Thursday, December 20, 2012

Super Bro Card. . .

I made this card for my little brother's birthday, cause I think he is super!

Happy Birthday, James! 

(He likes to be called James now, rather than Jamey. . .it makes him feel grown up! )

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tis The Season. . .

Now begins the Birthday Card Roundup!!!

 I consider December to be the start of the birthday season, since we have at latest count 7 December birthdays in my family. . . and I am sure I am forgetting someone! 

I am reeeeeally good at that!

This year, since I am finally almost settled in the new house after our 2 year long move, I am going to make a valiant effort to actually remember everyone's birthdays this year. . .

Specifically the one's that begin with "sister" and end with "in-law". . .

I think you know who you are!

Anyway, kicking it off this year is my Aunt Ann.

Turns out the love of the color orange is genetic.

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Third Book Review

The final book that I reviewed this month from  from Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group, was:

Here is the book trailer from the website:

This book was written by Ray Comfort and Jeffrey Seto.

Inside the covers of this book are 32 inventions that have their foundation in natural design. It looks at these things and shows how studying nature has allowed for incredible advances in technology. When you are able to look at nature up close it is impossible to not see a Creator behind it all. . .the spider web that is stonger than Kevlar, moth's eyes that inspire solar cell, cat's eyes and their ability to reflect light.

I loved being able to share this book with my kids as part of our school curriculum  It does a great job explaining technological advances and well as how things work in nature. What a joy to have such a colorful and well done book to add to our library!

Here is a link up to other reviews.

Second Book Review

The second book I had the opportunity to review from Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group, was:

Here is the book trailer from the website:

This book was edited by Don Landis, the president of Jackson Hole Bible College in Jackson, Wyoming. It was contributed to by  students at Jackson Hole Bible College.

I cannot say enough about this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it! It was the prefect mix of facts and illustration. The book deals with the problem that evolutionists have with the relics we have of our past that indicate that ancient man had to have an understanding of science, math and astronomy. There is so much evidence in this world that man was not a creature that slowly evolved into a being with  the ability to reason.

Starting with an introduction in apologetics and concluding with a list of their axioms, a fact that ought to be widely held and understood as truth, this book covers a range of topics about ancient man. It discusses how the long lives of pre-flood man would have allowed for hundreds of years of collaboration and an ability to perfect an idea. It shows how the Biblical story of Babel would allow for an explanation of similarities between cultures around the globe. Some of these similarities include building style, music, legends and a focus on astronomy.

Although we may never know the truth behind ancient man, this book presents a great starting point to learn more about our past.

Here is a link up to other reviews.

Unique Opportunity. . .

I recently had the unique opportunity to review three new books from Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group.

The first book I opened up was:

Here is a link to the book trailer from the  NLPG website.

This book is written by Ken Ham president/CEO and founder of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, which we got to visit last summer. 

We are in our second year of homeschooling and one of the things that I love is that I have the opportunity to present the truth about our world to my children. This book does an amazing job of presenting the story of Adam and Eve in a way that is easy for my children (as well as myself) to understand! The illustrations captured their attention and the text allowed for clear understanding. 

The book is thoroughly based on Scripture and starts at the beginning with the creation account. It discusses the purpose of man and what life would have been like in the garden. It introduces the concept of sin and the consequences that followed and have left an impact on our world today.

 What I love about this book is that it allows be to answer the questions about Adam and Eve with confidence and I loved sharing it with  my kids.

Here is a link up to other reviews.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Canning adventures. . .

I just finished my first foray into solo canning.

I had watched my mom can when I was younger. My mother-in-law and I made a ridiculous amount of pickles one summer about 8 years ago, but this was my first attempt as a big girl to do it all by myself!

I wasn't planning on trying to can anything during our first year on the farm, but when I went to pull up my tomato plants from my VERY late garden (I didn't get my plants in the ground until late June. In these here parts people usually start their outdoor plants around May 15) I had way too many green tomatoes to not do something with them. I also had about 30 jalapeno peppers that needed a home.

So, with my fall bounty, I hit the internet to find some tasty recipes.

(Let me take a moment to say that I will be making fried green tomatoes for supper. . . don't you worry your pretty little head!)

First up is a recipe for Green Tomato Relish, or as it is known in the South, Chow-chow.

Here is the recipe that I used from Mommy's Kitchen.

Next, I made Green Tomato Jam.

 I was a little nervous about this one, 'cause it sounded kinda weird and it took three days to make. I am sooo glad I did! I was scrapping the pan to get every little bit onto a piece of toast this morning after I put the jars in the canner. Yumm!

Here is the recipe that I used from Lori's Lip Smacking Goodness.

Finally, I made Candied Jalapenos.

Several months ago I had come across the recipe on Tasty Kitchen and just knew that I had to try them! Sweet and spicy. . . who can resist that combo?!?!? Certainly not me!

Here is the recipe from the original site, Foodie With Family.

I must say, I really did enjoy this whole adventure learning a new skill.
 I will definitely plan on doing more next year!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cup Cake Card. . .

Here is a card I made for my nephew, Mikah.

He is the last of the 4 year old birthdays this year.

Happy Birthday !!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Things You Can't Get From The Grocery Store. . .

There are certain things about farm life that give you little surprises.

The top egg is a little tiny egg.

The bottom egg. . .let's just sum that one up in one word. . .


It is even a little lumpy. Like maybe the poor little hen had to pause for a minute to decide if she had the womanly ability to get this monster out! I wonder if she was crying for a C-section at this point?

(Sorry for the labor humor. . .I am a nurse on the maternity floor!)

Here is a picture to give you some perspective. 

Perhaps the iPod is a more current way to show you the size?

Now,  the moment you have all been waiting for. . .

What do you get when you crack open an extra-extra large egg?


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ocean Birthday Cards. . .

These are two birthday cards that I made for my niece and nephew, who turned four this past week.

I was in the mood to do something a little different and chose to do an ocean theme for their September birthdays.

I use the Under the Sea stamp set (C1500) and the Footloose paper pack (X7151B), along with some Wooden Badge buttons (Z1703) and other little embellishments from my stash.

Happy Birthday to my favorite twins!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Photographing eyes. . .

I am an EXTREMELY amateur photographer. My brain sees the picture I want to take, but my camera skills don't always allow me to translate that image to pixels.

When I view portrait photography I looooove the pictures that make the eyes really stand out.
Unfortunately, these pictures often involve doe eyed, blue eyed kids. . .

My babies have beautiful brown eyes. I think hat makes is hard to get those dramatic pictures.

I like a challenge! I am on a mission!

I feel like I achieved reflectivity and some clarity on these two pictures, but they are far from perfect.

I had to lighten them up during processing and that faded some of the detail. I had my f stop all the way down to 1.8, but I always forget to adjust the shutter speed!
 Shutter speed is my nemesis. . . .curse you thumb toggle!!!

Any suggestions are welcome. I am gonna keep practicing!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

You don't always get what you pay for. . .

Our girls started laying this week! 
As of this morning three out of the nine hens are giving us eggs. 
They are awfully cute little things. 
Like little presents we get to go and discover each day.

This leads me to the title of this post. We have been buying "free range, organic" eggs at the grocery store in an effort to give our family the healthiest egg we can buy. 

Below is a picture of one store bought "free range, certified organic" egg and one free range (non-certified) organic egg from our girls that spend their days scratching under bushes and clucking around the pastures at our house.

Can you see a difference?

You don't always get what you pay for!

Here are some interesting facts about backyard chickens eggs:

1/3 less cholesterol
1/4 less saturated fat
2/3 more vitamin A
2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
3 times more vitamin E
7 times more beta carotene

You can read more here at MotherEarthNews.

The moral to the story? If you are able to have your own chickens it is definitely worth the effort! If you can't (or don't want the responsibility) have your own flock try to seek out a local farmer that offers true free range eggs. The difference is something you can see with your own eyes.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Summer evening. . .

Went for a walk with my fellas around the pond a few nights ago.

I then had to run back into the house for my camera!!!

This was the amazing sunset over our pond through my camera lens.

Not to be out done, Farm Boy took his own version from a different spot. Perty!

Next thing we knew the kidos busted out the Barbie Jeep

And went for a cruise. .

Happy trails, Lil Pardners. . .

Simple Scrapbooking. . .

The thing I love about Close To My heart is how easy it is to use their products. I loooove the Workshops on the Go kits!!! They are the first things that I purchase when the new Idea Book comes out. I love being able to grab the bag and create a fantastic project without any hassle.

Each kit has a little bit of stamping, dimensional elements, and teaches a new technique.

This is the Stella WOTG kit. It looks slightly different than the directions, but that is the cool thing about these kits. You can change them up a bit to make them fit your pictures and then you have a layout that is uniquely yours!!!


If you are interested in joining one of my clubs and working on these amazing kits together, please contact me! Happy Crafting!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Once Upon A Time. . .

Ever since I was a little girl I have been in love with Golden Retrievers. When I met, fell in love with and then agreed to marry my husband, he agreed to love, cherish and provide me with a
"floppy yellow puppy."

Thirteen years and thirty days later. . .

This handsome boy is named Jack.

This lovely lady is named Daisy.

They fell in love and had eight puppies.

On June 14 we drove to WV and got to meet their sweet girl. 

We also named her Daisy. It was the name that I had picked out years ago.

She is so sweet and cuddly and perfect!

 She is is the floppy yellow puppy I have always wanted!

We brought her back to my mom's house for the night.
Here she is just before we put her to bed. She got all tuckered out and fell asleep in the grass.

The next morning we packed up and drove to the farm.
I wasn't too worried about introducing her to Daphne, but I kept a close eye on them for a while.

We had some bone chewing. . .

Quite a lot of butt sniffing. . .

Some water drinking. . .

Some rope playin'. . .

And finally some. . . nursing?!?!?!

I think they are going to get along just fine!

Two days later, we are settling in fine and Farm Boy has finally
 checked off the last box on the prenup.

Life is good.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cousins. . .

As grateful as I was to be able to move to KY, I knew that there were going to be things that I was going to miss when I left SoCal. Beyond the obvious things like family, good friends, our church and a job I loved, there was going to be this little guy.
I grew up watching for birds outside our window. My mom always had bird feeders around, so it was natural for me to grow attached to seeing him. 
This is a Black Phoebe. It is only in the Western US and if you see one outside your window it is probably the same one everyday, since they are territorial and solitary nesters, often remaining year-round in an established territory.

I knew that when we moved I would no longer get to enjoy watching him.

About a month after we moved into this house I started hearing a bird out on the front porch. We were sitting at dinner one night when I finally saw her. I grabbed the bird book to look her up and lo and behold. . . .
Meet the East Coast cousin of my little Black Phoebe. . .
the Eastern Phoebe.

Turns out all of the ruckus was her finding a place to build a nest! She decided that the transom above our front door would be a great spot. While we knew it would be messy, we couldn't help letting her finish and lay her eggs.

We had such a unique view, and got to watch throughout the day as she built her nest and then sat on the eggs.

A few weeks later they all hatched!

And the feeding began! She flew back and forth bringing them flies and bugs.

They started filling the nest to the top

And finally started overflowing. . .I swear there is a fifth bird in there!
 I think it was stuffed down into the middle.

I got up this morning and started working on this blog post. I realized that some of the pictures were still on my camera and as I walked through the living room to get it I couldn't believe what I witnessed!

I got to watch every little bird take its first flight from the nest, and
 I actually had my camera in my hand!!!

First one out!

Second one.

Number three.

Here are the last two.

Number four ( you can see the tail of number three).

The last one getting ready to take to the air!

Fifth and final flight!!! 

We now have an empty nest.

 I feel so blessed to have gotten to witness God's little gift from the first piece of moss
 to the very last flutter of wings.