Overcome Doubt – Rid Yourself of Guilt – Accept Change

It has been many months since I have written on this small space of mine and there have been many big changes, including the name of this site – soon enough – as we temporarily venture away from our farming lifestyle and make our move into the “city” later this month.

I feel like I am reaching a point of understanding the changes that have occurred in my life, over the last year, and how I have learned and can grow from them. There has been unexpected death and a multitude of heart ache that led to decisions made to hopefully positively impact the lives of my children.

I have only ever wanted to be a mom. A stay at home mom – and then a stay at home grandma (in case my girls wanted a career) to be exact. I love being home every day with my children. I love teaching them – training them. It is all I want in life. So, I became dependent on my spouse – which, last Spring, suddenly seemed silly and immature to me. Actually, I felt it to be downright reckless. Backstory – Within two months of each other, a family member and friend of ours passed away at a very young age, leaving his family behind and my husband was in a series of car accidents. I was overcome with sadness and became scared for my children’s future. I have five sweet kids – How would we survive if something happened? My dad was also in the hospital during this time with heart and lung troubles. In April, I was in charge of sleeping by his bedside in case something went wrong in the night, and there I felt the strong pull to study Nursing as a career. I have had few moments in my life where I can clearly hear God speaking to me – when I chose to devote my life to Christ and this moment. That night I began researching requirements. I retook expired classes that summer and applied to nursing school in August. When I received my acceptance letter to my school of choice, I knew I made the right decision for my family.

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Now, the kiddos and I are half way through our year off of homeschooling and have all started traditional school – a decision that I struggled with making for months, but I knew that I couldn’t provide them a sufficient education while attending school full time myself. I am studying for a career in nursing, and they are trying to remain sane. Public school has offered an array of new learning skills, and I feel deeply for my children when they express their concerns over the experiences they have at the hands of our educational institution.

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We have chosen a smaller school in our smallish town, and I am thankful for that. I personally know many of the staff members and I genuinely trust my children in their hands for the majority of their day. But, I miss them and I know that they feel as though I betrayed their trust. They have never been away from me or each other.

When people have asked, “How long do you plan on homeschooling?” I always said, “Oh, I take it year by year”. However, I never truly believed that. I knew in my heart that my desire was for my children to remain home with me – were never to set foot in a classroom and be under another person’s care all day every day. My plans are not my own.

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A series of unfortunate events led to a hopefully positive lifestyle change. I have found something for myself that I absolutely love – medicine, and my kiddos have learned to adapt to changes that they might not anticipate or desire. They are counting down the days (and so am I) until we can all be home together again.

One thing I have realized about myself is that I do tend to see my worth in my children. I love to be with them. I love raising them and I feel lost when they are not home with me. I feel guilty every. single. day when they leave me for an entire nine hours out of their day – Monday through Friday, and I am not sure yet how I can overcome that guilt, other than actively praying that God preserves their innocence and keeps them close in friendship.

Decision making is not a strong quality of mine and I regret this decision the most. When trouble comes, I immediately go into survival mode and attempt to fix whatever the problem might be. I realized that I needed my own career and I was afraid that I couldn’t do it all. Which is why I chose nursing in the first place. Not only do I love the study of medicine, but it is a career that well suits my family time.

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Winter break is over and I will be missing them again. I am absent for the majority of their day. I miss the good things – the sad things – their confrontations – and their moments of joy. It feels as though a part of me is gone during the day, which I guess it is. My entire daily routine was devoted to caring for them. I wonder around this house (which is not my own) unsure of what to do with my day until nursing school starts again and I can busy myself, which means Joel and his potty training will receive all of my attention – he is not too thrilled.

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This is only a tiny season of our ever changing lives. Rather than pushing down the heavy feeling of failing it can be the year we look back on and say, “Hey! Remember that year we all made big changes to better our lives!? I hope I can only grow happier knowing that everything that has happened is a part of God’s design for us. I look forward to seeing the hopefully positive outcome of my labor (and the late nights consumed with mom guilt) in my children’s hearts as they grow older.

This site will undergo a resurfacing as I choose a new name. The focus will continue to be motherhood, recipes, gardening, and lifestyle, but I am sure my articles will be sparse during this busy season!

-April

“For I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:11

Those People? They’re not God.

Before you start your day – or when you are already in the trenches of social interaction. I want you to remind yourself of one thing: Those people out there. They are not God.

“Those people” might be your children, your spouse, your co-workers. Your Social Media Friends. Even your Instagram Feed. It is so easy to get caught up in what we believe society thinks of us. Maybe your spouse’s behavior isn’t where you think it should be. Yes, our kiddos – they are cute and sweet and little blessings from God, but they are all still sinners – just like you and just like me.

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We must not wrap ourselves up in other people. We must not base our self worth off our spouse and their actions. We must not scroll through perfect social media squares, and then judge our own lives. We are not our friends. We are not our children. We are not our weight. We are not our spouse. We are not our illness. We are not our financial standing.

Our worth is found in Jesus Christ alone.

Our idol is the Trinity alone.

Guilt and shame are a powerful thing. Especially when that shame is caused by another person we had put our trust in. But, you know what? Our trust can only be found in one.  {Proverbs 3:5} We need to stop relying on other sinners to determine who we are.

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Today, before you allow yourself to sink into someone else’s judgement. Another person’s behavior. Another seemingly flawless portrait – look ahead and know that you are loved so deeply, by the only one whose love truly matters.

You are beautifully and wonderfully made.

You are an individual and unique creation of the most powerful being.

You were formed for good and outstanding things.

Be a light in our dark world.

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Did you enjoy this article? Know someone who would love it too?

Share with your friends!

Questions? Simply ask in the comments below, or reach out to me on Social Media, through Facebook and Instagram.

In All Things, Pray.

-April

Why I Don’t Make the Majority of My Blends {plus a few of my favorites} Part 1

Most of us are aware of the effectiveness of essential oil blends: DDR, On Guard, Purify. While it is possible to make your own version of these blend powerhouses, it isn’t necessary.

I love all things DIY, but in this stage of my life (5 little ones), I have found myself to be more picky of my time and the things I choose to do myself. Like homemade laundry detergent. I made my own for years (8 to be exact) before letting that chore go into the hands of doTERRA.

The same is true for proprietary blends. I could purchase all of the components it takes to make my favorite blends, and that would be fine. However, it is so much easier, less time consuming, and I know I can trust the quality every single time, when I purchase my blends from the most trusted essential oil company.

I had a friend recently e-mail me asking about a favorite laundry soap recipe and shampoo recipe. I went through phases where I felt like I needed to do everything myself. With my first pregnancy, I realized I couldn’t trust the household products we had always used, so I began searching natural alternatives. I started using Melaleuca for a time, before eventually falling off the deep end and everything became DIY. I even went so far as the “no poo” hair care method, which believe me.. with hard well water – was gross – and no fun at all.

Now, with a larger than average family, I have learned to relinquish some things to companies I research and grow to trust. Today, I thought I would share a few of my favorite, and not so commonly mentioned blends that I use on a near daily basis.

Peace®

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My favorite way to use Peace® is with the Touch rollerball. I often roll the blend on the bottoms of little ones’ feet when they become upset, highly overactive, or overwhelmed. The threenager year is tough – on momma and said threenager. This blend is one of my secret tools for combating extreme emotions.

Another way I use Peace® is in the car. I am a terrible passenger, and am prone to small panic attacks while riding in the car. Peace® rolled on my wrists helps calm those feelings of anxiousness.

Peace® diffused aromatically during the school morning helps my children to remain focused and myself (an admittedly impatient person) to remain pleasant throughout the process of educating four different elementary grades.

Motivate™

Motivate

I have always struggled with self doubt, and it has become overwhelming as a -stay at home- | -work at home- mom. As a product of a family prone to mental health disorders, I find that I can easily fall into the trap of depression. Especially postpartum. I purchase Motivate™ Touch in diluted rollerball form, and apply to the underside of both wrists every morning and mid-afternoon, when I feel the afternoon slump coming on. I will share in a later post how essential oils helped me through a serious case of postpartum depression after the birth of my fifth child. Motivate™ being one of those.

Forgive®

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Unfortunately, I have dealt with a lot of heartache throughout my life, as a child and adult. When I feel the quick rush of anger or resentment moving to the forefront of my mind, I reach for Forgive® Touch, which I purchase as a diluted rollerball.

I struggle with trust, and I really struggle with releasing moments of hurt. As a woman in her late twenties (not saying thirty yet), I know how important it is for my health to release myself from anger, grudges, and stress – which can all compound and lead to awful undesirable outcomes.

What are your favorite ways to use these three blends?

In Part 2, I will share a few more of my favorite ready-made blends and how I use them in my everyday life.

Note: For skin application, I purchase all of these blends in the diluted Touch form.

Interested in trying essential oil blends for yourself? Leave a comment below or e-mail me at april@spenglerfarms.com – I would love to help you on your journey to a more natural and healthy lifestyle.

<<Ask me how you can purchase these blends at wholesale price>>

Did you enjoy this article? Know someone who would love it too? Share with your friends!

Questions? Simply ask in the comments below, or reach out to me on Social Media, through Facebook and Instagram.

In All Things, Pray.

-April

Boy Mom

Life as a Boy Mom is so sweet. So rewarding. I grew up with sisters, but find it pretty natural to raise boys alongside my girls. Although, I cringe when dad teaches Jake how to use an ax – or operate heavy machinery, I know they grow up and leave the hands of momma to find themselves as young men.

I am still savoring the moments my other little guy is with me. He received his first haircut a few weeks ago, from daddy, and already looks older. Starting to find his land legs and toddle around more – he has the funniest personality. More quiet and reserved than big brother, but always observing the older siblings.

Joel will someday leave my arms for his dad’s. If he is anything like his bloodline – He will be wild, adventurous, daring.

He will ride horses bareback, drive heavy equipment or Army trucks. Come face to face with an angry animal bigger than he. Race to put out pasture fires, work with hot metal, or cut down tall trees with dangerous tools. He will hunt, climb mountains, and learn new skills the hard way.

All the while momma takes a deep breath and prays that all will be well.

Life with boys is cuddles and worms and kisses – as well as terrifying moments where I question their safety.

Learning alongside them, and knowing when to keep quiet to allow the natural process of maturing is difficult, but I remind myself to be intentional. Intentional in helping them mature – and intentional in keeping them close enough to wrap in my arms with a quick, “I love you”.

Yes, I will keep savoring these moments my boys are little, because they are fleeting. Soon, I will be looking up into the eyes of men whom I once looked down to in my arms.

Did you enjoy this article? Know someone who would love it too? Share with your friends!

Questions? Simply ask in the comments below, or reach out to me on Social Media, through Facebook and Instagram.

In All Things, Pray.

-April

Start Seedlings without a Greenhouse

With every goal there comes the desire for quicker progress or a faster outcome. For some, that may be exercise goals, career promotions, or weight loss. The same is true for farming. Everything in this business takes a lengthy amount of time. Growing animals, growing vegetables and flowers. Raising hens to the laying stage – or waiting for your momma cow to give birth so you can enjoy fresh raw cream. It all takes months to years.

Of course, if you had the opportunity, you would take the route that speeds things up a bit. For gardeners who would like a jumpstart on the season, they choose the route of greenhouses and hoop houses. Believe me, if I had a greenhouse (currently in progress) or a hoop house, I would be in heaven. I could start tulips or lettuces in the hoop house during fall, keep them covered and protected throughout winter, and harvest in early Spring.

This is one of my dreams, not just to grow year round, but to produce the best quality – beyond organic food for my family and my community. I grew a winter garden with low tunnel covers this year, which worked beautifully, but with new adventures on the horizon – better equipment might be necessary.

Until then, I will share with you what I do instead.

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I start my seeds in my house.

Specifically in my living room – the office. back porch… aaand the kids’ room.

Currently, there are seed flats everywhere, and that is just fine with me as long as I can keep tiny Joel fingers from exploring the baby height flats. So far, he has only rearranged my labels.

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This works for me and it can work for you too! Even if you don’t have many windows. As long as you have a warm environment for the seeds to germinate, you can be on your way to Spring Gardening as early as February.

You do need a few supplies to get started.
Seed Flats or Potting Containers
Good Quality Seed Starting Mix
Seeds

I choose to order my seeds (and supplies) from reputable companies dedicated to providing non-GMO heirloom and hybrid varieties.

My favorites are:
Seed Savers Exchange
Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company
Johnny’s Seeds

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Directions:
1. Gather all supplies.
2. Place as much seed starting mix as you will need in a bowl or tray.
3. Dampen your seed starting mix with warm water (using warm water will help encourage the seeds to germinate).
4. Fill seed flat or vessel of choice with starting mix.
5. Add seeds to flat in a neat manner. Don’t just sprinkle them on top and call it good. This mistake will lead to a lot of thinning, which means a waste or perfectly good plants.
6. Cover seeds with a thin layer of dry starting soil. It is important to use a thin layer. Seeds need only their width in cover to germinate.
7. Store flats in a warm area near a fireplace or a heater. If you have warming mats, even better!
8. Keep the “soil” damp with warm water and check every day for progress.

As you begin to see tiny seedlings emerge, move flats to a sunny space in your home, under a south facing window or any window that gets plenty of sun. If it is warm enough during the day, feel free to place flats outside only if it isn’t too windy. Placing seedlings outside will help them to grow strong enough for their future home outdoors. If you have a little extra money, and the space to do it, you can also purchase grow lights to improve stem strength.

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If using flats, when seedlings reach 6 inches in height, it is time to move them to larger vessels. I use biodegradable peat pots. Some gardeners use plastic cups. Whatever you prefer as long as it is big enough to house the plant’s expanding root system.

Remember, you are not required to have fancy houses or equipment to get an early start on Spring gardening. All you need is a few supplies, a warm space, and sunny windows. Don’t let the big guys deter you from planting beautiful veggies and flowers!

Did you enjoy this article? Know someone who would love it too? Share with your friends!

Questions? Simply ask in the comments below, or reach out to me on Social Media, through Facebook and Instagram.

In All Things, Pray.

-April

**This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I might earn a compensation from that company.**

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Spinach & Mushroom Calzones {Vegetarian}

We might raise our own meat: beef, pork, and chicken – but we also choose to eat vegetarian once or twice a week for health purposes as well as the financial benefits.

A fresh batch of ricotta and mozzarella make these calzones the perfect meal for a Wednesday evening. Ricotta is one of the simplest cheeses to make, and will leave you feeling like a farmstead rockstar. I made the cheeses the morning of, before my farm deliveries, and the dough upon returning home. Components spread throughout the day make for an easy compilation at dinner time.

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The crust for these calzones are from scratch whole wheat – with a small amount of honey to activate the yeast, and only take an hour. Pizza dough is definitely one of those things that are super easy to make by hand. You can whip up a batch to rise quickly.

Mushrooms, Spinach, Garlic, and melty cheese. You can’t go wrong with those flavors.

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Add these calzones to your weekly meal planning. You won’t regret it!

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Bonus: You can freeze these before or after baking! Simply place on a baking sheet. Freeze for a couple hours. Transfer to a freezer safe bag. Bake (do not thaw) in a screaming hot oven until cooked all the way through. Easy!

Did you enjoy this recipe? Have questions?

Simply ask in the comments below, or reach out to me on Social Media, through Facebook and Instagram.

-April

**This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I might earn a compensation from that company.**

Spiced Applesauce Cake

The aroma is what hits me first. Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger need no introduction. They are earthy – subconsciously causing you to take deep breaths. Inhaling, closing your eyes, and physically feeling the warmth of cool season spices with all senses.

At our home we have two apple trees, which leads to a preserving frenzy each year in October. Apple pies are number one on my list, but the mountains of apples I am left with go straight into jars. I have noticed over the last several years that members of my family are not quite interested in applesauce, leaving quart jars to sit on my shelves longer than necessary.

My family does, however, enjoy eating cake. Yes, I said it. We like cake. A lot. Cake for dessert, cake for snack, cake for breakfast. But not the kind of cake slathered in buttercream frosting. The kind of cake that makes you feel like… “hey, maybe this COULD be a breakfast food”.

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This applesauce cake is definitely that. In fact, we just enjoyed a slice for breakfast because my three year old – who also eats whole carrots the moment she opens her eyes – wakes up already thinking about dinner. If you aren’t quick enough in feeding her you might be breakfast.

This cake is perfectly moist – with just the right amount of spice. Perfect when served warm in the winter, or cooled in the summer. And both seasons deserve a scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream.

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For this recipe, I use a Wilton Bundt pan (see below). You can also get creative and purchase pans with funky designs!

If you are feeling super into scratch baking, you can prepare your own homemade butter and buttermilk in advance.

When baking with all purpose flour, I choose to use organic. You can purchase what I use here.

So, take those old jars of applesauce sitting in your pantry, and turn them into cake!

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Did you enjoy this recipe? Have questions?

Simply ask in the comments below, or reach out to me on Social Media, through Facebook and Instagram.

-April

**This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I might earn a compensation from that company.**

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent {Lemon Scented}

The object of cleaning is not only scrubbing dishes and folding laundry, it is providing an environment in which you and your family can thrive.

I started making homemade cleaners and detergents when my family embarked on the journey toward natural and sustainable living. We had just made the decision that I would stay home with our children, and I was searching tirelessly for ways to pinch pennies. I quickly realized the cost benefits of making our household products from scratch.

Not just cost saving, but also free of harsh chemicals, and decent for our ultra hard well water. This dishwasher detergent has lasted me throughout the years, as I have used this same recipe, without change, since 2012.

The powder can also be transformed by adding a little water, until it becomes a sandy mixture. Then, packed into ice cube trays, dried overnight, and used as dishwasher tabs. I do this often, but usually just stick with the powder form because, with five kids and a farm calling for me, I am generally in a hurry.

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To make dishwasher detergent, you only need a few common household ingredients.
2 cups Washing Soda
2 cups Baking Soda
1 cup Epson Salt
1/2 cup Citric Acid
Lemon doTerra Essential Oil
Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Prepare powder by mixing the Washing Soda, Baking Soda, Epson Salt, and Citric Acid together, in a medium sized bowl, with a whisk.
  2. Add 3-4 drops of Lemon Essential Oil.
  3. Continue mixing until well incorporated.
  4. Store in an airtight container such as a glass jar or tupperware dish (which is what I use because…children).
  5. When ready to run a load of dishes, add one tablespoon of powder to the tray of your dishwasher.
  6. Add a splash of vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher for a clean finish.
  7. Run dishwasher cycle as normal.

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Lemon Essential Oil by doTERRA is so versatile, and necessary in every home. Not only can you use it in cleaning products such as homemade dishwasher detergent and antibacterial sprays, you can also add a drop to your water, flavor baked goods, add a drop or two to your chicken marinade, or simply cup in your hands and inhale for a mood lifter. Lemon is one of my favorite oils. Ask me how you can purchase Lemon and other essential oils at wholesale prices.

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Remember, I was on the fence too – for years – before signing up as a wellness advocate. I told myself there was no reason to sign up… I am not good at selling products, but I did sign up, not to sell, but to have access to the amazing high quality oils I was already using, at a wholesale price. Now, I can’t help but share the benefits of essential oils – whether that be through cleaning products, cooking, or healing. Essential oils are right for everyone. Contact me by e-mail at april@spenglerfarms.com, or on Facebook, if you are interested in learning more.

Happy Cleaning!

Did you enjoy this article? Know someone who would love it too? Share with your friends!

Questions? Simply ask in the comments below, or reach out to me on Social Media, through Facebook and Instagram.

In All Things, Pray.

-April

**This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I might earn a compensation from that company.**

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Garden Planning

I am not sure why, but every year January flies by – probably the busyness of holidays and birthdays clustered together. It is nearing February, and I have yet to start my seeds. That is my main To-Do for this week.

We hosted our homeschool friends from our Wild + Free group, and the kids loved exploring outdoors. Among the treasures we had freshwater shells, bones, turtle shells, and a caterpillar. Several kiddos went home with live muscles. My daughter stuck her live muscles in the fish tank. We will see how it does, but it is very interesting watching the muscle reach it’s “body/tongue” out into the water. We had over 35 kids, not including parents, so I was thankful to have an open house to serve them in! It was a wonderful time for the kids, and this momma.

Wild and Free KidsPhoto Credit to my sweet friend, Jessi.

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful in Kansas. The sun was shining. It was warm. And best of all, no wind. We enjoyed walking around the property and dreaming about our goals for the farm this year.

We are excited to jump back into market gardening head first, but with our main intention of providing for ourselves first. It is our dream to feed our family 90% from the farm for the entire year, and hopefully several other families too.

So, as I am planning to order seeds to supplement my current stash. What are some of your favorite things to see at Farmer’s Market? What are your go-to veggies? We will also be growing cut flowers for our honey bees and pollinators. I am most excited about the rare heirloom corn variety we have chosen for grinding – we eat a lot of cornbread in the winter.

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This corn variety originated in New England, and was cultivated by Native American tribes for hundreds of years before traveling to Italy, and back again. Almost lost, this rare seed is making a comeback through the hands of great chefs and passionate seed savers.

This Spring, we are using the Back to Eden gardening method, and I am looking forward to sharing the process and outcome!

I love seed shopping – and I am not a shopper. I order the seeds for our garden from Baker Creek and  Seed Savers. We visited Baker Creek Seed Company a couple of years ago in Mansfield, Mo and loved it there! We left with all of our seeds, and a few fruit trees we managed to carefully stuff in the back of our minivan.

I hope your garden planning is going well! Spring is almost here!

Did you enjoy this article? Know someone who would love it too? Share with your friends!

Questions? Simply ask in the comments below, or reach out to me on Social Media, through Facebook and Instagram.

In All Things, Pray.

-April

**This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I might earn a compensation from that company.**

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Beef Bone Broth

The taste of warm broth from healthy bones is what people have savored over multiple generations. Stocks were sold in early restaurants, and weary travelers were often greeted with the comfort of a hot mug of bone tea.

At Spengler Farms, we insist on the enjoyment and education of traditional foods consumed by our ancestors. We encourage our friends to step away from the industrial food chain – away from processed foods, and back home to wholesome cooking. That begins with sourcing local foods and preparing delicious, wholesome, nourishing meals for your family.

I shared my recipe for Chicken Bone Broth earlier in the week, and next up: Beef Bone Broth. Used in soups, gravy, or straight from the mug for a healthy boost, beef stock – made from scratch – should be a staple in every home.

Broths are incredibly easy, and very hands off – which is exactly why I like it. Cooked long and slow to extract all nutrients and minerals, bone broth is necessary for every aspect of our health.

For all things bone broth – I love the book, Bone Broth Secret by Louise Hay and Heather Dane. You can purchase that here.

 

This recipe can be prepared in a stock pot, Dutch Oven, Instant Pot, or Crock Pot.

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Now, go make some bone stock, and drink to good health and traditional foods!

Did you enjoy this recipe? Have questions?

Simply ask in the comments below, or reach out to me on Social Media, through Facebook and Instagram.

-April

**This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I might earn a compensation from that company.**

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How to Make Meaningful Connections with Your Children – when you are busy.

“If I have done anything, even a little, to help small children enjoy honest, simple pleasures, I have done a bit of good.” – Beatrix Potter

As parents, we all have those thoughts creep in day – after day – after day. Am I making a difference in my child’s life? Do they know how much I care for them? How can I raise them to be kind, confident, and thoughtful as adults?

In our busyness of every day, it is hard to remember to take the time, and give our children the attention they need. We are all working parents. We work in the home – outside the home, trying to keep up with all of our responsibilities. Meal Planning, Bills, Household Chores, Deadlines. They tug on us, sitting at the forefront of our mind. It is vital to the health of our young persons to keep our main responsibility – family – ahead of the rest.

So, how can we make meaningful lasting connections with our children despite our mounting stresses and piling responsibilities? I will tell you – it’s the little things that matter most. It’s the small deliberate everyday acts that will shape them into the person they are meant to be. Here are a few of those little things you can implement in your home today.

Look Them in the Eyes

When speaking to your children, get on their level and look directly into their eyes with a kindhearted gaze. This is one simple way to show you care. Direct Eye Contact during conversation not only stimulates the child intellectually, it also develops a healthy self-esteem, and encourages a calming effect on the heart, lungs, and stress axis. With this one simple act, they will feel safe, confident, and secure.

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Hands On

Although girls benefit from touch, this is especially true for mommas of boys. When you are standing near each other, place your hand on his shoulder, or you arm around him. Lean in close. We are often told that boys don’t need as much physical attention from their mom as girls do, but the opposite is true. You are his first love. When he is young, wrap you arms around him often, and squeeze tight.

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Dads – do the same for your girls. If you do not give your daughter the love she needs as a child, when she is a teenager she will seek it elsewhere. Hug her often, especially before you leave for work. Tell her how beautiful she is. Treat her like the princess she is. She deserves your attention, and the love you show her when she is young, will carry on throughout her life.

Hands Off (Electronics)

There is nothing more disappointing to a child than constantly seeing a parent on a device. That can be a game console, cell phone, tablet, television, or computer. When they come to you, excited to show you their latest project, put the phone down immediately. Give them your attention. If not, they begin to feel you don’t have time or energy for them, and in turn grow hostile and distant. When you are sitting with your child at a doctor office, skip the browsing of social media, and talk with her. Get to know her. Read to her. She is an individual thinking person – full of ideas, and loves you with all her heart. Put the phone down. She is first.

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Generously Give Praise

Did your son take out the trash? Genuinely thank him for it. Tell him how much that little job benefited you personally. Say, “Son, I am so thankful you did that job for me. It helped me out a lot. I really appreciate you.” Did your three year old scribble color a picture. Gush over it. Hang it on the fridge. Make a designated area in your home for scribble portraits and secretly rotate them out. Children need praise. They need to know they are worthy, and that they are needed in the home. Include them in household chores. I tell my children that we are part of a team, and it takes all of us – working together – to accomplish our daily tasks. They know they have responsibilities in the home, and I repeatedly praise them for even the simplest jobs. Keep optimism in the home. If you have a good attitude, more often than not, they will too.

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Mommas, I know you are tired. I know it can be difficult. I am there. We are given the responsibility to raise something beautiful. Our babies, they are only young for a little while. They are our legacy. Time goes so fast, and I do not want you to waste these precious hours away. The fruits of your hard work will be visible to everyone, especially when your children become adults, and begin to raise a family of their very own. Take the time – be patient – and love them deeply.

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“Train up your child in the way he should go: and when he is old; he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Did you enjoy this article? Know someone who would love it too? Share with your friends!

Questions? Simply ask in the comments below, or reach out to me on Social Media, through Facebook and Instagram.

In All Things, Pray.

-April

Shortages at Whole Foods Stores – How can we fix this?

Featured Image from Business Insider. “A Whole Foods Store in West Hartford, Connecticut. Photograph by Derek Beere.”

A recent article was published outlining the effects of a newly implemented system at Whole Foods Stores. This new system, OTS, or order-to-shelf, has cost saving benefits for the company, but is leaving shelves empty – and customers, as well as employees, angry.

Click here to read the article from Business Insider.

So what can we do?

Shop Local: Find a local farmer – or several – that specialize in meat, dairy, grain, and produce. Purchase your food from them.

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Eat Seasonally: Why does a person in Connecticut need a Pineapple in the middle of winter? Sure, this can be an occasional treat, but we need to take a serious – in depth look at how these exotic to our area foods came to our tables, and then decide whether we truly need them. This doesn’t just end with pineapples, of course. There is no reason we need to purchase sweet corn in the middle of winter. Buy from a local producer in the summer – preserve – and enjoy throughout the winter. This is real, wholesome food – that you can feel good about consuming.

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Improve your Menu: Yes, I said Improve. We need to improve our meals to reflect the area we live in. Prepare basic – traditional meals more often. Eat like your ancestors. Make Chicken and Dumplings in winter months, and purchase the chicken from an area farmer. Make your own Yogurt, Sour Cream, and Cheeses – purchased from your area dairy farmer. Buy your produce from your Farmer’s Market and ferment as a way to store them, and to provide extra healthy bacteria.

This is not a Whole Foods problem. This is a problem caused by consumers. We need to be the first to say, We will no longer purchase food out of season. We will no longer eat Chicken and Beef shipped from China. We will no longer eat Tomatoes, coated with chemicals, and shipped from South America.

If we do this, more Farmers, dedicated to regenerative agriculture, will dot our landscapes, and provide food for all our needs – and for all of our population. It only takes dedication. Dedication to those that raise our food – and dedication to our country.

Make a difference with your dollars. Keep trying. If you can’t find Organic, Non-GMO grain in your area, research and source it from someone you trust.

A couple books that are beneficial to all of us as American consumers: The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan and The Third Plate by Dan Barber. We should all have these books on our shelves.

 

Do you need help finding a local farmer? Check out Local Harvest.

Share with your friends, and reach out to me on Social Media, through Facebook and Instagram.

In All Things, Pray.

-April

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