Essential Recipe: Simple Artisan Bread

Jim Lahey’s bread recipe, featured in the NY Times in 2006, swept home kitchens and persists in popularity. For good reason. If you still haven’t tried no-knead artisan bread, if you still buy 99-cent grocery store French bread, you really must give this recipe a shot. If you take both the electricity to run the oven and the gas to go to the grocery store out of the equation (I wouldn’t know how to calculate either), this bread costs approximately … Read More

Little Mirrors – Simply Convivial

Originally written and posted in 2007. Actually, I think little children are more like magnifying glasses than mirrors. I have been truly amazed, startled, and ashamed as it has become more and more clear to me that the attitude and behavior problems my children display is only a childish mimicry of my own attitude and behavior problems, which, because I am a skilled and practiced sinner, are more concealed than the blatant sins of a small child. Now, I do … Read More

Digital Home Management “Binder”: Task Tracking

  Home Management Binder, Control Journal, Household Notebook: It doesn’t matter what you call it, having it helps keep all the tasks involved in homemaking in front of your face when you need them to be, but off your mind when you don’t. It’s usually done with paper, but can it be adapted for the technologically savvy? Or at least the technology-owner? Can it be done with an iPad, Netbook, smartphone, iPod Touch? It certainly can. Series to Date Introduction … Read More

Order, The First Need of All

“This book emphasizes certain institutions and customs and certain ideas and beliefs which continue to nurture order in the person and order in the republic, down to our time.” Ok, I was just going to participate in Cindy’s latest book club on Russell Kirk’s Roots of American Order by reading along as best I could and commenting on other people’s posts, but the first chapter of the book sparked my writing itch. There is no way I can write summary-style … Read More

Capturing Contentment

Pretty Children playing together: Happy The best $5 birthday present: a game of Cooties. Ilse calls them cuties. I tell her she’s the cutie. Knox is the silly. Yes, the cootie is supposed to be kissing his cheek. Funny Sometimes, our house needs an industrial clean. Sometimes, this is the right tool for our floors. Real One of my tricks for occupying my toddler during school hours: A dice tower. It’s kinda noisy, but less noisy than a free-range toddler. … Read More

Seven Laws of Teaching Your Own: The Law of the Teacher

I wrote this series in 2011, when my oldest was 8. How we teach our children is part of how we interact with and love our children, and make this life together work, so learning how to teach is worth our time as homeschool moms, even though our situations are different. Begin with the introduction, summary, and table of contents for The Seven Laws of Teaching Your Own series. The Seven Laws of Teaching Your Own The book is available … Read More

Convivial Home: Now & Later

Hitting a decade birthday is a good time to pause and reflect, and though mine is still a few months away, I am pausing and reflecting. While I am in the midst of raising children, my parents, in-laws, and their peers are reaching milestones of their own: caring for their parents. It is now not an uncommon conversation to overhear at church functions: the 50’s crowd swapping stories and encouragement about helping their particular parents’ situations. So many different ailments, … Read More

Making a Convivial Home: Unrelenting Fellowship

I mentioned previously that the Wilsons’ advice helped us get our marriage off to a strong start. The biggest and best piece of advice they gave was to never leave one another while out of fellowship. That isn’t that you can’t leave until you agree, but you can’t leave while you have unconfessed and unforgiven sin between you. The principle is not to let unresolved sin have any place or time in your relationship. It is a high ideal, but … Read More

Why simplify your pantry?

I started creating this system four years ago after I gave birth to our third child. I enjoyed cooking, and shopping frugally was one of my hobbies, but after baby three was born, I no longer had the mental energy to page through recipe cards, cookbooks, bookmarks, keep track of ingredients needed, and remember it at the right time. While I used to be able to keep information in my head, now I found myself lacking the brain power and … Read More

Recipe: Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

After eliminating Crisco from my pantry, the first great dilemma to solve was how to achieve the perfect chocolate chip cookie with an all-butter dough. Not only did I solve this dilemma, but my solution made whipping up the dough even faster! I can now get three sheets of cookies into the oven in less time than it takes to preheat my oven to 375-degrees! Browsing around, looking for what the internets had to say about non-flat all-butter cookies, I … Read More

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