Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chrismas Cards 2010

Rejoice Lord King Religious Christmas 5x7 folded card
Get custom photo Christmas cards online at Shutterfly.com.
View the entire collection of cards.

Monday, November 29, 2010

drizzling days

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I love to sit and watch the rain fall, watch the puddles form, and the pond fill up.  I love the rhythm of the rain and all that it offers to the dry land.


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That is how quiet time is too.  It quenches a thirst that lingers without it.  It soothes a weary soul.




Today I am thankful for so many things,


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~ for the rain on the driveway

~ for the sun peeking from behind the clouds


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~ for hungry chickens each morning

~ for sleepy puppies reluctant to wake

~ for 4 boisterous children too anxious to wake and make noise


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~ for a husband willing to work here and there – everywhere

~ for the routine of school, and pouring of truth into little minds

~ for Bible study after breakfast dishes are cleared

~ for a boy of 6 who tells me Bible stories as I sew – and delights in what he remembers, and a momma who gently reminds him of the missing details

~ for cutting firewood on the land for the fires to come


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~ for bonfires on cool mornings

~ for sneaking away from this place to another to sew and fill my creative cup that has been running empty for a while now

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~ for a visit with family that fills that cup to overflowing – for making memories (and tamales), having fun, and just being together

~ for cold weather coming and the fires we will have to keep it at bay!!

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~ for the promise of HIS coming – for Advent and all that this season brings forth

{for a free Advent devotional click HERE to go to Ann Voskamp’s download}

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tamale Time

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The masa


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The meat


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The Corn


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The work


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The Corn Husks

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The Pot


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The finished product

(before steaming)


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Another shot of the tamales


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The Tamales Cooking


~ Whew ~

We are worn out – but oh man!!  They are yummy!!

Thanksgiving 2010

Yesterday was our Thanksgiving.  We decided to move the celebration for the sake of schedules.  Robert works a crazy schedule – sometimes nights, sometimes days, and lots of time off.  However, a down side is that the plant is open 365 days a  year 24 hours a day – and that includes Thanksgiving and Christmas.  So since Robert was going to be working on Thursday we moved our big dinner to Tuesday!


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Wanted to share the recipes:

Smoked Turkey

Mashed Potatoes

Sausage Stuffing (recipe on package)

Cranberry & Pecan Stuffing (recipe on package)November 2010 046

Pecan Pie


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Pumpkin Pie

Apple Pie


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Sweet Potato Casserole

Green Bean Casserole (a new one for us this year)

Cranberry Salad


    We just have so much to be thankful for this  year.  We are so thrilled to be where we are, and yet, I look back on our time these past many months and know that if we had not gone on a long journey with many bumps  - I would never be as thankful as I am for what we have here in the country.  Every time I look out a window or door I honestly feel a tremendous thankfulness over all we have.  We love this house, we love this place, we love it all. 

But if we had not lived 10 months in the middle of Irving I am not sure I would savor all the many parts of this life.

So as we sat around a bountiful table there were so many things to offer thanks for, most importantly for a God that loved me so much that he sent his most beloved son to die for my many sins.  A God that wanted my life redeemed enough to sacrifice his son.  A God that Loved me so much.  I am thankful for that.  Without that God – all this would be meaningless – it would all be stuff.  But because of that God, this is simply an appetizer before the Main dish – a taste before the meal – a snippet – all these good things simply point to a perfect Heaven for all eternity! 

Hope you are thankful for an all-forgiving – all loving, God who loves you so much…….

Easy Christmas Cards

So, I just love to get Christmas Cards!  Love to send them too!

This year, as in years past I plan to go to Shutterfly to meet many Christmas needs!!

This year I have already knocked out the bulk of my Christmas shopping and you can too!!  Have you seen the perfect gift – Calendars?  Kristen always orders these calendars to send to her family and I decided this year that was going to be our gift of choice!!  We love them!!

I love the cards that you can make through Shutterfly too!!  Photo Cards are the best – because I can keep up with the many changes in our friend’s families each year!  This is the card I am planning to send out that I designed with at their website!!

card 2010


Do you know why I love to get these cards?  Because I love pictures.  So after years of keeping these cards after Christmas in a ziplock bag, about 3 years ago I decided to make my Christmas scrap book.  I love it!! We get it out with the tree – put it on the coffee table and love to look through it as a family!  It is an easy scrap book – I just crop the pictures to fit, add some stickers I pick up after Christmas (on sale) and put the book together!!

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I love it.  Each year, in January I add my pages from that year, some stickers or embellishments and we are good to go!! I love to look back and see the Lewis Family with their dogs – before kids.  And then watch through the years as they add a boy, another boy, another boy, and finally A girl!!  It is just too sweet!!


thank you card 2010

Another great idea that you could do at Shutterfly is make some Thank You cards! Have you seen the cards with the kids holding blocks, or posters spelling out thank you?  Then you can use these cards with a pic of the kids to send out those lovely Thank You notes in January!!  You could even let the kids draw a  picture, scan it in and then use that as the front cover.  So many ideas!!

I love Shutterfly and wanted to share some ideas with you that I have done, and plan to do.  If you love them, and want to share your love with others, you can blog about them and they will thank you with 50 free cards!!

Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly… sign up HERE.

Monday, November 22, 2010

musings & wanderings

That has been me these past few days.  As I have prepared for a full house – well not really full, but maybe close!  And still considering what Christmas morning will look like here – with a new focus and more intentionality.  With less presents to open – what does the morning look like? 

As Thanksgiving approaches and I look at the countless blessings God has showered on us – I feel so unworthy.

I watched this video through facebook and I cannot stop thinking about it.


I just sit here in my new world – in Malakoff, the middle of no where so to speak.  And I marvel at answered prayers in our lives.  And yet, about 18 months ago we told God we would go anywhere for him.  We would go to Africa if he wanted us to go.  We were willing to go anywhere, we looked in to many overseas opportunities and yet, he said no.  He said no to a wide open door in Germany that we were sure about.  I was so sure I was planning vacation & educational trips with the Lewis family.  Then God said “no”.  Instead he sent us to Irving – Irving??  Really God???  But it was so good!!  So many dear friends – a wonderful church, and the best part being there for the last months of Robert’s grandparents time here.    SO we saw God’s hand (after it all) and we were once again so thankful. 

Then he led us to Malakoff – we could again see his hand in each step we took.  And sometimes I am amazed at how he says “yes” in a BIG way.  I mean I love it here.  My kids love it here.  Robert loves his job.  Really God?  This good?

And yet in the back of my mind, I wonder, “But we were willing to go anywhere for you and were willing to endure hardships” (I was even willing to give up my bread stuff – big hardships!!)  And yet, he said “I want you here.”

So as we settle in.  As we have found our church.  As we meet new friends.  God has revealed our very own “Africa” here in Malakoff.  It is not a third world town – in fact it is just a normal small town city in the middle of no where.  As we serve in the kid’s ministry at our church and meet kids there we see our mission field.  As I make new friends I see ways I can pray for them and with them through big stuff in their lives. 

So while we were willing to go anywhere, God knew where he was going to send us and it was not across oceans.  It was not to inner cities across America.  It was not in a “real” ministry.  It was right here.  On our little “farm” – with our pond and chickens.  It was right where we are.  He has given us a ministry beyond what we could have imagined.

And again, I stand in awe – I feel unworthy of all that he has set before us.  These children who are starved for attention.  These hungry souls who need a savior, but they also need real flesh and blood to hug them, to pray for them, to love them.  I see young families that yearn for fellowship and encouragement in their stage of life.  I see so much. 

That video – I think it changed my eyes.  It reminded me that I do not want to see through my filter of life, I want the eyes of Jesus.  I want to see what he sees when he looks at this world.  I want to see the hurt hearts and not the anger.  I want to see the despair and not the mean spirit.  I want to see the need for love and not the fear. 

And as I realize how unworthy I am of all that he has set before me I see even more my need to be in fellowship with the One who can give me what I need to pour out to those who need it.  I need to carve out that time each morning to be with him, in prayer, in study, in silence to hear from him.  To be filled with his spirit and his love, so that I can turn around to my children, to my friends and to those I do not know yet, and pour out that which he has filled me with.

God is so good.  I love this time of year when we stand and pour out our thankfulness to the One who has given us everything.


Today I am so thankful for

~ our home

~ sweet kittens who are loving to snuggle with us

~ puppies who delight in a pat and kind word

~ a church of people that I am coming to love so quickly

~ friends who jump in and love you immediately

~ windy fall mornings to enjoy warm coffee

~ Ruby Red grapefruit with fried egg sandwiches

~ watching little ones play games at the table

~ the promise of a wood burning stove in our living room

~ a completed chicken coop & 22 happy chickens :)

~ staying up until midnight talking about God and Life

~ snuggling in the morning under the sheets

~ family with new boots! (Thanks Nana & Louie)

~ children with teachable hearts

~ a pastor who preaches truth & has a huge heart for missions

~ feeling God stirring my heart & not knowing where it will lead, but knowing it will be good!!

~ filled compassion boxes and waiting to see where they go

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

animals everywhere

We have made some recent additions and many improvements around here!

Robert has done a fantastic job with the chicken coop this past week!  It turned out great – and the chickens seem to love it!  Today we added the grazing yard for them and they were even happier!  Well it seemed that way anyway!  It took a while for a few to venture out of their coop – but those that did found lots of goodies waiting for them!  They were offered many fresh grasshoppers and other yummy bugs!  They enjoyed some dust bathes as well!

 farm life fall 2010 001 Here is our coop with our detachable grazing cover.

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You can see the ramp they can use to go in and out of the coop – and you can see all our sweet young chickens enjoying the sun, fresh air, and bugs!!


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Here are a few hoping for some grasshoppers!


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Here is the inside of the coop- there are not nesting boxes yet, but they will come before the girls need them!


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Another shot of their coop – lots of room and a warm light – what more could they want!?


So our latest additions are here:

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This is Shasta our new male barn kitty – he is super sweet and very cuddly!


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This is Aravis – our sweet female barn cat – Shasta’s sister.

(she looks a bit mean, but she is not!  She has a beautiful face)

They came to us through a friend whose cat got out the week before getting fixed – and here are the results!!

So we have 2 great little cats – about 10 weeks old.  They currently live in the school – until they get a little bigger.  We are hoping they knock out our gopher infestation – and also fight off some snakes this next spring!!

Life is rolling right along here on the Farm  - it is starting to really turn into a farm with all these animals!  The chickens are getting quite big (especially compared to their size when they arrived!) – the puppies are completely adjusted.  They enjoy playing with the kids each day once school is over, they love to run around our property at times too, but all too often end up at the compost – they think it is an open buffet I think!

Katie is settled in wonderfully – she is sure she is the queen of the house – especially when the puppies are around – she loves to torment them!

Our real children are in heaven with all these animals to play with – but with the fun comes lots of work as well – good habit training for them!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

the Season

It’s almost Thanksgiving here.  What does that look like?  How do we live out a celebration of Thanksgiving every day – and yet capture it on a deeper level in November to “celebrate” the actual holiday?  I mean, I want to cultivate a spirit of thanks in our home year round.  That is our goal.  But in November, in particular, I want to set aside time to really honor this holiday for what it stands for. 

November traditions for us include getting our thankful/gratitude journal down from the last few years that we have recorded our daily thanks in, listening to the Family Like audio drama telling of the First Thanksgiving, and listening to the Hymn CD that came with the book and the audio drama.  This year, I am a little behind.  It is already the 13th and while we have found our journal and started making our daily entries, that is about all I have done. 

I try to be super intentional in November in my discussions with the kids – about all the things we have to be thankful for.  We can look back on these past 2 years and see God’s hand moving us from one place to the next and really be amazed at how good he is.  We talk a lot about others who has so much less, around the world and a mile from here.  How we can be the hands and feet of Jesus – to love them.  We fill our compassion boxes and talk about those children who will receive them.  So I try to emphasize a greater spirit of thankfulness, but if I am really trying to do this year round it can be a challenge to do more this time of the year.

While we are balancing all the emotions of this season, and as I try to cling to a heart of gratitude, I still look ahead to my heart for Christmas.  So in the back of my mind I have really thought a great deal about all that we have to celebrate on Christmas day too – and the thanks surrounding the gift of Jesus.   So while I do not want to start my Christmas celebration too early, I hope to really get my heart right with both of these holidays.


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In our Sunday School class we have been talking about the Advent Conspiracy – this is something I have loved for years now!  Every year I try to be intentional about how we handle our celebrations.  I want it to be fun, but more than that, I want it to be   genuinely about the reason we celebrate – both holidays.  

So in years past we have tried to keep things simple, but this year we are really taking bigger strides to keeping our priorities in check.  Realizing that we need nothing in our lives – we don’t need new clothes, candles, PJs, or really any other stuff.  Don’t get me wrong.  I still in my heart struggle because on some level I want those things.  But when I look at it like this : either get a new Yankee Candle ($20) or put $20 toward giving a child fresh water to drink.  That candle begins to have very little value in my life.

So Robert and I have been trying to see where we can cut back – where we can give more.  Give more to others who are REALLY in need – not just in want, like us. 


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So I wanted to share one our favorite traditions that we added about 3 years ago to our holidays.  We start on December 1st.  We combine those Advent Chocolate calendars (that wonderfully arrived today from my folks!!) with a Jesse Tree.  In the past we put our Jesse tree ornaments on our big tree each night, but this year, since we have real trees now, and can cut a branch – by golly – we are going to have a real stick Jesse tree.



If you are not familiar with a Jesse tree it is a daily devotion – about 5 minutes – and it takes you from Creation to the cross each day – and you put an ornament somewhere for each day. 



The second year we did this we combined it with the chocolate because I found the kids much  more eager if they were going to have a little treat at the end, it helped me remember because they reminded me, and honestly I feel that when we study God’s word it is sweet and it is easy for me to plant that in their hearts and minds – how sweet it is to be in His word.

There are tons of Jesse tree plans on the web – but our favorite is   HERE .  The last 3 years or so I used the drawings they have, put them on cardstock and let the kids color them and then laminated them.  This year I am  TRYING to get my act together and make the ornaments – may not get all 25 done, but we will see.

Anyway I love this tradition, it is honestly one of my favorites and the kids love it too.  I know they know nearly all those stories by heart, but it is still a blessing to go through them each  night.  Hopefully this year my boys will take turns reading them to all of us.

As I continue to try and find balance amidst a crazy Christmas world, I hope to lose some of the meaningless and replace it with more genuine worship of him!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I wake up in this new house every morning, and I think to myself how I love it here.  I love the open land that surrounds our “homey” home.  I love the trees.  I love the sunrise over the school building – and how it peeks through the trees.  I love to hear the coyotes at night as they wander this area.  I love the smell of pine at the end of our driveway.

But, most of all, I love it here because I know this is where God brought us for this season of our lives.  He brought us to this house, to our church, to this place.  And when I see this


view from my porch


I am reminded that he is SO good I could never fathom it.  For him to create such an amazing sunset almost every night here, I am simply awestruck over his creativity, his beauty and his love for us.


sky ablaze


He is a magnificent creator – and I love his work!!


 sunset tonight

And I am a mere mortal, and yet one of his many creations – and I know that he sees me as just as beautiful as these images of his amazing sunset!  He makes no mistakes – and he sees each one us as unique and beautiful!!

Hope you were blessed today by his goodness!


What does combat look like? 

As a country we have watched numerous young men and women trek off to fight a war half way across the world.  We know those soldiers are trained.  Many have trained for many years, some have had lots of training recently.  We send them off with the tools they need to do their job, whether that is communications (with phones, radio, computers), or pilots (with helicopters or airplanes), Infantry (with weapons and well, weapons).  Anyway, you get my point.

I have been in combat the last few days.  Unexpected Combat.

And last night, as I was thinking about how I have been handling this combat, I realized a few things. 

One, God has been preparing me for this battle for some time.  One way has been scripture memorization.  I started out the year strong, I was adding a verse each 15 days to work on.  Then I stumbled, a few times, finally fell and well, there went my plan.  But lately, God has helped me make it a priority again.  So the kids and I are adding scripture every day – we are memorizing together and I am loving it.  So when I battle started, and Satan came along filling my head with lies, fears, and so on, I simply recalled any and every verse I could.  Many did not pertain directly to this battle, but they filled my mind with truth instead of lies.

I can honestly tell you it was crazy to lay there and feel the old thoughts creep into my mind and I would just stop them and recall a verse.  As soon as I would do that, another thought would creep back in, and so it went for a while, until one of gave up – not sure who but sleep arrived and the battle paused.

It has to be intentional, otherwise we give in to those fears and thoughts.  We listen to them, they give life to new ones and before we know it we are plagued with irrational fears and thoughts and then we change how to act because of what we start to believe.  Does that make sense?  We start to give weight to those fears and it eats away at our faith in God and who he is and what he can do.

And as I think about how God was working the soil of my heart and putting truth there to take root, he was preparing me for these past days, and the days to come.  I have not looked at these particular verses thinking, wow I am going to need this one next week – I just wanted to put his words into my heart.

Another way is that I have been more diligent in my prayer life in the past couple months.  I have been trying to pray daily for many who are in my life.  And that has helped as well, to lay a framework for a change heart in my.  I always heard to pray for your enemies because it is hard to stay upset with someone you are truly praying for, and I think I am finally believing it.

Battle is exhausting though.  

My battles usually wage at night. 

That has always been my story – Satan creeps in with the dark and finds  a spot to speak lies into my mind while the light is away for the night.  But I have finally figured out how to wage a much fairer fight (for my sake) and that is by bringing REAL light into my darkness through his Word. 

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.  John 1:5

So know that you may be training today, for a battle that you do not see on the horizon.  We need to be faithful during the times of peace in our life, in order to be equipped to fight when the battle is there.  If our soldiers were couch potatoes and then went off to war, the battle would not be a well prepared one.  Instead, they train, every day.  They establish good habits, every day.  And when the battle begins they do not have to think about what to do, they rely on those habits and that training and they are routinely successful! 

God is good, he is faithful.  And believe it or not, he fights many of our battles for us!  And another good reminder : our battle is not with other people.  Satan uses other people to attack us, but the root problem is SATAN – he is who we battle every day, not people.  Instead, let’s pray for those people and fight against Satan, and we will glorify our Lord through all we do!

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Ephesians 6:12

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

doubting and unbelief


What does it mean today – what does it look like to be a follower of Jesus?

Does it mean that you have walked the isle, prayed the prayer (that David Platt points out is not even in the Bible), and committed to doing your best to live “right”?

Or does it mean that you have been transformed? Gone beyond trying to live a “right” life and that every day you wake up with a heart to serve others, your family, and most importantly Him?

Lately, I have seemed to notice how the disciples struggled throughout their time with Jesus - with who he was. And yet so many of us today think we know. Honestly? How is that, that WE think we know HIM who lived 2000 years ago, and yet his closest friends were clueless?

That is like my great-great-great grandkids thinking they know me better than say Kristen or Jennifer – 2 ladies who have spent lots of time with me, have seen me on good days and bad. Really? Is that possible?

Or have we missed it somehow, in just taking things at face value and being too busy to really delve into what it all means?

I mean, these men walked with him every day. They left everything to be with him. They put their lives, families and everything they owned on the line to follow this “man” and yet time and again they struggled with their belief. So why don’t we? Do we not care enough to chew on it all enough to get the real nourishment from it? Do we just want to check blocks and get on with the real part of our day? Or do we even just leave it all up to that “great” pastor who leads us every Sunday morning?

I think we are missing it.

Mark 6:51

They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.

Wow! Those amazing men we read about, study – they had hard hearts? After watching Jesus feed 5000 men (not including all their families) and yet they did not understand???

Matthew 28:17

When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.

Again – how do you doubt who this man is after watching him die on the cross exactly the way the prophesies foretold. You walked with this man for countless hours, days, weeks, even years and yet you still doubted??

John 20:27

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand, put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe”.

Again, I am amazed at how Jesus handled these weak minded disciples. (I say this admitting they are not as weak as I am – but weak all the same). I almost wonder, if he was not upset about their unbelief because at least it meant that it mattered, that they were not just swallowing whatever he fed them. He knew they had to be thinking about it all in order to come to a point of unbelief.

Does that make sense?

I mean, in order for me to realize I do not believe something I need to think about what I heard and process it against what I believe in general. Then I decide to believe or not.

So we are called to live a “changed” life as believers. But how many of us are really doing that? I mean, most of us are mostly moral people and would not do terrible things to begin with. So how did becoming a Christian change you in a “radical” way?

I think I know the answer for me. I know it has changed my heart. It has changed how I look at life, how I approach it with the end in mind and live accordingly. Does it look that way every day? Heck no! But I take heart in that Jesus was not angry with his weak minded disciples, he did not rebuke Thomas. In fact, he called him to himself to show him. It was a gentle, loving man that wanted to help Thomas believe the truth.

I hope that Jesus would feel the same way with me on my bad days, would bring me in closer to reassure me that he is who he is, regardless of what I believe in my heart at that moment. Our hearts can fail us. Satan feeds lies into our hearts and our minds. And yet, we need to know what we believe and why we believe it. It requires us to think on such things, to chew on them like a cow her cud, over and over. Or we will never really believe any of it, and we will never really be changed in such a way that God can use us to do radical things for his Glory.

It’s all about how we live our lives, if we look for ways to be his hands to those who do not know him. Do we look for ways to reach out to the lost, to hug them, to love them, to serve them, or do we turn away in our discomfort and walk away thinking someone else will do it? What heritage are we passing to our children as we walk through life? One of walking aimlessly along – saying we believe but not showing it in any facet of our lives? Or are we teaching them to walk along and wonder, reflect, think deeply about who we are and who they are? Are we teaching them to reach out to those in need? Are we living it?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


We had some friends over today to play in this wonderfully cool weather!  It was the perfect day to make some pumpkin scones and some Butternut Squash soup.  I used THIS recipe for the scones and made up my own for the soup.

Butternut Squash Soup

1 Butternut Squash mash - (I halved it and roasted it for about 45 minutes, scooped it out and put it in the fridge for later)

1 large apple diced

1 onion diced

1 small pear diced

2 carrots diced

4 c chicken broth


I drizzled coconut oil in my soup pot – and sautéed all the veggies.  I cooked them until they were tender – then I added the chicken broth and brought it to a boil.

I added the squash (from the fridge) it was clumpy and stringy but that is okay, you will puree in a minute so do not worry about it.

After it boiled for a little while, I poured it into my blender (in parts) and pureed the entire mixture.

I was going to add milk, but we decided that it was great without the milk.

NOTE: I then boiled a box of noodles, added some butter, milk and cheese (like I would to make mac & cheese) then I poured the soup all over it.  This is similar to Deceptively Delicious or the Sneaky Chef – but my kids love knowing what it is and I do not have to sneak!


After we ate, we decided to make some salt-dough ornaments too -

and I used THIS recipe after Jennifer saw the ones I made last week and was surprised by how smooth they were.  Here is a copy of it for you to try out!


Classic Salt Dough Ornament Recipe

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water

1. Mix salt and flour.
2. Add in half the water, then gradually add the remaining water.
3. Knead until the dough is smooth, this can take up to 10 minutes.
4. For flat dough ornaments roll out the dough on baking paper
Or be creative and make odd shapes and wreaths (takes longer to bake)

Use cookie cutters, cut-out templates, or just use your hands.
Dust dough with flour and begin to add details to the ornaments with a toothpick, popsicle stick, and knife.  

Don't Forget:
Use a straw to make a hole so you can hang the ornament.

Baking: Time varies based on thickness of ornament
Temperature: 325 degrees
Time: 1 1/2 hours - or until dry

Decorate: Let cool before you begin
Paint with acrylic paints
Glue on beads, buttons, or any fun accessory

Preservation: Making them last a long time
Coat with acrylic varnish when everything is dry

*** Color Variation Notes from our Visitors***
Substitute coffee for water - great for gingerbread people - Thanks, Shelly
- Add food coloring to make dough a unique color - white, blue, red, etc...

I do admit, both times I have made these ornaments I have done so  without the kids being involved, but this is so easy I would not mind doing it with them at all! 

All this fun on a dreary rainy day!  The only thing missing is a fire!  Hopefully soon…..

Monday, November 1, 2010

Growing their wings

Watching these little chicks is so much fun!  It seems almost therapeutic right now.  The garage is quiet except for their little music-like peeps.  I love to sit out there and just watch them!

Here are some pics of when they first got here

baby chicks 


little boys

And here they are today – with wings coming in nicely!!

boys getting bigger

Here are our broilers – they are starting to get plump!!  But they are still very active!  They love to catch grasshoppers we throw in there!!  It is hysterical to watch them run around with them!!


getting bigger


Here are some of my future hens – the striped on their sides are their new wings coming in – they are going to be so pretty!!

  maggie growing wings

This is my favorite girl – by the back – the grey looking one – this is Maggie – she is so pretty and the only one with her coloring!!

growing wings

The bird on the right with the brown and tan is Peck – she likes to peck everything, eyes, mouths, tail feathers – she is driving the other girls crazy!! I guess there is always one girl in a crowd that drives the others crazy! That is Peck here!  But she has the fullest cheeks and will still be a beauty!!


That is all that is going on here.  We did enjoy a homemade pumpkin pie today (with real pumpkin) and it turned out pretty yummy!  We used a cooking light recipe that I would use again!!

And we started our Gratitude Notebook/Journal again this year – in the past I have written down what the kids were thankful for each day we did school.  This year, I found that same journal and I am having the kids write it down each day in their own handwriting.  I also plan to get something in the kitchen where the kids can write stuff they think about during the day and talk about it every night at dinner.  (I am stealing this idea from Ann @ Holy Experience)  Or we will do the slips of paper that they can fill out and put into a basket then we can read through them each night.  Either way it gives them a chance to “be heard” and contribute.

As November came far faster than I expected, I welcome Her with a smile and a nod.   I love this month, I love that we can be so ever thankful and it not be out of the ordinary.  Maybe it comes easier for me to be thankful each day when I have Thanksgiving on my mind.


my gratitude list today:

~ a fresh pumpkin pie that my oldest son helps me make

~ 23 thriving chicks who seem quite content to me

~ a new church home that I think we are going to enjoy growing in

~ cool breezes coming in the window as the house quiets with children sleeping

~ school in a routine (albeit a few bumps) and enjoying it

~ the promise of visitors to our home

~ making new friends, and growing closer to each other as we grow closer to Him

~ enjoying where I am today – loving it really :)

~ hugging a child who smells like the outdoors

~ dirty feet of a little girl who fell asleep behind her door

~ a floor that promises to renew our home

~ being moved to tears by words from Heaven written by the hand of a gifted woman

~ watching all that I love around me change every day

I love November!   And I am thankful for much!


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