Welcome. We’re so glad you’ve joined us here at Keeper of the Home, a site dedicated to naturally-inspired living for homemakers.
home·mak·er (n.) One who manages a household, especially as one’s main daily activity.
As a homemaker, you wear a lot of hats. Your day to day duties as a household manager may include being a mother, a head chef, a math teacher, a laundress, a budding nutritionist, a toilet scrubber, a gracious hostess, a boo-boo kisser, a checkbook balancer, a gardener, a chauffeur, a master of the family calendar, a lost-sock finder, a jam maker, a gift giver, a board book reader, a beloved wife, and that’s just the short list.
Homemaking is a beautiful, life-giving, monumentally important career. And?
It’s a really a hard job.
To do it well, we all need regular inspiration and encouragement along the journey.
So where do you find your inspiration for homemaking?
There are a lot of websites out there, telling you how to decorate your home like a Pottery Barn display window, make pretty Pinterest-inspired cake pops, and keep your home perfectly, sparkling clean with a detailed weekly schedule.
You won’t find that here.
Our inspiration begins with a simple fact… all that we ARE and HAVE and DO is from God and for God.
Stewardship (a fancy word for how we care for the things that we’ve been given charge over) inspires the way that we approach our homemaking. In fact, it’s the foundation of what you’ll find here at Keeper of the Home.
- Informative and engaging health topics from an alternative perspective, natural home and herbal remedies, and tips for living a wholesome lifestyle.
- Real food nutrition (that often goes against the grain of conventional advice, and back to traditional wisdom), kitchen tutorials, and family (and budget) friendly recipes.
- Honest encouragement for mothers (because we all have hard days), caring for yourself and your little ones through pregnancy, infancy and toddlerhood, homeschool helps, and ideas for raising happy, healthy and responsible children.
- Practical solutions for organizing your household and schedule, resources for the gardener and backyard homesteader, and thoughts on living the simple life.
- Everything you need for a homemade, frugal lifestyle– non-toxic cleaning, DIY beauty care products, frugal fixes, and handmade gifts worth giving.
Our mission statement is:
“To be an encouraging, inspiring and Christ-centered resource for those who aspire to healthful and natural homemaking.”
To help you steward all that you’ve been given, we want to give you the means to do it well. We live in an information age, and we love to see what others are doing, to share what we’re learning and what works well for us, and to join in community with others who are on the journey with us.
Wherever you’re at in your own journey, there’s a place for you in this community.
Keeper of the Home is made up of writers in all seasons of life… newly married, young moms in the throes of toddler and babyhood, moms of many who homeschool children all the way up to young adulthood, and everything else in between.
We are mostly homeschoolers (but not all), we are all concerned with healthy living and eating (though many of are at different places along the spectrum), and we are passionate about being diligent and intentional “keepers of our home”.
We’re certainly enthusiastic about natural and healthy living, and that comes through clearly in our posts on nutrition, sustainable living, gardening and preserving, non-toxic homemaking and much more.
But beyond all of that, what truly unites us is the even greater love we have for the One who created all of this naturalness. Stewarding our health and the earth, as well as our homes, our times, and our families, is very important. But even more important? Honoring the Lord, who gave us all of these good things to steward in the first place.
These things we write and talk about here are merely an opportunity to live in the goodness of His grace, to honor Him with our decisions and our lifestyle.
We’re so glad you’ve joined us. Won’t you pull up a chair, a warm mug of something delicious, and share this journey with us?
Hey there and welcome to Keeper of the Home, please have a seat here and join me. Grab a warm cup of coffee or tea (or wine!) and let’s chat!
I’m Ann, and I’ve been part of the Keeper of the Home community for quite a while. I’m here because of my own passion and because of the great work our founder, Stephanie Langford, did. When I found out she was stepping down, I wanted to jump in and make sure the mission of the site stayed the same.
So here I am, a little nervous and overwhelmed, but I’ll be doing my very best to fill her shoes!
For me, it all starts with my family.
I’m a Christ follower, praying daily for the eyes of Jesus to see others with the love and understanding only He can give. I am deeply in love with and devoted to my husband. As a busy mom with several teens, I am always working on patience and clarity! I’m passionate about my DIY bullet proof coffee (though my husband might use the word addicted) and I’m a coconut oil fanatic even while I’m juggling rural farm life, sports schedules, blended family dynamics, and working from home.
Every morning I wake in awe of my hubby, feeling blessed to walk this life with him. You can check him out here, he is a serial entrepreneur and business executive with a passion for helping men lead their families and he has just started sharing our intentional parenting practices.
As a mama of 6 kiddos, I have had many successes and even more fails. I recognize the need for moms to share and encourage each other. It is amazing how often I find that women feel alone in raising kids, being a wife or on their quest for healthy living and homemaking.
I want to make sure that women, mamas (and dads too) are getting what they need to make good decisions and feel good about making those decisions.
With five teenagers at home, I feel a great lack of helpful information and encouragement for the issues we face as we bring them up in this very commercialized and technology driven world. More than just what they wear and the music they listen to. Where do you go for help when they mess up and you think its beyond repair? I hope to be an open book and share from my heart the deep hurts and rawness of our struggles raising teenage boys and girls and provide other families with what they really need to be intentional in the way they love and parent their children.
Some Little Unimportant Things About Me
I get easily distracted.
I’m obsessed with chocolate, coconut oil, and maple syrup. Oh and I put all of them in my coffee. Every morning!
I buy my milk from a local dairy and make my own butter (in a stand mixer).
I have a ‘Brady Bunch’ family. Three boys and three girls. Two 7th graders, two freshman and two juniors.
I am having my fastest typing teenager enter all of my recipes in Plan to Eat.
Dark chocolate is a health food even though my husband doesn’t think so.
Honey and coconut oil fix everything.
My only skin moisturizers are coconut oil and olive oil.
I feel undressed without my tennis shoes on.
I MUST wear mascara. Daily.
My Health Journey
My health story began with the pregnancy and birth of my first child, 17 years ago. Wow, time flies fast when you have kids doesn’t it?
When my son was born, he was extremely malnourished due to a prescription drug I had been taking for migraines during my pregnancy. His placenta had holes in it and it was so thin and colorless, lacking in vital nutrients, you could practically see through it. I was determined then to make whatever necessary changes needed to my diet so that he would thrive.
I started reading and reading and researching to find everything I could to build my baby’s immune system and prevent illnesses rather than getting caught in the constant pull and tug of treating symptoms.
During my pregnancy, I had started asking questions in the pursuit of giving my baby the best start to life that I possibly could. After all, that’s what we all want for our babies right, mamas? A dear friend, sister and mentor had introduced me to the healthy living world with a book, Reclaiming Our Health, an introduction to her midwife and a Bradley Method birth instructor.
My eyes were opened wide to a whole new view on family, food, and health that I had never been exposed to before. It gave me a perspective that challenged me to be intentional in my health and parenting.
Thanks to other women in my life who have guided me along the way, I have learned how to keep my family healthy and today, that thin, malnourished, unhealthy baby boy is thriving. He has been a State Champion gymnast and is currently holding the diving record for his high school swim team!
Over the years it has become much much more than that. I have traversed the healthy living world from whole foods and essential oils to nontoxic cleaners and skin care products. I have raised three babies of my own from birth on whole foods and adopted three adolescents addicted to processed foods and prescription medications. We have taken three steps forward and two steps back and through it all I have messed up, screwed up, threw up my hands, cried and pulled out my hair time and again.
It takes an abundance of love and patience to raise kids and even more to raise them against the grain, so to speak. Don’t give up when it feels too hard mamas. Keep moving forward and if nothing else, just be the example. There is no quick fix to being healthy. It is a lifelong journey of daily decisions.
Even with the best intentions and preparations, our bodies change with time and life experiences that are out of our control. Currently I find myself on a new and unexpected journey. After some changes in my personal life, family and a big move, I unknowingly depleted my vitamin D tank, stressing my adrenals and thyroid and I now find myself battling weight, exhaustion and brain fog.
I invite you to follow along with me on my journey, use the tools at Keeper of the Home to grow along your own path and enjoy the encouragement from other ladies like you and me.
Thank goodness for good friends and good wine. 🙂
Hi there. I’m so glad you’re here!
My name is Stephanie, and I’m the creator of Keeper of the Home.
This whole thing is my fault, you know. Nine years ago, I heard of this nifty thing called a “blog”, got hooked on them, and eight years ago decided I should try starting my own. The rest is history.
Ok, so that might not be the full story. Allow me to back up a little.
I haven’t always lived like this. Healthy, I mean. Growing up, I thought iceberg lettuce slathered in ranch dressing counted as my greens for the week, and that drinking Minute Maid fruit punch actually went towards my fruit quota. I probably took 20 rounds of antibiotics before I left home for university, was sorely lacking in any substantial nutrition, consumed coffee and sugar like it was going out of style, and had the bad health to prove it.
By the age of 20, I was living in a broken-down, messed up body. I had to call in sick to work frequently because of debilitating stomach pains that came after eating. Every cold and flu that went around, I got it (unless I was pumped up on final-exams adrenaline, and then I crashed the day after my last exam).
At 21, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and told I may never have children. The doctor told me there was nothing I could do about it, except be on various drugs and medication the rest of my life. That was the catalyst. My breaking point that pushed me towards a transformation of my health.
Over the next few years, I began to soak up health information like a sponge. I began to eat real, whole, unprocessed foods. I cut way back on sugar and caffeine. I took some time off of dairy to allow my gut to heal. I ditched fake foods like sodas, candy, artificial dyes, and edible oil products.
Several things happened.
My health began to return. I lost weight. My skin cleared. My cycle returned to a semblance of regularity. The intense stomach pains disappeared, never to return. I felt energetic and healthy, for the first time in my life.
I also got married to the love of my life, my husband Ryan, and 14 months later we had a baby girl, Abigail (without the help of fertility drugs). Becoming a stay-at-home mom was my heart’s desire, but also a role that my years of public school and liberal arts university had left me unprepared for.
My newfound interest in healthy living began to mingle with my need to learn this lost art of homemaking. The library became my best friend, and I spent my early months as a new mom curled up in my basement suite living room, surrounded by books on frugality, nutrition, going green, household management and infant care.
Something began to click in my mind.
Homemaking wasn’t just about having a clean and pretty home. Healthy living wasn’t just about defying doctors and feeling better.
Both were outworkings of a lifestyle of submission to the Lord, and a desire to carefully steward ALL that He had given me… my body, my mind, my husband, my children, my home, my gifts, my time, and my money. In fact, none of them were mine at all, but HIS.
When you grasp this concept, it radically changes the way that you do things. It’s not just about you or your preferences anymore, but it’s about the bigger picture:
- Which foods should I serve to my family to nourish their bodies?
- How should we spend our money, and what things do we really need? Is debt ever an option? What should our giving look like?
- Do the products that we use affect our health? What about our environment?
- Is it right to support big agriculture, GMO foods, animal feedlots and food that travels farther than I do? If not, then how can I support sustainable agriculture and local farmers?
- What consequences will the things that we buy and use and support leave behind for our children’s children’s children?
- Is the conventional health care system really promoting health, or do we need to pursue alternatives to this broken system of treating symptoms rather than preventing illness?
- What kind of children do I want to raise? What will it look like to leave a godly legacy behind? How do I make the most of these precious and fleeting years of motherhood?
- When my life is finished, will I have poured myself out into the things that matter most? How will I have served the Lord and furthered His kingdom? Who will know Christ’s love because of my obedience to His call on my life? Will I be rewarded for a job well done?
These are some of the questions that motivate me in the decisions I make daily. They inspire the way that I mother my children, the food we eat, the things we buy, the way we educate, and the priorities our family has.
How Keeper of the Home got started
Ultimately, I wanted to share this journey that I was on, because back then, there honestly weren’t any good resources I knew for healthier homemaking, particularly from a Christian worldview. I started Keeper of the Home in the fall 2007, mostly as a hobby blog, with a thought in the back of my mind that I might like to grow it larger one day. Turns out, other women were also asking the same types of questions that I was, and so within a couple of years the site grew beyond my simple expectations.
When my husband and I chose to step out in faith and launch our own family business in 2009, Keeper of the Home also took on more of a business focus and helped to make our dream of being an entrepreneurial family come true.
With a rapidly growing family (2 children when we started, but now with 5 little ones), I recognized during 2012 that something had to change. Running this site and sharing with this community was incredibly important to me, but so was having the time and energy to actually be a “keeper of my home” (it’s ironic, right?). Unwilling to let the site go, I opted instead to invite carefully chosen writers who espoused many of the same values as I did, and to allow their voices and perspective to make this a richer and better resource.
Today, I run KOTH with the support of my husband, and an incredible team of people who help with social media, work with our sponsors, answer emails, keep everything up-to-date and looking pretty, and maintain my sanity. I honestly couldn’t do any of this without their help, as well as the contributing writers. I work only minimal part-time hours, so that I can continue to be a full-time homemaker, raising and training and homeschooling my children, growing and cooking good food, keeping my house clean (well, I try at least) and ensuring that we have clean clothes to wear (even if we have to dig through laundry baskets to find it).
It truly has become a community site, in every sense of the word, from the women that work so hard to maintain it and write out of their experiences and knowledge, to the hundreds of thousands of women who read it, share it, comment and discuss, and just generally make it a fantastic place to be.
So who am I?
lover of Jesus.
wife to Ryan.
mommy to Abbie (11), Caden (8 1/2), Johanna (6), Kepler (3 1/2), and Oliver (6 mths).
Thank you, friend, for stopping by and for reading my story.
My disclaimer: Although I am passionate about nutrition, natural living and alternative health issues, I am not a certified nutritionist, medical doctor, or practitioner of any kind. I am not licensed to counsel anyone in medical matters, nor may I be held responsible for any course of action that you choose in regards to your own health or that of your family. Please remember that what I am sharing is the result of my own experience and years of study, but may not necessarily be the right course of action for you. I am an advocate of becoming informed, knowledgeable and responsible for one’s own health, but my desire is not to be an authority on any matters of health for you, nor would I presume to have sufficient knowledge to do so. My hope is that what I share may encourage you and start you on the road to doing your own research, and seeking out the opinions of professionals or others that you trust.
Meet the Contributors
Meet the women who make up this amazing community of writers. They’re homemakers, mothers, and wives. They’re not perfect, they don’t have it all together, but they’re doing their best as they travel this road, just like you. Take a moment to get to know these ladies a little bit, visit their own websites, and look forward to what they have to share.
Ann’s the Keeper of KOTH! Read posts by Ann.
Stephanie’s the founder of Keeper of the Home. Read posts by Stephanie.
Dr. Julie Bates
Dr Julie Bates is a clinical psychologist, mother of 4, Ziglar Legacy Speaker, and natural health educator. Her goal is to teach people the steps needed to stay OFF her couch and the ways to be proactive in their lives! She travels and educates on natural healthcare options, including essential oils, plus the principles of Zig Ziglar. Read posts by Julie.
Janie is a spiritual director, a poet and writer of the spiritual life. She has a master of arts in pastoral theology and is a retreat leader and speaker. She is the director of Hidden Life Ministries, which she co-leads with her husband of 40 years, Don. In addition, Janie founded an inspirational wholesale gift company, Hidden Life Treasures. For seven years she worked in an art licensing. Janie is the author of Spa Treatments for Your Body and Soul, by Harvest House Publishers.
Kelly loves the Lord, her family, and sharing her passion for real food cooking and meal planning with others. She is a full-time homemaker who loves spending time with her awesome hubby and two sweet boys. Kelly’s real food journey began five years ago when she was diagnosed with a chronic auto-immune disorder. Since then, the Lord has blessed her with an amazing recovery – a testament to His grace and the health benefits of eating real food. Kelly shares her knowledge and love for whole food cooking at The Nourishing Home and Facebook . Read posts by Kelly.
As a community site, we share fantastic content written by a diverse team of women. Learn more about the vibrant team of writers who contribute to KOTH here.
Meet the KOTH Team
There’s also a team that’s hard at work behind the scenes to keep the site running.
Ann Timm, The Keeper
Ann runs the show. She makes the coffee. And the kombucha. Read the full story.
Sarah Reinhard, Keeper of Content and Coffee
Sarah helps Ann. She also drinks massive amounts of coffee, in addition to taking care of sprucing up the posts before they’re published and making the graphics. Rumor has it that she likes fuzzy ponies and won’t give up Chips Ahoy.
Lori Haley, Keeper of Social Media and Affiliate Stuff
Lori posts things to social media, manages a pile of details, and researches like a crazed scientist. She also loves circus tents, in case you wondered.
Lauren Salem, Keeper of Facebook
Because yes, Facebook gets its very own person. 🙂
Mark Timm, Keeper of the Boss
Mark isn’t just married to Ann, he’s also the business mind behind things. He would prefer not to be listed here, but he’s a real and present part of the team, and he doesn’t get off so easily.
Jen Truitt, Keeper of Invaluable Administrative Items
Jen keeps things running on the back end. You may never see her name anywhere but here, but we assure you: she’s keeping us going.
Malinda Walsh, Keeper of Real Deals
Malinda tirelessly searches and finds everything that’s a natural living deal and compiles them for us in our weekly Real Deals posts.
Izabela Stasiukiewicz, Keeper of Organizational Maximization
Every team needs an Iza, and we’re so glad we have her! She’s eager to learn everything and she is completely unfazed.