Tuesday, May 29

Farmhouse chats on Tuesday

I'm recovering from an awful bout of the flu, and it's made it hard to think of anything to blog about. I was sitting here, wracking my brain for something, and noticed Patrice had new questions up. Yippee!

Do you have any musical instruments in your house? If so, which ones do you have?
My hubby used to play violin, but he passed it on to my sister. Violins have to be played a lot or they start to break down, and we didn't want that to happen to his.

When you take a walk, what are you likely to pick or pick up from the ground?
Stray change, mostly. Once we found a folded up twenty on the ground in the middle of the road. There was nobody around and no telling where it came from, so we kept it. That doesn't happen very often, though. The munchkins are always on the lookout for pine cones and really big magnolia leaves.

They say to have breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. I guess that means you have fuel for your body to get through the day and don't have a full tummy when you go to bed. Are your meals like that?
We do big breakfast (eggs, toast, cereal, and combinations of the above), small lunch (sandwiches, burritos, nachos, whatever) and big dinner featuring meat (hamburgers, tacos, casseroles, etc.) The problem with a small lunch is that everybody is hungry by 3 PM, so I always keep some kind of snack on hand, like bananas or cookies.

Do you prefer iced coffee or iced tea?
I don't know, they're both fantastic. I rarely drink caffeine, so when I do drink it, it gives me the jitters like you wouldn't believe. I drink it as a treat once in a while, or when I know I'm going to be up late.

How do you handle doing things you'd rather not do?
I had the flu all weekend, and having to get up, change diapers and make meals was really hard. My poor hubby helped, but he was awfully sick, too. I'm afraid I don't handle hard things gracefully. I complain and whine. But I've been studying Peter's letters, and I've been trying to do the following.

2 Peter 1 5-7, Amplified:
For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence),
And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety),
And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.

I'm still on faith and virtue up there at the top.

Sunday, May 20

Stuff we been doin'

Going swimming

Building forts

Almost walking

Making (and eating) homemade donuts

Growing hollyhocks
And that's what we've been up to over the last week. :-)

Wednesday, May 16

School table

A neighbor gave us this little kid-sized table and two chairs. Isn't it great?

Sunday, May 13

Third birthday funtimes

It was H's third birthday today. Technically her birthday's tomorrow, but we did her party today. Who wants to do a birthday party on a Monday?
She got lots of ponies.

Played with her three-year-old cousin in the dollhouse.

C. thought it was great fun.

A. petted his new baby cousin.

My nephews have no sisters, so girl toys like dollhouses and My Little Ponies were completely new to them.

It makes her so self-conscious to be sang Happy Birthday to.

Almost candle time! And out they go.

And the babies kick back with their mama and grandma.
It was a very nice party.

Wednesday, May 9

Killer stir fry

Not my picture
I found a way to make the best stir fry ever. Stand aside, wok! You've just been outclassed by the Iron Skillet.

I had this theory that I could use my iron skillet to make stir fry, because it heats more evenly than my frying pan, and it stays hot longer.

So I cooked my meat in it, took that out, and tossed in my veggies. They actually achieved that elusive "crisp tender" stage that the recipes talk about. I'd never before achieved it.

Then I dumped out the veggies and made fried rice. Awww yeah.

I also used my skillet to make this oddball dish where you cut up your chicken, toss it in taco seasoning, then stir fry it in Italian dressing. Then you put that in a casserole dish, and cover it with layers of green onions, black beans, frozen corn, and salsa. You add cheese on top and bake it, then eat it over rice. It was extremely flavorful. I can't wait to make it again.

Tonight I made "milk and honey" cookies. So called because I used honey for half the sugar. It's just a chocolate chip cookie recipe with no chocolate chips. They came out with a delicate, honey flavor and taste excellent dipped in milk.

So that's what I've been doing lately. Eating food, and thinking of more ways to eat food. :-)

Monday, May 7


I turned around and found the youngest munchkin perched in the back of this truck. I grabbed my camera and snapped a picture shortly before she fell out. But she sat there for a long time, perched all precariously and very proud of herself. I don't know how she got up there in the first place.

This is how I feel like my life has been. Hanging somewhere between sitting in the truck, and falling on my face. I've fallen several times already. I took the weekend off all of my artistic endeavors because I was so tired. It was nice to rest. I did get some strawberry jam made.

It's lovely and delicious, but it didn't set up very well because I didn't let it cook long enough. I also was using powdered pectin, and my results are always variable with powdered pectin. I contemplated using a couple of lemon peels instead. I might do that next time. Do you think strawberry would taste all right with a hint of lemon?

Life goes on, and God is good. I wish I trusted Him enough to not worry. I feel like worry is a constant illness I hold at bay by not thinking about it.

Thursday, May 3

Fun in the sun

We've had beautiful weather lately. When it gets hot so fast, though, the kids are so hot and sweaty that I take pity on them. And pitch them outside with buckets of water and toy cups.
This picture was taken shortly before they gathered mud into the buckets and slathered themselves in it, like they do at a spa.

I have pictures of just two munchkins doing this. Check it out.

They were so tiny! Such cute little munchkins!

Wednesday, May 2

Wednesday chats

I thought I'd tackle Patrice's Farmhouse Porch Chats meme today. I've needed to update this blog and my brain has been absolutely dead.

Who do you go to when you really need someone to talk to about something important?

My hubby, usually, since anything important involves him. I also consult my mom about broader family issues.

How often do you grill food outdoors?

Not often. We have a teeny tiny charcoal grill that has the surface area of a sheet of paper. So, grilling anything more than a couple of hamburger patties becomes this tricky chain of sequences where you cook some things on and take other things off, rotate them, wrap them in foil halfway through, and finally attempt to eat the result and pray it's not raw in the middle.

Lately I just cook everything in an iron skillet on the stove. No outdoor flavor, but I can get my hamburgers, rain or shine.

What's the interior color of your car/truck/van?

Um ... just neutral gray, I think. No interesting leopard seat covers in our car.

What's the last great buy you got?

Probably when I found a $120 book for 3 bucks on ebay. I was over the moon.

What's new?

I've learned to cook beans. Also, I've determined that people who claim that beans and rice are a complete protein, never survived on beans and rice for a week, and then gorged on hamburger, and compared their overall life performance afterward. Real meat > beans. When we're stuck eating beans, all I want to do is lie around and sleep.


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