Monthly Archives: March 2011

Random Snapshots

Photo memoriesWe’ve been looking through the photo albums in the last few weeks searching for pictures of Matt to use in a video for his graduation party in May.

Talk about a trip down memory lane!

I haven’t taken the time to look at photos in years!

Boy, did Jan and I look young – and skinny – and tired! ๐Ÿ™‚

My how fast life changes!

I can now understand why people who have lost everything in a disaster will mourn the loss of the photographs the most.

You can trace our history through theย  long line of birthday cakes, family Christmas pictures, and summer vacations.

The birthday parties, the Christmas pictures, the family gatherings are all so fun to remember, but looking at them now – the pictures I appreciate the most are the ones of our every day life.

You know – the random shots. The ones where the kids are sitting – happy as clams – in the middle of a floor strewn with toys.

Or the one of the family sitting around the table for meal on a weekday.

Those pictures captured the “everydayness” of life – the everyday dishes, the everyday clothes, the everyday moments that we often overlook.

I think it’s those every day momentsย  –

the house messy with toys,

every chair around the table full at a mealtime,

the swing set filled with laughter,

the little helper doing chores with daddy – that we miss the most when they are gone.

Which makes those pictures even more precious – they are an irreplaceable reminder of who we were and where we’ve been.

Priceless.

Sharing a Moment

I’m sitting in a quiet house – the ticking of the clock on the book shelf and the hum of the furnace are my companions.

The sun is just beginning to rise, painting the sky outside my window.

The kids are still sleeping and I’ve just kissed my husband and sent him off to work.

This wasn’t always the case. For years he worked from home and our days would begin slowly – and a little later.

I am not a morning person so it was an adjustment when he first started the new job. For awhile he told me to just sleep in – he could grab some breakfast for himself.

So I did. I had his lunch packed and sitting in the fridge ready for him. He made himself breakfast and was on the road long before I was ready to start my day.

It was fine for a little while – but I gradually realized that I was missing something. It really didn’t feel right to start my day without my man.

So one morning, while he was in the shower, I got up and fixed him a nice breakfast. He looked confused at first as he walked into the well-lit kitchen and then broke into a huge smile when he saw the spread on the table!

I sat with him while he ate and he held my hand. I could see in his eyes that my small sacrifice made him feel cherished and loved.

I had discovered his love language.

It’s now become our routine. For the last 2 years I’ve had breakfast waiting when he comes down at 6:15. It might just be cereal and juice, but he doesn’t mind. Actually, he doesn’t demand or ask for anything, he just appreciates it.

We sit together for a few minutes in the quiet of the early morning and discuss the little things that couples talk about- the daily things of life.

What are your plans for the day? Can you stop and get milk on the way home? Could you mail the letter on my desk? Do you have any jobs for the boys to do?

Then I kiss him good-bye and send him off knowing that he is loved.

In an episode of The Walton’s, a young house guest comes down early in the morning and discovers John and Olivia Walton sitting at the table sharing coffee.

She describes it so well, “I knew it would be like this, the two of you sitting here together sharing a moment before you start your day.”


Yes, that’s just what we’re doing.

We’re sharing a moment, enjoying each other, reconnecting as we start our day.

We’re taking the time before the busyness of life interferes to appreciate each other.

Now that’s a moment worth sharing.

I‘ve linked this post up with Thought-Provoking Thursday at Some Girl’s Website and Wifey Wednesday at To Love honor and Vacuum.

Peanut Butter Mousse

Chocolate Peanut dessert

I must confess – I have a weakness for mousse.

There’s something very comforting about it’s creamy and rich texture.

There’s also something wonderful about a recipe that takes only moments to whip up and tastes heavenly!

This recipe is so easy that my 10 year old son made it himself. It was so yummy that my peanut butter loving daughter was in speechless wonder as she ate it!

So was her mom. ๐Ÿ™‚

Beware – it’s addicting. Once you’ve tried it you will be craving it often!

Peanut Butter Mousse

1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1- 8 ounce container Cool Whip
1 cup of mini chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

Fold in the Cool Whip and chocolate chips.

Spoon into dessert cups and refrigerate.

Garnish with whipped cream and chopped Reece’s peanut butter cups.

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up with Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace,ย  Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff and Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale.

A Country – Style Workout

fence I knew I was in for an interesting afternoon when my husband asked me if I could help him outside.

Oh yeah – some of you know exactly what that means!

It means that all the projects I had started or planned for the afternoon were now on hold and I would be getting dirty, tired, and most likely sore.

Yep. It was time for a country- style workout.

Our calf – who has now officially been named Shakespeare – needed a bigger pen. Which meant that Jan needed all hands on deck to cut up fallen branches, pull out the old fence line and put up a new one.

Even as I pulled on my coveralls I knew that there was no chance that I would get to run the chain saw- my husband learned very early in our marriage to keep me away from all power tools.

Nor would I get to drive the 4-wheeler – my sons shuddered at the very thought.

No – I would get to do the more manual labor – the grunt jobs.

So while Jan cut the trees and Pedro drove loads of brush off – the other kids and I hauled branches and raked up behind them.

This proved to be just the warm -up.

When the fence line was finally cleared it was time for fence posts – about 60 in all. Guess who got to help load them? Moi.

Pedro would grab them from the pile and hand them to me to throw in trailer. He started out giving me one or two at a time – but the next thing I knew I was tossing 3 or 4 at a time.

At one point I saw that Jan was watching – so I had Pedro give me five at a time – just to impress him.ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

We’ll call that weight-lifting.

Then it was time to move the cattle panels across the farmyard to the new pen. So while Pedro and Jan pounded fence posts, Matt and I started digging them out of the weeds.

Now for those of you unfamiliar with cattle panels let me clue you in – they are big, and awkward and heavy. And they have a tendency to get bent – and get stuck on things – like each other and rocks and sticks on the ground.

But that didn’t stop me. I dragged 16 of those bad boys across the farm yard, around the garden, and out into the pasture – by myself.

I’ll think I’ll call that the cardio part of my workout – or maybe resistance training?ย  I wonder just how many calories I burned?

But don’t worry – I quickly replaced them with the handfuls of chocolate peanut butter cookies I ate during break time. ๐Ÿ™‚

The rest of the job went quickly – haul the cattle panels into position and hold them in place while Jan secured them.

Then all we needed to do was move Shakespeare to his new home.

He was a happy cow.

And I was a dirty, tired, and sore country gal.

It was time for a hot bath and another cookie – these country style workouts are tough!

A Time to Plant…

plantsI planted seeds yesterday. Lots and lots of seeds.

468 to be exact.

(My mathematical son counted them.)

I may have gone overboard just a little bit. If everything germinates we may need to triple the size of the garden. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m like a kid in a candy store when I stand in the seed aisle at Menard’s: honey dew melon, 3 kinds of watermelons, 3 kinds of muskmelons, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, summer squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, the list goes on and on…

Then there was my Baker Creek Heirloom Seed order for the most wonderful jalapeno peppers ever (Tam Jalapeno) and three different kinds of tomatoes ( Sioux, Amish Paste, and Rutgers).

That’s what a long winter does to a gardener – they snap in the seed aisle come spring.

Although – I’m not sure I should actually call myself a gardener.

My Amish neighbors would just roll their eyes in disbelief if they saw our operation. They actually know the date of the last expected frost and carefully time their plantings to line up with it.

But not me.

Oh no – I planted everything at once. Everything. Tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, and squash. The whole kit-and-caboodle went into pots yesterday.

I think I’m about 2 weeks late with the peppers and tomatoes and at least 2 weeks early with the melons.

Please don’t tell.

I’m sure there’s no garden police to fine me for such haphazard practices – but one cannot be too sure!

And while I’m confessing – can I add that most of these plants will get set out at the same time as well. (Oh dear – I think I heard some of you gasp in shock!)

Now you know the reason why my garden is behind the house and can’t be seen from the road! ๐Ÿ™‚

I wouldn’t want a passing Amish buggy to gawk at my gardening attempts or look in horror as I get my broccoli in the ground just about the time they are harvesting.

I’m sure there’s a science to planting a garden – but then – I never was any good at science.ย  Then there’s the math involved in figuring plants per rows and frost dates – and you all know I hate to borrow and carry.

No – I like words.ย  I may not have the most perfect garden in our neighborhood – but I can tell you how I feel about it.

I love the smell and feel of warm dirt in my hands.

I love the sun on the back of my neck and the breeze blowing through the hair.

I love the taste of a fresh ear of corn, the juice of that first ripe tomato, the satisfaction of serving the produce we grew ourselves to my family.

I love the sound of the canning jar as it “pings” its seal before I line them on the shelves ready for the winter.

I love seeing my kids learn the value of hard labor – that it feels really good to sweat.

And that my friend, works just fine for me!

I’ve linked this post up with the Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage.