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This morning I was doing some personal Bible Study and read the following scripture...


Mat 13:57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.


This made me think about being offended and what it means, how it develops and why it happens. Unless you are the Saint I Ain't, you, like me have found yourself offended at times. As a matter of fact, I'm struggling with an offense right now. Someone I love deeply and have invested a lot of my heart into gave me a 'low blow' and I'm still stinging from it a bit.


If you know much about me, you know that this led to a word study, the word Offended. :)


Here's the word in Greek σκανδαλίζω skandalizō

It occurs 30 times in the New Testament Scriptures


It means, for one thing, a stumbling block, to cause to fall away, to cause one to distrust, to have your foot entangled.


You may pick up on the fact that skandalizō sounds familiar. Think the Latin word scandalum or our English version, Scandal.


So, why were the people of Jesus' home town stumbling on the words of Jesus? What was the scandal all about? How did He offend them? Let's read the account in the book of Mark, starting with verse 1 in the NLT.


Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown.

2 The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They asked, "Where did he get all his wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?

3 He's just the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us." They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.

4 Then Jesus told them, "A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family."

5 And because of their unbelief, he couldn't do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.



One of my favorite Christmas Presents this year was bought with my Christmas money from my Grandmother and Mother. A series of videos from Franklin Springs.


Franklin Springs


I have enjoyed these videos so much that I wanted to share them with my friends and give them my recommendation. They deal with candle making, soap making, canning, gardening, cooking, herbs, etc...


I also have enjoyed visiting their web page as well. They really are a delightful family, a Mom and her three daughters living out a life that many of us dream of.


Homestead Blessings


One thing that I found particularly interesting was the Hand Milling of Soap. My husband wants to try the pickled eggs. One of my boys wants to try the 'easiest potato bed' they demonstrated. The girls really want to try the candle dipping. They've encouraged me to try again with my herb gardening next year. Really cool videos!




Funnel Vision

Nope, that's not typo, I meant what I said.... FUNNEL VISION . :)


I woke up this morning a little weary, feeling like I'd never get everything done that I needed to get done. Ya' know? <_<


Nothing was terribly wrong, I just felt like I had about 5,000 too many things to do and felt convinced that no matter how hard I tried, it just wouldn't be enough. My head was hurting, the children were wanting breakfast, my brain was frozen or muddled or overheated or something...and I just couldn't think straight. I was considering an outright pity party, wishing I could go back to bed and starting to feel very aggravated at everything and everyone around me. Being honest here. :blush:


I pulled out a box of cereal that I keep stuck away for just such mornings. The big boys passed out the bowls and poured the milk while I tried to gather myself, my thoughts and my attitude! I started piddlin' in the kitchen, organizing this and that when I decided to put some things in storage containers that needed to be done. It was that kind of mindless activity that you can do when you really don't want to do anything at all.


This is where the funnel came in. Pouring things from very large containers to smaller containers often calls for a funnel. I pulled out the appropriate one and went about my task. After a few minutes I found myself getting good and aggravated (once again). The funnel kept clogging up, for no good reason that I could tell. I was pouring granules, there was plenty of room for them to pass through and there wasn't a moisture problem. I grew quite frustrated (having already entered into this thing frustrated to begin with) and finally tossed the funnel into the sink, determined that I would just do it without it.


This was a big mistake, oh the mess and the waste of the spilled granules. I cleaned up the work area, retrieved my funnel, took and deep breath and began again. This is when I got FUNNEL VISION! B)


It seems to me that one of the sweetest parts of walking with the Lord is having Him speak to You, teach you a lesson, point out a truth...at a very common place moment, doing a very common place thing. And that is just what He did. With the FUNNEL VISION, I could now easily see the problem and the solution as well as an added bonus.


Even though the funnel was ample sized and the granules could pass through undeterred...if I poured them too fast, got in a hurry, they just bottle necked and stopped the whole progress. So, that was the problem. If I slowed down JUST a BIT, the problem was instantly solved and a good steady progress was made. So, that was the solution. And the bonus? I discovered that if I angled the funnel every so slightly so that the granules hit the side of the funnel, they went down even more smoothly and quickly. So, that was the bonus.


In the very instant that I had my FUNNEL VISION, I learned a life lesson, that helped me face my day.


There is nothing that the Lord has given me to do, assigned to me, or made me responsible for that I am not equipped (by His Grace) to do. BUT, sometimes I need to step back, take a deep breath and start again. Having done that, I need to pace myself, pay attention to the timing and rhythm of the Holy Spirit in my days and as a bonus...just like the leaning funnel...I need to be flexible, take a different position and allow the Lord to deflect some of the impact of life's downpours before I have to funnel them into my own container of a 24 hour day.


So, if you're feeling a bit overwhelmed, incapable or 'weary in well doing'...ask the Lord for a little FUNNEL VISION and you'll soon be back on track.



You hear that an awful lot when you live out in the country with a pond and creek and a few acres! :D


Like today, my middle son brought me the cutest little turtle. Yesterday my oldest son brought me a humongous wood beetle. :huh: There have been collections of army ants, crickets, grasshoppers and frogs (even tadpoles). But Monday they really lucked up and found ....






Well, we don't have a cat or a kitten and they just thought this was a DANDY addition to the menagerie. This kitten was meticulously groomed, smelled like perfume, clean and brushed. Was sure that this was someones lost pet and told the kids so. But, that was over four days ago, we've called the Animal Shelter and the local vet, left numbers and watched for posted flyers. No luck.


I haven't posted a sign anywhere because I'm not comfortable putting my # out in public (crazy folks are out there...ya' know?).


I did my best to determine boy or girl. I'm 95% sure it's a boy and now the name debate has started. :D


First, we thought of Puff, since we've been reading a lot of Dick and Jane lately. Then, I talked to my grandmother yesterday ( a real treat for me ) and she said, "If its a Tom Cat, you're suppose to call him Tom!" :rolleyes: So, one son is all for Tom as he likes Tom and Jerry cartoons. The girls are still liking Puff.


I then thought about Sylvester, but my youngest boys said they could NEVER remember a hard name like that! :lol:


Plus....I'm soooo sure that this is a boy...but what if I'm wrong, I'm not exactly a cat expert. So I was trying to think of something more gender neutral. If I thought is was a girl, I would have named it Lydia...just looks like a Lydia to me. B)


Finally the two big boys said, how about SAM, you like Sam from the Lord of the Rings, and if it happens to be a girl...that's just short for Samantha.


I think they have a point! But...I'm still thinking. (Of course an owner could show up at any point. :huh: )


Creative Camping

This weekend we set out on a new adventure, in our own backyard nevertheless! :)


A family with seven children and chickens and goats and dogs (plus a parrot) does not travel much, or at least ours doesn't. ;)


So, we decided to take advantage of a very low cost method of family vacationing and entertainment, camping. Under our particular circumstances we had to be a bit creative...therefore...CREATIVE CAMPING.


Upon considering the choice of location for this camp out, we decided there was nothing better than our own backyard. After all, there would be no noisy neighbors, we could still see about the goats and chickens and it was free (free is good). Besides, I realized, minimal packing would have to occur and this was a VERY good thing. This left more time for fun and took a load of stress off my shoulders.


The next step was the putting up of the tents. Our youngest four children had never slept in a tent before and were particularly excited.




In this picture you see the youngest five all snuggled up in their pajamas and holding bears...well except for Jeremiah who opted for the family parrot (Jonah) on his shoulder instead.


We were also celebrating Henry's (dh) birthday and he was glad for the opportunity to try his new Black Powder Gun (his birthday present). So target shooting was definitely on the agenda! Here you'll see the birthday boy and his seven kiddos, my oldest two preparing for their turn and me as well, trying out my new toy, a Mosin Nagant, made in 1939 (91/30).










Of course the guns were totally unnecessary as we had our valiant family guardian there to protect us from invaders...that's him, Aslan, passed out on the grass while the goats investigate the tents.




We also had a camp fire, which we sat around and sang Christmas Carols... :D ,hey, that's what they wanted to sing!


We made smores, chili, hotdogs, and a huge breakfast cooked over an open fire. :thumbs:


We played games around the picnic table using solar lanterns and today we're finishing up my attempting to make some moccasins (we bought a kit at Hobby Lobby. The rain has moved in and we took down the tents but continued the fun and activities inside. And that, is how you manage Creative Camping.


This morning, as I was taking an inventory of my dried beans I decided to make a Mix. We love the mixed bean soups and those bags of beans are much more expensive than individual bags. So, we looked at our assortment of beans, we had nine. I commented that this was one variety of beans per person in our family. I used one of the storage containers on wheels that I have mentioned before and we began to pour in the beans (4lbs of each variety).


  1. Black-eyed Peas
  2. Navy
  3. Lentils
  4. Green Baby Limas
  5. Small Red Beans
  6. Black Beans
  7. Pintos
  8. Green Split Peas
  9. Large Limas


Because the container is clear, it was really neat seeing the layers that the beans made. It was very attractive as each bean represented different colors, shapes and sizes. I once again commented that these beans were like us, all unique and different.


Some of the children thought we should leave them like that until I pointed out the problem. Our goal was to have a mixed bean soup and if we didn't mix them up and combine them we would never have the full flavor that they could only bring together. As a matter of fact I concluded, we wouldn't even be able to experience the bottom layers of beans for a long time to come and if we weren't going to mix them up...we should have just left them separate. Talk about a teachable moment!


Our family does not consist of all the same 'variety' of people. And yet, God Himself combined us together to create a special family that holds a unique flavor, all its own. While we are each individuals, we have been put together and made into something lovely...a family! :wub:


Significant September

For months, literally, I have been wondering what September would bring. Why September?


Well, it started about seven months ago when I was on the treadmill and reading my Bible passage for the day. I was reading about Joseph when he interpreted Pharaoh's dreams.When Josephs explained to Pharaoh that this was a time of 'plenty and prosperity' and that during those 7 years that should prepare for the 7 years to come, I just knew that I was to do the same. Not necessarily for the seven years (more like months), but for the spring and summer. I felt VERY impressed that we needed to be very diligent and productive during the Spring and Summer so we would be prepared for the Fall/Autumn and a Significant Event. Yesterday was the first day of Fall/Autumn and I took a moment to look back over our Spring and Summer, to take a good look at what we had managed to accomplish. It is a lot, a whole lot, but is it enough?


I don't know what the rest of September and the subsequent Fall/Autumn season will hold for us, but it has already been significant with the torrential raining and floods here in the Southeast. So, was this the Significant Event that I was preparing for? Perhaps. Perhaps Not. I do know that they just announced that more rain and more potential flooding are on the way. I do know that this all happened in the same time frame as Rosh Hashanah (Yom Teruah) which is significant to me. This Biblically mandated holiday is also known as the Feast of the Shofar, which signifies a warning, an alarm.


Perhaps this flooding is just the sounding of the Shofar, the warning of things to come? I do know that I felt like my family would be significantly impacted and that has not happened yet. I also know that I've made a genuine effort to prepare and set aside and gather in and clear out and increase skills and grow in knowledge. I also know that when I'm not enough, the Lord is.


The Worth of a Week

One week ago today my mom and step-dad arrived and now they have gone. It was a lovely visit and so very productive in every way!


My step-dad brought all of his handy man tools and my dh took the whole week off to tackle numerous building, maintenance, repair projects in our home and on our little homestead. My two oldest ds's worked right along side them assisting and learning so much. A new kitchen counter top, a new bantam coop, new nesting boxes in the big coop, an addition to the goat stable and a new back porch are among their accomplishments, but there were more! :o


My mom brought her wonder sewing machines, a Bernina and Serger as well. We had many sewing projects but the main thing was the period correct outfits that my dh and two oldest ds's needed. I was right at her side assisting and learning. I may even be brave enough to try something on my own now. My fellows will be among the best dressed pre civil war participants! :)


While my mom was here I finally opened up and set up my Berkey Light! My mom is a big fan of good healthy water and so we promptly sat down and ordered her one for herself. ;) BTW, we really like the Berkey Light and I'll try to do a review on the forums.


We intended to try my Wonder Deluxe grain mill while they were here but our time slipped away. :(


And to top off our wonderful visit, as they drove off this morning, we went to check on the broody hen and had the pleasure of seeing two brand new little chicks tucked under the momma hen's wings. :wub:


It is a wonderful thing to have a supportive family, what a blessing! :pray:







How is Everyone??

I noticed that our blogging efforts have really slowed down. Y'all must be as busy as I am. So much going on. :huh:


Mom and Pop will be here next Friday so we are working like Trojans getting ready for their visit, it's been a great motivator! :D


Dh and the boys are out in the garage cleaning and loading a trailer to go to the Thrift Store for donation. This is a very good thing!! B)


Not only are they coming and I'm dusting things that haven't been dusted in far too long, I'm trying to prepare for our new school year as well. :unsure:


We start our new year officially the day after Labor Day, just like we use to do it 'back in the day', I like setting my own schedule. :amen:


All seven are officially being educated this year....although I have not 'registered' the youngest two. In the state of Alabama that isn't required until age seven. And once in the system, then you're in the system. ;)


I've decided to simplify my preps, focusing on the VERY BASICS. I'll probably start a thread about my efforts later, when I have time to breathe! :24:


We're doing really good in the 'eating what you store' plan, and I'm loving those new storage bins that I wrote about in an earlier blog entry. :wave:


SEW Excited!

Y'all, I am SEW excited! :D


Last summer we changed churches and started attending a local fellowship. It was a good decision and has made it much easier for the kids to be involved with activities and etc... My dh is very involved with the boys groups, the FCF (Fronteirsmen Camping Fellowship) as well. But me, well, I don't know, since we moved here over three years ago, I've been a bit of a hermitress.


Well, this latest story that I've been writing in Fireside has made me do some soul searching and thinking how much I'm missing by not making an effort to connect with the women (they are lovely people) at the church and be more of a part of our community. Anyway, so this morning I was giving myself a good talking to, as I got ready to go and told myself what I needed was a change of attitude, to change the way I was thinking.


In the meantime, dh and the two oldest boys have become very active with FCF and this means that they need Period Correct Outfits. My mom is coming in one month to stay for a week and help me, which is such a blessing. She is a wonderful seamstress and I am a 'sewing wannabe'.


So, this morning I go to church and about half a dozen ladies sought me out after services, hugging my neck, telling me my dress was pretty, asking how I was, etc... It felt very nice, I have to tell you. As the chatting went on I mentioned to them that I was trying to get my supplies for the FCF clothing and guess what they said???!!


They said, "Stephanie, why don't you join our Tuesday night sewing club?"


I said, "Well, I don't know how to sew really, I bought a machine, but I don't really know what to do with it."


And they said, "Bring it, bring your manual and we'll teach you!"


I said, "Do you know how to do these FCF clothes? Could I bring my material and let you look at it?"


They said, "Sure! We just made the Pastor's outfit for him and we'll be glad to help you figure it out."


I am telling you, I am SEW excited!! I will be learning a skill, getting out of the house, making progress on this FCF project and making some real life, in my community, friends! This is a major deal for me! :)


They meet every Tuesday evening plus the last Sat of the month for an all day sewing/craft day. They do crochet, tatting, sewing, scrapbooking, etc... Doesn't it sound wonderful?? What a blessing! God is so good to me!


Just had to share!


I did it!! I spent the money and made the commitment and signed up to Weight Watchers On Line! I've been trying to get ROUND TUIT for over a year. Kept looking for that perfect moment to get started. This morning wasn't perfect at all, but I did it anyway.


So, I entered in all my info and got my "point* allowance for the day and realized I had already spent about half of that daily amount with the big breakfast we had eaten of sausages, eggs and grits :sad-smiley-012:


But, I don't care, well I do care. What I mean is, I can't do anything about what I had already eaten for breakfast. Right?


So, I have been perusing the on line site and they have a list of 'free' foods. That was encouraging. I was glad to see that a lot of my favorite foods are listed there. So, I'm going to cook some brussel sprouts today, I love those things and they are FREE . :wink (2):


It has this tracker where you mark down when you drink water, when you take a multivitamin, and other good habits.


It has another area where you record your physical activities. You can earn more points to spend on food by doing more activities.


I signed up for a three month deal, so we'll see how it goes. You're suppose to lose an average of 2 pounds a week. If I lost 50 lbs by the end of the year I would be ecstatic! What a difference that would make in my energy level, my blood sugar levels, blood pressure and etc...


I told Henry that next summer I was going to feel much better than I do this summer! Wish me luck!!


On the Mend

At one point this past weekend I just felt so tired and wanted to sit down, but, couldn't justify it with so much needing to be done. About that time, my second son who is 13 brought his blanket that had some tears in it and asked me if I could mend it.


Well, I'm not much of a seamstress and I can't remember the last time that I sat down and mended anything, but I decided to try. This would give me a good excuse to sit in the recliner with my feet up and my hands busy. :)


This blanket had been my dh's and he had passed it down after getting a new one. You may be familiar with them they are called Vellux Blankets. They are wonderful and we all like them very much. Here's a link so you can see what I mean.




I'm not sure how the several tears occurred, but with lots of boys and dogs in the house, I can imagine a few possibilities. Anyway, as I sat there and contemplated the best way to approach this mending, I became a bit philosophical. :) I started thinking about how we all have times when we must set about mending relationships in our lives. Some times, we can just walk away, cut the ties and resolve the conflict by separating ourselves from it. Kind of like tossing out the blanket, deciding it wasn't worth the trouble.


But, when it is someone we really care about, things can get a lot more complicated. In order to properly address the tears in the blanket I had to first do some trimming away, the jagged edges made it impossible to match and mend properly. At first glance one may think I was making the matter worse, making a larger 'hole', as I snipped. Truthfully however, the pruning was necessary for the best mending to occur.


As I began to stitch I quickly learned another lesson, this luxurious material had to be handled delicately. If I pulled a stitch too tightly it would actually pull a hole in the fabric. When we are looking to mend a relationship we need to apply gentle pressure as well or new hurts can be added to the old hurts we are trying to address. Matters of heart and trust and love are very fragile.


Finally I presented the blanket to my delighted son. "It looks just like new!" He exclaimed! I laughed and replied, "As long as you don't look too closely."


While I had done my best to match the color of the thread, trim away the jagged edges and stitch carefully, a close examination would reveal the mending that had been done. Still, in his eyes, it was like new.


Just like our relationships that may have been torn and tattered , then mended with tender loving care, the scars may remain, but only if we look too closely. Sometimes we just have to embrace the mended relationship, appreciating it for it's warmth and declaring it new.


So goes the philosophies of mending hearts and blankets. :)



I almost giggled out loud, assuming the man was making a funny. But, then I caught the sincere look on his face and caught myself. We were at Aslan's Puppy Training and he was a visitor from another class.


The trainer asked how Aslan was doing with the goats and the man said, "Oh, we really want some goats. What kind do you have?"


Eager to help I said, "Oh we are just getting started, we have two Nubians and two Wethers."


That's when he asked, "So, do Wethers make good milk goats?"


Repressing my almost escaped giggle, I answered. "A Wether is a boy goat that has been neutered." I was proud I had been able to answer evenly so as not to discourage his newbie questions.


"So," he continued, completely ignoring the fact that we were in the middle of dog training, "only the girl goats produce milk?" The smile came forth, I just couldn't help it. But I still managed to carry on.


"Yes, a doe is girl goat and a doe produces the milk." I paused for a moment to let him ponder this and then added. "Are you planning to have milk goats?"


"Oh no," he says, "we just want a goat to help clear out some brush."


"Well, sounds like a Wether is just what you need."


"So you suggest that breed." He continued to querry.


"Wether isn't a breed of goat, it is a condition of a goat. A wether is a neutered male, good for companion goats, weedeating or barbeque." I added for good measure.


"Did I hear you mention chickens?"


"Yes," I answered cautiously as the trainer stands listening intently. I tried to avert my gaze in her direction so she could finsih the class. But, now she's interested.


"What kind of chickens do you have?" I tell them.


"Do you have any roosters that crow?" I admit I do.


Then he says, in all seriousness, "But roosters don't lay eggs, right?"


I assure them that is the case.




I'm constantly finding these good things and then losing them...so decided to list them here, y'all might find them interesting and maybe I'll do better at keeping up with them. I'll add more as I find them.












Visit My Website


Four thieves


Positively Prepared


One of the things that I've struggled with as I've tried to buy bulk foods like grain, dried beans, rice, etc... was that once it was packed away in the opaque white buckets, I couldn't easily 'see' it nor access it.


When I bought the grains for grinding, I ordered the Gamma Lids. These are going to work well.


However, all of these white buckets filled with assorted stuff would kind of run together. Even with my best efforts to keep the Steel Cut Oatmeal separate from the pinto beans and even though I clearly labeled with black markers...it was just an aggravation to go and find it.


I found myself using the stuff I hadn't put away yet because I could see it, grab it and not search for it. Call me lazy but I will declare myself busy! :D


Anyway, I think I've finally found my solution.




They arrived today and I'm very pleased.


They are clear, so I can easily see what they hold and how much.


They are air tight which keeps it nice and fresh and any intruders out.


They are on wheels, this is a real bonus and convenience.


They are FDA approved, making them safe for food storage.


They are on sale at Amazon (buy 3 get 4) plus they qualified for free super savers shipping.


They hold a LOT! One of them held TWO 20lb bags of Jasmine Rice!


I am a happy prepper girl, and I think this will encourage me to properly rotate. I can still use the buckets (and will do so for the grains) but, I can transfer what I'm ready to start using. Just thought I'd share my discovery so that it may help someone else.


Tuesday Tidbits

Today is Tuesday. Since Henry went to a four day work week several months ago, Tuesday is the beginning of our week days. Since Monday's are now a part of our three day weekends, I never dread Monday's like I use to. ;)


I find that I'm enjoying Tuesday's as well. I try to never schedule anything on Tuesday and just stay home and do what needs to be done after three days of projects, chores, errands, shopping,etc... It's revolutionized our life style and I am so thankful that Henry's company has given him the opportunity.


So, today I'm here and seeing about my broody hen, milking my nanny goat, tidying my house, sipping on coffee, considering what we'll eat for supper and loving every minute of it. Wednesday night brings church activities, Thursday evening brings Puppy Training Classes, and then Friday is the night that we drive to the Camp grounds and see my dh and two oldest ds's inducted into the Fronteirsmen. So today, the only day we're here from waking to sleeping, you couldn't get me to budge out of my own little corner of the world.


I really need to do some hair cutting, I always procrastinate doing that. So, I've told myself that when I've done the three youngest boys, I'll reward myself by jumping in the pool and get some refreshing exercise. :)


I'm still struggling with running out of hours before I run out of things to do, but I'm not complaining. I see progress being made in most areas and my children are well fed, taught, trained and cared for. That's the priority in my life. It seems like they are growing up so fast. My second oldest son passed my in height (talledr than my oldest ds) and now he's like 3 inches towering over me!! :o


I did a thread on Rag Rugs in the Forums and I am so excited about the possibility of doing this. I think it seems simple enough that even I can't mess it up! Plus it is very frugal and recycles old worn out clothes! How cool is that! B)


Just jabbering, so I'll go for now. I hope you are enjoying your Tuesday!




Growing Grins!

Next month will be two years since our family grew from four children to seven. It was quite the adjustment, let me tell you. Not only did have MORE children but now we had two girls, talk about a change in family dynamics! Oh my!


Here they were , these three little children who had been in an environment that would make you and I shudder. They had a different set of values, morals, priorities, opinions, outlooks, lifestyle...I could go on but I think you've got the picture.


It has not been easy, it has been hard, it still is sometimes. But, today, as I was checking out these pictures of the three of them in the garden this weekend I noticed the grins. We'd just gotten out of the pool, and their hair is a mess, wearing old clothes to work in the garden. But the light in their eyes demanded to be captured and recorded.


When they first stepped out of the Social Workers vehicle, they had eyes full of apprehension, hearts gripped with grief, as their world was turned upside down. Everything that they knew that was familiar to them stripped away.


The baby boy (3 at the time) had been in foster care from birth and all he wanted was his mommy (foster mommy). If you ever wondered to what depth a 3 yr old can grieve, let me tell you, it is heartbreaking to watch.


The girls had to be un-taught before I could even begin re-teaching. This new way of living was not embraced readily. They had been allowed to do pretty much whatever they wanted, there is a lot of freedom in dysfunction, even if it wasn't safe or healthy.


Anyway,I wanted to show you these pictures and let you see how the garden of their souls have flourished. God has wrought a good work in their lives. All He asked is for our willingness to be used. I have to throw this out there, don't be afraid to say YES to the Lord if he's asking you to love a child, just because of a difference in skin color or just because you already have a housefull or just because there will be tremendous challenges. It's all worth it, when you're Growing Grins!







I just tried the Sam's 'Click and Pull' for the first time. So, hopefully after PT tomorrow I can go and pick it up without having to 'shop'. Here's what I got...


Item Description Item # Quantity Unit Price Subtotal

FULLY COOKED BACON 72 COUNT 272086 1 $8.52 $8.52 I try to keep a pkg of this on hand, very handy and shelf stable


DQ PK SALMON 4-14.75 4-14.75 OZ 822899 1 $7.67 $7.67 noticed I needed mored salmon the other day when counting


CHOCOLATE PUDDING 112 OZ. 488505 6 $4.08 $24.48 This is the best chocoatle pudding I've ever tasted, pie quality


CHICKEN BOUILLON CUBES, 25 OZ 071148 1 $4.87 $4.87 To keep on hand with the dehydrated vegies


CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER 2 PK / 40 OZ 049573 1 $6.39 $6.39 This is a good price for the size and a 2/pk


ACTII SEASONING SALT 52 OZ 624038 1 $3.34 $3.34 Haven't tried this yet, hope it will be as good as the popcorn


BAKED BEANS 117 OZ. 037053 6 $5.27 $31.62 I need to make some of my own...but in the mean time, these are handy


VANILLA PUDDING 112 OZ. 488511 6 $4.08 $24.48 We tried these puddings last week and are sold on the quality & price


BEEF BOUILLON CUBES, 25 OZ 071149 1 $4.87 $4.87 Works really well in recipes,soups, stews, etc... even alone?


YLW RND TORTILLA CH 2 - 3 LB. BAGS 022202 2 $6.18 $12.36 These big boxes have a better expiration date than bags


SHREDDED CHEDDAR 5 LB CHEDDAR 063903 1 $9.02 $9.02 This is some really good grated cheese, I divide and freeze


AMERICAN SLICES 5 LB 160 CT 063945 1 $7.67 $7.67 This we get every time we go, good deal


MINCED GARLIC 48 OZ 442118 1 $4.08 $4.08 I may never chop garlic again!


PRAIRE RIDGE BF PATT 10 LBS 4 OZ PATTIES 293758 1 $17.88 $17.88 We're going to grill these tomorrow


CHILI WITH BEANS 6 LB 11 OZ 192355 6 $6.28 $37.68 This and some tortilla chips will feed my whole family w/leftovers


ACT II POPCORN 50 LB 624059 1 $16.58 $16.58 One of my favorite things to get at Sam's


TROPICAL FRUIT SALAD 107 OZ 860346 6 $5.16 $30.96 We got one of these and liked it very much


VLASIC DILL CHIP 5 GAL 2500-3000 CT 728740 1 $13.66 $13.66 My dh picked this out! It's is a 5gal pail! :D


NO CALORIE GRANULATE SWEETENER - 1.2LBS 156010 1 $11.88 $11.88 This is Splenda


I didn't get some of the normal stuff that we usually get...

Canned Tomatoes #10 size

Ketchup, Mayo, Mustard (pump size)

Nacho Cheese #10 size

Toilet Paper and Paper Towels

Pinto Beans (25lbs for $13)

I'm stocked pretty good on that stuff and will get more of that next time.


I struggle with this... Collecting my Preps and not wanting to use them. :blush:


Whenever I'm canning something I am almost hoping one jar won't seal so that I can taste what I've done. :rolleyes: I'm a bit better than I was, been working on it. I rememberJudy saying in a post, that we were 't creating a Food Museum with our canned goods (a while back). That really got my attention!


Months and months ago I bought a Berkey, went through heck and high water to get it. I was so proud when it came, so relieved! It is still in the box! <_<


Now, in my defense, it came with several of the Berkey Sports Bottles and when I had to take that trip a while back, I pulled one out and have been using it faithfully since then. *Cool bottle btw!


I seem to have this mentality of not opening and using things that I've collected until there is the need for them, or just the right moment. I'm a nut! :wacko:


The other day I had bought something, and my ds9 asked about it. I said what I say so often, "This is for an emergency."


He looked at me thoughtfully and said, "How much longer do we have to wait for one of these emergencies?"


I laughed, I couldn't help myself. It was so true! as the old saying goes....from the mouth of babes.... :D


I have also yet to try my Junior Wonder Mill Deluxe Grain Grinder or open any of my wheat. I've ordered MORE, I've read recipes and threads here. I'm still gathering my equipment and ingredients and information. I tend to do that. First I gather and think, think, think... then I act.


So, now I'm wondering if I've crossed some kind of proverbial line in this Prepping vs. Collecting. :huh:


We bought this really cool Butterfly Kerosene stove for a great price at a yard sale last summer...still in the box. But, I did mention to my dh that I'd like to try it and see how it works. I guess that's a step in the right direction.


I DID open that #10 can of Peanut Butter Powder and we HAVE been experimenting with it. I made some cookies the other day that were so good, the kids were fighting over them. :P


I DID open my FOOD SAVER that my mom gave me for Christmas after only a few weeks and use it! But, I haven't opened the jar attachment that I bought to go with it.


I AM using some of my home canned food and not saving all of it for a rainy day. We are using some of the #10 cans of fruit and pudding and etc... to see what we like and what we want more of. :feedme:


I DID open up my first Pantry Stuffer of Dehydrated Vegies from Harmony House and use them very often ( and enjoying them very much). I ordered a second batch including some other things.


Well, I guess I'm making some progress in this journey, but still need to start enjoying and using the neat things I've collected. Perhaps today I will try out that Food Saver Jar Sealer and 'can' up some Steel Cut Oatmeal that I have in buckets...leaving the buckets open for something else? :)



I had a dream...and I don't dream much lately. It was so vivid that I can't stop thinking about it. When I woke up from it (or in the midst of it) I was distressed, trying to catch my breath and had to go and wash my face with some cold water before I could think clearly.


Before I tell you about this oddity, I want to give a disclaimer - I am in no way trying to say this is a prophetic dream, a hidden message or anything to but me and me alone. But, it sure got my attention and I thought you might find it mighty interesting as well.


In the dream, I was standing on my back deck, which is about three feet off the ground and we had obviously experienced some kind of flood. I would occasionally see things floating under the deck or just at the edge so that I could see enough of the object to know what it was. But, each time I would run to get Henry (dh) it would have disappeared before he could see it. Once it was a turkey, then a small tiger and lastly an alligator. All three of these animals appeared to be drowned.


Finally, due to my insistance about the alligator, Henry agreed to come out and check. He told me he was going to get a gun just in case the alligator wasn't dead. When he came back, he went to the wrong side of the deck and declared he couldn't see a thing. Not only that, the firearm he brought was a Black Powder Primitive that he is in the process of repairing (doesn't work as of yet).


So, I am telling him, "Over here, over here, you're looking in the wrong place, that's why you can't see the alligator." I'm also asking why in the world he brought that gun. He agrees to come to the other side and tells me to go and get a different gun, just in case.


I run in the house and then wonder which gun I should get. So, I go back out on the deck and see that Henry is in the water with the dead alligator. He says not to worry about it, because the alligator is indeed dead. I turn and look across the yard, which is about hip deep in water and I see another alligator. This one is not dead and is swimming toward Henry.


I start screaming for Henry to get out of the water, that there is an alligator. He tries to calm me down by once again explaining that the alligator is dead and there is nothing to worry about. All the while this other alligator is swimming towards him. I turn and decide to run and get a gun. I am thinking of the Mossin Nagant and its huge bayonet. I find the rifle, but the bayonet is not attached, I don't know where it is and every other rifle is either missing a part or the ammo. It's all there but not together.


I run back to the deck, helpless to help my husband and screaming at the top of my lungs! "Alligator! Alligator!"


Then I wake up. :o



What this is saying to me - the message is loud and clear - Get it together!!


I've been like a little magpie collecting all manner of things (including some firearms I've never shot) as I've been preparing. But what good is it going to do me if when the moment that I need it comes and I don't know where it is, how to use it, what to do with it? This is not the time to procrastinate.


Also, just because one possible threat "fizzles out" (like that dead alligator) doesn't mean that there isn't another right around the corner. This is not the time to let our guards down.


I can't remember the last times I had a dream in such vivid color and so life life. I'm paying attention. Starting this weekend, I'm focused on getting it together!! Organizing, using, practicing, unboxing, trying out, what I have gathered.





Hi everyone. I've kind of dropped the 'blog ball' here lately. Actually, haven't been posting much even on the board. I feel a bit disconnected.


I think this started with my 9 day trip to Arkansas. I was there with only one of my children and he is 13, so able to take care of himself for the most part. I ran the roads with my mom and sister, shopping, taking mom to therapy, visiting my grandmother. I was a free spirit. I had no time constraints to speak of, no one pulling on my skirt tail, vying for my attention and very little house work to do. I talked with grownup people about grown up things. I had the best of both worlds, my cake and eating it too, for those nine days.


Then, I came home and was smothered with hugs and kisses of the best sort. Found myself laughing at the corny jokes and silly antics of my children. Rolled up my sleeves and tackled the results of a house left with a husband and 6 children for over a week, started cooking like a wild woman, and giving my best effort to bring order back into my world.


I think I may be in some kind of culture shock. ;) Two such different worlds and enjoying them both immensely has kind of thrown me off kilter. I don't think I'm adjusting so well.


You know what I found out in Arkansas, so many things that are a BIG DEAL in my Alabama life aren't a big deal in my mom's life. She doesn't give much thought to food. Oh they have plenty and it is very tasty, but a dish of whatever will last several days. Me, I think about food constantly. With seven children, you just have to! Not just keeping them fed and tummies full, but nutrition and cost are big factors too.


Housework is not a BIG DEAL with my mom either, she stays on top of it, never letting it get out of control. HERE, well let me just tell you it is a constant battle, CONTSTANT! I try to stay on top of things, but well, mostly it seems to stay on top of me. The kids helps and we all work together as a family, but it's just a LOT of dishes, laundry, bodies!!


While I enjoyed seeing my family very much, before the visit was over I was longing for home, for my life of chaos. I found myself feeling out of sorts and anxious to get on the road and get back to my world.


Now, a week has passed since I returned and I find that I am still adjusting. So, I'm just feeling a little quiet as I work it all out in my mind and heart. I keep thinking of tht old saying, you can never go back home. I also am trying to come to grips with the fact that my family lives perfectly wonderful lives completely separate from me. And of course, the same applies to me.


Well, I'm rambling, but maybe someone knows what I mean. Being alone with my family lIke I was for those nine days was kind of bitter sweet. As I drove the hundreds of miles home, it dawned on me that for the first time in my life I think I understand what it means to leave and cleave. And, that's a good thing.


I feel ready to settle in here to my life, this life that God has given to me. It is not the same life as all of those that I love in Arkansas, it belongs to me and mine. I feel a bit melancholy as I turn my face from what once was but it's given me the ability to embrace fully what now is.



In Junior High School I was in a play that my French Class did for the younger grades.


I was - La Petite Poule Rouge (The Little Red Hen) :rolleyes:


I had to go to all the other characters and ask for help only to hear them say over and over Pas Moi! Not Me!


Now, here I sit, three decades later wondering if I've become a real life La Petite Poule Rouge. :huh:


I'm answering myself with those same two little words - Pas Moi!! Surely not!


And yet, I find in my possession a newly acquired Grain Mill and supply of grain (with etc...)


Was this my destiny? Was it meant to be? Was being a 'do it myself' kind of girl instilled in me at a tender age? :D




Here is my Grain Mill - The Wonder Junior Deluxe! Isn't it lovely! ;)








Here is where I bought my grain and other supplies. If you look to the left side bar you'll see a Getting Started button, that's what I clicked and used as a guide for my ordering.





I do not know when I will actually use any of this, certainly not today. But, when I do, I'll be sure to share the experience! In the meantime, enjoy this online story of The Little Red Hen. :)




This week the kids and I did an experiment with Peanut Butter Powder. Some months ago, I had purchased this...


http://beprepared.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_FS D140_A_name_E_Peanut+Butter+Powder


I decided it was time to open it and see how we liked, what it tasted like, what in the world you did with it! :)


The instructions on the #10 can say: Mix 1 TBSP of Powder with 1 Tsp of water. Add a small amount of sugar for flavor. Add a drop of oil for creaminess.


First, we all tasted the powder plain, just to see (we are home educaters after all). Then we added the water, determined that wasn't even enough to get it moist and added a tiny bit more. We tasted again.


The first two tastings, one while dry and one with just water, drew some interesting comments. One child said, it taste like coffee. Another said it tasted like the flavor on Honey Smacks (minus the sweetness). I personally thought it tasted like roasted unsalted peanut skins (not the nuts, just the skins). But, everyone agreed on one thing, this does not taste like peanut butter. :huh:


So, we added a little sugar, more tasting. The sugar seemed to help a lot as far as tasting okay, but still, not a peanut buttery taste. Next we added a "drop* of oil to each persons own expermental bowl. This did wonders for the consistency. Now atleast it looked like peanut butter! ;)


The last part of our experimental tasting that day was to pull out a sleeve of saltines. Finally, success. The children all agreed that our concoction tasted just like the peanut butter that is in the crackers that you buy in individual packs. Everyone ate all of theirs and more. :)


I cant' imagine at this point that I would be able to eat this in exactly the same way that we do peanut butter from the jar, but I can see some uses for it in our preps. Unopened that can is shelf stable for many years. It can be edible, if not tasty, with nothing but water added.


The kids want us to try again with different types of sweeteners. I think they're on to something. I was using white table sugar. I think that next time we'll try brown sugar, powdered sugar and/or honey. It was hard to lose the graininess of the sugar and I think these others will dissolve better.


We also want to make some of the recipes that we found at the Emergency Essentials site.




I think we'll start with the one for Peanut Butter Cookies, although I don't have Shortening Powder. :mellow:


I also want to try our family favorite, Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting. I definitely need to keep trying because now I have an opened #10 can and it's shelf life will now be considerably shortened.


I am considering one other thing for the future. For one thing, perhaps not all Peanut Butter Powders are the same. I think I'll order some of this PB2 that I've heard so much of.




Any of you who have had experience with the Peanut Butter Powders, I'd appreciate any feed back. In the mean time, we shall continue to experiment, learn and adjust.


Aslan Has Arrived!



Aslan has arrived! After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, Aslan has been safely delivered to our family!


It was love at first sight of course, but the last couple of days have been filled with wonderful puppy love! :wub:


He is a puppy with purpose! Yesterday we signed him up for the Puppy Training Classes at the pet store. They start the week that he turns 10 weeks. So, we've got about 3 more weeks to do the best we can with his very determined little self.


His markings are gorgeous, white toes and a velvet black muzzle. There is a beautiful white blaze across his chest and his eyes are full of intelligence. I know that we have chosen his name correctly, as he does have a Heart of a Lion - Aslan!





Everywhere I look blooms are bursting forth! Our gorgeous ornamental Pear Trees are solid white with tiny beautiful flowers. The peach trees are covered in delicate pink adornments. The plum trees are starting to display a little color as well.


Seasons are a lovely gift that the Lord has bestowed upon us. Each has it's on purpose and is necessary.


The important thing to remember about seasons is that they change. It's not going to stay as rainy or cold or hot or dry or humid as it is right now. A new season will arrive and it will be celebrated for its unique qualities.


Tomorrow is the first day of Spring and today is sunny and warm! I will gather my small army of children around me and we will commence with the spring cleaning!! This will be an on going project for the weekend. My husband is off Monday and we will hopefully get the garden started as well. He bought his tiller last weekend and eager to 'turn some dirt'.


Sweeping and dusting and organizing and cleaning out and getting things in order just feels great doesn't it!! We're going to cook out hamburgers and clean out the garage. We're going to attend church and Praise the Lord for the gift of seasons.


Ecc 3:1 To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:



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