Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Autumn Is In The Air~

The smell of spiced apple/pom tea simmering in my crock pot waffled through my very clean house! The lights were dim and the candles were house was beaming with touches of warm and cozy!

My friend (and co-host) Elizabeth was over early so we could visit a bit before the party.

My 1st Annual Garden Potluck and Harvest Share....that no one RSVP'd for! Well 2 out of 17 did!

Elizabeth and I toured my garden and looked at a few of my new garden,canning and homestead books! We blessed the food (Jackie lead us in the Johnny Apple Seed song) and began to eat. It was already 6:20!

Then it was time to wait!...Who would come?.... Would anyone come?

I almost didn't care if anyone else came because it was so refreshing to sit in my very clean house, eat and visit with my friend Elizabeth! I was quit relaxed and very content! Listening to soft music....taking in the delightful smells of burning candles and the cinnamon & cloves from the simmering spiced tea was very therapeutic!

But at about 6:30 the door bell rang! I could hardly wait to see who it was! Yes...I did run through the house to answer the door! lol (I knew I wouldn't trip on anything because I had picked up)

The first 2 guests had finally arrived....... and every 30 minutes after another guest would arrive bringing with them food and garden harvests!

Beans,tomatoes,scallions and zucchini were among the harvest shares!

Homemade salsa and taco dip with chips, potato salad and raw green beans with blue cheese dip were among the other eats!

We had a great time! In fact we had an AWESOME time!

The first gal to arrive(brought a friend) has a son in my sons 5th grade class (the co-host's son is in the same class too.) My son went to her son's birthday party last weekend that is how we met.The friend she brought was her pregnant neighbor that needed a break from her toddler.

Another guest was a mom I had invited just hours earlier in the parking lot of my daughter's preschool! Once she was here I found out this mom is homeschooling her 3rd grade daughter this year and her 4 yr old son is in Jackie's class at the preschool. She also has a 4 month old boy!

Another guest was a long time friend and my Tastefully Simple Consultant with her 5th grade son!

We did not just talk about gardening. We talked about birth,nursing (3 of us still are nursing our little ones!) We talked about homeschooling among other things! We all really hit it off!

Elizabeth and I invited our new friends to sign up for MOPS! The first meeting of the year is next week!

So....I now have a homeschooling friend with kids of similar ages of mine! We plan to do a few field trips together....the zoo and wildlife park! I can bring in 3 guest free to both with my membership!

The storm that was supposed to come never did(it came the day before) the kiddos played outside and us mom's had a terrific time getting to know each other!

God really knew what he was doing!

The Lord truly blessed my gathering......because I invited HIM to join us!

The Lord is always standing near by.....waiting for an invitation! HIS personal invitation!

HE arrived not only in my attitude but in the hearts of each of my guests......

showing HIS beautiful face!



Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where Two Or More Are Gathered...... my name their I AM in their midst says the Lord!

Tonight in my home I will be hostessing my 1st Annual Garden Potluck and Harvest Share!

My co-host and friend Elizabeth has a seed recognition game planned!

I know yesterday I my have sound quit discouraged about the fact no one called to RSVP (either way)....but soon after I posted, my friend Ann came by and reminded me that God will bring the people that will enjoy and be blessed by the night! She shared with me a similar story.(you can read in my comments)

Ann was so right! I knew she was....but needed a reminder. (the devil is always at work!)

I think God wanted me to step out of my comfort zone and invite people that I might not have invited other wise. I hand delivered a few invitations last night. Two of them to people that have really neat gardens (we spotted on a family walk last week). They are around the corner practically neighbors!

One of the older ladies from around the corner said, she belongs to a local Garden Club that meet and visit each others gardens thorough out the summer! They also visit local plant nurseries for plant sales! The leader of the group has some sort of learning lesson each time! That is so something I would love to do! I would not have found out about the Garden Club if everyone had RSVP ed! She said she will call me and let me know about the next gathering!

God really knows what HE is doing!.....even if we can't see the whole picture yet!

Thanks Ann for such great encouragement!

I still don't know how many people will come....but I DO know that our gathering will be blest! Where 2 or more are gathered in my name there I Am in their midst says the Lord!

Well...... I have the stew in the crock pot, 2 loaves of bread going in the bread machines.

The bathroom is clean,the weeds are pulled out of the flower pots on the porch,the floors have been vacuumed and the dishes are done! (just don't go upstairs) heehee!

More importantly I have a HAPPY HEART and am resting in GOD's LOVE!



Monday, September 28, 2009

Places To Go~

I wanted to participate in Happy Homemaker Monday but I have some places to go today!
I will try to put my post together tonight or just have to wait til next week?
This Tuesday (tomorrow)I'm hostessing my 1st Annual
Harvest Potluck and Garden Share party in my backyard! I will make a crock pot of my Garden Beef Stew and a basket of bread!
I will have another crock pot of hot apple spice tea!
My friend is co-hosting!
I mailed out 17 invites and only one person called to say they can not make it!
Your probably thinking great......right??? Well...
the rest of the people never called one way or the other!
The people that were invited asked to be on my was a sign up at MOPS last spring.
I also had a sign up at a church mom's group I went to on and off last today I will stop by and see if anyone is coming!
I called a few of the mom's to see if they were coming and one said YES! and the rest I got their answering machine.
One of the gals called me back and said that the local christian school was having their parent night on Tuesday! So I read off my guest list and 4 of those will be at the parent night!
So how many will be at the party?
Who really knows..but it will be fun and and how many people are there doesn't really matter!
I like small groups!
It would have been polite for the ladies to reply!
So far there will be 3 of us!
My house is clean and we will have fun,food and fellowship!
Well I'm off to run some errons and I will be back to blogging tomorrow or Wednesday!
I will post pictures of my party!
Post edit.
I found out many people I invited to the party are very sick....hence no call.
The weather tomorrow will be cold but sunny most of the day with a storm due to roll in at about the time of my party...6pm-8pm!
So tonight hubby and I will bring in my large dining table (it has been outside since my sisters bridal shower)! We will be eatting inside! The Pacific Northwest autumn storms have officially arrived! Buurrr!
Oh and Mirage...I got my baby bonnet in the mail today! Thank you! Thank you! Thankyou!
Its just beautiful! I love the flowers on the cute!
Oh and did you here...I won the Edwardian Apron over at the Seven Sister blog!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Look Who's Cookin'!

Little Miss Olivia loves to cook (as do all my kiddos)! The other day it was her turn to help me in the kitchen! We loaded both bread makers, made banana bread and some homemade granola bars!
I found a really neat recipe for the granola bars using coconut oil instead of butter or veggie oil!
You can go here, here and here to read more about the health benefits of coconut oil!
Granola Bar Recipe:
* 2 cups rolled oats
* 1/2 cup wheat germ
* 1/4 cup ground flax seed
* 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/4 fresh ground nutmeg
* 1/2 cup honey
* 1 Lg egg beaten
* 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil (you could use peanut butter for a change)
* 3/4 cup dried fruit ie: raisins,currants,chopped apricots,cherries!(optional)
* 1/4 cup nuts ie: almonds,walnuts,pecans,peanuts or sunflower seeds! (optional)
* 1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350
Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
Mix dry ingredients together then make a well in the bowl and add the wet stuff!
Mix well!
Press mixture into baking dish.
Bake for 3o-35 minutes until the edges are golden brown!
Cool for about 5 minutes then cut! The bars will harden as they cool so cut while still warm!
You can check out more of our family recipes over at my other blog:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Look What I Got For $5.00!

I got a Marcato pasta press! I looked on line to price them and it sells for $150.00!!!

Just 2 cups flour, 3 eggs(from our chickens)a pinch of salt, 2 Tsp milk! In just 2 minutes you have pasta dough! Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and add pasta. Cook for 5-7 minutes and enjoy!

Top with your favorite sauce! Noah(my 7yr old) made a homemade tomato sauce from our garden tomatoes, peppers, onions and herbs! It was delicious!

My pasta roller can roll out sheets for lasagna or homemade ravioli. It does spaghetti and fettuccine too!

I had never made my own pasta before but always wanted to! So when I went to go blackberry picking at our favorite spot....and saw that the berries had been sprayed and mowed down, I decided to take the kiddos to the park instead! That's when I spotted a garage sale! They had a food dehydrator but another lady beat me to it! I was hoping there would be a flour mill!
They had 4 juicers but I already have 2! There was a kids sewing machine I wished I would have gotten! I might drive back out to see if its still there, even though its been a week!?


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Farm Girls are having a giveaway!

The Seven Sisters aka Farm girls are having an apron giveaway and there is still time to enter so hurry over to their blog and get all the details! Giveaway ends Monday Sept.28!


Post Edit: I was the BIG winner of the Edwardian Apron giveaway~ Thank you Leah!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Whats In Your Crock Pot?

Monday: Handmade Pasta & Italian sausage topped with
Homemade tomato sauce (from my garden veggies) simmered all day in the crock pot!
French Bread from the bread machine
Fresh from the garden salad with fresh herb vinaigrette
Tuesday: Roast and carrots in the crock pot
Mashed sweet potatoes
Homemade wheat bread
Green beans from the garden
Wednesday: Crock pot of cranberry beans from the garden!
Left over roast with taco season
Yellow corn tortillas
Cheese,salsa,cilantro,lettuce and sour cream
Thursday: Breakfast for dinner!
Organic eggs from our chickens
Peppers and cheese (Chile reiano for Hubby)
Fried potatoes
OJ and grapes
Friday: Homemade mac n cheese
Chicken breast
Saturday: Chili in the crock pot made with dry beans
Homemade cheesy corn bread from scratch
Garden Salad with herb vinaigrette
Sunday: Large turkey roasted in the oven
Onion and cabbage salad (from the garden)
Mashed potatoes with gravy
Green beans (from the garden)
Homemade rolls
Thanks for coming to see what we are having for dinner this week!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

God Created Us... A Family!

****Remember to silence my play list!*********

I found this video on another blog and wanted to share it with all my readers!
It reminds us that our children should be raised and taught at home......not in the village!

Happy Homeschooling!

Today is my birthday (Sept.18).....I will be driving out to see MJ an old friend of my mom's! It was her birthday last week so we will be going to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate! MJ is the coolest lady! She just turned 70. She lives a very simple life in a tiny house on a few acres in the country! I will write a post soon about her! I really love her!

Have a great weekend!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Going Back In Time!

It has been a fun family tradition to go to the small (sample) pioneer farm located in our State Fair!
The main Pioneer Farm and Indian Village is located just minutes from my house in the foothills of the Cascade mountains. They have a guide set up and you spend the whole day there....making a craft,pizza from scratch,learn a lesson in the one room school house etc.
I keep saying we would go to the main farm but have just never made it out there! I do hope to go this year! LOL (I mean it this time!)

Noah is griding wheat berries into flour! Then Jackie and Noah take turns sifting it!

Jackie had fun scraping the cinnamon off the stick.....she couldn't help but give it a taste! OOOWWWW! Yuck! (all those germs)

Jackie is churning butter and.....

Chopping carrots!

Oh the joys of laundry day the old fashion way!
Scrub,rinse,wring and hang!

Little Miss Olivia wanting to help out with the laundry too!

We had a wonderful time at the fair and will go back at least one more time! The first day of the fair is always FREE and being homeschoolers we get all get free tickets to go again!
Other things we take delight in doing at the fair is walking though the Hobby Hall looking at all the logo collections and stuff! Every year the Gem Society lets us spin for a free polished rock!
The last 2 years the coin collector guy lets each person pick though a bin of foreign coins and have one!
We love to see all the quilts and art that people enter for judging!
The kiddos love to vote on the Grange displays! The fruits of someones labor....not bought in a store!
A visit to the Pig Palace to see momma and the baby piglets is also a must! It reminds me of the story Charlotte's Web! Awww...I love that story!
We also love to get our FREE chocolate milk sample from the dairy and watch the cows get milked!
Chickens,rabbits,cats,dogs,goats and horses are also a must see!!!!
There are many FREE shows to watch......the Bullas(a homeschoolin' fiddle family) used to play our fair but moved to Nashville several years back!
We now enjoy another local homeschool fiddlin' family...the Konzellman's! They won't be playing until next week so I hope I get to see them this year!
We usually do the lets pretend circus but ran out of time on this last maybe next time?
The kiddos get to dress up and a MC directs them as to what to do! The kids are the show,with costumes,music and everything! They pick the kids from the audience each time to go back and get ready. It so fun to watch!
Well the kiddos want to make french toast this morning so off I go!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rain Gutter Bookshelves~

Today, I wanted to share with you a project my hubby and I did last week!

We made bookshelves out of rain gutters....turning our reading corner into a very kid friendly place to be! (mom and dad love being there too!)

What could be more enjoyable than having a kiddo...(OK at our house its more like or 2 or 3 kiddos) snuggled on your lap to read a good book? Could it be looking in from the kitchen to find an older sibling reading to some of the younger ones? Or it might just be listening to your baby babble as she "reads" the book her way?

We are a reading family!
I have wanted this style of shelf to display our books... forever!
I never thought rain gutter?!

I had always wanted a place for our library books and other seasonal books with themes such as apples,harvest,Christmas etc...
Displaying the books face out make the books more inviting. Seeing the book cover, draws the kiddos to a book that might other wise get over looked if stacked on a traditional bookcase .
The rain gutter shelves makes the wall look festive with themed books that can be changed out.... its like rotating wall art!
These shelves have changed the focal point of our living room! We are all thrilled with the way the gutter shelves really transformed the space..... giving a better definition to the reading corner!

I discovered this wonder rain gutter project over at Kimberly's blog....Raising Olives .

The gutters come in 10 foot lengths ($4.95each). I bought 3.

I...(well my husband) cut the gutters with a hack saw by hand. He is such a pro there was no need to sand any rough edges! He cut each one into two 5 foot pieces. Then cut some of those pieces into 2 1/2 foot lengths.

The shelves we hung in the living room are two of the 5 foot pieces. I will put another 5 foot section in the "N" boys bedroom. I put a 2 1/2 foot piece in the dining room and still have a 2 1/2 foot piece that I might put in the girls room next to Jackie's toddler bed? That still leaves me one whole 10 foot gutter I will need to figure out what I will do with?

The end caps come in pairs (one for a left and one for a right side). They were about $6.oo a pair! So depending on how many pieces you cut your gutter into, you will need to figure out how many pairs you will need.

***I put a 2 1/2 foot gutter shelf in the dining room to house our prayer and scripture they are not on the table where many spills happen....daily it seems! hee hee!*****

The brackets were $1.70 each. I used 3 to hold the 5 foot gutters and 2 to hold the 2 1/2 foot ones. The brackets slide into the gutter....all the supplies were in the roofing section of Home Depot!

Be sure to nail the gutter brackets into a stud so they don't pull out and can support the weight of the books!

We still need to put some gutter shelves in the kiddos room....the supplies are awaiting in the garage! There is always work to be done!

Well I'm off now to school the kiddos! We will be at the State Fair tomorrow...I'm so excited! I will see you all next week!

Have a great weekend!



Tuesday, September 8, 2009

And The Winner Is......

Little Miss Jackie did me the honor of drawing THE winning name of my first blog giveaway!

Congrats Mirage!

Mirage from Every~ Precious ~Joy you are the blessed winner!

Please e-mail me your address so I can mail off all your goodies!

Mirage is new to the bloggin' world so if you have time head over and congratulate her! That would be great! Bloggin' is funner when people come by and leave comments!

Blessings to all that entered my 1 year blog anniversary giveaway! A BIG thank you to those whom became followers of my blog! I look forward to getting to know you all over the fall and winter!

A special thank you to my friend Amy from Raising Arrows for sending folks over to my giveaway! You are the best Amy!....I have a little something to send you too!

Have a wonderful day and thanks for stoppin' by!



Sunday, September 6, 2009

Joy In The Garden~

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Garden Season 2009
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Remember to silence my play list~

I hope you enjoy this slide show!

This was our first year having such a large garden...we learned a lot!
We truly loved every moment spent in our splendid garden! Our family really had a great time on our daily walks through the garden!
We have been blessed with an abundant harvest!
It has been very rewarding to see the kiddos work together, then get to pick and eat all the wonderful organic produce.

Our family gives thanks to God for He is good!
Have a blessed Sunday!


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Silent Saturday~

Today I'm.....

finding peace in God's love!


Friday, September 4, 2009

Homemade Spiced Tea!

Well with fall in the air I thought I would make my favorite homemade spiced tea!

*Spiced Tea

4 Regular Tea Bags (or your favorite herbal tea)
4 Cups of Cold Water
1 Cup Apple Cider
1 Cup Pomegranate Juice (I used a blended juice)
4 Whole Cloves
2 Cinnamon Sticks

In a pot bring cold water,cloves and cinnamon sticks to a boil.
Once its to a boil turn off and add tea bags.
Let steep for 2 minutes or so. (much longer and the tea will get bitter)
Pull Tea bags out.
Add the apple cider and the pomegranate juice
Turn stove back on and simmer until warm.
Remove cloves and cinnamon sticks and serve!

*Be sure to take out cloves and cinnamon sticks
and discard!

For more recipes you can go to my recipe blog: The Rustic Kitchen !
Blessings and Love,

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Gourmet Pinto Bean~

One of my favorite things I grew in the garden this year was a bean called the
Stringless Horticultural Bean!
This bean was used by the Indians and dates way back! The beans are dried in the pods on the bush then harvested and used like other dried beans in soups or refried.
Some nicknames for this bean are Tongues-of -Fire and Cranberry Bean!Some call it the Gourmet Pinto Bean or the October Bean!
Nine plants yielded me a 1pint jar! (one meal) I could have planted more, putting them closer together but was not sure how big they would get! Next year I will triple the number of plants!

Olivia is happy to help in the Garden! She walked with such self confidence carrying her gathered harvest to the table to be podded!
She opened the pods up and gingerly placed each of the beans in a jar! You could tell she felt like a big girl!

Jackie and Olivia work hard together at the table in the back yard! (Amy..this is table that belongs in the house...I took it outside for my sister Bridal shower and had BIG plans of refinishing it! Maybe next year?)

This activity kept the girls busy for about 45 minutes! Olivia (not quite 2yrs) helped with podding beans on 2 other occasions. She seems to really enjoy doing it and stays focused!

I loved taking a million pictures of both the girls! Olivia was so cute....her little fingers carefully opening the pod then pinching onto the beans and putting them into the jar!

Jackie gave her hair a chop....can you tell?
Well thanks for stoppin' by!
Have a wonderful Day!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Please tiptoe or scroll down past my last post to see
The Wedding @ Blackberry Meadow post!
For some reason the post of my kiddos in the wedding showed up under my last post
(of our hotel stay) instead of here on top! I tried to fix it but I give up!