Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Thank you, Rose and Eddie!

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Thank you, Rose and Eddie, for the bike for Hannah!
She loves it and is eager for the weather to clear up so she can ride it!

Homeschooling Family Affected by Tornado Needs Prayers

While there are many who have been tragically affected by the recent tornados and stand in need of prayer, our hearts are especially drawn to those in the homeschooling community. 

The Tittle family is related to friends of ours. They lost three family members and everything they owned. 

Rob Tittle, a FamilyLife staff member and kindred spirit warrior for the family, died last night in the tornado that crushed parts of central Arkansas.  Two of his daughters—Tori, age 20, and Rebekah, 14—were among the 15 killed in the storm.
Rob, 48, and his wife, Kerry, had watched the sky grow dark and ominous and were shepherding their nine children under a stairwell when the tornado disintegrated their home.  Rob was doing what a man does—putting his family first and trying to get two of his daughters to safety—when the twister hit.
All that is left is a grim grey slab of concrete.
The Tittles' 19-year-old daughter posted this on Facebook from a friend's house: “... my mom, and my six brothers/sisters are alright.  We have lost three of our family … Dad, Tori and Rebekah, prayers would be appreciated.  The house is gone stripped from the foundation.  The Lord Gives and the Lord Takes away, Blessed be the Name of the Lord.”

You can read more about what happened to them, see all that is left of their home, and learn what happened to others here.

Please keep all of the victims of these tornadoes in prayer. Our region of the country is expecting more tornadoes today. Make sure you communicate your love to your family and friends because it might be your last opportunity.


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I see you!

Sialia Eastern Bluebird

The western and mountain bluebirds are also striking in color.

2 Corinthians 13:11  Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Chip, Chip!!

This weekend, I walked outside and called for Chip. He or she came and sat on the wire and "talked to me" for a long time. He flew over my head off and on for several hours often landing near where I was working and chirping his little heart out. I talked back when I could. His parents even came by for a quick "fly over." It was the first time some people have been able to see me interact with Chip this year. They were impressed and are calling me the "Bird Whisperer."

One thought keeps hitting me when I see Chip: Chip and I both made it. We both survived a very hard year and are thriving under God's care!

Every time I see a barn swallow, I am reminded of their symbolism and God's love for me. I am reminded of how He sent those particular birds to my very door in answer to a specific prayer I prayed at a time when they should have been nesting elsewhere. I remember my gratitude for God's help when I see the swallow's gratitude for mine. It's a unique and personal love. I am precious to Him. So are you. Get to know your Creator through His Word and find out how much He loves YOU in a unique and personal way. 

*Our plans were rescheduled due to Clint's company having such a hard time with machinery that we were afraid he'd be called in for an emergency. It worked out for the better because Clint and I were able to get a great deal accomplished. We also came to decisions on a few opportunities that have been presented to us. We're both excited of what the future holds! God's timing is best!

Recipe: Whey Biscuits

Originally published 4/28/2007: 

Here's the recipe I have used for years to use up the goat's milk whey leftover from cheese making. I like to use wheat flour. I usually mix wheat with a little white for texture.


2 1/2 c Flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 c Whey
1 tsp Salt
4 tsb Shortening

Instructions: Sift flour measure and sift with baking powder baking soda and salt. Work in shortening with the finger tips or cut in with 2 spatulas. Add sufficient whey to form a soft roll dough. Turn onto lightly floured board. Knead lightly. Pat into sheet 3/4 inch thick. Cut with floured cutter. Place on slightly oiled baking sheet. Bake in hot oven (450 F) about 10 minutes. 10 servings.

Benefits of whey and how to make it if you don't have your own goat or cow.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Conviction vs Condemnation: Where is the Proper Balance?

I know a lot of people who carry with them the weight of condemnation. If you have never studied this area before, this message could bring a spiritual breakthrough in your relationship with the Lord. 

"There are some people I know who are harder on themselves than anyone else ever could be. Most people, on the other hand, are like me and make too many excuses for their bad behavior. There are some people who can sin overtly without the slightest sign of guilt or remorse. On the other hand, there are people who feel condemned by God most of the time, even when they haven’t knowingly done anything wrong. Where is the proper balance? 

Let’s look at the difference between conviction and condemnation in the hopes that God may use this study to give you clarity and direction if you struggle with this issue."  Israel Wayne

Read the rest at Biblical Worldview

Saturday, April 26, 2014

How Long Before Joshua is Taller?

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Joshua (14) is already taller than me. 
How long do you give it before he is taller than Clint?
Our friend Lyn said a "week or two." :-)

Air Layering

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Score the tree around the branch in two places a couple of inches or so apart.

A branch no thicker than a pencil would be a better choice. I am doing this larger one in an attempt to save a badly damaged pear tree.

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Score a line down the middle.

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Peel the outer bark.

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Coat with rooting hormone or honey.
I used honey.

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Find a container and modify it to fit around your branch.
If it is a small branch, you can use plastic wrap.
Fill with dirt that will hold moisture and cover.
Check frequently and keep moist.
Roots will grow. Once a good root system has developed, you can separate it from the tree and plant. This may take many weeks.
The best time to do this is in the early spring right before new leaves open.

Update 4/17/2016: Yes, this worked! I have used this technique several times. I am currently using it on poplar trees. If you are going to prune or cut it anyway, why not try to get another tree out of it? If not for yourself, then to gift to someone else or to a little extra money.

Friday, April 25, 2014

On My Reading List

Clint and I made our decision to let the Lord control our family size after we had to ask some hard questions after a miscarriage. It was not an easy decision for either of us due to my pregnancy complications. Even though the journey has been challenging, we have never regretted following the Lord in this. We had not heard of anyone else who had felt the Lord leading them in that direction. It is heartening to us to see other couples have also felt that same call.

What would happen if a married woman gave the best years of her life to her Creator? Could He be trusted? Would her life be wasted? Ten women did just that and joyfully discovered that the God of LIFE was faithful. 

Includes two bonus chapters on optimal health and nutrition for women during their fertile years and beyond. 

Also includes the answers to several questions that readers asked in a survey taken in 2012. All ten authors answer these questions with their own unique perspective on each one. Some of the questions include: 

1. How do you deal with the fear of increased miscarriage, infant loss, or birth defects? How can one handle that kind of pain, especially over and over again? 

2. How do you balance life with older kids and babies? Do you feel this is unfair to the older children? How do they feel about having more brothers and sisters? Is it being greedy to want more babies at the risk of not being able to meet the needs of the rest of the family? 

3. How do I deal with extended family members, friends, and even the medical community who disapprove of our continuing to want more babies as we get older?

4. Will I have the energy I need to continue to raise children into my 50s if I have some in my 40s? Is it fair to the child to have older parents? 

5. Do you have any practical tips for high mileage mamas dealing with fatigue, pelvic separation, joint pain, varicose veins, etc.? In other words, what kinds of pregnancy issues did you have to deal with, and how did you deal with them? 

And more! 

First to Daddy!!!!

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It is a race to be the first one to welcome Daddy home every day.
On this day, Emily had him to herself because the others were working out back.

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I love watching Clint interact with our children 
and seeing the joy he takes in them.

Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Food For Thought

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 We love the great food and service at Food For Thought Restaurant in Williamsburg, VA. Clint and I will often split the dinner sized Jamaican Jerk Chicken with the Baked Sweet Potato Wedges and Mango Salsa. It comes with cornbread and a wheat roll. Delicious! Brandon and Amanda enjoy picking this up for lunches in his office.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kidnapper Releases 10-Year-Old Who Won’t Stop Singing Gospel Song

Kidnapper Releases 10-Year-Old Who Won’t Stop Singing Gospel Song

“He told me he didn’t want to hear a word from me,” Myrick said. That’s when Myrick began to sing a gospel song called “Every Praise.” The kidnapper started cursing and repeatedly told Myrick to shut up, but he wouldn’t. He sang the song for about three hours until the kidnapper let him out of the car.

Every Praise by Hezekiah Walker is one of my favorite songs.

Every praise is to our God.
Every word of worship with one accord
Every praise every praise is to our God.
Sing hallelujah to our God
Glory hallelujah is due our God
Every praise every praise is to our God.

God my Savior
God my Healer
God my Deliverer
Yes He is, yes He is

Yes He is, yes He is [repeat]

Every praise is to our God.
Every word of worship with one accord

Every praise every praise [repeat]
Is to our God

How Did the Painted Rocks Hold Up?

I was asked how the painted rocks the children did held up. They have held up well and the color is still bright on all but a few. The white paint some of the children used did not hold up well, so we will touch those up this year. 

This is a fun, inexpensive way to bring color and have something special in your garden or flowerbeds. It will make a great Mother's Day or Father's Day craft too.

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Clint and I are still flipping around Caleb's rock. I flip it so Clint can see "I love Dad" when he gets home. Clint flips it so I can see "I love Mom" for me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Our New Doorbell

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If I can't hear you with this one, ring the big one!

Since I explain how to pronounce our name with "clear 'as' a "bell'" and a few of our friends call us their "happy 'bells," we like bells around here.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Make Time for Fun

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Ecclesiastes 12:12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Easter Sunrise Duck NC

While nailed to the cross,Jesus talked to God about forgiveness. Can you forgive when you’ve been hurt or done wrong? T.D. Jakes

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Clint's Black Snake

This was originally published in 2008:

Here's why we don't have problems with rodents. Clint keeps this one in his workshop.
As long as they leave the chicken eggs, chicks, and the Barn Swallow's nest alone, we let them hang around.
Blacksnakes (aka black rat snake or pilot snake) are territorial and will keep the venomous snakes away.

Many years ago, I was checking on my quail who were all bunched up in a corner of their pen. As I was bent over looking to see what the issue was, I felt something brush my hair. I figured I had moved too close to the barn wall and swiped my head with my hand to clear away any dust or cobwebs I might have encountered. I felt something brush my hair again and turned my head up and came face to face with a much smaller black snake who was checking out my hair! Well, I figured out why the quail were cowering in the corner!
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Bird, Wildflowers,and Ironing Boards

The ironing board my mother-in-law bought me right after I got married finally wore out. Her investment of $12 lasted 26 years of marriage. I think she'd call that a good deal! We couldn't think of a way to fix it, so we tossed it out and checked online to see where we'd buy the next one. 

I saw the professional ironing board on Walmart's and Amazon's websites and thought it would be nice to have one, but decided I couldn't justify spending that much on an ironing board since I do not iron that often. I figured a regular one for $16 would do.

Amanda said there were a few ironing boards in a resale shop. Upon checking, those were too worn for my needs, but I decided I'd check a few more thrift stores before buying one new. I bowed my head and asked God to help me find an ironing board when Clint and I went out that evening.

Well, I found the exact professional ironing board I wanted in the first store!! It is in great shape with no rust or dents and opens and closes easily. Because it is missing the pad and a rubber foot cap, the manager had marked it down to $4.95! Besides those two things, it looks like new! The pad from my old one fit, so all I need is a rubber leg tip. Clint thinks he has one of those in his shed for me.

When we pay attention to the little things, we see God cares about those small details too. Thank You, Father, for caring about the little things in all of our lives.

Philippians 4:6  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everythingby prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (emphasis mine)

Luke 12:6,7,27-31 ' “When birds are sold, five small birds cost only two pennies. But God does not forget any of them. Yes, God even knows how many hairs you have on your head. Don’t be afraid. You are worth much more than many birds....Think about how the wildflowers grow. They don’t work or make clothes for themselves. But I tell you that even Solomon, the great and rich king, was not dressed as beautifully as one of these flowers. If God makes what grows in the field so beautiful, what do you think he will do for you? That’s just grass—one day it’s alive, and the next day someone throws it into a fire. But God cares enough to make it beautiful. Surely he will do much more for you. Your faith is so small! “So don’t always think about what you will eat or what you will drink. Don’t worry about it. That’s what all those people who don’t know God are always thinking about. But your Father knows that you need these things. What you should be thinking about is God’s kingdom. Then he will give you all these other things you need.'

Friday, April 18, 2014

You are Getting Very Sleepy

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Amanda was actually saying, "I am going to get you!" to the camera.
I love this crazy, fun-loving girl! She is my best girlfriend!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Flying Fruit

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Do you see the apple stuck in the fence?

Hot Shot can peel the bananas. He grasps an end with his teeth and drags the banana back and forth across the ground. He's muddy in the picture because we just had a rain the day before and he rolled and walked in a very wet part of the field. He'll stand out in the next rain and wash it off. He likes most weather including snow, but does not like thunder. Thunder makes him jumpy, but high winds don't seem to bother him too much.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


For my friends watching their parents, husbands, and wives fight this difficult battle:

While He Still Knows Who I Am

I frequently remember you in prayer. 


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Brandon is loving his new job and has received lots of positive feedback on the work he is doing. He is eligible for bonuses and comes up for a review for a raise soon. He has a great relationship so far with his co-workers. His bosses like his plans to improve things.

Thank you, Lord, for your provision to our son!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tax Time

Real charity doesn't care if it's tax-deductible or not.  ~Dan Bennett

Monday, April 14, 2014

Growing on Our Little Farm

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Tillandsia usneoides

A previous attempt was not successful. 
This time, the Spanish moss is growing and doing well.
It is 10x larger than what was gifted to me by a dear friend.
I will divide it and try to get it started in other places.
Maybe one day I will have enough to share too!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

How to Ask Forgiveness

"It is so easy to say the quick words “I’m sorry”, however, when we wound someone in words or actions, “I’m sorry” may not be enough. Coming to the point of being able to say, ”Will you please forgive me?” is something far more weighty: it’s humbling and requires courage and wisdom. It is not defending myself, for that is not pursuing peace." Read more at Deep Roots At Home

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Caleb is Very Excited!

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Caleb is so happy!
This bluebird pair is hanging around and looking closely at the nestboxes Caleb built last year.
I am going to give Caleb more time to work on making more.

Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sammy Love

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Sampson pounced on Amanda as soon as she got home. It seems he can not stop thanking her for his new life. He loves her so much! He is a Russian Blue and is one of about fifteen cats we take care of on our farm. Sampson was taken in by Amanda when he was put outside in the middle of winter. She crawled under houses to get him. He has happily adjusted to life in a heated dog house and has learned to skillfully hunt. A farmette needs good mousers, so he is a good fit for us. Most of the cats we have are cats who needed new homes, but a few are feral strays that we have been able to trap and vaccinate.

Proverbs 12:10 Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Brilliant Sunrise on the Water

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Sunrise at our getaway!

Psalm 113:3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Thank You, Susan!!!

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Thank you, Susan and Vencil! I love you too!
I will put her with the other one you gave me for my Willow Tree collection.
John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Thank You Gramma Susan!!

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Thank you Susan for being such a bright bit of sunshine in our lives!
Hannah loves her quilt! Thank you for using your skill and talent and taking the time to make it!

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Benefits of Making Your Own Stock

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Beef stock using bits of beef, beef bones, and leftover veggie scraps including dandelion greens (Yes!! It's extremely nutritious. Just find a place away from cars and dogs.) and carrots.

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Turkey stock using turkey neck and trimmings, turkey bones and leftover vegetables scraps including cabbage.

I learned this tip well over two decades ago from a wise mama of many who was happy to pass down beneficial information to a mama (me) who truly wanted to learn to optimize nutrition in the home kitchen. I keep the bones, meat trimmings, and vegetable scraps in the freezer until I am ready to make the broth. Sometimes I make a small batch and others, I make large ones. I use stainless steel or enamel ware pots and sometimes, if it is a small batch, my crockpots.

I have always heard the terms used interchangeably, but recently learned from Nourished Kitchen that there is a difference in the terms stock, broth, and bone broth. Click the link to learn what the differences are.

In case you are wondering....

"What kind of nutritional benefits does bone broth offer? Bone broth is a source of minerals, like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium,  and potassium, in forms that your body can easily absorb. It’s also rich in glycine and proline, amino acids not found in significant amounts in muscle meat (the vast majority of the meat we consume).  It also contains chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, the compounds sold as supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis, and joint pain. Finally, “soup bones” include collagen, a protein found in connective tissue of vertebrate animals, which is abundant in bone, marrow, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.  (The breakdown of collagen in bone broths is what produces gelatin.)" read more from The Whole 9 on the health benefits of bone broth.

Underground Wellness has this to say: "Bone broth is loaded with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). In fact, I’m absolutely certain that you’ve heard of one of them — glucosamine. Yep, those supplements that seemingly everyone is taking for joint health contain one of the GAGs we get from consuming bone broth. You know me, I’m a food-first kind of guy. Here’s just one of the reasons why I prefer Real Food over supplementation…Notice I said that glucosamine is just one of the GAGs contained in bone broth. When you consume broth you also get chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, and likely a bunch of other equally important GAGs that have yet to be discovered."

Read here and here and here or do your own studies to learn the incredible health benefits due to the nutrition in bone broth. If made from vegetable scraps and bones from chicken and turkey that the meat has been picked off of, it is mainly made from stuff people have been throwing away. It contains the same things people are purchasing in pill form at high prices in the health food stores. Due to lost knowledge, we are literally throwing money away!

Happy Cooking!

I Corinthians 12:24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Bethany Boo

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This fun loving young girl is such a tremendous blessing in my life! Not only is she a joy to be around, but she eagerly helps in whatever way I need. She has a sweet and gentle demeanor, but is tough enough to hang out with her three older brothers when they are climbing trees and building forts. I bought this dress for her at JC Penny's as a surprise treat for her. She loves it!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Those Who Sow with Tears

If you have suffered pregnancy/child losses, I want you to know there is very real hope and healing in Jesus Christ. I have lost eight children. While some of the miscarriages had no known explanation, one a doctor attributed to extreme stress (test showed very high cortisol levels), one was a known blighted ovum, and one was a vanishing twin. It is through Jesus Christ, I have healed and still have been able to have great joy in the midst of great sorrow. That same help is available to you if you call upon His Name. If you need a woman who has been there to talk to or to pray for you, contact me at the email in the blog header.

If you avoid all of life's abrasions, you will never be polished enough to shine. Richelle E. Goodrich

The acid test of our faith in the promises of God is never found in the easy-going, comfortable ways of life, but in the great emergencies, the times of storm and of stress, the days of adversity, when all human aid fails. Ethel Bell

God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them. C.S. Lewis

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy Psalm 126:6
It's a promise, ladies. That's a God given source of encouragement for the dark days!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

5 Simple Ways to Make God a Priority

Most people put pictures on their walls of family members they love. It only makes sense to be reminded of your loved ones whenever possible. Without thinking, who is your number one love? Of course, God wants to be at the top of the list. He wants to have that heart, soul, spirit connection with you that only those who experience it can attest to or truly understand. So what have you done to "remind" yourself of the love of your life? Here are the top five things I believe you can do to keep God on the front burner of your heart.

1. Daily Bible Study alone and with others
2. Praise music in the background
3. Make prayer less "religious" and timed and more spontaneous as if you are talking to a friend that is always by your side.
4. Ask God to help clean up the sinful stuff in your life and mean it.
5. Pull away from people who are pushing you away from God and begin to spend more time with those who can help you get closer to Him. ~Jon Cash

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Crispy Baked Wing Method

I recently used this recipe's method for 200+ baked wings for a large family gathering. They turned out great with a nice crispy outside! We used different seasonings on five separate batches to cover everybody's taste preferences. Many thanks to Brandon, Amanda, and Joshua for helping me cut the wings into three sections! 

Next time, I think I will use my cast iron griddle on the grill. 

Friday, April 04, 2014

Barn Swallows

I saw one Barn Swallow on Monday or Tuesday! Caleb came and told me there was one flying in the front yard. I went out to see, and it was gone. I called "Chip! Chip, Chip!!" and it came right back and flew over me while chirping. I was out there another time and called for it. It came and flew over me again, but that was the last time I saw it. I do not know if they will nest at the front door again. I really miss the barn for all of the nests they had in there, but am happy to see them home again!

Just Maggie

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Three pounds of fiesty Sweet Magnolia Blossom aka Maggie

Thursday, April 03, 2014

My Little Buddy

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This little bluebird sticks to close to me when I am outside, 
I am going to have to give him a name!
I have a birdie "Buddy!"

Psalms 16:11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

My Newest Babies!

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These are a few of my newest plant babies.
There are four butternut trees and two tophat blueberries.
The dwarf blueberries grow well on my deck.
I am experimenting with the trees to find the best way to grow them in our soil.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Way to Go, Amanda!!

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Yesteday, Amanda was promoted to assistant manager after only 6 months of working! She has already been doing some of the responsibilities of the job. She also had Clint and I go with her to leading stores and took some of the ideas back to the one she where she works. Customers noticed the improvements and commented! Amanda starts in her new role on the 5th when the next pay cycle starts. Clint and I are proud of our hard working girl!! This fits in with her plans to graduate as a business major. God is good!

Convenient Breakfast: Eggs Baked In Ham Cups

This isn't a new idea and has been around for a long, long time. Rather than take my time to take pictures and write directions, I am going to point you to a page where it already exists: Eggs Baked in Ham Cups 

This is one I use quite a bit in keeping up with my ever active, ever growing, and ever hungry gang of mine. There are so many variations and twists you can throw in that can keep you enjoying these for a long, long time.