The Willard HomesteadThe Homestead, the Emporium and simple living on our funny farm.

  • Watering horses on a new homestead

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    When you begin homesteading on a property that has not previously been used as a homestead, this is how you water your horses twice a day.

    Total grunt work.

    Between filling buckets and gallon milk jugs (in case of power outages, I fill all our milk jugs with water), I feel like I’ve been playing with water all morning!

    One day we will have water and power and even a nice barn, but for now, at least we finally have our horses home.

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  • A checklist to share with you.

    An after dinner checklist!

  • The Long Way Home continues…

    Some days I really question why I ever worry at all.

  • Butter tarts.

    Yesterday, Julia and I decided to have a ‘bake off’ and make butter tarts! We’ve never made them before, and I wanted to double the recipe but I know sometimes some recipes don’t double very well, so I asked if she’d like to do one batch as I do the other! The baking was ON! Julia may be just 12, but she can bake like the best if them!

    We had company coming, another family of 7, with 4 girls & 1 boy, just like ours, so one batch of butter tarts just wasn’t going to be enough. Plus, dh LOVES home baked goodies in his lunch, so leftovers are always a good thing!

    We didn’t have time to fuss around with finicky pie crusts so we decided to try a new one I found recently, the Wham Bam Pie Crust: Wham Bam Pie Crust

    Instead of vegetable oil, I opted to try olive oil, with much hesitation BUT the taste of the crust was excellent!

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    I’m not sure this was the right crust for tarts, it tasted great but it took Julia and I forever, and a day, to shape that dough into each muffin tin ‘hole’. I will be using the recipe again for pie though, as I love the taste and shaping it into one pie pan would be much easier!

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    The Butter Tart recipe itself came from a kids cooking book we have:

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    The tarts turned out very tasty so this recipe will be our go-to from now on. I’m going to try the crust recipe from the book next time.

    Parents, if you haven’t begun to allow your kids into the kitchen to bake & cook with you, start now! No matter what age your kids are, and how much of a pain their messes may be. All our kids can cook & bake and some LOVE to do it very regularly, all on their own now! There’s not much better as a parent then eating the rewards of teaching your children in the kitchen! They’ll make you proud (even if they are messy!!) & it gives them great confidence, life skills, and lots learned along the way! It also gives them a way of blessing others. Julia often bakes for friends and get togethers!

    Christmas is coming, no better time to start!

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  • Oh so random. Always.

    I’m realizing lately that my blog, my facebook page, my twitter, and all things online & social are so very random.

    My instagram is total proof of this!

    So I was pondering this and wondering if it’s a good thing, or a bad thing?

    Then I realized, I really don’t care. I know ONE thing.

    It’s me.

    “I” am random!

    My LIFE is random! How could everything about ME not be random?!

  • Hurt People, Hurt People

    Hurt People, Hurt People.

    I heard these words spoken at a conference many years ago and the truth of this simple statement has never left me.

    My life, my way of thinking, since first hearing this statement has never been the same since.

    My past, as is everyone’s past, is full of history, my history. Through my past there have been many hurts. These hurts can stir up anger.

    I can be quite a passionate person, this can be a great thing, but not so much when anger is added to passion.

    So when I become hurt by someone, I remind myself that the person hurting me, is most likely hurting. Thinking this way makes it much easier to forgive others who hurt me. I’ve gotten pretty good at forgiving others.

    But what about forgiving myself?

    sigh…

    When it comes to forgiving myself, somehow I can’t stop hurting myself. I speak words to myself that continue to ridicule me, shame me, words that don’t lift me up, but instead, words that continue to hurt me.

    Over, and over, and over again.

    Why?

    It’s a vicious cycle, I realized this morning as I was praying, and asking God to help me to stop hurting the ones I love.

    Hurt people, hurt people.

    As long as I don’t forgive myself, I will continue to hurt myself, to beat myself up, and so I will continue to be a hurt people who hurts people.

    This has got to stop.

    Maybe it’s true in reverse?

    Maybe…
    healed people, heal people?

    So I’m going to start working on healing the hurts I’ve placed upon myself. Im going to work on forgiving myself, so I can stop being a hurt person, who hurts people.

    I truly want to be a healed person who helps others to heal.

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  • Northern Lights

    We had the rare opportunity to witness the Northern Lights on the last night of September!

    I’m not the greatest photographer when it comes to night time photos, I’ve still got LOTS to learn but I always like to at least try. Since I didn’t have time to set up a tripod, first I tried hand held.

  • Our Weekend Away

    Last weekend we had the rare opportunity to go away, just the two of us, for 48 hours, for our 22nd anniversary!

    We spent two nights in Saskatoon at a lovely hotel with blackout curtains for sleeping in and a gorgeous autumn view!

  • Twenty Two Years!

    Twenty Two Years!

    That’s how many wedded years my husband and I will be celebrating on Saturday, on our wedding anniversary! September 22, 1990 marks the day that changed our lives forever. When two, became one, in this journey of life and a new little family of two persons began. Twenty Two years spent side by side my best friend.

    It feels so special, that I feel like we should be celebrating for an entire week! I can’t stop thinking about it, can’t stop being in awe of it! Twenty two years isn’t any ‘special’ milestone like 10 years, 25 years, 40 years, or even 50 years but EVERY year is a special milestone because every year that we celebrate another year of our marriage, is another year we speak volumes with our lives.

    Our twenty two years speak loudly, that although, like any best friends we’ve had many ups and downs, we have chosen to tough it out, work through it, remain together, and find solutions to keep this marriage alive. But we’ve not been satisfied with just keeping it alive, we continue to aim for better, and better, until we can claim our best!

    Any married person, any person who’s ever had a close friendship, has family, children, or a spouse, knows that it’s no easy task, to hang on, and KEEP hanging on, through the tough times.

    To keep striving for better, together, and most of all, within yourself first and foremost. We take our vows seriously, through good times, AND bad. For better, AND worse. There’s been better, and there’s been worse. There’s been good times, and there’s been bad. Mix it all together and you have, what I like to call, life.

    Live lived, becomes life worth living! Fully!

    We’re passionate people, this husband of mine, and myself. I don’t mean just THAT kind of passion (although hey, that helps too!) I mean we’re passionate about EVERYTHING we believe in.

    We believe in us. We believe in marriage, and we believe in showing our children, through our own marriage, through our own lives, that marriage is worth clinging too, even through those hard times.

    And that is why we’re still together, and why we’ll be celebrating 22 years this weekend. Through a stubbornness which won’t allow us to give up! Because of a passion for one another, a passion for marriage, and a passion for raising our children by our own example, and most of all, through grace which has been given to us, and which we try our very best to freely give one another.

    Being married 22 years IS a reason to celebrate! And although it’s been a very rough last couple of years on our family, on our marriage, and our lives, mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially, we ARE going to celebrate!! Because our marriage is worth it!

    I can’t wait!

    I can’t wait to spend some special time with this best friend of mine!