"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

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fresh From Our Homestead!

Here is a picture of a small amount of the harvest from my garden:

Here is a salad I made from the lettuce, carrots, and (super sweet) tomatoes:

And here are the zucchini muffins:

Green beans and eggs:

And more pictures of our baby chicks!:

Have a wonderful Jesus-filled week!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Baby Chicks!

This my first ever barn hop over at Homestead Revival (a site I LOVE)...come check it out!

This week we got a big surprise!  On Friday, Annamarie went outside and was shocked to discover that we had baby chicks!  This was a surprise to everyone.  No one had any idea that there were any eggs getting sat on by a hen. We'd been collecting eggs everyday, and getting plenty.

This particular hen is an escape artist, and really likes her freedom.  She finds her way out of the fence everyday, and free ranges most hours.  Apparently, she had a secret nest hidden away!

As you can see, mama is a barred rock chicken.  Daddy ("King") is a Rhode Island Red.

So these little guys are called either black sex link, or red rocks.  Aren't they cute?

We are so thrilled.  We had just been talking about how we wanted to get some more chickens, and lo and behold...there they were!  It is definitely a learning curve for us though, as we have never had our own little chicks (we've bought them, but not had a hen hatch our own).

So that's what's been happening out on our homestead this week!  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Stocking the Pantry

I've been working hard this year at stocking up my pantry. I strongly believe it is my job as the homemaker to be prudent, and to make sure that we are prepared for whatever may come, to the best of  my ability.  I'll do my best, pray that it's blessed, and Jesus takes care of the rest.

We had a mini earthquake yesterday...super quick, but it did get me thinking again.  Am I really prepared?  Have I done everything I can for my family in case a big earthquake does hit here?  It's my job, and they are counting on me.  In the area that I live in, we are most prone to major wind storms that knock out power, snowstorms, and earthquakes.  These are the "disasters" that I keep in mind, as well as the bad economy, as I stock things up.

I want to encourage you to do what you can, and add to your pantry little by little.  I used to have just one or two of each food item in my house, and often times I would run out of something.  This has not happened in a long time.  Now I stock up several of each item.  Then, for example, if I use up a jar of peanut butter, I can just go to my pantry and get another, and write peanut butter on my shopping list to restock the one that I opened.  No more last minute rushes to the store to get something that I ran out of!  I also want to encourage you to NOT stock up on "emergency food" that you normally don't eat.  Buy what you eat, eat what you buy, restock what you eat.  I've had specific goals on each food item, and I've been really working at getting to the quantities that I want.  Once the item is stocked, it's just a matter of replacing one everytime it's used up.  It's really pretty simple!

"What about Matthew 6?" you may ask.  Jesus says not to worry about what we will eat, right?  Right!  Jesus says not to WORRY.  Please don't worry.  Just be prudent.  Prepare yourself to the best of your ability, and trust that God will use what you have stored, however much it may be.  There are plenty of verses in the Bible about being wise and prudent.

I'd like to share a list of the items I have stored, along with pictures of my pantry.  I have a huge walk in pantry.  It's very unfinished and rustic, as we live in a remodel, but it's big.  So I may have more room than you.  Just do what you can!

Here is a list of items I'm working at stocking up on, in no particular order:

Whole wheat flour/white flour/gluten free flours
Brown rice & white rice
White sugar/brown sugar
Pasta sauce
Vegetable oil
Olive oil
baking powder
baking soda
canned fruits and veggies
canned meats
many varieties of dried beans, split peas, lentils
canned beans
canned tomatoes
tomato sauce
peanut butter
pancake syrup
soy sauce
powdered milk
herbs and spices
chicken/beef boullion
regular and gluten free macaroni and cheese
vinegars: distilled (great for cleaning!), red wine, balsamic, apple cider
mayo, ketchup, mustard, pickles

My pantry:

My daughter helped me label the buckets!  I'm planning to move the potatoes and carrots into a big storage tote.

Underneath the shelves, behind the oranges, is where I have jugs of water stored.

Proverbs 31:
Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29“ Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, .
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates

Proverbs 6:
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
8 Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep—
11 So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.

This post is linked up at: Homestead Revival Preparedness Challenge

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Homeschool Organization

This year of homeschooling (and this is year number 13) has been my most organized ever--woohoo!  I'd like to show you the nifty little carts I purchased for the girls this year.  They have been WONDERFUL:

All of their school supplies and books that they are using are in their carts.  These are soooo handy.  They just wheel them wherever they are going to study.  They are made by Sterilite, and I bought them on sale at Fred Meyer (with my rewards rebate, so really they were basically free!).  I also purchased simple little planners for each child, and they keep these in one of drawers also.  Sooooo wonderful!  Can you tell organization makes me super duper happy?

My mom gave Annamarie her own laptop recently, which I'm so grateful for.  It's very helpful for school time.  There are very strict parental controls on it, which helps me relax about her having her own computer.

Abby uses Daddy's computer during school.  They each have two or three subjects that require the computer.

Andrew has a desk which is right next to our huge school shelf.  All of his books, etc. are kept here, which works great for him.
This is last year's picture, but it hasn't changed THAT much since then.

Well, that's it!  Anyone have any other great tips for organizing your homeschool day?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Homeschool Curriculum 2011-2012 Part 2

Finally, I am sharing what I am using this year for my girls!  Here is what we are doing:

Annamarie (8th grade):

Bible:  Reading through the New Testament, weekly memory verses, and required book reading.  This year she is reading Before You Meet Prince Charming, So Much More, Joyfully at Home, and Raising Maidens of Virtue.

Math: Teaching Textbooks Math 7

Language:  Online writing class through Time 4 Writing, then after that we will use Wordsmith for writing; Wordly Wise 8 for Vocabulary.  We're taking a year off of formal grammar, but grammar will be covered in the writing courses.

History:  Truthquest Ancient Egypt/Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, Map Skills Workbook

Science: Apologia Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day.  I know it's technically an elementary book, but I've found these books to be quite advanced.  I myself am learning sooooo much and find them so interesting and fun!  She'll be doing the notebooking journal with it, along with extra projects I assign, and a frog hatchery kit with her sister.

Critical Thinking:  Building Thinking Skills software

Foreign Language: French 1 through Rosetta Stone online

Music: Flute and Piano lessons: Flute with instructional DVD, and Piano with Adventus Piano Suite Premiere

Art:  She is hoping to take a cake decorating class.

Abigail (3rd grade):

Bible:  She is hoping to return to our local Awana program, but as of now we are still waiting for a leader to step up.  Right now, we are using our Keys for Kids devotionals that we get from our church.  She is also assigned a memory verse or two each week, always from her handwriting books, and sometimes from church.

Math:  Teaching Textbooks Math 3

Language: Alpha Omega Language 3 LIFEPACS, Wordly Wise 3, and A Reason For Handwriting Transition, Typing Instructor

History:  Truthquest American History for Young Students 2, Map Skills 3 workbook

Science:  Apologia Zoology 2 like her sister, along with the notebooking journal and frog hatchery kit.

Critical Thinking:  Building Thinking Skills software

Music: Piano using Adventus Piano Suite Premiere

PE: Gymnastics

Art: Drawing class

I also have a list of read alouds that I would like to get through.

I must say that if you were to do all that I am doing, it would get veeerrryyy expensive!  I have been very blessed to be able to do all of this, and have it funded for me.  My parents pay for all of the Christian curriculum, and everything else--including gymnastics, art class, etc--is funded by the school district.  I am very grateful for this! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

I Need Your Help!

Dear ladies, please share your ideas with me.  How do you bulk up your meals in order to feed all of those growing hungry tummies, without spending much money?

I have a super duper small food budget.  I also have a 16 year boy who is weight training and needs lots of calories.  He is always hungry, and I feel so bad that with food prices I keep trying to cook less.  He needs to eat a lot!  Along with him, there is also my construction worker husband, and three other growing children.

What to do?  Here are some of my ideas:

Lots of rice

Piles of potatoes

Lots of pasta

Bake homemade bread or rolls to add to a meal

Make some homemade beans along with meat, to double up the protein

Please share your ideas and/or recipes.  I'd like to do a second post and share all the input I get, along with a link to your blog if you would like.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Miscarriage Story...Part Two

For those of you who may be wondering, I will share what ended up happening with my miscarriage.  As I shared in my last post, I started bleeding on my own.  Unfortunately, that dragged on for over a week and got REALLY old.  I was miserable...still feeling icky and nauseous but for no reason anymore.  I wanted to get it done and over with, so I called my OB to schedule a D&C.

The day before my D&C was scheduled, I was sent in for an ultrasound, just to make sure that there was actually a need for the procedure and that the pregnancy had not passed on its own.  I hadn't had any major bleeding or cramping so I thought it highly unlikely that I had passed anything, but still prayed that it was all gone so I wouldn't have to undergo the surgery!  But as I suspected, everything was still intact...the sac, the embryo... EVERYTHING.  At that point I was 13 weeks along, and was told that the embryo looked like it had stopped growing at 6 weeks.  So sad.  All that time, I was no longer pregnant and never even knew it.

Around the time of the ultrasound--I think just a little before I got there--I started cramping pretty badly.  At first I thought it was because I hadn't taken any advil for awhile, because I'd been taking it frequently since the bleeding started, due to the aching and mild cramping.  I left the ultrasound and drove home, and when I got home I was in pretty bad pain.  Eventually it got to the level where it felt just like labor pain.  This was NOT a fun time.  Suddenly I found myself in the bathroom, doubled over in pain, sitting on the toilet passing tissue (sorry if this is too much information).  Meanwhile, for some reason, my 16 month old decided to start screaming and would not stop.  He stood on the other side of the bathroom door screaming.  This was just an absolutely horrible time for me.  I was in severe pain and couldn't leave the bathroom because stuff was coming out of me, and my toddler was inconsolable. You know how little ones can pick up on when something is not right.  My two daughters, bless their hearts, were doing the very best they could on the other side of the door, but he wouldn't stop crying.  I finally threw on a pad and ran out of the bathroom, grabbed Adam and hugged him, and just cried.  That lasted a minute or so, and then I had to run back to the bathroom and just took him with me. My poor daughters!  They are so kind and brave, but they were so worried.  I kept passing tissue, and then suddenly I started bleeding heavily.  So heavily that if I put on a pad, I instantly soaked through it.  I knew this was not okay, and that the bleeding was too heavy.  I needed to get to the hospital.

I had to think quickly about what to do.  My husband wasn't home.  He was working a very rare late day, and wouldn't be done until about 8 pm, and it wasn't quite 6:00 yet, and I knew there was no way he could get out early. Should I call an ambluance?  Could I drive myself? (Yes, I'm crazy, but I did consider it...but then decided that all the blood loss may cause me to pass out while driving.)  Who should I call?  I ended up calling my friend Edith, and she hurried over right away. We headed for the closest emergency room, which is about 15 minutes away.

The nurses and doctor at the ER were very kind.  I was still bleeding heavily when I got there, and the doctor did an exam and kind of "cleaned" the area out.  Not fun, but I was glad that I was in good hands.  Eventually the bleeding slowed down and they did an ultrasound to see if I had passed everything.  Unfortunately, I was told that there was still one piece left.  After about four hours, I was sent home, told to take cyctotec at bedtime to help that last piece pass, and call my doctor in the morning.

I did what I was told, and in the morning my doctor told me to come in for another ultrasound.  When I used the bathroom that morning, I passed a big piece of something, so I was excited and confident that everything was out.  After all, I had just been told that there was only one more piece, and I just passed a piece, right?

So on to the ultrasound I went.  When I got there, I was very upset to find out that not everything was out of my uterus yet!  I was so upset!  And I was soooo hungry!  I had missed dinner the night before due to being rushed to the ER, and had eaten just a little bowl of cereal when I got home.  At breakfast that morning, I had poured a bowl of granola, but had gotten distracted and didn't eat much of it.  I was so confident that I wouldn't need the D&C, that I figured I would eat when I got back from my ultrasound.  But that was not to be!  It was around 10 am, and my D&C was scheduled for 3:45, and I was not allowed to eat anything before it.  I left the ultrasound hungry and in tears!

Compared to all of this drama, the D&C was a piece of cake.  It was quick and easy.  My OB said that there was still a big piece left in me, so she was really glad that we did it.  If I could do it all over again, I would definitely have scheduled the D&C right away in the very beginning, as soon as I found out the pregnancy was not viable.  It was a pretty good experience, and the actual miscarriage was NOT. I didn't expect that, as my first two miscarriages were not nearly so hard.

After the D&C was done, the grief came back and hit me hard.  I spent a lot of nights crying.  I'm doing better now though.  I know God is sovereign, and this all has a purpose. 

Thank you for letting me share my story.  This has been a long hard summer.  I'm thankful that God's mercies are new every morning!