Monday, January 23, 2012

Prayer Requests

Praying hands Papel de Parede Imagem

I am pretty sure that we have found the Adoption Agency that we are going to use. We feel very confident in their abilities to help us bring a child into our home. They are thorough. They are very kind and knowledgeable. We have already submitted our Adoption Application and our Autobiography. We learned today that we are number 12 on the waiting list for a Seminar, but we should start our Home Study prior to attending the Seminar. There is no telling how long we must wait to attend the Seminar, but I was ensured that we could expect to attend one in the 2012 year. Once the Seminar and Home Study are complete we will then be placed into the Waiting Pool, and await to be selected by a birth mom.

Praying that we can find the financial means to move forward in our Home Study to get one step closer to adopting our child. Also Praying that this process moves swiftly and correctly. That we can complete the Home Study process, Seminar, and quickly get into the Waiting Pool with a short waiting period so that we can bring our baby home.

We knew getting into it that this would be a potentially long process. It just seems like it is so much longer than the natural way, (except for us that has not proven to be timely either - 3 years of waiting with no bump in sight) because of all the "hoops" we must go through. Lots of waiting. That is pretty much what I have gathered from all of my research. Waiting to find an Agency. Waiting to receive, fill out, and return Application. Waiting to complete the Home Study. Waiting for an invitation to attend the Seminar. Waiting to be placed in the Waiting Pool. Waiting to be selected. Waiting to meet the birth mom. Waiting for the birth of our child. Waiting for the birth mom to give up her rights. Waiting to bring our child home. Waiting for the completion of the Adoption. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

I pray for Peace. I pray for Patience. I pray for Understanding in God's timing. I pray for Comfort. I pray for a smooth and swift adoption process. I pray for a healthy baby. I pray for the means to adopt.

We would also appreciate your prayers in this matter, should you feel so inclined to give us up to the LORD.

♥ Ashley

Sunday, January 22, 2012

[recipe] Sunday, Dinner

We woke up this morning and just after we had finished brewing our coffee our power went out! Luckily it was morning time and it was light outside. The hubby and I sat on our couch and enjoyed our morning coffee until it was time to leave for church. We volunteered in the nursery today and we had a whopping 7 toddlers. They were all so quiet. It was a nice morning. When we arrived home our power was back on, thankfully.

For dinner tonight I decided to forgo the soup and I made a Pasta Bake and a Parsley Salad with a Dijon vinaigrette. It was pretty good for my first one. I made up my own recipe and just went for it.

Pasta Bake Ingredients:

2 bay leaves
1/2 Tablespoon dried Basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced Tomatoes with oregano, basil and garlic
1 can Tomato Sauce
3 whole fresh tomatoes, chopped peeled
1 cup chopped frozen Broccoli
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
3/4 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
2 teaspoons Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper

Pasta of Choice

Bread crumbs and butter

Italian Cheese or Mozzy Cheese, shredded


1. In a large saucepan cook fresh tomatoes until soft and falling apart. Add the can of diced tomatoes (with juice), tomato paste, the garlic, basil and bay leaves. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

2. Add in the tomato sauce, broccoli and vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Add the Red Pepper Flakes and let simmer for 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper again if needed.

3. Meanwhile Pre-Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bring water to a boil and cook pasta for half of the directed time. Drain and return to pot. Mix the pasta and sauce together. Ad 1 cup of cheese and stir to combine. Transfer to a baking dish.

4. Bake Pasta for 15 minutes. Then top with a Bread crumb and melted butter mixture. Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes. Top with 1/2 cup cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted and bubbly.


1 bunch of flat leaf Parsley
1/2 head of Iceberg Lettuce
1/4 cup Italian Cheese, shredded


juice of 1 lemon about 1/4 cup
1/2 cup Olive Oil (or double the amount of lemon juice)
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest


1. Combine salad ingredients in a salad bowl.

2. In a jar or dressing shaker combine the dressing ingredients and shake until combined. Pour as little (or as much) as you like over the salad and toss to coat.

♥ Ashley

Friday, January 20, 2012

January Snow Pictures

♥ Ashley

January Snow

What a week we have had here on the farm and in the Northwest! Saturday we awoke to snow!! I have been dreading the weather forecast because I would really like to have those 3 day weekends in February and May (where we have our built in snow days) AND I really like the date that my school district chose for the last day of School. Everybody knows that you have to make up snow days and if you can't fit them into the school year then you have to add on days at the end of the year...BOOOO!! Luckily we had a 3 day weekend with the celebration and memory of Martin Luther King JR Day and the melting of snow. But then the snow started falling again on Tuesday. We were lucky enough to have a 2 hour THOSE I will NOT complain about. Give me as many 2 hour delays as you like just as long as we don't have to make up snow days. I was fortunate to get a substitute job on Tuesday, but since the snow kept falling they decided to cancel school on Wednesday....I lost my sub job that day and WILL NOT get paid for it!! BUMMER!! But safety first. With the addition of like 8 inches of snow I finally got into this whole "Snow Day Thing" and was then hoping for the rest of the week off, since I work on Thursday and Friday anyway, I will still get paid!

The snow was fun. Our power went out and we spent the night at Thomas's parents warm powered house. And in the morning all the snow had frozen to ICE. Meaning that we had an ICE STORM on our hands people. I will admit that the tree branches look so cool with an inch of ice surrounding them...but all that weight takes a toll on those poor trees and plants. After a few hours we got up the nerve to drive home, since we found out our power was back on. Shortly after we left, transformers were blowing left and right, trees were cracking and falling, and then a phone call from Deanna (the MIL) 3 trees in their front yard came down and the neighbors were over with the chainsaw. I felt terrible, then got nervous about some of our trees. When we arrived home all looked well. The snowball trees were laden with ice, I got into the house and looked out the back things were good....until I noticed the GIANT branch on our patio. Our beloved Maple had lost a quarter of its volume due to the ice!! Thomas and I immediately got to work with shovels hitting the ice off the Maple, Dogwood, Lilacs and Redbud trees in our back yard. Then out to the front to help out my dear little Birthday Birch trees in the front as well as the Snowball trees.

Now I sit here with the temperature rising and watching chunks of ice falling off the snowballs, and the ice dripping off the branches. Not all of this winter storm was terrible. Sakari our beautiful Husky LOVES the snow!! She was having a ball everyday (until the ice storm) running around out in the COLD SNOW!! She only wanted to come into the house to get a drink of water and then back out she wanted to go! Cooper too enjoyed the snow, hopping like a bunny to stay on top of the snow since it went almost to his neck in places. Enjoy the snow.

I am thinking of changing the name of my blog: "Life On The Farm" or "Life on the Parsons
Farm" let me know what you think in the comments section!

♥ Ashley

Feeding Time!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

[recipe] Chicken Tortilla Soup

Today I made Chicken Tortilla Soup from the Everyday Food magazine by Martha Stewart. Due to my time commitment I didn't make the WHOLE recipe, meaning that I didn't make the Chicken Soup Base. It was a pretty good soup. I would be interested in trying a different Tortilla Soup next time to see the difference. Changes/Additions I made are in Orange font. We served our soup with rolls.


  • 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes with liquid (from a 15-ounce can)
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • Chicken Soup Base (10 cups broth and 4 cups shredded chicken)
  • 3 boxes of Free Range Chicken Broth equals about 12 cups
  • 1 roasted chicken cut into pieces
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced I used about 3 avocados
  • 2 ounces cotija cheese, crumbled (1/3 cup)/ Shredded Cheddar and Jack Cheese
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can corn, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced (did not use)
  • Lime wedges, for serving (did not use)
  • Tappatio hot sauce, for serving
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • Sour Cream, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large pot, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes and liquid, and chili powder and cook until most of liquid is evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add beans, corn, and cayenne pepper. I also added the chicken at this point.
  3. Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet, toss tortilla strips with 2 teaspoons oil. Bake until crisp and golden, 8 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  4. Divide chicken, avocado, cheese, cilantro, and scallion among six bowls; top with broth and tortilla strips. Serve with lime wedges and Sour Cream.


♥ Ashley

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


so we went to go check out an adoption agency yesterday. none too thrilled over here. i was really hoping that this would be the place. but we just didn't "feel it" ya know? so i guess that is a good thing because at least we know that we do not want to go through them. its just frustrating. i feel discouraged. i was really hoping that this would be the place. but apparently its not. at least we both agree on this. i think what i am learning is the discouraging factor is the timeline for everything. i know that it is going to take a while. its just annoying. i mean we have already waited 3 years and the thought of waiting another 2 years to get matched up with a birth mom or an infant is just really disappointing. but i know that we need it to possibly be that long to find the perfect match or at least the best match for us. it all makes sense, its just frustrating after you have been waiting so long to find out that you have to wait even longer. i feel this way not just for me but for others who go through this process as well. i just pray that GOD continues to guide us in the right direction. that HE gives us peace and comfort. that HE lets us know that the reason there is only one set of footprints is because HE is carrying us through this journey. i know that HE is. i know that HE always will. i just pray that we find "the agency" and that we get through "the hoops" and get "chosen" and the process gets "finalized" quickly.

your thoughts and advice are welcome. please share.

♥ ashley

Monday, January 9, 2012

[recipe] Monday Night Dinner

Thought I would share the meal I made tonight (with the help of dear hubby!). I like my steak plain, by plain I mean Johnny's Seasoning Salt and fresh ground pepper. I also like myself a thin cut bone in Rib-eye, why thin cut?? because they are more consistent and easier to cook in my opinion. Add some Brewer Brown Rice and YUMM!!

Sorry no pictures...didn't last long enough on the plate!!

So here is what I do.

For the Steak:

my choice of steak: thin cut bone in rib eye.
Johnny's seasoning salt
fresh ground pepper

take meat out of package, dry off with paper towels, and start seasoning each side generously with the salt and pepper. Flip over and season the other side. Set aside for at least 20 minutes to "marinate" and bring up to room temperature for more consistent cooking.

After 20 minutes, heat a skillet on the medium high-high heat with about 1 tablespoon butter. Wait until skillet is super hot (so that when you put your meat on it sizzles and will create a good sear/crust to keep in the juices) lay the meat down on one side. Cook for 3 minutes on each side and you have a medium-medium rare piece of meat. let rest about 5 minutes to redistribute the juices. Delish!

For the Brewer Brown Rice:

This is a recipe I got from my mom, not sure where exactly it came from but I will attribute it to her, because I want to. It is SUPER easy and everyone's favorite after they try it. (its my favorite with some baked chicken gravy!!)

1 1/2 cups white rice (I like a sticky rice but does well with a long grain)
1 can Beef Consume (has to be consume) - Campbells
1 can French Onion - Campbells
1/2 stick butter

Preheat oven to 425.
Spray baking dish with Pam or non stick spray. Pour in the rice and then both cans of soup, top with the butter. Cover the dish and cook in the oven for 45 minutes. Take out of oven, stir up and enjoy!!

♥ Ashley

Friday, January 6, 2012


Epiphany is on the 6th of January and is celebrated as the feast of the Wise Men.

Today's Scripture Readings*
[Psalm 46, 97 [Isaiah 49:1-7] [Revelation 21:22-27] [Matthew 2:14-21]
♥ Ashley

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Twelve Drummers Drumming

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me "Twelve Drummers Drumming":

[12th Day of Christmas:  Nathan Harris]

Twelve Drummers Drumming
The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles' Creed: 1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave]. 5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit, 8) the holy catholic Church, 9) the communion of saints, 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting.
Daily Scripture Readings*
[Psalms 2, 110:1-7] [Jonah 2:2-9] [Ephesians 6:10-20] [John 11:17-44]

♥ Ashley

Eleven Pipers Piping

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me "Eleven Pipers Piping":

[11th Day of Christmas:  Nathan Harris]

Eleven Pipers Piping
The eleven Faithful Apostles: 1) Simon Peter, 2) Andrew, 3) James, 4) John, 5) Philip, 6) Bartholomew, 7) Matthew, 8) Thomas, 9) James bar Alphaeus, 10) Simon the Zealot, 11) Judas bar James. (Luke 6:14-16). The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and the Romans.
Daily Scripture Readings*
[Psalms 66, 67] [Prov 2:1-15] [Col 3:12-17] [John 6:41-47]

♥ Ashley

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Diaper Cake

Last weekend my MIL, Deanna, hosted a baby shower for my Cousin-In-Law. She was visiting from Nebraska, so we needed to take advantage of her trip "home". It was a lovely shower and I really enjoyed helping Deanna with the festivities. I think I have found a new calling....Event Planning. It was so fun decorating her house for the shower and getting the table all ready. I also helped out with the menu: I made Cream of Carrot Soup and Savory Butterhorns (I posted those recipes in December 2011 so go ahead and scroll back to my previous posts) and Deanna made delicious Egg Salad Sandwiches with Parsons Farm Fresh Eggs!!!

Now for the reason for this post. I made my FIRST diaper cake, I say first because I hope to make more!! It was so fun!! Keep reading for the tutorial.

First you will need about 70 of these little guys (whichever size you deem appropriate):

Then you will need to make them look like this (using rubber bands):
And a variety of ribbon (the colors of the shower theme in various widths):
My favorite part the Prizes!!! (washcloths, rattles, a bottle, passies, booties, bibs, teethers, etc):
Then you start assembling, using a bottle for the center, add about 7 diaper rolls around the bottle and rubber band to hold. Do a second row around the first and rubber band to hold. If you want do a third row and secure with a large rubber band, then cover up the rubber band with a pretty ribbon or two (make sure to fill in with some of the Prizes):

Repeat with the second layer of the "cake", except this time only using two rows of diapers (make sure to include the Prizes):

Repeat for the third layer, using only ONE row of diapers, wrap with a pretty bow or two and add a topper:
Close ups of all the Prizes:I think it turned out pretty good for my first one! I have learned some new techniques while making this cake. All in all it took about 2 hours. The best part was that my mom was able to see it. I have to admit though, I forgot to add the Prizes in at the beginning, so I already had it put together when I realized I needed to stick in the washcloths and bib. The booties were fairly easy to stick in with the ribbons but I would not recommend using one of those freezable teethers...too heavy for the ribbon. And if you couldn't tell by the color scheme CIL is having a Boy!!!

It was really fun to make and therapeutic rolling all of those diapers. I hope that when Thomas and I are given the blessing of a child that I will get one of these at my shower!!


♥ Ashley