Sunday, March 27, 2011

No More Bugs

     The other day Mark came in from the barn telling me about something he heard on the radio.  We have problems in our house with Asian beetles, which look like lady bugs, and box elder bugs.  Everyone around here seems to have the same problem.  They burrow in the house during the fall and come back alive in the spring and are very annoying.
     Mark told me to put dish soap in a small dish and that will draw them in and kill them.  Well, I did it...and it worked!!!  I kind of questioned the whole idea and thought that honey would work better.  Funny thing didn't kill them.  They crawled back out sticky and leaving sticky trails all over.  Not to pretty.
     I would supply pictures but didn't want to gross anyone out.  :)  So...get out your liquid dish soap and see what you catch.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Volksfest Vendors Needed

Last year was the first year that Volksfest offered an Arts and Craft show along with their popular festival.  After the success of the show, we’re planning to do it again.  Imagine yourself listening to the live polka bands and smelling the aroma of German food all while looking at 100% handmade crafts.  Being able to talk to the person who made the item brings a special effect.  Jewelry made from broken glass made some unique one of a kind pieces.  Wooden puzzles precisely cut with a scroll saw and rough edges all sanded to create a work of art.  Gourds grown in a garden then allowed to dry and beautifully painted or herbs pressed between glass to produce a natural trivet.  Antlers found from many walks in the woods made for great wine racks and other various pieces.  Goats milk soaps from real goats milk were some of the treasures found last year.
     We’re looking for vendors again to add to this unique experience.  These items must be 100% handmade, no resale allowed.  The festival already has food available so no food items.   The date is Saturday September 10, 2011 from 9 am to 6 pm.  The cost of a 10x10’ space is $30.  The proceeds go to the Volksfest festival.  This festival has given back to the community in various ways so the money stays local.   Please keep in mind that this is an outdoor event so plan accordingly.  
     I'm still trying to figure out how to get applications on bare with me.  Leave a message and I'll get to you.   

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Above Rubies email devotion

Mark and I were just talking about this a couple of weeks prior to getting this devotion in our email.  Please, enjoy reading it as much as we did.....  


Part 2

"Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters"
Jeremiah 29: 6 NASB.
We continue to look at the seven points which God commanded the Jews to do while they were in captivity.

3. Get married and have children

"Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters" verse 6. Even in captivity God wanted His people to continue the original command He gave to them in Genesis 1:28, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth." This command is reiterated over and over again in the Bible and has never been rescinded.* The adverse circumstances of the captives didn't change God's command. We notice the same thing happened while the children of Israel were suffering under great affliction in Egypt. Even though the Egyptians put hard taskmasters over them and made their lives bitter with hard labor they continued to be fruitful. They had all the excuses they needed to stop having children in such difficult circumstances but "the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew" Exodus 1:12.

4. Encourage your children to get married and have children

"Take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters" verse 6. It's not hard to realize as we read these words that God loves weddings and babies! It's all His idea anyway! God delighted in bringing the first couple together and He delights in doing it today. Every wedding gives the hope of new life--life from God Himself!
God's judgment was to take away the joy and celebration of weddings (Jeremiah 7:34; 9:16 and 25:10). God's blessing was to restore weddings. Jeremiah 33:10-11 says, "Thus saith the Lord; again there shall be heard in this place... the voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride." Weddings are the blessing of God. We should encourage our children who get married to embrace children rather than waiting a few years. In fact, if a couple is not ready to take on the responsibility of embracing children, they are not ready for marriage.

5. Do not diminish

"Multiply there and do not decrease" verse 6. God specifically commands them not to decrease! Isn't it sad that many believers in God are set on doing the opposite to His plan? They would much rather decrease than increase. They would rather follow the devils plan to eliminate life than to multiply life. Consequently, there is a whole army of God's people who are missing today!

6. Pray for your city

"Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare" verse 7. God wants us to pray for the city or area where we live. We have a responsibility to pray for God's peace to come to our city and in doing so we will reap peace. Make it a point to pray, and teach your children to pray, for your city as you gather together for Family Devotions each day.

7. Don't be deceived

"Do not let your prophets deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,' declares the Lord" verses 8-9. We must always guard against deception. Because we live in a society that is embedded in a humanistic agenda we must constantly line up our beliefs and world-view in keeping with God's eternal Word! If what we are thinking and doing does not line up with God's Word, we must walk away from it, no matter who proclaims it. We must also guard our children from being deceived by the humanistic public education system of our society. Our responsibility as parents is to watch that our children are not deceived by the society in which they live.
As we seek to obey God's plan for us, we will walk in the blessing of God. These reminders from God are all for our blessing. God continues to speak in the same message in Verse 11, "For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." The majority of God's people know this Scripture and claim it for their own. What they often forget is that it comes after the seven points we have been talking about. It is these principles that will give us a blessed future and hope!

"Dear Father, please save me from being gullible and duped by the humanistic propaganda all around me. Give me eyes to see through deceptions and to know the witness of your truth in my heart. Amen."
I now know the answer to having a future and a hope!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NEW Pet Shampoo at Country Soaps

I've been asked the last 3 years if I carried a pet shampoo.  Now I can finally say "YES"!   This shampoo is made from scratch using NO Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and I only use Phthalate-Free & Nitro Musk Free Fragrances.  So you know you are doing something wonderful for your pet.  The scents include are pretty kitty, precious puppy, purrs & paws and pooch smooch.  I also have an essential oil blend of peppermint, citronella and tea tree to help repel fleas.  Hyena Cart is where they are listing as of now.  I'll add Etsy and Artfire to my list.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

While You Were Sleeping

     This past Sunday we celebrated our 3 March birthdays...Ethan turned 9 March 5, Heather turned 21 March 6 and Preston turned 2 March 7.  The whole family was present through most of it...Preston decided to take his nap through dinner and gift opening.  I think it was his way of getting his own party.  :)

     Our guests of honor picked a traditional cookout with brats, hotdogs, baked beans and a jello salad.  Topped off with the birthday cake and ice cream...which this year ended up being a trout.  The cookout part didn't happen because of the cool breezy weather we were having over the weekend.

     While waiting for everyone to show up, Preston decided to nap.    So first up to blow out the candles was Ethan.  He got them all in 2 blows.

     Then Heather with 3 blows to get out her 21 candles...what a spectacular smoke signal she sent up.

     After we enjoyed our cake and ice cream it was time for the Preston still slept.

Ethan was first up and opened a sleeping bag, books and a t-shirt...he gets very excited!!!

Heather received a bottle of cranberry wine, an "I Love Lucy" purse, $ towards new jeans and a puzzle.  After cake was eaten, ice cream lapped up off the plate and gifts opened...guess who wakes up???   You got that right...Preston!  So back to gift opening we went...
 along with more blowing of the candles.  We saved a corner of the cake for Preston's 2 candles but he just didn't understand blowing them out.  So big brother Ethan stepped in to show him how.  So that makes 3 birthdays down, 11 more to go for 2011.  Happy Birthday Preston, Ethan and Heather...hope you enjoyed your day.  :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How to make your own laundry soap

Many times I've been asked how I make my laundry soap, so I thought this would be a good place to show you how...

Things you'll need are:
1 c.washing soda
1 c.borax
1 - 4 oz bar of laundry soap preferably mine :) (4 oz of soap scraps can also be used)
something to shred the soap 
a food processor or very powerful blender
measuring cup

I use my kitchen aid attachment shredder and set it up like this. Turn the bowl from the kitchen aid upside down and place another bowl on top.  Follow manufacturers directions for shredding.  Shred your soap!  

When you are done it will look like this.  Sorry the the sideways picture...blogger did it.  Feel the shreds, do they feel dry or can you feel a little moisture?  If they feel dry continue on but if you feel a little moisture let them sit in the bowl for a couple of days. Depending on when I made the soap it could still be curing.  

These are your shreds.  Don't worry if you have a "chunk" that wouldn't shred.  That will get taken care of in the final step.  In this demonstration I used a lemon laundry bar.  Any of my laundry bars can be used.  

Now place your shreds in your food processor or powerful blender.  Measure out 1 c. borax and 1 c. washing soda, add to your shreds.  Place cover on and blend.  It will get dusty so if you have problems with dust you may want to wear a dust mask.  When you think you are done blend a little longer.  You want it to look like a powder when you are finished.  If you should have little chunks do not fear, I haven't had any troubles with them dissolving when doing laundry.  

This is your final product.  At this point you can add essential oil to scent.  Just add a few drops and turn back on.  

Directions for use: for top load washers use 1 tablespoon/load and for HE washers use ½ tablespoon/load.

This laundry soap is:
<> Suds FREE
<> Safe for septic systems
<> Works great in all temperatures
<> All natural
<> No Chemicals, clay or fillers
<> Biodegradable and Phosphate Free
<> Great for allergy sufferers, sensitive skin, baby clothes and diapers
<> Environmentally friendly
<> Made from scratch using cold process lard soap
<> Eco-friendly
<> Leaves behind no residue

How Long Can Homemade Laundry Soap Be Stored For?
• The powdered version seems to last forever, but I have no exact expiry date to advise.

Can You Safely Use Homemade Laundry Soap With A High Efficiency Washer (HE Machine)?
• Be aware that using anything other than what your machine manufacturer recommends may void your warranty.
• Homemade soap is low sudsing which is important for HE machines.

Can You Use Homemade Soap In a Front Loading Machine?
• Be aware that using anything other than what your machine manufacturer recommends may void your warranty.

I Have Hard Water & My Clothes Don’t Come Out That Clean, Suggestions?
• Try adding baking soda or oxyclean or vinegar as laundry boosters, suggestions for baking soda are to start with 1/2 cup per load.

Can Homemade Laundry Soap Be Used In Cold Water Instead Of Hot?
• Sure it can. If you notice clothes don’t come out as clean as you’d like, try a laundry booster such as vinegar or oxyclean.

Will Homemade Laundry Soap Fade Dark Colored Clothing?
• I have noticed no fading or damage to clothing. I’ve laundered work clothes, everyday clothes and office attire in homemade detergents.

Is There A Soap Residue On Clothes After Washing With Homemade Soap?
• I haven’t noticed it but if you do, here are a couple things you can try: Increase the water amount, decrease the load size or decrease the detergent used per wash. You can also try a vinegar rinse during the rinse cycle.

Why Aren’t There Any Suds In The Water When I Use Homemade Soap?
• Homemade laundry soaps are low sudsing, you won’t see many suds in the wash. No worries, this is normal and your clothes will still come out clean.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Egg-cellent Reading

     In my previous post I mentioned that I love to read information books,  I even read cookbooks.  As strange as that may sound just pick up a 1950's cookbook and compare it to todays cookbooks.  Fascinating reading comparing the size don't see a "pinch" of much anymore.  Well, this past winter I've been reading chicken/poultry books.  I've always had a fascination with chickens, we've raised chickens (not very well) so I wanted to learn more and read more.  Following is a list of books that I've read.

Living with Chickens by Jay Rossier
The book I own is a beautiful hard covered book. A good general information with exceptional pictures.  I see now Amazon has a soft covered version also.  This is a good book especially if you have children that want to learn also.  My other books have black and white pictures but this book is full color.  I give this book 5 eggs...gotta love the pictures.

The Family Poultry Flock edited by Lee Schwanz
A small general purpose book.  You'll learn a little bit about all kinds of poultry. It makes for a good starting point.  Enough reading for you to find out if you'd like to learn more.  Black and white pencil drawings are used for illustrations.  I'd give this book 3 eggs  I saw it more as a tease and you'll end up running out to get another book to do more reading.

Raising Poultry the Modern Way by Leonard S. Mercia
This book has more meat to it than the previous book.  Definitely a little more information included.  Another book with black and white drawings.  I give this book 4 could easily get just this one book.

Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry
This is the creme de la creme of poultry books.  A must have for the more serious poultry grower.  Talks about all aspects of raising poultry.  Over 300 pages of egg-cellent reading.  I give this book 5 eggs!!!

Raising Poultry Successfully by Will GravesAnother "ok" book.  It is a good book with black and white pictures. Definitely a good starter book.  I give this book 4 eggs.

Raising you own Turkeys by Leonard S. Mercia
A good book just focusing on turkeys.  It is a smaller book also with black and white pictures and drawings.  I can't find this book on Amazon.  I give it 4 eggs...I'm wanting to get the Storeys guide on Turkeys now. :)

Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens
OMG...I LOVE this book!!!!  A very in depth education on chickens.  Well worth the money. I have the second edition and I see the third edition is out.  I don't know how much information changes from one edition to the next.  I would check Ebay. A most definite 5+eggs!!!

A Guide to Better Hatching by Janet Stromberg
A subject I really would like to learn more about.  This is an informative little book.  I didn't realize the science behind hatching.  I've done it with an incubator but I think a real hen will be my best bet...LOL  Making sure the humidity is just right...sigh.  Overall I give this book 5 eggs.

Chicken Tractor by Andy Lee
A very good book with very good information on building a chicken tractor...those mobile coops.  You end up with helpful information about grass fed chicken and how to protect them.  Also informs the reader about raising poultry.  I give this book 5 eggs!!!

If your budget allows you to get 2 books my recommendations would be the Chicken Tractor and Storey's Guide to Raising poultry.  With those 2 books you can't go wrong.

Enjoy and happy reading!!!

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say!

     When I was a young mother, my mother in law would tell me this all the time "Say what you mean and mean what you say" in regarding raising kids.  She raised 7 great kids, I know, because I married one.  She also told me to always follow through with what you is that being stubborn?  I've been called that by my kids...I see it as being persistent.   Sure, I make sure they get their homework done, they get to work on time, chores get done...if this means I'm stubborn, so be it.  It's being persistent or making sure there is consistency in their lives.  They are raised to know that things need to be followed through.  I'm not the type of parent that allows my kids to run wild across a busy street.  When they are little you carry them across the street.  Then you hold their hands.  Next thing you know, they're walking beside you and finally crossing themselves.  That doesn't mean you aren't watching them anymore, you're still there to jump in and ask "what are you thinking?"  Some day I won't be around anymore but they will still hear my voice in their head, or at least I hope so.  :)  You hope and pray that you've raise your kids with good morals and know right from wrong.  Then they are equipped to enter into adulthood with values that will carry them through life.
     I've also been called opinionated.  I find this comment interesting.  With the internet at our finger tips I read articles every day.  Doesn't matter the subject, I take it in and evaluate it towards my life.  Do I agree with everything I read? No  But it sure has helped define the person I am today.  I never went on to college, my "degree" is life.  I'm self taught.  Am I always right? No  I've had my fair shares of stumbles in life.  So I keep reading and educating myself.  Does that make me opinionated?  Probably, but once you've read what I've read, lived my life, walked a mile in my might be opinionated to.  I hope that our kids keep reading and educating themselves through their whole lives.  Learning isn't just K-12 or K-college but a life time.  I'm not into novels, they are just a waste of time to me.  I love books chucked full of information.  Before I made my first bar of soap I read everything available to me. And when that first batch fail I read some more...see, I'm persistent...LOL  So me being called opinionated also means I'm educated.  God gave me a brain and I want to fill it with knowledge.
    With all this being said, can you change my mind?  Most certainly!  But you better be prepared to back up your information with something I can read...maybe there are things I missed along the way.
     Back to the title of this post..."say what you mean and mean what you say"  that statement means you follow through with what you say you're going to do.  If you tell Johny that if he doesn't eat his dinner then no cookie...follow through and no backing down.  Children need guidelines and rules.  They need the consistency of their parents.  We as parents do this out of love but kids see it as being stubborn.  LOL  Well, then eat your dinner...LOL
    My final thoughts are another saying my MIL would always tell me (yes, she's been my guardian angel this past week) "God doesn't give you anything you can't handle" The first time I heard this was when I told her we were expecting twins.  To tell you the truth...this has been the hardest lesson for me to learn.  When you run into a road block in life just stop, drop and pray.  When you allow your heart to open you'll know his answer.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Person is a Person no matter how small

There's a lot of confusion as to exactly what Attachment Parenting is. Is it natural parenting? Some hippie movement? Helicopter parenting? Parenting influenced byDr. Seuss?
Perhaps those who are AP spent some time in Seussvillealong with their reading of Dr. Sears. Yes, the birthday guy, Dr. Seuss, has one single quote which I think sums up the idea of AP easily:
"A person's a person, no matter how small."
That quote, from Horton Hears a Who! could sum up attachment parenting as a whole. The real, true focus is that of respecting children -- even newborns -- as people with valid and complex emotions, who need respect, understanding, and love.
The reason something like "cry-it-out" is not an AP tenet is because we believe that a child who is crying is using their voice -- the only thing a baby has -- to ask for something. I'd be crushed if I asked my husband to cuddle me and he told me I needed to learn to not want him as much. Attachment parents believe that the idea of "warm, dry, and fed" doesn't give enough credit to babies. Besides, it's generally disrespectful to tell a person to be quiet because their basic needs are taken care of. Why do people do it to babies?
This also holds true for feeding. If you are capable of breastfeeding, you will, because it gives the child you've brought into the world the best and because the method of feeding also promotes the necessary closeness that babies deserve and require. But even if you can't breastfeed, babies should still be cuddled, loved, and paid attention to for the duration of the feeding. You should bottle-feed like you're breastfeeding -- in other words, no bottle propping, and cuddle, cuddle, cuddle!
This quote also applies to discipline. The path to teaching children to be loving, empathetic, and respectful adults is to treat them that way, whether they're asking to be cuddled when you want to do dishes, or trying to figure out the source of their behavior so you can help them work through it rather than just punishing the outlet they chose.
While many things like breastfeeding, babywearing, and cosleeping can end up not being ideal for many AP families, the most important thing about it is what Dr. Seuss says: A person is a person, no matter how small.
And every single person deserves respect, love, and caring, even when it's not convenient or scheduled, and things you wouldn't do to the oldest of people shouldn't be done to the youngest either.
What do you think of the Dr. Seuss quote? Does it suit your parenting style?

A Parent's Prayer Anonymous

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray my sanity to keep.
For if some peace I do not find,
I'm pretty sure I'll lose my mind.

I pray I find a little quiet,
Far from the daily family riot.
May I lie back and not have to think
About what they're stuffing down the sink,

Or who they're with, or where they're at
And what they're doing to the cat.
I pray for time all to myself
(did something just fall off a shelf?)

To cuddle in my nice, soft bed
(Oh no, another goldfish--dead!)
Some silent moments for goodness sake
(Did I just hear a window break?)

And that I need not cook or clean
(well heck, I've got the right to dream)
Yes now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray my wits about me keep,

But as I look around I know,
I must have lost them long ago!