Monday, April 13, 2009

The Prepared Homeschool

We work on a tight budget and I struggle to pull my materials together from one year to the next. Keep it basic -"reading, writing, and 'rithmetic." You can teach history and science in the process of teaching these subjects. These are the bare basic books I would suggest everyone have on hand to instruct a wide variety of ages.

  • A Bible - as a Christian this is the single most important text you can own. Use for reading, copywork and basic moral instruction. Even if you're not a Christian it should be considered a piece of classic literature
  • Dictionaries - at least two and preferably more - 1 Children's picture dictionary, 1 standard Websters dictionary. A collegiate dictionary and student dictionary would be useful as well. Use for vocabulary, spelling, copywork.
  • The "What your __ Grader Should Know series" by E D Hirsch. - This is a great overview of all the major subject areas. There are enough suggestions in each of these books to build your own curriculum on. I have been able to use the Kindegarten edition to talk with my 5 year old about many topics.
  • A compendium of the founding documents. - These can be printed out from a variety of sources. A bound copy would be nicer but you can get the same information for free on the web. Every American should memorize as much of these documents as possible.
  • If you can find them free or cheap, and have the space to store them, I would add vintage Readers Digests and National Geographic magazines/maps.
If I had a little more money and could locate one I would add an Encyclopedia printed prior to 1960. (That is my arbitrary date but was selected to try to avoid revisionist history).

As long as society doesn't completely crumble you should have ready access to local libraries to supplement you children's reading. If you are concerned with TEOTWAWKI then I would add some classic novels and field guides for birds, trees, plants, etc. (please note that these are ONLY books recommended for homeschooling, my full booklist includes many other titles and subjects)

Materials to have on hand
(as much of each as you can comfortably store in a small area)

BARE MINIMUM - Pens, Pencils, erasers, crayons, paper, scissors, glue, ruler. You can do just about anything with these few items. Additionally there are amazing sales on them every fall. I stock up when I can get them from a penny to a quarter per package, even if it means an extra trip to the store. Staples allows anyone with a teachers reward card to buy up to 25 of each of these items. In my state homeschoolers can get a card by submitting a copy of your enrollment letter to the store with your application (that is the letter from the Dept of Ed. indicating that you are homeschooling). You just need to ask your local store.

A frequent good source of notepads (and sometimes desk calendars) is local printers. Call around and see if they have any. When I used to work in an office and had to run to the printers I'd look to see what they had. Usually there's a table by the receptionist desk with a pile of freebies on it. I've never had anyone question me about it. Also check your local newspaper for end cuts of newsprint. These are the end of the roll that's left after a printing. The paper is excellent for childrens art, banners, wrapping stuff in, etc. Our paper sells them by the pound. I think the last time I bought one it was under $5 and was enough to last a year or more.

THINGS TO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR - more crayons, markers, colored pencils - ask on Freecycle or check at yard sales. Rubber bands can be had by the handful at the post office here in town. I suspect there are also great sources of free paper clips as well. Even if you have to purchase a small container of each. A dollars worth of each will last you for years.

compass, protractor, stapler, staples, hole punch - handy to have around but used infrequently. Can purchase all of these for under $10 total. I keep them in a small shoebox size tote tucked away on a shelf so I can always find them. If your children reach an age where they're using them on a regular basis purchase an extra set for them. I also keep a few solar calcuators around (all found for free or purchased on clearance).

Penmanship paper is invaluable if you have little ones just learning to write. I pick up partial pads at yard sales every summer for a quarter each. My daughter goes through tons of it.
Index cards - keep a few hundred around. These are great for making your own flash cards and are an invaluable tool for Jr High age kids working on their first research papers and book reports.

Extra bonuses - Paints, paintbrushes, modeling clay - paint brushes can be found at most dollar stores, paints go on sale in the fall with school supplies - they're a bit harder to find but they are out there. I found my pster paints at Rite-Aid on a buy one get two free sale. Walmart carries cheap modeling clay in they crayon aisle - it's been 97 cents a box for the last 3 years. I buy at least 4 boxes.

The most important way to prepared to homeschool on your own is to learn as much as you can. You can only teach your children what you know. Educate yourself on a wide variety of subjects. If you want your kids to learn American History then you need to know it. It's not impossible to teach without the knowledge but it's not enjoyable for any of you. I'm no good at science but even I can manage a field guide to birds, trees, etc. I've been amazed to realize how much I actually do know about basic science. I can identify local wildlife and fauna. I can grow plants and do simple science experiements. Books are handy but use what you already know and learn along with your kids.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dispensing with the roosters

We got rid of our roosters yesterday... the hard way (Warning, some slightly gross description to follow). I love my hens but the roosters have been a nuisance since we realized they WERE roosters. We did not order roosters. The feed store messed up.

A friend had offered to kill them for us. I said "If you can catch them, you can have them." She said "Bring them down and I will". So we were at a bit of an impasse because I can't corner the little buggers. Well her husband came up yesterday to get some eggs and he got to talking with DH. The roosters had started getting slightly aggressive last fall and have gotten a bit worse over the winter. They're not horrible but they can be territorial and they chase the little ones. Well one of them went after the baby yesterday 'for the last time' as DH puts it.

The friend went home and got his son, pistol, and a couple pocket knives and came back. By the time I got home from picking up #1 son they had already dispensed with two of the roosters and were chasing the last one around the yard. Fortunately I had the baby and the dog with me. I didn't know what they were doing, so when I pulled in I let the dog out of the car. DH wanted him him in the house so we dragged him inside and went back to chasing the rooster. Finally the friends son picked up a walking stick while we all circled the rooster. He clubbed it once over the head and it staggered then ran off and hid under a tree. Our friend ended up shooting it.

We've always agreed that the children should see slaughtering meat animals as a normal part of life so we agreed not to hide it from them. My daughter was playing with her new friend in the yard and wasn't the least bit interested in what the guys were doing til after it was all done. The 2 year old was a bit more interested. He laughed when the last one started flopping around the yard, but changed his tune a bit when he realized it was dead. It was his first confrontation with death and you could see a bit of confusion in his eyes. He hung pretty close to me for about 10 minutes and didn't want to go to dad. He also wouldn't take his eyes off that rooster, even when they cut it's head off.

I've never seen a chicken killed before but pretty much knew what to expect. They continue to flap around for a couple minutes after they're dead. I wasn't particularly grossed out til they finished ripping the head off it, something about that step just made my stomach churn a bit. That split second where it went from being a living thing to a dead one. I know it was dead before the head was cut off but in my mind it just didn't click til then.

I think I could now deal with eating my own meat birds. I wanted to get past that first slaughter before I committed to it. We're going to stick with laying hens this year but I think we'll be talking about meat birds next year.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

New priorities

DH broke my new laptop last night. It's probably going to cost a couple hundred to fix. I'm so bummed, but oddly enough I'm not angry, nor is it a huge priority to fix it. I have my slow old desktop for now.

The things that used to be important to me just aren't anymore. My first thought after realizing what had happened was. "Well we need to spend that money on XYZ because XYZ is so much more important to our long term survival." Those of you who know me well also know what a radical change of view that is for me. I love my computer. I love my internet. 3 months ago I would have been totally lost without them. Today it's just a minor inconvenience. Less time for blogging, chatting, gaming... yes; and that's the UPSIDE for me. The weather seems to be letting up and I have lots to do. Now I have a good excuse to get away from the screen.
Maybe this is just a natural step in the process of recovering from depression or maybe I'm changing in alot of ways. I just have too many important things to do.

As far as I know, no one's reading this anyway - it's more of a way for me to clear my mind and organize my thoughts and plans. If someone does read it and it helps them then that's great - but I'm not really doing it for others at this point.

So I'm still going to be here, and I'm going to try to do it every day because it's a great outlet for me. But this screen just isn't what it used to be. With everything else going on in the world I have other concerns. Concerns I'd like to share with those I love but that I need to address for my own family first.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Crazy day

So our day started with the announcement that gay marriage had passed. I had barely finished blogging about that when the radio reported that all the schools in our area were being locked down - including the two that my older sons attend. After a frenzied hour that situation was sorted out and the troublemakers were 'apprehended'. I now remember why we started homeschooling and 'preparing' . I also was reminded of one of the big holes in our preparedness planning - the schools. We've touched on this but it's very much out of our hands as was proven today. There are a few things I can control though. Here's what I learned from the experience:

  1. We have relatives that live within eye/ear shot of the school. As of this morning we have an understanding that the kids can go there if there's a crisis.
  2. We're going to get more information from each other than from the schools until the situation is resolved. This has so many pluses and minuses - disinformation, lack of information, frustration, but ultimately the belief that the schools primary concern is the safety of the kids.
  3. Kids with cell phones communicate better than those without. My son forgot his today (of all days) but my niece had hers and ultimately she was the one who let us know what was going on.
  4. We need to have a long talk with #1 son who suddenly thinks he's invincible. He got in the car this afternoon and said, "Well they wouldn't get me cause I can run really fast". I looked him square in the eye and said "Are you STUPID?!". We've taken to calling him superman this afternoon (faster than a speeding bullet). DH took him to help with some yard work. Hopefully they'll have a little chat...
  5. False alarms open doors for communicating about crisis preparedness that aren't usually open. Take advantage and sow a few seeds when one arises.
  6. Probably the most important lesson - the only thing I can control in a crisis is my reaction to it. After the first heart thumping moments, a quick prayer and a call to our pastor for more prayer; I started to 'work the problem'. Who do I call? What do I do? Most importantly I did it calmly and methodically, not in a panicked frenzy. Panic is only going to create more crisis.
So there's my lesson for the day, such that it is. Every day is a new opportunity to learn. What did you learn today?

Beginning canning

So I've NEVER canned before. This will be an adventure for me. Not one single jar of anything. No jam, no pickles, no relish. Nothing that even WOULD be canned. We froze quite a bit of stuff last fall, and I dried a few things also.

I lucked upon a copy of "Putting Food By" by Ruth Hertzberg at our library book sale last summer for $1. I went to a one hour workshop that covered the bare basics of preserving from all angles (canning, drying, freezing)

I have to admit, I find canning intimidating. If it's done incorrectly you can get all sorts of nasty illnesses. If you operate the pressure canner wrong it can blow up. Hot jars can explode. It's unbelievable intimidating.

The start up costs are scary - $50-80 for a pressure canner, $50 for water bath canners and kettles, $7-10 for a case of jars. That's not counting, lids, rings, salt, jar lifters, scales, thermometers, canning racks or basket-thingys that sit in the kettles, sieves, and any other manner of accoutrements.

I'm fortunate to have family, friends and neighbors who know a bit about canning. You can never overemphasize the value of experience. Better than any book.

The rewards of learning will be worth all the effort though. There's nothing that compares to home canned goods. I've had enough of them to know that much. Like every naieve beginner I envision dozens of shelf feet of beautifully canned goods of all kinds. LOL - I'll be lucky to get up a handful of each, but any will be a step above where I'm at now.

Yes, I'm excited... like the idiots that wander into the creepy houses in horror movies. Adrenaline *sigh*.

Homeschooling decision

Well our decision about homeschooling has been made... and not by us. Since the legislature passed gay "marriage" yesterday, I can no longer put my children in the public schools in the state of Vermont; a private Christian school maybe, but not the public schools.

I'm disappointed but not surprised. I hold no animosity towards gays. I wish them all the best. I do not hate them. Marriage is between a man and a woman and every child needs a mother and a father. The Bible says that homosexuality is an abomination to God. Therefore I cannot condone it, nor can I send my children to a school that does.

I can hear my detractors saying "but the Bible says "___" is sin too and I didn't see you pulling your kid out of school for that". My simple answer is this - the schools have never taught that "___" is normal and acceptable. They DO intend to teach that homosexuality is, and I cannot allow my small children to be influenced by that. They'll say "you have no right to pass judgement on gays". I'll say "I'm not, God is." They'll say "there is no God." I'll say "good luck with that plan." They'll call me a bigot and a hater. They'll be wrong - I am neither. Oh... and PS - they're wrong about God too.

Making something legal does not make it moral or right. Just because the law allows you to do something doesn't mean it's good for you. Look at abortion, euthanasia, alcohol, cigarettes, gambling. You can't legislate morality, nor can making something legal make it acceptable.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

G8 report says food crisis may threaten stability

Just found this on Reuters - Hopefully it'll make people think about what we take for granted.

Tue Apr 7, 2009 3:11am BST


LONDON, April 7 (Reuters) - Global food production needs to double by 2050 to avert the risk of scarcity and high prices hurting international stability, says a policy document for a G8 meeting on agriculture, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

"Without immediate interventions in agriculture and agri-marketing systems, the 2007 crisis will become structural in only a few decades," the paper quoted the document as saying.

It said the document was drafted by the G8's Italian presidency ahead of a meeting in Treviso later this month.

The G8 will include agriculture leaders from the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Russia.

Last year the G8 industrial nations met in Japan against the backdrop of spiralling food costs around the world.

The G8 document says a further food crisis will have "serious consequences not merely on business relations but equally on social and international relations, which in turn will impact directly on the security and stability of world politics."

The meeting on April 18-20 was prompted by last year's price surges which triggered riots and social unrest across a number of countries.

"The issue of price volatility remains a crucial element for world food security," the report said.

"There is a need for a fast increase in agricultural production in developing countries," it added. (Reporting by Matthew Jones; Editing by Tim Castle)

STEP 2: WATER - the most basic of basics

With spring flooding well under way it's worth taking a look at water. We take it for granted, we turn on the faucet and there it is; a clean, hot, cold, safe, endless supply... or maybe not.
3 days without fresh water - that's how long you'll survive.
Think about these things if you think I'm being 'extreme':
  • How many power outages have you lived through in you life? Outages that lasted more than let's say arbitrarily, half an hour?
  • How many boil water notices have you had to deal with?
  • Water rationing? Unheard of in the Northeast, this is a fact of life in the Pacific southwest.
  • Ever been stuck in traffic for half an hour or more?
Heard enough? -
QUICK ADVICE: Buy a reusable water bottle and two cases of water per family member.
Costs less than $10 per person, cheapest insurance you'll ever get.

See below for further steps.


Bare minimum for survival is 2 quarts per person per day. This would not be a pleasant survival. At least a gallon for drinking is more in line with actual consumption and needs. Plan on another gallon for cleaning, cooking etc. A reasonable initial goal is 1 weeks supply. From there you can work your way up to whatever amount is comfortable for you.

There are numerous ways you can store water ranging from cattle tanks all the way down to aseptic 'juice box' size. Let's look at the options:

WATER BARRELS & BULK TANKS: can store lots of water directly from your faucet, reusable, barrels can be purchased cheaply from your local pepsi (or coke) bottler, or if you don't want to deal with the hassle you can buy brand-spankin-new ones from places like emergency essentials ( Drawbacks - impossible to move once filled, water needs to be changed a couple times a year. Will require additional supplies to use efficiently (see below).Pricy if purchased new ($50-$85+ shipping depending on source) Used ones can be found for as little as $10.
I've also seen a giant vinyl bag insert that fits in a bathtub and holds water as well. Great idea - here's a link:

BOXED WATER KITS: Another bulk storage option. Comes with several cardboard boxes and mylar bags you fill yourself. Not widely available, expensive compared to other options but slightly less expensive than 5 gallon jugs.

5 GALLON JUGS: Still stores lots of tap water but far more portable, easy to locate (walmart carries them in the camping section). Easier to tuck out of sight. Cost about $10 each. Drawbacks - still fairly heavy (about 50 pounds when full), water needs to be changed a couple times a year.

1 and 2.5 GALLON JUGS: Very portable, widely available, inexpensive to pick up one or two here and there. Jugs can be refilled. Unopened jugs can be stored for years. Average price is about 75 cents per gallon but can be found for as little as 50 cents/gallon.

SINGLE SERVE BOTTLES: Sizes range from 8 oz aqua pods to 32 oz. Portable, good serving size, don't take up much space. Easy to toss a few in your car, desk, backpack. Unopened bottles can be stored for years. Average price is $5 per case for 16 oz bottles, sales can be found for $3 or 4 per case.

ASEPTIC PACKAGING: Sizes range from 4-8 ounces. Handy for emergency packs, car kits, desk, purse, etc. Small size makes them easy to carry. Sturdy packaging. Unopened water stays good at least 5 years. Drawbacks: very costly compared to larger packages, not readily available

Water bottles can be purchased cheaply, camelbaks and filter straws are most portable. Drawbacks - if you haven't already filled them you need to find water. Camelbaks are expensive, need parts occasionally, and have to be kept clean.

My suggestion is to store a variety of sizes. A good per person goal would be (IMHO) two cases of bottled water, 2-5 gallon jugs, 10 gallons mixture of 1 and 2.5 gallon jugs, and 2 quarts to 1 gallon of Aseptic (this would be spread throughout emergency bags, car, etc). Ideally you would also have at least 30 gallons in a bulk barrel per person.


If you choose to store water in bulk you will want to consider purchasing the following:
  • Bung wrench/bucket opener - necessary to get into the barrels these run just under $10 each.
  • Siphon hose - convenient way to get water out of barrels, can be connected to a hose so water can be drawn over a distance. $10-15
  • Siphon hose adapter - so you can attach a hose to the siphon. Under $5
  • Drinking water safe hose - better for water your going to be drinking, made out of food safe material - $15-$30 depending on length.
  • Purifier - prices vary, under $10 per package
  • steel buckets - for collecting surface water from streams, rainwater, etc.

There are several options for purifying water. I'm not going to go into alot of detail here about how to purify water. I'll just list the options I know of.
  • Purifier tablets
  • filters
  • bleach
  • iodine
  • solar still
So there it is, tons of information about your most basic survival tool.

Fear mongering and Food Crisis

So I've been up since 3AM. Just couldn't get back to sleep. My mind is spinning with a thousand thoughts. As the mother of 4 I'm very concerned about the economic instability. It seems as though there might be some slight relief but honestly, I'm just not sure. When I look at my children I worry about how quickly the world can change.
American's live life teetering on the edge of a cliff that we cannot even see. Those of you in the preparedness community know this, my family and friends don't for the most part. So here it is - in the event of a catastrophic event that shut down the food delivery system it would be less than 3 DAYS before store shelves were emptied. 3 days... think about that for a minute. If you think you could turn to_____ (fill in the blank: gov't, churches, neighbors, family, etc.) guess again because that's where everyone else is headed.
What ticks me off about all this is that there seems to be very little sane middle ground in this discussion. On the one hand you have the average American who is completely unaware and doesn't WANT to know. As long as they can have their Big Mac's and Coke they figure anyone who thinks about this stuff is crazy. On the other hand you have people trying to exploit their knowledge for their own gain, or theorizing about vast government conspiracies. Whether true or not - that kind of fear mongering muddies the waters and scares off people who just write off preparedness people as crazy.
I've begun connecting with people who seem to be in the middle of the two extremes. (Though I know people on both extremes as well). PRUDENCE is my word of the day. Use prudence in all matters, research from all angles, don't take ANYTHING at face value.
What are some simple, not extreme, but extremely prudent things you can do?
  1. Grow your own... something - I have the black thumb of death but even I can't kill lettuce or rhubarb. I live in the Northeast where summers are short and gardening can be tricky. I'll still at least try to grow something, even if it's just a plant pot on the window sill with some chives in it.
  2. Buy an extra... something - tube of toothpaste, can of soup, bag of sugar. Don't worry about having some big elaborate plan. Don't think you've got to have a 'years supply' - just worry about an extra day or two.
  3. Assess your skills and knowledge - As I've said before, I'm not Fannie Farmer and I'm not Martha but I have some basic gardening and handcraft skills. I'm more of an armchair quarterback but even I have some skills. I can sew, bake bread, etc. My husband is a handy man, carpenter, etc. Everyone has something their good at.
  4. Question... something -particularly something you've always taken for granted, even my statements here. Don't believe what I'm saying, go read it for yourself and make your own decisions.
  5. Turn off the TV - or at least do something else while it's on. You won't find truth on the tube. Nor will you easily find it on the net. You don't have to have a degree or proof of anything to write or report about it - just because it's posted, printed, published, or broadcast doesn't mean it's true.
  6. Don't be the deer in headlights standing there waiting for catastrophe to reach you. Get your stupid butt out of the way!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday morning musings

Now that I've gotten all of the big boys off to work and school I'm sitting here thinking of the small steps we've already taken that we now take for granted. Just our morning routine reminds me that:
we are baking our own bread
raising our own laying hens for breakfast eggs
both older boys can cook their own breakfast
'baby girl' can make packaged oatmeal or a bowl of cereal. At the age of 5 1/2 she can operate the microwave just enough to be able to heat the oatmeal.
dh works a half day today so he will eat when he gets home - no fast food
'baby girl' spent the morning drawing pictures of the family; she also surprised me by putting a fresh diaper on her little brother... correctly! It's not loose or crooked or anything, and he sat there and let her do it! How funny! Now she's begging, not for a video game or tv but to PLEASE go outside. I love that.

None of these are huge, earth shatteringly impressive things, but put together they indicate a shift in our thinking. We look at every action with the question "Why?"

Some people question how much my 5 year old can do. Is it safe? Well, when she operates the microwave we are right with her. She has a plastic lettuce knife that she uses when we make salad but she's learning how to carry sharp knives as well. I'm not overly protective of my children. I expect them to learn by doing and I accept the occasional injury as part of the process. None have had to have stitches, only one has had a cast and that was sports related. Yes, that's partially luck but it's also a reflection of the fact that they've been raised to respect blades not fear them; fire is a tool not a toy, same with guns. Kids are naturally curious so we try to mitigate the everyday dangers with KNOWLEDGE.

We don't even think of stopping at a fast food restaurant for breakfast every day, occasionally yes, but not every day. The big boys have been on a bit of a doughnut binge lately but the store-bought ones are pricey. My middle son asked me if we could make chocolate frosted doughnuts at home... I'm sure we can, just not sure I WANT to. How many teenagers do you know who would even think of home made alternatives to convenience foods?

Both of my teens take turns cooking dinner at least once a week. My eldest son (15) can cook as well as I could as a newlywed. The younger one (14) has learned some basic dishes like pasta, sloppy joes, etc. They've both been able to make simple things like ramen and mac & cheese since they were 9 and 10. The eldest packs two water bottles for school every day during the warmer months. Sodas and energy drinks are treats for him, not part of his morning routine. He takes iced tea, water, kool aid, lemonade... whatevers around. Yes I hope someday he will just be thrilled with water, but I'm not holding my breath as I haven't made it that far myself yet!

I appreciate my families flexibility and open mindedness. They've tried lots of new things over the past few years. Most have been successful, some (just a handful) have not. DH doesn't mind trading soda for iced tea but draws the line at home-made sweet tea. I'm going to try again this spring with my grandmothers sun tea recipe which is sweeter and not as strong (astringent) as traditional sweet tea. Green salads are popular, chunks of celery are not. In the 'what they don't see won't kill them' category: I'm becoming an expert at finely chopping veggies that might offend the sensebilities of most children. I can work a whole lot of celery and carrots into a cheeseburger soup or a meatloaf!

It's not easy being different. The extended family thinks we're crazy. Our kids friends think we're weird. In the end I don't base my choices on those things. I need to put my head on the pillow each night knowing that I've prepared my children to live in the world - whatever may come and that I've given them the best choices, the best example I possibly can.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Turning down the lamps

One by one they've all gone to bed. Even the dog is snoring at my feet. The only sound in the house is a rhythmic thump thump from the dryer (not quite clothesline weather yet). The thought that comes to mind is of a family winding down and slowly dimming the lights for the evening. My hearing is oddly attuned to minute sounds at this hour. Perhaps it's the mother in me but I hear the hum of the lightbulb, the gurgle of the fish tank, the furnace in the basement is audible to me at this hour, even my own keystrokes as I write here. One thing I truly enjoy about our semi-frequent power outages is the total lack of noise. I relish those moments because they remind me that there is still so much more 'clutter' that I can remove from my life. In a few weeks the sound of the dryer will be replaced by the wind rustling outside my window, the furnace will fall silent for the summer and even the lightbulbs won't be as much of a nuisance as the sun will stay with us til nearly bedtime for a few fleeting months.
Tonight my thoughts turn to plans for the coming months: Flowers and bushes to plant, seeds to start, chicks to raise, even the possibility of finally getting our pig enclosure built after so many years of talking and planning. I've been reading up on canning today and I envision shelves of freshly canned home made goods. For some reason my mind kicks into high gear around 10PM when my body is done for the day.
As I turn down the last 'lamp' (i.e. this computer) tonite I look back on the day, the weekend and the week. I reflect on the successes (not failures). I thank God that my family has come through yet another week intact, healthy, safe; and I pray that He will show us the same graciousness in the coming week.

STEP 1: Getting right with God

I know most peoples idea of being prepared is about what you have supplied and learned over the years, but the first thing that comes to mind for me is God. I'm not here to debate religon. I'm just saying that in a crisis many people turn to faith. When you think you are in a life threatening situation your first concern shouldn't need to be "Have I made my peace with God". Take a few minutes now and follow your heart. The Bible says that the only way to God is through Jesus. Do you believe in Him? Do you know that he died for you? Do you accept the free gift that he's already given to you? Or will you leave it unopened? I'm not a great evangelist, nor is that the direction I'm headed in with this blog. I can recommend some though if you're interested in learning more.

"God be with you till we meet again"

Rolling with the punches

I woke this morning to a fresh snow and a toddler with a 102 fever. We don't generally skip church but DH is off at guards and I can't take a sick child into a group of other kids and pass around the germs now can I? So here I sit wondering what to do with my extra two hours this morning. I'm trying to pull all my thoughts together into one cohesive post but my mind is wandering amongst several topics - dealing with bumps in the road, being prepared for the bumps, literal bumps (frost heaves due to mud season), and the fact that I still need to bake bread and get chores done today (among others). So how does this all come together? I'm not completely sure but if I come up with an answer I'll be sure to update.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Picking up the pieces

Yes - it's been a year (more than that). I've had to work through a major depression and it was devastating. I was like a zombie for several months then realized I HAD to do something and no one else could do it for me. We've stayed on track but haven't progressed as much as I had hoped we would.
I would be discouraged were it not for the knowledge that getting treatment for my depression has (and will continue to have) a lasting and profound effect on my life. I wasn't able to even get up from my desk, couldn't pull together a coherent thought, couldn't complete a project or even deal with the daily in's and out's of being a mother of 4. Now I'm beginning to be active again, I'm reading constantly, setting goals, working on projects... basically I'm living again.