Oct 31, 2011


Sometimes life is hard and we don't feel like we can make it though the day, the hour, the minute. But there is a strength we can turn to, a strength greater than anything we know. It has the power to heal, to guide, to transform. It is the grace of God. We all have a vacuum in our lives that can only be filled with God. Through Him we can have victory over the hard things and come out stronger, not broken.  I'll post more about God's grace in my life another time.... I pray this will be an encouragement to you. 

Oct 30, 2011

Pumpkin Bread ~ Pumpkin Cake

The other day, when I was looking for a diversion from the breakfast doldrums, 
I remembered something a generous friend and neighbor made us years ago.

Well, with fall and pumpkins- it was the perfect remedy!


That orange batter screams fall is here! And the smell does too.

I doubled the recipe and made two loaves of pumpkin bread and one 9X13" pumpkin cake.                    

The cake was the bread, of course, topped with cream cheese icing.

Pumpkin Bread

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. of sugar
  • 3/4 c. veg. oil
  • 1 can pumpkin  ( I doubled my recipe and used 1 large can, not the regular size can. I also used 6 large eggs instead of doubling to eight. Everything else I doubled as called for.) 
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Mix eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until smooth. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to other ingredients. Mix well. 
Bake at 350 for 25-30 min. in an ungreased pan. Cool.

Cream Cheese Icing:
  • 3 oz. of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup of confectioner's sugar (You can use two, but I just use one. Add more as you like.)
  • 1/4 c. margarine or butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk. This will depend on how much sugar you added. Add gradually to be sure the icing does not get too thin.
Mix well with an electric mixer. 
Keep refrigerated.


Oct 28, 2011

A Prayer

Praying aloud isn't something I regularly do. But I do see power in it. Praying aloud alone, hands raised, palms to Heaven, when it strikes me I pray this way. Sometimes at the creek, at the sink, by the bed...alone. Sometimes I pray on my knees, sometimes in bed, sometimes walking though the house. You get the picture. Whenever, wherever. This morning I was sitting at the desk praying...And I was prompted to type my prayer. Odd, but who am I to know....

Dear Lord, Father in Heaven ,

You are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, The creator of Heaven and Earth.  I am thankful this morning for the opportunity to come before your throne. And I am so blessed to have friends this morning Lord, friends here in Missouri, friends from back East, and from years past. Thank you for even the smallest friendship. These are gifts from you. Father, today some are hurting with loneliness, with health issues, with fear, with financial problems.  I lift the these ones up to you , before your throne, and  I ask that you would help each one. Draw them closer to you, to your strength, to your peace, to your wisdom. Father for the ones who don't know you, I pray that you would draw them to yourself. Reveal truth to them, let them know they are not alone in what they're facing. Father, you are a God who cares. You created them and you love them. Please help them in life and the difficulties of it; help them understand that these hard things can draw them closer to you. Most of all I pray that they will understand that they need Jesus to give them a relationship with you. Help them to understand that we are all sinners and sin does not have a place in Heaven. Let them know in their hearts that Jesus paid the price of sin, death, for all men and that by trusting in his perfect sacrifice they can know without a doubt where they will spend eternity one day. We don't deserve the price he paid for us, the suffering, the pain...but your Word says by his stripes we are healed.

Father please help them today.
In Jesus name,

Love you all, In Christ.

Oct 26, 2011

A Visit to the Pumpkin Patch



 is   a 

second  spring

when every leaf 

is a flower." 
                                                                                                                                                                            A. Camus

We visited Spring Hill Pumpkin Patch with fellow home-schoolers this week.

What a relaxing, wonderful time it was! 

Moms chatting, roasting hotdogs, kiddos playing, hayrides, hay forts (or a hay house if you're a little girl), corn mazes, and just fun, fun, fun. 

Of course, with liking painting and photography...the colors and textures were what I loved. I could have taken a hundred photos. The little children playing in the corn box were adorable. But, I refrained, not wanting to intrude on someone else's child and appear "creepy!" Unfortunately, ours are too big for such things and I couldn't keep up with Joel in the hay fort. 





All that effort...and notice where the football is! 
 They really did have a wonderful time playing ball with friends all afternoon. I think they played ball for 3 or 4 hours!

Bestest Buddies ~ the daughters of the the pumpkin patch proprietors. 


And I end with this infectious smile...
 Doesn't she just make you want to smile too?!

Oct 22, 2011

To Market, To Market...

Today that old nursery rhyme came to mind... 

To market, to market to buy a fat hog. 
Home again, home again
Jiggety jog...

There's a lot more to it... but that was the only part relevant to my day 
therefore, it is all that my brain thought of! 

Odd what comes back to you from years past. 

This was my fashion statement for the day. 
Because sheep will hurt your legs and step on your toes!
And jump in your face, but I am fresh out of helmets and face masks.
We just move, quickly. 
Though Dalton did make a good catch this morning.
 Got it in mid-jump.  

So the two older guys did the hard work this morning,
 before they went to work for the day.

They took these...

And put them in there...

They also pulled out some to keep back for personal sales and breed stock.

Then my assistant and I (not all the little assistants there), loaded up and went to the sale barn.
It's been two years since we sold at auction.
Hope it goes well, 
and buyers are plenty and prices are high.

They are nice animals. 
I like the St. Croix influence in the breeding.

Though ink berry purple does show up a lot more on that pretty while face.

To market, to market...

Or should it be,

Over the river and through the woods 
to grandmother's house we go...

 This is a low water bridge. There a quite a few around here. Some are much more interesting than this one and cross larger areas of water. Once Ron and I got into a squabble (that kinda sounds more cozy than reality) about crossing a  river with a low water bridge. I won and we did not cross in our 15 passenger van. But the victory was not pretty, and we are still alive. (I love you, hunny.)

Joel and I are mid-bridge here. Cool isn't it? 

It's just when there's been lots of rain, you need a plan B. 

And don't find a lovely little spot to build your dream home between two low water bridges with no other way out. We've noticed this. I imagine it would be something you wish you had realized before. Especially during some of the incredible rainy seasons. Just look at how high this creek has gotten this year.
 See how the bank has been cut away.

Almost home... we can see the neighbor's.

We see a lot of these signs. 
They mean it.
Guard rails are rare. 

The driveway is looking good... 

That old gravel eats up the tires, but it sure looks homey.

The End

Thanks for sharing our day! 

Oct 21, 2011

Surgery & Prayer

The past two weeks have been odd. I've been unsettled with a heavy heart. Not the heaviness of discouragement, not of  worry,  but the soberness that life is serious business. The feeling of not being happy, not being sad. Just being.

Then last week, after talking to a friend on the phone, I felt I had been rude. I didn't know why, but I was detached from the conversation. Not really into it at all. A second conversation with a family member in the next few days went the same. Then it hit me.

My husband had been scheduled for surgery for a torn rotator cuff muscle, and I was not liking it. I wanted this to stop. It invaded my safe little space. Being low on money is not good, feeling poorly is discouraging, but having someone you love at the mercy of others was really eating at me. We've been through things worse than this, but it's been a while....

So, I was quiet, thinking. Then I remembered, we are all at the mercy of God daily. Bad things can happen, good things can happen. God has a plan. And though I didn't like it, I knew that God knew right where we were, and he knew that we were facing surgery with 6 weeks off work- maybe 12, a lengthy healing time, bills to pay, a farm to run, etc. And He was big enough to handle it how and if he chose.

So, I gave it to him...first the money. "Lord you know what we need, please meet our needs as they arise and take us through this time...."

Then my husband, "Lord, please heal him...fix it now."  Well, I didn't really pray like that, but I did pray for him to be healed supernaturally if it was His will to show himself strong that way. I prayed for the muscle to be healed, for his arm to regain movement... and asked friends to pray. I knew God could do it, I didn't know if God would do it. After all, I don't know his plan.

I have faith in my Lord. And no matter how things turned out, I would trust him. Over the years, I've learned that even in pain and tears, he loves me.

Today was Ron's surgery. We got up early, got out the door, and to the hospital. He got checked in, worked up and prepped as I followed, watched and waited. Then they took him back. And I went into the bathroom and cried... and prayed. For a second, I remembered praying for healing without surgery. But, now I prayed for well being, etc., and I still believed God was in control. Sometimes it just hurts, trusting in the yet unseen.

A couple hours later, I was called back to meet with the doctor. "Well," he said, "that tear in the rotator cuff we saw on the MRI, wasn't there." (Yay, Lord! That was the BIG deal!) Then he went on to tell about scar tissue from Ron's car accident last year, and inflammation. He told me how he fixed those things and said healing time will be greatly reduced and Ron will have no restrictions of using his arm. He just needs physical therapy often for six weeks.

Tonight we are sitting in our living room, watching the Joplin football team play as a fund raiser for rebuilding the city after that devastating tornado. So many lost loved ones, and we wonder why these hard things happen. Some things are much harder than others, but God is working in the midst of it all. Bad things are not his will, but he can help us. Much good has come from that awful night in Joplin already, and over time, much more good will come from it.

I'm so thankful for his peace, his care, his faithfulness and that he is working his way in his time in the midst of a world wallowing in sin. I'm also very thankful for the power of prayer!

Oct 17, 2011

Bull Shoals and Glade Top Trail

The Goal- A day away from basic responsibilities, plus time to relax and enjoy the scenery.

The Budget- About half a tank of gas (in a Suburban, that is not really a small amount) and about $25 bucks for food.       

The Route- Highway 5 South to Ava, catch Glade Top Trail just off of 5 south of Ava (look for signs), meander the trail for an hour, hour and a half. From it wind back around to route 5. Continue south on rt. 5  to Gainesville. Make a right on rt.160 at Gainesville, make a left on 5 south to 178. Make a right on rt. 178 and the Bull Shoals visitor's center is right across Bull Shoals dam. There may be more scenic routes to take, this one does have some pretty views. (And Always, take a map. In these areas cell reception is poor and it can be easy to get lost.) 

Scenery along rt. 5 in southern Missouri. 

And into Arkansas... many of the homes are pretty simple out in the country. This one was a garage and living space all in one. Often people choose the simple over going into debt for building costs. No building codes outside of town (in most counties) make building what you can afford possible.
 But that can be a good thing, or a bad thing. 

                        Up over the hill and there is Bull Shoals Lake. The blue water is so pretty.

Before crossing the dam, there is a park with a little playground and picnic tables. 
Our packed lunch tasted even better out in the sunshine.

We didn't know at the time, but the Bull Shoals Dam  does give tours. From the displays and movie in the visitor's center we learned how the dam operates, but a tour would be great! 
Definitely on the list for next time.

We drove across the dam to get to the visitor's center.

At the visitor's center...
(See how happy Jake is to have to stop for a picture!)
I did not get any photos inside on this trip, but  there are some great displays of the wildlife, marine life, and more. They also show a good movie about the history of the area and the how and why of the lake's construction. And there is a nice gift shop. 

This is the lake again at a distance.
 Did you know it has 1,000 miles of shoreline and world record fishing!

A bit down the road...(I'd have to ask my husband exactly where...so I'll add that later.)
We took  the Peel Ferry back across Bull Shoals to head back home. 

It was a cool addition to our day trip.

Not the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, but she'll do. Growing up on the east coast, the ferry we saw the most  looks more like a cruise ship. And is pretty pricey too.
This one was free.  

All aboard!

And we took a leisurely ride across. 

Pretty fun!

Cool! We're in a car on the water.

Land Ho! We made it!

Now this is Glade Top Trail...This day we took it on the way home. 
The sun was getting low and it was pretty.

Ahh, so beautiful.

This might be poison for all I know, but I thought it was pretty.

And that was our little day trip.

 We left around 12:30 and were back at Pizza Hut by 7 p.m.
A good day!