What’s the best LED lantern for kids and all around emergency lantern? In this video, I show how our kids have been using the best LED flashlight lantern for the price.

Along with the battery operated lanterns, they use our PowerX AA/AAA battery charger daily. Check out the LED Lanterns on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2RIYUYI

**** Item List and Resources ****

Etekcity 4 Pack Portable LED Camping Lantern on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RIYUYI

Battery Charger for AA / AAA NiMH / NiCD https://amzn.to/2Fexqc8

AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries https://amzn.to/2Da9hAQ

Can I Unload a 20ft Trailer In One Load

November 6, 2018

Weekend Projects…

This past weekend, on the East Texas Homestead, we spent most of our time with odds and ends. There was no big homesteading project to cover.

That doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty to do. Luckily, the weather in East Texas was absolutely gorgeous so it was nice to be outside.

I did a good amount of pressure washing and cleaning up the boy’s toys in the yard. We’ve also got this blow-up pirate ship pool that needed to be put away.

The previous weekend, we cut down a Bradford Pear tree at my in-law’s house. It needed to be unloaded and tossed into the woods.

As a side note, some may wonder why we would bring the dead tree back to our homestead as opposed to taking it to the landfill. The tree will eventually decompose and turn into soil which is good for our land. In the meantime, it provides a great habitat for animals living on our property.

Back to the story. I could have unloaded it by hand or rigged up some sort of chain or rope to pull it off. However, I’ve got this John Deere 4044m and grapple, as seen in a previous video.

How many trips with the tractor do you think it takes to unload a 20 foot Big Tex trailer?

You will have to watch the video to find out, but it sure beats unloading it by hand.

Aside from going to the state park with the family, which was awesome, that was pretty much the entire weekend. If you like seeing our adventures and projects on our East Texas Homestead, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and click the bell notification icon so you don’t miss anything.

This video is a remake of my original review of the Mr. Heater Big Buddy with 20 lb propane tank configuration. As the name suggests I’m going to discuss how to connect a Big Buddy heater to a large 20-pound tank using the Big Buddy Heater Hose and a Mr. Heater filter.

how long will a big buddy heater run on a 20 lb tank

Also, I’m going to answer a question I get all the time which is: “how long will a big buddy heater run on a 20 lb tank.” Not only that, but I’ll dig into the number behind how much propane the Mr. Heater Big Buddy uses on low, medium, and high as well as how long each setting will burn with both 1 and 20 lb tanks.

I think every homestead should have at least one source of backup heat in the winter. A good propane space heater is hard to beat. And in my opinion, the best propane heater for the money is the Mr. Heater Big Buddy (Mr. Heater MH18B).

If you aren’t already prepared for the winter and need to be sure you can keep your family warm, check out all the great Mr. Heater products as well as a few other brands on Amazon with the link below.

Shop Mr. Heater on Amazon.

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

10 Reasons We Homeschool

July 21, 2017

Homeschooling on the Homestead Collaboration

Hey Y’all, we were asked by The Texas Boys to join their collaboration on why we homeschool and why homeschooling is good / right for our family.

Check out the full homeschooling playlist here to see why The Texas Boys and other homesteaders homeschool their kids.

There are so many reasons we chose to homeschool our kids but we’ve narrowed it down to the 15 reasons below. Our reason for homeschooling our kids is pretty universal. However, most of our five methods only apply for young children.

We hope you enjoy the video and would love to hear what you think.

10 Reasons We Homeschool:

  1. Desks: How long can you sit still?!
  2. Non-stop investigations and creative play
  3. Flexibility with our days and learning environment
  4. Biblical based teaching/learning
  5. Character building
  6. No set curriculum
  7. individualized learning
  8. Sleep
  9. No test pressure
  10. Allergy safety environment

5 Ways We Homeschool Our Kids:

  1. Being with our kids every day, we are able to teach our kids organically through everyday life situations.
  2. Internet resources
    1. ABC Mouse
    2. Right Now Media
    3. Starfall
    4. YouTube Kids
  3. Bible: teaches history, life lessons, character, cause and effect, physics
  4. Jenn’s head: experienced teaching, arts and crafts, spontaneous teaching lessons and opportunities
  5. Books

5 Bonus Reasons We Homeschool

  1. Minimize exposure to inappropriate content.
  2. Teach them to learn, not just regurgitate random facts to pass a test.
  3. Give them better social exposure.
  4. Teaching them what we believe and not having them forced to learn evolution or facts we don’t agree with that the government school system is forcing kids to learn and know.
  5. The Permaculture Prime Directive

Nature’s Little Squeeze Pouch Review

June 25, 2017

Have You Considered Reusable Baby Food Pouches?

Hey, Y’all, today I’m going to show you one of my new favorite baby food items. It’s the WeeSprout Double Zipper Reusable Food Pouch. Specifically, I’m going to be reviewing the 3.4 fl oz version.

I’ve been using these reusable baby food pouches for a few weeks now and absolutely love them. I’ve used them every day and they make life so much easier.

We use the squeeze pouches for both homemade baby food and store-bought baby food. As long as it can be sucked through the small opening it can be used.

Image of Nature’s Little Squeeze PouchesHow Big is The Nature’s Little Squeeze Pouch?

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June 20, 2017

How Secure Is A Master Lock Padlock?

If you’re using a padlock to secure anything of value, please reconsider. I’ve always considered a Master Lock padlock to be relatively secure but this changed the way I look at them forever.

I realize that they can be picked pretty easily, but the average crook probably doesn’t have great lock picking skills. What I wasn’t prepared for is how quickly they can be cut with an angle grinder.

I Lost The Padlock Key

After losing the key to a padlock that was “securing” a 20-foot BigTex trailer, I had two options: Either bust out some old lock picking skills or try to grind the padlock off.

Once I gave up on the lockpicking endeavor, I pulled out my $60 angle grinder. To my surprise, it took less than 30 seconds to remove the padlock.

To give you a little more perspective, I was cutting it with my left hand while filming with my right (dominant) hand. With a little practice, I could probably get it down to 10 seconds flat.

What’s The Best Way To Secure A Trailer?

All of this to say, If you are using a padlock to secure anything of value, please look for a better alternative. What is that better locking alternative? I’m really not sure.

Let me know in the comments section what your favorite way to secure a trailer is.

Want to see more videos like the one above?

Check out the East Texas Homestead YouTube channel and subscribe for instant alerts.

We Are Home From The Hospital!

June 15, 2017

The Hospital? What?

If you saw our last video (Poor Little Dude), you know that our middle child (we call him Dude) was hospitalized due to pneumonia which aggravated his asthma. The bad news is that we do this once or twice every year. The good news is that we are now home and he is doing much better and breathing well.

Those of you with asthmatic children totally know the terror of knowing your child can’t breathe. We love natural, homemade, and alternative health practices but I’m so glad for modern medicine when it comes to keeping his lungs open during an asthma attack.

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Featured image of how to make a comfrey poultice with a blender.

What Is A Comfrey Poultice?

Simply put, a comfrey poultice is moist ground up comfrey (usually leaves but sometimes root as well) applied to a wound and covered with a cloth. This natural healing method has been used for a very long time and is not limited to comfrey.

If you’re new to comfrey, check out this article. What Is Comfrey?

For thousands of years, comfrey has been used as an herbal medicine on sprains, burns, breaks and more. One of its folk names is knitbone because it has been used to speed up the time in which it takes to heal a broken bone. One of the best ways to use comfrey externally is in a poultice.

How To Make A Comfrey Poultice

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It Was a Really Bad Storm

As many of you man know, on April 29, 2017, at least seventornadoes ripped through East Texas leaving a wake of destruction in their paths. Several people lost their lives and many more lost everything they owned. News article about the tornadoes.

canton texas tornado aftermath

The Call For Help

Last Friday, I received an email from Grace Community Church asking for volunteers to help in the tornado relief effort in Canton, Texas. Specifically, volunteers with chainsaws and the ability to move trees and other debris. This is an area where I feel particularly equipped and able to help.

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How to make contact paper countertops on a budget

Need Countertops on a Budget?

When we were making decisions about what to do with kitchen countertops on our homestead, my mom told me about contact paper countertops. When she was a young girl, my great grandmother would recruit my mom and her sisters to change out the contact paper in her kitchen.

It took me a while to warm up to the idea of a giant peel and stick countertop, but after looking at the price and overall quality, we took the plunge into this project.

We really wanted to install solid oak countertops from trees on our homestead. We may still do this someday. But for now, these contact paper countertops are holding up great.

Do Contact Paper Countertops Last Long?

Contact paper is pretty durable for being a large sticker. But don’t think you’re getting a solid granite countertop. Every once in a while we get a little tear or scuff in the contact paper but it’s an easy fix. In the video below (toward the end), I show you exactly how we fix holes in contact paper countertops.

Where to Buy Contact Paper for Countertops?

Check your local hardware store but we ordered ours on Amazon.com. There are many brands and some of them have really bad ratings. We purchase the brand Con-Tact Paper and have been happy with it. Here’s a link to the one we ordered.

Let us know what you think. Have you used contact paper for countertops in your kitchen or bathrooms? Do you have any questions about it? I want to hear from you.