Posts from the ‘Misc. Me’ Category

To Moms Everywhere

Good Morning and Happy Monday!

I can’t believe I am typing this – we are still not feeling well.  When will this ever end?  Here are our symptoms:  runny eyes and especially nose.  And I mean runny, as in where does it all come from?  At first it was clear, like water, and now it is like paste.  As of this morning, I feel like my nose can’t decide on which version it will run.  Everyday we are waking up with crusty noses and eyes.  We have to use warm wash cloths just so we can see and get a breath of morning air.  Fevers come and go, no apparent pattern here.  So odd.  There is one certainty … though we still have sore throats, they are not on fire anymore.  We can swallow.  I also have a voice again, you can barely hear the strain in it.  Now it’s the coughing; our chests are so unbelievably tight.  The simple act of breathing feels like needle pricks all day long in the chest area; and if you’re unlucky enough to sneeze – let’s just say if you feel a sneeze coming on you immediately brace yourself for the sharpest stabbing pains you’ve ever felt in your chest and you also grab tissues to prepare for gunk to go everywhere.  *sigh*  Coughing, it is at times productive, but mostly just tight, hurts, and a fit seems like it can last for minutes.  I noticed over the weekend how wheezy I sound while breathing, that is when I can breath.  BirderB and Giddyup-G sound the same.  I have paid close attention to B as she is slightly asthmatic.  Though I will say I do believe I am getting better, and that is just a feeling, this is getting old and frustrating.  This ‘bug’ that I am sure is the flu is interrupting my life plans! Then I read about the mystery respiratory virus last evening on The Drudge Report.  It is hitting the Midwest, and Ohio is one of the 10 states mentioned.  Hmm, what could this be I wonder as I open the link.  Oh gracious, sounds a lot like what we have.  Further more, this virus is sending many kids to the ER, especially ones who have asthma.  So far it’s being labeled Human Entrovirus 68.  Alrighty  then.  I am not saying this is what we have, but I am saying we have all the symptoms and it’s been two weeks of this yuck.  FarmerM was not happy with me recently as I changed the sheets on beds, had out the disinfectants wiping down door handles – faucet handles – anything that we have all touched, and I tried to keep stray tissues picked up that don’t always make it into the waste basket.  I’d do all of this in between hours-long stretches of sleep.  FarmerM felt I should have been resting continually – period.  I have been diligent about hand washing too, not just for myself but with the girls as well.  I desperately want us to feel better more than anything and I’d like for life to be back to normal.  If you would like to read more about this virus on ABC, you can do so here.

Though I have cleaned some as I mentioned above, we really haven’t done much around here.  We’re starting to slip a little in our studies, we have been eating cold cereal or oatmeal, and Raman Noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  FarmerM has been playing the roles of businessman breadwinner, nurse, mama, and farmer.  Thank you, Lord, that his back is starting to get better.  We don’t watch television here, but we occasionally watch movies, and that is the highlight of our weekend.

 

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On Friday we watched God’s Not Dead.  This is a movie that came out this past spring and we have been wanting to see it for a long while.  We’d heard excellent reviews of this movie and were excited to finally enjoy it.  I highly encourage families to sit down and watch this together if you haven’t already done so.  I loved the challenge I got from this movie … How Far Would You Go to Defend Your Faith in God?  I feel I go pretty far already, but this movie helped me see where I could do more.  This movie also affirmed my stance that you MUST be in your Bible daily.  God promises us if we seek Him, He will meet us.  If you aren’t seeking Him daily, I would like to ask you why not?  Do you have any friends?  If you never reached out to them with a phone call, face to face meeting, etc., wouldn’t that friendship fall by the wayside?  It wouldn’t be a friendship then.  There isn’t an opportunity to get to know the person, know their heart’s desires.  Not being in your Bible has the same effect with your Creator.  Not being in prayer also has the same effect with Him.  If you feel life is too busy to personally seek Him, or if you put that responsibility on your Pastor alone every Sunday and do nothing Monday through Saturday except maybe meeting with a group to discuss a set-upon Bible topic, then I hope to gently point out to you this is sin, the kind that is keeping you from having a true, personal relationship with Him.  Please don’t let my words fall upon stubborn deaf ears, please take that step toward Him.  He is waiting to have precious time with you daily.  He craves that.  And whether you know this or not, you are designed by Him to crave and need that as well.  None of this is a topic per se in the movie, but this is a conviction I constantly have upon my heart and on my lips to share with others.  A side benefit to being in your Bible also helps you to always be prepared with an answer (as we are instructed to do in the Bible) and it also helps you to know when false scripture is being taught.  In this day and age, I can not encourage one enough to protect themselves in this manner.  There is so much twisting of God’s Holy Word happening, and this is how the enemy is getting to Christians.  Be on guard, be a watcher, be in His word.  Please.  So, God’s Not Dead (amen!!) – make it a point to have a special dinner this weekend and have this movie ready to view with your spouse and/or family.  It’s one worth watching multiple times!!  When I dropped this movie off I was talking about it to the ladies behind the counter and to my surprise a young black man standing behind me spoke up saying how amazing this movie is.  Why was I surprised?  Because this young man looked a lot like a major street thug and not at all like someone who would have seen this movie, let alone enjoy it and would recommend it.  Shame on me for judging a book by it’s cover!  He and I discussed a few scenes and he was really touched by the movie.  So was I.  And I hope you watch to find you are too.

Well, I had to be the one to drop off the movie as we were already over-due and FarmerM had to get our third cutting of hay in, and the hayfield was becoming over-due as well!  The movie was a one night rental, but we just weren’t up to watching one on Friday night.  Us girls were all moaning, coughing, and sleeping a lot still.  So we watched it Saturday and paid the $3 charge.  Since I was the one doing this deed, and praying I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew as I looked like death warmed over, I had a plan to quickly get that movie into the drop-box and run through the video store.  I had an idea to look for another movie that I had been hearing and reading a lot about lately.  I badly wanted to watch a clean, funny, family friendly movie and Mom’s Night Out was on my mind.  Guess what?  It was there!!

 

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I found this movie to be refreshing in that it is absolutely hilarious for everyone, on a scale that competes and exceeds huge Hollywood budget films!  Our whole family was laughing, that deep belly laugh, most of the time!  There is not one single bad word in this movie.  Not one single embarrassing scene to watch with your younger, preteen, or teenage child(ren).  This movie is wholesome and proves that there isn’t one thing wrong with that.  This movies does it!  It exceeds funny and quirky, has amazingly believable characters, and has an engaging storyline.  That storyline is mommy-hood.  I so identified with the theme of this movie.  And afterwards I felt a bit more thankful and appreciative for the role God has put me in.  I also saw FarmerM in the husband’s movie character and am just so grateful for FarmerM’s understanding when I have my own mommy -moments and am ‘stress paralyzed.’  If you have seen this movie, then you understand that last statement; and if you have seen the movie and watched it through the credits (it’s that good folks!  Plus, you’ll miss things if you don’t watch through them), you’ll also know where the title for this post came from!  I have asked to have this movie bought and given to me as a Mother’s Day gift next May!!  Needless to say, I highly recommend this movie too!  Why not make it a double-header next weekend?  Plan something special to eat and invite family and friends to gather round!  I hope that you do!

So, that is what we did this weekend.  We had to pause that second movie a few times because us girls were laughing so hard that we’d go into a coughing fit and not be able to breathe!  LOL!!  I hope you enjoyed my movie reviews and recommendations!

There is one other thing I did over the weekend.  In quiet moments I caught up on blogs.  I have a ‘friend’ that I made in the blogging world.  If we never meet on earth, I know we will in Heaven.  I love Monica’s heart.  I love reading about her life, family, farming, and all.  I have noticed that our minds run along the same lines at times (not sure if this is a good thing for Monica … hahaha!!) and so I wasn’t too surprised to find out that we both read a fellow blogger.  I think she is a follower on this blog and I’m a stalker (sounds about right!!).  Anyway, I say all of this because I don’t remember where I first found the blog I want to tell you about … it could have been Monica’s at My Cup Runneth Over, or perhaps through hers I found The Way Grandma Does It, or was it Strangers and Pilgrims On Earth (this is the blog I stalk; the way g’ma does it is a new blog I’m also now stalking!  I have issues apparently) … either way, I ended up at Always Learning.  Wow!!  Lori’s blog is power-packed with plain truth!  I LOVE, LOVE this blog.  I must have been reading for a half hour or more straight, one post right after another.  I commented on a few.  I have so wanted to have a mentor in my life.  This may not be exactly what I had in mind, but I think God put me in front of Lori’s words for a purpose.  The discussions FarmerM and I have had alone, as well as with the girls since has been heartening and in the right direction.  I see where I have gotten off track.  I have lost joy and sight of His path for my life.  I admit that I find Christians down right scary.  They can be the meanest bunch of hypocrites, to the point that the actual world seems safer.  Through Lori’s blog, as well as the movie God’s Not Dead, I strongly believe God has pointed out to me how I have allowed the enemy to trick me into sincerely believing the path I have been living is Godly and safe.  This path is actually a trap, and one that is NOT God’s plan.  This trap is filled with hurt received from Christians and bitterness that I have allowed to grow for a few years now.  This trap has become my own form of hypocrisy.   I have been mad.  And suspicious.  Not mad at God, not by any means.  I have been mad at and suspicious of Christians.  Um, okay.  Apparently, I don’t read my own advice.  Guess what?  That makes me a hypocrite!  Just like the ones I am mad at and suspicious of.  Then, moving to our farm has been no picnic.  There has been a lot of hard work, financial mistakes, and physical accidents.  There have been health issues.  I feel like I can’t get ahead of anything.  Life is out of control.   No wonder I haven’t liked myself and have been so unhappy for such a long time.  I want to truly find my way back to God and love people again.  As our family discussed over the weekend, we all have the option of choosing to be content as well.  We have a lot to learn about this from Paul in the Bible.  Will you please join me in prayer?  I will do my part.  I will continue to seek Him, I will be in prayer, and I will ask for help.  In the immediate future, I need to apologize to my family.   As well, I sincerely apologize to my readers here and ask for forgiveness, especially if you had this figured out way before I did and you stayed with me.  I am sorry.  I am repenting and I want to change for His honor.

Proclaiming this feels amazing!

I hope to see you on Lori’s blog.  If you want to be challenged, if you desire to live ‘iron sharpens iron’ and not simply have your ears tickled, please meet me over there.  And I do hope you take my advice on the movies, they both are really good!  Also, check out the other blogs I mentioned – they’re worthy of your time.  Most importantly though, or first and foremost I should have written, be in His Word!  🙂

In Him (truly) ~

Homesteader Sandi

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ps – wow.  I am having a hard time constructing a thought and simple sentence.  I have had to edit this post three times already.  I need to go back to bed.  😦

Discoveries …

Here are a few life discoveries I’ve recently experienced:

When the kids are sick, it does not matter what the date on the calendar says, school isn’t going to run smoothly if I push it.  There are a certain number of teaching/learning hours we are to do in order to be compliant with Ohio law.  In the last 5 years I have noticed we typically go over this amount on average by 30%!  Have I learned anything for this over-achievement?  Do I slow down?  Exactly whom am I teaching for … God and His will for our children or the liberal-bureaucrats?  Yes, like it or not this is a political issue … read here to begin educating yourself, and please become versed in what is happening with the education system of this country.

According to my actions of the last two days, I am apparently bowing down to the liberal agenda, as if they have any iota of an idea as to what is beneficial for my children!  Monday did not go so well.  My first clue should have been when Giddy-upG was being so negative about everything.  This is a go-get-’em-with-all-ya-have kind of child.  The second missed clue was when I was still doing arithmetic with her at 2:00.  This child is gifted and math is an easy subject for her.  But I missed it.  Aaaaannnd, I still didn’t get it when we were at it again (math) at 4:30, her embarrassed and me frustrated.  This scenario is so unusual for her.  It wasn’t until later when I realized her sniffles were now accompanied with a fever and pale complexion.  Unfortunately, I played the role of teacher before being a graceful mama.  I am so sorry, Lou.   It wasn’t an ideal first day.

Today has gone better, but not by much.  I have been gentler and more upbeat.  Giddy-upG did really well today, in spite of sneezing her head off and taking breaks here and there and then resting in her room for 3 hours.  BirderB however, well we had a huge blow-up.  Ugh.  The pre-teen emotions, with my guilt and focus … let’s just say that if today could have been packaged, it would have been under the ACME Co. label (hahahaha … remember Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote?!).  Everything is better now and relationships have been mended.  BirderB has since taken some ibuprofen as she has a headache and sore throat.  *sigh*  I should have known.  I feel like a terrible mom.  On a positive note, they chose to get up early and were finished with school by lunch!!  This year they are moving on, not waiting for one another in each subject as they have done in years past.  They each are able to meet with me separately and are delighted with their new schedule.  Maybe tomorrow I will be more with it and be the mama and teacher my wonderful daughters deserve!  🙂

Have you discovered that you like to eat your way through difficulties in life?  If so, is your first choice chocolate?  My answers are yes, and YES!!  I especially LOVE fudge.

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Do any of you remember a post I made about two years or so ago regarding a neighbor who popped in bringing fudge her husband had made?  Oh, it was so delicious!  It was perfect!  I am so desperate to have this fudge, that I am not above calling this family to ask if Mr. B would possibly make more for us.  The problem is though both of our families moved out of the historic neighborhood we lived in at the time.  As you know we moved to a farm in another community, and they moved to St. Lois, MO!  Since then I have tried my hand at making this delicious candy.  I like the old fashioned, grainy, almost dry fudge.  I can not stand the creamy stuff.  Yuck.  And here is where I admit to a second discovery as of late … I STINK at making fudge.  I mean, I really stink at it!  I’m not a terrible cook, or baker.  I’m not afraid to try new recipes or even make up my own.  Yet for some reason I can not get the hang of making this desirable candy.  And this year at fair I didn’t dare purchase Becky’s Fudge as we couldn’t afford it.  I am so tempted by this candy, that I didn’t even walk past the vendor selling it at fair.  I am that bad.  Well, yesterday and today have had their trials understandably.  And once again I (stubbornly) decided to try to make fudge.  What made me think I could do it this time?  A simple recipe I discovered in a Childcraft book dated from the 1930s.  Ha!  That did it!  All the recipe called for is water, suger, condensed milk, and unsweetened chocolate squares.  Sounds like it could be grainy as I love.  Out came the candy thermometer and buttered pans.  I had high hopes.  I just knew I would bless my family with fudge this evening!  Nope.  Not even sure what I did wrong this time … am wondering if I didn’t allow it to cook long enough.  I did proof it, I think.  Anyway, it is ‘setting’ up right now in the fridge.  I already know the consistency is all wrong, so if after dinner we do not have fudge, we do have a most delicious-tasting chocolate something-or-other that can be melted down and drizzled over ice-cream!  Hey, it is so HOT and HUMID here, this drizzled fudge-concoction over ice-cream just might be what is needed after all!!  A new discovery again!!

In my pursuit of mastering this, I have since googled old-fashioned fudge recipes.  I have my eye on this one from the Hillbilly Housewife.  What do you think?  I am not sure, but BirderB did laugh and call me a stubborn-ol’ mule when I told her I was going to try again!  Also, though I have not perused the website fully yet, I think I have discovered another blogger to follow!  Another new discovery!!

Life should be all about discoveries … some are delightful, and some are not.  Hopefully we are learning and growing from the not-so-delightful ones in order to still give Him all the glory.  Even if you completely fail and stink at making fudge!  🙂

In Him~

Homesteader Sandi

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The Countdown …

… to fair!  We’re not there yet, but will be in a few days.

We have been busy getting all things organized for fair!  Obviously this would include laundry, even if our washing machine has quit on us.  Yep!  Sometimes it feels like if we didn’t have bad luck, we’d have no luck!  For the first time in about 20 years I will be visiting a laundry-mat tomorrow!  Non-perishable food is bought and organized, and I’ll start precooking some meals over the next few days.  We, or I, have been busy in the barn getting all the horse tack, grooming supplies, and bedding taken care of.  This evening I am going to have the girls fill ziplock baggies with the individual horse’s required supplements and feed for 8 days, twice a day.

This year I created a calendar spread-sheet for all fair happenings that pertain to us or we have an interest in.  I remember last year running around barely making it to events on time, and letting down grandparents who wanted to know details – I have even emailed my spread sheet to them!  This spread sheet actually starts with Aug.1 and helps me keep track of what exactly we have to do and when.  For example, we had the ferrier out Friday morning, we had our club’s work-ride Friday evening (FarmerM took them so that I could grocery shop), Giddy-upG had her first big Hunter Jumper show all day Saturday while BirderB took off to Kentucky with Gpa and Gma E, we had a camper to pick up Sat. evening, today we are skipping church and finishing up and starting to load, Monday Cowgirl & Fi have to see a chiropractor (Cowgirl is so badly out of alignment, we found this out at another club’s work-rides we attend on Tuesdays.  Just a few weeks ago Cowgirl reared while BirderB was on her and she fell over backwards onto BirderB.  This could have been serious!  The other club’s advisor started working with our horse and discovered how much pain she is in and we believe this is why she has been acting out – this is not how our Cowgirl behaves.  We feel terrible that we didn’t even realize she was hurting and trying to tell us.  Tuesday we drop the camper off at the fairgrounds and are participating in the other club’s work-ride (I’m so hoping the girls will want to switch clubs next year), Wednesday evening we go in to decorate the stalls for fair, and early Thursday FarmerM is dropping us and the horses off for fair.  We have to have horses in by 10:00pm for vet check, and we’ll be there before 10:00 am!  FarmerM has a really big presentation for a private company that is 4 hours north, so he’s getting us settled and then taking off for this meeting for two days.  I also have all of the girls’ classes/projects and fun events typed out for fair.  I LOVE being this organized and I know it will help this year run more smoothly!  🙂

Speaking of stall decorating, we finished the stall boards.  These boards will be on the front of the horse’s stall while at fair (we’ll also use them for the homeschool art show).  We helped a little, but this year they really did a lot of the cutting, writing, and placements.  They turned out really nice!  Here are two pics:

This one is BirderB’s – Disney theme Pocahontas~

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This one is Giddy-upG’s – Disney theme Frozen~

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I have mentioned a camper above.  Thanks to some German-Baptist friends, we get to stay at fair in this and use their truck to pull it:

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It is kind of fun to look out and see this parked in our driveway!  This family has said FarmerM is like an adopted son to them, and we recently found out that when the dad of this family is asked how many children they have, he replies by saying four.  Three sons and one daughter.  Those who know him have raised an eyebrow and he says he has an adopted son!  LOL!  We knew they joked about this with us, but not for real and in public.  So, they have a lovely family picture of them, their children, and all the grandchildren hanging in the camper.  I have asked the wife if I may play a joke of my own.  After fair, the very next day this camper goes to one of their sons and daughter-in-law, and then four days later onto another campground where the parents, other family and German-Baptist friends are meeting up.  I plan to take a picture of FarmerM this week, cut it out and using folded over scotch tape, simply stick the cut-out of FarmerM ‘into’ the family pic!!  Mrs. W was cracking up … she can’t wait to see how long it takes R & A, as well as Mr. W to notice!  That’s my joke!  🙂

 

In addition to the crazy build-up of fair, I have also been busy in our homeschool classroom.  It is organized!  We are ready to officially start school August 25th.  I say officially as both girls are already almost half way through the 2014-2015 arithmetic curriculum, and has a great start on health too.  I have even planned out some subjects through the first week of December!  This feels nice, and the stress I at times feel in my shoulders and neck is not there.  Another stress that was taken care of was our assessment.  It went really well!  I am so thankful to Mrs. K for introducing us to Miss J!  It sure feels nice when a teacher says that she wants to come see us and go through curriculum when she and her husband begin to homeschool their young daughter!  She was impressed with the curriculum and the girls progression, and made a point of saying how well rounded our homeschool life is!

We have been to a lot of horse-shows lately.  Here are some recent pics from the last two.

Miami County Horse Advisor’s Show.  Here are quite a few (sorry) – notice the girls are now competing against each other.  This is difficult for all of us.  And during this show BirderB finally placed higher than her sister.  We had many comments (ahem, compliments) on how Giddy-upG handled it all with grace and maturity.  Giddy-upG is used to getting a lot of blue and red ribbons and on this day she and Fi were just off their mark.  We all have days like that!  Also, Giddy-upG shows in both English (her preference!  Only English for next year) and Western (check out her cute pic at the end!):

G and Fi on left, B and Cowgirl on right- one of several classes they competed in and against

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BirderB’s pattern

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Giddy-upG’s pattern

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Dayton Local Show Circuit – Trails End Equestrian.  Finally, here are pics from Giddy-upG’s first ever Hunter Jumper show.  This is her passion – jumping.  This is level-C/schooling show, not a big deal in the jumper world, but it is to us and the next step up from 4H.  This show was the first for her to reach her goal of jumping in the big-time show world!  Her horse’s grandsire is a National English Equitation Champion.  I think over the winter I need to find out if there are scholarships or donors, or something as later on we simply will not be able to afford to help her.  Next year she will join this circuit and compete and then we’re hoping to continue moving up the following years where the prizes can be cash and she’ll have to help us financially in this endeavor.  Yesterday was mostly blue and red (1st and 2nd), two whites (4th) and finally a BIG SURPRISE at the end!!

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The riders start out low on ground poles and work their way up.  Though Fi has been jumped pretty high at home, their technique isn’t quite down and so we didn’t allow them to jump their highest at this show.  I want to point out, Fi had never jumped until we bought her (she was only Western).  Giddy-upG has taught her herself, and now we have an instructor that G helps pay for with money she has earned mowing lawns over the spring and summer.

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I love this pic, FarmerM – aka ShowDad, with Giddy-upG!

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While BirderB was in KY attending a family reunion and enjoying meeting family I haven’t seen in 30+ years and exploring the Natural Bridge, she was also missing her sister win this.  In this circuit if you show in blocks (3 classes consecutive that concentrate on same technique) and place, you are in the running for Reserve or Grand-champion.  Well, Giddyup-G won …

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GRAND CHAMPION!!!!!

Today, Sunday, she is still on cloud-9 and as amazed as we are.  A big thank you and shout out to our ‘Miss Loren’ and her husband/asst. Travis – aka ShowDad #2!  LOL!  Travis was more nervous, focused, teacher, cheerleader, etc. than any of us!  He is Giddy-upG’s buddy!  Travis and Loren have their own precious daughter, Rosalie, and on Friday she was on a horse for her first time with her daddy … Rosalie is 8mos old!  Can you imagine what her daddy will be like when she is older and showing!  It will be great and I can’t wait to see it and hopefully help them at shows!

Thank you for reading all of this!

I’ll be back after fair – mid August!

In Him~

Homesteader Sandi

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The Attitude of the Heart …

(hi)

It sure has been awhile, a long while!  But I think I needed the quietness.

I have realized there is a double-edged sword in the blog world.  I love the thought of blogging to simply record memories of moments in our family’s life; to boldly say there IS a living God and to share the growth, and at times pain of my relationship with Him; to share my heart – the good & bad; and I do like posting pics here for far-away family & friends.  I really get into sharing JOY!

Yet at times it feels like such a chore to blog.  The JOY has been stolen.  There have been moments when I believe my posts are being read by both family and (supposedly) friends in a negative manner.  I have also wondered if there have been unintended negative consequences when I post about our family lifestyle … Christianity, Bible versions, homeschooling …

Being here had gotten to the point of being equated with sadness, anger, and if I’m completely honest I should include paranoia on the list! All of those emotions are ‘star qualities’ belonging to the enemy.  And I like to meet that enemy head-on.  Yet head-on battles carries a toll for sure.  I hung in for as long as I could.

As all bloggers know, the blogging world is just a small smidgen of our lives.

In my real life there is an active family.  I have two wonderful daughters whom I not only love as only a mama could, but I also really like and enjoy the company of!  I like the young women they are turning into.  I have enjoyed watching their relationship with the Saviour grow as they themselves physically grow.  I love being a mom, and I love being the best mom that I can be.  Yet, I have had many medical issues, I have posted about some of them here.  Some of these issues have resulted in my acting like a monster at times.  Things were getting really bad physically and emotionally.  And my Spiritual being was under attack too.  I did end up having surgery in January.  The procedure was longer than even the surgeon had anticipated.  Needless to say, I have since had my doctor tell me that no, I was never over-reacting to the symptoms I had and she promised me that my quality of life would dramatically improve.  Weeelllll, I didn’t ‘improve’ fast enough for my impatient taste (guess there is no cure for that – LOL), along with adjusting to new hormones and a body healing … wow.  It has been a ride.  Not always good, yet sometimes the tears have been those of happiness.  To date I find I am still struggling, just not as much and per my doctor, as well as a group, I find this is normal.  It IS getting better.  MUCH BETTER.

Homeschooling.  We are still doing it, and we are doing it year round now.  We have some big news to share:  Giddy-up G takes all the same classes as BirderB, except for arithmetic.  Basically both girls have entered Jr. High, and Giddy-up G desires to graduate with BirderB.  We could stay the course and she would be able to do this, however, we not only use the Honors grading scale, we also have the girls on tract for Honor Classes and Giddy-up G needs to catch up in arithmetic.  This is some of our reasoning to homeschool year round.  For example, this week G has four arithmetic lessons compared to B’s two.  Eventually G will be caught up with B and on track.  Why arith. for both during the summer?  I am of the thought that complete summers off  cause students to lose what they had learned.  By simply doing two math lessons a week helps keep it fresh in their minds.  This approach also allows us to skip a whole unit of math as the first unit is just reviewing the previous year.  Why waste that time?  Another fact is that in the real world dad and/or mom do not get summers off, so let’s not set this precedent for our children.  About homeschooling – it takes A LOT of planning and organization.  At least it does for me.  I am a major Type-A personality and I am sure I consume more time organizing than is needed, yet this organizing helps me to feel calm and focused.  I can then be a better teacher and mama.  I can not encourage a family enough to HS.  I KNOW all the reasons why it can be scary, but I promise there are more blessings to be had through it – God IS faithful, He will guide and support you.  It seems the longer we do it, our reasons for doing so change.  More and more we feel called by God to do this.  I do not want to ever back out of our responsibility as parents in teaching our children (look up Deuteronomy 6:6-9 & ll Timothy 3:15-17).  The more apparent government schools are in the taking over our children (have you looked into Common Core, or are you just trusting what the DOE is telling you?  What can you tell me about Common Core?  These questions I have learned to ask first as it gives me insight into how much research, if any, an individual has done.  I mean this, whether you have children, grandchildren, nieces/nephews, or none of the above but you are concerned about the direction of the USA, find out all you can about CC and fight it!  And please support those thinking of, attempting, or already homeschooling).  Schools today have the mentality that parents’ rights are checked at the door.  If this does not bother you to the point of making your blood boil, then how about this … did you think you’d ever live to see the day schools & valedictorians would be in law-suits regarding the valedictorian thanking God for His direction during the his high school years?  Remember when our country USED to have morals and Biblical values?  The more we push God out, pull away and deny Him, the more messes we seem to have to deal with in younger generations.  Look this current issue up regarding schools in California and Colorado.  Another area were we’d have conflict – we know the value and intellect of the 2nd Amendment.  As our right (and law of this country) we teach this to our daughters.  Imagine if one of our daughters talked about guns at government school – they’d not only be banned, but be forced to talk to a psychiatrist!  What if one of our daughters decided to read her Bible during free time?  She’d be in detention.  What if one or both girls studied and worked hard to become Honor Students?  They’d be penalized for making other students feel badly about themselves.  So far everything I have mentioned has to do with administration – and ALL incidents can be found as factual and current events by simply doing a search online (I read my news on Drudge Report, The Blaze, and Fox News).  Now, should I even get into the peer pressure and mob mentality faced in today’s lovely schools?  If you don’t understand what I am referencing, then you are ignorant to facts of what school has become over the last 30+ years.  Also, any government institution that can preach a theory (evolution) as proven fact (right out lying) is NOT a good thing any parent should want to expose their precious gifts (children) to.  I can not speak for every Christian School, but our experience in a local private one has taught us that a Christian School is not much different.  I know now why God tells us what He does is the verses I typed above.  EVERYTHING that God commands is for our and our family’s own good.  His way is best, it is true, it is lovely, it is pure.  Man’s way is filled with sin.  Our family chooses to follow God’s way.  The only difference I have noticed between a government school and private are the grades.  Government schools are failing our children in every way that can be possible (I’d like to point our that it isn’t all on the school for students to be successful, parents are just not doing their jobs either.  It all comes back to our society and rejection of God), and private schools get the grades (I wonder if the parents expect more when it hurts their pocket.  This may be their only investment – read involvement here, but it is something and they want a result … just my theory).  I type all this to say, we are busy learning in life as we should be!  Homeschooling rocks!  I’d love to talk with anyone about it, the success, and more importantly blessings!

We live on an actual farm now.  You know that old saying of being careful about what you pray for?  Farm life IS beautiful!  It IS freeing!  It IS a blessing!!

It also is A. LOT. of. H A R D. W O R K.   It can be completely time consuming.

Now couple this fact with us being newbies …  I can tell you this, we sure have many opportunities to learn from our many mistakes!  We are baling and selling our own hay.  Timing & weather is crucial.  This can be a source of stress as Farmer has found out.  I finally was able to put in a garden this year.  Remember last year I could not because of a serious horse accident.  Well, speaking of that accident, the injuries still control my life to a point.  There are many things I simply cannot do yet, if ever again (playing tag is one of them, but that doesn’t factor into gardening!  Or maybe it does when our dogs are in my garden and I’m trying to chase them out).  Gardening is hard work too.  I find I just do not have enough time in my days to weed diligently.  It’s not that I dislike this chore, actually I love the quietness and methodicalness (may this be a word?!!) about it.  I really just do not have enough minutes in my day to meet all my responsibilities.  Farming also equals a dirty home.  No, my home isn’t really dirty, except the garage and bank barn.  I am embarrassed beyond belief to admit that we still have not unpacked from the move.  The move is still on-going.  Grrrr…  honestly, we really are just swamped.  I wish I had 10 more of me … I digress.  Dirt … as in dust, clumps, grass, hay, etc, etc, etc. is all tracked in.  It is impossible to keep our home the way I did when we lived in town.  The girls are stepping up and helping as they basically have had no choice with some of my health issues, but there are days when I am impatient and it seems like not enough.  Some days I find I am overwhelmed and discouraged (more attacks from the enemy).  Some days I truly just want quiet and to stay in bed and hide from all the responsibilities guilty me for getting behind.  Truthfully, a farm family’s work-life is never done.  And yet, during difficult times, and there have been many over this last year, nothing beats walking out to a field, whether on foot or horse back.  If your spirit is low and your feet dragging, even walking to the chicken coop to say hello and visit with ‘the girls’ can give you a fresh outlook.  If life is really unbearable, sitting on the dock overlooking the pond and talking with God is the single best medicine.  To sweeten this experience, after you said “Amen” and have dried your last tear, walking on out to the horses to love on them is an indescribable, completely fulfilling moment.  I highly recommend this natural therapy!

I love our animals on our farm.  The circle of life has also come full circle … we have lost chickens (one hit by a car, one disappeared into thin air (predator?), and our gorgeous rooster fell over dead), birds (our cockatiel passed away in February … I thought I’d never get over that.  I can’t even bring myself to remove her pic from the blog), hamster … our animals are a joy to us during their life-time and a heart break when they pass on.  Our daughters even care for the injured wild animals they find around the farm – think birds or snakes attacked by our cats.  Yep, those two things have found their way into our classroom to be cared for until they can be released back into their natural wild-habitat or they pass on.  Even them passing on bothers me.  We’ve had a few hoof issues with horses this year and that it worrisome and time consuming too.  Can you imagine soaking a horse’s hoof for 25 minutes 3x a day?  Ugh.  🙂

This year I was able to see what was coming up in the flower beds and am happy to say that I have had opportunities to simply walk through paths of greenery, many flowering.  My mama and her husband (we’ll call him g’pa J) told us about how we can get FREE mulch from our community dump.  They put theirs’ on thick and then cover thinly with the pretty black mulch.  We can not afford to purchase the pretty black mulch, so we have gotten and spread three trailers full of the free stuff.  Being in the county you can do that!  It works really well at keeping the weeds down and moisture in!

This spring and summer sure have been a different experience from last.  Last year I was physically broken and naïve to what was to come.  This year I am still healing on many fronts, and our family is facing a financial storm.  Needless to say, changes are being made that used to cause arguments in our family.  It is a difficult time, but He is faithful if we will only confess our sins and commit to making changes.  I can say as of this post it is c.h.a.l.l.e.n.g.i.n.g.    I can also say gratifying.  We have family who graciously are helping us with a hand-up, so this storm will be ongoing, but there is a light.  I have had a lot of fun going back to a way of living that I used to do many, many, many years before meeting Farmer.  There are other things I’d like to see happen, but Farmer is leading.  He surprised me recently by doing something I have asked about many times over our years … cutting up credit cards!  I am happy that our girls know about where we are and why things are changing in our financial lifestyle.  I was heartened to hear Birder-B comment on the evils of credit cards just yesterday.  True, the card doesn’t spend itself, but it sure is tempting in a material world.  I really enjoy Dave Ramsey and some of his methods have been put into place.  Yay!!  Also, I love the challenge of getting $ from an envelope, shopping at Aldi’s (way-discount store) and seeing what I can come up with.  I caught myself reading a from scratch sourdough-starter recipe the other day and shaking my head when Chef John was throwing out cups of starter mix when feeding … why?  That is so wasteful!  The cost of food has gone up sooooo much, it’s frightening when trying to feed a family.  I’m very thankful for the food already being harvested from our little garden.  The girls are constantly snacking on sugar-peas (they eat them raw), strawberries, and little tomatoes.  We put in blueberry bushes (3) and raspberry as well (2) – those wont’ give us anything until  next year, however there are plenty of mulberry trees and other berry bushes lining our hay field.  The mulberry trees were yummy and the berry bushes are starting to yield some fruit.  If we find that we can get a gallon or so, my mom is going to come show us how to turn these berries into jelly!  I find myself thanking Him for what we are facing.  God does discipline those He loves.  And I am turning to and learning skill sets that I believe my g’parents lived by.

Now, if I could only learn to sew.  Seriously, I still haven’t.  I would love to make skirts for the girls and I.  Can ANYONE in Miami County teach me?!  🙂

I’ve done a pretty great job of catching you up on our life, but I also want to get to back to the blogging issue.  I have been hurt blogging.  I am sure I have hurt others by blogging (not intentionally).  So I have stayed quiet, seeking His will, and living this busy life.

In the craziness of our world I have found myself many times wanting to come to my blog to say ‘WHAT IN THE WORLD’ and to vent!  I have been conflicted.  I have many thoughts about our God-less society, yet I want to be careful in portraying those thoughts – it’s not that I desire to be politically correct.  No, I desire to stand by God’s truths.  I want to love the sinner, hate the sin while truthfully discussing the sin.

A recent example of this would be Burger King promoting homosexuality … this company should stick to selling burgers.  PERIOD.

The inside of the wrapper above says we are all the same inside.  That is not true.  God knows my heart is not the same as everyone else’s.  That is what the world wants us all to believe.  What we are on the inside shows up on the outside. It doesn’t matter how many businesses or how many important people  support the LBGT agenda, God NEVER will.  I will not.  But I will love those who sin against God.  As commanded.

Here are other examples:

I already touched upon Common Core and government schooling above when posting about homeschooling.

Politics … are there even more than a handful of people paying attention?  Is most of our country asleep at the wheel?  I wouldn’t even know where to start here.  How about yesterday.  Yesterday I read how blacks are now turning against Mr. Obummer … yes, because he treats illegals better than the blacks.  Not because this man is a liar.  Not because this man is bent on destroying our great nation.  Not because this man breaks the law time and time again.  Not because this man flat out refuses to follow the Constitution … and so on.  Nope.  How dare he treat illegals better.   How does one’s head not explode over something like this?  And speaking of … IRS.  Really, her emails were lost?  The hard drive gone?  Exploding head about to happen over here.  How about we stop following the law and conveniently lose our paper trail and any computers we used?  Think that would fly?  From this post alone I will now be labeled a racist terrorist.  Not even sure what that would mean but it would appear I am proving a backwards way of thinking and I am against the current administration.  What do I have left to work with here?  These people are lost.  All I have is prayer, and to love them as being created in God’s image whether they agree or not.

Churches – yes, I’m struggling here too and have wanted to post about it.  I really believe many well-intentioned churches have been deceived.  There are thousands of wolves in sheep clothing in pulpits across America.  I find angry pastors disheartening.  I find lying pastors disheartening.  I find divisive pastors disheartening.  Actually, all three of these we have experienced in one church and it is dangerous.  Disheartening is putting it kindly, calling it dangerous is putting it kindly.  There is a way to preach the truth, and to do it lovingly.  I find pastors accepting worldly traditions (best one yet, Christmas and Santa Claus) and promoting it from the pulpit is disheartening.  Haven’t we learned anything from the Old Testament, l and ll Kings?  If you are familiar with these books, you’ll know why I used them as the example.  I believe double standards in Christians is a main reason people don’t want anything to do with church today.  Many Christians may not look anything like the world, but they sure do ACT like world.  I am talking about the perfect Christians.  There is no such thing, but they haven’t realized that yet.  They are too busy being angry and judgmental.  We like churches that read the King James Bible verse by verse.  I strongly believe all the entertainment, glitzy themes and preprinted handouts are not necessary.  God’s Word is sufficient.  We do not need to add to it to fancy it up to get folks into church.  We do not need to take away from it to get folks into church.  We do not need to water and dumb it down for people to read it and get into church.  We just need to love one another and seek Him diligently.  He promises, He promises if we seek Him He will meet us.  And He does based not on our appearance, but our hearts.  Recently a Baptist church sent us some VBS info.  We typically enjoy Baptists, IFB more specifically.  But I am noticing A LOT of man-imposed rules.  What I wish that some of these churches would understand is this:  if your teen VBS makes a point of stating ‘no halter or tank tops, not shorts above the knee,’ then do not expect a teen lost in the world to come in to find the love, grace, and salvation of Jesus.  Yes, we should dress modestly.  We Christians know this (I smile though when typing as I wonder how many Christians would be willing to admit that even we can not seem to agree on what’s modest?  You’d think this is black and white, but for many it isn’t).  Now, if Christians can’t agree on modesty, how can a lost, unsaved teen get it?  Really?  Why can’t they simply be loved and welcomed?  Instead they have already been judged before they set foot on the premises.  What if those are the only types of clothes this teenager has?  Are you REALLY willing to stand before God on judgment day and say these lost young people shouldn’t come to VBS because they weren’t dressed properly?  Were they supposed to go tell their unsaved parent to go buy them proper clothing?  I am very sorry if my snarkiness is hurtful, I do not want that, but I don’t know how to get the point across that we are dealing with an unsaved world.  Thankfully Jesus met with these lost kind, and He turned them into Kings and Queens.

From the beginning of my post to here, many issues are heavy on my heart.  We are facing difficulty, an upside-down world.  Life’s pressures.  It all can quickly become too much.  If I dwell too long on these things, I find my heart rate starts to speed up abnormally.

And that is my heart issue.

During my time away, I have taken a step-back.  I have needed to breath.  I have needed to heal.  I have wondered about my blog, its purpose.  I have wondered about those who read it whether with pure intentions or not.  I have been reminded this blog is not about me.  This world is not about me.  It is about Him.  No matter who reads my blog for any reason, I must pray for all eyes coming here.  I must pray for their hearts.  I must pray for their relationship with our Saviour.  Do they know Him?  If not, am I scaring them into seeking Him, or am I loving them into seeking Him?  If they know Him, but need a recommitment, am I encouraging that or am I coming across as angry (anger is a huge sin of mine.  So is holding a grudge …) and just another reason for them to tick off one of many reasons why they stay far away from church?  I hope to never be a reason between God and another person.  I’d like to be the bridge.  I have been saying to God “here am I.”

I have been struggling, literally fighting a spiritual battle.  It is so easy for me to type my thoughts and have it appear that I believe I have it all figured out.  I do not.  I admit that.  I admit to many, many sinful faults.  I admit to being in prayer so emotionally and feeling His Spirit move me.  I also admit to running from prayer.  Through this time of quiet I have not put down my Bible.  I believe He was telling me to just be still.  So I stayed away from my blog.  Life is so busy, it was really easy to do.  I have not even been reading other blogs, no desire, but no time either.

I am prayerfully working on my heart attitude as a daughter of His, as a wife, a mama, family and a friend.  Please join me in prayer.  I am not sure if I am back or not.  I find I have enjoyed the break and we are in the middle of show season, fair is just about upon us!

‘Til next time enjoy some pics!

In Him~

Homesteader Sandi

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bHRT Help Requested

Dear Readers,

Do any of you have experience with using bHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy)?  I have a medical appointment quickly approaching and I am overwhelmed with the information, or lack thereof, for women finding themselves depending on HT, or as may be in my case HRT.  I absolutely will not do anything synthetic, and am angered at the lack of truthfulness regarding these ‘medicines’ and the connection to various cancers.  This is why I am looking into the bioidenticals … via saliva or blood testing.  There is just so much info to dig through.  I find again and again that each woman is different in chemical balance and that this also can change overtime, so the drug companies synthetics ‘one size fits all’ is another reason I shy run away from them.  If you have any experience directly or indirectly (perhaps a mother/sister/bff), please post or email me.  I sure would appreciate any guidance/input.  Thank you!

Also, TG(oodness)IF !  Have a blessed weekend blog-friends!

In Him~

Homesteader Sandi

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Home Sweet Home

Good Morning, Dear Reader(s)!

I’ve been cleaning house, problem is it hasn’t been my own.  That’s sort of true …  it has been my own house, just not my physical, built on a structure, almost 200 y/o farmhouse.  Instead I have been cleaning via organizing, deleting, adding, and updating on my blog.

You’ll notice a new country look.  Not exactly what I had in mind, but the best I could get without having to pay for it!  Also, I have made changes on my pages, one page I completely deleted.  I still need to work on our pets page, but first I want to copy that page before I completely change it.  Many of those pets have now passed on and it blesses our hearts to see their pics and dates of passing, so I need to make a copy.

I also want to update the pets page with our new pets, ‘er farm animals – yeah.  I just don’t have pics of everyone.  To date we now have 3 dogs, 4 outside cats (actually one mature cat.  One other is under a year old and two others aren’t even 6mos yet, so that makes 3 kittens), 2 horses, 11 chickens (remember from the spring the pics I posted of 12?  One was hit by a car last week … oh, that was terrible), 2 birds (one of our budgies passed on day before yesterday), one hamster, and we still have that snake!  As you can quickly calculate, humans are far outnumbered on our patch-of-dirt farm!  LOL!  Anyway, hopefully over the next few days I’ll be able to get some pics and update this last page as well.

I liked the old look of my blog, but I wanted something fresh and different.  A look that relayed more of who I feel I am.  I love being in the countryside and I liked the banner I used to have on my home page, but what I really enjoy is the country, down-home, almost primitive feel.  Think gingerbread men and gingham, crocks, bread bowls, and pie tins.  Well, I would have to take out a small mortgage to purchase anything close to what I’d like (those themes for blogs are so expensive), so I went with the barn feel, the dark wood theme, and it didn’t cost anything.

I think my new look will help with my desire to create a warm-feeling blog, with lots of information about how we live our life and how we strive to live it for Him.  I hope to convey that we aren’t perfect and to show with my typed words how we work through instances as Christians.  I especially enjoy sharing the exciting parts of our life and reliving them with friends and family here!  My blog is personal, from my heart … the good and the bad, just as is real life.  Since I very much enjoy having a record to look back on our family life, I guess I could describe my blog as a journal.

I love reading other’s blogs as well.  Some are informational, spiritual, educating, comical, and some excellent ones are as if you were simply chatting with a friend!  Most seem to be more of how I like to blog though, recording my family/life journey.

I have to admit something, I LOVE BLOG HOPPING!  I wish I were more consistent with my time in life, which would lead to consistency on my blog, and maybe then I wouldn’t be so afraid to join in on some of these hops.  I think it would be loads of fun to have a blog-hop topic everyday of the week, except Sunday of course!  Since I’m not as consistent, ahem organized, I guess I’ll take small steps.  I used to join in on the Simple Woman’s Daybook.  I loved participating in that and I especially enjoyed reading other’s answers.  I also ‘met’ some really nice women via that hop, so I think I will try that again first!  Before I do though, what do you think … is my (web) home ready for visitors? 🙂

Thank you for visiting and I’ll leave you with a view I have out of our temporary-classroom window.  I took both of these yesterday, one early morning and then early evening.  I love the views here.

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Don’t forget to vote today, have a blessed Tuesday, and In Him~

Homesteader Sandi

Inside/Outside

Dear Reader,

 This morning our family woke up to a beautiful landscape!  Here are some pics taken around our farm (I wish I knew how to post the pics I take with my amazing camera.  The pics from the camera are always too big to load onto WordPress, so you get to enjoy pics taken with my cell phone instead) ~

Outside (cold and gray, but lovely):

outside front of homeoutside side porchoutside smokehouse and trees2outside smokehouse and treesoutside treesoutside barnoutside pond2outside pond

 

Inside (warm and light/bright, and lovely too):

inside kitchen window plantinside livingroom pelletinside kitchen window coffee makerinside chix3inside chixinside chix2(The baby chicks we picked up Monday morning after the girls’ piano practice.  They were a week old then.  They are so stinkin’ cute (I am using a description my friend used when she saw the pics!  LOL)!   We should be able to relocate from our dining room … eeewwww … to the bank barn by mid-April, and be blessed with our own eggs by September/October).

 Our Creator sure is an amazing artist, you can agree from looking at the pics I have posted!  Yet His Word tells us that His best creation was us, man. 

Being the loving Creator He is, He chose to give us freedom and by doing this we humans have free will to serve Him or not, to obey Him or not.  Adam chose not to obey, and this is when sin entered into God’s perfect world.  This is also the reason why none of us are perfect and have inherited a sin nature.  This sin nature we pass onto our children.  Do not ever believe that children are born sweet and innocent and learn via the world how to become evil.  No, we learn in the Bible that we are all born with a sin nature.  Think of it this way:  a child is throwing a fit in public because said child is not getting his way.  How did this child learn to do this?  From a sibling?  Television?  The answer could be from both, but what about the only child?  The 2-year-old who does not have a sibling or does not watch tv (there are families out there who do not have one of these in their homes.  We have become one)?  This behavior is already in the child, the Bible makes this fact clear and can be found in the very first book of the Bible, Genesis.  

This sin nature inherited from Adam, if not properly addressed (read Biblically), will grow within the child and become a terrible heart issue that will lead to all kinds of messes in the future, and it is this topic the girls and I discussed in Bible today. 

Most of our problems in life come from not accepting God/Christ as our Saviour, not obeying Him, or even if you have done the first two, you can still have heart issues because of the sin nature we inherited from Adam.  Where we are in our study of Psalms says a lot about pride, being harmonious, and striving for unity.  I just thought it amazing how we were able to use the lovely or terrible weather outdoors (depends on your view) and compare it to what is happening on the inside; then apply this to human nature. 

We really dug further into how the two (what you see on the outside vs. inside) can be very different (actions speak way louder than words.  Even a child is known by his ways) or they can be harmonious, can either create conflict or there can be harmony in one’s life.  It was such an awesome discussion!   We also discussed the cure for our sin nature/heart issues – accept Christ first as your Saviour who died on the cross for you, rose again and ascended into Heaven.  Know He is returning.  And if you have feelings of guilt, isolation, loneliness, know that He is with you always, go to Him in prayer knowing He is listening and cares for you.  Confess your sins and ask forgiveness from Him (yes, even Christians must do this – I sometimes daily, and know He always forgives you), then go to anyone you may need to apologize to while still on earth.  Asking forgiveness from God is the very most important of the two, but do not forget to ask forgiveness of the person on earth you have offended.  It is just simply the correct and mature step to do.  This next step fosters the harmony and builds the unity discussed in the Bible, and this is our first taste of Heaven here.

 I truly do not understand how anyone can live a life of meaning without God as their center (doesn’t this remind you that Christ commanded us to be disciples and  to go out into the world?  Please do not be politically correct – if you truly know Christ as your Saviour, then obey Him and be prepared with an answer of what He has done for you and in your life – SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD.  DO NOT BE AFRAID OR EMBARRASSED).  Starting our day with Him by being in His word puts our day into perspective and puts us and our hearts on the correct path.  If you do not start your day this way, please reconsider, give it a try for a few weeks and let me know if you notice a difference in your life. 

In our family we live JOY = Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last!

I hope you enjoyed our pics and my words describing how He is growing us!!  Have a blessed day, and try to enjoy the weather wherever you live!

In Him~

Homesteader Sandi