And the garden gets bigger…Raised Beds

IMG_1636

What does the farmers wife want for her birthday?  Well, raised veggie beds of course!  And my awesome husband delivered…and even helped me put together 2 of the 3!  Next spring I’m planning on planting medicinal herbs in one, tea herbs in the second one and carrots and sweet potatoes and onions in the other one.  Right now we are lasagna composting in them, and they should be nice and ready in the spring.

IMG_1638

 

IMG_1639

The kids were lots of help!  They love to garden.

IMG_1640

   After we had our blocks stacked we layered the bottom of our floor with cardboard, then potting soil, our dry corn stalks, peat moss, rabbit manure and more potting soil.  I cleaned out the chicken coop and threw it in, wood shavings and all and proceeded to layer.

IMG_1643

All summer I threw in the by-products of our canning.  Any raw veggie trimmings will do.  Carrot and potato peelings are great!  All the hulls for our purple hull peas and butterbeans went in as well.

IMG_1644

Right now the beds are about half full.  I am planning on cleaning out the chicken coop and under the rabbit pens, so I’ll throw that in with a bag or two of potting mix and cover it all with a bale or two of hay.  The hay will help with compaction from rain.  This will keep our dirt nice and fluffy :)

IMG_1645

Another Tip:  Keep it moist.  Composting requires heat and moisture.  Every time I walk by with the water hose I give them a little drenching. You should also allow your Lasagna compost to “cook” 4 to 6 months before planting in it (Especially when using horse or chicken manure).

IMG_1647

And that’s it!  You can lasagna garden anywhere, It doesn’t have to be in raised beds.  Its not a real science, you are just stacking compostable materials like you would stack a lasagna casserole.

And the garden gets bigger…Planting Grapes

IMG_2154[1]

Since we have blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries we thought we might try our hand at grapes!  I love to look at pictures of grape vines growing on dewy hillsides the thought is so romantic!  We don’t have hills, but there is still lots of romance, even with 6 kids, and now we will have lovely grape vines too!

First, a little about grapes…

Choosing Cultivars

Choose a variety that is suited to your temperate zone.

Site/Soil

Grapes grow best in a sunny location, but will tolerate partial shade.  Well-drained soil is essential, but grapes do not do well in extremely fertile soils. Plants grown in fertile soils produce lots of leaves and low-quality grapes. Poor soils tend to produce moderate crops of grapes with excellent flavor.

Planting

Plant grapes 6 feet on center, with a 36 inch buffer on each side of the plant to allow for mulching. Planting holes should be dug wide enough to accommodate all the roots, and deep enough so that you can cover the uppermost roots with 3 to 4 inches of soil. Adding peat moss will aid in water retention, and increase the water holding capability of the hair root structure.

Mulching

Mulch to aid in water retention and weed prevention.  Add more as needed.

Weed Control

Prevent weed growth around grapes by mulching, or cultivating. reduce root injury due to cultivation, a mulch within the rows is highly recommended to keep weeds down.

Pruning and Trellising

Right now our plants are first year.  We have a main trunk vine attached to a stabilizer post and a vine on either side.  We are planning on putting in our big posts and wire system this winter and we will share how to do that along with proper pruning as we go.

Fertilization

For young vines, apply ¼ cup 10-10-10 fertilizer around each plant. Repeat at 6-week intervals until mid-July. On 2 year old vines, double the first year rates and use the same interval. Bearing vines will need 2 ½ pounds of fertilizer per plant applied in March.

Magnesium deficiency, a yellowing between the leaf veins on older leaves, may become noticeable in midsummer. For young plants, apply 2 ounces of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) around each vine, watering it afterward. Apply 4-8 ounces per mature, bearing vine. 2-3 years may be required to bring the magnesium levels up for the best plant performance.

Watering/Irrigation

Soil moisture content should not be allowed to become excessively dry.  Water frequently enough to keep the soil moist but not saturated. Drip systems deliver water under low pressure through small emitters. In this method, water is applied only within the rooting area. Since only the row area is wetted, foliage remains dry during irrigation, and weed development between rows is reduced. Mulching will help reduce the frequency of watering.

 

IMG_2151[1]

What we did on our little farm…

These are the supplies you will need for a 30 ft. row (minus the trellis system we will put in this winter)

4 grape vines

1 bag of peat moss

shovel and hoe

4 wood steaks

garden ties

1 bale of hay

 

IMG_2153[1]

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Work your ground so it is loose and free of weeds.
  2. Dig your trench 30 ft long and about 2 1/2 foot wide.
  3. Dump out and spread evenly your peat moss where you will be planting your grapes.
  4. Cover your peat moss with the dirt you pulled out of the trench.
  5. Evenly space your grapes and plant them.
  6. Cover with the straw mulch.
  7. Water and WAIT!!! :)

IMG_2154[1]

And the garden gets bigger…Planting Blueberries

IMG_2135[1]

One good thing about starting out your homestead with a clean slate, is you get to plan where you want things.  We have been here almost a year now and its just now starting to look different with each new addition.  The one bad thing about starting a homestead out of nothing, is all the HARD WORK!  Good thing we have a few helpers :)   We have a black berry patch we put in last fall and a strawberry patch we put in last spring and we have been enjoying the “fruits” of our labour in the form of jam all summer.  We thought we needed to expand on this venture a little further with a blueberry row and grapes in our garden.  More about grapes another day.

First a little about blueberries…

Choosing Cultivars

Choose a variety recommended for your hardiness zone!!!

Site/Soil

Blueberry bushes grow best in a sunny location, but will tolerate partial shade. Blueberries like  loose, well-drained soil.They require acidic soil conditions. A pH reading of 5.0 is optimal. In heavy clay soils plant in a raised bed.

Planting

Plant 3 to 4 feet on center, with a 36 inch buffer on each side of the plant to allow for mulching. Plants should be at the same level that they were in the container.

Mulching

Mulch will significantly increase blueberry bush growth and yield. Decomposing mulch not only helps improve soil structure, but also aids in the nutrient uptake of a blueberry bushes root system. Mulching maintains uniform soil moisture, reduces soil temperature, and control weeds. Always keep mulch around 4 to 5 inches away from the plant itself at least until the plant is rooted well.

Pruning

A good-sized, healthy canopy is needed to support the growth of fruit. Pruning encourages production of large, high-quality fruit, and encourages earlier blooming. Fruit is produced on one-year-old wood. The largest berries are produced on the most vigorous wood, so a good supply of strong, one-year-old wood is desirable. When pruning shape the bush by removing dead and diseased wood. Pruning new bushes is recommended to increase ” production area” of the plants. Shape  of the top of the bush should remind umbrella.  You can do it easily pruning plants in about 2 weeks after picking last berry. Find the tallest wooden branch, measure about 8 inches of the green part of the branch and prune the whole plant flat on this level. Prune the bushes annually. You can stop pruning after You plants are over 7-8 years old, then you just prune dead or damaged branches.

Fertilization

Generally one application in the spring of an acid-producing fertilizer each year will be sufficient. Do not fertilize after the blooming period, late fertilizing will encourage late growth in the fall, which in turn can cause winter injury. Nitrogen usually gives blueberries the greatest growth response. Nitrogen fertilizer requirements increase as the bushes grow older and yields increase.

Watering/Irrigation

Water the blueberry bush frequently enough to keep the soil moist but not saturated. Blueberry bushes need at least 1 to 2 inches of water per week, do not apply water after early September unless soil is very dry. Mulching will help reduce the frequency of watering.

 

Now that you are an expert and excited about putting in you own blueberries, here’s what we did!

These supplies are needed for a 30 ft row of blueberries:

2 bags of Peat Moss

Hoe and Shovel

6 Blueberry plants

1 Bale of hay

1 25 ft. soaker hose.

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Work your ground so it is loose and free of weeds.
  2. Dig your trench 30 ft long and about 2 1/2 foot wide.
  3. Dump out and spread evenly your peat moss.
  4. Cover your peat moss with the dirt you pulled out of the trench.
  5. Evenly space your berry plants and plant them.
  6. Cover with the straw mulch.
  7. Hook up your soaker hose and turn it on!!!
  8. Next June you will be rewarded for all your hard work :)

IMG_2136[1]

IMG_2137[1]

IMG_2150[1]

How tall am I momma?

IMG_2139[1]

I have been wanting to make a giant ruler for a couple of years now.  I first saw one at a friends house, and I just never had the time to make one.  This week the time had finally come!  I think its cute, don’t you?  The kids sure love it.  At least once a day I hear, “how tall am I momma?”

 

Here’s how you make it…

Supplies:

1 6ft by 8 inch board

Stain or paint (possibly mineral oil)

Old rag

Sander or sandpaper

Polyurethane, if you are staining (I used it in spray can form)

House numbers 1-6

Ruler

Permanent Marker

 

Directions:

  1. Sand your board and wipe it clean. I sanded the sides and corners too, to round them off and give it a more aged look.
  2. I stained mine first with a mix of Early American color stain (1 part) to 2 parts Mineral oil.
  3. I let it dry a little then wiped on a stain color called weathered gray.  I did this sparingly, so the stain would show through.
  4. After this all dries a few hours I sanded the edged to give it a worn appearance.
  5. Now you need your ruler and permanent marker.  Since your giant ruler is going to be off the ground you need to start at the 1/2 foot mark and go to 6 1/2 feet.  (It helps to lay out your lines with pencil first!) If you mess up, just sand it and start over, no biggie!
  6. After it has dried a few more hours spray it with polyurethane.
  7. Put on your house numbers and hang it on the wall!  you can always write the numbers  for a cheaper option, I just liked the 3-D look of the house numbers.

 

Almost Fair Time!!!!

IMG_2127[1]

It’s almost fair time again, and these are exciting days in the Tims’ home.  Entering exhibits in the fair has been a family tradition for more than 20 years.  I think the kids love it just as much as their momma!  Even though we homeschool, and try to make things a little more fun, Art is still their favorite subject :) I thought I would share a few things we have done the last couple of weeks.  Above is Lee’s still life of a vase of roses using colored pencil.

IMG_2128[1]

Lee (8 years old)

“Grandpa’s Tractor” in pencil

 

IMG_2129[1]

Grady (6 years old)

“Saddled Up”  Colored pencil and water color

IMG_2125[1]

Jo Anna (5 years old)

“Grapes in a Bowl” Pencil and Marker

IMG_2126[1]

Eli (3 years old)

“My Family” in Marker

IMG_2130[1]

 And some horses I have done with pastels.  I can’t decide which one to enter!

Whether you homeschool or not, entering in your local fair is an awesome opportunity to showcase your God given talents, meet new people, and have fun with a little friendly competition in the process!  You can check out the Kennett fair website for more information here…. www.deltafairfun.com

Homeschool Organizing

IMG_2091[1]

We are 5 weeks into homeschooling for the year and we quickly realized we were not quite organized enough!  Lets just say I have been on Pinterest a little to much!  I feel like I should defend myself a little…I was exploring Pinterest while I was sitting and nursing the baby.  I was multi-tasking! ;)

Above you will see my Pampered Chef carousel that I received for our wedding.   I haven’t used it in years and am so glad I didn’t throw it away, it makes a wonderful, marker/color pencil caddy!

IMG_2065[1]

This was a $25 flea market find that holds all our pre-school toys and puzzles (that they are supposed to play with while the big ones are in school) Sometimes this happens!

IMG_2090[1]

This back door shoe holder holds all our school supplies that previously were scattered out in about 10 different places all over the house.  This little goodie cost around $6.  I hung it on the under stairs closet door.  The same little closet that holds our roll-away school cart.  Whew! All organized for $31!

 

Word Fun and Laminator Obsessions

IMG_2088[1]

A friend at church gave us some letter tiles and I finally got around to making some placemats for the kiddos to use!  Have I ever told you about my obsession with my laminator?  Well, I am in love!  I use it for everything, it is an absolute must for any homeschooler.  I have already burnt the motor up in one and purchased another :)

IMG_2087[1]

These are pretty self-explanatory.  I just cut out some shapes, and vowels (use your creativity) and lightly glued them to cardstock.  Then I laminated them.

IMG_2085[1]

Let the word building begin!!!

September Flexi-of-the-Month

2014090300_01

The September Flexi is just stunning!  If you have never tried flexi-clips or beaded head bands…this is the month to try!  As always the flexi of the month is produced in a limited supply and is sold at a first come first served basis.  Its not unusual for them to sell out in all sizes in just a week.  This beauty will match just about anything!

Remember you don’t have to have long hair to love Lilla Rose!  They offer badge, clips, beaded headbands, and pins.  You can also use a flexi to secure your favorite scarf.

Also, remember to check out Lilla Rose styling and sizing video’s before ordering!

To order yours today…click here, to go shopping!

Our Little Homeschool Cart

IMG_1477[1]

Life is a classroom, and we love to learn all the time.  That being said, I don’t want our home to “look” like a classroom all the time.  Our designated school area is our kitchen table (for the most part) and I really don’t want to be looking at books and papers while we are eating.  Last year each kid had a milk carton file holder that I put all their books, workbooks, and supplies in and this worked really well.  We have one side of the refrigerator dedicated to our character first weekly picture and our maps and charts, and they can quickly be removed if need be.  We just needed to address these plastic crates everywhere!  I really didn’t want a shelf out for them to sit on, an Don didn’t have time to make one, so I resorted to Amazon.  There I found this nifty little cart that fit our crates perfectly!  I now have a shelf to put my stuff on and the kids have a place for their books.  It holds up to 500 lbs. so I am expecting it to last well too.  The best part, I can roll it into our storage room on Thursday and we don’t have to look at school all weekend!!!

IMG_1475[1]

I purchased the Seville Classics Heavy-Duty Commercial-Grade Utility Cart from Amazon.com.  Sams Club also has a cart that is this same brand, and cheaper, but it is lighter weight, I have one for my sewing machine that I purchased there. It says it will hold 500 lbs. too but it is flimsier. I am super excited!  Today completes our first week of school, and our cart did not disappoint!!!

What the Bible Says About Homeschooling

th

I  bet you thought the Bible had nothing to say on the subject of homeschooling!  Some may bring to mind the verse about training them up.  If you are an average Sunday morning Christian you might have heard the one in Deuteronomy.  If you are a real student of the WORD, however, you will find many more.  The following is by no means exhaustive, you’ll find many more scriptures supporting the parental role in discipline and education, if you look.

WARNING: The Bible is often found offensive.  Its sharp, people, and it cuts. 

(Deut.6:6-7) And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

How can parents fulfill this command if they send their children away to the government schools?  It may make a person to feel better to say that they do teach their children the principles of God when they are at home.  But what about those thousands and thousands of hours when they are in a classroom being taught someone else’s ideals.

(Matt. 5:13-16) Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Children are extremely vulnerable to outside influence. They need deep roots, formed in the home, before they’re ready to take on the world.  This is one of those verses Christians use as an excuse to sent their kids to public schools.  Notice is says we ARE salt and light, not that we are TO BE salt and light to others.

(Psalm 14:1)The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works,
there is none that doeth good.

(Prov.1:7)The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge:but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

There are plenty teachers proclaiming to be Christians, but you don’t have to look too far to see others with an agenda.  We don’t want our children to be discipled by fools.

(2 Cor. 10:5) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

Public schools certainly exalt themselves against the knowledge of God.  We are commanded to take every thought captive – which includes all subjects.

(Psalm 127:1)Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

Who is the better watchmen, momma and daddy or a stranger?

(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.

Government schools dishonor parents and by example teach children to as well. You can’t be given a Tylenol without parental consent, but you can be given birth control and be advised about an abortion.  They even tell you what your kids should be eating.  You stupid parents don’t even know how to feed your kids.   They are a ward of the state, don’t get me started on the summer and after school “food programs”!

(Proverbs 1:8) My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother

The father and mother are doing the teaching.  No one else is mentioned in Scripture as having that role.

(Proverbs 9:10) The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Government schools lack the fear of the LORD, therefore cannot properly translate wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

(Proverbs 13:20)He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

How do you spell foolish companions? P-E-E-R-S

(Proverbs 22:6) Train up a child in the way he should go:  and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

What do you think the schools are Training them up for?

(Jeremiah 10:2a) thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen…

What part of “Learn not the way of the heathen,” do you not understand?

(1 Tim. 3:4) one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity

If men are not successfully training their own children to follow God they are not eligible for ministerial leadership. Church leaders should be the example for the rest of the Body by taking responsibility for their own households.

 

and a few more, for good measure…

(Matthew 12:30 and Luke 11:23) He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

(Matthew 18:5-6) And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

(2 Cor. 6:13-18)Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

But as for me and my household, we shall serve the LORD!!!!

Missouri Homeschooling Information

IMG_2041

Since our recent move to Missouri, I thought I needed to add some Missouri Informational sites about homeschooling.

And for our friends in Arkansas check out www.arkansashomeschool.org/

No matter what state you live in, I recommend a membership to Home School Legal Defense Association.

It is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Through annual memberships, HSLDA is tens of thousands of families united in service together, providing a strong voice when and where needed.  http://www.hslda.org

Also, If you have any questions, and want to talk on a more personal level, feel free to contact me :)

MISSOURI HOMESCHOOL RESOURCES

Associations

Families for Home Education
FHE is the Lobbying Group for all home educators in the state of Missouri. Affiliated with HSLDA.

Events

Homeschooler-friendly events Missouri Homeschool Group

Field Trips

Missouri Field Trips
Educational places to visit in Missouri.

Legal Information

Missouri Education Code
AN A TO Z RESOURCE
Not intended as legal advice. For your information only.

Lobbyist Updates 
Families for Home Education reports regularly on any new legislation that may affect homeschoolers in Missouri.

Missouri Homeschoolers’ daily log sheets
Printable log sheets to keep track of daily educational activities for Missouri homeschoolers.

Online

Missouri Homeschool Group

A Place where you can post and read about fun, interesting, and educational things for homeschool families to do in Missouri.

The Homeschool Hookup (Missouri)
A place for Christian homeschooling parents or those considering homeschooling to meet other homeschool families, ask questions and share information.

Homeschooling Kids Who Can
This group is dedicated to supporting parents in Missouri who are home educating children with physical or learning disabilities.

Missouri Homeschool
This is a list for all homeschooling families in the state of Missouri (especially Christian based education homeschooling)   Or those in Missouri thinking about homeschooling. This list is for support and ideas for our home schools and raising our children in the way God directs us.

Missouri Homeschool Moms
The purpose of this group is to encourage and fellowship with other homeschooling moms. A place to ask for advice and help with family & homeschooling issues. Please read the group guidelines when you join AND Introduce yourself.

Missouri Homeschoolers
This group is for homeschoolers in the state of Missouri to support each other and meet other families close by. Feel free to introduce yourself, post questions, field trip ideas, craft/project ideas, any events or activities that you know are happening in Missouri, questions/advice from other homeschoolers, buying/selling curriculum, funny stories,-pretty much anything pertaining to homeschooling or what you think might entertain us homeschooling parents.

Missouri Schoolhouse Rock
Parents everywhere need support, but when you homeschool your kids, seems like we always need more. This is a group for Missouri homeschoolers to visit, share ideas, or just get some moral support.

Southwest Missouri Home Educators
A place for homeschoolers in the Southwest Missouri area to discuss homeschooling, plan park days, plan or inform of upcoming educational opportunities, buy and sell items of interest to other homeschoolers, and otherwise network with other homeschoolers in specific areas.

Publications

First Things First: A Guide for Missouri Home Educators
First Things First is a book you can purchase to help assist you in your compliance with our state’s law.

Resources

Bright Flight – Missouri Higher Education Academic
This merit-based program encourages top-ranked high school seniors to attend approved Missouri postsecondary schools. Individuals who have completed a home-school program or who have obtained a certificate of high school equivalence by passing the General Educational Development (GED) exam may be considered for the scholarship program.

Christian Home Educators Fellowship
Our mission is to encourage and equip families to fulfill God’s commandment to train up godly children.

Missouri Association of Teaching Christian Homes
MATCH is organized for the purpose of providing service and support to home educators and support groups within Missouri.

If you decide to homeschool I recommend you check out Homeschool Legal Defense Association’s Page and get your membership!

Missouri Department of Conservation – Discover Nature
Get your students outside and into nature!

Excuses for not Homeschooling

herd-of-sheep

We get many questions about homeschooling when people see our family out and about.  Among those asking I often hear the responses “Oh, I wish I could do that”  Most people think that homeschooling is expensive and somewhat out of reach since they don’t have a teaching degree.  I hope I can clear some of those questions up!!!

EXCUSES FOR NOT HOMESCHOOLING:

Its just too EXPENSIVE:

Though it can be expensive if you want it to be, we school our children for around $150.00 (per student per year)  Lower grades for as little as $50.00.  Most of what we use is re-usable and in the future some of our kids will be homeschooling almost free.

I don’t have any PATIENCE:

I don’t have much either, but by God’s grace, I am learning. We are learning together EVERY DAY, and this requires patience.  Things worth doing are not always the easiest things, but they reap the greatest rewards.

What about SOCILIZATION:

This is probably the biggest excuse we hear.  Apparently, because we homeschool, our kids will turn out being reclusive hermits or something. Our kids go with us to make loans, they go to church, they know how and actively converse with adults.  They are not glued to a phone, computer screen or TV.  I have always figured it was better for kids to be socialized by socialized adults, rather than un-socialized peers. That being said, they do have “real” friends their age and we go on more learning field trips than are offered at any government school.

We have to have 2 INCOMES:

No you don’t!  Every one assumes that because we are self-employed, have 6 kids and homeschool, that we are wealthy.  We are not.  What God does give us extra, we give to His work.  Regardless of current opinion you don’t HAVE to have most of the things you think are necessities.  We could all do without these “extras” and our families would be the better for it.

You must be really SMART!

I don’t have to have a college degree to know what is best for my kids, or to provide a better education for their specific needs.  Homeschool materials are structured in a way to teach a new homeschool Mom how to teach their children.  As you learn as you go, you will see what methodologies work best for your individual children.

Good kids are needed in the Public School system: THE LIGHT TO THE WORLD MENTALITY:

I agree, there is a lack of “good” moral kids in the system, but it’s not because all the “good ones” are being homeschooled.  Its because of the system they are being indoctrinated into, and because of those PEERS, with whom you want ours to socialize with.  One rotten apple will spoil the whole bushel.  We do want our children to be a light to the world.  That’s what we are training them for. One day they will be that light in the world, when they are spiritually ready. I doubt that the government school has the same things in mind when we speak of training our children.

I think kids should be on the same level THE HERD MENTALITY:

This thinking comes from years of indoctrination.  This is exactly where they want you.  You are programmed to think that we should all be equal, no matter what our inputs.  These thoughts will lead to a socialized state.  Socialized education, socialized medicine equals communism.  The truth is, I want my kids to be smarter than their peers, I want them to be on another level, we pray for them a greater success!  Homeschool offers this!  We can stretch their potential!  They don’t have to wait till 3rd grade to write in cursive, because their peers haven’t been taught to yet (or will never be taught) They don’t have to graduate college or start a business when their peers do, they CAN and WILL be ahead of the game, and they will have SKILLS to accompany their book learning.

Well, that’s the questions and statements we usually run across from people when they find out we homeschool.  If you still have doubts, just hide and watch.   Our children’s success will speak for itself one day.  And by all means, engage them when you see us around, they will be the kids without phones who are capable of having conversations with adults.  If you have any other CONSERNS, I would be happy to give you our take on those as well. :)

 

Our Cirriculum Choices 2014-2015 & Book Reccomendations

homeschool

We have come a long way in the short time we have been homeschooling!  We have finally found our niche, at least for now :)  Charlotte Mason methodology fits our family well!  Children learn and Momma’s teach differently and you will have to find for your self what works best for your family. That’s one really cool aspect of homeschooling, you can cater to your children’s needs and they can learn more effortlessly. Here’s our Curriculum Choices for 2014-2015

PRE-SCHOOL:

Workbooks and Flashcards and not to be underrated REAL LIFE LEARNING.  Don’t miss all those little teaching opportunities, MOM!  We have been known to nix flash cards for this method!

KINDERGARTEN:

My Fathers World – God’s Creation from A to Z   www.mfwbooks.com

Handbook for Reading  www.abeka.com

2nd GRADE:

My Fathers World -Exploring Countries and Cultures

English- Language Lessons for Today   www.mfwbooks.com

Spelling- Rodd and Staff (3)

Math-Arithmetic 2 (Abeka)

4th GRADE:

My Fathers World – Exploring Countries and Cultures

English- Intermediate Language Lessons by Emma Serl

Spelling-Rod and Staff (4)

Math- Switched On Schoolhouse 4 – www.aophomeschooling.com/

 

A Little About My Father’s World (from their website) www.mfwbooks.com

Family Learning Cycle

My Father’s World’s unique INVESTIGATE Multi-age Family Learning Cycle is designed for children through 8th grade to be taught together using the same program. Bible, geography, history, literature, science, music appreciation, and art activities can be enjoyed by a range of ages. Our Teacher’s Manuals provide guidance for grade level expectations as needed. A 7th grader will complete assignments more thoroughly than a 3rd grader while using many of the same resources. The Multi-age Family Learning Cycle keeps the family together when possible and assures that the parent is only teaching one complete curriculum package each year.

Our five year-long programs begin with a one-year foundation in geography and cultures followed by four years of chronological history. A 2nd or 3rd grader continues in the cycle for 6-7 years, repeating material previously learned in 2nd or 3rd grade at an advances level.

 

We also use Character Development materials for all ages and grades from Character First  www.characterfirsteducation.com/c/shop.php

 

Good Books:

Big Book of Homeschooling By Debie Pearl

www.amazon.com/The-Book-Homeschooling-Debi-Pearl/dp/1616440686/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406295816&sr=8-1&keywords=homeschooling+book

 

Homeschooling with a meek and Quiet Spirit  By Terri Maxwell

http://www.titus2.com/homeschooling-with-a-meek-and-quiet-spirit.html

 

Managers of Their Schools

http://www.titus2.com/managers-of-their-schools.html

 

Think Outside the Classroom

http://www.generationcedar.com/main/our-products/ebooks/think-outside-the-classroom

 

Internet Resources:

Want to know more about the Charlotte Mason methodology? Check out…  www.simplycharlottemason.com/

 

To Schedule or not to Schedule…

th1that is the question!

And a much debated one in homeschool circles.  It all comes down to what works best for your family and lifestyle.  We have done the regimented color chart found at   http://www.titus2.com/managers-of-their-homes.html  It was beautiful, and I loved it so much it hung on the wall for a year, before I took it down, even though we never followed it!  If you are a scheduled person you will love this method.  We recommend all of their books!  I have almost ALL of them :)

Even the best schedule book couldn’t help me, apparently.  To homeschool and have 6 kids, for that matter, you do need structure.  If you don’t have some kind of structure there will be chaos!!!!  Routine, Routine ROUTINE…there I like that better!  Routine sounds better to my free spirit than schedule!  So, lets talk about our “routine”.

We get up, when we get up! Usually around 7.

We eat breakfast and get dressed.

School Starts…I do kindergarten and pre-school while big kids are doing independent work.

We do character First as a family.

Kindergarten and pre-school go play while we do our Family Cycle with 2nd grade and up.

After that, if they are done with independent work they are done.  If they are not, they finish, we do any tests we need to do and I look over their work.

All this gets done in time to prepare for lunch. We eat and then go about our day doing those things that are necessary.

This is our Routine, Life happens, but this is the general order of business.  I am available while they are doing there independent work to get them started or to answer any questions.  That’s why we built a house with an open floor plan and we have school in a central location.  I can keep my eye on progress as I am cleaning up and doing dinner prep, and tending to a new baby’s needs.

We have 4 day school, Monday – Thursday, with Friday reserved for make-up work or field trips.  Our Curriculum is set up this way and we LOVE it!!!  We are also planning year round school this year.  More about that, another time.

Also a great reference for ordering your days is a book called Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman

Kim’s blog is at http://largefamilylogistics.blogspot.com/

So that’s how we roll…

How about you, I would love to hear how you do it!

 

Homeschool Week

images

I know, I know its summer break for all you teachers and public school-ers out there, but this is the time of year things are really gearing up for homeschool.  We like to learn all year long in our house and the last few weeks have been full of planning for next years adventures!  This year we will be starting in July.  I know this sounds crazy to a lot of people, let me explain.  The particular school curriculum we use is set up for a 4 day week, also we like the freedom to have school when the weather is yucky and explore the outdoors and enjoy our family when its nice outside, or when The Farmer is out of the field.  It is all about OUR family!

Secondly, I thought a week of Homeschool posts would be very fitting!  I usually post after we have started our schooling for the year, and this is too late for those who wish to learn more about school-at-home.  So here it is!  For those of you who have and are considering homeschooling, I hope this helps. For those who are opposed to it or confused, this is for you too!  So kick back and enjoy this week of homeschooling information overload!!!

Topics this week include:

EXCUSES FOR NOT HOMESCHOOLING

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING (Bet you’ve never heard a sermon like this!)

HOMESCHOOL INFORMATION

OUR CIRRICULUM CHOICES

THE A B C’s of HOMESCHOOLING

HOW WE MAKE IT WORK (Homeschool Cart Idea)

and TO SCHEDULE OR NOT TO SCHEDULE

 

Okay, Okay, so its going to be more than a week of posts.  I’m a little against the grain, that comes with being a homeschool mom.  Some of you will understand :)

Dress A Girl Around The World

Dress A Girl Around the World is a wonderful ministry that I am so blessed to be a part of!  We just sent our first shipment of 100 dresses and I was so excited to get back the pictures of all those smiling faces! Be looking for an up-coming post with those pictures.  For now, I wanted to share a little information about the dress a girl program.  I would love to come speak to your church, youth group, or sewing group and tell you more! Please let me know if you are interested!  You can contact me at dagmissouri@gmail.com

The following is taken from http://www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com/

We dream of a world…

                                           in which every girl has at least one new dress!

 

We want girls to know  that they are worthy of love and respect and most of all that God loves them!

 

Dress a Girl Around the World is a Campaign under Hope 4 Women International (a 501 (c) 3 organization) bringing dignity to women around the world since 2006.  Hope 4 Women International is a nondenominational independent Christian organization.

Visit Hope 4 Women International at  http://www.h4wi.org

 

 

What if Every Girl had just one dress?

 People from across the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, The UK, Sweden, the Philippines, Uganda, and more gather for a day or an evening of sewing dresses out of pillowcases and fabric. They gather in living rooms, basements, backyards, dining rooms, schools, churches, and civic centers.

Change Her Destiny

 By providing a new dress you may well be changing a young girl’s destiny. Village pastors tell us that a girl wearing new dress presents an appearance that she is well cared for and may discourage would-be predators. We attach our Dress a Girl label on the outside of each dress sending an additional message that each girl is under the care of an organization, giving her added protection from those who would harm her.

What If You Made That Dress?

 Go around the world with us and see girls who live in a society where they have no value—where they are used as slaves, abused and preyed upon. Imagine kneeling before a little girl in Uganda or the Appalachians. You are holding a beautiful new dress—made by you.  You tell her “I made this dress just for you because you are precious to me and to God.”

Imagine as you drop the dress over her head that the shame she feels is dropping away. She lifts her chin toward the heavens—allowing her to stand tall.

To join us on a trip please email rachel@h4wi.org

 

Get the Sewing Handbook

If you are interested in sewing for dress a girl please download the sewing handbook…

http://www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com/sewing-handbook

 It includes guidelines, patterns and sewing tutorials essential for sewing the dresses.

 

 

 

 Give a Gift to Help us Reach Girls at Risk

Your financial gift enables us  to ship dresses to groups who will hand carry them to other countries. We also train women to make dresses within their own countries and gift them with sewing machines enabling them to dress their own girls.

If you would like to help this program continue to reach girls around the world you can send a tax-deductible financial gift to:

Hope 4 Women International
P.O. Box 8061
Tempe, AZ 85281

Why we sew…

Homemade Disinfecting Wipes

IMG_1572[1]

I ran out of my homemade cleaner the other day and found this recipe.  Since I had almost all the ingredients, I thought I would try this out.  I liked that I could use my essential oils, and that it is disinfecting!  And, Have I ever mentioned…I love the smell of essential oils!?! Added bonus: it’s inexpensive to make!!!

Supplies:

  • old baby wipes container or sealable plastic container
  • white vinegar
  • tea tree oil
  • lavender oil
  • castile soap
  • old t-shirts cut up I used 5
  • water

  Instructions:

  • Put cloth into wipes container or plastic container with lid.  Just about anything with a lid will work.

MIX:

  • 2 cups of water
  • a big squirt of castile soap (mine was castile soap and lavender oil)
  • 1/2 c. of vinegar
  • 6-8 drops tea tree oil and
  • You can also add 6-8 drops of lavender oil if you wish (my castile soap was infused with lavender so I only added 3 drops)
  • Pour liquid mixture over cloth

Voila!  When you are done wiping down counters, or toilets, or whatever, simply throw these in the wash with your clothes, and make a new batch!  I keep my wipes on the kitchen counter so they are handy to grab!

July Flexi-of-the-Month

2014062400_01

As always…

Remember to check out Lilla Rose styling and sizing video’s before ordering!

To order yours today…click here.

Preserving Squash & Recipe’s

IMG_1451[1]

Squash is so easy to put up and of course is so yummy and good for you!  Start by washing your squash and then slicing it.  I like to use my mandolin slicer for nice uniform slices.  Label your bags.  this works out better when they are flat!

IMG_1453[1]

Throw your slices in a quart freezer bag.

IMG_1454[1]

Throw in 1/4 cup of flour.  Seal the bag, with the air in it and….

IMG_1456[1]

Let the kids shake, shake, shake, until your squash is all coated with flour.  Then you can squeeze as much air out of the bags as you can and re-seal them. Then throw them I your freezer!!!

IMG_1457[1]

Recipes:

Fried Squash

  • Get your grease hot.
  • Get your bag out of the freezer and whack it on the counter to loosen up the stuck together squash.  You can let it defrost it a little, but I am impatient sometimes!
  • Put your squash in the grease and fry away!
  • When it has browned you can strain it on a paper towel and salt to taste.

Fresh Squash and Onion

  • Use about 5 to 6 medium sized squash.
  • Wash and cut into chunks.
  • Place in a pot of boiling water (Just enough to cover the squash)
  • add salt, pepper 1 stick of butter and 1/2 an onion cut in slices or rings, what ever you prefer.  I like nice big pieces!
  • Boil just a few minutes until squash is soft and onions are translucent.

 

Preserving Green Beans & A Recipe!

IMG_1401[1]

We picked 5 gallon of green beans out of the garden a week or two ago, and wouldn’t you know it was at an extremely busy time for us!  I was planning on canning these, but due to the time crunch, I froze them instead.  This process takes much less time!  Obviously you pick your green beans first, then you rinse them off.  The kids gave them a rincing off outside, then I brought them in and with the help of a strainer, did a little better job.

IMG_1442[1]

After rinsing them, I got water started boiling in the biggest pot I have, and began snapping off the ends and snapping them in half.  I gave all the little kids a butter knife and cutting board so they could work on their knife skills safely.

IMG_1437[1]

We gave all the end pieces to the rabbits and chickens.

 

IMG_1443[1]

This is what they look like snapped in half.

 

IMG_1445[1]

When you have them finished, throw them in your boiling water.  BE CAREFUL!  I was able to do around 2 1/2 gallons at a time in by big pot.   This was a time saver.  When it comes back to a rolling boil, time them for around 3 minutes or until they turn brighter.  This is called blanching.  Blanching kills the yucky stuff, locks in flavor, and cuts your cooking time in half!

 

IMG_1447[1]

Strain them and quickly throw them in an ice bath to stop them cooking.

IMG_1448[1]

As soon as they cool spread them out on a towel to drain and pat them dry a little.

 

IMG_1449[1]

Label and put them in your freezer bags!

It may seem like a lot of work compared to opening up a can from the store, but you cannot even compare the nutritional value!!!  It is worth it, and your stomach will thank you.

Recipe:

  1. Put 1 gallon of green beans in pot.
  2. Cover with a few inches of water over the top of the beans.
  3. Add 1 stick of butter and 1/2 small chopped onion (or 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dried minced onion, if you don’t have fresh)
  4. Fry 5 slices of bacon, chop and put in your green beans.
  5. Add 1/4 cup bacon grease rendering to green beans.
  6. Boil away!  Check your water every now and then and add some if needed.

These are even better the second day!!! :)

 

Do it yourself…Baby Cereal (Brown rice and Oatmeal)

IMG_1547[1]

Stella has recently started eating and I have been making and freezing baby food all week, fresh out of the garden.  We think mommas milk is best and we don’t stop there.  I don’t know what is in those little jars of baby food at the supermarket, but I do know what is and isn’t in my garden! :)

Along with veggies and fruit I ground up some brown rice in our mill, and oatmeal in our food processor.  If you have a blender or a food processor you can use these to mill your rice or oatmeal to as fine a consistency as you can get it.

I put mine in 1/2 gallon mason jars.  Remember to store these in the fridge or a dark cool place.  You can make a little recipe card and tie it to the side along with a tbsp. measure for quick and handy cooking.

And here’s the recipe’s. Your baby will thank you!!!

IMG_1544[1]

Baby Oatmeal Cereal

To make 1 serving for a 5-9 month old baby

1. Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil and sprinkle in 2 tbsp. of the ground oats.

2. Whisk continuously for 30 seconds and then occasionally for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture is thick and creamy.

Accompaniments: Breast milk or formula can be added to thin the mixture, or ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, if desired. Fruit purees would go great too!

Brown Rice Cereal

(1 serving for a 4-6 month old baby)

1. Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil and sprinkle in 2 tbsp of the ground brown rice.

2. Whisk continuously for 30 seconds and then occasionally for 4-5 minutes or until the mixture is thick and creamy to prevent any lumps from forming.

Accompaniments: Breast Milk, Molasses, Banana, Almond Milk, Apple Sauce or Baby Food Puree.

2014 Wheat Harvest in Full Swing!

IMG_1468[1]

Wheat thrashing is underway.  We have some of it burnt and planted back already and one farm left to thrash.  It’s busy bees around here right now!  The kids are loving it, but the farmer’s wife is tired of hauling them to the field repeated times a day to “take turns” riding!

IMG_1463[1]

 

IMG_1470[1]

 

IMG_1462[1]

 

A Necklace and a Prayer

Another sweet way to include your little ones in the Dress A Girl Around the World ministry is to let her make necklaces for the recipients of the little dresses.  This was a great idea I heard about the other day and I just had to pass it on.  These are a real treasure for a little girl who has literally nothing.  The finished necklaces can be color matched with the dress you are giving and placed in the pocket of the dress.

IMG_1255[1]

I bought this ribbon for 44 cents a roll, but I’m sure you could find it cheaper on sale..  I cut the ribbon at 28 inches.  This seemed big enough to even clear our 8 year olds head.

IMG_1254[1]

Next you need some pony beads.  You can pre cut the ribbon and put it in bags so its ready whenever your little ones need some busy work.

IMG_1253[1]

I told Jo Anna how I pray for each little girl as I am making her dress, and that she should pray for the little girl as she was making her necklace.  I said that we should pray for God to keep her safe and that she would love Jesus and serve Him, that she would grow up to be a momma who would teach her children about Jesus.  It is very sweet to walk by and see her little head bowed and a whispered petition coming from her lips.

IMG_1256[1]

To Find out more about Dress A Girl Around the World, click the link on the side bar or feel free to e-mail me at  dagmissouri@gmail.com

Tye-Dye Dress A Girl

Since I have been making all these dresses, and my little ones can’t sew yet, I wanted to find some ways they could be involved in this ministry so they could develop a servants heart like our Saviour.  Since they love to tye-dye, this was right up their alley!

 

IMG_1176[1]

Didn’t they make a lovely finished product!

IMG_1251[1]

A tye-dye birthday party, sleep over or youth group activity benefitting Dress A Girl would be great fun!  E-mail me for details! :)

To Find out more about Dress A Girl Around the World, click the link on the side bar or feel free to e-mail me at  dagmissouri@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Pillowcase Dress

This is a quick and easy way to make a pillowcase dress. and my favorite to make!  I recently became the Missouri Ambassador for a wonderful ministry Dress A Girl Around The World.  www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com Our director, Suzanne, has a post of this same dress pattern on her blog, as well  http://sewdelightful.blogspot.com/2013/12/dress-tutorial.html  It will help you to visit Dress A Girl’s website and check out the sewing handbook.  It will give you all the measurements for these dresses and you can print off the arm-hole templates.

 

  1. Start with a clean pillowcase trim off the top and fold it in half.

 

IMG_1232[1]

2.   Measure the approximate length of your dress and decide which armhole template you need.  Cut both sides at the same time.

 

IMG_1233[1]

3.   Open up pillowcase, turn inside out and fold town 1/4 inch and press.  Fold down again 1 1/2 inch to 2 inches and press.  Do this for both sides.

IMG_1234[1]

 

IMG_1235[1]

4.  Sew along the edge of your fold.  I live to use a zig-zag stitch, especially when I am doing a contrasting color.  Then sew your top stitch that will encase your elastic.  I like to skip down a little so you will have a little ruffle at the top of your dress.  Do this for both sides.  Always remember to back stitch so your dresses will be sturdy and bless these girls for a long time!

IMG_1236[1]

5.   Determine the length of elastic you need (refer to your handbook), put a pin in the end of it and feed it through your casing.

IMG_1237[1]

 

IMG_1238[1]

6.    Do a zig-zag stitch back and forth several times along the elastic.  Be sure to do it close enough to the edge that your seam binding will cover it.  Feed the elastic all the way through and do the same on the other side.

IMG_1241[1]

 

IMG_1242[1]

 

IMG_1243[1]

 

IMG_1244[1]

7.    Determine the length of your straps (refer to the handbook).  You will be using Extra wide, double fold bias tape for this.  Fold your tape in half to determine the middle.  Place the middle at the bottom of your armhole and pin it.  You might want to open it up and sandwich it around the fabric and pin all around the armhole.  I have done it so much at this point, I am able just to hold it!

IMG_1245[1]

 

IMG_1246[1]

8.   Be sure to fold under the ends of your tape so you have no rough edges and sew all along the tape from one end to the other.  Where the binding meets with the edge of the dress I like to use a back and forth zig-zag stitch to make the dress more durable.

IMG_1249[1]

9.    Now it the time you would add a pocket, maybe even some lace or a ruffle, and your Dress A Girl Label.  Since I am waiting on my labels to come in I will add my pocket later!

 

 

IMG_1250[1]

If you would like to find out more about Dress A Girl Around the World and how you can help this work please feel free to contact me!

Candyce Tims

dagmissouri@gmail.com

 

 

 

Chicken Rich

IMG_3145

THIS IS A POST I FORGOT TO POST!!!! These chickens are now half grown!!! Enjoy the Flashback! :)

We have been enjoying our Hens and Rooster from Dragonfly Farm, so much so that we thought we needed more chickens!  The kids and I were at Tractor Supply the other day and heard that familiar “peep peep” sound and had to investigate!

IMG_3146

A quick call was made to The Farmer, to see if we could buy some more!  He agreed and we bought 3 Amerucana and 3 Reds.

IMG_3148

When we got home Our Farmer quickly fetched our old rusty watering trough that was saved for such a time as this.  Our screened in back porch was quickly transformed into a brooder.  I quickly realized that since these chickens had not been sexed we might end up with all roosters!  So I called back to Tractor Supply a few days later and to my surprise they had just gotten in some Silver Laces Wyandotte chicks.  Another call to the Farmer, and then a dash to get more chicks.  Our Total now it 7 hens, 18 chicks, and the big daddy rooster Speck.

IMG_3194

I think they grow faster than children! The kids have been enjoying looking at them every day and counting how many new feathers they have.  I will enjoy them one day when we have more eggs!!!

IMG_3196

IMG_3147

I think Grady would like to be a chicken farmer! :)

 

Kids Garden 2014

IMG_0957

We love to garden and there is nothing better than opening up a mason jar in the middle of winter and enjoying bounty of summer.  We are so glad to have moved by our shop and have an expanded garden.

IMG_0959

The other day I was reading in our Baker Creek Seed catalogue and I was excited to see that the owner was sharing that his momma encouraged him in gardening and gave him his own garden spot.  I don’t know why this idea escaped me!  We have always included them in the family’s garden, but giving them their own was a foreign concept.

 

 

IMG_0958

Since Don was in the field, I talked it over with the kids and they were excited at the idea.  That morning after I tilled our garden, I tilled 4 smaller gardens for the big kids and we went to get some plants and seeds.

IMG_0995

I purchased a set of small tools for them to use along with their hoe’s we purchased for them last year.

IMG_0991

They all picked out a tomato plant.  Lee – Arkansas Traveler, Grady – Cherry Grape, Jo Anna – Pink Brandywine, and Eli – Jet Star (Because it was an airplane and it was orange, his favorite color!)

IMG_0987

They all also picked out peppers and several seeds.  Pumpkins, Carrots, corn, watermelons and cantaloupes were among their favorites.

IMG_0989

IMG_0993

Eli REALLY, REALLY likes corn!

IMG_0992

Clara doesn’t have her own garden yet, but she enjoyed watching.  We thought it was important for them to be big enough to take care of it on their own.  They will be totally responsible for weeding, watering, harvesting and preserving their bounty.

IMG_0986

We are still awaiting the arrival of their tiny sprouts.  They have been watching every day, and so far…no weeds!  I am really proud of them!

IMG_0981

 

Proclaiming the Gospel with Gospel-Link

bro samuel

Our family has been blessed by the National Pastors we support through Gospelink and are so thankful that God would use our little family in such a big way!  We found this organization a few years ago through another family and we knew it was for us!  God has blessed our family financially and we love giving as much of it to the Lords work as we possibly can.  We were so glad to be able to increase our giving this year. Last year Bro. Samuel came from Malawi, Africa to speak to our church and since then Tyler Baptist and our family has sent 1,000′s of tracts to Africa. To God be the glory!

 

iphone pics2 046

These are some pictures that Bro. Samuel has sent us over the last few months.  Here his family are handing out tracts in an open market.  In other countries these pastors are invited to the schools to share the gospel and the children love receiving the tracts we send.  They carry them home and whole families are saved.  Its so sad that the words of God is not welcomed in our “In God We Trust” government schools.

iphone pics2 045

Happy faces to receive just a few scriptures in their native language.

iphone pics2 044

The picture below is of a Muslim witch doctor who by God’s grace was saved after reading one of these tracts!  Praise God!

iphone pics2 070

Please check out Gospelinks National Pastor Program and pray about what the Lord would have your family or church do!

 

What is a national pastor?

A national pastor is a born-again Christian serving in his own native area. He doesn’t have to learn the language since he already knows it. He knows the culture and has a hearing among his people. What has amazed us is that a national pastor can live on a hundred dollars or so a month versus the cost of thousands and thousands of dollars to send a western missionary to that same mission field. It has been a blessing for our family to find this ministry! You can find out more at Gospelinks website, or even watch a short video.

 

How much does it cost?

Gospelink sponsorships are divided into five parts––you can sponsor a pastor for $15 a month, or, you can do all five parts for a total of $145. Each pastor needs:

  • 3 ministry sponsorships ($35 each)
  • 1 outreach sponsorship ($25)
  • 1 training sponsorship ($15)

May I write my National Pastor?

Gospelink allows you to correspond with your preacher. You may write to him once a quarter, and you’ll also receive a several-page report from your pastor each quarter. The report includes details of his ministry and information about his personal life and family.

IMG_0189

Will I get a photo of my National Pastor?

Yes! Gospelink gives you prayermarks with your pastor’s picture and name on it, and several pictures of him and his family. We have ours on our refrigerator, and we have made a book for the kids to look through. We have put the pastors letters in there as well and have included maps and interesting facts about the pastors, their families, and the regions in which they minister.

 

GospelLink’s Statement of Faith

It is important to us to know what an organization believes and you should too! http://www.gospelink.org/content/beliefs

Chickens, Rabbits & Herbs, oh my!

iphone pics2 005

We have been enjoying our back yard chickens and our farm fresh eggs!  Our little chicks have grown so much.  You really don’t realize how fast they grow.  They are kind of like kids in that regard!

IMG_3196

Above is the chicks just a few weeks ago when they were still under their brooder lamp on our screened in porch.  Below is the chicks in their new home outside with the big chickens and big rooster “Speck”

IMG_0882

The big chickens excepted them pretty well, although, I now know the definition of hen pecked and flying the coop!  The big chickens eat at one feeder and the little ones eat at another one and Speck runs around like he is loosing his mind having to take care of all these hens and chicks!

IMG_0883

IMG_0881

Speck letting us know who’s the boss.

 

IMG_0878

Oh, and we have a new “pet”. Her name is Rosie.  This little red hen has adopted me.  She follows me around and likes to be held and pet like a cat!

IMG_0884

The kids had a great time watching their little chicks growing up, and we all enjoyed their peep-peeping on the back porch.  Another added benefit was the herb garden that has flourished with a little help from the chicks.

IMG_1009

We used the old horse watering trough (that was their brooder) for our herb garden.  We mixed the chicks wood chips and litter with potting soil and planted our herbs.  As you can see they are flourishing!  This year, kitchen herbs…next year we are planning on starting a trough of medicinal herbs!

IMG_1100[1]

We have a new litter of bunnies too!

IMG_0974

Until next time…Happy Homesteading!

15 Farmwife Realities That it is Farming Season Again

iphone pics2 109

1. You will be a single mom for the remainder of the year.  Lovingly termed “the farm widow”

2. Your life will revolve around the weather… Did it rain? How much? Praying for rain, praying for no rain.  How hard is the wind blowing?

3. You will spend time in the tractor, sprayer, and combine with your husband… just so that you can see him in the daylight.

 4. Your meal time of 6:00 pm you’ve had throughout the winter will now be “whenever is convenient”.

5. You quickly realize how much gas you use this time of year. You will be driving to and from fields multiple times a day — delivering meals, delivering parts, moving equipment from field to field.

6. Vacations are no longer possible… unless it rains… Then maybe you will get to take a day trip with the kids, if there are no needed repairs on equipment.

7. All your children will have farmer tans, and will fight over who gets to ride with daddy.

8. Lots of ham sandwiches…….lots of ham sandwiches! Did I say…lots of ham sandwiches?

9. It’s that time of year when you start on your “hobbies” again. (gardening, quilting, canning, drawing, etc.)

10. You will stay up till 1 am cleaning the house, on more than one occasion, because you cant sleep if the farmer isn’t home.

11. You will be called at random times of the day for a forecast or wind speed or to describe what the radar looks like.   Be prepared to tell the farmer exactly when the rain will start.

12. Have a baby sling (for the nursing baby) and a nana handy (to watch the other young ins) when you have to put on the old jeans and drive a tractor to help out.

13. Your kids will bring home random stuff the Case or John Deere parts men gave them when they went in with their daddy. (once a sausage and biscuit)

14. Buying the farmer a new “pocket calculator” because he wore all the numbers off last year.

15. and last but not least…sleeping late when it rains :)

iphone pics2 088

All jokes aside, there is nothing we had rather be doing!  We feel incredibly blessed to be able to work hard and to raise our children on the land that generations before us have cultivated.  We wouldn’t want to do anything else and we are very grateful that this was part of God’s plan for our family.

 

May Flexi-of the-Month and SALE!!!

Beginning May 1st at 12 am this lovely flexi is available for a limited time!  FAITH, HOPE, LOVE with a removable (if you wish) Mom charm.  This would be a lovely gift for Mothers Day!  Remember you don’t have to have long hair to love Lilla Rose!  They offer badge, clips, beaded headbands, and pins.  You can also use a flexi to secure your favorite scarf.

 

may mom flexi

 

With the stamped lettering, this months Flexi-of-the-month, is going to go quickly!  And as an added benefit this month if you order early you can reap the benefits of this…

2 DAY SALE & Free Shipping on orders over $40

For Customers & Guests Only

10% Off Everything!
20% Off Retiring Styles (over 30 items!)
Free Shipping on Orders over $40

Starting 12AM May 1st

As always…

Remember to check out Lilla Rose styling and sizing video’s before ordering!

To order yours today…click here.

Family Garden

iphone pics2 093

Pardon me while I share pictures of seeds busting out of the ground.  We just love spring!  And the Farmers Wife just loves gardening!!!  We are so excited the last few weeks have been warm.  School is winding down and much of the days have been spent outside.  We have 8 mouths to feed now, so our garden grew considerably this year.  We have 1/4 acre patch in our backyard and aprox. and acre of sweet corn.

iphone pics2 094

I just love to see little sprouts popping out of the ground!

  iphone pics2 095   iphone pics2 096

Just look how strong they are!!!

iphone pics2 097   iphone pics2 098

First tomato!!!!  Get the salt shaker ready!  We have 36 tomato plants, but we are planning for a lot of salsa and spaghetti sauce.  I hope we will have enough! :)

iphone pics2 099

The Littlest Gardeners.  They like to help with their machinery.

iphone pics2 100   iphone pics2 101   iphone pics2 102   iphone pics2 103

Pretty little cucumbers…we LOVE pickles around here!

  iphone pics2 104

Last but not least, STRAWBERRIES.  We need a much larger patch!  I had hopes of canning jams and jellies, but they are eaten just as soon as they turn red.  The kids have a race every day to search for ripe berries. iphone pics2 105

Junior, the guardian of the strawberries.  He insures no mice in our strawberry patch!

Until next time, HAPPY GARDENING!

 

Starting Seeds

IMG_3150

Spring is here, but someone forgot to tell the weather man!!! We have been enjoying all this snow, but its time to get serious here!  Our family loves to garden, and love even more the bounty we enjoy all winter from the pantry and freezer.  This year we started seeds again.  So far it is turning out better than previous years.  We might just have something to plant, if they hurry up and start growing.  The kids picked out which seeds they wanted to plant and planted them.  I think they are going to make pretty good farmers! :)

IMG_3198

Hopefully the weather will warm up soon and these little beauties can be put outside during the day!

IMG_3197

I’m ready to have my counter space back again!

April 2014 Flexi-Of-The-Month

20140331_01

Aqua Burst the April Flexi is here!  If you have never tried flexi-clips or beaded head bands…this is the month to try!  They are also offering matching You Pins this month! As always the flexi of the month is produced in a limited supply and is sold at a first come first served basis.  Its not unusual for them to sell out in all sizes in just a week.

Remember to check out Lilla Rose styling and sizing video’s before ordering!

To order yours today…click here.

 

Pure Religion – The Lloyd Family Adoption Journey

1511376_10153957520750548_1973778527_n

 

This post is dear to my heart.  I have personally been praying for this sweet family for quite a while.  I know I am in good company, because I know there are many others lifting the Lloyd family and little Samuel up in their prayers.

This is from a post on April’s page…

I was asked today why we were adopting and why Africa. Honestly I love that question. It allows me to brag on God! I am not perfect or anyone to follow I am not posting this because I think I am good. But to tell a little of our story and answer why to anyone who we call a friend. My quitting work full time was a huge leap of faith and a test that we passed. One month and one day later God changed our lives again. That day we did a newborn session and I pulled out a scarf I had brought back from Africa. I told the mom that it was special because it was from Africa. Little did I know she too had been on a mission trip a few years ago. As she spoke I kept hearing God say the time is now. I actually had to sit twice and try and compose myself. After the session I had to hurry home to pick up our kids from school. Jason stayed behind to shoot a Senior session. During that 45 min drive I argued all of the logical reasons why we can’t do this with God. Then as I arrived to Dyersburg I heard him very clearly say you have a baby in Africa. You are the mother. You can waste time and tell me why you can’t do this but I am telling you, you have a baby in Africa. The longer it takes you to realize that is the longer he goes with out his mother!
So I pulled over and cried and apologized to God! Little did I know at the same time Jason was also having his own God moment. I thought I would surprise him but he already knew! So that’s it. We are following God every step of the way no matter how crazy or illogical and we could not be happier. One day soon hopefully we will have an update that we can post but for now it looks like we will be home with our baby in 10 months to a Year.
Thanks for reading and please keep our complete family in your prayers!

God spoke to their hearts almost a year and a half ago, and they are still waiting. Following God is not always easy, but the Lloyds have decided to do just that. No matter how difficult or expensive, they are on the journey to their son. #waitingforu

Take a moment and watch their Journey… (Warning, have tissues ready!)   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=san3BvMudJs&feature=youtu.be

 

The Lloyd Family Adoption Journey Timeline

Nov 12 2012 Heard separately, but at the same time that they had a baby in Africa …
(don’t you just love when God does that)
Nov 14 2012 Signed with an agency
Nov 28 1012 Announced to family and Facebook that we were adopting
Dec 27, 2012 Homestudy done
April 2, 2013 All documentation complete and approved. Officially waiting for a referral
April 10, 2013 Samuel was born
May 20, 2013 We got THE call. We have a SON!!
Aug 27, 2013 Passes court and CONA!! Samuel is now a Lloyd!! Told Gavin and Addie
you have a brother. Announced to youth group, we have a son, and told family and
friends!!
Sept. 27, 2013 Our adoptive country stopped issuing exit letters, for up to 12 months :(
Oct 10, 2013 I-600 Approved!!
Oct 17, 2013 Embassy received I-600 and Visa investigation started.

Currently they are waiting on the visa investigation to be completed. This can take from 3-6 months. They are at month 4. Since passing I-600 Samuel has been in foster care.
It is expected that both parents will have to travel to pick Samuel up and are expecting a 3 week stay. Currently they have not received any grants, in spite of applying for many. At this time they  have paid all agency and lawyer fees. However they still have monthly foster care fees, travel cost, and re-adoption fees to pay as those arise.

1384365_607825109259046_2144913447_n

What you can do…

Pray for the Lloyd Family and little Samuel as they go through this adoption season.

Sign the Petition to Congress to help resolve pending adoptions to the Congo…  www.petition2congress.com/14960/please-help-resolve-pending-adoptions-from-democratic-republic-co/?m=5272303

If you feel lead to help in a financial way please donate using the go fund me link… www.gofundme.com/lloydsadoptionafrica

Pray for all the orphanages around the world, Pray for the children who are hurting, and families who are waiting to selflessly receive them into their home. Pray that these children will come to know the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and that they can be used as an instrument to further the gospel to the United States and even to their native lands.

May God give us an open mind and open hearts…may we desire and seek a pure religion.

James 1:27
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

 

Marriage Retreat 2014

IMG_3154

March 16th marked our 12th Anniversary!  Lee is a great photographer, don’t you think?  We haven’t always “gotten away” for our Anniversary, but we have for the last few years and it has been a great investment in our family.  Last year we enjoyed Fort Rock so much, we decided to go back.  This year we were joined by our friends the Mashburns.

 

IMG_3169

Fort Rock is an awesome Christian camp!  We can’t say enough about the awesome time we always have there.  We went last year for Family Camp and had a blast then too.  This year we enjoyed sermons from S. M. Davis.  We always enjoy his messages and we came back home with many more dvd’s to watch.  You can check him out at Solve Family Problems’ website www.solvefamilyproblems.org .  On the first night he preached “12 Reasons Why I Am For The Permanence of Marriage”.  It was very good!  Its so sad how so many in our culture today start out their marriage with the thoughts that they are going to “try it out” and when they encounter their first problem they are already gone.  Another great sermon was “Are You a Giver or a Taker”.  It was really eye opening and caused me to evaluate everything I do!  I have always considered myself a giver, but I thought of many more ways I can be a giver, and ways that I can take less.  He also preached on the demonic nature of anger.  When you think of how yelling and anger destroys our families and children, and gives place to the devil, it is much easier to keep your cool!  It is much easier to raise children with tenderness and compassion than it is to repair broken adults.

IMG_3168

His last sermon was about the two paths a person takes when they go through a trial.  He called them the garbage trail and the golden trail.  God allows and sends trials in a Christians life to refine us like gold.  It is up to us to choose the right path.  So many will take the garbage trail and pick up garbage along the way.  They will pick up a why me attitude, anger, doubt, fear, jealousy and come out defeated carrying all their burdens with them on the other side.  Then God looks down and sees that they have learned nothing and sends another test to see if they can get it right.  Most people will habitually take the garbage trail.  Most will try to walk through life alone and never will experience the blessings that are found on the golden trail.  On the golden trail you pick up things as well like…patience, peace, compassion, understanding, love and joy.  When you take this trail through your trial you learn and grow in the Lord and come out a better person, ready and able to help others when they go through a similar place.  Let us pray now that when the next trial approaches we will choose the right path!  Let us pray that people will remember us for our smile not our frown!  Let us be a giver instead of a taker!

IMG_3158

We enjoyed the trail ride!  It brought back memories of our honeymoon in the Smokey’s 12 years ago!

IMG_3171

IMG_3159

IMG_3173

Baby Stella enjoyed “hanging” out with her Mom and Dad

IMG_3174

Target shooting with friends

IMG_3178

Jake and Jess were kind to babysit Stella while we were shooting

 

IMG_3181

 

IMG_3182

What’s a few tomahawks between friends?

Tomahawk throwing is much harder than it looks!  It is a lot of fun though! I actually got 2 out of 6 this time! Last year I scored a 0.

IMG_3183

IMG_3189

Bow and Arrow fun!  Between our shooting, tomahawks and bows, Don said he knows why the Indians lost!

IMG_3190

Saturday evening we were  also joined by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.  They are great speakers and are very encouraging.  Michelle is such a kind hearted lady and has a special heart for young mothers.  It was sweet to watch her taking time with so many women at the retreat, encouraging, offering wisdom from God’s word and praying with them.  She is very petite and has a sweet voice like a whisper, but man can she WHISTLE!  I guess you would need that with 19 children!

IMG_3191

The view from our door

IMG_3193

Well that’s it!  We missed our babies and were ready to come home, but it was an awesome time of much needed fellowship and re-commitment!  We look forward to Marriage Retreat 2015!

Stella’s One Week Pictures

IMG_2357

Its hard to believe how fast our little “Stella Bella” has grown!  She is now 7 weeks old!  These pictures are a flashback when she was only a week old.  I still feel like she is tiny, but I forgot just how small she was until I was looking through pictures.  She is the best baby!  Every one asks “So this is the Last one right?”  I always say that Stella has been the easiest baby yet, so why stop now!

IMG_2365

At one week old she only nursed 2 times in the night.  Every one always comments on how alert she is.  She always seems to have her eyes open for pictures and she loves to stare and smile at her brothers and sisters.  Apparently the “new” has already worn off of Stella, because her brothers and sisters are already talking about the “next” baby!

 

IMG_2356

 

Verse of the Day
“I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;” — 1 Corinthians 1:4-5 Listen to chapter Public Domain. Powered by BibleGateway.com.
Homemade by TFW
 photo 8867882e-7bdb-4d88-870f-1a06185750e5_zpsc739a08a.jpg
Beautiful Hair Jewelry!
BWS tips button
Young Living
 photo 9c921f8e-cfe7-450d-b893-18d2ae64e656_zps36208518.jpg
Search our Site!
BWS tips button
Dress A Girl Around The World