Under Costruction.....


Just like life building (rebuilding) a blog is a journey.... please stick with us as we make this blog better. Thanks y'all!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Much love

The Lord knows our circumstances and the intents of our hearts, and surely the talents and gifts He has given us. He is able to gauge perfectly how we have performed within what is allotted to us, including by lifting up some of the many surrounding hands that hang down. Thus, yearning for expanded opportunities while failing to use those at hand is bad form spiritually. Elder Neal A. Maxwell

.....my allotted duties are elsewhere......much love.....

Thursday, March 8, 2012

{Take Action Thursday}The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth

I'll just jump right into the thick of things......

if you have seen the you tube video by kony2012,

then you will also want to read this article by the Council of Foreign Affairs

because it is more in depth...and well a bit more truthful...but that is just me speaking.....and a lot of smarter peeps the I!

...ad speaking of food and farms....you'll want to go here and sign a petition to tell the USDA to NOT purchase PINK SLIME and feed it to our kiddos or any kiddos in the school lunch program!!!

And by the way...there are estimates that 70% of the beef sold in American grocery stores has this pink slime in it.....it's cheap for a reason.....eeehhhhh!

I would also post about the bad fats in girl scout cookies.....but that just may be overkill on my part.....still beware.

Happy Chewing! (just don't think about it........or try not to...but you know you will!)


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mere Mortals

GOOD MORNING!!!  or rather almost afternoon.....

I've been away...I have to apologize...sleeping so to speak.....

I have been overwhelmed and somewhat disillusioned with my blogging....with keeping my house in order, feeding ten people traditional and nourishing food...

(as of this minute, sitting on my counter there is sprouted wheat (that I sprouted the other day and then dried) mixed with raw milk yogurt to dry and crumble to make cold cereal...since my kiddos can't live without it...r so it seems and I refuse to buy the extruded crap  stuff, oats soaking in filtered water with whey to make granola because I know that a few will refuse to eat the sprouted wheat until I force it down them and the realize it really is good, black beans soaking in filtered water and lemon juice for tonight's dinner [yes beans once again honey...but their soaked like last nights...so we should all avoid the tummy issues that are unpleasantly smelly (and, um, yes....girls fart.....)] raw milk yogurt in the crock pot (trial run with this in a crock pot versus the warm water bath) and the ingredients to make home made laundry soap that I just ran out of)...

 and always...always looking for my little piece of heaven on earth, my homestead farm....among other things like the warm warm sun that brought us out of hibernation yesterday and pretty much helped me to not accomplish one thing as I sat outside with even the baby and listened to the frogs croak!

That...and reading other blogs!!  so much great stuff!!...and sometimes debilitating for me when I read the talent ad the measure of their researching..... then today I ran onto this wonderful post by The Nourishing Cook, I needed to hear what she had to say!!

...and so I am back..... (after I go chase the doggies down!)

Like I said I have internalized way to may this the past couple of weeks... including but not limited to my husband liking the status quo of store brand staples and out venturing out....and that's ok, when we are 100 years old and sitting on our porch....rocking.....he'll get it and be thankful.

...and if I can inspire just one person to change their thinking and how they eat then I will be thankful for that.  Though my aim is for many more then that and I often have to bite my tongue so as not to scare peeps away.

..and if I can connect with one person and create a respect and hopefully a friendship beyond the walls o my little home and community, I will have succeeded.

....and I think I do this.... I hope I do this...for myself and my family.

One of the ways our family does this is by hosting international visitors through the Council for Citizen Diplomacy. There motto is "welcoming leaders from around the world", and if we think about it, we are all leaders in the world.

About once a month, we have 2 to 3 people come to our home for dinner and conversation. We have welcomed people from China, Swaziland, Nigeria, Moldova, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Turkey, Taiwan, Kazakhstan and probably a few that I have forgotten.  Often they are over on a three to four week tour of the US to learn about the educational system, women and small businesses, election processes, law and media representation....and then they come to our home...ad they are often surprised. 

That we don't live in a mtv overbuilt over decorated house, that as Americans we have 8 kids...in a three bedroom house...that I stay home.....and that I like to be at home....that I have a college education and degree...and that I still don't work outside of the home, they are surprised as we share our challenges in living in America and trying to ear a living....and sometimes they are just surprised that an American family has 8 children.

Sometimes they speak English, sometimes they do not...but each time we have had these wonderful men and women in our home, the sweetest spirit resides as we share stories and thoughts, and laughter and struggles, but mostly our love for the people around the world and our sincere desire to know them, to understand them and to build bridges that are often absent because of ignorance and even intolerance.This desire stems from my husbands service for the Department of State in Iraq and Afghanistan and the love he developed for the people of these countries.  And it is truly a love, not just a job to be done, because as you see the unconquerable spirit of these men and women and their families and their courage to stand up and be counted as leaders of change and freedom to make ones own choices. These friendships are still developing thankfully to facebook and email and following each others progress.

The last visit summed up what we all feel in these meetings by  a Pakistani man that was so far removed from our culture that you would think we had little in common. He was a strict Muslim, had a prearranged  marriage and had very set ideas concerning America and her people.  I am a America Christian (LDS, or Mormon as known more commonly) mother of eight children with a college education that has chosen to stay home with her babies, but still has strong opinions about education, politics or world events (that sometimes throws them or a big ole loopty loop! especially the men)..and at the end of our visit he stated 

"If I can look into our eyes, and you can look into mine, we see that we are just people, we are just  the human race, we can understand each other and when we understand each other, then our countries will be better."

I still get weepy over this, not that it takes much, but that was and is the whole point...to help each other realize that we are part of one large extended family an that we are here to help each other, even our enemies....maybe even more so.

I share all of this with you (and hopefully more in the future) because over the last few days I have been saddened by several facebook posts and even a blog post that singled out a people as less then or not worthy of being worthy of something. These posts and comments are rude and condescending, and alienate so many people. Sometimes I respond and sometimes I leave it alone, because like grandpa says, you can't argue with stupid.....not that these people are stupid...they are just misinformed....

ahuh......that's what I tell myself....

But I wonder would they say these same comments if I was standing in front of them ( not that they were directed at me...) if they could look me in the eyes and see that I am as human as them. Wold wars and contentions cease if leaders had to stand toe to toe and look each other in the eye before they committed their troops to fight, often unable to see the others eyes.  Probably, but I wish it wasn't so...I wish that we would each stop and look each other in the eye before we said what we thought needed to be said......

...and really it starts at home...in our families, with our neighbors and the guy down the street that let's his dog do his business on your lawn, and with the stranger that cuts in front of you in the grocery line....and bigoted blogger or face booker that thinks they are doing a favor to mankind by being negative and mean spirited about someone else's thoughts, religion, political leanings or feelings (football teams don't count in here! ha!)  We can agree to disagree and still be friends as long as we don't mock, become pretentious, or smug about our ow standings i the human race.

"It is  serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship...There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life as a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit." CS Lewis, The Weight of Glory, 1949

Well said, CS, well said...better then I ever could.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

{Take Action Thursday} When We Know Better

When you (I) know better, You (I) do better!
Ain't this the truth sista!

When I (we.....because I am dragging my family along, sometimes willingly, sometimes grudgingly and sometimes by sheer determination on m part....read this as...making the older kids down cod liver oil....fun!)

started this journey seeking real and nutritious food because we had almost lost one of our twins to severe anemia and failure to thrive I had no idea that I wasn't even scratching the surface.  I was following the dictates of the tv talk shows that said don't eat this and don't eat that....count your calories....avoid at at all cost, don't eat red meat, vaccinate your children, don't question government authority...on and on and on...

The more I have read and researched, the more I have learned that I have so much more to learn!

...and the more I have learned the more I have felt like I have to open my mouth and share.....

....which has led to some astonishing and sometimes sad and disappointing results.  But then maybe it shouldn't be a surprise....look how long it took for me to come around....this makes me sick and and sad that I didn't listen to some of those friends that were beyond wise when I was a young mom! Dang it!!

I have sometimes laid awake at night and prayed that my ignorance has not had irreparable damage to my youngins!  I ca only move forward ad teach them.....


....and now, in my true fashion, that sometimes drives the mister right up the wall..I have to throw my whole self into it and shout it from the rooftops....there is no sitting on the fence or gray areas for me....

...and much to the annoyance of some of my friends...I have to tell them...I have too...I CANNOT stop! I have to share with all those that do not yet know, that are still trusting that big brother to always tell them the truth.....

The Power of Information is what will always empower and set you free.  Click on this link to go and sign the petition insisting that the USDA release all data on the pesticides being used and to not cave to the pesticide companies.  Your babies and your babies' babies depend on you!

....and.....just one more.....Go here to email your congressman and tell them to allow all people the right to drink raw milk if they so choose!!!  Choice is what makes out country great!

Thank ya kindly!

and love yer healthy guts!

Monday, February 20, 2012

{Minute Monday} It Means.....

WOW!  A whole new week?!  I feel like I am still trying to catch up with three weeks ago.

But that is a good thing, right?? It means that I am happily and sometimes exhaustedly busy.

It means that I am learning something new and being engaged with life (okay...food) but also living in the moment and preparing for tomorrow as my hubs would say.

It means going to the local CalRanch store to hold the baby chickens with the mctwiners.....and for me to dream....aaahhhhhh

It means listening to classic country (yes sometimes 40 year old classics and beyond! Thank you Pandora!) while doing chores like laundry with homemade laundry soap and hydrogen peroxide (remember I have cloth diapers and two little potty trainers!) and wiping down everything with lemon vinegar and water (have you ever seen how many hand prints can come from 80 little fingers and a couple of mouth and nose prints! And if you read John Adams  they talk about disinfecting with apple cider vinegar!) making sour dough bread and beef brisket in the crockpot (that isn't turning out like I would like...so I threw it in the oven!)

It means reading fabulous post about how to give up and get off sugar...white sugar, brown sugar, blah, blah, blah...and then informing the mckiddos that we are going to make cookies with honey instead (thank heavens they turned out good enough to eat!) and a cousin that might be willing to experiment with me on how to make chocolate syrup without sugar.......(com'on I gotta start slow...some of the kids are dying with taking the cod liver oil vitamins!)  If you want to read a excellent blog post, go to the kitchen Steward. I heart her blog! So much good info, I don't need to write!!

It means making a weekly/monthly menu...and then knowing that I may not be in the mood for a particular food that day...so I switch it!....or really I forgot to defrost the chicken.

It means making home made beef stock to use for my soups...and I am so excited!!  One more thing to add to the I can do list!!  Which also leads me to be looking for grass fed beef that won't break the bank...but also keep us healthy!

It means lovin the grass fed raw milk that we drive an hour to purchase...but it is a great conversation starter!

It means having a daily conversation with the mckiddos and sometimes the hubs on why they can't have the chips, brightly colored easter candy that is already on the shelves...and that I still crave...as well as why I am not buying store bought condiments like ketchup, mayo and even miracle whip..that are all fermented for optimal health.

It means always looking forward to the dreams we have, but working to be as close as we can to those dreams today.

And because my kiddos love miracle whip/salad dressing better then mayo (because they haven't had a long time to get used to real mayo...but they are starting to like the fermented mayo) I am going to share the recipe that we liked!)

HOMEMADE Miracle Whip

2 eggs....room tempature
1 cup grapeseed, sunflower seed or olive oil (sometimes the olive oil is too strong)
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar (I am going to try honey or maple syrup next time)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar from the mother.....healthier!!!
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 paprika
2 tbsp whey

I have an immersion blender so I just put it all in the mason jar that I am going to store it in and blend away.  If you don't have an immersion blender mix all of the above minus the oil.  Once blended, slowly...and I do mean slowly add in the oil until it emulsifies.  Let sit on the counter in a warmer spot (70 to 75 degrees) for a couple of hours to allow the start of the fermentation process and then store in the fridge.  YUM!!!

Can't wait to hear what yall think

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

{Take Action Thursday} A Day Early...or is it Really Too Late

I'm learning that it is not enough...just to wish to homestead.farm and be left alone...

Just as it used to be that it took a town to raise a barn....

It is now time for the tow to protect the barns.....

We must be aware of what is going on...and help where we can.  I am sure that most of you are even more aware then I....

But just as a reminder....

Government agencies are still exerting pressure on small farmers and demanding nothing from big factory farms.......

...and small dairy farmers like Dan Allgyer are being forced to close their operations.

...or small farm stands are forced to close their doors.

Say a prayer, donate to Farm to Consumer Legal Defense, or write your congressman......

By helping to protect your neighbor...even states away...your protecting yourself and your family and your right to homestead and eat as you believe is right.


Monday, February 13, 2012

{Minute Monday} Good, Better Best

Question: What happens when you may not be spending your time in the most appropriate manner and that you could possibly be more productive doing something else...but you don't want to admit it?

Answer: Your DSL line goes down and you are without the internet (blog) for five days and your eyes are too old to try and type it out on the old iphone.


But it was good, because I already knew I was not prioritizing the important things in life..and that was making life crazy as things were not getting done and that makes me uptight...even when it is my own fault  and the the kids get grumpy and then then the mister doesn't want to come home....(not really....he just works long hours and then has city government stuff and church stuff and then just stuff)...and then that makes me even more crazy cuz the load is getting a little tiring after a long day.....

So after a break from the computer (read...hedging up....I've learned that is what the good Lord does when I won't stop and listen...you would think I had learned by now......but that is another conversation.)

I am ready to put my best foot forward and remember Good, Better, Best.....

that my devotion to God comes first through studying the scriptures and pondering....

that my family and home then come and where a good majority of my time is and should be spent, followed by church obligations (and really they aren't obligations...I love doing them...or rather I am learning to love cub scouts!

Service and being of help is next......and then....

and then my blog, which often waits as I get lost in all of your blogs.  There are so many out there! They are so fantastic...I don't know why I blog!!  I am inspired every time I read one of your fabulous blogs!!!  Or I laugh out loud...for reals...as my teens would say. You all make me want to be a better mom, a better friend, a better homemaker ad a better person!

SO I need to remember that and not freak out over posting....do you do that or is it just me?  Oh good.....I am not alone...I hope....that wasn't just the voice i my head right??

So or Minute Monday...here are the things I learned

  1. Plenty of friends and neighbors will think you are crazy overboard with your Real Food obsessions....and they are probably right....80/20 has to work for right now to save your sanity.  80% eating right and the other 20% you will just try and make good choices and forgive yourself when it isn't a good choice.
  2. Cheap pizza from a local chain when wreak havoc on your system and leave you with a migraine because you tried to let loose and live the 20% rule....it reminds you that going hungry would have been better. But I really didn't have too...there was plenty of food in the house and that u didn't need to eat the crappy pizza your daughter requested for her and her friends....because the pain will still be lingering on Monday.  Ouch....
  3. 13/14 girls make me laugh as they sing with gusto to the radio, go gaga over boys and giggly squeal at the slightest hint o something funny.
  4. Teething sucks. nuf said.
  5. Kids will learn to appreciate home made ketchup...and even like it. I wonder if the hubs liked the home made mayo on his sandwich today..I didn't bother telling him....
  6. I love cloth diapers...really I do...especially gdiapers......even when she poops....you just have to remember this...

         and then order the little sprayer that hooks to your toilet.......can't wait!!!
          7.  That SweetLeaf Stevia is the real deal!  I started switching the family to Stevia after studying and reading about sugar substitutes. Don't be fooled, but the other marketed stevias....they are made mostly with alcohol/ethanol derivatives. My kids LOVED it on their homemade yogurt!!
         8. The more I learn...the more I don't know!!  But I know more then I did last week.
         9. That we are all human, that we love and loose, hope and wish and learn and grow  pretty much the same way.  As we welcomed two gentlemen from Pakistan and Afghanistan into our home for dinner and a cultural exchange, I always walk away with a replenished hope for the good in the world that exists and that eventually peace will reign as we talk and exchange ideas. (Especially that we Americans don't all live in humungous mansions like on MTV..I'll share more about these diners later..just don't let me forget)
        10. That I can be in more in LOVE with my best friend after nineteen years of marriage then I ever imagined when we first laid eyes on each other....or at least...I laid eyes on his...um...er....wrangler bum. (and it still looks good!)

And the long awaited recipe for
  • chicken tenders
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 8 -10 ounces swiss cheese , sliced thin
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 3 (10 ½ ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups Ritz cracker crumbs
    Clean and skin breast and place in bottom of 9X13 dish, cover completely with sliced/grated  cheese. Mix together soup, sour cream and lemon juice and pour over top of chicken covering completely.Mix cracker crumbs with butter and sprinkle over the top of sauce. Bake at 275 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. Now this is the original recipe...and it is GOOD...but it has canned soup in it.....what to do what to do...since I don't even have caned soup in the house.  I just up the sour cream (mine was homemade, but all natural from the store will work just fine) to four cups, mix with homemade chicken stock, salt, white pepper and onion powder to taste. 
    AND PLEASE  don't mess up the cooking time like I do (twice now...it hasn't been pretty!)....you cannot be on a rush to do this...you just can't...slow cooking at a low temperature will make this your favorite dish! But if you do mess it up like I have...twice now...maybe even three times, I just don't want to admit it....I just remove the chicken from the pan and pour the juices into the "white sauce" that I have made, stir and gently lay back over your naked chicken. 
    Side note: [Dear friend that I got this recipe from...please forgive me with messing with it....it is a wonderful recipe....you know how I am though...slightly psychotic about  what is in processed food. Maybe one day they will make a soup I can feel good about, till then I just won't tell you how I desecrate your recipe.I love you always!]
    When I have cooked the chicken at too high a temperature.....the sour cream has cooked down to a liquid...still okay to eat...(unless your husband sees it and proceeds to ask/tell you what is wrong with the chicken....depending on which side of the conversation you are on...anyways....) but none of the creamy heavenliness that your want to pour over your rice...hence the white sauce.....and let me tell you white sauce is our friend......It saves me many a time.

    You can find the basics of White Sauce here.

    Most of all...don't be afraid to learn and try new things...and if you mess up.....fix it...and don't tell anyone...or throw it away and don't tell anyone. Either way you tried something new......and that's what counts!

    Love yer guts

Monday, February 6, 2012

{Minute Monday} Oatmeal Breakfast Bars and Cows

Today is my third child's birthday...she is 14....and I can't believe (I know...I know...everyone says that...and please don't pay attention to the mess behind her!) that any of my babies are growing up...if I could squish them little I would, but then I would miss out on the wonderful young adults that they are becoming.

They're amazingly quick witted and come back with hilariously funny quips...that they get from their dad...bless their little hearts....I try I try...but I am seriously lacking in the funny bone business.

I have had to learn to try and be funny.....I was born serious...poor kids.

But with that being said, at least I know I can cook.....and have babies!! Which goes well when they have a birthday and want something special to eat.

Opulent Chicken is on the menu...I'll share recipe tomorrow...if the original owner gives permission...it's a ancient chinese secret ya know...did I just age myself?? remember calgon?...seriously though...she doesn't share this recipe with anyone unless they are super special....which ya all, I'm sure.

I had to learn to do that too.....cook that is....after I got married and fed my husband tuna casserole every other day...because it was all I knew how to make....for reals.....poor hubby....

So along with that and making homemade Raspberry Oatmeal breakfast bars, thank you Ree, of The Pioneer Woman, for breakfast on the go...because my teenagers would rather look presentable then eat...

....and we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day (along with a protein filled lunch and dinner)....especially for my little twigs that I call daughters....

I will be running up (ok, ok... it's an hour away) for raw milk...yep that's right folks, we found grass fed, raw milk free of hormones and antibiotics..... in our little ole state!  I'll be getting it here! You know I am going to be making yogurt, sour cream and butter along with drinking it!!  And I am happy to announce that as I have been making the transition, and buying a less processed whole milk from a local farm down south that sells through our local grocery, one of my girls told me that this milk is so much better then the regular store milk...GO US!

I can't wait to have her try raw milk...so much sweeter! And Healthier!

Our BIG announcement comes in the form of a mini.......a mini jersey cow!!  So excited!! And I will be turning to ya'll because....visiting the farm and actually owning the farm.... are two different things..though the hubs must remember most things from his childhood on the ranch.

We have been on the waiting list, thinking that it would be a couple of years....but they emailed and let us know that we would have one in SEPTEMBER if all goes well!  That means we have got to get busy and find us a place, sooner, rather then later...prayers, happy thoughts and luck would be greatly appreciated, as we look in our little growing up town that is consuming farm land.

With her,  we are hoping to add chickens and a nice big garden or two....a lamb or three.....and a buckin bull, according to #5 so he can practice like his dad, brother, uncle and cousins...maybe this is our year....could it be our year...I hope it is our year....this has been slow in the making!  Slower then I would like, but as the good book says, there is a season to all things.

And since I can't go gather the eggs just outside my door, but rather I have to go to a town a couple over  to get fresh pastured eggs....I better get busy!

Since I made laundry soap last week, my goal this week is to make deodorant....that's right folks...deodorant. If you have recipes that have worked the best...please share!

And will someone please send me a cure to keep the Cod Liver oil from coming back to say hello in the morning....good grief!

With that note.....I'll say...chow......

Fresh Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
  • 1 3/4 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • One cup homemade fruit preserves/jam (I used less preserves then the original recipe called for and I used raspberry this morning...delish!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch rectangular pan.

Mix together the butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Press half the oat mixture into the prepared pan. Spread with the preserves. Sprinkle the other half of the oat mixture over the top and pat lightly. Bake until light brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Cut while still warm, but let cool down in the pan. Let cool and then remove and wrap individually...so the kiddos can grab them on their way out the door!

Love yer healthy, real food lovin guts. (and yes...I'll soak the flour next time!)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day of Rest

The Sabbath is my favorite day of the week...

I love the quietness ( as quiet as you can get with 8 kids and two dogs) that Sunday brings to our house as we detox from everyday TV, radio, Ipods, computers, playstations and the Wii (not that I really let my kids play them....they think I am ultra strict on them...I just feel like they are a waste of time), facebook, texting and emails...we just turn them of and enjoy each other....

yes, that was laughter, sometimes it is hard to enjoy each other, but in our little town home....you can't get very far from each other.....so we have to enjoy each other!

We do listen to hymns before church services and then listen to classical piano and instrumental after.

and YES, my kids do get up in arms about it occasionally, but one day...hopefully they will understand the whys and will then not only be able to, but want to tune out the world on the Sabbath and let the Spirit of the day be strengthening and rejuvenating for the rest of the hustle and bustle of the week.

I only prepare one meal that day and as we sit around the table discussing what they learned in Sunday School, we are fortifying the bond we have to each other.....

Even if it is sometimes a very loud and obnoxious brotherly sisterly arguing bond......but never the less it is a bond! A bond where each of our children learn that they are loved no matter what ad that we can openly discuss that which they are faced with, whether it be dating, school, peer pressure or even politics....it is where we as their parents have their undivided attention to teach them the pearls of God.

The day of Rest and the Living Water always feels my soul.

I hope y'all have a peaceful Sabbath....

Friday, February 3, 2012

Only funny to me?

This is hysterically funny.....or maybe it is only funny to me.....but it made me laugh none the less. 

Laughing at ourselves is sometimes the only way to get through the day, as we try and explain to others (including my yet to be all on board husband!) about our choices, and then share the knowledge that we feel so passionate about o;y to be met with disbelief, blank stares and sometimes ignorant well meaning comments...and some not so well meaning.

At the end of the day, what mattes is that you are confident with the decisions and choices you have made for your family and let the rest roll off your shoulders....or at least repeat that mantra several times as you slowly breathe in and out!

And for nursing mamas...these pointers will especially make you laugh! It even had the hubs going......

Day 1
Gently rub your nipples with sandpaper.
Day 2
At bedtime set your alarm clock to go off every two hours. Each time it rings, spend 20 minutes sitting in a rocking chair with your nipples clamped by a pair of chip clips.
Day 3
Draw branching lines all over your chest with a blue-green marker, then stand in front of your bathroom mirror and sing "I Feel Pretty."
Day 4
Open your already-crowded freezer and make room for five dozen plastic milk bags.
Day 5
Fit the hose of a vacuum cleaner over one breast and set on "medium pile." Turn off vacuum when nipple is three inches long. Switch breasts.
Day 6
Obtain "DO NOT CROSS" tape from your local police station, then wrap firmly around your chest. When your spouse asks about it, say, "Get used to it."
Day 7
Tape a water balloon to each breast and squeeze into a maternity bra. Repeatedly hook and unhook the nursing flaps with one hand while using the other to balance a sack of squirming puppies.
Day 8
Dine in the fanciest, snootiest restaurant you can afford, making sure to arrive with a big wet spot directly over each nipple.
Day 9
Record your mother proclaiming, "Just give the baby some cereal like God intended, and she'll sleep right through the night." Play in an endless loop at 1 a.m., 3 a.m., and 5 a.m.
Day 10
Slather your breasts with peanut butter, top with birdseed and stand very still in your backyard.
Day 11
Go someplace public -- a museum, a courthouse, the steps of your office building -- and stuff a lifelike baby doll under your shirt. Use the doll's arm to suddenly hike the shirt up past your collar bone. Lower shirt. Feign nonchalant smile.
Day 12
Suckle a wolverine.
Congratulations! You are now ready to nurse a baby. Maybe.
Melissa Balmain, a freelance writer living in Blacksburg, Virginia, is a two-baby nursing veteran.

Happy Friday! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

{Take Action Thursday} Stop The Insanity!

I will keep this post nice and short, so that you can read about

Monsanto's attorney and lobbyist appointed to the FDA's Food Safety Czar position

by President Obama and then sign this petition asking that Micheal Taylor be removed.

If you are unfamiliar with Micheal Taylor, like I was this is a good article at the Huffington Post that gives a run down of how a man, Micheal Taylor, tried to hide the risks and dangers of GMO food and growth hormones in milk from everyday people like you and me. A man who may be responsible for more food borne illness and death then anyone in history. Making this story even worse is the fact that  today Mr Taylor continues armed raids against raw milk.... like the Amish farmer that was simply selling raw milk to consumers seeking him out..... yet allows the man that oversaw the selling of over 500 million salmonella tainted eggs sold to an unsuspecting public to about with no fear of arrest or fines.

This stinks of the highest degree of politics as usual with big agri-business pulling the puppet strings and the public audience expected to laugh on cue and go about their business as if nothing is amiss.

Please TAKE ACTION, make your voice count!

Stop the Insanity!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Because I can't.....I Made Ketchup.....

Because I can't farm/homestead/garden/ranch/urban farm......I made ketchup......mustard...with whey, I might add. I know there sounds like there is no connection, but there is I promise, or don't promise...because you may not connect the dots like I do, as in skipping some, erasing and ignoring other dots and use only the dots I want, or really, in my case...the only dots I have.....and what seems the only dots the Lord is providing me with.

I made ketchup because I read a fabulous recipe AND because I had wanted to make a batch since bottling season before last....from scratch, but it ever happened.  I figured that if and when the time I came I should have enough tomatoes on hand, so I just bottle a majority of the tomatoes and make quite a few batches of salsa....in several flavors (which we have already gone through the picante sauce and we are all mopey about it, it's going to be a long wait until September again!)

But this morning I deemed to be the right morning...that and I didn't want to get out of my lay around clothes, so they worked together. You won't be surprised about how easy either one is to make...it's basically stir, sit and serve.

I had already been on a mission to eradicate HFCS from our diets, and their are a few brands out there with no HFCS....but they still have corn syrup and natural flavorings, which means they still have GMO corn and MSG in them, along with other sugars and preservatives. So as I perused the internet (because I have nothing else better to do!)  I was reminded of the Nourishing Traditions cookbook (where I should have gone first!)  and of this post from Whole Intentions Blog and wahlaa.....a recipe that sounded like my family would eat it, because no matter how much I tell them it is good for them...they won't eat it if they don't like it and would rather eat the crap stuff from the stores.

And while the following is important to me....the kids could care less right now...but someday they will, I know they will!

You can read more of the history of Ketchup here if you wish, but the basics are that it USED to be a fermented condiment from China that was a beneficial digestive aid because of the fermentation. But sadly not any more, if you don't look really, really hard...you're only going to get sugar and probably corn sugar at that along with corn syrup.....

....which, according to all the commercials being ran by the big agri corn growers is the same as sugar!  NOT! My blood boils every time I hear this commercial and I start talking back to the TV, and then my husband gets to roll his eyes. But seriously...follow the money...of course they are going to run commercials convincing everyone that they are your neighbors next door ad that they know better then your body, blah, blah, blah....I still have a lot to learn  about going back to traditional food, but I DO know that corn sugar from GM corn IS NOT the same thing as sugar....

okay...tryin to breathe hear...stupid big companies that want us all to be stupid idiots and just like what they tell us to like...reminds me of a book.....

Anyways, when you make ketchup or mustard with lactic acid as a preservative and not sugar your body will thank you....and guess what? It's cheaper on the pocket book! Double score!

Lacto-Fermented Ketchup

24 oz tomato paste, preferably from your own stock, but if not, from a glass bottle and even better organic
1/4 cup whey (I used yogurt whey, by placing the whole fat yogurt in a strainer over a bowl letting the liquid collect for several hours)
1 tablespoon sea salt (Redmond's Real Salt is what I use, made in my back yard (well not literally but close enough! It's in the same state)
1/2 cup maple syrup (YES, the real stuff, grade B is best!)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup fish sauce (one day I WILL make my own!)

Mix all the ingredients together until well blended, then placing in a quart size jar one inch below the top of the jar.  Leave at room temperature for two days before storing in the fridge.

Three of the kids helping, then licked the spoon and bowl when we were done...it is pretty good! And my dad will get a good kick out of this as he likes to tell them storied of when I was younger and liked to put ketchup on everything, including my mush (but that was so I didn't have to eat it I bet)...but maybe I knew something back then.....he said I obtained my habit in Japan when we lived there for a year.....it was probably fermented!

Nourishing Traditions has a great recipe for mustard too!!!

And if you are still here and still wondering how farming and ketchup go together? Because yet again it seems that we have been "hedged up" (scripture speak for - the Lord wants you to bid your time and have patience...at least this is my interpretation!) as houses come and go...and they don't want to rent to a family of ten....and I totally get that...I do! But until a miracle happens and the economy picks up, we cannot sell  our townhome. So the connection? You ask? I have to feel like I am trying to homestead....so I bake, bottle, cook, clean or do something remotely like homesteading...until I can. It makes me feel better.....for a minute and regroup my patience.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lemon Kind of Day - Updated

Well I am sad to see the last of the fresh lemons go....but they were so wonderful to cure a bit of the winter blues while they lasted!  We were able to make lots and lots of fresh lemonade, even raspberry lemonade one day with frozen raspberries.  I used fresh squeezed juice on chicken and in salad dressing, zest on veggies, lemon bread and lemon coconut bars and now I have just finished putting the lemon rinds in a large 2 quart jar filled with vinegar and I have checked on my preserved lemons everyday.

You would think that one might get a little sick of lemons...but we haven't, in fact we all laid around last night and lamented on  how we should call the sweet aunt and run down and get some more....you know...run down as in a state away.....doubly good, I little out of town jaunt and bring home fresh lemons....

But I guess we will have to make ourselves happy with the preserved lemons and that fresh lemony smell when we spray the cleaning vinegar on our cleaning surfaces after sitting and steeping for the next four weeks....and it looks so pretty on my counter that I started a bottle of orange peels soaking in vinegar!  Fresh smelling and natural cleaning supplies that won't joke us to death when you spray them. You can visit My Old Kentucky Homestead where I got the idea from.  Love the internet!!!

I also researched and studied how to preserve lemons since my hubs had been in Afghanistan and had enjoyed a recipe that called for preserved lemons and he wanted to make it at home or us. So off to the one and only Arabic store we could find in the big city....we learned quite a bit there....and enjoyed some melt in your mouth roasted lamb kabob...

mmm.....getting hungry....

we ended up not getting any of the preserved lemons at the time because 1) they were a little expensive and 2) I didn't know how to use them except or that one recipe. Now, I know not only how to use them, but to make them. It if you can cut a lemon, you can make preserved lemons, or limes if you prefer! 

I don't know why I hadn't heard of these before because when I researched it......preserving citrus fruit has been going on for centuries in practically every country that had access to citrus fruits, including the United States!  This just made me realize how much I don't know about the world, and my own little world!!  The US tended to pack them in Vinegar while the Middle Eastern and North African countries tend to pack them in salt, which is what I did. The preserved lemons can be used in sushi (which I have been experimenting with the last couple of months), fish and chicken, ceviche, ice cream and venison...Yes, venison!! Which will be good, as it is time to put in for our deer tags and we are all hoping to draw out to fill our freezer once again!

...and now....I can't find my pictures..that for once...I took...how maddening! FOUND them....thanks to my #3!

But I can tell you it was a success because all you do is lay kosher salt on the bottom of the glass jar after gently scrubbing the lemons.  Cut of the blossom end (and the little knubs if you are using Eureka lemons).

The cut length wise into the lemon making an x, but not cutting all the way through. You basically have a quarted lemon that you now put 1 tablespoon of kosher salt in, covering all over.

Layer in the glass jar, tamping down as you go to release the juices. Keep layering until about an inch from the top. At this point I was really pushed hard on the lemons to get the juice covering the lemons and to put more in there, as I was only going to do one jar to see how it went.

Cover with another tablespoon of salt, and add fresh squeezed lemon juice if there isn't enough.

Then cover and let sit at room temperature for a few days, after which you can store them in the fridge where the should last for a year or longer.  Leave them be for 3 - 4 weeks and then use to your hearts content! You could also water bath them or ten minutes if you would like them to sit in your pantry.

I can't wait to use them in this Moroccan Chicken with Lemons and Olives recipe. I drool every time I see this recipe!

You ca also visit this site or more ideas on preserving lemons.

Now if you'll excuse me...I am going to go enjoy a lemon coconut bar..

Lemon Coconut Bars

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup cold butter or margarine
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9 x 13 x 2 inch pan with coconut o
2. In a bowl, combine flour and confectioners’ sugar; cut in the butter until crumbly 
3. Press into the bottom of a lightly greased. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
4. Then, in a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and baking powder until well mixed. Pour over crust; sprinkle coconut evenly over the top.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars....if you can wait that long! 

Monday, January 30, 2012

{Minute Monday}

Did you remember through the week that change is sometimes imperceptible?  Or did you constantly have to remind yourself, like I did every few minutes, like I did?

Bus I did learn a few things...

1) A good way to get a major appliance cleaned out underneath of..... say, lint, lost change, buttons, chewed gum and sunflower seeds is .....to have it break down. All clean...and thankfully, it is back up and running.
2)Potty training may be easier then you think, if you do nothing, go nowhere and commit to running to the potty with your twins every 15 minutes and dancing crazy everytime they go.
3) The paci/binkie/bobby/pacifer was easier to ditch then I thought.
4) Having church at the 1 pm block bites when you have babies that need to have a nap....but are instead up at 1:30 am to play because they finally got their nice long nap at 6:30 pm, which in the end will be good because you will get all your laundry done and folded while baby happily giggles and plays like no big deal that the rest of the world is snoozing.
5) Your husband will be the sweetest thing ever when he says....."go ahead...go back to bed", and then stays home to make sure that the oldest five get off to school on time dressed, fed and happy (well, maybe just the elementary students are happy!)
6) When and if we get our little homestead farm.....there won't be any going back to bed for me...or the animals will not be happy.

7) Making preserved lemons is easier then making lemonade!
8) I would rather cook and eat at home, then at a restaurant. Thank you dad, really, it was sweet, but I always feel heavy and awful after your well meaning gesture.  And the quality restaurants that are out there...are beyond your's or my budget when feeding a family of 10! You're the best.

I'm sure there are more things that I learned, but I am getting old...and for lack of sleep...can't remember all of them, but I do know the older I get the more I have to learn.

Thank heavens!

And thank heavens we have the internet to have all the information we want at the tip of our fingers and can pretty much learn anything we want......

If you have a minute, you can go to The Prairie Homestead and read dozens upon dozens of amazing women sharing their knowledge. I love it!

Or go to Forgotten Way Farm  for a chance to win drying rack, campfire cooking, videos and more! You know I did!

Or if you have ironing to do and need some interesting tv and/or talking going on...like I do...go watch Fresh, a movie about the food industry's failure to honor nature's way of providing food through old fashioned practices. It can bee seen for free through tomorrow.

And tomorrow, I'll share pictures of my preserved lemons!! Now for one last class of fresh lemonade. 

Photot Credit

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The ABC's of an Abundant Life

A is for Attitude

Charles Swindoll—author, educator, and Christian pastor—said:

“Attitude, to me, is more important than … the past, … than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.”

We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude.

B is or Believe in Yourself

Don’t limit yourself and don’t let others convince you that you are limited in what you can do. Believe in yourself and then live so as to reach your possibilities.
You can achieve what you believe you can. Trust and believe and have faith.

C is for Courage

There will be times when you will be frightened and discouraged. You may feel that you are defeated. The odds of obtaining victory may appear overwhelming. At times you may feel like David trying to fight Goliath. But remember—David did win!

Courage is required to make an initial thrust toward one’s coveted goal, but even greater courage is called for when one stumbles and must make a second effort to achieve.
Have the determination to make the effort, the single-mindedness to work toward a worthy goal, and the courage not only to face the challenges that inevitably come but also to make a second effort, should such be required. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.”

You can read President Thomas S. Monson's message in it's entirety here.

Wishing you a restful Sabbath.

Friday, January 27, 2012

{Frugal Friday} Second Go Around - Stir Fry

Fridays are going to have to be a quick and easy post.....because

because...the hubs is home on Fridays, and even if we don't have an agenda for the day....I need to be his....call...

I mean beck and call girl.....that's how we roll!

And as I type this I am still feeling a little guilty that he was on his hands and knees...belly really....

scrapping the floor with a knife at the kunk that collects at the baseboards...because that is where the kids push it when they mope....and well...it is on my to do list.....but I hadn't gotten quite there and.... a quiet lunch today with my friend without having to corral little twinners or canoodle the baby....sounded wonderful....so I ran...and I mean ran out the door and came home to the hubs offering up some love.  I'll take it, I'll do the floor next time the overnight visitors come..

or in another year or two.....or after the hubs decides to do it again.

But I will get over the guilt real quick...like right now and share with you a quick recipe for a second go around dinner.

Doesn't that sound better then left overs?

Remember this yummy recipe? This to die for Marinated and Bacon Wrapped Venison (or other meat) steak. Yes, so do I, my mouth waters all over again thinking about it. Well I still had several left over steaks from Sunday dinner...because I hid them from the man child. But there were only a couple so I needed to make the dinner stretch for all ten of us...

What would you make? YES...that is what I did....I made Stir Fry!! Is there anything better? Other then Marinated and Bacon Wrapped Steak courtesy of Jill over at The Prairie Homestead?

So we (I) sliced up carrots, broccoli, onions, a little celery and red peppers and threw them in the cast iron skillet with hot sesame oil, in the order that I typed as carrots take the most time to cook. After a good couple of minutes, add in 1/3 cup hot water and let the veggies steam until the water is boiled out. 

During this time you can slice the meat nice and thin, once the water is out, toss in the meat and give it a good shake. And then add in the following...

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (from the mother)
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
These need be in no special order, but I always put the liquid in last, stir around and then thicken.

I served with rice and had to stop myself from eating more then my share. I make stir fry whenever I need to stretch the meat...and it is healthier....and most the family will eat it..unless their is seafood somewhere hidden in it. Silly children.

Second go arounds are always the best in my book but I also made these the other night that were oh. so. finger. lickin. good.

But that is another conversation as I am still getting over my guilt of eating the little devils because of all the msg laden broth pumped into them...and a slight headache to go with it. But they were good, hopefully you can get your hands on pastured chicken drummettes. But we'll talk later.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

{Goin' Back to the Farm} Take Action Thursday

I know KNOW that so many of you are so busy with kids and work and farms and LIFE!

But here are two small things to add to our ever ready to do list, but can help make a difference;

First, "Like" us,  Goin Back to the Farm  on Face Book. A page dedicated to obtaining and helping to secure the future for pure and nutritious food from farms and ranches that practice healthy stewardship over the animals and the earth. As well as sharing article on sustainable practices and spreading the news about the falsehoods and lies from the government, big agriculture and corporation farming that are a danger to each one of us, our country and our earth as well as future generations.

Second, sit down with a glass of fresh lemonade, herbal tea or even raw milk and watch 
Fresh, which is free or the next week, and then join them in helping to educate our family, friends and neighbors.

There, not too much to ask right?

Now I must go finish my ever growing pile of ironing.

photo credit 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Roll Your Eyes if you Must....My Ode to Cloth Diapers

This morning as I strolled through my house (after rushing to get dressed since the youngest two school attendee's missed the bus and returned home in tears and I needed to take them) shutting off lights, picking up wet towels, turning off radios and shutting bedroom doors so I don't have to see the disaster they left in their room....

{seriously is it that hard to get dressed and ready in the morning? I know their room was picked up last night.  And does organized and order skip a generation or two? And how do I help me one wee one that likes to be organized...when her two sisters do not?}

and then started folding and preparing the cloth diapers for the day.....yep...you heard right...cloth diapers...

You're not the first to gasp, giggle, roll your eyes...the fam already did that and a few friends expressed their dismay....however, 

I thought I would share our (mine and baby's...since no one else is really venturing into the whole adventure with me...yet) experience so far. And wouldn't you know it...the ad for the G diapers is on my blog....coincidence...I think not!

So far so good.  I love them and Baby seems to be happy in them. First, she has a tendency as have all my babies to have rashy bum when they start table food. I personally believe that the disposable diaper was part of the reason, so I bought natural chlorine free diapers (with this last baby, but before it was just slap on the ointment liberally) because I thought that cloth diapers wold be too hard and gross and  time consuming.

{I still remember my youngest brother's diapers being left in the toilet to be cleaned out all the time...and when you only have one bathroom....that can be a problem...a HUGE messy problem...because what did I or my siblings do?  We just plopped it right out on the floor.....yep....that's right! As a mom now I can understand that would have been so irritating...but that's what you get when you have a house full of kids, one bathroom and you leave a poopy diaper in the toilet...nope not one ounce of remorse....I will work of repenting on that a little latter...}

and the smell of the diaper pail...UGH! No thank you.

But as I started shifting (dragging) towards a more natural lifestyle, I started looking into it before this last baby was born.  In fact my hub's cousin does...she has this website making and selling cloth diapers, and I was serious until I told my better half the cost....yeah..that was a big ole no.

But then late Saturday night when we were perusing the aisles of our local grocery store late at night looking for a somewhat health ice cream (we found it...gelato...in case you were wondering )...we also call that date night.

And at the last minute remembering we needed diapers...we found these....gdiapers! Not only are they cloth, but they have a disposable inner core, if you want to use that on the go...that is...get this...flushable!!

Here are their own words..they say it best:
                "gDiapers keep baby’s footprint teeny tiny. gRefills are the only diaper to be certified 100% biodegradable. A disposable diaper that truly goes back to the earth, rather than sitting on top of it. Or use gCloth, a washable insert option that’s as gentle as an ocean breeze."

I got four different diaper covers, the cloth diapers and the disposable inserts to start...and they had coupons on them! BONUS! I figure I am always, always doing laundry...so no worries about having a larger stock at this point....but I may. So far baby has only pooped when I have her in the cloth insert, but that hasn't really been a problem since she is still nursing a majority of the time...but I know that will change. The idea was to put on the disposable insert when she needs to poop in the morning....but so far...she is keeping me on my toes!

The inner disposable liners can also be composted (after you dispose of the poop) further heeding our stewardship to the earth or thrown away.  I also like their philosophy to business and families. You can read more here.

AND let's not eve get to the chemicals and the nasty stuff that makes up a disposable diapers....you can read more on  this website if you care and want to know about the gory details...and they will make you gasp. Now to get the twins fully potty trained.

My #3 informed her #1 sibling that she would be using these when she had babies as he made fun of me.....that's okay...I know I will get the last laugh.  One day he will care, especially if he sees his dream trough of working for the DWR...and he sees what those pampers do to his mountain....and that something of my cares and passions are being transferred on to my kidlets.

Tell me what your experiences are with cloth diapers...including your funny don't really want to remember them growing up stories!

Love yer poop cleanin up earth friendly mom guts...

photo credits

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sigh or Freak Out.....

I am not a perfect mother...there I have said it...it is out...sorry to blow your minds....
My baby really doesn't really look like a gnome in real life.

Whatever, all that know me.....are laughing....as I just posted this morning that I forgot my #5's kindergarten spotlight.....I don't know how...it was boldly typed out on his calendar that has a prominent place on our fridge.....and I even thought about it last week....and yet I did forget....and not only did I forget....I am late...very late...it was due yesterday morning.

So late last night while my hubs finished the dishes (which he should, I fixed him chicken fried steak...in coconut oil mind you), I ran to the store to get the necessary spotlighting paraphernalia and then proceeded to go through 20 years of pictures to find the last and only six yeas of his life.....and can I just tell you all I miss my little babies, yes I know I still have babies, but when I look at those sweet chubby angelic faces and stubby little legs...my heart just melts....because I remember when.....

and then we cut to this morning as the other sweet chubby angelic baby boy turned to towering over me man child stormed out of the house....because....because....I sighed over something that his teenage mind has once.again.put.off.and.is.now.late.and.will.be.forgotten.and.lost.and.then.I.will.have.to.nag.to.get.it.done.again. and.he.will.say.I.am.freaking.out.AGAIN!

...and he forgot his freshly made lovingly prepared egg sandwich.....in a huff....

Now let's just say I didn't freak out this morning...but...

yes...but...I have before....and sadly, I probably will again....because you see....

I had to learn to be a good parent, a good mother...and sometimes I forget that....a lot

It was easy to be a blissfully happy and good mother to a teeny tiny little bundle of heaven; snuggle them, rock them, kiss them, adore them, sing to them....no problemo.....

They didn't talk back. If they were crying I knew how to soothe them, pat them, burp them, change them, feed them and love them till they were cooing again. Admittedly, I have had wonderfully colic free, easy going stress free babies...till mctwinner #1, she changed things up....but still...I didn't view her as hard...just more needy demanding, and #8 has been by far the sweetest most easygoing baby along with #3, #4 and #5...and #7.  I just have really good babies.

And then they turn, oh about, three, eleven, fourteen, or seventeen,  sometimes two, in the case of one of the twins.....and then the learning curve begins all over again...and again...and again....over and over.

You would think that I would get it the second time around, or at least the third, however, each of my children are so different that I have had to learn something new. How to let one fly, how to make one of them more secure, how to push another to be a little more, to refrain, to push and prod, cajole and sometimes bribe into making good choices that will affect them further down the line.....and I still have a long line to go down.

Or just to bite my tongue...that would probably solve a lot of problems.....

But I don't, sometimes I freak out (except this morning...no freak out) and forget that I am the parent that is in control and knows what I am doing and that I understand my children sometimes will make choices that I do not agree with and that they will have to live with the consequences. Except, that I think that I will have to deal with a mess one way or another, so I will just make them mad now and then not deal with the messy consequences later ad they will thank me later for it.

Life and agency doesn't work that way, #1 reminds me of that all the time, like on a daily and sometimes hourly basis...he is much too much like me. (There I have admitted it!) Just like the Lord gives me freedom to choose my own path, I have to give my children {a little} room to make their own choices, and to learn and grow.

BUT IT IS HARD!  I MEAN HARD! to let them make stupid choices that down the line will make no sense to them...but I must, I must.

And here is where I am constantly reminding myself that it is okay to still be learning as a parent, and if you think that you know it all....well then....good luck my friend.

It's okay to make mistakes as a parent, as long as we are just as quick to tell our kiddos we are sorry.

I tell my kids that I wake up praying for them in the morning and repenting for myself at night...and that they forget that their mother is still learning and that she isn't perfect.....

but that she loves them more then anything else in the world, that she would walk on hot coals and lay her life down if necessary for them....because that is what imperfect and freak out mothers.....parents do.

I wish for them that when they become parents the learning curve won't be as steep as I the one I climbed...because...I showed them the way and kept the path lit and that I am not quite the freak out they thought I was.

But until then, I will just have to remind myself that as long as I do a little better each day, that that day was  a success. Much like learning to eat Traditional Foods or deal with cloth diapers, or return to the farm....a little can go a long way.

And hopefully the little things like Butter Sauce for Gingerbread waffles or German pancakes or like Raspberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast...will erase my freak outs ...or that I make them eat oatmeal.
Butter Sauce is so easy but something that they will remember you took the time to make. Minutes to make and no preservatives or HFCS in it!

So love and hug and rock...even the 17 year old....little buggers while you can....they will remember...

Butter Sauce

1 cube butter
1/2 cup canned coconut milk (the thick stuff on top, not the water part)
1 Cup raw cane sugar

Combine in heavy pan and bring to a rapid boil, stirring occasionally. Serve warm.

Monday, January 23, 2012

{Minute Monday} Imperceptible Change

" We must be careful, as we seek to become more and more [Christlike], that we do not become discouraged and lose hope. Becoming Christlike is a life time pursuit and very often involves growth and change that is slow, almost imperceptible." President Ezra Taft Benson

Aaaahhhhh......doesn't that just make sense?! and make you feel better?

change is slow, almost imperceptible...

that's how I feel about the 8 babies' baby weight hanging around my middle, and butt...and legs....and arms...okay okay it is everywhere.....but I am working on it.

Imperceptible change is how it has felt as I work to change my family over to Real Food....and only hear complaints, moans and sighs....accompanied with the occasional , all the time eye rolling. but the more I do it and the more they eat purely delicious food, the more they like it. And let's remember that, almost four of them are young adults...even if they liked it...they most likely wouldn't let me know.

Imperceptible is a good word to describe our creep to find our own farm (homestead).....

..and....it is a good word to describe sometimes my feeling of lack of spiritual growth...because I am stubborn and forgetful and slow to remember...and stubborn...did I say that?

But I have learned a few GOOD things over that weekend.....that I will share quickly, before kiddos get off the bus....

1) Wintergreen Essential Oils work small miracles on teething babies.....along with putting it in my humidifier with Lavender and Eucalyptus.
2) Marinated and Bacon Wrapped Venison was a huge success, picky eater #2 and #3 asked for seconds and stated that I could make this each and every time we eat venison...thank you Jill at the The Prairie Homestead
3) It still snows in Utah
4) My #1 is a pretty amazing kid - almost adult - even if we are so much alike that we clash over everything.
5) I still get butterflies in my stomach when my mister looks across the room full of people and smiles.... just at me.
6) Potty training stinks...and I need a miracle...because  progress seems imperceptible.
7) And while we are potty talking...I bought cloth diapers...YEAH ME! so far so good.....even after the first diaper change.....was a big ole poop......but I will follow up with you on this subject.
8) And talking about yellow...I found an amazing recipe for homemade mustard! Can't wait to try it1

Until then......just remember that sometimes change....especially good change can be imperceptible. You can read the article here in The Ensign where I read the quote.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Just a Little Deeper

 Just a beginning note...this picture has noting to do with this post...but one of these cute girls was insistent...

I am going to just come out and admit it......I didn't even make it 24 hours before I had bent (okay...broken) one of my goals for shopping and eating local, but I had good reasons.....

I was serving just beans last night...and I had already fed the husband oatmeal for breakfast...and now I was going to be serving him meatless tostadas..so I bought avocados....

Yes, I know avocados are good for us...and I could eat a whole one with just salt and pepper....

but they are neither in season or local.....

but it was the lesser of two evils (not really evil...until you have to listen to everyone complain about your dinner, yall know what I mean, after you have worked so hard)

.....Hear him complain......or give him something more tasty.....

and props for him...he didn't complain......but maybe it was the fresh lemonade that the girls made...sunshine is a glass!

SO....I worked even harder today to try and meet some of my goals.......

let's just say...it wasn't good.....but as Scarlett said....there is always tomorrow!

Instead of ruminating over my failures...I have been going through our 72 hour kits.....

again..not so good.....

let me paint a picture for you....

my six year old has size 2T pull ups in his pack...and the younger three.....don't even have packs....but hopefully by the end of this weekend, we will be well on our way to being prepared.

After all....we live in a earthquake prone area, a flood zone and just a month ago we watched our town ripped apart by 100 mph winds that left a wake of damage and our home without power for several hours.

This wind storm left us realizing that we needed to work a little harder in being prepared, not only or ourselves, but for our neighbors as well. Over the next three days as we started cleaning up on our street ad then through out the weekend as they cancelled church on Sunday so that we could extend service even further and help those that could not help themselves.

Storm Damage News

There were two take aways from this devastating storm.....1) We were prepared...but not as prepared as we need to be, and 2) the trees on the golf course seemed to take the worst hit.

Do you wanna know why? Well I will tell you why?

The trees o the golf courses do not have to work very hard to get water to their roots.  Their roots are surface dwellers, in my humble opinion.  Now many trees were lost on this storm and some seemed perfectly healthy with deep roots and all, and by the forceful power of the wind...they finally fell...but they held their ground for as long as they could.  Whereas the trees on the golf course wee the first to go....ad they took up all that was with them, whether it was grass roots, other trees, bushes...it all game up, roots and all.

I thought a lot about this through the weekend and then preceded to discuss it with my mckiddos....and we all came to the same conclusion....that we go through hard stuff to make us stronger.  That by having to sink our roots down deep in the and sometimes really look for water...aka....knowledge and the truth, and even sometimes going without water for a period of time and that really makes us stretch and look, we appreciate what we have so much more.

My kids got it! Until I reminded them a few days later and asked.....how deep do you want your roots? Not very deep at the moment....but I hope that through the coming years this story will burrow under their memories and they will be able to dig down deep and know that anything worth wanting or doing, takes something deep within ourselves.

So now I have to remember that myself, these things that are worth going the extra mile for, or that are hard and sometimes show our failings and shortcomings, like breaking a resolution less then 24 hours later...will take work and practice and searching....but it can be done and that after the storm (whatever the storm is and sometimes a mountain high pile of laundry can seem like that storm) you will still be standing and be even stronger.

So I will try a little harder the next day, sending my roots just a little deeper.

And to celebrate my roots...or rather my husbands....I leave you with a recipe from The Prairie Homestead Blog Marinated and Bacon wrapped venison.  It smells so good!! I didn't grow up hunting or eating venison, so this has been a learning curve for me, but as time goes on, I have realized that it is so much healthier for us and that I am excited to find wonderful recipes that even my kids will eat because even though they have grown up with it...obviously not enough!!  But they will, they will!!

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