Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Introducing Benny! Our new pet rabbit.

Our friends, a wonderful married couple that we've known for the last few years, recently got four rabbits to start raising for meat. They intended on purchasing two males and two females. Well, as it turned out, they had three males and one female. That just wouldn't work. With three cages and four rabbits, the males were constantly fighting.

So we were asked if we would like a bunny. I immediately said, "YES!" because I would have tons of animals at the house if I got my way, lol. After my husband agreed that we could get the rabbit we set about getting the needed supplies.

Once the cage and feeding appartus were purchased, the rabbit was rushed right over. The kids immediately fell in love with our new pet and named him Benny. My husband, in his quick wit, calls him Benny Rabbit.

As you can see, we completely misjudged the size of the rabbit and just a mere four days after getting him we were back at the store getting a new, much larger cage.

 I've never had a rabbit before, so my dear friend gave me a quick lesson on how to handle them. Apparently, I didn't listen or just am unable to do it because this is what happened when I tried to pick him up later that evening.

Yes, it hurt and bled a little bit. It was the first of many scratches. We've now had our Benny Rabbit a week and I think that he is warming up to me. In other words, there haven't been any new scratches in the last two days. :)

linking with http://time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/2012/06/titus-2sday-link-up-party_25.html

Monday, June 25, 2012

CSA Box #2

Our second CSA box has arrived. We received a few new things this week that we are eager to try.

Spinach, Carrots, Garlic Scapes, Strawberries, Green Onions, Strawberry Spread and Collard Greens.

As you can see we received spinach, strawberries and carrots again this week. The garlic scapes look really neat up close with a swirl at the top. They are what is at the top of garlic, who knew?

Apparently, they can be used the same way as regular garlic. My husbad used some of them on pork steaks that he grilled. They were delicious!!

I plan on using the strawberry spread on toast and pb&j. I was going to cook the collard greens, as we've never eaten them before and some of my husband's family come from the south and had good southern recipes for me, but we recently got a rabbit and I read that collard greens are good for them, so our Benny Rabbit will get them. He also loves the tops of the carrots!!

So my questions for this week's box are:

Have you ever eaten Collard Greens or Garlic Scapes?

Linking up with:


Attracted to Fire Book Review

I recently read Attracted to Fire, a work of fiction by author Diann Mills. This book is about Secret Service Agents who are assigned to protect the Vice President's drug and alcohol addicted daughter after her life has been threatened. They take her to an isolated ranch in West Texas to go through a sort of rehab while the Secret Service tries to find out what her would-be killer's identity. There are a  cook, the doctor and his assistant/nurse, two ranch hands, and a six agent team comprising of one female agent and five male agents, one of which doesn't think women have a place in the Secret Service.

I enjoyed reading this book. The story has elements of suspense, romance, and mystery. It was a very easy read and had, in my opinion, well-developed characters and back story. The chapters were short which helped in moving the story along and changing which character's perspective was being explored. There were some romantic elements that I didn't particularly enjoy, but nothing terribly offensive.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and its characters and would recommend it to anyone wanting a nice, easy read that can be picked up for short bouts of reading.

I reviewed this book for the Tyndale Summer Reading Program. I did not receive a free copy from the publisher.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kale Chips - CSA Box #1

CSA Box #1 contained Kale. I've heard from several different people and some celebrity chefs that Kale chips are very good. So, since we got that in our very first box, I thought that I would give it a try. My best friend, Tiffany who write The Crafty Home blog also signed up for the CSA and made chips with her Kale as well.

I found my original recipe at the Food Network website.

Cutting up the "chips"

Into the oven they go...

My oldest daughter grabbing more chips.

They were delicious. I added a little parmesan to give it more flavor before going in the oven.

Kale Chips

1 head of Kale washed and dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher Salt to taste
Parmesan to taste

Cut Kale into bite sized chips place on baking sheet. Sprinkle olive oil and salt on top and toss kale to coat. Sprinkle parmesan on top. Bake in oven 20 minutes turning halfway.

I also used the carrots from the box in my first homemade chicken pot pie.

It was yummy too! Not too bad for my first pot pie!!

Linking up with Time Warp Wife.



Monday, June 18, 2012

CSA Box #1

In an earlier post, I mentioned that we have bought a full share in a CSA farm this year. I learned about this from another wonderful blog, Frugal Living NW and was quite eager to give it a try.

For those of you don't know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically you buy a share of the farm's harvest. So for the next 19 weeks or so, I'll be getting a box of certified Organic fruits and vegetables every Friday.

This Friday was our first ever box and I was so excited.

I'm excited because you won't know what you are going to get every week. I'm excited to try new foods and recipes. It is almost like an episode of Chopped!

Spinach, Carrots, Strawberries, Fresh Garlic, Lettuce and Kale

My girls were especially excited to see the strawberries. They were very sweet and delicious! My husband used the fresh garlic on steaks that he grilled this weekend for his Father's Day dinner.

I plan on sharing my boxes every week and what I plan to do with the produce.  To find a CSA in your area go to http://www.localharvest.org.

Have you ever bought a share in a CSA? Do you have any recipes to share?

Linking up with:





Thursday, June 14, 2012

Duggar Blog Giveaway

Duggar Family Blog is doing a Giveaway.

Four people will win and you can pick your prize from those listed below:

1. The Duggars: 20 and Counting (1st book)
2. A Love That Multiplies (2nd Book)
3. $15 Amazon Gift Card

Go to the blog and check it out!!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Front Yard Planters

We have three brick planters in the front yard of our house. When we moved into the house there were so many ferns and plants in front that we had no idea how big the planter was. After removing the ferns and whatnot, the planter and yard near the front door looked awful and bare. So, today I decided to change that. My wonderful husband took me out to buy a few flowers and potting soil to make it look a little better. My third child was eager to help out with this project.

Before - closeup


A wonderful helper

Smoothing out the new dirt

After - Some colorful flowers

I forgot to take befores of the other two small planters on either side of the garage. But here are the after pictures.

Have you planted any flowers this year? This small little project helped me to feel better about how the front yard looks now. There is still a lot of work to do, like planting grass seed and leveling but just this little fix has helped a ton!! :)

Linking up with: http://time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/2012/06/titus-2sdays-link-up-party_11.html





Monday, June 11, 2012

The Backyard Part 1

As I've mentioned in a previous post, we bought a foreclosure last year. The house needed lots and lots of TLC and at times I think maybe too much for us to handle. I was pregnant with our fourth child at the time, so I wasn't much help. That left my poor husband to do most of the work, so we decided to work on getting the inside of the house liveable first and the work on the outside later.

Later has arrived!!

Our wonderful friends Eric and Christina let us borrow their goats for almost two months to help us with the incredibly overgrown backyard. They ate and ate and ate until we could actually see the yard's somewhat beautiful beginnings.

Some of the goats' work.

Also standing probably 15 to 20 feet tall, on either side of the house, are two GIANT laurels. These things are so HUGE! Clark's grandma got him a chainsaw for his birthday, so he immediately went out to start cutting them down.

The North Side Laurel

South Side Laurel

As you can see, there was a LOT of brush. So, we rented a UHAUL and filled the entire 20 foot truck with laurel branches and it wasn't even all of it and took it to the dump.

North laurel all cut down

South side laurel still needs to be cut down.

As you can see, there is still lots of work to do but we have done so much that the backyard is actually starting to feel like a backyard. It is wonderful! I look forward to the day when we can sit back there with a HUGE garden, beautiful flowers and kids playing on a swingset. That is the dream! :) One day..

Linking up with




Friday, June 8, 2012


Rats! No, I don't mean that as a exclamation of discouragement. I mean it quite literally, rats. Wednesday morning, we took my husband to work and came home to start our schoolwork. I planned to wash a few loads of laundry as well. I grabbed a basket of dirty clothes and went out into the garage. I dropped the basket onto a storage tote that was sitting near the washing machine to prepare to put it into the machine. No sooner than I had done that, I heard a noise and looked at the wall and saw a GIANT, and I mean GIANT rat running away along the wall.

I, of course, calmly walked back into the house and shut the door. Well, maybe not so calmly. With an extremely LOUD scream of terror and surprise I ran into the house and slammed the door, thus scaring my two year old into tears. Shakily, I calmed her down and called my husband. He suggested opening the garage door so that it could run out and start empty the garage of its contents so that we could try and scare it out of the garage. Ever the obedient wife, I open the garage door and go outside with my oldest child and start emptying the garage slowly.

I didn't want to be by myself so I called my friend Rebekah and asked her to come over for support and maybe a little help. She came over and helped me empty out the garage and bang around looking for the rat. We didn't find it. We did find a hold behind the water heater which we think it went into since it was headed into that area when I saw it. She went to the store and got a rat trap and we set it out with peanut butter.

The next morning I went out to check the trap, bracing myself for a grim sight. When I entered the garage, I noticed that the trap hadn't tripped. Upon further inspection, it was quite clear that the rat had licked the trap clean of the peanut butter without tripping it. So ,we have a somewhat clever rat! So we set it out the next night with some cheese on it. Apparently we have a really clever rat! It ate the cheese off of the trap without tripping it again. My husband said that it even stood nearby because there were droppings near the trap. So my husband went to the store to buy a glue trap which we have set out tonight and will see if that works.

My friend gave us another idea that we will try if the glue trap doesn't work tonight. She suggested gluing a peanut to the trap. They do that whenever they have problems with rats and it works every time.  I just feel such a weight knowing that there is this thing carrying disease and stuff in my garage. I'm terrified that it will get into our house and hurt my babies and/or myself. I feel like my house is filthy and I by proxy. I will feel quite relieved when this is past us.

Have you ever had rats in your house? How did you rid your home of them? What are your thoughts?

June Goals - Update

Last Friday, I posted a blog about goals that I was working toward in the month of June. The first goal was to stop drinking soda. That didn't happen, but I am happy to say that I have drank less soda than I usually do, so I'm hoping that is a step in the right direction.

My second goal was the 30 for 30 challenge about spending 30 minutes everyday in the month of June playing with your children. I am happy to say that I have been able to make sure that I play with them every day! I haven't actually timed it, so I don't know if I've hit 30 minutes exactly but I have made the effort to play with them and spend time with them every day.

My third goal was to cut out fast food. We have done really well with this goal. We have still eaten out a few times, but not every day which, unfortunately, we had been doing for the few weeks prior. I actually cooked dinner last night! My husband is a fabulous cook and loves to do it, so whenever he has time he likes to make dinner, which unfortunately has spoiled me and gotten me lazy with meal planning.

All this goal setting got me thinking about how it is good to set goals, even if you don't achieve them. It gives us something to strive toward and work on.

Did you set goals for this month, year, etc? How are you doing in regards to those goals? I welcome all of your comments. :)

Linking up with Our Good Life http://www.ourgoodfamily.org/2012/06/3in30-challenge-link-up.html

Linking up with Consider the Lillies at http://www.considertheliliesblog.com/2012/06/homemaking-link-up-10.html

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Our Unexpected Benefits of Homeschooling

This is our first year homeschooling. I don't know why I chose to wait to start homeschooling until my son was in fourth grade and my daughter was in first grade. :) I was also pregnant with my fourth child and had a very busy two year old running around. I'm starting to understand why my Mom says that I do everything the hard way. :)

Anyway, I had felt like the Lord had been convicting me to homeschool for a few years before we finally made the decision. There are many reasons why we homeschool, our faith, good education, behavior issues, etc. The thing that I want to talk about in this blog post are the unexpected benefits we found so far in our homeschooling journey.

1.) More family time:  This one is obvious as since the kids do their schooling at home, we are together more often. The unexpected benefit was that even though Daddy works out of the home, we found more time with him too. Running to his work while we were out or taking Daddy lunch provided extra time for the kids to see and talk to him.

2.) More Opportunities to learn: This one was a benefit that I hadn't even thought of before we started homeschooling. Since I know what they are learning in their school lessons each day, it is easier for me to incorporate that into everyday situations. For example, my son and I were learning about caterpillars and how they cocoon and turn into butterflies. Well, a few days after that we were looking at our plants in the backyard and found a cocoon on our cauliflower plant. It was so neat to be able to take what we had read in the Science book and see it before us happening in reality.

3.) More Time for Extracurricular Interests: This one was really a great, unexpected benefit since both of my school-aged children decided they wanted to try playing basketball for the first time this year. Since we can usually get all of our schooling done in around four hours, we have more time to visit friends, take music lessons, and do sports.

4.) More Time for Real World Learning:  Since my children are with me all of the time, I have the benefit of being able to teach them many skills that they will use as adults and parents themselves. When I run to the bank or go to an appointment or pay a bill, they are with me. I can teach them how to deposit money at the bank, clean the house, call for services, etc. My Mother was very good at teaching me how to do all these things, but I've had a few friends who were completely unprepared for running a house. These skills are almost more important that the lessons we learn in schooling since they will be used more often.

These are just a few of the unexpected benefits that I've found in my homeschooling journey. There was a time in my life where I would have never considered homeschooling my children. I'm happy that the Lord has changed my heart and mind and now we are able to enjoy this new chapter in our lives.

 Do you homeschool your kids? Have you ever thought about homeschooling your kids? Are you against homeschooling? Please share your thoughts in the comments! :)

Linking up with Time Warp Wife at http://time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/2012/06/titus-2sdays-link-up-party.html

and Linking with. http://womenlivingwell.org/2012/06/keeping-your-husband-the-man-of-your-dreams-wlww-link-up-party

Monday, June 4, 2012

My children - Mommy and Me Monday

Today is Monday. It is the start of the week. We had a very busy weekend, so I decided that we would all stay in pjs and work on cleaning the house and maybe get a little schoolwork done too.

I have been meaning to teach one or both of the oldest kids to wash the dishes. Well I was washing dishes this morning and my oldest daughter came up and asked me if she could help. So today she learned how to wash dishes.

She did a pretty good job and I think that this will be a regular chore for her from now on. Since we had the camera out, my other children wanted pictures too.

Then, I started thinking about how we have taken fewer pictures with each child. I have often wondered why.

Do you have more than one child? Do you feel that you took more pictures of your first baby than the other baby or babies? I welcome your comments! :)

I'm linking up with Mommy and Me Monday. 


MDA Lock-up.

 My husband (through his workplace) is participating for the second year in the MDA Lock-up. It is a really fun day. They come and "arrest" my husband at his job and then take him to "jail". There they take his picture and feed him food and have him call people that he knows to help him raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  You can donate money to help him get out of "jail" or donate money to make him stay in "jail". If you are interested in donating, please click on the link below to help him raise money and stay out of "jail". :)

MDA Lockup

Thank you very much.