Monday, July 5, 2010

The Lord's Table Study

I've posted in the past about my struggles with weight. I thought I'd share this amazing resource with those who haven't seen it. Recently I've had to come to terms with the fact that for ME weight is most definitely a spiritual issue. Lack of self-control, self-discipline, laziness, food as an idol/turning to food before the Lord in times of pain, boredom, escapism, and general giving in to the lust of the flesh, all those issues are rooted in sin, rooted in lack of relationship with the Lord Jesus.

I've tried endlessly to do this weight thing on my own, of my own power and clearly *cough cough* I am failing. I am powerless over this sin without the Lord. When I try and do it without HIM all I experience is my weakness when what I need is His strength.

There is a great Bible study online called The Lord's Table at
Setting Captives Free also has studies on other food issues, substance abuse, s*x issues, and self-injury/cutting, etc. When you sign up you are given an email mentor who gets sent your answers, is a prayer partner, etc. for you if you want that. You can also buy a book version of that at CBD here if you like to hold things in your hand. I know I do but haven't been able to buy it yet.

They do have an eating plan that I personally do not agree with as being a true healthy way to lose weight so I don't do that. But the study itself is amazing. I hope this helps someone out there! Off to do tonight's lesson and go to bed.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Declaration of Independence

If you haven't read this, or haven't in a long time, as we celebrate Independence Day this weekend in the US, now's the time. Click on it below and it will take you to a readable transcript. And hey, while you're there, take a peek at the Constitution, read yourself the Bill of Rights. Have you done it since High School?

Hope everyone is enjoying the freedom to assemble together with our families and celebrate this day. We're off to the July 3rd celebration at our church complete with food, fireworks, fabulous southern gospel band, fun crafts and fellowship! Link

Monday, April 26, 2010

Living Math


It's amazing how you can homeschool for years and not hear even a whisper about some of the amazing resources out there. Up until now I've taught math like most homeschoolers. We have math textbooks and then we chat about math in life. Then I read a post over at Bakers Dozen where she mentioned living MATH books. Wait. What?! So as I try and fill our schooling with more and more living books, how did I not know there were loads of living math books? So I swaggled (yeah swaggled. It's a word. And if it's not, it is now. Swaggle aka search with swagbucks) So I swaggled the Sir Cumference series she mentioned. Then I saw the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought"s and then I clawed myself out of the vortex I had been sucked into and it was closer to 2AM. Yeah. Let's not tell Clay. I'm sure I slept until 9 the next morning. Let's not tell Clay that either.

Living Math = Literature books that teach math. Literature. A book I can sit with a 6yo and read and I won't see eyes glaze over. Stores of mummies and knights. Adventure with math. Yeah, it's that amazing. Let me send you on a trip to look at loads of great math books too.

Now I think the best of the best is LivingMath.Net . LivingMath not only has a huge Living Math books resource list in all sorts of categories, it has endless ideas for math games, math websites and more. And despite having looked at that site a lot recently just discovered it offers a historical living math curriculum that while I've only read samples looks like it could be a great supplement. And the book list for it looks amazing!

Here's a little taste of the endless living math books out there:
There is a series of 6 Sir Cumference book and every one gets rave reviews!

I had to stop myself. I have so many math books on my wish list. I wanted to add 100 more! In fact I published the post and am now editing to add a couple more like the History of Counting. Hope your feed readers shows the added books. Here's a great Amazon tag list too "Teaching Math Through Children's Literature".

I think hands down one of my very favorite things about homeschooling is being able to teach my children in ways I never even imagined as a child. Off to swaggle some more so I can start buying some of these books :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Truly Excited About School

There is a moment in whatever it is where you have that "ah ha" moment. Yeah yeah I quote Oprah. Don't hold it against me. For the last 5 years I have homeschooled. We did fine. The children have learned to read. And add. The have good handwriting. They're learning grammar. We've been getting the job done. But that's what it's been. Getting the job done. And that is okay. But it's not what I always wanted for them. Getting the job done isn't enough for me. At least not right now while I'm not pregnant or sick :)

I have some friends that school with a strong Classical leaning. They are inspiring ladies to say the least. Go check them out. Dell and AmyKate truly amaze me in what they do with their lovely families with ease. Over the years I have watched and listened to what they were doing and always felt that there was no way I could school like they do. But I was always in awe of their use of living books, their children's writing, and general passion for learning.

So I went and got The Well Trained Mind from the library. I started to read and was absorbed. It was almost obsessive! I read. And read. Then it lived in the bathroom. Yeah maybe library books in the bathroom is bad form. I never thought about until this moment. *blush*. Every chance I got I read that book. Here's a link to a page that gives the basic premise. Classical Education ala WTM. It was as if the heavens parted, a lightbulb went off over my head, and everything just fell into place.

I could do this. I could teach my children the way I wanted to. I didn't have to just get the job done. I "got it". I had already started Tapestry of Grace (love love) which is a classical curriculum but I started adding in more suggestions ala WTM like copywork, narrations, memorization in younger ones, her writing suggestions for older ones, and more. My children are thriving. She explains the three stages of learning and how to teach children based on their developmental stage. Blew my mind in the clarity it brought me. I could WHY to teach my 6yo one way and why I have to teach my 10 yo differently. I understood how to teach writing. That was a biggie. I have developed this love, no PASSION, for books. I've rethought Science. And am actually thrilled about it instead of dreading change like I always do. I hate change. I do. And I am now revamping lots of things! Yeah it really was an "ah ha" moment.

But more than anything, I am excited. Which makes them excited. I am thrilled to understand how all the pieces of what we're doing work together and how that works as they get older. It's not just a day by day thing. I see our future goals more clearly now.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Budget Bit - Paperback Swap


Not that I'm a series gal but I get these crazy ideas that I may talk about something having to do with budgets and cheap and free stuff more than once.

Do you use Paperback Swap? If you don't, now's the time.

PBS works like this. First sign up! Click through my link here: Kim's paperback swap referral link You list books you don't want anymore. When you first sign up, if you list 10 books you get 2 FREE credits!

When someone else wants a book you're posted, they request it from you. You print an easy printable label with their address, wrap your book in it, and mail it. You pay postage. When they receive it, you get a credit. You then request books, either ordering them if they aren't other people waiting for them, or you put them on your wish list.

On your wish list it shows how many people are ahead of you in line waiting for it. Keep adding books to your wish list, and keep posting books of your own. As your turn comes up, you get an email requesting you to confirm you still want the book and BAM the person who has it sends it to you FREE! Okay so you paid postage for other books but still... it's feels free when that long awaited book shows up in your mailbox!

Just today I got an email that one of the books on my Paperback Swap wish list was on it's way. I'm SO excited. Another great book for pennies. This is what's going to be in my box before I know it!
I'm trying to gather up a list of books to use this year for Science. I'll post about what I want to use soon. Between this and swagbucks, I've saved a lot of money. Such a blessing.

So sign up and start getting free books!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Backwoods Home Magazine

A friend of Clay's bought us a subscription to Backwoods Home Magazine. We just got our first issue. I'm so excited! I've bought issues at Tractor Supply and the feed store in the past but never would go spend the money and subscribe. I'm not sure what's wrong with me but I should have years ago. Years.

If you haven't checked out Backwoods Home Magazine, click this cover of the current issue and it will take you to their website's front page where it has online versions of a few of the current issue's articles.

But on top of that, their website is a HUGE resource. On the left side with all the links are blogs of some amazing homesteaders. And archives of retired BWH bloggers. But there is my all-time favorite "Ask Jackie Clay". Jackie knows everything and she gives me confidence that I can do it. Even when it's raw packing crazy meats and canning them or canning cheese :) Or acorn stew.

BWH rocks though seriously. They cover everything from building clay ovens to harvesting acorns to building log cabins with step by step instructions to politics and guns :) Anything and everything a homesteader or dreaming homesteader thinks about is covered in this magazine.

Now just when you think it can't get better........... there's this:

It's the insane, and I mean insane, archive list of past issues from 1998! So run over there and start clicking and reading. Meet me back here in a couple years.

Easter Pics


We snapped a few pictures for Easter. Goodness I love these people!

A family pic snapped after church:

This has to be my favorite picture of the entire day. Such love there.
My big boy and little boy:
Adric reached his hand up without any prompting. It was such a sweet loving move on his part. I will always love this picture because of it.
Look at this gorgeous dude!

The kids:
What 956 of the other pictures I tried to get of them looked like:
Hope you had a blessed Sunday last week. We did.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I think I can.. I think I can


Start blogging again that is. There's so much to talk about. Way too much to sit down and ramble about in one post. But I see changes coming to my blogging (IF I actually do blog of course. We all know that it's one "okay I'm going to start blogging again" post after another LOL). But I see changes coming if I do blog. One major one being talking about our homeschooling as well as homesteading. As of late I have been so inspired in the area of schooling and am excited to share what we're learning and doing. But for right now I'll throw up some pictures.

Friday, February 19, 2010

This is a great list

A Brit is collecting a great and at times hilarious list of things that Global Warming, I mean Climate Change, is being blamed for.


Some of my favorites:
brothels struggle
fashion disaster
killer cornflakes
Italy robbed of pasta
witchcraft executions
NFL threatened

Not sure where this madness ends, but killer cornflakes and fashion disasters? Is there ANYTHING that this Global Warming, or is it Cooling, "well let's just call it Climate Change" business is not responsible for?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Homestead to Health


So I'm overweight. Yeah. I said it. Oh I've said it before? Yeah well I'm still overweight. Nothing's really changed. Up until now I've tried everything. South Beach. Schwarzbein. Calorie Counting. And on and on. I've gone up. I've gone down. I've lifted weights (which I firmly believe in!) and done endless hours on the elliptical. But the life change was never really there. Not there in that it stuck.

The other day Clay and I went and worked outside. I pulled weeds in the garden. We were out for a couple hours. I felt great. I slept great. I've always said that I want to live the type of life that doesn't need ellipticals. I've heard SO many of my girl friends say it. We all want to be living a life so full of activity, a life that tries to live off the real food their growing in their gardens, so FULL that they don't need to plan elliptical time and buy diet "cheese product" (I couldn't call low fat cheese CHEESE. I just can't. It's weird.)

At this point I figure the way, the only way, for me to lose weight and live a life of good health and good body weight, will be to achieve this idea of living a life that doesn't need constant trips to the treadmill to keep it off. So I'm starting my own little series to try and keep myself motivated. If any of the 5 people who read this blog want to join along be my guest! I'll even make myself a little graphic you can use if you want.

So the idea?

A, Basically an attempt to eat how a homesteader would eat. That doesn't mean no cake ever but trying to make deliberate choices in what I make for my family and what I put in my mouth. Eat seasonally. Eat grass-fed meats and dairy. Can and dehydrate foods for leaner times. Eat whole real food. And enjoy the occasional treat as it comes along. Try and eat in a way that's intentional. Eat like one out on a homestead in the past would eat. Whole fruits, veggies, home canned foods, good healthy meats, healthy traditional fats like butter, lard, olive oil. Long soaked sourdough type breads and grains. Also in the thought process of eating like a homesteader, not eating insane amounts of food LOL. I just can't see Pa and Ma Ingalls eating 7 pieces of cake. Or eating 10 handfuls of chocolate chips. Can you?

B, work outside almost every day. And even on off days, do small outside projects like reload the wood on the porch. I need to get off my rear and make this homestead happen. A lot of projects would be done already if I had been out everyday doing them instead of in here on my rump in front of this computer. Essentially, start creating that life so full of activity that my metabolism does its job naturally. That life I was saying I wanted.

So I'm going to start keeping track of the kinds of food we eat, how to prepare certain foods, link to other's great information about fats, etc. And post the great homesteading chores I'm doing to shrink this waistline.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Real Food Challenge Week 1: Day 2

Ahh now onto the good stuff! Stocking the pantry with yummy nourishing goodies! I won't paste the entire looonnggg informative email from Day 2. Go JOIN and you can get them everyday. Honestly I recommend you join even if you can't or don't want to commit right now to doing the entire challenge. Learning some simple steps, trying some new things, and generally just moving towards better health is a good thing.

Pick up some wholesome foods to help round out your pantry, replacing the processed foods you tossed (or were supposed to toss) yesterday. Remember, you needn't purchase every item on this list - this challenge isn't about spending every penny you earn on groceries; rather, pick a few items and there to round out your pantry. Choose organic, local ingredients where possible.

As I glance at this list. I am overwhelmed with how the Lord has truly blessed us in the area of food.
  • Natural Sweeteners* such as honey, blackstrap molasses, whole unrefined cane sugar (e.g. Rapadura / Sucanat), sorghum syrup, maple syrup.- have these :) We have probably 2 1/2 gallons of raw honey left, some maple syrup (and soon to be more since Mom has decided she likes the fake stuff better and is giving me hers. What?!), we have a gallon of blackstrap molasses, and a gallon at least of local Amish sorghum. Remember that we have been stocking up on these things slowly over time. Start small and go from there.
  • Wholesome fats such as unrefined olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, tallow, butter, ghee- Have these. I have a gallon or so tin of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a jug of red palm oil, and loads of butter. I'm going to look into grass fed butter. We use LOTS of butter. I don't know that I can afford healthier butter for now. We'll see. For now we get plain ole Costco butter. And lots of it. I'm out of coconut oil but usually have some.
  • Whole meal flours such as grain flour, sprouted grain flour, coconut and blanched nut flours - We have hundreds of lbs of whole grains and grind our own. Frankie has tricticale and kamut on her list. Hmm... off to check prices on those to start saving! New fun stuff is a good thing.
  • Unrefined Sea Salt such as real salt and celtic sea salt- We needed more of this. I've fallen in the trap of using the refined sea salt we have for salting meat in cooking. So I talked Mom into giving me her gorgeous gray Celtic Sea Salt. I want more. More. More.
  • Meat (preferably grass-fed or pasture-raised) such as beef, lamb, chicken, pork, bison, elk etc.- Meat. Glorious meat! We have lots of meat. I wish we had more grass-fed beef than we do. But we have enough to eat in once a week for a few more months. We also have some wild deer sausage. I have lots of turkeys. Yes they're not free-ranged but they were cheap and they will be enjoyed here. We're going to talk about some meat goats and chickens this year. There will be posts about it. Oh and we only can afford grass-fed beef buying it in bulk. We bought 100 and something lbs of it this last time. I hope we can save up and buy 400 lbs or so at least next time. If you look at the prices at Whole Foods and faint, start searching for a local source. It's the only way to go.
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit (preferably organic in season and local)- Eh we don't have loads of these. We have been sure to always have a big bag of organic carrots from Costco cause those are cheap cheap. We do have some of our own organic canned pears from last Fall. I'll have to be sure and start using those as a local yummy fruit source. I love looking at my jars of food so much I forget to actually USE them. Stupid right? But Spring is coming. We are planting the first seeds tomorrow for Spring. In a handful of months we will be brimming with insanely delicious organic produce. Praise God for gardens.
  • Full fat dairy (preferably raw) such as whole milk, butter, cream, cheese- Don't worry about us. We have more than enough raw yummy milk goodies. There are some things I am beyond thankful for. Raw milk is one. We will be going in with some other families to get a case of cheese making kits for half price so we will be making our first hard cheeses soon. Maybe I'll do some buttermilk, cream cheese, ricotta posts here soon.
  • Naturally fermented foods and beverages such as kombucha, yogurt, kefir- we do all these already. But I have let them slip some. I have some of the biggest, thickest kombucha mothers you've ever seen due to neglect. Okay. Off to brew the tea to reboot right now!
So. This was the easiest part of the challenge I think. For others it will be one of the hardest. Over the next few days we will continue to go through our pantry and get rid of processed foods from Day 1's challenge. I thought at first glance yesterday that I had done it but being honest and looking really at things, we have more than I thought. So more will be going tomorrow when I clean out the fridge and pantry.

Monday, February 1, 2010

28-day Real Food Challenge

I'm starting the 28-day Real Food Challenge over at NourishedKitchen. We do fairly well here but we've let some things slip so we're going to do this (uh Clay, we're doing this just so you know). Click this lovely picture to go straight to the challenge:
The first day of the challenge may very well be my hardest. It's to clean out the pantry. I thought when I read at first that we were going to cut all processed foods out of our pantry it was going to be a breeze. But as I read more, oy, this isn't going to be as easy as I thought.

The list of things that are supposed to go:

* Vegetable Oils: Soybean, Cottonseed, Canola, Corn - this is easy. We don't have or use any of those anymore.
* Sugar: White Sugar, Brown Sugar, Turbinado, Agave Nectar (including "raw"), Sugar in the raw - I need to keep this for kombucha and water kefir. I will be talking to Clay about making a firm commitment about not using this for any other reason.
* Stevia: white stevia powder, stevia liquid - Ouch. Honestly I've known for a while that the stevia we've been using is hyper processed. But it's so good and it's been a crutch. I truly need to give it up. Part of me wants to just bury my head in the sand and pretend that this white powdered, non bitter stevia is better than Splenda. I want to pretend it's my low carb savior. It sure makes amazing low carb chocolate. Off to pull out our container of stevia leaves from our plants. This is one thing I will HAVE to grow more of next year I think. Okay. I just poured $10 worth of stevia down the drain. I feel sick to my stomach. But the time to try and stop being a health hypocrite needs to stop. Wow. So I am actually going to try and DO this thing! I think. Maybe.
* Margarine - no brainer. Couldn't pay me enough to eat margarine.
* Shortening (excluding palm shortening) - Same with this. Butter or lard for my pie crusts thank you.
* White flour: all-purpose flour, unbleached all-purpose flour, white rice flour, - Now this is where Clay and I will have to talk. It's easy to have a bucket of white flour. Sometimes I'm lazy and want to feed my sourdough starter without grinding flour. A LOT of times Clay wants cake and cookies. But I'm overweight. And tired. I need to stop this white flour, white sugar nonsense. In the last year where we started having desserts all the time instead of once a month or so we've had loads of sickness, lots of "my tummy hurts", headaches. Time to have a REAL talk to Clay about this. It's going to be a tough sell though to be honest.
* Cornstarch - I have some. But it's really out of selfishness. Adric's allergic to corn yet I keep some to use in random recipes. As I type it it leaves me a tad breathless that I've served my allergy child foods with cornstarch in it on purpose. Off to grab it and throw it away.
* Soy foods: soy sauce, soy flour, soy milk, soy lecithin, isoflavone-enriched foods and supplements - Okay this is a tad hard too. I'm so used to having it. BUT I have and believe in fermented miso. I have that and am interested in starting to learn to make it. Off to find my soy sauce. Ack. Once I went in the pantry I realized that A, I have more processed condiments in there than I realized. B, I realized that Clay won't be into getting rid of some of them like ketchup. And C, I just bought an entire big bottle of Bragg's. If I make sure I have miso, can I get rid of it without guilt? HELP again. It's painful to get rid of whole bottles of Bragg's. I haven't decided what I'm going to do about it. I'll tell you at the end of the post what I'm going to do about the Bragg's. It's from non-GMO soybeans? Doesn't that make it better? Ugh. But financially it's a lot to just get rid of. Thursday I will grab the unpasteurized Nama Shoyu they sell at our Whole Foods. Then we'll talk Bragg's.
* Dried Pastas and Noodles - don't have any and didn't order any in my last bulk food order.
* Iodized Salt - we don't use it.
* Refined Sea Salt - now we do have a big bag of this. We won't be getting rid of it because Clay wants to have it in case we need to salt large pieces of meat. I Think have found a source of bulk nice pink Redmond RealSalt for cheap. I'll have to research that. But I'll pick up some more gray yummy wet mineral rich salt at Whole Foods in the next day or so for actual use in the meantime.
* Meat & Dairy Replacements: TVP, veggie burgers, vegan cheeses, sour creams, rice and nut milks, vegan sausages - eh we don't use these.
* Processed cheeses - Clay's a big cheese guy. He won't want to live without it. This may be the one thing that won't officially be able to be changed. I'm not a miracle worker :)
* Skim and Low-fat Dairy: cheese, milk, yogurts etc. - we don't use. Hmm though we do buy processed cream cheese. But it's something we can live without and might need to learn to. Maybe start making some again.
* Boxed cereals, crackers and cookies - Another "talk to Clay" thing. He likes crackers. He has a huge box of them. BUT if I made sure that he had snacks everyday he wouldn't need them. Deviled eggs he loves. Muffins. Soaked flour muffins :) Fresh sourdough bread is his absolute favorite. So if I kept these things on hand he wouldn't crave the crackers. So will have to start planning on that so we can ditch his crackers. Maybe soaked flour crackers for that cheese he won't get rid of LOL.

Okay so I am still praying about the Bragg's. Part of me feels like Clay will be really upset if I throw it away. I'll post this week about how the conversations with Clay go about processed foods. He really doesn't feel like little bits are that big of a deal. Part of me feels that way too, but only when I want to not do what needs to be done. Ouch.

So run on over and join the Challenge. Even if you do just some of it, and make small changes they are changes. Any and all changes for the sake of your health are good and worthwhile.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wanna see our humble abode?

There it is. It's cute. And cozey. And country. And I love it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Homestead Blessings Giveaway

Kendra, at New Life on a Homestead, is giving away copies of the oh-so-fabulous Homestead Blessings Collection, by the wonderful West ladies and Franklin Springs Media. There will 8 winners who each get to pick one of these great DVDs! You can find this giveaway here. Good Luck to all who take the time to enter! :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The blogging will commence

Soon :) I had finally come to terms with the fact that I didn't really care to blog so much. BUT then Clay asked me how come I hadn't been blogging. Then the next day he told I should update the blog. Over the last few months he's asked me periodically when I was going to update it. I realized this week that A, he checks my blog, and somewhat regularly and B, that he wants me to blog. Then I had to admit that my wonderful Grandma likes it when I blog. And my so very sweet Auntie Kate loves it too. And so here we are with a start over. Sometimes we just need a do-over right? So this next week I'm updating the look of the blog and will resume blogging.