April 2008


Holly, this is for you! ūüôā

Corn Pone Pie from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook

3 Tbs. vegetable oil, 1 onion – chopped, 1 lb. lean ground beef, 1 1/2 c. cooked pinto beans, 2 c. stewed or canned tomatoes, 2-3 Tbs. chili powder, 1 tsp. diced jalapeno pepper (I ommited this), salt, 1 recipe Corn Bread batter (recipe following)

Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the onion, and cook over medium heat until it is soft.  Add the beef, breaking it up into small bits.  Stir and mix with the onion, and cook until the beef loses its redness.  Stir in the garlic, pinto beans, tomatoes, chili powder, and jalapeno pepper.  Mix well and add salt to taste.  Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring often.  Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Spread the chili mixture into a shallow 2- or 2 1/2-quart baking dish.  Spread the corn bread batter over the top and bake about 20 minutes.

Corn Bread from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook

3/4 c. yellow cornmeal, 1 c. flour, 1/3 c. sugar, 3 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 c. milk, 1 egg Рwell beaten, 2 Tbs. melted shortening or bacon fat (I ommited this)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Grease an 8-inch square cake pan.  Mix the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Add the milk, egg, and shortening or bacon fat, and blend well.  Spoon into the pan and bake for about 20 minutes.  Cool and cut in squares. 

And…

a correction¬†on my last post.¬† That “quote” from John Piper’s sermon was not a quote, but rather a paraphrase of a quote.¬† Just wanted to clarify!

Enjoy your corn pone pie!

-JESSICA   

 

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I thought I would give you all a glimpse of what a normal day is like at our house.  This is a documentation of what took place in our lives on Wednesday, April 23, 2008.

A good day for me always begins with devotions.¬† Although I struggle to rise early enough to make this time happen, I’m always¬†richly rewarded¬†when I do.¬† And, of course, a piping hot cup of coffee never hurt a devotional time.¬†ūüôā¬† Thanks to my Grandpa Charlie in Alabama, we have a wonderful coffee maker that we have programmed to make fresh-ground coffee at 6:25 AM:

The passage that especially stood out to me this morning was Galatians 6:7-10:

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.¬† For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.¬† And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.¬† As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

These verses were meaningful because of recent conviction I’ve been experiencing over my inconsistency in practicing hospitality.¬† On Tuesday, I listened to an excellent sermon by John Piper called Lavish Giving, Loving Guests, Living Christ.¬† I would encourage anyone to listen to it, or you can read it if you prefer.¬† One thing that has prevented me from practicing consistent hospitality is my fear of what people will think of me if my house is not perfect when they come over.¬† A quote from his sermon that “cut me to the quick” was, “How dare we try to maintain a front at the expense of the Gospel?”¬† Oh!¬† Thank-you God for such clear admonishment!¬† With that in mind, I¬†extend an open invitation to all of you to drop¬†by my house any time, without calling beforehand.¬† And I truly mean that!¬† I would be grateful for the opportunity to put into practice this¬†virtue that I need so badly to learn.¬†

Also, Galatians 6:14 was very uplifting:

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

May this be my mindset in all that I do.

Besides devotions, another very important part of my morning is my little daughter.¬† She¬†gets up at 7:00 AM¬†ready to be changed, nursed¬†and¬†enjoy some quality “Mama time.”¬† Here she is just after eating, happy and full, with milk dribbling down her chin.¬† She’s not quite sure what to make of that flashing box Mom’s pointing at her:

 

And, of course, my son is an important part of my morning too!  Although he often wakes up earlier, I insist that he stay in his crib at least until 7:30 AM:

As soon as Honour is up, I change and dress him and then make breakfast.¬† His morning¬†fare usually consists of eggs, as¬†they are a protein he actually eats. ūüôā¬† The eggs we had this morning were from¬†my friend Holly.¬† She has a flock of free-range laying hens who produce eggs that have bright orange yolks.¬†

Honour is learning to use a fork, and is very pleased with himself:

Breakfast is followed by family devotions.  This morning, our table was not only serving as a place to eat and worship, but also to lay out all manner of house building paperwork:

We memorize Scripture with our church, and our verse for this week is Isaiah 64:4:

“For since the beginning of the world, men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.”

As a family, we’re also going through the questions in the Westminister Shorter Catechism.¬† We’ve just started, so we’re on the first and famous question:

Q. What is the chief end of man?

A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

Honour’s¬†limited vocabulary doesn’t allow him to recite the catechism with us, so we ask him, “Who made you?” to which he (most of the time) enthusiastically answers, “God!”

After devotions, it’s time for some work.¬† If Ransom’s home, as he was this morning, he goes to the property to work on the building project.¬† I get the house generally tidy and Remember naps at 8:30 AM.¬† After this,¬†Honour and I¬†try to take a walk.¬† Montana weather in April is very fickle, so we haven’t been able to do this regularly.¬† As it was very gray and drizzly on this particular morning, we¬†chose to just drive¬†out to the property to see what Ransom was up to:

Here, you can see the ginormous hole we’ve dug for our basement.¬† Actually, it’s really not that ginormous.¬† Seeing Ransom and Honour in the above picture provides perspective.¬† They’re about to “get each other,” as their crouched positions denote. ūüôā¬† The wood you see around the perimeter of the hole is the beginning of a form for the concrete footings for the basement walls.

After getting cold enough at the building site, Honour and I hurried back to the apartment to get warmed up and contintue our housework.  Housework this morning included, but was not limited to making the bed, 

and washing dishes.

In the above picture, you might notice something odd on the towel with all the drying dishes.¬† Here’s a close up:

Yes, there are little plastic policemen drying with my dishes.¬† Honour decided that they’d enjoy a dip in my coffee mug this morning, so I¬†chose to indulge them in a nice hot, soapy bath as well. ūüôā

Along with making the bed and washing the dishes, we also swept the floor, started a load of laundry, did a little ironing, made butter and a batch of chocolate chip cookies, as well as changed multiple diapers. 

12:30 PM is our lunchtime.¬† At this meal, our table was graced by the presence of Roman, Ransom’s brother.¬† The main topic of discussion was knives.¬† I was content to just listen, as I know nothing about knives.¬† The fellows had a lively conversation though:

After eating a bowl of chili, Honour was rewarded with a chocolate chip cookie, which he enjoyed mutilating and eventually eating:

When lunch¬†was over, Ransom went back out to the property and we did dishes once again.¬† As you’ve probably guessed,¬†dishes are a major part of my day, as we do not have a dishwasher.¬† Honour loves sitting on the counter when I’m busy in the sink.

1:30 PM is naptime for Honour.  Before putting him in his crib, I read him If You Give a Pig a Pancake.  He loves books.

On Wednesday afternoons, I give piano lessons.  Presently, I only have three students, one of which is my lovely sister, Anna:

Up to this point, my day had been very normal.¬† But, around 4:00 PM, Ransom came in and announced that he needed to go to town, and asked if I wanted to go with him.¬† As I’ve not been to town in a few weeks, I was eager¬†for the opportunity to take a drive.¬† And, it occured to me that this could even become a spur-of-the-moment date for my husband and me.

So, thanks to my obliging sister, Emily, who happily agreed to watch the children, Ransom and I enjoyed a trip into town which included taking a walk down Main Street and dropping in at Colter Coffee for¬†one of the¬†most perfect lattes we’ve ever had.¬† It was all so wonderfully spotaneous that I regrettably neglected to take my camera.¬† So you all will¬†just¬†have to imagine¬†Ransom and me sitting in¬†a cozy coffe shop in downtown Kalispell in front of a large window,¬†sipping¬†from generously-sized, bright orange mugs as the cars drove past and the¬†rain pattered on the sidewalk and pavement outside.

And, now that you’ve enjoyed that lovely little description of our excursion, I have a confession to make.¬† I’d not made dinner¬†before we left, and when we arrived home we were both very hungry.¬† My sisters¬†had¬†fed Honour¬†while they were babysitting him, so he wasn’t starving.¬† But Ransom and I were.¬† So, I got busy and made corn pone pie.

When I cook, my kitchen becomes a very busy, messy place, and the above picture testifies to that statement.¬† My babies like to watch me¬†while I’m making a meal and they love playing together as well.¬† Remember has become so interactive and “talks” to Honour non-stop when he’s in her presence.¬† Honour in turn “talks” back to her and lavishes her with hugs and kisses.¬† It’s all very cute to watch.¬† But back to dinner…

While I was making dinner, Ransom still had some work to¬†do at the property in preparation for the concrete being poured the following day.¬† Normally he stops working at 5:00 PM, unless there’s something¬†really pressing.¬† That way, we have a consistent time of being together as a family in the evening before Honour goes to bed.

But, this evening, Honour did go to bed before Ransom got home.¬† We cleaned up his room; his special job when it’s time to clean up is putting his “men” as he calls them in the tin.¬† After a fair amount of training, I’m pleased to report thst he’s learned to do this job well and cheerfully:

We then read James Herriot’s Bonny’s Big Day.¬† He loves the James Herriot stories and tells me all the animal sounds as we look at the pictures.¬† After getting into his pajamas, having a drink of milk and giving me kisses, it was time to get in the crib.¬† Honour sleeps with the same pillow Ransom slept with as a little boy, made for him by his Aunt Starla:

Ransom finally was finished working around 9:00 PM.¬† This was his dinner…corn pone pie with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese:

He enjoyed it immensely.¬† I’m inclined to think it tasted better than it actually was¬†because of all the hard work he’d done.¬†

And thus our day came to a close.¬† Remember nursed for the last time a 10:00 PM, and we enjoyed a good night’s rest.¬†

Well, that is a very good representation of the way my day normally takes place.¬† I hope you all have enjoyed this little glimpse into our lives.¬† Sometime, please come and share my day with me.¬† We’d love having you in our home!

-JESSICA

Ransom read this to us this morning during our family devotions.¬† It was encouraging to me, so I thought I’d share it with all of you.

LORD OF ALL BEING,

There is one thing that deserves my greatest care, that calls forth my ardent desires,

That is, that I may answer the great end for which I am made – to glorify thee who hast given me being, and to do all the good I can for my fellow men;

Verily, life is not worth having if it be not improved for this noble purpose.

Yet, Lord, how little is this the thought of mankind!

Most men seem to live for themselves, without much or any regard for thy glory, or for the good of others;

They earnestly desire and eagerly pursue the riches, honors, pleasures of this life, as if they supposed that wealth, greatness, merriment, could make their immortal souls happy;

But, alas, what false delusive dreams are these!

And how miserable ere long will those be that sleep in them, for all our happiness consists in loving thee, and being holy as thou art holy.

O may I never fall into the tempers and vanities, the sensuality and folly of the present world!

It is a place of inexpressible sorrow, a vast empty nothingness;

Time is a moment, a vapor, and all its enjoyments are empty bubbles, fleeting blasts of wind, from which nothing satisfactory can be derived;

Give me grace always to keep in covenant with thee, and to reject as delusion a great name here or hereafter, together with all sinful pleasures or profits.

Help me to know continually that there can be no true happiness, no fulfilling of thy purpose for me, apart from a life lived in and for the Son of thy love.

-from The Valley of Vision 

Hi everyone.¬† Yes, it’s true.¬† After months…years actually…of talking and planning, we’ve broken ground and officially started the building process of our house.¬† Wow.

During his last set of days off, Ransom’s time was spent mostly¬†in the backhoe, digging a gigantic hole¬†where our¬†basement will be.¬† The above picture was taken facing west from the eastern side of our property, about where¬†our driveway will come off the lane.¬† The house will be where you see the piles of dirt.

 

This is the perspective from the building sight, facing east.  Those mountains will one-day be the view from our front porch. 

And yes, our little boy is enthralled with all that dirt!¬†¬†He has enjoyed climbing the piles, as well as rolling down¬†and digging in them.¬† He’s also¬†tasted them, but they’re not¬†very impressive from that perspective. ūüôā

Today, Ransom has decided to hire a professional to finish the excavating and he’s onto digging the¬†trenches for the electrical lines.¬† I’m not sure what comes once that’s done…we’ll keep y’all posted (no pun intended!).

-JESS

PS¬† A new presentation…are you surprised?¬† I’m not even going to explain this time.¬†