Tell Me One More Story, Please

Thank you to those who took my short survey. It was very enlightening and interesting to see the results! Who doesn’t love a good story? At our last Castle Keepers meeting, one of our girls’ mother gave us pointers on how to tell a good story. It’s an interest of hers and she has several books on that topic alone. Who knew there were books just on that subject? Our teacher keeping our attention upon her story by using hands and plenty of voice inflections. As you can see the kids were quite engrossed. Each girl was to bring some type of story… even a personal family story worked. We learned that a story is similar to keeping a balloon in the air. You gently…

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Please Take This Short Poll

photo from My Flower Journal   I have a question for you, dear readers. What kinds of posts do you like reading when you come to Treasuring the Moments? You can check as many boxes as you like or as few in the poll below. You don’t have to log-in to answer and you will remain anonymous but I’d really like to know what kinds of things interest you.   Thanks for taking the time to do this for me.  

Making Envelope Pillow Covers – Simple Project

Because it’s pretty big news in our family… We’re going to be grandparents again! Little Shalom will be a “big” sister, Lord willing, in November. We’re delighted that our kids love children and count them as precious gifts and very happy for the new addition coming to our family. And more exciting news for my son and his family. They will be building themselves a small house and if all goes well moving in before their new arrival! That will be so very nice for them! I am happy to say I was able to get to those envelope pillows and had success making two! They were so easy! The tutorial was very simple to follow and you are even given directions on how to…

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Master Bedroom Progress

I’m quite excited because after a few years I’m actually starting to make some progress in the master bedroom. I have curtains hung and I purchased a few pillows for my bed as well as a throw. Progress, people! It feels good! My daughter, Serenity ordered a few pillow forms through the mail a long time ago but decided not to use them. Instead of paying the return postage we kept them and instead of taking up closet space, I think I’ll actually use them on my bed! That’s what they’re for after all. So yesterday, I picked me up some fabric and my plans are to get them made today. I found a really great tutorial online for making an envelope pillow slip cover…

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Investments in Our Children

Sometimes we forget just how important and valuable our role as a mother is. We get caught up in the dailiness of things and lose sight of how we are impacting lives, shaping character and helping our children grow into young men and women of fine character. Planting good seed that will some day reap an abundant harvest.   At the recent homeschool conference in Nashville, Tennessee, Sonya Shafer from Simply Charlotte Mason, shared how we can give our kids 5 gifts. She used the acronym TEACH to make her point. Here is some of what she shared. And for free, just for you, I added some of my own thoughts. T – Teach them the Bible – Teach them the mighty things God has…

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Why you take them to a homeschool conference, of course! Banff Springs Hotel, Chateau Lake Louise, beautiful hotels but I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in one so nice as the Opryland Hotel. It was absolutely amazing. The setting was fun, beautiful, unique and romantic… but be forewarned, it is very expensive. We stayed two nights at the Opryland Inn which is located across the street from the hotel but for one night we got to stay at the hotel. We did spend 3 of our days at the hotel because the homeschool conference was located there.   Every time we would leave the conference to go for lunch, we could count on getting lost. We saw plenty of others that were lost, too. There…

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Our God Has it All Under Control

Was it only a week ago that Russell and I boarded a plane headed for Nashville, Tennessee? Our day started at 2:45am as we had to drive over an hour to reach the Phoenix airport. Early morning flights are not one of my favorite things. I like to get up early but having an actual time-frame that early in the day is not a motivator for me even if I am going somewhere wonderful! Dear sweet Audrey woke up to say one last goodbye to us before we headed out the door. This trip was a little more challenging because Russell was on crutches. He tore his calf muscle about 1 1/2 weeks ago and was unable to put his full weight on his foot….

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At the Opryland Hotel

Here in Tennessee at the Teach Them Diligently homeschool conference. I’ll tell you all about it when I get home. My husband in the atrium eating supper. It’s so beautiful here!  

I’ve always loved miniature things. When I was a little girl I had a dollhouse and it was more fun to see the small pieces of furniture than it was to actually play with. Then there are the American Girl dolls and all their accessories. So, so cute. I love miniature versions of their larger counterparts and that’s probably why I was so drawn to the idea of our Castle Keeper girls putting together a fairy garden for one of their monthly challenges. To put together their fairy garden they would need some type of container, soil, and small plants such as mosses, grass, alyssum or succulents… but they were limited in what could be purchased for accessories. Ninety-five percent of  their accessories had to…

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Why would anyone have chocolate covered espresso beans sitting right next to their computer if they didn’t want to be tempted, I have no idea. And I have succumbed to the temptation. They’re a little weird tasting but addicting and I’ve popped several into my mouth since I gave in.      Sigh. Heed my warning and don’t, seriously(!) don’t place anything chocolate within arm’s reach 15′, 30′, 50′ of you if you really don’t want to eat it. You’ve been warned! But if you do not listen you may want to try and make up for it by getting outside and practicing some Tae-kwon-do moves. Huh, you say? That’s exactly what our Castle Keepers and Castle Defenders did this month. They learned some Tae-kwon-do defense…

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My Pantry Has a Name

It’s been almost 4 months since I asked for suggestions on what to name my new pantry. And after all this time I did decide on a name! Butler’s Pantry In yesteryears, the Butler’s Pantry was a place to store silverware and other kitchen items that were not edible. Although I loved so many of the suggestions that it was actually hard to choose one, I ended up picking Butler’s Pantry because I found it easiest to say when I was directing someone to go and get an item from there. It just seemed to slip out so easily. I finally got around to painting the name on the door the other day. I wish now I had did it different. I would have purchased…

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How to Make Kale Chips

It seems like almost everyone has heard of Kale Chips. I keep hearing how others are making them but I had never tried making my own until today. They were so so easy to make and I found I couldn’t just stop with eating one, two, three or… you get the picture. They were slightly addicting. And another bonus even my younger kids liked them! If you’ve never made them before I’ll share how I did it. This is the pan of kale before it was placed in the oven. The only time I use kale is when I’m making Toscana Soup. So I had an extra bunch in my refrigerator that was just starting to yellow and I decided I’d better do something about…

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Raising a 4-H Steer

Life on the farm has changed once again. We now have a 4-H steer. Serenity is taking on this big project. I think everyone was wondering if she would be able to handle it or not  but the Lord has blessed her with the calmest steer ever. After going to the livestock auction and calling around to different ranchers in the area, she was told to call the a rural highschool where they have a FFA program in place. They had a steer the weight she needed and when they arrived at the school to see the steer they found out it was calm and mellow. Just what she needed!   It’s an Angus cross. An Angus bull bred to a Semmintel cow. The Cowgirl…

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A Dinner Honoring Our Pastor and his Wife

True ministers of the Gospel of Christ don’t always have it easy and many times they are under appreciated. My son Zachary and his wife decided our church should have a Pastor Appreciation day for our pastor who has been our shepherd for so many years.   Zachary and Hannah – the planners Hannah did a beautiful job on the decorations. She bought some things, had some decor of her own and then used items of mine. With all of it, she was able to come up with 9 different centerpieces and they looked beautiful. We couldn’t have the event outdoors because it was too windy and the temperatures had dropped. So we had to move all of my living room furniture outside and set…

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My Family, My Valentine’s

It’s been Valentine’s week for us. Like last year, we’re running a little late but we just have to roll with that sometimes, right? Life is not served up to us in neat tidy boxes but is constantly changing and arriving on our doorstep in all different shapes and sizes. For those of us who like structure and routine, it can be disconcerting but we don’t ever want to become so set in our ways that we can’t enjoy what is happening at the moment. The first day I put salt n vinegar chips (a family favorite) in all their mailboxes with the caption on their bag of “You Make Me Feel Chipper.”   And then we had a repeat (I was told) of previous…

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A New Adventure Coming Up

Last year I had this weak moment inspiration to do something that I’ve never thought much about or had a great desire to do. Until that moment. I was inspired to make the epic hike into the Grand Canyon, precisely the Havasupai area where there is beauty like you would never imagine down there. (The waters are a blue color due to the mineral content.) I figured if I was going to hike it, it was now or never. I’m 45 and have never really been into hiking so this is a huge thing for me to go on such a granddaddy of a hike and I knew that if I wasn’t going to back out I would need support – plenty of it. So…

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The Power of a Pivot

Sometimes what we’re doing just is not working for us. Maybe it’s a schedule we’ve set for ourselves, a goal we have made or even how we approach tasks we are to do in the home. Maybe we get discouraged and just want to give up. But before you do that, why don’t you consider another point of view. A pivot. In basketball, once you stop dribbling the ball, you are allowed only two steps.  You must keep the foot that made the last step firmly on the ground where it landed, but your other foot is free to go in any direction it chooses allowing you to pivot. With a pivot you can totally change your direction. What does a pivot mean for you?…

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Bike Rides and Ski Slopes – All in One Week

We are privileged to have one of the 7 natural wonders of the world in the state of Arizona – the Grand Canyon. It is truly a grand sight. One of our favorite things to do now when we go to the Canyon is to rent bikes and ride along the rim. Everyone can do it; it’s not so close to the rim that you are scared for your children or yourself, for that matter. Believe it or not, we have ski resorts in Arizona – two of them! Each year we travel to the White Mountains for a ski trip. This year was one of the best simply because we had fresh snowfall. It was the best snow I think I’ve ever skied in…

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An Off-Road Adventure

While I have been missing here at Treasuring the Moments, I have not been sitting around. No, we have been busy with friends, family, trips and adventures. It has been a delightful month thus far. After catering the wedding the second week of January, we had some visitors come by for a few days. We had to show them some of our favorite spots… like this mine. What we weren’t expecting on our outing was the fuel pump to quit on our off-road vehicle. But before we realized that, we thought we had just run out of gas, so while Russell left to go find some abandoned plastic tubing to use as a siphon hose for the truck we had also brought along, we went…

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A Garden Wedding and Reception

Saturday I had the privilege of catering a friend’s wedding. It was held at the Wright House, a very, very beautiful venue. We were planning for approximately 130 people. The mother of the bride did all the shopping, washing and cutting of the salad ingredients so that made it really nice… …the rest of the menu was Fettuccine Alfredo, which we made on location, and bread sticks. If you want to know what young people can do when they are dedicated to practicing music, listen to these kids.  They are excellent musicians and play beautifully together. I had two of my Castle Keeper girls as helpers – Serenity (my daughter) and Natalie. They were a fantastic help and really enjoyed their time. A win-win for…

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