Thursday, December 29, 2011

On the Farm: Honey Cough Syrup

We made Honey&Lemon cough syrup using:

2 cups of pure honey
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice

Allow the two to simmer on low in a double-boiler for about an hour. Then pour into a glass jar and store in fridge for up to 2 months. 

It has a great taste and the kids love it. It's very simple to make and it has no side effects that other cough syrups have. We have honeybee's on our farm so the honey we use is very local and we know it's pure. Just try to find the best grade honey you can in your area.

Gearing up for this winters flu season with a little honey from my pot.

Why use honey in cough syrups?

Honey has been used intuitively for hundreds of years as a wonderful natural antibiotic by many different cultures. Today, research undertaken by Dr. Shona Blair at Sydney University's School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, has now shown the unusual antibacterial activity of honey, leading to a greater understanding of the ability of honey to kill pathogenic bacteria through several different mechanisms. In studies, honey was effective against many different drug resistant bacteria.

In one scientific test, Dr. Shona Blair used honey to treat E. coli. Dr. Shona Blair saw that honey "attacks" bacteria from several different angles; that the bacteria were overwhelmed and unable to develop resistance, and the bacteria died. In today's world where many antibiotics have become ineffective, honey was able to kill not only the E. coli, but many other types of bacteria.

Honey not only possesses significant antibacterial activity, it has also been shown to actively promote healing by directly stimulating human cells that are important in the immune response to help disease and wounds healing.

Learn more:

Lemon helps promote health by quickly alkalinizing the body and honey will kill any bacteria. This is a perfect choice for a quick cough remedy.
To soothe a cough, take ½ teaspoon for a 25 lb. child and 1 teaspoon for a 50 lb. child, about 4 times a day or as often as needed. Adults can take 1 tablespoon doses

It's incredible what other uses honey has! 

Some we've found:

Natural Energy Booster
Burn and Cut Healer
Incredible Antibiotic 
Sore Throats
Athletes Foot
Yeast Infections
Skin Moisturizer
Vitamin A enhancer 

Learn More: 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Letters by candlelight

We sat as she read us her 20 page letter. The words melting through us and around us as we listened. Tears fell and emotions were deep as the words lingered. Dear friends moving, leaving, and to us nothing will seem the same.We sat in candle light and her voice kept cracking ever so slightly as the memories flooded our mind of times spent with these precious and dear friends.
I watched all of their faces as each word was spoken and I thought,  "this is how it must have been in the 'old' days when letters would come and the whole family would gather around and listen.When news from the war or from loved ones who had taken the journey to live in a foreign land would make its way to the candle light of home"...
She read the last words, "Dad would have absolutely loved the place. It's so tucked back at the end of a little old dirt road. We are so grateful-and awed- by His provision to our family; such a wonderful farm... It has everything we ever dreamed of." 
Memories pouring in and my tears dancing in the candle-light. Saying good-bye and knowing that things have forever changed and some things will never be the same.

I guess through my life that's the one thing I've learned more. One decision, one act of God's hand, will change everything. Which leads me to this guy, Jason Cooper. Today is his 10th birthday and the Lord forever changed me by this incredible gift of his life. I will not forget how sweet the Lord was to cover my sin of not trusting Him for more children and giving me the gift of Coop. The joy and laughter that he has brought to our lives is a constant reminder of the gift he is. God is good and oh, He has been so good to me. He gave me Cooper and I will praise Him. He took William and I will praise Him. God is always good, we just have to remember that.
Happy Birthday to a wonderful son who knows right and chooses to do right. You are a giver of so many blessings to our family and I pray that God's blessings continue to over-flow you in this up coming year.  


The coldness has us mostly in doors here on Chandler farm but our heads are swimming with our up-coming homesteading ideas. We have rabbits again and are looking forward to getting our baby chicks in a few weeks. We are baking bread and trying new recipes like Artisan style bread. We are making our own laundry detergent and still using our clothes line even though it's cold..We are gearing up to make a batch of homemade soaps, and we bought heirloom seeds to plant in our green house. So even though the temps outside are cold we are making plans for a busy spring.

God Bless you in your endeavors to celebrate life and the calling of everyday motherhood in your own home. Because if you don't celebrate the gifts God gave you then who will? 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things


 Big sisters and little sisters

Brothers and sisters

Girls going shopping with their babies


boys and their toys



                                                             New Bikes for everyone.

This Christmas the Lord has allowed us all to be together.
So many friends that I think about don't have loved ones with them this year.
I remember. 
I count my eight and wrap deeper in my robe and sip my coffee and whisper,
"Thank you, Lord for giving us this celebration".
This gift of time that we have as a family. This time is
a gift because as my children grow older they will
have their own homes and celebrate their own Christmas's but for
now I still get the privilege of sharing their time uninterrupted.
Watching them give.
Seeing them receive.
Watching them ride across this land with their new bikes and know
that one day this land might be bike-less and 
I will remember.

Christmas 2011 


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Capturing Faces

The rain was filling buckets but I went anyway. I usually try and take the kids out and celebrate them a few at a time. As the mother of a large family it's so easy to miss little things about each of them so I try and spend time with smaller groups on occasion. This little group ended up having me in belly laughs the whole afternoon.  I took them to Red Robin and they sang, danced, ate, and watched the t.v that was directly behind me. I sat across from Ellie and Josie and Cullen and just kind of sat there listening and watching their beautiful faces. They broke in to their little music so often that people around us were laughing. Everyone stopping by to see these two. I watched. I they sang Rain, Rain Go Away and Old McDonald's Farm.

 Enjoying who God made them to be. They are funny and these girls can eat. They kept sharing their food with Cullen and taking his as well.

The big moment came when I ordered the biggest mountain of ice-cream cake ever and Ellie's face couldn't take it all in. They are that special...To order the big thing off the menu and build these memories that I will never forget and never let them forget. The time when their feet dangle under tables and ice-cream and cake
still shake them up.

These times of motherhood seem to slip by if you don't stop and make time to celebrate the simpleness
of your everyday life. Carry a camera, capture the faces, and get ready to build your memories.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

She's motionless in my window

She usually fills my kitchen with the most beautiful of songs.

 She awakes when the sun hits her solar panel back and warms her.

 She sings all day until the sun drifts down toward the west then she sleeps.

 Today though she is quiet and I find myself waiting for her to sing but she doesn't. I find myself looking over at her as if nudging her that this would be a great time for her sweet melodies, but she remains still.
 It's cloudy outside and well I guess she wont be singing much today.

 I miss her song, she sits motionless in my window waiting.

 It's a reminder to me that my  life song should always be heard not anticipated.

 I don't want my children or husband waiting for me to sing when my circumstances get better or all my needs are met.

 I want my singing and praising to be constant. I want it to be heard in every room in my home. I want it to be familiar and copied.

 My praises to the Lord, I don't want them to have to wait for it.

 It's cloudy I will praise Him for the clouds and the way He fills them with water or snow.

 It's sunny I will sing of the warmth of the day that fills my kitchen and my yard with children who play in His warmth.

 It's cold I will praise Him for the house that He gave me and the walls that protect my family and keep them warm.

I want my song to be a constant reminder of my dependence on Him not my circumstances.

 I wonder if she will sing tomorrow? If the conditions will be perfect enough to set her playing her soft chimes? I don't want my children or husband to ask the same of me. I will sing today. I will be heard. I will not sit motionless. I pray you will do the same.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A warm landing

 I search the sky for rain and know we're gonna be locked in for a few days. The heavens don't disappoint me. The rain comes. We find the shelter of our home to be a safe dwelling place. Books being read and little ones needing me all over the place, the feeling of being needed is such a sweetness. Knowing that right now, this very minute, I make their world a warm landing. I create in my home a place of peace and rest or a place that is filled with unknowns. I want them to understand that my home will always be a place of peace and comfort but never a home of rest. We should always be about Gods business and with that comes work. Teaching my children to love and nurture is a huge part of the journey that I believe is one of the most important journey that I can teach them.

Teaching them that no matter who walks through our doors they are welcomed and we will love. Keeping our doors locked and never letting people in will never teach our children, or ourselves for that matter, that all we own and all we have belongs to Christ.
Our new days, when the sun slowly warms the soil on this farm, the comfort of fresh food and hot rolls. The sweet love of brothers and sisters.
They all come from a gracious heavenly Father who pours out good gifts. We need to pour those gifts out to others so that they can say, " God intervened and sent me help". Sometime our homes will be God's good gifts to others, sometimes our food. Sometimes our money.....We have to get into the habit of giving of ourselves completely. Poured out like the rain. Taking chances and saying, "it's all Gods anyway". My time, my money, my home are all His anyway..So unlock your doors..and be ready to be blessed by God and blessed by the very people who come through those doors. You only think your blessing them when in reality they will bless you more.

The rain watering. The sky black. My house full..I'm tired most of the time. I always try and eat healthy and get in my exercise, but I have to admit when night fall hits I dream of my bed. I long to get everyone tucked in and then find myself asleep early. I can't wait for the next gift day. Tomorrow. What will I accomplish, what will I let God accomplish through me? Will I love big?  After years of practice I'm learning to truly not sweat the small stuff, as corny as that may sound. I've been through "big stuff" and the pleasure I have in raising my children gives me great reasons to rejoice and share what I have. The people that complain the most are the very people who haven't been through the big stuff yet. All the big stuff is used by God to work His righteousness into us and carry on when burdens bare down. When the day to day come back around you lay low because you realize you are low. You tend to keep your mouth shut more because you realize you don't have all the answers  You love the simple things, the simple days because you realize how fast things could change. The big stuff makes you long for a simple life.

Nothing I do today is more important then teaching my children to love and to love well. Sometimes, loving others requires hard things, getting rid of our own selfishness, and our rights to comfort and time, but before long God will move us to a new position and require more out of us then we ever dreamed we had in us.


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