Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Today is my 34th birthday. As I was reflecting on the year and thinking about what was ahead, I got to thinking about my poor little blog. My neglected blog.

My last post was in May. No, life has not been so boring that there was nothing to write about. I have had hundreds of posts running in my head. But it is like trying to fix your hair in the car while driving with the windows down at 70 mph. Almost possible, a good idea, but a better idea to hold on to the wheel, drive and fix your hair- later.

This has been a good year. A hard year in some ways, but good in other ways. I think I have personally grown more this year that some other years on my life. Comfortable? No, but very worth it. Wouldn't trade anything for where the Lord has brought me.

Some things that marked my year...Not totally in order.

Gardening. Butterflies. Caterpillars. Rain. No rain. Cows. No cows. Peaches. Pregnancy. Heat. Friends. Fellowship. Ladies conference. Homeschool. Planning. Recording. Waiting. Getting ready for Baby. Midwife appointments. Speeding ticket. Waiting. Praying. Waiting. Trusting. Answers. David sick. Praying. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Answers. Answers. Answers. Waiting for Baby. Waiting. Christmas. Waiting.

I am overflowed with the abundance that God has poured out on me. Our material needs are taken care of, but I am blessed beyond just those things. I am so blessed with my kids, my husband, my relationship with my God, the watchful care of my Heavenly Father, the blessing of good friends and church family.

Seven years ago at this time, I was heading to Houston for my second round of chemo. Jan 1, 2006, our home was destroyed by a wildfire, we came home to nothing left of our home and farm. Nothing but the house that was miraculously saved, that we live in now. I was still very sick and taking treatments every 21 days, we were trying to rebuild, to make it through the storm we were facing. God was faithful and brought us through that time. (Click here and here to read the story of that time...and you can look at my archives from 2005-2006)

Today, I am pregnant with my 6th child and my 3rd pregnancy after chemo. I am due any day now. We have faced many more trials in the last seven years, but the Lord has always been faithful. We have been facing trials the last few months, and have seen the hand of the Lord move again on our behalf. I am overwhelmed, overflowed at the goodness of the Lord.

The scripture that comes to mind over and over to me is this one:

1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers, neither be you envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and truly you shall be fed. 4 Delight yourself also in the LORD: and he shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday. 7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not yourself in any wise to do evil. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. 10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yes, you shall diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. 12 The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes on him with his teeth. 13 The LORD shall laugh at him: for he sees that his day is coming. 14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. 15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. 16 A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholds the righteous. 18 The LORD knows the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. 19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. 20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. 21 The wicked borrows, and pays not again: but the righteous shows mercy, and gives. 22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. 23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholds him with his hand. 25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. 26 He is ever merciful, and lends; and his seed is blessed. 27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for ever more. 28 For the LORD loves judgment, and forsakes not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. 29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. 30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of judgment. 31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. 32 The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him. 33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. 34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt you to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it. 35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. 36 Yet he passed away, and, see, he was not: yes, I sought him, but he could not be found. 37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. 38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. 39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. 40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him. Ps 37
 Thank you Lord, that You are faithful, trustworthy in all things and more than enough to meet all our needs.

Nichola http//

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hurrah For Gardening!

My flower bed

Haven't made an appearance in the blog world for a little while.  Not that I hadn't wanted to write, just been busy with life things and pounding out blog posts just doesn't fit in very well...

This spring has been perfect for gardening and so that is where I have invested a lot of my time the last few months. It has been a lot of fun, as well as aggravating at times, like when the goats got in and ate my English peas, cabbage, peppers, etc, or like when the caterpillars came out in full force and left my hard work decimated. But despite those set backs, my gardens have been a lot of fun and have yielded some food for my table. I am looking forward to more produce in the months ahead.

I let myself do something I haven't let myself do for 6 years, and I dug up a flower/herb bed. I have a menagerie of herbs and flowers and the kids even planted a banana tree in it. I also planted some roses in the back yard. Everyday there is something new to look at and enjoy.

After last year's drought and heat wave, it has been like therapy being able to be out in the gardens watching everything grow. Everything is so green and while we have had some warm days, we have mostly had warm, mild spring weather. It has been very pleasant.

What are you doing outside? Are you growing anything or just enjoying the outdoors? Leave me a comment and tell me about what you are doing!


Friday, March 02, 2012

She Was Staring at Us...

Great post over on True Woman by Carrie Wade. Mom's at any stage can enjoy this short read.

True Woman | She Was Staring at Us


Thursday, March 01, 2012

A Trash Can A Day...Or...Lighten The Load

 I made a new goal for the past two weeks. I purposed to fill my big black trash can full or at least half full everyday. I went from room to room or attacked a problem area with can close by. I didn't know if I could really do it, but as I started going through all my wonderful junk, I found that it wasn't all that difficult. Actually, once I got going, it was down right exhilarating!
Why would I get the crazy idea to do this, and why now?
I am recognizing more everyday that I am in a season of life that demands much. I have 5 children, 2 of whom are Littles, 3 and 13 months, and the Bigs are 10 and under. Still not very big, but getting there. I am homeschooling the older 3 with one of the younger Littles begging for 'school', too.I am also helping my husband manage parts of our business. Spring is almost upon us and I am hoping for a successful garden this year. This requires me to be on top of planting, planning, watering, etc. Summer will follow hard on the heels of spring and with it, Lord willing, will be peach season. Peach season is very busy for me. And then there are church related things. Outreach. Fellowship. Ministry.
My life is very full.
I don't have room for clutter and non-essentials. I don't have space for stuff I am not using. Not even good stuff for someday if it is slowing me down. Cute stuff. Broken stuff. Free stuff.
I was born in Oregon, and my ancestors came to Oregon by wagon. They left everything behind except what they could fit in their wagon and headed toward a new life, a new world. The people who traveled the Oregon Trail were people who had big ideas, hopes and dreams, and were well acquainted with sacrifice to get there. As they journeyed, they came to places along the Trail that demanded sacrifice or die. The evidence of their choices lay scattered along the Trail. Chairs, tables, books, beans, wheels, clothes, cradles, and other non-essentials were tossed out to lighten the load. To hang on to those things would have endangered their purpose, their mission. It was all good stuff. Stuff they needed when they got there.
We don't really live in the relm of river crossings, mud, and mountain passes being things we fight everyday in a wagon with all our worldy possessions at our side. We don't physically come to those type of crisis moments where we see the choices before us as black and white. Keep the stuff and die, or at least, lose everything, or dump what can be dumped and move on. But I see in my life that sometimes all this stuff I am hauling around is hindering me more than I realize. I don't get as far as I could because I am dragging a wagon that is too heavy for the terrain I am on at the time. Even if it wasn't too much 100 miles ago, it is now.
So, I am lightening the load. Some may seem drastic to others or feel drastic and nutty to me. Too bad. Gotta get where I am going and a wagon that it too full for me to manage won't make it.
I've left a pile on the trail the last few weeks. And more will join them.
Fabric stash. Mending pile. Broken toys, toys with a jillion pieces that are scattered from here to there. Good empty containers. Good empty boxes. Old wool sweaters to make diaper covers out of. Clothes that don't fit. Clothes I don't like. Things I don't want to admit to keeping. Etc...Etc...Etc.......
So, if you see me in the next few weeks and I seem to have a strange compulsion to hover close to a big black trash can, you'll know why. =)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

English Muffin Bread: Fast, Cheap Way To Breakfast Happiness

I just couldn't resist sharing my favorite breakfast bread today. This is a super easy bread to make. And freezes really well. But I warn you, you will have a hard time keeping it on hand. I personally don't see any point in baking one batch of this, so I always at least double the recipe. Or quadruple.

This is a frugal recipe to make as there is no oil or sugar in this recipe. But it begs to be served with butter and jelly or at least a bit of raw honey. It is fabulous toasted. Hope you enjoy!

English Muffin Bread
Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads

1 package dry yeast
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups bread flour (I use Prairie Gold Whole Wheat Flour)
2 cups hot water (120-130 degrees)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water

Grease two small loaf pans.

In a bowl combine the yeast, dry milk, salt and 2 cups flour. Pour in the hot water and stir to blend thoroughly. Stir in additional flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the batter is thick. Stir the batter for 3 minutes with a flat beater in the mixer. The dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl in thick ribbons.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm place (80-100 degrees) for about 1 hour, or until the batter has doubled in volume-it will be quite bubbly.

Stir down the batter-like dough and add the dissolved baking soda. Be certain it is well blended. Spoon or pour into the pans, pushing the dough into the corners with a rubber spatula. The pans will be about 2/3rds full.

Lay plastic wrap over the pans and return to a warm place. The dough will rise to the edge of the pans, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees 20 minutes before baking.

Bake the loaves for about 1 hour. The loaves will be well browned and pull away from the sides of the pan when done.

Turn the bread out from the pans. Allow to cool on a wire rack before cutting. The loaves can be kept for several months in a 0 degree freezer.

Nichola http//

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Night Shift Cook Did A Good Job!

And....we liked it! (See this post for the recipe...)

This morning at 5:30 I turned the crockpot on high for about 25 min.
At 5:55 am, we sat down to eat. Everyone said they liked it rather well, although Jakin made it clear that he wouldn't want it EVERY morning. But he liked it.
I didn't get a pic before we dug in, but here is a pic of what was left...
I have definitely entered a new era in my view of what is possible for make ahead breakfasts...hmmm. What shall we throw in next time? Ideas?

Thursday, February 09, 2012

I'm Hungry, So I Made Breakfast Before Bed *UPDATED With Pictures*

I am trying out a new recipe/idea tonight. Sitting in my crockpot on low is my version of this blogger's recipe...

A Year of Slow Cooking: Overnight Egg, Cheese and Sausage CrockPot Casserole

Picture of set to cook crockpot:

Here is what my version included:
I don't have sausage, so I used 1 lb ground beef with some misc. herbs/seasonings.
I shredded my 4 baking potatoes instead of chopping them.
I threw in a handful of Romano cheese, thanks to my good friend Lydia sharing her stash.
I added a roughly chopped onion on top of my 10 eggs and dribble of milk.
Salt and pepper used liberally on all layers.
I drizzled olive oil over the meat and potatoes and then dumped the unbeaten eggs on top, and then poked them a bit with a fork.
I think I stuck the fork down to the depths of the crockpot and lifted up a bit to let the layers combine a little, but not too much. It wasn't really a legal stirring of the pot. More of a poking at it.
We'll see what we have in the morning after letting it cook on low all night....
(Click here to view my results...)


Friday, January 27, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Buttermilk Bread

Buttermilk Bread with poppy seeds
This is my favorite bread recipe. It comes out as an excellent sandwich bread.

Buttermilk Bread

5-51/2 C. bread flour (I just use my hard spring wheat)
3 T. Sugar (or honey, sucanat)
2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1 pkg or 1 T. active dry yeast (or 1 t. instant yeast)
1 C. water, almost hot to touch, 
about like a baby's bath water or slightly warmer
1 C. buttermilk (or kefir)
1/3 C. butter (or coconut oil, etc)
Topping after rising in pans:
1 egg, beaten
  sesameor poppy seeds for sprinkling

  Stir first 2 C. flour and dry ingredients together, put the rest in a pan on the stove to warm until the butter begins to melt, or to 120-125 degrees. Add liquid to dry and beat on high for 2 min, add 2 C. flour and beat 2 min more. Add rest of flour 1/2 C. at a time until dough cleans the side of bowl. Knead under dough hook for 8 min. Rise in greased bowl, punch down, rest 5 min and divide in 2 and shape. Place in greased bread pans, Rise and just before baking, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle seeds on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 min. Bread will be brown and hollow sounding when tapped on bottom when done.

Nichola http//