Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Gun Confiscation Showdown in Connecticut

(My husband had something he wanted to share with you, so here's a guest post from him. --Janice)

A frightening series of events are currently unfolding in Connecticut.  Not only I am horrified by the actions of the State of Connecticut, but also at the lack of media coverage it is receiving.   Most people in the U.S. are completely unaware that hundreds of thousands of gun owners are being told to surrender their firearms or face SWAT team raids and felony charges (assuming they are not killed in the raid).
                                            
Effective January 1, 2014, residents of Connecticut were ordered to surrender unregistered semi-auto firearms and magazines with a capacity over 10 rounds.  This of course accounts for the majority of firearms sold today.  Gun ownership is not as common in Connecticut compare to most other states and it is estimated that over 320,000 firearms  and 2.4 million magazines are now illegally possessed in the state.  Only a small fraction of gun owners have complied with the gun ban.

Gun owners are now receiving letters from the Connecticut State Police ordering them to surrender their guns and magazines .  State Police officials are admitting that door-to-door confiscation by SWAT teams is forthcoming.  Groups such as “Come and Take It” and “Connecticut Carry” are publicly stating they will not comply and are prepared for a showdown.

In response to the threats against gun owners, one woman called the Connecticut State Police and spoke with department spokesperson Lt. Paul Vance.  Lt. Vance told the woman she was “anti-American” for opposing the gun ban.  When the woman reminded Lt. Vance that he was a public servant who should represent the people, not the legislators, he responded, “I’M THE MASTER, MA’AM, I’M THE MASTER.”  That’s right, the official spokesperson for the Connecticut State Police is declaring himself our “Master” and if you oppose gun confiscation you are “anti-American.”  The lady recorded the conversation and posted it to YouTube.  The mask is off and the evil ones are revealing themselves.

Obama and his supporters have made it clear on numerous occasions that they plan to implement the same ban nationwide.  The Department of Homeland Security is stockpiling billions of rounds of ammo to dry up the supply for the public and to prepare for war against us.  Gun confiscation drills are regularly being conducted by the military.  Armored vehicles are being distributed across the country to law enforcement to stop any domestic uprising.  Second Amendment supporters are being labeled “domestic terrorists” by our government.   Just months ago, the Obama Administration signed the United Nations Small Arms Treaty which begins implementing a global gun ban.  The majority of Americans seem to be completely oblivious to this approaching storm.

When and if they order you to surrender your guns, what is your plan?  Will you surrender to “the master” or stand and fight?  What other liberties will quickly fall once our ability to defend ourselves has been taken?  Once freedom is gone, we’ll never live to see it returned.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Homestead Homeschooling

When we woke up this past Saturday morning we found Sam playing in the dining room.  He loves battles, whether they be Revolutionary War, Civil War, or WWII.  So, teaching Sam history is no problem at all.  If we left him alone I think he would sit and read history books all day long.

Last Saturday morning he was studying a Civil War history book that has drawings of specific battles.  He was studying the Battle of Chickamauga.



Then, at the dining room table he was re-creating the battle using his Civil War battle set that he got for Christmas last year.  He used the tents in place of the Kelly House and the Poe House that the battle was fought near.



After he finished setting everything up he went on to have the battle according to what he'd read in his books.  The Confederates won the battle even though they lost more casualties.  The Confederates lost 18,000 to the Union's 16,000.  Only the Battle of Gettysburg lost more casualties.  Sam went on to do some math at this point.  We had him figure up just how many more casualties there were at Gettysburg than there were at Chickamauga.

I don't know the technical terminology for how we do homeschooling around here, but this is the way that Sam learns best.

Our Favorite Sugar Cookies

In my last post I noted that we had made sugar cookies for Valentine's Day.  Well, these cookies have been a big hit in our home.  Shawn had me make another batch.  Now they are 3 days old and still as soft as ever.  I'm really impressed with these cookies, so I wanted to share the recipe.



The original recipe came from here:
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Super-Sugar-Cookies/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=super%20sugar%20cookies&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page&soid=sr_results_p1i1

However, I made a few changes, so here's the way I make our favorite frosted sugar cookies.

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup evaporated cane juice
2 eggs
1 tsp. lemon extract
4 cups organic, unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 tsp. salt

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Cream butter and coconut oil together.  Add sugars and blend well.  Add eggs and lemon extract.
3.  In small bowl sift together dry ingredients.  Gradually add them to the wet ingredients until well blended.

For cut-outs
If you will be making cut-outs then you will need to refrigerate the dough for an hour or probably less.**  Once the dough has stiffened up you can pull it out of the fridge and roll it out between two pieces of wax paper.  Then use a cookie-cutter to get your desired shapes.  Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Depending on the size/shape of your cookies, they will need to bake for 8-10 minutes.

**Coconut oil can harden quickly so watch how long you leave it in the fridge.  I left mine in the fridge overnight and it was rock-hard when coming out.  I was still able to use it though, it just took some time to thaw.

For regular round cookies
If you're making just plain cookies, then you can skip the refrigeration step.  After mixing the dough begin shaping into walnut-sized balls.  Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Using the bottom of a drinking glass, press the balls into a flattened, round cookie.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. lemon extract
food coloring (optional)

Cream butter and then gradually add in powdered sugar until blended well.  Mix in milk 1 Tbsp. at a time until desired consistency is reached.  Add lemon extract.  Add optional food coloring.


Friday, February 14, 2014

A Winter-time Week On Our Homestead - Friday

Today is the last day of our week on the homestead.  It's been nice blogging again.  I doubt I'll be able to keep up a post every day, but I would still like to post 3 times a week or so.  I know Grandma Colette loves seeing the pictures and hearing what her grandchildren are up to.

Today was Valentine's Day!  We don't do too much, but I do like making special treats for the children.  I woke a little after 6:00 this morning and had time to have a quiet cup of coffee while I checked my email.  After the children got up we did our morning chores and then I started making breakfast.  We had biscuits and sausage gravy this morning.  I made it special for Valentine's Day by using a heart cookie-cutter that Shawn's grandmother gave us several years ago.


Immediately after we cleaned up the breakfast mess I started making the cookies.  I had already made the batter last night so I took it out of the fridge and let it sit for a while.  It had gotten a little too hard.  After it thawed I was able to roll it out between two sheets of wax paper and use the heart cookie-cutter again.  Sarah has been asking for a while if we could use some of Grannie's cookie-cutters.  She was tickled to get to help make Valentine's cookies today.  I had planned on using pink and purple icing on the cookies, but Sam was having trouble choosing a cookie to eat because he said that they were all Girl Cookies.  He wanted some blue or green cookies for boys.  He was excited when he next came into the kitchen he found that Momma had made up some blue icing to give him some Boy Cookies.  (If you look back behind Sam you can see the glass canister with strawberries painted on it.  That's the jar of cookie-cutters that Shawn's grandmother gave us several years ago.)


Sarah decorated a brown paper sack with hearts and a rainbow.  We put some cookies in there and Shawn took it out to the mailbox as a surprise for our mail carrier.  Unfortunately the mail had already run.  I have the bag set aside for tomorrow.  As long as the cookies are still moist tomorrow then we'll tuck the treat back in the mailbox.

By this time Shawn had come home from work.  We had leftovers for lunch and then we let the children open up the Valentine gifts that Grandma Colette had sent.  They were looking forward to this all week.  Sam loved the notebook that he received to put stickers in..only he didn't use it for stickers.  He's in the process of writing down "Sam's Speech" in the notebook.  Sarah has been wearing her bracelet today.  She's excited because it matches a necklace that we gave her for Christmas last year.  Andrew promptly put together the puzzle that he received and David kept running around the house showing everyone his motorcycle.  He'd hold it up in the air and say, "Me motorcycle!  Me motorcycle!"

The children went down for naps and Shawn and I even took naps on the couches today.  It was a cloudy, rainy, gloomy day.  It was a good day for naps.  When naptime was over we allowed the children to watch the video that Grandma Colette had sent with Sam's Valentine gift.  It was a really cute movie.  I went to the kitchen to work on supper.  Shawn and Sam did the outside chores today.  They brought in 12 eggs for me today.  We had homemade pizzas tonight.  While the pizzas were baking I had the children make a video for Grandma Colette:

video

After supper we had Bible time and then the children got ready for bed.

I hope I didn't bore you too much with our week.  I hope to write up another blog post soon!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Winter-time Week On Our Homestead - Wednesday and Thursday

So, where did Wednesday go?  Wednesday hit me hard.  I had another adrenal crash Wednesday morning and after that the rest of my day was not much fun.  This is the way it usually happens.  I'm feeling good.  I feel like I'm healing.  I have energy.  Then out of nowhere the bottom just drops out and I can hardly lift myself off the couch.  That's what Wednesday was like.  I did manage to do one load of laundry and I did finally get my batch of bread baked, but it didn't come out of the oven until 10:00 last night!  I was thankful that Grandma Colette had sent the new Bible DVD for the children because I had them watch some of those Bible stories while I rested.

So..enough with awful Wednesday.  Moving on to Thursday.

I had to get up earlier than usual today because we had friends coming over here early this morning.  I had Shawn wake me at 6:00 so that I would have plenty of time to get inside chores done, breakfast eaten, Bible time finished, laundry started, and animals watered before our friends showed up at 8:30.  A friend and I have this system where we each get one morning of "Momma Time" per month.  I'll take my oldest children to her house for one morning a month and then later in the month she'll bring her children to my house.  While our children are being watched we get some quiet time to tackle a project, run errands in town, or just rest without having to meet the needs of little ones.  This morning was my turn to watch her children.  The children got to play together all morning long.  They started off by "playing church."

(I know it looks awful, but I had Shawn blur out the faces of my friend's children.  I don't think she wants her children's pictures to be on the internet.)  They lined up a bunch of the dolls and got all the children's Bibles out.  Andrew found a little microphone that came with a Mr. Potato Head set and he proceeded to be the preacher.  It was really cute watching them play.  Then they went on to do many other things.  My friend came back just before lunchtime and we all sat and ate lunch together.  Then she and I were able to visit for a little while before they left.  Andrew, David, and Anna all went down for a nap while Sam, Sarah, and I began cleaning up the kitchen.  I got a load of cloth diapers washing.  I also watered our seeds and was pleased to find that many of them have already sprouted!


A short time later Shawn came home.  Today was delivery day for our food co-op so Shawn had a truckload of food for me to sort through and put away.  The children have been eagerly awaiting the food co-op delivery this month because I had ordered some special additive-free, organic lollipops for them.  David was loving his grape lollipop.

Shawn, Sam, and Sarah did the normal outside chores of feeding and watering animals, collecting eggs (11 today), and hauling in firewood.  I was still busy putting away food and then starting supper.

For supper tonight we had meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans.  There was no dessert tonight, but I have big plans for baking a sweet treat tomorrow.  After Bible time the children got ready for bed.  They played hard today so I think they were all ready to sleep.  Shawn started cleaning up the kitchen while I made up the batter for some sugar cookies that will, Lord willing, be baked tomorrow.  Sarah has been wanting to use the cookie cutters that Shawn's grandmother gave us several years ago.  I decided that we'll try making heart-shaped cookies tomorrow and see how that goes.

Now I am oh-so-very-tired and ready to get some sleep.  Hopefully I'll have some cute cookie pictures to post for you tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Winter-time Week On Our Homestead - Tuesday

Today was a pretty productive day.  The children were great helpers and the weather was much improved.  While the temperature was still very cold, we had wonderful sunshine today.  It helped to melt some more of the snow and warmed up the house quite a bit.  Overall, a very nice day.

I had originally planned to take the children to the library today.  We had library books due and I thought it would be neat to take the camera and post some pictures of the children at the library.  However, Shawn wasn't comfortable with us driving around on the dirt roads that are still somewhat slick, so we stayed home today and Shawn returned our library books on his way home from work today.  So, this is how our day went instead...

This morning started off as usual.  We went through our normal routine.  Since I have a lot of leftover meat from last night's pork roast I fixed Meaty Cheesy Scrambled Eggs with toast for breakfast (basically just scrambled eggs with meat chunks and shredded cheese thrown in).  After breakfast we had our morning Bible time.  Then Andrew and David went outside with me to water the animals while Sam and Sarah stayed inside to get the dishes washed up.



When we came back inside I took a load of diapers out to the dryer and then started making butter by putting the cream in the Kitchenaid mixer.  I wanted to try a new recipe tonight for our dessert so I went online and printed it up.  While online I also found a link for a free booklet on animal tracks.  With all the snow we've really been able to find some neat-looking animal prints.  So, I printed up the booklet and the children had a good time studying the different tracks.

The studying of the animal tracks transitioned into Sam wanting to draw a picture of a wolverine leaving tracks in the snow.  Then he had to research what kind of environment the wolverine typically lives in.  After his research he decided that his wolverine lived in the mountains of Utah.  So, he finished his picture of his wolverine leaving tracks in the snow among the mountains and pine trees of Utah.  Then that transitioned into his researching what happened to the U.S.S. Utah when Pearl Harbor was bombed.  This is how our homeschool flowed today!

So, by this time my butter was all done.  Here's a picture of my butter-helpers today.  I hadn't rinsed all the buttermilk out of the butter yet, but you can kind of see what we ended up with.

After the butter was finished I started baking our dessert treat for tonight.  Since I still have some of our blueberries in the freezer I made a Blueberry Buttermilk Coffeecake.  I obviously had plenty of buttermilk to use, but I use all of our buttermilk in making our bread, so I had to substitute the buttermilk in the recipe with regular milk mixed with some vinegar.  The dessert turned out wonderfully!  It's very light and not too sweet.  It would be perfect with a cup of coffee.   Everyone loved it, so it's on the list to make again sometime.  I'll try to the post recipe soon.

After I got the dessert baking in the oven I started in on our bread.  By the time that was mixed up and on its first rise Shawn was coming home.  In addition to dropping off our library books, he also had to go pick up our fresh milk today from our neighbors and pick up animal feed from the feed store.  So, he started working on putting the feed away and I got the milk jars put up.

While Shawn was working outside with Sam and David, I stayed inside with Sarah and Andrew.  They helped me clean the living room and then we started in on the dining room.  We didn't get the dining room completely cleaned though, so we'll work on it again tomorrow.  I was really pleased when Shawn brought in today's eggs..FIFTEEN of them!

By now it was suppertime.  Since I did so much baking today we kept supper real simple.  We made up mega-salads with spinach, tomatoes, red onion, cheese, chicken, and sunflower seeds.  Of course we had the blueberry cake for dessert too.

After supper Shawn cleaned up the kitchen while I ground up some more spelt for another round of bread-baking tomorrow.  Whenever I have a large supply of buttermilk I like to go ahead and get the baking done.  I keep the bread in the freezer and then it's ready when we need it.  I'll try to take pictures of our bread-baking tomorrow.  After the kitchen was cleaned up we had our Bible time and then watched an Andy Griffith episode.

The children our now in bed.  Today's loaves of bread are cooling on the counter and I'm ready for a much-needed shower.  I know a lot of people must think our lives are oh-so-boring and monotonous, but that's just the way we like it!

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Winter-time Week On Our Homestead - Monday

Sometimes the weekdays can be draining.  Weekends are so much easier because Shawn is here to help control the chaos.  He does little things like starting the coffee, getting David dressed, washing up the breakfast dishes, and taking care of feeding and watering the animals.  When he's not here through the week it's just not as much fun.

I woke at 7:30 and nursed Anna while the children did their morning jobs.  Then I did my morning routine of getting David dressed, making the bed, getting myself dressed, starting a load of laundry, pulling out meat to thaw for supper, starting coffee, and putting away the dry dishes.  Then I started on breakfast.  This morning we just had a simple breakfast of fried eggs, toast, and fermented pickles.  We did our morning Bible study.  The children and I read a Psalm each morning and then we also read the Proverb that matches the date.  So, today we read Proverb 10.

It snowed again this morning.  We weren't expecting more snow.  I took fresh water out to the animals since everything is still horribly frozen.  Fortunately, the sun came out as soon as the snow stopped so everything that had just fallen melted very quickly.

After breakfast we cleaned up the kitchen.  I took my load of laundry out to the dryer.  Today was Office Day for me so I made sure that I updated the budget, planned the week's menu, and wrote out the grocery list for the week.  I also wrote up the previous blog post, checked my email and my favorite websites.  Then I vacuumed the house.  The children played and read books while I worked on my jobs.

Today the children learned about our state's history, some famous explorers, and World War II.  Andrew enjoyed learning the months of the year and the correct names for a variety of animal families.

We had soup for lunch today and then Anna and David went down for naps.  Shawn came home shortly after that.  The older three children went outside with him while I stayed inside to finish up my office work.  I also watered all of our inside plants and folded up the laundry.

Shawn hauled some more wood up from the barn.  He refilled the chickens' feed and gathered eggs.  We only got 9 today.  He attached the handles and weather stripping to the new bike building too.

The highlight of the day was that we got a package in the mail from Grandma Colette.  It was a Valentine's package for the whole family.  There were wrapped gifts in there for the children.  I put those on top of the entertainment center so they can be opened on Friday.  There was also a Bible DVD in there that the children were excited about.  They immediately wanted to watch it, so we let them watch while supper was cooking.


She also had a really neat coffee mug personalized for us with the children's Christmas picture on it.  I think Shawn has decided to use it at work.  This way he gets to show off his children and his mug won't get confused with anyone else's!  Thank you Colette for all of the wonderful gifts!

For supper tonight we had pork loin roast, corn, and peas.  We still have chocolate chip cookies, so those were passed out for dessert.  Shawn worked on kitchen clean-up while I ground up some spelt and soaked it in buttermilk for bread-baking tomorrow.  The children did their night-time jobs then we all assembled in the living room for Bible time.  After Bible time we watched an episode of the Andy Griffith Show.  Then children went to bed.  Now I'm at the computer and Shawn is drawing up a blueprint for his next project..another chicken coop specifically for our broody hens.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Sarah reminded me today that I had forgotten to trim the children's fingernails and toenails last night after bathtime.  So, tonight after supper I had to sit down and clip 40 fingernails and 40 toenails.  My life is real glamorous, right?!?

I know you just can't handle much more excitement, so I'll sign off for tonight.  Lord willing, I'll catch up with you tomorrow!