Updates from the homestead

Well.. it looks like it has been a while since I posted a blog.. I started having little computer issues and they escalated to big computer issues. I got my resident IT man (my son Jacob) working on them. He managed to transfer all my files to my laptop and then I had to get my laptop set up so I could do my thing from it.. I still need to work on my main PC but for now I am up and running and that is a good thing!

All the while I have been busy at home, taking care of life and keeping up on the kids schooling and taking care of details. One of those details was canning the last of my pumpkin. I did not take pics of the process but will lay out the details….

Canning Pumpkin
I started by cutting the last three pumpkins I had left in half and cleaning them out. I pre cooked the pumpkins for about 15 minutes in the same way I had done it for pumpkin puree (see previous blog post). It was enough cooking time to soften up the skin so it was easy to peel. Then I cubed it into 1 inch pieces. I put the pieces in a pot and covered them with water and boiled them for 2 minutes. I filled hot jars with the hot pumpkin chunks and water. I canned them at 10lbs of pressure for 90 minutes. I had three pretty large pumpkins and ended up with 14 quarts canned and 6 quarts in the freezer.

House Keeping and Using Our Time Wisely ..…
Keeping house.. a seemingly endless task, no? Well a few weeks ago I decided to really dissect my time and see how much time got spent on keeping up my home and if I was using my time as wisely as possible. You know being a housewife is very different than going to a job every day. My time is dictated by my own schedule and I am responsible to use my time as wisely as possible.. was I doing that? For one week I started keeping an hour by hour log on what I did each day. One thing I learned is doing the basics in life (house keeping maintenance to keep my house looking neat and orderly) really did not take that long.. you know .. 5 minutes to unload the dishwasher, 15 minutes to vacuum the rugs, 5 minutes to sweep the floors, 10 minutes to change sheets, 15 minutes to clean the bathroom, etc.. So.. I realized I had a lot of time left to take care of important details, cook meals and embark on projects, etc.. Sometimes I get emails from ladies asking me “How do you do it all?”… well my first response is always.. I don’t do it all.. and I don’t.. I am really just a regular lady raising kids, keeping a clean house, homeschooling, taking care of my hubby, cooking food.. yea it is a lot.. but, it is my daily work. I found out in that one week of being ultra conscious of my time that keeping up on my priorities may be tedious at time and an unappreciated task.... but was that so much different than what my hubby deals with at his job? Do I really need to be recognized for just doing my job? Nope.. I am blessed to be able to do what I do each day.. that was my conclusion..

So I have a new appreciation on being a good steward of my time… less time on the computer, less time spent idle and more time spent doing the tasks that the Lord has given me to do.. I thought of the Scripture ..” do not grow weary while doing good”.. yes it can get wearisome to do the same thing day after day.. but what a blessing I have to be in control of my days, to take care of my family and to serve the Lord in this way. My job: be a good steward of my time and serve my family with thankfulness, love and joy!! :)

On another note.. I am proud to say that my daughter Emily just took her mid term test on her very LAST accounting class for her degree.. she has two weeks now to study up and take her final. The class is an online class from
Louisiana State University.. she has done all the book work and is now at the test taking point. The reason she has only two weeks to get this class done is that she will be leaving to Denmark in two weeks. She will be there for one year.. She has taken a job as an Au Pair for a super nice family. An au pair is similar to a nanny.. but they travel to a different country, take language classes and play more of a big sister role and gain a culture experience while there. They receive room and board and a small salary to take care of personal basics and language classes in return for helping to take care of the children in the home. She is super excited about this experience. I know for sure we will miss her dearly but I am thrilled that she is able to do this. When she gets back home next year she will then work on pursing her life as an account :).

That is all from the homestead for now! Hope your week is off to a great start!!


  1. Hi Crystal,
    I was wondering if you live in high altitude and that's why you pressure can for 90 minutes? We are nearly at sea level and everything I've read says to can for a maximum of 20-25 minutes.

  2. Thanks for a fantastic reminder -- I sometimes get the "pouts" when nobody notices my hard work around the house. (And with 4 boys and a busy dh, it's unlikely anyone but me appreciates the sparkling toilets! LOL )

    Tori Banks

  3. Crystal,
    Thanks for the update. What an awesome experience you daughter will have traveling abroad. I know she will be working, but as someone who has lived overseas for quite some time now you really learn to appreciate others culture. Keep us updated on how she is doing once she is settled in of course.

    Sarah Lownsbery

  4. Wow Crystal, au pair in Denmark, that's a great opportunity for Emily. She won't be that far from me. :)
    Thank you for the part about using our time wisely, that is something I need to improve on.

    blessings, Ellen

  5. Congratulations to Emily. We wish her many blessings as she embarks on this new chapter in her life. Keep us updated on her adventure. Thank you so much for reminding us that we should be thankful of the opportunity to be a SAHM it truly is a blessing.

    Many Blessings,

  6. What an opportunity for your daughter, Emily! I wish her the very best in her year abroad!
    TY so much for sharing your thoughts on stewardship of our time--you are SO right!

  7. Crystal - you have always amazed me and you will always be my HERO....you are too modest and don't give yourself enough credit...you're truly an AWESOME woman.....Congrats to Emily, what an experience...now her and I have a connection...I bleed purple and gold for LSU...she will be an alumni (in my book anyway) tell her she has to start rooting for LSU in the football season...!!!! Love to all of you!

  8. I am not sure if I have commented here before but I have read your blog for years. What a blessing you are to your family and to other women. I am really needing to read this right now as God has been dealing with me about being more intentional with my time.
    I know you will miss your daughter but what an awesome experience. Keep us updated.


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