Grocery Shopping

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Oh dear, this sounds like another boring post.........but bear with me!!  Shopping in a town with a population of 4,000 CAN be interesting if you try!  :-)  Dad is coming home from work today, so we decided to get what we needed for a nice meal this afternoon. 

 The little boys are always SO excited to go shopping.  At Dollar General they get teddy grahams or M&Ms and Safeway is string cheese.  What fun! 
 Here is Mr. Self Righteous.  He has become quite the Holier-Than-Thou older brother these days.  If you lived with us you would hear the phrase "Naughty Joshua" being spoken, well, quite often.  (Actually, he pronounces it "Naughty Washua".  He hasn't quite gotten the "J" down yet.) 

Safeway......our exhilerating destination!  Normally I run over to Beall's while Mom is in Safeway (it' just across the parking lot - and Fridays are 15% off!!) but today I decided to come along for pictures. 

 This shopping trip was a big excitement for the boys because they got to sit in the car basket.  A rare treat because it's a pain the neck to heave through the narrow aisles it's reserved for special occasions only.  They were thrilled to ride in it!  Don't they look so cute together?  We get asked a lot if they are twins.

You can see how we are hogging up the entire aisle having a great time! 

Me posing in front of the many lovely laundry detergent options. 
 Oh dear, the epitomy of a boring blog post!!  What we bought!!  At least you can see that we're eating healthy.  Strawberries, bagels, and sweet potatoes.  Oh, and bathroom wipes too.  I'm making pies this afternoon so we needed a lot of them.  (Uh, alot of strawberries that is, not bathroom wipes.)

And that concluded our grocery shopping!  


How CAN you resist..

Friday, July 29, 2011

.....a face like this?  My goodness it's hard!! He certainly has his, uh, moments.....

Like when he tried flushing his briefs down the toilet.  And then, after the aforementioned experiement failed,  reached in and grabbed them and left a nice trail of puddles down the hall. 

Uh-huh, yes.  Think wet potty seat.  Think wet floor.  Think sopping britches.  Think giggling 3-year old. 

And wow can he throw a fit.  He really is quite the dramatic.  Eyes shut, face contorted into a pained expression that reflects torture of the worst kind.  Screaming and kicking of the legs. Yes, yes, that's my sweet Joshua!!

But then, a tearful smile, a quiet prayer, and a big hug from the cutest three year old EVER.  All done fussing.  A deep breath and back to playing cars.

What a sweet brother I have!! I am so thankful for him!!


A Typical Day....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The other day mid afternoon, I went around and took pictures of what everyone was doing!!  May not be...uh...the most interesting post you've ever seen, but what's a girl to do when she's hit a writer's block.  (Or would that be blogger's block? I don't know.)

Mom was in the middle of frying up chicken for dinner. 

And little Mr. in-a-bad-mood-but-peeping-over-the-counter was watching closely.  Because, as usual, he was hoping to get a test taste of something.   But no he did NOT get a test taste of raw chicken!  His language continues to develop - I think having Joshua here has really sped up his vocabulary.  They are in constant competition with each other and if Joshua learns a word that Isaac can't say....well, he learns it very quickly!! Always has to be the top dog!

And what was our van doing that day?  Getting cleaned and purged of gum wrappers, wipes, used paper napkins, parts of long forgotten toys, teddy graham crumbs, hair clips, etc.

 Here is David, the van-purger.  He always does an excellent job and today was no exception!!  He did a great job!

What more can I say about this handsome brother of mine........words fail me!! I'll let the picture speak for itself!

Ugh - words fail me for this picture too.  Obviously I was having a bad hair day or something.....anyway I was in the middle of practicing piano.  I've been working on some hymn arrangements as well as some classical pieces. 

Jonathan was unavailable for pictures and Dad was at work....and Courtney was in Nebraska!!  So you only get a partial peek into our typical day.  :-)



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Well, we had an interesting "surprise" last night.  It was 9:30, we had just finished watcing an Andy Griffith episode (The New Doctor), everyone had just turned out the lights.....and then I got this idea to check the back stoop.  I often check it for snakes at night but haven't found one there yet.  It just seems like the perfect place for a snake to sleep.  Well, last night I was finally right - I looked out, and there was a snake!

It slithered underneath our stoop so we decided to leave it until morning, when we could "take care if it."  (Note - we do NOT practice re-location of snakes around here - we practice our hoe chopping skills instead.) If you get what I mean, hehe. 

This was a big one. Gross gross gross!  Some people I know would look at that and say "Aw, how cute!", but I have NEVER been a fan of reptiles, no matter how big or small. Just like I'm not into horny toads, or mice, or rats, or tarantulas, or anything like that.  I prefer larger animals about waist high with horns and fur and hooves and udders and....can you guess what I'm talking about?!  :-) 

This morning after devotions we finally took a look at the snake.  It wasn't a rattlesnake (thank heavens) but it wasn't a bull snake either....not exactly sure what kind it was.  Jonathan thought maye a King snake?  Well, whatever it was, I'm glad it's dead.  The dearly departed's correct species does NOT matter any more.

We took this oppertunity to show the little boys the danger of snakes.  Isaac saw some last year but Joshua has never seen one.  We talked about how dangerous they were and how they could bite and that's why all little boys must stay on the porch...etc!!!  Joshua kept saying "Ew snake hurt Joshua."  I think we got the message across!

They were still in their PJ's and looking awfully cute......though it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to get them both looking at the camera at the same time!  Isaac kept telling Joshua to smile.

Well....quite an interesting tid-bit for Sunday morning, huh?  It's never boring around here!


This and That

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Well, words are totally failing me for this post....literally.  I don't have any great pictures right now, and I have encountered the terrible writer's block, so I guess I'll just ramble until I find something intelligent to say!

For one thing, I have really been enjoying my new iPod recently.  (I NEVER thought I would actually own one of these things....but it's an amazing little device.)  I absolutely refuse to be "plugged in" 24/7; there are so much better things to be doing and I can't stand seeing people hunched over and just listening to music by themselves. 


The only reason I purchased it is because we don't get any Christian radio stations out here.  Sure, we get Country Western loud and clear, but that gets old after a while plus it just isn't spiritually edifying.  So I have been downloading great Christian songs that I used to listen to before we moved out here, plus I've been able to download messages from my favorite Bible teachers.  Both have been absolutely is so nice to have something encouraging to listen to!  (I guess I never realized until now how much I miss listening to good Christian radio!)

You may be wondering how I listen to this stuff and NOT be plugged in all the time.  Well, I intentionally try to use it only when I'm working on a project by myself.  So, when I'm cleaning out the goat pens for an hour, or milking, or taking a walk, or sewing, or scrubbing the kitchen floor, my iPod comes in quite handy!  If I find myself being more "plugged in" than I would like, I try to take a break from it for a few days.  It has been well worth the money I paid for it; which wasn't very much since I got it off of Ebay. 

Another thing I've been excited about recently is my
Google adsense earnings.  My canning website
has really taken off and, after several years of hard work and even some tears (ohhhh, it will NEVER work!!) is finally paying off.  It's so exciting to see my little home business grow - to see the fruits of my labors, finally.  I am convinced that the internet is fast becoming the most popular place for business to occur.  That's why I think websites like mine (as well as my sister Courtney's) are such a great idea.  You can even make a blog profitable - if you just set your mind to it and work hard, your efforts will always pay off.

I found some really cute skirts off of this website recently that caught my eye.....of course the price is NOT very appealing to me, but maybe one of these days I'll splurge.  Or maybe they'll have a really big sale.  Or something.  Anyway, I don't think I would get grey, (you can choose colors), probably would go for something more like either a dark purple or a black.  Solid colors are always fun because you can pair them with almost anything. 

I know some people who could look at that skirt and just automatically make it...but that's definitely not me!  I can make a basic A-line skirt, but beyond that I'm just not a great seamstress.  (No patterns please!! They make my head swim!) I am rambling again - I guess that's my cue to close this post!

Obviously I wasn't totally lacking for words; I did find something to say.  :-)


Going to Work

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

 Isaac decided he was off to his new job the other day!!  With a box of krinkles in one hand and Courtney's old broken lap-top in the other, he is well on his way to being an industrious member of society.  :-)

Courtney's old laptop (affectionately dubbed "Larry the Laptop" by the rest of us) just quit working one day, so she bought a new one (this one she named Leonard!!)  and gave the old one to Isaac.  He loves clacking away on it! 



Sunday, July 17, 2011

Well, it's that time again....time for homemade ice cream on hot summer days!  Now that I'm done bottle feeding the baby goats, we are finally getting all the milk for ourselves - 1 gallon a day!! Yeah Pearl!

I really want to try yogurt sometime this week.  I've talked about doing it for the longest that we have so much fresh milk on hand I think it's definitely time!

I made this delicious ice cream a few days ago and it is LONG gone.  Vanilla with Butterfinger / Hershey bar pieces in it.  Yum!  We got some more cream at the store today to make another batch, so I'll be making that tomorrow.  The vanilla was pretty good, but I think everyone around here agrees that chocolate is always best.

 When I serve up bowls of this yummy goat milk ice cream, I just love to torment my goat-abhorring siblings with phrases like.....

"Mmmm....udderly fresh!"  Or, my most recent and favorite one, "Straight from the teat and good to eat!"

They moan and groan but snarf it down just the same.  :-)


I'm Going to Florida!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I am very excited to say that Mom and I are going to Florida next month!
My grandparents on my Mom's side live there and we will get to visit them for five days - I can't wait!

It's been a long time since I've been to Florida.......the last time I went, I was eleven years old.  Dad and I drove there together and had a great Daddy-daughter-growing-up-talk. :-)

We got to visit the beach too - great fun!  It's been years, but I can still remember that lovely feeling of the sand being almost pulled out from underneath your feet as the waves washed up on the shore.  And stepping on sharp sea shells barefoot....yes, even that holds fond memories for me!

These are my lovely granparents that I'm going to get to see again!!!  (Sorry if the photo isn't the best, Grandpa and's the only good one I had on file!!)  We'll get to stay with them for five days - I'm looking forward to every minute of it.
Me at just a few weeks shy of eleven.  I really thought I was big stuff back then......always was wishing I could be I am and I want to just freeze life.  No older, no younger; I just want to stay right where I am.  :-)
 I still don't quite understand how I looked so cute in yellow back then but don't now.  Yellow is NOT a good color for me.  (But obviously it was okay back then?)  Hmm.  Haven't figured that one out yet. 

This is one of my favorite pictures from that trip.  Seems like just the other day.....I can't believe that was seven whole years ago.  Time sure does fly!  I kind of wish I could be that age again.

Even though we aren't leaving for over a month, the trip is still steadily approaching and I am getting so anxious for it to get here!  I don't care if all I get on the plane is peanuts and water - just to get to go and see my wonderful grandparents for a few days is going to be so much fun.  Plus, a break from the daily grind dishes, no cooking, no chores, no milking.....

I can't believe I just said that.  No milking.  *Gasp*.  I confess that I DO get a little burned out on it sometimes!! But thankfully David is a terrific milker and knows just how I like the goats taken care of, so he'll be able to fill in for me while I'm gone. 


Some Serious Rain!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wow!  We got a lot of rain yesterday!  Isaac prayed for rain yesterday morning and his prayer was answered in a BIG way.  We got an inch and a quarter....doesn't sound like much, but the pictures show how huge the downpour was!

 We haven't had our yard flood like this in years.  When the storm first started it was just a typical shower; lasted maybe ten minutes or so.  I thought it was over, but then we could see a whole front rumbling towards us. It was really neat, because before it reached us, you could see it raining in our field...and then it absolutely HIT us!  We were on the back porch watching when suddenly this wall of torrential rain and hail blasted us.  We quickly retreated inside!

 You can't see it now, but I have a rock border around those trees - it were completely submerged in water by time the storm was over. Yeah for rain! 

 The horses were really sloshing around  - all our animals got so wet!  We have minimal shelter for them since we hardly ever get any kind of bad weather around here.  But yesterday was the exception!  The goats hate to get wet so they were slightly miserable.  We have a three-sided shelter for them but the storm was coming from so many different directions that it didn't help much.  Things aren't even close to drying out, even a day later.

Look how DEEP that is!!!  We haven't pulled out those pond boots in years!  The little boys were begging me to walk them around the house in the "river".  They even got to dip their toes in it.  (I was trying to turn a blind eye to the floating manure.....)  Even after they each got a turn we still had tears...

Shows what a novelty water is around here!!!!

It was just so pleasant and cool afterwards....not too hot and not too cold.  Just, uh, wet.


David's Treehouse

David made a treehouse!  He's been working on this for close to a month. 

Isn't it neat?  He has all these ideas for adding extra levels and rooms out on rather thin-looking limbs....not so sure if that's such a good idea.....but his imagination is definitely working!

Amanda was able to help out too, when they were here last weekend. 

I have such great memories of building forts with Courtney and Jonathan when we were little!  Of course, Courtney and I banded together and made a "girls-only fort", and poor Jonathan was usually left to construct his own boys fort.  Then David got old enough to join us....but by then Courtney and I were kind of leaving the "fort phase" of life!  It sure was fun, though!

Back on fort building: I remember a certain brick fort we made one fall with a blanket draped over the top as a roof.  Then it snowed...and our fort very quickly caved in over night!  The worst of it was that Courtney had left Mom's nicest set of playing cards out there and they were absolutely ruined!  Mom wasn't very happy about that! 

Oh yes, then there was the brick fort we made down by the trees .  Somehow or another we left bricks laying around and Dad ran over them with his nice John Deere tractor......on Christmas Day.  Gulp.  That wasn't one of the nicest Christmases I remember!!!  Let's just say that we had a slightly upset father with a ruined tractor blade....and it seems like some of us were in tears....

And then my hammock fort took place when I was 9.  Somehow I thought it would be a great idea to take quilts and tie them to a tree.  I can remember being very upset because Dad wouldn't sit in my hammock....never occurred to me that the reason why is because he'd break right through it!

I think the best fort I ever built was my last one - I was 10 and Courtney was 12.  We took tomato-growing columns and filled them with grass, and then put them in a circle.  We had a hay roof and even a swinging hay door!  It was pretty fancy!  The downside was the grasshoppers, though.  Ugh.  I distinctly remember being in a near panic because there was a giant grandaddy grasshopper jumping around in my shirt!!


The Secret of Great Living

Friday, July 8, 2011

"What is the secret to great living? Entire separation to Christ and devotion to Him. Thus speaks every man and woman whose life has made more than a passing flicker in the spiritual realm. It is the life that has no time for trifling that counts.”
~Amy Charmichael

I don't know about you, but that is seriously my favorite qoute.  Ever.  There is so much depth in a statement like time for trifling........entire separation to Christ....devotion to Him...

That speaks of a life that is going to look much, much different than the average one.  Even the average Christian life.  Even the average Christian homeschooler's life.  That qoute is talking about an incredibly radical way of living - being completely and utterly Christ-focused.

That little sentence, "entire separation to Christ and devotion to Him" makes me look at my own life, and feel a little ashamed, actually. 

If I were entirely separated to Christ, how would I spend my free time?  What would my devotional life look like?  What changes would be made in the area of prayer and Scripture memorization?

                                                      (Please pretend that's a bee up there on the flower.  Please.  The fly looks dumb, I know.)

      These are deep questions, friends!  But I'm wondering, instead of just reading them on the page (or writing them, in my case)....what if we actually asked ourselves these questions, in all honesty before God?  And then acted on them? 

 If we just go with mainstream America and let our lives, our values, our priorities, our dress, our habits, our everything be dictated by what the world says, we won't be making any kind of impact on others around us.  If we just go with what we "feel" instead of what Truth tells us, we are going to have very unstable lives, indeed. 

Consider that phrase, "no time for trifling".

We have so little time here on could we possibly waste even a minute of it on our own self-focused pursuits?  It just seems to me that, after everything Jesus went through for us, after all He's done, considering the immense love with which He loves us, realizing the incredible plan He has for my life........

How can I live for myself?
How can I honestly doodle around and be consumed with my own "thing" and still feel good about it?  Each one of us was created by God to do something amazing for His glory and honor - it seems like an incredible waste to turn that down for my own interests. 

This whole issue of living for Jesus boils down to the everyday stuff.  What activities am I letting take first place in my life?  How am I spending my money?  What goals and dreams do I have?  How am I treating my most treasured relationships? 

As Leslie Ludy (one of my favorite authors) puts it,

"So many of us seek fulfillment from guys, social status, and pop-culture attractions. But a young woman who is truly fulfilled, radiant, and beautiful is one who has made Jesus Christ her all in all, her first love, her true Prince. A young woman who has truly become a living sacrifice for her Prince is one who will change this world for eternity."

Wow.  I'll leave it at that.......may we all strive to use every minute of our lives for HIS glory!


The Three Little Pigs

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Isaac loves the story of the Three Little Pigs! 

 Although both little boys love reading, Isaac especially enjoys books.  He's old enough now to comprehend fairy tales like these, so we've been having fun reading them to him!

 Isaac's "Father pig" look.  He likes to imitate the pictures he sees in the book.

This is his naughty brother pig look. 

Oh, for the days when I had nothing to do but run around in barefeet and read books!!  (I still go around barefoot, but I have plenty that keeps me busy, that's for sure!)  I loved that age where nothing worried me and I was totally carefree - too little to know about problematic issues and troubles.  Great memories of playing barbies, dolls, and duploes without a care in the world.  It's sweet to see Isaac and Joshua in that same stage.   



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

For the first time in MONTHS we got rain!  It was wonderful!  We have been so dry and parched around here - but finally, on the 4th of July, we got a little shower.  It was little, but it was something.

 The fireworks got canceled weeks ago because of how dry it has been - they were worried about the potential fire hazard.  We were all disapointed, but they would have been canceled anyway due to the rain!!  We enjoyed watching God's natural fireworks in the evening!
 Ah yes, glorious clouds.  You know that song, "Rain rain go away, come again some other day"?  Well, I WHOLEHEARTEDLY disagree with it.  Rain rain, please come our way!  Don't postpone to another day!

Considering it was Joshua's first time seeing rain here, we let him have fun in the puddles!  Every little boy needs to experience mud! 

Sugar 'n spice, and everything nice - not.  Yes, he's definitely a boy.  But he had a blast!

Isaac got in on the fun!  Uh, we didn't exactly plan on him appearing on this blog in underwear, but somehow that happened.  I think he might have been in the middle of diaper change?  Who knows!!  With eight people in the house, it can be hard to keep track of everybody!!  But yes, we do wear clothes around here. 

 Joshua was a little concerned at first - he was starting his "ew, ew" routine, but when he saw Isaac having fun, I think he got the idea!

Even Amanda and David got in on the fun! 

Somehow, I don't think this would be the best picture to send back to his foster family in China.  Uh, definitely not.  Having the time of his life but looking like a little ragamuffin!!

Oh!  Glorious rain!  The heavens have opened!  I finished milking just in time - it was pouring within minutes of me finishing!! But I think I would have enjoyed milking in the rain if that had been the case; rain is just so rare around here that I'll take anything.

An x-rated photo, no doubt.  But doesn't this just sum up the whole experience?!
Both boys got hosed down outside and then promptly put in the bathtub! 

What are little boys made of?

Snips and snails,

And puppy dog tails,

That's what little boys are made of!


About This Blog

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not
on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will
make your paths straight."

Proverbs 3:5-6

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