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

Monday, September 30, 2013

Apples, turned sauce

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It's what is happening around here, today!
I'm enjoying the company of my Mom helping out, as well. She volunteered!, which makes it even better. ;)
(I thank God, she did!)
And wow! it sure does smell good.
Nothing quite like apples being turned into sauce.
Five baskets and 57 1/2 quarts later..

***

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday's Finds :: another collection, of sorts

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Yes!  In keeping with the theme of collections and collecting things... over this week. (totally unintentional, I assure you. ) I have been thumbing through this lovely and borrowed Charlotte Mason Companion book... which, in turn, gave me the excitable idea/notion to take the kiddo's out for an enjoyable afternoon hike around one of our little local parks.  It was such a beautiful afternoon.  We needed to take advantage of it, for sure.  Smile!

We paid close attention to things we saw, heard and felt.  Yes!  there was mud involved.. ;)

Oh, the green, green pond!
Trying to make a ripple in that green, green pond!
Squabbling over something they had found!  ;)
Just keeping it real, here.
Beautiful sunlight filtering through the foliage.
Anyone know what this is?  I'm asking..  because I keep thinking Nettles.
Gingerly making our way across a little stream of water.. and one or two of us (ahem!)
actually got a little wet and muddy feet to show for.  All is well...

Caleb took this picture.. and I like it just as it is. ;)
My favorite photo - right now! of my three favorite people.

 ***
Friday's Finds.  We didn't find much... on this Nature Hike, of sorts...
Just a bunch of collective smiles and comments coming from the back of the van - on the ride home!

"That was fun, Mommy.  Can we do it again tomorrow?" - quipped Caleb.
"That was sooo much fun!" - laughed Aubrey.
"Fun" - was the little echo from in between.

                                    

Have a wonder full weekend. ;)  Got that?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

:: Collected Stories ::

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My son.  He asked me this strange, rather interesting question.  


My six year old wondered what would happen if we tried to plant a flower underneath the sidewalk? It's a question with a kind of obvious answer and one I could have brushed off quickly.

But it's here in these moments of standing alone, together, waiting for the bus that I sometimes have his best - captured attention.

I rerouted the question to an old "collected story", an illustration (at best!). One that may be not so old to you.  You've probably heard this analogy before - yourself.  This thought is not original with me, however- it is one that has been so tucked into the crevice of my heart, so long,  that feels like it's been there forever now, waiting to show it's lovely face...
I want to own it, like it's mine. ;)  Know what I'm saying?

That collection...?  

I have a pocket full, I think.

Anyway. 

I answered my son's question quickly by saying, "Son, the cement is WAY too hard..." But... as quickly... I showed him the crack in the sidewalk and asked him if he ever noticed times of grass or flowers growing up in between the hard places?  Sometimes it will happen.. and sometimes, we want things to grow in between rocks and stuff. (Rock Gardening, etc.)  But.  It's in those unexpected HARD places...
 that it seems to be a miracle.

This plant-life can only grow there because it is has experienced the elements of the storm and is now reaching for the sun, etc! 

No matter if these find themselves in tight spots, in hard places... they are looking, reaching for the sunshine. No matter how hard this place may be, IT. IS. PERSEVERING...growing and growing and growing for all it's got.

Just the same for you, my son!  May it be true..


If you ever find yourself in a hard place.  Because, you have and you will.  Keep looking to the SON - Jesus Christ!.  Grow in his grace.. reach, reach, r.e.a.c.h. for HIM!


And then, the bus came..

***
Walking back toward the house...
I stuck my hand a little further into my pocket.  Checking to be sure they're still there.  Yup!

 ::Collected Stories::

I have a few more tucked away, I think.  I hope.  I pray..

I might need another, sooner or later.. I never know.

***
Later on ..I began working on a Bible Study Lesson.  (Malachi - a love that never lets go. Lisa Harper)  And, I found myself doing an assignment, as part of the 'homework'.

The author suggested finding a piece of paper or 3x5 card and writing down the verses, Romans 5:1-5, as neatly as possible using your non-dominant hand.  I'm right-handed, so I used my left hand to complete this project.  After doing this... it was suggested to put these verses in a prominent place, so that they might be seen regularly and when noticed, learn to appreciate and give thanks to God for those things that take a relatively long time to create.. and yet still don't come out perfectly.

I was in tears... as I wrote out the verse (4) and word :: Perseverance!


Any guesses why?

As I thought what I had just shared earlier with my son.  I could see the similarity. Here I was struggling to make my left hand write out - painstakingly - nonetheless, these verses. Putting myself in my kids shoes, I could relate this to the practice of learning to write, in the first place. A HARD PLACE.  How to hold the pencil just right.  Keeping it in between the lines.  I was imagining myself standing over myself; nagging? me on how to do it - "just right!".  Oh that pressure.  I begged me to "shut up".

I was shaking. My arm hurt.  This was HARD.  But the words of Truth and HOPE were sinking in... as I S.L.O.W.L.Y and painstakingly hung in there and finished the task.

I persevered.  Suffering produces perseverance.  Perseverance, character, and character - HOPE.

In celebration, I decided to add verse 6, to my list.  I felt it just summed up the whole thing.  Here it is..

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for {me}the ungodly."

***
I honestly think the interesting question and the conversation that ensued, that morning, with my son and I was really for me.

At the end of the day, no matter HOW HARD it's been.  I am reminded that Christ has finished the work.  He died on that cross.  He rose again.on the third day.   Because of that, he has given me the power to (now) grow in HIM..  growing upward, in HIM.  REACHING for HIM.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Some of the best... collections!

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Flower season.  It's slowly coming to an end..
The nights are getting cooler colder and things are slowly sighing to the delight of summer past.
I sigh too.
***

Last evening, the girls and I were going through the flower beds and ridding some of the obvious "dead" away.  I was gathering up a few Zinnia heads - full of seed.  (I want to try this! Collecting seed for next year.)  Only for me to realize - when we got back onto the front porch that my baby daughter (she's two yrs old) had filled both her pockets..
with Zinnia heads.  Ones young and beautiful, vibrant, with life hanging on..
The best!

A pocket full of posies..  
These, are they.


:: Collections?  oh yes.

***
This morning, while waiting for the bus, my son asked me an interesting question.  These are some of the times when I have his full attention and I can pull out ... some of the best, in my response.  I pray..

I reached into my pocket to pull out one of those "collected stories"...

Because, he asked...

He asked me what it would be like, what would happen if we tried to plant a flower underneath the sidewalk?

To be continued...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Appealing to the Senses :: Sound

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Morning Doves (calling for rain)!

Thunder (off in the distance or nearby)!

Cows Lowing!

The sound of my Husband's voice and deep hearty laugh..

Pages turning...in a book.

Overhearing the kids in their child-play; with their vivid imagination(s).

When I hear an unprompted "Thank-you!" or "Yes, Please" out of one of my children.
.
The tea kettle singing of happiness.

The sound of crunchy fallen leaves skittering across the grassy field..

****

All this.. these sounds and more.

Appealing to the Senses!


If you can, take a few minutes, please...listen closely to the lyrics of this song.




***
Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A front porch visit with Bevy...

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Good afternoon, my friend!  Good afternoon.

I hope you like rambley - because it's what I've got, today.  First off, today was and still is absolutely gorgeous!  I was able to take advantage of it this morning.  I'm home now and am still smiling.   Come on! Come on, out to the front porch and sit a spell.. let me tell you all about it.



For starters... my mom agreed to watch the girls for me, this morning, so that I could treat myself to another pedi.  Girls, trust me!  IT WAS A NEED!

I had a few other errands to run and so take advantage of it, I did.  I also got in a much needed phone call to an old gal friend of mine... which was nice!  After that, I was able to go do a little hopeful shoe shopping.  ;)  Honestly, I don't these sorts of days very often.  Particularly because and when you live on a budget like we do, it can be little risky to just "go shopping", you know what I mean?... especially the "hopeful" kind of shopping.

I used my "spending" (for fun!) money already on the pedicure... and so what was burning a hole in my pocket was a gift card with only $12.00 and change on it.  I knew I wasn't going to find much.  But... I prayed about it enroute to the store.

I'm looking for several types of shoes - right now.  I could be flexible.  But what on earth could I possibly walk out of the store with and have only paid $12 dollars for?

After trying on several expensive (though on Sale!)various array of shoes, albeit non were quite my size/width, etc. I'm a little picky, because I have to be.  I NEED comfort - not just funky.
I realized that there weren't any my exact size, to be honest.  I knew I wasn't going to settle - so I asked the clerk and she confirmed that indeed there were no sizes hiding in the back. (As I had hoped.)

There on the clearance  rack and you know where I'm going with this, right?  There on the clearance rack was this pair of flip-flops.  For $11.99.  Deal!.  I know flips-flops are kinda outta season - I mean it's the end of summer, but hey!  I can still wear them from time to time.  Especially on days like to day.  And it will be summer again!  Amen?

****
Get this!

Last night.  I was flossing my teeth, and totally broke a portion of my tooth/molar.  It fell out, right onto the counter.  So you know what that means - dentist appointment.  That appointment will take place sometime tomorrow.  It's the first I could get in.

I feel bad.  I was at my mom's one day last week and she had some peanut brittle lying around and I helped myself to a piece.  Here it had totally had gotten stuck in that particular tooth area and I jokingly complained to my mom ... "Wow, mom!  this stuff's liable to pull somebody's teeth out."  (praying all along it wouldn't be mine..)

Lo, and behold!

Now, she's the one feeling bad.

It's all good.  All but the HUGE crater in my mouth that if I eat on the side - well, it doesn't feel so good..

****
The other day, I discovered that my source for most of my upholstery samples (what I use for my bags) is GOING OUT OF BUSINESS.  I called to inquire if they had any hanging around... left to handover.  He said, No! and what they do have on the racks - will have to go back to the manufacture".  I am a little bummed.  But.  The Lord will provide... and honestly, I really do have a lot to work with right now anyway.

I just always like "fresh and new"... to work with.  To choose from.

****
This is my favorite thing I couldn't wait to cackle about.  Pun fully intended, but in this case I'm talking turkey.  Hang in with me!  It's kinda long...

So last year, we got this HUGE turkey that my sister and BIL raised - I'm talking lots and lots and lots of pounds worth in one turkey.  I'll have to find out the exact amount, and let you know.

In fact.  John, my BIL, had to saw the thing in quarters, even to wrap and then freeze it,  because there is NO WAY on God's green earth I would have anything big enough to roast this bird in.  Let's just put it this way.  When I did roast the drumstick...it looked like the Pebbles war-club and it nearly did not fit lengthwise in my roaster pan.  However, it was the bestest tasting thing we ever had.  So moist and yummy..falling right off the bone.  That kind of good..


The same with this (one) Turkey breast.  Alone...it had to be over 11 pounds.  Again.  I wasn't so sure it would fit.  It did.  But barely.  I ended up having it in the oven from 9am- 4pm, at about 300*.  I put up about 5 quart bags of cooked, chopped turkey meat - ready for casseroles and soups and what have you.  I'm so excited about this..

Here is what I really want to tell you.

Back when I canned those red beets, the other week, remember?  Well, the brine for that recipe is close enough to base of this Onion and Herb Salad dressing, as a recipe that I got while visiting with  my friend, Amanda - down in VA. - oh, back in May of 2012.  (the yummiest of salad dressing's ever!)  It's actually from a friend of hers.. named Sarah.  

Anyway.

Last week or so, when I canned my beets ... I had one quart of this brine left over.  So - I went to my neighbor Amanda and asked for some of her herbs (of course I shared a jar of it back with her!) and just started throwing this recipe together.


It made pretty much...obviously.  So... I decided to use it as marinade for this Turkey and I have used it for baked chicken as well. 

WOW!!!  how wonderful.

Here is the recipe:
Herb and Onion Salad Dressing
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 -1 1/2 cup sugar
1 large onion, cut into wedges
2 tsp salt
Use the following herbs, as desired:
celery seed, oregano, thyme, basil, marjoram, ground mustard, rosemary, black pepper, 
Combine all ingredients into blender or food processor, slowly add 2 cups of vegetable oil (DO NOT TRY this with Olive Oil) until dressing is thickened.  Store in refrigerator.

I do like to say... I find it a lot of fun to feel this free and get creative in the kitchen.  Not trying to brag or anything, I'm just saying...it's really a blessing to be able to do this sort of thing and get away with it... if you know what I mean?

****
One more thing, about books, and then I'll close.. besides, I know you have to go anyway. ;(

I find it is absolutely the nicest thing in the world, receiving letters and or packages in the mail.  Especially when they are books... because you were thought of - at one point - and that friend just wanted to share that thoughtful blessing with you.  Books are a wonderful extension of friends.. amen!?!?!

That happened to me, yesterday.  Twice! actually.. no.  Three times.

I decided to start attending a Ladies Bible Study - Wednesday Mornings at my daughter's preschool.  So - I got that book yesterday.  It is called Malachi - A love that never lets go (Lisa Harper, Life Way)  Whoa... this is going to be really, really good.

While gone.. and when I got home...I found that a friend of mine had stopped by to drop off the Charlotte Mason Companion Book that I had asked to borrow, at some point.  I told her if I wasn't here when she found the chance to stop by to just drop it in my "mail" basket... and what a fun surprise!!  (I think I'm really going to enjoy this read...)


Later, in the afternoon, yesterday, when my hubby got home from work... and brought it in the mail.  Lo, and behold, a nice little gift awaited me from one of my favorite blog readers/people. ;) A book called, Heavenly Hospitality (Jo Ann Janssen), a handwritten note and a couple of teabags... perfect! Thank you, Kristin.  You're so sweet.


Okay... so, I know.  I kept you long enough...



Good-bye!  Thank you so much  for coming by and visiting.  After you leave, I'm just going to sit here and continue to thumb through this book, if you don't mind, until it's time to throw dinner together.  What do you say..

I'm thinking (some sort of) Soup and biscuits tonight.  That can't be too hard..

****

Enjoy the rest of your day!  I probably won't get a chance to come back here until Monday, Lord Willing!... so with that, have a wonderful weekend.

Will you?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

{random} Summer Snapshots

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 ***

'Don't hold too tightly to any one season of life, but realize that God is writing the whole story. He has the whole big picture, and He is the one who is weaving it together to bring glory to Himself.'
-Nancy Leigh Demoss
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