Thursday, December 31, 2009

Help Thou Mine Unbelief

Lord, I believe. Help Thou mine unbelief

I am a firm believer that the Lord is more patient, understanding and loving toward us than the Natural Man. Lucky for us. When it is far easier for Natural Man to place themselves on the pedestals of their own strengths, it is a marvelous gift to be able to see the best in others, and lovingly encourage them through their weak areas.

As I finish this year and begin the next with uncertainty, discouragement, and degradation by those who are strong where I am weak, I am comforted by my God, who tells me, “You have done everything I have ever asked of you. I will not abandon you.” I need not listen to, nor worry about Man. He gives me a night of His peace when I am pushed too far, and I come to understand the phrase, “Sleep in heavenly peace.”

He counsels me, “Stand still and let Me provide the means..” Stand still.

Trust Him? Believe Him? Breathe?

Lord, I believe. Help Thou mine unbelief.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Elephant Stew

I found this stew while looking through the recipes of my Grandmother, Virginia Grace Jewett Wickline

1 elephant,medium sized
2 rabbits, optional
Cut elephant into bite-sized pieces. This should take about 2 months. Add enough brown gravy to cover. Cook over kerosene about 4 weeks at 465 degrees. This will serve about 3800 people. If more are expected, two rabbits may be added, but do this only if necessary, as most people do not like to find hare in their stew.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Katie Rocks On, Still

Katie, our resident artist,
is making wonderful things again.
She takes rock painting books out of the library and makes her creations.
A fox

I especially love the details on the face here

Katie paid special attention to feather detail on the parrott

and it's back

The Big Green Beast Has Returned

The Big Green Beast Has Returned

WEll, at first my mechanic (who helps me for free) couldn't find ANYTHING wrong with my van. No broken hoses, no holes..antifreeze still in the anti-freeze tank, but anti-freeze had sprayed absolutely EVERYWHERE!! They filled the anti-freeze tank to the fill line (which I know the tank does not like--prefers to be filled half way to fill line) They, my mechanic and another family friend drove it around and it didn't smoke or steam or spray more around know how it goes when the mechanic gets there. They drove it home totally perplexed, having decided to add a quart of Stop Leak, but just weren't sure why there was such a big mess everywhere and what caused the smoking. Well I mentioned that I find anti-freeze bubbling in the middle of the radiator when I open the hood when it's hot, so mechanic grabbed a flashlight (it was dark by then) and yup, there it was, a crack along a seam line in the radiator, bubbling, and then he found another crack. (I guess this was important information to give him in the first place, huh?) Stop Leak won't help that. But from my mechanically impaired understanding, he still is perplexed why it suddenly sent anti-freeze flying everywhere that one time and not again. He understands why I was smoking so bad, with the anti-freeze going all over the engine and manifold. He feels the extreme cold weather had something to do with this. So, since there was still anti-freeze in the anti-freeze tank, there is apparently no damage, my engine temp gauges had not registered a problem, I was just building up pressure in the radiator and it went flying and it was burning on the hot engine. I did the right thing, my mechanic said, stopping when I did, even though I could have continued without any damage. My mechanic prefers I stop if there is a problem than to keep going and possibly make things worse. But, if I'm smoking, I'm gonna stop. I can still drive it, he says, until he finds me a replacement radiator, just watch my gauges and don't drive it very far without checking my anti-freeze level. Well, I don't drive the beast very far anyway, so I should be good.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Blondies with Chocolate Chips

by Mary Wockenfuss

2 cups packed brown sugar
2/3 cup extra light olive oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp butter and nut flavoring (or 2 tsp vanilla)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 cup Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, mix brown sugar and olive oil. Stir in eggs one at a time; stir in vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in chocolate chips.
2. Spread batter in prepared baking pan. Bake in a 350° oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bubbles of Fun

While Mom and I were out Christmas shopping today, I set the ganglings to the task of washing down their bedroom doors and around the rest of our home. Patrick called me on the cell phone to tell me they were now out of the spray cleaner, so I told him to use some Dawn dish soap and water in a bucket. I am always amazed at the fun they can make with what they have.

Who needs a Cat in a Hat?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Home Made Somoas

Homemade Samoas

courtesy of Linda Nooner

If you love the Somas offered by Girl Scouts, here is a recipe that allows you to have them all year round. A friend of mine makes these and was gracious enough to give out the recipe. WIth her permission, I put it out there to the world.

Dip the bottoms of 24 shortbread cookies in melted chocolate. Cool till hardened then place in greased muffin tins.
In a sauce pan, combine:

6 T butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup white corn syrup.

Heat to a boil, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.

Slowly pour 1/2 cup Eagle Brand Milk into mixture, stirring constantly until it reaches 200 degrees or becomes bubbly and thick.
Remove from heat and add 1/2 tsp vanilla. Beat until creamy then add 4 cups toasted coconut. Spoon over cookies; cool, remove from muffin tin and drizzle melted chocolate over (maybe 1 cup melted chocolate chips). Yum

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Raisin Bread

My dairy allergic family loves Raisin bread but everything on the grocery store shelf has milk or whey or casein so I went searching for a good recipe to make it myself. Finally altered one just right.

Raisin Bread

2 cups Golden Raisins
1 1/2 cups water
2 pkgs active dry yeast
1 cup warm raisin water (110-115 degrees)
1/2 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees)
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted (I use extra light olive oil)
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 egg white
2 Tbl cold water

Boil 2 cups raisins in 1 1/2 cups water. Cool and reserve 1 cup of the liquid.

In mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the raisin water, milk, butter, honey, salt, cinnamon, eggs, and whole wheat flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough all-purpose flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. (I just use my kitchen aid mixer with the dough hook throughout the mixing and kneading process).

Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with the raisins and knead in. Divide dough in half, and shape into loaves. Place into 2 greased, 9x5x3 inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Beat egg white and cold water; brush over dough. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. cover loosely with foil if top brown too quickly. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sweet Dreams/ Zebra Print(ce)

So I dreamed a strange dream (surprise, surprise), and in this strange dream I was waking up with my husband beside me. When he got up out of bed, I looked up, and noticed he was painted like a Zebra from his knees to his shoulders and half-way down his arms. I was surprised to see such a thing and had not yet commented when a family friend, Todd Thompson, came into our room, looked at Ray, was surprised by the Zebra look also, but got what he came for and left without saying a word. I said to Ray, "Um, maybe he thought you were wearing Zebra print clothes and not paint," because you know, I guess I was thinking that a man wearing Zebra Print Spandex is sooooooo much better to believe than having painted himself. (rolling eyes)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

I have been looking for a sweet potato dish that used sliced instead of mashed potatoes. Found this recipe in today’s newspaper and thought it sounded wonderful.

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

Butter, for greasing
2 cups heavy cream (I will use coconut milk)
½ cup light brown sugar
Zest from 1 orange
½ tsp nutmeg
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 pounds fresh sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup pecan halves

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a gratin or shallow casserole dish with butter.
In a medium saucepan, heat cream, sugar, orange zest, nutmeg, salt and pepper, stirring frequently, just until steaming, about 5 minutes. Do not let mixture come to a boil.
Layer sweet potato slices in prepared baking dish. Pour hot cream mixture over potatoes.
Bake 30 minutes. Spoon cooking liquid over sweet potatoes to moisten top. Sprinkle evenly with pecans and return to
oven and bake until sweet potatoes are tender and browned, about 30 minutes more.
Makes 6-8 servings

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Honey gOatmeal Bread

The original recipe I found called to make 2 loaves, but it always needed more flour and ended up making 2 incredibly tall oven busting loaves or 3 normal loaves. I altered the recipe to MY reality. Here is today's bread ready to go into the oven.

Honey gOatmeal Bread

6 ½ -7 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or Better for Bread flour)

1 ½ cup gOatmeal (quick or not) Add Image

2 tsp salt

2 packages active dry yeast

1 ½ cups water

½ cup honey

1/3 butter, margarine or butter flavored Crisco

2 eggs

1 Tbl water

1 egg white


Place 5 cups flour, oats, salt and yeast in bowl. (I have the Kitchen Aid Mixer so the directions will be as though everyone in the world has a bread mixing mixer).

Attatch dough hook to mixer

Combine water, honey and shortening in a bowl, heat in microwave till water is warm, about 90 seconds in my microwave(technically 120-130 degrees.) With mixer on a low speed, start mixing and add liquids to flour mixture. Add eggs and mix for about a minute.

Start adding remaining flour, ½ cup at a time (adding more as necessary to get desired texture) until dough cleans sides of bowl. Continue to knead dough for 7-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover, let rise in warm place, about 1 hour.

Punch down. Shape into 3 loaves and place in greased bread pans. Cover and let rise about 1 hour again.

Combine water and egg white. Brush tops of loaves with mixture. Sprinkle with gOatmeal. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Homeschool art project" Turning newsprint into Christmas wrap

Katie spray painted some Christmas Bats

Patrick and his Jackson Pollack-like creation (AFTER Buddy did his. I was scrubbing the back wall by this time from Buddy's enthusiasm. The splatter boards weren't tall enough for Buddy's strokes)

Emily's spray painted box and pretty bow made from pre-spray painted newspaper, spot painted in gold and red. Dana taught us how to make the bows.
Emily making a bow.

Dana stamped boxes and later you will see how she finished them

Rachel and Nick getting started on boxes they brought.

Darienne and me. She chose a ready-painted background to work with.

Darienne's finished product

Mattison chose a rose, silver and gold ready to paint background and added LOTS of orange! She had fun.

Darienne modeling her finished product.

Katie and her Christmas Bats

Intense concentration required. Bandana required, also.

Darienne and Rachel

Spray painted creation. Unsure of artist. Michael? Jake?

Patrick, Jake and Michael's hand doing their doings on the tarp with the spray paint.

Discussing the wonders and deep impressions of spray paint art.(Jake, Michael and Patrick)

Michael's gallery worthy sprays

Patrick and Jake discussing the next project..

Michael "in the zone."

Buddy modeling his Jackson Pollack-like creation

Darienne's box top

Emily's box top

Mary and Rachel making an origami star
out of newspaper sale fliers

Rachel's star

Dana took her boxes to the spray painting area to add a little zip! Wow!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

My sister, Sharon Kennick, of facebook fame and divineshestudio fame (click on the art blog of Sharon Kennick link) made this for us repeatedly when she and Kris came to visit one Christmas. I didn't get her recipe, but this is what I came up with. 


2 cans Bush’s Black* beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans sweet corn**, drained and rinsed
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
¼ c herbed cider vinegar (more or less. I make this and it makes a difference in flavor. Recipe follows)
1/3 c virgin olive oil (more or less.)
Fresh ground sea salt to taste (your grocer carries this in small jars)
Fresh ground multicolored peppercorns to taste (A must!! Ordinary black pepper will *not* do. Your grocer carries this in small jars also)

combine all ingredients and enjoy with tortilla chips or in burritos or in 7 layer dip or……..

* I use Bush's black beans for their firmness. Store brand, generic brands are too soft and mushy

**I use a name brand white shoe peg, or a name brand two toned sweet corn mix

I learned to make herbed vinegars from Linda Rieder at a "home making" meeting years ago.


1 glass bottle with a cork or screw cap (a lovely glass bottle of vinegar from the store will be fine, just pour it out into a measuring cup to store it while you add herbs to bottle. I like the specialty vinegar bottles at wal mart in the vinegar section)

enough cider vinegar or red vinegar to fill bottle with herbs

6-8 multicolored peppercorns
2 cloves of garlic, may need to cut down to size to fit into mouth of bottle
sprig of fresh oregano
smal spring of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary

In your lovely glass bottle, drop your peppercorns in first. Then add whole cloves of garlic if they will fit through the neck. If they are too large, cut them lengthwise and drop them in. Then, artfully and attracrively place your herbs in the bottle. If you can't, just jam them in there somehow and it will look good in the end, anyway. Cut springs down to size to fit your bottle. If you have them, it helps to use those wooden kabob sticks to move herbs around. If not, whatever. Cap with cork or screw cap and place in a sunny window for 10 days to 2 weeks. (see note)

Use in Black Bean and Corn Salsa and homemade salad dressings. ( I have recipes if you want

Note: When it is ready, store it wherever. Some people store it in fridge, I store it on my counter, some people store it in their kitchen window because it is pretty. Whatever. Refill it as you use it. Should be good for a few months- start checking flavor at about 3 months depending on where you store it -herbs will probably sour and wilt faster stored in a sunny window. You will know when it is too sour to use. Will taste bitter from the soured herbs.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Goatmeal Banana Bread

Goatmeal Banana Bread

(makes 3 loaves)

1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c white flour
1 c goatmeal
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 c Turbinado sugar (raw sugar)
½ c extra light olive oil
4 eggs
1 c mashed banana (1 large and 1 medium banana, not gonna say where it came from....sweet little monkey)
1 c mashed pears (I 15 oz can no sugar added, drained and pureed)
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1 12-oz bag semi-sweet Ghiradelli Chocolate Chips

Combine flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a bowl. In mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, and eggs until mixed. Add banana, pears and applesauce and mix well. Add dry ingredients one cup at a time until well mixed. Add Chocolate chips. Pour into 3 greased bread pans and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.

I have to bake at 325 because my oven bakes unevenly at regular temps (hot bottom, cool top), so it ended up taking about 90 minutes to bake all the way through.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Katie Rocks On! Painting Rocks

Our resident artist, Katie, picked up her paint brushes again today, and decided to create.

It takes intense concentration to get the details just right

A dot here, a dab there

Even the back must be perfect

And we have a pet Rock Raccoon