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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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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Guess What ?

Good morning everyone! I hope that you had a blessed Christmas. We were able to spend Christmas with both Preacher's parents and mine We went to Chattanooga on Friday and came home Sunday afternoon after we had Christmas lunch with them. We got home just in time to have Christmas supper with my family. The food and fellowship was awesome. Preacher's sister and her family blessed us with dinner (China Moon YUMO!) and a movie for Christmas. We had some great family time that we really enjoyed. Our tight budget doesn't make for dinner and a movie very often.We still wanted to have a private Christmas celebration with our kids so they opened a small present at Preacher's parents then after we left we stopped by an old Civil War camp (now a soccer field) and had our regular gift opening. We had a blast. Odd, different but fun.I was blessed with a family sticker set I sooo wanted (yay!) , new shoes and a beautiful birthstone ring.
But guess what? Before we left Friday afternoon I checked the mail. Wanna know what was in it? Hmmmm? It was a letter....that stated....congratulations, you have been accepted to Walters State Community College school of Nursing for the Spring semester.... I cried...tears of joy cause it was months of hard work and the blessings of God that got me here...it was like I had been holding my breath since Summer semester.Wow, now the intense studying begins lol. Be praying for me.I have orientation the first week of January and classes start on the 12th. I'm ready for this journey...I think:) Blessings! ~ Nikki

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

*Tap* *Tap*... is this thing on?...hello?

Is any one still here? Sorry for the looong silence but I got caught up in school and preparing for finals.That and family just consumed all my time.But I'm back. I have a lot of reading to catch up with everyone. I managed to do well this past semester so now I am just waiting to see if I get accepted into the school of nursing. Our Christmas plans are still kinda iffy at the moment as we are not sure exactly where we will be Christmas day;here with my family or in Chattanooga with Preachers. I will be reading lots while on break so you may see me pop in to comment on your blogs:) Have a great day everyone! Blessings!~ Nikki


Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall Festival

Tonight was our fall festival at church. I made some chili this morning to have for our chili supper. We had great fun tonight. There were games and candy for the kids plus we had a pumpkin patch. It was an all around good time for everyone I think. It has been a cold and rainy day here with the possibility of snow again in our mountains. There is also a small chance we might have some flurries here in the valley. I saw on the news where the east is preparing for a major snow storm this weekend. I hope every one has their warm blankies :) have a warm and snuggly night tonight :) Blessings! ~ Nikki

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Butter

After making pumpkin butter for years, I recently ran across some online articles touting its "unsafeness". I was surprised. Hmm, I've never had as problem personally but I guess you never know.Anyway apparently after canning, if you decide to do that instead of freezing, you should refrigerate your butter. Does anyone else do this? Comment and let me know your techniques. Are you a canner or a freezer?
Anyway, here is my post on how we can pumpkin butter. Just a note, pie pumpkins make better butter but larger varieties give you quantity although you lose some of the pumpkin flavor. I would suggest maybe using one of each for both quantity and great "pumpkiny" flavor.
First, you need a beauty like this one:

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25 pounds = $5
Then its on  to cleaning out, slicing, peeling and cubing. (Preacher sure makes a great helper :)

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NOTE: Weigles did not sponsor this post but their 32oz drinks are $.89 this summer so we picked up a cold soda while on the road ...ahhhh....

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Add water and cook till mushy (yes,mushy is my technical term). If its too soupy then cook a little longer.
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For a fine texture for your butter; puree it. Thank you Momma for my immersion blender! You are the best Momma in the entire world and I love you ! As you can tell from my previously expressed joy, an immersion blender works best :) but you can do it in a food processor but BE CAREFUL. At this point I also add my spices. I use sugar, pumpkin pie spice and individual amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg to suit our palates.I would add spices according to your own tastes. Some may like a sweeter or spicier butter.


Fill your previously prepared hot jars (you should have also boiled your lids). Leave about an inch of head space.

Water bathe for 40 minutes (quarts).I should have used my bigger pot but this worked fine.

I also did some jelly jars. Bathe for 30 minutes. Look how pretty!

Easy Blue Ribbon Garlic Dill Pickles

UPDATE: 7/6/2012
I'm linking this post to

Laura Williams' Musings


Ok y'all, this is a family secret recipe. We will have to employ special spy techniques in order for me to get away with this but... I'm just kidding. Although Preacher's Aunt B might not be too happy I'm giving away her secret, I'm excited to share it with you because its less work for the home canner like ourselves. Bless you B. And anyway, she doesn't read my blog and I won't tell if you won't ...deal? (plus there are similar recipes online lol).
Here's the drill: wash and prepare your jars, lids and cukes.
Next, fill a pot with:
1 qt vinegar
3 qts water
1 cup canning salt
Get it on the stove to boil.

While that is boiling, get to slicing. I do chips mostly but Aunt B does spears.


Peel some garlic. 1 clove for each quart.

Fill jars with cukes, garlic and a sprig of dill. Aunt B also uses a grape leaf but I didn't have any and they are not vitally important.

Spoon your boiling mixture into jars and let sit til cool.

Then pour "juice" back into the pot (be careful and don't dump your cukes and other goodies). Bring to a boil again.
Add 1/8 tsp alum to each jar (I was using 1/2 gallon jars here so I used 1/4 tsp). Then fill again with boiling mixture. Seal with a new hot lid and ring and you're done. No need to water bathe and you will have yummy pickles in no time.



Yummy :)                 I'm sharing this post at the

The Barn Hop


I hope everyone's Fall has gotten off to a great start. Mine has been particularly busy and so therefore my blog has been ignored :( But I am back to ramble on about everything and anything cause it is of course what I do best right? School has been pretty intense for me the past few weeks. Lots of studying and homework. I'm doing ok on my tests.I turned in my Nursing School application. I will hear back from them by mail during the first week of January. I'm praying I get accepted. My advisor seemed confident that I have a shot at it.
The weather here has been amazing! We have had our windows open for weeks now since the temps have dropped so drastically. I can't wait to get our new electric bill to see how much it has fallen. We have some slight color to our leaves and fields everywhere are a riot of color with the goldenrod and ironweed blossoms. We took a drive to Cataloochee a couple of weekend ago. The elk were beginning to rut. Nothing like watching a few bucks go at it. They are so huge! I love the sound of their bugle's. Kinda wimpy for such a big animal lol.
Our fair was great this year. The temps were wonderful. No nasty hot weather to contend with while strolling the midway. Our kids paired off and met some friends to go ride so Preacher and I got to stroll around all alone. First time for that. It was nice though. I got some great pictures. Don't worry, I'm gonna share :) Roosie and I ended up being the only ones to enter some things. We both won several ribbons. I got several blue ribbons for my canned goods. Roosie got first and second place ribbons this year.
I've been doing some canning. I put up some pumpkin butter.I want to head out to the orchard to get some apples to make applesauce.The farmers markets will be closing soon so I want to check them all out this weekend for some last minute produce.I'm praying for a better garden next year. Maybe the weather will cooperate.
Well, here are some pics of the fair .Enjoy!
The new sea dragon that was added to the carousel.
Fried snickers YUM!
Just because you were raised in a barn doesn't mean you shouldn't be well dressed.
Every sheep knows the hay tastes better on the other side of the fence.
This one didn't focus well but if you look close you will see the grasshopper. He matches the tractor.
Preacher posing with his new friend.
The show wagon. One of my entries is on there :) 1st place for pickled banana peppers.
Bad hair day.
This guy was hittin' me up for some corn. Probably how he ended up behind bars anyway :)
The most beautiful chicken I have ever seen. this picture doesn't do it justice.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fair Time and Rain...

Well our county fair has officially started. We turned our stuff in Sunday and Monday. Our fair is not large by any means but we always have such a great time there. It gives a country feel to our growing city. I walked into the exhibit barn yesterday and all you could smell was drying tobacco. Memories of playing in the barn as a kid flooded my mind :) It was awesome.
We are finally getting some rain from TS Lee. Its rained since Sunday night. Everything has greened up so nicely. Maybe we can get in some rain before October so our leaves will have a chance to be spectacular. Lots of trees have been loosing them due to the heat. Today its cloudy, wet and 64 (at least for now).
I got some more canning done Saturday. We put up 2 gallons of pickles and 1 quart of banana pepper rings and 1 quart of mixed veggie pickles.I went by the farmers market and picked up some cukes. I hope to get lots more canned this weekend.
I'm beginning to get over this croupy crud I hope. I still have some stuffiness and coughing but its bound to be near the end. I hate being puny.It seems like Summer colds are always the worst too.
Let me know whats going on in your part of the world. Blessings ! ~ Nikki

Friday, September 2, 2011

September is National Sewing Month

September is national sewing month. The website above is hosting a neat contest. They also have some free projects. I'm going to post some links below for free patterns and such. Enjoy them :) Get busy sewing ! ~ Blessings! ~ Nikki

http://diyfashion.about.com/od/diyfashiontoolkit/ss/Duct_Tape_Dummy.htm (check this out)

Know of any more links I can add? Comment and let me know :)

Happy September

Wow , can you believe it is September already? Autumn is showing up in little ways here. I love it. I started my new classes the other day and so far so good. I have computer class with DD, BabyGirl. Thats fun :) I helped my Brother move into his new place yesterday. Then last night I started feeling real rotten. Then this morning I woke up with a full blown cold. My entire family had it last week so it was inevitable that I got it. I just dislike colds so much. I have some canning that I need to do but I just couldn't find my get up and go this morning lol Anyway, I've got a neat post coming up in a few for all those who sew out there. Let me know if you find the links helpful. Blessings! ~ Nikki

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dog Days Are Over And Done...

... and I find that very exciting. Cooler weather seems to arrived overnight. Our night time temps are down into the 60s this week and highs during the day in the mid to upper 80s.Its almost time to open up the windows again and shut off the AC. I love having the cool nighttime and early morning breezes coming through the house. The last of the "maters" are ripening but the rest of the garden has finally given up. I held out mowing it down, hoping for a few more cukes.I guess we will till and plant for Fall this week. I think I can get some late season cukes, maters and maybe some corn to grow before frost comes. Thats the hope anyway. I do have one thing that has flourished this year and that is the volunteer vine that came up in my flower garden . Turns out that it is a Jack Be Little pumpkin vine and it is producing like crazy now. I was afraid for a while it would just flower and then the blooms would keep falling off but it seems to have its act together now lol.I threw the lil pumkins and gourds I decorated with last year into my garden and it turned out to be the best planting I've done. Go figure...
We had a great time over the weekend with our extended family. We had a cookout for BabyGirl's birthday. We had some great food and amazing fellowship. Its always nice when family can get together and celebrate. I also got to spend the day with my Seester Nomi on Monday. We had a great time just hanging out together. We don't get to do that much anymore because life keeps us busy.
I start classes again on Monday. I only have class two days a week for the Fall semester. I hope that my Spring semester has roughly the same schedule because I don't want to have to make major changes to our homeschool schedule. We won't start our schooling til after Labor Day.
Our county fair is coming up and we will be working on projects for that. I will keep you posted on what if any ribbons we bring home. This year the focus of our fair is the century farms in our county. I'm so excited to see the presentations for them. Before tourism took over here , our county was mostly agriculturally based. Now high taxes are forcing local farmers to sell and subdivide and to me that is awful.I appreciate all the great visitors we have here but in reality tourism has not been a good thing for our area. People that live in this county rarely work here because its all tourist related low paying jobs; and we can't "live" on that type of income because of the cost of living due to the fact that taxes have been raised to better deal with and support the tourism industry and the fact that we have grown so high in population.Rent is through the roof and a house that you could buy for $74,000 ten years ago now sells for around $150,000 or more. Most of the people who work here are actually driving from poorer counties around ours. Most people who live here work in higher paying construction jobs and the like in places like Knox county. Many of our local farms are gone now or largely decreased in acreage.Its sad that "progress" always seems to eliminate the little man. Here's some questions for you. Do you see the same thing happening in your area? Are the family farms disappearing ? Leave me a comment and let me know if you see the same trend in your county. Blessings! ~ Nikki

Thursday, August 18, 2011

BabyGirl Is 18

Well, I survived it. My DD turned 18 yesterday and I got through it without blubbers and tears. Although I did cry twice the day before. She is such an amazing young woman. I'm super proud of her. I just wanted to share a picture with you of my BabyGirl. And yes, although she is now technically an adult she will always be my "baby". I love you my Baby! God bless you, ~ Momma

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Good Chilly Morning :)

Yes, you read it right; it is chilly brrrr. I love it though. We had such a nice, mild, and very "unhumid" day yesterday and our temp this morning was 59. Nice :) I was able to see some meteors this morning from the Perseid's shower. I sat on the porch for a few but I got a little cool so I came inside for some pumpkin spice cappuccino. Sorry I have not posted in a bit but life has been moving right along. I took my finals and I am very blessed to have passed all my classes with an "A". I am so thankful to the Lord for that. I enjoyed my 37th birthday with my family. I have been doing some major house cleaning so that when school starts back up and our homeschooling begins again, our house will be neat and in order and it won't be so stressful to try and keep up with clutter.
I know that we are just dipping our toes in August but already the ironweed and goldenrod is blooming here and we don't usually see that 'til mid to late September. I'm wondering if even though this Summer has been super hot if we might be going to have an early and cool Autumn. I hope so. My pumpkin vine did not make it this year but I had a volunteer gourd vine just flourish in my flower bed and it is bearing fruit now so I will have some free fall decorations at least. The seeds I got by dead-heading my FIL garden are coming up so I will also have some wonderful Autumn flowers for free.
I enjoy looking at the Farmer's Almanac websites HERE & HERE. Our first frost is expected on October 22 according to the almanac.Thats not too far away.Are you ready for Autumn? I am. Let me know what your favorite season is. Blessings! ~ Nikki

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why I Do What I Do , (heads up this is just my opinion so don't yell at me )

There seems to be a lot of discussion and people getting upset about a difference of opinion on Prepping , Homesteading and the Survivalist mentality. I thought it best if I clarify myself on my viewpoint. Please remember this is my opinion only and I DO NOT intend to try and force you to understand or accept it. I don’t think that this matter is even worth arguing over because no one will be a winner. We will each lose valuable information and insight from each other if we can’t get along.
Why do I do what I do?
I grew up a poor farm girl. My parents and my grandparents were farmers. We knew how to work the land and how to live off of it by farming, fishing and hunting. The warm growing season was spent in the gardens so we would have food to eat or working in the cash crop we grew: tobacco. Spring and Summer we fished and added it to our freezers and cutting wood for the stove. Fall and Winter was spent hunting, eating fresh meat and adding to our frozen storage. Did we do this because we thought the WWEAWKI? No, we did it because it was our way of “surviving”. Money was scarce so we depended on what our hard work and God’s blessing provided. It was up to us to make sure our stores lasted us as long as possible so that there would be less we had to buy.
 When the harvests began rolling in then it was canning time. We canned everything from jelly (foraged blackberries, apples etc.) to kraut to beans. My Papaw built my Mamaw an outside oven/stove from cement blocks and an old woodstove top out by the creek so she could can outside and not heat up the house. We had a dugout my Papaw dug by hand into the bank beside the house where we stored most of our canned goods. Our potatoes were stored in the barn with lime sprinkled on them.
For most of my childhood we lived on my grandparents land in little house my Papaw had built. We did not have running water except for the creek behind the house and the artesian well that my Papaw built a little shed over (we called it the springhouse). We carried water several times a day so that we had fresh water to clean, cook and bath. We washed clothes in an old wringer washer that we filled with creek water. We also had not one but three outhouses. One for the girls, one for the boys; both which were across the creek, and one for my Uncle Wilson who was disabled and walked with crutches. His was on the same side of the creek as the house; set back in the woods because he had a hard time crossing the footlog (bridge) over the creek, although I have seen him do it before.
My Mamaw quilted and I helped her as much as I could. What few skills I have at it were learned at her knee. My Papaw was a trapper and I often went with him as he checked his lines and built new boxes. Back then, hides still brought a pretty penny. My grandparents and my parents brought in Christmas money by foraging for wild ginseng. My parents also worked so I spent most of my time with my grandparents unless I was in school or at my other grandparent’s house.
My Daddy’s parents lived not far from us. My Papaw, who was an amazing carpenter, died when I was 5. My Mamaw was an accomplished seamstress. She could make the most beautiful clothes. She sewed them on an old treadle machine. I did not inherit her sewing skills unfortunately. But she did teach me how to crochet when I was young and I’m very thankful for that. She also taught us how to churn butter and bake. Above all she taught us to dance. Yes dance, even today I can waltz, do the two step and others. By the time we kids could walk we were dancing too.
So as you can see I grew up a Homesteader/Prepper (yes I believe that they are basically the same thing). So today I am just doing what I grew up doing…living the simple life as much as I can. Am I a survivalist? Maybe in a sense; I know how to survive off the land if I need to so I guess you can say I am one. I know for our family it is important for me to keep my pantry stocked as much as possible. My husband was laid off unexpectedly for 14 months. It wasn’t a natural disaster but it was disastrous for us. It could happen again in this economy so I would like to be prepared with at least a few months stores.
What about food prices and the falling economy?
Yes, I believe food prices will soar. We already see big increases here. With the drought and floods we are having sky high prices are to be expected. When we tally in the cost of fuel…ouch! So yes I do agree that you should buy extra now while prices are low. Better to stock up and save a dime than wait till flour is $8 a bag. Will it ever get better? Maybe, maybe not. Who are we to say? This time next year we could all be back on an even keel. Then again it may be worse. Deal with it as you seem fit.
Do I think Someone knows something we don’t?
Yes I do. Is it something bad? That I don’t know. Our government would never tell us everything. It does seem weird that suddenly all the survivalist shows came on tv and FEMA had the weird “bug out bag” commercial. It just kinda came out of nowhere. Is an asteroid gonna hit us? If you read Revelations then you can see yes it does speak of it (search out Wormwood and study that). Will a massive earthquake/volcano cause mass destruction? Possibly, Bible speaks of those too when Jesus was answering the questions about the “end”. Will it happen soon or 100 years from now? Don’t know, Jesus called these things the beginning of sorrows. He didn’t say exactly when or where or how long this would go on. What’s going on now may not even be the beginning of sorrows yet. This may just be a testing time before the “final exam”, a time for the world to draw nigh to God. He loves us and wants us to be His. It’s all just a show of His love for us don’t ever forget that.
What does the Bible say about prepping?
Well, here’s my opinion on that too. The ant:
Pro 6:6  Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Pro 6:7  Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Pro 6:8  Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
Pro 6:9  How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Pro 6:10  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: Pro 6:11  So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
 Yes they are preparing in this Scripture. But if we read on it talks about being lazy and not about prepping for the end. It ties in with this Scripture where the disciples say if a man doesn’t work then he shouldn’t eat.
2Th 3:8  Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
2Th 3:9  Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
2Th 3:10  For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
2Th 3:11  For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

We need not be sluggards but be workers. Don’t expect others to do for you when you can do for your self. Do I think it specifically talks about preparing for the end? No I don’t. And about the virgins:
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
(Matthew 25:1-13)
I do not believe that we can take this Scripture and wrap it in any form to say that it means for us to be prepping physically for the end. It does not. It is exactly what Jesus was telling us it is. Either you are ready (saved) when He returns or you are lost forever. There is no other way to take it in all honesty. It is indeed a warning, a call to salvation and nothing more.

So what do I think about TEOTWAWKI? Our world changes for the worse some ways and in better ways every day. Are we headed for the “end”? Yes, as a CHRISTian I absolutely believe we are. It’s coming. When? Who knows but the Father ? Jesus doesn’t, the angels don’t, so neither can we. I believe that as long as the church does its intended purpose that we will stay God’s hand but when we fall from our purpose and refuse to do His will then there is no point in us being here and He will call us home and fulfill the end of His plan. Can we prepare for TEOTWAWKI? Only spiritually, be saved…nothing else will matter in the end. We can prepare all we want to, stock up ’til our houses are packed, know every skill our feeble human brain can hold and still if God decides to end it here (whether by natural disasters, foreign countries or whatever), no amount of stores or skills can help us. I refuse to live in fear of what tomorrow may hold. I did that during the Cold War when I was a kid and worried everyday if a nuke would end it all for us. I won’t do that today. If the grid goes down then it goes down. I will live with my fireplace/stove insert for heat and my lanterns for light. We will cook on it or our coleman stove or if need be we will build an outdoor stove. If we are hit by an EMP or other disaster we may lose all we have prepped for. I will protect my family as best as I know how but ultimately our lives in all aspects are in God’s hands. And there is no better place for them to be.
So let’s not argue over who is right and who is wrong. Some of you know how to do things I don’t and vice versa. It’s so much easier to glean knowledge from someone else who has done the trial and error than to try and start from scratch ourselves. So whether we are just a simple homesteader with no thought about end time and world disaster or if we are a diehard survivalist, then let’s just share our knowledge for the betterment of everyone and not fight about who is right or wrong. Now bring on those homesteading/prepping/survivalist posts . ~ Blessings! ~ Nikki
And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.
(Joshua 10:25)

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
(Matthew 6:34)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Good morning all! Want some honesty?

It is such a beautiful morning here! I took Preacher to work this morning at 5:30 (his vehicle is down for a day or two) and spent some time in prayer on the way home. It was an awesome ride. I needed some quiet alone time with the Lord. When I got home I watered the gardens then sat on the porch for a while reading the Word. We had such an amazing service at church yesterday morning. It really struck a cord with me in the fact that I had not been putting a lot of effort into my time with God. I my friends have been slacking. Shocking isn't it ?! hee hee. Isn't it funny how life gets so busy for us and the first thing we "cut" is the One thing we need most; Relationship time with the Father. I actually taught that very topic for Sunday School yesterday. Crow doesn't taste all that great especially when you don't realize your gonna have to eat it and its a TOTAL surprise. You think you're doing good and then God says "Lets talk", :) Then again last night the message just went all over my toes, tapped danced across them actually. Our Pastor preached on Agrippa and how he was almost persuaded to be a Christian and how God wants us Christians to be persuaded to be Christians. In other words get off our rear and be all that we can and should be. Sometimes we slack and don't even realize it but the lost around us do. Anyway, for me it seems that I have been doing some "canned" prayers lately and not getting truly one on one with God about my needs and His wants.My Bible time has been rushed and some days non existent. Just like I taught in SS yesterday though, a deterioration in relationship leads to separation. We have to repair the breakdowns before they cause a separation in our relationship. Do I believe that I can be separated from God once I am saved? NO! But I do believe that I can be separated from His will for my life. I can make things needlessly difficult for myself by allowing my relationship of prayer and praise and worship to fall apart. My relationship with God is a building. Without a strong foundation, my building will eventually crumble. It may last for a while but eventually the "rot" will claim it. Our prayer time and alone time in the Word is the foundation of our relationship with the Father and His Son.Its what keeps our relationship strong. Its an ongoing process that will not be finished until He calls us home. And if we don't work on it no one will. So as the old magician on Frosty said, " I've got to get busy,busy,busy!"

I'm a working on building
I'm a working on building
I'm a working on building
For my Lord, for my Lord

It's a holy ghost building
It's a holy ghost building
It's a holy ghost building
For my Lord, for my Lord

If I was a gambler, I tell you what I'd do
I'd quit my gambling and I'd work on the building, too

I'm a working on building
I'm a working on building
For my Lord, for my Lord

It's a holy ghost building
It's a holy ghost building
It's a holy ghost building
For my Lord, for my Lord

If I was a drunkard I tell you what I would do
I'd quit my drinking and I'd work on the building too

I'm a working on building
I'm a working on building
For my Lord, for my Lord

It's a holy ghost building
It's a holy ghost building
It's a holy ghost building
For my Lord, for my Lord

If I was a preacher I tell you what I would do
I would keep on preaching and work on the building too

I'm a working on building
I'm a working on building
For my Lord, for my Lord

It's a holy ghost building
It's a holy ghost building
It's a holy ghost building
For my Lord, for my Lord 

A few weeks ago one of my favorite artists did an honesty post about himself. I really admired him for it. He really got bare bones honest about himself and his Christian walk. Don't we all appreciate honesty as long as we don't expect people to want it from us? Well, I have decided to be honest about me.So here goes:
1)I have a temper. I always have. It has been the bane of my existence especially since I got saved. Yes, it has gotten much better but it seems to be Satan's greatest weapon to pull out and use against me. I mean people sometimes really get me ill and I'd love to thump their noggin for them. Yeah , real Christ-like I know :(
2)As previously stated above, I don't read my Bible everyday. Sometimes I miss it...sometimes a lot. Worse, sometimes I look at it and say " Man, I gotta read today", then look at something else and end up forgetting it til I'm headed off to sleep and surely God wants me to be rested and just give it a shot tomorrow, right? ( Uhm...NO! He has woken me up at 3 in the morning to read sometimes. When He has something to say, He will say it whether we are rested in or not.)
3)I may not do the whole" good bread,good meat thanks God, lets eat" thing but a lot of times I'm not very appreciative of the blessings He gives. Be it food on the table, roof over my head or whatever; lots of times I do the whole canned thing and rush through it and say "Thank you Lord for your blessings Amen" Now I believe that as we progress in our Christian walk we should also grow in our ability to talk to the Father. But believing it and doing it are two different things.
4)Witnessing for me has been on a downhill slide. I've not been putting a lot of effort into it. My excuse? None worth trying to cover it with. Cause honestly we all know there is no excuse. 
5) I don't always think the good thoughts and sometimes *gulp* words I used to say before I knew the Lord spring to my mind. Worse yet, over the years some of them leap frogged to my mouth. Again...no excuses. If I had never put them there they would never try to come out. Whose to blame? Me. I lived my past and although I was lost I still knew the basics of right and wrong. I just didn't care.
6)Self pity and worrying are my two best friends. We meet almost every day. Sometimes its an all day affair. (Once I'm sure we even went on a picnic.) Oh, those Bible passages that talk about all that stuff that I be sure to use to encourage those around me? Well, they apparently don't apply to me, cause this one is a big struggle for me.
Well, there are some things about me. Still like me? Still gonna read my blog? Hello? Are you still there? Heeeelllloooo?! Is this thing on? *tap* *tap*
Blessings! ~ Nikki

Preacher's Anniversary Gift - Minus Pictures :(

Ok , I made Preachers cooling bandanna for his anniversary gift but on the down side there were *sniff* dead batteries in DD camera, mine was completely void of batteries. The good news is that DD got batteries for hers and I was able to get pictures of some canning I did. But that is another post. So I guess I will just be sharing the details about my sewing project with you.
1. measure and cut a piece of cloth that can be folded in half length-wise and be long enough to tie around your neck without "binding". Preacher has a large neck so in reality an actual bandanna works best. Just cut it in half and you have enough to make two cooling bandannas.
2.fold your cloth in half (right sides touching) and sew together to make a long tube.
3.turn the tube right side out. what I did next was make a pocket for my beads that would rest on the back of Preachers neck. So I came in about 4" from each end and sewed a seam across the tube to create my pocket. Now remember to sew one then fill the pocket with the beads, then sew up the other end of your pocket. (or you will need to find a seam ripper and undo one end. I know cause I did it lol)
4. Walmart is a cheap place to get your water crystals (polymer hydrating beads). They have a small pack of beads that will expand to 1/2 " for about $2 in the floral dept. This is enough to make two bandannas. Use about 1 1/2 Tsp of the beads (or 1/2 of the pack) to fill your pocket. Then sew up that end.
5. Once all your seams are done fill a bowl with cool water and let the bandanna soak in it for about 5-6 hours. This will cause the beads to "inflate". Once they are done, wring it out and either use it on your neck for cooling or place it in the fridge to get extra cold. these make great cold packs for sprains too.
Sorry for the lack of pictures everyone but here is a link that gives some easy instructions and has some pictures. : NOTE, this tute says soak for 45 min. but we found that the directions on the bead bag worked best for the right "inflation" size.

Cooling Tie

Blessings!~ Nikki

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pantry Prep For This Week

I was very blessed this week in getting some canning jars. Nomi , my Seester/Cousin gave me two dozen 1/2 gallon jars. These will house my children's precious storehouse of dill pickles.She was blessed with them and just passed some of the blessing onto me. Thank you Seester :)
Plus yesterday for our anniversary (more on that later) Preacher and I went yardsaling (is that even a word ?) to some yard sales. He bought me two dozen quart jars for $6. I was so excited. I have plenty jars to get to filling now.

On another note, my Cousin Shirley blessed me this week too. Several years ago she acquired a cabinet that belonged to my Mamaw.She told me that whenever she had the chance she would bring it to me. This week she came through! Now I not only have a precious heirloom of my Mamaw's but I also have some awesome storage for my canning projects.
Have a great Sunday everyone, Blessings! ~ Nikki

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Preacher's Anniversary Present

Saturday is our anniversary. Preacher has been wanting some more of those "cooling" bandannas. He used to have one and he loved it. Alas, it has traveled on. But I will be surprising him with some homemade ones :)  I plan on sewing them up Friday because its really my only "free" day to sew.I will post some pictures if you like and show you how they turn out.
Today has been a good day. The kids and I did our chores and then they relaxed for a while. Tman went to Dollywood with his friend. I finished my math homework and then we met Preacher at my parent's house for supper. Preacher helped my Daddy work on his mower. BabyGirl and I had school tonight but after we got out we all enjoyed a relaxing  sunset on the front porch.
Roosie made us some homemade pizza for a snack after school. She did an amazing job too :) She will be an amazing cook as she gets older. Of course her brother, Hoopy, was picking on her about her cooking but they are two peas in a pod and they don't stay angry at each other for long.
Well now its late. Preacher is sleeping and the kids have a friend staying tonight so they are going to be up late gaming. I have 3 tests to study for but my brain is tired tonight. Three hours of math will do that for a person lol. So I will be lurking and reading some blogs for a while yet. Bed time soon though *wink* Have a great night everyone, Blessings! ~ Nikki

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Book of James eChart Download

The Book of James eChart Download
I love using Rose's charts. I get them for free in my email. You should check them out :) ~ Nikki

Simple Woman's Daybook (#1 for me)

Outside my window...
The sun is shining through the Rose of Sharon blooms .
I am thinking...
of lots of little things too numerous to mention .
I am thankful...
for all my Blessings. Especially family and less humidity today :)
From the learning rooms...(if this applies)
Math test today for me.
In the kitchen...
grilled burgers for supper tonight. Since the weather is a bit nicer I want to enjoy it when I get home from school. 
I am wearing..
.My comfy $ 1 lounge pants and a tank. I feel kinda sloppy but comfy :)
I am creating...
an anniversary surprise for my DH Preacher.
I am going...
to Squad to pick up Tman , then to school,then to my Momma's to pick up my girls and then home again.
I am wondering...
if I will ever get our school year organized.
I am reading...
my DD's book that she wrote. I get to be editor :) She is so talented.
I am hoping...
that my lost loved ones come to know the Lord as their Savior and that peace will reign in the lives of my friends and family.
I am looking forward to...
Autumn! its my favorite season.
I am hearing...
the cicadas, finally! I must be strange but I love the buzz of all the Summer insects. Its comforting to me because growing up in the country that's all we heard.
Around the house...
I'm doing laundry and simple cleaning. There are tons more organizing projects I need to do but not today. *sigh*
 I am pondering...
how we get so far from the old ways so very fast.
One of my favorite things...
is time with family. I love making memories.
few plans for the rest of the week:
I will be canning pickles,cleaning up outside and doing some pre- Fall cleanup/organizing projects.
Here is a picture for thought I am sharing... 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

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 really sit down and post. Ever have days like that?
Here's whats been going on:
I started my new math class and it is intense but I think I will be ok. I'm moving along in AP II and making good grades so far with all my test scores in the 90s. I still have to schedule my pre-nursing test.BabyGirl and I enjoy going to school together although right now we don't actually have class together. We do get to meet for break sometimes which is nice and kind of mellows the stress.
We spent a wonderful July 4th with family cooking out and shooting fireworks. We try to make family memories as often as possible because those are the things that will last.
This past Friday, Preacher's Dad had a heart attack so we had to rush to Chattanooga that afternoon. After having a stint put in my FIL is doing better now although they almost lost him three times during the stint surgery. He is doing better now praise God but please continue to remember him in your prayers. Preacher was able to do some work around the house for his parents while we were there.
It has been way too hot to be outside even in the evening. So we have been keeping cool by staying indoors as much as possible, which stinks cause it is Summer and our school vacation time lol.I water the garden and thats about the extent of my outside chores. The heat wave is suppose to break by this weekend though which is something I look forward to. Our "feels like" temp has been hovering around 105.
Our kitty had her babies. She had four and they are absolutely beautiful. The kids are trying their best to spoil them.
I have some health issues come up that I won't go into detail about but I do ask that you be praying for me. Really , really , really pray about this one :) Thanks
I thought I would end this post with some pictures. I did some picture taking while at my in-laws house. They have the prettiest gardens :) There are also some pictures of pickles and kitties so enjoy! Blessings! ~ Nikki

The "pretty" jar of pickles I made for the fair.

Homemade lasagna. It tasted better than it looks. It was my first time making it :)

I have an affinity for bugs on flowers :)...

... as you can tell :)

2 BUGS!!!!!!

oooooh...pretty :)

ahhhh...another pretty :)

I love the play of light on this one

Lemon Balm, the first herb I ever grew came from this garden; given to me by my FIL :)

I'm sure "sonflowers" are God's favorite. I know they're mine (plus roses)

Ragged and a lil worn but still beautiful :)

They're so cute! Isn't my lil Smurph (momma) a cutie?