I Have Been Blessed

All about how God has blessed me. In my marriage, with my six children, through homeschooling, and our faith with recipes, large family living, and updates on our life.

A new page

Somehow it is 2013 already, and my mind has been swimming with all the possibilities that this New Year could hold. I’ve seen people on Facebook posting their word of the year, and although words have floated around, none have yet to take root. I can’t get past the word I have tried to set for my life – Blessed. I am so overwhelmingly, exceedingly blessed. For Christmas, my mom made me a gratitude journal “365 things I am thankful for in 2013”. The truth is I could sit down right now, and fill all 365 slots. Easily.

My dad asked me what my resolutions for this year will be and I told him I hadn’t made any. Although we will try to focus on getting healthier this year, I really don’t want to have the title of “resolution” onto it. It’s just something we knew we’d do after the stress and excitement of the holidays were over.

But what do I want to accomplish this year …. I want to pray more and judge less. I want to be a better me – a better wife, a better mom, a better daughter, sister, a better friend. I want to hold tightly to my priorities and my convictions. I want to stay positive. I want to remember that I am rich in love. My hands are full and my heart is fuller. That I am blessed with the opportunity to be in this life. With my wonderful husband. That I get to be the Mommy to these kids, in this house, farming, together.  I want to remember daily that I have everything I need and that the Lord has proven over and over again to us that he is faithful to provide for us in all situations. I want to remember over and over that I have MORE than I need, because He is also faithful to provide my wants to me as well.

Sometimes my faith is small, and God has to remind me that I am in His hands and He is taking care of it all. What do I have to worry about.

I was upset last week – the frost had knocked out some of our crops. Our green beans, our squash, our corn that was almost ready, our peas we had been hoping for …. all frozen. I was disappointed. But, I didn’t realize that it wasn’t all lost. In actuality only the tops of our plants had gotten freeze-burn, and underneath the plants were still thriving. There were still green beans I could pick, and flowers on my pea plants.

Then Saturday came, and it was raining. We haven’t  before had to do a market in the rain. I had convinced myself it was going to be a bad day. I told my husband on the way there “I think we’re going to lose money today. I don’t even think we’ll make cost. It’s a good thing your parents bought me a pressure canner for Christmas, because we’re going to have a lot of vegetables left over.” I had little faith. But I also knew we had everything we needed. Even if we had lost money and had a bad day, I knew it would be okay, because God had already provided for our needs this month. But I forgot. I forgot he takes care of us over and abundantly. Saturday ended up being the best market day we have had so far. We sold out of nearly everything. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude, and disappointed in myself for my lack of faith.

So maybe my word for 2013 needs to be faith – that I need to focus on strengthening my faith. Because God is good to us. WE ARE SO BLESSED!!!!!!!!!!

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Time Flies

…when you’re too busy! Austin has been laid off again, so we are putting all our efforts into farming and markets and enjoying getting to spend lots of time as a family. We have been in this season before (for three years – from two weeks before Adreya was born until the Monday after her third birthday) and we are not fearful about being in this season again. When Austin was out of work for three years, we saw over and over again how the Lord provided for us. And even though it has been just one month now, we are still faithful and He has been faithful to show us already how we are in His hands. So in the last month, we have prepared our ground, planted seeds, and have little sproutlings up. We are doing a second planting today to stagger our crop. We have started doing markets (right now by buying and reselling to secure our position until our own crops are in) and are enjoying the fellowship and friendly atmosphere, but mostly enjoying being together as a Family.

Somehow in all of that going on, even though we DID celebrate my middle princesses FOURTH birthday, I forgot to get on here and make a tribute to her. I love that no matter how many children you have, they each end up different … with different personalities, different attitudes, different likes … Adreya is our charmer. She is the one who people levitate towards. She is so beautiful with her silky dirty blond hair and has a sweet personality. She is a nurturer and quick to help, happy to please. She is the best at doing a job through to completion, and often is the one I can count on to do a job that her three bigger siblings would leave unfinished, or complain about – Adreya will take on the task, with a good cheerful attitude and see it through, smiling, and talking all the way. She makes my Mother’s heart happy.

Recently, when I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she answered “a very nice queen”, which I thought was a great answer!!! Brendyn answered that question with a chef (he loves to cook and try out new recipes – he has quite the repertoire of meals I can completely turn over to him now.) Tyler had a hard time deciding, because he just doesn’t know yet, although for the sake of an answer, he told me a police man. We’ll work on the strength and endurance that comes with that later!! Madelynne answered ” a homeschooling mommy” with four kids: Violet (her favorite toy), Virgil (grandpa’s middle name), Virginia (Grammy’s name), and Victor (the only other  boy v name we could think of). She also wants her husband to farm and do markets that way he can be home, although, she says, if he has to work for long times, she will “just have to look after all my four kids by myself.” Wyatt said he wanted to be a soldier, with his Bubba (Brendyn says he would like to go do a short military tour before becoming a chef and Wyatt idolizes his brother!). Cassidy couldn’t answer for herself, so I decided for her she should attempt to be a princess. She is already so good at it!

We have been blessed. Beyond all that we could EVER ask or think.

 

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Patty Pan Squash Recipes

While scouring the internet for Patty Pan Squash, I found very little in the realms of recipes. I am not sure whether Patty Pan, or Scallop Squash is a Northern thing or a Southern thing. This is the second year we have grown them, and thus, I have had to learn how to cook them.

Tyler helps pick Patty Pan Squash

Here are my 3 favorite ways.

1. Wash it and slice it, and cut it. Put a pat of butter in a skillet. Add the squash. Add garlic, and seasonings (I use 1 tsp Oregano, Parsley, and Basil). Add any or none of the following, depending on what you have and what you like (Onions, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Japanese Eggplant, Green Tomatoes). Cook until everything is super tender. (Stirring once in while.) Serve over Brown Rice. Top with Parmesan Cheese. – This is the way we most often have it, because it is a great way to use lots of ‘leftover’ vegetables at once.

2. Patty Pan squash has all its seeds in the center, underneath the stem. Especially if you can get a couple

Even Adreya helps pick Squash

with some size, hollow out that center. Mix together a meatloaf-type mix (Ground beef, egg, bread crumbs), or a Sausage mix – cook this separately.

 

 Once the meat is cooked, stuff it into the PattyPan, and cook it in the oven set at 350 for about 25 minutes. Eat and enjoy. (Unless your pattypan is very big, and the skin is thick and tough, the skin is okay to eat.)

 

Choice 3. We haven’t tried this yet, but I am planning on it soon. A customer told me about this one! Take the Pattypan and clam-shell it (cut it across its middle, where the top is still whole and the bottom is still whole, but don’t cut all the way through. Push some butter pats and brown sugar in the opening. Close it. Wrap it tight with aluminum foil and then either:

A)Throw it in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes or so (Note: *Actual ‘throwing’ not recommended)

B) Throw it in a Campfire for about 20 minutes.

Open and enjoy – We will be trying this soon! If you try it before me, leave a comment and let me know if you loved it!

Five Special Blessings to Me Today: Fresh Vegetables, New Recipes, The Farm, My Husband and Father-in-law who work very hard at that Farm, the internet to give me and idea about what I am supposed to do with these strange-looking vegetables they bring home (Pattypans, Japanese Eggplant, Kohlrabi), Sunshine

Have A Blessed Day!

 
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Peas, Beans, and Okra – Oh my!

It is busy out at the Farm, and with some new selling opportunities, we have been staying busy. For quite a while, we have recognized the need to have a mid-week selling market. (Unfortunately, the vegetables don’t always wait until the weekends to be ready, and we strive to only sell the freshest and best!) A friend suggested I make her a bag of vegetables each week and she would buy it from me. I really pondered on that idea, and came up with the Refillable Vegetable Basket plan. I bought some baskets, wrote Lee Farms on them, and have been filling baskets and selling them for $10. My first week, we had 5 orders, plus we made an extra (just in case – and sold it immediately). Last week we did 7, plus $5 in added vegetables. This coming week, I already have orders for 2 more. Plus we’ve been filling ‘bushel of peas’ orders wonderfully – 6 BUSHELS!! I am so happy and reminded how God uses people to bless our family!

We have an old (1974 era) shelling machine that I got put to work on yesterday, and shelled 3.5 bushels of peas. It’s quite time-consuming, even with the machine. But it sparked an interesting thought. I was out there shelling peas, alone (it was naptime!), and not thinking, not singing, not talking, just enjoying the sound of the machine, the quietness in my thoughts and soul, God’s peace. I wondered, maybe that is the difference between Austin being raised out here in the country, and the quietness that engulfs him, and me being raised in the city, and feeling there should always be noise, background noise, white noise, talking, singing, etc. God allowed me to have a new perspective and I thank him for it. Because I love to talk! But I thoroughly enjoyed those hours of quiet.

Five Special Blessings to me Today: The Farm, the tan I am getting working at the Farm, the quietness I am learning being at the Farm, the muscles I am getting picking vegetables at the Farm, the blessings we are getting because of the Farm, the vegetables we get to eat, fresh picked off the bush, at the Farm

Hope you have a Blessed Day!

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Blueberries

Isn’t it wonderful how something so small (like the size of a blueberry) can remind you that God really does listen, care, look out for you.

This morning I was telling Austin how I would really like to buy some Blueberries. I would really like Blueberries. I was just starting to think of all the things blueberries would be good for – jam, i could freeze them, of course I can eat a fair share of blueberries raw, cobbler, strawberry dessert (except make it blueberry dessert)….but he reminded me of some things that would be better for us to use that money on, instead of blueberries, and he was completely right (shhh! don’t tell him I said so….)

But then, you know what happened? We have a neighbor who grows blueberries. He is a blueberry farmer. Today he called us and said the price of blueberries has dropped and he can’t afford to pay for people to pick his berries, so if we wanted them, we could have them, as many as we want, we just have to go pick them!!!!!!!

And let me tell you one good thing these boys I’m raising are going to be good for – picking blueberries, because those thoughts of blueberry goodness have started rolling in my head again, and I can’t wait!

God is so Good!

Five Special Blessings to Me Today: Prayer, Provision, God’s Peace, Farming, Neighbors

Hope you have a blessed day, and don’t worry, I’ll eat some Blueberries for you!

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Time to Breathe (and write)

I know, I’ve been a bad blogger! We have been busy! Very busy! Very, very busy! But we’re getting over the hump of busy-ness, where things can slow just a tiny bit, and we can relax for small chunks of time, and breathe slowly, and write!

Tyler, Adreya, and Wyatt helping pick Squash

The vegetables on the Farm are coming in like crazy. We are currently picking Yellow Squash, Zucchini, PattyPan Squash, Cucumbers, 2 types of Green Beans, Red Potatoes, Rutabega, Eggplant…Okra and Tomatoes will start picking this week. Usually I use the word “we” loosely, meaning primarily Austin (and his Dad). These last couple weeks, the kids and I have been out to the farm and been helping to pick. For me, a City Girl, I am finding all sorts of muscles I never knew were there, and have gotten dirtier than I can ever remember in my life time! And the children. They got into the Black Dirt one day, and washing their hair, the water rinsing their hair looked like Chocolate Milk. (um, gross!)

Madelynne and Adreya hunting Eggs together at Church.

We were able to have Easter together as a Family (The Lee side), and it was a beautiful day! The kids got to hunt eggs at church, and then again at Grandma and Grandpa’s house! And eat Chocolate!

We got Mom all moved, with the help of some very good friends! And we are more than happy to have that task checked off the to-do list!

Now, to get started on the rest of that list! Soon, right after I breathe for a few more minutes!

Five Special Blessings to Me Today: Family!!!!, My Church, The Farm and having fresh Vegetables to Eat, A Risen Saviour, My Very Hard-Working Husband

Have a Blessed Day!

 
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