What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Trust in the Lord with ALL Thine Heart ....

And lean not unto your own understanding,
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will direct your paths.

Today is so gorgeous! I was a regular grumpalump yesterday until about 2:30. Then it started to rain and the temperature lowered to a more reasonable and livable temp. After that, I got a burst of energy and so was able to do things that I hadn't done in a while. I dusted, furniture polished, freshened the couches and chairs, washed glass in picture frames and doors, sorted through old magazines to keep or sell at the yard sale, did laundry, did dishes, tidied the back room and cleaned off dining room table, paid bills, and took out garbage. I sure was glad I did do all that, because when Matt came home, he was a major grumpalump too-and if he would have come home to the house pre-2:30, I would not be here today to talk about it!

Because I got so much done yesterday, nothing was very 'pressing' for me to do today so Corynn and I went to a local 'tourist farm'. It is a pumpkin farm, greenhouse, store, playground, and petting zoo all in one. They are super nice there. Each fall, during pumkin time, they clean out the greenhouse and make it into a HUGE store-and they take crafts from vendors. I went to see how I could become involved in that. It looks like I am in! They require 25% commission (ouch!) but no rental fee and I know from experience-it is a HIGH traffic place. If my things don't sell there, I don't think they WILL sell. I have to bring in some items for her to look over in mid-AUGUST, and then, per her approval, will bring the rest of my stuff to be set up. I have wanted to get in this place for a few years now-just never DID it. After I spoke with the lady, Corynn and I enjoyed the animals and playground and stuff.

I am struggling today because Matt struggled so yesterday. I know what is in his heart. I know what he longs for. I know why he keeps trying to talk himself out of the one thing that will make him truly content. He wants a farm-he has since he was a little boy. He told me recently, the one thing he wanted that he never got as a child, was to live on farm. For various reasons, he puts it out of his head-one of which, is me. I am sure he doesn't know if I could handle it. He doesn't know if I would really like it (especially since it seems I am allergic to cows!). I hate to be a stumbling block for him-even if I am just one of the many. I want more than anything for him to have his farm and for us to work together to make it a success. I am not sure how to encourage him in this area, since my outlook on such a dream is grim too. Realistically, it doesn't seem that it would ever be possible. Farms take a LOT of money, especially starting from scratch. Money that we just don't have. I don't foresee us ever getting enough money for a HOUSE-let alone a farm. He won't be content in life until he is able to do what the Lord has placed on his heart to do, and the time he is wasting trying to convince himself otherwise is just setting us back. I pray fervently that the Lord will open doors for us in this area. Until those doors start opening, I am desperately trying to discover ways in which I can help out financially. That is why I am so excited about the Pumpkin Farm, that is why I so long to set up my own website, that is why I have been trying to sell things on ebay, and that is why I don't buy expensive clothes or food. We need to start saving more money-it just isn't happening! So far, my attempts have failed. Ebay has proved to be a waste of my time, time and time again. Craft shows vary year to year. All the time you spend making things, all the money you spend being there, all the time and energies put into set-up and take-down, and an entire day working, only produce modest profit (if any.) It makes me wonder, how did Martha Stewart do it?!?!?!

Hey-that pony is MY size!!!!!!!  Posted by Picasa

Corynn acted like this was her dog. She put her arm around it and walked all over the farm that way. She has come a LONG way-she used to be scared of dogs! Posted by Picasa

Feeding the goats...they were ravishing! Posted by Picasa

Inspecting one another...... Posted by Picasa

We packed our lunch and had a picnic... Posted by Picasa

We have admired and coveted Mr. Peacocks feathers for several visits now...making todays random feathers lying around the cage much like gold at the end of the rainbow! Posted by Picasa

By Jolly-I think I've GOT it! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Jim's Prize Blueberry/Lime Jam

This recipe was taken from the book Lip smackin' Jams and Jellies by Amy and David Butler, pg. 39. The only thing I would change is the amount of zest. I put the zest of two SMALL limes in it and that was still too much. Next time I will use only one-or maybe eliminate it all together.

4 ½ cups blueberries
6 cups sugar
2 T. lime juice
Grated Zest of 2 large Limes
3 3-oz pouches of liquid pectin

Remove any stalks from the blueberries and rinse under cold water. Drain’em good and put in a saucepan. Crush the berries a bit with a masher. Stir in the sugar, lime juice, and zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Keep stirring to avoid burning. When the mix reaches a full boil, cook for 1-minute longer and then stir in pectin. Return to a full boil for another minute.
Place in jars.
Process jars in a hot-water bath for 10 minutes.

Yeild: about 6 cups.

The finished product.  Posted by Picasa

Here I am canning. REALLY canning-not using freezer jam or anything else... Of course, I decide to do it on the hottest day of the year. Sometimes excitement outweighs prudence. Posted by Picasa

The blueberries are a picture in a book-the limes are the real thing. Crazy, huh? Posted by Picasa

Corynn's coloring sheet from yesterday. I was impressed. She did it all on her own and she isn't even two yet! I just had to share. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Sweat and Tears......

Wow. Is it hot or what!?! It is 96 degrees and still climbing. I wish we had air-conditioning! Thankfully, I had to do a few things uptown so I got to spend some time in an air-conditioned store AND an air-conditioned car. I am kicking myself now that our downstairs is sooooo hot, since I gave one of our fans to my BIL for their home. I keep reminding myself though, that it is HOT over there too! How selfish I can be.

Corynn had a doctor's apt. today to get caught up on shots and get bloodwork done. Poor girl got jabbed five times. The bloodwork had to be done twice because she jerked. She screamed while it was happening but stopped shortly afterwards when the 'blood technician' gave her five sparkly 'stickers' (band-aids) to put on. She made out like a bandit, really. They felt so bad that she had ALL that done, they gave her two bracelets, a stuffed dog, and a lollipop. I think she made out pretty good.

I then went to Jo Ann Fabrics. Alpine Fleece was on sale and so I bought scads of it. I plan on 'copying' a cool thing I got as a baby gift. It is a mix between a blanket and a snowsuit for babies. It has a hat and legs-but the arms are blankets to wrap the baby in. It is hard to explain but OH SO CUTE. I loved mine! I hope to get a few made and put them on my soon-to-be website.

As soon as I finish writing this I am going to make blueberry lime jam. It sounds really good. If I like it, I will post the recipe tomorrow. I learned yesterday that you can indeed freeze yellow squash. Along the lines of canning, too, can anyone tell me what COMPOTE and CHUTNEY are? What do you eat them with? Is it a kind of relish or jam? Just curious. Holly (my SIL) made some delicious Rhubarb Compote. I didn't know what to use it for though, so I put some on fresh strawberries and put some on some vanilla ice cream. Those were good uses for it. Yum.

Tonight is softball. We are going to leave early so that Matt can mow the grass. While he does that, little Rynnie Roo and I will go swimming in the Owego pool. It is a great pool-and it is FREE, even better!

Stay cool!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Feeling Blue, Teaching Blue, Seeing Blue........

Today has been so busy! I took a trip to Ithaca in order to get some shopping done. They have an Aldi there so I got some groceries. (They have these really great educational books on themes like Presidents, States, etc. that are only 7.99) There are four of them. I would get them if I had to money-they were really cool. I think they would be GREAT for homeschooling. I also went to Salvation Army. Ithaca's Salvation Army is HUGE, and wonderful! Monday is half-price day so I only go on Mondays. Some Salvation Army stores mark outrageous prices on their stuff...but this one is cheap to begin with, let alone half off of that and much of their stuff is in great condition! I got a few sweaters and pants for Corynn for winter, and a green plain smocked dress. What a relief! I also got a HUGE massive wood handled wok...something I have been wanting for-well, forever it seems. I paid only 2.00 for it. Woohoo!

This past weekend I went yard saling-didn't get much of anything. After I spent the day yard-saling, I went to Gram's house (that would be Matt's grandma, Corynn's great-grandma.) It is always wonderful to see her. She sent me home with some newly made zuccinni relish (she makes the BEST!) and some pineapple chutney. It was a new recipe and she wanted me to see if I liked it. I plan to put it over ham for tomorrow nights dinner. Tonight is easy-I got a BBQ chicken pizza at Aldi. Ever tried them? They are SO good!

This past weekend, I was so upset to find out that my MIL had given away over half of the blueberries that I had picked the last time we were out. I had great plans for them-I had picked them out in the pouring down rain for hours-and I didn't even get to use them! It sounds silly, but it has taken me a while to get over it. I picked some more this weekend. Next weekend when we are out, I will pick more. Gary showed me some berries that he had picked-they were MASSIVE. Next time, I will go to those bushes. I WILL get to make all the blueberry things I wanted to.

As if I didn't already have enough plans for the next few months, I just received a dollhouse from a lady on Freecycle. It is the first and best thing I could have gotten. I am so excited about working on it. It needs a lot of work-but it will be such a wonderful thing! I have also recently gotten some tomato cages and a toddler bed for Corynn. I was never able to 'win' anything-and then all of the sudden, I win THREE things in one week! wow! I plan to set up the toddler bed when Corynn turns two. Kind of as a 'big girl' birthday treat. She is getting to be so big!

Tomorrow I have a doctors appt. for Corynn to get caught up on her shots. She never got her 1-yr. shots so she has to get them before she turns two so she can get her 2-yr. shots. She turns two in just a few short months........eek.

Today is the first day that I have started officially 'homeschooling' her for any period of time. Nothing major. I decided last week, to set aside 30 minutes each day for 'homeschool' time. I won't be 'schooling' her for 30 minutes, but probably 10 minutes. The other 20 minutes I will use to look for something to do the next day or researching other avenues for homeschooling. I thought it would be a good idea to prep MYSELF for setting aside time each day for schooling. She is just such a sponge these days, I figure what have I got to lose? She can now recite the poem I made up (by recite I mean, say the important words.) She says the words I capitalized.

The SKY is BLUE,
and that's where the BIRDIES do take FLIGHT.

I plan to just sing to her, read her a book, and then let her do something like color a page or something. Then 'schooltime' is over. I am starting with colors.

Well, I suppose that's all for now. Hope everyone is doing well. Have a wonderful evening!

I got these three baptismal gowns for $1.00 a piece. They are in immaculate shape. I am not sure whether to sell them on ebay or keep them for myself and my (hopefully) many children to come.... Posted by Picasa

I just received this dollhouse through Freecycle! It need a lot of work...it's a fixer-upper. :-) I am so excited to get working on it. It will be great fun rennovating it and making the things to go into it. Corynn is still too little, but maybe someday she will enjoy playing with it too. I am always entranced by old fashioned dollhouses-and now I have one! Posted by Picasa

This is the inside of the dollhouse...notice the little light fixtures. Matt says it also came with a power cord so that the lights would actually light up! Wow! Posted by Picasa

This picture is SO fuzzy-but I tried and tried to take a clear one but my hands were just too shaky. I simply HAD to take a picture to show you this...in the bathroom was a toothbrush holder with four toothbrushes...Eachone came out...and here is one of them on my pinky finger.  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 21, 2005

She looketh well to the ways of her household.....

I finished reading the book THE WAY HOME by Mary Pride. It was an excellent read. She put things bluntly and moved on to other topics quickly, but had so many profound things to say-things that really make you think. She has another book called All the Way Home that I hope to get my hands on to sometime. Here is an excerpt from her book-just one of the many things she said that struck me….

“Family planning is the mother of abortion. A generation had to be indoctrinated in the ideal of planning children around personal convenience before abortion could become popular. We Christians raise an outcry against abortion today, and rightly so. But the reason we have to fight those battles today is because we lost them thirty years ago. Once couples began to look upon children as creatures of their own making, who they could plan into their lives as they chose or not, all reverence for human life was lost. Children as God’s gifts whom we humbly receive are one thing; children as articles of our own manufacturing are another. You can do anything you like with what you yourself have made.
Children today are their parents’ toys or hobbies. They exist for their parents’ desires alone. So they are banned from all adult functions (including Sunday morning worship), deposited in day-care from infancy and even abused sexually.” (pg.77)

It is true that many of the Christians in churches today look beyond themselves at the ‘evil world’ at large. We forget, however, that the world’s evil perceptions have infiltrated the church and we are much the same. How many of our Christian women want careers rather than children? How many of them do not see the value in being THERE with your children as they grow old, teaching and training them along the way. How many Christian women decide when and how many children they want? These ideas are not only extra-biblical, but married to the very “world’ that we scoff at.
Abortion looks much different to me, if I think of it as something the church has helped produce. It is a shameful truth.


I took inventory of Corynn’s cool/cold weather clothing today to see what she has and what she will need. She has a winter coat, a pair of pants, a sweater, two footed sleepers, and two jumper dresses (without the shirt underneath.) All of these things I got at yard sales or Salvation Army this past year-all are in excellent quality…but she needs more than that. I haven’t had ANY luck at yard sales this year for her…for ANY girl for that matter. All I ever see is boy clothes! Thankfully, the season isn’t completely over! I hope to get all she needs this summer.
I found a GREAT website and blog through my friend Paula’s blog. Paula is LVG4HIM and the cool site I found is called Homemaking on the Homestead. All are in my links section. The lady (named Crystal) has a family webpage too which is underneath her blog. You should check them out! Crystal’s website, coupled with our current circumstances, have inspired me and encouraged me to start my own much dreamed about web site. Not being very technologically savvy-my trepidations have hindered me thus far. But as with any other thing I try-I psyche myself out over what turns out to be nothing and by doing so, all I have done is wasted precious time doing very cool things-and in this case, perhaps earning money!
Since I am on the subject, another fun thing I am going to learn and do very soon is make a rag rug. I have to go to the library and borrow some books on the subject-but I have wanted to do THAT project ever since I got married! No more dillydallying-now is the time!
One more thing before I go. Last night we had chili and cheese over tortilla chips and I put squash in the chili (it was different-but good!). We had a fresh tossed salad with spinach, lettuce, beet greens, and squash from our garden (along with other veggies), and we had peach yogurt with blueberries (fresh picked.) It was such a good feeling eating the fruits of our labor! It is a comforting thing, knowing that I have provided those things for my family by proactive thinking, planning, and hard work so that they might be filled.


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Here is a bouquet I picked by scavaging some outdoor flowers. They brightened my day-I hope they brighten yours! Posted by Picasa

Proof that Corynn is sweet to the core.... Even her tears and sweat are so sweet, they seem to be bug delicacies! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

How does your garden grow????

Ours is doing marvelously. I had to cut back squash leaves to allow the surrounding vegetables to grow-but it hasn't harmed the plants at all. Sure did cram a lot of stuff in that small square!  Posted by Picasa

I put up some fencing for the cukes. It was long overdue and so I found myself sewing cuke leaves into the metal fabric. Boy did it open up my garden though-i can actually see my flowers and lettuce again! I recycled my July 4th tiki posts as garden stakes-saving money and adding interest to my ever too-cute garden! Posted by Picasa

I put some fencing up for the yellow and green beans to lean on so that I might have access to my stepping stones again! Posted by Picasa

While I was taking the garden pictures I saw one of my yellow squash moving. When I got a closer look-it was actually this flying flower! Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 18, 2005

Bachelor Parties and Blueberries......

We are back home, after another fun weekend at the Newman ‘Ranch’. Matt was supposed to go to Canada on Friday and Saturday with the Pastor in order to do a rotational visit of other congregations…unfortunately, we have lost his birth certificate. I have always been very particular about putting those items in the “important documents’ folder and keeping them together-so I am not sure how this has happened. Not only is HIS missing but, so are ours-along with all of our soc. security cards. I have no idea how to go about replacing them-this has headache written all over it! I am going to look again and again in the next few days-hoping for a miraculous appearance-saving me all the inevitable frustrations. Urgh!

Because Matt couldn’t go to Canada-he was able to attend his older bro’s bachelor party…Nathan is getting married the weekend before our anniversary, on August 13th. The guys spent all afternoon golfing and then came back and had an all-guy BBQ and played horseshoes. I wanted to crash the party so BAD! ;-) I didn’t see him until 10:00 that evening. A fun time was had by all.

Instead of crashing the party, I was a good girl and went blueberry picking with Julie Ann (Nathan’s fiancĂ©). Now, Matt’s parents’ house is prime location for bears-we have seen SEVERAL in the last year. In fact, Gary told us last week he had seen the biggest one he had ever seen in the front yard that day. Blueberry patches are great feeding grounds for bears…and so I was a bit nervous at going out alone, so I was thankful when Julie wanted to go too. It was great fun, and no bears were spotted. About 10 minutes into our trek, the sky opened up and downpoured for about 25 minutes.
We were already soaked to the bone and our containers were nearly empty-so we decided to go ahead and keep going. Our clothes were literally dripping as we walked-but we filled our containers half full-each of us gathering about a gallon worth. Thankfully, Linda wanted Corynn to stay home with her so she could spend time with her. I had picked some blueberries last week and we had been eating them plain or on cereal and I even put some in pancakes along with walnuts…Matt LOVED those! I hope to freeze some of these, and I would like to make some blueberry preserves with them. We shall see!

The blueberry bushes we were on take up acres and acres of land. The owners of the land do nothing to them except let them get overgrown. I sometimes wonder if they even know they are there! It is quite a hike going through the bushes as there are no paths, you inevitably get scratched up and such, but it is worth it. It is nice of them to share their ‘burden’ with us, but it is SAD to see such potential just go to waste. That blueberry patch could be so productive! They could have be benefited by harvesting the mass fruit, by beautifying their land, and could even make MONEY on it! Tis a shame when people don’t see the value in something as great as that! Of course, if they WOULD take proper care of it, then we wouldn’t be able to trudge through their land to get free blueberries, now would we?!?!

Today I am trying to get laundry in order, this house in order, etc. etc. etc. It has been so hot I don’t feel like doing a thing. I have to cook a meal for a lady in our church who has been having a rough time lately. She has diabetes and has had to have her finger removed due to infection. She is very sad and needs to be cheered up. I am going to make her and her hubby a chicken pot pie I think…that seems to be a meal that travels well, reheats well, and doesn’t use sugar.
I also am going to put some more things on EBAY this week…the other day at a Relay for Life yard sale I filled a shopping bag for $2.00 of anything there. I got a maternity blazer (brand: A pea in the pod) that was BRAND new and put it in the bag. The tag was still on it and had a price of $300.00. It is my size-but it is worth much more to me sold. ;-) Hopefully, this will be a ticket item that I will actually make money on!
Driving on the dirt roads this past weekend really got our car pretty dirty-so Corynn and I just might have a backyard car wash to get cooled off-uh, I mean….to clean up the car!

That’s the scoop. Nothing profound to talk about. Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Because First Impressions count....These are for Hillary.

This is me all dolled up. I took it for fun some months ago because Matt said I looked nice that day. I must admit-I rarely look like this...so I feel it is my duty to give you a normal picture too. Beware! Posted by Picasa

This is the 'normal' me. (Taken today.) Posted by Picasa

For Els and Falko: Bringing the Netherlands Home

Here is Corynn with the pair of KLOMPEN (spelling?) you bought her for her baby shower gift. She fits into them now. They usually hang on her wall as decoration, but they fit her perfectly now and she enjoys wearing them. The first time she put them on though, I wish I had a video camera-she wobbled and fell and looked as if she were walking on broken glass! Posted by Picasa

Does she look like a little Dutch girl? Posted by Picasa