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Monday, November 22, 2010

Leaves, music, bread, and kid cuteness ~

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We have a white ash tree in our front yard that provides us with cooling shade in the summer and a blaze of yellow in the autumn.  After it has provided us with coolness and beauty, it quickly drops its leaves to the front lawns of our house and our neighbor’s house.  Even though I love the scattered look of leaves, they do get a bit messy with the rains that come our way in the winter.

DSCN7094 This is the small pile! 

Today, I decided to tackle the leaf-covered yard with the leaf blower while Flower Girl raked.  It was definitely a good workout and I sit here very tired and pretty sure that my arms will be a bit sore in the morning.  But I loved it!  Tonight, David and the kids carried the leaves to the back yard to be used as mulch for the garden and in the compost bin over the winter. 

DSCN7083 Watching the guys across the street as they work on our neighbor’s lawn.  (And eating a doughnut.)

In the past, we would bag the leaves and leave them for the city to pick up.  Some time last winter, we ended up with a small pile of leaves in the backyard.  Every time I would put some kitchen scraps into the compost bin, I would put a shovel or two of leaves into the bin also.  The bin is now full and will cook all winter.  In the spring, we should have some wonderful compost for the garden.  Now,we will start a new compost bin and fill it with leaves and kitchen scraps.  Then we should have some lovely compost for our garden the following year.  I love how God has designed nature to do these things.  It truly amazes me. 

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DSCN7075  Dancing to Christmas music while standing on mommy’s feet

Lately, we have been listening to Christmas music.  I usually wait until after Thanksgiving to start Christmas decorating and music.  However, between practicing for the children’s choir Christmas program and the adult choir musical, I just could not wait one more second before I pulled out some of my favorite music.  Last year, we bought a wonderful Christmas CD by Casting Crowns.   One song in particular is my favorite.  David and I get chills when we listen to this song. 

The second verse on our CD is a little different from the linked song above.  It goes like this:

Mary shivers in the cold

Trying to keep the Savior warm

Born among the animals wrapped in dirty rags

Because there was no room for Him in the world He came to save

But the third verse really gets me every time.  Chills are running up my arms right now because I’m listening to the song and it is on the third verse.  Seriously, it is a great song.

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After reading the comments on this post, I decided to give it another try on making whole wheat bread.  My friend, Amanda, has posted a series on making bread but I didn’t have any lecithin so I used a recipe from Heavenly Homemakers.  And my bread did not rise.  I just have issues with 100 percent whole wheat.  It’s not the yeast either…it is brand new.  I’m going to get the ingredients that I need and try Amanda’s recipe.  If you have any words of encouragement or advice on making 100% whole wheat bread, I’d appreciate it!

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Even though the bread did not turn out, I had some excellent company as I was kneading the dough.  Sunshine Girl joined me and I handed her a pinch of dough to knead as we worked together.  She tells me all the time that she is “a mommy just like you (me)”.  That does my heart good.  And it keeps me in line too.  These little eyes are watching me to see what a momma is to do and be.

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Years ago, we planted a golden rain tree in the backyard.  I love that little tree even though it blocks some sun from the garden.  The colors in the autumn are absolutely brilliant.  Sunshine Girl wanted to sit in the tree the other day and I had to snap a few photos.  She has a little sore on the side of her mouth from the week that our family was so sick. 

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Now I just need to figure out how to edit out those sunspots!  But I loved the pictures anyway.

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Daily, I am blessed with many new artistic creations and cards from my children.   I hate to throw them away but if I kept everything from my children, I would need to add a whole new room onto my house!  So I keep the special things and try to recycle the others.  However, it warms my soul that my kids love to express themselves with painting, drawing, and words.

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I know it seems that my older boys are missing from the photos but they are out of town on their 5th (or is it 6th) annual hunting trip with PawPaw Marsh.  They called earlier to tell me that they “almost” got one today.  I’ve still got my fingers crossed for some venison to fill the freezer.

I hope your week is off to a great start!  Have a blessed day!

9 comments:

  1. love the title. what sweet memorable photos of your home with the things happening in and out. We just made some compost bins this fall and we are so thankful to be using them now too. thank you for sharing the song. I've never heard it and now I think it's high time we started listening to christmas music too!
    I will just have to come on over to your house today to bake bread with you {grin & frown at the same time}

    hang in there, I don't know how many loaves went out to the possums before I made a good one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Amanda. Whenever you're down this way, just drop on in. We'll talk bread, kids,gardens, etc. Maybe one day we'll get the chance. Thanks for the encouragement!

    ReplyDelete
  3. To get my whole wheat bread to rise in the cooler months I put it in the laundry room with the dryer on or with a small space heater running. In the summer it will rise just fine on my kitchen counter as long as it isn't a rainy day. My bread never turns out on a rainy day.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, Melissa. Yesterday was a very humid & muggy day here. Maybe that and some other things kept my bread from rising. It sure did smell good though! Can't tell you how upset I was to waste my honey! {smile}

    I'm going to try it again after the holidays and see if I can finally make whole wheat bread. Then I may try my hand at sourdough again.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The pictures of your daughter in the tree are just wonderful! Hope you have a great night and a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    blessings,
    Jill

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  6. 100% whole wheat is going to be a very heavy loaf. Try starting with half whole wheat and half white. Then increase the amount of whole wheat until you find a balance that works for you. You need some of the more gluteny (Is that a word) flour in order for it to rise properly. Another thing my brother taught me is to never ever wash your bread pan. He said when you buy a new pan you should count on throwing away the first loaf. After that wipe out the pan but don't wash it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. 100% whole wheat is going to be a very heavy loaf. Try starting with half whole wheat and half white. Then increase the amount of whole wheat until you find a balance that works for you. You need some of the more gluteny (Is that a word) flour in order for it to rise properly. Another thing my brother taught me is to never ever wash your bread pan. He said when you buy a new pan you should count on throwing away the first loaf. After that wipe out the pan but don't wash it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks, Amanda. Whenever you're down this way, just drop on in. We'll talk bread, kids,gardens, etc. Maybe one day we'll get the chance. Thanks for the encouragement!

    ReplyDelete
  9. To get my whole wheat bread to rise in the cooler months I put it in the laundry room with the dryer on or with a small space heater running. In the summer it will rise just fine on my kitchen counter as long as it isn't a rainy day. My bread never turns out on a rainy day.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments! Thanks for taking time to leave me a message. I'll be sure to get back in touch with you!

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