Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sticker shock

I filled up my car yesterday and it cost $85.00!!!  Holy Moses!  I've had monthly car payments lower than that!  The scarey part is that with the Middle East being politically unstable, more so now than usual, the price of gas is only going to go up.  I joke with the kids that we will soon be riding the horses to town, but at this rate..... who knows?

Speaking of cars, I was so impressed to hear the Victory speech given by this year's Daytona 500 winner, Trevor Bayne. (That sweet boy is only 20 years old)   Not only did he thank God during his speech, he also indicated that a portion of his winnings would be going to charities supporting orphan relief.  How cool is that??  It's so refreshing to see an athlete model love for their neighbor instead of self love.  And we all love when orphan relief is promoted!

If you missed the article, here it is:

Do you think Nascar is also experiencing sticker shock at the pump?


Friday, February 25, 2011

Frugal Friday

You'd think I was raised during the Depression, by the way I scrimp and reuse as much as I do.  I'm  not sure where this part of my personality comes from, but it's so unconscious that I find I do it without even thinking.

 Maybe it was the type of lifestyle I noticed when visiting my grandparents when I was a kid- both sets of grandparents grew up on farms during the 1930s and 40s and neither family had alot of disposable income, so they either reused, or did without. My grandmothers always had rubberbands looped around their kitchen faucets taken from around the Sunday newspapers, foam trays washed and reused from the hamburger packages they bought at the grocery store, and quilts made from old clothing.  Very little was thrown away.

Some people may laugh or look down at this way of living, but I admire the self discpline that it took.  Most young people today would just go out and buy new- and they are just as quick to throw it away when it no longer serves its purpose or looks good.  My grandparents were good stewards of their money and of their possessions, and they never seemed to want for anything, because their "wants" were so simple.

This same generation raised large families on very little, and still didn't drown in debt or live off of credit cards, and their children all knew the value of a dollar.

Let me clarify this- Being Frugal is Not the Same As Being Cheap!!  I am a great tipper, we tithe to our church more than we can sometimes afford, we give to charities, support fund raisers, get my drift.  But we don't WASTE when we can avoid it, we value what we already have, and we do this so that we have  freedom from debt.

I try to pass on that frugal mentality to my children, and I emphasize how important it is to be good stewards of their possessions.  To teach the lessons of "Waste Not- Want Not", we make use of many strategies around our home and farm that save either money, time, or resources.  I hope that by posting some of our methods that it can help others become better Stewards as well.

See you next Frugal Friday!!


Thursday, February 24, 2011


Last weekend, we had an ice storm that left our area looking like it was covered in diamonds- the limbs of the trees hung to the ground from the weight of the ice, and broken branches littered the yard. The beauty of the sunshine reflecting off of the ice sculptures was breath taking- almost like Christmas tree lights covering the trees and buildings. 

The down side of this winter wonderland is that we have been "unplugged" in regards to internet.  Our dish was coated with ice, and just today I managed to get things cleared off and working again.  (I'm getting pretty handy at doing basic Cable Tech checks, since everything from wind to ice to moisture in the cable connections can take out our service.)

It's been a fairly nice break, but it really emphasizes how connected we are through our internet- almost every group that the kids belong to communicates meetings and event details via email; our friends feel snubbed if we don't respond to their emails, and it's the main way our adoption agency contacts us with updates, so it's kind of a big deal!

Anyway, it's kinda nice to be back :-)


Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's a heifer!!

We got home today to find this lovely little surprise- Noodles gave birth to a beautiful little Jersey heifer.  Mother and baby are doing fine.  Now we have to come up with a name that starts with an "N".  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Travis!!

28 years ago today this wonderful young man was born- my first.  I had been shooting for delivery on Valentines Day, and when I missed that day, I had settled in and accepted the fact that I would be pregnant FOREVER.  Well, the very next night he made his mama happy and was born, and he has been a joy ever since.  He amazes me with his tenacity, his intelligence, his good heart, and just how incredibly talented he is.  I am so blessed to be his Mom.

Watch out world- this young man is going to do great things!
Happy Birthday Travis!
Love, Mom 

Happy Valentines Day! xxoo

Another example of why Loren and I get along so well- we seem to know what each other needs.

 This week, he needed a flashlight (that worked!) to go out and check the cows-  I needed affirmation. :-)

~~~ "Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another."  John 13:34

Monday, February 14, 2011

~~~~~Heat Wave ~~~~~~

Gotta love the midwest- one day it was 20 deg below zero, and 3 days later it's 33 degrees and sunny.  Honestly, I saw kids running around in SHORTS! (Doesn't their mother check them at the door before they leave the house??)  I'm sure they would be wearing flip flops as well if it hadn't been so slushy :-)

Sunday we took our church pre-League kids up to Lake Madison for some sledding and snow play- the kids all had a great time but got soaked because of the warm temps.  The snow was almost too sticky to sled, so they ended up building snowmen and eventually forts, which led to snowball fights!  We barely got home in time to get to Boy Scouts- not much of a relaxing weekend, but I remind myself that the kids will get to the age when we won't be as involved with their lives, so we will enjoy it while we can!

Enjoy the beauty of winter and the joy of being with your family~

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cold enough fer ya?

For all of you midwesterners out there who can relate to this :-)
(yes, it was -20 deg this morning here in God's country- South Dakota)


 65  above zero:
Floridians turn on the heat.

People in  South Dakota plant gardens.

 60  above zero:
Californians shiver uncontrollably.

People in  South Dakota sunbathe.

 50  above zero:
Italian & English cars won't start.

People in  South Dakota drive with the windows down.

 40  above zero:
Georgians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, wool hats.

People in  South Dakota throw on a flannel shirt.

 35  above zero:
New York landlords finally turn up the heat.

People in  South Dakota have the last cookout before it gets cold.

 20  above Zero
People in Arizona all die.

South Dakota close the windows.

Californians fly away to Mexico.

People in  South Dakota get out their winter coats.

10  below zero:
Hollywood disintegrates.

The Girl Scouts in  South Dakota are selling cookies door to door.

20  below zero:
Washington DC runs out of hot air.

People in  South Dakota let the dogs sleep indoors.

 30  below zero:
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.

 South Dakotans get upset because they can't start their tractors.

  40  below zero:
ALL atomic motion stops.

People in  South Dakota start saying... "Cold  enough fer ya? "

 50  below zero:
Hell freezes over.

  South Dakota public schools will open 2 hours late.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Running around like a chicken with it's head..... well, you know.

 One of my "jobs" as a stay at home mom is to produce as much of our own food as we can on our farm.  Each year we raise around 35 meat birds and butcher them in the fall. Not only does it taste better, but it's so much healthier than the chicken that is fed with antibiotics, medicated feeds, or raised in inhumane conditions. 

This year we ended up butchering much later than usual, so the kids and I were out in the barn with the Nipko heater on us to keep our hands warm.  Everyone helps out, which makes our kids more appreciative of their meals and where food comes from.   We've also managed to incorporate alot of anatomy lessons into it as well :-)  Any excuse to work it into homeschooling, right?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Blogging- are you serious?

I'm one of those people who is often late to the party or late to find out about the most current trends- so it's no surprise that I'm jumping into the Blog arena years after the party began.  I doubt that I have the literary genius or the creativity to keep this interesting, but my main reason for starting this is to document our family's journey.  Scrapbooking once a year just doesn't catch all of the special moments that pop up during the weekly routine, and I'm hoping this blog will be a way of capturing these moments.

Then again, maybe it's just my way of ignoring all of the loose photos sitting in the bureau waiting to be catalogued and labeled......?