"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005

Friday, February 29, 2008

Projects for the Weekend


As spring inches closer the projects continue to maintain an even keel.As I am working through a mild headache, I decided that I would just post the Double Nickel weekend plans.

Big day tomorrow!! First is coming home(can only come for Saturday)and so I am going to make his favorite sweet treat...brownies.

~Create a curtain rod for the master bath.

~Paint the trim in the master bath.

~Bill and boys to put in the shelves in the closet.

~Work on the bathroom rag rug(made from fabric pieces from craft shelf).

~Trim 30-40 more pieces of Mesquite branches for the garden awnings.(due to living in NM, our garden beds need a covering of sorts so that the plants will not burn.This is a tedious project, so I am doing this. The Mesquite bush has thorns as long as my pinky finger. Once I have enough, I will weave wire around the branches to make one, for lack of a better word, sheet of mesquite.)I also am going to make a shade area for the chickens out of this as it is free and everywhere!

~Plant 3 avocados,roma tomatoes, apple and lemon seeds. If time willing I will plant marigold and mint. Also to transplant the 2 aloe plants.

~Make mouthwash...and one batch of soap.

~Work on pulling out roots of the 4 remaining Mesquite bushes in the yard. Plot out the first 4 main garden beds. Pick up the manure that the neighbor has graciously offered. The manure is not fresh and will be PERFECT for preparing the soil.

~Begin 10% rule...declutter by 10% before June, for the master bedroom, master bath, laundry room, and family room.

~Prepare the school schedule.

~Prepare the menu.

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Bill and the kids are going to finish the coop, and prepare the brooders for Tuesday.

Hopefully the clothesline will be put up too.
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That's all I can think of... I hope that your weekend goes well and that the weather allows you time to get out.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Blogging with a Purpose

I was so surprised when Susan told me that she had given me an award. This blog, and the lifestyle that my family and I have embarked upon was long in coming but only took an accident to implement.

Funny how we think that our lives are completely in our control, and we throw around 'religious' words, to compensate things. "I am so blessed" , in reference to my grand home, or how healthy I am or my children or this or that. My brother in law once told us that he really was blessed by the housing market in Las Vegas. I have said similar things myself, feeling that something I did made me have so much.

Then Bill had an accident. Due to this I learned much about life, and feel that life was just beginning. You see, we often get so caught up in life that we justify things. Not willingly, but by the comfort. We feel the more we have the more blessed we are, and on the flip side we feel that when things go bad that we did something wrong. I realized that this is SO wrong.

The Double Nickel Farm is the reverse of what we have been doing in society. We work and expect pay increases, benefits, and this and that. We trade in our perfectly fine vehicles for the newest model and buy to have an outfit for every occasion. But at the Double Nickel we are not looking for more pay, can't afford the benefits and are going to take every single thing we have and stretch it. We are working daily to point the devotion to where it should be: God. We can do nothing without Him, and have nothing without Him, and are nothing without Him.

The days are long(and I often chuckle in my mind thinking I am so happy that the day is so long!)the work is not easy, and creating is due to Him. We are amazed at how we are able to accomplish so much with nearly nothing.

So Susan awarded me this:

This award was created by Eric Novak at Blogging with a Purpose. Here’s how it works:Awarded parties must nominate five people who have not received the award.The blogs that receive the award must serve some purpose.In their post about the award they need to link back to this entry.Awarded parties must post the award banner on their site. The banner must remain linked to the above linked site.

I am to pick five blogs that blog with a purpose.
1)I am picking Eilleen at Consumption Rebellion. I stumbled across her blog a bit ago during the time she was going one year without purchasing anything, aside from food and toiletries. I was so incredibly impressed by this notion, and believe it or not she was part of why I was able to *see* the Double Nickel succeeding. I know that God gave us our strength, and through people like Eileen I could have a visual of how to live with less. Eileen I know that we are on different continents, and have different reasons for living the way we do, but we are on the same path, and I thank you for being so strong and resilient in your blogging.

2) I am picking Diana at Sunshine on my Shoulders. The name of her blog is so appropriate. I am absolutely delighted every time I read her blog. I love most about Diana is the fact that she is so completely real. She is so on fire for the Lord and she uses the blog to serve Him. She even began More of Him Mondays, which allows bloggers to unite in their focus of Him. Even yesterday, her post about joining a group of women and the doubts paint her path very similar to us all. With her blog she allows a peak into who we all are, and she then takes us through the steps to overcoming ourselves and do what needs to be done.Diana is truly a blogger with a purpose. Thank you Diana for your blog!

3) I am picking Harry at Garbanzo Toons.I am not sure that Harry even knows about this blog as it has been kind of under the radar. But Harry definitely blogs with a purpose. He is amazing on bringing out the clear Antisemitism that is now so open in society. Everywhere we are it is more clear. Harry also keeps me up to date on how quickly we in the United States are crossing over to becoming a socialized state. I also love the window that Harry reveals sometimes from his day job, teaching. Harry you truly are a blogger with a purpose and you have a fan in New Mexico! Thank you Harry!

4)I am picking Deby at Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver. She is truly a blogger with a purpose. I am truly picked up by her daily writings. In fact I am even more impressed with the post lately as she has been dealing with some health issues. Deby is very open and forthright with her blog, and allows the reader to get to know Him in many ways. I love visiting your blog Deby! I could go on and on, about Deby and her selfless ways, but I think that I should just say thank you Deby for blogging for a purpose.

5) I am picking Connie at Connie's Thoughts. Connie is a very unique blogger that writes her post to lead the reader always to Him. But she uses such a sweet way to do this. She shares a story that really makes you think, then she uses His Word. She is not judgmental, but one who desires that All get to know Him. Like Deby, Connie has still been blogging uplifting posts, all the while dealing with the ups and downs of learning about what her husbands health issues are. Thank you Connie for blogging with a purpose.

Thank you Susan for this kind award. Thank you to all the readers of this blog. I really am just a humble housewife that has been given the opportunity to spend more time with her husband all because. I pray that the readers of this blog leave knowing that without God I could do nothing.
Jennifer

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

She Has A Name


I guess it is appropriate to name her after a character on a TV show, as this is where I found her just a bit ago.

Our new kitty is named Teeger, after Natalie Teeger, a character on the show Monk.I laughed when I saw what was on the screen. Yep, she sure makes us smile!
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Every day for school I have the kids complete a writing assignment. Not too much, just to reinforce writing skills. Third has posted his newest assignment...which was to be about pets. Then he was on his own and Wow!(since I posted a photo of one of our kitties...and you can scroll down a bit to see the others...I thought you would enjoy his post!)
Third's blog.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Down on the Farm

Monday morning updates on the farm:
~Chicken coop design going well, no chicks yet. We are excited and anticipate soon.

~Greenhouse and planting begun. More herbs and healing plants to grow this year. Also going to plant flowers and trees.

~Goat pen secured over the weekend. Currently not a goat pen, but will be converted. Exciting to see the potential in items.

~Master bedroom floor repair turned into painting and redoing of entire room.(also master bath).I am pleasantly surprised with the changes. To finish, need Bill and boys to cut baseboards, and I need to sew curtains.(minor painting left)
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Friday, February 22, 2008

Six Things

This is a post that may seem directed to women, but for any man reading this they can insert him or he instead of the female pronoun. This morning as I was reading Hosea I made a few index card notes. Not of scripture verses. When I looked at these notes I realized that I had the basics of a marriage reboot session. So here are my notes which are both in question and statement form. Ponder your relationship with your spouse for each question/statement.

1) Do you know him?

2)Do you love him?

3)Do not be ungrateful to him.

4) Do not fail to recognize him.

5) Do not be unfaithful to him.

6) Do not forget him.
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Part I

Now my thoughts on our spouses:

1) Do you know him? This is a very important question. I mean this quiet seriously. Do you know him in every area? Have you tried to get to know your spouse. Dating didn't end when you married. This is a daily thing. And this is not just about the trivial things either. This is about how your spouse feels about God, love, life, children, and even how he sees you...truly(not how you see yourself)

2)Do you love him? I mean deep down, heart stops for a moment when you think of the moment that you will have to part(as one dies).

3)Do not be ungrateful to him. Are you purposeful spiteful, when he seems to have more down time, or because he is not home when you have to address issues with the children? Do you go out of your way to make sure he understands how much you appreciate the fact that you have food, shelter, clothing, and love? Make sure that you implement the very same things you did when you dated, romantic notes, hugs for no reason, and hold his hand. This is very important.

4) Do not fail to recognize him. Are you sometimes so busy with the children or home that you forget his importance when he arrives home? Do you make decisions then seek his advice? Always place your spouse in the role of senior adviser. They are your spouse. You selected him, and he therefore is who you lean on in every situation, not a girlfriend, nor your blog, or your parents, but him. Trust in him, make him the one you all stand and greet when he arrives home.

5) Do not be unfaithful to him. Now this is one that most of us will say, well I am not unfaithful. Friends we are unfaithful when we share all our troubles, fights and woes with the outside before we give him a chance to work it out with us. We are unfaithful to him, when we fail to recognize that he needs more than a hug, he needs intimacy. He needs you to believe that he is the greatest human to live. He is the most handsome, the most noble, and the most brave. When you slip in comments about another man about his characteristics, then you are inadvertently being unfaithful to your husband. Now I am not saying that when I see a young man acting heroically that I cannot point this out. I am saying that when you point out others and what they have, you are offhandedly telling your love that he cannot do this for you. Give him a chance to be the Noble man and he will not fail you, not when you are there behind him supporting him and cheering him on.

6) Do not forget him. This is so sad. We get so consumed with our life and the busy things ongoing that we forget the very person we love so dearly. The world will not cease if you miss one meeting, or an activity. But if you continue to seek the outside the very inside(your home will suffer). Let him know that he is first in your life. Make sure that you take care of his clothes so that he goes to world, clean and pressed. Serve meals that he loves(you can have your favorites for lunch), and make 2-3 special desserts a week. Now for health reasons, maybe you make something that is a treat to him. Write a short note and place it in his wallet for him to find. Let him know that sometime during the day, you thought of him. Not only call him, but create a haven for him to know that if you are with him that you are going to be just fine.

We get so consumed with *rights* and I am somebody, that we forget that being a wife is a God given design(husband too). We are no less because we stay home. We are important in the role of being a wife. Now some of you have to work or worked during the younger years, and I am not saying that that was incorrect. What I am saying is that marriage is covenant given by God. We must never minimize it, nor 'worldize' the sacredness of the union. Please take a moment and try out some of these methods(kudos if you are on this track). Even if your spouse does not reciprocate, he will notice. It may take time to change attitudes, but he will then start placing you, his wife on a higher plane.
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Part II
Even though I realized that this was a great marriage lesson the real reason I took the notes was because I was thinking of God and where we are with Him.

1) Do you know Him? Meaning have you received Him as your Saviour? You cannot begin relationship unless you actually take the gift He freely gave. He died on the cross for your sins. Once you know Him, then the rest can fall in place...

2)Do you love Him? This is a big one. I mean do you love Him? Really truly? Well as best as you can as being man. Remember the love you have for your spouse, doesn't the Saviour deserve this and more?

3)Do not be ungrateful to Him. Wow, each and every day we are ungrateful to Him. We ignore His word, His sacrifice for the world. To remedy this, make time to read His word, to pray to Him, and to live by the pattern He set up in His book.

4) Do not fail to recognize Him. Another big one. This is not in what we do, as no works can achieve this. This is by admitting how much we cannot do anything without Him. I mean the money the home, the clothing, the food, the breath you take is because of Him. Do not for one moment think that you have something because of your doing. Give God the glory.

5) Do not be unfaithful to Him. Well the television in the United States is pulling so many away from our Lord and Savior. The TV is placed in the family room...not God. We strive to emulate what we see on TV(like it or not we do) and we allow this to become unfaithful to the Lord. Our barriers are broken down, and we hear language that is foul, and the immorality and we do not shut it off. We are unfaithful to Him by the way we strive to accumulate, thereby implying that it is the here and now that maintain your focus. We are unfaithful to Him in another sense too. Sometimes we portray ourselves as the perfect ones obedient to the core. This really shows our unfaithfulness. You see when one is to get right with God it is always portrayed by wearing sackcloth and ashes. So being faithful and dressing and living a modest life is faithful until you allow this to be YOUR stumbling block. And friends none of are immune to feeling as though we are the only correct ones on the planet. Remember this...Jesus Christ church is not only full of Methodist, not Lutherans, not Baptist or an Independent, but it is filled with believers, who have received His gift.

6) Do not forget Him. How much time do you devote to personal grooming? To television, to your family? To your hobby? To your job? How much time to you devote to Him? 30 minutes in the morning? 20 minutes? 10 minutes? 5 minute???

Well now you can see why I wrote these 6 things down? I really came to the conclusion that I have so much to do. I need to be in His word, I need to be praying and fasting. I really was amazed at how easy it was for me to think of things for my spouse and then ashamed to be lacking in what I have for the Lord.

I pray that this helps you.
Jennifer

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rats!

We have seen many kangaroo rats and mice outside. As we clear the weeds and the Mesquite we see them scatter. Inside I have yet to see any mice, as we have Pepsi inside...and our sweet little blind kitty, Mr. Magoo.

But I cannot stand rodents. I know, I know, the boys do have a Guinea pig that is huge...but I have honestly never held him. We have had him since 2003...I never knew that they could live so long*ugh* and he is HUGE.

So aside from snakes, rodents are a big no for me. This place had been vacant for awhile so I must introduce the newest reinforcements that we have added to the Double Nickel.


This is Lainy. We got her from a vet in town. The previous owner had left the collar on her for so long that it had made rings on her neck. She loves the boys and rarely leaves their room. But she 'steals' the computer chair in the school room whenever someone leaves it. Funny, she is so fast and zips up and lounges, all the while whoever left the chair is left in shock!



Here is our new kitty. She is 3 months old and we got her from a young air force family. They claimed she was nervous all the time, but I think that their 2 year was the cause, as she is so cuddly and purrs all the time. It is weird to see a kitty that is not blind, I had forgotten how much stuff they do! She has no name at the moment. We like Phoebe, Shadow, or Motor boat...but none are the name...time will tell(suggestions welcome!)



Here is Mr. Magoo. He and Pepsi were to be in the photo together but they don't get the whole pose idea! Mr. Magoo has captured our hearts...he totally relies on us, as he cannot see, nor make a noise. We surely saved him from teens, and he has been such a cutie!

So now you have seen some of the other residents of the farm. Soon I will introduce you to some other residents!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hmm

Ok, now that I posted about my children, that I have been blessed with, I post some thoughts for all of us to ponder.

I post quite a bit about living on less and making do, all as a result of an accident. But I often neglect to mention some pretty amazing statistics and must NEVER FORGET that I have such an easy life.

So here goes...
~ 1.3 billion people worldwide live on less than $1.00 per day
~3 billion people worldwide live on less than $2.00 per day
~1.3 billion people do not have access to clean water
~3 billion people have no access to sanitation
~2 billion people have no access to electricity
~30,000 children worldwide die from poverty related issues...EVERYDAY
210,000 die every week, and that is a total of 10 million children a year if you are counting.
~Americans spend 110 billion dollars a year on FAST FOOD
~ Americans spend 39 billion dollars a year on their PETS

Think about this readers...please. We are so involved with so many minor details in life. Me too. What should I do about this? What shall I make for dinner? For lunch? For Breakfast? My pantry looks low, I better fill it up...

CAN ANY OF US REALLY GRASP THE IDEA THAT ONE OF OUR CHILDREN DIED OF STARVATION???

Thank God that the answer to this is no.

As you leave this post think of your children, think of yourself, and then think of the mothers who watched a child starve to death. What do you propose we, one of the most consuming societies on the planet suggest should be done?

Be honest and sincere. No need to tell me, I just had to post this, as I personally, since I was 18, have never made less than $800.00 per month(part time while in college).


Update: Well I am in from cutting out 3 Mesquite bushes, and realized I should add in a few thoughts. Long winded...I apologize up front.

1) Like Susan suggested sending money to places usually is NOT the solution, as we have seen time and time again, relief organizations end up top heavy and funnel well intended monies to themselves as salary(nearly every hurricane season we see this) or like in *third world* countries, the leadership and or military use the foods or money as collateral or to sell for the weapons or luxuries they so choose, thereby leaving the citizens still hungry. The UN has many times shown us that they allow this situation to happen. In fact I have seen footage that was filmed where the military used UN vehicles to take the relief off away from the people. But mind you I am not only pointing at the UN, as the vouchers given for Katrina victims ended up going to people who never even lived in New Orleans. The abuse and or wasted monies ten years ago was a standard 10%, but now we are watching nearly 20% be abused outright, and in other countries nearly 40-50%. I am personally against this method. As a nation we have poured literally millions and millions of dollars into the war torn/famine lands in Africa. And the situation has not changed.

2) Like Diana wrote, I am without speech when I see how much we as a nation just toss money around. Yes, $100.00 for a steak is unbelievable. We buy...buy...buy, and never see the implications of our purchases. Yes, I too buy things all the time. Yes, I used to look for the best value. But what I should do is look for quality. One needs the lower the price, the better the chance that a woman or child is working all day for pennies, just for my bargain. Now mind you, in the land where I hire work...I feel I can price shop. This contractor or that...well whomever produces the best for the least(no I am not hiring a contractor...just an example). I also think that we do not even realize how much we have. Our animals have so much...vet, pet insurance, funerals and headstones....food for senior dogs, inactive dogs, vegetarian foods for them and on and on and on. I use pets as an example because we as people like our comforts(Me too) but my goodness a dog does lick its fanny....always keep that in mind. I love warm showers, a cozy bed, electricity, water, and my very own toilet, but I think we add to our needs and the wants turn into needs. King Solomon was very wealthy and very wise, so I need to mention that money is not a curse(for the very few who can really process being responsible...)I mean how many people do you know, that buy a larger home...when the kids are nearly moved out? What is up with that? And now everyone must have a home office...are we any more business like as a nation? Well clearly not, look how many people need to be bailed out of extremely poor business sense in the housing market. Oh and how much money have you invested in crafts? I am right there with you. Most of us craft for our enjoyment, and for not any other reason.

3) Deby you also had several points that need to be addressed. You are most likely like the rest of us. I mean none of us are starving, nor probably "know" one who is starving. Living month to month is definitely tough, but starving?

A good point I thought was getting out of debt. Now being debt free does not mean that you no longer are a consumer, but that you are a usually a more responsible spender, meaning if you have to wait 3-4 years to save the cash to buy a vehicle, then YOU are in control. Believe me, when Bill bought our truck it was so much easier to have the cash then going in an having *numbers* crunched(meaning how much can the dealer/salesman make off you). He went to San Antonio to visit a sick friend and found an incredible deal, and because we could bought it outright. Business will become better, if YOU have cash as YOU are much more willing tor research everything you can prior to purchase. With our mini van we just bought the cheapest used one(on a note) it was not probably the best thing for us to do, and we had a perfectly fine mini van that we traded in...they *gave* us money on the old and worked a *deal * for us...hmm...now we paid the van off way early....but I will never purchase a vehicle again on a loan. So by being out of debt, and saving the cash YOU are a much wiser consumer. And our economy will not fail. But consumers like those(lenders and buyers alike) who bought homes without the means to buy the home are who we are going to be bailing out. And credit debt, oh my, where do I go on this...it is NOT IN YOUR BEST INTEREST TO BUY ON CREDIT. In an emergency we all have the backup...we bought a water heater on credit. But groceries, Christmas, and even clothing are being charged on credit cards. One rarely gets out of credit debt without actually paying tons more than the item cost.

Now Deby the urgency that you expressed on sharing the Good News is head on. I believe that we are so consumed with our consumerism...that we feel that there is not time enough in the day. We are so busy, and on and on. We spend millions each year on bible study guides, and Christian supplements WHEN WE SHOULD BE IN THE WORD FIRST.(I am equally guilty)

We live in times where we want instant results because we now have the means to produce this. I mean I see young couples marry and then fill their homes with beautiful furnishing, when maybe you and certainly your parents worked over time to fill the home. Now...now...now.
We have many people who spend money on liposuction instead of exercising....we expect to be entertained 24-7 and if we are not then we go out for the now fix.

What to do, what to do, what to do??

My life has changed to where I am seeing my former lifestyle and I am often saddened by how I lived. Even now, today, I threw a pop can in the garbage and thought, wow, that can add up if I am diligent, yet I left it in the can. You see as Christians we need to realize that the solution is not easy, as many turn their backs on God's solution. His solution was sending His Son. We need to step back and focus on Him.

What I suggest to this is for you to implement changes in your life. Each and every change that you do, does lower the burden fr another. Can you go one month this year and only purchase groceries and toiletries(medications also)? Could you then take that money pay off one of your credit cards? Could you devote one week a month to making meals from scratch? This is healthier for you because the foods have less preservatives. Could you reduce your clutter/in your home this year by 10%? If you have extra money by deciding not to spend on any more stuff...pay off your home. Then if you have extra...

Well before I get corny VOTE. If the Left gets in we inch closer and closer to Socialism...

Read Jungle-Hut's blog. I mean in Venezuela they are having shortages for milk, can you believe that? The socialist platform is to disperse the money so that we all share and share alike, but as in Cuba, and now Venezuela the money and supplies never go to the masses. Remember in the Soviet Union when there would lines for toilet paper. Socialism is really a system where those in power have all and the rest get little or nothing. Both Hillary and Obama want socialized medicine, and everyone gets college education, and all can move here. You see where we level the playing field and you don't have to work to have things then work seems so well not important...look at France where thousands and thousands of men under the age of 25 are unemployed! Wait unemployed? Because the government gives them the needed things, oh and France has had in the past few years thousands of cars burned, nearly 20 a night due to these *youth* not working and having such free time.

We need to recall why people settled the US. We need to stop justifying our behaviors. We need to stop thinking that because of something we have done that we deserve all these luxuries. I will remind you that the nations that maintain a relationship with the Lord prosper. Those who don't slowly decline. We have removed the Lord from nearly everything, and WE WILL REAP WHAT WE SOW. We are not blessed by having so much, find me a person whose child died for any reason. They will clear up the materialism quickly, child or stuff...then it is easy.

Make no mistake about why I write post like these, I write for me too. I write to remind me that I am not staying focused. That I am getting muddled up in the world. Famine and hunger were in the bible too. Remember what was done? Preparation for the hard times, and I believe that they are coming. Are you prepared? Could you go 7 years on 1/3 of the income you have now? How about 1 year? Could you readjust everything that you hold dear, and rebuild with the chief Cornerstone in your home? Could you skip lunch for a month, and not eat extra at dinner? Could you do these things? I am not sure, but I am willing to rededicate my life to the LORD...can I? Only through Him. I know that because of the fall of man that we can not stop hunger.

I believe that the best fix to this is you. I believe that you can stop your massive consumerism...and move to a slower pace. No don't go off the grid or sell everything that you own, but stop this craziness.

Oh and if you do have money that needs something done with it, well buy bibles...and leave them everywhere, God will do the rest.

Organize a walking club...for every mile you each walk give 1 dollar to a relief agency that you have checked out and feel comfortable with.

Challenge yourself that before you go to purchase more than the basics....read 10 chapters in the Bible. Then go, and see if you *need* to buy it. Force yourself to think about having so many needs and wants met, that maybe God wishes you to have more time to serve Him. Have you considered how very much that YOU CAN DO, BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT SO HUNGRY?

Well those are my thoughts
Thanks for helping me think out loud(so to speak!)


Friday, February 15, 2008

1 2 3 4 Here's a bit about the Four!

First is in the center, Second on the left, Third on the right, and Fourth in the back.
Wee update on the not so wee 'farm kids'. A wonderful blog friend asked me how the oldest was doing, and I realized that I had not posted too much about the cuties in awhile!

First is doing wonderful, although his hand has not healed properly. We are looking into having a surgeon check it out. It bothers him a bit, as he loves to box, and this has hampered his exercise regime. For Christmas he bought everyone such thoughtful gifts. I was absolutely surprised that he did this. He is a very compassionate young man. He just filed his taxes for the first time...sigh* he is growing up~

Second is still focused on becoming a LE officer and studies the police tests and codes as much as he does school work. Second is absolutely Bill the next generation. He reads the paper before 8:30 am and studies the classifieds also. When I drive with him anywhere he discusses the make and model of any patrol car that we have seen, and also obvious traffic violations. He has taken over the eldest responsibility to heart...sigh* he is growing up~

Third is focused on everything and anything! He can do a great impersonation of Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is busy lifting weights, running, and becoming a major mass of muscles...He is so hilariously funny and with Second keeps us laughing all the time. He is Dr. Doolittle for sure with the animals all hanging with him all the time. He has really taken the role of being an honorable gentleman to heart...sigh* he is growing up~

Fourth somehow, somewhere turned into a young woman! She is wearing the same size shoes as me, and steadily getting taller. She still looks all legs, so I know that she will be taller than me(although not too hard to accomplish!) She loves, loves, loves horses, and our neighbors have 3! She rides her bike at least 5 times a day by the corrals so she can see them. Then she comes home and fills me in with all the new details about them! She is so efficient in the housework that I know if I ask her to do something, that it will be done exactly how I would do it...sigh*she is growing up.

My children are a constant delight and joy to Bill and I. Regrets? Not one. Hopes? That they stay focused on the Saviour and keep Him in their lives.

The Questions

I asked a few questions to several bloggers over the past few days, and it really made me think myself.

The forum's for the blogs were of asking the people to leave a question in the comment section. I asked several questions to which I decided deserved to be in turn "answered" here.

I asked Susan this:
What is the best advice that you have ever given or received as to having a longstanding and fulfilling relationship with your husband???

So I too will answer. Although I have only been married just under 20 years, I will take a few moments to respond. Early in my marriage I felt burdened, because I was not in the workforce, helping out in the marriage. How silly was that? I resolved this myself, although by using the voices of many I had heard. I became devoted to the role I was ever so fortunate to have. I began the friend and offered my all in support of Bill. I learned all the names of his co-workers and listened intently to his happenings of the day. I dated Bill, not in a fashion of the world, but one for us. Sometimes I would take dinner to the substation(where he worked) and would visit with him on his break.

What I am saying is that I supported Bill so that he could support me. Does that make sense? He worked very hard(and still does) to keep our family fed, clothed, and devoted to the Lord. The very best I can do is actually be his wife. No shame, no sadness, just joy in the role given me.

I asked Theresa a few questions(my answers in blue).

1)What is your favorite crafting hobby?I love so many...let's see, writing.

2)Have you learned to do some new thing this year(last 12 months) either something like a hobby, or to make your own bread or the likes?Yes, I have learned how rip up carpeting(lol). Oh and I have made cloth napkins, dish scrubbies, and even believe it or not bloomers!

3)If you could learn a new skill or craft or hobby this year...what would it be?I would love to learn how to make biodiesel. Strange I know, but this would help us reduce more expenses. Initially the outlay would be around $1000.00(high end). I also wish to learn how to make a dinner roll, with ease, as this has been a tedious process for me, and I resort to just buying rolls.

4)Are you ever planning to vacation in White Sands area *smile*I asked about a vacation to White Sands for several reasons, but for me, I love the natural beauty that the Lord has provided for us. We can witness His creation in so much, and the White Sands is an enigma in the desert

I then asked a blogger that is really into the environment, what inspires her to this devotion. She is not a Christian, so I wished to understand what led her passion. I will not mention her name, nor has she read this blog, but I do not wish to out someone that may not approve.

My driving force as to being a good steward is of course the Lord. I was not always a good steward, and lived many years in a disposable lifestyle. But fortunately Bill had an accident, that then led to where we are today. I really began to see how very little I cared/thought about the money we had, or for anything around us. I rarely thought about buying something new, when I had many very nice things at home. My children had so many clothes that their dressers were overflowing, and so were the closets. Many clothes ended up being tossed or given away almost brand new. I bet some months we used 15 rolls of paper towels just to dry hands or wipe up small spills. Now I was not blatantly behaving this way, but I fell easily to what is being portrayed by the media...Swifter wet jets(throw away pads) Swifter Dusters, bleach wipes for way too much, liners to throw away so the pan wouldn't get dirty, and on and on. I realize that this was a lesson to learn, therefore keeping our lifestyle above board, and focused. I guess on the flip side, through the accident I realized how very much income was throwaway...around(60 percent at times and higher at other times...including food wasted in fridge, eating out too often, excessive clothing)

And by slowly chipping away at the trash can and what went in it, I have sadly seen what it used to be. Now the trash can fills every 3-4 days(13 gallon) and it really has only items that have no other purpose. Yep, the labels to the cans we use as fire starter...)

As I was cast into a new situation I realized the complete disregard that I had for what the Lord provided us. I realized that I do love the beauty of things around me, but that instead of filling the void with man made creations, I fill up with the beauty that the Lord provides me each and every day:sunsets, mountain views, the animals, and my wonderful family. I do feel the need to stretch all that I have, as God has provided it all, and like in Job he can allow it all to be taken away. I wish to be viewed not by what I have, but if I have taken the mission seriously.

Well thanks for stopping by. My holey bedroom makeover should be finished by Saturday, and if so I will post photos!


**********************************************************************************************************
by the way I can easily calculate the waste by one simple factor...we live on nearly 1/3 of the income we did just 3 years ago...surprise! And we do take vacations, own all our cars, have 2 in braces, and have a filled pantry, and I currently am redoing the bedroom...with a more focused budget, oh and house payment was the same before as it is now.




Thursday, February 14, 2008

Best Years of My Life(so far)


1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008























Just a quick post to let you in on my best years!!! All because of Bill!

I love you Bill!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Perspective


Often I see people decorate their homes with items from the past, quaint and charming, and seemingly forgotten was the sweat and shear effort to run a home, and for that matter...live.

I look at this crank washing machine(I believe that it is one) and am so grateful that I have a washing machine that does all it does. I am so grateful that in one afternoon I can finish the wash for the week. I recall days when Bill and I did not have a washer, nor much in money, and I hand washed our clothing. It was, by far, the hardest thing I have ever done. My hands hurt and were raw, and stiff. But I appreciated the concept of wearing things a few days before I washed them. Sometimes now I find something in the wash that was worn for a few minutes and then tossed in the pile.

For today I just thought that it would be a good idea for us to really 'get' that times are not really hard. Times are exciting and fulfilling, and with modern conveniences are so EASY. After yesterday's post, I felt that I better point out that I am not disturbed by the path ahead of me. For you see, I have the internet, and several years of watching Home and Garden TV, which have all prepared me to complete the tasks at hand. I have thousands ahead of me that have solved every problem that I will face. And I have the brain that God gave me.

I wished to give you all the perspective that I try and have each and every day. With that, I am off, fulfilling my role as wife/mother/teacher/demolition team....and so on...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dirty Jobs Come on Over!


Well this is not the photo that I wish I was showing(wish I was showing a pretty floor), but no luck, so bear with me. See the small hole in the carpet? That is what used to be what I called the 'sticky spot'. Yes, I know, g-r-o-s-s! The master bedroom by far has the worst floors. We knew this when we looked at the property, but I was confident that I could fix it. Now I had not planned on this project yet. But the carpet that I had over the spot, somehow moved and I stepped on this bare footed! Yuck! So first I got the box cutter, and planned on just cutting out this dangerous-who-knows- what carpet spot, but decided that why not?

Now our furniture is in the room, so I am working around the bed and hutch. As you can see there are numerous stains on the floor. I must say that we could see the discoloration in the carpets and before we moved in, Bill and the boys saturated the carpets with a bleach solution. Sometimes you really need to clean and bleach is best.


Surprise again! I found this lovely hole in the floor, and for my personal memory put the measuring tape beside it. Sometimes we forget just how much effort we put in to something, because we didn't document the process. Rest assured I am.

Sometimes I wonder, am I crazy? Did I finally take on a task that is a wee bit more than my 5 foot frame can handle.?Then I get out of bed, and tackle the day, and forget these thoughts. I often hum and in my mind fill in the words...steady pace wins the race. What race? I don't know, maybe to be my personal best!

I am giving myself 18 months to complete the interior of the house and the painting of the exterior. The repair on the steps, landscaping(minus gardening) and driveway are bumping to the back burner. I have in my mind a completed project and often work from there. I will explain to Bill something I need and he and the boys figure out how to make or create the thing I need. Soon I will post a finished bedroom...walls, floors, closet, windows and window treatments. But for now, just thought I would explain what and where I have been.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Plotting and Planning

You can click on the photo to see what I have dried in this picture.


So here are some of the seeds I dried from last year's garden to be planted this year. Little did I know that we would move and have such a huge place to plant this year! So I have begun planning what else I will grow this year.

Herbs have really made me take note. I began making my own shampoo and soaps and herbs are really important in these ventures so that sparked my interest in growing my own. Then I began to research herbs that are helpful and healing and they too are herbs that I wish to grow, so what I am saying is that I will also be growing an herb garden.

We really grew a great deal in our small back yard, and I look forward to this year! In the works, more varieties of tomatoes, onions, garlic, cucumbers, zucchini, cantaloupe watermelon, pumpkins, green beans, pinto beans, Anazazi beans, peas, jalapeƱos, Serrano's, bell peppers, sunflowers, popcorn, and corn. Shwew! I probably left out some...but I am typing and planning a Saturday getaway at the same time.

In addition to this I am in the planning stages of creating a tropical greenhouse of sorts to try and grow lemon and lime trees. I do not know for sure if it will work, but I am definitely a person who loves to try and solve things.

So as I go back to *work* I wonder, are any of my readers gardeners? If so what do you LOVE to grow?

For me simple....ONIONS:O)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Delighting in Sacrifice

I had some thoughts as the work day ended and I took a lovely hot shower. Bill and I have had the wonderful opportunity to live in many places in the world. I often look back and reflect at all that we have seen, and almost can't believe it myself.

But today I was taken back to when we lived in Northeastern Utah, near Dinosaur National Monument. This was an unusual place to live, for the shear volume of things to see, and the lifestyle that many in the area chose to live. You see we lived in an area that has a large population of Fundamental Mormons(polygamists). I grew up in a very rural area in Ohio, and as one would guess, I was fairly naive on the ways of the world. Now this area was a true eye opener.

But not in the way you would think. I had a home school yard sale a few months after we moved there, and advertised to end it at noon. Exactly at noon a very old van pulled up and out piled a family that had the look that I had come to know as polygamists. By this I mean, they have beliefs that have clothing requirements, not like LDS(Mormons) garments, the Fundamentalist garments come to ankles and wrists so even in the middle of summer, they wear long sleeve shirts and pants(or skirts).(the link I used has a drawing of the garments that this family wore...original from the early 1830's or so)

Back to this family. They were a polygamous, but one of the wives had left so, at the time lived as a traditional family. At my yard sale they were interested in everything. They home school(as to not have to explain the multiple mom's). For me, I offered freezer bars for the children and mine and the kids all ran off...and the mom told me that this was such a treat for the kids, because they had not had anything ice cold in years. Yes, years.

I must confess that my heart went out to this family, and thought that I could be helpful for them. The trust level took several months, so we would meet at the park and the likes. The secrecy is huge. And Bill was a police officer. For them to even talk to us was amazing. Finally after months we were invited to go to their home. It was very remote, and the off road drive to the fence was a few miles. After going up their lane, finally I saw an old beat up single wide trailer. But behind it was a log cabin under construction.

The trailer had no running water, no plumbing, no electricity. And this is where I realized that everything I had known was so little and that this world showed gave me a peek into 19th century living. I was amazed at the salvage of everything and anything. The father hauled in water every week, and built toilets that used wood shavings that he picked up for free from the lumber yards. The bathroom was so clever. He had pickle buckets under the seat that he made a frame for. He made an access to the waste on the outside of the house, and he emptied them once a day. No, it does not smell. Fortunately for me, I was there as they were finishing the log home. It was AWESOME. He made everything himself, including a root cellar, that really was incredible.

They also grew a large garden, had goats, chickens, horses and a few ducks. Again I was peeking into a lifestyle that is rarely seen on the outside, and I am sure we were allowed to because the other wife was no longer there. I had the 3 boys and girl and they had 3 girls and a boy. So the kids developed friendships, and played often and in every delightful way.

When the cabin was finished I was truly amazed. It was totally off the grid, and the dad had taught himself all about solar power, and set up solar. I was in awe.

The reason I wrote about this family was for a few reasons. The world is made up with so many types, right, or wrong, same or different. What we need to do while we are on this earth is to not shelter ourselves, but to allow the Light to shine through. I learned so much from this family. They were very smart, and believed in their faith...both were descendants of the early Mormons. I do not advocate Mormonism or polygamy, but I do advocate understanding that the time we have on this earth is not for us but for the Lord. And who we interact with, is for His glory. Did we leave an impact on them? Yes, I know we did, because we were allowed to be in their inner world.

My other thought was this: hot showers. This is something that this family did not have the opportunity to enjoy. They did warm water on the woodstove, but the shower is, well so delightful after a day of hard work. A warm shower is well, incredible when your shoulders ache from raking and lifting wood. And they, for the privacy of their faith had not enjoyed this, something that most Americans take for granted in our lives. We, as Christians can take something from my post. Why? Because we should have NO problem making sacrifices for the Lord. Not so that the world will look at us, because this family did not try and draw attention. Now when I say sacrifice, I do not mean anything negative. It is not a sacrifice to accept the blood of Jesus to cover our sins. What do you sacrifice in glory for the Lord? Think about this, not something that you do because those in your church do, or that you secretly hate to do, but something that you willingly sacrifice.

To jump start some thoughts for you, I personally delight in being a good steward. I know that others probably view my life as one filled with huge sacrifices, but I promise you, that it is not. I fall asleep filled with joy. I delighted last year in the garden we grew in the middle of the city. I delight in pondering every possible use for something that a few years ago I would have thrown away. This is my running water, I suppose. Again, I will add a disclaimer that I do not believe in Mormonism, but I saw God's hand in meeting this family...especially now in 2008.

I will add a few more things later. This is not a post to make one feel guilty. I wrote this for me, as I walk towards the Saviour, and further from the world. I pray that my friends understand that we are all unique and have our own sacrifices, which to another may seem silly or not even a sacrifice. So keep that in mind, and be the person God designed YOU to be, not what another has decided that YOU should be.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday(always)

Super Tuesday! I call Tuesdays super every week, as the kids have a P.E. activity. I use this time to go to the library, visit Bill at work, pick up any miscellaneous items needed around the house, and generally I have a bit of time to myself. See? It is super, because after 18 years of being the mom, the one who organized nearly every activity for the kids, I am on a break. Wow!

I really have only had 3 breaks in all the years of being a mom, aside from when I had another baby! These 2 hours on Tuesday(and 2 hours for 2 Fridays each month) have been so important for me.

I love being a mom. Sadly we really have never lived where family was nearby, so the network has always been Bill and I. I realize now that without Bill being so supportive, that I may have had a very difficult time of being a stay home mom/home school mom. He really has been the help I need to make our home run efficiently and calmly. I cannot express enough to young moms this need to have someone give you a reprieve. No you do not need to zip away to the spa(although you can:). But you could take a hot bubble bath, go to the library, join a walking club(this one is so good if there isn't one organize one!) or whatever.

None of us are machines, and the clock never stops ticking for mom's. I pray that if you are an older mom, that if you have some free time on your hands to help a younger mom. It may make all the difference.

Now back to Super Tuesday...vote and have a great day. For us it is sunny(as usual:) and probably light jacket weather, no matter if you have snow...use your freedom well.

Monday, February 4, 2008

More of Him

Diana hosts More of Him Mondays which allows those who read or participate to place more focus on Him. I have really been inspired to participate, as it is all about HIM, and so not about me.

So in yesterday's sermon, we studied Job, and in a way that I had not thought of before. Everyone around Job was egging him on. I really was hit by that theme, because isn't that how we are as man? When things are going south for us, often at least one person we know will say something along the lines of well it was your boyfriends fault, he is so awful. Or after a death we rack our brains to even insert blame on ourselves.

Job is a wonderful book, because. Yes, just for that word...because. Things can happen just because satan has asked for permission, not because of anything that you have done. We must stop in a situation that is terrible and praise God. Pray to Him and ask for His strength for us. We must learn to sit back and pray in every situation...good, bad anything. For He has given us everything, and He can take it all away. We must sit back and praise Him for everything.

How hard is that? Well as many of us know, just from living on earth, that this is extremely hard. So as I peeked at Diana's more of Him Monday, I will borrow from hers...pray in every way you know how. Encourage friends to see the Lord in the trials, as that is where He is awaiting our call to Him. Pray, pray, pray, and then pray some more. Remember when all is going well to pray too...we must never forget to praise Him in all that we do.

Please consider taking the time to join in on this devotional that Diana hosts. We are here to uplift other believers and the internet has given us a wonderful opportunity. Through our week we most certainly experience things that others do, and that might be exactly what another needs to be uplifted. And remember that there are plenty of people that will be great commiserating partners, but what we all truly need are those who will uplift us and keep us focused.

Thank you Diana.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Don't You Just Love Being Tired?

Funny title, but what I mean is this: I love being so tired from working so hard! Taking on this 'farm' has been nothing less than marvelous for the whole family! And make no mistake about it, this is truly a diamond in the rough!

I most love this kind of tired because although we are working a great deal, the rewards are daily. We see the fruit of our labor. Inch by inch, we creep towards a fully sustainable farm. I am often amazed at how the Lord uses grief and pain for His glory. Through the changes that our family has made, we have found ourselves closer to Him. We find that we have more when we actually have less! Does that make sense? It has all come down to contentment. Yes, true contentment has made all the difference.

I love that my beautiful mural changes daily, as the Painter leaves such beauty each day at sunrise and sunset for us to enjoy. The Creator sends His creatures through the property and I, little old me, watch in such pleasure as they peck at the ground, leap in flight, and literally toss such vibrant color into the view. I love each and every moment where I sit and do not ponder at how we will be taken care of, but I have idea after idea on the next step of our journey.

I am so incredibly grateful that I am never alone. I am so grateful that every need we have, has been met. Now not due to the world, but because of Him...as there is no other explanation. We truly have more with so much less.

So as I close this evening, I wish for all you to sit back, close your eyes and ponder the Creator. He is waiting for you to rest in Him.
Have a blessed Sunday.

Friday, February 1, 2008

A Quirky Meme

Diana tagged me for this quirky meme The only sad thing about this is that little did she realize that I would struggle on this meme, for the shear volume of quirkiness that exist in me, and my life and behaviors! It probably would have been easier to think of six not so quirky things about me.


The rules for this meme are:

(1) Link to the person that tagged you.
(2) List the rules on your blog.
(3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
(4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
(5) Let each random person know they have been tagged. Without further rules, here goes...

~I speak very fast...I have a zillion things zipping through my mind ALL the time, and so I speak rapidly. A sweet southern blogger pointed this out to me, and since then I have tried to S...L...O...W my speech down. Bill of course must either understand or, just finds my speaking a lullaby that helps him in his day!

~I have tons of little Jeopardy facts that I think of in nearly every situation. No, I do not say them(for the most part), but I think of them constantly. Sometimes I play the six degrees of separation on obscure objects... or I think of different things like former presidents and universities. Or saying the states and their capitals while I drive, or I can recite all the extended family(both sides) birthdays...and anniversaries-remember Bill and I have many many brothers and sisters!

~I love rocks and collecting them! When I walk I scan the ground for new rocks for my collection. I have found several perfect arrowheads, and many partial or broken arrowheads. I also have many fossils. I love the story I find in rock collecting. Some day I plan on writing a post about my rocks...funny though I have always avoided taking courses on geology, I was bothered by the geological column, and the billions of years. Like most things that have interested me...I have taught myself about rock types, locations, and the likes. Every rock tells an incredible story that piques my interest on a daily basis. A spin off of this quirky hobby is my love of the petroglyph's and pictographs in the southwest and I have traveled to many of the sites to see the writing on the rocks!

~I eat for nearly every breakfast, kidney beans cooked in V-8. I know, it probably sounds unusual, but I do not like V-8 cold. I call this bean soup(I know aren't I Emeril? lol) I then cut up a half an onion per bowl after it has cooked for a lovely crunch. In the last minutes of cooking I mince a clove of garlic and add that to the pan. So how quirky is this? I slipped this in the middle to conceal how quirky I am.

~I still get butterflies in my stomach when Bill gets home from work! How quirky is that? We have been married for 19.5 years and I am so giddy when I am around him. He catches my breath more every day, and I am so happy that I am with such an honorable, real man.(see my post here on real men)Oh and I get up with him, make his lunch, and iron his clothes. I could iron his clothes on the weekend when I wash the laundry, but I use this time to talk to him and spend the maximum amount of time with him before he leaves for work.

~The space between my big toes and my second toes drives me crazy. Why? I do not know, but some times I need to have a sandal on to separate this issue or Bill(isn't he crazy-quirky to do this?) will hold his finger between them while we sit on the couch! I know, I know.(QUIRKY!)

Who to tag? Everyone that wishes to reveal some quirky things about themselves. Many bloggers have already done this, so if you haven't consider yourself tagged.