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~

Friday, June 26, 2009

BlueBell Island, Grand Rapids, Ohio

Here is a photo of Bluebell Island, Grand Rapids, Ohio on January 5, 2003. Currently it is undergoing renovations. Here is were my husband married, however it wasn't covered with snow at the time. When the renovations are completed I will add an "after" picture.

Library Summer Reading Programs

The kids are enjoying the summer reading program at the library. During the time they are in their program I am able to have 60 minutes to myself. I can crochet, read, write, browse - all without interruption. Woo hoo!

The programs are free. Right now our family is getting the most from our libraries, especially during a financial time where money and jobs are extremely limited. Our libraries are currently being threatened by another state funding cut. If this goes through, there will be more jobs taken from Ohio residents, and the wonderful resources the libraries provide will no longer be available. How will school students complete homework assignments? How will I be able to review books? How will we survive without their important and much needed resources to Ohio residents? It's sad for most Ohio residents right now. Hopefully they will find other areas where funding can be cut from anywhere but out libraries.

I was thrilled to be able to crochet the set of Wagon Wheel Coasters for one of the kids. These are on the left in brown colors and will go into her Hope Chest. The other set is for my mother, and are made from a free pattern on

Monday, June 22, 2009

Spring Has Brought Us a Fawn

I never thought I'd see the little guy again but I did. I first saw him/her last week while hanging my laundry on the line. At first when I saw a brown animal streak through the corner of the mowed grass and the tall grass, I thought it was a bunny. But after getting a better look, it was a fawn, complete with white spots.

Just prior to seeing the fawn we heard a car horn from the 2-lane highway. Our first thoughts were that it was a deer, raccoon, cat, or someone's dog. Then I saw it just minutes later. The funny thing is that I am the only one who has seen it.

And then yesterday morning as I took the dogs out, there it was again. However, it was right next to the garden which we have yet to fence in. So far we have not seen any adult deer with it, or even in on the property. We are praying that the Mom finds him/her soon, or that an another adult deer adopts it and moves on.

There is so much activity here in the country. Even though the house sits along a busy 2-lane highway, we are experiencing quite a bit. We found a wonderful book at the library to help the kids identify animal tracks.

This is our first experience raising chickens, and have already had all but one killed by an animal or animals. The one that survived had been named "Road Runner" and she was the survivor. She definitely lived up to her name. Since then we have built a secure housing for her and added 6 new pullets. She acts like a mother to them also. We are in the process of building their outside coop, as they are growing very quickly. Here we have found the dangers to chickens are raccoons, owls, hawks, rats, probably more we haven't discovered yet. We have even discovered bats in an old barn we don't use.

Now that we have seen 2 black water snakes, I watch were I am walking and gardening a bit more carefully.

The herb garden is growing nicely, and we have added curly parsley, more rosemary, cilantro, dill and sage. The kids are now in the habit of going outside and snipping green onion for scrambled eggs in the morning. Pretty soon we will have have eggs too.

Sadly, we must get the barn cats spayed. They both make beautiful babies, but we cannot raise anymore kittens, nor let anymore stay in the barns. They are great mousers, and Aurora brings us a mouse or bird weekly. She is the strangest barn cat I've ever seen. She's out hunting and will devour a mouse in seconds, and then the next minute come to us purring and wanting loved up and held. I can't imagine how eating wild mice and birds affects her tummy - blech!

The kittens are so fun to have around the house. Although last week, every lump and bump in our bed was being attacked at 5:15am. I laughed so hard as I watched them play with an empty shoe box. They pounce and play and are such a delight to have, even if they do rise early.

As for the dogs, Jesse James, the one who used to chew up flip flops, chewed up a partial roll of toilet paper yesterday. We left for a few hours to go out for lunch for Father's Day, and when we arrived home, there was toilet paper all over the kitchen floor. It's been a long time since he's done something that bad, but we still love him.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Words from a 7 year-old girl:

"Mom, why can dogs leave their toys everywhere and we can't?"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


This one is not the only one they have invented. The above photo is homemade macaroni and cheese topped on a hot dog (we where out of buns). As for me, I did join the fun, but chopped my hot dog into my mac'n cheese and skipped the bread. They found these delicious!

Yesterday my 12 year-old invented a 2-1 sandwich. This one I did not try yet. She topped a slice of bread with creamy natural peanut butter, layered with mini-marshmallows, then topped with slices of turkey and mayo. Top that all with another slice of bread. According to her, it was like to sandwiches in one and very tasty.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer Kids Activities and Kittens

The younger girls are being "moms" to the kittens. You can see that the "goldie" in the top photo is fast asleep and very comfortable. That picture was taken while our 7 year old daughter rocked him in a rocking chair (ha, ha, ha!).

Rain has arrived and the humidity is pretty thick. We are a bit uncomfortable but entertaining ourselves. Older teens are exercising, reading, and drawing. Younger kids are putting newly printed photos in family and kids albums and giggling at old photos. I'm reviewing children's picture books and Dad is busy at work

I slept in until 10:00am this morning. I could not believe it! I never do that. My body must have needed it, because it sure felt good. My bed is not made and the house work has not even been started. Some times the daily routine needs to not be a routine. Yeah for slipper days!

Crocheted Heart Dishcloth

I have been practicing my crochet abilities and made this

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Summer Kids and Parents Activities

Today is Saturday and hubby has to work. It's the first Saturday he's had to work with his new job. So today I asked the kids to make sure the house is completely cleaned and looking clutter free when he gets home.

Inside Kids Activities today: toys, playing with kittens, modeling clay, 9 year old cooking "eggs in a nest" (coordinated with the egg cooking movie from the day before), teaching 7 year old to sort and fold socks, teaching 9 year old how to properly sweep the porch/patio

Outside Kids Activities today: water painting, play parachute, reading, squirt guns and bathing suits

Inside Mom Activities: writing, reading, crocheting
Outside Mom Activities: gardening, reading

Inside Teen Activities: Computer movie making program, reading
Outside Teen Activities: animal care, yard work, running (exercise)

Family activity: visiting the library, hanging out on the porch/patio together

...........and of course all of the daily housecleaning and upkeep that's done regularly.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer Kids Activities

Today is the official day in which all of the kids are out of school. With so many ages in the house, it now becomes a challenge to keep computer time and video game time to a minimum, especially for the teenagers (who haven't found a job yet).

For the younger ones (9 and 7), our indoor activities are modeling clay, and reading. Outside activities are a 10 foot parachute, putting up a tent to read and play in, and for the evening a movie called "Kids Get Cooking", The Egg (for ages 5-12). The library is full of ideas.

Kids Get Cooking: The Egg, Goldhil Learning Series, DVD, Endorsed by the National Education Association.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Kids Cooking: Frugal Internet Resources

This is a compiled list to help parents with frugal resources for teaching kids how to cook:

Printable Nutrition Facts, New York State Apple Country
Kids Cooking Activities, Apples Recipes for Kids


Printable Cheese Activities
How to Make Homemade Goat Cheese


Kids and Family Section, Kid Friendly Recipes, American Egg Board
Eggs 101 How to: Cooking School, American Egg Board
Kids Pages, Georgia Eggs


Kids Are Cooking Potatoes, Washington State Potato Commission (pdf)
The Amazing Washington Potato, 14-page printable activity book (pdf)