Monday, August 31, 2009

Thought for Monday

I read this quote over the weekend, and said, OUCH!

Don’t you go praising God on Sunday when you can’t praise Him on Monday when your clothesline falls in the mud.

Lester Roloff
Hope my clothesline knots are tight today! :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I just love, love, love freebies! And so, going to the Teacher Appreciation Days at Staples and Office Depot are one way to get me revved up about starting a new school year...because I always come away with cool freebies!

The picture above is the load I brought home this year!

Everything from pencils, to markers...tablest...bulldog clips (that were so cute!)...pushpins and lots more!

So much fun! AND, they gave us Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches for breakfast, along with yummy pastries and muffins too! Gotta love that!

AND, if God didn't bless me enough with all of that, He also allowed my ticket to be pulled in the drawing (each teacher gets one when you pick up your freebie)--I won this very, cool electric stapler! woo hoo! Probably valued at about $35-40!

Dig this cool blue power indicator light? Wow!
Anyway, I'm just sharing the praise that I was blessed by God through these two companies--thanks for the goodies!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Add on to our Sweet Night of Fellowship!

I tried a new recipe and thought I'd share it! (It's easy, and yummy!)

First, you make a chocolate cake of your choice (box is ok too). Then, you use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes in it. Take 3/4 of a jar of caramel or caramel/butterscotch ice cream topping and fill the holes with it.

Take the remaining caramel and pour it over the cake. Then, I took some Hershey's syrup and squirted some of that across the top as well. (not in the original recipe--but do it--trust me!)

Then, spread a tub of cool whip over the top.

Take 3 Heath bars and chop them (we actually put ours in a freezer bag and crushed them with a rolling pin) and sprinkle evenly across the top.

Put in the frig for at least 2 hrs. and then EAT! YUM!

This will be me someday I hope! :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to School

You will probably see my posts slack off as we have begun our new school schedule! I have spent the last couple of weeks finishing up the canning, and also doing the school planning.
I am so thankful that we have the freedom to homeschool!
We're looking forward to a wonderful homeschool year--hope you have a great school year too!

Sweet Fellowship

We had our dear friends over last week for a night of food and fellowship. We always enjoy their company!
The only down that the boys swimming in the pool got rained out--but we gave them a raincheck. :)
Thanks Frist's for coming to visit!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Finishing Up Last Year...or, only for the Hale and Hearty!

Does that make any sense? Of course not! :) Actually, what I meant about finishing up last year--is last school year!

What I meant about Hale and that this is not for the squeamish! LOL

Brad needed to complete his dissections to complete his Biology, and he did them last week...

We only got pictures of the worm, but there was also a crayfish and a perch.

He looks like he's doing brain surgery or something with the mask etc...LOL

For you Mom's who have not attempted this yet... a little advice:

Get the dissection instruction booklet!

The specimens never look exactly like the book says--the booklet helps!

If you get into the more difficult dissections--find an online dissection that you can watch as you do it
Our kids have done: worm, perch, crayfish, cow's eye, sheep's heart, fetal pig and who knows what else! :)
I will admit though, my hubby helped Bri through her Biology, Bri did Advanced Biology with a friend, and Bri helped Bradley with his!

What is my job in all of this you ask?
I am the specimen purchaser, and have the VERY important job of cookie baker.
What does baking cookies have to do with dissections you may ask?

(Baking cookies during dissection masks the icky smells of course!)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Fine Feathered Friend

This little guy (and his siblings) visited our yard Friday.

You can't believe how tiny he was (and he could fly!)

See him on the fence? Brad is pointing to him.

Here's his anxious parent. I believe they are Chipping Sparrows.
Can you see him looking at Bri from the fence?

I thought he was adorable!

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
Matthew 10:29

Honker Tomato Plant Update...and other garden happenings

The giant tomato plant that I posted about previously is yielding HUGE tomatoes too!
That is a quarter on top of this tomato!
It weighed in at 1 lb. 13 oz.
Here it is next to a watermelon from Brad's garden.
I was cutting tomatoes up for freezing, and when I went to cut up this one, I saw a smiley face in the core. Isn't it cute!?

The tomatoes above look like a lot of tiny grapes--but they aren't. It's the angle it was taken. This was a grocery bag full of amish paste tomatoes!

“Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can't buy
That's true love and home grown tomatoes.”
John Denver, 'Home Grown Tomatoes'

Below are some more garden products (except those in the bags) :)

Brad has had a very, very good year for cantelope!

The peppers are coming on like crazy now! (Great for salsa!)

Brad's going to try and sell some of his excess produce.

Bri grew this lovely Calendula

Friday, August 14, 2009

Strange Happening....

This would only happen to us! :)
Our Clematis actually grew THROUGH our Morning Glory leaf...

And, then it bloomed of course!

Neat Huh?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Finally...a Sighting!

After weeks of changing the hummingbird feeder that no one was drinking out of...

We finally got a customer! He wasn't in any hurry, he perched there and drank for a long while. Then, he hopped up in the tree and sat on the branch for a while.
I hope he comes back--and tells his friends too! :)

Rosemary Bread Recipe

I haven't tried these yet...but I plan to! Don't they sound great??

Delicious Rosemary Bread

"This super easy recipe brings incredible taste and fragrance to any dinner table. It also goes wonderfully with a garlic flavored olive oil."

READY IN 2 Hrs 45 Min
Original recipe yield 2 loaves

1 tablespoon white sugar
1 cup warm water
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons rosemary
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg, beaten (optional)

Dissolve the sugar in warm water in a medium bowl, and mix in the yeast. When yeast is bubbly, mix in salt, butter, 1 tablespoon rosemary, and Italian seasoning. Mix in 2 cups flour. Gradually add remaining flour to form a workable dough, and knead 10 to 12 minutes.
Coat the inside of a large bowl with olive oil. Place dough in bowl, cover, and allow to rise 1 hour in a warm location.
Punch down dough, and divide in half. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly grease paper. Shape dough into 2 round loaves, and place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining rosemary. Cover, and allow to rise 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Brush loaves with egg. Bake 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1/3 cup warm water
1 cup bread flour
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

To Make Sponge: In a small bowl stir together 1/8 teaspoon of the yeast and the warm water and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In a bowl stir together yeast mixture, 1/3 cup of the water, and 1cup of the bread flour. Stir 4 minutes, then over bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge stand at cool room temperature for at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.
To Make Bread: In a small bowl stir together yeast and milk and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with dough hook blend together milk mixture, sponge, water, oil, and flour at low speed until flour is just moistened; add salt and mix until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Scrape dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. (Dough will be sticky and full of air bubbles.) Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface and cut in half. Transfer each half to a parchment sheet and form into an irregular oval about 9 inches long. Dimple loaves with floured fingers and dust tops with flour. Cover loaves with a dampened kitchen towel. Let loaves rise at room temperature until almost doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
At least 45 minutes before baking ciabatta, put a baking stone on oven rack in lowest position in oven and preheat oven to 425 F (220 degrees C).

Transfer 1 loaf on its parchment to a rimless baking sheet with a long side of loaf parallel to far edge of baking sheet. Line up far edge of baking sheet with far edge of stone or tiles, and tilt baking sheet to slide loaf with parchment onto back half of stone or tiles. Transfer remaining loaf to front half of stone in a similar manner. Bake ciabatta loaves 20 minutes, or until pale golden. Cool loaves on a wire rack.
"Take five minutes today to make the starter, also called sponge, and tomorrow you can bake two loaves of this marvelous, slightly sour, rustic Italian bread that has a hearty crust."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Weekend Blessings

We were blessed this weekend with visiting two new families that the Lord has allowed us to become friends with!

Both families have been such a big encouragement to us--and such a joy to get to know!
Here are some pics from our visits! The first set is from Friday night.

Below they are armed with their Badminton racquet's!

Our pics include some of the 4-legged family members too. :)

This one is a little hard to see...the kids are playing badminton with a glow in the dark!

These pics are from Sunday. :)

There were times when this game got very loud! LOL

We are so grateful for the wonderful times shared with friends this weekend!

Our thanks to our hosts!

Monday, August 10, 2009


My sister recently was given a darling Yorkie as a companion. Her name is Bella. Saturday she came to visit us, and play with Chippy... She's so tiny compared to him!Isn't she cute?

My sister loves her to pieces!

She sat with us while we played cards. :)

Here's Bri holding her and fooling around...

She had a fun day...but boy did she crash when she went home! LOL