Monday, October 31, 2016


I'll say it.  I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOVEMBER!!!!!!  This year has just flown by.  The holidays are right around the corner and there is already a feeling of anticipation.  Even though it is still October according to the calendar, it looks and feels like a typical November day.  Overcast, misty, windy. The leaves are coming off the trees and what leaves are left look beautiful against the cloudy sky.

The past weekend was very nice - a party on Friday, a whole day of sewing on Saturday, and a restful Sunday.  Today was back to work in the morning (laundry, dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom), and then sewing again this afternoon.  Here is what my robe looks like so far:

There is still much to be done.  The sleeves and sides have to be sewn and the belt and hemming are left.  It's been a while since I've sewn, so there were a couple of things that should have been done differently, but all in all I think it will be okay.  At least I will be warmer in the mornings!  : )  I'm hoping to work on it a little throughout the week and have it done by the weekend.

Since it is November already, here are the November to-do's:

*Keep de-cluttering - this is especially important as you put up holiday decorations - go through everything and ask yourself the all-important question as to whether or not you really love what you see.  If not, give it away.  Go through all your closets, drawers, and cupboards.  
*Winterize your shrubs.
*Last minute yard clean-up.
*Clean out gutters/downspouts.
*Test and hang holiday lights - again important if you don't want to stand outside in December when it's cold (and maybe snowy).
*Winterize your cars.  Do you have the right winter oil?  Do you have an emergency kit?  Blankets?
*Keep up with Christmas shopping.  Now is the time to buy for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, or your hometown charitable organizations.  Let that Christmas spirit of giving to others begin!!
*And, it's not too late to think of holiday baking and begin buying the supplies for your pantry.

Here are the three recipes I used at our Pumpkin Party on Friday -


*Small bags of nacho chips
*Taco meat (recipe to follow)
*Shredded cheddar
*Shredded lettuce
*Sour cream
*Sliced black olives
*Taco sauce and salsa

Set each out separately in bowls and have everyone help themselves.  Really a fun meal.   : )


I found this on-line.  I wanted something different and easy and in the slow cooker.  This is for a crowd and we still had plenty of leftovers for the weekend meals. 

3 lbs. hamburger, cooked and drained
3 cups of salsa
3 tsp. chili powder

Combine well and put into slow cooker on Low.  That's it!!!  EASY.


This is from my friend, Violet.  It was such a hit - everyone loved it and again, it was EASY! (I tripled this recipe for a crowd)

2 tsp. olive oil
1 small yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1, 15 oz. can of black beans, drained (I did not put these into our soup because of bean allergies)
1, 14 oz. can of stewed tomatoes (do not drain)
1, 15 oz. can corn, drained
1, 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 cups of shredded chicken
1 Tbsp. taco seasoning
2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and pepper, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes  Add beans, tomatoes, corn, tomato sauce, chicken, and taco seasoning.  Stir to combine.  Add chicken broth and bring to simmer.  Cook for 15 minutes.  Taste and season again if needed.  I put this into another slow cooker and set it on Warm.  I also set mugs and spoons beside it so that everyone could help themselves and carry it around to sip on throughout the evening.  

That is pretty much it!  I hope you will stay motivated to take care of your home this week.  Make it look good, make it smell good, make it comfortable, make it inviting even if it's just for you.  : )

Thank you for stopping by - I really appreciate it.  God bless your homemaking efforts.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Helper

Jesus said - "If you love me, you will obey what I command.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth.  The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.  But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans;  I will come to you."  John 14: 15-18

As I think through my days, there are a lot of decisions that have to be made.  Some small, some big, some in between.  There are a lot of thoughts to think.  A lot words to say.  A lot of feelings to feel.  

Growing up I really never heard about the Holy Spirit.  It was spoken of in certain prayers but I don't think that there was ever a sermon given about what the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives would look like.  Even as a young Christian I didn't totally grasp the purpose.  I thought that those decisions, those thoughts, those words, and those feelings were my own.  And some were. Unfortunately.

As I grew in faith and learned more and more through Bible study and prayer, it was then where I knew and felt a "Helper" beside me and in me.  When I accepted Christ as my Savior I was aware that I was not alone. What a gift.  To have someone with me 24/7.  To know that if (when) I mess up (and I do) there is someone always there to convict me.  To never let the words, that shouldn't have been said, go by without an apology or repentance.  To never let the thoughts that shouldn't be thought consume me. To never let the bad feelings towards others overtake me because I am convicted of the bad (sinfulness) in myself.  The Holy Spirit IS the Spirit of truth.  He will show in us what we cannot see for ourselves.  He keeps us humble.  He keeps us aware.  He teaches us.  He guides us.  He opens our eyes.  

I don't know about you, but I totally need that in my life.  If I didn't, I could easily go along thinking "I'm doing just fine, thank you very much."  And then driving everyone around me crazy.  That STILL happens every once in a while because I'm still a sinner, but it's the conviction that makes it different.  And it's a conviction that will not leave me until whatever it is, is resolved.  The moment that whatever difficulty is resolved, it is forgotten.  Gone.  Forever.  

Let the Holy Spirit (only if you have asked Jesus into your heart) do a good work in you today and throughout this upcoming week.  Let him show you what you need to work on.  And then obey.  : )

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pumpkin Party!

We had a lot of fun last night at our pumpkin carving party.  And just look at all the clever designs we came up with !  Like the one above - the sign of pi for pumpkin pi?  Too funny.  If you've never tried this as a family or with friends, I would highly recommend it.  It's creative, it's fun, it's silly.  Now days, don't we need a bit of fun and silly if only for an evening?

The day was busy in getting ready for this:

Our menu included:

Taco Soup (which I will give the recipe later - it's from my friend, Violet)
Walking Tacos - if you've never heard of these, it's just buying flavored tortilla chips in small bags and then provide all the toppings (lettuce, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, taco sauce, salsa).  You crush the chips in the bag, open the bag and add all those delicious toppings and you can walk around with these in hand while eating.  Perfect for a party.  : )
Vegie Tray - we provided sliced peppers (red, yellow, orange), grape tomatoes, and carrot sticks
Ice cream and toppings for dessert - thanks to our guests for bringing it!!

We had nine people altogether which made for a cozy, intimate gathering.  We were supposed to have it tonight but it didn't work out for a few so we changed it to last night.  And I'm glad it worked out that way because the weather couldn't have been more beautiful.  If you could have the perfect evening, it was pretty close.  : )

Today will just be a little cleaning and putting a few things away and possibly some Saturday cooking shows and hopefully will begin sewing my robe!  

I hope you have a nice day.  Thanks for dropping by.  : )  God bless you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Oh My

Besides the normal duties of this housekeeper for the past couple of days, we have been working hard on the basement of our house.  There was an area that was totally getting out of control and now that the holidays are right around the corner, I needed to tackle it.  This work consisted of getting absolutely everything out, clean it, and reorganize it to suit our present needs.  This area had been my sewing/crafting area and found it to not be what I thought I wanted.  I found that I don't enjoy being downstairs away from everyone and away from looking outdoors.  So, part of this cleaning out process was to get tough and thorough and thoughtful as to what it is that I really, really, enjoy doing, keep those things and then getting rid of all the rest.  Once again, the discovery of how much a person spends on hobbies came to mind, but I had to resist that thought and gave a LOT away.  In this tiny house, we have limited space and I needed to get to this point.

Well, the work paid off and we're very satisfied with how it turned out.  We have gained more space in the living area of our basement and re-figured the "craft/sewing" area into a game/books/music area and it looks really nice.  

At first I was going to take before and after pictures, but my pride took over.  I just couldn't show you how bad it looked and if I show you the after pictures there wouldn't be anything to compare it to so you might think "what's the big deal?"  LOL  So you'll have to take my word for it - it was awful, now it's much better (but we still need a ceiling and that will be for another time).  : )

The next project is to put shelving up in the laundry room which is also an area where things get thrown that don't have a delegated space, but fortunately it's not an area that people see when they go downstairs.  It's kind of off the beaten path and I forbid anyone to go back there.  Just kidding.  But really, don't go back there.  Yet.  Wait until the shelves are put up.  : )

My friend, Violet, and I were talking about this the other day.  How many of you, when you do a major cleaning/organizing project, go back and stare at it?  It just looks so nice that you can't get enough of it?  You just can't believe the transformation?  That's me today.  I go back downstairs just to look at it.  So glad it's done.

Being that it was Tuesday, it meant that I made the menu for the week and here it is:

Tonight - Oven baked French toast, breakfast meat, fresh fruit
Wednesday - Chicken quesadillas, tortilla chips & salsa, fruit
Thursday - Spicy beef and noodles, stir-fried green beans, fruit
Friday - Tuna melts, chips, fruit
Saturday - Pumpkin carving party!!!!  Serving taco soup, walking tacos, fresh vegies & dip, and brownies with vanilla ice cream for dessert
Sunday - Leftovers  : )
Monday - Scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, fruit
Tuesday - Slow cooker pork chops, mashed potatoes, cooked carrots

Well, that's all I have for you today.  Thanks for dropping in!!!!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Morning

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ........." (Ephesians 1: 3-5)

I read this verse the other night before bed and though I have read it before, my thought went out to people around the world who have not heard this.  Every person born since the beginning of time, God KNEW that he or she would be born.  He knew that Mary (me) would be born on July 3, 1959. When I read that for the first time as a young-ish Christian, it was great relief to me.  For, you see, growing up I remember there be a hinting of my birth being "a mistake".   I can maybe see how that could be reasoned as my mom was 41 when she had me six years after the birth of my brother and my being the 9th (and last) child.  But I carried that with me all my life.  When things were difficult and I got into a lot of trouble, I would start to question if being a mistake was really true.  Is that why I am the way I am?  Am I really not supposed to be here?  Fortunately I never had suicidal thoughts or my thinking that way could have driven me to it at times.

But because of this verse, I have learned from Truth that God chose me before the creation of the world.  He adopted me when I was born.  I am His.  And because, for a time, I chose to go my own way, it was Jesus and what He did on the Cross, that I was redeemed and bought and brought back to God my Father.

THIS is what I would love everyone around the world to KNOW today.  God KNEW you before the creation of the world!!!  There shouldn't be any confusion as to what you are doing here.  There shouldn't be any question in your mind as to whether or not you matter.  You do.  There shouldn't be any identity crisis going on.  Every baby boy and every baby girl born (and in the womb) is loved and God wants you to grow up to be a man and a woman after His heart.

Even if you don't feel loved by anyone else, Jesus loves you and died for you.  Please.  I beg you. Come to Christ today and he will take that confusion away.  He will change your life.  Forever.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Cooking Shows, a New Robe, a Walk, and Reading

The Saturday morning started as usual - cooking shows.  I watch about 3 or 4 (1/2 hour each) with a fresh cup of coffee.  I've always enjoyed cooking shows.  I'm not a great cook and it's not one of my favorite things to do, but I know I can always learn something even if it's a new (to me) technique.  I admit that most of the recipes they cook I will probably never make, but it's just fun to watch.

Since the mornings are a bit on the nippy side now, I really needed a long robe.  The summer one just wasn't doing the job anymore.  But I can't get myself to spend a lot of money on one (seriously, I can't find one under $50.00).  So, yesterday afternoon I went to Hobby Lobby and found some polar fleece to sew one since I already had a pattern here at home.  A long robe takes over 4 yards of fabric plus the thread but even at that, this robe cost $25.00.  Way better!  : )

If I can encourage you to sew some of your own clothes I will.  Especially things that you wear around the house.  Not that you don't want to try to look your best around the house, but things like sewing aprons or nightgowns or robes don't have to be perfect.  You want them to fit nice and look good, but if you make a little mistake it's not a big deal.  If you're new to sewing, you can practice on the "Easy" patterns they offer.  Sometimes, it CAN save you money.  I'm aware of the prices of patterns and fabric now days, but I get a lot of patterns when they go on sale for $1.00 each or pick them up at thrift stores.  If you need to practice sewing skills before going on to a project, just picking up sheets at thrift stores can give you a lot of fabric for pennies.  Here are a few pointers for sewing:

*You'll need a large surface for cutting your pattern pieces out.

*Every pattern has a guide to read - it's important that you find what you are sewing, the width of the fabric, and the size you are sewing and make sure to circle which layout you need to follow.  This is important because your eyes will be drawn only to the circled layout and you won't be tempted to look at another and lay your pieces out wrong.

*Iron each pattern piece before laying them out on your fabric.  You can't get accurate measurements with a wrinkly pattern.

*Pin your pattern pieces onto the fabric.  As you do this, you will notice that almost every piece will have a solid line with an arrow at each end.  This is called the grain line.  It's very important to measure this whole line to the fold line in order to get accurate measurements.  All fabric has grain and if you just pin pattern pieces onto fabric without measuring, your garment will not lay right when you put it on.

*When cutting and you come to a "notch" in the pattern, cut the notch outward.  These notches will match other notches in other patterns pieces so that you will know you are matching the pattern pieces up correctly.

All cut out and hanging up for when I can get to the sewing!  I will let you know how it's coming along.  : )

In the middle of the afternoon, since it was a gorgeous day, we decided to go walking on a trail within our community that we've never walked before.  It was beautiful.  And I'm so disappointed in myself because I forgot the camera and couldn't take pictures to share with you.  I can't believe I did that - I'm never without my camera.  But if you can envision clear water on each side of the pathways with ducks on the water and mirror images of the beautiful red and yellow trees and cattails, that is what we walked through.  Wonderful.  : )

When we got home, I couldn't quite get myself to go back inside so I grabbed my "Pride and Prejudice" book and sat outside for almost an hour reading.  A very nice ending to a very nice day.

I hope all of you enjoyed your day too.  Have a blessed Sabbath tomorrow.  Worship the Lord with gladness for all the blessings He bestows.  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Baking, Cards, and Mixes

This beautiful cool morning started out with baking pumpkin muffins.  I used a cup of pumpkin for the pumpkin cornbread earlier this week, so I needed to finish the other cup of pumpkin for these:

pumpkin muffins that are so yummy and moist.

Then I brought out the card-making supplies to work on until we needed leave for an appointment at noon:

these are a joy to make.  : )

In the afternoon, I got caught up on laundry and then went back into the kitchen to make a couple of mixes that I needed:

our taco seasoning mix


our morning oatmeal packets. 

Again, if you ever see something that I've made or prepared and would like the recipe, don't hesitate to ask!!!  It's such good economy to bake from scratch and make mixes that are so costly to buy ready made.  During the grocery shopping yesterday, I was looking for pumpkin pie spice.  Fortunately the store was out because not only was it $3.60 for a small bottle, when I came home I noticed in my recipe box that I already had a recipe to make it on my own with spices that I already had!  That is what I have to constantly check myself on.  Do I HAVE to buy it, OR can I make it myself?

Then, I have to share a recipe with you.  It is called Spicy Sausage Pasta and to say it was good is an understatement.  I made it for last night's supper and we loved it.  On the plate it looked like something you would be served in a restaurant.  It is a one pot meal and goes together so quickly - I'm so excited about this one.  Here it is:


1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. beef ring sausage, sliced
1 1/2 cups diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (10 oz.) can Ro-Tel tomatoes with green chilies, Mild
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz. penne pasta
1/2 tsp. salt and pepper, each
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions (green onions)

Add olive oil to skillet over medium high heat until just smoking.  Add sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, salt and pepper and stir.  Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat and stir in cheese until melted.  Serve and enjoy!!

(I doubled this because I LOVE leftovers for lunch the next day - so I made this in a Dutch oven).  

And today we did have the leftovers which brings me to this:

I bought this last Thanksgiving because I was hosting it at the time and it has been so handy many times.  I just divided up the leftover pasta from last night into each of these containers, turned it to Low and by the time we got home for lunch it was heated all the way through.  Ready and waiting, no cooking.  Another appliance in the kitchen that works really, really well.  I believe it was money well spent.  : )

Well, I think that just about does it for today!!!  I hope you have enjoyed your day as well.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Using Our Homemaking Heads

Like I've said before, because I'm a homemaker I'm not bringing into the home an extra income, but I am working to use what resources we have to simplify our lives, enrich our lives, and find ways of spending less and saving more.  It's a joyful experience to keep learning new things.  I think we need to use our homemaking heads every day to see how we can save money, how to use things up, how to use things in another way than originally intended, how to make things instead of buying them, etc.

With the internet, it's now easier than ever to learn something new.  For example, I heard (and read on-line) that you can take the peels and cores of apples to make Apple Peel Jelly.  I never knew this and all these years after peeling apples for applesauce or pie, I would just toss them.  Well, after making applesauce this past week, I saved all the peels and cores and gave it a try:

I was SO excited.  Isn't it pretty in the jars? didn't work.  I followed the directions, but it didn't work for me.  It didn't work means the jelly didn't set, BUT after looking on-line at what I could do with this delicious liquid, I found I can make Apple Pancake Syrup!  So, I will freeze the jars and make syrup later for when we have pancakes.  Excellent.

So, how fun is that?  First, learning that you can make jelly from peels (I read more about it and will try it again at some point) but then to turn a mistake into something equally delicious is wonderful.  It will be just one more thing that I can store for the winter and use from time to time.

Every single thing we do, every single thing we hold in our hands, every single thing we have in our homes, should be looked at with fresh eyes.  If you have leftovers and don't know what in the world you can do with them, just look it up!  The internet will give you tons of ideas.  If you have scraps of fabric, go online and it will come up with lots of projects.  If we begin with the mindset of frugality and thrift, it can be a wonderful challenge to see how we can come up with some pretty interesting things.  Before buying that new so and so, what can you do with the old?  Is a chair you have in good condition?  Maybe it just needs recovering or maybe a new pillow?  I often play this game.  I WANT something new to replace the old, but really, first what can be done with the old to make it different? If you're really serious about stopping the spending and starting the saving, this game works.  It takes more time and energy, but only you know if it's worth it or not.

Yes, it's easier to go out and constantly buy new things, but it's actually more gratifying when you can get clever and use what you have.  I believe it's a part of being a good steward of what God has given us.

So, I hope you can have fun with this.  Try to use the ingredients (and leftovers) in your fridge to make a whole new meal (or two) without going to the store to buy more.  Try to use up those scraps of fabric to make a baby blanket (if you don't have many scraps) or a full sized quilt (if you do have lots of scraps).  Does your husband have lots of wood scraps around?  Encourage him to make wood signs for your home (these can be expensive in the stores), or birdhouses (also something you can get instructions for online).  I know you get what I'm saying here.  : )

Give it a try!!!!  Thanks, again, for dropping in - you are ALWAYS welcome.  God bless you in your homemaking efforts.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Beautiful Day

If there was such a thing as the perfect day, this would have come close.  The rains last night cleaned the air and the sky was so blue and the leaves of the trees just pop with color.  The humidity was gone and the air was crisp.  What a gift.  : )'s Tuesday.  And Tuesday means:

*Put the slow cooker meal in early this morning.

Chili!!  : )

*Pay the bills.
*Write out the menu and subsequent grocery list.
*Iron yesterday's laundry.

This afternoon I read a little before going back to work.  I'm reading Pride and Prejudice (for the 2nd time).  Love it.  : )

In the afternoon, I baked:


1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375.  In mixing bowl combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.  Add brown sugar, melted butter, and pumpkin to combine.  Mix in sour cream and eggs and mix till well blended.  Pour into sprayed 8 x 8 baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean.  Cool slightly.

Cinnamon Honey Butter:

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Whip butter till smooth.  Add honey, sugar, and cinnamon and mix on low speed until combined and then on high and whip till light and fluffy, about 2 - 3 minutes.  THIS is REALLY good!!!!!!  Hope you try it.  : )

Our meal tonight was:

Applesauce (made yesterday)

Loving the Fall food!

The husband and I were able to sit outside for about an hour before supper to enjoy the outdoors before the sun set.  Such a pretty time of day.  

Well, that is all I have for you.  : )  Thank you again for dropping by. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Variety of Things

If you've read my blog before, you'll know I love Mondays.  I like routine.  So Monday was for:

*Cleaning the kitchen
*Cleaning the bathroom
*Putting new bedding on
*Sweeping the patio and the front and back steps

That was the morning.  

In the afternoon:

*A new (to us) Fall puzzle went up.

*Socks were mended.

you can tell these are pretty old socks but they only had a small hole in one of them and they're still very sturdy so mending seemed the right thing to do.  : )

*Applesauce was made.

If you want the house to smell wonderful, this will pretty much do it.


That was the afternoon.

For supper:

Fish fillets, rice pilaf, steamed broccoli.  

Now it's everning.  : )
*Get jammies on.
*Maybe work on a paper craft.
*Read before bed.

Thank you for stopping by!  I do appreciate you taking the time to visit.  I continue to encourage you to take care of your home.  God bless you.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Our Sunday Best

I was thinking back on the past week and trying to summarize it in my mind.  All the things that went on during the week.  All the people in my life.  All the circumstances.  For the past couple of weeks, my husband has been helping to clean out his dad's house.  For anyone who has ever done this, it's not an easy thing.  The memories of certain items, the smells that take you back, the thoughts.  

And then on Wednesday morning at Bible study, seeing all these women who have so much going on in their lives.  The difficulties, the pain, the worries.  Reaching out to God in prayer for each situation.

It was a good reminder how kind we need to be to everyone we cross paths with.  And that's not an easy thing.  There will always be that person who is just so difficult.  But, then, how many times do we misunderstand the difficult?  I know, personally, that when I don't feel well (and the older I get, the more it happens) I'm not especially enjoyable.  So, could it be that the people we find difficult have some really hard stuff going on in their lives?

Our Sunday best isn't just meant for Sundays.  It isn't meant for looking good in church.  It's meant for every day of week.  The manner in which we speak.  The smiles we give.  The genuine caring we show.  The actual work we do.  

As I look around, there are so many lonely people out there.  One of my father-in-law's complaints was that when he was out in public, he would try very hard to get someone to actually look him in the eye and smile and say "hi."  Isn't that sad?  All an elderly man wanted before he went home to an empty house was someone to smile and acknowledge him.

We've got to do better.  As Christians we must do better.  We are here to show the love of Christ not just on Sundays but throughout the upcoming week.  

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Weekends always have a different feel to them, don't they?  Possibly sleeping in a little.  Maybe lounging around in your pajama's a little longer than normal.  It's a slower pace for a lot of us.  The day can be wide open with the possibilities of doing what you feel like doing.  I still have my list items posted on the cupboard door.  Those things that I didn't get accomplished yesterday.  But because it's Saturday, I kind of pick and choose and work at a slower pace.

If you still have children at home, weekends can be made even more special.  I remember making Monkey Bread on Saturdays.  I remember the three of us going out for neighborhood bike rides after breakfast.  It would be a day of fun.  Here are a few ideas that maybe you'd like to try today:

*Are there any museums or historical places in your area to visit?
*Invite some friends over for an ice cream party.
*Take a walk together.  Do you have woods nearby?  An old neighborhood with beautiful architecture?  A nature preserve?
*This time of year is great for going to the pumpkin patch or the apple orchard.  Does anyone provide hayrides?
*Visit an art gallery.  Come home and pull out the paints or crayons and make your own art.
*Have a game day.  Play a game like Monopoly that can last all day.  Make popcorn.
*Cook your meals together today.  
*Make a seasonal bulletin board and then keep it up all year.  Set aside one day a month to decorate it.  October would need some leaves and pumpkins and scarecrows, etc.  November would need a turkey and pilgrims and a list of everything you're grateful for.  And so on........
*Go bowling.

Of course, having a family day on every Saturday is probably not do-able, but how about picking just one Saturday of the month to call "Family Day?"  Here are some ideas for that:

*Concern day - work towards helping others.  Pack up food and clothing to give.  Rake leaves for a neighbor.  Pool everyone's money to give to someone who is struggling financially.
*Celebration day - make the day fun (possibly using an idea from above).
*Media day - watch a movie together.
*Project day - this would require a bit of planning ahead so that you have everything you need.  Build birdhouses?  Bird feeders?  Whatever your family likes.
*Show and tell day -  again this would require a bit of planning from everyone.  But everyone would have to come up with something they would like to show the others and tell why it's special to them.
*Surprise day - advance planning here as well.  But someone would come up with a surprise for the day, whether that be a special game or a special outing, whatever you can think of.

I hope this helps in getting the creative juices flowing.  I can't say it enough that while you have kids at home, please do all you can to create memories for them.  Especially now days when everything seems so dark and serious.  They don't need to be a part of that.  Let them have their childhood.  Let them have fun.  Let them see you have fun.  They grow up quickly and the opportunities for getting together become less and less so grab it while you can!  I know I miss it.

God bless you and your family today.  Thanks for stopping by.  : )

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thinking Forward

Now that it's Autumn, my thoughts are quickly moving forward to Christmas.  I'm usually a one-thing-at-a-time type person, but this year I feel the need to be organized and prepared.  Maybe it's my way of dealing with what's happening in the world.  My need to have a little old-fashioned feel in our home and thinking back to the way things used to be.  The excitement, the anticipation, the planning. Wherever these feelings are coming from, I'm going to just go with it and see what comes out of it.

It's Thursday and I'm using this day to craft and plan.  One of the things I'm working on are Christmas pocket letters.  I've posted about this in the past but I'll show you what I started:

Each one of these little paper inserts will now be decorated.  For example, like this:

If you enjoy paper crafts, this is really relaxing, satisfying, and they can be given as gifts with cute little surprises in the back of each "pocket."  

I'm also writing down in a notebook, all the frugal tips I come across.  One of the tips I read last night was one that I could use today while crafting.  Here it is:

When you need to glue something, use an old yellow pages phone directory.  When one side of the page is all glued up, turn it over and use the back side.  When that is all glued up, tear it out and throw it away!  We have hundreds of pages in our directory so this will last a long time.  Isn't that clever?  I love it.  : )

The other thing I did was locate all the Christmas cards we've received in past years.  Some of them are SO beautiful I just can't get myself to toss them.  So what I did was just cut the front off.  Some of them I will save as lovely art throughout the house and the others I will use as Christmas postcards by stamping them (and coloring it in) and write a personal message on the back instead of buying a whole new set of cards.  I can always find envelopes at the thrift store.  Another idea for a frugal, yet pretty, Christmas!  Here is a small sample of the cards I found - aren't they gorgeous?

Another thing I want to do soon is get to the thrift stores for making gift baskets this year.  I constantly find new books, puzzles, games, picture frames, etc.  Now that we're on a retired income, it's fun to think along these lines.  Sometimes I feel like I'm wasting time when I have days like these. Like I'm really not getting a whole lot done.  But when I write it all down and see that just maybe the effort of thoughtful planning IS getting a lot done.  I guess I'm further ahead than I was yesterday at this time!  : )

The other two frugal things I need to get accomplished today are mending a pair of socks and changing out all the buttons on my black sweater.  (And I've already hung up a load of towels and washcloths).  Again, my idea of fun.  : )

I hope I can encourage you to get your frugal thinking cap on.  There are so many things that can be done with very little money.  I think you will see that when you begin to think this way, it will be habit-forming.  It will get you to start thinking of what else you can do to save money and then it will grow and grow because the DIY in you will want to do more.  Give it a try!

Thank you for dropping by - I ALWAYS appreciate it.  God bless.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Telltale Signs

You can certainly tell that Fall is here!

*The beautiful shades of gold, red, and orange are everywhere.
*The crisp evenings.
*The pumpkins.
*The apples.
*The casseroles.
*The soups.
*The apple pie and cider.
*The fire nights.
*The cozy feeling in the house.

What a special time of year.  I hope you won't let it slip by without enjoying some aspects of it.  On grocery shopping day (today) my husband comes with me.  As we were walking through the produce aisle, he pointed out a watermelon.  Isn't it funny?  A couple of months ago, watermelon would have set my mouth to watering.  But in the Fall?  No thanks.  It didn't even sound appealing.  But lead me over to the apples and that gets my attention.  Part of the fun in seasonal changes is how we tend to change with them.  

The week has been busy with keeping up and cleaning up.  I still love my homemaking lists.  It helps to keep me on track and when evening rolls around and I find myself looking back upon the day, it feels good to see what I got done.  I love my lists, but I'm also getting to the point where if I have an opportunity to enjoy something off the beaten path, I will choose that too.  Yesterday was that kind of day.  The morning hours were very busy and I was on track with everything, but the day was so warm-ish and beautiful that my husband and I just sat outside for a couple of hours doing nothing! We talked and we watched the squirrels and the birds and drank in the sunshine (which I'm glad we did because today is very chilly).  So, while I believe in the blessing of being able to work and get things done, it's also important to pause for a bit and relax and enjoy too.  : )

Here is our menu plan for the upcoming days (there may be a couple of repeats from last time):

*Egg and cheese bagels, potato chips, fresh fruit
*Crockpot chili, pumpkin cornbread w/honey butter, fruit
*Scalloped potatoes, sliced ham, fresh fruit
*Baked fish fillets, rice pilaf, steamed broccoli
*Spicy sausage pasta, dinner salad, garlic toast
*Baked chicken, mashed potato casserole, stir-fried green beans, apple crisp w/whipped cream
*Pannekuken, bacon, fresh fruit
*Taco salads, fresh fruit

I will need to make/bake:

*cookies for the freezer
*dehydrate potatoes

Before I leave, I wanted to share something from my Bible reading this morning.  It comes from 2 Samuel Chapter 22 - "David's Song of Praise."  Here a few attributes of God that David lists:

*Horn of Salvation

Let us praise God today for all of these and SO much more!  What an awesome God we serve.

May you enjoy the rest of this day.  Thanks for dropping by.  : )

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Remaining Faithful In Prayer

One of the things that worried me about my husband's retirement was that our mornings would be different.  Specifically, that my mornings with the Lord would be different.  I look forward to, and depend on, my prayer time and Bible reading.  As I often say "I feel I can't live without it."  But, so far, it's been working out fine.  I get up first (anywhere from a half an hour to an hour) before he does and am able to sit in the quiet of the morning while it's still dark and be with my Father in Heaven.

As I was listening to one of the pastors on the radio one day while cleaning, I heard him say that so many people start strong in their praying but end up quitting.  Especially when they are praying for a specific person or a specific reason and they see no results.  Unfortunately, we are a "results" oriented society.  We need to see things happen quickly.  If we have to wait, we give up.  But, when it comes to prayer, we need to hang in there.  Don't give up.  Remain faithful in prayer.

I have been in prayer for a couple that our family knows for years now.  Twenty-one years to be exact!  I still don't see anything happening as far as them coming to the Lord, but I won't give up.  They will continue to be on my prayer list as long as I have breath in me or until I see them saved whichever comes first.  I can't give up.  What if I'm the only person praying for them?

I encourage you to pray if you aren't.  I encourage you to hang in there when you feel like giving up.  There is just too much going on in our lives, and in this world, for us to just give up even when we don't think anything is happening.  We can pray because God's Word says we can.  We can pray because God is listening.  Think of all the things we can pray about and for:

*For our families - health issues, job issues, protection from Satan, for purity, for strength, for wisdom, for salvation, for blessing.
*For our friends - the same as our families along with specific needs.
*For ourselves - for what we need to get us through the day - courage, boldness, strength, wisdom.
*For our communities - for strong neighborhoods, for peace, for patience.
*For our individual States - for strong leadership that will abide by what God would want for us, for changed hearts and minds on policy issues that will, again, be what God would want us for us.
*For our nation - never before in our history is prayer needed for this nation.  To actually shed a few tears while crying out to God to restore us, guide us, protect us.
And you can add your own.  

I posted this a long time ago but it is worth repeating - in England during WWII, Winston Churchill called upon the country to figure out a time every night where everyone would stop what they were doing and start praying for their country.  Because of this, the bombing stopped and lives were spared.  Does prayer change things?  You bet it does.  It STILL does.

Again, I encourage you to meet with the Lord in prayer today.  Find a place away from everyone else and just pray.  God doesn't need it to be full of fancy words.  He doesn't need it to be rote (saying the same thing over and over again).  It doesn't have to be ritualistic.  All it needs to be is from the heart.  And then do it again tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next day.  To say it's important is an understatement.  Let's do this!  : )  Have a blessed day.