What is a Boy?

Baby BoyBetween the innocence of babyhood and the dignity of manhood, we find a delightful creature called a boy.  Boys come in assorted sizes, weights, and colors, but all boys have the same creed:  To enjoy every second of every minute of every hour of every day and to protest with noise (their only weapon) when their last-minute is finished and the adult males pack them off to bed at night.Little boy

Boys are found everywhere — on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around, or jumping to.  Mothers love them, little girls hate them, older sisters and brothers tolerate them, adults ignore them, and Heaven protects them.  A boy is Truth with dirt on its face, Beauty with a cut on its finger, Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair, and Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket.

When you are busy, a boy is an inconsiderate, bothersome, intruding jangle of noise.  When you want him to make a good impression, his brain turns to jelly or else he becomes a savage, sadistic, jungle creature bet on destroying the world and himself with it.

A boy is a composite — he has the appetite of a horse, the digestion of a sword swallower, the energy of a pocket-sized atomic bomb, the curiosity of a cat, the lungs of a dictator, the imagination of a Paul Bunyan, the shyness of a violet, the audacity of a steel trap, the enthusiasm of a firecracker, and when he makes something he has five thumbs on each hand.

He likes ice cream, knives, saws, Christmas, comic books, the boy across the street, woods, water (in its natural habitat), large animals, Dad, trains, Saturday mornings, and fire engines.  He is not much for Sunday School, company, schools, books without pictures, music lessons, neckties, barbers, girls, overcoats, adults, or bedtime.

Boy with DogNobody else is so early to rise, or so late to supper.  Nobody else gets so much fun out of trees, dogs, and breezes.  Nobody else can cram into one pocket a rusty knife, a half-eaten apple, 3 feet of string, an empty Bull Durham sack, 2 gumdrops, 6 cents, a slingshot, a chunk of unknown substance, and a genuine super-sonic code ring with a secret compartment.

A boy is a magical creature — you can lock him out of your workshop, but you can’t lock him out of your heart.  You can get him out of your study, but you can’t get him out of your mind.  Might as well give up — he is your captor, your jailer, your boss, and your master — a freckle-faced, pint-sized, cat-chasing, bundle of noise.  But when you come home at night with only the shattered pieces of your hopes and dreams, he can mend them like new with the three magic words, “I Love You.”

Biblehub

— 1950 New England Life Insurance Co., Boston, Mass.

Balance is needed in our Life


Balance is key to keeping a sane mind and if you have a family, a sane household.

Balance is needed and created

My best friend and I were just talking about this subject the other day.  We both have personal health, business and life goals that are all due at the same time.  Instead of balancing like we should and know to do, we’ve been putting in long, long hours.  What happened as a result of that?  Our husbands and children (which are our first and foremost priority) weren’t getting the time they needed.

It’s easy to lose sight of the things that are going great, even fine when we are led by passion or a drive to do something.  We think the things that are going great will continue to because we’ve put so much time in.  This isn’t the case.  They were going great because we put time and effort into them, but once we stopped, they started to slide.  This doesn’t take very long to happen.  You’ve all realized how hard you work to accomplish a task and then in one moment something small can destroy everything.  This is the same kind of thing.  It takes hard work and effort to make something great, but very little time to erase all of your work or effort.

AfterScale praying for balance and applying it, guess what?  Goals are still being met and the family is once again happy.  Our lives needed balance.

You have all heard the scripture “There is a season for everything.”  I don’t know why, but this scripture has always rubbed me the wrong way.  Perhaps it’s because a lot of people use it to make excuses for why they don’t get something done.  Instead of balance they just quit, saying it’s not the right season.  I see what the scripture is saying and I’m not judging those who use it.  As a matter of fact, my girlfriends use it all of the time.  It’s scripture after all.  For my own edification, I will merely say it a different way.  God gives us different jobs or tasks at different times in our life, with the knowledge we will complete them.  There I feel better and we can move on:).

I believe God will reward our efforts when we are mindful and align them with his word.  “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” Proverbs 16:9.  This is a verse I recite every morning.  Reminding me to keep balance, but still set and meet goals for this time, this day, this moment and this season.

When I try to control and go outside of God’s plan, even for a good cause I am stressed, tired and always end up being exhausted!  When I let God control, I have a quiet spirit and am able to be a blessing to myself, family and everyone else in range, while still meeting my goals! 🙂

Now, more than ever, we need balance.  We live in a hurry up or get left behind kind of time.  We try to meet our goals, succeed, and make people happy all at the same time.  Just remember who controls all time.  Every day, hour and minute, God is ultimately in control and will help us meet our goals no matter what kind of world or time we live in.  There is no need to neglect our first priorities or duties to accomplish a goal or a dream.  All we need is to be a little wiser with our time and energy.  Don’t say this is not the right season, instead, say I have been given this passion now and I can carry it out by being purposeful with my time and by creating a balance so it doesn’t affect my first priorities.  Below I will give an example of what I mean:

  1. 5am-8am I will read my Bible say affirmations, exercise and work on the computer.balancing life
  2. 8am-12pm teach the kids school.
  3. 12pm-1pm lunch
  4. 1pm-2pm continue school
  5. 2pm-4pm, straighten up the house.
  6. 4pm-6pm plan and start supper.
  7. 6pm-7pm eat supper and clean up.
  8. 7pm-8:30 pm Family time.
  9. 8:30 – Bedtime.

Okay so this is just a rough draft but you get the general idea of how time management can help you balance, yet still help you get everything accomplished.  Not everyone will have the same list.  Seasons change with jobs, moving, school, but with balance and making a schedule you will always accomplish what you set out to do.  A season for everything doesn’t mean you stop doing or excelling because something happened.  It doesn’t mean you give up.  It means you balance so you can manage better, holding onto your dreams and goals, ones God has instilled in you.  If you can do this, you and your family will be happier.


RECAP:

  1. Prioritize by keeping the most important things first.
  2. Manage your time.
  3. Do not quit.
  4. Pray; always pray and you will have balance in your life.

Here’s to you and your Season of Life – Heather Earles

How to stay Focused during your day.

 

Rendering Down Pig Lard

Good morning to you wonderful country and city folk.  Today we are learning the art of rendering down pig lard.  Exciting I know.

To get started you need to have butchered a pig and saved the fat.  If you do not butcher yourself, no big deal, just ask the butcher shop to save the fat for you and they will.  Next, I will give you a list of items you will need before starting:

  1.  Crock-pot
  2. Chopping board
  3.  Sharp knife
  4.  Pig fat
  5.  Glass jars (I use wide mouth quart jars)
  6.  Cheesecloth or coffee filters
  7.  Ladle
  8.  Funnel

Now that we have the necessary items we can begin.  Start by plugging in your crock-pot and turning it to high.  Some people like to use low so it doesn’t burn or turn the lard brown, but I have never had this happen.  Next, start chopping your fat into chunks as shown below and put them in the crock-pot.  Just to let you know, not all the fat will fit into the crock-pot at one time.  Do not worry about that, I will explain as we go along.cutting lard

Once the crock-pot is filled and you are able to put the lid back on, you can walk away for a good 2 hours or until the fat starts to break down into liquid lard.lard

Time to set up your jar with the cheese cloth, a coffee filter or whatever you are choosing to strain the liquid.

As show in the picture below the lard has started to break down and you are able to start scooping the liquid lard from the top and pour it into the jar.  This is the process you will do over and over, replacing the full jar with an empty one as needed.  My husband and I just look in the pot from time to time and scoop as we go about our day.  As you’ve guessed the more you scoop out the more room you now have to add more chopped up fat chunks to the pot. scooping out lard

You don’t have to wait for a batch to be done, just keep adding until you have added the last of the chunks.  The amount of fat you get from one pig will take you most of a day to render down.  That is if you start in the morning.  Two days if you start sometime in the afternoon.  We just shut off the crock pot before going to bed, leaving the contents still in the pot and resume again when we wake up in the morning.  In no way does this ruin the rendered lard.Pouring lard into jar

Here is a photo showing a jar half filled with lard as you go through the process.jar half filled with lard

These are different stages of the rendered down lard as it cools.  You can see the color goes from a brown tint to a white.  Once they are all cooled it will look like snow:).  We were able to get 8 quarts and a partial out of one pig. Note: the more you stir the lard while it is cooling in the jar the whiter it will turn out. I use a butter knife to stir.different stages of lard

Once you have ladled the last of the liquid out of the crock-pot.  You will see what we call the cracklings left.  They almost look like bacon crumbles.  Some people love to eat these, others give them to their chickens or you can just throw them away.  We had a large cottage cheese container full of cracklings by the time we were done and gave it to a neighbor, who enjoys them. cracklings

Keep the jars in a cool dark place, the same as you would your other canned goods.  We use the lard for pies, biscuits for anything you would use store-bought lard for.  The flavor of home-made is so much better than store-bought though and your pie crusts will be incredible!pie crust using lard

After opening, store the jar in the fridge if it is summer and the house is a little warmer.

Voila,  you now have the skill and knowledge to render down and make lard.

Now, it’s your turn to make your own. If you have any question, please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email: heather@heatherearles.compumpkin pies

Affirmations and the Power They Have


I was just visiting with a friend about affirmations and the effect they can have on our life.  In this article I will be sharing with you some of what we talked about and encourage you to use it in your own life.affirmations

We have discussed the power of your thoughts a little in my article “The secret to your Health”, http://health but now we will dive more in-depth on the subject and what it can do for you.

It is beyond our abilities to see the affect affirmations have until we look at successful people and how they got there. Let me just say, you pick any successful person anywhere in the world and I guarantee you they have their own set of affirmations they read everyday aloud.

Just like we discussed “You are what you eat”, so it is also true you are what you think.  One of my favorite quotes in this area comes from a great achiever, Henry Ford- “Whether you think you can or think you can’t — you are right”.  A thought so true!

I was taught growing up that your subconscious never takes a joke.  In other words, what you put in your mind stays there, never to be removed.  To me that is a pretty scary thing.   That’s why we need to make sure what we are putting in is high quality thoughts that will take you places in life and not tear you down or others.  This also brings us back to why affirmations are so important.  Saying out loud what we want everyday trains our brain and tricks our subconscious into giving it to us.  What we think on and tell ourselves will eventually become a burning desire.  Make no mistake, that burning desire will indeed become an action.

Again, be careful of what you put in because your mind does not filter good against bad.  You have complete control over the outcome of your actions when you have purposely put in what you want to get out.

The goal in this article is to teach you how to write your own affirmations.  These you can read each day, preferably in the morning and again at night.  These affirmations will be based off of you and what areas in your life you want to improve upon and change.  I know from experience that this can seem overwhelming when you don’t have an example so I will provide you one of my own I read every morning.

  1. To start, make a list of all areas in your life you want to improve upon.  Like health, wife, mother, mind, etc.  Or a bad habit you want to break.  Like smoking, drinking, over eating etc.
  2. Next you need to think in-depth what your goal is, why you want it and how you will obtain it.
  3. I always like to include a quote or specific scripture at the bottom of each area I are writing about.
  4. Now get your notebook and start with one area at a time and write.

As promised, here is the example describing what I mean:


 

  Mind Set

My Goal.  I want to change my way of thinking!

Why? To improve my mental capabilities.  I want to be more wise, kind, selfless, fearless, I want to speak truth.

How will I get there?  Don’t be lazy.  Get up and do my miracle morning, believe in everything I am doing, read affirmations daily, learn to control my thoughts with scripture, change my mind for the better and tell myself everyday YES I CAN!

Proverbs 16:9

The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.


As you can see the length of it doesn’t matter, but I’ve included all the important parts.  Theaffirmations Goal, Why and How.  I have these written in a notebook so I can easily just turn the page and make it through all my affirmations, every morning, one by one:).

Before ending let me say again how important affirmations are to you, your life, your self-esteem and your family.  Be intentional of what goes in and you will achieve great things.

-Heather Earles

Dancers in a Classroom

DancersSilence and awe, feeling and poise, a dancers world comes alive in a classroom.

The teacher walks along, correcting with firm, yet encouraging words.  The students at the bar focus on perfecting the art of the movement.  At the same time, their thoughts are drifting off to a faraway land.

The music is soothing and calm, taking you to where gallantry and kingdoms reign, where a dance, a movement, was considered poetry, touching the souls of people.

dancers poseThe classroom, for a time, becomes this magical place, this haven, where dancers can become the stars that dance among the heavens, they can become the heroines and heroes of the land.  The land of imagination that has no limits, the land where you dance before Kings and Queens, where sleeping beauty’s lay, where mice fight with men and where fairy godmothers grant a wish to a kind and gentle soul.

A voice calls to us like the wind blowing through the leaves saying dance, dance and we do, for the classroom has now become our world, a world no-one can touch with human hands.  Our feet are tired, our muscles ache, but neither do we notice nor care.  Our hearts and minds have been filled to capacity, once again, with distance places that only we can see.

As the clock strikes midnight, our time is ending, the class has come to a close.  Our attention has been brought back to the teacher as we finish with a curtsy or bow.  As we walk over the threshold our fantasies come to an end.  No matter the time that passes, it is ours to keep forever. Whether it will be in our imaginations, in our memories or when we enter the classroom again, it is ours and will remain untouched.♥

Psalms 150:4 KJV

Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

Gasper’s School of Dance

Dance like No One is Watching