Here a little, there a little

I love the verse in the Bible that talks about “here a little, there a little, precept upon precept, line upon line”. Building up to something. Working at it. Continuing. Adding to until the finished result.

Most days I feel like that’s what I’m doing all day with everything. I seem to never, ever get finished with anything. It’s just here a little, there a little. Pick up a few things here on the way to start a load of laundry. Wash a few dishes before it’s time to start lunch. Weed a little in the garden while checking to see how things are coming. Mow a section of grass before dark to get finished before the week is up. Throw a few flower seeds in the ground on the way to feed the animals. Write out math problems for a child all the while worrying about the one whose math hasn’t been checked in a while. Try to get in a few spelling words that have been neglected. Grab a towel and dust the piano because it just looks disgusting.

Here a little, there a little. Story of my life.

I sure do hope it’s counting for more than it seems to. Knowing that is the way Christ works a lot of the time is encouraging to me.

Precept upon precept, line upon line.

As for the pix, hat day was happening this week.

Suppers have been wholesome and bountiful, thanks to the harvest that’s a-coming. That’s cheesy potatoes, cornbread muffins, turnip greens, fried zucchini, and salmon patties.

In the last picture, the grass is continuing to be mowed as I do here a little, there a little. An hour’s worth until the next evening. It will get finished. It may be when it’s time to mow the first section again, but alas!

I would love to hear from you if you find yourself doing here a little and there a little as well.

Blessings!

Simple Farm Mama

 

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His Way is Perfect

As for God, his way is perfect: the word of theΒ Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. Psalm 18:30

Isn’t it complete rest to know that our God is perfect? The way He does it all is just right. He, having the ability to see past, present, and future at the SAME time, knows EXACTLY what we need, when we need it, and how we need it.

I’m so sorry for people who don’t know this. I haven’t always known this. For some reason anything that didn’t go the way I thought it should was viewed as from the enemy.

“The enemy must be working”

“That must be the devil”

And of course, I’m not saying the devil is dead or doesn’t walk around seeking whom he may devour. But as for those who put their trust in the Lord, everything that happens to us Christ uses to conform us into His image.

Isn’t that somehow easier to take?

I love how His way is perfect for me. HE is working out His plan and will in my life. I never knew what I liked, but Christ did. He created me. I never would’ve given myself six kids, but He knew that would make me happy (AND sure help conform me into His image..hehe). I would’ve never put myself on a mini farm. That’s what my parents did and I wasn’t interested. I sure wouldn’t have chosen gardening as my most favorite hobby.

Cough, choke, spit. Ask my mom about the time I put unhulled beans into the “already hulled” bucket because I didn’t want to shell. another. bean.

Be nice. I was only like, 12 or something. And don’t tell my kids (considering I’m about to plant peas).

But my point is, HIS Way is perfect. HOW MUCH rest is there in that? I mean, does that not cause joy unspeakable and full of glory to rise up within you?

On to some pictures from our week. To demonstrate His ways for me this week.

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Mulberries, friends. It is time. And zukes. Massive zukes. These were both picked at my in laws. I promise they must have the most fertile soil ever.

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Maters. Nuff said.

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Ever bearing Strawberries. Thankfully, because we snatch them before they are even red. They deserve a big spot on my blog. πŸ˜‰

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See?

imageThe. Last. Snow peas (think “Ice Age”)

I’ve extremely enjoyed eating these right off of the vines. In fact, even with replanting, I only grew enough for us to just run out and snack on these. Maybe His way is so perfect that He knew I really like these better raw? πŸ˜‰

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Sunflowers, facing the sun, of course. I’m very anxiously awaiting a flower any day!

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Garlic. Oh, there you are! Oops, i never got around to weeding you, but you are still beautiful.

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Abandoned bird eggs on a work shelf at the barn. No nest or anything. Maybe a first time mama?

(Love the dirty, unique 8 year old fingerprints. They speak volumes to me. Above all they say, “Play is better than anything, Mama”)

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Sometimes we use horses on a farm. But if a farmer has no work horse, he just uses himself. It’s more fun that way. And I’m convinced the coolest toys are the ones that don’t work properly and have to be “imaginatized”.

I’ve struggled with decorating my piano. I’ve even looked on Pinterest to get ideas. But when it’s all said and done, I just went from room to room collecting things. My son doesn’t appreciate me stealing his lantern he used for a nightlight. As for now, we are returning it to its piano spot every morning.

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And lastly, a parting shot of my sweet daughter and me. This week she sang a solo at a visiting church and I was so proud of her. She is such a mixture of me and her dad.

I love that.

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Blessings!

 

A little bit of Busy

Every year around this time it seems the blogging “bug” bites me. The other times of the year, I guess it lets up.

Not sure on that one. But anyway, I think it’s all the life that is abuzz, a blooming, and a happening around here that makes me, well, want to share.

Here are a few photos from our week:
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A thriving (so far) garden that, since this picture, has been weeded. Perhaps an “after” picture soon. By the way, have you ever had much success weeding potatoes? One can weed down the rows, but between the individual plants is difficult lest you weed up potatoes. Oops. Not that that has ever happened to me.

This week I focused on weeding the melons and replanting in the spaces where no melons showed up. I also weeded the rows of potatoes, which seem to be petering out. Lots of yellow showing up and no new growth. I foresee digging and canning in my near future.

That’s just about all the gardening I did this week other than plant some new flower seeds and weed and mulch the tomatoes (which, I might add, have nice size green beauties on them already). It’s been a dry week. I do all plowing by a hand plow and it does.not.behoove me to plow in dry weather.

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Speaking of potatoes…and can I just say green onions are the handiest of all veggies one can have at her disposal (for human garbage disposals..eight of them to be exact)? They add so much flavor and color to boot. Not to mention the heavenly smell. Okay, maybe not everyone enjoys the smell of onions in the frying pan, but this mama does!

 

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My husband and I wrapped up another year of music lessons by hosting our annual recital. It turned out great and we were so proud of our 23 students. However, this mama is glad to have a few Thursdays to play all day, and not on the piano either. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜„
(Cake made by yours truly and probably I should type some sort of disclaimer as in I’m not a professional cake-ologist. But non-professional piano teacher and non-professional cake-ologist go pretty well together, don’tcha think?)

 

 

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I could take an entire blog post and devote it to how I’ve been stirred (no doubt by my Heavenly Father who cares enough about me to stir within me what needs to be stirred, amen?) to take better care of my home, inside and out and work harder to keep it neat and tidy. A clean house should be cleaned to prevent messes, not to clean messes. Β I read that somewhere this week and about choked. It seriously killed me a notch or two. But how much rest could I experience, peace I could enjoy, if my home were *maintained* and not just in a constant state of surgery or recooperation. It’s so easy for me to put things off or wait till a more convenient season to take care of things.

Old Felix and I have something in common, no? πŸ˜‰

So, I have been feeling an urgency to take care of things as they happen. Not put things off. Hang up my clothes when I take them off (no my kids aren’t the only ones–simple”guilty”mama), wipe up that water that spilled, or better yet, pick up the ice before it melts (busted), empty the trash when it’s at the limit (which ISN’T when the first item falls out of it–urm..), pick up things in the yard as I’m walking to feed the animals. Empty the chickens’ water as it gets a little dirty. Throw away empty feed sacks as opposed to letting them pile up (and not because I wanted to start a feed sack collection for hard times 😁).

Clean off a white pantry shelf to display hopefully soon filled produce. Keep a table clear (kinda) of clutter. Enjoy my farm kitchen! It’s not a dream home but it’s God’s gift to me! Did you know we can trust God’s sovereignty also in our homes? He gave me THIS home to mind and for which to care. I’m really thankful for the renewed desire to care for my home. In caring for it, I’m glorifying Him.

(And to keep it imperfect I threw the broom down and left the trash unchanged. That’s what I’m sticking to anyway. 😁)

Obviously, it was an “unstaged picture”. Keeping it real.

Blessings to you!

Simple Farm Mama

 

Part 2: Cooking when your energy levels are down

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What does a mama do when her energy levels are down?

Part two: Cooking

Who wants to don the apron and man the skillet when she doesn’t feel well?

Probably, nobody.

However, we know that little tummies get empty extremely fast and mama must have a plan.

Especially if she doesn’t feel up to it.

Oatmeal is a really filling breakfast that you can cook up really fast (even in your crockpot the night before).

Don’t be scared of cereal during those times. Just be prepared to dish out snacks fifteen minutes after they eat. 😁

A loaf of bread (store bought during this time) is a mama’s friend when she isn’t up to par. Perhaps an older child can make toast or pour the cereal/milk for everyone.

Speaking of bread, sandwiches can usually be fixed with ease by an older child. Sandwiches make for an easy cleanup too! You can put them on a paper towel without worry.

Be prepared for times like these. On my last shopping trip our local grocery had Wonder bread (yeah, it was white. Shock.) 4 loaves for $5, so I bought the loaves and put them in my freezer. Since, I have had a battle with my asthma, coughing, and just this morning, the pink eye, I am going through the loaves at lightening speed. Boy, I am glad I bought the bread beforehand.

Leftovers. Considering you actually have leftovers, bring them out during lunchtime. Or, rather, have an older child bring them out during lunchtime. My kids actually enjoy getting to ‘run’ the kitchen. This is a relief to me!

How about snacks?
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We don’t do snacks (other than just some fruit throughout the day) because they are too expensive and because my kids will eat more at mealtime. But, occasionally I will put random snacks in muffin tins and set them out on the table for snack-worthy boys and gals. My kids love when I do this! Also, in the past, when I have done snacks, I have tried the following and it worked well. The only thing to remember is have a set time they can get their snack, or let them know that when their Baggie is empty, that’s it.

Have a Ziploc bag for each child with their name on it. Fill it will snacks and put it in the fridge. At snack time, the child can just pull out his or her bag. You can put what you wish in there, but a carton of juice, chips, apple slices, raisin boxes, carrot sticks…all of those would do well in a Baggie.

You can fix those in the morning when your levels are up or have an older child to help you if the mornings are the worst (think: morning sickness).

Bless you.

During supper, your crockpot will be so handy to you that it may move everyone down on your friend list so it can be #1.

Or, you may move it up yourself.

Focus on quantity with few ingredients. Chicken and rice for example. Hamburger and cabbage soup. Potato soup. You know you can peel the potatoes while sitting. Now there’s a thought. Throw a roast or a frozen pork loin in there in the morning. Add potatoes, carrots, celery, and seasonings about an hour prior to serving.

Is it just me or do things just taste better from the slow cooker where they have been simmering all day and soaking up flavor?

Your crockpot can do wonders and it won’t require a lot of time and effort in the kitchen.

And this is good news.
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Next time, I will cover meeting the needs of your children when you just don’t feel like doing much. I’m so glad you are here reading.

Let me know if this was helpful or if you can think of other hints to add!

As for me, canning potatoes is on the agenda for today. I just can’t. Put. It. Off. Any. Longer.

Sure hope my energy levels cooperate! πŸ‘πŸ˜„

No energy? What does a mama do?

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What does a mama do when her energy levels are down?

Last week, I faced a week where my energy levels were laughable.

Actually, it was far from funny.

And no, I’m not pregnant. But I almost wish I had been so I would have had an excuse.

I think my issue stemmed from hormonal changes and also coughing 24/7, which brings about sore ribs and sparse sleep at night.

Yeah, that was probably it.

Life still goes on. There are things to do, places to go, and people to see.

Well actually, I tried to avoid that last option with ferociousness.

What does a mama do when she would rather be on the couch with her feet up than standing over a pile of dishes, again, and thinking about the pile of dirty laundry that needs to be dealt with.

Not to mention the pile of poop in someone’s very full diaper.

Tired. Exhausted. No energy.

Here’s some hints on rest for the busy mama.

Housework:
focus on the necessities

Make the beds, keep the dishes washed, the trash taken out, and the laundry done.

Assign those to your helpers as much as possible.

Anything extra around the house, assign to your bigger helpers. Don’t take on any new projects during this time. Don’t feel badly about not taking on, working on or finishing up any projects.

Use your timer. If my house needs picking up and I am really tired, I will set my timer for five minutes to straighten, fifteen minutes to rest. Repeat throughout the day. Five minutes gets so much done. You will be amazed.

Productivity while resting

I’ve learned that I can be productive while resting. That’s right.

Sitting down and reading to your children is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. Mama gets to rest and the children get to explore worlds unknown.

How’s that for rest?

Is there anything else you can do while sitting?

I can sit and mow grass. Last week, while probably not conducive to good respiratory health, I mowed grass so I could be productive while resting.

Obviously, I don’t push mow. πŸ˜‰

I can also sit and drive. The kids had a little extra money leftover from the swingset they purchased so I promised them I would get them a little pool. So, even though it wasn’t my regular shopping day, or even regular shopping week, I drove to town to get them one. Our big town is about forty five miles away. Not a frugal choice, but I had accomplished something.

Some people knit or sew. Crafting is a good way to sit while being productive. My mother in law has really bad feet and legs, but she is a really hard worker. Sometimes she just really needs to rest for a good while. So, she quilts. Even though it is hard work, she is off of her feet and resting some.

Sitting down and homeschooling a child is a good way to rest without guilt.

How about just sitting down and cuddling a child? Taking a nap with a preschooler?

Sometimes we just need to sit down, kick our feet up, and drink a glass of sweet tea which is perfectly okay and should be welcomed!

In closing, welcome these times as a sign that your body needs to slow down and rest. Don’t fight it. You will compromise your immune system further.

Take care of your body, the temple.

Sweet rest.

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Next time, I will address how to cook when one has no or low energy levels and how to handle the children during those times. Stick around.

laundry room reveal

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My goal for this year is to go through everything in my house and put it in a proper place, whether that be the trash, the Salvation Army, or in a permanent spot. I aim to go through one room at a time and while doing so, check to see if I want to do any (read: very frugal) redecorating, repairing (hello, honey), and just get each room how I want it. The first room I drew out of the cup was the… laundry room (insert scary theme music).

Where it all happens, folks.

I had a few technical difficulties with getting this post up, but I am happy to report that I am done in the laundry room.

I am done de-cluttering.

Done repainting.

Done cleaning.

Done moving things.

One thing I’m not done with is washing clothes.

Is a Mama to six ever done with that?

As for now, the laundry room is finished.

I have been working on it since, um, March, and I’m ready to move on.

It is finally refreshing to do laundry in this room. Ah!

Here are some pictures to share:

(Keep in mind the following disclaimer. This is a back porch laundry room…think, old…so it’s not going to look like something from Farmhouse Gazette or anything)

(Not that there is such a specimen of magazine.)

Some Before love:

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Yeah, I know.

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Some After love:

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A few things I did here: I removed the art work from behind the deep freezer and restored them to their original position, the wall. Somehow they had fallen behind there and it had been so long that I had to really clean them thoroughly. And they’re canvas. It was tough.

I spray painted the top of my very rusty deep freezer. Again. It is not a rust proof deep freezer, so I’m sure I will have to do it again and again. But, it holds a lot of good frozen veggies, meat, and fruit, and for now, it’s workable.

The sewing machine. Okay, we inherited this house from my husband’s precious grandmother and after we had been here a few years we decided to bring the sewing machine from the barn to the house. It had a lot of rodent damage and weather distress and really, I thought it would be best to just maybe, sorta, get rid of it. The audacity.

Enter sentimental husband. You can’t blame the guy. It’s his grandmother’s sewing machine. I really wanted it to work for us, somewhere, so I got the idea to take the machine out of the badly damaged sewing table (you will see when you scroll down in a moment) and display it.

…It so works! Okay, it doesn’t really work, but it looks great here.

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I would love to move it to a more formal setting one day, but as for now, here she stays.

Another before, please!

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So, what’s going on in this picture? A lot.

After:

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Besides the cutie being added, I bought the orange containers from the dollar store, used some old glass bottles to hold liquids, etc. I made a chalk “label” on them (see close up pic at top of blog post), cleared off clutter, bought a new rug to go in front of washer/dryer (dollar store) and I did buy a ‘scrub’ board from a local flea market. Just to add some scrub lub.

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I do not have a picture of the scene that was directly in front of the washer/dryer (on the opposite wall), but it looked something like this: storage container times four or five with piles and piles of clothes on top that needed to be stored, sorted, culled, or thrown away.

Boy, I’m glad that’s over.

Don’t be fooled. It happens every two weeks. Someone outgrows something somewhere.

Anyway, remember the sewing table mentioned above? I decided to honor my dear husband’s request and keep it. At first I thought about using it as a table on which to fold clothes. Then, I just decided to put some herb pots on it. Here’s how it turned out:

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It’s in bad shape, but I’ll tell you, I like it loads better than the random clothing storage containers lined up against this wall. This wall needed painting badly, so I finally got to it. Another one:

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Directly to the right:

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To paint, or not to paint? That is the question.

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yeah.

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trying out things here.

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Glad it’s done.

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All in all, this project only cost around $30. That was for the rug, the containers (the orange and the white ones on the opposite side), the flea market scrub board, and some plant markers for my herb pots. The paint I already had, the blood, sweat, and tears I had that I didn’t know I had…and now it’s on to….

My Bathroom…

Bring. It. On.