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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Garage Sale Treasures

Last Friday morning Dave and I went "garage sale-ing" and boy did we find some good stuff. Dave left for work at five in the morning, he was back home by eight as they were unable to work due to a persistently steady light rain. It was too wet to garden and my daily chores were done we decided to head out to visit the garage sales. The first sale we went to had a ton of stuff, I got a purse for Emily and a really nice baby gate, I spent three dollars. As we drove away from this sale I realized that I had left our weekly local Courier, with all of the garage sale ads, at home. We called Amber to see if she still had her Courier, she did, so we stopped at the gas station picked up donuts for Henry and Patrick and popped over to their house, there we did a quick trade of donuts for the Courier.
Then we were off, we went to so many garage sales and we really found some good items, I picked up 6 sturdy wooden puzzles for the grandsons for a total of two dollars and twenty five cents. I purchased a box of cookbooks for five dollars, a glass serving bowl for fifty cents, a chicken cookie jar for three dollars, a wooden storage bench to keep the grandsons toys in for ten dollars, pants and snow pants for the boys, a lamp and doily, a table cloth, a yard of floral, backed, quilted fabric suitable for a bag, some games for the grandsons Memory, I Spy and puzzle cards, and a USA map place mat. I ended up spending just over thirty dollars.
By the time we returned home we were ready for lunch. After lunch the rain stopped, the sun came out and we were able to spend the afternoon working in the garden, I hoed the vegetable gardens and Dave mowed.

Garage Sale Treasures

The new toy bench modeled by Henry and Patrick!

My pretty lamp and doily.

The $2 Baby Gate!

Flowers in front of our home.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Birthday, Fathers Day, Welcome Home, Mission Trip, Birthday make for a Busy June, recipes included!!

A Very Busy June
Two weeks a go we celebrated youngest daughter Emily's eighteenth birthday! Just think all of my children are now "adults" :) Emily invited her cousins and some friends to share the day along with family, we enjoyed tacos and of course cake and ice cream.
This past Saturday evening Matt and Traci arrived safely home for good :) from Wyoming!!! YEA!!!
Last weekend we celebrated Fathers Day, Dave cooked some fabulous baby back ribs on the grill!!
After a rainy, cloudy, cool week of weather Saturday morning arrived with blue skies, abundant sunshine and a gently breeze. Dave left for work at five in the morning and I started to plan my day. I had started laundry the night before so had a couple of loads ready to hang out, so ran my last load and did my normal morning chores consisting of letting the chickens out, putting away dishes from the previous evening, making our bed, and putting away folded laundry, and sweeping the floor. Daily chores out of the way I left to run a few errands, I dropped off the recycling, stopped by a couple of garage sales, popped into the grocery store for a few items and on my way home stopped at Convivium, a farmers market sponsored by a local church, where I purchased caffeine free mango green tea and orange papaya tea. I then headed home for heavy duty house cleaning consisting of window cleaning inside and out, carpet cleaning in high traffic areas, scrubbing the floor in the kitchen, eating area, hallway, foyer and bathroom, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, ironing and making an ice cream cake for Amber's 25th birthday, and a jar of salsa. Around eleven in the morning I received a call from Matt, he said they were just leaving Cheyenne, WY ready to start their sixteen hour journey home. During the afternoon Emily mentioned that Matt had posted on face book some ten hours earlier that they were over half way home, she called Matt to ask if he would be home soon, he said not until Sunday afternoon as they were currently in Nebraska. The busy day continued, at five Amber brought Henry and Patrick over, they were going to have a sleepover with Grandma and Grandpa while their parents went out to dinner with friends and then had a get together at their home. I fed the boys dinner, changed diapers, put them in their pajamas and plonked them in the double stroller and went off on my daily four mile walk. Both boys fell asleep quickly, when I was almost home, around eight thirty, I received a text from Matt stating that they were in Des Moines and were stopping for the night. I thought it was odd that they would stop while it was still daylight and thought back to the face book posting and wondered what they were up to! Around ten pm Matt called to see what we were doing, I said not much, just looking for a movie to watch on Netflix, he said well stay up, we are almost home and after we drop the moving truck off at Traci's parents house we will be over. We were so excited that they were home a day early. Around midnight a pick up truck pulled into the driveway and Matt, Traci, and their puppy Daisy came into the house, HOW WONDERFUL TO SEE THEM HOME, and HOME FOR GOOD! We visited for about an hour, then the kids left to run over to Brad and Amber's house to say Hi. By two in the morning I was asleep, the alarm went off at four am and I went to get Emily up, she was leaving on a Missions trip, she will be in Appalachia for week either roofing or building porches for people in need, and had to be at the church by six am. At five thirty we left the house, we turned onto St. Rd. 1 and had gone about a quarter of a mile when we saw something in the road, large black shapes, we slowed down and realized that about nine head of cattle were standing in the middle of the road. We called 911 to report a hazardous situation and then headed to the house where we believed the cattle had "escaped". Bear in mind it was five thirty in the morning, we had to knock and knock and knock on the back door of the cattle owners house, finally we woke them up and were able to let them know that their cattle were out, then contineu on to the church. Emily grabbed her luggage gave me hug and headed to the church vans to leave for Copperhill, Tennesee. I headed home with the hopes that the grandsons would still be sleeping and I could catch an hour or two of sleep. As I came back along St. Rd. 1 the sheriffs were slowing traffic and the family who owned the cattle had the herd rounded up and headed towards home! I got home, the boys were still asleep, Dave left for work, and I dozed for about an hour until they awoke, well rested to start their day. After a breakfast of pancakes, some play time and getting dressed, I made enchilada sauce, filling and prepared 25 enchiladas for dinner around nine-thirty, Amber arrived to take the boys home, I decide that I would not go to church as I was very tired so instead I went to bed and took a nap!!
Matt and his friend Jay arrived at our house around one with the twenty six foot long moving truck fully packed, the truck was unloaded, many, many, boxes were stored away in our attic, and all of their furniture and washer and dryer were put in our basement where they will remain for a short time until they are moved to a storage facility. By five we were ready to celebrate Amber's birthday and eat enchiladas and all the fixings we then headed outside to watch the guys play horse shoe, and some of us played a little badminton, we all enjoyed a pleasant evening and then headed in for ice cream cake. The party broke up around nine as we were saying good byes in the driveway our neighbor Nancy popped over to welcome Matt and Traci home. With all the kids, grand kids and, visitors gone, we invited Nancy in for a glass of wine. We enjoyed a glass of Dave's blueberry wine by candlelight it was a lovely way to finish a very busy weekend. (Nancy's weekend had been equally busy). Needless to say, I slept like a log last night and today I feel well rested and ready to tackle the world.

Amber with Henry thinking about how they are going to blow out all of those candles!

Emily's birthday cake. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting and fresh strawberries. I sliced the strawberries early in the day mixed in a little sugar and let them sit for a few hours, they were nice and syrupy when I placed them on the cake.

Birthday girl Emily holding her nephew Patrick.

Ice Cream Cake
1 package of Oreo's
1 stick of butter
2 cartons of ice cream ( we like Breyer's)
Whipped cream
Hot Fudge or Hersheys Syrup
9/13 covered baking pan (or use foil to cover)

Put the entire package of Oreo's in the food processor and blend. Add to the oreo's 1 stick of melted butter and blend well. Put the oreo mixture into a 9/13 pan, bake in the oven for eight minutes at 350. Remove pan from oven, put hot fudge sauce, or hershey syrup over the oreo base, let cool. Put out the first carton of ice cream, we used vanilla, let it sit out for about twenty minutes to soften, carefully spread the ice cream over the oreo base, cover the pan and return to freezer for an hour. Sit out the next carton of ice cream, we used chocolate, carefully spread the softened ice cream over the vanilla layer, cover and return to freezer. Decorate with whipped cream and drizzle hot fudge or hershey syrup over the top to decorate. I used Redi Whip, and made 25 florets on the cake, I used these to place the birthday candles for Amber. Cover the cake, put in the freezer overnight. This is a really nice summer time "cake", make sure you have enough people to eat it all in one go as it will melt! You could double the recipe to make a cake for a very large group, or half it for small group, you can add whatever flavor or flavors of ice cream you like, and whatever toppings you like. We had a large group and all but one piece of "cake" was eaten.

1 quart of tomatoes
1 clove of garlic ( I buy the jar of crushed garlic so about 1 tsp of this)
1 hot pepper ( I have a jar of sliced hot peppers, I use about seven slices)
1 onion cut in quarters
1 bunch of cilantro
1/2 tsp of cumin
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1 tsp salt

Put all of ingredients in the food processor, blend well. My family loves this salsa!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A prayer request and happenings around the homestead

Well first off I want to ask for prayer for my son Matt and his wife Traci, they will be driving home from Cheyenne Wyoming in two weeks - please pray that they have a safe trip home. It is about a 16 hour drive and as they are moving home for good they will have a U-Haul truck containing all their worldly possessions, and their own truck. Hopefully Matt's good friend Jay will be able to fly out to help them load up and drive home. Matt has served in the USAF for the past four years.
We are so excited that they will be home permanently in two weeks time!! Did I mention we are really, really excited!!

Yesterday we finally were able to take our steer, Jersey, into C & C Meats for processing, we had hoped to do it a few months ago, but due to all of the rain it was just too wet and muddy to drive a truck and trailer back to his paddock area. Jersey took some encouragement to get into the trailer, in fact our neighbor ending up picking up her Amish friend, Joe, and his son Jeremy to come and assist, once Dave, Joe, Jeremy, and our neighbors son Brian, were making the point that Jersey needed to get moving he took the hint and compliantly walked in.
The hard thing about raising a steer is that you do get attached to them, Jersey was such a friendly guy, everyday when I went out to feed him he would come over to the fence and let me scratch his nose and he liked to lick my hand, he would always come over if I called him, and if I ran alongside the fence he liked to race with me to the end of the field.

Most of our garden is now planted, just a few more things and we will be done. Sunday evening I spent about an hour to weeding in the blackberry patch, I have the wounds to show for my efforts, blackberry brambles are so spiteful! I have some herbs to plant out and some rhubarb, they are currently in pots on my front porch. We have potato bugs, YUK!I had to breakdown and purchase some Sevin, we are not organic, but we try to avoid pesticides unless absolutely necessary. Potato bugs are relentless and if left unchecked will eat all of the foliage on the potato plant resulting in a very, very low yield.

Good news on the chicken front, The Great Eight, have decided that they do like to go outside, they are still very cautious about food scraps, hopefully this will change, as all other chickens that we have had always loved to eat bread crusts, leftover pancakes, vegetable/fruit peels etc.

Thank you again for keeping Matt and Traci in prayer.