Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gluten Free Meal: Taco Soup

Lana's Taco Soup

- Chicken breast meat (as much as you like) 
- 1 bag frozen corn 
- 2-3 cans pinto beans 
- 2 cans Rotel 
- 2 small cans chopped green chilies 
- 1 can diced tomatoes 
- 1 pkg taco seasoning 
- 1 pkg Ranch dressing seasoning 
- 1 big bottle V8 juice, to add as much as needed for desired soupy-ness.

Directions: Cook chicken and chop/shred it up with spatula, for flavor I add a bit of the spices while cooking it. Then add all other ingredients. Allow to simmer for a good 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

Note: I love this recipe because it involves no dicing, cutting, or slicing of vegetables. Just open up cans/packages and pour!! It has served me very well when I have company come or if I want to take soup to someone who is ill.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

First-Aid Cat or Kitten Care: 5 Must Have Items for Kitten Rescue

During mine and Ben's time together, we have rescued and provided a home for a LOT of cats and kittens!!  Some have had various problems and have since passed on, but we currently care for 5 cats.  We have rescued about 10 cats during our 6 years of marriage, and I know there will probably be many more to come.  Here is my little list of items I keep on hand to make taking in a homeless kitten/cat a little easier.  If you live in an area where you know you might find a kitten in your backyard or mewing at your doorstep, these items will help you out tremendously!

1.  Kitten milk replacer - you can buy this at the pet store or even at your local Wal-Mart.  This is so handy to have on hand in case a young kitten comes into your care.  I have also found it very useful for older cats who look a little dehydrated and just need a boost.  Be SURE you have a syringe or bottle to administer it if need be.
2.  Flea and tick drops - I use Frontline Plus.  You can bet that if a stray cat or kitten comes into your care, they are gonna be covered in all sorts of nasty things - especially fleas and ticks.  This will kill 'em dead!
3.  Dawn dish soap - This may sound a bit odd, but it has been vet-recommended to me a number of times specifically for kittens.  It kills fleas immediately and is especially useful if you have a young kitten come into your care who is too young for the flea and tick drops.  Just be careful when you bathe cats and kittens to never make any sudden noises, and use water that is comfortable to your skin, not hot.  Always wash all the soap out very well when you are done.
4.   Dewormer - And I don't mean those cheap dewormer drops you can buy at the store.  I am talking the stuff you get from the vet that kills everything including tape worms, because most stray kittens have them.  Be sure to consult with your vet on the safe age to administer dewormer to a kitten.
5.  A whole lotta love and patience!  Kittens and cats who find themselves without a home may be spooked or untrusting.  We have one cat whom we have owned for 4 years now who still won't let us pet her, but she lives right on our front porch.  And it is so worth it!!  She is so sweet and I am glad she has found a safe haven with us.

Also, it is important if you take a cat or kitten in to get them examined by a vet and spayed or neutered as soon as possible to prevent more stray kittens from happening!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Babies are a blessing!

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."
ESV, Psalm 127:3

"For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.
ESV, 1 Samuel 1:27-28

I just love these two verses.  The first talks about what a blessing that children are to us.  The second is the thankful promise of a mother who wondered if she would ever have her own little child, after the Lord granted her request.

Before I had my own precious little baby, I didn't grasp the blessing and innocence of them.  I hadn't been around them just a whole lot in my life.  Yes I knew they were God's blessings to us, and that they were innocent beings that were are commanded to protect, but none of that became so understood to me until I had my own.  For the first few years of marriage, I saw babies as precious and innocent, yes.  I also saw them as stinky little diaper poopers that screamed a LOT and were incredibly needy.  Now I am not going to deny that they are pretty good at the latter statement.  Haha!!  But it is so wonderfully worth it.  There is a lot of things that you don't really get in life until you change an "explosive" diaper, use a snot sucker, wake up at  1 a.m. and 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., and mop up cottage cheesey spit up.  
Me and my sister.  We were very blessed children!
It's that babies are a blessing, and that you were one once.  There was a time when someone wiped your rear end, who cared enough to wake up at all hours of the morning when necessary to feed you and console you.  And don't all babies deserve to be so loved?  Doesn't everyone deserve to have their little cheeks kissed as a baby, to be rocked to a lullaby, to be taught right from wrong?  Unfortunately, not everyone gets the blessing of being born into a loving situation.  Just let that sink in if you were loved as a child.

That was a privilege.  Be thankful for it. 
As followers of Christ, I believe we are commanded to love and protect children - ALL children, not just our own. But how can we help?  What can we do?  This is something that I hope to explore and study more about as time goes on.  Sometimes I get afraid of what I might find, that it will take a lot of work or a lot of emotional toll on me or my family.  But Christ died for me.  Surely I can do something for Him.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Baby and Doggy Outing!!

A couple days ago we took a ride with the Littlest Farmer and Jake to the park.  The weather has been just beautiful lately and we didn't want to miss out!!  Hubby has been crazy busy with two jobs AND full time school to get his Bachelor's (way to go hubby!!) and we were in need of some serious family time.

We didn't have room for both doggies so we started out taking Arwen.  However, ever since she was a pup she occasionally gets this weird thing where she drools like CRAZY in the car and nothing will stop it!!  So we had to turn around and switch her out for Jake instead.  Jake thoroughly enjoyed himself and behaved very well so we were very glad we got to take him.

Fun times!!  I wish the weather was like this year round!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summer's End

Summer is coming close to an end!  It makes me a little sad, because I just love summer and baby chicks and fresh garden 'maters.  But winter is sure to be filled with garden plans and seed starting.
My Morning Glories have done well this year!

First off, the fair is always at the end of summer and full of all sorts of critters I'd love to have:

Then we went on the very first road trip with the Littlest Farmer - he makes FIVE generations on one side of the family now!

On the other side of the family the Littlest Farmer makes four generations.  This is also the side I probably inherited my love of farm animals and gardening from, and hopefully my little boy will do the same!

Everyone is doing good here at home!  I currently have FOUR hens sitting.  Yes I said four.  I think I will leave them be - because unfortunately all the chicks from the surprise hatch earlier in August disappeared one by one.  I am hoping if I let these four hens hatch out what they've got surely I will end up with at least a few that make it to adulthood!

Engine, our little kitten that hubby found beneath his car after work, is doing quite well:

As you can see, his favorite thing to do is pester the older cats to no end:

Our little bitty baby farmer is doing wonderfully.  He gets more adorable every day!!  Life is good on the Little Bitty Farm.