A place of encouragement:

Living By Faith, Walking in the Light, Saved By His Amazing Grace

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Home Made Bread

I bought  a grain mill a while back and have been loving the fact that I can grind wheat and make my own flour with out any additives or bleaching. Although I didn't realize that you had to add Vital wheat gluten so that your cakes and breads would rise and not be heavy.
This my sweet friends is called Chocolate Zucchini Bread and it is heavenly. Puts a whole new twist on Zucchini Bread! A special friend of mine shared this recipe with me and I want to share it with you......
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1 Cup apple sauce
3 Eggs
3 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Baking Cocoa
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Soda
1 1/2 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp. Baking Powder
3 cups Shredded Zucchini 
1 1/2 Cup Semi Sweet Chips

In a large bowl, beat sugar, applesauce, egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, salt, b. soda, cinnamon and b. powder. Gradually beat into sugar mixture. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour into 2 loaf pans coated with non-stick spray.

Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.

Note: you can substitute the applesauce for 1 cup of oil but I used applesauce and you can not tell a difference. It tastes just as good and it's a  lot healthier for you!!
And yes my family Loved it!!

This next recipe is so good! Keeps a nice shape. Great for toast and sandwiches! This one also called for oil but, I added applesauce instead and still, it tasted just as good....Maybe even better!

Honey Wheat Bread
2 Cups Wheat Flour
1 Tb. yeast
1/2 Cup Applesauce
1 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Honey 
4-5 Cups Flour
2 1/2 Cups warm water

In a large bowl add 2 cups wheat flour, 1 Tb. yeast, 1/2 Cup Applesauce1/2 Cup honey and 1 Tsp. salt. Mix well. Then add your warm water. Mix in the rest of your flour and turn dough out on counter top to knead until smooth. Let rise in bowl for 1 hour. Punch down and cut dough in half and place it into two loaf pans sprayed with pam. place in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.

Note: If you don't have whole wheat flour  just use regular white.....Works good both ways. With the white flour it will be a  lighter, airier bread.

Any time you can make home made bread, (or home made anything for that matter) your giving your family your very best! No preservatives! And so yummy!
Happy Bread Making!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2012-2013 History Curriculum For Grades 3,5 & 9

As promised a while back I told you I was going to share what we were using for next years History. I love American History! I love digging into the past and finding out how this Great country came to be. And I must tell you that the older I get and the more I teach my children, the more I realize how much we were not taught when I was in school. I have learned so much more now than I ever did back then! And I'm certain kids today are not being taught True American History!

I stumbled on to Queens a while back and I have fallen in love with their curriculum! It is a Christian based company. Their books are written from a christian perspective and they are absolutely wonderful!! They use the Charlotte Mason approach and I find myself very drawn to this approach verses the boring texts books I so often used to fall into and get trapped and burnt out trying to get through them. My middles will be doing Volume 1 "A Living History of Our World." While my 9th grader will be doing all three volumes in 1 year. I will also be adding more age appropriate literature and a heavier work load for her so that it will be age appropriate for her level.

They each get their own student journal to fill out as we go along. The books are written very well and stay true to our heritage.
I added some books for read alouds, arts,  crafts and DIY Projects for us to try! I have many books on my book shelves that are all about early American History. Great for all ages!

Over the years it's very easy to accumulate books and spend way too much money! I have learned that if I'm going to order books they must be worth keeping on the book shelf and can be passed down from one student to the next. Timeless classics, ones that you will always want to go back to again and again! Don't just purchase books to fill a shelf....Do your research and buy the ones you will cherish!
Then I stumbled onto this amazing web site!!! Hands and Hearts.
Everything is there to make all of those crafts listed on the box! I ordered the main kit and then an extra craft kit so both of my children can do their own project.

I am so excited to get started on this I believe we may even start early. Baby is do the first of October,  it would be smart on my part to get a jump start on this so we can get to the fun stuff!!

Sweet Pickle Spears

It is so rewarding to walk out to your garden and pick the fruit of your labor and jar it up to store away for your family!

Today I had enough pickles picked to jar up 6 pints. Which was about 4 pounds. So I thought I would share the recipe with you.

The first thing you have to do is cut your cukes into spears. you want cukes to be about 4 inches long.
The next thing you want to do is cover your cukes with boiling water and let them sit for about 45 minutes. Drain and then pack your jars.

Next you will need:

4 Cups sugar
3 3/4 cups Vinegar
3 Tb. canning salt
4 Tsp. celery seed
4 Tsp. Turmeric
1 1/2 Tsp. Mustard seed

Bring to a boil and ladle hot liquid over cucumbers, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles and adjust two piece caps. Process 20 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Monday, April 23, 2012

She's Her Daddy's Girl

People say she takes after her Mama but, if you were to look real close you would see She has her Daddy's nose,chin and long lanky body. Of course Daddy isn't long and lanky anymore but, he used to be............
And some people say she has her Mama's smile but if you look real close you will see her Daddy's big wide grin.
 And our Butterfly girl, she has one attribute that surely didn't come from her Mama.....if you were here on any given day you would find her giving up, giving away, giving abundantly.....I've seen her sacrifice things that were very dear to her in order for some one else to be happy. This unselfish heart surely didn't come from me, but from her Daddy....If you were here on any given day you would find him giving up, giving away, giving abundantly, sacrificing everyday for his Family.........and it doesn't stop there he's like that with everybody not just family.

There is one thing I see in her that reminds me of me when I was a young girl just like her......And I use to think that this is one attribute you shouldn't  have because more often than not an overly sensitive heart can make emotions run high and the tears easy to flow.....It's easy to get hurt and hard to forget. And I'm teaching her how to channel those emotions.....Oh I don't want her to shut them off completely but I want her to learn how to use them positively........It took me years of learning how to control my tears and sometimes I still can't win the battle but, being sensitive isn't a sin, I use to think it was a curse.......I now claim it as a blessing. Because I am able to sense the hurting and the broken a lot quicker than most......And I know what it means to be comforted by one who is just as sensitive as me. I am quick to hug, show love and communicate. And sometimes my over sensitivity makes me want to fix things that I have no control over.....Have I told you I'm still learning?

My dear sweet Butterfly girl, in so many ways you take after your Daddy and yes I believe it's safe to call you Daddy's girl. When I look at you I see so many wonderful attributes that caused me to fall in love with your Daddy and we are truly blessed by your life and all that you have given to both of us!

I pray that you keep all that makes you beautiful and never forget that Christ is who makes you shine like you do. I pray that you will learn how to use all your God given gifts and yes being overly sensitive is truly a gift if you learn how to use it wisely....We love you Sweet Butterfly Girl......Keep on catching those Beautiful Butterflies!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

To Post Or Not To Post

I've been around long enough to know that good habits just don't happen and bad habits for some reason they come easy.......

And that old saying "Good things come to those who wait." really doesn't apply here.........It lets laziness creep in and isn't laziness one of the biggest "bad habits" of them all?

I'm one who loves to plan. It thrills me to see it all written down on paper. Shelves all organized. Ideas of how to run this life like a well oiled machine gets my blood pumping.

Implementing the plan is a whole new ball game. It takes hard work and consistency and there is absolutely no room for bad habits if I want to make this work.

And I'm not perfect but, I've been saved by the only ONE who is. And I'm praying and talking to Him this morning asking Him to help me with all those bad habits. And I know, to Him...... I must sound like an old broken record, but I can't quit now there is too much at stake!

I'm on this journey and I want you to join me in my struggle to become more organized and self sufficient. I want to take all those years of selfish bad habits and work them into GOOD. I know what to do, I know what it takes! I'm really good at planning......

And there is a part of me right now that really doesn't want to post this for all to see. I even stopped and had to pause for a bit......... But I know I need to press on because this is the one area in my life that the Lord keeps pressing on me. You see, too be honest I've been lazy and I let lots of bad habits creep in over the years. I've been selfish and because I only do things when I feel like it those things never get done! Oh my! Did I really just admit that? Johnny I hope your not reading this!!

So starting now and through out the summer I will be implementing the plans that I make and I need to be held accountable! That's right that is why I paused before I posted. To post or not to post. If I fail then I fail with all eyes watching and it means I really didn't put my faith in the Lord...... but if I succeed it's because I listened and was faithful to my Heavenly Father.

And I don't want it to be that "it's okay your very busy with kids and homeschool and all. You are who you are and you can't change and God's grace will be there when you fall".............. I don't need to hear the excuses to get me out of doing what I know I should be doing!

I want you to know, I want to be who God wants me to be and I know there is grace when we fall, I'm all about grace......but I believe I/we  use grace as a crutch to get away with not accomplishing what God truly wants from us, from who He really wants us to be!!

I want to hear Him say "Well done Good and Faithful Servant." I want to be Who He wants me to be!

So starting now and through out the summer I will keep you updated on my progress and maybe you will want to join me! Let's encourage one another to be who He wants us to be!

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Inward Heart And The Power That Turns It Outward

For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy spirit and deep conviction. 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5

I think we become too comfortable. I know I can become too complacent. And it's easy to slip away from the words that give the power. It's sad that I can put the Good Book down and not return to Him the following day or even a day or two later. I've been known to think I can handle life alone, that the little things I needn't bother Him with.

I tend to forget I am chosen and that makes me His child. And don't I know I have His power inside of me? And in this world of easy back slides and tempting temptations how quickly we forget to utilize that very power.....

The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His POWERFUL word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty of Heaven. Hebrews 1:2-4

I want to strive in my everyday duties to remember the power that lives inside of me. The power that keeps me calm when chaos hits. The power that gives me words to speak to a friend, a stranger. The power that turns my selfish heart into the giving heart He means for me to have. The power to put a smile on my face and show sweet love to my children when all I want to do is call it quits for the day. The power to serve my husband the way he deserves and not the way I have been........The power to witness to a soul searching......

It's not hard to get stuck in that oh poor me trench........It's also not hard to pick up His word to keep you out of that trench. He is continually molding me often, showing me day in and day out what He needs to work on with me.....Always letting me know He's right there holding my hand to get me through the insecurities, and "only me moments."

And I know I can rise above any mountain top as long as I can rest upon His shoulders. And oh if you've ever been on His shoulders you will be amazed at all you can see......The hurting, The Lost, The broken hearted, The needy. It's what He sees when you and I are too involved in us to notice. The more you turn to Him, the more He shows you them........ The more my inward heart turns outward!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Being Prepared Is Biblical, Part 4 Stocking Your Pantry

We go to Sam's about every six weeks to stock up. Usually I only buy a certain amount to last our family for those six weeks but, the last couple of trips I bought extra! I bought extra canned goods and staples to store away. To create a stash so to speak of supplies so that we are never left empty handed. I don't suggest going crazy and buying so much that it hurts your pocket for what you may need during the month. Just do a little at a time every time you go. And in no time you will see your Pantry brimming full of good things to consume. Also don't forget to rotate your stock! Always put the old in front to be used up first!

I will also be making an emergency kit and fill it with things like band-aids gauze and the like. I already have a band-aid box but, I want to revamp it a little.  I don't want to run around at the last minute searching for something I don't have time to search for. I also make my own tinctures for different things that may arise. Kids may be feeling under the weather and I have natural remedies on hand that will fight infection and illness. We also use YL essential oils and my Father in-law sells Eniva products that help boost the immune system!

I also have a place in my Pantry where I store bottled water. Water is not really much of a concern to us because we have a well. But for those just in case scenarios I want to have it on hand! I like to stock up on candles, matches and lighters. We have had our electric go out many times during storms and it's nice to have that constant glow. And if your a Yankee candle fan like me, the house will smell pretty too! Plus Yankee candles seem to last forever! And lots of times you can find them on sale at Christmas time! Flash lights are a must but, for some reason those pesky little things seem to grow legs in our house and walk off. So in the very near future I will be finding a hiding place for my flashlights and the batteries that go with them!

I was chatting with my niece the other night and she reminded me that I need to stock up on sure-jell so that I can make more Jam! Also I will be stocking up on my jars and lids for the harvest and canning season ahead!!

Happy Pantry Stocking!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Lost Art of Home Making

I truly believe we are losing a generation that is taking their secrets with them. The ones with the little tricks that make that old fashioned recipe taste just how Grandma use to make it.........I believe homemaking is becoming a lost and dying art. Now more than ever we are teaching our daughters how to become successful in the world of business and career and forgetting about teaching what it takes to be successful managers of their homes.

And please hear my heart, I am not against having a career or becoming successful outside of the home.......What I am against is putting your home and family on the back burner while your burning out and becoming a robot to the world. And in this day and in this time I know there is struggle and trying to make both ends meet can be truly exasperating and overwhelmingly exhausting! I get that! I hear you........ I know what it's like to be in a family that had to struggle to make ends meet....I've been there! I watched my Mama and Daddy work until there bones ached to give us what we needed and even sacrificed to give us what we wanted!

But I also know my God is bigger than any of the stress this world often tends to dish out! And sometimes our priorities are not His. And if you asked Him what He would have you do, Could you be patient enough to wait for an answer? Would you except His answer? And are you, the one with misplaced priorities, actually causing more stress than there needs to be? I know I am to blame when it comes to priorities done all wrong!

I remember standing in the kitchen watching my Mama cook supper after a long days work. Tired and worn out, but even still she always manged that pretty smile as she patiently talked me through what she was doing and why she was doing it that way. I learned most of what I know from watching her, because she patiently took the time to show me the little tricks that made her meals so good!

And I am grateful for a Mama that worked 40 plus hours a week just to try and make both ends meet.......But I am most thankful because she never failed to see that Daddy and us girls were her first priority. She took the time to teach us how to manage a home. And just because she worked outside of hers did not mean she still wasn't in charge!

These basic homemaking skills are being lost and in their place are processed foods and tv trays. Big screen tvs and video games. Some where we have lost the ability to teach our children how to survive with out it being handed to them! We are forgetting they are our future and do we really want them running on fast food and always wanting the latest hi -tech gadget? Do we really want them not content in the simple things in life? Do we always want them wanting the next best thing, the next biggest thing?

We have to ask our selves if someday they ever get into a situation where "things" won't be easily available will they be able to survive? Will they know how to raise a God fearing family? Will they ask us one day....Why didn't you teach me? Why didn't you show me how to do this?

Raising a family is a lot of hard work! But I know of a really good place to start.........God and His holy, Living, Breathing word. Everything you ever wanted to know about raising a self sufficient family, who will be content with even the simple things in life, is in His book!

First ask Him what His priorities are for you and your family? Maybe you'll even find Him telling you to stay home for a time............There will always be time for that career and those "me time" moments.....Right now it's your family's time.......

Monday, April 9, 2012

Being Prepared Is Biblical, Part 3 ------ Got Milk?

The next thing I wanted to talk to you about was Milk.....

Milk is one of those things that does not have a long shelf life, unless you buy the powdered milk. And right now your probably thinking YUCK! But this product has great reviews! It also has a 20 year shelf life!!! It's called Provident Pantry Instant Non Fat Dry Milk. You can also buy the regular but that has a shorter shelf life. With this 56 ounce can you can make 4.75 gallons of milk for $19.00 a can. The draw back is that it is a little bit more than a regular gallon of milk, but when you think about  the long shelf life and just investing in a few cans to save for emergencies, it's well worth the few extra cents! This is not something I buy on a regular basis. This is one of those things that I have stored in my pantry to be prepared!
We use a lot of milk for baking and cooking. We use  rice milk to pour over our cereal, this also can keep on the shelf until you are ready to open it.  Coconut milk is also used for baking and cooking and stores nicely in your cupboard. No worries about refrigeration until the time of use!

Unless you have your own cow, I believe just having these things on hand will give you a back up plan when any emergency arises......Even if it's just that you ran out of milk and you have to have it for Mac-n-cheese to be ready in an hour. It's convenient, it's there and your prepared!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Butternut Apple butter

I'm always looking for different ways to use my apples. I had a butternut squash sitting on my counter and was wondering what I should do with it. So after some thought I decided to make Butternut Apple Butter. I have always made Pumpkin Apple Butter, so why not? It's the same concept.
 So here it is Butternut Apple Butter! Yum! Yum!
You cook your apples down like you would for apple sauce. Add your spices, cinnamon, allspice, ground cloves, nutmeg, ginger. What ever you prefer. Add your sugar. I use brown sugar. While your apples are simmering cut your squash in half and bake it in the oven for about an hour. Remove squash from skin and put it in your apple mixture. You can puree the squash first if you want to. I've done it both ways and either way is good.
Ladel it in your jars and process in hot water bath.

We put it on toast, I use it as baby food, And my husband likes to put it on cottage cheese. We have even been known to heat it up and put it on vanilla ice cream! Mmmmmmmm...........GOOD!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Being Prepared Is Biblical Part 2, The Topic is Vinegar

I am stocking up on vinegar. It's inexpensive and there are endless uses for this natural stuff! I found this list off of another website and had to share it with you! I knew a lot of the uses that were on here that is what made me want to stock up in this natural beauty, but there are also so many more things on here I didn't know!  And believe me this is only the tip of the ice burg there are so many more things it can do. Take the time to do the research yourself and see if this is something you and your family need to invest in. Time to buy more VINEGAR!

I will also be getting this book to add to my collection! The Healing Powers of Vinegar and this book, Dr. Earl Mindell's Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar. With so many natural uses it would pay to stock up and stay away from the doctor's office as much as possible! I have also heard it said it helps in weight loss.....Hmmmmm. Not to mention all the things you can cook and make with vinegar!

 With vinegar being so cheap and with all of it's uses I would be a fool not to stock up!

  1. Used as a hair rinse, vinegar neutralizes the alkali left by shampoos.
  2. A quarter cup in a quart of water makes a good window cleaner. Spray and dry with newspapers.
  3. Fabric softener and static cling reducer — use as you would liquid fabric softener.
  4. Air freshener, used with baking soda — use 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 cups of water. After it stops foaming, mix well, and use in a (recycled) spray bottle into the air.
  5. Chewing gum dissolver — saturate the area with vinegar. If the vinegar is heated, it will work faster.
  6. Stain remover — for stains caused by grass, coffee, tea, fruits and berries. Soak clothing in full strength vinegar.
  7. Corn and callus remover — soak a piece of stale bread (a cloth would probably do as well) in vinegar, and tape it over the callus or corn overnight.
  8. Remedy for age spots — Mix equal parts of onion juice and vinegar and use it daily on age spots. This will take a few weeks to work, just like its expensive relative from the store.
  9. Kill grass or weeds by pouring hot vinegar on it. This might take a couple of times to work completely. Use white vinegar straight from the bottle to pour on the weeds and grasses that come up through the pavement. Just pour on and let set a couple of days and the weeds will die back and wont reappear for several months.
  10. Wash your windshield with vinegar in the winter to help keep ice and frost away.
  11. If you have a septic tank, use vinegar instead of harsh chemicals to clean the toilet bowl. Let it set overnight if you can; it will help keep germs down.
  12. Spray your hands with a mist of vinegar, or dip them in vinegar and dry after washing dishes or having them in soapy water to keep your hands soft.
  13. It's an ongoing battle as to whether vinegar can help you lose weight, but the ones who say it will, say to drink a glass of water before each meal in which you've added a tablespoon of vinegar and a tablespoon of honey.
  14. Use diluted 1:1 in water to take pet odors out of carpets. Find the spot, and saturate it with about 1 1/2 times the original volume. Let set for a while then blot up.
  15. Splash vinegar on your varicose veins. The vinegar is supposed to reduce the veins and relieve the pain and swelling. Of course, you might smell like a tossed salad!
  16. Use about a tablespoon of vinegar in the water when poaching eggs. It helps the eggs to keep their shape. No taste of vinegar, either.
  17. Use 1 tablespoon vinegar to an 8-ounce glass of warm water for a sore throat. Gargle every hour and swallow after gargling, with two mouthfuls.  Start as soon as you see feel the first signs of a sore throat.
  18. It is also helpful when children get lice, if you take warm vinegar and put it on the hair also take your nit comb and dip it in the vinegar. As you run it through the hair it helps remove the nits. It is supposed to be able to help break down the glue the nits use to stay attached to the hair.
  19. Set a container (shallow bowl) of vinegar throughout the house to absorb unpleasant odors. Works great on burned food odors. Do not use styrofoam. It will soak through it.
  20. Use vinegar and olive oil as a frugal dressing with a selection of herbs on your salad.
  21. Put vinegar on white bread around a house to get rid of smoke smell from a fire. 
  22.  Use vinegar water (2-3 parts vinegar to 1 part water) to remove (new or old) wallpaper paste. Add more vinegar as needed if the paste is really stubborn."
  23.  Vinegar can be used as an antiseptic for abrasions to reduce itch from poison ivy or mosquito bites, and even to help rehydrate sunburned skin."
  24.  Use it diluted 50/50 as a skin cleanser, as most soaps are alkaline as compared to skin ph.
  25. On a different note, most meat marinades are most effective if acidic, so an extra few spoonfuls of vinegar can't hurt.
  26. On heavily tarnished copper or copper-alloy to be cleaned up, use a paste made of salt and vinegar.
  27.  Use white (not apple cider) vinegar mixed with water to rinse off the dishes after washing them to take the soap off and leave them squeaky clean. This also takes the soap residue off of hands at the same time." 
  28. Pour vinegar around the sides of your pool and it helps keeps flies away.
  29. Add 1/2 cup vinegar to a gallon of water to keep your vinyl no-wax floors clean and shining.
  30. Use as a meat tenderizer. Add a tablespoon to water when boiling ribs or meat for stews, and even the toughest meat will be so tender you can cut with fork or will fall off the bone.
  31. One teaspoon to one tablespoon of vinegar gets rid of hiccups.
  32. Vinegar is great for removing calcium deposit build up. Use full strength and allow to set. Time depends on condition.
  33. Sunburn Remedies: At bedtime, cover sunburns with a towel soaked in water and vinegar and try to persuade the victim to sleep this way. Younger ones, of course, will have a struggle with this, especially because of the smell! Put vinegar in a spray bottle and spray on sunburn. It soothes for quite a length of time. Just like store bought stuff.
    Vinegar will take the sting out of a sunburn — just soak a paper towel and apply to burn. Smells bad but, hey, if you're in pain, who cares? To relieve swelling and fluid from too much sun, mix a paste of baking soda and apple cider vinegar and apply.
  34. Use 2 cups of cider vinegar in the tub to soak sore muscles and add potassium to muscles.
  35. Use for a throat soother. Take equal amounts of honey and cider vinegar, stir or shake until dissolved. Take a tablespoon at a time to cut mucous in the throat.
  36. Heat vinegar to boiling point. Then poor over your fixtures that have deposits of lime. This will release or remove lime deposits.
  37. Use a cup of vinegar in two gallons of water in the diaper pail to neutralize the urine in cloth diapers. It also helps keep them from staining.
  38. Keep a spray bottle of 50% vinegar, 50% water near the laundry station. Spray it on stains before tossing the clothing into the washer (just as you would a commercial spray stain remover). As a carpet spot and stain remover — take a trigger spray bottle and fill with one part white vinegar to seven parts water. Take a second spray bottle and fill with one part white, non sudsy ammonia and seven parts water. Saturate stain with vinegar solution. Let dwell for a few minutes and blot thoroughly with a clean, white cloth. Then go over the area with the ammonia solution, let dwell and blot again. Repeat until the stain is gone. Also works for pet stains to help remove the odors.
  39. Fill the water reservoir half way and run the coffee maker as you normally do and then run it once full of water and the coffee maker will be spotless.
  40. Vinegar in drinking water is very effective in eliminating the low-grade fevers that are present in Chronic Fatigue sufferers. It also helps eliminate the 'thrush' coating in the mouth which is sometimes caused by antibiotic use. Mix four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a gallon of drinking water. Drink up to one gallon each day.
  41. Add a splash of vinegar, a tablespoon or so, to the water when you hard-boil eggs. If one cracks, it will not boil out of the shell.
  42. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a quart of drinking water. Helps to deal with heat stress. Also helps to repel mosquitoes.
  43.  Athlete's foot, Soak your feet in vinegar and it changes the ph in your skin and no more fungus! 
  44. If you use cloth diapers and your baby keeps breaking out in a rash.  Add a cup of vinegar during the rinse cycle. It equalizes the ph balance. 


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Being Prepared Is Biblical, Part 1

First I want to start by saying that I am not a doom and gloom kinda girl. I don't fret about the end of the world. I know what happens in the end and I'm on the winning team! But I also want to make it clear that I like to be prepared. I'm not one to sit on the side lines while things are falling apart and my family and I are left with out resources to live and maybe even survive.

With the way the economy is looking I feel uneasy about looking through rose colored glasses hoping that America will get back on track before it's too late. Prices are already sky high at the pumps and in the grocery stores and it seems they have no other way to go but up! We also live in hurricane land and have seen several tornado's pass us by just down the road. Being prepared is Biblical!

A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge,
but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
Proverbs 22:3 (NIV)

So in the next series of posts I will share with you what we are doing to prepare to have things on hand for such a time as this.

Most of you who know me, know that I love to jar and store my own food. I've been doing it for almost 18 years now and I really love to see all my jars lined up ready for any occasion. I love the fact that I know what's in them because I put it in the jar! There is a down side, but to me it's not much of one....it's takes patience and time. But in the end it is so well worth it!! You do save some money especially if you grow your own food.

I make my own jams and jellies, you will never find a bought jar of jam at my house! Homemade just tastes that GOOD! It takes two quarts berries and 7 to 5 cups of sugar to make a batch and each batch yields 4 pint jars and 1 half pint. We usually pick blackberries when they are in season and put them in the freezer until I am ready to make the Jam. I also buy strawberries by the flat clean and freeze them for later use. A flat cost me $10 and there is 8 quarts in a flat. That's 16 pints and 4 half pints of jam. If you were to buy your jam at the store for $4 a jar that would be over $64, and it only cost me about $15 to make.....Plus my time, But I enjoy it!

Where ever I can find berries whether it be a U-Pick or the flea-market or even buying them from a friend, I get them and stock my freezer until I have the time to make them into Jam or even a pie or two.

The possibilities are endless with what you can put in a jar! Don't be afraid do your research and give it a try. And please if you have any questions I am here to help!!

Although I do not like Wal-mart, they do sell the ball canning book with tons of recipes and all the canning supplies you will need at a cheaper price!

Happy Jarring!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Back To Reality

What I already knew became more evident this weekend....more real. I've said it before that time is no one's friend and to always make each and every moment count. And as I sit here relishing in the thoughts and memories of the weekend I can honestly say that I don't take my own advise near as often as I should........

I saw a Daddy walk his baby girl down the isle......And Mama tear up as she realizes this is the last of her three baby girls.  They done well, raised three beautiful Godly women. Spent their time wisely, and now they get to enjoy watching each of them grow and raise their own families........I've watched them with their Grand baby so sweet to be able to be a part of their moments.

I saw another Mama take us in, opened her doors and welcomed us with open arms into her home. And we would sit and talk........"I'm in this big house all alone since my husband died and big Daddy is gone."  Her sweet southern accent, I could listen to her all day. And when it was time for us to go you could hear the sadness in her voice. How she wanted us to stay. "I love a house full, won't you stay?"

And it's in being aware of your surroundings, living this life and catching every moment and taking some of it with you to wrap up in ribbons to be put away till you can untie them again.

I went through a weekend with out getting on the time stealer the one thing that occupies way too much of those precious moments......Those fleeting moments. I didn't miss FB near as much as I thought I would. I didn't go through with drawls and have to get on my phone to check the next status.....I rarely had my phone with me.......And you know I actually enjoyed not being connected electronically because I was connected in reality....touching and hugging real people. Talking and smiling, actually looking in their eyes and really seeing what they feel instead of assuming what they meant through typed status'......

And I realized what I already knew....Life is so much better...Moments are more precious in person!

My goal? What I am determined to make happen, is real life, not the virtual kind. And please don't get me wrong I think that keeping in touch on line is still important, but reality definitely Trumps it!!

Life doesn't get accomplished staring at a big screen it just gets more complicated. I want to go back to simpler times. Back to shaking hands and hugging necks....Back to reality.