Run, Run as fast as you can

IMG_5193You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man! And here is where I live…Wouldn’t you like to live here? We had fun decoration gingerbread houses with friends the other day. IMG_5180It was such fun, and really got the kids thinking about geometry, architecture, engineering, landscaping. Am I being an obnoxious homeschool mom? There’s something to be learned in everything we do!! ;) IMG_5192 Really, though, it was fun to watch the kids’ brains ticking away as they watched their creation fall down, then planned on how to better construct it. IMG_5188Of course, there were those of us who merely tried to glue as much candy as possible together just for fun.IMG_5181 The houses look yummy, but I’m not so sure how they would actually taste. That royal icing certainly dries like glue. Might taste like glue, too. IMG_5187



A while back I was ordered to get a pinterest account. I had held off because I thought it might just turn into cyber-clutter. I had browsed around on there before for fresh ideas for all sorts of things, but now I needed to start a board. Jeremie wants me to pin ideas for my dream farmhouse, so he can start drawing up plans. Yeah! And while I was pinning house ideas, all these cute Christmas and winter decoration ideas came up.IMG_5069 This door makes me smile every time I look at it. And these large snowflakes….popscicle sticks. And you all know how much I love red. They are my favorite decoration, so far. Then there are the painted wine bottles with stenciled letters and a glue-on snowflake. Can you handle the cuteness? IMG_5102This is only a fraction of the fun things we have been making.. all inspired by pinterest ideas. And the best thing? I haven’t spent a dime. All the materials have come from my over-stocked craft shelves. Perhaps that’s not something I should brag about… that I am a craft supply hoarder?IMG_5085

A Ruth Ann update

IMG_5059She loves to cuddle up in the recliner with a snack. She doesn’t even fall out of the chair. She knows how to turn around and get down on her tummy. IMG_4908She tries to put everything in her mouth and see how it tastes. Even Christmas lights.IMG_5144 She loves to swing. Even in the cold weather. When we try to take her out of the swing she holds on to the ropes as tight as she can. IMG_4803When she can’t be outside, she loves to watch her siblings playing out the window. IMG_5083Ruthie loves to be with her big sisters. Grabbing everything they have out. When they tell her “no”, she wrinkles her eyebrows and frowns at them, causing hysterical laughter. IMG_4880She has discovered it is so. much. fun. to pull out all the wipes, one at a time, and throw them everywhere.  IMG_4805She loves mama, and doesn’t even grab at knitting while she sits with me.

Harvesting venision

IMG_5122We have gotten five deer this year, so far. With hopes of getting a few more before the season is over. Jeremie tells me that people up north hunt day after day, season after season, and sometimes never get one. How sad. I’m getting greedy. Seeing the canned meat on my shelves, and tenderloins in my freezer. Realizing how yummy and economical this meat is. Get me more, I say! I have watched numerous videos on youtube about different ways to process the meat. This one is my favorite. This butcher makes me think that if you crossed him, and cut up the meat wrong, you might be the one being cut up and dropped in the river. IMG_5195Tomorrow on the menu… bacon wrapped tenderloin filet of venision! Watch your drool!IMG_5136

Giving Thanks

It was beautiful weather for our celebration!

It was beautiful weather for our celebration!

corn cob toss...

corn cob toss…


Every year we have so much to give thanks for. This year, it was really impressed upon our hearts to be thankful for the mercies of God. Life, itself, is such a gift from our creator. Daily grace that covers our sins, unthinkable sacrifice, atonement. What precious gifts have been given to us, as believers, from our loving Father. We always, tritely I think, say a quick prayer of thanks for family, friends, health. It has been pressing heavily upon my heart this season, though, the awesome benevolence of our God. I am thankful for so much, so much that it leaves me speechless. So I leave you with few words, and only a few pictures of our day of fellowship with friends, giving thanks for all the good gifts from above.

A room filled with love... and people!

A room filled with love… and people!

Indian tug of war...

Indian tug of war…

Bits and Pieces

Just some little tidbits of news to keep you all up to date on what happening around here.roo 009Ruthie has taken her first steps. I have threatened the kids with their very lives for encouraging her. But to no avail. Walk, she will. She has been covertly taking a single step here and there, but on the 19th, she took 5 steps in a row. Let’s hope that won’t be repeated any time soon. It is so good for babies to crawl. It helps to develop the neurotransmitters between the left and right sides of the brain, which leads to better processing skills. And let’s not rush the days of chasing a little one around. It will be here soon enough. But I must admit it is beyond cute to see a little person, only a foot and half high, toddling around. But I’d love to keep her a little baby just a few more months. Could you just eat these thunder thighs up?roo 011 Katie has been crafting lately. Knitting cute legwarmers. Designing dress and skirt patterns. Cutting, stamping and dyeing leather bracelets. I love this new creation of hers.IMG_4599 She is simply amazing with the designs she comes up with. Susie and Charlotte crafted this wreath for me.IMG_4356 I love the subtle touches of red, perfect for the holidays. Mia is our resident bread-baker.IMG_4555 I don’t know what we’ll do when she leaves us someday. Not eat bread, I guess. Remember Tommy made this rustic box for me?IMG_4607 It is filled with Epsom salt in the bottom.  I had him cut me some wood pieces. Then I stuffed branches from our holly tree in it. Simple centerpiece. What’ve y’all been up to?

Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’

IMG_4685We have this roller skating rink in town that we all think looks a little scary. I mean, it has a giant clown on the outside. Freaky, right? IMG_4721But you all know how we can’t say no to something that is a great deal, so when friends invited us to a “free skate” at this place we couldn’t say no.IMG_4718 And, you know what? It’s not so weird inside. If you ignore the giant sized stuffed Raggedy Ann on the giant sized couch. It’s a lot brighter than many rinks I’ve been in. And Jeremie and I and the kids love roller skating.IMG_4682 Even Roo does, apparently. What makes this place so fun is that there is an area with scooters, ramps and bikes, if you don’t want to skate.IMG_4724 And there is a time when they let you take the bikes onto the rink for a few songs. Here’s Jack, just hanging out, watching the skaters.IMG_4687 Sadly, Jeremie and I didn’t get to do a “couples skate” this time.;) But we all had fun nonetheless! IMG_4680


IMG_4522Before we moved to Tennessee we had never participated in 4H. What a resource it has turned out to be in our lives. Our extension agent is beyond busy, but she has exposed us to so much and taught us so much. Stuff we didn’t even know we didn’t know. IMG_4528Twice a month the girls take the horses to an indoor arena for horsemanship. They have improved their riding skills such that they get compliments from other “horse” people. And what a fabulous place to ride. Let me tell you a story about the man who owns this arena. He built it for his daughter, who is a barrel horse racer. Ever since she was younger and in 4H, he has welcomed the current 4Hers to use it whenever. He keeps a stocked fridge and has snacks every time. Once, years ago, all the parents were visiting and watching the kids ride. Mr. M, who owns the arena, noticed that a man was sitting in his car, watching the lessons. Mr. M walks over to find out why this man was being “snobby”, not visiting with the rest of the folks. Well, it turns out that this man was in a wheelchair and couldn’t navigate the rough terrain around the riding area. Mr. M tells him, “come back next time and we’ll have a place where you can come visit with the rest of us.” So he built a covered, enclosed kitchen/room with a smooth concrete floor, so the man could wheel himself inside and watch his child ride. This is the heart of the man that lets us use his arena. And we are so thankful.IMG_4531 Mia serves as vice president of this 4H group. Each meeting she shares a Proverb and is responsible for leading the Pledge of Allegiance and the 4H pledge. And Susie is the bulletin board chair. So each month she decorates a bulletin board and displays it at the meetings. She has won a “champion” purple ribbon each month.IMG_4608 Katie is the President of the other 4H group that we participate in. She runs the show with an iron fist. Keeping order. Teaching leadership. She’s wonderful for the job. In one 4H group we learn more about animals and agriculture. With the other group we are learning about space, comets, and astronauts. At the end of the year the kids will visit the Challenger Learning Center and perform activites simulating a real NASA mission. We are so thankful to have these 4H leaders in our lives willing to teach us new things. With all the things we are learning with 4H, I feel comfortable counting it as “school credit”!  IMG_4653

waxing and waning

IMG_4741Every year I have been planting my garlic on October 31. But this year I decided to check the farmer’s almanac to see what it had to say. November 22 was the recommended date for planting garlic. Hmmm…. Dare I wait that long? I think the waning moon, or is it the waxing moon? has something to do with growing larger and healthier root crops. So, chomping at the bit, I waited til the 22nd to plant. I put in 12 rows of 32 cloves. Hoping for a bumper crop. I planted a few different varieties. A strand native to Tennessee that was found growing wild but then cultivated for a few years. Music, always a favorite. Turkish Red.  It was a beautiful day. I was actually outside in a tank top planting. There was a gentle rain the next afternoon. I think it was the perfect time for planting.

Planting garlic makes me HAPPY!!!

Planting garlic makes me HAPPY!!!

But then the funniest thing happened. As I was walking out of the garden, my hoe jumped up and attacked me. It cracked me on the head and made me see stars. Fiendish hoe.

You should see what the other guy looks like.

You should see what the other guy looks like.

Game on

IMG_4753We are entering into the 2014 Deer Hunting Season. It started out with mild weather, soon to turn chilly. Tommy has been going out morning and evening. Jeremie, as his schedule allows. Jack, whenever he is allowed. IMG_4752Charlotte went this afternoon. Katie, as well. After sitting out for an hour, Jeremie spotted a buck. The buck soon passed to Katie’s side of the blind. Jeremie heard a “click” of Katie’s safety being released, signaling him that she had, indeed, also spotted the buck. One shot to the flank. As the deer falls, Tommy is heard cheering for his sister’s shot. The wound was so small, Katie thinks perhaps the deer died from a heart attack. But, no. There is a small hole in the flank. Dad guts it. Mom processes it. What a team. We are having guests to dinner tonight. Wonder how they feel about fresh venison?IMG_1163