Random Pictures

DSC_0064Mommy’s homemade birthday cake.

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Another one of my homemade, sugar free chocolates. I think I melted some unsweetened Ghirardelli chocolate with coconut oil, stevia, vanilla and black cocoa.

DSC_0023 DSC_0027DSC_0038Chickens pecking around by our front door. The chickens have gotten so comfortable around our kids that they follow them down here from the barn. I love seeing them walking around.

DSC_0040 DSC_0044 DSC_0053Leah taking a break to eat a pear or something…

DSC_0055Dad just good and tired from doing the floor all month. Tabitha is all cuddles….

DSC_0069Beautiful reflection in the water. See how it goes across to the point across the way?

DSC_0077Speckled egg…

 

Daddy Finished the Floor

Matthew finished the floor a week or two ago. He didn’t expect to finish the bedroom floor until the 15th of April, but he actually finished the bedroom and the living room floor by that date.  : ) He worked hard and he is truly gifted in this area. He really knows what he is doing as he has done this sort of work for years. It was nice to finally see his work. DSC_0009 DSC_0011Moving right along…

DSC_0047 DSC_0049Matthew being a big helper

DSC_0052Almost complete! DSC_0094All done!  Looks good… now we have to protect it. Our old chair to the left has to be on a rug for now or it will surely scratch it.

DSC_0114Now we will be listing the home on the 29th of this month. We are comfortable here, how could we not be? But, we know in our hearts that we will be much happier in not having a mortgage. We already had someone look at the home last week but he wasn’t too happy about the salty water. I think he was concerned that there couldn’t possibly be many fish in the lake. Well, we’ll just see about that.  Just wait a few weeks and we’ll show you all the pictures of the delicious trout.  : ) Anyways, we’ll miss it home. It does feel like home somewhat but we are trying to be thankful for the time God gives us here and be thankful for when our time comes that we must go. Thank you for doing such a good job on the floor dear. You are such a good man for being willing to leave this precious gem for the better things…. the more precious things in life.  : )

Sweet Kids

I’m trying to catch up on posts from a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t felt real well so I haven’t been doing too many pictures. I had my HIDA scan regarding my gallbladder and they are referring me to a surgeon next.  : ) How do you compare something so little as this to a c-section or multiple pregnancies or a pregnancy with multiples? It’ll probably feel more like a vacation.  : )

DSC_0157The girls after their bath. I dried them all off and plunked them into my bed to get nice and warm.

DSC_0155 DSC_0148One of the girls little creations. They like making trains out of their toys.

DSC_0146Having fun building things…

DSC_0047Daddy brushing Elisabeth’s hair – What a sweet picture!

DSC_0029Little pillows that the girls hand sewed for their animals. They did learn how to sew baby wipes on the sewing machine last year. They did such a good job. But, I lost those pictures with my computer many months ago. I thought it would be a good idea to show them how to use a needle and thread.  : ) DSC_0028 DSC_0014

Mommy making curtains for the bedroom. I bought this beautiful fabric of all places – Walmart. It was under $3.00 a yard. They turned out beautiful.

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Matthew and Elisabeth are pretty close. All of our kids are real “huggy” and touchy. I love it!

 

Beautiful Wannacut Lake

 Here are some pictures around our home taken a couple of weeks ago: DSC_0121 DSC_0119 DSC_0117 DSC_0108 Magnificent hills…

DSC_0077Pretty water…

DSC_0065Matthew doing some outside work

DSC_0059 DSC_0070Hannah washing the car

DSC_0052 I came out of a room one day and was just taken by the beautiful view that we have.  I was so hoping to capture it with the camera. I think it came out pretty good.

Food

DSC_0210Here’s one of my recently purchased books. I love buying books and cookbooks on healthy eating. Ellix Katz is the King of Fermentation as Sally Fallon puts it. This book is an exhaustive book on fermentation. It is so full of information, recipes and methods, I don’t think I’ll ever get through this book. It’s one of those books you pick up to find a recipe or method but end up reading until you have to put it down to try something else to culture or ferment. I have found that the best foods are fermented… they not only develop healthy enzymes, they develop the most beautiful and complex flavors too. I’ll share some of my little fermenting projects along the way soon…

DSC_0206Speaking of healthy… Actually, I’ve been trying to substitute our Ghirardelli 60% chocolate chips for something without sugar. Homemade peanut butter cups here. For the chocolate I use an unsweetened Ghirardelli 100% chocolate bar and at least the same amount of coconut oil (expeller pressed so it has no flavor or aroma). I melted down and added enough Stevia (Now brand liquid form) to sweeten to my liking. Then I poured half in the pie plate and set in the freezer for 10 minutes and prepared the filling.

I just used a natural peanut butter that has no hydrogenated oils or sugar. I don’t measure so I’m sorry I don’t have the exact measurements. Anyways, just guess at an amount that you  would add to the top of your chocolate when it’s set without being too thick or thin. Add a little butter or coconut oil, some stevia to sweeten… now you’ll know how much to add because when you try the peanut butter you won’t be able to stay away from it. : )  Mix well and spread on set chocolate. You can either let it set in the freezer for 10 more minutes to let the fats solidify or add the rest of your chocolate syrup on top. Let the chocolate set another 10 minutes and you won’t believe how delicious this is.

DSC_0188Pretty big peanut butter cup, huh? By the way… coconut oil has medium chain fatty acids which means that they will  burn fairly quickly in your body. Your body will just convert it to fuel for your body to burn. Butter has even shorter fatty acids which means you will get good energy without the bog down of sugar and your body will burn these shorter fatty acids really quick.

DSC_0040My new version of guacamole. We love guacamole around here. We don’t eat it much due to the price but I have found a way to make it healthier. I used to use a little mayonnaise a few years ago but decided one day to try mixing with olive oil and sea salt. I found it to be the best guacamole I had ever tasted. It is divine. You have to try it. But only use an olive oil that smells and tastes delicious on itself. I buy mine from Azure Standard… Napa Valley Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We buy a gallon for only $40.00. They usually sell a smaller bottle of it in the health food stores for around $12 or $15. Anyways, it truly makes for a delightful tasting guacamole.

DSC_0035The garlic my neighbor gave me a couple of weeks ago is long gone. It was so good, I had to try it myself. I put it in some apple cider vinegar with a little honey and pickling spice from the health store but it didn’t turn out half as good as what she gave me. I think she bought it from the Farmers Market so I don’t think she has the recipe herself. If anyone finds a good recipe let me know. I haven’t given up though. I may have to do a little culturing.

DSC_0033Kids peeling garlic. They love to peel garlic. Miriam on the right is just eating a pear. You’re too little Miriam!

Mommy

A friend of mine from Iowa (Hi Mary), asked to see some pictures of me.  I guess since I am the one always taking the pictures, there just aren’t too many of me.  I don’t think there’s been one since we lived in Iowa.  Anyways, here are some pictures that I had my husband take of me just a couple of days ago.

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I have just switched to wearing eyeglasses. Well, I am trying to. I bought them from Zenni Optical for $21.00 total and have 2 pairs. I have a strong prescription so it was recommended that I order high index glasses, if you know what that means. I declined as I wasn’t too concerned about them looking thick on the edges. But come to find out,  my vision on the sides is severely limited. So, I am back to wearing my contacts until my new glasses with the thin lenses arrives. Still, a good pair for under $50.00 isn’t bad. This is my granny pair of glasses. I actually think I like the way they look better than the ones down below (that I just ordered). But, they are a bit too wide.  : (  So, it may take a while before I find the right frames… I can always order non prescription to try to find the right frames for under $7.00 in the future from Zenni Optical.

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Second pair….

 What has been going on with me? Well, not the best news… I try to keep these things out of the blog until necessary. Remember Matthew’s gallbladder troubles a year and a half ago? Well, he came home from his surgery then and my gallbladder started acting up. Yes, it’s been going on for a long time. Right now we’re guessing that it’s just sludge as they call it. I haven’t had stones pass yet or I’d be in the pain my husband has been in. I just get bad stomach aches and horrible nausea… Usually it only lasts off and on for a couple of weeks at the most. But, lately it’s been pretty bad and reoccurring more frequently . I’ve been to the doctor about it (last November), but then it went away, then came back over and over again. He shared that the next step they would do is something to do with dye… it is a pretty accurate test and will catch what the ultrasound doesn’t and didn’t. So, Monday I will be calling the doctors to get things moving in the direction of removal of my gallbladder.

I was also recently diagnosed with a hiatal hernia. Most likely from having all these lovely babies. So, my insides just aren’t feeling well these days at all.  : (  Hopefully by Summer, I will be feeling well again as the Summers here are just gorgeous.

So, that’s my personal news. Nothing too exciting….  : )   Things are a bit hard lately with the kids and it’s getting to Matthew and me. The babies want to be held all the time and if they aren’t being held (all 3 of them), they scream!!! The older kids are sweet and great in some areas, but don’t ask them to do a thing or else…. grrrr…… I miss spending quality time with the olders. I was just talking to Matthew tonight about taking the two girls aside once a week to do something “special” together. Make a cake, do some sewing or something else fun. The babies take up a lot of our time and I know that they will be babies for a while yet. The girls are just starting to get older that they could use more personal time with Mommy and Matthew and Leah can be with Daddy during that time while he works up at the barn.

Quiet times… I often contemplate how things have changed since my grandparents walked on this earth. Grandfather born in 1910 and grandmother born in 1914. They passed in 1996 and 2001. I think of where we’re at today compared to where they were and what they saw (though they saw a lot – Depression, grandfather a Sergeant in WWII in the South Pacific). But people were different then. People were different when I was a child. Maybe this is all a common part of aging too. We can’t help but see the differences and either be in joy, peace and comfort about the future for our children and grandchildren or be deeply concerned and somewhat sad. It’s such a age we live in with such change, unstability, detachments and in some cases, turmoil. But, it only draws the Christian to seek the Lord all the more in his despondency about things. And we are able to be united with a few believers here and there in deeper relationships than we could if all was so well. There’s a lot to talk about and pray about amongst each other now, isn’t there?  : )  …. and yet, we go on and plant gardens, raise kids, see kids off and get married and so forth. The human spirit is fragile but yet finds it’s own place and comforts in just living life while things around him continue to change at a disheartening pace.

So, I think I’m getting older. I’ll be 44 on the 10th of this month. I cant’ wait until I’m 60. Though I don’t like where the world is going, I like where I am going and like who I’m becoming (this is a lot to say from someone who hasn’t like herself much of her life). I’m so grateful for my husband and our like mindedness. When the closest and most beloved people to me have come against me, he has given me comfort by guiding me back to how we both see God, the Scriptures and how we are to live life pertaining to them. He is my dearest friend and companion. Our children and their love for me at times, overwhelms me in a good way. They are so dear to me and again, it goes back to my husband. I am so grateful that we are like minded that we can raise our children in unity on the big things. It does wonders for my heart that’s been hurting for years for my older children ages 20 and 25 whom I couldn’t raise the way I wanted to because I didn’t marry unto the Lord.

So while life is still broken from those years before, I have hope in the Lord. I have hope in my future and hope for our children’s future and that no matter how bad things get, the Lord will always gather His people to others who are His for strength and encouragement, true brotherly love and helps.

Thanks for listening…

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