Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Puritan Family Renewal

"We need a reformation of biblical family life, and there will be no reformation without setting the doctrinal foundation and having the courage for a radical turning." This conference in North Carolina is designed to help us make progress in turning to a biblical vision for family life.

Scott Brown director of the NCFIC is hosting it in May.Here is Scott’s description of the conference:

“On May 9-10 we are having a really unusual conference for the reformation of family life. It is called, “A Puritan Family Reformation,” which seeks to document the biblical doctrine of the family as the Puritans understood it and to put it into practice in our times. It will be a very practical conference for the reforming of marriage, child raising and the relationship between the family and the church.”

God’s word tells us in Malachi 4 that Reformation is preceded by a renewal of interest by fathers in their children’s hearts. The reformers knew the importance of family worship for the spiritual health of a nation. This is why they wrote their “Directory of Family Worship” as part of the Westminster Standards.

I believe we are truly living in a generation that has arisen and does not know the Lord or the things he has done for his people, in the past, much less the ways in which our spiritual fathers sought to honor God and train their children serve him in fear.

From the conference website:
When the protestant reformation swept Europe, everything changed. The doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture, which lay at the root of the reformation, caused transformations in every area of life. Not only was there a return to the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone, but the biblical doctrine of the family was also recovered. There was a profound reformation of family life during the protestant reformation. Then the successors of the reformers, the puritans, took the foundation that was laid and built upon it. They expanded on their predecessors’ understanding of family life. They put doctrine into practice in church and home. And, they published many powerful treatises on the biblical doctrine of the family. Family life was reforming according to scripture. But something tragic happened. Many forces rose up to wage war against the family and instead of standing on the shoulders of the puritans and building further, the next generation fell to the ground, and the biblical doctrine of the family was largely lost…

This conference seeks to change that.
Further Reading:
The “Puritan Family Reformation Conference” website is here
Scott Brown’s Blog.

Hope they have conference cds available afterwards!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Fried Chicken, Dandelion Syrup, and More



I fried some of our home-raised chickens for lunch today and YUMMY! We will have left overs for supper as 2 breasts and 4 legs were way too much meat for this family of 7 for one meal. They have SO much more meat and are much more tasty than anything we could buy, grocerer or restaurant.

After lunch, we collected the remaining dandelions and made jelly. Here is the recipe we used:

Dandelion Syrup
(originally jelly, our didn't gel, so it's syrup, half gone on pancakes this morning)

4 cups yellow parts of dandelion blossoms
3 cups boiling water
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 pkg powdered pectin


Pull the yellow blossoms from the green parts. Get lots and lots of blossoms. Make sure there are no green parts since they have a bitter flavor. More blossoms mean more flavor for the jelly. Bring the water to a boil and fill the water with dandelion blossom shreds. Simmer over very gentle heat about 10 minutes. Pour the water and blossoms through a strainer. Press the blossoms as dry as possible to extract the maximum amount of water. Add more water to make up 3 cups. You lose some water because it is caught in the blossoms. Strain the water very well. Combine water with lemon juice, sugar and pectin. Bring to roiling boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Boil hard for one minute. Skim. Pour into hot jars and seal.

So I am in the yard and hear quite a commotion in the hen house. The hens are squawking and I hear them flappin' all around so I go over to see what could be causing all the commotion. Surely, there is some predator in there. Here is what I saw coming out of the hen house:



She is very proud of herself and her catch!
Just being The Boy!

Our garden designer on her laptop.

This is what she came up with, about 4000 feet of hope!
(now she has to work on an irrigation plan)
Surely, these are not MY children! My dad would be so proud of them!
(Do you see the slithering creature the eldest maiden has?)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Belle


My Mother's Day present came early this year (actually I wasn't expecting one at all as there is really nothing I NEED, but I was hoping for a dishwasher!). EVEN BETTER: A 18 month old Brown Swiss - Jersey cow. She is fabulous, especially considering this is her first time to be milked. Right now she is still giving colostrum as she 5 days fresh, but we are hoping for that milk soon! We (especially me!) are so excited: milk, cream, cheese, yougart, ice cream. Yeehaw!

Both types of lettuce we planted are on Monday are sprouting. We had so much fun with the meat chickens, we bought 20 more on Wednesday. I think we have a farm going here. I mentioned that to one of the lambs the other day who replied that we did not live on a farm. Ok, what more do you need? We have chickens (meat and egg), garden, cow, and we are in the country (with an long list of chores and things to do!). Lamb wasn't sure, but will get back to me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sometimes, You Just Shouldn't Ask

Mom: Why is that bandage on your finger.
Child (ever so carefree): To cover the fang marks.
Mom: What fang marks?
Child: From the snake that bit me today. Don't worry, it was Friend of Jack, not the other one.

Did I mention that I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY do not like snakes?

Old Skin

Young Lamb: Mom, can we take a shower with you?
Ewe (after working in the garden 8 hours): No, I like my water temp a little different than you.
Young Lamb: Yeah, you have old skin and old skin likes hot water.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Not for the Faint of Heart


The first ones came to me no problem, they were hungry. After a few times of entering the pen with splattered blood and feathers, they started running from me. Chickens aren't smart?
I know, I am having way too much fun with this whole homesteading thing!

The smallest birds were two handers for some.

Chicken foot soup, anyone?


Ready for next time!

Some comments from the eviserating table (heads already removed at this point):

  • Will the feathers grow back?
  • Will they still lay eggs?
  • Why do we have to kill them before we eat them?
  • Can I taste it now?
  • That has got to be the grossest thing I have ever witnessed.

Dressed weight is about 6 pounds per bird. The breasts alone are just under a pound each.

Yummy!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Behavior Modification

Scene: The lambs are in the barn. The ram and ewe are out in the field, plowing and planting. Find large root and pull it up. Decide it looks like a bullwhip and start hitting a tree with it to see who can get it louder (hillbillies, remember?) Laughing, lots. Hoping The Neighbor doesn't drive by and witness the activities, especially since someone ripped her skirt falling, er, climbing off the tractor. It was quite hilarious.

Lamb (coming out of barn): MOM, MY SIBLING (names withheld to protect the guilty).....uh....what are y'all doing?
Sheep (trying to supress laughter): Practicing.
Lamb returns to barn and all lambs are unusually well-behaved for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Haircut

In honor of Patrick over at Polished Cornerstones here are some before and after pics of Ronnie after a couple of his clips. Today's Before Shot

Today's After Shot



Cleopas


My handsome hubby again!

Monday, April 14, 2008

How Herbs Don't Work

The Neighbor graciously offered us straw and composted hay for our garden today. Needless to say, I was very excited and we spent some of the beautiful afternoon pitching compost. As we were walking through the cow pasture to the hay field, we were pointing out different plants and some uses for them. I pointed out mullein and said that it was good for the respiratory system. Here was a conversation that ensued in the field about 30 minutes later while we were working.

Child: There is something up my nose.
Mom: It's your finger.
Child: No, something else.
Mom: Is a booger?
Child: No.
Mom: Is it alive?
Child: No, it's scratchy.
Mom (after peering into the orifice and not seeing anything unusual): Well, blow out.
Child inevitably sucks in instead of blowing.
Mom: No, blow out.
Child sucks in again, and again, and again.
Mom: It will come out eventually.
Child sneezes, nothing.
Child sneezes again, this time a 1 inch square of green plant material (can you say mullein?) zooms out of nose.
Mom: Did you put that up your nose?
Child: Yeah.
Mom (trying to suppress laughter): Well, don't do that again, that's not how it works.
Child: Okay.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Wild Edibles

We had our first dandelion fritters today and they were quite tasty. Kinda like fried okra! A few of the girls went out and collected a few cups of the flower heads and I fried them up. Yummy! Thanks to the Moores we now have a new treat! And best of all, they are growing wild all over property. Free treats, doesn't get much better than that!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Questions

Child: Mom, if God isn't married, how does He have a son?