Sunday, January 29, 2012

Beef jerky

Rod's cousin told me she makes her own beef jerky, i thought that was a clever thing to do since we have a lot of beef right now from a family cow. After a month of searching for my dehydrater, i decided to give it a whirl. (found in the basement closet with sporting goods?!?) It's rather easy and tastes good too! I would take a salty snack over a sweet snack any day, so jerky is perfect for me. This can be done in the oven too, but i'm not sure what that process looks like.

1.5 - 2 lbs. flank steak ? (i just used whatever we have, chuck roast maybe)

2/3 c. worcestershire sauce

2/3 c. soy sauce

1 T honey

2 tsp. black pepper

2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. liquid smoke

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

MIX in a gallon sized zip lock bag.

(it's a little spicy, you could probably omit the red pepper).

I thawed our roast for a few hours and thinly sliced into long strips (i cut as thin as i possibly could). You want the meat to be slightly frozen so you can cut it easier.

Place stips of meat into the marinade and place in fridge for 3-6 hours

Then remove the meat from the brine and pat dry. Evenly distribute the strips onto the dehydrator trays. Top with 1 empty filter. Dry the meat for 8-12 hours. (mine took 10 hours). Once it's dry, you can store in a cool dry place for 2-3 months.

Your jaw will get a nice workout!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Goose & Guineas

I'm serious, you just never know around here.

Yesterday and today there's been a goose hanging around. Just as calm as could be.
He doesn't fly away or make any noise. It's interesting to watch the guineas follow him around. We can only get so close till he starts walking away. But how halarious.
Another great way to get my kids outside, in the damp, cold, rain! Thanks Lucy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Babies shower & snow..

Saturday i had a twin babies shower for Nadene! She found out it's boys, which i'm very excited about. She got a lot of neat things, encouragement, and fellowship that afternoon. I'm happy to walk with her through the whole twin experience.

A couple goodies at the shower--

I was shocked with how well the cookies turned out. I've never made sugar cookies with icing before, plus Adam was helping me. That combination led me to have pretty low expectations on the results. Nadene loves elephants...
These were really easy, a recipe using Phyllo cups, with a cheesecake-like filling
Clay's piggy bank matched the color scheme perfectly. Piggy was the centerpiece.
A cute card:
The inside (can you read the sticker?):
I was thankful the snow didn't keep anyone away. Also thankful for neighbor girls who have been playing with the boys in the snow the past couple days and keeping them outside for hours!

Adam learning to snowboard.
It lasted about this long...

Ben and Brad sledding through their homemade ramp. pretty funny. I was hoping Adam would have a delay this morning! I'm all about delays, don't want too many cancelled days though.

Have a happy week.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Never thought i'd have a blog post titled "books"! I'm really not a reader and don't normally choose to read in my free time. But since most of my hobbies require the summertime season, i figure i can do this reading thing.

Right now I am enjoying 3 books. (it's all or nothing)
Don't let the corny title scare you. 52 things kids need from mom is a very good book! Angela is a great author, i've read her stuff before. Her suggestions (and they are just suggestions) make sense, and aren't overwhelming. Just good old encouraging reminders of what our kids need from us. She uses examples from her experiences which is fun to read. Some of things are so simple, like thing #4 "watching them till they are out of sight". I started doing that with Adam. I have always taken him to the door when i drop him off at school. But instead of just turning around and leaving right away like i used to, i watch him until he's turns that corner inside the school and i can't see him anymore. He actually turns around and looks at me right before he's out of sight. I hope that makes him feel good to see me stand there watching him until he's gone. It only takes an extra 10 seconds of my time each day.

Backyard Gardener, a Christmas gift, is a very helpful book on raising and growing your own food, living off your land. It's got our wheels spinning about how to best use our space here for our garden and animals, what to add, what to do different... We're already doing some of the things in here, to a certain degree. But we have a lot to learn! It's a very detailed resource, as it thoroughly covers every veggie, fruit tree, herb, nut, etc. that you can grow and tips on raising animals for meat and eggs. It also gave me the itch to grow stuff NOW, so we made a quick visit to Stauffer's the other day and picked up a few seeds. Now my kitchen window looks like a mini garden filled with this!
(alfalpha sprouts, flowers, salad mix, grass-just for fun-, tomatoes, and herbs).

Power of a Praying Parent...i just read thru but am reading again. The most helpful book in how to/what to pray for in our children. this book is an excellent guideline for praying for your kids. She gives examples too on incorporating scripture w/ our prayers.

The boys love being read to, which surprises me because i don't think of them as having a good attention span. We came home from the library today w/ lots of new books. But I'm contemplating what new chapter book series to start up on. They liked Charlotte's web, which is a chapter book, but it's not a series so after a week that was done. Let me know if you have any ideas on that.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


It happened. The hair...gone.

Rod took Clay to Salon Grandma, she did a nice job removing the sticky, clumpy Clay hair!

When they came home, i was on the phone w/ my poor brother who got to hear my lovely reaction :) i didn't know it was getting done today so i was a tad shocked! It'll take some getting used to. i like how it still wants to curl and go all over the place.

We kept the top long, so it wouldn't be such a drastic change. Still looks kinda out of control here, it was windy :)

Who would have thought this would be such a big deal...You can tell he's the baby. We're left with a nice sized bag of hair memories!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Farm show '12

We made another trek out to the farm show this year. This time it wasn't snowing like crazy! we left after lunch on Monday, and stayed till 7:30pm! I thought that was a big accomplishment until we ran into a friend who was there by herself with her 4 children for 10+ hours! They have quite a variety of thing to enjoy...

corn boxes:
animals: lots of walking:Brad and Clay...3 years apart. 1 pound apart.
Machinery! a fav....
We stuck around for square dancing, Lloyd and Sue were in it again. Smoker clan, can you see them?? Clay liked the square dancing: We're starting to learn our way around there, which is nice. good times.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Pet Hawk.

You just never know around here....

Because the weather was so beautiful yesterday, Rod decided to fly in the morning, and after landing, a couple guys came over to see what's up with that flying machine...They came from a nearby field where they were walking with a pet hawk!!? When he was talking to us, Roxy (ya gotta name your hawk) was far away in a tree. He called her and pulled out a dead mouse to lure her in.
First she came in and landed on the barn roof... Then to the owner. I'm sure Tractor grandma was glad we picked this day for the sleepover, so she could witness this tame hawk!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Pinterest has become my favorite 'go to' site for craft ideas for the kids and myself. The latest thing i found on there is make your own Monster bookmarks! (for the kids of course....ok, actually i'll be using one too) These are a hoot, and so easy to make.

Don't they look like those little pac man 'bad guys'?? you know....inky, pinky, and clyde. or something like that.

I opted for the easy version, which just uses the corner of an envelope and slides right overtop the page.

Click on this link for the step by step instructions...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas festivities are year begun

Ah, it's over. Don't get me wrong, i love Christmastime; get togethers, traditions, advent, songs, memories, etc. I just think it gets to be a little much and am always ready to get back to regular life! We did have a great Christmas, the morning was spent at home and then the rest of the day with my family. The kids played together while the rest of us got to sit around and chat. I learned something new this year in the boys preschool advent (is that sad?) I never thought about the symbolism with the shepherds being the first visitors of Jesus and Jesus being our Shepherd. Did i miss that somewhere? I love that. God just thinks of everything, doesn't he? There's no way we can comprehend it all, but i marvel at who He is.

It's a tradition for me to take the boys to the food bank at Christmas, with bags of groceries to donate. This year we did it the week Adam had off school and the food bank was closed, but the pastor let us in to drop off the donation. At the same time, a lady came wanting to get some things from the food bank and i overheard him tell her they were closed. While she was walking out, i signaled for her to come over to our car, i still had bags to take in, and told her to go through the bags and pick what she wanted. She was so grateful. I was thrilled #1 to bless someone in this way, and #2 that the kids were able to witness the whole thing. It was a special Christmas memory.

I came up with a Family Moto for us for 2012. The boys are still young enough where they think this is fun and cool to have a family motto, not sure how much longer i can get away with that! It's simple..."Make it a good day!" They shout it while doing a fist pump in the air, so funny. and the same evening of coming up with our motto i read this verse in my devotions, to go along with it "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." Adam is not a fussy or whiney kid, which i appreciate very much, But he can get a stinky attitude like none other. I hope this motto can stick in his heart and maybe somehow grasp the idea that we can control how our day is going by how we look at things. It's also a good reminder for the rest of us.

My personal focus for the year and beyond, hopefully, is to be more intentional with my prayer time, specifically for the kids. What a difference we can make in their lives and futures by committing them to prayer. I am inspired by Stormie Omartian's, Power of a Praying Parent. In the winter we don't watch any TV, since baseball isn't on, so i want to be intentional with some of my free evening time and focus on this.
When Clay was born, and the twins visited us in the hospital they both kept exclaiming "He's tame!" "He's not wild like the kitties!" "He lets us pet him!"

Well, they were wrong, he's a wild, WILD child! another focus for the year is to train this little powerhouse. In the past week he's run up in front of church, grabbed the mic and started 'singing', while our pastor was delivering a wonderful christmas eve message. He's broken glasses, put many items in the potty, and Saturday takes the cake with pulling the fire alarm at our christmas dinner at my grandparents retirement home. After many apologies to the police, fire, and ambulance crew, i decided this should probably stop. I hope to report next year that Clay is a fine, young lad who listens to instructions :)

A picture of me, just prior to confessing to firetruck #1:They were way too nice, and basically offered to do a photo shoot after the 4 fire trucks, 2 police men, and ambulance crew all got notified it was a false alarm. Rose was on that :) Clay will never remember this, but we're not going to let him forget it anyway! Adam already has a plan to bring duct tape to next year's dinner and tape the alarm so Clay won't do it again. I'm almost positive we'll be doing that.
Last thing, i promise...on my mind right now. Adam is suffering from being a brother to twins. (and newly nicknamed "fireball"). He's never said a word about it, but i just "know" so don't argue with me :) He is constantly overlooked when we are out and about. Example of this, last year we went to storytime at the library and we were late (imagine that), when we walked in the lady in charge said "i was wondering if the twins were coming today"....What do you think that did to this mother hen? I felt like saying, "um, Adam is here too!". These things happen regularly. And even with people who he knows, and see him often inadvertently overlook him. I understand though, there's almost always 2 boys talking at the same time, and Ben, Brad, and Clay are all louder then Adam, so who wins? the one you can hear! i watch his face though as he gets interrupted by a brother and the attention is moved from him to the brother. i sense his self esteem going downhill and his fear of rejection is making him quieter then i think God intended for him to be. He wants attention just as much as the rest of them but doesn't know how to get it. I'm happy though that when it comes to the 3 of them playing together, the twins adore him and he's rarely the odd one out during playtime. So anyway, it's kinda a weird situation that most kids will never be in, and i hope it becomes a non issue at some point. But it's been a growing concern of mine for some time now.

This got really long, i'll dedicate it to aunt Rhoda who gets disappointed when she has nothing new to read on here!

Happy new year to everyone and thanks for reading!