Monday, January 30, 2012

Toothless grin

It seems to me, compared to other children their age, that our children lose their baby teeth later than most. Meghan is 7 and 1/2 and is just now losing her third tooth.  I am perfectly okay with this, unless one of them has a rotten tooth that I wish would fall out so we can get a second chance at taking better care of these pearly whites!

Meghan has been wiggling this thing for quite some time and finally it became loose enough that she pulled it out herself.

Thankful for this cute toothless grin,


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Making Butter

When we lived in Waycross I was fortunate to be a part of a food co-op where I ordered everything online (from dairy to produce to dry goods to meat) and drove an hour and 20 minutes to go and pick it up. I did this once a month. It was quite an undertaking, but well worth it to me. I saved significantly on groceries and it was almost all organic. It would be crazy when we got home to unload and figure out a place to store 16 gallons of milk! Along with this milk, I would occasionally splurge and buy a pint or so of cream.

We looked up how to make your own butter. For some reason I thought it was some sort of complicated ordeal when in reality it is the easiest thing ever. Especially if you have a mixer. Maybe not so easy on the arms if you decide to churn it yourself. Cream can be expensive, unless you have your own cow :)  I wish. So, this may be something you decide to do when you can sacrifice in another area to provide the couple extra bucks to purchase some cream and give it a shot for yourself. The results are very tasty, sweet butter and some great buttermilk for baking.

This is great to do with the kiddos. We have split the cream up and poured into little tiny jars and let each kid shake away. They will think that nothing is ever going to happen, but after a few minutes the cream will thicken. A few more minutes and all of a sudden the cream will separate and wahlah....they will be excited that they actually made their own butter!

I have opted out of the sore arm from shaking butter all day and used my electric mixer. It takes about 10 minutes on a medium high speed before the magic of separation begins. You will have to rinse the butter carefully with very cold water and squeeze all buttermilk out until it is clear. This will keep the butter from going bad too quickly. Make sure you reserve the other liquid, which is your buttermilk, and save it for any recipe that calls for milk.

It is great on freshly baked bread or whole wheat toast!

Thankful for simple homesteading techniques like making your own butter...something that those who have gone before us did all the time,


Friday, January 27, 2012

A Bad Hair Day?!

A couple of weeks ago little Mercy began to break out with little red bumps on her face. Over the course of a few days they multiplied and went down her neck and some on her arms. They also covered her scalp. I didn't know if this was hormonal or an allergy. I cautiously used our lotion bar and a green salve made from herbs to treat her face. These bumps began to clear but her skin was soooo dry and her scalp had gotten scaly looking as well. Since the lotion bar ( made from organic coconut oil and shea butter) and the salve did not cause any irritation I began to put it on her with every feeding. Every few hours. I used the lotion bar mostly and the salve once or twice a day.

The skin began to look great and is almost clear. But, what about that scalp? Hence, the bad hair. We gave Mercy her first hair conditioning treatment. I took the lotion bar and rubbed plenty on the tips of my fingers and then I began to work it into her hair. The dry skin on her scalp almost immediately began to soften and became easy to remove. This morning we will rinse it out and do it again later if we need to.

I was so thankful to be able to use something natural and nonirritating on her precious little head.

At times she wasn't so sure about it, though. Her big sister came to the rescue as her mean mommy made her pose for the camera. Morgan consoled her with a kiss and I quit taking pictures :)

Our lotion bars are still available for purchase. I believe you will enjoy them! Take a look over at the store for pricing.

Thankful that Mercy's skin is clearing,


Wednesday, January 25, 2012


When we lived in Augusta, Ga our girls were able to take horse riding lessons. The horses were only a couple of miles down the road. It was perfect. The girls have always loved horses. Ever since they were toddlers they have asked for toy horses for Christmas. They have played with those for hours. When the opportunity to take lessons came up, they were thrilled. At the time it was only Madison, Morgan, and Mallory. The trainer would ride Joshua and Meghan for a few minutes after every lesson, so no one felt left out. That was over 3 years ago.

Until now...our Sunday School class gave each of our four oldest girls four lessons! It was such a blessing and they have been very excited. Finally, yesterday they were able to take the first lesson. Since it was their first lesson, it lasted for almost 2 hours. The trainer taught them how to brush the horse, check the hooves, facts about the horse, scooping up the poop :( , etc. After that, they walked the horses out to the corral and went over some safety issues and finally got to ride. Exactly what they had been waiting for.

In the meantime, with Mercy cuddled up in a wrap on me, I made sure these 3 little munchkins didn't fall in the creek!

The area was absolutely gorgeous and we all can't wait to go back.  I hope to get better pictures next time.

Thankful for a very giving Sunday School class,


Monday, January 23, 2012

Eggnog...a winter drink?

A week or so ago a good friend of mine gave me some of her nutmeg that she had bought from the Breadbeckers. It smelled up the kitchen and the pantry and made me think of eggnog.

I have never been a big eggnog drinker, but for some reason the smell of that nutmeg had me craving it. Fortunately for me I had seen a recipe some time earlier on deliciously organics website.

I sort of felt silly for making it. It was a Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's drink, right? Well, who said you had to drink it only during those times. As a matter of fact, the stores will keep it in stock during the winter season. That says to me that it is good year round...I mean, at least for 3 months :)

Since making it (yum, yum) the kids have begged for it. I was surprised since it was thick and frothy. But, they loved it and wanted more. You could definitely make this lower in fat by using skim or a lower percent of milk. For us, we went for all the fat. We are blessed to be able to use raw milk, although you will notice the recipe calls for heating it slowly until 160 degrees.  We are also blessed to be able to use organic eggs produced by our beloved hens that we gave to my parents when we moved. They try to supply us with many of them every time we get to see each other.

I remembered a story out of Laura Ingall's "Farmer Boy" that confirmed my notion that eggnog is good year round. This book is dedicated to the life of her husband, Almanzo Wilder, as a young boy growing up on a farm. It is a great read and your kids would love it. During the early harvest when the sun was hot and the days were long they worked nonstop to make sure every thing was harvested and not wasted. Long, tiring days kept them in need of nourishing food to keep up their energy. On one particular day Almanzo's mother called him in to take all the workers a special treat made up by herself. Eggnog. Full of rich milk and cream, eggs and sugar. To that she added some wonderful spices. As they drank it down, it was ice-cold and delicious. Back to work they went with full bellies and renewed strength. Yum. Well, here is an healthier version using maple syrup. Give it a try. You will love it.


6 large eggs
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup maple syrup
5 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon nutmeg (this is a little heavy, which we liked, but you may want to start with lesser amt.)
1/2 cup heavy cream whipped into soft peaks (optional)

Whisk eggs, yolks, and maple syrup in large saucepan until well combined. Whisk in milk, one cup at a time, mixing well. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until candy thermometer reaches 160 degrees or mixture coats the back of the spoon (about 20 -25 minutes). (This is where the kids would come in handy, give 5 minute turns of stirring the custard). Pour through a sieve into large bowl or glass pitcher. Whisk in vanilla and nutmeg. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.

When serving you can add some whipped cream to the top and sprinkle a little extra nutmeg.

Thankful that we don't always have to follow the "rules",


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bless her heart

Barely a month old and little Mercy is getting her hair styled already. I don't know if the purpose behind it is to actually make her look cute or to get a few laughs.  Either way, when you are born with as much hair as she has and you have five older sisters, you better get used to it :)

She didn't even cry. She must not be tender-headed.

Bless her heart......

Thankful for my precious hair dressers,


Friday, January 20, 2012

The Dentist...friend or foe??

Periodontal Probe Close Up


Dentist Holding Dental Drill

Do these look scary or what? Dental instruments. I know I have had every dental instrument invented in my mouth at some point.

A couple of days ago our family made a 45 minute trip to go see the dentist.....again. It has been my life story since being married. I tease and say that Keith has spent more money on my teeth than all of our babies combined. The sad part of that, is its true!

As I was laying there getting a broken molar prepared for a crown I decided to actually look at the instruments going into my mouth. After going cross-eyed (It is hard to focus in on something that close to your face) by looking at them I decided it wasn't worth the effort. Oh, and that drilling noise....surely someone can invent a silent drill. It is terrible. I can see how people have a fear of going to the dentist.  And, those shots in your gum....those have hurt very badly in the past. BUT, there was a new numbing medicine applied to my gums first and it worked amazingly. I wouldn't mind having some of that stuff on hand for digging out splinters, pulling children's loose teeth, etc....

You know, come to think of it, I have had fillings, root canals, crowns, a bridge, and even pulled teeth. The last pulled tooth felt like half my face was coming off with it.

I hope none of you have any of these scheduled in the near future. This is not an encouraging post.  Just a simple reflection :)

I do have to say that we have been blessed with some fantastic dentists. In Augusta my dentist was a high school graduate of Keith's. He was good to us. We had no dental insurance and I had so many problems. Thousands of dollars worth of work. He worked with us and we finally paid for all of it.

My dentist here is super nice and efficient.  I do hate going, but if I have to go, may it be to a good one, right?!

As my mouth was numb and I was probably biting my tongue and not realizing it, I said in a distorted voice, "Kids take care of your teeth. Learn this lesson from your Mama!" I don't know if they understood what I said or not :)

Thankful for great dentists....I mean it,


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We were made to be "Courageous"

Yesterday Keith went into town to have coffee with a friend, a pastor who is also here for a brief time at the City of Refuge, and on his way home he picked up the movie “Courageous” from the Christian bookstore. Our children have been eagerly awaiting the movie’s release on DVD since September. All of us, except Maleah and Stephen, watched it several months ago. All I could say was “Wow, what a movie.”

It is great to think that God is using a church in Albany, Georgia to do such great things with film. Personally, I do not like watching too much television or movies. I feel like most times it is a waste of my time and a waste of my mind. I know….I am a fuddy-dud. ( that is a Boggs (or maybe I should blame that on the Williams) word for a party-pooper). But, our kids LOVE to be able to watch something. And, around 4 o’clock when I am preparing supper and could really use some extra peace and quiet, I normally let them watch something.

Anyway, I like for them to watch things that are wholesome, spiritual, and/or educational.

“Courageous” was a movie that I knew we would not only watch, but we would purchase and keep to watch over and over. Just like their other movies, “Fly Wheel”, “Facing the Giants”, and “Fireproof”. We have watched them all and love every one of them. Such great messages and life lessons. Something that we can all discuss and talk about for days after watching it. And, with every movie, I think they get better and better.

Last night after watching the movie our family experienced a time of repentance, forgiveness, restoration, encouragement, and challenge. The power of the gospel message and the power of God’s Word resonated with this sinful heart of mine. It did with the heart of Keith and the children. Keith challenged us to be courageous in our efforts to love each other and treat each other with respect. A lost world needs to see a Christian family doing that. It is a picture of Christ.

We needed that movie last night. We needed a swift kick in the rear. We needed a tender prodding in the heart. We needed to renew our mind and recommit our resolve.

At the end of the movie the main character was offering a challenge to men to begin to live with their families in a biblical fashion. He said many will hear what he is saying and agree, but never determine to have the resolve to do it. That is complacency. That is mediocrity. God didn’t call us to that. He called us to rise above that. And, by God’s grace……we will.

Thankful for God’s anointing on an excellent movie,


“When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I .”

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Sister-In-Law....all five of them.

This is two of them....Emily {with my brother Jason and their children Adalee and Brantley} and Jodi {with my brother Randy and their daughter Devin}

We have been out of town for a few days. We headed back down south to visit with my side of the family.  Both of my brothers and their families came in. Because of the limited space in my parents house, they had to open up one of the dorms to house some of us. I was able to stay in the house since I have a newborn and my husband and father took turns sleeping over at the dorm with our boys. Both of my sisters-in-laws helped watch our girls along with their own girls in the dorms as well.

I am very blessed on both sides of the family to have great sisters-in-laws. I mean, really.....very good aunts for our children. All of them have such special things that they offer to our girls. I always desire for our girls to be around women who will encourage them in their walk with the Lord, family life, and godly character. I would have to really limit their time with older women who would not encourage these things.

As I sit here and write this I can easily think of several ways that these aunts influence our children in a positive way.

How to love and respect your husband.
The fun in laughter and having a good, clean time.
Dressing modestly.
Playing games...board games, card games, outdoor games.
Good hygiene.
Cleaning something 100 percent.
How to curl their hair.
The value of time spent with a child.
The love and care shown towards their children.
Really good cooking.
Embracing womanhood.

Need I say more? What wonderful gifts for our girls. And, what a wonderful legacy and heritage passed down. May this encourage us all to remember the little female eyes that are watching our every move and action and one day emulating exactly what we do and say. May it always lead them in the ways everlasting. Straight to the Savior. For it is only by His grace that any of us can positively influence those around us. For His glory.

So very thankful for fantastic sisters-in-laws,


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mercy's Birth Story by Madison

This is the last of our birth stories from the girls. Madison is definitely the longest and most detailed. It is precious, just like the others. Here is her story.

On Tuesday, December 20, 2011, I was in a very good sleep until....."Madison,Madison wake up mama is having contractions!".When I woke up I saw Morgan standing over my bed. When I sat up I felt a little excited and a little nervouss at the same time. I got out of my bed and started to get on my clothes.Then daddy walked in and said, "Girls y'all need to settle down and try not to wake up Maleah.". Well, Maleah woke up shortly after he left. I went over to her and I said, "Guess what Maleah? Mama is going to have the baby!".But she just laid there.I don't think she knew what I meant. I went to go brush my teeth, but Granna beat me to it! So I just stood there and waited on her. While I was waiting Joshua had just walked out of his room. I looked at him and said "Mama is going to have the baby!" He said "I know daddy told me!".When I got done brushing my teeth daddy told me to take Maleah and Joshua down stairs and let them watch something.When I took them down stairs I knew I had forgot something so after I did what I was told I ran up stairs. I got what I needed and then Morgan said, "We are about to leave and the babysitter is here".So, when I got down stairs almost everybody was down stairs.When everybody got down stairs daddy said, "Its time to go!".Joshua and Maleah said bye and us girls ran to the van. It took us about 45 minutes to get there.Once we got there we had to get everything out of the van. After we got inside we were told to sit on the couch. Everybody was busy moving around while I watched Mama come down the stairs. She came very slowly and she stopped sometimes too.Once she got down, she stopped at the filing cabinets and said, "Mrs. Brenda the contractions are coming closer together."She said "Okay we don't have time for the pool start working on the bed." After a while daddy told us to go to the back bedroom. We were in there for about 5 min. and I heard mama say it was time.I got sad there for a minute because we were going to miss the birth and mama said we could watch the birth. Daddy finally walked in and he said "I want y'all to stay in here." I looked at the girls then said, "But mama said we could watch the birth.". He just walked out. Then me and the girls decided to go in the hall and watch it.Once we got to where we could see good Granna came running through the hall to get the sheets off the bed.  Mama wasn't going to make to the bed.Then it started to happen I could see the baby's head. I told the girls I could see it then Meghan said Oooooo.She missed the birth because she thought it was gross.It only took two pushes and the baby was out.Then Granna said its a girl! And we all cheered! She was 8lb. and 8oz. Her head was full of black hair,she was born at 8:05, and she is Mercy Anne Boggs. I actually got to name her! It was a very special birth and I'll never forget it.When you look at a baby you know it really is a gift from above. 

Thankful for big sister, Madison,

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Baby Feet

Baby feet. Who gets tired of them?? So sweet and so precious. I had Mercy wrapped up tight on our bed to walk in to see these peeking out! I couldn't resist taking a few photos.

We were talking about little feet the other day. At what point do I quit kissing these little toes? For me, I am obviously kissing Mercy's. I still kiss Maleah's (2). And, yes, I still kiss Stephen's (3 1/2) stinky little guys. Now somewhere between the age of Stephen and Joshua (6) I must call it quits. 

So what age did you quit kissing your little tots toes?

Thankful for sweet baby feet,


Monday, January 9, 2012

Mercy's Birth Story by Morgan

We took this picture today. I realized that we never got one of Morgan and Mercy together by themselves. Mercy is eating very well. Can you tell? Look at those cheeks. Even her arms look chubby in this picture!

Morgan has been a great help with little Mercy. I can tell how she has matured since our last baby (Maleah). I can trust her to rock her to sleep, take her to the potty, change her clothes and diaper, etc... What a blessing. I often think how difficult it was when I had three or four smaller children. Sometimes I wondered if I would lose my mind. They were all so dependent on me and it seemed I couldn't get anything accomplished. I probably put too much pressure on myself in that area and didn't see the blessing of the season that I was in. But, I do have to say that having extra hands and arms to cradle and love on our baby frees me up to get some things done that I normally would not be able to do. Like, writing this blog :)

Anyway, with that being said, here is Mercy's birth through the eyes of Morgan.

One morning at 6:00 a.m., Dec. 20,2011, I was woke up by my Granna. I sat up and asked her what was the matter? She said, "Your Mama is having contractions. I think we are going to have a baby today." I jumped up and started to run and go tell my sister Madison who was asleep with my two year old sister, Maleah. Granna said, "Stop. Don't be so loud." So, I stopped and said, "okay". Then I ran and went to go tell my sister. We all got dressed and got out the door by 7:00 and drove for an hour it seemed. We got there at like 7:45 and got everything out of the van. Me and my three sisters got out of the van and were told to go to the back room. We waited for 2 minutes, but it felt like 20 minutes. Granna came running in and said, " It's time!" So, after she ran out we rapidly walked out. We stood in the hallway and watched Mercy come into this world. Mama, not even having any time to get in the pool, gave birth on the floor at 8:05. My mama hemorrhaged, but it was a great birth!

Thankful for big sister, Morgan.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mercy's Birth Story by Mallory

Mercy was born with so much hair and reddish skin color that we have teased that she looks like our little Indian baby. Out of all of the American Girl doll's, Mallory chose Kaya to purchase for herself a couple of years ago. Kaya is based on an Indian little girl. She has long dark hair and dark skin. A few days ago while Mallory was playing with her we thought it would be cute to try Kaya's clothes on our own little "Indian princess". She looks cute doesn't she??

And with that I give you the little Indian's birth story as seen by Mallory herself.

Mercy was born at our midwife's house. She was born at 8:05. She was 8 lbs. and 8 ounces, and she was born between the pool and the filing cabinet. 13 days after Mercy's due date the seventh, but she was born on Tuesday the 20th of December, 2011. Mama had her first contraction at 5;45 and 6 contractions on the road and 25 minutes after we were there, everyone was running around. Mama called the midwife and daddy and two or three pushes and Mercy was out. Her head was 14 inches and her body was 20 inches. She had black hair and a pink body. She is the eighth of the Boggs and her name is Mercy Anne Boggs.

Thankful for big sister Mallory,


Friday, January 6, 2012

Mercy's Birth Story by Meghan

I had all the girls write down what Mercy's birth was like for them since they were able to be with us the entire time. Some wrote down the bare minimum with little detail and description while others gave more. We will start with Meghan's very simple recollection. I have kept it true to the exact text. Spelling and all.  Forgive any grammatical errors. She is 7. You are probably used to mine, anyway :)

After mama and us kids wint to go see the midwife muday (Monday) it was time for baby mercy to come and that muday we were starding to go to bed so we were in bed and it was in the morning around 5:00 and mama had a contrashun ( it) and she had anuther one at 6:00 and then Granna woke us and said it is time to get up girls, your mama is going to have a baby so we gat on are chloths and we wint to miss brenda's and they were getting the stuf readey and then mama said it is time so they got the pool and they had to put the water hose in the pool. She couldn't make it to the pool so daddy told us girls to go to the back bedroom and we asked mama if we could see the baby come so she said yeas and Madison said I see the babys head and I looked and I said ooooo and she had it in two hours and she was born at 10:05 (really 8:05) Date 20 and she wade (weighed) 8 pounds and 8 ozses (ounces) and a fooy (few) hours latter she had to stay there andtil (until) the afternoon so daddy and mama had deisided that we would go get luch (lunch) and come back and get Granna and then go home and then daddy would go pick mama up and the baby.

Not one period in the entire text! That is some kind of sentence :) I am very proud of Meghan. Her teacher may need to work on her run-on sentences.

Thankful for big sister Meghan,


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Peppermint Patties that are good for you!

A Late Happy New Year to all of you! We all know that last year flew by and this year will as well. My prayer is that we will all find areas to simplify our lives in and really treasure the days that we are given. I agree with Ann Voskamp who says that we may not be able to stop time, but we can slow it down by giving it our FULL attention. Now that is my paraphrase, but I think it is pretty accurate. It is good either way :)

I have really wanted some good mint chocolate and the other day when I was visiting a blog that I try to read every so often ( she had posted on healthy peppermint patties. I gave them a try. Other than offering a couple of my own tips, there was no need to alter or adapt this recipe. They are great. And, a great way to eat the organic coconut oil in its raw form. Which is a healthy fat that actually increases metabolism. Give it a try and enjoy!

Peppermint Patties

1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil (organic preferably) (Amazon offers it at a great price...Nutiva brand)
1/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup ( I use raw honey)
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract or 3 drops of peppermint oil
1 cup dark chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly (cooling is a must for the chocolate to stick)

Combine the coconut oil, honey, and peppermint  in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Place in freezer for about 15 minutes. Refrigerator works well too, you just have to wait longer for it to get really cold and solid.

Scoop out mixture with a teaspoon and form balls on parchment paper. Mash flat and round as much as you possibly can. The warmth from your hands will make the oil soft, so work fast.

Transfer back to freezer or fridge to solidify again.

Remove from freezer and dip with a spoon into the cooled melted chocolate and completely cover them. Allow 10 minutes or so to harden. These need to be kept in fridge until ready to eat.

Makes about 10-15 patties.