Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mums the Word

Can you imagine fall without mums?  I mean, seriously, it isn't fall until I "plant" mums in my pots, which I did this past weekend by the way.  All I need now are some pumpkins on my front porch and my fall season is complete.  Gotta put "buy pumpkins" on my shopping list.  I just love looking out my front windows and seeing the mums and pumpkins on my front porch. 

We all know that "mum" is, of course, short for chrysanthemum, the real name of those beautiful fall flowers I have on my front and back porches.  But have you ever wondered where the phrase "mums the word" came from?  Well, here at Down On The Farm I strive to be educational (not really) and I can tell you that William Shakespeare used the phrase "Seal up your lips and give no words but mum." in Henry VI, Part 2, 1592

There are times as Christians, that we need to keep "mum."  Did your mother ever tell you "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all?"  Well, that's keeping mum, and my mom told me that about a million times growing up.  And while the phrase "if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all" isn't literally in the Bible, there are plenty of scriptures that ought to convince us that God takes very seriously the words that come out of our mouths.

James 3:9-10 "Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be."

Proverbs 21:23 "Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles."

Matthew 12:36-37 "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers."

Psalm 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer."

Are we following these scriptures?  Really step back and think about what comes out of your mouth.  Is it acceptable to God?  Does it bless others?  Does it encourage others?  Or do we talk about others and tear them down? 

John 13:35 says this:  "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

If we are talking badly about someone, we don't love them.  Let me say that again, if we are talking badly about someone, we don't love them.  If we don't love, then how can we be His disciples?

I have truly been convicted of this in my spirit lately.  I believe that in God's eyes sin is sin, and gossip is sin.  Most Christians like to think of sin as "big" and "little" because it makes us feel better, but I think God sees all sin as something that separates us from Him, and I want to be as close to Him as I can get.  So today, think before you speak.  Be a blessing to someone with a smile, or an encouraging word.  Tell your spouse and children how much you love them.  Of all people we should be nice to, we really should be nice to our family.  Find one nice thing to say to a co-worker, or a neighbor.  And if you truly can't say something nice, then, as my mother taught me, don't say anything at all. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Weekend . . . and the Winner!!!!!

First of all, let me officially welcome FALL to Central Missouri.  Last week it was hot and humid.  This morning, it was 45 degrees.  And can I just say I LOVE IT!!!!!  I am not a hot weather person.  I love wearing jeans and boots and sweaters and that's what you do in the fall.  And the fall kick-off around here is the Eldon Turkey Festival. 

Saturday was the 26th annual Eldon Turkey Festival.  What a gorgeous day for bands and old cars and festival food.  YUM!  This is my brother-in-law . . . his classic car won FIRST PLACE.  He looks pretty proud, don't you think???

 This is my sweet niece and nephew.  Aren't they cute???

And this is the Eldon Marching Mustangs!  They are fantastic.  I was a Marching Mustang back in the day.  Many moons ago. 

We finished Saturday off sitting outside around our new firepit and making s'mores!   In case you can't tell from these pictures, we are LOVING our firepit!!!  What a beautiful evening!

What a blessed woman I am!  God has been so, so good to me.  I have a wonderful family.  Thank you Lord!

And now, for the winner of the $25 gift card -- congratulations to Liz at Quiltz 'n' Hoez.  If you haven't had a chance to visit Liz's blog, I am certain she would appreciate it.   So give this link a "click."  And Liz, please e-mail me at and give me your address so I can mail your gift card to you!  CONGRATULATIONS, and thanks for visiting Down On The Farm!!!!

I really enjoyed last week, celebrating Down On The Farm's two-year blogaversary!  Thanks to all who commented/entered.  My prayer is that God would bless each and every one of you, and meet your every need.  That He would strengthen you and encourage you for the work He has for you.  Enjoy this beautiful day my friends!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Anniversary Giveaway

As I've been telling you all week, Down On The Farm has been around for two years now.  I've looked back through some of my posts and really, it is amazing when I read all of the things I have shared with you.  And it amazes me when I read again all of the lovely comments you have shared with me.

To thank you all for coming along on my blogging adventure, I am giving away a $25 GIFT CARD.  You can use this gift card absolutely ANYWHERE they take credit cards.  Since I have followers from all over, I wanted to do something that could be used by the winner, regardless of where they live.  Plus, a gift card is pretty easy to mail, no matter where you call home.

So, here's what you have to do to enter my anniversary giveaway . . . . . LEAVE A COMMENT.  Yep, that's it.  You don't have to be a follower, although I LOVE all of my followers.  You don't have to comment on your blog about my giveaway, but if you want to it's O.K. with me!!!  All you have to do is leave a comment, preferably a nice one, and you're entered.  I do ask that, if you aren't a follower of mine, please leave an e-mail address in your comment so I can contact you and let you know you've won.  I'll leave the contest open through Sunday evening, and the winner (chosen completely randomly) will be announced Monday morning.

I pray that each of you, my amazing blogging friends, has a very blessed weekend, and please check back on Monday to see who the winner is.  Good luck everyone!!!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cool Pix

I have a new camera.  I have needed a new camera for a long time.  I bought my first digital camera the day before my son graduated from 8th grade, in May of 2006.  This is the camera I bought back then.  A Canon PowerShot.  This isn't a picture of the exact camera, but its pretty close. 

I loved this camera.  I mean I thought I was walkin' in TALL COTTON with this, because BEFORE this I was using the little point and shoot disposable cameras.  Seriously.  How bad is that???  My poor children were embarassed when I tried to take their pictures.  Before Cole's 8th grade graduation I decided I needed a decent camera and I bought it and have used it for three and a half years.  That's right.  Up until last week, every picture you have seen posted on Down On The Farm was taken with this Sony Powershot. 

It has been a good camera.  It was basically point and shoot.  It had a few simple adjustments I could make and that is all I wanted.  I would still be using that camera today if it weren't for the battery issue.  The last month or so, that camera has eaten batteries like CRAZY.  No joke.  I bought brand new batteries two weeks ago before we went to the football game, I put them in the camera, took 15 or 20 pictures and the batteries were dead.  So, I had to end my relationship with my Canon Powershot.  Goodbye camera, it was nice knowin' ya.

Then I had to decide what to buy to replace it??????  Several of my friends have this camera.  They loved it so I bought it last week.  I used it this weekend to take hundreds of pictures, and all I can say is WOW!!!!  A Nikon Coolpix L110. I bought it at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart sells everything.

This camera is just awesome!!!  It takes incredible pictures and I don't even know what I'm doing.  Seriously!  We went to the PBR this past weekend and I got these shots --

I think the shots are pretty good, considering I haven't even read the instruction manual.  I am not a professional photographer, and I don't want to be.  I need a camera that can take great shots with very little input from me and I think I've found it. 

So as the months go by, you should be seeing more pictures here at Down On The Farm and, hopefully, BETTER pictures.  This camera is much better at taking action shots and night shots, which is pretty much what my pictures wind up being.  Pictures of my kids, pictures of our farm, pictures of our lives.

Smile and say cheese!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ten Things About Me

Here are ten things about me that you may not know:

1.     When I was a little girl, my dad called me Sidebottom.  (I have no idea why???)

2.     Both of my children were born c-section -- one emergency, one planned.

3.     My dream job would be a country music singer.

4.     I am extremely nearsighted, and have worn glasses, then contact lenses, since I was 11.

5.     Next month my husband and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary.

6.     I am the oldest, and I have two sisters, two years younger and six years younger than me, and they never let me forget it!!

7.     When I was two, I was jumping in my baby bed and bit completely through my tongue.

8.     I like my steak medium rare.

9.     One of my favorite things to do is read Louis L'Amour westerns.

10.    Fall is my absolute hands-down favorite season.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stonehenge . . . Miller County Style

One day I would love to visit Stonehenge.  I love history, and Stonehenge is about as OLD as it gets.  I'm sure you've seen pictures of Stonehenge in England.  It looks like this:

Well this weekend, we made our own Stonehenge.  We have been talking about building a fire pit in our back yard for years.  Literally.  My husband had the idea that we would take rocks from our farm (and believe me, if there's one thing we have a lot of it's rocks) and make the firepit from OUR rocks.  He has measured, and sketched, and pondered, but not one rock had been placed.  Well, we had a pile of rocks in the backyard that he thought he might use.  I've been mowing around them forever.

This weekend we decided that maybe using rocks from our farm wasn't such a great idea.  I mean, it is already September, and if we don't get our fire pit built soon, well, fire pit season will be over and once again, another year will pass by with no fire pit here at Down On The Farm.

So, this weekend we made a trip to Lowes.  I love Lowes.  If I had a lot of money I could be very dangerous at Lowes.  Lowes has what they call "landscape rock" and it turns out that "landscape rock" makes a pretty good fire pit.

Do you think this is what it looked like when they built Stonehenge?

I hope it was COOLER when they built Stonehenge because it was HOT this weekend at Down On The Farm.  We were sweatin'!!!!

So after building it, and then tearing it down, and building it again, HERE is our finished firepit!

Folks this is what we call a "weinie-roast-waitin-to-happen" at my house.  We can't wait until the weather cools down enough to roast some hot dogs, roast some marshmallows, just sit outside around a fire and enjoy beautiful fall evenings.  A big old mug of hot apple cider and a roaring fire, well, it just doesn't get any better than this.

But, my visions of fall will have to wait . . . it's supposed to be 87 degrees today!!!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Two Years

Once upon a time, a long time ago . . . well, two years ago, Down On the Farm was born.  Actually, it's all my sister's fault.  She started a "family" blog so that we could post pictures of our kids.  To be totally honest with you, I couldn't figure out how to post pictures on the family blog so I had to start my own.  Here is the first picture I posted on my blog.

Oh my goodness.  They look like BABIES!

When I started blogging I had no idea what I was doing.  And it really never occurred to me that anyone other than my sisters might actually READ what I wrote.  Mostly, I write about my kids, Cole and Alex.  I write about my husband, and our farm.  I write about gas prices and the weather.  And sometimes the Lord lays something on my heart and I feel inclined to share it with you.  I've had sad posts, funny posts, and informative posts.  I've shown you what type of bakeware I like, and I've shown you how to "can" salsa.

But, the neatest thing about Down On The Farm is all the friends I have made.  I have a lot of blogs that I "follow" and I have been very blessed with "followers" of my own.  I want to thank each and every one of you for every time you have visited Down On the Farm and read one of my posts.  I also want to thank you for your comments.  I read every single one of them.  They have been such a blessing to me, such an inspiration.

God is so good to have brought all you wonderful friends into my life.  You are all special to me and I appreciate you so very much.

So, as I begin this, my third year of blogging, my prayer is that God will use Down On The Farm for His glory.  I hope that I can make you smile, or brighten your day, because let's face it, sometimes we all need a little encouraging.  I will continue to brag on my kids, and complain about the weather.  I am going to endeavor to post more often . . . even if it is just about gas prices. 

So come back every day for some fun posts and, to finish off the week I'll be having a giveaway to celebrate my two year blog-a-versary!!  I pray that God will bless each and every one of you, my blogging friends.  I am so thankful for you. 

And, just because it's been awhile since I've done this . . . GASOLINE IN ELDON IS $2.59!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

King Cole

I am so very proud to share with all of you that my son, Cole, was crowned Homecoming King at Eldon High School today.  Cole was nominated a week ago, along with four other very deserving young men, all friends of his.   Today at the pep assembly, Cole was elected. 

Obviously I am very proud.  But I would be no less proud if one of the other boys had won and all you moms out there know just what I mean.  I am proud of the young man he is, win or lose.  Congratulations my son.  I love you.   

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Grandma

It's been awhile since I posted about my Grandma Flo.  She's 96.  Last spring the doctors diagnosed her with cancer and told us she had days to live.  Since then she's been in her own home and my mom and her siblings have taken care of her.  This has been physically and mentally exhausting and they have reached the end of their rope.  On Tuesday, they put her in the nursing home. 

Physically, Grandma is very weak, but she isn't sick, or in pain.  Mentally, Grandma isn't doing well at all.  She is so confused.  She doesn't know our family most of the time.  She says very mean, hurtful things.  She is demanding and uncooperative.  The last time I was there, she didn't recognize me.

I know putting my Grandma in the nursing home is one of the hardest things my mother has ever had to do.  The thought that one day I could put my mother in a nursing home, well, it breaks my heart.

I took this picture of my Grandma on the 4th of July, 2009. 

I would ask for your continued prayers for my mom and her family, and for my Grandma.  I love her so, and I miss the Grandma that remembered me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Le Creuset Review

I like to cook.  I've said before, I am not a GREAT cook.  I am not a GOURMET cook.  I do a lot of what I call home-cookin'.  I fry food.  I make casseroles.  I use a lot of bacon, and butter.  Some of my favorite television chefs are Ina Garten and Paula Deen.  I love watching the Food Network and if the Barefoot Contessa or Paula's Home Cooking is on, well, forget getting any work out of me until the show is over!  I also like the Pioneer Woman's blog.  If you aren't familiar with the Pioneer Woman, then check out her blog HERE!  She is a mother of four from Oklahoma and she cooks my kinda food.  Incidentally, I have The Pioneer Woman Cookbook and I have made several of her recipes.  I must say I haven't tried a recipe I haven't liked.  One of my personal favorites is her Apple Dumplings.  Seriously, if you haven't tried these you must.  It is one of my family's favorites, but I don't make it often.  The reason I DON'T make it often, well, these Apple Dumplings are a heart attack waitin' to happen so out of love and respect for my family, and my own be-hind, we don't have these weekly.  But if I could, I would! 

If you follow the Pioneer Woman's blog you know that she cooks a lot with Le Creuset cookware.  In fact, in several pictures on her blog you can see she has a whole rainbow of Le Creuset cookware.  Kiwi, cobalt, flame, even the names sound good!  Le Creuset is known for their enamel-coated cast iron dutch ovens.  I don't have one of these dutch ovens.  They are definitely on my wish list but they are pricey so, I go to her blog and drool over them, but I haven't taken the plunge and bought one yet.

Last week I was cruising TJ MAXX, my favorite store in the whole wide world, and what did I stumble upon but two pieces of Le Creuset stoneware!!!!  I mentioned that  Le Creuset is famous for their dutch ovens, but, they also make enamel coated stoneware.  Feast your eyes on THESE:

These two pieces of Le Creuset are now in my pantry!  I got them for MUCH less than regular price.  Actually I got them for less than HALF of regular price.  Now I will say this is still higher than the price for a 9x13 glass pan at Wal-Mart, but to me, the quality of these pans far surpasses the glass 9x13 pan and the rusty metal loaf pans I have been using.

I made my corn casserole over the weekend in the blue oval dish.  The dish is heavy, substantial feeling.  My sister took the casserole out of the oven and she said "wow, this is a really nice dish!"  The enamel is very smooth and even though I did spray the pan with "Pam" before I made the casserole I don't think I needed to.  Clean up was a breeze.  No soaking, no scraping, it just wiped clean.  I broke in the loaf pan by baking a loaf of Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Bread over the weekend.  You talk about de-licious!  Oh my goodness.  My family loved it and, again, the bread came right out of the pan and the pan wiped clean with just soap and water. 

The quality, the ease of clean-up, and the fact that it's just down right purty, makes Le Crueset enamel coated stoneware a TEN in my book.  I have five glass 9x13 pans.  They have been pushed to the back of my cabinet.  My old rusty loaf pan???  Again, pushed aside.  I have bragged on this cookware so much that when I found three more pieces of Le Creuset bakeware at TJ Maxx my sister from St. Louis asked me to buy it for her!  It is at my house, all wrapped up, just waiting for her to come and pick it up. 

I bought these pans because I wanted to try them.  Le Creuset is a huge corporation and they have never heard of me.  I received no compensation for this review. I'm just sharing what I like with you.  So be on the look out for Le Creuset cookware.  You really won't be sorry.  Now, if I can just figure out how to hide this cookware from my sister :)!!! 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Don't Want to Be a Demas

Do you know there are many people mentioned in the Bible only once or twice?  You've got your Abraham, your David, your Moses and your Apostle Paul whose names are used numerous times, and whose lives are lived right on the pages of the Bible.  But some Bible folks we know very little about. 

Demas was a man mentioned only three times in the New Testament.  In Colossians 4:14 Paul mentioned his name, along with Luke, in sending a greeting.  In Philemon 1:24, Demas is mentioned as a "fellow laborer."  But in II Timothy 4:10, the third and last time Demas is mentioned in the Bible, this is what Paul had to say about him:

"For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world."

I wonder what happened to Demas.  I mean, Paul was a full speed ahead Christian, and I doubt he surrounded himself with slackers and part-time Christians.  I can only assume that Demas had a passion for Christ that was right up there with Paul's passion for Christ, otherwise Paul wouldn't have referred to him as "a fellow laborer."  So why did Demas give up?  Did he get discouraged after watching Paul get beat up, locked up, and ridiculed?  Did he decide that living a life for Christ was just too hard?  We know Paul performed miracles in Jesus' name.  Did Demas lose the "awe" of these miracles?  Or did his old life call too loudly?  Did the things of the world shine so brightly that he just couldn't resist, or did he just burn out?

The Bible doesn't tell us exactly what happened, but we know he left Paul, and we can only assume he left his faith in Jesus.  And as we read about Demas, it is so easy for us to criticize and say "if I was around somebody like Paul every day it would be EASY to keep the faith."  Or, "if I'd seen all the miracles Demas saw I'd really be a serious Christian."  We've all seen it happen in our own churches.  People who come to church, get saved, attend three times a week for months, then you never see them again.  And many times we are so quick to judge.

Yet how many times have we let "this present world" come between us and God?  I have to be honest and say, for myself, too many times to count.  As the Casting Crown's song says "but this time Jesus how can I be sure, I will not lose my follow through between the altar and the door."  This song hits a little close to home.  Can somebody say amen??

So today, instead of pointing a finger at someone else's Christian walk, I want my prayer to be "God, please help me not to be a Demas.  Help me to love the spiritual things, more than the things of this world.  Put in me a pure heart, a heart focused on serving You.  Give me wisdom to know when the things of this world are chipping away at my spirit, and the humility to run to you for my strength.  Thank You for never giving up on me.  Amen."