"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Monday, April 29, 2013

Re-post - Dandelion Bread Recipe

It's that time of year again, everyone...

...dandelions are in bloom!

So guess what it's time for ??
Right! Dandelion bread!
Here's a re-post of last year's recipe that I shared for those who missed it...

4 c. flour
4 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1  1/2 - 2 c. dandelion petals**
1/2 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. honey
2 eggs
2  2/3 c. milk

Preheat oven to 400.
Combine dry ingredients, including petals.
In separate bowl, mix oil, honey, eggs, and milk.
Stir in dry ingredients and mix well.
Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans. 
Bake for 20-25 minutes.If not done, lower temperature to 350 and
continue baking, checking every 5 minutes.
Cool on wire rack.

**Remember to wash the blossoms before trimming the petals and make sure you gather blossoms that have not been treated with weed killer.

Here are some photos of how mine turned out...
                                           ...the petals.

                                          You can see yellow flecks in the batter.

                                               Just out of the oven.

                                          The inside is a pretty golden color.  :)

 Happy baking!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Weekly Wrap-up {1}

Homeschool Mother's Journal, 4/26/13

In my life this week...I am still getting used to taking care of our dairy goats. Milking has become a habit, but I'm still adjusting to the actual care of the goats. But the more I do it, the more I enjoy it. And the children are loving it, too.  :)

In our homeschool this week...we got all of the lessons completed in 4 days, so we have today off - the youngers and I will  run errands. And Ian went to work with hubby.

Helpful homeschool advice or tips to share...when looking for next year's school books, check out the used books at abebooks.com  or on amazon.com. I got all of my children's books (used)  for next year for $130.00 using both websites. Some of the books only cost a penny! And they are in great shape. Also, with the AO curriculum that we use, many of the books are in the public domain, so they can be read online for free, saving even more money.

People we're seeing...friends came for the afternoon yesterday. And today, our homeschool group is having park play date. Not sure if we're going, though. 

My favorite thing this week was...Ian conquered graphing parabolas! Yay!  :)

My children's favorite things this week were...the readings in George Washington's World, Abigail Adams, Shakespeare, and sketching in their Nature journals.

Things I am working on... trying to find joy in the Lord - even in the midst of trials. 

I am cooking...Ham-Broccoli Stromboli and Cream of Tomato for supper tonight.

I am grateful for...a very encouraging conversation with a dear friend on Wednesday afternoon.

I am praying for...a friend whose mom passed away of cancer 2 days ago. She was such a sweet lady and radiated the love of the Lord. I am so thankful that her suffering is over and she is finally Home, but I'm saddened for the family members that have to adjust to life with her.

I rewarded my children this week with... homemade chocolate syrup to make chocolate goat milk. 

Something I have my eye on...a grain mill to make my own flour. Wow - they are pricey! So at this point, I'm  praying about it.

A photo to share...
Ian dissecting a crayfish for Biology.

A quote to share..."If mothers could learn to do for themselves what they do for their children when these are overdone, we should have happier households. Let the mother go out to play!" ~ Charlotte Mason (vol.3 p.33)

Hoping you have a week-end full of the Lord's blessings, friends!  :)

sharing this week with



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Speaking Up

Hi friends,

I am a firm believer in Psalm 101:3, which says, "I will set no evil thing before my eyes." That goes for what I read, what I see on TV (thankfully we don't have cable TV or Dish network), and what I see on the Internet.

But it's not just my eyes that I protect; I also do my best protect the eyes of my children.  And sometimes, even a trip to our local Walmart can expose them to trashy magazines covers with what I consider soft porn photos on the front covers. I even joked with one of my friends about putting blinders on my children when we go out in public..like the ones horses wear...
(source: www.colourbox.com)
So, to shield their eyes, I am always at the front of the cart as we approach the check-out. And if I see anything I don't want them to see, I flip those magazines around so that the back cover is showing. I get some odd looks from other shoppers, and even the cashiers.  I  always eagerly await their questions as to why I'm doing what I'm doing. But so far, no one has asked.

Then, a few weeks ago, we went into our local dollar store. I walked into the store in front of the children, knowing that there is a magazine stand just inside the door, and I would stand in front of it if necessary to block the photos on the front covers. Yep - there it was - a Sports Illustrated issue, and the worst kind - the Swimsuit issue!  I stood in front of the magazines as the children came into the store and they never saw a thing. I breathed a prayer of thanks to the Lord, and a sigh of relief as we gathered what we needed,  headed for the check-out, and got in line.

As we approached the cashier, I looked for the magazine, but didn't see it anywhere. There were a few "rag mags", as I call them (you know the ones I'm talking about - stories about women having 50-pound babies, etc) , but nothing trashy. And no Sports Illustrated. Another prayer of thanks. 

Then it was our turn to pay for our things. And what do you think was on a small magazine stand right beside the cashier?? A stack of the Sports Illustrated issue! Just when I thought we were home free! 

Well, I couldn't help but speak up. (After all, I made sure they didn't see it the first time, and there it was - right in front  of our faces and there was no shielding them from it this time.)

So I  pointed to the magazines and said to the cashier, "Do you all have to put out those awful magazines right where children can see them? It's really sad that I can't take my children out in public without exposing them to that trash!" (And I should have mentioned that  no one should have to look at them, but my blood pressure was in stroke range at this point - so I didn't have the mental clarity to mention anyone but children. lol.)

The cashier giggled, and that was it. I paid for my things, and as I turned to leave, she grabbed the magazines and put them under the counter. I was surprised! I  mumbled a "Thank you" and headed out the door, but wondered if the magazines would back on display when we went back. 

They weren't. We have been in the store several times since then, and they're gone. There's not even a slot to put the SI magazines in!

I never thought that my speaking  up would make a difference. And maybe I wasn't the only one that complained about it. But who cares??? The magazines. are. gone. 

And in a small way, the innocence of my children is preserved....for a little longer anyway. 

So I would encourage all you mamas out there who are concerned about what your children see, speak up! You might be surprised at the result. I certainly was.  :)

"Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in your way." ~ Psalm 119:37

sharing with Deep Roots At Home

Thursday, April 4, 2013

May I Introduce...

Hello friends,

What a busy 2 1/2 weeks it's been! The goats are taking even more time than I had anticipated. It's a good thing I have re-enforcements: my children. I am so thankful for their willingness to help out and they love taking care of the goats. 
As I mentioned in my last post,  I was concerned about having the time to milk and care for the goats properly....long before they arrived.  We've never had livestock before...only chicken, turkeys, and ducks.

I wondered....
1 - Would I be able to actually care for livestock??
2 - What about trimming the hooves and giving shots?
3 - Not to mention milking twice aday??
4 - Won't they tie us down, and we won't be able to go anywhere??

1.Turns out, goats are very easy to care for. I have already had to treat a minor bloat  problem (with a homeopathic remedy). It was actually easy to treat and not that big of a deal.

2. I trimmed their hooves this week. Again, not a big deal as long as the goats are munching on grass. And I have a  friend  who will be showing me how to give shots when the need arises.

3. I can carve an extra 60 minutes out of my day to milk them. It's taken us awhile to get used to the actual milking mechanics, but we're getting faster and more efficient at it. 

4. We're basically home-bodies anyway, so "being tied down" (as people called it) isn't a big deal. We are planning to go to family Bible camp this summer, but our neighbors have volunteered to take care of the goats for us.

We are getting almost a gallon of milk every day. And last week, for the first time in 30+ years of marriage, we didn't buy need to buy milk at the grocery store. (Yippee!) We consider having the goats as one more small step toward becoming self-sustaining.  :) 

  And I use the milk in all my recipes and I have even made yogurt and pudding with it. I was concerned about whether or not the children would like the milk; all they have ever had is cow's milk. But I didn't need to be concerned - they love it.  Hubby does, too.

Now to introduce you to the newest residents on the farm....
...the Toggenbergs...

Helena, who is 4 years old, is on the left. She is calm, mellow, and behaves quite well on the the milking stand.
 Fiona, who is 5 years old,  is on the right. She is the feisty and aggressive one. She has to be the first to get to the hay and any other food that becomes available. She gets very impatient on the milking stand. So I'm working hard to be a very efficient milker.  I also purchased a hobble, which is a huge help.
Fiona and Helena are watching....and waiting for the children to come back from the treehouse.
Even though we don't have a watch dog, the goats do just as well; they don't miss a thing!
Fiona would like one extra-large order of sweet feed, please  :)
I was asked if we're going to use an electric milking machine. Nope. Ian is my milking machine.  :)
Asher feeding Darcy. (Boy, am I glad the bottle-feeding stage is over!
The 2 kids are not the offspring of either Helena or Fiona. So we had to bottle-feed them til they were 10 weeks old.)
Darcy is the calmer of the 2 kids, but she is still very rambunctious.

Natty and Duffy. Duffy is the "Tasmanian Devil" of the twins. She gets into, on top of, and out of everything. We also call her "Houdini". 

The kids will eat anything from Mimi's zipper....
...to the bark on the cedar posts.  :)

And they never seem to run out of energy.

We are enjoying our goat-herding adventure. It has been a big adjustment, but I am learning so much, and my children are, too. My husband is also learning alot, and has been my biggest cheerleader in this endeavor.

As I said, we're one step closer to becoming self-sustaining.

Lord willing, we'll eventually get there. It might take awhile, but that's ok; we're enjoying the journey. :)

Hope you all have a blessed week-end.

"She also rises while it is yet night, 
And provides food for her household, 
And a portion for her maidservants."
Proverbs 31:15