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~

Friday, January 29, 2010

"You always said you wanted to be a pioneer"

Today I am reminded by my kids that I have always wanted to live like the pioneers.  We, once again, have no hot water.  However, I am thankful we have running cold water, so that the toilets can be flushed, and animals fed.  It could be worse.

In a way I am glad.  I can take a break from my morning routine and go about my day differently.  I do hope that I have no visitors with the way my hair and face look!  Plus the van is undergoing repairs and evaluations.  So, what would a writermom do stuck at home without a hot shower to wake her up?  I'm not sure yet.  Without my shower I don't feel like I have completely awakened.  Maybe I'll write about that feeling.

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Recipe - Kale Chips

Yes that's right!  Chips made from Kale!  I'm putting the first batch in right now. 

For the Love of Dogs

We adopted our first dog 6 years ago, and I am still seeing new behaviors.   Funny and hilarious behaviors, and some that are just plain surprising.  Life would be so boring without them.  So far our adoptions included one that was left tied out with no food or water, one that was dumped in a box full of  puppies, and one puppy that just needed a home.  Then of course there are the barn cats we inherited with the house.  They gave us two more kittens to befriend the one cat we also adopted from the Humane Society. And the funny thing about them all is that they all get along.  Including our indoor rabbit.

In reading a recent news paper article, my heart broke.  A family's house became uninhabitable and they were forced to give all of their animals to a Humane Society.  So what did I do?  I asked my husband even though I knew the answer.  It's been a tough year with feeding our own pets, but I asked anyway.  I wanted to foster one of the family's dogs until the family got settled into a better home.  Otherwise all of their pets would be adopted out to other families.  I tried, but it still breaks my heart.  This family with children could use prayers.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

David and Goliath - Bible Reading in 90 days - Day 21

I am finished with today's Bible reading.  After I reading through David and Goliath, my thoughts turned to my childhood.  Back when 6th grade was still in an elementary school, our school allowed the 6th graders to put on a play or musical for the school.  One year the 6th graders put on South Pacific.  When it came time for my class, we put on David and Goliath.  Can you believe that?  Could you see a school putting that on for all to see in today's schools?  Nope. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 17 ~ Reading the Bible in 90 Days Update

I have decided to add another journal to my daily writing.  Instead of simply underling every Bible verse that digs at my heart, I am writing them down.  After I finish reading the Bible I can open my journal and see those verses, and study them one by one.

I have a greater understanding each day I read.  One thing that has been weighing one me is the sabbath.  How often do I do laundry on a Sunday?  The answer is a lot.  I do housework, shopping, laundry, and a lot of other work.  But where do you draw the line on what "work" is?  What about yard care?  I love my gardens, so in the summer I do spend a lot of time in them on Sundays.  But the Sabbath doesn't have to be Sunday.  For some people it is Saturday.

The Sabbath is one area I plan to work on.  I don't give myself a day of rest.  This could be why the kids are so stressed lately as well.  It's amazing what I can learn from participating in this challenge.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Taking Pictures When I am Not Writing



I will have to put a new camera on my wish list.  I can see that this one is not taking that great of pictures.  These are a few that I snapped while taking the dogs outside to play.  The sun is out so I could not resist taking a few snapshots.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Challenges for the New Year

I have made it through day 13 of reading the Bible in 90 days.  I have made it to day 7 of walking for at least 10 minutes a day, and have started to read a book while walking on the treadmill.  First it started by reading my Writer and Writer's Digest magazines.  I came upon an article about how Richard Goodman published his first book while in his 40's.  So, out of curiosity I borrowed the book from the library.  His book French Dirt is very interesting.  Having grown my first vegetable garden last year and having traveling abroad, I find his book very unique and enjoyable.

It has been inspiring considering my own age right now.  I know I would not have read it, or heard about it, if I had not had the magazine subscription.  I am so happy I had time to read through them while getting my walking challenge off to a good start.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Foods List for 2010 ~ Starting the year out with more good food

Swiss chard is now included in our meal plans.  One day I spent the morning in my pajamas, sipping coffee, and watching Food Network.  I actually have a journal specifically for recipes I see and would like to try.  I am usually a fan of certain chefs, however this time, watched a different one.

I made Saucy Salmon and served it with couscous and my family raved about it.  In fact, my husband starting packing up two servings and actually drove it over to his nephew's house.  He wanted his nephew and his wife to try it.  I wasn't even finished with mine when he was doing this either.  That tells you how much he liked it.  He devoured it.

I made the recipe exactly as the recipe stated, however I did not use the whole dried chili peppers.  I could not find them at our local grocery store.  I'm sure that when I do find them, and make the recipe again, it will taste even better.  The swiss chard was very tasty with the flavors this recipe used.  In fact, the only swiss chard I could find was actually organic.

Although I have actually eaten couscous while in Africa (many moons ago), my family had not.  This was also something different for meal time. 

Saucy Salmon

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 11 ~ The Bible in 90 Days Challenge




I've been able to stay right on track with this challenge.  In fact, because I am seen reading my Bible often, I've actually stirred up conversation with the kids.  They have not only asked me questions, but have participated in conversation about my current reading.

My 8 year-old daughter is reading her Bible every day I do.  She often sits right next to me if it is not a school day.  Yesterday I asked her about reading the Bible and she said, "Some of it's boring, some of it's interesting, and some of it I don't understand."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Writing Goals ~ Resources

If you are thinking of writing out new goals for this new year, these resources might be useful.  I've already printed out pages for the kids to write their own goals on.  It's fun!

Personal Goal Worksheet (pdf)


Creative Goal setting Worksheets 


Christians in Recovery Worksheet for Achieving Goals 

 Goal Setting for Kids

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Learning from Old Magazines

I just read an article that gave tips on twenty things to do with 20 minutes.  If you are interested in learning some new words and their meanings, they suggest you visit www.FreeRice.com and for every answer you get right, they donate rice.  Check it out for yourself.

Naughty Kitty and a Poster

The naughty cat award goes to my 10 year-old daughter's cat - Jasper.  Just before the kids arrived home, on their first day back to school, I heard a loud bang from upstairs.  When they arrived home I mentioned that they might want to check it out.

Groans followed my comments and they slowly made their way up the stairs.  A few minutes later my 13 year-old stood at the bottom of the stairs.  She was holding her Twilight poster and groaning.  That little booger not only ripped the poster from her slanted ceiling, but put holes it in with his claws.  I guess he didn't like the poster, or he was looking for attention.

Now I'm on the hunt for a replacement poster.  I'm guessing she'll have to put the poster a bit higher or somewhere else.  He's the same cat who likes to chew up rolls of toilet paper, and cardboard boxes.

The "Ding Dong" award goes to my husband.  He bought the chickens a new heat lamp and now he can't find it.  He had it in his hands and was multitasking outside.  Now it is no where to be found.  I checked the other barns, the garage, the vehicles, and the chicken barn.  Nothing.  Good grief.  Poor chickens.  I'm sure their freezing their pa-toots off.  They are sitting two to a roost to stay warm right now.  I better look for that lamp again today or I'll have frozen eggs.

The creative dog award goes to my 13 year-old's dog - Jesse.  He wanted to play this morning and kept bringing me his toy.  He does that when he knows everyone is going to school.  When I didn't play with him, another one of our dogs (black lab/german shepard) decided she would play with him.  However, he wanted to part of sharing his toy.  He placed it into an open backpack that was hanging on the back of  a kitchen chair to hide it from her!  How funny!  He definitely gets an award this morning.

Life would be so boring without our animals.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

School Starting and Messy House

It is amazing how fast the kids use school as an excuse to not pick up after themselves.  What will they ever do with they get a money paying job?  But then again, they see their father use his work as an excuse for everything too.  I'm a stay-at-home mom so it is assumed I have all day in the world to do the "dirty" work.  I'm so stressed today with having so many demands, I'm not sure how spring semester will go for me.  The idea is to learn, get a degree, get a job, and make money.  Lots of it.  But I'm wondering if it will ever happen now.

With demands outside of the home, and all of the demands within our home, it feels like I have no support for myself.  I spent the entire day yesterday with a meeting related to extended family, a ton of phone calls related to caring for my own home, a ton of laundry (I am not stretching the truth on this either), cleaning a flooded utility room, running errands regarding my own home........................basically the day ended and I had no time for writing whatsoever.  It doesn't mean it's the end of writing.  It just means I need family support and I'm not getting any of it.  It sure makes me feel worthless, abused and taken advantage of.

Yesterday, I did however, complete day 5 of reading the Bible in 90 days.  I read it in between stoking the firewood, desperately trying to get a fire started again.  With everyone leaving the house for school and work, not one person touched the wood burner, thus the fire went completely out.  With all of my responsibilities, demands and expectations, I never did get the fire going until almost 4pm.

I often wonder if I had an office to leave to every day, if the family would not put so many expectations on me.  I so often feel that the things I do, to keep the budget as low as possible, mean nothing to anyone but me.

I line dry my clothes all summer.  I never use the dryer.  This winter I have a retractable line, and two wooden racks to dry clothes to avoid the dryer as much as possible.  I use the library, and cannot remember the last time I bought an actual book.  I rotate the same two purses, and have not bought one for over a year or more.  My slippers have a huge hole in the toe.  I tried to buy myself a new pair yesterday but the only thing I could find was $8.00 or more and the $8 ones were white!  So I am still wearing my falling apart slippers.  I am the care taker of the wood burner and corn burner during the day, and pile on the clothes to avoid using the very expensive electric heat.  I make sure we have extra gallons of water, so that when the pipes freeze we have water for us, the pets and the chickens.  But.....does anyone care?  Nope.

I wonder if I am the only writer Mom, with more than five kids, who goes through this.  Some days I do not feel worthy of calling myself a writer, not having published a novel or an article in a well known magazine.

It all comes down to money.  If you have it, life is great.  If you don't life is miserable.  Especially kids feel this way.  When they can't have what they want, or even what they need.  It all comes down to money.  Whether my husband or kids will admit to it or not, it really boils down to money.  And they detest you for it. 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 4 of Read the Bible in 90 days

I have made it to day 4.  It is a lot of reading, but considering it is winter (and snowing right now) there is bound to be time for it.  Even though we are cleaning up before everyone starts school tomorrow, there is still time.

I am a little depressed that we cannot rearrange our front room furniture.  It always creates a "new" look and feeling.  This old house is lucky to have a cable and the only one keeps us from moving the television.  Then there is the wood burning stove that takes of an entire corner, and that too cannot be moved.  It's going to be a battle to find a "new" look.  Maybe a few throw pillows and something new on the wall?  One way or another we will find a way to create a nice look.

My SCRAP blog needs new ideas, so if you are a reader, and have a new idea please post a note over there.  Your name will be added to the craft or activity.  Some day, I will get the chance to open the SCRAP store I've always wanted.   I've always been a crafty person, and for several years looked for ways to recycle items into art or gifts or activities.  I see I have lost a follower on that blog already.  I'm not sure if it's due to the lack of updates or if they were a writer looking for article ideas.  Either way, that blog is on the list of to-do's this week.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Reading the Bible in 90 Days Challenge


I've decided to join this reading challenge today.  What a way to start of the New Year!?  I've printed off the reading schedule and will try my best to stick with it.

Check it out at Mom's Toolbox Blog