Looking Back on 2012 – The Maple in my Backyard

004 (4)I love trees.  I love to take pictures of tress.  I love to climb trees, really high when I was young.  I love to sit under trees.  I love to look up into trees.

Trees have a few meanings to me.

First, trees are God’s creation.  Made gently by His loving hands.  They are such lovely and beautiful giants on this earth.

I also feel that God is showing us how He wants us to be.  Like a tree.  We start out small and weak in our Christian journey, which is called life.  If you are fed the right food, you will grow mighty and strong.  The right food is The Word.  When you grow mighty and strong, your roots grow deep into the ground.  Giving you the strength to stand tall when you need to stand up for something.  They also allow you to bend when the time is right to.  You’ll grow thick and strong limbs.  Limbs help to provide shade and relief to those on the ground.  Up in the limbs is home to many creatures.  A tree is always available to help others.  No one is turned away.

The picture above is my own photo.  Please do not copy the photo and use it as your own.


My New CafeMom Profile

DaintyD’s profile page – CafeMom – Mozilla Firefox.

Do you have a CafeMom account?  If so, here is where you can find me.  I used to have a profile there.  I went by Daintydecker.  I couldn’t get into my account because it was so old, so I had to make a new one.  I’m starting all over.  But I’m thinking, I might just start designing tags again.  I have already started collecting new ones!  In fact, the tag I’m using below is a brand new one that I just got tonight!Image


Danielle’s 2013 Reading Challenge

This year, instead of running through the alphabet, which by the way, I’ve never made it through all of the way, I thought it would be fun to go through the letters of my name.

What I plan to read is listed below.  I will be updating this list as I read the books so you know when I’ve read them.

D – Dreams and Relationships by Nicholas Heyneman

A – The Americas by Daniel J. Boorstin

N – Natural Flea Control

I – The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells

E – Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

L – The Littles go to School by John Peterson

L – Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

E – Edible History by Cassandra Cookson

D – Declutter by Ava Connor

E – Edible Wild Plants by John Kallas Ph.D.

C – Contend Earnestly for the Faith: A Survey of Christian Apologetics by Phil Ferndandes Ph.D.

K – Kill the Clutter by Heather Lane

E – An Elementary Study of Islam by Mirza Tahir Ahmad

R – The Rising by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins


January 2013 Reading Challenge List

January 2013 Reading Challenges & Link Up List « We’re Duck ‘N’ Chicks – Mozilla Firefox.


Wild pic isn’t it?  That’s how I look when I get new books!

Here is my intended reading list for January’s challenge:

  • Celebrate President’s Day – The Life of Abraham Lincoln by Henry Ketcham
  • Birthday Book – A Collection of Stories by Jack London
  • Who’s Got the Blues? – The Blue Hill Farms Guide to Basic Chicken Keeping by Kim Hamilton
  • Bringing in the New Year – Proverbs of the New Testament: A Relevant Study of the Book of James by Lara Velez, Founder of Moms of Faith
  • Snowy Days – Working in the Northwest Woods by Dennis Willard

As you can see, I have quite a wide variety of books that I like to read.  All of these are books that I have on my Kindle that I haven’t read yet.  I did look through my TBR books and I didn’t have much that matched there.

I am so excited to start this!  Only four more days!!  Now to choose which one to start first!


January 2013 Reading Challenges & Link Up List

20110212_7I love a challenge every now and then.  Don’t you?!  I also love to mix a challenge with my hobbies.  Reading challenges are a great way for me to be able to do that.  I’ve been searching for a good challenge to do, but didn’t really find any ones that I was really excited about.  I thought it would be more fun to make up my own and maybe have some people join me.

The rules are very simple.  You can read any book to fill the list.  It doesn’t matter what genre or how it is printed.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve read it before, as long as you DO read it again.  Books read for the January challenges must be started in January, not something that you were previously reading.  You can read a book that falls into more than one category and get it counted for that.  You may also use books that you are using for different challenges.

Don’t feel pressured to do them all!  Choose what you feel is right for you.  What sounds like fun?  What do you think you can accomplish?  Are you challenging yourself?

After you’ve checked out the list, you can link up with us and share what you will be reading.  At the end of the month, I will post a post for us to share our progress.

So what are you waiting for?  Get those lists ready and link up with me!  Don’t leave me doing this journey alone!

  • Celebrate President’s Day – Read any book that has anything to do with a President of the US.  It can be about a president, a president’s name can be used in the title or the same as the author’s name or the setting of the book in Washington DC.
  • Birthday Book – Find an author that was born in January and read a book written by that them.  Here are a couple links to help you out: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/january-author-birthdays        http://lookingglassreview.com/books/authors-illustrators/birthdays
  • Who’s Got the Blues? – Find a book with the word BLUE in the title.
  • Bringing in the New Year – Read any book that talks about New Years, making resolutions or has the word NEW in the title.
  • Snowy Days – Snow or anything to do with snow on the front cover.  Ex. snowman, skis, snowflake, etc.

Please leave your link to your reading list in the comment section so I can follow your blog and reading journey!




Reading Challenges

20110212_7In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I would like to do some reading challenges for this coming year.  I have decided on doing a few different ones.  The best part?  I thought it would be fun if you could join me!

I am thinking that monthly or even seasonly challenges would be fun to do if they were kept short.  Yearly long ones would be neat to do also.

I will be starting a challenge or two on January 1, 2013.  Be sure to watch for them!  I will be posting a couple of them today so that you can start getting your list ready if you’d like!


Update on Where I’ve Been

For those of you that follow and read my blog, there aren’t many, I know that….but there is a couple.  I know that I have been MIA lately.  This month has been so hectic and sickly.  I was sick first.  Then we went a week without being sick and tried to catch up on housework and crocheting Christmas orders.  But wouldn’t ya know it, my son got sick, daughter got sick, and they shared with me.  Both times I was sick was with fevers and I just felt awful.

I have not been able to do any of my plans for December.  My Living Intentionally challenge has gone nowhere.  I didn’t get to do anything for our advent and the little surprises that we wanted to do for the Christmas countdown.  Well, we did do one.  We baked some cookies and gave them to our post-person.

After we were all well, I had lost time crocheting and was behind.  I was not able to start Christmas gifts fully until the orders were done.   I am still making Christmas gifts.  I’m so glad for patient people!

Today I decided that the mess of my house needs to go away.  I have done so much cleaning today and it feels great!  It is now my time to relax and blog.  Maybe even crochet or read!

This is not much of a blog post.  I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m ok, and I’m coming back.  Tomorrow I will be back to trying to post a blog post every day.  I also want to talk about a reading challenge for the year.


Making More Time

Busy Bee
Busy Bee

Do you ever feel so busy that you wish you could push back time?  We are taking a look at Living Intentionally: Day 3 – Decluttering Your Calendar.

I have taken a good look at how I schedule my time lately.  I have been praying for months about my roles at my church and what I need to be involved in, along with what I don’t need to be involved in.  At this current time in my life, I feel that I need to be involved in my home and family life.

I took out some activities and roles that I will miss, but I feel that I am not able to fully concentrate on right now.

Having homeschooled children, I feel the pressure from people to keep my children socialized.  I think that is very important.  However, I also feel that there are times when we need to focus on our family unit and not outside socialism.

It was a hard thing to do.  Stepping back from things that I have been doing for a few years.

But in another way, it was such a relief!  Right now I have nothing to focus on but my family and my work.  I don’t feel that I am cheating God.  He knows that I gave it a good shot while I felt that I could.  This is something that I have been praying about for months.  I feel that He showed me what He wanted me to do.

I will continue to work on this.  I have a bad habit of feeling like I need to fill in and help people.  It’s not necessarily bad, but it can be.  When I misuse and abuse it.  So for now, my focus needs to be at home.  I need to get my house back to being clean and organized.  I need to get my family back to be “together”.  I need to feel a little less overwhelmed.

So for now, I’ll be cleaning, homeschooling, crocheting and reading my Bible.  I’ll still attend church.  But for the moment, I am not going to feel pressured to be there all of the time.

I don’t think church should be something that I feel that I have to be there or I’m bad.  I don’t like that feeling.  I don’t think that God meant for people to have that feeling towards church.  I should want to be there.

Christmas Gift


I’ve recently become more aware of what I am eating, along with what I feed my family.  With my Oral Allergy Sydrome, it is very difficult for me to get protein that is not from meats.  My search led me to try and find foods high in protein that I could eat to replace the fruits and veggies that I couldn’t eat.

Recently I learned about Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah.  It is a sort of seed that is full of protein.  It also has all 9 amino acids that we need daily.  003Before trying this tiny little nugget of goodness, I researched a little bit about it.  Everywhere I read, it said how good it was.  I found nothing bad about it.

I decided try it and I used a recipe out of a book that I got on my Kindle fire.  The book is called Quinoa Salads and Side Dishes by Sarah Clarence.  The recipe that I used was called Potluck Favorite.  I can’t share the recipe with you, but you are more than welcome to download the book below onto your Kindle for it.  The garlic in this recipe was delicious and I really liked it.  However, I was eating only the quinoa, nothing else, and it needed something more to be able to keep eating it alone.  I added some soy sauce and it was great!

Check out the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Quinoa-Salad-Side-Dishes-ebook/dp/B008QD4BY4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354943003&sr=8-1&keywords=Quinoa+Salads+and+Side+Dishes

The next time that I cooked the quinoa, I did as the box says and cooked it like rice.  I cooked it in chicken broth instead of water, like I do my white rice.  I tried it and it was very good.  But I like salt so I added some soy sauce again and gobbled it down.  Now what I liked about the quinoa being cooked this way was that the little sprouts come out a little.  You can see them in my picture above.  It’s the white parts that curl around the seed like little tails.

(Honestly, my favorite so far has been left over and re-heated!)

Last night's dinner
Last night’s dinner

While shopping at Safeway last week, I was given a chance to sample some new sausage meats that were out.  I loved the garlic flavor, so that’s what I tried.  Oh it was delish!  When I went shopping for food yesterday I had bought a package of that garlic meat to try and picked up a box of Quinoa and Brown Rice to try.  It was Olive Oil and Rosemary, a Mediterranean style.

The rice and quinoa was something new and different.  I liked it, but I’m not sure that I will buy it a lot.  The flavors are something to get used to.  The meat was really good, and even my hubby who hates bratwurst liked these.  The bonus part of Aidells All Natural sausages were that there were no added hormones or MSG and it was made out of chicken.  I didn’t tell anyone in the family that.  Shhh, it’s our little secret!

The dinner was all new and turned out pretty good.

Now here’s my list of extra bonuses with quinoa:

  1. The kids loved it and even ask for more!
  2. All 9 amino acids that our bodies need daily are in a single serving!
  3. Quick and easy to make!
  4. Can be bought in a flour form to use for baking to avoid wheat!
  5. Perfect for diabetic menus!
  6. Fills you up faster and leaves you filled longer!
  7. Packed full of protein!
My dinner cooked and ready to eat!!
My dinner cooked and ready to eat!!

I really wish that we had found out about this little morsel of delight sooner!  I could have been feeding my family this awesome seed for a long time.  But thankfully, I’ve not wasted any time since knowing about it and we are benefiting from it’s goodness!

Christmas Angel