Thursday, April 30, 2009

He's on his way

If you are a regular reader of this blog or my facebook page, you know that our 8 year old daughter, Morgan, is currently a blue belt in Tae KwonDo. I've enjoyed every minute of watching her progression up the ranks, and putting all parental bias aside, I happen to think she's very good and will be a black belt before we know it.
Our son, Tristan, has been watching too. And however much Morgan annoys him on a daily basis, he's proud of his little sister. He's the first to cheer her on and encourage her through learning difficult techniques.

Well, yesterday he finally decided he wanted to give it a try for himself. He's not really a very athletic kind of guy, preferring the sports of hunting and fishing to football and baseball. But he's excited. He came away from the first lesson enthused about his own performance and ready to begin his own journey to black belt.
Go Tristan!

And what's this? Another new student already checking out his moves? Awesome. Looks like we're going to have a couple of martial arts superstars around here.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mountain of God

A song I'd like to share with you...

Mountain of God
Third Day

Thought that I was all alone 
Broken and afraid 
But You were there with me 
Yes, You were there with me 

And I didn't even know 
That I had lost my way 
But You were there with me 
Yes, You were there with me 

'Til You opened up my eyes 
I never knew 
That I couldn't ever make it 
Without You 

(Chorus)Even though the journey's long 
And I know the road is hard 
Well, the One who's gone before me 
He will help me carry on 
After all that I've been through 
Now I realize the truth 
That I must go through the valley 
To stand upon the mountain of God 

As I travel on the road 
That You have led me down 
You are here with me 
Yes, You are here with me 
I have need for nothing more 
Oh, now that I have found 
That You are here with me 
Yes, You are here with me 

I confess from time to time 
I lose my way 
But You are always there 
To bring me back again 


Sometimes I think of where it is I've come from 
And the things I've left behind 
But of all I've had, what I possessed 
Nothing can quite compare 
With what's in front of me 
With what's in front of me


I thought that I was all alone 
Broken and afraid
But, You are here with me
Yes, You are here with me.

And I know He is. Do you?

Like aprons?

You need to check out this giveaway then at The Apron Goddesses! Hurry because it ends tomorrow!

Happy Homemaker Monday

Visit Sandra at her blog Diary of a SAHM.

On my bedside table: 
My iPod 

On my TV:
no TV here

On the menu for tonight:
Chicken Caesar Salad with homemade croutons and dressing

On my To Do List: 
Laundry and ironing. 

New Recipe I tried last week: 
I said I was going to try something new, but never did. :( 

In the craft basket:
My craft basket is completely empty. However, I've learned lots of cool things about my new iMac.

Looking forward to: 
My 11yo, Maddy, getting well. Five days of fever and listlessness is too long! 

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Every house should have a pressure washer, or access to one. It made cleaning my window screens easy and fast. 

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):

Favorite photo from last week:
Morgan sparring with Master Pahanish
Lesson learned the past few days: 
Trust your instincts when it comes to your children.

On my Prayer List: 
My husband and children
Our church leaders

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses: 
"Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created. Your laws remain true today, for everything serves your plans." Psalm 119:90-91 (NLT)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Snapshots of a Saturday...or not

Today was not a day for snap-shotting. Unfortunately, my 11 year old daughter has been quite ill with some sort of nasty virus. She's been running a consistent fever since Thursday night, which spiked early this morning at 103.3. We got it down with some Motrin, but it came back up when that wore off. Our doctor recommended taking her to the ER since his office was closed. They did a strep test there, but it came back negative.
So we are controlling the fever and pushing fluids. I'm praying she feels better soon. It's quiet around here without my little social butterfly to keep things busy.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Desert Flower

No matter what kind of day I'm having, a picture like this is an awesome reminder of the beauty of the Lord's creation.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Supergirl to the rescue!

One of the drawbacks of living where we do is that we get a lot of stray dogs dropped off out here.
One afternoon a VERY pregnant dog showed up. I was at a loss. I couldn't imagine who would do such a thing, but she was here now. She was pretty skittish, not really wanting too much attention. We put out some food for her and waited to see what would happen.
Then one day, she was gone. Just like that. I had no idea where she could have gone and I didn't have any spare time to comb the countryside for her.
A few days later, she was back. And skinny. We had no idea where her puppies were. But we soon found out when we noticed she was vehemently guarding the culvert at the end of our driveway. We took a peek in there, and sure enough, there were several wriggling masses down there.
I thought, "Good job, Momma Dog. Nobody can get to them." The culvert was barely wide enough to fit Momma Dog and it was crushed at one end, so there was only one way in and out. Then came the bad news. It started raining. And raining. And raining. The culvert was flooding and there was no where for the puppies to go. Momma Dog was freaking out and so was I. I couldn't just let those puppies drown, right?
We spent a good hour or so trying to open the culvert on the crushed end so we could get them out. But no matter how we tried, that thing was not coming open.
So in came Supergirl. She crawled through that mud-filled culvert while Daddy held Momma Dog back. She pushed a bowl ahead of her and loaded up those soaking wet and freezing cold babies.

There were seven in all. 
Unfortunately, Momma Dog could not get over her protectiveness of her new pups, so we had to take them all to the Humane Society. But Morgan did her part to save them all!

Monday, April 20, 2009

This is dill

This is dill being devoured by a monster.
But look! It's such a beautiful monster.

Also known as a Swallowtail Caterpillar.
They are just so pretty.

I just couldn't bring myself to squash them.

Which is why I had no garden fresh dill last year. But I did have something wonderful to watch for a little while.

Happy Homemaker Monday

On my bedside table: 
my iPod
On my TV: 
no TV here
On the menu for tonight:
Beef and Veggie Five-Spice Stir Fry (will post the recipe later this week) 

On my To Do List:
Laundry; work

New Recipe I tried last week:
still nothing new, but that is changing this week! 

In the craft basket: 
too busy playing with my new iMac 

Looking forward to:
getting these kiddos' TAKS tests done next week

Homemaking Tip for this week:
If you have tons of canning jars laying around and not quite sure what to do with them...go on and read Sanity Saving Ideas for Canning Jars (This looks great, Sandra! Once again, I'm "borrowing" your tip!) 

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):

Favorite photo from last week:

Lesson learned the past few days:
That working outside the home for "just 4 hours a day" is a lot harder than it sounds. 

On my Prayer List:
Our ministers
My husband and children 

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Snapshot of a Saturday

If you are an observant, regular visitor to our blog, you will notice that this post's title varies slightly from the norm. That's because instead of getting out and having some adventure, or cleaning some house, or talking to my children, I stared into the gi-normous cyclops eye of my new iMac. All day I have sat in nearly the same spot, rooted to my chair almost, configuring this, and tweaking that.

But! At one point I did glance out the schoolroom window to see this glorious sight.

Can you look at this and doubt that God is near?

Well, this changes everything

I am now the proud owner of an iMac. I think this is true love.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Classic Chicken Salad

It's been a while since I posted any new recipes on here. That would be because our family has been in sort of a food rut. Our schedule has been chaotic! I'm hoping to settle that down starting next week and start getting some more menus of yummy suppers rolling out.
In the meantime, here is an old standby recipe that I like to fall back on often. A good friend is coming for a visit today, and I hope she'll join us for lunch while she's here.

Classic Chicken Salad
The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
Makes about 4 cups, enough for 6 sandwiches
Prep time 10 minutes
Total time 55 minutes (includes 30 minutes chilling time)

1 3/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
2 T veg oil
2 ribs celery, chopped fine
3/4 c mayonnaise
2 scallions, minced
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T minced fresh parsley

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. (I really, really like to use kosher salt here.) Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully add the chicken and cook until lightly golden brown on the first side, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over, cover and continue to cook until it is no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a plate and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. Cut the chilled chicken in to 1/4- inch pieces and toss with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make ahead: Chicken salad can be prepared, covered, and refrigerated a day in advance. Before serving, freshen the salad with a spoonful of mayonnaise and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

On my bedside table:
My ipod.

On my TV:
No TV here!

On the menu for tonight:
I have no clue, unfortunately

On my To Do List:
Finish laundry
Vacuum living room
Not stroke out over my schedule this week.

New Recipe I tried last week:
I didn't try anything new. We're in a rut!

In the craft basket:
Crafts? What are those?

Looking forward to:
Summer break. I love our school, but it's time for a change of routine! :)

Homemaking Tip for this week:
List the steps for chores that are appropriate for your kids' ages. I've found if my kiddos know the exact steps, they are more willing and able to do a good job.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
A stroll with the gosling.

Favorite photo from last week:

Lesson learned the past few days:
That good friends are hard to come by, so I want to cherish every one that I have.

On my Prayer List:
My husband and children
Our ministers

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Addendum: Snapshots of a Saturday

Although my boys were camping this weekend, which is unusual, and a perfect place for an adventure, it never occurred to me that they might actually take some pictures while they were gone.
And technically, they only took 3 pictures and they were all of the exact same thing.

A 10lb catfish that they caught on a trot-line.
Fortunately for this mom, (though they would probably say unfortunately) this was the most exciting thing that happened all weekend.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Snapshots of a Saturday

Wouldn't you know I forgot my camera on such a beautiful day? So instead of pictures of what we did, here are some pictures of what I bought.

These cute bowls and "tasting" spoon from Crate and Barrel:

And then at this store:

This irresistible set of measuring spoons. And those little green nesting bowls? They are standard size measuring cups. 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, and 1/4 cup.By the way, if you have a weakness for kitchen stuff, and value your wallet, do yourself a favor and never, ever set foot in these stores.
To find out more about this,

please go here: A new addition or here: A stroll with the gosling

Have a great weekend! :>)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Not what I was expecting

When I woke up today I was determined to be in a melancholy mood. The weather complied. It was sufficiently gloomy to match my disposition.
Ron didn't have to leave for work until late morning, so the kids and I were (attempting) to plug away at school when he left.
He wasn't gone long. I heard his boots on the laundry room tile and wondered what he forgot, and was he going to interrupt us. He came in and said probably the last thing I expected:
"There's a peacock in our driveway."
The girls and I jumped in the suburban to go check it out. I had brief thoughts of trying to catch it and keeping it as a pet. Of course, it wasn't going to have any of that and started to run away almost as soon we stopped the car.
But it's shimmery blue neck and graceful run gave me pause. "The Lord made that," I thought. Why should I waste any time dwelling on situations that I have no control over and why should I let worries, instead of praise, fill me? I have a loving Savior who made beautiful things for me to enjoy, who wants me to lay all those burdens at His feet.
So, instead of asking "Why?", I should be saying, "Thank you."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Everybody was kung-fu fighting

I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since Morgan's last belt test and I'm just now getting it on here. Things have been crazy busy. Her test was the night before Capitol Day, so unfortunately for her, that post took precedence. Then things have just spiraled from there. Out of sight, out of mind, so to speak.
So without further adieu, here are a couple of my favorite pics from Morgan's test:

Would you take a look at that horse stance? I think the instructor looks very impressed. Wouldn't you agree? And this is not even her best work.This is Morgan with her instructor Master Pahanish. He's awesome with all the kids and has great enthusiasm for his job.Have I mentioned Morgan can do 100 sit-ups without stopping? She's in the best shape out of all of us. It's enough to make this old out-of-shape mom proud (sniff). But I'm pretty sure I could still take her down.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

On my bedside table:
My ipod with The Secret on it

On my TV:
no TV here

On the menu for tonight:
sauteed chicken breasts with mashed potatoes and green beans

On my To Do List:
fold laundry

New Recipe I tried last week:
Bbq'd Meatballs Very, very good!

In the craft basket:
Oh, no crafts going right now

Looking forward to:
Having this Friday off from school.

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Check out Chore Buster, it is a great website where you can:

Enter in people and chores
Specify how hard / undesirable each chore is, and how often it should be done
ChoreBuster automatically generates a fair schedule of chores
Schedule emailed to you daily or weekly - no need to log in

I'm going to be using this for my kids chores, I think it will help a lot. (Thanks Sandra! I'm going to take a look at this as well.)

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
Attic24 I love these cushions!

Favorite photo from last week:
I love this picture of the inside of the Capitol Dome in Austin, TX.

Lesson learned the past few days:
That a relationship with the Lord is more important than my confidence in men.

On my Prayer List:
Our ministers
My husband and children

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Psalm 98:1 Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done wonderful deeds. He has won a mighty victory by his power and holiness.

The Simple Woman's Daybook~April 6th

For Today...

Outside my window... a very cool morning warming up to a nice afternoon

I am thinking...that I hope the kiddos not feeling well this morn is not the beginning of some bug

From the learning rooms...a four-day school week this week

I am thankful for... my good friends

From the kitchen...hmm...haven't thought that far yet. don't have a menu this week

I am wearing...denim skirt with knit top, bare feet

I am reading... nothing right now

I am hoping... for warm temperatures with only light breezes

I am creating...creative nook is dry right now. but I love the crocheted pillow covers I saw on another blog

I am hearing... Tristan talking to the dog. pretty quiet other than that.

Around the house... laundry and lots of ironing

One of my favorite things... spontaneous hugs from my kids

A few plans for the rest of the week...karate, art class, birthday party on Friday

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...Hard to believe how fast these tiny chicks grow up. (The baby chicken grew up really fast too.)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Born to run

As you probably know, we aquired a horse about a month ago. We fixed up a stall for her down at the barn, which was cozy enough, but she had to stay in there because there wasn't a safe pasture in which to let her out.
That all changed last weekend. Ron and Jody spent a weekend fixing up about 20 acres. They stretched and pulled, twisted and turned. And that was just their muscles! I kid, I kid. That was actually the field fence taking all that abuse, and it turned out fine.
One thing that I had not given any thought to: because Trixie had been penned up for a while, she might just take off running as soon as she was loose and go right through the fence if she couldn't see it well. Because this is field wire, it's not very visible. Which is where fence strips come in. In this case, they were some sheets from Goodwill that the kids tore into strips, then were tied onto the fence. Hence the name, fence strips. Brilliant!
Interestingly enough, we could hardly get Trixie to come out of her stall at first. She wasn't sure she was ready to brave that big, unfamiliar pasture. But before too long, she had made herself at home there. And she even made sure the goats know who's in charge.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Snapshots of a Saturday

Our houseBusiness
We are Lucky and so is she:Have a great week!
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