Thursday, January 29, 2009

Intentional Christian Community

This is an email that MAN recently sent out to our homeschool group about Intentional Communities....

"Have you ever wondered if you could ever life like the Amish? If you're like me certain aspects of it are appealing. Not everything, of course, but then not everything in our modern life is all that appealing. Ok, so I wouldn't adopt Amish doctrine and I'm not talking about an isolationist cult but a Christian community of caring, loving, serving, like-minded folks who still are hungry for more of what the Lord has for us
and to be obedient to the Great Commission. The new term is Intentional Christian Community.

I've mentioned this once before briefly and since then Rea and I have done a little research into the subject. We even traveled to a small one community in eastern Ohio and met with folks for a day. Each community would certainly have its own unique characteristics and this one was on the wane and had little land left to develop.

The idea is simple and mostly self-sufficient and debt-free living depending on technology as available and focusing on developing the simple skills of farming, construction, and home-making. Members have the choice and are encouraged to attend their own church or attend "simple church" or housechurch as some of you have heard of.

Recently a start-up community contacted me through a network of interested folks. We have been having a wonderful time of online and phone fellowship and discussing the development of this community. We haven't decided to join yet as there are lots of details to work out and to determine our compatability.

In the next few weeks we will be traveling to meet with the founder and 3 or 4 other
families who are planning to start developing the land this year. 150 acres are
already purchased and somewhat developed. There is more land nearby and they are also looking at an additional 60 acres with some infrastructure, pasture, and

Interestingly the founder and I have both attended a log home builder's school in Washington state. Neither of us had any prior knowlege of this. He has weighed
the benefits and low cost of building log homes from scratch and is leaning toward a compressed adobe (rammed earth) type construction. It's cheap, available, fast, uses on-site resources (dirt) has superior insulation properties, and needs no mortar. Details and videos areavailable online at .

The whole idea appeals to me considering the times we live in. There are huge uncertainties facing all of us (especially Christians) who want to preserve our faith for future generations. Economic upheaval, energy, food, climate, political. Know this, that if you don't know what might hit you, then you won't be prepared when it does. I believe that the time to prepare is now while our government is still able to keep things afloat for a little longer.

If any of you are interested I will add you to my email list and try to keep you informed of our progress. I won't be using GBHEF for this purpose so you will have to let me know your email address to keep informed.

Thanks for your time. God keep you and
bless you."

Like he mentioned, we have been to visit a community that was about an hour and a half away from our current home. We are going out to meet the founder and his family (and the other families) of this new community. It's further away than we had planned for ourselves, but if it's God's calling then that is where we will go. We are also open to the idea that maybe this is a fact mission to start our own right here with the families that we already know and love, near our current church. We are in deep prayer as this will affect our family in a BIG way. But as I've said before, we have a BIG God! We have some very large hurtles that stand in our way, but if it is His will....

Please pray with us that we would be able to discern what we are being lead to do, and to be bold and brave with whatever the outcome is. And that the fears that we both have would be calmed and questions answered.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sorry I've been MIA! Chicken Update has been awhile since I've posted! The boy came down with a bad cold, and that's when he feels the most lovey-dovey. Guess who he lovey-dovey-ed (is that a word) on? Yup, that me! So then I got a really good cold. I haven't called into work since last February, and I actually called in on 1/14. And that was a GREAT night NOT to go to work. We got about an 1/2 inch of freezing rain followed by about 3 inches of snow...followed by negative temperatures. So...I stayed under the heated blanket and slept! Oh, and for all the times I've said that sleep is over-rated.....I WAS WRONG! :)

What's been happening? Hmm...let's see...let's start with the chickens. Yes, I will get pictures up of Arica and Star...soon, and also our winter shelter. But for now (since I am stuck at work without the tail to my camera...again!) I'll give the lowdown on the eggs...

(I'll update these tonight as I don't have my "egg calendar" with me.
1/14- 0 eggs
1/15 - 1 egg also 1* outside.
1/16 - Bought a Brooder heat lamp at the feed store-2 eggs
1/17 - 2 eggs
1/18 - 4 eggs /Star's egg was crushed in the box
1/19 - 3 eggs
1/20 - 1 egg

I'm concerned about Star's eggs. She has had the most issues of all my birds (well, besides the one that died-grimace!) She is the one with the lame foot, and a huge patch of broken feathers on her back (They still haven't grown back and we've had her for almost 3 full months). Well, she consistantly give the JUMBO eggs...usually with a double yolk, but then some days she lays the "egg liner" with no shell and no egg. Her eggs, even when jumbo, have a very brittle shell. The others have hard shells and there is grit mixed with their food, so....she may have to be Sunday dinner. I'll give her another month or two, and in the meantime be checking the internet to see if there is anything else I can do for her.

I have put an ad on Craigslist to get some other people to go in on a chicken order for February. It looks like I might actually have enough interest to put an order in. I only need 4 (possibly 10), but you can't order less than 25. We have decided on a new breed to raise and sell (maybe). First, check out this I realize that this may be a fluke auction but still......

And here is the "American Eskimo" Chickens that we want to raise to sell...

As a day old chick..

As a "grown up"

They are called "Silkies" and their feathers are like fur, they have as BOY puts it "Slippers on their feet." and the meat is actually black skinned.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January 7th: Day 7

Alright, so officially it is day 7, and I realize it is the middle of the night for most everyone else...but I want to be more diligent about posting daily. So, I've started the post for today. I wanted also to let you know that I have another blog going, and will have a 3rd going up soon.

Why? You ask. My life is very full and somewhat fragmented. I have 7 areas in my life that I want to start new habits in, and improve myself plus if I posted all that was going on in my mind and life on a daily basis, I'm afraid that someone might want to have me commited (haha). Plus the posts would be huge! I would love comments, so I don't think I am on this journey alone, but even if you can't comment, let me know that I'm not just rambling on and on and spending too much time typing for nothing!

So anyway, I already have up my "Scrap-tastrophe Studio" Blog (it's on the sidebar) and that is focusing on my Faith goals, my Faithbooking goals, and my scrapbooking goals. It's likely to become photo heavy. I have also decided to put a link to my homeschooling blog, because I get lots of questions about that and it will help me to be more focused and diligent in that area of our life. It's hosted on another blogroll, so I have to figure out how to link it here. Watch for it in the sidebar if you are interested.

I have Homesteading goals which are housed here on the orginal site and I've kinda put my financial goals here to. I also have home improvement goals that when I actually am able to do them will appear here. I am also wanting to become a more adventurous / consistant home baker/ cook, so I may include some of my recipes, etc as I make ones that aren't a flop GRIN!

My physical fitness goals are still hidden, but as I get braver, they may appear as well.

You'll also be seeing some advertising popping up along the bottom or side. I am trying to make sure it is not very intrusive. If you are interested, please do click into them. I do get a penny a click and am planning on doing a cool giveaway like I see on other blogs once I get to $20 or more dollars. Stay tuned there!

I am really grateful for the handful of you that do read my blog, and the few that are able to comment. Please check back and keep me accountable. I joke with my family that because of my odd hours of work, all my friends are inside my computer and I mostly have "virtual" friends. Virtual or not (imaginary or not-haha!) I love you all and appreciate you taking time out of your day to spend a few minutes with me!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

MON: Day 6

Well, today was a bit of a bust on the homestead-except we were back to getting 4 eggs! Good girls!

I'm working mandatory OT at my J.O.B. on both Mondays and Tuesdays for the whole entire month, add to that already working an extra 14 hours this weekend....I'm tired.

Boy had a vision therapy appointment, but we didn't make it because he woke up sick. Poor thing. Might have something to do with the fact that he was out riding his razor yesterday with a spring jacket on...but Stormy the dog, now HE had on a winter coat, over his God-given fur coat. SIGH.

Money spent today $2.29 for my Diet Citrus Drop addiction. (12 pack- should last 4 days)

Breakfast: Bananas, Cookie Crisp Cereal, and vitamins
Lunch: Man had canned soup and crackers, Boy and I slept through lunch
Dinner: Man had frozen lasagna, Boy had boiled Star egg, peanut butter crackers, cheese stick, and lego fruit snacks (I orginally gave him Mac n Cheese and was told it smelled like poison-yeah, I feel great about my cooking ability. grin)

OK, so our meal options were not great today, that happens with oodles of overtime and sick kids. Tomorrow I will be making bread again, and something warm and nutritious.

ON HOMESTEAD NEWS: I've started perusing the seed catalogs and dreaming of spring. Later this month I will get my itty bitty tomato seeds planted under a grow light in the house. I will also be planting lettuce, spinach and herbs to grow because they are so quick growing that we can just eat them from out of the window box.

I also spent last night looking at numerous chicken hatchery sites trying to decide what 3 chickens we are going to add to the family. I really like our 4 and am tempted to just get the same breeds, but then I also want to try other breeds. Boy I wish we were out in the country so I didn't have to limit my chicken habit.

Here are the ones I am thinking of....another Arica, a Cuckoo Maran (lays dark chocolate colored eggs) A silkie bantam. For non-chicken hugging readers: Bantam means smaller than the standard breeds. Silkie is just that, their feathers are more like down and very soft and lays down more like hair. Some also have feathers on their feet that look like slippers. They lay smaller eggs, but from what I've read the yolks are the same size as standard eggs and actually lower in cholesterol. I also like the Lace Wing Sussex because they are really pretty. I've thought about getting a white egg laying hen also. I posted an ad on Craigslist to find others that needed day old chicks, because they won't send less than 25...and really, I CANNOT have 25 more, Rea, you CANNOT! Opinions are welcome.

I'm also excited because it looks as though I may have more customers for my eggs than I thought. At church on Sunday, I was talking with my one friend who has said all along that she wanted eggs, and another mom piped up that she wanted some too! Horray! I don't think that I will make money at selling eggs. My goal for selling eggs is to maintain the chickens. The money I get for eggs goes back into feed for them, plus we are still getting eggs for our family. I figure at the pace they are currently going, I will be able to do just that. Feed is about $20 a month, two dozen eggs a week at $2.50 a dozen will be exactly that. And leaves about 4 eggs per week for us to use.

Monday, January 5, 2009

MON: Day 5- January 5th

Today was a shopping day! But I stayed in my $25 budget and by grocery gaming I ended up getting $52 worth of items. I >heart< Meijers! $23.45 spent.

1 bag big carrots, 1 bag baby carrots, 2 celery, 1 bag of onions, 3 bags of spinach, 2 bags of premade salad, 1 bag of coleslaw, 4 cans of Campbells tomato soup, 4 cans of Campbells Healthy Select soup, a gallon of milk, bottle of V8 juice, 2 boxes of electrsol (This was my coop buy- Regularly $3.69, on sale for $3.00, and had 2 coupons for $2.50 off-so, $0.50 a box!) and a 2 pound chuck roast. We will be having Roast with veggies tomorrow and salad with hard boiled eggs for lunches.

Lunch: left overs
Dinner: I actually am not sure what they had because I had overtime and was into work by 5:30.

The chickens only laid one egg today. I'm pretty sure it's because of the light. The light had (I thought) burnt out. They need 12-14 hours of light to lay. The boy climbed into the coop at some point while I was napping and discovered the bulb was just loose and tightened it, so the girls have light again. Hopefully tomorrow we will be back to 3-4 eggs.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

MON Day 3&4

I don't remember what we ate on Saturday-or most of Sunday. Although I do know that Sunday dinner was a BOY's dream! We had hotdogs and sourkraut, baked beans, macaroni & Cheese (homemade-not from a box), and baked potatoes.

I know on Saturday I made Pumpkin Crunch...oh now I remember, we had rotini pasta, frozen cauliflower/broccoli/carrots, and spaghetti sauce all mixed together and homemade bread made into garlic toast.


We got 3 eggs on Saturday the 3rd and 1 on Sunday. Apparently it was a day of rest. :)

Boy started back to choir at church and will be auditioning for the spring musical on the 10th. I'll have to buy a CD of the music at some point this month and that will be $2.50.

Friday, January 2, 2009

January 2nd: Month of Nothing

Today I went returning. Now I would like to say that by returning I have extra money to put into the fund...but that is not the case. I am going to have to do better on that!

Returned shirt to Old Navy...$8.03 back onto the card....went next door to Michaels and put $10.62 on the card (Zachary has a birthday party later this month, I did find things for gifts at 50%-6o% off)

Returned pants to Walmart...$16.01 back...Bought slippers to replace lost ones. $9.50. Bought Bananas, gum, 1 green pepper, air freshener, and a can of sourkraut (it was a quarter!!) OH, and 4 rolls of Christmas wrapping paper for $1.25.

So over all I spent: $10.59
Running Tally $15.93-I am done for the week!

Eggs laid today: 4!!
January Egg total: 5

Breakfast: Cold cereal for Boy, I think Man had potato chips and coffee (yes, we need to work on this) I had to work the night before so I slept.
Lunch: Cane's chicken fingers and fries.....WHOA you say...that looks like dining out, well, yes, technically it was except it was a mystery shop, so I will be reimbursed for it at the end of the month.
Dinner: Made homemade bread, Hamberger Helper, and 1/2 green pepper for man.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

January 1st: Month of Nothing

OK, today we did alright on our challenge...kinda.

Breakfast..cold cereal
Lunch...snacked on leftovers from New Years Eve
Dinner...Country Pork Spare Ribs, Cooked Cabbage (which I do you burn a boiled vegetable??), Brown Rice and Red Beans.

I spent $5.34 at Kroger for 2 heads of cabbage (only used and burnt--arg!) one, the ribs, and I can't remeber the third thing...I know it was a vegetable.....oh well...something else.

Running tally: $5.34

Today we only got one egg. Last month from 12/12/08-12/31/08, the girls laid an impressive 61 eggs!!!

OHH! And Boy knocked out one of his bottom teeth (it was loose) while I was at the grocery store. Other details of the day, we enjoyed a roaring fire in the quiet room.

Happy New Year! May 2009 SHINE!

Well, 2008 definitely was not the best...but then again it wasn't the VERY worst! :)

I love New Years Eve (despite having to work this year--UG! at least I was able to run home and kiss my guys at midnight before running back to work!) I like making resolutions and those who know me, know that I set unreasonably high goals and then knock myself around for not achieving in that light....

No really, I've tried to be more reasonable, but still have high expectations.

I don't know if God will have us moving as we hope. As Man pointed out today, we've lived in our current home longer than anywehere else we've lived in our 16 years of marriage (almost 17) but it's not been lack of trying. We've been trying to move for over 3 years now, but His all-knowing hand has come in at the last minute to save us from ourselves. So I still pray this will the year that we move somewhere. But in the meantime, we need to do with what we have so here are the "HOMESTEAD RESOLUTIONS"

1. Improvements and updates as we can afford to make the place more sellable.
2. Add 3 more chickens and start selling eggs.
3. Aggressively working on our debt. (We are so overstrapped!!Stupid surgery--no not really, I'm grateful that I now can walk again!)
4. Eating more homemade / homestead food.
5. Blog regularly...(daily?!?)

With resolution 3 & 4 (and 5), my plan is something I saw on a magazine and then found a blog of someone who did it. So we are going to have "Month-of-Nothing" and "Month-of-Half" What this means is in the Month-of-Nothing (mon) we will spend essentially nothing. This goes for food, gas, etc... Now I realize this is a fairly unrealistic goal as our normal monthly for this type of stuff is about $250 (and know that we do not go out to dinner and movies, rent movies, etc) So we are 'allowed' $25 each week. I've been grocery gaming so we have a fairly good pantry and freezer full. The $25 will also be if there are grocery game deals that are just too good to pass on. We can carry over from previous weeks. We have essentially $3.25 per day, so on weeks like this one where there are only 3's a $10 week. And on the MOH (Month of half) it won't really be half...I'm going to allow $50...with a bit of play upto $65 per week. This is the game plan, keep tuned in to see how we do. I'll be posting on here for accountablity.

January-Month of Nothing
February-Month of Half
March-Restock Month
April-Month of Nothing
May-Month of Half
June-Restocking Month
July-Month of Nothing
August-Month of Nothing (HARVEST MONTH!)
September-Month of Half
October-Restocking Month
November-Month of Half
December-Month of Half

You can also follow some of my personal resolutions (my faith, faithbooking, and scrapbooking ones HERE.