Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Greetings.

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We were blessed with having my parents, brother , sister in law and niece down to our house. It was a great day. On Friday my dd and I headed out early in the morning to grab some deals for the upcoming Christmas season. Many times that day, I looked around me and saw people shoving not one, but several "on sale" items into their carts. I couldn't help but wonder if this was all a muse to get us to spend spend spend. After getting only the things on my list (it was hard to stick to that) I headed home to grab a nap, before heading out on a three hour drive up to Lake of the Ozarks to spend some time with my friend on her birthday. What a great time was had. I so enjoyed just sitting quietly in our favorite little tea house just listening to the music and enjoying the company. I decided that I don't do that enough. After a wonderful visit with friends, I sadly had to head up to the hospital in Clinton, Mo. to see my brother in law. Please put him in your prayers.

Well, I hope all is well with you. Please keep in touch when possible. Remember that this season is not about gifts and bing, but about the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

~Until next time.
Gayla

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving ...

By now many of you are already arriving at your destinations... enjoying the evening with family or friends. Or perhaps you, like our family, are enjoying the holidays at home. In either case, I would like to pause for a moment and ask this question..."What does your family do for Thanksgiving? What are your traditions?" It has been pretty quite on here lately and I am hoping to generate some conversation. Please send in your comments...I would love to hear what you have to say. Who knows, your tradition could become a new tradition of ours.

~Gayla

Friday, November 6, 2009

The True Arthur by Matheson Miller

Although many of you think that King Arthur was a good king, you are wrong. He actually was a ruthless ruler. You will see in the story to come. It all began at the round table on September 13, 1120 a.d. A man named Malcolm "The Giant" was at a gathering at the round table to discuss the peasant uprising problem when it was suddenly interrupted by Arthur's right hand man, Seymour Bartholomew. He whispered into Arthur's ear and the gathering was cut short. Malcolm left and headed to the cave (which was the secret meeting spot for "dokulkastande", a group started by Arthur's step brother Charles Schmidt.) As he reached the front of the cave, he stopped at the door to say the password (while moving your pinkie, say hello). He entered the meeting which had already started. There was a man who was saying he had seen Seymour and Arthur leaving the meeting. Malcolm followed the two all the was to the center of town, where there were many peasants screaming, "Lower taxes!" Arthur pulled out his dagger and stabbed the man in the heart. The crowd became silent. Arthur yelled, "Let that be a lesson to you all", then he got on his horse and rode off. Suddenly a loud cry echoed through the cave. "Arthur is coming!" Every one was running out the door and into the woods. I made it to the tree right when Arthur got there. Unfortunately, Charles didn't. Arthur caught him and ordered him shot down. A man to the right of Arthur shot him in the back with his crossbow. Then a man came out of the cave. It was Malcolm's best friend, James. He shook Arthur's hand and rode off with him. So now Malcolm's friend was a trader. Arthur had found out about "Dokullkastande" and Malcolm was probably banned from the round table and if caught, he would be killed like Charles. So Malcolm blew his horn (which meant all men in the club were to meet at the giant stump in the middle of the forest). It was evening when they finally met. Malcolm stood on the stump and said, "My fellow brothers, I blew the horn today because we are in drastic times. We need to protect our people from this ruthless ruler. We need to stand up and stop being cowards. We must fight! Fight for our women and children! Fight for our pride! So who is going to fight with me?!"Not a single person stood. "Then you are all cowards. You can all play dead like an opossum or run in your holes like a ground hog. I will fight and die doing it!" Then he got on his horse and rode toward the castle. As he reached the gate, he stopped and said a prayer before meeting his death. When he was done he looked down the trail and saw Arthur, Seymour, James, and some other men. As they drew close, he picked up his crossbow and shot Seymour in the head. Then the other men got off there horses and charged towards him. He quickly slew them. Next, James swung his mace at him. He cut his arm right off, pulled him off his horse onto the ground and lunged his sword through his chest. Arthur suddenly started galloping toward the gate screaming, "Open the gate!" The gate started to open. Malcolm shot him in the shoulder and he made it through the gate. As Malcolm noticed he was missing a finger and bleeding everywhere, he fled toward the north to his homeland. As Arthur made it into the castle with an arrow through his shoulder, he yelled, "Follow that man and kill him!" A group of about one hundred soldiers on horses headed toward Malcolm. When the king recovered, he ordered that the history documents be changed and Malcolm was wiped out of it, and Arthur written to be a good king. Malcolm was never seen again and no one knows whether the posse got him or not. Well I am glad that you know the truth now and I am glad you heard it from a man who was there. My name is Malcolm, The Giant McMullen. It is September 13, 1180 and I thank the Lord to be alive.

written by Matheson B. Miller - age 15

They Made It -- Could We? Part 2

I finally have a chance to sit down and post the second part of Grandma Fern's article. Enjoy.

They Made It Could We?
Part Two
Some of the finest ears of field corn were "nubbed" and put through the corn sheller in the barn, taken to the mill, and ground into meal for cornbread and mush. (Hominy was also made from corn.) The dark, sweet smelling pantry under the stairs always had strings of red peppers, sage, dill, marjoram, sassafras roots and bark, and various bags of seeds hanging there. Also great sacks of onions, pickles in brine, and sweet potatoes.
I remember going to the root cellar in the yard with my young aunts on autumn Sunday when Grandma had company. Stamped on my mind are the many jars of fruit, vegetables, pickles, jams and jellies - the well filled potato bins, the big shelves of pumpkins, winter squash, carrots and turnips in baskets of clean sand, and bags of onions hanging from hooks in the ceiling. We then went into the smokehouse above the cellar to cut thin slices of ham from a brown-paper-wrapped sugar cured ham. Besides the cured pork there was corned beef in a covered twenty-gallon stone jar, as well as sacks and baskets of nuts, more onions and peppers, herbs, and more pumpkins to be used before they froze. The squash, pumpkins, and onions had a heavy piece of old carpet spread over them. Apples were in the garden in straw-lined pits.
Grandmother loved flowers, also, but feeding her family always came first. She was, of necessity, a very practical person. All along the base of the house she grew flowers. All the flowers about the house were mulched. I never remember any bare ground showing unless she dug to give one of her "girls" a start of some beloved perennial.
A wide porch extended the full length of the south and west sides of the white house. She had the boys put up strips of chicken wire at intervals from ground to eaves. She trained woodbine and wild morning glories up these wires until, by hot weather, the porch was a cool, shaded oasis much used by all with time to rest. Metal cots and homemade benches and chairs were used by young and old. The older children gave the porch floor a fresh coat of paint every two years. Many happy hours were spent on this porch, helping hull peas, snap beans, hull green butter beans, look over and wash wild or tame greens, or stem gooseberries.
Two big silver maples shaded the south yard; a beautiful spreading ash, the wed yard. A rope swing hung from the limb of the ash. Family reunions on Sunday afternoons in summer will never be forgotten by the grandchild.
Next to the high back fence of the yard, Grandma had a three-foot-wide flower bed with a two foot wire fence in front to keep the big collie dog from lying in the flowers. At the farthest corner she grew her perennial vegetables - asparagus, rhubarb hills, and horseradish, sage, dill, and other herbs here and there through the flowers. The flowers I remember were bleeding heart, phlox, purple iris, white lilies, tiger lilies, peonies, self-sown larkspur, poppies, four-o"clocks, sweet rocket, French marigolds, and a few wilding. Violets grew as a ground cover in spite of the mulch.
Thinking back, I know I gained a rich heritage from visiting my grandparents. I feel so sorry for my own nine grandchildren when they visit us, and it is necessary to say, "Don't go in the street! Don't get in the neighboring yard!" I try to provide entertainment for them, but my heart aches for what they are missing.
My grandparents made a living for a big family on eighty acres. Could it be done today?
After reading this article again, I am reminded, that I am married to one of those grandchildren she mentions in the last paragraph. I wish we could tell her that her worries were in vain, as several of those grandchildren have a connection with the land around them. We are passing down that love of the land to her great grandchildren, teaching them about God's great creations, such as birds, flowers, trees, animals, etc.... She has left her mark on her family that she will never know about.
~Until next time,
Gayla

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Here's another story from Grandma Fern....




I had alot of compliments about my last article written by Grandma Fern. Thanks to every one who responded. I love to look back at what life was like when it was "easier". So here is another article....it is very long and I will put it into two parts, but I feel is worth the read....Enjoy!




They Made it - Could We?

by Fern Christian Miller

Part One


My mother's parents had twelve children. They owned an eighty-acre farm near a small town in central Missouri. I am sure they lived modestly, but they reared ten of these children and sent them to high school. In fact, two daughters got their Masters' degrees from college. The youngest, near my age, is now teaching small Indians in Arizona. All married. None were divorced. The years I remember are from 1912 to about 1926, at which time they moved to town to retire.
How well I remember when, as a very small child, I stayed a week with Grandma during the summer. This was the first of regular summer visits. Grandpa ran a small dairy and truck patch. His customers came out from town for milk, cream, home-churned butter, cottage cheese, buttermilk, eggs, honey, fruit in season, and fresh vegetables.
In autumn, the woodlot and trees along the creek furnished walnuts and giant hickory nuts. Cull trees furnished wood for the big black "oak" range in the kitchen and the huge round wood stove in the living room. The doors were arranged so the two downstairs bedrooms were warmed (somewhat) by heat circulating through. The two slant-ceiling upstairs bedrooms were warmed by registers in the floor over the stoves below.
Grandma and Grandpa were organic gardeners and farmers, although they wouldn't have called themselves that. They just called it taking care of the farm. The manure spreader and horses that pulled it were an important part of that small farm. The soil was rather sandy. Humus was added regularly in the form of horse, cow, hog, and chicken manure, and also straw and haystack "bottoms". Crops were rotated regularly in the cultivated fields. Two long, fenced hog lots, each with it small pond at the end, were rotated also: hogs one year, truck patch the next. The truck patches were planted to Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, and crowder peas. As the sweet corn came up, pumpkins were planted between the stalks. First cultivating was done with horses, but as the vines grew, the older children worked with hoes to keep down the weeds.
The chickenyards were managed in the same way. I don't know whose idea that was, as it is the only farm I remember seeing managed this way. A tall, regularly mended, woven-wire fence surrounded two plots, with the chicken house and brooder house set in the fence between. A small pen was put up annually for the young chicks. Grandma raised only enough chickens for fryers, and pullets enough to supply her family and customers with eggs. (She also raised geese in one end of the big cow pasture, but that's another story.)
Naturally all the children were taught to help as soon as possible. All hen house manure, leaves raked in the yard, and other materials available were spread over the chickenyard and plowed under in the fall. After the last vegetable was harvested, the door at that side of the chicken house was opened and the chickens moved. After they picked over everything, all plants were pulled and tossed over the fence and plowed under. Turnips and carrots and parsnips were left to cure, for chickens didn't dig them out. Later they were stored in a pit.
The pasture was along the creek and included the woodlot and small bit of timber. The big spring-fed "swimming hole and fishing hole" in the creek never went dry. This was called permanent pasture, never was plowed, and reached by a lane between the meadow and the hog lots. The meadow was pastured after the mowing and sacking of hay, thus allowing the regular pasture to "rest" until it got a start in the spring. Seldom was any crop sold. It was used to feed the livestock on the farm.
The yard itself was large and well fenced, with a white gate at the front next to the drive. (What fun it was to jump out of the "surrey" and dash up the brick walk to hug my grandparents and young aunts and uncles.) As I remember, the fruit trees were mostly in the yard: pear trees in the back corner, apples trees at the side front, cherries at the other back corner, peaches and red and damson plums at the end of a field next to the yard, and grapes over the well house and along one fence. Wild blackberries and gooseberries and persimmons grew along the creek and were harvested in season. Wild cherries, wild grapes, and elderberries were used for jams and jellies mixed with other fruit juices (usually apple) to make them more tasty. Grandma never bought "store pectin". She seemed to know which fruits naturally had an abundance, and saved juice (often canned) to use with the mild ones. The dwarf wild plums ripened along the roadsides in September. They wee sharp and bitter, but mixed with mild peach juice made delightful pink jelly and jam.
Along under the fruit trees and flowering shrubs and old-fashioned bush roses, Grandma had her beehives. She tended them herself with a veil over her sunbonnet and half-mitts on her hands. She was never stung, but Grandpa couldn't go near them. A small well tended strawberry patch was in one part of the yard. As the children married, they were given "runners" to start their own beds.
A three-cornered patch near the creek was planted to cane. Each fall the stripped cane was hauled to a neighboring sorghum mill. The neighbor made sweet, thick sorghum molasses on the shares. He sold his share, but Grandfather took his home for his family. A few gallons were sold to customers who had asked ahead. A "square" of popcorn was sown at one side of the vegetable garden with big winter squash between.
The cane, popcorn, and sweet corn were separated to keep the seed from "mixing" because they saved own seed. The same was true of the big winter squash, the pumpkins, cucumbers, muskmelons, and watermelons. These were rotated between garden spots to prevent ruining next year's seed.
Part two coming soon......











Thursday, October 22, 2009

What is God doing?

We recently headed out on a much needed vacation..we were looking so forward to it. Last Friday my husband came home and said "I have had a bad day!" I asked what happened and he told me that there would be layoffs come Monday (the first day of our vacation). Two people from our office would be affected. What do you do? Cancel your vacation? Under most circumstances,we would have done that, but we had already paid a lot of money to cancel. We would loose it all. So, after talking to his boss, Brian was encouraged to go ahead and go. Monday came as we waited by our hotel room phone to get the news. Around 7pm that night, the call came in. Over 100 people had lost their jobs. One was in our office, with the other job hainging in the balance. The rumors have already started flying about this and that and it is so hard to know what to say. It seems like life is squeezing us all. What is God doing? What is He preparing us for? I ask these questions, not expecting answers, but just throwing it out there. Please be in prayer for all those people with State Parks who have lost their jobs. Keep in mind also that there are many rumors flying around, so you may not get an entire story.

~Sad, but pressing on

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Keep them young just a little longer Lord

My youngest came up to me and asked if we could go on a walk yesterday. Of course I would go with him. I spend a lot of time with my daughter, but not much time with my sons.... so off we went. WOW... what a wonderful treasure. I had the best time just walking with the boys, listening to them chatter back and forth about this and that. I noticed my oldest one has grown considerably tall and handsome. He has muscles that I never noticed before. This, I'm sure, will bring around those pesty females... so I'd better get me a big stick. My youngest one is so full of life. He loves to look around and see the good in EVERYTHING. We were walking down the main gravel road just looking at stuff. Boys do that... they look at stuff. Well, there were tracks galore..... opposum, racoon, bison, dog and boy tracks. The boys were down, with their faces looking at these tracks. Was is a opposum track? Was is a racoon track? Some of the tracks had been washed some by the rain earlier in the day. Then they took me to the cattleguard crossing to see if the Black snake was still there. Thankfully, no snake. Then we headed back observing the paths that had been left by all the wild animals who had traveled across the road and down into the woods. "How can you tell that," I asked. They showed me how the grass had been broken over and the ground had been disturbed. I just stood in awe at everything these guys knew... the 9 year old was very well versed in outdoor skills, as well as the older one. Theire dad has done a terrific job with them. It makes me wonder at times... if they need me at all. heheheh It was a great afternoon of reconnecting with my boys.

Until net time...
~Gayla

Friday, October 9, 2009

Nothing like home made applebutter!


Last weekend was a wonderful day. It was cool and crisp, with a hint of fall arriving in full swing. Early Saturday morning, my mother-in-law and myself went into Lamar to take my oldest son to soccer, for he was a referee in the morning games for the local league. While we waited, we headed over to the famous Lamar square, where the Apple Days Festival was just getting started. What a great morning of just walking along the sidewalk, around the large courthouse, stopping to talk to many friends and acquaintances, as well as making new friends along the way. I will post more on that later. I just loved looking at all the wonderful wares that people had put their hearts and souls into. I met a wonderful local couple who makes their own soaps and balms. It is wonderful. You can check out their information by looking at my list of blogs I follow... it is under Peaceacre farms... I bought my MOPS discount card. Now I can head to the local Dairy Queen and buy a small blizzard and get one free. It pays for itself in only two visits. I love ice cream and have a friend who loves it just as much as I do... in fact, we usually try to get our husbands to buy the ice cream before the meal when we are on a double date. Anyway, back to my post. After feeding my 15 y.o. son after the games, we headed home. Earlier in the week the kids and I had ventured over to the east side of Barton county and bought three bushels of apples from a local Amish farmer. They were great apples. We pulled out the table we use every year, attached my NEW Pampered Chef apple peeler/corer/slicer ( I have already gone thru one of them), and started in. Everyone knew their places. My son loves love loves to peel the apples, while the two others cut the slices into fours. My mother in law carts the apple slices into the kitchen and I pummel them in the food processor. After getting the apples to the perfect consistency (they say I am picky), I put them in a pot on the stove with sugar, spices and water to cook down. After a while, we then ladle the mixture into hot jars and wha lah.... hot apple butter. The kids love to eat the peels as they come off the peeler.
I started this tradition purely out of intrigue one year when the kids were really little. I had been watching Martha Stewart Living one day and she was making applesauce. I thought if she could do it, then why couldn't I. Little did I know I was starting a well loved family tradition. We look forward to this special time every year. I never dreamed that my kids would be in their preteens and teens and still love to help me with it. Don't get me wrong... they love to eat it. It goes very fast.... this year, however, I made 40 quarts. I sent quite a bit home with my mother in law, as she had gone in with us to purchase the apples. I think I can make it for a while with what I have. There have been times when I have had to put a lock on the apple butter door. hahahahaha....
Until next time...
~Gayla

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall is here!!



I love autumn. It is such a wonderful time of cool weather, beautiful color outside and just a repreive from the hot summer sun. Autumn brings about a busy time around our house. The tea pots come out and scones are baked for a hot cup of tea in the crisp morning. Yum! One of our favorite traditions that I started when the kids were little, is to make applebutter. Each year we shop around for the best priced apples and buy usually two to three bushels. This year we bought three. I am planning on dehydrating some apple slices for a winter treat. I used to take the kids to a pumpkin patch before we moved here. I realized last night that we had not visited one in a long time. I looked up a place on the internet and found that it was close by, so we will be visiting one hopefully next weekend. Another tradition (that my dd and I have not been able to attend in a couple of years) is a large extended family Harvest Party. All the aunts and uncles as well as the cousins and their children get together near Springfield, Mo. and enjoy a day out. There usually is a theme. This year it is Superheros. I am thinking about going as Van Mom... since I am in the van driving down the hiway so much. Not sure how to pull that one off. Not sure I want to, but anyway the day is quite a blast. Our kids can spend the time with thier cousins. The day also has an archery contest and a weiner roast. So.... the windows are open, there are chocolate chunk cookies in the oven, apples drying in the dehydrater and after school is finished, I will clean for dinner company. That always brings about a wonderful smell of a clean house. Oh, did I mention that the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice is always on when I clean. My boys just love it.....NOT!

Until next time....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What a great treat!




Friday my dear sweet husband surprised me with a secret trip away for the weekend. "Where are we going?" I asked. He would not tell me. My kids knew of the plot but they would not budge either. After a morning of anticipation, we headed out towards Kansas....then turned south and crossed into Oklahoma. I was completely stumped. There was nothing in the area that smelled of civilization. I thought he was taking me camping. So, after about two and a half hours and one small town after another, we stopped in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. I was very surprised. It was not a place I had ever thought about visiting. We checked into our hotel and headed out to get ice cream. We didn't make it very far before we heard the sounds of drums beating. We parked the car and headed towards the noise. Wow, we were surprised... there were crowds of Native Americans dancing in their tribal dress. It was the Oklahoma Indian Summer Festival. We sat down and just watched and listened to the music and the dancing. This morning, we headed out for breakfast and found a wonderful coffee shop. It is called Judes Coffee. I had a Carmel Truffle. YUM YUM.... I loved the taste and I can tell you that this girl has NEVER had froth art on top of her coffee. It was so pretty that I just had to take a picture of it. We had a wonderful day of exploring the town of Bartlesville. We went thru the museum as well as visited the home of Frank Phillips, founder of Phillips Petroleum. We, then headed out to a small town close by called Dewey for the Western Heritage Festival. There were gun fights re-enactments as well as long horn cattle that were herded down Main street. If you are ever in the northeastern part of Oklahoma, stop in and check out Bartlesville. It is quite a happening place. What??? You are wondering about the blue bison sculpture? It is a project being worked on by a local artist to raise money for a local foundation. There will be a total of 15 bison. Right now there are only five completed. Well, thanks for reading.
Until next time ~

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I feel like an ant.


Today we were up early and headed out to a local Amish farmer who had picked us 50# of beautiful Roma tomatoes. We pulled into the farmer's house and met his lovely wife and Trigger, the little Jack Russell Terrier. He was definitely guarding the house. The young woman just smiled and apologized for her little dog. I told her not to worry because I love dogs. I tried to make friends with this little guy, but he would have none of that. After paying for the tomatoes and beautiful red pepper that she also had for sale, we packed our items in the trunk and off we went back home to start putting up these vegetables in preparation for the coming winter months of soups and spaghetti. Looking at our two boxes of tomatoes, I realized that 50# of Romas are quite a lot, but I knew that it would make up several quarts of tomato sauce, so we started in. It was wonderful to work together with my kids. It was like the ant, preparing for winter. My oldest son spent most of his time coring tomatoes, while my youngest son chopped tomatoes in the processor. I remember working up produce with my mother and grandmother. I am so glad I am able to do the same with my kids. I just wish we had a lot more to do. Maybe next year.
Until next time,
~Happy Blogging.

Monday, September 14, 2009

An article by Grandma Fern

I recently had someone tell me that they would like to read one of Grandma Fern's articles, so I decided to post on of my favorites. It was really hard to choose just one and I might just post another one sometime, but here is one that I really enjoyed.

I Remember Grandma's Kitchen *
by
Fern Christian Miller
All we grandchildren loved Grandma's big farm kitchen. Partly it was because we were always made entirely welcome by the smiling face of our little grandmother herself. But, no doubt, it was also, the fragrant, delicious foods she prepared that provided a part of the kitchen's come-hither magic!
I think of those custard, rhubarb and raisin pies in the early spring; cherry, blackberry, strawberry and gooseberry pies in the early summer; peach, apple, apricot, damson caramel, cream and chocolate pies of the later summer and autumn; then, as winter came, pumpkin, squash, dried apple, mincemeat and canned fruit pies of all descriptions. For our gentle, small grandma was noted for her delicious pies. The grandchildren were her most appreciative tasters.
Then the bread and cakes! It makes me hungry just to remember the fragrance of that brown, yeasty, light bread. The warm "heel" spread with sweet home-churned butter was surely the best taste in the world. And the cinnamon rolls and fresh gingerbread with milk! Remember? The applesauce and carrot cakes spread with thin caramel icing, the black layer devil's foods, the tall fluffy angel foods, the mincemeat and fruitcakes were quite out of this world. (No wonder Grandpa was a bit heavy!)
Besides the baking, the meats produced on the farm were always being cooked either in the oven or in a big black iron pot. Grandma didn't think too much of fried meat, unless it was chicken in deep fat, or young squirrel in the spring, or sausage or bacon for breakfast on a cold winter morning. Vegetables and chow chows, piccalilli and apple butter were all cooked to perfection on the big black range. It was a wood- or coal-burning stove called Round Oak. Many were the festive dinners eaten at the long dining room table that were prepared in that beloved kitchen.
Actually the big northwest kitchen was quite modern for that day. A large gray enamel sink with a drain, and a pitcher pump (which had to be primed each morning to bring the water up from the cistern well just off the back porch), stood against the west wall. A long shelf was above the metal-topped kitchen cabinet with its flour and sugar bins and its pull-out breadboard. On the shelf stood the family lamps, a clock, a matchbox, a neat row of cookbooks, and the clipped recipe box.
The stove had a warming oven, trivets for the flat irons, and handles, an a large water reservoir, which was always kept filled. Painted cabinets for dishes and counters were a light, clean sand color, and the linoleum was blue and tan checked. On the west and north were windows with narrow, starched, white curtains tied back to give sun and light to cheery house plants. By each window stood a comfortable hickory chair with bright patchwork cushions and back pads. Grandma always sat down while she peeled potatoes or apples, or cleaned vegetables. Her knitting bag hung on one chair post, and a box of mending sat under the house plants. Grandma knitted, mended and rested while she kept an eye on her cooking.
Opening off the kitchen at one side of the north window Grandpa had built a lean-to pantry. It screened ventilator vents left open in summer, closed and covered with old pieces of rungs in winter. This dark, cool little room was used to store supplies other than those kept in the cave and meat house. Under the eaves of this unsealed "magic closet" hung strings of onions, red peppers, dill, sage, tansy leaves, sassafras bark and root, and cheesecloth sack filled with dried apples, corn, peaches and raisins.
Big covered stone jars and crocks held dill pickles, corned beef, fried-down sausage, honey in the comb, and sorghum molasses. Canisters with tight lids sat in a row on a shelf, all labeled in Grandma's neat writing: rice, cornmeal, flake hominy, popcorn, oatmeal, coffee beans, brown soup beans, navy beans, crowder peas, and brown sugar.
This aromatic lean-to was kept tightly closed except when Grandma opened it for supplies. She kept mouse traps set in the corners, although I never saw a mouse in her home. On very cold winter nights she banked the range fire, and opened the pantry door a crack so the onions wouldn't freeze. Milk, cream, butter and cheese were kept in the ice chest. Apples, potatoes, turnips, extra pumpkins and squash, all canned food were stored in the cave. The yams, or sweet potatoes, kept best scrubbed and wrapped in newspaper, and stored in the warm attic over the kitchen. A stepladder enabled one of the boys to scramble through the attic door in the low kitchen ceiling. This attic had been partly floored and sealed for extra storage.
The other grandchildren and I loved best of all to sit on the high-backed bench at the long table in the kitchen's center. We missed nothing of the talk or food preparations here. The oilcloth was white with blue clusters of flowers. Usually a blue bowl of apples or other fruit sat in the center. Here the family ate when there wasn't company or "hands". Here all the good food was dished up before being taken to the dining room on festive occasions. The older grandchildren often ate at this kitchen table when the entire family gathered. Here, after all the dishes were done in winter, we youngsters played checkers, dominoes, jacks or Flinch, colored and cut pictures, depending upon our ages.
Yes, I remember Grandma's kitchen. It was important in my learning, for Grandma loved being a woman and making a home just as I do. When I read articles on women's liberation I feel slightly ill. Perhaps women's place is in the home; otherwise, what is going to become of homes?
I just love this article, because it is a wonderful example of how a kitchen is the center of the home/family. I can't think but wonder what she would think of the American home today. So many kids coming home to quite homes with out a mom there to greet them. The family dinner table is a thing of the past in many homes. That is why it is so important for me to keep my dinner table a very important part of the day. Again I am blessed for having these articles to pass down to Grandma Fern's great grandchildren. Thank you for reading this article. I hope it speaks to you as much as it spoke to me. My only regret is that I never got to meet Grandma Fern. She definitely has a presence in her family to this day.
*This article was written in the Kitchen Klatter magazine May 1972.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Her legend continues

Many years ago while spending time with my husband's family, I learned about my father in law's mother, Fern. She has such an incredible legacy that it is as if I knew her personally. I have spent many hours listening to stories about this woman, all from admiring children and grandchildren. She was a descendant of people from the Isle of Mann,which is a little island in the Irish Sea, between Great Britain and Ireland. My husband and I took an ancestral trip a few years back and we were blessed to visit there. We were able to see the actual place where the ancestor was martyred and we stood on the land that belonged to him. It was an amazing trip... but that is another story. My husband's grandmother loved to grow flowers and garden. She raised six kids, east of Windsor, Mo. In her young years, she was a one room school teacher. She was also a writer, and wrote for the magazine Kitchen Klatter. We have a few of those articles, but not many. Sunday a lady at my church came up to me and told me that she had several magazines that I could look at. I took them and found five articles written by Fern. What a treat! It is wonderful to sit and read to your children words written by their great grandmother about things she remembers from childhood. Tonight we read an article she wrote talking about an era that I only wish I could be experiencing. It was titled I Remember Grandma's Kitchen. In it she talks about when her grandmother would bake pies from the berries in season. She described what her grandmother's house looked like on the inside. She talks about family gatherings at the house... it was just a wonderful walk down a lane of family history for my children. How many people can say they can read about what their great -great grandmother did or how her kitchen looked? It was a time of hard work and a wonderful sense of accomplishment. There was one thing she did say that I found to be profound. She closed her article saying, " Yes, I remember Grandma's kitchen. It was important in my learning, for Grandma loved being a woman and making a home just as I do. When I read articles on women's liberation, I feel slightly ill. Perhaps women's place is in the home; otherwise, what is going to become of homes?" I want to raise my daughter with the same beliefs that her great grandmother had. As a strong woman who is very resourceful, yet gentle and motherly. I want her to see the importance of being a mother and wife. She needs to learn that she will have to go against the grain of society, because society will tell her that she has no credibility as a mother, and be a woman of virtue. I want her children to rise up and call her blessed. I pray the Lord will continue to show me how to do this. I have wonderful stories about my own grandmothers but I will write about them at a later date.

Until next time...

~Happy blogging.

It is finally finished!



Well, after a long rehab period, we finally finished my daughter's room today. She was so proud of it. The pink flowers are gone and the chice pink and brown toile is in. We put the fabric with a brown and pink polka dot. The vallance has this really cute beaded trim... that was as much as the fabric. OUCH! We painted, we stenciled, we sewed, we glue gunned, and we hammered. Everyone got into the action. All that is left is hanging some ballet pictures and putting up her tea pot collection. We started out painting this very large wall chocolate brown color. Then we stenciled this pink swirl on that wall. The pink was PINK! I had to tone it down a bit by feather duster painting a lighter pink over the base coat. We decided to add a little bit of green into the pallete to give some contrast. Too much pink is not a good thing. It is amazing how a can of paint can change the look of a room in just an afternoon. Now I have a list of rooms that are needed to be renovated. Seems when you start one, the rest follows. I have been asked by my boys to paint their room and paint a wall in a camo motiff. Any suggestions?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I am so blessed!

Over the last four weeks, things around here have been rather CRAZY. It started four weeks ago when my oldest 147#, 5ft. 10in. son came to me and told me that his throat hurt and that he had a really bad headache. That started a looooong bout with a really nasty virus. After a week of him literally on the couch, he felt better. Then with in two days, my 12 y.o. daughter came down with it. I knew that I was coming down with it because I had been running a low grade fever with a sore throat as well. As I have already posted, things went wacky with some extended family issues as well as several items broke or quit working as well. I was literally afraid to walk outside. Last week, when I was still sick, my husband made an appointment for me at the doctor's and my son, who recently got his permit, drove me to my appointment. I must say that I was not in agreement to do this, because I did not want to spend the money on myself. Anyway, after the appointment, I had a diagnosis of pneumonia and had to rest. So, that is what I tried to do. My kids jumped in and helped with the house as well as working on their school work. I HATED not being able to teach them. It killed me. I am a mom that gets involved with her kids learning and I take it very serious. My 9 y.o. had surgery this last Friday for an ear problem. He was not able to hear out of his left ear at all. After a tonsilectomy, adnoidectomy and a tube placed in his left ear drum, he could hear.

So...these are the things I am thankful for:
1. My Saviour Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for me
2. My husband who did the work of three people while I was down.
3. My kids who are just awsome kids.
4. My freedom to school my children at home.
5. My abilitly to pick up the phone and call my doctor when I or my family is sick.
6. The great strides that have been made in medical science, to be able to restore my son's hearing.
7. Family - my mother in law and my husband's aunt (who lives near Springfield) came to be with us while my son was in surgery. Even though I was not able to talk with my aunt much, it meant the world to me that she came by. The rest of our family were unable to come due to work or other obligations.
8. Friends who come up beside you when you are down and make you laugh or just love you. We had a good friend come to the hospital also. He prayed with us for my son and then took my oldest with him to run some errands while in town. Another friend watched my daughter during that day. It was wonderful to know that people were there for you. Also, those crazy gals in Carthage that are so much fun to be around... thank you all for your prayers. Laura... Thank you so much for the prayer you posted. That really meant a lot to me.

Well, I could go on and on, but I need to stop for now. I thank everyone who has been praying for my family during this last month. We have felt the wonderful prayers going up.

Thank you Jesus for all these things that you have blessed me with. I am truly grateful for all that you have given me. Thank you for guiding the surgeon's hands during the procedure and for bringing Gavin thru the surgery.
Amen

Until next time....
~Gayla

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sometimes LIFE just happens!

Isn't it funny how when you think everything is going great and you have things planned out, God just throws a monkey wrench into it just to see what you would do? Well, let me tell you that certainly happened to us this week. I am the mother of three kids ages 15 - 12 - 9. My life is pretty status quo now. No diapers, sip pee cups, temper tantrums, etc.... Oh I am not saying that I wouldn't want more of that, but I am saying that since our youngest is 9, things run fairly smooth. Well, actually for those of you who know my youngest, things run smooth most of the time. Anyway, I am going along this week, started my home school year this last Monday, the 10th. We were doing great... first day no problem. Well, Tuesday morning I started running a fever with sinus stuff. Yuck. Several of my family had already had it so I knew it was coming. Ok, made it thru Tuesday and on to Wednesday. Oh boy....Wednesday came. Around 12 NOON I received a couple of phone calls and by 1 pm I was on my way to pick up my sister's two small children......uh..4 hours away. Fever at this time was 100 degrees F. I can make I said. No problem. My oldest went with me. Getting home around 10pm... we put all the kids to bed and fell into bed ourselves. Well, Thursday (yesterday) we had to go to Springfield for an appointment for my youngest because of his hearing.
My husband took off in one vehicle to take my oldest to a job interview and I started out with the car with the other four. Making it into town, I made a couple of errands and went to drop off my oldest two at a friend's house. It was then that I found out that my husband had a flat tire on the way. So off to WalMart we go to have the tire fixed. Leaving the van at Wal Mart, we headed out on our 1 1/2 hr. trip to the doctor's appointment. Getting there in plenty of time, we pull children out of car seats (I have not had to do that in several years) and we head into the giant five story building to the doctor's office. Checking in, we were told that the doctor was running a little behind. A LITTLE? Our appointment was for 3pm and we finally saw the doctor at 5:15pm. We found out that our son will need surgery and we will need to call back the next day to schedule that appointment. UGH! So, needless to say, we had three very tired little boys with us. To sit in a doctor's office for two and a half hours is outlandish for adults, much less small children.
But it got me to thinking... #1. several of my friends have four or more kids and they do this everyday. I stand in awe at them. My hats go off to them all. #2 God is the one who has the plan...not me. I had spent several weeks getting my school year planned. That was my first mistake. It is great to have a plan, but life happens. I sometimes forget that... in fact I forget it alot of the times.. Then I get upset when my plan is messed up. It was more important for me to spend time with my nephews this week, than try to do school. With everything going on in their home at the moment, they needed a place to feel safe. I thank God for my wonderful husband who has been there thru this whole week to help me AND continue to keep the state park running. I am hoping to look back and see seeds that were sewn this week that will last a lifetime. The Dr. appointment was non-negotiable, but the rest of the week is.
My fever? Yes, I still have it, but I also have three wonderful kids who are helping me take care of these little guys. Did I mention one of them tossed their cookies at breakfast this morning? Toddlers... you gotta love them!

Until next time please be in prayer for my sister and her husband as well as my family. I really apprecitate it.

Happy blogging~

Friday, August 7, 2009

Whole Wheat Thins

I was in my kitchen yesterday cooking up dinner and I ran across this recipe. It was given to me last year by a friend. I recently looked at the price of Wheat Thins in the store and quickly decided that I did not need them that bad so I put them back on the shelf. When I found this recipe in my recipe box I was excited. I made them up and guess what? My family LOVES them. I couldn't keep them out of the crackers. As I would pull them out of the oven, the kids were standing at the stove with their hands out for more. So gals here is the recipe for you. I hope you enjoy them.

Whole Wheat Thins

3c whole wheat flour
1/3 cup olive oil or coconut oil. I used olive oil.
1c water
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. You can add other spices or herbs. (I added homegrown dried oregano and garlic powder.) Knead as little as possible to make the dough smooth. Roll very thin on a lightly floured counter. Cut with a pizza cutter and place them on a cookie sheet. Prick each cracker with a fork, then sprinkle with salt over them. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 mins. or until golden brown. Let cool and eat plain or with peanut butter on them.

I cut them into one inch by one inch square. Kinda like cheeze its. I am thinking that parmesean cheese placed in the flour mix would be good. Have fun with these great little crackers.

~Gayla

A neat site that I found...

I was visiting with a friend about a month or so ago and she told me about a great place for us book readers to check out. It is called Paperback Swap. It is a website that you go on to and post all of your books that you are willing to trade with others. You post them and then people will request your book. Wrap it up and send it out to the person. Then with every book that you send out, you get a credit for a book of your choice. It is a neat place to get rid of some of those books that have been sitting around and to pick up some books for yourself. Check it out when you have time. You can find me at www.prairieflower03.paperbackswap.com.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Gearing Up for School

August is here and that means that Wal Mart has moved out the July 4th decorations and moved in the school supplies (usually on July 5th) in their place. Families are taking their last summer vacations before school starts. (That is why we wait until the fall to take ours... not as many people to contend with). Anyway, for the past week I have been working on my school year plans. Making out lesson plans and such. I thought I was finished when I realized that I did not have a "World History" lesson planned out for my oldest. The think about it is he has been studying world history since he was 9, but the State of Missouri says that to graduate, he has to take a World History class. So I thought, "Shoot, now I need to go to Springfield and buy a history book for him". As I was talking to my husband about this, it hit me... just because the class says world history does not mean we must cover everything the "text book" would have us cover. I didn't need an actual histsory book. Out came the Time line of History book that I bought years ago. We started looking at main events in history and decided to hit on those and cover WWI and WWII this year. What a concept!

I have been homeschooling for over 10 years now and I still sometimes find myself conforming to the institutional ways of thinking, keeping me bound up in a textbook style of teaching. This does not give us freedom to learn what God wants us to learn. We put God's plan aside. Sometimes He remind me of that. OUCH. Am I the only one who does this? I am getting excited to see what God has instore for our upcoming year.
~Gayla

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Saying good bye to the pink flowers...

The hardest thing is to watch your little girl grow up into a preteen. I have watched my daughter become a very beautiful young lady who is very skilled in homemaking and cooking. One of her passions is ballet. She has been taking ballet since she was four. She is twelve now. She came to me one day and said that her room needed to be updated. She said that the pretty little flowers were not really what a girl of her age wanted in her bed room. The purple on the walls also had to go. So, after some grieving on my part (I loved those pink flowers on the border), we sat down and decided on what to paint her room. My best friend, who also has a twelve year old girl ( who is my daughter's best friend) told me that her daughter was wanting to change her room. We decided that it must be a twelve year old thing, you know transitional times. So, her daughter was wanting teal and brown (well sorta) and mine decided on pink and brown. I could handle that, because I LOVE pink and brown. We went shopping and have found the absolute prettiest fabric that will be perfect in her room. It is a pink and brown toile...I LOVE TOILE. Today we started moving furniture and getting ready to paint the room this week. I had to say good bye to those pink flowers, which was hard but I made it through the first tearing. After that I couldn't go back. This will be an ongoing project as it takes money to completely change a room and school will be starting in a week. I will continue to blog about this project that she and I are embarking on. Until next time....

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Basil Pesto----A Family Favorite



Nothing makes my family smile quicker than to tell them that we are having spaghetti with pesto for dinner. That being said, my husband makes sure that he plants plenty of basil every year right next to the tomatoes. So, this morning I told him that I had the ingredients to make pesto and could he please bring me in some fresh cut basil. Man.... I wasn't expecting what happened next. My daughter came packing in FOUR bags of basil. We started picking leaves off the stems and we picked and picked and picked. I had huge bowls of it. We put up pesto for several hours and still didn't get it all finished. We just got tired. So, after all this, I thought I would share my recipe with you. I have found the best basil to use is the Genovese Basil. It is the basil that has the large leaves.


Fresh Basil Pesto :

2c lightly packed fresh basil leaves

2 cloves of garlic

3 TBS walnuts or pinenuts

1/3c Parmesean cheese, finely grated

1/3c extra virgin olive oil


Place basil, garlic, nuts and cheese into a food processor. Chop on high for about 20 seconds or

until chopped well. While the processor is on, slowly infuse the olive oil. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated well. Serve on toast or pasta. Enjoy.


Prairie Day Camp 2009







Yesterday the kids and Brian went up to the park office for the annual Prairie Day Camp. The theme this year was A Night On The Prairie. They spent the day learning about animals that come out a night. They went looking for insects. Gavin found a cricket and a small spider. Matthew found a spider and placed it on Sam's desk. Shhhh.....don't tell Sam. They worked on their shirt, decorating them with glow in the dark paint. They played a game where they were coyotes and went looking for food. The night was ended with a story around the campfire. I think they had a great day. I know they came home and fell into bed. All three were asleep very soon. If you live around Prairie State Park, you really should check out all the programs they have for the public. Just give them a call.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

They like us to dress up

I was getting ready for a date with my dh tonight, when I looked at what I was wearing. Ugh...I had on a comfortable shirt and a pair of shorts. Just plain comfortable clothing. I thought about when my husband and I were "dating" and I remembered back to how excited I used to get when we were going out. I would spend an hour curling my hair, putting on makeup, making myself look "cute" for him. After 18years of marriage and three kids, I thought about how much time I spend getting ready for a date now. I must admit, I have not put much thought into it. I was just thankful that my kids were old enough to stay at home with out a babysitter (Halleluiah sp? ). I would just throw something on, pull back my hair and out the door I went. I have gotten so caught up in being a mother to my kids including their teacher, that I forgot about him. I wonder what he thought. Sigh...so ladies, a wise woman once told me that we need to dress up for our dh because they LIKE it. I am not pointing fingers, I am telling on myself. And I hope he will notice when he gets home... I will let you know. By the way... I would like to hear your thoughts about this topic. Thakns.

More "green" recipes

I found a great magazine with super recipes, both food wise and cleaners. I thought I would share some of them with you.

Lemon Dish Soap
2 cups liquid Castile soap
10 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops tea tree oil
Combine all ingredients in a squeeze bottle. Works well as a hand soap too.


Soft Scrub
1/4 cup baking soda
2-3 TSP liquid Castile soap
Combine ingredients and mix until smooth. Apply with cloth and wipe clean.


Oven cleaner
1 small box baking soda
liquid Castile soap
Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven and cover with baking soda, avoiding heating coils. Sprinkle more water over soda. Let sit overnight. Wipe up in the morning, used a scrup pad. To remove residue, put a bit of Castile soap on a damp cloth and wipe clean.

Carpet deodorizer
1 cup Borax
1 cup baking soda
10 drops essential oils
Combine all ingredients and sprinkle over carpet. Let stand 20 minutes, then vacume up.


Toilet Bowl cleaner
1 gallon water
1 cup ammonia
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup baking soda
Combine all ingredients and store in a spray bottle.

Dusting spray
1 cup distilled water
2-3 drops essential oils
Combined in a spray bottle. Spray onto cotton cloth and dust away.

Castile soap is a type of soap make with olive oil rather than animal fat or synthetic substances. It is known as the mildest and most moisterizing of all soaps. Look in your laundry aisle of your local grocery store.

*this information taken from the Aug-Sept 2009 issue of Mary Janes Farm.

Nature is calling....

Hahaha.... I bet the title conjures up some intersting images in your mind. That is not at all where I am going with this. I am currently reading a book called The Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. It is a book about the changes that have occured over the course of a decade or so on where our children play. Here is a couple of quotes that caught my eye when I opened the book, please note the huge difference between them.
The first one says "There was a child went forth every day, and the first object he look'd upon, that object he became, And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day, Or for many years or stretching cycles of years. The early lilacs became part of this child, And grass and white and red morning glories, and white and red clover; and the song of the pheobe-bird, And the Third-month lambs and the sow's pink-faint litter; and the mare's foul and the cow's calf,..." ~Walt Whitman

The second one says, " I like to play indoors better 'cause that's where all the electrical outlets are." ~A Fourth-Grader in San Diego.

Wow, what a difference. My first thought was "Is there really any truth to this?" The answer is YES. This is really happenening to our society. The kids stay inside and stare at a box or play with their games (not board games mind you). The television has become a babysitter. Ouch! A very good friend of mine did a survey with the teachers in a local town. The teachers sent home instructions for the students in their classes to simply write down every time their feet touched grass. The results were scary. I don't remember the exact numbers, but a majority of students touched the grass with thier feet once every two week. Yes, two week. For some of them, it was every three weeks. Which meant that the students went from home to school by way of the garage to the car to the school parking lot to the sidewalk and in to the school.. then visa versa. The same went for things they did out of school. THEY NEVER PLAYED OUTSIDE. I was amazed to hear that.

As a child I remember going outside with my siblings and playing ball or running..... just running. I never stopped to look at the flowers or trees, and I never learned much about nature, but I knew what poison ivy was and I knew that there were bugs, ants, spiders, SNAKES (unfortunately I had to coexist with the copperheads) all around me.

Since marrying Davy Crockett (that's another blog and no I really didn't marry Davy Crockett, just someone who loves nature) and homeschooling my kids, I have learned so much about the outside world. We started nature journaling, becuase I had a very dear friend who loved to do that, so she taught me. My kids and I love to journal. It helps their knowledge of God's world as well as their artist abilities. I must stop and say that there are times (just like a few minutes ago) that I realize my kids have spent too much time inside. So, I have to remind them and myself that God's world is waiting for them just beyound the front door.

If you and your kids are interested in nature journaling, I suggest you check out your local art supply store or nearest Missouri Dept. of Conservation office for some nice journals. You don't even have to do that; just take several pieces of printer paper (hey, when did we stop calling it typing paper?) and fold them in half. Glue or staple the seams and then your are on your way. Have your kids decorate the front of their books, give them a pencil or colored pencils and send them and your self outside. My good friend, Gladys, suggests not giving them erasers. That was a hard one for me, because I wanted to be perfect in my drawings. It taught me to really stop and look at what I was drawing and to accept what I drew. God makes no mistakes.

I hope you all have a great day getting yourself and your kids outside and learning about the great big world God has made. It is amazing what you will learn. You can see God in every corner of nature. Have fun!

~Gayla




Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Home made laundry soap

Home made laundry soap ...

My husband became allergic to commercialized laundry detergant, so after some research I found this recipe. It works great and smells WONDERFUL.

1 bar Fels Naptha soap, finely grated
1 1/2 cup Borax powder
1 1/2 cup washing suds

Mix together and store in an air tight container.
Use 2 TBS per load.

I'm a proud mama!

Ok, I just have to boast. Sorry, but sometimes that is the only thing a mama can do. I was looking at someones blog spot (thanks Laura) and really liked how she had the cutest backgrounds. So I found the little website :www.thecutestblogontheblock.com from her blog site. My son and I sat down and started trying to figure out how to get the background that I had chosen to wind up on my blogsite. After a few times.... he was really good at this stuff, I was able to change my blog background. We also added a cute blinkie. I am so bad at this computer stuff, because growing up, we didn't even have a computer in our school, much less in our homes. I am a homeschooling mom and I love the fact that my kids have taken it upon themselves to sit down and plunk around learning how to use this little box sitting in front of me. I SEE HOMESCHOOL HOURS ahead of me.

Until next time~

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Just Hanging out in Texas


Last Saturday afternoon, my family and I headed down to Gainsville, Texas to see some great friends that we have known for a long time. I am so thankful for how God has intertwined our lives with Mark and Amy. They have three boys that are great kids. Their kids are the same ages as our children. Stephen and Matthew were in the nursery together at Osage Hills Baptist Church in Osage Beach, Mo. We have spent many MANY hours enjoying each other's company.
While in Texas, we have been enjoying INCREDIBLE food. Amy is such a great cook. The kids have played hours and hours of football. Maggie has hung out with her mom, as she is greatly outnumbered here. We just returned from a short day trip to Denton, Tx. Right now the kids and Amy are at the lake enjoying some sunshine and water. Tonight we are heading to the clubhouse to play some bingo.
As I sit here and think about our lives, Brian and I are truly blessed to have such great friends that we can talk with and spar off each other. We have walked thru the trenches together. Mark and Amy have been there when our two younger kids were born.
When I think of the fellowship that Christ talks about in the New Testament, I can't help but think that he was talking not of organized worship, but fellowship at kitchen tables reading the Bible together, discussing biblical topics, etc...
We look forward to many more years of making memories with the Bakers.
~Until next time,
Gayla

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Have you read it?

I thought that it would be a good time to post the Declaration of Independence. I am not sure how many of us actually know and understand what it says and what it does not... Please take a moment to go over it. Ponder on what freedom means to you. I feel that is very important to teach our children what this document really says and what people had to do to gain freedom for the United States.


The Declaration of Independence
In Congress, July 4, 1776, THE UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OFTHE THIRTEEN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
John Hancock, President
Attested, Charles Thomson, Secretary
New Hampshire:Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts-Bay:Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut:Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
Georgia:Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
Maryland:Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison,Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
New York:William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
Pennsylvania:Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer,James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware:Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
North Carolina:William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina:Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
New Jersey:Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson,John Hart, Abraham Clark



So as you can see, we live in the most wonderful country in the world. May God richly bless you and your family as we celebrate this most important holiday...

Until next time...


~Happy blogging.




Monday, May 11, 2009

Memories Were Made Today!


Today my kids and I headed out to the local nurseries to find the best flowers for our yard. We are having a church picnic at our house on Memorial Day, so we are cleaning up around the place and planting flowers. We went to the local Amish greenhouse and found the most beautiful haning basket of geraniums. Then it was on the a nursery on the other side of the county to find more geraniums and impatients. LOTS of Impatients. As we loaded them in the car and said hello to the owner's two dogs, we decided to go looking for some Basil and tomatoes. Those were found at the greenhouse in town. After heading to Wal Mart and then back to the Amish store, it was onward towards home. We planted those beautiful and delicate flowers in large pots and put them in strategic placed in the yard. What a difference it made. My yard went from just green to splashes of green, red, pink, purple, orange, rust, and white. It was beautiful. It made me stop and think about the little things that God gives us to enjoy Him. The flowers, the birds and butterflies... these are all just God's paintbrush. It is like God is saying, "Look what I can do." I enjoyed spending time with my children as we went looking for the flowers and then planting them. I am sure this has been the best spring season in a long time, just because I was able to spend the time with my kids. Memories were made today. Take time to stop, smell the flowers and listen to what God has to say to you.
Until next time...

Major Storms

This last Friday morning, May 8, 2009, I awoke to a very scary storm. As I laid there, I heard the sound of a very loud "train" coming OVER the house. I felt God saying, "GET UP NOW!". I jumped up and found my family still sleeping. The DISH network was out so I could not look at a radar picture. Something just said to get everyone in the hall. I woke my husband up and said that we needed to get in the hall. Pulling the kids out of bed, we grabbed the animals and took cover. As we prayed, we heard the sound of cracking wood and close lightening strikes. WOW, what might power God has. Our power went out about ten minutes after that. When it was over, we ventured outside and found a lot of damage....trees or tree limbs down, water WATER everywhere....poles and lines down... amazing how wind can make.

We found out that the damage was wide spread and that we were the lucky ones. I am so thankful that God was protecting us.