I’m linking to Wordless Wednesday, Live & Love Outloud, A Beautiful Mess, and Five Minutes for Mom.

The grass is green. It’s good to be

date Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I’m working on some things to make my blogging life easier. This is a test post to see if things are going well.  If you are looking for today’s regular post, you can find it here.

The grass is green. It’s good to be

date Monday, June 28, 2010


One of my favorite pictures of the prince and the Queen (although not all that flattering for the Queen).  The prince is about six months old here. All I wanted was for Prince Charming to take a picture of the boy and me. Little did I know that the little guy had other plans … his first real kiss for his mama! 

Now, six years later, he is still just as cuddly as ever. He woke me this morning at 6:30 a.m. to cuddle. Then, he got back under the covers and went back to sleep!

This is linked to a Blast from the Past and Making Memories Monday.

The grass is green. It’s good to be


All Aboard!!! The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew is about to embark!  We are gearing up to sail through many homeschool product reviews and give you a boat-load of information to make your choices.

With more than 200 Crew members, we have divided up into mini-crews to help us stay informed on what we need to be doing and to get help when we need it. Our mini-crew of five fabulous homeschooling, blogging moms is called An Even Keel. The logo at the left will help you find our Crew members:

Lisa-Anne at The Berry Patch : Our Fearless Captain
and, yours truly, Beverly at The Cow Queen

I hope you'll join us on our cruise. We will help to navigate the oceans of curriculum for  homeschool families. If you are a public school teacher or just enjoy finding educational aides for the children in your life, we invite you along too. There will something for everyone.

I'm really excited about the cruise. Our first review will be posted on July 19. 

I'm linking up to I'm Lovin' It. She's also having a flirty apron giveaway. Check it out.

The grass is green. It's good to be

date Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm linking to Wordless Wednesday, Live & Love Outloud, A Beautiful Mess, and Five Minutes for Mom.

The grass is green. It's good to be

date Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Someone may have to re-name this one "Add on the Pounds Cake." I can't stop eating it. It was so easy and is so yummy.

Here is what you need:
flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs, vanilla

About two hours before you are ready to begin, take the butter out of the refrigerator to soften.
Closer to baking time, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Put all ingredients in order into the mixer bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Beat at low speed for 1 minute. (watch that first spin or two -- the flour will attack you) Scrape the bowl as you go. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.

Pour into a tube pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Smooth the surface. This is a very thick batter.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in a pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and continue to cool completely on a wire rack.

We ate ours with crushed berries and whipped topping.

Add On The Pounds Cake

4 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
2 cups butter, softened
3/4 cup milk
6 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla flavoring

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place all ingredients into a mixer bowl and beat at low speed for 1 minute, scraping the bowl as you go. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
Pour into prepared tube pan and smooth
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until wooden stick comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then cool completely on  a wire rack.

The grass is green. It's good to be

date Monday, June 21, 2010

Making hay around here has been pretty challenging lately.

The power take-off on the haybine broke while Prince Charming was cutting the hay. The haybine is the implement pulled by the tractor to cut the hay -- much like a lawn mower ... a really big lawn mower! The part was not in stock at any of the surrounding stores.

Prince Charming decided to continue the hay-making process with the hay that was already cut. He tedded the hay. This fluffs it up so that it can dry properly. That afternoon, it rained! Prince Charming asked it to stop. He even asked the prince to turn the rain off. The prince replied, "Daddy, you have to ask the Lord to turn the rain off." It rained some more. It stopped and rained again at 1:30 a.m. 

Have you ever heard the phrase "Make Hay While the Sun Shines"? It means to do something while the conditions are right. "Rain" is not any of the right conditions for haymaking. Wet hay can not be baled and used for animal fodder. One reason is that the moisture in wet-baled hay will cause the hay to rot and be toxic to cattle, if they will even eat it. The second reason is that those reactions produce heat that can lead to spontaneous combustion that can lead to losing a whole barn and its contents.

After a few days of more raking and raining, the hay was baled. The royal children and I spent a couple of hours helping get the hay out of the field and into the shelter of the barn. Our (really, my) responsibility was to drive the truck that pulled the wagon load of hay. Prince Charming's job was to load and unload the wagon with the tractor.

While the children and I passed the time, we started playing the Farm Alphabet. I made it up based on hearing about environmental alphabets. Environmental alphabets are helping your children spot the alphabet letters in their everyday surroundings -- store signs, newspaper print, food packaging, etc. Well, our Farm Alphabet isn't so simple. It is more of a scavenger hunt. You have to find the hidden letters on the farm. Can you see the "L" in this picture?

Here is a "J"
As we were unloading the last wagon of hay, the wagon broke.

We found another "V" -- Thanks Prince Charming.

After we get all of our letters found, we will make words, like...

H-O-T ... Which is what it was that day!

I'm loving this way of teaching my children to be observant of their surroundings. I'm linking to I'm Lovin' It.

The grass is green. It's good to be

date Friday, June 18, 2010

Not entirely wordless ... Our lawn mower quit working last week (or was it the week before?). Anyway, the palace lawn was looking pretty ragged. Luckily, the royal goat was more than happy to take care of things.

I'm linking to Wordless Wednesday, Live & Love Outloud, A Beautiful Mess, and Five Minutes for Mom.The grass is green (and growing). It's good to be

date Wednesday, June 16, 2010

 have no story to go with this post. I was just trying to find a recipe that would work with short ribs in the crockpot. I find that if I cook them on the stove, they come out more chewy than I would like. But this, this recipe made them fall-off-the bone, melt-in-your mouth gooooood.

Here we go. You'll need:

beef short ribs, flour, paprika, chili powder, salt, black pepper, olive oil, apple juice, beef boullion, onion

Dredge the ribs in a mixture of flour, paprika, chili powder, salt, and black pepper.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Sear the ribs on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Transfer ribs to the crockpot.

In the same skillet, heat the apple juice and beef broth. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of flour mixture.

Pour liquidover the ribs and add chopped onion. (after these cooked a while, I moved them around so all the ribs were in the liquid)

Cover and cook on Low for 10 hours.

See that clean bone! I told you it was fall-off-the bone, melt-in-your mouth gooooood.

I served mine on a bed of cheese grits. I'm in the south. It's what I am (G.R.I.T.S = Girl Raised In The South) and what I eat. "Grits is groceries."

Linking to Mouthwatering Monday.

The grass is green. It is good to be

date Monday, June 14, 2010

I've been dying to show you my new office. Well, it's not really an office and it's not really new. (I've had it since September/October 2009) It is really just a corner of the living room, but is sectioned off by a couch. I call it "Mommy World" because it is my space and anyone under 5 feet tall is not suppose to enter ... theoretically.

We have been in our house for almost 7 years. I know, because I gave birth three days later. With a new house, farm, and baby, the finishing touches were put off for a while. That was until last fall. For my birthday, I got an office re-do.

Here's the "before":

Not much of a room. Not much style. Not much fun!

Kids stuff to the left of me ...                                       

Supplies and an attempt at greenery on my right.

Then, 6 years later, Prince Charming invited The Duke of Pearl to come and be creative. (Prince Charming and The Duke of Pearl were diaper buddies. They have known each other that long!) The Duke measured, he sketched, he returned to measure and sketch some more. He matched the current desk color twice and got it to a "T."  Then, for my birthday, I got ... (drum roll please...)


There is still kid stuff to the left of me, but it is homeschool-related and organized.

I have a place for books. Not that I ever get a chance to read them, but they have a place.

There are still office supplies to the right of me, but they are more organized ... somewhat.

And I have a place for some of my cows. The cows on the desktop are hand-carved wooden- figures from a 4-H trip to Switzerland, the ceramic cow on the shelf and the one in the print on the wall are Jerseys. See the little silver jug next to the cow on the shelf. That's my Jersey Jug! One of my items of proof that I am The Cow Queen.

One of my favorite things in this space is:
This is a painting of the royal dog, Buckaroo. He turned 13 this spring. He is amazing. I often say that he listens better than the royal children. Prince Charming has had Buckaroo longer than he has had me. We don't know how much longer he will be with us, but he is immortalized on canvas. I know it is probably kind of "redneck" to have a painting of your dog, but I knew it would be a great anniversary/Valentine's Day present. A friend of mine made it from a snapshot of Buckaroo sitting in a field of dead grass. I think she did an amazing job, right down to the white clover.

I'm linking to I'm Lovin' It, Feature Yourself Friday, Make Mine Beautiful, and Friday Favorites.

The grass is green. It's good to be The Cow Queen.

date Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm back!!!
With the closing of the royal u-pick strawberry patch, life has been getting back to our version of "normal." The Queen has been working on housework, laundry, bookkeeping, re-stocking the freezers with beef for our 100% Grass-fed Beef sales, and planning.

The housework, laundry, and bookkeeping are on-going adventures. The beef re-stocking was the better part of Wednesday, with a comedy of errors along the way. Ever had "one of those days"?

The "planning" is the fun part. I love to plan. (Follow-through is sometimes a problem.)

Back in April, I received the curriculum that the prince will use for homeschool next year. He will be in second grade and using My Father's World (MFW). MFW is an all-in-one curriculum that combines Charlotte Mason's ideas with classical education. It provides international focus and a Biblical worldview.

We started using MFW when the prince entered Kindergarten. The gentle approach and hands-on activities were perfect for a squirmy boy who liked to see how things work. As a new homeschool mom, I didn't feel comfortable putting together my own curriculum. The folks at MFW had already done that, and I didn't want to re-invent the wheel. (Another bonus is that as we progress through the years, the program is set up to include multiple-aged children in the same learning experience. You don't have to have a lot of separate curriculum if you have more than one child.) We continued with MFW-1st and now, we are moving on to Adventures in My Father's World for second grade. We will explore U.S. History and patriotic symbols from a Christian perspective. They also include U.S. Geography, Bible, Science, Art, Music, Math, Languauge Arts and who knows what else? Well, I guess the people who designed the program and those who have used it, but the royal family will be in for surprises.

I have also been planning a cruise. No, not that kind of cruise. I'd be too afraid of sea-sickness, pirates, falling overboard, shipwrecks, and ending up on Gilligan's Island to do that!

I have been planning how to do my reviews for the The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. Remember when I wrote the review for the Firefighter and Australia unit studies? Those were my audition articles. Our crew captain contacted me last week with the news that I had been chosen. Actually, she contacted a lot of other people too. Anyway, for the next year, I'll be reviewing educational products and writing about them here. (There will probably be other tasks that I'll find out about soon.) I'll be sure to give my honest opinion so that you can make sound choices about the products. There will be other people writing reviews too, and I'll let you know how to find their thoughts. Won't you join me for the cruise?

Now, don't think I'll be going all serious from now on. I still plan to bring you yummy recipes, interesting photos, and stories about the prince and princess. Here's one about the princess:
Last Sunday afternoon, the prince went on a playdate with a friend. The princess was upset that she didn't get to go. I told her we were going to do "girl stuff." Little did she know that it meant "defrosting the freezers." Anyway, she was playing in the discarded frost from the freezers when this little gem popped out of her mouth, "Mom, Daddy's in love with Bubba's teacher." Now, to the average mother, this may cause some concern. To a homeschooling mom, it was sweet music to my ears.

I'm linking to I'm Lovin' It and Feature Yourself Friday.

The grass is green. It is good to be The Cow Queen.

date Friday, June 4, 2010

The royal strawberry patch closed for the season at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 29, 2010. Life just might get back to "normal" now. That is all.

I'm linking to Wordless Wednesday, Live & Love Outloud, A Beautiful Mess, and Five Minutes for Mom.

The grass is green. It is good to be The Cow Queen.

date Wednesday, June 2, 2010