Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Drum Roll Please........

And the winner of the It Just Felt Right Giveaway, who wins the items pictured below is...

Regina from over at Changing of Seasons. Please send me your address, so I can get the box sent to you. Congratulations and thank you everyone for participating.

Another Great Vision Forum Offer

I am a little bit behind the times here. Vision Forum is having another wonderful offer. It was for 5 days, but now there are only 2 days left. Sorry.

For five days only — March 28-April 1, 2009 — receive a free $50 gift certificate (passport) for every $95 of Vision Forum merchandise you order!

There is no limit to the value of the passport you can receive:

$95 Order = 1 Free $50 Gift Certificate
$190 Order = 1 Free $100 Gift Certificate
$285 Order = 1 Free $150 Gift Certificate
And on!

These free gift certificates may be redeemed between May 2 and December 24, 2009, and are good toward our entire product selection at Vision Forum.Com.

We hope that this special opportunity will permit you to purchase important resources for your family now, and also provide you with gift certificates for future occasions (a new product, a special gift, etc.). If you place a qualifying order online, your free gift certificate will be issued electronically and immediately e-mailed to you.

This special offer is not valid for wholesale orders, is not retroactive to purchases made prior to March 28, 2009, may only be redeemed online , and expires at midnight on Wednesday, April 1 (CDT).

I wanted to share with you about a wonderful movie that we watched. The movie is called, "The Widow's Might." It is excellent. It won the Jubilee award at the SAICFF. We already owned one of their other movies, "Heartstrings" that also had "Bubble Trouble" on the DVD. They did a great job on those as well. These films are made by two young men and their families and they are really growing in their skills. I would highly recommend this film.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wonderful Giveaway at You Can Make This dot com

There is a wonderful give away over at Youcanmakethis.com. The prize is a Marie Osmond Quilter’s Companion sewing machine from Janome! Hop on over there and get your entry in!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It Just Felt Right Give Away!!

This Giveaway is now closed. We will let you know who won soon. Thanks for all who entered.

I am very excited about this giveaway. I have a good friend who moved away several years ago. She and her husband homeschool their children. She has 6 boys and then God brought her a little girl. They are expecting their second little girl in just a few weeks. She loves to knit and does it every chance she gets. She has knitted some darling bags. She uses wool yarn and then felts the bags. These are extremely well made bags and are not only whimsical and delightful, but very useful as well. The name of her business is "I Felt Wooly".

I now have her collection up in my store. You can see them here.

is graciously allowing me to give one of the bags away. I decided to use this opportunity to get some people over to the store to see her bags and maybe make some sales. Yes, I know... I am shameless. :)

Here are the rules of the giveaway. Go over to the store and browse through her bags. Let me know which one you like best. Then tell me how you would use it. For instance, would you use it to keep your cell phone in, or use it as a diaper bag, or do you have a favorite outfit it would go perfect with. This will give us some ideas on all the different ways these bags could be used. That will get you one entry. (Please limit this first entry to one per family) To get a second entry take the button from the top of this post and put it on your blog or web page with a link back to this post and leave the URL in the comments section. This will earn you a second entry.
If you buys something in the store, I will give you 2 more entries. Then if you decide to go ahead and buy a bag leave a comment on your order and you will get five additional entries.

The deadline to get your entries in will be midnight EST on March 28th, 2009. Please do not leave information in the comments that you do not want me to publish. If you click on my profile, there is a link to my email. Send me private information there.

Here is the prize. You will receive a Blue and Purple Wooly Bag, a box of All Occasion cards, a Decorative Candle with a lid, 4 Spice Jars with colorful lids, 3 Single Servings of Dandy Blend Instant Dandelion Beverage packets, and a Toby Teaboy. You can click on this picture to make it larger.

Here is another picture of just the bag...

Thank you all for reading my blog and for the encouragement that you give me. Be sure and get your entry in on time!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

More on the Granny Cap Covers

Melissa asked me in the last post how I did the elastic on the granny cap covers I made. I also wanted to make sure you knew that on the sourdough starter crock and on the kombucha jars, the lids are just cloth with out the plastic. Both of these need to be able to breath.

I started out with 1/2" wide elastic and like it best, but I ran out and did some of them with 1/4" elastic. I would measure a piece of elastic just a bit shorter than the diameter of the jar or crock or bowl. Fold the elastic in half and take an ink pen and mark the middle of the elastic. Then fold it in half again and mark those two folds. When you open up your elastic you will have 3 separate marks all on the same side. It will show 4 equal spaces. I cut a round piece of material larger than the size of the container I would put it on. I tried to find objects in my house to trace like a dinner plate or a bowl. I then finished the edge with my serger attachment. Fold the circle in half with the wrong side of the material facing out. Make a mark at each end. Then fold it in half again and mark that fold on the outside edge. Then open it up and fold it in half the other way and mark that edge. When you open the circle up and put one of your marks at twelve o'clock, you will also have one at 3, 6 and 9. I put the elastic about 3/4" in from the edge or however you want it (it depends on how much bigger your material is than the container it goes on) on the wrong side of the material. and put the needle of the sewing machine down into the elastic and material. Have the end of the elastic even with one of your marks on the circle. Then take a pin and put the first mark on the elastic even with the next mark on the material. Pin it down. Then stretch the elastic as you sew trying to keep it an even distance from the edge. Once you hit that pin, leave the needle in the down position and pin the next mark even with the next mark on the material and do the same thing. You keep going around in that way making the end of the elastic meet the beginning at the first mark on the material. It sounds hard and confusing, but it is really very easy.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sewing Granny Cap Covers

Almost every time our fellowship meets we have a pot blessing dinner. I many times take a large salad. We try to watch what we eat and this makes sure there is something we can fill up on. I have a couple of large bowls and every time I go, I use either plastic wrap or foil to cover them. I had an idea to try and make some covers for the bowls. On the large blue gingham cover and the bowl in front in red gingham, I lined them with a clear plastic. It worked well, but the material ended up puckering up at the end of sewing around the outside. I have since talked to a friend and she told me to put the plastic on the top when I sew the next one and this might eliminate my problem. I am using a serger attachment on my machine, so it overlocks the edges with stitches and then cuts off the excess. So, doing the covers upside down won't matter. I also decided to make lids for my kombucha jars and my sourdough starter crocks. I was having a good time while experimenting. I should be able to do it easily now. I also made some napkins. I was experimenting with different edgings on those as well. I want to do some more sewing tomorrow. I love to sew, but rarely do it. Here are a couple of pictures of some of the covers I made today. I am hoping this will be a money savings in the end by not using the plastic wrap and foil.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Create a Blessing For Your Children

I have been thinking about something and decided to share it several places. I have a recipe box, but I also have a basket full of loose recipes. I know in my mind what size of paper, what color, or some identifying thing that I can flip through them and find what I want fairly quickly. Many times when I go through my recipe basket, I end up weeping as memories sweep across me. I have many recipes in my Mom's own hand writing. I have one for potato doughnuts that is in my Grandma's handwriting. She used to bake batches and batches of these. My Mom and her siblings would go out and sell them door to door. These cards are often stained and faded, yet they are such a blessing to me.

We have all these fancy things we can put our recipes into on the computer, etc. Don't forget to put some family favorites on a recipe card or a hand decorated piece of paper and date them. Give them to your children. I have my Mom's two famous jello recipes she gave to me, and she gives me directions at the bottom. Then she tells me how many generations of my family have made them and tells me to enjoy them. She then signed it Love, Mom. This is precious to me. Bless your future generations by creating something in your own handwriting for them. Just a thought.

Fennel George Emerged!!

For those of you who have read my blog for awhile, you know that I like to get caterpillars and watch them create their chrysalis and then hatch into a butterfly. Normally, the Wonderful Neighbor children find the caterpillars on the milkweed plants and bring them to me. These turn into Monarch butterflies. I name them all George. :) It is easy to remember their name that way. Well, last year, while I had a couple of Monarch Georges and also Weird George, I found a caterpillar on the fennel. I called him Fennel George. You can see a couple of more posts about him here and here. He ended up spending the winter in a canning jar in my kitchen. I had put him in a back corner and left him alone. I saw the jar the other day and thought I had better set it out somewhere, so I would not forget about him when it got warm. Well, DON'T bring a caterpillar in over the winter. You can keep him, but keep him outside somewhere. Fennel George emerged from his chrysalis. He is a beautiful Black Swallowtail butterfly. I am not sure yet what I am going to do with him, because I think he will die if I put him outside. Here are some pictures of him from today.

Last year I also got the privilege of seeing one of them get into their chrysalis. I have some pictures and even a short video clip here. I would still like to watch one come out of it.

Here is an update on Fennel George. I took him to the Wonderful Neighbor's last night. One of the boys is doing a science fair project on the life cycle of the butterfly. The science fair is this Saturday. He is going to take George with him as part of his project!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Count Your Blessings Monday!!

Here is an opportunity for all of us to give thanks unto the Lord for a blessing in our lives. If you would like to take part great. If not that is OK too. If you would like to share your blessing, just leave it in the comments. If you want to use the picture above and list a blessing on your own site, then leave a URL to your site in the comments. There is no pressure here. I just know that I am incredibly blessed and I would like to share that and give thanks to Him who all blessing come from. This is a way that we can encourage one another. I know that I am often encouraged when someone shares a blessing with me. I think that many times we forget that it is a blessing to be able to breath, to get out of bed, to hold a baby... Share your blessings with us. We can share so many other things.... special gifts, recipes, let's take the time to share how God has blessed us!!

I have many blessings I can be thankful for. I have a wonderful husband who loves me and has been the love of my life for over 30 years. We will celebrate our 30th anniversary in April. I have a wonderful son, whom God gave me through adoption and now his beautiful bride. It is really fun having a girl to hang out with after all the boys around me all my life. :) I am blessed to still have my Dad alive and his wife Alice has been a blessing to our family as well. I am also blessed to have wonderful in laws. God has truly blessed me with family and even though some of them have gone on to be with Him, most of them are still here for me to enjoy.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

History Has Been Made - Review

Vision Forum had allowed me to give away one of their new CD albums awhile back. They also sent me one to listen to and write a review on. I chose the one you see to the left. I was not sure what to expect, but would really love to attend the festival some time, so I thought I would go at least in part by hearing what went on. It was really eye opening. I knew they would not play the films on these CD's, but I was not sure what all I would hear.

I knew I would hear some good singing and I was not disappointed. They had Charlie Zahm singing hymns, ballads and songs that brought our rich history into light. The Von Trapp Children sang as well. What a treat to hear them.

Then George Sarris recited the story of the battle of Jericho. I will say, you had to keep the remote with the sound control in your hand. One minute the dogs had their heads cocked because he was hollering out the trumpet blare and the next, I could hardly hear him as he continued the suspenseful story telling. I believe from what Doug Phillips said to introduce him that he had memorized that entire portion of scripture and was reciting it by memory and using voices for the different people. I would love to hear more of him. He also spoke on one of the CD's about how we can impact our world. He had some very valid points that I really appreciated. He said there were 3 kinds of Christians. Some were of the world and in the world. Some were not of the world and not in the world. and some were in the world but not of the world. He told how the ones that were neither in the world, nor of the world, were not seen. They did not have a great impact. They stuck with their own kind and were so heavenly minded, that they were no earthly good. They deal with non-Christians wrongly, by expecting them to act like Christians. They don't take the time to get to know them because they do sinful things. He chose to take a job in the field God led him to, but one that was in the world. He wanted to be different. He met with people and built a relationship with them. I appreciate that outlook. There is too much holding our skirts up in disdain to tiptoe in and through the sin of the unsaved. We need to meet with them and love them. I think this is one of the messages that I most appreciated.

Voddie Bacham gave a message on what we should and should not learn from Hollywood about True manhood. It showed how deception can be intricately woven in to what we watch. Some of it is pretty clear. I think of the Bill Cosby show. He was sort of a buffoon, while his wife was the smart one that kept them all together. That just smacks of feminism. However, sometimes it is woven in, in such a way that we don't realize it. He explained how important it was to keep a biblical world view while watching film. The keys for the men were how it pertained to their relationship to God, to their families and to their work. We really appreciate Voddie. You can tell when he speaks that he is a very educated man. However, he is very down to earth and real and does not use all sorts of big flowery words. He does throw in a big one every now and then, but you can grasp what he is saying.

They had a panel discussion about Fireproof and its impact on the film industry and also on marriages around the world. It is amazing how God has taken this film and reached so many people in so many different ways. They truly gave God the glory for it.

There was a lot of different things on these CD's and I can't even remember them all. However, it was really good to see how this industry (the film and entertainment industry) is being used for God's glory. It showed all the different aspects of the industry and how it effects people. This is well worth listening to.

Vision Forum has many very useful tools for you and your family to help you as you try to live for and raise up a generation of warriors for the Lord. I highly recommend their resources.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Slash Household Expenses

As Christian families, we strive to make our homes places of enterprise, activity, and wise stewardship. When we can incorporate activities into our home life that help us achieve these ends while modeling them for our children’s education, we have a vision for success.

There are many things going on in todays world that makes you want to take some action to protect your family. There are hard economic times here with more coming and also a time when our food is no longer "safe." We hear of all the things they put in our food and all the bacteria that slips through the quality control system. Many people are choosing to do more things at home. They are raising and growing their own food and making soap and cooking from scratch. There are some great videos out there to help people get started on these different areas. Vision Forum is having a sale to help you get some of these videos into your home.

Offer #1: Homestead Blessings Video Series - $45 for the set (25% off)

In this professionally-produced, 3-DVD set, you will learn how to bake bread, make soap, and create beautiful homemade candles—each skill offers a great way to save money and create uniquely personal gifts while working together as a family.

Offer #2: Frugal Homestead Ideas Collection - $30 for the set (17% off)

The Backyard Homestead: Have you ever wanted to transform your backyard into your family’s personal grocery store? Learn how now!
Just in Case: Everything you need to know about how to survive when public services fail is covered in this essential guide to family preparedness.

Offer #3: Save even more if you buy all 3 DVDs and 2 books for just $68.

Bonus Offer:
Purchase the entire collection above and SAVE 68% on The Entrepreneurial Bootcamp DVD Collection. Get the entire package for just $99!

Prepare for self-employment in an uncertain economy, and learn how to biblically escape “the rat race” and work with your family in The Entrepreneurial Bootcamp DVD collection.

I know that many of the homesteading type things we do, we learned from watching others or reading books. These are some good sources for you to have on hand.

Special Offers End March 25, 2009

Act now to take advantage of these cost-saving special offers! Special pricing is available only online, is not retroactive, and expires at midnight (CST) on March 25, 2009.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Light And Fluffy Dinner Rolls

I found a recipe for dinner rolls that I wanted to try. I tweaked it around a bit. They were SO GOOD!!! They were soft and light and fluffy and delicious!!

Here is the recipe...

Dinner Rolls

Use organic and grass fed when possible. :)

Approx. 3 cups of freshly ground Prairie Gold flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. of organic cane crystals (sugar)
1 Tbsp. SAF yeast (or other instant yeast)
1 tsp. sea salt or real salt
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup sour cream
1 farm fresh egg

Mix half of the flour, the cane crystals, yeast and salt together.

Heat the water, butter, and sour cream to around 118 degrees. Then pour it into the dry ingredients. Mix together and knead. Let it rise once, punch it down and then divide into 12 pieces. (These were pretty big, I would probably make 16 next time). Shape into a ball, knot or cloverleaf. Bake on greased pan at 350 degrees for 25 mins. or until golden brown.

When they come out either brush some butter on the tops or spray with water. I just spray water on mine. It keeps them soft and saves some calories. :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Franklin Springs Family Media Contest!!

Franklin Springs Family Media has just announced a fun and entertaining new contest. Submit a video or photo slideshow of you with your family, or by yourself, making a recipe featured on one or more of the Homestead Blessings DVDs; The Art of Breadmaking, The Art of Soap Making, or The Art of Candle Making. If you do not have the DVDs, they can be rented from NETFLIX.com, or ordered with free shipping from Franklin Springs . Use free shipping promotion code: westcontest02354

A winner for each category will be selected from all entries received by the following deadlines:

The Art of Breadmaking—Deadline for submission: April 10th
The Art of Soap Making—Deadline for submission: April 17th
The Art of Candle Making—Deadline for submission: April 24th

A Best of Contest prize of $100 will also be awarded to the best submission judged by our panel.

Whether this will be your first time making one of these projects, or you are a seasoned professional, we would love to see you have fun and enjoy these good old-fashioned skills.

All video submissions should be no longer than 3 minutes. Language and attire must be appropriate for our family audience. Franklin Springs reserves the right to disqualify any submission from the contest. By entering this contest, and unless requested otherwise, all entrants grant permission for their entry to be posted on the Friends of Franklin Springs Family Media website.

Three Ways to Enter
1. Send entry via email to contests@franklinsprings.com
2. Upload your video to Facebook, YouTube, Google Video, or any other site and send us the link.
3. Join the Contest Group at the Friends website (http://community.franklinsprings.com/) and upload your video to your profile.

Please include your name and address, and be sure to tell us how you heard about the CONTEST! If you are chosen as the winner, I also win something if you mention you heard about the contest on my blog!!!

Can You Smell It? :)

Today, I am dehydrating some garlic slices. I showed you my harvest here. Then I told you how a friend helped me to get them ready for storage in this post. Well, I am still using my garlic and it is still good. However, I know it can't last forever, so I am dehydrating some of it. The aroma is powerful. I am sure you can smell it even through the blog. :) I walked outside and when I came back in, my eyes started watering. I am slicing it and then I will dehydrate the slices. As I need more garlic powder, I will throw a handful into my food processor or blender and make garlic powder. The fresh garlic powder is so much better than what you buy in the store. We keep a shaker of it on the table. We put it on lots of different foods. Our friends all love using it as well. I store the garlic in old net bags I saved from buying potatoes and lemons.

I peeled the cloves and then put them in my food processor with the slicing blade.

All of the above peels will go in my compost.

Sorry the above picture is a bit dark. Here are the slices on my dehydrator trays.

It is amazing at how fast the grass is greening up. We have had some good days of sunshine and some rain. It is a real blessing to see green grass again.

My sheep will be getting sheared soon. It may be this Saturday and I really hope it is. They are all possibly (hopefully) pregnant and really could go at any time. I like to have them sheared first. I wanted to take these before pictures of them.

There are several of the daffodil plants with blooms now. These are out back by the crocus.
Well, back to the kitchen to finish up. Have a blessed day!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This And That!!

It seems like a whole new part of me comes alive in the Spring. I am not even sure I realize it has ever gone to sleep. I have more of a bounce in my step. I love to hear the birds singing through my open windows. The dogs lay out in the yard and take long sun baths (or should I say naps). :) It does not take very many days of warm and sunshine to make the green start to appear in the grass. The bulb plants start pushing up through the soil. I have daffodils and crocus blooming already. The hyacinth are just pushing up through the soil. the iris are coming up as well as the tiger lily greens. Pretty soon, we will see the asparagus pushing its way up through the surface. I love getting the first tender shoot of asparagus and eating it raw in the garden. There are big green leaf buds on the lilac and the forsythia has buds that are swelling with new life. I am used to this farm and I know where to go and look for signs of life.

The farm is for sale, but it will be fun watching the Spring on a new farm. The first year on a new place is always exciting. You have to constantly be out and hunting around for the signs of each season. Cheri, the TN Farmgirl suggested that I tell you, my readers, again, that our farm is for sale. Maybe one of you have been dreaming of a home in the country where you can raise and grow your own food. If you are, please contact me through my email.

My kitchen has become a happening sort of place. :) I have to remember to feed my sourdough starter. I have 2 jars of kombucha going and I just won some kefir grains and so I am making kefir as well. My son recently accused me of being a hippie. :) I also want to make soap soon.

I took some of my sheep to a new home recently. My friend Rachel orignally gave me my first two sheep. They have a lot of animals. Here is their baby alpalca (called a cria). Isn't it cute?

I love how this picture turned out. This is 2 of their llamas and one of the alpacas.

Here is another alpaca.

I went outside Sunday with Brittany to check on blooming things. :) The crocus out back were going nuts!!

Here is my dear sweet Brittany holding our very wretched farm cat. Gino was gone for over a week. I am sure he was out partying with the ladies. He came back and had lost a lot of weight, his fur was greasy and matted, and he was filthy. I can't even believe she picked him up.

Here are the daffodils on the south side of the house. That is where Michael found that first one for me. This is the only place they are blooming so far.

Here are some of the buds on the lilac bush.

This is Molasses. She is Buttercup's daughter. We are hoping she is pregnant, but we are not sure. She is a very dark jersey. Her sire is actually from an old line of jerseys that have never been bred up for production. They do extremely well on grass alone. If you put a jar of goat's milk along side a jar of cow's milk the goat's milk looks very white. Buttercup's milk is very yellow and creamy. However, when you put Buttercup's milk next to Molasses' milk, it looks white to the almost orange color of Molasses' milk. The colostrum that Molasses gives looks like pumpkin puree in color.

Here are the buds on the Bradford Pear. From a distance, they almost look like pussy willow buds. I would really like to have a pussy willow one day.

Here is the sedum coming to life. Can you sedum? :)

I found this over by my fruit trees and grape vines. It is a mullein plant. Most people call them weeds, but they are wonderful for your lungs.

We have an old broken down potato planter out near the driveway. There must have been mice in it or something. Belle was going nuts. Star was a little bit interested, but Belle was climbing over and under and in this thing. We were cracking up watching her.

Star is running toward me, but if you look on the potato planter, you can see Belle's rear end sticking up. She is after something. :)

Well, this was a very random post. I hope you enjoyed our trip around the farm.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Vision Forum's Big Spring Sale

Vision Forum has been a real blessing to our family. We only wish that we had these resources many years ago when our son was younger. There are many godly teachings that still apply to us in our stage of life. They teach biblical principles on raising godly children, on being godly parents, on looking ahead and planning not just for our generations, but for our children, our grandchildren and beyond.

Once again, they are offering a sale that allows you to get big discounts on their products. They need to make room in the warehouse by clearing out the products they are overstocked on from the busy winter season. They have chosen over 200 products to discount up to 70% so that you, your family will get the most value for your dollars as you enjoy tremendous savings on some amazing products.

A Sampling of Savings:

Raising Maidens of Virtue - 50% discount

Ballantyne Adventures - 50% discount

Reformation and Revival (book) - 55% discount

The Influence of Older Children on the Younger (CD) - 70% discount

Click here to see the entire list.

There is another special that they are allowing me to share with you. It will not be offered anywhere on their website. If you order a copy of Doug's new book, Little Boy Down the Road, you may purchase the Victories! CD for $3.00 (that's 70% off!). Just use coupon code 0309CD. This code may be used multiple times but is only good through March 16, 2009 so don't wait too long.

Count Your Blessings Monday!!

Here is an opportunity for all of us to give thanks unto the Lord for a blessing in our lives. If you would like to take part great. If not that is OK too. If you would like to share your blessing, just leave it in the comments. If you want to use the picture above and list a blessing on your own site, then leave a URL to your site in the comments. There is no pressure here. I just know that I am incredibly blessed and I would like to share that and give thanks to Him who all blessing come from. This is a way that we can encourage one another. I know that I am often encouraged when someone shares a blessing with me. I think that many times we forget that it is a blessing to be able to breath, to get out of bed, to hold a baby... Share your blessings with us. We can share so many other things.... special gifts, recipes, let's take the time to share how God has blessed us!!

Today, I am thankful for God allowing me to live on a farm. I was not raised on a farm and we have had to learn as we go. That has been a lot of the fun though. I love to look out and see the cows in the pasture. If we go out and the sheep see us, they call out to us. I hear roosters crowing and then hear the hens announcing their latest egg. I am grateful to the Lord for this blessing.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

What a Sweet Man!!

Michael said that he was going outside to do chores. I went off to do something else. In a couple of minutes he came back in and just stood in front of me. I asked him what he needed. He pulled this out from behind his back.... The FIRST daffodil of the year!!! He was on his way out to the barn and found it on the side of the house. He knew I would be excited. Isn't he a sweetheart?