friend Angel posted.

 Crescent Rolls
1 egg beaten plus enough water t o equal 1 1/3 cups
1 cup butter softened
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
4 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons yeast
Knead into dough, and place in oiled bowl. Let rise until doubled in size. Roll dough into 20 inch circle and cut into 16-20 wedges. Roll into crescents and bake for 12 minutes at 375.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Making it Work


Last week, we completely cleaned out our freezer. This week it is our pantry. Making a checklist for it, just like we did our freezer. 
I plan on compiling a master list of pantry items. Hanging it on the door of the pantry. When we take out a jar of pickles, we mark it off.  Just like our freezer. So often things get pushed to the back, and shifted around until we forget we have them.
I usually buy everything in multiples or bulk. It costs less and saves me trips to the store. 
And then when things get low, the master list will be helpful to take to the store with us. I hope to only buy what we HAVE to have at the grocery and access the garden, and the farmer's markets for the next few months and hopefully get our root cellar cleaned up and ventilated properly so we can use it again. 
***exciting!***

These are not my pantry lists, but I found a couple online.
Here is one
Here is another

Also, I found this! I think this is an awesome help!
I've printed mine out and I am going to cut it down and stick it inside my purse!
So many of the items we buy at a regular grocery are GMO items. Check the list, be prepared!

Not sure what is so bad about GMO's??? 
Check out these links!

If you haven't seen this, Watch it today!



And I haven't seen this one yet, but I am eager to!
It's real and it's serious!

And this family is inspirational!
Check them out!



Eat fresh! Eat local! Eat Organic!

I love being organized and prepared. 





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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Preparedness Challenge: Pasta


Last night while taking my eldest daughter out for a birthday celebration we went shopping. She wanted to go try on some dresses and hopefully find a couple of church dresses with her birthday money. While she and her girlfriends were pouring over dresses, I was looking through the other items. The store was Ross, I had never been there, but was fairly happy with what I found.
I have had a pasta maker on my amazon wish list for a while...
Guess what I found last night?
Oh yeah! A pasta maker at a third of the price I had one in my amazon cart for! YEAH!
I am so excited! I have made noodles before, but they were not very uniform in size.
I am eager to try it out...
Can you guess what we are having for supper tonight?
You got it.
Pasta. Haha.
It's just one more thing that I can scratch off my grocery list.
Awesomeness!!
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Friday, May 20, 2011

Chick Update

The chicks are doing great! We have moved them out to pasture. They are so adorable running around in the grass, staying together like family should. You can already tell there is a leader to the group. We assume the little guy is a rooster and if not, well that could get confusing, because the children call him... Rooster. hahaha
They are growing so much each day and you can see their wings coming in and their 'fuzzy' look diminishing.

The children LOVE that they are still small enough that they are easily handled. I figure that because they are handled so much that they will be more mellow as they get older.
We have a set of girls whom I call Laverne and Shirley who are just this way. The kids handled them a lot when they were young and you can go and reach under them and gather eggs if they are setting.  This is good because we have several ladies who are not so tolerant and it makes the children a bit gun-shy.

Here's wishing you the loveliest of weekends and may your days be full of love and laughter.

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Winner!

First off, I want to thank each and everyone who participated in our little giveaway! It was fun seeing new comments pop up from those who normally are silent visitors. :)
And for those who are not with us on facebook, we have been contacted by a publishing company and will be receiving several new books (homesteading, crafting, etc) for reviewing and for future giveaways, so more fun coming up soon!
As for now... our winner is                      Elisabeth
Congratulations Elisabeth and if you will contact me through the contact button up top and let me know your choice on which book you would like, I will be finishing up the other goodies.




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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cleaning up and Clearing out:



This past week, we have been doing a lot of cleaning up and clearing out. Even though we didn't have a lot of physical damage (only some trees, siding and a shutter) we did lose all of our freezer supply. That was a MESS! It needed a good cleaning anyways, so the children and I got to it the other morning before lessons.
And if you know us, that means it led to something else...
After I moved the freezer out and was draining it, I said. It's pretty dirty in here. I would hate to put a clean freezer back in such a dirty spot.
And hence, the garage clean-up began! haha

btw, that is not our freezer above. Ours is NOT that pretty! LOL! Ours has been put through the wringer, but Praise the Lord, it's still working... and we are GRATEFUL!

So now, with a very clean freezer and a somewhat clean garage (we didn't get to finish before time for lessons).  I now have to work on filling it back up and I am DETERMINED to do it much neater and have a system for what I put in there.

This is my plan.
If I have a big cooking day like I do sometimes, I will have a clip-board mounted beside the freezer.
If I make up 3 lasagnas, 2 chicken pot pies, and 4 bags of pre-made biscuits, they will be dated on the outside of their container and then also listed on my clip-board.

              What:                                       When:                       Where:

  1. 3 Lasagnas with meat sauce         5/19/2011                 bottom right
  2. 2 Chicken Pot Pies                       5/19/ 2011                bottom left
  3. 4 bags of Whole Wheat biscuits   5/19/2011               bottom middle
You get the idea.
Hopefully this will help me keep a much more organized freezer and it will help keep us from making needless trips to the grocery and things will not get lost in the bottom of the freezer (which happens sometimes).

Remember! Today is the LAST day of the giveaway! Don't forget to enter for your chance to win! Just scroll down to Monday's post :Guess What?

I hope you have a wonderful Thursday and if you have a tip to a more organized freezer, I would love to hear from you!


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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In Which I Talk of Mamie

You all know how I feel about this goat. She is special! She is very, very much a part of our family!

Well, thankfully she is still with us, but there was a brief time right before the storms that I was afraid we might lose her and I really didn't want to say anything about it, til I knew for sure whether she would make it or not. I'm still not positive that she is completely better, but at least she is somewhat.

It was a quiet evening, we were just finishing up with supper and about to head to the living room for some reading and our family devotion.
The Papa happened to get up to go to the kitchen for a glass of water and yelled, "Moma, the neighbor's dogs are out!"
This was not something abnormal, or alarming. They have been out before and not bothered anything...
But.
This was not the case this time.
The dogs were Great Danes. Massive dogs.
One was a mother, who had birthed pups a couple of months prior, too.

Papa and the neighbor were walking down to the pasture when the children started crying out, "MOMA! The dogs are getting the goats!!!!"
I yelled out the window and the men started running.
The dog was so aggressive.
The dog took the Rachel (the baby girl goat) and slung her around with her mouth, breaking 3 of her legs and puncturing her stomach. She had to be put down.
The dog did the same to Fred and he died shortly after...
but what scared me the most, was the dogs attack on Mamie.
Papa jerked the dog off of Mamie before she really tore into her.

I ran out, Mamie was crying out in pain and wouldn't stand up. I was sure she must have a broken leg or something.
There were some deep cuts on her neck and she was just laying and writhing in pain.
I don't believe I have ever cried about one of our animals being injured before that day.

We cleaned her wounds, but she wouldn't stand and when we finally got her up, she immediately laid back down. So we weren't sure what was wrong.
Through the night, she cried.
I could hear her and it just killed me.
The next morning I went out to see if she had died, fully expecting it.
She was still alive!
Not great, but she was still alive.

For days we treated her wounds, but she wouldn't do much.
We put the feed and water in the shelter with her, just so she wouldn't have to go far to get them.

Finally, after several days she got up and walked around, inside the shelter.

After a week or so, she got out and walked around to our urging and leading.

Today, she is seemingly SO much better...

She isn't my vivacious Mamie of before. She doesn't dance or bleat at you very often. She really doesn't make much noise at all any more.

I don't know if she will stay this way, or return to her spunky self... but I will tell you.
I love that goat.
She is special, and I am so glad she is still with us.

**** Don't forget to scroll down the page and enter my BLOGAVERSARY giveaway! You have until Thursday night at midnight to enter, and you can have up to 5!! entries!****

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Homemade Convenience Food: Strawberry Milk

As a little girl I remember having Strawberry milk as a yummy treat. I remember buying it when I was pregnant with my children too.

Guess what... you and I don't have to buy it anymore! :)
I've got a recipe so we can now make it with our own ingredients for a much healthier snack! Woot!
Don't forget the homemade chocolate syrup recipe that we use too!

1 cup Frozen Strawberries
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Sugar
1-2 Tbsp. Vanilla

In saucepan add strawberries, water and sugar and boil for about 10 minutes... the mixture will thicken.
Once reduced and thickened, remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla and strain out chunks of berries.
**You can use the strained berries for yogurt or oatmeal.**
Once your jar is cool, you can store in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks (if it lasts that long) ;)

Your syrup is awesome in milk, but you can use it elsewhere too!
On top of ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal, pudding... or eat it by the spoonful!

Also, I want to take a minute to THANK YOU for all the kind words from yesterday's blogaversary post! You are all so sweet! I truly have enjoyed these past 4 years of blogging. There were times that I hit some rough patches, but blogging is truly a fun and sunny spot in my day.

If you haven't signed up for the giveaway, scroll on down. There's still time... oh, and tell your friends! If I get more than 100 entries... I think I will just have to sweeten the deal!

Much Love!
xoxox

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Guess What???


It's our blogaversary!!!
Since 2007 have I been documenting our lives and it's time to celebrate!

What's a blogaversary without presents???
You could win, your choice of one of these amazing books!
I have been pouring over them lately and I have to say, these books are GREAT!!

But wait!!!!
That's not all!

In addition to your choice of book, you will receive a set of our beeswax candles

These candles are so wonderful. They put off the loveliest glow and they smell slightly of honey. Mmmm! 
They are perfect for those of us a bit sensitive to the chemicals present in other candles. These are made of pure beeswax and the wicking is 100% cotton. 

Finally, a knitted dish/washcloth and a bar of handmade soap!

Entering is EASY!
You can have up to 5 entries too!
  1. Leave me a comment. 
  2. Follow this blog (see sidebar) 
  3. Follow us on Facebook
  4. Follow us on Twitter
  5. Tell your friends!
Leave me comments letting me know each way you have entered and thanks for celebrating with us today!!!

Giveaway Celebration will close Thursday night at midnight EST and I will announce the winner Friday morning!

Linking Love:
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Working toward a goal

I am a goal setter. I like to work towards a goal I have set for myself or for our family. It helps me.
Lately though, when I set down for the evening, I just collapse and can't seem to move. haha
These days of up before dawn, working the tiller and planting the garden as well as all our other chores are exhausting, but rewarding.
We can happily watch the fruits of our labor grow and eventually eat or save the yield.
I adore having a garden, even though it is a tremendous amount of work.

So this brings me back to my point.
I have been making sure to get in some time for handiwork in the evening, no matter how tired I am. I find it relaxing and it does help me wind down from a long hard day.

I have started to love knitting. I used to find it so cumbersome to use two needles. Thankfully though it is getting a bit easier and more fluid. As well as, I have been able to follow a few patterns. *yeah* :)
I am far from being a pro, but I am thinking I will begin to branch out some and try some new things.

I believe this is a good way to practice preparedness. Learning life long skills that you need not any mechanism but your own two hands, some yarn and some needles. No electricity needed, you can sit by the light of a lamp and you can produce something beneficial.
I wish I had  taken pictures of yesterdays progress, it would be great to add to this post, but I will save it for another time.
As for now, it is still quiet and somewhat early. I believe I have a little time to go and pick up my needles, have my morning coffee and get ready for another day.
Happy Saturday everyone!

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Sometimes


Sometimes I wonder.
...
am I making a difference?
am I teaching my children to be slow to anger?
am I showing the love of Jesus in every-day life with my family?
am I blessing with the words of my mouth?
am I teaching my children how to resist the lures of this wicked world?
am I leading by example?
am I showing and teaching the fruit of the Spirit?
am I helping to grow strong, faithful men and women of God?

I want to be. I hope to be. And I will continue trying.

This world doesn't take to those who are 'different'.  Unless you are perverse and obscene and then you are considered 'cool'.
Sometimes you get the 'hold them too close and they will rebel' speech.

My deepest desire is to raise children that love God and family and are not afraid of being who they are. Brave and confident in being who God has created them to be. Not easily persuaded by foolishness and tempting situations.

    Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; 
      He who guards his soul will be far from them. 
       Train up a child in the way he should go, 
      And when he is old he will not depart from it. 
-Proverbs 22:5-6





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Homemade Convenience Foods: Spinach and Strawberry Salad



  • With Strawberries turning beautifully red around here lately, I thought this recipe would be a GREAT treat!
  • You may ask why this recipe made the cut for my Homemade Convenience Foods Series.
  • Well, in the busy-ness of everyone's lives, it is so easy to run through a drive-thru and pick something up to eat. The sad fact is, yes it is easy... but it is so void of nutritional value and it is so unbelievable expensive that you could get the ingredients and make enough to feed your family twice for what you are paying for drive-thru and more than twice for a sit-down restaurant! 
  • Sorry for the rant. :)
  • Anyways, Farmer's Markets are brimming with goodness right now and this is an amazing salad you can prep and have ready for lunch in NO time!

  • Spinach and Strawberry Salad
  • 10 to 12-ounce baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 red/purple onion cut into rings
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
  • And if you like...  some crumbed bleu cheese or goat cheese. Yes, please! :)

Dressing:

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Directions

In a large salad bowl, add the spinach, almonds, strawberries, and cucumber and toss together.
For the dressing:
In a small glass bowl or jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, oil, and poppy seeds. Whisk together in the glass bowl or shake if using a jar.
Dress the salad right before serving.


Enjoy!


For more goodness check out the following link!
I linked up here!
4 Mom's on Hospitalilty

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