Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Take Heart Part 2

As you can probably tell from previous post I'm not a very eloquent person or a good writer for that matter. Which leads me straight into today's topic..... Perfectionism.

Oooo we really hate/love that word don't we! I do. I still get caught up in it's ugly web. Perfect dieting (weight control), perfect marriage, perfect homeschool children, perfect school program to name a few. Yikes, that's only a few. The thing I've (pretty) much learned over the past 16 years of marriage and motherhood is that my Dad isn't looking for perfection from me. He's already got that and more! He wants me to be good, maybe even superb in many areas of life and to come to him whether I'm good or bad at it.

So this leads me to homemaking, child rearing, schooling, and husband loving. Way back when my first daughter was just a tiny babe I would purpose to sit down in the afternoons and read a couple of scriptures and write in my prayer journal ( not for long or I would be sleeping- hee hee). Asking my Dad what was it that I could do to make this crazy life (I had wanted so badly) work. To make me into the woman he desired me to be.

My answer was learn, try and maybe fail. Get up and do it again! Boy the failures, I could name a few! The triumphs have been sweet and I try to remember them as I go into other seasons of failures...

So armed with my new positions in life, I threw my self into homemaking, motherhood and husband loving! I watched a ton of cooking shows and messed up many a meal. I'll never forget the time I was so Proud of Myself for taking fresh broccoli then steaming and pureeing it for my baby's dinner. It looked beautiful! I froze the extra in ice cube trays and thought I was way ahead of the game. Well, my baby took one bite and made the most horrific face I had ever seen my sweet angel make! (Yes, I made her take another with the video camera rolling- posterity people!) She hated it and wouldn't take another bite! So much for my 1st organic baby food. Did I quit?

No, I kept making new things and messing up a lot. Trying to figure out my new husband's tastes. Cranberry turkey- I thought he would love it. (He likes it all together on a sandwich.) Well I made this big fancy dinner- he did not like it. He was very considerate, but I let it bug me. Perfectionism rearing it's ugly head.

The same can be said for decorating. Some of my projects turn out great and some are flops. But then there are those times were I can see His hand and am utterly amazed at how great it looks!

It reminds me that he has given me these gifts that I have cultivated and still need to keep working and growing in them. I'll never be a fantastic artist, culinary chef, project manager, decorator or model. But by the grace of my Lord I'll be closer to the woman he called me to be. Someone who can do many things well, but not perfectly!

Do you feel you need to be perfect to try something? Don't let that ugly web ensnare you. You were created "for such a time as this". Be all that you can be and teach and learn from others along the way.

Blessings
julie

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Take Heart Part 1

Take heart dear ones.... I just wanted to open a bit of discussion. Why do we do what we do?

Many of us didn't chose to stay home and raise a family. A number of us thought we would have it all, including that big corner office in the city. Or we would be traveling all over this big, beautiful world! But for one reason or another we have been called to home life (at least most of us reading-i think). Some have come kicking and screaming, while others of us never wanted to leave and came running back!

I'm one who never wanted to leave, but thought she had to... Does that make any sense?

I graduated High School with a full scholarship to Junior College started but withdrew mid semester my first term. Why? I had no clue of what I wanted to do other than be a Mom and that seemed to be just a side job (not what you were "supposed" to dedicate yourself to). I started working at a bank and tried moving out on my own. I accepted Jesus as my Savior during this time and began to rely on him for the answers. I was working at a bank and gaining some major knowledge in that arena, but truthfully my parents had taught me how to budget when I became a teen.

I was really trying to figure it out! I love children and decided to head back to school for a teaching certificate. I learned so much. Some bad , but mostly good. I started teaching in preschool while working on my degree. I found that taking care of 10 two year olds all alone and teaching potty training was too much for one person. I was always wiped out and even a bit afraid of having my own children, thinking this is how it would be.

Then I met Superman. (It still amazes me to see how the Lord has moved in my life - in spite of me!) Within 2 1/2 years we were married. We decided that I would only work part time and learn to keep house. Hmmmmmm. I wanted this, but did I? Within 5 months I was pregnant with our 1st of 4 beauties. Now I was in it full swing. What do I next?

So going back to my question. What has brought you this place in your life?
I'd love to hear from you.

julie

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Farm Update

On Monday I shared that Cindy (Cinderella- a chicken) had lost an egg. We were bummed....


Come to find out that Fluffy ( a chicken) had been fighting her for the right to sit on the eggs!
Yesterday, our friend Sandi brought by more fertile eggs and Cindy was again content. When I went to check on her later that morning, Fluffly was standing on top of her trying to get to the eggs. Now I know why ladies fights are often called hen fights! It really did remind of a woman being protective and warding off the enemy. (Okay, I think I'm getting to involved in our animals lives-good thing we don't have a dog!)
So later in the day Superman and I thought it might be a good idea to move Cinderella out for a while and give her a little peace. (Anybody remembering needing that when you were expecting?) Later that evening he made her a cozy little house with her own personal run. I was VERY impressed!
Just before dark we put her and her eggs in. We were feeling pretty pleased with ourselves. Look what good we had done for our poor little chicken! Well, she freaked out ! She ran out of the little house (right over her eggs) clawing, pecking, flying and moaning to get out of her new home. She thought we had left the eggs in the coop! She would not be pacified.
Needless to say we moved her and her eggs back into the coop with the other hens as fast as we could. Another lesson learned!
julie

Monday, March 23, 2009

Urban Farm Life

This morning Cinderella hopped off her nest to get a quick bite to eat and take a dirt bath. So Farm girl took the opprotunity to check for new eggs; other than the 2 she's trying to hatch. Well she came running into the house, yelling that one of the the chickie eggs was missing.

So I sent Urban girl out for a looksie. Maybe the egg had rolled off the nest when the chicken stood up? She found Cindy with the egg hanging from her chest feathers. Farm girl pulled it off and cleaned up. The egg was lost, but a small lesson was learned...

julie

Friday, March 20, 2009

Facial Cleanser

We've been using a surprisingly wonderful face wash for about 6 months. Guess What it is?



Olive & Castor Oil!

I was really surprised at how well it works and you can customize the formula to you own needs. For people with T-zone, dry or oily conditions. At www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/ they give all the details.

I used an old facial cleanser bottle and tweaked the instructions to fit our needs.

-15% Castor oil

-85% olive oil

-Shake and place in shower with wash cloth.

- Gently rub 1 to 2 pumpfuls into face, neck, ears etc. (before you get in)

-Use the warmth of shower to open pores.

-Heat wash cloth with water, place on face for a minute or so. Then gently rub off excess oil, make up and dirt.

Like I said, we've been using this for 6 months or so. In that time I've had only 1 blemish (I'm a t-zone). My face is so much smoother and softer and this is all I do. No more 3 parts, no extra lotions! The above recipe has worked well for dry and t-zone. So we only have 1 bottle to contend with. Nice...

This is a winner and so frugal. That big bottle of Castor oil was $7.50 from my favorite online store ( this will last my family well over a year) and we've always got cold pressed olive oil on hand!

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

For other Frugal ideas head over to http://www.lifeasmom.com/ or http://www.wearethatfamily.com/ for WFMW ideas...

Yes, I'm double posting! I this has really worked for us and I wanted other to hear about. Hope it haelpd someone.

Blessings,

julie

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What Works For Me Wednesday

Don't laugh (okay you can if you want to). But this little megaphone really works for me!

Superman and I have joked about getting one for a long time. We've picked them up at sales and put them back down. You see we live in a 2 story home and I feel like I'm always yelling down the stairs for someone. Then if a door is closed we're tap dancing on the floors to get the chickadees attention. (So now you know my dirty little secret.) . I hate yelling and I really don't want it in my life.
So sure enough we were at a tool store's side walk sale and found this for $5.99. I've used it quite a bit and I think it will come in handy when it's my turn to run Park / P.E. Day. I wish I had it this fall. (I used a whistle which was a big help.)
So now I can just call a Chickadees and not feel like I'm always yelling. That REALLY works for me!
Check out a ton of other useful tips at http://www.wearethatfamily.com/ - It's Works For Me Wednesday!
julie

Monday, March 16, 2009

Eggs and Vinegar

I'm sure there are many culinary delights that could be made with the use of vinegar and eggs. Alone or together...but I have chosen to go another route. What you may ask?

My hair wash! Yup, you read right. I finally did it last night. I had been reading over at www.inashoe.com/ about her trials with going w/o the shampoo and conditioner. She has been using baking soda and apple cider vinegar for a rinse, but found that her hair would still get a bit greasy after a couple of days. So a reader suggested eggs.

Well we've been using organic shampoo and conditioner for quite awhile and it does get pricey! When we first switched. I cut way back on washing my hair. I've found over the year I only need to wash it twice a week, but I would still condition every day. So this helped to keep cost down a bit.( A hairstylist friend told me that we really don't need to wash it every day and that it strips our hair.) So what I would do is rinse my hair with warm water give my scalp a good scrub w/o shampoo and then condition.

Well last night was my night to wash. I tend to get a bit more oil up near the root line by the last day and when I try to brush it down it doesn't turn out all silky and shiny like I thought. So I put the egg in and gave a vigorous scrub. I then rinsed with luke warm water. (I only like scrambled eggs on my plate.) I made sure to rinse really well. Then I took the apple cider and massaged it in (remember not to open your eyes- does it smart!) and rinsed with cool water.

Results: When I first got out I didn't have that nice soft slippery feeling that I have with the man made stuff. I was able to comb through it with no problem (very nice). I could smell a faint smell of apple/marshmallows (no I wasn't eating peeps). This morning (after exercise) I rinsed my hair again and let it air dry. It is so much thicker than it used to be (and I have thick hair)!
The oil that I get up at the root line is gone and I feel clean.

I will definitely experiment more and even try the baking soda!

Just in case anyone was interested.
julie

Friday, March 13, 2009

Frugal Friday

Frugal Friday has moved to http://www.lifeasmom.com/
(i wish i new how to put the big button up-anyone?)

I don't feel super frugal today, but I have been looking for more ways to cut expenses and save.

-I think we're going to get rid of the cell phone! I rarely use it and have kept it for emergencies. Before for you think we've totally lost it we do plan on carrying a prepaid. We have one laying around and it will cut our cell expenses from $400 a year to less than $200. That's a nice little savings.

-We're also changing our insurance carrier. The savings should be apx $60 a month. We would never have done this if our current carrier hadn't been leaving our state.

-Buy fresh in bulk and can it. Look at the fresh "penaponyas"!
See yesterday post www.4sweetsisters.blogspot.com/2009/03/jalapenos.html


I love to create and reuse and I think that's what's helped me never to feel "poor" when we're hunkering down and paying down!

Have a great day!
julie

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jalapenos

Lunch: Fresh whole bread, Just picked vine ripened tomatoes(yum,yum,yum), Almost fresh mozzarella & herbs. Delicious:) What's cooking? Jalapenos or Penaponyas as the Little Chef likes to call them.
Goal: Be able to pull out peppers at a moments notice and stuff with cheese to broil.



Washed,Sliced in half, Seeded (that's were the heats at- so keep a couple in if you like it hot), Place on parchment paper.


Here they have baked at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Placed on cool pan to be frozen. Apx 2 hours. Then bag and pop in freezer to pull out.

When you pull them out, pop them in to bake for 5 to 7 minutes at 400 degrees. Take out, stuff as desired. Broil until bubbly. Yum!!!
You can also wash and freezer them whole to put in meals or for fresh salsa. I'm going to roast a couple with then put in freezer for later use.


What else?
14 pints of Salsa! The tomatoes are toooo good! I'll can them tonight or tomorrow.



Last, but not least...
Dehydrating apples. We had about 20 lbs from our past couple of veg co-ops. They go way to fast this way. Better than candy!


Have a great day!
julie

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spring Is Here!

Well It's been quite awhile. I hate how I plan to do 2 to 3 blogs and then life happens.
These past couple of weeks have been filled with illness, funerals, weddings, end of the year testing and pulled muscles! But today life feels a bit more "normal". I did some baking, creating, and of course school! Here's my "creative endeavor for this week. we needed a little Spring in the house.

Blown out eggs from our chickens. It was pretty gross! I haven't done this since I was a kid.

2 bird cages. They were both white and painted with I don't know what!

Here's the small cage finished in a spring green with antique gold. The chicken has been around for a long while. The eggs are fresh blown.


And here's the one for our coffee table. It turned out a bit brighter than I wanted. I roughed it up a bit, but from the picture it could use a bit more.(Maybe next year)


I had these plus 3 loaves of bread going in the oven while I worked on finishing the above projects.

The smelled terrific!


What else could they need but frosting. These aren't your store bought rolls!

Organic doesn't have to be gross or unappetizing.

So I really feel like I need a nap. My bathroom is horrible, and I don't want to even think about the decluttering I started in my bedroom and haven't gotten back to! But I have a chickadee who wants to start making quilts and some Bible to catch up on.
What's been on your plate these past few days?
julie