Thursday, December 13, 2012


Gee November came and went before I knew it.  We had a nice quiet Thanksgiving.  It was flooding during that time.  I think that is the earliest we have had a flood since we have been here.  Then we got flooded again!  I pray this is it for this winter.  That we got that nonsense out of the way for the winter......

We have been having a great December so far.  We started doing an Advent devotion on the first of December with our girls.  Plus we made a cool Advent garland complete with candy and scriptures.

We have decided to really concentrate on celebrating the birth of our Savior this year instead of being pulled into the commercialism of the season.  We are putting more focus on keeping Christ in Christmas and less focus on "getting gifts" and we are having so much more enjoyment!  

I got out the calendar at the beginning of the month and planned out two weeks of things to do.  One day we do crafts, one day we do baking, some days are movie days, and of course we throw in a day of laundry and house cleaning to keep things nice!  We also have been decorating, looking at Christmas lights in town. We are also going to sew a couple of gifts for family members.  I am going to help the girls sew pajama pants for Ed for Christmas.  They are so excited about that!  Shhh, don't tell Ed!

I am having a stress free holiday.  I am really enjoying spending this time with my girls and Ed.  We are having so much fun with our activities and devotions.  This is what it should have been about all along......not me rushing around stressed out trying to make,  or hunt down lots of gifts and baking and planning and shopping, feeling bad because I couldn't get everyone everything I wanted.  Yes, I am truly enjoying this year!

I have lots of things to write about and share after the New Year begins.  I have been taking pictures and mentally writing on my blog all summer and fall.   

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Happy September!

This summer has just zipped by!  Here it is September already. That means we are in the middle of harvesting, canning and putting up our yearly supply of food.  Sure makes it nice not to have to buy so much at the grocery stores. Below are some pictures taken here this past month.  We bought 100 lbs of fresh tuna and canned and smoked it.  Of course we had some fresh too. 
I have been canning lots of pickles, fruits, green beans, and just about anything I can put in a jar!  I will be posting pictures of our apple cider day which is tomorrow.  We are renting the cider press and will be making cider from the buckets and buckets of apples we have.  Harvest blessings to all!


Tuna after filleting

Tuna fillets

Tuna after being cleaned and cut to put into jars

Pints of tuna

Smoked Tuna!

Ed unloading the  canner

Three bean salad

Bread and butter pickles

Shelled peas for the freezer


Applesauce and apple juice

My Dahlias

A shot of the orchard

Sunday, August 5, 2012

August update

Our apple trees are loaded this year!

The first jams of the 2012 canning year.
We are in garden mode once again.  We have been keeping busy pulling weeds in the gardens.  The vegetables are just starting.  We have had our first batch of green beans, the zucchini are in production now, the beets are nice sized and ready to eat or be made into pickle beets.  We have had some nice peppers, lettuce, spinach and lots of kale from the gardens already.  There have been a few peas and we had some new potatoes.

The main garden last month
The new boat
Our most recent project is a boat we bought.  It is a fixer upper, but we are working on it.  We plan on going crabbing and fishing on Ed's birthday with it, Lord willing.

I am planning on doing a better job of posting on my blog this year.  I haven't been very good at keeping it up the past several months.  We have a desk set up with the computers now since the girls use them for school.  It is much easier to sit down and write a bit now.  I am always taking photos with ideas of things to write about, now I just have to follow through.  :)

I will be sharing our boat project for sure.  Next time I will post before photos of the seats.

God bless!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Farm girls and such

How do girls who live the farming life play Barbies?  I know that is the top question everyone has been thinking, right?   Just in case you ever wondered about that let me share with you. A picture is worth a thousand words so look at the following photos and I will give the details about them.

Here is the horse and the invented plow.

Here is a close up of the plow.  They have used a wooden spoon from their cooking toys to make the plow. That dark piece is a Lincoln log and then they used lots of twist ties and pony tail bands to hook it all together.
And here we have Barbie ready to plow up the garden spot, or the back 40.  !  When I asked them why they decided to make the plow, they said " because we don't have a tractor and they had to plow up the ground somehow!"  The horse is a motorized one and it actually pulls the plow and Barbie.  

So that is how farm girls play Barbies..  Great imaginations right?  Beats having their faces stuck in a video game or cell phone.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How Prepared are You?

How many times have we heard about being prepared for an emergency?  Most of us listen to advice about having a few supplies on hand for an emergency with our eyes glazed over.  We think we personally won't have any reason to be concerned, or we think we ARE prepared to handle what ever comes our way.

We had a little wake up call here at Bountiful Acres, recently.  We live in the flood plain and we get flooded every year.  We know when it is coming and we buy supplies and get ready to ride it out.  We have never lost power during the floods or lost our water supply.  Well this year has been something different for sure!  First off we didn't get the flood during November/December like usual.  We thought we had been spared a flood.  We did get a big flood in late January.  Then we thought okay that is it for this season......  Wrong!  In March we had two more floods!  We had one day to drive out to re-supply between them.  We also had our water get mirky.  We had to use bottled water for drinking and cooking, of which we didn't have nearly enough.  During this last flood, (which we are still trapped by as I type,) we also lost power.  We ran out of chicken feed because of the length of this flood. As a result the chickens are eating my wheat and corn from the pantry.  Thank heavens I had those stocked up!

So why am I sharing all of this for?  So that you might think about being ready for some unexpected event in your life concerning you and your family.

Here are our notes from this experience. 

We are more humble now, we found out we weren't so prepared as we thought.  We had become so sure that things would always continue the way they had in the past.  We were a bit arrogant you could say.....

This is a list of things we learned:

1. We need a water purifier/filter.
2. We need some sort of alternate power for small appliances.
3. More animal feed stocked up.
4. A way to get our water without the electric pump if needed.  We do have one gravity flow spigot that we can use.
5. More firewood!
6. Buy more solar lights for night lights.
7. Keep the laundry always done up and the dishes done before bed.
8. Keep bread baked ahead.

When we lose power, we don't have water to the house as we have an electric pump. We can't use the oven on the propane cookstove.  I can use the burners by lighting them, but the oven has an electric digital control to run it. Of course we won't have power to run any appliances like my flour grinder or bread mixer. The girls won't have a night light without power. Obviously without power we can't wash clothes either. Using the machine anyway.  :) 

That is the reasoning behind our plans to get better prepared.  With the crazy weather patterns these days and everything else going on in our world it makes sense to be sure you can take care of your family and yourself for an extended period of time.  We are told to have at least 72 hours worth of food and water in case of emergency. 

 I would say at least a month would be best!  We are going into day 8 of being flooded in. We were prepared for a few days, but not for this long. 

What would you do if you lost power for a period of time, or your water supply was cut off or you couldn't get out to go to the store?  How would you and your family fare?  Something to think about.

We also are going to put a kit in our vehicles in case we get trapped by a disaster that prevented us from getting back home.  Things like water, a way to make fire, flashlights, food and blankets.  It is much better to be safe than sorry in that situation.

If you need some ideas for being more prepared click on the Emergency Essentials link at the right.  I don't usually go for advertising on my blog unless it is a personal friend, but after our recent experiences I thought this one would be a good idea. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Enter the giveaway from Preparedness Pantry

Click on the button to the right and enter the giveaway from Preparedness Pantry.  Stocking up on things now is a wise decision.  We never know until after it happens when we might need to be a bit self sufficient.  Buying ahead not only helps out when you might have an emergency in your area, but also makes sure you won't pay higher prices for an item in the future.  The price of groceries and every thing else for that matter just keeps going up and up.  If you buy larger quantities of things when they are on sale you will save yourself a lot of money.  Plus you  have peace of mind that you have a well stocked pantry that you can feed yourself and your family from for a long period of time.

Those of you who read my blog know that this is just a way of life for my family.  We try to grow and raise as much of our own food as possible.  We like knowing where our food comes from and how it was grown.  We know that our animals we raise for meat are treated very well and always butchered in a humane way.  Our vegetables and fruits are grown without chemicals and pesticides.  We rotate our crops each year so we don't deplete the soil of one particular nutrient.  We also add compost and natural fertilizers to the ground each year.  The better you take care of God's creation, the better your food is.

We grow enough food to last until the next harvest season.  Some years we have an abundance of one vegetable or fruit over the others, but it usually is enough to keep us through.  One year we had a bumper crop of green beans, some years it is tomatoes, or beets.  Lord willing we get a good variety of veggies.  Some years we don't get many plums or cherries, but we always have apples and wild blackberries.  You just have to adapt to what is available and eat what is in season and preserve by one method or another your harvest so you can be sustained until the next harvest period.

We have chickens and ducks, both of which lay plenty of eggs for us.  We use as many as we like and sell enough to pay for the feed we buy for them.  They are also good at keeping the bug population in control and also the weed seeds.  We recently bought some of that orange plastic fencing and have fenced off the main garden.  We let the chickens and ducks and the sheep and goat in there to clean up.  They eat bugs hiding and they eat a lot of the weeds and weed seeds that have grown there over the summer. They also add fertilizer to the ground to be tilled in later on.  : )

We have been praying for the Lord to provide us with a milk cow.  We are believing for a wonderful cow that will be just right for our family.  Then we will have plenty of fresh milk, butter, cream. Cheese making will become another weekly chore. There is a lot of whey that is left over from making cheese.  We might just raise another pig or two and use that whey to mix with grain for raising them on.  Of course selling any extra milk is an option too.  That is just another step closer in providing our own food.

Dad raises rabbits for meat.  We also butcher chicken and ducks and raise pigs once in awhile.  When we have our milk cow we might even raise our own beef with her offspring.  That all depends on how much hay we can buy.

My parents and us live together here on our 2 bountiful acres.  We work together to provide for ourselves and to put up as much food as we can.  We know that we are also preparing ahead  for others who haven't been preparing for difficult times.  Every since Ed and I have been together we have had the same vision and actually enjoy doing all the things we do.  Yes, it is hard work and we do get tired and weary at times, but when we think of not doing it, we just can't see living any other way.

One answered prayerswe have been blessed with recently is a wood stove!  Thank God for the blessing and provision of that.  Now we are relieved that we won't be without heat during a power outage.  We have also been blessed with several places to get free firewood.  We plan on making family outings of it.  Hard work and being outside in the sunshine enjoying God's creation is a wonderful way to spend time together as a family.  I will post some pictures of our wood cutting outings this summer.

Give some thought about how well your family would fare if you couldn't get to the grocery store for a couple of weeks.  Do you have enough food and paper goods to last that long? It hurts nothing to add some extra food and supplies to your pantry, but it could hurt if you don't.  Make sure you have water too.  Guidelines say you need a gallon of water per person/pet per day.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!  I don't know what the new year holds, but I do know who does.  :)  I put my trust in the Lord to guide me and take care of everything.  I just walk one day at a time and do what I know is right and good to do. 

We live in interesting times don't we?  I am looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us in the coming months.  The Bible tells me that all good things come from above.  (James 1:17) 

Today my family is starting back on the path of good nutrition.  Boy did we eat a lot of junk/sugar over the holidays!  We all feel so much better when we are eating foods that are as close to possible to the way God created them.

I thought I would share with you one way we use those canned vegetables we work so hard all Summer and Fall putting up. 

To start with we had roasted whole chicken for dinner night before last.  I saved the bones and left over meat to make soup.  I put this in a pot with enough water to cover the bones and meat.  Brought it to a boil, added some chopped onion and garlic.  Remove the bones from the broth and put any meat back into the pot.
This is what it looks like after deboning and adding the onions and garlic.

I chose a quart of green beans, a quart of carrots, a pint of corn and a pint of tomatoes from the pantry.  I opened these and added them to the pot, liquid and all.

Then I took a sweet potato I had in the fridge, a bunch of fresh parsley from the garden, and a bunch of kale from the garden.  These fresh vegetables boost the nutrition level of the soup.  Some nutrition is lost during the canning process, so I like to add what ever fresh ingredients I have to the soup.  Kale and parsley will grow all winter here in the Pacific Northwest.  Ed did have to cover the parsley with a sheet when the temperatures were down in the 20's awhile back.

I peeled and chopped the sweet potato and added it to the pot, then chopped the kale up and added it as well.  The parsley I just picked the leaves off the stems and toss them right in without chopping.  Next I tasted the broth, added a little sea salt, black pepper and a couple of shakes of Bragg's organic kelp seasoning (kind of like Mrs. Dash only better).  I also broke a few fetuccini noodles and put in.  Sometimes instead of the noodles I will put in  brown rice, or barley or even  soft white wheat. 
Soup's on!  This pot of soup will feed my family for two day's worth of lunches.  Thank you Lord for the bountiful harvest this last year.