Saturday, March 29, 2008

Simple & Plain Living

When you think of living simply and plain, what comes to mind? I have found over the years that each person has a different view of having a simple, plain lifestyle.
The range of ideas going from the Amish lifestyle to a more modern life that embraces modern technology but limits the amount outside activities in an effort to be home more.
For me, the definition runs very close to a blend of the Amish and Mennonite ways of life. Technology has it's purpose, but I use it sparingly. I prefer to do things the old way whenever possible. What a blessing to know how to do this. I am so grateful for a Grandmother who taught me to cook without processed foods and other homemaking skills.

I take joy in the simple things - watching laundry on the clothesline swaying in the breeze, baking fresh bread, home canning the garden's harvest, sewing clothing for the family & quilts for our beds, and in preparing meals from scratch instead of depending on the packaged foods from the stores.

Living simply requires more effort and work on our part, but the results are well worth it. Lower grocery bills is one benefit. By cooking from scratch, we save a tremendous amount over what the average family spends. Once the garden is producing & canning has begun, the savings increase even further. As our children grow and begin taking part in the work, they will learn a strong work ethic that will be a blessing to them throughout their life.

To some, our way of life is backwards. Why do you work so hard when you don't have to? Why not just buy everything instead of producing or raising it yourself? Some even wonder if we lack ambition because we choose to not chase the higher income career fields. No one who have ever lived our lifestyle would ever suggest that we lack ambition. While we may never be wealthy in the world's point of view, we have great wealth. Being married to your best friend, having happy kids, having enough funds to meet your family's needs,being able to work together as a family and enjoy the time together, these are just a few of the riches we have. These are all riches that come as a gift from the Lord! They bring true happiness, not the fleeting kind that you can find through the worldly attitude of the more money & things you have, the happier you will be.

I love our lifestyle. We recognise each day the Lord's blessings to our family. We see the Lord's hand in everything around us.

Whatever your definition of a simple life may be, I pray that you find peace and joy through the Lord.

Allow us to help those in need, sell back your spare PocketMail and make some extra pocket money.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Ah....spring! It is finally nearly here. With that comes a seemingly traditional activity of Spring Cleaning. In our case, it means another round of decluttering. This time, clearing out the outbuildings and having yard sales to get rid of the usable items we don't need.

It is amazing how much stuff has been stored in the outbuildings. Nearly all of it has been there for several years, placed there by other family members back when they had lived in this house. Now, we are sorting and purging all that we have no use for. What a blessing! one of the outbuildings is large enough to be used as a stable for about 8 large goats or sheep, with plenty of room to move about. It could also be used for a large feed shed to house the grain and hay for the animals. It will save us alot of extra work and the expense of having to build new buildings.

With the warm weather, thoughts of planting the garden are on our minds. The days are warm enough, but last frost is still a month away. I am preparing to start seeds for ttransplanting after last frost. Lettuce, cabbage, brussel sprouts and peas along with root crops can be started early. Only thing we are having to deal with now is the "girls", our goat and ewe that graze freely in the yard. Knowing them, they will quickly eat the young vegetable plants as soon as they are growing. Joe is planning to get them to graze elsewhere before we plant the garden.
I can't wait to get everything done. Baby Micah is due in 2 weeks, so he should be here before time to plant the garden. I will probably have him outdoors, carrying him in a sling that I used when Abigail was a baby. It will be fun to help Abbie plant a little garden of her own. Strawberries, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, green beans and peas will make up her garden. At 2 yrs old, she loves playing in the soil, so giving her a little garden of her own will be fun. Especially when it starts producing and she can pick the harvest to snack on. I plan to take plenty of pictures!

Allow us to help those in need, sell back your spare PocketMail and make some extra pocket money.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spring in Oklahoma

I love spring. Watching nature come to life after the dormant season of winter is always a joy. Our ewe & goat get all excited, jumping and running around the yard when we are able to let them out of their stable once the snow is gone.
My favorite activity is planning & preparing for our garden. I spend the winter looking through seed catalogs and planning what I want to plant. This year our garden will be larger than our past years. With Joe no longer truck driving, we will both be able to work in the garden now. Our neighbor will till the garden for us with his tractor, then we can start the planting of cool weather crops. Today, I am starting the cabbage, brussel sprouts & lettuce seeds to get a headstart on the garden. By the time they are ready to transplant, the garden will be tilled & weather will be warm enough at night to not freeze he plants.
Abigail loves being outdoors. She has so much fun exploring and playing. I have a box that I plant herbs in that Abigail likes to get her hands into. I am considering planting some strawberries there this year for Abigail.
Once Micah is born, I will be able to wear a sling to carry him in while gardening, just as I did with Abigail. I can hardly wait!

Allow us to help those in need, sell back your spare PocketMail and make some extra pocket money.