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!

Monday, August 28, 2017

{ Our Family Food Philosophy }

Our family food philosophy is this:
  • To eat as close to as natural state as God intended 
  • To eat as organically as we possibly can afford
  • To stay far away from GMOs as possible
  • To eat for sustenance as well as fun
  • To eat to maintain a healthy weight  
  • To eat foods in season
Here are some ways I try to do this in our family.  I order food from sources where I can find at the lowest price available.  I like to order food from Azure Standard and Country Life Natural Foods.
(Country Life order is a co-op with some local people.)  

I order from Natures Garden Express most weeks which delivers fresh,  organic fruits, vegetables and other things, to my door. I use them to refresh my fresh stuff midweek and I don't have to leave the house at all!  The picture below is last week's delivery.  I love that, unlike a CSA,  I can exchange and swap out items I don't want for items I do!  The milk is farm fresh, lightly pasturized, non-homogenized whole milk.  I drain off the cream and make butter and put it in my coffee.  Yum!

{See if they deliver to your area and use my referral code (45157) for $10.00 off your first order!}

 We keep a flock of chickens.  They free range and do not get many grains.  Free range chicken, and eggs, is a wonderful addition to any plate!

We keep a large garden and eat from it, put it up by drying, freezing or canning the surplus.  In our area, we have a long growing season which allows for great food for the cost of seeds and sweat equity!  We grow food almost year round.  We garden organically and use natural things for pest control etc.  We also have fruit trees and berry bushes, although the deer usually get to the fruit before we do.

View of our garden, shed and chicken coop area
  We grind our grains and bake baked goods at home!  Bread, tortillas, crackers, cookies, buns, cakes, pies etc. it is all made from fresh whole spelt, kamut, buckwheat, einkorn, or wheat berries that I grind myself!  We've been grinding our grains since February 2000.
Here is one of my favorite articles on grinding grains from Sue Becker.

 We do not eat out often.  We cook and prepare our meals mostly here at the house.  Besides the fact that it is expensive, it is often filled with GMOs.  

I get my pastured pork and grass-fed beef from a farmer here locally.  The grocery store prices are just too much!  It is easier and cheaper to go to the local source.  Thankfully, we do have a few local sources.  ( We probably should set up a post and watch for those fruit and berry eating deer, which would serve twofold purpose! )

 Well, thank you for reading and sticking with me for so long.  I hope I have given you an idea or two about how to eat well a little bit cheaper.  What is your family food philosophy?

Thursday, August 24, 2017

{New School Year Begins!}

 First day of school happened on Tuesday!  How wonderful to be back in the swing of things!

This year, I have five students with a little three year old thrown in the mix!  How fun!  Two high schoolers, two elementary schoolers, and a kindergartner.  With a college student plus a three year old!

Can you you see the four in the background at the table?  They love our one room schoolhouse!  Most of the time.  Remember, we have a three year old!

Here are some of the books we will be using for the little ones in geography, science and history.  I hope to have a post soon on what we will be using for the year!
I also have a post in the works for what we did for Summer Theme School. 
And our reading club chart and theme for the year!  Slowly but surely!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

{Capsule Making }

 Eating healthy and supplementing with vitamins and herbs can really take a toll on your wallet!  So I choose to order my supplies online and make my own capsules when needed. 
I ordered from Mountain Rose Herbs and on this day I made 67 capsules of vitex for $1.34 total!  It is usually at least $15.00 for a bottle that often doesn't last a month.  This will last me two.  

 I also ordered some herbs for making tea and other capsules for the coming sickness season to keep the family in tip top shape.  I will make the echinacea capsules closer to the time I need them. 


Saving money on things is something I try to do to keep us on a budget and eating organically as possible.  It works for us!  Have you ever made up your own herbal capsules or teas?

Linking up with To Grandmas House We Go!

{ Just As I Am }

I am just me.  
Nothing spectacular, just a mom trying to do her best to do everything she should. 
 Christ goes before me.  
He goes after me.
 I am just one.  
He is The One.  
His strength makes my weaknesses perfect. 
 He is The One. 
 His Love propels me to be more than I am. 
A better wife.
A better mother.
A better person.

Linking up with Apron and Pearls link up

Friday, June 30, 2017

( Spring's End }

"Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength."  Joel 2:22

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

{ Stay Hydrated }

Soon the summer heat will be poured out from the earth's atmosphere and the seasonal struggle with humidity and hydration will ensue.  Are you ready?

 For the past few weeks, I have been making myself a veggie fruit juice for breakfast with my trusty juicer.  It is delightful!  When I first started to juice I had to find the right combo to suit my taste buds.  One fine day I stumbled upon my favorite, just by adding a whole lemon!

Here is my favorite mixture:
  • one pear
  • one generous handful of washed mixed greens
  • a carrot
  • a half of a lemon or lime
I then pour that over ice and make the kids a smoothie and we all drink up!  (I wish I could do smoothies myself but they just don't suit my pallet and make me gag!)  This tastes like a lemonade!  No added sugar but the sweetness of the carrots and pear make it so good.

Another thing that helps to stay hydrated, besides drinking plenty of water, is cucumber water.

Just slice up cucumbers and put them into a pitcher of water and let it set in the fridge until you want a glass.  I like to add a strawberry or two to make it on the sweeter side!  The benefits of cucumber water include reducing blood pressure, because it has a high percentage of potassium and also the vitamin k helps by providing the vitamin needed to make healthy protein for blood clotting and bone building.  As an aside, consuming just one cup of sliced cucumbers gives you 19 percent of an adults daily vitamin k!

The possibilities are endless for hydration ideas!  As a mom, these are some of the ways I try to sneak in the liquids for my family.  What are some of the ways you do this?

Sharing today with The Charm of Home.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

{ Just a Short While }

One day, she will be too big to sleep in my arms in the rocking chair, for hours at night, when she's sick. It comes too soon. That end of days. Days of cuddling, curiosity, charming winsome ways. Of changing diapers, spoon feeding, nursing. Of holding her when she's sick or kissing booboos and putting that mommy cure-all kiss of a bandaid on her hurts.

Sickly, for just a short while...

 In the timeline of life, their life with us, in our home, is so short. Draw a line and label it 1 to 75, mark off the first 18 years with a yellow highlighter. That is how long you get to mold and shape them and be their all.

Playing, for just a short while....

 After that, it is not up to you. It is all over and you will have missed it if you didn't take notice of the seemingly little things.

Too soon they walk out your door...

 Thirty years, so far, into this journey of motherhood and I know. I know. Enjoy these moments and don't you ever complain. Not even in the thick of it.

A short while later, they are married...