Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Storm

By: Beth (and Becca)
   Wow, did we have an exciting Friday! We came home just in time from our little road trip to get hit by a tornado. Well, it didn't go through our town, but it came very close, and it was such a blessing how things turned out.
Usually, these trips to meet our mom's friend take all day, but yesterday I had to be back by 4 o'clock for work. That was the first blessing. 30 miles from home, we got a call from our dad telling us our county was in a tornado warning. Now this always confuses me, but a warning is when the conditions are right, and a watch is when one has been officially spotted. So we hurried home, me getting dropped off at the library where I work, and Mom and Becca rushing home to make sure things were put away outside and the rabbit hutches were storm proofed (some tarps and a couple of cinder blocks to hold them down). If I didn't have to go to work, we wouldn't have gotten home to do those things.
  All the while, the sky was getting darker and the wind was picking up. I turned on the radio in the library, and it was reporting that nearby towns had been hit by the storm, funnel clouds had been spotted, and it was headed our way.
 Minutes later, the sky turned a shade of green, rain started coming down in torrents, and the emergency siren started going off. At home, Mom and Becca headed for the basement. 
(Becca's turn! Actually Dad had called us before the siren had sounded and told us to go in the basement. So we grabbed the dog, a comfy chair, a game of Othello, both the iPads, the rest of the cookies, a giant afghan, a card table and I grabbed my new nail polish. It took a few trips but finally we made it. We sat on the couch ( which was all ready down there) and prayed. Then I tried to finish painting my nails, but it became rather difficult when the lights went out. Mom went upstairs to get some giant emergency glow sticks, while the storm was at full force ( at least it sounded that way) .As we played Othello in the light of the glow stick, we wondered about each scary sound we heard, frequently looked at the one tiny window we had ( It looked weirdly green outside) and discussed what a tornado would sound like ( Mom said it would sound like a train. After worrying about whether or not the back door was open, Mom went to check and came back saying " The hackberry tree is down!")


It is a miracle that it didn't hit our house (or the neighbor's either) The tree split in two, one fell between our house and garage the other fell harmlessly in the yard. Praise God for His protection!
The funny thing is that we had been wanting to get rid of that tree for a few years because it had been looking poorly. Someone suggested to water it more and we had redirected our sub-pump hose to the tree's base.

 We discovered that the tree did not need more water, as it was rotten to the core. : )

Back at the library, I (Beth) went to a center room with no windows. Thankfully, no one came in to return books or check out movies, so it was just me and a lady who worked in the same building.
About half an hour later, we heard the all clear siren, and poked our heads out of hiding. The sky had lightened, (If the creepy orange color it turned would be considered lighter then its previous sickly green), but it was still raining. I was able to close the library for the night and make my way home, along with my dad.
Everyone was fine. A tornado had touched down outside of our town, but thankfully the only damage most people had was downed trees and a few broken power lines.
We spent the rest of the evening walking around town, visiting friends and church family, and then playing games since our power didn't come back on until midnight or so.
So, all this long post to say: "We survived a tornado!", and God really protected us. We hope your first day of summer wasn't as frightening as ours!

There is a Time



 This is a favorite folk song of ours.  If you listen closely in the the beginning, you can hear the birds from our backyard where we recorded this.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Snickerdoodles

by: Bethany

  Bad, bad me… With my family suffering from colds, what do I decide to make today?

Cookies!


Not that they won't appreciate them, it's just that sugar won't exactly help their immune systems  :)
 But there's a reason I'm making them; actually three. 
   First, we (Mom, Becca, and I) are going on a mini road trip tomorrow to meet a friend, and cookies are good snacks for in the car.
  Second, we are babysitting 5 little friends this afternoon, and they would also enjoy them.
  Third, there's a bag of cinnamon chips in the pantry just begging to be made into something delicious.
  So you see, I just have to make cookies  :)


  We have found that snickerdoodles become even more awesome when you add cinnamon chips. By the way, why are they called snickerdoodles? Hold on a second and I'll go look it up…..
   
  Ok, I'm back. Here's what wikipedia says:  The Joy of Cooking claims that snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, and that the name is a corruption of the German word Schneckennudeln ("snail noodles"), a kind of pastry. It is also possible that the name is simply a nonsense word with no particular meaning, originating from a New England tradition of whimsical cookie names.

Hmmm… snail noodles? I think someone probably made it up on a whim. Alright, back to the recipe. Because everyone is sick, I'll make these the healthiest cookies ever, or at least I'll try :)


Ingredients:

1 cup coconut oil
 (either expeller pressed, which doesn't taste like anything, or virgin, which has a strong coconut flavor. I made a batch of both, and they are equally yummy)
1 1/2 cups natural sugar (I used light brown muscovado)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 3/4 cups wheat flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups cinnamon chips
3 Tbsp, natural sugar and 3 tsp. cinnamon mixed in a large shallow bowl or plate.

Cream together oil and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, and blend well. Then add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon chips. Mix well, then shape dough into 1" balls and roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.      


(Becca [the photographer]: Yum! yum! yum!)

Enjoy your Snail Noodles!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Morning Bike Ride in Pictures

By Becca

We ( Beth, Mom and I) have been trying to go on a bike ride each morning.  Not only is it good exercise, but it also makes a nice start to one's day.  We have a lake that we ride around, it's a ten mile ride and a great opportunity to bring along my camera!




Sparkling drops of morning dew still clinging to the grass.



The lake was so calm that morning, its glassy surface reflecting the trees.

 Along the way I met a yellow headed black bird, 


A beautiful view of the lake
 (please excuse the dirty camera lens)


A random shot I took over my shoulder, and turned out pretty good 
( if I do say so myself )  : )

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Old Fashioned Lemonade

By Becca

I have a cold… it's really a bummer.  Isn't it weird to catch a cold in June?  It shouldn't be possible, it's not cold out! : (
Anyhow… enough complaining.
One thing that has helped me these few days is lemonade.  It's not just any lemonade, it's a special recipe I sorta made myself.  It's mostly inspired from this lovely little cookbook.


Here is the recipe for "Becca's Special Cold Tonic Disguised as Delicious Lemonade"

4 cups water                             1 1/3 cups lemon juice


Zest of two lemons                  2 cups raw honey

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger (optional. But if you have some, put it in!)

Boil the water, lemon zest and ginger until the water turns yellow, smells wonderful and lemony.
While that boils, you can juice your lemons. Or you can cheat and open a bottle of lemon juice : )  Unless you have spectacularly huge lemons, the two lemons you just zested won't give you 1 1/3 cups of juice and bottled juice makes a fine supplement.
Oh, and while you're waiting for the lemon/ginger infusion you can wrestle two cups of honey out of your honey jar.

When the lemon/ginger tea ( which essentially is what you made ) is done, strain and pour into a two quart pitcher.  Dissolve the honey in the tea then add the lemon juice.
Dilute with cold water to taste. ( I top off the pitcher.)

Lemons are packed with vitamin C and are great for helping colds.
Honey is antibacterial and antiviral, also terrific.
Ginger helps boost the immune system.

You can make this when you're sick, or just when you're craving a refreshing drink on a summer day!




Thursday, June 13, 2013

Meet Steve

By: Beth

 So far, we have introduced all of our adult rabbits except one… Steve!


Isn't he a handsome fellow? You may be wondering why we named him Steve. It is a funny name for a rabbit after all. Well, maybe you aren't , but I'll tell you anyway :)
Steve is named for Steve Austin, the main character in a 70's TV show called "The Six Million Dollar Man". He's our "Bionic Bunny", though he doesn't have any super powers. He is very fast, agile, and muscular, but he doesn't make those cheesy sound effects when he jumps over things.  :)


Steve is a very independent rabbit. He doesn't mind being held, so long as he can decide when it's over.
He has fathered four litters so far, but only one of the babies has looked like him.


Steve McGee, our kit we fostered into another litter (See post "Meet Stormy").

So now you've met all our rabbits! They are a cute little bunch, aren't they? Well, we sure like them. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bye-Bye Bunnies!

by: Beth



First off, I would like to make a correction to the post "Rainy Afternoon…". We actually don't have a Benjamin. All the babies are female, but it's just so hard to tell gender when they are little.

    It was an exciting weekend for the little bunnies. They turned 4 weeks old and headed off to their new homes! Three of them, Zoe, Mandy, and Polly (shortly misnamed Benjamin), went to to families to show for 4-H. It's kind of funny because they will probably be competing against each other, so they all better tie for first place :)
The last one, Clara (renamed Daisy), went to a friend who lives just a couple blocks from us, so it will be fun to visit her and see her grow.
We miss the little guys, and are kind of sad to see them go, but we are also looking forward to more upcoming litters. That's one of the joys of raising rabbits.


See ya' Clara! Oops, I mean Daisy.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Jadeite Gifts

By: Beth


  A few of my graduation gifts were additions to my slowly growing jadeite collection, which was really neat! A few of the pieces, I had never seen before in antique stores, or online.


  I received this adorable little juicer from some friends. It doesn't have any markings on it, but from what  I have looked up on the computer, I think it was made in the 1930's.


This cute canister and serving bowl were a gift from my great aunt and uncle.



They're both depression glass as far as I know, again, no exact markings.  The bowl is a bubble style and was made in many different colors.  It's really fun, isn't it? It would look so pretty with a fresh fruit salad in it.
So far, I've been able to fit my collection in my hope chest, but as I get more and more pieces, I might need to change that so I'll have room for other things in there.  :)









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