stories of the Mix family lovin' the country life

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

one more try

Sometimes (most of the time) it's hard to get all three of them to look at the camera at the same time

or to sit still

or both

I guess this will have to work!

Jon is 10 months; Lizzie is 2; Abbey is 4.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Beauty in the Darkness

A country night is very dark.  Driving on a dark country road, with trees on both sides, can get a little lonely, even a little spooky sometimes.  There's so many shadows moving away from the car headlights.  Today I was coming home from our Christmas program practice.  There was no moon or stars showing.  When I got to a certain point, I could see two eyes looking at me.  I slowed down and saw a beautiful buck walk across the road and stare at me as I drove carefully past. 

That deer turned the dark night into something beautiful.  I wonder who around me is in a dark time in her life.  Am I being an encouragement to her?  Sometimes we don't realize how we affect the people around us.  Am I a beautiful part of someone's life, or am I just blending into the darkness?  Am I reaching out to help someone, or am I just hiding in the shadows?

Hannah Mix

Thursday, November 17, 2011

One of the weird things about blogging is that my day is not very different from anyone else's.  Yet, for some reason, you still want to read about it.  Sometimes I ask myself, "Would anyone really want to know about that?"  Would you, for instance, like to know that a certain somebody woke up really early one morning?  I didn't know her diaper was messy until about 2 hours later when I found "diaper prints" all over both girls' beds.  Or would you like to hear that somebody threw up tonight in our local diner?  It's not like it was in a restaurant in the city, with people we'll never see again.  Everybody knows everybody here.  The whole town has probably heard the story by now.  Oh well, most days are not that exciting. 

Jonathan is crawling all over the house. He loves his sisters and bounces up and down like he is going to jump up and run after them.  He will be 10 months old in a couple days. 

Abbey is really trying to help out around the house.  She loves to experiment.  For example, she knows I use soap and water to clean certain things, like the floor, dishes, etc.  So she decided to pour a cup of water into the DVD player to clean it, too.

Yes, the past few days have been eventful, but I love my life.  I have the privilege of taking care of my family all the time.  I don't have to pay someone else to do it part of the time.  I am thankful for this blessing.

Hannah Mix

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

seventeen years ago...

Seventeen years ago today, a young family was huddled together at the small airport in Anchorage, Alaska.  They had already left their home in Ohio and were now finally ready to fly to their new home in Magadan, Russia.  They were allowed two suitcases plus two carry-ons per person, so with seven people, they had twenty-eight bags.  It may have looked like a huge mound of bags, but this was just about everything they owned.  So many things had been given away or left behind.

The church in Anchorage had gathered to send them off.  Without a doubt, this family felt loved.  They knew these friends would pray for them and keep them in their hearts.

There was a little confusion at one point when they found out their carry-ons were too big.  Carefully packed bags were opened up.  "Kids, go put these clothes on over what you're wearing."  "Here, put these books in your pockets."  "Tie these extra sweatshirts around your waist."  "You need to carry your toys in your hands."  Things that could not fit anywhere were given away.  "Does anybody want this sweater?"

Finally, it was time to leave.  Father, mother, and five little children walked onto the plane that took them to the mission field for the first time.  Seventeen years later, we are still walking in the footsteps that our God would have us to walk.  Thank you, Mom and Dad, for following the Lord.  Thank you for teaching us kids the joys of following God's plan.
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way."
Psalm 37:23
Hannah Mix


Monday, October 31, 2011

Candy Apple Cake Pops

Today is the day for our church fall festival.  Bobby and I have been planning it since summer!  We got the church gym all decorated and set up last week, so there's not much to do today.  I should use this time to do some laundry and cleaning...{sigh}  Instead I am drinking some coffee and chatting with you, dear reader.

I just finished making these cake pops for the party.  Have you ever made cake pops?  They are super easy.

1.  Bake a cake.

2.  Frost it while it's still hot, so the frosting melts down into the cake.

3.  Stir it all up and shape into 1" balls.

4.  Freeze.

5.  Dip in melted chocolate.

I used red melting chocolate for these cake pops; then I stuck broken pretzel sticks in them.  My friend Sarah put green frosting leaves on them to make them look like candy apples.

Abbey and Lizzie are being very quiet in the other room {and making me nervous}.  I went to check on them.  They are eating the toothpaste (the kiddie kind with no fluoride) and playing with all of our toothbrushes.  They even opened the packages of the ones in the cabinet.  "But, Mom, we wanted to brush our teeth."

Jonathan is in the kitchen with me.  He fell asleep in his high chair while I was making the cake pops. 

"CRASH!"  Uh-oh.  That came from the bathroom.  Gotta go!  

Hannah Mix

This post is part of a linky party going on at

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Autumn Wedding

We had a beautiful fall day here in Ohio last Saturday (wait a minute--I can't believe this is already Tuesday!), just a pefect day for a wedding.  Bobby's brother Jimmy got married.  Abbey and Lizzie were the flower girls.  Here are some fun pictures of them that the photographer (my sister-in-law Amber) took.


Here is Bobby with Jonathan.  He just turned 9 months.

Friday, October 14, 2011

my kitchen

Here's a peak at my new kitchen.  My hubby put our new counters and new sink in.  Don't they look great?  I sanded, primed, filled nicks, and painted the cabinets and frames.  I'm not done yet, but the kitchen already looks so new!  I am so excited!

This is what the counters look like up close.

Now I have to make a confession.  I had planned to eat from our garden all summer...and we started out really good, but our garden was too small to reach my goal.  I did save enough grocery money to buy the countertops and part of the sink, so all that work still paid off!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hello, dear readers. It's been a while since we've talked! 

We are doing some work in the living room and kitchen.  During the day I try to squeeze in some painting in between nursing the baby and helping Abbey do her preschool and keeping Elizabeth busy.  By the time the kids go to bed, I am super tired.  I haven't been awake enough to post anything.  When I get done, I will post pictures.

This past weekend--I know, that's almost a week ago--we drove to Indiana to visit my Grandma and Grandpa Pranger.  I really love these people.  When I came to the States by myself to go to college, their house was a second home for me.  They drove me down to Oklahoma and back several times.  I spent two Christmases with them. 

Here are some pictures of them from my album. 
I'm about two weeks old here

me, James, Amos, and Sharon with Grandpa.

during college days

Here we are now, with my husband Bobby (and the girls' heads peeking in the corners).  We had a good visit. It was really good to see them again.

Hannah Mix

Monday, September 26, 2011

Country Corn Bread

I love cornbread, especially with a big square of butter melting all over it.  My mom taught me to make it in a cast iron pan when I was--umm, maybe 7 years old. 

1.  First of all, give the baby a chocolate cookie.  He will happily make a big mess while you make the cornbread.

2.  Put about 5 tbsp shortening, bacon fat, or butter in your cast iron pan.  Place the pan in your oven while it is preheating at 425 degrees.

3.  Mix together 1 cup flour, 1 cup cornmeal, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tbsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt.

4.  Add 1 cup milk and 1 egg.  Stir just until mixed. 

5.  By this time, the fat in your pan should be melted, and the pan should be hot.  Carefully tilt your pan to make sure it is well coated with the fat, then pour most of it into the batter.  Quickly stir and return the batter to the pan.  You should hear a nice sizzle when you pour the batter into the pan.

6.  Bake at 425 degrees until it's done (you know, the whole toothpick thing). It takes about 15-20 minutes.

7.  Turn upside down onto a large plate.  Cut into wedges and serve. 

Hannah Mix

This post is part of a linky party hosted by Raising Four Princesses


Friday, September 23, 2011

Today I held little Jon in my arms.  He fell asleep while he was nursing.  I kissed his cheek before I put him in his crib, and then I kissed him again.  Life goes by so fast.  Tomorrow is not certain.  I held him a little bit longer.  Such a sweet little baby!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Smiling through tears

The smile on my face doesn't really hide the tears in my eyes.

Yesterday we took James and Amber to the airport.

They will gone for just a couple weeks, but soon they will be in Russia permanently.

I miss them so much already.

They are two Christian soldiers on their first "deployment"

I am proud to call them family.

Friday, September 16, 2011

One of the great joys in my life now as a grown-up missionary kid is seeing some of our dear pastor friends who have supported my parents since I was a little girl.  Tonight I was privileged to hear one such pastor preach.  His church has supported my parents for 18 years, and he has been the pastor this whole time.  Not many preachers stay at a church for that long, and not many pastors will take notice of the missionary KIDS.  This pastor and the church where he pastors bring up so many warm memories of everything I loved about traveling on deputation with my parents and siblings.  I really enjoyed the sermon tonight.  Here are a few of things that were said:

"In order for your prayer life to be effectual, you must have a place where you pray every day."

"With everything else that you are doing, how much time do you have left for God?"

"We are good at forgiving people who don't really need it, but we don't like to forgive those who really need forgiveness."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Let them try

I'm sitting at the table watching Abbey (4) try to eat a grapefruit. I offered to help her, but she wants to do it herself. Grapefruit juice and pulp is flying all over the table and the floor as she stubbornly tugs at her spoon.

One of the things I try to build in my children is independence. Before Abbey was born, I used to teach in a Christian school. Those children who were independent enough to do things on their own were always better prepared to start school. I don't mean a rebellious independence that says, "I am not going to do this the way you said, Mommy." I mean an independence that I can give them a job and they will get it done on their own. I say that as a goal, because we haven't arrived there yet.

My children are preschool age.  There's a lot that they can't do, but yet there's a lot that they can.  By now, Abbey has finished her grapefruit.  She is holding up picture cards and asking Lizzie (2) to name the picture.  She is independently teaching Lizzie and increasing her vocabulary, and they are both having fun. 

Let your children learn to do things for themselves. 

  • Have a small water jug in the refrigerator and let them pour their own drinks. If it spills, have a small mop or a basket of cleaning rags that they can reach and clean the mess themselves. 
  • Let them count out their own snacks.  Show them how many crackers are in a serving size, and let them count their own snack.  (Did you know that 42 mini pretzel sticks are in one serving?)  This is a good way to reinforce math and nutrition. 
  • As soon as they can walk, you can teach them to bring a diaper to you at changing time. 
  • When they are a little older, they can carry Daddy's coffee to him (don't fill the cup all the way).
  • If you keep the cereal and bowls in a lower cabinet, you can teach them to get their own breakfast.
  • You can let each child keep a lunch box in the refrigerator with his own snacks for the week.   This also teaches honesty (don't take food from someone else's box) and frugality (if you eat two snacks today you won't have any tomorrow).  
  • Teach your children how to use a cell phone--they might already know :)  If you get hurt, they should know whom to call for help.  They should know your address, too. 
  • Let them wash fruits and vegetables. 
  • Let them shuck corn and snap green beans.
  • Let them tear up the lettuce for salad.
  • Let them open tea bags when you make iced tea.
  • Let them add ingredients and help stir when you bake.
  • Let them put the dishes into the sink (teach them how to be careful).
  • Let them set the table. 
  • Let them wipe the table after a meal.
  • Give them a spray bottle with water and a little vinegar.  Give them an old rag and let them wash walls, windows, cabinets, etc.
  • Let them sort socks.
  • You can get a small lightweight vacuum for under $20 (one without a bag).  You can let them be responsible for vacuuming their room or cleaning up the baby's Cheerio mess.
  • Teach them to pull weeds and pick the vegetables in your garden.
  • Let them choose the produce at the grocery store.  Count as you go, and show them how to weigh it (more math).
  • Have low hooks near the outside door.  Teach them to hang their own coats up.  You can do the same thing in their room for hanging pajamas.
  • Let them be responsible for emptying the bathroom trash.
  • Make sure even the little ones put their dirty clothes in the hamper.
  • Teach them to sort the laundry.
  • Teach them what to do if they get lost.
  • Teach them what to do if somebody tries to take them.  
These are only a few of the things that toddlers and preschoolers can do.  They naturally want to help.  We mothers need to encourage them and guide them.  Don't expect perfection, but praise their efforts.  Do you have more ideas?  Please comment below and share them!

Hannah Mix

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

a tea party with Daddy

It's very special to little girls when Daddy takes some time to have a tea party with them. 

He is such a wonderful Daddy!!!

(and we love him so, so much)

Here are some things to remember for a nice tea party with Daddy:

1.  Remember the way to a man's heart is, you know, his stomach.  Serve something good, not just pretend food, even if it's just his favorite candy.

2.  Remember something might get spilled.  Don't complain.  Don't ruin the memory.

3.  Remember that Daddy is not Mommy, and he might do something different from you.  Don't correct him.  Let him have fun with his daughters.

4.  Remember that you will probably end up cleaning at least part of the party after it's over.  Look back at #2

5.  Praise him for being such a good daddy.  Praise him again before you go to bed.  Praise him the next get the picture. 

Hannah Mix

This post is part of a blog hop going on at Raising Four Princesses.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This article was an encouragement to me today.  I have to include the famous disclaimer that I may or may not agree with other articles you might find on that blog.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

just for fun....

I thought this was a really cool idea.  We know babies love to play with tags!  Check my friend Kelly Jo's blog Happy Homemaker and Momma to see how she made it.  If you like her idea, please send her a note telling her so!     

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hello, everyone.

It's pretty quiet at our house.

I have been whispering all day.

I'm not playing a game.  I'm not trying to prove a point.

I just lost my voice.

When I yell it sounds like this:

"You-[squeak]-KIDS-stop-[painful swallow]-JUMp[squeak]ing ON the [cough cough] bed [croak]!"

The kids look at me like they want to laugh but are not brave enough.

They sit down very slowly with twinkles in their eyes and a slight grin on their lips.

I can't swallow anything, so I guess I'll just have to have ice cream for supper.  (Now I have the twinkling eyes.)  Maybe I'll have ice cream for dessert, too!  wink

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I love

cool summer mornings

tiptoing through the house

sitting on the front porch

calves in foggy pastures

the smell of the neighbor's woodsmoke

horses neighing

my coffee in my hand

my Bible on my lap

Monday, August 22, 2011

I'm a tiny dot.

Sometimes I feel very insignificant.

But every once in a while, God pricks a hole in my ignorance
and allows a tiny part of His wonderful, enormous plan to shine through. 

Something was accomplished, someone was influenced, without my knowledge.

I am not nothing; I am a tiny little dot.

My dot has a purpose.

What you do, and what you say, matters.

Hannah Mix

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Letters to my children #5

Dear Elizabeth,

Today we went in the woods to pick blackberries.  You LOVE blackberries!  You picked them as fast as you could, and you promptly put them in your mouth.  Then you would grab a handful of the berries from my basket and pop them in your mouth before I could stop you.  I kept moving my basket, but you were intent upon getting to it.  By the time we came home,you had eaten all but 10 berries!  Oh, well, someday we'll laugh about you and those berries!  And you are such a trooper for walking through that high grass!

We had so much fun today!!!

I love you!


Hannah Mix

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chubby arms around my neck

Chubby arms around my neck
Loud cries that turn into contended sighs
Baby spit-up on my shirt
That special smile for "Mumma"

I love my precious little boy.

Hannah Mix

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Good Intentions?

(I wrote this post a few days ago.  We had VBS this past week, and I was too busy to post it then.)

I had a very sobering thought today during VBS.  The lesson was from 1 Corinthians 3:12-13, "Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is."  

This was my thought: 

"How much of my life right now, as a mom with young children, is based on good intentions instead of actually doing?

I have intentions of building my home like the wise woman in Proverbs 14, but am I actually doing those things that are needed?  Am I, right now, doing the actions of the woman in Proverbs 31, or am I just making plans of what I am going to do someday? 

Here are some excuses that pop up in my head sometimes:
  • I'll start doing ____________ once the baby is sleeping through the night.
  • As soon as we get that, I'll do _______________.
  • As soon as (insert someone's name) does this, then I'll be able to do ___________.
  • Once the kids are older, I'll ____________________.
The whole purpose of my blog is to encourage myself and other women to do those things that we can, and should, be doing right now.  What can I do right now, in my present circumstances, to please the Lord?  Titus 2:4-5 says, "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."

So I'm taking a closer look at what I actually do every day, to see what is getting left out.  I'm going to make one small change each week to my routine to be sure I am building and not just drawing blueprints

This week I'm going to be more consistent about reading to the children from the Bible every day.  I can do this even as I'm nursing the baby, so there's no excuse not to.  I've heard that one minute per year of age is a good limit of how long a child can listen, so I think Psalm 1 will be just about right.  And, now that I think about it, I can picture an art project with a trees and paper apples...hmmmm...yeah, I think we'll be studying trees this week. I can hardly wait! 
Hannah Mix

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I thought I'd share a few ideas for helping young children learn Bible verses, especially children who don't know how to read.  Abbey (4) and Lizzie (2) learn verses this way, and it's a lot of fun! 
  1. Make the verse into a song.  You don't have to come up with a new melody; you can probably find another melody that fits the verse (something that they already like to sing).  "I May Never March in the Infantry"; "B-I-N-G-O"; "Deep and Wide"; "The B-I-B-L-E"; and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" have easy melodies that can be adapted to fit a Bible verse.
  2. Write it in big letters and let them trace it.  They may not be able to read it, but pretending makes it more fun.
  3. Let them bang something while they sing it--wooded spoon on a bowl, kabob sticks on the table, etc.
  4. Make a video clip of them playing their "instrument" while you sing it to them.  My kids love to see themselves in a "movie," and they will gladly watch it a hundred times.  (I have it looped so it starts over by itself.)  They can learn their verse while I'm washing dishes or cooking supper.
  5. Little kids have little attention spans, about 1 minute for each year of their age.  Let them have a lot of mini-practices instead of a long practice.  As part of a practice, let them teach their dolls or each other!
This is one of Abbey's videos.  It's definitely not professional, but it's just an idea how to make learning fun!

Hope you like these ideas!  Do you have any suggestions for how you teach your children their verses?  I'd love to hear from you!

Hannah Mix

Something Old, Something New

Today I tried a different version of my yeast dough recipe, and it turned out so good!

I blended 3 cups of old fashioned oatmeal in my blender until it was kinda ground up.  Then I poured it into a big bowl.  I added 3 cups of coarse ground wheat, 2 cups of white flour, 1 tsp salt,  and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. 

In another bowl I put 4 cups warm water, 2 tbsp oil, 2 eggs, and 2 1/2 tbsp yeast.  I let this sit until it was bubbly, about 5 minutes.  (I did this the old-fashioned way because the flour is pretty heavy.  It might work to mix all dry ingredients together; then add the wet ingredients, but I didn't try that.)

I mixed the dough and added 3 more cups of white flour, kneading in the last little bit.  I let it sit on the table for about 20 minutes.  Then I shaped it, let it rise until double, and baked it with a pan of water in the oven..  It was so good!  It had a lot of texture but was still light and fluffy!   Mmmmmmmmmm!!   :)

This amount made 1 country loaf, one French loaf, 12 rolls, 2 miniature loaves, and 23 little doughnut holes.  To make the doughnut holes, I made little balls about the size of 3/4 inch.  I let them rise and deep fried them in medium hot oil.  I let them cool for a couple minutes on a plate lined with napkins.  Then I tossed them in a baggie with some powdered sugar.  The girls ate them on toothpicks.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sticky Popcorn

We're making sticky popcorn today.  YUMMM!!!!

  1. Melt 6 tbsp of margerine in a saucepan. 
  2. Add 3/4 cup brown sugar and 3 tbsp pancake syrup to the pan. 
  3. Stir ingredients, and bring to a boil.  Let boil on medium heat for five minutes. 
  4. Add 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp vanilla, and pour over 8 cups of popped popcorn. 
  5. Stir until popcorn is well coated with the caramel mixture.

Let cool about a minute.  Be sure to wash pan right away--the caramel mixture is almost impossible to wash off once it harderns. If you forget, just soak the pan in HOT water for a while.

"How come all I get is this old cereal?"


Hannah Mix