Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December Link Up

Hey, it feels like it's been a while since I've written anything.I wish I had something really profound to write....but I don't! :) But I am linking up over here. Courtney is offering some really great ideas for keeping sight of the reason we celebrate Christmas. Check it out over here.....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I cannot believe this week is Thankgiving! Time has just flown by and the year is almost over. Soon we will be heading back to Pennsylvania, a long 36 hour trip. The kids are super excited, and I hope they stay that way as they watch mile after mile from their carseats! I woke up early this morning, thought it had been a while since I had blogged, and thought about blogging 30 things I am thankful for. I have a few friends who posted something new in their facebook status each day for the 30 days of November, but I never joined in. So, I thought I would do it here. 30 things I am thankful for, in no particular order, just as they come into my head.......
1. flannel sheets. Every year I look forward to putting them on my bed when it finally gets cold enough here. I don't want to get out of bed in the morning. Ever.
2. Smell of coffee percolating in the morning. I love getting up in the morning to the smell of fresh coffee brewing in the pot. And that first sip in the morning....yum!
3. my husband. Hard to believe it will be 8 years next week! The time has just flown by. He is one of the most hardworking men I know. He has dreams and ambition, and the motivation and will to get 'er done. Love him.
4. a sweet smelling baby, especially after a bath.
5. A particular little 5 year old who insists on recreating a "wipeout" obstacle course throughout our living room. No one is safe.
6. A mischievous 3 year old who has the best belly laugh, and loves to tease. Just like her dad. And grandpas. And great-grandpa. Her brown eyes still make me melt.
7. A 6 year old who is growing up so fast. Who still enjoys sitting close and snuggling, and enjoys working in the kitchen with me.
8. music. How quiet our house would be without music playing throughout. Pretty much all the time. I am not the only who likes music in the house. My oldest daughter loves to put cds in the player. And then I have ballerinas throughout the house.
9. running water. A couple years ago, our well went bad and I did not have water for two weeks. I had to go down to my mother in law's and fill up lots of gallon jugs of water to drink, wash dishes, and flush toilets. Yeah, not a  lot of fun. But it made me appreciate the luxury of having water. Most people in our world today still don't have access to indoor plumbing. a very humbling thought when you let yourself think about it. Plus, I am just in awe of the women who came before me in settling this country. Those pioneer women were tough.
10. my brother and sisters. I am so thankful that my parents didn't stop having kids after me. From what I am told, I wasn't the easiest baby in the world, and my brave parents still went on and had 3 more kids after me. Being across the country, has made me appreciate the times I get to spend with them more. And they are seriously, some of the funniest people I know.
11. full moon. Out where I live, when it's full moon, you can see for miles. Seriously. There are no city lights nearby, actually, there's really nothing nearby (!), and the moon just lights up the sky. It's beautiful.
12. Campfires. I love sitting outside at the night with the kids and Nate, watching the fire, roasting marshmallows, and watching the girls impromptu performances for us. It usually includes singing, and some kind of story telling. Entertaining, every time.
13. Shooting stars. I never saw so many shooting stars until I moved out here. The morning Nate and I were out walking while I was in labor with Landon, at 3 a.m. we saw like 5-7 shooting stars. Amazing. God's creativity never ceases to amaze me.
14. My parents. I loved being brought up on a farm, where we had the freedom to play outside, roam the meadows and create forts and play in streams, go sledding down the big hill. Even feeding calves and bringing in the cows for milking and unloading hay, all taught us responsibility and working together. My mom comes out every time I have a baby and stays for two weeks, which is absolutely priceless! My dad still has his crazy sense of humor and can make me laugh until my stomach hurts. Literally. And they love being grandparents.
15. my fireplace. I am sitting in my living room right now, typing this, before my fireplace. It's electric, but it still flames like a real one. Love it.
16. Speaking of fireplaces, I love the woodstove at the farm. I love sitting downstairs by it, and hearing it crackle, or being outside and smelling the wood burning. It would get so warm downstairs that you could wear a tank top in December or January. Not that I ever did or anything.... And my dad would be sitting on the sofa, dozing off, because it was so warm!
17. Christmas trees. I love the smell of pine throughout the house. Especially coming home from church, after the house has been locked up for a few hours and you open the door, and instant pine, mountainy smell. Love it!
18. Crockpot. I love my crockpot. I use it lots. I am so thankful for a one meal machine, where it does all the work for me.
19. Snow. I don't get much snow out here in AZ, but just the purity and whiteness of snow. Reminds me of the verse in the Bible where it says we will be washed white as snow.
20. Friends. I have had some friends for over 20 years. That's amazing in itself, and those friendships mean so much to me. Even though we aren't physically close to each other, we can see each other and pick up right where we left off. That is pretty special.
21. Grace. I am so thankful for grace. And that God extends His grace to me, fresh every day. A new do-over every day.
22. my porch. My husband built the porch for me the year I had Charlotte, and it's one of the best things we've done to our house. We use it a lot during spring and summer, especially watching the monsoon storms coming across the valley. And it has a swing! My favorite.
23. Flowers. I can't really grow my favorite flowers out here because it gets so hot, but I have found some that will grow for me. And the splash of color against the browns of the desert are beautiful.
24. Chocolate. Enough said.
25. US soldiers. I never really knew any active duty soldiers until I moved out here. There is a military base where we go to church, and so I have had the honor of knowing some soldiers who attend our church. I am so thankful for them and their sacrifice. Their willingness to protect those they don't know. Humbling.
26. my inlaws. I know I am in the minority, because I love my inlaws, and am so thankful for them. I would have had a pretty tough time adjusting to life out here in the desert, if it wasn't for them. They are some of the most generous and kind people I know. And I am blessed.
27. books. I am a book freak. I love books. I love my bookshelves my husband built me that are overflowing with books. I love to just sit in my office and look at my busting bookshelves. I am weird, I know. I just love having a wide selection to read. I love losing myself in a good book. And I love reading parenting books.....because I need the advice! :)
28. candles. The smell of a good candle wafting throughout the house, can just make your home feel so cozy and welcoming. I love candles. Especially cake candles.
29. the sibling relationship between my girls. Yes, they can fight like cats and dogs, but really, for the most part, they play well together. All three share a room together. And nothing beats sitting around the table, watching them drink their hot chocolate (because they aren't allowed to drink coffee yet, although they are known to steal sips when a certain mom is distracted by something else), and talking and giggling. Sisterly bonds. Love that. I am thankful for that with my own sisters.
30. Rainbows. I have always had a thing for rainbows. My grandpa even worked rainbows into our wedding ceremony. I am so thankful for the reminder of God's presence. His care and provision. His love. His mercy and grace. All things I am unworthy of. But in His lavish love, He gives us these little glimpses of His glory. And being out here, we see lots of rainbows. Lots of double rainbows. And I am just reminded over and over that God is here. He is everywhere.
So there are just a few things I am thankful for. I am learning as I get older, that if you look for the good in situations, things that you can be thankful for, you are a much more pleasant person to be around. I'd much rather be a cup half full person, then a half empty person. But it takes work. It's so easy to be negative. But being a thankful person, I think makes you more sensitive to see the gifts God gives us everyday. Because He does gift us everyday.  Sometimes in big ways, but mostly in small ways, if we would just slow down and see them. Happy Thanksgiving, and may we be thankful everyday!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Doesn't the title sound Christmasy? This is a recipe for one of my favorite things to make in the crockpot. With homeschooling and eating our big meal at lunchtime, I have come to depend on my crockpot for a lot of my meals. It's so nice when the meal makes itself! This one is great because all you have to make is a vegetable.
Pinecones in Tomato Sauce
2 8oz cans of tomato sauce (I used one 15oz can)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 lbs ground beef (I just use one pound package of beef)
1/2 cup long cooking rice
2T onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Mix together tomato sauce, garlic powder and water in slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl, mix well. Shape into 24 pinecone shaped balls. Arrange in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours.
Now, I make mine for lunch, cook on low and it's done in 4-5 hours. And this is also fun for little kids to shape the pinecones. My girls helped me just this morning. And it smells super yummy as it's cooking! I got this recipe in my Goosebery Patch Slow Cooker cookbook. There are lots of other great recipes in there, so if you like using your crockpot, you should definitely check it out!
Oh, and I am linking up over here today....http://www.raisinghomemakers.com/

Friday, November 5, 2010

field trip

Before I share pictures of our field trip to the Chiricahua Monument from this past Sunday, somebody is turning three months old today!!!
I must say that with each baby I am enjoying this stage so much more. I guess because I realize now how quickly they move from this sweet cuddly, helpless stage into a mobile, independent little person. I just can't get over his smiles and how much he LOVES his sisters. Even when they give him NO personal space. He just smiles and laughs. I wish I could react to life that way.....
AnYwAy, here are some pics from our recent trip to the Monument

The girls has a blast climbing up the rocks and looking at the view. During harvest, Nate is so busy that it's hard to find any time to carve out as a family. Last week he spent a lot of time in the tractor, working ground so he can plant oats before we leave for Christmas, which by the way is a month from now! So he is working extra hard. One night he stayed out and disked the entire night. So we stayed home from church last Sunday and spent it as a family.  We had homemade burgers and french fries, and then packed up the kids and headed to the Monument. We spent a few hours up there, climbing rocks and admiring God's creativity. Some of the rock structures are just amazing. It was the first time the girls were up there. Next time we might try camping up there.....yeah, I'll let you know how that turns out! :)