January at Our Home

It’s been an exciting month of settling in, getting used to a new city, and adjusting to a new routine at our home. The Lord has been gracious every step of the way. I have made the error of turning the wrong direction on a one way street (and enjoyed a nice pregnant mommy cry in response). We found having a lock on the kids bedroom door was not a good idea when Titus locked himself in (thankful for the locksmith who rescued him without a charge!). I have discovered that consignment shops in the city are ridiculously priced (who wants to pay $12 for a used shirt?). And that you have to go to the outskirts to find good deals on pretty much everything.

We did find an awesome co-op from which we can purchase everything from local milk, to meat, to produce all in one stop – which is a huge blessing! We also discovered it is a 15 minute walk to church and the library, and we have a school playground practically in our backyard. The people we have met have been so welcoming, loving, and smiling. We also learned that it is possible to only have our garbage picked up once a month (you can recycle and compost practically anything in this city – check out Far West Fibers!). Now, does anyone have tips for composting in your back yard? God is good all the time!

1000 Gifts

I am picking up where I left off on my thankfulness list, as I didn’t include any last month, but I am still making my way towards completing my list of 1000 everyday gifts thanks to the inspiration of Ann Voskamp. This has been a transforming exercise and I highly recommend it! Has help transform my perspective in seeing each mundane moment as truly a gift.

#264 – A new home dedicated for hospitality
#265- Ty is rescued from bedroom for free
#268 – The gracious welcome from new neighbors – including dinner
#269 – An easy 5 minute trip to church
#270 – A discarded item is sold for a profit
#271 – An hour nap on a couch
#274- Being able to continue with my midwife – she is willing to make the extra trip! Yippee!
#277- Delicious filtered water
#278 – Fire oven pizza while dating my husband
#279 – All the boxes unpacked
#280 – Three mouths enjoying a juicy grapefruit
#289 – Walking a mile in heels and my feed didn’t fall off
#290 – A tummy beginning to pooch with new life
#291 – Making a new friend a library storytime
#292 – Cream soup – a favorite during this pregnancy!

To be continued…

January Reading

Ruth, A Portrait: The story of Ruth Belle Graham by Patricia Cornwell. I am so thankful for the list of wonderful biography recommendations from you all, and though I had read many of them already, this one stood out to me. It has been such a wonderfully refreshing and enjoyable read about such a courageous woman who was willing to sacrifice so much for the ministry God called her husband too. She was a beautiful and humble woman who did not like the spotlight and would sit somewhere hidden among the crowd rather than center stage. Highly recommend!

February Theme: Strengthening Your Marriage

We are excited to launch our new theme for the month of February here at Passionate Homemaking on the topic of building and strengthening your marriage. We’ll be chatting a bit about intimacy, date nights, special goodies for your man, and more. Do you have a topic idea for us? Please share.

May God richly bless you and yours!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

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39 Responses to January at Our Home

  1. Melissa B February 18, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    A few thrift/consignment store recommendations:

    1) Finders Keepers on SE 124th and Powell. Looks totally run-down and junky on the outside, but decent inside, and HUGE…good prices, much cheaper than Goodwill, and pretty much everything (there are a few exceptions) is 50% off on Saturdays. Lots of kids clothes.

    2) Children’s Exchange, on SE 33rd and Division. I’ve found some nice maternity clothes here at very reasonable prices.

    2) Other Mothers on NE 181st and Halsey. Their “everyday” kids clothing is usually overpriced, but they generally have a good selection of “formal” kids clothes before major holidays at decent prices. This is also a good place to check for maternity clothes.

  2. Kristen February 9, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    You asked for topic ideas…I would like to know more about Kombucha. I have read quite a bit, but I feel like I don’t know enough.
    I also love your recipes! I haven’t made anything yet of yours that we didn’t like. I made the Ranch Dressing yesterday and it was really good.

  3. Journey11 February 8, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    Aww, poor little guy! I know that is so scary for a little kid, getting locked in. I remember my brother doing the same thing when he was little and my sister and I kept him company from the other side as best we could until the lock could be picked. All the while, we slid Oreos under the door to him and a saucer of milk. :D

  4. Nola February 8, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    We backyard compost even in bear country. Add a layer of leaves (saved from the fall) and dirt when you add new compost to the bin. We just use a regular composter and have 4 of them. I don’t have time to turn it often.

    What do you filter your water with?

  5. Casey February 7, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    Hi Lindsay!
    I am wondering how I find a food co-op in my area. I’ve tried searching online but I can’t find any info on it.

    I live in Southern Califonia.

    Thanks!!!

  6. Christina February 7, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    As far as easy composting goes in a backyard, my mom helped us do this and it is insanely simple/frugal: get a large rubbermaid-style container with a lid that can hinge on/off (ours has handles that either come all the way off or act as hinges). Cut the bottom off with a box cutter or serrated knife. Set it about 4″ into the ground. Dump in kitchen scraps (not meat) and leaves… Move when full. So easy!!

    Congrats on #3!

  7. Julie February 6, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    I am looking forward to this topic for sure. I would also love to hear about people’s ideas on discipline. It is something we struggle with. Spanking, time-outs, tokens etc?? Our son who is 4 1/2 is fantastic 90% of the time. But we struggle with the other 10%. What do we do when he talks back? Is sassy? Doesn’t want to do his chores? We would love some ideas!

  8. Corina February 6, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    I’d love to hear about Natural Family Planning on this blog and Marriage Strengthening month would be a perfect time for an introduction! NFP promotes an active sharing in God’s will, increased communication in various styles with one’s spouse, and keeps harmful chemicals away from a woman’s body (and all her eggs) – all my favorite parts of your blog!
    My husband and I have used the Creighton Method both to avoid and achieve pregnancies, and my charting has alerted me to a number of gynecological health problems. The charting allowed me to identify my hypothyroidism before it became a real problem. As far as marriage goes, you only have to spend 5 minutes with us to recognize there’s something special about us! ;)

    • Katie February 8, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

      Yes, I would love to hear about NFP. My husband and I have begun using NFP and I am frustrated with it because my chart is all over the place. I would love to hear encouraging words from other women in this issue and how they have become confident in analyzing the data on their chart.

      • Danielle B February 8, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

        Check out Taking Charge of Your Fertility. (the author is escaping me at the moment) I used when we were having kids and what not, now we’re done–permanently! We used it along w/FAM, as opposed to NFP. Abstaining is just not something I want to do and neither did my hubby.

      • Corina February 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

        My chart has always been really wacko, Katie. I don’t know what method you use, but after trying sympto-thermal and a general ovulation-type I’ve found the scientific background and training of Creighton Practitioners to be far and away the most helpful, and given me the most confidence that I’m using it correctly. Don’t know if that helps you, but I thought it was worth a shot.

  9. Melissa February 6, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    Definitely looking forward to the new topic of the month! I highly recommend the book, “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. Our church’s married couples ministry did his video series and it was fabulous. Just a suggestion! :) And congrats on your pregnancy!

  10. Robin February 5, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    Wait, you live in Portland?! I probably am not going to say this the right way, and I don’t mean any offense, but you guys seem way conservative for Portland. It’s an awesome city – have fun!

  11. Heather K February 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    I’m fairly new to this website and I love it so far…thank you for all you do.
    Composting is awesome. Read some of the comments and here’s my 2 cents:
    1. the earth machine is good, I have one…but you do have to turn it manually w/a pitch fork (not a big deal usually)
    2. if you want a no-turn method for small composting and keep your kiddos interested, check out vermicomposting (using red wiggler worms). It can be done in the garage or kitchen or mudroom, somewhere not to hot or cold. There are tons of websites with instructions on setting up your vermicomposting bin (usually a large rubbermaid tub). Kids love it.
    3. One comment asked about keeping critters out (skunks, raccoons, etc)…couple of things here…absolutely no meat or fat scraps in the compost…will attract the critters definately. Also, each time you add kitchen scraps to compost, cover it with leaves or other dry items to lessen the possibility that critters will get to it.
    Have fun!

  12. Catherine R. February 5, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    $12 for a used shirt? That’s a deal here in Portland! LOL. I think used clothes are more valued than new to a large portion of the Portland population. Anyhow, congratulations on your pregnancy : D

  13. amanda February 5, 2011 at 6:22 am #

    Congrats on the pregnancy! How exciting! What a wonderful thankfulness list!

  14. Sherrin February 5, 2011 at 1:50 am #

    It will be great to now have room to compost and grow more. Enjoy! We have been trying to make compost well for a few years, but have yet to perfect it. Even imperfectly composted food is good for digging into the garden though, as long as you have a bit of time to leave it to mature more in the soil.

  15. Tiffany February 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    I live in Portland, too, and the best place to find great priced pre-owned (and new) clothing, toys and all other kid related goods are the big consignment sales. Check out frugallivingnw.com and on the lower right of the blog, there is a list of many of the sales in 2011! Welcome to Portland!

  16. Lacey Wilcox February 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    Does anyone know if compost bins keep critters away…like skunks, raccoons, possums, coyotes…and the like?? I seem to have all of those around….:)

    • Heather February 6, 2011 at 7:25 am #

      Lacey,

      We have all of those critters around us and the compost bin hasn’t made a difference. It doesn’t keep them away, and it doesn’t necessarily attract them either…If you put meat or dairy in the bin you’ll attract all kinds of furry creatures and have a pretty serious stink going on.

  17. Jamie February 4, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    Lindsay,
    I attached a link for a great compost bin called an Earth Machine. They are very reasonably priced at 39.00 at Metro Recycle on Swan Island. Jodi uses this one, and Jonathan and I are planning on getting one soon.

    http://www.oregonmetro.gov/index.cfm/go/by.web/id=557

    Congrats on the new home by the way. :)

  18. Heather February 4, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    A few suggestions for composting: (Since I’ve been through the rough troubleshooting)

    Composting is going to depend on how much you can/willing to invest in it, both money and time. We were unsure if we would like it, or even if it would work out. I priced out many options including having my dad build a set of compost bins ($300-$500 – oh my!). You might do some research and see if some local organizations might provide you with materials for a nominal fee (some are just plain free). Some people have a compost pile, but turning that gets taxing and while you want some happy little decomp-critters its best to keep them contained – especially with curious little boys!

    Home improvement stores usually have 2-3 options at varying prices. We went with some black plastic type material with poles you insert into them. For us this system had 3 pluses: 1) Cost – we spent about $80 for two sets (plus shipping from Lowes.com) 2) moveability – if you decide you don’t like the spot its no big deal to move it or just take the thing down and and start shoveling (note: it’s best to invest in a cart or wheel barrel)! 3) If we ended up not liking the whole idea of composting it’s easily taken down and recycled with no worries of spending a bunch of money for a permanent structure.

    Since we LOVE composting though (who new?), we might invest in a more sturdy structure in the future, but 2 years in and our $80 has paid for itself many times over in flower/veggie/fruit gardens. I’m sure you know this, but no animal or dairy in those things (egg shells are fine, and help make beautiful flowers)…a small amount of feta cheese got in our compost and nasty would be an understatement.

    Happy Composting!

  19. Donna Perugini February 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    I also live in the Pacific NW at the top of WA State. We don’t wait a month for garbage pickup though. Yikes!

    We moved from CA to MI when I was 8 1/2 months. We stayed in a quasi-cabin/motel for four weeks; on the first day our son went to school, he feel out of the tall monkey bars and broke his arm; I delivered at the hospital; we purchased a house and I signed the paper from the hospital bed. Life didn’t get any less rushed after that. Your transition sounds like smooth-sailing…truly something to thank God for!

    Really like that you are working toward 1,000 things to thank God for…bet you expand your list quickly!

  20. Erica February 4, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    I look forward to hearing about your backyard composting. We just bought a compost tumbler at Costco yesterday and we look forward to learning more about how to compost (successfully!)

  21. Lacey Wilcox February 4, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    Cream Soup?? Makes me wish I was pregnant again!! :P
    Love the topic for February…what about some ideas for making sure the time you spend together is intentional and meaningful? Especially in light of some of the things you just talked about with schedules, routines, and simplifying the home.

  22. Elizabeth February 4, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    Can I add to the possible list of biographies? I have 2 suggestions. First, Vision for God, which is the biography of a missionary doctor named Margaret Brand. Two, Bonhoeffer, the newest biography on Deitrich Bonhoeffer.

    • Kellie February 4, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

      I am currently reading Bonhoeffer and agree whole-heartedly, it is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it. I have found it to be so incredibly challenging and inspiring to my faith!

  23. Brandy February 4, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Great topic idea for February! Maybe you could do a post on respect. I hear so many women (many of them in my church–including the pastor’s wife) publically fussing or complaining about their husbands or repeatedly making public jokes (which could be hurtful) about them and it really bothers me because I dont’ think they fully respect their husbands. I understand that sometimes we as women can feel so overwhelmed with other responsibilities that we forget about our husbands needs, or we think that his needs are “annoying.” But it’s also important to realize that the best way to deal with minor conflict in a marriage is by working it out privately with lots of prayer. I think it’s also important to never say anything offensive or condescending about your husband, even in a joking manner.

    • Danielle B February 4, 2011 at 11:56 am #

      Wow… I’m so sorry to hear that Brandy! I would be RUNNING from that church. It’s rude and you aren’t honoring your husband if you are cracking jokes, and putting him down. I certainly wouldn’t want to hear one word she has to say, certainly not if she’s behind the pulpit ministering.

      I can’t say I ever thought my husband’s needs were annoying. I have needs too! Glad that it’s mutual, and we fulfill each others physical and emotional needs. When you make that an important part of your marriage, it’s not annoying. I always say, if the marriage bed isn’t happy, the marriage isn’t.

    • Jerene February 4, 2011 at 11:58 am #

      Brandy,
      I agree 100%, words are powerful. Either for good or for bad. What came to mind when I was reading your post was “the children” of the women who are talking disrespectfully about their husbands. Wow, that could really set a bad example for little ones (not to mention undermining Hubby’s authority).I read this about childrens attitudes: “More is caught than taught”. They are like little mirrors of our own attitudes.

      I admit I am not a perfect wife, I make plenty of my own mistakes when it comes to being a help meet for my Hubby. I am so thankful for the Word, and for His guidance and forgiveness. I really does give me a heart for my marriage and guides me in a way that will honor the Lord.
      Blessings to you,
      Jerene

    • Donna February 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

      I agree Brandy! It is so important to respect, honor, and obey our husbands, as this is the plan the Lord has for us. Too often these days women forget this, and a marriage suffers for it. Subservience to and respect for our husbands makes us stronger, not weaker, and sets a good example to our children. In my home, there is only one head of the house, and it is surely my husband. I find pleasure in making him feel needed, and doing everyday things, like serving him his favorite meals, and making myself available to him for intimacy. I am in turn rewarded with a wonderful husband and God’s approval. He is rewarded by feeling loved. It’s win-win!

  24. charity crawford February 4, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Such a beautiful post! God is so good and glad to see he is working wonderfully in your families life.

  25. Becci February 4, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    Gorgeous kiddos!

    And welcome to Portland. I find that there are good deals within the city limits, you just have to look for them =). A couple of places that I love to shop are Grocery Outlet and Winco. They both have some organic and earth-friendly products as well. I can fill my grocery cart full at Winco for around $100 and they have a huge bulk section, too. Big Lots is a good one for household items and decorating things, art supplies, personal items, toys, etc. They really do have a ton of things. http://www.biglots.com/store-locator

    Hope you enjoy Portland! We love it here :)

  26. Tammy L February 4, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    I love it that we can recycle so many things here in the Seattle area, too! :) We have done backyard composting using garbage cans (I blogged about that from when we lived in Ohio). It’s easy and fun! :)

    Sounds like you are enjoying city life! :) So lovely that you can keep your midwife despite the extra distance. :)

  27. Liz@WashingtonPharmGirl February 4, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    I can’t wait for February. I love all your tips and ideas. I am so happy for you and your family. Your little ones are so adorable. You are very lucky to find all those local resources. Our move here has left me frustrated. In Alabama it is against the law to sell raw milk. Finding a farm has been challenging. I can find a coop for just about everything else, but I have to go to Tennessee for milk. Boooo! Guess we better budget for a cow.

  28. Alison February 4, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    Lindsay, I have been reading your blog for about a year now. I have enjoyed it immensely. Just wanted to Congratulate you & your family on your new blessing to come.

    I am also looking forward to your February theme, as my fiance & I are getting married in October. I love soaking in these little suggestions and tidbits of knowledge now. If I could suggest a topic, perhaps you & your contributors could reflect on your first year or two of marriage and share any “pointers” you may have for a woman such as myself. :-)

    Thank you so much for sharing all that you do. God Bless!

  29. Candice February 4, 2011 at 6:29 am #

    Haha! My 2 1/2-year-old also locked himself in his bedroom last week. Had never paid much attention to the lock on his door before that! We had to have a locksmith free him, too. It wasn’t free, but I was very thankful for a friendly locksmith who came to our house on a Sunday! Really enjoy your blog. Thanks for the inspiration!

  30. Ann Dunagan February 4, 2011 at 6:20 am #

    I’m so enjoying learning more about your family, and your kiddo pics are darling!!! Great idea about the 1000 thanks. Reminds me of a book called, The Art of Abundance. Blessings on your new home!!!

  31. Allyson @ a Heart for Home February 4, 2011 at 3:30 am #

    Sounds like your January has been a wonderful time of transition. i’m glad you get to work with your midwife still. Finding a new one can be so difficult.

    I’m also due in August and can completely understand the pregnancy tears. We were rear ended the other day and I completely bawled :) Thankfully no one was hurt but our van is another matter. I’m adding full coverage insurance to my gratitude list this week.

    I pray you are blessed with a wonderful February!