Sunday, June 26, 2016

All Believers Are Not Alike

All Believers Are Not Alike

We must not expect all believers in Christ to be exactly like one another. We must not set down others as having no grace, because their experience does not entirely tally with our own. The sheep in the Lord’s flock have each their own peculiarities. The trees in the Lord’s garden are not all precisely alike. All true servants of God agree in the principal things of religion. All are led by one Spirit. All feel their sins, and all trust in Christ. All repent, all believe, and all are holy. But in minor matters they often differ widely. Let not one despise another on this account. There will be Martha’s and there will be Mary’s in the Church until the Lord comes again. ~ J.C. Ryle

Friday, June 24, 2016

Naughty and Nice

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Those naughty and nice geese of ours keep life both fun and frustrating! 

When it is not breeding season, they will eat out of my hands. If they hear me talking in the house, they will rush to that window and try to get my attention. If I walk outside, they rush towards me and greet me with such noise! If I sit on a blanket on the ground, they will encircle me and sit down to "visit." 

When they are sitting on eggs of have goslings, they are all business! I am no longer their buddy, and I had better steer clear of their nests. If I dare to check a nest, I am in hot water for days. They will fuss at me every time they see me.

They are toddler like with their curiosity. They will manipulate anything I have low enough for them to reach with their beaks. If it is light enough, they will try to make off with it. 

Gardening has been especially challenging! They went behind us and pulled up the tomato plants! The first time, they left them right beside the holes. We replanted them as soon as we saw them, and they recovered just fine. So, the next time those mischievous geese saw them, they made off with the plants! I have no idea where they took them! We still have a few dozen tomato plants in other areas, but boy, those geese keep us on our toes!

Our geese are great guardians of the yard. Nothing comes through without us knowing about it because the geese will sound the alarm. They frighten off dogs, foxes, and raccoons which makes them a valuable addition to the farmyard.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Around Here

There is always so much going on at our little farm. We've cleared land to fence a larger area for our hogs to graze. We also separated our sows who will give birth in July and August. We planted around 20 trees this year. We will finish cutting the trees we cut down into firewood in the fall. We are keeping our eyes on the elderberries so we can make more syrup and benefit from those wonderful antioxidants. Our wild blackberries will be ready next month. We'll be canning to preserve the bounty.

Our garden has been hit or miss. Between the excessive spring rains and our schedules, we didn't get as much planted. We have a lot in containers and are starting a large carrot bed. I am planning a fall garden and will put that in the ground in July.

Brandon has just purchased himself a second vehicle and is returning to college in July to advance his education. He is enjoying gardening at his new home. He was happy to report that the grapevine I gave him a few months ago, from a cutting off of one on our farm, is producing grapes! He stopped by Saturday and played K'nex with Emily and Hannah to keep those relationships strong. Sunday, he managed to give himself a concussion and needed Amanda and Caleb to watch over him for 24 hours. He, Amanda, Bethany, and I have plans to go to Hobby Lobby this week.

Amanda is making strides in her studies. Her grades are excellent, and she gets nice notes from her professors. When she is finished, she plans to obtain her Master's Degree. She is also volunteering at two local churches and helps with the errands each week which has freed me up to resume the two days of bulk cooking each week requires. She often sends me, "I love you, mommy!" texts out of the blue which makes my day.

Joshua and Caleb are also volunteering alongside of Amanda at one church. They are handing out food to those who need it. They help carry the boxes of food to their cars. Joshua is building on his knowledge of car repair and is still taking behind the wheel under Clint. Caleb is happily using the new router (woodworking) every chance he gets. He's more than ready to start behind the wheel! Both boys are slated to get braces in the near future.

Bethany has been expanding her cooking skills. She recently surprised us with a homemade Boston Cream Pie! It was delicious! She's been showing us she's no lightweight when it comes to heavy work on the farm! She helped us put in a fence recently and did a great job. She and Amanda plan days out to shop and enjoy each other's company. Bethany's also been learning to groom our dogs and can give a pretty good men's haircut. 

Emily and Hannah are making strides in their school and are learning more and more every day! They love going outside to play and have been catching tad poles again this year. Tea parties are all the rage! They are usually filled with goodies that draw their brothers into the mix. This year, Em and H-bug aren't just getting eggs from their chickens, but they are cooking their own breakfasts using them! Emily is 8 and can cook breakfast for the entire gang in the time morning chores done.

Clint has been working overtime to pay for the medical bills from earlier this year. He's been trying to keep up with repairs at home to the stove, fridge, mowers, weed eaters, and other equipment. It's been one of those very demanding times of life where we struggle to keep up with all of the "to do's."

Monday, June 20, 2016

Finally!

I am finally starting to feel better from a mean sinus infection that came after a severe environmental allergy (meow) attack. This is not related to the seasonal allergies I've had success in treating. It spread from my sinuses to my ears, so I had a double ear infection along with it.

This infection had me taking quite a lot of herbal medicine followed by three rounds of antibiotics followed by tons more of herbal medicine..and it's still not 100% gone. It's antibiotic resistant, the worst I've ever had, and I am keeping busy just staying on top of it with saline and essential oil/xylitol rinses and my own natural herbal antibiotic blend. I have made more progress in the last four days than I did in all the preceding weeks. 

The little bit of energy I have goes to my treadmill/prayer time and whatever most pressing thing of the day is after that. I am trusting the Lord has a plan and a purpose for the interruption in the routine, but I am eager to get back to full speed. 

I have been trying to return calls, texts, and emails. I haven't even been able to keep up with Facebook. I am still doing the online counseling and those messages come first. 

Please excuse the brevity in words and the ease of "thumbs up" as I play "catch up" in all areas of life. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Real Christian Quote

"A real Christian is an odd number anyway. He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen, talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see, expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another, empties himself in order to be full, admits he is wrong so he can be declared right, goes down in order to get up, is strongest when he is weakest, richest when he is poorest and happiest when he feels worst. He dies so he can live, forsakes in order to have, gives away so he can keep, sees the invisible, hears the inaudible and knows that which passeth knowledge." A. W. Tozer: The Root of the Righteous

Monday, June 13, 2016

Keeping the Grocery Budget on Target Tips

Feeding eight, and very often nine or more, people, we have to stay on track with the budget. One way I do that is by making use of the online shopping cart feature at stores I shop at, like Sam's Club. Even when I don't order it online to pick up at the store, using the shopping cart is helpful. I simply put what I need to buy in the cart, and it keeps track of the amount I've spent. I can efficiently add or subtract as needed to help me maximize the budget without going over. Once I am finished, I print or handwrite the list. Sometimes I copy it into an email where it can be read on a phone. This helps keep the groceries in line with our budget. 

When I shopped by sale items and coupons, I would make my weekly menu by what was on sale. While there are a few fresh meat and vegetable coupons out there, there aren't that many when compared to the processed foods which we try to avoid. There sure aren't enough fresh food coupons to make even a slight dent with the amount my family consumes! I save more money by raising our food at home, so I put my time into that instead of cutting coupons and matching up sales and then driving all around our area to acquire them. Now, I make my weekly menus by what is on hand at home. I only buy what is needed to go fill in the recipe for those meals.

Herbs and spices are much cheaper when purchased in bulk. I have used herbalcom.com for well over a decade for not only our medicinal herbs but also culinary herbs, spices, and specialty salts. Sometimes, but not very often, Sam's Club will beat their price. Since they arrive in a thick blue bag, I repackage and relabel them into quart sized canning jars and store in a dark, cool place. Using these spices, I often mix my own blends such as taco seasonings, steak rubs, etc. For supplement or herbal medicine, I buy gelatin capsules and cap my own or make other forms like tinctures, extracts, teas, etc. This has helped me create very flavorful dishes and buy supplements for our family without breaking the bank. 

One of the biggest ways you can save on your grocery bill is by doing this one thing: eliminate waste. Look for ways to use everything you can. If it is about to spoil, find a way to use it before it does. One of the tips I acquired years ago was to take the juice from canned fruits, add a little water, and freeze it into popsicles. By pausing before you toss something out and thinking about how it can be used can bring you big savings.

Happy Frugal Mothering! 

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

Monday, June 06, 2016

Poor Truck

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First, Brandon got her stuck in his front yard. 
Our good friend and neighbor Super Mack pulled her out with his tractor.

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Then she failed inspection for upper and lower ball joints on both sides.
Clint saw the tie rods were worn, so he is replacing those too.

Clint is doing the work with the boys as a homeschooling lesson + life skills. Clint replaced his first ball joint as a teenager while a certain girl handed him tools. His father died of alcoholism, so he had no one to teach or help him. He learned all he knows about automobile repair by buying a book and by "doing." He got frustrated from time to time but pushed through it to keep learning. He never gave up and kept trying until he got it right. He succeeded at each repair he attempted even if it took a lot longer than planned. He didn't have much confidence at first, but with each success he gained confidence in his abilities. Repairs became easier and easier as he gained experience. He now does 99% of the work on our vehicles and other equipment and has saved us a small fortune which has helped contribute towards us having more luxuries in life-like two to three week long family vacations a year plus several weekend trips for him and I. I am thankful to have been the girl who watched the boy struggle to learn and become the man he is today. I am even more thankful he is making it easier for our children by teaching them all he can. Clint is a man who persists and remains committed to a task and continues to have a teachable spirit in all areas of life. He is a careful man who limits his time in front of the television to truly live and experience life for the Lord's glory. After 30 years of being his girlfriend/wife, I am still absolutely over the moon, crazy in love with him.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Are You Resting Often Enough in These Three Ways?

LEARNING THE UNFORCED RHYTHMS OF GRACE

"What’s undone weighs heavily on me. I can’t escape the feeling I’m not doing enough. My to-do list looms before me daily. ...
I’m ashamed to admit it, but a good day to me is defined by getting things accomplished on my list. Not the people I’ve touched. Not the time I’ve spent with God. Not the things I’ve learned. Just what I’ve done." read more here.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Recipe: Crock Pot Chicken Marsala

Crock Pot Chicken Marsala

I made the above recipe (tripled) recently for my family. I used corn starch instead of arrowroot powder and added seasonings until it suited me. I also added an extra container of mushrooms.The family RAVED over it. Clint said it was better than Carrabbas. Everyone had seconds! Tip: For the Marsala wine, I used the next to the cheapest after learning this is what a lot of chefs use. It made the difference!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Article: My Friend Honored God and His Parents — Why Did He Die Young?

Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

While attending a Christian school, the teachers used the Biblical phrase "that your days may be long" as a way to threaten stress the importance to obedience to not just parents but all authority. "God says right here, that if you honor and obey your parents, you will live a long time. So, if you want a long life, then you have to honor and obey your parents and those in authority over you." 

It was very confusing to many of us when a classmate died. He was a good person and loved his parents, so why did God not keep His promise to let him live long? Why didn't that promise apply to him? What about parents who weren't so honorable? They were sexually, physically, and emotionally abusing their child. Are children suppose to honor and obey their parents who are abusive so they could have a long life? How was the child suppose to do that? I have several friends whose children have died who have really struggled over the teaching they received in church on this matter. "Did my child have some secret sin I didn't know about?" I have friends whose parents have died young but had been very dutiful children. "Why didn't God keep His promise? If this promise does not apply to this person, then what ones do not apply to me? How can we rest on God's promises if they may or may not apply? " they asked.

God's Word is not in error. It's our interpretation! John Piper solves that problem in the article I've shared below. I feel there needs to be a clearer teaching on this in the church so that it does not cause people to question God's goodness and faithfulness. If you have wondered about these passages and the life happening around you, I encourage you to read the article in its entirety and see what God is really saying.


My Friend Honored God and His Parents — Why Did He Die Young?
"So, if we have been trained to see these patterns, if children have been shown this, we won’t be as likely to give Ephesians 6:3 a meaning Paul surely did not intend for it to have. In the Old Testament, this promise was made to the people of Israel as a whole that they would endure from generation to generation in the land of promise if they were the kind of people who kept the law and honored their parents. It is not a promise to each individual Israelite who honors his parents that he will live out his full three score and ten. You can read it. You will remain in the land, meaning you, the people of Israel, won’t be swept away into Babylon if you are law-keeping people. And they weren’t, and so they were swept away. ...


Here is my suggestion: If you put the two halves together, “it will go well with you and you will live long,” I would suggest in view of all we have seen is that it means it will go well with you and you will live as long as it going well with you implies. In other words, “it will go well with you” defines “you will live long,” not the other way around. Living long doesn’t define how it will go well with you. Going well with you defines how long you will live. And that is exactly the way, I think, we should say it to a child who is dying or who has lost a friend or a parent — though we don’t speak glibly or say it without tears — but we do say, “In God’s mind and God’s good heart, it is going well. It is going to go well with you.” ...
If God takes a child — he gives and he takes, he gives and he takes — blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21). If God takes a child in the most ultimate sense, it has gone well with them and that is what he promised. It will go well for you and you will live as long as is good for you on this earth and then forever in heaven."

Please note what I feel is a most crucial point. I know firsthand that truth without love is very harmful to tender hearts. 

"And that is exactly the way, I think, we should say it to a child who is dying or who has lost a friend or a parent — though we don’t speak glibly or say it without tears — but we do say, “In God’s mind and God’s good heart, it is going well. It is going to go well with you.”

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Teaching Our Children: It's War!

There is an unseen war on to corrupt our children's hearts, minds, and bodies. As a parent very aware of the battle, it can be overwhelming! Clint and I are constantly looking for ways to drive home the seriousness of making wise choices. We have a lot of conversations about how thinking wrong leads to doing and doing wrong which then leads to negative consequences. 

I've been asking my children this week how does this quote apply to real life and what foundations can we apply to keep our footing in a world where temptations and evil are everywhere: 


“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

For our family, a firm foundation is found in knowing and applying God's Word, especially His commandments. 

Beside our front door, I have a handwritten sign which says: 


Before you go out this door
REMEMBER
WHO you are... __________ Asbell
WHERE you come from.... your family
WHO you represent...--->A HOLY GOD <--- b="">

Let your speech and behavior reflect these facts.

This sign is not pretty. It was hastily handwritten by a tired mother who has more to do than hours in the day. The neon yellow arrow does not match my decor. Sometimes I cringe inwardly when others seeing these signs, wondering what they think. However, my decor isn't here to serve my desires for perfection or color coordination others will envy. Those things would fulfill my prideful flesh. I am not here to please others by seeking their approval. My home is here to glorify my God, and I can do that by teaching/reminding my children of Truth. 

I can say the same about my blog posts. They aren't eloquently written. They have spelling and grammatical errors. I want perfection, but I can't achieve it and still fulfill my many other duties. I know there are other Christians, parents, women, wives, mothers who are also engaged in this battle. I hear from many of you often. I want to give encouragement and share ideas because I know how battle weary we can become especially when the godly older women the Bible talks about in Titus 2:4 are so absent in our lives. Don't worry about your decor or other frivolous matters. Keep your eyes on the goal. Fight for your children's hearts and minds because if you don't the consequences can last longer than a lifetime. They could be an eternity. Fight, mamas! Fight hard and don't forget to fill your tank (take care of you spiritually, emotionally/mentally, and physcially) so you can keep going.

Don't expect perfection as you raise and launch your children. I know my efforts don't guarantee anything. Life is messy, and human beings are fallible. "Perfect little angels" don't exist. There will be trying times. There will be sin. There will be hurts and disappointments. However, I do know God will bless my efforts and help us through the trials. I know giving them Him is the best thing I can give them, so I labor on. I am praying for you. Please pray for me too.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Article: For Christian Singles

"Asking God to help you find a mate is a good thing. Here are a few tips for how to pray boldly for marriage. ...

She talked differently about marriage than what I was used to. She said it was a good thing, that God created it for our benefit, and that He still wants Christians to marry and have families. But she didn't stop there. "Be open about your desire to marry," she said. "Talk about it with your friends, just like you talk about all the other things you hope to do." She even went so far to say, "In our anti-marriage culture you have to be strategic."
I was embarrassed to admit my desire, and here she was encouraging me to not only acknowledge my hopes, but also pursue them.

Suddenly I felt free to really pray. My requests looked totally different than before." read the rest here.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Free Summer Activities

Kids Bowl Free Registered Kids Receive 2 FREE GAMES Of Bowling Every Day All Summer Long, Valued At Over $500 Per Child!

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse Prepurchase movie tickets 10 for $5 (50 cents per movie)

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program Step 1. Fill out the Summer Reading Triathlon Reading Journal (PDF). En EspaƱol (PDF).Step 2. Bring the completed Reading Journal to your local B&N store. Find a Store.Step 3. Choose a FREE BOOK from our selection on the Reading Journal list at the store... Enjoy reading!

Be sure to also check out your local libraries, community offerings, hardware, and craft stores for other ideas.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Article: Influence in Childhood

"The heavenly Father wants to free you from any negative trends that took root early in life. He can break any unhealthy pattern and replace it with hope and deep satisfaction in Him.

As you explore the effects of childhood experiences, pray to see through a lens of truth. When you recognize ways that others negatively influenced you, pray for strength to forgive and God's help in mending areas of brokenness--whether spiritual, emotional, relational, or mental." Read the rest here

Friday, May 20, 2016

Show Me That From Over There

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Ever since Brandon shoved a snake in my face 17 years ago, I've always found an excited child running towards me with an outstretched fist saying, "MOM! LOOK WHAT I'VE FOUND!!!!" a bit alarming. Thankfully, this time, it was only a green tree frog Amanda found.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Multi-tasking on the Farm

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We are clearing out the next area for our pasture. This was one of my favorite areas to walk, and I already miss the view of the beautiful trees. As we clear it, we are getting firewood and building up an area to get our hogs on higher ground in case of flood. We are also building up a natural barrier to help keep our livestock in should they get out of the fence. The woodsplitter makes a pile of bark which will be used in the garden and to build up mud puddles in the yard. Nothing goes to waste. We will be planting twice as many trees to replace the ones we cut so there will be firewood in 15-20 years. Some of the tree stumps will coppice next year which will also let us have firewood later. We kept the children's favorite trees because this is their farm too and happy memories are important. All six of the children living at home have climbed on the felled trees. The music of their laughter as they explore and play with one another has been delightful!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Why Look Forward to the Rapture

How can we encourage each other about the rapture if there’s a big judgment coming right after it? Read the answer here.


We are still alive because
    the Lord’s faithful love never ends.
23 
Every morning he shows it in new ways!
    You are so very true and loyal!


Lamentations 3:22-23

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Make the Change

When someone is pregnant, she is not “expecting a child” – she already has one. She is not “going to be a mother” – she already is a mother. The baby is not “onthe way,” the baby has already arrived. If we are going to change the way society treats unborn children, we have to change the way we talk about them. -Frank Pavone, 7/7/12

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Are You Worried You Will Miss God's Leading?

Psalm 56:8 Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll--are they not in your record.

Psalm 139:3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Deuteronomy 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

When my children were infants, people would start to guess what was wrong when they cried. "She's hungry! He wants a blanket! He has to be teething!" They were usually wrong. However, as fallible as I am, I often KNEW exactly what my babies wanted because I watched over them all of the time. I knew if they had slept well the night before, or if they had not eaten well at the last meal. I knew if they had a favorite toy that was missing or if they disliked bright flourescent lights in stores. I knew what my babies needed because I paid attention to the things in their day to day life.

I love the verses I shared above because they show us how very intimate God's love for us it. He cares about the details in our lives even something seemingly insignificant and ever changing as the number of hairs on our head. 

I use to worry that I'd miss God's leading until I realized that He knows exactly how to speak to my heart and lead me in the right direction because He not only made me but watches over me so closely. I am not going to miss His leading or misunderstand which way to turn because He will make sure I won't. He knows me. He knows what I need. Fear and confusion might be around me, but it isn't around the One Who loves me and is leading me. All I have to do is keep my mind soaking in His Word so I will recognize Him and His ways while I keep my heart willing to obey. Because I know He pays attention to the details of my life, I trust in His ability to lead me to what is best for me.

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Psalms 143:8 Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Today I Choose

Sarah, Rebecca, Josiah, Angel Noel, Abigail, Benjamin, Mary, Isaac, and Jonathan

Faith is not a magic pill that removes our pain. Faith is what helps us bear it. Today, I choose to be thankful for the babies God made known to me and my family. I choose to rejoice as a person who truly believes God's promises will come to fruition. Choosing to honor God with my attitude, thoughts, and words does not mean I have stopped loving or love less. It means I've taken God at His Word. I believe He has a plan and what He allows is for my good and His glory. I believe there is life and a future for the babies who died in my womb. It means He has given me, and I have readily grasped ahold of, some of His strength so I can keep doing the job He has called me to do.  

Today is the day I remember my precious nine, celebrate their short lives, and thank my Father that this is not how the story ends. 



Psalm 30:11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Unless He Himself Give Me the Song

"Any man can sing in the day. When the cup is full, man draws inspiration from it. When wealth rolls in abundance around him, any man can praise the God who gives a plenteous harvest… The difficulty is for music to swell forth when no wind is stirring. It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but he is skillful who sings when there is not a ray of light to read by—who sings from the heart… Lay me upon the bed of languishing, and how shall I then chant God's high praises, unless He Himself give me the song? No, it is not in man's power to sing when all is adverse, unless an altar-coal shall touch his lip… Then, since our Maker gives 'songs in the night,' let us wait upon Him for the music" – Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Quote on Family Planning

"Family planning is the mother of abortion. A generation had to be indoctrinated in the ideal of planning children around personal convenience before abortion could become popular. We Christians raise an outcry against abortion today, & rightly so. But THE REASON WE HAVE TO FIGHT THOSE BATTLES TODAY IS BECAUSE WE LOST THEM 30 YEARS AGO. Once couples began to look upon children as creatures of their own making, who they could plan into their lives as they chose or not, all reverence for human life was lost. Children as God's gifts whom we humbly receive are one thing; children as articles of our own manufacturing are another. You can do anything you like with what you yourself have made." ~Mary Pride

There is a tremendous difference between stewardship of "God's" and "mine." 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Quick Breakfast Ideas

Keeping breakfasts quick and simple is one way I save myself time and frustration on busy mornings. Many of these ideas are very adaptable to use whatever you have on hand or to change to your family's tastes and preferences. Many of these can be made ahead of time to keep mornings easier.

Here are some breakfast meals I incorporate into our routines:


  • Eggs, fruit, and toast 75% of our breakfasts include eggs and lots of them. I buy the 15 dozen boxes of eggs from Sam's Club.
  • Crock pot oatmeal cooks overnight-many different variations of this online
  • Breakfast casseroles I buy the 50# box of potatoes and shred my own hashbrowns in under three minutes with this powerful food processor. I make more than one casserole at a time so I can keep put one or two in my freezer for later. I get up to turn it on in the middle of the night if in the crock pot, or thaw it the day before and cook it in the oven first thing in the morning. Our family likes the Mexican version.
  • Hot ham and cheese sandwiches, or sausage patty and cheese, or egg, etc.
  • Breakfast tortilla pizzas many variations, quick if prep work is done the night before
  • Egg muffin cups 
  • Peanut butter on toast served with fresh fruit
  • Grits
  • Pumpkin or Sweet Potato pancakes/waffles precooked and ready to heat and serve
  • Fruit Smoothies with whey protein
  • Breakfast tortilla wraps roll up your favorite foods in a tortilla
  • Breakfast muffins cooked ahead of time makes it quick and easy
  • Yogurt with fruit (make your own in a crock pot or cooler far cheaper)
  • Sausage gravy over canned biscuits I admit this is not my idea of healthy, but we only make it a couple of times a year. This is super fast and easy for those hectic mornings when nothing has gone well, nothing is prepared ahead of time, and your time and patience are limited. I add 2 pounds of frozen pre-cooked Jimmy Dean Sausage to satisfy our children longer.
We cook bacon in cookie trays in the oven. It works great!

One thing our family really enjoys is having a "Big Breakfast." I make all of the traditional breakfast foods on Saturday. Sunday morning, we heat it up and invite everyone to come join us for a buffet style meal. The rest of the week, we finish up what is left over. I only mess up the kitchen once and we have a nice morning meal followed by very quick to serve meals later in the week. Our children request this quite often.

Note: A better sized slow cooker for a large family is a Nesco Classic Oven. This is similar to the one I use.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Goose Babysitting

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I have five sitting Toulouse geese with one gander. It was a surprise to me since I thought I had two ganders! This goose left to parent the goslings who are wandering around with the gander. She had four hatch. I've already sold two. The other sister geese took her five eggs into their nests so she could keep up with her toddlers with the gander!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Long Time Dream Come True

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When I was in my early 20s, I'd get the hatchery catalogs and dream of what I'd like to raise. Eventually, we moved to our farm. In 1995, I still couldn't afford the Sebastopol geese. Last year, I asked myself what was I waiting for? Bethany had just asked for swans, and we told her it was far too expensive for us to have them. (We'd have to put in a 1-2 acre pond and fence it for their safety.) I showed Bethany pictures and asked her if the Sebastopol were close enough. She said yes and was delighted by their curly feathers!

I sold off some extra birds to raise the money to buy three pair of them. I lost two of the goslings during a freak thing that happened in the brooder. I had no idea what genders we had left. Three female with one male, two pair, or three males with one female? I see now that we have two pair. Two geese are sitting on a clutch of eggs. The ganders are guarding over them. I wish I could include sound in this picture because it was very, very noisy!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sometimes Mom Gets Mothered!

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Years ago, prayed that if glass from something broken was on the floor for my feet to find it and not the children's. That was not a wise prayer. One, I had no idea how many children I'd have when I prayed that. Two, I had no idea how much stuff seven children would break! Three, I should have prayed the vacuum found it!

I had a tiny piece of glass in my foot for FIVE days. I could not get it out. I soaked my foot hoping the salt would pull it out, but it didn't. Amanda found out about the glass when I was limping. She ordered me to, "Sit! Then, she tried her best to remove it for me. I love how she loves me!


 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Clean Hog Auto Waterer

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This is how we made our automatic pig waterer for our American Guinea Hogs. If you have swine, you know they push over anything they can, and this makes it hard to give them clean water. We took two 55 gallon barrels that cost $10 each. Clint drilled a hole and then used a 1/2" tap to put threads in the barrel. We have 110 gallons of clean water available for them all of the time. We will soon hook this up to a gutter on our barn that will top the barrels off when it rains. This can be modified to make sheep and goat waterers also. I've seen a few online saying they use them for cows and horses. It is important especially in hot weather to make sure the animals know how to get the water before you take their original water source away. We had one pig who took to it instantly, and our others learned within a day from watching him.

Friday, April 22, 2016

He Made Me Look at That Shirt All Day

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I went to Brandon's to help him do some yard work. As I was watching him use the chainsaw, I reflected on how much he moves and works like Clint does. I also wondered where the time went. Twenty four years ago, my heartfelt prayers were answered and I was waiting to be a mama. Blink! He's a grown man working in an excellent job and working on his very own home with 3 acres.

I use to look at mothers who had grown children and my heart would seize up knowing my children would grow up too. As I expected, I miss what was, but NOW is just as beautiful in its own way. I honestly would not go back to an earlier time in my life. Enjoy each season for all it's worth while it is here for they all pass very quickly.

#imadallascowboyfan

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My Little Joys Return-Barn Swallows

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They flew high circling wherever I was in the yard when they returned last week.
They do this every year since I helped Chip survive. If I go outside, I soon see them chirping over me. If I sit on the deck, they usually come to sit on the line for a little while and chirp, chirp, chirp at me. They are already building a nest under the awning which we moved from the house to a building. They successfully raised two nests there last year.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Time to Be Silent

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Hannah learned to ride her bike!

I saw she was making progress so I quieted myself from reminding her to put on her helmet...and she rode it!! If I had interrupted her progress and personal boost in confidence with my worries for her safety, would it have thrown her off and kept her from reaching a goal she wanted?

Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 7 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven--A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak.