Saturday, April 02, 2011

Things I Never Dreamed I Would Do

When we first moved to Kansas five years ago, all I knew about the state of Kansas was what I learned from watching The Wizard of OZ: obviously I knew nothing.

Well, since moving here I have done so many new things, and grown used to doing things differently.

1.  I learned how to garden.  My mom had a garden when I was growing up, and to my shame, one of my mom's most embarrassing stories about me comes from when she told me to go weed the garden and came home to find me sitting on a bench by the garden "raking" the weeds.

2.  I have learned how to can and store up food for the winter.  When we lived in Wisconsin, I played around with canning -- making blueberry freezer jam and freezing corn (thanks to generous people who donated blueberries and corn to Northland every year).  Now I've learned how to can tomatoes, salsa, jellies, green beans, applesauce, and so many other things.  I'm hoping to learn how to can venison this fall if we get a deer, and maybe eventually to dehydrate fruits and jerky.

3.  I've learned how to make bread from scratch, okay I do admit I knew how to do this before we moved to Kansas, but not to the extent I do now.  I tinkered with making rolls, and used my bread machine to make bread on occasion, but now we don't buy bread unless we are traveling (and I don't use my bread machine except to make cinnamon rolls).

4.  I've learned that I can make my own flour -- I had no idea this was even possible until we moved to rural Kansas.  JA bought an ice cream pail of wheat from the Co-op to use as a sermon illustration, and that wheat must have sat in my fridge for several months (at the time I didn't know it didn't need to be refrigerated).  I finally asked someone, and I borrowed a friends wheat grinder, stored my flour in the freezer and used in recipies.  Last fall, JA let me buy my own wheat grinder, and since January have been freshly grinding wheat to use in my bread.  In fact, we haven't bought any flour since January.
Mrs. Kimbrough's cookies made with freshly ground wheat :)
5.  JA has learned how to clean our own wheat (I know this isn't me, but I did all the research!!!).  We have been buying our wheat directly from the Co-Op.  You can't beat $7 for 50 pounds of flour.  JA has been sweet enough to clean the wheat for me (pouring from bucket to bucket in front of a fan), and has already cleaned almost three bushels of wheat this year (we've only used up one bushel so far).

6.  We have begun making our own laundry detergent.  This has been fun, and the kids love helping to grate the soap.  (I'm hoping to learn how to make my own dish washing detergent soon).

I have learned so much on the practical side of living, but one of the most important lessons I have learned since we have moved here is the importance of being a good steward of what God has placed in my care.  Whether it is the money my husband earns, the health of my children, the education of my children, the beautiful home we have, or even my own time, I must take careful account of how I care for things.

I am still working on becoming a good steward of my time, I find it so easy to waste a few minutes here and there, I will be working on this over the next few months, and hopefully becoming a better steward of my time will allow me to find more time for blogging about how God is working in my life and the lives of my children.


juliechall said...

How wonderful to have added all these things to your "know-how-to" list! Your garden looks amazing! I hope I can do something like that someday. Love the pics.

Mary Ann said...

You have been a very diligent worker! I daydream about having a garden & canning a bunch of the harvest. I used to help my grandparents do that when I was a kid. It's really kind of fun & satisfying.
I'm right there with you on learning to be a better steward of my time. It can be a hard balance.

Melanie said...

what a great blog post Tracy! so excited for all you are learning! Our God is amazing and I'm sure very pleased with your stewardship offering.