This one wasn’t so much a surprise as a welcome, yet unexpected cherry on top of so much happiness already unfolding in our home. I remember the positive pregnancy test, and the quiet, grateful leap in my heart: “Really, Lord? Another one? What have I done to be given so much?”

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And then, eggs

Moving to a farm mid-July pretty much guarantees that, unless the previous owners up and decided to sell just as the fruits of their many labors are about to burst into bloom, you are walking into a whole lot of work and a whole lot of wait. That was the case for us with Floating Axe; the family who lived here prior had given up even small-scale gardening years ago. The back fields were in hay, the fencing was all gone, and aside from a massive dog kennel, there was nothing of form left behind.

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Closing the door

Remiel is the traditional name for one of the angels. And for our family, that’s exactly what she was.

Remiel was given from God to our family, and entered our lives just as our dear sweet German Shepherd, Gabriel, was about to leave. After his passing, she became the beloved pup as her sweet personality helped alleviate our grieving. She played with the little ones, cuddled at a whim, would adore anyone who fed her for life.

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Open hands

There are plenty of things I don’t understand in the Bible. Some are routine, “how did He do that?!” impossibilities that my brain can’t wrap around. Others are bits that I cringe away from, like God saying, “That people group? Wipe them out. All of them. Women and children, too.”

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Feeding the People {a large family’s 2 week menu with recipe links)

Seriously, I have been posting a lot about food here lately. What? Is it December or something?

In all honestly, this is my favorite time to cook. Grilling is cool, and lighter, warm-weather foods are all well and good… but give me a big bowl of soup and a hunk of crusty bread any day. I’m just that kind of girl. Which means that this menu right here? Well, it’s pretty much near perfect as far as I’m concerned. Add in Christmas baking, Christmas Adam, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Simon’s 4th birthday (eek!) and I am in foodie bliss.

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Teaching Writing: Why It Matters

The conductor came walking down the aisle looking rather spiffy in his blue suit, (it had gold trim,) and wanted to see your ticket. You gave it to him, and then he wanted mine. I looked in my pocket, but only came up with a flower.

“I’d love to,” I said in a little remorseful of a manner, “but my ticket has apparently turned into a rose.” — The Ballad of the Beta Fish, by C. M. Schwarzen

The thing that I chafed at the most in elementary school (that I remember) was diagramming sentences. I hated it. For the most part that was because I was terrible at it, and still am terrible at it. I just can’t wrap my mind around drawing lines and picking words apart from their compatriots via slanted lines and dashes and squiggles. It doesn’t make sense. Sentences hang together, but they never hang separately.

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Feeding the People: InstantPot Recipes my family loves, pt. 2

Now that you know how I came to have an InstantPot (affiliate link) lurking in my kitchen, and you know some of the starter recipes that began my obsession with electric pressure cooking, I’m going to share some of the recipes that I’ve tinkered with now that I’ve gotten the hang of it. One key to remember: I’m horrible about precision in culinary endeavors. I’m the person for whom the note, “to taste,” was written. My printed recipes are, to paraphrase Captain Barbossa, not rules, but more like… guidelines.

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Feeding the People: InstantPot Recipes my family loves, pt. 1

Truth: I am not a kitchen gadget girl.

First of all, I’m far too cheap to actually buy tools for things that I have already figured out a way to do with something else. Case in point: for years and years, I had no rolling pin. I used a drinking glass turned on its side, just like my Mamaw did. Then, my husband bought me a rolling pin. I used it and loved it. It didn’t make the cut to move to Nepal so… I now use a drinking glass again. And I’m fine.

Second, I prefer small kitchen, and small kitchens rarely have the kind of storage space that gadgets demand. Actually, this is one of the things I like about compact cooking spaces: If you don’t use it, you don’t need it isn’t a vague notion. It’s an in-your-face, daily reality that prevents me from acquiring or holding on to extra baggage that will eat up valuable kitchen real estate. If it doesn’t haul its own weight, by golly, it has to go.

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