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, September 28, 2006

Amber and Gold

Sheesh. I can't believe it-another week has practically passed without me knowing it! I haven't been updating as frequently as I used to...I hope that changes. I do very much like updating frequently. I guess I was busier than I thought-again! Well-now, I have LOTS to say. You will be BORED out of your skull at the end...if you MAKE it that far! :-)

I keep telling myself that I will be done canning 'until apple season' but I keep needing to make ONE MORE batch of something. Or more. This week I made MORE bread and butter pickles, cherry green tomato pickles, peach butter, regular salsa and tomatillo salsa and about a bazillion hot peppers in different variations. I guess I need to update my sidebar! lol

Now~apple season IS upon us and I still have ONE MORE batch of salsa to make. I guess I will not be able to get a canning reprieve until the FINAL one-after the apples. Good news comes twofold though:
1) Matt finally was able to make me a shelf for my canned goods-so they are no longer covering my entire counter! He used all the lumber he had available-and it is JUST big enough for the stuff I have made thus far.
2) We will be getting a few free apples this year after all! WOOHOO!

Our monarch chrysalise completed it's transformation this weekand THIS time, we actually got to SEE the butterfly come out of its home. It was NOT what I expected. At all. Just WAIT until you see pictures (which will be coming soon, I might add!) The bug was more like a fat swollen bettle with patheticly small wings. I thought it was 'broke' at first. Such a bizarre thing. I watched the ENTIRE time and I STILL can not figure out what happened. Somehow, before my very eyes, teeny wings and a HUGE body become the very opposite. Next time, I will be taking a movie for sure. I will be posting a complete post on that probably the beginning of next week...so if interested, come back! :-)

On Wednesday I went to a bible study for women put on by a church in State College. Boy was that FUN! I loved it. About 40 women come together to sing and pray and then break up into groups of about ten to study. This year it is the book of Romans. They have childcare for children up to two years old and from 3 and up they have a story hour. So-I was all by myself. How REFRESHING it was for me to have ALONE time to fellowship with other women and really delve into the Word. Andrew slept through it all (he takes his morning nap at that time so it is PERFECT!) and Corynn just ADORED her little class. She doesn't go to Sunday School at church (none of us do...) so she especially enjoyed it. I am so glad such a place is available to me-even if I am unable to go there EVERY week.

This weekend we are going to a wedding. I am SO excited. I LOVE dressing up like a princess. Really. Corynn and I have a lot in common-she gets it from nowhere strange, for sure and for certain! So I am going to be SUPER feminine this weekend-sparkly from my teeny tiny ears to my painted toenails. And I am going to DANCE! Matt promised that we would get dance lessons together-but that didn't happen. YET. I am STILL holding him to it! It will be super fun though. I love weddings and I WISH they would happen MORE often! :-) I love elegance. I love dancing. I love twinkling candles and lights. And fine china. And drinking from wine goblets and beautiful water cups. I LOVE fresh flowers. And I LOVE seeing EVERYONE smile. I will take some pictures to share. You know me!!! :-)

Oh-and I am proud to announce the 'School Year' has officially started for us here! I am ACTUALLY setting aside specific time with Corynn each day now. Only about 20-30 minutes but time just the same! Fun Fun Fun. Not that her learning is limited to that. Not at all. Her newest thing is shouting out letters as she spots them. Anywhere. In stores, at home, on signs, in books. Most frequently we hear random outbursts in the car as we drive "Look-a 'C' Mama!" "Look-an 'O'!!" She is a chief letter spotter.

This week I have also done a LOT in the way of Autumn preparations. I am getting into it now. There is no denying that Fall is here and it is time to stop moping about missing warm days and time to start embracing the changes that God gave us. (Els is a smart woman...) Next week we will be doing some more decorating-including making our annual Newman Family scarecrows. Again-pictures to follow. Why I say that when you all MUST know to expect it, I do not know.

But now it is off to make three batches of chocolate chip cookies and fold an entire families worth of clean clothes. Seriously. None of our clothes are available. Not because they are dirty-because they are all clean. But not folded and put away. Just in big huge piles atop my bed. That wouldn't be very comfortable for me to sleep on tonight so I best get a move on it.

Enabling my "Herbies"

Since this is the first year I planted herbs, this is the first year I am bringing them inside. I spen the morning transplanting them from my large herb pot into smaller household ones. Now they are all fighting for the only nicely sunned window. I don't know if they will survive the winter indoors, but I DO know that they will NOT survive it out of doors~ so I guess it never hurts to try. Posted by Picasa

Look What I woke up to this morning....

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Foyer pumpkins

Look! I have even started decorating for fall! I brought in our homegrown pumpkins and put them on out foyer ledge. Now, they are the first thing you see as you walk into the door! I got this crocheted doily at a yard sale for a quarter two weekends ago. The lady said her grandmother had made it. It is immaculate. No holes (er-well, that were NOT supposed to be there...hehehe) or stains. WHY would she sell something of such beauty and with such memories? For .25cents no less! Sometimes people baffle me... Posted by Picasa

Canning Shelf

Like my little home-canned shelf? Dear Hubby made it for me with the LAST of this 'good wood'. It is brimming with goodies-all made this summer. And it is full. I am not sure where I will put all the apple and pumpkin goodies to come! :-) Posted by Picasa


Look how I found Andrew the other day! Goodness-I am not ready for him to crawl! My hopes that my babies will stay babies slowly diminish every day. Am I the only one who can't bear to see wee ones turn big?!?! Posted by Picasa

An A in Cooking

I haven't been doing very well on cooking the last few weeks. It seems, when I am in the kitchen all day canning-the LAST thing I want to do it cook in it too. I am pround of myself this week though. I think I did really well. Among the eats: lasagna, crockpot stew, bagel pizzas and the fanciest: the one pictured above. It included Pork with a Plum and Pear glaze, biscuits with honey, fresh garden beets, salad, bread and butter pickles, and for 'dessert' vanilla yogurt with a dollop of blueberry lime jam. It was yummy. In our other house we frequently had candlelit dinners with music playing in the background. I hope to get into that habit again. Soon. Posted by Picasa

Pork with Plum and Pear Sauce

My sister and her hubby went to a fancy dinner a week or so back and she ordered Pork Tenderloin with a Plum and Pear cream sauce. It sounded SO good, I decided to try to make something like it myself. If you read this Elizabeth-does this look ANYTHING like it?!?!

Regardless-I thought it was delicious so I thought I would pass on the 'recipe'. Just to warn you-it isn't precise because I was experimenting. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. (You can see the 'dessert' in the background...some vanilla yogurt with a dollop of blueberry lime jam on top garnished with fresh mint. Don't garnishes make something as PLAIN as yogurt look so elegant?!?!)

Pork with Plum and Pear Sauce

Brown pork in skillet with a bit of oil on high heat. After browned, turn heat to medium low on stove. Add some white wine to the skillet (I would say I added a about 3/4 cup.) Add a few shakes of ground ginger and a few freshly crunched black peppercorns. Simmer while pork finishes cooking through. Add cut up pears and plum-however many you would like. I think I used four plums and three pears. Take pork out of the skillet and keep warm. Add to the skillet a bit of sugar and let boil a bit. You can stop here and enjoy the syrup OR you can add a bit of cornstarch (mixed with water for a smooth consistency) to the skillet to REALLY thicken things up. The ladle the fruit and syrup over the pork And WOILA! Delicious fruited pork! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 24, 2006

We got to a 'Fair'

While many people go on a VACATION during the summer (if not several...), we don't really have that option. For several reasons. So, we get what we get and we make do. It's definately a great way to learn to make the most of each day. And to be REALLY grateful for the opportunities that DO arise.

I was SO happy that we were able to attend a HarvestFest at a *very* local amusement park on Saturday. And as a FAMILY, no less. Too often it is me with the kiddos while Matt works. He is a fun guy to be around. I like him.

It was great fun for everyone. AND I got my funnel cake. And pork BBQ. And Soda. And fudge. And even a bit of a fudgie puppy! Ah-the joys of a fair.

Following is some fair footage...
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While we did THIS...

...she did this... Posted by Picasa

With admission came FREE rides. While Corynn got used to WATCHING people ride, NOW she got to experience them...ALL of them! And she loved them all...

I wonder if we will be able to go back to just 'watching'. Posted by Picasa

We discovered this game was activated by flash when I took a picture and all the things went off at once. So I turned the flash OFF and snapped this of Mateo target shooting. Posted by Picasa

All the kids walking around had tacky ribbon halos from head to bumkin, arms brimming with stuffed animals and jumping spiders and mouths full of fried grease. I looked at the prices of some of those goodies and wouldn't have it. Instead, I got Corynn an el cheapo glow necklace that I thought she would appreciate more. I was wrong. It quickly became Andrew's. I guess the rides were 'treat' enough for her.

Oh-and a bite or two of FUNNEL CAKE! :-) Posted by Picasa

Notice the blooming eyebrows that appeared on Andrew's face a few weeks ago? They are something else! Posted by Picasa

Ballerina dancing to country music...either that or I have a mini karate kid... :-) Posted by Picasa

The cowboy came down and danced with Corynn-except the delay on the camera ended up snapping it as she came running to tell me that he danced with her. As if I hadn't seen! :-) Posted by Picasa

What must it like to be looking UP into the sky ALL the time?!?! Wow. I am glad THOSE years are over... Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 22, 2006


Autumn always seems a bit of a loss to me at first. Only after a proper mourning of summer can I fully move on. Enjoying Autumn for all that it is and all that it brings. So I will say goodbye to some loves but still remember...

"Summer's loss seems little dear on days like these!" ~Ernest Dowson Posted by Picasa

The Last of the Season's harvest...

Yesterday the children and I (by that I mean "I" while the children made each other giggle...) cleared out the garden. I felt no sadness as I plucked the last of the goodness from the vines...a bit of resentment though. An ENTIRE laundry basket of GREEN tomatoes...if only they had ripened sooner! Anyone have an good green tomato canning recipes? Posted by Picasa
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The last of the garden dirtied fingers and the little niblets of juicy red.

The last of the summer flowers... Posted by Picasa

The last of the naked toesies... Posted by Picasa

Some of the last tractor rides... Posted by Picasa

The last of the freshly mown grass lines-and the smell to go along with it. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Crochet High

It's another Wednesday night, long past the sun has gone down and yet sleep eludes me. I am on another post-crochet-lesson high. I am pretty pleased with myself! At my first lesson, last week, my teacher friend showed me how to single crochet. She left me with the assignment to practice that ONE stitch. This week, she was SO pleased with my progress, tension and flowing movement, she taught me the half-double, double and treble stitches along with some variations of the single crochet stitch. After she taught me a stitch, she would watch me practice a few rows and then she kept saying-"Well, your ready for it so I might as well teach you this..."

Wow! Seeing myself make a ripple pattern was so exciting! I was THIS close to taking a picture of it!

I had bought THIS book last year...

...with the idea I would teach MYSELF how to do it. Unfortunately, the task seemed too daunting and I couldn't understand at ALL what the instructions were saying, so it was shelved. I brought it out to show Nancy and she was very excited. She wants us to start on that project right away. My assignment for this week is to do the first three squares, which she says I am already skilled enough to do. She will go through all the blocks with me, and occasionally, when we want a break, will work on different, fun projects for a change of pace. Then I showed her my stash of yarn (yes~I had a stash even though I didn't know how to use it...) and that got her enthusiastic too. She taught me all about the different types of yarn and such. It was so much fun.

I just love having her over here. I love that she is willing to teach me. I love that we have so much to talk about even though we are at different stages of our lives. I love that I have a friend-a REAL friend-not just a Sunday friend. It has been hard for me to interact with people on a personal level since we have moved because I am stranded at home (most of the time) while Matt has our car. This means that the only visiting time I have is on Sunday's and that is rushed, to say the least! I think it is a REAL blessing to have her living close by. Who would have thought that the ONE person living close by would be so very SIMILAR to me in thoughts and hobbies and such. It's a perfect fit! :-)

Well, I just wanted to hop on here so that I could share in my excitement about tonight. I am just so glad I was brave enough to ask her for her help. I hate asking people for things. But I can tell, this is the beginning of a lifelong hobby and because of this, our friendliness has grown into a cherished friendship.

Wednesday nights make me GLAD that we moved.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Taking it Easy, MY FOOT!

I suppose I took it easy yesterday. If...

~Doing 6 loads of laundry and all that THAT entails ( washing, hanging to dry, taking down, folding and bringing back inside...)
~Sorting through and packing children's summer clothes
~Changing all the bedding in the house
~Scrubbing bathroom
~cleaning kitchen
~writing four letters and packaging up two boxes to mail
~browning 9 pounds of ground beef along with all the other smallish type every day jobs

....classifies as taking it easy.

BUT~I never did get my migraine back! :-)

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Last Warm Day

The radio man said today was to be the Last of the Warm days. Hopefully, his prediction will be as ill-advised as most weathermen. Either way, I am going to try to take full advantage of it. Lunch on the patio for sure.

I have no canning to do until Thursday (I need a few things from Wednesdays Farmers Market before I do anything else...) and I am going to fully enjoy this break. I hope to get Andrew's scrapbooking done-or well, a more achievable goal would be to get it STARTED! I have not gotten film developed in ages because I was so far behind on scrapbooking-I didn't want to add to my photo pile. Instead, I have been taking digitals and I will have to print the good ones when I am FINALLY caught up.

The fair was a flop. It was actually a 'Farm show' with one barn of exhibits and a few cows. No rides and no funnel cake. I guess I will have to go ANOTHER year without funnel cake. I wish I had a fryer. I REALLY wish I had a fryer. I can only imagine all the wonderfully fatty but oh-so-delicious foods I would make with one. Mozzerella sticks (my FAVORITE!), blooming onions, doughnuts, funnel cake, and the list goes on.

Yesterday we were invited to a home for lunch and it wa a lovely visit. When we got home though, my head started to pound, then to throb, and then a full fledged migraine hit. I felt nauseated and went to bed. At 5:00-managed to eat a few spoonfuls of chicken soup and then tried to rest some more. I can't believe how debilitating a migraine can be. I can only be thankful that they are a rare occurance and that I have a husband who is willing to take over when necessary.

Today-I am going to take it easy. I am so nervous I might have a repeat of yesterday. But-only as easy as I can. If today is the last of the warm days (that sounds like a title to me...), then I have LOTS of laundry to do!

Happy Days to You, until we meet again!


I just finished reading this book. Wow. I felt such accomplishment when I put this book down for the last time. It took me weeks to finish it because of so little time to devote to reading. This book was one of the best fiction books I have read in a LONG time and here is why. It was GRIPPING. I usually can predict, with great accuracy, what the ending will be like-in any book. Whenever I 'figured it out' while I read this-SOMETHING happened to completely void out my prediction. I mean THE OPPOSITE occurred. This book was insufferable at times (often), nerve-wracking at others and just plain fantastic to read. It is the sequel to Gone with the Wind and was written by an entirely different author so it was bound to have some inconsistencies. I found only one noteworthy one. The fluidity of both books was incredible considering it was by two different people. It has a couple risque parts to it but overlooking those, it was a great GREAT read. Superb!