It's nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of our everyday life. We headed out to the old home place, my grandparents farm, 60+ acres of woods and meadow, 5 miles from nowhere, and an hour from any major after Thanksgiving shopping sales. My grandparents are not with us anymore, but we still have the farm. Being there reminds me of all the fun I had with them as a child; exploring the woods, running through the fields, gathering hen eggs, picking tomatoes, getting chased by Brahma Bulls, and fishing in the pond. I hope your Thanksgiving was like ours, filled with family fun.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
By far the most fun I have about this time of year is baking cookies. One of our favorite family traditions is baking and eating cookies while we put the ornaments on the tree. I do like Thanksgiving, but for me it is just the first celebration of the Christmas season. It's the warm up band for the main concert. When the last dish of the Thanksgiving meal has been washed and dried, I'm ready to break out the Christmas CD's, warm up the oven, and mix up a batch of cookies. Here's a great place to find those recipes that you can't seem to locate in your recipe box.
Monday, November 19, 2007
I promise, I do not have a green thumb, but this year I have had the best garden and I have no explanation other than God saw fit to send the rain. I am terrible about watering regularly, and I haven't put in a drip system because I don't really have enough square footage for the garden to merit that kind of attention. This year we did have a lot of rain and I am still reaping the fruit of the harvest. My tomato plants are so loaded with tomatoes that the tomato cages that I set up to support the plants are groaning under the weight.
This summer the hubs, the kids and I enjoyed, corn, canelope, squash, bell peppers, jalepeno peppers, tomatoes and peanuts (they're still drying). It really has been an unbelieveably good gardening year, and I can't take credit for the bounty that we have harvested. What is most surprising is that I'll probably pick three dozen tomatoes off these vines within the week, thanks to 80 degree temps for the past few days which will continue on until Wednesday. It was so warm yesterday that my oldest put on his swim suit and hopped into the pool. I admit, its a little too chilly for my liking, but the kids aren't as particular when it comes to water temperature as I tend to be.
Even the rose bushes are still working overtime, which reminds me that I need to prune them back. I usually forget and they get all gangly and ugly looking by spring, and by then I hate to cut them back because they've already started flowering.
Thank you God for a wonderful summer garden and the extra fall fruit!
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Yesterday, I had a similar light bulb experience, thankfully not about math problems. I was listening to a woman I know talk about prayer. She made the point that prayer's purpose was not for me to change God's will about what ever was concerning me, but for God to change me so that I could follow his will for my life. "Hello!" I know probably all ya'll mature christians already knew that, and if I thought about it long enough I would have agreed as well. But honestly, I don't think I really have thought, I mean really analyzed my prayers. God's probably rolled his eyes at me on multiple occasions as I posted my "wish list" up to him..."and I'd like this and I'd like that"...instead of praying how I ought to pray, with praise and thankfulness while I petition him for his help.
Now that I've got that off my chest, I'll just fess up, that I also don't like it when God says "No". Have you ever had that happen to you? Well it's not fun, and when things don't go my way, I'm sure that I haven't acted like a happy camper. Thankfully, I haven't been struck by lightning for throwing a tantrum when God says "no". He is so patient and kind, much more so than I am with my children, but I'd hate to press him on an issue, just in case, remember Korah in the OT, Numbers 16. (shiver).
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Maybe this is just me, but I like to buy toys for my kids and things for the house that remind me of my childhood. Retro things spark those nostalgic memories of growing up in the 60's and 70's, where things were made well and held up for 20 years. Not like our current DVD player which is broken right now and is made so cheaply that it's not worth it to get it fixed, but cheaper to just replace it; which we have already done multiple times. In my mind, the stuff of today is disposable, and the toys I had as a kid were built well and timeless. That's why I got so excited when I saw that 5 Minutes for Mom was having a Retro Giveaway . What I'd like to win is this Crosley Traveler Stack-o-Matic record player! It looks exactly like one I used to play with as a kid, except I think I had colored all over mine. If you'd like to check out this giveaway and put your name in for the drawing, head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom. You might also want to check out their store Pedal Cars and Retro Collectibles. The winner will be drawn on Friday November 30th, just in time for Christmas.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I'd feed and dress the toddler and the baby, take them to daycare, peel them off of me and head for work. Of course, no morning is complete without that dose of Mommy guilt that comes with leaving my children at daycare. It begins with the babies crying Moooomeeee" and holding their chubby little arms out as I drive away, which I would think about over and over, all day, until it distracted me so that I'd have to call the daycare to make sure that everyone was still alive. I'd work all day, watching the clock slowly wind it's way towards quitting time. The moment the clock struck 5 I was outta there, heading for the daycare to gather up my little chicks to take them home, play with them, feed them, bathe them and put their sweet little chubby cheeks to bed, only to do it all over again the next day.
It was an exhausting time that taught me to trust in God and that he would provide all we would need, even if I could not imagine how he would do so. This is my verse, the one that I held on to during that time:
Sunday, November 11, 2007
It's even more exciting when you receive an award:
Friday, November 9, 2007
By today's standards, he would be considered a progressive man. He used to brag to the grand kids that he could cook breakfast better that my grandmother. He said that by the time she got the biscuits cooked, her eggs had gotten cold. And if she cooked the biscuits first, then they'd have cold biscuits when the eggs got done. He would tell us, "I can take 'em all up at once, Granny can't do that!". Meaning not only could he cook the biscuits, eggs, and bacon, but he could time it so that they'd all be done at the exact same instant and he'd put them all on the table at the same time. Surprisingly, he could do that, and my grandmother would just laugh and let him do all the cooking when we were visiting. Now who's the smart one there?
I remember one morning he pulled the biscuits out and they were flat instead of fluffy. I said, "grandpa, what happened to those biscuits?", and he said, "they got cooked in the squat". "What do you mean?", I asked. "Well", he said, "they squatted to rise and got cooked in the squat. That happens to people sometimes too". He went on to explain that sometimes people get all ready to do something great, and something happens that discourages them, or causes them to doubt. So instead of doing that "great thing", they quit. Just like those biscuits, they get cooked in the squat, about to rise to the occasion, only to fall instead.
So on those days when things don't go as I had planned, and my enthusiasm gets squashed, my kids are less that helpful, and I can't find any clean socks in the laundry, I think about my grandfather. I think about how difficult his life was compared to mine. I remember his wisdom and his love for his family and I am glad that he warned me about getting cooked in the squat.
Monday, November 5, 2007
We did archery, games and a ropes course.The Girls
By that evening everyone was beat. We finished up our day with skits around the campfire, and peach cobbler baked on the coals. Yum.
A perfect end to a perfect day.