Catching Up

Since my blog posting has been sporadic over the past year I thought I would do a brief update and catch everyone up on what has been going on here @ home.  I did post more regularly on my Instagram and my Facebook page, I hope you’ll check them out.

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My husband’s cousin and her children.

Last year was really busy with all sorts of things: family, health, home, schooling etc. We had several family members going through various trials, one of the biggest was the loss of hubby’s cousin to ovarian cancer. Such a beautiful woman lost too early to a cancer that there isn’t much awareness for. She had been going to doctors for a year trying to find out what was going on before she was diagnosed. We are heartbroken, continuing to pray for her children and family as they learn to live without her. My own health has been an issue over the past year, mainly my asthma. I have had asthma since I was a young child and this past fall was probably the worst it’s ever been, and making some drastic dietary and supplement changes have helped dramatically. The main change for me was getting serious about eliminating dairy. We have also worked on filtering the air better to help keep the dust down.

Our home has so many projects going on, but when money is tight you have to be selective on what gets done and what gets put off. We still don’t have a working dryer but we took advantage of the mild winter we had used the clothes line when we could. Those times where we couldn’t we could haul laundry to the local laundromat. I don’t mind hanging the clothes up, but the challenge was trying not to trigger an asthma attack while doing it. This summer we are hoping to get some painting done, replace several windows and our doorwall, get our rain barrels going again, and more. We’ll see how the budget shakes out as to how far we get.

Our internet was cut. This was a HUGE adjustment. I didn’t realize how dependent I was on it and that made me uncomfortable. While I do want to be connected, I don’t want to be dependent. I’m not able to keep up with blogs and channels as much as I used to, but I am now spending more time reading real books. Cutting the internet and land line was a big help to our budget. Having the cell phones with limited data has been great overall and I’m not really sure if we’ll go back to having internet.

Noah

Homeschool Senior

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Class of 2017

Homeschooling has been bitter sweet. This is our last year of homeschooling. Our son will graduate shortly. This past year has been full of wrapping up one journey and preparing for another. It’s hard for me to believe that I did it…I homeschooled him from kindergarten right through to graduation. He’s looking forward to pursuing a career in Information Security and I’m excited to see him spread his wings. Bitter sweet. Mama loves her baby.

weedsWe had so much going on last year we never got around to getting the garden started, so we left it fallow. This year it is overgrown and needs a good taming. While we are a little behind in getting that part done, all the raised beds are planted and growing. Not everything is heirloom this year, but I am looking forward to growing, harvesting and preserving what we do grow.

Our Daisy dog is now a year old. What a challenge and a joy she has been. She is such a sweet dog, but she is just full of energy it is hard to keep up. daisyTennis balls are her absolute favorite toy and she loves to have you throw them for her. She still chases the chickens once in a while, but she is learning. Pepper dog is quite protective of them and Daisy is slowly learning from her. Unlike Pepper, we haven’t done a good job of socializing Daisy with people and we do have to work on that. I’m happy to accept any tips for that.

The pantry. Pretty empty. We did stock with some store bought food, but we miss our home canned food. My first canning of the year was some pork we got on sale. I’m hoping to get things like beans done now before things get busy and the weather gets warm.

beadsMy Etsy shop has been opened about a year now and it is nice to have an opportunity to share my hobby with others. I really enjoy doing craft shows and art fairs, but they are a lot of work and take a lot of time. While I miss meeting the people at the shows, it has been fun to send my work off to people far away…even as far as Australia.

Hope you enjoyed this highlight. I’m off to get laundry going. I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to. Feel free to comment and let me know, or share a link to a blog post.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

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Rainy Garden Update

weatherrainIt rained almost every day last week, and looks like it will be a rainy week coming up.  Seems like we are getting a lot of rain.  It isn’t flooding like in some areas, but the ground is saturated saturated and we’re expecting more rain.  My garden plants are asking for a dry spell.  Too much rain (or any over watering) can lead to all sorts of garden problems like rot, leaf spots, mildew and other types of disease, wash out minerals from the soil, increase pests and even stunt plant growth and reduce your harvest.  I’m seeing some leaves yellow on tomatoes and peppers, but nothing serious yet.  I like to put a good mulch around my plants…I’m wondering if I should pull some of it out until the weather is a little dryer.

But as a whole, the garden is doing fine.  And the weeds are doing great!  *sigh*  Hope your garden is growing well!

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Early spinach bolting.

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Lettuce is really starting to grow. Heirloom Slobolt and Red Romaine.

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Onions. A few white onions going to seed. See all the tomato weeds??

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Something is eating the onion tops. I think rabbits, but they have never bothered them before.

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Peppers starting to bloom, but all the rain is turning the leaves yellow.

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One of my volunteer tomatoes…with bean weeds.

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Herb garden…needs a good clean up.

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New strawberry plants are giving us a few strawberries. Should be a great harvest next year!

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The new bean bed. Not sure if you can see the bird netting, but it is keeping the rabbits out.

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Beans, peas and cucumbers at the very end. Bird netting on this bed also.

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The only planter I have going for veggies this year. This has happy peas.

Happy New Year!

I know it’s a little late, but I have been pretty busy here @ home just being wife and mom.

The new year is always a great time to look back and review how far we’ve come and reevaluate where we are going.  This past year has seen many changes and trials for ourselves and our family, and there have been many changes in our world as well.

One of the things that I’ve been battling for a long time is the clutter in my life.  Not just physical clutter, but life clutter.  I have come far pursuing old fashioned simplicity , but I still have a long way to go.   I’m not trying to live in the past, I’m just trying to keep from being overwhelmed by this fast paced, high tech world.  I’m not prepping for a zombie attack, I’m not trying to be totally self sufficient, I’m not trying to be green, nor am I trying to live a very spartan life.  I just want to slow down a bit, turn down the chaos and be purposeful and meaningful in the things I do.

Acts-20-24 – But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

One of the most important things for me is living my life for Christ and not for myself.  I admit that this hasn’t always been the priority.  It is easy to get caught up in living my life and really only focusing on my faith when there are problems.  I want to be different, set apart, belonging to God.  There aren’t very many good examples to follow in today’s Christianity.  Thankfully we do have good examples like Paul in the Bible.   I want to glorify God in everything I do, as fallible as it is.

Worship

1 Corinthians 10:31-33 – Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

1 Corinthians 11:1 – Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

I’m not even sure I’m really making sense.  While I know what I want to do and where I want to be, I don’t necessarily know how to get there.  I will fail, but I will not stop trying and with God’s help hopefully even when I fall I can still point people to Him.

It’s Officially Cold…and…

…I officially have a cold.  I’ve been down for a few days, I felt awful but I’m starting to feel better.  One of the worst parts for me about getting sick is that the chores tend to get backed up.  Laundry, dishes, all sorts of things that I’m behind on.  So today is a catch up day for me now that I am feeling somewhat better.

winter2The weather hasn’t been bad, but for me it is an adjustment to get used to the colder weather.  The heater is now going all the time and to keep the bills from going off the charts I keep the thermostat set at 66°F or about 19ºC (much lower at night).  It isn’t cold, but it isn’t warm either.  Yes, I’m a whimp.  It takes a little time to get back into the routine of socks, slippers and layers of clothes.  I have a feeling that our winter here in Indiana is going to be very similar to the cold, snowy winter we had last year.

Today’s agenda is mainly catching up on all the chores that have back up for the last several days.  Pretty bad when it seems every dish is dirty.  If I can manage to make progress, I may even try to make some homemade yogurt.  I love yogurt so having to be dairy free is a bummer.  But hubby and son love yogurt so I still make it for them.  Once in a while I’ll splurge and get a container of non-dairy yogurt.  But is really isn’t the same.  *sigh*  I also still have quite a few apples left.  I’m hoping to make a pie, and then maybe make more applesauce with the rest.  I used the Sauce Master to make the applesauce this year and my son gave the applesauce a big thumbs down.  He says the consistency is way too smooth and he won’t eat it.  This coming from the least picky eating child ever.  So I may make a small batch of chunky applesauce just for him.  Not sure if I will try it again next year with a larger screen or not.  We’ll see.  My last big projects that have yet to be done are getting our air conditioners out and cleaning out the garage so hubby can start parking the car in there.  I had hoped to get them done over the weekend, but with me not feeling well and hubby up to his ears in home projects (like the gutter in the front of the house that fell after a really hard rain) they weren’t a priority.  The garage has been his work space so I’ll have to wait until his other projects are done before we can reclaim the garage for the car.

Dinner tonight is going to be chicken, rice and broccoli.  My menu got a little rearranged since we opted for easy, non-menu meals while I was sick.  So the nice Sunday chicken dinner from yesterday is replacing the chicken leftovers that were scheduled for tonight.  If you plan a menu of meals for your family, how do you handle unexpected circumstances that upend your plans?  Do you have spare or alternate meals planned just in case?  Do you just rearrange your menu as you go?  I’d love to hear how you do it.

Time to reboot the dryer with load number three.  Hope your day is blessed.  Grace and peace….