Thursday, February 15, 2018

Hope

I have pictures on my camera roll of how we celebrated Valentine's Day. I don't know about you but my celebration wasn't as light as usual when I heard about the school shooting in Florida. I called to chit chat with my mom and she told me. I then turned on the TV for a few minutes.

 A few minutes was all I could take. As I was watching I looked into the kitchen and saw our table set for Valentine's Day. The heart table cloth, the pretty flowers, the balloon for Megan and and a gift bag in front of Megan and Chuck's plate. I thought about all of those families that had the Valentine treats or dinner plans for those they love dearly and how it would never come to pass.

 I went to back porch called Chuck, sobbed, and cried out to Jesus. My heart is broken.

 A friend posted the following on FB this morning. Jesus. Yes, the hope in Jesus is what I need.
Every broken relationship.
Every school shooting.
Every abandonment.
Every betrayal.
Every act of violence. 

Every perversion. 

Every child abduction.

Every heartbreak.
The answer is JESUS.
Jesus does not take away all your pain.
But he brings a hope that this world is not the end.
There is more, my friends.

More joy. 
More forgiveness. 
More grace. 
More love. 
More happiness. 
More worship.
More glory.
More beauty.

MORE than we can even imagine.
If you do not know that hope - the hope that can only come from Jesus - please reach out.
He loves you. 
He is waiting for you. 
He is ready to welcome you with open arms.

Jesus.
Jesus is the answer.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Joy in the Ordinary

Look around, really look around and you will find joy... joy in the everyday... joy in the ordinary things.

My girls!  She makes me laugh and sometimes want to pull my hair out.  Either way I'm blessed to call her mine.
I've been trying to get my daily 10,000.  I don't always make it, but I'm trying. 
Poor Dinosaur joined me in the land of glasses.  *smile*
Sunday was a dreary day.  Gray, freezing drizzle and a thin layer of ice when we woke up.  Yuck!
Always creating. 
A little deep cleaning.  I've been thinking about when to start spring cleaning.  
Sunshine! Oh, how this makes me happy. 
Finally some play outside weather. 
A grocery store bouquet just because it makes me happy. 
The table is set for Valentine's Day.  It'll be breakfast for two and then Chuck will be here for dinner.  We like to keep it simple. 
May your day be filled with joy in the journey!


Monday, February 12, 2018

Happy Homemaker Monday: February 12th


The weather::: 
It's currently in the 20's.  It's suppose to be in the upper 30's this afternoon and I hear the sun will make an appearance.  I don't know about you, but the sun does a ton for lifting my spirits.  I'm looking forward to some sunshine!

 Right now I am::: 
I'm browsing blogs and trying to wake up.  I have the Monday morning blues!  I plan to make oatmeal and hot tea when Megan wakes up.

 Thinking and pondering::: 
I'm pondering how to get my motivation back.  I've lost my giddy up and go.  I'm sure some of it has to do with the winter time lazies. *wink*

 On my reading pile::: 
Nothing at the moment.  I finished A Miracle of Hope by Ruth Reid Saturday evening.  I'll pull a new book off of my shelf this week.

 On my tv::: 
I don't turn on the TV much during the day.  Chuck will have it on this evening.

 Favorite blog post last week::: 
With Lot in the Gates of Sodom from Brenda @ Coffee, Tea, and Me.  I related to it on so many levels.  It reminded me of Romans 12:2.  It's not always easy being in the world, but not not of the world.

 On the menu for this week::: 
       Sunday:  Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
       Monday: Pot Roast, Rolls
       Tuesday:  Chicken Pot Pie
       Wednesday: Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Bread
       Thursday:  Chicken Noodle Soup
       Friday:  Chili, Cornbread
       Saturday:  Grilled Chicken, Green Beans, Parmesan Noodles.

 On my to do list::: 
         *Homeschool
         *Dust living room
         *Make dough for rolls
         *Sew a curtain to cover a shelf in the office

 My simple pleasure::: 
        Enjoying a cup of tea.

 From the camera::: 
I purchased a new to do list.  I'm hopeful this will help motivate me as I do like to mark things off of a list.

 Prayer List:::
*Our country and it's leaders.
*My husband is in my prayers daily.
*I'm praying regarding our church situation.  We've been going to a new church and Chuck wants to keep attending.  I'm not sure as it's much larger than what we are use to.  (Two services with a weekly attendance of over 1100)  I'm following my husbands lead and praying that we'll both feel peace if this is meant to be our new church home.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:6



Friday, February 02, 2018

Penny Smart #4

This a place where I share how I've stretched a penny, saved a penny and in many cases spent no pennies.

Earlier in the week I picked up some groceries.  As a little pick me up I selected some mark down flowers. 
They add a little sunshine to my day.  I justify the expense by telling myself that this bouquet is less expensive then therapy or a tropic vacation for beating the winter blues. *smile*

My mom spotted some marked down ham.  We had this brand of ham last year and it was good.  
The original price per pound was $3.99 and they were marked down to $1.29 a pound.  I did the math at one point and it turned out to be approximately 67% off of the original price.  I purchased three.  They were in the range of five to six pounds and for my little family of three I can cut each ham into thirds before adding to my freezer.  

Chuck came home with some change he found at work.  This time it was seventeen pennies and one dime that went into the change jar.  
I joked that this person must be in a much higher pay grade than Chuck since they can throw away 27 cents!  It was happily added to our change jar. 

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. 
Proverbs 13:11

It's a great reminder to tackle our financial goals bit by bit.

So there you go.  I hope this encourages you to do things to save money.  The old adage that every penny counts seems to apply more and more these days.  I find it's much harder to stretch my pennies into nickles. *smile* I find it encouraging to hear about other frugal adventures and I hope you do also. 

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!


Thursday, February 01, 2018

No Spend Month

Hello February! It seems that January has flown by. It was a very good month. Generally January is a hard month. Thankfully we haven't had a ton of snow and I've been out and about quite a bit. Sadly that out and about means I've spent a little bit more than I had put in the budget. Yikes!

Today is the day that I steer this ship back onto course. February will be a no spend month for us. Actually our first no spend month ever!

What does that mean. Well, exactly what it says... no spending. I guess I should clarify that there will a little bit of spending. Of course the bills will be paid. There are also a few groceries such as milk,  fresh fruit and veggies to purchase. It will be the minimum needed to get by. I went the grocery store earlier in the week and have a full pantry and freezer. Don't worry we have plenty to eat!  I'll update you each week of the month if there is any spending on groceries.

Many of you might ask why February and not January as that seems to be the go to no spend month.  Besides the overspending in January the van needs some work.  The main thing is a new radiator.  In order to get us by while we save to take care of that repair we can can buy a can of stop leak if the leak gets worse.  Chuck isn't sure that it will work but it's worth a shot if needed.

Besides saving for the van repair we need to save for vacation.  I know, I know. How can we take a vacation when we are knee deep in debt.  We agreed to this vacation before the medical bills grew and the vehicles need repairs.  We seriously thought about cancelling.  In doing so we would have lost money as we have been paying for the beach house.  We also factored in the fact that Megan will be 12 this summer. The years for family vacations is slipping away. 

After the vehicle and vacation funds are filled we will back to full force debt reduction.  Follow along as we tackle a no spend month.

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Penny Smart #3

This a place where I share how I've stretched a penny, saved a penny and in many cases spent no pennies.

I made a meal of turkey and rice soup.  I pulled the broth from the freezer that I saved when I made turkey pot pie.  The turkey also came from the freezer from Thanksgiving leftovers.  Add a diced carrot, 1 cup of rice, water, salt and pepper and you have a frugal meal.
 Megan will need a new coat next winter.  I had been keeping an eye on a coat waiting for it to hit the clearance rack.  It seemed to get stuck at 40% off.  I keep watching and waiting and they weren't lowering the percentage off. 
 There were only two left so I decided to just to it.  It was originally $145 the 40% off brought it down to $87.  I had a % off coupon and a gift card for $10 making the out of pocket total $59.60.  More than I wanted to pay, but better than full price in the fall.

I'm using it up!  This was my blush container before I opened a new one. 
I'll admit I wanted to toss it and open a new one several days before I got to this point.  I was patient and kept chipping away at the corners each day to get the powder I needed.  Not fun, but I have goals to meet!

We were able to pay off half of our lowest debt.  We are hopeful to have the remainder paid off in February. 

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. 
Proverbs 13:11

It's a great reminder to tackle our financial goals bit by bit.

So there you go.  I hope this encourages you to do things to save money.  The old adage that every penny counts seems to apply more and more these days.  I find it's much harder to stretch my pennies into nickles. *smile* I find it encouraging to hear about other frugal adventures and I hope you do also. 

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Joy in the Ordinary

Look around, really look around and you will find joy... joy in the everyday... joy in the ordinary things.


This will be pictures from the last two weeks since I've been a steeler blogger. ha!  We celebrated my 47th birthday on the 12th.  The weather wasn't great so we were all home that due to morning ice.  I was a little disappointed as we had plans to go for dinner that were cancelled.
Megan made my birthday cake.  She was disappointed that her second layer stuck to the pan.  In the end it was all good as it's really the love put into it that counts.  

My husband isn't a guy of gushy words.  He suprised me with a handwritten note full of emotion instead of a card.  It might have made me tear up. *smile* He also gave me a sign for our bedroom. 
I have plans to paint it this year and change out some of the decor.  I'm feeling the need for a less cluttered look.

A quiet morning with a beautiful falling snow beckoned me out to sip my hot choclate on the back porch.  
Megan was delighted that there was enough snow and warmth to finally go out and play.
Since then the snow melted with our 50* warm up, it rained, thundered and last night we had a mix of rain and snow that left black ice on the roads this morning.  Makes me grateful that Megan and I are home and don't have to make the school run on mornings like this.  

Snickerdoodle coffee cake for a slow Saturday breakfast. 
There has been a little bit of organizing and cleaning. 
Last Saturday we had the most amazing sunrise. 
A little hit of spring to brighten up these winter days.  
 May your day be filled with joy in the journey!


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Kitchen Time

I didn't mean to disappear last week. Honestly, I had no desire to blog. I spent some time away from home and was extremely tired. I've had some issues with insomnia since about the week before Christmas.  It's awful to still be wide awake, yet exhausted at two in the morning.  I finally mentioned it to Chuck and he came home with an over the counter sleep aid.  It helped termendesly! I no longer need it to get to sleep but I still feel tired.   

A couple of my outings were food runs.  Meijer has some items as part of their 10 for 10 with the 11th free.  I took advantage of it to stock my pantry. Sorry no pictures of that purchase.  A trip was also made to Sam's.  We had run out of chicken.  While there we decided to do a little more stocking up.

A couple of reasons for this.  One I was gifted some birthday money that we decided to spend on stocking up and the final reason is that it looks like we might be eating out of our pantry.  

I mentioned before that there is an issue with the transmission on Chuck's truck.  No worries as he has been driving the van.  We noticed that the van was leaking something so while having the oil changed we asked them to see if they could find the issue.  They found it alright!  It needs a new radiator plus a couple of other things to the tune of $1457. Ouch!  Thankfully it can still be driven.  Chuck will just need to check the fluids frequently.  

Then there is the wonderful govenment shutdown.  The company Chuck works for receives 99% of their work from military contacts.  A small shutdown shouldn't effect us, but if it continues it will impact us.  You know how it works.  If the company isn't being paid then they can't pay their employees.  We'll need to be cautious.   

Anyway, this my meat haul. 
The first thing I did was marinade a package of chicken breast.  My go to marinade is italian dressing, honey and lime juice.  I had almost three pounds of chicken so I used 1 cup dressing, 1/2 cup honey and then three tablespoons of lime juice.  

While it marinaded the packages were broken down into meals.  I ended up with 10 packages of ground beef (I package between 1/2 to 3/4 pound), a container of taco meat, browned beef to use as a pizza topping and three hamburger patties.  The patties were used for a meal that evening.  
The chicken tenders netted 11 packages. 

 Once the chicken breast were done marinading they were grilled and then sliced.  Except for half of one that Megan snagged to make a sandwich for lunch. *smile* The slices were put on a baking sheet to flash freeze.  
I packaged 2 oz of slices into a snack bag and then placed them into a freezer bag. These will be used to top salads for lunch.  That is if I can keep Megan out of them! 
Then it was time to put every thing away.  While taking care of that Chuck helped me straighten and inventory the freezer.  I'm happy to see it well stocked!
While I was at it I also packaged some other things into serving sizes.  Baby carrots and animal crackers.  It's eye opening when you start to measure servings.  It helps me to make better choices when I think "that's all I get" opposed to "wow, that's a large serving.
 
I made some jarred salads.  I use to make these often.  I find that I eat better when it's ready to go.  The thought of cleaning and chopping will make me pass on the salad.  No excuse now!
The frig is stocked with good for us foods.  Salad, blueberries, ready to eat carrots, apples, oranges and lemons. 
I have an issue with not eating correctly.  As in I won't take the time to eat properly and then I either feel sick or benge eat late in the afternoon.  I'm hoping that having things ready to go will help with this issue. A small investment of time in the kitchen that will have a big return. 

 May your day be filled with joy in the journey!



Friday, January 12, 2018

Joy in the Ordinary

Look around, really look around and you will find joy... joy in the everyday... joy in the ordinary things.

Winter in Indiana is always interesting.  We started off with some snow and then yesterday it was raining and almost 60* This morning it is again below freezing and we are dealing with ice, sleet and eventually there will be snow.

You know it is a big weather story when Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel is in town! 

Our evenings are spend playing games.
Megan is a worthy opponent at checkers.  She surprised me how well she played.  My girl is growing up!
Lunches continue to be mainly leftovers.  We bought a bag of oranges from Sam's that are like enjoying some sweet sunshine. Yum!
An ice tree is a local attraction.  
 This is first time we have ever gone for a peek.  It's beautiful!
 Besides games there has also been a ton of crafting going on.  Here Megan is making homemade stickers. 
Although sometimes messy, I do enjoy her creativity.

I'm off to make some tea and enjoy a cozy day at home. 

 May your day be filled with joy in the journey!