Monday, June 30, 2008



If you have not heard of Homeschooll Freebie of the Day you better head over there RIGHT NOW!

They have a most awesome resource today! A five year home study course on hand sewing and stitchery entitled Stitchery For Girls: Learn How To Sew The Same Way Great Grandma Did (1911).


Be sure to sign up for the weekly notice of the upcoming freebies. There is a little surprise in each weekly email for subscribers only. It too is free for the notice and the surprise is free as well.


Herbs Herbs Herbs!


I recently got my kit from and have been enjoying it as well as the $1 trial to has two FREE e-courses that are actually really good and informative. ESPECIALLY for the beginner like me.

I paid more for my kit than the current price is. The DVD is EASY to understand and I am so excited about making my own salves and tinctures! You sign up on an email list to know when the kits are available. THERE IS NO OBLIGATION TO BUY when you sign up on the email list. BUT just by signing up, currently you get a free mp3 (they did not have that available when I signed up, but I have heard the mp3 and it is GOOD STUFF)! Then you get an email which will allow you to pre-buy the kit, which is what we did, or wait for the email to let you know the kit is now available (but if you do this they MIGHT be sold out as the only have a certain number they make each month).

Once you get your kit, you can sign up for a $1 trail of Here you have access to the forums as well as lots of articles, videos and audio mp3's. Even some books!! They just released a cookbook that deals with wild herbs! WONDERFUL! The videos and the audios are downloadable, so you can keep them and have access to them even after the trial is over. And you can put them on your iPod so you can listen to them anywhere! :) The forums have been VERY helpful and the videos, while definitely home made, are VERY simple and informative! The audios are AWESOME! I have them on my iTunes and listen to them with the children. Everything you are able to download you are able to keep! Even if you cancel your subscription! :)

I have learned a lot from the whole site and will be renewing my subscription. Some things I have learned: how to make herb cookies, how to make dandelion fritters, how to make hand creams, how to make sleep pillow with PROPER herbs (not just lavender!), how to make infusions, and how to help JJ by getting bitters into his diet (yep, a personal question about JJ was answered and it was VERY helpful!).

We have used the free video lessons, the kit and the forum and videos for our homeschooling and it is so GREAT to be teaching the next generation about this lost art of using the herbs that God gave us!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What To Teach Our Children?

It seems easy enough to teach our children about creation. When a child mentions that God created the world, created man, and that we did not evolve from monkeys or slime, most people can accept that that is their belief, they are a Christian.

However there are some things which get a little more tricky when teaching our children.

For example, that dinosaurs and man lived together. Can you believe there are Christians who believe that dinosaurs became extinct before God created man? There is a lot of Biblical evidence to show otherwise.

Another article also mentions that it might be possible, as some scientists believe, that some dinosaurs do still exist. There have been sightings of animals that could be dinosaurs as far back as the 1800's and as current as this century. So do you tell your children it is possible that dinosaurs still exist?

People are already leary of anyone who has such faith in the Bible. Do we follow a literal Bible or not?

What about unicorns? Believed to be a mythical creature, there are mentions of unicorns in the Bible. Do you tell your children unicorns really did exist? That one might get you several strange looks.

What to do when your child, who believes everything you say, whom you are entrusted by the Lord to teach and instruct (which is why we homeschool), tells the cashier at the grocery store that unicorns were real? Or that dinosaurs still exist?

When they are little little, others shrug it off as childish imagination. But when the child is 8, 9 and older, the parent gets a strange look. And the cashier tries to explain to the child that they are wrong. It happens all the time when Biblical truth contradicts worldly wisdom. Be it unicorns or that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, when a child mentions Biblical truth, they will be tested. While one is not essential to salvation, both are Biblical truths. And our children need to be firm in their foundation.

I am not looking forward to the trials they will go through at such an early age. Ones that their children will have to face even earlier. Our society has fallen so far away from God, that the mere mention of His name brings anger and hate. Time to sharpen some arrows. For a mighty battle is coming sooner than I would like.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday's Fun: Gardening

We just bought some lavender, rosemary (well a spring of rosemary really), a dying strawberry plant, and a dying pumpkin plant.

The girls had a BLAST helping us pick out the plants! And I have had to play catch up in learning how to care for them!

I did well planting the lavender and rosemary together as they grow well together. However I learned a new term.

Tender Perennial. Of course I did not know that rosemary was a tender perennial when I bought it.

So what is a tender perennial?

"A perennial plant that is not hardy in cold climates, where it may be grown as an annual."

Oh man! it does not like the mountains! BUMMER! At least I only paid $1 for it. I will TRY to bring it in before the first frost (hopefully I won't kill it before then and transplanting it for a second time won't kill it either).

Anyways, I found a great page that talks about winterizing the herb garden.

The girls are enjoying learning about taking care of the garden. It has been wonderful learning about lavender! The girls love the smell and our first project is harvesting some so we can make sachets to go by each of their beds!

How To Do A Farmer's Market

First things first. You need to know WHERE your local farmer's markets are. A google search with the words "farmer's market" and the name of your city usually do a GREAT job of getting you started. Pick one and make plans to go.

Preparing to go:
  • Make sure you have a cooler in your car. A fairly good sized one. I have one of those fold down ones so it takes up very little space in the car. And then I have another one that is a bag that folds way down. I bring both of those. The market is usually not very close to your house. And especially on hot days, by the time you get home, even with the air on, you can usually smell the produce ripening (not a good thing LOL!). Once, I left out a container of strawberries. It ended up going bad after only one day whereas the one that go put in the cooler lasted 4 days before going bad.
  • Make sure you have lots of cash. Bring smaller bills. Yes, it is a bit more difficult, epscially with kids in tow, to count out a lot of ones. BUT, when the farmer's see lots of bills, they are MUCH more willing to bargain.
  • Some sort of wagon or carry-a-long is a great idea. Especially if you are there shortly before closing as they are really in the mood to make a deal and you will get a lot of good produce and not be able to carry it. :)
  • Bring the kids! My 8yr dd has developed the best sense of smell for melons. She picks the most delicious ones by nose alone. That did not hapen with her staying at home sitting on the couch. :) PLUS, farmer's sometimes like to give away freebies to the kids. Each of my kids got a free pint of strawberries today (yes, today was our trip to the farmer's market).

At the market:
  • Most farmer's are not certified organic. But that does not mean that they are not growing their produce organically. It costs money for the farmer to pay for the certification. Which makes them have to raise their prices. When you ask if they are organic, they usually say they are pesticide free, or that they are conventional. If they say pesticide free, you are pretty much safe. If you feel more comfortable, you can ask if they use organic methods to grow their produce.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for a deal. The worst they can say is no. Usually, if you have the cash out when you ask, they are more willing to accept the deal. You will usually not get a deal on one item. An example from today: Cantaloupes were $2 each. I got three and asked if they would take $5 for three.
  • Don't let them talk you into a deal that is not a good one for you. I asked for a deal and was told that I could have it if I bought $5 worth of basil. That was SO MUCH basil, and I don't use enough, so that would not have been a good deal for me. He eventually gave me the deal along with another deal and I ended up with $18 worth of produce for only $10!
  • Ask around while you are there! Usually there are others there who go to other farmer's markets in the area. They can tell you which ones are good and which one's are bad. I had been planning on going one that actually happened in the evening (the only one in the area) and was told to avoid it because it was very disappointing.
  • They don't want to have to haul it all back to the farm. Remember that. If you go early in the day, you might get the best picks (especially if you are asking for seconds#), but you are also going to pay for it. Getting there about an hour before closing will allow you to get some REALLY good deals. Usually they are letting you know about the deals as you walk past them (in order for you to shop with them rather than continue walking). If you walk over as a result of what they told you, you get some really nice service. And they are more likely to even give you a better deal. Especially if no one else is around.

#Seconds are usually a case of produce (fruit or veggie) that is not as pretty as they rest of the produce they are selling. Some have bruises and or scrapes. Or they grew in an odd shape. Most of the time, you do have to buy in bulk to get seconds. Seconds are usually NOT out for you to see, so you do need to ask. I love to get seconds on fruit because you can clean it, cut it (removing the bad parts) and freeze it to use all year long, or make jams/jellies right away with it. You usually have to get there early for seconds as everyone wants them. :)

I hope this encourages you to head to your local farmer's market. Especially with the rising prices of groceries, farmer's markets can offer you a deal!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

With Daddy

The nice thing about beloved working from home, is that at times, when they girls are REALLY quiet, they are able to sit in the room while Daddy works. They enjoy his company, and I am sure the felling is mutual (as beloved sometimes works so many hours he is only about to spend a few minutes with the kids in the evenings to say goodnight).

Such was the case today. AA took her quilt and went into the room Daddy was working in. She made sure it was OK with Daddy that she was in the room. She sat down very quietly and took out the sewing box I had bought her. She opened up, took out her quilt, and began hand sewing. It was BEAUTIFUL!

Encouraging Discouraging

I have SUCH a bad habit of discouraging my children. I mean the best, honest I do. I see them doing something I know that they don't know how to do and I want to spare them the anger and frustration of it not working the way they want it to.

It is not that I think my way is better. I just know what they want, and that they will not accomplish it going about it the way that they are.

Such is the case with my precious AA today. Out of no where, she decides that she wants to make a quilt (full fledged QUILT, squares of different fabric, seams and all, sewn by hand QUILT) for her baby doll. She put the wrong sides together!! Maybe I AM too much of a perfectionist! The hairs on my back stood straight up (yes, my secret it out, I have a hairy back).

I commented to her that she should do it this way, proceeded to show her, and told her the how's and why's of it all. The look on her face was confusion mixed with sadness. I had discouraged my precious daughter. And for what?

I came up in tears to my beloved (who thankfully works from home) and he shared with me something he listened to on Love and Logic. He said that whenever a child wants to do something, give them all the encouragement you can. But don't give them instructions unless they ask for it. Don't give them help unless they ask for it. When they are done with their project, tell them they gave it a really good try. They worked hard it. Give them praise, but not FALSE praise (don't tell them it is beautiful and perfect in other words). Ask them how they think it turned out.

When they reply that it didn't turn out the way they expected, mention that you have a suggestion that might help them. They are MUCH more willing to listen and LEARN and know how to do it in the future.

So I went back, apologized to AA and told her that she could do it however she wanted. And that I told Daddy about the quilt she is making and he is VERY anxious to see it. She BEAMED! I just hope that it was enough encouragement to allow her to actually finish the quilt.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

GIVEAWAY! Copy of More With Less Cookbook

I am just learning the virtues of this Amish-like cookbook! I have heard wonderful WONDERFUL things about it. And as I pour over it, page by page, I get more and more excited about making meals WITH LESS! And yet meals that are still wonderful and hearty and healthy!

This is ESPECIALLY PERFECT right now with the rising cost of food! And what better way to make your grocery dollar stretch or make your garden harvest last just a bit longer than with a 5 star (81 reviews) rated cookbook from!!

To enter, just leave a comment saying you would like to be entered (along with some way of contacting you if you win be it an email or blog addy). For an extra entry, put a link on your blog to the giveaway, and come back here and let me know in the comments (so you would have two comments).

You must enter by next Wednesday by 7pm Mountain Time. I will draw a winner shortly after that.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sew A Skirt From A Sheet!!

What a GREAT and EASY project to do with your daughters to teach them to sew! And right now with garage sale season it is the PERFECT time to find a sheet. You could also head to the local thrift store if there are not garage sales in your area.

Here is a link to the tutorial.
Sew A Skirt From a Sheet

Post a link if you do it!

Monday, June 23, 2008


Ever since I got an old time loom, I have been on the lookout for cute tutorials.

I just found a whole weeks worth of tutorials as well as a a you tube video showing you HOW. This is EXACTLY like the loom I got. Now if only I could get the kids as excited about it as I am!!! :)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Getting LOTS of Books

I am not sure what is up with PaperBack Swap lately, but all of a sudden, my wishlist is coming true! For the longest time, it seemed that I was adding more and more books to my wishlist and not getting anything. Now, books that have been on there for about 6 months are finally coming true! Maybe it is because it is garage sale season and people are finding books real cheap at garage sales to add to their list of books to swap. Or maybe a LOT more people have discovered PaperBack Swap is a GREAT way to get rid of books you don't want and get books FOR FREE that you DO want!! :)

If you have not checked it out before now, I HIGHLY encourage you to check it out while the getting is good! :) The more people on there, the more likely you are to get books you want!: ) And right now, with it being garage sale season, you can get some good books for a quarter to list to trade for something you REALLY want.

Some things I have gotten through PaperBack Swap:

Fine Art Studio Drawing - this is a kit and it blew me away I got it for FREE!
A Girl of Beauty
Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends
Wise Guys
If by Amy Carmichael
Shepherding A Child's Heart and The Parent's Handbook to accompany it
Considering God's Creation as well as several Singapore Math Books!!! :D

Check out PaperBack Swap and take the time to list your 10 books to get your FREE book credits! You will NOT be disappointed! :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday's Fun: Family Night THEMES!

OK, I have been catching up at Monica's blog and thoroughly enjoying it!

She has some WONDERFUL ideas for themed family nights!! Go check it out for some GREAT ideas!!

Crafting Through Proverbs 31

I have ALWAYS loved Monica's blog, but life got in the way and I only got to read three blogs. WELL, thankfully one of the blogs mentioned a special little gift she got, which brought me back to Monica's blog. AND I AM SO GLAD SHE DID!

I don't know how Monica does it, but she has time, with a new little blessing and all, to come up with the COOLEST IDEA EVER! (Yes, if you don't know by now, I do over exaggerate a LOT. But this idea is honestly a WAY COOL idea!)

Crafting Through Proverbs 31

Thursday, June 19, 2008


We were created for God's pleasure. EVERY THING was created for God's pleasure. After God created each and everything, He commented that it was good.

I have to admit that I don't think I am always a pleasure to God. I have my moments of disobedience and luke-warmness towards God. And yet, I know, because He tells me, that I was created to be a pleasure to Him.

That really does make me stop and think before each action I do and word I say. Is what I am about to do/say going to please God? Will it bring glory and honor to Him?

And I am brought to think about my children. The Bible says that children are a blessing. And yet the world views them as more of a curse:

it takes so much money to care for them
it takes time and self sacrifice to care for them
they are selfish children who rebel

And I have to think about it. There are several verses in Proverbs that talk about what a curse a disobedient son is to his father and mother. In today's society, where the parents are not doing their God given job of raising and caring for their children, their children ARE becoming curses.

But that does not mean that they were not born as a blessing.

Contrast that to children raised in a Christ loving, God-fearing home. Most (not all) of them grow up to honor their parents. They do not rebel or do the typical "teenage" things. They are a true blessing to their parents. And do not become a curse to them.

I want my children to know they are a blessing. I want them to know they were created for God's pleasure. I notice that whenever I am talking to them about God and His purpose for them, they are more likely to behave in a way that follows His word. And I want to live my life in a way that is pleasing and honoring to my Heavenly Father.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bad Mommy Blogger

I know I know. I haven't posted. Did anyone notice? I wonder if anyone reads this anymore. (Can you spell d-i-s-c-o-u-r-a-g-e-d?)

I have been VERY busy the past several days., Firstly, JJ has been incredibly sick. I must admit that was was overly worried at first. I thought my worst fears had come true and his illness had gotten so bad he would have to be on a feeding tube and no longer able to eat any foods. I literally was on my face before God mourning for JJ. All the things he would miss out on. As it is he cannot have birthday cakes. Most people decorate boxes or have some sort of ice sculpture with candles.

It seems funny now, but maybe it was God's way of reminding me He is in control. For once I was on my face before Him, JJ began to get better. In fact, he got better so fast I began to laugh at my lack of faith.

And I began to think about my girls. They pray so often. It amazes me. They will remember to pray when I forget. And they are always amazed at the fact that God answers. "Mommy, I prayed for God to provide a parking space, and He gave us a GOOD one!" "Mommy, I prayed that EE would find her shoes, and she did!"

Of course there has been the unanswered prayers too. Or the ones that seem unanswered because the answer is not always clear or immediate. JJ still has severe food allergies. We have to carry a throw up bucket with us everywhere we go. And we have to bring our own food for him when we go into restaurants.

But we continue to pray. And the girls remember to pray. Is there anything as sweet as the prayers of a child?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

In The Palm Of His Hand

It has been a whirlwind of a week! I got a call from the specialist that the new GI doctor wanted us to see asking if we could come in in two days (Friday). Friday JJ was also having his medical scopes done. So as you can imagine, there were a lot of phone calls to be made and switching around to do and getting prepared for a LONG day on Friday. You can read more about it on JJ's blog.

I must admit that I was so scared! But I called and asked for prayer and was reminded that JJ and I are in the palm of His hand. I tried to find a Scripture reference for this, as I have heard this many times, but was not able to find one. I found one about being inscribed on His hands, but that was the closet I could come.

But I still like to think of God as holding us in the palm of his hand, and I started thinking about it. The word palm is used. Whenever you try to hold something as gently and loving as possible, you use your palms. It gives more strength. When you try to hold something with your fingers, it is not as strong and sturdy. I just thought that was interesting and it truly did bring me comfort during the whole thing.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Another AMAZING Blog

I have a friend (Hi Brenda) who likes to tease that I say that A LOT about A LOT of things. LOL! And it is true, I do. But this is a blog that it is MUST READ!

Training God's Heirs

Now go and read and be abundantly blessed!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Healthy Snacks For The Kids (and MOM TOO!)

I am pretty sure most EVERYONE has heard about Nourishing Traditions by now. It is a GREAT book! I need to get me another copy as I have lost mine or loaned it away and have no idea to who or if and when I will ever get it back.

But anyways, we sprout grains and it is SO MUCH FUN! It is SO EASY that even a child could do it. In fact, it is a GREAT thing to get children involved in!! :)

Right now, we usually sprout grains to eat them raw. Sprouting grains release the enzymes (which your body desperately needs and has so little of) as well as make them alkaline-forming (allowing your body to be more neutral than acidic - I could go on and on about this, but the book Alkalize Or Die is a great book - read with prayer as it is not Christian). But since we are in need of the enzymes (which die when the food is cooked), we eat it raw.

And of course with JJ's on going health issues and food allergies, sprouting grains are just one way to help him get the enzymes his body needs as well as create different textures and foods for him to eat. :)

I love to sprout buckwheat. It is a gluten free grain (despite its name) and it not related to corn either (both things which JJ cannot have). It is a VERY mild grain which is great for children with a lot of food allergies. But also is great for picky eaters (because it does not have a strong overwhelming flavor). I LOVE Sprout People and the information they give on their site. You CAN NOT GO WRONG if you use the information on their site (and it is FREE! THANK YOU SPROUT PEOPLE!). :)

So make sure you do NOT have the toasted buckwheat groats or you will never get sprouts (if they are BROWN they are toasted, if they are white and tan and greenish, they are raw)! LOL!! Follow the directions for sprouting, and stop when the groats have TINY little tails. That is when they are sweetest!

We save all the soak/rinse water and pour it in the garden. It is ESPECIALLY good for plants/tress that are in really poor shape. We have a tree in the backyard that was near dead. I began pouring the water on it and VIOLA! That tree is doing GREAT now!

One thing I should mention is that when I do the initial soak of any grain, I always add hydrogen peroxide to the water. I cannot remember where I read to do that, but it basically kills all the bad stuff that can end up on the grain from harvesting/packaging/shipping/sitting on a shelf/etc. When I do this, I get a foamy yucky goo at the top of the water, so I know it is doing SOMETHING! LOL!! :)

Now you can do a BUNCH of HEALTH HEALTHY HEALTHY snacks for the kids. You can rinse and drain (after sprouting) and then dry slightly and eat just like that. YUM! You can also add some salt and nutritional yeast for a cheese popcorn type thing (although this is best done if they are dry). I dry mine in our dehydrator, but you can dry them by leaving them on baking trays in the sun. :) You can also use them in place of oats for a new take (and GF take) on granola. And Buckwheatie Bars are a definite favorite around here! I also found a recipe that looks really good that you can use the buckwheat sprouts as "Buckwheatie Crispies" and have your own cereal bars looks good!

And as I said before, sprouting grains is great to do with the kids! They get so excited to see the little tails. And what a WONDERFUL lesson/habit you are passing onto them! Plus, it is nice to have someone else to remind you, forgetful Momma that I am, to rinse and drain them as often as needed! LOL!!! :)