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Showing posts from July, 2010

Afternoon Adventure

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Yesterday, Nathan had a parade to march in and Dan was off picking someone up at the airport so I decided to take Stephen & Emily and go off on our own adventure. We decided to go hiking on the Appalachian Trail. This trail runs from Georgia all the way up through Maine and part of it runs through our neck of the woods. It's such a beautiful place to go and is very peaceful. The trail we took runs along the Housatonic River. I've never gone hiking without the whole crew and it actually was a very nice time. Emily & Stephen are very similar in personality and they had a great time together. We enjoyed exploring all the different sights we saw along the way. We hiked for about an hour and then started back. We didn't get started until about 5:00 so it was getting dark deeper in the woods, even though the sun was still shining brightly down by the river. That was about the time Stephen started teasing Emily about bears coming to get her. Such sweet brotherly love

Thankful Hearts

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Psalm 135 1 Praise the LORD. Praise the name of the LORD; praise him, you servants of the LORD, 2 you who minister in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God. 3 Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant. I love verse 3 of this Psalm. It is more pleasant to remember the good things the Lord has done for you, than to sit and dwell on the negative. Whenever I forget that and have a whiny day, I always feel worse. I find it much more beneficial to look at the positives going on in my life. Here is my list of praises this week: ♫ Stephen had a wonderful time canoeing, backpacking and camping in the Adirondack Mountains last week and made it back safely on Saturday. He even got to fly in a hydroplane over the area that they were going. ♫ He finally found a job and started yesterday and loves it. ♫ My garden is continuing to produce fairly well. ♫ I had jury duty this week and was not looking f

Busy Few Weeks

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I've been busy the past few weeks with numerous projects around here. I've been weeding, harvesting vegetables, canning, freezing, and dehydrating. Working on sewing projects. Laundry & cleaning. Outdoor projects. Then there has been church work and one exciting new project which I'll share another time. Busy, busy, busy!

3D Girls Reunited!

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After taking a break for a year, I decided that I was going to start up my 3D Girl's Club again just for the summer. It has been so successful though that my co-leader and I are going to keep it going into the school year. We will take a break at the end of August for about 3-4 weeks and then start up in the Fall. We have a smaller group than in years past, but have 9 girls coming right now. The girls have been having a ball. We do a devotional to start off the night. Then we have a craft. And learn to cook. This week they learned to crack eggs and make omelets. Finally, we end the night learning some songs and doing drama/dance. They are preparing to lead the morning service on August 22nd. I'm especially pleased this year because I can see spiritual growth happening in them. They have been bringing their Bibles and learning more of God's word. We always work on learning to include others of all ages. I get so much energy from them each week and really look forwar

Homemade Ice Cream

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I purchased a Rival ice cream maker recently and have started making my own ice cream. Ice cream is so expensive and after figuring it out, discovered that I can make it for a lot less and I also know exactly what is going into it. Here is my basic recipe which makes 5 quarts: Vanilla Ice Cream 2 1/2 cups milk 2 1/2 cups sugar 1/2 tsp. salt 2 1/2 cups half and half 1 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla 5 cups whipping cream Scald the milk in a large pot. Remove from the heat and add the sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Then freeze according to the directions on your ice cream maker. If I want different flavors, I just add some different ingredients. Cookies & Cream - halfway through the freezing method on the ice cream maker, add 30 crushed oreo cookies. Mint chocolate chip - Add 10 drops peppermint oil to the initial mixture before refrigerating. Halfway through the freezing method add 8 oz. semi-sweet cho

Camp Week

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Emily is back from her week at camp and it was so good to see her yesterday. She has never been away from home so it was an adjustment for Dan & I. She was tired and ended up with a fever and the beginnings of a nasty cold last night, but she was happy. Here are some photos that the camp took of her during the week. The main thing I was thrilled about was her excitement about all the things she learned spiritually during the week. One of our reasons in sending her was to give her a different spiritual experience than she has had in our small, rural church. We wanted her to see the Christian community on a larger scale so that she realizes that there are lots of other children her age who love the Lord and are trying to follow Him. It was a great week for her and we definitely want her to be able to go again next year. Hopefully, next year we can get some other children from our church to go too!

Living Simply Revisited

Over the past couple of days, I have been thinking about my last post on Living Simply , and I wanted to revisit it a bit. I am concerned that I came across as having it all together and that I may have discouraged someone reading here. I don't think that everyone is going to have to do without the things we do nor live exactly the same lifestyle that Dan & I chose. Each family is different. Circumstances are different. I do think that we all need to do our best to pare down a bit and live simpler, but that will look differently for each person. A friend of mine does not have a house phone and uses the cellular phone as her primary phone. So it's not practical for her to cancel her cell phone. Others may have husbands who are not on board with this whole idea and of course, you can't stage a revolt and do what you want in that case. Though, I'm sure many women try. ;-) I probably will break this up over a few posts because there are a lot of reasons WHY

Thankful Hearts

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1 Chronicles 16:8-10 8 Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 9 Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. 10 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. I love doing this each week. It is such a great way to really look at things in a different light and thank the Lord for his many blessings. Here is what I'm thankful for: ♫ The beginnings of a good harvest. ♫ An unexpected financial blessing that helped to pay for car repairs. ♫ Much needed rain. ♫ An answer to prayer for two of my children. ♫ A reminder of his promises. ♫ A good week (so far) of camp for Emily. The nurse only called me once and that was because of an excema flare-up which was treatable. What are you thankful for this week?

Living Simply

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Dan and I have never really been enamored with any of the material trappings around us. I think it's just the way we are wired. We both feel that all of our money is the Lord's and that we are simply stewards of what he has given us. One thing that we are committed to is tithing 10% of all of our income. I do have to say that this often hurts. We live on one income. We don't have a lot of extras. We don't get to do big, fancy vacations. There are many things that our children do without. We could have more if we didn't tithe. Yet, we feel that this is something that God wants from his believers. Dan is ruthless and tithes on everything, even monetary gifts people give us as well as every extra job he gets (tutoring, weddings, funerals). The money we give each month could definitely go a long way towards making things easier for us. It would probably cover our electric, oil, and telephone bill combined. We live in one of the most expensive counties i

Crafty Creations

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It ended up taking me three weeks longer than I planned, but I finally finished the baby quilt for Emily's teacher. Company, church events, and life all kept getting in the way. I just have to tack down the binding and iron it, but here is the finished result. I'm pleased with how it turned out and I love the material. I used a soft flannel for the back. Rather than machine quilting which doesn't seem to work well on flannel, I ended up tying the whole thing with embroidery thread. When I first started making the quilt I was going to do just small 4" squares. However, I ended up changing the whole design. Hopefully Emily's teacher will like it!

How Does My Garden Grow

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This has been a great year for the garden and it is humming along nicely. I'm starting to harvest some of the veggies out of it. There is nothing like biting into a vegetable fresh off the vine! The peppers are coming in nicely. I harvested my onions and the skins are drying in the sun. There are a ton of little cucumbers growing on the vine. I'm starting to get beans. We ate our first cabbage yesterday. Yellow squash. The tomatoes are growing and I can't wait for them to ripen. Hopefully, we will have a large harvest this year. The grape tomatoes & roma plums are coming in nicely but my Big Boys seem to only have one or two blossoms and no tomatoes yet so we'll have to wait and see how they do. Other things maturing: peas, zucchini, pumpkins, kale, kohlrabi, spinach, lettuce, eggplant, basil, mint, thyme, rosemary, oregano, dill, parsley, sage, and tarragon. Before Saturday we hadn't had rain in about three weeks so I was doing a lot of watering. I didn&

Bittersweet

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It's hard when your children grow up and start to fly the nest. I love these different stages in my children's lives, but I don't go through them without a certain amount of anxiety. For Emily, a lot of my anxiety has to do with the fact that we've dealt with so many serious health issues with her allergies. If she just touches peanuts, peanut butter or walnuts she stops breathing. So I've always been tense in certain situations which are beyond my control. However, as she gets older she is much better able to handle the food allergies. She knows to check things before she eats them. She has been begging us for a long time to let her go to camp. So this summer we finally took the plunge and drove her to camp today. She is at our denomination's Bible camp and I know that she will be well cared for. There is a nurse on staff. They are aware of the severity of her allergies. The counselor in her cabin has used an epipen before. They don't have peanu

Thankful Hearts

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Psalm 8 ~ 1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! It's been a hard week around here and to be honest, I don&

Beauty Uncovered

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I love my flower garden. Whoever lived in this house before us knew what they were doing with flowers. They planted a number of perennials that all bloom in various stages so that the garden is always full of colorful blossoms. I, on the other hand, know NOTHING about flowers. I can't tell a weed from a flower sometimes. So for the past two years I've lived here I have been afraid to pull anything because I wasn't sure if it was a weed or flower. However, this is what my garden started to look like. I finally decided that I needed to take drastic measures. So for the past month I've dug and chopped and sweated. I replanted some Sweet Williams from another bed where they weren't getting enough sun. This weekend I finally finished and here is the final result. Things are blooming nicely. Hopefully I can keep it looking this good!

Scenes from 4th of July Weekend

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Here are some scenes from a very fun, 4th of July weekend! Nathan marched in a fireman's competition parade and our town came in first place.