Monday, November 17, 2008

Meeting Jeremy Camp!

I never win anything. Anything. So I could hardly believe it when I was caller 10 and won a pair of tickets to the Jeremy Camp concert to take place in Fayetteville on November 14th. Mike and I LOVE Jeremy Camp's music, so we were stoked! Needless to say, I was shocked when KLRC called about 10 days later to tell us we'd won the Grand Prize . . . . front row seats, a Nintendo Wii, and the opportunity to play Guitar Hero with Jeremy Camp before the concert. I was totally not expecting that!

Mike and I had been looking forward to this for weeks, so my day kind of crumbled when he came home from work Friday morning terribly sick with a cold. He felt like he'd been run over by a Mack truck and said he wouldn't be able to go with me. So I was totally bummed. :-( Thankfully, my sweetheart cousin Alisha was free Friday night, so we had quite an awesome girls' night out! We had such a great time. Jeremy Camp was truly a super-nice guy. The concert was fantastic. Our seats were A1 and A2. Front and center. Wow.

Playing Wii Bowling with Jeremy Camp. Thankfully we did not play Guitar Hero, because I was totally clueless. LOL

Alisha, Jeremy Camp, Me!

Some JBU students were there filming for a documentary project so they got footage of us playing the Wii. (And now you all will learn an interesting factoid about me -- I am a gum-chomping madwoman when I am nervous) ;-P

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Love Fall

Friday, October 31, 2008

You Might Be a Redneck If . . . . . .

You put Halloween decorations on your pokeweed.

Seriously, I haven't had such a goofy case of the giggles in a long time. Mike and I were in our hometown over the weekend, and were driving past a former neighbor's house. These particular neighbors have always had an unkempt lawn to say the least, and, well . . . . just strange ways in general. Mike was reminiscing (ranting) about the fact that growing up he always got jipped into mowing their side of the property line which they neglected. Mid-sentence he blurted, "Oh. I like how they decorated their pokeweed."

WHA!!!??? I burst out laughing. That had to be the most random and absurd thing I'd heard in I don't know how long. Decorated their pokeweed?

For those who may not know, this is pokeweed:

It's very common in rural areas. Rampant, in fact. It's just a big ugly weed and it gets pretty tall if you don't chop it down.

I looked and there it was. Two stark stalks of pokeweed standing in the front yard . . . . . with that fake green spiderweb stuff strung in between them. I don't know why it was so hilarious. I guess you just had to be there.

Yup, redneck. So.stinkin.funny.

A Tribute . . . . .

In Memorium . . . . . .

T-bone, we knew the day we brought you to our home that you would bring fulfillment to our lives.

You grew up gracefully . . . . . (sort of).

And then you met your fate.

T-bone, we love you more today than we did yesterday. You will live on in our freezer and there will always be a special place for you on our plates.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Baby Einsteins

OK, can I just brag on my kiddos for a minute before my buttons bust? :-)

Isabel, at 21 months, can finish a peg puzzle in no time flat. We keep ALL our puzzle pieces in one basket. She can dig through and figure out which pieces go to which board. I think she might be ready for a 100 piece puzzle by Christmas. (Kidding!) She is also starting to recognize a few colors. She definitely knows "yeh-wo" , "ohnge" and "pank" (yes, she's an okie girl). :-) To top all that off, she can sing her ABCs -- er, something that sounds extremely close, anyway.

Isaac, 3 1/2, is beginning to read!! He is starting to sound out short words. He's been able to do his letter sounds for a while, but didn't understand how to put them together and I hadn't planned to push him on it for a while yet. It clicked for him this week when Isabel checked out a library book called "Quack Shack". It has 3 sections, words with the "ack", "ock" and "ick" families. Each section has several words with different letters in front. We were reading it together, and all the sudden he started spouting off some of the words before I read them!

This morning we were all 3 doing puzzles together and he started playing with his letter magnets. We did the same concept -- ack, at, og combinations, putting different letters in front of each one -- and he was able to read several words by himself!!! It's a great start! :-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We've All Gone Nutty!

This week we enjoyed one of our favorite fall traditions -- picking up black walnuts. Mike has done this every other year since he was around 12 years old. This was the kids' first time going with Mike (and mine as well). We had a great time and filled two truckloads! I think Mike has met his match and partner for the next several walnut seasons . . . . . Isabel is quite a pro :-)

Isaac's favorite part was knocking walnuts from the tree. The one that fell in this picture conked his sister on the noggin. Double the fun. :-)

Little Miss Izzy showed us up! She filled her bucket five times over!

Isaac and Daddy picking up

These are stains from the hulls, they won't fade for several days

2.5 hours and 56 five-gallon buckets later . . . . . .

Filling the hopper and watching the walnuts go up the conveyer

Isaac and Isabel watching the hulling machine

Giving our weight receipt to Ms. Gail to calculate how much we made! Isaac and Izzy are excited to get a little candy money :-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fun Fall Project!

I was inspired to start making these t-shirt dresses when I saw something similar in a boutique catalogue. They are so easy and affordable to make, even for bumbling beginners like me! :-) Here is a tutorial:

Step 1. Start with a tee shirt of your choice. Cut off bottom of shirt straight across, to desired length. This dress will have a dropped-waist. For a higher, empire waist, cut off a couple of inches below the armpit seam.

Step 2. Cut a length of fabric twice as wide as of the bottom of the t-shirt.

Step 3. Cut off fabric to desired length, leaving 1 1/2"-2" for hem.

Step 4. Place fabric right sides together, pin and sew along each side of fabric.

Step 5. Sew a loose gathering stitch around the top of fabric. I do this by hand, it's quicker and easier than the machine, in my opinion. To do this on the machine, set your stitch length to the longest setting, stitch around, leave threads long, do not backstitch.

Step 6. Pull thread until fabric is the width of the bottom of the t-shirt, distribute gathers evenly, tie off thread.

Step 7. Pin right side of shirt to right side of fabric. Sew together.

Step 8. Turn dress inside out, turn hem twice (turn once then iron, turn again and iron). Sew around.

FINISHED!! Embellish as desired!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Recipe Time . . . . .

I had some overripe bananas on the counter, so I tried a new recipe and I had to share it:
(Besides, if I post the recipe here, I won't lose it, muahahaha)

Chocolate Banana Bread

1 1/2 C. flour (I used whole wheat)
1/4 C. cocoa (Of course I used a little more! It's chocolate!)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. butter
1 C. sugar (or 3/4 C. honey)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. mashed bananas

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and bananas. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Combine flour mixture with banana mixture and mix well. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for about 1 hr. Turn out of pan and let cool 10 minutes before cutting.

It was quite heavenly.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lessons for Everyday Life: Matthew Chapter 14 -- Isaac's Commentary . . . .

This past Sunday, Isaac and his classmates learned (via flannel board) the story of the feeding of the five thousand. They all listened well, and afterward answered my questions about the story, while coloring their little pages with pictures of fishes and loaves.

This evening as I was picking tomatoes out of the garden, Isaac asked if he could have a particular tomato that apparently impressed him. He carried it around for a while, licked it, bit into it, then laid it on the porch for later. His little sister soon spotted it and snatched it off the porch. When Isaac saw his tomato in her grubby little hands, he nearly had a meltdown. "NOOOOOOOOO Izzy!!!!" I stopped him. "Hey!", I said, "It's OK! You can share it. We have more." For a split second, he almost continued, but suddenly, his tiny face changed, revealing the big connection that had just been made in his mind. "Oh. I can share. And God and Jesus. And Jesus said we can share food! I can share food." He was recalling the lesson he had learned about Jesus asking the little boy to share his food with everyone, and how Jesus was pleased when he did so. Isaac stopped throwing his fit and graciously accepted when Isabel came to him and handed over his tomato.

"Isaac!", I praised him, "You are such a good boy. You are a good listener!" It's little moments like this that make my mommy heart soar. I've been so proud of Isaac lately for doing so many grown-up, responsible things, like getting his own drink of water and making his bed. But this tops them all. I know that he is approaching an age when the Spirit is going to be stirring in him. He actually applied a biblical principle to his life for the very first time. He knew that he should share, because Jesus said to. And that's enough.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Critter Wranglin'

We do a lot of that out here. Mike was moving hay in the barn and we came across a fat, black snake coiled up between bales. We didn't hesitate to see if it was a ratsnake or a cotton mouth (we have a lot of those since we're right by the creek), so we immediately went for the kill. Mike and I pulled it out as it was trying to slither down into the bales. It struck at us, and Mike asked "do you want to do this?" I really did, LOL. So he traded me the t-post for the shovel I was holding (it wasn't heavy enough) and I got rid of the stinkin' thing.

It was a good 5 feet long, as you can see. I checked its markings and went inside and checked my trusty snake website, It turned out to be a black ratsnake. It was harmless and would've eaten rodents for us, but oh well. I'd rather not risk a cotton mouth hanging around in the barn where us and the kids are frequently, and where the goats go for shelter and hay. Snakes found in the barn will go without question. There turned out to be a good reason to eliminate him after all;

This momma banty was nesting just a few bales away and that mean old snake would've eaten her precious little eggs. Mike found her behind some bales. When he moved them and even raked around her, she never so much as flinched. Funny, because when I was working in the barn this spring I came upon her unknowingly and she chased me for getting too close to her newly-hatched brood. :-)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

An Awesome Ministry

Isaac attended a VBS this week at the little church just down the road. A group from Dallas, TX comes here every year and puts on a VBS for local kids at this church. They went door to door and invited all the neighborhood kids, and even went and picked them up in vans they brought with them. What an awesome ministry! This group of young people comes year after year to a rural area with small churches that don't have the manpower or financial resources to do a VBS, and evangelize to all these young kiddos. They brought EVERYTHING with them! It was so great! They were such an enthusiastic and sweet bunch of young people. Isaac had a great time and I was told that he was quite popular and entertaining, LOL. That sounds like typical Isaac . . . he's a stage ham. ;-) He came home with a really cool t-shirt and some awesome crafts, and he loved his classes, Jesus songs, and all his new friends. Praise God for this group of young people who blessed this community!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Life Out Here . . .

I never did like the idea of a blog. I initially thought "Could I be so self-absorbed? Who would care to read the tedious details of our everyday life?". But alas, here I am! Walking around our little farmette tonight and looking at all our baby animals, I couldn't help but want to share it. Mike has always wanted a website for our farm . . . . well, here's a start!

Then there's the fact that I'm always "writing" in my head. I have a lot of musings, so . . . why not write them down somewhere? I also really enjoy reading my friends' blogs. 'Specially all my Crosswalk girls. (Gimme some pointers, ladies!) I've decided this really is no different from journaling. It is a great creative outlet. I don't care if anyone else reads this, at least I have a place to organize my crazy, random thoughts. :-)

Maybe someone will find it all amusing! :-)