Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday on the Homestead



Well after several very cold, dry and sunny days the moisture rolled in last night in the form of snow! Our first for the season. It did stick some and there was not a whole lot of it and by this morning it was just slushy.  But it was pretty and sure does make it feel more and more winter like. 


We had a real nice Thanksgiving with my bil and his wife and kids. We went to their home. It was the first time either of them had ever put the meal together and they did a fantastic job! My new sil is a great cook!! I was totally impressed by it all. 


Tobin had most of last week off which was nice. He spent about 2 days with Emily in town shopping for a lap top computer for her. She has been working and saving money to go to school in the fall but wanted to also get herself a lap top. After tons of searching and researching they settled for a Sony Vaio and it was pink.. that was the part that Emily really liked! I am not a fan of pink, but this pink color is actually very nice. Now she wants to redecorate her bedroom to match her lap top.. LOL..    And speaking of Emily working, she posted pics of her babies that she cares for on her blog. They are sooo cute.. 


Last Friday was also Sierra’s birthday! She turned 12.. where do all the years go! Here is a picture of her and her birthday cake (she and her friend Makayla had fun decorating the cake)…



Also on Thanksgiving it was my oldest daughter Carolyn’s birthday.   She hosted Thanksgiving dinner at her home and had 20 people show up! She said it was a blast. Mostly they were the men my son-in-law works with and their wives. She wanted an open house to let the people who were to far from their homes have a place to go. When I talked to her the night before she said she thought about 5 were coming! But I guess more came after all.  Here is a recent picture of her and Jonathan and Caden. 



I sent a package to my son in Iraq and was so shocked that it got there in 5 days! It had to travel clear across the world and I figured it would take a couple of weeks.. he is currently enjoying hot cocoa, spiced cider, and cookies from home. I need to get another box together soon for Christmas. Here is a current pic... it was taken by him and is kind of small.. but it was good to see his face 



Today Tobin and I headed into town. He had errands to run and things to take care of and I went along with him and picked up a few groceries at Costco while we are there. 


Now it is time to think about home things and dinner won’t be to far away.. so that sums it up for now.. Hope you all are having a great Tuesday on your homesteads! 

Sunday, November 25, 2007

More from Crystal’s Country Store!


I have added a few more new things to my store..


I have a new goat milk soap scent that is my current favorite! It is Fruit Slices. The smell combines an assortment of citrus fruits along with apples, plums, peaches, nectarines and pears. Plus Fruit Slices Lotion is now available to match..




To go along with my new Christmas Spice soap I am offering Christmas Spice Lotion for a very limited time. It will be available through the month of December or until my supply runs out, whichever comes first.




Emily has been busy making a new assortment of rice pad fabric choices. These rice pads make great gifts! 


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New Soaps for Christmas!


Come and take a peek in my Country Store

I have 2 new soaps for the Christmas season!


Frankincense & Myrrh or Christmas Spice





Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Homemade Kettle Corn


If you are looking for a slightly sweet and salty treat that is easy to make look no further!


This was just way to easy and tastes delicious!



¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup cane juice crystals

½ cup pop corn kernels

1 t salt


In a large pan that has a lid heat the olive oil until nice and hot. Add the popcorn kernels. As soon as the first ones start to pop sprinkle the cane juice crystals over the kernels, put the lid on and start shaking up the popcorn in the pan while the pop corn pops away. When all the popping has slowed way down, dump the popped corn into a bowl and sprinkle with salt. One warning.. when the popcorn it hot and coated with the sweetener it is VERY hot to the touch. So let it cool a minute before serving.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Season of Thankfulness


The days of the year rush by, the months come and go before I know it, life is always busy. My days are filled with the basics of life, projects, and endless to-do lists. I am sure it is the same for many of you. When do we take the time to stop, reflect and truly be thankful to the Lord for His blessings in our life? Hopefully it is often; but maybe not often enough. To me November becomes a special “season of thankfulness”.   It is the time of year to stop, slow down and truly focus on giving God thanks. This year I have started a ‘thankful list’. I am writing down all that I have to be thankful for. I have asked my family to do the same. We are discussing our lists together and reflecting together on the goodness of God. You may discover, as I have, that the more you add to the list the deeper you will search your heart and the more your list will grow.


No matter what the circumstances in our life are, giving thanks to the Lord is not based on our feelings but rather something He has told us to do in His Word. Psalm 50:14 says, “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.” And, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.".   What a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a holiday focused on doing just this.   This time of year can give us the opportunity to, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” and to remember Samuels words in 1 Samuel 12:24   "Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.”


One thing I have learned about giving thanks is that it is easy to do when things are good and life is happy and harder to do when we meet discouragements and difficult times. But I also know that even when life does not go the way we planned or envisioned we need to have a heart of thanksgiving to Him. Remember the first Thanksgiving? The Pilgrims had discouragements, disappointments and sadness, yet at the end of the harvest and their survival of that first year they wanted to make a special time of thanking the Lord. Despite all that had happened, there was much to be thankful for. 


As we go through our life there will be bumps along the way in our road. Sometimes they are small and sometimes they are large. The only way that I know to take the focus off of myself during these times is to be thankful. Have the faith that God is working in our lives and He is aware of our problems, our hurts, and our sadness but He wants you and me to look to Him to take care of these things for us. Despite whatever bumps you may be dealing with now or in the future what a comfort we have to know that God is bigger than all of this, He is there and we are asked to thank Him for all He is and does. I read a sermon once and the pastor made this comment, “God invites us to praise Him, to give thanks in all situations because he knows it enriches our experience of Him.” 


This Thanksgiving will be all the more special to all of us and our families when we have had time to reflect and thank the Lord for all He is and His abundant blessings. I pray that as we all sit down to our Thanksgiving dinner this year that our hearts will be full of thanks and praise to our Lord and Savior for all His goodness. May you all have a blessed “Season of Thankfulness” in your home.



Here are a few of my favorite Scripture verses on giving thanks:


Ephesians 5:20   giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ


Psalm 57:9   I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations.


Colossians 3:17   And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.


Hebrews 13:15   Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.


When my older children were little we started memorizing the many of the Psalms and our very first one we started with was Psalm 100. Today this still remains my favorite Psalm.


MAKE a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!

Serve the LORD with gladness;

Come before His presence with singing.

Know that the LORD, He is God;

It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.


Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

For the LORD is good;

His mercy is everlasting,

And His truth endures to all generations.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wednesday on the Homestead


Here it is Wednesday and the week is going by quick... my day was very productive. I got my house in nice shape and ran a few loads of laundry. Yesterday Tobin had jury duty. He was not picked so after he got home we had some lunch and then later in the afternoon headed into town. We had some errands to run. We picked up a new xbox for Jacob. He had ordered a refurbished one on line that last 4 days.. we sent it back and he was feeling pretty bummed about this. He had spent his hard earned money from working this summer on this and was out of money. We gave him the extra needed and then picked a brand new one up for him. He was so happy.. gotta have some reward for the hard work!  Tobin and I then went out to dinner at the Outback Steak House.. I like that place.. it was nice. We then and went and did more shopping and looking, mostly. It was just nice to go out and spend some time together. We got home after 10:00pm.. kids were like.. “WHERE were you!!”… I just said.. “out”.. LOL.. (they can always get me by cell phone if I was needed).. 


Today I managed to get 4 books assembled for my kids schooling. I have mentioned that I am now using the Robinson Curriculum and it relies on reading a lot of books. My kids spend 2 or more hours a day reading. The books all come on 22 CD’s. I have to print and assemble the books. I found a good way to do this from a lady on a Yahoo group I am on. I am printing about 2 to 4 books a week, most of them for my 3 younger kids. Leanne is reading some too but hers are bigger books and she makes her way through them a bit slower.  Yesterday I printed out 4 books and got them assembled. I have a laser printer that prints 4 pages to one piece of paper. I fold the paper and hole punch the books, then sew them together with dental floss. I bind them with duck tape. The books seem to hold up well. 


Here is a picture of the 4 I just finished this afernoon…



Here are some of the other ones I have done this year..



Emily is not home yet so we are waiting for her before we have dinner; which will be leftover chicken with alfredo sauce over pasta. She is gone for some long days watching her little twins. My how they are growing.. they are 5 months now and so cute! She has them on a schedule and does a great job with them. She is even learning some sign language to teach to them too. 

Leanne is getting ready to apply this week for a mission’s trip next summer. I will share more as things progress. We need to go and get her passport soon. I have no idea how much time that will take. There will be a lot of details to take care of if she is accepted. 


Jacob and Isaac are at a friends house this evening and maybe for the night.. I am waiting for the phone call. They seem to always get to that point when they are at Andy’s house.. they go for the afternoon and then call and tell me they are invited to spend the night..  Same happens when Andy comes here for the afternoon!


Sierra and I are going to get dinner on now.. Hope you all have a great evening on your homestead!




Pumpkin Recipes

I love pumpkin! This time of year is the perfect time to use pumpkin. Besides pumpkin pie I share other yummy recipes with you.

Holiday Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
(very yummy!)
Sour Cream Pumpkin Coffee Cake
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes
Pumpkin Pie

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday on the Homestead


I am sitting in a nice and quiet home this morning listing to the rain outside and doing a little web work.  Several times over the last week or so I have sat down to make a blog entry and something has come up and I did not have the time. Life seems rather detailed oriented at the moment!  With the holiday season here I am filling more orders from my country store and making more products to keep up.   


Life on our homestead has been very busy. Our dryer died on us a couple weeks ago and with a long string of dry days I was still able to hang out laundry. Tobin and I discussed what would be the best choice in replacement. After lots of research we decided to replace both our washer and dryer with a new front load set. We spent more time shopping until we felt we had found the best choice. I have to say that we are both extremely happy with this choice. Not only does this washer save on water but electricity too. Our previous washer used 50 gallons of water to wash a load of laundry, the new one uses about half that or less. It uses less soap as well. And the biggest savings we have seen so far is in the electricity. The washer spins out the clothes so well that the dryer is running for a fraction of the time. It won’t be long at all before the set pays for itself. This new washer created quite a bit of excitement in our home. I am sure it will be the only time I will ever have my whole family crowding into the laundry room to watch clothes being washed.  


Aside from that excitement Tobin and the boys did manage to get our wood shelter packed with wood for the winter. So we are all set now. What a great feeling of satisfaction to look at a full wood shelter.. kind of like looking at a pantry full of food. 


I have heard from my son, who is in Iraq, a few times now. Other than getting sick and recovering he is doing well and said they keep everyone very busy and the time seems to be flying by. We were both amazed that he has been there a month already .. I told him, yea! One down, 13 to go!


That is all I have time for this morning. I have my best friend here visiting me. She came last night with 3 of her 6 children. The kids played and we visited until way late. Finally shuffled all the kids off to bed and hit the sack. I have this internal alarm clock that still goes off very early in the morning despite my lack of sleep (I think I have myself trained to function on very little sleep anyway!), so I ended up waking up pretty much on my regular schedule.   Now I need to start thinking of breakfast for everyone. I may just make up a yummy batch of pumpkin pancakes


Hope you all have a great Saturday on your homestead!