Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs - NumbersUSA.com

Just because someone sees things differently than you do does not mean you should jump to the conclusion that they do not have compassion. It simply means they see things differently.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Brain vs Heart

Heart vs Brain: Eons ago, my late grandmother told me she was driving on a back road and came across a car pulled off to the side with a man lying in the middle road and two men flagging her down. She did not stop. She drove around with the plan to call for help when she got somewhere with a phone. As she passed, the man in the road stood up, and all three got into the car. Wanting to help someone is a loving response of a caring heart, but please use your BRAIN to keep from being a victim.

Woman almost carjacked after stopping for dummy in child’s clothing

Monday, January 23, 2017

How do you respond?

"Do you want to know if you are really a servant of God? It is how you respond when you are treated like a servant." - Brian Long

Friday, January 13, 2017

Buttermilk Biscuits

Author Unknown

One Sunday morning at a small southern church, the new pastor called on one of his older deacons to lead in the opening prayer.
The deacon stood up, bowed his head and said, "Lord, I hate buttermilk."
The pastor opened one eye and wondered where this was going.
The deacon continued, "Lord, I hate lard."
Now the pastor was totally perplexed.
The deacon continued, "Lord, I ain't too crazy about plain flour. But after you mix 'em all together and bake 'em in a hot oven, I just love biscuits."
He paused, "Lord help us to realize when life gets hard, when things come up that we don't like, whenever we don't understand what You are doing, that we need to wait and see what You are making.
After you get through mixing and baking, it'll probably be something even better than biscuits." Amen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A New Puppy!

Update: I've been trying to take and post the picture of the "puppy," but we had a snowstorm with unusually cold temps followed by a busted pressure tank. Due to continuing issues with the Flash Plug in, You'll have to look at the picture on Photobucket  Please excuse the baby cereal. I do the best I can while moving quickly to keep him from getting chilled. He never nursed on his mother..not even once. He is growing and gaining weight.

Well, not quite a puppy....

It's a pig. A newborn pig. A rejected pig.

It's an American Guinea Hog piglet. 

The sow was a first time mom and did not take to the experience. There were some influencing factors, so it's understandable. We believe babies are better off with their mothers most of the time. So, we've tried multiple times to get her to take the two survivors until there wasn't any other choice but to help them ourselves. We brought them indoors and started feeding both store bought colostrum. One of them was too weak from the get go so we figured it wouldn't survive. It didn't. The other is a fighter and is still going strong. 

By fighter, I mean it fights us when we try to feed it, but we get food in it!

I have been helping orphaned animals since I was a young child. Mostly, it's been puppies. So, I keep accidentally calling the piglet a puppy as I give it encouragement. "Hey puppy, it's time to eat!" "Come on, puppy, you can do this! Keep trying little pup!" "Good night, puppy! I'll see you in a few hours." If it survives the great odds against it, and it just might, it will probably think it's name is "Puppy!"

It is indoors in a crate during it's crisis, but it will be moved outside as soon as possible.

I will try to get a picture of the new "puppy" soon. I am suppose to be cleaning my bedroom :-)!

Ink Savings for Large Homeschooling Families

This is my affiliate link for my HP Instant Ink account. If you sign up for Instant Ink through that link, we both get a month's worth of ink for free.

We LOVE it! 

You need an Instant Ink eligible printer

This is an affiliate link to the one we purchased and are using. It was very quick and easy to set up with all nine of our computers. We had it working within a few minutes of taking it out of the box and plugging it in.

If you use more than few cartridges of ink a year, the Instant Ink plan will save you money. 

We signed up for the 300 page a month plan which is $9.99 a month. If you do not use all of your pages, 300 of them can rollover to the next month.

If we go over, it is only $1 per every 25 pages which is also a bargain compared to printer companies and libraries! We are very pleased with our membership and will keep using it for a long time to come.

Friday, January 06, 2017

How I Saved and Earned Money While Being a Stay at Home Mom

This was my response to a Facebook post asking what we mothers of large families do to cut back, save money, and earn money while being a stay at home mom. I've shared things like this before, but there are so many women who want to know how others have done things. They are literally hungry for information and encouragement.

Please excuse the typos. My days are very full, and it was written hastily to fit it into a quiet moment. If I wait for a moment to make it perfect, it will never be shared. I just don't have the time or the desire for the illusion of perfection any more..."good enough" is going to have to suffice. I hope it encourages someone else in their walk as a mother.

I've been a stay at home wife then mom for almost 30 years. I share this to encourage the young mothers to look for ways they can save money because there might be more from home you can do than you realize. Some of these things don't seem like a lot of money savings, but it really adds up and begins to build upon itself as the years pass. So, don't get frustrated, don't give up, just keep working at it. Glean through these posts and pick three things you can do and work at those.

This may seem like a lot, but it's been over the course of 30 years. I didn't do it all at once. I dropped things like couponing and rebating when I found better ways of making/saving money at home. I have sold books, clothes, goat's milk soap, items found at thrift stores, etc online. I make most of my own cleaners including laundry detergent, fabric softener, all purpose cleaner, etc. I cook a lot of our meals from scratch and in bulk so I have economical and nutrient dense meals ready to go in the freezer. I grow a garden and can produce. I have raised animals on our farm for cash sales, eggs, milk, and meat. I have made yogurt, cheese, ice cream, etc from the milk. I garden and can our produce. I also pressure can and freeze ahead meals like roast beef, soups, etc which saves me time and a lot of money (compared to convenience foods and take out meals) later. I am a certified herbalist and make my own herbal blends for my pets, livestock, and family.

In my early marriage, I spent time developing skills like sewing so I could do things myself instead of hiring it out to someone else. My husband has done the same with car repair, plumbing, etc. I read dozens of family money management books like the Tightwad Gazettes and took away what I could use. I reread them now and then for tips that fit my life better now. As a young and overwhelmed mother, I studied how professionals clean to know how to do it efficiently to save myself valuable time and energy while homeschooling our children.

We reuse everything until it falls apart. If it's a vehicle my amazing husband can't repair, it then gets scrapped for cash. We also recycle, and the metal brings in a little cash. We look for free or inexpensive building materials. We consider purchases an "investment" so we do research and try to buy quality items we can use for years to keep from having to replace them.

We look for items that will give something back to us...instead of ornamental trees, I bought grapevines and fruit trees. For many things, I shop thrift stores first and then fill in the gaps with sales items. We use what nature provides..wild blackberries, persimmons, and elderberries grow abundantly in our woods. My husband cuts down our trees and gets them to a manageable length. Then, I and our children split and stack them for our winter heat. We usually are all working on the firewood at one time as an annual family event with a hearty meal afterwards.

I pick up leaves and pine straw from the curb for mulch, livestock bedding, etc. My sons just raked a yard of acorns to feed our hogs. The homeowner can walk without turning an ankle, got work done for free, and we are going to save a small fortune in hog feed.

I find free things to do locally for weekly family entertainment.

We have seven living children. We are debt free and paid off our home years ago. We pay for used vehicles and every thing else with cash. The farm sales and the ways I've learned to save have also allowed us to take two one-week vacations a year (with some extra weekends here and there) most years for the last ten years.

Living this way can be a lot of work, but I've learned the hard way to treat myself like I would a close friend. I give myself half days and even full days off to read or catch up on sleep as needed. I am content with my very joy filled life. I stay home a lot, avoid situations full of drama, and keep focused on my main job-my husband, children, home, homeschool, and ministry.

I know how hard the days are with little ones, pregnancies, housework, homeschooling, etc, so I sincerely hope this gives someone encouragement.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Roller Coaster

I have found that life is never all good or all bad. Grief and joy are often intermingled. We can have great peace and unbridled joy in some areas of our lives while having immense sadness and even anguish in others. Clint and I are blessed with a lot of joy and laughter in our home, but there are struggles and challenges. There is something in our life right now that has been going on for a while and is bringing us a lot of pain. The situation at present seems insurmountable, but we know where to look for Help. We are having to make some tough calls and venture into uncharted territory. We have no idea where or how this chapter will end. We don't even know what tomorrow will bring. Life is definitely a roller coaster ride with many twists, turns, heights, and valleys! We still take joy where we can, but there are times we cry deeply too. The next week is going to be full of challenges as we go forward where no one would ever want to go. Clint is at the forefront and needs intercession for wisdom, direction, and strength. Please pray for him to know exactly what God wants him to do and for him to have the strength to do it. We appreciate your prayers for our entire family as we take the next step in this journey.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Happy New Year 2017

Our gang wishes everyone reading this a Happy New Year!
May your 2017 be filled with an abundance of blessings!