Archives for March 2012

Should Christians Use Herbs? (part 3)

Should Christians Use Herbs? @jasminejlucero

Should Christians Use Herbs? (part 3) has been moved to my new herbal site, The Christian Herbal.

Chickens from Scratch (part 1)


We have been planning on getting chickens for a while now, but for some reason I just kept holding out.  I guess I was a bit nervous.  It is one thing to have a dream and a plan, but actually putting the plan in motion is a different story.

It all started with a harmless trip to the Tractor Supply store.  It was a rainy day and I thought it would be fun to just take a look at what they had.  We were doing good as we stop at the chicken supply aisle.  We checked out the different items and I looked at the different feeders.  Then I heard one of the girls squeal, “Look at the baby chickens!”

That was it.  I was struck with chicken fever.  They were all so fuzzy and yellow and you just wanted to squeeze them they were so cute.

I have never had chickens before (although our landlord did have them in Spain..they weren’t my responsibility though, I just reaped the benefits of them).  And even though I have several “homesteading” books and have read through them many times, when the time came to actually  get the chickens my brain started going fuzzy.

What do we need?  What types of chickens to we want?  Layers?  Pullets?  Sexed?  Too much information, too quickly!  I really needed a checklist!

Here is the crash course on buying baby chickens.  Please note that this information will only take you through the first few weeks of owning baby chicks (we haven’t gotten any further than that).

What You Will Need to Buy (or make or get from craigslist)

  • a box (or something to put the chicks in) – We chose a rubbermaid tub, but it wasn’t the best choice for 2 reasons: 1) We had to be very careful and make sure the heating lamp didn’t melt the tub, and 2) The chicks quickly outgrew it.  We then found a wooden box outside that is working much better.
  • chicken wire – Depending on the depth of the box, you may need some chicken wire to keep the little guys in.
  • bedding – We are using pine shavings for our bedding, but I have read that you can also use newspapers.
  • food and water dispensers – Make sure you have ones that are meant for chicks.  They can drown in larger water containers.
  • heating lamp – Little chicks need to be kept very warm (95 degrees the first week).  We still have our lamp on around the clock at 3 weeks old.  Their box is large enough that they can get under the lamp if they need to, or move to a cooler part of the box if they get too warm.
  • thermometer – Like I said before, young chicks need to be kept at 95 degrees the first week.  Each week of their lives they heat can be reduced by 5 degrees.  I just set the thermometer inside the box near the heating lamp, since this is the warmest area.
  • chicken feed – So far just bought a bag of chick feed specifically for chicks.  At some point I know we should change feed, but I haven’t gotten that far ahead yet.

Care Routine

  • change bedding daily – If the bedding gets wet or very yucky, you can change it more often.  You want to make sure the chickens have plenty of dry bedding to scratch around in.
  • change water daily – Wash out the water container with soap and hot water each day to help prevent bacterial growth and sickness.  Also, check the water throughout the day.  Our little guys kick up the pine shavings into the water.  I have to take a stick and clean it out so that the water will be available to them.
  • feed – We have self feeders, so I just make sure there is plenty available.

Our chicks are now 3 weeks old and we are starting to see their color change a bit.  We have taken them out in the grass some, but watch over them carefully (I feel like a mother hen).  The girls have caught several small grasshoppers and the chicks go crazy over them.  I can’t tell you how much fun we have had with them.  What a wonder is God’s creation!

Here is a quick video to chronicle our learning.  I am hoping to post more as we learn.

Curried Chicken and Rice Salad

Several years ago I had the privilege of having a friend that had the gift of hospitality.  She always knew when someone was in need and was quick to serve in so many ways.  She always had a meal ready for those who were sick or had new babies.  I have several great recipes from her simply because she cared enough to bring meals during times of trial.

This is one she shared.

Thank you Suzanne…for the recipes and the memories!

Resurrection Sunday

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Matthew 28:6

This week the High Five Moms are discussing how we teach our kids the true meaning of Easter (Resurrection Sunday).  As I was pondering the topic, I thought about how far the Lord has brought our family.  And truly it is only by His grace, because I didn’t even know I needed to be brought along!

When the oldest kids were young, we celebrated “Easter”.  The kids were dressed up in new clothes, they carried little baskets, and we hid eggs for them to find.  The day was all about being merry, finding the goodies, and looking spiffy.

Several years later, I was saved and began to realize that we should focus more on the “true” meaning of Easter.  We made resurrection cookies (The recipe for these cookies has Scripture dispersed throughout, and the ingredients represent different aspects of Jesus’ resurrection.  They are also hollow, showing that Jesus is not in the tomb) and hunted for resurrection eggs (Each plastic egg has an item inside that represents the resurrection story).

While this was fun for the kids and they were learning the “true” meaning, I knew in my heart that I was still seeking to make something it wasn’t.  I don’t think resurrection cookies and eggs are bad and at the time I was truly trying to teach my children the true meaning of Easter.  The problem was that I still had one foot in the world.  I was concerned that my kids would somehow miss out if we didn’t do these things.

It has taken a few years, but we have slowly come to the point where we focus solely on the resurrection of Christ.  Our plan for this year is to read the Scriptures throughout the week, talk about His death and resurrection (and answer the hard questions…yes, Jesus suffered), and sing hymns that will remind us this.

Christ the Lord is Risen Today
Charles Wesley, 1739

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail, the Lord of earth and Heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail, the resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing and thus to love, Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains that He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

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Check out the other moms and see how they teach their children the true meaning of Easter!

Brandy at The Marathon Mom

Keri Mae at The Happy Home

Stacy at A Delightful Home

Andie at Happy Andersons

Make Your Own Vintage Tea Towels

Several years ago my daughter made me some beautiful hand-knitted dish clothes. They sat in a kitchen drawer for over a year because I just couldn’t bear to use something so pretty to clean my dishes. One day she opened the drawer, pulled out a dish cloth, and made me wash dishes with it.

It is amazing how much more enjoyable washing dishes became. From that moment, I decided I wanted to use more beautiful handmade items in my daily life. These simple vintage tea towels bring me back to the days when handmade items were a part of every homemaker’s daily life.

Want to make yourself a vintage tea towel? Join me at The Happy Housewife where I am sharing how to Make Your Own Vintage Tea Towels!

Cooper’s First Steps

It is always exciting when your little ones take their first steps. It doesn’t matter how many times I experience seeing a child stand up, let go, and wobble along, I am always overcome by a mix of emotions. There is joy and thankfulness, that the Lord has blessed this child and it has grown and flourished. There is a bit of bittersweet sadness, knowing that the “baby” season for this child is coming to an end.

A couple of weeks ago, our baby Cooper ventured out into toddlerhood as he took his first steps. And while I certainly felt all the emotions I had experienced with our other children, there was another element playing on my heart as I watched him walk.

I stood watching the goodness of God being bestowed upon my child. I stood in awe of the gift of walking that was given to my child. I remembered the little feet I rubbed the night he was born, twisted and turned. And now I see these same feet, pitter pattering across my wooden floors.

God is good, all the time!

What I Learned at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival

Last weekend our family visited San Antonio, TX for the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. This is the first time we have ever attended the festival. I have wanted to attend a Vision Forum event for years. We have many CD’s and DVD’s that our family has listened to and watched over the years, but nothing compares to actually being there. We chose to attend this particular event because my (soon to be 15 year old) son is interested in making films. We felt that this would be a great opportunity to encourage him to learn more about film making, as well as allow him to meet other people in the film making industry. We would have loved to attend the film making academy as well, but decided to “dip our toes in the water” this year and just attend the festival.

Lessons Learned on Our Trip

Our trip started off with the normal sight-seeing as we visited the Alamo before the festival began. Growing up in Texas, it made me appreciate the sacrifices others have made for this great state. It also made me realize how much I don’t know about Texas history. I found myself wishing I would have at least prepared better for our trip and read up on the battle of the Alamo. Then I remembered the memorials erected in the old testament. One of the reasons God had the people put up memorials was to cause their progeny to ask questions and seek out the history of their fathers.

Lesson 1: I don’t have to know everything in advance.

Remember when I talked about lighting fires…it is OK to have my own fire lit. I don’t have to be a bucket full of information. God wants me to be a fire. He wants me to ask questions and seek out the history of the past. Well, the Alamo lit a fire in me. I will be looking for some excellent Texas history books! {As an aside, we visited our church in Brenham as we were coming home.  At the end of the Wednesday night service, a gentleman stood up and quietly let everyone know that he had finished writing his fourth book and it was now available to order.  The book is called Father Forgive Them:  The Rachel Plummer Story.  Rachel Plummer and her baby were abducted from central TX in 1836 by raiding Indians.  I am looking forward to reading her story, but even more exciting is the fact that I can ask the author questions!} And this ties into the next lesson I learned…

Lesson 2: The Providence of God will place people in your path who need to be in your path.

After touring the Alamo, we took a leisurely stroll on the River Walk.  Because we had our Cadillac stroller (long, double stroller) with us, we had to take a secluded elevator down to the river.  As we stopped outside the elevator trying to decide which route to take, who do I see right behind us?  Colin Gunn–you know, the producer/director of IndoctriNation (which won Best Documentary at the festival)!  We were able to meet him and chat for a bit (after we got up the nerve to introduce ourselves, then had to chase him down because he had already started walking down the River Walk). I am so thankful that the Lord had put this opportunity before us.  Colin was very gracious and down to earth.  I later met his wife Emily and found the same to be true of her.  Amidst a crowd of people, she stood chatting with me, looking me right in the eye as she did so.  Have you ever talked to someone and could tell they were just being nice?  Not her, she made me feel that she really wanted to hear what I had to say.  I love it when I meet woman like her!

Lesson 3: What you see is not always what you get.

I think we all do this from time to time.  We read books or listen to speakers and because what we read or hear is sound doctrine, we elevate the author or speaker.  We make them “the standard” to which we must live by.  I don’t think it is wrong to have role models.  In fact, Titus 2 shows us that older men and women should teach and guide the younger.  I love watching the Duggars in action because it teaches me tangible ways to live out the Scripture. At the festival, there were many authors, speakers, and film makers that were well known.  Some of them were every bit as gracious in real life as they are in “media”.  We met a young lady named Amelia who starred in the film The Runner from Ravenshead.  She stuck out her hand and introduced herself and was such a sweetie.  There were a few other instances when I thought, “oh, I wouldn’t have expected that”.  Not that anyone was sinning or being ungracious, it just was not what I had conjured up in my mind. Overall it was just a great reminder that we are all still being sanctified and thankfully the Lord uses imperfect people to do His will.   as a blogger, I must remember to present myself as I truly am (a sinner saved by grace) and not lead you all to think that I am something special.

at the Alamo

To Sum It Up

The time we spent at the festival, and then the following week spent in Texas, was a great time of reflection for me.  There were several films (which I hope to share with you soon) that just pierced my heart.  Some of them have caused us to make immediate changes in our family, other films have planted seeds for the future. There were so many men and women who deeply, passionately love the Lord and are striving to honor Him through film.  What a blessing and encouragement they are to other believers!

~thankful~

That sums it up!

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