Thursday, July 28, 2011

A letter to my daughter...


In six days, you will be a kindergarten student.  We have been anticipating this day with mixed emotions since we first laid eyes on you.  It seems like yesterday, we received the call of your birth and in a flurry of activity and emotion, drove like crazy people to see your precious face.  You were tiny and perfect, soft and cozy and in need of our nurturing in every aspect of your life.  A precious gift from GOD in every way.  You stole our hearts that cold day in January and at 1:29 in the afternoon, when I held you for the first time, my heart was made complete. 

The last five years have been wonderful.  We've nursed your boo-boos, laughed at your crazy antics until we were gasping for breath, prayed for your renewed health, been in awe of your abilities despite such a rough start in life and most of all.....loved you with reckless abandon.  We have done everything possible to provide an enriching that is as colorful and happy as the one you have provided us with.  We've watched as you've embraced every challenge and mastered things well beyond your age groups.  Your compassion and faith in GOD rivals that of most adults and children of all ages are drawn to you.  In my eyes, you are one of GOD's greatest masterpieces.

You are about to embark on a new chapter in your life.  You will surely meet adversity, be tempted and tested in your faith, shed tears, gain and loose friends and go through more trials than you can possibly imagine.  My prayer for you, baby girl, is that you will meet each trial with strength and faith.  My mind is awash with questions.  Have we prepared you properly both socially and academically?  Have we made the right decision about your school?  Will your teacher accept you for who you are?  My heart tells me you are apprehensive and share my fears.  Am I doing enough to quiet your fears or are you feeding of the apprehension that I work so hard to suppress?  My promise to you is that I will make mistakes and I will shed tears, but I will ALWAYS act in a way that I feel is best for you.  My decisions will be formed out of love and much prayer.

There may come a time when you are embarrassed of us and feel that you don't need us anymore.  My mind says that is okay while my heart screams for my baby!  Please be patient with mom and dad....and never forget how much we love you.  Momma has always told you that love makes people do foolish things and parents are most certainly not exempt from that. 

Most of all, I want you to know how proud we are of you!  Your best will always be enough. 


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bittersweet changes

Tomorrow, baby girl (and her daddy and I) will be attending kindergarten launch day.  I am filled with a mix of dread, sadness, excitement, wonder and disbelief.  Can someone say "I NEED A NERVE PILL?"  Seriously, the day is here far too soon and I am struggling with my emotions.  It seems like yesterday I put my eyes on her for the first time.  So wrinkly and new and a wee bit premature.  She was helpless and couldn't live without me.  My how things have changed.   As much as I celebrate her milestones and increasing independance, it's hard.

Many changes have been expected and some have been downright shocking.  I was not prepared for her to already be embarrassed by her parents.  We can no longer hold her hands, hug or kiss her in public and she is even turning out to be our fashion consultant.  Mom's outfits usually meet her approval, but dear old dad is another story.  Overnight, she has turned into an eye-rolling, hands on hips, cringing mess.  Who knows what will happen when she is around other children.  Now I'm an eye-rolling, cringing mess. SIGH!  I'm sure our adventures are just beginning.

Luckily, I love her new teacher, love her school and have many good friends who will checking in on her from time to time.  Her pink bookbag is monogrammed as is her lunchbox, her clothes are oh so stylish and she is tickled pink.  Hopefully some of her excitement will rub off on me....please, let it rub off on me.  I hope and pray she doesn't see right through my optomistic, excited front.  I am nothing but counterfit right now.....purely counterfit.  I want my BABY back!

Now that I have sickened y'all and embarrassed myself, I will end this pathetic post...:)  Of course I will update later in the week!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Deviled eggs

My chickens have been busy, REALLY busy.  Despite 96 degree temps and ungodly humidity, my flock seems to be flourishing.  Long story short, I am getting way more eggs than I can handle.  This afternoon I decided enough was enough.  Deviled eggs are a wonderful way to use up a bunch of eggs.  Older eggs do tend to work better....fresh eggs are very hard to peel as the membrane is hard to separate from the eggs. 

Oh how I love good deviled eggs.  Oh how I loathe mediocre deviled eggs.  You know the type...the pasty, tasteless, and with a thick, lumpy filling.  It makes me shudder.  For me, the secret to a good deviled egg is a smooth, light filling with a bit of zip to it.  A balance of richness, sweetness and tartness.  When I say light, I do not mean light in  Do not be confused--a good DE will be high in fat!!!

Start of with as many eggs as you like (for the sake of this recipe we will use 8).  Put eggs in saucepan and fill with cool water until eggs are covered.  Bring the eggs up to a boil and boil for one minutes.  Cover the saucepan with a lid and turn off heat.  Let eggs sit for 15 minutes before putting them in cool water.  This is the BEST way I have found to make hard-boiled eggs.  The yolk is tender but completely cooked and the white is firm but tender. 

After eggs have cooled and are peeled, put all yolks in a food processor.  This is very important and the only way I have ever been able to get a smooth, lump-free filling.  Add 1 tsp (or more to taste) of apple cider vinegar, a pinch of kosher salt, 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper and 1/3 cup Miracle Whip (no substitutions!!!).  Give ingredients a whirl until nice and smooth.  Your end result should be light yellow and the consistency of pudding.  You may need to add more Miracle Whip, but I think you will like the end result.  There are many ways to make this recipe your could add chives, dill, cheese, really anything that suits your taste.  These eggs will become your staple, I'm sure of it.  They are perfect!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What a week!

This last week has been hectic!  I've been freezing corn, peppers and squash; digging potatoes, etc.  It's been dangerously hot and that means much more care for our outdoor animals, not to mention watering the garden and flowers twice a day.  Baby girls new teacher made a house visit one day, we've had two Birthday parties to attend, my Birthday was this week, Vacation Bible School prep has been going on, shew....I could go on and on.  It's been that kind of week.  Quite literally, I've been working from sunup to sundown with little down I haven't been able to blog until now.  The funny thing is, now that I have a moment, I am at a loss for words.  All week, I had "blogable" thoughts running through my mind and they have disappeared along with my sanity.  Lol.

Without being too specific, we have also faced a couple of potential health crises this week.  Emotionally, I have been struggling.  My healthy, sole bread-winning husband came to me last week with a major concern that rocked my world.  There was nothing for me to do but begin making specialist appts and PRAY.  I've always felt that prayer is one of my spiritual gifts, but when the issue at hand is so life changing, I didn't know how to pray.  Praying for God's will takes on a whole new meaning when it's YOUR husband, YOUR everything, the love of your life.  What if GOD's will didn't include a miraculous healing, what if his will didn't coincide with my own.  Oh make things worse, my husband ask that no one know what was going on.  Our pastor was told and that was it.  I had no one to go to but GOD.  It was going to have to be enough....I knew it was enough, but I'd never had to rely completely on my faith before.

As I began to study and pray, I got a whole new meaning out of a couple of verses I was already familiar with.  The first verse if Philippians 4:6.  Do not be anxious for anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to GOD.  I also found a great deal of comfort in James 1:2-3, 6.  My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into trials.  Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let him ask in faith, without doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

Do you ever feel like you are being tossed about in the sea of life.  I certainly do!  More specifically, there have been times in the last week that I have felt hopeless.  Through much prayer, GOD began to speak into my heart some simple truths.  Fully surrendering our lives to him is the only way we will ever live a joyous life.  Until we truly surrender ourselves and our families to him, we will constantly struggle with strife, fear and insecurity due to the things of this world.  We can only control our health, wealth and happiness to a certain extent.  We may eat organically, watch our weight and still lose a battle to melanoma, we may live frugally and contribute to 401k and find ourselves unemployed and losing everything.  We can allow ourselves to worry ourselves into a tizzy or we can lay all our problems at his feet and BELIEVE that he will guide us as he sees fit.  In the last week, I have realized that if we give our problems to GOD, he will give us an answer we can live with. 

Wednesday, I accompanied my husband to a specialist and was at peace.  Sitting in the waiting room, I thought to myself that this must be the peace that passes all understanding.  Had to be, I mean normally, I would have been literally sick with worry.  Sleep would be out of the question, I wouldn't be eating, would be throwing nerves would be shot.  As he left me for his exam, I smiled and said "Everything will be fine".  He smiled and said "Yes, I know god has healed me, I can feel it."  If I"m being honest, I normally would cringe inwardly when hearing those words.  To me, it's always been a phrase that's proclaimed after a good outcome.  Who's to say God has anything to do with it!?  I'm ashamed to say that the old me, the me from a week prior has probably shamed GOD many, many times.  James 1:17 tells me that "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of Heavenly lights, who does not change life shifting shadows.  Wow.  Shifting shadows.  To me, I think of Satan lurking in the darkness making things appear good while he seeks to destroy.  Our GOD does not lurk in the shadows, he is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  When my husband walked backed out in the waiting room, I knew GOD had made everything right.  His specialist is watching a situation, but honestly believes we have a benign situation.  My hubby wasn't even sent for any testing.  As we linked arms and walked out to our car, I was thinking about how we really are conquerors in Christ.  When I was thinking tumor, he was saying cyst, when I was thinking financial devastation, he was allowing only a minor inconvenience, and when I was thinking surgery and treatments, he allowed a brief exam.  I am in awe of such an awesome savior and truly believe we were allowed to go through this because of me.  My hard head couldn't be penetrated unless he came through my husband. 

If you are like I was and constantly struggling with fear and worry, I ask you to study these verses and humble yourselves toward GOD.  Ask him to help you trust him completely and he will.  It is refreshing, humbling, exciting and scary at times, but worth every minute.  The only advice I can give is to hold on, because if you are like me, he may have to take drastic measures.

Blackberry dumplins

A few weeks ago, my family and I went to a blackberry farm and picked til our hearts were content.  Well, almost.  It was 96 degrees and we picked til we gave out, really.  We managed 5 gallons.  After freezing them, I have been on a mission to find the PERFECT recipe.  I've found some good ones, but this one that I'm fixing to share with y'all is a family favorite.  When I tell people Blackberry dumplins are the best way to eat blackberries, I get several different reactions.  They range from looks of disgust to curiosity.   The dish is simple, yet complicated....rustic, yet elegant and I promise you won't be disappointed in the end result.  That being said, my mommas is better than mine and I can't figure that out, but nevertheless, mine is pretty good.  Also, I don't normally post a lot of pics with my recipes, but with this one, it was a must.

First, start with two cups of blackberries and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan.  You will need to add some water and I added two cups.  There's no specific will just need to watch the amount of juice you have when adding the dumplins.  You can easily adjust at several different points. 

Bring the berries and sugar up to a slow boil and allow berries to break apart and create a luscious, cranberry colored syrup.  Should take 5-7 minutes.  I even used frozen berries and my cooking time didn't change.

See what I mean?!  Wow.  Many recipes call for straining the juice at this point.  It's perfectly acceptable to do and please do if if you feel like it.  This woman does not strain her blackberry concoction because frankly, the texture of the seeds does not bother me (or my tummy) and I do not want to do anything to make this recipe take longer.  The sooner I can plate this up the better!  Keep your berries and juice simmering while you make the dumplins.  Combine 1 cup of self-rising flour with 2 tbsp of butter and cut in until butter is the size of peas.  Add enough milk to make a sticky dough.  I would say around a 1/2 cup.  Again, this will depend on several factors, especially humidity.  Our humidity has been hovering around 80%, so I have to use less liquid than most.

When dough leaves sides of bowl, you are  ready to pour out onto a well-floured surface.  Oh how I love to work with dough!!!  After kneading a few times, you will have a perfect little ball of dough!

Next, roll out dough to an 1/8" thickness and cut into squares.  Hopefully yours will be less irregular than mine...I still think my Five yr old did a pretty dang good job!

Drop dumplings into your simmering juice and cover and cook for 20 minutes.  NO PEEKING ALLOWED.  This is soo important.  I am no good at no peeking, so I make sure my pots and pans have glass lids.  I am a cheater when it comes to food ;)

This is what your dumplins should look like as soon as you drop them.....but in 20 short minutes you will have this....

If you want to be a really bad girl like me, feel free to spoon them up while they are still steamin' and pour cold heavy cream over the top.  I cannot stress how wonderful this is.  A scoop of vanilla ice cream doesn't hurt the experience either.  Whenever I make this recipe, I can't help but feel like my momma is standing next to me in the kitchen.  This is true Southern cooking at its finest.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Be still my heart

Tonight, my sweet, loving, redneck husband took me out for an early Birthday present.  My birthday is the 20th and due to various reasons, we will not be able to celebrate much next week or weekend.  The first leg of our journey was a distillery tour at Heaven Hill.  Living only 20 miles from the "Bourbon trail", it is surprising that I have only toured a distillery once and that was when I was Seven.  My precious devout Christian grandparents took my cousin and I to Barton distilleries.  Now that I think about it, the trip was strange.....enjoyable, but strange.  I really don't know why they saw fit to take us there, but I have never forgotten the smell of cooking mash, the yeasty aroma and the feeling of wanting to taste the forbidden end result.  My husband has mentioned several times that he would like to take a tour, so today was the day.  We were able to take a deluxe tour that lasted over an hour and it was wonderful.  We were given the history by a knowledgeable member of the Beam family (huge in bourbon) while walking down a path lined in glorious butterfly bushes.  The smells of the flowers overwhelmed our senses while butterflies swirled around our heads.  As we made our trek to a warehouse, the scent of bourbon and charred oak became stronger and stronger.  After touring the warehouse, we were invited back to a private tasting.  It was a perfect adventure! NOTE:  I did not partake of the tasting as we had our Five year old with us and we were not allowed to enter the tasting room with her.  That is okay by me and I have decided the smell of bourbon is MUCH better than the taste.  Blech!

After our distillery tour, we were starving.  Bardstown is VERY familiar to us as are the restaurants.  We were hoping for something different and relaxed with an inventive menu.  If I'm being honest, hubby was looking for quiet and relaxed and I was looking for inventive cuisine!!  We stumbled upon a new restaurant called Circa and it looked perfect.  The restaurant is located in a quaint two story home full of character and southern charm.  The grounds were well landscaped and the outdoor terrace looked very inviting.  We knew we had to give the restaurant a try.  Upon stepping inside, I knew we were in good hands.  The restaurant was classy, but not overly done and I felt very comfortable.  My redneck hubby wasn't as enthused as I, but was very pleased with the menu.  I wanted to try EVERYTHING.  From the beingnets made from pulled pork and makers mark barbecue sauce to the caprese salad with fresh pesto.  Heaven forbid I forget to mention the braised rabbit with mushroom ragu served over homemade gnocci.  Wow is all I can say.  I cannot wait to go back and try something new and enjoy a lovely glass of wine.  This restaurant is huge for a girl who has always had to travel over an hour one way for a decent food experience.  Woohoo!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The best ever.

Meatloaf, that is.  I know what y'all are thinking....meatloaf is grody.  The texture, the grease, the blandness of it all.  For years, I've avoided the stuff like the plague.  My mom's was gross, my granny's was gross and as far as I was concerned if they couldn't do it right, no one could.  Fast forward to me entering married life and my husband ask why I never fixed meatloaf.  Just the thought of it made me queasy...why couldn't he understand that?  Turns out, he is a meatloaf fan.  So, I went on a quest to make the perfect meatloaf.  Ashamedly, I will admit that my goal was not to satisfy my husband.  It was for my own personal satisfaction.  Failure I can handle in small doses, but that failure must not involve my culinary skills.  The kitchen is where I excel and am most competitive.  Quite possibly the biggest challenge I've ever given myself was to come up with a eatable meatloaf...Lol.  I am giggling because I'm quite sure if my husband read this blog, he would look into having me committed.  Hopefully he didn't marry me for my sanity alone!!!

Anyway, I ate a lot of nasty meatloaf before coming up with this one.  This meatloaf is now a family favorite.  My sweet brother, Geremy, could eat his weight in this recipe.

Best Meatloaf Eva

3/4 cup ketchup
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 lbs ground beef ( 80/20)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup crushed saltine crackers
1TBSP minced garlic
1TBSP brown sugar

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick foil.  Whisk 1/2 cup ketchup with next five ingredients in a large bowl.  Add beef, onion, pepper, saltines and garlic.  Mix well with hands or wooden spoon.  Place on baking sheet and pat into 11x5 oval loaf. Combine  rest of ketchup and brown sugar and pour over meatloaf.  Bake 50 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in center registers 160 degrees.  Wait 5 minutes before slicing.  Serves 6-8.
Try it out, y'all.  I think you will be pleasantly suprised.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Giggles and tears of joy make for a great night!!!

All my life, I've had a great love of reading.  When my workaholic parents were busy, I read.  When I was bored, I read.  Lonely, read.  You get the idea......One of my favorite gifts as a child was my Little House on the Prarie book collection given to me by my granny and papaw.  I was Seven.  As soon as my party was over, I escaped to my room and read the first book of the series with gusto.  In no time at all, I was swept away to the banks of Plum Creek with Laura Ingalls.  I could almost imagine fishing with a twig and a piece of string....or how exciting it would be to dance to Pa's fiddle playing every night before bedtime.  I could taste the sweetness of maple syrup candy made during the Christmas season by pouring a small stream of hot syrup onto cold, packed snow.  As I got older, I moved onto more mature books, of course, but I always enjoy going back to my roots (lol) and re-reading my Little House books.  The set is still intact, albeit a bit worn and with yellowed pages, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Tonight, my precious daughter, started a new chapter in her little life.  She is now a reader.  Now, I will admit she is a pretty sharp girl, much sharper than I ever was, but she can be stubborn.  She has refused to believe it, but she has been reading for some time.  This summer, we have been doing general kindergarten prep and I decided to step up her reading readiness skills.  We made a game of sticking index cards on various items in our home.  On the cards, I would write the name of the object and she would work on sounding them out and pronouncing the words.  She has had so much fun the last two days looking for new cards.  Today, we went to the library and checked out a beginning reader set.  The set is Bob books, set 1, beginning readers.  The set has several short stories (maybe 11?) that start super simple and slowly progress in difficulty.  She took out book one and read without any problem.  I was floored.  She continued to book four without trouble.  It was precious.  Baby girl had no idea what she was doing.  She looked up at me once and noticed the tears streaming down my face and said "what?"  About that time, she gave me a huge smile and squealed with joy.....I'm reading!!!!

After putting my happy girl to bed, I pulled out my Little House set and carried them to her room.  They are now setting proudly on her bookshelf waiting to be cherished by a new set of hands.  It will happen soon enough....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Simple womans daybook

I have enjoyed reading these type of posts on other blogs and though I would try my hand at it tonight.  Here goes:

Outside my window.....the sky is dark and calm.  A blessing after a couple of stormy nights.

I'm thinking it seems impossible to be so tired yet unable to sleep.

I am thankful husband and how he makes me feel needed, wanted and loved at all times.

From my learning......I am realizing going back to school has given me a great confidence boost.

From the kitchen.....My third load of dishes for the day is going in the dishwasher and everything is neat and tidy :)

I am wearing....comfy cotton shorts and a tank top, my usual bed attire.

I am creating......a scrapbook for a special friend.

I am bed SOON.

I am reading....nothing.  I always have a couple of books on my reading list, but have read everything and haven't been able to get to the library yet this week.

I am 5 yr old will like her first teacher and have an easy transition into KG in a couple weeks.

I am hearing.....the ceiling fan and air conditioner.  It has been dangerously hot this week and I am so thankful for my cool house!

Around the garden is producing an abundance of veggies and later in the week, I will be freezing sweet corn. 

For the rest of the week:  Picking peaches at local orchard and freezing them.  Freezing corn from the garden, making salsa.  Heading to college to finish up on my scheduling and to buy my books, going to the library, detailing my car and enjoying my birthday festivities this weekend.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chocolate X2

Sometimes a girl really only needs chocolate to make things better.  After a horrible weekend that won't stop, lots of stress and one big potential life-altering problem on my mind, I caved today.  I went into the kitchen and created chocolate comfort.  The comfort looked like this.....

It was as good as it looks, maybe better.  A boxed brownie mix, vanilla ice cream and some homemade chocolate sauce and I was in heaven.  For the few minutes I was stuffing my mouth, I felt better.  Really, I did.  I though I would share a recipe for the chocolate sauce I used in this recipe and for my moms thick, rich, chocolate sauce.  For me, they are both delish and are recipes that should be in everyone's kitchen. 

Chocolate Syrup

3 cups of sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBSP light Karo syrup
1 1/2 cups good quality dutch cocoa powder

In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar and water and bring to a boil.  Add rest of ingredients and allow to reduce.  Simple as that!  Keeps in fridge for a couple of weeks.  You may feel the need to strain the mixture after cooking, but if I use a whisk, I don't usually have any lumps.

This recipe if great for making decadent chocolate milk, chocolate gravy, adding into your iced coffee, etc.  Love it!!!

This next recipe is my mommas and it is divine.  Really, it's the best ever.  The end result is thick and fudgy and just wonderful.  Think hot fudge sundae and you have the idea.

4 oz bar of german chocolate
2/3 cup of sugar
1/2 cup butter
5 oz can of pet milk
1/2 tsp of salt

Bring all ingredients to a boil and boil for 4 minutes stirring constantly.  Cool.

I have used this in so many ways...mainly over ice cream, but you can also dip fresh fruit in this, use it on toast, etc. 

Hope you enjoy these recipes soon.  If you are like me, food provides comfort and every gal should have these recipes memorized!  Lol.  I keep these close to my heart as well as a couple of bible verses that are special to me.  Tomorrow, I intend to post a bit on what GOD says about worry, fear and comfort!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sweet victory

Tonight I witnessed a thing of beauty.  You see, for a week now, I have been anticipating and dreaming about harvesting that first, perfect tomato.  Every morn, I have treked out to the garden and gently lifted my tomato vines and practically begged for a ripe tomato.  Specifically, I've been eyeing a pair of cherry tomatoes that have slowly gone from green to white and finally to yellow tinged with pink.  Oh the glory of it all!  Typically, I have ripe tomatoes by July 4th, but considering out constant state of either flooding or extreme drought, our season is all messed up.  Tonight as I gathered eggs, I saw yellow out of the corner of my eye.  Could it be?  I had an heirloom yellow plum tomato ripe.  This is the first year I've grown this variety, so I was particularly excited!!!  I also managed to find two ripe cherry tomatoes as well.  Great night indeed. 

Above is a picture of my bounty tonight ;)  Thank you Lord for blessing us with so many gifts.  I am thankful for all you have entrusted us with.

Inexpensive Summer fun.....

Oh how I remember being home during summer vacation and being bored to death.  Both my parents worked and when I was old enough, I was responsible for watching my two sisters as well.  After our chores were completed, we often watched TV, ate way too much junk and watched the clock for the time our parents were due home everyday.  Fast forward 20 years and I am now a stay at-home momma.  My disposable income isn't too disposable these days (I am attempting to earn a degree with no aid or debt, Lord help!).  We live in the middle of the theatre, no shopping....nothing!  Keeping everyone happy can be a challenge.  Call me a mean momma, anti-technology or whatever you please, but I refuse to let my Five yr old surf the Internet (even though she can :(, play video games, sleep until 10am, etc. 

There must be others who feel as I do and who now more than ever, need to stretch a buck.  I though I would share some of our summer activities thus far.  Keep in mind that these activities are geared towards a Five yr old with VERY basic reading skills.

1)  We "rescued" four tadpoles and put them in a mason jar.  We have been observing their life cycle and maturation.  Quite easy and kiddos love watching the transformation.  Simply change water (use distilled water) when water looks murky and add a small lettuce leaf each week.  The tadpoles will do the rest of the work.

2)  We do a lot of scavenger hunts.  Just yesterday, we went to a local state park and had a timed hunt.  We had 10 minutes to find five items.  This can be as difficult or as easy as you make it.  The whole family gets involved and has a blast.  Especially good for those with a competitive nature.  On our hunt, we had to find mushrooms, a forked branch, moss (any kind), a piece of litter (to clean up...another lesson on preserving our earth) and something living.  We had a blast and we always do.  The found item can always be kept to incorporate into a craft display of some type.

3)  We always have at least one ongoing experiment.  This week we harvested a white flower from the garden and created a rainbow flower.  Make sure you pick a large flower with a sturdy stem. Split the stem in half and place each part of stem into a small glass with colored water.  For our colors we used blue and red food coloring.  The end result was beautiful.  Try it....your children will love this one.

4)We go to the library once per week and take advantage of all free programs they offer.  Not only are you instilling the love of reading and learning in your child, but it's a great time of socialization and offers mom a bit of downtime too!

5) Once per week, we have an ice cream date night.  We go thru the drive-thru at McDonalds and get a 49 cent cone and go to a local playground and enjoy our cones while we swing.  This sounds pretty simple and slightly boring, but you add a beautiful setting sun and music (thanks to your car windows being down) and it turns into a treat. 

6)  Last week, we went to our local state park and picked up a couple of postcards for less than a dollar.  My daughter got to choose who she sent her cards to and without even realizing it, she learned the proper way to address a postcard, how much postage they required, got to make  trip to the post office, etc.  She felt like a very big girl and can't wait to get a response from her cards.

Sometimes we forget how important the little things are to our children.  Make learning a game and they will succeed. 

Friday, July 1, 2011


Secretly, I love all the notes and confessions that people post on Facebook.  I say secretly, because most posters are teenager and myself being a mature 30, doesn't want to appear childish :)  Maybe I'm nosey, maybe I'm starved for attention out here in the sticks (my husband would say yes to the first), but I is what I is.  So, since I have posted pretty much nothing about myself since starting the blog, I though I would do a "confession"  for y'all.

1.  I live in a town with a population of 351.  No joke-the closest town with an actual grocery store is 15 miles away and the closest Wal-Mart is 27 miles away.

2.  As much as I love to cook, I am lazy in the mornings and only cook a good breakfast twice a week.

3.  I'm really not on top of shaving my legs.  My husband is actually shocked when my legs are shaved.....sad.  My poor hubby.

4.  I like my men bald and with a hairy body.  If my husband had no hair on his chest, I could not touch him.  YUCK.  He once shaved off his goatee and I couldn't kiss him until it grew back.  Lol.

5.  I love teeth.  I favor clean, straight teeth, but realize some people are nasty.  I am in the process of being a Dental Hygienist and am pumped about cleaning teeth day in and day out.  Most people assume I am in it for the 30+ dollar an hour pay, nope.  Really feel like it's my calling.

6.  I love to eat dill pickles and drink milk.

7.  Can decorate with the best of em', but am not good at dressing myself. 

8.  I have baby fine hair like my momma and it scares me.  I am afraid I will lose all my hair one day.

9.  My best friend is my husband followed by my mother.  My family is THAT close.  We all get along, we are not jealous and are not spiteful in anyway.  Well, except for that one sister, but anyhoo, we are pretty darn perfect.

10.  My house is only 1300 square feet, but it's my dream house.  We have remodeled it from top to bottom and it is full of antiques and family heirlooms and I think we will never move.

11.  My garden is my love.  I think I would die of depression if my garden were no more.

12.  Despite being quite reserved, I LOVE the color red.  I drive a red car, wear red heels, polish, anything red.  Along the same lines, I hate black.  Only have maybe two black items in my closet.

13.  I am obsessed with The Pioneer Woman. 

14.  Country cookin' is my forte, but I love to experience new foods as often as possible.  With our location, I usually have to cook and experiment myself.

15.  God has blessed me with a lot of talent, but I struggle with fear and insecurity.  It's a shame and I can't seem to get a handle on it.

16.  Our daughter is adopted, but she looks just like my husband and I.   Acts like us too.  She is my proof of miracles on a day to day basis.

17.  My husband and I have been married almost 12 years and he still floats my boat.  We don't fight, we have an amazing love life and he makes me feel secure.  Unfortunately in todays world, that makes us strange.  It ticks me off when ppl make judgements that don't know us.  I can't tell ya how many times ppl have accused us of being fake, etc.  What you see is what you get with us.

18.  It really irritates me to see a woman call out her man in public.  Those things should be done in private.  You deflate your man's self-esteem and he WILL retaliate. 

Shew, this is harder than I thought it would be.  Don't think about myself too often.  My intention was to make it to 20, but I've run out of thoughts and my little bit wants me to come out and taste her mud pie.  Lol.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.