Monday, May 25, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

To visit Peggy's blog and see other ladies daybooks for today, click the image above.

FOR TODAY, Monday May 25, 2009...
Here in Kentucky...

Outside my window...it's overcast and quite hot outside, it's been raining off and on all day

I am thinking...how wonderful it was to have our oldest son visit with us today, I miss seeing his face every day!

I am thankful for...my family and the love we have in our home for one another!

From the kitchen...yesterdays leftover stew made into creamy soup for today with Maiden's homemade rolls.


I am creating...a new little sewing area

I am going...nowhere this week that I know of, happily staying home!

I am reading...Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney, the book of Joshua in my ESV Bible.

I am hoping...for some cooler days, it would be nice to have the windows open for awhile before the hot days of summer set in, I really dislike having the AC blasting already!

I am hearing...Puritan clicking on his IPod

Around the house...dh is resting after working this AM, Maiden just got out of the shower which means I get to do one of my very favorite things, dry her hair, I love playing with her long ha
ir!

One of my favorite things...talking to my little mama on the phone, she had a toe removed on Friday and is simply doing great! She's unbelievable!

A few plans for the rest of the week: gardening, deep cleaning in the garage and basement

Here is picture thought I am sharing...one of the Texas longhorn cattle from dh's visit to Dallas last week....we have a lot of cattle in Kentucky, but none that look like this...at least not that I've seen!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Simple Blessings

You know we go about our days not thinking about what may happen the next minute, hour, day, etc. It's sometimes like life is going to continue but we just kind of think we'll just sail through everything and there will be no stumbling blocks. It's as if we are so busy and so into our own schedule, needs, wants, etc. that we don't realize that it could all come tumbling down in a second.
I wonder how different life would be if every morning we took out our Bible, prayed for clarity in the words we are about to read and made sure to spend time in prayer....you see this is the only way to start our day...starting in the Word and spending time with our Saviour.
We get so caught up in our lives that we forget who is truly in charge, I don't know about you but I know that being in charge of my walk daily would be disaster after disaster....I need to die to self daily and put the Lord in charge of it all, allowing me to be a vessel for Him to use. This is how we can stop being so focused on self and put our priorities in order which should be....the Lord, family and then others, I don't have to worry about me because I've put me in His hands and what better place could there be.

We rejoice today that in the course of our busy lives we got to spend a nice quiet day with my little mama, she had surgery this morning and is now home and doing just fine. We praise His name on high.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Simple Steps to Simplifying

It's funny how many blogs I've read lately of ladies that are feeling a push to 'stock up' and be prepared, there does seem to be an uneasiness in our country but is this the reason or is it something else. Well, I know that the Scriptures tell us that as the keeper of our home we are to be ready for times of famine, so really we should always be thinking about being prepared for anything, who knows when a man made or natural disaster should happen, yes it's always best to be prepared.
Of course as Christians we know that being prepared also means to be ready to help our neighbors, family, anyone that is in need and if we are following the Word then we know that these are not just suggestions, they are fact. Of course we know that the Bible is as relevant today as it was so many years ago, the world may change but the Word does not.

In the course of paring down I believe we must remember that having excess clutter not only keeps us from having an orderly life, it consumes our time, our mind and can even consume our hearts if we find that we love 'things'. I really have to make myself remember that it is just stuff and our wants should never be above our needs, which brings us back to being prepared.

I'm not of the extremist mindset but I do believe we should not be hoarding things that will break down, be unusable during power outage, or are just frivolous because it's not only senseless but it's a sin, in focusing on these 'life simplifiers' we are thinking of self...and the number one thing every single day of our lives should be to first focus on our Father, then our family, then others. I just know that the Lord hurts when we put things first...and hurting our Father is just too painful to imagine, He is the reason for everything...even simplifying.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Woman's Mission

Click on the book above to be sent directly to the Amazon page to purchase.

I've just finished reading A Woman's Mission by John Angell James, this is actually a booklet of excerpts from the book Female Piety, this is such a great read, very short but gets directly to the point. If we are in need of seeking to define of our mission as wives, mothers, homekeepers this will put it into perspective for you. I have read Female Piety and it is wonderful, this booklet is a wonderful tool for those that seek to be what they should be but need a reminder.
Of course the Bible in itself is full of examples and lessons for us, but a quick read is sometimes much needed in times of questioning.

This is how the back of the book describes it...and I find it to be perfect!

As lines are continually blurred by our culture, men and women are losing their sense of identity and purpose, and any ideas of what makes men and women different are being both eroded and ridiculed. But while the culture changes, God does not. He has laid down in His Word what it means to be a woman, and what her mission in life is to be.
This short work is excellent and must read, but also a quick reminder at those times, which we all have, of doubting our mission.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

To read Peggy's and other sweet ladies daybooks click the image above.

For Today...Monday May 18, 2009
Here in Kentucky...

Outside my window... beautiful sunshine, everything is so bright and beautiful, the trees and grass are such a deep lush green!

I am thinking... how thankful I am for good health in our family, we have some lifelong illnesses but even in that we all are able to function just fine. God is good.

I am thankful for... for an incredible older son that calls quite often and although I know he works very hard he makes time to visit us, I have such a deep
love for that young man!

From the kitchen... beef and fresh veggie pot pie, salad and sweet tea

I am wearing... white top and plaid jumper

I am reading... Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney

I am hoping... for lots of energy in the days ahead, life is about to get extremely busy and things are changing quicker than I thought they would.

I am creating... skirt for Maiden, skirt for me, pretty handkerchiefs for gifts

I am praying... for my Uncle who is having surgery today, my dfil who is finding out some very important information from his cardiologist on Thursday and for my sweet little mama who is having surgery on Friday.

Around the house... lots of ideas and planning

One of my favorite things... having dh home on vacation, sadly he's back to work now

A few plans for the rest of the week... lots of sewing, planting, finishing up spring cleaning and working on our major project

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you..
this is a photo wildcat man took while in Dallas last week, not sure what the building is but this is his view from the sunroof in the car, it's almost like it's just a part of the sky.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Simple Homemade Recipes - Homemade Gravy

We're really being given a treat this morning as Puritan is making a large breakfast for us! He does not like to cook at all, although he can make anything (all of our children learned to cook from an early age) but he really would rather not cook so this is a special treat for us. He's making biscuits, sausage, eggs, homemade hash brown potatoes, gravy and we're having milk, orange juice or coffee to drink. Of course everything is made from scratch, nice and fresh!

The sausage is Johnsonville pork sausage patties which is the only sausage I can find that has no preservatives or 'stuff' in it, it is really good! Although Puritan is making the meal I'm going to make the gravy, he can make it he just likes me to make it. Gravy is so easy and yet folks make it so complicated, of course I'm a country girl from Kentucky so of course I know how to make good old milk gravy!

This is how I do it:
Brown your sausage in the skillet, take out when finished. Now if you have enough grease left that you can see it you'll be fine. While the grease is still hot pour in about 3 or 4 T of flour and start stirring it all together (you just want to the flour to loose it's raw taste) making sure to scrape up those little bits in the bottom of your skillet. When it's all pulled together and looking quite pasty you pour in appr. 3 cups of milk (we use whole milk), whisking while pouring and now the trick is to keep whisking and don't stop until your gravy starts to thicken, add a bit of salt and plenty of freshly cracked pepper and once it starts to thicken take it off the heat, when removed from the heat it will thicken up more and it's all ready to go! Nice and smooth because of the whisking! Pour it over your eggs, sausage and biscuits...yum! Takes me right back to early mornings at my Grandma's house, such sweet memories!

I don't suggest you have this meal very often, here in our home it's served maybe 3 times a year because of it's negative health benefits but we sure do enjoy it when we do have it! The special occasion today is that Wildcat Man is enjoying his last day of vacation and tomorrow it's back to work! The good thing is that he doesn't really mind, he works at the airport and truly loves his job (he always has), so he doesn't mind going back to work....but he might mind a bit the early mornings starting up again! Well, this is the end of vacation for us too so we will get back on track with things Monday, tomorrow is the Sabbath so we rest.
Monday we continue our spring cleaning that I've been reading up on, we're all set to go and have plenty of it to do...especially after our 12 day vacation!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Simple Days at Home

Through the years I've had people ask me what I do all day? It seems since I'm home all day, very seldom do we leave our home, folks just can't understand what I do all day? Well, I thought I would give a list of what I don't do first:
  • watch soap operas
  • watch TV
  • eat bonbons
  • sit in front of the computer (I get on in short snippets of time)
  • talk on the telephone
  • gossip (I detest gossip)
  • criticize my husband
  • sunbathe
  • complain
  • yell or nag
  • read novels
  • go to chat rooms (have never been to one)
  • spend money (can't spend money if you don't leave home :)
  • read magazines
  • complain about my family
Now, what do I do all day? Well, if my sweet hubby is at work, my days consist of this:

  • manually grind coffee beans
  • make coffee in a percolator on the stove
  • prepare menus for meals
  • daily prayer time
  • bible reading time
  • we occasionally will watch a DVD...our favorites are Road to Avonlea
  • cook meals from scratch
  • make laundry detergent
  • wash clothes
  • hang clothes outside on the clothesline
  • iron
  • Maiden makes our bread from scratch
  • tidy the house
  • always praise my husband so my children can hear and will respect and honor him also
  • clean windows
  • clean bathrooms
  • clean floors
  • sew
  • read aloud or listen to Puritan or Maiden read aloud to us...we have many books we enjoy reading together
  • scrapbook or make cards
  • crochet
  • quilt
  • sit on the front porch reading or talking to Maiden and Puritan
  • make meals for extended family or friends
  • sweep floors
  • plan meals
  • make sweet tea
  • Puritan takes care of outside chores and takes the garbage out
  • the three of us work on our herb and veggie container gardens
  • dust
  • prepare the home for Wildcat man to come home
  • keep a nice quiet, calm environment for my family
Oh, there are many, many, many things to keep one busy in the home. I'm a keeper of my home and very happy about it! Taking care of my family is my whole life and I not only enjoy every bit of it, I am honored that Wildcat Man works so hard so I have always been able to stay home and take care of our family. This is what the scriptures dictate for a family and we've certainly been blessed in it. There are many of us that are keepers at home and although each families days differ (our days were different when we homeschooled) there's always plenty to do and be done!
So am I busy at home? You bet, the work literally never ends and that's just how I love it!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

To read Peggy's and other dear ladies daybooks, click the image above.

FOR TODAY...Monday....May 11, 2009...
Here in Kentucky......

Outside my window...Sunny, slightly chilly...beautiful day!

I am thinking...of all the sewing I hope to accomplish before fall, need to stick to my schedule and not be lax in my sewing.

I am thankful for...Wildcatman being on vacation and for him being able to spend 4 days in Texas with his parents and his cousin.

From the kitchen...chicken and fresh veggies

I am wearing...navy top and blue bandana print long skirt

I am creating...a very clean and fresh home...love changing things in spring and clearing all the winter blankets and rugs...love everything fresh and airy feeling for summer!

I am going...to the airport this evening to pick up dh and his parents...will be so glad to have him back home!

I am reading...Book of Ruth in my ESV Bible, Mary Janes Farm magazine, learning how to make yogurt...made some last week and it turned out terrible, this recipe sounds so much better!

I am hoping...that our kombucha grows a scoby, we started it a week ago and it looks like there might be one forming!!!

I am hearing...quiet...just my fingers hitting the keys

Around the house...laundry to hang out on the line, need to make some soap, clean floors, make some buttermilk and refill the homemade mixes in my hutch.

One of my favorite things...making things from scratch!...it's wonderful not using preservatives or extra unknown items, just a few ingredients and we can decide how much sugar, salt etc. we put in...love this simple homemaking life!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Hoping to make a trip to the Amish store we found and do a deep cleaning in the basement and garage, update our pantry inventory.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...Was it only 4 months ago that we were covered in snow and ice? Oh, how I love spring!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Simplifying - Technology as Timesaver or Timewaster?

We had our yard sale a couple of weeks ago and actually made a nice little amount of money, I think it's such a wonderful way to de-clutter and make a little extra cash, if you aren't people living on a strict budget as a one income family like we are then why not have a great big yard sale and give the proceeds to charity or use it to buy groceries for a needy family, I have no doubt that most of us have at least 10 needy families within a 20 mile radius of our homes. If we all really worked hard to simplify our homes having yard sales or simply taking our extra stuff to Goodwill/St. Vincent etc., then we could probably feed and clothe a lot of families out there...and truthfully it just takes a little bit of work and then put it all out on your driveway, somebody always wants your stuff, I promise you that!!!!

The truth is I just love getting rid of things, which makes me wonder why I get them in the first place. I am not one to get caught up with getting the next best thing, I've seen way too many of these things fall by the wayside when others purchase them and are very dissatisfied with them, so they sit and are never used and what a waste of our hard earned money!
I try to live by the theory that if it is not used, loved, antique or precious to someone it is out of here...we all live with way too much stuff, I know that my grandparents did not have the things we do today and they lived very well. They did not rely on the convenience items we rely on today, they used their own hands and those of their kids, friends, neighbors and had a very strong work ethic, no sitting around for their kids, Sunday was a day of rest but the rest of the week you worked because it needed to be done. My grandma served three full meals a day and those meals were made of what grew on their farm or they bartered to get at their general store, maybe their eggs for a bag of flour etc., that's just the way it worked and sitting by idly did not get those meals on the table. Those kids knew where their food came from because they were very hands on in it getting it to the table, chicks came in mail and they had to be nurtured, fed and cared for in the spring, it would get cold so they had to have some warm lights or lamps in the chicken coop and then would have to check on them through the night so they did not smother each other trying to get to the heat, those chicks weren't cute little pets, they were going to be full meals in a few months. They rode horses so they had to be cared for, cattle had to be fed, milked etc., there were all the farm animals to take care of and then you had to put in the garden and take care of it, gardens don't just take care of themselves, there's a lot of hard work put into having a garden, especially one large enough to sustain a family of 11. Of course a huge part of caring for the animals and gardens outside was keeping the unwanted critters away...that would try to take off with the farm animals or eat up the garden, truly they worked from before dawn to after dusk, because if they didn't work they didn't eat, you did what had to be done.

Sometimes Wildcat Man (who grew up in the city) will say "I just don't know how to do that, we didn't have to do that at home". Well, this means we go to our books, Internet, parents, friends or whoever until we find out how to do something, I know his parents knew how to do things, they renovated an entire house from top to bottom all by themselves, but that was when he was young and after they finished I guess they were tired of being DIYers and called repairmen to have things fixed so he had no need to learn those things. I was raised in a home where we got our hands in and tried to fix something, if absolutely necessary we would call someone in but my mother, step-father and my father are all hands on people and truly seem to relish the challenge of fixing something...I guess that runs in our blood because I'm the same way, I love to figure things out. Most of the time these days Wildcat Man will say, you tell me how to do it and I'll do it, so together we can figure out most things!

Today's kids sit on their bottom playing video games and truly wouldn't know how to function in my grandparents time, isn't that sad? They have no work ethic bred in them because they don't have to do anything, their parents work and don't teach them how to take care of things around the house...they buy them things to appease them and are so tired from working themselves that they would rather 'do it themselves' than to have their kids work along with them, very sad...and we're raising a generation of helpless slugs which makes you wonder what will happen to the next generation?

I believe it's our duty as their parents to make sure they leave our home as functioning people, did you know that statistics show that the average college graduate has no idea how to take care of themselves? One survey I saw said that 75% of college graduates have never balanced a checkbook, sadly they have never done it because they don't know how!!! Another survey I saw said that only 8% of college graduates could actually plan, shop, cook and cleanup a meal for a family of 4...wow now that is sad. Yes, it is our duty to teach them how to fix something that is broken, plan a week of meals and make them do laundry, scrub floors, sinks, toilets, tubs...care for the lawn, keep a tidy room, etc. These are not things that are luxuries in life, they're things that are necessary to live in a clean, safe environment. It really only takes putting a broom in their hands and showing them how to sweep a floor one time to teach them, it's not difficult it's just that folks don't want to fight with their children so they don't make them work around the house. Our mother was not one to be shy about making us work around the house, we knew how to do things whether we wanted to do them or not and the option of not wanting to do it was not there...yes, we respected our mother....we learned very early in life to respect her and to move quickly when told to do something! Did we fear her...you bet and today as adults we still respect her and simply adore her!

I love the idea of earth day but I think we should have a full earth day every week, 24 hours of unplugging everything unnecessary and driving only for work or emergencies. Not only would this give our earth a break, it would make us learn how to do things without technology and that would be a very good thing for us and our children. Do we know how to build a fire?, cook over an open flame?, make sun tea? Imagine no technology for 24 hours...I wonder if we could do it? We might find out that we really like just sitting and chatting with our family, reading aloud, singing together...we may even finally talk to our next door neighbors that we've never actually met....yes that could be a very good thing!

We might even get some good use out of those front porches that stay empty while we're in front of the television!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Simple Remembrances - Mother's Day

Oh, the love we have for our mothers! Is there anything that evokes the feelings of love like thinking of our mothers? Wildcat Man and I are blessed in that we still have all of our parents with us, there have been some health issues and scares but they are still here and we're just crazy about them! Truly, we are family people, family means everything to us and our parents and our kids are our best friends. We would rather be with them than anyone else, that's just how it works with us. We've taken so many vacations as adults with our parents and just have a blast with them, why is it you enjoy your parents so much more as adults as you did when you were young, I wonder?
Growing up I was a pretty good kid but I had the usual teenage attitude, my mom says she remembers me getting up in the morning for high school and she would come in and say good morning and I would just glare at her...she says she believes I hated her in those years...I may have although I could just cringe now to think of it. My mother raised us by herself from the time I was three until I was nine when she married my stepfather...interestingly enough when I was 29 my stepfather and mom got divorced, shortly thereafter my brother found my father (who hadn't been a part of our lives...many reasons...there's no blame either way) and my dad wanted to see my mom to apologize for leaving us (he was just too young and immature I think...once again no blame)...well, the old spark was still there and when I was 30 I was blessed to be the maid of honor at my parents wedding, my brother was the best man!...those cute little parents of mine have now been re-married for 18 years and we are just one big extremely happy family!!! Yes, I went from being a daughter to a step-daughter, then back to daughter. I have a younger sister from my mother and step-father and two older brothers...as my dad also remarried years ago and had more kids there are just a bunch of us now...there were some tense times at the beginning but they didn't last long at all once us selfish kids realized that our mom was happy and if she could forgive then certainly so could we. That's the way it has always been with my mom, she teaches us so many things just by quietly living her life.
The most important thing our mother ever taught us was that the Lord is first in everything, if we don't put Him first nothing else really matters because it will all fall by the wayside and life ceases to have a reason...without Him there's nothing.
My parents are both Christians and are just such a sweet little couple, they are an excellent example for all of us. They both had heartache and pain in their lives but they were able to forgive and move on, the past is behind them and that's where it stays. What better example could there be for us and our children?
Not only do I have these incredible parents but my mother and father-in-love are the kindest and most loving parents also, Wildcat Man just loves them and takes care to do things they need him to do...he certainly obeys the fifth commandment in that he honors his mother and father...he also loves and cherishes them...such a good man.
I know there are those that did not have such love from their mothers and oh how I mourn for them, yet I believe that we are to live our lives as an example for our children so what happened in our past does not have to be what our children have to live...we can change this.
Well, I hope all of you mommies have a wonderful day, Wildcat Man will be in Texas with his parents for a little vacation so I will have our kids all to myself!...we will be visiting with my little parents that day also so it will be a lot of fun!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook


Click the image above to read Peggy's and other dear ladies daybooks!


FOR TODAY May 4th, 2009...
Here in Kentucky....

Outside my window...everything is just so lush and green, sweet dh is mowing the lawn, there's a wonderful breeze coming through the open windows!

I am thinking...about the things we need to get prepared for dh's trip with his parents later during his vacation week.

I am thankful for...the simple things, I love nature, the sweet chirp of the birds, the wonderful smell of fresh cut grass, honeysuckle...such a wonderful simple treat the Lord has blessed us with, and it's all free and readily available!

From the kitchen...roast in the crockpot, mashed potatoes, salad, rolls

I am creating...birthday cards for family

I am going...library run today, plus a trip to the grocery for a few items

I am reading...through Nourishing Traditions again, also Don't Throw it Out by Lori Baird, always reading my ESV Bible; currently in Job

I am hoping...for lots of rain this week to start our new seeds out really well!

I am hearing...Maiden correcting me on my typing booboos, she's such a sweet gem!

Around the house...Wildcat Man mowing, Puritan weeding and turning the soil in our gardens, Maiden preparing to plant lots of seeds

One of my favorite things...starting gardens, I love the promise of what's to come!

A few plans for the rest of the week: lot's of spring cleaning and packing things up in hopes of a move very soon!


Here's a picture thought I'm sharing....
Click on the image below to read my sweet Maiden's daybook for today....be sure to turn down your volume, she has some wild music on there!!!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

20 Of My Favorite Things

Visit Peggy at asimplewoman.blogspot.com

20 Of My Favorite Things

1. Color- periwinkle
2. Dessert- Maiden's Pumpkin Cheesecake
3. Smell- nature...so many wonderful aromas!
4. Flower-Lantana
5. Animal- all sea creatures, I'm simply amazed by watching them!
6. Month- December
7. Beverage- coffee
8. Pair of shoes- Birkenstocks, so comfy
9. Snack- Maiden's Maple Snack Bread
10. Song- right now...anything by Michael Card
11. Book- the Bible...what other book can you learn something new from every time you open it and always come away feeling totally refreshed, comforted and loved.
12. Fruit- strawberries
13. Hairstyle- a casual updo
14. Piece of clothing- jumpers
15. Store to clothes shop- mostly modest clothing stores online, especially the cottage businesses, love homemade and especially made in the USA
16. Season- I always welcome every season and that's my favorite at that time!
17. Hobby- sewing
18. Thing to collect- pottery bowls
19. Movie- Home Alone
20. Restaurant- Cracker Barrel