Monday, December 31, 2007


Have you ever had a hankering' to make a dessert, but find that you don't have the basic ingredient necessary to satisfy this "hankering"? Such was my plight Saturday afternoon..... All I wanted was to make a Dessert for our Sunday afternoon Lunch, but found that we only had enough flour to thicken gravy!
So I grabbed one of Mamma's cookbooks and began searching for something that didn't call for flour! I came across a cheesecake recipe that I remember Mrs. Greene saying was incredible, so I decided to give it a try.
It was the BEST cheesecake that I have had in a long time!!! It was creamy and sweet and ooh, so good! It reminded me of the cheesecake sample that I had had while up in New York City several years ago. So, here's the recipe for you to try yourself!!! I shouldn't keep things this good to myself!

1 1/2 Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Butter, melted
Mix Graham Cracker Crumbs and sugar with melted butter. Line a spring form pan with crumb mixture going slightly up sides of pan. Pat crust down.
1 pint Sour Cream
3 (8oz.) Cream Cheese
1 cup Sugar
4 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Beat sour cream in bowl, set aside. In a large bowl put cream cheese, 1 c. sugar and vanilla. Start beating adding 1 egg at a time. Beat well. Add sour cream and mix. Pour into prepared spring form pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
Turn oven off and leave cake in oven for next 30 minutes. * Do NOT open oven door until done* Cool cheesecake before refrigerating.
"Chelsey Making the Crust"
Of course I wasn't alone in the kitchen! Chelsey made the crust which was soooooooo good!

"Fresh From my Nap"
Sawyer stirred the sour cream.
Now that I think about it, the cheesecake turned out so well becuase there were so many people involved in making it! Joint efforts are always the best!

Here's another idea: "Add pumpkin pie filling, cinnamon and nutmeg for a pumpkin cheesecake". I'm going to try this the next time I make it!

This recipe comes from The MOMYS cookbook under "Nanette's Cheesecake" by Kariann and Nanette.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


My friend Chelsey has been staying with us the past several days and we have been having a blast! She brought her rabbits and goats to take care of as it didn't make sense to me to drive back and forth to her house every day. As it turns out, her goats have kept us all on our toes!

"Look at what's on Grandmas' lap Momma!"
She has three goats and has raised them all from birth. She has bottle fed them, which means getting up several times at night to feed them. Thankfully, she only has one that really needs to still be bottle fed.

"Feeding the kids"
She still feeds Cider (the bigger goat pictured above) and Pickle (the smaller) several times a day. Pickle is only two and a half weeks old and needs to be fed every three hours or so. Sawyer loves to watch and be around the "baby doughs" as he calls them! I managed to get him to keep the hat on long enough to get a picture!

"Don't leave us........"
Cider and Pickle follow Chelsey around everywhere! It's so funny to see her running around with several goats right on her heels!

"Goat herding"
Billy is probably over a month old and eats grass now. He's found that he can eat tasty things through Mommas garden fence and is no longer interested in "socializing" with the humans!

"Afternoon Feeding"
You should see these things knock each other around when Chelsey brings out the bottles! Poor Pickle, he's so little and so hungry........

"Since I can't have that bottle, I will not pose"
I get the biggest kick out of hearing the goats bleat, when I'm all the way up at the mailbox! We all volunteer to hold Pickle or congregate quickly when we know the goats will be out! They're a sight to behold!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas At the Castleburys'

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Castleburys'!!! Yes, Merry Christmas might be a little late, but yet the Christmas spirit is still in the air!

Our Grandma Castlebury arrived safe and sound a week ago today. She has been a wonder to be around! She folds laundry (of which there seems to be an outrageous amount of late!), will wash the dishes even if you tell her not to, knits washcloths for us, is wonderful to talk to, and will do anything she is allowed to do! She brought her dog "sweetie" with her, and we've all enjoyed trying to "tame" her!

" Always Available to Read a Book!"
Sawyer has an addiction to the book "Good Night Moon" and I don't understand why. It's not my favorite book (maybe because I've read it so many times lately) but he does, so I read it!

"Grandma with her Grandchildren"
We started out Christmas day with breakfast consisting of sausage patties with fried apples on top and blueberry muffins. After clean-up we sat around the tree and listened to Daddy read the Christmas Story from Luke. Then it was picture time.... and finally to the presents!
The benefits of having two camera's at the same gathering is that you get two different perspectives of what's going on!
"Hewl me fufu?"
Translated to "help me Trevor?". Since Sawyer has a fascination for head lamps, Trevor decided that he needed one of his own. Here, they're getting ready to open the package and put the batteries in!
"Oooooooo, How pretty" she squeals!
Daddy bought Momma a hat from our local antique mall..... STRICTLY for decorating purposes in her new sewing room!

I gave Sayre "Backyard Ballistics" and it looks like he is...... well, rather excited!

Daddy is in charge of distributing all the gifts and keeping up with who had the last gift etc. No one feels left out when Daddy's in charge!

Grandma received "The Treasury of Vintage Home keeping Skills" and it looks like she's already begun reading!
Collin was introduced to "hot peppers" through our Hispanic friends several years ago, and has loved them ever since!! He actually adds hot pepper spice to things behind our backs! Anyway, Trevor gave him some dark chocolate with chile's in it! No word on how it tastes yet.....
Tristan has a thing for boxed chocolates and therefore, that's what he got!

Trevor gave Momma a wreath to put in the new foyer! It smells so good! Mom is THRILLED with it! It's made out of dried flowers and I wonder if it isn't locally made.

Mom and Dad gave Trevor a Timeline that chronicles Biblical history along with past history up to the 1900's. It would wrap around our kitchen/living area at least once! It's so interesting to actually see the chronology of people from the Old Testament.

The highlight of the day was opening a gift from a lady who had visited our church two weeks ago. She had brought her Psalter with her to church one Sunday and all of us kids (Greene's included) had had a chance to play it. Several of the kids had really been able to pick out tunes and it was obvious that they would love to have one!
Well, she gave both us and the Greene's each a Psalter to learn how to play and to use in the church. This is such a generous gift and one that we will treasure! Sayre's been working on picking out tunes or playing from the music that came with it.
Thank you so much Miss. Alice!

Happy New Year! just in case I don't post before then!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Just For Fun

This is hilarious! and, I think to an extent, true! Sawyer likes me to play it over and over and he sits enraptured through the whole song!! Click HERE if you are ready to watch.....
On another note, I apologize for the lack of posts of late. Shall we just say that life can keep a person busy?! Maybe tomorrow......
Oh, and for the Jane Austen and Elisabeth Gaskell fans out there, those of us at home last night started the movie "North and South". It's a two disc DVD and our dear mother would only let us watch the first disc!!! We did all we could to let her FINISH the movie, which would've meant getting to bed around 1:00 this morning, but to no avail. SOOOOOOOOOOO, we're finishing it tonight!! We can't wait! It's a GOOOOOD movie and one that I'm going to get... as soon as I can!
Off to make supper!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Week In Review

This past week was a doozy! It was our "crunch week" as we had allot to accomplish before the weekend! Grandma will be here this Friday and we are hoping to "kind of sort of" have things "in order"!

It all started a week ago yesterday (Saturday) with Trevor building closets in Daddy and Momma's new bedroom. One of the closets has ductwork running through a good portion of it, so he's going to frame that part in.

Daddy spent the day priming the new laundry and sewing rooms. He's a very particular and clean painter!
On Monday Momma and the boys started the painting process in full force. The goal was to get a coat of paint on the bead board in the foyer by the end of the day; and they did!
Reminds one of Rainbow Row in Charleston doesn't it?
By Wednesday this is what things were beginning to look like. The foyer was officially done and the laundry room just needed paint on the beadboard.
Where was did I fit into the painting process? Well, I didn't. It turned into a week where I did nothing besides fill soap orders, give piano lessons, and keep the house straight. Looking back, it was a very busy time but a very fruitful time as well. I've learned much during this past week that I won't readily forget.
Trevor had the day off on Friday so he, Tristan, and Collin painted the sewing room. It's a light pink color and is going to be a very cheerful room!
We also managed to fit in Collins' sixteenth Birthday on Thursday. He was the happy recipient of LOTS of reading material!

Grandma, are you SURE you really want to spend Christmas with us?!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lessons From A Little Boy

Being the youngest of six must be a wonderful thing... People play with you, talk to you, carry you around, give you great tasting snacks, and everyone loves you! But it's neat to be on the other end of the spectrum; being the oldest of six, I get to watch the younger ones discover new and exciting things as they get older! I had never thought of this until I began to watch Sawyer learn and discover.
"Learning the proper use of a hammer"
I've learned that he watches, or listens to you, and then tries to re-create what you have just done. This tells me that I need to be careful of what I say and do, for I may be the older sister of a future leader. Am I teaching him good things?

"Using a seed pod as a gun"

As I watch my younger brothers get older, I see them beginning to become men and take dominion. Maybe it's through hunting and providing meat for our family. Maybe it's building an addition from scratch. Maybe it's clearing land filled with briars. Maybe it's feeding and taking care of rabbits, fish, cats, and dogs. They all begin to take responsibility for cetain things. Who am I to laugh at what they do? What am I encouraging them to be?

"Contemplation after the shot"
I'm learning that he will imitate anything he sees. What kinds of thoughts do we want to encourage? What kinds of books do we select for him to read? He is Gods' little boy and we want him to become Gods' child so we read books about Gods' love and care for us.

"We must always pick up that which we throw"
I'm learning that the best way to teach him is to include him in what I'm doing. He loves to help and will come running when he hears the word help! Picking up toys or straightening up the house can be a joint effort that is fun and rewarding!

"Being a helper"
I'm beginning to see that he too needs jobs that are "just his size". I need to encourage him to work. Maybe it's just picking up the toys, or maybe it can be putting trash in the trash can. Anything that will teach him responsibility and be fun at the same time.

"Hammie" is getting so big so fast. He'll only be small for a small remainder of time and we're going to have a blast with what's left! He's a big helper already with much more potential. He's a little boy through and through....... hammers, nails, and anything with four wheels are his delight!
For those of you who are wondering... No, his hair is not curly! He just really needs a hair cut!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bunny Happenings

A week ago yesterday, Sayre's "mama rabbit" had her second litter of babies! Sayre had been watching her and was beginning to wonder if she was really expecting as she was several days over her due date. Imagine his surprise when he went out and checked on her after church!

"The Nest Box"
Daddy helped Sayre build this nest box soon after he lost a baby to falling out of the cage. This is probably the second litter he has had in this box.

"An Afternoon Nap"
This is what I found when I opened the cage this afternoon! The nest must have been to hot for the little guys!

"In the Tunnel"
I have not exactly figured out the anatomy of a rabbit nest. I usually just pull hay and fur off until I find the babies. It's really warm in there too! This little guy looks like he's coming up for air!
Baby rabbits do not have fur when they are born; they either pink (white fur), gray or black (same for the fur), or tan (brown fur). This litter has three black and three brown babies. See the brown baby on the bottom????? His eyes are just beginning to open!
"Momma Rabbit"
I think her name is "stormy" and she is the rabbit that I got Sayre for Christmas last year! You can see where she has pulled our her fur to line the nest with.

"How Cute is This?"

Sayre also bought several rabbits Friday night. These are two female "Lion Heads".
They are rather skittish but knowing Sayre, he'll have them tamed before very long!

"Look at that Hair!"
Yes, this rabbit has WILD hair!!! It has longer hair and is pretty soft. It looks like it has an attitude most of the time!
Sayre built new cages for these guys over the weekend and I must say that he did a pretty good job!
Well, to coin a phrase, "That's All Folks!"

Friday, December 7, 2007

Making Your Home a Haven: Day 5

Today in the Making Your Home a Haven Challenge, the focus was on spending time with your family. Most everyone in our family are at work today, and those of us left at home had major tasks to get accomplished before the day was done with, BUT, tonight is Pizza night!!! We usually watch a movie while we eat. We've done this for as long as I can remember!

I did create a mental list this morning and I was actually able to remember what all was on it all through today!
1)make three batches of soap
2)get orders ready for people at Daddy's work
3)go to Post Office
4)call PayPal
5)pack a wholesale order
hmmmm..... it looks like everything was soap related!
Tomorrow it looks like we might get our Christmas tree!!!! Daddy would like to go and cut it, but who knows, we might get it from a tree lot just to save time.
This is what my garland looks like all lit up at night! Isn't it beautiful?!

My Amaryllis In Bloom!!

I was able to observe my amaryllis open several days ago!! It all started Tuesday night when I...

.....noticed that the petals were starting to separate!

Wednesday morning it looked like this and I was eagerly anticipating watching it continue to open!

By noon it was well on it's way!! Each time I walked into my room I was quick to noticed how quickly it was changing.
In the afternoon......

By evening it was pretty much completely open!!! Then I noticed that the other bud was starting to open!!

Today I have two beautiful blooms that are making my room a brighter and happier place!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Making Your Home A Haven Challenge- Day 3

After I successfully accomplished almost everything on yesterdays' list, I was ready to tackle today!!! So here is how I began:

"1) Refresh You Spirit (5 Minutes)
If you have a chance, I encourage you to think of three things you are thankful for. Write them down and express gratitude to the Lord. Focus on the blessings in your life, not on the things you wish you could change. Choose to bloom where God has planted you! An attitude of gratitude will go a long way in making your home a haven!"
Wow!!! Just three things??? I have so much to be thankful for! First off, I'm thankful for parents who are raising their children in the admonition of the Lord. Secondly, I'm thankful for how the Lord has led and guided us the past several years! I can look back and see how He has led and it's exciting! Thirdly, I'm thankful for the beauty in nature all around me! I watched the sun rise yesterday morning and was reminded how Gods' love and care for me!

"2) Take Time to Plan (5 minutes)
In addition to writing out a short to-do list numbered in order of importance today like we did yesterday, I encourage you to plan what you are having for dinner. Make it your aim to have dinner completely made or almost completely made by lunch time. This will make for a much more peaceful afternoon and evening."
My list went like this:
1)practice horn
2)straighten up shop
3)get banking done
4)make and put up garland
5)make soap
Everything was accomplished EXCEPT for making the soap, which I'm not to worried about. I can do that on Friday!
I didn't supper prep very early; it is something really easy. It just has to simmer for an hour, and it's already on the stove simmering!!

"3) Do Something! (15 minutes or so)
Today we're going to focus on the laundry and laundry room. Light a candle, put on your apron, turn on some uplifting music, and get busy!Your goal by the end of today is to have all of your laundry finished, folded, and put away .For those of you with a laundry room or laundry area, take some time to organize and clean up this area. Wipe down your washer and dryer, check for socks and other articles of clothing behind and on the sides of your washer and dryer, and clean out your dryer lint."
When I read this I literally groaned. Our "laundry room" is out in the shop. The shop has many hats.... it's a garden center, a storage building, a laundry room, has a tadpole pond in it (with real live tad poles!), the dog food and rabbit food is kept out there, etc..... it collects dirt real quick! So I gathered my thoughts and my courage and went to work on the laundry aspect of the room!

Sayre had just gotten all of the laundry out of the house and it all needed to be sorted. I started a load, wiped down the washer and dryer, cabinets, and part of the article of furniture there on the right, and finished off with sweeping the whole room. As the laundry started to come out of the dryer I would fold it and put on the counter in each persons pile.

Eight hours and Eight loads of laundry later, the "laundry room " looked much nicer! I'm exhausted though, for in between loads of laundry I was working on my list PLUS, the other things that popped up!

One of the things on my list was making and putting a garland up around my closet doors. I had had this on my "to do list" for so long that it was starting to become a burden. I decided to make time and do it this afternoon before this wound up becoming a job instead of enjoyment!

Sayre, Sawyer, and I headed out to the Juniper trees for limbs and while I put it up, Sawyer played with a hammer and nails. I've put colored lights in the garland so I can't wait to see how it looks tonight!
I feel like I have really accomplished something!!! I'll sleep well tonight that's for sure! I won't be able to do anything tomorrow as I'll be in Greenville all day, but I'll be back and ready to hit whatever is next on Friday!