Archive: September 2010

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Motivation


by Charlotte

I used to think that I was motivated by aversion.  If I wanted to do well on a test, I would think how awful it would feel to fail it.  I have since learned this is simply not true with me.  The real reason I did well on the test is because I knew how good it felt to pass with flying colors.

Four kids later, I looked in the mirror and thought, “I ain’t what I used to be.”  I found this photo of myself

and thought it would motivate me to work on my shortcomings.  Talk about frumpy housewife and it was even taken before I started having kids.  (My husband looks great.)  However, not much got done.  I was given an exercise machine and I used it to hang up clothes.  I bought exercise CD’s and wound up using them as coasters.

Some of the lack of forward progression was due to the fact that about the time I would get motivated, I would get pregnant again.  Being pregnant for me was hard enough without trying to stay in shape.

However, doing this blog made me dig into my photo past and I found this picture…

I immediately stopped eating my lemon pudding cake with real whipped cream.  In fact, I gave the cake to my oldest daughter (It is her favorite.).  I also used my exercise ball for the first time in years later that night.

The above picture is my favorite picture of me.  The irony is that it is very much staged.  It was taken by an artistic friend of mine.  She made me give up my usual “floppy hat”

and put on her hat instead.  The, as she was focusing, she kept telling me to put my shoulders back (I have a terrible slouch.).  “Put them back more,” she kept saying, until I finally told her, “That’s as far as they go.”  At which point she shook her head in disgust and snapped this lovely photo.

So if you are having a hard time being motivated, maybe you, like me, are using the wrong motivation!

–Charlotte


Breakfast at Emily’s: Waffles


Straight from Emily’s kitchen to yours…

If you haven’t noticed already, I love breads and bread-like items for breakfast.  Seems all I share here are yummy foods packed with carbs.  And that probably won’t change for awhile but I was watching “Biggest Loser” last night on TV and Bob, the trainer, said, “If you’re going to eat carbs, eat them early so that you have time to work them off during the day.”

I now have a great excuse.

Except I am finding that I need a little bit of protein in the morning to help keep the cod liver oil down. So usually I cook up an egg or two for me and whoever else wants one. When waffles are on the menu though, I don’t have many takers on eggs.

Every once in a great while we eat waffles smothered in strawberries with a little whipped cream or with maple syrup drizzled so it fills every little square shaped by the waffle iron but most of the time we don’t.

Usually I add a little extra sugar and some spices and/or a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder or roasted carob powder to the batter and we pass out pieces of waffles as they come out of the iron and the kiddos carry them around and eat them plain. So much less mess. I love it.

So pull out your waffle iron, plug it in and get to mixing.

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Waffles

2 eggs

1 3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

I double the recipe and then use up all the batter. If there are any left over waffles I crisp them up in a warm oven and leave them on the counter; they’re usually all gone by evening. Betty Crocker (for that’s the cookbook where this recipe resides) also says that you can cool them, wrap them up and freeze them. Then to reheat, unwrap them and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven until hot, 8 to 10 minutes. I’ve yet to try this.

Heat waffle iron.

Melt the butter. I have to start with this step because we don’t have a microwave. It takes a little longer to melt on the stove.

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Beat eggs with a hand beater until fluffy.

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Add the remaining ingredients.

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Add the additions if you so desire:

For a single batch I add:

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

and/or:

2 tablespoons cocoa powder or roasted carob powder

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Beat together just until smooth.

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Pour batter from cup or pitcher onto center of hot waffle iron. Bake until steaming stops.

My waffle iron has a timer light that comes on when it’s done.

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Remove waffle carefully.

My kids feel cheated that we only have a round waffle iron; Grandma Casey has a heart one that is much cooler.

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If you didn’t add the additions, top with your favorite…um…toppings and enjoy.

Or

Break into pieces and dole out to those waiting patiently (or impatiently) as the case may be.

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I seriously love these for Sunday mornings, ’cause look, it helps keep the church dress clean!

No waffling on this one ~ our family LOVES waffles!


Pocket Full of Posies


From Kathy

While out irrigating fields, my dad is always looking out for little flowers  to cut and take back to the house.  Usually the flowers are for my mom, but on this particular day, Dad happened to come in and pick up Sage.

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After she dived for Papa’s glasses, and then the pen in his pocket, she noticed the flowers in his other shirt pocket. She became fixated on those flowers in his pocket…

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but we finally got them away from her. Then we put them right near her high chair so she could enjoy them.

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–Kath


The Sale


From Chelsea

There’s not a lot, in the way of cows and horses, going on in my life at the moment.  Our horses, with the exception of our  two mules, who are packing water for Buck’s spray tanks, are turned out and enjoying some fall pasture.  I’ve been much more involved in getting moved into our house than I have been in riding.  Let’s just say there hasn’t been a lot of “cowgirl” going on for me lately, but while Kate and I took care of the aforementioned house duties last week, Buck and Lucy took our little herd of calves over to the sale yard where they were… sold.  Lucy was really excited to go with her dad…

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There were several reasons for her excitement. She thoroughly enjoys the bountiful treats that are bountifully given to her in the sale yard restaurant.  The sale yard being “longs away” is worth it when there are “tweats” involved.  In addition to the sugar she receives, Lucy loves to try to talk like an adult and she gathers all sorts of wonderful “adult-ish” things to say at the sale yard.  She comes home saying things like this, “Mama, we’re gonna have to get wid of that number four cow!  She waises a bad calf ev-wee single year!”  I guess I didn’t realize she had been paying such close attention to each calf and how much weight it gained this year.  She was happy to report that her Lucy calf “did willy good!” and that the Lucy cow “sure waises a niiiice calf”.  I do love it when she talks like that.

–Chelsea


Mommys with Little Ones: Cloth Diapering


From Robin’s changing table to yours…

I wanted to share about cloth diapers (CD).  I used disposable diapers (DD) with my oldest who is now three and decided to switch to cloth diapers, mostly to save money but also to help the environment.  So after doing a lot of research and comparisons, I decided to go with the Flip Diapering system.  It had many great reviews and was easier on the budget than some of the other brands.  Cotton Babies (www.cottonbabies.com) is the maker of Flip and BumGenius along with many other products.  You can find Flip CD at some retail stores by going HERE and clicking on the retailers button on that page.  They can also be found HERE.

Okay, enough about where you can find them. I want to tell you why I like them.  I’m finding I like CD so much more than DD because they really keep breast-milk-baby-poo contained.  If you use DD you know what I mean about the blow outs you can have and the numerous clothes changes throughout the day!  Of course, as your baby grows, they seem to get a little more “regular” and the poo diapers are fewer.  However, my CD don’t always hold all the poo in, especially if he has a lot combined with force behind the pooing. (Sorry to be graphic, but if you’ve made this far, you’re committed!) The mess on the clothes is just FAR LESS than before.  And the only real difference between the two is how you take care of them when changing.  DD you throw away, and the CD you put in a bag for washing later. I do change him a bit more often, but not much more. Also, my son doesn’t get diaper rash from CD, but he tends to get from DD from time to time.

I was nervous about trying CD since this was my first attempt.  But let me reassure you, it really is easy!

Here are what my Flip diapers look like- don’t worry, no graphic shots!  (Yes, cloth diapering has changed A LOT CONSIDERABLY over time).

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These are the covers in two (out of many) of the colors they have.

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These are some of the inserts you can use. On the left is the Stay Dry insert, middle is the Organic insert, and the right is Indian Prefold. I bought different ones to see what I liked best, and I like the Stay Dry and Organic. Everyone has their own favorite. Oh, and there is a disposable insert that can be thrown away if you are traveling. Those are great too!

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The covers are adjustable from birth to potty training. You can adjust the covers up to make them smaller, and around to fit your baby.

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The inserts are easy to put in and under the flaps at either end.

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Front view

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Rear view

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And my handsome assistant!  They grow so fast!  (4 1/2 months old already)

I have found that these diapers aren’t much bulkier than their counterpart, and are very functional. They also have great colors to choose from for either a boy or a girl! So if you’ve been considering CD, I highly recommend them! Do your research and find what works for you.  And if you’re already a commited CD user- tell us what you know!

Blessings,

Robin


Jeremiah 29:12-13


by Charlotte

Jeremiah 29:12-13 [God speaking] “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”

Last week I talked about how Jeremiah 29:11 was given to my mother for me.  Jeremiah 29:12-13 are verses that have become very dear to me all on my own.  Growing up in a Christian home has challenges of its own.  I had to learn to have a faith of my own.  God doesn’t have any grandchildren, I’ve heard said.  I know that I have had to take what was taught to me by my God-fearing mother and make it my own.  Her faith was not strong enough to carry me through the storms in my own life.  I had to have my own faith to deal with the death of my brother.  I have to have my own my faith to raise my children and to be a good wife and to get out of bed every morning and to go to bed every night.  Her prayers have protected me, guided me, and probably kept me out of a lot of trouble I might otherwise have gotten into, but my realationship to God  is of the utmost importance to Him.

I have strayed from the path of righteousness enough to know that “sin is pleasurable for a season”, but its fruit is death.  During my times of rebellion I have been willing to come home to God because of these verses.  In Jeremiah, God sent the Israelites into captivity,  and it is while they are wondering what will happen to them that God tells them, “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill My gracious promise to bring you back to this place.  For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, and will bring you back from captivity.  I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you, and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” 

I have felt like I was in exile at times in my life when I, like the Israelites, refuse to walk in the path God has chosen for me.  It is much better to be like Jesus and pray, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as You will.”  Or, on a lesser scale, to have enough patience to wait upon the LORD when He seems to be moving sooooooooooooooooooo sssslllllooooowwwwlllllyyyy.  There are so many ways to walk away from God, but how wonderful it is to know that when I am ready, God will be found by me.  He wants to fulfill His gracious promises to me.  That is His desire, to bring me good and not harm, to love me and not to punish me, to walk with me and not let me walk away from Him.

Jeremiah 29:12-13 [God speaking] “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”


Charlotte’s Alice: The Ranch


by Charlotte

It has been brought to my attention that I may have been misleading some of you as to the location of the photos of “the ranch” I’m talking about in this series.  It is true that I was “raised” on a ranch in Wyoming, that is until I was about 11.  The Wyoming ranch was homesteaded by my great-grandfather, along with other family members.  Both my grandfather and my father were truly raised on the Wyoming ranch.  Some of the ranch was bought from other homesteaders, but much of it was family deeded (by my great aunts and uncles as well as great-great uncle/s).  Due to high estate taxes at the time of my grandfather’s death, poor estate planning, as well as some family relational issues, the Wyoming ranch was sold.

“The ranch” where Alice worked with me was in Western Colorado (We could see into Utah from where we summered the cows,).  My father moved there a few years after the Wyoming ranch sold.  I consider myself a Wyoming rancher’s daughter because my father considers himself a Wyoming rancher.  In all honesty, most of my true ranching experiences were on the ranch in Western Colorado.

This is the headquarters of the Wyoming ranch.

This is the headquarters of the Western Colorado ranch.

This is the barn on the Wyoming ranch.  (Photo by my cousin Carol)

This is the cow camp of the Western Colorado ranch.

Wyoming country side.  (Photo by Carol)

Western Colorado country side.

Here they are side by side.  (First photo by Carol)

Sorry for the confusion.  I will talk about the Wyoming ranch another day.  For the Charlotte’s Alice series, I will be talking about the Western Colorado ranch.  (There is also an Eastern Colorado ranch, so remain entirely confused until another day when I explain.)

–Charlotte


Salmon Marinade


From Chelsea’s kitchen to yours.

Well, we happened to have a certain Uncle Jeff who just happened to have gone salmon fishing off the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska this spring.  This certain Uncle Jeff happened to bring some of his salmon catch with him and he put it in our freezer when he came to our neck of the woods…

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to hang out with Lucy and do some hunting with Buck last week.  We love him for this.  Now… prepare yourself to love me for this…

Delicious Salmon Marinade

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 packet Italian dressing packet
2 cloves garlic

Mix all four ingredients together and pour into a baking dish.  Put salmon face down in the marinade…

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then flip, and spoon more of the juice over the top…

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Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, depending on the size of the steak.   You could BBQ this in foil, if you wanted to, and that would be yummy as well. 

I like to serve this salmon with brown rice (cooked in chicken broth, of course) and steamed broccoli…

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You can serve it with whatever you want, but I highly recommend the rice and broc.

–Chelsea

P.S. This marinade can be used on just about any meat- beef, chicken, pork– it’s all good.


Drinking My Calories


posted by Chelsea

If you were, in fact, to Come On Over, particularly in the early morning, I would sit you down and force you to drink a cup of chai with me.  My sister-in-law has informed me that she prefers not to “drink her calories” and therefore isn’t a foo-foo coffee drinker or hot cocoa drinker, etc.  Basically, she’d prefer to have real chocolate rather than the liquid version.  I can respect that but, I’m very much the opposite. I would, if I could, drink all of my calories…. in hot beverages.  I love hot cocoa, cider, white chocolate mochas, chai, chai, and chai.  I have a wonderful recipe for homemade chai that I can’t seem to find right now, but am looking forward to sharing it with you when it shows up.  I really like powder Big Train Vanilla Chai.  BUT I either have to order it or drive several hours to retrieve it, neither of which I have done lately.  As a result, I’ve been drinking the liquid version- either Tazo or Oregon Chai.   Let me step you through the process, since, well, I can. 

Grab a measuring cup and pour in half a cup of liquid chai…

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Then pour in half to one cup of milk (I prefer one cup of milk to 1/2 cup of chai)…

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Stick the whole thing in the microwave (2 minutes 30 seconds in my micro)…

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Grab a cute mug…

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Pour hot chai in mug and add plenty of whipping-cream-y goodness…

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Why? you ask? do you not just micro the chai in the mug you’re drinking out of?  It’s not because I want to measure precisely, but because I don’t like to burn my lip on the side of the hot cup.  If the cup warms up simply by the warmth of the drink, rather than the heat of the microwave, it’s perfect for sipping out of and for hand warming.  I highly recommend this measuring cup technique.

Now, go fix yourself your favorite something hot to drink, tell me what it is, and starting sipping down those calories!

–Chelsea


Boys


“Behold! Children are a heritage from the Lord!” Psalm 127:3

I love little boys.  I don’t have any of my own and maybe I never will, but I’ll tell you what- I like to observe the little creatures.  There is a little boy in our church, who is approximately 9 years old, give or take a year or two.  He’s well past the age to go to children’s church (aka “Friendship Company”) and therefore has to sit through the entire Sunday service while his little sister, who isn’t too old for the company of friends, goes off to play and do crafts for an hour.  I can only imagine the agony a little boy experiences having to sit quietly for such an interminable length of time.  (Just being honest here… Just. Being. Honest.)

So yesterday, Buck and I were sitting behind the little fella and his mom.  He was being very “good”- listening (or something like it) and only bugging his mom on occasion.   Now, the chairs in our sanctuary have a little gap between the seat and the back of the chair.  Well, Little Boy decided to stick his hands in the gap (no, he didn’t get them stuck), and while still sitting forward, he proceeded to play with the Bible-holding-rack underneath his seat.  Can you picture the scene?  Well, me, feeling feisty and playful, flashed with the urge to step on his fingers with my foot, a foot which happened to be wearing a boot.  I didn’t actually do it, but I nudged Buck and I pretended to step on Little Boy’s hands.  Well, Buck, being much more brave and ornery than me, lightly stepped on Little Boy’s fingers (it was as light as a butterfly… or at least a small bird, promise).  I expected Little Boy to pull his hands back and look over his shoulder to see who was razzing him.  Nope.  This is exactly why I love little boys- they don’t do what you expect them to!  Rather than retreat… he went on the offense.  He curled up his little fingers in a claw-like fashion and made a “bring it on” sort of gesture with his hands.  He never looked back (and I have good reason to believe he didn’t have any idea who was sitting behind him). He looked straight ahead acting as if nothing was happening except Pastor’s really great sermon on “Loving People”.  This boy was good- real good; he was “big brother good”.  (If you’re a little sister to a big brother you know what I’m talking about.)   Buck and I went on to play with Little Boy for the next five minutes or so.  I would push my boot up against his hand and he would grab it, as quick as he could, while I pulled away as fast as I could.  Buck would move Little  Boy’s hand to the side using his boot, of course, and Little Boy would swipe Buck’s boot with his hand- again, as quick as he could.  The whole thing totally cracked me up.  I loved that his mom, a school teacher, was totally oblivious to our goofing around.  I’m telling you- this boy was good at his game!  He was practiced, accomplished, dedicated to play. The whole thing reached a whole new level of funny when we had to leave church a few minutes early (due to a prior obligation)– we snuck out quietly and Little Boy was left with his hands dangling- never to know who was stepping on his fingers…and keeping him distracted entertained during church.

The moral of this story in Faith this morning?   I’m sorry, Pastor Mark, but it’s simply… love the Little People in your life and PLAY ?!


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