Saturday, April 30, 2016

Your May To-Do's

We finally have a little break from the rains and some wonderful sun to work outside in.  : )  It's May tomorrow!  Here are a few to-do's for this month:

*Plant your gardens (even if it's just a couple of window boxes or pots)
*Check your tires, fluid levels, and belts (in your vehicles, that is)  : )
*stock up on sunscreen and organic bug repellant 
*clean the outdoor furniture
*clean the gutters
*ventilate the basement
*clean your upholstery/carpet
*install outdoor lighting
*organize and clean out the garage
*fertilize your gardens
*edge the sidewalks and paths for easy mowing and it looks attractive too
*wash/repaint walls

Lot's to do!!!  But it's all good and it will keep you on track so you don't get behind.

I truly hope you enjoy this day.  Thank you for dropping by and God bless you and the work you do.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesday Afternoon

The April rains just set in again.  It's been windy all day and now it's windy AND rainy.  Good to be indoors.  : )

I wanted to do a little follow-up on the four toiletry products I made yesterday to let you know what I think about them.  I used the homemade facial scrub and toner last night after taking my makeup off and I was very pleased.  The facial scrub just consists of 1/2 cup organic sugar to 1/4 cup olive oil (and you can add or subtract from this depending on how wet or dry you like your scrub).  That's it - two ingredients and my skin felt so good afterwards.  As I've gotten older my skin has gotten worse and I used to exfoliate but got away from it so this motivates me to get back into it again.  You can take this in the shower as well, but I hesitate in doing that for fear of the bathtub getting slippery from the oil.  It can also be used on your hands.  Mine felt so soft when done.  So, product number one gets a two thumbs up!!!!!

The toner also worked well and is also just two ingredients - 2 Tbsp. organic apple cider vinegar and 4 Tbsp. distilled water.  What this toner does is get your skin back to a natural ph balance after washing with soap or cold cream.  I went to bed feeling pretty pampered.  : )

Both exfoliation and toning isn't meant to be an every night thing.  Toning can be done 2 - 3 times a week, but exfoliation should only be done once a week.  There is such a thing as overdoing it which would create a whole new problem!  : o  Product number two - another two thumbs up!!!!!

This morning I tried my homemade shampoo and rinse.  Again, I really liked it.  Because it was my first time in using it, I wasn't sure how much I needed.  Now I know - you don't need very much at all to create a wonderful lather which will also be a money saver.  The ingredients are 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup liquid castille (I used lavender) and 1/2 tsp. olive oil (or omit if you have oily hair).  I poured all the ingredients into a squeeze bottle and put it in the shower.  Product number three - two thumbs up!!!  : )  The only thing I would need to tell you is to try to not get it into your eyes.  I did.  Not good.

The rinse just consists of 1 Tbsp. organic apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of water - again, just two ingredients.  This I put into a spray bottle and just saturate the hair after shampooing and then rinse well.  Product number four - two thumbs up!!!!!

So, to say I'm excited about all this is an understatement.  

I made the mouthwash this afternoon but haven't tried it yet.  I will let you know what I think about that too.  This is just all so very exciting.  So far the only thing that I've tried three times making and I don't like is the homemade dish soap.  That is one product that I will continue to purchase at the store. I'm a bubble person and I need bubbles when I wash dishes - the homemade versions didn't have bubbles.  Can you tell I like bubbles?  


*the groceries have been purchased and put away
*made cookie dough for homemade cookies for tomorrow night's Bible study
*made bread for tonight's meal
*copied some recipes

That is about all I can tell you.  I'll need to get into the kitchen soon to start supper so I will say goodbye.  I hope you have had a good day and that you have a cozy evening.  Take care, God bless you in your homemaking efforts, and thanks for dropping by.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Taco Tuesday

Green South Dakota Badlands

It's Tuesday once again.  It can only mean Taco Tuesday for supper.  I didn't take pictures of our hard-shell tacos because I know that you know what they look like.  : )  I did, however take pictures of what I was going to serve with the tacos:

this is a "dip" for our tortilla chips - very easy - just mix cream cheese and sour cream together for the bottom layer, salsa (homemade) next, and top it with shredded cheddar cheese and black olives.

Ingredients for an apple crisp which looks like this fresh from the oven

and served with this

homemade whipped cream (nothing from a tub!).  Yum.  : )

So, that was supper tonight.  The rest of the week looks like this:

*Whatever Wednesday - stovetop ring sausage with potatoes and carrots, salad, whole grain bread
*Thrifty Thursday - homemade "Hamburger Helper" mix, green beans, whole grain bread
*Fish Friday - salmon patties w/honey mustard sauce, steamed broccoli, brown rice pilaf
*Saturday (in the winter months it used to be "Soup Saturday, so I need to come up with another catchy theme)  anyway - we have another free pizza coupon that we will use.  : )
*Special Sunday - Homemade chicken and noodles, grilled cheese sandwiches, fresh fruit
*Meatless Monday - Baked potato supper w/sour cream, cheese, green onions, salad, jello w/yogurt
*and back to Taco Tuesday again!

I took four toiletry items from yesterday's project of trying to find homemade products and made:

*Facial toner
*Facial scrub
*Hair rinse

I'm hoping to make the toothpaste and mouthwash this weekend as I need to buy just one thing yet for that and then I will wait to make the face cream and body lotion until I use up what I have right now. I'm not going to throw anything out!   

The other thing I did today was look up quick, small batch jam recipes that don't require canning. They can be made quickly and then either frozen or stored in the fridge but used up in a month or so. This all started at lunch today when I opened a jar of store-bought raspberry jam.  I said "Hmm.......another product to make!"  I tell ya, I don't know what happened but I hope that I have enough energy  to do all of this.  : )

Well, that is it for today.  Thank you for dropping by - you are ALWAYS welcome.  Let's encourage each other as women to do what we can to make our homes a good place to be.  God bless you. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Home Management Part of Homemaking

The one thing about homemaking is that it encompasses so many areas of the home.  It's not just keeping the house clean and organized, or cooking and shopping, the homemaker is also a home manager.  She has to take the time to:

*pull the calendar down and begin to look ahead in the days, weeks, and months to come - are there any special events coming up?  When would be a good time to go on vacation or, at least, get a few days away?  What about birthdays and anniversaries?  Are there any gifts that need to be bought?
*take out pen and paper to write a weekly menu (which also requires a look at the calendar) and write a grocery list to match.
*keep track of all expenses -  how can you save?  When does this bill need to be paid?  It requires a filing system so you keep up with what's coming in and going out and a place for the paperwork that goes with that.
*research things of interest or importance in the running of the household - money saving ideas, home projects and what needs to be purchased for it, maybe keeping a special notebook to hold all the information.

In order for a home to run smoothly and properly, some type of home management system needs to be established.  This is one area where you can't just wing it.  If you do, there will be that bill that didn't get paid and now you pay a penalty.  There will be an important birthday that you'll forget. There will be a time when you pay much more for something than you should have if you would have only taken the time to check.  And so it goes.

Right now on the table, I have my wall calendar down with the summer calendar that my husband brought home on what his available time-off dates are so that I can pencil in some camping trips or trips to go see family or start thinking about the upcoming summer holidays.  

I also have notes on research projects that I'm having fun with.  This past weekend I started to take a look at my toiletry products and made a list of everything I use during my morning and evening routine.

It looks something like this:

*I brush my teeth
*I shower and use shampoo and conditioner
*I use a deodorant soap and a body soap
*I use a daily moisturizer on my face
*I use a daily body lotion
*I apply deodorant

*I then apply my makeup
*And blow dry my hair

*I brush my teeth and use a mouthwash
*I take my makeup off
*I moisturize my face and neck
*I apply chapstick

Then, I got to thinking about products.  I'm not only on a quest to eat healthy with fresh food and cook from scratch with good ingredients, I want to start making my own toiletry products as well. So, this afternoon has been about going on-line and printing "recipes" for these items and can't wait to begin to try them!!!  So far I've found:

*Homemade coconut oil toothpaste
*Minty Clove mouthwash
*Basic shampoo and hair rinse
*Homemade sugar scrub (for exfoliation)
*Natural facial toner
*Homemade face cream
*Homemade body lotion

The wonderful thing about these products (aside from being all-natural) is that I have a lot of the ingredients already here at home, so the rest of this afternoon will be spent in putting them together. There are a couple of ingredients that I will need to purchase this week but once I have them, I will have them for a long time.  I will let you know if they work and, if not, I'll keep looking until I find something that does!!  : )  This is not only fun for me but I know that it will save money. I'm still using the homemade deodorant that I made a while back and it works so well, I'll never go back to the store-bought stuff.  The same is true with my homemade laundry detergent and homemade softener sheets for the dryer.  I won't buy anymore cleaning products because the baking soda and vinegar does the trick for me. 

So when you're at home, remember to take the time for this kind of thing.  Manage your home well so that it's cost effective and you're not wasting the hard earned dollars. And try to get away from mindlessly buying expensive products at the store just because it's easier.  You'll be surprised that you might just have more money left over at the end of the month - and we could all use that! Have fun with this.  What things do you use right now that you could make instead?  You'd be surprised!  : )

God bless you as you manage your home.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Morning

It's a wonderfully cloudy, rainy, morning.  Thunder off in the distance.  The trees bursting with new leaves, flowering trees and shrubs, tulips of many colors, the green grass.  Beautiful.  : )

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."  Colossians 3:16 & 17


*open your Bible and read - let the word of God speak to you and live in you
*let us help each other and lift each other up in prayer
*sing to the Lord (even though you don't think you have a singing voice)  : )
*be grateful to God for what he has done in your life and continues to do
*whatever you do today, do it for Jesus - He has done so much for us
*give thanks to our Heavenly Father in Jesus' name

Have a blessed Sabbath.

Saturday, April 23, 2016


Saturday is our one day that is pretty laid back.  We get up when our bodies WANT to get up.  I make a pot of coffee and browse my favorite blogs (and sometimes end up writing one).  : )  The husband watches his morning news and then we decide to get ready for the day.  My morning cooking shows will be on soon and there will be a light lunch.  Hope to get outside today as it promises to be warm and sunny.  Then a visit to father-in-law with dessert in hand for the evening.  

That's the plan anyway.  We all know that what we have planned and what actually happens are sometimes two different things!!  But at least there is a plan of some sort.  The outdoor work will (hopefully) consist of:

*cleaning the BBQ grill - we don't do a lot of grilling but it needs cleaning from the long winter
*put down more mulch around the trees and bushes to give it that clean and finished look
*start cleaning the garage (that truly has become a catch all and needs to be purged!)
*and then whatever else catches our eye while we're are outside

Our meal will be a take out pizza with a "free" coupon in hand.  : )  A no-cook night!  We'll just have a little salad off to the side.

So, basically, that is what this Saturday looks like.  How about you?  Have a wonderful day. Remember to take a little break and do something to relax you.  Enjoy this day the Lord has made - rejoice and be glad in it.  : )  God bless.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Make Hay While The Sun Shines

While I do wish I was out in the country making hay, taking care of what I have is second best - bloom where you're planted I guess.  : )  Yesterday, I got to the outdoor chores right before the rains began, and today I didn't think I'd get out at all because it rained right through the morning hours.  We really need the rain so I'm not going to complain.  I was sewing this afternoon downstairs when I looked out the window and noticed that the sun was shining.  Well, that was all I needed.  I stopped sewing, turned out the lights, and went outside to work.  It's amazing how much work you can get accomplished in an hour or so.  That's why I've titled this post the way I did.  When there is an opening to get something done, I find that I'd better do it or I may never get to it (or feel like doing it).  As of this writing, I'm looking out the window and it's dark and cloudy and raining again so now I'm REALLY glad I worked when I had the chance..  : )

I am in the process of cleaning up the yard and putting decorative things out, throwing a lot away that has rotted over the years and just getting rid of excess.  One of the decorative items I made last night (and put out today) was this:

It's a birdbath I put together using thrift store items such as a shallow bowl, a fancy vase, and the flower pot turned upside down was something that I already had here at home.  You find this kind of stuff all over the internet and flea market magazines so thought I'd give it a try.  A little touch of whimsy in the garden is fun.  

What I'm really happy about is my crockpot meal.  : )  I put a beef roast in bright and early this morning and it's been smelling good all day.  So all I had to do was peel potatoes for mashed potatoes and heat up the corn.  That's our meal - easy on a busy day.

Here is the recipe if you are so inclined:

Crockpot Beef Roast

Put carrots and celery on the bottom of the crockpot.  (This is to keep the roast up and off the bottom) Cut several slits into a chuck roast and insert sliced garlic cloves.  Sprinkle roast with fresh ground pepper and sea salt.  Heat vegetable oil in heavy skillet and brown the roast well on all sides.  Put into Crockpot.  Add a little beef broth to the browned bits in the pan and scrape to loosen.  Pour it all over the roast.  Cook on Low for 10 hours.  This really is very good.  : )

That is it for my day.  Now looking forward to our meal and a relaxing evening.  How was your day today?  God bless you in your homemaking!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Hamburger Vegetable Soup and French Apple Pie

The makins' of soup.

Ready for the oven.

The Hamburger Soup recipe is one of our favorites and goes together quickly.  It's not exactly chilly weather but it's not hot yet either (kind of in between) so soup sounded good.  : )

Hamburger Soup (I cut the recipe in half as this serves 12):

2 1/2 lbs. hamburger 
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups beef stock or beef broth, plus more as needed (I used beef bouillon - see picture below)
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
5 potatoes, cut into small chunks
3 Tblsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt (more to taste)
1/2 tsp. pepper (more to taste)
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. ground oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (more to taste)

In large stockpot over med-high heat, brown the meat with the onion, celery, and garlic.  Remove the pot from the heat and drain.

Return the pot to the heat and add rest of the ingredients.  Stir to combine, then bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes (I like to simmer for over an hour for the flavors to blend).

*I also add a bit more broth as we like ours "soupy" rather than thick.  Just adjust the seasonings.

Here is the bouillon I'm using:

I got rid of all my bouillon granules and cubes because I don't want all that MSG.  I went on-line and saw that this brand doesn't have that so I'm giving it a try.  It also comes in vegetable and chicken.  I'm also trying to keep my organic beef and chicken broth on the shelves in the pantry for emergency food and that's another reason I want the granulated style of bouillon available as it makes a wonderful broth.

The apple pie recipe is new to me.  I enjoy the recipes on the website "" and this is called:

Impossible French Apple Pie

5 - 6 cups tart apples, peeled and sliced (Granny Smith)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup "biscuit mix" (or Bisquick)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tblsp. butter, softened

Place apples in 9-inch pie pan.  Combine rest of ingredients in a blender until smooth and then pour over apple slices.

In a small bowl:

1/2 cup biscuit mix (Bisquick)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tblsp. butter

Mix until crumbly and sprinkle over filling.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes and serve warm with ice-cream or whipped cream.

THAT is our supper for tonight.  Soup, bread, and pie.  Sometimes the simple meals are the best.  : )

It was grocery shopping day (morning) and then after that just keeping up with the ironing.  In the spring, summer and fall months I try to do the ironing as I wash clothes instead of one big ironing day.  It doesn't take as long and gives me more time to be outdoors when needed.

In the afternoon, I divided some hostas and replanted them in an area that we definitely need to add more plantings to.  And then I put some mulch down to give it more of a finished look:

And then, lastly, every month I hang a new picture on our refrigerator in keeping with what month or season we're in.  This picture seemed like Spring to me:

an old-time garden center with the leaves just coming on the trees and homemade birdhouses.

These pictures are from old calendars from past years and when I took the old one down I noticed that I had written some "personal time" ideas on quite a few of the days (this was a calendar from 10 years ago!) and I remembered when I use to do that and got me to thinking that I should do it again. Here are some ideas that you might want to jot down on your calendar as well.  Ideas that won't take a lot of time but some things that would be beneficial for helping you to remember to take a break now and then and do something enjoyable.

*Go to a thrift store and buy an old picture frame and fix it up to put a pretty picture in.
*Write scripture on notecards and carry them with you or hang them up for everyone to see.
*Read poetry while sipping tea.
*Make a gratitude journal and write in it every day.
*Research a subject that you're interested in or want to know more about.
*Sew new PJ's - at least with a nightgown or PJ's you don't have to be perfect.  : )
*Send a Psalm to someone who might need a lift.
*Browse through an old magazine with a cup of coffee.
*Go for a nature walk and bring the camera.
*Take a long bath - w/music, sip orange juice, read, light the candles.
*Cook extra at suppertime so you can freeze it and then have a "night off" when you're tired.
*Watch a feel good movie and eat on trays.
*Arrange your photos.
*Work a crossword puzzle.
*Start a small patchwork quilt.
*Listen to classical music with your eyes closed.
*Send flowers to someone.
*Put a facial mask on.

And you can add to this list when you begin to think of things that would revive you during the day or would make you feel refreshed.  We're so busy, busy, busy, that we need to take some time "off." Have fun with this!

Well, I think I've exhausted (or, rather AM exhausted-LOL) the day.  Time to take my own advice and look at the above list and see what would feel good at the end of the day.  : )  Thank you again for dropping by as you are SO very welcome.  God bless you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Work Continues

It's a fact that, no matter how much we have going on, the work continues.  We can't just snap our fingers and wish it to be done (wouldn't that be nice?!).  So, it's Tuesday again - now more than halfway through April.  I have to say those four little words again - I can't believe it.  : o

It's been a rough week and a half, but somehow the routine work of home seems a bit calming to me. Some of it's work that you can see.  That instant gratification work.  Dusty furniture?  Dusted. Muddy rugs?  Washed.  Dirty dishes?  Washed.  Laundry?  Done.  And so it goes until you see it all come together as one area after another starts looking better.

It really was a typical Tuesday.  Paid the bills, made out a menu and grocery list, ironed a few clothes, made some important calls, tossed a couple loads of laundry in.  It was a day, however, where I really didn't feel like cooking much so I looked in the pantry, the fridge, and the freezer to see what I could come up with.  Okay - elbow macaroni in the pantry, meatless spaghetti sauce and homemade bread in the freezer, leftover corn from last night's meal and leftover cheese in the bin from the fridge. Sounds like a casserole to me!  Cooked the macaroni which goes in the bottom of the casserole dish, thawed the spaghetti sauce which goes on top of the macaroni in the casserole dish, brought the corn out and poured that over the sauce and topped it all with both Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese.  It is now in the oven cooking away.  The bread is thawed and sliced and I also had broccoli that needed to be cooked.  So our meal for tonight:

*"Throw together" macaroni casserole
*Steamed Broccoli
*Homemade bread w/butter and jelly

Quick and easy and it's giving me enough time to be sitting here chatting with you.  : )

The evening has promises of being good to get out and do a little work (just to get out and get a little fresh air) so I'm hoping to just clean up a few areas.  The Spring colors are so pretty especially on some of the trees where they look lime green.  All the new, cute little leaves and the bulb flowers up and growing every day.  So wonderful to watch and ALWAYS a miracle.  : )

Well, I will wrap it up and thank you again for dropping by.  I hope you have had a good day too.

God bless you in your homemaking efforts.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

How Great Thou Art

To say that this past weekend was a challenge is quite the understatement.  The spiritual warfare was strong.  Tempers flaring, unkind words said, bickering, lack of patience, and just wanting to throw in the towel were just a few negative emotions going on.  Through it all, because of the safety in God's sovereign reign, I did feel a peace.  A peace that said "this is strong, but I AM stronger."  Calling upon the name of the Lord is what I needed to do and things have calmed down.  

It is interesting that when the storms come and everything is at its worst, prayer is kind of the last thing that happens.  The tensions are so high you just want to get it all out and that's where the trouble begins.  Words said that can't be taken back, the not-so-good side you hope no one ever sees, getting bossy even when you're wrong, and giving up because it's easier than hanging in there.

Our little family is going through things right now that we were not expecting.  For a while it looked as if everything was going to settle down a bit and we would all get a little respite.  But now we are wondering if that will ever be.  We are all tired.  That's another warning sign.  Being tired.  None of us can cope when we're tired.

Through it all I know I can still say "How Great Thou Art."

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!


When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.


And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.


When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I Just Had To


Today was marketing day so that is done for the week. It actually cost less than what I had anticipated, so that was a wonderful surprise.  : )  Tonight's meal is:

Oven baked chicken
Oven sweet potatoes and red potatoes
Fresh sliced pears

After putting everything away when I got home, I got busy on father-in-law's shirts (wash, dry, and begin ironing).  We are taking inventory to see what he has and what we should be filling in with for the upcoming spring and summer months.

BUT.........after lunch and then again standing at the ironing board, I just had to get outside.  We've waited so long for this warm weather (finally with no wind) that I couldn't stand to be inside any longer.  The spring flowers are poking up all over the place so I wanted to get out and rake all the leaves off of them so they could breathe.  We have an oak tree that doesn't lose it's leaves until spring and with all the windy days we've had the leaves were very nicely blown into tidy piles by the fence line so raking didn't take long at all.  : )

Peony bush.


Now we look forward to the blooms!!!!

What did you do today?  Take care and God bless.  : )

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Twas The Night Before.......

Split Rock Lighthouse in northern Minnesota.

After a busy weekend and coming home tired every night, the thought once occurred to me that doing as much as you can the night before makes a considerable difference in how your morning begins the next day.  Little things:

*Clean the kitchen after every meal - wash, dry, and put the dishes away, sweep the floor, shake the rug, etc.
*Set out the breakfast dishes with everything else needed - cereal, juice glasses, napkins, spoons, any vitamin supplement, fruit, etc.
*Get the coffee pot ready with fresh water and grounds so all you have to do is turn it on.
*Pick up the living room and put things away that aren't suppose to be there.
*Make any lunches that can be quickly put together in the morning.
*Know what you're having for the next day's meal and begin thawing anything you may need.
*If you know you're making a crockpot meal, it's good to get that out and any necessary ingredients. 
*Throw a load of laundry in right before bed so you can either hang it up in the morning or toss into the dryer.
*Take any makeup off and wash your face.
*Choose your clothes and check to see if you have everything cleaned and pressed (and no buttons missing!)

I know this sounds like a lot after an already busy day, but even doing just a few of these things will help in how the next morning feels (unless you're the kind of person who thrives on hectic mornings).  : o

I will admit that I don't always get to everything on the above list, but I try and hope you can give it a try as well.  And, especially if you have children around to help, don't hesitate to enlist them in some of the work.  You can instill within them good work habits that will last a lifetime.  : )

Today was one of those days where I looked at my list of to-do's and thought that there was no way I would get everything done.  This is what it looked like this morning:

*Make homemade coffee creamer
*Make granola
*Make cream of chicken soup for a recipe I'm making tonight
*Make homemade laundry detergent
*Clean the bathtub
*Pay bills/go through budget
*Write out the menu for the week/make the grocery list
*Iron yesterday's laundry

Well, I am VERY pleased to say that the only thing that did not get done is "clean the bathtub."  And that will automatically go on tomorrow's list.  

I hesitate to write down my menu for the week because it looks a lot like last week's since I didn't cook very much this past weekend but for the sake of filling a blog post with interesting information, I'll give it to you one more time.  : )

*Ground beef enchiladas, chips & salsa, fresh fruit
*Baked Italian chicken, oven potatoes and carrots, salad
*Crockpot pork chops, rice pilaf, oven green beans
*Shrimp, sweet potatoes, garlic butter pasta
*Using a "free pizza" coupon for Saturday night
*Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn
*Meatless pasta sauce over pasta, house salad, bread
*Spanish rice served with sour cream, shredded cheddar, and salsa, fresh fruit

My to-make's this week are:

*Cookies for the freezer
*Homemade beef broth for the freezer

Well, so not to overwhelm you with any more I will close for today.  I hope you are enjoying your day as well.  Thank you for stopping by - again, you are always welcome.   God bless you as you take care of your home.  : )

Monday, April 11, 2016

Mission Accomplished

As of this morning, father-in-law is all moved into his assisted living apartment.  Since Thursday evening, it has been a marathon of moving.  But the Lord was certainly in the details.  It really went very well - from figuring out what goes and what stays, to the packing up, delivering, and unpacking, to setting everything up to make it look like home, to shopping for all those things that a person needs, to hanging the last picture.  It all looks so neat and tidy and quite homey.  We are all pleased but held our breath until we heard him say that he is pleased too.  And he was.  : )

When we went back to the original house yesterday, we just stood in the threshold looking into the family room where there is a lack of furniture now and so untidy.  We remembered all the great parties mother-in-law used to have and all the memories that were made in that room.  Christmas, birthday parties, Easter and so much more.  The laughter and the tears.  And we also realized that what we thought was the hard part wasn't really the hard part.  The hard part is to now go through EVERYTHING.  The whole house - top to bottom.  We're thinking it will take the better part of the summer this year in order to accomplish that.  Fortunately, there is no hurry so we can take our time.

Well, today we woke up very tired but it is a new day and our work has to get done.  Because of not being home all weekend I have a LOT of catching up to do.  Lots of laundry (which I'm still doing) and cleaning.  And today is our first home-cooked meal since Thursday (opting for fast-food this weekend which we tire of quickly).  It will be:

*Chow Mein over rice
*Fresh pear slices
*Leftover cake for dessert

That is about it for today.  I must get back to the laundry (lots of folding, hanging up and putting away).

Thank you again for dropping by.   I hope you are enjoying this day too.  : )

Sunday, April 10, 2016

You Be The One

During my prayer time one morning, I was reminded of the story in the Bible from Luke 17:11-19:

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.  As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him.  They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"

When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests."  And as they went, they were cleansed.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him - and he was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed?  Where are the other nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"  Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made  you well."

When in a group setting (church, family, friends, etc.) and we come before the Lord with a request, we seem to be pretty much on the same page as to what we are asking (wisdom, healing, courage, boldness, blessing, restoration, etc.).  We call upon the Lord with our petitions and requests - sometimes for a long period of time, sometimes for a very short period of time.  It's when, what we've been praying for or who we've been praying for, has been answered in the way we've come to the Lord with, that can be very revealing about what kind of person we are.

Are we REALLY, TRULY, thankful for that answered prayer?  Or, do we just take it for granted and continue on with what we were doing before all this happened?  As in the above passage, ten lepers were healed -  but only one one came back to "throw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him."  I don't know about you, but I want to be the one, after answered prayer, who comes back and falls to my knees and give thanks and praise to God for what He has done.  If, for some reason, you see that no one else is taking the time to give thanks for all that God has done or is doing, you be the one.  

Have a blessed Sabbath.  : ) 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Short and Sweet (Well, Short Anyway)

Waterfall in northern Minnesota.

The snow they had forecast for this morning did happen.  Nothing stuck to the ground so it was kind of pretty to watch it fall.  No wind to blow it around - just straight down.  Still chilly and the sun pokes in and out unsure of what it wants to do.

Well, Thursdays are different now than what I've been used to.  On Thursday mornings I would usually get ready to go and clean father-in-law's house but not anymore.  Since he took a fall on Good Friday, he's either been in the hospital and now in rehab, but has been told that he cannot go home. The home he's lived in since 1947.

Beginning tonight, we as a tiny family will go and sort through all kinds of things and decide what the best of the best might be to take over to his new home - a care center.  It's actually a beautiful place that he is going to and we are very pleased with it and know that he is where he should be and will be well taken care of.  But, still, it's another change.  A change we all knew would happen sooner or later, but until it happens you're not quite ready for it.

This whole weekend will be about moving things out, moving things in.  Throwing things out, buying new things.  Taking things apart, putting things together.  Leaving what is familiar, trying to get used to something new.  Leaving an old schedule, beginning a new.  

We all go through it.  Life is not stagnant or, at least, it shouldn't be.  We grow, we change, we learn, we move on to what is next.  Some people handle it rather well, some don't.  We often say this though - I don't know how people without faith in God can do life.  He is definitely the Sustainer.  The One that doesn't change.

I probably will not have time to post until next week, so until then I hope that all of you have a wonderful upcoming weekend.  Make time with the Lord, worship Him, give thanks to Him, and give everything over to Him.  : )

Thanks for dropping by.  You are ALWAYS welcome.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Wednesday Afternoon

South Dakota bison.

The day started out bright and sunshiny but is now overcast and there is a forecast of snowflakes in the air tonight and tomorrow.  I can deal with a few snowflakes but we're all looking forward to spring-like weather soon.  : )  It is also brisk but I kind of like that.  I open the back door window and I open the front door window and let that cold, brisk air come through the house to give us some fresh air.

This morning was also errand day:

*Grocery shopping

And then spending a lot of time in the kitchen today.  Getting the ingredients together for tonight's meal (which was supposed to be last night's meal but we got home late so opted for Chinese take-out instead).  Cleaned some things out of the fridge.  Made cream cheese frosting for that banana cake I baked yesterday (which is NOT going into the freezer but will be eaten for dessert tonight).

And then I made this:

homemade deodorant.

I used to make this but, again, somehow got out of it.  I don't know why because it works quite well. Another product to make that I don't have to buy and I ALWAYS have the ingredients for it in my pantry.  With the aluminum in most antiperspirants (which this is not), I'm wanting to have something natural and it saves money.  Here is the "recipe" in case you would like to try it:

1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch or arrowroot
1/4 cup coconut oil (I use a little more - you'll know when you mix it whether or not you need more)
few drops of essential oil (I use lavender) 

Just mix it all together and put into a pretty container.  To use - just dip your fingers in and spread it under your arms.  The baking soda and cornstarch absorbs the moisture and the coconut oil has antibacterial properties and the essential oil (which you don't have to use) just gives it a nice scent.

I then proceeded to wash all the dishes.  Now I'm here.  Chatting with you.  And soon I will be back in the kitchen to get my supper started and into the oven.  : )  

Anyway - I hope you have been enjoying your day.  May God bless your homemaking efforts.  And I know I say this often, but what you do in your home matters.  We are stewards of what God has given us and it's an important job.  Have a good evening!!!!  Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Once Again, Tuesday

Needles Highway in South Dakota

Every time Tuesday rolls around, I can't believe a whole week has gone by!  The days just fly by don't they?  Well, it is a cool, cloudy, rainy day here.  A good workday. : )

*Paid the bills/went through household budget
*Menu done for the week/grocery list made
*Ironed yesterday's laundry/threw another small load in to keep up
*Made this:

banana cake - either for supper tonight or it will go into the freezer.

Our menu for the week (with a few repeats from last week because it was kind of an odd week):

*Tonight - Goulash, fresh pineapple, dinner rolls
*Wednesday - Szechwan Shrimp (new recipe) over rice, sweet potatoes, green tea
*Thursday - Crockpot pork chops, mashed potatoes, oven green beans
*Friday - Baked fish fillets (Tilapia), brown rice pilaf, squash
*Saturday - take out pizza
*Sunday - Oven baked chicken breasts, baked potatoes w/fixins, corn
*Monday - Pancakes, bacon, oranges
*Tuesday - Ground beef enchiladas, chips and salsa, fresh fruit
*Wednesday - Chow mein over rice, fresh fruit, green tea

And then, before I leave you, I want to show you something that my friend, Violet, makes and then got me to making them too!  : )

First I will show you a couple of hers that she sent to me:

And then a couple of mine that I will be sending off for either an April birthday or Mother's Day next month:

I don't know if you've heard of these or not, but I wanted to share them with you.  They are called pocket letters.  Until my friend told me about them, I hadn't heard of them at all.   What you do is get plastic trading card holders and you cut pretty paper to fit for the fronts and embellish them in whatever way you want (kind of like mini scrapbooking) or you don't have to embellish them if they are already decorative.  Then, comes the next step of putting items in the back that the recipient can use.  Examples of this would be (and I got most of these ideas from Violet):

*pretty bandaids
*postage stamps
*pretty labels
*fun stickers
*Bible verses
*coffee/tea packets
*small candy
*seed packets
*interesting news articles (folded)
*crossword puzzles/word search puzzles (folded)

Anything that would fit in the back of each "pocket."  : )  They're a fun project to make and, really, when I received my first one with all the little goodies inside and the beautiful way they are decorated in front, it felt like a very special gift in the mail.  I hope you can give it a try.  It's a nice way of blessing someone and it's a very relaxing project to work on.

That's it for today.  Thank you for stopping by and hope you do again.  God bless you.