October 06, 2010

Done blogging for a while......

It feels like a good time to take a break.  Life is busy and my posting has become sparse.  My Allie may still post occasionally about farm life and such on her blog if you want to follow her :O)

September 27, 2010

An Unwelcome Guest

I can hardly stand to look at this picture (FYI - I did not take it - Allie did).
I'm sure our slithery friend eats lots of mice, but even so, I am now looking in all directions before I enter the barn.  He is actually up in the rafters in this picture.........so creepy!

September 07, 2010

Allie's Braces Are On!

This photo was taken against her will.

I Made Ricotta!

It was very easy to do and the flavor was wonderful! I made stuffed shells with it, but next time I am going try something sweet :O)

September 01, 2010


After 3 days of "practice" milking and giving it to the pigs, chickens, and cats; we are finally ready to bring the milk to the table!  We have decided to keep the calf on Beatrice and milk her once per day (in the evening). 

Tonight she gave us 1.5 gallons of milk - probably closer to 2 if you count the rations for the cats and dog.  I'm sure she could produce a lot more milk than this, but it is already more than we would normally use in one day.  Tomorrow we will attempt to make butter :O)

August 29, 2010

It's a boy!

Welcome to the World Colin

August 25, 2010

So sweet!

Ashlyn taking the leadrope out to walk Beatrice to some new grass.

August 24, 2010

The BIG Cook!

It's like freezer cooking....only better!  And, it's easier too :O) 

If you ever cook for large groups, this book comes in very handy.  Check out the website for recipe. samples.   It is also available at Amazon.

The Big Cook

August 20, 2010

Beatrice Arrives

Isn't she lovely! She is due to calve around the 5th of September, so fresh milk is just around the corner :O)

August 19, 2010

And that's the way the money goes.......

New truck for Allan.........check!
Braces for Allie..........in process!

Milk cow for me........picking her up tomorrow!

(will post her actual picture soon)

August 12, 2010

Just a quick thumbs up

After trying a few different "learn to read" programs with no real winners, I finally found one that works for us!  Ashlyn LOVES it, it is easy on me, and it is fairly affordable.  Another plus is that it works well with the Happy Phonics games we already enjoy.  What is this great program you may ask? 

By: Valerie Bendt
Reading Made EasyReading Made Easy Student Activity Book One: A student workbook for Reading Made Easy (Volume 1)

If you are in the market for a reading instruction program, this one is worth a look.

August 11, 2010

Some days are like that

Some days the kids (one or all) can drive me nuts.  Today, it was Ashlyn's turn at the wheel and boy can she drive.  We have been working on first time obedience, and I'm feeling like we are getting nowhere!  At the library the Alice in Wonderland DVD had to stay behind because of bad behavior.  And later, at the bookstore, several sunglasses from the turntable rack had to be picked up off of the floor because *someone* couldn't resist giving it a big spin.  ARGH!  No ice cream at Jason's Deli for that one.  What's a mom to do?  Well, first I checked out a book recommended by a friend called Creative Correction
Creative Correction

I clearly need some fresh ideas!

Then, I started wondering if God ever looks at me as I fumble through life, make bad choices, and lose my temper with the kids and thinks, "There she goes spinning the sunglasses rack again!".
Isn't it wonderful!
I need to remember to give it as often as I receive it.
God is so patient.

August 10, 2010

Back to School

Yesterday we officially started our 2010-2011 school year.  Ashlyn is joining us now full-time as a kindergartner for family work time.  This adds some new, but welcome, distractions.

I have kept most things as they are posted on the "Our Curriculum" page, but I did make a switch for Allie's science.  She will be using Apologia Physical Science this year.  I think it will be enjoyable.
Exploring Creation with Physical Science 2nd Edition Full Set

July 21, 2010

Getting back into the swing

July has been a whirlwind.  It began with a 10 day vacation to see family in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  While there, we attended a baptism, a funeral, and a family reunion; needless to say, we saw nearly *everyone* on this trip. 

We also had the opportunity to get to know an amazing family of six.  The Cowperthwaite's have a traveling evangelism mission and they spent about a month living on the property just north of us.  We were able to share meals, play games, and encourage and inspire one another.  A lifelong friendship was formed this summer!  We were very sad to see them leave on Tuesday, but we know that God has great things for them and we wish them much success in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

My garden has been producing abundantly as have the squash bugs.  Yesterday, I admitted defeat and pulled out the infested plants.  All other vegetables are doing well.  We will have fresh green beans for dinner today. 

It rained 4 inches last night and it is just plain swampy out; today promises to be another sticky 90 something.  Fall can't come too soon for this girl :O)

June 29, 2010

Moments in the garden

Henry Hiding in the Pole Bean Tepee
Morning Dew on the Strawberries

I am loving God's creation!

June 28, 2010

Picklers are ready

This morning I canned 4 pints of dill chips.  Hopefully I will be able to do at least that many more later this week.  Soon the greenbeans will be ready too......YUM!

We have also been blessed with *a lot* of squash lately.  Hopefully some of that will make it into the freezer for leaner times.

Next year's garden plan is growing by the day :O)

June 25, 2010

Reshaping my views on nutrition

I have been a perpetual yo-yo dieter since I was 14.........sad I know.  As I get older however, it is becoming less about how I look and more about how I feel.  Enter Nina Planck.

Her book has totally changed the way I view food.   I feel liberated to enjoy butter, eggs, and whole milk again without guilt. 

We are a family who subscribes to the slower rural lifestyle and this way of eating just fits!

If you need help getting off the industrial food conveyor belt, READ THIS BOOK!

Other great resources that have inspired change are:

*Just a note:  The majority of the resources above do speak of evolution as truth.  Even so, much wisdom regarding our food choices can be gleaned.  Read with a discerning eye.  Blessings.  

June 22, 2010

Making Hay

We are having the hottest days of the year here thus far, so one might think we'd be sitting on the front porch with cool glasses of lemonade in hand, but alas, we are making hay.   I snapped this shot of Allie and Henry when the hay wagon rolled in around 9:00 p.m.

June 15, 2010


Last week was VBS at our church and I am part of the coordination team. After several months of planning and painting, it was time to open our doors to the the 11 and under crowd. What an awesome and crazy week! We had about 100 kids having fun learning about Jesus everyday. Here are a few pictures. Sorry family, there are none of Caleb.....they all turned out blurry.....he just never stops moving :O)

June 09, 2010

Happy Birthday Dear Allie

Thirteen years ago today I gave birth to my first child.  A beautiful 7 lb. 15 oz. baby girl we named Allie.  Where does the time go?  Am I the only mom who cries on their children's birthdays?  I was looking through pictures of when we moved to the farm seven years ago.  Allie was six.  Now, my eyes are filling with tears because I realize that in seven short years she will be twenty.  What's a mom to do?
I just want to pause and thank the Lord for the gift of my precious Allie. 

"Heavenly Father, thank you for blessing me with an amazing daughter.  Help me to savor every moment that I have with her.  Give me the wisdom to raise her as a young woman who hungers for you.  Remind me daily that while the days are sometimes long, the years are ever shorter and being a mom is the most important mission I have.  I ask these things in the name of Jesus.  Amen"

Allie- I love you more than words can express.  You are my right arm most days and a treasure to our family.  You grow more beautiful every year.  May God bless you richly. 

Love, Mom

Allie age 6

Allie now

June 05, 2010

Tree Project

Yesterday was a big day at our house.  We had a tree moving company relocate 20 trees, that we planted about six years ago, to our immediate yard.  WOW - What a difference!  Check out the "Before & After" shots.

Tree Project June 2010

May 29, 2010

In the Garden

We have lived on our 10 acres for 7 years now, and I am embarrassed to say that in all that time, I have never had a successful garden.  Oh, I could grow weeds better than anyone, but nothing else ever seemed to do well. 

I was determined that this year would be different.  I needed a new plan.  Enter my sweet husband :O)  with the solution to all my problems....RAISED BEDS!  I have the best garden I have ever had!

This morning it was just beautiful, so I went out early to get the weeding done.  It feels so productive to grow our own food.  I can't wait to enjoy the bounty.

May 27, 2010

The Glider Project

Today I got to sew for my son, but this was not your ordinary sewing project.  No clothing or quilts were made.  No, we made a replica of Orville and Wilbur Wright's 1900 Glider. 

The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the AirplaneCaleb has been fascinated with planes ever since he read Russell Freedman's book about the Wright Brothers, so today he asked if we could try making a model.  We brain stormed about ways to make it work and we finally settled on muslin and toothpicks.  I sewed small channels for the toothpicks to give the top and bottom wings body, then we used hot glue to hold it all together.  It may be too heavy to fly, but it was so fun making something with my son.

May 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Dear Caleb

It is hard to believe that my little boy is 9 today. Time has gone so quickly. He is such a sweet spirit, loves the Lord, and is always looking out for his sisters.

For his birthday breakfast.....doughnuts. What better way to celebrate life than with food that will kill ya! LOL :O)

Later today we will have pizza, chocolate cake, and more pizza. Good thing birthdays only come once a year!

May 21, 2010

Playing with the School Supplies

I'll fess up right away. When I ordered a set of Prismacolor watercolor pencils with our Rainbow Resource homeschool order, I was only halfway thinking of the children. I have always wanted to buy a set, but could never seem to justify it for myself. Well, I worked my way around that one, and today had a chance to try them out. I had never used watercolor pencils before, but they were so fun and easy to use. I am NOT an artist in the "drawing" sort of way, so I think what I like most about watercolor is the forgiving nature of it. Anyway, I scanned in my picture hoping any moms out there who don't *do* art will feel like giving it a go. And really, "Buy the good pencils!" :O)

May 18, 2010

Caleb's Mushroom Hunt

Days of rain and little sun have left the ground squishy soft and the air humid.  What better time for a boy to go on a mushroom hunt!  Caleb had fantastic luck in the woods this afternoon.  He is still looking through his field guide to try identify them (which is harder than it sounds) but I'm satisfied that he had a great time exploring God's creation.

May 17, 2010

Gettin' Green

Once upon a time there was a mom who wanted to do the right thing and recycle. But alas, she got lazy and always forgot to take her recycling to the sorting center because it was 15 miles away and her bins were in the basement (bad-bad-location).

Well, now she has no more excuses because her small town has recycling bins for all major categories: glass, cardboard, metals, and plastics. (YIPPEE!)  And our bins have been spiffed up and moved to the mudroom, which happens to be right on the way out the door. (Much Smarter)

So, that is the story of how one mom with good intentions got herself back on the green track.

May 13, 2010

Homemade Baking Mix

I thought it was high time I shared my favorite homemade baking mix.  It will work anywhere you would use Bisquick and it even works for Mary Jane Butters' famous bakeover recipes.  One of my favorite things about this mix is that it doesn't have any shortening in it, so it keeps very well.  I keep a small container of it in my cabinet and store the remainder in a Ziploc bag in the freezer.

In a Large Bowl mix the following:
10 cups of flour  (I use a whole grain white flour, but you could use all white or 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat)
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
4 Tbsp. Baking Powder  (I like aluninum free)
3 tsp. salt

It bakes up nice and fluffy.  Here is a picture of the cheeseburger pie I made last night.  YUM!

May 12, 2010

Books and Things Seminar

For Mother's Day, my sweet husband blessed me with The Books and Things Seminar from Simply Charlotte Mason.   Today I had time to watch the first session and I can tell you that one can never stop learning about the amazing methods of Charlotte Mason.  Something new jumps out at me every time.  Sonya Shafer does a terrific job of making CM so very doable.  I cannot wait to watch the other three sessions.  I love teacher training  :O)

A New Dress for Ashlyn

I made this dress in 40 minutes flat from one of Ashlyn's t-shirts from last year and a scrap of fabric from our stash.  I got the idea from another mom (thanks Anna) and definitely see more of these in our future.  It was super easy!   I simply stitched a seam down the back of the skirt fabric and gathered the top edge.  Then I eased the gathered edge around the hem of the t-shirt, pinned, stitched, and finally hemmed the skirt.  VIOLA! A new dress :O)  Just the kind of project that makes everyone happy.

May 10, 2010

So touching

Today I read Ashlyn a book called, The Rag Coat, by Lauren Mills, and I almost didn't make it through! This little story is both heart wrenching and heart warming at the same time. If you have never read it, I recommend moving it to the top of your list (even if you don't have kids under 6). Then let me know if I'm the only overly sentimental mom, because I choked up three times, and needed a tissue by the end!

May 09, 2010

Mom's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of you amazing Godly moms that visit here and that I know only via the internet.  The inspiration, encouragement , and wisdom that I find on various sites and blogs is priceless to me.  The Lord has truly blessed the connections we have. 

Have a wonderful day filled with love, rest, and the peace that you are doing His precious will.

May 05, 2010


It has been too beautiful to blog for the past several days.  We have spent many hours in the out-of-doors playing and gardening. 

However, I do have a goodie to share with you.  I made this Book of Centuries template for my oldest daughter and thought some of you might like it as well.  I had mine printed and spiral bound at the local office supply store.  It cost around $30, but it is for all 4 high school years (and I used really high quality paper and color ink).  You could always print it at home and put it in a three-ring binder.  I found this layout to be more easily organized than a general year A to year B page.  Enjoy!

Book of Centuries Generic

April 30, 2010

How Sweet!

Shannon at Homeschooling Their Hearts just gave me a Sunshine Blog Award. The Sunshine Award is gifted from one blogger to another that she feels "inspires others and shows positivity and creativity." Isn't that sweet?!

Now, one of the guidelines for the award states I must pass the award on to 10 fellow bloggers.  So, here are 10 of my FAVORITES!

~Dove's Rest
~Feminine Farmgirl
~Haigh Happenings
~Joyful in Hope
~Regan Family Farm
~Gracefilled Oaks
~Generation Cedar
~Joyfully at Home
~I am but a vessel
~Home Living

Here are the rules to the award:

1. Put the Sunshine Award logo on your blog and/or in a new post;
2. Pass the award onto 10 fellow bloggers;
3. Link the nominees within your post;
4. Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blogs;
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.