A good day!

A good day!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Feminine Friday

Feminine Fridays are new here at Bakinghomesteader. Every Friday I will post a pic of an outfit that is feminine or a pic of something I find out and about that I feel is feminine. :) Here is this weeks pic. 

The reality of my MG and my tiredness :)



I got a new haircut which I like. (pictured in this pic) One of our pastors sisters cut it for me. She thinned it and it's so much lighter. I have such heavy thick hair. She cut quite a bit off, too. (I wanted her to)  Here is a picture from my Homemakers and Homesteaders page after she did it. She straightened it that day. :) Seems everyone liked it. ;)

I pray you all have a blessed weekend. If you haven't "liked" my Homemakers and Homesteaders page yet, head on over for great tips on homemaking, baking, homesteading, etc. :)



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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Quilt Holes

 The Quilt Holes

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that was our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in every day life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened.

My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose, each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me and nodded for me to rise.

My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth: My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.

I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image: the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, "Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles.

"Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you."

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!

Author Unknown


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Monday, March 26, 2012

Tasty Tuesday...No bake chocolate chip granola bars from Laura's Latest!

This great post comes from a pin I found on Pinterest. (don't ya just LOVE Pinterest!) :) I love making my own granola bars and these are even better because you don't have to use the oven! These are reposted from Laura's Latest. I hope you enjoy them!

 No-Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars {easy & healthy!}

granola bars final 1

Hello Friday. Boy have I missed you.
Guys, I have found THE BEST and easiest way to make granola bars on this sweet planet earth. I found a link on Pinterest to a recipe that had been adapted from Rachael Ray. So, I followed the trail along and found the original recipe….which I then adapted myself {you must have seen that coming…} to be healthier and to use what I had in my cupboards. Pretty darn simple granola bars AND amazingly delicious. I was seriously shocked at how well these turned out for 3 minutes of work. Literally 3 minutes.
If you have kids make these! Heck, even if you don’t, make ‘em anyways. They are great snacks or fast breakfasts.
Here’s what you do: In a small saucepan, heat up some butter, honey and brown sugar over medium high heat. Stir it together and let it bubble for 2 minutes. You want all the brown sugar granules to dissolve.

granola bars 1

While that is doin’ it’s thang, pour 2 cups of oats into a bowl with 1 cup of rice krispies. The original recipe calls for 2 cups of granola, but I didn’t have any. Granola can be pretty high cal stuff, so I was happy to use the straight up oats.
granola bars 2
Remove the hot mixture, stir in some vanilla and pour over the dry ingredients.

granola bars 3

Stir to coat them all evenly.
granola bars 4

Press firmly into a lightly greased small jelly roll pan {I used this one}. I wanted my bars to be a little thicker, so I pushed them into one side. Sprinkle with a few mini chocolate chips and cool on the counter for an hour or so.

granola bars 5

Once the bars are cool, slice into bars and that’s it!
granola bars 6

Hello my pretties!
granola bars final 3
See? Now wasn’t that so easy? Feel free to add in any spices or other add-ins that you like. Raisins, nuts, maple syrup, flax seeds, cinnamon, butterscotch chips, coconut, agave, craisins, citrus zest, the list goes on. And, it’s all super healthy! Love it!
No-Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

yield: 10 bars
Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
adapted from Rachael Ray
Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats {not rolled oats!}
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
Directions:
In a large bowl, stir oats and rice cereal together. Set aside. In a small pot, melt butter, honey and brown sugar together over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce the heat and cook 2 minutes. Pour in vanilla and stir. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. Pour into lightly greased small jelly roll pan {about 12x8x1} and press out to be about 3/4 inch in thickness. {If your pan isn’t small enough, pack the mixture into one side. You really want to press them down so they stick together.} Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and press down lightly. Cool on a countertop to room temperature for two hours or until the chocolate chips are set before cutting into bars. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
Recipe Notes: If your granola bars don’t seem to be staying together when you cut them, you may have made them too thin or you didn’t pack them in tight enough. Stick them in the fridge for 20 minutes and that should help keep them together. {Be sure not to keep them in there too long or else they’ll become super hard!} The next time you make them, try reducing the butter to 3 tablespoons and really packing them down.


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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Memories...

The other day, I saw my "dad" out and about. He didn't see us. We were running errands as my husband was off due to the weather.
Hope things are going well for him.  We sure miss him and wish things would have turned out different.

My son and husband are at a Iron Sharpens Iron conference today.  I am praying that those two make some good memories together today. Hunter is growing up so fast. It seems just yesterday he was a tiny little guy...

Short post today as I am pretty tired. Got the day to myself to rest and maybe thrift shop. ;)  I pray you all enjoy your Saturday.


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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Submission and headship


"Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection and provision in the home. Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband's leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts." John Piper

Read that several times through and really let it soak in. 




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Sunday, March 18, 2012

What a weekend!


 I was so blessed to attend Hearts at Home and listen to the Duggars speak. It was so refreshing to hear. They spoke about training their children and not neglecting your husband. They talked about getting the Word into their hearts, teach them to fight (evil) with scripture, to focus on one character quality a month, to smile, to make sure your kids know what you expect of them, be joyful and meek. She talked about husbands and wives not teasing each other, but instead to build each other up. Be realistic...when our expectations are too high and are not realistic, frustration breeds. She also said no silent treatment, but instead to pray together :) (she said that one was hard lol) And lastly she talked about not neglecting your husband even if you are tired and just want to sleep. She said that we as wives are the only ones who can meet that particular need. It was just amazing. 

I got to meet Jim Bob and shake his hand and thank him for their godly marriage example. I told him it was refreshing to see it "work" for a couple and that it is possible to have a good godly marriage. (everyone was in line to see Michele and Jim Bob was just standing alone. That's when I felt the poke of God to go encourage him with what I said. He appreciate the encouragement) :)


 Then there was the "fly lady." She talked about having an organized home and most importantly, decluttering. You can't organize clutter, you just have to get rid of it. :)

It was a great time and a once in a lifetime experience in meeting the Duggars. I came away exhausted ;), but most of all encouraged and ready to see some positive changes in my life and the life of my family. :)

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Songs of praise rise from affliction..

This jewel comes from Streams in the Desert...


"Just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints" (Rev. 15:3).

The following incident is related by Mrs. Charles Spurgeon, who was a great sufferer for more than a quarter of a century:

"At the close of a dark and gloomy day, I lay resting on my couch as the deeper night drew on; and though all was bright within my cozy room, some of the external darkness seemed to have entered into my soul and obscured its spiritual vision. Vainly I tried to see the Hand which I knew held mine, and guided my fog-enveloped feet along a steep and slippery path of suffering. In sorrow of heart I asked,

"'Why does my Lord thus deal with His child? Why does He so often send sharp and bitter pain to visit me? Why does He permit lingering weakness to hinder the sweet service I long to render to His poor servants?'

"These fretful questions were quickly answered, and through a strange language; no interpreter was needed save the conscious whisper of my heart.

"For a while silence reigned in the little room, broken only by the crackling of the oak log burning in the fireplace. Suddenly I heard a sweet, soft sound, a little, clear, musical note, like the tender trill of a robin beneath my window.

"'What can it be? surely no bird can be singing out there at this time of the year and night.'

"Again came the faint, plaintive notes, so sweet, so melodious, yet mysterious enough to provoke our wonder. My friend exclaimed,

"'It comes from the log on the fire!' The fire was letting loose the imprisoned music from the old oak's inmost heart!

"Perchance he had garnered up this song in the days when all was well with him, when birds twittered merrily on his branches, and the soft sunlight flecked his tender leaves with gold. But he had grown old since then, and hardened; ring after ring of knotty growth had sealed up the long-forgotten melody, until the fierce tongues of the flames came to consume his callousness, and the vehement heart of the fire wrung from him at once a song and a sacrifice. 'Ah,' thought I, 'when the fire of affliction draws songs of praise from us, then indeed we are purified, and our God is glorified!'

"Perhaps some of us are like this old oak log, cold, hard, insensible; we should give forth no melodious sounds, were it not for the fire which kindles around us, and releases notes of trust in Him, and cheerful compliance with His will.

"'As I mused the fire burned,' and my soul found sweet comfort in the parable so strangely set forth before me.

"Singing in the fire! Yes, God helping us, if that is the only way to get harmony out of these hard apathetic hearts, let the furnace be heated seven times hotter than before."


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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pallet compost bin


I wanted to share what we were up to yesterday here at the Wiseley Family Homestead. :) My husband put together this pallet compost bin. It's so easy to do and FREE. :) 

Along with that, here is what I did yesterday...raked leaves, wheeled them to said compost bin, pruned the grape vines, pulled weeds, cut down dead irises from last year, and thinned out the blackberries. What's that? Sounds like too much for me to do? Well, you're right. :) I was completely wiped out last night, but it felt so good to get out and function on our homestead. I do realize I won't be doing that much at once again. I did sleep really well last night though. ;) My husband and son also did some work, but I did the most...don't tell them I said that. ;)

My hands are a bit sore this morning, but mostly because I sliced my middle finger while pulling a weed. Right in the bend. Ouch. Other than some weakness in my neck and back, I feel pretty good this morning. Now don't go worry that I'm gonna overdo it...yesterday was just a big push to get some things done around here we've been putting off all winter and we just wanted to get it done before my husband goes back to work tomorrow after his winter layoff. From now on, I will only be doing one project a day. :) I'm just praising God I was able to do those chores, but I'm not gonna push it :)

Hope you are all well and looking forward to the wonder that Spring brings. I know I am.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

So delicious almond flour cinnamon hazelnut muffins!


These are absolutely fantastic!  I had tiny cinnamon chips from an Amish bulk store and wanted to use them up. I came up with this...

2 1/2 c almond flour (the flour I used is Honeyville almond flour) (the best almond flour!)
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 c cinnamon chips
1/8 c chopped hazelnuts
2 eggs
1/2 c yogurt (I used greek vanilla yogurt)
1/4 c maple syrup
1 t vanilla

Mix wet and dry separate then mix them together by hand until blended. Fill muffin cups and sprinkle top with more cinnamon chips and hazelnuts. Bake at 325 for 15-18 min. 

Super yummy!


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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Yummy grain free vanilla cake with strawberry buttercream icing





For the cake
1/2 c coconut flour
1T arrowroot powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
4 eggs
1/2 c agave nectar
1T vanilla

Mix dry and wet separate and then beat together with a mixer. Pour into 8x8 pan and bake 30 min

For the icing
3 strawberries
1 stick of butter
1/2 t vanilla
3-4 c powdered sugar
1 T cream

Puree strawberries and add to mixer and beat until well mix


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Monday, March 5, 2012

Feeling better!


 Unfortunately, the medicine I was started on for my Rheumatoid Arthritis has caused a reaction--itchy, small rash, etc. so I had to stop taking it. I cannot take most of the other treatments for RA, so we decided to go natural and try that. With conventional medicine or natural, RA will still be there. It's getting the inflammation to stay at bay. So, because I seem to react to most conventional medicine, I started using food grade DE (Diatomacous Earth) for my RA. If you've been around a farm at all you will know what that is. :) I used it for my chickens when I had them, dusted them and the coop and added it to their feed. I also use it for my dogs. I won't go into all the benefits of food grade DE, but I encourage you to google it (make sure it's food grade) and see what's great about it. It is 85% silica and that's what is beneficial for the RA. Instead of going to the health food store and buying silica to take, this is MUCH cheaper ($37 for 50 lbs) and I only take a tablespoon a day. The DE also has other benefits to it that the plain silica doesn't. So there you have it. :)

It has given me more energy and less pain so far. Yesterday, I felt fantastic. (other than my everyday annoying weakness from the MG) I really felt like God had breathed life into my body yesterday. It was so welcomed! 

I have also come to the realization that I will always be in some kind of pain. The doctors have said they can lessen it, but it will never be gone. Soooo, now that I know that and don't wake up every morning over and over thinking that the pain will be all gone, I can deal with it and move on knowing that it's just the way it is and I can function with it the best I can. (Wow...that was a long run on sentence lol) 

I just wanted to update you all and thank you for your prayers. I'm feeling better than I have in a while and am looking forward to the new life of Spring and taking it all in. I love the smell of Spring with it's budding trees and blooming flowers and a new freshness in the air. I am getting wiser in taking it easy even when I feel good and not to overdo. I will be easing into raised bed gardening this year and look forward to fresh food from it. :) Thanks again for your prayers. It has helped with the LOAD I have felt lately. :) Many blessings to you!


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Friday, March 2, 2012

How does tv affect your family?




Does tv get in the way of you living your life? Does watching tv consume your time? Years ago, tv time was a treat in the evening when chores were done and families watched together for short periods. How does tv affect your families? Is it on all day or is it a treat?


In the winter, tv is on more because my husband is laid off for the winter and he likes to watch it. But, I have noticed that it consumes a lot of our day and we don't do or get done the things we would like to. In the summer, the tv only comes on at night. 

We are getting rid of our directv within the next month. I will be SO glad! It will cause us to consume less tv time and more time doing things and spending better time together as a family. :) 

Here's to unplugging!  Will you join me?

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I'm a sucker for wildflowers!
"There is no place like a farm for raising children, where they can have in such abundance the fresh air and sunshine, with pure living water, good wholesome food and a happy outdoor life" -Laura Ingalls Wilder