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Showing posts from 2012

Happy New Year!

I have so totally not been able to make up my mind about what to serve tonight.

So I'm going to make a little bit of everything.

Asian wings, a Mexican Pizza calling for shredded beef roast, mozzarella cheese and hot peppers, then I'll make an artichoke salad with a oil/vinger dressing, I love that salad and sliders with fry sauce, potato wedges and other stuff.

I'm thinking Apple Cake w/Carmel sauce for one of the desserts.

I couldn''t wait to get started.

Just as I was heading out the door on my way to the store, Mark called and told me to put the check for the new pump he had to buy in the mail.

When I saw the cost of the pump I quickly changed the menu to peanut butter sandwiches and water.

No, not really but who ever said water was cheap never bought a deep well sand handler water pump before.

Well, I'm off to prepare a New Years delight for my wonderful gang.

Hope you have a great time with those you love the most!


Happy New Year!

Snow, Snow on the Range

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T  I had the camera with me when I went to the mailbox today.

I adore snowy fields.

This is taken from the front porch looking north.
I've always loved that old tree.  In the summer and fall there is usually corn on the east side of the tree and beans on the west side.  Or corn on the right of the tree and beans on the left if you are a right/left type person.











This of course is the front porch.











This is the view from the mailbox looking east.

I'm standing in the road singing, "Snow, Snow on the range" as I take these pictures. 

I love my little snowy range.










Jambalaya Joy

Okay, I accept it.  I accept the fact, try as I might I am not going to be the next Pioneer Woman, Paula Deen, Martha Stewart or "The Rachel Ray" as my neighbor used to call her.

Today was the perfect day for Jambalaya.  So I thought I would make it, take pictures and give you the recipe.

It was all going to be so good.

But when I went to take pictures, the batteries were dead. To many Christmas pictures I suppose.

Then when I went to add the shrimp to the jambalaya the shrimp was gone. To many hungry boys I suppose.

Much to my dismay I also found I had left the rice over at Lost River on Christmas Eve so I couldn't make the rice.

You know how they say everything is a blessing if you look deep enough. So the best I can figure, My batteries are dead in the camera because a picture of Jambalaya with no shrimp and no rice wouldn't make a pretty picture. Therefore by having dead batteries  I have been saved  from an embarrassing ugly Jambalaya  photo shoot.

But then I th…

Christmas Work and Christmas Fun

We had a great Christmas..

We hosted the Gray Christmas on Christmas Eve and the Marshall one on Christmas Day.

We did a taco bar for the Grays and it was great to have almost everyone there this time.

Christmas morning we had our Christmas here. Olivia's boyfriend Tim was with us since his family is in Fl.

Lucas was the first one of the kids up so he got the others up and called Heidi and Paul and told them to get over here.

We ate breakfast, minus the juice and opened gifts.

Tim came downstairs before the other kids because no one had told him they had to stay upstairs until the all came, so he went back up to wait.

Lucas always stands in front of the tree and makes some type of talk before we open gifts., We don't know why he does this. He never talks and the one day everyone wants him to be still and get on with the gifts he makes a speech.

He tells us how we may not all be here again, or how it isn't the cost of the gift that matters or about how if he buys cheap stuf…

Christmas at Grandma's

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I guess everyone has a Christmas or maybe even a couple that stand out in their mind.

One of mine is the year we got so many gifts. My brothers and I came downstairs and I know the floor was half covered in toys. I got a beautiful white wicker crib with a baby doll. Brian got a GI Joe and Todd got a Johnny West.

Toy wise, that was the best Christmas ever.

We always went to my Grandma and Grandpa Money's for Christmas Dinner, (noon meal).

I remember one year when I was five or six the whole family got snowed in there. All of my aunts and uncles and cousins.

We went sled riding down Daisy Hill.  It all seemed so exciting. I'd never been to an entire family sleep-over before.

We were all piled around everywhere when it came time to go to sleep.

I can remember lying there near my Aunt Jan, she was trying to sleep in a chair and we talked about how crowded we were.

I don't remember anything about the next morning, but I will always remember that night.

That was the last Christm…

When the Snow Flies

I can't believe it!

Well, actually I can believe it.  This isn't the first time I've' done this type of thing.

But I thought I had got more savey than to still be doing it.

I was so happy to see the snow. I know it makes the roads bad and the work harder but it was beautiful.

I couldn't wait to take pictures here at Rosebud and over at the River both.

I stood outside in the cold  this morning in my pj's to get a picture of Fox in the snow. Now I know it isn't proper for a lady to stand in the yard in the snow taking pictures in her pjs but the moment had to be seized. There was no other choice.

Then we went to the river and on the way I stopped the car and told Heidi to get a picture of the corn shocks with the snow on them.

She said, "Mom it's cold out there, come back and get it later."   I huffed and drove on.

Then when we got there I ran all over the farm snapping pictures thinking what fun I would have telling you about them.

I came home …

First Give Away---What's Your Favorite Song

I am so excited!

From what I can understand it's a "blog" kind of thing to do to have give-aways.

I love that idea. What's more fun than giving things away?

So I decided "Then I Thought of Home" will have its first give-away this week.

You know I love shopping local and I love my friends so if I can shop local with a friend well I'm gonna be all about it.

So I have a $20.00 gift certificate to Julie's Gift Garden. It's located on Elm Street in Salem.

She has all kinds of pretty Christmas things, candles, purses, mugs, centerpieces, homemade candies, treats for your pets, there is to much to list.

All you have to do to win is tell me your favorite Christmas song.

Since it's late in the game and in the week the contest will only run until Wed. night.

We'll draw at nine o'clock Wednesday evening and let you know who won.

I'll mail  the certificate to the winner Thursday.

You can leave your favorite song as a comment here or on the …

Little Ones are Listening

I am glad we live in an age of information.

We can quickly know when things happen and that makes us quickly able to respond.

For most of us there is little we can physically do for the families in Conn.

But there is a lot we can do for our families here.

Our kids live in a scarry world.

We need to be careful how much of the news we watch and how much of it we let them watch.

We need to be aware of our conversations that they hear and the fb posts we make.

Our little ones are listening and all kind of things are running through there  minds. Things that are to big for them.  They are to big for us, so you know it is to much for them.

Make a point to pray today with your kids about all that has happened. Let them send cards to the school. Let them talk.

Then try to let them go on with their childhood.  We don't want this terrible act to steal anything else from anyone else.

And it isn't just the small children, our teenagers face such a sense of hopelessness when they see all t…

Christmas Gift Exchange Game

The whole Christmas gift extended family thing.

To participate or not to participate?

When we first married we bought for everyone on my side of the family.

As we started having kids we only gave to the kids but mom and dad still gave to everyone.

In time my brothers and I decided to stop even getting for the kids.

Mom and Dad still bought for everyone. We told them not to but they told us to leave them and their Christmas alone.

On the Gray side we always drew names, over time we stopped that also.

We would give one single gift to a whole family. Things like, candy, or ornaments, games and the like.

This year I'm looking  for  a gift exchange game.  Something different and fun.

If you have any ideas please share them.

I would love it and I'm sure there are others out there looking for ideas too.

So, what gift exchange game does your family play?

Christmas with Pam at French Lick

I'm so glad you got here!

I've got exciting news. My friend and neighbor, Pam Hoover will be at French Lick this weekend.

She will be there Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday too at the Christmas Craft fair, in the Winsor Ballroom.

Pam told me there will be 65 vendors there so you will have lots to look at but you will want to buy from Pam I'm sure!

She is going to have headbands, hats, scarves, yarn etc for sale and the best part it's all handmade by Pam.

The even better part is the yarn she uses is right from her own farm. She shears her sheep and goats, cleans the wool and spins away.

I love finding unique gifts at unique places from special people and this craft show will offer all of those things.

Plus, I was talking to Natalie and she said they took the boys to see the trees and decorations at the dome and it was beautiful.

I read on fb that Jenisa went with her husband and boys and they had a wonderful time too.

Head on over to French Lick this weekend and …

Breakfast Bowls

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Here's a breakfast idea that's easy for you and filling for them.

We had it this morning.







Best part.....everything is in one bowl so you don't have as many dishes!!

Everyone Loves a Sunny Morning

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Then I Thought of Home - Kelly Gray

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Stop by my new facebook/blog page,  Then I Thought of Home-Kelly Gray and check it out.

Several of you have told me you want to follow the blog but it seems complicated or you want to comment but it is to confusing.

If that's you go to the fb page, click like and you can follow, plus leave your comments on the fb page and life is simpler for everyone.

I'll be posting other things about home on the page too.

Just little notes about cooking, baking, the importance of home and family.

You know by now I love good quotes so can be looking for a few of those also.

I'm enjoying the page and the only thing it is missing is you adding to the fun, so stop by, click like and join the party!!

See you there.

Help!! Christmas Dinner, I Simply Can't Decide

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I go back and forth then forth and back.
 One minute I'm sure, the next I'm not.

Which menu do you like?

Glazed Ham
Spicy Lemon Garlic Shrimp
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
Baked Beans
Pasta Salads
Lettuce Salads

Or how about a Soup Supper?

Jambalaya
Veggie Soup
Sandwiches
Chips
Assorted Cheeses
and a relish tray

Hey maybe we could even have a Chili contest!  That would be different and fun.

Then I thought of having Frogmore Stew, which is basically what some call a Shrimp Boil or Low Country Boil.

It has ear corn, Kielbasa lemons, red potatoes, clams, crab legs and jumbo shrimp.

I love i,t but think it may be hard to convince Mark to buy all the seafood it would take to feed his side of the family.  I know it would hard to convince him to buy all the seafood it would take to feed my side of the family. LOL

So, what do you think?

Or what I really want to know, is what are you having? 






Lookout, Livestock on the Loose

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As you have probably figured out by now from reading my fb posts, livestock on the loose and me tend to wind up at the same place at the same time on a regular bases.

Once when I was pregnant, big and pregnant mind you, I heard a lot of commotion out on the front porch.  I went and looked out the door and there was a boar on the porch. 

He had got out, walked to the house, up onto the porch and fell through a weak board.

He was not happy and Mark was not around.

I knew I was going to have to help him get out and you know how boars can be.

Not pleasant.

I told  Heidi and Lucas to stay in the house and was getting ready to go out when he broke loose and took off.

I don't know who was happier him or me.

One other time I had just got a new dress.

It was red and I had new black shoes to go with it.

We went out to go to church, only to find the hogs were out.

I chased a couple sows down the road in my new dress and in my new heels.

The dress fared okay but the shoes were never the sa…

Can We Have Breakfast Tarts, Can We Please?

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My bunch thinks it wouldn't be Christmas breakfast without these.

Hope your family enjoys them as much as mine.

Ham and Cheese Tarts, (we call them Breakfast Tarts)

2 pkgs. (3oz.each) cream cheese
1/2 cup french onion dip
1 TBSP milk
1/4 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 cup finely chopped ham
2 tubes refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (not jumbo, the little ones)
paprika

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese,onion dip, milk and mustard until blended. Stir in ham.

Split each biscuit into thirds or halves if you like and press into a greased  mini muffin pan. 

Press dough slightly up the sides of the pan.  Spoon a scant or heaping, tsp of filling into each biscuit.

 Sprinkle with paprika and bake at 375 degrees for 13-14 minutes. These are best served warm.

Christmas, It Isn't Just For Kids

We hear people say, "Christmas is really for the kids."

That isn't true is it?

I hope not..

It's easy to get got up in the joy of the children and miss the older folks

If you are looking for gift ideas for those people who have been in your life the longest, maybe this  will help. 

1.Put their tree up for them.  Make a party of it.  Remember to return after Christmas to take it down.

2. Take them out for a drive around town to see the lights.

3. Read out loud with them stories of old time Christmas's. When my kids were small we used to go to the nursing home and read "Little House on the Prairie" to the residents.  They loved the ones about Christmas.

4.Serve them hot chocolate while they tell you and your family of Christmas's past.  You may even want to record it. 

5. Take them a quart of homemade soup, better yet take two and stay for supper. They'll love it!

Fruit baskets go bad.

Nuts are hard to crack and eat.

Flannel shirts get put into…

Christmas Gifts, Its A Wrap

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While I know there are some of you out there who really do love to wrap gifts, I also know gift wrapping is one of the most complained about parts of Christmas.

When we were children our gifts from Santa were never wrapped, we just came into the living room to see them all under the tree.

Mark's family wrapped all of theirs so we followed the Gray suit and wrapped our children's.

Every year each child had their own roll of gift wrap and all their gifts were wrapped in it. This did a way with the need for name tags and was fun for them and easy for me.

Since gift wrapping seems a headache for so many how about a couple gift wrap Advil's to take the edge off.

Maybe these ideas will help.

1. Host a gift wrapping party with your closest friends or family. After all, you know what they say, "Misery loves company."

2. Use the simple gift bag approach. Remember to remove the name tag from last year.

3. How about a gift wrap ministry at your church or work?  Wrapping is …

Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream Please

When I was a girl mom made us hot chocolate.

She used Hershey's cocoa powder and of course made it on the stove.

Sometimes she dipped it right out of the kettle for us and other times, special times, deemed special by mom,  she would put a towel over the coffee table sort of like a mini tablecloth and serve my brothers and me from a pretty white china teapot , well she turned it into a hot chocolate pot for the special evenings.

Mom still has the pot. I wish I had a picture of it I could post.

On those evening we also got cinnamon toast. Which is  buttered bread with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled over it then put under the broiler for a few minutes.  It was as good as a fancy teacake to the boys and I.

On Christmas Eve, the boys, Dad and myself would drink our hot chocolate while mom read the Christmas story from a brown Bible story book we had.

I still love to hear my mom read.

Just the other day Jessica told me that the she and the girls had been talking and they realized they …

Snore, Puh, Talk, Drink

I couldn't help but be reminded of the Christmas poem, "Twas the Night Before Christmas" when I woke in the night.

You know the line that says, "and all through the house not a creature was stirring not even a mouse" ?

Makes you think of a nice quiet home doesn't it?

That isn't the case at our house. We're a noisy night bunch.

I heard Jess ask her dad where I was, he answered, "in there snoring."

Now I would have been offended but down  inside I knew the reason I was awake to him him say that was I woke myself up snoring.

After I got over his offense I went back to sleep only to wake later to hear, PUH.....PUH.....PUH....PUH.....

For those of you who don't know that is the noise some make instead of snoring, they do that each time they exhale.  This would be Mark.

It drives me crazy.

In my heart I want to hit him, but of course I don't.

I put the pillow over my head and go to sleep only to wake up later to hear Olivia talking.

She…

Dessert or Desert? Dessert please.

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This is one of my favorite fall/winter desserts.

Cranberry-Apple Crisp

You start by making the crust.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 TBSP. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup milk

Heat oven to 375. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar and salt. With a pastry blender cut in the 1/2 cup butter until it looks like crumbs.

Beat the milk and egg yolk with a fork and add to flour then mix it up. Roll it out and place in 9x13 dish. Push the crust up the sides an inch or so.

Filling:
About 9 Granny Smith Apples peeled and sliced thin
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped cranberries

In a big bowl microwave the apples for about 7 minute
until they get soft.  Stir in remaining ing, except the cranberries.
Pour apple filling into the crust and sprinkle the cranberries on top. 

Topping:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (okay I know this is heavy on the butter but it is a holiday recipe you know)

Mix  the flour, brown sugar and butter…

All I Ever Needed To Know I Learned From a Chicken

There is  a lot to be learned from a chicken.

Well, really when you think about it, there is a lot to be learned from almost everything around us if we slow down enough to pay attention.

While I was walking through the buildings yesterday I was reminded of how the chickens drink.

They drink by hitting the water lines with their beaks and the water drops out. They drink one drop at a time.

When they are grown they will be drinking thousands of gallons of water a day but they do it one drop at a time.

All of them together drinking one drop at a time adds up to thousands of gallons.

Something to think about.

When we feel something is to small to matter maybe we should think again.

Your act of kindness or forgiveness or generosity coupled with my act of kindness or forgiveness or generosity could be world changing, even if it just changes one persons world.

Most of the time we aren't called to do huge things, we are called to do  little things and it's all the little things that …

New Romance VS. Old Romance

I have always liked to have supper ready for Mark when he comes in.

Even when we didn't have children and I worked outside the home I always enjoyed coming home and seeing to it that he had a good supper.

I would want to sit the table pretty and serve it just so. I wanted him to look at it and think, "wow!"
Well, I now know he didn't really care about the table setting but he liked the meal.

If it's cold out I think about what they would  like to eat when they come in. If it's hot I think about what would be cool and refreshing.

As you know it was a cold day yesterday, Mark came in and while he was getting cleaned up I felt this surge of excitement about getting his plate ready for him. I was so glad I could do that.

But then..........He came out of the bathroom and headed for his chair. 

Another surge shot through me.  Only this one was a negative one. This surge said said to me, "hey, he is expecting you to fix his plate, he is expecting you to bring …

The Little Man....Shop Local

I just heard the Alan Jackson song, "The Little Man."

It made me think about our little town. About the square and all the shops.

I remember going to Salem to shop when I was a girl.

I can still see the big Brachs Candy display in Murphys. It was glass and you bagged the candy.

The toys were downstairs. 

I remember Gambles and the dime store that was where Brick Street is now.

And of course Le Genes and Boggs and Justies.  Bennett's, Armstrongs Hardware and the Fashion Shop.

Most of those business's are gone now but there are new ones in their place.

I love to shop local.  It is great to support "the Little Man."

How about you?

Where are the local places you plan to visit for your Christmas shopping?

Is it one of the main stores or is a little out of the way place?

Share your favorite shops with us.

If you don't live in Salem share the shops from where you live, it will be a  good excuse for some of us to take a little trip this season.

I can't w…

Church Family

You know how it is when the worth of something hits you right in the face and you are overcome with gratitude and love.?

When you really see what something or more importantly what someone means to you

If you have read any of by blogs you know how much my family means to me. They mean everything.

What I haven't told you about is my church family.

I not only have a great physical family, I have been blessed with the best church family possible.

As I sit here and type I can see each face. I can see the faces of the babies and the children.
As a matter of fact, I can remember when almost every child was born.

Today on my way to church I saw Todd pull out on hwy 56 and I got behind him. Then when we got to the stop light I saw Jon and Lindsay were in front of Todd.

I thought to myself, here we go down the road together again as we have so many times before. I thought of not only Todd, Jon and Lindsay,  but of all the church family.

I couldn't help but tear up because while it was…

"HAM ENVY"

I woke up a little after four this morning. 

I had Bible study and prayer time then I started the Thanksgiving Day preparation.

First I put the turkey on. It turned out wonderful. Like I described in our visit yesterday, not pretty but wonderful.

With the turkey roasting I went on to rolling pie crust. I made pecan.

My sister-in-law, Karen gave me a great recipe for pecan pie years ago and I have never found a better one.

The secret is to use real butter and to brown it when you melt it. 

Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful.

If you want the recipe let me know. You will love it!

Then on to the ham. 

I have never been satisfied with the hams I bake.

Mark and the kids always say they are good but every time we went somewhere to eat and they had ham I would battle ham envy.

I wanted to be able to make a great ham.

I even tried the "The Best Ham There Ever Was"  recipe.

All to no avail.

Today I think I finally found the ham that will give my guests "Ham Envy."

You use a…

The Best Turkey Ever, Not The Prettiest But The Best

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My mom makes the best turkey.

Her turkey was never one of those like you see on the tv commericals or in a Norman Rockwell painting.

There was never the swinging kitchen door where mom appeared with a beautiful golden turkey on a platter that she sat down in front of dad as he stood with carving knife in hand.

No, it was nothing like that.

She would put the turkey in the large granite roaster, breast down and put at least two or more sticks of butter, real butter mind you, into the cavity.

Then she covered the turkey at least a little more than half way with water, salt and pepper.

Put the lid on and baked it low all night long.

My favorite part of Thanksgiving as a little girl was getting up with mom to check the turkey. She would pull open the oven, remove the lid and baste it while I stood beside her watching.

Mom's turkey is never dry but it is never an overly pretty turkey. It's to moist for that. It falls off the bones.

  She opted for taste instead of beauty.  Plus ther…

The Worries of a Hunters Mother

Mark and Lucas are hunting today.

Mark is hunting over at the river and Lucas here at home.

I am always nervous when they go hunting.

In the past they have always helped each other make sure they were strapped in correct, the guns were okay etc. This year, Mark will have no one to help him and Lucas has me.  So I guess you could say six of one, half a dozen of the other. They both are pretty much on their own.

I asked Lucas if he was going to take a flashlight. I thought about it before I asked because I thought it might be a stupid question.

He said, "Mom, do you really think I'm going to go stumbling around in the dark woods trying to find my deer stand?'

I told him I thought maybe he wouldn't want the deer to see him coming.

He sighed, and said, "Mom, the thing is to get in the woods and in your stand before the deer get there. I'm not worried about the light."

Then he kept telling me how I need not worry.

It is a hard concept for a mother to gras…

Real Life Chicken Run

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This is how we get the baby chicks.
They come in plastic trays, one hundred to a tray.  They are so cute.

We put them right under the brooders so they stay nice and warm. Even in the summer they still need the brooder. I mean after all in nature it is pretty warm under that old hens wings so we do our best to imitate her.













With that said there are still always a few who would rather take their chances in the wild and try and make a break for it.

Sort of like a real life "Chicken Run."







Plain and Simple

Thanksgiving is just that, "Thanksgiving."   It was created to give thanks to God.  Plain and simple.

Christmas is Christmas.  A day set aside to celebrate the birth of Christ.  Plain and simple.

If people don't want to celebrate those days than by all means they shouldn't. But they shouldn't try to change the meaning of them or hi-jack the Holiday.

Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving to God

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ.

No need for a lot definitions or law making.

Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving.

Christmas is Christmas.

Plain and Simple.


"The Turtle on a Fencepost" Story Lived Out

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This is my Dad and Mom. David and Hanna Marshall.

I'm sure you have heard the story of the "Turtle and the Fence Post."

The story teaches the basic principal that if you ever see a turtle on a fence post you know he didn't get there by himself.  Someone helped him get there.

The story applies to Mark and I.

Thirty years ago when we started out we didn't have the money to buy a place.

We had money for a monthly payment, but not enough for a  down payment.

Mom and Dad loaned us the down payment money to buy the place we now call home.

They told how years ago when they were young my Grandpa, Theodore Marshall, had loaned them money for the down payment on the farm where I was raised.

They paid Grandpa back, we paid them back. My Grandpa helped them up which enabled them to help us up.

I honor my parents today. God used them to give me a home when I was a little girl and again later when I was a grown woman with a little girl of my own, they helped us get our first …

Sunlight, Mr. Moon and the Little Dipper

The moon was beautiful last night.

 When I look at the moon I wonder if it will be the last time I see it.

That may sound morbid but I don't mean it like that at all.

I mean it with a sense of awe, and thankfulness that I can see it at all.

I wonder if the last time I ever see it will because I die the next day or if it will be because I failed to take the time to notice it the night before.

When I was a little girl I remember my Grandma Marshall would get up every morning and one of the first things she did was look out the window.  I asked her one time why she did that and she said, "I want to see the day." In later years  Grandma went blind, so I'm glad she took the time to notice the morning while she could.  That's a lesson for me.

Mark's Grandma Rubv once told me that every since she had been a girl she would stand at the window before she crawled into bed and look at the moon.  She thought about the day she had just lived. She thought about the night, …

Flat Tires, Dead Batteries, Frosty Mornings and Deer Season

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When I came back home from town this morning the frost was beautiful.

We had to go to town first thing because we had a truck with a dead battery and a car with a flat tire.

We had to jump the truck, air the tire and head to town before the battery lost charge and the tire lost air.

Well okay, Mark had to jump the truck and air the tire and then come in and tell me it was time to go.

With the frosty morning comes the opening of deer season. I guess we will make the yearly trek to Paoli Wal-Mart tonight so Mark and Lucas can get tags.

The girls and I like to go just to see all the people. I think the day before deer season is the equivalent of Black Friday for men.

Hope you take in the beauty of the morning and Happy hunting to all the hunters out there!

Fred the Amish

Fred will have to remain faceless, Faceless Fred. 

The Amish don't hold to picture taking so I will draw a mind picture for you.

He is 30 years old. He has brown hair, he wears glasses, he is single,  thin but not to thin just your regular, "I don't have a wife cooking for me kind of thin." 

He is happy and friendly.  You feel at ease with him quickly. He told us a couple of nights ago he is family, not company.  Of course my heart smiled when I heard that.

I think that last comment may have been meant to insure a plate at the table. Ha Ha

Fred is from a very old order Amish, meaning they are very strict.  Our Amish neighbors here at home are from a different order. They have phones in the house, they even have cell phones. They own and drive loaders and tractors and have indoor plumbing.  When they go to town they can hire a driver.

We're told  the old order that Fred is from can only hire a driver if they are going forty miles are farther.

Fred is going to be…

North, South, East and West

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This is a picture of the kitchen. This is taken facing north. There is a window by the stove. An eastern window so there will be morning sun in the kitchen. I love the morning sun.

The room with the green door and curtains is the utility room and the other door is a huge pantry. 

We have a lot of cleaning and painting to do. Wallpaper and boarder to remove.  If you have any ideas on how to do that please let me know.

There is a wood stove in the kitchen. I can't wait to put a rocking chair by it.  Who knows I may even have to take up knitting.

The chicken's all seem to be doing well. We got nice big chicks at Lost River and a few pullets here at home.

Mark has always labeled everything here by direction.  When you talk about anything you say, North, South, East or West.

The chicken houses at Lost River run North and South just like the ones here at home.

Olivia was going to turn on the feed lines at Lost River and it took her a little while to come back. She said things ar…

Savor This Season of Thanks

Soooo....before it's to late to think about it and decide, what are some of the ways you and your family will be showing your thanksgiving and appreciation for the blessings of God this year?

You could always help out at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

Or you could donate to the food bank.

Hey, what about sending a grocery gift card to a family you know to be struggling, make it even better by sending it anonymously.  They will have fun thinking of all the people who care and could have sent it to them.

Visit the shut-in or elderly.

Invite your child's college friends who can't make it home for the holiday to be a part of your family this Thanksgiving. They will remember you always.

This is a tough but needed one. Decide now to be nice and just accept the fact, you know some family member is going to grate on your nerves. Just decide now to deal with it and make it easy on everyone. Spend the day giving thanks for all the family members that don't grate on your ne…

Taste and See That The LORD is Good

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If you asked me what one of my favorite things to do is, I would say, study the Bible.

I find God and His Word absolutely fascinating.

I love the plan, the story, the foreshadowing. I love how the theme is constant and runs from Genesis to Revelation. I love how God is ever true to Himself. Every time I read He is going to do something I can't wait until I read how, where and when He did it.

The story is told of a man who had a daughter and she started going to summer camp when she was five years old.

She met a girl and they became instant friends.

The girls wrote letters to each other from that time on. All the way up to high school graduation.

When the man and his daughter were cleaning her room and packing her things for college, he found the box of letters. His daughter read them to him.

He thought he had known the other girl, he thought he had understood their relationship. But after reading the letters he realized there had been things about her he didn't know, things…

Everything Old is New Again

Today's the day.

We're getting chickens in both places.  First at Lost River and then here.

We're excited!

Mark and a couple of the Amish neighbors will dump chickens over there, then Mark will come home, we'll get some here and finish up tomorrow.

Things are different this time then  when we first started out here.  The kids were all home last time. It was a family adventure. The lively hood of all of us.

Today, Heidi is married, Lucas is away at school, Jessica is working and Liv will be gone to work when the chickens come this afternoon.

The circle everyone  told us we would make has been made.  It's back  to Mark and I.

How did it happen so fast?

I'll miss the kids today. I'll be sad. 

Funny how something as simple as getting chickens can represent so much. 

For Mark and I it represents our past meeting our future.

We're still here doing what we've done in the past, doing the same thing we did to see our family raised. Yet it's our futu…

Some of the Things I'll Never Get Right

No matter how hard I try, there are things I will never get right.

Here's a small list.

I will never turn the ignition right when Mark is working on the car and wants me to try and start it.

I will never pump the brakes right when he is trying to bleed them.

I will never apply the gas correctly or turn correctly when Mark is trying to get me out of the ditch.
(yes, I do get in the ditch. One time I ran off the road in the snow and had to walk home. When I got home and told Mark he asked me if the car was hurt?  I told him I didn't think so, but I couldn't tell for sure because there was to many trees on top of it.  He just turned and walked down the road toward the car in silence. I followed.)

I will never bring the right tool when he calls for one. ( just a hint to all you ladies, channel locks don't have anything to do with the TV, so don't look there.)  Your husband will mutter many things under his breath if he finds out that's where you are looking.

I will…

Voting, It's Nothing Short of Amazing

It's amazing.  Can you believe in this big fancy, high tech world we still take a pen and mark our ballot? 

I know you can use a computer in some places but still I love the idea that all over the country ordinary people stand in a line, mark their vote and it counts.

When you go to the polls today take a minute to really look at what is around you. Think about the process, think about your vote being counted and added to all the others. Think about how you, in your little town, casting your vote are an important part of the process. 

Like I said, it's nothing short of amazing.

I'm all for having to show ID when you vote but I love the fact that I live in a place that everyone knows who you are. It's neat to hear, "Kelly, I need to see your ID"  it makes me smile.

Here are a couple of my election day thoughts.

The whole process is a wonder to behold. I thank God for it and am humbled to be a part of it.

I honor all those who fought for my right and privileg…

Clearance Racks and Discount Bins

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Welcome to my day.
It started off with coffee and Bible study.




           Then I moved on to IDEM paper work. Nickie, from Tyson, came to help me or I would still be sitting at the table, staring blankly at all those forms.








        With the paper work completed, Jess and I set off for
Bedford.   First we went to K-Mart.  Shopping with Jess is
a PAIN.  She won't buy anything unless she digs it from
the bottom of a discount bin, or finds it on a clearance rack.
This is a picture of her putting back the paper towels I had
and getting the cheaper, but not to cheap brand.





We finally get to Wal-Mart were I found a comforter set I liked. But it was not in the discount bin or on a clearance rack
 and this would never do. Jessica disappears a few aisles down and I hear, "MOM, MOM, COME HERE!'   She had found a beautiful comforter set for $20.00.  When we got back to the little house it didn't exactly look right. The colors were a little different than we had remembered. Not t…

Remeber When

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Remember when Halloween was simpler?

Back when we didn't ever think about if it was wrong or right, good or evil.

We only did good with it and had fun.

Remember how costumes were simple?

When I was a girl we never got our costumes ready until the night we went. A store bought costume would have never been considered.

A mask yes, but not a costume.

I'm sure it was stressful for mom. Sheets to be cut and marked for a ghost.

Aluminum foil to be unwrapped so the roll could be re wrapped to become a sword for a pirate.

Mom's old dress, make up and jewelry so I could be a princess


People are blessed to have more money than they used have so they can do more for Halloween.Costumes can be bought, parties can be held, and that's a wonderful thing. I'm glad we can enjoy all of it.

My biggest enjoyment of our "now days Halloween" is most kids will never know the horrible, awfulness of getting a treat bag full of popcorn balls.  BLAAAAH!

Still to this d…

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I have no idea why these ads are appearing.  Something new to figure out.

Rice Hulls

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We got rice hulls delivered from Arkansas in at Lost River yesterday for bedding the chicken houses.

Rice hulls are just what they sound like, the hulls that are left behind when the rice is harvested.

It looks like the buildings are full of rice cereal.

That's my dad, David Marshall standing at the door overseeing things.

Mark is in the building using the bobcat to move the rice hulls back through the building.

He'll use a grader box and shovel to finish it all out and make it smooth and even for chickens.

Tyson called this morning and said we will get most all our chicks on Thursday of next week and finish out on Friday.

Then we will be up and running at Lost River  and Rosebud.

Hard to believe Mark and I are starting this whole process over again by adding another farm. He will be 51 next month and I'm 48.

I guess if you are young enough to wonder what might be over the next mountain you are still young enough to try and climb it.

Even if it is made of rice hulls.

Here They Are

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Here They Are


Don't Say Anything

Last night when Mark came in, he brought his work coats in and laid them in a pile by the kitchen door and told me they needed washed before tomorrow.

Being the good wife I am, I put them in the washer right away.

This morning after breakfast he asked for his coat.

OOPS!

They were still in the washer,  They were still wet.

I looked at him and he said, "They're not dry are they?"
I didn't answer.

He is on his way to True Value in a coat one size to small he found in the garage.

If you see him, don't say anything.

Is It To Much To Ask

Mark was up before me this morning. That is unusual.  Not only up, but up and ready to go out the door before I even entered the kitchen.

He was pulling out the drive in the truck, he had the trailer with the Bobcat on it. 

I know he would love it if I had a fire going in the wood stove when he came in.  I would love to have one going for him too.

It's strange the way I am, on a day that starts warm and turns cold and damp, I want to have a fire for him when he comes in.

But if its already cold and he has the fire going before he goes out, I forget to check it and it dies down.

Sometimes when I see the truck coming down the road, it jars my memory and I run to the stove and try to throw some wood in there. 

This doesn't work, believe me, you can't fool a seasoned, wood burning man. 

It makes him so mad when he comes in to find I've forgot the stove. He either stands there and looks at me, ( I think you all are getting the idea about the look by now) or he says what…

Listen For The Freedom

I've been hearing so much about the division in our country.  It's true there is a lot of division.

We're divided because we're free.

Freedom gives us the right and opportunity to say, "I don't agree"  or "I don't like that"  or " I will work for this, or against that."

While Jesus did say there is to be no division in the church, He also said His coming would divide the world. (Luke 12:51)  He knew what He said would divide people.

He also told us in John 8 that if we hold to His teachings we are really His disciples, that we will know the truth and truth will set us free.

In 2 Corinthians 3:17 this is recorded for our learning, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the lord is there is freedom."

I love it how God always proves Himself true. He is always right.  He spoke truth and left it to the person to decide.

He has already told us that the gift of truth and freedom in our spiritual life will bring …

Grown Up Married People

I was thinking about the ocean when it occurred to me, the ocean is a lot like marriage. 

The ocean can be calm and tranquil, it can be exciting and romantic, it can even be placid, but lets be honest..... without notice it can get ugly.

Sort of like what happened over our shrimp dinner just a couple of hours ago.  Everything was calm, maybe even a little romantically exciting, then out of the blue Mark goes and makes me mad....it was over cocktail sauce.  Petty I know, but I promise you, at the time it seemed major.

Why does he have to do that?  I may have got on his nerves a little bit but you and I both know it couldn't have been by much.

The happy thing is marriage is like the ocean in other ways too,  the clouds can look black but the sun is still there behind them.  The storm does blows over.

I haven't asked him yet, because I'm still locked in my room waiting for him to miss me, but if I did ask him, I know he would be over it.  The shrimp cocktail storm has past.�…

Crazy to Complain

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Why is it so easy to complain?   

For all but one day of our stay here, there have been bulldozers and workers in front of the house working day and night.  They have caution tape up so we can't walk out to the beach.  When you sit outside the smell of diesel is strong in the air.  The dozers keep you up at night and shake the house.

This isn't what we paid for. We paid to be able to walk out our back door  and into the ocean. Not to go out, get in the car and drive five miles down the rode to enjoy the beach.

Left to my ungrateful self I could be angry, or feel cheated, or disappointed.  God never leaves me to myself though.   He promised to send me His Holy Spirit to help me and guide me.

My spirit started to be  thankful that I had legs and could walk to the car to go to another beach, thankful I had a car to drive, thankful it was only five miles down the road.

Thankful that the ocean is being preserved, thankful those men had jobs.  Thankful for my husbands job that made…