Showing posts from August, 2020

Words For Wednesday


Seasoning Choices For Your Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks

When you have a dozen chicken drumsticks in your freezer, you immediately want to find a way to cook them up. Ok, maybe that’s just me, but the drumstick has always been my favorite part of the chicken. Yep, I’m a dark meat kind of girl.So when our Butcher Box had drumsticks in it as part of our chicken order this month, I pulled out the slow cooker and got to work. Chicken drumsticks only take about 6 hours on low to get cooked all the way through, which is perfect for Sunday lunch after church. Put them in when you get up Sunday morning and they’re ready when you get home.That’s the basics. Now for the fun part - seasoning! Just put the drumsticks in a large plastic bag, add the seasoning and shake. Then dump them in the slow cooker and add about 1/2 cup of chicken stock around the edges. Here are just a few seasoning combinations that will knock your socks off.* salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and parsley* salt, garlic powder, turmeric, oregano and pepper*…

Death And Life Are In The Power Of Our Words

This is one of my favorite verses in Proverbs, just after the Proverbs 31 Woman. Words are incredibly important and indescribably powerful, but we rarely stop to think about the effects our words can have on other people and on everyday situations.
In Sunday school yesterday, we gave the teens a single sentence and told them to say it in certain emotions. My example was “Did you see the ducks on the pond?” Then I read it like I was happy, sad, angry, confused, worried and disappointed, changing my voice inflection each time. Well, they were off and running with it. I haven’t laughed so hard in ages hearing “I have five things to do today” spoken with confusion, “The grocery store was busy today” read painfully and “The dog’s name is George” with disappointment. 

After this fun game, we talked about what our words should and shouldn’t be. We each picked a word that sounded intriguing, looked up the verse and explained it to the group. It’s eye-opening to see how God uses both direct comm…

My “Grace Upon Grace” Planner Layout

There are some weeks that we need a little more grace than others. To remind myself that it’s about God’s grace and not about my being perfect, this Grace Upon Grace planner layout will be a daily reminder of how much I need grace - unmerited favor, giving what I don’t deserve.
For the background anchors of both pages, I layered pink and aqua washi tape and accented it with my favorite tassel garland washi. There’s something about that garland that makes me incredibly happy. I had several stickers that spoke of grace, so they serve as journal block toppers. The menu planning section is accented with the same heart stickers, and I coordinated the sticker letters with that pretty pink.
I’ve been writing a little bit more on the right hand page of my planner, so I’m trying to be more sparse in my decorations. Here, I still have the words and phrases I know I’ll need to hear this week, but they’re accented with some beautiful yet simple hearts. Our teen Bible study this week is either going…

Dogs, Please Just Shake!

All I wanted was a set of photos with each of our four dogs shaking hand and paw. That’s not too much to ask is it? Callie refused to sit, and when she plopped herself down, she refused to actually participate. She slapped her paw into my hand and looked away. Molly did something similar, but when she looked away it was as if the queen on her throne was allowing me to kiss her paw. Which I did not. I simply shook it and she accepted that. Believe it or not, Diesel is my problem child. He gets this look on his face like I have committed the most heinous crime. Shake my paw indeed... But, to be honest, Parker’s shake photo is my favorite. He wanted absolutely nothing to do with this silliness. And his look says as much. I have never seen a dog squint his eyes in frustration the way he does, and with me he does it quite frequently. And how can you not smile when you see this? I hope it brightens your day like it did mine.

Two Kinds Of Natural Sunshine For Your Friday

We could all use a little sunshine in our lives, right?

How about a field full of sunflowers? And some bees doing their pollinating thing? Pearson Park is a food park, usually filled with sorghum, soybeans or corn, and maintained by Wapello County Conservation. But this year they were gifted with sunflower seeds. And we’re gifted with the crop.
For the week or two, the sunflowers will be bright and beautiful. Pearson Park is located two miles west of Ottumwa on Eddyville Road (West Second Street) at 160th Avenue. I pray you’ll enjoy these rays of sunshine on your Friday!

Use Those Paper Scraps On Some Fun New Cards

When I make cards for Stuff From Trees, I have enough card stock left over from each one for two mini cards, a gift tag and a bookmark. With all the cards I make, I have so many of those tiny tags. That’s where these three layouts come from - using those scraps in fun and unusual ways. For this Caturday card, I covered four of them with the same striped decorator paper and used them as mats behind my 3D kittens. They’re the perfect way to add an extra layer for texture and not just slap a sticker on a piece of paper.

By mixing and matching colors and patterns, you can create a one-of-a-kind background with your paper scraps. I used four handmade papers to make this card, alternating the flowers and leaves and raising the verse on 3D adhesive. This combines some of those little bits you have left over to make something textured, creative and unique.

  One of my favorite ways to use scraps of patterned paper is to turn them into a fun border. These three rectangles overlap down one side, …

Words For Wednesday


Fresh Blackberry Donuts

I’m such a donut girl. I grew up having donuts with breakfast every morning, and they’d still be my daily go-to if I had my druthers. Those baker’s dozen boxes at the grocery store call my name, and I’ve worked very hard to ignore that calling ... otherwise I’d probably be shaped like one!
I’m also quite fond of blackberries, as we have acres of blackberry bushes on our property. If you’ve read my posts from the past few days, you saw how heavy many of our bushes still are with berries that still need to ripen. That means tons of new blackberry recipes going through our kitchen!
So ... put the two together and you’ll undoubtedly get fresh blackberry donuts! Top them with a thick glaze made of powdered sugar, melted butter and milk for the perfect touch of sweetness to start your day.
Ingredients: 1 cup flour 1/2 cup sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk 1 egg 3 Tbsp butter, melted 2 tsp vanilla 1 cup fresh blueberries (tossed in just enough flour to coat them)
1. Prehe…

Doubt Has No Place In My Blackberry Bushes Or In My Heart

One of the best parts of my summer is going blackberry picking. I love tromping around the property and finding every single bush and harvesting every single blackberry I can find. It makes me so happy to bring a full container into the house, wash them up and figure out what I’m going to make with them. If you check out the Cooking tab on the side of this page or plug “blackberry” into the search bar, you’ll find dozens of recipes I’ve created to use up our blackberry crop every year.
This year has been weird, though. Usually I’d have harvested several times by now, but we still have more red berries than black ones. This is good because it means we’ll have berries for weeks to come, but it also made me put off going out to pick them this year. I’d casually look, see that they were red (or even still green) and figure I had plenty of time to get out there.
Over the weekend I went to three spots on the property that are known for their plethora of fruit. Along the driveway, there were a…

My “Black And White Music” And August Planner Layouts

I can’t remember the last time I wanted to write in my planner so much! This black and white layout with its swirls and music notes makes me so happy, and I can’t wait to fill in this week’s activities in it.

I started with black and white striped washi tape on the left and right edges, then layered metallic stickers on top of them. The four sections are labeled with titles all on a black background to keep the theme going. We received our Butcher Box order this week, so I’m looking forward to filling in the meal column with some new recipes. I’ve been looking through cookbooks to expand my horizons, so I’ll have some interesting cooking posts soon!

No page in my planner is more filled in at the end of the week than the right hand page. I’ve been working from home again for the past two weeks, but tomorrow I head back to the office. That means we’ll be super busy, and I’ll need every inch of space to stay focused and organized. 

I use the monthly calendar to keep track of my blog post, s…

My Last July Walk And What I Learned

Yesterday was my last outside walk for the month of July, and it was especially sweet. Not only was it the only day recently when it wasn’t breathtakingly hot, but there were so many beautiful and interesting surprises along the way.

I was just sure that the wild blackberry bushes were going to be empty already, but many of them are heavy-laden with both red and black berries. I harvested all the black ones, and I’m guessing it will be another week at least until the red ones have turned. It seems very late this year, but 2020 has been crazy in so many ways that this doesn’t really surprise me.

I berry picked my way along the big levee and stopped at the bottom of the ridge. This hill is my ultimate walking goal, and I told my #99Walks ladies yesterday that I’m going to conquer it in the month of August. (Check out the 99 Walks app and community if you’re ready to get motivated and get moving again. It’s the best choice I’ve made all summer!)

And there are butterflies everywhere! A few d…