Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Knitting, facial, and happenings

Hi everyone! I am so excited that Haley and I are going to get to take a knitting class together. It is at the Knitter's Nest and we are going to learn how to make a slipper sock. It is only $5 for the class which is a great deal for personal lessons. :-) I am hoping to someday learn how to make a sweater. Knitted items are so cozy and warm. Here is a recipe for a great, homemade clay mask. If you buy premade ones, they are quite pricey, so making your own is a frugal option.
  • 1 T Bentonite or French Green Clay
  • 1 t raw honey
  • 1/2 a squeezed leaf of aloe gel
  • 1/2 t jojoba oil
  • enough raw milk to make a spreadable paste

Spread this paste on your face and let set for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with a warm, wet cloth. Immediately moisturize with a healthy oil (apricot kernel, rose hip, almond, pumpkin seed, olive). Clay draws out impurities and tightens pores.

We had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed all of the times with both of our families. We missed spending Christmas week with my family in North Carolina, but we hope there will be another opportunity in the next few years. This year, we hosted the annual gathering for Tim's side of the family. We had a great time and enjoyed sharing music, food, and games.

This coming month we are going to have a new experience. We are going to help Tim's brother butcher a cow. Tim and Jon are each taking a 3 day weekend so that we have plenty of time to process the whole cow. For Christmas I gave Tim a Buck hunting knife that I am sure will get used. I am hoping to render some of the beef tallow to put into soap this winter too. We are going to have a great time together making forever memories. We are so thankful for the blessing of the meat too. :-)

Haley and her cousin Julia are memorizing 1 and 2 Peter together this year. We purchased some beautiful calendars from Kings Blooming Rose that encourage young women all year long to memorize Scripture. The calendars are so sweet and beautiful. If you have a young daughter, I definitely would recommend you looking up their ministry.

I have been doing lots of cross country skiing and am getting the hang of it slowly but surely. It is great exercise and a wonderful way to get out in the beautiful snow. Maybe next winter I can try snowshoeing. :-)

Haley and Logan had an opportunity recently to play in a church orchestra and they both really, really enjoyed it. We can't wait until they can start lessons and youth orchestra again. It is so, so much fun!! I never, ever tire of watching and hearing them play. Our prayer is that they can use the gifts God has given them for His honor.

Enjoy where the Lord has you and trust Him in even the smallest details of your life. He is such a good Father!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Warm Fragrances

My husband loves it when he walks in the door and is greeted with smells that delight his senses and make him feel relaxed and cozy. Most of the time, the smell of dinner greets his arrival, but in the winter I have another thing that pleases his (and our) senses. :-) I put these things in a little pot on the stove, add water until full, and simmer all day long:
  • cinnamon sticks
  • nutmeg slivers
  • whole cloves
  • orange, lemon, or lime peels that were going to be composted
  • a few drops of orange oil
  • a sprinkling of ground cinnamon
  • water

As this simmers on the stove, it makes the house smell warm and delicious. An extra bonus in the dry winter months is the moisture that is added to the air. You can get creative and really add anything that you think would smell good. I love making our home clean and smelling wonderful. Enjoy making your home a delight! :-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Proverbs 24:30-34

This morning I read this passage and it hit me once again the spiritual implications of it.
"I passed by the field of the sluggard and by the vineyard of the man lacking sense. And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles and it's surface was covered with nettles. It's stone wall was broken down. When I saw, I reflected upon it. I looked and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest. Then your poverty will come as a robber and your want like an armed man." ~Proverbs 24:30-34
What hit me was how similar this physical reality is to our spiritual life. If we don't diligently tend our hearts, speak and listen to Jesus, and feed on the 'nourishing' Word of God, thistles, nettles, and broken down walls will result in our life. Spiritual poverty. How many times does the Word say to be sober, to watch, to be vigilant? I often fall into the lull of life and forget the seriousness of the battle we are in. If some of us took care of our homes and family like we do our relationship with the Lord, it would be so sad. Well, how much more of a grief it is to neglect the Lover of our souls. Father, give me the strength to be faithful in the spiritual as well as the physical. Let me seek after You above all, as first priority. Help me to deny my flesh, take up my cross, and follow You. You are worth our all!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Laundry Soap

If you would like a cheap, fairly non-toxic way to make your own laundry soap, here is a simple recipe.
  • 1 bar of natural soap
  • 3/4 cup borax
  • 3/4 cup washing soda (not baking)
  • 1 teaspoon of orange or lemon oil
  • water

Finely grate soap into a large pot. Add 6 cups of water and put over med-low heat. Stir until soap is dissolved. Add the borax, soda, and 3 quarts of water. Stir until dissolved again. Remove from the heat and add the essential oil and 6 more cups of water. Let sit for 30 minutes or so and let thicken. After it has turned into a gel, use a wire whisk and whip the mixture to make it more uniform and smooth. Use 1/2 cup for a top loading washer and 1/4 cup for he washers. I think that you could make at least a years worth of soap for the same price as one might spend on Tide for a month. It is a very frugal and healthier way to get clean laundry. I have been told that to use this type of soap just costs a few pennies per load! Yay for another way to be a good steward. ~Blessings~

~Hunting Camp~

This past weekend we traveled 2.5 hours southeast to Tim's brother's house for the Stagg Annual Deer Camp. We arrived at bedtime Friday evening full of anticipation for the hunting and time to be together with family. After visiting together for a bit, we all headed to bed. The hunters set their alarms for 5:15 a.m. and excitement from old to young was in the air. Our son Logan, who is 11, was so thrilled to be allowed to go and sit with one of the older hunters. At the last minute we had found out that Tim was not able to get a deer license since we don't have MI drivers licenses. They do sell out-of-state deer licenses, but they are outrageously expensive. So even though Tim couldn't hunt, we wanted to be a part as much as we could. The next morning, I barely heard the hunters go out through my sleep deadened ears. A couple of hours later, I got up and started fixing breakfast for the crew. When I heard the first hunter come in, I couldn't wait to find out if someone had shot a deer!! But, no, no one had even shot at a deer. Oh well, maybe this afternoon/evening. We all enjoyed a big brunch and just thoroughly enjoyed being together. My sweet sister-in-law, Tammy, and I went out grocery shopping in the afternoon and got to stop and visit an Amish family for a while. We each bought a bushel of apples and huge 50 lb. bags of potatoes. Tammy also got delicious, fresh apple cider for dinner and many jars to can. We had a great time together getting good deals on food and chatting together. That evening we all ate a warm hamburger soup but, alas, still no deer. The next morning was a replay of the previous, but our spirits were still so hopeful for the next hunting time. :-) Sunday, Tom and Heather's family arrived and that just added to the fun and excitement. Now, there were six bow hunters in the woods! While making dinner, I heard the hunters come in and Tim told me to come to the basement. Joe had shot a deer and they all wanted to know if I wanted to go track the deer with them!!!!!! How exciting!!!!! I had to work hard not to squeal and run around. :-)))) The men wanted to keep it a secret from all the children until we brought the deer to the barn. I ran upstairs, trying to be as discreet as I could, and grabbed my coat, hat, boots, and gloves. We all grabbed flashlights and started tromping through the woods. It was SOOOOO much fun looking for blood trails and then finding the deer laying dead in the woods. WHOOOHOOOO! Joe gave us the deer and so we headed back to the house. There, Tim gutted and rinsed the deer. Several of the young boys and a brother or two helped and watched as Tim did a great job! What excitement. As per tradition, Joe fried up the tenderloin close to midnight and we all ate pieces of it. It was deeee-licious!! I wish I could post the pictures on here for you. The next morning all of the hunters went out again. Our family started to prepare to process the deer. We had to wash the bone saw, sharpen knives, wash down tables, get freezer vacuum bags made and labeled, and Tim had to skin the deer. As we were working on this, the hunters came in and Tom whispered to me that he had just shot a deer!! Oh thank you Lord!!!! So, we got to replay the tracking scene of the previous night. Too fun! It was so neat to watch the men teach the younger men how to track and what to look for. It really touched me to see them taking the time to pass on something very valuable to the next generation. Once Tim got his deer skinned and brought in to the basement to cut the meat off the bones, Tom was able to start gutting his deer in the barn. We all worked all day and got our deer finished and Tom's partly finished. Late that evening, after supper, we loaded up our Suburban and drove home. The next day I canned part of the deer. In all, we froze 13.5 lbs. of ground venison and canned 14 quarts of stew meat. We are so thankful! This time we had with Tim's family was so very special to us. Each of us enjoyed it immensely and are so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of treasured family memories.
Look for ways to pass on skills and traditions to your children. Enjoy those times of making memories with family, knowing that this time will never be again. Seize the moments God gives you. Blessings dear ones.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Hello friends! There is something that has been on my heart much lately-failure. Sometimes I can get in a cloud of negativity over my failures/sins. As I look back over the past year, I can see failure LOOMING around so many memories. I can get myself into a dark pit of thoughts if I focus on my many sins and shortcomings. In this situation I wasn't patient with my child(ren), in this trial I wasn't filled with faith in my God, or in this conversation I said something that did not bring edification to the one(s) listening. Oh my, how heavy my heart can get. But, is that how He wants me to deal with my sins? How does He want me to respond? I am still a younger woman and have much to learn, but I want to share at least what I know of His heart and Word now. First I believe He wants us to repent fully and soberly. Sin IS serious and comes between us and our Saviour. Also, we need to repent to and ask for forgiveness from those that we hurt in our sin. But, then....THEN, we need to lift up our eyes off of ourselves and continue to run our race. We need to 'forget' what we did yesterday and rejoice in His love and grace today. My tendency is to wallow in my pit of condemnation, but is that going to get me to the finish line? I think not!! Having my eyes on myself is not going to bring His life into my life. My eyes need to be SEEING Jesus and then I will be running. So, dear ladies, if you fail/sin, and somehow I am pretty sure you do ;-), don't stay in the pit of bashing yourself over the head. Repent and then worship, obey, and love Him. Keep running rather than rolling in the dust on the side and being of no use in His kingdom. ~ Blessings, Andrea~
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand." ~Psalm 37:23 &24
"For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again....." ~Proverbs 24:16a
"Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet, but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!" ~Philippians 3:12-14

Monday, October 18, 2010

Simple Iron Remedies

It seems that we ladies often have trouble with our iron levels. Low iron makes for really tired mamas and can be a risk for hemorrhaging during birth. Here are a few simple ideas for increasing our iron levels.
  1. Saute ORGANIC chicken livers in a small amount of butter or coconut oil. I have never done this myself, but have heard that it really, really works.
  2. Take an herbal supplement called Floradix. Many midwives recommend this.
  3. Eat lots of greens.
  4. Take beet root powder capsules or drink freshly made beet/carrot/celery/parsley/apple juice. This is building as well as cleansing. This is like a super shot of body building nutrition. Beets are amazing!
  5. Drink liquid chlorophyll in water daily.
  6. Kelp capsules
  7. Green smoothies. I have been doing this every morning lately. I take about 1 cup of water, 1 cup of blueberries, 1 banana, 4 kale leaves, 1-2 T of orange juice concentrate, 1 T evening primrose oil or flax seed oil and liquefy all of this in a blender. You can vary the greens and the fruit to your liking. This is so nutritious and cleansing first thing in the morning. Wow!!
  8. Chickweed/parsley/nettle/yellowdock/peppermint infusion tea sweetened with honey.

Those are a few ideas that I know of. Do you have any great ideas for building iron supplies? If so, I would love to hear them. It is so important to take care of our bodies so that we can live for Jesus with energy and enthusiasm. Blessings to you ladies and your life-giving bodies. :-)