Friday, September 30, 2011

The most amazing tomato sauce ever....

...At least that's the goal.

Here's how it's made:

First you grab the biggest pot you have and hope its big enough as you're filling it with tomato halves.  I have a food mill so skins, cores, and seeds all get chucked in.

Next go to the fridge, open the door, and see what it is you have for fresh veggies.  In this case I used 7 plus garlic cloves, 2 onions, 1 1/2 green bell pepper, 1 red bell pepper, and a bunch of carrots.

Throw some excitement in by having your toddler use his bulldozer to push your chunked veggies on the floor.  Pick up, rinse off and throw them into the chopper as quickly as you can.  The goal is NOT to repeat this step.

Use a bit of team work to chop all the veggies up. 

Take the blades with you when you dump the veggies into the now overflowing pot. By doing this you are avoiding the ER visit you would have needed had you left the blades with two boys.

Simmer the rest of the day.  Stirring often unless you want those who eat your sauce to think you not only made this from scratch but you did it over a campfire.  The clean up is also easier if you avoid the campfire taste (Believe me, I know from experience).

Since you have now been on your feet all day, after supper make an exception to the rule of sitting on the table, and put your sauce through the food mill.  Cranking the food mill can become tedious so invite the toddler to help.  The possibilities of what could happen are endless!

Take some pain relievers for those aching feet and go to bed.

In the morning start boiling the sauce down. 

As the sauce begins to warm add some sugar.  Whatever you think is good.  In my world it's all about what tastes good.

Open the spice cabinet give a dash of something here and pinch of something there.  A small handful of things every now and then are fine too.  For spices I used salt, pepper, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, thyme, chives, parsley, and paprika.  I also threw in some tomato paste to help thicken it.  (If you plan to can this sauce DO NOT use sage as it can turn your sauce bitter-Once again I know from experience.)

Simmer until the thickness pleases you.  Can, freeze, or use immediately.

The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us.
~ Psalm 67:6
1058.  Little hands helping in the kitchen.
1059.  Smell of home made sauces.
1060.  Cloudy fall days.
1061.  Little boys under feet.
1062.  Being able to watch the kidlets play while I work in the kitchen.
1063.  A Dad to call when I have cooking questions.
1064.  Strong man helping.
1065.  Being able to work with the produce of the land.
1066.  The feeling of accomplishment.
1067.  Jar lids "popping".

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A day for remembering

In the eleven times we had seen each other face to face, once he had asked me to be his girlfriend.  I said, "No".  Then he asked if we could hold hands.  I said, "No".  Then on September 29th he asked me to marry him.  I said, "Yes".  In many ways this day is even better then our wedding day. Now, don't get me wrong the day I wore white outlined in red carrying the same colored flowers was spectacular.  But on this day I had said in my heart that I was his.

Husband, thanks for asking.

My beloved is dazzling, ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand.
~ Songs of Solomon 5:10

1046.  The chance to say yes to a life of together.
1047.  Many games of cribbage.
1048.  Daily calls just to hear each others voice.
1049.  Hard conversations always finished.
1050.  An unexpected love that runs deeper then I can fathom.
1051.  His laugh
1052.  His fear, trust, and security of Jesus.
1053.  A father that adores his two boys.
1054.  Coffee beans.
1055.  His pizza crust making skills.
1056.  The countless gifts of SHMILY.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


In minutes it becomes extraordinary...

They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.
~ Psalm 65:8

1039.  Daily artwork given by my Creator lasting only minutes just so I can smile.

Friday, September 23, 2011

If we fish in the rain...

...Then we sure can pick apples in the mist!

A warm misty day where three of the Defender clan members were sick.

A apple picking we went...

...And LOVED, of course.

Aside from picking a bushel in a half of apples we feed the animals, including Man of the woods favorite, the llama.

My strong man took this picture for me.  I adore this gift.

Fun times!!  With much canning ahead of me.  All of it a gift.

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and pay your vows to the Most High.
~ Psalm 50:14

1028.  Warm, misty fall days.
1029.  Apple orchards.
1030.  Family adventures.
1031.  Man of the woods who had dreamed meeting a llama for weeks getting the chance to feed one.
1032.  Dripping noses to help us slow down and enjoy each other.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Welcome to my  new home. Only been here a few weeks but feel as if this has always been home.


This is what you see as you walk through the door into our living room. I love working in my new kitchen and have already canned many things here, but more on that in another post.

We have always wanted an open feel to our home and here we've got it.  You can't see it here in this photo, but to the right is a hallway leading to our bedrooms and bathroom.

The boys bedroom came out fantastic.  It begs for your smile when you walk in.  I was slightly worried since we tried to incorperate the favorite colors of both boys.  Man of the woods loving green and Laughter enjoying orange.

It worked well.  This is a very inviting little boys room that will grow with them I think, having enough space for them to play in there room rather then dragging everything out into the livingroom.

My favorite room; our bedroom.  Here the back of our apartment where toys are not allowed.  A place where I can feel like a classy adult as oppossed to the Mommy of toddlers (I love being both).

This hand made table cloth is the center piece of this room (excuse the cat ear).  It brings "home" to me here in the states.  Thank you my Romanian sister for the beautiful gift!

Everyday as I spend time in my home I am reminded of Psalm 67:7.  "God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth my fear Him."  Every gift I am given is to be held with an open hand so I can take this gift of mine and share it with somebody else.

971.  Friends on the hill building a home for my family.
972.  A unique love that only god gives.
973.  Children blending.

974. Community.
975. Prayer.

976. Holy Spirit.
978. Packing alone.
979. Neighbor sister sharing dinner with us.

980. Man of the woods thinking my banana bread is the best.
981. Cleaning with just God.

982. Lunch alone with my handy Mom.
983. Iced coffee.

984. Friends and family to watch the boys during these busy days.
985. Two Dads that gave there time and wisdom for me and mine.

986. Spacious new apartment more like a house.
987. Grammy to love the boys even though they were grumpy.

988. Friends to help move.
989. An ache free new bed.

990. Friend on the hill that's good to me even when I tell him water flooded two bathrooms.
991. Barn animals.

992. Fresh eggs.
993. Two well adjusted kitties.


997.  Boys that love there new home so much they don't want to leave.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Silent rest

Five years ago I moved to the city for the first time in my life.  Up until that point I had always been a country girl.  When your blessed with something you've only ever known the fact that it's a gift sometimes passes you by, as it did me for a time.  Now in the country again I realize how much I miss seeing God's beautiful creation. 

Here's the view from my bedroom window.  In fact every window has a view like this one.

The silence of busyness brings rest to my soul.  The songs of crickets, cows, chicks, and wind, to list a few, mends my brokenness.

Let the field exult, and all that is in it.  Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy.
~ Psalm 96:12

1011.  Crickets chirping
1012.  Silence of city life.
1013.  Great view from my apartment.
1014.  Waking each day to God's creation.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Memories of the summer

~Over the summer our Man of the woods has become friends with two dogs that our friends own. At first he hated that they licked him. We explained to him licking is a way dogs say hello. A few visits later he walked right up to the dog and gave her a big lick on the nose...All watching busted up laughing embarrassing the poor guy, but all is well now and it's a good story.

~Our Man of the woods favorite song with his three year old speech, "He till workin' on me. To make me what I got to be. Took him just a week to make the moon and the tar the hun and the eart and jupiter and lars. How loving and patient He mut be cause He till workin' on me! And Daddy and Momma and Laughter!"

~Strong man to our Man of the woods, "Would you please do this for me?" Response, "I would be happy to Daddy."

~Added to the list of things I never thought I'd say, "Laughter don't put french fries in your ears."

~My son of laughter who is usually shy decided to say hello to a lady walking in the store we were in. She didn't hear him so he turned to me and told me she was shy.

~At supper my Man of the woods turned his eye and fork into a chicken nugget shooter.

~In the car tonight my Strong man began asking our 3 year old a question, only to be interrupted with, "I'm sorry Daddy, I can't talk to you right now. I'm talking to God...God today was a good day for rain because Momma's vegetables needed the rain so they could grow. Thank you for the rain."

~I looked behind my car seat to find a very sleepy 1 year old. I asked if he was sleepy and he told me that his toes were and they were taking a nap.

~At our yard sale we told the boys that whatever money they made from selling there toys they could buy one new toy at the store. Our three year old all on his own decided to be our little salesman and tried as hard as he could to sell of our stuff. I think he made more money for being cute then he did off of the toys he sold.

~After disciplining my Man of the woods I was trying to explain that I need to teach him how to obey so when he was older he would be able to obey God. Now was a time for him to practice. I explained that maybe when he gets big that God will ask him to move far away or do something really hard. I continued saying He could ask you to do anything, maybe He'll want you to be a farmer. My woodsmen looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "Mommy I don't know how to be a farmer. You have to teach me." The more I tried to explain it was just and example that I didn't really know what God wanted him to be when he grew up the more upset he was getting because he didn't know how to be a farmer. In the end I finally agreed. I said we could learn together.

~Man of the woods and his babysitter were in the barn doing chores when he said, "I love you. But I love Mommy more. I love Daddy way more." she said that was good. But he wasn't done, he said, "And I love God way, way, way more."

~ One morning in the car our Man of the woods decided he wanted to see a Moose so after looking for one he asked me if I had seen one. Of course I hadn't since we live in the city. So he asked his brother who was overjoyed to use his favorite word, NO. Then my small man said, "Well I guess we're not going to see any moose today."

~Anytime something good happens in Laughters life he gets all excited sign hurray and yelling, "Yeah, yeah, yeah".

~Having arrived home very late tonight Daddy told our Man of the woods that his new bug jar and it's bugs needed to stay in the entry way for the night. The poor guy couldn't understand why his bugs couldn't sleep in his bed with him.

~I was doing a little dance while waiting, and my Man of the woods looked at me sideways and asked, "Mom are you doing the pee dance?"

~As our Man of the woods watched his Daddy empty the water from the AC he hollered to me with a step by step of what was happening. I responded with, "Yeah that happens sometimes." He then reassuringly told his Dad that, "Sometimes that happens."

~Today I realized that when my 1 yr. old isn't getting the attention he wants he picks his nose.

~Man of the woods today said, "When I plug my ears something happens. It's gets really quiet."

~My man of the woods watched a boy riding his bike at the park today. As we sat on the bench watching I suggested that maybe for his birthday next year he could get a bike. This was his response, "Yeah, and I will remind you that my favorite color is green."

~One warm night this past week my Strong man and oldest son were trying to get our seamstress sister to come to her window. When they realized the window was closed my Strong man said, "Now I feel kind of stupid for hollering at a closed window." As they went inside our son said, "Someday my little boys are going to make me look stupid too."

~ Once upon a time before computers, phones, ipods, & angry birds, there was prince Val....they ate crocodile and it tasted like chicken nuggets!"

~I walked around the corner almost running into my three year old who was using the potty seat as a hat. All I could say was YUCK!

~Each morning I give my youngest just a small taste of sugar from my finger. This morning he tried to do it himself thinking the salt was the sugar.

~At dinner my man of the woods was told that if he said it was yucky again he'd be punished. So after taking another bite he said, "This isn't yummy!"

~ "I'm an expert jumper," says my 3 yr. old who not even a week ago bit both lips and bruised his nose jumping off the couch.

~As I'm digging chicken pieces out, I say, "We don't feed dinosaurs chicken."

~My three year old says to me, "I'm a peeing machine!"

~Listening in on a child's conversation to hear, "Oh my..."

~A three year old saying, "Woot, woot" to show his excitement.

~Boys we don't throw ketchup.

~Finding sticks in the kitchen cabinets as I put away the dishes, or worse who know the last time I served that snack.

~Someday Mommy, I'm going to be so big that when my bum is on the potty my head will touch the ceiling.

~My three year old man of the woods drops something with a gasp, picks it up and begins to walk away, then he stops, turns around and says, "I meant to do that."

~Momma I fighting a 100 million bad guys!

~Mommy did you know that sometimes rocks of fire fall out of the sky?