She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

Proverbs 31:27

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Advent of Christmas - Dec 8, 2013 Peace

The 2nd Sunday of Advent we will light the second candle, the candle of Peace.
taken from:

The 2nd Sunday of Advent: Peace

Youth - Last Sunday, we lit the first candle in our Advent wreath, the candle of hope. Let us light it again, remembering that the light of hope shines for us in the darkness. (Youth and adult light the first candle.)

Adult - Peace is one of God's gifts to us. John the Baptist was a prophet calling the people of Israel to repent, to find peace with God. John also declared that it is in our actions of love and justice that God's peace is shown. May we by our actions help to prepare the way for the coming of Peace.

Youth - We light this second candle to remind us that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. His light helps us find ways to share God's peace with others. (Adult and youth light the second candle.)

Adult - The prayer of St. Francis asks God to help us be peacemakers. Let us say it together:

Everyone - Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is sadness, joy; and where there is darkness, light. Grant that we may not seek so much to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, in pardoning that we are pardoned, and in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen!

After the reading and lighting of the candles we sing these two verses together.
Taken from:

The Advent Candles
Tune: Away in a Manger

On the First Sunday of Advent

A candle is burning, a flame warm and bright;
A candle of Hope in December's dark night.
While angels sing blessings from heav'n's starry sky
Our hearts we prepare now, for Jesus is nigh.

On the Second Sunday of Advent.., add

A candle is burning, a candle of Peace;
A candle to signal that conflict must cease.
For Jesus is coming to show us the way;
A message of Peace humbly laid in the hay.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Advent of Christmas - Dec 1st, 2013 HOPE

A few years ago our family began a new tradition in our home.  The Advent Candles.  We found information about Advent on the internet and each year we add to it and make it more meaningful to us.  This has brought us closer together and given us the Spirit of Christmas that we would like to entertain.  In this series of posts I will share with you what we do and take some pictures as well.  I learned some of this from a website it is a beautiful page.
On the first Sunday in December, we light the candle of Hope.  We read these words ( aloud and sing the first verse of a song.

The 1st Sunday of Advent: Hope
Youth - Today is the first Sunday in the season of Advent. Advent means "coming," and in this season we prepare for the coming of Christ.  One of the ways we can celebrate Advent is by making an Advent wreath and lighting its candles to remind us of the gifts Christ brings to the world.

Adult - The Advent wreath includes many symbols. The wreath is in the shape of a circle, without beginning or ending. This reminds us that there is no beginning and no ending to God. God's love and care for us never ends. The evergreen branches are a sign of ever new life. The candles tell us of the light which came into the world with Jesus Christ. The traditional colors of the Advent candles, three violet and one rose, are penitential colors, reminding us that we need God's help to be the people we are meant to be. The white candle which we light on Christmas Eve signifies the coming of Christ.

Youth - Today we light the first candle, the candle of hope.
(Youth and adult together light the first candle.)

Adult - The people of Israel heard God's promises through the prophets. The prophet Isaiah spoke words of hope to Israel. He spoke of the coming of God's realm of Shalom when all nations will walk in God's light. We too hope and pray for a world of peace and harmony.

Youth - Hope is like a light shining in a dark place. With the lighting of this candle, we celebrate the hope of Israel, and the hope that we have in Jesus Christ.

Everyone - We continue to hope in God's promise that Christ will come again to fill our lives and the life of the world with love and joy and peace. Thank you, God, for the light of hope. As we 
prepare for Christ's coming, help us to share our hope with others.

We sing this verse to the tune of: Away in a Manger

The Advent Candles
Tune: Away in a Manger
On the First Sunday of Advent
A candle is burning, a flame warm and bright;
A candle of Hope in December's dark night.
While angels sing blessings from heav'n's starry sky
Our hearts we prepare now, for Jesus is nigh.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Buckwheat Pumpkin Pancakes

Chloe and I love to play around with recipes and ingredients.  This is a favorite for taking with us on short trips where we may get hungry.  We just love these little cakes.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Eating Sunshine

I had no idea that so much time had passed.  I shall call it 'busy', even though I don't like that word much.  It's been a great kind of 'busy' though.  Harvesting peas, strawberries, lettuce, radishes, berries, peaches, beans, lots and lots of beans, zucchini, cucumbers by the basket and then tomatoes.  I had picked some green peppers and jalapenos and the occasional eggplant.  We also harvested a ton of pinto beans.  When you begin to harvest, you get to eat fresh.  Very, very fresh.  There is no fresh like the fresh of eating while you pick.  I call it "eating sunshine".  The warmth of the sun is still in the fruit.  The life has not waned one bit as I bite into the bean.  Bean juice quenching my thirst.  No need for a canteen in this garden.  Tomatoes with the sunshine still pulsating through every cell.  A moment of refreshment in the warmth of the garden.

That is not the end of it.  I lugged baskets full of produce back to the house sometimes sending back to the garden more baskets to
fill as I picked more and more food.  Once back to the house I was tired and looked at what I had brought in.  This is not the end of it.  Some produce can sit on the floor for a day or two.  Some must be refrigerated.  It all has to be dealt with soon to preserve that freshness.  Any way tomorrow or the next day I will be hauling that much or more back from the garden again.  The harvest doesn't stop and wait for you to deal with what you already harvested.  No.  The garden is a huge growing machine. 

There are piles of green beans, delicious cucumbers, bushels of tomatoes, bags of shelling beans, arms full of herbs.  Did I mention the piles of green beans?  All to eat or preserve as quickly as possible.

The wonderful saying "You can't reap a harvest unless you plant seeds." is so true.  The more seeds you plant the more you can hope to harvest.  Also the busier you will be.  Hahaha

We froze green beans until we had nearly filled the freezer.  I put one load in the dehydrator and we even pickled a batch.  We gave beans away and tried to sell them at a local market.  In years past our beans had a lot of beetle bites and didn't look very nice, but this year they looked wonderful.  Mark sprayed lime on the ground early and again at the beginning of summer.  I also saw a great many toads.

I was trying to decide when to stop harvesting the beans.  When is enough, enough. I picked beans for a dear lady down the road.  She is in her nineties and doesn't look a day over 70.  But she doesn't garden anymore and was thrilled that I would give her the beans.  Late for supper one evening and toting two very large baskets of beans and cucumbers and heading out to get a second load my husband gave me this look.  It was the look that says I'm 'doing something to him'.  I was hoping for a more 'proud of me'
kind of look.  I decided that it was now 'enough'.

I thought about putting a sign out but then I would have to pick more beans.  If you have never picked beans you may not appreciate that thought.  Then a friend came over and picked beans for herself and another family.  I was relieved that I didn't have to put up a 'U-Pick Beans sign'.  Then just like that the beans were over for the year.

I wondered what the nutritional value of green beans is, being that we may be eating a whole lot of them this winter.  I feel especially thankful for the abundance.  The small price of the seeds and the regular workout in the bean patch and such a huge return in produce.  It is mind-blowing.

I looked up green beans on a website: .  Here it says that green beans are a wonderful food, loaded with great vitamins and minerals.  "Good source of protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and copper.  Vitamins A, C and K.  Folate and Manganese."  Wow.

Sounds like great, virtually free, packed in there nutrition to me.

Now I feel very lucky to have so many green beans.  I have a lot of other stuff preserved for the colder months too.

So Blessed.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Easter Is A Special Celebration (2013)

Easter morning was overcast
but that didn't stop the crocuses from blooming.

It is the ordinary things in which I find extraordinary pleasure.
Seeing Easter through the eyes of a child.
The mystery, the magic, the hunt.
Going through the door to Spring.

Hunting for eggs before and after Church.

Someone stands behind that door
and it isn't even the Easter Bunny.  (No offense)
It isn't any other than me the mother.
It is a lot of extra work.

Dad found some really tricky places
to hide those eggs.

But looking with the eyes of a child
the ordinary becomes special and the well known a mystery.
Tying bunnies and chicks and chocolate
to Christ's death and resurrection.

Hand knitted chick.
Pattern from

It all makes sense when I'm a child.


...'because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.'...
Jesus words to God in Matthew 11:25

What if I open an egg and it contains
the fragrant disks of dried banana?
Or dried apple squares?
Or chips of chocolate from a natural chocolate company?

Homemade wholewheat sugar cookies
with naturally died icing.  Blackberry,
Raspberry, Orange and Chocolate.

A basket filled with chocolate delights and thoughtful gifts.
Cookies made in shapes
and drenched with fruit flavored and colored sugar icing.

Puzzle pieces hidden in some of the eggs
was a hit.

When you hold on the sweets all year,
(well except for Christmas and Valentines)
then sweets are a special rarity and treasured with glee.
When a treat is really a treat and not an everyday habit
then it really is a treat.

A visit to the cemetery to honor our precious.

Wow, Easter is special.
News from the grandchildren far away.
Aren't they beautiful?

Easter is a special celebration.

Celebrating a special Someone, who did a rare thing.

He sacrificed Himself for us so that we can live anew.

No more guilt,
no more shame,
no more sacrificing over and over to make up for our habitual sinning.

Everything is new and we are forgiven,
because of Him, Jesus.
Because He arose.What a reason to celebrate.

I can't think of a better way to celebrate than with chocolate and chicks and bunnies and flowers.
All the new life.
In the eyes of a child.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

~ A Reason To Carry On ~

Finishing a birthday card for his Mother.

When you died
a part of me died too.
Not a part that can be seen,
but a part that feels.
The energy,
the gumption,
the get up and at it,
the go,
the drive,
the will,
the power
the part that 'wants',
the part that is 'alive'.
Doctor's love to see this part
if a patient is to heal.
The part that's called
It is the fight inside,
the struggle to survive,
to overcome
 to win.
The succeed part,
it died,
Bringing flowers on her birthday.
that day in: 
2011, the 29th of May.

Debbie Lynn,
The memory of your smile,
your need,
your beauty and grace.
The love we shared,
mother for daughter,
daughter for mother.
The things I hold that you once touched.
Your son,
your little sister Chloe.
News from your syblings
who live far away,
and all the young ones with them
growing up today;
Stephan, Loralei, Larry, Elijah, Olivia and Isaac,
they keep me moving,
give me plenty of reasons,

to get up and LOVE,
to get up and LIVE.
To share
Little Sister bringing flowers.
and to smile
and to listen
and give.
 To cook
and to plant
and to harvest
and sew.
To wash
and to tend to the loves I have still.
To be here for those
who need me to be.
To find joy
 and contentment
as long as God wills.
When my work is done,
when I'm no longer needed,
and as soon as God chooses,
I'll be there in heaven with you.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Beef Jerky

I made Hannah Cordes Beef Jerky yesterday and it turned out amazing.  I did not have any homemade Worcestershire sauce so I skipped it.  It didn't affect the recipe much because I was using a smaller brisket.  Only about 2 tablespoons of marinade were left in the bag which means it was almost all absorbed by the beef.  I use this organic soy sauce called; Tamari Soy Sauce it is naturally brewed and made by Eden Organic.  I love this soy sauce and anything which I have used it in is immediately so much more wonderful tasting.  I get it in the health food section at Krogers.  I had trouble grinding that much black pepper but the finished product tells me I used enough.

I should have taken the toothpicks out right away because the beef strips dry and shrink more after you take them out and cool them.  I had to pry the picks out with a sharp knife.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Broth of Life

Today the roaster is full of beef bones roasting away.  Smells like we're going to have roast beef for dinner but actually it will be something much better.  It will be bone broth.  I've mentioned bone broth before but that was chicken broth.  Bone broth is in fact a really big part of our meals here at This Little Egg.  The broth you buy at the grocery can't touch this stuff.  This is made from bones, apple cider vinegar is used to draw out the minerals and herbs and vegetables also flavor and enhance the nutritional quality.  The bones I use are from 100% grass fed cows or our own backyard pastured chickens.

I haven't shared before on one page my guidelines for our diet, but it is not long at all.  At the time that I began to change the way I feed my family I was completely overwhelmed.  I felt that I had been lied to and thoroughly deceived.  The good man of the house encouraged me to change one thing at a time and just do the research and find things.  Can you imagine my trip to the grocery store after I learned to read labels.  I came home with nothing.  I told him that I didn't know what was edible anymore it's mostly written in another language. 

Recently, after I attended the computer summit on Oral Health which also included whole body health I put together a map for myself and my family.  I'm going to share it with you but I don't want you to think that it is the gospel on food.  I believe that every family needs to take responsibility for their own food choices while learning as much from each other as we can.  I read things and hear things and then I keep some and discard others.  Somethings are great but I would have trouble practicing them, and other things fit right away.  It has taken several years for me to narrow down a plan.  Simple is best for me.  I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist or author of any book.  Nor am I an authority on diets and lifestyles.  I can barely remember one part of the day to the next so I need it to be simple.  I have read about local diets, caveman diets, gluten free and nut free and meat free and only meat etc., etc.  What I have written down is the best and most practical for my family.

Taking into account the blessings of modern technology, mostly the fridge/freezer and electricity I want to go back to how we would have eaten before the industrialization of food.

I live in West Central Ohio.

NO hydrogenated oils
NO high fructose corn syrup
NO MSG or anything manufactured in a lab somewhere.
NO processed food other than what I processed myself

Locally raised and naturally fed (grass for cows etc.) animals and fowl wild or domestic.
Locally caught wild fish.
Locally or home grown berries, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and herbs
Fats from the above mentioned animals and fowls
Sweets from local fruit, honey and maple syrup.
A few essentials brought in from surrounding area.

Spice, salt etc. brought in by local merchants. 

This is my guideline.  This provides me with adequate options and within these defines I have a ton to learn.

I'm happy I don't depend on any big name brand or any brand for my daily food.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Snow Day January 2013

It's been a low key week.  Maybe the cold has had an affect on me, but it seems that I've been spinning my wheels all week.  Today we woke up to several inches of beautiful snow.  Beautiful in the eyes of a seven year old.  So even though we homeschool we decided to take a snow day. She is outside and will only come in for hotchocolate. The good man of the house had already taken the day off so that he could go and get a load of wood.  His plans meant nothing to mother nature, so he is home today too.  He watered the chickens this morning for me, (nice man) so I've been taking it easy and am putting some words down in cyberspace.

I did do something different this week.  I have never made sauerkraut and picked this week to try it.  It is in the crock, in the kitchen, pretty much in the middle of the room.  Chloe has had a lot of fun with it, helping with each step.  I was surprised that I had any cabbage in it since she was eating cabbage almost as fast as I could shred it.  It has carrots in it and garlic.  I also put some onion in and celery seed.  The recipe seemed easy enough.  I couldn't get the cabbage to release enough juice so I added a few cups of salted water to it just to make sure. 
You can find the recipe at:
I'm super excited to see what happens with it.

I also started another batch of sprouts.  I didn't sprout anything for several weeks now.  I know I always feel better when I get plenty of sprouts in the winter.  We do not buy lettuce or any salad things in the winter but wait until spring to grow our own.  My reasons are numerous.  One is the expense of such luxury.  Another is the continuous flow of recalls from dangerous bacteria that should never ever be associated with salads.  Another reason is the miles it takes to bring that stuff from where it is grown all the way to our grocery store, completely unneccessary and indulgent.  I do want to build a greenhouse so that I can grow salad greens earlier in the spring and later into the fall.  These are among the reasons I have for not buying salad greens in the winter.

Today I will put away all the clean clothes I piled up on the spare bed. 

Finish deleting the clutter on the dining room table.

Take care of everyone here and make a hot comforting soup with biscuits for dinner.

Maybe I'll find some time to sew.

I love snow days.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Broth - A Little Piece of Heaven

Oh, the comforting and calming smells of chicken broth simmering on the stove.  Chloe will be drinking cupfuls before I can finish straining and freezing it.  Supper will be broth with noodles and frozen veggies from last summers garden and bits of chicken rescued from the carcass.   It becomes the strength and marrow of our limbs and nourishes our skin and cartiledge.  I can feel the healthiness simmering on my stove, the chickens we cared for giving and giving again.  Above the heat of the iron and the humming of my sewing machine I hear the happy tunes coming from my youngest as she works out her sums at the dining room table.  She is especially happy today since she declares the house smells like heaven.  This is why I do this.  Me, the Real Food hippie type homemaking everything person.  There is history in every bite.  I cherish the memory of the broth simmering day every time I use a tub of broth in my cooking.  I know the ingredients.  Onions, carrots, celery, peppercorns, bay leaves, all organic, chicken backs, necks and feet from the backyard, water, apple cider vinegar.  Try to find a box of that at your local grocery.  That's why I do it.  This is one of the most important foods our bodies need.  When I watch Chloe drinking her broth I feel extremely thankful and satisfied that she gets to have that and that I get to give it to her.