Sunday, December 23, 2012

| laura's christmas. |

I hope someone still reads the Little House books.:) I have been reading them ever since I can remember, and even before I could read, I can remember wondering who the two serious-faced little girls in sunbonnets sitting in the covered wagon were. (on the cover of Little House on the Prairie)
Recently I dusted off my copies of Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, and On the Banks of Plum Creek and read them over again. I have read the whole series ( my favorites are Little Town on the Prairie and These Happy Golden Years ) but these are the ones on the family bookshelf at the present. I have always loved the simplicity of Laura's growing-up years, and the special way that she and her sisters loved each other and their parents.
Anyway, this last time that I read the first three Little House books, I couldn't help but notice how grateful Laura was, in the little log house in the woods of Wisconsin, to recieve a rag doll, a candy cane, and a pair of mittens. That seemed like pure riches to her at (I think) five years old. I get the sense that Laura was not a spoiled child, and that she was grateful for the small things that her parents gave her.
The next Christmas in the log cabin on the prairie Laura and her sister recieved for Christmas a penny, a peice of cake, a stick of candy, and a tin cup. They were not expecting anything at all because the bad weather had prevented their parents from making any trips to Independence to get them anything. But when they did get their presents, they could hardly imagine that anyone could actually get that much for Christmas. Imagine being that unspoiled. Doesn't it sound like the sweetest thing? I would love to raise my future children like that.
In the second Christmas Laura related in her book On the Banks of Plum Creek Laura's Pa had gone to town to pick up their Christmas presents (which, by the way, consisted of candy) and was caught in a blizzard on the way home. To keep himself from starving, he had to eat the candy that he had bought for his little girls' Christmas. When he later returned home and confessed this to them, Laura's response was, "Oh, Pa, I'm so glad you did!" She didn't care that she wouldn't be getting anything for Christmas this year; she was just happy and thankful that her father had returned home safely.
Unfortunately, in modern America, these attitudes in kids under the age of nine seem foreign and unrealistic. Isn't that sad? What if Christmas came around and we didn't have anything~ no tree, no special treats, and no gifts~ just Jesus, who is why we have Christmas anyway, and our families? I magine that for a second. Would we enjoy Christmas as much if we had just that? Kind of puts Christmas in a different perspective, doesn't it?
I have so much to be grateful for this Christmas! A wonderful family, a sweet cozy home nestled in the country, precious memories in the making, and Jesus, Who is the Reason we have a Christmas. I hope that at I can keep the same kind of attitude that Laura had at the different Christmases she wrote about in the Little House books. We do have such a wonderful Reason to be happy and thankful at Christmas and all year round, don't we?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

| catchup. |


Hello people.:) I am still alive, in case anyone has been wondering. Thanks to the kind folks who have been dropping sweet comments wondering how I've been, and such. As I'm sure people have noticed, I did change my blog title, a little earlier than I expected to. The "something else" it was going to coordinate with is still in the air, so please be patient with me.:) The reason I changed my name is because lately I've been trying to simplify my life and clean a lot of unnecessary clutter out of it. When I say clutter I mean extra distractions, silly ambitions and such, and fuss over unimportant things. And besides that, I absolutely love the idea of "a simple life" you know, un-technical, uncommercial, all that. 

So .  .  . enough on that subject. My days have been pretty full lately, and at night I am usually too busy or too tired to do much computer stuff. The above pics were taken several weeks ago (sorry, I know I'm behind) when we had our first major snowstorm. Speaking of, we are getting another one as I type. The kids were skiing a lot and (sorry, the skates are a fake, I haven't been skating yet, but hopefully that will come) the littles had the saucers out.:) 

The other night two of my brothers and I hiked up to a hay field on top of a ridge right after the sun had set. The view was awesome! We had some fun with silhouettes, too, but the beauty of the moment was spoiled when Zach found a set bear trap near where we were and hastily decided he wanted to go home. I'm not sure who would be trying to trap bears this time of year; shouldn't they all be hibernating?

Well, I had a lot more pictures, but they got deleted by accident. Maybe that's a good thing.:) But hope you all enjoyed this quick little update.:) I really appreciate you all who read my blog, and your comments are always so thoughtful. Maybe I will be able to post more often after December is behind us. Speaking of, this is the last month of the year, and we have fifteen days left to enjoy good old '12. :) This year really snuck by, didn't it?
And a few thoughts about the tragedy in Sandy Hook, CT, that happened this past weekend. I felt like crying when I first heard about it. I can't imagine that anyone would want to take a sweet, innocent, precious little child's life, but I am confident that all of those precious children are with Jesus. And He was, and is, in control of that entire event. Maybe someone's heart will be drawn to Jesus through this. 

Blessings in Christ,

Friday, November 23, 2012

| happy thanksgiving. |


Hoping you had an awesome holiday, everyone who might stop by and read this.:)
We had a nice, relaxed week. Dad took the week off from work ( he had Friday and Thursday off anyway) so we spent a lot of time together as a family, saw some friends the other night we hadn't seen in a while, and butchered our poor cow. That was awful, so I can't tell you much about it. Not butchering so much, but ... let's put it this way~ we are still in doubt as to whether we will kill and slaughter our own steer again.
 And I have to apologize for the consistent lack of posts.:(  I'm not that great at keeping up a blog, and I'm afraid I don't write the most interesting posts. But thanks to anyone who takes the time to read these disconnected ramblings, (and especially to the sweet folks who comment~ you always make me smile) :)
So what are we thankful for today? I've got to confess I take way too much for granted. The other day I was looking at some old issues of the Voice of the Martyrs and wondering what some of those people would think about the freedom we've got as Christians to worship the Lord without being afraid that some officer will come and burn their Bible or haul them off to jail for confessing the name of Christ. It made me wonder how many times I've actually thanked God for giving us Americans that freedom. I'm afraid not that many.
The other day Mama and I were in the store picking up some cooking supplies we were running short on and we were talking about how the people a hundred years ago would have been shocked to see how easy it is for us to buy whatever we want~ or the people in third world countries, for that matter, today. Unfortunately, I find it so easy to have a careless perspective and take things for granted~ too easy in America. :(
I always thought a nice idea for keeping things in perspective would be to hang a chalkboard in your room in front of your bed and every night write whatever happened that day that you were thankful for. I never did it, but I think it's a nice idea.
So just a few thoughts to chew on. But hope you all had an extra special day.:) And it's not wrong to enjoy blessings, either. Sometimes I feel a little guilty because I've got so much, and there are so many girls who don't enjoy the blessings I do. But I do think that God wants us to enjoy the blessings He's given us to the fullest.:)
What are you thankful for?
"For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not, for though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day."
2 Corinthians 4: 15 ~16
All photo credits to Pinterest. I didn't have time to take much photography today.:)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

| beautiful november. |

After taking a computer fast for mental health and relaxation for the last several days, I recently read a few posts from bloggers in South Carolina, Kansas, and Ohio. They were describing the beautiful fall weather they were having.
I can just imagine: golden leaves, crisp fall air, pumpkins, you know. Everything "fall-y." My adjetives are usually the noun with a *y* at the end.:)
Here is our *lovely* early November, fallish weather:
*Although it is not exactly visible, it was quite a little snowstorm out there and my shoelaces were frozen by the time I got to the house*
There are several more inches on the ground by now. 
I have yet to decide whether or not winter has officially found itself an annual home again, but today it sure felt like it.:) The kids were all for strapping their skis on, but Mama advised them to wait~ the snow is not that deep yet. Whether or not winter has moved in or not, we have moved back into winter mode, which includes:
*Eating breakfast on the woodstove. It is big enough for most of us to fit on. My one brother even likes doing his math on it.
*Leaving the oven door open after baking something to help heat up the kitchen.
*Going out to thaw the animals' water every couple of hours or so.
*For the boys, splitting and bringing in wood.
*And of course, winter could not be complete without a cup or two of this:
Hot chocolate.:) Love that cup! It reminds me of home sweet home.:))
Earlier this morning I snuck out to the corn feild and surprised these birds:
In this one I think you can see the snow blowing around.
The geese, of course, were not amused to find themselves being photographed.
Our empty garden became a snacking stop for a flock of hungry turkeys. The poor, ignorant birds! Had they known that not far away from them a certain brother or two of mine were standing, half drooling, (not really) saying things like, "Just wait til opening day! You see any toms in there?"
I guess they might not have been eating so peacefully.
Things are quiet around here right now. My brother missed a deer last weekend,  and we haven't gotten any venison yet, unfortunately. :( One of these upcoming weekends we are going to have "Butchering Day". Although butchering a 1000 pound steer is quite a different story from a 100 something deer. I can't say I am looking forward to that. I don't mind helping to butcher a deer, but I guess I am a little attatched to the cow. I don't think I will be able to bear to help to butcher him.:(
So, for bloggy news, I am going to change my blog name sometime this upcoming winter, to coordinate with something else, which is to be aanounced whenever I get my act together. With me, that is hard to tell.:)
We are all doing well, and everyone is staying warm and healthy, and, for the most part, happy.:)
I guess maybe with the recent national election I should make a few remarks about it. First of all, I cannot even pretend to know or understand anything about politics. I comprehend and understand algebra more than politics (to give you an idea of how well I get the whole thing). Second of all, if I did understand it, I probably would have no more interest in them than I do now. The few bits my dad and brother explain to me usually depress me. I would like to refrain from mentioning politics completely on this blogspot, but maybe this recent election warrants a few remarks. I read a very wisely written post the other day on Hopeful Homemaker and the young lady who wrote it expressed her thoughts much better than I could if I tried to discuss my take on the election. But anyway, I am sorry that America does not see its awful sinfulness.  I pray that we will not just call on a generic god when tragedy happens but on the one true God, the author and finisher of life, each and every day as without his blessing and mercy, we will soon be no more . But maybe by the time these next four years are up, America will be more willing to want to do things God's way and not excuse sin, especially if things do not get any better than they are now. Not trying to be pessimistic, but just a thought. What America needs is to turn back to God, and repent. It's not too late.
Well, I think that's enough for tonight. Hoping you all are having a peaceful, pleasant evening.:)

"From the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same, the name of the Lord shall be praised."

Psalm 113:3

No matter who is President, where this country is, or anything at all, God is in complete control and He will prevail for His children and win!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

| autumn sweet rolls. |

I confess that I haven't been baking much lately. The weather has been absolutely beautiful lately, a far cry from the rain and wind we had earlier this week. Actually, speaking of the weather, we have officially had our first snow of the winter of '12/13. Last week was freezing, and leaves and snow were falling at the same time. Very interesting to watch. Unfortunately I didn't get the camera out in time to get any pictures. But it was neat. For those who don't know me or my family personally, we live at an elevation of fifteen hundred feet two hours south of Canada, so we usually have our first good snow (a foot, the last couple years) before Thanksgiving. Actually one year we had it the last week of October. Dad isn't a big fan of that, but the rest of us are fine with it.
Anyway, this afternoon I found a can of pumpkin that needed to be used up, so I made these rolls with it.:) The glaze on them looks a little messy ~ I had some help from a twelve-year-old brother who usually "hangs around" when I am in the kitchen, either to chaperone the production of his next meal or to snitch when my back is turned, if it is something sweet.
Well, here is the recipe:

Pumpkin Sweet Rolls

1 tablespoon yeast
1 1/4 cups warm milk
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, divided
1 teaspoon salt
7 1/4 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnomon
1cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vinilla
In a large bowl dissolve yeast in milk warmed to 110 to 115 degrees. Add pumpkin, sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter, salt, and 4-3/4 cups flour, beat until smooth. Continue adding  flour until the batter reaches a kneadable consistency. On a floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Roll into a 24 by 10 inch square. Combine 1 cup flour, brown sugar, cinnomon, and remaining 1/4 cup melted butter, set aside one cup. Sprinkle remaining mixture over dough, press down slightly, and roll up jelly roll style. Cut into 24 slices. Place cut side down in 2 greased 13 x 9 pans. Sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Cover and let rise until double, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for twenty to twenty-five minutes, or until golden. Combine powdered sugar, milk, and vinilla, drizzle over rolls.
Makes 2 dozen rolls. Or of course if your family is like ours, 2 dozen until the boys find them, then it would most likely be 0.
This recipe comes from the Gooseberry Patch cookbook Homemade Harvest , which has a lot of great recipes in it.

                   Who needs those things they sell in Walmart? I have my own heating pad. :)



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

| a harvest of memories. |

Lately the delightful (and fleeting) fall weather we've been having lately has encouraged us to get out and make memories. I should have named my blog something to do with farming and memories~ because, living on a small scale farm, most of my photography is centered around some kind of farmy backround, and because this blog is centered around my memories that I make every day.:) But I do like my blog title. Because I do use it very much like a journal, as I guess people can see.:)
Lately I've been finding out the delights of vintage graphics, which can make ordinary digital scrapbooking come alive.:) Does anyone else have an interest in that? If you have any tips on that, I'd be delighted to know your secrets.:)
Right now we all have colds.:( Not very pleasant. But the kids still get out very day and enjoy the weather. Oh, and bow season opened on Saturday! Yes, the men in our family were chomping at the bit the night before, sitting around the kitchen table priming up their arrows and discussing which stand was the best situated. They're hunting both deer and bear this year, and Mama has declared that if a bear is shot she wants a bear skin rug. They haven't brought home any trophies yet, but they did see one bear on Saturday. One of the things about living in rugged farm country with lots of forests and ridges mixed in is that you can literally hunt in your back yard.
We've been bringing in the harvest too.:)

I only wish our squash garden did this well.  .  . we got these from a farm that always seems to offer the best produce and they were delicious!
And enjoying the gorgeous fall colors, too.:)


I think they were playing a game on the barn roof or something.
And no, we weren't the ones who painted the fence the patriotical colors...
The boys were noticing that there is snow on the ski hights already!
And it's only the second week of October...
The creature sitting on the corrall fence is the little's scarecrow. Don't you just love kids' creations? And how mommies love their kids' scarecrow made out of a tarp, old hay, and a much battered cowboy hat a hundred times better than a fine specimin that might be featured in Country magazine, simply because their little girl or boy made it?
Matthew had made a big leaf pile next to the corrall fence, which I think he was hoping to keep, but then the puppy ran down to the barn and dove headfirst into it, Joy Joy jumped in to get her, and then everyone sorta followed suit.:)

That's all for this minute, but hoping you all are having a wonderful fall, and having some wonderful memory making!

"I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help...My help cometh from the Lord, who hath made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved, behold, He that keepeth thee shall not slumber."

Psalm 121:1~3


Monday, October 1, 2012

| life lately. |

A delicious start to a rainy fall morning~ Dad is the sweet roll maker in our house.:)

Thank you so much everybody for the sweet comments on the last post.:) It was very encouraging, up until the end when I guess some people were getting tired of my prolonged silence. Sorry about that~ with school, and other things going on, I haven't had much time to sit down and actually update my blog lately. I sorta had a feeling that would happen when we hit Spetember.:) This post has been in drafts for a while, but it took me a while to sit down and finish it.   
But my camera has not been idle, as I guess is obvious by the pictures above.:) My brothers are especially enjoying the crisp fall air, although Zach who is a serious sunny-weather buff has been rather irritated by the consistent rain (yup, that's this state for you) and has been talking rather fondly of the sunny South. Funny how people have different opinions about that. Mama loves the rainy weather, and cool, foggy rainy days, in fact, when one of those days rolls around, Dad usually looks at her and says, "It's a Mommy day!" I think Matthew likes the sunshine best, Matt if I'm speaking wrong you can correct me via comment.:) and everyone else is about the same way.
So fall has rolled in full swing.:) We've tried to get out and take some hikes together in the mountians behind our house, sometimes the whole family, sometimes just me and the boys. Halfway up a ridge behind our house is a Ford tractor that looks like it was made in the 70's or something, that somebody left up there years and years ago. It's quite the bucket of rust and has blackberry bushes climbing up all over it and everything. But as you can imagine it's a gold mine for the boys, particularily Grr. I meant to get a picture of him with it, too, but it's bear season right now and I couldn't convince him to come up there. Actually, we've found a lot of stuff up there, including a much-dilapidated RV hidden at the top of the ridge that looks like it easily could have been there for thirty years. The trees have all grown up all around it.
So sorry this is so disconnected, but we've been exploring up there a lot lately, and so I guess that's what we've been doing this past weekend.
Another very sweet memory we made recently was a campfire with our sweet friends the S. and B. families.

Sorry everything is so blurry~ I still haven't really mastered taking perfect shots at night.
Some very sweet sisters.:)
And now some more rambles from here and there.
This picture has a story behind it...
Last week Matt "just happened" to open the closed burner of the grill, and found an indignant little creature hiding in the house she had created for herself almost right on top of the burner. It was actually quite a well constructed nest, and everyone was quite interested of course. She didn't really seem to enjoy the intimidating enthusiastic inspection of her house, though, and retreated to quieter hunting grounds.
Of course the finding of a mouse and her nest in the grill warranted some conversation, during which the mouse received a name. The first one was derrived from the excellent movie Ben Hur, (one of the few movies I can watch without getting bored). The boys liked the Roman governer's name, Philarious Gratus, and christened the mouse a variation, Philarious Rattus.
When I suggested that the mouse might be a gal building her babies a nest, the name was changed to Chunka Munca. (variation on Hunca Munca)
 Okay, enough of that, and some more pictures from recent life.
I saw this quote the other day, and couldn't resist editing this photo with it.
The other day on one of our hikes Matt and I saw this lovely thing.
My reaction: "Oh, look at that cute little deer!"
Matt's reaction: "Oh, man! Where's my bow?!"
Muffin is growing!
I got to see this darling little baby!!
On Sunday we visited some friends' church. It was such a wonderful time of sweet fellowship.
Mercy is so adorable!

My friends and I were trying out our piano skills for each other.:)

I am so thankful for my sweet was such a blessing to get to see you Salinn and Annette.:)
Okay, I think this post has extended itself long enough, I am getting tired of sitting still, and am quite computered out. I guess I shouldn't put off posting so long again.
But anyway, hope you all have a wonderful evening! I wanted to share two last things, one of them of an absolutely beautiful pictures I found off on a wonderful Christian website, and a link to one of my favorite songs that I usually listen to when I'm down or something.

Hoping you all have a great evening! Thanks again for visiting!!

"And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."
 ~1 John 5:20