Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Give Away from a good friend of mine.

The Book Living Virtuously: A Wife's Complete Guide to Keeping Her Heart & Home is finally available!  To celebrate the book's arrival, we wanted to give a copy to 5 winners!  We will pick 5 winners this Friday the 17th of October.  That is in 2 days, so get busy and enter this contest.

To read the entire first chapter, go to Amazon and look inside my kindle version of Living Virtuously!
Living Virtuously does not mean perfection. Victory and virtue are gifts to those that persevere on their own journey that God has given no matter what life may bring. It is learning contentment, choosing joy, and being teachable. In this book, we will journey together through Proverbs 31 in the Bible, discovering the traits of a Virtuous Woman. I will take you from the spiritual to the practical, giving you a complete, well rounded perspective of what it means to keep your heart and your home.

In this helpful guide you will learn how to…
• face adversity and find joy in your circumstances
• clean and organize your home so that it is a haven of rest
• be frugal and meal planning
• organizing life so you have more time
• teach your children a good work ethic while embracing motherhood
• control your words and actions
• keep your heart pure
• honor your husband
• find balance in all areas of life


“I highly recommend Erin Harrison's new book, Living Virtuously.
Erin is an energetic wife and mother who has a heart to encourage young mothers to train their children to love God and to have a ministry mindset.”
~Michelle Duggar
Mother of 19 Kids & Counting

“I have looked forward to this wonderful book for a long time. As I read the manuscript, I knew that thousands of women will be blessed to learn the things taught therein. The book is a totally captivating read filled with Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding!”
~Debi Pearl
International Author of Created To Be His Help Meet

"Erin uses her many trials in life to teach women all the wonderful truths and powerful insights she has learned from them, so they can live a life filled with love and virtue. Her book is a treasure chest of wise and practical information that will challenge and encourage you in your quest to become a woman of God, no matter where you are in life."
~Lori Alexander
Always Learning Blog Ministry to Women

About the Author

Erin Harrison is a devoted wife to her husband, Mark Harrison, homeschooler of five beloved children, author of Keeper of the Homestead Blog, and Living Virtuously. She graduated in Fine Arts at Lawrence University 1999, ran her own photography business, and worked in free lance graphic arts and film production for over 10 years. Erin Harrison uses her gift of writing to share her life stories to give others hope. She takes her readers on a journey to discover the joy of keeping their hearts and their homes.

Don't be shy.  Enter to win today!!!  There are many ways to enter, click below to find out.  The winners will be announced on Saturday, October 18, 2014.  I pray this book will be a blessing and encouragement to you.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Homesteading Drying Racks

This is taken from my friends blog.  These are awesome drying racks.
The "Homesteader" is our Extra Large drying rack for every day usage. This lovely drying rack holds a very large load or "Super Load". This is our family friendly drying rack. (We have a large family and needed something that would work for us.) This drying rack is huge. Sheets & blankets dry wonderfully on this drying rack. It is amazingly compact for its large size. I store mine in my hallway up against the wall when not in use (Which is almost never!). This offers 56' lineal Ft. of drying space. If you want to replace your dryer, This is the drying rack for you!

Handcrafted With Hardwood Dowels
56 lin. ft. of drying space
Size: 6'x4'
Size When Opened: 6"-32"
Assembled weight: 18 lbs.

I would love to get the word out on my husband's hand crafted Homestead Drying Racks.  To thank you for helping us promote our blog and store, we would like to start running weekly giveaways of the various products we offer and love.  Some may think a drying rack is a "want".  Well, I "need" my drying racks.

Why do you NEED a drying rack?

Expense:  The electric dryer costs money to run.  An estimated $180 per year.  It really doesn't seem like that much, but if you are like us, every penny counts.

Wear and Tear:  The evidence of lint in your electric dryer is evidence that your clothes are virtually wearing down on their fiber content.  When you air dry clothing, they last longer.  The longer the clothing lasts, the less you need to buy to replace.  If you are like us, we like to get the most miles out of our clothing.  I want the clothing to last through several hand-me-downs.  The way the electric dryer sucks energy and wears down clothing, we are proud to offer an alternative to your drying needs.

Safety:  It is estimated that over 15,000 house fires each year are started by electric or gas powered dryers.  When the lint gets trapped it can catch fire and burn your home down.  How many of you leave your home with a dryer running while you are gone.  Here you can hang an entire load of laundry on one of our sturdy racks (Pioneer or Homesteader size), and while you are away, your clothes will be drying, you will be saving money, and you will not have to worry about your home burning down.  Wow, that sounds great!

How do our drying racks compare to the less expensive racks?

100% Sturdier: Our racks are the sturdiest on the market, hands down!  We had a cheap walmart spindle of a rack, and about 3 months later, it was used for kindling in our wood stove.  When the kids helped make noodles on our volume three of Homesteading for Beginners DVD, you can see how we were actually having to duck tape it so it would hold through the filming.  Junk!  Our racks have 3/4 inch hard wood dowels with handcrafted side pieces to hold it together to last a lifetime.  Each piece is carefully made by my husband who I lovingly refer to as Mr. Meticulous.  The racks can withstand heavy, heavy quilts and heavy room area rugs.  You can put a quilt on one side and it will not topple over like the accordion style wooden drying racks the Amish make.
You get what you pay for!

Unique V design:  The unique V design allows for optimal air flow.  You clothing will dry faster and more evenly.  The accordion style racks stack the clothing right on top of the lower layer because the dowels are right on top of the other.  This V design also makes our rack stout with a solid footing.  It is not going anywhere!

What will I use my Pioneer Drying Rack for if I win one?

  • Laundry Load
  • Cloth diapers
  • Rugs
  • Dish Towels
  • Bath Towels
  • Jeans or Shirts
  • Skirts or Dresses
  • Sweaters and Quilts
  • Drying Herbs
  • Drying Noodles
  • Pretty display for an heirloom quilt

My husband gave me one of his "Homesteader" drying racks.  I use it for drying huge loads of laundry that we most often have.  I park it beside of our wood stove or on our covered front porch.  I love to drape my laundry on the biggest, most sturdy rack on the market, knowing my laundry will be there when I need to take it in.  The wind just blows across the laundry, quickly and efficiently drying it, without the use of electricity!  That is exciting.   In just a few short hours, my laundry is dry and ready to fold.  I love my "Homesteader"!!!!
What other people are saying about the Homesteader:
"I think a picture is worth a thousand words so I took a picture to illustrate the difference between our "Homesteader" Drying Rack and the largest 'other' drying rack available online.  The rack I am showing next to the "Homesteader" has 56 sq. ft of drying space and currently sells for 110.00 postpaid.  It has very thin dowels which will start to bow after use.  It is much narrower and shorter which means many regular size items just don't fit well on the rack.  One of the most important things I should mention is that the design of the racks from Forgotten Way Farms is that they allow for good airflow between each dowel so clothes can actually dry is good time.  My hope is that after reading our testimonial and viewing the pictures every potential customer will make a decision to purchase from Forgotten Way Farms. There are so few handcrafted items of this quality that are still Made in America and this is an item that will stand the test of time!"- REBECCA, VA.

"Your "Homesteader" rack is very well built which shows the amount of time and thought that was put into designing them. The rack was easy to assemble and all the parts fit together beautifully. Very good job! We are so pleased with this drying rack that we are ordering another right now. We have other drying racks but this is the best we have had the pleasure to use. The quality and size makes it a very good value." -Jim, VA.

"This drying rack is just plain addictive.  My "Pioneer" easily held two twin-sized fleece blankets and a smaller baby blanket, all of which dried in one hour next to the woodstove.  Wow.  Dry time was as fast as my electric drier with zero cost!  My active one year old also kept pulling himself up on the bottom dowels and they held up beautifully.  The sturdiness of this rack is not even comparable with the cheap one I had in my closet.  This rack is so worth the cost!  Not too big, not too little, the Pioneer will save me loads on my electric bill.  And with the laundry needs of our seven member family, that makes a real difference" - Jessica, Idaho

"I love the "Homesteader" drying rack!! It is tough and sturdy. It very efficiently dries a whole load of laundry at a time, and it's a joy to toss my sheets over the top to dry. This rack is so beautifully crafted that I think I will use it to display my antique linens on my porch during the summer months. It's just too nice to ever put away. Great job, you guys!" - Kathi, Idaho

" I use the "Homesteader" drying rack every day, there is just nothing like it " - Cindy, Idaho

"I got my Homesteader last week and I LOVE IT! At first I was feeling guilty for spending so much for something like a clothes drying rack, but oh my goodness -- IT'S WORTH IT! It's so nice to have all my clothes in one place instead of here and there throughout the house. It's also perfect for my wool blankets. I'm glad I found you all!" - Rhonda, Kentucky
"The "Homesteader" drying rack is the largest one you have and is absolutely the most wonderful thing I've acquired in a long time. Everybody that sees it is thunderstruck at the size and sturdiness of it. My health and my husbands disability make it nigh to impossible for me to use a clothes line. I dont like using a dryer. This rack will keep me from ever needing to run the elect. hog, dryer. Thank you so much for making such a wonderful tool and making it affordable."- Peggy, AR
Don't be shy, enter to win this nice Homesteader drying rack.  If you do not win this week, keep coming back.  We will be running giveaways for great products each week.  Our special thank you!  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Soul-filling Satisfaction

“For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” (Psalm 107:9).

Wow!  What a promise.  How I long for the Lord to satisfy my thirst and hunger with good things.  I used to think that because I changed my family's eating habits to healthier foods that I was doing good.  Made to Crave has changed my view point.  Too much of a good thing can hurt just as much as unhealthy eating.  I catch myself overindulging on the good things because they taste good, are good for you, and I dislike leftovers.  Watching my kiddos do the same thing has got me thinking that leftovers are a great lunch item for the next day!

Now, our dinner table consists of all good foods and I make sure everyone gets enough.  We all keep each other accountable and put the rest in containers for lunch the next day, or we accumulate the leftovers during the week and have leftover night on Fridays for dinner.  The Lord is teaching us that He is more than enough to fill our desires, dreams, and appetites.

We also used to rush through our meals.  Dinner times are still hectic due to dance schedules for 4 of our 5 children, but we still manage to eat as a family.  On our most hectic days, we either have a leftover night or I make a crock pot meal.  This way we can still eat as a whole family and I do not have to be in the kitchen cooking.

As we are making wiser choices, we are asking the Lord to fill us with His good things before we plan our meals.  We still have our unhealthy foods, but we have made the boundaries and established routines that allow us to not over-do the bad or the good.  I am glad that the Lord promises to fill our souls.

Until next time, may God bless each and everyone of my readers.  Love ya!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sweet Place of Breakthrough

As I sit here trying to figure out a plan of action for my eating habits, I am reminded of a time before I was pregnant with my fifth child.  I had been experiencing great strides in losing weight and controlling my unhealthy eating habits.

About 5 years ago, I stumbled upon books written by Shonda Parker that talk about being naturally healthy using God's wisdom and guidance.  After reading her books, I decided to make changes in our eating habits as a whole family.  Some of the changes were: raw sugar instead of white sugar, butter instead of margarine, canola oil & olive oil instead of vegetable oil, more fruits and veggies, less packaged foods and more homemade foods.  We were successful in our transition.

Now for the exercise, or lack there of.  We live in the country on the corner of a dead end road.  It is 1 mile round trip (from my house to the dead end and back).  We all love walking and one day decided to walk to the end and back.  We all got to the end, but struggled to get back.  Even the kids, but we were #determined to get home.  After that first walk, the kids did not want to try again.  I convinced them that next time would be easier because I allowed them to take their bicycles.  Success!! We then started a daily regime of walking to the end and back on the nice days.  Then winter hit.  Too cold to walk.  But the next spring brought renewed energy to walk again and we had another successful 3 seasons of walking.

Well, between the walking and eating better and the success of not eating junk food before bed, I starting losing weight.  Then one day, almost 2 years ago, my two youngest children got sick.  I was not feeling very well myself, but they came first.  I got them feeling better and then my two oldest children got sick.  I was still not feeling well, but I took care of getting them better.  Finally, my husband got sick and it was like having another child. :)  All the while, I am feeling nauseous and tired so walking was put on the back burner of our lives.  9 weeks after everyone else was 100% better, I was still feeling terrible.  I went to see my doctor and was told I was pregnant.  I was excited!  We started walking again, but it was hard because I was nauseous all the time.

So here I am.  My baby is almost 11 months old and I have fell back into the routine of eating before bed.  Justifying it by the fact that I need to double my calories because I breastfeed my daughter.  I am still eating healthy throughout the day, but nighttime still gets me.  Also, the walking has ceased as we were in a polar vortex.  It has been a very cold winter here this year.  Well, no more excuses.  I am working on a plan to get back to my sweet place of victory using God's wisdom and guidance.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


[Psa 84:2 KJV] 2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

This is my new craving for the year.  For a long time, I craved unhealthy food while watching movies with my husband after the children went to bed.  Even before we had our children, we would eat before bed.  Day after day, month after month, year after year, the weight just kept creeping up.  At first I justified my eating habits because I was either pregnant or nursing and needed the extra calories to keep up with my conditions.  In reality, I just wanted food.

Now, I feel #empowered by God's grace to kick this unhealthy habit.  It really should not be hard.  I eat very healthy during the day because I want my kids to see that healthy foods are best.  I was able to kick the habit for about 3 years, but then became pregnant again and used food as an excuse to put on the weight needed for my growing baby.

My baby is almost a year old and I am still in the habit of eating before bed.  I have told my husband my plan of action, and by God's grace, he is going to help me to combat this habit by doing it with me.  Now that's being #empowered.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Jesus Saves

I came to know the Lord in February 2004 when I gave birth to our still born baby boy whom we called Nathan.  Up until then I knew of Him, but did not really know Him or what He could do for my life.  I had 2 young children at that time (a boy who was almost 4 and a girl who was 3).

Since that point, God has blessed me with 3 more living children (all girls).  I have had my trials as well, but I came to realize that living for Christ was not going to be an easy road.  I have family and friends who called me a hypocrite because they knew what my life was like before the Lord entered in and they did not think this was 'real' for me.  Over the years, I lost those friends and had strained relationships with family.  I have also gained good Christian friends and have not allowed the trials to get me down too far.

I still 'back slide' at times, but I know that my redeemer lives and His mercies are new every day for those who call Him Lord.  I know have 2 children that have come to Christ and I could not be happier.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Praying God's Promises

Heavenly Father,

I trust in you with all my heart and pray that you will continue to direct my steps and make my paths straight.  I come to you weary and heavy laden and trust that you will give me rest.  Your grace is sufficient for me, and I know you will help me in times of trouble.  Lord, thank you that you make all things possible by your power.  Thank you for generously providing for all my needs.  Thank you for your strength and that you will never forsake me .

In Jesus' wonderful name, Amen.

As I was pondering God's word this morning, I came to realize that I was not staying in His presence like I thought I was.  I was stressed, overwhelmed, and just ready to quit as a wife, mother, and homeschooler.  I fell to my knees before making breakfast and cried out to Jesus and a peace which surpasses all understanding came over me.  I decided right then that my family needed to put Christ back into the 1st position of our lives.  I found a 90 Bible Reading challenge that I put myself and older children on starting today.  This challenge will have us read the Bible in 90 days and I hope to use this over and over again so that we can stay in God's word throughout our lives.  As for the younger children, I am using a Bible Storybook that I plan on reading to them for 10 minutes twice a day (morning and bedtime).

I will be saying this prayer over and over again until I feel led to change it.  I pray this for all my friends and family as well.  May God bless all of us this Christmas season.