***~~~ Please click on any pictures to enlarge~~~***

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My totaled car and so much more...

Well, I guess I will start at the beginning. Last Saturday, Dec. 13th, my honey sent me down South, to Hattiesburg, for a Family Readiness Group meeting. He will be deploying to Iraq in July and he has put me in charge of the Family Readiness Group for our area. So I spent all day in meetings and it was really a very informative time. I enjoyed it even after really not wanting to go.LOL So I was coming back home and about 15 miles from my house, a man ran a stop sign and plowed into the side of my van. My husband says he T-boned me. First let me say, if you do not wear your seat belt, START!!! I was hit straight on and spun around in the intersection like a top, and walked away without a scratch other than some bruising from the seat belt. I am a believer now. I have never been in an accident before and it was terrifying. I was hysterical because I was disoriented and thinking that my children would have been in that seat that is scrunched up. We finally found out yesterday that they totalled my van. We are pleased with the amount they are giving us for it, also. We were thinking it would be much less, as a van is worthless after driving off the car lot. So now we are car shopping or rather, truck shopping. We also have a Suburban and I will now drive it and my husband is going to get a truck to drive back and forth to work. I want to say that I always have my children in the car with me but on this very rare day I was alone. I am so thankful that it was not any worse than being a little sore and that my babies (17,14, and 11) were all safe and sound at home. I am also thankful for the very nice people who stopped to help and that the man who hit me was honest and nice. It just could have been so much worse but God is faithful!

Now to the good stuff, this is what me and my middle maiden did all afternoon yesterday. We made plates of goodies to take to the men who work for my honey and to our friends and neighbors for Christmas. We made plain fudge, peanut fudge, no bake cookies, butterscotch cookies, crock pot candy, and chocolate turtle cookies. I will also send them a home baked loaf of bread and some jelly. The little cookies with nuts around them and caramel in the center are the Turtles. They are soooo good.

I wrapped them in red Saran Wrap and will put a pretty little note card on top.

We will be car/truck hunting the next few days, if you think of us please say a prayer of wisdom, as we are seeking to do the right thing.
Have a great day!!!!

post signature

Thursday, December 11, 2008

First Show and Tell Friday....

I wanted to tell you about our Jesse Tree and I also wanted to participate in Kelli's Show and Tell Friday, so I combined the two and here it is. I love Kelli's blog. She is so real, down to earth, and incredibly creative. Go and check her out if you haven't already.

Ok, here is our Jesse Tree in all his glory. I want to show you the picture and then explain the concept.

First, we took a branch from a tree outside and stuck it in one of my milk bottles with some beans for stability. It of course, needed a nice red bow.LOL Then I printed our ornaments for each night and laminated them to go on the tree. Now, every night from Nov. 30 until Dec. 25 we have a devotional that pertains to some promise that God gave having to do with our need for a Saviour. Each one of these ornaments, that we add to the tree nightly, coincides with the promise for that night. So like last night we read the story of Samuel anointing David as king.(1 Samuel 16:1-13) The ornament we hung was a horn filled with anointing oil.

I have really been searching for something that sets this season apart from what the "World" looks like and for us the Jesse Tree has done it. It has been a great time of really seeing how the whole Bible is set up to show us our great need of redemption and how Jesus is that redemption.

I got mine from Graham Family Ministries. I ordered their 12 week holiday planner and the Jesse Tree was part of the planner. However, the devotions are very young and next year I may make them a little more meaty.

Here are some other great sites for Jesse Tree stuff:
http://rocksinmydryer.typepad.com/shannon/2008/11/jesse-tree.html ( this is Shannon at rocks in my dryer's post on her Jesse Tree) http://rocksinmydryer.typepad.com/

Here is a list of blogs that refer to the Jesse Tree:

I hope you enjoy our Jesse Tree and go and visit Kelli and the other Show and Tell's.

**************Oh, and check out the snow pictures that I posted yesterday, we got about 4 inches. Which is unbelievable for Mississippi.*********************************************

Have a great day!!!

post signature

It is snowing in Central Mississippi...

This is the little country church that you can see from my pasture. I thought this picture was beautiful.

For those of you who live in the South, you know that this little 1/2 -1 inch of snow is a big deal. The schools close and people stock up at the store like it's doom's day. It is quite the site to see. If we got a real snow we would be in trouble. However, I like this kind of snow. My kids got to play in it and they think it's the best thing. Then tommorow it will be in the 50's and all will be right in the world. God has been so good to us to give us snow twice in one year this year. We got a pretty good one in March, too. You've got to love that global warming!!!

I think this one will be our Christmas card that I probably wont get done.LOL

Have a great day!!!

Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. Psalm 37:4-5

post signature

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Before I start this post let me preface by saying that we do "Christmas". We have a tree and the house is decorated, so don't get too worried but I do want to share this with you.

I struggle this time of year with the whole "Christmas" thing and have for a few years now. I know that sounds insane in a world that loves Christmas but I try so hard to live a life that is truly following and seeking God's guidance. So when I look at "Christmas", I ask myself what does God think of this. It is a holiday that is very deeply rooted in Paganism dating back before Christ's birth. Well, we know what God says about that.( Gal. 4:8-11) It's also so commercialized and worldly. God clearly says that we are not to love this world or the things of this world!!! (1 John 2:15)

Then there is the whole Jesus' birthday thing. Well, Jesus was born more like August or September than December. However, what does God say about celebrating His birthday. He doesn't. There are only two mentionings of birthdays in the whole book and they were not happy occassions. (Gen. 40, Matt. 14:6-10) The Bible says to mourn the day of birth and rejoice the day of death.

I could go on and on but I will spare you. I will tell you that if we had been seeking the Lord earnestly, when our children were little, we would have done things very differently. There would probably not be as much of an emphasis on this one day. However, we weren't. So here we are with 3 kids who love Christmas and 2 parents who do not want to crush their spirit.

I have heard the phrase " redeeming Christmas" and I guess that is what we now do. I don't want to focus too much on the Jesus' birthday thing (as far as the day) but I do want to take this period of time to really delve deep into the events of His birth and why He had to be born (as a sacrifice for our sin). So this year we are doing some things differently.

We are doing a Jesse Tree, which is a great devotional tool starting in Gen. and ending with the birth of Jesus. We are also memorizing Luke 2:1-20.

We will still be baking cookies and giving to friends and neighbors. There will still be presents under the tree and singing of Christmas carols. We are just little by little trying to revamp the way we do things in order to become more and more like Christ (2 Cor. 3:18) and put away some traditions of men (Matt. 15:9).

With all of that being said, here are my middle daughter and son making our yearly gingerbread houses. They turned out great and the kids had a great time. My oldest daughter missed out this year, as she has taken on an afternoon job, helping a lady up the street until January. (sniffle, sniffle, they grow up too

Here is the kit I bought at WalMart. I have made them myself in the past and for the price of this kit, making it just does not make sense, for me.

Here is the end result. They are beautiful!!!

I hope to post more about our Jesse Tree and all of our other crafts and recipes but we are so busy that I don't know that it will happen. I hope you all have a great holiday Season and truly focus on those things that are eternal like Faith, family and friends.

post signature

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dinner in all her glory....

I have been experimenting with recipes for quite a few years but have gotten more diligent with it in the past couple of years. In the whole spirit of Keeping my Home and taking care of my family, I have seen more and more that nourishing my family is a huge responsibility that we, as mother's have been given by God (Proverbs 31). It should be looked at, as such. I recently watched the documentary, The Family Meal Table by Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies, and it just confirmed what I had already thought but to a greater degree. Oh, and Gloria, I will be ordering the manual sometime soon. I thought I would share a staple on our menu with you today.

This post all started with my girls going to Cracker Barrel with their grandmother this past weekend and afterwards my oldest daughter called to tell me that their Chicken and Dumplings could not touch mine. Now let me tell you, here in the South, Cracker Barrel is quite the connoisseur of Southern cuisine. So needless to say this was quite the compliment.

It all starts with opening this: I started this conglomeration of our family favorites a few years ago. I hope to pass it on to the coming generations. I thaw one of these the night before. I hope one day to have all free range, pasture fed, chickens, that we raise ourselves with no hormones or antibiotics but until then, this will suffice.

I boil this little guy for about 1 and 1/2 with chopped carrots, onion, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Usually until he falls apart.

After the chicken is done, I put the chicken in a bowl to cool. Then I strain the broth through a colander lined with an old almost see through (clean) dish towel. You can also use cheese cloth. After the chicken is cooled I debone it and shred the meat. The meat from this one chicken made chicken and dumplings last night and will make chicken and dressing tonight (my trial run). This process makes about 8-10 cups of shredded chicken and 16 cups of broth. Here is the broth.

I then make my dough, roll it out to about 1/8 inch thick and cut it into little squares.

I bring 8 cups of broth to a boil and boil a portion of the dumplings at a time. I put them in a bowl to the side while cooking the rest.

I melt the butter for the dumpling sauce in a cast iron skillet.

This is the final product. A plate full of chicken and dumplings with glazed carrots and green beans on the side.Here is the recipe:
Chicken and Dumplings
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. whole milk ( I used 2%)
Mix above ingredients. Knead 4 or 5 times. I divide the dough into 4 parts and roll out to 1/8 inch thick on a floured surface. I cut this into little squares and boil for about 3 minutes in 8 cups of chicken broth. I cook them 1 portion at a time. Putting each portion in a bowl to the side, at a time.
While the dumplings are cooking you can start the sauce:
Dumpling Sauce
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. flour
1 c. whole milk
1 -2 c. chicken broth
Place butter in pan and melt add salt and flour, stir until thick (like making gravy). Mix in milk. I put this to the side until my dumplings are finished. Then I pour out that broth I boiled the dumplings in and add the 1-2 c.(depending on how thick you want your chicken and dumplings) of broth and gravy mixture to this same sauce pan or dutch oven that I had previously cooked the dumplings in (saves on clean up). I then add my dumplings back in and about 4 cups of shredded chicken. I also add salt and pepper to taste periodically. I let this all simmer for about 20-30 minutes and it is done.
This is not an easy recipe but it is sooo good.

post signature

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

So much to say and so little time to say it.....

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

Good Morning, friends.

I want to start out telling you about our Veteran's Day. My husband, of course, is a veteran. He was in the first Gulf War in 1990-1991 and then he served 18 months in 2004-2005 of this Iraqi Freedom war. Now he is scheduled to go back in May or July of 2009. However, he had the privilege of doing the color guard at the unveiling of a monument for this man Colonel Van T. Barfoot yesterday. Colonel Barfoot received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism during WWII. He not only battled hard and saved his regiment but he also saved lives of his soldiers. When he got up to except the monument, he said I didn't do anything, nothing more than any of you would do. I know for a fact that is not true. They just don't make them like this man any more. He is the only living recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor in Mississippi and one of only 98 in the nation. They are a dwindling breed.

You can watch a clip of the ceremony here, if you are interested:

Well, instead of working on this place and making it more homey.......

We have been working on putting this in the woods.

This is one of the shooting houses that my honey and children have been working on. It's a 6 X 6 monster. We had to load it onto a trailer and drive it at 10 MPH and set it out in the woods. I was floored at how smoothly the whole process went. Deer Season opens up Saturday for my crew. They are so excited.

My honey used the scrap lumber that he got from tearing down this old smoke house to build his newest shooting house. I just love that old rusty tin and now want him to find more to go on the side of my garden shed. I think that rust patina is so beautiful.

This has been the other project. We got my garden spot all disked up. It will measure about 50X30. So, Lord willing, this spring I will have about 1500 sq. ft. of glorious garden. We just finished the last jar of homemade pickles that I put up 2 years ago and I am truly anticipating next years bounty.

This is my little mini 5X5 garden that I have now. Of which, I am very thankful for it. It holds some lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. It is growing strong and I am so excited. We have eaten some lettuce and it was scrumptious. We have little baby broccoli on the stems, so they shouldn't be too much longer.

This one just blows my mind. We have had at least two frosty cold snaps here in Central Mississippi but these beauties are still going strong. I hope to move them this winter when they go dormant to a nice sunny spot. I can't imagine what they will do with a little more sun.

And then of course, I have to add in my clown children pictures. Don't you just love this ensemble? You've got the typical Carhart jacket with shorts and crocs. Is there any other way to dress in Mississippi? It just cracks me up what these kids will go out in.

I just had to share this one with you. My daughter, last year around Resurrection Sunday time, found this little guy. We were at a Seed and Feed store where we get our chickens every year. They had this little guy and he was very sickly with only one eye. The lady said if you can nurse him back to health take him. So my daughter did and we got some medicine for his eye. (our vet loves us) She really nursed him to good health for months and he is now a 25lb. big boy. He still only has the one eye because, it was just too far infected when we got him, but he gets around perfect. I thought this picture of him sleeping half out of his box really depicts his very lazy, happy life.
In closing this post out, I want to share what my family has been studying and looking at. We have been looking for a church home here for over a year and it has been tough to say the least. We are a little different in the aspect that we don't want to do things because the "church building" has done it that way for 100 years. We wont to see it in the Word of God and then do it. Here are a couple of verses that we have just found that are so prophetic:
"Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." He was also saying to them, " You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. Mark 7:8-9
That sounds so familiar to me. So many things we do in church on Sunday morning are just traditions of men.
I also want to share this clip. This guy is so powerful.
I could not get the clip to embed so here is the URL.
I hope you all have a great day.

post signature

Monday, October 27, 2008

So what exactly does a homeschool kid do when the temp. drops?

Let me preface by saying that the temps. here in central Ms. have finally turned cool and we have a cool front blowing in today. It may even frost tonight. So the kids (mainly the boy) wanted to build a fire out in the yard but it was just to0 windy. So what do you do when mom is way too logical?

Well, it all starts with a very overgrown muscadine vine/bush. When we moved here these very old vines had really been neglected and this is the largest one.

Then you add a very ingenious 11 year old boy.

Who recruits his sisters. Even the one who just turned 17 on Saturday. (Oh how I am crazy about these kids)

And then you turn said muscadine vine/bush into a fort of sorts.

They have their sleeping bags under there with pillows and blankets and are all huddled up. It's great.

There are so many things that I love about homeschooling and here is one of them. My girls and boy are not concerned about boys/girls or things of the world like who's wearing or doing what and all that peer pressure stuff. They are able to be 11, 14, and 17 and still play and dream and have fun. It's truly a blessing! We make a lot of sacrifices for me being home but I would not take one minute for it!!!


On the topic of sacrificing, here is one frugal tip. With all of the fencing, preparing animal homes, and getting hay ready for winter, my husband has just not had time to put up a clothesline. So I hung a small clothesline between two of our small oaks. It is temporary but works. I love the smell of line dried sheets. There is nothing better. I have read that every load of clothes dried in the dryer can cost $.36. Around here that will add up quick. Now don't get me wrong, I do not line dry every load of clothes but I do like to use it as much as possible.

Do you see how that wind is whipping up today? They will be dry in no time!!

I love the idea of this clotheline with a garden trellis on either end. I think it would beautify a plain old clothesline. I would grow morning glories up either side. I doubt mine will be this fancy initially but maybe one day!!

I hope you all have a great week!!!

post signature