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, December 31, 2011

Bringing in the New Year ~ Out with the Old

As I sit here and reflect on this year, I think about all the experiences I had, as well as my family.

 I fed my family weeds. 

 I learned to stock up more of my garden and invested in a dehydrator. 
Took one weekend getaway with hubby and no kids.

 Took some kids camping. 

Glamped the camper for the first time.
Completed many craft/handiwork projects. 

 Built things with the family.  

 Took a Hearthside cooking class with my oldest daughter. 

 Learn to shoot a gun.

 Bought dairy goats.

Bought more goats.

Watched my daughter buy her horse.

Added more layers to our chicken coop.

Raised our own meat chickens.

Got snowed in and had fun in the snow.

Sent one daughter to see Washington, D.C. for the her first time.

Added new flowers to my flower beds.

Built my first scarecrow.

Baked homemade bread.

Watched many sunrises.

Watched many sunsets.

Watched the moon.

Made the garden larger this year.

Taught myself how to knit.

Taught myself how to do needle tatting.

Participated in National Novel Writing Month for the second year.

Planted redbud trees from a seed.

Thanks for reading this long blog post of reflections.  There was a lot more too!  Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Own Another Trailer~~ and Safe Pet Toys

It's good to dream right?  Well, I was gifted another trailer from my son this year.  Last year he gifted me an ornament that hooks up to Christmas lights.  This year he gifted me this one:

Isn't it darling?  I love it!  Now I own two.  They are not the kind I can go camping in, but dreams do come true.

Yesterday, in the center of completing more projects, my daughter reminded me that we dried catnip for cat toys.  So I hopped on my sewing machine chair and made several for the cats.
I wish all the photos came out.  However, they were rolling around and moving so fast.  Here is Jasper licking his pillow.  I took scrap material and made miniature pillows, and stuffed them with dried catnip (that grows wild on our property).  Tiger, another cat, was holding his pillowing between his front paws and rubbing it on both sides of his face.  We had so much fun watching them.

.....well, it's another day of working on projects....I better get to work.  The year is ending fast and my pile continues to grow.  I made a trip to the thrift store on my way to the grocery store (gulp).  I came home with a few more projects to re-purpose. I gotta quit doing that.  Ha ha ha ha!  Look for those updates on my S.C.R.A.P. blog in the near future.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Busy Bee

This past week has been a looooong week.  We have three celebrations during the week of Christmas - one birthday, the celebration of Christmas, and our wedding anniversary.  I just realized that New Year's Eve is Saturday.

Way back before I got sick with a two month case of bronchitis/sinus and ear infection, I started a birthday surprise (shawl) for my youngest daughter.  I did not have time to finish it.  I was able to finish it yesterday.

I crocheted a pattern I found on the Internet, with a shimmer green yarn.  This was a complicated pattern for me, so crochet experts (after taking a very close look) may give me a bad grade.  However, my daughter loves it, and it's one more project completed.

I am also busy making more truffle mold ornaments for gifting and for the kids.  Each one will have an ornament with a photo of their animal(s) in each one.  When these are completed, I will box the rest up for Christmas 2012.

In my quest to get back in shape (after my husband's sister almost passed away and I got sick two times), I have been able to drop 10 pounds.  That part is's the rest that will take time.  However, I am ready to shed it and get in shape and be more energetic.

Today, I hope to work on my loooong list of unfinished projects.  And exercise of course.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Truffle Mold Ornaments

A while back, I purchased a bag of truffle molds at goodwill, for about $2.00.  I can't remember if I got them half off that day.

I cut photos from magazines and used printed photos to create a few ornaments already.  I did not just outline the photo with glitter, but went a bit further out with it.  I simply used glitter from Hobby Lobby.

These were fun to make, and have helped me clear out my closed of unfinished projects.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Birthday Party and More Gifting

We'll spend today cleaning house.  My 9 year-old daughter has a birthday party tomorrow.  I can still remember when she was born.  I begged the hospital to let me bring her home Christmas Eve.  They dig too.  It was the best Christmas present that year.

Yesterday I found out that the other side of our family (husband's) is having a Christmas party on Friday night also (hmpf!).  I didn't know about it prior to making arrangements for our little one's first every birthday sleepover party.

I ran out of my fun checkered lids for gifting, but canned another 8 - 1/2 pints of Cinnamon-Cider Jelly.  I have yet to can some for my own family.  Maybe after the holidays pass, I can relax and make some for ourselves.  I need to place tags and toppers on these jars and they will be ready to give on Friday night (husband's family party).  I sure hope I canned enough.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More Finished Gifts

I finally finished the baby bonnet and booties for the expected baby next month.  I used two free patterns from the Internet - Granny Square Baby Bonnet and a bootie pattern on Bernat yarn site (you have to register to print it).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Organizing Gifts for Christmas 2012

If you follow my blog, you know I am a journal junkie.  Now is the time for me to drag out my craft journal.

Years ago, I bought this "Crafty Gals" organizer/journal at a Christian bookstore.  Gosh, that must have been over 5-6 years ago.

Monday, December 19, 2011

To-Do List Keeps Growing

Sunday was a strange day for sure.  Since we had the family reunion on Saturday, all of our work was pushed to Sunday.  I don't like to "work" on Sunday at all.  I try my best to honor the Sabbath.

Exod. 34:21 "Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest."

We ran out of homemade laundry detergent also.  So, in the process of washing dishes for 2 hours, and running the dishwasher 2 times, I was at the stove melting my zote soap down in a large pot.  I now have a full 5 gallon bucket of laundry detergent.

After that, my son and I cleaned the chicken coops.  Due to some bad weather days, they have stayed inside.  However, today they will be outside.

This week we have a birthday to celebrate, just a few days before Christmas.  My youngest daughter turns 10.   

Yesterday, three kids needed something to bake and take to school.  For some reason, the Spanish teacher asked kids to each bring in a dish to eat.  Talk about stress......we just baked up a storm of cookies that left the kitchen a mess and then we have to cook again? Ugh...... (next year we will ask someone else to bake the cookies).

I convinced my 9 year-old to take chocolate covered oreo's for her school birthday treat.  My 15 year-old baked a Mexican Wedding cake herself, but my 17 year-old was sick yesterday.  She needed a hot Mexican dish and requested enchiladas.  So there was another dish we needed to bake, and we were all so tired that I didn't even cook ourselves dinner., I have yet to clean another messy kitchen. 

Do you ever feel like your "to-do" list is never completed? 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Reunion is Over

I'll spare you the photos of my messy kitchen, but the end result of a very, very messy kitchen was:

Thanks to a farmgirl barter (or two), I had fun gift giving lids for my jelly this Christmas. 

This year I made my candy apple jelly using apple cider vs. apple juice.  The kids love it!  I need to make a second batch after the kitchen is all cleaned up too.

Now that I have given Mom her blanket, I can post a photo of it.  I also gifted my brother a thin line (blue line) scarf (which I forgot to take a photo of).  

I was given a pattern from a very good friend to crochet my brother's thin line scarf.  I used royal blue and black for police colors and if you would like to know the significance of the "thin line" or "blue line" meaning click on "The Thin Blue Line (emblem)."

Today is Sunday, but Monday brings more baking needs:  one daughter needs a birthday treat to take in tomorrow, one needs to bake something for Spanish class, and another needs to bring in a Mexican food dish for Spanish class also.  I am considering (gulp) visiting the frozen section of the grocery store today, for at least one of these.  There is only so much one person can do.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Santa's Helper ~ Preparing for a Christmas Reunion

Santa's Helper mailed my 9 year-old daughter a present:

The golden cat looks like her own cat.  She is in love with this apron.

 (Tiger, her cat)

My 19 year-old son baked his famous M&M cookies for our family reunion, which is Saturday.  My 15 year-old daughter is helping bake almost all the rest of the goodies.  

She has made a batch of buckeyes (left), a batch of chocolate covered oreos (right), chocolate covered pretzels, a batch of noodle ting-a-lings and has plans to help make more goodies after school.

I admit, I am stressing a bit.  I may not get everything made this year. I should have made my jelly a month ago.  Sheesh, what was I thinking?
I may break out my Christmas albums (the old-fashioned records) and play some non-stop, commercial free music to relax.