Archive: October 2010

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Photo Finish: Hands & Feet

posted by Chelsea
Once again, if you’re unfamiliar with Photo Finish, go HERE to check it out.

Hands & Feet was the assignment this week and I’m excited to show you the pictures that came in!

First from Tawny… my sweet little nephew Hank and my brother’s big ol’ hands….


I should probably do a post just about my brother’s mangled hands.  Someday I’ll have to do that.  Please contain your excitement. 

Baby Hank hand and Grandpa’s hand…


Big sister hands!….


Now from Charity….

These are from a (super cute!) little photo shoot she did of her cousin’s baby boy…





And from an engagement shoot…



Next are from Emily (not our writer Emily, but another one ;-)…..

A (wet looking) game at summer camp…


Her Grandma’s hand…


Messy Painting!….


Her dad’s hand…


OK.  Now it’s my turn.  I thought the best hands would be the newest hands, so I took some shots of our friends’ new baby JoLee…

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And finally, my favorite newborn reflex, the Moro (or Startle) Reflex…

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Thanks, baby JoLee, for letting me take pictures of your cute little hands and for “startling” at just the right time. 

Thanks everyone else for playing this week! 

Next week’s assignment is RED!

Have fun!


The Steen Place

posted by Chelsea

This  morning, I want to tell you two things I love. 

#1.  I love when we’ve been driving for what seems like hours… to the ends of the earth, far from electricity or running water, and we see an old homestead-ish looking place…

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and Buck says “We lived there.”   I love when I think I know every cow camp and every homestead-ish residence that Buck could’ve possibly lived in growing up, and it turns out I don’t. 

#2.  I love when places are named for the people who lived there.  “The Steen Place”.  

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No Steens actually live there.  No one actually remembers when any Steens did live there.  But it’s still The Steen Place.  (OK, somebody probably remembers the Steens… I’m just making a point and probably spelling their name wrong.)  

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I wonder how long you have to live in a place to have your name associated with it for all eternity??  Maybe someday, a long time from now, when the “Smith’s” move into our house, someone will say “Oh, now isn’t that the old Matthews Place?” ;-)


Jesus Calling Giveaway WINNER

GIVEAWAY WINNER: #5 TERRIBecause both of my children woke up sooo cranky that they had to be put back to bed, I think we all need a little “Jesus Calling” this morning.   Amen?  Amen. 

Since it remains my favorite devotional of all time, I’m giving a copy away.   Here’s how to win:

1. Leave a comment about the weather- is it cold? warm? snowy? rainy? dew-y?  Fill me in.
2. Complete #1 by Friday evening at 6 p.m. PST
3. I’ll choose a random winner at 6:01-ish p.m.

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence

Have a great day. 


Charlotte’s Alice: Janae

by Charlotte

If you have missed any of my story about my adventurous friend, Alice, these are the other posts about her.

Toward the end of the summer, a friend of the family came for a visit.  She loved horses and her family wanted to broaden her horizons.  Her name was Janae.  She was a little bit younger than Alice and me, but she had twice as much energy.  That’s saying something because Alice was a bundle of energy herself.  Me?  Not so much :) . 

On my father’s forest permit, we had a “special use” pasture where we kept the horses.  A small part of that was fenced off to keep the “wrangle” horse in.  We used the wrangle horse to go “wrangle” the other horses from the 80 acres into the corral.  It was usually my job to wrangle.  Partly because I loved it, and partly because I hated waiting around while other people did it.

One of the days Janae was with us, I had a hard time finding our horses.  I checked all their usual haunts, but didn’t find them.  So I had to make another circle and check the whole pasture.  This took a bit.  Finally, I found them and brought them to the corral where I found this. . .

And this. . .

They were obviously bored. 

They asked if they could decorate my hat.  I told them they could while I caught the horses we were going to ride for the day.  And this is what they did to my hat. . .

I’m sure they didn’t mean anything by it.  I am sure it is not a reflection of my personality.  :)

What started out as a fun day turned South. 

We found a sick calf that was rather large, about 500 lbs large.  Unfortunately (maybe on this day fortunately) I can’t rope and this meant that we had to take the calf to the corrals.  We managed to find his mother (It’s easier to move a calf with his mother.), who happened to be wild.  After what seemed like a long time, and much frustration, we got the pair into the corrals.  Besides the fact that I had strict instructions from my family to seek help to doctor any sick calves,  the calf was too big for us three “wee little girls” to doctor.  My next step was to play the helpless girl and go get our neighbors’ help.  By this time the sky was looking dark and ominous.  Still I pressed on, afraid to not get my job done. 

We found the neighbors home and they gladly came to help us.  There were two of them, I’ll call them A and B.  A was about 15 years older than us and owned the allotment next to my parents.  He had a very dry sense of humor.  B was A’s hired hand and close to our age.  They both seemed to be enjoying my plight.  Once they got the calf roped and down, A told me to give the calf the pills.  Again I was under strict instructions that I was to never give pills as I could accidentally put the pill in the tube that is supposed to carry air to the lungs instead of the tube that carries food to the stomach.  Now, I know that it is very, very hard to “accidentally” get pills down the wrong tube, but then, I had the fear of my parents in my veins.  (That, and I am timid, and giving pills just seemed like a scary task.)  I meekly told A that my parents said I was not allowed to give pills.  At which point he rolled his eyes and told me to take the front leg of the calf and he graciously gave the sick calf his pills.

That’s not the end of this embarrassing day.  Oh no.  By the time we were done doctoring the calf, it had rained and the road out of the corrals was very slippery.  Can you see where this is going?  Yep, I got stuck and A and B laughed the whole time they got me unstuck.  At least we three girls didn’t have to walk to their camp to get them to get us unstuck.  They were right behind us and got an excellent view of my NASCAR driving abilities.

That day ranks high on my days of feeling like a dumb girl.  However, I survived and am living to tell about it.  Alice and Janae had fun teasing me for the next week about getting stuck and doctoring calves and especially about B being the one to “rescue the damsel in distress”.

But, hey, at least I had a flower in my hat.

Breakfast at Emily’s:Spiced Pumpkin Waffles

posted by Emily

The other morning I woke up to the smell of pumpkin and spices.

Erik was making waffles.

But not just any waffles: these waffles.


Pumpkin spice (or spiced pumpkin, whichever) waffles.

When I asked him what the occasion was, he stated that he wanted to make waffles and this was the only recipe he could find.

I realized then that I haven’t ever told him where our regular waffle recipe resides and he had grabbed my handy-dandy little recipe book where I keep my favorite “go-to” recipes.

There are a few recipes that I use over and over again and wanted to keep in one place, that way I’d know where they are when I need them, so I stuck ’em in this little book:


This book is home to the following: Peach Muffin Recipe, Buttermilk Pancake Recipe and,Berry Muffin Recipe. as well as recipes for homemade noodles, my favorite chocolate chip cookies and homemade crackers.

So that’s where he looked.

And that’s where he found Spiced Pumpkin Waffles.

I still haven’t told him where the regular waffle recipe resides.

I don’t think I will.

I love these waffles.

Especially now that the weather is colder and I crave anything pumpkin-y or spicy.

They are oh-so-good drizzled with maple syrup but they are just as good divided up and passed around plain.


Spiced Pumpkin Waffles

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

4 large eggs

2 cups buttermilk

1 cup pumpkin

1/2 cup butter, melted

Gather all ingredients.


Dump everything into mixing bowl.


And mix.


Pour into waffle iron.



Bake until done. It takes a little bit for these to get crispy.


Dole out or top with maple syrup and dig in.


I do have four kids but for some strange reason, Hannah missed out on the waffle pictures.


Wake Me Up

by Charlotte

When I first heard the song, “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence, I immediately liked it.  In some ways, it mirrored the thoughts of my heart.

Christ promises us life and life abundant, but I still felt dead inside.  I wanted to feel alive and for a long time I kept telling myself that in the next phase of my life, my soul would wake up.  For example, “When I get married, I will come to life”.  The trouble was that in the next phase of my life, I was the same person.

Some seeds that were planted years ago are starting to grow in my life now.  One that is peeking its head out of the soil of my spirit is this idea of being brought to life.  Some realizations are starting to sink it.

First, if I want to be brought to life, I have to be willing to leave the tomb.  Imagine Jesus telling Lazarus to “Come forth” and Lazarus shaking his head “no”.  That is how I have been at times.  To leave the tomb means pain.  I might be dead in the tomb, but at least there is no pain there.  It seems to me that the more pain I am willing to accept the more able I am to feel joy.  Let me try to make that more clear.  I can only feel as much joy as I am willing to be open to pain.  The more I shut down to avoid pain, the less joy I am able to experience.  In short, no pain, no gain, so to speak.  Being willing to feel pain started waking up a tiny bit of me.

Second, if I want to be brought to life, I have to stop living in the future (or past).  I have to be willing to be content with where I am and stop looking toward the next phase (or wishing I was in the last one).  I can’t be in the future (or past) in my head and still enjoy the moment at hand.  I can only live one place at a time.  I must choose between yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  Choosing today started waking up a tiny bit of me.

Third, if I want to be brought to life, I have to stop blaming Jesus for my lack of life.  My circumstances are what they are.  If God is God, then He allowed me to be where I am now.  It might even be His perfect will for me to be here, no matter how messy “here” might be.  If someone holds a gift out to me and I choose not to take it, it is not the giver’s fault I don’t possess the gift.  Jesus tells us that, “He stands at the door and knocks” (He is talking to believers at the church of Laodicea).  If I don’t let Him in, how can I be angry with Him for not eating supper with me?  Realizing that I needed to open the door started waking up a tiny bit of me.

Finally, and most importantly, if I want to be brought to life, I have to stay connected to the vine.  Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches.  If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”  Choosing to remain in the vine has kept those “tiny bits of life” alive and growing.

I still have a lot of waking up to do.  I still want to be even more alive, more aware of the “Giver of Life”, but what I have tasted is good.  Really, really good.


Fruit Roll-Ups

When Becky and I finished making Garden Goodness Marinara, we jumped into fruit roll-ups.  Becky had plums from her tree…

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…so we pitted them and used those, but you could use virtually any fruit.   I made a plum and apple batch yesterday that turned out delightful.   I’ll give you the basic instructions, but there’s a lot of freedom in this because of the simplicity of the recipe.  It takes 12-15 hours, so plan accordingly ;-)  

Here’s what you’ll need:

approximately 2 cups of fruit
1/2 cup of water

Here’s what you do:

1. Put fruit in a saucepan with water and heat it to boiling, stirring it occasionally.

2. Turn down to simmer, stir occasionally, and keep it simmering until the fruit is really soft and mushy (and beautiful, I might add).  This takes about 20-30 minutes depending on the ripeness of your fruit. 

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3. Use a big spoon to get mushy fruit into the blender (or food processor) and blend until pureed….

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(Make sure your lid is on tight or you’ll have pretty fruit puree all over your kitchen.  Speaking from experience here.)

4.  Take a cookie sheet and line it with plastic wrap (the microwaveable kind, not because you’re going to do any microwaving, but because it will withstand the heat of the oven).  Pour the fruit onto the cookie sheet and spread until even all the way across.  It should be about 1/8 of inch thick…

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(Roll the plastic wrap up on the sides of the baking sheet so it doesn’t touch any part of the oven while baking)

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5. Bake at your lowest oven setting (150 or 170 degrees) for 12-15 hours, until the fruit  is no longer sticky to touch. I don’t have pictures at this point because after 12-15 hours I lost focus on the whole camera thing. Just trust me… it works!

6. Take out and peel the fruit roll-up off of the plastic wrap.  Cut into squares (I did 4x6ish squares.) and roll ’em up.  Store in the fridge and eat at your leisure. 

Side note: I think, if you make these with berries, you should strain the seeds before you pour the puree onto the cookie sheet, otherwise it’ll be too seedy.  Now go make some fruit roll ups and come back to tell me how it goes!

Let’s roll!


A Late Photo Finish

posted by Chelsea

Again, my apologies for the late Photo Finish.  There is an 8 pound person to blame and if you saw her cuteness I don’t think you’d actually do any blaming. 

The assignment this week was OUTDOOR.  Here’s what came in…

First, from Katie in Southern California …

Crosswalk – a shot of the street by my apartment (no flash!)


Bougainvillea – petals/leaves that fell off the giant bougainvillea vine outside of my apartment (flash!)


Berkeley Street – the street I live on in Santa Monica, CA (no flash!)


Chelsea again… I love this street lamp and the way it’s shining on the tree and the way you didn’t use your flash, Katie!

Next is Carole (aka, my mom).  First a shot of the Middle Fork on the River of No Return, the Salmon River…


And because she just had a vacation on the Oregon Coast, a sunset…


I do love the Oregon coast- it’s tough to beat a sunset like that!

My picture….I took all sorts of outside pictures last week, with full intentions of  using them here, BUT this little green pepper turned out to be the favorite outdoor shot of my week….

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And to end, Charlotte’s gorgeous rose(s)….


Let me brag about this picture for a minute, on Charlotte’s behalf.  See the blurry background?  That’s called bokeh.  Charlotte rocked the bokeh in this picture.  She also used that line of repetitive roses to draw your eye to to the focal point.  It’s quite artistic, really.  

In case you missed it, this week’s assignment is Hands & Feet!


Garden Goodness Marinara

posted by Chelsea

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This marinara sauce is so easy and so delicious, I can hardly wait to start telling you how to make it. 

But first….

My friend, Becky, came up on Friday and brought an abundance of produce out of her garden.  She lives in a slightly warmer climate than ours, where she and her family have a phenomenal garden.  Becky freezes, cans, and otherwise preserves literally TONS of food each year.  I had big plans to preserve with her this summer, but with our move, I hardly had time to do anthing besides pack and unpack boxes.  So… Becky, delightful friend that she is, brought some produce to me and we made and froze marinara sauce.  Now I’m going to show you how we did it…

What you’ll need:
-green peppers
-fresh basil
-garlic cloves
-garlic salt
-italian type spices: basil, oregano, etc.

This is a recipe with a lot of room for creativity- you can add as much of each ingredient as you want!  Basically I used 2 parts tomato, 1 part green pepper, 1 part onion.  Also garlic cloves scattered throughout with spices sprinkled generously on top.   

First you chop up your tomato…

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green pepper…

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and onion…

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then spread them all on baking sheets or 9×13’s…

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Top with whole garlic cloves and spices…

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Bake at 350 degrees until the veggies are soft and mushy, approximately 45 minutes…

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Use a slotted spoon to drop all the veggies into a blender or food processor to puree them all together…

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Pour into plastic baggies or whatever freezing container you so desire…

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Pull out of freezer, add meat if you want, and use on spaghetti, in lasagna, on pizza, or whatever your little heart desires.


Buckaroo Babies

posted by Chelsea

It’s been cold here- like trying to spit snow cold- like snow on the mountains cold- like winter is coming soon cold- like summer is gone cold- like put the tea pot on cold- like go get firewood (and put it in the stove) cold. 

Due to the cold, we’ve pulled out the silk scarves again.  Buck wears silk scarves from now until May-ish and we girls put them on when we’re going to be outside for any length of time.  I’ve thought up a fun post to do this winter on silk scarves or “wildrags” and the cowboys who wear them.  Until then, I’m just going to show you my little buckaroo babies…

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and because Charlotte and I have just discovered the fun world of editing….

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…these babies are cuter in their silk scarves than those cowboys anyway ;-)


P.S. Please don’t mention it to Lucy that I used the word “baby” to describe her– we’re a wee bit sensitive about that word these days.

Sweet Shot Day

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