Thursday, June 28, 2012

Don't Judge Me

There's something you probably would never suspect about my son.  He's an avid Judge Judy fan.  He's dedicated to never missing a show.  Actually it's the only television show he watches.  He catches a lot of slack from his loving family over this.  After all, how many 19 year old Judge Judy fans do you know?  So of course we have to make fun of him. ;)

Because of his obsession  fondness off the show I thought he would love his Birthday this year being completely dedicated to his favorite judge.  I was right!  He loved it!  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bees in the Butterfly Garden - A Book Review

Raised in an exclusive boarding school among Fifth Avenue's finest, Meg Davenport has all she's ever needed . . . but none of the things she's wanted most, like family, or dreams of a future that includes anything other than finding a suitable match. So when her distant father dies, she seizes the chance to throw etiquette aside and do as she pleases. Especially when she learns that John Davenport wasn't the wealthy businessman she thought, but one of the Gilded Age's most talented thieves.Poised to lead those loyal to Meg's father, Ian Maguire knows the last thing his mentor would have wanted is for his beloved daughter to follow in his footsteps. Yet Meg is determined, and her connections to one of New York's wealthiest families could help Ian pull off his biggest heist yet. But are they both in over their heads? And in trying to gain everything, will they end up losing it all?

Isn't the cover of this book just beautiful?  The cover is actually what drew me to the book in the first place.  All it took was one chapter for me to realize that there was more to this book than a pretty cover.  It had my interested from the first chapter to the last and there were a few times that I was sitting at the edge of my seat.  Meg is such an interesting character and her determination to not be the fine young lady her father desired her to be and instead be a daughter just like him is refreshingly entertaining.   Ian wants to protect Meg and honor her father's wishes by keeping her away from the life of thievery that he led, but Meg has other plans.  Ian finally realizes the only way to keep her safe is to do things her way and they become partners in crime.  The faith of the family they have their sites set on put a whole new twist on things and Meg and Ian both find something they never intended on finding....grace, mercy and forgiveness.  

Such a good book!  I'm loaning it out to my mom and then I think I'll read it again.  Yes, it's that good!

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Herb Water

Nothing quenches your thirst on a hot summer day like water.  A great way to enhance the taste and beautify the presentation is by adding herbs.  Here's some pictures of the herb water I fixed tonight.  I used my borage ice cubes and I threw in some fresh chamomile and some lemon verbena.  It was very tasty!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Borage Ice Cubes

I love to grow Borage in my herb garden.  It is an easy to grow annual that has beautiful blue flowers (sometimes a few pink ones too) that have a cucumber flavor.   It is good for attracting pollinating bees which makes it a good companion plant for strawberries and tomatoes.  It's even supposed to keep tomato hornworms away and improve the taste of the tomato if planted close.  The leaves and flowers are edible both having a cucumber-like flavor.  The leaves are best when they are young because the bigger the plant gets the fuzzier and pricklier the leaves get.   Some people cook the leaves as you would greens such as spinach.  I've never tried it though.  The fuzziness of the plant kind of discourages me from that endeavor.  But I do so love the flowers!  They are great in salads.  Not only does it add flavor it makes such a pretty presentation.  This year I've been picking the flowers and freezing them in ice cube trays.  I'm thinking some mint and maybe some chamomile flowers frozen into ice cubes would be a great addition.  When I get that done I'll fix me a glass of lemonade or maybe some tea and use my beautiful ice cubes to enhance the look and the flavor.  It's going to be great!  

Always use caution when ingesting edible flowers for the first time.  The borage can be a mild laxative for some people so you would want to see how your body reacts before ingesting too many.

I'll post more pictures later of my ice cold beverage!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Park Days

Me and the kids love to go to the park for some fishing and relaxation.  A couple days ago we enjoyed a beautiful evening there.  I brought my favorite denim quilt and my nature journal and was able to capture some of God's beautiful creation on paper.  The kids did some fishing and when Bethany tired of that she shared the quilt with me and read for a while.

Dakota caught this snapping turtle in his fishing net.

This crazy bird became Dakota's instant buddy when he thought he could get a fish treat.

 Dakota only caught one catfish this time.  The big one got away.  Seriously.  One of his fishing poles was on the ground and suddenly it shoots out into the water and doesn't come back up until it's halfway out in the lake. lol  Luckily he was able to get it back by casting another line and "catching" it.  We're just sure it was a big one. ;)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Picking and a Grinning

I picked the first of our green beans this evening! There were just a few early ones and I'm sure they will taste yummy with our supper tomorrow night!   Another week or two and it will be canning time.  That is, if I can keep the deer out of them.  I've never had a problem with deer in my garden before this year.  We've always had them around, but they never bothered my garden.  This year they are eating the tops of my corn and the tops of my green beans.  I've tried several scare tactics and I'm hoping my poor man's scarecrow (that's what Bethany called it ha!) that I put out this evening works.  If not I'll have to find a new method.   I am hoping to beat my 39 quarts from last year.  So stay away deer and Lord, a little rain would be helpful too! :):):)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Just a Swinging

There is something about a tree swing that captures my heart and brings back a flood of childhood memories.

When you sit on a swing your cares just slip away, caught up in the breeze that is blowing by.  

When my children were little I would hold them on my lap while swinging and sing our own made up swing-time song... "Swingin, swingin, ♫♪♫ up to the sky and back again, swingin, swingin, ♫♪♫ I can almost touch the sky."  Their giggles of glee where pure joy to my ears. 

 Here are a few pictures of some awesome tree swings that make my heart smile.  <3 :)   

Thursday, June 14, 2012

In Door Out Door

Check out this awesome outdoor cozy corner made of old doors!  I love it.  I'm envisioning myself sitting there in that blue chair with an ice cold glass of tea!

The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing? 

Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing 
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide, 
Rivers and trees and cattle and all 
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green, 
Down on the roof so brown - 
Up in the air I go flying again, 
Up in the air and down!

~Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Morning To Do List

1.  Put OFF anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language, do not lie to one another.

2.  Put ON tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long suffering, bearing with one another, forgiving one another.

3.  Above all these things PUT ON LOVE!!!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Jack and Lucy

Meet Bethany's new bunnies!!!

This is Lucy!  She's a Lionhead.

 This is Jack!  He's a Lion Lop.

They just love, love, love fresh lettuce from the garden!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Harvesting Chamomile

I absolutely love to harvest my own herbs.  My Chamomile is blooming so nicely right now so I decided it was time to start harvesting.  I thought I would share a few tips on how to successfully harvest chamomile for the best results.

Tip #1 - It's best to harvest your chamomile in the morning sun after the dew is dried and gone.  The flower is the part of the plant that you will be harvesting and it should be fully open in the morning.

Tip #2 - Gently shake the entire plant to remove any dust/debris/bugs.

Tip #3 -  Pinch the flowers off the stem.  You just want the flower head not the stem.  This method will allow your chamomile plant to continue to produce.

Tip #4 - A drying screen (an old window screen is perfect) works great for drying the flowers.  Spread them out over the screen and place in a dark, hot, dry place.  This is important because you don't want them to mold.

Tip #5 - Store your dried chamomile in an air tight glass jar.  I love to use a mason jar for this!  Store away from direct sunlight.  Try to keep your flowers from being broke or crushed until you are ready to use them.

It's that simple!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Looking for a healthy summer treat that is sure to cool you off on a hot summer day and tantalize your taste buds at the same time.  If so I have a grape  great idea for you!  Grapes on a skewer!  Pop them in the freezer and you have a delicious healthy alternative to popsicles that the kids are sure to love!  Mom will love them too because they are quick, easy and healthy!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Beloved Enemy - A Book Review

Beloved Enemy is an historical fiction romance book set in the Civil War era.  Jenny is a beautiful young lady who turns the heads of everyone she meets.  She is faithful both to her family and to the land of her birth, but everything is put to the test when she falls in love with the handsome Union soldier Buck Brownell.

Jenny's father is a spy for the south and needs his daughter's help to carry messages into dangerous places.  He also discourages Jenny from seeing Buck.  When she gets caught her punishment is the firing squad.  Will Buck's love save her now?

Okay, this book was not what I though it would be.  I really enjoy reading books from this time period but this book did not impress me.  So many things seemed off.  The talk, the customs...everything.  It seemed to me that the author did not do his homework on this time period.  It was also way too much fighting for my taste.  I was looking for a sweet romance of a southern bell who falls for a union soldier, but instead I found more war details, fighting and pointless ramblings than I care to even describe.  It really was a disappointment.  The best thing about the book was the end, so I didn't have to muddle through it anymore.

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, June 1, 2012


My chamomile is doing great this year!  I just harvested some of the flowers to dry for future use.  Don't they look so pretty in this canning jar?!  :):)