Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Joy in the Ordinary

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

I've only used the clothes line once this season.  Seasonal allergies have been horrible this year.  My poor Megan happens to suffer from them.  I hope to be back to using the line soon.  I love the smell of lines dried items.
I find beauty in all of God's creations. 
Yes, even beauty in what most perceive as weeds. Those yellow "weeds" turn into fields of wishes. 
 Megan loves to fish and found a new fishin' spot.  We've been several times. 
On her first trip she caught a large mouth bass.  It shocked us both!
Chuck and I celebrated our 18th Anniversary. 
 I spent a dry, sunny afternoon relaxing on my parents front porch.  We chatted and enjoyed the nice day.  It was so pleasant that it was hard to get up and leave.
Our school year has wrapped up and the new books for 8th grade are here.  I'm working on planning for next year.  My goal is to have it done before the first of July or sooner.  That way the planning won't be hanging over my head and we can enjoy every drop of summer.
Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends.

Monday, May 20, 2019


It's been a journey, but I am in a really good place.  A place where I am content.  I don't mean content when my home is spotless, because let me tell you it's not!  Nor when we have tons of disposable income, because again that is not the case.  I am content just being.... me.  Whether I am puttering through my day, doing housework, running errands, or feeling those everyday stresses... I am content.

Friends, let me tell you that this hasn't always been the case.  Those of you that have been around for a while know that I've struggled with my mental health, my self esteem, and the feeling of failure.  Especially since we were swimming in debt, and guilt that I added to that debt through some medical struggles and my reckless spending when I was rock bottom emotionally.

I have let go of so many things.  Many self induced thoughts that have caused me a great deal of pressure.  I have let go of perfect.  Letting go of that image of perfect has been life changing for me!

Many years ago I got off the merry go round, yet I still didn't feel satisfied.  I worried and worried some more.  What do people think of me,  why can't I live in a beautiful home like I see all over blogland and Instagram.  I would see people I know posting on Facebook about their gatherings and feel miserable wondering why we weren't invited. Why, why, why. Compare, compare, compare.  It's a dangerous place to be.

Now instead of worry, having impossible expectation, and unrealistic comparison I have turned turned to true gratitude.   I'm extremely grateful that I have my little home, for my little family, for health insurance and good doctors.  I am thankful for all the things great and difficult that the Lord has put in my life.  I can't even put into words how wonderful this shift in mindset has been.  I'm living my life to bring joy to myself, my family, and most importantly to bring glory to God.

Again, I am soooooo grateful for all who have read my thoughts and shared my life on my little space on the web.  Don't give up on me just yet.  I'm working my way back into posting more often.

Let your manner of living be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have. For He hath said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

A Quick Update

I thought I'd pop on and catch up. I am feeling better. Still not 100%, but sooooo much better. I had a follow up appointment yesterday.  She has a few concerns so I will have some additional testing done in the next month.  My energy is coming back which means that I need to play catch up around home.
The weather has been gorgeous!  That makes it hard to stay inside and get thing accomplished. I'd much rather be outside playing in my flower beds. *smile* 
This will be short as I only wanted to pop on for a moment to let you all know I'm doing better.  I'll be back soon! 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Where I've Been

I had plans to return to regular blogging last week. You know what they say about best laid plans. I wasn't feeling well Monday and even worse on Tuesday. By Tuesday late afternoon I was in tremendous pain. After a phone call I was told to go to the ER.
Long story short is that I have an infection in my colon.  I am on a super dose of antibiotics and being sent to a specialist.  Compared to last week I am feeling much better.  I still have a ways to go to feel 100%.  I'll be back once I'm feeling better.  

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Winner, Winner!

And the winner is...
Congratulations, Chrissy!
Please get me your new address and I'll get it sent out this week.  

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Update & A Giveaway

Hello Friends! I thought I would pop on this afternoon so we could have a chat. We had a spring snow yesterday evening. It's still cold, so it is lingering today.

Not to worry it won't last long. It's beautiful, yet makes me want to be snug at home. That is exactly what I plan to do for the rest of the day. I will put something warm on for dinner, do some puttering, and maybe watch a movie. Those are are my plans anyway. We shall see since Chuck has mentioned going to see his grandmother.

Megan and I are in the last leg of school. It looks like if we buckle down we can be done in four weeks. If we work a little slower then it will be more like six weeks. We are both ready to wrap it up. I have some projects on the horizon and don't want to start them until I have more time.

Although we have some snow today the weather is changing. The bulbs are pushing up, the trees are budding, and there have been some days of sunshine. Oh, how the sunshine improved me mood and motivation. It makes me want to throw open the windows and get busy! I still have show patience as it's still early for those continuous warm days. They are coming and that gives me hope!
It has been approximately eight months since I wrote this post. I am doing much, much better. I still have my moments. Sometimes it feels down right crazy. Like recently I had my annual eye exam. I ordered my new glasses and once they were in I made an appointment to pick them up. The morning I was suppose to pick them up I had crazy anxiety about going. I actually thought about cancelling and staying home. I talked myself through it and was fine by the time I went. Unless this is something that you experience it's really hard to understand. Thankfully those moments are few and far between.
I recently told someone that when I look back to where I was a year ago I have come a long way. I still feel like I still have a ways to go, yet I feel tons better. All I can keep doing is moving forward one step at a time.

Along this journey I have found tremendous support. The blogging community is one of the best! People I have never meet and only know because they open up online to share about their life, their family, their faith and their love for home have become friends. I can't thank all of you enough who have supported me by commenting on my blog, sending me e-mails, text, and even personal notes in the mail.

I know that a gift isn't enough of a thanks, but I want to do something to show my gratitude. The above picture of the give thanks sign and the home sweet home dish towel will be part of my "I give thanks" giveaway. All you have to do is leave a comment asking to be entered. The drawing will be closed at 8 pm on Friday, April 5th. The winner will be announced no later then Monday, April 8th. I would love to give a gift to everyone who has supported me, but as you know that isn't possible. From the bottom of my heart thank you for all of your love and support.

Oh, and please leave me an e-mail address so I can get in touch with the winner. Thanks!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Meal and Snack Prep

I've been off in my meal prep and boy has it shown! We've eaten out or had frozen pizza more often then I want to admit. It was past time to get my act together. I picked up some veggies, fruit, and a large package of hamburger from Sam's. I made a menu and then it was time to get busy.
I tackled the package of hamburger.  I was able to get three hamburger patties, make a meatloaf, and spaghetti sauce that will be used as part of the menu this week.  I also made taco meat and browned a package of sausage.  With all that I made I was also able to put two small packages of beef in the freezer. 
When I was done I had my hamburger patties ready for dinner, a meatloaf mixed up and put into the freezer.  The spaghetti sauce was more then I needed for the lasagna.  I bagged up what I need for the lasagna and then the rest was put away for future use.  The taco meat was broken down into three packages.  Two for future family meals and one for a last minute lunch if I don't have leftovers for Chuck's lunch box.  I like to have taco mixed this way as I can throw it frozen into the crockpot and have a meal on a busy day or for an after church lunch.  The sausage went to the freezer to be used as pizza toppings.  
Next I put on some eggs to hard-boil and tackled the veggies.  I really needed some easy, healthy snacks.  I will admit I am sometimes lazy and find it easier to grab a cookie than to take the time to clean a carrot.  I looked for some convenient snacks for ideas and this is what I found.

A veggie and drip snack container. 
They also had what they called a protein pack that had cheese, nuts, pea pods and a boiled egg.  
This is the cost of each of those trays.  

That shocking price was enough to get me moving!
 While I was cleaning carrots I prepped a pound and a half.  I cut slices for a chicken pot pie meal,  large chunks for a pot roast, some for cole slaw, and lots of carrot sticks.  The lettuce was washed and packaged in serving sized jars and I cut up leftover chicken for toppings.  

You may notice I wrote on some of the containers.  Dry erase markers work great on plastic or glass containers.  

Now onto convenient snacks.  I debated on how to package them.  Using containers would take up more room then I had.  I ended up purchasing a tray to contain them and packaged the items in snack sized baggies.  I invested in some plastic condiment take out style containers also.  This is what our new snack area looks like.  
There is celery, pea pods, carrot sticks along with a single serving of ranch dip.  Cheese sticks or containers of cheese cubes along with pepperoni sticks (Megan's favorite), and scoops of cheese ball in the individual containers (my favorite).  So far this is working well.  Megan has been eating a ton of carrot and pepperoni sticks.  

Don't worry there is fruit for snacking too.  Beside this snack container there are two containers that currently hold apples, oranges, and kiwi.  

If you have any ideas for keeping healthy convenient snacks on hand I would love to hear about them.

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends.

Monday, March 18, 2019

In the Moment

Knock, knock... anybody still there? I never meant to leave this little space for such a long period. I'm fine and I thank those of you that have check in on me.

I would post here and there on Instagram, but didn't seem to have to energy to post here. No particular reason. Lazy, lack of motivation, deep in thought. Any of three would be a valid excuse. I have been trying to slow down and live in the moment.

What does that look like? Saying yes to my family more often, less time on the computer, resting. The kind of rest where you are still. It's been good for me. I'd still like to strive for a little more slow and simplicity, but you can only do what you can do.  Life will always be moving and you have to move along also.

Do any of you follow Down to Earth? It a pleasant little space to visit.  I also follow her on Instagram.  She recently put up a little ramble and I found the following from her post to be such an inspiration for me.

This minute is all you have. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow hasn't happened, you only have now. If you constantly rush through that you're doing, thinking of what you'll do next, you don't get to truly experience your days. Slow down, think about what you're doing, experience your days and get something out of it. Everything you do is part of your life so make your minutes memorable.
Rhonda Hetzel of Down to Earth blog.

Saturday morning we woke up nothing on the schedule.  Yes!  Chuck made us waffles. 
We then spent some time picking up the house, finished up laundry and such.  It was a beautiful day.  Sunshine, blue skies and puffy clouds.  I was itching to get out, yet it's still chilly.  I mentioned getting out of the house and Chuck obliged.

Our first stop was for lunch.  We went to a local 50's style restaurant.  You can dine in or they provide curb side service.  There was quite a line inside so we opted for curb service.  They are famous for their tenderloin.  The food is always good here.
This the view across the street while we dined.  I love to come here in the fall and see the farmers bringing in their harvest.
After lunch we went for a long drive.  There is nothing like country roads and views to sooth my soul.
I am super glad we got out of the house and I came back feeling refreshed.  Not long after we walked in the door I received a call that my cousin, April, had been killed in a semi crash.

She and her husband were a driving team.  They were about an hour from home when the accident happened.  She was asleep in the back and her husband dropped his sandwich.  He picked it up and when he returned his eyes to the road the traffic had slowed and he couldn't stop.  He ended up hitting the back of another semi.

 I was very upset this weekend, but now things are sinking in.  She was a believer and I have seen many post on FB about her that speak of joy, giving, love and her faith.  It makes me wonder how many people that haven't trusted in Jesus have read the post about her and trusted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.   As sad as it is to grieve her loss it is always a blessing to know our loved ones are resting with Jesus.
It feels good to be back on my little space on the web.  I'll be back soon to share bits and pieces of my life.

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Fluffing My Nest

I had a little inspiration that prompted me to fluff the nest a bit.  I have never been happy with the decor on the hutch.  While out and about over the weekend we ventured into a little gift shop and I saw a piece that I knew would be perfect for this space.  Once we looked at the price tag and chatted Chuck thought he could make it for less.  He also pointed out that it might be too large for the space. 

Chuck took the vision and made this for me. 
Not exactly like the one in the shop, but perfect for what I envisioned.  I took that piece, some existing items, a print I received as a Christmas gift, and a couple of inexpensive items I purchased to change up this space. 
I'm really happy with how it turned out.  

I'll share a trick I use placing decor.  I use scrap wood under items to add height if needed.  
Without the added height the basket would be hidden and you wouldn't be able to read the bottom line of the sign completely.   
Now I need to decide if I am going to leave this natural or add some stain.  What do you think? 

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Baby, It's Cold!

As I type this post at 2:30 in the afternoon it is currently -0 and it feels like -20.  I had my doubts that we'd make it as high as 0.  We braved the cold for a little fun.  
Bubbles were blown to watch them freeze.
Hot water was thrown to view the dramatic evaporation,  Hands on learning is the best!
Then it was time to enjoy the hot chocolate bar as we headed back to school work. 
Now that school and our outside time is complete we are struggled under warm blankets. Chicken and noodles are simmering away and I'm thankful for our cozy home. We're making the best of this frigid weather.  

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends. 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Penny Smart #9

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

 Recycled Christmas cards into scrap paper.  I cut them to size to fit a note paper holder I've been refilling for years.  The only investment was time. 
 Picked up some clearance items.  The three small rolls on the left were $0.24 each and the larger rolls were $0.72.  All three rolls were $2.31 (included tax).  That was $0.57 less then the original cost of $2.88 for one of the larger rolls. 
 Mom also told me about a cart of school supplies that were on clearance.  I was able to get binders for $1.50 each. The original price was $4.28.  I'll take the savings of $2.78/each.  These will be put back to use in our school. 
Turkey carcass was pulled from the freezer and five quarts of stock were added to my pantry.  They won't last long as I used one over the weekend and another this week to make soup. 

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.

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends.