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Some photos for you to enjoy :) (Another Quick Catch Up Post)

I hope the day finds everyone well and happy :). I have been lurking and reading a lot lately but honestly my brain has been too fried to re...

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read the printed word!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman ! Book Review For BFB

I was looking forward to getting this book. It was such a great read that I finished it in just a few days. It is such a heartwarming story of redemption,understanding and knowing what real love is. It was amazing to watch the story of Saphora and Bender unfold.Let me try to give you the bones of the story without revealing too much.

 Pirate Queen is about the unraveling and then reweaving of the love of Saphora and Bender. Saphora is heartbroken that life and love have left her in a place where she feels she has no value. She is ready to begin anew when she finds out news from Bender that pulls them back together and helps her to realize that she is indeed still in love and loved. We get to watch the metamorphosis of her and Bender's relationship and the relationships they have with their children.Throw in a little boy who needs love and understanding himself and you have a wonderful story. Then when Bender and Saphora understand what redemption truly is ...ahhhh ...then it becomes a truly great story. It takes a little bit to get into the part where the title "Pirate Queen" comes in but well worth the wait.
I was provided a review copy of this book by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my honest review.

I think you will love this book. I know I really enjoyed it. Blessings! ~ Nikki

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Jane Austen ~ Booksneeze Book Review

Jane Austen by Peter Leithart

 I love the classics written by Jane Austen. I love the critical and sometimes sarcastic but always fun loving characters in her stories. From reading this biography you can see that her family was much like the characters she wrote about. This was a nice look into the "real" Jane Austen and what her life was really like without all the romanticized hype of a Hollywood film. (Although I did enjoy Becoming Jane)I do have to admit though that sometimes the book could be a little slow to read through. From my own experience though, most biographies do have a tendencies to have slow parts. Not everything thing in someones life can be dramatic and exciting; right? All in all, if you are a Jane Austen fan I think you will enjoy this book. You will learn some fascinating details of the woman who has forever fascinated and captured our hearts with her wonderful cast of characters.Be sure to buy it today for your favorite Austen fan. Blessings! ~ Nikki
This book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson Publishing for my honest review.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Let It Snow :)

It has been a very cold and snowy day today. I'm loving it! I enjoy the snow, up until late January or so when I begin to long for Spring. But for now, YAY SNOW! We are actually going to see wind chills around 10 below over the next few days. Most of the snow has turned to ice already with the dropping temps and gusting winds. We are staying put tonight and staying warm by the fireplace. I need to work on another crochet hat for one of my youth group kids. She wants a black one. I really enjoy making them :) I need to get busy quilting. I also need to make some purses. I have to make pumpkin butter this week too. I'm going to give it as CHRISTmas gifts to my Momma's family. They love homemade yummies.
Preacher fixed my dishwasher for me tonight. I'm so thankful :) Of all my household chores; I think I hate washing dishes the most. We visited the apple orchard this morning after church and picked up a bushel of apples and a box of oranges. We got some fried apple pies too. A special treat for all yum yum. Blessings! ~ Nikki

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Crochet Hat

Our weather has decided to turn cold and snowy :) I have been planning on crocheting myself a hat but prior efforts have not turned out well. So today I decided just to get to it. Believe it or not it turned out great. It so comfy too. I have a somewhat large head (seriously, its because I'm so smart...lol just kidding) so store bought knit hats can be kinda snug and end up giving me a headache. I made this one large enough to fit snug but not TOO snug :) I'm working on my scarf now. I hope to have it done by this weekend. I also need to finish repairing my Momma's quilt. So much to do yet it seems like so little time to accomplish it sometimes. I will post a picture of my hat tomorrow. have a great night everyone! ~ Blessings! ~ Nikki

Sorry About The Flood of Posts

I have decided to post all my Homestead Blog posts here because once again they have messed up my blog. And if I may be frank ( ok, Nikki) about it...I tired of it. Its been one pain after another since the "upgrade".  Blessings! ~ Nikki

My Blogging For Books Review ~ Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor

I requested Sir Rowan and the Camerian Quest,   but this one was sent to me instead. I have never read any of the Knights of Arrethtrae series but found this book to be very interesting and would definitely be something your teen would like. Told in a descriptive and flowing third-person narrative, Sir Quinlan follows the story of Quinlan and his friend Tav as they both face a decision about following the Prince. Quinlan joins the Swords of Valor, though not everyone is happy about it. But one mistake turns deadly, and Quinlan takes the blame. Ashamed and sad, he returns to his home in hopes of returning to his old life and friends, but finds that everything is changing and that he longs to return to the work the Prince has called him to. With the help of the Silent Warrior, Taras, Quinlan sets out on a journey that could turn the tide of the battles raging in Arrethtrae against the Shadow Warriors.
Be sure to add Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor (and series) to your shopping list this Christmas. Blessings! ~ Nikki
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

I'm Back ~ With December Snow!

Hey everyone! I have been taking a little blog break since October. Life here has been hectic and I just had to concentrate on things at home. how about an update?
My Aunt Shelia is doing well. She had to have the double mastectomy, which she is having a little problem with. She has an area that is taking a long time to heal due to fluid gathering under the skin. They had to cancel her chemo (was due to start yesterday) until the wound is finally healed. Her pathology tests showed that she had three separate types of breast cancer. Doctor said he had never seen anything like it. Her tumors all had different markers. Her scans show that they got all the cancer with surgery but because of the circumstances she is in with the different tumors they feel that aggressive chemo and radiation is still the best plan for her full recovery. Her cancer is not hereditary though. The doctors thought it might be since two of our cousins have BC as we found out when Shelia was diagnosed. All in all her spirits are good. She is dreading losing her hair. She is coming to terms with her scars and is handling that well although she said the first look was really hard for her. So you all please keep praying for her. I appreciate all your comments and encouragements for her, they mean a lot.
My Momma is feeling lots better although her potassium levels keep dropping so she is on meds for that. My daughter BabyGirl scored a 23 on her ACT. Her financial aid is all done . We have to do a campus tour and then she starts classes in January.right now she is in Florida with her cousin having a great time.
Today of course is the first day of December (where did this year go?). And with the new month came a surprise..we got snow! Its just a little dusting but enough to make you feel all Christmasy.
Well its time to get busy .Have a great day everyone! Blessings! ~ Nikki

Hey All

Its another beautiful Fall day here. I am spending the day watching over my Momma. She was very ill over the weekend and had to go to the ER. She is doing much better now though. My Aunt Shelia has a double mastectomy tomorrow. The new lump turned out to be another cancerous tumor. The oncologist and surgeon feel the DM is her best option.Y'all be praying for her and Nomi tomorrow. I know they are both having a rough time dealing with all this. God knows what we can bear though although sometimes we have to bend a lot :)
We have been having some cold nights here in the Smokies. The leaves are going to be spectacular this year. If possible you should take a drive this way to check them out. Going over the mountain from gatlinburg to Cherokee, NC will be at peak this weekend. I wish we could roadtrip Saturday but we have our community Fall Fest , BabyGirl has her ACT and the van isnt running as good as it should. So maybe another time lol.
Well y'all have a great Fall day. Im off to fix lunch. Blessings! ~ Nikki

2010/10/19 at 11:32 amWe almost took out in that direction the other day :) I know it is beautiful there this time of year. I love the Smokies…just not the commercialism part.We are the “off the beaten trail” kind of folks (haha). I will certainly keep your mother and aunt in my prayers!
I will be praying. My mom went through this over 7 years ago. She ended up having a DM as well.
Have a great day.
I’m sorry to hear of your aunts cancer. Will be praying for her and your mom too. It’s so hard to see loved ones go through this sort of thing. Prayers and hugs…Teresa

Aunt Shelia Update

The doctor canceled her surgery this afternoon because the MRi they did the other day showed two more lumps; one in each breast. They want to biopsy these also and then meet with her to rework her course of treatment. This could be mean more extensive surgery; possibly a mastectomy. So please be praying for her. Thanks y'all. ~ blessings! ~ Nikki

Will say a prayer for her !
I am praying.

Prayer Request & Update

Its been a bit since I've blogged but life here has taken some twists and turns since September 27. First let me get to the prayer request; on September 28 we found out my Aunt Shelia (Nomi's Momma) has breast cancer. Its been a whirlwind of test and doctors appointments for her lately. She has infiltrated ductile carcinoma. She has a grade 3 tumor that will be removed by lumpectomy on Wednesday. The doctor will know then if it has spread and how advanced (what stage) her cancer is. She is still kinda shocked and "numb" about it but she is ready for the fight. She will begin 4 months of chemo on the 29th with 6 weeks of radiation to follow. Her port will also be put in Wednesday. I would like to ask everyone to be praying for her, add her to your personal and church prayer lists.Her name is Shelia, we call her Smurph lol. My daughter created this button to add to my blog as a reminder for everyone to pray. You are invited to snag it and add it to your blog also (let me know if you do and tell me where you are ex. Texas, England.... I'd like to tell her how many she has praying for her around the world.) Here is the button:
My youngest DS , Hoopy, turned 13 on the 30th. I cant believe how quickly he has grown. DD BabyGirl was accepted to our local community college where she will begin classes in January. DS Tman got his first job and he is loving it. Today we had our family reunion . I got to see my family that I only get to see about every 5 - 10 years so it was nice. We had a great time.
The leaves are changing quickly here in the Smokies since we had quite the cold snap lat week.  I'm looking forward to a sight seeing trip soon.  Well I guess thats about it y'all. Just keep praying for Shelia. God Bless! ~ Nikki

Today Felt Like Fall

It has been rainy and cool all day. Ive wanted nothing more than to curl up with a blanky and good book but I had to go to the doctor today.  Good news...I've lost 12 pounds. I was so excited ... I was praising the Lord for that :) On the other hand she thinks I have sleep apnea and that it causing the fatigue and other problems. So I will be going for a sleep test soon. They will do an EKG while Im there too. When I know all the results I will let you know but keep praying for me.
I did get to spend some time with Momma today. We sat on the porch and watched birds. It was great! I enjoying spending time with my parents. Well I'm off to watch tv for a bit. Blessings y'all! ~ Nikki

Great job on losing the 12 pounds. I need to get back into that mode. Enjoy the time you get to spend with your parents.
Congratulations on the weight loss!! I started weight watchers about six weeks ago and I have also lost 12 pounds!
I will be praying for you that all goes well with the upcoming tests.
Blessings to you,

First Day Of Fall

Don't you just love it? I just wish that we had some bounty from our garden to bring in. Our spring garden wilted under the intense heat we had this summer. I never did get around to preparing and planting a second round. Now I wish I had. Hindsight lol. Thats ok, we still have some reasonably priced produce at some local farms and farmers markets. Even our local Food City and Dollar General stores have pumpkins for decent prices. I need to get busy canning some pumpkin butter. Nomi and I are looking at several local craft fairs so that we can get a booth and try and line our families' wallets. Some of them are so expensive though.Have a great first Fall evening Y'all! Blessings! ~ Nikki
Your blog is SO cute!
Happy Fall to you too! Have a great day….Teresa from the Roost
We enjoy pumpkin butter also. Your blog is so cute….I wish I knew how to do mine like yours…I love it! I just don’t know how to download all the pretty things and place them on my blog :(

Fall Is Here!

Well, not officially but according to the sunlight on the boxelder its here lol. The season has just blossomed here. Although we got a little hot today temps will be getting cooler again soon. We had a great weekend. We did a craft fair for our youth group Saturday. It was a nice little fair with alot of vendors and visitors. We will be going back next year hopefully. Our church's annual Fall fest is coming up next month. I will be working on the games . Any neat ideas for games ? We usually have a duck pond, dart throw, ring toss and stuff like that. I'm looking forward to some new ideas :) Our homeschool has been going great. Today we started our Handbook of Nature Study Autumn Challenges. Check out my other blog here; Wisdom House Homeschool to check it out.
I'm thinking of doing my Autumn Poetry Party again this year. Not sure yet what the prizes will be but they will be "Fall like". Keep checking back here to see when it will start. Well I'm off to lurk and read. I love y'all here and have a great time getting a "peek" into your homesteads. I just wanted to let ya know that . Blessings! ~ Nikki

Crafty Thursday ~ Candy Corn Hobo Bag

bag fully opened, there are two handles but the other is hidden in this picture:

bag closed
Today I finished my candy corn hobo bag for the fundraiser. Its a hobo bag Nikki style. I used two different candy corn fabrics from Joanns. I also added some "patches" on both sides and cut them so they will ruffle when I wash it tomorrow. Let me know what you think. Blessings! ~ Nikki

too cute!!!
Anyone who knows me knows I am a purse nut! I just love this bag you made!
That Girl
So cute! Hope you are having a lovely fall day…Teresa from the Roost
I love the bag. Happy sewing.

County Fair Time

Last night we took our youth group to the county fair. We all had a great time and my Pastor's DIL went into labor too, so she is going to deliver sometime this morning. We have been enjoying this cooler weather and staying outside as much as we can. I've had the windows open all weekend and its been awesome ! Fall is gently sliding in but I haven't yet seen the "sign" on the box elder in my backyard yet, although its getting there. You can read about that in an earlier post :)
We are having homecoming this Sunday at church. I'm looking forward to that. I enjoy the fellowship with everyone. Well, I'm off to read some blogs for a bit and enjoy this late summer thunderstorm (we didn't have many this year). Blessings! ~ Nikki

Sounds like fun – reminds me I need to double check when the dates for our fair are. And I love the look of your blog. Where did you get the fringe like header.

Wow….hope your pastors daughter is o.k. Walking around at the fair is a good way to get labor started! Did you enjoy the rain and thunder? I love thunder storms and we didn’t get many this summer either. Guess it’s better than what Detroit’s been going through! Have a good day. Blessings…..Teresa
Yeah his DIL is doing fine and so is the 7lb 2oz baby boy! He is so cute :) yes I did enjoy the storm.I love them too. I was terrified of them as a child until my Brother mad me watch one. After that I was hooked. I always let the noise scare me until then and never let myself see the beauty in them.
Hi Sandra! I got the graphic at http://www.glitter-works.org/ , I remember how I did it now … I uploaded the graphic as my header. I thought it was in a text box widget but I couldn’t find it so when I looked at my header I had uploaded it there. I will see if I can find the image and send you the url if you’d like.
here is the link to the graphic, the artist has tons more beautiful bars. There are some awesome Christmas ones.


Happy First Day Of September

Summer is leaving quickly. Our high humidity days are gone and although we still see temps in the 90s our evening temps are in the low 60s so it takes longer to heat up during the day. That makes for some pleasant time outside, at least until about 4. Leaves are littering the backyard already which brings a smile to my face :) I'm watching the afternoon sun as it moves across the box elder in our backyard. I know fall is closer when I see the light "play" a certain way on that tree. Sounds weird I know but true.
Labor day is almost here. My Brother's 40th birthday is Saturday and we are having a cookout for him. Preacher's family reunion is Saturday and I am encouraging him to go to it instead of hanging here with the party. He should go have fun with his Dad and family. His dad and his family are growing older and declining in health so all these little moments count. Our county fair comes in Monday. I didn't make anything as of yet to put in. I don't know why really. I just find myself feeling low on energy and kinda blah. I was suppose to return to my doctor in April for more tests on my heart and liver but I didn't go :0. I'm going to go next week though. Hopefully nothing is wrong and I'm just having an energy slump.
School starts for us on the 13th. I'm looking forward to that. I need to finish up some odds and ends on our schedules and plans for the year. I also need to get motivated on doing more sewing. Our youth group is selling things at a craft fair on the 18th to raise money for some conferences we would like to attend. I'm making some purses and t shirt shopping totes. I may make some rice pads too. I make them for our kids to use when they have colds. I use peppermint oil in them so they use them to help open their sinuses and to get warm when they are chilled.
Well everyone have a great day! Blessings! ~ Nikki

HI Nikki,
I too need to find time to sew. Summer just zoomed away from me. I’m looking forward to more cooler temps here, too. I’d like to get a few things done before the snow flies & makes me want to curl up under a blanket with my knitting! Have a great weekend.    
Hi Nikki….
Hopefully you feel better soon with more energy. I have those days too when I feel so blah. I chalk it up to my age …51 and menopausal.
I would love to see pics of your handmades when you can. I used to add things to the Texas fair but haven’t in ages . Maybe next year. The deadline is passed for this one upcoming.
Love Abby

My Frugal Find

Preacher and I went shopping at walmart yesterday afternoon. We were very blessed in that the 3 and 5 pound rolls of hamburger meat were on sale; for 3lbs/$1.50 and 5lbs/$2. We always use the roll meat anyway because after it is washed and drained it loses a lot of the fat content but still has taste  and it breaks up really well for tacos and chili. We ended up getting 68lbs of hamburger meat yesterday for $29. Hows that for frugal shopping? Blessings! ~ Nikki

Great find!! Love the new look for your blog page. Blessings…Teresa
That is a great deal. Just think of all the meals. I love the blog. God Bless. 

Finally ! Another Take Me Back Tuesday Post :)

I live in what was once a small town. Over the years tourism has caused the population to explode  as people move here to make easy money in motels, restaurants and cabins. Its a sad site to look out now and see cabins on nearly every mountainside instead of trees. Traffic can be a nightmare as people try to pack themselves into Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Our town is the county seat, Sevierville. We are the traffic jam before you get to Pigeon Forge:)
I can remember when there was no traffic on the weekends. Believe it or not, Pigeon Forge Parkway used to be a 2 lane road.Dollywood used to be Silver Dollar City. My Great Uncle, James "Red" Maples was the prospector there for many years. Now you can  see him and my Great Aunt on our local tourist info channel.
When I was a little girl, if you needed something from town on Wednesday or Saturday you had best get there before 12pm because when the clock chimed 12 on those days, they rolled up the sidewalks and went home. Our original Walmart store was a tiny thing and closed on Sundays. Friday was "going to town days" and you had two choices for a grocery store; Food City or Piggly Wiggly. Then along came Kroger and now Super Walmart. Before the days of convenient grocery stores, my parent's families shopped at Greens rolling store. It was an old bus converted to carry grocery items and livestock (which some folks traded for groceries).
My family (Momma's kin) at one time owned most of the land on Maples Branch. It was a small farming community back in the day. My Great Grandfather donated the land for the school house and church in the community. The church still stands today. The old schoolhouse does too but its not wearing its years well. Sadly, my family sold most of the property off, although my Grandparents old spring house still stands as does one of the houses that was on their property. My Great Grandmothers house is still there too. My Great Uncle still lives in the community.
My area is rich in history. We have one of the loveliest courthouse in the nation I think. Of course most people know that Dolly is from here. And yes she is (real) distant kin. Of course most locals here are kin to Dolly through several family ties. Back in the day you courted and married from local communities in the area which meant that there were cousins galore.
There is so much I could talk about in our hometown. Our history and roots here go deep. How about you? Do you have small town you would like to post about? Write up a post and paste your link into Mr. Linky so that we can all check it out. Blessings! ~ Nikki

Homestead Crafts Carnival ~ Making A Grapevine Wreath

For today's craft post I thought I would show you a grapevine wreath that I made for Nomi.Pardon the fuzzy pictures. I took them with my phone because my camera batteries are dead.
1. Take some grapevine (green or dry; I like to use green because it is more pliable and able to easily weave yet it will dry fairly quickly.) I have plenty of wild grapes growing around my house so I have plenty of materials. Weave together as many vines as you desire to create a wreath the size and thickness you like. I don't weave very intricate ones like you would buy in the stores. I like to weave mine into simple prim looking wreathes. I like all the "curly q's" on this one.
2. Once you have the shape you desire, start adding decorating elements. I found these wonderful leaves at the Dollar Tree. I think there were 12 in the pack and they are completely wired so you can adjust even the leaf tip to the shape you want.
I also found this beautiful pumpkin ribbon at the Dollar Tree.
3. Finally the finished product modeled by Roosie.
I'm looking forward to reading everyone's crafting posts. Blessings! ~ Nikki
That is very pretty :) . I like the simple, prim look. That will make a lovely fall decoration.
Thanks for joining the crafts carnival!
 Love it !!!!!

Take Me back Tuesday ~ Happy Birthday Momma

Instead of getting back to the "Take Me Back Tuesday" posts, I wanted to take this chance to say Happy Birthday to my Momma. You are the best Momma! I love you and thank God for you and for all that you are. I pray God gives you many more! Love you! ~ Blessings! ~ Nikki

Catch Up

Good morning everyone! I hope this day finds you all well and happy :) Seems like I haven't posted in forever. We have been busy beavers around our place. Mostly trying to stay cool in this awful heat we have been having. Our heat index has been well into the triple digits. This week we are cooling down into the upper 80's. Talk about a cold snap :)
The garden has been the one to suffer the most. Even the hardiest plants are calling it quits around here. I believe I will be replanting and trying to have a better garden during the cooler days of early Fall. Here in East Tennessee I can sometimes have a good "warm" growing season till late October. I have gotten some cukes from the vines, not many but enough to have fresh for supper. I have some okra coming in. Preacher will like that for supper one evening.
Preacher and I celebrated our anniversary Friday. He brought me home orange roses and purples roses (my fave) plus a lovely tea rose I can replant.  We went out for dinner and a movie. We even went out for a milkshake afterwards. We had a great time together. Our kids were awesome for taking care of each other so we could date. Thanks guys!
Good news is we finally have our van running.

What a wonderful way to celebrate your anniversary. We have had a few cukes to eat. Hopefully I will have enough for pickles soon.
Have a great day.
Wishing you a A HAPPY ANNIVERSARY (even if it is a little late). Sounds like you had a great evening.
Good morning…..well sort of morning.
I am in the same boat with the heat. My plants are struggling to stay alive, must less produce. I am getting a few tomatoes, cukes and peppers but not enough to can. I guess I will have to go to the farmers market to buy things to can. Sad….when you have two gardens. Oh well, I planted a little too late due to my injury and then the heat wave begun as soon as everything started to produce.
I learned some things though. I am ready to replant for the fall garden….the second growing season. The garden has some sort of vines that are taking over and I can’t seem to get loose long enough to get them all out. If I take the baby out there she runs away from me so I end up chasing her instead of weeding or anything else. Just like gardens people have seasons too. :)
Be blessed.   

Hello…Sorry the garden is not doing so well. It’s a lot of work planning & planting to have it not do well. You are fortunate to be able to try again in the fall. Here in upstate N.Y we get just one stab at it! :)
Seems like one thing after another here at the Roost as well. Everything is breaking!!! :) But we keep bumping along. Hope you are having a good day………Blessings……….Teresa from the Roost!
Blessings Nikki! It is so hot down here, too! Heat index well into the 100′s and the temp has hit 105…it is pure tee hot!
A Happy Anniversary to you, and glad you are doing well. Have a beauitful night, and God bless!

Harvest In Miniature

So far we have harvested a few cherry tomatoes but the plants are just not producing well. I think it has been because of the terrible heat we have been having. At least we had a mini harvest :)  The cuke plants are thriving though. I will be getting the first harvest from them probably tomorrow. I think I may do some replanting later and maybe try to have another harvest in early Fall.
Once again this week I missed out on doing my Take Me Back Tuesday MeMe. Seems like Tuesdays are becoming my busiest day. Hopefully next week I can get back to sharing some memories.
I hope everyone is enjoying the Original Homesteaders group and blog. I thought maybe if we all gathered there and left our blog addies and posted when we had a new post on our blogs , that we could finally find and keep updated an all our old friends. I have found some things I like about the new platform but I miss the old one very much. I look forward to the day we can really personalize our templates again and don't have to choose from these cold sterile looking ones.
Well I'm gone for the moment. Housework calls and my Brotherman needs a ride to work today. His car has been in the shop for a few days and he is getting anxious so please pray for it to get fixed soon. Blessings! ~ Nikki

You may need to fertilize your tomatoes again. Usually they need it once they start to bloom. You probably already thought of that but just in case…
I have green ones but no red ones yet.
I have a couple of cukes. But they are not producing well. The heat is very intense here in Alabama as well. I love the South though.
I love the layout.
Thanks for inviting me to the group. It is a great idea.
Be blessed.

Canning And Stuff

Well I ended up with four quarts of tomatoes.Isn't it funny how so much makes so little :) I still have not canned my pickles. I ended up having to run Nomi's shop the other day and by the time I got home I just had time to can the tomatoes. So maybe tomorrow what cukes haven't been eaten will get canned. My Momma and Daddy gave us over a dozen ears of corn from their garden last night. I'm thinking thats going to be real yummy baked in the oven with some butter.
I'm not sure if I'm gonna go to the farmer's market tomorrow or not. Our fix to the van that the dealer said would fix it ...didn't . So we have to pump out more money for more parts I guess. The good news is Preacher is off Monday with pay. That's nice. He gets a little extra rest this weekend and more time to work on the van. I'm very appreciative of my Momma letting me use her car but only five of us can ride in it so whenever we go somewhere as a family we have to take separate vehicles. Thats annoying especially since Preachers truck is having some issues.
We have an awesome landlord. He and his wife are truly great. Preacher is doing some work on a house they bought . Their son will be moving into it and the landlord was asking Preacher if we would like to move into the house his son is moving out of.  Preacher put in a new floor in the house 2 years ago for them and I got to look at it. Its an awesome  house. Its less than a minute drive from where we live now but the yard is much smaller and the neighbors are a lot closer. The rent would be higher too.  The perks are that it has 4 bedrooms instead of 3, 3 bathrooms instead of 1, a full size garage instead of a carport and a sunroom and less to mow which preacher likes. Even with all that extra house though I'm not sure if I want to leave here. It would mean I couldn't have a garden, not even a raised bed... no room, up here where we live now our landlord is our neighbor and then we have an older couple right beside us  and it is so peaceful. Plus there is wildlife in abundance that comes through here. I have tons of birds,rabbits and even a small herd of deer that come through sometimes. I guess that is something else we need to start praying about.
Have a great day everyone. Blessings!  ~Nikki

"Maters" Everywhere!

I was very blessed yesterday by my Aunt and Uncle who gave me two bushels of tomatoes. So today I will be canning. I also have some cukes to pickle. I need to run to the store and get some salt before I get started. I'll let you know how it turns out :) Blessings! ~ Nikki


Hi Nikki, and blessings to you! Stopping by to wish you a wonderful weekend!


Well today is going to be another hot one. Hopefully this heat wave will end soon. We have been feeling better over the last few days with this summer cold finally going away. I am really excited that we have finally found a supplier for fresh farm eggs. Yay! A lady at our church, her BIL has lots of chickens and they have more eggs than they need so she brought about 8 dozen to church last week and we got 2 of them. I love fresh farm eggs and wish we could have chickens. My blackberry bushes which looked so promising earlier in Spring are somewhat of a disappointment now. They  have a few small hard berries. I think this heat has just been too much. So I will have to look around for some cheap ones to buy. That should be interesting :) Our local co op has started the farmers Market twice a week now. i hope to b able to get there Saturday. I would love to get some early cukes and makes some pickles. My cuke vines are starting to run and flower so in a few weeks we will have some of our own. Well its almost time for me to get busy for the day. Blessings! ~ Nikki

First Day Of Summer

Well with the temps and humidity we have been having the last few weeks you would think Summer has been here for a while. Its been HOT! The garden is growing well. We have had plenty of rain in spite of it being so hot. I need to get the trellis up for my cukes. I am running way behind in my outdoor chores. I just hate being out in this heat especially since we all have a summer cold right now. It saps your strength anyway. Mix it with wet heat and its awful. I'm whiny ... I know LOl
We just had to order a $200 part to fix our van. Its been down again. I'm pretty encouraged though. I told Preacher that by the time we are done it will be like new since we have replaced nearly everything on it :) My Momma has been gracious enough to let us use her car , again. Thanks Momma!
I have been getting some things together and organized for our new school year. September will be here before I know it so I want to be prepared. I have uploaded some new calendars to my HSlaunch page. You can get there by checking out my "Home & School Printables" page on this blog. If anyone uses the FROG planner I made last year , I uploaded some new calenders for it too.
Well, I'm out of here for the moment. We are going to the library and then I get to babysit my "extra kids". have a great day everyone! Blessings! ~ Nikki

Hot here too! We are in a heat advisory this week. I am praying for some coool rain :O)

The Old Cherry Tree

Not long ago I picked a gallon of wonderful cherries from Momma and Daddy's cherry trees. We had a great but sticky time picking them. We snacked on cherries and made some yummy cherry pie too. Cherry picking at my parents always reminds me of my Papaw's large cherry tree ; especially since my parent's trees came from seedlings of that long revered tree. That tree was somewhat a source of pride for my Papaw. It was tall for a cherry tree, huge to my younger self, and had wide spreading boughs. It was a favorite place to sit under since it stood at the bottom of the little hill where our house sat. Its branches hung over the trail that led to my Mamaw and Papaw's house. When in full bloom it was a beautiful site. When those cherries were deep red we knew it was picking time. Papaw had an old cane fishing pole that looked like it was ten feet long that he would use to knock the cherries off the top of the tree with. We thought it was great fun as kids to gather the ripe fruit off the ground. Papaw had one rule for that cherry tree; no climbing on it. That would have been fine for us except that tree had the best branches for climbing. The lowest one was perfect to sit on and read or to sit on and hide under the blossoms during a game of hide and seek. Many times we got a "chewing out" from Papaw because we got caught in that tree. I was so saddened to see that old tree have to go. It was a sad day when they cut it down. Even now, though the old homeplace is gone...(Mamaw and Papaw's house was torn down, our old house still stands)... there is a cherry tree that grows by the side of the road beside Papaw's flower beds. It is an offspring of that lovely giant . After all these years I can still drive by in late Spring and see that tree covered in luscious red fruit. It makes me smile and long for the old days.
Would you like to join me in this meme...Take Me Back Tuesdays?... Write your post and paste the link into Mr. Linky below. Blessings! ~ Nikki

I can remember picking cherries from our tree, when I was growing up. Even though it is a good memory, because I loved that farm, it was also a bad memory. See, I have allergies and every time I would pick cherries, my eyes would itch and swell. But those cherries were so good! This year, I thought….surely I have out grown that. But no, when I picked my cherries and got in the tree, my right I swelled, itched and had welps around it. I got a good cobbler out of them though :O)

I would love to join in! What wonderful memories you have shared with us today…thank you!

Graduation Day , June 2 2010

BabyGirl's Graduation June 2 2010
My BabyGirl is now a high school graduate and I'm not sure how to feel about that...of course I'm proud and happy for her...but somehow a little sad. Life moves too fast doesn't it? Wish I had somehow captured more in my memories...regret now forgetting even the smallest details. I love you BabyGirl ... follow your dreams!

Happy Memorial Day

Today we had a lazy time of it. We were just doing some light housework and watching tv. Preacher was off today... with pay :), just one of the perks of his new job. I did do some work in the flower garden today. I built several trellises for my grapevine to grow on instead of having it wind all over the porch railing and garden. I also put up the hummer feeder. I think our chilly days are finally over so I look forward to seeing my hummers. For supper we grilled some burgers and had supper family style around the table. Nice, real nice. I picked a gallon of cherries at my parent's house the other day so today Roosie and I made two cherry pies to have for dessert. They were yummy. Tomorrow I will be working at Nomi's shop and Wednesday I will be preparing for Tman's awards night and BabyGirl's high school graduation. *sigh* not sure if I am ready for that. Have a great evening everyone. Blessings!

Bath Towel Apron

My dear MIL had given me this luxurious bath towel and I had decided to make it into an apron. That was months ago ... so today while nursing my arthritis riddled hip  :) I decided to get busy sewing. The towel was 54 inches long so after I took off what I needed for the bib apron I have enough for a half apron like my Mamaw always wore. This picture is not the greatest cause I took them with my phone but my cousin Noo has my camera to get pictures of her DS's graduation. I will post better ones when I can. I used some binding fabric I've had for years to make the border and ribbons. I used the scraps from where I tapered the apron to make the pockets. Let me know what you think. Blessings!

I’m not the best sewer but would love to try this. Is it hard to make? I love aprons and wear them almost daily. this would be a great one to have. Blessings, Ann     

HI Ann, this one was super easy to do. I actually did all the sewing by hand because there just wasn’t’ that much of it. I folded the towel in half length wise and cut it to my desired length. This towel came to nearly my ankles and I cut it to right above my knee. I didn’t even measure, just roughly cut where I wanted it. While I still had it folded length wise , I made a tapered cut from the top down the side of the towel that is about 6″ or so in length, once again I didn’t measure I just kinda eyeballed it LOL.That gave me my bib design. I then just sewed on the binding by folding it in half over the edges. This is so easy and virtually mistake proof.What I love about it is that the towel is so thick that it can really take a spill without soaking my clothes. Plus its white and I can bleach it without worries. Post about it if you make one, I would love to see it. I had enough towel left to make a half apron so I’m going to work on that today. Blessings!

Take Me Back Tuesday ~ Mamaw & Papaw's Dugout

Earlier this morning I posted a comment on another blog talking about my Grandparents dugout. I thought about it and realized that I have so many wonderful memories of my family and growing up on the farm. I thought, well why not just post about them. So here it is , a little meme for memories. I'd like to introduce you to :
Take Me Back Tuesday
A place to share a memory of your childhood  or any time in your past that makes you smile. Join in if you would like to share. Blessings! ~ Nikki
The Dugout
My Grandparents had a little dugout dug into the side of the hill beside their house. It wasn't very large but had plenty of storage space for all my Mamaw's canned goods. The temperature was constant throughout the year so that made it the optimal place to store food. Of course the cooler temps inside during the summer made it the optimal place to play. We were not allowed to play inside because Mamaw feared we would break her canning jars and trust me that fear was well grounded ; for indeed we did break some over the years. The trick to playing inside the dugout was not to get caught. We had to sneak in one at at time over a period of time. If Mamaw or Papaw saw us all go to the side of the house at one time they knew something was up. Mamaw and Papaw tried to keep us out by reminding us of the old black snake that lived in there but we didn't bother him and he in turn didn't bother us. We spent many stolen hours inside playing in the hard packed dirt. It was also a place of refuge for me when I felt lonely or sad or when I needed to hide because I was going to get my bottom spanked :) The musty smell of the earthen floor and walls is still in my memory. I don't believe I have any pictures of the dugout sadly, but I do have the dugout door. When my Mamaw passed away I got it before the property was sold. The dugout had long been out of use by then although there was still jars in there from when I was a child. I use it in my garden and it is decorated with pieces of my childhood. Old clocks and such. In the picture below you can see it with my Grandparents chairs and one of my Mamaw's old canners. So whats your memory for today?


Me and my cousins use to play in my Mom’s (grandma) basement. We would play wall ball, school, skate, ping ping, house….etc. They never finished it out, so it was mostly concrete, but it was still great. We spent alot of time down there. Our imaginations would run wild :O)

My Women's Ministry Blog

For sometime I have had my devotions and other ministry helps on my homeschool blogger account. With all the changes going on I decided to just move all my file links to my Blogger blog "Walking In The Way". I have that account to be able to comment on other Blogger friends blogs. A while back I just decided to make use of it when God told me to use it as my long planned "book" platform. The files are in pdf format except for the actual blog  posts.

New Washer

Our washer finally quit last week so yesterday Preacher and I went to get one.  We can't afford to buy outright so we went to a weekly rental place to look. We were able to get a pre-rented one (gently used and looks and runs brand new) for $493 if we pay it off within 3 months. I love it! It is a Whirlpool Cabrio without an agitator so I have more room for bulkier items. We dislike being deeper in debt but for a must need item we don't mind so much. It is cheaper for us to pay $20 a week to own this one than to spend $20- 25 a week at the laundry mat.

Blessings Nikki!
I am a crocheter…I tried to learn to knit, but I must be too fumble fingered to work with two needles, because everything I did came out all off-kilter, LOL. I decided it was better to stick with what I knew, than torture my poor family with all the groans as I kept trying…:)!
I need to uodate with pics on mine, too!
Have a great night!
In Him,

Seeds And Book Giveaway

Apr 9, 2010
We planted the seeds for our school project and they are doing great. I got so engrossed in school and Spring cleaning though that I haven't planted the ones for my garden yet. Oh well I will be busy doing that tonight . They will be up in no time though with all the lovely weather we have been having. We have been on Spring break this week for school so we have put all our effort into decluttering the house. So far so good:) It feels nice to rid the house of junk. It just "feels" cleaner. makes me want to relax and enjoy it.
I am hosting a book giveaway on my homeschool blog so be sure to check it out. Blessings! ~ Nikki
Book Giveaway

March Is Here!

Mar 1, 2010
March is finally here and seems like its coming in like a lamb. All is quiet here except for some birdsong. The air is still chilly but hopefully that will change in a few weeks. We have bought some seeds! We will be planting them indoors this week. I am going to try and use my old pickle jars as mini greenhouses this year. They will be good and sturdy for the school project the kids will be working on. Last year I used plastic bakery containers to start my seeds in and they worked great. I need to find someone who has some extra that I can have. .We have lots of seeds to plant.I will be doing most of my gardening in five gallon buckets this year. I want to use my little garden bed for potatoes. So using buckets will give me lots more space for other things. Plus I can move everything around if I need to.
Toodles has been enjoying his new job. The bosses seem to really like him too. We are so thankful to God for giving him this job and so thankful to all of you who prayed for us. I hope you all enjoy this wonderful first day of March. Spring will be here soon :) Blessings! ~Nikki
Yes it's time for yet another season. Just think of how many seasons have come and gone here on Earth since God created it!

Spring Sneek Peek

Feb 22, 2010
We have had some wonderful weather over the weekend. Warm winds and bright blue cloudless skies *sigh*. Saturday my parents took us out for Chinese for supper. We had a great time with our family. My Brother and his fiance were there too. Then we were blessed to be together again for lunch yesterday after church. I fixed two roasts with yukon gold potatoes and a pot of pintos. My Momma brought her yummy cornbread. We had a wonderful repeat of Saturday night :) After our company left, DS Hoopy and I worked out in the yard. We put my large birdhouse back up which had fallen. We did some cleaning in the front flower bed. I already have some sweet william poking up and my hydrangea is budding out. I also had two bluebirds in the yard yesterday. I hope they make one of my bird houses home sweet home. Sadly our 60 degree weather isn't going to last long. We are due for more snow by Wednesday. But I will be ok. That lovely sneek peek of Spring will help me hold out for a few more weeks. So today I will enjoy the birdsong outside my window and the 54 degree day and be content. blessings! ~ Nikki

He Got The Job !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Feb 13, 2010
Toodles got the job PTL! For now it is only part time but may become full time later. We are so excited! Thanks to all who prayed :) Blessings! ~ Nikki

Prayer Please

Feb 11, 2010
Toodles got a call asking him to come in and fill out an application today. So please pray that it works out if it is the Father's will. Thanks :)  Blessings! ~ Nikki

Tired of Winter

Feb 11, 2010
Hey everyone! I hope every one is doing ok.  We were able to finally pay off some debt and that allowed us to be able to get our internet back on at home. Yeah..I have missed it.  I am so tired of snow and winter. We got snow again yesterday. Not a lot but enough to make me long for Spring. I want to dig in the dirt and plant things. I long to see my flowers grow. I went ahead and changed my blog look so that at least it feels like Spring  :) I'm wondering what everyone is planning on planting this year? I would like to grow asparagus. Any input for me? Is it difficult to grow? I will make out a garden plan this week and share it with you . Blessings! ~ Nikki

Holiday One or the Other

Nov 24, 2009
I found this on Herbs and Honeys blog. I thought it was cute.
Apple/cinnamon or vanilla candles?  vanilla
Apple cider or egg nog?  neither
Pumpkin or pecan pie?  Pecan!
Turkey or ham?  Turkey
Black Friday's, yeah or neigh?  would love to but beyond broke :)
Gas logs or real wood ? Real wood. I love my fireplace!
A Christmas Story or White Christmas (movies)?  White Christmas ( I've already watched it this week :)
Real tree or fake?  Have had both . Love the easy care of fake but love the smell of real.
Charlie Brown tree or full & fluffy? Full
Christmas eve at a party or at home with family?Home with family
Open gifts all at once or take your time? Let the kids open first
Frosty or Rudolph? Sorry, gotta pick both
Star or angel tree topper?Star
White lights or multi?  White lights look lovely but sometimes I want color. Last year was the first time we used all white on a tree.
Thanks for stopping by :)
You have such a cute blog!
The candy corn is so cool.
One of these days I will learn more about
jazzing up my blog.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
Herbs & Honey

JR Convention

Nov 6, 2009
Hi all! It is a great day in the Lord ! Roosie,Hoopy and I are in Kentucky with our Christian School for Student Convention. Pray for all the competitors today. I miss my DH and BabyGirl and Tman but we head home to Tennessee tomorrow so that makes me happy. I cant seem to get used to time "falling back" this year. For nearly a week now I have been waking up about 4am. Today was no exception. Its only 6:41 am but I am already starting to get sleepy again. No job yet for Toodles but God is being ever faithful. Our needs are met so truly, what else could we ask for? When the right job comes along then Toodles will get it. School has been going great. We are having a really good year so far. We will be doing more special things around the holidays. Stuff like lapbooking or notebooking. We enjoy doing stuff like that. I have not really been able to work much on the free printables I'm making but maybe after convention I can. We have had a hectic pace trying to get ready for that. I'm looking forward to the Homeschool Blog Awards this year. I am eager to see if the blogs I nominated get listed. You are some great bloggers out there :) I may not comment much at times but trust me, I read :) Well I gotta go. We have to get ready for convention. I will update later.
Hey everyone! We are back! Our crew brought home 17 medals today. Hoopy and Roosie both got several first place medals. Hoopy has 5 medals total and Roosie has 7. They all did a tremendous job and I am so proud of them. Well it is late and I am tired so goodnight all! Blessings! ~ Nikki

Picture Of Poetry Party Prizes

Oct 10, 2009

No Job

Oct 6, 2009
We were so excited because Toodles was called in for two interviews on Friday and both times he was told how he was just the one they were looking for. They told him they would let him know on Monday..nothing, nada, zip, zero...no word. So, it looks like the search begins again. Just keep praying :)
For those of you who are Duggar fans, they will be the special guests at Winterfest in Pigeon Forge this year. They will be flipping the switch to turn on the lights. So you might want to visit our lovely area on November 5th if you want to get a chance to see them.
I will be canning some pumpkin butter this week. I also want to can some pumpkin pie filling. Anyone have a recipe? Fall is showing herself around here. The temps are dropping and the leaves are changing. It has been so nice watching the changes. I love Autumn. Well that's it for now I guess. Have a great night all! ~ Blessings! ~ Nikki

Thanks For Your Prayers And Keep Praying Please

Oct 2, 2009
Toodles has an interview this morning at 10 for the Lead Supervisor for the maintenance crew at a cabin rental company. So keep praying ! Thanks ~ Nikki
simpleoldgurl Definitely keeping your family in prayer!
God bless you!
In Him,

HopefulHeart77 How did the interview go? Many blessings!

Prayer Please

Oct 1, 2009
After being laid off for 9 months and putting in tons of applications . . . DH Toodles got a call back yesterday! We have been trying so hard to not get discouraged as the weeks turned into months without a job and it has been hard. Only God's Grace has seen us through. We are praying that if this is the job God wants him to have then he will get it. Will you join us in praying? Thanks so much ! Blessings ! ~ Nikki

I am praying as I type………
God bless you!

Father, you have the perfect plan for this family, and the perfect job for this husband. If this is it, then I ask that you let there be no delay in his hiring and that the job will be a true blessing, in every realm. Thank you for continuing to meet their needs, and we give you honor and glory for answered prayer in Jesus name, amen!

We will be praying for your family.

A Birthday Shout Out To DS Hoopy and Fall Decorations

Sep 30, 2009
HAPPY 12th BIRTHDAY HOOPY! I LOVE YOU! Hoopy is my youngest DS. He caught a tree frog on the porch last night. You can check out my homeschool blog to see it if you would like. The feed is posted on the left sidebar.
I also wanted to post some pics of our fall decorations. When we cleaned out the gardens we had lots of grapevine so I made these wreaths. Free decorations...you can't beat that.

I took our electric firelogs and made this little "fireplace" beside the dining table. It creates a cozy atmosphere.
I will eventually have to remove everything when we start to use the fireplace.

This is the garland we made for art class one day. I have the links to the printables on a post on my other blog. We taped the pics to jute and tied some gingham ribbon on it . The picture doesnt show much detail , sorry :)

Another "free" wreath.
Another wreath I put on the cross DS Tman made for me. Didn't he do a great job?

Just a little display I added to the garden.

I tried to add some color to the porch. I put some leaf garlands on the rails and DDs BabyGirl, Roosie and I painted some large vegetable cans  with some fall themes.We use them for planters.

Well I hope you enjoyed our fall decorations. I'm off to build a frog habitat :) Blessings! ~ Nikki

Sep 28, 2009

Sep 28, 2009
Today was a beautiful Autumn day. The rain was gone and the sky was such an amazing blue. There were huge puffy white clouds floating in the sky. You know the ones I'm talking about :) You can see Autumn in the wildflowers blooming everywhere and the leaves are beginning to lose their vibrant summer green. We have had a cool windy day today and are supposed to see temps near 47 tonight. I am looking forward to the cooler days.
I spent the day at my Aunt's house with DD BabyGirl. I sewed some throw pillows for her. They are so pretty. They are a vibrant sunny yellow. I sewed three square ones and two "taffy" roll pillows. She will fill those and then tie ribbon on the end like a piece of taffy.
After I got home DH Toodles and I cooked supper. We had pinto beans that he had simmering on the stove all day and "taters" and smoked sausage with cornbread. Yummy! After summer we went out into the backyard with DS Hoopy to pick up our "harvest". Know what these are?

Yep ... its chesnuts. This year they are huge. These came from the three small chestnut trees in our backyard. We used to have two huge trees in our front yard but our landlord wanted them cut. It made me want to cry. I love chestnut trees. The bark alone is so pretty. Still we have enough to enjoy and share with the squirrels and chipmunks. I posted the poem today for the Autumn Poetry party I am hosting on my homeschool blog. So far I am the only one who has posted one. I am giving away some neat little prizes this year. Nothing "huge" but some nice little Autumn themed things. Wont you please join me ? Just click on the graphic at the top of the blog to join the party. Blessings ! ~ Nikki
Hi! Those chesnuts are so pretty! You are quite blessed. Have a wonderful day!
Just stopping by to say Hi…you have a wonderful blog.

Happy First Day Of Fall Y'all !

Sep 22, 2009
I would like to invite everyone to join the 2009 Autumn Poetry Party. Check out my Homeschool blog for details. Simcox Homeschool You just have to read today's post too. My younguns were in full funny today. I would like to share a poem with you today that we read in school. Blessings! ~ Nikki~ Autumn~ Emily Dickinson
The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.
Beautiful poetry. I love fall, just wish our trees changed color like they do further north. Thank you for your welcoming comment. Look forward to learning more about you and your family

Hi All

Sep 19, 2009
Today my girls and I got to meet my favorite author, Beverly Lewis. The girls and I love her books. She is so sweet and nice. She is an amazing writer and so friendly. She was having a book signing for her new book in the Seasons of Grace series at one of our library branches today. She was so easy to talk with and seemed very humble when I complemented her on her writing ability. I told her that God had really blessed her and she said “yes He has”. The look on her face when she said that spoke volumes about how much she loves her Lord. We have some pictures to put in our memory books. Here is a picture of my signed copy of the Missing.
Here are some pictures of the baking Roosie (DD 9) and I did this evening.
Pumpkin Muffins
Blackberry Muffins
Congrats on meeting Bev Lewis. I see that you are all decorated for Autumn, My blog is too… I have the precious moments girl on mine with the falling leaves too, I thought it cute.

Fall Cleanup

Sep 4, 2009
This past week we have been working on our Fall cleanup. We trimmed bushes and trees and cleaned out the front flower garden. I let it grow wild throughout Spring and Summer because of the grapes and sweet smelling honeysuckle so you can imagine what a mess the vines are in Fall. I had enough vines though to make six wreaths for Fall decoration. You can't beat free material especially since we are so broke. I have some decorations put up in the garden. When I get it finished I will post some pictures.
Our veggie garden is dying out. We have a few tomatoes still and the last of the cukes will be ready in a few more days. I do have some voluntary cuke vines growing but not sure if they will survive through Fall to produce. Would be nice though. We have been canning pickles and finishing up projects for our county Fair next week. I have been working on some aprons for my Momma and Aunts for Christmas. I am making them out of vintage cloth that belonged to their Momma. Since money is scarce this year due to Toodles layoff last December, most of our Christmas gifts will be homemade or something that people can use. For the last several years we have been making homemade breads and the like for our family and they seem to really enjoy them.
I hope to find a great deal on pumpkins this Fall. I want to make some pumpkin butter and can some to have for baking. I love warm pumpkin bread. If the orchards have decent prices we want to buy some apples and make apple butter too. Anyone have a thought on what the best apples for apple butter are?
Blessings ! ~ Nikki
Loving the idea of homemade bread as gifts! I wish I was better at baking it, my bread always comes out so stumpy no matter what recipes I try, not sure what Im doing wrong. Got any ideas?

August 13, 2009

Aug 13, 2009
It has been a while since I posted but we have been busy here at the "homestead". On July 23 Toodles and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary. We renewed our vows. My brother got to walk me down the aisle and my Daddy officiated. Our Pastor did prayer for us and oversaw the Lord's Supper that Toodles and I shared. Our boys served it to us and our girls were my attendants. My precious Momma and Aunt (my "second Momma") bought all the reception food and my Momma decorated the church so beautifully. Our DD BabyGirl baked our cakes for us. Our family made it so special for us. Our dear friends Shirley and Tommy from My Four Miracles ( Used to be my thr33 sons but lo and behold the Lord blessed them with a wee Baby Girl (also a preemie so pray for her) gave us a gift card to Outback so we enjoyed supper there and then for the first time in 10 years we went to a movie alone. Wow! It was kinda odd. I'm a Momma at heart through and through... I miss my kids when they arent with me.
We had VBS the first week of August and I celebrated my 35th birthday on the 6th. WOW! Where do the years go? Our Pastor's DS and his wife had their Baby Boy on the 11th. He is a 3lb 12 oz preemie but seems to be very healthy other than size and some feeding issues. Just pray for them and their family. Thanks!
I helped my Aunt Roo can 52 pints of white -half runner green beans this week. Last week the girls and I canned beans and pickles. It looks like our cuke vines are still hanging on so maybe we can get a few more jars of pickles put back.
DD Baby Girl will be turning 16 on Monday so we are having a Luau for her. Congrats BabyGirl!  They grow up too fast. *sigh*
Anyway have a great day in the Lord and God bless!

Ok , This is a copy post from my homeschool blog...my hand is too tired to type up another:)

Jul 22, 2009
Ok, no way did I anticipate that I would be so busy this summer. It seems like we have been on a constant go go go. Well at least this is turning out to be a cool summer. I can't believe the weather we have been having. I guess I will update and let everyone know what we have been up to . That is if anyone is still reading my blog ...are you? Are you there? Hellooooooooooooooo? Well anyway , here is the story... (imagine a movie narrator's voice..)
When last our blog writer left us she had intended to keep up with her blog posting but time seemed to slip away much faster than she anticipated. One week was spent in Bible study with her youth group in order to prepare their hearts for worship at the Casting Crowns concert. Truly it was an amazing week...watching God speak to the hearts of the youth (and adults too) was awesome. The concert was awesome too. The crowd was pleasantly surprised when special guest John Waller took the stage (ok our blog writer was extremely happy ...she loves his music). Mark Hall and the Crowns are some of the most humble people on the planet and they have such amazing talent. It was more than a concert it was a worship service. (pictures to come later).
Next for our blog writer came the July 4 holiday. A wondeful time spent with family and eating all that awesome July 4th food fare. A pleasnat evening was had by all as fireworks exploded in the night sky creating vibrant splashes of color against the inky blackness. (pictures to come later)
Then came the birth of our blog writers BFF's  lovely (much anticipated and teeny tiny) preemie baby girl. Both Momma and Baby are home and doing fine. Visit Shirley at MyThr33Sons and check out the story (with cute baby pics).
Later , our blog writer and family got to travel to Chattanooga and celebrate the 70th birthday of her lovely MIL.
Next for our blog writer and her handsome hubby came an unexpected oppurtunity to travel. They enjoyed a lovely trip through Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Virginia. Their favorite part was having some playtime at Lake Erie. Lovely cannot describe it. Pictures will definetly be posted later!
And last but not our blog writer has been preparing for her and her DH 10th wedding anniversary tomorrow. They will be renewing their vows amongst a gathering of family and friends.Stay tuned for the next installment...
OK, was that funny? Did it make it more interesting? Did you smile? At least a little bit? Let me know if you are still here ... leave me a comment... go ahead ...I'm begging...I'm making puppy dog eyes at you right now...Blessings~ Nikki

Harvest Time

Jun 16, 2009
The garden is doing great and I have been harvesting some cukes and grape "maters". I will be getting some more jars and lids so that I can get to canning some pickles. I just wanted to share some garden pictures with you tonight. I will be posting some neat canning recipes and stuff later this week. Blessings! ~ Nikki

Everything looks so good! I have tons of bell tomatoes ripening on the vine. Can't wait until their ready! I'm really craving a good, fresh salad now. :)
Looks great. By the way, I love your graphics on you page – definitely makes me think of farming :)
Your garden looks great! Good job! Blessings!

The garden is growing!

May 27, 2009
Here are some pictures from my garden.
The tomatoes are coming in...
The cukes are coming in too and are climbing the trellis . Here is a picture of my Daddy working in his garden.

He and Momma always have a great garden.
Blessings! ~

I can't wait to start growing veggies and fruits! I desire to be a homesteader soooo bad! Your garden looks great, Nikki!
Thank you for taking the time to make me feel welcome here at Homesteadblogger. Wow, your garden looks great.

Chilly Morning

May 19, 2009
It turned out to be a cool one but no frost damage. Of course the high today is supposed to be 78. Nice! ~ Blessings! ~
Thank you Momma! Love you!
~ Baby Girl
I am so happy you received no damage!