Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Share one way you think the world has changed for the better since you were a kid?

I think the world is a better place thanks to self stick stamps, address labels, and envelopes. No more having that awful taste in your mouth simply from getting the mail ready.

2. How 'bout one way it's changed for the worse?

Unfortunately it seems as if good old common sense has been on a steady decline.

3. Starlight, starfish, starling, Starbucks...your favorite 'star'?

I love starlight. Not enough that I'm tempted to go camping or anything like that. But I do love seeing the stars come out at night and admiring them before I go to sleep in my very comfortable bed.

4. Name a song that's overplayed, but you love it anyway.

I don't get to listen to a radio often enough to know what songs are being overplayed. If we're also talking about hearing songs being sung, I never tire of hearing Sunbeam sing her favorite song over and over again.

5. When did you last have home made ice cream? Your latest favorite flavor?

The last time I had homemade ice cream has to be ten years ago. My favorite flavor of ice cream is vanilla, but since I don't like eating ice cream all that well the only times I enjoy it is if there is a nice hot pizza to eat with it. Alternating bites of pizza and ice cream makes that I can actually enjoy it.

6. What do you think is the best way to inspire or motivate people?

By being optomistic, encouraging, and generally joyful. I find I always feel more motivated and inspired when in contact with people like that.

7. When was the last time you were without power?

Last week, but only for a a little while. The last time we were without power that really affected us was several months ago.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Last night we woke up to hear some bumping and banging and upon investgation found a raccoon had opened what we thought was a securely closed container holding our dog and cat food and was feasting on it.

Our cat and her two little kittens were sitting there watching interestedly. The raccoon was chased away and the pet food moved into the basement where it will be safe from night time prowelers.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Kitchen Adventures

Sailor is quite the chef and when lunch time rolls around he can often be found trying his hand at creating some new kind of dish. He leaves the baking for the girls and they seem to keep a steady stream of desserts flowing.
Recently he decided to try something different and make cornbread for lunch even though that meant using a recipe book. After hearing strange muttering noises coming from the kitchen I went to investigate and found him calculating how to increase the recipe because he had accidently added too much sugar and was now trying to fit the rest of the recipe around his mistake.
We now have enough cornbread to feed a small army.

Monday, July 29, 2013


One thing I love about wandering through the woods is that so often we are reminded of our Creator. Like yesterday when on a walk this little pool was discovered. Though tiny it did a great job of reflecting everything above it from the towering oak tree tops to the beautiful blue sky and white clouds.

If I look closer I see that in itself it really isn't that pretty. There is dirt, rotting leaves, and other debris, but with the reflection it was really quite pretty.

I couldn't help but think how I want to be like that pool. Though I am far from perfect I hope my life is able to show a reflection of God's love to those who see it.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. July 24th is Amelia Earhart Day.  Earhart was the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.  What's something you've recently accomplished solo?

I've been sitting here trying to think of something I've accomplished solo and keep drawing a blank. It has been years since I was able to solo anything. From the moment Sailor came on the scene there has always been someone shadowing me and trying to help on some level. Cleaning, baking, cooking, laundry, reading, playing, eating, talking. Solo is almost a foreign word to me. Even things like recently designing something on the computer wasn't exactly solo with interested  children at my elbows watching what I was doing.

2.  What's one product you use that never ever fails?

Hope's Perfect Glass is the one product that has never failed for me. It's the best streak free window cleaner I know of.

3. Have you found your place in the world? Where is it?

I feel like I have I have found my place in the world. It's being a wife and mother, my favorite thing in the world.

4.  Worst movie you ever saw?

I don't remember what it was called, some type of old black and white mystery. But I do remember how mind numbingly boring it was. There was no plot and the storyline was just one long confusing boring mess and it simply ended abruptly with out ever finding out anything.

5. What's the last fun thing you did?

One of the fun highlights of our summer was when we were visiting LV's parents. On the last evening we were there we were all out in the yard playing an old schoolyard game of Andy Over and once it was too dark for that it was time to catch lightening bugs.

We had a lot of fun since then, but that is one evening that stands out as one that will be a fun memory for years to come.

6. The month of July is named for Roman Emperor Julius Caesar...ever been to Rome? What's your favorite Italian dish?

I have never been to Rome. My favorite Italian dish, oh my, that's hard, because I really love Italian food and don't think I can choose a favorite.

7. What is one piece of advice you'd offer new mom Kate Middleton?

To go with her instincts, and cherish every moment.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Getting close to officially being a toddler.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding

A friend recently introduced me to a most delightful dessert, and after the first taste I knew immediately I have to have the recipe.
This layered pudding has to be the best thing I ever ate that involved both chocolate and peanut butter and is definitely going into our family's best of the best recipe file.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding
24 oreos, divided
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1-½ cup powdered sugar, divided
1 carton (16oz) whipped topping
10 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped
1 cup cold milk
1 package 3.9oz instant chocolate pudding mix
Crush 18 oreos, mix in softened butter and press in bottom of a 9" sqaure dish; set aside.
In a large bowl, place creamcheese, peanut butter, and one cup of powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped topping and spread over oreo crust. Sprinkle with chopped peanut butter cups.
In another large bowl beat milk, chocolate pudding mix, and remaining powdered sugar on low speed for two minutes and allow to set for an additional two minutes then add remaining whipped top and fold together gently. Spread over pudding and peanut butter cup layer. Crush remaining oreos and sprinkle over the top.
Cover and chill for several hours before serving.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Picture postcards were first printed back in the mid-1800's and deltiology is the official name for postcard collecting. When did you last send a postcard?  Receive one? Do you save postcards sent to you? Do you collect and/or send postcards when you travel?

The last time I sent a postcard was seven years ago when we were visiting New Mexico and I sent one to both of my little brothers. I can't remember the last time I received one. My Grandma Mast used to send each of her grandchildren a postcard when ever they visited the health mines in Boulder Montana. Grandma had trouble with arthritis and would come home feeling good. Not sure how long that feeling lasted since they went every summer.

I do save postcards I receive, but I don't collect them when I travel and have stopped sending them as well.

2. What treat do you most like to indulge in while on vacation?

Eating at restaurants. Nothing says vacation to me as much as enjoying several meals a day without having to worry about cooking or cleanup.

3. Are you good at hiding your feelings?

LV would say I'm not good at hiding my feelings at all, but I think that's because he knows me so well. I like to think I'm not that transparent to other people.

4. Does your town/city/county still deliver telephone books to your home? Do you check the yellow pages when searching for a local business number or has the internet replaced the phone book in your home?

We still receive telephone books, but we never use them. Internet searches are the route we take in our home when we need a business phone number.

The only good thing about telephone books is that Buddy loves tearing the pages out and stays happily entertained like that for long periods of time. He seems to get all his destructive energy out on those and all other books he treats nicely.

5. Would you rather be first or last?

If it's something that makes me feel competitive I like being first. Anything else I don't like being first or last, but would rather be somewhere in the middle.

6. July is National Park and Recreation Month (in America, but everyone can still play along)...where and when were you last in a park?  Did you participate in any recreational activities while you were there?

The last time I was at a park was two years ago when we visited New Germany State Park. I simply sat on a bench under a shade tree while the rest enjoyed swimming in the lake.

7.  What was one of your worst ideas?

How far back can I go? I can think of several bad ideas, but they shall remain a secret. If it's okay to take one from my childhood I once tried to make a special frosting for my Mom's birthday cake and ended up with a horrible orange-ish brown, brittle lemon flavored mess.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Rosebud is fascinated with this castle in Kentucky. She took this picture after reading the sign that proclaimed it to be a place for weddings. Thankfully she is much too young to be making wedding plans.

Monday, July 15, 2013


Grandma's house is such a fun place for everyone. Buddy absolutely loved his first visit there.
Riding on the little wagon.
Eating cheerios at a little table he set by himself. I was surprised he could even find the little dish with cheerios with the way he crowded his table.
Baskets of books, a huge toybox filled to the brim, and a sandbox big enough for several families he was busy the entire time we were there.
I think he feels the same as Sunbeam, when she quoted," The only thing wrong with Grandma and Grandpa's house is that it is too far away."

Friday, July 12, 2013

Grandma's Flowers

LV's mother loves her flowers and has created multiple flowerbeds around their house, at the end of their driveway, and scattered through out their yard. In front of the house she has a huge flowerbed with a birdbath in the middle. We enjoyed watching bluebirds use it. Her lilac bushes are covered in beautiful blooms long after lilac season is over because she planted climbing roses right next to them.
And if there is a spot where flowers don't seem to grow very well she will use flower pots.
Here are two samples of the beauty around their house for you to enjoy.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


As much as we love traveling nothing quite compares to be able to come home to our own house and comfortable beds. Especially when the past week was spent living almost Amish.

We had been watching the weather maps closely and chose a week to go visit LV's parents during a time it looked as if the nights would be pleasantly cool. That part we got right. The nights were nice and cool and there was no uncomfortable tossing and turning because of the heat. But what we had failed to take into consideration were all the clocks they have in their house.

My mother-in-law loves music, but since there are no musical instruments, and no other form of listening to music her way of getting a little bit is having clocks that chime. I have no idea how many clocks she has, but each one is set so that as one is done chiming another one will begin. A clever idea during the day, but horrible during the night.

A big clock in the living room starts things off. It is the one clock in the house with the correct time. All it does is stike the time in deep majestic bongs that reveberate through out the house. And never failed to wake me up. Wadding up blankkets against the bottom of our bedroom door didn't do much to muffle the sound.

Half a minute later her most cherished clock would begin.
 Next would be a whole host of others playing everything from Home on the Range to one that made John Deere tractor sounds. Just when I think they're all done and it's finally safe to unstop my ears another one chimes Silent Night. If I wasn't so tired and annoyed I would have found it amusing.
It's nice being home where I don't have to stumble around in the dark, and the house is free of clocks that chime at night.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Last night we got home from a family vacation. I'll write more about it later because right now it's time to choose the winner of A Big Year for Lily.

And the winner is........
Comment #1

Magnolia Tea said........

Not currently reading a book, but the last books, just a week ago, that I read were Ishmael & Self Raised by E.D.E.N. Southworth. They're excellent books complete with a moral-to-the-story and a plot that keeps the reader interested. The story is set in the 1800s and published by Lamplighter Publishing.

Congratulations! Please send me an email with your address and I will get your book mailed to you.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Gathering Tea

As far back as I can remember a big part of summer always included gathering tea. Everything from a variety of mints to a little flower we used to simply call "sore throat tea." I used to enjoy roaming the yard to gather those little purple flower heads. They never had a chance to get very big since we mowed every week.

Yesterday when I went to the mailbox I noticed a patch of it growing in our front yard. I'm thinking Rosebud and Sunbeam will enjoy gathering and drying it just as much as I used to.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Big Year for Lily ~ Giveaway

I'm celebrating the release of A Big Year for Lily by having a giveaway where you could be the winner and receive your very own copy.
In this book you will be following Lily as she turns ten, which happens to be a big deal in most Amish communities. I won't say too much about it, except from the day book three arrived at our house Sunbeam could be found curled up somewhere reading at every spare moment. She would talk to me about everything she read even though she realizes I wrote it, and already know what happens.
A recent review of the first two books really made my day. You can read it here.
Now, to get to the giveaway. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me what book you are currently reading.
For a second entry post a link to this giveaway on your blog or Facebook and come back and leave a comment telling me you did.
And for the first time, you get a chance to have a third entry by liking my Facebook page and leave another comment telling me you liked it.
I will be choosing a winner using Random Generator on Tuesday July 9th.
Giveaway is now closed and a winner has been chosen.