Filed under: Uncategorized
🙂 Of course, “So Little to do, So Much Time” is not something most of us can relate to, right? In the upcoming weeks, there are constant reminders of how much we have to accomplish and there just never seems to be enough time to do any of it. But, if we break it down, prioritize and organize, getting things done can (REALLY!) be a joy.
A few things come to mind when talking about how much we have to get done this time of year… Family coming over for parties, friends coming over for dinner, shopping, shopping and more shopping to get done for Christmas, Thanksgiving dinner and all of the other *stuff* we have to do. Of course, this doesn’t begin to cover the cooking big, fancy meals, cleaning the house because there are going to be people sleeping in places that haven’t seen the light of day since LAST December and trying to keep the children clean and presentable for the ENTIRE Christmas season. (Anyone with a toddler (or a Sam) knows how frustrating this last task can be).
I heard an analogy once that really made a lot of sense to me. If you know my mind at all, you know that I don’t speak in or understand analogies… so the fact that this one stuck with me and is helpful is a testament to the great visual this is.
A time management guru was speaking to a group of type “A” personalities. He placed a wide-mouth gallon jar on the table in front of him. Next to the jar was a collection of fist-sized rocks. He carefully filled the jar with the big rocks, until he could fit no more.
He asked the group, “Is the jar full?”
Everyone responded, “Yes.”
He then pulled a large bowl of gravel from under the table and proceeded to pour the gravel into the jar. The gravel fit into the spaces between the rocks. He again queried, “Is the jar full?”
“Probably not,” was the group’s reply.
He reached for another bowl, this one filled with sand. He dumped the sand into the jar. The sand filled the spaces not taken by the rocks and the gravel. Once more, he asked, “Is the jar full?”
“No,” everyone agreed.
Finally, he reached for a pitcher of water and poured water into the jar until it was filled to the top. The time management guru looked at the group and asked, “What is the point of my illustration?”
One man replied, “That no matter how full your schedule is, you can always fit one more thing into it.”
“No!” the guru responded.
The point of this illustration is, “If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all!”
If we don’t prioritize and put the “big rocks” on our proverbial plates first, we won’t have room for them. For me, the “big rocks” are God, family and friends, church commitments, our home, taking care of our animals (who provide food for us) and the health and well-being of our family. This is a whole lot to do, so some of it is shared… the boys help feed animals, milk the goat, gather eggs, feed rabbits, etc. The boys help with cleaning their rooms, putting away laundry, planning meals around foods they can eat, etc. The “pebbles” in my life include things such as clipping coupons, finding freebies, outside chores that don’t have to do with the animals, advocacy for many different things (epilepsy awareness, vaccine information, natural health, attachment parenting, natural parenting, healthful lifestyle, natural cooking, etc.)… These are things that are important to me, things I enjoy doing and help not only our family, but many others as well. But, in the end, they are things and would have to be sacrificed for the “big rocks”, if a choice had to be made. The “sand” in my life would be the little things that I do or have to do that are time eaters… they may well be good things, but spending too much time doing these things doesn’t allow for anything else to be done… other things that are far more important. It might be nice to bake cookies for the boys… but if I’ve yet to make dinner, those cookies are wasting my time…and costing my children nutrition. There is a cost for everything we decide to do. I may want to stay and play on the computer for two hours, but the reality of the matter is that if I sit and play at the computer for two hours… I just spent that two hours NOT getting the upstairs tidied. I won’t ever get that time back and I not only wasted that time, but still have to spend two hours cleaning upstairs. So, I’m not perfect, but I do try to make good time choices to get things done so that I don’t have to worry about getting them done later… in all my spare time.
Hugs, Love, Blessings & Bare Feet,
Filed under: Uncategorized
OK… short entry… but a nice n meaty one! Go here: http://www.exchange4green.com/gt_view.php?id=247 and get details for FREE (free free free) 50 Personalized Christmas Cards. It is awesome! I just did it (and, a little ashamed of myself…thought it was 40, so I’m getting 40 free ones…) but no strings attached. No credit card required. Just Free. Awesome!
While recuperating from this ILI (influenza like illness), I thought it was an appropriate time to share some information about vaccines. A little boy from a near-by town is suffering from a vaccine injury (from the H1N1 vaccine which he received less than one week before he started having symptoms). My own son is a survivor of a vaccine injury he suffered from the seasonal flu vax in November of 2005. I’ve never been one to follow along or go with the flow with healthcare choices and selectively and delayed vaccinations when all of our boys were infant and toddler age. I felt pressured into giving the flu vax because of the “danger” (words from their pediatricians) of them getting these illnesses with their seizure disorder… must keep them healthy. I followed along, to some extent, for far too long. Only AFTER my son had horrible side effects from one of these drugs, did I do my homework.
Today, I am not posting links. You now know where I stand (if you don’t, I’ll spell it out. For my children, I am anti-vaccination. They will not be getting any further vaccinations. They have received NO vaccinations since November of 2005. I don’t even begin to have the answers for anyone else, but feel a true calling to encourage EVERYONE to research and do what they need to do.) My personal “rules” (for myself) for researching vaccines include NOT doing my reading on sites that have an interest in the vaccine industry. My one exception is to obtain the drug information from the manufacturer. I don’t trust manufacturer sites, hospital sites or even government sites (money does, after all, make the world go ’round). No one is going to convince me that the government that touts such an unproven product so brazenly, does not get some kind of “kickback” for doing so. Of course, I would never suggest or imply illegal activity, (ever), when nothing is “proven”… but I’m not comfortable getting my information from these places. In this same vein… as “weird” as you might feel about the rabid anti-vaccination folks… answer yourself this question… “What do they really have to gain by promoting their view?” NOT giving a child a product doesn’t make anyone money. They are not benefitting by not making money. They are certainly not benefitting by being criticized by the masses. These people, in my experience, have generally seen the injuries and hurts caused by these drugs and are trying to make an impact for the good. Sadly, so many people blindly follow their doctors’ advice. Don’t get me wrong… there are many wonderful doctors and most people are not medically trained… that’s what we pay the doctors for. Here’s the problem (LOL, as I see it… take it for what it is or isn’t worth): I do not believe that most of these doctors even KNOW what is in these vaccines. The ingredients in these vaccines include things like aluminum, mercury (although this is less common today than it used to be), formaldehyde, formalin, aborted fetal tissue cells and other items that I just would not knowingly inject or have injected into my children’s bodies. I do not think most doctors are fully aware of this. I have to believe this to keep my sanity. People have literally said to me (and many others who are opposed to vaccinations for their children) “Its not like I’m injecting poison into my child.” Sigh. Formaldehyde is poison. There is no other way to look at it. What I’m saying is just this: Know what you are consenting to. Those forms they give you at the doctor’s office say some of the mild things the might go wrong. There is not a single mention of any of the potentially life changing side effects that these drugs can have. For your child’s sake… just do your research. The most heartbreaking of cases involve parents who were just going with the flow… doing what they “were supposed to do.” These parents have NO IDEA that these things can happen. They have to live with the consequences of these things for the rest of their lives. Those who research and choose to vaccinate at least know. I truly think we all do the best we can. I can agree to disagree on this issue. A lady once said to me that she wished that people realized that it is hard for parents who DO vaccinate because they think about that choice and pray constantly that they are making the right choice. I hadn’t thought of that, but it was eye-opening for me.
As for me… As I sit here with my apple juice for the third day in a row with no solid foods and thinking about my current bout of the sickies, I am most grateful that our Creator has blessed me with a strong immune system. People are getting sick and staying sick for a week with this. I was kind of resolved that I/we (LOL, some combination of the grown ups and kiddos) would get something. This is a new virus and we have no immunity… but I have not stayed extremely ill… I had one (very very long) night of high fever (I start getting a little delusional around 103.2*, I’ve discovered), and I won’t claim to love the tummy troubles that have plagued me for 5 days now, but I was only on the couch, unable to move or function for a relatively short amount of time. Rest and fluids did their work. I’m grateful to be developing natural immunity to this virus and I hope my boys are developing some as well. My opinion of the vaccine, or vaccines in general, has not changed. The brief illness (in my situation) would not have been worth the risk of getting the vaccine, for me. Everyone has to make the call with their own children, and even for yourself. We all do the best we can. But the responsibility there is that WE all have to do the best WE can. Making our own decisions, doing our own research and finding out answers independently from the medical establishment… WE are responsible for our children’s health. The doctors may be wonderful, we may trust them implicitly… but I am the mom and it is my job to make sure that what goes into my child’s body is safe and healthful. It is on THEM to prove to me (the consumer) that what is in their product is safe. It is NOT on me to just take their word for it. Their word and promise of safety… when there are too many examples of how unsafe their product was for far too many children and adults. Let the buyer beware.
Hugs, Love, Blessings & Bare Feet.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: frugal, frugal gifts, gifts, gifts in a jar, hot cocoa mix, kid-friendly projects, projects, recipes, soup mix
Mamas “like me” (code for frugal, going against the grain, spirited, crafty and/or perhaps downright cheap) enjoy making gifts to give for Christmas (and birthdays, other holidays!). I’m including a couple recipes of my favorite things to make for Holiday gift-giving.
Cream of Potato Soup (I usually triple this for one large batch for many gifts)
2 cups mashed potato flakes
2 t. chicken bullion (can use vegetable instead)
2 t. dried minced onion
1 t. dried parsley (or chives)
1/4 t. dried thyme
1 1/2 cup dry powdered milk
1/8 t. turmeric
1/2 t. seasoning salt
Mix everything together in a large bowl. Scoop finished mix into jars or plastic gift bags (with twist ties). Attach a card with directions: Add 1 cup boiling water to 1/2 cup soup mix.
Ideas to go with the soup mix for gifting:
A big soup mug.
A package (homemade of course) of biscuit mix, with preparation instructions.
Hot Cocoa Mix
4 Cups powdered milk
2 Cups sugar
1 Cup cocoa
1 Cup powdered non-dairy creamer (you can use flavored creamers for this for flavored cocoa)
2 dashes salt.
Mix together all ingredients into a large bowl. Scoop into jars or plastic bags (with twist ties) for gift giving. Attach a card with instructions for a nice mug of cocoa: Add 8 oz boiling water to a mug with 3-4 T cocoa mix.
Little ideas to go with hot cocoa mix:
Chocolate dipped marshmallows (add a few drops of peppermint extract to chocolate if desired)
Chocolate dipped mini-candy canes.
Chocolate dipped pretzel rods.
Several store-bought candy canes.
A nice mug or set of mugs.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: difficult times, family, friends, heartache, hurt, love, relationships
As I sit, on the tail end of a REALLY bad week (last week), I can look back with all sorts of feelings, but the emotion I am most grateful for is love. If I hadn’t been going through those “bad times” with love in my heart, none of it would have been “bad” in the first place. Sometimes things hurt. We wouldn’t feel that pain nearly as sharply if it weren’t for the love or affection we hold near to us. Things hurt more when they involve things we care about. So, today, I am grateful for having so many things that I love, so many people to care for and about and so many “causes” that I am willing to fight for. These are the exact things that hurt sometimes, but they are, most definitely, the things worth fighting for.
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Welcome to the “grand opening” of Rogue Zahmbie Chickens. I hope this becomes and outlet for me to share the everyday goings-on of my very busy life and all of the things I hold near and dear to my heart. My name is Jen and I have many loves, passions and interests and I hope to share these with you as time goes on.
First and foremost, I am a daughter of God. My attitude is one of a servant and as best as I can tell, God gave me this life to live fully and abundantly, to be mother to my children, to raise them to know Him and to have lots of fun in our daily lives. Life is far too short to live in anger and so the choices I make daily include letting go the unimportant things that are so often at the forefront of so much of our life. Anger, when allowed to fester and become larger than life, is a sin. I recognize this and I am very human and struggle with this at times. I have very much compartmentalized my anger and negative feelings (just like so many women… it is how God created us… you know that when your husband brings up something, you can go back to a disagreement you had on June 15th, 1997 and pull up his past wrongs… God gave us a very good memory… but He also gave us unending and limitless grace… grace that we need to pass along to others.), it has been a struggle, but through releasing my anger and frustrations to God, I have become much more relaxed and laid back and focused on the important things in life. We all know that the important “things” in life are not things at all… they are people and relationships. Nurturing relationships is a goal of mine and I work hard to be grateful for the people who God has allowed me to cross paths with. Live and Love. Love and Pray. Pray and Hope.
Some of the other things I am passionate about are: My children (I have three boys (9 year old twins and a 5 year old) and we hope to adopt more children in the future. All of my boys have special medical needs. We also have a young man (17) who is staying with us for this school year. He is an exchange student from China and he has fit into our family beautifully.), Health issues (my boys have a genetic seizure disorder and we’ve discovered that a diet rich in “real” food (whole grains, vegetables & fruits, raw milk, fresh eggs & dairy) and lacking in artificial ingredients has improved their health immensely) I am also staunchly anti-vaccination. Until vaccinations are “greened” (harmful toxins removed), I will continue to be against vaccinations for my children. Our animals – we have chickens, a goat (and our 2nd goat will be arriving soon – he’s staying at a friend’s house so he and our girl don’t get into any “trouble” (we don’t want a baby goat in the middle of the winter), rabbits, dogs and cats – are a source of joy as well as help us with our goal of fresh food (eggs, meat, milk). We treat our animals with love and they give back to us. It is a little bit difficult to butcher chickens and rabbits… in fact we didn’t butcher ANY animals this year –but next Spring, we will be getting more chickens and breeding more rabbits to butcher… I’d rather butcher our own and know where they came from and know what they’re eating than buy from the store. Our animals are healthy and not medicated unnecessarily. Better for their health and happier animals = healthier food (even eggs & milk… a relaxed and well cared for animal will produce more than a sick, stressed animal). I am also very passionate about my family and our home. I love staying at home with my children. I appreciate my hard working husband and the sacrifices he makes to allow me to stay home. My job is to care for the children, teach the children, cook, clean, care for the animals, be a good steward of the financial blessings we have as well as our other resources. It is the hardest job in the world but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
With that, I leave you for now. Upcoming entries will reflect daily life, recipes, frugal tips, health and wellness issues and, I’m certain, lots of pictures of the farm, the family and life. Remember, the past is something we can’t change. The future is something we can’t control. But today, the present, is aptly named… the present is a gift that we need to cherish. We need to make the best of today, putting our best effort forward every day. Our attitudes and actions of today directly shape our tomorrows.
Hugs, Love, Blessings and Bare Feet ~ Jen
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: back to the earth, baking, bartering, camping, church, cloth diapering, conservation, conservatism, cooking, crunchy, family, farm, fresh eggs, friends, frugal, gardening, green, homemade, homeschooling, mama cloth, natural home remedies, natural hygeine, non-vaccinating, outdoors, pro-life, raw fresh milk, recipes, saving money, special needs, tree hugging, unschooling
Days in the life of a conservative, frugal and crunchy mama, her ultra-conservative hubby, her homeschooled children, all of the crazy animals wandering around on the farm and the occasional rogue chicken. And a girl goat named George.