Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Gardens, Small Children, & Friendships All Grow

My daughter sleeps under a flower garden each night.  Ok, it's not a real flower garden.  It's decals on her wall.  Sometimes in the mornings I will ask her, "Did the flower garden grow or just you last night?"  She will giggle or moan, depending on the morning.   

Just like real flowers and small children grow, so did my emotional heart and life beginning a couple years ago.  That's when someone I had been in the presence of for 7 years already (but didn't bother to really get to know), decided to start a bible study

Seven bible studies later, a beautiful friendship, more knowledge of the woman God wants me to be, Monday nights I hate to miss, and deeper more meaningful relationships with sisters in Christ. God bless you all that have participated.

I wanted to write a piece about our friendship because it's coming to a time when things will change for us.  Today I had to say good-bye to her.  She's moving a few hours away from where we live now. 

(FYI, if a word is a different color you can click away from 
the post to something related to what I have written! :)

So here goes.

Good bye to the person....

-that was like a fixture, always on the east side of the table every Monday night. Except for a couple times.... Haiti and having Wonderfully Made!

-that showed me how to be a Mother to many, by the way she loved my child and others (and her own).

-that through her acts, led a group of us to help others far far away.

-that aided me in sharing kindness to others while spending quality time with our children, in the form a yummy desserts neatly packed in jars.

-that showed a side of herself that I appreciate, a side most don't see of a Pastor's wife I presume.

- that occupied the chair to my left most Sunday mornings, as we listened to her husband teach the word.

-that challenged me when we walked together, well she was more like running, I was walking.  (I bet I could take her now though.... she just had a baby a couple months ago!)

-that helped me step into roles I never thought I would ever be in.

-who has the best hugs and never lets go first.

-that calmed my fears about raising an only child.  She comes from experience.... she's one.

-that encouraged this blog and was one of the first ones I shared it with. She's got a pretty awesome one herself.

-that her example of being a Mother is a good one.  Giggling at things her daughters have said or done and then celebrating their uniqueness.

-that listened even when she probably needed to get home.  The one that asked objective questions but never made me feel self conscious.

-who takes almost as many photos as I do and allows kids to be silly in alot of them.

-that brought my 2014 Word to life via alittle princess in my mailbox!

-that showed heartfelt love to me many times, and probably when she didn't even realize it.

This is but a handful of things that make our friendship what it is.  I'm grateful for the time I have had with her and her family.  I'm sorry I didn't get to know her sooner but I won't waste time dwelling! I have road trips to plan, snacks for the car to buy, and other ladies to coordinate calendars with for roadtrips!  

Although the road between our homes will be more than two miles, never fear for our I know our friendship will grown, just as the miles have.

God bless you and your family in your new beginning.  
I celebrate you this day!

Thanks for allowing me to share my faith, family, and friendships!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Farm Auctions - Old Memories New Memories

My husband and daughter went to a farm auction this past Saturday.  It was her first auction and I can't believe it but she liked it.  Apparently she played on hay bales, conned her Grandpa into buying her a snow cone, and had lunch with Dad and other farmers. 
 I mean who wouldn't love that right??

They each came home with something from the auction. 

Can you guess which one bought what from the two photos?

I know it's hard to believe, but PV is now the lucky owner of a wood birdhouse.  She was all excited to tell me about it and how they will repaint the yellow post sticking out 
but not the birdhouse.  It's staying just like it is!

I know the farm family that had the auction.  I know the truck has been well cared for.  I also know that Mrs. Farmer probably spent many hours driving that truck during harvests.  She isn't only a farm wife.  
She's a farmer.  
A partner with her spouse for many years.  
I'm sure they would still be going strong 
if health hadn't been an issue.  

They are good people.  
They are people that I've helped 
with their insurance needs. The times I  spent 
across the desk from them are some of my most enjoyable memories from servicing the clients where I work.  
They value a hard days work and a marriage that has been 
built on a true partnership and respect.

I wish the truck could talk.  I bet the stories it could tell of harvests gone by would be full of character, laughter, dirt, hard work, frustrations and so much more!
  All ending with a satisfaction of 
another harvest completed for another year. 

We will care for this "new" piece of equipment to our farm inventory.  We will use it this summer for the first time as we  harvest our wheat, God willing.

And perhaps, this farm wife will try to fill the shoes of the former Mrs. Farmer and take her for a spin a time or two! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Quality Time Amongst........

One of my friends told me yesterday she misses my blogging.  I miss it too. I made a decision last weekend that I planned to take the time to allow myself to blog at least two times a week.  That is, if I have anything to write about that is worthy!

 I want to blog about the farm and recipes I have tried, my journey as God's daughter, and my family. The past months have been somewhat of a blur and that isn't how I want to live my life.  I like documentation and sharing the lessons and joys of life with others.  The laughter from friends brings me a wholeness and hugs from my girls make my heart full of warmth, while learning from women of faith brings me strength, and protection from my spouse makes me feel taken care of. 

These are parts of the things that make me who I am. There is no much more, but that's enough for now.  Now is the time to review, evaluate, and take note of the things in life that matter.  Taking time to do the things that bring one joy is a must, and enduring something uncomfortable may take you to a new level of higher self esteem. So cherishing all of them is essential in living I think.

This brings me to one of the moments where I spent my weekend.  The moment I decided to spend some quality time with my daughter.  Nope, it wasn't at the spa getting a pedicure, and it wasn't cuddling with popcorn and movie, 
or even cooking in our kitchen.

It was .......

In the COOP amongst dried POOP!

See, it was way overdue.  
The Chirps needed a clean coop and 
I had the urge to do some manual labor!  
Yep, I know I was as shocked as you about that last part! :)  
PV and I got our bucket, shovel, and the mule and heading that way.  (Bonus, she didn't even argue with me!)

When I look at these photos I think of all kinds of things. 
The lesson my child is learning about how it's important to work hard and care for the things that have been given to you.
That completing a task can give you so much satisfaction.
That sweat is a good thing.
Or how about the fact that spending family time together doesn't mean spending money.
That her role as a female doesn't mean she can't be a farmer.
That her Mother can get dirty and 
come home and cook dinner.
This photo also makes me connect with 
memories from my childhood. 
Ones that are good and make me feel warmth in my chest.  

Time to get some fresh hay for the Chirps!
It was VERY windy on this day! Poor gal!

 Dad joined us on the this part!

I love the fact that my daughter loves her cowboy boots and tank tops! :)

On our ride back to the chicken coop
PV thought she needed to take a selfie!

Time to spread the hay for the Chirps!

Here comes one of the ladies!
She was interested in what was going on!

The time I spent with PV Saturday was one of the best moments of my weekend.  
It helped me see that life is full of opportunities.

To connect.

To teach.

To reflect.

To cherish.

To be.

I am grateful for the farm family I married into.
I am grateful to raise my youngest daughter on the farm.
I am grateful for the opportunities with each new day.

I hope you find time to connect, teach, 
reflect, cherish, and just be.

Thanks for stopping by!

Please ask before using my photos or content of this blog.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Simple Things - Simple Joys - Simple Farm Life

Last evening I was able to be home right after my daughter got off the bus.  I quickly changed my clothes because I couldn't wait to get outside & enjoy the weather!  It was lovely!
I decided homework could wait, the weather was there to be enjoyed, and we hadn't had a "mule" ride for a long time!

We headed over to the farm yard to get the mule
 and gather the daily egg production!

Milton had been planting corn and I could hear him coming down the road with the tractor and planter.
He had just finished the last field of corn!
Some rain would be great right about now!

Guess who gets to drive!  She is pretty good, 
but Dad controls the brake and gas! 
She has alittle of her momma in her, 
I tend to like to go fast! OOPS!

We headed to the pond.  
Boys will be boys! 
 Playing with a snapping turtle.

Another reason we need rain.
This is the pond. 
We use the pond water to flood irrigate. 

My Father in law was moving some dirt around in the pond area. We stopped to see how it was going and visit a bit.

This evening helped me remember what is important in life.
What brings happiness and contentment to my family.
The simple things in life, rides on the UTV, laughing together, checking crops, and creating a simple life. 

We hope your days are full of happiness!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Messy Recipes- Yummy Enchiladas

Today my blog post is about making enchiladas.  Most people and restaurants I know make them with enchilada sauce. 

I don't.  

About 15 years ago, I had a lovely Hispanic friend that was in my church group.  At one of our monthly women's group meetings she taught us how to make 
these delicious layers of loveliness! 
My family loves them but I don't make 
them as often anymore.  
So I decided I would make a batch for 
each one of my older girl's families for Easter.

I will warn you, this is alittle time consuming 
and multi-tasking at it's best.  
It helps if you have at least  one other person to help, 
but I did mine alone today.  
Milton was out planting and tilling in the garden!

Here's what my assembly line looks like 
when I get ready to start!  
It's nice and organized and clean......

And here is what I used!

Tortillas ( today my batch made about 30) Any size
Ground Beef - 2 lbs. cooked with alittle onion, rinse & drain.
Shredded Cheese - your choice of type
Lettuce - Iceberg (I used the bagged shredded for convenience)
Chili seasoning - any brand will work, but my friend swears by Williams, in the silver packet.  
I usually buy it but had a large canister from Sam's.
Canola oil (1/2 cup)
2 skillets
Dinner plate or platter
Cake pan lined with foil, spray foil with Pam.
Tongs/spatula - something to pull tortillas out of pans

The assembly line is the following:


Skillet with water and chili seasoning mixed together, put on very low heat. Continue on low heat. Use whisk to mix and break up seasoning.

Skillet - and you will use the canola oil in this skillet 
but ONLY put a tiny bit.   Retain on low heat.

You take the tortilla, dip in the water/seasoning for just abit, pull out.  Let excess liquid slide off, back into skillet.  Now you will lay the tortilla in the skillet of oil, just long enough to retain the color.   Flip tortilla, wait.  Then put on plate, fill with hamburger, lettuce, and cheese. 

Fold up and lay folded side down in cake pan. Continue to make and stack them until the cake pan is full.  

Cover the cake pan tightly with foil, put in oven at 350 degrees to heat through, about 30 minutes.  I usually wait until my cheese is melted.  

This is what my kitchen looks like when I am done.  
See...... messy kitchen!

I also make cheese ones.  Same procedure, no meat or lettuce! My older girls prefer the cheese ones!

I have made the beef filled ones without lettuce, but honestly for some reason, I do not care for them. 
 Just something about that mixture!

I usually eat mine with salsa and sour cream on 
top and spanish rice on the side.  
(The rice is from a package, not homemade!)

I hope you enjoy it and thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Opportunities To Teach

 Today we had several opportunities to teach our child. 
 I didn't document every single one, 
but I was lucky enough to do a few.
Here they are.

Lesson:  Where the food comes from, how it looks inside the ground, and that a father is important in a daily living.

Checking the corn that her Dad planted about 9 days ago.
 Lesson:  That roots are good. 
For both plants & people!
There is a root, that's a good thing! It's hard to see but it's there!

Lesson: That sometimes you have to clean the 
dirty things out of your life and start anew!
How to wash dishes by hand.  She knows how to load and unload a dishwasher.
But every kid should have to wash dishes by hand at some point!

Lesson: That showing Love is important and sharing the
 Fruits of the Spirit make life full filling.
She delivered these to some friends today. She went to the doors alone. After a couple I asked how
that was and how it felt to give to others.  "GOOD!" was her response!
I hope she retains that feeling for life! Helping others, caring for others, giving to others!

I'm glad we were able to share this day together as a family.
Creating a solid foundation and teaching in daily life has brought us closer as a family.  I am thankful for the opportunities. 
Even the ones that build our character and test our strength at times.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Peanut Butter Cake

The twelfth of April is Milton & I's wedding anniversary.  This year we celebrated 11 years of being married.  He spent his morning planting corn and working on equipment, while PV and I ran errands.  Then we began painting and redoing our daughters bedroom!

My husband enjoys cakes and cookies.  So in honor of our anniversary I decided to make a new recipe.  This recipe came from a friend at church.  Well, actually it  came from a relative of Milton's, almost everyone is related in one way or another in our congregation it seems! :)   It's a delicious cake and I have been wanting to make it myself.  

So here you go!  I hope you enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cake

2 cups flour                                                          2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda                                              1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup oil                                                           1 stick Imperial oleo
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter                       1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk                                           2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix dry ingredients together and set aside. In a pan boil oil, oleo, peanut butter and water for one minute while stirring constantly. Add mixture to dry ingredients.  Stir in buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs.  Mix well. Pour into a greased jelly roll pan or sheet cake pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.   Frost the cake with  Peanut butter frosting below.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter                     1/2 cup milk
1 stick Imperial oleo                                        1 tsp vanilla

In pan boil for one minute stirring constantly.  Then add 1 pound box of powdered sugar.  Mix well.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Time Management & A Pew

It's time to figure out some sort of time management for my life!  Since becoming an insurance agent, our schedules and my emotions have been on one crazy roller coaster ride! 
 I have decided now that corn planting is upon us, 
and the winter slowness of farming has come to a halt, 
I better get my act together!

0ur 6 row planter is small, but it gets the job done! 

You might remember this post about my 2014 word.  
That little gal, sits in the corner of my credenza 
in my office, where I can see her daily. 

 I have to admit, sometimes she has been intimidating!  
You know, that wild red hair, a flag that says BE BRAVE, 
when all I want to do is crawl under my desk!  
My grandaughter changed her dress 
the other day when she was in the office,
 so "BRAVE GIRL" has two occupations.  
Entertain small children and motivate grown woman!  
 I actually put her in the desk drawer the other day, 
it was one of those days!
But she's back out now!

I can put the doll in the drawer and try to hide.  But it won't last forever, eventually facing the decisions to be 
made and heading down a path of unknown!

 So I need to get organized, say no to somethings, set schedules, expect less perfection of myself, don't worry about what others think so much, help as many people as I can,
and become who God intended me to be.
Even if it isn't what I think is right for my life! 

First and foremost, my family deserves 
the best momma and wife I can be!

Which means that replenishing my soul is 
essential in daily and weekly living.  
Quality time and conversation with them is a must. 

Nourishing the talents I have been given, 
and caring for others is important.  

Gathering information and reaching others 
will enhance not only my life but theirs I hope.

More to be done as well but I won't 
go into full detail here!

But let me ask you, are you in the midst 
of re-organizing or changing some things in your life?  
Where do you gain perspective or information to aide you? 

One of my main sources is my spouse of course.  
My friends and even my Pastor aide 
me in my journey of decisions. 
 And on occasion a stranger or
 acquaintance will help me see the light!
I continue to try to make God the first to turn to in 
both joys and struggles.  
Prayer and in the word aides me, 
I need to work on that, to place it first and do it more.   

We are coming upon Holy week.  
Although it will be week full of evening busyness most nights, I plan to remind myself that there was a 
much larger sacrifice given for me many years ago.  

I will find myself in the small blonde pew several times this week, I plan to forget the list of to do's and how hard it may be to get my 6 year old up the next morning.  
Small sacrifice, huge benefits, 
and remembering the meaning of the season.

Holy week only comes around once a year but the reminders of the events are relevant on a 
daily basis for my living all year long.

May grace be upon your life and may you find your way to a pew this Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, 
Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.  
(And many more times throughout the year!)

Thanks for stopping by!