Thursday, May 27, 2010

Military Kids

Just the other weekend our dear friends who were stationed in Alaska with us came to visit. Now for most people that's no big deal... but for Military Kiddo's it is a big deal. Because during the formative years they spent a lot of time together. What usually connected us was our faith and the fact that we love to play Combat Uno (a dangerous version of regular Uno) which usually involved slapping and some minor injuries... no really.

I think the first time my oldest met Noah it was instant friendship and to even confuse the mix... she's strong, quiet and endearing... and funny boy here use to be loud, say things that I could only interpret and usually entertain us for hours. To say the least they were/are complete opposites!! And to date, I think he's asked her to marry him several times... even though there's a eight year difference.

Now almost 6 years later they were able to get together and see each other for an afternoon. And meeting the newest addition was really nice.

So what did these kiddo's do for entertainment here on the farm.... well ride the lawn mower for sure. That's what we do here.... take kids for a ride on the lawn mower. I don't know how Daughter #2 does it, but she can make the simplest things fun. They also found the baby birds in our hay loft and fed our horses.

I'm thankful for the fact that when we would leave for a new station, that I refused to ever say good-bye.... because if anything can tear me apart, it's saying good-bye. And on the average we've been able to see so many families that we've had to say see you soon too. God is good and he's made a place in our hearts to except others, where if we would have lived by family our whole lives, we probably wouldn't take the opportunity to get to know them.

One little secret behind this sweet family is the fact that they gotten to know Stephan Curtis Chapman through adopting. Mr. Chapman and his family have a ministry called Shaohannah's Hope And I love the fact that as hard as military life can be at times, I've seen so many answer to the challenge of adopting while in the active military. And what better life could there be, see the world, experience different cultures and so much more.

Take time to make time,
Java Girl

Monday, May 24, 2010

Welcome To The Races

In a world that always has bad news and rarely if ever has good news.... there's a little piece of heaven that I get the privilege to be part of and that's my farm out in the country. If you were to drive by my place, you probably wouldn't even notice it, but tucked behind the gate and up the driveway... is my world. It's full of fun, adventure and never ending comedy.

Here below is one of the top comedians and that's Celeste, our palomino filly. And what makes her so funny is that she has this interesting relationship with our crazy puppy Dutch. The first day they met, she scared him so bad that he ran like a road runner back to the safety of the house. But amazingly she can control him now and I'm sad to say that we can't. Now again, she's a Wild Mustang which are known for their intelligence and gentle spirit.

And once again... here's the problem child destroying one of the many flowers that I adore.

So here's the story of Celeste and Dutch the other day when we were out feeding the horses. After the horses were let out, I noticed that Dutch was over at the far corner outside of the pasture. Celeste walked straight up to him and there was some sort of exchange going on.. then all a sudden they both took off like in a race down the fence line.... Dutch on the outside of the fence and Celeste on the inside. And then they did it again. It was hilarious to say the least.

Here's rest time for Dutch after the races.

Then the other day, Dutch decided to go into the stall with Celeste while she was eating her sweet feed. Celeste was not happy at all, so she grabbed Dutch by the scruff of his neck and just held him there... like she was disciplining him because he touched her sweet feed. Dutch had this look of terror on his face, like he was going to die any minute.

I'm glad somebody can get through to this little tyrant. If it takes a assertive horse, so be it.

Happy Trails,
Java Girl

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Combat Coupon Clipper

This is my oldest and since she was 3 years old she has always been interested in money... I knew we were in for a ride when at age 3 she asked for her allowance like this... "Can I have that in cash?" and as the years went by.... she became a expert at saving money and how to spend wisely. Now there's another side of her that you usually don't see in Savers like her and that is a side that thinks of other people and there's usually a little gift involved and a special note of some kind when it comes to birthdays or just because. My Aunt Joyce hit the nail on the head when one day she said to me over the phone, "She knows how to makes things special."

In fact this outfit below is from Goodwill... she finds all sort of treasures when she's in that store.

So on to coupons... about 6 years ago she really started to enjoy clipping coupons. But there's one hangup. Daughter #2 and I are absolutely, positively horrible at remembering to actually hand the coupons to the cashier when checking out.

So now over the years the process goes like this...

Daughter #1 looks at grocery list and attaches coupons as needed.

Daughter #2 and I take the list and coupons to the store.

Daughter #2 and I get everything we need from the list and at this point still have the coupon and item matched up so we get the savings.

Then we head to checkout where we've lost all knowledge of any coupons. Because we get distracted by the baggers earrings or the cashiers choice of hair color.

Back at home Daughter #1 knows that we've done this and so she takes the coupons that are all crumpled up in our purse or pockets and waits until she sees the item back on our grocery list, to once again try to get us to use it.

She sometimes repeats this cycle two or three times before she ends up throwing the coupon away because it's expired.

I'm thinking about trying to sign her up for Sainthood or something along that line, because what amazes me is that she never says anything to us, she just tries again next time. Maybe the word I'm looking for here is Patience. Because the crazy sporadic world that Daughter #2 and I live in, must drive Daughter #1 crazy to say the least.

And here below is my Combat Coupon Clipper with her Daddy who pinches pennies like it's no one business.

Keeping it in the family,
Java Girl

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Some More Of My Favorite Photos

I'm just going to call this photo Miss Beautiful because that is just what she is and this photo shows her great easy style of enjoying laughter.

She came to me after I arrived at their house for Sunday dinner and she couldn't wait to tell me how her Grandpa had an accident in the garden, which involved low impact falling and him rolling a couple times. I will tease her Grandpa until my last breath. I promise. The End

Daughter #2 practicing to become the National Bloodhound Ambassador.

Only my Daughter #2 would take a million pictures of wood... I love how the camera brings out what I would never see with the naked eye..

Snoop Dog...

Poop dog... just kidding. Butt he can be a pain. Love this angle!!

Amanda took this picture while we were having Sunday dinner and if her brother ever wants to be a professional hand model.... he can use this picture for his portfolio. I love the peacefulness of the photo, which is what I feel when I'm in this sweet family's home.

And no, we weren't having martini's at Sunday dinner. Amen, over and out.

Feeling Quirky Tonight,
Java Girl

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Saying Good-Bye To Rascals

This is a hard blog for me to write because it involves our beautiful Rascals who was 11 yrs and 8 days old. He loved the hunting and exploring he was able to do here in Tennessee and for his sake we are happy his last days were spent doing what he loved. But just before he left us the Veterinarian said that he had arthritis and we could tell because he didn't like to be held (unless Daddy was holding him).

So about a month ago he was hanging out behind our house and he wasn't doing his usual hunting... Daughter #2 was building a swing in woods and she said he came up to her and just wanted to be petted and he was so lovey. Then he started for the woods and Andrea said the last thing she said to him was..."Be careful Rascals". We never saw him alive again.

After mourning him and hoping he would come back and running every scenario through our minds... I then prayed for a sign. I felt all along that he just went into the woods to die. Then one morning Dutch was playing with something in the front yard. Daughter #2 went out to see and it was remnants of our beloved Rascals. I've heard to watch out for what you pray for because it might come true. But believe it or not, there is comfort in knowing that he could be buried under a oak next to our house. There's closure now and with it comes the knowledgeable reminder that nothing is permanent, nothing.

So while Daughter #2 was digging a grave... our crazy Dutch came along side of her and started digging too. Dad said to spread coffee grounds over him and then place rocks so you know who doesn't dig him up. After all was said and done, Daughter #2 planted wild daisies and Dutch started to immediately eat them like he was some cow.

Life is funny, what you think will always be there... usually leaves first and visa versa. We understand that these are pets, but when you're in the military and have to move around frequently, your pets become a friend that gets to go with you and doesn't have to stay behind. They're a comfort when your in a new place and have no friends yet. And their love is unconditional which I wish more humans had.

So in closing I would like to make a challenge to you to live each day to the absolute fullest, tell those you love... how much you love them. And get any undone business, set right. My horses are like that, they've taught me to live in the moment and for this I'm very grateful.

Until Tomorrow,
Java Girl

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chicken And Sausage Gumbo

A lady from a church we were visiting, asked me if I would join her for lunch at her farm. Not only was she from Louisana but she raved about this quick way to make Gumbo. The results were absolutely amazing and I've served it about 842 times since then. JK

Now I've always been a little intimidated with making the Roux for Gumbo, but as you'll see below... you don't saute the Roux, you make it in the microwave. Brillant!

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

2/3 oil
2/3 flour

Microwave these two ingredients in a large microwave safe dish for 6 to 7 minutes or until the mixture is light to medium brown.

Then add the ingredients below to your oil and flour and mix well..

2 cups onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped (I don't add this and it still tastes terrific!)

Place your mixture back into the microwave for 2 minutes then add...

4 cloves of minced garlic
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup green onion tops, chopped

Microwave for 2 minutes

Then slowly add enough hot water to bring Roux to the 4 cup mark... stir and let set for a few minutes. While you're waiting take a soup pot and add...

3 cups of chicken stock
3 cups of hot water
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Bring the above ingredients to a boil... then add Roux and stir well. When you're done with that add...

2 cups of cooked diced chicken
1 pound of sausage (I perfer Kiebasa or Turkey Kiebasa)

Cook all ingredients on high for 10 minutes, when serve over rice. ENJOY!

PS- You can prepare the Roux and freeze it for later use.

Thanks Ruth for this fabulouso recipe,
Java Girl

Monday, May 10, 2010

Some Of My Favorite Photos

This is Peanut and she's my friend's youngest daughter... I simply love her when it comes to photographing her, she'll do whatever I say.

I said.. "Close your eyes and keep them closed Peanut." This was the result, Fantastic lighting and expression.

This is Lucky and she lives on fence posts, cars and anything else that lifts her up. She's the most unusual cat because she's more like a squirrel.... meaning she can climb trees like nobody's business. And she has this really cool hair that wisps out of her ears.

This is by courtesy of our woodpecker, we've never actually met him... but hear he's a perfectionist.

Picture just after all the flood waters hit Nashville.

Daughter #2 after she built her swing in the woods.... what I love the most about this gal is her sense of adventure. She has always known how to live out her childhood to the fullest... even at 18 years old. And the nice rope in the picture is courtesy of her Daddy. And I'm also sorry for the dog butt in the background.

Our fencing along our road... and when I look at this picture I think about the great friendship that came about from the Mennonite family who built it for us.

Our wise dog Snoop who was a rescue, but I really think he rescued us instead.

This is Katie Bug, she's Peanut's sister and I've never seen her take a bad photograph.

Hope you enjoy my world!
Java Girl

PS- Not all these pictures where taken by me... some where taken by Daughter #2.

PSS- Tune in tomorrow, when I'll be giving you a recipe for Chicken and Sausage Gumbo! Amen

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My First Visitor

After my foot surgery I was bedridden and my mind had to comprehend how I was going to lay in bed for two months so that my foot heals correctly. I was troubled to say the least and then to top it off, I wondered about human interaction and whether I would have any sense by the time this all passed. As these rumblings jogged around in my head... I received my first visitor. Yes, it is Dutch our four month old puppy that is boarder line crazy, but we still love him. Well any who, he decided he wanted to jump up in my nice lawn chair to see what was going on through my bedroom window. As you can see... he has no respect for anything of mine that I try to keep nice, be it a garden, furniture or someone laying in bed. It all means to him... run as fast as you can to the target and then leap, tackle or lick the victim. And yes, you are a victim.

Here is when he first heard us talking and he decided to take a look....

Now remember he can be sweet for about .03 seconds, but after that anything can happen...

This is the state of mind he lives in about 99.9% of the time....

He tried to push on the screen to listen to our conversation, which actually involved when he is going to the Veterinarian to get fixed. Little eavesdropper.

I not sure what he's thinking here, but it looked like he was shocked.. maybe he's smarter than we think and does understand English. Too bad he doesn't get what the word come here means.

Remember this pic.... yes, this is again his attitude the majority of the time...

But look at our sweet boy... when I look at this picture, I completely forgive him for taking my favorite bra and chewing on it in the front yard.

Still waiting for human visitors,
Java Girl

Monday, May 3, 2010

Changing Of My Cast and Other Psychological Problems

Today I had my cast removed after 10 days recuperation from surgery and I was all ready to get rid of the bulky, heavy and annoying piece of cotton, gauze and plaster!


Wrong.... I'm sad to say.

As I sat in the cast changing room I couldn't be happier to be getting a lighter case for my 7 weeks of cast wearing career. But as the dear Doctor started to explain what he did in the surgery...I started to sweat, but still thinking that I need to just breathe through it and not focus on what he's explaining about the surgery, I just keep breathing. But the breathing wasn't working and then my stomach makes an announcement that I can't ignore and I still try to fake it and not tell the doctor what's really going on. But when the room started spinning I knew I needed to say something and it came out like this.... "Doctor, I'm not feeling quite right." He then told me that I should lay down and breathe deeply. It worked of course, but I felt like I should have been able to control the crazy rumblings of my mind and focus on more important matters.You know... be in control, like all us military wives think we should do.

This reminded me of my Dad the day I broke my foot when I was 16 and we were in ER. When they got ready to set my foot, my Dad made the same announcement that I did today but my Dad added that he wasn't going to faint because he'd been through Cesarean Sections etc... and the Doctor said, "I don't care what you've been through because if you don't get you head down between your legs you are going to become my next patient!"

Isn't it funny that 28 years later there's still the chance of fainting going on with this crazy right foot that has given me so many problems all these years.

But I don't plan on getting sick next time... just wait and see!

In closing, I can't tell you how great my foot feels and it is so straight... I guess I just got use to looking at a crooked foot and ankle.

Don't take you limbs for granted,
Java Girl

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pictures For Elizabeth and William

Guess who's so happy that my nephew and niece are coming next month. I gave Kiele and Celeste the news and then quickly snapped this picture. So Elizabeth and William....
Get ready to have a best time with our horses and let's see if we can tame them even more. Because I know you two love critters, just like your Daddy.

Celeste will be waiting too! Doesn't she look like she jumped out of a fairy tale book?

Until Tomorrow,
Aunt Java Girl

Letter From The Wetlands

In case any of you are weather buffs... you've probably seen the massive amounts of rain that are falling in my neck of the woods.

And even if you'd don't care one bit about the weather, below are some pictures for you to see anyways...

This is the rapids to the left side of my driveway...

This is the river to the right of my driveway and I'm so happy that my husband put large stones to protect the water from washing out the driveway.

Just a side note... our front yard doesn't have a stream at all, unless there is rainfall and even then we usually get a little stream.

This is our poor neighbors! This picture isn't the best quality but the stream is now a river thats roaring. The brown color is the water overflowing into our neighbors yard.

And thank goodness the county just reinforced the bridge while widening it, because I don't think it could have taken all the pressure from the flood.

As I finish this blog post another storm is coming through as I type. But I've never gotten alarmed by storms... actually our family loves them, especially my hubby. I have to tell you sometime how during hurricane Bonnie when we lived in Virginia how hubby tied all the Bradford Pear trees together to keep them from spliting and how he wandered out into the storm periodically, while neighbors would call from their front doors to get an update and offer him coffee and a weather update.

Maybe that makes him a storm watcher or even better a storm chaser.

Until Tomorrow,
Java Girl