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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Going Natural!

Hello everyone!  Well, it's been 5 months since I last posted.  That seems to be a recurrent theme!  Let's see...

We started our new homeschooling year using the Charlotte Mason method.  We began our new school year the first of June and my kids are loving it so far!  So do I.  It is so exciting to see them anxious to do school.  We are using living books for science, history, literature and grammar. Ben and Grace are remembering things much better using the living books.  Message me if you want details about what we are doing.  I'm happy to share but don't want to bore those who have no interest!  We also started French using a YouTube course with 72 lessons!  My children have taken Spanish for 3 years and I thought I would let them experience French for 2 or 3 years and see what they like.  We have school at the park, at home, outside under a tree - really nice to break it up.

My yarn shop, Simply Homespun, is doing great!  I am introducing mini skeins this month.  I didn't even know they were in demand!  People are using them to make "hexipuffs" that are then joined into a Beekeepers Quilt.

So, I decided to take the mini skeins and do a little twist (no pun intended) - I made them energized!  These should make quite a show in a quilt.  Look for more of these coming soon!

The Hines family has also gone all natural!  We haven't had sugar in the house in about 2 months - well, there is a little bit left in the canister, but it is about 3 months old.   We are using honey and stevia in place of sugar.  I still haven't mastered making a cake with stevia, but I'm working on it.  I did make some lemon lavendar muffins and they did rise, so that was a major victory!  I used yougart as a bulking agent in place of the sugar.  When you use stevia, you have to replace the bulk that the sugar would have given you as it only takes 1/4 t. Stevia to every 1 cup of sugar!  Sugar really contributes a lot to a recipe - sweetness as well as texture and bulkiness!  It is fun experimenting though.  I am using Stevita.  It doesn't have any after taste.  It is expensive, but using so little of it, it is probably going to wind up being less than sugar per serving.  I am trying really hard to use only food without chemicals or hormones.  It is really expensive - about double our $50.00/week grocery budget, but it is worth it.  My little 6 year old was starting to develop early thanks to the hormones added in meat and milk!  That was my motivation in switching our life style to an all natural one.  I made my own laundry detergent, am making our own bread from chemical free flour, and have gone back to raw milk from hormone free cows!  We are making our own butter from the milk so that has helped us save on butter as well as cutting down our usage of butter significantly.  All in all it has been fun, but I'm going to have to be more diligent in sticking to a budget and planning a detailed meal plan each week.  I will be posting our menus here so that anyone interested can take advantage.  Also, I will put the food cost up for you.  I wish I had this now from an experienced "naturalist"!

We are getting ready to go to our small group Bible study this evening!  So, until next time...

May God bless you and yours!