Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Christmas Carol

Here are our 3 theater stars in costume. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving and continueing on until the 20 of December they will be giving performances of the Oklahoma version of "A Christmas Carol" titled "A Territorial Christmas". Lucas even had a positive review for his portrayal of Tiny Tim in the Daily Oklahoman. After so many showings I thought they would begin to tire of it, but no, they are going strong. It is just another example of the Lord providing us with something that we can do as a family, just like we love!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fair Entries

To our left we have Lucas' lovely rainbow necklace. He just had to have those beads. I encouraged him to get these super cute (boyish) sports or animal beads...."No, Mommy, these are beautiful...especially with these gold beads too." Lucas knows best.

Below is Abe's turtle drawing. In case I have not mentioned it before, Abe loves all things turtle. I thought he made a good use of color.

Again to our left we have Lij's Scissor-tailed fly catcher drawing (which, might I add, is the Oklahoma state bird). I really like the tail on that bird.
Below we have a blurry photo of Abe's most awesome beaded necklace. It took weeks to complete. He was very diligent.

Here is my rag rug. It is my first rug attempt...ever! I watched my friend ripping up a sheet once at park day. She did it in such a way that it was one continuous strip. She said that she was going to crochet a rug out of it.
Months later I came into a large number of girly colored sheets that were certainly not going to be used in my man-tastic household (at least not on their beds). So I gave it a try and fumbled around, crocheting and ripping things out, eventually ending up with this (as seen in the pic).
We are entering our local county fair, even Chris (who is entering some great photos). Entry time is today and the judging is on Saturday. I'll keep you updated!

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Homeschool Group

Chris and I attended our local homeschool leaders retreat. Let me just! The speaker had such wisdom and insight. Her name is Mary Schofield and she is active on the Board of Directors for the Christian Home Educators Association of California (among other things, like attending law school...for FUN). I am very glad Chris was there because the more this mega-mama spoke the more I wanted to run out da' door. But, all things work for good (so says the Lord), and so shall even this. It really helped light a fire under me and to get Chris and I on the same page in the planning phase of our new group.

Speaking of which, our new group has its kick-off picnic this Friday. I'm am refering to the group as a new group because it was not an organized, active group in the past and that is what we hoping for in the future. God opened the door. We walked through. It is all in His most capable hands. I just need to keep reminding my weak self of that.

Chris has been great. He is more than on board, he is leading the show. I love it! I am so blessed. He was pleased that I finally got my school year ideas down on paper and the first month of school prepared as well. This year is a bit different as I am going boxed curricula free.

I put a link for the homeschool group's yahoo group site. It is new so there is not anyone else on it, but I wanted to have it ready before we started the group officially. Let me know if you all have any words of wisdom (aside from things like, "Hey Angie, remember not to let your mouth run away from your mind"...this I know =) ).

Friday, August 7, 2009

O, one more thing. Luc is embracing the whole experience. =)

A New Homeschool Group

Well...I thought that it would be a long time before I attempted a more active role in homeschooling. God had other plans. Chris and I were given the local group here in Oklahoma by a family that wished to retire from being homeschool leaders so they could focus their attention elsewhere. We are even going to a homeschool group leaders retreat put on by the state homeschool group. I think it is so cool that there is even such a thing. I am even looking forward to going. While, to be honest, I am not sure that anyone will be in this homeschool group with us, at least we will be available to help any who might desire it. And, incidentally, Chris told me after we were given the group that he had been praying for something like that. I was astounded. I mean the man has always been active but this brings things to (wait for it, lol)..a whole other level (this is a Chris/Angie joke, sorry folks...had to put it in here).

We are having our kick-off picnic here on the 21st of August. So, pray for me folks! I don't want to be sitting there by myself (seriously, I have heard all my own jokes already).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Our New Home

Ok, so this is not the greatest picture, but my camera is being snarky. And, yes, technically this is mostly a picture of my garage and small silo, but there is the side of the house there....stop being so picky! As you can see it is a country house in all its country-ish glory. Can you tell I adore it? I tell you all, if I could buy this house, I would.

I wish I had more time to post but presently I am preparing to go visit Missouri. My dear Chris is there being trained on all things tax and he invited us up for the holiday weekend. It might be more accurate to say that "invited" was probably closer to "prodded" because this will be my first road trip alone with the boys. In fact, it is my first road trip without Chris or my mother, as I have never gone a road trip with anyone else and certainly not alone (something might try to eat me...zombies as they are and the such, lol). Can you tell I need prayer?

SO, with lovely ladies here admonishing me to be brave but careful, I will be off bright and early Thursday. I miss you all!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

We have a nest!

Well, Chris will be signing the lease for our rental tomorrow morning. It is a 2 bedroom white farm house with very large yard (makes my old large look tiny). While this was not what we had intended (renting not buying, in Crescent not the college town) it is just lovely. The rent money goes to support a missionary in the Phillipines (you just don't get cooler than that!). The lady showing us the house is the homeschool co-op coordinator for the area and is a Christian mama of 9.

We just need a refrigerator and washer (I can line dry). Please pray for those things! =)

Also, Chris found a work car yesterday for only 1200 bucks! It is even cute. God is great!

I am super busy trying to get things arranged before Chris leaves for Tenneesee. Garage sales here I come!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

House Hunting

I have learned a new lesson. When house hunting in Oklahoma never eat first. If you must eat, eat at least one hour before house hunting and ingest nothing heavy. I ate tacos......bad plan. Car sickness struck me after about 10 minutes of driving on an unpaved road and followed with me for the next couple of hours. I never knew that pavement (no matter the condition) is actually a blessing. Lessons abound!

Please pray that we find a domicile as our timeline is short and rather wonky. =) Also, I am missing my friends and am feeling rather lonely. =(

More news as I have it!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

In Kansas....No Toto

It has been an interesting day. While Kansas may not be what comes to mind when thinking of scenic views, that certainly doesn't mean that it is boring! Let me start with road signs (gotta love them!). "Live 5 legged Steer", "World's Largest Prairie Dog", "Pet the Baby Pig", were 3 of my favorite. Then there was the emergency roadside potty break for the coolest 4 y/o I know. Lucas wanted to test how much arc he could get with his urine stream.....nearly peeing in his own face. Not to be out down, Lij and Abe had a lovely vegtable food fight in the back seat of our van (I think they have figured out with all the stuff packed into the van and our intense desire to get as far as we can each day, they can pretty much get away with most anything).

The trio can also work together for good. At a rest stop just over the Colorado border in Kansas the boys found a rabbit (we were not watching well enough...obviously). The rabbit was dead (the boys insisted that they found fang marks on the rabbit and that it had died by the vile will of a snake). The boys did what any decent person would do...they gave it a funeral. Led by Abraham in prayer, the boys buried it. Lucas said that they prayed it would come back to life (so sweet!).

In case you have missed it...we are not in Oklahoma yet. Kansas is so much bigger than I had previously surmised.

P.S. We got the boys haircuts. Lucas snuck in a faux hawk (I cannot believe he remember the name of that do). See what happens when you walk away from a boy during a haircut...the haircut gets changed! Picture his missing front teeth, naughty twinkle in his eye, and now a faux hawk!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sometimes Your Waitress Cannot Be Trusted

Hello All! I am writing from Laramie, Wyoming this evening. I did not get a chance to blog last night. I was way too tired. But, I am sure you are wondering about the title to this entry.

Well, we stopped for lunch in this little restauraunt. Naturally, our waitress was on probation merely awaiting the chance to run over a woman who had betrayed her. I overheard this on my way to the salad bar. I'm glad we tip well. =)

O, I didn't get a chance to tell you all about the road signs in Idaho just before Utah. We were WAY into the wilderness, just outside a town called Snowville (No snow..thank goodness). Chris and I started laughing as we read the street signs along the highway. "Hot Springs Ahead, Beware of Alligators!" ALLIGATORS? Remember we are in the middle of no where, outside of a town with snow in its name. LOL, I can't make up things this funny.

Still, all is well with our traverse across our nation. Thank you all for your prayers!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In Route to Oklahoma--Pendleton, Oregon

Well, I got a bit too ambitious in thinking that we would be leaving first thing Monday morning. Even with getting up at 6 am and working continually, we still were not able to leave until nearly 1pm. This also means my planned stop at a KOA was also foiled. BUT, we are in a leaving hotel room (one of the ones which give you breakfast in the morning...which is awesome with children and a deep-seeded desire to avoid malarkey at all costs!).

The van is filled to bursting. Abe and Lucas cannot actually touch one another because there is a wall of stuff separating them (which is not particularly a bad thing) and Elijah cannot put his feet down. Benaiah is uneffected. Actually, I think that he is enjoying the multitude of stuff tempting him all around.

We are tired but are still enjoying one another, which is an awesome blessing. This evening we spent some time in the pool. It was a sweet time.

I am going to sleep now! I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Moving Thoughts

We are so blessed.

You know sometimes when people offer to help but then that help never really happens....that is the opposite of my life right now. I made a list of things I was working on this week and then posted it to my homeschool group for the people that had said, "What can I do to help?", and I had no answer for them. I posted it with the idea that people would do what they could and that God would handle it all. WOW, things are being handled!

Ladies have been descending upon my house like a small swarms of bees. Sunny smiles upon their faces, chatting, laughing, working all the while. This must be a glimpse of life from when most ladies were home. It has been such a blessing. I am so grateful. In these few days since we received our "final" offer from Chris's work, I have been emotionally taxed and felt like there was too much to do and with little will to do any of it all. I was tired at even the thought. I still am. It is too much to do, to handle. But, God never gives us more than we can handle right? I don't think that is true. I have never have seen that verse in the Bible. "I can do all things through God who strengthens me." I have seen that verse, but in my present situation what I see in that verse is not that I can do all things in myself, but that God can do all things. And He has been doing things everyday, clearly Him. I am blessed because I get to feel so close to Him, so carried in His hand. May we all be so blessed.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Moving to Oklahoma...SO this is what a fish feels like

I thought that this blog post should come with some silly photo (like of me splatted across the floor partially covered in torn letters and undone laundry) but I am just too tired! I went to Mom's Night Out last night after hearing the news from Christopher that we had received our final offer for employment with IRS (insert joke here).

I have 16 days...16....count them..aghhh! Yes, I am feeling a tad dramatic today but I think I have earned it. I get to sell the majority of our possessions, load the boys into the van, camp across half of the country, find a house and a car for Chris in one week, and then settle into the small task of yard sale-ing ( is a word!) or thrift store-ing (yep..another word) for replacement furnishings all while trying to entertain the boys (and myself!). Normally, this is point where I say, "I can do it!", and then get to it. But I just cannot seem to bring myself to that point. There is a mental wall, or a mental hole, or......I don't even know, but I just can't seem to wrap my mind around this. Friends have offered to help but I don't even know where to direct them to help. Like a fish yanked from its nice water-y world (makes sense, Oregon is quite watery and Oklahoma is rather dry) and thrown upon land thrashes for a moment or two and then lies there, not dead, but clearly confused.

So, dear friends, I am not dead yet (picture Monty Python with the old man in the wheel barrel), but I am SO over my own abilities. This trip will certainly be God.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I had four hours of sleep last night, but at least they were in a row. Benaiah woke up at about 3:30. Even after I got him to lay back down I could go back to sleep. I was in bed thinking, "Do I go ahead and get up (then 4am) or do I attempt to lay here until I fall asleep again (thus risking grogginess later)." I got up.

It was a good thing too because Benaiah was fitful and I had to pick him up and nurse him many more times through out the VERY early morning. To be honest, I feel fine, slightly spacey, but fine. I had time to pray and read. I looked up some things on the internet unpestered (like how to get the perma-stink out of cloth diapers...eww). I formulated a plan on how to improve the way my sons treat one another (always a good idea to have a plan). When the boys did eventually rise, we laid on the floor together and I sang silly songs to them very quietly. I was surprised at how mesmerized they seemed. Maybe they are too used to me being loud.

This has me thinking about the gift of sleep and the gift of sleeplessness. Being a mother of a 7 month old, it is very typical to long for the blessing of sleep (long, deep, uninterrupted sleep). But, today I found the joy in odd wakefulness and I am very thankful. =)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Math is Fun!

I don't think that I ever smiled that big while doing math in "school".
THIS face, on the otherhand, is probably closer to how I felt doing math in public school.

Abraham says that he loves math, but approaches it seriously because he wants to get it done as quickly as possible. The sooner he gets his schoolwork completed, then sooner he can play or read "Hank the Cowdog" (his current series of choice....I must admit, it is pretty funny!).
Also, afters years of tears (LOL I'm a poet), Elijah is truly enjoying math this year. It is like the light bulb just went on in his head and now it all makes sense. AMEN!

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Swinging Baby Bee

I just love Benaiah's shoes!
He would smiling big and cheesy. Then, I would click the camera and he would turn away at that very moment! Still, his profile is awfully cute.

Finally! A picture with him smiling. My digital camera made his coloring look at bit strange around his mouth, but at least I have photographic evidence that he can smile. It is spring but there was such thick clouds covering the sky (actually layers or clouds) that there was not a midge of blue sky showing. It was like living your day under a fluffy down comforter...except not warm. =)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Knowing When to Admit Defeat

Monday was a lovely sunny, spring-like day here in Oregon. The boys had been relatively well-behaved as they sat doing their schoolwork. They asked for a break. I agreed and of they went.

I was sitting at the table (in direct line-of-sight), when something in my gut said, "Look out the glass door." I turned my head to discover 3 shirt-less boys and a water hose. I said it was nice...but not that nice. It was only 52 degrees. I opened the door, stammering over my words the way parents do when they are attempting not to say everything they are thinking, and yelled for the ringleader to explain himself. I had him get dry clothes for everyone involved. And then I sat down, self-satisfied at my own adept handling of the situation.

HA! I looked out the door again.

Now, everyone was covered in the freshly made MUD! Mud? MUD! O, seriously, MUD? AGG.
My handsome trio were proudly displaying their newest find (an extremely long earthworm) and excitedly telling me home they had made him a MUD CASTLE. Mud Castle.....I should've known.

I didn't fuss at them at all. They had won the battle of tidiness. Bowing out of the war gracefully, I returned to my puzzle and tea.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Napa Cabbage Picnic Salad Recipe (from Simply Recipes)

I took this salad to my church's potluck yesterday. It recieved many praises. Elijah was especially proud as he was the one who made the dressing (He even followed the recipe and measured out the ingredients himself!).

Napa Cabbage Picnic Salad

2/3c. slivered almonds
8c. (1lb) coarsely shredded napa cabbage (one big head)
12 oz snow peas, strings removed, rinsed and thinly sliced (sometimes I leave this out)
1 1/3 c. thinly sliced radishes (one bunch)
1 1/3 c. thinly sliced green onions (one bunch)
1 1/3 c. lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves (one bunch)

Dressing ingredients:

3 T rice vinegar
2 T sugar
2 T soy sauce (sometimes I use Tamari)
1 clove peeled and minced garlic
1/2 t sesame oil
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t cayenne powder (I have been leaving this out because I keep forgetting that I am out of it)
1 c. mayonnaise

1. Toast the almonds. (on baking sheet, at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes.) Set aside.

2. Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, combine dressing ingredients, in order.

4. When ready to serve, combine salad, dressing, and almonds.

Serves 14-16. (side dish portions...probably would serve about 6-8 for dinner....just add some chicken and call it a day!)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Brotherly Love

I must say that my sons LOVE babies and treat them with such tenderness. Nai needs only to slightly fuss and if one of his brothers are in earshot, he is picked up with hugs and kisses or catered to in some other especially sweet fashion. In the photo above, Elijah answered Benaiah's call with a cuddle in his lap and a story reading.

Monday, February 9, 2009

25 Random Facts (See....I'm doing it!)

1. My favorite colors are yellow and orange, but I never wear them.

2. I have 11 siblings, but I do not have a relationship with any of them (I do occasionally speak to one brother...but I would hardly call it a relationship).

3. I played the tuba briefly in 7th grade, but just to make the point that I could if I wanted to.

4. I love to make things out of clay.

5. I greatly dislike ironing and generally dislike laundry of any kind.

6. I like doing floors (sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, carpet shampooing).

7. My favorite author is Agatha Christi (She and I share the same birthday and she died the year I was born).

8. I always thought that I would be a writer.

9. In my childhood, I always struggled at making friends.

10. I generally dislike and distrust dogs.

11. I have taken swing dancing lessons.

12. I enjoy swimming.

13. I spend a lot of time thinking of ways to be self-sufficient and go off-grid.

14. I would like to paint murals.

15. I don't like ice cream.

16. I smile even when I am angry.

17. I don't like shoes and wouldn't wear them if I did not have to.

18. I wish I had a hoopskirt.

19. I don't like crowds.

20. Being up high makes my feet tingle.

21. I love drinking tea and having toast with lemon curd on it.

22. I like the smell of old books.

23. I like seaweed.

24. I am still afraid of the dark.

25. The smell of maple bars, cigarettes, an coffee reminds me of my Grandma, and makes me feel very calm.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Huntin' Contest

This is where the hunting contest was.
This is the excited, toothless Luc.

Luc won tenth place....he said it was 1st.

Here is Lij.....who is upset with 8th place.

Here is a very stoked Abe who won 3rd place and a cash prize. Lij protests Abe's win because the beagle Abe chose was always in front (she was in heat) and that makes things unfair. The contest was more based on how you used the beagle to flush out the rabbits. When you saw a rabbit you were supposed to yell, "Tally-ho!". Luc said, "Hally-ho".
Benaiah and I went thrift-storing with Aunt Cecilia during the hunt and returned for the awards.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mommy Brain

See this fancy, expensive Bum Genius diaper which I recieved as a gift from my generous mother? I went to gymnastics open-gym yesterday. My brain was a bit in a fog but I didn't think it was too bad.......well, I underestimated the scope of the fog.

I took Benaiah into the restroom to change his diaper. I went to wash my hands and saw a Bum Genius diaper in the trash. I thought to myself, "Who would just throw one of these in the trash. Are they made of money? Maybe it was just too poopy and they decided not to deal with it." I even went out to talk to my friend, Chelsea, about it. She asked if I had rescued it out of the trash. I said no.

Later I was sitting in the Target parking lot (on the other side of town). Something was trying to come through my now much foggier brain. I couldn't find the binky. So, I looked in the diaper bag.

Only one diaper in had two.....where is the other?

The realiziation washed over me like a splash from a mud puddle. I was the idiot who threw the pricy diaper in the trash. I was completely unaware of it at the time and even in retrospect I still did not remember the act.

I had to drive all the way back across town to retrieve the still-in-the-trash diaper.

Sing along folks....if I only had a brain.....

Benaiah & Daddy

These two were too cute yesterday evening, so I took a few million photos. Chris called me the paparazzi.

Long Johns

My Uncle Curt is entering the boys in a rabbit hunting contest with his hunting club using hunting dogs (beagles). I thought that it might be chilly, so I searched the sale racks and picked up these super cute long johns for the boys (who, of course, wanted to wear them immediately).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Library Mom Torture

I think my sheep have it in for me. Some of you already the know that the little lambs were QUITE naughty at Winco (almost wrote wino, LOL) on Friday (slapping, pushing, punching, yelling, crying,.......general boy day-to-day living). I thought that was humiliating.

I thought wrong.

Humiliation is being in the downtown Eugene public library and being told you need to get to your children, "NOW!". Some of you may be thinking that these children were far away from me, they were not. I was bent down looking at some DVDs about 10 feet from the table in which they were supposed to be quietly looking at their knight books. HA-HA. Lambs don't listen, at least not completely. I hear the irritated voice of the library worker loudly asking my lambs if their mother was here, and I spoke in response. She snottily said that they were "having a little problem". Before I could breathe in enough air to choke down my frustration and embarrassment she said, for all the library to hear, "No, you need to be right with them."

I called them. They ignored me and kept fighting. I gathered up the lambs, finished checking out, and went to the van (admonishing them not to speak to me....for a while). After another breath in, we had a round of re-training.

I post this because it is funny and because we have (or will have) days when even if we are trying our hardest to train our children, to be patient, to be great moms, that there will still be times when our lambs are going to COMPLETELY IGNORE US and do what they want. That is sin nature.

SO, join me in a deep breath and a prayer that God keeps us sane (why, o why did I pray for patience this morning?).

Friday, January 23, 2009


Wouldn't it be great if there was a product that would actually do that??? Alas, hardwork ahoy, it is that time after my pregnancy where excuses have lost their plausibility and I must return to the weightloss battle front. (One must watch out for cookie bombs and french fry artillery rounds!)

I am armed for the battle with pre-portioned freezer meals (why,O why can we not eat all we want???). I will be exercising ( favorite, sweat is icky). And I (knowing myself) have decided to announce the terrible event.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Kangaroo Dog Food

SO the vet tells my dear husband that due to the fact that our new dog (Samson, 6 y/o yellow lab seen above) has allergies (to wheat and corn, supposedly) that he recommends a special dog food (of course it is only sold at the veterinarians office) made of KANGAROO and sweet potatoes. Did I mention that these tasty morsels cost a mere 80 bucks per bag?

Hmmm, I love the smell of frivolous stupidity in the is akin to cookies on a diet.

But I digress, in case anyone was wondering, we did not buy said dog food. It is a good thing too because we have found out that Samson has a taste for the finer things in life. Things that negate fancy Kangaroo dog food like the BOX OF DONUTS and 2 BAGS of tortillas (one corn, one wheat) which he downed while I was out on Tuesday, OR the leftover (from the babysitter) chocolate he ate (don't worry folks he is fine) on Wednesday.

But, yes, O yes, he needs special dog food for his "delicate" digestive system.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fit Throwing and Holly Bushes

Yesterday was a very TRYING day here. One of the sheep didn't want to complete his math page (4 step word problems). He did want to throw his worksheet, and his pencil, and run amok in my house yelling, "I can't do this with you bossin' me!"


We had some re-training and then tried again. Nope, didn't work. The sheep still would not do his work. I had to call in the head farmer at work for reinforcement. The sheep then sat down quietly to do his math. (O, so if Daddy says it...then all is well.....fooey).

I gave the sheep a short break after the 4 hr math page. Sheep do not appreciate breaks....they actually make them feel entitled and sassy. The sheep did not want to come back to the table to work on his grammar. He wanted to throw more fits and yell.

This fit ended with the sheep at the top of a 20ft holly bush, crying for all the neighborhood to hear.

It is so awesome being the mother of the year!

Monday, January 19, 2009

"The" Hillbilly--Uncle Curt

See this hat? This hat is not to be confused with a cowboy hat. It is a hillbilly hat.
See this sweet man? He is my dearest Uncle Curt, hillbilly extraordinaire. So now my friends have photographic evidence of the man who is a frequent topic of my chatterings! Now remember, if you ever have the joy of meeting him......never, never call him "dude".

Bubble Wrap

Above is a picture of my Grandma. I called her last week, just to say hello, and she told me that she had fallen in a grocery store parking lot. Don't worry, she is fine. She said that she was worried that the family was going to put her in a nursing home. I told her that was ridiculous.
I said we were just going to wrap her in bubble wrap and call it a day. =)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I changed the settings

For those of you which have had trouble leaving comments, I changed the setting to pop-up.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Boat Brownies

I am making these brownies to take to my friend, Rebecca's, home this evening. My house is full of the warm, chocolately smell of them. As you can add just about anything brownie-friendly add-in, they are great for people on a budget.
Boat Brownies
1/2 cup butter melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour (this is not a the Ang)
1/4 tsp salt

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl in the order they were given. Add your extra/s if you so desire.

Extras: 1-2 cups of chocolate chips, or other type chips, or raisins, or chopped marachino cherries, or chopped nuts, or Reese's pieces, or M & M's, or mini-marshmellows. A combination would work nice.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes in an 8" square pan.

Note-You can double this recipe and cook it in a 9 x 13. Add 5 minutes of baking time.

No, I did not make this recipe up myself, but I cannot remember where I found it either. It is tasty, so enjoy!

Raccoon For Dinner!

Just to show that my hillbillies are not the only folks who enjoy raccoon:

The other dark meat: Raccoon is making it to the table

By Lee Hill Kavanaugh Kansas City Star

He rolls into the parking lot of Leon's Thriftway in an old, maroon Impala with a trunk full of frozen meat. Raccoon — the other dark meat.
In five minutes, Montrose, Mo., trapper Larry Brownsberger is sold out in the lot at 39th Street and Kensington Avenue. Word has gotten around about how clean his frozen raccoon carcasses are. How nicely they’re tucked up in their brown butcher paper. How they almost look like a trussed turkey … or something.
His loyal customers beam as they leave, thinking about the meal they'll soon be eating.
That is, as soon as the meat is thawed. Then brined. Soaked overnight. Parboiled for two hours. Slow-roasted or smoked or barbecued to perfection.
Raccoon, which made the first edition of The Joy of Cooking in 1931, is labor-intensive but well worth the time, aficionados say.
"Good things come to those who wait," says A. Reed, 86, who has been eating raccoon since she was a girl.
"This right here," she says, holding up a couple of brown packages tied with burlap string, “this is a great value. And really good eatin’. Best-kept secret around.”
Raccoons go for $3 to $7 — each, not per pound — and will feed about five adults. Four, if they’re really hungry.
Those who dine on raccoon meat sound the same refrain: It's good eatin'.
As long as you can get past the "ick" factor that it's a varmint, more often seen flattened on asphalt than featured on a restaurant menu. (One exception: French restaurant Le Fou Frog served raccoon about a dozen years ago, a waiter said.)
Eating varmints is even in vogue these days, at least in Britain. The New York Times reported last week that Brits are eating squirrels with wild abandon.
Here in Kansas City, you won't see many, if any, squirrel ads in the papers. But that's where Brownsberger was advertising his raccoons last week.
The meat isn’t USDA-inspected, and few state regulations apply, same as with deer and other game. No laws prevent trappers from selling raccoon carcasses.
As for diseases, raccoon rabies doesn't exist in Missouri, state conservation scientists say. It's an East Coast phenomenon. Parvo and distemper kill raccoons quickly but aren’t transferred to humans. Also, trappers are unlikely to sell meat from an animal that appears to be diseased.
"Raccoon meat is some of the healthiest meat you can eat," says Jeff Beringer, a furbearer resource biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation.
"During grad school, my roommate and I ate 32 coons one winter. It was all free, and it was really good. If you think about being green and eating organically, raccoon meat is the ultimate organic food," with no steroids, no antibiotics, no growth hormones.
And when people eat wild meat, Beringer says, "it reminds the modernized society — people who usually eat food from a plastic wrapper — where food comes from.”
Statewide, consumption of raccoon meat can be tracked somewhat by how many raccoon pelts are harvested each year. In 2007, 118,166 pelts were sold.
But there are plenty more out there, Beringer says. The raccoon population "doubled in the '80s. There's more now than when Missouri was first settled."
He estimates there are about 20 raccoons per square mile of habitat.
In the wild, raccoons typically live five or six years. Populations that grow too dense can be decimated by disease, especially when temperatures drop, Beringer says.
"The animals huddle together, passing on the infections. In the winter, we sometimes have massive die-offs. If we can control the fluctuations in the populations by hunting and trapping, we can have healthier animals."
Fur trappers, who harvest most of the raccoons sold in Missouri, "try to kill as humanely as possible," says Beringer, a trapper himself. "It's part of the culture."
Pelts last year sold on average for about $17. They're used for coats and hats, and many are sold to Russia. But the conflict between Russia and Georgia severely cut into the fur-trading market, Beringer says. "Pelts will probably be less this year."
For the average person, who probably doesn't spend much time thinking how a steer or a pig or a chicken might meet its maker, raccoons may seem too cute to eat.
Until you try one.
At the Blue Springs home of Billy Washington, raccoon, fish, bison and deer are staples on his family’s table.
On this day, it's raccoon.
All night he has been soaking a carcass in a solution of salt and vinegar in a five-gallon bucket. Now he rinses the raccoon in his kitchen sink.
"Eating raccoon has never gone out of style. It's just hard to get unless you know somebody," he says as he carefully trims away the fat and the scent glands.
"My kids love eating game. They think eating deer and buffalo make you run faster and jump higher. My grandkids will just tear this one up, it'll be so good."
The meat is almost ready to be boiled, except for one thing: Although its head, innards and three paws have been removed, it still has one. That’s the law.
"They leave the paw on to prove it's not a cat or a dog," Washington says.
He cuts off the paw and drops the carcass into a stew pot, slices up a carrot, celery and onion, and sprinkles some seasoning into the water. Two and a half hours later, he transfers it to a Dutch oven. It looks a lot like chicken.
He bathes the raccoon with his own combination of barbecue sauces. Stuffs the cavity with canned sweet potatoes and pours the rest of the juice from the can over the breast.
"I follow the same tradition I watched when I was little. My uncle would cook 'em all day, saving the littlest coon for me," he says.
"If stores could sell coon, we’d run out of them. It's a long-hidden secret that they're so good."
After several hours, a delicious smell — roast beef? chicken? — drifts from the oven.
A mingling of garlic and onion and sweet-smelling spices.
And when Washington opens the lid, a tiny leg falls easily from the bone.
“See that? Tender as a mother’s love,” he says with a grin. “Good eatin’.”
And the taste?
Definitely not chicken.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sometimes we must drag our sheep

My sheep are moving sooooo slowly today. They seemed so surprised when I handed them their work back and asked them to make corrections. You should have seen their large, pleading eyes as I told them, "Of course you have to fix the problems which are wrong. What? Did you think that I was just going to tell you they were wrong and we were going to leave it at that?"

Yep, that is exactly what they thought. I must be too lenient.

Then one my sheep found out that if you do not do all your schoolwork on the day you are supposed to do it, then you get to do it the next day PLUS your schoolwork from today.

I didn't know sheep could look so incredulous and angry.

Did you know that sheep cannot seem to read directions? Do you know that if you bring that to the sheep's attention that the sheep will inform you that, "Yes, I can read the directions. And I did the directions, but, the directions did not mean what they said."


The sheep now know that directions do mean what they say.

"Mommy, can I just not do schoolwork today", says the angry, incredulous sheep who has been working on his second page of math while making every whiney, annoying noise he can think of.



Monday, January 12, 2009

Luc, the next Renoir?

Lucas kept pestering me to paint today.
Luke 11:8 "I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs."
As you can see, Lucas has mastered this Biblical concept of persistence in asking.....all too well.

Am I the Only One Who Looks Upon Monday With a Certain Level of Dread?

I was just telling Chris as he walked out of the door this morning that I dislike Monday's (perhaps I used a stronger work like despise, hate, abhor....) because it means that he is leaving. Chris said that he leaves every other weekday so why do I feel this way about Monday? Well, it is simple enough. After Monday's intial horrible jolt of carting off with my Christopher is over, well, I just resign myself to puttering through my week Chris-less (add dejected, forlorn, dispondent, and other words equally dramatic and histrionic.....ahhhhh, alas).

There is just something about that bearded man that makes my heart ache!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

More Pictures of us at the Coast

To the left we have Lij in a hollow tree.

Here is Chris at the Pool.

Above we have Abe looking too cute. To the right here is the toothless Lucas (we should really wrap him in bubble wrap).

Ahhh! Aren't they dashing? When I was taking this picture I told them to say "Noone listens to Mommy!". This photo was taken after the "stair" incident. Well, if you cannot be good, at least be cute!