Category Archives: Family and Home Education

  • On the topic of health… have you heard about essential oils?

    On the topic of health… have you heard about essential oils?

    I believe I’ve mentioned on the blog that I’ve become involved in DoTerra. It’s been over a year now and I’ve just been ‘puttering’ away at it, in my usual ‘slow and steady wins the race’ kind of way. When I decide to get into something, I jump in wholeheartedly, but I don’t jump into the deep end immediately. I like to wade around in the waters for a while, really get to know what I’m doing, and then I make my way¬†over into the deep end. ūüôā It’s just the way I am. I believe it’s because I always have quite a bit on my plate with raising kids, the home, homestead and home business. If I jump too quickly into the deep end, waves would splash over into every other area of my life and some areas would indeed flood.

    No one wants a flood. ūüėČ

    My journey with DoTerra has been wonderful thus far. I have been pulled out of my comfort zone and have forced myself to teach classes! Teaching is something I truly enjoy, but I spent 21 years of my life teaching my five children, and this, well this is completely different. lol Can’t say I’m great at it, but I can say I’m practicing. That’s what’s most important!

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    All three of my youngest girls help with the classes. It’s been a great learning experience for us all.
    Hopefully the thing they’ve learned most is that even if you’re scared to try something new, just get out of your comfort zone and do it anyways. If mom can, they can!

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    I’m quite passionate about these oils and it’s really hard for me to keep quiet sometimes when people mention different ailments, aches, pains, and most of all, struggles with certain types of emotions.
    I battle with myself all the time, because I don’t want to come off as ‘preachy’, but at the same time, I know how much essential oils have changed MY life, and I just really want that for everyone else that I come into contact with too! So it’s hard to keep quiet…

    One thing I won’t keep quiet about though, is bug repellant!

    If you live in an area, like we do, with ticks and mosquitoes and you find yourself reaching for chemical bug repellant all spring/summer/fall, do yourself a favour and learn about essential oil alternatives!

    Last year I used ONLY TerraShield as a mosquito and tick repellant. What I love most about it, is that I can even put it on my FACE! Every summer we’d go camping and I’d be doing my best to keep myself well covered up in long sleeves etc.., only spraying my clothing and wearing a hat, ¬†just so that I could spray my hat with ¬†bug spray, but the mosquitoes would STILL go after my face! It drove me bananas! Well last year I used only TerraShield and I was able to put it right on my face, my neck, and anywhere else, without getting bit! The mosquitoes would still fly near me (buggers, don’t you just HATE their buzzing) but they wouldn’t actually bite/sting me. So awesome!

    I’m hosting a FREE ONLINE facebook class on The Willard Homestead facebook page, so come on over and join in!
    The class is being held on May 9th at 7:30-9:00 est, but you are welcome to come and go as you’re able. Just be sure to click on the “Going” button so you don’t miss out!
    Feel free to invite ANYONE to join you for this class!

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  • How’s those goals coming along?

    I read yesterday that by February 4th most people have given up on their New Year’s Resolutions.
    I thought that was kind of sad, so I figured it was time to check in!

  • New year rambles, goals, pigs, writing, walking and more

    It’s January 2nd, 2016, er, .. I mean, 2017 and we’ve done so much already. I’m tired just thinking about it.
    But in a good way. In a “I’ve got my list, and I’m getting things done” kind of a way.

    Speaking of lists, in the back of my prayer journal this morning I made up a list of goals I’d like to accomplish each month. I’m not real big on ‘resolutions‘, but I’m very big on goals. Not just on New Year’s day though, all the time. I actually LOVE Monday’s even, for this very reason. Monday’s are a chance to start a whole new week with a whole new set of goals!

    This year I’ve decided to break up my big goals into smaller monthly goals,¬†which are kind of like bite sized pieces. For example, I’ve been wanting to write a book for some time now. ¬†Pretty much my whole life really. The type of book I would write was never totally clear in my mind. I knew it would either be nonfiction, or some time of ‘self help’ book, as that’s simply the way my brain tends to be geared. But I wasn’t totally set on exactly what. The past while an idea kind of fell into my lap, or maybe slapped me in the face would be more accurate, so I’m running with it, and my goal is to write a new chapter each month. By the end of the year, I will have at least 13 chapters (I’ve already written the first one) and this is a very realistic goal for me. I work a lot of hours with my two home businesses (HomesteadEmporium.com and doTERRA) so I feel I need to set small bite sized goals, rather than one big goal of simply –¬†Write a Book.”

    My other goals are simple too, and designed to help me end the year off on a better, less rushed, slower pace of lifestyle than I normally tend to run at. I always AIM to live a slower paced life, but biting off more than I can chew causes a “rush hour”¬† panic much too often in my life. My whole list of monthly¬†goals are:

    1 ~ Write one chapter each month
    2 ~ Make one homemade gift each month (these will most likely all be for Christmas, I never have enough time in the fall to finish them in time for Christmas!)
    3 ~ Sew myself one article of clothing each month (I have all the fabrics, and even the patterns, sitting here just waiting for me to finally sew for me!)
    4 ~ Learn how to cook/bake/create one new food each month (so much food stuffs that I want to learn, such as yogurt (made that today!), pasta, all types of breads, fermented foods, and foods from other countries, the list goes on and on…)
    5 ~ Walk 20 times each month (this is a big one for me, even though it’s the most simple! I LOVE being outside, yet if I don’t get out first thing in the morning, I tend to procrastinate and get busy with everything else. When I’m outside here on our prairie homestead, I honestly feel rejuvenated and refreshed every time. It always makes me feel a little like Eve in the garden of Eden. We are blessed with so much greenery, space, and even fruit trees and wildlife. I love walking, and talking with God. The gorgeous vast prairie views and silence are just the icing on the cake. When I spend too much time behind the sewing machine and not enough time outside, I feel it in my whole being. I must make walks a priority!)

    And that’s it, that’s my list. Pretty simple really. I think these bite sized chunks are doable. I know they are¬†as long as I stick with them!

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    Below is a photo from my walk this afternoon (just 19 more walks to go this month! lol).
    It’s cold in them these here parts, I tell you!

    I do love these types of winter days though, when the skies are bright ice blue, the hoar frost is on the trees, and the snow sparkles like diamonds in the bright sunshine!

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    Before my walk I had been wrestling deer carcass in my freezer. I had to move it from one freezer to another, and it wasn’t co-operating…
    When you have many dogs (and cats, too many cats) and you let everyone¬†know that you feed all those many dogs and cats a¬†homemade raw food diet, you tend to have people offer you all sorts of things. Carcasses (is that even spelled correctly??) being one of those things. Deer, moose, antler, even a buffalo. We’ve dealt with them all. Not to mention the beef and pork bones we get on a yearly basis as well when it’s butchering time. One day we’ll do our own butchering, but that day will have to wait until hubby and I are not both working 50-60 hours a week.

    After my walk, and before I could make it back inside, I got coerced sidetracked¬†into helping move pigs in the barn. We’re getting close to butcher time, and we’ve started breeding our sows, so it seems moving pigs from one pen to another is a weekly ordeal right now. Warmer weather would be nicer for this work, but you do what you have to do, when you have to do it. After getting coerced sidetracked from my leisurely stroll outside, into helping move pigs, I then was coerced sidetracked into pig poop scooping…

    By the time I got back into the house my legs and butt were numb… I had a numb bum…. yes, I said it. My kids will die of embarrassment now… we’ll call it payback.

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    Anywho…¬†here’s the yogurt I made!
    For over 20 years I’ve been wanting to make yogurt. My mom made it when we were kids, and I’ve been wanting to make it ever since. I’ve tried different ways several times over the years, and never had success. The last time I tried about 18 months ago, I ended up with absolutely perfect… cottage cheese! Who knows what I did wrong each time. lol But this time, I used my brand new Instant Pot, and had success, finally! Here’s the recipe/instructions that I used:¬†http://www.homemademommy.net/2016/02/how-to-make-homemade-yogurt-instant-pot.html

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    One last photo from my walk. It’s almost time for bed, I can hear it calling me now…

    How about you? Have you created any goals, or resolutions, for yourself this year? I’d love to hear about them!

  • Simplifying life.

    Join in whenever you can and feel free to comment on that day’s Check In post on the Willard Homestead facebook page
    This is meant to be fun and encouraging. Just a way to keep one another accountable to accomplish the things in our lives that we’re aiming for. For us right now, that’s a clutter free home!

  • DSC_6465

    A new school year… minus the school! What to do, what to do?

    So there you have it. My big long ToDo list now that we’ve finished school.
    How about you? Do you have any new plans this year? Are you going to be decluttering or organizing your life? Or perhaps you’ve been wanting to, and need a little push to just do it, or help on how to start? Here’s a handy list I saw on facebook the other day! Maybe it’ll help some of you too!

  • Thought patterns, for teens (and adults!)

    If you, or someone you know, struggles with negative thought patterns, this article explains proper thinking really well. *(Link at the bottom) This is something I spend a fair amount of time talking over with all my teens. But even many adults fall into a trap with their thought patterns. This psychologist & his student have really nailed it in simple terms.

    As a Christian, I also remind all my teens to think how God’s LOVE would view what they are thinking/seeing/feeling, and ask themselves if they are believing negative ‘lies’ in their mind.

    Teens especially need to be on guard to keep themselves from believing destructive thoughts about themselves. And they ARE ‘lies’.

    I’ve shared before how one of my daughters often struggles with thoughts that she’s not pretty. This is the same daughter in the ‘Red’ costume I shared on Facebook on Halloween! If you look at her photo, you know how false that thought is! (Not that beauty is important, this is just one example I can give that is so obviously a lie.)

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    Our teens must learn to SEE the ‘lies’ so they can learn to see & think otherwise. It’s their best defender against even worse thoughts, like not being worthy to live… We’ve all been touched by suicide in our lives, some of us many times over. I know 3 personally, or their families, who committed suicide. I attempted to commit suicide myself when I was 15. The approximate age of my three youngest girls now.

    Fight for your kids (and your own) minds! Make them aware of how to win the negative battles in their minds.

    And while we’re trying to think better about ourselves, let’s do the same when ‘assessing’ others too. I see WAY too much online ‘bullying’ happening between ADULTS lately. Be kind to one another, so our children can see it in action. It seems many think its ok to rip each other apart from behind a screen. Yet we all know its destructive, and leads to hurt, sometimes… even death.

    I personally feel that speaking unkindly to (or about) others online is the equivalent of drinking and driving, and thinking no one will get hurt. We ALL know drinking & driving takes lives, and people get hurt. It’s about time we realize that speaking unkindly, bullying others, participating in tearing people apart online is just as foolish. (Even on ‘famous’ people’s Facebook pages- they ARE people- Robin Williams showed us all just how human even the highest profile celebrities are!)

    We can’t be unkind to one another, and never expect to truly hurt someone.

    We’re just FEEDING into one another’s negative thought patterns. Do we really want to continue doing that?

    Forget Positive Thinking ‚Äď Try This to Curb Teen Anxiety

  • Reaping what you sow.

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    I’ll be totally honest, my girls do not really enjoy weeding in the garden.

    So…when I decided as part of their school year in the spring they would each grow their own fair sized garden plot start to finish, I expected them to complain!

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    Instead, they seemed excited!

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    It’ll be great in many ways for all of us. This years garden was overwhelming for me, I work full time hours plus homeschool, and the homestead. This will give about a third of my garden size over to them to care for.

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    In turn, they will be free to plant anything they would like, and watch it grow from seed to harvest! After that, preserving, cooking, and eating the foods they grow will also be a part of their learning process.

    I think they are excited for a few reasons, but one is that even though they don’t like weeding, they LOVE harvesting, and they realize the work really does lead to the reward.

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    Even though this is our 20th homeschool year, I can honestly say I’m as excited for this upcoming year as I was on our first year!
    We’re reaping what we’ve sown, in the garden and in our schooling too.

  • My child is worth more than my pride.

    I’ve had a huge revelation today, thanks to Alesia, my eldest (22 years old) child. I know, she’s rolling her eyes at me now… stating she’s not a child. I know at 22 she’s an adult but she’ll still ALWAYS be MY child. ūüėČ

    But, back to my revelation.
    It can be painful to admit how much I learn from my children. They truly cause me to grow, continuously.

    In my opinion, it’s life’s greatest blessing, and also life’s hardest pill to swallow.

    Alesia and I were discussing a past argument/disagreement between Elsa (my Aspie girl, who can frustrate the dickens out of me!) and myself. Through the course of our conversation, she mentioned a past argument her and I had, a number of years ago, when she had gotten into BIG trouble.

    When I had found out about something, I was MAD. I honestly don’t even remember the full specifics of the ‘what’ or ‘why’ I was so mad, but she reminded me of my reaction, of my anger. She also reminded me, not in a judging way, but simply factually, that it had not been the correct way to deal with her. That yes, she had done wrong and deserved to be reprimanded, but it still wasn’t right to get so angry.

    I chuckled a little, and responded with something like, “Oh you just wait and see when you have a teen! Then you’ll understand!”

    And you know what?

    It’s true. One day my daughter will most likely have a teenager, and that teen will give her some trouble. And quite possibly, my daughter will become angry with my future grandchild and they will go through what her and I went through.

    Or… maybe not? Maybe the future could be different for my grandchild?

    I pondered on my daughters words off and on all day today.

    When she came home from work she started getting ready for her evening out. When I noticed she wasn’t quite so busy, I asked her to come talk with me when she had a few moments. That I wanted to speak with her before anyone else got home.

    I had spent my day swallowing my pride, bit by bite, and now it was time to share my revelation with her.

    I let her know I had been thinking about what she had said. I told her that she was right. That my anger in the past, was wrong. That it didn’t matter what she had done, it was up to me to be sure I let her know that SHE is worth MUCH MORE than my pride, and I wanted her to know I was wrong. She was right.

    I told her that I want her to truly understand, that her father and I feel our relationships with our children are worth admitting when we are wrong. That our child/parent relationships come first. Our children come first.

    Of course, if I had been a better living example to my children all along, shown them that they ALWAYS come before my pride, through my daily life, I would have never needed to have this conversation with her.

    But, I’m not always a good living example. I fail. I have issues with pride, stubbornness, shame, and a whole long list of past hurts that have built up one wall after another, and another, and another.

    But over the years, I’ve learned that walls don’t just keep out hurts. Walls keep out fullness of joy too.

    The look on my daughters face when I told her I was sorry, and I hugged her and told her I love her…

    That look, was instant joy to my heart.

    And I realized my that daughter, my relationship with her in these few short moments we have left under the same roof between the busyness of our days, really is worth so very much more than my pride.

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    *Alesia, and her wonderful man, Johnny. ūüôā
    I’m so very proud of these two!

  • I can finally let go of a dream, happily!

    So remember, when you shop at Homestead Emporium, YOU are
    making our ultimate family dream a reality. YOU have helped, and
    continue to help, our family live on this wonderful homestead of
    ours. My NEW dream home. The dream home that won’t cost me an arm
    and a leg for the rest of my life! You help us get by every day,
    YOU even help with our adoption! For that, as I’ve said before, and
    I’ll say it again, we are very thankful!

  • Great list on homeschooling, by a public school educator.

    Such a mixed blessing it is, the good, and the bad, but that pretty much sums up homeschooling! That also pretty much sums up parenting! It`s the hardest thing we can do, yet the most rewarding as well!