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At Home At Lake Mac



My little spot in the world...Lake McConaughy. This is where we live, work and play. The people here are solid gold, couldn't ask for any better.



Updated: 2018-01-19T08:29:57.559-08:00

 



Getting Real: Letting Go of Dreams

2018-01-17T09:09:17.179-08:00

For a long time I have had a specific dream. About twelve years ago I thought that dream might actually happen but God had other plans for me. Let me tell you, I did not accept the loss of the dream without wailing and gnashing of teeth. I continually reminded God that I had already made plenty of sacrifices and I didn't need to make this one. Honestly, I spent many hours in tears. I was angry at the circumstances that kept me from my dream and I was angry at God because I felt He hadn't kept his part of the bargain. And just like that, the dream was dead, and I had to find a way to reconcile my heart and trust that God had a better plan.But deep in the recesses of my heart that dream has still had a little spot. I didn't think about it often but it is still there. And I have kept these pictures in my computer to give me a glimmer of hope.It's not very hard to find these kinds of images and sayings. If you're in the direct marketing business as I am they are everywhere. And they are a good thing, something to keep you motivated but sometimes they can lead you away from the most important things in life. It's got to be a careful balance, making sure we don't neglect the things that God has entrusted to us, for me that would be  my husband and my children. These have to be non-negotiable.Motivational images and graphics shouldn't be taken as great wisdom or compared with scripture. The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5,6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and HE will make straight your paths." That is quite a bit different than what this sign says. Now I'm not saying this sign is wrong, I liked it enough to buy it and keep it in my office. What I am saying is that motivational quotes should not be our guiding light, the Word of God should be. I would think God wants us to dream big, to want to do great things through Him and for Him. The Bible says to seek wisdom and I am trying to do that.So, this leads me up to my current dilemma. A few months ago the dream came back. The opportunity rose again. The time seemed right since I have a lot of free time on my hands now. My husband is 100% behind me, and people I have talked too seem to think it's a good dream so I started to get excited again. From a business standpoint, from a worldly standpoint it's a no-brainer, I should be moving forward, but...Oh Lord, why is there always a but? But...people I love may be put at risk and that scares me much more than my dreams do. I have wrestled with this for weeks, considering all the pros and cons and last weekend it became clear to me that this is not the time for this dream. Considering my age, this might be the end of my dream. I would be lying if I didn't say this was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make because it was my decision, not someone telling me I couldn't do it. These are the sacrifices we must make sometimes because the needs of others are more important. I am not a martyr, I am not a saint, I am just a mom who knows that my kids need me more than others need what I have to offer. There is a big difference this time, I am not angry at God or the circumstances. I have learned that God's plan is usually always better than mine and I can lay this dream aside without bitterness. Sadness yes, but not bitterness.Now, the big question is, where do I go from here? God and I are still working on that one. I'll let you know when I have an answer. ;)Kris[...]



My Word of the Year

2018-01-12T09:41:13.041-08:00


I have been thinking about what I want to focus on this year then Sunday our pastor was preaching about the importance of encouragement it hit me like a brick. Encourage! I am very quick to correct and criticize but I am really weak at encouraging people, especially my children.



I see other people who are so positive, people who build my kids up when they talk to them. We have a neighbor who is especially good at this. I swear you can actually see my boys get taller when they talk to him because he is so good at building them up. I am so grateful they have these kind of people in their lives but I also see that I need to be more encouraging also.







Books I Read in 2017

2018-01-10T14:56:26.138-08:00

I didn't read as much this last year. I had decided to do a couple of reading challenges and I didn't do any of them. Apparently telling myself that I have to read something is equivalent to rebelling and not getting it done. For the first time in my life I just didn't have any interest in reading. I hope that this changes this year because I really miss reading, just can't seem to focus long enough to get into a story.

Here is the list of books that I read. I I had to choose my favorites of the year they would be:
Nonfiction- Women of the Word by Jen Wilkens
Fiction- This Body of Death by Elizabeth George

  • Get Over Your D*mn Self by Romi Neustadt
  • The Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy
  • Love Story by Karen Kingsbury
  • Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson
  • The Cottage by Michael Phillips
  • Well Schooled in Murder by Elizabeth George
  • Threads of Suspicion- Dee Henderson
  • Queen Esther and the 2nd Graders of Doom- Allie Pleiter
  • Just One Evil Act by Elizabeth George
  • If I'm Found by Terri Blackstock
  • The Shadow on the Quilt by Stephanie Grace Whitson
  • Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson
  • This Body of Death by Elizabeth George
  • The High Calling of Motherhood by Chimene Dupler
  • Lilac Girls- by Martha Hall Kelly
  • Next Year Country- A Woman's View by Alma Phillip
  • Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
  • The Four Color Personalities for MLM by Tom Schreiter
  • Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
  • Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  • Truly, Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
  • Women of the Word by Jen Wilkens
  • Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Mary Enig & Sally Fallon
  • Rain Song by Alice Wisler



It's Been a Quiet Month in the Busiest Season of the Year~

2017-12-22T09:55:42.521-08:00

December is usually quite busy for me, baking and sewing and attending seasonal events. But this year has been very different. This year I got sick the Monday after Thanksgiving and have been pretty much sick ever since. It started out with an allergy attack and by last week was full blown bronchitis. I am feeling better but still not up to par. This hit me hard and to be honest I'm completely worn down and trying to regain momentum. So, it's a good thing that we didn't really have plans for Christmas. Since all the kids were here for Thanksgiving we are planning a quiet Christmas Day with just the boys. And I am very okay with that. Sometimes slow, peaceful and quiet is the very best thing, don't you think?
We did squeeze in a quick trip to Omaha last weekend to watch our daughter in law receive her masters degree in business organization. This is the first milestone in her goal to become an occupational therapist. She's worked hard and we are all very proud of her. Our son treated us all to see the new Star Wars movie which excited the hubby as much as the boys. I was really just along for the ride. I like some science fiction but have never really been a fan of Star Wars. (gasp, don't tell anyone)
Anyway, the boys get out of school in a little bit so our Christmas break officially begins. I predict lots of movie watching, a little baking, some games and maybe a puzzle to put together. I have a couple of books I want to read, and the boys are looking forward to time off from school.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy the holiday in the way that you choose too. Even it's hiding in a blanket fort in the middle of the living room. :)



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2017-12-08T14:45:41.401-08:00

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We are busy enjoying listening to Christmas carols doing a little extra baking. I love Christmas!



The Enchanting Rose Teacup Exchange

2017-11-08T07:35:18.407-08:00

A couple of months ago I signed up for a teacup exchange. This was sponsored by Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose blog.The exchange is where you're given a name and address and send some perfect stranger a package of goodies along with a teacup. In exchange you get one from someone else. I have done different kinds of swaps before and it's always been fun. Monica at the Homepun Heart used to do a shoebox swap and it was a lot of fun. Another swap I did was where we all bought the Bend the Rules sewing book and each month made a project out of it and sent it to someone else. One of the best purses I ever made ended up going to someone in that swap. :)
Ok, back to this swap. I had mailed out my package and then had been busy enough that I completely forgot about it so I was pleasantly surprised to find this in my mailbox. It was a little big to just be a tea cup. It was sent to me by Dee in Colorado and was just so lovely!


Here is a look at what was inside my box. She sent me the teacup as I expected, a nice dark coffee, some cookies, a mug rug, a book to read while I have my coffee and some beautiful fabric with teacups on it!

Here is a closer look at the teacup. I love the blues in it and it just took me right back to a little cafe in Mildenhall where I used to grab a cup of tea with a friend.

Thank you Stephanie for organizing this exchange and thank you very much to Dee for such a lovely package! I really do love it!

If you would like to see the other tea cup and mug reveals you can go here and take a look. What fun this was!



A little wandering of the thoughts...

2017-11-04T01:30:05.129-07:00

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Who would have expected to see a bus from Huffpost in our little town?



 On of my favorite fall recipes. Might have to make some this weekend since it's now November!! When I try a recipe I like I write on it so I remember next time. I also write on the ones we dislike so I don't accidentally make them again.

Spotted on the wall of a library where my friend works.



My pink drink still getting me throughout the day without wanting those sugary drinks I used to crave. I am always eager to help anyone who is looking for a way to help them adopt a healthier lifestyle. My Plexus link is on the side column.



Bake Sale

2017-11-02T01:30:02.792-07:00

My son is going to Washington D.C. with his class next spring. He is paying for his own trip but was still a little short so I told him I would help him by doing a bake sale. I made loaves of bread, dinner rolls and about 8 different kinds of cookies.
There was a Ladies Night event at a local hotel where quite a few direct sales companies set up tables, had refreshments and a drawing for a basket of goodies. There was already a gal with a table for Plexus so I decided to do a bake sale and use the funds raised for my sons trip. I paid to have a table there and we had a good evening. I came home with about 3 loaves of bread and 4 dozen cookies. The best thing is I could just toss them in the freezer and I didn't have to bake for the family for a couple of weeks. We have the opportunity to do a larger, all-day event in November. I'm still debating whether to do it or not. I think it could be very good but I need to weigh in the fact that it will be a lot of work to get ready for it. Also, in our community we have one craft show a year and it's that day. If I do the other event I miss the craft show. Decisions, decisions...

 Getting ready was a big job!

 Since the event was at night I could bake bread that morning so it was nice and fresh.





My very few Halloween Decorations

2017-10-31T01:30:03.776-07:00

 We have never been big on Halloween. But these are a couple of things my youngest son brought home this year. The Frankenstein is made out of a baking sheet and will hang on the door. He also made the cards at school.

This is a little Lego bat and pumpkin that Alex brought home from the neighbors a few weeks ago. He was so excited! It really is kind of cute.
I told the boys that I thought middle school is too old for trick or treating, considering they are as big as many adults! But I will take them to the Halloween carnival at their old school and let them have some fun.



A Little Bit of Fall Loveliness from Lake Mac

2017-10-30T12:46:42.340-07:00

A few weeks ago we had our family pictures taken by the little lake. While we were waiting for the photographer I snapped this because I just loved the colors.
Fall is probably my favorite season. I don't know if it's because we finally get away from the hot summer days or if it's because the colors change and get so intense but I love fall.

I pulled this recipe from a magazine a few years ago and I always think it's a perfect dish for when the weather starts getting cooler.
1 pkg of Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage
8 oz cooked pasta (I double the pasta and use a whole box)
2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp cajun seasoning
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Prepare pasta, drain and set aside. Saute sausage for 5 minutes, I brown it good, and add cream and cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer for 3-4 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Stir in parmesan, add pasta and toss.
YUM!






An Old Canning Jar

2017-09-24T15:44:19.359-07:00

According to a website that I found this jar is 80-90 years old. Obviously I still use it. :)



Pray for all of our Emergency Services People!

2017-09-06T09:29:23.904-07:00

Between all the fires in the northwest and the hurricane in Houston our emergency services have been heavily worked. Many volunteers from all states are helping to fill in the gap. And now another large hurricane is headed towards Florida. I don't write much about current events but I do consistently pray for the people who have to step in and help, I pray for the people who have lost homes and property and I pray that those of us who have not been affected will step up and give generously to those in need.
Many businesses have made it easy to give. I noticed at Walmart and Safeway when I checked out that I could give directly to the Red Cross to help victims. I also heard on the radio that you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross disaster relief. This will be directly added to your phone bill.
I know there are other places you can donate if you want to take the time to find one that you're more happy with. I would just plead with people to reach down into their pockets and share out of their plenty with others who are in desperate need.

Then after you give, pray for all involved, and  then pray and ask God to show you how you can give more.





August Wrap Up- part 2

2017-09-05T14:29:12.142-07:00

 After we got back from our vacation we started a new adventure. After four years of homeschool the boys went back to school. They have three weeks under their belt. There have been some adjustments.Preston is in 8th grade and it's a lot for him to remember. He's used to working on a subject until he finishes and bells interrupting him have been a trial. He is having to learn to organize his time better and not to be afraid to ask questions if he doesn't understand. He is is also easily distracted. Since I am the same way I can totally understand how hard this is for him. I am sure he will find his way but until he gets there it's been painful. There have been tears of frustration and feelings of incompetence but he is actually liking school and some of his classes he really likes.Alex on the other hand is finding it an easy adjustment so I am hoping and praying that this continues. One day a week he gets to go to the high school and they do life skills. He is also in band and is finding that exciting.Mom is struggling a bit too, not to be too involved. I'm trying to find a balance between interested and not pushy. Any tips would be fantastic~First day of school 20176th and 8th gradeHubby and I on eclipse day. We spent it canning green beans, grape juice and tomatoes. Lunch alone at a newer restaurant Preston decided to go out for cross country. I thought it might be good for him to find a way to relieve stress after a day of school. He seems to really be enjoying it. He had his first meet last week and ended up 32nd. I thought that was a decent showing for a newbie runner.[...]



August Wrap Up- part 1

2017-09-05T14:11:30.324-07:00

I kind of left you hanging about our vacation. But it's been a wild and crazy month and blogging had to take a back burner to vacation, the start of school, a garden needing attention and a thousand other little things that needed doing.Okay, first a vacation catch up. As I said earlier we had planned on going to Kansas City. I had even booked a little apartment for us to stay in so we could really relax. But one day hubby came home and said, "the boys are always wanting to go on a plane ride and tickets to Las Vegas are really cheap, why don't we go there?" So we did a little looking, really wanted to go see the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam, so after checking things out we decided to fly to Las Vegas and then rent a car to drive home. We have friends who live in Las Vegas so they generously invited us to stay with them. Picture in the Denver airport to prove to a certain skeptical daughter that we really were flying to Las Vegas! The New York skyline was fun to see! The next day we were off to see the Hoover Dam. Living close to a dam I wasn't sure this would be that interesting but we've always wanted to go so we did. Bridges are much bigger here than Nebraska! This bridge alone knocked my socks off! We have one of these at our lake. They call it "Morning Glory". These were bigger though but it was fun to see the ducks swimming around the bottom.The next day we bid farewell to our friends and headed on the long drive home. It was a beautiful day! At the advice of our friends we drove back through Zion National Park and the to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. I think it was a great decision. Zion was breathtaking and I wish we had taken more time there.Then it was time to go see if the Grand Canyon was really all that Grand! IT WAS!!The one thing that really struck me was how good the pine trees smelled. It reminded me of walking in the canyons back home when I was a kid. It's just such a pure, homey smell. There are cabins for rent right on the canyon. I think it would be fun to stay there sometime and just relax and enjoy the breeze and take in the aroma.  This was taken on the drive between the North Rim and Page, Arizona. It was beautiful country. Great cloud pic! They call this Ship Rock. I can't remember if it was in New Mexico or Colorado. I know we saw it right after we left the four corners. Mesa Verde, Colorado Poor Alex! He is scared of heights and everywhere we went he had to face fears, but he did exceptionally well and by the end of the trip I think he may have conquered a few fears. I told Preston to smile and he said he was. In so many ways he is like his big brother Ian. (smile)It was a fun trip although perhaps too much driving. And the sight below is always a welcome sight after a few days away.[...]



Loveliness in my Garden

2017-08-31T21:10:42.710-07:00

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These beauties are blooming again. I wish you could smell them. They grow underneath my bedroom window.



Sssh! It's a Secret!!

2017-08-07T09:00:45.292-07:00

This morning we are leaving for vacation. We've been telling the boys all summer long that we're going to Kansas City. We've even ordered brochures all about it. But we're not going to Kansas City!
We are going somewhere else that involves a plane ride! The boys are always wanting to go on a trip that involves a plane ride and we've managed to keep it a secret from them.

I just can't wait until we get to the airport and tell them what we're doing!!!!

By they way, after reading up on Kansas City I definitely want to go there sometime too. Maybe next year!



Life Changes

2017-08-02T09:38:03.268-07:00

Do you ever just feel so frustrated and confused you can't even think straight? Yes that's me!I am having a serious dilemma and I've gone over the pros and cons so many times that I can't even remember. See, I want to send my boys to school this fall. But if you've been reading my blog long enough you know that Alex did not have a good experience at all in school, and now that he's in middle school I worry that he will be a big target for bullies. And to be honest I'm pretty sure that Preston would have a tough time assimilating also because let's face it, my kids are weird. Now to be clear, they aren't weird because we homeschool, they were pretty weird before that. I don't know if it's because they're being raised by "old" people or if it's just their natural bent.  But I do know that weird kids have a tougher time in school.Before someone asks "why not a Christian school?" Here in our rural area the parochial schools end at grade 5 and even those are not prepared to take on a child with special learning issues like Alex has. To be honest, the public school really didn't seem to know what to do with him. :(I thought that maybe if I wrote down the reasons for sending them to school as opposed to keeping them at home maybe it would make more sense to me. So, I decided to put my lists here and give it another think.Why School:The boys could make some friends- Alex might get someone to help him understand Math- where I have failedPreston could learn that he doesn't know everything.Alex could take bandScience experimentsComputer classesIndustrial ArtsI could actually go see the dr without needing a babysitter- yes they're old enough not to need them but if I see any kind of specialist I have to go an hour away and that isn't always the best option.I am exceedingly tired...Our boys are weird!Why Homeschool:I get my kids when they are at their best not after they're tired from a day of social I have more control over what they are learningNo Peer PressureA culture that hates God and what He stands forInterest led studiesA more relaxed lifestyleI feel like I'm failing them if I send them to school.Our boys are weird!I know what I really want is to have someone else that I know and trust to teach them and I could just be a normal mom without all the pressure of being the teacher too. So, if anyone is bored and wants to come teach them give me a call! But since I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen I went and enrolled them in school. (mic drop moment)This has not been an easy decision for me and we are all looking at it as a probationary thing. If I see Alex start to regress socially or behaviorally we will reconsider. The boys are excited as well as nervous. I am feeling cautiously optimistic.So we will be on vacation next week and then come back to the start of school on the 14th! Schedules are being planned, school supplies shopped for and long talks about peer pressure, bullying and respect are being had. I expect it's going to be very quiet around here and people are asking me what I'm going to do with my time. I have enough work and projects backed up around here that I'm pretty sure I could work full time in my home for a full school year.I am sad that there are some things we won't be doing together anymore but I'm excited at the new opportunities my boys will have. After nearly 30 years of homeschooling I do truly believe that both options can be good and you have to decide what is best for your family and even for each child.If you know my family I would appreciate prayers for my boys as they make this transition. I know there will be bumps on the road but this was their[...]



Redneck Recreation

2017-07-27T07:55:58.710-07:00

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A little fun in the mud at the county fairgrounds watching the combine demolition derby. This is my youngest son's favorite event and he waits for it all year long.



My view for the afternoon

2017-07-05T12:40:08.485-07:00

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Who Taught the Israelite Women How to Cook?

2017-06-22T09:08:29.865-07:00

Once in awhile I get a weird thought going in my head and it just snowballs. The other day I was thinking about the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for 40 years and eating manna everyday. My first thought was how boring it would be to eat the same thing day after day. My second thought was that it must have been nice to not have to cook. Right now the thought of never cooking sounds pretty good to me!  Although apparently they did bake and boil it according to Exodus 16:23. But after forty years wandering in the wilderness with nothing but manna and the occasional quail to eat, how did the younger women know how to cook?
Think about it, the older generation would have been gone. Who taught the younger generation how to make cheese and cook meat? I mean they had flocks of animals. They surely milked and butchered them. Who taught them how to prepare a garden and harvest it? And then they needed to know how to store their harvest aside from cooking it? As a woman I know that much of my knowledge is from observing my mother and grandmother in the kitchen. And a lot is passed down verbally, but still it's hard to explain how to make a gravy. You kind of need to be shown that. Take a bunch of teen girls to the supermarket and give them 10 different vegetables and fruits. Will they know what to do with them? I am guessing the average teen won't. Shoot, I'm not sure the average adult would!
As a Christian I do believe that God prepared certain people to hand down that knowledge. But this whole conversation in my head brought up another thought. Who is teaching our young people how to cook, how to grow their own food, how to survive without a restaurant? Last month on our trip to Colorado Springs my friend commented on how many restaurants there were. We talked about how so few people ate at home and even fewer actually cook meals. We pondered on how they could afford to eat out all the time. And it all brings me back to this...do these people even know how to cook? How to plan meals? How to make good food choices?
Would your child survive if they had to live on the food they prepared? Interesting thought, eh?



Sandhills of Nebraska

2017-06-20T10:01:25.141-07:00

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It was a lovely weekend to travel, not too hot, nice cloud cover and the hills are still green.



From my garden

2017-06-22T08:39:33.650-07:00



This little guy was in my raspberries and I thought he was lovely.



A Day At the Zoo

2017-06-04T16:03:35.905-07:00

This is me with my youngest daughter. We had planned on going to the Henry Doorly Zoo with some of the kids and grandkids but the exits were already backed up on the interstate so we had a change of plans. We turned around and headed to Lincoln for the Children's Zoo. We had a picnic lunch and spent a couple of hours walking through. It was relaxing and fun to watch the kids excitement."Patiently" waiting for the train ride~[...]



USS Hazard

2017-06-04T16:02:57.381-07:00

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World Baking Day Challenge

2017-05-20T10:14:18.836-07:00

Wednesday was World Baking Day and since I was wanting to try my new tart pan, and since I wanted to recreate the Apple Walnut Tart we had in Colorado Springs I made this!

It was okay but not great! First I put two recipes together to get what I was looking for. The walnut mixture was a bit gooey. The crust was overdone and I needed more tart apples. But now I know what I need to change so I can try it again. And apparently I need to learn how to make my apples look pretty on top. I definitely do not have the patience for "fiddly" foods.

When I get this perfected I will share the recipe. Until then I guess if you want to try it you'll just have to experiment like me. :)