Sunday, March 3, 2013

For the love of her brother...

Our daughter, Robyn, donated her hair to locks of love.  The love between these two siblings is a joy to see!  We try really hard to focus on the GOOD in life.  Going through this leukemia journey has opened up our eyes even more to focusing on things that really matter.  Relationships really matter!!
Wesley and Robyn are only 22 months apart and are as opposite as night and day, but sometimes opposites make for the most interesting friendships.  I am thankful for the genuine love they have for each other.  Cancer is hard, but God is GOOD!


Have a BLESSED day,
BE a BLESSING!
 Heather

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Our son's faith is shared as ONLY God could do!!


 I am so thankful for how Krista Henery put together Wes' story.  It is really weird to see our family on TV and this is not something we sought out.  God has used and allowed things in  this journey in ways we never would have thought up ourselves.  God never ceases to surprise us.



This story would not be possible without the outpouring of LOVE we have received from the community!!  This is a story not only about the faith that we have in Jesus, but also the story of an INCREDIBLE community!  We are BLESSED!!!!

Here are the links to the series that aired on TV 18 this week and some additional footage, bonus footage, that Krista put together and put on the website.


Click on the links below to see the videos:

The story begins (bonus footage)

Determined to make a difference part ONE

 Determined to make a difference Part TWO

 The story continues (bonus footage)


Have a BLESSED day,
 BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Overnight (or not) coffee cake

This is a long time - go to - recipe that is both very yummy and frugal!  I especially enjoy the flexibility of this recipe because it can be mixed up the night before so all I have to do is bake it in the morning or it is equally as yummy mixing in up and baking it right up.  This recipe is always well received and is a great one to use during the holidays.

I have shared this recipe before, but it is worth posting again.  This coffee cake can also be baked in muffins and I'm sure the delivery people, mail carriers and bus drivers would all appreciate a muffin this busy time of the year!  We gave them to our snow plow driver one very snowy winter and they enjoyed them.

 

Overnight (or not) Coffee Cake
Mix together in a large bowl:
2 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Stir in:
1 cup sour milk (1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice with the milk)
3/4 cup oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Crumb topping:
Cut the following together with a pastry cutter or with two knives until well blended.
2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix and refrigerate overnight in a 9*13 GREASED baking pan. Top with crunch topping in the morning. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until tooth pick in center comes out clean. You can also just bake it right away without refrigeration. If I am going to make it the night before I prepare the crumb topping and just store it separate till morning. ENJOY!!

Have a BLESSED day,
 BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My son's fight is just not his own!



Leukemia has brought out the best in our community!  God has showered his love to our family through so many people being the hands and feet of Jesus in our life!  This week is "Wes Week" at his local high school.  BLESSED does not begin to even describe how we feel.  As a mom with a son fighting this cancer it absolutely melts my heart to see the ARMY of people fighting alongside my son!!

 







Here is a TV news report about my son and his school's "Wes Week".....  I thought that some of you might be encouraged by my son's Million Dollar Smile, and the love that shines through on this video.

Here is the link to Wes' Caring Bridge site if you would like to follow his journey to VICTORY!! 

Have a BLESSED day,
 BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

GOD is BIGGER than leukemia

 Life has shoved us off the edge of a cliff, but you know what?? We have landed safe in the arms of Jesus! NOTHING can separate us from the LOVE of Jesus! And IN HIS arms and though HIS power Leukemia has no hold on our 15 year old son, Wesley!! 

 12 days ago he was diagnosed with (pre- B, A.L.L.) leukemia.   God has shown up in so many ways and God continues to show himself faithful!!  Please pray for him!  Prayers move mountains!!  God in the business of healing!!

Have a BLESSED day,
BE a BLESSING!
 Heather

Sunday, July 22, 2012

YOU can make it HOMEMADE!

Make it HOMEMADE!
Yes you can!  Join me for  CLASSES !!  (north central Indiana)

*Learn new skills
*Have fun with friends
*Hands on classes
*Take home product

Make JAM
Bake BREAD
Food PRESERVATION
NOODLE making

Class sizes are limited so email me today to sign up!
ChoosingSimplicityHomestead @ gmail.com

 

Class Topic

Date and Times
2 sessions available

Class Fee

Save $$
Sign up with a friend class fee
Class Size Limit

Food Preservation - Fruit Jam

 Freezer and Canned

Tuesday, Aug 7th
9-11am /   6:30-8:30pm

$15/person

$10 each
10 people

Yeast Bread

Tuesday, Aug 14h
9-11am /   6:30-8:30pm

$25/person

$20/person
8 people

Food Preservation – Water Bath Canning

Tuesday, Aug 21st
9-11am /   6:30-8:30pm

$25/person

$20/person
8 people

Food Preservation – Pressure Canning

Tuesday, Aug 28thth
9-11am /   6:30-8:30pm

$25/person

$20/person
8 people

Noodle Making

Tuesday, Sept 4th
9-11am /   6:30-8:30pm

$15/person

$10 each
10 people



WOW this homemade liquid dishwasher soap lasts a LONG time!

 SIX months ago I made up this $3 batch of homemade liquid dishwasher soap..... I am just now finishing it up!  That means that it cost me a grand total of 50 cents a month!  I run the dishwasher at least once and a few times a week I run it twice a day.  I have been using this recipe for several years, but I never kept track of how long a batch lasted till now.  I am officially pleased by not only how well it works but how long it lasts.  

A penny saved is a penny earned! 
Have you tried this recipe, yet?
Hope it woks well for you!


Have a BLESSED day,
BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Once upon a time the grass was green....

 This picture was taken by my front porch back in late May.  Oh, my how different things look now.  It is sad this drought so many of us are going through.  I was just looking through pictures tonight on my camera and was struck by the beauty we had this spring.  In the background you can see the large wind turbines that are a part of one of the nations largest wind farm.  I should take some pictures of the current "blonde" grass (as my husband calls it).  I guess that sounds much better than dead.

I will sing a song of thanksgiving.... today we did get some rain!  Not sure how much, but there was wet stuff coming down to the parched land!!  Praise God!!

What is it like in your neck of the woods?  Is the grass green or "blonde"??   We have lost so much.... hoping that things are still alive in root systems and will come back.  This kind of year really teaches me to not take for granted rain!

Have a BLESSED day,
BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Homemakers Creed (printable)

Being a HOMEmaker is truly a act of love from the heart.  It has nothing to do with "paid employment" status.  Whether you are full time at home or spend some of your time in the world of paid work you can be a HOMEmaker!  I saw this creed posted today by Time-Warp Wife and knew I had to share it.  ENJOY!  To print it off to hang on your fridge click here.



Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING! Heather

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

We are blessed!


 Happy 4th of July from our house to yours!  We are truly blessed to live in the USA!  We are taking some time today to thank God for our nation and pray for our nation.  The flag flies proud on our homestead!

We live a simple life.... a life that this wonderful country allows us to do.  We have freedom to attend a wonderful church and welcome friends into our home for Christian fellowship.

We are raising our four children to experience dirt under their fingernails and pride in their heart for a job well done.  We are small business owners, we work hard.  We also raise a garden, fruit, pigs and chickens.  We play hard, too!  We choose to learn and grow and appreciate.....

This 4th of July I take time to be thankful for our great land.  A country that though far from perfect is a wonderful place to live and raise our family.  May God bless America!

Today my 13 year old daughter, Robyn, and I spent a fantastic afternoon together in our farmhouse kitchen.  We cooked and baked and talked.  What day of celebration would be complete without some special food??  Robyn made lemon bars and homemade chocolate chip cookies that she used to make ice cream cookie sandwiches.  I whipped up 2 cheesecakes with fresh blueberry and strawberries on top.  The sausage is browned and ready to put into the crock pot tomorrow with the baked beans.  Simple TIME spent with my daughter building memories, growing our relationship and teaching valuable kitchen skills. Nothing in life is sweeter than TIME with loved ones!!!

Enjoy your 4th of July!!












Vintage Images from here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My favorite way to us browning bananas.....Chocolate Banana Muffins (or cake)

I'm all for regular old banana bread, but I am a CHOCOLATE girl at heart and have a husband that loves chocolate, too.  So when I came across this recipe for Chocolate Banana Muffins a few years ago it quickly became a family favorite.  I whipped up a double batch today (one for us and one to share).  Easy, Yummy, and CHOCOLATY Banana!!


This recipe will make a dozen large muffins or if you double the batch it will make a 9x13 cake. Today I actually trippled the recipe and made a dozen muffins and a cake. The muffins freeze really well for quickk grab and go snacks or to pack in lunches.   ENJOY!!



 Chocolate Banana Muffins
1-1 /2 C flour
1 C sugar
1/4 C baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 C mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium)
1/3 C vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 egg
1 C miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional.... I don't usually add them)

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In a small bowl, combine bananas, oil, and egg; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350-degrees

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING! Heather

Friday, June 15, 2012

There was a day.....Uncle Sam encourages SELF SUFFICIENCY??



We have come a long way from this.... but we are doing our part!  I have been collecting 32-35 eggs a day from our own back yard flock.  YUMMY!

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING! Heather

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Practicing Lent with a social media fast.....

The church we attend does not formally practice Lent.  However, we as a family believe in the value of fasting.  After all.... Jesus said "WHEN you fast".  We teach our children that giving up something our flesh loves/enjoys during the lent season we can grow closer to God.  When our flesh longs for the item we have given up we go to God instead.  It is a very real reminder that we are FLESH and that we NEED our Savior!!  During this time of lent we each prayerfully decide what to give up.

I am going to be giving up social media and blogs again this year.  I know I have not been blogging as much as I used to but I find that I spend way too much time on facebook.  Social media has its place, but for the time of lent it will not have a place in my life.  I did this same fast last year and was very blessed by it.

I am also giving up another fleshly love.... sugar!!  I must be crazy!  Yup!  Crazy about Jesus and I want to make HIM my source of comfort rather than that chocolate cake I love to bake and  eat.  I will tell you my family is a little concerned I will stop all baking and that they will be forced to give up sugar, too!  LOL!  I assured them that I will still produce a treat or two!

I ask that you pray for our family as we each fast during lent and pray for all individuals practicing Lent.  God has a great desire to be the number one priority in our life..... we just have the tendency to fill up our hearts with all kinds of other things instead.  See ya again in April!


Have a BLESSED day,
 BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Friday, February 3, 2012

Some ROMANCE Fun!

The DAILY MUNDANE of life needs to be broken up by CELEBRATING life!  I really love creating celebrations for our family to enjoy.  I make a BIG deal out of the usual Birthdays, but I also like to celebrate special days throughout the year and make members of our family (and friends) feel special and blessed.  It brings joy to the dailiness of life.

Ahhhh.... February, the traditional month of love!  My husband and I have never really celebrated Valentine's Day because we celebrate our "Dating Anniversary" on February 4th.  This year we celebrate 19 years!  Wow!  In May we will celebrate our 16th Wedding Anniversary.  LOVE!  

WAY BACK in February of 2008 I posted the following Frugal Love Game.  This is a FUN way to add a little spice and celebration to your marriage and worth a re-post! Break up the daily mundane of life with a little extra FUN in the ROMANCE department!


Simply Frugal Romance Game

Create some new fun in the Romance Department!!
It is easy to let things go as "usual" in the area of intimacy. However, with a little creativity this game helps mix things up!


The Love Dice
This game can be purchased, but why when you can make it yourself for next to nothing
(and it will be personalized just to your style).


What you need to make the game:
* 1 dice
* 1 3*5 card

Directions to make the game:
* On the 3*5 card number it 1-6
* Next to each number list an action (kiss, touch, show... etc... this is a G rated site... be creative)

How to play:
*Each take a turn rolling the dice three times in a row....
*Then the spouse follows the numbers and does what the card says
(for example, He rolls a 3, then a 5, then a 1... so you will do what the card says for 3, then for 5, then for 1)
*Take turns
*Have fun... don't be surprised if you ditch the dice after a turn takings... it has a way of creating the mood!

Have a BLESSED day,
BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Loving in the right LOVE language

Do you know what your LOVE LANGUAGE is??  What about your loved ones??  This is a great online quiz resource from Gary Chapman, author of the book The Five Love Languages.

My husband and I took the quiz a while back and I was surprised by the results.... I thought I KNEW what his love language was!  Now I know how to SPEAK in the right language.... makes him feel much more loved!

They also have one on there for teens.... my daughter is going to take it now .......she has been watching me type this up and her interest is piqued! 

If you take the quiz, or already have before, leave a comment and share what your love language is!

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather