Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reprint - HEARTH AND HOME - May 18, 2005

 (What a blessing it was to re-read this old issue of HEARTH AND HOME! This one was written just a little over a month before my mother passed away and life was good! What awesome memories of good times, good friends and precious family members! I hope some of you enjoy re-reading it as much as I did! Have a beautiful and blessed day!)

Greetings Dear Sisters,

It seems like forever since we've had the chance to sit down and chat. How are you? How's your family?

Isn't the spring weather lovely? Warm, breezy, sunny days or cool, cloudy, rainy days...it doesn't matter to me. Each has something unique and wonderful to offer. We've really been taking advantage of the nice weather at our home!

The date of the last e-zine was March 16, and I didn't get an opportunity to visit with you in April at all. So much has happened since then! I hope that I can remember everything that I wanted to share with you all. Why don't you grab a cup of tea and join me and let's spend the afternoon catching up!

1- The last time we talked we had just returned from a lovely, much-needed Ozark get-away weekend. The wonder and bliss of that didn't last long. On the 17th of March we got word that my cousin, Christina (37), was very sick and dying. We saw her twice over the next few days; she passed away on March 21st. The day
after Christina's funeral, we got word that one of my uncles had been diagnosed with cancer. He passed away one week and one day later. Needless to say, two deaths in the immediate family so close together was a bit overwhelming.

2- The last time we visited we were still waiting to find out what our third grandbaby was going to be. Grandma was right. It's a girl! We've got three new granddaughters on the way this summer, the first of which is due next month. Please continue to remember our girls in your prayers...daughter, Amber (due
July 4th) and daughters-in-law, Bobby (due June 23rd) and Christy (due August 11th) AND our unborn granddaughters, Audrey Evangeline, Abigail Cheyenne, and Elizabeth Brianne. Thank you all so much!

3- For Easter my 6-year-old granddaughter, Heather, and I made Carrot Patch Cake Rolls. They were really cute, super yummy, and would make great any-time-of-the-year, for-special-occasion cakes. Here's the recipe:


Serves 12

3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 2/3 cups finely shredded carrots
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


6 oz. cream cheese, not softened
3/4 stick (6 Tbsp) butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Green, red, and yellow liquid food colors

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat bottom and sides of a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch rimmed baking sheet (jelly-roll pan) with nonstick spray. Line bottom with wax paper; spray paper.

2. Have ready a medium or large fine-meshed strainer or a sifter. Stir flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl until combined.

3. Beat eggs, egg white, granulated sugar, vanilla and spices in a large bowl with mixer on high speed 8 to 10 minutes until thick and tripled in volume. Fold in carrots. Holding strainer or sifter over bowl, shake or sift
flour mixture over egg mixture. With a rubber spatula gradually fold into eggs until just blended. Spread in prepared pan.

4. Bake 15 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes, or until pan is just cool enough to handle.

5. Meanwhile lay a clean kitchen towel (not terrycloth) on countertop. Dust confectioners' sugar evenly over towel, covering area the size of the cake. Invert cake on towel, remove pan; carefully peel off paper. Dust cake with confectioners' sugar. Starting at narrow end, roll up cake and  towel. Place on wire rack; cool completely.

6. Meanwhile make frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until blended and smooth. On low speed beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until blended; increase speed
to medium and beat 1 minute. Remove 3 Tbsp to a cup; cover and refrigerate remaining frosting 30 minutes to firm.

For carrot decoration: Spoon 1 Tbsp frosting from cup into another cup; tint green and scrape into a qt-size zip-top freezer bag. Tint remaining 2 Tbsp frosting orange using red and yellow food color. Scrape into
another zip-top bag. Seal bags; refrigerate until ready to use.

7. To assemble: Carefully unroll log. Spread evenly with 1 1/3 cups frosting. Roll up from same end as before, using towel as an aid. Carefully transfer to a platter; coat with remaining frosting and sprinkle
with nuts. Refrigerate 20 minutes before piping carrots onto nuts.

8. To decorate: Briefly warm refrigerated bags of frosting between hands. Snip off corner of each bag and pipe carrots and carrot tops randomly on cake. Refrigerate until serving.

4- We had Amber's baby shower on the 2nd of April. Amber has always been a big Beatrix Potter fan, so we went with a garden type theme (vegetable tray, carrot cakes, etc.)...accented with Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck items and Beatrix Potter books. Several friends and family members joined us and Patrick
and Amber got a lot of beautiful things for the baby.

5- In the last issue of HEARTH AND HOME I asked for baby shower ideas. Here are some of the responses that I got:

From "momathome":

<<<<We usually play a game with baby food. Select several different kinds of baby food. Number the jars. Write down what each numbered jar is. Remove the labels. Everyone who plays tries to guess what each numbered jar is. Do not let anyone open the jars and then you can give the jars...(with the answer key) to
the mother for when the baby begins baby food.

You can also "decorate" with clothing items for the new baby. Hang a clothesline...(or some type of string)...up and hang baby items on the line with clothes pins. Then the decorations are useable!

If possible I suggest having the shower after the baby is born. That way you know if it is a boy or a girl. And, you can have the cake made up as a birth certificate. It is fairly easy to do and you can even have a little pair of feet "drawn" on it.>>>>

From Kirsten:

<<<<A unique shower gift for the veteran mom to be (who has everything) would be a meal for their freezer. It would be so appreciated during those early newborn weeks.

Thanks for writing the newsletter despite your busy lives. I have enjoyed reading it!>>>>

From Laura:

<<<<How about a "frozen casserole shower" for the moms to be?

Those days after birth are always tiring. It would be great to have something to pop in the oven after the church ladies are done providing meals.

I'm enjoying your letter!>>>>

(Thanks for submitting these great ideas, Ladies! Your input is greatly appreciated! Thank you!)

6- The following recipe was sent in by Jean from Lee's Summit, MO:


93% fat free ground beef,
finely chopped onion,
chopped green pepper,
bread crumbs,
soy sauce,
frozen hash browns.

Thaw potatoes slightly and mix into the hamburger mix, making patties. Cook on the grill until done. Grill the buns the last few minutes.

(Thanks, Jean! I haven't tried this recipe yet, but it sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing!)

7- To print off a great, free, mini-chart to aid in child-rearing click on:


(I printed off several of these and posted them around the house.)

8- Here's a new recipe that we tried recently (and will continue to make). The
whole family loved it!


Makes 4 to 6 servings.

1. Blend all together in a casserole dish EXCEPT the cheese (wash lentils
and rice, if needed):

3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup uncooked lentils
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1/4 cup instant minced onion flakes, or 1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

2. Baked covered at 300 degrees for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until tender and the water is absorbed.

3. To serve, top hot casserole with the grated cheese and stir it in; top with a handful of minced fresh parsley.

This recipe is great served by itself with a side-salad, or served in a tortilla with chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, salsa, and sour cream. It is also freezable.

9- Summer's almost here and it's time for spring cleaning! Here's a great article that I found on that very subject:


10- We're wrapping up our 16th year of homeschooling and, I must say, we have had an absolute ball this year! We've done so many neat and wonderful things! And the Lord has blessed us in so many areas! Some of the things that we have done this year include:

July 2004-Celebrated the 4th of July and attended Junior Naturalist Night Camp at Prairie State Park. The theme? CAMPING! We learned about camping supplies, gear, and tents, hiked a mile and a half trail, made tye-dyed t-shirts with natural plant dyes, learned about prairie night sounds and who makes them, learned about camp cooking, and made delicious banana boats cooked over hot coals.

August 2004-Went with friends from Pennsylvania to Branson, Missouri (to Silver Dollar City) and explored Marvel Cave, started our book work for the year, and started working through the "Prairie Primer." (The "Prairie Primer" is a wonderful resource that uses the Laura Ingalls Wilder "Little House" books as
a basis for literature, then shoots out into all sorts of directions into unit studies. It's great! We're a little over half way done and plan on finishing it this year.)

September 2004-Made several field trips including one to Nathan Boone's  home (Nathan is Daniel Boone's son) at Ash Grove, Missouri, and attended Prairie Jubilee at Prairie State Park. Prairie Jubilee is held every other year in September and provides so many educational opportunities. Some of the things that we got in on this year were the living history loop (old-time school, old-fashioned games, hatchet throwing, covered wagon, pioneers, an Osage Indian lodge), a "Birds of Prey" show, bison viewing, story-telling, a "Prairie Vole"
maze, and face painting.

October 2004-Made several field trips, including one to the "Little House on the Prairie" site at Independence, Kansas, started reading "Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunion, and started studying the Reformation.

November 2004-Made several field trips, including one to a wildlife refuge and one to the site of an original Osage Indian village, celebrated Thanksgiving, and started nature journaling on a regular basis.

December 2004-Attended an "Old-Fashioned Christmas Tea" at Prairie State Park where we made three different kinds of ornaments and tried several type of tea made from natural prairie plants, celebrated Forefather's Day and Christmas, finished reading "Pilgrim's Progress" and made pumpkin bread for the neighbors for Christmas.

January 2005-Started reading some wonderful books, including "In Freedom's Cause" (by GO.A. Henry) about William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and the fight for Scotland's freedom and "A Boy of the Lost Crusade", and started working on states and capitals.

February 2005-Read some great biographies about people like Louis Braille and Fanny Crosby, celebrated Valentine's Day, and started a unit study over Ireland.

March 2005-Did a unit study on Missouri snakes, visited Elephant Rocks State Park, Johnson's Shut-Ins, Alley Spring, Fort Davidson, and Taum Sauk Mountain (all on the eastern side of the state; we live on the western), celebrated St. Patrick's Day, and studied the life and artwork of Vincent Van Goth.

April 2005-Read a great biography on John Wycliffe, finished up our states and capitals, celebrated Tartan Day, and went on a field trip with our good friends, the Miller family, to Fort Osage.

May 2005-We're not even half way through the month yet, but we've pretty much finished up all of our book work for the year and have already had lots of adventure! Last week we held our first "official" Conservation Frontier's meeting and discovered the biggest lizard that any of us (three families) have
ever seen in the wild...10 inches long! We thought that it was a new state record, but it turned out that someone else had found one last year that was just a little bit longer than ours. It did turn out to be the county record though!

Then, last Friday, we attended a homeschool program out at Prairie State Park on soil. The theme was soil. We learned about the soil layers, made "edible soil", and made "earth" crayons from dirt. It was VERY interesting and a lot of fun!

Next week a friend of mine and I are taking our children on another field trip. And in June we have more field trips planned. God has blessed us in so many ways this school year! Soon it will be time to start the 2005-2006 school year! :)

11- Sunday marked our 9th year in Liberal and our 3rd year in this house...which I am still SO thankful for! And I still marvel at the fact that it is paid off already and that we, actually, own our own home! It's not big and it's not fancy, but it's ours and it's paid for. Praise the Lord for His grace, goodness and mercy!

12- Over the past couple of weeks or so I got our shed rearranged to one side, so my husband could have the other side for an office...a place of his own to study in, work, and pray in. While moving stuff around out there I found an old card file box, that had been packed when we moved into town, that houses all of my index-carded schedules and lists from when we lived out at the farm. What a treasure!

I brought it in and am going to update it, but it has daily chore cards...things like personal devotions, make beds, vacuum, tidy bathroom...feed and water chickens (which I don't have any more), weekly chore cards (Tuesday-water house plants, deep clean bathroom, etc), monthly chore cards (Week #1-clean out
fridge, etc.), quarterly (turn mattresses, dust picture frames, etc), bi-annual (clean ceiling fans, plastic or unplastic windows, wash curtains, etc.), and annual (clean out freezer, shampoo carpet, etc), scripture verses that I've written down and memorized over the years, on a variety of subjects (wisdom, the mouth, the body, a house, promises from the Word of God). The file box also houses a list of 15-minute jobs (power clean a closet, clean up computer files, garden or yard work, go through a box or drawer), a weekly prayer schedule
(certain people on certain days that often get missed, for example the marriages and families of the people in your church, the president, state and local officials, and missionaries), a list of things to do in my spare time
(memorization, work on scheduling, write letters, cards, articles, books, newsletters, school curriculum, menu plan, clip articles, etc.), and things to plan and schedule (budgeting, school projects, menus, picnics, cookouts, camping trips, and writing letters to family and friends).

How much further ahead I used to be than I am today! I have never fully got into the swing of things and gotten into any form of set schedule really since moving. I think that I'm going to go through this file, revise it for our current situation (for example...we no longer have chickens so those cards can be eliminated, and I'm sure new ones can be introduced in their place), and get back to the card system. It's the only thing that I've really found that works well for me.

Well, dear friends, I suppose I will end this issue of HEARTH AND HOME here. I've tried for days to add to it, but there's just too many things going on on the home front. I will see you again next time. Until then, take care, stay in the Word and close to the Lord. God bless you...one and all!

Love and Hugs,
(wife, homeschooling mom, keeper at home)
Proverbs 31:10-31; Titus 2:3-5

"Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established;
And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant
riches." (Proverbs 24:3-4 KJV)

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