Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What we're up to this Wednesday

 Hello! Today is Wednesday, but we didn't get around to taking a nature walk today. When we woke up this morning there was snow on the ground and more coming down! It looked so pretty! The girls ate their breakfast as fast as they could and then we bundled them up so they could go play in the snow. They had a good time trying to catch snowflakes on their tongues and running around making footprints in the snow. Living where we live, we don't really get much snow, if any, and so any little bit that shows up is a big deal for the girlies.
Now as I write this the snow is all melted and turned to rain, but it is still quite chilly outside. And although we could have still gone for a walk, we decided to stay home and do some fun stuff inside, plus we started work on the chicken coop today. Hooray! We'll get to bring our chickens home soon!
 This week our letter that we are focusing on is "R". We got out some trays with rice to practice writing and drawing in, and then of course just having plain, old fun. We also got out a couple other different types of rice to look at and then the girls experimented with playing with the rice using their feet. They spent a good 45 minutes or so playing in the rice!
 We also painted rainbows to add to our alphabet book that we are making. Later we are going to add some cotton balls for clouds around the bottom of the rainbows. After they painted their page for their books, they painted quite a few other pictures for our patio door "gallery". :)
We've also spent a lot of time reading books about rabbits, roosters and rocks that we found at the library yesterday. 
I hope you all are having a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...dark and cold. We had a beautiful sunny day today though! Tomorrow goes back to being rainy with maybe even some snow.

I am thinking...about all I need to get done yet tonight.

I am thankful...for good friends. We had such a fun time out with 3 other couples last night for dinner and a movie!

In the kitchen...I kept the ants at bay today by putting peppermint oil along the edges of the counter. Didn't see a single one all day until just a minute ago. Will have to try some more tomorrow. I am so tired of these little ants.

I am wearing...jeans and a t-shirt. Had a sweater on but then got warm running around putting the girls to bed and getting other things taken care of.

I am creating...getting close to half way done with my hat that I'm knitting. Still haven't gotten around to sewing the pillowcases for the girls yet. Also, hubby and I are planning our chicken coop! Hopefully we'll get it done this week!

I am the library tomorrow with the girls! :)

I am reading..."The Help" and really enjoying it.

I am get up without hitting the snooze button tomorrow. The girls have been waking up super early, so I have to make sure to be up and at it before they get up so I can have a little quiet time. I haven't been doing very well with that lately.

I am looking forward to...getting cozy in my jammies and doing some knitting.

I am learning...and re-learning lots of things about chickens. So excited to be getting some finally!

Around the house...the kids are all asleep and hubby is playing games on his phone. Everything is all nice and clean. The girls were such big helpers this morning and we got the house all ship shape. :)

A favorite quote for today..."Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." James 1:19-20 I really need to work on this more...this verse is a good reminder.

One of my favorite things...working outside in the sunshine and fresh air. I would be outside all day when the sun is shining if I could.

A few plans for the rest of the week: of course there is library day, chicken coop planning and building, maybe a hike somewhere, and maybe even a free concert at the library.

A peek into my day...
The girls and I found our little columbine plant full of water drops the other day when we were playing outside and thought it looked so beautiful. God leaves us so many little treasures everywhere we go if we just take the time to look.
 If you'd like to share your daybook, just hop on over here. Have a blessed week!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bacon Eclairs

 Last year when I was visiting my mom, we made eclairs for my brother's birthday since that is one of his favorite desserts. We didn't make them the true eclair shape, but we filled the cream puffs with vanilla pudding and topped them chocolate. As we were eating them we got to talking about what it would be like to put some bacon on them. Because we all know that EVERYTHING is better with bacon! :)
Anyway, I finally got around to trying our idea a couple days ago. I thought it would be a fun treat to have for hubby when he got home from being gone for a week with work.
So here is how I did it:

Cream Puffs (from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook)
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs

In a medium saucepan combine water, butter and salt. Bring to boiling. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir till mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition.
Drop by 12 heaping tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet. (I got about 15 with mine). Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or till golden. Cool on a wire rack.
Cut tops from puff; remove soft dough from inside. Fill with pudding. Replace tops.

Use any kind of vanilla pudding you'd like. I made mine from a recipe online, but for some reason I have been having trouble with pudding lately and it turned out very gluey. In my defense, it did at least still taste like a yummy, comforting dessert but it looked more like a kids science experiment than something you'd wanna eat for dessert. (And the pudding I made last week from my natural cookbook was like soup! *sigh*) Using instant boxed pudding would work just fine too of course. This is completely up to you. :)

For the topping I just melted about half a bag (didn't really meausure!) of semi-sweet chocolate chips with a little bit of butter in a bowl in the microwave. Then I just drizzled that on top and sprinkled on some cooked, crumbled bacon. Voila! Bacon topped eclairs! :)
Keep them in the fridge if you have leftovers.
My mind has been spinning with ideas for other fillings and toppings for cream puffs. If I come up with a good one, I will be sure to post about it! In the meantime, enjoy munching on some bacon-y, creamy, chocolatey goodness!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday Walk

 We haven't gone on a weekly nature walk in quite some time, so we determined to go this week, rain or shine. And although it looked very dark and rainy this morning, we were blessed with a beautiful, warm sunny day! After doing our circle time and some reading we ate a snack then headed out to the Tualatin Valley Nature Park. We had a great time and saw lots of neat things!
Moss and ferns were growing everywhere on everything.

The girls excited to get going. And of course H had to make a goofy face for the camera. :)

Hannah loved all these trees that were bent over like a bridge

Banana slug!

Thought this moss looked so pretty.

The girls loved this hole in the tree. :)

Newt #1

Newt #2

We saw LOTS of was around 7 or 8...all right in the same area. Creepy and cool all at the same time.

Nature girls

We had so much fun today and are looking forward to another adventure hopefully next week! God made such a beautiful and wonderful world with so much to see and learn.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook

It has been awhile since I've done a daybook entry and I must say I miss it quite a bit. So here goes...

Outside my window...It is dark and rainy.

I am thinking...about what I need to get done before hubby comes home tomorrow.

I am thankful...for wonderful friends and neighbors. I had a fun day out today getting makeovers with a friend I hadn't seen in months while my best friend/neighbor graciously watched the kids for me.

In the kitchen...everything is cleaned up for the night. Just have to put my oatmeal soaking for breakfast tomorrow. And maybe I'll sneak back in later when the kids are all asleep and have a bit of ice cream while I watch my tv show. :)

I am wearing...skinny jeans and my favorite, green, long-sleeve shirt and some gray socks.

I am creating...hoping to start knitting my first hat tonight. Fun! I am also planning on sewing a couple of pillow cases for the girls in the next day or so. My goal is to do one new knitting project and one new sewing project every month. Last month I knit a pair of wrist warmers, but didn't get to sewing. I have a few days left in this month to get to it! :)

I am take the girls to the library for story time tomorrow and get some new books for the week. It is one of our favorite places to go!

I am wondering...whether or not we're going to make the jump into chicken ownership this year. I really, really want to, but have a few cons right now. We'll see.....

I am reading...numerous books on parenting from the library and "The Help". Such a great book!

I am move to Colorado someday. I do love it there! And hubby wants to move too. Lots of praying about it.

I am looking forward to...eating some girl scout cookies with my ice cream and cuddling under a warm blanket on the couch while watching Castle. :)

I am learning...about baby chick care.

Around the house...the girls are in bed, James is getting ready for bed, there is classical music playing, and everything is picked up and put away for the night.

A favorite quote for today..."I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

One of my favorite things...Thin mints. (yes, I know, I have many times did I mention girl scout cookies in this post???)

A few plans for the rest of the week: Hubby comes home tomorrow! Library day, maybe a walk somewhere if the weather isn't too bad sometime this week, playing and learning with the girls, maybe a date night, girls day with my best friend on Saturday...and who knows what else!

A peek into my day...
Me and the girls having some fun! :)
Join in the fun! Share your daybook here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Garden Update

Today there was a break in the rain so I was able to go outside and do a little bit of work in the yard. The girls have been helping me dig in the garden beds over the past few weeks to get them ready for planting in a few months. We also got our "greenhouse" up on one of the garden boxes so we can get a start on a few things like lettuce and spinach. A couple years ago when we did this we were eating salad in March!

 I also planted some peas and kale in my little bed next to the house. Things didn't grow terribly well there last year, but I thought we'd give it another try as we did get quite a bit of kale out if it last year.
 The girls and I also made a bird feeder from a juice carton that we finally got hung up last week. We haven't seen too many birds at it yet, but there have been plenty of little juncos hopping around picking up seeds off the ground.
 Not much else happening in the garden in February, but the lilac bushes are starting to reveal some green, and the raspberry canes and blueberry bushes have little buds on them. I love all these signs of spring! Looking forward to warm days and lots of growing!

Friday, February 17, 2012


Hello! It has been FOREVER since I've been on my blog! And here I thought I was going to be spending more time here with my new computer! Funny! It seems like no day goes exactly like one would plan, which isn't bad, but sometimes that leaves no time for blogging. I would like to get back into blogging more and to use it as a better way of keeping family and friends up to date with things, as I have become quite frustrated with Facebook. Not necessarily with Facebook itself, but with my use of it. Even though I am only on it for 5 minutes at a time or so, I have caught myself getting on at multiple different times throughout the day. (Can we say addicted??? LOL!) Those 5 minutes here and there add up and I don't gain anything from that time other than a few bits and pieces of what people that I hardly know are doing. I am not saying it is all bad because one of my good friends is always sharing wonderful information about British period dramas and books and I quite enjoy chatting with her about such things. And it is fun to see pictures that friends post. But for the most part, I could totally be spending my time doing better things. Well, anyway, enough of that...I won't bore you anymore with my ranting about my Facebook usage. :)

Life has been busy and amazing and blessed and we've had some downs along with the ups, but I will try to fill you in a little bit.

We had a blessed holiday season celebrating and spending time with family. Christmas Eve we spent a couple of hours with Matt's parents and sister. We enjoyed a nice, quiet time with a dinner and opening presents. The girls were thrilled that G & G got them Pillow Pets! Christmas day I cooked my first Christmas dinner and had the greatest time doing it. Matt's sister and her kids came up and spent the day with us. Lots of fun! Then for New Year's Eve we had our best friends/next door neighbors and a few other people over for an evening of food and games. We are so blessed to have such awesome people in our life!

After the holidays we went through a sad time with the passing of Matt's Grandma after a full life of 96 years. She was a remarkable woman and she is greatly missed.

On into the new year, Matt is immensely enjoying his new job traveling around the country doing security work. He is typically gone for a week at a time, but we actually get to see him more now, than we did when he was working so many jobs before. This job has been a huge blessing in our lives!

And it has provided the extra funds that we needed to finish our bathroom remodel that we started April 2011. That was a "fun" project that, of course, took longer than we planned. But it was so worth it! Our bathroom is the nicest room in the house now, and I feel like I am in a fancy hotel every time I walk in there!

Our new bathroom! Love it!
The birthday boy!
James turned 12 this month on the 8th. That just doesn't seem possible. Of course, his only thought is that he now only has 1 more year till he is a teenager and 3 more years till he can get his driving permit! He is excited for football season to start again in the summer and in the mean time has tried wrestling and is hoping to take a go at lacrosse.

The girls had to get in the picture too! :)
The girls are growing as well. A lot! We measured them a couple of weeks ago and Hannah has grown an inch and Ellie has grown 2 inches since September! We are continuing with our preschool-homeschool and having lots of fun. This week our letter was "P". We finished off the week with a pajama day where we stayed in our pajamas all day and watched princess movies and had a picnic and made purple and pink playdough. Best day ever! :)

Pretty princess in her pajamas.
My other princess showing off her pajamas and her silly smile.
Picnic time! We had pb&j sandwiches, pears, pretend pepperoni (summer sausage) and Pirate's Booty. Yum!
Ellie loves her pb&j!
Playdough fun
Hopefully that caught you up with some of what we've been up to. Next we'll be planning the garden and thinking about chickens. 

 The Lord bless you richly!