When my husband and I got pregnant with our first daughter nearly 4 1/2 years ago we both agreed I would be a stay-at-home mom and would also homeschool our children. I could go on and on and on and on (get my point) about the reasons we would rather have our children taught at home versus public school but I will spare you. (Unless, of course, you’re interested and I’d love to share more with you) I have felt very anxious about picking the right curriculum, using the right program, learning how to set up a classroom at home and just in general how to homeschool. The last 6 months I’ve turned that anxiety into prayer and wouldn’t you know God answered my prayer with such a blessing!! A fellow church member, friend and mama to little ones recently told me about a group called Classical Conversations that meets about 12 miles from our house once a week, is Christian-based and uses a tutor that sets the pace for the rest of the week’s learning at home. For the first time since making the decision to homeschool I feel equipped now: empowered and confident. This is exactly what I was praying for. We attended the ice cream social this week to meet everyone and I am so excited for the school year to start. I am so giddy about what God has in store with this program; not only for our daughters but for myself as well. Kayo (our oldest) made so many friends at the ice cream social; I can’t wait to see those friendships blossom throughout the year. I too felt an instant connection with several moms and look forward to nurturing those friendships. This really was one of those times in life when the result was absolutely, without a doubt, clearly God’s work!! He is so good, to Him be ALL the glory!!!
Well, we actually did it! We now have a permanent structure, a fenced in yard and nine hens! While I was shopping for a coop I came across a very inexpensive one that I purchased immediately but after getting it here realized it wasn’t the right one. I was able to sell it quickly and then God put in front of us the perfect deal on a used storage shed. After pouring out lots of effort, hard work and a couple 5 gallon buckets of sweat we got everything set up just right. The girls and I then took a trip to grandma and grandpa’s house where they allow the girls to pick out six of their favorite chickens. I must admit when we brought them home I wasn’t sure if our dog was going to tolerate them; let me just say I’m glad we did a really good job on the fence and it can resist a 60 pound dog poking at it and running into it! After letting those girls settle down for a few days a friend from church offered us a few more hens so we graciously picked out three more and brought them home. Everyone got along from the get-go so we were very pleased about that. Everyone has settled in quite comfortably, including our dog, and we are thoroughly enjoying our chickens. I never thought it would be so much work to get a coop set up for some little birds but it definitely was! However, they provide a lot of joy and I myself am enjoying them more than our kids I think! It’s also rewarding to walk 200 yards from the house and have fresh eggs and then walk in the other direction 200 yards to the garden and have fresh produce. That’s definitely the way we want our girls to be raised, teaching them where our food comes from!! Enjoy the pictures and post a few of your chickens if you’d like. I’d love to hear from you!
I’m not usually the type to follow trends or jump on bandwagons of any kind. I like to go against the grain in most situations. Recently I’ve had the itch to join in on the chicken craze that’s been getting more and more popular and my husband is all for it so here we go. We are always out of eggs and chicken feed doesn’t cost very much so I figure it’ll be a win win for our family. The ironic part is I’ve always been afraid of chickens; ridiculous I know. I don’t like the fact that they can peck me faster than I can get away from them but because my oldest daughter loves them so much and has no fear of them I figure if the need arises to touch one, I’ll make her do it! I enjoy watching them and I know I will get over my fear of them once I can learn their behavior and trust them like I do our other animals. As we’ve been shopping for the perfect coop I’ve been astonished at how much they cost!! There’s no way I’m spending $1,000 for a coop!! On the other end, we don’t want a rickety thing that’s ready to fall apart. My husband had the greatest idea to get a storage shed and convert it to a coop. They are expensive as well but God placed the perfect one in front of us recently for a very reasonable price. We pick it up tomorrow and I can’t wait to get it home!! I think I may attempt building one or two for extra income after we get our chickens home and settled; maybe that’s why God led me to the chicken fever so I would learn about the income opportunity…maybe. Either way, the girls are so excited to have their own chickens and really, I am too. Share your tips and tricks with me if you have chickens, I’d love to learn from seasoned chicken owners like yourselves. I will be sure to post pictures once we get everything set up!!
A few weeks ago I woke up with the worst sore throat I’ve had for a very long time. I didn’t want to swallow my own spit let alone anything else and talking was very painful. I didn’t have a fever so I wasn’t too worried about strep throat; besides, I was pretty sure it was a mix of allergies and a head cold. I searched Pinterest for a natural remedy for a sore throat and came across this recipe that I decided to try. At first the apple cider vinegar tasted a little funny to me but half way through my cup I realized my throat was already improving so gritting through the strange taste was worth it. The last drink of my first cup I was noticing a big difference in the rawness of my throat and I was starting to like the taste after all. I made a second cup right away and after drinking that, low and behold, my throat didn’t hurt any more. Now…the relief lasted about 30 minutes before it started hurting again so I drank several more cups of this potion throughout the day and by the next morning my throat felt very much back to normal. I read up on the natural antibacterial properties of the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, honey and cinnamon. It’s amazing to me these ingredients, that I always have on hand, have so many wonderful uses!! If you’re stricken with a sore throat for any reason I highly recommend mixing up a few cups of this brew and enjoy feeling better. You’re welcome!! 😉
Mix together the following ingredients and be sure to stir often as you’re drinking the mix as the cinnamon will clump up at the bottom.
- Hot Water
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- Dash of Ground Cinnamon
We’ve been busy bees around our place today preparing our back yard for grass seed. We’ve been dragging a harrow behind our Polaris Ranger to break up the dirt, then we leveled everything out and drug it again with the harrow. The girls rode with me in the Ranger and we all had fun. They even helped spread the grass seed; I can imagine we’re going to have little patches here and there that are thicker than everywhere else because they couldn’t quite grasp the “feed the chickens” concept of throwing the grass seed like you would throw chicken feed so it’s fairly even. None the less, it was adorable and we made memories. When I came in the house around 4pm I realized I needed to get something decided on for dinner and this recipe was on my menu list. It’s very simple and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand. I like to add to the kabobs: yellow onion, pineapple chunks and bell pepper then serve with rice (usually wild rice). The longer you let the chicken marinade the better it tastes! Note: I omit the cayenne pepper since we have little mouths eating with us. Enjoy!!
Good Morning Y’all!! Just like most of you I’m up for trying new recipes at least once. Here lately I’ve been on a mission to find great side dishes because rice and mashed potatoes are gettin’ old! I came across this recipe on none other than Pinterest and it will definitely get thrown into my “rotation”. I grilled a couple of pork chops seasoned with Montreal Steak Seasoning to go with it and a few spears of grilled asparagus and we had a scrumptious meal. It’s simple, delicious and my kids devoured it so it’s surely a keeper. Tell me what you think after you’ve tried it!
My husband and I rarely watch mainstream news any more because it’s full of misinformation and just downright ridiculous most of the time. However, a few nights ago we needed to see the weather forecast and The Weather Station wasn’t airing forecasts at the time so we switched the TV over to the local station with “news”. In between commercials and sports they aired a story about front seat failure that absolutely scared us to death. The story was about a couple that had been in a car accident where their daughter was correctly placed and restrained in the back seat but sustained fatal injuries when the mother’s front seat failed and she was forced backward, hitting her daughter in the face with the back of her head. This impact caused brain bleeding for the little girl that ultimately took her life. I had never heard of such a thing happening and because of that I want to bring awareness to this danger. I tried to find a cut and dry list of vehicles that are known to have weak front seats but of course I cannot find such a list as it seems that all makes and models have weak front seats because the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) feels it’s not cost effective to fix the problem. They say not enough injuries have occurred to make it “worth” recalling or setting new standards for newly built vehicles. Maybe if enough people got mad about this something could be done. In the meantime, I encourage you to assess your car seat arrangement and front seat adjustments as there are minor changes you can make to ensure a little more safety for your children. Watch the following video so you know just what can happen and spread this information to others with little ones; it’s horrific and heartbreaking so have a tissue close by.
At the beginning of the week I was feeling some pressure to get our mowing done before the snow came in because everything was starting to grow like crazy and we were lookin’ a bit shaggy around here. Keep in mind we live in the country and our ‘yard’ is roughly 3 acres…that’s just the part I bother to mow. I got the girls occupied with buckets, shovels and dirt so I hopped on our trusty ol’ riding lawn mower and started mowing away. Three hours passed and our ‘yard’ looked awesome; so groomed and green…just the way I like it. I headed to the barn to put the mower away and after disengaging the mower I noticed the engine sounded a little different than it normally does. The noise quickly got worse and a big puff of white smoke flew out of the exhaust. I immediately shut the mower off in disbelief as I tried to figure out what had just happened. I didn’t dare try to start it again, I was afraid it might start on fire or something! I decided to leave it where it was for awhile and reassess once my husband got home to help diagnose the problem. We continued our day as normal and went to our weekly Awana church meeting where I received a text from my husband that read, “what’s wrong with the mower?” At this point I knew he had already tried to start it and the result wasn’t good. When we got home and I saw the look on his face I knew I was “in big trouble.” That puff of white smoke I mentioned earlier was the tell-tell sign that the engine had run out of oil and is now ruined. He was able to start it by hand cranking the engine and while it ran like a messed up train it was sucking from the exhaust…the exhaust is an output, it should be blowing out of the exhaust. Not good. Not good at all. Now while you might be thinking, “it’s just a mower, it’s not that big of a deal just get a new one” this mower wasn’t just any mower. It was my husband’s father’s mower who is now in heaven with our Lord. This mower was one of the last material things of Dad’s that we have and we have enjoyed hanging onto it. Every time we looked at it or hopped on it we thought of him. You can imagine my husband’s frustration and heartbreak that this mower is now headed to the scrap pile. Initially we were both mad at me; he was mad for all the above reasons and I was mad at myself for doing such an idiotic thing! I like to think of myself as pretty handy outside of the kitchen and fairly familiar with care and maintenance of our equipment. This was one of those times I took for granted my husband’s routine of caring for our outside equipment and learned a really expensive lesson…even if you think the machine has been cared for and is full of necessary fluids, check the stupid dip stick anyways. After a day or two we can now laugh about the whole thing and have created quite the comedy skit on my Facebook page bantering back and forth with friends about my big huge mistake. It’s a good thing I can laugh at myself and accept that I’m human and will inevitably make mistakes. This one happened to be expensive and also created a story I will never, ever live down. When crappy things in life happen to you, or you make crappy things happen in life, it’s important to be able to own it, accept your unperfectness and then most importantly, learn from it and move on. Whatever your ‘mower story’ in life is I’m sure you can relate.
Ahh, the ringing in my ears called children has stopped and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. They’re off playing in our youngest’s room and they’re actually getting along so there is no way in the world I’m going to go in there to interrupt…this was the thought going through my mind about 45 minutes ago. I said to myself, “this would be a great time to start a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher and pay some bills” … so that’s what I did, all 30 minutes worth of chores before I got ‘that feeling’. You know what I’m talking about. That feeling you get as a mother when you know your children are doing something really fun that’s making a big mess for you to clean up. I knew it was time to interrupt their fun; time to see just what I had given them the opportunity to break/dirty/unorganize/create. As I turned the corner of my daughter’s room I was overwhelmed with a very menthol smell and I knew the one and only thing it could be and I dreaded to see the damage. As my eyes followed my nose I saw my two little girls sitting on the floor, naked, greased like pigs with Vicks Vapor Rub giggling as they each took a finger-full and paint each other like a blank canvas. I paused for a moment processing my next step in my mind before I acted it out. I knew I had to handle this carefully to avoid either, or both, of them throwing themselves on the carpet and rolling around in a fit of tears…this was like a bomb, I had to act accordingly. I chose to sit on the floor with them and laugh at their works of art on the other’s chest and asked them to tell me all about it. As they talked I casually slipped their shirts back on them and to my disbelief I was able to take the Vicks away without either of them noticing its’ absence. I narrowly escaped an explosion of menthol petroleum that I surely would have never been able to get out of the carpet! Phew. Two lessons I learned from this…when you think you’ve hidden something from your children (like the Vicks) put it 1 shelf higher ’cause they’ll stand on each other to reach it AND as much as I enjoy the silence of them playing I have to find a way to sneakily check on them without them knowing. That was just too close of a call, for my carpet’s sake 😉
Forget P90X and any other exercise routine you have…just go to Sam’s Club and from their 5,000 carts to choose from pick the one that has no steering wheels but don’t notice it until you’ve already gotten enough groceries in it to deem it not worth switching to another cart. Then, proceed to load that cart to the tipy-top until you think you will start losing groceries everywhere…then add a few more boxes to the very top. Make sure you have the bottom of the cart loaded with 55 lbs of dog food hanging over just enough that two children (whom together weigh nearly 90lbs) can stand on the dog food and hold onto the cart providing them with rolling services so they don’t have to walk. After you’ve made sure the cart is absolutely, positively as full as it can humanely possibly be…drag that thing around Sam’s Club twice (since you can’t push it because of the steering wheels) looking for the best deal on bratwursts because you’re too cheap to buy the expensive ones that are right in front of you. After you’ve successfully done that for nearly an hour and a half (not just looking for bratwursts I mind you) go to the food court to get yourself a salad because you can’t eat any of the other food they serve and have them tell you “we don’t have salads any more” so you walk away with a sprite while your kids eat pizza and hot dogs. Finally, when you make it to your truck that’s parked at the very back of the parking lot to avoid being scratched and dinged, you unload all of those groceries to various places they’ll fit around the kids’ car seats and other crap you already have in your truck you will be able to get in your vehicle, catch your breath and sip your soda with a smile on your face knowing you probably just burned a million calories and won’t be replacing them with lunch. (Tip for first timers…make sure you put your favorite whatever you just spent all that energy buying in the front seat so you have something to eat on your way home…even if it is just a granola bar covered in fake Greek yogurt). Baaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!