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Keeping Hearth and Home: Adventures in Homemaking

My name is Jen, and I am a homemaker.  I love being a stay at home mom...most of the time.  I know that if you are a stay at home mom, too, that you understand that last comment.  I have two little boys at home with me, and a wonderful husband who is doing all he can to support our family so I can stay at home with our children.  I believe that God has created in women a nature to nurture, and that it is our divinely appointed duty to do our utmost best to raise our children in a gospel-centered home.  I understand that not all family situations allow for the mother to stay at home with her children, but I do believe that if it is within our power to do so that it is the best thing we can do for our children, especially when they are young.

I have decided to create this blog as a sharing place for me to post recipes, projects, tutorials, and just plain old knowledge and information that I think is of use to myself and other SAHMs.  It will be in part a documentation of my newly begun real food journey, part sewing instructional, and part advice column.  At least, that is how I am envisioning this blog at this time.  Of course, it may evolve into something else entirely over time.  But whatever this blog becomes, I am excited to invite you on the journey with me.  So, are you ready to embark on this adventure with me?


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Tip For Peeling Eggs

The best part of having your own chickens is fresh eggs.  Since spring feels like it has arrived in our neck of the woods, our chickens have ramped up their egg production significantly in the last couple of weeks.  This occurred right after I bought a dozen and a half eggs from Costco since I wasn't expecting to have so many fresh ones on hand for a few weeks yet.  Oops.  So here I was with a huge amount of eggs, trying to figure out what to do with them.  Then I remembered a family pot luck we had coming up and decided it would be the perfect opportunity to use up a dozen or more eggs in hard-boiled form on a big batch of potato salad.  Since I was making hard boiled eggs, I though I'd share my little trick for peeling them.

I never realized that people have a hard time peeling hard boiled eggs until I got married and my husband was complaining one day about how he couldn't get the eggs peeled very easily.  Then I noticed one day my mother-in-law struggling to peel a …

Christmas Planning Part II: Our Christmas Gift Philosophy

It is very easy around the Holidays to get caught up in the "magic" of Christmas. And what could be more magical than a giant pile of presents under the tree, right? While this may paint a lovely picture, it can't always be the reality financially. And even if you can swing it for one year, it might set up an expectation or precedent for years to come. Years that might not be as abundant. In our family, we have decided to shift the focus as much as we can from getting and gifts, to giving, making memories, and traditions (more on that to come).  We still give gifts, but we have pared it down quite a bit to make it more manageable.

We have settled on giving our kids 4 presents each year, based around the following rhyme shared with me by a friend: "Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read." I can already hear your brains ticking, "Do you seriously only give your kids ONE TOY at Christmas?" Well, no. These are the fo…

Christmas Planning Part III: Emphasizing Traditions and Memories

We have all been brainwashed.  We have been taught by society at large that the most important things in our lives are, well, THINGS.  And that those THINGS make us happy.  This idea is promulgated more around Christmas time than any other time of the year.  So, in order to make a simpler, less expensive Christmas possible, we have to shift our focus from THINGS to something else.  What do we focus on instead? Traditions and Memories. This goes hand in hand with my life philosophy that experiences are more important than stuff.  Here are a few ideas for simple, inexpensive traditions, and a few ways to make Christmas memories with your families.  

Our family acts out the Nativity each year at my mother's home, sometime the week before Christmas. My mother has a nice manger that we use, and we all dress in costume (think bathrobes, sheets, and towels) , read Luke II, and act it out. Since our family is smaller, we all get to take turns playing different roles. The boys oft…