Country Cuties

These are our Country Cuties

In an attempt to keep them growing, learning, and searching out gifts Jesus has created in them we have introduced many crafts, animals and plants to these cuties. Here are some of the things they’ve learned how to do!

Some of these take a little more help from us than others such as lip balm and lotion bars. I’m confident though that in due time they will craft those all on their own also!

These crafts have proved to be fun and educational. So far they’ve learned that quality counts and hard work is the only thing that pays off.  My husband and I had to learn much to too late that if “work” is something you like to do it’s not “work” at all. Although, work is still work. You can’t get something for nothing. They are quickly learning that a “job” is something someone doesn’t want to do, can’t do or don’t have time to do and therefore people pay you to do it.

My husband and I are also learning that children can not learn money management if there is no money to manage. With an initial investment from dad they are learning how to budget for product replacement, save for big purchases and manage spending money.

If you like anything you see or would like to re-order something you tried please email or call us. We would be happy to deliver or ship!

Jeanine Parks

Creation4created@gmail.com

505-377-6655

 

 

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Kids with kids

Oh they are wonderful aren’t they? All winter, diligently working every day to make sure they get kids.  . . The kids I mean. . . Oh the puns!  My children and I have even caught ourselves  wondering why we do what we do when it’s cold in January and there is 20 inches of snow to shovel a path thru just so the goats can get to the feeder! Not including the path to the goats!  Then one morning you peek outside and you see little bouncing fur balls!

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It never ceases to amaze me how spry these little guys are! When we see them we all drop what we are doing and run up to the barn. (Even if it means burning my granola….) It’s truly what we have been waiting for, the joy of life after harsh winter.

We snuggle them, play with them and make sure they are latching on. When we have had our fix we go back inside, finish breakfast and then go back outside to do our chores.

Our chores change slightly, we add making sure the babies are latching the first day. We also add locking them in the barn at night with mommy and food and water so they are warm. We don’t interfere much but we make a point to snuggle those babies as much as possible and well, I suppose that’s not really a “chore”! Once the babies get good nursing and sleeping habits we scale back to just snuggles.

I love this time of year. I enjoy watching my kids learn from kids. They learn fragility and strength of life. They learn responsibility and the effect obedience and disobedience has on those we are responsible for. The learn the joy of life and all the winter work becomes worth it.

My friend, winter can be hard. However, it is always worth it. Life comes when we… rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:2-5)

Amen

 

Easy Hats No Crochet or Knitting!

My daughter received a neat hat loom kit as a gift recently.  This is what came with it.

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I started reading the directions and was enthralled at how easy this was!  I have crocheted since I was little but this was different.  My kids could do this and not fumble around a crochet needle figuring out how to keep the right tension, count the right number of loops, count how many you did before you had to do that one stitch at that one time…. you get the point.

To start you make a basic slip knot. Put it on the knob.

 

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Take your yarn from the knob to the inside of the circle and wrap counter clockwise around the post.

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Keep going counter clockwise around each post while working clockwise around the circle til you make it all the way around.

 

Now wrap your yarn around the knob and hold it.

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Push all your wraps down.

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Loosen from the knob and start wrapping counter clockwise on post, clockwise again.

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When you are all the way around again,  wrap it on your knob and hold it. Grab your picker and pull the bottom over the top.

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After you pick them all,  push them down on the post, wrap and pick again. When you get a few circles done,  loosen the slip knot and let it dangle in the center.  We’ll tie it later.

Just keep wrapping and picking till your hat is long enough.

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Now it’s time to take it off the loom. Take your yarn and measure enough to go the full perimeter of the circle and cut it.  I cut this short one time and it was a pain, so a little waste is better than the hassle of short.

Thread your craft needle and push the yarn thru the loop while taking the yarn off the post. Pull your string thru.

Repeat going clockwise all the way around.

Pull tight.

Tie by pulling your yarn halfway thru and tying the string together.

Tie the starting string the same way.

Done!

The basic hat curls a little at the edge. It’s flattering but remember to put enough length on it to accommodate.

I quickly started to experiment and found that a cuff on the hat gave it a nice feel and a little extra warmth. This is what it looks like.

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When wrapping and picking stop about 20 wraps in and find your start string.

Take that first loop and put it over the first post.

Working counter clockwise pull each first loop over the post.

Pick like normal.

Wrap and pick again til your hat reaches your desired length and tie.

Excellent!

Here are some variations the kids and I have accomplished.

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Alpaca yarn….. all I have to say is ooohhh so cozy!

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A couple of tips. When wrapping, use your left hand to wrap and right to hold so that you don’t wrap to tight or have it come completely unwrapped if you slip.

When done wrapping if you pick the last wrap first it will hold your wraps while you pick.

If you accidentally miss a post try to wrap it pulling tight with the picker.

If it doesn’t make it, don’t worry too much. Pick over it and you’ll never know it is there later.

Doubling the string is fun and is even warmer for my fridgid winter friends!

I’m experimenting on how to add beads and charms to the hat. I’ll let you know how as soon as I figure it out!

Happy hat making!

 

 

Teacups

In the year Jubilee God asks us to not work the ground. It’s a lesson in trust. When I found this out I had already started seedlings of fall plantings such as cabbage in my greenhouse. I’ll be honest, it took a few days… Ok… weeks… For me to completely give those up. I put all my trays of beautiful seedlings… In the chicken coop. If you have chickens you’ll know that they were much appreciated by the chickens but devoured in seconds! In seconds, weeks of work down into a bird gizzard. What was I so afraid of? Lack of learning. You see, gardening and animals has been such an eye opening, ear hearing experience for me I didn’t want to lapse. Thankfully I trusted in a Jesus who NEVER fails to show Himself to those that seek Him. Who would have thought I could find Him in teacups?!?

Check these out! Aren’t they cute!

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Oh and these… We are going to make for sure!

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My son has a job to do in making these for our paper logs. Just in case teacups are to girly!

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It took me a while to start blogging again. I’m sorry. Not only did I not grow plants in fall but it’s followed by winter, a time things don’t grow. Or so it seems. Remember He already talked to us about winter. Spiritual winter and physical winter looks the same. All the growing is hidden. This Christmas season was a tough one for my family. Thru much study, prayer and leadership from Jesus we found out that He really does have a birthday and it’s not December 25th. We found the enemy really does do everything counterfeit too try to change the times and the seasons (Daniel 2:21) and we walked with Jesus thru this winter of no Christmas to thankfully come out better on the other side but not necessarily unscathed. We shared in His fellowship of sufferings.

Since it didn’t have anything to do with growing plants or animals I didn’t think it fit in the blog. Fortunately He showed me that growing ME still counts. However this was thru showing me Pinterest and getting me creating once again. Then was I able to see that everything He leads me thru is part of creation for the created. I’m created and He loves that about me, about you too my friends.

We’ve already made some very cute and easy hats and scarves. As we go thru the process of these new fun crafts I’ll post more in depth pictures just in case you would like to try some in your year of Jubilee!

 

 

 

 

Pinterest

I dove into Pinterest this week. I’ll be honest, I was avoiding it…. I knew for certain I was going to find hundreds of fun things to make, repurpose, sell or just enjoy. As predicted I’ve enjoyed poking around for ideas before bedtime almost every night. Being the middle of winter I didn’t exactly consider it a waste of time and turns out it’s proving to be a great help. Why though can I poke for hours and find hundreds of hundreds of small farmers and crafters like me? I’ll tell you… it’s in you to produce something.

Why though?? Many are finding pure joy in making things… Why?? Some will tell you it’s “getting back to our roots”, what roots? Some will tell you “you’ll live longer healthy lives”, so do the doctors. Some will tell you “it’s for peace of mind”, what was I worrying about before? I’d like to answer some of these questions with truth.

This seems silly and we’ve been here before but in case you haven’t seen it this way (I kinda didn’t till now) here it is again Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. He created. Oh man it was right there in front of us the whole time! HE CREATED. He, the one only, Lord of Lord’s, King of kings, Prince of peace…. Created. He likes making things! To simple right? Genesis 1:1 – 27 is just a small look into to a long list of things He created. Then He tells us He created us… in His image. He created us to be like Him. That included loving to create. 

This is good news for me. It means no matter what I’m creating I’m getting closer or learning something new about who Jesus is and what He does. Now before we go to far down that road let us remind ourselves 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.. This means don’t create something for the sole purpose of becoming rich. I’m not interested in having many sorrows, you? Remember that giving is the next step after creating. I often forget this myself and I’m so grateful He reminds me. Our world currently uses currency but Jesus using giving, period. If we need something, He gives it. I don’t need a dollar for bread if he tells a baker I need bread… you get my point. He created all things and then very literally gave them to Adam aka us. Then what??

Then He gave us a job to do. Be fruitful and multiply. This does NOT mean we are all farmers. However, it does mean innately we want to create SOMETHING.  I have a friend who creates beauty in her home with color and coordination. She also creates children so well she and her husband have twelve, it’s beautiful. I have a friend who makes old things new, a friend who creates art, a friend who writes, a friend who sings, and a friend who… well you get the point, yes?

So what are our roots? He created. What is our long life and health? Fear of the Lord. Proverbs 10:27 states, The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened. Also Proverbs 14:27 states, The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. So how do we get from growing aka creating something to fearing Him? Simple, acknowledging you are made. How quickly can a tree be cut down though you spent years nurturing it to grow big and strong? How quickly can you kill grass with the lack of sun after years of it growing? The answers are heavy and should create fear of the Lord in you. He made you because He loves you and He allows us to feel blessed and have such sense of worth thru creating so that you might have eyes to see and ears to hear that He delights in you, His creation. Listen, take it NOT half hearted when the scripture says the years of the wicked be cut short and fear Him that created you, He is worth it. In doing so you invite a deeper relationship with Him and well, that’s only a good thing. 

This brings us to “peace of mind”. This one belongs to the “preppers” mostly. Some of you relax in creating and sooth yourself thus creating peace of mind, however, this catchy little phrase comes from all my former dooms day buddies. I get it, economy collapses and what does having MONEY do? Nothing. Must we get so wrapped up in money? Loving all the things money can buy and stock piling them so that we have it and someone else doesn’t…. Isn’t that still a love of money? You just skipped the currency part of it. What happened to giving? What happened to a man who doesn’t work doesn’t eat? That’s straight out of the bible by the way, 2 Thessalonians 3:10. It didn’t say “if you don’t stock pile diligently and have everything you might need if you might need it… Does it? In fact if you keep reading it actually says 11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. This talks about working vs not working. When you work hard you will be blessed above what your storehouses can hold but not just for you. This goes back to giving. God doesn’t give to you for you to hold it, He gives so that YOU can give 2 Corinthians 9:Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. Let your storehouse fill, but let it be known that your peace of mind comes in giving. Knowing that you also would have nothing if not given to you…. by Him. 

I’m loving my Pinterest time, however, I have to keep these things in mind as I find easy projects for my kids and I to create together. I have to remember that I need to create to bring joy, fill a need or just plain learn something new about Jesus and leave the worry, stress and love of money far far behind me. I hope you will seek something to create and enjoy. While you’re at it, create 2 and give one away, you’ll love the satisfaction of such crafts even more.

Amen

Dill and Beet Arrangement

 

Diligence

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What is diligence?

Websters dictionary defines it as

a :persevering application :assiduity

b obsolete :speedhaste

2:the attention and care legally expected or required of a person (as a party to a contract)
The Strongs Concordance defines it as

haste, with haste

earnestness, diligence

  1. earnestness in accomplishing, promoting, or striving after anything

Can we combine these two definitions to say that diligence is the acting out of one’s commitment with the urgency of a limited time to accomplish this task?  This is the way I read these definitions in conjunction.

Let’s work this further,  if I am not diligent to remove my tomatoes from the vine before the freeze comes in, they will freeze and rot resulting in the loss of fruits from hard work. There is a time limit associated with this word diligence.

Why does this matter?  The earth was designed to teach us about Jesus.  If my tomatoes require diligence to harvest fruit,  what diligence is required then of my spiritual fruit to be harvested? Second Peter 1:5-8 states “and beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I used to read this list as a life long journey list. However,  if I start to understand that diligence is a time constrained obedience to my commitment,  I start to wonder how much time do I have?!?!? Well,  God says in Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him and Hebrews 11:1 says Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. My emphasis here is on the word NOW. Faith is a now thing.  Not what you believed yesterday,  what you believe now. This list of things to do starts with faith and that’s now and then you have to add to that…. now!  The Lord says in James that faith without works is dead.  When are we expected to act on our faith?  As soon as you believe and every moment thereafter.  There should be an urgency to the diligence of adding these to our faith and that process may take a while (as does any productive task in a garden) but it will never produce fruit if we don’t realize there is a time limit.
Get started now…. ask yourself “what is virtue?”

Fall Planting

A little known but wonderful tip…. Fall is the time for trees!  Only recently did someone inform me of this fabulous treasure! The best part is…. when they all go on sale is the prime time to plant!  Most people are excited in the spring to get outside and plant things, so the stores stock in spring.  When fall comes around most are done planting and everything goes on sale. If you are looking for something in particular you may want to go ahead and buy before fall but if you’re tastes are open this is a prime time.

Last year we purchased 20 trees at a fraction of the original price.  We paid between $5 and $7 each.  At this price it almost doesn’t matter what kind of fruit it produces.  Most stores will stock what grows well in your area however, do a little research before you go.  An educated buyer is a happy buyer.  For example, I live in an outskirt area of a large city; in the city some trees do better than on the other side of the mountain where I am and vise versa.

Don’t let the grid view of most conventional “orchards” trip you up. If you have the space, go for it. If not, plant a tree lined driveway or shade your children’s favorite place to play. Just keep in mind the spacing recommendations. A healthy tree is easier to maintain when given enough room to grow both above and below ground. Remember… a tree’s root system is as large as the visual branches, just upside-down. Look out for walls, foundations, and side walks. Also of course be considerate of your neighbor, they may not want fruit landing in their yard.

Follow the planting directions. The hole really does need to be much larger than the root ball. Check out your area’s soil situation and accommodate your trees need in the large hole so as to give it a “head start”. For example, our area is clay. In response to this we dig a large hole and fill it back in with a mix of wood chips, potting soil, compost and our clay soil. I recommend this for almost all soils but check to be sure this mix is best for you.

Taking these basic principles in mind is all you need to get started. You truly CAN learn as you go with trees. You’ll have time to learn to prune, fertilize and harvest these magnificent creations over the years it grows. If my husband and I would have known how simple and how cheap fall planting was… We could have been harvesting fruit for the last 7 years (3 years till fruit typically). Don’t let a little lack of knowledge stop you. Plant now, reap later. Let this set an example for your walk with Jesus also. Plant now in everyone that you love Jesus, tell who He is and what He did. If they ask you questions you don’t know, see it as an opportunity to learn something new and dig in. Suddenly He’ll be working your ground, growing your roots and enjoying your fruits.

 

Amen

Jubilee

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To plant or not to plant…. this is the question!

This year has been incredibly educational for my family and I, in and out of the garden. We started a journey with the Lord of learning more about His calender and feasts. It all started with Easter vs Passover. All of our lives we celebrated our Risen Christ on “Easter”. We found out this year that although Jesus rose on a Sunday, it wasn’t Easter Sunday and it wasn’t a Roman calender Sunday. It was three days after Passover (15th day of Nisan). Why does this matter? The 2 calendars don’t synchronize, therefore we were celebrating it on the wrong day most years. Again, why does this matter? It matters because the feasts are appointed times to meet with God and we were missing it. That’s like showing up to your wedding 2 days late or early!

Where am I going with this? It made us want to inspect God’s calender and find out what else we were missing. Turns out we were missing a lot. For example, Jesus was born at the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacle, not in December. What does this have to do with my garden? Jubilee. This year (which on God’s time started a couple weeks ago) is not just any year. It’s Jubilee. Every 7 years we are required to let the land rest. Then after 7 cycles of 7 it is the 50th year and it’s also a year of rest, among lots of other things like forgiving debts, setting free slaves etc. Meaning this past year was a Sabbath year (49th) and the upcoming is also Sabbath. Is this a big deal? Well…. yes.

Before we continue let me just say that following God’s appointed times isn’t what saves me with eternal salvation, that is belief in Christ Jesus and what He did. However… If Jesus said Himself “if you love me you’ll keep my commandments…” What commandments was he talking about? Is it so hard to follow His calender? I just don’t think so. Have I had to change all of my holiday dates and some of the traditions that went with them? Yes. Is it a small price to pay in comparison to what Jesus paid for me? YES. Why do I want to though? I WANT to show Jesus I love Him. I want to show Him that I believe dates and holidays and traditions mean nothing if not to meet with Him.

Ok… Jubilee. What are some real, tangible requirements of this year that I can follow that will show my Savior these things? No planting, no harvesting of things growing on their own, no pruning. This all catches me off guard since this is part of the staples of our living! Can I trust Him to take care of me regardless? Yes I can. He says that in the 6th year and the 48th year he will provide such abundance that it will carry us thru the Sabbath and 2 Sabbaths in the case of Jubilee. Pretty cool. I missed those years technically, but He didn’t. He knew this day was coming for us and the last 2 years HAVE been abundant!

I’m truly excited to do all the things that I probably wouldn’t do if I was planting, pruning and harvesting. Like building my root cellar, upgrading my fencing, building new beds in my garden and most of all teaching my children what it looks like to completely trust Jesus.

There won’t be a lot of posts about new things I learn in the area of planting pruning or harvesting.  However, I guarantee there will be plenty to learn about God’s creation in this upcoming year as I spend my time letting the land rest!

Presto, Pesto!

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I was pulling my carrots by the tons and having tons of fun doing it when I realized that I had no idea’s for all the greens. I thought to myself… surely there must be SOMETHING I can do other than feed them to my goats. Don’t get me wrong, I love that nothing goes to waste at my house because I have chickens and goats! I especially like to feed them my infested plants (aphid or wilt) and eradicate infestations quick and painless.  Anyway… I knew they were edible I just needed to find a great way to eat them! I found it! Pesto!

I found a great pesto recipe online and switched the basil for carrot tops. After you make the pesto to your liking you can put it in a mason jar and cover the top with olive oil and Presto… Pesto! It will save for a couple of weeks covered and in the fridge.  I made a chicken penne pesto that night and then had that same dish cold like pasta salad for lunch the next day.  I bet I could have added diced cucumber to it and that would have been delicious! Hmmm… note to self!

I told my sister about my fun discovery and she said she does that with beet tops too! Oh the fun! My next adventure is figuring out how to preserve it in a mason jar long term. Anyone can buy a jar of pesto at the store on a dry non refrigerated shelf… there must be a way! I’ll keep you posted!

Pesto Recipe:

2 Cups packed Carrot tops

2 Large Garlic Cloves

1/2 Cup grated Parmigian Cheese (I like romano)

1/3 Cup Walnuts (you can use pine nuts for traditional taste but these are more affordable)

1/4 Ground Black Pepper

2/3 Cup Olive Oil

Process everything except the oil in a food processor. I’ve heard that blenders work but you’ll get a different texture. Grind it till its semifine. With a slow stream add the Olive Oil while the food processor is running. Presto…. Pesto!!