One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One mother making ends meet and surviving today's recession by writing. One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Laundry Day

Funny as it sounds, I used to do my laundry on a schedule so that could have a day off. With so many kids to take care of, it always felt like there was never a day off from laundry. Now that we live in a house in which the electricity is from the most expensive in the area, I plan my laundry day by the weather.

Laundry day is the day in which the sun or wind is at it's best. To avoid the dryer and over use of the washer, I rely on the outdoors to dry the clothes. Today it's raining so I get the day off.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reading the Bible in a Year...continued

Today marks 14 consecutive days of reading the Bible, with my goal of completing it in 365 days. So far, I've have not used busyness or other excuses not to read it. I'm learning a lot by reading it in smaller increments as well.

Initial Post on Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Cleaning Started

No one ever said they loved to clean, especially after a long, cold winter. However, the thought of everything "fresh" brings in a new perspective regarding the process of "spring cleaning".

Even after several moves, I am finding I can live without a lot of what I have - books! For a long time I would visit every book sale in the area, and then some. We'd buy more book shelves just to accommodate them.

Then came the hardships of our economic financial crisis. Less money, less money for gas, layoffs, decline in jobs...........less everything. Extras have to be eliminated. Even some thrift stores have raised their prices to the point in which they are not even affordable.

Soon, my boxes of outgrown clothes and books I no longer want or need, were donated. Yet, a box ready to be filled awaits my decluttering and reducing. With a simple house I can wake up every day with a smile.

This week, since the wind is pretty strong, throw rugs are being washed. Even though rains may come again this month, it is nice to know they are clean and the job finished.

Next on the list is undecided, but starting in the kitchen or living room is a possibility. I can say that I will not be throwing myself into it 24 hours a day and obsessing with it, but taking it one day at a time.

Kids Cook Night: Chicken Chilindron with Bolillos (Spanish Hard Rolls)

I am proud to say that my 15 yo daughter, who has a distaste for cooking and baking, successfully made dinner last night. Not only that, but it was delicious. Spanish class in school required her to take part in a project for a classroom grade. Unfortunately I did not get a photo of it, due to her filming the process, the eating and end of the meal. If it wasn't for her Spanish class project, I don't think she would have discovered she can enjoy cooking.

Once again, the recipe was one from the Nintendo DS game, Personal Trainer: Cooking. Not only can the kids get step-by-step instructions out loud, but they can stop it and continue by talking directly into the game. It records the meals that are made, and it's really helping the kids expand their knowledge, confidence, and independence.

The meal was a success and I had the chance to finish a book while she cooked with her younger 12 yo sister. Yum!

Newest Crochet Project: Another blanket

(Back side of blanket)

My son is the first to graduate, so I am working on a blanket for his hope chest. Who ever said boys won't need anything when they move out and are on their own? His choice of colors were black and red. This blanket is experimental, so if it doesn't turn out nice, I'll be making another one. I'm simply using single crochet, and working in the new color using a spike stitch. I never heard of this stitch, but found out about it in the book, "Teach Yourself Visually Crocheting" by Kim P. Werker and Cecily Keim. I'm only a beginner, so bare with me. I'm not yet ready to move onto the fancy stuff.

This book is wonderful and has step-by-step pictures for stitches and projects.

Teach Yourself Visually Crocheting, by Kim P. Werker and Cecily Keim

Check your local library before buying a copy.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Watching the Sunrise Today

Today I showered early, took my Bible and a hot steaming cup of organic coffee to the front porch. Even though our farm house looks over a 2-lane highway, I was determined to watch the sunrise. My daughter soon joined me, and together we watched.

Just as the pink clouds were dissipating, and the sun was barely rising from the Earth, a fascinating thing happened. Out of no where a young deer ran through the farm fields and stopped directly in front of the sunrise. He/she stopped for a few minutes looking in the direction of the sunrise, and then ran back to our side of the highway, and returned to the woods behind us. We almost had a runaway dog, but managed to keep him from seeing the deer.

What a wonderful way to start the day. Absolutely beautiful!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Blast to the Past - Summer Library Theme for 2009 - The Oregon Trail and Westward Expansion


As an avid reader, and profound love for the pioneer life, I went searching for more books at the library. I found a series by Al Lacy that I had not read and have already started the second in the series. Be sure to include these series in your summer reading.

The Angel of Mercy Series, by Al Lacy
*Book 1: A Promise for Breanna
*Book 2: Faithful Heart
*Book 3: Captive Set Free
*Book 4:

After starting to read this series, I found that a series was printed prior to this one. I am searching inter loan locations to read them.

The Journeys of the Stranger Series, by Al Lacy

I hope you enjoy these books and take time to read this summer. Children who see their parents read are encouraged. Encouraged children succeed.

Dandelions in the country - a different view


Growing up we'd pick dandelions and give them to our Mom thinking they were the most beautiful flowers. Then as we grew up, married and went our separate ways, my siblings and I found ourselves cringing at the sight of dandelions. Money was spent on killing them and money spent on fertilizing and growing new grass. Killing them for the sake of a green yard became a part of city life.

Now, in the country, dandelions have a different look.

"Look at all those dandelions coming up", I said disgruntled to the kids.

"I think they look pretty against the red barns", said my 15 year old daughter smiling.

Living in the country gives us a different perspective on something, that at one time in our life, was seen as a nuisance. Amazing.

Today, the Lord has provided us with gleaming sunshine and a strong breeze. My laundry should dry in minutes with this wonderfully provided weather. The dogs are begging to run and play already.

I am hoping we can afford supplies to fix the chicken coop this weekend. The chicks are growing quickly and have outgrown their chicken wire covered box that is in the house.

Last night we watched the move, "Faith Like Potatoes", and thoroughly enjoyed it. We all need faith like potatoes in our life. If you haven't seen this movie, which is based in Africa, you should check your library for it. It truly is a good movie.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Okay.....who ate my cheesecake?!

Not even ten minutes after I hid a single serving of chocolate cheesecake, did I open the trash compacter to view the empty carton. I was saving it for my "stress" food and my son ate it! Little does he know how a woman needs her chocolate! We live too far from the nearest grocery store to just go out a buy another piece, but my son knows to ask first now.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Crocheted Scarf Project




Completed one scarf today using some yarn I already had. I'm one step ahead for next winter. This pattern is found on the free crochet patterns from Bernat yarns. When you register, you have access to free crochet patterns for any skill.

To sign up for benefits like free crochet patterns on Bernat (Click on the highlighted word)

The pattern I used was actually a free pattern for a child's scarf and hat. I just adjusted my length to about 62 inches long.

Kid's Cook Night!

My 12 year old made Spinach Cannelloni for us last night, using her trainer cooking game on her Nintendo. It was her second successful cooking experience. If you haven't seen the cooking trainer for Nintendo, it's really neat.

You can talk directly into your Nintendo and say "next" to go from step to step. There is even a timer at the end, and you can make a grocery list and take it with you shopping. It's a great way for kids to learn how to cook.

However, some of the recipes call for wine. You can either do that step for them, or eliminate it from the recipe. Either way, your kids can learn to be independent and gain confidence in themselves. It also gives Mom a break from daily cooking and baking.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

He ate my CHOCOLATE!

Grrrrr! I was saving the very last Lindt truffle for today and my husband ate it without asking me. The nerve of men! Grrrrr! Doesn't he know what happens to women who don't get their chocolate daily?! They turn into man eating, screaming maniac, widely waving hands in the air, crazy people! Good grief, he should know that. Ugh!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Crocheted Blanket Finished but not the Last .....


This full size blanket is finally finished. I quit counting skeins, but think it was about 10. This pattern used a lot of yarn, but will be very warm. One down and so many more to go. These are part of the kids hope chests. However, the child that this one was for, wants to keep it on her bed. I feel good knowing this project is completed. Now onto the next.

Sunny Spring Weather

The weather is absolutely gorgeous out today. A perfect day to finish up all the laundry and take it outside to dry on the clothes line.

I have two Lindt Lindor Truffles left from Easter. I bought myself a bag and that was the extend of my chocolate. They are so good! The inside feels cool as it melts in my mouth. The only way to eat them is to put the entire ball in your mouth and let it melt. Never chew it! Yum!

Tonight is "Kid's Cook Night". However, only one kid will be cooking. With the help of her Nintendo Training game, she will not be needing my help. I can't wait to taste it. In exchange for her cooking, I am doing her dish duty for tonight.

The kittens are growing fast, and a second one has almost opened his eyes entirely. I pray we find homes for them all.

I have learned to keep a house key in my pocket when I am taking laundry outside or sitting on the patio. Jesse (smallest dog) gets antsy and will chew on the door knob, pushing in the button lock, and locking me out.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kids colored eggs for Easter

All the kids helped color eggs for Easter. Happy Easter!

They loved using the clear colored crayon to create these unique eggs.

Kitten's eyes are opening at 9 days old


Here is baby #2 born on April 3rd. Now 9 days old. One eye has opened and the other is half open. All the other kittens eyes are still closed. The first two kittens are growing quickly and this one squeals very loudly when Aurora (Mom cat) is out of the box.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Aurora's babies are about four days old today


The top picture shows how the babies curl up with each other when their mom steps out of the box to eat and get a drink of water. They curl up and stay that way until Mom returns. As soon as she steps into the box, they squeal like crazy.

Barn cat #2 has four babies!

This picture shows their colors a bit better (above).



Here is proud Mommy Sapphire with her brand new 4 baby kittens. One orange, two tan colored, and one almost the same gray colors as mom. They were born some time today. Since she was trying to squish Aurora's babies yesterday we had to put her back in the barn last night. Today she gave birth in a box that was in one of the barns. Since we did not see the birthing of the babies, we do not know the order in which they were born. The kids are excited, however we have to separate the two mom's. Aurora continuously tries to get into Sapphires box. It's snowing out and too cold for them all to survive outside.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Barn Cat has Kittens

Here is Baby #1, born to Aurora (proud mommy) and born approximately 1:30pmEST 4-3-2009.

Here is Baby #2, born approximately 2:34pm EST, 4-3-2009
..........waiting on mommy's progress......

Well 2 kittens is all she had. She is curled up, purring up a storm, and the babies appear healthy and eating well. Mom sure looks proud.