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Showing posts from 2013

Dreaming of Land

Lately I have been savoring the idea of downsizing. The thought of living more simply and with less stuff is, to me at least, intoxicating. 

When I compare our house with what I see at garage sales or organizing tv shows, we don't have nearly as much stuff as the average American. But we probably have more than we actually need and could do with some paring down.  
I don't know if I want to have a garage sale or just donate it all to the local thrift shops. But the pile of stuff in our basement that we don't want/need anymore seems to grow larger all the time. 

We are also excited about the upcoming prospect of moving! My husband's work contract in the next couple of months is supposed to pay quite well which might give us the opportunity to put a down payment on a new home or some land. (*giddy dance*)

Just the thought of owning our own home again with some decent land is SO exciting. The last 6 years, we've lived in homes with basically unusable outdoor space. And no…

Is There Room in Your Heart for Hospitality?

I just want to encourage you that even if you are not a confident hostess (I am not either!) you can still open your home to guests and make them feel welcome and wanted. 

Our homes don't have to be perfect — just clean and open. Inviting friends to come and "sup" with you and enjoy fellowship together is part of the mission of homekeeping. It's part of the delight, too. 

Hospitality begins in the heart. Neglecting the opportunity to welcome guests into your home actually does your husband and children a disservice.  The children especially. Kids need to see hospitality in action so they will be able to replicate it in their own homes and hearts someday. There are far too many families who hole up and never invite people over. They do not feel their homes are worthy. And that might be true. If they've arranged their home only for themselves, then it's no wonder they don't invite others over. 

If that is true for you, you can change that if you want to. Every…

Latest Happenings Around Our Home

Things have been busy around our house these days. The holidays always add extras that take up more time but are fun nonetheless.
Last month, just days before Thanksgiving, our 14yo came down ill with the flu. Soon after our 17yo became ill, followed by yours truly.  Unfortunately, for our family the day of Thanksgiving was a blur. Our boys recovered fairly quickly but I was bed ridden for days.  
But the following Sunday, the last day of what was supposed to be four glorious days off together as a family, we had our little Thanksgiving. A golden roasted (organic!) turkey with all of our favorite trimmings - dressing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole and homemade cranberry sauce with apple pie for dessert!  This was the first time anyone in our family has been sick on a holiday so it was quite the bummer.  I'm just thankful we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving at all this year.
December arrived in a hurry for us. We were blessed to kick off the holiday season with three Christm…

Homemade "Jell-O"

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Since my sons have been under the weather the last few days, taking care of them, my husband, the house, our pet, their chores, the meals, the extra disinfecting, and homemade remedies has kept me been busier than a gopher on a golf course. :-)  
My youngest has always liked jello, especially when he's sick. But since I don't like all the added ingredients in the commercial brands, I make it myself and thought I'd share how to do it.  You will need: 
1 heat proof container (I use an 8x8 baking dish) small containers (optional - for individual servings) 2 packets Knox Gelatin 1 container frozen juice concentrate (black cherry is good)

Combine juice concentrate + two cans of water in saucepan.  Pour out one cup of juice mixture; reserve. Heat to boiling. 
Pour juice into baking dish and sprinkle 2 packets gelatin over top.  Stir till dissolved.

Pour in the reserved cold juice and stir till combined. 

Pour gelatin mixture into individual containers OR leave in original container.  Refriger…

A Mother's Priorities - Natural Remedies

It's that time of year! Autumn is my favorite season, but it does seem to usher in colds and flu. In my opinion, natural remedies should be on every mother's list of priorities.

My boys came down with flu symptoms yesterday and I have been using my arsenal of herbs and remedies and they are already showing signs of healing. I found myself reflecting on how far I've come in my 25 years as a mother and thought I would share a bit of what I've learned with you.

When I was a young mother, any fever was considered bad and children's tylenol was the answer. But now, I don't panic at fevers below 102° because I know their immune response is working.

When I was a young mother, sickness usually meant calls or visits to the doctor, accompanied by a trip to the pharmacy for ill advised, gut-destroying antibiotics or other "medicine".

Now, we only use acetaminophen as a last resort when pain or fever have not responded to natural treatments. But I honestly can't …

A Mother's Priorities - A Healthy Home

Each year I look forward to the arrival of Autumn. The smoky rooftops, twilight skies, falling leaves and crisp cool air are irresistible! I try to bring the beauty indoors and decorate my house and front porch with pumpkins, leaves and shades of orange and gold. 

But then comes the inevitable and I breathe a sad, frustrated sigh as I'm faced with reminders of Halloween competing for attention during the beautiful month of October.  One nice surprise this year has been the lack of any halloween displays in our local Costco.  Makes me wonder if maybe that store is managed by a Christian?

So what does all this have to do with a healthy home? Well, for me, autumn signals the time to start closing up the house and bracing ourselves for chilly weather and eventually winter.  We all want our homes to be as clean and healthy as possible, and one of the most neglected aspects of good housekeeping today is fresh indoor air. 

There are several different ways we can increase the quality of air …

Homeschooling Insecurities

A reader shared:  

Even though what I'm doing with him isn't hard, (numbers, letters, shapes, etc...) I still can't seem to shake the feeling that I'm not qualified for this!  I'll get thoughts like, "What if I'm doing him a great disservice?!" or, "I'm not a good enough mom to be a homeschool mom!!!"  It didn't help that I took all my kids to Target today, and an older many stopped us and said, "You kids should be in school!"  Do you remember having thoughts like this when you started? How do you defend yourself to people who tell you  to send your kids to school?

I can only answer for myself. But I believe insecurities like this come mostly from preconditioning. Investigate where those doubts are originating. 

Just what does "a homeschool mom" look like?  Answers will vary because people vary in their ideals. I would describethe ideal homeschool mother as God fearing, kind, loving and industrious. She is a woman wh…

Autumn and What I've Been Up To

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I am happy that fall is here. It is such a beautiful time of year with the cool breezes and the glorious autumn leaves on parade. I already broke out my fall decorations and candles!

Some of you might have noticed that I took the summer off from blogging.  :) It wasn't really intentional. Days turned into weeks and weeks to months. Blogging takes time and I wanted to give that time to my family over the summer. My posts may never keep up with the pace of other "pro mommy bloggers" but for me, I prefer blogging when time permits and I have something to say. 

Anyway...

Over the Spring and Summer my husband has been working a few hours away from home on and off for weeks at a time and that took some getting used to. It certainly altered our home routines. I missed him so very much when he was away.  Our whole family got to go with him a couple of times which was really great.  And our 17yo worked with him several times. It was a resort town in the mountains and really beautifu…

Free From Sin

In the book of Romans, it says repeatedly we are free from sin, free from sin, free from sin.

"Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." Romans 6:18

"But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." Romans 6:22

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sinand death."  Romans 8:2

God has made many immutable laws. There are spiritual laws and physical laws. The law of gravity is an example of a fixed and unforgiving physical law that God made.  The bible says that by the promises God has given us, we are partakers in the divine nature. 

"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these [the promises] ye might be partakers of thedivine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."2 Peter 1:4-9  


This Scripture also states that believers have escape…

Homespun Haircuts

Not everyone is comfortable with the thought of haircuts done at home. We all want to look our best and you can easily wind up looking your absolute worst with a botched up haircut. I know. Been there!

But giving haircuts to your family at home can be a real money saver. And time saver when you factor in making appointments, driving, waiting for the barber/stylist, etc. 

When my husband and I were newly married, we had very little money and I did all I could to be frugal and thrifty. So one day I bought a clipper set at Target that came with a free how-to video. I watched the video and it filled me with confidence.  "I can do that," I said to myself. And I did. Nowadays the clipper sets don't seem to come with videos anymore, but you can find them all over the internet, so that is just as good, if not better.  

Anyone with a little coordination and an ounce of artistic expression can give a decent haircut. 

My husband was a willing and ready participant.  This spoke nothing …