Shipwreck Stew for a crowd

One of the most wonderful aspects of fall (in the northern hemisphere) is the appeal of warming stews and soups as the weather cools.

Look no more for a recipe to use this fall as you prepare to feed a crowd of folks –whether it is a yearly meeting at the fire hall, church potluck or extended family celebration.

Shipwreck Stew will be a hit!

Join my cousin, Ben, and me in the kitchen as we work together to prepare supper for the family. Check out our video how-to HERE.

Print the recipe HERE! Enjoy, y’all ❤️

This recipe is part of my family’s story. Everyone has one, a story. Won’t you take time today to listen to someone’s story?

Be blessed, y’all,

Mrs. Katie

Banana Split Cake, a no-bake dessert

Looking for a yummy no-bake summer (or anytime, really) dessert that’ll satisfy a host of folks? Try this one from our family’s recipe file.

The printable link below is an accompaniment to our video tutorial which is HERE. Welcome to our kitchen!

{We really hope you’ll enjoy our video tutorial as we five work together to create this dessert for two special occasions. This video also includes lots of kitchen tips and tricks, as well.}

Printable recipe is right HERE! Enjoy ❤️

Are you already familiar with this recipe, or had you not heard of it until now? Let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for walking life with us, friends.

Remember everyone has a story. Please take time to listen to someone’s story today.


Mrs. Katie

52 Falls

Hey y’all…

I’ve been off social media for a few days. We are in a season of prayer and decision-making. If you want to know more about all of that I have two heartfelt posts on our Patreon account. If you’re not intimidated by my authenticity or frightened by my transparency, I invite you to go to  and “follow“ that page. You’ll have access to the public posts that I put out  on that platform.

Reading this post here today will make more sense to you.

August 15, 2019

The First Day of Fall (in my world)

The Fall of My Life

This is what happens when I am left alone with my thoughts and a laptop…

My life has taken interesting turns. You know, those turns which I never would’ve thought up, if I were to have written my own story. I don’t know what I expected my life to look like if I were writing the story. As a young girl, I remember wanting my life to resemble my mother’s (before she worked outside the home). I wanted to be a wife and mommy. I wanted to cook, and cook a lot. At some point I decided that I wanted to be a teacher. Was this due to the fact that my father, grandmother, aunts, great-aunts, and other family members were teachers in public school systems? Was it because I enjoyed instructing?

Today, on my 52ndbirthday I sit and reflect on those years. Fifty-two sounds like a big number. I sit and think. Here, in the shadow of big Illinois grain elevators, or silos (I don’t know about those type things), I feel the breeze blowing and get happy at the thought that fall is not far. It is the kind of breeze that makes me think about getting up and grabbing my favorite cardigan but not cool enough to actually do so. Autumn is my favorite.

There comes another breeze, a hefty one this time. Some leaves have released themselves from their branches and glide in the wind to my happy delight. There is something restful about fall. Perhaps I am drawn to its coziness. The feeling of wrapping up in the warmth of sweaters near a campfire, the look of prairie skirts and leather boots, the members of the family brown. The promise that rest is ahead.

The first unofficial day of fall in our home is my birthday. Pronouncing this declaration a few years back, my birthday is the day that Morgan would hang our large autumn wreaths on either side of our front porch screen door. Bringing out the sunflowers, pumpkin spice essential oil blends, and all the remaining fall decorations just give me hope that the summer heat, biting bugs and busyness of the harvest would soon turn to fall breezes, dancing campfire flames and appreciation of harvest preservation.

A flock of Canadian geese fly over the lake I sit beside. The leader calls to the others. There’s always a leader. They fly in perfect formation, a God-given instinct to know how, where and when to fly. They just know. They don’t fret about flying or when to fly or where. They just do it. They cause me to pause as they move in a southwest arc over the large beautiful Illinois lake by which our camper, our home, lives for a few days.

Yes, a camper. Who knew? He did. I didn’t. Too often I wish the Lord would just send me a quick memo, an email, a text message, or even a telegraph and say, “Go here, go there. Do this, avoid that.” I so want to live for Him and do His will but that direction can be quite blurry. Should it be? I mean, do I have a lack of faith or ability to “hear” Him if I don’t know the direction to turn?

We are in a season of life that is, honestly, quite stressful. However, I doubt He wants me/us to be stressed. As we wonder with heavy minds and hearts what our next steps will be, we ask Him if we should stay on current plan/path or chart a new course. “Did we hear you correctly, Lord?” Perhaps we were not supposed to travel to serve and encourage folks as we meet new friends along the way. Oh good grief, Katie, now you are being silly. “Is it time to abandon this current season of our lives and prepare for the next?” “Do we keep on, perhaps with renewed spirit and determination?” Who knows? He does.

The One Who instilled in those gliding geese where to go, when to go, how to go knows what is best for me, for us, for my family. I, on the other hand, have no clue.

In the meantime, I am thankful for today. I am thankful that He saw fit for me to become a wife, a mommy to six, a Marmee to two, a (homeschool)teacher, a cook and so much more! I am thankful for 52 years of living life that is my own, different from anyone else’s. I have made mistakes. I have made choices. I have paid consequences and reaped rewards. I have made enemies and I have made friends. I have a lover who thinks I am the most beautiful person in the world, and that’s even knowing my faults. If he loves me that much, I can’t comprehend the extent to which my Abba, my Heavenly Daddy, loves me after having heard each and every angry thought and having seen all my darkest deeds.

I am thankful. I am grateful for 52 years of a sweet life, 30 years of marriage. What blessings! I am overwhelmingly and humbly grateful for Jesus’ sacrifice for me — for me! He knew and He knows.

As my birthday gift to myself, I think I’ll just try my best to rest where He has me now, as in, right now. He has me having just moved from a campground in the middle of an Illinois cornfield to a lake not far from the Illinois River in the shadow of big gray silo things. He has me living (for 10 days) in an RV park with lots of other folks who have their own stories. Folks who are just doing the best they can in life. I wonder if they have clear direction? Likely not. I wonder if they know my Abba Whom I love? Hope so.

That’s it. I may not know the direction we should take from here, both physically and mentally but I know the spiritual direction we should take. This world is not our home. We are not just passing through the USofA but we are passing through this mortal life. What is important is shining a light, His Light. That, which is one of our goals of this traveling, is what living here is about, after all. No matter where we physically live, work and breathe, our objective is to spread kindness, spread hope, shine light, push back the darkness.

Thank-you, Lord, that autumn is here. And, thank-You, for 52 autumns.


Deliciously Healthy {Raw} Chocolate Homemade Ice Cream

Little Miss Homemaker had a double treat for her July birthday this year! She not only enjoyed a delicious {and healthy} hand-cranked chocolate ice cream but we did so at the home of friends, Doug and Stacy. They are an off-grid couple who have inspired so many to live the pioneer life in this modern age.

We all agreed that this latest ice cream concoction is one of my best yet! Y’all give it a try and let me know if you agree.

This recipe goes right along with one of our latest YouTube playlists, “Farm to Table Meals”. Many {or most} of these ingredients may be found on farms or at farmers’ markets near you. Certainly substitute as you desire and leave comments for our other friends here if a substitution works better for you.

Printable Recipe HERE

View Tutorial at Doug and Stacy’s HERE


Deliciously Healthy {Raw} Chocolate Homemade Ice Cream

Yield: a little over a gallon

Combine the following in mixing bowl. (I just whisk it in the ice cream canister if short on space.)

Listed in the order which I prefer to mix…

4 pastured eggs from a reputable source (or your farm)

2 c. raw {unpasteurized, non-homogenized} cream

¾ c. cacao powder {or cocoa powder}

½ t. healthy pink salt {I use Redmond’s Real Salt.}

¾ c. raw sweetener of choice {pure cane sugar, maple syrup, etc}

2 c. whole fat, yogurt, homemade with raw milk {We have a 59 second how-to video on YouTube…easy peasy.}

4 c. whole raw milk

2 T. vanilla extract {I use my homemade from Tito’s. The vodka is beneficial for creamier ice cream results.}

Churn in homemade ice cream machine until creamy and thick.

Take your time and enjoy the process of making homemade ice cream. We use the Immergood Ice Cream Maker, a quality made in America machine. It is a bit more costly than others (well, much more than the cheaply made ones from overseas!) but well worth the long-term investment. We consider this a heritage item. This machine can be purchased with a hand-crank or machine option HERE.

{Check out Mr. Patient’s product review HERE}

Farm-Style Stuffed Peppers

Farm to Table. Who doesn’t appreciate a good wholesome meal from farm-fresh ingredients? So many folks are touting “farm to table” these days, and for good reason. The simple wholesome ingredients that can be found on farms and homesteads of all sizes are enjoyed simply or fancied-up. These recipes become family favorites and are known as comfort foods to many folks, oftentimes out of pure nostalgia.

One of the foods that reminds me of “home” is Stuffed Peppers. I realize now that Mama made these peppers not because she was trying to be fancy or “all-that” but because
Continue reading “Farm-Style Stuffed Peppers”

Distraction vs. Determination

•• Task-at-hand •• Stay focused and more determined than ever ••
Today someone (or more than someones😉) needs to be reminded to >>> stay focused and determined.<<< Do you ever feel distracted from a good work or doing His Good Work?

Continue reading “Distraction vs. Determination”


Hello friends! Do you ever find yourself just so tired of being sick and tired? Well, that is not only a dumb question but a cliché, I suppose. But, it is true and that’s where I find myself currently. BUT! I am a believer in a Heavenly Father and His Word. (If you are not, you are welcome here! I do think that what I have to share will help anyone who would like to jump right in and participate.)

Life on the road, life in my skin, life in general has just weighed heavy on my mind and body recently. Until….until a funny thing. The last place our little full-time RV family camped had no wifi and absolutely no cell service. In place of those invisible frequencies, we enjoyed a relaxing setting atop Cheaha Mountain, which happens to be Alabama’s highest point. To sweeten the deal, we joyously discovered Continue reading “#John1010Challenge”

a Day Late and a Dollar Short

Well, hey y’all! Y’all really are some of the most kind and patient folks. It has been way yonder too long since my last post here (It was Fall 2018?? Oh goodness, I **am** embarrassed!)

As y’all well know Continue reading “a Day Late and a Dollar Short”

The Whistling Woodsman and His Family

Early fall of 2018 Mrs. Katie and Little Miss Homemaker were very blessed with a sweet visit in the home of Dustin and Janet Morgan and children, a family who is certainly keeping pioneer heritage alive. They live Continue reading “The Whistling Woodsman and His Family”

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