Monthly Archives: May 2011

Memorial Day Thoughts

In the midst of your holiday celebrations – take time to remember that the freedom we celebrate today was not free.

“And I’m proud to be an American,

where at least I know I’m free,

And I won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me…”

Lee Greenwood


The Farm Bash

We’ve got a big weekend planned!

Jan’s entire family is gathering here for a fun weekend of family time. This big ole’ farm house will be bursting from the seams with people and laughter!

Meals are planned and the freezers are full of food.

Frozen Food

The toys are brought down from the attic.

Beds are made and ready in every available piece of floor space!

Every blanket and pillow in the attic is ready to be used.


The picnic tables have been fixed, painted or borrowed.

The lawn is getting mowed.

Tents are being set up.

Games have been planned.

Birthday Surprises

Surprises are prepared.

Excitement is building as our driveway starts filling up with out-of-state license plates!

Let the fun begin!

Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend everyone!

Silly Tilly

mapsWe have a GPS.

I will admit that I resisted its purchase for sometime. I told Jan that he really didn’t need another woman in the front seat telling him where to go. ๐Ÿ™‚

I finally gave in just before our big Western Adventure. We set it to speak in an Australian accent and named her Matilda Garmin Shervheim – “Tilly” for short.

Tilly has proven to be quite helpful in locating campgrounds, directing us through large cities, pointing us to the nearest gas station and finding a Sonic at 2:00 for Slushie cravings.

But recently we discovered a weakness in our newest toy: she’s only as good as the information in her data base.

As Jan and I traveled along around northeast Iowa on our adventure day attempting to find a farm, Tilly took us on a wild goose chase. The map in my hand said we should continue going north but Tilly insisted that we turn around and head east.

She was adamant that we were heading in the wrong direction.

We muted her so we didn’t have to continually hear, “Recalculating. Recalculating. Please drive the highlighted route.”

Silly Tilly.

It was quite frustrating since I knew that general direction we needed to go and the map agreed – butย  Tilly was quite clear that we were all wrong.

Her database just didn’t contain all the information for the gravel roads and off-the-beaten track places our adventures often take us.

Finally after driving over an hour up bluffs and through valleys – in desperation – we called the guy we were looking for and he led us out of the mess we were in.

The same thing happened during our latest adventure. Tilly was worth her weight in gold as we traveled through St. Louis – but once we got off the pavement she got quite confused.

We discovered that we can only trust Tilly when she knows where she is leading us.

Otherwise – we might as well mute her because her advise is worthless.

And so it is in life.

There are people all around us sharing advise, telling us what to do, giving us directions.

But do they know where they are going?

What’s in their database?

The only one we can fully trust to lead us is the One who has our entire life mapped out. He is the one who knows the past, the present and the future.

His data is never flawed.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil to give you a future and a hope.”

Butterscotch Cream Cheese Bars

More Bars Both of my parents and most of my siblings are pretty adventurous when it comes to food.

So I always love to try new recipes – especially desserts – when my family comes to visit.

This last trip – when dad and my sister came to help prepare for graduation – was no different.

Even though the larder was pretty empty and our time was short, we were still able to dig up enough ingredients in the pantry and freezer to make these yummy bars.

The combination of butterscotch chips and graham cracker crumbs intrigued me – and of course I love anything with cream cheese!

Butterscotch Cream Cheese Bars

1 cup butterscotch chips
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/8 cup flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Melt the butterscotch chips and butter. Add the graham cracker crumbs and walnuts. Mix well. Reserve about one cup of the crumb mixture.ย  Spread the rest of the mixture in the bottom ofย  an ungreased 9 x 13 pan. Bake 12 minutes.

Beat the cream cheese and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Add the flour and lemon juice.

Pour over the baked crust and sprinkle with the reserved crumbs.

Bake 20-25 minutes.

Cool. Cut into bars and refrigerate.

These are best when eaten after they have been in the fridge for 24 hours.

This post is linked up with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday over at Blessed with Grace and Tasty Tuesdays over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

True Confessions

lettuceI feel like I must confess here.

After all my noble efforts to start my own plants this winter – well – ahem – things haven’t worked out so well.

Let’s start with my pathetic cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower plants.

They were so bad that when I was shopping with my sister at the Amish stores – in a moment of weakness I bought all new big and beautiful plants and planted them in my garden.

That’s not all – the spindly little cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower starts that I’ve been nursing for months got yanked out of their pots and – are you ready for this – fed to the chickens.


But wait – there’s more!

Most of cantaloupe, watermelon, pumpkin, and squash plants looked fabulous for a while – but then started shriveling up and dying. Anything that had at least one green leaf got planted in the garden this week.

I think I will need to do a lot of replanting!

But on the bright side -we’ve have several meals of asparagus, a few tiny radish and our first garden fresh salad. The lettuce I planted was a mix of different varieties – some I am not familiar with.

Pedro took one bite of lettuce last night and announced, “I think I just ate a weed!”

I must confess that since my garden is not exactly weed-free that I”m more that a little worried he did!

Speaking of lettuce – during that same shopping trip with my sister Teresa – I also bought 2-4 packs ofย  head lettuce to put in the garden – thinking they would give me a head start on salad.

Two nights later there was a bunny convention in my garden and all my beautiful heads were served as the entree. Let’s just say that was some expensive bunny food. ๐Ÿ™

But then there’s my tomato plants. We moved them into bigger pots a few weeks ago and planted them in the garden this week. They are doing great!

My friend Mendi asked me at Matt’s Graduation party just how many tomato plants I actually planted this year. Would you believe I didn’t even know?!

But since this post is a confessional of sorts – I sent Angel Girl out to count.


Yes – I need to confess to going slightly overboard and planting fifty-eight tomato plants. I may be handing out bags of ripe tomatoes to random strangers come mid-August! ๐Ÿ™‚

There – now that all of my garden blunders are out in the open – I have nothing more to hide.

They say that confession is good for the soul – I hope it’s good for a laugh or two as well! ๐Ÿ™‚

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