Where has the time went?

13-11-08snow

Fall leaves by the garden a few years ago.

It’s the last day of September.  How can tomorrow be October?  I love fall, it is my favorite season, but it seems summer slipped by somehow.

It is a bit odd not to be harvesting from the garden.  We didn’t purposely leave it fallow, we really did intend to put in a great garden this year.  It just got put off by so many other things.  In the end, leaving it fallow isn’t a bad thing for the garden, but I do miss the fun of reaping the harvest of what we planted.  Now it needs to be cleaned up and prepped so that we can be ready for spring.

But we do have eggs.  Our three hens Marigold, Lucy, and Izzy are laying some beautiful eggs and they are such fun to have around.  It is time to start buttoning down the coop and run for winter and start making plans for what we need to do.  Since this is our first winter with chickens it will be a lot of trial and error for us.  I’d love to hear some winter tips from experienced chicken owners.

13-08-08harvest

One of our past harvests.

We might not have a harvest from our garden, but now that it is cooler I will still be doing a bunch of canning, freezing and dehydrating.  We can get some produce here locally (golly the prices have gone way up since last year!!) and we’ll be getting meat as we find some good deals.  Apples are in season so I want to start off with that, and I’ll see what deals I can find locally.  I also want to try using the apple scraps to make apple cider vinegar.  We’ll see.

The end of summer has brought a real struggle with my health.   I’ve been having a real battle with my asthma and all the medication that goes along with that really scares me.  Fall is always harder for me anyway because there is a lot of leaf burning around here and the smoke seems to hang in the air.  I really want to find some good ways to help my asthma that would reduce the medication or maybe even eliminate the need for it.  I can hope.  I have tried a lot of stuff but have never really seen any benefits.  The biggest thing I know I need to do is get back to eating healthy and avoiding foods I know do not help…like dairy and sugar.

6thgrade

Throwback, first day of 6th grade.

Homeschooling is also in full swing.  Hard to believe it is the last year.  Also hard to believe that we homeschooled 12 years.  Wasn’t always easy, but I would do it all over again.  It is going to be weird hanging up this chapter of our life and not homeschooling next year.  I also can’t wait to see what God has in store for our son as he moves on to college.

That is it for now, off to do some chores around the house.  Until next time, I hope you have a wonderful and blessed day!  Grace and peace….

Spring Has Froze

Greetings from cold and snowy Indiana!  Spring is struggling to get going this year and our spring projects are a bit slower than we had planned.  In my cup this morning is regular old coffee with stevia and almond milk.

DSCN3224-webreadyOne of our projects was to build a backyard chicken coop for the chickie babies.  Not so much babies anymore…they are all feathered in now and getting big.  But they are growing fast and outgrowing the dog cage they are in.  We have all the supplies for the coop…just waiting for the weather to cooperate.  So far our diva dog Pepper has been very good with them, so we are hoping she will turn out to be a good protector and not an antagonist.
I had hoped to get the early spring garden in but again, trying to work around the weather has made it a
challenge.  pantryMy seed starting indoors was a
big failure and I haven’t had a chance to redo the heirloom tomatoes and peppers I wanted to start. Are you seeing a pattern?  lol  Even so, God is in control so in His capable hands I will leave it all and just take things one day at a time.

One of the indoor projects that we did finish turning a spare closet into pantry.  Hubby and son work hard and got it finished and I got it filled it up.  It is so nice being able to have everything in one place now…and fairly organized.  They did a great job!  Our washer also sprung a leak and thankfully hubby and son were able to fix that as well saving us from having to buy a new washer.  We are also waiting for better weather to finish the roof.
Another things I’ve been up to is I have been slowly working on restarting my craft business.  I had it going successfully for a long time, then decided to pull the plug grayshawl1when it (and other things) started taking a toll on my health.  Things have changed a lot in the short few years since I stopped and since I want to do this right I am not rushing things.  The most time consuming part for me is taking pictures of everything and listing them.  I have lots to list so taking pictures, editing and listing is a slow process.  Despite that I find myself enjoying this much more than I ever have.

That’s it for now.   I hope all is well where you are, I’d love to hear how your spring is going.   Until next time, grace and peace!

Psalm 51:1-2
Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.

 

What We’re Up To

I won’t be spending much time online this week…we have a HUGE DIY project going on right now and I’m helping as much as my health will allow.  I’m also trying to decide what subject to classify this as for homeschooling.  *grin*  I’ll share some more pics soon.  Grace and peace!
2015Oct19roof

Colossians 3:23-24 – And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Christians and Politics

Colossians 3:2 – Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

mybibleI don’t get political very often but I personally think many Christians are way too political. Clear as mud, huh? Let me explain. Our purpose as followers of Christ is to be sharing God’s love and His Gospel with everyone we meet, not our political views. And when we do happen to share our political views, they should be seen through God’s Word. You see, we do not live, but Christ lives within us. Even our thoughts should be captive to His obedience…

2 Corinthians 10:4-6 – For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

We should be standing up for the Gospel, preaching the Gospel so that all will hear, and lovingly holding those accountable who say they are Christians yet go against the Gospel. John MacArthur says “America’s moral decline is a spiritual problem, not a political one, and its solution is the gospel, not partisan politics.” Christ said His kingdom is not of this world, and in Christ ours isn’t either. We shouldn’t be out to reform our government, we should be out to reform hearts and souls of citizens for Jesus Christ. Does that mean we shouldn’t be involved in politics at all?  No, but being about our Father’s business is to be our priority in every aspect of our lives, including voting.  Politics doesn’t save anyone’s soul regardless of who is elected.  The message of the Gospel does.  That alone will have more impact on our government than anything we can do politically. I think politics actually drives a wedge between Christians and non-Christians…and even between Christians and Christians.  I finally felt God convicting me.  “Are you working harder to gain votes for a particular person or push a political agenda or are you working harder to gain souls for My Kingdom and push the Gospel message?”  Pray for our country, not that we become a Christian nation, but a nation full of Christians.  There is a big difference.

For the longest time I’ve felt pretty awkward when it comes to the subject of politics because I just couldn’t put beliefs into words. While I lean Anabaptist, I don’t agree with everything they do. I recently came across a sermon series from John MacArthur that pretty much summed up what I believe politically according to the Bible. Even if you don’t agree…I’d love to know what you think.

The Christian’s Responsibility to Government Part 1
The Christian’s Responsibility to Government Part 2
The Christian’s Responsibility to Government Part 3
The Christian’s Responsibility to Government Part 4

A little bit of everything….

20141007leaves

Taking a break from working on homeschool planning (yes, still working on that) to type out a little update.

Fall is here, the weather is cooling down and it is time to have the windows closed more often.  This is a great time to deep clean the house and get rid of a lot of dust that has built up over the summer.  It is a slow process, but just sticking with my regular cleaning plan and add some extra cleaning is making it manageable.  Last week I pulled the bed apart and vacuumed everything.  Oh the dust!  My asthma went crazy and I had to put on a dust mask.  You’d never believe I had done the same in the spring with all that dust.  Whew!  Today is Tuesday and my Living Room/Dining Room cleaning day.  It isn’t in my nature to clean, my mother was a cleanie and I didn’t inherit that gene.  Having a good cleaning schedule keeps me focused.  I’d really like to get behind the sectional sofa and clean, but it is a beast and I’ll need hubby’s help.  That will wait for an open weekend where we don’t have anything going on.  So instead I’ll clean out the closet and get all the winter gear ready to use.

The garden is winding down.  I am waiting on a few tomatoes and all those plants will get pulled out.  The fall broccoli and spinach are doing great..at least the spinach that came up.  I planted a large patch of spinach and only half came up.  But at least I’ll have some.  In the raised bed up by the house is a volunteer tomato plant that started growing in mid summer.  That bed is where I grow lettuce and such.  In an effort to try and have more fresh tomatoes later in the season, the bed is now covered.  Not sure how this will effect the lettuce, but I’m hoping the tomatoes do well.  We’ll see.

I have been bad all summer about making menus.  I used to make them a month at a time since we shop monthly.  Somewhere down the line I let it go and have been winging it.  Hubby and I both agreed that it isn’t working for us.  Our grocery budget has increased and we have been eating out more since meal planning has stopped.  That is hard on the budget.  And because we have some big ticket project we are working on (for example, a new roof) getting back on budget is a must and planning out meals is a big part of that.  One of the things I’ve done to help me is to give each day of the week a meal category.  It makes planning meals for the whole month much easier.  Here are my categories:

Mondays:  Casseroles/Crockpot
Tuesdays:  International
Wednesdays:  Pastas
Thursdays:  Breakfast 4 Dinner/New Recipes
Fridays:  Finger Foods/Fish/Date Night
Saturdays:  Soups/Salads/Sandwiches
Sundays:  Roasts/Sunday Suppers

I’ve been making homemade yogurt for a long time, and the last time I made it I added gelatin.  The reason for this was hubby likes the thicker yogurt and I usually drain the whey after I make it.  It seemed a waste though losing all that protein.  So after some research I found a recipe that added gelatin to thicken the yogurt keeping the whey.  It seemed all right at first.  Hubby said it had a different texture that he wasn’t sure he liked.  I usually make yogurt with a gallon of milk at a time since we go through it so quickly.  (Since it is dairy, I don’t eat it.  Only hubby and son do.)  But hubby said that it got bitter and that he didn’t care for it.  After a busy weekend which included a trip out of state, I began making hubby’s lunch for work that Monday morning only to find the yogurt molding.  ACH!!  Never had that happen before.  I may have done something wrong, but that was half of that batch of yogurt going to waste.  So from here on out I’ll go back to the way I was doing it and drain the whey after it is made.  Thoughts?

We live at least 30 minutes from Walmart, 60 minutes from all other city shopping.  I truly hate shopping at Walmart, so it is worth it for me to drive the additional miles to get to Meijer and other big shopping stores.  This really puts a crimp in shopping sales and using coupons.  Back when we lived in Michigan in the city and close to all sorts of shopping, it was easy to hit all the sales and coupon as needed.  I was an extreme couponer before it was cool!  I was really excited to find out that they are building a Meijer store within 30 minutes away!  This just might allow me to get back to shopping sale ads and couponing.  Maybe not once a week, but maybe twice a week.  So I went online to coupons.com to see what coupons they had.  I was a little disappointed that there were only a couple coupons that we would use.  One was for shave cream that hubby uses, the other was for Mucinex.  I think it is great when people can play the game and get free things like toothpaste (I have even got money back in the past), but when you only use fluoride free toothpaste, there isn’t as much savings.  I don’t think I’m going to walk away with a cart full of couponing gems for $5, but every little bit helps, right?

I’ve stalled again on my decluttering.  While I do have a pile ready to be donated, I haven’t added much to it.  I’m hoping this weekend we can make a run to the mission to drop what I do have off and start again.  The holiday season is fast approaching and I’m starting to think of all the decorations that just sit and take up space in the garage most of the year.  I have been putting out less and less decorations for the past few years and I think I’m ready to start letting things go.  It isn’t easy in today’s world to minimize holidays when every thing out there screams at us to indulge more and more.  Fall decorations as of right now is a wreath on the door.  I haven’t pulled anything else out…and I’m all right with that.  It is much less stressful, not to mention cheaper in the long run.  Have you thought about minimizing your holiday decorations?

After being without a second vehicle for a couple years, we were finally able to pick up a new-to-us vehicle.  Hubby has the commuter car for the hour drive to work, and I have the big work vehicle for us here at home.  This will allow me to take care of more errands during the week freeing hubby to get more projects done on the weekend.  A win-win!  And hubby is happy that he is back to having a vehicle that will pull the fishing boat.  Priorities!  😉

Well, that was a ramble and not so little.  I have to get back to work now, hope your day is blessed and productive.  Grace and peace!

 

 

A Little More About Me…

mothersday

One of my favorite pictures of me and my son taken on Mother’s Day several years ago.

I know I have an About Me page, but was recently challenged to go a little deeper.

I was born in Detroit, raised in the Detroit area and moved to Indiana with my husband a little over 10 years ago. It was a big change going from a big city to a small Amish town of just over 1000 people. In my blog description I describe myself as a devoted wife of 20 years, mother and homeschool teacher to our 15 year old blessing, keeper of the home, maker of meals, tender of the gardens, prepper of the pantry, reader of cookbooks, pursuer of simplicity, stretcher of budgets, worker of hand crafts, chaser of dogs, watcher of birds, sipper of tea, drinker of too much coffee, student of the Scriptures, lover of Jesus, struggling Proverbs 31 and aspiring Titus 2 woman.  Really, that about sums it up.

I honestly never though I would be married let alone a stay at home wife and mom, but God had other plans. Looking back I can see how He cleverly crafted everything in my life to get me to this point. He is an AMAZING God! He took a lost little lamb trying desperately to fit in anywhere, and showed me that He had a plan for me all along that was a perfect fit.

I am head covering (mostly), and dress wearing (mostly). It’s a path that God set me on after our son was born when I heard a teaching about modesty. Nobody ever talked about that before and it really resonated. As I read and studied the Bible God began moving and convicting, and my wardrobe began changing.  It wasn’t easy because most of the Christians I knew didn’t understand.  I wasn’t trying to be plain, boring or frumpy.  I wasn’t even trying to be hip or trendy.  I was just trying to be feminine and modest.  There is just something about long, flowy dresses and skirts that really appeals to me. Always has.  I don’t think God intended us women to dress very plain (no offense to those who do), I don’t see anything he created as plain.  Simple, yes, but not plain.  My husband certainly does not like when I dress plain.  But I also don’t think God wants us to dress flashy to get attention.  As a married woman I certainly should not be dressing to be noticed by other men.  But I do want to be attractive and noticed by husband.

I have always been quiet and shy. Conversation and interaction with people especially one on one is almost torture to me. God has gifted me with a husband who is quite social, friendly, and very understanding, and he takes the lead in these situations and puts me at ease. I am so glad that our son takes after him.

I love to listen. I many not be the most active participant in a conversation, but I’m very attentive. I really enjoy hearing differing points of view and why people hold to what they believe. This often takes me into the Bible to where I can let the Holy Spirit clarify things. Sometimes it strengthens my beliefs, sometimes it changes it.

I find myself uncomfortable with the modern American church. The more I read and study the Bible, the more I seem to be uncomfortable with it. I feel like the church is trying too hard to be just like the world. This makes it hard to find a solid Bible believing, teaching and following Church. Instead of reading and studying the Bible, they read and study all sorts of books about the Bible.  I think the best book for Bible study is the Bible itself.  There are far too many Bible study and devotional books out there that have not stood the test of time.  It seems that anyone and everyone with some form of visibility to the Christian community is writing them. I’m not saying we shouldn’t use them, but the Church has lost discernment as a result of becoming Biblically illiterate. We follow popular people and books over the Bible and trust them because they call themselves “Christian”, and have stopped testing what they say/teach/write against what the Bible itself says.

I am passionate about all things home.  I was a born slob, but I’m slowly getting more organized and decluttered in my life and home. I long for simplicity.  I actually like ironing and washing dishes by hand.  I really do love being a stay-at-home wife and mom.  I often feel alone though, because our society has been brainwashed into devaluing the role of homemaker. It stuns me to see how negative people are to me when they find out I don’t work outside the house in a “real” job. Yes, I could be out in the workforce earning a decent paycheck and increasing our standard of living. But instead I am the Manager of my home, running this homestead, making the best from what we have, and increasing our quality of life.

I used to be a night owl. I’d stay up late doing craft projects or reading. Now I enjoy getting up with hubby in the mornings, getting his breakfast and coffee and helping him get off to work. I never see it as a chore, it’s time I treasure with just the two of us while our son sleeps. It would be so easy to climb back into bed after hubby leaves, but taking advantage of that quiet time in the morning is a gift. It isn’t long after that our son wakes up and we get the day started.

We are parents of an only child.  I always wanted a big family.  My aunt had 13 children.  After 5 years of marriage God blessed us with a son.  And he IS a blessing. While we would gladly accept more children if God chose to bless us that way, we are so thankful to be the parents of the child He did give us.

Random things people may not know: I play flute. I took 2 years of auto mechanics in high school. I’m terrified of flying – flew to Chicago and called hubby to come get me because I was too afraid to fly back.  I love archery. I hate tomatoes and peas…which are hubby’s favorite. I went to the same school as rapper Eminem (he was there right after I graduated) and my old stopping grounds included 8 Mile. I can’t whistle.  Potatoes are my favorite food group. *grin*  I call it pop. I once entered a demolition derby, but my car wouldn’t start the day of so I couldn’t actually participate.  My baked beans always turn out awful.  Two of my favorite singers are Johnny Cash and Boxcar Willie. I have asthma. My favorite flower is a daisy. I love peanut butter cups. My dream is to raise chickens and sheep. I’m a distant relative to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s husband Almanzo Wilder. The Little House series of books were my favorite growing up. My favorite hymn is The Love of God.  My current favorite Scripture is all of Psalm 91: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.”

That’s enough, huh?  Off to get back to work!  Grace and peace!