Friday, August 26, 2011

His and Hers

His and Hers Blueberry Buckets:
Can you guess whose is whose?
(Hint: Upon arrival at home, I am the one who does all the cleaning/processing of the berries!)  Admittedly, though, Jeremy is the faster picker...

We got only 5 gallons this year, in about 4 hours of picking.  Usually we get around 10-12 gallons but this year we were busy enough to fit in only two short trips up to pick. Although the kids LOVE playing around in the weeds, rolling down the steep hill and wrestling, and "calling in" marmots with their whistles, it's fun that we now have one full-time berry picker in Ryley. Anna was a big help this year too.  She loves to pick till she's bored, then she catches up with the boys to play.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Be Still

"Instead of glorifying two-fisted fighters in the John Wayne tradition of American folk heroes, Christians would do well to sit still until the power of God is manifested in their Christian activities.
   Churches need to develop the quiet disciplines they have lost- practices such as
  • contemplation
  • fasting
  • listening
  • meditation
  • prayer
  • silence
  • Scripture memory
  • submission and
  •  reflection.
   Many Christian leaders are caught up in secondary issues that sap their time and energy...
  ...In the years I have lived and worked in the United States, I have watched believers and whole congregations get caught up in all kinds of similar [aforementioned] crusades and causes that, while not necessarily bad in themselves, end up taking our eyes off obedience to Christ.  And in this sense, they become anti-Christ.-Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan

I'm reading this book and was reminded and convicted that while action is a necessary part of living a Christ-like life, silence, solitude and stillness are vital in order to receive God's direction for our lives.  How are we to receive our "marching orders" without choosing to listen?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dang Quesadillas

 Dang Quesadillas (name stolen from Napoleon Dynamite) are one of my family's favorite (vegetarian) dinners.  I created the recipe years ago in an attempt to creatively use the many zucchini from the garden. 

In a large bowl:
*Shred zucchini (I use about 7-9 for a dinner for 6)
*Add two cans drained and rinsed black beans
Salt fairly liberally and allow to sit for a bit.

Meanwhile, saute in butter:
*Chopped onion
*Sliced mushrooms
*Red, yellow or orange pepper (or not.  Sometimes I don't have any...)

Squeeze zucchini/bean mixture with paper towel to remove excess water from zucchini. (The salt helps draw out extra moisture.)

Add sauteed veggies to zucchini mixture. 
Stir in
*Pico de gallo (or salsa, if I don't have any prepared)

Brown both sides of small corn or brown rice tortilla in oil in pan. 
Spoon mixture on top. 
Sprinkle with cheese.  (Cow, sheep or goat all work well!)

Keep warm on cookie sheet in oven set at 200 degrees until all are prepared.
Serve warm, garnished with fresh cilantro (unless your husband, like mine, hates cilantro.  Then omit his only if you want to be nice...) and fresh chopped tomatoes.
My kids like theirs served with a dollop of sour cream.

Note:  The other night when I made these I had leftovers of the veggie mixture.  I saved it in the fridge and the following night I cooked up some chopped chicken in a skillet and mixed this in.  After adding more pico de gallo and several other seasonings (whatever was handy...) I served it over rice.  I think it was even better the second time around!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Don't you just love the English language?  I do.  I love words.  They're so intriguing.  Look at the root of the word 'persevere'.
Isn't it
so telling? 
so appropriate?? 

Persevering has been deeply on my heart lately.

Big Weekend!

   This was a fun, long weekend for our family.  Friday morning at 7:30 Ryley took his Boy Scout Swimming Merit Badge test at the Palmer Pool.  The test took about an hour and a half and was quite rigorous.  He was also required to write a test beforehand, which was checked by the counselor.  This is his second Eagle-required badge to have earned.  
    Later in the day we went up to Mr. Moore's house (our Scoutmaster) who held the annual Turkey Shoot.  The boys camped overnight with the boys from their troop, as well as another troop who joined them.  Saturday was the day of the big event.  Isaac, Anna and I got there at about 10:00 so I could help Mrs. Moore with the food and prizes.  The events in the contest were: Archery, Slingshot, Tomahawk, Big Bore, Shotgun, and .22.
There was a winner of each event per age group.  Josiah was the winner of Big Bore for his age group. There was also a Runner-Up and a Grand Champion.  Ryley was the Grand Champ. for 2011!  This is no easy feat, as there are some sharpshooters in our troop!  Mr. Moore has been holding this event since 1995 and Ryley is the youngest scout to win the whole "Shootin' Match".  It's quite an honor, as, in addition to the prize he won (including, yes, a turkey!), he also won a trophy and the privilege of having his name inscribed on the plaque Mr. Moore has with the names of all winners from years past.

 Isaac and Anna were also invited to participate.  I didn't get around grabbing pictures like I wanted to, but I had to snap this one of Anna.  She threw the tomahawk, worked the slingshot and fired the .22.  She marked a near-bullseye on the .22 and tallied up the points in the tomahawk throw, but I like this slingshot picture best, not only because she landed the marble in the hanging can, but because she is wearing "make up".  Her baseball coach painted this on her at Friday night's game and she wanted to leave her make up on to show her biggest brothers. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pretend Play

I love that my 9 year old son and 7 year old daughter have not outgrown pretending.  Today, after our family book-learning time, I found them "working".  Isaac is the banker and Anna is the mailwoman.
Oops!  I was mistaken; he's not a banker, but has a much cooler profession. He's a secret agent.  How did I miss the sign on the door??

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Now, Why Didn't I Think Of That?

Each Spring we enjoy planting little bitty seeds and watching them sprout inside plastic trays filled with soil.  The whole process is quite cumbersome, actually, as I scour the house looking for flat surfaces which I drag over to the sun-lit areas and wrestle plastic wrap in the attempt to keep those trays covered so the soil won't dry out too quickly.  This year I decided to change all that.  For a mere $50 I am now the proud owner of one of those ugly indoor greenhouses.  Spring will be transformed from here on out.

I also stumbled across an article which suggested planting seeds inside egg shells!!  WOW!!
 We eat a lot of eggs around here so it didn't take long to save quite enough shells and cartons. This beautiful, sunny afternoon we planted some seeds inside them.  After they sprout and the soil in the garden is ready for planting, we'll take the shell, soil and plant, all-in-one, and plant it directly into the soil.  The egg shell will provide nutrients to both the roots and the soil. 
                                     Now, why didn't I think of that??

Friday, April 29, 2011

Copy-Cat Lara Bars (gluten-free! dairy-free! corn-syrup free!)

Have you tried the Lara bar?  There are several varieties from which to choose.  Although I haven't tried them all, my favorite so far is the Peanut Butter and Jelly bar.  As a gluten-free family (for 9 years now) and health conscience mom, I am always on the look-out for healthy packaged snacks and treats.  There aren't many. 

 And in the rare event that I find something, it is usually astronomically priced.  I've only bought a few Lara bars, and only when on sale (buy-one-get-one-free), but my kids and I love them.  I love the fact that they contain very few ingredients,  (the pb&j version only has three!) which made them very easy to make.  I also love that they are high in fiber and protein.
All you need to make your own is:

peanuts                                Mix them up in a Vita-mix and squeeze into bars!
dried fruit (I used cherries)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Terrific Tongue Twisters

Today during Language Arts time the kids each wrote their own tongue twister.  Here they are, typed and customized by the kids.  Try to say these five times fast! 

Peter picked a piping porridge that poured on the poor floor.-Anna

The cat came 'cause cake can control the cat.  The End- Anna

The dumb dog dug down. Down the dumb dog dug.  The dumb dog dug deep.- Isaac

The big black bug bled black blood. Then the big black bug bled blue blood. Then he bounded back.-The End  Josiah

The fat flat fly flew from the fridge fast. Ryley

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

...This Just In...

"A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, reported on, shows that colleges enrolling students with higher SAT scores don't necessarily produce graduates who make higher incomes.  'Evidently, students'
             ambition, and
             desire to learn
have a much stronger effect on their subsequent success' than those SAT scores, says the bureau."          --Readers' Digest 
                                                      (emphasis mine)             

"Discipline imposed from the outside eventually defeats when it is not matched by a desire from within." --Dawson Trotman

As parents, responsible for overseeing the education of our children, we must first ask ourselves if "the education [they are] receiving is on par with their potential". (DeMille)  They deserve the most beneficial education, not the most convenient, practical or "realistic".