Monday, October 31, 2011

Stewed Tomato Chicken

Here's a quick and easy chicken recipe I made up over the weekend.  It was super simple and actually tasted yummy!

extra virgin olive oil
40 oz. bag of boneless skinless chicken breast
8 oz. fresh mushrooms washed and sliced
14.5 oz. can of stewed tomatoes
2 cloves fresh garlic
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, cook chicken breast in olive oil over medium heat.  When nearly done, add sliced mushrooms and simmer approx. 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes and press garlic into pan.  Simmer approx. 5 more minutes and serve.

We ate them as is with garlic mashed red potatoes and spinach, but you could serve over rice or noodles.

Blessings, Melissa

Saturday, October 29, 2011

All Star Books

I am often asked about book recommendations.  Here is a list that RileyAnn and I put together of some of the more memorable books I've read aloud for Preschool - 2nd grade.  They are all good, but I've highlighted our absolute favorites.  Many of these books are found on the Sonlight lists.

Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
The Boxcar Children book 1 by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Family Under the Bridge by Garth Williams
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
The Apple and the Arrow by Mary & Conrad Buff
My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
Five True Dog Stories by Margaret Davidson
Granny Han's Breakfast by Sheila Groves
A Grain of Rice by Helena Clare Pittman
Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates
Stories of Colonial Children by Mara Pratt

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Dr. Doo Little by Hugh Lofting
Grandma's Attic by Arleta  Richardson
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Twenty & Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop
The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne
The Ghost of Windy Hill by Clyde Robert Bulla
Willa: The Story of Willa Cather Growing Up by Ruth Franchere
Boy of the Pyramids by Ruth Fosdick Jones
The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad by Thornton Burgess
Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary
Kildee House by Rutherford Montgomery
The Adventures of Chaterer the Red Squirrel by Thornton Burgess
Mary on Horseback: Three Mountain Stories by Rosemary Wells
Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans by Edward Eggleston

The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard & Florence Atwater
Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest by Ann McGovern
The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill
The Thieves of Tyburn Square by Dave & Neta Jackson
Zorra by Vance Joseph Hoyt
Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield
Trapped by the Mountain Storm by Aileen Fisher
The Bandit of Ashley Downs by Dave & Neta Jackson
Follow My Leader by James B. Garfield
The Spartan Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins
Gentle Ben by Walt Morey
The Chestry Oak by Kate Seredy
Red Sails to Capri by Ann Weil
The Impatient Turtle by Janette Oke
Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
Archimedes Takes a Bath by Joan Lexau
A Triumph for Flavius Caroline Dale Snedeker
Facing the Lions by Joseph Lemasolai
The Beast of Lor by Clyde Robert Bulla
The Eskimo Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins

Friday, October 28, 2011

Oh Praise Him

You placed the world on its foundation
     so it would never be moved...

....Mountains rose and valleys sank
     to the levels you decreed.

.....You make springs pour water into the ravines,
      so streams gush down from the mountains.

...The trees of the Lord are well cared for -
     the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. 

...There the birds make their nests,
    and the storks make their homes in 
      the cypresses.  

High in the mountains live the wild goats,...

Here is the ocean, vast and wide,....

May the glory of the Lord continue forever!
Psalm 104:5, 8, 10, 16-18, 25, 31

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What Looks Like Rain on a Sunny Day

Last week as I sat staring blankly out the window, the only fire I saw was raging inside of me.

We just finished lunch and I was deescalating from our harried morning.

Sister called earlier to invite us out to lunch, I declined as one child was defiant and refused to accomplish anything remotely related to education, another had typical teenage attitude, and the third was busy trying to compensate.

Instead, we had unworthy leftovers for lunch.

Feeling so deflated, I was praying for something...anything better than this...

All of a sudden I heard scrambling and scurrying with shouts of "FIRE!!"  It took a bit to snap out of my self serving ways.

As I came out of the bedroom, family was running, the phone was ringing, and I met Farmer saying, "It's brother....tell him to come quick...the wood shed's on fire...."

I went for the phone, brother couldn't understand what I was saying...."FARMER SAID....THE WOOD SHED'S ON FIRE....COME RIGHT AWAY"

I looked out, flame's were shooting 6 - 8 feet high.....please God....COME QUICK.....

I went for shoes, then to the other shed for hose....Where is that hose....Can't anyone put anything back where it belongs....God PLEASE.....I grabbed some little stub of a hose, the only thing I could find and headed behind the house to the wood shed.  I threw the hose down as brother pulled in.

I stopped and looked at the scene ahead....REALLY LOOKED...

There was Farmer with kids working together like a well oiled machine...Flames reduced to smoke.

I found out later, one child went for buckets of water, another got the hose I couldn't find.  Farmer was pitching wood out of the pile, one was hosing down, while another stacked out of the way....all working smoothly, doing exactly as they should. 

Farmer felt so good, he gave thanks for the level headed child who first saw the flames and went straight to fill a bucket...for quick reactions and servant's hearts.

My heart skipped a beat....Dear God....I'm sorry...I failed to see the beauty....the gifts.....many much to give thanks for.....

Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
     but to your name goes all the glory
          for your unfailing love and 
               faithfulness.  Psalm 115:1

Did you see the sun through the clouds today.....Melissa

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

I recently purchased a series of World Community Cookbooks and I'm very excited about the recipes!  Last week I made Banana Oatmeal Cookies with a recipe from Jamaica.  They were so yummy!!  I did alter the recipe to replace the white sugar with honey.  Here's my version....

Cream together
     3/4 cup butter
     3/4 cup honey
Beat in
     1 beaten egg
     2-3 peeled/mashed bananas (about 1 cup)
     3 1/2 cups rolled oats (old fashion oatmeal)
     1/2 cup sliced almonds
Mix thoroughly. Add
     1 1/4 cups flour
     3/4 teaspoon baking soda
     1/2 teaspoon natural salt
     1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
     3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mix well. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls on ungreased baking sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake 11-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool before eating if you can wait.

It must be the oatmeal that keeps them so moist.  The kids were eating them faster than I could count so I'm not sure how many dozen I made.  For the original unaltered recipe, see Extending the Table...A World Community Cookbook by Joetta Handrich Schlabach.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Introducing Reflections from Drywood Creek

Welcome to our blog!  We've been talking and praying about this for some time. I am so excited that it's finally happening! Although, I must say, it's a little scary putting yourself out there for the world to see.  I hope I'm able to serve you in some way on this adventure.

We are a farm family from the Midwest.  Therefore, I will kindly be referring to the head of our home as "The Farmer".  It's in his blood and he hopes to make our son the fourth generation on this land.  I too have farming in my blood, but I fought it tooth and nail when I was younger.  Since, I've come to realize there's a point in our lives when we must learn to submit.  Thankfully, I've come full circle to that point.  I can't imagine doing anything better than working this beautiful land.

We love to spend time together as a family, hence the reason we homeschool.  We see our children as a blessing from God.  From our oldest two daughters, who were adopted through foster care, to our two youngest, who were an absolute gift.  They have all changed my life for the better.

I will be blogging on everything from cooking and laundry to homeschooling and farming.  This will be our family's journey through this life as we wait for the coming of our Savior.  Thanks for logging on!