Saturday, July 30, 2011
Have you ever read any Amelia Bedelia books before? She is pretty funny! It has been a busy week and as I was browsing another blog while I unwound, it hit me. I need to read a sister a book. Does the sister want me to read a book? Of course! But I actually was the one that had the urge to want to read a book to a couple cute little kids.
I asked them if they wanted me to read a book before bed. I took them off guard. I got a funny look and then a "Sure!" I grabbed one of my own favorite "childhood" books and we headed to a bedroom. We all plopped on top of the bed and they huddled around to see the pictures while I read. As always, it was a good story. We laughed and chuckled at how silly Amelia Bedelia is and we had a good time together.
Like I said before, I'm sure the little siblings loved being read to - I could tell they were loving being read to - but I think it was actually more for me than them! It was a great way to relax and click back into "normal" after a packed week. Indeed, it was good therapy for a tired body to read a funny book with a bunch of sweet little kids huddled around together - enthralled by a good book.
So the challenge? Easy. Volunteer to read a book or two to some little ones in your life. Not only will it encourage them, but it will also strengthen you.
Monday, July 25, 2011
I'd like to share a verse with you all today.
"(12) Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. (13) But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." ~ Hebrews 3:12-13
It hit me that it really shows the urgency of how important it is to encourage eachother. And "Day after day" - that's ALOT of encouraging!
So my challenge to you is to encourage others - daily. Encourage them in ways that will keep them from being deceived and hardened by sin. Encourage everyone around you. Encourage us all, and may we all encourage you. Don't let us down - it's urgent! For truly, our eternal lives may depend on it.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I've seen a link to this movie on a few other blogs, and feel I should pass it along too. It really is a very interesting video. Personally, this video is coming at a time in my life where I am thinking through what a church really is supposed to do, and what God wants in a church body. There are so many churches nowadays that so many people can easily label "dead", "stagnant", "boring", "empty" - the list goes on. So many people are being hurt by churches. And the more involved a person becomes, the more risk there seems to be of getting hurt. You choose to either stand for what's right and get hurt, or conform to un-Biblical beliefs and become an empty Christian.
Take a look at this video - it's only free to watch through September I think.. When you're done, research the matter further. And then research it some more. It really deserves our attention.
Got some link-ups for ya! Sorry the top one doesn't have a picture :) But don't look over it!
Monday, July 18, 2011
Snap peas!!!! I don't know about you, but I love these little guys! I can eat and eat and eat - standing out in the garden. But, there eventually comes a day when the pea pods get leathery, and the taste changes from sweet to bitter. And then you know....the season is over. And THAT is a sad day indeed.
But, for those of you who grow snap peas in your garden, I've got some thrifty news for you! It is SO easy to save your own seeds for next year's garden. So wait! Don't tear out the plants yet! If you're at all like me, you usually miss that last day to pick before the snap pea pods get all leathery and strong-tasting, so you've got a trellis full of "wasted" peas. But really, they are not wasted at all....
1. Let the peas sit on the vine until the vine shrivels up and turns black. (The pea plants in my pictures aren't even near done. They will shrivel up, turn black, and be hard and crispy!)
2. Pick off the pods on a day that they are dry and brittle (e.g. not after it just rained).
3. Tear open the pods and pull out the round seeds.
4. Be sure the seeds are completely dry before storing for next year's garden!
Now isn't that super easy? Just let them sit on the vine 'till they're dry, then pull out the seeds. Done! I saved so many seeds that way last year that I filled a sandwich bag 3/4 full of 'em. You should seriously do it. It's super easy and you can even put them in cute bags and give them away as gifts next year. Have fun with it!
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Usually when our family goes to get hay for the animals, our dad is the one who heads up the expedition :D But this time, after a series of events, one of my sisters and I ended up being the two that headed out to get the hay. We came out to the farm at baling time and were planning to grab some hay straight from the field. I parked by the side of the road, but then realized that wasn't such a good idea (it's a long walk when you're carying bales of hay!). Now I must say that I am not too good at backing up a trailer, but I accidentally drove past the field entrance. Oh shoot.... The wife of the man who was baling hay was there and when she found out I wasn't so sure about backing up, she volunteered her son's service (he was perhaps in his mid-20s?). He gladly backed it up and even pulled the truck into the field. Then he said, "Do you want me to help you guys load it up?" I responded..."Sure, if you don't mind and you don't have anything else you need to do." He said he would stay. So I drove (how did I get the easy job? Ha ha!) and my sister and the man tossed in the bales of hay. They must have been sweating hard because those were dense bales (heavy!) and I was sweating just sittin' in the truck! We drove around the field and the man who was baling helped us a bit at the end after he finished up. The two helped us strap down the hay and then both of the men gave sweaty grins as my sister and I heartily thanked them and drove off.
At some point during our hay-gathering, it struck me: those men love being men. They new how to work hard and weren't afraid of a little sweat. The son just came on over and helped us ladies load all that hay. For nothing. No reimbursement besides a big thank-you. But I think perhaps he got a bigger reimbursement than that. He got to feel like a man. Work like a man. And be strong like a man. There were ladies trying to do some hard work, and the guy wanted to help them. Give 'em some muscle. Help out the ladies.
When times come when men want to use more muscle than me and help out, I usually oblige them. A man has to feel like a man. The more you learn and the more you study, the more you'll see that not only do women often like a man to come "save" her from a hard situation, but men love to save the ladies. Not in a weird way, but in a manly, protecting way to any lady that may come his way.
So, my desire for you today is to just let a man be a man! Let him have opportunity to help a damsel in distress and you too might get a hard-working man with a sweaty grin to come to your aid! Though note that I am not saying to flirt with them any more than a man holding the door for a lady does. As a man holds the door for strangers, so you can let a man help you out that you don't know. (Of course men who know you can help you out too).
One final note. Don't be wimpy. Don't be weak and overly needy. Men do not like that. As with anything, either extreme can be over-the-top. If you pretend to be overly weak and needy, he'll run the other way. He doesn't want to get stuck with trying to help a lady who can't, and won't, do a squat. They want to HELP us and show us how they can do a manly job of it.
Let the men be men. It comes from deep in their soul. Ask them once. Ask a real man once. They'll tell you it's so.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Today I was out running some errands, one of which included a stop at a relative's house. As I set out on the next part of the trip I was given an apple for snacking on while I was out doing the rest of the errands.
Well, the day came and went and the apple still set next to me. When I got home I was greeted by my little brother. He came up to me and said, "What you got?"
I hadn't purchased anything to bring home during the errands so I looked by the seat next to me for something to hand him. I spotted the apple. I held it up in front of him and exclaimed, "I got an apple!" His face lit up, "You got apple for me?!?!" ...Ha ha ha! Well that wasn't the original intent, but I quickly changed the ownership of the apple in my mind, "Yup, I got it for you." He took it from my hands, face glowing, and headed for the kitchen exclaiming, "I gonna eat it right now!"...He does something to the apple, then says, "I picked off stem!" (ha ha!)
He continued in his joy by showing others..."She got me an apple! She got me an apple!"
Ah the joys of a young child! We have a bag of apples in the fridge, yet when I got the apple "just for him", it was like I gave him a giant chocolate bar with a stuffed panda to go with it! It made me realize that a gift doesn't have to be expensive, nor does it need to be candy, to make a little one's day brighter. In fact, the more I think of it, the more I realize that goes for older people too.
Your next challenge? Make something in life special for the little ones in your life. Go for a bike ride "just for them", make a funny-shaped biscuit "just for them", have him invite the other kids to play "his" game that he picked, or hey give them their own apple "just for them". Be creative.
This post is linked to a blog-hop of a great blog:
Thursday, July 7, 2011
A few weeks back I had searched for a spice cookie recipe and couldn't seem to find one I was satisfied with. So, that said, this is a mixture of a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, from this recipe and that recipe. I love doing that :D I made them again the other day and now I have decided to share them with you all, my fellow homemakers-to-be! Enjoy!
Chewy Spice Cookies
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs (or 3 smaller eggs!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup oats
1. Cream together the first 5 ingredients.
2. Mix everything else into the flour except the oats.
3. Stir together the creamed and dry mixtures.
4. Stir in the oats.
5. Bake at 375* for 8-12 minutes.
The base recipe I used is actually a refrigerator cookie (though you can use any cookie recipe as a refrigerator cookie). Do you know what a refrigerator cookie is? It means you can put the cookies in the fridge to cool, overnight, or for a few days, before you back them. I like these cookies with the dough in the fridge for a day best, but they are good any way they are baked!
P.S. I love desserts, I must say. Though I don't like super sweet ones, I like a relatively low-sugar dessert. Perhaps it is one of my weaknesses. But even though I am putting up a cookie recipe, it doesn't mean I am trying to get you to eat more junk food. If you usually don't eat sweets, don't try this recipe - I'm not asking you to eat more junk food! If you usually make your own, use this recipe. If you usually buy pre-packaged cookies (YUCK!!!!) then PLEASE use this recipe.You'll be glad you did. Less sugar, less junk, less money. Win, win, win :D
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I have never been one to dream of an office job, or owning a big business. I was always happy with babysitting or weeding someone's garden. Something that comes straight from me to the person I see and socialize with face-to-face. Well maybe you don't fit into this category, but if you plan to be a stay-at-home mom, you may end up becoming a little entrepreneur. I don't know alot of homemakers personally, but the world of blogging has opened me up to new people and quite a few of them are entrepreneurs in one way or another.
I'm not saying that you have to have a job when you have a family, I'm sure it's not for everyone, but what this post is really about is how to help you make a little money while you are waiting for that prince charming to come. Over the past year especially I realized that there are more small job options than just babysitting and selling lemonade, so I would like to share some of them with you.
I will share these few verses which are well-known among fellow women, both young and old.
I will share these few verses which are well-known among fellow women, both young and old.
"She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight. She is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar. She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She senses that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out at night."
~ Proverbs 31:13-18
1. Babysitting. Let's just get this one out of the way right off. We all know what this is ;-)
2. Nannying or Daycare. Let's also get this one out of the way. Although you might say "that's the same as the first one", they're not. They're both a step further. Both of these you generally make a little more money. Daycare can be done in the comfort of your own home. Nannying can provide you with a casual job, plus a place to stay and meals payed. There are so many options for nannying, and not all positions are looking for a certified nanny. Take a look and see what you can find in your area.
3. Farmers Market. This is a new-found fun thing our family has found. Prices per spot vary alot from town to town, but you can sell all sorts of things here. You can sell produce from your garden, eggs, home-made baked goods, jewelry, stuffed animals, dog/cat toys, dog/cat/horse treats, composting worms (they are easy to raise once you know what you're doing), bags of finished compost, quilts, pillows, salves, lip balms, soaps, skirts, leather-craft, pottery, doll clothes, baby clothes, instrument straps, hand-made instruments, wood-craft, painted welcome signs, lemonade, artistic hand-drawn pictures, hand-made cards, fresh cheeses, advertise services, etc, etc, etc!! The list goes on! Anything that is home-made or grew in the garden, you can sell (though some restrictions apply depending on the market).
|Plants for sale at a local farmer's market.|
4. House-sitting. Being a young adult "without responsibility" and a regular job, I have been asked a couple times now to house-sit for friends. In my experience it's pretty easy.: feed their animals, watch their tv, sleep in their beds, watch their tv, use their computers. In fact, it's a great time to bring something else along that you can get done. Then at the end of the week you'll get a nice sum of money. I would suggest only providing this service to people you know though so you know it's a safe environment.
5. Pet-sitting. This you can advertise at whatever distance you are willing to travel and whatever distance the owners are willing to pay. You may find people here and there who do dog and cat sitting, but try to broaden your scopes and do livestock too. Your customers will be so happy to find someone who can handle feeding 20 head of cattle (or the like) and you will also get a bit more money at the end than if it was just 2 dogs and 1 cat.
6. Music lessons. This takes a bit more experience, but if you know the technicalities of and are able to sing or play an instrument well, you can try this out. If you sing or play you have probably taken lessons and seen the prices. Put up signs in local buildings giving contact info, ages and gender(s) you teach, price, and level you teach. You can also give group discounts or discounts for kids.
7. New-mom nanny. I'm not sure what to call this but I've always sort of thought this would be neat. I've heard that the Amish do it. What you do is watch the kids and do the house-work for a lady for a week (or however long they want) after a lady has had a baby. It's sort of like a Beulah (sp?), but you don't stay there during the night and you are just doing the nitty-gritty work - not teaching the new mamma.
8. Teach classes. This can go beyond music lessons and you don't always have to be "certified" or have a degree in what you are teaching. Check out your local school's community paper, your church, or the place homeschoolers in your area meets. If they don't already have options open for people to teach classes there while making some money, you can suggest it. A school in our area connects people so I, for instance, could teach a class on baking cookies. The school sends out a book with all the options for the season. People teach tons of interesting things through here. Like how to use certain computer programs (you name it, you can teach it), caring for animals, canning, baking, cake decorating, sewing, knitting, backpacking, starting your own business, making your house all solar, collecting rainwater, painting, drawing, wild-edible plant gathering, writing good essays, etc, etc, etc. Pretty much anything you know enough about, you can teach.
9. Blogging. I never really knew much about this before I started browsing blogs, but I'm seeing things about it. I'm no expert, and haven't taken the plunge with my own young blog myself, but I know there are plenty of ladies out there who make money via great advertisers on their blog. I have heard alot of good things about Mrs. Fuentes, a blog advertising consultant. I'm not affiliated with her in any way (currently anyway), but you should check her out.
10. Sell on Etsy. Use this site to promote and sell your hand-crafted products to people far and wide. I won't go into detail since many people know about this website, but this can be a great way to get your products distributed nationally. It can also help your business to grow.
11. Your choice! This is for you to be creative and fill in. What do you think is a good thing to add to this list? Help us out. Give me and the readers another idea.
Remember, no matter what you do, whether a job or anything else, do it well. More than one wise person has told me this and it is true. The customers are 10x more thankful they hired you at the end, and you feel great about the job you did - plus you get to be a little extra blessing to someone.
"The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, for his hands refuse to work; all day long he is craving, while the righteous gives and does not hold back."
~ Proverbs 21:25-26
This verse reminds me that, although these ideas are for making some money, don't hold back when you have the chance to give. Just because you CAN get money for it, doesn't mean you have to. Give someone a free tomato plant, two free hours of babysitting, a free class or lesson. Show people God's love. Give and don't hold back.
Linked up with:
Linked up with:
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
Well, in my opinion, if you're going to eat "junk food" it better be quality junk food! I wouldn't call this the healthiest option, but definitely way better than that nasty box stuff! Besides, I love to cook. I also want to have a good understanding of cooking and making food BEFORE I suddenly find myself married and with kids! Here is our family's favorite chocolate pudding recipe. It is so easy - try it!
4 Tblsp corn starch
4 Tblsp cocoa
3/4 cup sugar
1 qt milk
2 Tblsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
Mix together first 4 ingredients. Keep at medium heat, stirring constantly until pudding thickens. Stir in butter and vanilla. Enjoy! Serve warm (a bit soupy), chilled (firmer), or if you have extra pour it in your popsicle makers for some "fudgesicles" on a hot summer day!
Note: for those of you like to "eye it" rather than measure, I'd suggest measuring the corn starch. I like to eye things alot too, but sometimes the pudding turns out weird if it doesn't get that "perfect" amount.
No copyright intended by using pictures of food products. Please let me know if I am disobeying a blog rule by posting these and I will take the picture off. If I am it's not on purpose! Thank you!