Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!

Yip and Yap, my Potterheads, dressed as Hogwarts wizards.

Of course Yip as Harry Potter....thanks black eyeliner pencil.

So now what do I do with my house full of candy??

Uggh....I feel a week long stomach ache coming on....

Sunday Devotions - Pray continually

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

I admit that this verse in Scripture has always made me feel guilty. Okay, I feel like I can find the postive in most situations but that part where Paul says, "pray continually"? Come on Paul! Do you know how busy I am? I mean, how can I pray all the time when I'm always running this way and that. And if I can't pray continually then here comes the guilt. How on earth can we be prayerful at all times when there are so many other things vying for our attention?

I recently read A Busy Woman's Guide to Prayer by Cheri Fuller

In the book Cheri Fuller acknowledges the hectic pace of life that we all lead and how quickly prayer can be viewed as a burden in our lives rather than the wonderful gift that it is. The gift of a relationship with God. She has a number of suggestions to help implement prayer in our lives so that we may pray continually.

1. Pray BLESS - When you feel the need to pray for someone pray for their; Body, Labor, Emotional, Social and Spiritual growth.

2. Place Post It Notes with prayers in a place where you'll see them everyday; the treadmill, bathroom mirror or over the kitchen sink.

3. Rather than try to find one extended period of time to pray during your day sprinkle little prayers throughout the day.

I pray for my family while I fold clothes. As I pick up each item I pray a short prayer for the person it belongs to and the activity they may be doing while they wear that particular item. Socks, I pray that God may lead my family down the path to Him and Truth. I'm not great at prayer and there are days I forget. Sometimes it's hard to be thankful when all I want to do is complain to God.

How do you pray? How do you keep it in the front of your thoughts everyday?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Purse Gurl!! I miss you!!!

The bright flower in my world is gone!! Purse Gurl has left me!

Oh, Purse Gurl...why oh why have you abandoned me?

Was it the noise? I tried to keep Yip and Yap quiet so you could sleep in on Saturday mornings.

Was it Yahoo? She just wouldn't stop stealing your shoes. Yes, I could see how that could be annoying.

Was it my sorry state of a kitchen? I realize it wasn't up to the standards of a Johnson and Wales Culinary Alumnus like you. If I promise to buy new pots and pans will you come back to me?

Was it me? It was, wasn't it? I was smothering you with my need for girl talk.....oh, and I kept stealing your InStyle magazines. Sorry.....

Please, oh please Purse Gurl...reconsider!! Come back to us!!

In all seriousness, Purse Gurl left yesterday to head back home to Indiana. Even though she arrived in Kansas two months ago a bit confused I'm happy to say she has a plan...that might bring her back to Kansas! BUT, until she the day she might return I'm still feeling lots of abandonment issues.

Luv ya bunches Purse Gurl! Hope your drive back to the Hoosier state was a safe one!

P.S. - Don't come back without pork tenderloins!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Easiest Fudge Ever on Foody Friday

This is the easiest fudge ever to make. In fact, it's so easy Mountain Man used to make it himself all the time when he was a little kid.
Take a bag of chocolate chips and pour it in a microwave safe dish. Melt in the microwave. I put the bowl in for a minute, stirred them a bit, then returned it to the microwave for another 30 seconds.
When the chips are melted pour in a can of
sweetened condensed milk. 
Stir well and pour into a 9x9 dish sprayed with Pam.
Pop into the freezer for 30 minutes or so until the fudge is firm.
When fudge is firm repeat the steps with peanut butter or butterscotch chips.
This fudge is rich! But that didn't stop Yahoo and I from polishing off most of the pan.
But we saved a couple of pieces for Yip and Yap....
Good thing this is so easy....this plate of fudge would just be insulting to my boys.
Time to make some more! 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wow! What a sunset!

Last week we had a storm move through in the afternoon, a rather rare event for this part of the country. After getting Yahoo settled into bed and before getting Yip and Yap down for the night, I glanced out the window and saw this.
Can you believe these colors?? I ran out to the middle of the street real quick and snapped a half dozen or so shots. If DR had been home I would have left bedtime for him and I would have taken off into the countryside.

No editing...this is what my sky looked like.
Yes, I've laid claim to it. The Kansas sky is now mine.

It had rained overnight too and was pretty overcast the next morning. Yahoo and I walked on down the road after the boys left for school and saw a quick moving fog roll in...just enough to hide the top of the elevator.

Photo comments and critiques always welcome.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Table

Look how hard at work the men in my life are! There they are in the garage slaving away.
Cutting, nailing, sanding...what are they up to?
Okay, only one of them is hard at work. DR runs the power tools while Yip is always standing at the ready to pick up wood. Yap keeps his bum useful holding down that seat!
DR is building me a new dining room table! He always amazes me....he had the whole table and 8 stools built in one day.
And they're great!
Dirt and sawdust looks good on you Yip!
The reason DR is so hard at work is for Thanksgiving. Now, I don't expect a big crowd for Turkey Day but I did invite a few people and our current dining table just wasn't big enough; I'll compare the two later. Our dining room is small so space is at a premium; rather than chairs DR and I decided stools would work well.

Now that the table and stools are done Yahoo and I have the job of sanding and staining. Okay, it's my job alone...
DR tried a couple different stool designs. I'm thinking a dark walnut stain. What do you think?

Even though DR banged this out fast and I really love it, because he made it, it's not anything fancy. This table and chairs was designed for kids in mind. I know my kids will climb, draw, paint and give this table a good workout in the next decade or so. But it's sturdy and affordable. DR only spent about $100 and all the materials!
I love the looks of it all though. Sturdy, a bit rustic and practical...nothing fancy.
My new table is 3 ft. by 5 ft, big enough to seat 8 people. I can't wait to get it finished and in the house!
Even though I only invited a few family members (you know who you are) don't be offended if you didn't get a call from me! Hey, I'll happily feed anyone who shows up on my doorstep on Thanksgiving. So, if you have nowhere to eat turkey swing on by and check out my new table!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Great Garden Plan, 2011

Okay, it's not so much a Great Plan, as a Really Vague Idea.

A while ago I posted about DR fencing in our back yard to keep in the riff raff, you know the riff kids! Well, I'm finally posting pics of the finished project. Not so much because it's a great fence or anything but because it is going to play double duty. Keep in the riff raff and garden duty.
Here is what the perimeter of the yard fence looks like. Yes, I know those tall posts with holes in them look silly (the farmers around here keep threatening to cut them down) but trust me there is a reason for the too tall posts.
Quick view of my clothesline! Yay! I know, some town people think it's tacky but I'm not out to win a popularity or yard beauty contest. My clothesline saves me money...wind is free.
Okay back to the fence, we have a section between the fence and the road that is going to be our garden. It measures roughly 4 yards by 14 yards. Long, narrow and by what I'm used to, a really small space. DR has decided we need to wait til spring to till up the soil and work in our compost. Because the climate here is SW KS is so arid he is thinking of putting in a drip tape when we plant the garden. I'm not exactly sure how this will work but DR assures me he can get it done.

Every other garden I've had has had plenty of space for me to grow whatever my little ol' heart desired; popcorn, pumpkins, peas, beans, tomatoes, carrots....the list could go on and on. But...I can't grow everything in a little town garden. I have a small space!

That's where the tall posts with holes come in. The plan (i.e. vague idea) is to run a cable through all the holes, the 14 yds of the garden, and use it to create some sort of trellis for plants to climb up. I know this will work with peas but I'm really not sure what other types of vegetables climb well. I'm not even sure yet what plants/varieties/seeds I will or should be planting here.
I'd also like to hang sheperds hooks on the inside of the tall posts and hang buckets of tomatoes on them. I love tomatoes and am hoping to have a bucket on every post.

So, that's all I've got. That's the Great Garden Plan!

Help!! Any tips or hints for gardening in a small space? Plant varieties? Tools? Equipment? Books or magazines I should read? Any advice would be greatly apprecated!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Marker Monday - Last Minute Halloween Decoration

Here's a quick last minute Halloween decoration that will get you and your goblins into the spooky spirit.

Take a brown paper lunch sack and stuff it with wadded up paper. Twist the top and secure with scotch tape. Then paint the whole thing a pumpkin might work. Spray paint to make the process go quicker.

Add pipe cleaners for stems and vines.

Draw or paint on a jack o' lantern face.

Super quick, super easy and a perfect decoration for the front porch on spook night.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Devotions - What would you trade for money?

There is free publication I've found recently called Southwest Kansas Faith and Family. In the latest edition there was an article that I found very interesting that I'd like to share with you today.

by Judy Woodward Bates - DORA, Ala. (BP)

Would you trade your daughter for a new car? Your son for a bigger house? Your spouse for a corner office? You wouldn't, would you? At least, not intentinally. Yet there  are countless believers out there chasing the almighty dollar to the neglect of everything and everyone they claim to be loving and living for.

A woman I'll call Melissa was in a Bible class I was teaching. One Sunday she expressed a desire to stop working outside the home so she could be home with her children. "Then do it," I urged. "You can make it on your husband's salary, I'm sure."

And they could have. Her problem, though, was that she wouldn't be able to make the payments and pay the insurance on the new car her oldest daughter was driving.

So I issued her a challenge; Go home and discuss it with her daughter. So she did. Melissa told her that she was considering leaving her job to be a stay at home mom and that this would mean selling the new car and finding a less expensive used one. The daughter promptly declared that she would "absolutely die from embarrassment" if she had to give up that new car. In other words, the values Melissa's life had been teaching had rubbed off on her daughter. Her daughter was willing to trade her mom for that new car and insurance. 

What about you? What sort of values are you teaching? Say you wouldn't trade anyone you love for a material possession? Then go home and live like it. If it takes a smaller house or an older car or a lesser job to free up more time for what's really important, make the necessary changes. 

My parents are both with the Lord now and they had no wealth to leave behind for their children. But two things they had in abundance; love and faith. Had they left me money, it'd be long gone by now. Yet because they left me something priceless and timeless, I still have all of it and more. Their love and their faith led me to my own love and faith for Jesus Christ and for others. And nothing, including difficult financial times, can take that from me. 

When you draw your last breath, what will you have left behind - material wealth? Nothing wrong with that. but what about spiritual riches? I pray that your greatest legacy is one of faith in Jesus.  

Dear God, Help me to pass on Your values to my children. Help me to realize what is important to live for. Amen.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Shelling Corn the Old Fashioned Way.

Today I'll show you where we "found" the cornmeal and wheat flour for yesterday's yummy Honey Cranberry Cornbread!

A couple weeks ago Yip and Yap's kindergarten class took a walking field trip a couple blocks from school to Raymond's house. Raymond is a retiree who had a backyard full of antique farm tools for the kids to try out. Raymond also goes to our church and the boys have been begging to go back to his house again. So Raymond graciously let us come over and play and learn!

The boys started off shelling corn. The cob of field corn would go in the top and a the large wheel on the side would be turned. The corn kernels come out the bottom and the cob gets pitched out the side.

Yay for John Deere!

Then the corn kernels would get poured into the corn grinder.

Each with full cups of!!
These boys make this look easy don't they! It was harder than it looks.

After all the cranking, the ground cornmeal fell out the bottom into a little basket Raymond had rigged up. Yep, that's where we got our cornmeal for cornbread! (I did grind it up a little more in a coffee grinder at home.)

Then they tried it with wheat. It didn't work quite as well but we still brought it home and made it work.

Yahoo tried to help too; she kept trying to put the cornmeal back in the top....when she wasn't eating it that is!

Raymond has all kinds of antique goodies hidden away!
A couple more corn shellers.
Antique strands of barbed wire too.

I've only seen a collection like this in the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Raymond said most of it he found here in the local area too.

A hand drill...thank goodness for electric cordless drills. This took a lot of work!

Raymond also had a scale. I'd never seen anything like this before. Sorry, I really should have tried to get a better pic of this. Basically it's a J shaped piece of metal that is hanging from the post. Metal weights are hung on one end on numbers while the thing being weighed (my boy) sits in a swing underneath with his legs off the ground. Which ever number the weight hangs balanced on tells the weight of Yip. 56 lbs.

Thanks Raymond! We had a great time. Don't worry, I have a loaf of cornbread with your name on it!

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