Posted by: fionasmosaic | July 12, 2012

Fiona’s Smoothie!!

Fiona’s Fiesta Smoothie

This was a kitchen experiment, and hopefully the first of many more. The sweet hubby and I have been making some healthy changes over the years. And I decided it would be fun to take you along with me.

I wanted some smoothie recipes but haven’t really gotten around to looking some up on the web. I pinned some photos on pinterest of smoothies that looked good. But I confess I was feeling a little impatient this morning, and there were some peaches sitting RIGHT THERE…….and well, you can figure out the rest.

Pretty soon Fiona was flinging stuff around the kitchen, the blender was blending, and this is what I got.

Fiona’s Fiesta Smoothie!!

1/2 cup yoghurt (peach or plain)

5 peach slices (I just used from a can, drain syrup)

1/2 cup non fat milk

1/3 of a large cucumber (peeled)

handful of chopped red pepper (rinsed and seeded)

1/2 cup crushed ice



Oh my gosh this was so good!!!!! And in my opinion the red pepper just MAKES IT! Enjoy!! Tell me what you think!

Posted by: fionasmosaic | July 10, 2012

Beach Therapy

One of our favorite places on earth……..


We laughed

We ate

We listened

We walked

We let the sand rub the hard edges off the difficult things

We let the stiff ocean breeze blow the difficult things south…..

(they must be to San Fransisco by now)

We let the peace seep into our hearts

But we let the difficult things change us

So that they are not wasted

So that they have eternal significance

The difficult things didn’t truly blow away to San Fransisco

But the visual of God’s breath in the ocean breeze blowng them away is healing

And something HE CAN DO

If we let him

We have the choice of accepting peace when it comes to knock on our door again

Posted by: fionasmosaic | June 30, 2012

Napkin Notes


The mancub and I-our final edition

Everything kind of came to a screeching halt when I ended up in the hospital in the fall, and everyone pitched in to help. But there were some things that just had to be put on hold.


I’m doing great now, still getting my energy back slowly but surely. But really, feeling pretty normal.


One thing I discovered (once I was back to doing everything again) is that there were some things I really missed doing. I missed being able to do my barn chores, because I love that it gets me outdoors three times a day (or more). I missed being able to clean. I enjoy cleaning and putting my nest in order. But one of those things that I missed was writing my son a “napkin note” to put in his lunch for school.


He is my last one, the caboose, the final edition. He has just recently graduated and the era of writing napkin notes is over.  

Mancub-3 months


I have always put notes in the kids lunches, written right onto their napkin to encourage them. I have been doing this for nine years. I figured that when they went off to high school, it was the least I could do since I wasn’t home schooling them anymore. To make them a nice lunch, and throw some encouragement in. That way I could do something to encourage and lift them up since I wasn’t there.


Sometimes I write down a scripture, or something funny. Sometimes I write something that we are looking forward to. For example,“Chocolate chip cookies, homework, roaring fire, then we’ll hang out and chill”, or I tell them how proud I am of them. Sometimes I’ll say things like, “Hey I’m going to pray for you while you take your biology test.” It varied according to the need of the moment.


A few years ago I was writing more than one a day. I was writing one each for my two daughters. They would read them out loud with their friends at lunchtime. Then some of the other kids started requesting them. There for a while I was writing about five of them a day towards the end of the school year. What a blessing it was to be able to do that. 

The kiddos!


It only took a few minutes, but it was something that blessed them. It reminded them that they are special, that we were proud of them, that they could do it, they had back up, and someone would pray.


I can hardly believe that the “Napkin Note” era has come to an end. It has been such a pleasure. I would pray over each one, and ask the Lord what sort of a boost I could give the kids for that day.


So June has come and gone, and with it graduation. I think I will turn my attention to finding a different way to encourage now. It’s a new season, and time for new things. 

My boy. Not such a boy anymore.


But I will miss writing the notes for my boy, the mancub.

Posted by: fionasmosaic | June 25, 2012

Just Dreamin…….

Of warm breezes


Fresh tomatos


The Ocean


The smell of sunscreen


Iced tea


Running in the early morning


Smores around the patio fire


More running early in the morning because of the smores around the patio fire-lol


I’m just so ready for summer to get here. Who is with me? What is your favorite thing about summer?

Posted by: fionasmosaic | June 17, 2012

What About Bob???

It’s actually hard to write something about Bob, because that means I have to wrap my mind around the fact that he isn’t here and that is just SO hard for me to comprehend, and certainly not something I want to accept. And how do you describe such a  precious person in a paragraph or two?


Bob loved the Lord, and adored his family. Bob was like sunshine that came into a room and lit it up. Bob was an exceptional artist. Bob knew how to be a friend.


I remember the times we gathered together and laughed, played, ate, fished, sat by the water, hiked, gathered around a fire, hung out, cleaned (remember the garage extravaganza!), celebrated, BBQ-ed, talked parenting strategies, discussed philosophy…….but it really all boiled down to love. We loved hanging out with you guys. You all became part of our family. You loved our kids like they were yours, and we loved yours like they were ours.


I loved how you would help Zelta pick peaches, and berries. You would help the kids with one of their cars, or help a neighbor fix something. You helped people and didn’t take money when they offered it. You would tell it like it was. David would do his Sean Connery impression and you laughed til you cried. Then you would turn around and do your impressions of David and you were SO SPOT ON, and we have never laughed so hard.


But the memory I hold closest to my heart, was when David and I were hurting so bad. You and Z were sitting on the couch, David and I were across from you. I was sitting on the floor and D was in a chair next to me. When we broke down while telling you our pain, you quickly got up and dropped on your knees between D and I, put your arms around both of us and cried with us. And we all prayed together. You were there in our darkest hour. You knew how to be the very best of friends. And you were there when so many others walked away from us, and didn’t even ask if we were OK.


You were a treasure in our life, and I can’t imagine you not in it. I know dear Bob that you struggled, I can’t imagine how hard it must have been, but in my heart that will NEVER be the sum of who you are, because you were just SO MUCH MORE than the alcohol. Your life was so much more than that.


I’m so grateful you’re in the arms of your savior, and I can just picture us all, in heaven, around a campfire……….and you and David are doing the BEST impressions of the disciples EVER!! I can’t wait to see you again my friend. We love you Bob Freakin Fox!!!!!    


   I am including the link to Bob’s Memorial Page. If you want to leave a special memory or would like to make a donation, PLEASE do. He leaves behind a wife, four grown children, and three grandkids.                  

Posted by: fionasmosaic | January 6, 2012

So Grateful……

It's been a time to reflect.....

I haven’t written for a long time. Sometimes life just happens and you have to go with it. It is what it is, and family takes precedence. In our case we lost three family members, my sweet Uncle Denny, Norn (the nearest thing I still had to a grandmother), and my father in law. We also lost a good friend, Chris. Amazingly talented man, with such a sweet heart. Then I became quite ill and had to have surgery. I have been recovering for 8 weeks now, and I am doing so much better. I still have a ways to go but that’s OK……I’m alive. And I am grateful.

My whole family has been pitching in, all of them, without complaint. I’m so grateful. I’m so blessed by their TLC. When I came home from the hospital there were candles and flowers in my room, soft music, and the bed was turned down.

My church family too, they have brought us meals, picked my hubby up from the airport, even brought me chocolate and a stuffed puppy……now that’s LOVE!

Dear friends have brought movies and flowers, and called and sent me messages. And my family, church family, and friends have all prayed for me. There is a sweet group of ladies, my heart sisters, that prayed and stormed heaven’s gates when things got critical and took a turn for the worse and I coded in the hospital.

Even my doggie towed the laundry basket for me when I couldn’t carry it.

Thanksgiving can’t be just one day for me. I usually feel grateful and thankful, I keep a gratitude journal that I write in, at the end of the evening. But during this season we are just ending of  Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year…….I have been overwhelmed, and words are just not enough. What I could say would not even begin to touch what is in my heart, and it would certainly not do it justice. I’m so very grateful.

So I am also thankful and grateful that God knows my heart……

Posted by: fionasmosaic | September 7, 2011

Camping Part 2



Mt St. Helens

OK, so we have learned a few things over the years. A lot of people don’t camp (or sometimes stop camping) because of the preparation involved. So take a look at this, read through, and see if it doesn’t help you with some preparation. If you are super organized, and have some things to add in the comment section to this BY ALL MEANS, PLEASE DO. I have learned a lot, but there are people out there who have camped a lot more than I have and I am always open to new ideas. And by sharing your ideas you may just encourage some one to go for it, and get out into the great outdoors.


At the end of this article I am going to add my camping file that I use to keep me organized. So feel free to copy and print, or just use the template to do your own. Believe me, I’m sure there are some things on my list that you won’t need to worry about…….like worming the goats. Ha ha!



My file is divided into 7 sections:


Camping Menu

Food List (things to pack into the coolers and grocery bags)

Kitchen List (there are a few things I have to take with me from the kitchen)

Don’t Forget List

Things To Do List

Hubby’s “Honey Do” List

Grocery List


  1. About a month ahead I pull up the files and do any necessary updating to the lists.
  2. I then decide what we are going to be having for our breakfasts, lunch, dinners, desserts, and snacks.
  3. I make a grocery list
  4. Tweak “Honey Do” List for Sweet Hubby
  5. I go over my things to do list and tweak accordingly
  6. Print the whole file and attach it to my clipboard


My beautiful Beaver Bay.......

One of the things on my “Things To Do” list is that a couple of weeks ahead of time I start saving the empty milk jugs after we drink the milk. I wash them out well, fill them with filtered drinking water, and then freeze them. I use two per cooler to not only keep our food cold, but provide us with enough clean drinking water since the drinking water at the campground isn’t very good. This also saves us money that would be spent on ice.


I also label my coolers with the day, and then pack all the things I need for that day into that cooler. It helps the kids (and the hubby) find what they need without opening all the coolers and /or leaving them open. The fastest way to have your food go bad is people searching through all the coolers constantly.


The Kiddos


When day number one cooler is empty, I take one frozen milk jug and set it on the table for the kids to use (nice cold water-gotta keep the kiddos hydrated) and put the other one in the cooler that is marked for the last day of the camping trip, because that cooler will need the extra cooling since it will have to stay cold the longest.


You can also pick up extra stuff at goodwill or other thrift stores (plates, cups, bowls, mugs etc.), and all your kitchen supplies and pack them into rubbermaid totes so that a lot of your stuff is already pre-packed and ready to go. We just pull ours out, double check our supplies in it, and make sure that we have everything we need. Whatever we don’t have, we add to the grocery list. However we do try to make sure that when we get home from a trip, we check and re-stock supplies, and make sure everything is clean. Having all those items prepacked saves so much time. I will also include a list here of what we have in our rubbermaid totes that STAYS in the totes.


List for Rubbermaid Totes


Fry Pans


Mixing Bowls/Lids


Plastic Glasses




Cutting Board



Hand Sanitizer


Plastic Storage Bags

Clorox Wipes


SOS Pads

Dish Scrubber

Plastic Cont. w/lid 4 grease


Plastic Grocery Sacks



Salt & Pepper

Nature’s Seasoning

Pancake Turner

Steak Knives

Wooden Spoons



Bottle Opener

Can Opener

Basting Brush

Butcher Knife

Paring Knife


Rubber Spatula


Serving spoon

Measuring Cups/Spoons


Our friends that we camp with also try to at the end of the season, buy things they need for the following year. Not only does it mean they have it ready to go, but they get a great price on it because it is the end of the season.


I also make reservations for our animals so they can be boarded at the vets while we are gone. I do this a couple of months in advance so I can be sure I get the time I want. Summer is a tricky time to get reservations, so we plan ahead. This is also the time of year that our animals get their yearly tune-up. Shots, worming, exam, teeth cleaned, nails clipped (since they’re there). They come home in top shape, and REALLY happy to see us. (Insert big grin here…..)


We also make sure we have plenty of medical supplies, and more than we think we’ll need. There was one year where several of us got hurt, and there have been years that none of us got hurt. One thing we were discussing adding to our medical supplies though is an epi-pen, the injection pen that is for allergic reactions. Since we are out in the boonies, and away from a hospital, it makes sense to have one since an allergic reaction can come on hard and fast, and they can be deadly. We also make sure we have plenty of gas in the car so that if we have to hot foot it to town fast because of a medical emergency, we don’t have to worry about stopping.


I also makes sure that all my work stuff is caught up, bills are paid, financial aid stuff is DONE. Otherwise I find it harder to relax when I think of what all I have to do the minute I get home. Yucky.


Maybe it sounds silly to be so prepared, but it makes it much more relaxing for me.


We also double check the “Don’t Forget” list right before we walk out the door. We have almost walked out the door without swimsuits that were washed the day before and hung up to dry, or medications that needed to be taken that morning, and then didn’t get packed.


So that’s it from my side of the fence neighbor!! If you have something to add, I would really appreciate it.



Here is a copy of my files, put together into one document.


There are times you just have to get away. I am linking up to A Beach Cottage “Good Life Wednesday”, great befores and afters, flowers, bits and snatches of beauty, taking time out to reconnect to family and the great outdoors! Let’s get back to the good life!

Go check it out!


Camping Info




Lunch                        Dinner

Sandwiches          Burgers

Carrot Sticks       Chips


Snacks: Chips-Muffins-Granola bars



Breakfast                       Lunch                                                     Dinner

Eggs/cheese                 Sandwiches                                         Porkchops

Bacon                              Yoghurt                                                 Potatos

                                            Chips                                                         Salad


Snacks: Cookies-smores-yoghurt



Breakfast                     Lunch                                                     Dinner

Bacon                            Sandwiches                                         Steaks/Hot Dogs

French Toast               Carrot Sticks                                        Broccoli

                                           Yoghurt                                             Fruit Salad


Thursday Breakfast



PS On the above menu, I couldn’t get the file to transfer with the nice vertical lines I had, so just pretend. OK? OK.


Food List





Hot Chocolate



Ham. Buns




Hot. Buns


Shredded Cheese




Eggs-2 dozen







Ham. Patties

Peanut Butter









Granola Bars


Hot Dogs


Graham Crackers


Natures Seasoning

Olive Oil

Lemon & Garlic

Salt & Pepper















Kitchen Supplies



Dish Towels

Paper Towels


Sm Pot

Dish Soap

Grease Containers

Big Pot

Water Filter




Syrup Container

Bottle Opener


Clothes Pins

Sm Juice Pitcher

Can Opener


Tin Foil

Butter Container

Pancake Turner


Sm Canner

Plastic Storage Bags

Big KNife


Irish Toast Corningware


Wooden Spoon



Hand Sanitizer

Serated Knife



Rubber Gloves

Paring Knife?



Plastic Grocery Bags

French Press




Zip Bags




Don’t Forget List

Cell Phone Charger






Cough Drops

Drinking Water (not fr)


Allergy Meds

Cough Medicine



Thyroid Meds

Kids Medicine

Water Floaties

Ins. Cards/Purse

Pain Meds

Band Aids

Medical Books

Walkie Talkies



Warm Coats

Batteries (WT & lights)

Sleeping bags


Hydrogen Peroxide

Air Mattress


Water Bottles

Antibiotic Ointment

Garbage Bags

Bug Spray

D’s Meds

Cortizone Cream

Swimsuits/Life Jackets

Fun Bag

Clorox Wipes

Water Socks


Water bottle



Baseball Cap

Kleenex Box

Nail Brush


Camp Chairs


Toothpaste /Brush



Aloe gel

Campho Phenique


Phone Book


First Aid Supplies





To Do List


Make Vet Reservations


Costco Shopping


Winco Shopping


Check Horse, Goat, and Chicken supplies


Worm Horse & Goats


Dukies Shots








Financial Aid Papers


Check Camping Boxes


Animal Schedule



Sweet Hubby’s List

Take Vehicle to mechanic

Oil Change

Look Over


Fill Propane Tanks


Pull Out & Check Camping Gear


Check out Utility Trailer

Wash and/or sweep out

Check Lights


Wash Vehicle


Check Emergency Roadkit


Load Up Wood


Fill Vehicle with Gas (night before)



Grocery List





Posted by: fionasmosaic | July 20, 2011

Why We Camp

Beautiful Beaver Bay........


We just returned home recently from a camping trip. As I was unpacking I asked myself why we go camping, simply for the reason that I thought someone might ask me and I had better know the answer! Some answers are obvious, some I needed to really think about.                  


We started going as a family in August of 2000. I think we have gone every year except for one since then. The place we go is quite beautiful, and I think the lure of the mountains, the water, and the forest begins calling us in March or April. We hold out until summer, but by the time we get to go we are SO READY.


We spend time in and next to the water, set aside some time to hike, get sunkissed, and spend a lot of time eating and laughing around the fire.


We go with dear friends that we have known for years. It’s a great time to catch up. But I think for all of us……..being unplugged from computer, phone, and TV is SO GOOD. We cherish the peace we find there. We have spent a lot of time with God, found deep joy, worked out some issues, ministered to each other’s needs, built memories with our children and some of their friends who have come with us, processed there, made some hard decisions, and even grieved. Beaver Bay holds a very special place in our hearts and the hearts of our children. We are all the richer for having experienced it.


There is a lot of preparation and organizing that goes along with camping. So in my next article I will go into the practical stuff that really helps take the stress out of getting ready to go. Like I have said before I was not born organized, so if this helps or inspires someone to mobilize their troops and head out into the great outdoors, I would be thrilled.


There are times you just have to get away. I am linking up to A Beach Cottage “Good Life Wednesday”, great befores and afters, flowers, bits and snatches of beauty, taking time out to reconnect to family and the great outdoors! Let’s get back to the good life!

Go check it out!

Posted by: fionasmosaic | June 9, 2011

Lilacs & Moonlight

Sweet sweet beauty.........


Last night I was doing my chores……I was headed from the chicken coop towards the barn, and I have to walk past the lilac bush.

Our lilac bush is HUGE, in fact it may be more than one I am not sure. But it’s about ten feet wide and eight feet tall.

As I walked past the smell of it was especially intense and I found myself actually walking into the bush. It was completely by accident, because it was dark out there, but I was not entirely unhappy about it at all. It was glorious! The smell was AMAZING, and the branches seemed to enfold me.

I looked up and the moonlight was hitting some of the spires of flowers and it was so beautiful with the silver light gracing the edges of the flowers. Momentarily it all felt like a bit of heaven, and I thought, “Dear Heavenly Father, you are so INDULGENT. I feel so spoiled that you would take one of my favorite smells and just wrap me in it in the moonlight.”

It was truly one of those “Love Note Moments” from him, something truly personal that he KNOWS my heart, and adores me.


And believe me………….it’s mutual.


Perfect end to a day......

 And I am linking up to A Beach Cottage “Good Life Wednesday”, great befores and afters, flowers, bits and snatches of beauty, and some puppy love! Let’s get back to the good life!

Go check it out!


Posted by: fionasmosaic | May 15, 2011

Changes and Re-Arranges


I have not blogged for quite a while. There have been some changes in our circumstances and some events. I needed time to process, and just plain old needed time to accomplish all that was neccessary.


My oldest graduated from college, we needed to move both of our girls, we had a nasty round of flu that ended up with my sweet hubby in the ER (and me just sick as a dog), a job change (our part time job at the church), 2 sick kids, improv night, an art show, plus throw in an open house, a reception, graduation banquet, and a dog that was sick as a dog.


My three! How I love them!


Oh wait! I forgot all about life! Dishes, laundry, dinner and taxi service!


We had to squeeze life in where we could.


I’m always teasing the kids to buckle up and hang on, and this time they really had to. And so did we!


But it was fun, and crazy, and unforgettable, and strange, and not so fun (the flu and hospital part).


Now it’s time to rethink some things, set some new goals, and see what direction the Lord is taking us.


So it’s time for me to bust out the goal sheet. It was almost time anyway because I do it about every 6 months.


I get to devote more time to being a farm girl, which I love. But really I’m waiting for the mist to clear.


The mist covered my mountain this morning. I know it’s there… mountain. But I can’t see it. It’s on the north side of the house, and I love looking out my windows at it. It’s one of my favorite things about living here. Every so often though it is covered and I can’t see it. But I have faith it is there.


So I guess that’s where I’m at right now………..I know there IS a direction, but it’s in the mist. When the mist clears I will see it. Being in the mist can be frustrating, but it can also be restful, it sort of stops you in your tracks and makes you wait, and pray.


So here’s to being grateful for the mist! Here’s to being grateful for waiting and praying! Here’s to being grateful for uncertainty! Here’s to being grateful for change!


Because I will not be the same woman on the other side…….thank God.


Time to rest and pray.........

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