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

Monday, July 31, 2006

Lemony Blueberry-Nectarine Freezer Jam: As delicious as it looks! Posted by Picasa

My Blueberry Creations (minus the blueberry cake with struesel topping...it disappeared before the camera came out!): Blueberry Lime Jam, Spiced Blueberry Jam, and Lemony Blueberry Nectarine Jam. (Notice the recycled jelly jars~don't use canning jars for freezing-then you can't use them for canning! This way, you don't need to buy freezer jars either!) Posted by Picasa

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Kerry-it IS the wrong color-but don't encourage him! We don't need to be buying a John Deere anytime soon... :-) Posted by Picasa

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Drum Roll Please.......

Sooooooooooo....who wants to know the winner of my fabuloso summer recipe contest?!?!?!

ACTUALLY-since I have TWO prizes, I decided I would have TWO winners! Matt chose the first one and I chose the second. Since the 'rules' stated that whoever had Matt's recipe pick would get the CHOICE of prizes...the lady who posted MY favorite recipe will have to take what is leftover. Sorry...but at least TWO people win, right?!?!

So without further ado~ Matt's Pick: Cuban Bean Salad and my choice was the recipe for Sticky Chicken. Congratulations go to Michelle and Kris for their winning recipes! If you want to email me your addresses, I will get your prizes shipped out the beginning of next week! My email address is nuevo-hombres(at)netzero(dot)net (And Michelle, you can pick which prize you would prefer...)

After much consideration and several narrowing-downs, the Cuban Bean Salad was his top choice. I am certain the jalepeno's had something to do with it... :-)

I chose the sticky chicken because it was a main dish that did NOT require using the oven. It was cooked in a roaster-keeping my kitchen COOL (or at least not a sauna...)

I must say, there were a tremendous amount of excellent recipes and I wish you all could have won. Thank you for all who took time out to share recipes! I will be trying them ALL out in the next month or two! All in all-a very successful contest. Successful and fun-I think I will do them more often...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The babies arrived a few days ago! I *think* this is a gray catbird-and if it is I am especially impressed since they tend to be 'shy birds' and are usually never seen upclose... Posted by Picasa

getting fed...good Mama! Posted by Picasa

Look at what the Library has to offer you! The Blair County Wildlife Rehabilitation Center brought animals in on Tuesday to show the children... Posted by Picasa

All kinds of neat animals! Posted by Picasa

She insisted the snake was soft and fuzzy.... Posted by Picasa

Hope You're Hungry...

Currently Reading:
Cooking From Quilt Country
Hearty Recipes from Amish and Mennonite Kitchens
By Marcia Adams

I am in LOVE! Anyone who knows me, knows my obsession with Amish cooking and this book is now on my 'WANT'-no- 'NEED' list. In two weeks I have found two real gems in the Amish cooking realm. THIS book, as if the food weren't enough, also includes photos of the Amish-don't ask me HOW they got those but it is a treasure-trove, nonetheless! I just made a list of some recipes for the next two weeks that I am going to try out and I am SO excited! Love it, love it, love it!

Speaking of food: I am MIGHTY impressed with all the recipes posted for the contest! Wow! I am SO excited to try them out-and you should be too! Sneak on over and check some of them out! Matt is going to have his hands full picking just one! I know I already have MY favorites! :-) The contest ends on Friday so make sure to get any recipes you might like to submit in by noon that day. You can post them (or steal some for your own house) here.

Today is BLUEBERRY DAY here at the Newman's. I have spent the last few days PREPARING for this big day. Three days ago, I sorted through all my berries, rinsed and froze them. Two days ago, I sought out all my recipes, made a plan and prepared my grocery lists and cupboard supplies. Yesterday we went grocery shopping and TODAY is the DAY that I spend in the kitchen getting my berried preserved! I will try to post some pictures (and recipes) in the next day or two. Here are some of the goodies I will be making:

~Spiced Blueberry Jam
~Blueberry Lime Jam
~Lemony Blueberry-Nectarine Jam
~Blueberry conserves
~Blueberry syrup

Tonight for supper I am making a some pork chops, onion patties (from ^), creamed peas and potatoes (from ^), and some sunset salad (from ^). It is about time I cooked a real meal...
AND to finish off the feast:
Blueberry cake with Streusel topping (from aforementioned cookbook!)

As I work in the kitchen today, I will drink my minted white grape juice (from ^ and my herb garden!) and listen to Michael Buble, my new favorite singer. I love jazzy music and his voice, similar to Harry Connick Jr., fits the bill.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Our Gram Posted by Picasa

Aw shucks... Posted by Picasa

Berry-picking garb....a hand's free device Posted by Picasa

It's Blueberry (Huckleberry) Week

Ever been kayaking? Boy, is it grand. Corynn LOVES it…

We headed ‘home’ this weekend to visit with Matt’s family. Gram was hospitalized two weekends ago and stayed for five days. While she IS home now, she still isn’t fully recovered. She is almost 90 but looks about 75. We wanted to see her, so we made the trek.

We stayed at Gary and Linda’s, which is basically, a retreat. Gorgeous flowers everywhere, 26 acres of blueberries, strawberries to pop in eager mouths, a lake to swim in and kayak, dirt roads to meander through (or tour with the doodlebug), and just so many other great things to do. We visited with the family (I got to hang out with some sisters-in-law) and just had a grand time. The girls went berry picking (you should have SEEN all the berries we girls (and Nate) picked! Julie, the die-hard, was out there for four hours and picked more than 3 gallons. With other responsibilities, like visiting Gram and taking care of the chillins’, I was only out there for about 1 ½ hours and I ALMOST filled up my entire container…probably around 1 ½ gallons (maybe a bit less). Needless to say, blueberries is my middle name this week and blue is my tongue... Corynn picked berries for a while (and what she didn’t eat right away, she ate on the way back to the house), then found salamanders with Grandma, then went kayaking, then read books, then ran around like a banshee and so on and so on. Matt did guy stuff. Tractors, lumber, sawmills, bush-hogging, doodlebug, you know…

Saturday morning I TRIED to go yard-saling. There were TWO community sales around so I was pretty excited. Then it started to rain. The first one was a dud. The only good thing I found out of about ten houses were a few books and two trendy maternity shirts for .50 a piece. No, I am NOT pregnant. But, do you know how expensive TRENDY maternity shirts are? There is nothing like scouting yard-sales in the rain and not having anything to show for it! The other community sale must have been canceled because of the torrential downpours of the morning. I met my sister and mom for lunch, but before I did, I made a surprise visit with the dearest of the dear. I got to see the Owen Five and their new spacious, two-story, already settled-into and lovingly decorated home, and as an added bonus, I got to see Rebecca’s teeny twins-who at a month old are STILL smaller than Andrew was on d-day!! What a fun, but all-too-short visit.

As for lunch-a better time could not have been had. Andrew was the only child there and that NEVER happens. My mom has kiddos just like my sister and I do-so it is rare indeed when all arms are empty and distractions are limited to only one itty-bitty. It was bitter-sweet, because I wouldn’t be able to have another girls-lunch out for a long time. *sigh*

We ended up going to church with G&L, they thought it would be special. I don’t like doing that though. I would much prefer our ‘own’ church. ‘Nuff said.

This was the first FULL weekend Matt has had off since he started his new job and it was SORELY needed. That man is like a machine. He works so hard with such long hours, with hardly a day off-and yet he never complains. I complain more than he does…he amazes me. The weekend was a much needed time of relaxation and I wouldn’t have changed it one bit. Coupled with relaxation, it was also an emotional visit and certainly caused some reflection. Matt and I talked the entire trip back (the kids were thankfully sleeping) and the hours flew by. Much was said.

We pulled in the drive and spotlighted the doghouse-but no dog. The leash with her harness was laying there-but she was gone. Apparently, she has figured out how to un-harness herself. Who knows when she did it and how long she was unleashed. My heart was in my throat-but then…wait. There she was, sitting on the front stoop, wagging her tail. Who KNOWS how long she was unleashed-but there she was. What a good dog. I was so happy she was THERE that I overlooked the terrible plant mess she made while we were away. I guess she was mad at us for leaving…

ANYWAY-THAT is why I am JUST NOW answering your questions about this neato-misquito contest. So-as for the


Post your summer recipe-preferably the kind that doesn't require a hot OVEN-in the comments section of THIS post (since no one did it on the last one, none will be missed…) and you can post as many as you like. The more recipes you post, the more chances to win. If they are posted on this blog, then EVERYONE can benefit from the recipes-not just me! Even if you don’t participate-make sure to check the recipes out, there might be some good ones-even a Winner! ;-)

Due to the confusion, I am going to extend the deadline until Friday night. I will post the winning recipe on Saturday. The extension has absolutely NOTHING to do with added time to unpack from the weekend, laundry or ANYTHING like that….it is purely for YOUR benefit! hehehe

A superman sighting... Posted by Picasa

Corynn and her salamaders..... Posted by Picasa

Linda's gardens have me drooling when they are at their peak. SOME DAY.......... Posted by Picasa

Next year I am going to copy this container. The coral compliments the purple SO nicely...I fell in love with it. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Goods

I decided to post pictures of the contest PRIZE so that people know if it is worth the trouble posting a recipe. The more recipes, the more chances to win!

The winner can choose one of the two prizes...This fruit and chickadee vinegar 'cruet' (or can be used for Olive Oil...) and a de-lish candle...
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~OR~ you can choose this courting candle (and candle of course...) Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Who is up for a CONTEST?

Corynn has been in rare form since our company has left. It is taking all the patience I can muster, to repeatedly deal with her antics (see: knee family). One minute she can be so ornery-the next so sweet. So are children, I suppose, and such is parenthood. There is a light at the end of the tunnel...let's just hope it isn't a train.

Tonight is another fun night at the library-the theme for tonight being "GYOTAKU" the Art of Fish Printing. So-you KNOW we can't miss THAT, especially since the LIBRARY is AIR-CONDITIONED!

Our days here are SWELTERING and SO humid! What's worse, is that the nighttime has not been providing any relief! Even with the windows open and fans on, the house is STILL hot in the morning. All my hanging baskets are DEAD. Bah humbug. Yesterday morning, after hauling an insane amount of buckets to our garden (between 30-50 but I won't bother you with numbers...) the children and I took a trip to Walmart. Investment= 100 foot long garden hose. Attached with our current one it *MIGHT* reach the garden...and won't my plants (and hands) be pleased!

While uptown, I stopped by the Hallmark store which is going out of business. Everything in the store was 75% off so I stocked up on goodies for me and for holiday gifts. There was SO much good stuff for ridiculously cheap, that I even got things without knowing what to do with them. While I COULD keep it ALL to myself, THAT would be a bit selfish, wouldn't it? SO...

I have decided to do a contest! I have seen several blogs do things like this-I was even the WINNER of one. Receiving my prize (albeit consolation...) just made my WEEK and so I hope to do that for one of YOU too!

And so, for any interested, the contest IS....

Tell me one of your favorite summer recipes. I am suffering LACK of motivation (to say the least) in the cooking department and I SERIOUSLY need all the help I can get. The winner will be chosen on Tuesday. I will give Matt a list of all the recipes and he will decide which one sounds best and THAT will be the winner. I won't tell him WHO gave me the recipes so no-one will have any chance of preference! hehehe My only question is...do you all want to see the prize NOW or have it be a surprise?!?!

Good luck and THANK YOU to all who participate...

Her 'knee family' Posted by Picasa

My peanut Posted by Picasa

Not to be outdone... Posted by Picasa

The kissy face monster...here she comes... Posted by Picasa

She got us both in one fell swoop! Posted by Picasa

And one more...just because he is cute. Posted by Picasa