Thursday, May 31, 2012

Control Within the Chaos

Wow it’s already the weekend! This week has gotten away from me. I was able to sit with my chickens today. That always takes a load off my shoulders. I truly love those creatures. They have been such a blessing and a great stress reliever for me!
Sitting on the log and notice me approaching.

Getting excited to see me!
They are more like dogs, in that they get excited to see you and when you sit on the log they all surround you and some sit on your lap. And of course dear Lily will perch on your arm.

I had planned to bring you all for a tour inside the trailer and talk about home made deodorants this week, but we had really spotty internet reception, so it didn’t happen. Next week is a new week.
I am so looking forward to this weekend. The girls are going to the mountains and we are just going to hang out, horseback ride, and be crazy! Isn’t it a blessing to be able to sneak away from life and have a weekend time out?

I leave you with this song. I enjoy this song so, and it seems to sum up my life right now. It may be crazy and all over the board, but it is good. And God is still in control.

Crush My Fantasy

So I was pondering some lyrics I was listening to. How often do we listen to music with out really listening? Probably on average we don’t really hear what we are listening to. Well, I’ve been in this funk of wanting to hear what I’m listening to. Is there power in what we listen to? Absolutely! How often does your attitude and emotions change when you are listening to music? Music can change the atmosphere in a room/party. Music has power behind it. It can promote good and evil. It can bring you into a place of worshiping the King, it can enhance a high (I’ve never used drugs!), it can drop you into deeper depression, it can make you feel angry. It is power.
So, the music I was enjoying was Matisyahu. Two of his songs in particular stood out to me. Little clips of the lyrics are below:
I will be light
Time will continue without you
So in the end
Its not about you
What did you do?
Who do you love besides you
Beside you, many died in the name of vanity
Many die, in their mind's eye, for justice
We die for you
And still do
So I say to you
This is nothing new
You've got one tiny moment in time
For life to shine, to shine
To burn away the darkness

I will be light.

So after listening to this song I pondered what am I doing that is making tomorrow a better place? I want to do so much, I want to show the world that there is hope, there is peace and there is so, so much love! I want the world to know that it doesn’t end here, that tomorrow is just around the corner. I’ve learned in my short life that joy really does come in the morning, that is okay to mess up as long as you work to improve, you can’t stop living because tomorrow is still coming.

I will crush my fantasy,
bring me olive oil crushed for his majesty
to shine a warmth into eternity, this is an eternal decree,
We'll dance like flames for there's no gravity,
for now I'm just a candle trying to stay lit in this windy night.
Got to crush my fantasies of how this life is supposed to be

How often do we dream and think through how we feel things should be. Even in the venture of homesteading, we tend to dream and think how it should be. But then bugs attack the garden and an animal turns up sick. Reality sets in. This quest is not as easy as the fantasy makes it seem. In your head there it is just so easy, with a hundred animals frolicking in the fields and a garden big enough to feed the whole town. Eating only food grown/raised on your own land. Everyone living in peace and harmony and the temperature staying fixed at 75* and sunny with a light breeze. And don’t forget the nice soft rain tap, tap, tapping on the roof at night.

Quite a beautiful place, huh? Reality? Not even close. But, regardless to the fantasy, this life is real and we need to make the difference. I know we have all heard the one candle can light a room and make a difference etc. But it is true! We can make a change; we can be the start to tomorrow. Even if all we are changing is our attitude, or the hope of our children; it is a change worth changing!

So what are you doing for tomorrow? How are you keeping your flame lit? 

This blog is linked to:
Homesteader Blog Carnival #9 
Homestead Barn Hop 64 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Boys Have Arrived!

So this week our boys have started to “crow”. It sounds a bit more like a dying squeak toy, but you can tell they are rather proud of themselves.
Big, tough and strutting his stuff.
It’s truly quite funny! They get all excited and crow and the girls will stop and look at them. It’s like that stage in life when your brothers/guy friends’ voices start to crack. You know that age! And us (oh, so mature) girls just want to laugh at them, because their voice always cracks at the worse possible time. Yep, I know you remember that! Well, that’s what its like with the boys. They squawk and the girls look at them like what is your problem? Worm stuck in your throat?
This is my better side!
Love my chickens!

This blog is linked to:
Homesteader Blog Carnival #9 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Real Firemen at the Front Door

So today was an exciting day to say the least. And not to mention full of laughs. We spent the day at my parents today. We finished emptying our storage unit of the large items, while my parents opened the pool and set up a new clothesline. Afterwards we tilled up some of the yard for a “later is better then never” garden. 

What’s so exciting or funny about this, well not much.  Actually nothing! Today also happened to be 86 degrees with 87% humidity… in other words, you only have to walk outside to break a sweat! Throw in all the work we got done today, well lets just say I know that my homemade deodorant works, and works really well! I will share the deodorant with you all next week!

Ok, staying focused. So after we were done all this work, we realized it was now dinner time. So, Raf took Z out side to run in a sprinkler while my parents and I were going to run to the store and pick up a far from healthy dinner. And then that’s when it started. Did you smell that? How could I not! Oh my head, it started to pound! Breathing was difficult, the freshly opened pool smelled almost better! Natural gas, and it smelled like it was pouring out of our yard. The only problem, we don’t have natural gas!

So my mom called 911 and reported it. That would be about when the fun started and laughs followed. I looked at my dad and chuckled, did you hear that? Yep he did, sirens. See we thought they would send out a truck. Just one simple truck. Boy, were we wrong. In a small town where not to much excitement happens, a 911 call is like saying “We struck gold!”. We could hear the sirens coming in from three directions and in a matter of minutes there were 8 vehicles with blinking lights. The road was shut down and the neighbors stated to emerge.
One of the trucks seen through the trees.
 Z was so excited, he had no idea we called 911. But when we heard the sirens he was excited, but usually we never see the cars or lights where we live, just the sounds bouncing off the hills. But then we could see the lights coming up the road, boy was he excited now! Then the truck in the lead tried to turn up our driveway. Now Z was hyped, they were coming to our place. Now, noticed how I said “tried”? They didn’t make it around the turn.

They had to park all over the road and walk all the way up the driveway. I felt bad for them in the heavy uniforms walking our long drive in the heat and humidity.  They said they smelled it coming up the road, but till they walked the property and got their special equipment out, well all they could tell us was we had excellent oxygen levels. So we laughed, laughed at the three fire companies that came racing to our rescue, laughed at the fact we finally got to talk to both neighbors at one time (we hardly ever see each other through the trees).  Laughed at Z’s excitement to see real firemen.  And we laughed at the people trying to go down our road only to have to try and turn around. Some how in all that excitement we forgot about the humidity.
Bottom of driveway and the turn he couldn't make.
 So once the drive was cleared of fire trucks we drove to the store. All the way up the road neighbors were out talking to each other and look down towards our place. Coming up the basement steps we heard the phone ring. It was my dad’s hunting buddy from up the other end of the road. He was calling because it looked like the trucks stopped near our house and wanted to know what happen. No worries, we’re just fine.

So, our immediate neighbors smelled the natural gas, but we were the only ones who thought to call it in. Not sure where it came from as no one on our end of the road has natural gas. Not sure where it went, the firemen couldn’t figure it out.

The moral of this excitement… If you want to meet or talk to your neighbors, just call 911! If you want to see a bunch of little kids get really excited, just call 911! If you want to watch people walk through the woods just to come snooping down your driveway, just call 911! If you want to see 3 fire companies respond to a smell, just call 911! You get fast reactions from people, and you get to laugh at them… and feel relieved it was just some random, unexplainable cloud of natural gas.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Fireman Fort

What kid doesn't love making forts out of chairs and blankets? I remember making some pretty awesome forts growing up. Well, today Z wanted to make a fort. I wasn't sure how awesome it would be given the lacking floor space, but we managed to make one big enough for Z, Joy Bells, and myself and all the toys and stuffed animals too.

Z's proud little fort!

We also raced to his bedroom area a few times to put out fires at the friends house. (Z thinks Fireman Sam is the greatest!) I don't remember it being a task to climb in and out of forts!! Z had lots of fun so it was all worth it. Joy Bells was enjoying feeling special inside the fort as well. She even brought her chew bone in with her. 

Joy Bells thinking I'm leaving her.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Life Full Time in a Camper

Living in a camper is different then living in a house! Ok that is actually like an understatement. But, I love it! Sure the space isn’t as big, but the floor plan is perfect for our little family. Joy Bells might not be has impressed as the rest of us, but with the comforts of her kong, rope and chew bone she’s starting to settle in.

Our home sweet home!
 Isn’t she beautiful? The windows are great! There is so much natural light during the day, so unlike the 3 windows in our first apartment townhouse! The more natural light the better as far as I’m concerned. And speaking of all those windows, the wind blows in one end and down out the other making for some beautiful temps inside so far.

What is some of my favorite things about living in a camper? Well, you know those people who say “I can clean my place in 30 minutes”, when really they are only scratching the surface dirt? Yeah, well I can really clean my place from front to back, top to bottom in about 30 minutes! Rain, I love, love, love the rain! I think the only better place to be during a rainstorm than a camper would be a barn. The location that we are parked in would be the next best thing.  We are parked at the end of the property of a retreat center. Our ministry has used this center for a couple years now and we just love being here. It’s quite, it’s away from roads, there is not an over abundance of lights, and there is a lot of land run for Z and Joy Bells to run. We have a view; I can see the rolling hills off in the distance around us.  And lastly, it’s my tiny home, since I think tiny homes are just so awesome!
One of our views.
What are my least favorite things? Well, we sit on wheels and jacks instead of a foundation. In other words, when Z and Joy Bells decide to run off energy inside, the place can get a shaking and swaying! The shower is a bit small. Not to bad as I’m on the shorter side, but the water heater is small too. That means if you have long hair, as I do, you have to decide- do I wash my hair or shave today? Washing my hair alone uses almost all the hot water! Decor is not exactly what I call stylish! But this is something that can be remedy! We are in the process of changing things and making it feel more like home.

We are currently about 10 minutes from my parent’s property. This is a little bummer as our chickens are there. We want a milking goat as well as rabbits. They would have to live on my parent’s property too. Not such a big deal, as my parents are enjoying this journey with us, however the down side is I don’t get to do everything every day. I know I know, some of you would think that it’s great to not run the homestead every day, but I love to be active and outside, and this is a dream come true for me and I want to do it all.
Mile up this road is the raw milk dairy. Yummy!
 We are living in the perfect location, for the time being! Like I said above, it is beautiful here. We can see for miles and the streetlights are down closer to the main part of the property, meaning its dark up here and we can see stars. I was showing Z the stars the other night and all he could say was WOW!  Loved it. We have seen a 3.5 foot black snake, turkeys, deer, ground hogs, hawks, eagles, blue birds, yellow finches, dozens of other birds. We have heard owls. And this random white dog running around, oh wait she’s mine!

I think campers are great home ideas for those who are just starting off life and need to save up some money or want to build a home. The cost of a decent camper is not too expensive. And lot rent is not usually to bad. We pay $100 a week and it includes electric, sewer, water, internet, garbage disposal, and we never have to do lawn care! However, we can enjoy a river, fields, woods, and a small playground. We will be moving to our own land soon where we plan to build, in the mean time, when we are ready to move, we will still have a place to live that will be our own while building. With all of our bills (including grocery, phones, car, insurance) we are paying half of what we would pay for an apartment that allows dogs and would be big enough for us. Campers are something to be considered!
Some of the scenery.
Stay Tuned as I plan to bring you guys for an indoor tour in the next week or two!

This blog is linked to:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Homemade Pizza = Yum Yum!

I decided to do something new for dinner tonight. Some times the same old same old just gets boring. Now I know this wasn’t the healthiest choice for us, but it was so good.  I made homemade pizza. Who doesn’t love pizza?!?

So, since I went with a not so great dinner idea, I tried to make it as healthy as possible. I started off with some spelt berries and the great, old fashioned, hand cranked Country Living Grain Mill.

About 20 minutes of pretending to pump iron, and some help from Z, We had 4 cups of flour. Isn’t it beautiful looking? I’m finding fresh ground spelt flour is more enjoyable to cook with.

Z and I then topped it with sauce, fresh peppers, garlic, and fresh basil. Sadly the store was out of fresh mozzarella logs and we didn’t feel like making any, so we were left with the little mozzarella balls. I promise they are not marshmallows!

Then after a short sit in the oven I pulled it out and served it up. Let me just say wow, I mean man oh man, I mean YES that was good!!! We were all pleasantly surprised how good it was.  Z wasn’t impressed at first, because it didn’t look like normal pizza, but after he finished eating he informed us how good it was and that I can make it again. Now you know that’s a keeper!

Now for the recipe!
Start with 1 ¼ cups of warm water. Add ½ tablespoon of  fast acting yeast. Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of sugar and let sit till it all dissolves.
Once dissolved, add in about 4 cups of four, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 beaten egg, about one teaspoon of salt. Mix ingredients and then knead dough till smooth. After the dough is kneaded, set it aside, covered, to rise for about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450. Grease your pan, we used a square pan that is about 16 x 12. After your dough is done rising, press it out into your pan. Top with sauce and toppings and pop it into the oven for 15 minutes. 
The finished product!
This may not be a healthy dinner, but it sure is a yummy one!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dirty Laundry + Recipe

Dirty laundry. It's inevitable. It's always there. Even after a days work of washing all the clothes, when you go to bed there's a new pile. It's the one task you can never beat. I dislike doing laundry, and living in a camper it seems to be an even bigger task now. We do not have the room to get a washer/dryer in our little camper. So when it's time to do laundry we have to pack up the car and head over to my parents’ home to get it done. 
The never ending dirty laundry pile!

Let's talk about the expense and chemicals that are involved in laundry. First off there are water bills, electric, detergents, stain remover, sometimes bleach, and dryer sheets. That can all ad up fast, especially if you have a larger family! And the chemicals, are you ready for this? Optical brighteners are used in many detergents now a days. Optical brighteners make your laundry look less yellow and more vibrant in colors by increasing the blue light reflected. These brighteners can cause skin irritations/allergic reactions as well as promote bacterial mutations. Phenols can cause toxicity through out the whole body, with symptoms such as pimples and hives, as well as swelling. Here’s a biggie! Petroleum distillates has been linked to cancer. If that’s not enough it can also cause lung inflammation and damage, as well as damage mucus membranes. Artificial fragrance… who doesn’t like the laundry smelling good and fresh?... can cause allergies and skin/eye irritations. EDTA and sodium sulfate have both been connected to asthma attacks and skin irritations. Is there more stuff in the detergents, yes, but this is my short list of boy do we need change!

Why is this chemical list important? Well besides the side effects, your skin is an organ. All of those chemicals stay on your clothing and in return your clothing rest on your skin, therefore those chemicals rest on your skin. Once again, your skin is an organ, meaning it soaks up those chemicals that are sitting our your skin 24//7. The only time your skin is not resting against your clothing or sheets or towels (on average) is when you are in the shower. So really it is about 24/7 your skin is soaking up possible chemicals.

Since there are six of us using the washer at my parents we make our detergent by the 5 gallons. It is simple to make and anyone can do it! Are you ready for the ingredients? It’s a long list!!!! Here it is: water, fels-naptha soap bar, borax, and washing soda. What might the start up cost be to do this? Less than $10. With fels-naptha being about 97 cents a bar and borax or washing soda less than $4 a box (Walmart prices) It’s easy and cheap! You can add essential oils to the mix for a nicer smell, but I will add that it has a fresh lemony smell to begin with.

Heres how it works:
What you need- Grader/knife, 5 gallon bucket, pot, fels-naptha, washing soda, borax, water

1. Grade (I use a knife and thinly slice) the fels-naptha and melt it in a pot with water on the stove. Amount of water is not important as you will fill the 5 gallon bucket with water too. Stay with it as it may boil over the pot if not stirred.  
 2. Fill your 5 gallon bucket about half way full with hot water. Add ½ cup of washing soda and 1 cup of borax to the bucket and then pour in the pot of melted soap and water. Now stir until the borax and washing soda is dissolved. Be careful not to burn yourself!
3. Once it is all dissolved, fill the bucket to the top with hot water. Place the lid on and sit it aside over night.

In the morning you will have a mix of gel and water. It’s ready! You can stir up the gel and make it more liquidly, but we don’t and we haven’t had any issues with it. Use ½ cup for a large load of laundry or ¼ cup for a small load. Skip the fabric softener and use distilled white vinegar. You know have yourself some super cheap, much healthier detergents that clean your laundry. We have been happy with this combo for almost a year now. We clean muddy little boys clothing, sweaty work out clothes, stinky/greasy pizza hut uniforms, everyday wear, dog beds/blankets and we are very pleased.

Drying shorts, socks, shirts, and dress Camper Style!

Now to replace that bleach and dryer bill… Use a solar dryer! The clothes line!! You can save upwards of $30 a month! Isn’t that awesome! Plus it smells great, you don’t need to have a large yard to do it (you can even dry clothes in an apartment or camper). It is free! Can’t beat the price. All you need to do this is good rope and clothes pins or drying racks and hangers! The sun helps to white.

You may say you don’t like stiff jeans and towels. Well, the little secret your dryer doesn’t want you to know is that it slowly dissolves fibers while it’s shooting hot air into your clothing. As the fibers are being broken apart they get stiff when air dried. We bought some new towels. sheets and jeans. They have never been in the dryer and 4 months later of air drying they are still as soft as the day we bought them.

Give it a try, its easy and cheap and healthy! What can it hurt? Hope you love it as much as we do!

Also check out The Beauty of Rebelling

This blog is linked to:
Homestead Barn Hop #63 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Beauty of Rebelling

What is a rebel? A rebel is a person who resists any authority, control or tradition. To todays modern Christian, I may come off as rather rebellious. I happen to think I’m not, but rather I’m real.

For starters, let me just say I love Jesus with all my heart. I believe in God the father and the Holy Spirit. I believe in a Healing God, a loving God, a just God. I believe in the God of life and life abundantly! BUT, I do not choose to live the life many Christians live. Please do not feel I am condemning you or saying your ways are wrong, but instead consider what I’m writing, ponder it and weigh it out. We all have a right to opinions.

That said, here’s my story and opinions. I grew up in the AG church, I went to Masters Commission and was a youth pastor in the Brethren in Christ Church. I think all these organizations are fine, but I learned that that is what they are, organizations. Sadly there were times when things were so focused on programs and numbers that Jesus was forgotten. Sometimes we focused on getting a great worship team with all the instruments and amazing sound systems, but we forgot how to worship. When there was two and then three service we had to rush people in and hurry them out so the next service could start. This left no time to commune with each other. Sometimes we worked so hard to make the sanctuary so holy we forgot that even Jesus loved the little children, too.
Too often the people in side the building look no different than the people on the outside, except they call themselves christians. Divorce, affairs, drugs, depression, physical abuse… it’s all inside those doors and it’s not just the people coming through them for the first time.

All of this is stuff that bothers me. Not to mention the lack of faith in change being possible, healings happening and God providing.

What happened to the church of Acts? That’s the church I want to be apart of. The church, lets start there. A few years ago I was pondering this: The building is not the church, but the people are. The building is not the temple, our bodies are. So why do we call the building the church or temple? We are taking away the power that God has given us by giving our title to a building, an inanimate object. Not just that, there’s Sunday service. A service is usually something done for you. But as the church we should be doing for others.

So here I am, 26 years old, ready to walk away from the building we titled “church” and leave “Sunday service” behind. Mind you, I do not plan on walking away from God or the church. My desire is to live a life that strives to be more like Jesus, to live a life that is set apart and different, I want to pray for everyone I see struggling to live life fully. I have seen people healed, I myself have been healed a number of times. I will stand in agreement for things that are true and biblical. I want to gather with believers and discuss what the Bible says, so that we may all understand it better. I want to see our children welcome to fellowship with the adults and freely worship Jesus too. I want to be with people where I can honestly say today was a horrible day, or I am struggling with this or I am angry, I am mad and I want to hate this. I also want to be with people that I can laugh, I can mess up, I can be me, Abigail, the woman God created and not be concerned whether or not I might be judged for what I think or feel.

I feel it’s time for something new, something real. Time to stand apart, to leave religion behind and have a relationship. To talk to Jesus as our knight in shining armor, to dance with a king in an undignified way, to be human and allow ourselves and others to mess up, but to be there to pick each other back up and help each other through.

It’s not about traditions or the way organizations do it. It’s about loving one another, its about Jesus, it’s about relationship. So you smoke, have had an affair, been raped. I am not going to judge your for that, rather YOU as a person means so much more to me.

Please feel free to talk about this in the comments. I just ask that this not be a place to judge and condemn each other, rather a place to ask questions and add your thoughts. Any comments I feel are inappropriate will be removed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I'm A Chicken Nurd!

Did you ever read those posts other people have put up about their chickens? They ramble on about how cute their chickens are, how fun they are to watch and their personalities are just so cute. You sit there and go "But they're just a bird. They lay eggs and taste good."

Well, I've become a chicken nurd. I border on obsessed over the chickens. I can spend a couple hours a day watching them and their antics. They do all have their own personalities. I love when one gets a worm and takes off running and bleating in joy only to get the attention of the rest of the chickens and the race is on. Who will end with the worm? Or how about those dust baths? Talk about a crazy, flopping mess! 
About 5 Weeks old. Happy chicks!

They have grown so much now. They are about 11 weeks now and growing fast. We finished their coop and they have a nice yard they wander in. The yard is about 15 x 40. Plenty big for Joy Bells to run circles around. 
Can you spot Joy Bells?
We decided to name the chicks after flowers. Although most of the boys are just called Big Boy, due to the fact that they will not all be staying with us. However, this one below is named Dandy, for dandelion. When we sit in the pen he likes to stand on our knees.
Dandy, Isn't he beautiful?

The little girl below is one of my favorites. Her name is Lily. Since day one she was always the friendliest in the group. She always ran to the side of the box to greet you. She loved to be held. The box started off in the basement and when we would do laundry she would jump up onto the edge of the box to watch us. Now that shes outside, she still runs to greet us and she still loves to be held. Shes also our escape artist. Thankfully she has been good since the tall fence has gone up. She's also the smallest of the 14 birds, but she ranks pretty high in the pecking order. Not many birds mess with her.
Little Lily on my arm.
The last chick I'm going to share with you tonight is Blue Belle. She has this feminine waddle to her and she talks like a girl. She reminds me of a southern belle, all proper and everything, which is how she got her name. She's very loud when announcing her findings of worms and tends to hang out by the coop door. 
Blue Belle guarding the door.

So there you have it. Our beauties! They are Black Australorps and we have 14 of them. They are just so friendly and love to greet us when we go in the pen. If you haven't had chickens but think it might be for you, go ahead and get them. They are great to have! I just can't wait for the eggs to start arriving!

This blog is linked to:
Homestead Barn Hop #62
Homesteader Blog Carnival #7

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

DIY Toothpaste

I have a great dislike for dentists. Granted I have reasons for not wanting to ever go through their doors, but remove those reasons and still I don't care to go for a visit. Just think about all those chemicals and radiation and what not that enters your body when you go for a visit. Forget the dentist and lets talk about your toothpaste. Did you ever read the label? How about that little warning about swallowing or kids using it? Even the "healthy" toothpastes have this warning.

When Z was a year old he was put on an antibiotic that turned his teeth black. (FYI, at this time I also learned that Orajel baby toothpaste can turn teeth blackish too.) The recommended way to fix black teeth is a trip to the dentist for a whitening treatment or switching to adult toothpaste. So I set out on the journey of finding better ways to take care of my teeth. And came across an article about coconut oil. We had already been fans of cooking with coconut oil, but, wow, were we surprised of its qualities!

Before we get to the amazingly easy recipe lets talk about toothpaste. What do you really know about fluoride? Well, we should all know its a chemical. But did you know it causes weak teeth and bones, that it causes cancer and can cause damage to your nervous system? How about the fact that fluoride is used in rat poison? And here is a fact that many people don't know. Nazis but fluoride into the drinking water in Jewish ghettos and in the camps. Why you may ask, because fluoride placate people, it cause them to be easier to control. Don't believe me? Google it!

Anyways with these facts at hand, it was time for change and immediately! So the research began. Back to the coconut oil. Coconut oil is antibacterial and anti fungal. It helps to sooth your gums and stop bleeding and sores. It deters gingivitis and thrush and can reverse tooth decay. What's not to love about all that?

The second ingredient is baking soda. Just about everyone knows that backing soda is great for eliminating odor as well as cleaning, but did you know that it is alkaline? That means it helps to neutralize the acidic acids in your mouth that cause tooth decay.

This stuff is awesome! In June, it will mark one year of using this toothpaste. I will not go back! After brushing your teeth they feel so clean! I mean so smooth and so refreshingly clean. Your mouth feels clean. It's amazing. You can brush before bed and wake the next morning and your mouth still feels clean. Just make and place in a jar by the sink. I like to melt mine a little when the coconut is solid by running under hot water. When its melted in the summer I shake it a little to keep it mixed well. Otherwise, just dip your brush in and brush those pearlie whites! We have had a lot of compliments in regards to our white teeth, so have friends who started to use it too.

The recipe:
50/50 baking soda and coconut oil
A sprinkle of pure stevia to add a little sweetener and kill the salt water flavor
And if you want a few drops of essential oil mint or spearmint

I personally skip the essential oil and just use stevia. I make 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of coconut oil at a time and it last our family of 3 for a month. Just remember to use hot water and let the water run for a few minutes after spiting it out. That way the coconut oil wont harden in your pipes. Or spit it out in a trash can. 

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Fishing Humor

This weekend we went to a fishing rodeo with my parents and one each of my nieces and nephews, as well as our son. Wow, was it exciting… and oh ssssssooooo boring at the same time.  Yes, it was both, believe it or not.

Lets do the run down. We were up bright and early, scarfed down breakfast and tried to nicely wake our little trooper. He’s a 9 o’clock kind of riser... let’s just say he didn’t think the morning was so beautiful at 7:30.

Then it was off to my parents place, next to my brother’s to get the two middle kids, and finally on the road to the rodeo. We have three bubbling, now that they are all awake, little ones filled with excitement of catching fish. With the limit of five fish a kid, their little eyes were swimming with anticipation. 

The drive there was uneventful, just another drive down paved roads with yellow lines running down the middle………… until…….(can you feel the suspense?) …….. we turned down…….. a dirt road. Not a biggy right?  Haha wrong! This dirt road has a speed bump sign about 10 to 20 feet in. Let me just explain this speed bump sign to you. Are you ready? Well what this sign is really saying is, BEWARE, TRAVEL AT YOUR OWN RISK. I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure at the bottom of the sign it read in fine print- “Muhahaha, I see you little Ford Focus and I’m going to eat you for breakfast. Or at least try.” Oh yes, you read that correctly, we have a little Ford Focus. 

So anyways, back to the road. There was about three miles of dirt road ahead of us, hardly big enough for two cars.  There were some “pot holes” as expected, except said pot holes were more like craters that jostled and tossed us back and forth.  Trying to keep up with my parents in their larger, dirt road approved vehicle was nearly impossible. Hoping to keep up with the dust trail we guessed a few times on whether to go right or left. Finally we came to a field that had a number of trucks and SUVs parked in it... and my parent’s vehicle. Phew, we’re safe! Guess again! I think every gopher in a ten-mile radius lived in this field. Don’t let the kids take off running!!!

So we are now out of the car, but not before feeling a little car sick, but we are out! We head through the path towards the pond. The trio still excited, so excited they want to help carry everything. We pick out a promising spot. Oh yes, this is a good spot. Right towards the middle, fish jumping and a really big brown trout casually swimming by. The minutes counting down, a couple dozen little ones excited for their lines to be cast out. Excited family members standing ready, nets by their sides. And a pond stocked, stocked full so we’re told. 

Still waiting, minutes still ticking. Finally, the guy at the head of the pond calls out a few words… couldn’t hear many of them, but we new when everyone started to cast, it was time! Yes, finally time! We cast all three lines in. The little ones excited and ready to real in, but no you must wait, wait for the bobber to drop below the surface or the tip of the rod to bounce. Wait? That was hard, very hard for them. The girl next to us brings in a rainbow trout, the trio runs to check it out. Oh man, now they are EXCITED! When will it be their time? Then it happens my niece’s rod bounces, Pop Pop grabs it and they start to bring it in. We can see it, its beautiful about 13 inches. Z and Raf grab the net and go to grab it and………WHAT!!!! It didn’t, oh yes it did! It broke off the line!!!!! Oh no, she was crushed. And then we see it. We are 30 minutes into the rodeo. Kids are now tapping out with their 5 fish. The trio, still at zero.  But, we don’t give up. We are casting and waiting, waiting and casting. The trio exploring tad poles, and sticks and the random canoes sitting way down in the woods. Then it happens, for real this time! My nieces hooks another again! She’s off reeling again, with all her might. Raf and Z are ready, net in hand. Then it happens… it breaks off the line again! Are you kidding me?!?!

The trio needed a break, so they went with Nay Nay to get their free hot dogs.  We have been very patient, We watched kid after kid get their five and leave. Very happy family/friends at their sides. It is now almost four hours of being at the pond, its lunch time. The kids are very hungry. Their breakfast dogs didn’t hold over for very long. It’s time to pack it up and head home.  My son was pleased to smile for the camera with the total catch.
Hey now! Don’t laugh! We tried five kinds of power bait, worms, bread, and we even stuped so low as to try some hot dog. Yes, we really walked away with nothing. Three kids, zero fish. But in nice mocking jester that big twentyish inch brown trout swam by us on a regular basis to remind us there really were fish in the pond.

Then as if to add salt to the wound, we had to make it out of the field and back down that crater filled dirt road.

My conclusion as to why we didn’t catch any fish. Well, I sure did think about it and this is what I came up with. God wanted to laugh.  Yep it was that simple and He also wanted to remind us of our hearts desires. We want to eat healthy, we want to be healthy and we want to do it naturally. Last time I checked, farm raised fish didn’t fit into any of that. Nope, next time I’ll just find a horse and ride far, far out into the wilderness and fish in a random pond or stream. Maybe then I’ll be able to get some fresh, healthy fish….. and skip the dirt roads in small cars too! 

**Just a warning to the wise, stay away from dirt roads with speed bump sings!
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

How We Got Here and Who We Are

My father received a diagnosis for a rare type of arthritis. The treatment....cancer related drugs. And they were only to help make him comfortable. I watched my father in his mid 40s not be able to pick up his 2 year old grandson, not be able to walk down steps, not be able to turn his head. He is suppose to be in a wheelchair now. He is suppose to be knocking on deaths door, as this form of arthritis is incurable and reacts fast. 

We always ate "healthy", but after this doctors visit we knew it was time to get our acts together and really think about what we were doing to ourselves. I am more than happy and releaved to say that by the power of Jesus, and the love of an amazing God, my father is holding his now 4 year old grandson, walking steps, running, we even built a mansion of a chicken coop together.

Between what happen to my dad and reading the book The Seven Pillars of Health by Dr. Don Colbert, we knew it was time to start living life God's way. It was time to slow down and enjoy life and family. 

So now that you know the basic layout of our families journey, I would like to introduce you to us.

Z and Abigail

That would be me, Abigail. I love learning new stuff and putting it into practice. I do most of the research for the family and then we all adapt it. I love nature and landscape photography. My family means the world to me. I was a youth pastors for a few years and I now help my parents with their ministry. With out Jesus, my life would not be what it is today.

Next would be that incredibly handsome man next to me, Z. Z is 4 years old and is the most amazing kid in the world. He can quote about 15 scriptures, loves to pray for people and started homeschooling this year. He loves to try and feed the chickens flowers and sticks and loves to play random games with our dog. If you give him the chance he would be outside from sun up to sun down. And if you talk to him for more that 5 seconds you are almost guaranteed an invite to visit him at his camper. Isn't he just sssssooooo cute?!? 

Coco, Pop Pop and Nay Nay

That amazing couple... hidden by the massive fluff... would be my parents. I couldn't have asked for a more loving and involved set of parents. They run a ministry, believe in the power of healing, love God with everything in them and are into learning to be self sufficient. Pop Pop loves to hunt and can fix/build anything and is great with animals. Nay Nay, named by Z when he was a year old, loves to paint and decorate. Each room in the house has at least three coats of paint, with about a million coats in the living room! We are currently using their acre property until we all move to our homestead in the sticks.

That gorgeous mass of fluff is Coco. He would be my parents dog, but secretively he is mine. When we make it to our family homestead I plan to kidnap him. Coco is amazing with all the grand kids, letting them play on him like a jungle gym. He is a big teddy bear of love and can be caught cuddled up with Joy Bells for an afternoon nap. In the pic below is that white wonder, Joy Bells. She's Z's little girl. She loves to play and run and snuggle with Z at night. They are two peas in a pod and always causing trouble together! 

Trouble in the making. All that's 
missing from this pic is Z.
Notice the screen behind Coco.

So that would be my beautiful family. Well, half of it, the half that is excited at this time to journey to the unknown. Life will never stop going and changing, but you can make the choice to stop running and gunning. Love your family. Take a deep breath, ahh, doesn't that just feel refreshing?