A delightful recipe for Ginger- Raisin Bread

Why not bless your family with some warm Ginger- Raisin Bread on a cold day! This bread has an elegant combination of candied ginger and golden raisins. It's only lightly sweetened and it's got that warming sensation that's great for cold weather.

Ginger- Raisin Bread
2 c. flour (any kind) 1/3 c. oil
1 1/2 t. baking pwdr. 3 eggs
1/2 t. baking soda 2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt 1/2 c. Bulgarian buttermilk
1/4 c. chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 c. naturally dried golden raisins
1/4 c. sugar (I used demerara)
1/2 c. brown sugar

Mix first 4 dry ingredients well. Add ginger, raisins, and sugars, stir. Add oil and eggs, mix. Add vanilla and buttermilk and stir until smooth. Pour into greased bread pans (1 large or several small) Bake at 325' F for maybe 20 - 30 min. or so. Until a toothpick comes out clean and the bread "smells" done. Slice butter and enjoy!
Recipe created by Staci Schwarz

27 "She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27

Ginger although used as a spice, is also an herb. It's useful for a wide variety of symptoms and is very easy to find. It is warming, stimulating, improves circulation, good for muscle cramps and spasms, good for colds, flu and congestion, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, supports healthy menstruation and is also good for gas and tummy upsets. My take on herbs though is to include them in my diet for my health as God gave them for.

29"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." Genesis 1:29

Though they are healing, herbs are better used to protect your health.  I used 1/4 c. for this recipe, but you could certainly increase that amount. I probably will because we really like ginger. The raisins I used were naturally dried without oils or preservatives. If you use the same, you will get a much better finished product. The taste difference is amazing! You'll want to be careful not to overcook this bread because the eggs will darken it and the bread will have that burnt egg taste. You're going for banana bread texture. I used whole grain flour and demerara sugar, which is very natural, but you can use which ever you've got on hand. In case you haven't heard of it Bulgarian buttermilk is just a better buttermilk, it has a distinct flavor. But again, you can use any buttermilk. I like the moisture buttermilk lends to the finished product. The thicker consistency of this batter is what keeps the ginger and raisins from sinking to the bottom.

It is my prayer that when you use this recipe you and your family will be blessed with warmth and nourishment during these cold winter days.


God's Fingerprints... and Another giveaway!

                              We got snow around thanksgiving! Snow is such a blessed surprise!

Hello again! First I just wanted to give a gentle reminder to take a moment and enjoy the little things in life. There are little blessings all around us that have God's fingerprints on them. I see these things everywhere, things that are barely noticeable, but there just the same and they are things that only God could have known would mean so much to us. I think he likes to leave his fingerprints in our lives. Almost like a little love note, just to show he's there, loving us and providing for us. So for today take a moment to think about what "fingerprints" he's leaving behind in your life! Then take yet another moment to tell Him you noticed and you're thankful. You'll be blessed!

Now to the giveaway... A lovely lady over at a blog I read called "Grace is Blessed by God" is having another giveaway to kick off the opening of a family business she and her mom and sisters are starting. This weeks giveaway is for an 8 oz jar of sugar scrub! You don't want to miss out on this one so head on over. Just follow this LINK.  They'll have another one after that too and this weeks entries will count so don't waste any time entering!

2"And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God." Deuteronomy 28:2

Also, keep checking back because I'll be doing a giveaway BONANZA! Again, this is to help kick off the start of their new business. It's called Gracenotes. (Click on the name to go to their page if you can't wait!) Their website is put together so neatly and these are sweet sweet ladies. I hope you'll enjoy their products as much as I do and the best part is their prices are great!


Getting to know you GIVEAWAY!

This is going to be a fun giveaway! I can't think of a more wonderful way to get to know people than to give them gifts! It's a way to put out your hand and say "nice to meet you!" I love to meet new people and I love making smiles too! So what I've decided to do is have a DOUBLE giveaway! Here is what we're going to give away!

First up is a well written book called Peace Within Your Borders, devotions for home school teachers. I like her perspectives in this book, and they can be applied to life in general as well as teaching! Peace, after all is a wonderful place to be. This book will be a blessing to anyone who reads it!

The second gift is the gift of communication! This gift is Signing Time volume 1. It's a great fun way to teach your children to sign, and learn with them. It's amazing how they retain the signs from these videos. If you've never heard of it you're in for a treat!

 "remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35 KJV

I'm going to give this giveaway one a week to complete, it will end Dec. 13 at 5pm PST,  so that the winners can have items shipped out to you by the 14th or 15th, depending on how fast I hear from you. Here is how we're doing it this time...

You do your best to get as many entries as possible and our very own VHannah will draw 2 names at the end. 1st name drawn wins the 1st item, 2nd name wins the 2nd. Now here's how to enter!...

1. You will get one entry for commenting about who you are, that's the most favorable, remember this is a get to know you giveaway. I want to know more about my readers and "meet" new ones! So comment and tell me your name and your interests. What kind of content would you like to see more? Where did you hear of me?

2. You will get an entry if you are a new subscriber! You can also get one if you're already a subscriber and refer someone who becomes a new subscriber! (they can post in their comment that you sent them)

3. You can get an entry for each time you share about this blog or giveaway, or both, on your pages. Share a link on facebook, tweet, or post about it on your blog. You can also get an entry for emailing this blog post to a friend who doesn't use social networking sites.

So there you have it! Plenty of fun ways to get in on this great giveaway and let me get to know you a little better! Post a comment for each of the things you do above for your entries! If you want to know more about me, read my sidebar info and check out my archives, there's lots to read and learn about us. I look forward to getting to know you!



Sewing with children and the usefulness of a child...

What does that mean? When I first became a mother that might have meant not very useful. I've found that our children, as limited as they may be, are really very capable of being helpful and useful. Don't believe me? Try for a week to train a little one to do something you think they can't do. Chances are at the end of the week they'll be better at it than you thought. I did mention the word "train", I know "sigh".  But let me encourage you dear mother that the time put into the training will be worth it.
A hundred years ago a 3-4 year old little girl could go right on over pick up a sewing basket carefully and bring it to mama without spilling it, then begin to help with the mending. At such a young age?! The practicality of it was 2 fold. They needed to learn young so their skills were fine tuned enough as older children to help with real important sewing, like clothing for the family. Secondly, the older children had chores more pressing than the "mundane" work of mending.  Most blessed of all was that those little hands were learning a skill, keeping busy not getting into mischief, and they felt useful because they were useful and everyone needs to feel useful.

How do you feel when you're stuck in bed, sick or laid up. Pretty frustrated I'm sure. I've been there and I know that having something useful I can do, ANYTHING, makes me feel better. I know from watching my littlest ones that they feel the same way. They don't care if they're wiping the door nobs on cupboards or sweeping up a pile of dust, they are helping and THEY LOVE IT. The smile and sense of pride that comes over them when they feel helpful is amazing. Thankfully, I caught on to this concept early and my children do help a lot! The older ones do "real" chores. But my 3 year old puts away silverware, clears the meal table, folds washcloths, helps with cooking and even helps wash and dry laundry. It takes her 2 long minutes to climb the basket to reach the dryer button and turn it on, but she doesn't care, she's helping. And besides I don't get to see her beautiful smile when I push the button myself! Don't forget the babies! My 14 month old wipes her face, and if left alone with a washcloth, she'll wash the table too! She may not do it "right" but we cheer her on and clap for her anyway, because we're building her up. Soon her time to help will be here and she'll be happy to do it because of the joy she brings to others.

So here's my challenge to you, find a mundane chore, that can be done right or not and give it to the little ones! Let them have at it, teach a little, laugh a little and smile A LOT mama because you're teaching that little one to be a helpful contribution to the family.
A word of warning though, focus on their strengths, not your needs! A happy sweeper is much more useful than a discouraged duster! If a certain job is particularly challenging or boring to your child, find something they enjoy that you can encourage them in and continue building them up.

Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 2 Chronicles 15:7 KJV

If you're interested in teaching a little one to sew, here is some great information: Preschool Sewing Activities , Easy Hand Sewing For Kids  (at sew mama sew, I love this site!), and a Free Hand Sewing Stitch Guide. We started Hannah with lacing beads, and sometimes I poke the needle into my quilt and let her pull the thread through. When she's older I'll start her on dolls, perhaps she'll bless other children with them, or even explore entrepreneurship. My boys got to participate in a recent quilted pot holder class at our church. They loved it and with a little help they had a neat gift for their gramma's! My husband is a great sewer and is very helpful, so they naturally don't have qualms about sewing. It's a useful skill for men and women alike!
This is my oldest son making a doll skirt for his sister!
 Thanks for reading! and feel free to comment on what your children to do help! Blessings!


A giveaway and an awesome deal you won't want to miss!

If you haven't heard of the Chris and Wendy Jeub Family before they're a wonderful Christian family with many blessings! Another thing you may not know is that they write and sell books. I've come to think of it as the "Love Series". Love in the House, Love in the Kitchen, and Love in a Diet are a few. They also offer some other great stuff. But what I'm excited to tell you about today is a wonderful promotion they're offering now through Thanksgiving! Their cookbooks are on sale and if you help spread the news about their sale you might get in on their Diet book giveaway. Being a mom of many her "diet" book is not like others. She says she has a realistic approach to weight loss. I appreciate that!

Here is what their website says about the books: 
Wendy’s cookbooks are awesome. There are several unique characteristics that make these cookbooks stand out.
  • Additional chapters on how to shop frugally, but not feel its impact.
  • The “spice-that-no-one-ever-heard-of” problem: most ingredients are bound to be in your home.
  • Index of key ingredients allow family cooks to find recipes to fit their needs.
  • Coil binding with durable front and back cover, ready for plenty of food stains.
  • Most portions cut to starndard-family sizes of 4-6. (There are a few “feeds 20″ favorites, though.)
  • Real recipes that the authors have actually been eating over the years. (We wonder about some cookbooks out there.)
Most importantly, Wendy’s cookbooks get used.
So if you're interested in the diet book giveaway fallow this link Jeubs Giveaway. And if you're only interested in getting some great cookbooks at a great price, just in time for the holidays, then fallow this link Awesome Cookbook Deal. BTW - I checked it out and these are INDEED a great deal! Plus you get free shipping! How many places do you know that are offering free shipping right now?!

So thanks for reading! and Be blessed!


Trust in the Lord with all your heart

Isn't this how we all look when trusting in the Lord? Today I want to tug at your ear for just a bit. I would like to encourage some deep thought. I'm sure at some point or another you've heard a bible passage saying:

5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Now what I'm going to suggest is that this scripture goes far more into the depths of our soul than we have ever realized. Does the Lord really want us to trust in him for EVERYTHING? I've heard it a dozen times, "trusting doesn't mean being irresponsible", "we can trust the Lord without sitting around waiting for him to fix our troubles". The list goes on and I'm sure I've said things in my life that reflect the same human insecurity that prevents us from totally trusting in and totally leaning on our heavenly Father. Several years ago, the Lord convicted my husband and I to give Him control over our family. So essentially we became what is known as a quiverful family. I cannot begin to describe the blessings that came from trusting in Him for this very important part of life. I may expound on it in another post, on another day, but that's not really what this post is about. As time went on, we found ourselves learning to lean on Jesus like we had never before. Our doubts turned into trust and our fears became challenges. We really believe that we can trust God for everything. And I believed I really was trusting Him, completely. However, He showed me a couple years ago just how much I was NOT.

I was READY for another baby (how selfish do I sound!) and I was not pregnant! As I explained my upset to my husband, he gently reminded me that part of trusting the Lord was trusting the Lord. WHAT? What he meant was that trusting "the Lord with all your heart..." was not just about preventing the blessings until we were ready, but allowing Him to decide when and if we were ready for another blessing. This theory has applied to many areas of our life, not just children. When finding a spouse or finding a job, moving, personal growth, and every provision ever needed.  Every time we've had a need, no sooner did we turn it over to Him, He provided and provided according to His purpose.

28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

My point: I've been weeping to the Lord, begging Him to take away my symptoms, feeling that there is no reason for this. Pregnancy is a blessing I say, until I became sick, and since then, I have complained, excused bad behavior, and I've denied meeting the needs of my family. Today I am struck at my boldness. How could I, believing in trusting Him for all my needs, assume that I know better than He what is good for me. How can I say I don't need to feel like this. Can I really say there is no purpose? What about learning to give when I have nothing left, so that what I give is of the Lord. Am I really so good at working through adversity, that I need no more practice? and most importantly am I so much better than Jesus that I should avoid suffering for my own sake? Or should I be found faithful in my suffering for my husband and my children's sake, and to all who are watching me, being a light to them, as Jesus is to us.

So for today I want to submit this thought. Have I any need of which the Lord doesn't know? Can I suffer and the Lord turn a deaf ear to my cries? Has the Lord EVER failed me, left me, or proven Himself not trustworthy? For me the answer is no, you have your own answer. I'll leave that for you to ponder. But first I'll leave you with this scripture, the rest of the above passage.

6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Proverbs 3:6-9

Be blessed abundantly!


Cloth diaper Giveaway!

The cloth diaper in the pic is one I made. Isn't it cute! It's a safari print with a giraff on the the left cheek. It's a pocket diaper and one of my favorites! Cloth diapers are not hard to make or hard to use! I made this one in an evening, and it was my first one of this style. I wanted to show just how cute diapers can really be! Forget vinyl pants and prefolds! Enter new cloth style!

Great news! I have a friend and fellow blogger who is running an awesome giveaway and also has some great info on cloth diapering. It's a nice short and sweet article on the high points of cloth. So if you've ever been interested in using cloth go and have a look! It definitely won't be a waste of your time, because if you're willing to try cloth she'll enter you for a drawing to win a free pocket diaper! Cool huh! The best time to start researching cloth is NOW! Don't waste another day or another dollar wondering if you should. It's not for EVERYBODY, but it is workable for MOST EVERYBODY in some form or another! And with cloth there are many forms and many styles to choose from, every skill level, expense and personal taste! So come on over and have a read!

Seasons Of Wisdom is her blog.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven  Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

Thanks again for reading and be blessed!


Update, a Quiverfull getting fuller, new business. What would you like to see most?

First off I want to say that I'm sorry I've been neglecting my blog. We've been in a bit of a whirl wind lately. My husband fell and broke his ankle in September and is not able to work, despite his efforts. So, I've been a busy mommy and wife. Things are starting to work out though. We're excited to announce that we're opening our arms a little more to welcome a new addition, some time next summer. We're a quiver-full family and are so thankful for the Lords blessings in our life! There is a song I love on youtube, and the link for it is here. It's a song called Little Arrow. In all truthfulness the Lord knows what our future holds and can only be trusted in times like these! We praise Him for His provision in our life and for His heavenly guidance.

In the spirit of making the best with what we have, we are working on some online business possibilities to raise some money. One of them is - (shameless plug) http://www.etsy.com/shop/WindyWillowPond As we're trying to get that going I've been spending more time on the computer and a friend suggested perhaps a little more time on the blog. I plan to and I also want to make it an exciting thing for my readers.

So the million dollar question is: If I were to direct some articles or tutorials right at my readers, what would you like to see? I have a few tutes planned and in the makings, LIKE HOW I MADE THESE ADORABLE DRESSERALLS FOR HANNAH! but I am also planning to do a couple of special requests. Let me know what you want and I'll do my best to accommodate you!

Until next time...

41 Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock. Psalm 107:41 KJV

Be Blessed and Be bold in your love for the Lord!



This is a wonderful new giveaway by Raising homemakers You can enter to win a homeschooling pack called the prairie primer. This is a great option for unit style studies that involve multiple grades of Little House lovers!

Aren't giveaways fun! It's so neat that all these bloggers love sharing! I think sharing with each other gives us a sense of community that we need.

If you'd like to just read more info about the book, or this giveaway is already closed and you want to know how to purchase one, just wander over to Cadron Creek and they have all the information you need.

Thanks for reading and be blessed!


Domestic ARTS and a recipe for Bread Pudding you'll actually want to eat!

There is something so satisfying about making the domestics into works of art! Last Tuesday morning I could have been siting down to cold cereal, but I decided to make it a special day. There wasn't any significant reason, it was just "because". I've found that when you do special things for your children, they feel special and that helps your relationship. It does so much the same way it does when your hubby does something special for you. I would venture to guess you can recall just about every special moment in detail! To this day I can't eat an omelet without remembering my dad and his wonderful homemade breakfast treats!

28 "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." Proverbs 31:28 KJV

I want my children to have cherished memories that reinforce a strong sense of being loved. So when time allows & sometimes when it doesn't, I will make an extra effort to make them feel special. The menu is not what's important, but because they are important to me, I'll consider the manner in which they're served. (And in this principle I devote myself to my husband also.)

4 "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children," Titus 2:4 KJV

So without further ado...
We had bread pudding for breakfast! I laugh at myself saying that with such enthusiaism because I never liked it before. However, my husband loved it so I learned to make it, and over the years have improved it. Now I have improved it well enough to enjoy eating it. One key point is to cover it while it bakes so the top doesn't dry out.

Ma's Best Bread Pudding

several sweet bread end pieces
real maple syrup
7-8 eggs
real vanilla extract
1/2cup or so milk (evaporated, 2% or half/half)
canned pears 1/2 to 1 cup

Tare bread into large bite size pieces and put into small to medium buttered casserole pan. Top with Cinnamon and a drizzling of maple syrup, to taste. In separate bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla and milk with a fork, add a little more milk if too thick, it should be like custard, not scrambled eggs. Pour mixture over bread pieces and top with pears that have been cut into bite sized pieces. Cover and bake at 350* F for 20-25 min, or until eggs are set. Serve warm with dollops of butter and a fresh drizzle of syrup. Enjoy!

Have fun making it really special for your family. Get out your china (which is FOR SPECIAL PEOPLE - NOT JUST FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS!). Decorate the table fit for royalty! Then wake them with a kiss and watch their eyes sparkle!

*(And if you have an early riser, don't let that spoil your mood! Let them help, make it a game to whisper and "surprise" the others!)

Bless you mamas and thanks for reading!


More to come! I haven't vanished!

I just wanted to post a quick note that I haven't disappeared. I'll be posting soon, and I am working on some neat things to put up very soon! Here's what I've been reading about lately!

http://www.abowlofmossandpebbles.com/?p=4130 (my hyper links aren't working! if you know how to fix this please tell me!) This is by Breezy, one of the co creators of the Daughters of His Story collection of paper dolls, found at Noble Rose Press. Check them out!

and this too...

http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/?p=930 it's never too early to learn to hand sew, I do it a few ways with Hannah, my just turned 3 year old.

Sometimes I poke the needle in my quilt and let her pull it through, other times I give her a tapestry needle and a prepunched card shape, also we just got her a set of lacing beads, this helps with the hole, needle, hand, eye coordination. She loves to do it and she's learning too. Our approach is to never underestimate the children's ability to learn a skill. If they don't do it right, OK, they'll learn eventually.

Have fun!


RETURN OF THE DAUGHTERS, yet another giveaway!

In case you haven't realized the people over at Raising Homemakers .com are trying to get things started with a BANG! They're having yet another giveaway and this time it is for a copy of Return of the Daughters

I loved this movie, it was a great inspiration as a mother of daughters, and even as a mother of sons. It brings to light a new old concept of daughters staying at home with their families until marriage. This isn't an oppressive idea as some might think, but rather a way to preserve the innocence and glory of a young woman and also bless her family and community with the gifts she while she has the time to devote to such things. It's a wonderfully fresh look at the early adult years and what they're meant for. Go on over to their website and get your comments listed for an entry.

Another thing I want to point out on their post is they're considering a book swap. Leave a comment and let them know if you're interested. It would be a great resource for Christian women to have access to a book swap with like minded women. Bless you and have lovely, God inspired day.

(the title of the blog entry will take you there if you click on it)


A new webste and giveaway you don't want to miss!

There's a new website called Raising homemakers . com Be taught, blessed, & inspired in the homemaking arts for the glory of God!

and they're having a giveaway to kick things off. It's for the complete 10 DVD set of Homestead Blessings! WOW that's a generous giveaway!

You could literally create an entire homemaking curriculum using Homestead Blessings!

The set includes:

* The Art of Quilting
* The Art of Sewing
* The Art of Dairy Delights
* The Art of Canning
* The Art of Gardening
* The Art of Herbs
* The Art of Cooking
* The Art of Soap Making
* The Art of Candle Making
* The Art of Bread Making

The giveaway will end Friday June 4th at 8pm EST, so hurry on over and check it out. They tell you of 3 ways to get an entry into their giveaway! God Bless!

here is the link http://raisinghomemakers.com/?p=200



Well I think you all are awesome, and it was great to get to know new faces and hear from some I didn't know were reading! What a blessing it is to be able to share my thoughts with all of you and know they're a blessing. So without further torture and delay....

The winner of the book, In God's Garden, chosen by our very own V-Hannah (2yrs) is...


Congratulations! I hope you enjoy the book! Email me with your address at stcischwrz at aol dot com. and I'll send it off to you right away!

And everyone stay tuned! we'll have another giveaway soon!

God bless and don't forget to stay in the word so that His blessings may be fulfilled in your life!

18 “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes." Deuteronomy 11:18 NKJV


Be joyful, be generous! Another giveaway!

One of the things I love about homeschooling is getting to know the other parents who also home school. I have the privilege of knowing several that go to my church and I must say they are some of the nicest most generous people. Often times I've been at a church gathering and someone has brought in a box of things to share with everyone, food, books, clothes, you name it! The best part is they're just sharing to share. When was the last time you did that, just sharing to share. We know, or perhaps have learned along the way that joy, true lasting joy comes in giving to others and blessing others. God's word tells us:

"12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit" Psalm 51:12 NKJV

We learn in this scripture that joy and generosity are Godly traits, they can be learned and strengthened in our relationship with Christ and then we can put them to practice by sharing them with His people. I get in a rut sometimes of thinking oh little ol' me what could I possibly have to offer someone else? But again God's word brings me back to center:

"42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites,[j] which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” Mark 12:42-44 NKJV

I bet you that widow did not have to pry her hands open to let go of those coins. She gave willingly of her meager means. Whether it be of my time or skills or any worldly good I possess I need to be willing to give when He calls on me. All that we do let us do it wholeheartedly with glad hearts in service to the Lord and if it blesses another let the glory be unto the Lord for He is the provider of all we have and it is through him that we can give.

Now on to the subject of a giveaway, one such wonderful mom is having a giveaway! Go to http://graceisblessedbygod.blogspot.com/

And don't forget, there's still time to enter my giveaway, scroll down to the next post to enter!


Frugal Food and Gardening AND A BOOK GIVEAWAY!

I stumbled on something this morning, a blog/website called Make It Your Own, she had an article called what do you throw away? Find it here

She reminded me of a bit of knowledge I have previously gleaned but had forgotten to use in recent times. However when I think about the hard economic times we're in, I'm sure it would do us all some good to remind ourselves of a simple truth. "Throwing away useful things is like putting money in the trash." My grandparents lived during the depression era, and one of the things I've heard them say over and over is... there's a use for that. Now I will be the first to admit that this train of thought can lead to pack rat tendencies, but if looked at reasonably can save us some money. Many of the things we throw away can be used as frugal alternatives to things we would otherwise throw away. In her article she listed using bones for soup or broth and I'm sure we've all hear of that, but what about watermelon rind – if you pickle it, you can use it on occasion in place of pickles. Or how about candied citrus peel, don't like to eat them? Use them in instead of raisins in a raisin bread recipe (with or without the cinnamon) for a nice zing! The bonus to that is that they're a source of vitamin C. Beet tops can be used like spinach when fresh. Then you have green tomato relish, a sweet recipe can replace jam or a sour one for pickle relish. Unripe or overripe fruit is great for relish,chutney, or quick-breads. Rose hips and crab apples make beautiful jelly, and rose hips have more vitamin C than oranges. Small amounts of leftover food are often the starting point for most of my homemade soups, a nice alternative to PB and J for lunch. Many flowers are edible too! Try fried zucchini flowers, or dandelion flower lemonade, pansies in your salad or rose petals on a cake, they're tasty and pretty and best of all FREE. If you're worried about loosing the zucchini fruits, pick the male flowers as apposed to the female flowers, they're abundant in the beginning of the season.

Salad greens are expensive, and so is weed killer, many people balk at the idea, but really the best way to get rid of dandelions is to eat them. They can be hidden in any food containing tomatoes (it controls bitterness) and the leaves are great for greens in a salad. The root can be washed cut and roasted and used as a coffee replacement. Dandelions are a bitter herb, so they stimulate the digestive process, and also offer an added benefit, they're high in vitamins and minerals and very good for your liver and kidneys, but they're gentle and safe for everyone. If you find you can't take the bitterness, blanch the greens by placing a flower pot inverted over the whole plant for a week before harvesting. They'll be more tender as well.

Learn to know your edible weeds, there is abundant information out there and it will save you money on your groceries as well as your medical bills by bringing better health to your family.

" 29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food." Genesis 1:29 NKJV

(I am not arguing the idea of eating meat, simply the health benefit of eating the herbs as God made them for. A good book is from Goosefoot Acres, called the Volunteer Vegetable Sampler, by Peter Gail. I studied my yard for a year continuously and noticed one important fact. There was not one 2 week period in the entire year that there was nothing to eat, growing free will in my yard. God provides abundantly for his children, we just have to be willing to accept what he provides.

Another thing that people can save money on is seeds. Many of the foods we buy in the grocery store can give viable seed. Some are better than others. Foods that are picked green may not have usable seed, but many will. Lots of the seeds in the spices section, if fresh, will grow a like plant. Tomatoes and peppers although hybrids will still grow tomatoes and peppers. Carrot ends, the part where the plant grows up, if planted will grow again, not the root, but the plant, and the plant may produce seed, which can be used to plant more carrots. Organic potatoes often have not been treated and will sprout for you. Squash plants will produce squash. The theory behind saving seeds is not to save certain kinds because of possible cross pollination, but if you grow 2 kinds of squash the seed may be a cross between them, but it will still be a squash, and a free one at that. Bean seeds will obviously produce more beans, or green beans if picked green. Did you forget to harvest the last of your winter crops last year? Leave them to flower, they'll give you seed to start for free this year. I once noticed a celery head, that had been thrown in the compost, growing!

If you don't have room to compost or raise your own animals which can be fed the scraps, consider this... Do you know anyone who does? If you know someone who raises the animals, give them your scraps, maybe even make a trade for some of their products. An elderly neighbor told me to come over and salvage the apples from her tree, the bees were going crazy for the rotting apples. We went a step farther. We sorted the apples we could use and cleaned up the apples we couldn't, the totally rotten ones went in the compost, the not so rotten ones went to a friends goats, and the rest we canned up, my compost got fed, the goats got fed, the neighbor got rid of her bees, we got fed and then we also shared some jars with the neighbor. Or the alternative, let the apples lay there and rot, only the bees and bugs get to eat. The bonus, our neighbor wants us to come back this year and harvest the apples while they're fresh!

This isn't a matter of luck, it's called resourcefulness. We can be resourceful and also teach our little ones be resourceful too. They'll be a help to us and have a skill they may come to need in their own lives. Happy Frugaling!

"12 The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow." Deuteronomy 28:12 NKJV"

Now for the giveaway: Leave a comment below, including your name and share what you do with food stuffs that many people throw away. On May 31 we will have a drawing. The winner will receive a book called In God's Garden. If you post about this on your facebook or twitter, or blog about it, you will receive an extra entry for each posting site, just leave a comment here with a link to your post. You get another entry just for telling me you're a follower or becoming a follower (thanks Grace for the idea). Thanks for entering and God Bless!


Do you LAF? I LAF! it's fun!

I love to laugh, and I love to visit LAF a site that is dedicated to promoting Godly womanhood. LAF stands for Ladies Against Feminism. Some misunderstand this as being a degradation of women's rights and raise eyebrows at the term. But what we're talking about here is not the women's basic human rights, but rather the feminist attacks on society and the values of the family as it was designed by God. I am not a door mat! But I LOVE being a homemaker! I am eternally thankful for my role as wife and mother and teacher to my children. A homemaker can have many different roles, and as their life changes so does their role in the home. Some picture a woman slaving over a hot stove and laundry piles with bags under her eyes and a baby hanging off each hip. I won't lie, there can be days like that, just as there are "days like that" for my husband at work, but there are also days of sunshine picnics and stories in the park. We make surprise trips to daddy's work or play in the rain till we're shivering then run inside and take hot baths and sip cocoa! I rock my baby to sleep while "the man of the house" fights traffic in a hot non-air conditioned car. I love what God made me to be. I am perfectly equipped, perfectly made, and perfectly happy to be the nurturer of the family.

The feminists can have their stuffy offices and stiff trousers! I'll keep my aprons and butterfly kisses and crayon masterpieces and soft breezy skirts!

Here's a link if you'd like to read more!

Vision Forum hosting webinar

Vision Forum Ministries (makers of Return of the Daughters) is offering a 7-week webinar, featuring authors including Dr. George Grant, Dr. Voddie Baucham, and Douglas Bond (whose historical fiction adventures are a staple in many a household!):

Gather your family for seven engaging evenings of learning online as part of Vision Forum’s exclusive Great Authors Webinar Series. Hear live lectures from seven leading authors discussing their timely books, and engage in interactive Q&A — all part of an intimate online discussion with your favorite Christian authors. A valuable supplement to any home school program, this special webinar series offers a great opportunity for families to study important subjects together — a powerful educational tool for home education, church, and family.

The webinar starts on April 15th and runs through May 27. See Vision Forum Ministries for more information.


Your Legacy

What legacy have you left or are you leaving behind. There are so many different kinds of legacies, each one having their own value. Some people don't even know they're leaving one, but leave it none the less. My great grandmother and great great grandmother were both midwives. They probably did it out of necessity, but also out of their desire to help. I doubt they did it to "be remembered by", and yet when I came to a moment in my life of realizing God had called me on this path, their legacy was a blessing to me. I hadn't known that they were, but when I shared my my feelings with my mom, she told me how they had been midwives and it encouraged me.

My mother in "love" makes quilts. Not your fancy, expensive machine stitched ones, the hand sewn, hand quilted scrap quilts. Sort of a crazy quilt you could say. She started a long time before I ever knew her, but we have watched her quilting grow and evolve, but it's still "her style". The interesting thing is that it was also her grandmother's style, possibly her own grandmother's legacy. The quilt in the picture was made by her (mom) and each of my babies have one. Hannah and Jr. have 2. My husband and I also have a wedding quilt, which she makes extra special with fancy fabrics and such. One of the most fun things to do with these quilts is look through and find fabrics that you recognize, a favorite shirt or a leftover piece of fabric from a maternity dress. Our wedding quilt has scraps of fabric from some of the dresses worn in our wedding party.

When thinking about this idea of a "legacy" I ponder on the other side of things too. When I relive my day today, I think about my behavior and my lack of patience and self control. I know we all have days, good and bad, but I am keenly aware of the unintended memories. I myself remember things about my childhood that reflected my parents in less than ideal light. Am I unintentionally leaving my children with a legacy that will darken their future or am I blessing them. We all do our best, but I think on these things and it inspires me to do better.

"5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves." 2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV

I like to use this scripture to remind me to think of anything I can possibly pray for that God would help me lay down the old so that I may pick up the new (habits). I also pray "Help me die to myself so that I may live for Christ". Every day is a new chance, every moment a new moment. It only takes a second to crack a smile on a cranky face, and it only takes a few minutes to pray over and ask forgiveness for bad behavior and attitudes. People only loose relationships in an instance after a death. But all other lost or broken relationships are lost one missed opportunity at a time. Our lives are filled with opportunities to love and laugh and leave lasting legacies of joy and God given inspiration for our families to remember us by.

"28Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her." Proverbs 31:28 NKJV:

What legacy will you leave, what will your family remember about you?

Be blessed


Has God called you on a Schmetterling Journey?

Just what is that anyway? It is the journey He leads us on as we place our lives and our trust and our faith in Him. He changes us, transforms us into a creature worthy of awe, not because we're awe inspiring but because we bare his mark. Once we have been touched by God we carry with us a mark on our soul that says "I can never again be content unless I am walking in His perfect will because I have known the Master and have felt the peace He brings." The amazing thing is that this mark is visible to all mankind, saved and unsaved. Even the lost know that God's children have something they want. On this journey to becoming what He wants us to be we fatten ourselves on His word, shed the old ways of the flesh, feel the embrace of His care and eventually spread our wings and fly. But an interesting note about this Schmetterling journey, a butterfly who cannot find food is a dead butterfly. Let us seek the feeding of the spirit so that our wings may soar like eagles and let us all use our gifting to feed the new Schmetterlings we find along the way.

"17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Cornithians 5:17 NKJV

While my posts may range a broad spectrum of biblical and practical topics, my desire is that God would be glorified in my words and that I would encourage all who come to embrace their own Schmetterling Journey with their Lord and Master.

Come and walk with me.