Friday, June 27, 2008

Price Increases for Food

Today, my mom graciously offered to pick up some food items for me at Sam's. The closest Sam's to our home is over 60 miles away. It would cost me at least $24.00 to travel that far and back and, therefore, I rarely go!

Here's what I asked for:
spinach, green beans, romaine hearts, maple syrup, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, blueberries, and strawberries

A few months ago, these items would have cost me $71.56 before tax. Today they cost $81.39 before tax. Quite an increase in a short amount of time.

But this put it into perspective for me. Aren't we blessed?! I'm not hungry or doing without. I may have to get creative but is that really so bad?


Zeke has loved tractors for a very long time, before he could walk. He used to sit on the floor, flick the tractor wheel and watch it spin. This was around the age of 9 mo. Now, he plays with his John Deere mower and trailer and a zillion other construction and farm vehicles. But he's always been so afraid to get on the real thing. He loves to watch the tractor at work in the fields or building new roads, etc. He just doesn't want to get too close. My brother owns a landscaping business, so he's had plenty opportunity.

A few weeks ago, he took the plunge! He let his big brother lift him up onto his lap on our riding lawn mower. The look of pride was precious. And ever since, he about breaks his neck to get his boots on and get out the door to have another ride. He won't ride with just anyone. The only trust-worthy people according to Zeke are his daddy and his big brother, Nathan. Honestly, I think Nathan enjoys these rides as much as the little guy.

As a mom, I love watching my children enjoying each other's company. Children caring for each other is a lovely sight!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

After the Rain

I love the light after a rain. And when it is evening light I enjoy it even more.
There's a certain time each evening as the sun is going down that I am in awe of the beauty
God has given me in my very own yard.

We are blessed to own land. Land that I can walk barefoot on in the morning dew. Land that I can get my hands dirty in. Land that my children can run free on. Land that I can raise animals on. Land that gives me a sense of place in this world.
Land that is my own.
I wanted to capture the beauty of the rain drops hanging from the pine needles.
The rain drops were actually the reason I left my dishes half done and ran with my camera outside. It was as if the moment would be lost if I didn't hurry.
I need to practice taking more pictures. I didn't capture what I was wanting to share!

My front flower/herb bed.
I don't like things in my life too structured.
You can see that judging by my flower beds! The orange flowers above are called Indian Paint Brush and they grow wild around here.
These flowers are always a bustling home to much butterfly action!

My favorite spot, my raised beds.
The fence is a new addition that my men recently added for me.

And the east side of my house. I've always thought this looks almost park like.
Maybe a bench? Tim thought a pond. I think he's just wanting another
excuse to own a tractor. :) Maybe soon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

High Desert Home: Getting There...

I found this post by Susan encouraging. It brought calm to my spirit today. My goal for this summer is a clean, orderly home. It will probably take me all summer, and that's o.k. I'm craving order! Right now, chaos is on the throne! But there is hope........

High Desert Home: Getting There...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Dutch Babies

We eat breakfast at our house, every single day! And if it's cereal my kids think they're being mistreated! Frugal Upstate started a series on Frugal Food and part 1 will be about the egg. We love eggs around here and I have a recipe that I want to add to her list. I plan to check out all of the submissions that she receives. Perhaps we'll add another favorite to our breakfast menu.

Dutch Babies

~~Place 1 stick of butter in a 9x13 pan and place in 425* oven.
note: If times are tough you can cut the stick in half and it will work!

~~In blender combine:
2 cups flour
2 cups milk
8 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla (again, you can skip the vanilla if need be)

~~Pour into melted butter and return to oven for 20-25 min.

~~Cut into squares and serve with butter and syrup, powdered sugar, or even fruit, or fruit syrup. We always add peanut butter, but that's just us.

~~This will puff up in pan.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Happy, Healthy Children

Our local health food store asked if I would write an article about what I thought was important for the health of children. This is really a sad/funny story in a way. I agreed to write the article and had a whole week to do it. But guess what?! I forgot, until the due date! Desperate and panicky are words which describe my mental state when I realized my blunder. I dropped the kids off at their karate class and Zeke and I sat in the car and I wrote like crazy! Thirty minutes later I turned in a hand written copy of the following:

Children who establish positive healthy habits will be equipped to live a healthy life as adults. Parents have a huge impact on these early patterns that are being formed.

Providing whole foods in abundance for my children is a gift I can give them. Whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, along with quality raised meats provide wonderful nutrients for our growing children's bodies. Whole milk products, free of hormones and antibiotics, give our children the fats their brains crave.

A few supplements may also be appropriate. I would consider the benefits of cod liver oil, probiotics, and a whole food multiple vitamin.

Play. Unstructured play. Outdoor play. Children need free time to think their own thoughts and experience nature at their leisure.

Give your children whole foods, extra support through supplements, undisturbed play time, and of course, lots of love and you'll have given them the beginnings of a life of health.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

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Influance of Attitude

This past year I've become friends with a lady who seems to always be positive in her attitude toward life. I don't mean to say that she portrays her life as being perfect but that she chooses to look at life with joy and hope. Not only is she positive about her own life but she bestows praise freely on those around her. Many times over the past year she has been a breath of fresh air to me. I want to cultivate this characteristic in my own life.

As I was thinking of having a positive attitude I ran across this about teaching reading to a struggling learning and I think it applies to many area of parenting, life, and education:

Limit struggle. Limit failure. Praise success. Keep your energy level high. Keep surprising him. Keep him laughing and giggling. Happy people learn faster. Have fun. He will take his cues about attitude from you. (from Joyce Herzog)

Abiding with the Lord

Last night as I dropped into bed I was weary from hauling loads of dirt for my garden and just working hard physically all day. So I turned to the Psalms. They always bring calm and comfort to my heart. I was delighted with Psalm 15 and read it over several times. I love it when the Bible plainly states what I am to do or be! And this Psalm is very straight forward! It clearly explains what I must do and be so that I might abide with the Lord. And truly that is what I want for myself and those that I love!

Psalm 15
Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in they holy hill?
He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor.
In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
He that putteth not out his money to usury, not taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.