Thursday, May 26, 2011

I hope everyone is safe

We've had a very crazy and scary last few weeks around here with weather. About 3 weeks ago we had a tornado that literally just missed our home. We have neighbors less than 1/2 mile away whose homes were completly destroyed. We were safe and sound in our storm cellar, and heard it come through. The girls ( and myself!!) were all very scared. We had several large trees blown over and had some property damage, but thank goodness our home is livable and we were all safe. One of my dearest friends, who has children the same age as mine had their home completly destroyed. Thankfully they are all safe too.

Then started the rain.....

I felt like Noah for a while there. We couldn't get out of our house for several days due to flooding of large creeks and streams around our place. Times like that makes it so nice to have menus planned, stockpiles of necessities etc on hand.

Since then we have had several more instances of heavy rain and in the last week there have been several more tornado threats around our area.

I think this was really a great eye opener and made me really realize what is important and gave me some ideas for ways to be more self reliant and also more prepared for a disaster. For one thing the girls each have a backpack now to grab and take to the cellar. It has a few small toys, a few books, crayons and such but also has things like an ID of " who I belong to, with contact name and numbers" in case something terrible happened and they were seperated from us in a disaster. Also they each have flashlights, batteries, bottled water, blankets, extra socks and a small first aid kit. My husband and I have a larger version of that also, with a few additional items in it such as cash...., copies of important documents, snacks etc.

I hope all of you think of ways that would be helpful to ensure that everyone is kept safe and sound. Of course there are so many other things you would probably need, but you have to start somewhere.

If you have infants you would probably need some disposable diapers, formula ( if you use it) bottled water , blankets, etc.Also always include any medications, contacts, eye glasses etc.

I hope the storms wane for a while and I hope that you all out there are still safe and sound with your families!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our Church Homecoming

Today is a special day for us at church. It is our annual Homecoming service at church. I've mentioned the idea of homecoming to some and they don't know what one is, so I don't know if it is a Southern thing or if it's just uncommon but it's always has been a part of our church.

The church we attend has been around for 139 years this year!! Of course over time we built knew building and expanded a bit, but the actual location and even peices of the foundation have remained. The story goes that during the Civil War there was a Confederate soldier that had been injured battle and prayed that if the Lord allowed him to leave he would devote his life to service. So the soldier did live and became the first pastor at our church. This church holds a lot of special memories for me, my grandparents were married there, my parents were married there, my husband and I were married there, both girls were dedicated there and it's just a wonderful place for us to go workship as a family and grow together spiritually.

It still has the same values that it did almost 140 years ago. We use hymnbooks and sing many of the same songs. On homecoming we arive at 9:45 and have an hour of singing, then have an hour of preaching then about 30 more minutes of singing while the ladies set out the "dinner on the grounds". We actually use tables outside, not on the ground but for some reason we still call it that. We have a delicious lunch then back for another 2-3 hours of singing and preaching. The homecoming part comes in because this is a time that people from all over that have ever attended this church come back "home" and fellowship with people they know. This means many family members that have moved away visit for the weekend and it's nice to see everyone.

I'm making
- my grandma's Wesson Oil Cake ( healthy I know, but hey.... it's tradition)
- deviled eggs
- No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies ( the girls always ask for these)
- white beans
-broccoli and rice casserole

There will be so much delicious food and some wonderful fellowship and I'm excited to get it started!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Busy Saturday!

As always! The Master Gardeners of our County are having their yearly plant sale, so me, hubby, the girls and my mother loaded up and drove into town. It was a great day for it and they had lots of great stuff. We bought too much as always but there were a few things I wanted to point out that we bought.

Chocolate Mint- This is a great little herb that I had seen and smelled in other people's gardens but up until today I had never owned one. They smell just like CHOCOLATE! It's an agressive herb so I planted in it's own little spot and it should spread pretty well. It's great ( so I've been told) in soaps and other homeade smelly goods as well as a great garnish on homeade ice creams and desserts.

I also bought 3 more blackberry bushes , we love our blackberries and every year we add several more and every year we say " we could use some more".

I also got some Cilantro plants. I planted a patch from seed and they are coming up fine, but these are larger and we use a lot of Cilantro in our salsa.

We are harvesting rainbow swiss chard now and are enjoying that for supper every night. The rainbow part is really such a draw for the girls. They love it!

We also are getting our own strawberries now, as well as broccoli, lettuces, green onions and radishes. I'm hoping next week to start picking a few cabbages.... yummy.

Until next time
- Happy Homesteading

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom....

"A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have...."

- Thomas Jefferson

Monday, May 9, 2011

Updates from April

Okay, it's once again time for my monthly check in. April was full of craziness, we do live in the South and were involved with the tornadoes ( thankfully we were in the cellar), and flooding, but hopefully things will start to calm down a bit now.

Here is what I wrote back in January....One of the things I would like to do ( and at least keep track of) is to "put up" 600 pints of goodies this year. I'm @ 11 out of 600, as I put up a batch of strawberries. It's a start but 600 seems so far away!

A few other things I would like to do this year

- complete 20 scrapbook pages - nothing here, I need to do our Christmas pages, fall pumpkin pictures and our snow pictures, this normally happens the year AFTER, during the winter when i have some time to spread everything out and just do it.

- Read 10 books - Hey I have read a few books. You can see them on my book Review page. I am actually doing quite well on these, I've read 7 of the 10. This shouldn't be a problem. I realize that 10 isn't a lot, however with 2 babies, ( and one on the way) and an expanding homestead, I find it difficult to sneak in reading time.

- Make rock candy with the girls- Nothing here either. I think they will enjoy it though and I can't wait to try.

- Go camping at least 5 times this year- Nothing yet, it's just now beginning to be camping season, and we me being pregnant and the temperature being so humid and hot in our parts, we may not get to go often. My oldest daughter does have a 4H camping trip planned with my husband so that will be fun for them.

-Plant the girls a large wildflower patch for them to make bouquets out of - We have sprouts, we planted two large rows in the gardens of nothing but wildflowers. They seem to growing well. In the meantime, they are making do picking all my peonies, roses and violets....

- plant 2 additional fruit or nut trees- This was done back in my March updates. YAY!

- Earn at least $100 in Amazon codes from Swagbucks and/or Irazoo - use these for Christmas - I have earned from Swagbucks, and  from Irazoo, so let's just call it $25 out of the $100. Not bad.

-Make fresh, homeade peanut butter with the girls - :( wow this is kind of depressing. I haven't done this yet either.

- Host a giveaway on my blog - Nothing here, I have a few ideas though for something soon.

- have 50 followers on my blog - I have 26 followers out of the 50! Thanks guys! Not sure why I chose 50, but it seemed like a good number??

On a side note, we are getting more broccoli than we can handle, and I am passing it on to friends and family. I know we should use it up now as it is getting warmer here and the broccoli won't last. We are also getting cherries!! They are delicious, we just have to beat the birds to them.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Had to share a pic from our place

A icon of the days of summer in the country.... the tire swing.... wow my girls are lucky.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chicken update

 Chickens are a staple around our place. We love them for 1) the eggs, 2) the companionship they bring to us, especially the girls and 3) the insect control around the gardens. So I had to share a picture of some new chickens we have.

We have 30 chicks right now, a mixture of Silkies, Koshen and Buff Orphintons.

Crossing our fingures they stay safe and warm and will not all be roosters!