An attempt to declare the Glory of God for what He has chosen to do with our lives. A legacy to leave to my children in the telling of it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Laying Bricks

Another project to cross off the list. Earlier in the spring the kids helped me clean out this little dead spot between the pump house and the shop. We dug out all the sod and planted a variety of flower seeds and bulbs. Now that everything is well established it was time to lay the bricks. The bricks were inherited from when we bought the farm, left out back years ago in a nice big pile from some destruction project. We dug out several nice ones and used them to create this cute little path.

One more project crossed off the list. Yippee!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Sunshine and flowers and everything's coming up daisies today. There was no sign of rain so we headed out to ride our mighty beasts this morning.

After sorting everybody and putting bridles on we headed out through the mud to the arena.

Solomon snuck out with us so we let him tag along.

It has been such a busy summer that we have not rode much at all. We decided just to ride a few laps around the half done arena to ease everybody back into riding, figuring the horses would be silly and those unused muscles would feel it tomorrow.

Chance is always a good, steady boy and just plodded along even with Solomon and the dog and Grace running around. I had to fight Lightning to quit eating more than I rode.

We made our few laps without any major problems, some of us faster than others.

Then called it good for today and put everybody back out to pasture.

And looky, looky who we caught when we came back!

Nika wasn't fast enough this time to escape us and will be wearing a lead rope full time for quite some to come. Silly girl! Once she is caught she is as sweet and calm as can be but for some reason she likes to play her little game of catch.
Rootbeer got some loving too.

Ooops! We forgot that Solomon was out with us and that nobody led him back in. He found his way into the barn and the treat bags and the goat's hay.

Luckily he's not too wild and we spent all that time last winter working with following without a halter. He is a sucker for a pail of grain.

Nobody fell off or got hurt so we always consider that a good ride:)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Storm

Holding back the storm.
The calm after the storm.
Just the right amount of sun and some raindrops.

Man Plans, God Laughs

Today was the day. The day that finally there was nothing on the schedule and most of the kids were all home at the same time. At least the horse riding kids were home together. Nothing on the calendar for a few days and time to get back to work with those horses. We were going to get up before the bugs and head out to ride the mighty beasts, but instead I woke up early to thunder and rain, again.
The half done arena will just have to sit there unused another day.
And that half wild beautiful little filly will just have to be out there half wild again another day.
Maybe I'll get out the fair book and see what projects we can work on, again. Or maybe we'll just all snuggle on the couch, again. Rain isn't so bad after all, again.

Blazing a Trail

Have you ever tried to cut a new trail? Many, many times we have endured that toilsome process here on the farm. Through swamps, weeds, and trees amongst the elements of freezing cold or scorching heat we have been known to be out working on new fences or repairing the old ones or winding our way out in the woods to design horse trails. There are the old barbwire fences and posts to pull out or trees to be removed. New ground needs to be travelled over again and again to stay ahead of the weeds so that we can travel the new trails with the horses. Sometimes even the big equipment has had to come in to remove large trees or chunks of earth. I have come to see this journey of Motherhood to be much like blazing a new trail in my life. As a Christian mother besides, one who was saved shortly after becoming a mother, this path also has had many obstacles to go around, forge through, prepare in advance, or endure all for the sweet reward of hopefully watching my children one day walk in the ways of the Lord.
One of my revelational thoughts lately has been how as much as I am training my children up in the Word of God I am at the same time trying to conform them to the world so they are seen as acceptable to others. Entering the teenage world has been as much of a learning experience for me the second time around as it was the first. After over a decade of mothering you would think you would be ready to watch your little children start to soar on their own but I am realizing it is as scary as when they first let go of your hand and went to Sunday School by themselves, or were finally old enough to play in the yard by themselves without you. Growing up in the public school I only know public school ways. Be the popular one, do what others do, don't look different or act different and by all means don't be a God freak. Maturity has slowly transformed some of those thoughts, but our foundation is still our foundation. I heard the other day that people rarely change their world view after they are 20 years old, just past the time one would graduate. How fast those first 20 years go and how little we really knew when we thought we knew it all. Now I'm rambling.... my point is this teenager. This teenager who, since the age of 2, has been challenging me in the ways of the Lord versus the ways of the world. This teenager who has chosen to not conform to the ways of the world but rather be transformed by the Word of God. This teenager that does not strive for social acceptance by giving in to her peers' opinion of what is cool and what is not but rather has her goals set on her Lord and His calling in her life. This teenager who is addicted to the Word rather than the worlds opinion of her. This teenager who longs to be trained up to be a servant to one day serve in a higher calling. I am humbled. I repented. I gave her back to God and His plans in her life, not my plans.
May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice! Proverbs 23:25 I am glad; I am rejoicing!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pickles and Doughnuts and Pies Oh My!

Cathy had these delicious looking doughnuts posted on her blog a while back (go visit this sweet lady over here). They are copycat Krispy Kreme doughnuts. We used to be able to get the real Krispy Kreme doughnuts all the way up here in WI years ago, and our family even visited a real Krispy Kreme restaurant down in MO one time for the hot doughnuts. They are yummy! Having Rob home for the day and one of the favorite nieces over for a sleep over was a good excuse to make some. The recipe is as follows:
Copycat Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
2 (1/4 ounce) packages of yeast
1/4 cup water (105-115 degrees)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups all purpose flour
canola oil
1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in 2 1/2 quart bowl.
2. Add milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 2 cups flour.
3. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.
4. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
5. Stir in remaining flour until smooth.
6. Cover and let rise until double, 50-60 minutes.
7. Dough is ready when indentation remains when touched. Turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour.
8. Gently roll dough 1/2" thick with floured rolling pin.
9. Cut with floured doughnut cutter.
10. Cover and let rise until double, 30-40 minutes.
11. Heat oil in deep fryer to 350 degrees.
12. Slide doughnuts into hot oil with wide spatula.
13. Turn doughnuts as they rise to the surface.
14. Fry until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side.
15. Remove carefully from oil (do not prick surface); drain.
16. Dip the doughnuts into creamy glaze and set on a rack, then when slightly cooled, spread chocolate frosting on top (if desired).
17. Dip in sprinkles or other toppings after chocolate (if desired).
Creamy Glaze:
1/3 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4-6 Tablespoons hot water

Heat butter until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.
Chocolate frosting:
1/3 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4-6 Tablespoons hot water
4 ounces milk chocolate chip or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat butter and chocolate over low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in water 1 Tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.
Place the doughnuts on cookie trays to rise again.
Deep fry in 350 degree oil for 1 minute or so on each side and set on a paper towel covered plate. Dip in the glaze and let cool. Yum~yum!
As prepared as I thought I was to make doughnuts I found out I was 1 cup short of powdered sugar to make the glaze so we dipped the rest in sugar. They were just as good.
This just might become an addicting habit.
Since we needed some extra heat in the kitchen for the doughnuts to raise we decided to make an apple pie with the frozen apples from last year. While digging through the freezer I saw the raspberries so threw in a handful of those, too, along with the apples, cinnamon and sugar, flour and butter.
It turned out finger lickin' good!
All that sweetness needed to be balanced with a little bit of something fresh. Russell had an abundance of pickles in his garden that he sent home with us so we decided to make Grandma Lee's refrigerator pickles.
Grandma Lee's Refrigerator Pickles
2 Quarts sliced cukes, washed and unpeeled
1 onion, sliced thin
2 Tablespoon salt
Start by washing and cutting up the cucumbers and onions, discarding the ends.
Add 2 Tablespoons of salt and mix well. Let it stand for 2 hours.
Drain the liquid and rinse off the salt. They don't taste good at this point as Grace can tell you.
Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Pour over the cukes and onions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. These also freeze well and taste wonderful when you need something garden fresh in the cold of winter. Enjoy!

Friday, July 23, 2010


I have accepted the fact that this year was just not a good garden year for us. In the past I have been spoiled with a lush jungle out there and more produce than I know what to do with. Not this year. This year I am learning how to be humbled and will be trusting for God's provision in another way. The garden got planted just days before 3 weeks of nearly daily rain, besides the weekly rain we have gotten since. All that rain and no sun meant that alot of the seeds did not even get out of the ground. This was the year that I was going to stock up again on pickles and there is not even one plant out there with flowers yet. The tomatoes also were needing to be restocked and aren't looking too promising. There isn't even any zucchini. The corn was not knee high by the fourth of July, but by the 20th of July. No tassles in sight yet, either. Sigh. I have resolved myself to begging for a few green beans and the extra pickles from Russell's house.
The flowers have barely even bloomed.
The few flowers that have bloomed aren't even pretty.
My trellis probably won't even get covered this year the way it's going. So much for dreams of Farmer's Markets. Maybe next year.
My attempt at starting some herbs look all right.
This should be a tub of chamomile.
But then again I have been known to nurture weeds before.
The couple of tomatoes that have turned orange are all rotting on the vine.
Something is eating my cabbage.
The onions are yellowish and sickly.
We have a few sunflowers, but nothing compared to the ones we normally have that overtake the garden with their towering beauty.
After planting the potatoes in the garden I still had lots left so we threw them on top of the ground up by the pasture fence and covered them with chicken wire then with wet hay from Russell's hayfield. They are growing better than the ones in the ground in my garden. The theory with the chicken wire first is that this fall we will flip the chicken wire over and not have to go digging for potatoes. Seems to be working swell so far.
The other garden area that is flourishing is down by the old chicken coop where I put in some extra seeds planning that they could grow up the old fence.
The plants are all dark green and lush.
The dill is heading out.
The pumpkins are starting to blossom down there too.
Hmmm.... chicken manure. I'll have to remember that for next year.