December 31, 2010

Highlights from 2010 - Goals for 2011's almost 2011 already?!? It seems that 2010 flew by so fast! There were so many things that I enjoyed about this year, and I can't wait to see what 2011 holds!

Some of the highlights of my year were:

- Our family starting a home based business (small scale farming)
- Hippology Contest (Hippology is the study of horses)
- Starting this blog!
- Cowgirl Queen Contest
- My friend returning from Africa
- County Fair
- Co-leading a Bright Lights group in our area
- Turning 16
- Participating in Iowa 4-H Camera Corps
- ...and much, much more!

Once again it's that time of year to sit down with a notebook and pen and write out all of our goals for the upcoming year. Do you ever notice that those goals all seem great, and you are excited about doing them...for the first week? Well, this year my goal it to complete these goals, not just hope that they will eventually get done sometime when I feel like it.

- Read the Bible daily
- Keep a journal of the things that stand out to me
- Work on memorization every day (right now I'm working on Colossians 3)

- Have Misty ready for Sarah to show in the performance classes at the County Fair
- Get Flash in shape for showing (a couple local shows and Cowgirl Queen Contest)
- Work on getting Flash to take her right lead

- Read several small-scale farming books
- Learn about pastured pork and how that could fit into our farm
- Learn how to weld (my dad said he'd teach me if I'd like to learn!)

- Train for and run a 5k race
- Figure out a weekly exercise schedule, and stick with it

- Participate in Iowa 4-H Camera Corps again
- Practice, practice, practice!

Also, you'll be seeing a few changes around here in the upcoming weeks, as a few months ago I won a giveaway for a new blog design (hosted by Hannah at A Homemakers Daughter). So right now Amanda at CS Designs is working on a new blog design for Beautiful Gems, and I can't wait to see how it's going to look!

One verse that stands out to me as we step into a new year is...

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6

May each of you desire to grow in the Lord more and more and seek to serve Him with all of your heart. ourselves we can not change for the better. True change only comes about because of what GOD can do in our lives.

Have a wonderful New Year!

December 28, 2010

Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland

Yesterday morning everything was covered with frosty white crystals. It had gotten foggy the night before, and when it lifted it left everything in a brilliant, glittering winter wonderland! The trees, fences, grass...everything...had been covered in little snowflakes, and it was so beautiful!

When I went out to do chores, it looked as if our horses had aged quite a bit. Their hair was covered in a frosty white, Misty looked as if she had grown a beard, and Flash looked like she put on white mascara :)

 As you have probably already guessed, this "winter wonderland" scene was more than enough reason for me to grab my camera and head outside...

 I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas! Our family did! As tradition goes, after we were all up we read the Christmas story (what would Christmas be without it?!?), and then we opened presents. Two of the presents that I got from my parents were Joyfully at Home by Jasmine Baucham and Preparing to be a Helpmeet by Debi Pearl. I was quite excited to get them, as I have heard so many young ladies recommend them! I'll let you know what I think of them after I'm done reading them...but from what I have read so far they look wonderful! After we were done with presents, we finished reading Tabitha's Travels (it's an advent story that tells of the adventures of a girl named Tabitha. It is in the same series as Jotham's Journey and Batholomew's Passage, all by Arnold Ytreeide) which we started in late November.

Preparing to be a Helpmeet - by Debi Pearl
Joyfully at Home - by Jasmine Baucham

Joy...finding a way to be happy even when things don't go your way

May the Lord bless you in the upcoming year!
Love in Christ,

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

- Merry Christmas! -

As we gather with family and friends, I hope that we won't forget the reason we even celebrate Christmas. God sent His only Son into the world so that He could save us from our sin...what love! 

I hope that you all have a wonderful time celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Yes...we have a white Christmas...a very white Christmas! It's so pretty :)

Merry Christmas!
- Rebekah

December 18, 2010

Fun Christmas Recipe: Reindeer Cookies

This is a really fun recipe for the holiday season! The little kids in our family especially like to make (and eat!) these cute treats.

So, if you feel like cookin' up a batch of reindeer....


- Reindeer Cookies -

1 Batch of “Best Peanut Butter Cookies” dough (recipe below)
60 mini Pretzel Twists
60 Semi-sweet Chocolate chips
30 Red Hot Cinnamon candies

Best Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe:

1 C. Butter
1 C. Peanut Butter
1 C. Sugar
1 C. Brown Sugar

2 C. Flour
½ t. Baking Soda
½ t. Salt

Mix well. Shape into an 8” roll. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Unwrap and cut into ¼ inch slices. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Use thumb and forefinger to make a slight indentation 1/3 of the way down the sides of each slice. Press in pretzels for antlers, chocolate chips for eyes, and a red hot for the nose. Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes or until light brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

December 15, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

We have snow! Actually, I think that all of Iowa is under snow right now, as a few days ago the whole state was under a blizzard warning :)

When it was snowing really hard, my 5 year old sister Lydia looked out the window and exclaimed "Wow, it's a blizzard out there!" to which my littlest sister Miriam (2)  replied "Let me see...I wanna see the lizard!" Little siblings are just too cute....

I think that the Christmas season is a wonderful time of year...and I'm sure that  many of you agree. Snowflakes covering the ground in a blanket of fluffy white. Christmas songs playing over the radio. Lights twinkling on the tree. Curling up with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. Tis' the season!

The lighting of our county courthouse was a couple weeks ago, which really added some Christmas spirit to the town.  The lights were so colorful, and the trees inside were so pretty...but my camera just wouldn't capture it like I wanted it to *sigh*. have a Nikon SLR instead of a point-and-shoot! I'll have to admit that on my last trip to Target I stood in the camera section for at least 10-15 minutes just holding and looking the Nikon cameras and dreaming of the day I would own one...


So between school, photo shoots, birthdays (my sister Lydia turned 5, and I'm now sweet 16!!), Bright Lights, babysitting, and getting caught up in the whirlwind of the Christmas season, I've been keeping busy the past few weeks. That is just a very, very brief description of what's been going on here, but I don't want to bore you with details.

And just kind of as a little side note for those of you who are looking for some delicious holiday recipes, check out the Taste of Home website ( I just found it today, and they have some really good looking treats on there (both photos are from the Taste of Home website)...

Holiday Cheesecake
Homemade Gumdrops

Ok, that is all that I have time for right now. Sorry that this post ended up being kind of random, but now you are sort of caught up on what is going on around here! I really need to work on being consistent in posting, but life just gets so busy so quickly. I've also had a hard time figuring out what to post any suggestions are welcome! What do you enjoy seeing on this blog?