Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Weekly Bible Reading ~ Genesis 1-2 ~ Creation

Our Homeschool focuses on one bible story each week.  I will share the resources I use for my own personal bible study and those I use to help my children understand and enjoy the bible story.

Genesis 1-2 - CREATION

Memory Verse: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

NKJV Genesis 1-2

Sacred Name Bible Genesis 1-2

Hebrew Interlinear for Genesis 1-2

Matthew Henry Commentary on Genesis

Creation Story Book, Black and White Coloring Page

Creation Coloring Pages


My Thoughts - - My Thoughts on My Weekly Bible Reading ~ Genesis 1-2

I also utilize several children's bible story books.


Liked this rain soaked ranting from La Soñador?  Check out these similar posts.....

La Soñador ~: Weekly Bible Reading ~ Genesis 3 ~ Adam And Eve
Our Homeschool focuses on one bible story each week. I will share the resources I use for my own personal bible study and those I use to help my children understand and ...

La Soñador ~: Weekly Bible Reading ~ Genesis 4-5 ~ Cain and Abel
Our Homeschool focuses on one bible story each week. I will share the resources I use for my own personal bible study and those I use to help my children understand ...

La Soñador ~: Weekly Bible Reading ~ Genesis 6-9 ~ Noah's Ark
Our Homeschool focuses on one bible story each week. I will share the resources I use for my own personal bible study and those I use to help my children understand and ...

La Soñador ~: Weekly Bible Reading ~ Genesis 10-11
Our Homeschool focuses on a section of scripture at a time. I will share the resources I use for my own personal bible study and those I use to help my children understand and enjoy ...

Canning Rice

This weekend I canned rice.  I really love canning and enjoy canning foods that we eat regularly.  This provides for easy meals when I'm out of time, lunches for my husband to take to work, ready to eat food if we lose power or have to run out for any reason.

I was unable to find any information on canning rice in my canning books, and the typical canning recipe sites.  MANY referred to canning rice and said, "Don't do it."

Why?  Is it unsafe?

No.  It gets mushy.

Oh for crying out loud.  When I am STARVING, and need to eat something, will I honestly care if my rice is mushy??  I think not.

So I continued in my hunt for instructions on canning rice.

I finally found this like minded gentleman.

His instructions from the videos....

Pint Jars
2/3 cup brown rice (a little less actually)
Fill with water to 1/4 inch BELOW the inch line
Allow canner to vent 7 minutes before putting on the weight.
15lbs pressure for 17 minutes.

I was eager to get started.  But I only had white rice.  I considered this long and hard, and decided to simply cut the canning time.

I did NOT do this recklessly.  Let me explain.

15lbs pressure assures that your canner and the goods inside reach 250 degrees F.  Commercial canneries can their low acid foods at 250 degrees for over 3 minutes to kill botulism.  That's right... 3 minutes. :)

Normally cooking brown rice takes 40 minutes to simmer, while white rice takes 20 minutes.

I felt quite safe canning my white rice for 8 minutes at 15lbs pressure.

It ended up being more time than that anyways, since I was in the middle of a diaper change when the timer went off.  Such is the fabric of my life.

Now I have several jars of rice made up.  It will be very useful to throw in a pot of soup if I am in a real rush, have my husband keep a few at work for lunch, grab some if we are in a hurry and rushing to go somewhere.  I probably won't can anymore than this batch, until I run out.  Since rice is easy to store and prepare, these would only be for real emergencies, or when I am at my wits end for food.  I try hard to plan ahead for meals and these should last a good long time in the pantry.


Liked this rain soaked ranting from La Soñador?  Check out these similar posts.....

La Soñador ~: Canning Dried Beans - I came across this article Cooking Beans and Canning Meat, by Marie H. on Following some of the comments that followed I did further research to verify safe procedures of canning beans.

La Soñador ~: Garnered Wisdom - Reusing a Canning Lid - As I have stated many times before, I love to can. I can ALL THE TIME. I have an assortment of Ball and Kerr Jars. Some I have purchased, some passed down from my grandmother ...

La Soñador ~: TO DO LIST - Canning Chili - My husband recently bought me a beautiful canner, the All-American Pressure Cooker and Canner. It's biggest selling point to us, was the metal-to-metal seal, with no gaskets, and it's built like a tank. If this thing falls off my ...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Homemade Lipbalm

I kept seeing really simple ideas for making lip balm around the internet... ok... on Pinterest. :)

And because my children LOVE to slather on the chapstick whenever I have any, I decided to make them some.

I used Coconut oil, but I have also seen people use vasoline.  The coconut oil was a gift, because I am too FRUGAL to have ever purchased any. lol

I warmed the oil a little and added a couple drops of food coloring to get my kiddoes their favorite colors, orange and pink.  My smallest jars, baby food jars, were still pretty big, so I just mixed a little bit. I can easily make them more when they use it up.

They were thrilled, and are soooooo happy when they put on 'their' very own 'lip stick'.  And it smells heavenly!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Preparing For Us and Them

"Food for the hungry cannot come from empty shelves. Money to assist the needy cannot come from an empty purse. Support and understanding cannot come from the emotionally starved. Teaching cannot come from the unlearned. And most important of all, spiritual guidance cannot come from the spiritually weak" -Marion G. Romney

Mini Greenhouses for Winter Sowing

I am like a hobbit.  I love the simple life.  I love a good meal.  I love good friends.

I love, love, love green, growing things.

Winter can seem long and wearying to the heart that longs to dig in the dirt and see tender seedlings poking through.  So while I tried very hard to content myself with drawing up my planting calendar, and starting to plan and picture what I would plant here and there.... my heart longed so dearly to START ALREADY!

And thanks to Pinterest I have found a way!

Milk Jugs made into mini greenhouses!

I have been saving milk jugs for almost a year now.  I knew that they would be handy for something.  So I was thrilled and got started right away.

I dug through my seed box for those that should be started sooner than later.  I chose Broccoli, Brussels, Eggplant, Onions, Garlic, Peppers and Tomatoes.  I also started some Iceberg Lettuce, for inside the house and out in the milk jugs.  We eat alot of salad and I must get into the habit and practice of growing my own.

I used a mix of well composted hay, sprinkling the seeds on top and covering lightly with some left over potting soil I had.  I then labeled what was in each greenhouse and taped them closed.

We put them out on the backporch where they will get plenty of sunshine (when there is any) and some rain (lol).  A little bit of freezing is apparently not too bad for them, as it helps the seed naturally break open.

Towards the end of February, beginning of March I will start some melons, squashes and beans.

While editing my pictures for this post, I noticed a fingerprint on some of my images.... or wait... was it a fingerprint?


And for those who share my hobbit affinity....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Joys of Farming - Predator Animals

In the last couple of weeks we have noticed a few missing chickens from our coop.  Our adult birds seemed fine and the younger group were not the smartest animals we've ever seen.  So we didn't fret too much.

Then, instead of missing birds, we started finding injured birds, chewed on and mauled.  Our main group still seemed fine.  But we definitely had an eye out and were more attentive at any unusual crowing or squawking.

This morning, while my son and I were out and about with our farm chores, my son came running and yelling, "Bear! Bear!"

It was NOT A BEAR!

And fortunately for my heart, I had an eye on him the entire time and knew there was no bear.  Can you imagine? *shiver*

So I encouraged him to CALMLY tell me what he saw.  He said there were 'bear tracks'.  So I went over to inspect them.  They were obviously not bear tracks.... but they were obviously not the semi innocent tracks of my cats, or even a dog.  So I took a few pictures.  Hard to do when it was POURING down rain.  But hey, that's Washington for you.

Then we went inside and checked our boy scout handbook.  It had nothing similar, so I turned to google.  I searched for raccoon tracks first, but that was quickly ruled out as these prints were all uniform in size and had five toes showing instead of four.  So... I just looked for animal tracks and scanned through them.

And I came across this handy pdf book showing several varieties and

this graphic showing several.

As you can see, most animal prints do not show five toes.

So I have concluded that it is a mink or a fisher.  What is the difference between the two??? No idea.  They look the same, their tracks are pretty much the same, their scat is pretty much the same and they behave the same.

They are in the weasel family.  They mostly eat woodland animals but are known to really tear into a flock of poultry and have even attacked children on occasion.

Fortunately we have a trap for just this size of animal.  We mostly use it to catch stray cats that are constantly dumped out here.  Hopefully, we will catch this pesky predator and I can share a pic of that too!

We Have Lost the Way - Amazing Ron Paul Ad

Ron Paul 2012. 'We Have Lost the Way' - Charlie Chaplin's 1940 Speech

The clip is from The Great Dictator, starring Charlie Chaplin.  It was made in 1940, a satire of Nazi Germany.  Regardless of the numerous controversies surrounding Chaplin, the speech in and of itself, in entirety below, is powerful, insightful, and passionate.  I feel that it shows a wisdom that was ahead of his time.  I think it is utterly amazing.

[Best Version] The Great Dictator Speech - Charlie Chaplin + Time - Hans Zimmer (INCEPTION Theme)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Home Is Wherever I'm With You

Inspiring Thoughts - Proverbs 31:28

"Her children rise up and call her blessed..."

I was singing my prayers yesterday while washing my dishes. And as I sang of my most precious blessings, my beautiful, healthy children, I sang of how they bring light and love to me.

My children rise each morning
And call me

What can be more blessed than that?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Danger of Being Me

I completely forgot to share the most exciting part of my chicken canning experience. As my husband was preparing the last of the chickens, I checked out the camping stove and canner, he had set up.

He had some water boiling, at first intending to pluck the birds. And we were just looking out over our property and animals, chatting and laughing.

I glanced down.

"I'm on FIRE!"

Yes. I screamed like a little girl. I flailed my arms up and down and repeated it as flames were climbing my skirt and sweater.

"I'm on FIRE!"

I had no idea what to do. I thought my husband helped me, but he says he did not. My flailing must have put out the flames that were climbing up on my clothing. Apparently I leaned too close to my camp stove and my skirt, which tied in the front, had some tassels sticking out into the open, very hot flames.

I am ok. Completely unharmed. And other than the most minuscule discoloring of my skirt tassels, my clothing was also ok.

I am the most graceless, klutzy human being to walk the planet.

It is kind of dangerous being me. And maybe near me too. So if you join me on cooking day.... stand back. :)

Ahhhhhh Chickens....

On Saturday we cleared our chicken coop of some pesky roosters. Three Rhode Island Reds, getting large enough, and cocky enough to be dinner. :)

These are birds that we incubated in our old Leahy Incubator, hatched and brooded ourselves for long, tortuous months. Unfortunately we had such a horrible time with these batches, that we began to fear that we were NOT made for raising chickens. It was so very disheartening. So many didn't hatch. So many didn't make it even a few days. So many perished every day after. We have since learned that this was not our fault. Since hatching our own eggs, we have nearly a 95% survival rate!

A few birds DID survive from that sad, sad batch. And the oldest of the group were all roosters. Two had to go about a month ago. They were getting quite aggressive, attacking my husband during feeding time, chasing my son while he did his chores. So we ate them. They were delicious. LOL They were plymouth barred rocks which I had heard were calmer, but these two were NOT nice. So... done.

There were also a few Rhode Island Reds. But they were so scraggly looking and thin. So we upped their feed and gave them another month.

For the last couple of weeks, we had noticed our rooster would immediately clear his hens from the coop and stay away all day, while these little (nearly full size) roosters took over the coop. They were not aggressive to us, *bonus*, but they obviously were annoying to our Main Roo and his gals. We also decided, after having them on special feed for a month, that they still looked so ugly and ragged, that we just didn't like their breed, and didn't want to continue with them. So, as I heard their competing cockadoodles with our main chicken man, and saw clearly that they were larger than our hens, we decided it was time to eat them.

My son and husband girded themselves, for the snow and the job. They herded the buggers into the coop and then, capturing them, took them to our 'butchering block'. I did not watch the entire proceedings, although I did get a good laugh watching my husband chase an escapee, while my son held in one hand a headless chicken and an upside down roo in the other, taking it all in stride. I doubt many little lads get these types of educational experiences.

This time we skinned the chickens instead of plucking them. It was MUCH quicker! I was glad to see the birds were all good sized and healthy.

I also collected the livers to make some pate. I remember going out to a local restaurant, as I was growing up, and having little melba toasts with pate. I am not good about following the letter, when it comes to recipes. So I basically just threw some chopped onions, garlic and herbs in butter and then sauteed the crud out of that liver. Then I threw it in my magic bullet and refrigerated it overnight. It turned out great. Even the kids asked for more.

I then boiled the chickens and pulled it off the bone and diced it. I was able to fill 7 pints with the diced meat. I also boiled the carcasses and got 8 quarts of good thick broth. I also canned some jars of water because I don't run the canner unless it is full.

A pretty good return!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

2012 ~ My Resolution

As we entered into 2012, my husband and I discussed our New Year's resolutions. He can share his own with you if he chooses. :) But I will gladly share mine with you! Aren't you lucky!?

My resolution for 2012 is to celebrate the Biblical Feasts or Holy Days that are laid out in scripture. Personally, I have very little experience to draw from here. I have been to plenty of 'christian' churches. But they were not concerned with the Holy Days of the Lord. So what do I honestly have to go on? Not much. I saw Fiddler on the Roof once.... yeah.

To educate my ignorant self, I found Judaism 101.

It is quite a change for my family, and honestly I am loving it. Sunday through Friday, we work. The children and I do our school, housework, farm chores. My husband continues doing what he has done forever, my beloved workaholic.

And Friday evening comes. The table is set. The children are bathed. My daughter and I have our headscarves on. Daddy steps into the door, and it is the Sabbath. We light the candles. We pray. We eat the Challah and drink the wine. And for the next 24 hours.... we rest, we play games, we do crafts, we read books just for fun.

We are nearing our first actual biblical holy day, Feb 8 (begins on Feb 7 at sunset), Tu B'Shevat. It is a time to plant trees and is used to calculate the age of your fruit trees, as the law required the first three years' fruit not to be eaten and the fourth years' fruit to be given to God, and all future fruit can be eaten.

In our society, and mindset, that can seem SO inconvenient. And I will totally admit, that was my initial response too. But I remember I wanted to rest upon the providence of the Lord. I remember I want to lean upon the blessings enumerated in Deuteronomy for the people of the Lord as they enter their promised land. While my land is not 'Zion'.... it was so clearly given to us by the Lord and His mighty hand. I look at the word and desire so greatly for those promises to be given to me and my family. And.... it seems to clearly say... 'If you do these things.... these blessings will be yours...."

So I am extremely excited and happy that my family is following the word.

Of course, homeschool, farm life, family and friends lead to all kinds of other adventures. I promise to let you in on them.

To learn more about my reasons to celebrate the Bible Feasts see...


Liked this rain soaked ranting from La Soñador?  Check out these similar posts.....

La Soñador ~: Hanukkah, the Biblical Feast of Dedication - Tonight we will be joining millions around the world lighting the third candle on their Hanukkah Menorahs. In Hebrew the word Hanukkah means Dedication. While many call this the Festival of Lights, it is more accurately ...

La Soñador ~: Why Would A Christian Say No To Christmas? - “Tomorrow there will be a festival to YHWH.” Sounds good right? Get together, worship god, have a grand time.... But God said, "Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them." Why ...

La Soñador ~: Whose Holy Days Are You Celebrating??? - Sukkot, the Festival of Booths.... Living in temporary structures, in joy and celebration, structures that are beautified and decorated to look like a Wedding Sukkah. They may be only 'shadows' of things to come. But at least they ...

La Soñador ~: Yom Teruah - The Feast of Shouting and Trumpets - And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work. For you it is a day of blowing the trumpets.

La Soñador ~: Fire In My Bones - But the fervor was gone.  The fire that burned without quenching was gone.  The desire for Him was there but with just enough reciprocation to keep me going, 'Don't give up,' "Keep on keepin' on..."

La Soñador ~: Biblical Holy Days - The Feast of Unleavened Bread - I wanted my family to delve into the Word.  I wanted my family to understand how the story was the same from beginning to end.  I wanted my family to learn and understand the importance, and the relevance of the Messiah to each of us.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Moving Forward Little Man

During the holidays, our homeschool became less exacting. We focused more on cleaning, decorating, preparing gifts and cookies, than on letters and numbers. So it was with great surprise when this week I pulled out my son's Kindergarten book to find it DONE. I went through it and was overjoyed to discover that he had done it all.

Some may be confused by this. Don't I watch over my son's school work and check it all? The answer is.... not really. I have specific daily tasks I want my son to do. I do these various tasks with him, until he knows them. Then I watch from a distance. And then....
I let him do it.
He, of course, knows where to find me if he has a question or a problem.


And as a result, my son loves it too. And he obviously enjoyed his Kindergarten workbook, enough to finish it long before I expected him to.

So for the last couple of days, I drew up a list of those things he specifically learned in this time period and we did our testing. To my son, testing is such drudgery. But I explained to him the importance of these records (legal blah), and gave him ample rewards for each section. (If it works for Mary Poppins, it works for me.)

So here is my little man after he has completed his testing, and obviously pleased with himself.

This does make me happy.

BUT the next step made me OVERJOYED! Yup, just about bursting... Certainly lots of gushing.

I got to gather the materials for 'First Grade.' I am SOOOOOO excited about this. I have just been DYING to get past this teaching numbers and letters and get to the READING. Oh OH OH how I love to read. Oh how many beautiful, wonderful, glorious books I have that I LONG TO SHARE!

I like to gather my materials and record them all. This does not include our regular trips to the library and any large chapter book my son requests I read to him. So far I have read Robinson Crusoe, Dr. Dolittle, and The Sign of the Beaver. We have REALLY enjoyed these books and discussing them. Then before each week I will sit down and plan our workweek, and record our finished tasks each day.

My little girl has also been asking to do 'school.' So I gathered a few books for her too.

Like I said, I love homeschooling.

And I don't love it just because it is fun. I understand that it is a duty and an obligation. And I take that quite seriously. I rejoice in the labor that the Lord put upon me and all parents, (Deut 6:4-7 especially). And I encourage ALL to prayerfully consider homeschooling their own children. I know, among my readers, those who will be hurt by these words. But know that I always speak with honesty, and with love. I mean every word I say. Homeschooling isn't just an option. It isn't even just the best option. It is really the only right choice.