Showing posts from November, 2007

Drum Roll Please....And the winner is !

And the winner is Tracy of Unless The Lord Congratulations to Tracy and thanks to everyone that participate. There were nearly 100 enteries

New Collection At MorningRamble Gifts

There is a new Note Card Collection called "Tea Time" at
MorningRamble Gifts Take a peek and tell me what you think.
Can you tell I am excited about them !

Some How To's for the new readers

Thought I would share some links to past blog entries about how to do this or that.
Have fun ! Candle making Dipping Beeswax Candles Candle Making Day

Living on one income, frugal living Staying Home on One Income
More on Living On One Income

Soap making Soap Making Day
More Soap Talk
Raising Homestead Children Raising Homestead Children

My all time favorite bread recipe Amish White Bread Recipe

I Purchased a treat for myself today

Fridays I get my allowance. The word allowance doesn't bother me, it doesn't make me feel like I am a child, its actually kind of fun. I get $20 a week, which is twice what I got when the children were home and we had more expenses. Now, I had the check book with me today too, to buy the things we needed for the home and for a stop at the feed store, which I love by the way, old squeaky wooden floors, a well worn wooden counter, a receipt machine that you sort of crank, and not a computer in sight. There was a Dearborn gas heater with a couple chairs by it, and a few buckets of pecans, some cracked already and some waiting to be done. An old farmer sitting there chatting with the help. There are butter churns and crocks on a dusty shelf, people still use them, they are not just for decorating. When I walk in, they start filling my order before I ever say a word. Now back to the allowance thing. On Fridays when I get my allowance I head off to Goodwill Thrift Store. Th…

Christmas Note Card Give Away !

You have all been such wonderful readers that I wanted to do a Give Away of my Christmas Collection Note Cards from my store MorningRamble Gifts
Just leave me a comment or email me at to let me know you would like to be entered to win. You will receive a full set of 12 cards, 3 of each photo shown. The note cards are on high quality card stock. The drawing will be held on Friday,
November 30 and announced that evening.

This post will stay at the top until the 30th. Daily posts will be just below it

What Do You Have That Other People Want ?

As I was sitting at the computer, gazing out the window for inspiration about what to write, I whispered a hasty prayer. Then I thought, how is it that I dared think of writing one word before praying about what I should write !
Yesterday a magazine came to our house for Melanie, it was something for newly married people about the first home. I glanced through it...glossy magazine in every aspect. I put the magazine down thinking to myself, "they have nothing I want." A thought that was a tiny seed has grown into a concept I want to govern my every word and deed.
What do I have that other people would want ? What is it I offer by example ? In blogland and in my life ?
What I want to have in my life that others might want is more than just a fancy table setting or a well appointed home, more than just recipes or shopping tips. Yes, those things are part of life, part of running a home, but I want those things to be secondary and no longer the central theme of…

Blogging With A Purpose Award

I once again feel so humbled by receiving an award for my blog. Today Kris from At Home With Kris nominated me for this award. The history of this award is meaningful too Eric Novak came out with the Christian award Blogging with a Purpose in late April of 2007. With so many secular awards around, Eric thought it would be a good idea to come out with a Christian award.

1. Awarded parties must nominate five people who have not received the award.
2. The blogs that receive the award must serve some purpose.
3. In their post about the award they need to link back to this entry.
4. Awarded parties must post the award banner on their site. The banner must remain linked to this site.

my 5 nominees are....
1. Dawn at On A Quest for Plain Living I like the honest approach Dawn has to seeking a simple life. Her purpose is always clear, serving God
2. Marci at Down on the Farm I have known Marci for many years and read her blog nearly every day and her words inspire, make you think and always poi…

Sometimes Its Just The Way The Sun Shines In

Sometimes, its just the way the sun shines across the floor that gives me this warm tender feeling towards my life. The way the warm colors of the wood baptized with sunshine makes me feel so at peace, so uncluttered by the outside world. As I walked through the house doing my work, I caught sight of such beauty and wondered if it could be captured with the camera and shared. The sight, somewhat, but not the silence broken only by the ticking of the mantle clock on the piano and the scent of baking cornbread cannot be sent through the air to you. I wish it could all be packaged up and shared for each aspect brings a joy, not the jump up and down kind of joy but the deep and filling joy. On a side note here, but a very important note, Mei-Ling is done with her tests, the poor little one cried so hard and long that her tiny body is shaking with sobs. Thanks for all the prayers. I don't understand the purpose in a child going through so much but I will trust God knows what H…

The View From The Inside and The Outside

This is not going to be about how you dress, its about what we are at home with our children, our husbands/wives and then how we are outside the home. I often have seen parents cringe when a child speaks about something that happened at home, showing a side of the parent or home that they never wanted anyone to know about them. Maybe the child spoke of mommy being so angry and screaming or yelling, when in public she is the epitome of a serene parent. Or perhaps dad and mom hate each other at home but when in public they speak about their perfect marriage. It might also be that a family lives the high life, fancy car, big house decorated to the hilt, but they never want you to know that they don't answer the phone because of bill collectors calling, or they are one month shy of loosing it all. It might even be that you speak of your close walk with God when in reality you hardly ever pray and walk before God in just about every aspect of your life. Does the inside of you m…

I am so blessed

Time for sharing some pictures of Elizabeth that I took the other day. I feel so blessed to have children that love us and now to have grand-babies that love us too !
What a sweetie wee Miss Elizabeth is. She has started sleeping through the night once in a while so her parents are most happy. She is so kissable and smiles so freely. My little grand-daughters are our delight.

Prayer for Mei-Ling

Mei-Ling will be having a nephrostogram tomorrow morning at the hospital. Please say a prayer for her. Its a painful test, she has had so many of them and its hard to see her cry so hard for so long. We all are praying the results are good and there is no need to do another surgery. She has been doing so well, we want to keep it that way !

Mei-Ling is wearing a sweater made by my mother for Melissa and Melanie, she looks so snugly warm. This was one of my favorite sweaters for my girls, zips up the back keeping their chest toasty warm

Simply Be YOU !

To live simply, you don't have to be Amish, or a monk in a cave ( I am neither) just have to be yourself, content, not pressured by what society tells you you have to have in order to fit in.
You can live in the city, in an apartment, or in the country. You just have to be content to live without the need to impress or the need to reward yourself with things and stuff, that ends up ruling you somehow. We have chosen long ago to not buy into the hype about having to have what the Jones' have. I can stay out of the stores and walk in the morning in the fresh air and have so much more than what can be paid for.

De-Stressing Christmas

This morning I read a post on a blog I visit often about the stresses of the Christmas holidays and of gift giving. It made me kind of sad. It made me want to give another side of the story. For me, I don't feel all stressed out by the holidays or feel the pressure of the commercialism...yes, I know it exists and that its real for so many people but that is again choice. Long before the first fall leaves cascade down from the branches and the nippy winds begin to blow, I am thinking of what I want to give in appreciation to people I love and for dear friends. This is not a burden, but a pleasure. There are no gift cards on my list for anyone, but little tokens of appreciation. Christmas is a time of love, deep and profound love. The very same kind of love that God showed when He gave us His son, with the gift of salvation and love along with this babies birth. It is a joy to sit and wrap a gift tied up with heartstrings of love. To cook and bake seasonal delights to celebrate a …

Being Kind

The other night we turned the television on to watch something in particular, but while waiting the few moments for the program to start, the many commercials that they have between the shows were on. I was shocked at what I heard and saw. One was for some people pushing a rock over a cliff onto their car because they wanted a new one, I suppose we were to surmise from that that insurance would pay for the damages, allowing them to get a new one. That is just simply morally wrong. From watching such things, we become numb and forget what scruples are. The next ad was for someone hiring a hit man to do away with a wife. The next ad for a show were blood and guts were shown, and finally one for a new game called "Assassin". What are we subjecting ourselves and our children too ? There is nothing good about being an assassin, in murder there is pain not entertainment. All this got me to thinking about kindness and being kind. The very concept of Kindness only se…

Morning Ramble

Golden sunshine filled the land with color. Wispy clouds so much like newly carded wool swept across the pale blue sky and the air crisp and invigorating. How can anyone stay inside on such a day ? The grass and fallen leaves held tight to the dew, I was glad for my boots. The last of the pecans and walnuts are falling, I see neighbors bend over picking nuts for winter baking. The cat and kittens lead the way to their feed dishes and the chickens are clucking contentedly. A goat in the distance bawls, perhaps breakfast is a bit too long in coming her way. I am so thankful each and every day for this time alone with the beauty of the earth. The lessons God teaches with His creation are so profound. One can walk in silence, only a whispered prayer on the lips to be taught and we can learn of faithfulness, of His love for us. We can see the orderliness of His world even when mans chaos seems so in our face. The miracle of creation shows us we know so little. How perfect the drops of dew …

Mei-Ling has gained some weight !

For all of you that have prayed for Mei-Ling to gain some weight, the good news is, she has and its starting to show. We will get an exact weight on her next Doctor visit but unofficially, she has gained a pound in just a short time. We can see a change in her little cheeks, they are starting to fill out some. We are so thankful for all the prayers.

Our Choices

I woke up at 4:30 this morning, not ready to hop out of bed and face the chilly house, so I opted to stay in bed and just think. Thinking is a pastime, not just some random act that happens without control. We choose what we think about and how we think about each and every subject. If you worry about every little thing, well that is your choice. If you don't worry about anything, that's your choice of thought too. If you are a doom and gloom thinker, again your decision. I tend to think philosophical concepts when I just sit and think. I want to figure out mankind, figure out why people think the way they do, figure out what makes us seek what we do and shun the things we do. I want to know why I believe what I do, and understand why I question what I do.
This morning I thought about how we say to the world what is important to us by our actions and many times we are not even conscious of this. We do so many things on autopilot, without thinking. For instance, I suspect that …

Cinnamon Stick Village

I have this wonderful little book titled, " The Creative Christmas Kitchen" found it at Goodwill for 50 cents. I have found so many fun Christmas crafts in this book and today plan on making the Cinnamon Stick Village from the book. The directions are simple. Cut out the shape of a house from cardboard, glue it together and then stick the cinnamon sticks on it using Royal Icing. The chimneys are made with kidney beans and the roofs with frosted mini shredded wheat cereal. I found the cinnamon sticks for $2 at the food store, two packages worth in the picture. I can't wait to get started. Another good smelling Christmas craft that will last for years ! I will post pictures when they are done, (that is if they come out good !)
Have to drive into Ft Worth with Melanie...Mei-Ling needs to see her Doctor for an eye infection.
Then will get started on my project for the day.

Here is the new Perfect Pie Crust recipe I was given

This Thanksgiving I was not pleased with my pie crusts. I suppose I "messed" with them too much as Melissa says. So when I was talking with a Mennonite friend of mine, she gave me her recipe, telling me it comes out perfect every single time. Tomorrow I will be giving it a good test as I am making small fold over pies to stick in the freezer for the holiday season.
Here is the recipe, my friend calls it simply "a good pie crust recipe, that never fails" ....
4 cups flour 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 3/4 cups vegetable shortening or butter 1 egg 1 tablespoon apple vinegar 1/2 cup water
mix the flour, sugar, salt and shortening with hand mixer in a large bowl, mix until it is like coarse crumbs, the size of peas. In separate bowl, whisk egg with vinegar and water. Slowly pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Divide dough into 4 pieces, wrap in plastic and chill for several hours. Roll the dough out into the desired shapes for your pie crusts.

Apples, Oranges, Cinnamon & Cloves

Each year as soon as the wood stove is being used regularly, I dry a string of orange and apple slices that have been dusted with cinnamon and cloves. The more thoroughly you coat the fruit with the spices, the more fragrance you have. This year I covered them heavily, so much so that you couldn't see the color of the fruit at all.
All winter long this garland of nature fills the house with a spicy scent that is subtle but enough to make you sense the holiday season is here. I slice the oranges and dust them in ground cloves. I slice the apples and dust them in cinnamon, then let them dry a day or so. You can use a dehydrator to do this, matter of fact it works quite well. I then string them up, hang them in a nice dry spot and let them do their work of filling the house with the scent of the holiday season. This year I added little bundles of cinnamon sticks tied up with ribbon. Just a simple little holiday project that delights all winter long.
I used a 5 lb bag of each fruit to …

Homemade Soaps from Homestead Heritage Craft Fair

These folk have perfected the art of making soap. Not only are their bars beautiful, they are delightful to use. The scents they use are wonderful. You can purchase books from them with recipes and detailed instructions for many types of soap. They also have soap making classes there on their farm. My soap mold comes from Homestead Heritage and it has held up well through many many batches of soap through the years.

Fresh Apple Cider

One of the simple joys of the Homestead Fair, is the fresh Apple cider, served hot. Best taken with a fresh warm apple cider donut ! The bins of apples sit ready to be put through the cider press and made into this wonderful drink.

Saturday Thoughts

My hands are cold as I type, the chill has not been chased away from the house yet. The wood stove just now being revived after a long night with no attention. Rain is falling, the sky one solid sheet of gray. It seems a bit dreary, but those are often the days I like the very best.
As I sat with my coffee cup held in my hands like a hand warmer I thought about how odd it must seem to people that we choose to live in such a way, cold winter mornings when outside jackets are worn inside until the stove gets the house toasty warm. When the children were all home, Emery would keep the fire going all night long, getting up every few hours to put more logs on the fire, but now, we sleep so soundly, we just pile on the covers and deal with a cold house in the morning. No big deal to us at all. The kitchen and bathrooms are cold until the heat reaches that end of the house or I start baking ! In thinking about the choice to live as we do, I wondered if its a bit of that pionee…

Homestead Heritage Craft and Childrens Fair

We had a wonderful day at the Craft fair. The weather was cold though, never getting above 45F which felt extra cold with the north wind and no sunshine.
Mei-Ling seemed to enjoy all the sights and sounds, she never cried once and we were there for nearly 5 hours. Casi had to work, so Melanie and Mei-Ling came along with Emery and I. I will post more pictures tomorrow morning. Its been a long day and I am ready for bed. We even got to meet a fellow blogger there !