Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Another Trip to a Farm

Since I have changed the way we eat around here, I make many more trips to buy local produce, dairy, and meat products.

Friday I traveled to a farm about forty minutes away to buy our milk, cheese and butter. I carry my own glass containers and they fill them with milk at the farm. This time I bought 2 gallons of milk, 2 blocks of cheese, and a 1lb of butter.

The milk comes from mostly grass-fed jersey cows, they are fed a small amount of grain at milking time. It is delicious. The cheese was awesome. This time I bought farmer and pepperjack. I haven't used the butter yet, but I'm sure it is tasty.

Here are the following changes I've made within the last couple of years. Keep in mind that I have implemented these slowly, it takes time to change the way a family eats.

1. Local raw (unpasteurized, non-homogonized) milk, and cheese. (Occasionally butter, if not local I buy Organic Valley from the store.).

2. We buy our beef and poultry from local farmers we know and trust. The beef is grass-fed. The chickens are pastured. We eat wild game (deer) that my dad harvests during deer season.

3. We use eggs from local farmers that come from free-range hens.

4. We use only unrefined, natural sweeteners: raw honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, sucanat or Rapadura.

5. I soak all grains and beans, 12-24 hours before cooking to enhance nutrient absorption.

6. We use organic fruits and vegetables. I joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) that delivers fresh organic vegetables weekly. I also shop at the local farmers market. Fruit is a little more difficult to find locally. I buy the organic options in the stores. If money is tight, I use the dirty dozen as a guide. (http://www.foodnews.org/) I also plant a small summer and winter garden here at home.

Coming soon the changes I am working on making and the ones that haven't worked well for us!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Clean Out the Pantry Challenge

I am taking the clean out my pantry challenge from http://mjmuth.blogspot.com/2007/10/pantry-clean-out-challenge.html .

It has been 8 days since I've been grocery shopping. But I do have a freezer full of meat, so I'm not officially entering the contest. Here's my menu:

Day 1

Grilled Sirloin Steaks
Roasted Cajun Potatoes
Black Beans

Day 2
English Peas
Creamed Corn
leftover Roasted Cajun Potatoes

Day 3
Baked Chicken
Cornbread Dressing (made from leftover cornbread from freezer)

Day 4

Day 5
Chicken Stir-Fry Stew
(use leftover chicken) add broccoli, peanuts, carrots, rice

Day 6
Blueberry Pancakes
Turkey Bacon
Frozen Peaches

Day 7
Vegetable Beef Soup
Homemade Bread

I think I'll go back through my pantry and see how many more menus I can make. I'm getting really frustrated with my grocery store spending lately.

Prayers for a Disciplined Life

I began praying scripture over situations in my life several years ago. I found several scripture that I want to pray over each of my children concerning the area of discipline and wisdom.

Father God, your word says that a wise son heeds his father's instruction. I pray now for Bo, Boo and Shaters. I ask that you would give them wisdom to heed our instruction. I pray that you would make them wise beyond their years. Your word says that he who respects a command will be rewarded. I pray that my children would feel the rewards of a peaceful life and unity in our home when they choose to be obedient. I pray that my children would be honored because they heed correction. I pray that my children would never have to suffer poverty and shame because they have ignored and disregarded correction. I want our guidance and your word to constantly be in their minds and hearts. (Proverbs 13:1, 13,18)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Full Freezer

Today I made my final trip of the year to pick-up our free-range chickens. I bought 20 chickens and two bags of chicken feet. I have heard that adding the feet to broth makes it extra rich. I'll be trying it this winter. I have a recipe for some healing soup that I will be making if anyone around here gets sick.

My freezers are completely full now. As well as, the chicken we have just gotten a calf and two deer back from the processor. I also have a few bags of veggies left over from the summer garden. I love a full freezer. It had gotten quite empty. It will take us about a year to use all of the meat.

Buying meat from local farms and eating wild game is one of the changes I have made to our diet within the last year. I feel much better about what I am feeding my family. As a wife and mother it is my responsibility to see that I am providing the healthiest food possible for my family. Visit http://www.eatwild.com/ for information on eating local grass-fed meats.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Discipline is Training

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Hebrews 12:5-7

As I read and researched this passage in Hebrews today, it shed some light on discipline for me. It seems to me that the main purpose of discipline is to train. My children need to be trained in many areas (paying attention, self control, thankfulness, gentleness, and many more) These virtues need to become habits for my children.

Many times when I pray, I ask God to help me discipline my children out of love, just as he disciplines me. He knows exactly the type of discipline I need. I see three different types of discipline in this passage of scripture.

The first type of discipline I see is chastening. I looked the meaning of chastening up in KJV with Strong's. This training relates to the cultivation of mind and morals. This seems to be a gentle guidance. So when I live by example, read God's word to my children and help my children cultivate virtuous habits I am training my children.

The second type of discipline I see is rebuke. This seems to indicate bringing something to light by correcting with a word. When I talk to my child about a behaviour that needs to be corrected I am rebuking.

The last type of discipline I see here is scourging. Scourging is painful. So when my child deliberately defies something they have been asked to do or not do, a spanking would be in order. I hope by training their characters and talking about behaviours that need to be changed, spanking will be a rare occurrence.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Discipline for Their Good

The subject of discipline has been the topic of conversation between Chris and myself for awhile now. Our desire is to train our children up in the way they should go. We have read a vast amount of information from authoritarian to permissive and everywhere in between.

I have decided to go straight to the source of all wisdom, God's unchanging Word. I am going to research every use of the word discipline, correction, obedience, and children that are referenced in my concordance. I also want to look up the meaning of the words in the original language. I will share my insights here.

A few things I will be implementing soon:

1. I purchased some biblical character figures for the boys for Christmas. I plan on reading a story straight from scripture and giving the characters to Bo and Boo so they will role play what they have learned. This playtime will be a springboard for discussions on obedience, truthfulness, kindness, etc.

2. I have purchased a knight's shield and sword for the boys. I plan on discussing the importance of being a gentleman at all times. When one of the boys reacts inappropriately I will give them the shield and sword and we will talk about what it means to be a gentleman and a knight in shining armor We have a CD that the boys have listened to and will re-enforce this wonderfully. (The Adventures of Sir Bernard) This CD talks about the twelve chivalric virtues and how we choose to use these everyday.

"The Lord disciplines those
he loves,
and he punishes everyone he
accepts as a son." Hebrews 12:6

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Dream for the Future

We made our annual trek to a local living history farm today. We got to try fresh pressed apple juice, watch sorghum syrup being made, and the blacksmith even fashioned a nail and gave it to Bo. We bought the boys each a slingshot, deep fried peanuts and homemade brownies and cookies from a local farmer and his family.

The petting zoo was lots of fun for the boys. Bo was especially taken with the baby chicks. He wanted to keep going back to hold them. Of course Boo's favorite part was the antique tractor show. He did not want to get off of the toy pedal tractor.

The boys had a picnic lunch on the grass while I nursed baby Shater.

The wagon ride to the field was fun. We got to pick up some sweet potatoes, and pick cotton. I'll make a sweet potato pie soon.

There was much more to see. But Boo was tired and ready to go, so we made the long trek back to the truck. Boo fell asleep about halfway home and Bo munched on the deep-fried peanuts shell and all.

The day reminded me of our dream to have a farm. I often day-dream of the day that we will grow our own food, have our own chickens and build our log cabin.

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalms 37:4

I take comfort in this verse because I can't lose either way. If God gives us our own farm one day, I will be blessed. If he doesn't, but I'm still delighting in him, then the desire for a farm will be replaced with a new desire placed in my heart by my God who knows and loves me.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Protecting My Children

I was first introduced to the Alexander books when I was a junior in high school. My English teacher read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day to our class. I thought it was so cute. We all have bad days, right?

Fast forward 5 years:
I am now a Kindergarten teacher and have purchased three of the Alexander books for my class.
The kids love to hear about Alexander and his tough times. I think nothing of it!

Fast forward 5 more years:
I am blessed with books upon books to read to my little ones. Books that were once read to a classroom full of children are now read in a rocking chair to my boys. I go through a box of books and pull out the Alexander books. The boys are sure to love these. I put them on Bo's book shelf. It's not long before he chooses one to read before nap time. Then another one before bedtime. The once cute story begins to make me uncomfortable. Alexander has a constant frown on in most of the pictures. Alexander hates this and that. Alexander says his parents can't make him move. Alexander is quite disrespectful in attitude and action. He leaves the impression that the world is against him.

At first, I ignore my growing discomfort with the stories and we continue to read them. My once pleasant three-year old begins to frown much like Alexander. He decides to become a bit more defiant. He tells his dad he's having a horrible, no good day. Is it just coincidence? I don't think so. I was ignoring the leadership of the Holy Spirit. These books were not for me or my children. After talking to Chris we decide to throw the books in the garbage.

I pray over Bo that night, that any spirit of rebellion would be taken away and a spirit of obedience restored. I ask God to please pluck out by the roots any negative influence that has been planted in Bo's heart by the reading of the books. I don't want my son struggling with a spirit of rebellion because I failed to listen and obey God immediately.

I'm not saying that no one should read the Alexander books. I am saying that for this family they were wrong. I hope this post will encourage you to listen to God's leadership in that still small voice. Something as simple as a storybook is a no-no when God says it's a no-no!