Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"The smell of good bread baking...

 ...like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight." 
~M.F.K. Fisher

Have you ever made clover-leaf rolls? They are a favorite in our house....and so easy to make! You can use your favorite bread recipe (I used a regular white bread for these rolls). After letting the dough rise for the first time, punch it down and split it into halves. I used one half to make a loaf of bread...formed it and put it into a greased loaf pan to rise. With the other half...to get equally sized rolls, I split the dough into 4 equal pieces. Then I split those into three equal pieces...totaling 12 pieces of dough. Then I took each of *those* pieces and separated them into three equal balls of dough and put them into greased muffin tins to rise.

After letting the rolls and bread rise for 30 minutes or so, I baked them for another 30 minutes. Out came beautiful, delicious clover-leaf rolls...

...as well as a plump, golden loaf of bread...

Our lives full of stress
fighting a race day to day
rats on the treadmill, the maze
trying to find our own way

Turning to human goals
to acquire and to hold
Forgetting the lessons of the Christ
a more humble way to go

Living that simple life
loving God and our fellow man
spending time in the word
lending our helping hand

Trusting in the Lord
His hand will provide
going where we are led
our brother by our side

~Raymond A. Foss, 
Living That Simple Life

Glimpses into my sweet, simple life...

It's been raining here lately, although the sunshine popped it's lovely face out for a bit this afternoon. Xavier had to don his rain poncho and galoshes to do his chores this morning...

The children built a tent in the living room this morning before tackling our schoolwork...

A B C...Come & learn with me...

Madelyn reading to Jaxson...

Xavier helping Jaxson to read some simple words from the McGuffey Reader...

Sleepy Jaxson...

Soft and cozy corners of the dining room in the darkness of winter evenings...

"November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring."
~Elizabeth Coatsworth

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,

Monday, November 28, 2011

Rainy Days

I have found, to improve moods on a rainy day, simply lighting a few candles helps immensely! It's been raining off and on a lot lately. I need some *sunshine*! Since, however, I don't have control over the weather, we have been filling the days with things to do in-doors. :)


Game playing (and creating *new* rules for an old game)...

Story writing...

Bible reading...

Schooling and making doll clothes...

Making meals...

Housework and chores...

I also must admit, I am a sermon-junkie. It's true...I just can't help it. If I am on the computer, I am listening to a sermon. I also enjoy listening to them while doing housework (although sometimes it's hard to truly listen when I am busy....so slow instrumental music or worship music is enjoyed more when doing house-chores). Lately, I have been enjoying sermons (usually more than once) by Paul Washer, Voddie Baucham and Phil Johnson. These men are biblical and true to the Word of God. If you need filled with true biblical teaching...these men will feed you. **From my heart to yours...stay clear of Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Rick Warren, Mark Driscoll and the like (Matthew 7:15).** 

Of course, learning from teachers is good...but nothing is better than being in the Bible for yourself. Are you in the Word? Do you realize what a beautiful gift it is? Yahweh, our Almighty Sovereign Creator, speaks to us through it. So many don't have the chance to actually read the Bible. I encourage you to read it, think on it, pray on it and read it some more....and then share it!

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
~2 Timothy 3:16-17

Although it is still cloudy and wet out, there is a break in the rain...the children have taken that chance to go out doors to play for a bit. I have bread-making started and some more dishes to wash. Soon, it will be time to prepare supper and nestle in for the night as the darkness sets in. My-brave-hunter-Chris is out sitting in the woods, I mean: hunting, today. Some friends and family have gotten bucks already...but my sweet Chris hasn't snagged one yet. He was happy to see some but hasn't got a shot off yet.
Once it starts getting dark, Chris will head to his parents' meat market (where they do deer meat processing) to skin deer. The children like to help with that as well. Then *deer season* officially sets in for us. The men-folk do the cutting while Ma (Chris's mama) and I diligently get to meat-wrapping. It's a long and tiresome process! Hours of standing on cement floors is hard on this mama's body! I am, what most would consider, a young age of 30...but when I come home from helping there, I feel achy and *much* older! Oh, listen to me complain! It's nice being able to work together for a common purpose...it's just busy. I am thankful it is only for a season though...by the time deer season is over...we are all plum-tuckered-out!

I keep doing some chores and then coming back to the computer to type a bit. I now have bread rising, the floors are swept and most of the dishes are done...I also just cleaned out the compost bucket... *ewww* 'twas not a pretty smell! The children are back in now, from playing, and are watching a movie for a bit. I need to get moving...I have other things to accomplish today. **If you have time, and haven't yet, HERE is a great post from sweet, lovely Ann. :)

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Bit of Change in the Living Room!

 I found a beautiful old but new-to-me chair (quite on accident, actually, as I wasn't *looking* for one). I wasn't out shopping, really...the children and I just needed to go to the local feed store to get goat wormer. We all love a store in town that is chock full of great antiques and vintage items. Since we were out and about...we decided to stop there, quickly, before coming home. While browsing around...I found the chair! After talking to Chris (over the phone) about the price and if it was okay to purchase it (as we always discuss these things first)...I was able to bring it home! It is taking the place of one of the recliners (which had truly been too big for the space anyway).

Xavier, giving the old chair a try-out...

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,

Friday, November 25, 2011

"For each new morning with its light,

...For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends, 
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The children and I spent much of Thanksgiving eve cleaning the house. Although we keep the house pretty tidy throughout each day, the thought of having guests encouraged us to do a little extra cleaning. We had previously planned to have our Thanksgiving meal at my parents' house...but due to a few circumstances, mom called and asked if we could have the meal here! I gladly accepted! I love to host get-togethers!

Madelyn, a great helper, busy dusting shelves...

The boys were good helpers too, I must admit. :) I am thankful for my children and their willingness to help. Jaxson, after cleaning, took time to do some coloring...

Thanksgiving drawings and crafts...

Always grateful, having a heart full and joyful...because of Him...

Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one more thing, -a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.
~George Herbert

The house smelled wonderful being freshly-cleaned; with warm fragrances from candles filling the air...

Thanksgiving day held busyness, as well! I was doing last-minute cleaning...hustling and bustling around the house. I stopped to see Christopher enjoying some coffee and a magazine...I jokingly told him I would take his picture and post it as *his* contribution to the Thanksgiving prep! ;) It's hard to see, but he is smiling in this picture!

My Madelyn...cheerfully helping me in the kitchen...

Setting up tables and chairs...

Finally, family started to arrive! Although I was still busy preparing food to be served...I did get the chance to snap a few photos of Miss Eloise. She was her ever-glowing, squeezle-y self...smiles and giggles abounding! What joy she brings to the family! *She turned 10 months old on the 23rd! The time is flying by much-too-quickly!*

My dad (known as Pop-Pop to the children) with Eloise...


And another!

She smiled the whole afternoon (which of course made us all smile and laugh as she makes the cutest faces)!

After a lovely prayer of Thanksgiving from our little Jaxson, it was time to eat! Since we didn't have room on the tables to put the food...we left it in the kitchen and filled our plates buffet style!

See? She really *did* smile all afternoon...

After our lovely meal, Chris retired to his chair and quickly fell asleep...

Devon, Cory and Eloise had to leave so they could spend time with Cory's family. We were sad to see them go but thankful they were able to be here as long as they were! Some other family came by for pie and coffee a bit later. The children put on a puppet show for them! (The theater Chris made had accidentally been bumped a while back and the top broke...thus why the curtain is so low at the present time. Chris said he will fix it for the children. They were happy to make-do with what they had though!:)

A cousin's little girl didn't want to just watch! She wanted to play *too*!! :)

The children let the goats out for a bit in the evening. Pearl and Polly were quite thankful, I'm sure, for a chance to get outside a bit and run around!

My mom asked if Madelyn could have a sleepover at her house that evening...so after helping me clean up a bit (and find places for all the leftovers in the fridge)...my parents and Madelyn left. I happily found rest in my chair in the living room...thankful to put my feet up for a bit. Chris and the boys had a lot of fun playing a Spot It game...

Although we can all make lists, miles long, of things to be truly thankful for...let us never forget the real reason for any of us to be grateful...the gift of God...His Son...taking our sins upon Himself and suffering our punishment. Do you know Him?

"Greater love hath no man than this, 
that a man lay down His life for His friends."
 ~Jesus (John 15:13)

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,