Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rain... Rain... Rain...

It's been a rainy yet delightful past day and a half! We've most certainly enjoyed our time spent indoors doing and focusing on things that are not 'everyday'. We had a good reason to be indoors... a little rain isn't enough to keep us from being outside, but when it's a downpour most of the day, then we do our utmost to stay dry. In the past thirty hours we've received just shy of five inches of rain!!! It's made feeding critters rather interesting... and wet!

View from my room...
As of yesterday around 4:00, which is when the rained slacked off enough for me to hasten out a give the critters an early feeding, we had received right at the inch and a half mark- per our rain gauge. When I woke up this morning I was surprised to see that the pond had tripled in size!!

Close up
It rained hard and steady all night long not slacking off until around 10:00 this morning. In addition to the water that the pond receives, it also holds the water draining from the front yard. I'm surprised, yet not really, that there was this much of a change from yesterday afternoon!! It's really neat! I'm already thinking a canoe ride is in order as soon as I find the canoe!! :o)

A wet and excited dog!! :o)
I headed out for a walk around 11:00 to clear my mind and to see the sights. Jasper had been outside for sometime already, but he was so happy to have me out there with him! It was seriously swampy out there... you don't quite leave footprints as you walk but it's 'pert near close'!!! There's been a nice wind most of the day which should help towards drying things out. I love seeing the ripples that it makes on the pond...

Stayin' busy...
So what have we been doing during the rain? Well, Mommas been working on making the house more into a home. Right now she's working on cleaning out her china which includes washing it and, to an extent, re-arranging the furniture that holds it. She and Sawyer took a break to make cookies this morning. Have I mentioned that Sawyer l.o.v.e.s to bake?

Hibernatin' in the sewing room...
I've spent every free moment of the past few days working in the sewing room. Some denim has been my focus and I ventured into uncharted territory by doing two rows of top stitching along each seam. My seam ripper and I are getting to be good friends these days... I feel as if I've done more 'picking'/ripping out than I've done sewing!!! :o) It's all for a good cause and I'm really enjoying the end result!

It all started out...
This was taken last Friday as I began cutting out the fabric. It was chilly in the house and the back porch offered me the perfect spot to get warmed up, naturally!!! It most certainly did the trick!
Despite the fun stuff we've been doing, I'm already looking forward to the sun coming out once again! It will be such a cheerful event!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Hymn for Sunday

Nearer, Still Nearer

Words & Music by: Lelia N. Morris, 1862-1929

Nearer, still nearer- close to Thy heart,
Draw my, my Savior, so precious Thou art;
Fold me, O fold me close to Thy breast,
Shelter me safe in that "Haven of Rest,"
Shelter me safe in that "Have of Rest."

Nearer, still nearer- nothing I bring,
Naught as an off'ring to Jesus my King-
Only my sinful, no contrite heart;
Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart,
Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart.

Nearer, still nearer- Lord, to be Thine,
Sin with its follies I gladly resign-
All of its pleasures, pomp and its pride;
Give m but Jesus, my Lord crucified,
Give me but Jesus, my Lord crucified.

Nearer, still nearer- while life shall last,
Till safe in glory my anchor is cast;
Through endless ages, ever to be
Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee,
Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Another Year Older...

Yesterday we celebrated Sawyer's fourth birthday... where did the past four years go?? It wasn't too long ago that he was a sweet and cuddly little baby, and now here he is...

Patiently Posing for Momma
... a sweet four year old that has such a tender heart.

OHhhhhhhhhhhhhh Boy!
I must say that his birthday celebration was unlike anything that I've ever seen, thanks to Sawyer! Birthdays around here are a family affair and although we all have fun, they are rather low keyed. This was NOT the case last night...

Trevor and Thelma-still newlyweds! :o)
Sawyer had spent most of the day wishing everyone a "Happy Birthday" when they wished him one!!! He talked about his birthday cake, became tickled pink when we sang the "Happy Birthday" song to him, and was just in general EXCITED over it all!
After dinner and conversation, it was present time... the most anticipated time for him!

"A Dump Truck!!!"
The look in the above two photos of Ham-man opening his gifts literally say it all. As he tore paper off of the gifts he would say "Oooohhh, it's a ______!! Thank you soooooooooooooo much!!!! Ohhhhhh boy!!! Thank you_________!!!"

As I sat there watching it all take place, I couldn't help but stand amazed with his thankful heart. Yes, he was excited over it all, but he would take the time to look the giver in the eye and to say "Thank you!". His excitement was contagious to all around the table and we all were wearing big grins and laughing out hearts out by the time he opened the last gift! It was truly a very special time for all involved.

Sawyer is turning into a fine little man. His thankfulness isn't limited to birthday presents; it carries over into everyday life- when I take clean clothes to his room he says "Oh Ashley, thank you for my clean clothes". When Momma comes home from the store we hear "Thank you for the wonderful food, Momma!". Or simply when something ordinary happens it's not unusual to hear "Ohhhh, thank you!!!" come from his mouth!

He's become a real help as well. He cheerfully brings me some laundry when I'm unable to get it, enjoys helping in the kitchen and will volunteer his services in there, he can unload the silverware from the dishwasher, and will be a big help if we will only allow him to.

Yes, Sawyer is a huge part of our family. We all love him dearly and count ourselves blessed to count him among us!

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Recipe...

It's been requested that I share the recipe for the brownies that I shared in a post last week. Since I have a tried and true brownie recipe that everyone absolutely loves I'm beginning to expand my horizons a bit. For some strange and unknown reason, peanut butter swirl brownies have been on my mind the past few weeks so I went scouring the Internet to see what I could come up with. This is what I finally decided to try...

Michelle's Peanut Butter Marbled Brownies.

2 (3 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk

1 cup butter, melted
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 9x13 inch baking pan.

2. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, 1/4 white sugar, 1 egg, and milk until smooth. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix together melted butter, 2 cups white sugar, and vanilla. Mix in the remaining three eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; mix into the batter. Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Remove 1 cup of the chocolate batter. Spread the remaining batter into the prepared pan. Spread the peanut butter filling over the top. Drop reserved chocolate batter by teaspoonful over the filling. Using a knife, gently swirl through the top layers for a marbled. effect.

5. Bake for 35- 40 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out almost clean. Cool completely, then cut into bars.

This was a pretty good recipe one that I would definitely make again but try several different things to see if I can improve on it.

1.) I had an 8 ounce block of cream cheese and didn't feel like cutting off and storing the extra two ounces (I remembered what happened the last time we stored the 'leftover' portion). Next time I will most certainly use the six ounces that the recipe calls for. The brownies were almost to 'rich' and not 'peanut-buttery' enough... I'm a thinkin' it was the extra cream cheese.

2.) Also, just out of curiosity, I will melt the butter and sugar together on the stove instead of melting the butter and then adding everything to it. This also means I'll mix the brownie batter up by hand instead of using the mixer. They always seem to be better when they are done 'on the stove', so to speak.

I may search the Internet some more before I finally decide on 'THE' recipe... but maybe inspiration will strike causing me to get creative and figure out how to take the 'tried and true' recipe and add the perfect peanut butter mixture to it!!! Now THAT sounds great!!! :o)


Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Hymn for Sunday

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Music by: Adelaide A. Pollard, 1862-1934
Words by: George C. Stebbins, 1846-1945

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay!
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!

Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence, humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me, I pray!
Power, all power surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o'er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me.