Tuesday, March 30, 2010

my day

The happenings in a day! We lost one of the kittens last week, and I'm afraid the other is soon to follow. I'm not sure what happened. The first one always seemed a little not healthy. No matter how much, I fed him. He just didn't seem to progress, but kitty 2 was doing good. He was strong until just this morning. I carried him in his box outside beside my garden. I sat down and fed him his bottle of kitten milk. Then, I let him down to crawl around for a few minutes while I planted some seeds. Gracie, came over and was petting him. He hung onto her pant let and then rolled off. Next thing I know he was on his back twitching, and I think at one point he stopped breathing. I scooped him up and put him back in the box. Now, he can't hold his head up right. It's so sad and I don't know what to do for him.

I think this may be why as a child, I never let myself attach to pets because it's so sad to lose them. I have held back from naming the kittens just in case this happened. Animals taken from their mother much too early have such a low survival rate (I think). That's what I tell my children anyway. I tell them the kittens needed their cat mom to look after them and without her, we can only do our best for them.

For now we wait, to see what the morning brings for the little guy.

Friday, March 26, 2010

"here mommy these for you"

My sweet girl!
She never forgets me.

always a new bouquet

In the summer,
I get beautiful Zinnias and Snap Dragons,
fresh from my flower garden.
Today the most beautiful bunch yet,
weeds with the roots and all.

Her heart is precious!
Cherish her, I do.
(can you see her green mouth and teeth? she found where I hid her Valentine fun dip candy ;).
she's my girl!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

to mom

The kindness in his heart.

His love for me.

Sometimes.....I ask myself, am I getting it right?

Do I give them all that they need?

Will they grow up to care about others?

Does my light shine bright enough to light up their lives.

Do I tell them enough, how much Jesus loves them?
Oh, how I pray that I do.
I pray I'm getting this one thing right.

Today, I didn't feel well. So after lessons, I went to put my head down for a few minutes.
You know that awake but with eyes closed. Listening in, just in case but trying to rest too.

I could hear the papers rustling, cutting, and whispering.
I knew they were up to making something.
Being so good and quiet so mommy could rest a few minutes.
I always get extra hugs if I'm not feeling so good.=)

I could hear the swishing of footsteps, and something placed by my head.

My sweet sweet boy!
I love Garrett.
Love, mom

p.s. acts of kindness, like this, let me know, I'm getting it right.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Lady and Sons Beef Vegetable Soup

Before the cool evenings leave us for good, I took the opportunity to make one more big pot of soup. I absolutely love soup and this is my favorite one to make. Ms. Paula Deen's recipe straight from the Lady and Sons. Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you away because it is mostly seasonings and vegetables. It makes the most excellent BIG pot of soup. I like to freeze half of it for later. On those days, when I just don't feel like cooking, out comes a hearty and healthy meal. Delish!! "On a cold winter's day it will make your tongue want to slap your brains out!" Paula Deen
  • Ingredients:
  • 2-3 pounds of chuck roast or stew beef (I used about one pound of greenwise stew beef.)
  • 2 TBLS veg. oil
  • 4 quarts cold water
  • 1 TBLS dried Italian seasoning
  • 3 TBLS garlic powder
  • 1 TBLS beef bouillon granules
  • 1 TBLS Lady's House seasoning (garlic salt, salt, and pepper)(I omit this to cut down the saltiness)
  • 1 TBLS The Lady's seasoned salt (Lawry's seasoning salt)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 TBLS Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup sliced green beans, fresh or canned
  • 1 cup frozen black-eyed peas
  • 1 cup frozen butter beans
  • 1 cup cut okra, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or canned
  • 1 cup diced potatoes
  • 1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni

Heat oil in large stock pot over medium heat. Cut meat in bite size pieces. Place roast in the skillet and cook until browned on both sides. Pour off fat from meat. Add the water, seasonings, onion, and tomatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pot, reduce the heat so that the liquid simmers, and cooks for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Add the remaining vegetables and the macaroni, and return the soup to a boil, stirring to distribute the ingredients. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. ( if sodium is a concern, cut down on the salty seasonings a bit).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

happenings on the farm

Grace, my artist, spends her morning painting her miniature tea set.
Not a morning passes, that my little lady is not
up before everyone else, drawing and painting.
My bedroom wall is proof of her best work.:)
I love my little Picasso.I am bottle feeding two orphaned kittens, every 4 hours.
We've never really been cat people.
We had a cat years ago but decided to not get another once she was gone.
Lately, our girl, has been asking for a cat.
Guess what daddy came home with Saturday?
TWO newborn kittens!!
The manager at Lowes asked him to take them because the mother had not came back.
They are cute....but every 4 hours.
I'm thinking tonight, they can wait until morning.

I WON...
I have never won a contest....not even the three legged race in second grade.
But I won this darling little book about homeschooling.
A GREAT big thank you to Lisa at homesteadoriginals.com

I'm going on a journey.
To the South of France...well....not exactly.
I'll think about the South of France when I use this French soap.

I have read stacks of books and researched websites.

The ingredients are here, and tomorrow I will attempt to make soap.
I feel like a chemist.
To be honest, I made a batch last month.
It flopped!
I know what I did wrong.
One batch of oatmeal honey soap is
on the to do for Friday.
So exciting!
One day, I hope to teach my daughter, how to make good quality soap.
I'm using all natural vegetable based ingredients.

I will let you know how it turns out.
Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

snack time

On this family's journey, to make better food choices, we have left many things behind. With two children that love to have snacks twice a day, I had to find satisfying snacks that would be a little better than potato chips and cookies. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a cookie, but instead of buying the prepackaged kind, I bake my own. That way I know the ingredients minus all the preservatives. Nobody has complained yet!

Besides pumping into them, all the in season organic fruit I can find. They also like the salty snack here and there. We love a snack mix or chex mix (whatever you call it)around here. Again, I wanted to make it myself and make enough to last a couple weeks at a time. Being a lover of all things Pioneer Women (she is so funny), I found the perfect recipe at her site and tweaked it a bit. Her recipe is just right the way it is, I just like to use the whole box of the cereals and add in different nuts.
Chex party mix
  • 3 cups corn chex
  • 3 cups wheat chex
  • 3 cups rice chex
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks
  • 2 cups mixed nuts (I add sunflower seeds too)
  • 1 -1 1/2 sticks of butter (because I make so much at once, I add 2 sticks). Don't be scared!
  • 3 TBLS Worcestershire sauce (again, go for it! If you like it spicy!);)
  • 6-12 dashes Tabasco sauce (FIRE....Somebody call 911!!!!)
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic (just don't breath in my face afterward.....) Garlic is good!!!
  • 1 tsp Lawry's season salt (touch more, if you dare)
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder (same here)
Preparation Instructions
Dump cereal, pretzel sticks, nuts, and the kitchen sink in the biggest bowl you have. In a microwave-safe bowl, add remaining ingredients and microwave until butter is melted. Stir together and spoon butter mixture into cereal mixture, stirring as you go.
Transfer mix onto one or two baking sheets, and bake in a 250-degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
Let cool and store in an airtight container.
Grab a handful every forty minutes. Eat. Spoil your appetite.

These are another new weakness of mine.
Banana chips are awesome!
Publix has them over with the dehydrated fruits in the Greenwise section.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fury family

Our loving four legged friend, Simba.
Simba is a yellow Lab, and he has been with us for four years now.
My favorite movie growing up has always been "Old Yeller."
Still today it is a family favorite. So, I always wanted a lazy old yeller dog.
Four years ago, we located a breeder and brought home a fluffy yellow puppy.
and that's where the story began...
I'll just say, that "Marley and Me" is a very accurate portrayal of the first two years with our boy Simba.
He chewed our patio cushions, our shoes, water hoses, if something was forgotten outside.....
it would not be usable the next morning.
During year two with us, Simba became the neighborhood stud.
It was a real nightmare for awhile.
We finally had to put a stop to his studliness. ;(
He wasn't very pleased, but the neighbors are...these days, he is our lazy yeller dog.
He's the best friend to a country girl.
They remind me of Arlis and Old Yeller running in the field.
Wherever she goes, Simba goes.
I so, love that.
Just this morning, I dug my leather gloves out of my garden box.
He barried them because I forgot them outside last night. :-)
This is "Dipper"
Dipper has been with us for eight years, and he is bestfriend to a boy.
He has met my needle and thread many times over the years.
This boy's head does not hit the pillow without the Dipper.
Many nights I have hunted Dipper down.
Midnight runs to grandma's house when he was left behind.
Even as the boy gets older, Dipper still comes along. Where he used to go in with us, now he gets left behind in the truck.
A young boy growing up....but still holding onto his childhood.

Oh, please Lord....help me to breath this in. Let me not forget one precious moment.

Just moments of this life.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Simple Life

for most of life, i think we fight God. we keep trying to show him what we think we were made for. we keep giving him better ideas. we keep working for something bigger & greater than anything he seems to have in mind. for many of us, by the time we are in mid-life, we feel we somehow have missed out on some of the great things we were born for. we fight with God over this.

i come to you, however, knowing God made me not to impress you. not to be perfect or a genius. not to make a million dollars!

God made me to be uncomplicated in my faith. to watch children & kites & sunsets & rainbows & enjoy them. to take your hand regardless of who you are or how you look. to listen to you. to accept you right where you are. to love you unconditionally.

God made me to be real. to be honest. to be open. to never compare myself to you, but to strive to become my own best person.
~ann kiemel anderson

Because he made me simple,
i will enjoy...
the blossoming blueberry bush.
a simple candle lit meal with this family.

the blessing's we receive in a nest.

the sprout's of carrot seedlings.

the new growth in the soil.

looking forward to a bountiful harvest.

a girl in pink jammies trailing after her chicken.

a shady swing,
were i can sit with the Word in my lap,
and watch life happen all around me.
these are the things that give me joy and peace.
i am a simple woman,
content to living a simple kind of life.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
1 Timothy 6:6-8
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Phillippians 4:11-13

Monday, March 8, 2010

Gracie's Disney Weekend

Country mouse goes to Disney! This weekend our Gracie Bug had her first visit to Disney World and Animal Kingdom. We really had a wonderful time just watching her laugh, smile, and be a very happy excited little girl. Big brother had a wonderful time too, but he had already experienced the magic that IS Disney.
(Warning: lots of vacation photos.)
Cinderella's castle

Mama told you guys to wear your sunglasses.
We don't go away very often, but when we do, I prefer a nice CLEAN hotel.
Country mouse definitely approved. See that smile!

These sleep number beds are very bouncy and comfy.

Fancy granite and marble bathroom. We were pleasantly surprised at the nice details of our hotel accommodations. Yeah, we don't get out much! :)

Hot Rod!
Can I please see your driver's license?

Eyes on the road joker.

Daddy and his girl!

"Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A pirate's life for me. "

oops, added this one twice...

She wanted this Dalmatian for a souvenir.

My hair.....don't ask, cause IDK.

"It's a small world after all.
It's a small world after all.
It's a small small world."

This is the "Tree of Life" at Animal Kingdom.
The details carved into the tree are Amazing.
See the tiger face carved in the base.

This artificial tree was beautiful, but I'm sure, it's nothing compared to the REAL
"Tree of Life."

Silver Back....She wanted him to come home with us.

and these guys....

and mama elephant too. =)
Why not, everybody load up.
I hope they all play nice together.

We had a wonderful get-a-way, but like Dorothy says,
"there's no place like home."