"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." Titus 2:4-5

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Life Has Changed

Oh yes it has....drastically.

Hi everyone. I don't know what to do with this blog anymore. You see....life is strange. I have preached and preached to you all about issues that I felt strongly about. Perhaps I was judgmental. All I know is that life is continually a learning journey and the Lord is never finished with us. We are always growing and learning.

I will be honest with you and tell you what has transpired in my life this year. After all the "preaching" I have done about women being at home....well, guess what???  I had to go out and find a job. Yes, you heard me right.

Are you shocked?

Like I said, life is funny. I can see one thing a certain way, and the next thing I know God spins me around and shows me the other side of the coin. If there is one thing I've learned, it's to not make a judgment until I've walked a mile in someone else's shoes.

You see, as you know, we've had serious financial issues the past five years. Back in February, we had a little family meeting, and my hubby asked me if I would be willing to go to work so we wouldn't lose our house. I agreed, as did my children, that I would do this for our family if necessary. I believe I made the right choice by submitting to my husband in this. Then watching how God dropped a job in my lap, and how He's been with us every step of the way working out all the details with my kids...I know this is right. It's not ideal, it's not God's perfect plan for a family, but for OUR family, in THIS time...it is what we are supposed to be doing.

You might judge me for this, and that's alright. I expect that. I have been that way towards others and God is teaching me. I still believe I'm a keeper at home. I promise you my heart is still home, and it's still my priority. I work because I have to, and I work FOR MY FAMILY. I still manage what goes on in the home...I'm just not there as many hours.

My oldest son went off to Bible college out of state. (Yay! This is great for him!) My 10 year is going to school this year. My high schooler is balancing online high school and caring for my 3 yr old when I'm at work, please helping me manage the house (she's a star!). It's all good, it really is!

May God forgive me for the times I have looked down upon another woman for going to work because she had to. Only she really knows the circumstances!

Now what to do with this blog???

Friday, November 2, 2012

Please Learn from Hurricane Sandy!

I should not be surprised, but the reports from the east coast following hurricane Sandy are just simply shocking.  It's just been a few days, and already there are people out of food, people rummaging through dumpsters...there are food lines, supply shortages, shortage of clean water, no gas...people are becoming violent.  There are fights over gas!  And it's only been a FEW DAYS!

Everyone, please PLEASE be smarter than this.  I hate to say it, but these people have no one to blame but themselves.  They had plenty of warning.  And warning or not, it is OUR job to be sure that we are prepared for emergencies.  At ANY time.  I highly, highly recommend you do as I do: I live each day as if there is an emergency situation on it's way, and I am about to have access to food, water, power, and gas cut off.  That way, my family and I are always, always prepared--for whatever.

I beg you again, be wise!  The prudent person will be prepared.  If you haven't started stocking up food, do it NOW.  Have several months worth of food in your home.  Store water, and have a way to purify water in case your stored water was to run out.  Buy a generator if you don't have one already, and store as much gas as you can (hard one, with the price of gas these days!).  Stock some oil lamps and oil.  Store batteries and matches. If you are able, have a propane oven rather than electric, and install a woodstove for heat and cooking.  Become more sustainable and self-sufficient.  Garden, can your own food, get some chickens and a milk goat at the very minimum.  Then when things happen, you're barely affected.  Sorry to get on my soap box but I feel very strongly about this!

Be prepared!  It's your responsibilty, not anyone else's!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Putting the Garden to Rest for the Winter

Well, I do believe we are all set.  A few days ago, my daughter and I went out and planted the garlic.  I was aiming for 100, then went out to the garden with just 80 cloves, but then could only fit 70 in my garlic patch.  But that's fine...last year I planted 40, and this year I'm up to 70!

We then grabbed a bale of straw, and covered the garlic and all of the strawberry plants well.  So I think we are all set until for the winter!  I'm always a bit sad to put the garden to rest, but at the same time the winter break is nice.  Now is time to focus on my fudge, and the upcoming holiday season--yay!!

We (well, hubby and son) are also getting ready to butcher our pigs.  We are looking forward to a freezer full of pork!

I mentioned in a recent post that we finally got our woodstove installed.  This has been such a blessing!  Not only do we actually have a warm house in the winter (a first for us), we also have been cooking on top of it, and I am really, really loving that!

All these things have been wonderful, but really, honestly...life has been super stressful.  I am constantly looking to the Lord for strength.  Life is good....but hard.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28

Linked up at:
Homestead Revival Barn Hop

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Fudge

I just had to post about my fudge, since I'm now spending a bit of time making it, to help bring in a little money!  Here are some pictures of what I've been making and selling:

Double-Decker Peanut Butter Fudge

Creamy Chocolate Fudge

Creamy Chocolate Fudge w/walnuts

White Chocolate Fudge

Peanut Butter Fudge

Rocky Road Fudge (this one is with almonds--it is amazing--I've also made with walnuts and no nuts.)
Chocolate Coconut Fudge

White Chocolate Coconut Fudge


I also make peppermint chocolate fudge, but didn't take a picture of it.  Coming up, I'll be making Maple Walnut, Salted Caramel, S'mores, Dark Chocolate Cherry, Almond Joy,  and White Chocolate Peppermint.


On a slightly related side note, my husband is still totally out of work.  I am doing what I can to bring in money--not a lot but it's something--and selling fudge is one way that I'm doing it.  Please keep praying for us.  Thank you!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Reviewing my Goals for this Year

 Back in July I posted some goals for the rest of this year.  I thought I would list them again and let you all know how I am doing so far!  Here we go:

  • pick berries; make raspberry jam, blueberry jam, and freeze some blueberries--made raspberry jam and froze blueberries; didn't make blueberry jam
  • can peaches and pears--didn't do this--darn!
  • can green beans--did this!
  • freeze peas--did this
  • make and can applesauce--didn't do this
  • acquire items for milking goats, including a cream seperator--working on this
  • worm goats and chickens; figure out ingredients of herbal wormer and make plan to grow ingredients myself--they've been wormed...haven't figured out the 2nd part yet
  • plan medicinal herb garden--not yet
  • find good area for compost pile--working on it
  • harvest and dry garlic; use larger cloves to replant in October--did this...planting again soon! 
  • sell unneeded items; use money to stock pantry with 200 lbs gluten free flour--100 lbs so far 
  • add diatomaceous earth to chicken house--did this 
  • breed goats in the fall--did this...hopefully they are pregnant!
  • install wood stove (hubby)--finally done TODAY  
  • almost forgot...order homeschool curriculum and plan out 2012-2013 school year--way done
I'm going to continue with the items that haven't been done.  In what ways are YOU working on becoming more self-sufficient?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Busyness on the Homestead

I know I've been missing in action lately, but the truth is that I just don't have a lot of time to blog.  Life is busy, and that is good, as the busy things are good things.  Children, husband, house, homeschooling, and I've started a seasonal "business" selling fudge!  It's really taken off quickly and I'm happy to be able to bring in a bit of income from home.  I'm known for my delicious fudge around here, and I've been told often that I should sell it, soooo....I am!  If you are at all interested, I do ship; you can visit my facebook page here.

Take care, my dear sisters, and I will try to blog more soon!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Homeschool Curriculum 2012-2013

Well, it's that time of year again!  August--the time of year when I am super busy harvesting/preserving the garden AND planning for the school year.  So now I will share with you what we are using for school this coming year.

AnnaMarie--9th grade:

Bible--Alpha Omega Lifepacs, along with some books from Vision Forum; Character booklets from IBLP

Math--Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra

Language Arts--Alpha Omega Lifepacs & Wordly Wise 9

History--Truthquest Age of Revolution I

Science--Alpha Omega Lifepacs with lab kit

Spanish--Rosetta Stone

Music--continuing with Flute--independent learning

PE--exercise each day (we have a trampoline and bikes, etc)

Abigail--4th grade:

Bible--Alpha Omega Lifepacs, Character booklets from IBLP

Math--Teaching Textbooks Math 4

Language Arts--Alpha Omega Lifepacs, Wordly Wise 4, A Reason for Handwriting Cursive, Typing Instructor

History--Truthquest American History for Young Students 3, Map Skills 4, memorizing states and capitols

Science--Apologia Zoology 3 w/notebooking journal, and lab kit

Music--Clarinet: learning with instructional dvd...hopefully joining band at a homeschool co-op the following fall

Art--Abeka Art A

PE--exercise each day

I got a couple of books for my 2 year old also; he won't be doing anything formal, but he will have something to work in because he will want to be doing what his sisters are doing, and it will help keep him busy so the girls can get some work done.  I bought him Learning Numbers with Button Bear, and Arts and Crafts with Button Bear from Abeka.

I'd like to put in a plug for the lab kits we got this year...they are AMAZING!  I had used a different company in the past, and I like these so much better.  They provide everything you need for each lab, even down to a paper towel or a pair of scissors.  They package everything up in big ziplock bags, grouped by experiment, and labeled.  So when it's time to do science experiment one, you pull out the bag that says "experiment 1", and you've got everything that you need!  I can't tell you how many times I've had to delay an experiment because I was missing something.  The company I used last year provided some items, but not all.  It is a bit expensive; you just have to decide how important it is, if you do have the funding for it.  I am only able to order these because my parents pay for curriculum and school supplies, and they are willing to fund it.

I hope it's okay if I ask this...if you DO ever decide to order something from Christianbook.com that I recommend, would you mind going to their website by clicking on the link on my left sidebar?  I get a small commission for any sales that come through my blog, and that would really help out my family, as I try to find ways to bring in money from home, where I belong.  Thank you!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So You're...."Bored"?

Did you just say that you are bored?  Okay, I have to admit, that is something I have never understood...when a homemaker says that she is bored.  I hesitate to say this, but I'll say it anyway...if you are bored then you're not doing your job to it's fullest!  There--I said it.

There is SO much to do as a homemaker.  Its scope reaches in so many different directions and covers so many areas of life, that really, it would seem that it would be impossible to be bored.  When a woman says that, I think what she really means is, "I don't like any of the work that there is to do".

So, I am here to help out!  Aren't you glad?  Let's explore the many different areas that are a homemaker's responsibility, and how she can practically accomplish these things.  By the time I am done, I know you will be convinced that there is absolutely no way you could ever be "bored"!  Ready?  Let's tackle this!

Now, I am going to assume that you are not a homeschooler, and you are not a homesteader.  I am assuming this because if you are either one of those, then you definitely wouldn't have any boredom going on.  (Some of us are homeschooling homesteaders, who also have a toddler or a baby (or both!), so we are super duper duper busy, and free time is something that we've heard exists in some other people's lives...or perhaps we remember it from long ago when we were younger!)  I WILL assume that you have children, and you have a husband.  So, with that scenario in place, here comes the list:

*First and foremost, you are your husband's helper.  What does your particular husband want help with?  Does he need some paperwork done?  Does he want a home-packed lunch?  Does he like you to bring him his coffee in the morning?  Does he need you to make some phone calls during the day?  Could you run his errands for him?  Ask him!

*Next, the children...OH the children--they're a full time job in themselves.  If they are not school age (remember, I'm assuming you don't homeschool, for the sake of example), then they are home and likely keeping you on your toes.  You're reading stories, breaking up fights, getting the toddler's hand out of the cookie jar for the umpteenth time, coloring with little Jimmy because he doesn't like coloring alone, cleaning up all of the crayons that Jimmy broke, etc.  If they are all in school, well don't despair, there is still plenty for you to do (oh and by the way, I used to have kids in school, so I do know what I'm talking about here).  Besides the fact that there is volunteering in the classrom, being a room mom, helping with homework, etc, etc..there is still plenty to do at home on top of that.  Just keep reading...

*Nutrition/food/meals--BIG one here.  Big, big one.  Absolutely, positively way up on the list of importance.  What you eat, and what your family eats, affects what happens in your house.  What you eat can have a positive effect on your body, or it can have a negative effect.  So you choose.  If you make nutrition as important as you should, then food is going to take up a lot of your day.  Making breakfast, packing lunch(es), making lunch for those at home, making dinner, and making other homemade goods such as bread, muffins, yogurt, etc.  And occasionally for fun, I'm sure your kids would appreciate if you whipped up some chocolate chips cookies or something for them.  There is also the grocery shopping to be done, which may involve hitting many different stores to get the best deals on different items.

*Cleaning--let's face it, there's always cleaning to do, as well as laundry.  So between the laundry, the dishes, vacuuming, kitchen, bathrooms, mopping, dusting...What did you say?  You get my point?  Alright I'll stop there.  I'm sure you know what is involved in cleaning a house.

*Finances--What this entails for you will depend on your specific situation.  In my marriage, my husband has always paid the bills; he just prefers to.  Your husband may be glad to have you do it (see point number one).  But whether you pay the bills or not, finances involve much more than just that.  It also include being frugal, and finding ways that you can save your family money.  Here are some examples:
  • Check ads and coupon
  • Plant and maintain a garden.  Just do it, if you are able to where you live.  This will save your family a lot of money on groceries!  Think you don't have the space?  Check out books from the library on gardening in small spaces; you may be amazed at what you can do in a small area.
  • Can!  This covers the financial department AND the food department.  You will be saving money and keeping the food nutritious.
  • Learn to sew, crochet, and/or knit.  You can make many of your own things that way, thus saving your family money.
  • Make your own laundry soap. This is super easy.  There are many recipes available online.
  • Develop a home-based business.  Find something you enjoy making, and sell it!
*Hospitality--have people into your home, and also go visit others.  Take a meal to a sick person, or a woman who has just had a baby.  Go help your friend, who is on bedrest, clean her house.  Host a Bible study in your home.  Volunteer at a soup kitchen.  These are all just examples...there are many other activities you could do also.

*Let's not forget the most important item on the list: your spiritual life!  Spend time with Jesus.  Read your Bible and pray.  Like I mentioned above, you could join a Bible study.  Your family needs you to be spiritually filled...if you aren't then all of the above activities just aren't as important.  You need Jesus, and your family needs you to be filled with Him.

*How's this for an idea...you could BLOG!  Ha ha ha...just thought of that one, but really it's true.  I consider mine a ministry, so it's like my "ministry time" I guess...

Okay, if you could read all of that above information, and still feel that you will be bored at home, I don't know what to tell you, but I think I've made my point: if you are doing the job correctly, there is no time to be bored.

Case closed.

Linked up at:
Wise Woman Link-Up
Raising Homemakers Homemaking Link-Up

Monday, July 30, 2012

First Garden Harvest!

Boy am I slacking on blogging lately!  I just can't seem to find the time...it's really, really hard.  I'd love to blog a LOT more, but I just can't.  But here's a little garden update...

I harvested my garlic about a week ago--yay!  It was my first time growing garlic, and there was really no way to know how it was doing there in the ground, until harvesting time.  I was happy to find that it grew very nicely!  For those of you who don't know, garlic is planted in the fall ( I planted in October).  It sets there in the ground all winter, and all spring...then is finally harvested in the summer.  Lots of fun!  Here it is:

I got 49 heads of garlic; this fall I'm going to plant double that! 

Here is my first picking of peas:
Bad pic--sorry--left is peas, right is snap peas

Also, a couple of weeks ago my mom, my daughter Abby, and I went raspberry picking and made jam!  Here is the finished product:

Well, I have a lot of posts in the making, I just need TIME to get them finished.  It WILL happen!

God bless you!