Category Archives: Getting Organized


It’s been a very long time since I’ve updated this blog! A lot of life has happened in the mean time, and I just didn’t feel the desire to write much about it on here over the years. Facebook kind of took the place of this blog since it is just so easy to post pics and short tidbits during the day directly to friends and family.
Now that life has changed so much recently, I’ve decided it’s time to get back to blogging. There are quite a few things going on that I think will interest others and hopefully be informative and helpful as well!
So what are the big changes? Well…. it’s a long story, but I’ll try to keep it condensed!

Over the last few years, I’ve been homeschooling, trying to take care of my family (still working on the organization thing!), and slowly getting my home business off the ground. I am happy to say that I have been making some money the past 4 years from it.
I’ve been making an income online, mainly from my ebook, The Soy Candle Making Book. I had closed my candle business down in 2012, since it was just too much work making, selling and shipping candles,and had me pretty stressed out. Instead, I turned the website into an informational site. Now I teach others all about soy candle making, and I have also started getting into adding information about other types of candle making. I have a few other websites that I make some money from as well, but I’ll get into my online business stuff in another post.
Now for the even more exciting changes! We moved onto some property! This has been a dream of mine for a long time, (I mentioned it here in this post from 2012). We now have a 12 acre farm with my parents. We didn’t move too far, just 15 min. away from our old home. I’ll do another post showing some of the work we did remodeling our old house to get it ready to sell.
I really love our new home, and I have lots of plans for it! We have 16 chickens now! There are 6 hens of laying age, 1 rooster, and then we just bought 9 more chicks 2 months ago. I have been enjoying our chickens and our farm fresh eggs so much, and I want to start selling eggs by the end of summer. I’ve found that between 5 or 6 hens we get just enough eggs for ourselves and occasionally enough to give away to family and friends, so the 9 more chicks should give us plenty to start selling once they begin to lay.

We have my horse here with us now, which makes me happy! My dad bought a horse last year, so that makes 2. My plan is to get an outdoor arena set up this summer. We already have a place we’ve been riding last summer, but I need to get some good footing down so it’s not so mucky during the winter, or too hard during summer. Once I’ve got the horses working well this year, I will start advertising riding lessons. Eventually I would like to start offering boarding and build a large indoor arena. The arena may be a fairly long term goal though unless we somehow get rich lol.

Along with riding lessons, I am also coming up with a plan to make one (or maybe both!) of our fields into one big trail course practice area. I’ll have lots of natural obstacles, and I think it will be a great place for riders to come practice in a nice big area, but not so large that it’s too intimidating. It would be a great place for beginning riders as well as green horses. There’s just so many ideas in my head for this one, but that will be for a future post!

We also just bought a dairy goat about a month ago and will be getting another one in a week or so! A few years ago I decided I wanted to get a dairy goat if we ever got some property. I love goat milk, and I figured it would be easier than a dairy cow since they are so much smaller. Well, a couple months ago I found one!  I am loving it! We’ve been enjoying the fresh milk, cream and I’ve even made some goat cheese. Getting up to go milk in the morning has been a great motivator for me each morning.

So our little farm is growing! I’ve got so many ideas it’s pretty overwhelming at times, but one thing at a time! I am so thankful to the Lord for this incredible opportunity.
Our boys are loving it out here, and it is so, so nice that they have so much room to roam and play outside.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this update and the pictures! You can follow more of our farm life at and follow us on Facebook @AnkenyHillFarm

A New Week, A New Outlook….

So I have to say, last week was one of the worst weeks I’ve had in quite awhile. Seriously, it just was one of those weeks that you wish had never happened. Now nothing “tragic” happened, and I know there are plenty of people who have had and are currently having a much worse time than I had, but for me, it was just no good. Part of the reason is that I was in a horrible mood all week which had a lot to do with a recurring headache that woke up with me every morning. Then it seemed like the boys were just constantly at each others throats more than usual, which very well could have actually been due to my own attitude affecting them.
Many times we don’t really stop to think about how we are affecting others. We might blame the kids for our bad mood, but maybe they are acting up more Because of our mood.
So I had some things to think about toward the end of last week. But on Friday, I finally remembered I still had some childrens Benadryl and I remembered the last time I had a headache that Ibuprofen couldn’t tame, I took Benadryl and the next day it was gone. So I took some Friday night, went to bed early in Cman’s bed while putting him to sleep. Sometimes that’s the only way I can go to sleep earlier since my hubby has been practicing songs late at night to get ready for doing shows for his new music album (which I haven’t put up on his website yet so you might want to go to his facebook page to hear some of his new songs).

Anyway, I woke up the next morning feeling so much better!

And we got a lot of stuff done on Saturday. We got a door put up between the kitchen and the back laundry room and I got a lot of cleaning done so that our home actually feels comfortable now. We also got a new toilet which was long over due since the old one had to be manually forced to stop running after flushing it. We were actually forced to get a new toilet because Cman decided when he was taking a bath on Friday that it would be fun to flush some matchbox cars down the toilet! I was able to fish one out, but the other one escaped my grasp. All seemed ok until later that day when the toilet started backing up and flushing really slowly and then I ended up having to clean up the floor not once, but twice!

That was on Friday when I was still in a horrid mood! So since the plunger wasn’t working and a snake didn’t work, the hubby was going to take the toilet off anyway to get the car out, so I said “why don’t you just go get a new toilet?” . We got a home project loan from Home Depot a month ago so we could add a wall for a new bedroom and do some other fixing up in our house to get it ready to sell while not having to pay any monthly payments or interest for 6 months, which is awesome! We got approved for much more than we expected too. So, hey, we need a new toilet anyway, so why not just go down and get one? lol

But it is soooo nice to have a new toilet. The water bill should be much nicer too since this toilet doesn’t have to fill up near as much and then the issue with the old one running too long if someone didn’t stop it. I can’t wait to see the bill!

So this week so far has been much better. I’ve been trying to focus more on letting God help me with things instead of drawing away from him when my temper flares (and trying to take care of it on my own). I’ve also had the boys on more of a schedule with schooling in the morning, lunch, then bible time, then exercise time and then game time on the xbox which is then work on the computer time for me :) Then after that is some more housework.

Anyway, it just really helps, for one, not to have a constant headache, and two(and most importantly), to focus more on the Lord and allow him to lead. I need to take my own advice much more often, but I’m working on it!

Let’s Rewind 100 Years….

I was thinking today, because of the books I’ve been reading lately, that I wish in some ways that I lived back in the homesteading, old west days. I realize that they had their own challenges back then and we have so many conveniences now, but sometimes I think that these conveniences make it harder in other areas.

As wife and mom, and lover of the country life and animals and farming, I long for a day when we can buy some property and have our own garden with enough to put away for the winter. To go out and gather eggs from the chickens, to spend the spring through summer taking care of the house, the kids, the garden, the cooking and cleaning.

I wish we lived when there was not so much clutter. You only had as many clothes as you needed, and there were not zillions of toys to be strewn about the house. You didn’t get junk mail every day, or paper mail from the many many bills we have today. In fact, you most likely didn’t have many bills at that time and your main focus was providing food and stocking up food for the winter and keeping your family clothed and sheltered. You didn’t have so many activities to attend to away from home, and running here and there in the car.

The thing is, I was thinking today that there are a few things I can help to get back to that time and frame of mind.

Clothes. What if I were to go through all my clothes and only keep enough outfits for a week’s worth. And then, only get new ones when the old ones started wearing out a bit. Or if I got new ones before that, make sure it is an outfit that I love more than one I already have and give away one of my old ones instead.  The same goes for my husband, and kids. Ekid has so many 5 year old clothes it’s amazing. Mostly shirts, and some of them he doesn’t even like. So let’s just get rid of them, or at least put some of them away until the others start to wear out.

Toys. Same idea. I just need to go through all their toys and get rid of all the ones they don’t play with much, or that are broken, and then we don’t need to buy them more than one or two items for their birthdays or Christmas.

Paper clutter. This one is tough. Now the junk mail can be thrown in the trash as soon as I see it, but then you’ve got all the pictures the boys like to draw, and their school work papers and my papers, and my husbands papers….. the list goes on. So that one is just going to have to take some work to control because there just isn’t much to be done about eliminating it.

Activities. Not much to be done about that either. In this day and age, with cars and being able to get to farther away places at a fraction of the time it took 100 years ago, you just have more to do with family, friends, sports and whatever else. Not that I don’t want to see my family! Being an hour away by car, I definitely wouldn’t get to just go on up and see my parents much if we had to use horse and buggy.

But you know, we could live more like they did back then even in this day and age. It just takes a bit more will power, since we have all this stuff and clutter and distractions to contend with.

I for one, would like to try.

I just so much want to be like that virtuous woman in Proverbs 31. Everything she did was for the glory of God and to provide and take care of her family. We just have so many distractions now days, that it’s hard to keep focus on what’s really important, but it can be done. It must be done. God gave women and men certain roles and neither will be satisfied or fulfilled if we aren’t acting in those roles.  The husband is to be the main provider for the family, and I shouldn’t be sitting here worrying about how I’m going to help make some extra money for us. Now there’s nothing wrong with me making extra money, but If I’m worrying so much about that and not doing my job of taking care of the kids, the home and my husband to the best of my ability, then I’m not trusting God to help my husband provide for us like God intended.

So do you feel like we have too many conveniences today?  What ways do you think life was better back in the “old” days?

3rd Day of Homeschooling down and Nboy Needs Glasses???

Well, today went ok. We had a hard time getting going this morning, but finally got sat down for a little devotional on the livingroom floor. Today’s devotional was from Daniel 2:20-22. We mostly focused on vs. 22 “He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.”

I told them that God knows everything and he reveals the things we think we’ve kept to ourselves, secret things, but God knows. If it’s sin, he will reveal it, whether openly, or to us so that we come face to face with it and have to make a choice whether to repent or not. The light dwelleth with God, and as it says in 1 John 1:5 “God is light and in him is no darkness at all” . So when we walk with God, we walk in the light and our deeds are made known. If we sin and continue in it, we walk in darkness away from God because we don’t want our sins to be known, though as Daniel said, God knows what is in the darkness also, so we cannot hide from him and he already knows, so we might as well repent of our sins and come to him whether we need to come to him for salvation, or if we are already a child of God, but we need to come to Him for forgiveness so our fellowship with him can be restored.

Math went well. I ended up doing 2 lessons with Nboy since they were pretty easy review lessons in the Abeka Curriculum 3.  Ekid just practised tracing and writing numbers again and I got pretty flustered when he didn’t want to listen to how I was showing him to do it. He likes to do things his own way, so he can be stubborn! But he finally wrote a couple of the numbers we worked on correctly and we stopped there.

Reading with Nboy was great, though he had a hard time with his vocab words and complaining quite a lot about writing all of them. I only have him write them one time each for now. But I think I know what his issue is now…..

Ekid did awesome with his reading, in Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and wanted to move on to the next lesson, but I told him we would do the next tomorrow. He is very excited to learn how to read!

So that’s all we did today. We didn’t do history since I had some other things I needed to take care of and we got started late, but it was a satisfying educational time.

I’d also like to add that I got a good deal of cleaning done today and my dining area looks tons better. The boys helped me pick up toys and trash and then I rearranged and put the little round dining table in the center of the floor after I swept and mopped, and opened up some space along the wall where it used to be. So I was able to put the kids easel along the wall now and Cman’s little desk too. I still have some decluttering to do, but it looks much better. My livingroom is liveable now too and the boys desk is slowly getting cleared off. They have had room to do their work on it the last two days though, so that’s been nice.

I’m continually getting back up and trying again with the whole organizing thing!

So about Nboy. Well, he has been complaining lately that he keeps having to squint and that his eyes always feel dry. He also gets headaches quite a lot toward the evening or after watching tv, playing on the computer or reading. So I think  he has inherited my curse of bad eyesight. I’ll be making an eye doctor appointment tomorrow for him, but I think that this must be the reason he gets cranky so often this past few months, and he doesn’t like to sit and read for very long, though he loves it when I read books to him and he reads extremely well. I’m hoping if it is his eyesight, that once he gets glasses, his attitude will improve quite a lot. It definitely makes you cranky when you get headaches a lot, even if it’s just a constant slight discomfort.

Well, that’s day 3 of our Homeschooling journey for this year! Hopefully tomorrow will go even better.

Meal Planning on a Budget-Menu Plan for the Month-Dinner Menu

My unorganized Recipe Book/BinderHey there,

So I am awake at 1:23am and tomorrow is payday(or should I say…today), which means, since it is the end of the month, I need to go grocery shopping for next months meals. Now it’s been awhile since I did some serious meal planning, but I do have quite a few budget recipes in my arsenal that are tried and true for us, so I’m just going to break out my binder (my unorganized binder as you can see above) and sift through the recipes and find enough to give us some variety each week.

First of all, here are some ingredients that I already have on hand, so I will try to find meal recipes that will incorporate these ingredients:

  • Chicken broth
  • Refried beans
  • Cheese
  • Tomato soup
  • Cream of Chicken
  • Cream of Celery
  • Onions
  • Milk
  • Oatmeal
  • Spaghetti noodles
  • Flour, sugar, and other baking ingredients
  • Salmon, frozen
  • Turkey bacon, frozen
  • Canned potatoes

So that’s about it aside from some condiments and spices, but our refrigerator is looking pretty bare right now, especially since my mom cleaned it out for me while she was here helping with the yard sale.

So here we go starting with week 1 of my dinner menu plan for the month. I’m just going to go through and find easy, budget friendly meals and jot them down. I don’t have to go in this order when I actually get started with the week. I just need to know what ingredients I need to buy for the month:

Week 1 dinner menu

  1. Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup w/salad and toast
  2. Drop Biscuits and and gravy w/toast and fruit or veggies
  3. Skillet Beef and Macaroni w/salad or veggies
  4. leftovers
  5. Spaghetti w/ garlic bread and salad
  6. Hot dogs w/ veggies or fruit
  7. Bean burritos w/salad and chips

Week 2 dinner menu

  1. Spaghetti w/ garlic bread and salad
  2. Bean burritos w/salad and chips
  3. Cheese enchiladas
  4. Weenie wraps w/salad
  5. Texas Hash
  6. Chicken nuggets homemade w/salad and bread
  7. leftovers

Week 3 dinner menu

  1. Drop Biscuits and and gravy w/toast and fruit or veggies
  2. Skillet beef and macaroni w/ salad or vegies
  3. Bean burritos with salad and chips
  4. leftovers
  5. Chicken Veggie Stir Fry over Rice
  6. Pancakes, eggs and fruit or salad
  7. Shake and Bake chicken legs w/salad

Week 4 dinner menu

  1. Turkey burger meatballs w/rice
  2. Bean burritos w/salad and chips
  3. Chicken noodle soup w/salad and toast
  4. Spaghetti w/veggies
  5. Leftovers
  6. Pancakes, eggs and fruit or salad
  7. Honey baked chicken w/salad and bread

So that’s the plan for now. I’m going to make out a grocery list for this and maybe make some changes if it’s going to end up going over budget.

I’ll post the breakfast and lunch menu plans sometime tomorrow. I may just do a shopping trip tomorrow and then again on Saturday or wait to see what next weeks deals are at Fred Meyer.

So what are your favorite budget friendly meals??

The Incredible, Failed, Yard Sale…….

Yard Sale Set upWell, I was all excited for our yard sale we had last week. I posted it on Craigslist early in the week. I posted it on Facebook and on the virtual garage sale Facebook page for our area. I thought having it on Friday and Saturday would help too. I had tons of boys clothes sizes 0-2t, plus some other baby things and miscelaneous stuff.  I thought, surely people will come because of all the baby clothes!

I was wrong…..

Friday, I ended up with a mere $10. Saturday, if you take out the $10 my mom spent on buying some of my leftover soy candles, I made a whopping $14!  Not much to pay back for the long and extremely boring hours my mom and I took turns sitting out there.

So now I still have all those clothes out under that canopy because I haven’t felt like spending the time to go out there and get the rest of them put away. I do not looking forward to bringing all that stuff back into our tiny house.

So my plan is to take some of  the clothes to St. Vinny’s since they will give you a coupon when you donate stuff, and then to take some of the better clothes to Mother Goose Resale because I was told that you can trade your clothes there. I might also want to take the changing table I had for sale and do a consignment.(I just now thought of that one.)

But one thing’s for sure…..I need to get all this stuff out of my house!

And……I am so done with yard sales!