Saturday, April 15, 2017

Busy Week on the Hilltop!

   Oh, the weather outside has been delightful!  We have been enjoying the change to warmer temps.  We have done a lot- and I mean a lot- of running.  The car is getting a work out!  I love it.  It's been busy but we are together and we have a good time talking.  Ok, sometimes the kids majorly disagree on something but overall it's a good thing.  My kiddo's aren't really little anymore (15 and 16 years old) so discussions can sometimes get deep/interesting.  They both seem to have a sweet spot for the 1980's and early 1990's music...  Really??? Who seriously wants to go back? Haha! 

   We have had many pop-in visitors this week.  My dad, my uncle, my mom came with my little nephew C.  Mom and C spent the afternoon with us.  C is 14 months old and he is so much fun.  I love to listen as his little feet pitter patter across the floor. He makes sweet little sounds to communicate and a couple short words like "Mom, Dad, Baby, and Ball".  He loves to wave "Bye" and "Hi".  We also had some friends of Ryder's come and spend a day here too.  The boys were constantly on the go. 

   Ryder mowed our yard and started mowing at one of the jobs that he carried over from last year.  All the grass is growing and starting to green-up.  I enjoyed getting the first scent of freshly mowed grass.  When my uncle stopped in, he wanted to get a whiff of the fresh smell too!  After a long winter the smells of spring and the birds singing are welcome- except for those who have those spring time allergies.  I'm sorry for you.  Jeremiah has been dealing with those recently and it isn't any fun; it takes away from your enjoyment.

   Madi had a "hankering" for a sandwich from the little creamery we visited with our homeschool group this winter on Thursday. She had to be at work at 1 so it worked out great to go have lunch before her afternoon shift started. I got the same Grilled Chicken Salad that I got before and it was so much better.  They have really improved since they opened last year.  I guess they just had to work out the bumps.  It is real food and not packaged, processed food and the taste is so much better!  They had a couple new farms listed on their sign to let us know where they got their produce and meat. 

   We went to a dinner last night (Friday) to celebrate my sister-in-law's birthday. Jeremiah had work so he wasn't able to make it. We went to a new restaurant about an hours drive from home.  I wasn't impressed with it.  I ordered a Grilled Chicken and Ranch sandwich (minus the bun) and I was far from impressed.  The chicken breast was too grilled.  It seemed like I was actually eating charcoal sometimes.  It was also grisly and fatty.  I think that is the term I want. Madi said her food was ok, not good but ok. I think it was called a Chicken Cheesesteak. She also ordered some onion rings that were huge and did have a very good flavor to them.   Ryder got a Philly Cheesesteak and he said his was good.  As an appetizer, he ordered some chicken strips and was happy with those.  The two dips that came with the strips were good.  My mother-in-law wasn't overly happy with her food either. I wasn't impressed with the prices either.  I felt that they were high.  No wonder they didn't list the prices on their online menu.  Most people wouldn't want to pay that much.  It worked out to roughly $20 per person without the tip!  If it was "real" food and not premade, packaged food from a chain restaurant I might not bulk as much but not for that.  I don't plan on going back there to eat. Ryder and Madi said they don't want to go there again either.  However, it was time spent with family so I wouldn't take the time back and we also tried out another new restaurant.  It was time well spent even if the food didn't turn out so great.

   Tonight, we are going to go to my in-laws to have Easter dinner with Jerm's family.  I am taking coleslaw and candied carrots.  We will be going to my mom's after church for dinner tomorrow. She has everything covered for dinner at her house. It is also a smaller dinner (9 people) since it will just be our family and my brother's family attending. 

   So I will end my post with that.  I hope you all have a most blessed Easter!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

From My Front Porch

  I missed last months From My Front Porch but really it wasn't much to miss.  Everything has been dreary and gloomy so those pictures wouldn't have been much to look at.  Actually, in the late winter/early spring there isn't much to look at but water, mud and bare trees! 

   So guess what todays pictures consist of- you got it- water, mud and bare trees!  Ok well, you won't see much mud because as I was taking these pictures it was raining pretty good.  You can see the muddy water though! I can see some buds starting to come onto several of the trees. 

   I love spring!  The temperatures are starting to come back up and new life is starting on the farm.  My dad is getting ready to raise some chickens, turkeys and pigs.  He has the new pens and hutches built so next comes the animals!  I am not sure when the cows are coming back this spring but when they arrive I will get some new pictures posted.

  
In this picture you can see the water flowing along the road and running across the driveway.  There is too much water for the ditch to handle!


Ryder decided to drag the basketball hoop down to the driveway for spring.  He has some repairs that he wants to do to it.  Last fall a pop up storm came through and blew it over.  It roughed it up a bit but nothing he can't fix.  However, he did announce that we would need a new basketball... Ours was looking pretty bad last year so I guess it's time for a new one. In this photo you can see the water running through the yard in the tracks from the golf cart and the 4-wheeler.

 
   The grass is really getting green.  Ryder said it will be soon time to mow it!   :-)  

Monday, March 27, 2017

Random Thoughts and Updates

   It has been a quite awhile since I visited the blog.  I wasn't trying to avoid posting or writing but I was just plain ol' busy.  I decided that I wasn't going to push to get something written even though I have been very aware of the time that passed. 

   We are currently experiencing some warmer weather but not hot.  It has been in the lower 60's and I can definitely handle that. I am usually not in a hurry to rush warmer temperatures but this year has been different and I am (im)patiently waiting for warmer weather.  I am ready to get back to shorts and t-shirts. 


   Madi brought this little kitty home from the store about 2-3 weeks ago.  Someone dropped off/abandoned this little kitty and she was bones covered with skin. The poor little thing broke Madi's heart and she called me to ask permission to bring her home and try to nurse her back to health.  Madi named her Buffy and she is thriving and growing like crazy.  She feels like silk- so smooth.  Buffy is such a sweet and loving kitty.  She is a cuddle kitty too. She loves to nap and snuggle right by you. 

                                            ~~~~~~~~~

   Ryder celebrated a birthday recently and he made it easy on me.  We met with family at a little local eatery about 5 minutes away and then returned home for cake, ice cream and gifts.  I only had to clean and make two cakes.  He wanted a Funfetti cake and a butter cake with chocolate icing.  He asked my mom to make him a pineapple upside down cake also.  I told him that I could make that cake but he said that Gam's cake tastes better!  I had to laugh because I learned how to make the cake from her and make it exactly like she does.  Oh well, it saved me the work and the cake did taste awesome! (I did take a small bite and it didn't hurt my stomach.) My mama does make a good pineapple upside down cake!

   One of the gifts Ryder received for his birthday was a drum set.... Yes, a drum set and Jeremiah and I were the ones to give it too him.  I have regretted that decision several times already BUT since he has been playing them and Madi will play them while he plays his electric guitar it is starting to sound so much better and not just banging.  I am quite impressed by how quickly they have both picked up playing them.  It will actually sound pretty good with some more practice. 

   We have not been parents to shy away from giving our kids musical instruments like recorders and flutes or xylophones and toy drums when they were little.  I have always felt that music was good for brain development.  Both of the kids were introduced to classical music at birth.  Madilynne doesn't care much for classical music now but Ryder still enjoys it and will occasionally listen to it before bed.  Jerm played guitar for both kids all the time and later he encouraged them to strum guitar along with him once they were old enough to follow simple instruction- around a year old or so.  We also sang a lot to them when they were little. 

   Our kids enjoy playing acoustic and electric guitar, ukulele, keyboard, harmonica, violin and now drums.  They both started formal instruction on violin and branched out from there on their own.  They are self-taught on the remaining instruments for the most part.  They received some instruction on guitar from some family members but not much.  I probably couldn't afford lessons anymore!  LOL  I'm glad they have a good base knowledge of music to teach themselves. 

                                               ~~~~~~~~~~

   As for my digestive issues... I have been doing really good in watching what I eat but I have sampled some foods that contained gluten.  I have only experienced a bellyache once but that was because I knowingly ate more than I should have.  I have found that if I only sample something it is ok but more than that isn't good for me.  I am hoping that I am getting better because I wasn't able to sample before without getting sick.  I just need more time. 

                                               ~~~~~~~~~~

   I have been clearing away a lot of junk and clutter from our home lately.  I am gearing up to do some Spring cleaning soon and I need to get rid of the "stuff" first.  I feel so much better getting rid of it.  It just took up space and made everything look messy.  Much to my surprise, a lot of the clutter was truly junk that just needed pitched.

   Well, I figure that's enough stuff to write about until the next time... Have a blessed day!
 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Winter Photos

   I looked at the date that I last posted...February 2!!  Yikes!  An entire month has gone by.  Each day has been full for us though.  It has also been a month of sickness for us.  Sore throats, plugged ears, stuffy heads... Ack! I'm so tired of all of it.  At the moment, Ryder is dealing with a sore throat and stuffy head and I have plugged ears.  I am happy that it isn't flu-like stuff though. 

   An update on my stomach issues if anyone is interested...  :-)   I am still not able to eat gluten or eggs (I can eat eggs baked in something just not plain).  Gluten foods give me heartburn and a very bloated stomach. I also just feel plain old icky if I eat gluten.  I am able to eat some cheese now but I don't want to overdo it. I have lost my cravings for desserts and sweets- which is a good thing for me.  I also don't care much for bread.  However, I do not make my own bread anymore because I could not avoid eating that!  Homemade bread fresh from the oven is divine!  I don't even use sugar in my tea anymore!!!!  Yeah...no sugar...I do use some honey though.  That's it for my sugar fix! 

   I had promised to post some of the photos that Madi and I took on her way to work during the last big storm.  I thought about posting them frequently but when those thoughts arrived it was beautiful and sunny outside and I didn't want to think about snow! Plus, I took so many pictures (500-serious) and Madi narrowed it down to 25.  I have to decide which ones I want to post.  I really don't want to post 25 pictures! :-)   So without further ado...









Thursday, February 2, 2017

From My Front Porch

   Can you believe we are in February already?  I can't believe how fast January went by.  We've been having some great winter weather for those who love the snow!  I have been taking some photos of the snow and I am putting together a post of snow pictures but today's photos are from my front porch. 

 
  It was a very dreary morning and it was snowing while I was taking these photos.  We are having temps in the lower 30's to upper 20's.  The weekend is set to "cool down"!  HaHa!  Our low temps will dip into the single digits!

 
Jeremiah and Ryder have been enjoying the snow.  They have been riding the snowmobiles in the fields and back yard.  The snowblower has been getting a work out also. 

 
I am starting to anticipate Spring.  I love the beauty of everything being coated in white and the fact that there aren't any bugs but I am tired of being cold all the time.  It seems that since I started my new eating regimen that I am cold more times than not.  I can only hope that it continues into summer when I am usually hot and sweaty all the time!  :-) 
 
Today is Groundhog's Day!  Does anyone tune into see Punxsutawney Phil?  We usually try to catch his prediction on TV.  It's just fun.  I do not wish to go to Punxsutawney (PA) to see him though.  I figure it too early, too many people and way too cold! 
 
Be Blessed and Have A Great Day!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge



1. Can you believe it's the end of January? What was the best day of January 2017 for you, and why?  I can't state an actual day of January but the end of January has definitely been better since I have figured out what I can eat and what I can't.  Staying clear of wheat and gluten has been a major plus for me. 

2. What sounds make up the background noise in your life?  At the moment the fan from the furnace is blowing, the radio is on in the kitchen, the dishwasher is making a quiet hum and Ryder has the TV on for some history lessons. 

3. I read on the
Power of Positivity website a list of ten things to drop from your life right now. They are-

anger outbursts, people who put you down, regret, negative self talk, being a people pleaser, the notion you need to be perfect, the past (but keep the lessons learned!), gossip and judgment, comparing yourself to others, and the word hate (focus on what you love instead)

Which thing on the list do you most need to drop? Are you trying or will you try? 
I have dropped a lot of these from my life several years back.  I'm still prone to anger though. That one is hard to keep in check for me.  I recently started to have some negative self talk though.  In the last year, I have been struggling with negative thoughts with my body image.  No I am not a youngster- I am in my early 40's.  Jeremiah has been very supportive of me and has been excellent at counter-acting my negative thoughts.  He doesn't see me the way I do.  I never cared about body image before but for some reason the last year or so has been hard for me.  I am not the skinny-minny of my youth and maybe that is catching up with me.  I know that I have a husband who loves me for me and not for what I think I should be.  I am getting better with the negative thinking and I owe a lot of that to Jerm.  I can only pray that other folks have someone in their lives who loves them through the negative. 

4. What is sacred to you?  I guess there are different ways of looking at the word sacred so I am just going to go with my first thought.  My marriage and family is sacred to me.  I can't imagine not having them.  I also keep my faith and belief in God on the sacred list. 

5. January is National Oatmeal month. Are you a fan, and if so how do you like it?  I do like some oatmeal.  I make oatmeal with butter, brown sugar and a little vanilla.  That's the way the kids like it too.  You can make oatmeal taste good and not like wallpaper paste. 

6. What feelings does twilight stir up in you?  I do not have any particular feeling stir at twilight.  Sorry but I don't have an answer for this question...

7. Something you're looking forward to next month?  My birthday is in February along with my mama's.  My little nephew's birthday is two days after mine.  He is the sweetest little guy ever!  We will celebrate his 1st birthday on my 42nd birthday!  I am 41 years and 2 days older than him.   :-)  I am so excited!  He is my only nephew so he is pretty special around here. 


8. Insert your own random thought here.
  We have been getting some snow around here lately.  I plan to do a separate post sometime soon with some pictures that I have been taking.  This photo is the Pine Tree Forest. Madi gave me her phone to shoot a few pictures of the snow while she was driving.  I ended up taking about 500 photos. She went through them and narrowed them down to 25!  Only 25!  ;-)  It was a very overcast morning so it was hard to get decent pictures. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Family Dinner!

   For those of you who have been following the updates on our Christmas present decision to have a family experience instead of gifts; here is the update. Since my brother-in-law is still dealing with the blood clot issue in his leg, we decided to do a family dinner.  We went to a little restaurant that has been around a long time but none of us have eaten there before. 

   We had a very enjoyable evening but since our family is getting bigger we were seated at a long table and it was slightly difficult to converse with everyone.  We had planned on going bowling after dinner but Jeremiah's work schedule changed and we needed to cancel going bowling.  We have decided that we would go bowling another time instead. Yay! I am not sure when we will do that though.

   I will say that the family dinner was much better than doing the family gifts.  We talked and laughed and made memories for ourselves and the kids.  I personally think that these type of evenings are better than having stuff sitting around our house.  I appreciate the creative gifts (honestly) but memories will last a lifetime.  We are all getting older and it is better to spend time together.

   As for the restaurant itself...  It isn't a place that I would recommend going to eat.  It has a casual atmosphere and our family didn't have to worry about noise or anything like that but the food wasn't the best.  I would say that half of the family liked their food and the other half was on the it's only ok side. Madi and my father-in-law ordered the same dish- hot roast beef and fries with gravy-they both said it was lukewarm and didn't taste good. I felt bad for Madi as she has recently started to try eating meat again and received an icky dish.  Boo... I had ordered a chef salad and it was huge and good. Jeremiah and Ryder each ordered a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich and fries and they were in the it's ok group. The portion sizes were giant but the taste just wasn't there.  Quality vs. Quantity-  Quality lost.  Those that ordered steaks and ribs said their orders were good.  My mother-in-law ordered some sort of pasta and shrimp dish and she said it was good also.   
 
Giant Nacho Plate!!

   Jeremiah ordered a plate of nachos and it was giant!  We passed the plate around the table several times and it never seemed to get smaller!  HaHa.  Madi snapped this picture of it (the only picture of the evening-my apologies)  You can see how small her thumb looks.  This was taken after the first pass around!  :-)  There was also an order of cheese sticks, jalapeƱo peppers and an onion blossom going around the table too. I didn't try any of those but was told they were really tasty. 
 
   Overall, the dinner was a huge success (in my mind) even if the food wasn't great.  The company was and that is all that mattered! Take the time to spend with family and friends if you have the chance and make some memories!
 
   Be blessed!