Thursday, December 17


I don't know if you have ever heard of Etsy before, but I love the idea. Maybe it is because of all the creativity. Maybe because it is homemade. Maybe because it inspires me that I can do stuff like this too. maybe it is just releaving that you can still get real productes from real people and there are alternatives to big box stores.

Anyway, everyone in a while I think about how I want to decorate the back room to make it into the baby's room, eventually. I really like the idea of nautal colors with bold accents and a pond theme.

Anyway, I saw these on Etsy and  thought that they were adorable. No I was not asked or paid to do this.

I think that a frog or a dragonfly would be perfect. I think that this would be a fun project that I could do with minimal purchases because I could use fabric scraps for parts.
This one would be fun with fabric scraps using a name or "Baby" or the like.

The right one with a variety of bold, basic-like colors, but not so dense, with larger dots.
So you know, the images are items for sale a Harper and Henny.

Maybe next I'll highlight some of the super cute baby toys, or the diapers, or covers, or clothes or ... just check out the sight next time you want something fun or nice for the not so needy or simple loving ones in you life.

Saturday, December 12

Wish List

This is the only way that I can keep track of things that I'd like to have sometime. I'll add/ remove things to it now and then. For example, I'll add things that I don't get for Christmas that I can't justify buying for myself.

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God  bStacy McDonald

The Family by J.R. Miller

Large 10+ in Spring-form pan

A woven baby wrap (non-streachy)

a baby swing?

maybe a twin bed

working dryer

A Thought about Due Dates

I am currently reading The Official Lamaza Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence by Judith Lothain and Charlotte DeVries. Here is a quote that I enjoyed.
       "Though you and your care giver might calculate a due date forty weeks from your last period, bear in mind that only about 5 percent of babie arrive on ther due dates. Many facotrs make due dates mard to pin down...And some babies just take more or less than forty weks to be ready for the outside world.
      Imagine making a batch of popcorn. Most of the kernels pop during a few noisy moments But there are lots of early and late poppers too. All the popped kernels are perfect- but each need a slightly different amount of time to be fully cooked. The same is true for babies."


Friday, December 11


This is why we need to teach out children how to make real food, think through things, and how to laugh at the little mistakes.

My mom and dad did the first to some degree. The second they tried their best but I was not an ideal student when it came to not being ADHD. However, the third, boy did they triumph!

Thank God for Your grace! Thank you Mom and Dad for your loving encouragement!

Curtains- Finally a dark bedroom!

         My husband and I live in town. We are blessed to live in a location that is wonderful for walking or biking errands. (I never drive during good weather unless I’m coming home from out of town).  However, this blessed location also comes with lots of street lights. We have three streetlights around

the house spaced just so all of our windows faces one. When there is snow on the ground, or when our neighbors has Christmas lights up (we weren’t able to get ours up before the snow fell this year), it is as bright if not brighter than mid day when we are trying to go to sleep. It was becoming a problem. So, during the first two snow days this year, I finally made by curtains. I’ve had the fabric for a while (it was close pinned to the curtain rod till recently). But I finally made them.

They are a gorgeous darkish red, shiny material with a non-shiny woven design.  The back is black duck canvas (it is heavy duty stuff).
          They are just bigger than the window because I’ll tie them back during the day and that is all the fabric I was willing to get at that price; plus, they don’t scrunch anyway due to the thickness of the curtain.  
       I'm planning on putting a gold-ish colored sheer curtain behind them.

Mozzerella Cheese

  So after reading about all the benefits of whey (mostly as a acidic soaking agent) My cohort in all things that resemble anything that may connect in some way with Sally Fallon, Megan and I got together to make cheese since it’s byproduct is whey and since we love pizza. She had made it once before with her husband.  It took a lot longer the first time that she did it but, I can see why cheese is made in large quantities with professional equipment because, for the amount of the product that you get, it is a long process if you have to refer to the directions and have only everyday stuff. – It is not difficult, per say, but it does take work. I can see why you would want a plenty of helpers if you were going to make your own and why cheese would not be eaten that often unless you did.
I’m not sure which directions we used, but there are plenty on the internet.

Picture 1-  Megan  getting the curds our of the whey- I forgot to take pictures before this.

The picture to the Right is the curds in the bowl waiting to be squeezed.
The picture below is Megan squeezing whey out of the curds and shaping them into a block of cheese.

Home made bread

I love homemade bread. My husband has come to really like it too. At first I just made homemade whole wheat bread- because I wanted something that was whole wheat and didn’t have a lot of additives in it (boo high fructose corn syrup/ yeah honey!) Buying bread like this, if you can find it, gets pricy).
I was starting to really enjoy making my own breads (loaves, buns, muffins, biscuits, and the like) and even got a Bosch!!!  (One cannot love a Bosch too much.) I had not gotten the hang of it quite because I still could not consistently get a nice rounded top and a nicely risen loaf (as opposed to dense) but it was getting better.

Since then things are even more inconsistent because I started soaking my flour before baking (read more about that here) to make a healthier and more digestible loaf. I need to spend some time actually doing this so that I can figure out what the rise time is. (This last time I used multigrain flour and that reacted totally different (it turned out very wet) I probably should have added enough white flour to actually form a dough that I could roll. (We’ll have to see hour the crumb is because it rose nicely but the top fell.

(In the top picture my flour/ dough is soaking. The picture below is of my loaves when they were finished baking. I needed to let them rise a bit longer. )

The loaves in the picture were dense. (I forgot to time the rise and it was getting late at night). There is a reason that you don’t start baking after 7pm when you are teaching full time.

This is the recipe that I am enjoying for my loaves. (Passionate Homemaking ) I need to try it as buns too. Now that it is winter I can’t use my normal bun recipe because it takes four eggs and I am not wasting eggs on buns during the winter (when free range brown eggs with naturally bright yolks are hard to get and extra pricey).  

Thursday, December 10

Baby Begginings/ Belly

So here are a few pictures for those of you who were wondering.

There is an upside to being home with a cold.

This one is at 8 weeks. Already this is not normal Rachel body, but only Justin and I knew that.
At 8 weeks I was feeling alright. Not great not awful.

12 Weeks- For me that is definitely a baby bump. When fully dressed most people would say that i just have put on some weight. (Especially because some of it is in the butt and some in the boobs.) By this time I was (am) feeling a lot better. Though I'm starting to wonder if I'm growing to fast. (Four pounds at my appointment) Maybe I'm just hyper sensitive to the physical differences because my body has not changed this much in the last 4-8 years. 

By the way, I'm not sure how to turn the pictures. Sorry.

Yogurt Update

I've made yogurt three times now. I've tried too methods. I like the crock pot method that I tried first. I let it culture for longer than 12 hours. It turned out fine, however, it is sour. I eat it with honey and berries (and now granola) it is really tasty.  The runnier style does take some getting used to.

The part of the new recipe that I like is that I don't need a crock pot. This is nice since I can use my crock pot for things like making stock or chili or the like. However, you need to be around more. (No running errands in the mean time.) Also, you need to pay more attention to what is going on. (I needed to warm the milk up a bit after cooling because I left it cooling for too long, but no sweat.

I must admit that I have not tried the newest batch. I only let it culture for 7 hours.

These are the websites that I used.

- Crock pot

- In the Jar

Sorry, I don't know how to rotate yet. 

Sunday, October 25

Bagel Update

I made the bagels, Honey Whole Wheat Bagels, mentioned in my previous bagel post last weekend. Hubby said, "They were pretty good- not quite like a normal bagel but good." I think he is referring to the fact that they were dense and decently hard. They were not puck-like but would have suffered little damage if they were accidentally left in the bottom of a bag.
However, due to the boiling, the bagels really are chewy. I think that these are the modifications that I would make next time I try.

-  Use some white flour

-  Let rise for longer

-  Broil on low for a slightly shorter amount of time.
-  Bake for a few (3ish) minutes less.

Questions - I wonder if I could soak these at all. I'm convinced that if my family is going to be eating all whole wheat we need to soak it so that we are not inhibiting our ability to absorb critical nutrients. I see this as especially important since I'm taking synthetic vitamins right now which may also contribute to nutrient loss.

I'll see if i can update this with a picture. (Which would demand that I upload pictures from my camera.)

Monday, October 12


My husband LOVES bagels. Every once in a while I ask him to pick something up from the grocery store on his way home from work if he is going to get home after I do.  He always picks up bagels on the way home. So, since I want to redeem our family's food, I was ecstatic when Laura of Heavenly Homemakers posted about her honey whole wheat bagels. Whoot whoot!
I plan on trying these no later than Saturday. (Then they will be ready for both my dear hubby and my parents.) - Next? Maybe cream cheese.

See additional bagel post for reviews. 

Redeemption is Earth Deep

This Sunday evening our pastor gave a wonderful sermon. The main point was that what the world really needs is God's redemptive plan.

His first point is that is redemptive plan is antagonistic by nature. Before sin there was harmony between us and God but also between God and creation. After sin, because God is holy, we and creation are under judgment. Since God is good, He offers us salvation and redemption through His Son. Though Christ's relationship with the redeemed, creation will be redeemed as well. So accordingly, God's redemptive plan has a global effect. It is also gracious in nature. He gives us the grace to continually pursue him in spite of our sinful natures that are at war within us.

Part of God's creation is food and our work in making healthy homes. A quick look around will easily display how homes are in need of redemption: relationships, environments, work, food, habits...
It is also easy to see how sin has affected our food and is destroying us. How can we glorify God with our food and our bodies when we are knowledgeably destroying both?

I guess that I've been rambling but in redeeming creation and reclaiming it for Christ means redeeming food. Putting off imitations of food and those that poison the body is part of redeeming food. Reintroducing our families to real food that promotes health bodies is redeeming food. Making real food look and taste beautiful is redeeming food. Changing the tastes of our families is redeeming food.

While this takes thought, work, and care... we can look forward to the day when Christ has banished sin and established a new world without sin. A world in which food is uncorrupted. No more tears, no more pain, no more chronic diseases.

Praise the Lord and His continual grace in redemption!

Thursday, October 8


There are a lot of blogs that share great ideas. They share pictures and patterns too. Every once in a while they have giveaways! I just found out that Laura at Heavenly Homemakers is sponsoring a giveaway- anything form her shop! There are a bunch of other bloggers who are participating.

Lenetta from Nettacow is one of them. She has some great stuff like a book about organizing, or how to clean anything, or Babylegs! Even if you don't win anything, she has some great patterns on here sight- Like how to make your own babylegs! Have a blessed day!

Oh, I am pretty sure that the give away ends tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 7

Why " The Homemaker's Circle"?

As soon as I showed the name of this blog to my husband, he asked, "Why the homemaker's circle"?

Well, I decided that I wanted it to be a place where women could come together to get ideas, learn, discuss, and share- like a quilting circle or a circle of friends. Women always form circles to discuss the issues and situations that they deal with. Additionally, I would like to have a couple co-authors too. (I'm in the process of asking them.) This would enable the blog to have a larger variety of topics within our main focus and more expertise.

It took some consideration to use the word "homemaker." However, every woman wants her own home and to be the mistress/ lady/ queen of her own domain. A house, apartment, town home, cottage, duplex is not necessarily a home. A home has to be created and nurtured. It takes work and commitment. You do not have to be a stay-at-home mother or wife to be a homemaker.  I personally have a full-time out-of-the-house job at this time. I teach at a Christian school. I think that it makes homemaking more challenging. There are many things that I am unable to do between 7am and 5 or 6pm.  (I also do not have any children at this time so I do not have to take into account  blessed complication.  There are a lot of homemaking and home-keeping ideas that we can share regardless where we live or what percentage of our day is spent there.

May God bless you in your endeavors that they may bring more glory to Him.

Monday, October 5

In the beginning...

So I decided to start my own blog. I'd like to discuss food, local resources (Pella, IA and surrounding), non-toxic living, healthy choices, having a Christ- centered life. I also want to share what is going on in my life with those that I love.

Now, the question is- Where to start?

I want to live a life the glorifies God in every aspect. Pleasing to Him and a witness to others. I believe that God wants me and my family to be healthy. I believe that this means taking the toxins out of my house, eliminating foods that decrease or inhibit wellness, providing amble opportunities for physical wellness, academic learning, emotional stability, and spiritual growth. 

I believe that all four of these areas dramatically impact the others.  If you are not feeling well, you are more prone to sin. If you are emotionally off-kilter your learning is difficult. If you are not learning, you have a hard time taking good care of your self. If you are not right with God, your emotions are groundless. There are countless examples. Of these, I think that the two  most influential ones are the physical and spiritual aspects. 

It is a tragedy that our world tries to help people fix the problems in their life and work though their challenges without addressing our relationship with God. He is the Lover of our souls, the Creator/ Sustainer of our bodies, the Great Teacher, and the Anchor of our emotions. 

Let all things that have breath praise the Lord!