Monday, February 24, 2014

For the love of spring

    The other day as we drove to pick up chicken feed... one of our monthly errands this winter; I smelled a skunk! Yes, a skunk. I also took notice of the variety of birds making song... could it be, right around the corner is SPRING! I can't remember feeling quite this exciting about breaking free from our snowy den. Maybe it is having a baby in the colder months, or maybe the fact we got so much snow this year, or that I am homeschooling a high schooler. Well what ever the reasons we are excited to see the snow starting to melt(yes, I know there is a little more to come) and the temperatures starting to rise during the month. So do you see signs of spring yet?
    Even though the temperatures aren't where I would like them to be for being outside for hours with a baby they are however warm enough to take him for a walk to the mailbox and back. All the way we listen to the sounds we did not hear just a month ago. A month ago it was so still, quiet and very white with snow. What do you hear?
    Things to do at the end of winter- make bird treats with mealy worms, put out suet cages with yarn scraps so they can build nests, look for signs that animals have broken hibernation, take a walk, build a rain catchment to water plants over the summer, make a garden plan, clean out bird houses so they are fresh for the season, etc. What things do you like to do at the end of winter?
Finn and Willow, our two weimaraners waiting to run free in the spring grass!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Embracing the Rhythm

   So this crunchy momma(google the term if you want to know more) has been busy snuggling with the new baby, homeschooling kids and trying to embrace the winter rhythm. I didn't realize how blessed I am with this till this past week. Someone mentioned how calm the baby and I are... it must just be me they said, that I am calm. Oh it was not always that way.... at least inside it didn't used to feel that way. My life was over-run with stuff, my day was over scheduled, I never felt like I had enough time, relations were strained and we were lucky if dinner made it on the table. As we made deliberate choices in life to live a certain way we could see ourselves getting more centered with all areas of life; spiritually(grounded/connected), mentally(calmer/less-stressed), physically(healthier/more energy) and our life in general.

    So what do some of those choices look like...

  • growing more of our own food(this is a work in progress)
  • buy as much organic as possible(offers more nutrition and less chemicals)
  • grouping errands so we only run once a week
  • limit children's outside activities so they can actually have time to be kids and become less stressed adults
  • embracing and investing in who God made us with our unique personalities(activities we are involved in reflect this like my daughter spinning wool, raising rabbits or my son with building) 
  • limit tv and video games(as they get older this has been a little harder)
  • making things at home like foods, cleaning products, toiletries, cloths, baby items, gifts, etc.
  • homeschooling(a routine and not a strict schedule)
  • lessening our consumerism(buy less, buy local, buy natural, buy quality so it lasts longer, etc)
  • Refuse, Reduce, Repair, Reuse(upcycle), Recycle
  •  embracing the seasons by going with the cycles, eating seasonally, seasonal activities(bird watching, playing in the snow, knitting, quilting, snow shoeing, etc.)  and gratitude for those changes 
  • sustainable practices like heating and/or cooking with wood, using less gas, taking fewer showers, buying food in bulk, canning, eating wild foraged/caught/killed foods, recycling oil for use in the tractor, etc.
  • using natural whole food supplements, homeopathics, herbals, other natural remedies and getting plenty of rest 
So why do I share this with you... to inspire, encourage, educate, and an affirmation of what your already doing. You might also ask why bother, isn't that a lot of work? Well, I am worth it, my family is worth it, my community is worth it, YOU are worth it and our planet is worth it. Yes it is work but work that is purposeful and fulfilling! We don't have it all figured out, it didn't happen overnight but we do what we can and always have the goal to improve as we grow. Embrace the rhythm of the season!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Baby Bliss!

    They say every pregnancy, every delivery and every baby is different. Well I can say that is very true. After an uneventful and healthy pregnancy I went into labor on Wednesday, October 16th around 11:30pm. An hour later we were getting ready to leave for the birth center. And by 2:48 on Thursday, October 17th(my due date) our son Elijah was born in the birthing pool(I highly recommend it). 30 minutes later he was nursing and by 7am we were home with the rest of the family. The funniest part was that my other son didn't hear his sister say "mom and dad left for the birthing center".... so when we came home, we woke him up only for him to look up and jump with the sight of his new baby brother on the outside!
    After spending the first week resting and the second week slowly getting back to normal chores I can say all the preparation before hand was well worth it. We had 2 weeks worth of meals in the freezer and/or jars/pantry to make healthy meal preparation much easier for all of us. Now I am thinking that it was such a nice idea that we are going to spend the weekend prepping more meals for the freezer to make every two week period during this winter easier with a new baby. Some of our favorites are meatloaf, Cilantro Lime Chicken(taco/burrito filling), meatballs(for sauce or swedish meatballs), Italian Vegetable Soup and Taco Lasagna. We also made up our own quick oatmeal packets, smoothie bags for the freezer and jar mixes for the pantry. Our favorite jar mixes are from the book Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan. We love the Shay's Chocolate Cake and Ty's Beer Bread.
   For now we are relishing the days smelling new baby and giving him lots of snuggles on these cool fall days.... they will pass so quickly.