Wednesday, October 18, 2017

{ If You Let Them Serve...}

If you let them serve, they will grow up serving. Service is, according to the 1828 Webster's Dictionary, Working for; acting in subordination to; yielding obedience to; worshiping; also, performing duties; as serving in the army.

 It is interesting to me that the word serving here is working, yielding, performing. Some of this if taken the wrong way would lead one to think that our kids are servants/slaves, which could not be further from the truth! Serving is giving of your time and life freely and without any thought of return. It is a good thing to teach your children.

 My only caution is that they should be witnessing your example of serving to them and others before you expect them to serve with a grateful heart. They only learn the best ways when they are shown the best ways.

 How can they serve?

 In the home, as this would be the first place of service for a little one, they can be expected to do chores at least by age two. Everyone should be pitching in together to keep the house clean and neat. It should not fall on one person's shoulders, especially you mother. It should be relevant to what level they are as to what they contribute to the household. As they get older, they can eventually be expected to run a household if need be. That will prepare them for their own households, whether male or female. There are no gender specific chores, really, because we all should know how to cook and do basic cleaning to keep a home environment healthy.

They can also just learn specific tasks of serving while watching you as you go about your day! More is caught than taught is how the old saying goes! For example, one of my older girls when she was little loved to give her daddy a glass of tea when he came home from work. Where did she learn that? From watching me. One of my little boys loved to run and get stuff that I asked for because he watched his daddy and siblings do it while I was on bed rest with a pregnancy. He still loves to serve and does so at his church.

They can serve in church, home school group or other group type setting by being taught to see needs before there is a request. For example, we have taught our children if they see a person beginning to clean up the place after the event has wound down, then they need to step in and help. If they see it modeled at home, they will do it while out! After dinner we all get up and put our plates and cups beside the sink and begin to clear the table. When the littlest ones are beginning we give lots of praise and claps for their effort. They learn as it becomes a habit.

Also, sometimes it takes one time of doing something out of the ordinary as an act of service for it to become something a certain child likes to do. One time after our dinner, daddy brought around a tray of cookies for everyone to choose one to have. After that, our five year old and eight year old have enjoyed doing that every Friday night during family movie time and we don't have to ask them.

So remember to let them see you serving others, within the home and when out of it.  And also let them serve beyond their chores.

Friday, October 13, 2017

{ Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone }

But by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. -- Matthew 4:4

Recently I was reading and studying about forgiveness. I could hardly get through some thoughts without breaking into tears. It was a very emotional message and lesson.

 "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors...For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."  The opposite of forgiveness is rejection or bitterness.

I want to share something here and it has to do with the coming judgement on the world. End times. The End of the World as We Know It. However you want to term it. You will not be able to escape it. I hear of a lot of people preparing for the coming judgement that they foresee coming to the United States. Some people have moved out of the country. Some people are preparing and stocking away food, clothes, ammunition and other things. Now that is all well and good and all. Go ahead and prepare. But also remember that verse above, "man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

How are you preparing yourself and your children for when that time does come, if it does come in your lifetime?? Are you taking the words of God and instilling them in your heart in case you are left in a terrible place?

Is God working in your life to forgive your offenders? Are you engrafting the Word of God into your heart and the hearts of your children? Are you going to experience the truth of God's Words from His mouth and the freedom that it brings? John 8:32, "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."

Will you or your children be able to sit in a dark, dank prison cell as some of our past missionaries did and be able to recall the Words from the Lord in the form of scriptures memorized? Will angels be surrounding you and protecting you as you believe in His Words?

It doesn't matter how much you think you can stock away or prepare for the time that is must not think that you are going to be able to survive by bread alone. You can't. It is written!

I would like to encourage you today to put memorizing God's Holy Words for yourself and helping your children do it to at the top of your preparation for survival lists! Even if you think that you are doing a good enough job, you can do better. I know I have a long way to go in this area but one of my goals is to memorize large portions of scripture and also for our children too.

God will never leave you or forsake you. NO matter what you are going through. Hide His word in your heart and do not live by bread alone!

I just want to encourage you to engraft His word into your family so that you will not "starve" if the time ever comes.
Here is a scripture memory system we love around here:  Simply Charlotte Mason

Thursday, October 12, 2017

{ Farm Fresh Egg }

Back in February, we hatched out some baby chickens in the incubator. Everything was going along smoothly until the Great Fox Attack of 2017 when a fox vixen decided she would like more than half of our chickens! I will spare you the details of the carnage. Our chickens are free range chickens that return to the coop at dusk and we close and lock, yes, lock, the chicken pen door. It was not locked that night and the next morning as my husband was getting ready for work he spotted the vixen with chicken in mouth heading into the woods to her den! That is one mistake that won't soon be forgotten!

Eggs are a wonderful part of a daily diet and have many health benefits including a wonderful source of protien, protecting the heart by giving us more of the good HDL cholesterol, which in turn lowers the bad LDL cholesterol. Provide a boost in cognitive healthy choline and other rare minerals. As well as being full of rich antioxidants.

Being as we have a few allergy sufferers in our family, eggs being a major one, white and yolk, we wanted to serve only the best eggs available to our crew.  Some allergy sufferers do well on eggs baked in foods due to the protein structure change that comes along with the high constant heat temperature baking provides.
Free-range, organic eggs have been shown to have higher omega-3, and vitamin E. They also tend to be larger, and are more densely packed with nutrients. They are also very expensive in the stores. We love our chickens! And who couldn't use a more densely packed nutrient rich food to keep growing children and hard working men satisfied longer! 

Most hens start to lay eggs around 18 - 20 weeks old and we were beginning to wonder when they would begin to lay around here.  The other day we finally received our answer! 


Back in September during our staycation which was interrupted by Hurricane Irma, we purchased 13 more baby chicks on a whim while at TSC.  They are doing good and growing fine up in our brooder.  They will also be free range once they are big enough to not run off or go through the fencing to eat up our fall garden!


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

{Make Ahead Oatmeal Bowls}

With the weather getting cooler, oatmeal makes a great breakfast.  I recently made oatmeal bowls for my husband to warm up for his breakfast.  Since we buy oats in bulk, at least a 25 pound sack at a time, it is easier for him to take one of these out of the refrigerator and heat it up than it is for him to make a small pot and then when we get up and get going after he has left for work, we make another larger pot.

I put about a cup of oats in the container then I added blueberries and peach slices with water and a bit of lemon juice for it to soak.  

Then, I put the lids on and put them into the refrigerator for him.  It was so easy and quick to put together and he really appreciated the ease and quickness of preparation on his busy mornings!

I am sure you could use any fruit you would like.  I would stick to regular oats instead of quick oats though!  Use within five days.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

{ Mommy Encouragement }

20170820_193529One sunny Sunday afternoon we took a walk at the local park as a family.  It was here that I pondered the things on my heart.  The Lord is good and just and gives us what we need when we need it.  His very Word is sharp and quick.
Children are a blessing of the Lord!

Enjoy the video!

Friday, September 22, 2017

{ Back to School After Vacation }

We had a week off from homeschool because of a vacation. But this week, we got back to our regularly scheduled school day! We even had a fun trip to the library as well.

Boys reading their chosen books while waiting on the others to finish.

A table full of little ladies pouring over their choices.  It is good to have children who are readers and love the library!

Everyone at the table doing independent work.

The two little girls while I was teaching Kindergarten.

Overall, we had a great week back.  I was able to keep everyone on track and they weren't too distracted from our vacation break.  That is always good!

{ Pizza Night }

I love pizza night!  Homemade pizza is even better because I can control exactly what goes in and on the pizza!  Dough and all!

My favorite recipe for dough:

2 cups warm water
2 Tblsp sugar (your choice, I've used sucanat, pure organic cane sugar and honey!  The sweetner is to activate the yeast.)
2 Tblsp yeast

 Put in a large mixing bowl and let it sit and proof for a bout ten minutes.  After ten minutes it should be bubbly, but if not, that is okay too because you are just looking for a little poof to your dough.  Not for it to rise like a bread dough. 


2 Tblsp olive oil (your choice again, I've used olive, canola, coconut and red palm oil)
1 1/2 tsp salt
5 cups of flour (I have used half einkorn/half wheat, all wheat, all kamut, and white all purpose over the years!)
Preheat oven to 400*

Mix well.  Then knead until it is a ball.  5 to 10 minutes depending on the flour.  Cover and let rise.  Roll out on 2 pizza pans.
Now you can bake them a little or just go ahead and add sauce, cheese and toppings.  I love to sprinkle garlic powder and salt around the crust before putting on the sauce. Also, a tip, after you put everything on it, sprinkle italian seasoning, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder over it!

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until crust bottom is like you like it!

Friday, September 15, 2017

{ Sowing the Fall Harvest }

Gardening season lasts a while in our region.  As the weather cools we plant our fall crops.  The frost is yet to come and the summer heat has all nearly passed by early September.  How delightful it is to throw open the windows and wake up to cooler mornings while watching the day get longer!

This past week we started working on our fall garden.  After a trip to our favorite local feed and seed store, we set 50 onions in the raised bed.

They didn't have garlic so I ran by the store and picked up organic garlic to root. Here is a little video to tell you how I do it.  It is pretty easy!

We put 36 collard plants, 6 cauliflower, 6 broccoli, 6 lettuce and 6 brussel sprout in the remaining raised beds.

There is nothing in the world better than eating food grown from your own land!

Proverbs 11:18 KJV
"The wicked worketh a deceitful work; but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward."

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

{ Cooking Ahead for the Freezer }

Last Saturday I got ahead of my work by putting some dishes in the freezer. It is always prudent to have something you can pull out of the freezer on a moments notice for dinner the next night!

I started with 5 pounds of ground beef with onions and green peppers for a casserole and tacos.  Having precooked ground beef in the freezer is great!  You can also cook a lot all at once and be done with it!

 Next, I made a marinade of orange juice, olive oil, garlic powder, ginger, salt and pepper.  I chopped some more onions and green peppers and put it in a ziplock baggie and put some uncooked chicken tenderloins inside to pull out for a crockpot meal.  I made two bags of that.  I will defrost it overnight in the fridge and then the next morning put it in my crockpot on low for the day!  Serve it with a pot of rice and a salad.

I made a meatloaf to put in the freezer for a meal and a lunch.  It was my regular sized meatloaf. I will serve it will fresh rolls, mashed potatoes, green beans, asparagus and a salad.

Of course, while the oven was on, I baked 36 breakfast muffins, one loaf of banana bread and 2 loaves of bread.  It was a very profitable freezer cooking day!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

{ Einkorn in the Bread Machine }

Einkorn wheat is a favorite of ours around here for bread baking.  It does have a learning curve to it though.  I have been trying to perfect a loaf in the bread machine for those busy days when I am out and need a fresh loaf for dinner. 

I have a zozurushi machine and it has been a favorite of ours out of all the bread machines, we have had three, we have owned! It has a programmable setting so I used the recommended settings from the Einkorn book on page 16 and my own recipe.

 It turned out pretty good but the loaf was lopsided because the machine is a larger machine and my recipe makes a smaller loaf.

The recipe:
Angel Bread for machine

2/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp salt
3 Tblsp melted coconut oil (or butter)
2 Tblsp sugar
2+ cups of flour - I used fresh milled einkorn so ended up putting nearly 3 cups in.  You will have to watch your dough ball.
1 1/2 Tblsp yeast

If you don't have a programmable machine, use the light crust setting.
If you try it, let me know how it comes out!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

{Our Summer School Fun}

So, summer school is over and we can jump full swing into the school year! Instead of letting them get too bored, I decided two years ago to jump on the chance of their natural propensity to that and set our summer up with theme weeks! Each week we have a theme we focus on. I make a plan and this year I printed it out and comb bound it so I could keep up with it. I always keep their reading logs for the summer reading program in a file folder for ease of organization so I thought this would be great and it was!

*******The first two weeks of summer were spent reading and reading and more reading so to finish the summer reading program!  Of course, they read every day anyway but they were really psyched for that and the prizes. 
Park visits were, and mostly are anyway, a weekly thing around here.

******We had a water week.  Activities included, mega water balloon fight, lots of swimming in our pool, fishing afternoons down at the lake for the teenagers and a family fishing trip.
Yes, that is our 5 year old on the right, she loves to fly fish!!
Fishing fun

*********We had a Community Service week, where we visited the courthouse and talked with the local sheriffs there.  We had planned to also visit the fire station and police station but mommy came down with something that lasted the whole week so that got cancelled.  Maybe next summer!

 ********We also had Inventing Week.  We watched a few videos on inventors and then commenced to inventing our own things.  We had a focus hat, a makeup-inator which put on makeup automatically, a boat, a pair of binoculars, a whirlpool maker and a thermal cooling unit mockup!  I was very surprised that some of them were already planning next years inventions by the end of the week!

******We also had a Wild West Week where we watched old westerns, which were family friendly, they loved Bonanza!  Then we dressed up and went to town in the wagon for lunch and the library.  They really looked great in their little getups!
I had other weeks planned but we didn't get to them due to excitement of a new school year!  It seems they wanted to start school already and I had most everything we needed so I set to work on planning for that and we went and started last week! 

Overall, summer was good and happy!