Monday, January 30, 2012

A Day Away....

So the Mr. has been working extra side jobs for the past few months. And while we are Thankful to God for the extra income, we have been super busy with it all.

So for the Mister's birthday we decided to spend a day away.   So last Friday, we had planned  on getting everything all ready and packed when we had an extended family emergency.  The Mr. had landed another side job that he was sure he would have done Friday night, but as circumstance would have it. It wasn't done until mid Saturday morning. 

I'd say around 11am Saturday morning we finally were headed out to our favorite place to be. Lancaster County.  We arrived to the our camper, made sure the heat was working and did a quick set up. We can only stay one night b/c we have no access to water right now at the campground.  But that's OK, we only needed one night/day to spend as a family and get some good quality time in. :)

We went for dinner, did a Wal-Mart run and the back to camper for games, snuggling and a few hours of Little House on The Prairie. :)

Sunday morning around 6:30 am we awoke to the heater turning on and off. That translates to, we ran out of propane!! Burr... we headed off to get more before the kids realized it was cold in the camper! :)  After coming back with the propane for heat, we had our coffee outside, while Amish buggy after Amish buggy drove past, as they headed to their church services.

We then woke the kids and headed out to church ourselves. What a wonderful time of refreshment!!!  We were invited to stay for a lunch fellowship and had a great time.

We went for a hike in the brisk air, headed back to our home away from home for a wee little nap, and then packed up to head home again.

But for dh's birthday we stopped at Cracker Barrel for supper, and we're met by dh's cousin and his family.

All in all we had  a wonderful weekend. We came home with 14 gallons of raw milk.  And refreshed souls.

 Isaiah 61:10
I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.


Blessings~~

From My Heart to Yours!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Matthew!!

Fourteen years ago today... On a Superbowl Sunday..we welcomed our second child, and first born son Matthew James in to this world.

Matt had a bit of a rough start in life. He was extremely jaundice and needed to be kept under the bililights for a week straight!

After that he struggled with a herniated belly button and severe colic. There were many of nights where we just drove his little butt all around town! The car was the ONLY thing that soothed him. :)

Today...... He is a handsome, hard working, always on the go, MacGyver, fix everything, type of kid. He's extremely hands-on, and can pretty much fix, take apart and put back together anything he gets his hands on!! (That comes from Big Daddy) Super funny, and fun-loving. Not spontaneous at all!! Yet super creative!

He is the love of his little sisters life. She adores him, and when she was born he "claimed" her as "his".  They have a beautiful brother/sister relationship!

Even tho.. Matt can be gruff and tough.. deep down he is a sensitive soul.

And although he is bigger then his mama, he still snuggles with me like he did when he was little.  And I love that!!! :)

So Happy Birthday to my scooter riding, skateboarding, air soft playing, dirt bike riding, guitar playing, wood working, video gaming, junk collecting, Christmas lighting, fishing, crabbing, archery, hunting,always in need of a shave,   outdoorsy BOY!!!










You are all boy, and not having a brother I had no idea what I was in for!!!

I love you much!!!

Mommy

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Modern Day Servants, Blessing or Burden?

I've been pondering this topic for a few weeks now.  My dryer has been out of commission for about a month now. On a typical day I do 4 load of wash! So you can imagine the pile up. :) Lucky for me we've been having a pretty mild winter. More nice days then not nice days.  So the clothes line has been in good use. Hanging laundry for me when I'm alone is so peaceful. I thank God for the clothes, I thank God for the children who are wearing them. Sometimes I get helpers or just little ones who wanna chat with me while I hang. :)

Since the Mr. and I are pretty frugal, and he has purchased a few replacement parts already. But we haven't solved the issue. The Mr. wants it done as in yesterday... I am enjoying not having the dryer. I love to hang stuff on the line, and when it's yukky out, I've been using indoor drying racks. Purchased at Wal-Mart but Made in the USA!!!!!  I would love, love, love, one of these....http://www.homesteaddryingracks.com/ 
but haven't purchased one just yet!!!

After having a rather large debate about paper plates being proper or not. My dishwasher died! I hear God snickering, I really do! ;)  However, again this has been a blessing. I got some really cute rubber gloves, the dishes are done immediately after a meal...and.... usually one of my kids will come stand next to me while I wash, and either start to dry or just talk to me. By putting things in the dishwasher, we load and walk away, usually in separate directions.. This has brought us a little closer. We're having conversation we wouldn't normally be having. It's a real relaxing time too.



And to top it all off, the Mr. just fixed my suburban. We were out of commission for about 3 weeks. We did a lot of walking. Again a fun family time. And I learned some shortcuts.  While I loved not having a truck to drive. I am sooo happy that is fixed. We do a lot of nature walks and park adventures! :)

So while my modern day servants are down, I find that I am spending more quality time with my kids by taking the time to do the chores the old fashioned way.

We are currently  in a season of being dead broke! The economy has taken it's toll on my husband profession. Financially we have to repair what is broken ourselves, wait a while and do without. Now, don't get me wrong, while our season of finances is low... Our time with our family is grand, we are in a season of growth and plenty.  It's not about new washers or dishwashers.. It's about the time spent with our children and finding the enjoyment in what we do have.

Trusting the the Lord with all things, and being grateful to him in all circumstances.

From My Heart to Yours.

~Blessings~~

Monday, January 23, 2012

Our Saturday...

So, the other day was a typical winter day here! Finally!!! We've been having such a mild winter this far. It was nice to have some snow, unfortunately it turned to sleet/rain.

However, it was a stay at home, craft, be lazy, be together type of day.

So Big Daddy and I headed out to the grocery store from something to stick in the crock pot! and then the rest of day was ours.

Ashley and I worked on this Victorian Kissing Ball for HOURS!!!!!!






We finished right before supper and below is our dinner.. brisket, cabbage, potatoes, carrots and onions.




The Little kids spent the day working on crafts, reading and watching movies.

:

Blessings~~

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Things I Love about today

Cold rainy winter days

sleeping kitty's in window sills

a full day of school completed

warm soup for lunch

a daughters laughter while her friend visits

hot tea

reading out loud to the younger three

Little House in the Big Woods

Snuggling with Bella, under flannel sheets for a nap

Pride & Prejudice

munching on homemade granola

blow drying little girls hair after their afternoon bath

talking with a friend on the phone

Mr. Darcy all snuggled on his bed

a napping son, in the warmth of the living room.

hugs from my son, who is bigger then me.

knowing whats for dinner.

a phone call from my hubby

candle light

Quiet Prayers

The love of my God



Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Role of an Unofficial Doula

It's late, and we just got home from a friends house. Today we had the honor, of being at the home of a friend and her family to welcome their newest little blessing from the Lord into the world.

We, meaning my oldest daughter and I have a passion for loving on pregnant woman.

For me, I have always enjoyed each and everyone of my pregnancies..and being pampered during that time. Therefore, I began to love to do the pampering.  Being pregnant is a lot of work, your tired during 2 out of the three trimesters, you might be at some point during the pregnancy... etc. etc.

But let's face it.. Most of us enjoy being pampered just a little bit and pregnancy is the perfect opportunity. Pampering still happens for the preggos.

I am what you call and unofficial doula.. I'm not certified.. but LOVE and have a passion to help women in labor.

I think it's my call to simplicity, that I tend to compare things from now to historical times.
My mind naturally wanders to the 17th and 18th centuries.

Back then, you didn't run to the nearest hospital to don a gown and be interrupted by well meaning medical personal who take your temperature, blood pressure, blood work, and everything else..to make sure your OK during this process of giving birth.

You home birthed. You got your closest neighbors, and if you were lucky one of them might be a midwife. Although I think back  then most women probably did qualify  as a midwife. Unlike now where you have to be certified to do everything and anything.

But home birthing is such a wonderful experience. I have never had one with my children, but I have attended several. The atmosphere is so much different. 

Today, we had some wonderful Christian music playing in the back round. One CD was a Roma Downey Cd, that not only had great music but scripture verses.. so peaceful..

We had many children coming in and out of the bedroom, to visit their mama. The was three mamas in the room. The one laboring one,(janet) myself and the sister(nadine) of the laboring mama, plus my daughter. (ashley)

To me the role of a doula, is to make sure mama and her family are well cared for and comfortable. My job is make sure mama is happy and relaxed, and whatever she says goes.

Lucky for me, I've been able to doula for all personal friends of mine or family members.

Today, we arrived on scene to the Mama having irregular contractions. After spending some time with her in her bedroom. My daughter Ashley and Nadine went down and made a wonderful breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast, and bacon.

I guess you should know that there was 9 children there was well today. :)

After a quick breakfast, I ran to the local grocery store for the usual suspects, milk, bread, paper plates and cups! :)

When I got back from the store, Nadine was stilling upstairs with Janet, all the children were milling about between playing outside,watching movies and playing games.  I washed dishes, Ashley help straighten out the rest of the house, Nadine was doing laundry... After a while we had a clean kitchen, happy kids...and I returned back upstairs to Janet who was laboring every so peacefully in her room.

Janet is an amazing friend, mother and sister. And an amazing woman in labor, she was calm and at peace..

At 3:50pm  a beautiful little soul entered the world, caught by her daddy, in the presence of me, Ashley and Nadine.


Welcome Jillian!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


While Janet and Jillian soaked in an herbal bath.. Ashley and I cleaned up, made up the bed with fresh linens, got mama some water, a grilled cheese(made by nadine)  and an array of other foods.
Left it at her bedside. And we prepared dinner for the rest of the family.

We sat down to a dinner of chicken parm and spaghetti!

Earlier in the after noon the kids had made a birthday cake for the new arrival, and a family friend arrived with a delicious cheesecake topped with fresh strawberries.

Before heading home, all kids were in jammies and ready for sleep after such an eventful day.

We Thank God for Jillian, and for Janet and Jason who allowed us to be a part of their special day.

We Thank God for the bonding of woman and that deep mutual respect and love for one another.

We Thank God for his testimony in our lives, and we strive to be the best mothers, friends, and encourager's of one another.

~ From My Heart to Yours~~
Blessings
I

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tuscan White Bean Garlic Soup...

I love soups!! All kinds of soup!! And every Monday is soup night in our home..

Tonight was the above... so delicious!!!

saute onion in bottom of cast iron stock pot! :)

Add several cloves or less of garlic

4 cans white beans

8 C chicken broth

and simmer till nice and hot. Remove half the soup and puree..

Put back into pot..

Add, maybe 1/2 of Cream or Half in Half.

Pepper, Basil etc.

And some fresh Parmigiana Cheese...

Delicious!!!

From My Bella Cucina to Yours!!

~~Enjoy~~

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Feeling Overwhelmed??

So I sat down a few hours ago to plan my week. Yup, I do this every Sunday night with the intention of sharing it with a friend of mine, every Monday. It's an accountability thing. :)

After a super busy weekend of shopping, Costco, Shop-Rite (can-can sale), Kohls, A&;P and Walgreens, Home Depot and a few other I probably forgot about by now... I'm overwhelmed!!!

And as I started to photo copy school work, I realized that the printer is running out of black ink.  It's OK, I say to self.. you have another cartridge. But alas, I do not. I have another color cartridge but not black!

Thump, head hits the table. I'm tired, I've ran all weekend, between chores, vehicle hiccups, parties and so much more. It's late Sunday night, and I'm overwhelmed and feeling unprepared for the week.

Now, I know that it's not completely true, but Satan sure has a way of sneaking up on me and making me feel real guilty about what I haven't done.

And that is a lie. A lie from the deceiver to take us away from our Heavenly Father who loves us.

That feeling of "I can't possibly" needs to be turned into "I can do all things through Christ who Strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13)

We need to be continually seeking His will and His strength for us to have success, in this area of weakness. We can't buy into the lies, that we are not good enough.

You know the lies, the ones that whisper in your ear, " your not a good mother, your a horrible wife, your husband doesn't really love you, your friends think your a fool, you aren't pretty, your hair is a mess, your too heavy, your to skinny, (yes, i have friends that have been told this ;) ) Your children don't like you, Your neighbors think your crazy Jesus freaks, ( We are, it's OK!)

These are some of the lies that stop you from being you. Because your so focused on lies that any little act of service to your family becomes overwhelming.

reality check: we are called to serve our families.

I mean let's face we're swamped with the whole "me time" debacle. Everyone needs their me time... Husbands who work out of the home spend more time with the people they work with then their own families!  Hence why it's important ladies to keep your husband interested in you!! :)  No frump when he comes in. Just a pretty smilin' wife. ;)

A couple of suggestions if your feeling overwhelmed:

1. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate... Everything!!!
    Is it a priority?
     Will anyone be detrimentally harmed if it doesn't happen?

2. Remove what isn't an absolute pertinence.


   3.  Let His will be your guide.


4. Learn to enjoy your family again. Don't buy into the lies!!!

Sometimes there are periods in your life, where you gonna feel overwhelmed because of circumstances. (new baby, job change, financial drop or gain, moving, illness, etc)
 Don't let the circumstances define you. Just roll with the punches and when you can get back up, DO SO, with the strength of the Lord behind you.

Duet. 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.


Our heavenly father will NEVER leave us or FORSAKE US!! NEVER!!!

So saddle up, and get back on that horse. Grab an accountability partner if you feel you need that. It's OK!!! Let a sister in Christ help you. Or better yet, let your husband be that partner.. Share your desires. Share your strengths, and share your weaknesses with him.

Don't let overwhelmed, keep you from missing out on life.

From My Heart To Yours..
~~Blessings~~



Thursday, January 5, 2012

Purposeful Mom(ing)

There seems to be a common theme around blog land today about purposeful parenting... or more so being a purposeful mom.  I love this theme!! It's so encouraging to hear of all the different ways we can be a purposeful mom.

As a mom of many children, and a homeschooling mom... Momming with purpose it a must!!!

A busy schedule can sometimes stop me from being the best mom I can be. I get too caught up in the "wants" instead of the "needs".

I want a super clean kitchen, my children need me to hold them. I want a clean living room floor, my children need me to play on the floor with them.
I want my older children keep their rooms clean, my older children need me to hang out with them in their room.

There is purpose in the needs of my family, and not in the wants of myself.

Here's a few more purposeful mom tips, that I am working on this year.

Signing hymns to my little girls at night while they go to sleep. (instead of popping a movie in their tv)

Praying OVER my children. One of my children is so rested and smiley when I get done praying over her.

My sons like it too. It's relaxing for them to hear words of affirmation being spoken over them. Words of love, words of encouragement, words are a powerful thing.

Our tongues are noted in scripture for being double edge swords, lets allow them to doubly bless as well.

Praying for the posterity of our family.

Praying for their future spouses.

Really listening to them when they speak. Not just the standard mom nod, with-out really acknowledging what they said.

Reading allowed to all of them.

Discussing our daily scripture reading and how we can apply it. We read a Proverb and Psalm that co insides with the month and day.

Exercising with them. I take one or two with me each day when I walk. This is a great time of fellowship even with my youngest, because they feel special for the alone time with me.

If I run an errand during the day, take one or two with you. While it may be easier to get it done by yourself the one on one time with your child.. is purpose. :)


I want my children to know that I love spending time with them. It doesn't always have to be an organized time either. Leave the dishes once in a while and do something fun with your children.

Most of all enjoy your time. For they will be grown and gone within a blink of your eye.

One of my most precious goals for my children, is keeping their hearts so that they as adults will want to return home and be together with each other and with me. (and hubby of course)

~~From My Heart to Yours~~
~~~Blessings~~~

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hot, Hot, Hot... Hot Chocolate!!!

Here we only have one rule, never, ever let it cool!!!
hot, hot, hot... hot chocolate!!! :)

A quote from a favorite movie around here, Polar Express, and the inspiration to create a........

Hot chocolate/tea/coffee bar.

The front porch of my home is quite cold in the winter, it's not heated. But during the late morning , until about mid-afternoon the sun is shining brightly in there, making the room a pleasant, warm place to hang out. We will read, or play games, or just sit and talk. We love this room!!
Soooo, after blog hopping and seeing so many neat ideas for a hot chocolate bar, I decided to create my own. And it's located on the front porch.. It creates a neat place for us to hang out as a family and make a little warm drink, without having to be out of the room. My husband is loving it, and so are the kiddos. I'm looking forward to see what guests think, when they come in. :)




The Keurig, can be used without a cup in it, just allow the hot water to run into your mug and add instant whatever to it!



The pink and white marshmallows are peppermint, and in the other jar is a Russian Tea Mix...






From Our Home To Yours...
~~Blessings~~

The Compare Game

One of the hardest things we do to ourselves as woman is compare. Who looks better, whose husband is nicer, whose kids are more polite, who's kids are smarter, prettier, had nicer clothes, goes to a better school, can afford a better curriculum  etc etc. Why does Sally with 9 kids always look so good and I can't get 5 of mine to church with their shoes on? 

We have to remember that the Lord has designed us all differently. We all handle things differently.
It's OK. What might be a major crisis in Suzie's house, is nothing in yours.

God calls us to lovingly serve him by serving others. Our husbands and children first. Our priorities need to be in line with God's calling on our lives.


Being a homemaker is work, yes, but it's loving work. We must keep in mind Jesus' words,  ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Matthew 25:45

We need to train our children to be our little helpers. This can sometimes easy the supermom syndrome.

We need to be continually seeking God's will and His plan for our life. And frankly that can be very different then OUR will and OUR plan.

The LORD knows the plans he has for us. (Jer. 29:11) We just have to trust in His plan for us to prosper and give us hope!!! We often fall back on ourselves, wanting and bargaining with God.
He won't take our bargains. You can't bargain for a Ransom that has already been paid!!

The Lord doesn't want us caught us in the Mary Vs. Martha game. He just wants us, to give it our best shot. For some this will look easy, for others you will see the struggle. The point is to remain on task.
Forgive yourself when things go wrong. Immerse yourself in God's word. And correct where need be. Don't be afraid, but be courageous and stand up for Him and His will.

It's a new year, don't get stuck in the rut of the compare game. Love your family for who they are. Don't try and force them to be who they aren't. As long as they are obeying God's word!!

Not all of us will look like the cover of Homeschooling Today Magazine. Not all our children will play violin or harp. There is a world of electric guitar players, snazzy drummers and homeschool rock n rollers who love the Lord. Encourage your children in that. Be encouraged in the Lords will.

From My Heart to Yours

~~Blessings~~



Sunday, January 1, 2012

Homestead's Goal for 2012

I've set many goals for 2012, below are the homesteading related goals:

In no particular order, because that would require much more time... so we're just listing! ;)

finish fence along side of house.

better usage of the garden.

start using heirloom seeds.

make the most of my postage stamp property, be creative with it.

create a most relaxing outdoor living space.

keep a log of all things canned and/or frozen

buy a grass fed  cow in the spring. (dead and packaged) :)

chickens!!!!!!!

get/go more organic/ within 100 mile radius for food.

There are inside projects as well, but way to many to list!!! :)


From My Home to Yours!
~~Blessings~~

Celebrating the New Year...

Last night, we had a wonderful time of food, fellowship and games with each other to help ring in the New Year.

So much has happened this past year. Much of it I'd like to forget. Sooo hopefully 2012 will be a better year.

We had a quick dinner of chicken,brown rice with tomato's, and peas. Along with some biscuits. Then we cleaned up from dinner. Big Daddy and I ran some errands, went and picked up some "snack" stuff from the store.

After showers and tubbies, we all got in our jammies and had a blast at Wii bowling tournaments, and carnival games! Around 10 pm we lost Big Daddy and Anna to sleepyland. Big Daddy did wake when I took Anna from his arms and put her to bed.

We made some shrimp, pigs in a blanket, pizza and mozzarella sticks for snacks and rang in the New Year by toasting together with some grape sparkling cider.

Midnight came, kisses all around, rang our dinner bell and off to sleep!

At breakfast I made overnight french toast, with sausage patties and tangerines.

We spent the day at my Aunt's farm out in the a most beautiful unseasonably warm January day.

Great way to spend the first day of the New Year!

From Our Home To Yours....

~~Blessings~~
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