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

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Apple Questions..........HELP!

Okay-I have posted A LOT this week-but this is an 'emergency'. This will be my last post of the week and it is quick. I hope I get some answers quick too.

Yesterday, after I put Corynn down for nap, I started my apple projects. I worked for HOURS with out very much payback. I only made two quarts of applesauce in a span of three hours. I also started the process of apple butter, made an apple crisp, and made cinnamon-sugar apple peels, but come ON! I was hoping to make a LOT of applesauce at once. Most of my time was spend peeling the 15 pounds of apples I needed for the recipes. UGH! I was so SICK of peeling apples afterwards! So-here are my questions. Any and all advice would be appreciated.

1) Can you skip the peeling process all together? Matt's mom does it that way but I just can't figure our how the peels don't get into the applesauce.

2) Can you make a large quantity of applesauce in a roaster oven? It seems like you could-but I wouldn't know how. I have to finish making apple butter today-and canning it...which will fill up the stove pretty good. I won't have room to make applesauce! If you can-how?

3) Just out of curiosity...what are preferences for chunky/smooth applesauce? My food mill didn't work properly yesterday so I mashed it all with a potato masher! It looks really good though!

Okay-I guess that is all the questions I had. I still have a bushel of apples to do sometihng with-and I HAVE to finish them THIS week so I can devote the next few weeks to doing crafts for the many shows I have lined up.

Matt leaves on Sunday night to go to Vermont for a few days on business. I will probably post again while he is away-and then I will post part 2 of Wealth and Prosperity. So-look for it! (As if you are interested! hehehe)

Thanks in advance for your help...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Pictures from the Pumpkin Farm

White?!?! Who ever heard of a white pumpkin? Posted by Picasa

Two little punkin's among the pumpkins Posted by Picasa

Corynn and the great pumpkin escape...she laughs in the face of danger! Posted by Picasa

Proof that my belly is great with a baby that is all of two inches... (BTW-I am not 'posing' here, my sister snapped the picture just as the wind blew my hair in my face and I wiped it away....) Posted by Picasa

While some illegally chance water rapids and falls for a dip in cool fresh water, my bravery extends only to putting my little girl on displays that are corded off... Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 26, 2005

When a task is once begun, never leave it until it's done. -New England saying

Back from another busy weekend and looking forward to a busy week. Matt worked for a guy from Church, being clerk for him at his auction. He worked nearly 11 hours on Sautrday, after a long week of his full time work. He did enjoy himself though, and even bought a dresser for Peanut for $5.00! We are hoping he will have the opportunity to work for the auctioneer some more. While he slaved away, I went yard saling. Not very fair, it seems. While I did, I was able to get some good deals like a lap quilting loop, and a baby basket for when Peanut arrives. This will probably be the last of the yard saling I do though. Time to stop spending money (even if we do need certain things, with yard saling you inevitably buy things you don't need too...) I have tried to stock up on yard sale finds for when Peanut arrives but haven't been very successful. We do have plenty of sleepers though, and that will see us through until NEXT yard sale season.

While at G&L's this weekend, I picked nearly 2 bushels of apples off of their trees. I had a DUH moment, when I forgot that they HAD apple trees and was about to send Matt off to get a bushel of apples on his way home from work one day. I am convinced, that you spend MORE money to can when you purchase the ingredients, than you would just buying the product. That is why, when we do have our own land, we will certainly plant peach and apple trees, blueberry bushes and the like. Until then, I am thankful that G&L have an abundance of certain fruits as long as hands are willing to pick! I hope to get another 'load' of apples before it is too late, because not only do I want to make applesauce, I have my heart SET on making apple butter, cinnamon apple peels, and maybe even canning some apple pie filling. This week is DEFINATELY applesauce and apple butter week though. I also want to make pumpkin butter this week. I am CRAVING it-one of the most delicious 'butters' I have tasted. The recipe came from my sister-in-law Holly. I also have to harvest our beets and maybe even make some canned tomatoes or spagetti sauce. (My other sister-in-law Julie brought over brimming bowl of tomatoes for us!)

I have lots of sorting and organizing to do this week too. I hope to clean and organize the mudroom (a CONSTANT battle in this house!), get out winter shoes-pack away summer shoes (Matt will be needing his slippers soon!), and organizing the basement. LOTS to do. It has been raining all day long here. I sort of hope it continues because when it is rainy I am more motivated to do things-maybe because I am not tempted to be outside all day or do any running around.

I have decided on a Chrsitmas present for Corynn this year. I am going to make her and I matching aprons, and I will get her some kitchen tools like a rolling pin, and some small pans and such. She loves to help me in the kitchen so I am sure sure she will love it. I should also include a broom in this set-up because when she DOES help me in the kitchen, the clean-up always takes nearly as long as the preparing! Right now though, I am not working on Christmas presents just yet. I am working, slowly but surely, on the many craft projects necessary for the numerous craft shows I am doing this year. I was complimented by having my show list doubled by people who have seen my craft tables and items made, and who have invited me to participate in their shows. Now it is just a matter of making the stuff, and being creative since my supplies are limited-and so is money. My first show of the season is October 22nd. That is just 4 weeks and counting!

If anyone who knows how to build a nice looking website is willing to teach someone not so computer-savvy, I am looking to build a website soon for the holidays and beyond. Or if anyone knows a good, easy-to-understand, FREE tutorial for setting up a website, I would sure be appreciative!

I am starting to feel a bit better with this pregnancy-still sick occasionally, but at least I can eat supper! Our doctor's appt. is on Thursday and I am so excited to finally see this growing being inside of me! We will be getting our family pictures done this week too. Matt wants to start growing his winter beard early so I want to get a family picture done while he is still clean-shaven. It is an exciting time, for sure. Well, I have got to get moving. I enjoyed writing this while sipping my apple cider, though!

This morning, Corynn came up to me carrying the Bible Matt bought her for her birthday. She said, "Mama. Mama!" when she finally got my attention, she held up her bible proudly and said, "God's Word!"  Posted by Picasa

Wyn, when told that the baby basket was for Peanut to sleep in when he/she arrives, promptly jumped in and laid down as if saying, "I am the baby around here..." Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 23, 2005

To celebrate the first day of Autumn, Corynn and I made fall leaf and acorn shaped sugar cookies and decorated them. The recipe made SO MANY COOKIES..wow. I was wondering though...I have a hard time with icing. Does anyone have a good icing recipe that is opaque, allows you to make designs and isn't too runny? I use confectionary sugar and milk-it is ALWAYS too runny and winds up looking like a glaze more than icing....  Posted by Picasa

There were so many cookies, I made a tray to for Matt to take to work and a tray for his parents' house (we are going there tonight...) with still plenty to add inch after inch to our waistlines... Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October Eves! -Humbert Wolfe Posted by Picasa

Happy Autumn everyone! Posted by Picasa

Matt on the 'doodlebug' or 'dudlypug' that he restored. All the thing needs now is a paint job and he'll be cruisin' in style. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Wealth and Prosperity, Part 1

Okay-so with the ridiculous amount of worrying I have been doing about finances and heat this winter, I have thrown myself into thoughts, articles, and lectures about wealth and finances. I have also given great thought to the wealth I overlook everyday. So-this is not going to be eloquently said, I just don’t have the time to take time to write it. I have lots of things to do and little time to do it all. I have really wanting to write something of substance…so here goes. My plan is to write/outline some thoughts that were expressed through Doug Wilson’s lecture WEALTH AND PROSPERITY (Wealth God’s Way) today and then sometime later this week, write a bit about my thoughts on the current financial situations of believers.

Wealth and Prosperity are not things to scoff at. Rich people are not worse Christians than those ‘humble’ souls who live by mediocre means. The Lord blesses us PRACTICALLY and chastises us PRACTICALLY-and that includes by financial means. That said, there is a balance. Not all poor people are being chastised and not all rich people are being blessed, but that is the general rule of things.
Doug Wilson put together a list of biblical means of Prosperity and Wealth. A to-do checklist to get rich. Not really , but they are guidelines to be wise financially and by implementing them, your wisdom and discretion will be rewarded. We must be faithful stewards of God’s gifts, and while we may still die in a state unlike the great richness we see around us today, great will our reward be in heaven.

Wealth can be obtained God’s way by….
• Proverbs 8:21 While wealth can possible be a temptation for sin, it is not curse. Anyone who drinks alchohol, uses the computer, watches the TV, or participates in an inummerable number of everyday activities, knows that there is a level of liberty and a level of wisdom in so much of what we do. Wealth is not evil-or something to shy away from for the greater good no more than eating candy corn is sinful…we are told, “I will cause those who love me to inherit wealth.” As a general rule, those who love God are made prosperous.
• Proverbs 10:22

• Proverbs 22:4- Before humility and the fear of the Lord comes riches. We are not owed anything from God. We must remember Him in all we do- This includes remembering him financially in our tithes and offerings.

• Proverbs 11:25 “A generous soul will be made rich and He who waters will also be watered himself.”
• Pro. 11:24 “There is one who scatters and yet increases more, and there is one who withholds more than his right, and he comes to poverty.”
• Proverbs 22:9 “He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives us his bread to the poor.”
• Pro. 28:27 “He who gives to the poor will not lack, but he who hides his eye will have many curses.”
We should share because we are grateful to God. We remember Him, we Fear Him, we are grateful to Him. It is better to GIVE than to receive. Many people are willing to take, take, take-figuring they deserve it or just being greedy-and yet are not willing to give half of what others have given to them. It is a selfish and greedy thing indeed, and it does NOT please the Lord to see His children taking advantage not only of the blessings He has already given to them, but of the kindnesses of others. It is better to GIVE than to receive. ANYONE can give SOMETHING to those in need-whether it is a loaf of bread or monetary gifts, or clothes, or a roof over their heads. If someone is in need-do NOT say, we are not in a position to give. You are lying to yourself, to the needy, and to God.

• Proverbs 14:23
This ethic is not something that you can suddenly attain as an adult. It is something that is learned and mastered as a child-with the help and instruction of the parents. Do not pick up after your children, or do everything for your children- teach them responsibilities, teach them to work-hard and with a joyful attitude. Christians should be known for their hard work-and by doing this, you will be making known a Christian-working generation of the future.

• Proverbs 24:4 “ By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”
Knowledge IS power. Knowledge IS authority. Seek knowledge more than financial abundance. This is where I would submit-we must be every careful to open our eyes to the blessings the Lord has already given to us. If you have food in your cupboards, you are blessed. If you are warm in winter and cool in summer-you are blessed. You have much to be thankful for. We must be be knowledgable in our own situation, realizing our gifts, and being thankful to God for them.

Proverbs 28:20 “ A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.” Wealth, while we should seek it, does not mean we must become bewitched by it. You can’t take wealth with you-and if you could, what would you do with all that money in hell?

- Laziness - Proverbs 10:4
-Oppression - Proverbs 13:23
1)(PRIVATE)Free Enterprise Oppression-22:16 Oppressing the poor in order to increase his own riches.
2) (PUBLIC)Wicked Rulers 28:15
-Foolishness…..co-signing loans in one form of foolishness.
-Immorality- Proverbs 5
-Wanting to live beyond your means. Loving luxury when you can’t afford it. That means buying beer when you should be buying bread, that means buying burgers when you should be eating something homemade (finances are not the only thing that will be positively affected-your waistline might be helped too!), that means going to the movies when you should be using that money to buy clothing for winter. And-heaven forbid you actually start saving money instead of NEEDING to spend it when you have it.

I didn't touch at all upon savings-but of course, that should be the goal more than anything else. I am not sure why people feel the need to spend money as soon (or more often-BEFORE) they get it!

This picture was taken this weekend at the wedding we attended. My mom took care of Corynn, so it was a formal date for Matt and I. It was SOOOOOOOO nice! Posted by Picasa

Here is Corynn on her big-girl bed.... Posted by Picasa

Here is a picture of the quilt I put on our bed since the weather has become cooler. My dear friend Mandie made it for us as a wedding present and we cherish it so much.  Posted by Picasa

I moved all the furniture around in our bedroom to prepare for winter. I didn't take a before picture-but some of you know what it looked like before so you can compare that way. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 17, 2005

CONGRATULATIONS to JEN on having their fourth child...and is she a beauty or what!?!? I am so so very happy for you! Posted by Picasa

Here is a picture of Matt and his father and brothers. Matt (my hubby) is the one on the far left. His twin is on the far right. Thanks to a different hair style, it isn't too awful hard for people to tell them apart. Of course-I can see lots of other differences too. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 16, 2005

My life in a nutshell...a PEANUT shell, in fact!

This is going to be a newsy post. Once again, I am procrastinating using my Blog as an evil deterrent. Ah well. I promise at the start of next week, I will post something...perhaps not PROFOUND, but certainly something worth thinking about. It has been far too long since I have written on something IMPORTANT. I have some very interesting insights I would like to share on Wealth and Prosperity-just not the time to put them down in a thoughtful way.

Yesterday Matt was sick. He stayed home from work-which he rarely does, slept all day long, which he rarely does. But here was the kicker. He didn't even smile at Corynn's usually hilarious antics. I knew he was sick then. Unfortunately, I had to be gone most of the day getting some much needed food (thank goodness he was sick so he didn't have an appetite, because we didn't have bread OR milk in the house...not to mention all the other stuff!) and a wedding present for the wedding we are attending this weekend-tomorrow actually. I felt horrible leaving him-usually I make it a point to cancel all plans to help him. Good did come out of it though-it was not a constant battle to keep Corynn from talking, stomping, laughing, playing, or coughing too loud and I didn't have to pry her off of him every few minutes!

I am sick in a different way. I am not sure if it is allergies or due to my pregnancy-but once again I have the runny nose, cough, and sneeziness that I was so free from this summer. :-( Not to mention my lack of appetite-all the time. I am either so hungry I am about to pass out (though that has waned in it's frequency) or so NOT hungry-I feel as though I might have to let loose what I already contain. Every night at dinner, the same routine is played out. I cook supper, get the table ready, call Matt and Corynn to the table. Pray. Dish up plates. Take one bite and realize if I take another-it will not be a pretty sight. Then, I sit, watching the rest of my family dive in-while I poke and prod at the food I cannot eat. It is really getting old. And the weird thing is-it doesn't matter what the food is. This week we have eaten French Toast made with homemade cinnamon bread, eggs, and sausage for one meal, BBQ chicken, rice, and carrots for another, goulash with homemade applesauce and yogurt on the side for another, and pizza last night. All but the pizza was doomed after the first bite. I was able to choke down a few noodles in the goulash-but certainly nothing else. It is getting tiring. Tonight the session meeting is being held at our place and so our dinner guests will include the elders and pastor of our church and their wives. I am making a beef roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions along with possibly some garden fresh beets, fresh bread, either salad or peas, and some sort of fruit dish. Then for dessert-warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream on the side. All sounds very well and good in writing-I just hope I can EAT it tonight.

I finally finished switching fall clothes around. While Matt's sections are brimming with warm clothes-I have only a small pile on clothes I can wear from my previous winters. I am not too concerned though. I can just wear some of Matt's things for a while and I did get a few maternity dress clothes at a yard sale. I will have to purchase a pair of pants-or wear cargo pants with high boots (oh-how runway-esque!) I am not yet into maternity clothes-but I don't fit into my normal clothes anymore-so now I am wearing my post-pregnancy 'fat' clothes. Speaking of bellies-and my growing one. According to my calculations, I am only going on 10 weeks this week and I am showing so much-strangers are asking me when I am due. Because of this, I am getting the inkling that one of two things is happening. Either I miscalculated my due date or I am having twins. Twins do run on all sides of the family. My dad's side, my mom's side, my Matt's side. For goodness sakes-Matt is a twin! I scheduled an appt. with the ob/gyn that my sister used for Sept. 29th. I am hoping to get an ultrasound done at that time, to give me SOME information as to why I am showing so early. Until then, we wait.

Last but not least, of course I must talk a LITTLE bit about Corynn. Knock on wood (as if that would do anything!), Corynn is FINALLY showing great improvement in the potty training area. Yesterday I was gone all morning and she stayed dry-and then peed the mother load in the store bathroom. I made such a fuss over her that when we were done, a lady came out and congratulated her on being such a big girl. I find it funny that women know the power of positive reinforcement and will graciously give it whenever it is needed. She has also started asking to go to the potty. I am so pleased! She is not there yet-but now I am finally seeing progress and it has been long awaited. She has also been sleeping in her new toddler bed for almost a whole week. She is such a great transitioner. She never gets out of bed (although I did notice last night that she had acquired a dolly to sleep with-the doll cradle is an arms stretch from the bed.) and is so quiet. I think she sleeps better in this bed too. She would roll and squirm and be all twisted by morning in the crib-but she falls asleep and wakes up in the same position. I have just begun teaching her how to make her bed-she does well at it. I hate it when kids take all the sheets and pull them up. SO messy looking! To me it looks worse than not being made at all. (call me a perfectionist...) So, I am teaching Corynn to pull all the covers back then straighten the bottom one, then the top on on top of that. Still not perfect, but not bad for a two year old!

Now-the inevitably housecleaning must ensue. :-( Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Matt has been busy in the kitchen lately. He made a huge batch of salsa with corn and black beans in it and then I helped him can it. This is the third batch of salsa we have made-and his favorite so far. Still too spicy for me... Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 09, 2005

His master creation! Delicious! Posted by Picasa

The master chef... Posted by Picasa

Such a funny little girl. These days Corynn hates to get her picture taken if it is my idea-but when she saw me take one of Matt...she insisted I take one of her too. She has yogurt face, not milk mustache. Posted by Picasa

Reviews of all kinds....

For any who don't know-I have changed the setting on comments so you now have to verify a bunch of letters when you comment. It is nothing big-but it will eliminate all the annoying spam comments I have been getting. There is nothing as disappointing in blogdom as thinking you are getting a comment from a friend and it turns out to be an advertisement! SO-there you have it.

Today I am doing last minute preparations for the yard sale at my mom's house-and then we are off to spend the night out there. I hope to make a bit more money this weekend. Would be nice! Though I already had a yard sale this summer (-and made good money at it too!) it is always surprisingly easy to find more things you don't need. I took all my other yard sale leftovers there and have since come up with three more laundry baskets full of stuff plus a karaoke machine.

I have finished two James Harriott books and am starting the third. I really enjoy his books-despite what I consider his great womanizing characteristics. He is a good author though-and while veterinary medicine doesn't captivate everyone-I can't imagine anyone NOT being captivated by his books. I am also going to do a quick run-through of the book Caddie Woodlawn. I got it at a rummage sale the other day and I wanted to read it before I put it in the library. I can't be sure, but it seems to me I really enjoyed that book as a young girl.

Michelle told me a while ago, about a preschool reading program for young'uns called Starfall.com. I have used it quite often and Corynn does really well with the letters. She is SO good at repeating things-she says letters and sounds and words PERFECTLY! She differentiates from sounds and words so well! There is certainly nothing wrong with her hearing, that's for sure. Anyway-it is really great and you should check it out! Starfall Reading Program

Oh-and one more thing. Another great site I have found is for lovers of Jan Brett. She is an author/illustrator of children's books that are just BEAUTIFUL! Her website is chock full of coloring pages, stories, activities, and other free stuff. Very cool. Here is the link for that...Jan Brett's Cool Stuff

I added some pictures of our dinner two nights ago. Matt was a the chef and made homemade waffles with our newly acquired waffle maker. This is the first time I have ever had homemade waffles and I CAN NOT tell you how delicious they were! Especially topped with the Maple Syrup Matt made! It was so del-ish that I had to post pictures. They were picture perfect.

Now I am off to tie up loose ends before our weekend away. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

birthday princess-TWO YEARS OLD! Posted by Picasa

recycled anniverary party deco's...with colorful balloons added. Posted by Picasa

The cake..I had the most wonderful moon face inmy head-but it never works out in a tangible way. Oh well. Posted by Picasa