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Showing posts from January, 2016

Unconditional: How Our Son Completely Changed Our Lives

For two years, I would sit at his basketball games and silently sob.
Not because Little Man (our youngest son) wasn’t as good as the other kids were. (He wasn’t at the time.)
Not because I was embarrassed to be the only parent with a kid on that team not keeping up.
I would weep because he was cognitively stuck. Like a computer sluggishly trying to process a hard drive full of information, he would stare. The game went on around him, and he lagged 30 seconds behind. He would run down the court just as the team was turning around to head the other way down the court. Then he would remember, briefly, to “guard his man” before getting lost in the loudness of the gymnasium, the overstimulation of the ball bouncing around him, the fast pace of the kids racing past, and the pure anxiety of being in slow-motion when everyone around you is on pace. He would peel his hangnails and wear a perpetually worried look on his face.
My heart would ache and shatter not because he was different but because…

Be My Valentine Pie Pops

Ingredients: 1 1/4 Cups All Purpose Organic Flour 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt 1/3 Cup Grass-Fed Butter 5 Tablespoons Cold Water  Your Favorite Jelly or Preserves (or try our recipes for blueberry and strawberry preserves)Lollipop SticksHeart Cookie Cutter
Related Post: Valentine Cupcakes
Directions: Mix flour, salt, and butter together in a medium size bowl. Add water and gently fold together until it forms a ball. Refrigerate for two hours. Roll out and cut out hearts with the cookie cutter. Place a small dot of jelly in the center of the heart. Press the lollipop stick lightly into the bottom of the heart, place a second heart over the top. Use a fork to gently press the edges together. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until golden.
Related Post: Heart Shaped Cookies
This post contains affiliate links.

#valentine #treat #cookie #cookieonastick #sweettreat #ValentinesDay #GiftsForYourValentine

Snowed In: Day 2

The news is calling this snow storm the blizzard of 2016. I read somewhere last night that South Carolina had 900 accidents state wide yesterday. One of our neighboring counties police department asked people to stay home because the roads are so bad. Their suggestion? Snow cream!

Related Post: Just A Winter Day At The Cottage


 But as I scroll through my Facebook I can't help but notice all the pictures of families playing out in the snow. Not behind a laptop or TV, not a game console or with headphones in their ears but playing in the snow with each other. Teaching small children to sled, or build a snowman or having snowball fights.

Related Post: Chickens And Snow At The Cottage


Related Post: Country Snow Storm


To be honest I've been enjoying the snow. At last measurement we had about 6 inches of snow. Which is way more than we normally get. We are baking, watching our assortment of birds at the feeder by the window, enjoying good books, making snowcream (so good by the wa…

Just A Winter Day At The Cottage

Snow drifting softly to the ground... silence. Did you know silence has a sound all its own? The wind whistles softly. It's winter at the cottage and there is nothing like it.



 Our sweet dog Faith discovers the snow and, at first, is not quite sure what to do with it. She walks with her head to the ground taking mouthfuls of snow at a time. She loves the snow!


Then she just can't get enough of the stuff.  She is acting like a little puppy bounding around.

Related Post: Snowed In Day 2



The cottage is settled on a large hill so it makes a great place for sledding. We grab our sleds and snowboards and head down and soon the entire neighborhood is out.



The barn across the street is covered in a beautiful blanket of snow as more falls all around. It looks like a Christmas card. I love Tennessee, its beautiful in every season.

Related Post: Chickens And Snow At The Cottage



Related Post: Country Snow Storm

 A swing sways in the winter breeze waiting for children to come and play. Who …

Breden's Orchard, Pie Kitchen and Country Store

 Welcome to Breden's Orchard in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. Owned by the Breden family. They were always so sweet to us each year as we would go to pick our apples.  They have the option to pick your fruit or buy it in their little store.


We liked to pick our apples.  You have to be on your best behavior there because the fruit is fragile so we used our manners as we walked the isles of trees laden with apples. Related Post: Grassmere Historic Farm
Brianna and I liked the sweet Golden Delicious apples and daddy loved the Granny Smith apples.
This was always part of our fall tradition each year.  Then we would put the apples in a zipper bag and put them in the bottom of the fridge with one wet apple.  Doing this they would last all winter long.

Related Post: Long Hunter State Park


Some of the apples we would take home and can too. Apple sauce, apple pie filling, apples and cinnamon sticks canned in apple juice and cranberry apple sauce. Such tasty treats!
 I will never forget how mu…