Friday, September 16, 2016

Over Sixteen Pictures for the Sixteenth of September 2016

A look at a regular day in the Payne family lives  . . .

Calvin:  Caught the Greyhound to Seattle, but didn't dare close my eyes.
(Joe and Ande and their family took the car to Seattle to
catch their plane home.  I went to retrieve it.)

Jane:  Waiting for the bus with Calvin.  Everyone should ride a
Greyhound every five years ago for a dose of reality.

Ray:  Gearing up for a moose hunt.  This is a handheld boat winch.
You never know, we might get stuck, stranded, or get the biggest moose
in Alaska and we would need help hauling it in.

Cali:  Birthday parties turn my kids into animals . . .
for reals.  And they also wear them out.  Tonight as Atlas
dozed off he whispered, "I had a good time at the party."
And both boys cried and cried when I washed off their tiger
faces.  Could not cope.

Levin:  Remembering the rides at the Ellensburg fair.


Abe:  Trying on Hazel's sunglasses.

Grace:  Freshly bathed babies, ready for bed.

Henry:  went on a nature walk and picked flowers for mama.

Hazel:  I adore my brother and he loves me.

Ty and Michelle:  Ty and I went on a date tonight to play racquetball.
I finally paid attention to the score during the third game because I
actually got 6 points.

Afton: Crazy hair, don't care.

Eliza:  I had a hard time waking up from my nap.  Then Kathryn held that
monkey to my face for forever, waiting for me to kiss it, because she
thought it would help me feel better.

Kathryn:  I ate my first corn dog today.  Mom forgot to fully train me
before I dug in.  Once she showed me that the inside was edible too, it
was like I got two yummy lunches instead of one.

Joe:  We welcomed ourselves back to the south (after a long
trip to the Northwest) with fried chicken sandwiches,
sweet potato fries, and pecan pie.  Good to be home.

Zeph:  A year's worth of clothes, 100 lbs of beef, and three kids.
Not a small haul.

Ezra:  "Wow!  Whoa!"

Winifred:  A weary traveler.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sixteen Pictures Taken On (or about) the 16th of July 2016

This month's pictures were almost all taken on the 16th, but some were taken the day before and some the day after.

Nevertheless . . .


Ty: using the awesome screwdriver Dad gave me for my
birthday to work on bunk beds for the girls.

Michelle: Afton and Eliza were so excited to show us this rainbow they found tonight.
You can't tell in the picture, but it's actually a double.

Afton: Made a finish line for the stuffed animal race out of socks. 

Eliza: "I see a big bum bum!" Then non-stop giggles at the store.

Kathryn: I had a hard time going to bed tonight.
When they let me out of my crib, I ripped off my pants,
and then I was finally ready to sleep.

Abe:  working with Dad putting a new fence around the pasture.

Grace and Hazel having a good time swimming

Henry:  Helping Grandpa drive the tractor in the pasture.

Nap time at the Nehila's . . .
Not even getting sprayed with the spray bottle
could keep Zeph and Ezra awake on the way home from church today.
Zeph is watching cars for the 105th time. 

Nap time at the Nehila's . . .
Ezra is playing with allll of the toys. 

Nap time at the Nehila's . . . Joe and Winnie are actually napping.
And I (Ande) am glad I took a 3 hour nap while the boys were at church.

Ray:  Teaching Atlas to catch the drips.

Cali:  Ray rescued this nest for me.

Levin:  Time to go back home.

Calvin:  roasting Starbursts.

Jane:  Three little grandsons hadn't yet received birthday presents from
Grandpa and Grandma, so Aunt Grace and I took them to WalMart and
let them choose their gifts.  It was pretty funnywatching them
make their choices.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

prayer /prer/ noun: a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God

Ray teaching Levin to pray

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep . . .

I have heard and said thousands of prayers. I remember one night when Ande was a teenager and came to crawl in bed with me for a few minutes before Calvin came to bed. We both kneeled to say our prayers. When I finished I whispered, “Ande. Are you done yet?”

She whispered back, “No.”

Remembering something I hadn’t said, I asked, “Would you tell Him something for me?”

She whispered louder, “I think He’s probably heard enough from you today.”  She was probably right.

Sometimes our children, before they had children, considered me an over-pray-er. Now they know for themselves that prayer is a powerful alliance in parenting and you can’t overdo it.

I remember one of Cali’s prayers when she was a little girl. She was only three and I had asked her to go to the deep, dark, damp basement to get some oranges. Pretty soon I heard her talking in the other room,

“Heavenly Father . . . I’m not sayin’ my prayers, I’m just askin’ you somethin’ . . . could you help me go downstairs and get some oranges for my mom? Thank you for helping me.”

Cali went down into the basement and brought back several oranges into the kitchen. She gave them to me and then went down for another load. After she gave me the second batch she said, “Heavenly Father’s tired now,” but not before she had learned that she could count on Him. That’s one of the things that mothers pray for, that their children will know and understand that there is a Father in Heaven who hears and answers prayers.

Thirty years later Cali was fretting about the stress of keeping her own little boys safe from harm.  Ande wrote a note, "I finally turned it over.  I prayed and said, 'You want them to explore and learn AND be adults, and you want me to be sane?  Send angels."

God answers prayers.  All of them.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." -- Psalm 33

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Homemaking Tip - Frugal Accomplishments

Each week Brandy at the writes a post on her frugal accomplishments. She is inspiring and I love to read her posts.  I have learned new ways to cut expenses. She has built a wonderful readership that also share their ideas and frugal accomplishments in the comments section. Taking inspiration from her post, I'm recording our frugal accomplishments for the week in hope that someday it might help a reader of mine, too.

Here are some of our frugal accomplishments this week:


Calvin's Father's Day blackberry pie with berries from the garden/freezer

a triple batch of granola bars  (recipe found here)

22 trays of raspberry-apple leather (raspberries from the garden/freezer)

chicken and dumplings
we ate potatoes, carrots, and onions from the garden

I also made a crock-pot of refried beans (recipe here) and froze 20 bean and cheese burritos for future lunches.


the coyotes ate 25 of our laying hens, but a good friend gave us 5 hens to
keep us in stock until we get a new batch of chicks raised

cut flowers and lavender from the garden to put on the table as a centerpiece

a mouse for our cat to teach her to be a mouser

gathered eggs and fed the pigs scraps from the kitchen along with their grain

picked and froze two+ gallons of raspberries from the garden


We planted more basil so we can make a larger batch of pesto to freeze.  I got some books from the library, and returned an unread book for store credit.  Calvin and I used a gift card for a date to a nice restaurant and only paid $1.16 for the meal. 

We watched programs on Roku.

Canning & Freezing

We butchered between 40-50 chickens that we raised. After we bagged some whole and cut others up, we boiled the backs (as well as a few older chickens from the freezer) and canned the meat and broth. In addition to 20+ birds in the freezer, we canned about 30 pints of meat and 40 quarts of broth.

Phil, one of Calvin's friends and work associates asked us to raise some birds for him and wanted to help butcher them.  Having three of us really sped up the process.  Here are a few pictures from the butchering process.

1.  Catch the birds.

2.  Bleed them out and then dip them in scalding water to loosen the feathers.

3.  Drop them in the whizzbang chicken plucker.

4.  Eviscerate and clean them, and then cool them in cold running water.  After they are sufficiently cool, cut the birds into pieces or bag them whole and put them in the freezer.

6.  Put all the backs and too-small chickens in a big pot with onions and celery, salt and pepper.  Boil for several hours until the meat falls off the bone.

7.  Debone the chicken and fill jars.  Pressure cook the chicken and the broth.

I really like producing our meat.  Every time I hear a recall on chicken or beef or pork I can safely ignore it.

If you like reading frugal tips and seeing beautiful photography check out Brandy's blog and comment section.