August 6, 2014

Creeping Into Fall

And Another Happy Birthday

Yet another of our children has celebrated a birthday.  End of July, D2 had her 10th birthday.  She wanted a party but there aren't many girls her age.  D1 and I surprised her with flowers, a balloon, and cake when we came home from our trip to town.  


On her actual birth date, I arranged for a message to be put out on the local Christian radio station.  Rebekah almost missed it, but when she heard she looked quite embarrassed.  Then smiled.


We also met some friends for pizza in town.  She enjoyed herself, despite the fact the party she wanted didn't take place.  





Gardening and Preserving

I finally ordered the new canning pot I had in my Amazon cart for over a year - or so it seems.


I canned dills, sweet relish, dill relish, bread and butter pickles, and spicy pickles.  I also did a load of beans and chicken broth.  The jalapenos I grow are usually dehydrated, but I did use a few for spicy pickles.


I've also been working on baking again.  It's very difficult to get back into the routine of things when you've been off for so long.  


I harvested the pole beans from the garden that weren't picked on time.  I think there is nothing worse that a green bean left on the vine too long.  But, all wasn't lost.  I saved the seeds for next year.  


I have worked for hours pulling weeds from the garden in order to plant more beans.  Now that the area is cleared, I haven't had time to get out and sow.  There is still a lot of work to be done to make room for the fall crops.  I plan to remove the zucchini plants and start clearing up the tomatoes. I have yet to dig up potatoes and will dig up the onions despite their small size.  

I finally got the valance done for my kitchen and decided I like the fabric so much I will purchase more in order to make more curtains for my sun room windows. This is my "new" kitchen window.




In Our Homeschool

In my spare time, what little I seem to have, I have been plugging away at cleaning up the learning area.  This can be very difficult when children are watching.  Everything I expose becomes a wonder to behold.  My desk is nearly cleared.  The kid's desks are pretty close to being ready.  The cupboards are cleaned up as well.  Once the clean up is complete, I still need to grade some of last years work, average test scores, and file papers away.  Although I do not do report cards, I do need to start a transcript for D1 and Son.

You can check out what the kids are doing on our homeschool page.



Out And About
Swimming lessons - more on that later.



What I've Been Researching

I have been researching a lot about real food lately and have enjoyed it.  It got me thinking about how I have strayed from the real food "diet" I had the family on over a year ago.  I have looked up fermented foods as well as sprouting/soaking grains in order to eat the best foods possible.  I have even renewed the desire to have a dairy goat!  I chuckle as I say this because it seems I don't have time as it is.  

Good reads and watches:  
  • http://wellnessmama.com/2261/water-kefir-soda/
  • http://www.myhumblekitchen.com/2013/07/a-simple-recipe-for-homemade-natural-fermented-pickles/
  • http://wellnessmama.com/663/homemade-sauerkraut/
  • http://wellnessmama.com/2673/kombucha-soda/
  • http://www.weedemandreap.com/what-do-goats-eat/
  • http://www.weedemandreap.com/cake-lose-weight-e-book/
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVzXsKvN2ck&feature=share



July 23, 2014

Gardening in Northern Virginia

For the first - time - ever!

Okay, so last year doesn't count.  I was super excited last year.  I finally had the chance to spread my wings and fly into the organic gardening scene.

I wasn't prepared.  I was very pregnant, lacked flexibility, and had no energy.  Everything flopped.  Everything failed.  But, I came away from it with experience.

Now we step into year number two.  Granted, I am still failing at some areas, but succeeding in many others.

I had hoped to get some pictures of the garden before grass and weeds took over the beautifully planted vegetables and fruit.  I didn't.

Then I left on vacation after weeding as much as possible, hoping Hubby and D1 would be able to tend to the weeds and such.

I came home to a fruitful garden, but one which was overrun by grass and weed.  I also found Mexican bean beetles and squash beetles.  Not fun.  I lost most of my beans.  My carrots and onions have been lost to grass and weeds.  All my herbs were killed.


As you can see from the photos, however, the cucumbers are abundant.  My zucchini grow despite the bugs.  Tomatoes continue to come in with the promise of sauces in the pantry.  My peppers are growing very well and I am extremely pleased at how many I am getting - both bell and jalapenos.


Come September, I plan to plant my fall crops as well as one more batch of peas and beans.  I look forward to seeing watermelon and cantaloupe.

In the next few days, I intend to plant some pumpkins, dig up potatoes, and plant beans.

How does your garden grow?

Until next time,
Rachel

Chatting with Patrice - 149


Today we are chatting with Patrice in the house!  It is very warm and humid outside.

You really should stop by her blog and see the painting her daughter did.  Never hesitate to encourage children to use their talents for the glory of God.

Today, Patrice asked the following questions.

1. Other than those who live in your home, who's the last person who came to your front door? 
I honestly am not sure who came to our door last because I have been away.  I would venture to guess it was a friend of Hubby's.  Hubby's friend came over to help dig holes for our back pasture fence.

2. Do you have many photos around your home?
Goodness!  I used to.  I love seeing images of my kids as they grow.  Now, we just don't have wall space for all of it.

3. Do you like mint? Is there a favorite type of mint for you? How do you enjoy it?
I like mint once in a while, but prefer it to be mild.  I prefer wintergreen if I am going to eat candy.

4. Do you enjoy your own parties and other times with guests, or are you so busy working...?
I do enjoy having time with people at my house.  We used to do it a lot when we were overseas.  I think Satan likes to get me thinking my home is too small or too messy or too loud.  Therefore, we don't tend to entertain as often as we would like.

5. What do you want to be when you grow up more? Job, hobby, self improvement, etc.
Ha, ha, ha...the only thing I can think to say to this one is that I wish to be a better homemaker, gardener, and homesteader.  Above all - I want to be a more obedient servant to Jesus, my savior.  I believe if I did the latter, I would succeed every where else.

So, my question to you:

Do you have a garden and what is your favorite thing to grow?

Peace and Love in His name,
Rachel

June 23, 2014

A Year For Birthday Girl

Our youngest (D5) turned one last week.  We finally had a celebration yesterday.  She fell asleep before we could get the cake ready.

Poor little thing was exhausted.


 It didn't take too long for her to realize something exciting was about to happen.


She wasn't quite sure about the candle, but we kept her hands back.


She had a great time, but I do believe D3 and D4 were more excited than the birthday girl.

It seems so hard to believe a year has passed already since the time I gave birth to this beautiful blue eyed girl. I am certain moms all over the world look at their children and wonder where the time has gone.

Absolutely certain...

June 11, 2014

Finally Chatting with Patrice Again


It's been a while since I actually chatted with Patrice on her porch in Virginia.  Blogging has brought a few people into my life I try to stay in contact with through the year.  Since deleting my last blog, I haven't joined in with very many "bloggy games".

So hello to Patrice again!

I actually got excited over a few of the questions this time around.  You had me at garden...

1. Do you have a vegetable garden this year? Have you in previous years? 

I do have a garden.  I tried a big one last year, but I am afraid it was more than I could handle at the time.  I was due to have our sixth child in June.  It wasn't very fun being out in the heat trying to do all the gardening. This year we went big again, but it is looking much better.  It's all planted except for the veggies I plan to do in fall.  I plan to post about my garden when I get it finished.  I have been suffering from allergies lately which keeps me indoors as much as possible.

2. What is your computer sitting on right now? Desk, dining room table, lap... 

My computer is sitting on a folding table.  Pretty silly, but it works.

3. Do you go shorter with your hair in the summer?

I normally keep my hair long, but knot it up with a clip or band.  A few weeks back I cut off about 6-8 inches and regret it.  I miss my longer hair, now it goes below my shoulders.

4. Are you an early to bed person, or a night owl?

I would lean more toward the night owl, but with a baby who still hasn't learned to sleep through the night, I don't last as long.

5. Tell me something funny. I'll tell you something funny too. :)

Something funny?  I took a hen to the vet last week.  I felt so silly.  I was super embarrassed when the pharmacist asked me what type of animal the medicine was for.  Not a dog or cat, but a CHICKEN.  Hah!

On another note:

Patrice has a friend who writes and sings some wonderful, God inspired music. You can read her post here.    Visit this link and check him out.

God Bless,
Rachel

June 7, 2014

1 Timothy 1:14

"And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."

Sometimes we fall away from all that is strong in our lives because we think we know better. We turn from the stability of our Savior to the instability of the world.

Look back up to faith.

Embrace the love of Christ.

And live life to the fullest.

Trust that His way is the only way.

Lord God my Father in heaven - help me to see the error of my ways and walk in the ways of your Son, Jesus Christ. The way that is so full of abundant love even when my faith is so weak. -Amen