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Friday, September 30, 2011

Peanut butter &banana Agave Smoothies and Pear sauce

Peanut Butter & Banana Agave Smoothie
Don't let the Vodka bottle fool you. I have not fallen into a drunken state. It's homemade vanilla extract. ;-)

1 Ripe banana (I keep bananas in the freezer just for recipes like this)
1 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons Agave Nectar
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-6 ice cubes (if you use a frozen banana you can skip this part
Blend away and serve in your vintage kool-aid cups that you scored at a yard sale.
Okay, so the last part is optional. But aren't those cups just the cutest?

Our pear tree performed wonderfully for us this year, and has left us eating pears every day for weeks. We needed a different way to eat them. We dehydrated some to use for trail mix, but were still left with a whole basket full. So we made pear sauce.:-)

Pear Sauce
Peel and core your pears (or apples)
Place in a pot with a enough water to cover the bottom
dash of cinnamon
squirt of Agave Nectar
Cover and let cook until the fruit is soft
Let cool and then place in blender
Refrigerate and then serve

This was so yummy and a nice change to just plain ole pears. Now to go find that bottle of homemade "Vanilla". ;-) Just kidding....

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The battle of the back porch

My back porch has always been something I felt like I had to fight for. When we had turkeys, their favorite place to hang out, was the back porch. They would peck on the glass doors, and seemed confused as to why they were not allowed inside with the rest of the family. The goats had even been known to "visit" the back porch too. Then there were the chickens. With the exposed rafters who could blame them? They made a wonderful safe spot to roost away from predators. The only problem? When chickens roost, they a lot! We fixed their fence and clipped their wings to insure this wouldn't happen anymore. But then there were the dogs. Oh how I love my dogs. But they can make a mess. I think they often wonder why we put those decorative pillows so high. It makes it that much harder for them to reach, and then shred. But they are determined dogs, and do not believe in giving up. One of them also does not believe in going off the porch in inclement weather to do her business. As she gets older the word inclement is starting to change to any. I did say that I love my dogs right? Some days it is harder than others. Like yesterday when a dead bird was brought in my house!! :-o Thank you Sweet Jessie for your kind gift....but no thanks.

I can remember one summer when it began to hail. I feared for my little pony who couldn't seem to find his way out of the storm, so I brought him up on the back porch to wait it out. He didn't seem to mind, for at the time it was also used to store hay. Seriously, what would one do without a back porch? It has housed turtle habitats, rabbit hutches, frogs and I am sure many more. But not now! Nope. It has a new "owner" and I am excited to say....that it's ME!!!
Sweet Man has been working hard to make this back porch something wonderful. He had to add the ceiling, recessed lights, a fan for summertime, and of course screen it in! I don't mind the bugs as much as I do all of the farm critters. But won't it be wonderful to hang out on this beautiful porch and just sit and watch?! And to think I won't even have to step over dead things or piles of poop! This is exciting stuff to a farm girl!! To make the sitting part even nicer, Sweet Man bought me patio furniture! It helps to buy things at the end of the season. It was half price! :-)

 One of the neatest things about this new project, is the fact that I can leave the patio doors open all day! Every house needs a little bit more fresh air, and with inside dogs I am thinking I should never close these. ;-)
No bunnies, chickens, turkeys, goats, ponies or dogs. Just a girl and her coffee! Thank you Sweet Man! You are amazing!!!!! :-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Irish oatmeal

Crisp, foggy mornings are here! 
That means it's time to decorate for fall,
And time for a nice hot breakfast to start the day!
Irish oatmeal

1 cup Irish steel-cut oats
4 cups water
I medium apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk or half and half
Toppings of your choice ( I used bananas but the possibilities are endless!)
Grease the bowl of your slow cooker with butter
Add all ingredients and stir well
Cover and set slow cooker to low. Cook for 8-9 hours. In the morning, stir contents of the slow cooker well; season with butter and brown sugar if needed.

My second little princess and I, threw this all in the crock pot, and then settled down for bed. The only drawback to doing this? Smelling it all night! I had dreams of being at a food buffet all night, and woke up starving!!!  Sweet Man said he kept waking up thinking he smelled chicken and dumplings...LOL We had had that for dinner. :-)
It's much easier to wake up in the morning when you know you have something yummy waiting on you!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Art class with Barry Stebbing

Last week the girls and I took a three day art class. This class was about a years worth of art info, crammed into three days. It was fast paced and fun. I learned a lot about art during this class, and a lot about us. I often get the proclamation from families that don't homeschool.."I don't know how you do it!" Well after needing to have the girls dressed, fed and out the door, so early three days in a row..."I don't know how they do it!" Not only is that a pretty big challenge, being away from the house so many days in a row, leaves it a wreck. I would find myself staying up pretty late into the night just making sure we had cleaned and ironed clothes.  If waking up while it was still dark wasn't a shocker enough for the girls, homework was. After sitting through the two and half hour class, they were given several activities to do at home, and return the next morning. When we got home I asked them to go ahead and start on it, and I had to laugh at their response. "Really?? We just had class, why do we have to do more?" Pretty funny stuff. Perhaps they have been spoiled just a wee bit in our homeschooling. Perhaps I am a softy and make things to easy on them. Perhaps I don't like homework either...;-)
Mr. Barry Stebbing instructing the class.
 Learning how to mix primary colors...
 To get secondary colors.
 Art is so much more fun when done with friends!
Many thanks to the homeschooling Mama that organized this event. It was a wonderful opportunity, and I am so glad we were able to participate!

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
Thomas Merton 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Take a hike!

This past Sunday was perfect for being outside! After a wonderful worship service, we went home to change clothes, and grab the dog. Because hiking is just way more fun with a dog!;-)
 We found a neat little water snake that wanted to be buddies. It literally would not leave us alone. It was almost magical watching how graceful the thing could swim.
What a fun day!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Provider

There are many words that I could use to describe God, but lately it would be provider. He definitely is a God who provides. I can look around at/in my house, and see things that we could never have had if it didn't come to us through the Lord. Our house being the main one. :-) But not only does he provide the necessary things, I have come to know Him to provide things we want, and would enjoy.

In a previous post I mentioned how we have one little princess taking piano lessons. When I told her that I had signed her up for these lessons, she was concerned. "But Mom, we don't have a piano."...."I know Darling, but we have this little keyboard you can practice on, and I am sure if the Lord wants us to have a piano He will give us one." Now when I told her this I really did believe it...I just figured it was going to be way down the line. As in, we would have to save for a beat up, old used one, or something.

Sweet Man came home last week and told me we were getting a piano!!!!! I was like "WHAT?" His uncle had been remodeling someone's house, and they had a beautiful piano they wanted to get rid of, as in FREE!! I must confess that I felt my faith growing as the Lord reminded me how much He cared about my girls....and me!
Isn't she a beauty?! Thank you Uncle Ricky for thinking of us, and for all your help in getting it here!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mary Draper Ingles trail trip

This past Friday was the annual Mary Draper Ingles' trail field trip. To better prepare us for this trip we bought, and watched, Follow the River. To be honest I was hoping that with the girls watching this movie maybe they wouldn't ask so many questions. Have you ever noticed how many questions a kid asks? It's a lot! I don't want to hinder their education by not answering them all....but geeze, sometimes I just want to look around ya know....without taking. ;-)

We were excited that some of our family got to come along with us! My sister-in-law, and her 3 sweet kiddos came too! We learned how they used to draw with iron ore, 
 And even got "tattooed"!
 We were shown the appropriate dress code for the 1700's.
 Learned about a few of the foods they would have eaten...
 And NOT eaten. Mary would not have ever eaten an avocado or banana. Oh how I would miss my daily banana. 
 CHICKENS!!!! I am up for any field trip that has chickens!
 They showed us how they made salt. We stayed extra long at this booth, for it had a fire. It was freezing this day. The girls kept reminding me that last year we wore shorts and were looking for shade the whole time. Guess they thought I could do something about that....but alas I was not answering questions this day....just looking around...LOL
 Princess #2 wanted to show that she could still climb a tree. It was at this very field trip, last year, that we almost drove off and left her. Lucky for her that Princess #1 said, "Isn't that Sadie up in that tree?". The car was quickly placed in park as we looked around to make sure no one saw that we would actually do such a thing. :-o
 People were so resourceful back then. How I wish our culture was a little bit more like that. They never wasted anything, and found a use for just about everything, even old bones. Well...I do throw one to the dog every once in a while.
 "Indian" showing how to load a gun.
 Isn't this an awesome picture? I just love how you can see the river in the background.
 Princess #1 was able to help demonstrate how a captive might have been "secured" if he was unwilling to cooperate. Thinking about using this trick at home. ;-)
 Princess#3 was able to show how a young child would be marched through the "streets" showing that they had been captured and added to the Indian's family.
 We also learned that if you put your coat on backwards, it's warmer. ;-)
 Princess #2 didn't get to demonstrate anything. Thinking she might have been up in a tree somewhere. ;-)

A change of address

Sweet Man's grandmother (Lee Heise) changed addresses this past Saturday. She is now in Heaven with our Lord and Savior. It was just a little over 2 weeks ago, that we helped her celebrate her 87th birthday. I did not know very much about this special lady, but she was loved and will be missed.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Family party

Last night we had the extended family over to celebrate our new 8 year old. 
 The girls did most of the cake decorating.
 Of course it was a horsey themed party. :-)

It was a great time of visiting and celebrating!