Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

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~

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fun Winter Crafts for Kids - Sugar Cube Castles

Here are photos of the Sugar Cube Castles the kids made. They make these every year. Some of the photos are not great, however the kids are getting better at picture taking. Here is the link to this fun winter craft for kids:

Friday, January 30, 2009

Surviving a School Snow Day

The kids got out the old family videos the other day, and have been watching them every night since. I have a difficult time watching them because I love babies. When I see the kids on the movies, when they were babies, I just want to pick one up and kiss it all over.

Last night, my 7 year old daughter brought her baby dolls to my room. She not only has twins, but a third doll. This third doll is so loved that she has scotch taped the leg. I was busily crocheting a blanket I started back in November, when I looked up to hear her talking to herself.

"It takes all the depression away, you just look at 'em and it makes you smile....mmmmm(kissing over and over)".

There she was smothering her doll baby's cheeks with kisses and squeezing it with hugs. And that's not all. She pulls out her changing pad, one that I used to use with her as a baby, and asks me for complete instructions on which way to lay the baby, which way to take off her clothes, diaper her, and redress her.

Now I not only babysit "Rose" the frog and her Webkins, but now Rosie and her twins. Looking at her is like looking at myself.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Joy of Children

Am I the only Mom babysitting a stuffed pink frog with orange Velcro feet? My 7 year old daughter has strapped Rose (her frog) around my neck and asked me to take care of her today.

"Can I sit it by my computer today?" I asked.

"Only if I don't find her like I found her yesterday."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"She was sitting on the counter all bundled up!"

Monday, January 26, 2009

Post-it Packin' Mama - How to get your kids to pick up after themselves

I became the Post-it Packin' Mama, with the Take-it and Trash It scheme. The kids were complaining that I was complaining each time they left something out, or where it didn't belong. So.....I stopped complaining, and toted a pack of post-its and a pen. I walked around the house and slapped one on everything that needed to go back to it's home or needed cleaned up. I even went as far as to put one on the unattended dog that read, "Love Me". Hubby didn't get left out either. One was slapped on his drill he left out that read, "put me away".

My scheme worked when they started laughing at me and wondering what I was up to. I explained that if they take the post-it, they must trash it and then take care of the item it was on. So far so good. Bwahahaha! Kids should never underestimate their parents, especially their mother.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Best $2.99 I Spent This Month

It was an ordinary day at the grocery store buying a few meager items. I knew the risks and what to expect by taking a 7 year old child with me. As a mother with many tricks up her sleeve I was prepared to say "no" to everything she asked for. Except this particular trip. I said yes and it was the best $2.99 I spent.

My 7 year old daughter will not eat any type of sandwich with lunch meat or any kind of meat. We went through bartering every night to figure out what she would eat in her packed school lunch. She refused to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches also. It came down to packing Hummus that I made with natural ingredients, and some blue organic chips. However, with Tahini sold at $8.99 a jar at the only location I could find it at, got pretty expensive.

As we coasted down the aisles of the grocery store that day, she spotted it. "Can I have this?" she asked. Immediately I wanted to say no, however it was a ticket to a happier mom and child. It was a sandwich cutter that cut two dinosaurs from a sandwich. Knowing that she is crazy about dinosaurs and unusually eager to learn about them, I said "yes".

That night she not only packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but she asked if she could make one for a snack that night too. It's been several weeks and she has not gone one day without packing a dinosaur sandwich in her school lunch. It wasn't that she didn't like peanut butter and jelly, it was because it was boring.

Monday, January 19, 2009

How to Survive When Frozen Water Lines Are Inevitable

Whether your have taken every precaution to avoid frozen pipes, or you are suddenly, unexpectedly facing this problem, you need tips on surviving. My first experience with frozen water lines caused me to realize that I needed a way to flush a toilet. We had never been without running water, or without hot water before. After living without water for one day and hot water for two, we developed this list of tips on getting through it.

1. Listen or watch the weather forecast. When temperatures are said to be below zero, start preparing yourself while you still have running water.

2.Fill your tub with snow if you can. You can utilize this extra water, when it's melted, to flush a toilet.

3.Fill large cooking pans and kettles with faucet water. Fill any buckets and large containers.

4.If your stove has power, you can heat and boil your saved faucet water for cooking, cleaning, and washing hands and faces.

5.Consider your pets. You can use your saved faucet water to feed your pets.

6.Dress in layers. If your water lines are frozen, then you are probably facing a problem in heating your house with drafty windows and doors.

7.Stay in contact with a friend or family member. In the event you need showers/baths for yourself and/or children, you can easily make arrangements with them to do so.

8.Send out prayer requests for thawed pipes.

9.Do all of your laundry while you have the water and the power. You'll be caught up with clean clothes in case you have to go several days without water at all.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Freezing Weather

The weather here today is -10°F (feels like -33°), and we are experiencing life like the pioneers. Pipes are frozen (again) and the lack of hot water is frustrating. Our wood stove fan quit working, so we cannot even keep the fire going. Thank goodness we have electricity, however it won't be so thankful when the electric bill arrives.

Sitting in layers and layers of clothes surely keeps us in touch with our blessings. Although I can see a few birds outside, going out there is like entering the Black Plague. We are trying to thaw out pipes but nothing is working. The word is, that we will have this frigid weather for at least another week.

The blessings of this freezing weather:

-kids are being creative with crafts and games, and even cleaning their rooms

-I have lots of time to write and skip house chores

-we are spending quality time together

-I am getting a blanket crocheted that I started back in November

-three dogs sitting on your feet keeping you warm

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Out of the mouth of a seven year old

"Agh! Mom I'm freaking out! There are like 36 e-mails on my Webkinz and it won't let me delete them! Agh!"

That is exactly what came out of my seven year old daughter's mouth last night. She came running into the room, hair flying everywhere, and frantically waving her arms way above her head. To her it was a disaster.

It's not exactly what I ever expected either. I tried to imagine what I would have been doing at age seven. Computers were never even introduced in schools, until I was in the 10th grade, and classes were called Computer Science. We learned how to basically write computer programs. Not anything close to how computers are used in schools today.

Internet was not around back then, and the printer paper was a lot different. Growing up we were thrilled to finally get a computer, but back then you could only write and save school reports. We had one game for our very cool computer, but were limited to when we were allowed to play it.

Now, several years later, preschoolers are learning to use computer's in school. Could this be why kids can't remember how to write, spell, and especially write cursive? It's amazing how many kids cannot write cursive. With texting on cell phones, e-mailing, and instant messaging, will today's kids even know how to survive without a computer?

Meanwhile, I continue to babysit her Webkinz so her plants don't die. Funny how I never thought, at my age, I would agree to such things. Ha! I have to admit that some of the games in the Arcade are pretty fun too.

Friday, January 2, 2009

After Christmas/New Year's Fun and Rest - Reading Old Blog Drafts

Sharing a blogspot draft, that never got posted, and was written January 2, 2009.  Hope you enjoy it.

I am definitely not the Queen of Candy Land. I played my seven year old three times and she won them all. Then she played the other kids and beat them also. I also had fun playing DDR with older kids. Boy oh boy do I need some exercise. If you haven't tried it you should. I'm told it even tracks how many miles you go on DDR with dancing. I may have found a new way to lose weight.

The Christmas decorations are down and the tree is going back in the box. I can already feel the dread vibrations from the kids, as school vacation comes to an end. I too dread the time away from them. I am one of those mothers who would rather be around them.

Speaking of being around them, I was absolutely shocked to find out that one my older teens, could not remember how to write cursive. I was told that their 3rd grade teacher said they will not have to use it ever again in their lifetime. Now being a concerned parent, and very up to date with the lack of proper teaching in public schools, I am printing off free printables to re-teach my teenager how to write in cursive.

Also, as school is approaching, I have been told by one of my elementary children that they belong to a special reading group. I had no knowledge of this and have become concerned about the lack of communication and the simple lack of knowing this. So now you know it's possible, that even a mother who thinks she is on top of things, can be kept form knowing everything that goes on in school.

As for these last few free days together, we plan to just hang out. Sometimes that's all that matters.