Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's left to be done on your Christmas to-do list? EVERYTHING!!  I haven't even started to shop! Ok, well I did order one thing from Amazon but it is materials for something that I still have to make. We will be going shopping on Friday to take care of the gifts.  Oh and by the way for those who are wondering...this doesn't stress me out at all...Jeremiah yeah a little, me- not so much.  It will get done, sometime!  One year (many years ago) Jerm and I did ALL our shopping on Christmas Eve.
2. The Hodgepodge lands on the first day of winter this year. What's your favorite thing about winter?  I like the beginning of winter. It's the end of winter that gets me...It is just too long and cold!  :-)  But for my favorite part, it has to be those first couple snows.  I love when we get a big snowstorm and it coats everything in a dazzling white!
3. In what area of your life are you immature? Feel free to elaborate or not.   This is hard.... I will say...parenting.... I don't know if I will ever get it together in this department but I am trying! Lord willing, I will keep trying!
4. What was the most (or one of the most) important lessons you learned in 2016?   It has to be to savor each moment we have together.  
5. It's Fried Shrimp Day...are you a fan? What's your favorite way to eat shrimp? Will there be shrimp somewhere in your holiday feastings? SHRIMP!!!  YUCK!!!  I do not like ANY seafood.... Shrimp may be part of our holiday feastings because Ryder LOVES shrimp.  We usually get one or two shrimp rings for an appetizer for the Christmas Eve dinner that we host.  
6. What sound lulls you to sleep?  A fan.  All of us are lulled to sleep by a fan.  Our first home was right by a busy road.  Lots of noisy vehicles going up and down the road.  It would wake up the kids when they were babies.  We had found that running the humidifier helped all of us to sleep better.  Summer arrived and the hum then came in the form of the fan.  No going back now!  :-) 
7. What one word best describes your 2016? Blessed
8.  Insert your own random thought here.  For the past several years we have exchanged home made gifts with Jeremiah's family.  One gift per couple.  (The kids are the exception, they still get gifts)  This year we decided to change up the gift to have a family experience.  So as of now, we have decided to go snow tubing at a local ski resort in January. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Are you more task oriented or people oriented? Elaborate.  I am definitely a people oriented person. I don't care much for working by myself and will happily delegate tasks to others.  Now, I will say that once upon a time, I would have rather done the work myself so that it was "done correctly" but I have learned that I can't do that anymore.  It was very wearing on my mental health!

2. December 15 is National Wear Your Pearls you own/wear pearls? If you're a man answering the question, does your sweetheart own or wear pearls? Everyone share a 'pearl of wisdom' with us here today.   I do not own any pearls. I have a set of small earrings that are fakes. My pearl of wisdom is to enjoy every moment of each day.  I will add more to this in #8, the random thought.

3. Speaking of pearls...oysters? Are you a fan or not a fan? If you answered yes, tell us your favorite way to eat oysters? If you said no, be honest-have you ever tried one or does just the idea of eating an oyster make you gag a little?   Not a fan of oysters and no I have never, ever eaten an oyster and hopefully for the rest of my life I will never have one of those slimy things in my mouth.  For me, it's a texture thing and I will never willingly eat one!

4. Time Magazine has named President-elect Donald Trump
Person of the Year. Let's take presidents and presidential candidates out of the mix for a minute. If a political figure had not been chosen who would you name Man or Woman of the Year for 2016?  Honestly, I have no idea.  I guess they want famous people or newsworthy folks and really there are very few of those worthy of being called the "person of the year" to me.  I don't have an answer to this question.

5. The
Pantone Color of the Year for 2017 has been announced, and it's a vibrant green aptly named-greenery. Your thoughts? Is this a color currently in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade for the new year? Click here to see the color.   I like the color.  I don't think I have anything in that color anywhere.  It's pretty but I don't think it will show up in my home or in my wardrobe.

6. Today I've had too much________________________.   To do!!  I have cabinets to organize, my kitchen needs some major attention and as usual the laundry is out of control!!  Oh, I also need to get the Christmas cards out! AND what am I doing....blogging!  HaHa!  I will get to it though!

7. Share a favorite lyric from a favorite Christmas carol.   One of my favorite carols is Mary Did You Know? and Silver Bells is a song that makes me think of my grandma.  She used to play it on the organ a lot when I was a little girl. I don't enjoy shopping or going to the city but the song is sweet. I am going to post the lyrics to both songs. I think that Mary Did You Know? is a deep song.  Madi sang this song at our homeschool Christmas Variety Show.

Mary Did You Know?:
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you
Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God
Mary did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know
The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb
Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I am
Mary did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know

Silver Bells:
City sidewalks, busy sidewalks,
Dressed in holiday style,
In the air there is a feeling,
of Christmas
Children laughing,
People passing
Meeting smile after smile,
And on every street corner you'll hear :
Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
ring- a- ling, hear them ring,
soon it will be Christmas day.
Strings of street lights,
Even stop lights,
Blink a bright red and green
As the shoppers rush,
home with their treasures.
Hear the snow crunch,
See the kids bunch,
This is Santa's big scene,
And above all this bustle
You'll hear :
Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city,
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring,
Soon it will be Christmas day

 8.  Insert your own random thought here.  In keeping to my answer in #2 about enjoying every moment of every day here's why... This isn't to necessarily be a Debbie Downer but it's what happening in my life in real time....
I say to enjoy every moment because we don't know how many days we have with those we love.  In August, Jeremiah's cousin and her hubby lost their little girl in her 7th month of pregnancy.  It was a devastating loss to them and the family.  They have 3 beautiful little girls and she would have made their fourth blessing.  On Thursday of last week my mom called me and said that my cousin and her husband lost their little boy in her 7th month of pregnancy.  He would have been their fourth little boy.  His funeral is tomorrow. 
Yesterday, I kept my nephew.  He just turned 10 months old and is a sweet baby boy!  He had two vaccinations on Monday and wasn't a very happy camper.  He was fussy and didn't feel too good along with not sleeping well.  He wasn't easily entertained or his regular happy self yesterday.  I have a metal star hanging on the glass patio door that leads to the playroom from our kitchen.  He liked touching it and playing with the star. There are little fingerprints on the glass now and I will be letting them there.  It seems like just last week that my own kids were leaving little fingerprints on the glass.  They are both bigger than me now.  I will savor those little messy prints for a bit longer.  It won't be but a couple blinks and he will be taller than me!
Enjoy each and every moment you have with those you love.  We only have so many days and I want to savor as many of those as I can.  I will snuggle, hug and kiss my little nephew and pray God's favor on him as I do my own two kids.  I hope that as we enter into this wonderful Christmas season that you embrace those around you and enjoy every moment spent with them....even the ones who try your patience!  Blessing to All! 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Homeschool Program!

   Last night we held our annual Christmas program for our homeschool group. It is always so much fun.  It is our own version of a talent show, if you want to call it that.  We have kids who play instruments, sing beautifully, dance, do stand up comedy, drama, art work, etc. 

  I am always impressed by our kids.  Last nights show was did not disappoint.  Ryder helped the younger kids with a song they sang about patience.  Madilynne was in a drama, played  Carol of the Bells on kazoo with 7 other teens, and sang and played guitar for Mary Did You Know? Ryder isn't one to be on stage.  He prefers behind the scenes type activities or black light puppetry where he isn't seen.  Madi on the other hand, LOVES front and center stage.  My job was to run the lights for the drama. 

   The fun continues after the program as we enjoy snacks and a time of fellowship.  I like to visit with everyone and we usually have some folks visit who once attended our group or friends and family that come to see the kids.  I have made so many dear friends throughout the years because of our group. 

   The only drawback to these evenings....CLEAN UP!  Oh how I dread clean up.  We need to vacuum the entire church, clean up the kitchen and put all the tables back and reset the classrooms, red up the bathrooms and turn the lights off.  Many hands make light work but it is still work.  As is the norm for us, we were in the pack of the usual three to four families to leave. We were able to get out a bit earlier than normal though... 10:30 pm.   In the past it has been 11-11:30 pm. I am used to it though. We have been part of the clean up for many, many years.  My kids know that we will in the crew that locks the doors!  Now that I think about it, we are also there to open the doors!  LOL

   I don't mind really as these clean up times also have good memories in them for Jeremiah, me and both kids.  I can't tell you have many years Jerm and another one of the dads have run the vacuums so the moms can clean other areas.  The teens are a huge help in putting away tables and resetting the classroom areas. 

   It is a fun evening but I am glad it is over.  We will repeat everything again in the Spring! I will dread the clean up but do it anyhow!  As my kids are getting older I don't have many more of these functions to look forward to but I plan on savoring each and every one! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Let's talk holiday decorating. On a scale of 1-10 where do you fall? (1=Scrooge and 10= Clark Griswold). What's your favorite corner-room-table-space to decorate? Is it done?  I USED to be a Clark Griswold but now...not so much.  When the kids were little, Jeremiah and I went all out decorating.  We did most of the house.  However, as time went on I have drastically changed my decorating habits.  It is just too much extra work for me right now.  I am not into it as I once was.  Each year depends on my energy level and amount of excitement I have for decorating.  I don't think I will do much this year.  The tree is up and so far that's all....

2. Is there a nativity scene in your decorating somewhere? Post a picture or, if it's special to you in some way, tell us why. Or do both-it's Christmas!  I have a beautiful nativity scene.  It is very simple in design but is very fitting.  I do not have it up yet.  I think I will get it out this year, maybe.

3.  Do you live in a social neighborhood? If so are you glad? If not do you wish you did?  Many of my neighbors are my family... We are social for sure. 

4.  As the saying goes, 'there's no time like the present'. How does that ring true in your life right now?  It is ringing true here.  I don't spend a lot of time thinking about the future at the moment.  We are living day by day and enjoying it.  Each day is a gift and I want to savor it.  Today I will be keeping my baby nephew.  He is 9 months old now and I honestly can't believe how fast the time has flown!  It seems that a blink ago he couldn't even roll over and now he is crawling and getting into everything!  I love it and it helps to keep me grounded!  My own babies are teens so I truly miss this wonderful baby stage!

5. Do you dread Mondays? Why or why not?  I am one of those people who dread Mondays.  I think I have always dreaded Mondays.  I am not a schedule person so when Monday rolls around I have to leave the carefree weekends go...

6.  Poinsettia, Christmas Cactus, Amaryllis-which on the list is your favorite holiday plant? Are any of these on display in your home right now?  I will say Christmas Cactus but the Poinsettia is very close...  My Christmas Cactus is in bloom right now.  They are so lovely.  When I decorate, I like to use Poinsettias. 

7. Share a favorite quote from a Christmas movie.  I don't think I actually have a favorite quote but one our family uses is: You'll shoot your eye out with that thing!  from a Christmas Story.  I will assume that it isn't the actual direct quote but close.  I will also state that I am NOT a fan of that movie but it has some really good one liners in it!  :0)

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
   Today Jeremiah and I celebrate our 20th Anniversary. We were high school sweethearts who were engaged on Christmas Day then married two years later with a Country Christmas wedding. December 7 is Pearl Harbor Day so many folks don't choose to marry on that day but it was also my Pap's birthday.  We decided that it was ok to chose that date.  We even mentioned Pap's birthday on the wedding program.  He is gone now, actually passed away on Christmas Eve many years ago, but all our grandparents live on in our hearts and memories.  In reference to question #4; live in the present and enjoy every day you are given. Plan for the future, but don't obsess about it; remember the past and learn from it.  We never know how many of days were are blessed with.  Have a blessed day and enjoy it to the fullest.  God is good- all the time!

After re-reading #8, I think I hit random on that!!!!  I am very scattered with my answer!  Have a good day anyhow!  ~smile~

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

From My Front Porch


  I forgot about posting at the beginning of this month. I am close though!  We are having a lot of rain and wind.  It is cold here at 31* so that rain is freezing on contact.  The roads are staying clear but the rest of the stuff outside has a nice layer of ice.  I am happy that the roads are staying clear as I need to go pick Madilynne up from work this evening.

   The ice is beautiful and I would really be enjoying this storm if I didn't have to go out in it! The Christmas lights will really dance and twinkle in the crystals! 

I hope everyone is staying safe today.  Enjoy your day! I gotta get back to work!  Laundry is calling my name again! LOL


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Give us three rhyming words that say something about your Thanksgiving holiday (or your most recent holiday gathering if you didn't celebrate Thanksgiving).  
   1. Fast- This holiday was quick.  Time flew!
   2. Blast- Time flew because we were having such a great time.
   3. Last- This is the last holiday of the year that all of Jeremiah's family gets together.  Those that travel stay home for Christmas. 

2. When did you last say, 'the more the merrier'? Did you mean it?  I can't exactly say when I used that saying last.  I use it a lot.  Every time we have get together's we love to have more.  I definitely mean it when I say it! 

3. What's one piece of advice you'd give someone who is your same age?  This is tough as I could really use the advice! LOL  I am entering into a stage of life where my kids aren't as dependent on me anymore and are branching out onto other things.  They do most of their school themselves so I am not necessarily needed there anymore. They are teens and it is hard to sometimes let go.  I guess my advice would be to enjoy every moment of time together we can.  They will be flying the coop way to soon!

4. You're ordering a veggie plate, what four veggies are on it? 

   1. Carrots
   2. Cauliflower
   3. Broccoli
   4. Radishes

5. Shop til you drop! Did you? Have you ever? Will you between now and Christmas?  I didn't shop til I dropped.  I may have in my early twenties though.  I will shop again but it isn't my favorite thing to do.  I detest shopping.

6. What's your favorite chair in your house, and why is it a favorite?  A favorite chair is actually a glider with a matching ottoman.  A dear friend gave us this glider set and it is so comfortable!!!!  I love to sit and read on it. I think it may actually be a favorite chair for a lot of the family.  It isn't comfortable to take a nap in though.  I fell asleep in it one time while reading. I woke with a terrible kink in my neck!  LOL  It is also a great chair to be in while holding my baby nephew! Awesome!  It gets a lot of usage! 

7. Share an early memory of faith, religion, or spirituality. I have so many memories that picking one is hard. I guess I will go with one from my teen years.  I was in our church youth group.  It was different from many of the ones today.  Our group met to help others; like an outreach ministry and we spent a lot of time learning the Scriptures and how to apply them to our lives.  Occasionally we would go for ice cream and once we had a sledding party. That was fun!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
   It's amazing that Christmas will be here soon.  I can't believe that we are at the end of November already! We have only had one snow so far this season.  It seems weird!  LOL  Today it is raining!  It should be snow... I am not wanting snow but it makes it seem more festive.  We have had the Christmas music playing since Thanksgiving and it is starting to look like Christmas in our home!  The tree is up and some decorations have been set out.  It's an exciting time of the year!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Update, Again!

   I think that I stated a while back that I was going to do better posting.  Umm...Well, that didn't happen!  I have been too busy living life instead of blogging.  I figured that today would be a good day to update you on what has been happening here.  

   Ryder and I were under the weather last week.  He had a sore throat and head cold and I had a stuffy head.  I wasn't really sick, sick- just icky sick. I was also really tired.  Everything I did wore me out. Ryder was much worse than I was.  He spent much of his week on the couch or in bed.  He wasn't even upset that he didn't get to go to homeschool group that week so I knew he was still sick.  He is still a bit clogged in the head but doing much better.  Madi went to work this morning but she told me that her throat was a bit sore.  I told her to call me if she needed to leave work early.  She has a really nice boss and manager at her store so if she needs to leave there shouldn't be a problem. Jeremiah has been able to stay clear of the crud.

   We went to a Thanksgiving dinner for my side of the family last Saturday.  My mom hosted it and she kept it pretty small this year but we have enough leftovers to go home with each of us.  She made everything but I brought the rolls. Mom only had us, my brother C and his family and my uncle and friend K. My brother J lives in FL and didn't make it home. We enjoyed getting to visit and it was just a nice family meal.  One more reason to be thankful.  On Thanksgiving day, we went to Jeremiah's parent's house.  I took candied carrots, that we canned this year, and coleslaw.  They host all Jeremiah's extended family.  It is a large, noisy affair with lots and lots of food.  You never get the time back so we enjoy all the time we get to spend with our families.

   Madi really, really wanted to go Black Friday shopping so I broke down and went with her.  One positive thing is; Madi isn't a morning person so she had no interest in getting up at O dark-thirty to go. I have not gone Black Friday shopping in years.  I used to take both kids when they were babies with me to shop because Jerm was working. We had a good time shopping. A couple of those years when the kids were babies in diapers and really little my father-in-law even went with us to help out.  Those are precious memories that we will never forget so even though I didn't want to go shopping I went and it made my daughter extremely happy.  Another day of memory making!

  After Black Friday shopping it is a tradition to go to my in-laws again for another supper. My mother-in-law always makes turkey pot-pies with the leftover turkey and some of the left over veggies.  We eat up most of the leftovers and bring some new dishes to feed everyone again.  I decided to take a big crockpot full of baked potatoes and a container of sour cream along with the left over coleslaw.

   Speaking of memories...  This is just a weird thought that I had last week.  Madi and I were in the car going somewhere, I can't remember where but, I was driving and went to change the radio station.  When I looked at my hand I could have sworn it was my mom's or grandma's (mom's mom) hand and not mine!  Isn't that crazy?  Grandma has been gone for many years now but my memories of her are still clear. OK, so really my hand isn't as wrinkly yet but the shape and just the movement caused me to picture one of their hands. I should state that Mom's hand isn't really wrinkly yet either but still... I shared it with Madi who put her hand out with mine and was rather appalled that her lovely, young hands would one day end up with age spots and wrinkles!   HAHA!

   Since we have been doing a lot of running lately, you know that the laundry has fallen behind.  Yep, Mt. Laundry has peaked.  I am remedying that today.  I have two loads washed and on the line to dry.  Jeremiah has furnace fire going so it shouldn't be long for them to dry and I will start another load.  While Madi and I were shopping yesterday, Jerm sent me a picture of a cleaned up kitchen. He and Ryder cleaned the house while we were out.  What wonderful guys.  Jerm said that he didn't think I wanted to come home from shopping all day to tackle the mess from the previous day.  So sweet of him!   

  Well, that's all the time I am going to take today to post.  Hope everyone is having a blessed day. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Canning shelves for 2016

   I am finally finished canning for 2016.  The only thing that I may have to can is venison if Ryder or Jeremiah get another deer.  We froze the meat from the doe Ryder already got.  My mom needs some venison so the next deer will go to her but both boys can get a doe and a buck each.  We only harvest what we will eat so really we only need to get two more deer.  One for mom and one more for us. 

Here is the break down on the jars.

 ::The first shelf from the ceiling is our tomato soup.  We have already eaten a lot of jars.  Madi has eaten the bulk of those jars.  She took them to work.  :-)

::The second shelf is salsa on the left and carrots on the right.  I may end up canning more carrots because they are so convenient to have on hand.  One of Ryder's favorite sides is sweet carrots. I melt some butter and brown sugar together.  When it is blended I just add a jar of drained carrots and heat it thoroughly. Easy peasy.   

::On the third shelf starting from the left is grape juice then some applesauce from last year, then some spaghetti sauce that I also canned last year. Next in line is some spicy banana peppers and some peaches- again from last year.  Finishing up that shelf is jams.  I have elderberry, peach and blueberry.

::The fourth shelf is the green beans.

::The bottom shelf from the left is red beets, venison, honey and maple syrup.

   That's a wrap on this year.  Hopefully I haven't bored you with all the canning updates. Until next time, be blessed and enjoy this November! 

Friday, November 4, 2016

From My Front Porch

  It has been a bit since I posted by life has been a bit busy.  I did take pictures from our front porch every Friday in October.  The leaves were beautiful.  I will post the nicest ones today. 

This photo starts out early October.  The leaves were just starting to turn.

We had some rainy days.  I couldn't help but snap a shot on those days.

Some of the trees turned quicker than others. 

The sky was beautiful and blue this day.  It helped to show the beautiful colors.

The line in this picture is an electric line. I wanted to try to zoom in a bit on some of the orange and red and the line came with it!  :-)

Another beautiful sky picture!
And then the storms came.... Leaves fell quickly.  The only ones left are on the oaks....
I hope you enjoyed a little bit of October from our perspective. I enjoyed taking the pictures and tracking the leaf coloring process.  My dad always says that the leaves are the flowers of Fall. 
I hate to say it but next....comes the snow!  It may be a bit (hopefully) until the snow falls but when it does, I will get a picture of it from the front porch.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What would you say is your strongest sense? Smell and taste are close for me.  Since I have to chose one I will go with smell. 

 2. Do you believe in the idea of a 'sixth sense'? Why or why not? I do believe in a "sixth sense".  I think that we all have one.  We get that feeling in our gut and to me that is a sixth sense.

3. When do you most feel like a slave to time? Explain. When I need to get out the door for an appointment or to have one of kids to work. I don't even fret about supper time anymore....  We can eat sandwiches! :-)

4. Have you ever worked in a restaurant? How would you rate the experience? If you could own a restaurant what kind would it be? Yes, I have worked at a restaurant.  I somewhat enjoyed that job.  I learned a lot about dealing with the public and practicing patience. That job gave me experience for my future jobs as a secretary/receptionist. If I owned a restaurant I would do a down home-styled restaurant.  For one, that's the food I know how to cook and I don't like food from packages or the kind that you microwave and eat. 

 5. Ever traced your family tree? Share something interesting you learned there. I haven't actually traced my family tree but family history is a big deal in my family.  Information has been passed through the generations but my brother has traced some of our family history online.  An interesting story he found is that one of our "a lot of great's" uncle was close to George Washington during the Revolutionary War.  Shortened version:

    ::George found our uncle to be a close friend
   ::After the war was over he asked uncle what he could give him for being
      loyal to him during the war
   ::Uncle said that there was a beautiful piece of land that he traveled through
     on his way to one of the other forts
   ::George gifted him the land for his loyalty and service
   ::My kinfolk have been here since
 6. What did your childhood
bedroom look like?  Exactly the same as now.  My mom still lives in my childhood home and nothing has changed really.  I had a nice bedroom.  It was cold in winter though as there isn't a heat source in there.  My old room has sloped ceilings- kinda like an A but had straight walls about 3 feet to the floor. My kids love to go to my old room and hang out when we go to Mom's.  We go there frequently as mom only lives a couple miles away. 

7. Anyone who knows me knows I love_______________________? TEA!!!!!!  :-)

8. Insert your own random thought here. I have finished canning for the season.  Madilynne and I canned 15 pounds of carrots yesterday.  I will be carrying them to the shelves today and the season is done!

Monday, October 3, 2016


   I finally finished the honey!  I ended up with 13 quarts.  :-)   I am pretty happy with the end results!  My dad is the beekeeper.  I only help with the harvest.  ****Now before I continue I will tell you that we are novice beekeepers.  We do not do everything correctly. I can not endorse the way we harvest the honey.  It works for us but I can't state that this is the safest or correct way.****   

This year my dad and I decided to try a different approach to harvesting. We have tried several different methods in the past couple years but we struggled with those ways- me more than my dad. Since we thought we should think outside the box my dad decided that we should try to scrape the honey combs off of each section. 
This was a great idea!  It made much easier work for us- me especially with the filtering process.

The only drawback to this method is I was keeping the combs away from me so the honey would only drip onto the table and not make a mess on the floor.  Some of those combs were really heavy and stretched my abdomen muscles...hence I was pretty sore for a couple days! Ack!

I filled two nice sized bowls with honey and the wax. 
If you notice the plate and fork in the upper right hand corner- Ryder was making a quick snack of the honey and wax.  He said that this batch was one of the best harvests ever! :-)

I filter the honey through cheesecloth and a stainless steel strainer into a glass bowl.

This is some of the filtered honey.  All that is left is wax.  My dad took the wax back up to the bees.  We are experimenting to see if they will reuse the wax and take the leftover honey.

I put the filtered honey into clean Mason jars. I used a couple little jars that I recycled in case we need to give some away.  I don't worry about those jars being returned.

You can see the difference in colors if you look closely. The darker honey is clover and the more bright yellow honey is goldenrod.

Sorry about all the clutter in the pictures.  Ryder was helping me take photos and I just didn't want to take the time to make everything look all tidy!  LOL



Saturday, October 1, 2016

From My Front Porch- October

   We have entered into Autumn.  The temperatures have turned much cooler and we have removed air conditioners in favor of the furnace!  For the last several days we have been getting plenty of rain.  I am happy about it because I think our spring could really use it.  It has been raining here since Thursday evening, if I am remembering correctly.  LOL  Days have been running together lately.  I have been a bit under the weather recently due to some pulled abdomen muscles.  I was working on honey and the combs are heavy when they are full and I was holding them away from my body.  I will post more on that later as I am pretty much back to normal now. 

   As you can see from the pictures, the sky is one big cloud!  No sunshine in sight.  If you can make the photos bigger you can see that the leaves are starting to change colors.  Fall is spectacular around here!  

   In this photo you can see where the grass is dry and in need of a good watering!  There is also a bit of goldenrod across the road.  The bees are visiting the goldenrod and the clover that remain in the fields.

   This photo isn't from the front porch but...  It is of our rain gauge that shows we have been getting a bit of rain.  Not as much as some areas but enough to fill our streams back up.  Most of the creeks and rivers around here were low.

   As I read over this before publishing, I noticed that I referred to the season as Autumn and Fall....  Hum, I am not quite sure what I refer to usually.  Do you call it Autumn or Fall? 
Happy Fall Y'all! 
Autumn's Blessings! 


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Random Thoughts

   I have a bit of randomness going through my brain today so I decided to just do a weird blog post of those thoughts.  Random and jumbled- my specialty! 

   ::Am I the only person who can't wait for the election to be over?  I am all about going and voting and such but I get so tired of the bickering and the TV ads constantly ripping the opponent apart.  Ack! What irritates me most is that they pick a small section of wording and use a sentence fragment in an attempt to make you believe a lie.  I know it's part of politics but I dread it!  

   ::I made tomato soup again yesterday.  I ended up with 29 more jars.  Madilynne is thrilled with our supply.  Actually, I will say that we are all happy that the shelves are filling up.  I am thinking that I will attempt to make a V-8 type drink next.  I am not sure how this idea will turn out.  I need to look into a recipe for that.

   ::I need to make grape juice.  Our grapes are finally ready to harvest.  I may make some today actually....well, after I clean my messy house....keeping it real for ya!  :-)

   ::I am enjoying the cooler evenings.  We have pulled out the long sleeved shirts/flannels. Jeremiah is itching to build a nice big campfire!  We haven't had many campfires this year but only because we have been pretty busy. We need to slow down and enjoy our time together.   

   ::I have been focusing my time on being at home lately.  I still run Madi and Ryder to work.  Madi is working 3-4 days a week at a local discount store.  She is still really liking it.  She runs the register, stocks shelves and does some cleaning.  Ryder has several mowing jobs that keep him busy along with odd jobs when someone needs a helping hand.  He is gearing up for archery season because deer season is coming soon.

   ::I am so glad we homeschool. The kids are really gaining a lot of life experience and are able to keep up with their school work. They are learning how to handle money and make decisions on how to spend it wisely, save and tithe.  Our hope is to educate our children to be wise adults and not so much about being "smart kids" on paper.  Let me clarify that there is nothing wrong with smart kids but they need to know how to use those "smarts" in real life situations or it isn't going to help them when they leave home.  If you have an interest in home schooling, I would definitely encourage you to pursue it.  It has been wonderful for us. 

   ::Our chickens have been giving us many eggs!  I have been using them up quickly and even have a few people willing to buy them from us.  It isn't going to make us rich but it pays for the chicken feed!  :-)

   ::I have been eating way too many bologna and cheese sandwiches lately! I am not even sure why... yesterday I ate two, two people!  I don't even know if its real meat but it tastes-so-good!

   Well, I think that I will wrap this up.  I have much to do today. And maybe I need to make a sandwich....

   Be Blessed! 


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Beautiful and Full Days in the Pines

   I woke up while it was still dark this morning.  That really makes me feel like fall is coming quicker than I want.  I still have so much to finish while we have the warmer weather.  I will be the first to admit that the heat of summer isn't my favorite at all but I need a bit more time before the frost and snow comes!  The sun was starting to rise and I couldn't help but take these two photos so I could send them to Jeremiah.  I wish photos could show the real beauty of the sky but hey, I tried!  I opened the front door and snapped them from the porch. 

   I carried more jars of tomato soup to the basement this morning.  I have close to 50 jars on the shelves. Now, before you think that is a large amount let me say that several of those jars are the smaller jelly jar type so that Madilynne can take them to work.  She enjoys the soup and some mac and cheese for her lunch.  It's always a decision for her on whether she wants green beans or tomato soup now.   I ended up with more than 70 pints of salsa this year.  I couldn't remember how many we ate already and I gave some away also.
   I am so thankful to God for blessing us with a very bountiful garden this year. We are filling up the canning shelves.  Over the weekend Jeremiah and Ryder took a metal cabinet I had in the playroom, for storage, to the basement.  Madi and I filled that cabinet up quickly and made room for the new canned goods. 
   Our chickens are filling the egg cartons quite quickly.  We have been eating a lot of eggs. I am finding the challenge of using the eggs up fun. The Breakfast Burritos have been a big hit and they use a lot of eggs.
   School has been getting done. The basics are being completed.  I have put the literature curriculum and several other extra curricula on the back burner until the garden and canning is done.
   Ryder has been shooting his bow in.  He is patiently waiting for archery season to start.  I kept some extra space on the shelf for some canned deer meat.
   We have a nice sized grape arbor.  I am hoping to make some grape juice this year. I have 6 jars left.  I didn't make any last year and I gave most of the grapes away. If they wanted to come and pick 'em they could have 'em.  :-)
   I must get busy again so I need to finish this post.  I hope you are having a great end to summer! 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

We Have Eggs!

   It was an exciting day when Madilynne went to feed the chickens and found an egg!  We were pretty close to doing a happy dance- ok, well one us might have!  LOL  We've waited so long for them to get mature enough to start laying that it was exciting!  We got the chicks in April and Madi found the first egg about two weeks ago. They have slowly started to lay.  At the moment we are getting about 7 small eggs a day.  It takes about two eggs to equal one large egg until they get a little bit older. 

I prefer to wash our eggs quickly in lukewarm water.  There is much debate over the proper way to clean them but for my own sanity and just plain cleanliness I prefer a gentle wash, dry, then into the fridge.  Jeremiah and Madi keep fresh straw in the nesting boxes so they really aren't dirty to begin with.  The eggs have a clear seal on them called bloom from the chicken and it keeps the shells sealed from germs and bacteria.

I tried to take several different pictures so I could show you the different shades of brown our eggs are.  I am thinking that the darker brown eggs may actually get a bit darker as they mature. 

Ryder told me that I was spending way to much time taking pictures of eggs.  :-)

He may have been a little bit correct but I thought that you may want to see a couple different pictures.

I took two pictures holding different eggs.  The smaller eggs are from the newest layers and the larger egg is from the early layers.

I thought that this photo may also show you the color differences.  The first egg is probably the lightest shell and the smaller on is on the darkest side. 
I didn't really think about it until now, but all the eggs are brown or tan.  We don't have any white egg layers.  It doesn't really matter to me but I do like the variations in color.  A couple different people told me that the brown eggs are more flavorful. I personally am not sure about that claim because I think they are all equally good. Oh well, maybe next time we will get some white layers!  Next time! What am I thinking?  I thought it was crazy to get 10 chicks to begin with!  HaHa! I do enjoy watching the hens.
Now to start finding some more good egg recipes.  Madi likes eggs so she has been eating a lot of them lately. Jeremiah enjoyed the Freezer Breakfast Burritos too!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Busy in the Pines

   Hopefully everyone had a great weekend.  Here in the USA we celebrated Labor Day on Monday.  We went to my in-laws on Sunday, after church, for a picnic. Jeremiah grilled chicken and some cheddar brats.  I made a Caesar style pasta salad- that I will not make again. Ack, just not very flavorful and tasty.  No big deal though as we had so much other tasty food that it wasn't a problem.  Volleyball was played and the kids spent a lot of time in the pool.  We ended the evening with a campfire.  Madilynne and I did leave early as she had work the following day so we didn't enjoy that time long.  Jeremiah and Ryder decided to stay and visit a bit longer before heading home on the golf cart. 

   I canned 15 pints of salsa on Saturday morning. Jeremiah and Ryder went to the garden yesterday and picked a bunch of tomatoes so I can make more. After I have enough salsa made, I am going to try to make some tomato soup.  I haven't made this before but I am excited to try it. I have a recipe that I have tasted and it is good.  I just hope I can make it taste like what I tried.  Anyone every try to can tomato soup before?  

   My shelves are filling up.  I really enjoy looking at the "fruits" of my labor!  :-)   I had my sister-in-law J come down with me yesterday and look at the them.  She happily complied and even enjoyed it.  Yes, I am that person! I even have a picture on my phone that I will show people, if they want to see it. LOL  This is the picture:

   I took this picture one day in August to show Jeremiah the shelves and planned on deleting it but I never got around to it. I guess that procrastination worked out in my favor today!
   Along with the canning, we are trying to keep up with the house, school work and yard.  Jeremiah is busier than ever with work and the yard.  As we enter into September, the days become shorter and busier.  We are also looking at attending some of the local festivals that come in September.  The kids and I will be going to a festival on Friday with some family and friends from our homeschool group and then Jeremiah likes to go to a different jubilee to get grilled chicken that he loves on Saturday. 

   We had a nice cool down for a couple days but it looks like it going to warm up again.  I hope the humidity stays away though.

   Well, I think that's a good update for now.  Hopefully everyone has a great day and enjoy the remaining days of summer. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

   I have an interest in freezer cooking but not those cook all day making weeks worth of meals type freezer cooking.  I like the smaller, more manageable freezer cooking recipes.  I have mentioned that I like to brown and freeze hamburger, cook and shred chicken, I even chop onions and green peppers and freeze for later.  Doing these type of things really helps food prep here. 

   I decided to try my hand at Freezer Breakfast Burritos.  I have seen quite a few blogs that are making them lately but I was inspired by Lynn's Kitchen Adventures to make them.  She kept the ingredients and recipe simple.  I took her suggestion of adding green pepper and onion (from the freezer) to the sausage.  I also added a bit of pepper and hot sauce to the eggs.  Madilynne and Ryder like the little bit of extra flavor hot sauce gives to eggs. I also used Horizon American cheese slices because Ryder decided that cheese would be better than shredded cheddar.

   I made a smaller batch (it made 5) because I was concerned that they wouldn't be tasty but they turned out delicious. Our next issue is to figure out is how long to bake them in the toaster oven as we are a microwave free home. I also try to avoid aluminum foil as much as possible.


    Do you freezer cook? What is a favorite at your house?  I would like to add to my recipes but its hard to find ones that are freezer friendly and taste good!  :-)


Thursday, September 1, 2016

From My Front Porch

   Hi Folks!  I am challenging myself to do a wee bit better with updating. I know, I know, I have said this before but I am really going to try!  One of the thoughts that I had was to take a picture or two from my front porch of my view at the beginning of each month. I was talking to about this idea from a sweet and honest friend of mine and she thought that this was an interesting/good idea also. 

This particular photo is taken from directly in front of our front door. The Black-Eyed Susans are starting to fade already for the year.  I love those happy flowers.  These start to bloom as soon as the daisies are finishing. They are the little splashes of color along the road.

This angle is from the end of the porch towards our garage.  This photo shows our barn and a pine tree that my dad cut the branches off.  The tree has been struck by lightening so many times.  It is a home to several different birds and ants!

I couldn't resist the sky photo.  You can see the heavy cloud cover coming in on the right side of the photo.  I was busy in the kitchen all morning and didn't have a good chance to get a sunny picture. I was finally able to capture a shot with some sun. 
This is a picture of our home.  I thought you may want to see where I will be when I am taking my pictures!  This isn't the best photo I have but it was all I could find while trying to post this.  :-) 


Thursday, August 25, 2016


We harvested our first watermelon this weekend.

We have not been able to grow a decent sized watermelon here- ever!
 Other years when we tried they grew a bit bigger than a softball but none of them have ever reached a full size before.
It was so juicy!  It reminded me of the watermelons we used to have before the seedless watermelon.  I don't think that the seedless watermelons have much flavor. 
I can remember my brothers and I having a seed spitting contest when we were little. I wasn't a very good seed spitter.  My mom used to tell us that we couldn't eat the seeds because it would cause a watermelon plant to grow in our bellies! Haha!  I told Madi and Ryder the same thing when they were little. 
Ryder and I were taking turns cutting it. He cut through the tough outer layer and I cut it into the smaller sizes. It was heavy and needed to be cut into sizes that I could manage with a sharp knife without cutting myself!

I like to have bite sized pieces in a bowl ready to eat.

I think it is such a pretty melon.

This bowl holds 4 quarts.  It was overflowing as soon as I finished cutting it.  We ate quite a bit of it immediately and I packed some for Jeremiah's lunch. 

My mom likes to sprinkle a bit of salt on her watermelon when she eats it.  I do this occasionally but not often.  Does anyone else eat watermelon this way or have you heard of doing this?