Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas!

May you have a blessed Christmas and wonderful New Year.

Here are a couple pictures of our Christmas morning.

The boys all loved their gifts. But we are most thankful for the greatest gift of Jesus birth!


Thursday, December 10, 2009


When all else fails I can always talk about food.

I have been on a soup kick lately. I've made two new recipes that will definitely be repeated throughout the winter. What's even more exciting is that Bri, the not a big soup fan, likes them both!

The first is called Sweet Russian Cabbage soup. I researched this out as a way to use the head of cabbage sitting in the refrigerator plus a plethora of vegetables. It is sooo good! For the beef,I used leftover Swedish meatballs from the night before, ground up in my mini food processor. I also upped the vinegar to 1/4 cup and lowered the sugar to 1/4 cup and used brown instead of white.


* 1 1/2 pounds ground lean beef
* 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
* 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
* 4 cubes beef bouillon
* 2 medium carrots, shredded
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 tablespoons white vinegar
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 2 quarts water, divided
* 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 1 head cabbage, cored and cut into wedges


1. Crumble the ground beef into a large pot. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef bouillon cubes, carrots, onion, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour in 1 quart of water, and bring to a boil. Stir to break up the beef while heating. Once the soup comes to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes over low heat.
2. Pour in another quart of water, and return to a slow boil. Add garlic and cabbage. Simmer for 25 minutes, until cabbage is tender. Ladle into soup bowls to serve.

The other soup is Panera Broccoli Cheese soup. I have just been craving it. The only changes I made to this was to up the broth to 3 cups and add a 1/2 head of cauliflower. I also just used milk instead of the cream, still turned out great!


* 1 tablespoon melted butter
* 1/2 medium chopped onion
* 1/4 cup melted butter
* 1/4 cup flour
* 2 cups half-and-half cream
* 2 cups chicken stock
* 1/2 lb fresh broccoli
* 1 cup carrot, julienned
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
* 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
* salt and pepper



Sauté onion in butter. Set aside.

Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and add the half & half.

Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.

Add salt and pepper. Can be puréed in a blender. Return to heat and add cheese. Stir in nutmeg.

I hope you can try both of these soups soon! You won't be sorry!

Have a great day!


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Nathan

Nathan is 4 years old today! He is such a blessing to us,and yet manages to be one of the most challenging of our kids.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm Still Here

Really I am. I even come to my blog almost every day to read others blogs.

I just haven't felt like I had anything blog worthy to talk about.

I tried a new soup recipe yesterday. It turned out great. I just need to take a picture and then I can post the recipe and blog about how great it is.

I am making a new casserole tonight. Again I'll need to remember a pic and review.

School is trucking right along. Needing to spend more time with Nathan on his preschool stuff though. I notice a huge difference in his attitude when I spend some one on one with him.

I'll do better at keeping up here. Hopefully anyway!

Have a great day!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rose Hips

Sunday afternoon the family got cabin fever so we ran a couple errands and ended up at Dillons for Chinese for dinner. After ward we wandered around and I thumbed through a magazine called Back Home. Browsed an article on making Rose Hip nectar.

So yesterday I was comparing prices on another herb between two companies,one being the Bulk Herb Store. I click on different herbs that catch my eye to read about. I read about Rose Hips. Here is what they say
Herbs: Rose hips - cut

Common Name: Rose hips
Latin Name: Rosa canina

Rose hips are the dried fruit of roses. They contain a good deal of vitamin C and vitamin C complex. Rose hips are especially good for stress and fighting infections. Rose Hips also have bioflavonoid which affects the heart and circulatory system, particularly strengthening the capillaries.

Walking back from the mailbox yesterday,I notice the red berries on the wild rose bush out back behind the big barn.

Light bulb over my head moment! We have rose hips here! So I go grab an ice cream bucket and start picking. This of course captures the attention of the boys,so they bundle up and come help.

Between the 4 of us,(Nathan was napping) we get a little over a cup. Of course there was some taste testing going on too. ;)

During this time I am wishing for a photographic memory of the directions in the article. I think I have the jist,so this morning I took a stab at it.

This is 1/2 the recipe. It was COLD,out there picking!!
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup honey
1 cup rose hips

Combine all in small saucepan,boil 10-15 minutes until hips "pop" releasing their juice and seeds;stirring and gently mashing.

Strain,pour into jar. Store in a cool,dark place.

The boys can't wait to pick and make more!
I plan on using it as an addition in herbal teas.(1-2 tsp stirred in each cup) Sweet flavor,Vit.C,and healthy to boot!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Some Like it Hot

We have discovered Popyeye's Chicken! Especially their Red Beans & Rice. So as with all things we love out, I set out to look for a copycat to make at home. I hit the jackpot on my first try! You can adjust the heat level by decreasing or omitting the cayene,but the liquid smoke is essential!!! All of the family except Nathan loved it. He had granola for dinner. ;) Next time, which will be soon, I'll double the recipe so we will have leftovers for the next day.

This is also very budget friendly! Tasty and cheap,can't beat that!!!

Copycat Popeye’s Chicken Red Beans and Rice Recipe
Recipe from

2 cans of light red kidney beans.(undrained)
1 capfull (~1tsp) Liquid smoke.
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper.
~1/2tsp garlic salt. (probably a bit more)
3-4tbsp real unsalted butter.
(I also throw in a 1/4-1/2tsp of powdered red hot pepper and a dash of garlic powder for good measure.)

Put all ingredients in a pot on medium heat until it begins to boil. Smash most of the beans with spoon as they soften to help thicken everything up and continue to cook and stir often, especially once it really begins to come together or it will scorch. I’d say about 8-10 minutes before smashing some beans, and another 20-30 cooking and stirring until they reach the right consistency which is a touch soupy but thick.

For the rice:

2 cups white rice
1 tblsp butter
1tsp garlic salt

Cook the rice as normal with the addition of butter and garlic salt.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Ever have so much to do you just don't know where to start?

That's me today. But once I get get going I know things will be fine and get done. It's just getting started. I'm the same way with ironing. I don't mind when I'm doing it,it's just getting started. Same with exercising. Same with spending time in the Word. Why am I procrastinating?

Here is my want/need to do list for today. I'll get started just as soon as this posts.;)

1. make kombucha
2. make yogurt
3. laundry
4. school
5. exercise
6. quilt
7. read to the boys
8. read to myself ;)
9. sweep,dust
10.make dinner

Have a great day!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sweet Home Sounds

Living with four sons and a fun loving husband,this house can get pretty noisy pretty fast. But right now,I'm hearing some of the sweetest sounds. The older boys are gently strumming their guitars and teaching the younger ones to sing Amazing Grace. Luke generously is letting Nathan strum on his lap harp.

I know it won't last long, so I'd better enjoy it while I can.

Have a great start to the week!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Caleb's 6th Birthday Party

Yesterday we celebrated Caleb's birthday with Grandma and Grandpa B,and Aunt R, Uncle A,and their two little boys.

We really enjoy being able to get together,wishing at the same time that our far away family could be there too.

Caleb wanted a Santa Fe Lake Cake this year. I couldn't do the whole lake,so we just did the south cove with the docks and beaches.

Have a great week!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Birthday Breakfast

Caleb turns 6 today!!!

As I've said before, on each boys birthday I let them choose the menu for the day. Caleb chose donuts and sausage biscuit sandwiches for breakfast. Lunch is still undecided,but Bri will be bringing Chinese home for dinner! Yay! I made donuts(actually mini long johns) for the first time yesterday and was amazed at how easy the dough went together. We are not big fans of frying,but I went ahead and followed the recipe. SOO GOOD! Then Luke and I filled them with vanilla pudding,and he and Jacob frosted them with a simple frosting that took all of five minutes to make. I'll post all the recipes on my recipe blog. :)

Caleb opened his gifts while I finished getting breakfast to the table.

He got more camping supplies that he had asked for. A camp ax,folding shovel,and another pocket knife for his collection.

The family party is on Sunday. Look for more party pictures on Monday!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Dreamland VS Reality

A couple months ago my best friend and her family sold their home,bought a 5th wheel and started traveling with the husband with his job.

Just for fun Bri started checking craigslist for motor homes. We talk a lot about how fun it would be to just load up and head south. Tired?,just pull over and go to sleep. Hungry? I would just take the few steps and whip up dinner while we toodle down the road.

On Saturday morning after running a few family errands,we stopped and looked at some class C's. They are the one's with the van front and rv back. Amazed at all the room they have. The boys loved the bunk over the cab. Back home we had lunch and then went to look at one we found on Craigslist. Spent over two hours looking and even took a test drive. Still just having fun.

Home again,we recheck craigslist and find a class A for sale at an unbelievable price. So we call and get directions. Go down have a look, go for a test drive. Bri tells the guy he is pretty serious. So they start going through EVERYTHING. Starting to think we will actually be writing a check. We leave after 4+ hours with the intentions to come back on Sunday after the batteries have been charged up and with Bri's Dad to check things out.

Sleeping on it, we realized how much money it would actually take just to keep the thing gassed up,it really only slept 5,we really like our tent camping set up,the extra headache of ANOTHER thing to maintain,and on and on. Bri called the guy back and said we would not be coming back after all. It is a great coach at a great price,they will have no trouble selling it.

Although the family was disappointed,we knew it was the best decision. The line between fun dreaming and reality can get thin at times. Praising God for giving us wisdom and common sense in this particular situation.

Have a great week!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Big Talker or I can do it by my own self!

Last weekend we camped at El Dorado Lake. Mainly to attend the OK Kids Day activities on Saturday for the boys. They had all kinds of out door activities for the kids to do. Fishing,archery,BB gun and paint ball gun shooting,skeet shooting,tomahawk throwing(or as Michael Pearl calls it,tommyhawk ) jet ski simulator,bird feeder building,and horse back riding.

We started off with fishing. Quickly got bored with not catching anything,and moved onto the horses. The whole time Nathan, big man of 3 3/4 years old that he is, kept saying,"I'm going to ride all by myself!" over and over and over. Meanwhile Mom and the brothers knew better. I'll just let the pictures tell the story.


Thursday, October 1, 2009


Proverbs 6:6-8

Go to the ant,thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7 Which having no guide,overseer, or ruler, 8 Provideth her meat in the summer and gathereth her food in the harvest.

I am preparing most of the food today for our families favorite past time. CAMPING!!!

We leave tomorrow after Bri gets home from work. We'll be at El Dorado Lake. It's free admissions weekend and OK Kids Day on Saturday. The kids have been pumped since last years camp out.

Back to the preparedness. The more we camp, the easier the menus come together. I am starting to have standbys that we always have, plus planning meals that can be prepared both on the fire or stove depending on the wind/weather. So, here is what the Brooks family will be dining on this weekend.

Fri. dinner: hamburgers,peach cobbler

Sat. breakfast: breakfast burritos

Sat. lunch: OK Kids provides a free hot dog,chip,drink lunch. All FREE!!!

Sat. dinner:dutch oven chicken and basil dumplings,s'mores

Sun. breakfast: apple oatmeal coffee cake,boiled eggs,fruit

Sun. lunch: sandwiches,chips,raw veggies,ranch dip

Sun. dinner: Hopefully Dillons Chinese! ;)

Watch for lots of pictures next week!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Menu Planning

I do the grocery shopping every two weeks. I make my list based on menus for those two weeks,plus our usual stuff.

Most of the time making my menus and grocery list is a big, time consuming chore. I get out a stack of old Quick Cooking and Taste of Home magazines and go through each one,seeing what looks good. I also take into consideration family favorites,but have to be careful not to run them into the ground.

This time around I thought I would try a new approach that I've read or heard about off and on. I took each day of the week and assigned it a main ingredient or theme.

Monday: beef
Tuesday: chicken
Wednesday: pasta
Saturday & Sunday: leftover/sandwiches/soup/out

My list went together so quickly, I was amazed. I managed to stick to my new plan for Mon-Thurs. The weekends are a little off because we will be camping the first weekend and I had to adjust for that. The second weekend,I just did some family favorites.

So here are my menus for the next two weeks starting on Monday.

M:Swedish meatballs,mashed potatoes,corn
T:Chicken,broccoli,rice casserole,salad
W:Spaghetti Red,corn bread
F:Hamburgers,Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler
S:Dutch Oven Chicken with Basil Dumplings,s'mores

M:Meatloaf,mashed potatoes,veggie
T:Pecan Crusted Chicken,green beans,salad
W:Spaghetti and meatballs,salad
TH:Bean and rice burritos
F:Potato soup,popcorn

So there you have it. I'm excited to see how long I can make this work. By being so general with the days assigned food,the options are almost limitless.

Have a great day!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Newspaper Cards

This morning the boys made newspaper birthday cards to send to their cousin in Colorado. It made for a great activity,and a good way to put some old newspapers to use. The younger boys got to work on letter recognition,they all showed awesome creativity,and hopefully their cousin will enjoy all of her cards.

All you need to do this craft are some old newspapers,ads,and or magazines, paper,glue,crayons,stencils,scissors,and imagination.

Decide what your message will be and cut out the letters from the newspaper. We also cut out pictures of things and foods we thought she would like. Glue the letters and pictures onto the paper. Embellish with stencils,hand written riddles,and hand drawn pictures.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Psalm 117

Psalm 117

O Praise the Lord,all ye nations:praise him,all ye people.
For his merciful kindness is great toward us:and truth of the Lord endureth for ever.
Praise ye the Lord.

Psalm 118:14
The Lord is my strength and song,and is become my salvation.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Blogger's Block

I've got a bad case of blogger's block. I want to blog,but every time I think about what to write,my mind just goes blank.

I enjoy reading other peoples blogs,and sometimes get inspiration from them. But here lately,nothing sounds exciting enough to write about. Maybe that's my problem. I worry about what others will think too much. It's not like I have a ton of people reading this like others have. Though I am extremely grateful for those of you who do take the time to stop by!

So even though my blog isn't as inspirational or witty as others,I'll continue writing about the little things my family does. I'll keep posting new recipes on the recipe blog. I'll (try to) stop worrying about how I come across to others. As long as my words and thoughts and deeds are pleasing to my God and my husband,nothing else matters.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Brooks Family Adventures

When we last left our adventuresome family they were planning a float trip down the White Water River.

Last spring Bri and Luke floated down this same stretch and had a grand ol time.

The other night the phone rang with a potential customer wanting information about taking a float trip with 16 people. So we decided to do a test run with our family and make sure it would be good.

Saturday morning we had our usual hearty breakfast burritos,packed the dry bags with lunch and water and headed out. Bri and the boys took the inflatable Mariner to our put in spot while I went on ahead to the recycle bin in Augusta and wait for Bri to meet up with me to take a vehicle to our take out spot.

Back at the put in place we waded through grasses taller than the average adult. Bri had Nathan on his shoulders. Settled in the boat,we happily go on our way. Luke and Bri navigate us around some logs,turn the bend,take some pictures, ooh and awe over the beauty.

The water starts to ripple up ahead. Careful of the rocks that are causing that pretty ripple. Not careful enough! All of a sudden,"POP". Air spews out of the side chamber and it quickly deflates. We find a place to pull over and figure the best way to go back. Climb the 5+ foot bank and walk back through the field? Wade back along the edge of the river? Everyone climbs back in the boat and all six of us sit on the remaining air filled edge and paddle back,against the currant. Praise God it wasn't very strong.

We make it back. The kids and Bri head back through the grass jungle while I try and pull the boat up the bank. Bri returns after getting the kids to a safe spot to wait. "Why haven't you got it up any further than that?!" Well the bottom was full of water that came in hole coming back against the currant. He drags it up a bit for me and we proceed to drain the water. Did I mention the bank was steep and muddy? I was so thankful for strong root systems on those tall grasses and small trees!

We load everyone and everything up in the car and head for home. We all spray off and enjoy our picnic lunch at the picnic table in the small barn. Bri patched the hole and the boat is as good as new. Need to call the lady back and postpone her trip till the river is a bit higher!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him,and he shall direct thy paths.

Such a short couple of verses. Easy to memorize. Nice to give in plaque form or on a card to graduating seniors.

I've heard them all my life. Have been a Christian for most of my life as well.

But am just now really chewing on them and digesting it.

I've been trying to lean on my own understanding. Bri's job is really stressful for him and the company is in debt so deep there is no way they can ever get out, not to mention his co-workers.

Anyway,loving my husband as much as I do, I want to make everything better for him. They are to have massive layoffs. So I pray God will let him be among those. One day it looks like he will,the next,he won't.

Bri has a dream to own/operate a campground on a river. We would have steady income from the campers and still be able to run the kayak/canoe business as well. One day, I'm ready to pack up and head to the great unknown. The next, we see how wonderful we have it right where we are.

Ok, so what's the point of all my rambling? My own understanding just puts me on an emotional roller coaster ride that gets real old real fast.

God loves Bri so much more than I do. He is PERFECT and has a PERFECT plan for my husband and family. I need to butt out and TRUST in HIM with ALL my heart. Just let him lead and relax and enjoy the journey on the path of his choosing.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bread and Butter Pickles

Bri said at the beginning of the gardening season, "Plant lots of cucumbers, I love cucumbers"! So we did. Because of this I have since made two batches of bread and butter pickles for a combined total of 15 1/2 pints of pickles sitting prettily on the shelf downstairs.

Here is the recipe and pictures.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Canning and Preserving

4 qts sliced medium cucumbers (about 4 1/2 pounds)
8 medium white onions,sliced (about2 1/2 pounds)
1/3 cup pickling salt
3 cloves garlic,halved
cracked ice
4 cups sugar
3 cups cider vinegar
2 tablespoons mustard seed
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed

1. In a large bowl combine cucumbers,onions,salt,and garlic. Add about 2 inches of cracked ice. Refrigerate for 3 hours;drain well. Remove garlic.

2. In an 8 or 10 qt dutch oven or kettle combine sugar,vinegar,mustard seed,turmeric,and celery seed. Add drained mixture.

3. Bring to boiling. Pack cucumber mixture and liquid into hot,clean pint canning jars,leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles,wipe jar rims,and adjust lids. Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (start timing after water begins to boil).

4. Remove jars from canner;cool on racks. Makes 7 pints.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to School

We actually started back to school last week. Luke was chomping at the bit, and I saw no reason we should wait to start with the local public schools. So we jumped in. I was a little nervous about starting this year because most of our curriculum this year is new to us. I had bought it at a home school used book sale back in May. So far things are going great. The boys seem to really like the new stuff. Luke and Jacob have more notebooks for writing so we can save the text books to pass down. We are also doing Bible differently this year.

Before we have always had a Bible curriculum. In addition to that,last year, I would read the Proverbs chapter of the day out loud and then the older two would each choose one verse from that day's chapter and write it in a notebook. Then we would talk about their chosen verse. This year we are using the Bible Broadcasting Network's memory verse of the week. (Click on the BBN in the right side column of the blog) On day 1 the boys print the verse in their notebooks. Day 2,the copy it in cursive. Day 3, I have them draw a picture of what they see in their mind when they hear the verse. Days 4-5, we work on finish memorizing it.

Here is each boy's list of subjects.

Nathan,age 3: Jump Start Preschool cd on the computer, Little People workbook from Dollar Tree,doodling in HIS notebook while his brothers do their work. Nathan spends his free time running trains on the Thomas track,riding his bike,or just following his brothers around,copying their every move. What else are three big brother's for?

Caleb,age 5; grade 1: Writing part of the week's verse each day,Jump Start 1st Grade cd on the computer,finishing Phonics and Math from last year.Both from Christian Liberty Press.
Spelling: published by Association of Christian Schools International
Science: Our Father's World Published by Christian Liberty Press
History: History For Little Pilgrims Published by Christian Liberty Press
Readers:Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book 1;Meeting New Friends;Noah Webster's Reading Handbook;Lessons From the Farmyard. all by Christian Liberty Press
Giant workbook: Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills Grade 1 published by School Specialty Publishing
Comprehensive Quickies: 3 minute reading comprehension activities Published by Remedia Publications

Now he doesn't do ALL of that each day! The readers, we'll go through one at a time. Some books we'll get to later in the year. The others he just does a page or two each day. The rest of his day is spent outside dinking in the garden,riding his bike,building yet another sling shot or anything he can think of with the scrap wood out back.

Jacob,age 8; grade 4: Writing the Bible verse of the week,
Readers: all by Christian Liberty Press:Boys and Girls of Colonial Days,Children of the Covered Wagon,Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader Book 4,Stories of the Pilgrims
History: A Child's Story of America,published by Christian Liberty Press
English: English 4 for Christian Schools,published by BJU Press
Math:Saxon Math 5/4
Spelling: Spelling,Vocabulary,Poetry 4,published by A Beka Book
Science: Understanding God's World,published by A Beka Book

As with Caleb, we'll go through the readers one at a time. Each subject is about 2 pages a day. Jacob loves being outside working with wood,shooting his bow and arrows, shooting BB and pellet guns with his Dad,and knife/tomahawk throwing.

Luke,age 10;grade 6: Writing the Bible verse of the week,
Readers:Mountain Pathways,Voyage of Discovery,Of America II,all published by A Beka Book
Spelling: Spelling,Vocabulary,Poetry 6 published by A Beka Book
Language Arts 6 published by Christian Light Publications
Geography: World Map skills published by Frank Schaffer Publications
Science: Observing God's World by A Beka Book
Math: Math 6 For Christian Schools By BJU Press

Luke is my voracious reader. He read the first two of his school readers this summer while camping. Can't find him? Check his bedroom,there he'll be on his bed with his nose in a book. Usually with a biography from the library. He also loves working with wood,knife throwing,bike riding,and is an indispensable help with our family canoe and kayak business.

So there you have it. Our home school for the year.

Have a great day!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Today is Bri and my 15th wedding anniversary! Where has the time gone? We were talking last night about how fast it has gone and about how much we (mainly I) have grown and changed since then.

We laugh (now) about our first dinner as a married couple. The Taco Tico drive thru. Being the young romantic, I thought our first married meal should have been well, in a more romantic setting!

We laugh (now) about how I served him raw meat loaf for dinner one night.

We laugh (now) about me giving him his first hair cut. Said it was too short!

But with four amazing boys,learning to give and take,when to speak up and when to shut up, I wouldn't trade any of these past years for anything,and pray God blesses us with many,many more wonderful years together!

I love you Bri!!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

One Awesome Herb!

Over the past couple years as I've been trying to learn more about herbs,I kept hearing how great plantain was. Also how it is virtually everywhere. They say it is usually mistaken for a weed that people spray their lawns for to get rid of it and dandelions. After studying the pictures on Google Images I was so excited to finally find it!

Why so excited over a weed? Plantain draws out pain and poison quickly and painlessly. We have gotten the chance to use it first hand when Caleb got stung by a wasp at the lake. He got stung on his leg right before heading out on a bike ride. His brothers quickly found a few leaves. I rinsed them with my water bottle and had him chew them up and put the wad on his sting. Within two minutes all pain and tears were gone and we set off on our walk and bike ride.

I also use a plantain tincture as my evening face wash. It draws out all the inner dirt and grime and after just a few weeks,my face is more even and some of my dark spots are fading. I made this simple tincture by following the instructions on the Making Herbs Simple dvd put out by Shoshana Easling at the Bulk Herb Store.

Here is what I did.

After picking a good handful of leaves,I brought them home and the boys helped me rinse them gently.

Next,we tore and packed the leaves into two canning jars.

Finally, we covered the leaves with apple cider vinegar. Store in a cool dry place and shake the jars everyday for two weeks. After two weeks,strain out the leaves and the juice that is left is the tincture.

Store jars in a cool dry place. Can be used as a face wash,relieve stings,insect bites and even snake bites. (Praying we never have to use it for that!) To learn more about this amazing herb visit


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Blessing Friends

There are friends and then there are blessing friends. My friend Dana is such a blessing friend! We'll call each other on the phone once or twice a month and get together even less, but I count her as one of my closest friends. She is someone I can talk to about nothing and about everything.

Earlier in the week I was at her house helping out because they are getting ready to move. I planned to go back again this morning while the boys were in VBS. But the key refused to turn over. After getting advice from Bri over the phone,I tried again and again. No go. So I called Dana to say I wouldn't make it after all. (Almost in tears by this time.) With out hesitation, she loads up her kids and comes over to let me borrow their vehicle to take the boys to VBS and then come back for her and the kids to go to her house as planned. We still got to spend our morning working and visiting together. After VBS we reversed everything. I picked up the boys,got them settled at home with lunch and returned her vehicle and she brought me back home. Not only that, she sent me home with a bunch of meat from their freezer!

Here I thought I would try and be a blessing to her, but she ended up blessing me a million times more.

Thank you Lord for my friend!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Garden Update

Thought I would share some pictures of our garden and some landscaping. We have harvested a few things so far, but from the looks of the blossoms on the plants, we'll be super busy in a few more weeks!

The hostas love thier new home after being transplanted last fall.

Black eyed susans in the front of the house. These are Bri's favorites

Our siamese yellow squash

A bird's nest and eggs in the potatoe's

Cantaloup gone wild. (Now, some ten days later,you cannot even see the ground!)

Have a great day!


Monday, July 6, 2009

July 4th Camping

Bri had all of last week off from work,so we spent most of the time camping at Santa Fe Lake.

We set up camp on Wednesday morning. Already the place was starting to fill up for the holiday weekend. Each day we would see campers come in,drive around looking for an empty hook up and drive away very discouraged and even angry. So glad we just tent camp and can set up just about anywhere!

We had a great spot right across from the dam where the fireworks would be on Friday night. Of course the kids made friends with some of the neighbor camping kids. The other kids shared some of their fireworks stand goodies with our boys. Among them were the snap pops that you throw down and they pop. After a while, Nathan came up to Bri and asked where his little onions were. What?

"you know, my little onions the kids gave me".

"Oh, you mean the snap pops?" Yeah, my little onions."

Relaxing in the shade

Dinner cooking over the fire. Baked potatoes in foil,marinated chicken,zucchini fresh from our garden.

Jacob out in the canoe

Nathan spent a lot of time on his "kayak boat"

Have a great week!


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My First Tag

I feel so loved! I've been blog tagged for the first time! Thanks to my friend Holland at

So I think the rule for this tag is that I need to post the sixth picture of our sixth album and tell the story behind it. So here goes.

In January of 2007,we decided to put hardwood flooring in our hall,living room and kitchen. We ordered the wood online and picked it up at the freight station. At that time,Nathan was about 13 months old and was just learning to walk. This picture was the night before the installers were to come.

Have a great day!


Friday, June 19, 2009

Swimming Lessons

The boys had swimming lessons last week and loved them! Enjoy some pictures of all they learned!