For those of you who have not yet been acquainted with MaryJane Butters, or her magazine, MaryJanes farm, go here.
Now, I would like to talk about MaryJane's latest book "Outpost, unleashing your inner wild". I recently ordered this book for myself on a whim. I have her original book, and I do subscribe to her magazine and they are all fabulous. This new book, though, got my heart skipping a few beats. I really had no idea what it was about, but since I know I love her magazine, and all her organic foods, etc. I knew I would like it. If you are a farmgirl, or just someone that likes the outdoors, this book is for you. Her ideas are unlike anything you'll find anywhere else. After only a few chapters I was inspired to get outside, and do a lot of the things the book talks about. If you notice the front cover of the book, you will see a beautiful outdoor tent, which she actually has on her farm, lots of them, (I've been there). She even has outdoor spaces with beautiful beds covered in the most gorgeous linens, and you think you are in a bedroom, but you look around, an realize you are in the middle of the woods! It's amazing. Everything she does outdoors has a feminine, yet woodsy feel to it. Her little touches are so simple, yet they make something ordinary look beautiful. It's all in the farmgirl spirit and that is something that I love!
When I placed my order for the book, I also got some of her organic foods. I love making the bakeovers, which is something she came up with. It is an original, yet simple way to feed your family lots of veggies. My 6 yr old loved the last bakeover I made, and didn't complain once about the numerous veggies I had baked it with. You have to try the bakeovers!
Oh, and I was so inspired by this book, that I made a big decision. I made a big purchase...well for me it was BIG. I don't buy BIG things, and this is BIG. I am so excited about it though...I will have to share soon...oh it is so cute!!! Betcha can't guess what my BIG purchase was, huh? You'll have to wait till my next post! Stay tuned!
Labor day weekend is a weekend we like to stay home, so we don't have to deal with crowds and heavy traffic. We usually plan a short trip the weekend after. Since we were staying home this weekend, we were open to doing some respite foster care, so we have our first little foster child this weekend. He will go back to his foster home on monday. He is around 14 mos. old, and adorable. He looks like he could be related to Miranda with all his blonde hair and blue eyes. Lilyann had a bit of a hard time getting used to him at first but she doing better now. I guess I won't be getting all the yard work, housework, canning, and scrapbooking done like I had planned!
On our way home tonight we stopped and looked at an old farmhouse that we saw for sale. It was older than our house, which was built before 1930. I loved it. It needed some renovations, but had so much charm, character and potential. We love looking at older homes when we get a chance. It's hard to believe we have had our little farmhouse for 14 years now...and we are still working on it! There is lots more going on around here, so I will take time to give a better update later this weekend. We have some new additions to the farm...stay tuned.
Well, I am off to make a batch of homemade laundry detergent, after the little ones are tucked in bed.
Have you heard of this? A soda containing Stevia!!! What is stevia? It is a natural sweetener made from an herb found in the rainforests. I have been using Stevia for about 4 years, and I was so excited to now find that there is a pop made with it!! I cannot drink regular soda, because it is filled with nothing but sugar, which is not good for a person who tends to have high blood sugar. Diabetes runs on both sides of my family. I had it during my pregnancy, and if I am not careful, I will have it too. Due to the fact that I will not touch anything with aspartame, the artificial sweetener that turns to wood alcohol in your system, or sucralose (splenda) that turns into chlorine in your system, I used to make my own soda pop when I felt the need. I would just buy some carbonated water, add some fresh squeezed lemon, and a dash of powdered stevia, and there you have it! But this new product, Zevia, is much better, much more convenient, and it comes in a variety of flavors. I recently came across it at my local grocery store, and I had a little celebration in the aisle, just me and my new 6 pack of Zevia. It was the twist flavor, and it was good! Very lemon-limy, sweet, crisp, and best of all...natural. The herb stevia is actually very good for you! So, I just had to share with you all, because to me this is a breakthrough. Who wants to load their body up with empty calories and sugar, like in regular pop, or poison your body with all the artificial sweeteners they put in diet sodas when you can now choose a soda with an all natural sweetener? I won't even feel guilty giving my kids one once in awhile!
Aunt Dee Dee and uncle Alan (my little brother) came for a visit the other day. It is always fun to spend time with them. Here are the gifts they brought the girls from their recent travels to Mexico: Matching orange sun dresses and coconut purses made of real coconuts! They then had a little photo shoot out on the porch. It's so fun to dress them alike, and aunt Dee Dee loves to shop and always gets them matching outfits. They love their aunt and uncle!!
There are many kinds of successes in life worth having. It is exceedingly interesting and attractive to be a successful business man or railroad man, or farmer, or a successful lawyer or doctor, or writer, or president, or a ranchman, or a colonel of a fighting regiment, or to kill grizzly bears and lions. But for unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children...certainly makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison.
We went blueberry picking a few weeks ago. It has become a tradition here. We have a very nice blueberry farm nearby, and the blueberries are amazing there! They have many varieties. We ate them for days, but mostly froze them to use throughout the year. Blueberries are some of the healthiest foods we can eat...they are packed with nutritional goodness! Mmmm! (That's not us in the photo, above, but you know who you are!)
Periodically, I will update my weight loss progress. I weigh in each tuesday, and as of today, I am down a total of 6 lbs! I had a couple of more challenging weeks, being out of town at conferences, and camping up in the mountains last weekend, but I am back on track. I am so glad I am doing this, and I am going to press on no matter what tries to get in my way!
With harvest season here, I will soon have lots of produce and fruit. We live in fruit country. It is very warm here, and fruit trees are in abundance. I love my veggies, though, and Jeff has been hard at work in the garden. We should have a lot to harvest in the upcoming weeks. I hope to do some canning this year, and we are going to invest in a food dehydrator. One of my goals for this fall is also to start baking my own bread on a weekly basis. I am excited! I am going to start practicing, because making homemade bread is not something I have much experience with. I also want to try a few healthy, whole grain recipes, because I will not touch white flour! Yuck! No nutritional value at all! This is a great season to also begin taking charge of bad eating habits, because there is so much fresh, delicious, healthy produce available....the possibilities are endless.
Here is the front porch to our little farmhouse. See the steep stairs going up?? This is the porch I have talked about that we use and love so much after we had it built on a few years ago. We do so many things out here, we BBQ, have parties and just sit and relax. The window to the right is our little sunroom/computer room. That is where I can sit and do some work on computer while looking out over the porch and yard. The other day as I was sitting there, I was startled! I heard a sound I had never heard before. It was loud, and coming my way! I look out on the porch and here is what I found: Our goats were on the porch! I had not idea they could even climb stairs like that! I have no idea what they wanted to do up there. You can't see it well here, but Cocoa, the male on the right, has a big, wide belly. When I went to grab him to take him to the barn, he proceeded to "DIVE" off the porch! Yes, he went through one of those narrow slots you see there! He was half way through, and stuck. I had to gradually pull him through the other side, and lift him up, then safely walk down the stairs with him. I think he may have hurt himself terribly if he would have made the leap down. I still have no idea how he acutually fit his body through there!
We are a christian adoptive family! God has pieced together our family in a way that is more beautiful than anything I could have imagined! We have adopted internationally, as well as through the US foster care system, but most importantly we have all been adopted by God! Ephesians 1:5 says "God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ".
We live on a small hobby farm, and homeschool our six children. Life is full!
My first miracle born in 2001. After giving birth to her, I realized that being a mother was the best job out there, and children are a miracle and precious gift from God. She is a true country girl at heart. Horses are her passion. She is an amazing big sister to her 5 little siblings!
Adopted from China in 2007.
Her sweet spirit fills our home with beauty and love. She is our little dancer, and introduced me to the world of recitals, dance practices, tutu's and ballet! Most of all, her love for Jesus shines bright, and even at her young age, she has a passion for orphan care and missions. These are subjects she talks and prays about on a daily basis! Can't wait to see where the Lord takes this girl!
Adopted from U.S. foster care, July 2013.
God's surprises never cease to amaze me. He is Laney's full sibling who came to live with us in Nov. 2011. Our son since the day he arrived. This is the sweetest boy you will ever meet.
Adopted from U.S. foster care November 2011.
Words cannot describe the joy this precious pumpkin brings to our lives! Another sweet miracle fromt the Lord. She was our first foster baby, arriving at the age of 7 weeks. We were blessed to adopt her in November of 2011. She refers to herself as a princess, and is also a lover of kittens, books, and dancing. I guess many more dance practices and recitals are in our future, lol!
Adopted from U.S. foster care, July 2013.
She was our second foster child who came home from the hospital at one week old. She livens up our days with her endless energy and strong will! It has been such a joy to see her and Austin have the chance to be together as brother and sister, and they definately have a bond that makes my heart smile!
Adopted from U.S. foster care July 2013. What a surprise it was to see that the little boy I pictured in my mind, who only the Lord would know, was actually in need of a forever family! Another miraculous gift from the Lord. He arrived at 4 mos. of age in Oct. 2011. Cute as can be with a contagious laugh and smile.