Thought I’d share with you a recipe we enjoy. It came from my mother-in-law, and I think it’s the best baked oatmeal πŸ™‚ The secret is DON’T overbake πŸ™‚ It’s just so much better when it’s not dry!


3/4 cup melted butter

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

3 eggs

4 1/2 cups oatmeal

3 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla or maple flavoring

Beat butter and brown sugar till creamy. Add rest of ingredients. I add the oatmeal and milk last, alternating them so it’s less mess. Pour into a greased 9×13 in. pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 min. We love it while it’s warm!misc. nov. 2014 020Jenna likes to get up early, so she “helped” me make it πŸ™‚misc. nov. 2014 018It all went well except for the time she hit high speed on the mixer when she had just dumped in oatmeal. Oh well, that’s easier to clean up than some things πŸ™‚misc. nov. 2014 021misc. nov. 2014 022misc. nov. 2014 023_edited-1Definitely have to eat it with some farm fresh milk πŸ˜‰

Another thing we eat at least 4-5 times a week is eggs. Devan has been asking to make them, so I let him if there’s time. He does really well with them.misc. nov. 2014 010 misc. nov. 2014 011 misc. nov. 2014 012misc. nov. 2014 013Sometimes I fight him, and tell him he will make a good husband some day πŸ™‚ I get the eye rolls.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! We had a yummy meal at Dale’s parents, and this weekend we are heading to Maryland to celebrate with my family. My 2 older sisters live down there, so it’s always nice to spend the day there!

And if you are one of the crazy people that go shopping on Black Friday, bless your little shopping soul πŸ˜‰ I would rather milk cows than do that πŸ™‚ Maybe if you go with friends, and stop for coffee and breakfast it would be worth it. My highlight of shopping is always the eating out πŸ™‚ Anywho, enjoy your weekend whatever you may be doing!

Handfuls of purpose

The smell of warm apple crisp permeates my kitchen. The sink is full of dirty dishes that I’ve decided to let sit till morning. No, I did not use to do this. But I’ve come to realize, sometimes you just make time for other things, they will not run away πŸ™‚ The house is quiet, and as I reflect on my day, I thought of our Sunday School lesson this past Sunday. We are learning about Ruth, and this particular lesson was about when she went to glean in Boaz’ fields. The verse that sticks with me is when Boaz instructed his workers to purposely drop extra grain for her to glean. He called them “handfuls of purpose”.

And the thought came to me, am I leaving “handfuls of purpose” for others? When was the last time I did something for someone? Tonight I felt I failed miserably at being a kind and gentle mother. You know how one thing snowballs into another, and you just feel downright grouchy? It went from a child being covered in mud, to complaining about what I made for supper, to unwillingness to help me with chores, etc. And I snipped and snapped, and was one grouchy woman. In fact, my dear hubby told me all I was doing was complaining. I did not respond well πŸ™‚ In fact, I think I may have said, I’m allowed to complain sometimes. He was so right. I needed to be told that. I feel ashamed writing this. But God’s grace is there for when we mess up. And we do make mistakes time after time.

I want to my children to receive “handfuls of purpose” from me. I want to be an example to them. And not just to my children, but to others. Am I caring enough to take the time to help someone? To brighten someone’s day. So many times I think I’m busy. But there is nothing more rewarding than to give.

So that’s my challenge to you. Get out there and leave some “handfuls of purpose”Β  for someone!

Mishmash Monday


Just some pictures of life on Locust St.jenna, fall 002_edited-1Tristan and Jenna like to go for a ride with Daddy.jenna, fall 036_edited-1 Cousins and playmates. The sawdust pile is much fun.

jenna, fall 037 jenna, fall 038_edited-1 jenna, fall 039_edited-1jenna, fall 040_edited-1Givin’ Zoey some love πŸ™‚jenna, fall 023_edited-1 jenna, fall 024 jenna, fall 028_edited-1There was much excitement over Uncle Randy’s deer shot here on the farm πŸ™‚jenna, fall 030Helping to give the calves their evening meal.jenna, fall 031_edited-1Some things they do for fun πŸ˜‰mostly shane 002What is that, you ask. That is Jenna’s lollipop. She wanted to jump on the trampoline, and had a lollipop, so I told her to lay it down while she jumps. She promptly stuck it in the side, right next to the springs. What can I say, the girl is just clever πŸ˜‰mostly shane 004Another ride with Dad.mostly shane 005_edited-1Tristan is such a good helper with farm chores!

That’s all for today. We are quite liking the warmer temperatures that came to us. And Thanksgiving vacation coming up for the school children. Yay for that! Happy Monday!

Death and life

I wrote this post last evening, when the children were safely tucked in bed.

It is 9:12 p.m. I hear the noisemaker upstairs humming away. It’s mostly quiet, with a few murmurings from one little 3 yr. old. I’m not sure why, but she is usually the last to bed and almost always the 1st one up. Lately she’s been getting up at 6 am, which, in my opinion, is too early for a 3 yr. old. She doesn’t think so πŸ™‚

Dale is out hauling manure out of the manure pit. He’ll be doing that all night and tomorrow as well. I should be in bed. That alarm is going to go way too early, but as of now, I’m wide awake. I just got done enjoying my 1st mocha frappe since my gallbladder surgery, 3 wks. ago tomorrow. It was very, very tasty πŸ™‚ Hopefully it agrees with me. So far I haven’t noticed too many foods that don’t, so that’s nice!

On to my topic. Death and life. Life and death. Two very different words. On the farm, we see a lot of life and death. Newborn calves. Some come into the world kicking. The next, a few breaths, and they breathe no more. Cows. Some are healthy. Some you lose due to accidents and injuries, etc. All a part of this life. Our children are used to seeing this. It’s what they’ve grown up with.

About 2 wks. ago, Dale came in from the barn with the sad news that he found our pony dead. Kirsten was quite sad, as was I. We don’t know what caused her death. As you may remember from before, she came to us neglected. Dale thought perhaps her heart may have given out. The day before, she and the cows had escaped the meadow, and were really running around, so we thought maybe it was too much for her. I was just glad I had taken Kirsten’s pictures with her, because she had wanted that so badly. They will have good memories of her! jenna, fall 035We have countless other stories of life and death on the farm. We’ve loved the 2 litters of puppies Zoey surprised us with. And we’ve buried several dogs too. Picture 021By the way, we had no idea who the father of these puppies was, but they sure were unique πŸ™‚ Picture 047

One story that I don’t think we’ll ever forget, is when 2 dogs came after our sheep. I wasΒ  pregnant with Jenna at the time. Dale was up at the fire hall for a meeting that evening. I was out with the children. These dogs lived up the road, and had come down before, and I was very uneasy how they looked at their eyes. Plus we had seen them chase our sheep already when they went through our field lane, but the owner was with them and called them off, so nothing was said. We just instructed the children to go inside if they see them. Well that night they came and the 2 sheep were out at the calf barn, and they just went at them. I’d like to say I remained calm. I did not. What was I to do? Nobody there but me and the children. And I was scared of the dogs. I told the children to stay at the garage, and if they see the dogs running in, GET INSIDE. I grabbed a bat, through it in the car, and tore out the lane, blowing the horn as I went. At some point, I made a phone call to Dale. I don’t remember when, but he knew I needed help. And my horn blowing scared them a little, enough for the sheep to get up and start running, but they ran behind the calf barn, and the dogs ran after them. I tell you, when you see your animals being bitten and torn and bleeding, you do things you shouldn’t. I was scared, but even more than that, I was angry. I know I should never have gotten out of my vehicle, but I did. Bat in my hands, and yelling my head off, I went after them. I’m pretty sure that any close neighbors had to hear something. I guess I looked pretty scary. I can’t even remember if I had to use the bat or not, but I know by the time Dale came flying in the drive, they were running for home. When I look back, I thank God for His protection on me and my children. We had to get the vet out for the sheep, but they both died in the next few days. My children still talk about that. I admit, I got a little teary as I’m typing. I’ve always been an animal lover πŸ™‚ But things happen. There is life, and there is death.

There is one death that happened long ago, so that you and I could have eternal life. Jesus hung on the cross, bruised and beaten, and took upon Himself our sins. What a beautiful picture of Christ’s love for us! His willingness to DIE, so that we could LIVE. That is why life is worth living!jenna, fall 032_edited-1Have a wonderful weekend!


She’s bouncy, she’s bubbly, she’s endless delight,

She’s feisty, she’s bossy, She’ll put up a fight,

She’s nose rubs and warm hugs, and laughter & love,

She’s kisses and snuggles,

Our gift from above.

She’s sighs and frustrations, and sometimes tears,

She’s giggles and sunshine,

A beautiful 3 yrs.

Our little lady…jenna collage“This photo session was all fun and games until you asked me to sit still and smile. You get that, don’t you? You should know me by now! :)” Β Β  I’m guessing those were the thoughts going through her adorable little head. 3 going on 13. Help me please πŸ˜‰ I got wallets of this pose anyway, because this is the face I see rather often πŸ™‚jenna, fall 016_edited-1 Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β  I’m thinking big sister was holding her attention here.jenna, fall 010_edited-1That mischievous look I love.jenna, fall 009_edited-1jenna, fall 013_edited-1Another familiar expression of hers πŸ™‚jenna, fall 015_edited-1jenna, fall 017_edited-1Sometimes I look at her and wonder how on earth she happens to be 3!? She had her own mind from the very start. All my other babies were born late. And when I say late, I mean it πŸ™‚ Kirsten was 6 days late, Devan 11 days (pretty sure he’d still be in there if he could :)), and Tristan was 5 days late. So when #4 came along, I figured I’d be late again. I had a pattern going on. Not so, said she πŸ™‚ When I went to my midwife at 2 wks. till Dday, she informed me that I would be delivering a baby that day. I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the floor πŸ™‚ I always had false labor with my others, but I never was on bed rest for dilating too soon. But this time was different. 7 cm and I had no clue. I was very uncomfortable, and lots of contractions, but never that painful that I thought I’d be at 7!Β Well, like I said she had her own time table. I told my midwife I really needed to go to the store for some things, and she allowed me to, as long as I wasn’t getting too many painful contractions. Let’s just say, my trip to Walmart was super fast and I was a slightly stressed momma to be πŸ™‚ Needless to say, Jenna decided she liked it just fine in her mommy’s belly. Every day checkups and no change. Midwife said walk up and down the stairs, maybe that will get you going. Nope. I was milking cows, hoping all that bending and squatting would do something. No again πŸ™‚ She came at 11 days early instead of 14. I was just amazed that I had one before my due date! My labor was not quite 3 hrs. And much easier than the others. What a blessing! And because I was so sure she was a boy, I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard ” It’s a girl!”. Happy, relieved tears. She was perfect. A beautiful, dark haired princess. Our gift from God.Picture 245Happy, tired mommy. Glad to be home! Picture 247Picture 249Picture 260Picture 274Picture 267Picture 271Like I said, our little princess. I miss those days πŸ™‚ But I love her age now, too. Just wish time wouldn’t fly so fast! But it did, and here we are with a busy 3 yr. old πŸ™‚jenna, fall 018_edited-1 jenna, fall 020_edited-1 jenna, fall 021_edited-1 jenna, fall 022_edited-1 I am thankful, so thankful for the blessing of children! I think I realized a little more with each child, just how fast the time does go. And I had more appreciation for those baby days. And each milestone. So interesting to watch them grow into their own personalities. And this girl has quite a bit of personality ;)But I wouldn’t change a thing!

Are you staying warm this week? I guess that would depend where you live πŸ™‚ Here it is FRIGID. In my opinion πŸ™‚ Blessings!


How do I love them?Β Let me count the ways..

1. Going to church, and being recharged and renewed spiritually. This Sunday wasn’t quite as nice. Hubby stayed home with the little people, Β who’s sniffling and coughs made me happy to leave for a bit πŸ™‚ Probably would have been me staying home if I wouldn’t have had to teach.

2. A nice long Sunday nap. Really, really love them πŸ™‚

3. Time for some restful activities. Like reading, scrapbooking, etc. Maybe scrapbooking isn’t the proper term. My squiggly lines pop up when I write that word πŸ™‚20141116_1659444. Can’t forget eating. Love some good food πŸ™‚ Jenna brought me a snack when I was doing pictures. Dear girl! Too bad it wasn’t real πŸ™‚ On the other hand, it probably was better that it wasn’t. I’d like to lose a few pounds. Some of you know how that is πŸ™‚ I must continually rein in my impulses, because I do love food.20141116_171611So this was a Sunday we spent at home, except for me going to Sunday school. It seemed to bring on the fighting and extreme hyperness. We are hoping the colds go away soon. Tis the season, I guess. I declared though, that I pity the school teachers if they have to listen to throat clearing and sniffling all day. It really makes me wanna plug my ears after awhile. Really.

What do you like about Sundays?

Happy Monday! Hope you are staying healthy!

On my phone…

Uploaded here. Sometimes when I need to take a quick pic, I just grab my phone. Convenience πŸ™‚20141109_181128Tristan looking at cows, while little lady can’t sit still. Yes, this is very normal to let children crawl around on top of the island. Very normal πŸ™‚20141109_161603Sharing yogurt raisins. Big brothers are the best! Well, most of the time. Unless they don’t do as you say πŸ˜‰1415820781137My sweet, sleepy babe in my arms. ❀20141104_193033I purposely took the shot from this angle. It was too funny with the piggies front and center πŸ™‚ She loves to look at mommy’s picture books!20141109_164334Quote I’m loving on my office wall. Yes, I know it’s crooked and not very charmingly written like all those other quotes you see on chalkboard walls. Sigh. It has to suffice, cause this lady is not artistic πŸ™‚20141113_142305When you are studying to teach Sunday school and the most private room in your house happens to be the bathroom, because someone is sleeping upstairs, and men are working right outside your windows with no blinds, and you just want to go somewhere where no one sees you πŸ™‚ May I just clarify, I was only using the toilet as my chair. Not the most comfortable πŸ™‚20141109_170432On my boys’ dresser. Love my old things!20140916_103146Saw this sign at Kohl’s. Nearly died laughing πŸ˜‰

Today it is quite chilly here. I happened to mention that the weather was calling for a chance of snow showers. Son #2 was ecstatic. I came in the laundry to see him pulling on his snow pants.” What are you doing?” I asked. He looked very sheepish, and said, ” I asked Him for snow , so I’m getting my pants on. ” ” You mean you prayed for snow?”, I asked. He nodded. Melt me in a puddle! The sweet faith of a child πŸ™‚

Tomorrow is Friday already! I hope you enjoy your weekend, wherever you are! I think it’s gonna be a chilly one here πŸ™‚


mostly kirsten 002 mostly kirsten 003 mostly kirsten 004 mostly kirsten 005 mostly kirsten 006 mostly kirsten 007Harvest season has drawn to a close at our farm. I am grateful for a good crop and safety through it all. I always get paranoid over all the dangerous equipment being used. Extra watchfulness on moms part when the children are outside.mostly kirsten 014On the spiritual side of harvest, I think of the verse in Matthew that says “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;”

God is looking for willing workers to spread the good news of His love. Are you doing that, am I doing that, right where I am today? God does not call every one to a country far away, but He does want us to be faithful right where we are. So,so many times I feel I fail in this area. I want to be friendly and kind, but when it comes to sharing the good news, I can be so timid.

As a mother, my number one goal is to point my children to the Truth. And they watch how I relate to others outside our home. Sad to say, I probably have treated a stranger better than I treated them some days. The home is where it can be the toughest.

Awhile back, I had an experience at the grocery store that I thought of sharing, and never did. Then a few days ago, I read this post,and was encouraged by it, and decided to share πŸ™‚

I pulled into line at the checkout. I think I was by myself that day for some reason. There were 2 people ahead of me, the first person was almost done being checked out. Ahead of me was an elderly lady. As I pulled into line, I was taken aback as she swore repeatedly, taking the Lord’s name in vain. I tried to mind my own business, yet wondered if I should say anything. You know how sometimes you just aren’t sure what to do? I realized what had her upset was a simple mixup of her things with the lady in front of her. She was very upset that there was no divider, and she was upset with the cashier as well. She swore again, and I began to feel uncomfortable, and at the same time convicted that I should do or say something. I thought maybe I should offer to pay her groceries, but I was afraid she’d be offended by that. I saw that she appeared to be in pain, so I thought, I know, I’ll help load her groceries on her cart after they are checked out. But she never pulled her cart front all the way, and just stood there and took the bags off the carousel as they came around. Again, I noticed her in pain, but at the same time she appeared so self sufficient, that I balked. And as she pulled away, I thought why didn’t I do anything. So I told the Lord, that if I caught up to her outside, I would do something.

In the meantime, I tried to encourage the cashier, as she appeared discouraged after the tongue lashing. And then a fellow pulled in behind me, and promptly put a divider between his things and mine! I asked him where he found it. Here it was there all along! The lady in front of me had missed it, and so had I.

So I was finished, and headed for the door, sure that I had missed my opportunity. And there she was, just heading out across the parking lot. My heart began to thump. Not sure why, what was she going to do, mock me, lash out? She was small and frail, but I had left my fear of being scorned get in the way. Well, I had promised God, and so I must follow through.

I pulled my cart beside her.” Ma’am, you look like you are in pain, could I help you unload your groceries?” Her first words were something like, “I’m fine”, immediately followed by, “I’m sorry I swore like that.” She went on to express her frustration at the cashier not knowing her stuff. I didn’t know if I should say it, but I told her how I missed the divider too, but that it was there all along. I could tell she was embarrassed. Again I asked if I could help, and she said no, but thanked me. And I felt peace as I walked away, because I had spoke to her.

I thought of it later, how quickly she apologized, and I knew she saw that I was different. I think her pain may have caused her anger and frustration. She told me she has arthritis. And I know for myself, if I’m in pain, it’s easy to speak in anger. My hope is that I encouraged her a little bit. That she saw that I cared.

And so I’ll keep trying to show God’s love, even if it’s in a small way. I know I’ll mess up sometimes, but God gives grace. So glad for that! πŸ™‚

Do you have any interesting stories on sharing the love of Christ? I’d love to hear them πŸ™‚


My girl is growing up into a beautiful young lady! Why is she 12 yrs. old already??! It only feels like a short time ago that I held her in my arms after a long, drawn out, 24 hr. + labor. I wept with joy and tiredness when I held her. I remember being so tired that I left hubby spread the good news. I only wanted rest πŸ™‚ And then we took her home, and the hard work began. As a first time mother, I knew it would be a big job, but I didn’t know how BIG. She was not an easy baby. Days and nights mixed up for about 3 wks. I remember crying many nights as I held her, watching the hours slowly tick by, thinking why baby, why can’t you stop crying and sleep? I usually would crawl into bed about the time hubby was heading out to the barn. And she was not the happiest when she was awake either. There were probably plenty of folks that thought “It’s her first child, she could do so and so :)”

Looking back, I think I did get a bit depressed. It is all new, after all, and when your body is tired and worn down by crying and sleep loss that doesn’t help. It definitely taught us a thing or 2 or 3 about being parents. And despite all of the hard, there was so much joy thrown in the mix. That soft baby skin and hair, feeding her, bathing her (which sometimes was the only way she would stop crying).

Now I wonder how did I survive? πŸ™‚ I know the mornings I milked that we both took naps in the afternoon πŸ™‚ The funny thing was, when I bundled her up and took her out to the barn, and sat her under the warmth and hum of the milk cooler, she slept quite nicely. Maybe I should have had that in the house πŸ™‚ Anyways, we made it through the tough times, and now she is almost a teenager! Help! We will think about that next year. I used to think you were old if you had a 1st grader! HA! I now have a 6th grader, and I’m definitely not old πŸ™‚ We did start out young. If I really want to scare myself, I realize if she follows my footsteps, I could be a grandma at 40. Not going there πŸ™‚

I really enjoyed taking her 12 yr. pictures on the farm! An easy age, camera, beautiful day, what more could you ask for? mostly kirsten 022_edited-1This one was my favorite. I still didn’t figure out how to remove glass glare, so mpix took care of that for me when I ordered πŸ™‚ mostly kirsten 029_edited-1 mostly kirsten 031_edited-1mostly kirsten 032mostly kirsten 037mostly kirsten 020mostly kirsten 036_edited-1Β  mostly kirsten 044_edited-2mostly kirsten 048_edited-1Then we moved to the pasture. Had to get some with Misty or Chestnut, or whatever her name is now πŸ™‚Untitled-1And one last one…mostly kirsten 087_edited-1She does so good at helping out with Jenna, household chores, farm chores, etc. Not that she never complains ( don’t we all πŸ™‚ ), but I can definitely tell she is getting older πŸ™‚ God has blessed us with a sweet daughter, and I am thankful!

A different sort of day

I’m spending most of my day on the recliner, with some brief walking around times. Yesterday I had gallbladder surgery, so not too much moving for me πŸ™‚ It feels a bit like I was on the losing end of a fight πŸ™‚20141101_080554I’m thankful for ice packs and painkillers.

And for moms that help out. For friends and family that text, call, email, bring you food. For a hubby that takes good care of me. Children that are so sweet in helping out. One of them said ” Is there anything else you want me to do, Mom?” Melts me πŸ™‚

This was from the lovely ladies at church~20141101_090958How pretty they are!!

Poor Jenna. She doesn’t like a mom that wants to just lie around. GET UP, MOM! were her words πŸ™‚ Soon, I say.

There are things I do like about having to be still. I lay here and hear my little girl singing. Something I might not think of so much when I’m busy. I feel the comfort of a warm blanket and fuzzy socks. And I feel loved. Not that I don’t at other times, but it is just being shown to me a little more πŸ™‚ Maybe because I look so disheveled and wince a lot πŸ™‚ At any rate, I’ll soak up the love, and hopefully be back in business in a few days!

Have a blessed weekend!