Wednesday, June 29, 2016

It is Salad Season!

 Summer is the time for lots of salads. They taste so cool and yummy, they are good for you and they can be made from things you can easily grow in your garden and potentially forage from your woods.

I planted a lot of different greens this year: Chinese Cabbage, Kale, 3 types of Lettuce, Tatsoi and Purple Mustard and possibly more that I am not remembering at the moment. My goal is to be able to make salad every day for supper throughout the remainder of the growing season. Not only will that be good for us but it will help us save money on our food budget as I will not need to buy so many fresh fruits and veggies.
Besides greens there are a lot of ways to make your salad fun and interesting. By adding some protien you can also turn it into a whole meal. Our family really enjoys Cobb Salad with all sorts of toppings.

Here are some ideas of things you can add to your salads:

  • Chick peas (easy and economical to cook up yourself.
  • Cheese- any variety shredded or even chunked. Our homemade cheese from Goat milk is yummy crumbled on salad.
  • Boiled eggs (this works well for us right now since our birds are producing nicely.)
  • Homemade croutons
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Sprouts
  • Black eyed Beans
  • Cooked up Chicken Breasts
  • Cooked up pieces of steak
  • Many other veggies such as radishes, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.
  • Black Olives
  • and much more...
I would love to hear how you like to eat your salads. Do you grow salad stuff in your garden?

If you are looking for some homemade salad dressing recipes or want to know how to make croutons then visit this old post of mine.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Our Backpacking Trip on the Superior Hiking Trail

  Our family is planning on going on a backpacking trip in late August out in Glacier National park. Backpacking is something Ken and his family have done a lot of but I have only gone once and the kids haven't at all. So this is a new adventure for us though we have done a lot of other camping. Since we are doing a six day trip out there we thought it would be good to get a little practice in first. So this past week (Thursday through Saturday) we went over on the North Shore of Lake Superior on the Superior Hiking Trail. Kitchi (our dog) got to go with us too which he very much enjoyed!

The picture above shows the kids and Kitchi ready to head down the trail. I have lots of pictures to share so here we go....
 We started out by climbing up. Our starting place was at Castle Danger for those familiar with the area. It was really pretty.
 The packs did feel a bit heavy at first. Mine wasn't to bad but Jonathan and Aaron struggled with theirs some.
 Ken tried to help them with a lot of adjusting and they finally did get them to feel okay. But no matter what you do it is work to carry a pack.
 Some of the rocks that we were climbing on. It was pretty fun.
 Then we left the rocks behind and were going through the woods and nearly the whole trail was covered with mud. There was standing water in many, many places. We weren't quite expecting that. We did the best we could to stay on (or very near) the trail without getting a total mud bath. Megan and Jonathan kind of gave up and just tromped straight through. Kitchi didn't see any reason for avoiding the mud either.

  We saw a lot of pretty trees, hills and flowers while we walked.

Upon getting to camp (after going 5 miles) we were tired, hot and dirty and we were hoping that the river that we were next to would work for swimming. That was not to be. The current was to fast and getting in and out of the water would have caused us to get super muddy all over again, we struggled enough to get water out to filter without getting super muddy and then we had to walk up a slippery, muddy hill to the campsite. Megan was ready to go home to a hot bath. I helped her to wipe up a little bit and get some clean clothes on and then she felt quite a bit better about life.
 We had fun that night anyway even if things weren't quite like we had imagined they would be. Our supper was good though not as filling as we had hoped as when we were using the tiny backpacking stove and Mara stirred the potatoes into the boiling water it fell off and spilled much of it out. Kitchi enjoyed our loss and we still had enough to eat so it was fine. I had brought along a pudding mix for dessert which everybody enjoyed and that filled up any leftover hungry places. Megan had Kitchi do the first step in the dishwashing. :-) We did wash them more afterwards!
 The next day as we hiked along we did find a place where it worked to wade in the river. Aaron was happy about that. We were also able to filter some more water. In that same area we found some wild strawberries to pick. Yummy!
 We stopped for lunch near some cedar trees. Some looked like they had swings. The girls tried them out. Megan had been missing her swing.
 The boys were more interested in eating lunch.
 The bark on the trees was cool.
 There were a bunch of butterflies around.
 Later that day Megan and Kitchi found a spot to rest along the trail.
 That day we came to Fifth falls which was quite lovely.
 The cool water felt good on our feet!
 Mara and Jonathan had fun exploring some little caves in the cliffs.
 On the trail again!
 Then we discovered that part of the trail was closed - we would have to go on a detour! This took us to the bike trail near Gooseberry falls and the Lake. It wasn't nearly so shaded and we got pretty hot.
 The kids were pretty tired and a little discouraged. How long was this hike going to be after all? Would we have enough water? We ended up stopping at a business to fill up our water so we could stay hydrated.
 We did see some beautiful flowers! We so loved being able to see all the Lupines blooming.
 We finally found an access to the Lake from off of the bike trail. It was so much cooler down by the lake. It was a beautiful place to rest and cool off! We found quite a few agates and other fun rocks too.
 Kitchi did some swimming.

Then it was back to hiking again.  We finally left the hot bike trail (after a couple of miles or so there) and walked on a dirt road for a mile and a half. Then we were back on the trail for just a bit and there was the campsite. But oh no! There was somebody already there. Would there still be room for us? Would we need to walk another 4+ miles to the next campsite? We were tired after our 8.5 miles of hiking and it was already 5:30 pm.

Thankfully there was still room for us! The young couple that was there (we thought there were more at first as they had a tent up, a hammock and a tarp hung up with stuff under it) were more than happy to share. They were really sweet and fun to visit with.
 I got supper cooking. Both evenings I had picked wild greens and added them to our supper. Cleavers was the main green that I used. It was fun to add that big of extra nutrition and flavor. Supper was a pasta mix that I found inexpensively at our bread store. I added the cleavers, some chicken that can in a packet from Wal-mart and some cheese that was already quite melted from our trip. It ended up being super yummy and everybody enjoyed it. We had plenty so there was even some for Kitchi. He liked that much better than his dog food.
 The next morning we packed up again.
 We were able to hike up on the ridge looking out over a big stretch of woods and then the lake. It was beautiful! We would have loved to take more time to enjoy it but there was a thunderstorm that was coming and we didn't want to be caught up on the ridge during that. Ken kept us marching. :-)

 A little note on my pack above. I was able to use my Dad's pack that he got before he was married and he took to Jamaica and to the Yukon Territory. It worked very well for me too.
 While up on the ridge we did find quite a few delicious strawberries. I would have loved to have had more time to pick as that was the best patch of wild strawberries that I have ever seen. I would also love to be back there for blueberry and juneberry season! They weren't ripe yet but there was a lot of nice green berries.
 We came by Split rock falls. It was really pretty from either the top view or the bottom. The weather was still looking very threatening though so Ken kept us going.
 We made it to our destination down by the lake where there was a tunnel under the road that we could keep safe and dry in if necessary and where Ken would need to meet the shuttle driver later that afternoon. We had made it over 3 miles in less than 2 hours.

We looked around at the lake (which was really chilly as the storm threatened overhead) and we found some fun rocks. Mara found a cute rock that looked like a tug boat.

We ate our lunch as the weather started to clear (before it had even dumped anything). After eating we had a couple of hours to spare before the shuttle would come so we decided it might be fun to go back up to the falls to look at them better. It was 1/2 mile hike so we didn't really want to take our packs if we didn't have to. So we hid them in some bushes with a tarp over them.
 Up to the falls we went.
 How pretty! All the water looks red/muddy because of all the iron in that area.
 Mara climbed up a mossy cliff and made a little fairy house.
 Aaron had fun climbing too. Megan is the green and red dot over on the other side.
 Here I zoomed in on her. It looks like she is practically in the falls but she isn't really.
 Another picture of the falls.
Then back to the lake again. It was nice to just rest a while. Kitchi took some long naps too.

It was a fun trip. There were challenges to be sure but I would do it again in a heart beat!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Daily Bible Reading Challenge

Happy Summer to you all! Officially it has just started but it certainly feels like it is in full swing. :-)
Company, baseball, canoeing, traveling, gardening and much more are part of summer for us. We are so very blessed to have so many fun opportunities of things to do but it is important to watch that we don't get to busy for the important things like prayer, Bible study, church and family relationships. Have you been finding time for God's word lately? What blessings have you been finding in it?

Here are some of the treasures that I found in God's word this past week:

What caused me to worship God more?
"Now Jabez called o the God of Israel, saying, Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!" And God granted him what he requested." 1 Chronicles 4:10

This very honestly sounds like a very human prayer - which it was. It is the prayer of an imperfect person, just like me, Jabez. To be honest I think he sounds a little self-centered just like I can easily be. But no matter what his character I think it is pretty cool to look at God's character here and it is one of wanting to bless his children. He granted him his request. That causes me to worship God more.

What scripture touched me?
"Now three of the thirty chief men went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam, while the army of the Philistines was camping in the valley of Rephaim. David was then in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. David had a craving and said, "oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!" So the three broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water from the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David; nevertheless David would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord; and he said, "Be it far from me before me God that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of these men who went at the rick of their lives? For at the risk of their lives they brought it." Therefore he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did." 
1 Chron. 11:15-19

This story touches me every time that I read it. The respect and courage that I see in the three mighty men is so cool! Then the respect that David had for them which caused him to in turn worship God is very cool too. Men of courage and character who love God with their whole heart are something special.

What prompts me to action?
"Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders. Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of these who seek the Lord be glad. Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually. 
Sing to the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He also is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the Lord made the heavens. " 1 Chronicles 16:8-11, 23-26

This is a great call to action. It reminds us to Thank God, Tell others about Him, Sing Praises to Him, Be glad, Ask God for Strength, Seek God always and fear Him. These are things that I am working on. He is completely worthy of our praise!

What interesting fact did I find?
"Jesse fathered Eliab his firstborn, Abinadab the second, Shimea the third, Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, Ozem the sixth, David the seventh. And their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail." 
1 Chronicles 2:13-16
"These are the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron: the firstborn, Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelite; the second, Daniel, by Abigail the Carmelite," 1 Chronicles 3:1

This is a silly fact but one I tend to notice since my name is Abbigail. I find it interesting that David had both a sister and a wife named Abigail. Did you know that before? :-)

What treasures did you find in God's Word lately?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Daily Bible Reading Challenge

Well, this post is a lot later than I planned. We currently have my in-laws visiting and have also just had a lot of other things going on. But no matter what is going on in life God's word is a wonderful and necessary part of each day. I need something to help me keep the right focus in the midst of busy times.

 Here are some of the treasures I found in God's word last week:

What caused me to worship God more?
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." Ephesians 2:4-10

What an amazing promise! What an amazing gift! What a reason to worship!

What scripture touched me?
"Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity." Ephesians 2:12-16

I am so thank-ful for Christ making it so that I can be brought near to God. That He got rid of the wall that divided us. What an amazing gift.

What prompts me to action?
  "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which  you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:1-3

This is still very much a work in progress for me to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which I have been called. I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit to help me to walk in humility, gentleness, patience and love. I pray often that we Christians would have unity in the Spirit. Oh that everyone would diligently study God's word and seek to follow it while having humility, gentleness, patience and love - what awesome unity that would bring.

What interesting fact did I read?
"Nevertheless, each individual among you also it to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband." Ephesians 5:33

I just think that the Bible is pretty cool in all the basic, straightforward instructions that it gives. The concept is quite simple - Men: Love your wife as much as you love yourself. Women: Respect your husband. It doesn't matter if it is hard. You can do hard things with God's help!

What have you been reading in the Bible lately? I would love to hear what has touched you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

VBS - A long, fun, tiring, rewarding day

 We had a one day Vacation Bible School at church today.

Legos were part of the theme.
 The main theme was the days of Creation
 We had fun decorating on Monday.
 Grapes even "grew".
 Lots of kids came.
Benjamin did a great job leading.
 Separating waters was fun.
 What surprises are in these Legos?
 Let's eat lunch!
 The older kids learn about the solar system.
 It is a lively place.
 27 kids in one class!
 Ready to paint stars.
 Can you make an animal?
 Designing t-shirts with Lego men on them.
Being busy before they rest.

I am tired.
It is time for me to close my eyes and rest too.


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