Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Day in My Winter Kitchen

As many of you who visit regularly know, I get my flours, sweeteners, spices, oils, noodles, pastas, etc. from a German Baptist lady who has an awesome little shop built onto the back of her house - The Flour Barrel. I LOVE this place; I like to just go in there and BREATHE all the spicey, herbal smells. She also has teas, treats and snacks that she buys whole sale and sells cheap and she has a wall full of Christian books. You can take a quick visit by clicking here --> http://marmeespantry.blogspot.com/2010/01/inside-farm-stores.html

But today, I'm going to show you how I store the herbs and spices and a few other things that I get from her. Since she packages these items herself you can lose the freshness if you simply fold over the wrap and put the unused portion of the herbs/spices back into your cabinet or drawer.

I 'collect' all sorts and sizes of glass and plastic jars and containers. Here are some of my extras waiting to be used...

I save Spike Seasoning jars and mushroom jars for spices, the larger jar on the back-left was from a restaurant BBQ sauce and now I put my own homemade BBQ sauce in it. Glass pasta sauce jars and canning jars make great cannisters; Kraft Parm. cheese shaker containers are perfect for my all-time favorite herb mix (http://marmeespantry.blogspot.com/2010/01/kims-absolute-favorite-herb-mix.html) OR for homemade scrub cleaners and for sprinkling carpet deodorizer. Squeeze-type honey bottles are great for homemade face wash, shampoo, and lotions. What I don't have a photo of is a pump-type bottle; I use those for my homemade facewash - one squirt is the perfect amount.

Here's a peek inside my spice cabinet...

On the top are some of my spice mixes that I use while cooking. I put the recipe on the labels b/c I give them away so often. That way, whomever I give it to can make more. Below you can see many of my herbs/spices. See those neat little gasket-lid jars? Aren't those just the cutest?! I am so happy w/that little find - from Hobby Lobby. I also found a couple that were a little more decorative...

Many times I make my own butter - nothing fancy, just shake 2 containers of heavy whipping cream until your arm nearly falls off - and it's worth it. But when I don't have the time, or I just plain don't feel like it, I will get a roll of Amish butter, straight from Holmes County! The Flour Barrel also has that.

Does that look GOOD or what?! I like my butter soft, so when I buy a roll I cut off an end, about 2" thick, and put it in my butter crock that sits out on my dry sink.

This way, it's already soft for baking and spreading.
Here's where I spend a lot of our winter days...

There's water on for hot tea and broccoli and cheese soup on the stove and chicken breasts were about to go into the electric skillet. Here's my favorite way to prepare chicken: put 1 boneless/skinless chicken breast for each person in a skillet w/olive oil, sprinkle Spike seasoning and my favorite homemade herb mix that I gave you in the in the link above, add
a pinch of Rosemary on each breast. Re-apply once you have turned the chicken. Prepare until cooked through. My favorite sides are broccoli and yellow rice or long grain and wild rice. YUM!

Here's what also used to happen in our winter kitchen...even when it snowed...

SCHOOL!! No snow days, here! lol

Blessings from snowy Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Get Out of That Boat!

Isaiah 41:9 & 10 – “I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

In his book “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat,” John Ortberg asks this question: “Where is Jesus calling you to jump to Him with reckless abandon?” Have you given that any thought lately? Or has God been nudging you to move a little farther out toward that water? Is there something Christ is telling you to “experiment” with in that still, small voice of His?…A new curriculum? A new way of structuring your homeschool day? Writing your own unit study?...Are you feeling the urge to purge all the chemicals out of your cleaning cabinet and start making your own household and personal care? To start a garden and learn how to can your own food? You may even have “stumbled” onto this blog because you know the Lord is calling you to begin homeschooling or change your life-style and you need some encouragement.
Where is Jesus calling you to jump to Him with reckless abandon?
Jesus calls us to walk in faith…faith in Him and how He will work in us through the call He put on our life. What’s holding you back in your homeschool or frugal living walk of faith? Is it fear? The reason most people don’t jump is fear. Of course, nothing as serious as a change in lifestyle should ever be
attempted without much prayer. But once you’ve prayed and the fear is still there, then what do you do? Well…Peter had to get out of that boat at some point. Was he afraid? Absolutely! Fear can be either paralyzing or motivating. Fear can make your imagination run away with you so you’ll never do what you are called to do (Will I completely ruin my child’s intellectual growth? What if I make them social misfits? What if they won’t listen to me?)…or…fear can be healthy and keep us from danger or making wrong choices (I know my child's teacher is very liberal, but surely they won't influence my child THAT much? Surely that soap isn't what's causing my child's rash?). No one loves your family more or knows them better than you. Make no mistake, a change in lifestyle is a calling. And any change needs Christ’s guidance everyday. Peter didn’t start to sink until he took his eyes off of Jesus! We need to learn from him and keep our eyes on Jesus as well.

Where is Jesus calling you to jump to Him with reckless abandon?

What boat does Jesus want you to jump out of? In the opening verse God, Himself, promises “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Proverbs 16:3 declares, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed.” Wow! What incredible promises! Why do I fail to take Him up on His promises? If God has called me His servant, has told me that He has chosen me; has told me that He will strengthen me, help me and uphold me if I commit my plans to Him…what in the world am I afraid of? What are you afraid of? What are we waiting for…a push? No, jumping requires action on our part.

Where is Jesus calling you to jump to Him with reckless abandon?

He's waiting to take your hand...

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Home Remedies for Staph Infection

I was recently asked if I knew of any natural/home remedies for Staph Infection, so after some research here's what I found:

There are 2 ways to approach your treatment ~ INternal & EXternal, to be used at the same time...

1) Garlic. Plain & simple. Whether you eat a clove a day or use suppliments/capsules that leave no odor. Garlic is God's amazing gift for healing.
2) Echinacea or Chamomile Tea. Drink several cups a day. Not only does it helps w/internal anti-bacterial healing, but it will make you 'go' & you will be flushing away some of that infection...literally!

1) Wash, wash, wash. Keep the infected site clean. Use soap & water, Hydrogen Peroxide or alcohol; depending upon what you think is appropriate.

2) Here are few different topical applications:

~Soak the end of a Q-tip w/EITHER Tea Tree essential oil, aloe or Witch Hazel & apply directly to the infected site.

~Mix 1 TB honey with 1 ts tea tree oil & cover infected area w/the paste. If possible, put a clean bandage over it. Repeat a couple of times through the day.

~Mix 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar, 3 TB honey & 1 c. hot water. Soak a clean cloth in the solution, wring out & apply to the site. Use as a hot pack 3 times per day, using new solution & a clean cloth each time. When washing these cloths USE BLEACH.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim W<><
{Thanks for the prompting, Sheri!!}

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Grace and the Homeschool

2 Cor. 12:9 – “But He [Jesus] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

I’ve noticed a series of stages in the life of homeschool moms. The first, of course, is one of anxiety and fear as the dear newbies begin their great adventure. The second is usually a fluctuation between “some ol’, same ol’" and delight in the privilege of being with our children all day. The third, ahhh…this is the pinnacle we all work toward…graduation!

But somewhere in the second stage lies a hidden sub-level that homeschool moms don’t talk about. It begins when many get lost in the illusion of fantastic stories and statistics (all meant to be encouraging) of super homeschoolers. These super homeschoolers and their families live on small self-sufficient farms where they raise their own livestock, fruits and vegetables; make their own clothes, their children have all read War and Peace by their third-grade year, they have formed their own family orchestra and every evening they play the chamber music that the oldest two siblings have co-written AND the parents have written an entire curriculum that keeps them in demand at homeschool conventions across the country. Oh, by the way, all the children aced their SATs and entered an ivy-league college at age 16.

That’s when we can come to the point where burn-out could be on the horizon if we try to live up to the exception (note family above) rather than the rule (all the ‘normal’ families that go unmentioned). YES…homeschoolers score an average of 30-35 points above their public/private school counter-parts on the SATs. YES…ivy-league colleges are welcoming homeschoolers with open arms. YES…because of the love and time that homeschool families have with each other our families can (and DO) do superior, wonderful things together! BUT…burn-out can come when a mom tries to live up to that ideal everyday.

Many moms on this level can feel like a hamster in the wheel…running, running, running but going nowhere. While Dad is at work, mom is home acting as teacher, nurse, short-order cook, police officer, librarian, taxi cab driver…and on and on. With so much demand on her it isn’t difficult to understand why she might feel unloved, inadequate and insignificant.

Something I had been heard to say more than once to moms in our support group is: “Even though we homeschoolers are very independent, it’s still no place to be an island.” What I mean is that we need spiritually and emotionally fed.

We must feed ourselves on the spiritual food of God’s Word. This is where The Source of All has given us instruction and spiritual nourishment. This is where our real strength comes from. Whether you prefer to read and pray in the morning or evening makes no difference. Just do it! “But I don’t have the time! I can’t read and pray in the morning because I barely get up before my kids. I can’t read and pray at night because I’m so tired I fall asleep after the first sentence.” I used to feel the same way. Personally, I read and pray at night and fall asleep ruminating on what I have studied. The Lord doesn’t care what time of day we talk to Him…He just wants us to talk to Him! You will be amazed at how this changes your day.

You need to be emotionally fed as well. Of course, the Lord is first in this area, BUT the first mortal you need to go to is your husband. He has no idea what you’ve been through or what you need unless you tell him. As much as we wish they were mind-readers, sadly they are not. If he will help you for a half an hour a day to take time for a sip of tea and read a book or even going to the grocery by yourself can have a reviving effect of your mind.

Another emotional out-let can be your support group. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Prov. 27:17) Everyone there has been through, or will go through, what you are going through. Use them…that’s why they are there. In our area we have a weekly gym day at a YMCA. The students have dubbed the moms “The Lounging Mamas” because many of them meet in the lounge. While they are there, they do everything from write lesson plans, to gab, to share new ideas and to PRAY.

Dear friendships are made in these groups. (I loved my time w/these ladies!) Don’t isolate yourself by thinking that you are the only one who has a “low” day in a world of perfect homeschoolers. You won’t be embarrassed, you will find a sisterhood that the Lord has purposely put in your path. (2 Cor. 1:3-4)

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf <><

{FYI~The top photo is DD#1 at her awesome backyard homeschool graduation ~ 6/06!}

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Homemade Soft Scrub

Quick & easy...

~1/2 c. baking soda

~Liquid Castile Soap

1) In a bowl, add Castile Soap to baking soda until mixture is creamy & thick.

2) Dip dampened cleaning cloth (or homemade dish cloth) as needed into mixture, wash dirty surface, rinse. Leaves no grit!

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Right Side of History

Glenn Beck made a great point on his radio show today: "We are living in historical times & we need to decide which side of history we are going to be on - the right or the wrong."

In years to come when our children or grandchildren ask us what we did save our country from disaster, we need to be able to look them in the eyes & not be ashamed, we need to be able to tell them that we didn't just sit there & watch it all fall apart on T.V.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim W<><

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#63~ 1/25/10

For Today...
Outside my window...sunshine desperately TRYING to shine through! Hello, sunshine, I've missed you.
I am thinking...of all the things I need to do today.
I am thankful for...I've had 4 speaking engagements book for February! 2 about homeschooling & 2 demonstrating the hammered dulcimer! Such fun.
From the kitchen...no lightening bolt of inspiration has hit me yet.
I am wearing...my basic winter Monday 'uniform' ~ jeans, turtleneck shirt, hoodie.
I am remembering…to pray FIRST.

I am going…to take DD#2 to work/pick up later, laundry, Monday household duties, tape 24 for DH tonight so that he can watch it tomorrow...

I am reading..."Lies Women Believe" for Sunday School. Here's something exciting...I was asked to re-teach this book for a women's Bible study this summer!
I am hoping...my major prayer request gets answered SOON.

On my mind…making ends meet.

I am creating...a peaceful home.

I am hearing...radio, the dryer running, the tapping of my fingers on the computer key-pad.
Noticing that…Maggie (the dog) is obeying so much better, lately.
Pondering these words…"It all comes back to the Gospel!"

Around the house...trying to squeak out all the use of certain gadgets before they need to be $$ repaired.

One of my favorite things...sun breaking through the clouds.
A Scripture thought...Romans 12:1 ~ "Therefore, I [Paul] urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy & pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship." THIS is something to live for!!
A few plans for the rest of the week...a little extra research on the history of the hammered dulcimer to finish up my presentation, prep for Sunday School lesson; a blessed wife, mom & taxi driver. :-)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...
"Sisters...Sisters...There were never such devoted sisters..." I love my goofy girls!

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><
***Wishing I could figure out why I can't un-scrunch some of the lines, above!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

20 Uses for Tea Tree Essential Oil

Here is a GREAT post from Kat @ http://whisperwindfarmhomestead.blogspot.com/ Every home needs to have a little bottle Tea Tree essential oil. Once you start using it you'll wonder how your survived so long w/o it.

And don't forget about my oily skin face wash that I told you about a few weeks ago, made w/Tea Tree essential oil. http://marmeespantry.blogspot.com/2010/01/homemade-facewash-oil-skin.html

Blessings from Ohio...Kim W<><


I use tea tree oil all the time in my home. It is great for just about everything. The smell is a little strong, but diluted you get used to it quickly. So I thought you all would be interested in finding out just how versatile tea tree oil is. Here are 20 different uses for home and health:

1. Use a dab to treat acne.

2. An anti-fungal for treating Athlete’s Foot, eczema, various yeast infections, etc.

3. An antiseptic to be used on cuts and burns.

4. An anti-viral: it may lessen the symptoms of colds and flu. Try using a few drops in the bath.

5. Add to a vaporizer to loosen chest congestion.

6. Add a small amount to shampoo to destroy head lice.

7. A small amount added to your bath can help with persistent body odor.

8. Treating sinus infection.

9. For dandruff and dry scalp.

10. In the form of aromatherapy, tea tree oil is used to treat colds, persistent coughs, acne, toothaches, and sunburn.

11. To create an all-purpose cleaner, combine 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil in 2 cups of water in a spray bottle.

12. Another version would be 14 ounces of water with 1 ounce of Murphy’s oil soap and 10 drops of tea tree oil.

13. Mix the above solution with kosher salt to scrub bathtub and bathroom tiles.

14. Add a few drops to dishwasher dispenser, then fill with a green dishwashing soap.

15. A few drops added to each load of laundry leave your clothes smelling cleaner.

16. Control mold with a tea tree oil/water spray.

17. Remove mustiness with that same tea tree oil/water spray.

18. To keep germs at bay, spray it on high chairs, car seats, and other high traffic spots.

19. 15 drops in a quart of water can be an effective insect repellent.

20. Be sure to take some with you when hiking and camping to put directly on insect bites or blisters.

Friday, January 22, 2010

10 Ingredients in Homemade Cleaners

Sarah Aguirre, @ About.com / gleaned from Grandma Rosie @ Homesteadblogger.com

BAKING SODA: Works as a mild abrasive, helping to gently scrub things that need to be scrubbed, but not scratched. Baking soda also works well to remove smelly odors, making it a prime candidate for a bathroom & kitchen cleaner. Baking soda also works to removes stains & can be used to help soften laundry.

BORAX: is a laundry booster that can be used in a few different ways around the house. Borax is actually a natural mineral, but can be an irritant on skin & shouldn't be ingested. Borax can be used as a stain remover & a substitute for bleach. Borax can also be used to repel insects, although care should be used around pets & small children.

CASTILE SOAP: is an oil based soap that can be used to clean almost anything in your home. Diluted liquid castile soap can be used as an all-purpose cleaner. Liquid castile soap is an excellent degreaser.

CORN STARCH: can be used as a starching solution for clothing. Cornstarch also absorbs oils & greases, making it a great help in the laundry room or for stains on countertops.

ESSENTIAL OILS: Essential oils help add a pleasing scent to homemade cleaning solutions. Be careful when using essential oils. A little goes a long way. There are people w/high sensitivities to essential oil fragrances.

LEMON & LEMON JUICE: can be great for scrubbing copper bottom pots. The juice works to clean & shine the pans. Lemon juice is a natural bleach, especially when combined w/the sun. Lemon juice is a natural degreaser which comes in handy w/dishes.

SALT: is an abrasive solution for scrubbing. Use salt to get rid of rust & mildew. Salt also works to help polish copper & silver.

TOOTH PASTE: works as a very mild abrasive, similar to soft scrubbing gel solutions. Toothpaste can be used to clean silver. It can also be used to remove stains on white clothing, tennis shoes & in many other places where a light scrubbing is needed.

VINEGAR: can be used as a fabric softener in the rinse cycle of your washing machine. Vinegar makes a great all-purpose cleaner. Mopping w/vinegar is an inexpensive way to keep your floors clean. Vinegar is a great stain remover. Vinegar carefully combined w/baking soda, makes a great foaming toilet cleaner.

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE: can be used as a disinfectant. It also is one of the most effective blood stain removers.

NOTE: ***With all of these ingredients, BE CAREFUL about mixing cleaners together. Use new clean bottles. Follow storage guidelines for cleaners. Rinse thoroughly & always follow instructions.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Call to Educate for Eternity

Psalm 78:5-7 – “He decreed statutes…he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.”

Part of what I used to do for 11 years as a county homeschool co-ordinator was help new homeschool moms get started in the adventure of educating their children at home. To me, this was the best part of the job description! In the process of talking with these moms I got to know them a little, I learned what brought them to the decision to homeschool.

Honestly, I am most encouraged by those who have prayed, read books, read magazines, asked dozens of questions and have come to the conclusion that it is God’s call. It has been my experience that these are the people who will go for the long haul. These are the people who will be most successful and their children will be the most well-rounded and motivated.

I believe that the homeschool “movement” is a revival. We are picking up the baton of godly education that those before us dropped. And when the baton was dropped in this country (in
the 1850s when the first Government-funded public schools opened their doors) it slowly started to roll…away. It picked up speed in the 1960s when prayer was taken out of public schools, a little faster in the 1970s when authority was taken away from teachers and principals to discipline students. And faster and faster through to the 1990s and the beginning of the twenty-first century when immorality and violence have become so rampant in our public schools that parents must wonder if they will ever see their children again after they walk out the front door.

Safety is a big issue, to be sure. But the bigger issue for us should be to raise children who will be effective adults for the Lord…Not homeschooling for the sake of homeschooling, not homeschooling so that they will be geniuses, not even for their safety. But that they will be those “first fruits” in a new generation of godly leadership…the first of several godly generations, should the Lord tarry. Most of all, we homeschool so that our children will live a love relationship with Christ begun in a life-style of faith.

I hope you will review the reasons why you homeschool, and I hope that it all begins with The Call.

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf <><

REVIEW: Mother

By: Kathleen Norris

This book is the book that you want to recommend to the teenage daughter who might be tempted away from home as her ministry. A daughter who might be tempted into thinking that home-life (being housewife and mother) is a drudgery and not the "noble" choice to make in her life.

This fine little book was originally printed in 1911, rediscovered by Jennie Chancey and reprinted through Vision Forum. Like Mrs. Chancey writes in her forward, I too, read this in one night. Just couldn't put it down. Why aren't books like this written anymore...no curse words, the Bible as our guide, family and home-life seen as the best decision a woman can make?

As the book opens we find Margaret Paget tired of her young life as a school teacher and wondering what else this big world has to offer. Certainly, there is more to life than this or the drudgery and slavery her sweet mother chose in raising her children and caring for her home. Margaret accidentally meets a woman whose high societal position allows her to hire Margaret as her assistant. Through a series of events, over-heard conversations disdaining home-life and as time passes, Margaret realizes that her mother really did make the noble choice: knowing the joy of being in God's will, being a keeper of the home and raising her children to be productive Christians.

If you have a girl's book club, you or someone you know loves old books, or you want to very gently steer your daughter back to the nobility of home-life, you will thoroughly enjoy this book.

Blessings from Ohio, Kim W<><

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Homemade Seasoned Salt

If you enjoy seasoned salt - especially Tastefully Simple's blend - you will LOVE this! I used to work for Tastefully Simple & my husband's favorite item was their seasoned salt; I used to tease that, since he used it on so many things, I expected to see him use it on ice cream one of these days! lol

NOW...he's hooked on my homemade seasoned salt! I was given this recipe from a dear lady at church & I will never buy seasoned salt again...

5 TB. Sea Salt

1/2 ts. dried thyme leaves

1/2 ts. marjoram

1/2 ts. garlic salt

2-1/2 ts. paprika
1/2 ts. curry powder

1 ts. dry mustard
1/2 ts. onion powder

1/8 ts. dill seed

1/2 ts. celery seed
1/2 ts. oregano

2 TB. parsley flakes

~ Combine all ingredients in a bowl & EITHER grind larger items w/a mortar & pestel before blending OR put all ingredients into a blender & process until blended.

~ Store in an air-tight shaker container. It keeps 'forever'!

~ Use sparingly, a little goes a long way.


Blessings from Ohio, Kim <><

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What's in a (Middle) Name?

The Middle Name Game...

Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.

Here’s mine with a little “spin” on it…

My middle name ~ Ann:

A: Appreciative. FAMILY: I always wanted 5 children, but - since we had a daughter who is now with Jesus, 2 miscarriages that are with Jesus BUT were given 2 daughters we could raise here on earth - I have to remind myself that I WILL have 5 in heaven and that eternity is MUCH LONGER than our mere life here. MATERIAL POSSESSIONS: I have been VERY "well off" and I have been LITERALLY penniless and I appreciate everything that we have, everything that others - in the Name of Christ - have done for us. I am also SO blessed that so many of our possessions were handed down from much-loved, much-missed loved ones. We have my hubby's grandmother's rocker, my gr-grandma's rocker (not only were my children rocked on it, but I was, my daddy was and my grandpa was!), many pieces of furniture, coat racks, children's toys, bikes, lamps and shelves that my dear daddy refinished or handmade just for my family or me because he loved me so much. It touches my heart that while he was working on these items that he was thinking of me...or my family...with every stroke of the saw, every swish of the paint/finish brush, every turn of a screw. I have jewelry that was passed down...my grandma's pigeon blood ruby ring and a gold ring (she was a VERY poor little Appalachian farm wife/mother - of 14 - so fine jewelry was very treasured); I wear my mom's original wedding ring set and my daddy's wedding ring. Call me sentimental!

~ Phil. 4:11-13 - "...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through HIM Who gives me strength."

N: Noble: I don't say that haughtily, but humbly. I have been reborn - through no good doing of my own - and adopted as a child of THE KING! I am His clay that is being continually shaped for HIS noble purposes, most of which I have no idea what they will be. And it may not even have anything to do with ME. Like Rahab, I have a tainted past - but I have been forgiven and made brand new, and like Rahab, I may be in the family line of someone who will do mighty, mighty things for God's Kingdom, if the Lord should tarry. It may even be one of my daughters!

~ 2 Tim. 2:20-21 - "In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work."

N: Name: Name? Of all words...Name? Yes! I am thrilled, I am excited, I am impatient to find out the name that God, Himself, has picked out JUST FOR ME!! Have you ever given that any thought? For some unknown reason, for me, this fact of my future is beyond exciting! I know how much thought my husband and I put into picking the names for our daughters...how much MORE thought - being the thoughtful, insightful Father that He is - has God put into the name that HE has picked out just for ME! That ONLY HE & I will know! WOW!!! It makes me SO happy! The thoughtfulness, the intimacy of our Father/daughter relationship when I finally get to go home!

~ Rev. 2:17 - "...I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it." Rev. 3:12 - "...I will also write on him My new name."

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Homemade Deodorant

Ever since I found out that anti-perspirants are directly related to breast cancer, because of the aluminum in them, once again I knew that I could find something I could make myself that would be safer and work to my satisfaction. I don't remember where I found this recipe for homemade deodorant, but I've used it for 3-4 years and have been very happy w/it.

Homemade deodorant is really very simple and you probably have all of the items in your cupboard already.

Here's what you need:

~An air-tight container ~ either a pretty dusting powder jar w/lid (I'm hunting antique shops for one!) OR some other container, I use a small Rubbermaid container.

~1/2c. Baking Soda

~1/2c. Corn Starch

~5 drops of an anti-bacterial essential oil; I use Lavender

~A whisk

Add Baking Soda to container...

Add Corn Starch...

Add about 5 drops of Lavender essential oil...

Whisk thoroughly.

To apply use either a powder puff or gently fluff a large cottonball, press into the mixture and apply.

REMEMBER: 1) This IS a DEODORANT, NOT an anit-perspirant; 2) this IS a powder so be careful when applying it while wearing dark colors and sleeveless shirts. At times, in the summer, I have been known to first apply a little bit of Tom's Lavender deodorant stick and THEN quickly applying the powder over it when I know it's going to be very hot or I'm going to be in a stressful situation.


Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Monday, January 18, 2010

Socially Retarded...By God's Grace

{Originally written 4/06}

(1 Peter 4:4-5) - "They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to Him Who is ready to judge the living and the dead."
(1 Sam. 16:7) - "...The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

WHAT in the world is going on in the clothing industry lately?! I have 2 teen daughters [this was in '06, they are now 22 & almost 19] and we can hardly find anything suitable for them to wear...thank the Lord for Eddie Bauer and L. L. Bean or they wouldn't have a modest pair of jeans to put on.

At any given day, a trip to the mall, a view of the TV screen or a gander at a magazine cover in the checkout line can be an eye-opening experience. What's a Christian parent raising Christian teens to dress modestly to do? Even well-meaning gift-giving relatives have bought into the world's corrupt ideas of "fashion" when it comes to birthday and Christmas presents.

I'm very bold when it comes to protecting my family and I am NOT above returning a gift or tactfully declining to accept one. Of course, we get met with those questioning looks, but I will not dress my girls like prostitutes, nor will I let anyone else.

I know that I'm not the only one who feels this way...but why does it seem that no one else is letting the store managers know? Whenever I can't find anything suitably modest enough to buy, or see something that one should be able to SEE is unsuitable for a teen, I often (much to my teen daughters' chagrin) summon the store or department manager and let them know that they are losing a HUGE market. "Not everyone wants to dress their daughters like street walkers."

Most of the time, I get that "well there's nothing I can do about it" answer, to which I reply, "You can tell your buyers." (I didn't spend 8 years in retail for nothin'!) There must be others out there getting up the guts to say something about it besides me, because I just read an article saying that "Skin is Out!" for the next fashion season. Of course, they made it a point to say that it had nothing to do with the "Christian Right"...which makes me say a big "hmmmmmmmm...Me thinks thou protests too much!"

Yes, my girls are socially retarded...by God's grace! My children have been raised in a loving Christian home with parents who care enough to say "no" when it's necessary. Parents who have guided them to find "...whatever is true...noble...pure...lovely...admirable...excellent or praiseworthy..." (Phil. 4:8). We have prepared them for how hard it can be to stand up and say, "The emperor has no clothes!" (We didn't realize that it would be LITERAL!) We have reminded them of the many Bible figures who stood alone for the sake of the Lord and His mighty cause. I have reminded them of Elijah and how he thought for sure he was the ONLY righteous man left, but the Lord told him that there were 7,000 who had not bowed their knees to Baal. No matter what the world says, we are NOT alone!

I have reminded them of how young David was chosen by God to be king. Even when his tall, handsome, muscular brothers were paraded about, God told the prophet "no" until the sweet little shepherd who had a way with a harp stepped forward. Even his own dad couldn't believe it! But God looks at the heart - NOT a fashion statement.
Our family might be "socially retarded" as the world sees us...but who has the better reward for how we will live our lives? Not by works, but by the faith we have in Christ and the obedience that faith causes us to walk in. I'm hoping that after our initial shock and disgust at seeing how these girls have been sucked in by the world's lies, that we will remember to pray for them. They were also created in God's image and we must remember..."There, but for the grace of God, go I."

Blessings from Ohio...Kim W<><

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#62~ 1/18/10

For Today...

Outside my window...grey & dreary.

I am thinking...that I am a blessed woman. Things are hard, but I AM blessed.

I am thankful for...an extra day w/my hubby.

From the kitchen...lunch was simple: brats w/sour kraut & mac & cheese; supper might be dirty rice & veggies.
I am wearing...jeans, long black shirt, black socks.

I am remembering…childhood commercials. I found a few on YouTube & put them on my Facebook. Such fun.

I am going…to pick up DD#2 from work.

I am reading..."Lies Women Believe" for Sunday School. Still haven't found my "Ragamuffin Gospel" book I was looking for last week. I'm going to have to check w/some friends to see if someone borrowed it.

I am hoping...for a huge answer to prayer.

On my mind…my mom & my huge answer to prayer.

I am creating...a peaceful home.

I am hearing...the radio, DH coming in from the frigid outside.

Noticing that…I need new glasses.

Pondering these words…"Above all, childhood should be a time when love is abundantly flowing, like standing beneath a waterfall in the tropics." From "Drenching Love" at the blog http://ladyofvirture.blogspot.com/

Around the house...good conversation w/my sweet DH while he has an extra day off.

One of my favorite things...talking & laughing around the supper table w/my family. There's nothing like family humor & 'inside' family jokes.

A Scripture thought...I John 3:1 ~ "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called chidren of God!..." According to a pastor I used to have, the Greek form of the word "lavish" means: like standing under a waterfall; being utterly & completely DRENCHED. I was reminded of this when reading to above mentioned blog entry. What a great God we serve!

A few plans for the rest of the week...taking Maggie to the vet for a check up, household duties, doing the best I can to stretch our $$; counting my blessings.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

This was from one of those e-mails w/really cool time-lapsed photos. I saved this & I call it "Tom & Jerry...For Real!" LOL!!

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Oh, the Shame of it All!

A while back, a blog friend of mine had a post that really struck a chord.

The pressing issue was the "self-esteem" movement that is trying to sweep through the church. In REALITY, a good self-esteem is realizing that mankind was in such filth that God HAD to send His Son, Jesus Christ, down here to be our Sacrifice OR God would have had to destroy us. And because of His love, and our filthy sinful natures, He did just that; with Jesus being our perfect once-for-all sacrificial Lamb. Thank You, Lord!

I don't know about you, but I am utterly un-deserving. I've been a Christian since an Imperials concert I attended in 1982 (yea, Russ Taff!) - even though I know I'm forgiven - even though I know the Lord threw my sins into the depths of the sea - as far as the east is from the west - I still remember alot of it. I AM UNDESERVING! I love the Lord BECAUSE of my shame!

I identify so closely with the sinful woman who anointed Jesus' feet. Read Luke 7:36-50. While she cried such tears as to wet Jesus' feet, she then began to wipe them with her hair, she kissed His precious feet and then broke her costly bottle of perfume and poured out what was probably the most precious item she owned onto the most precious Person she knew...THE ONE who forgave her.

The self-righteous Pharisees thought this disgraceful; Jesus was letting this sinful, immoral woman TOUCH Him and - gasp! - WORSHIP Him! In Luke 7:41-47, Jesus had this to say,

"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him 500 denarii, and the other 50. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"

Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."

"You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

Then He turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give Me any water for My feet, but she wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give Me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing My feet. You did not put oil on My head, but she has poured perfume on My feet. Therefore, I tell you, her MANY sins have been forgiven - for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." [emphasis mine~KW<><]
I can hardly read that without weeping because I love much - part of the reason is because of my shame. The Pharisees didn't – was it because of their "self-esteem" and their LACK of shame? I think it not a coincidence that she placed herself BEHIND Jesus. I think she placed herself there because of her shame. Yes, she was forgiven; yes, she knew Jesus loved her - but living the life that she lived would take a while to "get over."

I see so many today - "celebrities," political leaders, even extended family members - who have NO shame. Where did that go? I can remember when my daddy would scold me; all he had to do to make me feel the depth of my transgression was to rub his pointer fingers across each other and say, "shame, shame." I felt it! I would absolutely melt. But, like the gracious daddy that he was, he loved me enough to forgive me - EVERY time.

Where is that shame today? Romans 1:32 says, "Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." [emphasis mine~KW<><] These are such pagan times. Was Sodom and Gomorrah really worse than THIS? We need to do as Steve Walden (a homeschoolblogger.com blogger) says and do some WITHnessing! Others call it Life-style Evangelism. Can there be true repentance w/out feeling the shame of what we've done?

Lord, have mercy, have mercy, have mercy!
Please help us to be attractive for Jesus to a dying world. Let them smell the sweet fragrance of YOU upon us. Amen.

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Friday, January 15, 2010

Homemade Toothpaste

I love finding things - especially homemade things - that work better than I expected, don't you? I am on a quest to not only BETTER my health but to sustain my GOOD health. In doing so, I am always on the lookout for things that I can make myself. I feel that not only are those items better for my family and myself, but they are usually great money-savers, too.

About 3 years ago I started making my own toothpaste. It's SO simple and it really does do a great job. Even though I still have all of my own teeth (except for a wisdom tooth that was pulled), I was not blessd with good teeth and have always had to stay on top of my oral health. BUT...I haven't had a cavity since I've been making my own toothpaste and my gums are healthier than they were when I used store-bought toothpaste! I also think that my breath stays fresher using my own product, too.

So, if you are interested, I'll show you how I made a fresh batch...

The products are simple and may already be in your kitchen. First, you need a good air-tight container. I use an old Burt's Bees Almond Milk Hand Cream jar. It is the perfect size. Next you will need Baking Powder (NOT SODA!!), Hydrogen Peroxide and a flavored oil (peppermint, spearmint, or wintergreen work well). I used peppermint for this batch.

Put 3 slightly heaping ts. of Baking Powder in the jar. (Sorry for the poor quality photo.) Next...

Add 1-1/2 ts. Peroxide. Then...

Add about 4-5 drops to 1/8 ts. of flavored oil & 2 drops of Thieves Oil. Mix WELL, sraping the sides where you need to.

This mixture will fiz and bubble. When it stops it will be nearly even w/the top of the jar. Perfect. Wait a few minutes after the fizzing stops, when it dries to a somewhat hard powder and then it's ready to use.

To use, simply wet your toothbrush and then dip/rub off as much of the toothpaste as you need and brush as usual. Close lid tightly when finished.

That's all there is to it! Let me know if you try this.

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

REVIEW: Be Fruitful and Multiply

Be Fruitful and Multiply
What the Bible Says About Having Children

~By Nancy Campbell, Distributed by Vision Forum

This is an interesting book with study questions at the end of each chapter. I’m sure it would stir up a little controversy in nearly any women’s group or Bible study. The topic? Let the Lord choose your family size.

Admittedly, I’m quite confident in my opinion that most Christian couples do trust the Lord with regard to the size of their families. Mrs. Campbell’s stand is that even well-meaning, sincere Christians have conformed so much to the world that we have lost our desire to fulfill God’s first command to Be Fruitful and Multiply. This certainly is a matter for prayer for each and every family of faith.

I must say here that I agreed with some things, such as: children ARE a gift from God, we must obey God rather than man, etc. I also agreed with her stance that many women ignorantly choose their birth control without educating themselves as to how it works. But, I confess that there were some things that I had questions about that I felt were not answered…

I, myself, would have loved to have had a large family; 5 children was my dream. Our first beautiful daughter died of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – Crib Death) at three months, I then had two miscarriages before our other two daughters were born. Apparently, that’s where God wanted our family numbers to end. I figure that, yes, God did give me those 5 children…although I only have two remaining on earth, I will have all 5 for eternity! But, Mrs. Campbell doesn’t address the difficulties that many of us face. My concern is that some may feel somewhat condemned by that by the time they finish this book.

But, fear not! I do leave you with a quote from the book containing some hope and grace: “The fact of the matter is this: It is not a matter of our deciding how many children we should have, or should not have, but having a vision of God’s plan for marriage and family – a vision to bring forth godly seed for God’s glory.”

Amen. No matter how many children we are blessed with.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim W<><

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Comfort of Old Books

Something that I dearly enjoy is reading old books. My collection started off w/my dear Bigmom's (maternal gr-ma) copy of her McGuffey's Second Reader.
I can still hear her reciting some of her favorites...

Once there was a little kitty,
White as the snow;
In a barn he used to frolic,
Long time ago.
In the barn a little mousie
Ran to and fro;
For she heard the little kitty,
Long time ago...

She passed away in 1977, at 90, and could still recite so many of the stories until shortly before she died.

So, as the years progressed I added more to my humble colletion. Then, as I started homeschooling my daughters, I began collecting antique school books and we have actually used many as a part of our schoolwork. The McGuffey Readers and Ray's Arithmetic, especially. I even wrote about these as the subject of one of my The Old Schoolhouse columns "The Lesson Planner" in '08.

Most of the antique books I keep displayed on an antique school desk that my Daddy refinished for me.

It's a little crowded right now, but until Ty builds (or buys) me the bookshelf he's been promising me for the last several years (eh-hem), it will remian in this little corner of the living room w/my hammered dulcimer music books and other books stacked around it. It's so nice to just pick up the 1894 leather-bound volume of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and even though I have an entire set of reproduction McGuffey's I still like to look through Bigmom's or even the Fourth Reader I have that someone wrote "Feb. 20th, 1896" inside the cover. When we want an older view of Ohio history we can turn to our 1933 volume of "History & Geography of Ohio."

I have often thought what my Bigmom and my Grandpa C. would have thought of our homeschooling. I remember having conversations w/both of them about how odd it seemed to me that they had to BUY all of their schoolbooks! It was so foreign to me! Wouldn't they laugh if they knew that WE had to BUY all of our schoolbooks? lol

There's nothing like an old book - even if it's a reproduction. Holding a bit of history in your hands, especially when it had belonged to someone you loved, makes learning more enjoyable and even more interesting. Not only to me, but it did to my daughters, too. How cool I would have thought it to be to actually be learning out of the same book MY gr-grandmother used in HER schooling?! I'm glad my daughters had that privilege.

How special.

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Kim's Absolute Favorite Herb Mix

I use this on SO much! I found the 1st 3 ingredients in a book & then experimented w/other ingredients & amounts until this worked best. I spinkle it on chicken breasts (in olive oil w/a little Spike Seasoning...see below), hamburgers, pork chops; ALL Italian dishes or sauces; I use it in dips, soups, stews, oil & vinegar dressings, herb butter, herb bread...it's an all-around awesome mix!

~1 c. dried parsley
~1/2 c. dried dill weed
~1/4 c. dried chives
~1/2 c. dried oregano
~1/4 c. dried thyme
~1/4 c. dried basil ~ optional

1) Mix together in a bowl w/a whisk & put into your favorite container. Makes 2-1/2 c.

2) This amount fits perfectly in a Kraft parmesan cheese shaker.

3) FYI...my favorite way to use this is on boneless, skinless chicken breasts. In a med-hot skillet, lay your chicken breasts in a little olive oil, spinkle a little bit of Spike natural seasoning & as much of this herb mix as you like (experiment!). Heat through. I suggest serving with broccoli & yellow rice OR long grain & wild rice. ENJOY!

Blessings from Ohio...Kim W<><

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

REVIEW: The Encyclopedia of Country Living

By Carla Emery~

I have this wonderful dream. My dream is to live out in the country on a small parcel of land where we can have a couple of horses for our girls, raise my own herbs and a few veggies…maybe even a couple of dairy goats or alpacas. If it were to happen, I would really like to go into this with as few surprises as possible. I think one way I can knock off many of those surprises is to read The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery.

This incredible book has just been updated for the 9th time! I just can’t imagine anything about country living that isn’t in here. The newest edition now has websites and mail-order information.

One the best parts of the book is the very first chapter: Oddments. This chapter is a primer on living self-sufficiently and simply. There are things in here that I’m sure many of us have NEVER thought of: how climate can effect how you build, there are actually schools of country living, giving birth by yourself and…did you know that it’s legal in 41 states to care for your own dead?! :-/

But this book is also absolutely full of useful and entertaining information that anyone from the city slicker who just wants to grow window herbs, to the back-woods camper, to those who really want to live a primitive, simple life-style can use in daily living. Carla Emery has thought of everything, assembled it in a very readable format and writes in such a personal, inviting way. You will find it so hard to put this massive, nearly 900 page volume down.

New farm families and interested homeschoolers will benefit immensely from her information on animal breeding, cleaning fish, selecting the best laying hens, questions to ask yourself before buying a goat, slaughtering/butchering cows and pigs, milking cows and goats, making cheeses, raising and drying herbs, home businesses, bee keeping, rabbit breeding, animal housing and fencing, homemade cosmetics, gardening for everyone from the beginner to the pro. This list doesn’t even scratch the surface!

I do, however, recommend that a parent monitor while youngsters are reading this. Carla is not rude or immodest, but she is very frank in dealing with reproductive issues in the animal world. You need to judge how mature your own children are regarding what they do and don’t know (and what you do and don’t want them to know) about subjects that could effect their modesty.

This is one of the most interesting books I have in my home library. I cant’ think of anything anyone might want to know about country living that wouldn’t be in this book!

Blessings from Ohio...Kim W<><

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Inside the Farm Stores

Last week I took you with me, via pictures, on a 'tour' of the little farm stores that local German Baptist families have in my area. http://marmeespantry.blogspot.com/2010/01/winters-drive-to-farm-stores.html As promised, I am now posting the re-print (from another blog's post from last year) of an inside 'tour' of the farm stores that I go to. Enjoy the trip..........

I made my weekly trip this past Saturday and the owners gave me permission to take a few pictures - NOW you can see what the farm store I shop at look like inside!
The first place that I usually stop at is Stoney Creek Market.

This family is German Baptist (not Old Order) and has electricity, only they use it minimally. This store sits at the end of their driveway, right between the house and barn. The shop's contents are a little different every time you go - they deal in scratch n dent items (I don't mind paying 17 cents for a can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup just b/c the can is DENTED!!), buy-outs from over stocks and products who's packaging is changing. As you can probably see, there are many name brand items.

Above is isle #1. Actually, I think this pic makes it look bigger than it is, but you can see that they have packed shelves. Starbucks coffee for $2.99 a bag, anyone?!

Here's isle #2 and the recently added freezer section. Expantion is GOOD!

When you come in the door you find the health/beauty section, some homemade shopping bags made out of sweat-shirts! Beside that is a little refrigerator - how would you like a bottle of Tazo Tea for 49 cents?!?! ($1.99 @ a deli!) I shop at this store before I go to the larger stores (Krogers, Meijer, etc.). What I don't get here, I get at the larger places. I can get 3 boxes FULL of groceries for around $50 here!

After I leave Stoney Creek, my next stop is the Old Order farm (they live like the Amish) where I get my brown eggs and whole milk. [Click on the link above.] After I stop there, I go on to The Flour Barrel. This shop is actually an addition onto the back of the home of a German Baptist lady. If I could have a home business THIS is what I would like to have...this is the 'model' for Marmee's Pantry!

As you walk in the door you take in all the lovely herbal smells...ahhh. It's great. You can see here that this is a bulk food store. Not only does she have food/baking/cooking/canning items, but she also has a lovely assortment of cookbooks and Christian books (from a German Baptist point of view) [~~ I would like to have small homeschool & cookbook sections in Marmee's Pantry]...

Here is a lovely shopper who let me take her picture . You can see the wonderful assortments of flour, sweeteners, noodles, pastas, beans, bean soups, nuts, oils, flavorings, honey, apple butter, yeast...etc...

Below, is the other side the the center isle...here you can find homemade jello mixes, Bigelow teas, all sorts of bulk treats like licorice, pretzels, cheeto-type snacks, mints, etc. See that back left corner? That's any kind of herb or spice that you can think of! She also has all sorts of cute cookie cutters. See the curtain in the back? That goes into the owner's house.
And I would I would be remiss if I didn't show you that, yes, there actually ARE flour barrels! lol You can also see that there are corn meals, flaxseed meal, bread flour, wheat flour, rye flour, spelt...any type of baking necessity you can think of.

Now you can see why I love "my" little farm shops! I wish I could have gotten photos of the lovely ladies who own these shops, but they, like the Amish, do not like to have their photos taken, but they were most happy for me to show you into their shops and extend and glad "welcome"!
Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><
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