Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring Is Finally Here

I love spring.  I love the warming days.  I love the light rains.  I love the little green growing leaves that sprout where before were just dead looking sticks of nothing.

With this wonderful *buzzzzzz* of life (hehe) I get to start planting a few things!

Like....  Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Peas, Corn, and Beans.

I have a variety of sources for my seeds, roots and plants.

Most of my potatoes are from my local grocery store.  If they started sprouting, I stuck them in a breathable bag in my laundry room.  Of course..... my shelf in the laundry room quickly filled up.  So there is some overflow on my kitchen counter.  It will be nice to get those ALLLLLLL outside in the dirt where they belong.

My father gave me MANY onion and garlic seeds from his garden last fall.  I put most of those out last fall right before the rains.  I don't know what will come of them.  If nothing, I can try starting some indoors in a more controlled situation.  But maybe.... something.

I also found BAGS and BAGS of onion starts for 50% off at Walmart.  Since it is still spring, and they were this years starts.... I have no idea why they were on sale.  But I rejoiced at getting my starts cheaper than $0.01 each.

From my local Feed provider I was able to get 50lb bags of forage peas and chick peas for a remarkable price.  Since the forage peas are mostly for animal consumption, we seeded them all around our duck pond that was very bare.  Maybe that was wasteful, considering that they can be consumed by humans.  But then again, if they do well, the animals will be happier, well fed, and perhaps I will still be able to harvest some for the family.  But I was extremely excited about the Chickpeas.


We had never had it before last summer.  I thought is was something stupid, granola, and tasteless.

It isn't.  It is awesome.  It is delicious.  And it makes you FEEL GOOD about eating it, while your mouth rejoices at the taste and your belly is filled.  Too much mush over hummus???  I think not. :)

I also found some heirloom peas and corn from American Meadows.  I was really shocked at how difficult it was to find heirloom corn.  When checking my local stores and fellow gardeners, I kept getting the same question, "Why would you want heirloom when the hybrid is so sweet?"

Oh, fellow gardeners and gardening stores..... that question makes me so sad.  Why would I want heirloom seed?   Why would I want something that scientists didn't tamper with?  Why would I want something that had been grown, cultivated, and preserved for hundreds of years by happily fed farmers?  Why would I want a plant that produced viable seed for the future?  Apparently I could have written a blog just about my search for corn. LOL

And beans...... wait... beans..... no way.... there is no way... I HAVE NO BEAN SEED!  With all my seed hunting, and all my seed buying, how did I miss BEANS!  Green Beans.  Lima Beans.  Black Beans.  Red Beans.  OMG!  I have no bean seed?!?!

I guess you know what I'll be googling as soon as I sign off here. :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Bees Have Arrived!

Last night my husband picked up our long awaited arrivals.  I was so excited, we were all waiting for him outside when he got home.  We then gathered all the equipment and took them back to a temporary platform for the hive (last years compost bin).  We intend to build them a platform that is further in the trees, where the hive will be shaded most of the time, to avoid overheating in the summer months.

In preparation of their homecoming, I had done a few things to ensure them a happy home.

1.  I read alot of books, online articles, and beekeeping forums.  I STILL need to learn so much more.
2.  I purchased a top bar beehive.  I read that these were the most natural home for bees, resulting in healthier, happier, and calmer bees.
3.  I melted pure beeswax and coated the top bars to encourage the bees to form their honeycomb from each of these bars.
4.  I prepared the sugar syrup they will need until spring really kicks in here.  When the temperatures warm up and they are able to find their own nectar, I will not need to feed them.  I also read that organic honey was a better choice of feed (makes sense), but I had none on hand.
5.  My husband purchased a bee hat.  Today we will be adding a hand brush and possibly more bee clothing items for a full suit.  We are debating on a smoker.  I read they were unnecessary with a top bar hive.  But then again, I am not the one who got stung. :)

Ready to introduce them to their new home.
Sorry this pic is blurry.  After taking it I found precious little, sticky fingerprints all over my camera. :)  Clean, clean, clean and continue!

The box containing 3lbs of Carnolian bees and their queen.

We have now opened the box by removing the feeder can (tin can filled with sugar syrup).

My husband grabbing the queen capsule.

Removing the cork on the queen capsule.
Sometimes they use candy to close this and the bees can open it themselves.

Hanging the queen capsule from a bar.

The queen capsule now hanging inside the hive.

The overturned box on top of the hive.  At this point the bees were still so incredibly calm, that we felt safe to  give the children a closer look.

A sandwich bag of sugar syrup with small cuts of top for the bees to drink, and a pollen brick for them to eat.

Clumps of bees coming out of the box.

After these photos were taken, we realized the majority of the bees simply weren't coming out of the box as easily as we had hoped.  Probably because of the temperatures, between 50 and 60 yesterday afternoon, they were too cold and sleepy.
So we really bundled up my husband, bee hat, gloves, sweatshirt, duct tape around the wrists and sent him to work.  He had to really shake up the box and thump it to get them out, and used a tuft of grass to seep them into the hive.  The bees were NOT as calm about this treatment.  But if they were left, half in the box, half in the hive, we were sure they would not be able to maintain temperature and would all die.  My husband did get stung 4 times through his sweatshirt during this process.  Fortunately he has no major reaction from bee stings, not to say it doesn't hurt!  And fortunately we won't have to be so rough with them.... ever again.
I was taking video of this portion of the process, but I was so intrigued by it I didn't keep the camera pointed right half of the time and was blabbing the whole time. :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Family Home Storage Center - aka LDS Food Store

Recently I ventured to the Home Storage Center, or as I have been calling it, the LDS Food Store.  It was a couple hours drive from my home, but I was in the area (picking up my goats).

For those interested in learning more about food storage, expanding your pantry and long term storage and to meet some like minded people, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND GOING!

You do not have to be LDS or Mormon to shop there.  Anyone is welcome.  They accept all major forms of payment.  And they provided EXCELLENT customer service.

Initially I was unable to locate the appropriate door to enter.  I asked someone in the parking lot, who happily led me inside and to their cashiers desk.  A gentleman approached and welcomed me.  I explained that I was new to the store and had a few questions.  Number one, "Am I allowed to shop here since I am not a Mormon?"  This may seem a silly question to some, but since I knew the LDS church ran the store, and I was unable to find much information online about the store, I thought this was a possibility.

They assured me that they welcome ANYONE.

He then showed me the order form and explained the different choices to me.  Namely, the canned items will be good and edible for 30 years, while the other foods will need to be packed up and used in a more timely manner, depending on your packaging methods.

After discussing what items would be most useful for my family, I filled out the order form.  Several people then went to gather my items.  While they did this, the gentleman showed me some of their canning supplies, for canning #10 tin cans.

Once my items were gathered, they verified my order and rang me up.  Then they helped me out to my car and loaded up my food.

This excellent service was all provided by volunteers.  In addition to running their store, they also ran a large food bank and were distributing food to the needy.

While they do not have a wide selection of food items, they have the basics and provide recipes for providing healthy meals for your family using just these items.  Their prices were quite comparable, even with my extreme price hunting.  The packages are packed extremely well, and are high quality.

If you have a chance, check it out!

US Order Form -

To learn more about the Family Home Storage  -

Sunday, April 15, 2012

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 enjoy the bible story.

Genesis 6-9 - NOAH'S ARK

NKJV Genesis 6-9

Sacred Name Bible Genesis 6-9

Hebrew Interlinear for Hebrew Scriptures Genesis 6-9

Matthew Henry Commentary on Genesis

Noah's Ark Printables

Videos - Rise and Shine - Greatest Bible Stories: Noah's Ark

I also considered watching Evan Almighty with the kiddoes for fun.  Any thoughts?

My Thoughts - - My Thoughts on My Weekly Bible Reading ~ Genesis 6-9

I also utilize several children's bible story books.


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FDA = Federally Mandated Poisoning of the Masses

You may hear alot about the rising obesity in America, the diabetes, the high cholesterol, the strokes, the cancers, and ultimately untimely death.

You may hear alot about the horrors of eating red meat or anything with fat.

You may hear alot about the food pyramid, now replaced with 'my plate'.  You may hear alot about the government beginning to work on new regulations to keep America healthy.

They are taking care of us.  Right?

But what about

Our flour containing known carcinogens -

Our chicken containing arsenic -

Our water containing a known poison - and

Our vaccines containing mercury, formaldehyde, msg and aborted fetal tissue - and

And today.  Another farm is being raked through the coals over raw milk. -

Commenters deride those who drink raw milk, calling them crazy, idiots, drug addicts (how that comes in, I'm not sure), and anti-government.  These simple dairy farmers are treated like criminals.

But sooooo often I hear about

Egg Recalls because of salmonella -
Ground Beef Recalls because of ecoli numerous times -
Peanut Butter Recalls because of salmonella -
Tylenol Recalls because of undisclosed contaminants and multiple issues -

Mere months ago, I allowed my son to eat store bought cabbage without washing it first.  He was terribly ill for a week.  Is this criminal?  Don't I need somebody to blame, somebody to FIX IT for me?

So here, we have this small dairy farm that caters to 48 households.  It has not even been proven that this is what caused the children's sickness.  But the media is going to tout it as loudly as possible, because it suits the Big Brother agenda.  Raw milk doesn't conform to that agenda.  It is being treated like some sort of illegal drug.  All the while the government PUSHES a million other substances, food, drugs, and otherwise, that are known, and proven to cause serious damage to human beings.  Have you paid attention to drug ads lately?  Those side effects are hardly 'mild'.

They want to control every aspect of your lives.  Your health care (pharmicological and big money or herbal and affordable), your child birth options (hospital, epidural, c-sections and big money, or home birth and trusting your bodies natural ability to birth a child), your educational choices (government run public indoctrination centers and big money, or homeschooling and taking responsibility for your own babies), what you plant (monsanto hybrid genetically modified pesticidal seeds or heirloom seeds that you have collected and farmers before you for hundreds of years), what you buy (FDA approved food choices or farmers markets and your own backyard), what you eat (store bought processed foods filled with preservatives and artificial flavoring and colors, or homemade loaves of bread, home raised chickens and fresh salad from your garden), what you speak (politically correct, never offensive, half truths, or the whole truth and nothing but the truth at all times), and what you think (...  ).

I dare you to step out.  I dare you to question.

I realize I am throwing so many points up here.  But it is all part of the whole.  They are trying so hard to raise up their little drones, their chattle, their pawns to play with as they will.  We are not people to them.  We are numbers.  We are dollar signs $$$ and power to them.

Step out.

Go outside, away from the TV, away from the computer.  Plant an heirloom seed.  Raise a chicken from an egg.  Identify and collect some wild weed in your yard to make salad (dandelion) or tea (nettle) or a poultice (plantain).

You may just realize you don't NEED Big Brother and all his 'specialized care'.

Three Little Girls with Horns And Everything

I am so VERY excited.  On tuesday, I am going to pick up three beautiful little goat does.  They are Nigerian Dwarf Goats.  So they are small, under 20 inches tall (around knee height) and unlike pygmy goats, they are proportional and not tubby.  They are also reportedly quite friendly and good with children.

Here are their glamour shots.....

Now..... for my reasoning on WHY ON EARTH DO I WANT GOATS?!  :)

First - I love them.  They are cute.  They are sweet if you work with them.  They are loving if they know they can trust you.

Second - NOTHING naturally clears a plot of land of brambles, weeds and grasses like a hungry goat.  And they fertilize as they go. :)

Third - If bred, they will produce something even more adorable..... BABY goats.  Yes yes yes, little bundles of fur and knobby knees with two big beautiful eyes.

Fourth - If they kid (have babies) they will produce MILK!  Highly nutritious milk.

Fifth - My son, has been asking for several months for a mama and baby goat for his sixth birthday.

This last reason..... is just awesome to my mind.  My son could have asked for star wars toys, video games, or movies.

But he asked for a farm animal.  He asked for something to take care of and love.

He ASKED for responsibility.

As much as I love goats, THIS was the deciding factor in our search for goats now.

I am so very happy about my son and how he is growing up.  He asks me hard questions.  He challenges me daily.  And he has learned some amazing lessons that will make him a strong and amazing man of God.  I think he will make an EXCELLENT little farmer.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Biblical Holy Days - The Feast of Unleavened Bread

Friday evening my family began the celebration of our first Feast of Unleavened Bread, also known as Passover.

It was so beautiful.

I was able to find a Haggadah that had a messianic perspective.  The Haggadah is a book that the leader of your celebration, in this case my husband, reads and follows for the ceremony.  We only read the main portions of the story and the prayers.  But I can see that next year, as part of our homeschool, we should begin reading the entire book before the Feast is upon us.  There was SO MUCH history included in it.  There was SO MUCH prophesy that clearly pointed to Yeshua HaMashiach.

For my family's Feast of Unleavened Bread I prepared a small leg of lamb roast.  I had not yet read all the biblical requirements and so I did not know that the lamb was to be prepared whole over fire.  Next year, hopefully we will be in a position to do this according to the scriptures.

I prepared it with rosemary and cilantro (bitter herbs) and some canned peaches.  I cooked it all day in my slow cooker.  I turned it every few hours so each side had some time in the juices.  And it came out beautifully.

I prepared matzah, or unleavened bread.

I prepared the charoset.  This is a mixture of fruits, nuts and wine.  I used apples, raisins, almonds, sunflowers, and pistachios, and some of our wine that would be used for dinner.  Chopping finely (or pulsing in the blender) you mix it all together to make a thick spread, somewhat like jam (think thick, chunky salsa).

I prepared the seder plate, with the whole bone of a lamb or goat (I used a bone from my dear Sam), lettuce leaves (bitter herbs), salt water, and horseradish (VERY bitter herbs).  I did not prepare the hardboiled egg.  I was unsure about its appropriateness to the celebration.  As we are trying to celebrate the Biblical Feasts and do them ACCORDING to the scriptures, I was concerned that this was a pagan vestige to the worship of the fertility goddess and spring.  Some of the Haggadah's that I read did indeed specifically say the egg represented fertility and spring.

For the children I prepared grape juice, and for my husband and I, I provided some wine.

As I read the Haggadah, I saw that we were to eat the passover in a reclining position.  This was so that we could relax and rejoice that we were free and not slaves anymore.  We were allowed to relax and eat at our leisure.  So I prepared our 'table' on the floor.  I laid out lovely, richly colored blankets, and many pillows for each person to rest upon.  I set the candles, the matzah and the seder plate in the middle.

I also prepared an extra place setting.  The Hebrew people set a place for Elijah.  The scriptures foretold that Elijah would come before the Messiah and proclaim him.  The scriptures foretell to us now that Two Witnesses will come before the Messiah returns.  (Maybe I should have set two place settings. :) )  This symbolizes our EAGERNESS for His coming.

As my husband read the ENTIRE history of the Hebrews from creation to their exodus from Egypt, and then tied each tidbit to the prophetic coming of the Messiah, I was overjoyed.


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.

On the night of the first Passover, the people of God huddled in their homes, marked by the blood of the sacrificial lamb.  The Angel of the Lord, Yeshua, came with the destroyer, and any house NOT MARKED was struck that night.

We too have a destroyer in our midst.

And we too have a sacrificial lamb.  The perfect sacrificial lamb, without blemish, without sin.

Yeshua shed his blood.  Accept it.  Be MARKED by it.  When the destroyer passes by, Yeshua alone can save.  Yeshua alone.

And in the hopes that He comes quickly, I raise my glass in the Jewish toast, "Next year in Jerusalem!"

"He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, ADONAY YAHSHUA.
The grace of our ADONAY YAHSHUA MASHIYACH be with you all. Amen."
Revelation 22:20-21


Many bible verses speak of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Here are many other links and resources if you would like to know more about the celebration of this Biblical Feast. - An overview of the Passover Celebration - An overview of the Passover Celebration for a person believing Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah - A Haggadah (the book that describes step by step the seder) that includes and entwines Yeshua HaMashiach as the pascal lamb - Some recipes for a beautiful and complete Passover Feast - Dayenu - A song commonly sung - Eliyahu Ha`navi - A song commonly sung - The Prophesies Within The Passover That Proclaim Yeshua HaMashiach - Messianic Passover Song

Friday, April 6, 2012


A Wake Up Call

I was sleeping so soundly, with my babe nestled in my arm, when the fire alarm in the children's room went off.

In a flash, my husband and I were out of bed.  I grabbed my robe to cover the babe who was only wearing a diaper.  And we ran to the children's bedroom.

There was, fortunately, no fire.  My son was unable to sleep and had turned on the red light bulb in their room.  For some reason this sometimes sets off the fire alarm, and this was one of those times.  He was sobbing and terrified at the sudden commotion and the blaring alarm in the middle of the night.  We assured him, it was ok.

It was 3:30 in the morning.  So we all tried to settle down and get some more sleep before our day had to start.

But I couldn't sleep.

The situation made me realize how woefully unprepared I was.  If there was truly a fire, were we prepared to evacuate the house?

I do have a "But Out Bag" in our meeting place.  But even as I considered falling back on it, I realize that having packed it last spring, and considering that it is not stored in "prime conditions', that many of the foods may be stale.  I KNOW there are spiders in the location, and we have yet to spray.

And in the pouring rain, (which this IS western Washington people) we were NOT really ready to LEAVE our home in even the barest comfort.

In the middle of the night.....

My children rarely wear their pajamas.  Running out in unders only, would be COLD and WET.
My children and I typically cannot find our shoes QUICKLY.  When you are tired and freezing, those rocks and sticker bushes will be THAT much more painful.

And what if we were unable to go to our desired location, where my bug out bag awaits us.

Do I have diapers handy?  Do I have jackets?  Do I have some bottles of water, some snacky foods, some bandaids?

So as I lay in my bed, unable to sleep, I planned.

Something larger than a diaper bag would work.  Something slightly smaller than a Bug Out Bag, in the hopes that we would be able to get to the fully packed set up we already have, or a second Bug Out Bag.
Include a change of clothes for each member of the family, diapers, toilet paper, a first aid kit, bottled water, easy snacky foods (crackers and raisins work good with the children, trail mixes if they are older and can chew the nuts).
My children must wear full pajamas.
We must put our shoes in an easy to find location, the SAME PLACE everyday.
Because footwear IS so vitally important to health and safety, we may consider adding a pair of shoes for each family member in the bag.

And it is ALWAYS a good idea to have a fire alarm and evacuation plan that you discuss and practice with your children.

Right now, I am taking that red lightbulb out of my children's room.  I will find another color for their night time lighting.  One that does not interrupt my precious sleeping. :)

I do thank the Lord, that once again, I was WARNED of a danger before there was true danger in this situation.  I try to prepare for my family, but sometimes have blindspots.  These "Wake Up Calls" are good for us.  I pray that my wake up call was helpful to you too.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Thoughts on My Weekly Bible Reading ~ Genesis 4-5

Most Bible Story books made for children skip the story of Cain and Abel.  I understand some of the reasons for this.  The story is pretty dark, hatred and murder of one's brother.  The story is a little hard to explain to a child, "Why didn't God accept Cain's offering?"  And the story does not offer all the explanations or hope within these chapters either.

But I think skipping it, in the scope of educating your child, is a mistake.

There is alot to prayerfully consider in this story.

Why didn't God accept Cain's offering?  I think there are a few reasons that could be considered here.

One - God knew Cain's heart, and somewhere, somehow, inside of Cain's heart, was sin, hatred, and murder.  This is surely hinted at, simply by Cain's response to God not accepting his offering.  When God tells you, you are doing wrong, it is NOT in your best interest to get angry and sullen.  It is in your best interest to stand up and say, "What do I neeeeeeed to do?"  And then do it.

Two - The sacrifice required blood, which symbolized *OUR DEATH* which would be paid by the promised messiah in full.  This of course confirms my own thoughts that the entire bible, and each story contained therein prophesies of Jesus Christ.  How He laid down His life and became our perfect sacrifice, since we could never fulfill that with our own sinful heart blood.

And then God speaks to Cain.  "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

God WARNED him!  God said, ' Here is sin, right here, do you see it????  YOU MUST CONTROL YOURSELF!"  I know, I am paraphrasing.  But is that not what He is telling Cain?  Here is sin.  You MUST CONTROL YOURSELF.

For me.... this was a great and impactful lesson for my son.  My son is aware of sin, he is aware of the enemy of our souls and he is aware of temptation.  So I was able to point out GOD's own words when someone was tempted.

YES!  THERE IS THE SIN!  You see it.  I see it.

We can't excuse ourselves, because we were tempted.  We cannot excuse ourselves because the enemy of our souls is constantly trying to trip us up.  We cannot excuse ourselves because sin is too strong.

Cain had the promise of a coming messiah to look forward to.  We have the promise of the Messiah who has now come and will return, to look forward to.

But in this life, there are still consequences to our sins.  We may be forgiven by God on Judgement Day.  But there are still consequences to each mistake we make in this lifetime.  That is what DEFINES SIN.

A choice (of action or inaction) that leads to a negative consequence.

It is not punishment.

It is us stepping out from under the protection of a loving Father.

This is what the law defines.  This is what the law lays out for all to see.  People misunderstand and think, the law is what kills us.  No.  The law defines sin.  SIN KILLS US.

My sin, will hurt me, kill me, and all those around me.
My son's sin, will hurt him, kill him and all those around him.

The entire world suffers because of sin.

Because of the Messiah, we no longer have to pay that ultimate sacrifice, our eternal death and separation from God, or fear the lake of fire, IF we have truly placed our trust and lives in His hands.

But we must still live in this sinful world for a time.  It is sad, sometimes to be made aware how very wicked the world is, and how much sin dwells in the hearts of men.

And how sad it is when we do not harken to the call of the Lord, "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

See the sin?
There it is, waiting for you.
You MUST control yourself.

May God bless us with discernment and strength.


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Renewing the Wardrobe for the Frugal Mama

I recently had to replace much of my wardrobe.  While we constantly make sure the children have clothing that fits, looks nice and meets their needs, my husband and I 'make do' with t-shirts we had since high school, and hand me downs from friends and family most of the time.  But when I started noticing that many of my clothing items had holes, bleach stains, or didn't fit well at all, I realized I had to actually look to my own needs and get myself some decent clothing.

My goals were simple.  I wanted my clothing to be affordable, feminine, and practical for everyday wear.

While hunting for clothing for my littles, I was turned on to 'bulk clothing' sites.  I was extremely happy with the quality and the prices for a dozen t-shirts for my child.  So I checked to see what they might have for me.

These are from  I was able to get a dozen black fitted tshirts for about $2.00 each.  I chose black because I could wear them with anything.  They were incredibly high quality.  I really recommend this company.  They do NOT sell crap.

I had debated skirts vs jeans.  I look back and remember my senior year in high school, when I wore a dress or a skirt every single day.  And I did fantastic braids and designs in my long brown hair.  It may seem silly.  But I felt beautiful.  I felt comfortable.  I felt like a princess.  Since then, however, I took less interest in my appearance.  Each day found me in jeans, any old shirt, and a ponytail.  I now felt like I was 'waiting' to be a princess.  What was holding me back?  What was I waiting for?  Life is passing us by and if we are not living it to the fullest, we are missing it.

This may seem to put too much stress on appearance.  But for me, it wasn't appearance.  It was my heart.  I was NOT living the way I wanted.  I had compromised with 'normal'.  I regretted it.

So I determined that I would get skirts or dresses.  I know that I could sew my own.  But I also realized that my sewing was.... not the greatest, and I didn't get to it very frequently.  And I needed the clothing soon.  So I searched the internet far and wide to find a good price for a variety of lovely skirts.

I found bombayfashions on amazon.  They had solid color skirts and sequened tie dye skirts and much more.

When I purchased these skirts they were about $22.00 each.  For me and my frugal heart, that seemed high.  But after ALOT of searching I could not find a better price.  And this allowed me to buy a new wardrobe for $100-200, depending on how many skirts I chose to purchase.

To finish off my clothing needs, I am debating on which shoes to get.  I currently have an old pair of work boots my husband tossed my way, a pair of very worn tennis shoes, and a pair of flip flops.  While I do NOT desire the 50+ pairs of shoes I had in high school, I realize that a pair or two of good nice looking shoes would be a nice addition to my closet here.  I haven't found what I am looking for yet.  Still thinking on that.

I realize that this style may not work for everyone.  But I encourage you to treat yourself with love, so that your heart is full when you treat others.  I find that neglecting myself does not pay off.  I am not saying to stock up on chocolates and sit on the couch all day, or spend all the household monies on frivolities.  But make sure your NEEDS ARE MET.  Make sure you are healthy and strong, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  And if something is seriously not making you happy, pray for a solution, ask your husband for advice, and go for it.

And one last note.

As the queen of your home, you are like a bright shining star in its heart.  It is your love, your faithfulness, and your care that hold your home together.  Do not fear that responsibility.  REJOICE that the Lord has given you a job NO ONE ELSE CAN DO!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cloth Diapering for the Frugal Mama

Since moving out to my country home, hanging the laundry on the line, trying to grow and raise my own food, I also made another big change in my day to day routine.

I switched to cloth diapers.

I had attempted it SHORTLY with my older children.  I didn't understand the 'how to'.  I didn't appreciate the "why'.  And I failed.  They leaked, they didn't stay on, they didn't clean up well, and my husband flushed one down the toilet.

But moving onto my farm, and the knowledge that families used cloth diapers for FOREVER before pampers came along.... encouraged me to try again.

Somehow, the calmer, quieter, farm lifestyle made it MUCH easier!

And there is nothing so sweet as a clothes line of cleaned diapers blowing in the wind.

Of course.... cloth diapers, generally, are HORRIBLY expensive.  If you go to buy premade, fitted diapers, you can expect to pay $15-40 EACH.  Prefold diapers are cheaper but you can still expect to pay $3-6 EACH.  And I found out the hard way, they don't hold up to washing very well.  The last batch I purchased was much thinner than previous purchases (don't think I didn't notice) and after a few washings literally tore into bits of useless rag.  And the plastic diaper covers didn't last long either.  Don't EVER accidentally wash or dry them.  Even handwashing them seems hard on them.  And let's face it, they neeeeeeed to be washed!

So I used my little brain and came up with some solutions that work for me and my frugal, rough living, farm life with muddy, wild children.

I now use bar mops, or bar towels and bulk washclothes.

I can buy the bar mops about $1 each, at my local walmart, or online in bulk, and my washclothes came in an 18 pack for $4.  They are thick, absorbant, made to be used and used ALOT.  I haven't had ONE rip on me.

I layer them to cover the 'trouble' areas.  Laying one bar mop flat, I fold another up as shown.  I then fold a washcloth in thirds and then in half to cover just the penis area.  I would assume, with a little variation, this would work just as well for girls as well.

And I use snappis to close the diaper.  They do cost a little more than diaper pins, but they do not bend out of shape, and there is little danger of me stabbing my squirming child with such a sharp object.

When I change my child, I try to determine whether or not they are wet or poopy before beginning.  I get one of the many washcloths in my 'diaper cabinet'.  I wet it with warm water in my sink.  This may take a moment, as I have to grab the cloth and wait for the warm water.  But I rarely have diapering emergencies (poop-splosions) with my cloth diapers.  The small wait before the diaper change is of little consequence.

If the diaper is only wet, I can throw it in the general laundry and wash with my towels normally.

If the diaper is poopy, there are some special steps I must take.  If there are large clumps I rinse them off or drop them in the toilet.  I then place the poopy diaper and any wipes used into a lidded bucket that I have in my laundry room.  When this bucket is full I pour the load into my washing machine.  Since my bucket is only 4 gallons, this is a pretty small load.  So I change my washer settings - Small - Warm Water.  I add one normal scoop of my homemade laundry soap. This is the only laundry I use warm water on.  After it has ran through it's cycle.  I add a few more towels and change the settings back to 'normal' - Extra Large - Cold Water.  I add one normal scoop of my homemade laundry soap.  I then hang them to dry, or as it is winter, throw them in my dryer as usual.  Washing them this way, they come out completely stain free and smelling wonderful.  It took some experimentation to find out a system that worked for me.  I am well known for smelling EVERYTHING, and I can't stand stink.  YUCK!  So I think you can trust me when I say they smell great.  I know.  I bury my face in them and smellllllllll...... cleanness.  Love it.

Some great online places to purchase these items

Bar Towels

At first, the initial set up costs can seem daunting.  BUT!!!!
Consider how much you spend on disposable diapers.

I had a toddler and an infant in diapers for a while (and will again).  I went through about 1 sleeve of diapers for each child, each week.  And about 3 containers of wipes.  Even with my price hunting I was spending almost $40 every two weeks for diapers.

And I found even more incentive after making the switch.  My first two children suffered almost constant diaper rash and surface yeast infections in their diaper regions.  I tried many topical treatments and had to get prescription medicine a couple of times.  I finally resorted to drastic diet changes for my daughter before the age of two, because it was so persistent and refused to clear up regardless of any medications I applied.  Even with these drastic measures, it seemed barely contained.

These cleared up IMMEDIATELY with the cloth diapers and wipes.

And my youngest has NEVER had a rash, ever.

So it is cost effective.  It is environmentally friendly.  And it is healthy.  Go ahead!  Give it a try!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I'm Exhausted But Farm Life Continues


I started making an outline for this post to catch you up on my goings ons.... It is CRAZY!

Freebie Turkey
Baby Birthday
 Corned Beef
 Corned Beef and Cabbage
 BBQd Pork
Dehydrating Food
Loss of a Flock
Poultry Auction
Researching upcoming Passover

If I don't get this done NOW, I know the list will only grow.

I have been SO tired, with my first trimester exhaustion and morning (they should call it constant) sickness.  But I try to get to bed at a decent time and get a nap in every now and then, so I can't complain.

Our first big hatch happened on the first of March.  It was a little disappointing after we had two power outages that severely effected our numbers.  But the chicks that did hatch are healthy and growing well.   Since we didn't get the numbers we were hoping for, we ordered another 200 hatching eggs and are trying one more time.  We also had some ducks hatch from our own eggs and a nearby farmers.  They are terribly cute.

Of course, I look forward to WARM spring weather when I can get all these birds out of their makeshift brooder boxes in my house.  The constant racket, and the smell, is hard to deal with, especially in my 'delicate' state. LOL

We also got a free turkey on freecycle.  It was just a young chick, but was more aggressive than the others and had attacked others in her little brood.  He is cute and alot of fun.  He may be a pain as he gets older, but if we can keep control of him for four to six months, we could end up with a good sized turkey dinner.

My youngest turned one.  We invited a friend to dinner and had cake.  Then we had some fun!  We got out the glow sticks, broke the ends, turned out the lights and sprayed it all over everything and everyone.  For some AMAZING fun for grown ups and kids that really fills that last hour before bed, it is awesome.

I also was able to get some canning done on a couple of weekends.  The local Cash & Carry had a sale on some meat products.  I canned some quarts of straight Corned Beef, some pints of Corned Beef & Cabbage Soup, and pints of shredded pork and BBQ'd pork.  The meat will be a great addition to some quick meals.  And the pints of Corned Beef & Cabbage soup will be an excellent addition to my husband's lunch every now and then.

I also dehydrated slices of lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit.  I had gotten the idea from pinterest of course.  It seemed like a great idea to me.  Perfect for teas, simmering pots, and even grated a little in sauces or desserts.  And of course they are beautiful in their jars.

During this same time we were in the middle of getting accustomed to a new dog in our home.  He was a year old German Shepherd.  We had some bad experiences last year with two dogs that bit.  My children were afraid.  I was leery.  But my husband was so sure that a good dog experience was possible.

And he was a good dog.  Very sweet and loving with the kids.  My babe loved to crawl ALLLLLLLL over him, and especially when he was trying to sleep.  The dog sighed heavily and took it.

But he was addicted to the chase.  And my chicken flock suffered.  My cats began living on the roof of my home.  And my duck flock fled the property and never returned.  We debated our choices.... costly training that may work vs finding him a new home.  Our birds are so integral to our home here.  We love them.  We cared for the dog also, but we also realized that maybe..... somebody could love him more.  So we found him a good home with a family with kids, and NO birds.  We hope he is VERY happy there.

My husband, in particular, is VERY fond of our ducks.  And the loss of the entire flock weighed heavily on him.  So last weekend we went to a local Poultry Auction.  It was AWESOME!  We had so much fun.  We got a few chickens, and several ducklings, and a few adult ducks as well.  Our pond is a home again, and the future holds a strong flock now.  We also paid close attention to the process and the prices for the various animals.  We are now considering this new method to get rid of some excess roosters and even hens, that would assist in feed costs for our entire flocks.

This next weekend brings the Passover.  We are eager to celebrate this biblical feast, to delve into the word and history of it, and to see how it illustrates and prophesies about the Messiah of our souls, sweet Yeshua.

So I apologize about the long silence.  I look forward to the second trimester and no more *constant* sickness.  I smile just at the hope of it.