Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Today he went in at 6 a.m. But one of his employees didn't show up this afternoon, so Hubby is having to stay until midnight. Then he has to be back at work at 5 a.m. in the morning. And this isn't even a rare occurrence. He is running on empty and needs our prayers.
Our home life has been pretty chaotic this week, too. We have had Vacation Bible School at church every evening, and I am working feverishly during the days to do all my regular chores, tend the garden, volunteer in the church office and start putting together curriculum for the upcoming school year.
Did I mention that Hubby's car broke down? We hope to get it fixed in the next couple of days, but now my minivan is acting really weird. It's bogging down when you step on the gas and it is taking forever for the engine to turn over when it starts. We will get Hubby's car fixed, but we have probably spent thousands of dollars trying to keep my 1996 Nissan Quest running for the past few years, and it is on its last leg (or should I say tire?).
We are praying it will last until after Christmas. We hope we can start putting aside some money to buy a new one, but finances have a been a bit tight lately, too. And this is the month where we buy the kids' new homeschool curriculum.
And then there was the accident that sent us running to the pediatrician's with my 5-year-old (more on that later).
I am sitting at the computer trying to stay awake until midnight so I can go pick Hubby up from work. His car is broken down, remember? And I had to have the van to take the kids to VBS (I am helping teach, so we couldn't just skip a night).
Sorry for bringing you lovely readers into my pity party. I'm going to go pray now, and I will count my blessings. When I think of what others are going through it always makes me realize how lucky I really am :)
I'm sure I'll feel better in the morning.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
FROM THE AUTHOR: Hi, I'm Amber, but my friends call me Tiff, short for Tiffany, my first name. Writing had always been a hobby, a way for me to express my innermost thoughts and feelings in a way I sometimes find difficult with the spoken word -- although my friends will tell you 'shy' is not in my vocabulary.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted margarine or corn oil
grated peel of one orange (optional)
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder(1 tablespoon)
2-1/2 cups unbleached white flour or whole wheat flour
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Use a whisk to mash the bananas in a big bowl. A fork would work too, but a whisk is my favorite. Try to get out most of the banana lumps. Add the sugar and margarine or oil. Mix every thing together until it is smooth and satiny.
Next, shred the orange peel with a cheese grater. Try to get mostly the orange colored peel and not too much of the white or cream colored part. The orange part, or zest, is very tasty, but the white part, or pith, is bitter. Put the orange peel into the bowl with the banana mixture. Squeeze the orange into a measuring cup. Add additional juice or water or milk to make up 3/4-cup. Pour this in with the banana mixture. Beat the batter until it is good and smooth.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Litter box training is also going well now, although we did go through a rough few days when we first got them.
We named the sandy colored one Senora (sand: desert; get it?), and the orange one Pumpkin. Their personalities are starting to come out, too. Pumpkin is fat and always the first one to the formula dish. She is also very whiney and attention needy. She meows constantly. But she has the cutest wobbly walk and the fluffiest fur I have ever seen.
Senora is the more intelligent one. But perhaps because of that, she is more timid with the dogs (she's smart, she should be!). Away from the dogs, however, she is the most mischievous. She likes to play in the trash can and attack your feet when you walk by.
I wasn't in the market for any cats, but who can resist these 5-week-old cuties? I think we are going to keep them. You can expect to see a lot more pictures in the future!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
The squash and zucchini have finished their run. We will be planting them again. But in the meantime we are getting plenty - and I mean plenty - of cucumbers and green beans, along with some tomatoes and eggplant. The watermelon and cantaloupe are doing great but aren't quite ready to pick yet. We can't wait!
Although we are striving to become self-sufficient and believe that no earthly thing is more important than family, sometimes it really does take a village, doesn't it?
It's hard to believe Alli is 16 already. I couldn't ask for a better daughter. She is almost always willing to help around the house, and is always eager to learn new things. She enjoys learning not only her academic subjects, but skills that will benefit her after she has a family of her own. She will make a wonderful wife and mother some day, and I am making sure she starts out with all the skills I didn't have and had to learn along the way.
Years ago I pressured Alli mercilessly to go to college. It was expected of her. She had no choice. But during the last couple of years I have been learning - reading God's Word and learning - what is really expected of a woman (Proverbs 31, among others).
When I finally stopped to ask Alli what she wanted to do with her life, and not what I wanted her to do, I was pleasantly surprised.
Although she said she's not entirely sure (she just turned 16 after all), right now she is leaning towards a course of action. She wants to continue to homeschool and not graduate until she is 18 or 19. We got a late start homeschooling and she wants to make sure she has received all the knowledge she needs before graduating, even if she doesn't have to have certain courses.
Then she wants to continue to live at home while taking distance college courses, perhaps in the area of holistic healing or herbalism. When she meets the man God leads her to, she will marry and start her own family.
Now, all you feminists please don't go nuts on me. I know what you are thinking. I was there once myself. I understand this course of action is not what mainstream society thinks is normal, but I really don't care.
Alli has grown more spiritually in the past year or so than she has in her entire life, and I admire her greatly. I will be proud of her no matter what she decides her future holds, as long as she remembers to always put Jesus first in her life.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
I'm not a fan of onions, and this has a lot of onions in it. So last summer I tried to leave them out one time... and my husband and his friend decided it wasn't very good without the onions. But with the onions... it gets rave reviews.
Fresh summer squash is best, but I have made this with frozen squash from the previous summer's garden.
2 pounds (about six cups) summer squash
1/2 cup butter
1 cup chopped onion (or just one onion - I don't really measure it)
1 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cups bread crumbs (I don't really measure this either)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add squash and cook until tender (about 3 minutes boiling). Drain well.
Place squash in a large mixing bowl. Add butter, reserving about 1/2 a tablespoon, to the squash and mix.
Mix in onion, eggs, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and cheese.
Transfer mixture to a large casserole dish (about a 1 quart dish).
Top with bread crumbs. Dot or sprinkle reserved butter on top.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or so.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Just when we decide we don't want any more animals...
It doesn't get dark here during the summer until about 9 p.m. Last night the kids were playing outside. At about 8:45 Hubby looked out the window to see where they were because he was going to call them in. He saw what looked like a ball of orange fur up against the wire fence. He thought it was a dead cat. Then the ball moved slightly, and he saw that it was more than one ball.
Coming into the living room to put on his shoes, he announced that he was going outside to check on a litter of abandoned kittens. This caught me unawares as he had been inside since he got home from work.
Sure enough, we found two tiny kittens, apparently abandoned. They appear to be about four weeks old. Their eyes are completely open, but they are very wobbly on their feet.
Last night I went to Target and bought canned food for kittens. They wouldn't touch it or the evaporated milk I tried to get them to drink. This morning I spoke to a vet and went to PetSmart, where I purchased a bag of dry food for kittens ages 4 to 8 weeks and some kitten formula. Whoever thought I would be mixing formula again?
I know the kittens were probably nursing up to this point, but the vet said they should be old enough to lap milk out of a bowl. So far, the buff colored one has taken three or four laps and the orange one will only walk in it.
If they don't eat soon I'm going to have to squirt it down their throats. I've already spent $40 on them and don't want to go back and buy a nursing bottle.
I have no idea if we'll keep them, or what we'll name them. Right now we are trying to get past the "will they survive stage." They sure are cute, aren't they?
Love Starts With Elle
(Thomas Nelson - July 8, 2008)