Saturday, December 31, 2011

Organizing Our Minds, Hearts and Homes

Have you ever truly noticed the exact order of the center of a sunflower?  

Notice how there are two mesmerizing patterns of two opposite spirals?  Each floret is generally oriented toward the next by approximately the "golden" angle of 137.5 degrees, producing a pattern of interconnecting spirals where the number of left spirals and the number of right spirals are successive.  Typically, there are 34 spirals in one direction and 55 in the other.  On a very large sunflower there could be 89 in one direction and 144 in the other. 

Pretty thought provoking?   Each time I discover facts like these, it affirms to me that our God is a God of order.

The entire universe has a specific order, so why don't I?  This is my current conviction.  I do not suffer from feeling like I have no purpose.  I have a pretty good grasp on God's plan for my life during this season.  Many things continue to change, but the foundation of who I am as a help meet, a mother, a daughter, a friend and a mentor remain the same.  What's weighing on me is  "How can I do it better"?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Baking List

Aren't these beautiful?  Occasionally, I wish mine looked like these.  Everyone always says that practice makes perfect and I've been making these for over 30+ years and have never had them come out this pretty!  Oh well, maybe if I was a perfectionist it would really matter to me.  The most beautiful cookies I know of are the ones my children and grandchildren make.  Those are the ones that have broken edges, too much icing and tons of sprinkles on them, but they portray love and laughter and family!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sewing Ideas

The idea of sewing brings to mind images of such beautiful, dainty and resourceful women sitting in their parlors wisely using quiet hours of the day to clothe their families.  My reality of sewing is something more like a tornado has swept through my sewing room with patterns and fabric stretched all over the table, while the rest of the area is dotted with measuring tape, spools and bobbins of thread, and any other immediate sewing tool I might need.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Beware: Scripture Being Violated

This month our daughter turned 12 and she received a beautiful new Bible from her grandparents with her name inscribed in gold with a beautiful cross on the front of it.  Her grandparents lovingly went to our local Christian bookstore to pick out a special Bible for her that she would love and that would guide her through this period in her life.  

For her new age of 12, she is very mature for her age with a reading capacity of a college student.  Her grandparents looked over several Bibles, consulted the store staff, and settled on a Bible from Zondervan called True Images.  

It is a beautiful teen Study Bible with many inserts in it from teenage girls that are placed in certain areas of the scripture to help others understand how to use these scriptures in their lives.   Good idea, right?  My parents thought so and looked at several of them thinking that it was a good thing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving and Thankfulness

As wives and mothers, we set the mood of our home.  With the rush of the season, the preparation, the cooking, the gathering....there is so much for us to wrap our minds around, I tend to neglect the decorating, which leaves our home a bit sparse looking.

I'm not one for store bought clutter, not even for special occasions, but I do love a beautifully set table and handmade decorations.  This is where comes in.  It is my new found right hand.  Coming up with ideas on my own isn't my specialty, but give me a picture and instructions and I'm all set.  I can find things that fit my very own taste and then go to the website with instructions so easily that I have more crafts on my list to do than I'll ever have time for.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Like Golden Apples...

This was shared on my Facebook this morning and I felt it was good enough to share here.....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kosher Casual... a must see!

Little by little, I'm finding some GREAT modest clothing sites.  I shared in an earlier post about a new site I had come across, but for you fashion conscious ladies, here is one you really can't miss that I'm very excited to tell you about!

The name of this terrific site is Kosher Casual Modest clothing for the Modest lifestyle!  One of the extremely neat and new products they have are TeeNecks which are a must for cleavage coverups.  It seems so hard to find shirts and dresses that have a small enough neck hole where you don't have to worry about bending over to pick up a child or simply to lean over.  These TeeNecks solve that problem and give that security without having to wear a second shirt, not to mention they make it look like you're layered without the bulk.  Here is a cute video to give you a better idea of what they are...

Here is a description from their site that might give you a better idea of what they offer:

Fashionable modest clothing is no longer a thing of the past. The choices in modest clothing are endless, with outfits to match any occasion. If you work in an office, school or corporation and you want to project a positive, professional image, long skirts and a 3/4 sleeve shirt fit the bill. Today's modest clothing can be fun, stylish and totally with-it. You can find all kinds of layered tops, funky long skirts, long denim skirts, and 3/4 sleeve shirts that come in all materials and colors and run the gamut from cool to casual.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teaching our Daughters the Difference

 "We need to teach our daughters to distinguish between a man who flatters her - and a man who compliments her. 
A man who spends money on her - and a man who invests in her. 
A man who views her as property - and a man who views her properly. 
A man who lusts after her - and a man who loves her. 
A man who believes he is God's gift to women - and a man who remembers a woman was God's gift to man...
And then teach our boys to be that kind of a man."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Life as a Keeper of the Home

Labor Day weekend came as a huge relief for me, not due to some huge free for all at the lake on a boat (although there is nothing wrong with that), but because I was finally able to catch up on some of the canning I needed to do.  We've spent so much time working in the garden and at the Farmer's Market, I haven't had any time at home long enough to get some canning done.  

You see, for some time now, I have felt the pull to create some sort of cottage industry, but could never really put my finger on what it should be.  One of my favorite things to do is to grow organic heirloom vegetable plants.  The garden is my sanctuary.  It is where I

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Parenting Tips

There are no perfect parents out there, but if we keep our eyes on God, He will give us the strength and wisdom to be a better parent than we could be leaning on our own strength and wisdom.  I personally raised two children depending on my own strength and it was a huge failure.  Neither one of them are in jail or missing, but they are lost to the world (which keeps me on my knees in prayer) and without the grace of God,

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Modest Clothing - Great Stuff!


I'm taking the opportunity to share with you a wonderful place to find great quality and beautiful modest clothing.  I stumbled across the site somewhere along my internet travels and decided to take a chance.  What a blessing it was to find Katie at Katie's Mercantile!  She is extremely personal and very helpful, taking time to respond to any

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sweet Stuffed Peppers

Last year I chopped up my abundance of sweet peppers and put them in the freezer.  They added beauty and great taste to almost every meal all winter long, however, I still was unable to use them all.  This year I decided that our family would eat more of them as stuffed peppers instead of slicing them into different meals and they are terrific cooked this way.  I've also heard that you can stuff them and freeze them too, so I'll be putting lots of them away in that manner for this coming winter.  I'm so glad to find different ways to use these tasty treats.

Sweet Stuffed Peppers

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
1 cup water
6 sweet bell peppers (any color)
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce (I use spaghetti sauce)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (or cook 1/2 of a medium onion with your ground beef)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or crumble your homegrown herbs of Basil and Oregano into it)
1 cup cheese of your choice...Cheddar, Colby Jack, Mozzarella etc.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook the rice and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and cook 20 minutes.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, cook the beef (and onion) until evenly browned.
  • Remove and discard the tops, seeds, and membranes of the bell peppers. Arrange peppers in a baking dish with the hollowed sides facing upward. (Slice the bottoms of the peppers if necessary so that they will stand upright.) 

  • In a bowl, mix the browned beef, cooked rice, 1 can tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each hollowed pepper. Mix the remaining tomato sauce and Italian seasoning in a bowl, and pour over the stuffed peppers.  
  • Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, basting with sauce every 15 minutes, until the peppers are tender.  10 minutes before they are done, sprinkle cheese over their tops.
 I hope you enjoy! 

This post is linked up at:


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Book Review: Do Hard Things

I first saw this book on the Vision Forum website and thought it might be interesting soI borrowed it from the library and never got around to reading it.....sound familiar?  A few weeks ago, we received the latest catalog from  We enjoy getting these because our daughter finds great reading material from these catalogs.  She reads at an adult level and it is impossible to stay one step ahead of her while safeguarding her and what she reads.  We look a lot to Vision Forum and a few other sources to give us a good foundation in what we choose to allow her to read.  This summer, she has entered two different reading programs and spends all of her extra time reading.  Upon getting this Christianbook catalog, she quickly began to make her list for us to look at on which books she would like to get.

When I saw that she had asked for this one, I wasn't sure she was old enough to read it.  Sure she is plenty capable of

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Making an Amish Dress

 I'll give you a bit of history about this subject in order for you to grasp our familiarity with the Amish community.  We live next to six large, Old Order Amish communities.  We spend a lot of time with several different Amish families and have made some great friends.  Our daughters play together.  This picture is of our daughter (which explains the white tennis shoes) trying on one of their dresses.  She absolutely loves these dresses.  Trying to make one of these dresses isn't because we feel she needs to wear these dresses, however, they

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Can you sleep when the wind blows?

Years ago, a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast.  He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic.  They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops.  As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.

Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. 'Are you a good farm hand?' the farmer asked him. 'Well, I can sleep when the wind blows,' answered the little man.

Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work. 

Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore.  Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, 'Get up! A storm is coming!  Tie things down before they blow away!'  The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, 'No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows.'

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm.  To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins.  The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred.  The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. 

Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while  The wind blew. 

When you're prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life?  The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he had secured the farm against the storm.  We secure ourselves against the storms of life by grounding ourselves in the Word of God. 

We don't need to understand, we just need to hold  
His hand to have peace in the middle of storms.

This story is one that caught my attention a long time ago.  It's one of those that sticks in my mind when I try to take short cuts or procrastinate......I like my sleep, so things get put up and tied down, life is prepared for......prayers are prayed,  soft quiet moments are taken with my husband and children, we are grateful for the simpler things in life and we sleep very well.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Resurrection Day...Rejoice!!!


Lord have mercy on me, a sinner...
This powerful video can say more than my words could ever say on this Resurrection Day.  May we all truly remember His sacrifice, 
His gift of grace, 
His enduring love.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's For Dinner?

I know I'm not the only one spending more time outside than inside these days and if you're like me, you lose track of time trying to get one more plant transplanted or one more garden bed tilled and fertilized.  Today was one of those days.  There was only enough time to throw some odd thing together, but what?  While I cooked up some hamburger meat I tried to figure out what to do with it and began going through the cupboards.  There was some whole wheat spaghetti noodles so I boiled some water for those...grabbed a jar of fresh spaghetti sauce and coated the bottom of a cake pan with some sauce.  Drained the noodles and put them in the cake pan, swirling them through the sauce and then added the hamburger....sprinkled the top with some rainbow garden peppers and covered it with shredded and Parmesan cheese, then put it in the oven for 20 minutes on 350.  The family loved it and it was one of the easiest things I've done.  Colorful too with red, yellow, green and purple peppers on it!

Do you remember in my last post that none of the chicks were supposed to be named?  Well meet Amy, the local

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring Time on the Homestead

Nothing says spring like new chicks!  Lots has been going on here on the ole' homestead with spring being well under way.  The peach blossoms have come and gone, the Magnolia blooms are falling, the gooseberry bushes are blooming, the chicks are cheeping and there is

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Free 3 Month Trial with HSLDA

Don't miss out on this wonderful offer!  If you have heard of HSLDA, or if you home school and haven't heard of them.....this is an excellent opportunity to familiarize yourself with who they are and how they will protect you as homeschoolers.  HSLDA stands for Home School Legal Defense Association.  Here is a small paragraph from their information page to tell you who they are....

Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Through annual memberships, HSLDA is tens of thousands of families united in service together, providing a strong voice when and where needed.  

 HSLDA is offering 3 free months as a trial offer.  After that, the monthly fees are only $10.  They are an incredible legal force to have for protecting our rights as homeschoolers and

Friday, February 25, 2011

Our Modest Taste of Dressing

To follow up on my previous post, I would first like to say that I write from my human heart.  I am not the most eloquent with words and may not speak with love and gentleness all the time.  This blog is strictly my opinion, in which will hopefully give support to the many women who are having the same struggles that I am having.......I do realize there are going to be women who come across my posts and think I am attempting to gather flies with vinegar instead of honey.....that isn't the case.  As my Pastor says, when we speak truth of scripture, people who are not in line with that scripture will want to shoot the messenger. 

It has also been brought to my attention that there are other ways to dress than what I mentioned.  I agree, there are many other ways of dressing, ways of dressing according to the world.  The question is, are you dressing in a way that honors God? 

The choices we have made for our family, about how we dress, is between God and us.  I am not here to "push" it on anyone else, that is between God and them.  We dress in a very "prairie" way because that is our taste.  As each woman begins to turn her heart towards dressing modestly, she will begin her own journey.  As a Christian we grow into our own faith, our faith may not look like the faith of our parents....meaning maybe your parents are missionaries and you are not being called as a missionary, but as a writer.  God has called each of us for a different purpose with one goal.  Likewise, our own sense of modesty will be different from one anothers, but should prayerfully be towards one honor God.

In saying all of are some pictures that illustrates our way of dressing.  Since I am usually the one behind the camera, there aren't any pictures of me but my daughter and I dress in the same manner.

The above skirt is one that can be worn with a pretty blouse, sweater.... we both have this style of skirt.

The above jumper is a chore dress for working in the garden, the pasture, with the livestock....

The above dress is worn for church and for town.


The above dress is strictly worn as a chore dress around the has gotten more snug than we care for and now is worn with a shirt over it.  Since the skirt is a great skirt, it will soon be made into just a skirt or with a new bodice if I can find the time with planting season coming on fast.

This is a picture I was able to catch a few years ago when our grand daughter was visiting.  It shows how different our dress was then compared to now.  Now, we would never show that much skin on our arms, not only for modest reasons, but also for reasons of sun exposure.

If you have already been blessed by knowing who Stacy McDonald is a bit of her writing on scriptural modesty.  Below is a link to her whole text.

We as women love to adorn ourselves. Before redemption, many of us “adorned” ourselves in provocative clothing that was purposely intended to entice and seduce men. Some may have adorned themselves in costly jewelry or expensive clothing to pridefully flaunt their wealth or status to others. How does God say we should “adorn” ourselves? “In modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety…” We must honestly ask ourselves (and our husbands!) if this describes our current wardrobe. The Christian woman should not be "focused" on outward appearance. Men are attracted to the female form. If we´re showing ours off, purposely or not, we´re not being modest! Shorts show off legs. Plain and simple. Tight or low blouses show off other things. Pants can also show off the crotch area and the bottom. (I don't know how to say that more politely!) 

Please see the whole text at "Let's Talk Modesty".

I would like to thank you for all of your supportive comments, sometimes we feel so alone as we make this journey and it is SUCH a blessing to hear from others who rally around us, letting us know we are on the right path.  What is SO frustrating is standing in the midst of other professed Christian women that give us so much grief due to our choice to dress modestly.  There have been times, in church, where we are almost verbally attacked because we choose to dress differently and for some reason it offends some other women.  I truly believe that most of the comments and questions are due to curiosity, but most are never said with love and gentleness. 

There is the occasional comical discussion where someone attempts to "liberate" my way of thinking.  They will literally take it upon themselves to feel the need to free my "legalistic" ways.  As if I truly believe that if I dress "holy" enough, that will gain me my salvation.  It is interesting when after I patiently listen to all that they have to say and I respond softly with answers to why we dress the way that we dress, backing it up with scripture, reassuring them that it is something we do to honor God and not to work our way into His good graces, they listen whole-heartedly. 

One of the many things I have learned is when I step out, voicing my convictions and testimony, it gives others the strength to follow.  Never underestimate your ability to speak truth into someone's life!  Your voice may be used by God to say just the right thing to the one person who is waiting to hear it!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dressing to Honor God

I have been silent on this matter for long enough.  My heart can remain silent no longer.  My daughter and I wear dresses 99% of the time unless we are riding a horse.  Wearing dresses most of the time has been a gradual process.  I didn't wake up one day and throw everything out only to restock our closets with "modest" clothing.  This issue is something that I have wrestled with God about and He has been gracious to bless me with a Godly perspective on the differences of dressing modestly.

It seems there are several views on how females should dress.

The first and most popular way to dress is to follow worldly fashion with all of its glitz and glam, showing as much skin as possible.  Whatever it takes to catch someones eye and to create the illusion that one is wealthy according to what is in their closet.  Years ago, I was in this category.....sadly enough.  As I mentioned previously, this has been a long process for me.  Even sadder is the fact that this way of dressing is devouring our churches and "Gods People".

The second way of dressing is to follow worldly fashion with all of its glitz and glam, not necessarily showing cleavage or tummy's or thighs.....this style is the skin tight jeans and shirts that might fit a five year old, but a well endowed grown woman is wearing them.  These styles are the ones that leave nothing to the imagination, not one single curve.  What is today's solution to panty lines?  Is it to not wear your clothing too tight?  No, its to change to underclothes that show no lines.  This way of dressing, sadly enough, is also running rampant through our churches today.  This way of dressing fools women into thinking they are dressing modestly due to the fact that they are covered from the neck to below the knees, but the clothes are so extremely form fitting, that skin doesn't have to be showing for men to know exactly how the woman would appear naked. 

A third way of dressing is in a Godly manner, one that honors God by protecting our body and protecting our "brothers in Christ" by wearing clothes that do not attract attention away from being seen as a Godly woman.  As women, we can be biblically modest and feminine without looking like worldly women.  God calls for us to be set apart. We represent Christ and the body of Christ, it breaks my heart to see "Christian" women portraying Christ by dressing in a very provocative way.  It takes a very strong woman to not follow worldly fashions and it begins with the first step.  Seeing it for what it truly is.  When the world looks at us, what do they see?  Do they see another flashy, fashionable woman that is imitating what is splashed all over the TV and magazines and is walking around as a slave to the fashion industry?  Or do they see a well dressed, feminine and beautiful Godly woman that portrays Christ and honors God with her modesty?

 I love wearing dresses, I love to honor God in how I dress and how our daughter dresses.  This is my heart.  Like I mentioned before, it has taken me several years to get to this point, but I am grateful to God for putting my heart through the fire on this subject.  I know where my heart was and how insecure I was when I dressed immodestly.  Now I can't even stand to have writing on my shirts, I refuse to be a billboard for anyone and to draw attention to my chest.  My body is the temple of God, and a God given gift to my husband.  For me to walk around drawing attention to it would disrespect God, disrespect my husband and disrespect myself.

This journey has been very interesting, especially as I go through bins full of clothes we don't wear anymore.  I look at them and think, WOW, I can't believe I ever wore such trash.  Lots of it I have burned instead of donated because I don't want anyone else wearing it either.  Cleaning those clothes out of my house and out of my life was invigorating!  It made a BOLD statement to the "fashion industry" that I wasn't their slave any longer.

So what do we do for clothes?  We sew!!!  We have searched high and low for great patterns and ideas and believe it or not, you can make some of the most beautiful clothing you have ever owned or purchase it custom made for you if you look in the right places.  These things will not be found in any store.....certainly not Wal-Mart.  If you want you or your daughters to look like a prostitute go clothes shopping at Wal-Mart or your local mall (I realize this statement is very strong and not true 100% of the time, however I am always frustrated beyond words when trying to find anything modest in the clothing department there and have quit going altogether for several reasons.  And for those of you wanting to persecute me for being hyper modest, please find someone more worthy of your attention.)  Otherwise learn to sew or search for modest clothing.  There are great sites online for this.  One main site is The King's Daughters.  You can purchase custom made clothing with a variety of fabric choices and you can also purchase patterns.  If you do an online search for "modest clothing", you will be successful in your search.  The first step is to change your perspective, the next step is to change your way of dress to a way that honors God.  God will help you all you have to do is ask for wisdom.  Ask Him to show you His heart on this subject.  That's where I began my journey.

Now I realize that to many women, these are fighting words, but read this quote from Peter Marshall:

I believe women come nearer fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else. It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife than to be Miss America. It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with filth. It is a far, far better thing in the realm of morals to be old-fashioned than to be ultramodern. The world has enough women who know how to hold their cocktails, who have lost all their illusions and their faith. The world has enough women who know how to be smart. It needs women who are willing to be simple. The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave. The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure. We need woman, and men, too, who would rather be morally right that socially correct.

This opens up discussion for many topics, most of which have to do with feminism.  I do not have the proper words to firmly state how I believe that the rise of feminism has been the death of the family and is corrupting our churches, however, this is not what this post is about.  For more on the feminism topic, please see the wonderful site of Ladies Against Feminism.

There are some terrific articles on femininity and modesty at Promoting Womanhood. 

This path of honoring God through our dress is not an easy one, it is not for the weak hearted or weak of mind.  Just this Sunday, I was approached at church by another mother.  Our daughters were participating in a song during service and the dress requirement was a white shirt and dark pants.  We obviously do not normally wear pants, and we absolutely refuse to wear them to church.  This other mother approached me with the understanding/assumption that our daughter wasn't going to be able to participate because she didn't have any jeans.  I assured her that our daughter was participating, but the conservation was a bit shocking and hurtful and her demeanor was one of pity.  I held my tongue quite frankly because I was shocked that this mother couldn't even conceive of daughters dressing in a way other than jeans and a T-shirt on a Sunday morning and that to not allow your daughter to dress this way was subjecting them to feeling rejected from the main stream.  My first reaction was shock, than I even felt angry and hurt.  I have to continually remind myself that this journey of modesty is between me and God and that we are all at different stages in our walk with God and that the topics God is convicting me on are different topics for others.  I am not here to judge others or what they think of our family, I am here to be a light and to represent Christ and to take courage in where the Lord is leading us.  If I cave in to what the world says I should dress like, what am I going to tell my Father in Heaven?    

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Homemade Bread

The past several days here have been bitterly cold, snow on the ground and frost on every tree.  It makes for beautiful mornings and great days for baking, sewing, plotting out our spring gardens........countless things!  Yesterday we made our usual bread for the week and I finally had the time to take pictures of the process to share it with you.  This recipe is an old Amish recipe that I got directly from an Amish bishop here in our neck of the woods.  For some reason, his still tastes better than mine, but its still the best bread I've ever made.  He hand grinds his wheat, which I am not able to do until we get our mill.....if you're reading this spring would be nice!  Other than that, I make it the same way he does.
Gather your ingredients...

As you can see, I have been using my bread maker for mixing the dough.  I used to mix it by hand, but my hands don't take kindly to mixing bread dough with a skinny handled wooden spoon.  (Another thing for the wish list....a BIG handled wooden spoon.)  This recipe is one that was taught to me by one of our Amish Bishop neighbors, except he makes it by hand (not a breadmaker obviously).  It is supposed to make about 7 loaves of bread, but since this entire recipe will not fit into the bread maker, I do it in halves for the mixing part.


  • 2 cups white flour
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 handful of salt (my handful isn't as big as his so I use about 4 tsp and its good)
  • 2 packages of yeast (or 2 Teaspoons but note the picture with the size of the teaspoon)
  • 3/4 cup lard (we use pig lard but you can also use oil or shortening)
  • 2 quarts of warm water
  • 3 cups whole wheat
You will add more flour as you go until it isn't sticky, about 3 more cups or so, you have to just figure as you go.

Now the smaller spoon pictured here is a regular table spoon, the larger spoon is the one we use for measuring the yeast.  You don't need a large serving spoon, just something in between a serving spoon and a regular spoon.  

I put the ingredients into the bread maker in the order of the liquids first and then the dry ingredients, yeast last on top.  Make an indention in the top of the flour, big enough to contain your yeast.  I don't know if this is necessary, it's just a habit I have.

If you decide to use a bread maker for half of this recipe at a time like I do, just set your bread maker on the dough cycle, otherwise mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, continuing to add flour until the dough isn't sticky and then knead it.  

I usually leave the lid to the bread maker open during this first mixing part to add flour about a half a cup at a time.  These next few pictures are a bit fuzzy due to the mixing of the machine, please excuse that.  you can see in the first picture that it is still runny so I'm adding more flour.

Here you can see the dough beginning to form and pull away from the bowl, I'm still adding a half cup of flour at a time.  It mixes in pretty quickly.

Here the dough has formed a firm ball and has pulled away from the edges.  It is still a bit too sticky, but I go ahead and turn it into a bowl.

This dough is still too sticky, I can really tell now that it's in the bowl.

This time I add just one more half cup of flour, knead it slightly and the dough transforms into...

 I let the dough rise for about an hour or so in front of the fireplace with a dish towel over it.  It should almost double in size.  At that time, I'll punch it down and then let it rise again for another hour or so.

Now the dough gets turned out onto the counter and divided, placed into greased bread pans and let rise one more time.  Only let it rise till it is barely over the bread pans, otherwise you might get too much air in your bread.  I know some people poke holes in the tops of the dough to release the air before this rising step, I don't bother with that.

 Bake at 350 degrees for about half an hour or so.

This batch isn't the prettiest batch I've ever made, but it is soft, hearty and delicious with soft crusts even without buttering the tops!  It's delicious smothered in homemade butter straight from the cow!

I've tried to explain my process in detail, but when you do something so often, you tend to forget little things others may need to know.  If I have done that, please let me know and I'll gladly fill in anything I've left out :o)

Thursday, January 13, 2011


J.R. Miller has beautifully portrayed a Godly marriage in his wonderful writings.  Some of which I would like to share with may find this particular writing in full by following the link below.

One of the first essential elements in a wife is faithfulness, in the largest sense.  

The heart of her husband does safely trust in her. 

Perfect confidence is the basis of all true affection. 

A shadow of doubt destroys the peace of married life. 

A true wife by her character and by her conduct proves herself worthy of her husband's trust. 

He has confidence in her affection; he knows that her heart is unalterably true to him. 

He has confidence in her management; he confides to her the care of his household. 

He knows that she is true to all his interests that she is prudent and wise, not wasteful nor extravagant. 

It is one of the essential things in a true wife that her husband shall be able to leave in her hands the management of all domestic affairs, and know that they are safe. 

Wifely thriftlessness and extravagance have destroyed the happiness of many a household and wrecked many a home. On the other hand, many a man owes his prosperity to his wife's prudence and her wise administration of household affairs.

A true wife makes a man's life nobler, stronger, grander, by the omnipotence of her love, turning all the forces of manhood upward and heavenward. 

While she clings to him in holy confidence and loving dependence she brings out in him whatever is noblest and richest in his being. 

She inspires him with courage and earnestness. 

She beautifies his life. 

She softens whatever is rude and harsh in his habits or his spirit. 

She clothes him with the gentler graces of refined and cultured manhood. 

While she yields to him and never disregards his lightest wish, she is really his queen, ruling his whole life and leading him onward and upward in every proper path.


by J.R. Miller

I just recently discovered this writing and will be printing it out to keep in front of me as a reminder along with my Proverbs 31 study.  What a beautifully strong and fearsome creature a true wife is, as we keep our eyes on this goal, praying for strength, through Christ, as we journey through each day, each incident, each challenge, allowing ourselves room to stumble, but never taking our eyes off of the goal.  We do this to honor our husbands and our families, but most of all, to honor God.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Raising a Maiden of Virtue / Being a Godly Woman

 There are so many paths I could take with this issue, but what has recently been on my heart is the behavior of a Godly woman.  What does the demeanor, attitude and behavior of a Godly woman look like?  In being a keeper of the home and raising our daughter to be a keeper of the home, this issue has come before me time and time again and it is something I cannot ignore.  So how are we supposed to act?

Our daughters reflect who we are.  If my daughter displays a behavior that doesn't seem quite right, I usually don't have far to look in order to find where she learned it.  Nothing besides the good Lord and His Word, has had more influence on who I am today as that single fact has.  So when it comes to my attention that our daughter is not displaying the proper character qualities of a Godly young woman, it is usually because I am not demonstrating it.  I never have to look very far, lol.  Even so, it is a wake up call for me.

When I need to learn something, I search high and low for the information.  I was thrilled to find some solid, biblical teaching with two different books....'Raising Maidens of Virtue' by Stacy McDonald' and 'So Much More' by Anna Sofia Botkin and Elizabeth Botkin.  I highly recommend both of them to anyone raising daughters.  Also, there is a great CD called 'What's A Girl to Do' How to Wisely Invest Your Daughter's Time by Douglas Phillips.  These are excellent resources!

One thing I have learned, (which should be common sense, but usually I have to have things spelled out for me), is that our actions are simply a reflection of our heart and spirit.  If we have a rebellious and discontent spirit, it will be obvious in our behavior, our carriage and our speech.  A boisterous, tomboyish, masculine spirit will also come out in many ways for everyone to see.  Is this the picture of a Godly woman?

In Psalms we find some answers...  "....that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.." Psalm 144:12  Our daughters are to be beautifying, supportive, and hospitable within her father's palace and outside her walls, she is to be an ambassador, representative, and .....'as arrows are in the hand of a mighty man'...Psalm 127:5.  Of course as wives, we are to be this for our husbands.  Through our behavior, carriage and demeanor, we should not leave any doubt to anyone that we are submitted to our father or husbands protection, the daughters of a king, a princess worthy of honor.

I can tell you right now, that this does not describe me at all.  I am Irish.  I am head strong, strong willed, loud boisterous and at times I'm sure I can be undignified.  I can be too casual, too bold, too strong, you get the picture?  I used to buy the whole feminism lie, lock stock and barrel.  It drove me into the ground.  God created women to be women!  Not men!  Yes there are many similarities, but HUGE differences!  Once I learned this little fact, I have found that I love being a woman.  I love being a keeper of the home.  I love having the protection of my husband.  Why did I waste so much time of my life trying to prove that I was who the world said they wanted me to be only to find out it was never good enough and that no one really cared anyway?  God cared, because when I had finally reached the end of me......I found Him.  He was waiting for me all along.  So now, I am relearning how to be a woman as God created me.

So here is the question again.  How are we supposed to act?  Over and over again I keep coming across this picture of a Godly woman.  She radiates dignity, regal serenity, respectfulness, grace, a gentle and quiet voice, poise, discretion, self-command, sincerity, peace, compassion, cheerfulness and humility.  She stands out as a woman of quality.  She displays the magnitude of God's grace by showing how our crude, unrefined behavior becomes gentle and quiet.  This is my goal, by the grace of God.

These qualities are a lot to grasp, so I looked each one of them up in the dictionary and here is how they are described:

Dignity:  The quality or condition of being esteemed, honored, or worthy.  Self-esteem, poise.  Stately reserve in appearance and demeanor.  The respect and honor associated with an important position.

Regal:  Relating to a monarch: royal.  Of great magnificence.
Serenity:  Peaceful, tranquil.

Respectfulness:  To feel or show regard (esteem) for  Willingness to show consideration or appreciation.  Polite expressions of consideration.

Grace:  Apparently effortless charm or beauty of movement, form, or proportion.  A characteristic or quality pleasing for its charm or refinement.  A disposition to be generous or helpful (good will).

A gentle and quite voice:    I think this is self explanatory.

Poise:  To hold or carry in balance.  To be balanced or held stable.  Not awkward or embarrassed.

Discretion:  Having or displaying a judicious reserve in one's speech or conduct.  Prudent.  Lacking pretension or ostentation...modest.  The quality of being discreet.

Self-Command:  Self-control.  Control one's feelings, desires, or actions by one's own will.

Sincerity:  Presenting no false appearance;  honest.  Pure.

Peace:  Freedom from quarrels or disagreements.  Inner contentment:  serenity.  Free from strife.  To be silent.

Compassion:  Sympathetic concern for the suffering of another, together with the inclination to give aid or support or to show mercy.

Cheerfulness:  JOY  Being in good spirits: happy.  Exhibiting good spirits.  Producing good spirits.  Willing:  good-humored.

Humility:  The quality or condition of being humble.  Characterized by modesty or or meekness in behavior, attitude, or spirit.  Exhibiting submissive respect.

Meekness:  Exhibiting humility and patience:  gentle.

Can you  picture your daughter radiating these qualities?  To picture our daughter exhibiting these qualities brings a smile to face and a warming of my heart.  How can I teach these qualities to her?  By demonstrating them myself.  My daughter and I have compiled a list of these qualities with their descriptions and have began to direct our hearts in this manner.  It is not an easy process, but I have faith that we will succeed.  God has turned our faces and our hearts to this matter, which I have found is a direct indication that He means for me to get to work on it. :o)  I am but a servant, but I rock the hand of the cradle of the future.  God has given me a very small window of time to write His laws on our daughter's heart and it must be done with purpose, diligently.  God sets nothing before us that He will not strengthen us for nor forsake us as we journey through it.  So I am absolutely convinced that these Godly character qualities can be achieved!.....Pray for me!
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