Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday afternoon

I'm catching up on some knitting...
D and the boys are outside playing in the snow, while I whip up a favorite for supper. Meatloaf(my special recipe they love it!), buttery, creamy mashed potatoes, and peas. For dessert-a rustic cranberry pie made in my cast iron skillet baked in the oven. After we eat, it's time for games-we are loving Ticket to Ride so that's probably the game of choice tonight. A perfect Sunday afternoon...

I finally did it!

I have finally read the entire Bible! While it's embarrassing to admit how long it actually took me, I'm excited I've done it. Although it has given me much more insight, it has left me with a ton of questions and I kindof don't know where to start. Some of it was really scary to be honest, like Revelations...I was always intimidated to read it and now I know why. I have so many question marks and underlined passages with questions...where do I begin to try and figure this out?
And what do I do now? I guess I could read another book that may explain different books of the Bible, but then that's someone else's interpretation, not mine necessarily. Maybe this was God's intention for me to question and really become grounded in my faith through exploring and asking questions we are sometimes scared to ask. I'll pray about it and see where he leads me....

Saturday, January 30, 2010

More property pictures

"The best remedy for those that are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, admist the simple beauty of nature."
Anne Frank

Snow day today!

Snow started falling around 5pm last night and we had a great storm. About 5 inches fell by the morning and we had flurries and sleet falling most of the day. After having a warm, stick-to-your-ribs breakfast of homemade grits we headed outdoors for some sledding. The plows had been on the street earlier but some snow was still on the ground. Afterwards, we carefully drove to the property to see it for the first time with some snow. It was great! It seemed the property got a bit more snow(even though it's only a couple of miles away) or maybe the wind just caused some snow drifts because some parts were pretty deep. We found rabbit tracks in the snow and the boys had a great time exploring and visiting the horses next door. We even met some neighbors on there 4-wheelers on the street. Here are some pictures:

Our property-this is off of the driveway...

This is the driveway almost the whole way up looking toward our homesite.

Back at the duplex for some snowboarding and sledding.

Later in the afternoon, D and the boys headed out for some more sledding. I stayed in and cooked dinner. Homemade Pimento cheese soup, Green salad topped with blue cheese crumbles and homemade balsamic vinagrette dressing and homemade honey-glazed rolls. Bellies full, jammies on and cheeks still red from the cold...they are fighting the urge to close there eyes but they want daddy to read to them....As he reads a story in the other room, I peak to see if they have fallen was a good day...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Carolina weather...

Hi today 60 and sunny...
Hi Saturday 30 and snowy...
Gotta love Carolina weather!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

To Do this Week

Revisit monthly budget
Set up financial goals for the New Year(I'm a bit late on this but better late then never) I'll be posting our financial goals to help me become more accountable to our spending
Set up monthly menu planner-I usually do this weekly but I really like to start doing it monthly
Make a list of easy, quick meals and always have ingredients on hand to avoid temptation to eat out

We've had some setbacks on the land and some LARGE expenses that have popped up in regards to the land (who knew an artesian well would pop up at the highest point on the property?) And while I'm freaking out about the extra expenses, I've received some good news today-Darryl recieved an unexpected bonus, the bank gave us some good news, and thankfully I've squirelled away enought savings to pay for the extra expenses. Thank you Dave Ramsey!
At least we aren't in prime, yard sale season because the temptation is so great to spend(I LOVE going to yard sales for the bargains) and even though we like to visit auctions and may attend some farm auctions this month or next, we are very conservative on bidding-usually we go and just watch for the fun of it...

So, I'll update soon on our new financial goals and hope to go out to the property tomorrow to take some pictures. They are clearing more trees today and hopefully setting the footers tomorrow!

Edited to add: Thank you to the Lord for whom all blessings flow!

Monday, January 25, 2010

A homeschooling mom's confession...

While I enjoy most aspects of homeschooling, I do not enjoy teaching science. In fact, last year we barely did any science...we just read books on science. Thankfully, the boys did well on their testing and I figured most 1st graders aren't exposed to too much science, so I gave myself a free pass to let it go. Well, now they are in 2nd grade and I figured I had to do something. So, I bought an astronomy course at the beginning of the year and while it's pretty interesting, I still wasn't feelin' it. Now, I can go crazy on history and art, but science just doesn't float my boat. I know I'm supposed to sacrifice for the better of my children, but there had to be a different way. I kept on pushing back the science until we ended up not doing it and just watching some Nova videos. Well, no more!!! Times like this I'm so thankful for technology! I've found several wonderful online science classes for grades 4 and up but couldn't find one for their age. But, after searching and searching, I found one!! Yippee! We signed up for Lessons worth Learning science club and this month they learned about states of matter. It was a great class, they got to intereact with the class via microphones and chats so it was like a real classroom. All I had to do was supervise, answer questions and help the boys with an experiment. They made lava lamps and had so much fun doing it. They love to do experiments and I hate that I haven't given them that opportunity very often. But, now we have a solution and I'm so grateful. Next month they will learn about hermit crabs and make a hermit crab habitat. They are so excited!

Watching the class online.

Oh my gosh! It's starting to bubble!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

All Moved again...

With the help of some wonderful friends, we are moved into our new temporary home while our new home is being built. It feels good to have everything in it's place, everything clean, and dinner on the stove. We are having beef stew with mushrooms(thanks to Pioneer Woman and her awesome recipes) over egg noodles, brussell sprouts, and homemade bread. Then we have ice cream for dessert and game night!
Blessings everyone!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Prayers for Haiti

I have been thinking and praying alot for Haiti today. We found out about it yesterday(I get a little behind on news stories sometimes because we don't watch t.v. to much) I just can't understand why this happened to them. Haiti is already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. They already suffer so much and now this...I just don't get it. I prayed this morning for answers. I want to to know why....unfortunately I'm not supposed to know everything...
But, then as I pray for these people and especially the little children and mothers...I see...
I never, ever think about Haiti. I never pray for those people..ever. This has really given me pause and I believe God placed that on my heart this morning that yes this is a horrible tragedy, but these people needed our prayers and support and love BEFORE this happened...I will pray for Haiti now more than ever. I know that through this somehow, God WILL be glorified.

On a side note, we were looking up charities this morning to donate to and we found God's Little Angels(courtesy of Laurie). GLA's is the orphanage in Haiti. They believe that they will need much more support now than ever as sadly there will be lots more orphans to take in. Matthew asked if we could adopt one...he really wants to help. His heart is so big and he truely has a servant's attitude-I can learn so much for him... Along with supporting Haiti with our money, I do hope I can do something with the boys so that they can help as well. If you are reading this and looking for a charity to support in Haiti, this seems like a good one. I'm sure there are plenty of wonderful ones..I think the point being we all need to do our part to show Haiti how much we care. I found in coincidental this morning that in our morning Bible study we were at the point in the Bible where Jesus is talking with his disciples and thanking them for giving him clothing when he was naked, for feeding him when he was hungry, for taking him in when he was a stranger. They wondered how this could be because they never saw Jesus hungry or thirsty, etc. But Jesus said(I'm paraphrasing of course), "Because you have done it to one of these My brothers, even the smallest of them, it is as if you did it to me."
We are his hands and feet. Let us all remember(me especially-I can be so selfish) to be his hands and feet and to help the lesser of these...
I pray for all of those precious children for I know they are scared, lonely, hungry and sad. I pray for those mothers that have missing children or whose children have perished. The pain, the agony, I'm sure the screaming you hear on the news must be happening continually from the shear sadness and heartbreak they must feel....I pray for those fathers that lost their families or who have perished in buildings, trucks,etc.....
I'm going to give my family extra hugs and kisses today and thank the Lord for just one more day with's truly a blessing. Thank you Lord, I don't deserve it, but am so grateful.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My husband takes such good care of me...

And I'm so thankful for him and how hard he works for our family.

We are moving our storage stuff tomorrow to the new town and next week will be moving the apartment. So, Darryl got the truck tonight to load it up. We have a ton, I mean a ton of stuff in there it's really big as you can see it will fill this whole truck..and that's just our storage stuff. We'll have to rent two large units. Anyway, I digress, it's freezing here in N.C. as is much of the Eastern Seaboard. I mean crazy cold. Well, Darryl decided tonight that I should stay in with the boys, he will load it ALL HIMSELF! He really did want me to stay in with the boys out of the cold and said he could handle it...he's so good to me...

Well, I had to find some way to repay him and while it was small in comparison, It warmed him up in that cold. I made homemade hot chocolate. This recipe is sinful. I adapted it from a recipe I found on It just wasn't fattening enough so I had to make it richer. The recipe calls for 6 1/2 cups of water and I instead used 2 cups of water and 4 1/2 cups of whole milk...if your gonna do it...then do it..why wimp out and use all water? I think not! It was so good, as you can see from his smiling face in the picture... So, without further adieu...

Creamy Hot Chocolate

1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/8 tsp of salt

1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

4 1/2 cups of milk

2 cups of water( you can try all milk if you'd like...I may next time if I'm feeling particulary naughty)

Mix the sweetened condensed milk, cocoa, salt and vanilla extract in a medium sized pot. Add the milk and water and stir frequently. I used a whisk and I think that helped distribute the cocoa and not leave any lumps. Serve with whipped cream or marshmallows. Enjoy!

A new hobby...

Matthew has asked several times if he could learn to knit. Despite being teased by his brother that it's what *girls* do, he still wanted to learn. He asked repeated times yesterday and even though I had dinner to prepare and cleaning up to do, I was nudged (I believe by the Holy Spirit)to stop and be present with my son. So, we found some boy colored yarn( as boy colored as I could find in my stash at the moment) and I taught him to knit. He really enjoys it! When Daddy came home he asked Matthew if he wanted to play a game(one of his favorite things to do with Daddy) and Matthew told him no, he wanted to practice his knitting... He tried and tried even though it can be a challenge at first. I asked him what he wanted to make and he said a scarf for Bo...I said,"Bo, our dog?"...he said no Bo, one of the twins Mrs Laurie adopted....
What? I was blown away....
He's met them twice, maybe 3 times and they are much younger than the boys so they didn't play with them very much, but yet he had a desire to do something for them. His hearts desire is to give and serve and I haven't made that possible lately for them and I'm going to work on that. I just couldn't believe it...sometimes they really suprise me and I'm so glad I the Holy Spirit and to my son..I learned more yesterday from him than he learned from me.

* Disclaimer for Laurie-it may be a long, long time before you get that has been ripped apart several times. We have changed plans for now and will be making a scarf for one of his Webkinz first since it's a much smaller project and won't be intimidating if he messes up in the middle....


My boys love Webkinz! I guess it's the age but they talk about Webkinz constantly. And what is so sweet is that they buy each other Webkinz with their allowance money. Nicholas got in a bit of trouble a couple of weeks ago and had to stay home with me while Daddy and Matthew went to a fun event. Well, Matthew felt so bad, he asked his Daddy to stop at the store and bought Nicholas a Webkinz. It was so sweet to see that brotherly love(my sister and I would have NEVER done that-which I guess is sad in it's own right but that's a different post). So, now Nicholas wants to buy Matthew the brand new German Shepard Webkinz. It's really hard to find and every night he's asked Darryl or me to look on the computer to try and find it for his's so sweet.
At night they set up their Webkinz in different configurations. Sometimes they are in a fort camping, sometimes in a pyramid, sometimes cuddled in bed with the boys.
Here they are on the floor in blankets(because it's cold of course!) watching over the boys while they sleep.

And here is just a bonus picture of my sweet Nicholas with my Koala bear from childhood and his much loved Bear. Can you ever get enough of children and babies sleeping? I think not!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm a winter weather geek...

I'm obsessed with the weather in the winter. More specifically, I'm obsessed with the possibilities of snow. Why you ask? I don't know...could have something to do with spending most of my childhood near a beach in Florida. If there is a hint of a slight possibility of snow in these parts, I'm on the computer 15 times a day checking to see if there has been any changes while watching The Weather Channel. I get so excited!!

But what is weird is that while I love the possibility of snow and I love watching it fall, after about an hour of being in it, I'm done. I don't like being cold and wet. Specifically cold...when we go skiing or tubing, I wear like a crazy amount of clothes. Seriously, the pictures earlier this week of us at Beech Mountain, I had long johns, 2 pairs of pants, a thermal shirt, a turtleneck and a ski bib on. Then when I knew we would be outside for a longer period of time, I added a sweatshirt on top, a huge ski jacket, a 7 foot long scarf that I wrapped around my neck and entire face, ski gloves and a hat. I look like a rolly polly...but I can't stand to be cold...or hot for that matter. And I try doing the same thing to the boys-remember that little boy from The Christmas Story? When the mama wraps him up so much he can't even put down his arms? That's me! And Darryl is the complete opposite. He'll send them out if they have a sweater and some shoes on (-:

So, I'm excited about the possibility of the snow this week. I'm not terribly excited about it on Friday, since we are moving the storage stuff to our new town, which means I'll be the snow...and cold...

Maybe I can just stay inside and watch and make everyone some hot cocoa and pizza and watch the snow you think I can get away with that?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Yummy Banana Oat Muffins

I made some muffins last night for our breakfast this morning and they were really good! Usually healthy muffins turn out dry, but these are suprisingly really moist. I have another batch of bananas turning dark so I may just make some more tomorrow and freeze them.
Here is the recipe:

Banana Oat Muffins (adapted from a recipe found on changed some of the ingredients to make it healthier)

3/4 cup of Freshly Ground Hard Winter Wheat flour*
3/4 cup of Freshly Ground Soft White*
1 cup of Oats(the old fashioned, not the instant)
1/2 cup of Sucanat
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
1 egg
3/4 cup of raw milk
1/2 cup of applesauce
1/2 tsp of vanilla
1 cup of mashed bananas(I mashed three large into the batter)

Combine flours, oats, Sucanat, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
In another large bowl, lightly beat egg. Stir in milk, applesauce, and vanilla. Add banana. Stir in flour mixture, just until the ingredients are incorporated. The secret to good muffins is not to overmix-they become dry and tough-so just until everything is wet.
Fill 12 muffin tins with batter and cook at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

*You certainly don't have to use freshly ground flour if you don't have a grain mill. A substitution would be 3/4c whole wheat flour and 3/4 all purpose unbleached flour.
Let me know if you make them and if you like them. I think next time I may add some raisins for a variation or some dried cranberries but they are good on there own as well. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Years continued...

Just some more random pictures from the day. It was the perfect way to begin 2010!

This was the high for the day...Yes it's the low 20's! The low was 3...glad we were out of there before that (-:

New Years continued...

Everyone on the sledding hill was having a great time and then it happened...the first injury of the day and it was my Nicholas! He was sledding down face first and his face hit the ice and got scrapped up...well he was done with that hill! Not five minutes later, a man broke his ankle and Darryl had to call 911. He broke it at the top of the hill and couldn't get down. Then, after I took care of Nicholas and got him cozy into the car I wanted to go to the top of the hill to help the man(and to be nosey)...well, I got 1/4 of the way up and fell! I fell on both my wrists onto the ice...OUCH! It hurt so bad. So, we decided we were done with this place and headed to the next place.

We decide to next head to Beech Mountain. We read that they had a free sledding hill where the town blew snow and maintained the hill. So, we decided to head up the mountain from Boone. This place was great! It was a like a winter wonderland! Beech Mountain is the highest town in the eastern US at over 5500 feet. It was such a cute looked like we were in a small town in Switzerland. It was snowing when we got there and everything was covered in was beautiful! I don't recall seeing so much in a long time!
First we headed to the cute general store for provisions-boo boo cream for Nicholas and chocolate treats for the family. The snow was so deep and powdery and was perfect for sledding. Nicholas didn't last too long so I stayed out with Matthew.

New Years Day

What could be better to ring in the New Year but heading to the mountains for some sledding? That's just what we did! The mountains have been getting pummeled with snow and we just couldn't resist any longer. We packed our sleds and all our cold weather gear and we were off!
We headed to Boone first and found a sledding hill on the side of the road. There were lots of families there so we figured it was pretty good. Well, it was really, really, really icy. Everyone was FLYING down the hill. It was lightly snowing and freezing but the boys had such a great time...until...

A sweet New Years Eve...

We stayed in on New Years Eve. After watching a movie and putting the children to bed, Darryl and I got in our jammies and brought the pillows and blankies out into the living room to cuddle and wait for the ball to drop. Well....Darryl fell asleep. I didn't so when it was time I *gently* woke him up with a kiss...He thought that was sweet and hugged me. I love this man...
Here he's getting sick of all the flashes on the camera. He is hiding and as you can see, I'm giggling at him.
We have so much to be thankful for in 2009 and have so much to look foward to in 2010.