Friday, June 29, 2012

Yummy Harvest!

I was out in the garden this afternoon and look what I found. Onions and tomatoes. Yumm! We've been having some cucumbers ripen up, though there aren't any available right now. I've also harvested a few summer squash.  I have to tell you, though, these onions have just been a delight. I planted them last fall and they are still going strong.  They are tasty and delicious and they smell so good when you pick them.  These are something you really have to grow because they are so easy to do. They take little to no care. Well, you do have to water them if you live in a desert like I do, but if you get regular rains, you probably don't even have to do that.  The only thing I would recommend is.... plant them in loose soil. Makes it a lot easier to harvest. We planted them in a raised bed with special soil and they really did well.
I know I've mentioned my fruit salad tree before, but here it is again, and I'm telling you, this is something you must have.  It's one tree. That's it. It can fit anywhere in your landscape.  And it has three different branches. They're grafted on, of course. A peach branch - which is what you are looking at here.  This is a branch containing the queen of all peaches - the Elberta.  In my opinion, they are the tastiest peach and they're even better when you can leave them on the tree until they are just perfectly ripe.  They aren't quite ripe yet!  We like these peaches so much that we bought another peach tree. It just has peaches on it. It's not the grafted kind. We actually got it at Costco, believe it or not. I'm telling you, you can get anything at Costco. I love that store.
Here is the plum branch.  It contains the queen of plums - the Santa Rosa Plum. Oh the joy of eating one of these delicious morsels.  They are as sweet as can be on the inside, provided you let them ripen up.  That's the thing about store bought fruit. They never pack it ripe, so you can't really get the true essence of what that piece of fruit can be.
And this is the nectarine branch. It contains Fantasia nectarines which are yummy, too. Although, I'm not too huge a fan of nectarines. They're a little acidic.  But the Fantasia is indeed sweet and yummy!
And here are the Shasta Daisies growing under the fruit tree.  They're just pretty. That's why I took a picture of them!
I love this time of year. It's so hot outside, but I love the fresh produce. And then thing is, gardening isn't all that hard. Anyone can do it. It just takes a little attention, is all.  But it's fun and rewarding and healthy and delicious. And you know where all the food you eat comes from. Right out of your backyard.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Reading....

We take about 6-7 weeks off of school in the summer time.  We all need a break and there are usually some projects I want to get done. Plus, there's VBS and swimming lessons.  But, one thing we do every day is read aloud.  We take a break from our usual readers and enjoy reading one of these books. These are the greatest books. There's a whole set of them, published by Christian Liberty Press. They go by grade level and they are all called "Christian Liberty Nature Reader" they just differentiate by which book they are. This year we are on book three with the boys. Missie Lou is going through the Kindergarten book.
These books are so awesome. My kids love them. They are full of interesting information and are very well written.
Last Monday when my mother-in-law was here Duh-duh read to her. She even commented on something she learned from the reading. Right now we're learning about ants. Ants are fascinating little creatures. Today we read about slave ants. I didn't know that there is a certain type of ant that actually makes slaves out of other ants. These slaves do everything for the ants. I was amazed. I also learned that the queen ant can remove her wings. They just kind of come off. Then she can put them back on. They don't tear off or break off. It's like they're hinged or something. Very interesting.  So, if you have children and want them to keep up with their reading over the summer, or even during the school year, I would heartily recommend this set of books.(here's the link if you're interested Christian Liberty Press)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Do You Love Hydrangeas?


I do. I really love them. I used to not. But now I do, and I'm not sure why. Just one of those things. Maybe it's in the maturing process. I used to hate coffee, but now, I love it. Can't do without it.  When I finally started liking coffee in my 30's my grandma made the comment, "Well, she finally grew up!"  This is from a woman who had coffee as her middle name.  Actually, her middle name was Ruth, which is my middle name.  She wasn't given a middle name when she was given her first name, so she chose Ruth as a middle name when she got older. I used to not like the name Ruth, either. But now I do.  Ok, so I digress. Back to hydrangeas. So, I have a couple of hydrangea bushes.  There's two in my fern garden.  They are Lace Cap Hydrangeas.  They aren't quite as popular as the Mophead and everyone asks me when they're going to be in full-bloom.  They are in full-bloom. This is it.
Another variety I have is called Angel's Blush. It's a hybrid and it has cone-shaped blooms that start out white and by the end of summer are a dusky pink.  Love them!  One thing I love about hydrangeas is that they make fabulous bouquets.  At our church, we take turns bringing the bouquet for the front by the pulpit. Now, one thing about that is, you have to have a pretty good sized bouquet or no one will see it.  So, that can be a problem. But I always sign up in June because that's when my hydrangeas are blooming and I can pick a spectacular bouquet in a matter of minutes. I just stick the bunch in my huge lead crystal vase (which probably should be registered as a lethal weapon because it's big and heavy and could cause some serious damage if I dropped it on someone's head) and lug it to church and there you have it. I get all kinds of complements!
So, June is hydrangea time. I've had a bouquet on my table the whole month and have enjoyed it immensely! Hydrangeas. They're a good thing!

Monday, June 25, 2012

It Truly is the Garden of Insanity!

If you walk out the pedestrian door of our garage you'll come to a narrow side yard. It's mostly concrete. We keep the trash cans there and all other sorts of junk we can't seem to get rid of. There's our neighbors' out-of-control hollyhocks growing up and over our fence.
Lovely! Hey, stay on your own side, would ya?
That's the front half. The half leading to the backyard is actually my fern garden and is really very lovely. There's an arbor covering it and lots of ferns, hydrangeas, a dogwood and some Japanese Maples. And our compost bin is back there. And then.... there's the approximately 9 square feet of extraordinarily rich soil that our composter used to sit on, which I have recently labeled The Garden of Insanity. The plants we actually planted were a pumpkin vine and a few watermelon seeds.  All sorts of other things have sprung up on their own and I have to admit, we've become kind of like plant hoarders (can a person hoard plants?) because we really should have pulled them all out, but we let them stay. And look what has happened!  There's cantaloupe vines everywhere. We have the mystery squash, which I have finally determined is an acorn squash.
We've got a hundred zillion watermelon vines all over the place. And look here.  This watermelon vine is sneaking up and attacking the poor, unsuspecting grapevine that is sharing a pot with a zinnia. Oh, the violence in the plant world!
But even amidst all the tumult and unruliness in the Garden of Insanity, new life appears.  See that little baby watermelon?  Isn't it adorable?
There's even a couple basil plants fighting for a bit of space and a chance to live.  But isn't that what all plants want? Just a bit of space and a chance to live. Who are we to deny them that?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Done!

Well, people, I did it! I'm done. I've still got paint in my hair and around the edges of my fingernails, but I'm done. Put away the rollers and the paint brushes, threw away the drop cloths, peeled off the masking tape. Done. This is what the walls basically look like. This is Bubba's side of the room.  He loves dinosaurs.  The top of the border is a little lighter shade than the bottom. Both in shades of brown.  The secret is, get the border first, then find a paint chip that goes. And I just picked one paint chip and picked two colors off it. Then I knew they'd go together.
This is Duh-duh's side of the room. I know, I know. You're asking, why did I do two different borders?  Well, there's a reason. The boys are as different as night and day. Black and white. Cheetoes and fudgecicles. They are different in looks, build, temperament, abilities, interests..... everything.  And so, as I was looking up borders I couldn't find one that matched both their interests and I didn't want one to have to compromise. Yes, learning to compromise is a good thing, but.... let's just say it's a complicated thing and leave it at that.  So, they have their own sides of the room and borders that suit their interests.
Here's the girls' room. It's girly. Pink.  I like it. It's cute.  Of course, Hubby said, "The rooms looked great until the kids put all their junk in them!" And that's the truth.  We switched around the furniture and all their toys yesterday.  They were pretty excited.  And they had so much junk. I'm embarrassed to say that in this whole process of switching rooms, I hauled four garbage bags full of broken toys, bits of race track and plain ol' trash to the garbage.  And they still have a lot of stuff.  I'm just not sure what to do with it all.
So, this week I get to start sewing valances for the windows and work on their bedspreads. Sewing is a job I relish more than painting. Not quite as messy.  So, here begins another week and Phase 2 of the Great Summer Redecorating Project.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Love

"Love is patient;" 
I saw love today.  I saw it yesterday too!
"love is kind...."
I was taking Bubba to VBS. And there they were.
" .... it is not resentful...."
They aren't really that old. Retirement age, yes. But not elderly.  More like the age where you should be traveling and enjoying the grand-children.
"... love bears all things...."
But she's not well.  She hasn't been well for years. Her mind is very sick.  So, there's no traveling.  Except their morning walk around the block.  He tenderly guides her.  He's patient and loving.
".... hopes all things...."
There's no grandchildren, either.  There were no children. 
"...endures all things...."
But he is there for her.
"love never ends." (I Corinthians 13)
I saw love today.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gettin' Done!

I hate painting. I case I haven't mentioned that before, I really hate it. But, I'm too cheap to hire it out. So, here I sit, with paint all over my pants, in my hair, on my hands and everything else, screaming, "Don't touch that wall! Don't touch the door frame. Don't touch anything! Get out of here!"  Aren't you glad you aren't my kid today? Sure you are!  Although, there have been some perks. Like lots of t.v. Cee-cee is like Bubba in that way. She can sit for hours and watch t.v.  The other kids will watch, but not with the rapt attention as Cee-cee and Bubba.  So, I was a bad Mom today, well, this week, and while the older kids have been at VBS in the mornings, I've been using the t.v. as a babysitter.  As you can tell, I'm overwhelmed with guilt. And paint.  But, it's better to be overwhelmed with guilt than overwhelmed by small children covered with paint. And what do those child psychologists know anyhow?  So, I'm taking a brief respite right now and then I'm getting back to work. Yes, I am killing myself.  But if I don't just get it done now, if I quit for a while, I won't go back to it and it will never get done. That's the way I am. So, I work and work and work. I can't do a "little each day" like some people.  But, I've gotten the back bedroom done, the hall done and the trim done on both rooms. I hate painting trim. I hate painting trim more than I hate painting walls.  OK, my glass of iced tea is finished and I need to go get started on the front bedroom.  One thing I've discovered, as I've been painting.... the carpets really need to be cleaned, too!  But I'm not going to do that myself.  I know a guy!  Well, I know the wife of a guy!  So, I'll just give him a call.  Back to work!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Paint!

There is paint.....
** in my hair
** on my shirt
** on my pants
** on Bubba's shoes (a big pink splotch!)
** on my fingernails (Baby kept picking at it when I was reading to her. I hate it when people pick at me!)
** a tiny bit on the carpet, which I cleaned most of it up! (the drop cloth moved)
** and last, but not least......... on the walls of the back bedroom. It's pink and white now.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I May Be Biting off More Than I Can Chew.....

I have a summer project. And I have six weeks to complete it. Well, less than six weeks. I don't want to spend all summer on it. I'm re-doing the children's rooms. Currently, the boys are in the back bedroom and the girls are in the front. We're moving the boys to the front and the girls to the back. Why? Good question. The main reason is the back bedroom has a walk-in closet that will be probably put to better use by the girls. But, also, it's a good idea for the girls to be in the back so they aren't visible to the street. So, anyhow, yesterday I went to the Big City with the little girls for a major shopping trip, First I went to the fabric store (I love that fabric store, I could have spent so much more time there, but Cee-Cee was having a melt-down because I wouldn't let her ride on the cart.  At Target, she could jump on the side and hold on, but Target has much bigger carts than the fabric store. She jumped on the cart at the fabric store and about tipped the whole thing over. So, anyhow, I'm dealing with her wailing as I'm walking down the aisle which isn't very conducive to browsing.) and bought fabric for five, yes, count them, five bedspreads. I'm going to make them simply. Just cut out a bunch of 10 inch squares with my rotary cutter and sew them together patchwork. I got a big piece of muslin for the back and instead of tying it, like you would a quilt, I'll just sew a big "X" from corner to corner to hold the whole thing together.
Then, it was off to the home improvement store for paint. I'd already chosen the paint off chips, but.... you know, I just have to say.... I hate choosing paint. I do not have the decorating flair. I can go into a house and say, "Yes, I like that," and "No, I don't like that!" when it comes to decor', but I just do not possess the talent for decorating. So, I'm looking at paint chips and thinking, "I have no idea!" and I'll close my eyes and point.  Well, I'm not that bad. I did get the kids some wall-paper borders, so I was trying to choose paint that matched that, but it's just not that easy.  For some people it is. For me, not so much!  Anyhow, I did get the paint, so we'll see how it turns out.
And tomorrow morning, I start to work. The older kids are going to Vacation Bible School at my parents' church this week, so I'll have fewer kids in the morning. I'm hoping to get the bulk of the painting done this week.  I'll probably work on the bedspreads in the evenings. So, that's my project this summer. I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ten Years!

 Well, we made it! Ten years. Ten years ago today Hubby and I were married.  It was a beautiful day and a beautiful wedding! I'm not sure exactly how to comment on it. I'm not a terribly sentimental person,  you know!  It was just a regular wedding. We had music and flowers. I had two bridesmaids.  All three of our nieces were flower girls.
 Hubby looked sharp in his tux. I had a beautiful white dress on.  I remember going shopping for it. Being a bride in her mid-thirties, I really wasn't going to go for some fluffy off-the-shoulder princess gown. But I found a lovely dress almost right away. It had lots of chiffon and a really cool looking train. I loved it immediately. When the day of the wedding came I was extremely nervous. I hate being the center of attention and when you're the bride, you're the center of attention! When Hubby put  the ring on my finger he put it on upside down.  And for some bizarre reason, I thought everyone would be able to tell.  You know, I always wondered what was going through people's minds when they were up there getting married. I mean, sure, they're probably listening to the preacher and everything, but still.... you're up there a long time. What do people think about?
 I do remember thinking that I really need to not pass out.  What would happen if I would pass out?  That kind of bothered me.  I also remembered thinking that I needed to be listening to the pastor so I could respond at the appropriate time. I think I responded at the appropriate time.
 We had a simple supper for the reception. Sandwiches and salads. Nothing big or overblown.  This was our wedding cake. It was square. I saw a picture of a square wedding cake in a magazine and just loved it. So, I tore it out, gave it to our caterer and asked her to duplicate it.  The flower cascade is of real flowers. I think the cake was chocolate. I can't remember. I just remember the food being good.  It was a fun day, but it's hard to remember. I just remember being in the car after the whole thing was over and thinking, "Hmmm! That was it, huh? My wedding!" It's an odd feeling - that thing that as a little girl you dream about and plan and all this fuss is made for the months preceding it and then all of the sudden..... it's done. And you're married.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Blog-Neglect!

OK, someone's probably gonna call BPS (Blog Protective Services) if I don't get a post up here sometime soon.  This poor blog has been seriously neglected this week. I'm just so tired. I can't hardly even lift my hand to type out a word. Well, maybe it's not that bad.  We've been doing VBS this week and as I mentioned, I'm helping out. I'm just surprised at how a week out of our normal routine can make us all so wonky! The kids were totally dragging yesterday morning.  Baby has been grouchy because she hasn't been getting much of a nap. She conks out in the car as soon as we pull out of our parking place at church. It's a 20 minute drive home and then I try really hard to make the transfer. (to the crib without her waking up) Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  And we had fast-food for lunch for the second time this week. I know, I felt horribly guilty about it. I hate doing the fast food thing, but.... something's gotta give.  But I'm not the only one who's wiped out after. All the other people working VBS this week have been bragging about how they get to take naps in the afternoon.  I've been jealous. The closest I get to a nap is sitting in a chair staring off into space for a while. Until I'm jolted back into reality by a loud screeching, "Mommmmmmm! He.... hit me, took my toy, called me an nitwit, tripped me, threw dirt on me, looked at me cross-eyed!" Aye Carumba!  But, tomorrow is the last day.  It's been a good week, but I think we'll all be glad when it's over.  And then maybe I can give my blog a little more attention!  That would be nice!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

VBS

Do you know what VBS is? Well, technically it's an acronym for Vacation Bible School. Most churches have it during the summer. It generally lasts about a week. Kids come in the morning to church and have crafts and games and songs and a Bible lesson.  When I was a kid it took place in backyards in the evenings.  Now, it's gotten to be a big deal. And for some of the larger churches in the area, it's a great big huge hairy deal - with lights and sound effects. It's kind of like going to Disneyland for a week. Well, not quite. But, it can be a big production with hundreds of kids showing up!  Fortunately, for us, it's a rather modest deal. We had 27 kids at our VBS today and it's been going well. I must admit to having not so great an attitude at first. Yes, my kids would participate and I would help, but all I could see was the chaos of getting somewhere on time every  morning and then being done by noon and having to come back home with two little girls falling asleep in the car and not getting much nap, but also not being able to fall asleep again and get the right amount of sleep to not be completely cranky at 4:30 in the afternoon. You know what it's like.  And then, I've worked at VBS before. At a large church. Where it was a great big huge hairy deal. I helped with games, and that was no fun. The leader was very unorganized and most of the days were filled with absolute chaos. Have I mentioned before that I really hate chaos? Some people can handle it, I can not!  So, I just didn't have a good attitude. However, I must say that the week, so far, has gone well.  Yes, mornings have been crazy and we've been late every day. The girls have fallen asleep in the car on the way home and that's not been fun. But, our VBS has been pretty well run and things are just humming along smoothly. All the kids seem to be enjoying themselves and learning something.  So, I'm getting a better attitude about things and must say that I really kind of like VBS. It's a good thing!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Busyness! I Don't Like It!

You know, there was a time in my life when I used to equate how busy a person was with how important they were. It seemed to me like busy people must be very important. People to see. Places to go. Things to do.  And I tried to be busy because somehow I wanted to be seen as an important person. Dumb, I know. I'm terribly insecure, actually. But, as I started becoming more and more busy, the more I realized that it didn't make me more important. It just made me more tired. And I didn't like that. Like last weekend. I had a meeting at church in the morning, ran home, ate a quick lunch, took the boys to baseball (they had to be there an hour early), got the groceries, ran home, put away the perishables, threw the rest of the kids and Hubby into the car, went to boys' baseball game, got there 15 minutes late, sat in the bleachers, sweated, tried to keep Baby from falling through the bleachers, cleaned up spilled diaper bag under the bleachers, consoled boys who lost 14-4, ran home made pizza for dinner and collapsed in a heap. Now, you may be thinking, "What are you complaining about? This is just life!"  Well, I don't want it to be life.  At least I don't want it to be my life.  So, I'm putting my foot down. I was supposed to be at another meeting yesterday at church. It was for Vacation Bible School. But, we were also having a bbq at our house last night. And I really needed to get ready for that. I knew if I tried to do it all I'd be a wreck by the end of the day. So, I said, "No!" I didn't go to the meeting. I stayed home. We all cleaned house. (Check out Duh-duh, he's in a sweatshirt, jammie pants and is barefoot! That's how we roll around here!)
And I was in reasonable good shape and spirits by evening when we had our friends over. I didn't rush around all day.  And you know what? It really didn't matter that I missed that meeting. It was ok. Last week was the same way. I actually didn't take the car out of the garage two days out of the week. We stayed home. No doctor's appointments. No dentist.  No baseball practice. No games. Nothing. And our state of mind was so much better.  So, I'm really going to work at cutting out all superfluous appointments and busyness and work at developing a simpler, slower paced lifestyle. I think this will be better for all of us.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Summertime...... and the livin' is easy!

We're officially on summer vacation.  The kids even had a countdown. We finished our science experiment (yes, I'm afraid I'm hard-nosed, even on the last day of school. We had a verse quiz, spelling test, did our reading assignment, finished our geography book, read about fire safety in our health book, did a math lesson and read about the function of feathers in science and did an experiment on why ducks feathers don't get wet) and then the kids did a count-down. "10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1- summer vacation! Hooray!".  Then we went and got tacos and took them to Grandma and Grandpa's for a little celebration.  And now.... I'm cleaning out the schoolroom. It will feel nice to get it cleaned up, put the table away and ..... replace it with my sewing machine. Yes, school may be out, but summer projects will commence. We're switching the kids' rooms around, so that means I get to paint and make new curtains and all that fun stuff. I say "fun stuff" only semi-sarcastically. Decorating is not my favorite thing in the world to do. I am not all that creative, for one thing. But, sure, I could probably copy a Pottery Barn Kids ad or something. (they sure have cute stuff)  But my kids are such slobs that it's like, what's the point?  So, I'll paint, put up a wallpaper border, new curtains and bedspreads, but that's about it.  And I'm going to paint the hallway. It's supposed to be white. But, it's a dingy brown right now. I scrub and scrub, but cannot get the dirty hand-prints off.  And then of course I'll have to do the baseboards and the door frames. It'll make the rest of the house look awful, but I'm going to quit there. We have super high ceilings in the main living area that would need a paint sprayer and I am not about to tackle that. Two bedrooms and the hallway will have to suffice for now. So, that's what I'm up to these days. Now, I gotta go get that school room shaped up!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Out and About on the Farm!

I wish I lived on a farm. As it is, we must do the best we can with the small amount of space we have.  But, things are growing. And we're having fun.  Come, have a look with me. Here is my cat Nikki. She's our grandma kitty. She's about 11 years old.  She's grouchy.  And arthritic.  And a little bitter since we kicked her out of the garage for the summer.  So, she sleeps on top of the air-conditioning unit when it's not in use.  I love her, though!
Here's my hydrangea.  Did I tell you I have a thing for hydrangeas? I love them. I've got a couple of varieties and if I had a farm, I would grow a whole lot more.

Here is the composter. It is very important that you understand this. We've had the composter in the same place for several years. It makes very good compost. The interesting thing is, that one of the by-products of the compost is this very nutrient rich juice that kind of seeps into the soil over time. So, the soil under the composter is extremely fertile. Well, this year Hubby wanted to grow some melons in this area, so we moved the composter over about 3 feet.
And look what is growing in it's place. We did actually plant watermelon.  And a pumpkin plant. But, we also have all manner of volunteer cantaloupe plants growing.....
as well as a mystery squash. I have no idea what this is. But we'll let it stay and see what happens.
And here's a sweet little basil plant peeking up in the midst of all the viney chaos! You can never grow too much basil. That's what I always say.
And here's a grapevine. I'd really like to take it out of the pot, but there are zinnias growing in there, too and I don't want to disturb them. So, we're growing a grapevine in a pot. With zinnias.
And here is our real garden. It's getting a little shabby looking. The wind-storm we had Monday knocked over some tomato cages. And then the errant baseballs with children following them doesn't help things, either. But, this the main garden, such as it is.
And this is the cucumber I'm going to pick for our dinner. I only grow Japanese cucumbers. I tried the regular kind a couple years ago, but had such a problem with bitterness that I decided I wasn't going to mess with them anymore. And I've mentioned before that I grow them on the trellis. It's a great way to grow cucumbers. Keeps them up out of the dirt and saves space.
So, there you have it. We do the best with what we've got. And somehow, it seems like we always have room for more!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I like my dinner low and slow!

You know, a slow cooker can really be a dinner savior at times. Yes, you have to be prepared, but a little forethought, especially when you're at the grocery store, can save you a lot of time and effort in the end.  I found a new slow-cooker recipe that I'd love to share with you all because it is soooooo yummy! I found it on allrecipes.com which is a great website.  So, I do not take credit at all for this recipe. Just so ya know!  Anyhow, you get yourself a pork butt-shoulder. That's a great piece of meat for a slow cooker. I've tried other cuts of pork, but this one works well.   Then, you stick it in your slow cooker, on top of a couple of bay leaves and add the following ingredients (I'm giving you what the recipe says, I double the amounts of all the spices when I make it): 1 teaspoon of each - salt, garlic powder and cumin.  Then, you add 1/2 teaspoon each of oregano and ground coriander.  Then 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Yes, cinnamon. You know, I'm finding that cinnamon is a very interesting spice. You think it works only in sweet foods like cinnamon rolls, apple pie, stuff like that. But no! Cinnamon is very versatile. And it works very well in this recipe. Don't leave it out!  Add a can of chicken broth (but try not to wash off the spices) and cook on high for an hour and then on low for the rest of the day. When I use my slow cooker, I put the meat in around 8:00am and leave it in till 5:30-6:00pm, supper time.  When you're ready to eat, shred the meat, being careful not to nibble too much because it is so incredibly yummy.  Tonight I served it in corn tortillas with a little sauteed red onion, cheese, cilantro and salsa.  However, this meat can be used for just about anything. So, there you have it. A new recipe for you to try. Have fun with it y'all!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Life


Piles of laundry
Dirty dishes
Children playing cops and robbers in the neighborhood
Supper to make
Weeds in the tomatoes
Three children on the swingset
Reading "Mr. Brown can Moo, Can You?" 
An uninspired Latin scholar
Gardenias blooming in the entry
And the answer is.... "Norm Bonaparte?" "Noooooo! Napoleon! Napoleon Bonaparte!"
Baby spinning round and round yelling, "I-ya! I-ya! I-ya!" and then crashing, giggling into the cedar chest
Forts made of sheets and folding chairs
A bouquet of hydrangeas on the table

"We have the idea that God is going to do some exceptional thing, that He is preparing and fitting us for some extraordinary thing by and bye, but as we go on in grace we find that God is glorifying Himself here and now, in the present minute. If we have God's say-so behind us, the most amazing strength comes, and we learn to sing in the ordinary days and ways!" 
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, June 4

Saturday, June 2, 2012

All Done for the Season!

It was a hot and sunny afternoon. Not quite as hot as yesterday, but hot. And we were at the ballpark. Watching our boys get clobbered by the Mets. They have gotten clobbered by the Mets all season and today was the last time. The championship game for Little League Minors was today. And since the Mets were the only team that beat us, we played them for the championship. They won. 14-4.
But, the boys did have a good season. Bubba got a lot of practice pitching this year and did well. It always amazes me how those little boys can get the ball over home plate like that.   Duh-duh had an ok time his first year on Little League. He lacked confidence and that showed. But he had a good attitude and never complained.  We were proud of him, too.

So, now I'm not sure what we're going to do with all this free time on our hands. No yelling at everyone to get in the car at 4:52pm to get to practice on time. No eating dinner in shifts. Wow, we'll have a couple of months off here until soccer season starts. I think I could get used to this!

Friday, June 1, 2012

"Oh Lord, Have Mercy on Me"

I was doing my Bible Study last night. Night time is the best time for me. It's really the only quiet time there is. The only time when I can think.  I'm studying the Book of Matthew. It's been a wonderful study. I've been studying it for a long time. And I'm only in chapter 15.  But, I came across a beautiful story last night. It's in Matthew Chapter 15, verses 21-28. It's about the Canaanite woman's plea for healing for her daughter. I've always loved that story. It's such a short little story. Basically, Jesus is traveling and a Canaanite woman approaches Him and asks for healing for her daughter. Her daughter has a demon. And in it Jesus is a little atypical toward her. Generally, He's more than willing to help. He reaches out. But this time.... it seems like He shuns her. At first He ignores her. She becomes more persistent. He tells her then that he only came for the Jews. She becomes even more persistent, yet at the same time humbles herself greatly before Him. She understands He is the Messiah. She's begging for mercy. "She does not limit Christ to this or that particular instance of mercy, but mercy, mercy is the thing she begs: she pleads not merit, but depends upon mercy." (Matthew Henry's Commentary) Finally, He answers her, commends her faith and heals her daughter. The Scriptures say, "and her daughter was made whole from that very hour." I love this woman. She would not be turned away. And yet, sometimes I wonder why Jesus interacted with her in that way.  But, Matthew Henry explains it this way, in his commentary.... "Christ treated her thus, to try her; He knows what is in the heart, knew the strength of her faith, and how well able she was, by His grace, to break through such discouragements; he therefore met her with them, that the trial of her faith might be found unto praise, and honor, and glory.... Many of the methods of Christ's providence, and especially of his grace, in dealing with His people, which are dark and perplexing, may be explained with the key of this story, which is for that end left upon record, to teach us that there may be love in His face, and to encourage us, therefore, though He slay us, yet to trust in Him."