Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Are you right or left brained?

You Are 40% Left Brained, 60% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A walk in the meadow

Monday, my children and I enjoyed a walk in the meadow. Here is a sampling of what a careful observer could experience. I am grateful for the great beauty the Lord has given our family to enjoy.

The fuzzy leaves of a mullein basal rosette.

The faded petals of Queen Anne's Lace fold up to form a cup shape, hence earning its lesser known name, Bird's Nest.

These berry branches keep the birds busy well into winter.

A fuzzy stem of grass.

A perfect dandelion.

A Mexican sunflower

The pollen-laden legs of a busy honeybee.

A sunflower head heavy with seeds.

A glimpse of a portion of our changing meadow.

Potato, Leek, and Kale soup

Perfect for sharing around the table on a dreary evening, this soup is thick, hearty, easy, and absolutely scrumptious. Trust me, you need to try it.
Although we LOVE bacon, we rarely indulge in it. This recipe we can eat without guilt, however. HOW can you feel guilty when eating KALE?!
Make sure you make enough for leftovers. They are even better. Oh, be sure to use your largest skillet, too.

- 8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 leeks, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch kale, ribs removed, and cut into bite size pieces (I do this by cutting out the ribs with kitchen scissors, taking a large handful, and snipping off little bits into a bowl)
- 1 pound bacon
- 5 cups chicken broth

In a large stockpot, boil cubed potatoes in chicken broth until tender.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in your largest skillet over medium high heat until crispy.
Remove bacon, reserving 3 Tablespoons grease, and set aside.
Sautee the chopped kale and leeks in the bacon grease for 8-10 minutes. Your skillet will be VERY full, but it will reduce in size after a few minutes.
Mash a few potato chunks against the side of the pan with your spoon to thicken the broth.
Crunch bacon into small pieces between 2 paper towels. (Or you could snip into small pieces before cooking.)
Stir bacon, kale, and leeks into potato/broth mixture.
Serve piping hot with crusty rolls, and a delicious salad.

Optional: If you happen to have heavy cream on hand, adding up to one cup at the very end makes it deliciously creamy. If you do not have it, do not fret! It is scrumptious either way!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Sunday School Chair

This little chair is the most used piece of furniture in our home, I think. It is dragged everywhere by everybody and used for most any purpose. Frequently, it helps little ones reach the chocolate chip cookie dough on the counter. Sometimes, it attends tea parties. On more than one occasion, it has been the host of a great and mighty hunter lying wait in his deer stand.
Last week, it received a new coat of paint.

Marty's grandfather was given all the old and broken Sunday School chairs when his church purchased new furniture. He combined the broken pieces into "new" chairs and gave one to all his grandchildren. How we love it!

Queen Anne's lace

We're still enjoying the very last blossoms from the meadow behind our home.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Stick bug

Last Wednesday night as I was leaving worship team practice, a fellow team member brought me this stick bug he found on his car. Somehow, my reputation must have preceded me, and he knew my children and I would enjoy studying it a bit. It rode home with me in Marty's lunchbox, and spent the night on the counter in a canning jar.

The next morning, after the kids awoke and noticed the jar, we released it on our deck, took many photos, and watched a while. I realize that not many are nearly as interested in bugs as we are, but bear with us.

As we were watching our photos as a slide show on our computer, Isaiah, my tender 6 year old, didn't like this one. He said it was "too scary."

I was trying to take these super close-up shots while it was walking on my deck. Plus, it was chilly and I was shivering, so unfortunately, this last photo is not really in focus. However, it does show how the little thingies underneath it's chin open up and move around - kind of like fingers.

You know, some people keep these "Walking Stick Bugs" as pets. No, we didn't keep it. It stayed on our deck railing 'till midafternoon, then disappeared. But if YOU are curious, click the title of this post to take you to a page full of interesting tidbits about stick bugs.

So proud

is what I am of my 6 year old son. And what he is of the little "shed" he built last week with scraps of his daddy's lumber.

He gathered various scrap pieces, put them in their places, and nailed them all together. Then he added some scrap shingles.

After gathering just the right board and hinges for the door, he begged a bit of help from Daddy, and then proudly posed for picture of the finished building.

Sitting here with his own little shed in front of the latest shed my husband built is our little carpenter in the making.

Mmmm, he is a lovely gift from Heaven.