Monday, February 28, 2011

Springtime's bittersweet coming

Today I am thinking about my kids, my chores and spring!

So far this morning has been hectic and non productive. Which is totally fine and acceptable when you have little ones! I think of this as my model for life with kids: "Dishes be quiet, dust go to sleep, I'm rocking my baby for babies don't keep". ~anon

Seriously that is so true. Will anyone remember if my house was spotless on a certain day or week? NO! Will my kids remember if I always did chores and ignored them? YES!

The key here is balance, but sometimes it is just easier to spend a good couple minutes playing with them and giving them undivided attention and then finishing the chore I was working on. Then I can finish it and the kids are happy, mama is happy being able to finish without crying. Everyone is happy!

Sometimes in order to go forward you have to take a time out.

Saturday night I went through my seeds and figured out what I still need to get and started the process of figuring out where to put everything. I am trying a few different methods this year. I am also going to plant a sunflower house for my daughter, I think she will have an absolute blast playing in it!

I am also exciting for summer because spring is the transition of winter into summer. Camping, star gazing, evening campfires with friends and family, gardening, enjoying summer produce fresh from the garden, riding my horse, the county fair, swimming, summer fishing, rummaging, farmers markets, oh wow summer is so busy! This winter has been a nice break, but now I am rested and ready to get to work! Well the work is already started in planning the garden!

I am so excited to spend time outside with my kids instead of always being inside. Easter is coming, spring is at the end of the lane coming to knock on our door and bring the news of summer! Even the sun seems to be telling us warmer, and busy times, are coming our way as it warms the roof and gives us icicles to look at. Icicles are winter's last claws of the waning season trying to hold on as springtime moves in.

Well time for me to make good use of naptime and get some chores done!

Then we are visiting my husband's grandpa who is not doing so well and appears to be his ending days. Pray for us, for his grandpa and for the rest of our family during this time.

Spring comes near with bittersweet joys.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Microwave Technology. . . Microwave Society

I have been reading a really neat book and it takes me back to a time where women didn't have pressure to work outside of the home and one of the points it makes is that because of our "want it/need it NOW" attitude women work harder instead of  being liberated by an out of the home job. So true!

Which brings around to a point of because of women wanting to liberate themselves (specifically here in the US) they have been giving themselves more work. Honestly I think old fashioned is easier compared to the "NOW" microwave attitude.

I don't have a microwave because of the health reasons. I knew we were going to get wireless internet and there are health effects from that and I didn't want to double it by having a microwave. When we finally get a phone in the house I am planning on getting a corded phone. Why have extra radio waves around here if I don't need it?!

No, I'm not a hippy. I am just saying I don't think living in the fast lane is all it's cracked up to be. Buying cheap food at a grocery store might "save" me money right now but the long term effects of it are very costly.

I will need less health care for my family, more self sufficiency, use healthier food preservation methods, healthier food in general, support local farmers not being supported by government subsidies which the more I learn (I am far from educated on this subject as of yet!) the more I feel the subsidies are killing the little man: the small family farm. The small family farm that used to be frequent, not so much anymore though.

Another part of the microwave society deal is most people want things now, internet connection can't ever be fast enough, technology can't be fast enough. . . food can't be fast enough. Wow, think about that: food can't be fast enough. Don't people realize in order to make that highly processed tv dinner no matter how healthy the brand name, it took a summer to grow the stuff?! I mean seriously! What if the farmer was in a hurry to grow the food? Oh wait, some are getting to that point with genetically modifying the seeds, scary!

So with all the crazyness going on with the food I decided to plant even a bigger garden than originally planned. I am going to preserve and eat as much food as I can possibly grow. It is the best decision for my family. The fun part is the process, which is what most Americans have forgotten. The joy and satisfaction of process.

Process: everything has to go through process. Might as well enjoy it! I don't mind being labeled country. Especially if country means I have less stress, enjoy life, appreciate and respect both the good and the bad parts of life and have more quality time for my husband, kids, family/friends as well as myself!

The city has many conveniences. None of which I need nor envy. I would rather be comfortable in my clothes than wearing the newest risque fashions showing too much of myself and little of my self worth.

After two years of being married, being a mom and  very confused at where this put me. Me, the independent, self sufficient, adventure seeking, singing the song of life, enjoying every bit of sunshine through the clouds during a rainstorm me. Marriage, kids, everything was very confusing. I had all these expectations put on me by others, all this advice given to me by others and nothing was adding up. Things have changed but I didn't! I might be a housewife but I now love it and appreciate it! Being a housewife doesn't mean I am a frumpy bumpkin from the country stuck at home slaving away at chores struggling to finish with kids underfoot. No, not I!

I now understand it is Me: wife, mother, house keeper, adventure seeking, diaper changing, boo boo fixing, singing the songs of "Blues Clues", dancing and exercising with the kids while doing the chores and playing while doing it. All while the love of my life is at work at a job which pales in comparison to how interesting and changing as mine.

All these things only improved and added to my life. I have had to adapt some things (can't just get in the car and visit friends, but we can plan ahead and still go visit!) but I love it!

In the city things would not be so interesting. I would have to get a job, leave my precious little ones with someone else to raise while I have to work a boring job, get home, struggle to do housework with my little ones underfoot craving my attention which I can't give them until the dishes are done, after which supper has been made and by then it would be bed time for them.

Microwave society and all its conveniences can just keep themselves company. I like my "Slow-paced" country life (HA yeah right slow, that is hilarious) thank you very much. All you country people would understand that too. Living in the country is NOT slow! It is very adventurous and busy, but busy in a good way, not busy in the city way.

Another thing I noticed about the Microwave society is everyone wants results NOW. It took years to gain weight and now all of a sudden you want to be thin? Oh please there was a process in gaining weight, there is a process to lose weight - healthily too!
I gained weight right after getting married, then I had two kids back to back. It was a process of almost 2.5 years of gaining weight slowly. In order to lose the weight AND keep it off I need to lose weight slowly. Sure the first month you can drop a lot but most of it is just water weight, but not to be discouraged I knew that the weight after that would be real weight and as long as I stay away from all those fad diets I would stay off the yoyo for life!

Sure enough! I lost 11 pounds in 6 weeks. I haven't been able to exercise in a little over a week because I got the stomach flu (which helped me lose that extra pound, haha) but still, I'm not on the yoyo microwave plan. I would love instant results and all those diet pills are sure tempting. BUT,  the point of me losing weight is also with the intention of not gaining it back. Those ideals are for permanent weight loss. Real work = real results. Artificial work=artificial loss and the first look at a donut can put you back 5 pounds. No joke.

I mean why would I buy pills anyway? It didn't cost me anything to gain weight, so why should it cost me anything to lose it? My policy for dinner time (because I have been slowly changing the way we eat, going all organic, all natural all at once is quite a shock!) is if I do not want to eat it, no one else has too. On the other hand if it is tasty and I will eat it, and you don't then you go hungry.

My husband is amazing and he is right on board. He still gets his non healthy stuff at work but I don't mind, that is his decision. I'm just glad he is supporting me here at home. If he wants orange juice (I don't buy juice anymore) at work, fine it doesn't bug me! As long as he doesn't bring it home! haha just kidding. I'm so thankful for the man I have. I sure didn't find him hanging out at a mall in the city! We met on a church camping trip that a mutual friend of ours invited me too, since it was mostly his church that was going in the first place! Neat!

Well Microwave technology is not in my house, microwave society is not in my heart. If I can enjoy life and enjoy the process of living, then I will be a farmgirl my whole life. 

Microwave society is just like a microwave. Microwaves serve up the meal minus the nutrients and taste; Society serves up the people minus the morals and savor for living.

Satisfied in country life

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day. . .

Today is going so much better, thankfully! The kids are doing better, I am feeling a bit more rested than usual, despite feeling weak still. Husband is feeling better too, yippee! The sickness is finally being defeated :)

Yesterday was rough and I'm so glad yesterday is yesterday and today is today!

I'm still thinking about those amazing sourdough waffles I made on Sunday. I am thinking I will steal some starter tomorrow (sassy me!) and make some for dinner! Tonight I already had dinner planned. Onion soup (different than French Onion soup which is refined) with rice and green beans on the side.

I am successfully evenly using up the produce left in the freezer from my abundant garden 2 years ago. It is nice to have a homegrown treat since I was unable to have a garden last year. This year, Lord willing, will make up for not having a garden last year! I am very excited to plant all my "new" heirloom varieties so I can save the seeds from them!

It took hours of planning and trying to find the right heirlooms to plant given where we live, what I can preserve, etc.

My little Evelyn is such a cutie pie, she tries helping me out cleaning the house, putting away groceries, and keeping an eye on her little brother! What a sweet heart to already be pitching in to help! Yay!

She just loves our little chicks, it is so sweet to see her interact with the animals too.

I have been putting some sewing/crochet learning projects on hold to get some reading done. I am learning how to do a traditional granny square for crochet, I still need to get an embroidery hoop so I can do a sampler and then embroider some pillow cases and towels for my house and gifts. I also need to make my son a quilt. I made my daughter a little one with a flannel back just for crawling on the floor so it really isn't a quilt.

I also need to learn to knit, there are so many neat things I could do if I could knit!
Oh man, I also need to get some patterns so I can start sewing for summer! I want to make myself and Evelyn some summer skirts and sundresses. It is so hard to find a decent (modest) sundress that is cute, functional and doesn't show off what the Lord gave you. Frustrating. If I wanted to show the world my legs I would wear my swimsuit to town, haha!

I have been pretty frustrated with how long it is taking me to meet other people my age. Even though we live out in the country everyone here is pretty uppity. I will not give up in my quest for friendship around here. It only takes one to be friendly! It does take two to be friends though. I sure hope I can find some people to befriend! I miss having friends close by, everyone has moved away. So sad.

Having two little ones sure keeps me busy and also less concentrated on not having adult friends. I have so much fun with my kids and husband. I love living on a little farm!

Well I suppose that is all for now, the kids need to be changed and be put down for their naptime then I need to go get the mail, make a cake for dessert and start cooking my onion soup for tonight! Busy busy!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Snow and Sourdough

Yesterday my sourdough starter was ready to use. I made sourdough waffles for breakfast and after church I made some old fashioned sourdough bread in cast iron. The waffles almost made me cry they were so good! I mean not to brag or anything but the taste brought me back to a time when life was a lot more simple, hard, but families stuck together. To go with the waffles I cooked up nitrate free, hardly processed bacon. All cooked on cast iron. I think everything tastes better on cast iron, open fire or not!

I let the bread rise most of the day, I mixed it up about one and didn't end up cooking it until nine. My husband and I tasted it hot out of the oven with a little honey drizzled over it. It is so hearty and amazing! A small portion goes a long way! No wonder the pioneers could eat so well with so little. I would starve on a piece of store bought bread (yes, even if it is brown and supposedly whole wheat) but a piece of this hearty sourdough could pass for a meal!

We got our February snow storm! As to the amount I am not quite sure yet, I will find out soon when I go to feed my chickens! Which brings me to a sad story. We lost two more chicks. No indication of being sick again. So sad. My daughter noticed one and was all confused and it seemed like she was trying to ask me what was wrong with it. I know she is probably too young to understand but I told her it died. She seemed to be satisfied but I am not looking forward to the day where we have to have the discussion on death when her favorite pet dies. I remember those days for me. It seemed like I had a billion cats growing up because they would keep dying from cars.

I got so sick last night I camped out in the bathroom for about an hour, I spent the rest of the night curled up in the big chair under a blanket with some ginger ale and sierra mist natural. We missed Bible study but it is a good thing we didn't go, I would have rather been sick here then do the deed somewhere else and make a scene!

Today I am feeling a little better, my stomach still feels off though. I am making myself some tea and I am going to watch the news and see what the weather looks like for the rest of the day and tomorrow. I am so very excited for spring and planting my garden! I am also excited for my daughter. I am going to make a sunflower house for her, I am hoping to make one every year for her. Come summertime she will be ready for a little playhouse. There is nothing like a fort or playhouse for a little kid! The possibilities are endless. Oh goodness, I remember spending hours with my siblings playing train, cowboys, pioneers, miners, etc on an old potato picker from the early 1900's maybe earlier. I have no idea the actual time but you get the general idea. A piece of rusting history made the biggest adventures for us kids. When it gets warmer out I want to have breakfast outside on an open fire, how cool would that be for little kids not to mention tasty for my husband and I!

I want my kids to have adventure, substance, security and love in their life. Nothing like a little sourdough on an open fire outside or inside to do the trick.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wonderful Weekends

Sunday morning. Waiting on the sourdough waffles to finish cooking. Just finished up the nitrate/un cured old fashioned bacon!

I am so excited my sourdough turned out! My first try! Today after church I will pull some more starter out and try my hand at some bread.

My bean sprouts are just about ready to eat in another day and my alfalfa sprouts, well I just started them last night! I want to get some oats and wheat sprouting too. I am interested in learning to do wheat grass as well.

Today they were forecasting a big snowstorm. No one believed them because they always hype everything up. Even though we are always due for a snowstorm or cold spell after a period of warm weather. We had warm weather all last week and looking at the radar it sure looks like we will be doing some plowing after church or tomorrow!

I don't mind, it gives me a mental break so I can finish the things inside I need to get done without feeling the urge to just be outside and enjoy nature! I have a few weeks left before the urge comes back!

Well back to my waffles then have to get everyone ready for church!

Happy Sunday!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Old Time Community

I have been doing lots of thinking lately on the subject of community. "Back in the day" neighbors helped neighbors, they didn't just wave to each other while they passed on the road like today (if that even!). Then I was reading about the Amish community today, how if someone's barn burns down all his neighbors come and rebuild it all the while his cows are being cared for by a neighbor. WOW! That is community! "Back in the day" neighbors helped neighbors like that too. My question is: What happened?! What changed the way our community interacts?

I think back to my college days, one of my roommates grew up mormon. Later she became a christian but that is besides the point. She told me all about it, she also said one of the hardest things for her growing up and becoming an adult was leaving her mormon community. It is very supportive, they care for each other, lots of visiting. It sounds very ideal, like something of yesteryear.

Why are the Amish, why are the mormons all having strong, supportive communities? Why are christian communities missing the benefits of a strong comunity?

Today I was reading in Galatians chapter 6 where it says to "bear each others burdens". I would think if christians would quit arguing doctrine they could enjoy the benefits of a good community! Not just that, if we are to bear each others burdens that is part of the christian walk. I think modern christians are missing out. I don't want to miss out. I think a bible study is in order!

Not only a bible study, but a lot of work on my part. I think a ripple effect could be possible. I will just have to take the initiative I guess. That is ok :) I'm a farm girl. With a little prayer and elbow grease anything is possible!

I think if everyone would take the time to just help one person out a week, just imagine the ripple effect it could have! Maybe eventually my community will be like an old time community! In order for other people to get on board, you gotta get the boat in the water first!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Adventure of a Lifetime/ Gratitude in Sorrow

Yesterday I wanted to watch the premiere of Survivor and I read and watched the players bios. I was a little surprised. Ok, maybe more slightly irritated at the naivety of some of the girls. They kept saying how they are adventurous, ambitious, flirty, tough, blah blah blah. I could not help myself thinking "If they want the adventure of a lifetime they should try getting married and having kids!". Then I got to thinking deeper. Some of the girls saying these things are my age so I can't say "When I was their age I thought the same way" or "When I was their age I tried to prove my toughness", etc.

Going back a few posts I wrote how I just felt like I had to prove myself tough, or worthy of being taken serious. That was back when I was in highschool until about 20ish... These girls are in their mid 20's! I guess it takes some people longer, which is good because everyone is different! If everyone were the same life would get boring!

Back to the subject, I still am adventurous and I've found marriage and raising kids are the adventure of a lifetime! Anyone could go bungee jumping, but not everyone could stay married and have kids AND still have a life :) It's about balance.

Another point is now that I've had kids, they are my proof of my "toughness". I sure don't need to prove I'm tough to no one anymore! haha Having kids is a tough job, raising them is a tough job.

The benefits of being married and having kids are so much more and make the toughness seem like not tough. I don't know how to explain it! It's great and it has been the greatest and will be the greatest adventure I have ever been on! 

I hope the girls trying to prove their toughness, and naively thinking (as I did too!) that something small like Survivor or living in the bush would be an adventure. Hopefully they find themselves and get into life without having to prove themselves or prove themselves to their self (I'm sure that will make sense to someone!).

On another note I wanted to make two postings: One on Survivor (about) and another titled "Gratitude through Sorrow".

Monday we got our chicks in from a big name hatchery. Withing 24 hours 2 of my pullets died. I cried and I am still broken hearted about it. My husband didn't make fun of me for crying over a chick, instead he was quiet and just gave me a big hug. A hug was exactly, no more and no less, what I needed right then and there.
I can still find things to be thankful for in tough times. Yesterday I lost 3 more chicks. This morning I noticed another of my hopeful rare breed pullet chicks is acting like the others did before they died. Slow, lethargic,not running around peeping and pecking like a healthy chick should. I did some research online and found a good website online and I did not like what I read. It sounds like they are dying from either birth defects or an inherited disease that is showing up in the chicks. According to the web chicks dying from big hatcheries from a disease (that is neutralized by giving a vaccination against Mareks disease) is quite common.

Of all the chicks I've raised I've not lost one. Until now... I'm heartbroke. I've never lost so many animals in my life. 3 egg layer chick pullets and 2 male meat (leghorn) chicks. The meat birds do not show any sign of being sick, they just flip over dead. The pullets start acting lethargic then within an hour of showing lethargy they die. Before that they run around like normal chicks.

Well to make a long story short I found a hatchery with good prices and in the state. I also checked out reviews on them and I only found a handful of negatives compared to 40% for the hatchery I got my current chicks at. We ordered a few more chicks, 5 Cuckoos and 5 Egyptian's. Plus we ordered 2 ducks for my husband because he loves watching the ducks. I don't blame him, I prefer ducks too! I just don't like how their eggs taste hard-boiled. So I raise chickens for that! Ducks are our pets, I can't butcher ducks. We tried that already. They all ended up being our pets until the fox came and the neighbor dogs got lose...

Anyhow the gratitude part is that my husband let me get more chickens in replace of the ones that died! I am so thankful! I hand chose the breeds I did for their coloring, egg laying ability, and their temperament. I am heartbroke they died. I am really sad I didn't order any Golden Laced Wyandottes.... That little chick is dying and of course I cried about it this morning. I am still quite upset! I am so thankful I can get upset about something small and not having to worry about being made fun of. I'm thankful my husband can just give me a hug when I need it (what a great guy!) and let's me take another risk from another hatchery to get some more "dream chicks".  Since my Golden Wyandotte was healthy at the time and now will probably die I am going to keep an eye on Craigslist for an adult or pullet, or even a chick. Now that we placed our order already I can't afford to buy another 15 chicks! I am also going to keep an eye out for a Black Australorps. That chick died on me too and I decided to buy the Cuckoos and Egyptians since I couldn't afford a 3rd variety. Swap meets here I come!

It always helps looking for good in sorry situations. My diamond in the rough is my husband. So there is my two posts combined into a nutshell. Marriage and kids are the adventure of a lifetime and sometimes the things most thankful for are intertwined in our adventure!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Crafting Bliss

Last night my husband surprised me with roses, a card and dinner at home!!! Afterward he had to fix our truck and I was so tired so I stayed in the house instead of helping him. I watched a movie and crocheted a new wash cloth for myself. It was a new kind, smaller and I did an edging on it. Instead of the typical single crochet all the way around the edge I did two rows of single crochet. It really defined the wash cloth and made it look a little fancier that a typical house hold wash rag!

After I finished the wash cloth I decided to give the granny square another try. The first couple times I tried out the granny square (I want an afghan!) was very interesting. I finally figured out why! There are different types of granny squares! No one told me because I am learning by myself! I finally found a video on youtube that shows how to make the granny squares that I have been wanting to make. The ones I was making that didn't look like I wanted to, actually did look like they were supposed to! They are called a solid granny square. I want to make a traditional square!

Since I'm switching to natural fibers the resulting afghan should be pretty nice.

I want to start making afghans and blankets and donate them to orphanages. Here from the land of plenty (yeah, even though we are in a recession we are rich compared to most of the world) I can make the afghans as I get yarn.

Yesterday I found some rope so I hung it up on the clothes line! It was only enough for one strand so I have three more spots open to hang up rope. I dried a few clothes out there yesterday! I don't have clothespins so I was checking prices online then I realized I need a clothespin hanger.... So I looked through my daughters clothes that I was going to give away and found some old dresses. I made one into a clothespin hanger! I think I am on to something here. Old fashioned dresses no one would put their kid into these days make the absolute cutest clothespin hangers ever! I have a few more outfits I would like to make into clothespin hangers and my favorite one I will keep and the others I will put on my etsy store.

Since it has been warm enough I have been letting my chickens out of the coop and free range in the yard. They are so happy I am getting 3-4 eggs a day from 5 hens! Wow! Happy hens = happy eggs and lots of them!

The 5th hen we have is a Delaware. She is one hen I don't like at all. She isn't sweet and calm like our other hens. She is plucky, pecky, and an overall crab. I am hoping she will leave my kids alone this summer. Every time I go out to feed them she is the first one to greet me with a bunch of pecks at my feet. Good thing I wear boots! I push her out of the way and she comes back for more, then she has the guts to tell me off. ha, chickens! Hopefully these pullets I just got turn out to be sweethearts like the adult hens we have. I got a few different breeds and I am so excited to see how calm they are and everything. I am sure there are different personalities in each breed too so I will just have to keep that in mind! One thing for sure, I will not be buying anymore Delaware's no matter how neat they look! One of the sweetest hens (ok I had 2 favorites) was a Columbian Wyandotte that my old black lab killed on us, she was super calm so I got a pullet chick of that breed. My other favorite sweetheart was an Ameracauna purebred. Murray hatchery didn't have the showing kind so it's obviously a mixed breed of some sort but I still ordered a pullet chick of that breed. I will keep my eyes open for another purebred Ameracauna hen though!

I can hear my kids getting up so I will be signing off for another day in the country!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Beautiful Monday

Monday. A weekly day which signals the beginning of another traditional workweek for some.

For me Monday is my big cleaning day. Instead of dreading Mondays I actually looks forward to them! I like to call it "Cleaning Therapy". It is so relaxing to scrub away dirt. Some how cleaning actually helps me to think positive!

Today was an added blessing because we received our shipment of chicks!!! They gave us an extra chick for free! In addition to the free chick we were already going to get just for placing an order.

Watching my daughter's face when I put the chicks one by one into their "chick tub" was absolutely priceless!

It is a dream come true raising my kids out in the country with animals! My husband is so wonderful because he lets me have animals! He likes animal's as well but I love having animals! Ha, well anyhow we got the chicks all situated for now!

I feel today was really productive and the day is just flying by. During the kids naptime I went outside and oiled all my garden tools, cleaned out the feed shed, oiled my bridle and hung up all the halters I have so now the feed shed is all organized and clean.

The next thing and last thing on my list of things to get done today is to round up all the stuff I am getting rid of and be done with it. I got a book on bartering and I just don't have the patience to barter things. Besides, the things I have to barter with are mostly things that are low barter items. I will just donate what I can, throw out the rest and as I rummage this summer I will pick up cheap things that I could barter. 

I do not like my house to be cluttered. I don't mind knickknacks, but for goodness sake I like to keep it at a major minimum! For me, having a homey house is the feeling of openness, airiness, peacefulness, and relaxation. My husband and I have a very hard time relaxing when we feel claustrophobic from having too much stuff in the house.

A nice thing about hating clutter is I only have the bare necessities with a hint of indulgence. If I don't need something, why keep it around and have to clean around it. It just doesn't make sense to me to live like that.

Well I suppose, the lil one's are just up from their naps and are calling for "mama" so that's all for now!

Happy Valentines Day!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stand Firm

I was doing some reading in my Bible today and I decided to keep on reading after I got through "today's passage". It was pretty interesting.

Stand firm is repeated twice. In a row. I'm not a scholar but from what I do know of the time period when this passage was written was when something was repeated whoever said it wanted to make emphasis on it. In this case it's Stand firm.

After I read that it really jumped out to me. I know I have caught myself in this pattern of "When I get established here then I can reach out to others". Well that isn't what I just read. In fact it brings out a whole different concept.

If I am supposed to Stand firm, it doesn't mention I need to have roots to Stand Firm... I am just to Stand Firm.

hmmm.... Then I remembered a different passage. He is the vine and we are the branches.... Therefore if I am a branch and God is the vine that means He is my root. Since God is everywhere I have a "root" everywhere.

So I don't have to establish anything, I just have to sprout up and stand firm! That is "it"!

That was so encouraging and comforting to me. Just knowing that God is everywhere so my roots are everywhere. It doesn't matter where I live, I have roots there because God is there. He just wants me to "Stand Firm".

I guess that's kind of a spin off from the saying "Grow where you are planted", but this is so much better! When you say you are planted it means you are stuck there. I would rather be a branch standing firm and ready to go wherever the "Vine" takes me!

Are you ready to Stand Firm using the Root you already have or are you going to waste energy on "roots" that will never accomplish anything?


Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday, Monday

I am pleasantly surprised at how productive today was despite having 2 small teething kids. I got some laundry done, all the floors done, the "dining room" re organized... yeah I am pretty please right now.

Too bad the most important thing I wanted to do today was find my other checks.... I really need to find them. I did get a lot of extra stuff done in the process of trying to find out where they went off too but while that makes me happy I still didn't get to find those checks and I need to pay some bills! I will try again tomorrow. I would say I did enough today, well once I finish dinner that is :)

Tonight we are having lentil and tomato stew with homemade pita bread. Yum!

I can't wait!

I also have a new best friend. Farina muffins. Double yum!

I like farina muffins a lot better than a sweet cornbread muffin.

Well I am still working on that scarf, I only get to work on it maybe an hour at a time. I have about 4 hours into right now, which is really sad time wise. I am happy so far with the results and I am learning the triple crochet and coming up with my own pattern. I like it!

The other project that I finished is a horse's tail protector bag. Handy to have at shows or the fair. I have been putting a few of my things on etsy. I am going to make another tail protector bag, but this time for a male horse. It's going to be so neat I will have to post a picture of it, as long as it turns out!

We are still having car issues. I know it will get better someday. But again, we could deal with lemons the rest of our life! But we are making lemonade out of the lemons we have. It makes for a good laugh! Laughing about it really minimizes the stress of the situation and makes it seem like less of a problem. Kind of like an "oh well" and get on with your day!

That is the kind of stuff to keep yourself young. Laugh, don't frown.

Signing off for today so I can finish my pita's-

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A smile in your hand

One of our hens started laying again! Every other day I look forward to another egg from her! Our other 2 year old hens still haven't started laying again and I will give them until spring/early summer before they end up in my freezer.

It's so neat how something so small is so looked forward too. Every time I go out there on the day I should get an egg, I look forward to it! It's like holding spring time in my hands as I walk back to the house to put my treasure in the egg carton.

Not this weekend, but the next we will be getting our order from the hatchery of 30-31 brand new little chicks! 25 are for meat, 5 are to renew our flock of layers and apparently with every order of 25 or more they give you a free exotic chick. That will be interesting to see what we end up with! I hope it's a hen.
Our rooster count is already 4 and I really don't want anymore. I actually would like to downsize to 2. One is a rooster we got from an egg we incubated and the other is a really pretty Barred Rocks rooster. He is HUGE! The other 2 roosters that I don't want are just Rhode Island Reds. Mean little peckers, although I think they have learned to not attack me, I am worried about them spurring and pecking my little kids this summer.

I can't believe how fast this week is flying by. I need to prepare for our new chicks, I need to organize and get rid of all the extra's we have in our house. I hate clutter. I feel like we have too much clutter, even though I know we really don't have too much clutter if I haven't used something in a year, why keep it around? If I do need to use something like it, I am sure I can find someone to borrow whatever the item is and return it to them. Then I don't have to have something extra lying around my house!

I think that is a good project to do today. After, of course, I do my dishes :)

Then I can either give away, barter, or sell the extra items. I want to be totally finished by March. That gives me just about a month albeit a short month to get my house in order for spring. Once it gets warmer out there will be painting, cleaning, building things outside. I am going to fix up the inside of the chicken coop, insulate it, put real walls in it, wall paper it, paint it like a mini house! I am going to paint the fence white again, repaint the horse shed, and repaint the trim on the out buildings here to spruce it up. By the time I get the painting done, if the spring rains give me a break to paint and let it dry that is, then it will be time to plant my garden! I am looking for fencing options to keep the woodland rascals out of my garden so I can get the produce I need out of it :) I'm not running a B&B for the forest animals! I don't get to claim crop damage from deer from my little plot of corn, so I have to be pro-active about it.

Well I suppose I am going to get off the computer and get organizing. One room at a time!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Purusing Actions

I decided to get crafty again so I made a horse tail protector! All I need to do to finish it is put some velcro on it in order to fasten it over the tail. I'm calling it country chick. haha

At night, since this past month has been chaos and my husband has been working insanely to get a vehicle to run for him to get to work and back cheaper and more efficiently at night when he gets home, I have been chilling out with my crochet project: a nifty little scarf!

I know how to single crochet but now I learned how to double AND triple crochet and I am putting it all together to make a neat patterned scarf!

So far I have put in 4 hours of work. I am almost half done. Just because I said I learned how to crochet, doesn't mean I am fast at it yet! :)

At Bible study on Sunday night  one of the ladies was telling us of her struggle to quit work so she can be the wife and mom she has wanted to be for years. Interesting. I too want to stay at home and take care of my kids. I also feel a strong pull to find work outside the home to help out. After much thought before I heard that and much thought after I heard what she said I really think what my husband and I are doing are what is best for us. Sure, no one ever said living on one income would be easy, but that is where me staying at home could be our advantage! I think in the long run God will bless us for our efforts to raise our kids up to be moral citizens of the country. I think I can do a better job teaching my kids to be a law-abiding citizen than a daycare or public school could. Even though I know there are many, many fantastic teachers and daycare employees who touch many lives in a positive way I still think I can do a better job. After all they are MY kids!

It's been an incredibly tough month. We spent over half our income on fuel for my husband to get to work and back. Most of our bills will have to be paid double this month so we are looking forward to getting our tax refund this month since we filed as soon as we got all our W-2's in. We are really working on getting caught up and getting out of debt completely this year. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel despite the hole we are in right now. I am resting in God that everything will be worked out and I know He will work everything out to His glory :)  After all, its a promise He gave us in the bible!

Despite resting on the promises, I had a breaking moment today. I found out the propane company cashed our check but didn't put it towards our account... After hearing that "I never gave them a payment" I broke down and cried. That was the straw that broke the camel's back. I did send them a payment and so I went to the bank and wouldn't you know they cashed the check. I was so emotionally exhausted I just came home after the bank, thankful that their stamp is on the back of that check so I can prove I did send them a check. What they did with the money, that is their problem. This month when it's time to pay them I am going to go in there in person, with the payment AND a copy of the cashed check and then I will take care of the problem. Today was not the day to fix the problem. The lady at the bank said sometimes they accidentally put the money towards someone else's account if they have a similar name. Well again, that is there problem and I won't worry about it. I'm just satisfied that they did cash my check and I have the proof so I can rest easy on that and just deal with it when its time for their monthly payment.

Well all I can do is look ahead towards the future and I am so thankful we start out the year in winter. Spring is such a wonderful time of the year! A new beginning, fresh start is coming and for me, that truly will be the start of a new year:) It will signal the end of a very harsh winter (not weather speaking) and spring is when hope sprouts up and blossoms!!! I can surely be thankful for that!

I want to end with a quote I read on my tea box last night that I really enjoyed.

"Sweet is the breath of vernal shower, The bee's collected treasures sweet, Sweet music's melting fall, but sweeter yet: The still small voice of gratitude." ~Thomas Gray

I know what I am thankful for today: Hope for a fresh start, Hope for spring, Hope for spending a wonderful summer outdoors in the country with my wonderful little family! Who have I thanked today for my wonderful things? My husband for loving me, God for blessing me beyond my dream's ever could have dreamed!

What are you thankful for today? Who have you thanked today?