Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Just Pass It On.....

The title of my blog is Small Homestead Living. And while most of my posts are about homesteading, animals, gardens, canning and the like, it's also about life...OUR life. Why we do what we do. Why we believe what we believe.

We know that there will be folks who don't agree with us at all and some who agree whole heartily. There will be folks who agree, but just aren't interested in this life for them, and there will be folks who want to incorporate certain things in their life.

I was reading on Facebook today, a certain page that I follow. A question was posed, "How much do you spend on your children at Christmas?" This person went on to say that they thought $500 per child was fine. This person also had more than one child. This did not include spouse, extended family, etc. Let me tell you, I just nearly fell out of my chair!!!

$500 on one person...I'm still trying to wrap my head around this.

Is it okay to spend that amount of money? Yes......I guess....????

Is it right? I'm inclined to say least not for us.

First of all, there is major materialism going on there. It's all around us. Mailboxes are full of credit card statements. Families need two incomes just to make ends meet...if they meet at all. Sales circulars, catalogs, commercials and online ads convince us that life would be better if we had ______. We are missing out if we don't have ________.  This is the world we live in.

And that is very sad.

We are raising a generation that has to have the most, the newest, the priciest. And that generation will soon be a generation of adults that have to work two and three jobs, each parent, and another generation of children will see that and think it's normal....and the cycle continues.

As a family, we made a decision this year that Christmas will be done differently. We have never been uber extravagant in our giving, but we ourselves have gotten caught up in the spending too much money rap and while we haven't incurred debt, how much could we have helped or blessed those less fortunate if we had been wiser.

This year, hubby and I have set strict spending limits. Gifts should be handmade if possible and most of them should serve a useful purpose with only one or two being that "just because" thing.

Our adult children are incorporating those same guidelines in their homes and I couldn't be more proud of them!

I have a granddaughter that I love SO much!! I am fully convinced the sun doesn't shine until she gets up....however, I want her and her parents want her to understand it isn't the number of gifts or the amount spent, but the love and careful choosing behind the gift that matters.

This is a rather long post, I realize...but this is something here on the Homestead that we hold dear. Simple living. Simple things. Simple pleasures.

And we hope to pass it on......

Monday, November 10, 2014

Baby It's Cold Outside!!...Or It Will Be!

Anyone who knows me knows how much I enjoy hanging my laundry outside on the line. I love the fact that it saves money, yes, but I just love the quiet...almost always mingled with dogs barking, birds singing and now, chickens clucking!

However it IS November and Mr. Weatherman has told us that the end of this week it's going to get VERY cold here in the deep south. Add to that the fact the days have gotten shorter and it really limits the drying time outside.

However, all is not lost!! We just adapt to a new routine during the cold months! I make sure my clotheslines are full before the sun goes down in the evening and by mid day the next day, I have three lines of dry clothes!!

No using the dryer and still got to enjoy my time outside!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Homemade Cream of Mix

One of the things that we are trying to change here on the Small Homestead is the amount of processed food we eat. I'd like to tell you that we are all into that "crunchy" lifestyle...but that would not be the total truth.

It is true that if you find one of us in a Dr's's serious. While we do support and are grateful for the medical world, we are big proponents of holistic medicine and doing that as naturally as we can, as often as we can.

It is true that we don't fry much around here. Too much fried food makes too much us and a sluggish heart...neither of which is appealing.

It is true that we love simple and natural....but let's be get in the way of my sour cream and cheddar chips and there is going to be trouble!! And it goes the same for my Reese Cups!!!

Truthfully we love moderation. Simply enjoy the good God has given and all things in moderation as long as it doesn't cause my brother to stumble.

Today as I was planning supper, I realized I was out of my Cream of Soup Mix. One of the many things I make from scratch is our cream of soup mixes. Way cheaper and so much better for you!! It tastes so good and is so quick to put together!!

In less than 10 minutes I was able to mix up a batch of Cream of Soup Mix that is the equivalent of 18 cans of a MUCH cheaper price.

It is so nice to just pull a few ingredients out of the pantry and mix together what you need instead of jumping in the car to run to the store because you're out of soup!!

Below you'll find the recipe I use....again, wish I could remember where I pulled this up from, but I can't. If you don't write it down right away.............

Cream of Anything Soup Mix

4 Cups Powdered Milk
1 1/2 Cups Cornstarch
1/2 Cup Instant Bouillon Granules
4 tsp Dried Onion Flakes
2 tsp Thyme
2 tsp Basil
1 tsp Freshly Grated Black Pepper
Mix together well. Equivalent of 18 cans of soup.

To make Soup:  
1/3 Cup Mix
1 Cup Water
   1 TBSP Butter

Mix gently in medium saucepan on low heat until thick. Add 1/2 cup minced or chopped whatever you'd like to make your soup. (chicken, celery, mushrooms, etc.)

Give this a try and let me know what you think!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Prayer Rock

Here on the Small Homestead, God is our Holy Messiah, Provider, Healer and the One to Whom our lives are dedicated. We know that God has led us to this point in our lives and we know that He will guide our steps and bless.

Prayer is very important to us. It's the glue that holds our family together and the life line between us and our heavenly Daddy.

We know and practice prayer anywhere and at any a group, one or two of us or just a heart felt one on one with God.

However, we have this one special place that we migrate to whenever we want to really be in the quiet so that we can not only speak with God, but that we can clearly hear Him with no interruptions. Many years ago when we move to the Homestead, hubby set up this place under an oak tree at the back of our property. There is nothing but animals, trees and sky. No distractions.

It's where we can take someone with us and have a heart to heart knowing that the One who loves us most of all is sitting there with us, helping us work out problems or cheering us on.

We've talked there and cried there. We've laughed and smiled and soaked in the presence of our Father.

The Prayer Rock
We call it the Prayer Rock. We all shoot up our prayers at will, but when our hearts are truly broken, serious, or losing hope you can find us there, when we just want to praise Him and bask in His presence, the Prayer Rock is where we are....drawing closer to the One Who is waiting to heal, mend or just let us crawl up in His lap and hold on for dear life.

We love all areas of the homestead, but The Prayer Rock is the cornerstone of this Small Homestead, and God is the Founder....