Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I bought these peaches yesterday at an Amish bulk food store that I went to with my mom and sister. They smelled heavenly. They were all perfectly ripe.
I decided I'd make peach jam with them which is my absolute favorite flavor of homemade jam. I figured I'd make 2 batches. I was wrong. I had enough peaches for 4 batches. I mean exactly enough peaches. I used every last one and didn't even have a tablespoon of extra peach mush. It really amazes me when things work out that way!

Making jam is much easier with the proper equipment. My friend Lauri gave me a canner, wide mouth funnel, jar rack, and jar lifter a couple of years ago. Thank you Lauri! Before that, I just made do with whatever I could scrounge up in my kitchen.

Much easier with the real thing!! It took me a good part of the day to get all of these made, but it is definitely worth it. I'm going to hide a couple jars to take out in January so that we can have a little taste of summer.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


I have just entered a contest to win a 37in flat panel tv. I know this doesn't seem like a contest I would enter, but it would really make my family happy and happy is a good thing.

An awesome website called 5 minutes for mom is running this contest, and all I have to do is comment on their post and add a link here on my blog in case anyone else would like to enter.

Best Buy is sponsoring this contest. You can visit their website at http://www.bestbuy.com/ if you want to buy your own TV.
Good luck to me!!

Saturday, July 28, 2007


This is what the sky looked like last night. Anyone who knows me knows that I am really afraid of thunderstorms. I am much better than I used to be. When the kids were little and I'd see a sky that looked like this, I'd call Doug to see if he was near enough to come home.

Tommy and I were home alone last night when this storm came through. I briefly thought of leaving home and visiting my dad until it was over. After thinking about it for a couple of minutes though, I decided that I could probably make it through.

Watching the storm approach ended up being much worse than the actual storm. Other than one really, really loud clap of thunder, it wasn't that bad after all.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Well...I loved it. I could have made a meal out of it alone.
Doug said that it was good, but I have a sneaky suspicion he just didn't want to hurt my feelings.
Andrew and Tommy seriously disliked it. It actually made Tommy gag!
I suspect it was a texture thing for the kids. Or maybe an appearance issue as it wasn't very pretty.
I will definitely make it again, but in a much smaller portion meant for one or two.

After dinner, we were greatly entertained by watching the chickens pecking around in the yard. Doug fed one some leftover rice out of his hand.

We scattered the leftover corn in the yard for the rest of them. They love corn!!

We had 2 chickens lay an egg in the yard last evening. It was very odd. They never did that before. Doug watched one of them and was astonished to actually see an egg pop out in the front yard. The second one he found in the grass in front of the coop. Tommy said that he saw the hen we call "fatty" (I know, it's a mean name) lay it. This is very surprising for me because she is about 8 years old. We thought for sure see wasn't laying any more.

Chickens are so much fun!!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I just had to take a picture of the food we gathered this morning on our farm.

So much more interesting than a trip to the grocery store!!

With our abundance of tomatoes and zucchini, I am going to try a new recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks - Cooking From Quilt Country - by Marcia Adams

Zucchini and Tomato Casserole

I won't bother with amounts because I am sure I won't follow them.

Layer in a large casserole sliced zucchini, thinly sliced peeled tomatoes, thinly sliced onion, salt, pepper, brown sugar, basil, cracker crumbs, pats of butter, shredded cheese (in this order)

Repeat layers 3 times ending with cheese on the top. Bake, covered for a total of 1 1/4 hours

remove lid for the last 45 minutes

I can't wait to try this. I'll let you know what everyone thinks.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


WE GOT IT!!!! The final book in the Harry Potter series. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. Doug stood in line for over an hour to get our number so that we could buy our copy at midnight. Thanks Doug! Tommy and I went to the Harry Potter party at our local Barnes and Noble around 9:30. It was pretty odd going out with Tommy when we are usually getting ready for bed around that time.

Tommy was awesome at the trivia contest. He answered the most obscure questions. I read all of the books and the only questions I could get were the "easy" ones. I guess his brain is a little younger than mine!

We purchased our copy at 12:06am. Tommy read aloud to me the whole way home. Tommy, Billy, and I are sharing the book right now. We have post-its marking all of our different places. It is great so far. Very different than any of the other books.

I want to leave you with one last picture of the gorgeous sunset we enjoyed tonight.


Friday, July 20, 2007


Today is Sarah's 20th Birthday! Happy birthday Sassy!! I miss you so much and can't wait to see you next week.
Here's a list of 20 interesting, cool, wacky, and beautiful things about Sarah.
1.She's our oldest child.
2.She has 3 younger brothers and no sisters.
3.She is a professional ballerina (how cool is that!)
4.She loves to read.
5.She loves everything having to do with Disney Princesses.
6.She has 2 jobs other than being a ballerina.
7.She hasn't been home for her birthday since she was 15 years old.
8.She's an awsome nanny and has several moms around here very sad that she she doesn't live here any more.
9.She was absolutely terrified of dogs when she was little.
10.When she was little, we had to cut the feet out of her footy pajamas because her feet were so stinky.
11.She types really, really, really fast.
12.When she was born she had a living grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great grandmother. All but her great-great grandmother are still with us today.
13.She's the oldest grandchild on both sides of the family.
14.She has 9 younger cousins.
15.She waited until she was almost 19 years old to get her driver's license.
16.She loves to write and has started writing several books.
17.She is knows an amazing amount of information about the history of British royalty.
18.She has really tiny feet.
19.She cut off one of her ponytails when she was about 6 years old.
20.She has a mom and a dad who are incredibly proud of the woman she has become.
WE LOVE YOU SARAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 16, 2007


Well...they're gone. I miss them terribly already. It was so quiet here today without them! I know that they're having an awesome time. They've both been looking forward to this week since they left camp last summer.

I can't wait to hear about EVERYTHING they did ALL week. I know, you're thinking, "Yeah right, they're not going to tell you anything." Well, I already took care of that. I told Tommy that if I didn't get a full accounting of the whole week, I would not give him the new Harry Potter book to read on the way home.

Bribery! I'll do whatever it takes.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I am often awed at the beauty there is to see in God's creation!

~Enjoy your Sunday~

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Today is another beautiful Saturday. Billy and Tommy leave for camp tomorrow. They will be gone for a whole week!! I asked Tommy what he wanted me to make for dessert for his last night here for a while. He didn't have to think long! Chocolate pie. This has been a favorite dessert around here since the first time I made it a couple of years ago. It is absolutely to die for served with a scoop of ice cream.

Here's the recipe in case you'd like to try it yourself.

pre-bake a 9 inch pie shell for 5 minutes

melt together over med/low heat:
1 stick butter
1-oz unsweetened chocolate (I substituted 3 Tbls cocoa powder + 1 Tbls oil)

to the chocolate mixture, add:
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour

pour into pie shell
bake @ 350* for 25 minutes

cool at least 1 hour before slicing

I hope you enjoy this pie as much as we do!!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007


We were blessed with a day today that was absolutely beautiful! It is truly a gift when a day like this arrives in the middle of the summer. It was cool, clear, dry, and breezy.

During the heat and humidity, I really don't feel like doing much of anything. Today I felt full of energy and motivation.

The clothes dried amazingly fast in the wonderful drying breeze.

I baked 4 loaves of wheat bread and a dozen wheat rolls.

Tommy picked the first of the wild raspberries. Delicious!!

I cut wildflowers to decorate our table on the front porch.

We enjoyed our dinner outside in the cool of the evening.

I know that this weather will not last. We will be returning all too soon to the regular menu of suffocating heat and humidity. Knowing that this kind of day is possible though, gives me hope that I can enjoy summer a little more.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Harry Potter here we come. Today is the day The Order of the Phoenix comes out in theaters. We've been anxiously awaiting this day since the last movie release. Billy went with friends last night to the midnight show, so he's seen it already. Tommy and I are going today.

I know a lot of people have a problem with the Harry Potter series. We don't! I have read them all along with my kids and we thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. I don't think the later books in the series are for young kids. They are much darker and would probably give sensitive kids nightmares. I certainly couldn't have read them when I was young. I was a BIG chicken about everything. The list of things that frightened me is VERY long, but that is another post. My kids are older and are not big chickens so they have enjoyed them all.

graphic from www.moviegoods.com

Monday, July 9, 2007


Here is our menu for the week. WARNING: It is subject to change at the last minute, without warning, and for no particular reason!!

Monday: Ann and Doug out to dinner

kids will have eggs, whole wheat toast, and fruit

Tuesday: Creamed turkey, rice, corn, green beans (from the garden)

Wednesday: Crockpot pizza pasta casserole, salad (from the garden)

Thursday: Sesame chicken sandwiches on homemade wheat buns, parmesan-basil vegetable salad, fried rice

Friday: Homemade pizzas

Saturday: BBQ beef sandwiches on homemade hoagie rolls, butter/parmesan noodles, roasted zucchini and yellow squash (from the garden)

Sunday: Broiled terriyaki salmon, spinach orzo, leftover veggies, homemade buttermilk biscuits

graphic from http://www.allposters.com

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Domino's, eat my dust!!!!

Friday, July 6, 2007


Billy and Tommy went to a swing dance party last night.
They both had a great time and danced with everyone there.
When they came home, they taught me a few moves in our kitchen.
Dancing with my boys willingly, (for the most part), made the four hours I spent in the car getting them there and back VERY worth it!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Happy 4th of July!

We are busy preparing for our picnic that we are having this afternoon with family and friends. I'm really hoping the weather is going to cooperate!

On our menu today:
hard shell crabs
hot dogs
grilled chicken

potato salad
macaroni salad
broccoli salad
eggplant salad
homemade bread
devilled eggs
roasted zucchini

My mom has baked for us an assortment of pies and cake. Of course, we'll be serving it all with ice cream!

Andrew, Jimmy, and Gary made a visit to a fireworks store earlier in the week and are planning on entertaining us with their explosive devices.

We are so blessed to have our family and friends with us to celebrate today. Rain or shine, we will surely enjoy our day!!

Monday, July 2, 2007


My wonderful Mom came over yesterday afternoon to teach me how to make new covers for my very old porch cushions. Doug bought me a new sewing machine for Christmas and I am still learning the basics of sewing.

It was so fun making these. I can't wait to make something else! Thanks Mom.

The new cusions and cleaned up porch called for a wonderful dessert, so I made a coconut cream pie. It was perfect!

Since Tommy doesn't like coconut, he chose the oatmeal/butterscotch cookies instead. It was the perfect way to end the day.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


Have a blessed Sunday!