Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Good TUESDAY Morning!

In My Kitchen
Good Morning, Sweet Ladies!

It's been over a week since I've posted and I feel like I'm missing in action. I thought I better take a minute to check in and give you a quick update. 

The past week has been full of adventures...some of them good...some of them not so good, but praise God! His mercy endureth forever and I praise Him for His mighty hand of protection over all!

On Wednesday of last week, I went with my friend, Laura, to her last chemo treatment. She's done so well with all of this and I'm super proud of her! Thankfully, she is getting a bit of a break before having surgery the first week of October. I ask that you all continue to remember her in your prayers as the Lord leads.

On Thursday our flower bed and the neighbor's tree caught on fire due to a neighbor across the way's burning brush piles. Needless to say, that led to quite a bit of excitement, but it all ended well and with an impromptu pizza party at our house. (How in the world did THAT happen??? 😲 LOL! 😆)

I worked Friday and Saturday. Friday was quiet and Saturday was golden! I didn't get a lot accomplished with what I needed to be working on, but it was the best work week I've had in a long time! I will share more about that later.

We had a good church service Sunday morning and then I worked again Sunday afternoon. It was good. Not many people, but accomplished more than the previous two days combined.

Then, yesterday! Yesterday I took a friend to town to pick up her senior box and go grocery shopping and ended up in the ER after having a severe allergic reaction to the food I was eating while having lunch out. I have a lot more to share about this later, too, but it will be after I get a little further down the road. I just praise God, again, for His mighty hand of protection! It was bad, but He was there. Praise His holy name!

As for now, I need to go. I just wanted to drop in and touch base. I have several posts in the works and hope that things slow down soon so I can get back on track with everything. Until then, please, pray for me and know that I am thinking of and praying over each and every one of you. 

Until next time...

Past posts that you might enjoy...

HEARTH AND HOME - September 3, 2011

Monday, September 4, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday - September 4, 2017

Greetings, Dear Ladies!

Happy September! And Happy Labor Day! I pray that this post finds each and every one of you healthy, happy, serving the Lord (and your families) with gladness, and enjoying your day to the fullest!

It's so good to be here with you all again this week. The past week has a been a complete blur and I'm not really sure where it's went, but I do know that it's a blessing to be linking up with Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom and all of you here at Happy Homemaking Monday again this week! 💓

The weather...

Today is supposed to be the last hot day with a high of 93. After this the bottom drops out. Wednesday the high is supposed to be 66 with an overnight low of 48. The rest of the days in the ten-day forecast promise to be warm (highs ranging from 71 to 82) with cool, crisp nights (lows in the 50's). Fall weather at its finest and I'm going to be lovin' it! 🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁

Right now I am...

Having a cup of tea and visiting with my husband while working on this post. Stripes (our cat) just finished his breakfast and is sitting on the floor between my husband and I's chairs acting like he's in on (and up-to-date) with everything that is happening. 😄 He's a good cat. We've had him a long time.17-years to be exact. 🐱

On my reading pile...

I've actually made progress this week! I finished 
Talk To Me: Connecting With The Heart of God by Lynette Hagin and read another short book after that which finishes up the required reading for this section of the Bible college course that I am taking. Actually, my best friend and I are taking the classes together. We are now, officially, half way through. Yeah!

People of the River's Mouth - In Search of the Missouria Indians by Michael Dickey and Trim Healthy Mama Plan by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison are still in my reading pile and, to that, I have added Growing Up Spiritually by Kenneth E. Hagin and a book that my cousin purchased for me called Missouri Caves in History and Legend by H. Dwight Weaver. I haven't started reading it yet, but it is in my reading pile. I probably won't start it until after I finish People of the River's Mouth. The book captured our attention when we realized it features one of the caves that our dads used to explore when we were kids. My dad and uncle actually took my cousin to that cave once when he was a boy. I wanted to go, but never made it. I certainly did enjoy the stories about all their adventures there though! It will be fun to see what the book has to say about it. 😊

On the menu this week....

- Monday -  Troodle Casserole (S) pg 135 with Swiss Garlic Bread (FP) pg 196
- Tuesday - 
Chicken Parmy (pg 161) over sauteed yellow squash (pg 222) and Simple Steamed Broccoli (pg 354 THM Original)
- Wednesday - 
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (E) pg 100 served with 2 slices sprouted bread toast
- Thursday - Fakertot Casserole (S) pag 147
- Friday - Grilled salmon (S, E, or FP) pg 284 Original THM, yellow squash sauteed in butter (S), and Green Fries (S) pg 357 THM Original
- Saturday - 
Salisbury Steak (S) pg 174, Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes (S) pg 361, Simple Steamed Broccoli (S) pg 354
- Sunday - leftovers

On my to do list....

- Complete my "home blessing" 
- Go over this week's planner - detail plans and make lists for everything that's coming up
- Keep working at the old house (we've got less than 30 days to finish up before selling)

In the craft basket...

- Last week I told you all about the hanging stars made from big bluestem that I was working on and several of you expressed an interest in seeing them, so here one is. T
his is a craft project that I will be doing with children at an upcoming tall grasses program at work.

Stars Made of Big Bluestem Grass and Artificial Sinew
- In addition to this, I am very excited about a new endeavor that I am hoping to break into. As soon as I get my tools together and can produce a decent product, I will share more. 

Looking forward to this week...

- The gorgeous fall weather and s
pending time with my friend, Laura (last chemo treatment! Woo hoo!)

From the camera...More pictures from Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site where our youngest daughter works. These photos were taken inside the house.

This beautiful spiral staircase takes visitors from the first
floor of the Watkins home to the second.

These little dolls capture my attention every
time I visit the Watkins home. Aren't they cute?

I love all the old books on the shelves in the library...
especially this beautiful, old, family Bible.

There are several oil lamps in every room of the Watkins
home and I think I've taken pictures of every one of them.
This one sits on the dresser in 'the girls' room."

This loom in the Watkins home is used to
 make rag rugs for the floors.

Here our daughter demonstrates how the loom
works and how the rugs are made.
Scripture Reading....

There are so many voices in the world today that sometimes it's hard to know what's what, but to experience God's peace and freedom from anxiety, believers must fix their minds on the truth of the Word, because, in reality, it's the only Truth that there is. When everything is coming against you and you can't think straight, quiet yourself, open your Bible, and think on these things...

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8).

Well, Ladies, that's if for this week! I pray that each and every one of you have a blessed week ahead and I will see you next time!
Until then...

Recent posts that you might enjoy:

Friday, September 1, 2017

Five Minute Friday - NEIGHBOR

Five Minute Friday a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, "...no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

This week's prompt is: NEIGHBOR


In posting this week's prompt, Kate asks, "What comes to mind when you think of the word NEIGHBOR?"

Ahhhh! For me, the word "neighbor" evokes a myriad of beautiful, joy-filled memories of days gone by...golden days...days I will always cherish and never forget.

They moved in next-door in September of 2004. I had been told that they "homeschooled like we did", but I doubted that very much because NOBODY "homeschooled like we did." I wasn't even sure that I wanted to get to know them well enough to find out. Well...actually...I was sure that I didn't, but...as it turned out, God had other plans.

It was friendly enough...a smile and "hello" in passing across the lawn, until New Year's Day 2005. At around 7:00 a.m. on January 1st someone started knocking frantically on our front door. I jumped out of bed to discover my new neighbor standing there, obviously distraught, asking if she might come in because she needed to talk. Like myself, she was a pastor's wife, and she and her husband had just arrived home from a rather unsettling situation that they had been called into in the middle of the night. She needed a cup of tea. I got her settled in the kitchen, then excused myself to get dressed and presentable. After that we talked nonstop until late afternoon. In doing so we discovered that we were, indeed, like-minded in many areas (including our homeschooling methods) and the rest is history.

My new neighbor, Robin, became one of the closest neighbors and dearest friends I've ever known. What followed that first day of fellowship turned into what became referred to, by both of us, as "the golden years"...long days of fun-filled, zany adventures...some homeschool related and some not.  

Robin and I shared a great love for the Lord Jesus Christ and often discussed Biblical theology. We enjoyed taking our children on field trips together and kicking around natural areas just to bask in the beauty and wonder of God's glorious creation. We enjoyed teatime and Pride and Prejudice and Lord of the Rings movie marathons, blueberry pie at midnight, and whole host of other wild, wonderful, and crazy things. 

All of these things ended when Robin and her family moved away to East Tennessee. Oh, how I missed her!!! The emotion of missing her was so strong that my heart, literally, ached for want of breaking.

She came back once or twice for a quick visit, but, the last time she came, I was sick in bed and wasn't able to converse with her at all. It wasn't long after that that she called to tell me that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. After a long and courageous battle I called her to check on her one day (or she called me...I can't remember). She said that something was different and that this was it. Two days later, on December 23, 2012, my beautiful friend and forever neighbor...my beloved "sister-by-heart"...was gone. 

My heart still aches for want of seeing Robin's face again...hearing her voice...her "Hey, Lady!" or "Good gravy!!!"...but I will see her soon enough. What we shared was eternal. I have no doubt that what we shared here, we will share there, but there our relationship will be perfected in the Light of our glorious Lord and Savior!

I love you, Robin, and I miss you, but soon, my dear friend! Soon...and very soon...we will all be together again! <3

Robin and I


Until next time...

Recent posts that you might enjoy - 

Five Super Simple Ways To Stash Some Extra Cash

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Five Super Simple Ways To Stash Some Extra Cash

Below are five simple ways that my husband and I have learned to save and stash cash that actually results in hundreds of hidden dollars being saved every year. Then, we are able to strategically (and painlessly) use those extra dollars for specific purposes at specific times throughout the year. This has resulted in HUGE savings along the way!

1. Learn to Budget Using a Cash-Only Envelope System - 

By using Dave Ramsey's envelope system we're learning (have been learning for a very long time) to curb spending and save money. When I first started working (part-time three-and-a-half-years ago) I asked for help in setting up a budget. While definitely far from perfect, we have made great strides in learning to adjust and overcome. We leave enough money in the checking account to pay bills and the rest is divided up into envelopes to be used for gas, groceries, and other day-to-day living expenses.

2. Save and Roll All Loose Change - 

This is something that we've done since our children were small (and using the cash-only system produces a LOT of loose change...which is GREAT!!!) But, when the children were small, we'd save our loose change all year long, roll it, and turn it in at Christmastime. Between that and our 'override' checking account system (more about that in a minute) Christmas money was being stashed throughout the year and when it came time to buy all we had to do was take it to the bank and turn it into bills. We still do the same thing now, but, instead of Christmas we use our rolled change to pay for weekend getaways and mini vacations. 

3. Use the 'Override' System in Your Checking Account - 

This is one that drives some people absolutely crazy when I tell them about it, but it's something that we've done since the early days of having a checking account as a couple and it has worked for and benefited us in multiple ways over the years. I don't know why I call it the 'override' system, but that's what I've always called it and I'm not changing it now. LOL! 

What I do is simple. When making a deposit, I write down the actual amount of the deposit in the DEPOSIT, CREDIT (+) column (for example - $353.76), but in the running total column on the far right, I round it DOWN to the nearest whole dollar (using the example above, I would write down $353.00) and that is the total that I go by. In reality, there is a difference of 76 cents in the account that is not showing up in the total that I'm seeing on a day-to-day basis. 

Likewise, when I  write a check or pay a bill or make a payment for something using automatic withdrawal, I write the actual amount spent in the PAYMENT, FEE, WITHDRAWAL (-) column. For example, say whatever I purchased or paid for using my checking account or debit card totaled $24.01...that's what I would write in the (-) column. But, then, in the running total column I round the that amount UP to $25.00. In doing so, I just hid 99 cents from myself in that checking account. 

It all sounds crazy I know, but it's a simple method of hiding money from ourselves and at the end of the year we are usually sitting on an extra $300.00 to $500.00 that we didn't know we had.

I mean, we do know we have it...obviously...because every month when I balance the checkbook I know exactly how much is in the 'override' at that point, but, you know what I'm saying...we know it's there, but we don't acknowledge it being there until we decide to use it for something specific. This method has come in handy over the years to be used for Christmas, in an emergency, to pay towards credit card debt, or to be given away to someone in need. It's a great way to build a hidden savings account a few cents at a time.

4. Take Advantage of Store-Instituted Savings Programs - 
For example, Walmart's Savings Catcher -

I can't say that Walmart, in reality, makes our lives better, but I do save a lot of money at Walmart every year by taking advantage of their Savings Catcher program.

In a nutshell, what the Savings Catcher does (after making your account and going to the trouble of adding your receipt information in each time you shop) is check your receipt against all the other store ads within a so-many-square-mile radius of the store you purchased from, and, if there are any items on your receipt that you could have been purchased cheaper somewhere else, they give you the difference. I guess you could call it electronic ad-matching at its finest (or not). 

Anyway, I save up all my Saving Catcher dollars until I have a fair amount, then I have it transferred to my Bluebird card (this is the ONLY thing that I use my Bluebird card for) and then decide how to spend it. Last year we saved up $100.00 and gave it away as a gift and, just yesterday, I used my savings to purchase my entire $72.51 Walmart grocery shopping trip for FREE.

So...it really does pay (for us, anyway) to participate in this. 

5.  Take Advantage of Store-Instituted Point Programs - For example, Pete's gas station's Kickback card -

I really enjoy my Kickback card! Even though we, occasionally, have to settle for something else, we really don't like running any gas other than Conoco or Phillip's 66 through our vehicles. Those are the ones that our vehicles perform best on and that we get the best gas mileage with. So, we were super excited when our local Pete's chain of gas stations started the Kickback program! 

What happens with it is, after enrolling in the program and by sliding your Kickback card each time you spend money at Pete's (gas, drinks, food, whatever), you receive points. Each point equals 1 cent. You can't redeem the points FOR cash, but you can spend the points LIKE cash. For us, this results in one to two full tanks of gas for FREE each year!

Also, Kickback keeps track of fountain drinks purchased. Buy 9 and the 10th one is always free. 

Well, folks, these are a few of the ways that we've learned to stash some extra cash over the years in our home. When you add them altogether, these have added up to some substantial savings! 

Are there ways that you and your family have learned to stash some extra cash? If so, I'd love to hear your ideas in return!

Until next time...

Some recent posts that you might enjoy...

Happy Homemaking Monday - August 28, 2017