Feast of Dedication Facebook live videos
We're almost done with 2020. It's been a tough year! Happy Hanukkah!
If you haven't subscribed to the podcast yet, here are some of the topics this month so far:
I've been getting a lot of questions lately about the Feasts of the Lord, Torah, and Biblical living. I felt impressed to do a live video each day of Hanukkah to answer some of those questions:
Feast of Dedication Facebook live videos
Click the link above to follow along or watch the first few here:
If you'd like to join me each week for Bible Study, join our Busy Morning Bible group. We'd love to have you! Also make sure to subscribe and share. I'd love to see our community grow!
During the most recent historical weather outbreak which left much of Oklahoma out of electricity for several days a prepper group I’m in had a discussion about what areas they found they needed to work on next to be more prepared. I was flabbergasted to see several comment that they thought they needed to come up with a battery powered coffee maker.
I love my coffee. I have this wonderful thing called a percolator. Mine is a stainless steel camp style percolator that I use regularly on our gas stove.
I can truly think of very, very little that anyone really needs that takes batteries. We even have a radio that has a little solar panel and windup handle on it to charge it. Flashlights are extremely convenient, but kerosene lamps and candles work.
I asked my OK Panhandle Preppers what their favorite non-electric household item was. I'm proud to say, my neighbors value their cast iron cookware. We also had several helpful ideas shared.
For more discussion on Prepping on the Prairie, check the latest Real Life on the Prairie podcast episode!
Speaking of preparation... Are you ready for the holidays?
Paradise Praises has a new 2020 Free Printable Holiday Planner Calendar available now. This includes undated November and December calendars, menu planning sheets, shopping lists, along with gift lists, budget trackers and more!
Danielle Tate has some great Budget Friendly Kitchen Organization Ideas to help prepare for the big Thanksgiving feast. She also has a yummy sounding Nourishing Gluten-Free Crock Pot Granola recipe to share and some Low-Cost Creative Christmas Gifts.
My new friend Karen Logan from Yes, You Can Girl! is offering a nice, printable Christian Women's Weekly Planner to help get your year off right. It has space for prayer journaling, scripture, highlights of the week and more.
While we can physically prepare for a lot of things, the most important preparation is with the Lord. Preparing our hearts with His Word is most important.
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 1 John 2:3-6
What do you feel most prepared for? What do you feel least prepared for?
Have you been catching the new podcast? I'm finally getting the ball rolling and the family is even chipping in. Last week, Kylee, our bunny girl joined me to talk about raising rabbits. Real Life on the Prairie podcast is really growing. We've had over 50 downloads already, in less than a month! You can catch it on nearly every podcast platform and listen at home or on the go. Coming up next week, Kathryn (our oldest and now a mother herself) will join me talking about helping children find their purpose.
While the leaves turn and fall from the trees and you start digging out jackets and hats, make sure to slow down and enjoy your blessings. Don't let yourself get too busy to start shopping for or making some heartfelt gifts. Send a card, email, or message to a friend letting them know you are thinking of them. This has been a hard year for a lot of people. Let's pray for our neighbors.
What are you particularly grateful for today?
A debate (noun) does not have to be an argument. It can be, and in the since I’m touching on here is dialog, commentary, discussion, or powwow.
Debates are a historical way of educating and informing people. It’s more fun than a lecture by just one person. Listeners get the benefit of multiple perspectives. Good debates tend to encourage people to think for themselves, rather than telling the listeners what to think.
A debate is over a topic that is of mutual concern to the speakers. Their ideas concerning the topic or solutions to a problem differ because of the speakers’ backgrounds, education and perspectives. If speakers can remember they are both concerned about those whom the topic touches, they can more easily stay civil and professional.
It has become harder and harder to have a productive debate. Public debates are often more about the speaker than the subject matter anymore. Sides take turns verbally throwing mud back and forth, rather than legitimately trying to inform and educate their listeners.
Preparation for a debate should be more about the audience than the speaker. Too often, speakers have a prepared propagandized topic they are paid to push rather than actual education or productive information. This is actually true with many public speakers anymore.
I actually heard one speaker bully his audience, making fun of anyone who dared think differently than the propaganda he was pushing. He was so good at it he insulted the audience and they were excited about his false narrative. This particular speaker is so good at what he does, he is paid by different agencies and organizations around Oklahoma to spread whatever propaganda they’re pushing. I get literally sick to my stomach every time I hear him speak, no matter the topic.
I’m convinced a debate can be an enjoyable experience for both the audience and the speakers. Some basic guidelines would need to be set first.
Speakers should keep in mind:
How it should be conducted:
Bible verses to keep in mind:
It’s important to remember, when debating someone who is not a Bible believer that we are not to hold them to the same standards we are held to. We are to treat the lost with compassion, mercy and tender care. While we do not approve, entertain or excuse evil, we also need to see the hurt and manipulation that the enemy uses to ensnare and lead individuals astray.
There are times to debate and there are times to keep quiet. (Ecclesiastes 3:7) Discernment is important. I’ll admit that I am still learning discretion. Some people are not open to other ideas. (Proverbs 14:7, Psalm 1:1)
In this day and age, with the severe split in society worldwide, honest and open debate can be a useful tool in finding innovative solutions to real dilemmas. If you are a non-confrontational person, consider it encouraging and motivating thought. If you are confrontational by nature, pray for discernment and discretion.
Sally moved to the US from England in her early 20's, so she's been here a while (though she's in New England, which still seems like a foreign country to this prairie gal). She's a homeschool mom of eight and a highly trained artist. Her art degree is from Loughborough College of Art and Design in England.
Sally has a refreshing attitude that art is not just for the gifted, but can be taught incrementally like any other subject. Seeing first hand how traditional teaching methods can be detrimental, especially in art studies, she now shares her passion with young and old to ignite their own love of creating art.
What's your favorite medium to work with?
That is a really tough question. It is like asking a chef to pick one food item. Each medium has its own unique characteristics. I love watercolor, acrylic and anything 3D. Those would be my top 3 but that could change at any time depending on what I am working on. When working on a project or course it is like falling in love again. That medium is my favorite at that moment in time.
Who are your favorite artists &/or pieces of art?
This is another tough question. There are so many! One of my favorite group of artists would be the Newlyn Group. About 50 artists set up a colony in the late 1800's near Pennzance Cornwall in England. If you have seen the Poldark series you will have seen that amazing Cornish seascapes that are so magnificent. The work from that group centered around the sea and the local inhabitants. Living in another country draws me to love their paintings even more because it is a distinct connection to my homeland.
I love the diversity of Sally's interests. I admit, I had to look up the Newlyn Group and Mr. Morris. Definitely some stunning work, though I'm definitely more of the Impressionist myself.
Sally's inspiration comes from her children, something that doesn't surprise me at all. Watching them grow, she would take photos of them to use in her art. She also enjoys "borrowing" the children of her friends now that hers are older.
Social media has been a fabulous source because my friends take lots of pictures. I am always messaging them asking for permission to use their images for my work. I love anything to do with plants. I cannot grow them myself. My husband calls me "herbicide" because I kill everything. Longwood gardens in PA is my favorite garden to visit in the USA but there are too many to list in the homeland. Brits are supposed to be able to grow beautiful gardens, I have to just visit them. Any place by the sea makes me want to get my paints and brushes out.
Another area where I've found Sally to be a kindred spirit. My children warn me away from their plants and I admit to having a black thumb!
Sally also boasts a eclectic personality. A lot of artists are also musical. Even though Sally enjoys several genres, she finds music a distraction when she's working, unless it's classical. Her husband plays guitar and is as passionate about music as she is about art.
Is there a connection between your art and your other work or hobbies?
P.S. I opened a delightful can of worms with this question!
My art is intricately tied to my life and hobbies. My 8 children have been my subjects since they were born. Thrifting has also been part of my vocabulary since I was a small child. My mother discovered rummage sales ( called jumble sales in England) because my father almost died of Rheumatic fever. He was a painter and decorator and could not work for many months. Someone suggested that she look for some used items and she went to a jumble sale to find a dress. The clothing section was ignored when her eyes met the oozing buffet of household items. Instead of a dress she went home with a crystal decanter and a silver rimmed bowl. She had fallen in love with thrifting. I was her protege and every Saturday I would be at her side looking for interesting objects. This was well before the days of the Antiques Roadshow. These events were filled with interesting objects that I would collect. When I moved to the USA I discovered garage sales. My home is filled with "treasures" that have a story. At one town wide garage sale I saw 2 large black garbage bags on the ground with fabric popping out of the top. The owner said they were displays from an interior design store that had closed down. I bought the two bags for $7. The bags contained 3 huge 12ft long designer made curtains that were fully lined and weighted. When we moved to our current home 3 1/3 years ago a friend took me under her wing and renovated the formal dining room for me as a gift. The house was a foreclosure. It had good bones but was dated and the people had color taste that insulted every bone in my body. The dining room had a very large picture window and two of the panels were placed either side of it. I was instructed to cut up the third panel to make a tablecloth and recover the dining chairs. When I cut the curtain a name appeared on the seam. Morris and Co. London England. My curtains were William Morris fabric. One of his original designs that was still being reproduced. I had no idea when I bought them, but I loved the design. My house is filled with stories like this.
What is your dream project?
My dream project would be to make some large and unique ceramic pieces to put in my garden for the plants that I will eventually forget to water. I had made some planters in my final year at college and would love to have the time and facilities to pick up that baton again.
My favorite art tool has always been Flair Pens, which are fine felt tipped pens. Imagine my delight when I found out Sally's favorite tool is the ultra fine point Sharpie markers! We both keep them with us all the time, writing and doodling with them.
I use them to process my thoughts and ideas on paper. For some reason they help me focus more when I am trying to get an idea out. That might seem weird to some people but I am very visual. What something looks like even in the idea phase is very important to me.
I'm also very visual and have to picture my thoughts either on lists, drawings or some crazy mixture of the two. I also like things color-coded, so I tend to carry several colors of pens around with me...
What advice would you have for parents of young aspiring artists?
I made a little video on the website about this. As a parent we want our children to produce something we are proud of. We want to show them off. Our pride can be very detrimental to our young artists. The only thing that matters is what the actual artists thinks about their work. Your opinion, granny's opinion etc is irrelevant. The young artist needs to hear words of life and encouragement. Speak those words. Creative souls are very fragile. We are stifled by criticism. Let them learn techniques and practice their skills but never ever tell them that they did something wrong and that they should paint something how you think it should look.
What encouragement would you give young aspiring artists?
Never stop playing. Never stop learning. Art should be fun. If it is fun you will keep doing it and you will grow as an artist. Only your opinion matters. Always remember that!
From excellent 2nd-hand finds, felt-tipped pens and black thumb gardening to our love for encouraging the creativity of children, Sally is definitely a kindred spirit. I hope you've enjoyed getting to know more about her.
If art is something you'd like to learn more yourself or you need help teaching your children, I HIGHLY encourage you to join the free 14 day trial of the Beyond the Stick Figure course. This course is for ANY age. With all the stress in the world today, the timing of this course is perfect. Art is an ultimate 'self-care' stress relief.
If you'd like to see some ideas and little projects from Sally, check out her YouTube channel too.
Sometimes we just need permission to let "Real Life" happen without feeling the need to get stressed out, worked up or to "take control" of the situation. Tauna's tagline is correct, the domestic arts may be challenging, but we can be comforted to know we are divinely equipped to do what needs to be done.
The first step in any recovery program is always admitting there is a problem. While being domestically challenged is never the root problem, it's a fun way to admit a very real struggle. The root of the issue can be several things:
Once you've dealt with the root of the issue, (they will need to be revisited occasionally) then you can start using these tips:
If this is overwhelming, don't quit. Breathe. It's going to be okay. God has a plan for your life and He will equip you to fulfill it. It's so easy to get bogged down in life's circumstances and challenges.
So... Have you killed any houseplants lately? Do you have a prayer request? Email me or leave a comment below. I LOVE hearing from you!
Summer has been hot, yet blessedly moist this year. The extra rain has made the weather muggy, but the moisture has been so nice after so many years of drought.
We hate adding heat to the house with much cooking or baking. By the end of the summer, we're looking for creative ideas for cool meals and snacks. One refreshing afternoon snack is these Dairy-Free Fudge Pops (with sugar-free options!) from Traditional Cooking School. These are so much healthier than corn syrup laden ice cream. We also like to freeze bananas to blend up into smoothies with fresh milk.
I'm looking forward to Handprint Legacy Live event at the end of this month. As a faith-based small business owner, I'm looking forward to Katie Hornor's virtual fiesta from Mexico and learning more about creating a marketing system that will fit our unique needs.
Katie coaches businesses of all shapes and flavors. Her methods fit everything from our rural funny farm to businesses of a myriad of services and products.
Completely fed up with current events, I've been filling my 45 minute drive to and from work each day with audio books. Nothing especially educational or edifying. I've been listening to delightful Christian Historical Fiction stories by Julie Klassen.
So far I've listened to:
These have all had a Georgian / Regency or early Victorian flavor which has been refreshing. I particularly enjoy the occasional recipe or historical 'how to' with tips hear and there on housekeeping and child-rearing...
Are you in the midst of back-to-school? Getting a good start to the year can be difficult. Budgeting the expenses of the new year and planning subjects of study are some things that can make the start a bit bumpy.
The Importance of Consistency and Flexibility in Homeschooling a Large Family
The first talk I spoke on is the topic I feel is most important to address in parenting, and definitely in homeschooling. Let's face it, homeschooling is hard. I'm not going to candy-coat it for you.
Consistency means you are:
We talk about juggling or balancing, but the truth is there is no such thing as balance. Each family has unique dynamics to work with and can only be applied in special ways. Being able to be consistent enough for your family to have stability and confidence, yet flexible enough to meet the challenges of each day with cheerfulness and a level head is the key to growing children who can be responsible and reliable citizens who walk through life with peace and joy.
"How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because some day in life you will have been all of these." ~ George Washington Carver
You CAN work and homeschool
Again with the Consistency and Flexibility! Whether you are working from home, or away from home your family must know what to expect while still knowing there is basic stability even amidst the unexpected.
Training and good habits are so important when working as well. This is where Charlotte Mason can be so very helpful. Whether you use her methods with anything else, grasp and apply her thoughts on habits.
Working from home:
I look forward to seeing you Wednesday evening at the How to Homeschool Event for Moms! I hope you take time to see some of the other great speakers as well!
We recently found Cascadia Cutlery. Nolan is an authorized Benchmade Knife dealer and has been sharpening knives professionally for over 20 years. We recently added one of Cascadia Cutlery's knives to our family collection. It is an amazing little lock-back knife. You can see it here. We're really excited to share this resource with you. (We're not affiliated with them in any way, we just really like what they have and what they stand for.)
Are you looking for some summer fun? Check out the Online Art for Kids Subscription. It's a library of art courses and projects for children age 5-95, so you can get the whole family involved. And for a limited time, get one week access FREE for your entire family. Host your own art camp at home.
Do your children love art? Do you wish you knew how to paint and draw so you could be creative with them? Introducing the Online Art for Kids Subscription built for the whole family. Spend quality time together, create amazing masterpieces, and build confidence in your creative skills. If you can draw a stick figure, you can learn to paint and draw! Imagine your whole family creating beautiful memories and masterpieces right in your own home.
What Does Online Art for Kids Subscription Include?
What would you add to this list? Do you have some fun things going on this summer? Leave me a comment below. I'd love to hear from you!
So, what do I do?
I wish I could just stay consistent and keep the weight off. But when winter hits, I always seem to go into hibernation mode with a good book and hot cocoa. I give myself that grace. I'm healthy, and that is what is important. Continuing to get more healthy is always the goal.
A few extras this week:
Cathy Duffy has done a review of the Beyond The Stick Figure drawing course. Cathy is a respected Homeschool icon. I know so many have struggled with teaching their children art. I'm so glad there is such a sweet course now. If that's an area you struggle with, definitely check it out.
Also, there is a Free Trial of Traditional Cooking School. There are so many great homesteading tips and wonderful recipes on the Traditional Cooking School site.
And for Bible study, The Followers of Jesus Christ website is a great place to find topics and teachings of Biblical Prophecy, Freemasonry, Cults, Ritual Abuse, SRA, Fraternities, Healing, PLUS, many more Bible studies and helpful ministry Resources such as Books, CDs, DVDs, Tracts, Poems, and PDFs!
How are you doing so far this summer? I'd love to hear what your plans or goals are for the next few months!