Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oh my...I forgot that I am a blogger!

So, in the business of life, I forgot I was a blogger!  I can't believe I haven't posted since May.  That doesn't make following me one bit interesting I am afraid!  Much has happened in my crazy life.  I started this blog when I was beginning my more natural, back to basics, homesteading lifestyle.  I have had some crazy twists...a little thing called kids. ;)  We added one to our nest.  No new babies, unfortunately.  We have a wonderful Danish exchange student.  How fun life has been get to learn all about a different culture.  Having her has been such a blessing.  We are now enjoying advent in a whole new way.  Advent is a "big deal" in Denmark nightly gifts throughout the season.  Something tells me it will be a big deal in our home from now on.  We have learned things like...if smoke blows in your face around the campfire you should hold up your thumb and say, "I hate rabbits."  We have learned that band-aids are sometimes called plaster...she cut her leg shaving the second week she was here and we had no idea what she was asking for until we saw BLOOD!  We have learned that Disney videos are REALLY fun to watch in other languages.  Most of all we have learned that opening your heart and your home to an exchange student can be as much of blessing to a host family as it can to the student.  I am so thrilled to have our Danish daughter with us this holiday season and only dread the day in June when we have to send her home. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

More Rain...REALLY???

I don't have much to report on the home front these days.  As my gardening should be in full swing but, the rain won't stop long enough for us to get our garden tilled.  I have potatoes and onions planted so far.  I am not sure how well my potatoes are doing.  I planted them in a special way, under layers of straw.  My chickens seem to be very interested in my potatoes these days.  I find them scratching about often.  I am beginning to wonder if I will ever be able to plant tomatoes in my new tomatoe cages.  I had so looked foward to planting this spring.  I was going to try intensive gardening.  This is a method where you plant everything close together in little plots.  The idea is to discourage weeds.  This idea sounded refreshing.  Weeds always seem to take over my gardens toward the end of summer.  Now I am hoping to simply plant anything in anyway.  Unfortunetly the only thing in my garden so far are onions, potatoes(I hope) and of course...weeds!  Happy planting to the rest of the world!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Will it Ever Be Enough?

It is Monday and I was hoping to post something interesting every Monday.  I think I may be challenged this week.  I don't feel all that interesting.  I found a wonderful little shop today just 5 miles from my home.  It is a natural cures and products store.  I was so excited to find such a place.  I have been traveling nearly 45 minuted to find organic solutions to our healthier lifestyle.  This store was a true gem.  I have been wanting to move toward more homeopathic solutions and up until today, it was so inconvenient to even get started.  No more excuses.  Now I have to decide where to start.  When I started this blog my lifestyle was so very different.  I was proud to put a boxed meal on the table instead of fast food.  I thought I would make some bread.  That must be healthier then store bought.  Now I am concerned with soaking and sprouting.  I have learned the hazards of store bought milk.  I no longer want to use deodorant and baking soda with aluminum in it.  I have done anything but simplify my life yet I wouldn't change a thing.  So as I travel down the road of probiotics and natural cures, health foods and organic options I hope you will read along.  Share your knowledge and comment on my adventure.  I think I will be done posting for now, as my husband is reading over my shoulder and obviously wanting my attention.  Duty calls.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spring is Coming!!!

A friend wrote on her Facebook status today, " Our past is a a springboard for our future."  My last post was a Debbie Downer, wasn't it?   This isn't my usual attitude about life especially publically.  I am very good about putting on a happy face.  Not to be false or fake.  It is just generally the way I approach life.  Happy is a better choice for me.  I compare myself to a duck, things slide right off my back in general.  Although, I suppose i am occasionally like a skunk. I hold in my stink.  I blow up all at once and then i am over it!  Anyway, thank you for your prayers and support.  I am springboarding back into my life as a hobby farming, homeschooling, stay-at-home, Bible toting, husband loving, bread baking, mother of three (and sometimes 6 or 7 if a friend is in need)! 

Is anyone else excited about spring?  I am.  I can't wait for God's rebirth of nature we experience each year. God's blessings are around us throughout the year.  I think in spring it is so clear the abudance of His love and geneorosity. All we need he provides through His creation.  I am ready for new life and moving ahead with our new/old ways. Here on the farm we are excited to be welcoming new goats, bunnies, and chickens on the farm.  I am excited what the prospect of goats milk will bring to my kitchen.  The possibility of goat cheese and soap and other products are spinning in my head like visions of sugar plums!  We are also exploring the possibility of tapping our maple trees.  We are wondering if any of you have experience with this?  We would like to make our own syrup, but as with any other new adventure we seek out advice of knowledgable persons.  I am also commited to start soaking and sproating my grains this spring.  i have been taking babysteps along my process and I haven't tackled this yet.  I have been following Laurie's blog closely, Proverb's 31 Woman, Kitchen Stewardship and Heavenly Homemaker, all of these blog's provide beautiful insight to the process.  They also show detailed pictures and I now feel comfortable enough to give it a try.  I also am going to find a sourdough bread we like.  Why not?  I will have nothing better to do, right? Honestly, that might be a summer project, but a gal can be hopeful! So help me out and send me your favorite recipes and links, PLEASE!!! :)

I am looking for comments here followers!!!!  What is going into your gardens this spring?  What are your favorite varieties?  How much do you plant?  Should I be starting seeds or wait and buy plants?  Opinions from everyone! Techniques for weed control!!!! This was huge last year!  Tips for planting, composting, fertilizing, and organic pest control are much needed. Also, strawberries...can I transplant this spring and have any hope for a crop?  What about my blackberries and rasberries???  I am interested to hear what my friends overseas do too!  My kids love hearing from you.  We find it so interesting comparing and contrasting the likes and differences of our countries!   Tell us about your growing seasons.  What you plant and your favorite veggies!!! 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

In Times of Trials

Dear Readers,
Our community has been dealing with a lot of death and disease in the last three weeks.  A 19 year old girl had been trying to raise funds for a lung transplant.  She was working hard with the community and her family but unfortunately, it was too little too late for young Makenzie.  Please pray for the Diekoff family.  A dear family friend of ours lost his six year battle with liver cancer on February 14th a few short days after his 41st birthday.  James leaves behind a wife and two young children.  Please pray for Kris, Kensi, and Kyle.  That same week, February 16th, a very close friend had to have 75% of her liver removed.  She is just beginning her battle with cancer.  She is in her early 30's.  I stayed with her four young children much of the last two weeks while her husband stayed with her at the hospital as much as he could.  They are 10, 7, 5, and 8 months.  Please be in prayer for Monica and her husband and children as she begins her chemo and radiation treatments.  Another friend of mine was killed Friday morning in a freak automobile accident.  She leaves behind a husband and two daughters 13 and 11.  Also Friday night a man fell from a high school gym bleachers striking his head and never regained consciousness.  Please pray for the Moffett and Moeller families.  It has been over a year since my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  Each day is a new adventure for my family especially my mother.  Alzheimer's is a horrible disease and it is emotionally draining.  Please pray for my family.  I find it especially hard to deal with when I am emotionally spent from all the other crazy things life throws at me.  One thing I know is that the power of prayer is stronger then any disease, any situation, or any tragedy.  God is there.  He never leaves us!  So, I am going viral and asking for your love and support this week and the upcoming month of March.  Please help the above families with the  gift of prayer.  Thank you in advance.  May God bless you for blessing others.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Our New Barnyard Friend

Meet Lily.  She is my daughter's new Nigerian Dwarf doe.  We adore our goats.  They are simply some of the sweetest animals God ever created. What a wonderful mommy my daughter is being.  Lily has two very good uncles as well.  I am convinced the responsibilty of caring for an animal is an experience for a child that is unmatched in any other form.  My children feed and water all the animals each morning.  They care for goats, chickens, bunnies, and dogs.  They do a fabulous job and have thrived with the added responsibility.   Moving out to the farm over a year ago was a move we will never regret.  We have enjoyed the wide open spaces, the freedom our children have to be kids, and the ability to have a hobby farm.  What a blessing it has been.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pioneering Spirit :P Bah Humbug!!!

Well, The midwest has been under oldman winter's attack.  My sweet niece lovingly posted as her "Facebook" status..."Why does everyone complain about winter, it is one of God's beautiful creations."  Well, after being stuck in one room with my 3 beautiful children, darling husband, sweet minature poodle, for 20 hours with no electricity huddled under a tower of various blankets and sleeping bags, I was not so optimistic in my response.  Did I mention we had been fighting flu and I was probably slightly high from kerosene fumes?  I responded..."Well, actually God's creation was a beautiful temperate controlled garden called Eden.  It didn't rain or snow.  It was so warm that Adam and Eve walked around naked.  It was because of Adam and Eve's sin that we have the snow so, we have no one to blame but them.  In my next statement I thanked her for her optimism and told her I loved her. (I realize I was most likely jaded because I was cold, I was using creek water to flush my toilet, I hadn't been able to properly wash my hands or brush my teeth and the fact that I was just starting to get sick myself didn't help my attitude either.)

As I am typing my blog my daughter looked up at me with no prompting and said yesterday was the best day ever!  It was a little cold, but the best day ever!  Now that I think about it, we did have some quality family time.  We had pushed together our love seat and coach and read Anne of Green Gables.  No distractions, no t.v,  (not that we watch much of that anyway), no phones peace and quiet.  We had a lot of time together and we have enjoyed each other(maybe a little too much at times).  I guess the important part is we had everything we needed. We have been trying to be more self sufficient.  We didn't have to make a last minute run to the grocery for supplies.  It is a joke in our family how winter storms make everyone crave french toast.  You know, they run out for eggs, bread and milk!  The only "failure" we had as we haven't lived out in the country for a long time is, we didn't realize our water pump was electric...hence why we had to use creek water for our toilet.  You live and learn.  As soon as the water turned back on the kids and I were busy filling emergency buckets for our toilet!!!

As we sat there in our 50 degree family room, I couldn't help but notice the straight winds blowing at 40 mph. Then I thought I guess I am not so cold.  I am grateful for all the people who work for the power companies and the road crews.  I am thankful for the emergency medical personel.  I am thankful for the police officiers and the national guard.  All those that are not with those families when we are all cold at home together.  The ones that worry about their families without power at home and go to work anyway.  God bless them all. 

 As I read back over this post I am beginning to wonder if the fumes are still effecting me.  I seem completely disjointed...I hope you can all understand my rambalings.  Please let me know how the weather has effected you where you are. God bless:)

Friday, January 21, 2011

So...Help ME!

Do you have those weeks where nothing goes right? You wonder what in the world is the purpose for all this?  I was having one of those weeks.  Generally when I have those weeks I know right where to look.  I crack open my Bible.  I dive into scripture and I find some bread crumbs to lead me out of my dark place.  But, for some reason this week I didn't.  I lost all sense.  I had given up on me.  I hadn't given up on God.  I just forgot to turn to Him.  The one so very obvious place I normally find refuge.  I felt so lost.  I was questioning my homeschooling.  I was questioning my homemaking.  I was questioning my ability to breath pratically!  This really isn't much of an exaggeration.

In life we have ups and downs.  We fall in and out of love with ourselves, our situations, our churches, our routines.  Generally, I am a happy positive person.  I try my best to, no matter what, put a smile on someone's face.  At the start of this week I just didn't have it in me.  Unforseen circumstances lead us away from our home church on Wednesday night.  While visiting this other  church my husband and I had a conversation with the church's associate pastor, who had himself been a homeschooling dad.  Ironically I hadn't really wanted to be at this church that evening.  I really wanted to be home.  But, what I found was I was home.  God lead me home, to Him.  This kind man's words of love and encouragement was exactly what I need to hear.  By God's grace it was exactly when I needed to hear them.  It was a casual conversation but, boy oh boy, the Lord was speaking through Pastor Dave Wednesday night.  We serve an amazing God. One who loves us, cares for us, and comforts us.  When I  forgot to fall on Him,  He reached out for me.  He did it in the most unusual way.  It was as to say...I know you need Me...even when you forget that it is simply I that you need! 

Lord, I love You.  Forgive me for not seeking You out first.  Thank you so much for rescuing me whenever I need it.  Be with my friends all over the world who read this blog.  Help them to know your love and the comfort that comes in being one of your children.  Remind them that it is through our times of trials that we are drawn closer to you.  Thank you for guiding me home to the comfort of your loving arms.  May you bring blessings, grace, and peace to all who read this. Meet them wherever they are.  Find them, even if they aren't seeking to be found. I praise you for all that You are and all that I am because of You. 
In Jesus Name AMEN!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Scoutmaster Becomes the Pupil

I have been blessed to be the chairperson of our local American Heritage Girls troop.  My daughter wanted to scout like her big brother, so 5 years ago a friend and I set out on a journey and got our church to charter this group.  We have had our ups and downs, but for the most part I have enjoyed the adventure. 

Well, today we had a meeting and I was to teach a portion of the sewing badge.  Laughable really for anyone who knows me well.  But, I prepared all the same and took my arsenal of sewing thingy majiggies that honestly, mostly belong to my daughter.  I need to teach some basic skills; cutting fabric, sewing on buttons, identify basic equipment, etc. So off we head to our meeting!   I got this.  NO PROBLEM. 

Well, maybe there would be a bit of a problem, in walks Little Susie Seamstress (a new recruit with an plethora of knowledge in the art of sewing).  It was clearly evident in about two seconds she was way more qualified then I was to teach this badge.  What should I do?  I will tell you what I did.  I took a seat, handed over my needle and took notes.

 I enjoyed every bit of watching this young lady spread her wings.  It was beautiful.   She explained clearly and precisely to our little girls, on a foreign to her machine, how to thread a bobbin, how to thread the machine, how to steam press a seam, and how to sew a straight seam.  Sewing a straight seam is something I am confident I had no way of showing them.  See, I had planned to bring in an expert.  Life got busy and I didn't get that arranged.  I read over the badge, said a little prayer,  and was confident I could do it and all would be fine.  It was.  God sent this sweet little angel to her first ever A.H.G. meeting and gave her the opportunity to shine.  I don't have to tell you how much the younger girls now look up to her.  She left with a merit badge book in hand and a smile on her face.  Promising before she left that she would have completed a badge before our next meeting.  She was at least two years older then all the other girls but, it didn't matter.  She had found a place to shine. 

Can you see how differently this could have gone had I stuck to MY plan?  When God blesses you with the opportunity to bless someone, do you stick to the plan or do you allow them to use their talents to bless others as well?  Sticking to the plan isn't always our best option in life.  It certainly wasn't my best option today.  Blessings to you all.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year, New View...NO resolutions...well

I don't like resolutions so much.  I don't feel the need to wait to do something I really should be doing anyway.  But, I admit, this year I have "goals".  My goals involve being a better me.  I am excited about my accomplishments in my kitchen this past year.  I find peace and tranquility in being in this special place.  I hope to continue my progress here.  I have found it refreshing to get back to basics.  I am excited that I know how to bake bread from scratch.  I am excited we have had jam all winter from the gift of strawberries last summer.  I am thrilled I have learned to ease belly aches and food allergies through natural means rather then chemically.  God has provided for all of our needs, so I turn to His bounty rather then my medicine cabin more often then I used to. 

My husband and I have decided to shape up our children's education as well.  We have decided to remember why we choose to home educate...to bring them to God.  So each day we will start our day with Bible.  We are adding to our Bible curriculum and making it more meaty rather then fluff!  So far, so good...the kids have been more focused and more driven throughout their day because we start our day where we should have in the first place!

We have decided to cut back...big time.  I have finally come to the realization that I am not responsible for running every organization my children are involved in.  I will NOT coach and lead everything for 2011.  My family deserves better from me.  I cannot be all things to all people.  BUT, I can be the best I can be as a Godly example to my own kiddos. 

We have decided to do more things as a family.  I think we realized, at a wedding of our friends' "little girl", that our time with our kids is limited.  We love being together.  We refuse to let other things, even good things bring us apart.  So, more time together is definitely a goal!

We are going to start building a large food storage.  We hope to be able to collect enough food, by the end of 2011, to feed us for a year.  We are going to do this through couponing.  Tips are welcome.  We aren't doing this for gloom and doom reasons but rather to be better stewards of what God has given us.  We also realize that everyday emergencies are immanent.  In this economy it is best to be prepared!

Personally, I am getting back to losing weight.  I have dropped nearly 40 lbs...I think gained back 10...and have about 40 more to take off.  I can do it!  I am challenging myself to get back on the horse!  A lot more protein and a lot less sugar!
It is a big list, but we can do it! We have prayed about it.  We feel lead to accomplish these things. One thing we know is that through Christ ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!  So, with continued prayer and his guidance these are very do-able goals!

I welcome comments, encouragement, criticisms, helpful hints, suggested resources, and tag alongs.  If anything I have mentioned hits home or strikes a cord...jump in the boat and help me paddle! 

Oh and of course, HaPpY NeW YeAr!!!!