Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

this is eye candy ~ yard & garden style

Even after all of this... there is redemption.

See the vines...

...and a wild morning glory peeping through?

The hydrangea bush was F-U-L-L of blooms this year, unlike last year.

I'm telling you this is eye candy ~ yard & garden style.  I couldn't help myself.  I had to pick some in hopes of drying them, to make them last longer.  Perhaps for a wreath or centerpiece arrangement.  Not sure. 

Hydrangeas happen to be among my favorite - if not my favorite- of flowers.  Aren't they gorgeous??
 Like I said, I had hopes to dry these, but they COMPLETELY wilted before I had the chance to get them in water... to slowly do their thing.  Shame on me.

At least, the bush is still in full bloom.  I'll have to try again.  I've heard to pick early morning or later in the evening.  Anybody know??  For sure???


Here is some more eye candy for you...

Proof that the yard gets played in ~ HARD!  And, if you pay close enough attention you'll feel something Like a Summer Breeze coming through your computer screen.

The wind is picking up... I feel it... but I think it stopped... in my Etsy Shop.  Come take a look.

**EDIT** This bag is RESERVED for Carmen M.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

;) to Smile ;( or NOT.

Hey, good morning everyone!!  Here it is nearly noon and I just wanted you to know that I didn't forget about you. ;)

I've been a busy little bee around here, already this morning... although, I'm not feeling physically much different, than from yesterday's post.  You can be praying....thanks. ;) ;(

I've hung out more laundry... ;) ;(

I've just pulled out a baked chicken from the oven, that now I'll soon begin to pick... and made up some more Homemade Taco Seasoning packets.  I'll explain those another day.  ;)

I managed to bake some cupcakes - today and not yesterday... ;) ;(

Chased Aubrey out of the cow pasture... ;( errr, that child of mine... Ours.  Scott.  Ours!! ;)

I desperately needed another cup of coffee and have been enjoying a few stolen moments in between "the flurry of home activity" to catch up on some reading...some emails... saying "hi" to new readers/commentors, etc. ;)

And, my camera battery is on the charger.  ;(

That always puts a halt to things when there is something *new* to share. Come back tomorrow... for some eye-candy.  Yard & garden style. 

Would you??  ;)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Deep Breathe

I really have to take one of those this morning.  You see...

Boink, Boink, Bo-i-n-kkk. 


My head still hurts from yesterday. (No, I didn't fall off the roof, or anything like that) ;)

Yesterday's sermon, at church, is still ringing in my ears.  It was really good and I'm still reeling from the affects.  ((Ephesians 5:1-2))

I'll be doing a lot of thinking today... don't mind me.

Other, then that.  It's been one busy weekend around here.  I'm wiped out (( too, much sun yesterday - has part to blame)). I'm still trying to wake up, and, I ache all over.  Not complaining, I'm just sayin'.

I think I'll take a deep breathe... hang up some more laundry... water the flowers (done),  sew later (if I can, because I must in order to catch back up)...get some baking done, today... and work on being an
Imitator of God - as a dearly loved child of God.

Because;  that  IS  what  I  am. 

Plus.  Figure out ways to keep cool - again - today.  Sounds like we might be having another "hot week" ahead. ((sigh))...thank God, for cool breezes every now and again.

: : So, how was your weekend?  Have any of those wiped out, head boinkking, hot and bothered moments -  or was your weekend like a breathe of fresh air??

Saturday, June 26, 2010

*new* blog look

As you've noticed... I have a *new* blog look, again.  
Special thanks to Karen from Valentine Design for all her help and care to making my blog look a bit more unique with keeping a sense of feeling "at home".

 I hope you do!!

I think she did a pretty good job, what do you think? 
Feel free to stop by Karen's blog and say "hello".

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday's Finds: {no. 19/10}

~Caramel Chocolate Pie~

A delicious I.D.E.A. to celebrate my hubby, for Father's Day.  I'm not blaming him, although I did ask him to choose, and he choose this dessert over what I thought he would say instead ~  that being New York Style Cheesecake.

But. Hey. I like spontaneity in a man.  I was willing to try a *new* recipe.

Let's just say that L.O.O.K.S. can be deceiving. 

Was it good??  Yes!  Yes, it was. 

Here is the recipe, as I promised for ALL that have been drooling, all week.

~ Caramel Chocolate Pie~

1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (about 25 wafers)
1/4 cup butter, melted
30 vanilla caramels ( I used Kraft Caramels)
2 T. butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
6 to 8 oz. of softened cream cheese
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 bar (4 oz.) sweet cooking chocolate
3 T. hot water
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups. heavy whipping cream
2 T. powdered sugar

Chocolate Candy curls (opt.)

Heat oven to 350*.  Mix crumbs and butter.  Press firmly into and against sides and bottom of a 9" pie plate.
Bake for 10 minutes.  Let cool.  (I used graham cracker crumbs instead).

Heat caramels, 2 T. butter and 2 T. water over medium heat, stirring frequently, until caramels are melted.
Pour into crust.  Sprinkle with toasted pecans (I just fried these in a hot frying pan - until you can smell them, NOT BURN them).  Refrigerate for about an hour until chilled.

Beat cream cheese and 1/3 cup powdered sugar until smooth.  Spread over caramel layer, refrigerate.
Heat chocolate and 3 T. hot water over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted.  Cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla. 

Beat whipping cream and 2 T. powdered sugar in a chilled bowl until stiff.  Reserve 1 1/2 cups.  Fold Chocolate into remaining whipped cream.  Spread over cream cheese layer.  Top with remaining whipped cream and add a few chocolate curls.

You make these by taking a vegetable peeler toward you across the edge of a chocolate bar.  You want the chocolate bar to be at room temp.

** Serve with a smile.


Let's just say - I was mortified.  Thank God, it was just our little family and Grandma Susie... and not a table full of first-time guests, or something.

We never laughed so hard at a dessert - and the effort it took just to get a slice.

Friday's Finds:  This girl needs to be willing to follow a recipe (to the T.) - more often. 

{We think it was the fact that I used graham cracker crumbs instead of the vanilla wafer crumbs.  The caramel was really hard, too.  Not sure.  We did end putting a few pieces into the freezer.  That was really, really good, too.  Watch out, though- you don't want to break a tooth on the caramel.}

At, any rate.

Little Aubrey, just didn't get what was so funny - which made me laugh all the harder.  She just took it for face-value that it was good as good could be. ;)

And, this face says it all... that it was thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed. 


Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

~some days... & the angst comes back~

This is what I do ~some days~ as a favorite past-time.  Like I have much time for "past-time".  To sit around and read cookbooks, and such...

Like here, I love this...

Quilting * Cooking* Gardening
. .. . .. . .. .  . .. .. . . ..  .. . .. .. .
Quilting and cooking
Go hand in hand.

I practice each daily
You do understand...?

That both are a science
And I've got 'em down pat.

My quilt pile grows higher
While my body grows fat.

So, I've taken up gardening
Not a lot- just a bit.

In a futile attempt
To keep somewhat fit.

The exercise helps
And the veggies are great.

My quilt pile grows slower
But I'm losing weight.

-Nancy Roan

If only it were thoroughly true.  I'm afraid in this case, my sewing piles are growing, so are my thighs and my veggies are slim to none.  At least, at this point! ;) 

Ahh, but some days its good to just sit around and read books as a favorite past time.  Especially, on hot days like we've had so far, this week.  Isn't it?


Here is where the angst comes back.  To constantly be pulling away...

The other day, I noticed one of our tomato plants suddenly looked quite ill.  Like as in a matter of hours.  Leaves were quickly turning this dead, yellow color.  I mentioned to my Mother-in-law about this... and she suggested fertilizer.  Yeah... it wouldn't hurt.  But seriously.

Yesterday, I looked a lot closer, at it, as I began to pull off some of those dead-ish yellow leaves.  My first thought had been the return of  "blight".


Guess what??


...were in my tomato plant.  Wrapping themselves ever so tightly around my plant.  Choking them to near death.  They're seed had been in the ground from when I filled the container with ground from the surrounding flower bed.

I obviously began pulling the vines off and away... muttering.

Then I saw a faint glimmer of hope for this dear trying-to-survive tomato plant.  One little green tomato had started to grow and we have plenty of yellow buds.  I said to Caleb; "Look buddy, don't pull it off - its our first tomato". 

I snapped the picture just seconds before he pulled it off.  See his fingers? Ahh, some days....
And I'll be plenty surprised if it ain't Aubrey who picks off all of the yellow blossoms. 

It would just be her nature.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Old-time Strawberry Shortcake

Before strawberries fully skip out the back door and completely out of season.  I wanted to share with you a recipe for an old-time Strawberry Shortcake.  This recipe was found in one of my newer cookbooks, but submitted by an older local Mennonite woman who I happen to know- somewhat.  I love the surprise suggestion she gave at the bottom of the recipe.

~Strawberry Shortcake~
Sift together :  1 1/2 cups of flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Mix in 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup canola oil - using a pastry blender
Combine 3/4 cup milk with one egg
Stir milk and egg into flour mixture - just till blended.
Spread into a greased 8" square pan. Bake at 375* for 20-25 minutes.
To serve, cut in half, making two layers.  Fill and top with sweetened berries and fresh whipped cream.

Or.  Serve warm and use Sour Cream!!

So, we made Strawberry Shortcake one evening for dinner. 
I, of course, tried the sour cream version and thought it was so deliciously different. 
I suppose we were too busy enjoying it that I forgot to get a picture of it.


The next day I tried it with fresh HUGE blackberries. Look at these babies!!   It was SO good.  And yes, that is sour cream and NOT whipped cream.

* * It looks like I happened to have a food fight with these berries.  They didn't want to cooporate with me, too well, for this photo.  Oh well.  Still, too good to complain.

Just thought I'd share...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

constantly pulling away

A couple of days ago, I decided to get outside early... before the little ones woke up.  I wanted to finish planting some flower plants that I had recently purchased and it's always easier (quicker) to do it - alone.

I know that doesn't sound very gracious of me...does it?

I should anticipate having my little ones "learning" right along side of me.  Right?


Truth be told.

I don't "always" let that happen.

So, as you can imagine.  I'm outside, in early morning - alone- to my thoughts, anticipating what my efforts are going to look like in just a few shorts weeks.

I have to admit as much as I like to think that I somewhat have a green-thumb,  it still takes a lot of work and hard earned effort to make flower beds and gardens something to enjoy. In that, I paid careful attention to where I wanted certain things to go.  Things got mulched, watered and tilled ... but even to the best of my abilities (and semi-green thumb) these plants were/are still subject to "trouble"...namely Wild Morning Glories.

So, while I'm constantly pulling away at these WILD MORNING GLORIES to come off of ALL the plants that I have already planted and that are maturing... you can imagine...I was beginning to feel the rise of frustration. 

Come on!

In their own right, their beautiful. I'll give them that. They look like the cultured kind of Morning Glories... e.x.c.e.p.t  that they're weeds. (No pictures, but you all know what I'm talking about, I think.) 

They smother.  They choke.  They're quick... and before you know it they overtake.  Just what is the glory in a Wild Morning Glory anyway, I wonder??

((Alone in my thoughts...))

I had to think; How does this apply to personal life?


I know when I'm constantly pulling away at things that interfere with my likes, schedule and preferences.

At times, these things may appear beautiful in they're own right.


These things, they're weeds. 

I'm talking about when:

  • I just do it my way.  Its easier and faster rather then teaching.  Avoiding moments of spilled out frustration.

  • I jest or use humor to butter-up, getting my critical point across...perhaps, using words that are empty and meaningless?

  • I don't say anything... but I sigh out of impatience or annoyance.

I suppose it might sound cliche to say that God, being the ultimate- patient- gardener, knows why he allows Wild Morning Glories to grow in our gardens/flower beds- at least in mine.  Really He does.  It's been an interesting thought and has been a reminder for me ever since. 

I still am constantly pulling away at the wild morning glories and throwing them over the fence to the cows.  But, not with as much angst.  It's been such a good reminder. ** I can really get in my own way far too many times.**

I think there may be some glory to my wild morning after all.

* * By the way.  My flower beds are really coming along - nicely.  And, I've actually given a place for some of those Wild Morning Glories to climb freely... giving them they're own right to bloom. ;)  Still... no pictures, but I'm sure I'll get one, one day - when they're in full bloom and mature.

Monday, June 21, 2010

random events

Wow!!  How was your weekend??

I don't even know where to begin - with all of the happenings of this weekend, for us.  It was certainly one full of random events.  Little things that add up to make for bigger changes down the road.

For instance (here are just two):

Caleb:  Figuring out how to make a Padinkadoo on the potty and not in his pants; Understanding the In's and outs of that, and getting really excited that "he did it!".

Aubrey:  Breaking the habit with her where she thinks she needs to be held till she fall asleep for the night. Usually after Bible Reading and Prayer Caleb will go to bed on his own... but not Aubrey.  This weekend was the designated weekend to work on that.  She didn't do too bad. 

Other things happened too, that we're just "waiting on"... to see what happens.

I was able to make another bag on Friday.  I had the distinct privilege of having my Little's go to my Mother's.... she had the day off, so I was able to sew - ALL DAY!

And the reason for it.... was... I'm not sure if you noticed that all of my bags were out of my etsy shop over the weekend?  Well, they were due to the fact that they were at another Home School conference, called SEARCH - held locally, right down the road from us.  I only had five left to sell and the display looked rather sparse.  That's because I had another sale last week, as well.

 Yup! Fun. Summer. Fun.  is now a sold bag, too.
Sunday's Best! is the bag that I made on Friday.  I took it over to the Convention on Friday afternoon, so that it would, at least, be there for the second day of the event.  It never made it to the Etsy Shop.

~Sunday's Best~

Then on Sunday morning, we're walking into church and my friend Brianna yells across the parking lot.  "LOOK BEVY!  Sunday's Best! - I just had to have it.".  :)

Knocked my socks off.

I was thrilled to say the least... and currently, I don't know if that is that only one that sold at the convention - but that is still fun.  That's what I love about this... making ladies feel ALL blessed and terribly excited.

Beings that it was Father's Day weekend... that was a given... that it would be wonderful.  You may have read my post that I put up real quick yesterday.  Just a small tribute to my hard-working man.  I think Scott would say his weekend was really, really special.

I wanted to make a wonderful Sunday dinner.  And, for the most part I succeeded. We did Pork BBQ ribs on the grill, baked potatoes, etc.  And then,  I made this dessert called ~ Carmel Chocolate Pie.  ;)

And, I thought I might give you the recipe... which I still might.  But, I'm going to let you salivate over this photo for a couple of days. 

It was pretty good - but looks may be deceiving.  Stay tuned.

: : I want to hear about your weekend.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

He's a hard working man!

Last weekend, we decided to get on the band-wagon and find a way to replace a missing door in our upstairs- just out of the kids bedroom and down the steps.  One reason was, for better air control  and flow regarding our upstairs air-conditioning situation.

We asked Mr. A. who told us where we might find a potential door... we found a rather dirty, dusty Power Saw and...

Making a few marks and an adjustment here or there... we have a door hanging.  YEAH!!!!

But, a man can't be ALL WORK and no play.

It just shouldn't be that way. 

And although (at the end of the day) these are a some tough shoes to fill - cause sometimes, truthfully, we don't know if we're he's coming or going...

: : The little ones want to add their sentiment this Father's Day : : 

We think our daddy is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
 We love you - dad.

Happy Father's Day, Scott. 
You truly are one hard-working man.  You do your absolute best to provide and there is nothing more that we could ask for.  Thank you.  You value family-time and choose to make that a priority in your life.  Your growth in godliness and desire for HIM (as your Father) is evident in your life on a daily basis.

I am one blessed woman to have you as my man - and what a privilege it is to be your wife and life-partner in this thing called parenting.  We're in this thing together.  It's fun and I love you.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday's Finds: {no. 18/10} Where are the Monkey's?

Well, here it is... Friday.  Already!! 

{As you know I try to do a post on Friday called Friday's Finds.  I don't know if you've all enjoyed it, per say, or not.  But I've been toying with another idea for a Friday spotlight... and that is to add some of my "Bevy humor" in a more specific way.  So, don't be surprised, if on occasion, you'll read 
 ~ Friday's FUNnie!~  being the feature on Friday instead of Friday's Finds.}

That said.

Today is a combination of such.

This barrel was given to us recently, by my brother...Joel... who found it through the guy he works for, and on and on.  You know how the story goes...

As soon as I saw it.  I remembered how my parents ALSO had a barrel that they used as part of their living room decor.  By turning it upside down, my mom used (and still does) the barrel as an end table or corner table with a lamp on it, etc., in the living room.  Memories!  Right? 


I've been going crazy with all of the toys that have accumulated - outside on our front porch.  It's overwhelming.  As soon as I could I began stashing said toys into the barrel and breathed a HUGE sigh of relief at our find.  It's been so nice. 

Now our toys have a better, sturdier place to go (we used to use an old basket- but that was overflowing), their contained and it looks charming.

Here is where the FUNnie comes in.  I thought it was funny, at least, but you may be like... huh???

But as soon as our neighbor ladies noticed the barrel on our front porch.  They would not stop talking about this thing.  I don't know how many times "Monkey's" came up in conversation.

Maybe you have to know our neighbors to appreciate the funniness about it....it just still cracks me up.


I hope you all have a barrel full of fun this weekend.

Happy Father's Day!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Speaking of...dishes!

"But. He has to wait until my dishes are finished up - first - in order to play with my dishpan."
(taken from yesterday's post)

I thought I would take you deeper into the Corners of my Home - and into my everyday dishware.


I'm trying to think of where my I.N.S.P.I.R.A.T.I.O.N has come from.  My first and only thought was of this quaint, local, little Tea Room... that friends, and sisters and I love to frequent.  We still thoroughly enjoy going here, except that it is just a tad bit hard (for me) with two little ones and fine, dainty little tea cups.  If you know what I'm saying?

But, this Tea Room will always be renown (in my mind) for it's nostalgia, it's charm, and unexplained femininity.  Wait! Can a restaurant be feminine? 
Let me tell you....men do eat here, too!  However, they "appear" to be SO out of place. 

If you put your fork down and just listen... it sounds like... "chicken chatter".  I love it!! 

And then. 

To hear a man's voice above all the ladies... again, just totally .... well, I suppose it adds it's own charm.  The fact that a guy is simply "okay" to enjoy breakfast or lunch with his beautiful wife - amid all the daintiness says a lot about a good man.

Wow!! I really took a bunny trail here...

You see this Tea Room has been so inspirational in that it proudly uses mismatched china.  Seriously, nothing matches, but, there is unity within the pieces because of their vintage appeal.  Even the antique chairs, around the small round or square tables are mismatched -although they are painted all of the same color.  The wide wood plank floorboards creak underneath your feet, and the large windows with beveled glass, and wide windowsills are pure art form in and of themselves.  The fresh flowers, gracing the tables...the waitresses in cutesy aprons, the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee and ahhhh!! their desserts that are just simply decadent and out of this world.

I love that!!!!!

So.  I've decided that I would be "okay" with mismatched china, too.  It's charming, as mentioned.  It has an ere of femininity about it, and, it's vintage - which I totally adore - especially if they are inherited from a grandmother or two.

CONFESSION:  There is plenty of Tupperw*are, in my kitchen, and other random pieces that have no charm to claim for their own.  Just practicality.

These are just a few of my pieces of everyday dishware. 

As you can tell... I just finished washing dishes.  Now you all know, that this is where my mind will go or how my thoughts will wander as I daily wash our dishes every evening.  Sometimes, it is more then once or twice a day - depending on what I'm cooking.   Because it really bothers me to leave a counter full of dishes for the next day.  So... I really, really try to keep up after myself.  Yup! another bunny trail...

Speaking of... dishes!  It's time to go make a few dirty.  My little ones are rising from their slumber and it's breakfast time. ;)

: : Your Thoughts: :
Do you wash dishes, by hand?  If so, isn't it true that it's a time for your thoughts to go down little "bunny trails" and let your mind drift into deep thoughts of .... whatever? 

I would say washing dishes is very therapeutic.  Wouldn't you??

I love it!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mom! this is cool entertainment... Thank you!

If you could only hear how Caleb says this... it's cute.

A dear friend gave this suggestion of - letting the kids play like they're washing dishes - as one way to stay cool during the hot-er days, like we've been having  around here, here of late.

Now!!  All Caleb wants to play is "boats".  Cause, "they arn't dishes -they're boats".  All is well, until he decides that he is the boat.

But.   He has to wait until my dishes are finished up - first -
in order to play with my dishpan.  ;)
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