Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cider Making

Read about the girls making cider on Emma's blog.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pros and Cons of Canning

Here is a little of what we've done today. Tomatoes are probably the sloppiest thing to can.

A reader of our Teaching Good Things blog asked the following questions:
I have been wondering what are the pros and cons for canning and
freezing. I froze our blueberries. I picked some pears from my MIL's
tree and am freezing them. I was considering canning but not sure what
is better. I am new to all of this and if there is a book you suggest
or a website to read I would appreciate it! I am in awed that you
picked 5 gallons! It took 1.5 hrs to pick 2 gallons!


First of all, the only reason we were able to pick so many berries in about 2 hours was because Jeff was with us. He is amazing at everything he does! So that made 4 of us picking. :o) Many hands makes the load light!

We choose to can most everything because we do not have a big freezer. But even if we did I think we'd can anyway. We like the way canned produce taste, the only down side is the extra sugar in the fruits. Canned items will last longer than frozen. Canned food takes longer to preserve and may cost a little more to get started. With freezing there is the issue of prolonged power outage and the possibility of loosing everything. We do freeze some things, like some berries for smoothies. :o)

My favorite canning site is Pick Your Own

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Go here BLOWOUT SALE to read more about this huge sale! Hurry, though, the price goes up tomorrow--get this money-saving ebook package at a ridiculously low price while you can!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Too busy to blog much..

There is an orchard about a mile from us that will let us pick the apples that are on the ground for free. :o)
Jeff and the girls spent Saturday morning doing that with another neighbor. Only down side was that Jeff hurt his back.

Apples for pie this winter!
We don't eat much pie but I like to take them to the neighbors and to folks when there is sickness...everyone loves a warm apple pie!

Great to put in apple cake or apple bread.

The girls have also spent a couple days making apple cider with an elderly neighbor.
I'll post those pictures tomorrow!

Sweet Corn (another great deal Jeff got)

Between our garden and beans picked from the Huie's garden there was plenty to can.

Monday we hit the blueberry patch.

We picked 5 gallons of berries for $20...quite a bargain!

The larger jars are berries for pies.

The smaller ones are jam.
Most of these will be given away as Christmas gifts along with a towel.

Last winter was probably one of the hardest winters we have ever been through. I did not can anything last year except for some jam and I regretted it something awful! We live in a very fertile, productive part of the country, there is no excuse on my part for not making the time to can. This time of the year neighbors are always sharing of their bounty, we are truly blessed. Tomorrow we will go pick tomatoes for $4 a box...that is CHEAP! Then it will take us a couple of days to get them canned for sauce and make salsa. :o)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sermon Notes

As I meditate further on today's sermon:

  • Remember where you came from.
  • Remember Who you belong to.
  • Remember where you are going.

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear;

but ye have received the Spirit of adoption,

whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Romans 8:15

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Power of a Pen, Paper and a Stamp

Don’t we all enjoy getting a letter or card in the mail?!

When I was a child, yes, way before email and text messaging, I had an aunt whose husband was in the military so our relationship was a long distance one. She was so good about writing letters and even sending an occasional handmade card; I was always intrigued with her cards. She made her own cards ‘when card making wasn’t cool’. I also had an elderly aunt, that I rarely saw, for some reason she took up writing with me, she was amazing! She once wrote me a letter all in rhyme, it was beautiful!

Don’t get me wrong, I love email, but I also find it sad that there are so few hand written cards and letters mailed anymore.

Today everything is fast and disposable, including relationships. Relationships take time and energy; writing letters or sending cards can help to develop a relationship. There are times that things can be said in a letter so much better than verbally.

A hand written card or letter can be treasured literally for a lifetime and beyond. Letters and cards are a way of documenting family history. I love going to my grandmother’s home and reading letters that were written when she was a teenager. I wonder how much of our history is going into the Trash folder on our hard drives and forever gone? I wonder how much of our journal keeping is being poured into blogs, only to be deleted one day?

There is an element of dying to self and serving others when you set time aside to write a letter or hand make something for someone. It is a beautiful way to love your neighbor. It is a giving of your time and heart. Hand written cards and letters can be an incredible ministry of encouragement for anyone, but especially for girls. Girls that are at home and want to serve God by encouraging others can use their time in such a productive way while they sow seeds of kindness with each written greeting.

Some Things to Consider:

v Keep your words positive and upbeat.

v Usually your goal is to encourage others. No one will enjoy a letter or card that has a negative overtone.

v Share how God has provided for you or done something special.

v Have a balance of reference about yourself and other people/things. You don’t want it to be all about YOU!

v When sending out greeting cards, it is important that you know enough about the recipient to avoid accidentally being offensive.

v Stay away from cards that poke fun, the stores are full of those. You want to be encouraging, perhaps humorous!

v Consider the person’s interest and style, make the card relate to them.

v Think of holidays or seasons that give special opportunity to share the goodness of God. Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving are times when people are more open to hear/read Scripture.

v Address the Envelope Properly- You should send your card to the home of the recipient, not their place of business. Unless it is something personal like a birthday, get well, etc… it should be addressed to the spouse also, using Mr. and Mrs. Children are usually impressed when they receive an envelope with Miss or Mr. before their name. J

Have a Plan!

v Make a list or calendar of people you would like to minister to with your cards. Note birthdays and/or holidays.

v Set aside one or two days a year and make cards in bulk. Be sure to make some extras.

v Organize and store your cards and supplies.

v Buy stamps ahead of time and put them on the envelope. This is half the battle.

v The difference is not how artistic you are, but it is making it personal. Don’t fret about your card being fancy, just be yourself.

v As much as possible write out all the parts, the greeting, the signature and the address.

v Develop legible or even beautiful handwriting. Anyone can write nicely it is just a matter of self discipline (practice). Don’t you enjoy getting an envelope with pretty handwriting on it?

v Be flexible and don’t give up. If you have a time when you can’t get any cards out, just pick up where you left off. Sometimes life is crazy! J


v Birthdays

v Sympathy

v Elderly

v Missionaries

v Distant Family

v Nursing Homes

v Sick Children

v Church Members

v Bereaved

v Sick

v Struggling

v Thank You

v For no reason at all! J

Sympathy Card Etiquette

v Mail your sympathy card as soon as possible after the death.

v Always include your last name, even if you know the family well.

v Send the sympathy card to the closest relative of the deceased, usually the widow/widower or oldest child.

v Keep it short and simple, unless you have a special memory you would like to share.

Think of Christmas Cards, don’t we love getting them?

v Do we really take time to read the pre-printed greeting?

v Do the ones with the pre-printed signature make a big impact on you?

v Do you respond differently (emotionally) when there is a handwritten note inside?

v Don’t you love it when there is a picture included?

Christmas cards are a big part of Christmas tradition. This is an ideal time to share the Gospel during such a commercialized, God mocking season. Consider setting aside some time to put serious effort into your Christmas cards. It takes planning and some money, but you’ll be amazed at how Christmas cards touch hearts. Make them personal, let people know they are not just another name on your list, but that you really want to communicate with them. Make them feel special! Remember it is about relationships.

Thanksgiving is another time to send cards or letters to people expressing your gratitude for them.

Not only is card making a way to show love to people, but it can also save your family money! A card from the store can range from $1 to $5. Plan ahead, make your own and save money!

Give her of the fruit of her hands;

and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31:31

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dear Anonymous

I have chosen to change the settings on our blogs to not allow anonymous comments.

Most commenters are kind and encouraging, but there are some that have nothing better to do than be rude and cruel. Usually I ignore their ignorance and move on. But today I decided that this is MY blog and I have chosen to have it reflect a God honoring atmosphere, so I will no longer allow anonymous comments. I do not have time for such nonsense.

As for you Ms Anonymous, I am not angry with you, nor am I hurt. If anything I feel pity for you. Pity that you feel it is your place to point out other's struggles and that this is best done by calling names and cursing; pity that you have such anger in you. Although my family and I are not perfect in physical size and do not dress in a way that pleases you, I do hope that my family would treat you kindly in spite of such a hard heart and sharp tongue. We have tried to teach our children, "If you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all." I'm sorry you did not learn this lesson as a child. May you find a way to spread joy and not insults, maybe then you would not have to hide your identity.

Life is too short to spend time being so mean. Maybe someday you will know peace and joy through Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Joyful Momma's Cake DVD Review

Kimberly Eddy, from Joyful Momma posted a wonderful review of our Basic Cake Decorating DVD. While we were gone on vacation she e-mailed me pictures from her girls and it about brought me to tears!

THIS is what teaching is all about! Yes, we do want to increase our income with our DVDs and e-books, but receiving something like this in my inbox is really what makes it all worth it!

The Eddys gave an honest and encouraging review of our Basic Cake Decorating DVD. Hop on over to Joyful Momma to all see the other pictures of her children and their eatable creations!

THANK YOU Kimberly and thank you children for bringing JOY to my heart and home!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Jewelry Class Pictures

Here are a few pictures from our Jewelry Making Class during our Domestic Day Camp last week.

This was hosted and taught by Jane and her daughters!
They did a great job!

This week we are doing Card Making!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Vacation Pictures

We are back home from our trip to New York, as much as we love our family I can honestly say THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME! :o) We've been playing catch up with the laundry and in the garden...thus there has been no time for blogging.

OK, now to bore you with some vacation/family pictures:

As I posted last week, both of our families are in upstate New York so we spend most of our time running back and forth to see everyone. This picture is how most mornings were spent as everyone likes to gather on the porch with Grandpa (Jeff's dad). Grandma (Jeff's mom) has lots of flowers hanging in baskets and you can look out over the corn fields and watch for deer and turkeys...Grandpa's favorite past time! This is an old farm house that has been in the family for ???? years. Jeff and Emma helped Grandpa in his garden a lot and did a couple other home maintenance things for him, he has lost almost half of his foot over the past two years and has suffered from MERCA (staff infection). Jeff does such a wonderful job of honoring his parents.

Over at my grandmother's farm we got to help with getting the hay in, and the girls planted some flowers for their Great Grandma, affectionately known as GG! :o)

My uncle that lives next door rescued a pigeon that fell from the barn last year,
it was very small.

Well this crazy bird LOVES people.
She will follow you around and you have to be careful because she'll land on your head. She'll even fly into the house if you're not quick enough to out run him and close the door.

We weren't thrilled about him sitting on our heads, but it was kind of funny!
I wish I'd gotten a picture of Olivia going from the house to the car with an umbrella because she didn't want the bird to land on her at first.
Like Jeff, his brother Lynne is a Vol. Fireman. The department host Field Days each summer to help raise funds, it's kind of like a mini-fair, with a parade and fireworks. Lynne's family helps with concessions. Olivia, Cousin Katrina and Emma.

Olivia and her cousin Amanda.

We went bowling with Jeff's brothers and their families.

Jeff's nephew has CP, he is 17.
They have a ramp thingy so he can roll the ball down which is pretty cool!

Emma is a natural...just like her DAD!

Olivia did well too!

The girl's cousins (one is not pictured here) are the same age as they are
and their personalities are similar, so needless to say they giggle non-stop!

And of course ...

going to ride the go-carts is a tradition we have.

One thing about my husband...whether it be foozeball (sp?), golf, bowling, horseshoes, baseball, and especially pool, he will win! He is by no means competitive, he is not into sports at all, but he is naturally good at these things, even though he rarely plays any of them. Which is WHY I hate to bowl or anything else, what's the use if you are NEVER going to win? To top all that, he NEVER brags about winning. Now if I were to win you'd hear about it for years! ;o)

We had a graduation party for Olivia over at Jeff's parent's house. It went really well with about 80 people there, the weather was perfect and we had a good time. I'll post more about that later.

This year was our family reunion (my side), the first one in a long time. I guess it has been 20 years since I've been to one. Anyway, some of my cousins (and their families), an aunt and uncle and my mother came from out of state also and stayed at my grandmothers, she has a BIG, old, farm house.

The family reunion was on our last day there. Some people I knew, most I did not, but that is OK we've got to start somewhere. It was good to see my cousins! We had 85-90 in attendance, which I think is pretty good.
My grandmother (the beautiful one in red, we tell her she looks like Queen Elizabeth) is one of 6 siblings, her other sister died from cancer about 35 years ago. They are now all widowed. Anyway, they are a vibrant bunch. They all have their senses about them and some still drive and stay very active.

I thought since a lot of us would not know each other that each sibling's family should dress in one color to help us sort who belongs to who. The Conover Clan (my grandma's family) dressed in red.
We held an auction to help raise funds for next year's reunion. Jeff and my cousin-in-law were the auctioneers, this is another thing Jeff is a natural at...he can sell anything to anyone! lol... That was fun! This is a quilt I donated.

Here is Olivia and another relative outbidding each other over a hanging plant. It was pretty funny!
Olivia helped with signing in and and Emma got everyone registered for the door prizes. We've got lots of ideas for the next reunion! I just wish it wasn't SO FAR to drive!

Monday, July 7, 2008

One Evening at the Farm

Jeff and I grew up in Upstate New York. Both of our grandparents had dairy farms, so needless to say we both spent our share of time on the farm(s). Unfortunately, because we moved away our children haven't had much of a farm life. But when we do visit New York we try to give them a taste of the 'good life'!

This year we are visiting during HAY SEASON! When we visit at Christmas all they really 'get to do' is shovel snow! ;o)

These pictures are taken at my grandmothers farm. She is 83 and still bales hay! She has been widowed for almost 30 years and has managed to keep her home and 100 acres all these years. My uncle lives next door and they work it together. She has no livestock, just uses the land for hay and corn to sell to other local farmers.

Yes, this is Olivia proving you CAN do farm work in a skirt. lol... That is a hook in her hand that is used for grabbing the bales of hay.

Jeff taught Emma how to drive the Ford tractor, it is a 1951.
This is the same tractor I learned to drive on as a kid.Plan A was to use this baler that kicked the bales out toward the wagon.

Part of being a farmer is to know how to maintain and REPAIR your equipment! All of this equipment is so old it breaks down often, which is the case here!

So...Plan B: Uncle would drive the first tractor with a different baler on. This baler will drop the bales on he ground. The second tractor that Emma was driving with the wagon on it would follow behind...

...and Jeff would pick up the bales and toss them on the wagon.
Yes, Jeff had the short end of the stick on this job, or I guess you could say he got the heavy end of the bale! ;o) Olivia would stack the bales.

I am not allowed to do any heavy lifting, so I was safety monitor and photographer/historian...hey, someone has to record all these memories!
And just for the record, I did drive the tractor near the end of the night, but I won't post those hideous pictures.

Here we are getting it on the elevator and int5o the haymow just before dark.