Friday, April 29, 2011

Two Brave Souls & Turning the Tables

Before I headed out of town a couple weeks ago, I asked if anyone wondered about anything that we do (or don't do for that matter).

I really think more of you must think we're weird or a bit crazy and have questions about us, but only two of you spoke up.  Here's what you asked and some answers...

Michelle commented..."First, I want to say that I love, Love, LOVE your blog, and hope you will continue in the way you've been doing things. Another topic I'd like to hear more about, though, is your religious heritage. Also, do you know much about planting "by the signs?" I've never done this, but my great grandmother did, and she claimed it was scriptural. I'm on the fence about that issue."

As far as my religious heritage goes...both sets of my grandparents were/are Mennonite and raised their children (my parents) as such.  My parents have remained Mennonite and raised my four siblings and myself in the Mennonite church as well.  My grandmothers used to wear coverings to church, as did my mother when I was growing up, but they no longer do.  This was the only physical distinction between us and anyone else. 

My little family attends a Mennonite church as well and we value our denomination's distinctions, but I am a Christian first and foremost, then a Mennonite.  A really helpful website about Mennonites can be found here.  For a more expounded answer (from me), you might like to read an interview I did with Sarah over at Clover Lane last year found here.

As far as planting "by the signs", I've heard of this, but don't know a whole lot about it and have never tried it.

A couple questions from Vicki included..."I would love to know several things! (This might get a tad bit long!) The first thing I want to know is what you do with foods that you can or freeze but just don't want to use later in the year?"

If the food is something that I know we'll use, I'll keep it even if it's older than a year (although this is NOT recommended). If it's something new I canned that we ended up not liking, I feed it to the chickens or compost it before it gets old. 

"Second, is it a chore to come up with menus that use the food in your pantry/freezer and how do you do that? (I'm so guilty of going to the store and buying fresh when I should be using what's in our freezer/pantry and would love to learn to STOP DOING THAT! I'd also love to see menu samples please - especially winter ones - and how you come up with them (your thought process)."

Finding recipes that showcase what you've canned or froze is crucial.  It can be time consuming, but once you have a list of recipes that your family likes that uses what you have on hand is very worth the time.  Searching online by ingredient and in cookbooks gets you started but the key is to write down the winners and keep those recipes in a binder or box so you don't have to reinvent the wheel every year.

Planning your menus each week around what you have is the best way to use all that good food and hard work you've stored away.  Since this is how I cook throughout the winter, many of my recipes here are based on what we have on hand.  Your recipes may look differently because of what you choose to grow, but recipes are out there!

"How, exactly, do you get by with not buying things from a grocery store?...Do your kids BEG for things from a grocery store because you serve all homemade stuff? ...What do you buy from the store, both during the winter and all year long?"

We DO shop at the grocery store!  Just not for vegetables and fruits (except for the occasion when a staple crop fails or doesn't store, like onions) and rarely for meat.  Over time, we've learned how much fruit and vegetables we need to put up (or chickens to harvest) to get us through the year, but this takes time to discover.  Our kids enjoy packaged snacks when they get them at someone else's house or on trips, but know that we don't eat that way at home.  We're not overly strict (in my opinion) when special occasions come up, but we do try to maintain healthy eating habits at home.  Our kids understand that different families make different choices.

As far as what we buy from the store- it's basically the same all year:  baking supplies (sugar, flour, oats, etc.), whole wheat bread (I love the idea of making bread, but that's where it stops), cheese, pasta, rice, lentils, milk, canned beans, spices, tortillas, and special ingredients like sour cream, green salsa, etc. that certain recipes call for.  We certainly don't live completely self-sufficiently, so we are very thankful for our grocery store:-).


May I take a turn?  I did this once awhile back and LOVED getting to know you all better.  If you're feeling brave today, tell me this...

1) Winter, spring, summer or fall?

2) Who pays the bills at your house- you or your spouse?

3) What saying or phrase are you known to over-use?

4) What was your favorite TV show as a kid?

5) If you could only grow one fruit or vegetable, what would it be?

6) Can you find gray hairs if you look?  Please tell me you can.

7) Do you blog?  If so, where?

8) If you went to college, what did you major in?  What do you now wish you had majored in?
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  1. I may not comment very often, but I do so enjoy your blog. It's my go-to spot for recipes, all of which are a big hit with my little family :)

    So I'll be brave and answer your questions:
    1) Fall. The colors, the smells. It just makes me happy.
    2) My husband is the breadwinner of the family (I'm a stay at home mom), but I "pay" the bills ;)
    3) I hate to admit this, but since we're from the north, it's "dontcha know" or "you betcha."
    4) My favorite tv show (and still is) is Little House on the Prairie
    5) Strawberries.
    6) No grey hairs yet, but I'm naturally blonde so they are probably in there just hiding.
    7) I do blog...nothing spectacular, just little bits on our everyday life at:
    8) I have a BA in Elementary Education and Language Arts. When I graduated I didn't want to teach, but it may end up coming in handy now that I am contemplating homeschooling my daughter. I do wish I had gone to school for photography though. Perhaps someday!

    Thanks for the fun questions! :)

  2. Okay, I'll give it a shot! Here goes:
    1. summer, with spring being a close 2nd...sunshine
    2. I pay the bills, but hubby brings home the bacon.
    3. "And that's all I'm going to say about THAT." But not really, usually it means that I'm just getting started!
    4. Little House on the Prairie
    5. it's gotta be tomatoes
    6. sorry, no gray yet ;-)
    8. psychology and then master's in counseling....waste of time! Should have majored in nursing or communications.

  3. 1. Fall- I'm an October baby!
    2. Husband.
    3. Lately- "Why don't you listen to me the first time?" I've even heard my 8 yr. old start to say this to my 3 yr. old.
    4. M.A.S.H.
    5. Peas. Beautiful and edible.
    6. I've had what I call my Olivia Newton John patch of grey in my bangs since I was 19. I now have two long streaks on either side of my face and a liberal sprinkling of grey throughout. I must say it is artfully done so I try not to get down about it. :)
    7. Yes, at and
    8. I went to an art school and majored in Fine Arts with drawing and printmaking emphasis. I wouldn't do it different.

  4. I don't comment much either, so I'll step up and answer some questions! Your blog is a favorite - love to see what you're growing.

    1. It's a tie between Spring and Fall. Love the newness of everything in Spring, and the crispness of a Fall morning (when I lived in the north, I loved the colors and everything about it; now that I live in TX, I just crave the crispness of the air after a long, hot, humid summer. :)
    2. I'm the paper organizer/bill payer.
    3. My boys would say it is, "No whining!"
    4. Oh, I loved Little House on the Prairie, too! Also the Andy Griffith show is still one of the best things you can find on television. In my opinion :)
    5. Tomatoes. yum
    6. No, but I have 'dishwater blond' hair, so I have a feeling that they just blend in really well.
    7. I have a blog in order to keep a record of our comings and goings, but I post fairly irregularly - life just seems to get in the way.
    8. I majored in biology. I would still do that, but I wish I would have gone on to nursing school.

  5. 1) Winter, spring, summer or fall? Spring and Fall - I love the in-between extremes seasons:)

    2) Who pays the bills at your house- you or your spouse? Me

    3) What saying or phrase are you known to over-use? "really?"

    4) What was your favorite TV show as a kid? Full House, Inspector Gadget

    5) If you could only grow one fruit or vegetable, what would it be? POTATOES!

    6) Can you find gray hairs if you look? Please tell me you can. Nope, but only because my hair is light and they don't stand out - I'm fairly certain that there's no way there aren't any there!

    7) Do you blog? If so, where? Yes!

    8) If you went to college, what did you major in? What do you now wish you had majored in? Media Studies. Wish - something more generic and/or creative. Photography or something Agricultural would have been more applicable.

  6. I don't comment often on your blog but I'm a regular reader so I'll attempt to answer your questions - give you an idea of your audience!
    1. Any time warm! We do a mission trip to south Louisiana in the summer (4 months last year and 2 months this year) and the heat never bothers me.
    2. My husband and I are both retired so we both have incomes. He pays most of the bills though I make my car payment and pay all my medical bills like doctors, prescriptions, etc. And I buy the groceries and WalMart type items.
    3. Nice Matters! A Lot!
    4. Oh my, maybe Lassie?
    5. Tomatoes, definitely.
    6. I'm almost 65 so my hair is white and I mean white! I don't color it any more though I confess I did for years when I was working.
    8. BSE in math, MSE in counseling, post grad work (lots!) in administration. I was a public school educator. I wouldn't change one minute of that education or work experience.
    blessings, marlene

  7. I'm a lurker. In fact, I believe this is the first time I've EVER commented. :) But I'll be brave and answer a few simple questions. It's fun!

    1) SUMMER! Although, this may be influenced by the fact that we've had an extremely tough and LONG Montana winter this year.

    2) I'm a single mom - always have been - so I do it all.

    3) "Seriously?!"

    4) Grizzly Adams and Little House on the Prairie (I'm sensing a theme here.) ;)

    5) TOMATOES! And I'm actually going to grow them for the first time this year. I also joined a CSA for the first time and I'm super excited about it!

    6) Umm... nope, sorry. Good genetics?

    7) Yes, but it's random and occasional at best.

    8) I've only completed a few college courses here and there but I dream of going to New Life International School of Midwifery in Davao, The Philippines, someday.

  8. Yay! Thank you for answering our questions. :-)

    1) Winter, spring, summer or fall? Fall. I love cool weather and sweaters. It used to be winter, but winter's not as much fun when you are a grown up!

    2) Who pays the bills at your house- you or your spouse? Me

    3) What saying or phrase are you known to over-use? I need you to *listen*.

    4) What was your favorite TV show as a kid? Who's the Boss and LHOtP

    5) If you could only grow one fruit or vegetable, what would it be? Climate not an issue? Peaches!!!

    6) Can you find gray hairs if you look? I'm excited to report that I have a few strands of "tinsel" at the temples.

    7) Do you blog? If so, where? Yep.

    8) If you went to college, what did you major in? What do you now wish you had majored in? Originally I was a Biology, Pre-Vet major, but switched to Elementary Education. I wish I had majored in being a keeper at home!!! Now I am in bondage to the federal government for as much money as you could buy a small house with. If it weren't for my student loans I could be at home full time!

  9. Okay, here goes:
    1 - Fall without a doubt. It energizes me.
    2 - He pays certain ones, I pay certain ones. It works that way for us for some reason.
    3 - "It could be worse!"
    4 - Andy Griffith, Bonanza, Ozzie & Harriet, Roy Rogers.
    5 - Lettuce. We both LOVE big salads. Commercially grown, it's the most heavily sprayed with poisons.
    6 - Very few considering I'm 68. Just a few "sproinging" at middle top front of my head.
    7 -
    8 - Education (yuck) because my dad said he'd help pay for either that or Nursing. Should have gone into Home Economics, Nutrition or Fine Arts.

    Thanks for asking . . . very interesting answers from everyone!

  10. 1) Winter, spring, summer or fall? Used to be fall, but becoming spring more & more every year.

    2) Who pays the bills ? spouse-at least I hope she's doing it!

    3) What saying or phrase are you known to over-use? I think we should plant some more ____.

    4) Favorite TV show? Hogan's Heroes

    5) If you could only grow one fruit or vegetable? For practicality, sweet potatoes. For pleasure, watermelon.

    6) Can you find gray hairs if you look? I can find them without even looking.

    7) Do you blog? If so, where? Nope. But I do jog. Usually gravel roads & trails.

    8) What did you major in? What do you now wish you had majored in? Biology. Should've doubled in child psychology.

  11. 1) Fall
    2) Hubby earns the money, I pay the bills
    3) Do your schoolwork!
    4) Little House on the Prairie
    5) Blueberries
    6) Yep, there's plenty greys under the coloring!
    7) Yep,
    8) I left college after the 1st quarter in my senior year, I completed a minor in nutrition, my major was fashion merchandising and design. I was only interested in the sewing part of the degree, the merchandising part didn't interest me at all. If I could have a re-do, I would have chosen not to go to college.

  12. Ooohhh! I love quizzes;)

    1) Winter, spring, summer or fall? Absolutely, fall!

    2) Who pays the bills at your house- you or your spouse? Me:)

    3) What saying or phrase are you known to over-use? "Oh, Mylanta"

    4) What was your favorite TV show as a kid? Anne of Green Gables

    5) If you could only grow one fruit or vegetable, what would it be? Tomatoes!! We ate our first tomato from the backyard homestead we began this was unbelievable!

    6) Can you find gray hairs if you look? Please tell me you can. ..yes, ma'am...I wish I could say no.

    7) Do you blog? If so, where? I do. At

    8) If you went to college, what did you major in? What do you now wish you had majored in? I am currently in culinary school...couldn't figure it when I was younger!:)

    I follow your blog almost daily! Thank you for your ministry.

  13. It appears Jamey has answered my questions as well. He's the po' pharmer.

  14. I'm loving reading these!! Keep 'em coming!

  15. it goes~

    1. summer for sure~because it's actually WARM here for about 10 weeks! (I'm not kidding; we still have snow on the ground!)

    2. I pay the bills, he 'views' them before sending them off.

    3. "Could you say that a different way, please?"-to the children

    4. Little House on the Prairie and the Waltons.

    5. Probably lettuce-because it grows here so easily. But I'd much rather say, tomatoes--but they don't always turn out with our frost 'schedule'.

    6. Yes, the grays are coming...slowly, thankfully :)

    7. I blog to keep a kind of family 'log' and so all our relatives that are far away can keep up with us at

    8. Hubby & I met at Bible School and then went to the mission field for 9 years.
    But if I had went to a 'traditional' college, I definitely would of studied nutrition.

    Love your real...inspiring and encouraging~Thanks!

  16. If you all are weird, then you're my kind of weird! I love your blog and the stories you choose to share about your family and life.

    1) Summer. If I could make it last year round, I would be thrilled and then wouldn't need to keep my electric mattress pad on HI for 8-9 months out of the year.

    2) I pay the bills and take care of short-term finances. My honeys takes care of the long-term retirement monies.

    3) Who do you worry about?

    4) Little House on the Prairie

    5) Now you're just being mean. How could I narrow it down to one fruit or vegetable? I at least need one of asparagus and strawberries.

    6) I started getting grey hairs when I was 23 and had some really stressful customers to support at a different phone company. They did not come back after I plucked them. I grew more grey hairs a few years ago when our living situation changed and I plucked those, too. Which also did not come back. I have noticed new ones over this past year and I figure they are part of my daily life and I can live with these.


    8) I majored in psychology because I thought I wanted to help people not be sick and to learn how to be happy. Meanwhile, I got my fill of that in my personal life and realized it would be too overwhelming to do that for my career. So I ended up joining the phone company and have been working to help large companies be happier, instead :)

  17. 1) Fall!
    2) My hubby :)
    3) I don't know!
    4) Little House on the Prairie
    5) Asparagus!
    6) I have been finding more gray hairs every day...I'm 32.
    7) Our family has a blog that both my husband and I contribute to:
    8) I double majored in Museum Studies/Earth Science. Looking back, I should have majored in something like education, nursing or gone to culinary school...something that would help me serve my family better. But, God has a plan and all the opportunities I've had are from Him!

  18. 1. Fall, with summer as a close second..really anything but winter.
    2. My husband. Because I'm the thrifty one, it causes him much less pain to pay the bills.
    3. "I'm sorry" or "like"
    4. Home Improvement
    5. Asparagus! (although I've never grown it)
    6. Maybe one or two (good genetics)
    7. Some friends and I blog but only halfheartedly at
    It's a venue for us to share recipes with each other more than the world at large.
    8. Social work, and I'm going back to school for nursing, so there's your answer!

    I love your blog! As a city dweller, I look forward to living in the country to have a more sustainable garden. For now, we grow as much as our small yard will allow and preserve from the farmer's market.

  19. 1) Spring! But is that just because it means that summer is around the corner?

    2) Husband. (Thankfully!) I did it for a while, but miscalculated a 'rather' large sum...oops. Lost confidence after that.

    3) I just quote movies too much, in general.

    4) COSBY, hands down.

    5) Strawberries. Mmmm.

    6) Greys, yes. At 34, they are most certainly there. Not covering them yet- can I resist?! Pray for me!

    7) I blog at

    8) I went to just a semester after highschool (majoring in education and then psychology) but had no direction, so I dropped out. Then when my kids were old enough to be in school all day, I went and got a two year diploma in Early Childhood Education, and then taught playschool! So glad I waited until I KNEW what I wanted.

    This is a fun idea! I might borrow this for my blog sometime, soon, if that's okay!

  20. 1) Fall, for sure! It means a merciful end to the Phoenix summer!
    2) Mostly, he does. He likes to do everything online.
    3) "Fair" is when Mom and Dad do what they feel is best for each individual child.
    4) We weren't really allowed to watch TV. My husband is repeatedly astounded by my re-run ignorance.
    5) Strawberries, although nobody I know can get them to succeed around here.
    6) No grey yet, much to my younger sister's dismay.
    7) I was blogging faithfully, until this pregnancy knocked me on my keyster!
    8) I have a degree in vocal music, and while it may be financially worthless, I would definitely not trade that knowledge!

  21. I didn't post right away because I can't think of any saying that I say too much. Still can't but I'll post anyway. :)
    1. Spring right now, but when fall comes, I might love it more.
    2. I pay the bills
    3. I asked the kids and they said, "get dressed!" Apparently, I have to say that a lot in the morning.
    4. Duck Tales
    5. Tomatoes, but I also want asparagus.
    6. Definitely some grays there and there seems to be more everyday.
    8. Animal Science: Meat science and Food technology. I really enjoyed the classes, but I probably should have gone into nursing if I wanted some peace of mind. I stay home with the kids, but if I ever needed to work... ?

  22. 1. I love every season when it comes! truly, I can't pick.
    2. I pay the bills and my husband does the long-range planning.
    3. I'll be jiggered.
    4. Didn't have a TV when I was a kid, but I loved the Cosby Show.
    5. tomatoes
    6. grey hairs, nothing: I got white hairs sprouting in the front.

    7. I blog at

    8. Secondary English Education with a focus in urban education and ESL. This is definitely my vocation, but I'm also fascinated by meteorology.

  23. 1. Fall. There's something about harvest and chilly nights that's the best.
    2. I pay the bills. And manage the budget. Because I'm the nit-picky one!
    3. No kidding!
    4. We didn't have TV growing up. Don't watch it much now, either.
    5. Tomatoes. I could not survive a winter without canned tomatoes and salsa!
    6. I'm finding more grey hairs every day (I'm 34) I figure, better grey than gone!
    7. I blog sporadically at
    8. I majored in Food Science. In fact, I have a master's degree in it. If I had a do-over I would still study food science, because I love it. But I would not go to grad school.

    Thanks for your blog! I read it nearly every day!

  24. 1) Winter, spring, summer or fall? i think i'd have to choose spring and the newness of spring - flowers, greens, smells, sounds... but i LOVE the chrisp fall and the gorgeous colors and the fabulous smells... :)

    2) Who pays the bills at your house- you or your spouse? i do :)

    3) What saying or phrase are you known to over-use? "Honey, if you need help, say, "Help, please, Mommy."" i have a 2 1/2 year old who needs this reminder often...

    4) What was your favorite TV show as a kid?
    probably Cosby Show

    5) If you could only grow one fruit or vegetable, what would it be? peaches or strawberries :)

    6) Can you find gray hairs if you look? Please tell me you can. yeppers...they seem to be coming more frequently after the birth of my second daughter (2 months)...i pluck them out when i see them... :)

    7) Do you blog? If so, where?
    yep :)

    8) If you went to college, what did you major in? What do you now wish you had majored in?
    i have a bachelors in English Lit & Interdisciplinary Studies and a minor in Children's Literature. i went on for my masters in Elementary Education... i taught for 9 years before leaving to be at home with my daugther...
    if i did it all over again, i wouldn't NOT choose teaching, but i really feel a calling to be a nurse...i have for a very long time, but those science classes made me nervous... :)

  25. HI! I don't often comment, but I'm a crazy person who loves "surveys"... :D

    1- I like the beginning of each season, because it's a change from the last. But I'd have to say there isn't one part of spring I don't like..

    2- I pay the bills, but we discuss what gets paid when beforehand. Sometimes.. Hubby is an over-the-road-trucker, so is not home every week when I need to pay them. :)

    3- "I'm not sure" I didn't realize I did this, until I heard my daughter (then three) say it to someone. It was adorable!

    4- Full House! We didn't watch much tv as kids, but I remember watching Full House every night at 6:30!

    5- Tomatoes! Mainly because you can eat them green or red! I LOVE fried green tomatoes, it's the thing I look forward to the most every garden cycle!

    6- Occasionally I find one... But I'm thankful I don't have very many. Yet.

    7- I'm considering it.. But as of right now, nope.

    8- I got married at eighteen, and neither of us has been to college. But I wish I'd majored in parenting... :)

    Great questions and loving reading the answers!


  26. I love your blog. It's very inspiring and uplifting, not to mention totally practical!! Great recipes, great way of life!

    1) Winter, spring, summer or fall? Summer and fall. I love putting in the garden (which here in northern MN we usually can't do until around the 1st of June), hanging all the laundry, harvesting and canning or freezing. Winter is nice too, since I homeschool and love that time with the kids, snugglig up to read and "do school" but it gets soooo long!

    2) Who pays the bills at your house- you or your spouse? Husband makes the $ and I spend it. ;) I try to do it wisely.

    3) What saying or phrase are you known to over-use? I just asked my son, and he says it's "Balogna". I guess he's irritated that I don't buy in to all his excuses. Haha! I probably do say that too often. I'll have to think about that.

    4) What was your favorite TV show as a kid? Little House, All Creatures Great and Small and Dr. Quin

    5) If you could only grow one fruit or vegetable, what would it be? I thought and thought about this one and can't decide...carrots..., or maybe spinach?

    6) Can you find gray hairs if you look? Please tell me you can. Usually not (since I cover them with color that matches my natural color), but when my hair isn't colored, it's just like Danielle's (the third commentor).

    7) Do you blog? If so, where?

    8) If you went to college, what did you major in? What do you now wish you had majored in? BA in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in counseling and education. I think this prepared me well for life, being a wife, mother, friend...though it wouldn't help me with getting a "job". I think I'm glad I took this route. I'm verry happy, and love the life I have.

  27. 1) Any season with temperatures warmer than freezing and green grass on the ground! Winters get pretty long this far north. (In fact, I woke up to 2" of snow on the ground this morning.)

    2) We talk together about our money plans, and I frequently do the actual bill paying. We're big Dave Ramsey fans at our house.

    3) "Like" as in "She was like...and then I was like......"

    4) The Facts of Life, or the Cosby show

    5) Can't decide! Would it be apples? Or tomatoes???

    6) I'm another blondie, so I think the grey ones are just blending in for now.

    7) Nope, no blog for me.

    8) Music education-strings and voice, although I never finished the degree. If there had been a 'stay at home mom' major, that would have been MUCH more useful to me!

  28. I'm a new reader but think you are wonderful and so inspiring -- so here goes! :)

    1) I think I have to say spring...though this winter was my first living in a snowy place, so that was a fun novelty! But overall, definitely spring...with summer a close second.

    2) As a single twentysomething student living on student loans...either I do or the bank does, whichever seems more accurate!

    3) "Awesome!!!" "Sweet!!" "That is SO COOL!" Despite being a twentysomething, apparently I have the vocabulary of a ten year old.

    4) Fraggle Rock. Also, the Reading Rainbow!

    5) Oof. Just one? I would have to say apricots!

    6) Not yet!

    7) I just started trying to blog regularly, at (it's long, I know).

    8) I double majored in Politics and Theology; given that I am now a graduate theology student, it's working out pretty well. :) And if it turns out the job prospects are not fantastic by the time I'm done with school, I will always have God -- so I figure Ican't lose either way. :)

  29. 1) Fall- with winter as a close second!
    2) I do, but not without our marital "budget meeting" first!
    3) "I know, right?"
    4) Full House
    5) Probably tomatoes since we use them in everything!
    6) Yes, if I look, I can find gray hairs on my husband :)
    8) Accounting...but I wish there was a major for gardening, preserving food, raising kids, cleaning the house, preparing nutritional meals, all rolled into one! Wait...MAYBE I am back in school and just didn't know it!! :)

  30. 1) Late fall. We don't have real seasons in SoCal and I yearn for them.

    2) I do, but we discuss them regularly.

    3) "I know, right?"

    4) New Adventures of Superman... Dean Cain - swoon :o) That being said, I was pretty restricted on how much t.v. I was allowed to watch, so my husband is routinely appalled at the t.v. references that go right over my head.

    5) I'm having a small panic attack just thinking about having to give up fruits and veggies... but if I have to pick - kale.

    6) Not yet.


    8) Political Science for both my B.A. and M.A. I rather wish I had done something in nutrition or agriculture or environmental science, but I didn't discover those passions until late in my academic career. I started a Ph.D. program with the intention of studying nutrition, agricultural, and environmental policy, but then realized that I don't want to do original research and decided to withdraw from the program. It was by far the right decision, especially since it has become clear that my husband and I both want me to be home when we start having babies (we are praying God opens up an opportunity that allows that to happen soon!), but I wish I was using my degree in some real way right now.

    I also wanted to tell you that we have started attending an Anabaptist church and we *love* it (we didn't realize it was Anabaptist until we had attended a few times). I grew up in a mainstream evangelical church and my husband grew up catholic, so "the third way" is a new thing for both of us. For me in particular it feels like I have finally found a spiritual home. I think of you and JJ often, since you two were the first real-life Mennonites I "met" and got to know (I hope that doesn't too creepy) :o)

  31. Aw yes, I am learning to be thankful for what we do have - citrus, avocados, basically year-around growing of something with minimal season-extending efforts.
    But I will say that I wish for some things you have - rhubarb, more space, sour cherries, WATER, seasons.
    I know I'm spoiled with the citrus. In that one iteration I am a true California girl. I've made a bunch of marmalade and I'd love to send you a couple jars, just email me (seriously, I'd love to!).

  32. 1.Fall
    2.I set up the budget and pay the bills
    3.When pigs fly
    4.Mickey Mouse Club
    5.Strawberries-we don't grow them yet but I want to.
    6.I haven't seen any yet, but I have hair that is getting thinner by the day. I would take the gray over that.
    8.I went to a local community college and have an associate's degree in early chilhood education. At this point I am wishing I spent my two years getting a nursing degree. A friend is a nurse and has me convinced to go back to school and do just that.

  33. 1. Spring. Spring. Spring!
    2. I pay the bills (Hubby earns the $)
    3. "Seriously?" "Anywho..." (that one really bugs my husband)
    4. Little House on the Prairie! Hands down!
    5. Tomatoes
    6. Lotsa grays. I used to dye my hair ALL the time, but recently tried to 'go natural'. I was really hoping for a beautiful salt and pepper look that was chic and elegant. I just looked dowdy. So, it's back to dying.
    7. www.
    8.I majored in elementary/early childhood education. Even though I no longer work in that field I'm still glad that was my major. It gave me a lot of important insights into education and children...very useful in mothering. I will admit that part of me wishes I had explored an English/Literature major.

  34. 1) Fall. I love those first cool, crisp days after a hot and humid summer.
    2) I pay the bills out of our joint account.
    3) "You're killing me, Smalls." I love the movie "The Sandlot".
    4) Home Improvement
    5) Green peppers
    6) Yes! Found my first one in 11th grade!
    7) I do blog. (You have been a huge inspiration and resource!)
    8) I have a degree in Communication Design (graphic design and advertising). I love designing but my dream job is to be a librarian.

  35. 1) spring-new chicks and baby bunnies, what could be nicer?

    2) spouse

    3) knock it off, or I'm warning you!

    4) No tv as a kid, but I was know to sneak into Grandma's basement and watch the Sunday night Disney movies or Little House on the Prarie

    5) blueberries

    6) more grey hairs every day (2 teens now driving)

    7) couple times a week,

    8) went to 2.5 years of college, home ec major, wish I could have gone to an agriculture/animal husbandry program at a vo-tech (I'm a hands-on learner, not a book learner) I now "teach" myself by the NIKE motto "Just Do It!"

    Keep up the great blog! you inspire me in every post.

  36. 1. Fall, I love bundling.
    2. He makes it, I spend it.
    3. "In a minute..."
    4. Cosby Show and Growing Pains
    5. Neither...basil
    6. No grey ones, but I seem to be losing alot of it :)
    7. yep
    8. Studied early childhood ed...wishing i had studied midwifery

  37. 1) Winter, spring, summer or fall?
    Right now, Spring!
    2) Who pays the bills at your house- you or your spouse?
    We split it up...
    3) What saying or phrase are you known to over-use?
    4) What was your favorite TV show as a kid?
    The Wonder Years
    5) If you could only grow one fruit or vegetable, what would it be?
    6) Can you find gray hairs if you look? Please tell me you can.
    Fortunately they blend really well, but i've seen one or two--i try not to look.
    7) Do you blog? If so, where?
    8) If you went to college, what did you major in? What do you now wish you had majored in?
    Spanish, Agriculture.

    & planting by the signs is new to us, but i'd love someone else to share their experiences!

  38. 1) Winter, spring, summer or fall? Summer

    2) Who pays the bills at your house- you or your spouse? We share

    3) What saying or phrase are you known to over-use? "Oh,wow."

    4) What was your favorite TV show as a kid?
    The first show I remember loving was Dukes of Hazard

    5) If you could only grow one fruit or vegetable, what would it be? Strawberries

    6) Can you find gray hairs if you look? Please tell me you can. I don't have to look hard they are all in the front.

    7) Do you blog? If so, where? Not anymore.

    8) If you went to college, what did you major in? What do you now wish you had majored in?
    English Literature and then Law. I wish I could have majored or minored in Home Ec. but that isn't even offered anymore where I live.

  39. 1. Gosh, I just love them all! For different reasons. I’m always excited to get into the next season when it come.s
    2. I do. If I die, Brian needs help.
    3. Unfortunately, LIKE….
    4. Cosby Show
    5. Tomatoes
    6. I’ve got all kinds of other issues from “old” age but gray hair isn’t one of them
    8. You know where I went. I have no idea, I think I would have majored in running a home, parenting, being a wife something other than history. 

  40. Hi--I'm new here! Love your blog so far--I'm reading back....
    1) Winter, spring, summer or fall? Fall! Then winter, then spring, and I wish summer would never come.

    2) Who pays the bills at your house- you or your spouse? Me, w/ hubby's paycheck! ;)

    3) What saying or phrase are you known to over-use? ???

    4) What was your favorite TV show as a kid? Little house on the prairie, cosby, waltons, classic movies on sunday afternoons

    5) If you could only grow one fruit or vegetable, what would it be? apples--lots and lots

    6) Can you find gray hairs if you look? Please tell me you can. Yes, a couple

    7) Do you blog? If so, where? not anymore

    8) If you went to college, what did you major in? What do you now wish you had majored in? My MRS. degree--hahaha! It was elementary education--but I didn't finish college, and most of the classes I took were the basics. I wish I'd taken photography courses.

  41. Happened upon your blog by accident and enjoy the info you share! :-)

    1) Spring for sure! I love the cool weather and the excitement of the earth coming back to life!

    2) I handle the bills for my overworked/grad student husband!

    3) Move it or Lose it! (To the Dog)

    4) As a kid? Probably Saved By the Bell Now looking back? The Cosby Show

    5) Leeks!

    6) More than a 29 year old should ever have.... :-(

    7) Yes! I started blogging this year! In fact, I'm about to blog about your easy pie crust from the asparagus/cheddar pie!

    8) I switched from and English Major to an Interior Design Major with Art History Minor. I now wish I would have completed an Art History Teaching Degree!


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