Welcome to My Front Porch.....

Welcome to my front porch. It is a place where I entertain friends, family, and strangers. Where I have discussions on a wide range of topics. It's where I have long talks with my husband and where I do most of my homeschooling. My porch is also a place of solitude. Where I go with a cup of coffee and my bible for quiet time in the morning and where I relax after a long day with a glass of wine and a magazine. So kick off your shoes, have a glass of sweet tea, sit-a-spell and visit.



Thursday, October 28, 2010

New Christian Film Coming Out

Grace waiting for next scene

We spent last weekend in St. Louis.  Grace is filming a Christian film called The Swing Set  and they are trying to shoot the last few scences they need before releasing the film in December or January.  The last scene that she is in requires a beach and we are kind of land locked.  The producer wants to make the 14 hour drive to get the scene.  So that means another road trip soon.


Getting ready to shoot
It has been fun seeing how movies are made.  I can say this...it takes several hours and several "takes" of the same scene to get just a few minutes of a movie especially when you are using one camera.  The young producer we are working with is Sean Hunt who is trying to break into the film industry.  He is a very talented young man and I think he will go far.  The crew working on the film are all students at a fine arts college in St. Louis.  They are a very dedicated and hard working bunch of young people.

Grace was excited to do this film because it was about having faith that God is sovergien in all things.  You can have a peace that passes understanding even in the darkest of trials when your faith lies in God and His unending love.  She plays Allison who is a cancer patient who never blames God for what is happening to her and encourages others to trust in Him as well.

I will be posting again about the movie when I have a date of its release.  In the meantime you can check out the teaser trailer http://seanhuntfilms.com/swingset.php . We ask for prayers that this film glorify God.

Have a blessed day!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

How Fun It Is to Be a Girl

Journal Entry by Grace
October 19, 2010

                                                      
Oh how fun it is to be a girl.  To work and labor in the home and not under the hot summer sun.  When you do somehting thourghly and sweetly for your mother the joyous look in her eye and the proud tone in her voice as she says, " that's my good girl", oh, what a thrill. And to be "daddy's little girl" doesn't that sound darling. I like the airy feel of a dress and the feel of the wind through my hair.  Such pretty rooms we girls have so bright and happy.  Our play is giddy and gay as we stick flowers in our hair and dream of how it will be when we are young ladies and women.  We girls are precious buds, then we grow into beautiful roses.

GOD BLESS YOUR PRECIOUS ROSE BUDS!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Orange

My daughter does journal writing as part of her homeschooling.  She had a couple of entries I just loved and asked her permission to share them.  I've posted one below, hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Journal entry by Grace:
September 6, 2010
ORANGE

The color orange is used in so many things and in almost every season it's in summer, fall and sometimes spring.  It's warm, dark, light, happy, cozy, the color of fire, and flowers.  It's a beautiful mix between red a hot color, and yellow a fresh bright color.  Even though orange is its own color it is also like its "parents"too. It's like red because its hot, warm, firey and nice to see in cool weather.  It's like yellow because it's bright , happpy, and fresh, but at the same time it's its own.  I'm glad God made ORANGE!

HAPPY FALL Y'ALL!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Black/Copper French Marans

I like a lot of things that are french, french funiture, french cooking and french wine.  So when I found out about the French Marans I had to investigate.  This breed is very rare in the United States which is why I chose to raise them.  I liked their characteristics and I wanted to contribute to strengthening the breed in this country since they can no longer be imported from France.



They have large to extra-large dark brown eggs.  The eggs have been described as Godiva Chocolate eggs. As you can see by the photo above they are quiet-a-bit darker than the average brown egg which sits in the center.  These eggs can be and are several shades darker than the ones in this photo.   It has been said that top chefs like the eggs because of their rich buttery taste. I for one have to agree!  Their taste is fantastic.   Their egg color is unique however and are so dark because they have a special gland that kinda spray paints them as they are layed.  Apparantly this gland is not found in any other breed that I'm aware of.  Anyway it makes for beautiful eggs.  (I feel a craft project coming on!)    
 The breed is very docile and grow to a medium size as far as chickens go .  They are a great dual purpose bird.  There are two standards being breed  in the USA, if you have the kind that have feathers on their legs  they are the french standard and the Marans without feathers on their legs are american standard.  There are several different colorings in the Marans breed.  I chose the black/copper because they are known for laying the darkest eggs.  
I'm hoping I have a broody hen(which means a hen who will want to set on eggs long enough to hatch them).  I'm wanting to see if they can hatch their own chicks.  So many breeds don't have broody hens these days because most people want to hatch the eggs themselves to have a greater number of chicks to survive and sell.  I for one would like to see the hens take care of their young.  I think that characteristic will help the breed survive in the long run.
   

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Holiday Time Saver

We are coming into the busy holiday season so here is a little time and money saver for you.  Make up cookie dough from scratch (chocolate chip, ginger snaps, peanutbutter, etc.) and roll into logs with freezer paper.  Label it and put the temperature and baking time on the package.   
                             Then store them in the freezer.  It will keep for up to 6 months.


If you buy your baking  supplies in bulk and take an afternoon with your kiddos to make up several batches you can have warm, fresh, out of the oven, cookies all winter long. You will have cookie dough ready to make a batch for holiday parties, gifts for the neighbors, or a quick desert when unexpected company comes by.  The best part is it's half the cost of the store bought dough and you know what's in it.

Happy Cookie Dough Making!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Invisible Woman

video
Impress these words of Mine on your hearts and souls, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads.  Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deut. 11:18-19

Lord, our Lord, how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth!  You have covered the heavens with Your majesty.  Because of Your adversaries, You have established a stronghold from the mouths of children and nursing infants to silence the enemy and the avenger.  Psalm 8:1-2

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Mat. 7:11

On those days when you wonder why I ever became a mom........the house is a wreck, you have nothing out for dinner and the kids are hungry, you've changed a dozen dirty diapers, your husband calls from some amazing restuarant that he found while on his business trip and you are talking with excitement in your voice but are sitting there with stained smelly clothes because the baby just threw up on you.....................GOD SEES..................and that makes all the difference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

RECYCLED Barn Wood Cabinets



This post is part of the "Show us your Life - Kitchen Tour" found on http://www.kellyskornerblog.com/.

Two years ago we down sized from 4,000 sq. ft. to 1.200 sq.ft.  Because I loved to cook I had a huge kitchen and LOTS of dishes and cabinets to keep them in and a walk in pantry.  So when we moved I had to weed through the dishes then figure out where to put the food in my new kitchen.  I like my new smaller kitchen better.  It's different and very me.  Here's the tour............ 


 

We used wood from an old barn.  I put a coat of clear laquer so that it would clean up easily.  Then added vegetable handles.



I used silver patterned tin for the wall above the cabinets as well as the back splash to bring more light into the room.  Here is something you might help me with....I am thinking about changing the light above the table to a crystal chandelier.  I like mixing rustic and formal.  What do you think?

Since I don't have a formal dinning room I combined my fromal table with some mixed chairs.  The floor is cedar that was cut and milled within 50 miles of here.

Instead of using glass in the upper cabinets I put in chicken wire with a blue and brown floral fabric behind.
For a pantry I already had some 12" deep white bookshelves from my old house that would fit perfectly along one of the empty walls of my new kitchen.  So I had a cabinet maker come out and measure for some doors.  I anchored the bookshelves to the wall painted the doors to match and I have a pantry I can find things in.


I like the 12" depth better than the deep pantries with drawers.  You never lose anything this way.  You just open a door and can easily see what you have.  Above shows the baking and breakfast area of the pantry.


 Above is a a copper tree that covers the vent above my stove.  It was made by a craftsman at Silver Dollar City and covers the ugly vent nicely.  It also helps bring in the red from the cedar floors and the copper accents of my stove.

I love love love cooking with gas.  When I found this stove on craigslist I snatched it right up knowing it was a perfect fit for my kitchen with stainless steel and copper accents.  (Finding this stove was a God thing because I live way out in the country and the people I bought it from were only 10 minutes away.  Nothing is to small for God in giving us the desires of our hearts!!)

My sink is another unique find.  It is cast iron with brown porcalian and is extra deep like the old farm sinks.  The window above it looks out to my front porch and the beautiful views beyond.  The counter tops were put in by my husband and daughter Heather.  They are ceramic tile with glass accents.

Well, thanks for coming by I hope you enjoyed the tour.  Have a blessed day.







Thursday, October 7, 2010

It all started with a kiss....

Then two people fell in love...............
                                                    and  four wonderful children came into our lives....

 Jessica, Brandon, Heather and Grace.  (Brandon hold your "B" straight.)
 There that's better.

Here's a tip for you new moms.  Even when they are older they will not listen.......
"Okay kids put the letters down and let's do a serious picture now."



''OMG, knock it off or we'll be here all day!''


Then FINALLY!!



                                                      AWWW aren't the sweet when they mind.

I used to think my family would shrink as my children got older and moved out but I have experienced just the opposite.  My family is growing.......


Jessica met Kyle....
                           and history repeats itself.........


 


Steve and I have been married a long time
but it feels like we've only just begun..................................

BLESSINGS FROM MY FAMILY TO YOURS!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

 I like to cook with fresh herbs all year.  So I often will grow them in my windowsill.  This year however, I decieded to glam-up my pots with a little paint.



I just took regular clay pots and some spray paint.  After they dried I taped off the top rim and turned the saucer upside down.  Then painted them with chalkboard paint.  I liked the added black and you can write what you planted on the top rim of the pot.  Then next year wipe it off and plant something different.


Now I can have my fresh herbs growing in my kitchen in style.  I encourage you to go out and get some clay pots and add your personal touch!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Raw Milk Anyone?

Have you ever had raw cow milk?  Well, if you haven't you are in for a treat.  It taste so much sweeter and richer than the ultra pasturized version you find in the store. But you must be careful where you get your milk.  It must be a VERY VERY clean facility.  We get ours from Lomah Dairy near Tiff City, MO.  These folks are wonderful and take pride in their produt.  They are also gearing up their facilty to make and sell cheeses.  If you live in the area I recommend you go see them. 

There are several other benefits to raw cow milk.  For instance you can skim off the heavy cream and use it to make whipped topping for desert.  Just add about a tablespoon of sugar and about 1/8 teaspoon vanilla and mix on high with your whisk attachment until peaks form.   Or you can mix the cream with a paddle attachment on medium to make butter.  This takes about 10- 20 minutes. Or if you need something to keep the kids busy.  Put it in a glass jar with a lid and let the them take turns shaking the jar.  Drain off the liquid (this can be used for buttermilk busicuits) and VOILA....you have butter.
Another wonderful thing to make is mozzarella cheese.  It's easier than you think and only takes about an hour.  In large stainless steel pot put 1 1/2 teaspoon citric acid disssolved in 1/2 cup water add 1 gallon of milk and heat it up slowly to 88 degrees F.(you will need a thermometer with a long stem to get the temperature in the middle of the pan).  Stir slowly so the milk doesn't scorch the bottom.  Take the milk off the heat as soon as it reaches 88 degrees.  Add 1/4 rennet tablet already disssolved in water. mix well into milk. Let stand 5- 8 minutes.  There should be curds forming.  With a slotted spoon remove them from the whey(this can be used in bread recipes).  Then put the curds in the microwave for 1 minute.  Put on some heavy rubber gloves to protect your hands drain off any excess whey. Try to stretch the cheese.  If it doesn't stretch well it's probably not hot enough.  Put back into the microwave  30 seconds and repeat...knead, stretch, pour off liquid.  If the cheese is not real shiney and stretchy at this point put it in the microwave again at 30 seconds and reapeat the stretching, and pouring off excess liquid.  Depending on your microwave you may have to repeat this last step one or two more times.( I ususally only have to put it in for 1 minute once and 30 seconds twice.)   Form your cheese into balls and ENJOY! 

Of course there are other easy cheeses you can make as well as homemade ice cream and yogurt.  Here are some websites for more ideas and how-to information that I like to use: http://www.cheesemaking.com/ you can order cheesemaking supplies as well as instructional videos on cheese.  Another helpful  video is Homestead Blessings:The Art of Dairy Delights which you can order from http://www.visionforum.com/ .

If you haven't tried fresh cow's milk I would encourage you to find a local dairy near you and enjoy all the fresh things you make with it not to mention the simple indulgence of a cold glass with warm chocolate chip cookies.  Yum yum yum!