Of course, as much as my parents valued academics, I knew there were other areas a young woman must excel in if she wants to attract a proper husband. I therefore learned to cook, both from my mother or from simple experimentation. I prided myself on my pies, and even made noodles from scratch. Even though my mother did not can, she had the proper tools necessary, so I taught myself how to can vegetables. I knew that this skill was needed in a proper wife.
I also enjoyed gardening. We always had large gardens, and we children did a great deal of the tending and weeding, sometimes waking at dawn in the summer months to weed before the summer heat. In addition to learning to garden, I found books at a homeschool convention about edible plants and medicinal herbs and set out to teach myself these important skills. I learned that dandelions could be eaten in salads, that plantain was good for mosquito bites, and that raspberry leaves made an excellent tea for pregnant women (such as my mother). I even tried to make flour out of clover. I loved walking through marshy areas or abandoned lots looking for plants that matched the pictures in my books, becoming excited at each new find. I knew that a proper wife should be able to forage for food and prepare herbal remedies, especially if the government collapsed and the country descended into anarchy as we always feared it would.
In addition to cooking and gardening, I knew a proper wife must know how to sew. This was no problem for me as I sewed clothing for myself and my younger siblings and crocheted sweaters for whichever child was the baby at the moment. At one point, the Lord of the Rings became a bit of a fad in our circle of friends, and I quickly outfitted everyone in homemade costumes. I also sewed a quilt, because I knew a proper wife must fill her hope chest with homemade quilts. I cross-stitched several samplers as well, ever proud of my growing accomplishments. I would be ready, I knew, for that moment when a godly man would seek my hand in marriage.
I also spent a good deal of time teaching my younger siblings and other homeschoolers we knew. I taught languages and math, eager to help my mom out by taking some of the load off her shoulders while at the same time practicing for when I would someday homeschool my own children.