Sunday, October 1, 2017

31 days of Homecooking

I link lots of my memories in life back to food.  Lacy cornbread, banana pudding, red velvet cake, Christmas fudge, vegetable soup and much more. Typically it was made from scratch and frugal.  Since I'm on maternity leave and only have 4 weeks of paid leave...feeding my family frugally is of utmost importance.  So this month I am going to share recipes, budget, meal plans and memories.

These recipes won't be fancy company cooking but simple meals that feed my family.  Some will be generations old while others will be fairly new.  All will be tired and trued meals that have been enjoyed by my family.

To give you an idea our meals typically consist of a meat, a vegetable or two, some bread and something sweet.  Most of my recipes will be for meat dishes, bread, and something sweet.  I have a couple for veggies but in reality I don't fancy up our veggies often.

So stay tuned for simple, filling meals that are easy on the budget.

Until next time


Saturday, September 16, 2017

So much more than pictures

This week we were blessed to have newborn photos of our newest addition.  If you are local to us please check out Muggshot Studios. They are AMAZING to work! They take their time to ensure they get just the right shot. If you have ever tried to snap photos of a newborn then you know that can take a while!!

These photos are cherished because let’s be honest we all know that #babiesdontkeep and they #growtoofast.  Already our newborn is changing into an infant...staying awake longer, more alert, and attempting to hold her head up.  The old saying the “days are long but the years are short” is driven home into my heart daily.  
Our 2 girls <3 td="">

The newborn session documents a short window in life but for us it also documents something else...the love of generations.


You see my Granny Price was a crocheter...she constantly had a project going.  All of her grandchildren recieved a full size (or larger) blanket crocheted in requested colors for graduation (mine was red and black).  She also crocheted the tops of dish towels to give as Christmas gifts and almost anything else you can imagine.  My favorite things she ever made were 6 baby blankets.

You see all through high school the joke was I wanted a big family...6 kids to be exact...a basketball team and a spare.  Well my Granny made me six baby blankets.  You might think well lots of grandmothers do that...well my Granny had these 6 blankets ready for me within a year of getting married.  I’ll be honest at the time I was a little frustrated as we started trying not long after we got married and struggled to conveice for a couple of years.

Purple blanket crocheted by my Granny.
When our oldest was born I cherished that blue blanket...my dear Granny had passed away just 10 months early.  She never got to meet any of my sweet babies...whom we all know she would have loved and rocked and spoiled as she did her other great grands.  

Thankfully at each newborn session we are able to document that love by including the blankets that she made.  So are you wondering what colors she made?  Because I have always been amazed by that...she made a blue, a green, a yellow, a white, a purple, and a one that is green, yellow and white.  While we have enough of each child and I always thought I would “assign” blankets to them...I have decided that while we do use them I will keep them and as my children have children (way in the future) I’ll give them one of these treasured blankets for their own babes.  So they will get one crocheted blanket from their Great Granny and I too will make something (clothes, quilt, blanket) for each as well.  I don’t think you can truly appreciate little things like handmade baby blankets years in advance of needing them.  

For our newest addition its even more special as she was named for my Granddaddy (my Granny’s husband).  My sister put it best when saying we can hear them say “Caci...what are you thinking...Clark isn’t a girl’s name!”  All the while smiling.  

A perfect "Price" reaction

Did you have something special that was made for your children?  Share about the item below in comments.  



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Babywearing

Are you a babywearer?  Do you you use a soft structured carrier like a Tula or Ergobaby?  Maybe you are more of a stretchy wrap wearer or you like the feel of a woven wrap.  It might be none of the above and maybe you prefer a ringsling.  Check out all the various options I have pinned :) Continue reading to learn more about what we have tried and what we prefer for various stages.


As a parent for the last 9 years I think we have tried almost every type of carrier.  We have found that even on the farm it’s easier to wear baby than it is to lug a heavy carseat.  We have also used options in all price ranges...from the super cheap ones you can get at big box stores to more pricey custom options.

So after wearing our 3 big kids and now another newborn what are our favorite options?  During the newborn stage I love a wrap (stretchy or woven).  It takes a little bit to learn how to wrap but with a little practice it’s quick and easy.  You can visit my Pinterest board here to learn a few various ways to wrap.  

With our newest squish I am also loving a ring sling.  I find it faster than a wrap.  I’m still learning various positions and how to ensure the sling is tight enough without being too tight.  I think it will be easier to nurse in this option than any other.  


As our kids get older I find the stretchy wraps to become a little more difficult to use...mainly because our kids get heavy fast.  The stretchy wraps seem to sag when the kids weigh about 20 lbs.  This is also about the time that they can comfortably ride in a soft structured carrier (SSC).  After many trials and error I have found that our favorite SSC is a Tula.  Want to talk fast...want to talk easy...the Tula has both of those covered.  Plus the Farmer is more willing to use it than the other options.  He says it’s more comfortable.  We don’t have an infant insert for our standard Tula so we have to wait until they are big enough.  It forces me to explore other options.  

I have loved discovering more ways of babywearing mainly because it allows me to get lots of things done around the house and the farm.  The one drawback I have found is that you, the carrier and baby may get covered if there is a blowout from either end...however that happens when you are holding them too ;)


So are you a babywearer?  What is your favorite type of carrier?  



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

4 Farmkids

A little over 2 weeks ago our family was blessed with our newest addition.  
Sweet #Farmgirl2...she came into the world at 8 lbs and 10 oz and 18.5" long.  
Everyone in the family is over the moon about sweet baby Cora Clark.
For the Farmer & I we entered a new parenting realm...3 kids 4 & under.  


While the Farmer and I have always dreamed of having a "big" family for years we were sure if that would happen for us.  We tried for just over 2 years to get our oldest and then it took 5 long, stressful years to get our 2nd.  After that we have been blessed with 2 more rather quickly.  

Each of our children are a blessing with vastly different personalities.  God is working on me to learn how to appropriately handle each of them.  I have found that I need to spend more time digging into God's word and being reminded of how patience, gracious, loving and forgiving he has been to me so that I may try to emulate those characteristics to my children.  

I struggle most with our oldest at the moment.  At 9 he's testing new boundaries and gaining a bit of an attitude that I imagine will be very different from his younger siblings.  He is so much like the Farmer...not only in looks but in attitude and actions.  He is tenderhearted and compassionate...which means that he takes your words to heart in a very different way from our younger ones.  As a parent some days I struggle to find the best way to speak to him so that he understands my expectations and not feel like I am belittling him.  Prayer goes a long way in case you are wondering...I'm working on being more purposeful in my prayer life and spending time daily in prayer for each of our children.  

So what about those 3 that are 4 and under...well I'd be lying if I didn't admit that it's hard and some days are harder than others.  It's mentally and physically hard.  I'm thankful for dear friends that get it and who have been willing to help by bringing a meal, offering to babysit or just willing to chat when I've had my fill of PBS kids for the day.  

While our 4 year old goes to preschool 3 hours a day 5 days a week that doesn't always make life easier as I feel like the first half of my day is spent driving up and down the road.  Delivering kids to school, running errands and loading and unloading the car.  All and all he has honestly adjusted wonderfully to having a new baby sister and loves her dearly.  He's a helpful and joyful little man who just needs a few hours outside each day to make life grand.

Our big Farmgirl is loving being a big sister which is a huge relief cause let's be honest...she was the baby...she was the only girl...and she is slightly spoiled ;) While she does adore her baby sister, she has quickly learned if Momma is nursing she has a chance to get into things.  In just 12 short days...only 9 of which I've been home...our sweet farmgirl has

1. Attempted to make playdoh by empty out all the flour and salt
2. Cleaned our toliet...with my good conditioner
3. Emptied about a gallon of water onto the bathroom floor
4. Used more wipes than it would take to clean up 100 cows
5. Emptied chips, cookies and pretezels into her tummy and the floor
6. Hidden my glasses and my phone
7. Reorganized my wallet, the diaper bag, her room and her brother's room
8. Used the dining table as a dance floor
9. Stolen cokes and convinced her brothers to open them for her
10. Attempted to wash dishes

and I could go on but you get the idea...and while yes some of these things she did before she became a big sister (see number 8) they have magnified in intensity.  I suppose this is her way of acting out...which again has sent me to the Lord in prayer.  

Even as I type this she is peaking around the kitchen cabinets while she "cleans" them with more baby wipes...at least they are clean right ;) 

What about that newborn we brought into this chaos...well she's the easy one.
Typically she stays where I put her.
Her request are simple...a clean bottom and milk to drink.
She naps like a champ and loves to cuddle.
She becoming more alert throughout the day and her favorite time to play is bedtime.  

Everyone keeps asking how I am doing...to be honest pretty darn good I think.  We are making it to school each day, food is on the table and the kids are somewhat clean.  I get to shower on most days and have even managed to go shopping with the 3 youngest in tow more than once.  I'm loving being at home with the kids and dream daily about being a Stay-at-home-mom.  And even though I know that is probably not going to happen right now...I am soaking up the moments, laughing through the tears (cried over liquid gold spills), and being present for each one of our kids.   




I realize there is a good deal of rambling in this post.  So if you made it all the way through...
How did your family adjust to having a new addition?  Leave your answer in the comments.






Friday, May 19, 2017

Flats Challenge 2017: Cloth Diapering & Camper Living



Since today is an open topic day I thought I would share a little about how we are making cloth diapers work while we are camper living at the farm until we get our house finished this summer.

Our camper isn't as small as the one in the picture above but it's a definite downsize from our current house.  I mentioned earlier this week  that the challenge inspired me to get back to cloth diapering and to purge our excessive amounts of diapers.  

When living in such a small space with 3 very active kids you quickly run out of room.  While in the beginning of my cloth diaper journey I adored pockets stuff with microfiber inserts over time my love for them faded.  They get build up and need to be stripped, they start to feel funky and take up a ton of space!  

I love the simplicity of flats and covers, we even have a few pockets thrown in but use flats to stuff them as well.  These are the pockets that are workhorses or I am in love with the print.  But still how do I fit everything for 5 people in a camper??

For starters our cloth diaper stash use to take up 2 entire clothes baskets at least (honestly I'm not sure they were ever all clean at once)...you know the big ones that are about 30" x 15" and over a foot tall.  Now I can fit all of our diapers in a 15"x 10" x 12" bin that has a lid!!  Did you see my post earlier in the week?? We have over 40 flats and 14 covers and all of them FIT into one box!!  That is so much easier to store than 2 giant laundry baskets.  

Since we use diapers multiple times a day they have to be readily accessible so the box sits at the end of our loveseat.  This makes it easy to reach but also out of the way.  We put the lid on it so we can use it as an end table as well.  I always have a few ready to go diapers & cloth wipes in a basket on the shelf on the other end of the loveseat so that anyone can change a diaper.  (Heck who am I kidding...if I am home I do most of the diaper changing LOL.)

Check out my Instagram this weekend for pictures of #camperliving storage solutions.

Do you live in a small space?  How do you make it work?

  


Flats Challenge 2017: Wash Routine

When someone says the words hand washing...
everyone's mind to women beside a creek scrubbing clothes against rocks.
However that is not the reality for most folks.
While I do know there are people who still must wash their clothes this way.
Most in the US have access to a sink and/or a bath tub.






So what do you need to hand-wash diapers?
Small dish pan (less than $2 at a big box store)
Laundry detergent
Bar soap (I use pink Zote)
and some type of washboard (I am using the bottom of a cheap plastic dish drain).



We are staying in our camper at the farm this week so I am washing inside the bin our camper tub.  This gives me a space to contain any splashes and sit while I work which at 6 months pregnant with baby #4 is a blessing.




Step 1: Dispose of any solids and rinse diapers as soon as possible after use.  I typically rinse and drop them in the bin throughout the day.
Step 2: After the baby is down for the night I empty the bin into the tub, rinse it out and dissolve a small about of our regular powdered laundry detergent in warm/hot water.
Step 3: Make sure all diapers are unfolded and drop into the wash bin.  Swish them all around and up and down a few times.
Step 4: Let them sit.  I leave them overnight to soak as I handwash in the morning before work so they can dry outside.
Step 5: Empty wash bin/rinse bin and rinse each diaper.
Step 6: using my Zote bar I rub both sides of each diaper/cover/wipe and scrub up and down on my makeshift wash board.  Stains get scrubbed extra hard.
Step 7: Quick Rinse diaper and hold it up to see if I got everything.
Step 8:   Rinse diaper really well to ensure all soap is gone and wring out.  Place in clean bin.
Step 9; Shake out each time and snap any excess water you can out.
Step 10: Hang outside on the clothes line to dry.

It takes be about 30 minutes in the morning to wash diapers and hang them out without any "helpers."  I love seeing the diapers on the line.  If I am at home I tend to wash as we go and this week most diapers have been completely dry within an hour for flour sack towels and 2 hours for the Geffen baby & flannel flats.


If you have more questions about handwashing my go to resource is Fluff Love University.

Do you handwash regularly?  What tips and tricks do you have?


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Flats Challenge: Favorite Folds

There a many different ways to fold your flat diapers.
I tend to use 2 folds almost exclusively because 
1 is super easy and the other I've found to be the most absorbent fold.  These folds are new or life changing...but they work and that is what is most important.  


Up first is the pad fold.  This is the fast and simplest fold.  It has enough layers however typically after a poopy diaper the cover will also need to be changed out as this fold doesn't contain very well.




Step 1: Fold diaper in half like a hotdog.
Step 2: Fold diaper in half like a hamburger.
Step 3: Fold in one third of the diaper.
Step 4: Fold over the other third.  

This lays inside the diaper cover or you can stuff it inside of pocket diapers.


The next fold is the one I love.  The origami fold.  
This fold is quick and easy once you learn it.  The layers are concentrated in the center of the diaper and allow for great absorption.  It's easy to add another pad folded diaper to the center for overnight diapers.  The wings on this one also help contain messes extremely well!  I would suggest having these prefold before diaper changes as active little ones hate sitting still.  
  

Step 1: Fold diaper in half like a hotdog.
Step 2: Fold diaper in half like a hamburger.
Step 3: Pull the bottom right corner of the diaper (only 1 layer) to the left.  This will make a triangle on the left side and a square on the right.
Step 4: Flip the diaper over so the triangle is on the bottom.  
Step 5. Fold the square (top 2 layers) over 3 times to create a pad in the middle.
Step 6:bring the center of the diaper up and fold the wings in.  Secure with Snappi (or pins).  

There you have it 2 easy and fast folds that make cloth diapering with easy.  
What's your favorite fold?






Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Flats Challenge 2017: My Stash


Over the last 9 years my cloth diaper stash has changed greatly.  This year I pulled out what I had and grabbed a couple of things I have been wanting to try out.  It was a great way for me to take inventory of what we really have and what we need for baby #4 arriving in a few months.  With this challenge I have pitched lots of excess that wasn't getting used or wasn't work well anymore.

So what are we using for the challenge??  Well probably way more than we should however since I work full time, I have an older child active in sports, we also have a 150 cow dairy farm, and no one else will reuse covers I have to make sure I have enough to last.  

Covers

3 Thristies Pocket diapers ($59.85)
1 other random pocket ($10.95)
9 Flip covers ($134.55)
1 Econobum Cover ($11.95)
1 Pooters Cover (Free)

Flats

23 Flour Sack Towels ($18.40) 
5 Geffen Baby Hemp/Jersey flats ($42.50)
1 Geffen Baby Fladdle ($12.48)
15 receiving blankets (Free all were received as gifts) 

Accessories 
3 Snappies ($9.99)
20 Geffen Baby Wipes ($24.68)
1 Wet Bag (Free with purchase, normally $14.50)
Roll of Viva Paper towels* ($2.00)
*used as liners when using diaper rash cream*

So the total cost for my stash excluding receiving blankets is $341.85.  Now that is a substantial upfront investment however I didn't buy all of it at one time.  Most of it has been used for 2+ years some of it going on 4.  When we had a little wiggle room in our budget I would grab a few things here and there.  Honestly this is more than I paid for the stash because lots of things were bought on sale.  

What's in your stash?





Monday, May 15, 2017

Flats Challenge 2017: Why, oh Why?

So who in their right mind would volunteer to use only cloth diapers and hand-wash for an entire week??  This girl!!

For the last 4 years I have signed up to do the flats & hand-washing challenge.  Each year for a different reason.  You can read about my previous experiences here.   

Just a quick bit about the challenge...for 7 days participants agree to use only flat diapers with covers and wash them by hand.  The idea is to show that anyone in any situation can cloth diaper.  Why is it important?  Research shows 1 in 3 families struggle to afford diapers for their children.  Flats are an easy and cheap way to diaper.  
 You can read all about the challenge and other participants here.

So why did I decide to do another year of the challenge?

I have 3 reasons.

1. I love a challenge.  This year's challenge is upped as I have a very heavy wetter and I'm 24 weeks pregnant with number 4.  

2.  I have gotten into the rut of buying disposable diapers which is crazy since we have been cding for 9 years.  This is the push I need to get back to cloth diapering.

3.  We are trying to downsize.  Flats take up the least amount of space and honestly are the fastest to use.  So with this challenge I am finally saying goodbye to most of my all in ones and my microfiber inserts.  

Have you ever used cloth diapers?  Why or Why not??






  

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Shop Saturday!!

Some of you may know that my "side job" is sewing.
My love for sewing started years ago watching my Granny
create amazing things for others.  
That passion was passed on to me in the form of 
clothes...
I enjoying sewing for myself from time to time but 
my passion is sewing clothes for kids.

That passion pushed me to open 


This shop just isn't a way to make extra money (which trust me is nice)
It's my mission.  For each item I sell in the shop a similar item is donated to a child in need. 
The shop lets me share the amazing gift God has given me with others,
it lets me help those who are in need at home and aboard.

If you know of a little one that could use an extra special outfit please email me at theflossyfarmgirl@gmail.com 

Here are just a few of my favorite pieces :) 






Until next time...
may God bless you real good!





Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Cleaning house...creating a year long capsule wardrobe for boys

The older I get the more that clutter causes me stress.  
Having little ones seems to amplify that clutter ten fold within 5 minutes of them rising in the mornings.  

We live in a small house, some of you might even consider it a tiny house at less than a 1,000 square feet with 5 people.  When clutter gets out of hand it's obvious.

So what do I consider clutter?  
At this point in my life its not only that stack of mail that has been sitting for a week,
but it's also toys, clothes, nic nacks and anything else that I am not emotionally attached too.
I have the tendency to be a hoarder, I am emotionally attached to various things or at times just at a lost of what to do with stuff.  

My goal is to simplify our life and remove those clutter causing things that are stressing me out.

One of the things that creates the most stress is clothes...
we could literally open our own used clothing store with the sheer volume of clothes we have.
The problem is everyone in my house pretty much wears the same thing each week.  

So we are jumping head first on the capsule wardrobe trend...
now for me, hubs and the boys this won't be a huge problem...
however for Miss Priss it's gonna be a ride!  OK not for her but for me.  
I love adorable boutique clothing and shopping small.  I enjoying sewing as well, which means not only does she have a closet full of clothes from others, she has a good bit of momma-made as well.  Because I know this is gonna be hard...we are gonna start with the boys.  



This list will cover all 4 seasons.  It will not include our oldest son's baseball uniforms & practice gear.

So when creating a capsule for 2 very active farm boys what do you include?

For our oldest who will be 9 this month:
5 pair of "school" pants
3 pair of "play" pants
2 pair of dress pants
10 t-shirts
7 short sleeve button up shirts
3 long sleeve button up shirts
4 hoodies
2 heavy jackets (one good/one farm)
2 light jackets
2 swimsuits
2 pair of  "good" shorts
2 pair of basketball shorts
1 pair of good boots
1 pair of tennis shoes 
1 pair of dress shoes
(plus socks & undies)

For our middle who will be 4 in March and goes to school twice a week:
3 pair of "school" pants
4 pair of "play" pants
2 pair of dress pants
10 t-shirts
4 short sleeve button ups
2 long sleeve button ups
2 hoodies
2 heavy jackets
2 light jackets
2 swimsuits
5 pairs of shorts
1 pair of good boots
1 pair of tennis shoes
1 pair of dress shoes
`1 pair of crocs
(plus socks & undies)

Do you do a capsule wardrobe for your kids?
If so what do you include?