What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, March 17, 2023

The Month That Was: February

Well, February zipped by, didn't it?  And March is following suit.  It is high time I blogged about February, but try squeezing a blog post around 3 children who all require the (single, solitary) computer for at least a portion of their schoolwork each day... when I have a free moment, there is usually schoolwork happening.  It ain't easy, my friends.

My February goals were intense (but necessary) which had the month fly by with barely a notice of the world around me.  We had two cows butchered earlier than expected and so the whole months' goals were surrounded around food: eating it, canning it, organizing it, making room for it, etc.

My goals were thus:

#1 Clean/organize basement  

#2 Empty out freezer.

#3. Do ZERO grocery shopping for the entire month.  This, in order to help me focus on emptying out the freezer and using up what I had. (The exception was the weekly run to my brother-in-laws for farm milk.)

Those are hardcore goals!  

 Every day I was making something yummy from something I had been hoarding for so long I had forgotten I had it in the first place.  The children didn't complain about the many muffin breakfasts or fruit smoothies.  Or soups for lunch or desserts like blueberry rhubarb crisp.  Often I was boiling soup bones to make bone broth and then canning it up.  I canned fruit jams.  I canned quarts (and quarts) of meat. 

I am quite sure my children love the No Grocery Challenge months more than any other time because…  soups and meat for lunch instead of sandwiches.  Meatloaf without feeling guilty from using all that meat!  Desserts! Generous heapings of vegetables in the stir fry! Oh, look!  A bag of french fries- let's eat them for lunch!

We literally had to eat (or can) through an ENTIRE CHEST FREEZER... it was nuts.

Somewhere around the food and freezer madness, we tore off socks and shoes on a 65 degree day and went to the creek just to put them back on a day later, in time for a few snowstorms.  Matt celebrated another birthday (like four times, because he is spoiled).  Aunt Holly treated some of us (non-working~ sorry, Corynn!) girls to a dinner-theater production of Cinderella, Valentine treats and cards were made and delivered, I was given a sourdough pet, we had an egg-roll making day (which deserves a post of its' own), Matt bought me flowers, and I was able to meet my exercise 3x/week goals every single week along with all the daily ones.

Overall, February was a very productive month.  Too productive, if you ask me.  

This month I've been taking it easy...

And it feels oooh, sooooooooooooooo goooooooooooooooooooooood.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The Month that was: January

Just when I was getting into the groove of blogging consistently, my computer stopped allowing me to upload photos!  And if you can't blog pictures, why then... what is there? 

Well... there is a January resolutions spreadsheet at the very least. (And just in time for a February one.)

I wonder how you all feel about being my accountability partners this year?  ::cue evil, maniacal laughter::

My goals for the year added a whole lot of intentionality to my already-busy life, so for my first month I was pretty impressed with myself.  I pretty much nailed everything except the exercising three times a week. (Naturally.)

But, any free time (to exercise) was spent blogging (accomplishing a different goal) so I don't feel badly.  As my whole focus this year is forward motion rather than end result, I am feeling pretty good about how January went.

The craft category this month was making two batches of homemade soap.

As long as we are on the topic of habits and goals...

I just finished reading the book Atomic Habits by James Clear.  Though it seems unlikely that a book about habits could be gripping and entertaining... it really was.  And very encouraging. I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants to create more good habits in their lives.  Or who are working to break bad ones. 

As I was reading it, there were plenty of amens and a few ouches. 

At one point the author calls out the habit of eating a bar of dark chocolate first thing every morning- and my eyes shot up (chocolate in hand) and started sheepishly looking around for cameras for something.  How did he know?!

Hopefully, I can get someone to help me figure out this whole camera/photo thing soon so that more interesting and beautiful things can appear on the blog.  ANYTHING other than spreadsheets!  

  (I happen to know a guy named Matt who is very handy in that area...)

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The Misfits

Just like the Island of Misfit Toys, this post is piled high with the photos of 2022 that might be a bit disheveled, a little bit quirky... and don't really have a nice home to go to.  

But deserving of a place, nonetheless.

In no particular order (because who has time for that on the last day to get caught up on the blog?!)...

The message rock had a visitor one day

This is Matt's and my tree.  It is an apt representation of us.
He, the strong stalwart one and me draping myself all over him.

Oh how I miss those eyes.  

Learning to sing parts and harmonize at church

The state of Andrew's boots when mowing season was over.  

A real live Ransom can fit into a doll baby stroller!

From the angle, I suspect a Miss Ineke took this picture of Papa, home from work

A shocking comparison...

As Judah is only twelve.

It is possible I may have blogged this one, but even if I did, I include it now.  Because= FLOWERS!

Another project: 

Resurrecting the old sidewalk to make a new walkway.  You can see where old stones are buried by the dead spots in the grass. 

Not only is the end result elegant, but it should help with the mud situation in spring. 

BONUS!  The leftover sand was made into a BEACH!

Els and Falko!  A very special visit from very special people, come all the way from England!

A hearty wave to you folks again, Els!  Ineke was remembering your visit and said "I love her smile.  It is hard not to be happy when she smiles."  It's true.  She also said of Falko "He was such a kind man!"  So you both have a fan (or several!) in PA.

Matt's famous!  The boys spy him on the wall at his work.

There's a bit of redneck in this boy

Lookie here!  I found another handmade from last year!  A thunderstorm satchel for a niece who is terrified of thunderstorms and hides out when the sky even hints at a storm.

Apple Day: 

In the fall, I have access to cheap bulk "seconds" of apples.  Usually they are beautiful.  This year they were half mangled and bruised but they had already been shipped locally so I was committed.

 I spent a day turning 7 bushels of them into deliciousness.  Poof!  Edible once again!

As they say, many hands make light work.  (I am so thankful for my helpers!)

The cows enjoyed apple day!

In addition to this apple sauce and apple butter, we made 3ish gallons of apple cider and a dehydrator full of apple slices.  All in a day's work!

A wedding present Corynn made for a friend.  Wish she had been my friend when I was married! ;-)

Just hours before Corynn cut her hair off...
  She loves it short.  Short hair suits her.
But I wish I had been able to attach that extra hair to my own head.  Just saying.

Uncle Nate, a ladies man

Our bedroom is ugly.  I hate it.  I hide it.  Through the years, when we have worked on the house, we have worked on the spaces that other people see.  Then we worked on the childrens' rooms, because they were a bigger priority.  Everything is a bigger priority than this one. 

It is shameful- there are water stains running down an entire wall.  The ceiling is flaking.  The wallpaper is rubbed and faded.  There is a hole in the wall.  And because of this, I have never made any effort to make it anything more lovable.

I decided last year to do something to make it a little bit nicer, even though we can't really tackle fixing up this big of a project right now.  

For Christmas several years ago, Corynn made me a beautiful drawing of her and I when she was little.  I got the idea that I needed to put it on the wall.   And then I wondered why not add to the wall by my bed a picture of me with each of my treasures?  So I stopped by the dollar store and bought a stack of frames and found a favorite picture of everyone.

It instantly made me so, so happy!  

So happy, in fact, I didn't stop there.  Rather than have nightstands full of piles of books, I asked Matt if he would make me a shelf to line the top of the wall over our bed.  He being the kind husband he is, he did.  And he did it just exactly how I had envisioned it.

Ignore the water stains, wallpaper, holes and flakes and ADMIRE THE BOOKSHELVES!  And the PICTURE FRAMES!  (And the tiger on my bed...)

It's amazing what just a TINY effort can do for a perspective.

Although: Full Disclosure: our nightstands have new stacks of books.

Speaking of our bedroom:  One night, hours after I had tucked this Little Mister into his own bed in his own room, I went to bed to find that he had snuck into our bed and had read himself to sleep.  What a cherub.

What a naughty little cherub!

PHEW!  I did it!  Not a single old photo left to blog. Welcome February!  I am ready for you.