Wednesday, August 14, 2013

An Inspiring Video, Morning at the Park and More - The Walnut Acre Daily Wednesday August 14, 2013


Be strong and take heart,

    all you who hope in the Lord.

~ Psalm 31:24


A number of the kids I've had here this summer are going to start school next week, so we're trying to get a few fun activities in this week before they leave. Today we went to their favorite park - Ridgeview Park. We've been to several different parks this summer but this one is their favorite. And this trip to the park went much better than the last one we took when it seemed like everything went wrong. 

We took cheese and balogna sandwiches, oranges, blueberries and cheese puffs for lunch and had water to drink. We usually eat in the pavilion but Michael wanted to eat at this picnic table this time.

After lunch we took a walk along the river . . . 

. . . over the bridge . . . 

 . . . and into the woods. 

It was a really good morning and I'm going to miss the kids who are going to school next week. We're still going to have weekly outings with the kids who are here after school starts, although probably just one a week instead of two. I'm not planning to start our homeschool work until after Labor Day so we'll have a couple weeks to catch our breath and get some things done around here before we dive into the school year. 


This video was played during the service at church this evening and I was so moved by it.

 God has a plan for everyone and as long as you are here on this earth there is a reason. Never, ever, ever think that you are not good enough or that there is nothing of value that you can bring to the world.



Everyone is the age of their heart. ~ Guatemalan Proverb

~ Linking Here ~
Wednesday - Encourage One Another, Walking Redeemed, Thursday - It's a Party

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bacon Cheese Baked Potatoes, Musings on Moses and SPCA Volunteer Time - The Walnut Acre Daily Tuesday August 13, 2013


But I am like an olive tree
    flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
    for ever and ever.
For what You have done I will always praise you
    in the presence of Your faithful people.
And I will hope in Your name,
    for Your name is good.
~ Psalm 52:8-9


It was rainy this morning so we played inside. The kids wanted to play memory so we played three games. 

Jase and Christopher are both a little young for playing Memory so they hung in the living room with Austin. 

This afternoon Amanda and I went to the SPCA again so she could work with the animals.

Here are Rosie and Bailey again. They expect her to give them some attention every week. 

And this is Short Stack, a sweet dog although a little shy. 


Stuffed Baked Potatoes

I cooked these potatoes, then scooped out the insides and mixed the potatoes with chive and onion cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cooked crumbled bacon, margarine, salt and pepper. I didn't use exact measurements but they turned out really, really good. We had these for dinner and I also put one in Doug's lunch for tomorrow. 



I was listening to Exodus on BibleGateway while waiting for Michael to go to sleep and was hit by a thought. As I was listening to the story of Moses I realized that there were long stretches of time in his life that are not spoken of. There was the span of time from his adoption by the Egyptian princess to the time he was a young man and stopped the taskmaster who was beating an Isrealite. Then there was another long span of time between the time he fled Egypt and the time he was called by God from the burning bush. So, what was he doing all that time? The Bible doesn't tell us. I wonder if he ever wondered, as day followed day, if there was a purpose in his life. I wonder if Moses ever thought he was just another person, living out his days, having lost all his dreams. I wonder if just when he thought there was really no hope at all he looked up and saw a burning bush and realized that his life was really just beginning. 


I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble. ~ Rudyard Kipling

~ Liking Here ~
Monday - CraftOManiac Monday Link Up Wednesday - Cast Party Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesdays, Adorned From Above, Homemaking Link-Up, Fluster's Creative Muster, Encourage One Another Thursday - It's a Party, The HomeAcre Hop, Saturday - Your Great Idea

Monday, August 12, 2013

First Day After Vacation - The Walnut Acre Daily Monday August 12, 2013


For this God is our God for ever and ever;
    He will be our guide even to the end.
~ Psalm 48:14


Our first day back to work after our vacation started out with a Boom. Or more like a crash. Austin went to get Christopher up this morning and on his way down the steps slipped. He made sure Christopher didn't get hurt and in the process he took the brunt of the fall - bouncing down the stairs on his backside with no way to stop his fall. He says he's okay, but I'm guessing he's going to hurt from that for awhile. Christopher was surprised but not hurt. 

It was nice to have the kids back again and Michael was glad to have someone to play with. I was glad to get back into routine. I just don't function well without a routine and then I get frustrated because I'm not getting anything done. My friend Jennifer says I just don't know how to relax.

Here are a few pictures of some of the fun we had today.

Backyard car repair?


Our meals today were simple. We had cereal with milk, bananas and juice for breakfast this morning. Amanda fixed taquitos, peas and applesauce for lunch and Austin fixed hotdogs, onion rings and lima beans for dinner.


God is a creative God, all we have to do is look around His creation to see that. And if I am His child, and His spirit lives within me, that creativity also flows through me. So my question to myself is this - How can I embrace each moment is such a way that I allow His creativity to flow through me into the situation I am in?



Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up. ~ Allen Klein

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Blessed Sunday, Prayer and Praise Page and Avocado Baked Eggs - The Walnut Acre Daily Sunday August 11, 2013


God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. ~ Psalm 46:1


Today has been a wonderful day! 

Church this morning was such a blessing from the time we walked in to the time we left. Talking with others, choir, Sunday School, the worship and the sermon, all of it touched me in some way. 

The afternoon was lazy. We just relaxed and took it easy.

This evening we went back to church for the prayer meeting and once again we were blessed. I feel energized and ready to face a new week.


We tried Avocado Baked Eggs this evening and we loved them! So I'm sharing the recipe here. 

Avocado Baked Eggs

3 avocados, halved and pitted
6 eggs*
salt and black pepper to taste
shredded cheddar cheese
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place each avocado half in muffin tin.
Crack one egg into each avocado half, season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon.
Bake in the preheated oven until egg is cooked through, about 15 minutes. 

*Next time I'm going try using three eggs and scrambling them together before pouring into the avocados. A whole egg was too much for the avocados I had and a lot of egg spilled into the muffin tin. 


What am I doing today to make the most of the gifts God has given me, to live out His plan for my life and to bring Him glory? How am I living out the beauty and glory and love of the Spirit of God who lives within me? How am I sharing those gifts with others? I am not blessed to hold tight to the blessing but to open my hands and my heart and share in the unique and special ways that He has for me to share. And the same of is true of every child of God. What an honor and privilege, an exciting adventure!


I would love if you would check out the new page on my blog - Prayer and Praise - A Place For Your Prayer Requests and Praise for His Goodness


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Lazy Day, Homemade Pizza and Grocery Shopping - The Walnut Acre Daily Saturday August 10, 2013


 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5


We had such a blissfully lazy day today. Michael fell asleep this afternoon, which is unusual so I took a nap too. While were napping Doug ran a call with the rescue squad. Austin was working on an art project and Amanda slept too. 

We did go grocery shopping this evening. It was time to restock since today is our last day of vacation and the kids will be back Monday. One may be back tomorrow. 


I made pizza for lunch. For the crust I used crescent roll dough. I topped on pizza with cheese, sausage, onions and spinach and the other with cheese, pepperoni and bacon. 

Today's Quote

There is more to life than increasing it's speed. ~ Mohandis K. Gandhi

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Unique Hair Style, Lawnmower Repair, and SPCA Dogs - The Walnut Acre Daily Friday August 9, 2013


Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
~ Luke 12:6-7


Today Doug finished the repairs on a lawnmower he's been working on. Michael has been supervising the whole process and today Austin even got in on the fun. 

I laughed while they were loading it because this is what I was hearing . . . 


"Harder, harder!"

"Not THAT hard!!!"

This afternoon I took Amanda to the SPCA to work with animals there.

First she spent some time with Rosie and Bailey. They've been together all there lives and share a kennel at the shelter. They are sweet dogs and Amanda tries to always spend at least a little time with them. 

Then she worked with Weego awhile. He is also seemed to be a very sweet natured dog. He's not really eating her hand here, he just getting a treat. Amanda worked awhile with him on give her a paw for a treat. She also brushed him.

Leah is a very shy dog but Amanda soon won her over. She loved the treats and being brushed as well. 

When we came home Doug was working in garage. He was telling me all about how good Michael was while we were gone. In fact, I think, he used the word "perfect." Then Michael walked out of the house with a funny look on his face and an even funnier look on his head. The little boy with "perfect" behavior had given himself a haircut!

There was nothing to do but finish the job so I gave him a haircut. And since was already in the haircutting mode, I gave Austin and Doug haircuts too. 


Don't find fault. Find a remedy. ~ Henry Ford

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Walnut Acre Daily Thursday August 8, 2013


Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
  bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.
~ Proverbs 3:3-4


The last couple days have been quiet. Michael has been spending a lot of time with Doug while he works in outside and in the garage. 


I made these Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes and they were very good. I love the fact that they are whole wheat. 

I also made Pepperoni Pasta Salad and used tomatoes from our garden. The garden has been a bit of a disappointment for me this year. I think I bit off more than I could chew, planted to much and it got away from me. But I was happy to pick these tomatoes even though they aren't all that pretty. They tasted good in the pasta salad. 

Michael decided he was hungry for pizza so he made himself some - with bread, butter, cheese and pepperoni. I put them in the oven for him and he ate them both. 



Your life may be the only Bible some people read. ~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Black Beans and Rice, A Cute Bunny, A Grumpy Rooster and More - The Walnut Acre Daily Tuesday August 6, 2013


All Your words are true, all Your righteous laws are eternal. ~ Psalm 119:160


This is Amanda vacuuming her hair!

 Why is Amanda vacuuming her hair? 

Because she poured glitter in it. 

Why did she pour glitter in her hair? 

Your guess is as good as mine. 

Doug worked on installing red lights on his truck for when he runs emergency calls with the rescue squad. Once again, he had plenty of help and supervision. 


Blacks Beans and Rice - it's what was for lunch. I've made several different variations of this recipe, tweaking it until I have it the way I like it. It's one of my very favorite meals - and it is pretty much a whole meal by itself. Here's how I made it today.

Black Beans and Rice

3 15.25 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 lb ground meat (today I used ground chicken, but ground beef, turkey, or sausage works as well) 
1 onion, chopped
1 pepper, chopped (today I used a yellow pepper, but any pepper is fine)
2 cups frozen corn
3 cups water
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon  ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
3 cups grated cheddar cheese

Cooked rice

In large saucepan or skillet saute peppers and onions and brown ground meat. Add black beans, water, seasonings and corn and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat and add cheese, stirring until melted. 

Serve over cooked rice.


We have a little bunny that likes to come hop around in my poor neglected garden and in the yard. It will even act like it's teasing our grumpy white rooster, hopping toward the rooster until the rooster looks at it and puffs up and then hopping off again until the rooster settles back down. Then it will start the process all over again. It's so fun to watch.

Michael saw the bunny and decided to go down and see if he could touch it. I didn't think he had a chance but when he got to the bunny it actually started hopping toward him. However, the rooster (below on the left) had just had enough excitement and decided to take his frustration out on Michael. I don't know if I've seen Doug move as fast as he did running after that rooster and chasing it away from Michael! I think the rooster learned his lesson.  However, the bunny was scared off too and we haven't seen it again today. 

Austin's like the Pied Piper of the chickens when he goes out to feed them. They come running from all over the yard to follow him to the feed pan. 


God tells us 150 times in the Bible to "fear not." He wants us to move from fear into faith. There is an open Kingdom of God sitting above us waiting to be poured out over us if we will simply open our lives in faith for Him to pour into. It is out of a perspective of fear that we make decisions that are contrary to the will of God. Sometimes the decisions we make when we move out of fear and into faith will look strange to others but we can rest in the assurance that when we are moving in faith in His leading we know that we are headed the right way. And faith gives birth to more faith so with each step we take our faith increases. 

So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,  and all these things will be given to you as well.  ~ Matthew 6:33

~ notes and thoughts from sermon preached by David Chappell 8/04/13



Monday, August 5, 2013

Blueberry Banana Bread and More - The Walnut Acre Daily Monday August 5, 2013


You are righteous, Lord,
    and your laws are right.

 The statutes you have laid down are righteous;

    they are fully trustworthy.
Psalm 119:137-138


The next few picture collages are from yesterday but I didn't get a post done yesterday so I thought I'd share them today. We decided to go up to the Humpback Picnic Grounds after church yesterday after church. CJ was at his parent's and Amanda didn't want to go so it was just Doug, Austin, Michael and me. We walked to one of the overlooks and then the boys wanted to go climb around on the rocks and explore a little. Austin, who always has an eye open for wildlife spotted a chipmunk, a lizard, a snake and a millipede. I thought Michael would be a little more cautious since he is usually a little afraid of heights but he was pretty adventurous and kept us a little nervous. 

We are on vacation (stay-cation) this week so Doug was home all day and got to work on one of his projects. He's putting a winch on the trailer and had lot's of help and supervision. 

Michael found a woodworking kit that he asked Doug to help him put together. It's some time of little wooden game. I winced when I saw how close Doug's fingers were to that hammer but I think he got by without getting his fingers hit. 


I had some bananas that were getting overripe so I decided to make some Banana Blueberry Bread. I made two loaves this afternoon and the last I checked there was half of one loaf left. So I guess my family liked it. 

Blueberry Banana Bread

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Mix white flour, whole wheat flour, salt and baking soda together in a bowl. Grease 2 loaf pans.

Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg and allow to blend into the butter mixture before adding second egg and vanilla extract. Beat mashed bananas into the mixture. Add flour mixture in small amounts while beating until just combined into a thick batter. Fold blueberries into the batter; pour into prepared pans. 

Bake in preheated over for 30-35 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing onto wire rack to cool completely. 

Hmmm, I think I know where some of that bread went!


Our chickens keep managing to get out of their coop and fence so today we just let them free range. These were some happy chickens. I think we'll let them do this more often. They go right back to the coop when it starts to get dark.