Friday, August 31, 2012

The Answer and a Question

So what did we do with Plastic Spray and wax paper? 

A few of you guessed correctly. In the one community we lived we used to spray a new covering with plastic spray to make that it holds its  shape better and when ever we wanted to iron it we had to use a sheet of wax paper between the iron and the covering to keep it from melting and sticking to the iron.


Now I have a few questions for you. Recently I stumbled across a list of fun things for boys to do. Sailor has done most of it but there were two items that I had never heard of before.

  1. Make a grass trumpet.
  2. Play conkers.
Can anyone help me out?

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Hmmm.....  what does Plastic Spray and wax paper have in common?  Can anyone guess what they were used for while we were Amish?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Americans will celebrate Labor Day this coming weekend. Do you know what we're actually celebrating? (without consulting your friends Google or wikipedia, ahem) What's a project you're currently 'laboring' over?
I'm not exactly sure what the story is behind Labor Day other than something to do with unions. We never observed it in any way while we were Amish. And I don't think LV will be taking that day off work this year.

Something I'm laboring on....... finishing up my writing obligations.

2. Labor Day also signals the unofficial end of summer for most of us...what summer food will you miss the most? If you're in the southern hemisphere feel free to substitute winter for summer.

Fresh vegetables and fruit. Picked at the perfect stage of ripeness.

3. A well known proverb states, 'It's easier to seek forgiveness than ask permission.' Your thoughts?

I'm not the type of person that enjoys having to apologize and seek forgiveness. It is much easier for me to simply ask permission.

4. Food critic, film critic, book critic, art critic....which hat would you most like to wear?

Oh, this one is easy. I would love to be a food critic!

5. When you were a kid, who (besides your parents) was your favorite adult?

I can't pick only one as my favorite. My grandparents. My uncles; John Henry, David, and Noah and aunts Barbara, Mattie, and Ellie. My teacher Hannah.

6. The astronaut, Neil Armstrong, passed away last week. He was regarded as a hero by many generations of people all around the world. Do we still have modern day heroes? What makes someone a hero?

To me a hero is someone who will step out into the face of danger in order to protect another person that needs help.

7. I never get tired of __________________.

Crisp, clear autumn days.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Glimpses of our Week

I enjoy going through all the pictures we take every week. Today I'm sharing few glimpses of our day to day life from last weeks pictures.
Buddy loves his blue blanket. One of his favorite games to play with it is Peek-a-boo.
Giggling behind the blanket.

I see you!

A butterfly keeps visiting this shoe on our front porch. I haven't figured out why it likes this shoe so well but we did enjoy the photo opportunities.

It's that time of year again when we enjoy popping Jewelweed seed pods.

They make such delightful little curlicues when touched.

One of my favorite pictures from last week is this one.  Sunbeam had stationed herself outside the garage and blew bubbles at her Daddy as a welcome home from work.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are some of our favorites and over the years we have tried all manner of different recipes to make them. We tried the ones from back of the Blue Bonnet margarine box, which turned out great, the recipe on chocolate chip packages were always a success as well. We tried recipes that required using condensed milk, vanilla instant pudding, and even a cake mix. We enjoyed the ones made from the recipes from both our mothers as well as my grandmother and a handful of friends each which had their own special twist that was supposed to make them superb. We enjoyed every one of them but not until yesterday did we finally find one that we all agreed produced what will be considered our favorites.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 ¾ cup butter flavored crisco
4 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
4½ cup flour
2 cup chocolate chips
  Mix together crisco and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour, soda, and salt. Mix really well and stir in chocolate chips. Using your hands roll into balls not quite the size of a golf ball. Place on cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake in a preheated  375ยบ  oven on the middle rack for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for a minute before removing from cookie sheet.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Above the Noise ~ Little Lessons

In the kitchen our old refrigerator does a great job of keeping all our food nice and cold even though it is ugly and has several very annoying habits. One of them is the noise it makes. It reminds me a lot of the engine we used to have to keep the milk cooled on our dairy farm those first few years after we were married.
Every morning I leave Buddy upstairs sleeping while I come down to prepare breakfast and start my day. I tiptoe back upstairs every five minutes to check on him since the noise from the refrigerator drowns any other sounds and I don't want him to start his day off crying.
We have an open stairway and as I climb the noise from the refrigerator fades and I can hear other things. Birds singing in the trees outside the window, traffic passing the house, and once Buddy is awake I can hear him talking to himself and I'll hurry to get him.
This morning as I was once again tiptoeing up the stairs I couldn't help but think of how this can easily compare with the more important things in life. Just as I had to rise above the noise so I could hear if Buddy was awake I also need to take time to rise above the noise of life to listen to what is most important.
It can be so easy to allow all the demands on our time and the busyness in our life keep us totally occupied but once in a while it is a good idea to rise above the noise of life and listen to that which is really important.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Aloha! On August 21, 1959 Hawaii officially became a US state. Have you ever been? Upon arrival would you prefer an orchid or a hibiscus to tuck behind your ear?
I have never been there. If I were to visit I would prefer a hibiscus.

2. Since we're talking tropical...what's your favorite food or beverage made with pineapple?

One of our favorite foods that contain pineapple is Hawaiian Chicken Fajitas.

3. Do you believe in soul mates? Explain.

In a sense maybe, sorta, kinda. I believe the person you marry can and should become your soul mate.

4. Share a memory about the house you grew up in.

The house I grew up in was in various stages of being remodeled for almost the entire time I lived there. It was only completed a week or so before our wedding. Our laundry room/ summer kitchen was our big cement porch Daddy enclosed for that purpose. It was always a challenge doing the laundry without getting any water on the floor. Any water seemed to always run directly to a crack and seep down into our woodworking shop which was a huge no no.

5. Are you comfortable with silence?

Most of the time silence doesn't bother me but with my chatterbox tendencies those moments don't occur all that often.

6. You spot a giant spider on your bedroom wall...what's your next move? (all spiders are giant, right?)
If I'm alone I'll get rid of it. If someone else is there I run the other direction and let them take care of it.  If it's especially big I've been known to trap it under a glass or something until someone more brave comes along to dispose of it.

7. My idea of fun does NOT include ______________.

Getting up at 4 AM every day.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I was delighted when I found this website filled with cute coloring pages.  I love the more old fashioned pictures and the children have really enjoyed coloring them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Rosebud and Sunbeam have been very busy this summer after deciding to turn an old chicken coop into a playhouse for them to play in.

They spend hours everyday patiently sewing things by hand for their little dream home. They have made curtains, pillows, a rug, and right now they're working on a quilt. Where they acquired the patience for all that is beyond me. I used to abhor sewing things by hand when I was a little girl and still don't enjoy it at all.

Sailor has been building some things for it as well. A bookshelf was a welcome addition and today he rigged up a doorbell for them.

I love the setting for their little house. Tucked under our beautiful pine trees and a wall of grapevines.

There is a very pleasant area under the trees where they also enjoy playing.  They have a clothes line and several small gardens made with rocks and pine cones. An ancient outhouse turned to a tool shed works as their barn.

Birds chirped among the branches outside the little curtained window as we ate a picnic lunch together.

There are days like today when I think it would be really fun to be ten years old again.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Even though there is almost twelve years between Sailor and Buddy they seem to have that special brotherly bond. It makes me smile to see them together.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1.Joyce included this quote (attributed to William H. Danforth) in her  blog post yesterday... "The best cure for a sluggish mind is to disturb it's routine." When was the last time you 'disturbed your routine' and how'd you do it?

The last time my routine was disturbed was last week when we took a vacation. I'm not sure that it did a whole lot to cure my sluggish mind though since I've been feeling somewhat more sluggish since coming home. I'm blaming that on the fact that our vacation wasn't long enough.

2. What's your favorite fried food indulgence?

Oh, this is so hard! I really enjoy fried chicken. French fries are always good especially the ones Sailor makes from scratch with his very own secret spice blend. Living in the Ozarks for six years I learned to love fried okra. Fresh home made donuts are always a treat as well.

3. Did you have an allowance as a kid? What did you do with it? Do you give your own kids an allowance?

No, I didn't have an allowance as a child. We don't give our children an allowance either. When they do odd jobs for someone else and get paid they get to keep their money which they put into savings rather than spending it.

4. What's something you wish you knew more about?

Hair. I would love to be able to do more with the girls hair than I am doing now especially with all the cute ideas I find on Pinterest. It is on my list of things to learn once my busy schedule slows down a little.

5. Is there anything you feel too old to do anymore? If so, what?

A number of things but jumping is definitely near the top of the list.
6. What's a song you think has a great first line?

7. Who are you writing to/for when you create a blog post? In other you write, who is the audience in your head?

When I started this blog I wanted it to be something my children can read. A place to preserve both memories from my childhood and a sort of journal about the present. 

That is still my priority when I write but I certainly welcome anyone who is interested to read.

I'll share a quote we often heard while growing up.  "A stranger is simply a friend you haven't met yet."  I realize that is quite a different mentality than the stranger danger that is taught by most people.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

There is banana bread baking in the oven. The little bit of extra heat feels good on a cool crisp morning.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love autumn?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today

Outside my window ... it's a misty moisty type of day. And there is still a ridiculous amount of traffic going by the house due to the wind energy project.

I am thinking... about how I hope my ailing computer will still hang in there for a few more months and how I really need to catch up on backing things up in case it dies on me.

I am thankful .... for all the blessings in our life.

In the kitchen ..... chicken breasts are thawing in hopes that tonight I can try a new recipe I found on Pinterest.

I am wearing .... a charcoal skirt and a purple blouse.

I am creating .... several Amish little girl coverings. It is actually fun once again.

I am reading ..... Raising Boys is a Full Contact Sport by Rachel Balducci. It is a very fun, uplifting, and easy read. I can relate to almost everything having grown up with five younger brothers and now having sons of my own.

I am hoping ...  to meet my self imposed deadline for book four of The Adventures of Lily Lapp series.

Around the house .... it seems much too full after moving in a new, to us, sofa. I wish we wouldn't  have to wait until Saturday before our old one gets picked up.

One of my favorite things .... baby smiles and giggles.

Picture thought ....

Sullivan's Island was a lot of fun, but it is good to be home again.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Haven ~ Winner

It's Monday morning and time to chose the winner for The Haven.

Today the random generator chose......

Comment # 6

MamaHen's idea of a perfect day was......

A day at home with my family and a cook to deliver all three meals to us and to do all the clean-up! :)

Congratulations! Please email your address to me and your book will be shipped to you. I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Haven

Occasionally I like to share a book I really enjoyed reading with you. Today that book is The Haven by Suzanne Woods Fisher.  I don't get to read as many books as I used to but when I picked up this one I was hooked from the very first page and thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. When I turned the last page it felt as if I was saying good-bye to a good friend.

If you would like to have a chance to own a copy of The Haven all you have to do is leave a comment telling me what is your idea of a perfect day.

I will be choosing a winner on Monday August 13th.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Favorite Books

My love for books started at a very young age. I can still remember sitting on Mom or Daddy's lap while they read these to me.

Bedtime stories didn't stop as we grew older and we were soon captivated by the Little House books as well as Caddie Woodlawn.

That Boy, Johnny was a favorite and no matter how often we heard it we were always ready to read it again.

The Grandma's Attic series traveled with me as I read them every where. Sitting under my favorite shade tree, in school, in my bed where I read with the light from my flashlight and my quilt over my head in hopes I wouldn't alert my parents that I wasn't sleeping. I think I could still tell you every story in them from memory.

The first book of the Boxcar Children was one of my favorites and I was always sorry once they moved out of the boxcar. The Bobbsey Twins, books by Beverly Cleary, the Alice and Jerry books were well loved with Singing Wheels being read aloud every winter.

We laughed until our sides hurt at the adventures Jay Berry had in Summer of the Monkeys, and cried until our eyes were red and faces blotchy in Where the Red Fern GrowsBoone's Lick and the rest of the Lewis B. Miller books were read so often the covers became quite tattered. And the things we learned from Two Little Savages we still remember including a fun secret language called Tutnee.

We enjoyed the series by Horatio Alger Jr. where goodness somehow always got rewarded in the end and the villains dealt with quite satisfactorily.

Then there were the classics, Heidi, The Secret Garden, Eight Cousins, as well as the Anne of Green Gables and Elsie Dinsmore series.

Our book shelves weren't complete with out a healthy selection of Amish published books.

 I was introduced to Feodora when I was ten and Rosebud now loves it just as much as I used to. Song of Years was an ancient book that my grandparents used to have. The was something about those Martin girls that had this book as one of my favorites during my teen years and the sweet love story that wove it all together helped I'm sure.

Then there were the books by Gene Stratton Porter where I fell even more in love with nature and botany.

This is only a very small sampling of the books that fill the bookshelves in our home.  I love the way books look all lined up neatly on a shelf and how they feel in my hands. But best of all I love how they transport me to a different world.

We have most of the books we grew up reading and loving but I am still keeping my eyes open for some more childhood favorites even as we continue expanding our ever growing selection.

What were/are some of your favorite books?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Joyce is joining her daughter in the 101 in 1001 challenge. Essentially you create a list of 101 things you hope to do or accomplish in the next 1001 days. What's one thing you'd put on your list?

Visit Sea World with our children. Sailor can remember only a little bit from the last time we were there. I'm sure they would all enjoy it immensely.

2. How many remote controls do you have in your house? What's one item in your home you wish could be operated by remote control?

I think we have two. Our DVD player came with one but I never use it.

I wish we could operate our fans with a remote in this house. It is so nice if you're able to control a fan especially in a bedroom without having to get up to do so.

3. What does having it all mean to you? Is it attainable?

If you are content and satisfied with your life I would say you have it all. There are days I wish I could freeze time and stay just the way we are right now. I feel as if I have it all right now. The children are growing up so fast and I know changes are coming just over the horizon so I want to make each day count for everything it possibly can.

4. What's your favorite movie soundtrack?

I don't watch a lot of movies and when I do I usually don't pay attention to the soundtrack. I can only think of one that has ever caught my attention and that would be Titanic.

5. Describe the best view you've seen from a rooftop.

I haven't been on a lot of different rooftops in my lifetime. I used to like climbing out of my bedroom window to sit on the kitchen roof and read on warm summer evenings. The view consisted of branches of pine trees in front of me, distant mountains to my right, and St. Mary's Catholic church house to my left.

6. What's your least favorite thing about summer?

Of the four seasons summer comes in at fourth place. My least favorite thing about it is the heat and humidity.

7. Our weekly Hodgepodge falls on the first day of August. In ten words or less sum up your July.

Busy, sad, emotional.  I'm glad it's over.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Our Caller ID quit working on our phone for some reason so I have been having to talk to more telemarketers than I want to recently.

I realize that they are all people with feelings, simply trying to make a living but I think it is finally time we put our number on the do not call list.