Monday, October 24, 2016

It's coming...

This past weekend, my Mom, Carlie and I went to a baby shower. It was in Fort Payne, so I suggested that we leave a little early and go visit my favorite store this time of year. 
Eddie's in Henagar. 
Filled with more than 200 different Christmas trees and decorations it filled me to overflowing with Christmassy spirit and made me smile and smile!

I couldn't help but take pictures all the way through. They have beautiful set-ups and decorations. 

Look at the beautiful trees!!! Eek!
This one below with the popcorn and country Christmas is probably my favorite...

Gingham bows. Squeal! LOVE!
So funny! See, I told you they were clever!  Look at that robot tree!
Entryways adorned. I could live here. 

I kept saying this is my favorite, no... this is my favorite....
Most of them may be my favorite... 
But my Mom and I LOVED the candy tree, and I think both of us are going to do something similar in our kitchens this year. 
Y'all... you know I decorate early! It's only about a week and a half away! Get ready!! I know I am! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I *heart* Monday

Mondays for most people are dreaded and un-friendly days... a day that summons the new week, that means, work, and the daily grind begins again after a weekend of fun. 

I don't really feel this way about Mondays. I enjoy them. To me, it begins a new week full of opportunity. 
Mondays are not easy, by any means...

Monday always has the biggest laundry. 
Monday always has the most work. 
Monday is the first day of the new school week. 
Monday always begins my preps for the week... 
but isn't that a blessing and not a curse? 
I guess that all depends on our point of view.

I know I've said many times that I love the quote...
 "Tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes in it... yet" -Anne of Green Gables 
And that is how I feel about Monday.
It's a brand new week.
A brand new opportunity.
A blank canvas waiting to be painted.

Have a schedule that needs some tweaking?
 Monday is the perfect day to start again. 
School begins again. 
Monday is a great time for learning... any day is, you know, but especially Monday!

Monday is a day when we can look forward to the rest of the week. 

Don't waste your Monday by dreading it so much. 
With eager hands, make the most of it!

So maybe it just takes a little change of attitude. Thank God for this brand new opportunity and embrace your Monday. Look forward to all that you can do for your family and serve them and the Lord with gladness. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Field Trip to the Nina and Pinta

Last week we were blessed to get to go on a field trip to Guntersville, AL to visit replicas of the NiƱa and Pinta! The last time we went to see these, Abram was smaller than our little cousin who went with us. So about 11 years ago! 

They are really beautiful ships, it's truly amazing how much they hold and how difficult it would be for the crew to travel for months at a time. And deck hands lived on deck. No matter what the weather. Wow. 
This map shows the routes that the replicas take to visit different ports. I found it amazing how far they go! 

We had a great group!
After we went to the replicas we visited a campground where my family stayed when I was young. It's a beautiful spot!

We also stopped at this cool rock wall. I just love finding neat places with my kids. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

On my heart...

Much is on my heart this morning, but words seem to fail me.

I will cling to that Rock, that is much higher than I.
 I will do my best to praise Him and trust that His ways are always best. 
I will continue to follow where He leads. 

If you are going through struggles this morning, may this be an encouragement to your heart as well.

Monday, October 3, 2016

My Outdoor Kitchen

The weather around these parts has finally caught up to the season we are in and the days are absolutely gorgeous. Summer was here for so long this year, I think everyone around here, even the most die-hard summer lovers are thankful. 
But with the end of summer it gets the mind thinking on the cool weather and the coming days of fall and winter ahead. 
Like I said last week, with those days showing up, as well as some gentle reminders from friends, I thought of how ill prepared I felt for the coming months. 
So Thursday after we had a little school under our belt and some of the dew dried off the grass, the children and I went to pick some of the last of the muscadines. These are scuppernongs. They are a white variety... although we say they are green. ha
I told the kids I wanted a big basket full as long as there were enough to be picked, that we were going to pick. Our jelly supply was really low and grape is one of their favorites. 
I began by washing the grapes and then filling up a large pot with grapes and then enough water til it was just barely covered. Then I put the grapes on the stove and began to heat the water til we got the water to boiling. Once the water began to boil, I turned the heat off and set the pots off the stove. Cover and let them set all night long. The grapes will burst and the juices will begin to flow.

The next morning I started straining the juice with my strainer and mashing them through, but the juice seemed very watery and I wasn't super happy with that. I thought then about the champion juicer I have borrowed and pulled it out. I ran everything, juice, pulp, hull... everything through the juicer and got the most wonderfully thick juice. 
I received a question after showing this to some friends, asking me if there was a bitterness to the juice. I didn't think there was until after... and yes, there was a slight bitterness. But since I was making this all into jelly, I was ok with that. 

I made my jelly per usual. 

What was different though was my setup outside. I took advantage of the beautiful weather and the kids and I set up an outdoor kitchen/canning area for me.
A small propane burner and a couple of tables outside on the back deck, and it was an ideal outdoor space for me to use. It kept my kitchen stove free to make supper on and to finish up making the jelly. 

While I worked on canning outside, they worked on tearing down the old chicken yard. It was falling and looked frightful. We are hoping that once I get some chickens again, this will help in the safe keeping of them.  Look at that sky... isn't it gorgeous? No editing on this picture at all!
Well, my juice was WAY more than I anticipated and I worked on canning jelly til almost 10 pm on Friday night! 

Finally finishing up with 46 pints of jelly. 
My eldest said, "Great Mom! That's a lot of jelly.... but where's the bread?" 
Haha... Hopefully we will get on some sourdough bread this week. 
Cause she is right.... what good is jelly without some toast to smear it on?
Happy Monday, friends!