Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Baby Birds need to eat too!

Baby birds are so fun to watch. We have several fun birdhouses around and this year have had a lot of fun watching them. Here is a picture ( although a bit blurry) of a momma bird feeding her adorably cute babies. I love how they open their mouths so wide, just knowing mom will put something good in it.
 



Monday, June 8, 2015

Dill and Bread and Butter Pickles

Ah cucumbers. We planted quite a few this year and so far they are doing great! This is the first large harvest we've seen, besides just a few here or there we've been eating.
 
Everyone needs some fantastic baskets for picking the garden. They sell fancy ones that are expensive but this one I think I got for maybe $1 at a yard sale. We've been using it for years.

Pickles aren't that difficult in my opinions. You can get recipes from the Ball Book of Canning, online by just googling pickle recipes and from mixes such as Mrs. Wages.  Our family likes a combination of Dill, Spicy Dill and Bread and Butter. Today's canning session produced
4 quart Dill, 3 quart bread and butter and 1 pint bread and butter.
 
I forsee me doing more batches in the future, as long as the garden keeps producing. We love sandwiches and hamburgers with dill on it, as well as just crunching on them for a snack or with a meal. I only have one child that loves the Bread and Butter as of yet, but it's my favorite and my father will appreciated a few jars as gifts as well.
 
To see my totals for canning for the 2015 season you can go here.!
 
Let me know in your comments what you have been canning so far.
 
Happy Homesteading!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A girl and her chicks: A love story in pictures

Above is a picture of my oldest daughter several years ago with a baby chick. She loved her chicks.
Here she is about 5 years later with a new chick. She still loves her chicks. We have 12 adult chickens right now, and now we have 8 teenager chickens as the kids call them , and 8 new chicks. We have some neat breeds that the girls plan on showing at the fair. I'll let you know how that goes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Ministering to those with Cancer ( or other troubles)

I'm betting you won't have to look around far to see those that are having some troubles. It seems right now in our community there are several fighting cancer. Besides prayer there are a few other ways I would like to encourage you to minister to those with cancer.

1. Offer yourself
Many times the family or patient won't accept help, but it's nice to ask. When you know of a family that is having troubles think what might be of help to them. Some suggestions ( depending on how well you know them)
-picking up things from town for them ( works well if the family lives far from town like ours does)
-mowing the yard or other yard type work, especially if the one that is ill is the one that does the mowing
-offer to clean their home or do their laundry
-offer to watch their children so the adults can rest


2. Offer a meal
- I call ( or text or email) and let them know I would like to bring a meal and what night and time this week would be good for them. I then follow up letting them know I'll be there with dinner at 6 pm on Friday so they know to expect it.
-bring the food in disposables so they won't have to worry about getting back your best lasagna pan, you can find aluminum dishes of all size at Dollar Tree around here and I just stock up when I go.
-If you don't know the family well , get a sense of what they like
-Sometimes after a long illness the budget also decreases so I'll try to bring some treats especially if they have kids, things they may not be used to getting so much
-I also bring a bag of paper plates, napkins, silverware etc. so they family won't have to do dishes, I normally try to ditch the disposables, but this is one time I use them


3. Send a card
I find it's odd to write "Get Well Soon" on a card for those undergoing lengthy chemo or radiation treatments, but some other things to write might include
-Praying for you
-Thinking of you
-Hope you have a better week
-Sending hugs
-Love you and your family
-Sending smiles your way
Something along those lines. DaySpring has some good cards with religious sentiments on them and I normally buy the variety pack to have them on hand, but again the Dollar Tree has some good ones for .50 cents each here.

I challenge you to find one family in your area this week that could use a smile. Let them know that others care and offer up one of the above this week: yourself, a meal or a card. Let me know of a time recently you have been ministered to like this, or have ministered to others.

Happy Homesteading Y'all

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Schoola: Sign up now for $15 credit and FREE SHIPPING, get some summer clothes for your kiddos

I don't post about this sort of thing a ton, but I ran across this and want to share.
The site Schoola  is kind of like an online thrift store for kids clothing.

You can shop by size, by type ( dresses, sweaters, shorts etc.) and by gender.

I bought 2 pairs of LLBEAN Leggings for my daughters for this summer and a nice tshirt. They all came in under $15 ( which I had for signing up) and shipping is FREE right now, so it didn't cost me a thing.

Try it out! Here is the link : SCHOOLA

Every single penny we can save is a blessing, and I believe we are to be good stewards of our money. I have no problem shopping second hand stores, thrift stores and yard sales. There are times when buying new is appropriate and maybe even necessary, but especially for things like play clothes, why waste that money? I also like to reuse!

Hope that helps someone out.

Happy Homesteading Y'all!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Let's get to pickling ( peppers and asparagus that is)!

  


 What can you get for $3 and a dozen eggs?
All this apparently. I went to the Farmer's Market this morning and there was a man there with jalapenos from his hot house and this whole bunch of jalapenos was just $3. So I got those and then I traded 1 dozen eggs to a friend of mine for this beautiful asparagus. Look at it. Just lovely. We have finally planted some, but we won't be able to get a harvest from it until next year.


So after putting away some for our meals this week I still had quite a bit left and wanted to pickle some of it. My husband and I adore pickled jalapenos. We actually ran out about mid January and were quite sad. We put them on pizza, tacos, potatoes, frittatas, omelets etc. We use them on. everything. So I was glad to fill up this jar with the peppers. I hoe to put up many many more from our garden this year as well.



 And just look at those asparagus. Again, I may enter those into the fair. They are (almost) too pretty to eat. I will sauté some up tonight as well for supper. Good stuff. The jalapenos are basically just vinegar and water and some pickling salt. I added garlic and dill to the asparagus mixture. Good eatin'!
 
If ya'll have been keeping up with my 2015 caning totals you can peak at it here.
 
Happy Homesteading Y'all!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

More strawberries!

Strawberries are just pretty awesome. I've already put up one batch of strawberries this season. You can read about that here. But we just  LOVE strawberries. Remember there are five of us. Me and the hubs then three young kiddos. We go through some jam. PBandJ's of course, but also on biscuits, scones, toast, etc.
I decided I should go ahead and put some more jam up. It's no fun to get to the end of the winter and be out of your favorite treat. By the way, my jam is pretty great. I just follow the Sure Jel Recipe, but it turns out quite well.
I just got two flats this time.
 We have a great strawberry farm not too far from our house.So we went this morning.
Aren't they beautiful? So sweet!

For this batch I ended up with 1 quart, 6 pints and one half pint of jam. Then two pints of frozen strawberries. We still have about half a flat left for us to eat this week. I doubt they make it but another day or so....

I thought these turned out a nice color. The picture isn't quite showing the beauty, but I think I may enter the one on the right in the fair. It turned out gorgeous.
 If you have been keeping up with my 2015 canning totals ( or if you would like) please check out my Total page here.
 
Happy Homesteading Y'all!