Friday, June 28, 2013

And the thunder rolls...

As a wanna be farmer/gardener you look for these signs, you tune in to the radio, you keep your ear perked at the feed store. Talk of rain coming is a happy day usually. It means, a time of rest and respite. A time to let The Lord water the garden for you. A time to sit back with some coffee or tea and watch the storm roll in. We had a beautiful storm last evening. A good soaking for the garden and a time of stitching for me. Both were a big blessing!

I hope you have a lovely weekend!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Blueberry Calfoutis

I adore French Food. The cream, the butter, the cheese... it's very in-line with my view on whole foods eating and WAP (Weston A. Price) food choices. It's pretty easy. Eat real food. Plain and simple.
Michael Pollan had a good way of putting it. If it comes from a plant, eat it. If it's made in a plant, don't eat it.

With all the wonderful, seasonal foods available this time of year, you don't have to look far for some incredible fruit and veggies. We purchased a box of fresh blueberries recently and look at this decadent dessert.

Julia Child... she wrote the book on French cooking... literally. Hee hee.
She is a genius and this recipe is wonderful.

Here is her recipe from a book that I long to own. Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Julia Child’s Blueberry Clafoutis
For 6-8 people
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 cups blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Powdered sugar
1. Put the milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, and flour in a blender in the order in which they are listed. Blend at top speed for one minute.
2. Pour a 1/4 inch layer of the batter in a lightly buttered 7 or 8 cup fireproof baking dish, cast iron skillet or Pyrex pie plate about 1 1/2 inches deep.
3. Set over moderate stovetop heat for a minute or two until a film of batter has set in the bottom of the dish. Remove from heat.
4. Toss the blueberries with lemon juice, and then spread them over the batter and sprinkle on 1/3 cup of sugar. Pour on the rest of the batter and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
5. Place in the middle position of a preheated 350-degree oven and bake for about an hour. The clafouti is done when puffed and brown and a knife plunged in the center comes out clean.
6. Sprinkle the top of the clafouti with powdered sugar just before bringing it to the table.
(The clafouti need not be served hot, but should still be warm. It will sink down slightly as it cools.)

Bon App├ętit!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Good Morning Garden :: June 26, 2013

In keeping a weekly online journal of the garden this year, I am really enjoying seeing the progress of how things are coming along. To see changes being made and realizing some big changes that are going to have to be made in the upcoming fall season. But... that's part of the process. Seeing what works, what doesn't. What you enjoy and what you don't . You learn and grow... and so does the garden. 
Realizing our horrendous issue with what we call 'crab grass' we are going to have to take some drastic measures in our future garden plans. This stuff is terribly invasive and it is taking over faster than we can fight it. Enough with the problems. Let's look at the happy side of the garden right now. 
 If you remember... I planted celery from a cutting. It is still growing. I am happy to see that it is working. I plan on adding one or two more to the garden soon!
My green beans are my favorite vegetable in the garden right now. They look so amazing. They are growing and climbing and they look so lovely. 

Look at those tendrils!!! 

I have one bed of tomatoes that are growing beautifully! They have nice healthy stalks, no sign of disease... right now, THANK THE LORD, and lots of pretty little green tomatoes!

The pumpkin patch is growing happily. The leaves are so huge and gorgeous! I am totally amazed by the garden. These huge plants all packed in one tiny little seed. Truly a miracle. 

A soon-to-be sunflower... with a friendly little guest. 

Swiss Chard. I don't have much up yet, but this bunch hopped up early and looks so beautifully tender. I will be picking some of it early for salads and leaving some to saute later. 

The grape vine has blown my mind. I can hardly believe all the vines and grapes this is loaded with. I pruned it back SOOOOOO far. I was afraid it was TOO far, but yet, look at that growth! Incredible!

My first 2 sun gold tomatoes. Around here we call the little tomatoes tommy-toes. 
These two little tommy-toes will be delicious alongside my eggs this morning for breakfast!
I hope your day is splendid! 
Ours will be spent... In the garden!


Monday, June 24, 2013

From my heart to yours...

I have a dear online friend. She is inspiring to me. She used to blog and I have to say, it was the most wonderful blog I have ever read.

 It was full of grace and love.

 She doesn't blog anymore...  I am sad of that, but thankfully I am still able to keep in touch. 
A long time ago she shared a recipe with me for this carrot cake, I will ask her if I can share with you... if anyone is interested. 

More than the lovely cake, is the wisdom she imparted to me through her recipe. I printed out the whole recipe with the commentary throughout. This weekend as I prepared to make this cake for our church homecoming celebration, I was reminded of that loveliness. 

Like I spoke of last week, I want my children to enjoy time together with me and their father. To enjoy simple pleasures and be content with little or much. 

Saturday started much the same as every Saturday. We each awoke when rested. Shannon and I are usually always the first. We had our Quiet time with the Lord and made coffee. We sat and chatted with one another around the kitchen table. In the early stillness. 
Special moments. 
We were greeted by the children, one by one... rising, stretching, yawning, sidling up beside us... eager for those *first thing in the morning, messy bed head hugs*. 
We had devotion as a family, made a quick breakfast of fried eggs and toast. 
Afterwards, we set about at our tasks for the day. 

The girls and I went to work in the kitchen, we try to cook a lot of food when there are meals to share at church. Planning, baking, cleaning as we go.

The boys and Dad headed out to the garage to purge, clean and organize.  A long overdue and not so glamorous job. 

We didn't go to the amusement park, or to the movies, or shopping... but I promise, I don't think we could have had a better time at any place than we did here at home, working together. 

Shannon and I are in agreement that we eagerly want to be parents that our kids enjoy being around. That we want them to learn and grow and enjoy work and play. Saturday was a beautiful example of that. 

As I read through my friends recipe that day, with those encouraging words of...
                   Enjoy your children.
                                       Smile at them!
                                                                          Love them!
Savor the moments....

It was almost serendipitous, but I know better. It was just a confirmation from the Lord that, yes... you are doing a good thing. You have been given you a brief time to raise them. To train them. 

The whole day went this way. Let me say this, it was not perfect... there were moments of testing. We had to be parents! Times of correction are always necessary, because not everything is permissible. That comes with the territory. Correct, in love.

In the evening, when we sat down to our meal that we had created we had a time of thankfulness and appreciation. 
We call this our High and Low. We mention if there was a rough part of the day... the low obviously, and then a High part of the day. 
You might think, why even mention the low?? Keep it all positive. Well, sometimes if we mention that something happened and it was our low point of the day, it reminds us that yeah, bad things happen. Low times occur, every moment is not always rosy, that's just part of life.... but then we have the HIGH, too!!!
Our high moment is something we all share, we can be excited for one another. We can encourage one another. 

Do you know what most of the children's *high* points were? 

Eldest Daughter- Spending most of the day with Mom in the kitchen.

Eldest Son- Helping Dad today

Youngest Daughter- Being with Mom and my Sister a lot today

Youngest Son- Working with my Dad

These moments were times of WORK. We worked most all day... but because we looked at it differently, we changed our perspective and our outlook.... in return our children did the same! They enjoyed it! They enjoyed the work, the time and the memories that were made! The skills that were used! 
What an amazing blessing. 

Our children are not babes anymore. They are rapidly becoming young men and women. I wish I had so many moments to take back, to try again. To let go of my selfishness and do over. I can't do that, I can't live in past. I have to remember the good and let go of the should've, could've, would've... I still have time to impact my children's hearts. To win them, to keep them! To point them to the One who holds the world in His hands. 

No matter what season you are in, you may have newborns and toddlers, you may have middles, you may have many or few.... Love those children. Do not long for the days when you get to do what you want to do. Those days will be there, sooner than you realize. These few moments with our children will pass like a vapor. Make them count. Don't fill them with stuff... fill those moments with YOU!

From my heart to yours...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Where Cousins become Best Friends

One day a week in Summer, we have "Grandma" day. My Mom works in the cafeteria in the local school system so she follows a public school schedule. When school is out, she's off work. 
So she has requested that we have one day a week together. We did it last summer and it was nice to be together. Our plan is to just play at the pool, but if it is a rainy day, we may go to the dollar theater or rent a movie at her house or play games. It's fun. 

My Sister-n-law made this sign for the back porch at her house. I think it is perfectly fitting because cousins do become best friends at their grandparent's house. I remember as a child and even older, that my Nannie's house was my favorite place to go, because I knew my cousins would be there and we have a lot of cousins. We were all so close it was more like extended brothers and sisters. I want that for my family... and I think it already is a lot like that. 

Simple food, great conversation, lots of laughs and sillies. 
They all love being together!

Another great thing is that my nieces from my husbands side of the family are very close as well! So it's just one big ole happy family! 

My brother-n-law dropped off a rescue from a job site. The kids dubbed him Speedy the Turtle. 

Having some fun in the sun!

They played, and played, and played!

And then they begin to crash. 
Nothing like swimming all day to completely wipe you out. 
I'm sure they all slept hard last night. I know mine did!

Time. Time is important! Spend some time with family this week!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pondering Gardening and Motherhood

I've had something on my mind lately. It's been about children and how the neglected garden reminded me of neglected children.
Now... parts of the garden looked ok. Things were coming up. Parts were blooming, but underlying there was the weed situation, the 'crab grass' that was coming up and swallowing everything and would have swallowed everything had we not went to battle.

We had done just enough to look like we were actively gardening until the almost 2 weeks of neglect happened. Is that what I'm, *we* are doing with our kids? Doing just enough to look like we are active in our kids life? Giving them stuff? Taking them places?

What is likened in my mind is this. Are we spending 'just enough' time with our kids. Or, are we cultivating them? Putting them on straight paths? Helping them grow up straight and tall? Giving them enough pruning to help them bear fruit?

It's tough, the garden needs constant attention. Not constant money or fancy adornments... just time and attention. Same with relationships. Our children need us. Not money. Not fancy gadgets. Not trendy clothes. Not clubs or teams or recreation...  Just time to make a relationship that will last.

Do I know my kids? Do my kids know me? Do they trust me? Can they talk to me? Confide in me? Do I have their heart, do they know that their father and I have their best interest?

Heaven knows my kids aren't perfect, nor am I? But my hearts desire is to bring my children up to know the Lord, to walk in His ways and to bear fruit for His kingdom. As I have pondered over this 'likening' I have realized I haven't been doing enough to make that relationship grow. Too often we get caught up in 'doing', 'going', 'having'.
That's not helping anyone!
I want to establish contentment in their hearts to know that enough is enough. They are wonderful, they are enough, they are great... just the way they are.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Just as this Clematis of mine is in it's most beautiful state. It's because I have pruned it, I have stayed close to it. I have worked it through the trellis to make it stand and grow and point to the sky. This is my purpose. This is my task, for my children... and time is fleeting.
I'm starting fresh today.
Yes, it will take time to pull away the weeds, the crab grass, the entanglements... but something beautiful is bound to come out when I do.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Green Beans... in OUR Garden!

Confession time!
I have never successfully grown green beans. I've planted them a time or two... but with no success.
Me, being me and never enjoying defeat, I tried again. I planted them the week before we went on vacation.
I told you that we had a big ole mess in the garden after we came home... and we did and we do, but we have some excitement too!

Look at what we have now!

 I'm sure you have spied a much more impressive green bean patch than this, but hey, like I said... a first time success... I get pretty excited about that!

 We have these canes that grow on our driveway. They made the perfect trellis, and I adore how it looks! Eli helped make the trellis yesterday. He is becoming quite the young man.
 I look forward to putting up some green beans that actually came out of our garden. Even if it's small, try growing something you never have before. You might be surprised at what happens too!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Vacation 2013

So thankful our family had the opportunity to go on vacation together. Here are some of the highlights.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Farmers... they don't take vacations

Because when they do... they come home to a mess!!!

I'm sorry it has been a while since our last update. We were gifted with a vacation last week and were gone for a full week. And before that, we were trying to get ready for that week away. 
Well... when you are gone, things happen. 
Weeds happen.
Lots and lots and lots of weeds.
You get back to see that some things have not grown in the least. Some things have, some things have dried up entirely. That's what happens though. Gardens need to be tended, looked after and cared for. Even if it is just a little each day. But for days of neglect, you come home with a mess. 
The pumpkins are up.
 The sunflowers are getting taller.
 The green beans are coming along....

One whole patch of tomatoes are dried up to nothing. The spinach bolted.

The zucchini is not doing anything. I have never seen zukes just sit there, they usually grow so rapidly. I may have to start over with them. Sadly.
I am disheartened at the loss while we were away, but we haven't been on a vacation as a family in 7 years, so we take the good with the bad. Now that we are back, we can focus our attention back onto making the best of our garden and home.

Now to get out there and get to weeding.
Have a great day!