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Showing posts from July, 2010

Your Ideas Wanted Here

In the past few years I have begun to simplify some of my home decor. This has included de-doilying my end tables, coffee table, etc. I didn't realize how many I had accumulated over the years. It all began when I worked in a Victorian-style gift shop, in case you were wondering.

I have some really beautiful handmade pieces (not shown) that I am definitely keeping for another time, but I also have quite a few pretty smaller pieces that I'm wondering what to do with.

I'm thinking there must be some great crafts that I could make with these. I'm not really a *country* decor girl, so I tend to shy away from that style. But nothing really good is coming up with I google *doily crafts*...haha

So...give me your thought, leave me some links, just help in general!! There's got to be something fun I can do with all of these.

If not, maybe a *doily giveaway* is in order...LOL

Special Delivery

It all started on Sunday afternoon with my son's Lego *RC*. He (*RC*) came rolling into my room toward me with a note attached to his antenna. When I detached it and opened it, it read "I {heart} U! So precious! Then *RC* took off and it started all over again.

I now have quite the *love note* collection from these past couple of days. My daughter had to get in on the action, too, but mostly these are all from my sweet boy. I have no idea where he got the idea of sending me notes via *RC*, but I love his little creative mind.

Then Monday afternoon I remembered that way back around Valentine's day I had picked up a couple of mini mailboxes at Target's $ section. I had some idea then of attaching them to the walls by their doors or something, but had tucked them away in my closet and nearly forgotten them. So I dug them out and put their names on the fronts of them with letter stickers, tucked a note inside each and surprised them by putting them on the floor…

One Thousand Gifts

0241. my mom's home cooking

0242. time spent with extended family members

0243. a new family pet

0244. watching my 7-yr-old daughter write her first *book*

0245. receiving *love* notes from my son via his remote control car

0246. air conditioning on hot summer days

0247. that word of encouragement just when I need it

0248. having a good tune stuck in your head

0249. the fun of *real* mail in the mailbox

0250. the joy of writing a friend a *real* letter



Menu Plan Monday: July 26th

This past week it was just the kiddos and me and we really stuck to our menu plans fairly well, with only a couple of minor adjustments. I don't know why it's harder for me to do that when Vince isn't home.

We have been enjoying yummy bruschetta this week with basil fresh from our garden. We also enjoyed some amazing biscuits with chocolate gravy. I thought I'd share those recipes with you this week. I tried a new-to-me biscuit recipe from Susan Branch and it was AMAZING! You have to try these!

(image from Google, because we ate ours too fast to take a picture)

Best Biscuits
(from Susan Branch)
2 cups unbleached flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1-1/4 tsp. salt
2-1/2 tsp. sugar
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
4 Tbsp. melted butter
*****
Preheat over to 425F. Put flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into mixing bowl~stir with fork. Slowly add cream, stirring constantly, just until dough comes together. Place dough on floured board and knead for 1 minute. Pat dough f…

A Word of Encouragement

In reading from Daily Strength for Daily Needs this morning, I was struck by this passage. And I wanted to share it with you.

"We complain of the slow, dull life we are forced to lead, of our humble sphere of action, of our low position in the scale of society, of our having no room to make ourselves known, of our wasted energies, of our years of patience. So we say that we have no Father who is directing our life. So we say that God has forgotten us. So we boldly judge what life is best for us. And so by our complaining do we lose the use and profit of the quiet years. Oh, men of little faith! Because you are not sent out yet into your labor, do you think God has ceased to remember you? Because you are forced to be outwardly inactive, do you think you may not be, in your years of quiet, about your Father's business? It is a period given to us in which to mature ourselves for the work which God will give us to do".
~Stopford A. Brooke

Man's goings are of the L…

Our Homeschool Curriculum for This Fall

I am so excited about all of our curriculum choices this year that I can hardly wait to start school again.

Don't get me wrong, I have really enjoyed our summer break as much as the kids have. At this point in our homeschooling career~the early, very hands-on years~I cannot imagine schooling year-round. Mama needs a break just as much as the kiddos do! At least this mama does!

Ever since our first year of homeschooling (2007), which was really a K4 year for The Princess, I feel as if I have been in perpetual research mode concerning curriculum. There is just so much out there and I want to choose just the right things for my kids~it can be overwhelming! I probably drive the other moms in my homeschool group nuts asking them questions about the curriculum they use, but so many of them are SO much more experienced than I am that I value their input. Other moms can be one of your greatest resources! Plus there is always new stuff…

The Daisy Shop

My friend, Karyen, over at Everything's Coming Up Daisies, has opened a new online shop: The Daisy Shop!
She's got some really cute things in there: all kinds of zippered bags, fabric notebooks, fabric notecards, tote bags...
...and she's havinga giveaway!! So go visit her blog and her shop and enter for some awesome prizes while you're shopping.

One Thousand Gifts

Listing these gifts, this "counting my blessings" has been such a wonderful reminder each week as to all of the many things that I sometimes so easily take for granted. It is a worthwhile endeavor and I highly recommend it!

0231. fresh veggies~the variety and beauty of all those displays at the farmers market is amazing!

0232. the joy of watching a harvest mature in my own tiny backyard garden

0234. cooking with my hubby

0235. cooking with my kiddos

0236. the fun that a tire swing brings to two kiddos and their grandpa

0237. endless squeals of joy from all that swinging

0238. watching my kids' excitement in learning about God's Word

0239. seeing how God is working in them and growing them

0240. knowing that God is still not finished working in me and through me



Menu Plan Monday: July 19th

While this week's menu is striving to be ultra child-friendly, I am trying a new thing or two. Just so I'm not too bored in the kitchen {grin}. Vince is going to be out of town so I am cooking to please the kiddos, although I must say The Princess and even Mr. B have greatly expanded on their food likes~thank goodness! For some funny reason Mr. B is much more willing to try new things since he turned 5 last month.

Last week's dinners were somewhat haphazard and off-schedule, what with the kiddos going to VBS each night and having a couple of meals there thrown in. I guess all-in-all it was actually easier on me.

Then this weekend Vince and I hit the Farmers Market, the local cattle ranch for grass-fed beef and the organic market for organic chicken. I am very happy! I don't mind eating a little less meat and pay a little more if we can eat the good stuff. I feel so much better about feeding my children meat without hormones and antibiotics.

Plus Vince made m…

Fifty-Nine Bottles of...Spice On the Wall (Or In The Cabinet)

I have come to a realization. I love spices.

I realized this last night when I was doing a bit of spice-cabinet-organizing and counted up nearly 60 spices and spice blends in my cabinet. I know! It's an addiction! But I really do use nearly all of them, at least occasionally.

There is definitely all kinds of stuff in there. Although every once in a while I come across a recipe that calls for a seasoning that I actually don't have. Hard to believe, isn't it?

And I know that you are supposed to clean out your old spices every six months or so and while I must admit I'm too cheap, I mean frugal, to do that with abandon, I do toss one occasionally. But it is amazing how long spices actually do last!

I do have a few personal faves. Seasoned Salt is one. I love the stuff from Tastefully Simple, although I do have a great from-scratch recipe for seasoned salt that I love, too. Smoked Paprika is another wonderful spice. I could just smell it all day long! T…

Why Do I Do This To Myself?!

Do you do that, too? Worry too much?

Why?

Why do we do that?

I know maybe one reason that I do. It's a control issue. I like to be in control, I admit it. I'm not really proud of that though. And it's not like I'm really in control anyway. Sometimes I guess it just feels like it, when I can have everything planned out.

I've had nothing planned out for a couple of years now though. Let me rephrase that: I've had plans, but none of them has worked out.

I've come to realize that God has very different plans for me and my family than I would have chosen. And He has very different timing. This is hard for me, given my love of planning and scheduling.

I am slowly learning some things though.

Things about waiting on God. Waiting for His timing.

Things like His plans are always better than mine. He can truly see the *big picture*.

Things like really, and I mean really, trusting in God. In His provision.

So while this season of our life seems about 2 years too l…

Indoor Summer Fun

While summer is usually the time for outdoor fun, sometimes you just have to do something inside. We have needed some indoor stuff to do these past couple of weeks for a couple of reasons: 1) swimmers ear and 2) some days have just been too hot.

Thankfully I've had a few craft projects stashed away for just such a day~thanks to my sweet friend Paula for thinking of us when she had her big *clean out* a few months ago! She passed along a couple of projects by Crayola's Big Yellow Box (which I had never even heard of before) that were just perfect for my kiddos.

So when The Princess developed swimmers ear I knew just what to do. It was time to paint some bookends.
She and I worked on this little project together over several days. It was really fun and everything we needed was already there in the kit, thankfully. She did a great job painting and stenciling these. I only helped with some of the detail work that she wanted.

She was even more excited about finishing these …

Summer {Educational} Fun

While it hasn't been a big-event-filled summer, we are definitely having some fun times. It's all the *little moments* that really count anyway, right?

One of the *little moments* recently was a trip to our local nature center (which we LOVE). It's such a great place to hang out. This day we decided to bring the kiddos new fishing rods and try them out. And even though they didn't catch anything, they sure did have fun trying.



Another fun recent adventure was taking a *tour* on the Arkansas River. This was another program by our nature center in which you could reserve your spots (all for free) on the AR Game & Fish Commission's pontoon boat to take a 1.5 hour river tour in our area. We learned some of the important things you need to know in order to navigate the river, plus we enjoyed the sights. It was even overcast and not-too-hot that morning, the sun only came out in the last 10 minutes of our cruise. Perfect!



Another local program that I just disco…