Journal Day

How's this for a fun Friday!

What you will need:

a magazine
glue stick
colored pencils 

Cut pictures out of the magazine to your liking, adjust them on journal page, glue, color background and doodle around the pictures. Have fun and enjoy… 

What magazines do you like?

Meet the Turtles

Fred - top left
Pedal - top right
Engine - lower left
Sammy - lower right 

Aren't they just the cutiest little things you've ever seen!? 

These little guys don't sit still long for anything.

My attempt of capturing their under side shells was an absolute challenge. 

As you can see the one on the lower right, Sammy, in the top picture is ready to flip at any moment. They are like babies learning to flip from back to front. They can and will flip over in a blink of an eye. 

They are listed in order from who was found first to last! 

I am amazed at their spots on the under shells how some of the spots are exactly the same on one side as the other. Especially, look at Sammy, on the lower right. His are a perfect match. Almost like it was a sheet of paper with paint on one side then folded in half to duplicate the spots.  

They love swimming in the aquarium here at the Murphy Lodge. 

Can you tell who's who once flipped over?

Wednesday Words

And we are off to making it pass the first week of having a freshman college student here at the Murphy Lodge. Last year I purchased this 1001 Things Every Teen Should Know book. From time to time I break down into my own words a few of the 1001 things writing them on our kitchen chalk board. Or we read them aloud across the dinner table from the book. As you see here, this is the most recent I wrote this summer. Time to update for sure but sure thought it'd be worth the share before I do here on Wednesday Words. Hope you enjoy! #myteenhasntlefthomeyet

Have you seen one of these books?
Do you have a teen?

DIY Tye Dye

We started with rubber bands around our t-shirts for a bulls eye look. This can be done by grabbing the middle of your t-shirt of choice and pulling it straight up. Start from that point working yourself toward the bottom places rubber bands approximately every inch. It's okay if one ends up a little further apart than the others. 

We then drenched each rubber band off section with a color dye of choice. If there's an open place in the section your working on spray dye in there too. Even squeeze the t-shirt from time to time letting the dye soak in. If you don't get enough on there you are going to end up with more white spots than colored. Which is okay but if you want a shirt full of color then work to make sure you drench each section in the color of choice. 

The girls and I made a shirt each which means three shirts in all were made.

We used a SEI Tumble Dye Neon kit from Hobby Lobby to make these tye dye t-shirts on one of our Fun Fridays this summer. 

From there we followed the instructions provided in the the dye kit. Which went a little something like the shirts hung to dry and then I washed as normal.

What I am wrapping up

I started with my natural jute twine and scissors. 

I then laid the journal on the owl pillow. Wrapping the twine around them while criss crossing it on the backside of the pillow. 

I tied a knot in the twine on top of the journal before placing the gums balls in place. 

I securely tied a knot around the gum balls before tying a bow with the twine. 

This gift was gifted at a 10 year old girls birthday party this weekend my youngest daughter attended. 

You're going to want Jesus

Keeping up with some of the former bachelors and bachelorettes from time to time on instagram, I came across Sean Lowe's blog. Actually, I was looking at Nicks from last seasons bachelorette (Andi's season) instagram picture. He was a guest blogger on Sean's blog talking about why he brought up the fantasy suite on the after the finally rose. I got to looking around further on Sean's blog finding this video where he was asked by a preacher about being on the bachelor…

And let me just say this, your going to want Jesus! 


What I loved most about him being on the bachelorette was him still making time for his morning alone time in the word . While reading along with the Jesus Calling daily devotion out in the open other guys gathered around to hear Gods word. How amazing is that? I love it! #godisgood

"God shapes the way I think, the way I act, the way I view the world and how I treat others." ~Sean

You can read here on Sean's blog the full post this video was on. I really enjoyed it!

Do you watch the bachelor and/or bachelorette?
Do you want Jesus?

What I am cooking

Shrimp Deer Gumbo

I value my time in the kitchen as an art. Making dishes for the family to provide great nutrition and a way to pull us all together at the end of the day for happy healthy conversations around the table (we actually sit at our raised bar). As a mother, I believe we all aim for such. Even knowing each ones way about it is a little different, looks a little different, we are all still making art. Our family depends on us to stay alert, be true to ours selves, speak freely, walk in obedience and make that safe place for them to come home to at the end of the day. Although, somedays we've been home way to long because as a stay home mom it's what's required of us. Home all day some days! 

Recently a customer of my husbands brought him a box full of okra. This box of okra has brought in several opportunities for the kids and I stand around in the kitchen with my husband preparing to cook fried okra. I don't know about you but me being a southern girl I am all up on top of eating some fried okra. Over the years I've stirred clear of cooking fried food as well as not eating it. Bring home some okra and I'll be more than happy to okay it. Yeah, let's do this. Let's fry some okra like no bodies business. 

After several of nights cooking fried okra, I still had a lot left so I pondered what I could do with it. I started thinking about a patient who came in the dentist office one time where I worked years ago. She brought the dentist some gumbo. All I can remember about it was the okra in it. For some reason it stood out in my mind more than anything. 

So, it was on. I was on a mission to cook some gumbo using up some of the okra. 

I begin looking at recipes online and in the Bell's Best cook book my moms friend gave me when I got married. I like to look at several different recieps coming up with my own. A lot of times I might not have what one recipe calls for or my family wouldn't touch an ingediant with a ten foot poll from another. 

I browned 1/2 cup of flour in a black iron skillet first. 

My youngest daughter cut 2 stalks of celery, 1 green bell pepper and I didn't have a fresh onion so I used some already diced from the freezer. The recipe I was looking at called for one large white onion. Well, we at the Murphy Lodge like onion but not that much onion. 

I begin putting my chicken stock, garlic salt, thyme, creole, and bay leaves in together. 
I used the entire box of chicken stock. A double dash of garlic salt. 1/2 teaspoon of thyme. Approximately 2 teaspoons of creole, see picture above, that's how much. I am not real big into measuring stuff. I do a lot of guess work. It's kinda like when I paint. Most want to follow the rules using certain techniques etc. Man, I just jump in getting the job done. Lastly, I used 3 bay leaves, picking them out before served.  

I whisked the already browned flour in.

The night before we ate deer snack sticks for dinner. I know a big winner meal! Some days you have those make do meals, right. All in all those darn things were good. These two links were left over. I didn't see any reason in letting them go to waste. Opting not to pull more sausage out of the freeze I put this stuff to good use. Let me just tell you it was perfect!   

I didn't have a can of tomato paste, tomato sauce or diced tomatoes on hand. Instead, I had a can of tomato soup. Which I hardly ever use but for some reason I picked it up for something never using it. 
So I used a can of tomato soup replacing the other types of tomatoes. 

Once the tomato soup was mixed in I put the bell pepper, celery, onion and sausage.
I let this simmer on medium while cleaning the kitchen. As I was standing at the kitchen sink I begin thinking about why I decide to cook gumbo. Bham! It hit me okra. I forgot the okra. Oh my goodness! The whole point of cooking the gumbo was to use up some of the okra. My youngest daughter graciously cut 8 or 9 okra for me which made about three hand full'. 

Here above are the recipes I looked at along the way kinda making up my own recipe for what I had on hand. 

Closer to serving time, I got my jumbo size shrimp out of the freeze. I cooked them in a pan by themselves with a small amount of water, olive oil and I brushed some of the gumbo on them. 

Then garnished the shrimp with parsley and green onions. 

Look at that y'all. My mouth is watering just by looking over these pictures. I fixed this small bowl as a sampler before my husband got home. The picture above I sent in a text message to him. I typed "if pictures could taste". Yum!

1/2 cup of flour 
2 stalks of celery
1 green bell pepper
1/4 cup white onion
 double dash of garlic salt
 1/2 teaspoon of thyme
Approximately 2 teaspoons of creole
 3 bay leaves
1 1/2 cup sliced deer snack sticks
1 can of tomato soup
3 hand full of sliced okra
17 jumbo shrimp
parsley and green onions garnish 

Do you measure when you cook?
Do you sub ingredients out?