Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Fair is NOT Cheap!

I'm a little late with this post, as with everything! But I had to share some of these cute pics of my kids at the fair. First though, let me elaborate on the title if you please. I was going to make a list of all the things that we put money out for, but that is a little too tedious for lazy ol' me. Let's just say that for 3 adults and 5 kids, admission, food and rides (a couple dollars per ride per kid!), it was easily a couple hundred dollars. Again, NOT cheap! We haven't gone to the fair for a couple years, but my dad loves to take the kids and he loves to spoil them, rotten. He can't say no. But if it floats his boat I'm willing to let him. The only bad part of the day was that I didn't get a pic of Grandpa with the kids. Bummer.
Oh! Our friends Chuck and Elizabeth with their 3 cuties stayed the weekend with us and went to the fair with us too, fun!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pea Trellis

I forgot to put this in the last post, but here's a pea trellis you can make if all you have is a couple long poles and some twine. I don't think it would hold anything too heavy, but at least it gets the peas up off the ground.

It's Hot Already

May's mostly over and I haven't gotten much done around here. It's been getting hot here already and I really don't do well in hot weather, so I have to try to get work done in the mornings. I finished the raised beds in my vegetable garden. Originally I had planned to do an H pattern in the middle, but decided to go with a C instead. Now I have to work on the sprinkler system, the old hose is cracked and some of the heads are missing.

I don't have the money to buy mulch, so I'm using grass clippings in the pathways instead. I hope it works. I figure if you pile it deep enough it'll keep anything from growing.

I'm still trying to fine tune the watering system in my greenhouse. When I first set it up in March there was so much water that the seedlings molded. Now all my rhubarb seedlings died from lack of water. I think the battery in the timer died so it wasn't turning on. This is what happens when I get lazy and don't check on them for 2 days. Grrrrrr!

Here's a little advice for those of you who have goats: make sure your children latch the gate of their pen properly, goats really like roses and strawberries. This bush had big beautiful clusters of roses on it, and the strawberries were lush and overflowing the top of the barrell. Another grrrrrr!

At least my peas, lettuce, and artichokes are doing well. I don't know how long they'll last though in this heat. I almost lost all 20 of my Roma tomato seedlings because I forgot to water them during the same 2 days I lost the rhubarb. They popped back up after a good soaking, but some of the leaves didn't make it. I still need to get those in the ground.

The goats are enjoying their new sun shade. Unfortunately the flies are too.

I've lost almost half of our 30 meat chicks that I got a few weeks ago. Some died from lack of water, some escaped their cage and were caught by Augie the dog to be shaken to death. Now I only have 17. Bummer. But seeing as how this is my first year raising meat chickens, I figured it would be a learning experience, and it has been.

Well, let's not end with too much disappointing news. Here's Hopie and her new clothespin hairdo. She could start a new trend with this.

And here she is preparing for her new show "Cooking With Chicken Feed."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Homemaking, pt. 2

The second part to Why Modern Motherhood Is So Much Harder Than It Ought To Be has been posted At The Well and it does have some good, practical help.

First she says that we need to recognize the two lies that homemakers live under: 1) that homemaking is easy, and 2) it's boring. I would add, 3) the lie that homemaking is of little value. But I think she nailed it on the head here, homemaking is NOT easy or boring in the least. If anything, there is so much stuff to be done that you could work 24 hrs a day and still not do everything on your list! And boring? The variety of things to do is overwhelming. Every job has repetitive work of course, so repetitive that we can do it in our sleep if need be, and we do! But really, the challenge comes in being able to organize and balance all of these tasks, some of which take an amazing amount of creative genius to conquer. (Like being told you are having guests stopping by in 1/2 an hour, a very messy house, 5 kids to direct, and dinner to cook when there's nothing in the pantry!) Yes, this is a common occurrence in our home.

For step 2 she would have you "Renew Your Mind" by reading good homemaking books. I am a little discouraged here. Reading Christian homemaking books are a great thing to do, very helpful, I've read a few myself. But she doesn't even once mention Scripture. Yes, homemaking really isn't mentioned in Scripture a whole lot, but there are many verses pertaining to how we ought to live in general as people of God, no matter our vocation.

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." 2 Tim. 3:16

For step 2 I would probably call it "Changing Your Attitude," having a Godly perspective of homemaking. Seeing it as an invaluable God-given duty for women. If our home isn't peaceful and joyful, (notice I didn't write perfectly clean and organized!) then it reflects poorly on the glory of the God we claim to serve.

Thirdly, she encourages us to find fellowship whether in real life or on the internet. This I do believe is very needful, but I would look for a real life friend first. Internet friends are very helpful, but they don't have warm, strong arms to wrap around you. And when you are alone at home it's easy to feel even more isolated sitting in front of the computer. Find an older woman in your church who's been where you are and who is willing to listen and encourage you in the Word of God. This can mean the difference between a joyful life, or a bitterly hard heart. Avoid someone who gripes about her husband and children. You want someone to help pull you out of the pit of discontentment, not drag you down.

Lastly she tells you to tackle your problem areas with a ton of research. Whether it is cleaning, organizing, cooking, teaching your children, etc. Read up on everything you can, pull ideas and tips from every source possible. This is good advice as well. How can we cook a meal if we don't know how? This comes easy to me as I love to read and learn about things. I have many books telling me how to do this or that. The problem for me is actually getting around to doing them, I would rather read!

So all in all this was a helpful article, even if I think she missed the main point of why we're doing this homemaking thing at all. For the glory of God, not for our own personal fulfillment. If we are only doing this because we're told it's supposed to be the right thing to do, because it's better for the children if a mother stays home, then we're missing out on the peace and contentment that God has for us. We're doing this because it's what God has created us for. To be helpers to our husbands so they can do what God has called them to do. To raise up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, so that the next generation knows and loves Him.

Does this mean we can't do the things which we find pleasure in? God forbid! If God has put a desire in your heart to sing, then sing! If He gave you the ability to paint, then paint for goodness' sake! Just remember your priorities. Yes we may have to sacrifice our wants for a season. Did Christ want to be beaten and die? I use that strong analogy because sometimes we do feel as if we're being beaten by the demands that we face. But you know what? It's worth it knowing that we're allowing God to fulfill His purpose in our lives. Not that we have any righteousness of our own mind you, we must daily come to Him for the strength we need to meet our days. It's only by His grace that we can do what He's called us to. That's why we need the right perspective and attitude about our jobs as homemakers. Because without Him we can't do it, it's too hard.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." James 1:5

"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! 'For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?' 'Or who has given a gift to Him that he might be repaid?' For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen." Rom. 11:33-36