Thursday, March 17, 2011

Simple Things

The simplest things bring such pleasure:

Playing 500 Rummy with the whole family last night
Waking up with my husband this morning and seeing our two littles sprawled across the bed between us
Enjoying a quiet cup of coffee with my husband before the rest of the house awoke
Getting to make my husband breakfast before he left for work
Seeing the sun shining through my windows
Actually having my checkbook balance
Boiling off sap on my living room wood stove to make maple syrup
Dreaming and planning with my husband

Watching the littles share secrets under the desk

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I'm home from church again. My two littles are with me. Between Sophie's still runny nose (though she is getting better and is fever free. Thank you, Jesus!) and Emma's German Shepherd barking cough, and my too tight to really breathe well without coughing and coughing even if I try to take little breaths, we decided it was best for the three of us to stay home. I'll tell you, it has been a Very Long Time since the whole family has been able to worship together. But what a blessing to be home today - the sun is shining beautifully outside (melt that snow!), the little girls are playing nicely together, I'm enjoying another cup of coffee, and I'm spending some much needed time with God. 

I have a confession to make:  I've been a grump lately. Not just a little. I've turned into the type of person I don't like to be around. Grumpy, negative, persnickety, crabby, bad-tempered, testy... Well, you get the picture. In short, I've been focusing entirely too much on me. But this morning I've had a chance to count my blessings.

Yes, it has been a Very Long Winter with A Lot of Sickness. 
BUT, our sickness is temporary. We'll get over it. It isn't terminal, so what am I complaining about? 

Yes, I've been pretty tired and still nauseous from this pregnancy.
BUT, I'm carrying a treasure. What a gift! And every time I feel this little one move I'm reminded of how blessed I am to be given this gift.
My oldest son will be leaving in a few months to grow his musical gift. We need to come up with money for tuition, housing, food, etc.  I don't know where the money will come from. 
BUT, my God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He gave Josh this gift, He will provide. 
My husband has been working A Lot, and told me this week that he has two business trips coming up soon that will take him away for a few nights. 
BUT, my husband has a job, and he gets paid on a regular basis. And he provides very well for us.

My list can go on and on. We have a home. We have food. We have children. We have a sweet granddaughter. We have Jesus. See? I just needed to look beyond me. (And I think the sunshine helped just a little.)

So now that my attitude has been adjusted, please forgive me for my very whiny last post.

And now that I'm feeling much more like myself, I think I'll go clean something, bake something, organize something and sew something. Oh yes, that's more like it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

From my corner of the world

I've lost count. Sophie isn't feeling well. Again. She has a fever. She's sneezing. She's coughing. She's teething. She's very snuggly (I like that part).  I'm so glad I didn't wean her completely in January. She's so miserable, but nursing seems to help. I am a little tired of sitting so much, but it is for a good reason - I get to snuggle Sophie. Poor baby, even when she's napping I can't put her down - she wakes up crying as soon as I do. So yesterday, last night, and today I sat up holding my baby. So she could sleep. Sitting can make a body tired. I don't know how and I don't know why, but I know that it does.

And we've had a lame goat. One of our girls was limping the other night. She was the same the next morning. Worse the morning after that. We thought maybe it was hoof rot. We checked and it wasn't. Then we thought maybe she slipped on the ice. Now she seems to be better. She's walking slowly, but she's walking. I'm not sure that I like having goats right now. Especially sick goats. Not when I have sick little ones to take care of too.

And I'm going into my 19th week of pregnancy. I'd love to be able to tell you that I'm feeling great, but I'm still nauseous and very tired. Other than that, all is well.

The rest of the family seems to be doing well. Spring still hasn't quite arrived here yet. We even had more snow today. We had lots of snow/sleet/rain the other day which made driving very slippery, but the next morning was sunny and the trees were coated with ice and sparkled and I took pictures for you but my son stole my camera again so I can't download them for you to see. But I want you to know I thought about it. And spring is coming. I have it on good authority.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Recipe: Spicy (or not) Potato Soup

Our supper last night was a family favorite. A dear friend made the soup for our family when Emma was born, and we loved it so much we asked for the recipe. And can I say, on a side note, that bringing a meal to a family is one of the biggest ways to bless them. It really is. So here's our quick, easy, budget friendly, and yummy recipe with my notes and changes. I posted this recipe on Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet. It isn't a very gourmet recipe, but it sure is pennywise!

Spicy Potato Soup

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced
4 large diced, peeled potatoes    (I usually add more potatoes)
3 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce     (I use 2 15 oz. cans because that's what I keep on hand)
4 cups water      (I add 5 because I add extra tomato sauce)
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper      (I reduce it to only 1/2 tsp. if I'm making it for people who don't like spicy food)
1 (4 oz.) can green chiles      (I leave these out most of the time because I rarely have them on hand. You could add 1-2 tsp. Tabasco sauce, or Frank's Hot Sauce, or leave this out entirely and add your hot sauce of choice to individual bowls when serving)

Directions: In a large dutch oven, brown the ground beef. Drain off fat if needed. Return beef to pot and add onion, cooking until onion is soft and translucent. Add diced potatoes and tomato sauce. Stir in water, salt, pepper, and green chiles (if using). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for one hour or until the potatoes are tender and the soup has thickened. 

Optional:  Serve with grated Cheddar cheese and sour cream. Garnish with cilantro.

Servings:  I don't know. There are 7 of us with pretty healthy appetites, and we have enough for lunch the next day.

Kitchen Tip: Cleaning up Dough

We're all still feeling a bit under the weather. Some are getting better, others are not. Last night I was pinned between two littles who weren't feeling very well, so Josh and Maddie made supper for us with a little assistance from Zach. Maddie was in charge of the soup (Spicy Potato Soup), Josh was in charge of the biscuits. It all turned out very well. (Sorry, no pictures.) I hadn't realized how little recipe cooking Josh had done. Oops! I have a lot to teach him before he leaves this fall!

I do have one tip to share that I thought was common kitchen knowledge, but apparently isn't. When you're cleaning up after you make any kind of dough - bread, biscuit, pizza, etc. - clean your bowl and utensils with cold water first. Hot water makes the dough sticky and glue-y. Cold water makes it easier to scrape off without having glued on dough stick to everything. After you scrape off as much as you can under cold water, then wash as normal in hot water. Easy cleanup!


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