Monday, June 23, 2008


What do you do when you are lacking patience?

Let's just say, there's a project right now that I am really running out of patience for. I know that I should be diligent...stick with my best....and get it done. But HOW? *sigh* There certainly are days when I don't feel like putting in the effort.

What do you do to practice dilligence?

What do you do to finish a project that has gone "blah?"

1 Timothy 4:15,16 "Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them...Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. "

Alphabet Tag

Well, I adapted this a bit, but it still works I hope :)

A Almond or Vanilla: Vanilla

B Best Friend: God

C Cake or Pie: Cake (but pie is real nice too)

D Day of Choice: Saturday (the beginning of rest after a week of work, time to do fun things with M., family and friends)

E Essential Item: sleep :) (you do not want to be near me when I have had too little with either get crashed into - clumsy- or ignored - zombie- or worse)

F Flavor of Ice cream: Mint Chip

G Gummy Bears or Worms: Sour Worms.....or fruit snacks!!!

H Hometown: Bemidji

I Indulgence: Bag of smiley-face fruit snacks from Walmart

J January or July: Um..... June??

K Kids: Love 'em

L Last movie I saw at a theater: KungFu Panda

M Musician: Edvard Grieg

N Number of Siblings: 4 (learned that from India...maybe one day I'll have 6)

O Oranges or Apples: Peaches :)

P Phobias or Fears: The dark *sigh* still not over that one

Q Quote: "If you want to build a ship don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."
Antoine-Marie-Roger de Saint-Exupery

R Reason to Smile: Nikowa's pronouncement of my name "Mel-li-lee"

* I just realized I was missing S!*

S Season: Winter or Spring

T Tag: Keren, Fawn, Tracy T.

U Unknown fact: A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

V Vegetarian or oppressor of Animals: Novice Cook....willing to try anything edible :)

W Worst habit: Sleeping past the alarm?

X Xray or Ultrasound: Neither, thank you.

Y Your favorite food: Confession: I like to eat..... :)...most everything......but fish

Z Zucchini Recipe: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Just for fun, I had to iclude these other little known facts:

  • A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.
  • It was discovered on a space mission that a frog can throw up.The frog throws up its stomach first, so the stomach is dangling out of it's mouth.Then the frog uses its forearms to dig out all of the stomach's contents and then swallows the stomach back down again.
  • Cranberries are sorted for ripeness by bouncing them; a fully ripened cranberry can be dribbled like a basketball.
  • Duelling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
  • The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of lore when the engines were pulled by horses.The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Relaxing Saturday

Today I had a lot of fun getting up early and doing my devotions. I love getting up early in the summer, when it's light out already!
Since I got up earlier, I had a more relaxing schedule today. I got our grochery shopping done right away, and found some really fun deals! After that, we ate a doughnut for breakfast (free at our local grochery store) and then decided to go for a bike ride. We rode on down to Diamond Point Park. What a nice ride that is! We had fun checking everything out on the way, and stopped to "chill out" by the lake for a good 20 minutes. I don't know if you can see all the dragonflies in that lake picture, but that's what supposed to be there!
After that, we got a call from some friends to see if we could babysit on short notice....which we could, so we ended up spending most the afternoon with these little monkies!

Monkey #1 was a big help.....with hanging out laundry and doing dishes (one of her favorite activities at our house).Monkey #2 entertained herself for quite a while with plastic eggs....putting them in....taking them out. Every once and a while she'd stop and check what we were doing.Monkey #3 had lots of things to do....wandering around and checking us all out while showing us her latest "find" from the toy box.The jewelry box was a big hit too.

After lunch and naps, we thought we'd go out to the park and play. Well, it was fun while it lasted. A dark cloud went over us and started splashing great big drops! That startled all of us pretty good so we all went in. (We had another friend visiting for the afternoon too, and he got lucky "helping" us babysit!)

Now, this afternoon, I'm preping lunch and supper for tomorrow, since we have a busy day. Napping is also on the schedule, and maybe baking a cake! :)

Hope you have a lovely day too.

Deals of the Day

Today was a fun shopping day....not only did I get it done early, when there wasn't as much hassel, I also found some great deals.

At Target, I they had their shredded cheese on sale (better than at Walmart...I checked) so I stocked up on 4 bags. Also, I checked their other food stuff....and found these frozen veggies clearanced out. Since Brussel Sprouts and Whole Peas are "fancy" food around here, I thought $1.07 a bag was a good price. Once I got up to the check out counter and rang them up, I found out they were half off of that price too! So about $0.53 each! (The two acorn squash were from Walmart....for a 3-night dish on the menu this week)

I had read on Money Saving Mom about this Planters nut deal. I was curious to try it, since we like our nuts and can always find a use for the Mac and Cheese. Sure enough, it worked....I got 12 (yes, 12) boxes of Kraft Mac and Cheese and 4 tins of peanuts for.....-$2.60. That's right, I got $2.60 back for buying these things. How fun!

I also had two coupons from our local grochery store for a free raised glazed doughnut. I got two for a treat for breakfast. :)

My last (or rather first stop....I'm a little out of order in this post), was Walmart.....for our normal veggies, milk, etc. I did get most things on sale, and one thing of cheese free, but really everything there was pretty normal. I am trying to learn how to shop every two weeks, so ended up with quite a bit I thought. But, it was lots of fun.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Busy but Fun Week

This week, a friend from college was coming to Bemidji for the Writing Conference going on at BSU. She asked if she could stay with us, and of course that was fine with us!

Though our schedules were a bit different (we both worked and she had conferences), we did manage to have breakfast and supper together every day. In the evenings, after she came back, we also got in a few board games. Our favorite was Lost Cities. I was such a pro at whomped EVERY time by her! ha ha
We also played Cartegena the last night she was here. It's a pretty fun Pirate game.
It was an interesting eating week....she is alergic to many, many things, so we tried some new recipies. Thankfully, after learning to cook Indian food, there are quite of few things along those line that she can eat. (Gluecose intolorant, Lactose intolorant, alergic to eggs and strawberries = no bread, no noodles, no pancakes, no milk, no egg dishes, no cookies, no popcorn, no oatmeal, no cheese, no chips, no crackers,no cream sauces, no ice cream! Poor thing!) Anyway, we ate lots of vegetables....vegetable stir fries over rice, fried rice and baked chicken, hungarian casserole, Indian lentils & rhubarb, soup, and lots of fruit. If I had known better, I would've stored up on Sorbet, because that would've been delicious for all three of us!
Just out of curiousity....what would've you cooked? Also, what are some of your favorite breakfast foods? (I seem to run out of ideas in that area)
Take care!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Evening Bikeride

Tonight I went on an evening bikeride. It was such a beautiful evening and I had some time on my hands....what better to do than go out and leaisurely enjoy the summer evening!

I biked on over to the lake, and down to Diamond Point Park. I stopped in to see a friend, but she wasn't there. So, I continued on down to the cemetary.

I've always like the greenery and quietness of cemetaries. I also like looking at all the different headstones. Tonight I saw all sorts of picture ones, like the ones above.

I also saw this neat one that was a 3D truck.

I went to look at an old friend's grave. A couple of ant families had decided to make their homes here, so I brushed them off. I still remember going to visit Andy at the nursing home, and his candy dish, and stories about cats and about his homemade deerskin gloves. :) I'm so glad Mom took us kids there when we were young, so that we would have lots of memories, and also, that we would be used to old people and nursing homes and not be "scared" of them. Later on, I got a job at that same nursing home and had lots and lots of fun with the people there. What stories!

I also saw alot of graves with these "holes" in them. The first one I saw, from a distance, looked quite deep, and I laughed, thinking that they had made a "hole" to drop things down into the grave or for the person to breathe or something like that. But, when I got closer, I realized it was actually a holder for a flower vase. Ha ha.....silly me!

I also saw a couple poems. I thought I'd find more, but didn't. I saw a lot of "The Lord is my shepherd," and "Rest in peace." But not too many other verses. The oldest gravestone I found was from 1913....and it was a little child that got buried. How sad.

It was a lovely night for a walk/bike, and after the cemetary, I took a leisurly ride home and then sat on the steps until Mathew came home.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Fun Afternoon Walk

Morning Devotions

Every morning we get up, make some Indian Chai Tea, and sit down for our devotions. Recently, I've been reading through the book of Proverbs, in the Bible, and also the book Feeding Your Soul. I'd like to share with you some neat quotes and thoughts that have encouraged and challenged me daily.

There are alot of verses encouraging humbleness in Proverbs:

Proverbs 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.

Proverbs 17:9 He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
Proverbs 15:23 A man finds joy in giving an apt reply-- and how good is a timely word!

Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.
Proverbs 16:20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

Humbleness is something I desire to cultivate. I see the benefits of it, and how it is desired by God that I be humble. This morning, as I prayed, I wrote down a list of practical things in my life that would show humblenes.

Humbleness Is...
  • Doing the job I don't want to do
  • Stopping what I am doing and seeing to someone else's needs
  • Not talking loudly
  • Asking questions when visiting with someone
  • Admitting my mistakes
  • Not "Knowing it all"
These are daily things...little things which I can practice humbleness.

The book Feeding Your Soul encourages daily, practical ways to spend time with God. One of this week's ideas, was to write down Phillipians 4:6,7 "Do not be anxious about anything..." every day. After that, note the worries or things bothering you that morning. Make a short list and pray over each one.

"Like most passions, worry grows as we feed it - and it is always hungry. Worry refuses to sit quietly in the corner; it demands our attention and energy. Our worries often grow out of what might happen but what probably won't happen... When worries drain away your spiritual viatlity, list them in your notebook. Pray over each situation. As you pray, ask God if there is any action He wants you to take. Then hand it over to him."

This week, I pray that I will cultivate a humble heart. I also need to learn to take charge of my worries, and not let them eat away at me. What kind of heart are you cultivating this week??

Books, Books, and More Books

It's summer time and all sorts of places are encouraging kids and families to keep reading. I know there's lots to do outside in the summer, and seeing how our season is short, it's good to take advantage of that. But, maybe you can squeeze some time in for a book or two also! :) Below are a couple links to reading reward programs....and another list of books I recommend. Let me know what books you've read recently too!

Clubhouse Summer Reading Challange:
" Read 2,500 pages of books-including at least one book from each of the six categories-between June 1 and August 31. We've provided some recommendations to get you started, but you can use your own judgment to decide if a book fits fiction, classics, devotionals or one of the other categories." (Note: You don't have to read the ones they suggest, just find books to fit in that category)

Half Price Books Feed Your Brain:
How kids 10 and under can participate:
1. Get a Feed Your Brain Reading Log at Half Price Books or CiCi’s Pizza.
2. Check off each day they read for 15 minutes or more.
3. Fill out a reading log, and have a parent or guardian sign it.
4. Bring the completed and signed log to Half Price Books or CiCi’s Pizza.
5. Get a Feed Your Brain Reading Reward: your choice of a $3 Shopping Card at Half Price Books OR a Free Kid’s Buffet at CiCi’s Pizza with the purchase of an adult buffet.
6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 every week through Saturday, August 2, 2008. (Note: Some have asked if they can turn in all reading logs at the same time, and it looks like you can)

Sylvan Learning's Book Adventure:
Book Adventure is a FREE reading motivation program for children in grades K-8. Children create their own book lists from over 7,000 recommended titles, take multiple choice quizzes on the books they've read, and earn points and prizes for their literary successes. Book Adventure was created by and is maintained by Sylvan Learning.

Barnes & Noble 2008 Summer Reading:
1. Kids read any 8 books.
2. Kids use the Summer Reading Journal to tell us their favorite part of each book. A parent/guardian signs it when it's complete.
3. Children bring their completed journal to a Barnes & Noble store between May 29th & September 2nd, 2008.
4. We'll give them a coupon for a FREE book! They choose from a list of exceptional paperback titles.

I remember doing the Pizza Hut Book It program when I was a kid. This program is only used during the school year, but you can also enter a summer reading prize drawing here.

Books I Recommend:
  • Feeding Your Soul (Jean Fleming)
  • Cultivating a Life for God (Neil Cole)
  • Conformed to His Image (Kenneth Boa)
  • Purpose Driven Life (Rick Warren)
  • Big Girls Don't Whine (Jan Silvious)

Fiction * Adult ** Children

  • Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry (Mildred Taylor)**
  • The Orient Express (Agatha Christe)*
  • Mark of the Lion (Francine Rivers)*
  • Talieson (Stephen Lawhead)*
  • The Middle Button (Kathryn Worth) **
  • A Lantern in Her Hand (Bess Aldrich)*
  • The Borrowers (Mary Norton) **


  • Amos Fortune, Free Man (Elizabeth Yates)
  • Endless Steppe (Esther Hautzig)
  • God's Smuggler (Brother Andrew)
  • Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini (Sid Fleischman)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Don't Worry...Be Happy

It was a beautiful afternoon for a walk! I just couldn't help but enjoy the sunshine and greenery all around me. God sure has made a beautiful creation! Being Saturday, not too many people were out and about downtown. I had an errand to do, and decided just to walk and do it. Of course, I took a detour a bit too.... It was so peaceful!

I wandered through this neat courtyard that is just being completed next to the courthouse. They have the neatest trees and benches set up, and lots of gresh green sod.

They had some pretty bedding plants blooming too.

Looking at these pictures reminds me of what I read this morning:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God; and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will gaurd your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4:6,7

Hope you have a peaceful and thank-filled day!


This morning I worked on making a present for my 6 year old cousins. I hadn't had time to run to the store or anything, so decided to come up with something with what I had at home. I decided to make them a Pirate in a Box!

I had some chocolate coins left over from a class project. I found a neat gold scarf at the Goodwill for 98 cents. I cut it to the right size, and sewed up the sides to make a treasure bag.

Next, I wanted to make them some outfit of some sort. I dug through our get rid of pile....old clothes etc, and found two colorful t-shirts. I turned them inside-out, and fringed the edges with my scissors to make it raggedy looking. I also found two gold belts in our dress up box, and wrapped those around the shirts and a bandana each. I had some black foam that I cut into eye patches and tucked it on top.

I made a list of piratey things to include on the top of the box. Also in the box, I included two paper towel tubes and tissue paper to make Pirate Spy-Glasses, some small plastic geckos I had at home, and some large seashells. I found one old red and white polo shirt that I could cut up, which I did....and made it into a pirate flag by drawing a skull and crossbones in the middle.

It turned out pretty neat...I had alot more ideas, but not the time to make it work. I'm not sure weather they will use or like the box, but I sure had fun making it! Hopefully, they will have some great summer Piratey Adventures!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sewing Projects

It'd been a while since I'd sewn anything...and I had a project on "hold" for a while. Last year, I had tried making a Baby-Shower gift that I had seen online for a friend. It was a Nursing Cover-Up. It looked pretty simple, so I whipped one up for her out of flannel. Whoops. Didn't realize how hot that would be! "Next time," I told myself, "I will make a cooler one."

I had the opportunity to try one for my sister just recently. I rummaged around in my Mom's material supply, and found this neat quilted piece that a mutual friend of ours had made but never finished. "Well, how simple," I thought! All I needed to do was make a backing and a neck strap.Finding the time to do it was another story! I managed to get the backing cut and sewn in place, but never got to the quilting or the neck strap. Just tonight, I finally told myself to sit down and work on it. Above is the finished product. Took me 4 tries on that silly button/button hole. First couple times my machine jammed, then as I finally went to cut open the button hole I ended up cutting OFF the whole strap. *sigh* Finally I got the hole just right and found out I hadn't made it the right size for my button, so had to change buttons. But, we got it done.

Such a nice feeling to finish a project and have it look nice.

I hope it's useful. *sheepish grin*


  • Rhubarb Dump Cake
  • Rhubarb-Strawberry leather
  • Rhubarb Cheesecake
  • Chicken and Rhubarb
  • Pork Chops and Rhubarb Sauce
  • Lentils and Rhubarb
  • Rhubarb Pudding
  • Rhubarb Coffeecake

I had no idea you could make so many things with Rhubarb! Check out this link for lots and lots of recipies: The Rhubarb Compendium. Guess what we will be having in the coming weeks...heh heh heh!

Monday, June 9, 2008


It's been a long winter, and a start-and-stop spring, but finally....SUMMER is here.

You Know It Is Summer When...
Thunderclouds are a normal afternoon sight.....

Barefeet are in season...

Kittens are born....

Lilacs are blooming...

Your backyard is a jungle...

Gardens are sprouting...
(Uh, that's supposed to be a pea....if you can see past all the weeds)

And the ants are back.

I really am happy summer weather is here. Our town is so green and lush right now, and the weather is perfect for evening walks and bike rides.
Sadly, our "Summer Company" is back too. Today I found a spider making it's home in our bathroom, and my orange candy bag filled with ugly black ants.
I went on an Ant Rampage tonight, trying to get our kitchen area under control again. They came so fast! Before starting the war, I sat and watched them a while, to see where they were coming from. I was mighty surprised to see them making a trail to a crack in our ceiling! Not sure how to stop that!
I bleached out our garbage can-again-and washed down the walls. I also sprikled some black pepper around the corner, but I haven't figured out what to do on the ceiling yet. Any tips? Hopefully this will stop them for tonight at least!

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Just the title of this post brings back memories. In particular, the song Memories, that my grandmother's music box used to play. I loved opening her glass display case and winding that one up. Maybe because I liked the song, but maybe because it had a cat painted on the lid. :)
Today we went over to Dad and Moms for a couple games of croquet and visiting. I love their house in the summer....large, cool lawn...big lilac bush...warm dirt in the garden...hammocks between the birch trees...soft breezes at night.
I remember playing lots of games outside in the summer. Some by myself, some with my siblings. We loved making forts. We made tree forts and grass forts and forts in the woods and forts under the clothes line. If friends came over, we made forts. It was really fun (except for the woods ones...I was too scared to play in those by myself)
I also remember Bug Hunting. I'd lay under bushes and trees and in our long front grass and stare at Leaf Hoppers and Grass Hoppers and Army Beetles and Caterpillars and Daddy-Long-Legs and Ladybugs. My favorite was Dragonflies. I still stop and watch them when I see them. It was really quite fun with our cat Tiger (my first cat), because he really liked people and so would keep me company wherever I wandered. Sometimes, I'd run really fast to the long grass and then flop down on my belly and lie really still. Pretty soon I'd hear Tiger "hollering" for me..."Mreow, mreow, mreow" just a constant noise until he found me. Then he would purr and flop down on his side next to me in the long grass.
I remember lots of gardening time. Lots of weeding too. I loved plating beans and peas. As I grew older, I was the one to plan out the garden layout and get us going. But I never stuck with it very long after it started....heh heh.
Just today I went to check on my garden here in our backyard. This is what I found...

I guess I put my Morning Glory pots in the wrong place and the raindrops splashed all my dirt out. My plants were about 2 inches high and doing well. But......

Maybe I'll have to try again.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Garage Sale

Friday and Saturday a friend hosted a Garage Sale.

Friday it rained all day.

Saturday was beautiful.

Friday we got more customers.

Saturday was S-L-O-W. Funny how that works.

Either way, it was fun. I enjoyed being outside all day, and sitting with friends laughing and telling stories. It was relaxing. And I got a sunburn on my face. Looked like I was blushing all day Sunday. :)

One of the kids really liked playing with my camera, so here are my pictures from our Sale Day:

Friday, June 6, 2008

My Masterpiece

Last night I made a Blueberry Pie.

And my own supper creation...Biscuits & Rice.

Both turned out just fine, I was so pleased!

I had to try the pie crust twice. The first time it just fell apart everytime I rolled it out. Not sure why.

The Supper dish was quite tasty too. I will share my "recipe" with you, but be assured, it's made up, so feel free (if you try it) to add or subtract stuff.

Chicken & Rice Bake

  • 2 cups leftover cooked Rice Soup (Rice, Chicken broth, veggies, salt)
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup leftover chicken, cut in chunks
  • 4 biscuits (dough)

Place in baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 425 for 1/2 hour (until bubbly). Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes until biscuits are done.

Note: Biscuits are made with 2 cups flour, 1 cup shortening, 1 tsp salt, and 2 tsp baking soda with water or milk to make sticky dough.

I had made the rice soup (or Kunie, as they call it in India) for when we were not feeling well. The chicken was sauted in some Italian dressing and rosemary seasoning. I made the biscuits as I was making the pie dough, as it's a similar recipe.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

First Anniversary

Well, our anniversary has come and gone....can't believe it's been a year already! One of our friends was getting married the same weekend, so we decided to make a trip of it.
We drove down to an old bed in breakfast in the neat town of Hastings. Hastings was so pretty with green trees and bushes and grass and flowering plants! Sadly, I wasn't feeling too well when we left (I attributed it to overworking myself that week, but it turned out to be the flu or something), so I didn't feel like exploring too much.

Friday we arrived after a visit with Grandparents, and hit the bed after eating at a little Italian cafe.

Saturday I woke up pretty sick and we weren't quite sure what to do. We thought I might get over it, but started considering going home and cancelling the weekend. I really didn't feel like moving at all, and a 8 hour drive to the wedding and back did not sound nice. But, we rested all day to see what would happen.

In the afternoon, we did get out to adventure a little bit, and found this neat little park with a waterfall. The water fall was right below a huge building (Food Proccessing Center) which towered above us. It was pretty neat. The picture doesn't do it justice.
We walked down the rocks until we came to this high bridge. There was a blue heron fishing below. We watched it for a while and then headed back for a movie and nap.
That evening, I was feeling a little bit better, so we walked downtown. Every other Saturday, they close down mainstreet and have an old car show. They play oldies on a big stereo and serve ice cream, burgers, and doughnuts. People just walk up and down looking at the cars, some bring chairs and line the sidewalks. It was really fun.
I took this picture at the end, when everybody was leaving, so it doesn't show how many cars there were. As it turned out, we hadn't brought our wallet with us to get any food, so we made a quick trip back to the Bed & Breakfast. Sadly, as we came out again, it started to rain. We hurried through everything as everybody was packing up, and then walked back in hard rain, eating mini doughnuts! Just as we stepped onto the porch, it started to hail. :) What an adventure!

We had more plans for the weekend than that, but after I started to get better, M. got sick so we just cancelled the plans and came home, where we kept each other "sick company" for 3 days!

Oh yes, and my mom brought over our cake (you know, the one they save for a year). Not exactly tasty to M., so I ate it! ha ha (Well, not all of it....) What a story to remember!


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