Showing posts from May, 2013

What's Wrong With Comfortable Anyway?

What's wrong with comfortable anyway?

It seems we live in a day when we are encouraged to keep everything fresh new and exciting.

Especially in our marriages and in our looks.

I agree, that's a good idea.

But you know me...... I always have a but.

But isn't there something to be said for being comfortable with each other, something good about the same old same old, the steadiness of life?

Something about not having to plan a huge anniversary outing to enjoy your anniversary.

Really not caring if you buy gifts for one another and really not feeling unloved or unappreciated because gifts weren't exchanged.

I remember when we had been married seven years Mark's twin brother Mike got married. I felt a little twinge of jealousy.

I mean there was all the wedding planning and excitement of starting out.

Then I looked out the window and saw Mark coming through the field and up to the house.

I knew I wasn't jealous anymore.

I was comfortable and it was good.

We had fou…

Same Picture Different Recipe "Aunt Karen's Strawberry Bread w/Strawberry Butter

Same picture different recipe.

Still sticking with the strawberry and the family theme though even sticking with aunts and their recipes.

This one is Mark's sister Karen's, our children's Aunt Karen.

I call her Aunt Karen all the time because the kids do.

I loved this the first time she brought it to us and I still do, the Strawberry Butter that goes with it is just "icing on the cake" so to speak, or I guess in this case, "butter on the bread."

You've got to try it, you're gonna love it.

3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 10 oz. pkgs. frozen strawberries, thawed and drained (save the juice)
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs, beaten

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2  9x5 or 5 mini pans. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Make a well in center. Stir in eggs, oil and strawberries, mix well. Pour into prepared loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean…

Strawberry Season is Among Us!

Mark brought these in tonight and so of course you know I got around here and made him some pie crust.

He just finished off his first Strawberry Shortcake of the season.

Our family always enjoys the Strawberry season. Pies, shortcakes, bread, Strawberry Butter and Jam.

I remember my dad telling us about how years ago when his Aunt Dorothy was a teenager her mom and dad, my dad's grandparents had a large berry patch and they picked, packed and sold the berries.

My Great Aunt Dorothy wrote her name and address on the bottom of one of the berry boxes.

Some young man saw it and rode all the way down to see her.

She was excited but not for long, as the story goes my Great Grandpa ran the guy off before she even got to meet him.

In honor of my sweet Great Aunt Dorothy I'm sharing with you her Strawberry Pie recipe. It's always been my favorite.

It's a basic recipe.

Basically the best.

1 cup boiling water
3 TBSP. Strawberry Jello
3 TBSP. Cornstarch
1 cup sugar
a few drops …

I Practiced What I Preached, I Listened Quietly... Sorta

Remember me telling you about how every time I post  how we should be, I am almost instantly put in a place where I have to eat my words,  live up to them or both.

It happened again.

If you are a follower of my page you know I have been posting about listening. Just tips and hints about being a good listener.

Well, guess what? Mark told me something and I didn't want to listen, I wanted to scream, but I knew screaming wouldn't change anything because I've taken that approach other times over the last 30 years to no avail.

Olivia's open house is this Sunday.

The chickens all went out earlier in the week.

This is  a good thing, I thought Mark would be a little less stressed and have some extra time.

He just told me a man called and wants chicken litter, a lot of chicken litter.

That means cleaning out the barns, that mean stirring up the smell and attracting flies.

He sees no problem with this.  He has no idea why I should be concerned about cleaning out barns and hos…

Our Homeschool Journey Ends Today and It's Been Wonderful!

After being sad last night I am much improved this morning.

Last night I had already gone to bed when Olivia came in and laid her sweet little head down with me and said, "Mom, tomorrow is my last day of school."

Suddenly the last twenty years of my life flashed before my eyes.

It had been almost twenty years ago I had started to home school Heidi and now here was my baby girl telling me only one more day.

Maybe it was because it was late or because it was dark or because Liv was there beside me but I was surprised to be so emotional.

You see, I've dreamed of this day.

I dreamed of it on those days when the last thing I wanted to do was to have school and the last thing they wanted to do was to have school.

I dreamed of it on those days when they just couldn't get it either because I couldn't get it or I wasn't explaining in their language.

I dreamed of it on those days when we got on each others nerves and I was about to go over the emotional abyss.

The d…

Kitchen Things I've Learend Along the Way

Today I'm going to post a little list of things most know but some don't and everyone needs to.

Hope it's helpful to someone.

When you are frying bacon to keep your bacon from curling up don't turn it to often. Cook it slow and only turn when it is desired crispness on one side.

You know your potatoes are ready to mash when you can smash them on the side of the kettle with a fork.

Always use real butter.

Don't salt dried beans until they are almost done or they won't soften.

Rule of thumb for frying chicken is  oil heated to 350 degrees before you put the chicken in, add slowly and don't overcrowd your skillet, I always fry in two skillets. Turn meat every 15 minutes for about 45 minutes to an hour. When juice runs clear you know it's done.

Buttermilk makes the best cornbread. Melt butter in your cast iron skillet on the stove top add cornbread to it and let sit on stove top until it bubbles at edges then place in hot oven to finish.

If your brown sugar…

In Due Season

I love to celebrate as well as the next person but from the conversations I've been hearing lately, I wonder if in our quest to make everything a big deal we have made it so nothing seems a big deal.

Maybe we've turned everything into a big burden.

It seems we try to make everyone experience everything sooner and sooner.

Remember when you were a kid and you couldn't wait to ride in the front seat?

It usually went down the line starting with the oldest.

It was just understood you waited your turn.

Then think about being a little girl and seeing the high school girls go to the prom. They were like a princess and you dreamed of the day that would be you.

But somewhere along the line we decided you shouldn't wait and started having 5th and 6th grade dances.

Then there is the whole issue of graduations, I've heard people say they have to go to pre-school graduations, kindergarten and Jr. high ones. They ask, do you take a gift to all of them?  If  I had a grandchild in …

The Apron Lady is Coming to Lost River!!

Every since we bought the farm at Lost River I have wanted to  use it to bless others.

I had all these ideas of how I was going to fix it up and decorate this old former Amish house.

Well, reality hit.

As Mark often reminds me we bought a farm not a house, the house just happened to come with it. A lot of money shouldn't be spent on the house at first because we have farm things to do. ( All you farm wives can recite this conversation word for word I'm sure)

It has been great to have the family dinners and holidays and I plan to keep that up. We're having a Mothers Day bonfire this Sunday night.

But I wanted to do even more. I kept thinking when I got things just how I wanted them, even though I wasn't sure how that was I would have something special.

I knew whatever it was while I wanted it to look nice, I mainly wanted it to look like my kitchen. I wanted it to be just like you happened to stop by just as the noon meal was coming up.

I wanted people to come in and be…

The Teaching of Motherhood is a Beautiful Thing

With Mothers Day upon us I've been thinking about when I became a mother for the first time.

That was twenty-five years ago.

Back when you didn't go to the Dr. as soon or as often you only had one ultra sound unless there was a problem and you had the baby one day and went home the next. This changed by the time I got to Liv and I stayed two days.

I had my babies when natural childbirth was in.  So I had all mine natural.

If you've ever been pregnant you know women share their labor stories like men share war stories. 

It seemed everyone had a story to tell about how awful it was.

So I prayed.  I prayed that my labor wouldn't hurt, then I remembered God had already told me it was going to hurt in His Word which made me think I might as well not pray.

Then I thought, God is God, and He can do whatever He wants so I kept on praying it wouldn't hurt.

I went a week over. I was huge. One morning I got ready to go to church and when I put my dress on I popped a button.

Open Arms to Both Receive and Let Go

Today is a day full of signs of things to come.

Of course Heidi is at her house doing her own things, Lucas is still in Terre Haute but is to return home today for three weeks before he goes back for summer school.

Jess is at work and Liv has just left for the home school academy she attends every Monday.

I filled the crock pot with stuffed peppers early this morning for Mark and Jacob's dinner only to be told they wouldn't make it back in time and would just get a sandwich.

So, here I am, alone all day, the house is empty and I've already got supper made. All of that adds up to me time.

I've never been big on me time. I think it's overrated, over desired and over pushed.

Having said that though, I am excited for the next step of my journey.

I've had the absolute best trip in motherhood.

I have spent every minute with my babies and watched them grow into men and women I am pleased to say are ours.

You know, come to think of it, I don't really think my new …

Pray and Get Up!

Heidi said something yesterday  I thought was really good.

She said, " The National Day of Prayer should be changed to The National Pray and Get Up Day."

She said, "We all know we need to pray, but there comes a time to get up and act on what we've prayed about."

What if after we get up from praying today we comment to staying in our marriages instead of just praying for stronger families?

What if we decided to be the grown up, and take the time to discipline our own children instead of talking about how disobedient the children of today are?

What if instead of talking about how bad the media and TV shows have got we got up and shut them off instead of watching them in our home?

What if we decided to be honest in all of our every day dealings and struggles with greed instead of talking about corporate greed and dishonesty. What if we got up and gave an honest day's work for an honest day's pay?

What if we got up and spent more time with our kids and les…