Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cornbread Mix-in-a-Jar ~ Hostess Gift ~ Prepare Your Own Pantry

"Laura peeked, and hid, and peeked again, while the Indians ate the cornbread that Ma had baked. They ate every morsel of it, and even picked up the crumbs from the hearth…. when every crumb of cornbread was gone, the Indians rose up."

~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie

Our family is going to be having some extended overnight guests and I love preparing in advance for them. One thing that always goes with the cooler weather (which is also economical) is bean dishes and soups. Cornbread is the quickest way to get a fresh "bread" to the table which compliments these foods. This is where a homemade mix comes in handy! It only takes a few minutes to make...

Prepare For Your Pantry:

Convenience mixes is another wonderful way of stocking your pantry. Simply prepare an assembly line of clean jars and start measuring. Being this recipe includes some whole wheat flour, try and use the mixes up within 6 months (visit our shelf life basics post for more information). 

Happy Hostess Gift:

This would also make a helpful hostess gift if decorated with ribbons and cute labels. We are sharing our printable HERE which features round labels and a direction label which can double as a gift tag, etc.

You may also be interested in these fun and sweet "happy harvest gifts".

Home Education/Crafting with Children:

Children would also enjoy making these and can decorate them (art) and make their own direction labels (copywork). Little ones can practice hand/eye coordination by cutting and pasting our labels (basic skills). This would give you a fun but useful home economics, math (fractions when measuring) and craft lesson for your homeschool.

How to Make:

It is important to use the wide-mouth jars because you will need to pack the ingredients down as you go and most hands won't fit into the smaller openings. Also, the ingredients may not fit in a regular-mouth jar.

Note: An all-purpose gluten-free flour mix can be substituted for the all purpose and whole wheat flours in this recipe however because of the different volume of flour, mixes made with GF flour may require a larger jar.

Direction label for quart sized jar.

For quart sized jars (which makes a 9 by 13 inch pan of cornbread), add the following to a clean jar (shake gently to settle each layer) ~
  • 1 c. Organic cornmeal
  • 1 c. all purpose flour (unbleached is best)
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour 
  • Pack ingredients down until firm then continue to add:
  • 1 c. all purpose flour 
  • ¾ c. cane sugar (use the natural sugar for the light brown color)
  • Pack down as you add the sugar and there should be just enough room.
  • Attach label and instruction tag.
Direction label for pint sized jar.

For pint sized jars (which makes an 8 by 8 inch square pan of cornbread), add the following to a clean jar (shake gently to settle each layer) ~
  • 1/2 c. Organic cornmeal
  • 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • Pack ingredients down until firm then continue to add:
  • 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 3/8 c. cane sugar (use the natural sugar for the light brown color)
  • Pack down as you add the sugar and there should be just enough room.
  • Attach label and instruction tag.


You can add the ingredients in a different order providing you pack them down half way. I do suggest closing with sugar because it is more sturdy and packs down the best at the very end (flour would make a mess if added last).


We are sharing a set of printable tags and labels for you to be creative with. Simply download from HERE and print. The cute corn graphic is courtesy of the Graphics Fairy

You will find the original recipe for the cornbread in a printable version here in case you would like to add to your recipe book or give with your hostess gift.

  • Everything will fit perfectly if packed tight enough.
  • If giving them as gifts, consider the sizes of the family when deciding which jar to use.
  • Make sure you attach the proper instruction tag for the proper sized jar.
  • You will find other printable homemaking projects here.
  • Homemaking is a lot of fun. I encourage you to give it a try! :)

All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersThe Homesteader HopWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).

Friday, October 25, 2013

Raggedy Ann's Room Spray ~ Clean & Sweet ~ For the Nursery

"Then she took Raggedy Ann into the house and showed Marcella and Mamma how clean and sweet she was."
~ Raggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle

This post is a tribute to the fun usage of essential oils in the home. With a drop of peppermint oil to sweeten up the nursery, this "Raggedy Ann Room Spray" will freshen the room. But remember, this is for the room only and not to be sprayed on baby who is already sweet (essential oils may be too strong on their tender skin).

"When the dear lady put the new white cotton in my body," said Raggedy Ann "she went to the cupboard and came back with a paper bag. And she took from the bag ten or fifteen little candy hearts with mottos on them and she hunted through the candy hearts until she found a beautiful red one which she sewed up in me with the cotton! So that is the secret, and that is why I am so happy! Feel here," said Raggedy Ann. All the dolls could feel Raggedy Ann's beautiful new candy heart and they were very happy for her.
After all had hugged each other good night and had cuddled up for the night, the tin soldier asked, "Did you have a chance to see what the motto on your new candy heart was, Raggedy Ann?"
"Oh yes," replied Raggedy Ann, "I was so happy I forgot to tell you. It had printed upon it in nice blue letters, 'I LOVE YOU.'"
~ Raggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle

The sweet but subtle scent is inspired by the beautiful red candy heart which was given to Raggedy Ann. Certainly it would smell of peppermint!

How to prepare:

In a small travel-size spray bottle, add the following ingredients in the order they appear:
  • 1/4 tsp. vodka (cheap kind is fine) OR lemon extract ~ It helps to disperse the oils, acts as a preservative and is also a disinfectant and antibacterial. Some people use rubbing alcohol but it is not as natural a choice as vodka. However, if you have a weakness to alcohol, then I encourage you to skip this ingredient altogether. Being this is only a 1/3-cup recipe, it will keep (meaning the essential oils will not lose their potency) for the time period it takes to use the spray up (shake before each use).
  • Approx. 1/3 cup of water (distilled is best but I use tap water) ~ Add to spray bottle after the ingredients mentioned above. 
How to Use:

Mist lightly around the room to freshen and deodorize.

Printables and Playtime:

A printable recipe for your herbal is found HERE which also includes the label. Simply follow the link, download and print.


I like to use travel size bottles for our room sprays. Glass is a superior choice when working with essential oils as it doesn't leach but feel free to use what you have. I often use plastic in a pinch. You can purchase doTERRA *quality* essential oils from Amazon (which helps to support this site). Thank you!

"So let us all remember and try never again to do anything which might cause those who love us any unhappiness!"
"Let us all remember," chimed all the other dollies.
And Raggedy Ann, with a merry twinkle in her shoe-button eyes, lay back in her little bed, her cotton head filled with thoughts of love and happiness."'
~ Raggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle

If you love the sweetness of Raggedy Ann, then you may be interested in this post as a way of enjoying your time with your little ones. You may also like these free, printable Raggedy Ann and Andy bookmarks.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Godly Legacy of Countess Juliana van Stolberg ~ Herbal Healer

It was Countess Juliana van Stolberg who ignited the inspiration for our "herbal" series. Some know her as the mother of "William of Orange", some knew her as Dr. Oma, while some (like the author of this blog) wished they had the opportunity to have known her… However, many years later, there is a lot which we (as wives and mothers) can still learn from her...

"Lavender: A reminder of your first herbal lesson.
It speaks to you of devotion and virtue-two things you will always need
if you are to become a true noblewoman.
It will cheer you on a gray day, with its purple colour,
and its aroma will add beauty to the room you sleep."

Countess Juliana van Stolberg (1506-1580), a gifted herbal healer, was given the endearing title, "Queen Mother of the Netherlands" by her people. She was responsible for raising her family of 17 to trust in the Lord. This teaching furthered a movement that led to religious freedom for the persecuted people of Holland and beyond.

Interesting facts about her life:
  • Juliana was raised a Roman Catholic but later converted to Lutheranism and then Calvinism.
  • Her first marriage lasted six years and after her husband's death, she married Willem von Nassau. They shared Protestant beliefs and taught them to their 17 children. This marriage lasted for 28 years until he passed away.
  • Juliana spent her time managing her large household (a castle to be exact!), growing herbs and tending to the needs of her family and nearby villagers with medicinal remedies created from her garden. She even had her own apothecary on the premises. There she stored her dried herbs and recipes which would be handcrafted into poultices, salves and teas.
  • Juliana and her husband also ran a school for the nobleman's children and she continued to run that alone as a widower, for the rest of her life.
  • She lived in turbulent times during the rule of King Philip II of Spain and therefore lost four of her five sons to the cause of religious freedom and independence for modern day Holland, Belgium and Luxemburg. (King Phillip wanted all his subjects to worship like himself, Roman Catholic, which was unfortunate for the vast Dutch Protestant population who were being persecuted because of their beliefs.) Juliana's son, William of Orange (also known as William the Silent) was basically the "George Washington" of Holland. She helped to fund this cause of freedom and sold many of the family treasures in order to accomplish it (eventually the Netherlands become independent in 1648).
  • Juliana was also a mentor to her grand-daughter Maria, who lived with her while her father (William of Orange) was at war and educated her in the arts of herbal healing. Her influence later caused Maria to form an orphan home in which she educated the young ladies there in the wisdom of natural cures.
  • Dr. Oma, as she was called by the local villagers (which means grandmother in Dutch) lived to be 74 years of age and died in her own bed in Dillenberg Castle with a legacy of 123 grandchildren.
Dillenburg Castle 1540, Home of Juliana van Stolberg

What is special about this woman, is that she knew the truth about reform. It starts in the family. She raised her 17 children with the Bible as their foundation. She instilled the conviction that man should should have "freedom of religion" (does this concept sound familiar?*). During a time in history when blood was spilled because of your faith, this teaching through her children flourished into a cause of liberty! This clearly shows the influence of mothers and the important ministry they have within the walls of their own little castle, called home.

* It is also interesting to note that some trace the ideals of religious freedom in America to this family's cause. The pilgrims (or puritans) left England and lived in Holland to avoid religious persecution prior to entering the "New World". While there they may have gleaned ideas from Holland and taken them on their journey to form a government which would respect all persons.

Friday, October 18, 2013

"Get Well Soon" Spray ~ Disinfectant and Room Deodorizer

"I am at the moment deaf in the ears, hoarse in the throat, red in the nose,
green in the gills, damp in the eyes, twitchy in the joints and
fractious in temper from a most intolerable and oppressive cold."
~Charles Dickens

Those dreadful germs… Can anyone say it better than dear, Dickens? One way to prepare for the cold and flu season is to create this "Get Well Soon" Spray. It is a wonderful room deodorizer and disinfectant ~ all rolled into one!
  • Since the "sick room" is often stuffy, you will want to mist this natural mixture throughout the house to help kill germs and rid your home of the stale odor.
  • It could also be used to sanitize your surroundings. Use this spray to wipe down door handles, telephones, sink handles, etc., to pave the path to health.
  • An added bonus is the aromatherapy benefits for the patient. The essential oils we used in this recipe are all effective in relieving symptoms associated with the flu and cold. 

"Essential oils are about cleansing the air, rather than merely masking bad smells."

How to prepare:

In a small spray bottle, add the following ingredients in the order they appear:
  • 1 tsp. vodka, optional (cheap kind is fine) ~ It helps to disperse the oils, acts as a preservative and is also a disinfectant and antibacterial. Some people use rubbing alcohol but it is not as natural a choice as vodka. However, if you have a weakness to alcohol, then I encourage you to skip this ingredient altogether. Being this is only a one-cup recipe, it will keep (meaning the essential oils will not lose their potency) for the time period it takes to use the spray up (shake before each use).
  • 1 cup of water (distilled is best but I use tap water) ~ Add to spray bottle after the ingredients mentioned above. 

You may replace some of the oils in this recipe with drops of rosemary essential oil or clove essential oil (both boast antibacterial and disinfectant properties) but I would definitely include the lemon oil (and not substitute it).


Here is our homemade label for your use. You will find other printable labels for cleaning products here.


I like to use travel size 3 oz. bottles for my room sprays (and split this recipe between three bottles and keep them around the house). Also, glass is a superior choice when working with essential oils but use what you have. I personally use plastic as the inexpensive choice and find that it suits us fine.

You can purchase doTERRA *quality* essential oils from Amazon (which helps to support this site).  Thank you!

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;
who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies…"
~ Psalm 103:2-4

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Noah's Ark & the World Wide Flood ~ History of the World Study

"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord."
~ Genesis 6:8

Our "History of the World" timeline study has now brought us to Noah and the amazing ark. We are sharing a peek into the activities we did and resources we used (we will put the subjects taught in parenthesis so you can see how a variety is taught through one study) in case you are interested in doing something like this in your homeschool.

To begin, we read from Genesis, chapters 6-10 (Bible, language arts, world history, character building). We chose some key verses and used them as copywork (language arts, penmanship). We also discussed the character of Noah. What traits were necessary to build the ark (faith, perseverance, patience)?

{Here is some clip art to copy and paste into your "Timeline Binder".}

We also pasted down an entry into our timeline at approx. 4500 B.C. (you will find more information on our binder timeline notebooks here) (world history, Bible).  You could either type in a description of Noah and the flood and paste it underneath your timeline picture or simply write in "Noah's Ark and the World Wide Flood" underneath the illustration.

We chose to place a small summary (typing practice) underneath each one of our timeline entries (as shared in first picture) so that we could go back in time and remember each event more vividly (see our timeline entry above).


Timna by Lucille Travis was our chapter book (read aloud title) for this study. It is a historical fiction story which depicted Noah's family on the ark (8-12 years but suitable for younger children) and was very "light" reading (and geared more toward girls). We also really enjoyed Noah's Ark, Noah's Flood: Lots of Water, Lots of Mud by John Morris (ages 6 and up) and the True Story of Noah's Ark with audio CD by Tom Dooley which has some beautiful, life-like illustrations. Younger children will love the character building book called Not Too Small at All: A Mouse Tale about a little mouse on the ark that finds he is just as important as the "big" animals (ages 4-8).

Our favorite book and highly recommended was In the Days of Noah by Gloria Clanin. This could also be your read aloud title. Though it is a "picture book", it has a lot of text and is loaded with information. It brought a whole new perspective on the flood history. It showed Ham, Shem and Japheth finding godly women to marry and had Noah's wife being a "teacher to the younger women". The story made history come alive in a sweet but savage way since the author also depicted the wicked world and what you would find in it at that time (an interesting parallel to today's society)The book also gives a fictional account of how things may have happened using biblical history and creation science support. The second half of the book focuses on questions and answers regarding why the author wrote the things she did in the story and the historical and scientific reasons for the scenarios. Included are many creation science facts discussed to give the readers information about flood geology in an easy to understand format. 

We placed all our paperwork behind the "World Wide Flood" section in our History of the World Student Work Binder. Using the Draw and Write Through History Series, we drew a picture of Noah's Ark and did the corresponding copywork (art, Bible, language arts).

Using the information in Genesis, we wrote down specific information about the ark and labeled our picture (math, basic skills, Bible). This was a real vessel and we wanted to bring it into reality!

We also did some mathematical work based off of the assumption of what a cubit stands for (math). This was a perfect time to put our new skill of multiplication into practice!

I was so busy checking the math, I forgot to check the spelling. This is the real "stuff" I am showing here today ;)

We also measured out how long a cubit was onto construction paper using a ruler. We pasted this measurement down onto our "cubit" page to make a measuring stick of our own (math). I love bringing practical forms of arithmetic into our studies. Constant uses of rulers and such will make your children more relaxed and proficient.

Note: A cubit is supposedly 18 inches or the length of a man's fingertips to his elbow.

We had some dinosaur stencils (arts/crafts) and made a point to show how they were included in the ark. God did say two of each kind (but He certainly would have been wise enough to bring smaller and younger ones)! We also added some appropriate copywork (language arts, Bible).

If this information seems far fetched to you, consider reading here for some scientific and Scriptural insight.

Note: If your children are interested in dinosaurs, you may want to do a Dinosaur Unit Study before this study like we did.

Where could the ark be? Genesis writes the "mountains of Ararat" so we used a blank outline map and found where Ararat was located and marked it (geography, Bible). We added the appropriate verse to this page too (language arts).

We also watched a very interesting video that sheds a different light on the location of the ark titled, "In Search of Noah's Ark". This added some spark into our study. I highly recommend this video as a geography and world history source. It also opens up the brain waves to see all this Bible information in a "real" light with this modern day, true-Indiana-Jones-type documentary (geography, Bible, world history). Though I am not "sold" on the location of the ark, I really enjoyed watching the hunt!


Other videos we enjoyed was the "Flood Geology" from the Creation Museum series (the cinematography was gorgeous in this) and "Noah's Ark: Thinking Outside the Box". We also watched the "Jurassic Ark Mystery" that is geared for little children (though a bit on the cheesy side for adults).

We chose a painting to do a picture study on (art, Bible). There are many on Noah's Ark if you do a Google search. Older children can write an art review while the younger children can share their opinions orally (language arts).

The final assignment was to pretend you were Noah or his wife. What would you say to try and change the hearts of the people (Bible, language arts). This was a rather dramatic exhortation to say the least!

Field Trip Ideas: If you live near Kentucky, you can visit the Creation Museum. If you live in California, you can visit the Cabazon Dinosaurs which is creation based as well.

If this information is new to you, you may be interested in reading the article, "Was There Really a Noah's Ark and Flood". You will be very blessed!

Next in our "History of the World Timeline/Notebook" Series:

The Tower of Babel and The Ice Age