Monday, March 23, 2015

Rice in the Crock Pot

I had no I idea that rice could be made in the slow cooker. I wish I had known about this little gem a long time ago!
I used a 1 lb bag of rice, 6 cups of water, 2 cups of chicken broth (optional as you could use water only), 1/2 cup diced carrots (again optional).
Throw it all into the slower cooker and cook 2 hours for white and 4 hours for brown rice. 
Unfortunately I let mine cook a little bit too long. Oops! It is still good, just changed the texture a little. 
I served it as a side with grilled chicken and green beans. Then I divided up the rest and put it into the freezer. I foresee adding cream of chicken, maybe broccoli and cheese. Really the possibilities are endless.

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Out With The Old

It has turned out to be an expensive week around my home. The grill, washer and dryer have been replaced. Whew!  Chuck also introduced me to a new acronym: BER = Beyond Economical Repair.:)
We have never had a new grill. We had one from a garage sale and then Chuck took a broken grill my parents had replaced and was able to repair it. Last year it needed new burners due to one side cooking really hot. The ignitor also didn't work so we would light it with a lighter. No biggie as it still met our needs. Over the weekend the grill would not start. Chuck thought the tank was empty. No not it. New tank and he still couldn't get it to light. That is when he introduced me to BER. We purchased an inexpensive grill... well inexpensive as far as grills are concerned. 
That was meant to be our big purchase, but unfortunately it was not. A couple of weeks ago the washer threw the breaker. When I turned it back on the washer would not start. It was making the same humming sound when Chuck tried to start it. He left it and came in for dinner. When he returned it started. It worked but there were times when it did not spin well. I would just run the cycle again. We decided to run it until it died. 

Fast forward to this week and the dryer stopped working. It had been purchased used and we have had it for several years. Again Chuck said it was BER. Since the washer was on its last leg it was decided that a new set would be purchased. 
We did upgrade to an HE model. It wasn't much more then the traditional washer with an agitator. The savings on electricity and water should make up the difference. I have washed three loads and so far I am pleased. 

All of this has meant that I have eaten several of these. (Not bags, just eggs! ;))
Although we are not happy about all we have spent we are grateful. Grateful that we had the cash to pay for these. Grateful that Chuck could use his Veteran status to save on the purchase. We are looking forward to using these items for many, many years to come. 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Megan's "New" Room

Welcome to Megan's "new" room!
It is painted a wonderful shade of gray. Depending on the light it tends to look lavender or a twinge of blue. I would share the color name, but I wasn't pleased with my first choice and mixed some black and white in until I acheived my desired color. 

Before we step inside lets take a look at the before and after.
I am going to admit that once I started painting over the pink stripes I might have gotten a little teary eyed. :)  I painted the room and added a border that matched the crib set while we were waiting for Megan. Gulp... almost eight years ago! It was time for a change.

 As you know we do things around here on a tight budget. I had been planning this for the last year. Buying a couple things here and there plus adding things to her Christmas list. Enough talk... lets go take a peek!
The bedding and the cork M are items that were on the Christmas list. 
Our home is not large and I wanted things to feel light and airy. I went for something light and fresh for the window treatment. I also like the fact that as Megan grows these are netural enough that they will grow with her. 
This is my favorite grouping.
I have sang You Are My Sunshine since Megan was a baby. It is something that she will still request. As soon as I saw this print on FB I knew I had to print it!
This is also a favorite. This frame held a picture of ladybugs that previously hung on Megan's wall. I removed the print and added a chalkboard. Megan wrote out the Bible verse she is memorizing for the week. 
The desk is the only new piece of furniture. It is something that we wanted to add for a long time. It is one of the things Megan loves most about her room.
The bulletin board was previously in her room. I painted it and then covered the cork with wrapping paper and glued on a ribbon to cover the edge of the wrapping paper. 
The shelf above the desk was cleared off and many items did not return. Again going for simple. One end holds shells collected from our vacation to the beach and a boat the Megan made from a kit.
When our neighbor passed away Celia left Megan a piece of rose quarts and a small bird. Things that she would play with while visiting. 
These pictures were from her nursery. The colors went well and the flowers and butterflies are more little girl then baby.  
This is one of the new items.
The dresser is the original $5 dresser that was purchased at a garage sell. A fresh coat of paint was added.  The print above the dresser was printed from Pinterest and put in an existing frame and the Pray picture is something that was made in Sunday School. 
This lamp is new. I added some color to the white shade by using the same wrapping paper and ribbon used on the bulletin board. 
This was made by a high school friend of mine when Megan was a baby. 
A couple days after the room was finished I went in to kiss Megan goodnight. In her sleepy slumber she whispered "I am pleased with my room." Aww... I am so happy for you Megan!

I hope you enjoyed the tour. Have a great week!

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Outside My Door

The day started out with dense fog. By the afternoon the sun was shining and the day was warming up.
Other then a few patches of snow the feeling of Spring is in the air.
It has been such a nice day that everyone wants to be out enjoying it. 
I know that Spring takes it sweet time coming to life around here. I am thankful for this beautiful day!

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:34

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!


Saturday, March 07, 2015

Time To Catch Up!

You may remember at the beginning of the year I talked about change. One of those changes had to do with our finances.  Other then cutting back one of the best ways to cut debt and increase your savings is to increase your income. I recently added a little one to my daytime crew.
The "plan" was to keep things the same and add a new little one in the fall. When I received a call about this little one I couldn't say no. I am still trying to get a new routine in order. Megan loves having her around and I love watching her hold Elizabeth and talk to her. So sweet!
 It seemed that the snow was falling all around us the winter until recently. Thankfully we haven't had feet upon feet of snow.
 Just enough to get out and have some fun!
Now that we have had our fun let the warm up begin. :)
Megan's room has taken much longer then anticipated. Her dresser was painted the great purple last week. Now we are hanging things on the wall and sorting through the bins of stuff that was taken out. I keep telling Megan that less is more. She recently said "less stuff = less stress." Maybe she is getting it. A girl can hope anyway!

Megan has been under the weather a little. Nothing major. She ran a low grade fever and stayed home one day. By the afternoon the fever was gone but I could tell by her actions and the look of her face that she wasn't feeling 100% for days. Thankfully yesterday she was acting like her old self.
 We were invited to go through Grandma Barbara's apartment. The clock is one of the treasures that came home with us.
I have always liked it as it reminds me of a grandfather clock. It chimes at the top and half hour which I find soothing.

Mike (Chuck's stepdad) told me the story of this clock. It was made by a neighbor of his parents in the 1950's and given as a gift to his family. You can't tell from the picture but the finial on the top leans slightly to one side from where it was carved. I think that adds character to the piece. We brought home some household items such as facial tissue and canned goods along with a few other treasures. I will share those another day. Not many items came home as we are truly trying to live less is more.

Chuck has to work today and tomorrow after church. Megan isn't very happy, but the overtime will help us to reach those financial goals. Megan still has money left on a JoAnn gift card from Christmas so I plan to surprise her with a trip to her favorite store this morning. That should take the sting out of Daddy being gone so much this weekend.

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Valentine Fail (Sort of)

Saturday morning I was up early setting the table to show my family a little Valentine love.
The hearts scattered on the table were scripture about love. They were part of the craft for sunday school. 
Megan filled a cute faux milk jar with these cute M&M's for me.
Here is is where the fail (sort of) comes in .  I made these muffins. As you can tell they look nothing like the muffins I originally made. I still can't figure out what I did wrong. The hope was that they would taste better then they looked. Nope. Chuck, bless his heart, said they aren't that bad. Yeah right! I had to choke down my bite. Chuck saved the day by pulling out the waffle maker and getting busy. In the end all was well. :)
Megan received an apron that I had gotten for free with a gift card that I received in the mail and then we put money in her bag. Can you tell she was excited!?  
She is a frugal girl and had just used the last of an Amaz*n gift card she received for her birthday. (Back in July) She had been asking how she could add more to her account (really our account) so at the last minute we decided to do this for her. I am so glad we did as her reaction was great!

It is nice to take the time to make my family feel a little extra love. My hope is that they feel the love I have for them everyday. 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!