Monday, December 30, 2013

An interesting year

2013 has been a year that has brought happiness, tears, smiles and fears to my family and many others across the United States. It has been a year that we have seen many good things happen on our little piece of the world, but we have also seen many things that have brought sadness and tears to the hearts of many. The year has not brought world peace and happiness to others, but I am hoping that 2014 will be a year where we will see more peace and prosperity than we have in many years.

 While we seen things like the Boston Marathon bombing and the Sandy Hook elementary shootings that left many of us with wondering thoughts of what possesses people to do the things that the rest of us see as just unimaginable. Those injured and the families of those who suffered at the Boston Marathon were true victims of a monster and yet. as horrible as we all felt that was, the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school was so much worse in my eyes. Innocent children taken by a lone gunman who had no reason to be mad or want revenge on them. They were all so innocent and yet, teachers and adults at the school who tried to protect them, just could not. Why would someone attack innocent children? We will never understand that.

 Locally, I witnessed a family suffer a  loss of innocent babies who were killed in a fire and a few days later, their mother who tried to save them also lost her life as a result of the fire. One child and a husband /father were left behind to cope with the loss and yet, how does someone cope with the loss of a spouse and two innocent babies. Such sadness! Such tragedies! Yet, it seems to be a part of the news that I hear each day.

 Personally as I watch the news each day, I see another child lost. Miley Cyrus, has made the news so much lately with her twerking and performance on the music awards show along with other things she has done, but I see a child lost. She was the child star of a very popular show and yet, she is still doing so many things to get attention. This young lady is reaching out to find her own identity and she is seemingly doing it the wrong way.

 The completion of the Ground Zero memorial has been a great accomplishment as it shows the United States has recovered from such a tragic loss of human life and yet, it is also a sign that the world has not changed as we still see signs of terrorism each day. Just this morning, I heard of two attacks on Russia and I am sure that before the clock strikes midnight tomorrow night, there will be more some where in the world.

 People need to realize that the world changing to a more peaceful nation can begin by one person doing something nice for someone else. Maybe each of us should begin the year by agreeing to do one nice thing out of our way for someone else. Pass it forward should be our motto! 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Twas' the Day Before Christmas

Twas' the day before Christmas and all through the house, I am the only creature stirring except for the little dog. Actually, I am sitting here sending Christmas wishes to my friends and family while I am enjoy the lights from the tree and decorations before I go to work. Whether you work today, finish your shopping today, wrap gifts, or visit with family and friends today, try to slow down just a little and enjoy the Christmas spirit.

 The holiday season seems to be filled with rushing around and so many people missing loved ones and being caught up in the shopping that I believe it would be nice if stores would close Christmas eve just so there were less choices in where we could be. Unfortunately, I have to work today and although, my children are older I still feel that I should be home with my family. I am looking forward to coming home early, getting my prep for tomorrow done and enjoying an evening with my husband and my daughter. I am looking forward to seeing my son tomorrow and the rest of our family.

 This year, I have not been in the holiday spirit and my house and shopping shows it. It has been a rough year for many and ours has been tough at time. It seems as though the hustle and bustle as Christmas grew closer just put an even bigger disappointment in my heart, but as I set in my daughter's Christmas program at church Sunday night, I realized that I am just changing in the way I view Christmas. It is not about all the gifts and having a beautiful decorated home and following all of the yearly activities that I usually do this time of year, it is about being healthy and having my family near.

 My husband is always spending more money than I think he should for the holiday and always buying me more than I need or want him too, but he always makes sure that I have a nice Christmas and that I get a few things that I really asked for. I appreciate him more than I could ever tell him. I always buy him nice gifts as well, but he is hard to buy for and I could not afford either of the items that he truly wanted this year. I am disappointed in that, but it is what it is.

To each of you that are reading this during the holiday season, Merry Christmas to you and your family and remember Jesus is the reason for the season. For those of you reading this during the rest of the year, remember to treasure your family and loved ones as you never know when they will be gone. I thank each of you for the time you spend here and I hope many more of you will visit my site during the new year.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

My thoughts on the "Duck Dynasty" s Phil Robertson

"Duck Dynasty" is not one of my favorite shows, but I do feel that suspending Phil Robertson from the show is going to cause network A&E some major issues. Fans of the show are outraged with this decision and I can understand why. As a Christian, I can understand his point of view and as an American I believe that he is entitled to his freedom of speech.

 He did not state his feelings about homosexuality on the television show, it was in an interview with GQ magazine and the interviewer asked for it. Why is it wrong for him to state his belief on it when it is not wrong for millions of homosexuals to march the streets of Washington DC and other places to ask for equal rights to marry their partners. As a country, it seems that we have double standards that we need to take a serious look at.

 It is well known that Phil and the entire cast of "Duck Dynasty" are devout Christians so the question in general is almost ridiculous to ask. I am sure that the interviewer knew that these men were Christian. Anyone wth any knowledge of the Bible knows that it says that homosexuality is a sin and whether as a culture we are accepting of it or not, it is still a sin in the eyes of Christians. However, the way he stated it was clearly not in a correct manner.

 Many Christians will find wrong in what he said, but as American's we need to take back our freedom of speech and realize that anything that we say can offend someone but that we can't always be worried about who we will offend. The world is made up of many kinds of people and not everyone thinks the same or words things in a way that others won't find offensive.

 Phil Robertson will recover from this backlash as did Paula Deen. Fans won't let this controversial decision that the network made stop them from buying products and watching the show, the same as Paula Deen fans did not stop buying her items. "Duck Dynasty" will survive whether on A&E on another network. These men have become reality stars and marketing icons and companies that produce their products are not going to give up their sales just to go along with a network's decision to suspend one man.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My attempt at writing a book

Courtney slowly pulled into the log drive that leads to her family farm. Regretting her decision to return to the small town that she swore she would never return to, she opens the rusty truck door and looks around. The farm looks the same from the dilapidated barns to the old fences which used to hold the horses she loved so much. Since graduation, she had been on the road- new cities, new rodeos and shows, new adventures each week. Now, after a fall from her beloved quarter horse, Tyson, that left her unable to ride at the moment she was returning to the only home she had ever had. Not one that held fabulous memories, but the place that she knew as home.

She wondered who was left in town. She wondered if anyone would recognize her. She wondered what life would be like her with her sister since her parents had passed. She had not returned for the funerals as she was out on the circuit and found no time to return. The show must go on, that was the truth,wasn't it? Her dad had always told her that she must make sacrifices if she intended to be a rodeo star. "Be serious", he would say when she would suggest that she miss a ride or a show. "No one wins if they don't show up". She remembered those words well. She was practically haunted by those words to this day.

Hoping for some time to rest and recover from her devastating injuries, she did not want to see old classmates and she was sure that she did not have any friends in town, as she never had time for friends in school. She did remember one boy, Justin Montana. He had ridden hores with her and had been as close to a boyfriend as she had in high school. She was sure that he was living his life wtih his wife and children someplace else. She remembered how much he talked about family and how he knew he wanted children and a family. Justin was the tall, dark haired boy that she had met at a local county fair and they had quickly become friends. They were also competitors though, as he was also showing his gorgeous bay quarter horse, Prince Henry. One of the best looking horses at the fair and Justin knew he had a winner. Prince Henry was overall a great competition and show horse, exceling in all categories of the competition.

This is the beginning, what do you think? Suggestions, ideas, critisism welcome

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Studying Oceanography

 As many of you know, we are a home schooling family with a child that struggles with school. She is very intelligent but she struggles a great deal with math and reading. This has bothered me for a long time as I felt that I might not be doing my own job. However, I have decided that she learns things easily as long as she doesn't have to read the material on her own. It is easy to adjust to her learning style but it makes more work for me. I don't mind, but time gets away so easily. This year I wanted to try something new and we decided that science was the one subject that I don't like teaching, so finding an online science program was what I needed.

 After asking several friends and home school parents for ideas, we discovered a great free site online that teaches many subjects and has complete programs online. It is known as Easy Peasy Homeschool. This  site offers many high school subjects as well and you can go there from the link on the Easy Peasy site or from here. After looking at several science programs, I decided to use the Oceanography program from this site.

 Why Oceanography? Someone might ask. My daughter loves nature and she loves animals and although we have done many other earlier science programs with animals, I decided that I just would like to expand her knowledge of the ocean and the science involved with it. She was worried that it might be a hard class but so far she has enjoyed it. She has learned several new concepts and although we aren't learning about animals at the moment, we will. I am thinking that I will plan a field trip to the aquarium as soon as we are finished with the course.

 Currently, studying how an idea goes from a hypothesis to a theory to a scientific law has been interesting to teach. She understands that all things in science starts out as an educated guess but she finds it hard to understand why by the time it becomes a scientific law that it is still just not an absolute. Learning how variables can change experiments and results is slowly sinking in as how nothing in science can be absolute.

 The program has labs along with it and she is currently learning how to write a lab report and what information is important to an experiment and what is not. Tomorrow we will be doing our first experiment of the year and we are both excited about it as we will be building some sort of boat and seeing how different  things can affect how it floats. We will also be doing an experiment that she has had to personally develop and I am sure that will be a fun one.

 I would highly recommend that anyone who has children that are middle school age or older try this program. It is fun and very educational. It is laid out in a way that the child doesn't have to spend a lot of time on it, but it could easily be a longer period of time if the parent would add worksheets or extra writing assignments.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"Molly"- Not the new girl next door

This is not my usual farm blog post, but something that I feel parents need to be aware of  in any home - rural or suburban- even inner city. Parents need to know that if their child is speaking of "Molly" , they are not talking about the girl next door. "Molly", also known as MDMN or ectasy is the new drug of choice among many teens and college students.

" Molly" is actually a purer form of ecstasy. "Molly" is a crystal or powder form of the drug, not the pill form. This drug was originally very popular in night clubs or 'raves', but many more cases of abuse of this drug are being seen all over the country. "Molly" or MDMA is a stimulant drug which can cause the heart to race and the blood pressure to rise. It depletes the brain of serotonin and can cause confusion, depression, sleep deprivation, drug cravings, and anxiety.Depleting this chemical can also cause the users body to not be able to regulate body temperature causing hypothermia, which can cause even more problems. There can be serious long lasting effects on the brain by depleting this natural chemical in our body.

This drug allows the user to feel emotional warmth, increased energy, euphoria, and empathy while taking it. These effects will last 3-6 hours and is usually taken with another drug to increase these feelings. Of course, it is never a good idea to combine drugs and the combination of drugs can lead to even more effects on the body.

The drug is a Schedule 1 substance since being labeled that in 1985. The drug was used in the 1970's as an aid in Psychotherapy, but was used without approval of the FDA. The drug is currently being used in clinical trials for PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These facts allow us to know that it must alter the mind or it would not be used in this matter.

Parents need to be aware of what their children are doing when they are not with them and they need to know to be aware of signs of drug abuse. Listen to your child's conversations with friends and if you hear the name "Molly" BE AWARE. This is a dangerous drug and please talk with your children about this drug. Make sure they are aware that this is not a new candy and that they have some knowledge of this so that they can protect themselves.

As parents we never think that our child would become addicted to drugs, but in these days and with all the "new" forms of drugs out there and so many with harmless sounding names, we just never know what our child might try when faced with peer pressure or something that they think won't hurt them.

Monday, August 26, 2013

What's Cooking- Bacon Alfredo Potatoes

Cooking is one of my passions, but I don't seem to ever find the time to try new recipes or have time to make some of the homemade items that I would like to make. I am a huge fan of  The Pioneer Woman and I am always looking at recipes that she has done that my family might enjoy. Several weeks ago, I copied down a recipe for individual key lime pies that I was wanting to try.

Being that yesterday was a little slower day than most, I decided that I would try to make the pies. I also decided that I would attempt to make homemade yeast rolls and I would also make venison steaks in the crock pot. So I put the steaks in and let them cook with brown gravy and beef bouillon on them. I started making the rolls and the pies. The dough for the rolls had to rise and the curd for the pies had to set for a couple of hours, but I managed to make the crust and whipped cream for the pies while I was waiting.

The pies were easy to make but required several steps, but I enjoyed them and the family liked them. They are certainly going to be on a list of desserts for us. I regret to say that the rolls were not as fortunate. They looked like biscuits instead of rolls and I discovered the you must set them in the pan close together for them to raise right.

The steaks were delicious as were the potatoes and the pies.I had also made a new type of potatoes and the family loved them too. I will put the recipe for them at the end of this page.I would encourage each of my readers to try new recipes and to find the time to cook.

Bacon Alfredo Potatoes

6-8 medium potatoes, sliced
1 jar Prego Bacon Alfredo sauce
8 oz. shredded cheese, any flavor

Grease a medium baking dish with the butter. Slice potatoes and place into baking dish. Pour sauce over the potatoes and cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove  from oven and add cheese to the top of it. Cover with foil and finish baking for about 40 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Morning Thoughts

Good Sunday morning! As I sit here with my coconut coffee thinking about what the week has been like, I must say that God has blessed, even through some trials. My daughter and I went to a southern gospel sing last night and I must say that it was a true blessing! We heard three groups- The Naile Family, The Parsons, and The Talley's.

Anyone who has ever seen the Talley's perform know what a blessing they are. However, I must say that last night they totally were the blessing that Columbus, Indiana needed. The entire church seemed touched by their music and I was brought to tears when Mrs. Talley told a story about being in a Walmart parking lot and seeing a young lady holding a sign asking for money. She started to ignore her but the Lord would not let her. As she spoke to the young woman she found out that the lady was without a job and had two small children at home, she was embarrassed to be there but her rent was due and she didn't know what else to do. ( In the area we live in there are many people standing near Walmart with these types of signs) Mrs. Talley prayed with her and when she asked her name she simply replied, "Angel" and and Mrs. Talley said "Of course it was". Isn't God amazing?  Of course, she prayed with her and handed her some money, but said as she started in the store, God's voice said "you know what you need to do". How many times do we hear that little voice and know that He is telling us that we know what we need to do, but we don't do?

I have a story similar to share and never thought to share it until last night. Last year at Christmas time, I was shopping (for groceries) and wondering how I was going to buy a nice gift for my husband. While I was working two jobs, I still was struggling to make the extra money for gifts. I had both girls covered, but really wanted to get him something nice. As I was leaving, I noticed a young man standing near the road with one of those signs "family in need". Not an unusual sight, but something about this sign made me take an extra look. It was raining (or possibly a wet snow, can't remember) and he was freezing. As I pulled up to the stop light where he was standing, I felt a sudden need to help him. ( There God was telling me that I knew what I needed to do). I told my daughter to look in my purse, I had two dollars. Wrestling on obeying, I thought Lord, I need that two dollars, I don't have much in the bank and I need that. Well, I heard that voice again, I knew what I needed to do, but didn't want to obey. Well, I gave in and handed the man the two dollars and told him that I was sorry it was not much, but it might help. He cried and thanked me and said, " God Bless".

 As I started to drive away, I felt a sense of peace. The very next day, a young man came into the store where I worked and paid for his purchase in coins.Two of them were older coins so after he left, I bought those coins with some change that I had from my purse. When I got home that evening, I looked these coins up and found that they were peace dollars and were worth some money. The next day I took them to the local coin shop and sold them for enough to purchase my husband a nice gift. I was so thrilled and thanked God all the way home. I was so thankful that I had followed that little voice! I knew what I needed to do and I am glad that I obeyed. God provides and blesses, if we just allow Him to.

Also, another blessing last night I have to share. A young man in our community is fighting for his life after suffering from a hear stroke during soccer practice last week. I don't personally know him, but I have friends whose son is best friend's with this boy. As I was sitting in that church last night, I was thinking of him and his family and praying for this young man, the next song that The Talley's sang was " The Broken Ones" and it speaks of how God loves and cares for the broken ones and how if we all were to trust Him  there would be fewer broken ones. I thought about this young man and suddenly felt a calm, peace come over me. I am sure this is a sign to me that he will pull through this. Once again, isn't God amazing?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Country Kitchen Cooking

Summer is winding down with each weekend that we see go by and that is sad, but here it means that we are beginning to see harvesting done and that plants are ready to be picked and fresh vegetables are in abundance. My husband planted tomatoes, cucumbers,green onions, and green peppers. We have enjoyed several peppers and onions, but the tomatoes are not doing so well. It seems that the chickens like them as much as we do.

A neighbor has given us more cucumbers and banana peppers that we could probably ever consume, but I am always looking for ways to use them. I greatly enjoy cucumbers sliced and dipped in ranch dressing. Friends are always nice to have when you are speaking of sharing the garden abundance. Yesterday, I purchased some corn from another friend and so tonight that is what is cooking in the kitchen.

We prefer to freeze our corn for winter and I usually leave some on the cob and some off the cob and that is what I am doing at the moment. To prepare it to freeze either on or off the cob, I prefer to blanch it and then freeze it. I boil a large pan of water and place the ears in and let boil about 7 minutes. I then remove from the boiling water and place into one side of my kitchen sink filled with cold water.

Once in the cold water for approximately 5 minutes, I remove from the water and place it onto a cookie sheet to set for 10-15 minutes. Then if it is corn that is to be removed from the cob, I simply cut it off and place into freezer bags. If  it is to remain on the cob, I simply place the ears into the freezer bag, date the bags and place in the freezer to enjoy for a later time or in the middle of the winter.

I recommend that anytime you are freezing corn that you blanch it first. I feel that it adds to the flavor of the corn. I am going to buy some more tomorrow because after looking at the corn, I do not feel that it is enough for us for winter.

Well, the timer is going off, so I better get back to my ears of corn. Until  tomorrow- corn is cooking in the country kitchen.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Powerball Winners

As in many other states in the United States, Indiana does participate in the Powerball lottery game. I usually don't buy tickets as I see it as a waste of money, but at times when the jackpot is extremely large, I will buy. Luckily, last nights' game, I did not buy a ticket for and I am thankful that I didn't . As I watch television this morning, I learn that the 448 million dollars was won by three different tickets in New Jersey and Minnesota. The winning numbers are 5,25,30,58,59 and Powerball number of 32.If you bought a ticket in either of those states, go check your numbers now.

The chances of winning were one in over 700 million and I knew that my chances were very slim and I knew that I might as well spend the money on ice cream than on a ticket. Yes, it would be nice to win that type of money, but I am thankful for what I have and although we all dream what we could do with that type of money, I am also aware of the troubles that can come with this type of money.

Many winners have ended up broke and in debt. Many have spoke of eventually wishing they had not have won the money. I am very aware of the family that you would suddenly have coming out of the woodwork , so to speak. I am also very aware that many do not think ahead when they get the money and do not plan to put it to use.

If I would win, I know I would want some put into trust funds for my kids and I also know I would buy a horse ranch that would make myself some money as well. I also know that I would continue to work a small part time job as I know I don't want to lose touch with my roots and who I truly am. Of course, I could work when I want and I could spend many more hours on horseback and that would be fine with me.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Public School vs. Home School

Many people debate for hours on whether children should attend public school or be home schooled and there could be pros to each side of it, but I have not debated it any year since I started home schooling my daughters. This year as public schools are starting earlier than ever before, I am thankful that this debate is over for us.

Our neighbors' kids all go to school today and while they are sitting in a classroom, my daughter and I will be able to do fun stuff together. Her dad is taking her fishing while I work and then we will possibly ride our horses after I return home. The temps are supposed to increase along with the humidity tomorrow and that will mean that we are not as active outside during the day, but it also means that once the sun starts going down ( usually after 8:30 p.m.) that she will be able to be outside while the other kids are going to be in order to attend school tomorrow.

I have been working on school plans and I am excited to begin our new school year. We usually start the Monday after Labor Day ( yes, school should start after Labor Day and end in May - it is still possible) and we usually take the month of December off other than baking , art creations, and music appreciation, and we still usually finish in May. It is amazing that public schools have to start so early and are still usually attending until the last of May or the first of June.

Our school year is going to begin with learning Spanish, Oceanography, and math on a wonderful website called allinonehomeschool . After reading the Easy Peasy Home School site, I have decided that I want to go down a new path this year and see if my daughter can learn more by doing more work online.

I will be posting pictures soon and I will keep you up to date on what is going on. I am thinking of starting a new blog too, so just keep watching for my site.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Paula Deen and Other News

Paula Deen is in the news right now, but not for her cooking. She is being sued by a former employee and her show is being dropped by the Food Network at the end of June due to her admission of using derogatory language in the past. Paula has admitted in an interview to using the "N" word when commenting on a black man who had robbed her when she was a bank teller.  She has apologized, but I am sure that the media will just completely destroy her and her family with this news.  I personally don't understand why something that happened in the 80's is just now being brought up and I feel that she should not be dropped from the network just because of something that happened before her show was on the air. The public needs to remember that she was born and raised in southern Georgia and I am sure that she grew up hearing words like that daily. It is not an excuse, but I am sure that we have all said and done things that we should not have at some time in our lives. 

As far as the word she used, I see people being offended by it, however; I also find it interesting that a white person is considered racist by using it, but African Americans use it in rap songs quite often and it is accepted. I don't believe in being racist and I don't believe in using those slurs but I believe that it should be regarded as wrong when used by anyone. 

Edward Snowden, a name that has suddenly become very well known, is now being charged with espionage for leaking the information that cell phone and email messages were being listened to and read by the US government. I have not decided yet if I agree with what he done or not, but I wonder how he feels about what he done. I believe that we as American citizens should know that we are being spied on, but I can also see the good that it could do. I believe that our freedoms are slowly being taken away and that we are standing by and allowing it to happen and that they are using things like this to convince us that it is for our good that it is happening. 

I know that there are terrorists on American soil and I also know that there are many from other countries that contact Americans for the purpose of terrorism, but I also feel that it is a violation of our rights as citizens to have this happening. I personally have nothing to hide and I am sure that my phone or email would not be a targeted one, but I just feel that we need to be concerned as to what else the government is doing.

Until the next time, I hope you have a great day

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tornado aftermath- Moore, OK

As I sit and watch the news this morning, I am thankful for the grace that God gave this city as that tornado roared through it. The massive tornado that Mother Nature had created could have easily taken hundreds of  lives, but it did not manage to do that in Moore, OK.

A town that is home to country music superstar, Toby Keith, may be destroyed, but the people there will rebuild and will be stronger than ever. They have recovered once from a huge tornado and will this time as well. Although, the worst of the loss is with the families of the children lost in the storm while at school families will unite and this community will find a way to deal with the loss and move ahead from it. The spirit that I have seen with the interviews that have been on the many news stations is astounding!

I personally have collected money, clothes, and I will be buying gloves today to take there or send with a dear friend. I know that there are many, many months of recovery and rebuilding and I am sure that my daughter and I will make a trip there soon to aid in that rebuilding. I will serve food or help families that need help. Whatever it takes!

For those of you all over the United States and the rest of the world that have never lived through a disaster first hand, think this morning about what it would be like to have your entire life taken from you in just a matter of a few minutes. Think of what it would be like to start a new life with only what items would fit into a laundry basket.

Be thankful for what you have today and hug your children a little tighter today!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Moore, OK tornados

I have a dear friend who has family and friends near Moore, OK and they have lost everything and I am so devastated as I sit and watch television this morning. Just knowing the loss that these people have suffered in just a matter of a few minutes is terrifying to me. I am a home school mom as many of you know and my daughter is asking that we do something to help. I am currently asking for donations from many sites so that I will have gas money to get there and back. We are collecting supplies (food, diapers, water, etc.) to make a delivery there. I am willing to do whatever they are needing to be done. I live in the country so the mud and dirt do not bother me.

People, I know that we are all strapped for cash and I know that times are hard for many of us, but please give to some kind of aid for these families. Imagine if you were to go to work and come home to nothing. Many families unfortunately are also waking up to the realization that this storm took their most important and prized possession, their children. Such a sad story!

I pray that God will lift this town up and that the people will know that His arms are wrapped around them even during this.

Anyone who wants to aid in my effort can contact me and I will give more details about our trip once I know for sure what I am doing.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Brad Paisley and a Surprise

I treated my daughters to a Brad Paisley concert last night, as my youngest is a HUGE fan of his. They were both excited about going and although the weather was not perfect and the seats were only lawn seats at Klipsch Music Center, it turned out to be a fun and surprising night.The rain held out and they ended up with front row lawn seats.

 The concert started with a performance by a family that the girls aren't sure of their names followed by acts by Chris Young and Lee Brice before Brad took the stage. After performing several of his big hits, the girls were surprised when Brad performed on a mini stage that was set up near the lawn seats. This allowed them a more up close and personal look at the singer. However, the biggest surprise of the night  was when he began to sing his hit song " Remind Me" and the one and only Carrie Underwood joined him on stage. Well, as my girls have grown up with American Idol and country music, this was a true surprise and a shocking moment but one that they will remember forever. Carrie is truly as beautiful and talented as she seems in television interviews and on the radio.

 I am not sure what they plan to do for me for Mother's Day but my gift to them made my heart sing as I listened to my daughter tell me about the fun she had and how pleased she was with the concert. I am thankful that God allowed me to find a deal on seats and that I was able to send them.

To Brad Paisley I would say, "Thank You" for traveling and performing to allow others to be a part of your talent. I know these stars spend a lot of time on the road and that they miss their families just as we would and it is a true blessing to know that they enjoy what they do and are willing to make the sacrifices to share their lives with others.

Military people deserve the same respect and pay that these entertainers get as they do the same thing and risk their lives each day to make sure that we can attend programs like last night. Take time to remember all the female "mom" soldiers who are fighting for our freedom this Mothers Day.

Happy Mothers Day to each and every mother who reads this!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring snow

Well, a few days ago the calendar said that it was the first day of spring, but I believe someone forgot to tell Mother Nature. A rare heavy wet snow has blanketed the middle of our state. As I was sitting at the kitchen table this morning doing my daily devotions, I was reminded that "to every thing there is a season". It seems that only God knows when spring weather will arrive.

The birds were out in force this morning at the bird feeder and I was wondering as I watched them if they were wondering if they should have stayed in the south a little longer. We have about 5 inches of snow on the ground and it is still snowing a little, which is more like a wet rain/sleet mix.

We can be amazed at the works of the Lord or we can complain about the weather when things like this happen. I have decided that I will rejoice in the beauty that the snowfall has made as it hangs on the trees and I will not complain about the cold and the danger that the snow brings. I am sure that the roads are slick and hazardous here, but I don't have to be out until later and so I will not worry as my life is in His hands and He will provide safe travel if it is His will.

To all my friends who are having nice weather enjoy, but be prepared that God could change it if He feels the need.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Good Morning

Early mornings are my favorite time of the day. I woke up to go to work, but just sitting here in the quiet morning , reading my Bible and thanking God that I am able to do so without worrying that my Bible or life could be taken for doing so. We are lucky to have the freedom of religion in this country!

 I am sure that mothers can relate to the beauty of a quiet morning! The few precious moments that it provides before the hustle and bustle of the day begins. I personally have many errands to run today and I also am meeting a friend today for coffee, which will be an added treat.

May your day be peaceful and productive- That is my prayer for you today.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snow day!

Today is a snow day for me! I am sitting here in my warm fuzzy snowman shirt and my stretch pants having hot tea and enjoying the sights that this wet, heavy snowfall has created. No, I truly can't say that I enjoy snow, but it is certainly nice to be off at both employers today and for the roads to be just cruddy enough that I can say I am not going anywhere.

Yesterday my plan for today included lots of housework and cleaning while trying to do some school with my daughter and staying busy. However, today my plan seems to have changed. I have decided that most of the school work and house work can wait a day or two and we will enjoy the beauty that God created last night. I also have decided that so many of my online projects have been on hold way to long due to work and that this might just be God's way of saying that I needed a day to focus on other tasks.

I really didn't give this blog much attention the past couple of months and that drives me crazy because I really want to make this a success. However, between working two jobs, home schooling, trying to keep this place clean and keeping up with chores here, it seems that my work is never finished so that I can sit down and work here.

I am thinking of starting a new blog to keep up with current events and things that I hear on television that might interest some of us, but my husband says that I am too opinionated to share my views with the rest  of the world. He says I will for sure make enemies! I guess you can't be liked by all. LOL!!

My daughter has prom on Friday night and it seems as though she may not have the best weather for it, although it does look to be a bit warmer. Thankful for that! We still need to buy shoes and I have not given thought to a corsage yet. Wonder if I should be busy on those things today? For anyone who happens to home school, if you have children who are old enough to go to prom you really should check out options around you. We are fortunate to have the Heartland Home School Prom that takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana that we can go to and it is a very nice evening for the children.

I know that several places have been dealt snow this week or are getting hit today. I know that it sometimes makes going to work or getting things done a little more difficult, but enjoy the beauty that is around you ! Tomorrow may be sunny and warm, but be thankful that you are alive to see the snow and be thankful for the purity that the snow represents. I always try to think of it as God's way of purifying things and getting nature ready for what comes next. God Bless!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Super Bowl Ads

I enjoy watching football, but I always enjoy the commercials during the Super Bowl game almost as much as the game. At New Orleans game last night, the Super Bowl commercials were about as good and bad as I thought the game was. There were great commercials, okay commercials, and then some that lacked the luster and grandeur that should come with a Super Bowl ad.

Budweiser usually does a great job with the commercials and once again, they have my vote for the best ad. The commercial that showed a rancher raising a colt and then sending it to Budweiser really brought tears to my eyes as he was later reunited with the horse. The horse was beautiful as most Clydesdale's are.If you missed it, you can see an extended version of the ad at YouTube. Once you get to the site, look for the video of the Budweiser Super Bowl commercial.

Another winner in my opinion was the Dodge Ram truck. Being that the voice of Paul Harvey is well known, I feel that he was the perfect "announcer" for this commercial. Being that the whole ad honors farmers, I say they rocked it!! Farmers are what makes this world go around and brings the food to our tables and we should be thankful for them and all their hard work. If I buy a truck this year, it will be a Dodge.

The E-Trade baby is just always a cute commercial. It was on my list of favorites. I enjoyed the entire commercial and it was very family friendly as well.E- Trade gets credit for great commercial as well. I am sure this can be viewed at YouTube as well, but I have not looked for it yet.

Now, the Doritos commercials are good usually too and this year was no different. However, I think that there have been better ones and worst ones so this is one of my okay commercials. The concept of the commercial was good though and the ending was a great catch. This commercial is also a good family oriented and friendly commercial and it thrills me that these companies are realizing that children watch the game and the commercials.

The Coca-Cola commercial brought a good laugh to the crowd here. What looked like a mirage was actually a sign of a bottle of this drink that said 50 miles ahead. After watching all the groups try to race to this drink, then to find that it was not what they were looking for. Hilarious!! You can actually vote for who gets there first online. I choose the cowboys!!

I didn't care for the Bud Light commercial and I was not a fan of the GoDaddy commercial. I thought that the kiss on the GoDaddy commercial was just a little too much for a family show.I am glad that I don't have small children to have to shoo away from the television when these types of ads come on. Another one that I didn't care for was the pistachio nut commercial with the Gangdam Style dance and singer Psy. I don't like the song, but I know that it is popular and draws a lot of attention. What I didn't like about it was the sexual notes that were added to it. Saying to crack your nuts gangdam style, just didn't seem appropriate. Luckily, most small children would not understand the sexual note. I think that the commercial could have been a little better done and could have been a little cleaner.

I must also comment on Beyonce's performance during half time. I felt that the entire performance was well danced and sang, enjoyed the light displays, and the music. However, I thought that the words to the songs were hard to understand and I felt that the clothing choices were not the most appropriate. I was extremely worried about a wardrobe malfunction with the way that her top was made. I thought back to Super Bowl 2012 in Indianapolis and how worried I was about Madonna performing and yet, she was elegant compared to Beyonce's outfit last night. The reunion of Destiny's Child was nice and I thought that those girls could have used more on their outfits too. I am fully aware that sex sells, but advertiser's need to realize that many families are trying to shield their children from some of what is in the world and just because a woman is poorly dressed and dressed in next to nothing doesn't make her sexy. Women are sexy in jeans and boots or a nice dress or even their sweats as long as their inner beauty is showing and more advertisers need to realize that families want their daughters, especially, to realize that skimpy clothes don't make them wanted.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pepper Steak Recipe

As promised earlier, I am using this blog to keep me organized and accountable as to the changes I need to make in my life and household. One of the main problems that I have had recently is trying to make meals that everyone likes and that I have the ingredients out of  the freezer and pantry that I need for the meal that I want to make. I find that my meal planning is not the best and so I find many evenings that I am rushing to find a meal that I can fix because I have not gotten anything out of the freezer to thaw to cook.

Being that we live in a rural area and that we raise much of our own meat, I always have plenty of food in the freezer and so it is usually just a matter of being unprepared. I have decided that meals were easier when I used a meal plan or menu. I usually only make one to two weeks at a time, but I like to ask for ideas as well when I am planning. Tonight 's meal was not planned to be Pepper Steaks but as I was cleaning the freezer out I found some steaks that had been in there for awhile and I found some frozen pepper strips that were left over from the summer bounty. I really didn't have a meal planned for Thursday so I moved tonight's meal to Thursday and planned the steaks for tonight. Having a meal plan or menu does not mean that changes can't be made, it is just a way to avoid those last minute "what's for dinner" with no plan moments.

Being that Pepper Steak is the menu tonight, I decided that I would share my recipe.

4-6 steaks of whichever cut you prefer
Steak Seasoning, your choice
Bell Peppers
Red Bell Pepper
Banana Pepper

Slice the peppers and onions thin . Place steak onto a piece of aluminum foil. Place pepper and onion strips on top of steaks. Season steaks to taste. Wrap in the foil and bake at 350 degrees until steaks are done, usually 30-45 minutes based on cut of steak.

I am fixing teriyaki rice, broccoli, and corn with them.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Meatloaf with Cabbage Recipe

We find meatloaf to be a comfort food, especially in the winter, in our little farm home. I have finally found a new way of adding another veggie ( which is usually don't hard to get our family to eat- we love veggies) to our table- cabbage. A friend of mine suggested that I make meatloaf and add cabbage and potatoes to the pan. At first, I thought how odd, but was considering giving it a try.

To make this delicious dish, make your favorite meatloaf recipe and dice potatoes and lay along side of the meatloaf in the roaster. Cut cabbage into wedges and lay on the potatoes along side the meatloaf and make sure that some of it can get some of the grease from the meat on it. Add just a little water into the pan and bake for the length of time that you normally bake your favorite meatloaf.

If anyone tries this, I would be excited to hear how you and your family reacted to it. Mine loved it!


1 - 1 1\2 pounds ground chuck
2 eggs
1\2 cup diced onions
1 small can tomato sauce
8-10 Ritz crackers crumbled up
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together thoroughly and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 1\2 hours. I like to add ketchup to the top of it as it bakes.

Friday, January 18, 2013

New Year - New Theme

Well, here it is mid January and I am trying to finally organize myself a little more and I am trying to hold myself a little more accountable for what I do and do not do in a day's time. First of all, I am working two jobs now and still doing the animal chores, the housework, home schooling my daughter, and keeping up with 4-H and all other scheduled activities. I really don't mind and my husband works just as hard as I do so I don't feel right complaining so this isn't a complaining session. I am actually going to make this blog be a part of my daily life this year and I intend to hold myself accountable on here and see where I can make some changes to make things easier and I am looking at ways to cut costs anywhere I can.

I don't normally use coupons because I don't see that they save much unless you buy a lot of name brand items and sometimes items that we normally do not buy. I don't know of any store near us that doubles coupons so as I've seen the show "Extreme Couponing" I really don't believe that people can get as many deals as they act as they do unless they live in an area where the stores double or triple coupons.

Last year, I found that meal planning saved me money and helped simplify my life, but for some reason I seemed to run out of time to do the planning. Well, I am going to start planning again. There are meals that I know my family enjoys that I don't cook often and that is going to change. I also intend to start planning the meals that we will eat in a week whether I actually plan the nights that I will serve them or not. I will start this for next week. I intend to hold myself accountable by sharing some of those menus on here.

I also have made my own cleaning products for several years now and yet, it seems that I have suddenly stopped doing that. I will once again start that and I will share some of those recipes and tips here as well. I find that it is expensive to purchase laundry products and I am looking for a way to make dryer sheets that I can use instead of buying them. I will let you know if I find a way of doing those.

Reading is very important to me and although both of my daughters have struggled with reading, I have not allowed them to not read. I will be sharing some of the books that we are reading here and I may even have my daughter blog some about what is important to her as well. I recently seen an interesting idea that someone in our county decided to do to make reading available to all and I am wanting to get other places going with the same idea and I will be sharing that later this month as well.

Our pets are important to us as well and I will be sharing many stories with our horses, dogs, cats, pigs, and chickens we;;. Keep reading for further information on them as well. Many changes to come and I hope to gather more readers as well.

Mother's Day

 Mother's Day can be such a beautiful day for many people, but I always think of the moms that have suffered losses of children, either ...