Archive: August 2011

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Basil ~ Walnut Fettuccine

posted by Ann

I have a couple of reasons for sharing this recipe (besides the obvious:  we love it).  One, it contains basil and I have FINALLY grown my own and wanted to cook something with basil. Two, it contains copious amounts of butter (that fact alone lets you KNOW it’s good, but not necessarily good for you).  Three, I just wanted to share another recipe! :-)

One of the great things about this recipe (besides the basil and the butter) is that it’s easy, but it’s elegant enough to serve for company and is hearty enough to satisfy the meat-n-pototoes crowd.

Next, a couple of disclaimers:  1. The recipe calls for spinach fettuccine.  Couldn’t find it at my little hometown grocer, however (strangely) they had tri-colored fettuccine,  so that’s what I used.  2.  Don’t be frightened by the large amounts of butter & pasta you’ll see in the  pictures; I doubled the recipe in order to feed my tribe.  3.  I’m using lots of pictures, just because I want to be like the Pioneer Woman … well, just because. :-)




Cook pasta according to package directions.


While pasta boils happily in pot, melt 1 Tbsp. of butter in large skillet and saute garlic for 1 minute.


Meanwhile, in another skillet toast walnuts.


Then, add basil, walnuts, salt and pepper,


PLUS remaining butter to large skillet and cook and stir for 2 minutes…at this point your mouth should be watering from the smell of basil, garlic and walnuts swimming cooking in the butter.


By this time my kitchen was getting a little warm and steamy on a hot August evening. So, I took a moment to enjoy a drink of nice ice-cold tea! AHH!


~~ O.K. back to work.

Drain fettuccine; add to skillet and toss to coat.




Serves: 6

A Camping Weekend

posted by Chelsea

This past weekend we took off on a camping adventure… to a camping spot the girls and I had never been.  Buck took us to “The Blue Hole”- a place in the river where the water hasn’t been water for very long.  What do you mean, you ask?  Well, I believe it was snow just minutes before it becomes that stretch of river.  It’s the kind of cold that makes our mountain lake feel like a hot tub.  It’s hurt your body cold.

Now that you have a good mental image of the kind of cold I’m talking about….our camping happened a few miles from “The Blue Hole” and we hiked our way up to the icey cold waters…

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…a hike and heat are the only things that prepare a person for the kind of chilly we were looking forward to.  Side note about the above picture:  Our girl is a mountain goat, just like her dad- a hiking champ I tell you.  She can walk far! Without complaining!  ….and her legs see sun a little more often than her daddy’s!

We saw wildflowers…

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And while we walked Buck and I had an important conversation… one you should know about, one my pride would like me not to tell.  There happens to be a cliff above The Blue Hole– one that people jump off into the icey waters below.  I’ve heard stories about this cliff and thinking about it, I said, “(Our friend) T told me she always jumps off the cliff when they come up here.  I don’t really like to jump off high places.  I’m pretty content just to swim.  T’s tough.  I don’t need to be tough like T.”  To which Buck said, “I don’t really like jumping off high stuff either.  I just like swimming.”

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Well, long story short… we made it to our destination.  Buck immediately jumped off the cliff… the one he didn’t really feel like he needed to jump off. I jumped off a very small rock into the ICE COLD water.  I jumped out.  Buck convinced me to go up and look down from the cliff.  He said “It wasn’t that high.”  I went up and looked– it was high, but I will admit that I felt the tinyest bit compelled to jump.  Then unexpectedly, some of our friends showed up– on an Anniversary horseback ride.   I said I didn’t want to jump and that I’d be down to see them shortly after walking around to the shore.  Buck started working to convince me to make the plunge.  Our friends stuck around… and laughed.  Buck said he’d come up and jump again, to show me how easy it was.  Our friends grabbed the camera and said they felt like they showed up to “reality TV”.  Buck hiked up the back side of the cliff and tried to talk me into it.

Please note a few things about the following picture…

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1.  That’s me in the top right with my hand on my hip.
2. That’s Buck in the middle with the frog legs.
3.  You can’t see the water, can you?  It’s a long way from the top to the bottom.
4. Buck is yelling “AHHHHHHH!!!!”
5. Buck makes a very loud splash when he hits the water….

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6. Buck comes to the surface and says “See?! It wasn’t that bad!”
7.  I say “I think I’m more scared after seeing you jump.  What was all that yelling about?!”
8.  “It was because I was having so much fun!”
9.  Mmmmm….hmmmmm…..
10. I decide to do it.  I count to three… one! two! three! I shake my hands and say, “No! I don’t want to!”
11. Buck pleads.
12. Repeat steps 10 & 11 several times over.
13. Buck jumps from the other side of the river and says he’ll wait for me in the water below…

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14.  He waits… he freezes… he starts getting very very cold.
15.  I find the courage deep down inside of me.  Basically I know I’m not getting out of it.  I just go for it and  juuuuump…..

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… I screamed.  I hurt…. my ears suffered some significant (albeit temporary) pain.  I’m never doing that again.  BUT I can say I did it!! I’m tough like T…. or something.  I don’t think her jumping requires 15 steps and a promise to never participate in that kind of “fun” again.  But whatever- I jumped and I have a picture to prove it!

The rest of the weekend consisted of playing on the shore…

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Sleeping in the back pack…

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Eating peanut butter and jelly…

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“Rock climbing”…

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Butterfly catching…

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Drinking iced lattes and juice boxes in the camper….

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Hanging out as a family…

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And otherwise enjoying some peaceful time on the river…

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Oh! And talking as often as I possibly could about my cliff jumping experience… something else I don’t think T does after she jumps.  Shoot!





A Day

by Charlotte

I had a post about order and organization mostly finished to publish here, but I deleted it all.  Maybe another day, but not today.

“Why not today?” you might ask.  (Or maybe you don’t care -either way I’m doing the talking/typing right now so I’m going to tell you.  :)  )   Not today because today I realized (as I’ve been becoming more and more aware of my life) that I am quite content.  Everything is not perfect, but remember I’ve been blabbing on and on this year about how things don’t have to be perfect to be good.  No, everything is not perfect, but everything is good.  I know we all have seasons in our life where life doesn’t seem good and perfection is not even a dot on the distant horizon.  I know we all have pains and hurts, but I want to talk about the happy sigh at the end of the day in the seasons of life where God gives us rest.  And I do think that there are seasons of rest if you are willing to take on the yoke of Christ (Matthew 11:30 [Jesus says] For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.).

(photo by oldest)

Today I had a good day with my kids.  I spent time talking with them and learning about who they are becoming.  I listened to the prayers of a two year old thanking God “. . . for the ball.  And thank you God for the other thing.”  I got to talk to my five year old about how scary someone’s cat was: over and over and over and over again.  :)  I got to smile as my eight year old thanked me for the sixtieth time for his birthday gift.  I got to listen as I made my nine year old tell me the things she liked about our house and life.  She did a pretty good job once she shifted her mind set from all the things she hates.

I got to be outside as the sun set, spewing orangish-purple all over the Western sky.  I got to see the fruit of my husband’s labor as I walked through the green (finally) grass of our pasture.  I pet my dog before I came inside and noticed the gray around her eyes.  She has been a faithful dog; she chooses me above all the others of the family.  :)  I came inside to a quiet house with three sleeping children and told the fourth she could read for a little longer.  Then I sighed.  It has been a good day and I see the truth in what Solomon wrote all those years ago:

I know there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.  That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God.  Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

Sweet Shot Day

How Do They Do It?

posted by Ann

This morning while I was making banana bread, I had my usual audience:  Emma and Sam.  I love that they like to hang out with me in the kitchen; talking, watching what I’m doing and asking the proverbial question: “May I have a taste?”.   As I moved around the kitchen gathering ingredients, they sat at the counter and chattered away.  I wasn’t really paying much attention until I had to leave the kitchen and came back to catch them in a pose that caused me to ask the proverbial question:  “How do they do it?”  (Try not to groan all you adults who can’t sit like that anymore!)




And I couldn’t resist taking this precious shot!



Creamy Coleslaw

posted by Ann

This is by far and away the best coleslaw I’ve ever eaten (and that’s from a Southern gal who’s eaten lots-a slaw).  This is great served as a side dish, but it’s BEST eaten atop a pulled-pork BBQ sandwich (aka – Slaw Burger).  Make it this weekend!



Place coleslaw mix in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.  Pour over coleslaw mix and toss to coat.  Chill completely before serving.


posted by Chelsea

Last week one of Buck’s cousins, also named Chelsie, called and said she had a peach source.  She asked if we wanted any and of course we said yes.  On our doorstep a few days later were four boxes of ripe and wonderful peaches.   Because they’re one of our favorite things in about, say, February, I went ahead and canned a good chunk of them.  I’m freezing some, too, for easy smoothies– also to eat in February-ish months.

I considered making this a step-by-step-tutorial post, but if you google “home canned peaches”– you’ll find yourself all sorts of options and directions.  I’d rather not be the person to blame if you happen to can your peaches incorrectly and end up with a little Clostridium Botulinum in your system.  Go ahead and google that, too– then maybe you won’t want to can your peaches at all… or maybe you will, it looks like all you’d need is a little respiratory assistance and possibly some IV fluids and you’d be good as new.  Of course, I’ll leave that entirely up to you.

So rather than a tutorial and because peaches are quite photogenic, I thought I’d show you a little photographical start to finish….

We started with this…

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Made it past this…

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I think the child might turn a nice shade of yellowish-orange by the end of the week…. she has eaten more than her body weight in peaches over the last couple of days.

Then, after partially into the process, I remembered an important detail…. I remembered that my beloved husband used my “hot water bath” last winter for keeping our woodstove cleaned out and assured me he’d have it cleaned out and put away in time for canning season… lets just say I ran to town and found myself another one.

So… the peaches enjoyed a little hot tub….

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…remember this is not recommended for pregnant peaches… (but since this isn’t a tutorial, I don’t even have to tell you that– that was free advice!)

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And once they had boiled long enough as to clear any chances of Clostridium Bactulinum deciding to take up residence in my quart jars, they were lifted out of their tub and onto my counter…

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Then after repeating the process several times over, my house was really hot and humid and the windows were all fogged up and my asthma was acting up (thank you humidity) and did I mention we were sweating from the heat? So we left the vicinity– went to the lake and jumped on in. And in February when I’ll wish I was too hot and wish the lake wasn’t frozen so we could jump on in, we’ll sit down and enjoy some canned peaches and I’ll probably blog about it.  Maybe I”ll even give you a step-by-step tutorial. ;-)

Cowboy Carpenters

posted by Ann

You’ve probably heard the old saying: “Two heads are better than one.”  Well, I captured one such moment over the weekend as we continue to work on our “porch in progress.”




However, it might be more accurate to say that around here, when it comes to “cowboy carpenters”, maybe “Three HATS are better than one.”


Verse For The Middle Of The Week

posted by Chelsea

“All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it,

afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”

Hebrews 12:11

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Weeding Part II

by Charlotte

Funny story.  I went outside to take photos of mis-behaving iris and I discovered this:

A weed growing right in the middle of the iris.  (Not only a weed, but if you look closely – several.)

And this.

Clover growing out of control right next to my beloved hydrangea plant.

Desperate to redeem myself after stating just yesterday that I don’t have a problem “with the actual pulling of weeds”, I looked through some old pictures only to discover this:

A clover picture in the midst of flower pictures my oldest daughter took.  So that means this clover has lived in the flower bed so long that my daughter thought it was a flower.  I have mislead you all and I am sorry.

Clearly I have a weeding problem in general – as in I never do it.  :)

Let’s just look at the pretty flowers and forget I ever brought up weeding.

Besides, I’m sure I’ll do the weeding tomorrow.  :)

Evening Entertainment

posted by Chelsea

This is what our evenings look like these days…

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Lots of Gidgie…

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Lots of girl…

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And lots of learning to ride…

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It’s pretty exciting to see the fear…

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make the switch into fun…

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It’s so great to watch our girl gain confidence in riding.

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We feel like Gidgie is such a God-send- every time we go out and ride (or go out and pet her) we’re just super thankful.  Gidgie is teaching Lucy to love riding– something the big horses haven’t been able to accomplish nearly as well.  And she’s teaching Kate to be relaxed right from the get-go…

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Oh, and that it’s OK to pet her face-

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that really she won’t bite!

As far as Gidgie goes, we think good things definately come in small packages! :-)


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