Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Dump Truck Accident!

Yesterday, while I was cleaning on the house our pastor came by and I went to the door thinking this is new I usually don't see the pastor at my house unless Lonnie is around. Then he said, "Lonnie is ok he has had an accident and he had the hospital call me and tell me that your husband was ok they were just checking him out as normal proceedure."

Something told me that it wasn't completely normal and that he must be hurt to some extent because I have been in accidents and gone straight home. Yet, if it was in his work vehicle which was a dump truck, then maybe that was the proceedure just for the insurance purposes and such.

 So I calmed myself and waited for Lonnie to call me from the hospital. I gathered the children together in the living room and we all had a word of prayer for Daddy because I know that there is power in God's people praying and in families praying together.

Then I let them go and got on facebook and asked my friends and followers to pray for Lonnie and us. Thank you to all of you out there who saw the message and took time out of your day to pray for our family. Later, I finally found out that Lonnie had a blow out and the Dump Truck rolled with him in it. It was really scarry for him and scarry for me not knowing what would happen.

 I was so glad when I heard his voice on the phone telling me that he was getting a ride home with his supervisor. I wasn't able to just jump in the van and drive over there to Austin an hour away and it wasn't serious enough to warrent getting a baby sitter to come over or so it was reported. So I was frustrated and nervous at home. Thanks so much again for holding us up in your prayers. God is faithful to provide and care for us!

Lonnie is now at home with very sore ribs and back. They said that they didn't find any breaks but because of the sharp pain and all there could be something they missed so please keep sending the prayers our way. It's so nice to hear his heavy sleep breathing behind me as I write this post. He could have been taken yesterday. We are SO BLESSED!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Laundry Day? or no Laundry Day?

I have been doing laundry every day for quite some time now because of the volume of laundry and people that I have in my house. Recently though I have decided to try to do it all in one day or at least maybe two days a week just to see which way works the best for our family. I have done almost all of the laundry that I had to do in the course of two days. Here are some of the ways that I utilize my time and get more done.

Time and Money Saving Tips

1. As soon as one load is finished I put it into an empty basket.

2. Then I refill the washer and start it again and keep the washing process going.

3. I have two washers to make washing more efficient for a large family.

4. I fill my dryer 75% full and add a dry towel to dry the laundry more quickly.

5. Only use cold water and the quick wash cycle except when washing whites for bleaching.

6. I make my own laundry detergent.

7. I use the bounce softener bar.

8. Separate the laundry into three baskets folded and on hangers (this is done in the long baskets that the kids use ) if they are church clothes. One basket for boys, one basket for girls and one basket for Mom and Dad. I also hang Mom and Dad's clothes up in the Laundry room if they are not t-shirts etc.

9. I add some sheets and pillowcases and blankets to the children's baskets to put away as they put away their clothes since their room is closet to the linen closet.

10. I have the children bring their dirty laundry to me and I have them take their clean laundry and put it away I help some of the time. It is a large job.

Resources links for repairs and supplies:

PartSelect (for parts and advice) (laundry soaps)
Eco Nuts (also on my side bar)

How about you? Do you have a certain wash day? Do you do any of these steps?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How to make Yogurt without a Yogurt Starter!

Have you ever wondered how in the world yogurt was ever made without the yogurt in the first place? I have. I know that I have spent much time searching it out on the internet and even found one recipe in a different language and country where they used ant hill dirt. I even tried it once but was too chicken to feed it to anyone. They say that the dirt is really clean and good for you but I don't know I could only find one article in all of internet world so I didn't trust it completely. Who knows I might get brave and try it again one day.

Anyway, I have been learning about lacto-fermenting ketchup and musturd and mayo as well as vegtables like beet kvass. When I started learning that the whey in those recipes was fillled with probiotics then I realized that it should be possible to make yogurt in a cooler with a bit of whey and not yogurt so I went for it.

While out shopping at the thrift store the other day I invested in another small cylinder cooler and that is now my new yogurt maker.

Yogurt without a Yogurt Starter


Whole milk


Add a small amount of whey to the bottom of your jar about a half inch or so. Then add your milk.  Place in the bottom of your cooler and cover with hot, tap water and top. leave overnight or eight hours. Then do it again emptying out the water and covering it with hot, tap water. After this time you can place it into the refrigerator to cool and either flavor it or use as is. Its so amazing I couldn't believe it worked.

Tip: Leave your cooler on the stove so that in the morning you will remember to empty the water and change it out again. You can also just leave it in the refrigerator after the first 8 hours and then put it back out the next night.  Isn't it amazing how God has left us with so many great ways to take care of ourselves. Yummy ones too?

Have you ever made yogurt this way? I am curious if there are other pioneers out there?


Lacto-Fermented Ketchup Recipe

We don't buy ketchup in our house because of the large sugar content and I have been wanting to make my own for a long while. Then the other day I began to learn about lacto-fermenting. I was suprised to find out that there were so many other ways that I could be benefiting from pro-biotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that live in our gut and fight off the bad bacteria. You can loose these good flora as they are called when you get sick to your stomach and when you are under stress. Probiotics are also good for aiding digestion. Can you think of anyone that could use this God given health tonic.

Lacto-Fermented Ketchup

12 oz tomatoe paste without salt (organic if you can)
1/4  to 1/8 c. of water
2 tbls.acv
1/4 tsp. musturd powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon powder
1/8 tsp. cloves powder
1/8 tsp. all spice
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 to 1/3 c. maple syrup or honey

Stir up all the ingredients cover nad let set for at least 8 hours and no more than 2 days. Then I put mine into a used up musturd bottle and labeled it as Ketchup. You can also find these squirt bottles at the grocery store. I prefer to recycle. I couldn't believe how much this recipe tastes just like regular ketchup maybe even better now that I know it is healthy for us.

Have you ever made your own ketchup? Its really good.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

How to Make Yogurt in a Cooler or a Crockpot

Since I have been making whey lately I have also been making my own yogurt at home again. It is really very easy and simple with the process that I use. I don't have to cook anything or wash what I dirty up. Those are two very wonderful things in my opinion. There are many other ways to accomplish the same thing but I like this method because you don't have to be super careful with temperatures and take extra time that I can use in other areas of my life.

The Yo Gourmet that my husband made me for Christmas years ago.
We may have to upgrade soon:) and make model number two.

Cooler Yogurt

What you will need:

Quart glass jar
Half and inch of plain yogurt on the bottom of the jar
Whole milk fresh or store bought
Hot tap water


Add your yogurt to the bottom of the jar. Then add your milk but leave about an inch of air space.  Stir your milk and yogurt together. Top with your lid. Place in the center of your cooler and cover with hot not boiling tap water from your sink. Cover your cooler with the lid. Or cover with a towel in my case we lost the lid when we moved:( Anyway, then wait for your yogurt to form for about 8 hours. I left mine over night and it when a little longer and did fine. Just smell test it and if it smells fine it is usually. After this you can refrigerate and add fruit or we added strawberry jelly and used the yogurt for a nice drink. The only thing that you will ever have to wash is your yogurt container and just rinse out your cooler between uses.

Yogurt can also be made in much the same way in a crock pot to hold in the water temperature just don't turn it on and use smaller jars. I would also add a towel around the pot and lid as well.

For more ways to use yogurt check out the links below.

How to Make Whey and Cream Cheese

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Post Cards 4 NINE!

We would love to see where all we are reaching and who all we are reaching all around the world. Recently a lovely lady from Greece sent us a post card and it just made our day. We would love to be world travelers but right now it is just not in the budget.

  When you send us a post card we will pin it up on our side bar for everyone to see, (not the words unless you want us too). We are proud of the post cards that we receive. They are such a blessing and encourage us along the way. The "zildren"  would love to hear from you and your family. Please write to:

The Harrod Family
902 S. Boundary Burnet,
Texas 78611

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How to Make Beet Kvass In 4 Simple Steps

This past week I went to the farmer's market and bought some fresh vegetables. Among those were a nice bunch of beets. They were just beautiful and earthy looking. I don't usually buy them but I have been wanting to try a new probiotic drink called beet kvass. Here is what I did.
Beet Kvass


Two medium sized beets cut into large pieces
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
about 4 ounces of whey
purified water

1. Cut up your beets and add them to your quart jar.

2. Take a small cup and add your sea salt to your whey and stir good.

3. Then add your salt and whey mixture to your jar and fill to the line or if you don't have a line fill with about an inch of air space at the top and cover withsome type of cloth and rubber band.

4. Wait for 2 days (or one if it is summer and your house is warmer)

 Drink about 4 ounces morning and evening for a healthy tonic. You can use the same beets for two batches of beet kvass.

Have you ever made Beet Kvass? I am trying to include more probiotic foods to my diet. So stay tuned for more recipes.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

How To Make Whey and Cream Cheese

I wanted to make a lot of lacto fermented foods and I found out that I needed a key ingredient, whey. I didn't have any and so I had to learn how to make some. As I was looking around trying to find a recipe I found out that I had already made some a long time ago when I made some cream cheese.

Whey Recipe:

clean kitchen towel
plain yogurt
rubber band
cabinet door with knob or without
bowel or wide mouthed jar etc.

Pour some plain yogurt into the center of  a clean kitchen towel and gather the corners together to form a bag. then you can rubber band them together and hang from a cabinet door. While this hangs it will drip out clear cloudy liquid that is called whey and can be used for many things. The remaining product in the towel is cream cheese.

We went a step a farther and made a plastic wrap tent around ours because there is a gnat population that likes to get started in our house at every opportunity.  We just took strips of plastic wrap and squeezed them together on the edges to keep the unwanted bugs out.

How about you? Have you ever made whey or cream cheese at home? Today several of my children learned from this process as well.

How to Make the 3rd Brain (from Spy Kids)

What you will need:

Disposable, microwavable container
Styrofoam cup
Pure acetone about 1 tablespoon
Proper Ventilation (go to a room with a ceiling vent like a ventilator above your stove or the air vent in your bathroom (it stinks)

Speaking of stinky things here is a song for the occasion.  Mom used to sing this when she was a kid.

Take your disposable microwaveable container and add Styrofoam pieces into it (we used a plastic bowl) Then add the acetone a little at a time and stir with a spoon or use your hands if you can handle the goo. Shape into a ball. Place into the microwave 30 seconds at a time, until you get the desired brain shape.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lady Zoi

Lady Zoi is really good at delegating responsibilities to the other girls under her. She is also good at helping load and unload the dishwasher. I have let her start going to her Grandmother's house on Saturdays to help with the dishes there too, since her Grandmother works. She is really good at watching the little kids under her whenever they walk next door to play with the little neighbors. She is a super bike rider too! So she is a healthy helper to boot!

My pretty girl.

The Grocery Run

I have been trying to come up with smart ways to get the grocery shopping done without having to take all of the seven kids into the grocery store. First I sent Zeke and Zoi into the grocery store for three things on their own. They did just "swimmingly." I love saying that. Then today I had another brain storm that I could send the two boys tot he grocery store (since they are 10  and 11) on their bikes and they could buy one or two things at a time until we can get them some baskets for their bikes. They took a plastic bag with a small zip lock full of ice and another one full of water to drink when they got hot and two straws. Then I had one of them take care of their bikes under a shade tree and while the other went in on his mission. Of course they had to do this more than one time and on the second run they took some of their own spending money and bought a candy bar. I was real proud of my boys today.

One day we will have to get some bike locks or something so they can both go in although they get into less trouble this way maybe we will keep it this way......hmmm.

How many of you with large families do this to save a little time, gas money and nerves?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lyle the Kindly Dogling

Loty and Lyle relaxing. He is excellent at causing relaxation.

Zena and Lyle
Yesterday, Zeke went outside and found a stray dog (he thought for a little while it might have been a small pig) who was neglected badly. The small dog had sticker burrs all over it and was filthy and flea ridden. So I took the dog in and put it into the bath tub. I pulled out stickers and pulled out stickers until I was tired of pulling out stickers. So I called for the scissors and started just cutting the matted ones out. Soon most of them were out and I picked him up and put him on my lap in the middle of our garden tub and started catching fleas and killing them. I finally took him out and dried him. Later I gave him another bath and finished getting off all the dirt and grime.  He  looks so cute now and clean. I couldn't have been able to do this so easily with out the help of our friend Amy Glasscock coming by and watching the kids for  a while. Zeke was there to help with the dog as well. It felt good to hold a baby in my arms again!

Monday, June 11, 2012

How To Fit Your Trash Can For Plastic Grocery Bags

A while back I came across this great idea for making your plastic grocery bags fit into your trash cans perfectly. Its really very simple but very ingenious as well.

Here goes!


1. Take some plastic cup hooks and hot glue them upside down to the sides of your trash can.

2. Hook your plastic grocery bags under the cup hooks and you are done. Quick and easy!

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The Things We Find Inside

How to make Apple Cider Vinegar at Home

I have been trying and trying to make vinegar and almost all of my attempts have failed. The only ones that worked good were the ones where I used some Apple Cider Vinigar to begin with. What I mean is that I added some ACV witht the mother in it, such as Braggs ACV and then I added either water or water with an herb in it.

Now I am trying to make a larger batch of it the old fashoined way. But just because I am just starting this adventure and I don't have a really large mother to take off of one bottle and put into another I am adding some ACV to the bottom of my gallon jar just for good measure.

Here is what I did.


About an inch of Braggs ACV at the bottom of a gallon glass jar (pickle jar)
All of the peelings and cores you can come up with from organic apples
Filtered water to the top
Cheese cloth on the top and a rubber band around that to keep the bugs out. (fruit flies really like this stuff)

Set aside in a warm location for a month and come check on it after that time to see if a mother has formed on top it will look kind of frothy and a little like a pan cake.

I will let you see how things turned out with my bath in about a month. I was suprized to see how inexpensive organic apples are. Now we will be buying more of these in the future.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Preparing for Marriage

I wanted to recommend a great book to women of all ages but especially to young women who are unmarried and expect or hope to be married one day. The book is entitled "Preparing to be His Help Meet" by Debbie Pearl. It has been a real joy to sit down with Mrs. Pearl and hear from her heart on this matter. She tells stories that illustrate and she even gives interviews from other young women that bring home her points. I really like this style of writing because it is just the kind of teaching that the Lord uses in the scripture.

If you are a young lady with questions about how things are supposed to play out in this area, I really encourage you to look to this book because there is a lot of wisdom in there. If you are not waiting to be married or unmarried at this time and have already gotten married this can also help to strengthen your marriage and to give you helpful wise sayings to be able to help the next generation coming along.

Have you ever read this book? What did you think about it?

*I was sent this book free of charge to write this review on my blog.

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Prayer for a K-9

I've been listening to the rain come down this morning and praying that my dog will be super natrally prodded to go into that thing that looks like an igloo and use it for shelter. So far the fartherst that she came was to go stand under some trees. I'm not totally sure why she does this. Its a bit of a mystery to me. Maybe she thinks that the dog house will snatch her like in all of those alien movies. The strange thing is that when we bring her in and try to put her in her kennel she goes in willingly but not so with the house. I said all of this to say: if you are a praying person please pray for my dog to get into some shelter. I hate that I can't go and get her right now. But it is pouring right now and that is a two person job in the rain and sometimes without the rain she is really hyper at times. Thanks!

Have you ever had a dog that wouldn't use her dog house?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Apple Cider Vinegar Uses After 30 Day Challenge!

Thanks to all of those who took the Apple Cider Vinegar Challenge! Today I will be going through some of the great health benefits that I have experienced after using Apple Cider Vinegar for over a month.

Health Benefits:


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