Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hot Cocoa Recipe

Autumn has "fallen" in South Carolina! The days are beautiful and the nights are crisp and clear! It's wonderful to wake up in the mornings and see the sun just beginning to shed it's light on the top of the trees; it's a quite time of the morning, made even more perfect with your Bible, animals that are allowed inside, and a nice piping hot cup of fresh coffee or hot cocoa! I consider that BLISS!! I love the early mornings and regret that I can't get myself out of bed early enough to enjoy it!
Watching the sun set earlier and earlier at this time of year makes our little "hollow" cool down very quickly. The boys come in from hunting around 7:00 or 7:30 and by that time it's quite dark and they are freezing from sitting out in their stands for an hour and a half! Whether or not they've eaten they always heat a large pot of hot water for their hot chocolate!!!
We've had quite a few people ask for the recipe to our Hot Chocolate mix, so I though I would post it!!
Endless Hot Cocoa
8 qt. Box of Powdered Milk
11 oz. Coffee Creamer Powder
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Salt (opt.)
2- 1 lb boxes Instant Chocolate Drink Mix
Mix all together
Add 3-5 heaping Tablespoons mix to cup of hot water. Add marsh mellows if you like! :o)
Store in large container. This recipe makes over 8 quarts of powdered hot cocoa mix!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Vision Forum Giveaway

Kim over a Life in a Shoe is doing a $250 Vision Forum giveaway! Go here to find out details and how to enter! You may need to scroll down a bit on the page.
Vision Forum has had a huge impact on my family over the years. This is their tenth year of business and as I looked through this years catalogue and saw the pictures of former catalogues, it hit me that we have received about every catalogue that they put out! I look back and see how the Lord brought VF into our lives just at the right time. It was soon after Momma and Daddy had found out about No Greater Joy and about the time that I began having some struggles in my life. I thank the Lord for bringing them along when he did!
So, here's what I would buy (right now!!) if I had $250!!
The Ballantyne Library (all ten books!)~$175
Another copy of So Much More~$20
I would buy allot of other things, but this contest if for VF items only (items that have the VF logo beside them).
If you would like to receive a free Vision Forum Family Catalogue, you can request one here
I highly recommend anything the Vision Forum sells and have found myself personally challenged through their products and their conferences!

A Wonderful day!

Monday was the first day in literally weeks that I have had where time is abundant!! I had no soap to wrap, no soap to make, nothing related to soap to worry about, and a whole day in which to accomplish great things!!! I started off with a relaxed time with my Bible, the dog, the cat, and of course a nice hot cup of coffee all up on my bed!!! Then we moved on to house work (I say we because Jasper and the cat have taken to being where ever I am!) and I felt like I was accomplishing major things!! Doing housework gives me a satisfied feeling; I'm making something look better or wiping away germs or making the house more of a home.
After the housework was done, I worked on getting a skirt cut out. It took me much longer than I planned due to the little person pictured above, but we both had fun in the process!

Sawyer really enjoyed pulling the pins out and handing them to me. Don't you just love "Ham bones'" smile?! He cannot smile normally for the camera so we always wind up with interesting pictures!
"When are we going outside? I'm sick of sewing."
Look at those eyes.... you'd think I was doing something incredibly boring to get that kind of a look!
Sawyer thankfully found the fabric pencil and I was able to cut out the pattern pieces with out extracting him from sitting on the fabric!
After lunch, I ran into Honea Path and picked up some straw to put in the dog houses'. It was time to give the house some insulation as it's starting to get rather chilly at night. I'm really glad I decided to do it too as it was around 35 degrees this morning!!
Yes, those feet belong to me! Being the good dog owner that I am, I wanted to make sure that there was enough straw in the dog house and that it was warm enough!!! Lila and Buck wound up getting in with me and enjoyed "hangin" with me!

Lila obviously enjoyed the hay! After we got the hay distributed I took the dogs out to my garden to pull weeds and fix a rock border that had some directional difficulties. I so enjoyed the beautiful fall day and the time to get some much needed things done. I enjoyed every minute of it!

The Lord knew exactly what I needed and I Thank Him for it! Life is truly Good!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Festival

Bright and Early on Saturday morning, The WashBasin descended on the downtown of Honea Path! I make it sound very dramatic, but in reality it wasn't....... unless you call seeing a "sleep deprived soap maker" dramatic!!!
Daddy and Tristan brought "the beast" all loaded down with our props while Momma and I drove "the 'burb" loaded down with all our wares!! The cupboard pictured above was our main prop. As you can see it held all of our goodies and had a "reminiscent of old times" feel to it! I was the centerpiece of the booth
A view from "the aisle"
We will confess that several of us in the Castlebury family thought our dear mother was going mad when she *ahem* "adopted" this piece of furniture! Now I think we're rather thankful for it; several people stopped and asked questions about it and even told us about the cupboard that they owned! I will admit that the cupboard was a good salesman as everything looked so inviting hung, draped, or placed on this older piece of kitchen furniture.
Sawyer stayed with us during the morning, and Momma and I had fun walking him around looking at the various booths.
Momma had the ingenious idea to make a planter out of one of the mini burlap bags that we were selling! One lady even bought one for that purpose!

Trevor, Tristan, and Sayre came toward the end of the festival. They had a blast watching the magician pull all of his tricks, and we're still talking about how he did them!!!

We learned so much with the fair and are eagerly anticipating the next fair so we can implement some "new and improved" ideas!! Of course, you need to come and "sniff our booth" next time!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

SugarFoot Festival

This Saturday, The WashBasin has a booth at the Sugarfoot Festival in Honea Path South Carolina!

This is our first event to take soap to, although other people have taken it to their fairs or festivals! Mom has been planning our booth out for several weeks now, and it looks like she has finally got it down!! We will be using this piece of furniture as the "centerpiece" of the booth. I'm not sure what it is....... I just know we're using it! Momma is filling it with all kind of sweet smelling soaps, lotions, lip butters (I think), and who knows what else!! It will look very nice when it's all decorated at the festival!

We will also have other diplays set up. Marmee has given us several of her products to feature which will go in the "kitchen collection" display.

Momma has also been cooking up some Fragrence spray that is worth coming to smell!! The soap shoppe usually smells terrific, but with all the concocting Momma has been doing it smells like a dream!!! Rose, gardenia, Lily, Sweet Pea.......... ohhhhhhh, you must come smell our booth!!!

The cat is laying on the keyboard, her tail is moving the mouse around, and she's biting me so it's definately time to publish this and go fill her food bowl!! Have a terrific day!

Birthday Boy!

Momma and the Birthday Boy !
My younger brother Sayre turned twelve years old last Friday!
"I know it's a gun, but what kind?????!!!!"
His Birthday will be one that he will remember with fondness, as Daddy gave him his first gun!!! Sayre had picked it out quite a while ago and Daddy found it when he and the older boys attended a "Gun and Knife Show" about a month ago. The gun is a semi automatic Ruger 10/22 rifle and Sayre has been honing his "shootin" skills ever since he got it!!

He's Thrilled!

Look at his smile!! He was so excited!

Unfortunately, some of us had a "goofy" streak running through us while Sayre was busy with his gun, and the camera operator had fun!

"It's really mine!"

"Don't Ask me what they're doing........"

I just love Tristan's' expression in this picture!!

Blowing out the candles

Sayre didn't request a birthday cake, instead he wanted a chocolate torte which requires refrigeration. Not a problem!! It was interesting with the candles burning as the top layer is whipped cream and very soft!

More goofiness....

Happy Birthday Sayre!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hunting Season

One of Tristan and Collins' things to do this time of year is to deer hunt. First, bow season opens, the muzzle loader, and then shotgun (or what ever it is!). Collin did a little bit of hunting with each opening, but it wasn't until the shotgun season opened that he got totally immersed in it! Apparently it's easier to get a deer with a shot gun as opposed to a muzzle loader. Anyway.....

"First Deer of the Season"

Shotgun opened last Thursday and Collin got a nice sized doe! She was an older deer so the meat will be a little tougher. He was so excited to have FINALLY got a deer!!

"The Ultimate"!

Last night was the thriller though!!! He apparently scared up some deer right off the edge of our field and saw what he thought was an four point so he ran around to intercept it and took a shot at it. When he saw it was down he ran back to the house for "help" and to get the truck. When "the boys" (Daddy is included in that statement!) got back to the deer Collin saw that it wasn't a four point......... it was an EIGHT POINT!!! He was excited beyond all reason! He called Seth and Trevor to give them the good news and then sent a picture to another friend to prove that he really did shoot it!!

"Grinding the meat"

Since we don't have things set up to process deer, the boys take them over to the Greene's. Collin wound up spending the night there as the Greene men had gotten three deer of their own; they were up until 12:30 last night processing the deer.

"Men in the Kitchen"

Seth brought him home earlier this afternoon, and they proceeded to grind the meat, make cube steak, and cut meat for jerky. I think we also got a roast out of it (actually, I know we did but I don't know enough about what went on to state that as a fact!).

Seth is one of Sawyers' favorite people! He goes around saying "Se, Se, Se......." when ever Seth is here!
The boys only ground up half of the deer so Collin has a bit more work to do, in addition to the grinding of the deer he got last week...... Poor Tristan has yet to even be able to take a shot at a deer. Maybe tonight will be his night!!!
I apologize if the deer pictures bother anyone. It's not my intent to cause distress among anyone.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Reading List

I love to read. When I was younger I would stay up till mid-night reading under the covers! I will admit that I read trash when I was a kid and I can see how it has affected the way I act and even speak. Thankfully, the Lord has shown me and given me a desire to read "the good stuff" now! I love good books! Here are a few that are on my reading list for the next months/year!

"So Much More"

I have read this book twice now and each time I read it I come away encouraged and challenged in my life. It's been at least a year since I last read it and I'm having difficulty in remembering what all was said and addressed in it, so I'm putting it back on the "to read" stack! The authors address the feministic impact on our society and how we a Christian daughters can help overcome that influence. They also talk about how daughters can be a blessing, help, and encouragement to their fathers along with the impact you can have on your siblings. I highly recommend this book!

"In My Father's House"

I've been trying to read this book for several months now and even though it's a good book, I find it hard to keep my attention focused on it. I'm not sure why. Maybe I should set it aside for a time and pick it up later. Anyway, this book seems to be a compilation of writings from many many years ago with the authoresses using those as a starting point for each subject that is covered. There are four sections with several chapters in each section: #1 The Daughter at Home, #2 A Course of Study, #3 The Inner Life, and #4 What Next? It's been interesting to see the advice that was given in "the olden days" and then see that it still applies today.

"Noble Girlhood"

I was given this book in order to do a review on it, and sadly after reading the first several chapters, I became busy and haven't picked it up in over a month. What I have read was a delight!! My first thought was, "oh.... I wish I had had this book when I was 12 or 13!!!" It is written to girls who are 10 and up and is very practical. The book is about "Becoming and Daughter of Victory and Virtue" and actually shows you how to "overcome sin" from a Biblical perspective. The Application at the end of each chapter helps you to understand further and apply what you have learned to your life! This book is one I will be keeping for my future daughters!

"Teaching the Trivium"

Momma had talked about getting this book but never really decided to buy it. I found a place that had it on sale AND offered an extra ten percent coupon, so I bought it! The book is about "Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style"- a quote from the back of the book says~ "Long ago, students were first taught how to learn. Today. students are taught an encyclopedia of subjects-trivia- but they are not taught the basic skills of learning: to discover, to reason, and to apply. They are not taught the Trivium." The book is a little over six hundred pages long and is full of information. I plan on reading it ..... someday, but for now Momma and I will enjoy perusing it, and reading snippets from it. I bought it for future use.

"To Have and To Hold"

I read this book a year ago and I LOVED it!! Mom and Sayre read it for school and Sayre couldn't put it down! He would read far ahead of where Mom had left off, and actually finished the book before she did!! Alas, even though I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, I have forgotten the story line (I'm blaming all the information, responsibilities, and busyness that have suddenly occurred since I read the book, for my memory loss in so many areas). So, I'm going to read it again this fall!! Set in colonial Jamestown it's chock full of intrigue, adventure, Indians, and God's providence in colonial Jamestown!!! You MUST read this!!!

Now, if I can only get my mind off of the two hundred or so fiction books that are in my closet...... That's a story that I'll tell when and if I ever get my "extra" closet back!! Yes, I really do have that many books in there and most all of the have printing dates before nineteen-forty-five on their front pieces!

Great Finds!

Last week was the week for some great finds!!! Don't you just love a great find?! They always encourage me to "keep hunting"! So without any further ado, let me show them to you!
I had a simple task; drop some books off at a cabinet shop and then head over to "The Pantry Shop" (in Abbeville which sells whole foods, wheat, etc.). As I was picking up the things that were needed, I happened to spy this "vase".
It caught my eye immediately because it was the perfect size to put cosmos, zinnias', and other "thin stemmed" flowers in! I don't have any vases with small enough mouths on them, so I was captivated immediately! As if being what I needed wasn't enough for me to buy it, I looked at the price tag and found that it was on sale for about half of the original cost!! That sealed it for me!! I bought it!!! There just so happens to be one more vase just like it still there, and I'm hoping that it will still be there when I go back!

The day after I went to The Pantry Shop, I was in Greenville cleaning a house. During my "lunch break" I like to visit the "Junior League" (a consignment store) where I usually find clothes for Sawyer, Sayre, and whoever else, along with finding some really nice house ware items! Well, here again I hit the jackpot! I found two sets of almost brand new pajamas plus a really nice shirt for Sawyer, a Suet feeder, and a Hummingbird feeder!! The suet feeder only cost fifty cents!!!

I had broken my hummingbird feeder not to long ago, and was trying to find one at a decent price. I'm glad I waited! This one cost me three dollars and is literally brand new! The part that holds the nectar is glass and I'm interested to see if being in the sun will cause it to cloud up. When I got the feeder home, I found the original price tag on it for twelve dollars!!!
Mom had visited "The Collectors Antique Mall" in Donald's earlier that week and had found a picture that she thought I would like. Since I had to go to the Post Office on Friday, I decided that I would run by there on my way home. Yes, I found the picture and I also "re found" this butter dish! I had noticed this dish when Mom, Dad, Trevor, and I had visited the antique mall at the beginning of August, but I had decided not to buy it then. Imagine my surprise when I found it sitting in the place that I had left it in, only this time it was HALF OFF!!! I paid fifteen dollars for it!!!! I was thrilled!!! It's a "1930's "Doric" butter dish" and we think it must have had a lid as there is a lip around the top. I still get the tingles when I think about finding it!!
Then last but not least.... Momma went to the Salvation Army Store in Greenwood and came home with a stash of books. She found the larger sized "learn how book" and has given it to me (the smaller sized book was hers when she was a girl). This book shows you how to Crochet, Knit, Embroider, and Tat and is chock full of information! I've been attempting to learn how to knit, but it's been at least a month since I've picked up the needles. I need to do something to myself (like break my leg, or pull a muscle, or.... I think you get the idea) so that I HAVE to learn how to knit! I just can't make myself slow down enough in order to learn how to knit. Then again, who is going to make soap, feed dogs, clean house, and do what I do if I do do something to myself??!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fall Mornings

Fall is my favorite season! Well, it is until spring rolls around! Fall is when everything seems to change; the days get shorter, the air is crisp, we cook "fall like" foods, and the sun changes positions! The sun "changing" it's position is my favorite aspect! Everything looks different and even crisp and clean for a change! Sun rise and sun set are my favorite times to observe this.

The sun touches the tops of the trees

This is what I see looking out my bedroom window, but in a much larger form. It was around 8:00 when I took these pictures, but it looks much earlier to me.

I love how everything is becoming "warm and bright".

The sun has risen!

Everything went from "gray" to bright with in the space of fifteen minutes! I am always amazed at the beauty of Gods' creation. I'm reminded of the song "All Things Bright and Beautiful" very often these days! I only wish I could find the music for it..

Since I'm telling you about "Fall Mornings" around here this picture fits in.... I think. I just happened to look at our roof last week and look what I found! I don't know why the ladder is wearing gardening gloves, although someone did try to explain that it because they didn't want the ladder to scrape the roof, but I'm not staking a whole lot of confidence in that explanation!

For the past several mornings I have enjoyed watching a Blue Heron that is fishing in "the pond". It's so neat to watch it stalk around and make a jump at what fish are in there. I've tried several times to sneak up on it (to get a decent picture), but he either sees me before I get close enough or a dog runs up and he flies off.

These are the prints that he leaves behind. They look larger in real life! I'm going to keep trying to get pictures of this guy! I'll post them when I do!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

An Afternoon Walk

Living on twenty-two acres gives person plenty of room to roam around, but if you get to used to it there's always the surrounding countryside to see! I'm still roaming our acres although Sayre and I have roamed other places.... Here are some of the places that my walk will take me.

The Dam- Before I went for a walk Sayre asked me to watch his fire so he could go get a nail. He was making fish traps and need to punch holes in it.

Buck and Lila-the dogs had their noses to the ground most of the time as they could smell the deer and were eager to get on "the trail"!

A good part of our acreage is in planted pine. I love walking or running through it and seeing all the rows! When we first moved in none of the ground under the pines was cleared. Tristan spent last winter and the spring clearing all of the scrub brush that was under them. It looks like a park now!

Tristan's cabin. He has built it all by himself; Yes, he has somehow gotten those logs all on top of each other without any other human help! He's waiting on rooffing materials (he isn't putting any money into it) so he can finish the roof; I think he has windows........

This is the graveyard. Momma has wanted a family graveyard instead of a burial plot in a non-personal cemetery for sometime, and she now has her dream! So far there is a duck and a rabbit who have taken out ground for their own personal use. Once again the boys had to clear all of this before anything could happen!

Buck, after our walk. Do you see his "smile lines"? He's so happy here! To think that he used to be a skinny, skittish dog who was scared to death if you came near him; now look at him! He's the epitome of "livin' in the lap of luxury" (as dogs would consider it!). He's a terrific dog!

This is a very common scene these days. The grass is dry and ready to be cut, so the tractors and balers are out in force!! Actually, this guy comes by quite often; they seem to cut their grass really frequently, which is very surprising as we haven't had very much rain this summer.