Blogging in the Raw

Starting out in blogging world, conquering the obstacles.

Blogging in the raw

Learning about blogging through my blunders

I’ve been dabbling into blogging now for about five weeks. If you don’t count that week where I completely botched everything up and had to scrap the whole thing. More about that here. So…blogging for five weeks.

I set up a self-hosted blog to mirror this one. However, I didn’t know what I was doing, so have been learning about that world. SEO, keywords, and headlines. It’s different on the other side, away from

I am learning some things.

  • Blogging is hard work. I know that is obvious. It takes me way more time than I think it should take, because homeschool, family, and life get take time, and I don’t get much quiet time.
    It’s lonely in the self-hosted world. Not to complain, but there’s more people reading blogs over at, so you don’t feel so invisible. Maybe I’ll come back for awhile.
    I like blogging I enjoy writing and turning happenings into a story. I enjoy writing about my passions.
    Blogging is a faith step. At least that’s how it is right now. I walk by faith, not by sight. I believe that if I am consistent, I will be “seen” more. 🙂
    Blogging is a mindset. Once you get going, you start to have all kinds of blogging ideas popping into your head! I sure do! 😃

Blogging in the raw

Testing the waters of blogging

So…I sort of feel like I am still testing the waters in the blogging world. I will stick with it, and blog as consistently as life allows.

I bit off more than I can chew perhaps, since I have this homeschool blog, and a homesteading blog (both self-hosted). At this point in the game, if I had to do it again, I would stay at with my blog and keep going.

Since I paid for my web hosting and domain, I feel like I need to give it my best shot. I tend to do things the hard way, and this is no exception. don’t get me wrong–I actually enjoy blogging on my self-hosted side as well, but currently I feel invisible.


What about you?

I hope that me sharing will help someone who is in the valley of decision with their blogging journey. I kept hearing that self hosting is the way to go if you are serious about blogging. I drank that Koolaid. But I see many successful, happy bloggers who are using the site.

I would love it if anyone would remember their early days, and chime in and share anything that would help other bloggers! There are good writers who are just starting out, and your encouragement could make a big difference to them!

Thank you for visiting!

Enjoy your blogging journey!


My self-hosted blogs:


Lady’s Slipper Lane (with Free Printable) – Lessons…and lessons

Hunting for Pink Lady’s Slippers in East Tennessee

It’s time for the Pink Lady’s Slipper orchids to bloom, and they are out in abundance on our property!

We took a Nature Walk yesterday, and I bribed my boys with one cookie per flower they found. I never dreamed how many cookies I’d have to bake!

To access the printable, click on the link below, and you’ll be taken to the page where the link is.

Read about our fun walk by clicking the below.

Hunting for Pink Lady’s Slipper orchids on our property in East Tennessee. A homeschool Nature hike, or walk in the woods
— Read on

Mean Mom takes a Nature Walk – Lessons…and lessons

Get out in Nature whether you feel like or not!

family nature walk

Hi! I’m the Mean Mom!  Occasionally, anyway, I answer to that title. Today was one of those days.

Outside it was perfect!! Mid-seventy degrees, sunny, and clear! It was a perfect day for a quick stroll in nature.

After lunch we almost always walk down our driveway and hike back up. That’s right. We have our own Cardio Hill, or my exercise route right on the driveway. By the time you get to the top, you’re huffing and puffing. In fact, when we thought about purchasing our property, my husband promised me that this land would whip me into shape! He was not kidding! But, after living here for the past almost six months, I can walk up that hill way easier than I used to be able to. I’m definitely getting stronger, but need more exercise in general.

Hence, our little walk today. We strolled down, then instead of hiking back up the driveway, I challenged the boys to hike back up by way of the wet-weather creek. That’s a bit harder, but not bad for strapping young fellows; it just takes a little longer. And the boys were chomping at the bit to get back!

Enter Mean Mom

I declared the instructions, amid some groans for my reply.

Haha!  What a fun day, but my boys were not easily convinced!  We found some awesome treasures from Nature, however.

Read on to see what our Homeschool Nature Walk looked like this week!  The “rest of the story” is over on my self-hosted blog site.   See you there!

via Mean Mom takes a Nature Walk – Lessons…and lessons

Lessons from Clay in the Potter’s Hand – Lessons…and lessons

You are the Potter, I am the Clay

Molding and shaping clay into something useful is similar to shaping our characters. We are like the clay, and God is the Potter.

Our boys are learning pottery in their Pathfinder club. As I’ve observed and participated in the process of making, shaping, and turning out a vessel from clay, I was struck at how many lessons we can apply to our Christian walk, and our character development.

The post is over at my self-hosted site.

Hope you can come on over!


— Read on

Time, space, time together – Lessons…and lessons

Five Love Languages of Children–time

time together in family

Sergeant Mom

Today, I acted as sergeant. We had stuff to do, and I wanted it done ASAP. If not sooner. School, jobs, clean-up project, Sabbath prep. Food to cook, baths to take, the whole nine yards plus some.

I set a timer for the first round, then laid out the day. Such and such will be done by one hour, then this next project, and so on.

time five love languages children


That worked well for 2/3 of my sons. The other son worked, but at a slower pace, and he did not meet the deadline. Grr…

The next phase also stretched out, and I began to get cranked up. More orders, more frustration all around. Less efficiency, and not so much getting done! Have you been there?

Can you win and lose in the same day?

Yes, you can.

You can win battles, but lose hearts.

And that’s what I was doing. Trying to win at all costs. Oh, I didn’t know it. I just knew that my boys needed to shape it up and get moving so we could get things done!

sad boy five love languages children

Giving orders

As you have probably experienced in your homeschool and family, giving orders doesn’t do much to bring everyone into harmony.  Well, it didn’t bring harmony here either. It just led to frustration for all, plus the added bonus of people giving up! When a couple of kids give up, less gets done, and leads to the Grumpy Mom.

Grumpy Mom, Grumpy Kids

Happy wife, happy life is true. So is Happy Mom, Happy Family, even though that doesn’t rhyme!  Mother is the queen of the home, and if she has sunshine, the rest of the home usually will reflect it!  Of course, everyone has a grumpy day here and there, but as long as everyone is not contributing, that person can usually climb back up onto the happy path soon. So, Mothers (and Fathers), you have a huge influence in your home!

smiley face

Brick walls

When you begin to hit those brick walls, you need to do some self-evaluation. Prayer is key. Humility also is necessary. But first, you have to stop and actually ask yourself (and God), “What’s going on here?”

If you’ve been here before, or if you want to hear how our day turned out after our rough start… READ ON at my self-hosted site,

Time, space, time together – Lessons…and lessons

Little Notes… (Am I my Brother’s Keeper?) Reblog

Little notes—Am I my brother’s keeper?

“Dear Mommy…”

What mom doesn’t love to find a little note tucked under her pillow, or between the bed sheets, to find in a quiet moment? Especially from a tender-hearted little boy, who has serious thoughts on his mind? It is enough to melt my heart! ❤️ 

But, when I opened the note, my heart felt sad by what I read: “I saw something bad.”  

I knew what he meant. He’d used this code language with me before. Something bad meant something impure that he’d seen — something that had made his heart and conscience uncomfortable. 💔

Instantly, my momma-bear instincts kicked in, and I began to imagine sordid details of exposure to the enemy that we have so earnestly tried to protect our boys from. Porn. 

When I talked to my son, I found it that it was not online images that he had stumbled upon (after all, we regulate that quite strictly). On occasion, he has written me little notes of things that he’s seen inadvertently while watching something legitimate on the internet with grandparents — those sidebar traps. This time, when I asked him, he seemed more reluctant than usual to tell me. I tried to pry it out of him, which didn’t work, nor did trying to guess. Brick wall. 

“Okay, Lord. You’re going to have to tell me how to handle this one,” I breathed. 

Finally, it came out.

~Moms–how would you handle this one? I know that day I was out of my comfort zone and out of ideas. But, thankfully, our God is so good! He has ideas, and He alone can soften the hearts of our young people. He has promised to give us (and them) a heart of flesh and to remove our stony hearts. I’m so glad. I’m glad my son came to me, even though initially, I wondered where we were heading! ~

Curious to know what happened?

(I wrote this for another homeschool site that I write for monthly).

Read on

Reset Your Homeschool Day – SDA Homeschool Families

Boy, is it a Monday, or what?

This post came out just at the right time! I’m down sick with a cold and sinus infection, my head is throbbing, and that makes everything run a bit more roughly!

I wrote this post 2 weeks ago on another day like this. Truthfully, today is not bad day, I just don’t feel well. But there are those days…

See if you can relate!

How do you know if you need a reset for your homeschool day?

Round Reset Button

Have you ever wished that you could just jump back into bed, and wake up again, so that you could begin your homeschool day all over again? I have certainly been there! In fact, sometimes, I’d just like to crawl back under my covers and stay there! But, with the life we lead as homeschooling parents, neither choice is a real option. After all, someone has to make breakfast, get the kids going, and keep the schoolwork moving along. At our house, that someone is usually Yours Truly! And if you’re reading this, then that someone is probably YOU! Right?!?

We all have the days when everything seems to go wrong right from the start!

Reset Your Homeschool Day – SDA Homeschool Families
— Read on

Rocket Fuel-Homestead Recipes – Ridge Haven Homestead

Rocket Fuel Recipe
Blast off with your rocket fuel!

Rocket Fuel–A drink to give a quick BOOST to your Immune System

When I wrote my recent article about Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu Season, I promised to link you to the recipe for Homemade Rocket Fuel. This is a powerful drink that can stop an infection in its tracks if you catch it soon enough.

This is especially good for when you’re coming down with a cold or the Flu, or just about any kind of illness. Catch it at the start, and this natural remedy will work much better for you!

The Recipe–Rocket Fuel

Click for the free recipe!

via Rocket Fuel-Homestead Recipes – Ridge Haven Homestead

Elderberry Immune Syrup-Homestead Recipes – Ridge Haven Homestead

Recipe for Elderberry Immune Syrup

elderberry immune syrup recipe

Making your own Elderberry Immune Syrup is easy, fun, and rewarding!  It’s a great way to kick a cold or the flu, and works well to prevent viral illness too!

Plus, it tastes good!

I’m linking to my page that contains affiliate links.  This page contains one.  If you purchase items after clicking my link, I will receive a small compensation, but you won’t pay any more at all!  We both win!

To make your own Elderberry Immune Syrup:

Combine in a saucepan:

1/2 cup dried elderberries

Get the recipe here

via Elderberry Immune Syrup-Homestead Recipes – Ridge Haven Homestead