Saturday, June 28, 2014

Old Fashioned Chicken Broth

Since the prices are much lower, we have been eating much more chicken this month.  Mike found a super sale on whole chickens and split breasts this past weekend.  I saved a few carcasses from the weekend's roasting sessions to make Chicken Broth.  The best thing about this recipe is that I yielded 6 cups of very healthy, organic chicken broth for next to nothing... I had all of the ingredients already in my refrigerator.

Here is an excellent Recipe from my Grandmother May's old,  browned and crackly papered,  hand-written Recipe Book:

     1 whole free range chicken or 3 lbs of chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones, and wings
           (I used the latter, mostly bones with a little meat left on them)
     4 organically raised chicken eggs shells, washed, dried out, and crushed
     2 organic carrots
    3 celery stalks, chopped
     4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
     1 whole onion, chopped
     1/2 tsp. black pepper
     a handful of washed parsley, no need to chop (picked straight from my raised garden bed)
     8 cups of COLD, filtered water
     2 Tablespoons of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Step 1: Soak
     Let all the ingredients sit in the cold water for one hour before starting to cook broth.  (This gives the  vinegar time to break down the calcium in the bones so it is a healthier soup stock!).

Step 2:  Cook
     Turn on the heat, Reduce it to low, and cover/simmer for at least 6 hours (or as long as 48 hours).

Step 3:  Strain
     Strain liquid through a cheese cloth and collander (I used a clean dishtowel)

Step 4:  Prepare to store
     Store in glass jars in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for later use (I measure my portions out in one-cup portions when freezing- this makes it easy to add to recipes).  

Note on Egg Shells in Broth-

     Nutritional research studies have shown that taking eggshell with vitamin D3 improves bone mineral density in humans.  Egg shells have been used for this and other uses in Africa, South America, and other 3rd world countries to improve nutrition for hundreds of years.  Benefits of Egg Shell broth include relief of pain, and treatment of many types of arthritis.  Egg Shells are naturally high in Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Glycine, Gelatin, Collagen, and other Trace minerals. 

 The best part is that your family will never know the egg shells were in there!

I put a little piece of material on top and wrapped it
up with a pretty ribbon, then delivered one of my
jars of broth to my neighbor,
who was just recovering from the flu.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Mind of God

Oh, the depth of the riches
of the wisdom and knowledge of God. 
How unsearchable His judgments
and His paths before tracing out!

Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been His counselor?
Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay Him?

For from Him and through Him
and to Him are all things.

To Him be the glory forever! 

-Romans 11:33-6

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I work for a King.

"I work for a King. He has put me in charge of his home.

 I want to do my best. Everything I have is on loan from Him. I have room and board and a job to do, but it is all for Him.

Therefore I want to dress my best and do my best in all my work. I also want to be creative, for this is a sincere attempt to glorify Him and His beautiful creation.

 How I manage my home is a form of worship to Him."

--Lydia Sherman

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

In Pursuit of "Pretty"

As I seek to create a calming oasis in our little cottage home, my husband reminds me that I am outnumbered
 (i.e., 1 female, 2 males in our home). 
  Even so, we all want the same thing from our home:  To discover a place for ourselves, and to make that place
 as beautiful as possible. 

At the moment, my "space" exists only in my dreams as our Bedroom walls are being stripped of wallpaper and re-sheet rocked. The room in my dreams has a cushy, plush chair for reading, a collection of impresionist-type sea-shore prints on the wall, and fresh hydrangeas or roses on the bedside table daily.

  But I.Will.Get.There! Until then, I will keep learning many easy ways to bring a "little pretty" into my life. My teachers are my friends, church sisters, family members, and creative women who write decorating magazines.  

I love the blues of my sister Natalie"s Bedroom... So calming!

I recently visited a friend who lives in New Jersey. Simone has turned every surface of her home into a chance to showcase something beauiful and usefull (from shapely french jars where she stores flour and sugar, to the vintage chandelier over her bed. Did I mention that she does it all on a shoestring? 


Simone's kitchen tablecloth is Dollar-a-yard burlap (but it looks like a million bucks). She says she never knows where or when inspiration for decorating will strike. 

Thriftiness is essential for my family these days. I love to draw beauty out of the humblest objects! I use junk mail to scribble quotes or decorating sketches on, stapling the papers together and making inspiration notebooks. I currently have several of these "inspiration journals" going.  

 I love to constantly dabble and tweak my accessories, pulling things together and moving things around the house.
 Mike says I have a style like that of a tumbled-down French Chateau.

 But I would rather believe our humble cottage is a romantic mix of old-world French and Italian influences, from a New Jersey Shore perspective.

Monday, June 23, 2014

An Extra Set of Hands...

I think in Heaven we just might have a kind of a "Clone Angel" that will help us with our work every day.  Imagine it... someone who would do everything exactly as you would, and extra set of hands  and feet with the same mindset!

For me, if  could have a clone here and now, one of me could work outside in the Garden,  and one of me could work inside. There is always so much to do this time of year and just not enough hours in the day.  Being a "more Mature Age" has brought its share of discouragement, for I cannot stay up all hours of the night anymore, and still function well the next day.  I simply must have my "Beauty Rest" now, as my Grandmother called a good night's sleep. 

 I LOVE working out in my yard, and have spent the last week edging, weeding and mulching. What I don't love is coming in at 7 in the evening and having all the dirt that was tracked in stick to my feet because I haven't made time to wash the floor in the last couple of days, and having the piles of stuff I bought at the thrift shop scattered all about.  I have made a vow to clean up my piles daily, and refuse to go to bed until the kitchen (at least) is tidy and neat.

The Virtues of Noble Woman
17She girds herself with strength And makes her arms strong. 18She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night. 19She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hands grasp the spindle.…

from Proverbs 31


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Raising Godly Seed

“There is no more demanding work in all the world, no more awe-inspiring job description than raising godly seed. It will challenge all the genius, talent and grace that a human being could possess... It is the highest calling any woman can enter.” ----Walter J Chantry

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

When Children Love to Learn

At Blue Willow Cottage, we love to have LOTS of children running in the backyard, playing croquet, making fairy gardens, building forts, and just playing.  Our goal as homeschooling parents is to nurture our son's love for learning.  In the summer, we trust our child and those who visit us to know when they are ready to learn, and what they are interested in learning.  I love this relaxed method of educating, and while I am not comfortable using it year round, in the summertime it is a refreshing break from the scheduled schooling we do 5 days a week. 

I have noticed that children are naturally curious, and have a intrinsic desire to learn first hand about the world in which they live:
John Holt, in his book How Children Learn, describes the natural learning style of young children: 
"The child is curious. He wants to make sense out of things, find out how things work, gain competence and control over himself and his environment, and do what he can see other people doing. He is open, perceptive, and experimental. He does not merely observe the world around him. He does not shut himself off from the strange, complicated world around him, but tastes it, touches it, hefts it, bends it, breaks it. To find out how reality works, he works on it. He is bold. He is not afraid of making mistakes. And he is patient. He can tolerate an extraordinary amount of uncertainty, confusion, ignorance, and suspense. ... Traditional school is not a place that gives much time, or opportunity, or reward, for this kind of thinking and learning."1
 In the summertime, there is no need to motivate children through the use of rewards, such as high grades or stars, which suggest to the child that the activity itself must be difficult or even possibly unpleasant.   
The wise parent says, "I think you'll enjoy this book",
not "If you read this book, you'll get a cookie."

I love to provide lots of projects and materials,  plus gobs of free time to allow the creative juices to flow.

Shrinkie Dink made from
a picture off the internet
for a key chain

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Vintage in my Garden...

From nozzles and shears, 
 to watering cans, I can't resist any vintage item
of a gardener's tool box!    
I not only collect old garden accoutrements--
I use them, too. 

My Garden is for the children, and also for my future grandchildren, I hope.  I think that the earlier one learns to garden, the more pleasure one gleans from life!

My little paradise has a definite whimsical side.  There are intricate folk art birdhouses tucked here and there, and rabbit figurines, along with frog statues.
 When he was little, I taught my son to plant seedlings and prepare the soil.  Now he knows how important it is not to step on the little sprouts striving to live.

 Next Spring I plan to start a "Tee Pee of Peas" with Bamboo rods for children-hiding from the sun, or playing in with family, or friends during play dates.
  The children get such pleasure from picking the corn, peas & tomatoes, and tasting them.

 The highpoint of any visit in the garden is
when I distribute the garden scissors
and invite the little ones to cut their own flowers,
 and then arrange them
in vases on the covered porch. 
 I don't worry that the blooms will be depleted, because cutting my flowers only causes more to bloom!
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed,
which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree,
in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed;
to you it shall be for meat.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Satan Hates it When We PRAY

"One important goal of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray. No man is greater than his prayer life."

--------------- Samuel Chadwick

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pointing Them to the Lord through Reading

As parents, Papa and I are committed to providing encouraging, uplifting resources that continually point to the Lord. We’ve focused our efforts on children's books which we loved as children ourselves, but occasionally we will require our son to read some new material, such as the book above. 

This summer we have discovered a marvelous pastime... the Quiet Hour.  All persons in the house must quietly remain in their bedrooms for one hour, and may choose any quiet activity to spend the hour doing.  I often find I need a quick nap, but more and more, Kimba is choosing to read. 

Here are a few more suggestions for a 4th Grade Reader to enjoy:


Anselm is one of the greatest theologians who lived during the time between Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas. His compelling yearning to know and love God as He is revealed to us in Scriptures shaped his life and permeates all of his writings. He found the greatest joy in communion with God, but was thrusted into the difficult political scene of the 11th-12th centuries.

What can Anselm teach our children? To be inquisitive and use their minds as God’s gifts to discover and understand what He has revealed in His Word (Deut.29:29).  In reading this book, my son was challenged to consider and explore Anselm’s question: Why a God-man?

What is the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross?

In The Lightlings, Dr. R.C. Sproul weaves an allegorical tale that captures the essence of the biblical story of redemption in a manner that will fascinate and delight children.

A race of tiny beings known as lightlings are a picture of humanity as they pass through all the stages of the biblical drama - creation, fall, and redemption.

In the end, children will understand why some people fear light more than darkness, but why they need never fear darkness again.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Meowth... the Pokemon Villan

Dressed as his current favorite

He wrote this down off the Pokémon Video
from memory...

with a memory like this...

... no more excuses about
scripture memory work

The medallion is a copy of the
Meowth Villan's
thing that he wears on his forehead.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Three Powerful Resources

"Never forget the three powerful resources God always makes available to us:

 Love, Prayer, and Forgiveness."
 H. Jackson Brown, Jr.,
Lifes's Little Instruction Book

Monday, June 2, 2014

Trash to Treasure Bulletin Chalk Board

I found an old Organization Center at the
Goodwill Store today.   I thought it might
look nice above my sink area with a little blue and white to freshen it up...

I made a little chalk container out of a Match Box