Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day everyone! Thanks to all who sacrificed their lives to allow the rest of us to live this beautiful American life!

God Bless,

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe

I had some extra milk the other day and found this recipe in "Home Cheese Making" by Ricki Carroll. I tweaked it a bit to make it healthier. It is easy to make, just takes awhile to simmer it down to the right consistency. This recipe made nearly a half gallon of pretty thick caramel sauce. I used sucanat, and skimmed milk, making it low fat and healthier in the sugar department. It is so yummy on ice cream, but my favorite is putting it on French toast. It is super yummy to dip apple slices in, too.

Homemade Caramel Sauce:
2 Tbl organic cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1/4 tsp baking soda (make sure it is aluminum-free)
3 quarts milk (I used skimmed raw cow's milk)
3 cups sucanat

1. In a 4 quart pot, mix together the cornstarch and soda in 1 cup of the milk, stir well.

2. Add in the rest of the milk and sucanat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring often, until it is the consistency of caramel sauce.

3. Pour into clean jars. Store in fridge.

This makes for a unique gift that people love :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

T-Bucket Progress/Snowmobile Blessing

Michael is a project guy. He isn't happy unless he is tinkering on something. Lately, Michael has been very busy working on his 1923 T-Bucket Roadster project car. This is his third year of working on it. He has pieced it together with parts that were given to him or he found super cheap. Even though he has a long way to go on it, it is really starting to come together. 

1949 Flat Head 239 motor

He is having difficulties with the ignition system right now, but hopes to get it figured out soon, so he can get this puppy running. After he gets the motor running good, he wants to finish the body work and get it painted so he can finish the assembly and interior. After that, he'll start saving for the tires.  

Michael, adjusting the radiator cap.

He just got the radiator custom built to match the car and motor, which was the most expensive piece so far. 
Here was a surprise blessing! Just goes to show that good things come to those who wait. Michael has been wanting a snowmobile for years. He came home yesterday and told me had bought a snowmobile for $100 from a coworker who just wanted to get rid of it because he was tired of mowing around it. I thought it would be a piece of junk, but when he hauled it home, I was pleasantly surprised to see a decent snowmobile, in really good shape. It needs to be cleaned and tuned up, but other than that it runs great. 

The bad news is that all the snow is melting off the mountains, so we will have to wait until next year to try it out. We did take it for a spin around the yard a couple of times and that was fun :) 

I love it when God blesses us when we aren't expecting it! My husband is so delighted! He really deserves it, too. He never goes out and buys toys when we can't afford it. I really appreciate that about him. Thanks to the Dave Ramsey "Zero Balance Budget" we use, Michael has been able to save his mad money to keep the T-Bucket project going against all odds. He will wait months to buy a part. Again, good things come to those who wait!

Do you have a story about a blessing you received because you waited? If so, please leave a comment and share it with us.

God Bless,

Monday, May 7, 2012

Date Night With My Son

Josiah has been begging to take me on a date for awhile now. Things have been so crazy with Michael being gone for military schools that it took awhile for it to happen. By the end of the evening, I realized just how important it is for me to take time and just have fun with Josiah, apart from being his mom and his teacher. We had THE MOST delightful time! 

We've been working on our table manners as well as how to treat a lady. I had him open all doors for me and hold out my chair and them push it in. I'm so glad I brought my camera because I will treasure this date forever in my heart.

We went to a new restaurant call, Magnoni's at Hot Lake Resort. It has recently be restored and is absolutely gorgeous. See here for pictures of all the rooms. Just a few years ago, this place was literally inhabited by nothing but bats, birds and rodents and now it is a beautiful bed and breakfast with a salon, theater, museum, hot springs baths, gift shop and bronze foundry. 

As soon as we pulled up, Josiah spotted some eggs laid by one of the many geese and ducks that live in the parking lot area. I told him to be careful, but he had to get closer to examine it. Sure enough, he got chased by a big goose. It was hilarious! Josiah is pointing to the peacocks in the above picture. He was absolutely fascinated by them.

Josiah, just after he seated me. Such a little man.

I let him uncork the sparkling cider and do all the pouring of the  beverages. He managed to not spill a drop. I could tell he loved being the "man". I really hope his future wife will benefit from all this "tutoring".


Josiah has such personality! I was able to snap this picture of him as he received the relish tray. He was pretty excited until he took a bite and realized they were sweet pickles, LOL. He loved the green olives though.

This was our the only mistake of the evening. When he was reaching for a pickle and bringing it back to his plate, it slipped out of his fingers and dropped right into his water glass. He fished it out with his hand. We were both giggling pretty hard over this incident. Slippery little things!

God blessed us by bringing a peacock right next to the window. Then a female arrived and he displayed all his beautiful feathers. Josiah was in awe! I grew up with peacocks on our ranch, so peacocks don't really do a lot for me, but that night, I saw them again through Josiah's eyes and really appreciated their beauty. It also generated a little "birds and the bees" talk since he was wanting to know why the male peacock was showing off for the female. Thank goodness, they didn't actually start mating, or that would have been a whole different discussion! I was able to recollect the names of many wild birds outside the window, too. Josiah is so much like me. He loves to know the names of things - birds, rocks, animals and plants. It gives us a connection to those things by just knowing what they are called.

We had a delicious all-you-can-eat lasagna dinner with the must amazing garlic,cheesy bread sticks, topped off with a beautiful dessert. Josiah actually ate more than I did, and I was practically waddling out of there.

Josiah wanted me to take his picture by the buffalo. He made it an hour and half through the meal and did just fine. The birds outside the window kept him quite entertained.

A complimentary movie and popcorn were part of the price, so Josiah and I settled down in the theater and watched "Night at the Museum". We laughed and talked through the whole thing as we had the place to ourselves almost the whole time. Josiah even managed to eat some popcorn. Where does that kid put it all? He's just like his dad. I can't believe how much that kid can eat!

When we came home that night, Josiah declared our date "a success" and the second best day of his life. Wow, what a compliment! I realized I really need to do this more often. One on one time with him is his love language. 

Not to be left out, Michael took Hailey out for dinner and ice cream that same night. He treated her like a lady and worked with her on her table manners. She was so excited to have some daddy time. Michael isn't one to take a lot of pictures, so alas, this is the only one we have them. 

If you want to delight your children and help build your relationship with them, take them out for a date! Now, Michael and I need to find time for a date night! We are planning on an anniversary overnight trip to the bed and breakfast in the tiny town of Flora next month. It is a good motorcycle trip. Can't wait!

Hope you all enjoy the week and you are getting awesome weather like we are finally enjoying in Eastern Oregon!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kid Antics

Josiah and his toe slingshot. He was pretty proud of himself for coming up with this one.

I saw this T-Shirt and it was so Josiah, I just had to get it for him. It is a Christian t-shirt that says, "Weapons of Warfare - Called to Duty" and shows a soldier praying. He loved it!

I got this 50's dress at a yard sale and it is the right length for Hailey to make into a "Little House on the Prairie" outfit. Plus it has a great twirl factor. When you're a girl, it all boils down to how it twirls!

When I visited my sister's house about a month ago, I brought along this "Tangled" wig. My nephew confiscated it to help with his "Hippie" look. Too funny!

Josiah and Hailey were making cookies yesterday and I look over to see this scene. All I can say is, "Don't ask me!". Not sure what the flotation device was all about, but as us homeschoolers often say, "OK, then!" When he comes up with these crazy outfits, I always tell him he looks like a homeschooler to which he proudly declares, "That's 'cause I am, Mom!" 

So I've got a good one on me! When my sis was up for a visit, we got all 7 kids in the van and pull up to church (quite a feat in itself). When Josiah got out of the van, I noticed he was wearing his snow boots. I got after him and continued to walk towards the church. Something felt funny. I looked down and I was wearing my slippers! Needless to say, we ended up going home to change shoes. Talk about the pot calling the kettle  black! LOL!
A couple of weeks ago, we got to go to a really cool juggling presentation about gravity that OMSI put on. The guy was amazing! We were really blessed to be able to go. Best part is that it was free!

I thought this short video of Hailey acting like she was a fish playing the piano was cute.

Hope you are all having a great week. We are still waiting on our house to sell in God's timing. Things are gradually wrapping up for the year, AWANAS, Creation Science Class and soon MOPS. It is kind of nice to be slowing down.

God Bless,


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