Friday, May 29, 2009

The Answer

A few days ago as I sat outside with journal in hand, I received the answer to a prayer I had been praying for quite some time. The answer was no or maybe not yet. While there was a tinge of sadness, there was an even greater awareness of God's love and infinite wisdom. This no was not a rejection. It was wrapped in love from a Heavenly Father who knows His child's needs more than she does. At this time - my time - the no is for my greatest good. In His time, the answer will be different. When things are as they should be for the best possible outcome. Because a loving father wants nothing but the best for his children. What an awesome Father we have!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

How Does Our Garden Grow?

Peppers & Grenoblouse Lettuce

Very slowly at this point! Our seeds have sprouted but we don't seem to be any closer to getting them planted in containers or a bed. Since I was late in starting my seeds, I'm a bit concerned that by the time the plants get of enough size to transplant, the hot summer sun might be too much for them. Next year I will make it a point to get started earlier and will start my reading now on winter gardening!

Tomato seedlings starting to get their mature leaves

I went ahead and put the basil plants into large pots and moved them outside, although I probably should have waited. They are just now starting to develop their more mature looking leaves. But I think they will be okay. I also put the rest of the seedlings outside in a sheltered area to harden as well. And to protect them from a little, curly-haired 2yo that did a little pruning to some of Mommy's seedlings.

Potato Sprouts

Since I've taken the photos above, the Grenoblouse lettuce has taken on a light burgundy color and the potato sprouts have shot up another couple of inches. I need to get out and mound some more dirt around the potato sprouts per Laura's tutorial. Despite our late start, I'm hopeful our little garden will have a very productive summer!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pump Up The Jam

My Momma and I have been busy working the load of strawberries we picked over the weekend. Momma did the washing and hulling (she claims I take too much off the top), while I mashed and prepared bowls of no cook freezer jam. We ended up with 25 containers of freezer jam and big bowl of sliced strawberries for the fridge. I'm so looking forward to blueberry season!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Fruits of Our Labor

Ashleigh picked a whole basket by herself

Our haul - WAY more strawberries than I imagined!

Gone Pickin'

There's only a few more weeks before strawberry season ends here. So we're heading out to the field to do some strawberry picking today. With temps in the 80s, it's going to be a hot one!

Friday, May 22, 2009

What About Now?

It's been five years since we've moved into our house. But looking at the bare walls (if you don't count crayon scribbles) and the mostly undecorated rooms, you would think we were just squatters! As we looked at houses with our realtor, I remember asking myself why so many people waited until they were selling their homes to make changes. Why did they live with their home not quite the way they wanted only to make it better for someone else? We too had a list of things we wanted to do when we moved in. But with the busyness of life, the paneling, the peeling 70s wallpaper and bare, off-white walls, faded into the background. We said we'd get around to it when the money was right or when we had more time.

So what about now? A trip to our outside storage revealed enough unused rollers, tape, plastic sheeting, brushes and primer to at least get us started on prepping the dining room. With a little bit of resourcefulness (and not a lot of money), we can take the first steps in making our home a haven and a reflection of us!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Storm Clouds on the Horizon

Cloudy but sunny

Looks like we have storm clouds brewing on our horizon. Things are a bit uncertain with Dave's job right now. A large part of me just wants to be done with the absolute craziness that surrounds his job. It's held our precious family time and sanity hostage for the last few years. But on the other hand, who wants to be without their largest source of income?

It's a worrisome prospect, but maybe this push out of the nest so to speak, is just what we need to finally raise up and soar like eagles.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Whey? Yes Whey!

Taking 2 cups of the organic yogurt I made in my crockpot, I drained off the whey as shown in this post by Cheeseslave. I didn't get as much whey as she did in her picture, but I got enough to enable me to try some of the fermented recipes in Nourishing Traditions later on. In addition, I had a nice bit of yogurt cheese left after the whey drained off. Blended with fresh strawberries from our farmer's market, it made a delicious dip for our apple slices!

Strawberry Yogurt Cheese

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sometimes it's best to let sleeping toddlers lie...wherever that may be!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Frugalicious Fashion

Yesterday afternoon, Dave suggested we check out a thrift store he passes on the way to work (not only does he score roadside treasures, he also scouts out new thrift stores!). I had seen the place before but had never stopped. Most of the time, it looks as if it's closed. But I'm so glad we finally gave it a try!

It was a nice consignment store attached to a bridal shop. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. Most of the clothing was brand name items; some new other pieces discounted from 20% - 60% off. I found these two pieces from the 60% off clearance rack.

I heart flare!

The pants are size 0 GAP modern fit with flared legs. Being short and small, it is such a joy when I can find items I can wear right off the rack without any alterations! They fit great in the waist and are just the right length. I love wearing flared legs with my high heels!

Close up of the blouse

The blouse is M.K.M. Designs and is light brown, crinkle pleated with floral design. Dave said the neckline really accentuated my chest, which bought a chuckle from the sales clerk. It definitely needs all the help it can get LOL!

I'm not sure how much these two items would retail for. Since "Dave Ramsey" became apart of our vocabulary, I haven't seen the inside of a mall. But I paid only $11.96. And found a great new place to shop!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bless a thing and it will bless you. Curse it and it will curse you...
If you bless a situation, it has not power to hurt you, and
even if it is troublesome for a time, it will gradually fade out, if you
sincerely bless it.

~ Emmet Fox

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

My Mother's rose bush is blooming

Saturday, May 9, 2009

From My Daughter

I love Mom because

I love Mom's meals.

I love Mom's breakfast.

I love Mom's cookies.

I guess that means I'm a pretty decent cook!

Backyard Experiment

Seed potatoes in an old garbage can

I hadn't even entertained the thought of adding potatoes to our backyard container garden. But after seeing this excellent tutorial by Laura at Heavenly Homemakers for planting potatoes in a container, I knew I had to give it a try! From what I've read, potatoes are usually planted in March around here. Of course it is now May. So we'll have to see how our little experiment in potato growing goes!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

One of Those Days...

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

When you flee the office midday with Red Hot Chili Peppers blaring on the radio. You find your way to the nearest health food store, grab up a box of organic mini chocolate chip cookies (and a kombucha) and indulge in a bit of chocolate therapy in the car. A sad but true account of my day at work LOL!

But it's good to know, that even when I feel like I'm at my breaking point, I have the blessed assurance that I haven't been given anymore than what I can bear.

Simple & Nourishing - Feta & Vegetable Pasta Salad

Feta & Vegetable Pasta Salad

This simple dish is adapted from a Kraft recipe. It makes a hearty dinner pasta salad and also works well as a side. We're enjoying this dish quite a bit right now as it makes good use of the tomatoes and cucumbers from our local farmer's market.


Organic whole wheat pasta

1 -2 tomatoes (local, organically grown), diced

1 - 2 cucumbers (local, organically grown), sliced

1/2 - 1 c diced red onion

Homemade Italian dressing (I used the recipe from Passionate Homemaking)

Feta cheese, crumbled

Cook pasta according to package directions. Dice tomatoes and red onion; peel and slice cucumbers. After the pasta is done, drain and rinse. Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for 1 hour.

This post is apart of the Nourishing Gourmet's Simple & Nourishing Carnival

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

From Dinner to Breakfast - Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Muffins

One of my favorite buys at our local farmer's market are good ole' NC sweet potatoes! They're inexpensive, can be prepared in a variety of ways and are quite nutritious.

Here's how I get the most out of our sweet potatoes. From a side at dinner time, to a delicious, moist muffin for breakfast!

For dinner you'll need:

Sweet potatoes - 2 to 4 depending on potato and family size

1 -2 tbsp butter (I use Kerrygold)

cinnamon, to taste

Place peeled and sliced sweet potatoes in a pan, and fill with enough water to just about cover the potatoes. Top with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cook on medium until potatoes are tender, adding more water as needed. Serve potatoes as a side with dinner, reserving 1 to 1-1/2 c mashed sweet potato for next morning.

Morning Prep:

The night before, mix 1-1/2c whole wheat flour and 1-1/2 c water in a bowl and add 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Allow to soak overnight.

For Breakfast:

To the soaked flour and water add

3 tbsp Kerrygold butter, melted

1/4 c organic sucanat

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg (local & pastured)

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp allspice

1 - 1-1/2 c mashed sweet potato

additional cinnamon, to taste

Combine ingredients in a bowl and fill greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes. Enjoy!

Did you know - the sweet potato is the Official State Vegetable of North Carolina :)

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam - Tasty Tuesday

Monday, May 4, 2009

Found Treasure

My hubby has made hobby out of "curbside treasure hunting". He's been doing it since college. In fact when we met, his entire dorm room was almost exclusively decorated with found items and freebies given to him by friends. I've since grown to accept my husband's passion for finding gems amongst discarded items. I've also come to see his efforts as helping the environment in a way. Rescuing items that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.

One of Dave's recent finds was this cute black, upright dresser. We placed it in the dining room for storage of the kid's art and crafting supplies (which were previously spilling forth out of the bottom of the china cabinet). In a pinch, the top could also be used as a small buffet.

Aside from the black, which I think will go well with the color I have in mind for the dining room (I'm thinking along the lines of the Nester's beloved Tobacco Road or Meredith's cheery yellow), I love the detailing on the top and bottom of the dresser.

Maybe when the mood hits me, I'll give it another coat of black paint. But for now, I'm enjoying this newly found treasure!

Southern Hospitality - Thrifty Treasures

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Back from the Market

This week's haul of pastured eggs, Red Russian kale (a first for me!), asparagus, sweet potatoes, grass fed Angus beef, salad mix and strawberries

The kids are so excited to get outside this morning, they've forgotten all about breakfast and have their anxious little faces pressed tightly against the sun room glass doors. Off to enjoy the warm weather and adventures in the backyard :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day

Let all thy joys be as the month of May

~ Francis Quarles