Sunday, July 31, 2011

Matt's First Fish Today!!!

Loving Resident Camp at Rainbow Council!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Saving Water in the Bathroom

Welcome back!!! Come on and see what I've been working on to save water/ money in the bathroom.
What I am doing is running the waste water from the sink into the toilet tank. Then I will turn off the water to the toilet. This should cause a dramatic reduction in my water bill!
Got it together, but it still leaks where the white and black pipes meet... :(
It will work beautifully once that is resolved!!!
In a home where I wash an average of 50 loads of laundry a week, every drop of clean water saved counts!!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Poison Ivy Control

Good Morning! Such a beautiful day in Joliet, IL!
Come on around back~ I wanted to show you what I am doing about the poison ivy growing from my neighbor's yard onto my property. I have decided that I am fed up having my property involuntarily covered with noxious  plants! 
I unrolled black plastic along my steep little hill, then I weighted it down with rocks. I don't want it to blow away as the wind by the old Silver Cross Hospital can really be strong sometimes. 
I seem to have run out of plastic, and just at the edge of the poison ivy! And, as I realized I was out, I looked up and also realized I was standing in the middle of the poison ivy! So, a quick shower break was had to remove all the plant oil from my legs. Then back to the project at hand! 
I am so glad thatI do have some old tarps that I can fold the correct width and continue spreading the balance of the length of my lot line. Once the poison ivy has a nice 'comfy' plastic blanket, I will purchase hay and spread it to cover the plastic, giving a neat country appearance to my steep little hill. 
All in all a very satisfying project~ even with the bit of poison ivy I have acquired on my hand!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yup! More laundry! Does it ever really end? Nope! But I enjoy laundry, most days, so it's no big deal. 
These are the old towels and afghans I use to block the coop vents in the winter. I just realized I had not opened the vents and now have all this to launder! 
No biggie! All will be washed and run through the dryer to remove dust and dander, then I'm going to store all in a zippered comforter bag until snow sets in again! 
Doing this small simple chore reminds me how much my chickens mean to me and how much little things I can do for others can impact their lives in a huge way. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Am I Busy?

The other day a friend mentioned to me in passing that only one of her friends was truly busy.
Although the comment was not meant to be hurtful it was meant to remind me that, although I run a homestead alone, am raising a handicapped child alone and work 6 days/ week, I simply 'should' be taking on more responsibility.
Funny, I think the same way some times, many times. And I am slowly learning to say, 'No. No I can't take on that project.'
 As time goes by this gets easier. So many of the projects weren't of any real benefit to my family and were probably to just impress others, get on their good sire or 'feel' like I was part of a group. 
 Now I am learning to only take on projects when led to do so by the Holy Spirit.  I'm back to thinking about where God is leading me. What is the next step toward my calling? 
It's amazing how something as simple as this has opened up so much more free time for family activities and how much it has reduced my stress level! The act of doing something for someone who will never think well of you is a self-defeating act. I was deliberately spinning my wheels doing projects that, by their nature and origin, would never be 'good enough' for for those in charge. 
Now I spend those precious hours enjoying a good little boy and giving him the patient love and discipline he desperately needs and deserves. It is a blessing on my life to teach him to make jam and encourage him as he sorts all the guy stuff on his bedroom floor. 
And, now that God is back at the helm of my life, everything runs smoother and I fell the calm of knowing it's all in His hands!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Landing on Your Feet

Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and pray all goes well. 
There are times in life when a guy has to climb up on a fire hydrant and jump just to see if he can land on his feet.
Can you imagine if each of us let go of our fears, climbed up on that hydrant and said, "God, I trust you~ take me where you will!" and then jumped?!
How beautiful our lives would be!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Adventure in Blue Springs Caverns/ Could We live Underground?

 Welcome! Come take a trip down into Blue Springs Caverns with us! This was a trip we took with our Cub Scout Pack this year. Not only was it a chance to have a great new experience, it was also an opportunity to evaluate how well we would do if we were forced to live underground.

 The water in the cavern was crystal clear! So amazing to see such clean water!!!

 We took a short boat trip through the cavern. 

 A tasty morsel, but he would not make much of a meal if you were relying on what you catch down there to feed yourself, much less your family! 
If you look very closely at the photos you may spot a crayfish! 

Ceilings carved by underground streams.

 I think we'll name him 'Dinner'!!!

 This part of the caverns is only visited by staff. They have to lay down on the boat to glide through!

 All the guys getting ready to go Wild Caving!

 The entrance to the Wild Caving area.

The ceiling is so smooth because the rock you are standing on broke off smoothly when it fell... Now, sleep peacefully wondering when the next will fall!
 Army style bunk beds! It was a rough night!!!
 Looking down at the boat docks.

My favorite Webelo!

Path from the parking lot to the cavern entrance.

 Cavern entrance! 

 This was an amazing adventure for a ten-year-old boy and a great way to experience sleeping in an unusual setting. Staff were knowledgeable and polite. I would recommend this trip for every youth group!
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