Saturday, October 24, 2009

REPRINT - OCTOBER 17, 2004

Good Evening, Dear Friends!

It's been a while since I've been able to be with you. Our next-to-the-oldest
son, Zach, got married in September, and our next-to-the-youngest son, Buddy,
got married yesterday. We now have two new daughter-in-laws, and both of them
already fit into our family quite nicely! Needless to say, though, with two
weddings...on top of an already busy family, home, homeschooling, and church
life...the normal little, extra day-to-day things...like HEARTH AND HOME..have
taken a back seat. Hopefully, now, we can relax a bit and get back on some sort
of schedule.

Can you believe that it's October already? And now the holidays are just around
the corner! Where has this year gone?!

You know, it truly has been a busy year for us, but the Lord has been so good to
us! In some ways...especially financially...it's been the roughest year we've
had in quite some time, but despite everything...what a mighty move of the Lord
we have seen this past year! In oh! So many areas! We are so thankful! So
humbled by God's goodness to us! There is no doubt that the Lord truly is our
refuge and fortress; His truth our shield and buckler (Psalm 91). Over and over
again we have learned that, as we stand firmly on His Word and, patiently, do
His work and His will, He is ever mindful of our needs. He has never once failed
us. Oh! How we love the Lord! How we love to praise His holy name!

Well, I suppose that I should get on with this issue of HEARTH AND HOME. I just
wanted to take a moment and share with you the Lord's goodness. Why don't you
grab a cup of hot tea and settle back as we delve into this latest issue of
HEARTH AND HOME. It's so good to be with you again!

Here we go....

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HOUSEHOLD HINTS
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* Rinse cooked, crumbled ground beef under hot water to wash away up to 50% of
the fat.

* Instead of milk, try adding a splash of orange juice to spiced or herbal tea
for an instant gourmet flavor.

* Make your own homemade Fabreeze by dissolving 1 cup baking soda in 4 cups warm
water, then adding 2 cups fabric softener. Pour into spray bottle and use as you
would Fabreeze.

* To fully clean and deodorize jars that have contained things like peanut
butter, mayonnaise, etc., rinse with vinegar when empty. It will remove odors
and clear any greasy residue.

* To clean aluminum exhaust hood filters that are used to trap dirt and grease
above your cooking range, simply toss in the dishwasher, or wash and rinse in
hot soapy water, once a week.


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AUTUMN DECORATING IDEAS
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* http://www.budget101.com/Autumn%20Decor.htm


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DOLLARS AND SENSE
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I've shared these before, but cold weather is upon us again. Get ready for it by
following these cold-weather tips from the folks at the $1 Energy Fund:

KEEP THE HOT AIR IN BY PREVENTING DRAFTS.
Seal all cracks, holes and crevices where cold air blows in and hot air leaks
out. Remember to keep your blinds and drapes closed at night to block drafty
window areas. You could save up to ten percent on your annual bills.

MONITOR YOUR THERMOSTAT. Keep the temperature at sixty-eight degrees or lower.
Each degree higher uses three percent more energy. Lower your thermostat setting
at night, and turn your heat down before you leave the house. It costs less to
reheat your home than to keep it warm while you're out.

KEEP HEAT CREATIVELY. Open your drapes during sunny days to let natural heat in
your house. Dust or vacuum your vents often to maintain airflow. Shut off the
heat to unused rooms and keep their doors closed. Wear warm clothes and
sweaters, and use blankets while resting.

Here are some more money saving ideas that can keep $$$ in your pocket...

*Attic insulation should be at least six inches deep; it will save 10 percent of
your overall heating bill.

*Lower the heating and cooling systems when your home is vacant for more than
eight hours.

*Use crock-pots and pressure cookers instead of the oven.

*Fix leaky toilets and faucets...especially hot water faucets. One leaky faucet
wastes over 1,300 gallons a year!!!

*Take a shower instead of a bath. This can save as much as 50 percent of the
total hot water used in your home.

*Save medical costs by practicing preventative medicine. Eat right, drink plenty
of fresh water, exercise, get plenty of rest, reduce stress, get plenty of
fresh air and sunshine, pray, and fast as God leads.

* To get thousands of money saving ideas, a jump on holiday jar mixes, budgeting
ideas, and more, check out Budget 101! Just click here:
http://www.budget101.com/


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CRAFT IDEA
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Dryer Sheet Sachet
2 used white dryer sheets
1 heaping tablespoon potpourri
1 length of ribbon
2 or 3 small pieces dried flowers
Tacky glue

Place one dryer sheet over top of the other dryer sheet so that the corners of
the second sheets are centered at the sides of the first sheet. Place the
potpourri in the center of the sheets. Gather up and tie with ribbon. Decorate
with dried flours.

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HEARTH AND HOME QUESTION
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In the last issue of HEARTH AND HOME (August 2004) I asked:

"...with the skyrocketing prices of food and gasoline what, if
anything, are you doing differently to make ends meet in your household? What
money saving measures do you and your family practice on a regular basis in
order to combat high utility bills?"

Here are a couple of responses that I received as a result:


Rebecca,

Well, the first thing we did was to save up money for the summer. My husband
worked a little extra on the side before school let out. The past 4-5 summers
have been rough for us. We also managed to finally refinance our mortgage which
lowered our house payments over $200 per month!! That plus the savings account
helped.

In addition, we sold a vehicle. That saved on gas and insurance. Make sure
your auto insurance is reasonable. Don't have anything but liability on a
vehicle if it's not worth replacing!

I also go to a grocery store out of town and carpool with my mother-in-law.

We also did away with our cell phone. We miss it sometimes, but we live in a
dead area. Therefore, we weren't using the minutes, and we were paying a high
price every month. When we had it, it was pretty important, but not anymore.
We also switched Internet Service Providers and cut our cost 2/3!! Speaking
of cell phones, be sure there's not a smaller, cheaper package you could use.
Also, if you have good service/connection in your area, it might be a good idea
to check on a deal where you can get two for the price of one. That way you
could possibly just use cell phones instead of regular phone service. Keep one
at home, and take one with you when going away.

One more thing -- use your library!!! Most libraries these days have computers
with free internet access, music cd's, free video/DVD's, and, of course, books!
I find I save a lot of money borrowing books instead of buying them. Stores
that buy books from you and have used books for sale are a bargain! Also, keep
an eye open at yard/garage sales for books!

As for groceries, I try not to be too brand loyal. When using coupons, make
sure the coupon is really a bargain. I really despise those coupons that
require buying 2 or 3 of an item. You'll find just buying one without the
coupon will keep your grocery bill down. Buying the store's own brand of the
product, if it's good, will save even more!

Good luck!

Annette

I have been cooking more one pot dinners all summer, it takes less meat that
way. I have also made the switch to using vinegar in place of my expensive
fabric softener, actually found it works better. I also hang all laundry out on
the clotheslines instead of the dryer. Lastly I still use the dishwasher, but I
turn off the cycle when it gets to the drying part, I just let them dry on their
own.

Michelle H.

Thank you, Annette and Michelle! You both offered us some great money saving
ideas, and your input is greatly appreciated! God bless you both! ~Rebecca

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QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS
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* "Can you use regular bread recipes in a bread machine? Or do you have to use
recipes especially designed to be used in a bread machine? I'm looking for good,
wholesome and healthy bread machine recipes. Does anyone here have any? " -D.P.

* "How do you completely remove the color from denim before redying?" -R.K.

If you have the answers to these questions, and don't mind me sharing them in a
future issue of HEARTH AND HOME, please, feel free to share! Send your
responses to: wlmo@tiadon.com. Be sure and put QUESTIONS FROM READERS in the
subject line. Thank you!

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BE SURE AND CAST YOUR BALLOT ON TUESDAY,
NOVEMBER 2ND BECAUSE YOUR VOTE COUNTS!
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RECIPES
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POPPY-SEED CHICKEN

3 lbs. chicken, cooked and cubed
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 stick butter
2 cups sour cream
2 T. poppy seeds
1 stack Ritz crackers

Mix chicken, soups, sour cream, and poppy seeds. Pour into a large baking dish.
Crush crackers over top. Melt butter and pour over top. Bake 30 minutes at 350
degrees.

YUMMY BREAD

1 loaf Texas toast
butter
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 onion, minced
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Butter each slice of Texas toast. Mix Miracle Whip, Parmesan cheese, minced
onion, and Worcestershire sauce. Spread a thin layer on each slice. Bake at 200
degrees for 15 minutes. Broil until golden brown. Serve hot.

PUMPKIN SQUARES

1 Spice Cake Mix (MYO or boxed but only the dry ingredients)
3/4 C. Miracle Whip
1 16 oz Can Pumpkin
3 Eggs

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8oz. Package Cream Cheese (softened)
1/4 C. Butter or Margarine (softened)
3 C. Confectioners Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Mix all of the pumpkin bar ingredients in a bowl just until combined well.
Don't over mix. Pour in a greased 13x9 cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for
30-40 minutes until toothpick comes out of the center clean. Cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, Cream the cream cheese and the butter together in
your mixer bowl until quite fluffy. Mix in the powdered sugar 1/2 C. at a time
until well
blended. Add vanilla and mix until well blended. Chill in refrigerator until
the cake is completely cool. Frost & enjoy. For an added touch, sprinkle a bit
of cinnamon on the plate before you put the cake on it!



PUMPKIN BROWNIES

1 15-ounce can of pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or 325 degrees if baking in glass dish). Beat
together eggs, oil, pumpkin and sugar. Stir in remaining ingredients until
evenly mixed. Pour into a greased and floured 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Bake
for 30 minutes (or until center springs back when touched). Serve with whipped
topping or a cream cheese frosting. Chopped nuts can be tossed on top of
the frosting.

(This recipe was submitted by a dear friend of ours who is lovingly known to our
children as "Grandma" Jean. We've made this recipe twice now, and our family
loves it! It is more like a cake than brownies, though. We topped ours with
powdered sugar and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you, Grandma Jean!)

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Well, Ladies, that's it for this time! I hope to be with you all again real
soon. In the meantime, take time to realize what an awesome responsibility and
opportunity you have to influence those within your own home and all who enter
it's doors. Seek the Lord with your whole heart, bloom where you are planted,
and dare to make a positive difference in the lives of all whom the Lord places
within your path! God bless you!

Until next time...

Love and Hugs,
~Rebecca
(wife, homeschooling mom, and homemaker)
Proverbs 31:10-31; Titus 2:3-5

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