Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Deer Down! MEAT in the freezer

Last night my handsome husband shot this BIG, 224 pound, 8 point buck with his bow. God is so good. Yummy meat for the winter and a good hunt.

The first two does (hubby got one and oldest son got one) I canned up. We LOVE canned deer meat and I am working on a "how to" post on canning deer meat. However, with this one we decided to do sausage and jerky.

So I now have 50 pounds of ground sausage in my freezer and 5 pounds of jerky meat marinating in the fridge. I will post the sausage and jerky recipes tomorrow... right now I am tired and the kids all need tucked into bed.

We ended up with 55 pounds of boneless meat. We process ourselves and are careful not to be wasteful, but we do trim off as much fat as possible (the fat is full of game flavor in addition to extra calories). Chris gave the hide to our taxidermy friend and in trade he is going to mount the antlers on a Oak board. God is good!!

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Friday, October 22, 2010

God made us to NEED Friendships!


Warning: I am very passionate about the following topic! I originally shared this post back in October of 2008, but it totally stands true today. I 100% believe that God gave us a NEED for friendships.

Modern life can be very lonely. It doesn't matter if you are a stay at home mom, work at home mom, full time "paycheck" mom or any combination of that. We live in a RUSHED, busy, fast paced world that squeezes out all of our time, resources and energy. It doesn't leave a lot left for friendships.

I am a people person and really enjoy being around others. I find conversation invigorating and inspiring. God has put in me a strong need for relationships. I HAVE to connect with others.

This week I have had the privilege of spending time with TWO different friends. I met for lunch on Monday with my friend, Jackie. Jackie and I have only been friends since spring. She is older than me, but it goes to show that when God is involved in your friendships age doesn't matter at all! I believe that God has bought us together for a reason... to encourage, inspire and push each other in our personal walks with our Heavenly Father.

Today my friend, Brook, came over for a nice visit. We try to get together every other week on Wednesday mornings. We have known each other for almost 9 years... she was pregnant with her first, she now holds her precious baby girl, number 5! She is such a blessing and encouragement to me. We are both mothers of many young ones and understand each other's challenges and stresses. She was also pregnant at the same time while I was expecting my last two babies. Pregnancy and babies created a bond between us. She is also married to a "Chris". I think that one reason Brook and I get along so well is because we are opposite in so many ways. We always joke that personality wise I am like her husband, Chris, and she is like my husband, Chris! Some of the best qualities of each of our spouses we find in our friendship! Opposites really do attract in friendships as well as in love.

Making time for friendship is important. Life is BUSY and CRAZY, but doing the IMPORTANT things first puts things in the right priority. I value the group of wonderful ladies I meet with for Bible study on Friday mornings more than I could ever express. They are not only wonderful friends, but the accountability to be in the Bible completing the study is just what I need. My family also participates in a small group Bible Study/fellowship every other Friday evening. We ALL look forward to 'Jordan' Fridays very much. Getting together as families is also very important.

I went through a very lonely time a few years ago... I finally felt the Lord tell me to stop feeling sorry for myself and to reach out to others and BE a FRIEND! God's principle of sewing and reaping is true in every aspect of our lives. As I put energy and effort into being a friend and reaching out to others God has blessed me with friendship in return. Friendship is a lot like gardening..... I think that I will make that another post! LOL!!

I encourage you, reach out to women around you. Become a friend to someone. They don't have to be just like you, the same age, or have the same lifestyle or hobbies. Some of my good friends live the town life, others live out in the country. I have friends from many different churches, but we all love Jesus. We all have a need for relationship, we all have the need to be valued. Modern life can be lonely.... we can go days without real conversation. Give someone a call, write a note or invite someone over! Lunch dates, play dates, Bible studies and phone conversations are all possible if we just put out the effort.

My best friend, my sister Melissa, lives 50 miles south and is a full time "paycheck" mom. Between distance and time factors we don't see each other as much as we would like, but we make it a point to talk on the phone and email on a regular basis. Do what works.... be a friend and enjoy friendship!

Ok... off my soap box!!


Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Choosing Simplicity.... Hospitality and generosity on a budget


Is it possible to be both frugal and practice generosity and hospitality?? To stay on budget and still prepare a meal for a friend? YES!!! I believe 100% that as Christians we are called to practice hospitality and sharing. Tomorrow I share about a very passionate subject of mine: that God created us to NEED friendships. God has called us to love one another. A meal is a wonderful way to show and express love and care. I also know that God is our provider and if he is calling for us to be generous (which he is) then He WILL supply all of our needs!!! You can not out give God.... He will always make a way!!! .

How to be both Hospitable, Generous and Frugal:
  1. Make big batches of food. If I am taking a meal to someone I will just make double of what I am making for our family. If you are having quests over just make double to serve.
  2. Stock up on loss leaders so that you have a supply in your pantry to prepare from.
  3. Give a treat. If you don't want to make a complete meal a loaf of home made bread is a BIG treat for most people. Also, dropping of a desert always shows love. You can also invite friends over for desert and cards... this is one of our winter time favorites.
  4. Never turn down help. If you invite friends over and they ask what they can bring have them bring a side or a desert. I NEVER mind taking something when we are invited and it really helps cut down on cost.
  5. Keep the meals simple. I can not say this enough. BEING with others is the important thing... not impressing them with what you serve. Hospitality is OTHERS focused... entertaining is ME focused. Use the same frugal recipes you use with your own family.
  6. Give a gift from your garden. I don't know of anyone that will turn down fresh produce... unless they have a garden in full swing!
  7. Give a gift from you pantry.... Do you can? Do you freeze? A homemade loaf of bread and homemade jam is a real treat!
  8. Remember it is the HEART and ATTITUDE that God looks at!!!! A gift in love is what God desires.... He calls us to be cheerful givers. Don't give out of DUTY!
In our crazy, busy and frazzled modern world an evening of hospitality or sharing is a BIG way to show the love of Christ to others. It means a lot. Think about the last time someone had you over for dinner or dropped off a treat for you. How did it make you feel?? I know it made you feel loved and cared for. Extending our love by having others in our home is a powerful way to bless them! Be encouraged... you can practice hospitality and generosity without breaking the bank.

I believe in keeping things simple!!! Give my sample menu a try... they are easy to double, have some friends over and practice hospitality! www.simplefamilysupper.com

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

The WALTONS are being aired again!

Finding TV shows you can watch as a family are hard to find. One of my favorites is the Waltons. We have the DVD set, but I am excited to let you all know I just found out they are back on tv!! I have the dvr set.

Here are the details:

Beginning Monday, October 18th on INSP, viewers also can journey back with "The Waltons" at 1pm EST and 8pm EST when the series begins its exclusive Monday-Friday run on the network.


INSP is available in more than 60 million homes across the US on more than 2,800 cable systems and on DIRECTV channel 364 and DISH Network channel 259. Viewers can check their local program guides for channel line-up information or visit /the-waltons.


Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Getting the house ready for winter and PUMPKIN PIE bars

Fall is here. Whether I want it to be or not. Denial only lasts so long. I am a SUMMER gal and try very hard to enjoy fall and winter. Actually fall isn't so bad in and of itself... it is beautiful. However, it is just knowing that winter is around the corner that gets to me. Really, I am TRYING to enjoy winters and last winter was my best one yet... attitude does go a long way (and also taking vitamin D helps a ton). OK, enough of my whining! :)

Winter preparation was what my handsome husband and I did yesterday afternoon. Took out the window air conditioners, cleaned out the wood stove and chimney, made sure all the hoses were put up, lit the wall furnace unit, changed the furnace filters and ran the big beast (ancient) furnace for a 20 minute warm up. We don't run the big furnace but a handful of times all year... the thing goes through gas like crazy. But it is comforting to know it does run.... back up is nice.

Baking is such a wonderful way to warm up the kitchen and fill the house with delicious aromas! No candle in the world will compete with the warm fragrance of freshly baked bread or yummy treat. In the fall and winter I love to bake with pumpkin. It is yummy and nutrient packed. One of our favorite pumpkin treats is Pumpkin Pie Bars. If you like pumpkin pie you are sure to love this finger licking good-hold in your hand- bar!


Pumpkin Pie Bars
Ingredients
2 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup oil

2/3 cup canned pumpkin

3/4 cup flour

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

(I'm sure you could just use 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice)


Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350
Grease a 12x8 pan OR a pie pan (I used the pie pan because I don't have a 12x8 pan)
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs.
Stir in sugar, oil and pumpkin mix well.
Stir in flour and spices.
Bake for 20-25 minutes (until set in the middle)

Cool (or eat warm like we did).
They will hold their shape very well and are easy to eat! We ate them with cool whip on top! YUMMY!!



Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How to get your kids to listen to you

Do you feel like no matter how loud you are your kids never hear you?? I really want my kids to listen to me!! Why don't they?? ahh... this might be why! YIKES! I have been that crazy woman in the picture a time or two.... I needed the following post!


"Matthew Henry says "What is spoken wisely should be spoken calmly, and then it will be heard in quiet and calmly considered. But passion will lessen the force even of reason, instead of adding any force to it."

Are you baffled at the fact that your children are not listening to you? Research has shown that when a parent raises their voice at a child - a defense mechanism kicks in that helps the child emotionally protect themselves by tuning out what you are actually saying." .......... To read the rest of this post hop on over to Courtney's blog, Women Living Well. EXCELLENT post (and excellent blog)

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Simple Family Supper

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall Favorites: Pumpkin Cobbler

The amazing way this cobbler makes the house smell while baking is enough reason to make this one. The fragrance it creates beats any candle any day.... and BONUS you get to EAT it when it is done baking!! LOL This EASY recipe is sure to be a big hit with anyone that loves pumpkin. I made it again last night to take to our small group Bible study and there wasn't even a bite left to bring home.... gonna make another one this morning. ENJOY.

I originally posted this pumpkin cobbler recipe last year... this is a fall tradition that will be a part of our life for years to come. :) It is a EASY recipe, it just takes time to bake. It is good warm, it is good cold, it is FANTASTIC with vanilla ice cream.

Super Moist Pumpkin Cobbler
Ingredients:
6 eggs, beaten
3 cups cooked pumpkin (or use canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
2 1/4 cups sugar (I used 2 cups of brown sugar and it was PLENTY sweet.. could reduce)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. cloves (I did not use this much and I also added a few dashes of nutmeg)
1 spice cake mix (I used a yellow cake mix and just sprinkled on some cinnamon and cloves)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

Directions:
Mix eggs, pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices. Pour into a greased 9x13 cake pan. Sprinkle cake mix over the top. Pour melted butter all over the cake mix. Sprinkle nuts on top. DO NOT MIX. Cover with foil and bake at 325 for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 40 minutes.

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!Heather

Simple Family Supper

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Weekend Wanderings.... Link Love

I have been very blessed and encouraged by these following posts. ENJOY!

The Secret to Abundant Life!!! I LOVE this post.... really helps to keep our focus!

Walking along side my children..... the importance of my mothering my children! Encouraging!!

Keys to Simple Living! Oh, the truth in this post!

Musings on a Simple Life has a great post to help gain perspective.

Our personal temper tantrums tear our homes down! Such good conviction. Encouragement for me to really THINK about the impact of my words and actions!!

I'm gonna miss this all someday! The fact is that someday I will miss all these CRAZY moments of raising the children. Point: I must CHOOSE to live in and enjoy the moment!!!! LOVED this post!!

14 marks of a wise woman
. Continuing to GROW in these areas is what I want to do.

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I want to be "Weird" like the Camerons!

According to the DJ on our local country music station (yes, I do enjoy my country music) yesterday was Kirk Cameron's birthday. The DJ made a point to say how "WEIRD" Kirk has gotten in the past few years.... know what?? To be a Christian and be called "weird" is a HIGH compliment that he should be proud of! The Bible says we are to be a "Peculiar People" compared the the world's standards. I hope I am "weird", too!!

Know one thing that is WEIRD about the Camerons?? Kirk and Chelsea have been married (first marriage for both of them) for 19 years!! By Hollywood standards that is eternity. Today I happened to be listening to past Focus on the Family broadcasts (listening while I clean is a great way to keep my going) and came across a recent two part series on Marriage that the Cameron's were on. If you have some laundry to fold or some dishes to wash turn this Focus on the Family Making your marriage a priority series on! ENJOY!!

Want to know more about the Cameron's?? At home with the Camerons is an interesting read from the Focus on the Family magazine.


Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Perfection!!!

This has to be what the weather in heaven must be like!!!!!!
Could it get any more perfect?? Not in my book!!


Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Clear
74° F | 49° F
Clear
74° F | 47° F
Clear
79° F | 49° F
Clear
79° F | 49° F
Clear
81° F | 50° F
Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear



Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

Friday, October 1, 2010

For Turbo

This is for our friend, Turbo, and for any one else that enjoys BIG bucks!!
Turbo shot this incredible footage! Very Cool!!


video