Friday, September 26, 2014

Joy in the Ordinary

Look around, really look around and you will find joy... joy in the everyday... joy in the ordinary things.
 I thrive on simplicity but it seems we are in a busy season.  I am trying hard not to become overwhelmed and stress out.  I keep reminding myself this is just a season and I should embrace the chaos and find the joyful moments.   
Abe came running into the house shouting that Megan needed my camera.  I sent it out and she took this shot of the squirrel.  Not bad. 
Little Ladies that have know each longer then we have known them.  The little girl with the fan lived in the same foster home as Megan.  The day we received the girls Megan reached out for Katie's hand while we were in the elevator.  Now the girls live less then ten miles from each other.  God's plans are nothing short of amazing!
Working on things for Sunday school.  Can you guess what we are teaching this week?
Daddy has been working late this week so Megan and I had a girls only outing one evening.  My sweet girl was a chatter box.  She shared all of her secrets and told me a few things I didn't know.  Like she and two classmates gather on the playground every Wednesday to pray for their teacher!  I didn't make a big deal about it, but my heart was rejoicing big time. 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!   

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cinnamon Apple Syrup

I don't know about you but apples say fall to me. I had some apples that needed to be used. They were starting to get soft and have that wrinkly skin. The wheels were turning about what to do with these. I looked up a couple of ideas and then went into the kitchen to get busy.
Cinnamon Apple Syrup

Apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 t corn starch
2 T water
1 t vanilla

Place apples in a sauce pan.  Add sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Mix water with cornstarch and add to mixture.  Mix all ingredients together and then bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes; stirring constantly.  Reduce head to low and cook until syrup is thick and apples are tender.  
You may be looking at the picture above and thinking that is more then a teaspoon of cinnamon.  You would be correct.  I added a tablespoon and it was more cinnamon then I like so I would suggest only a teaspoon.  Live and learn! :)
After a little taste test. I placed these in a jar to be used this weekend.  

Here are a few ideas of how to use these:  over pancakes, waffles or french toast.  As a topping for ice cream or simmered over pork chops when they are just about done.  I might add some chopped pecans to the chops also!

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gone Fishin'

We had plans to go to Papaw's (Chuck's dad) for a family dinner.  Megan keep telling us she was going to the pond to catch a fish.  She even went as far as to make her own fishing pole. :)  Once we were there and her cousins saw what she had they all wanted to go "fishing" also.  They piled in the barn with Papaw and they all came out with "fishing" poles.  The cute factor was off the charts!

So we all trecked through the woods to the little pond and watched imaginations soar.


No fish were caught! We did have plenty of good old fashioned fun, lots of laughs and of course precious memories were made.

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

An Apple A Day...

There was no way we could eat all of the apples we picked on our trip to the orchard. This year we (Megan and I) decided to make applesauce. We made it a family affair and loaded up our things and headed to Grammi's (my mom)for fun day in the kitchen.

Megan asked for cinnamon applesauce so we let her taste test until it was just right. :)

Not only a great day making memories but we also walked away with something yummy to add to the pantry!

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fork in the Road

Chuck and I feel like we have come to a fork in the road. We have both felt like it might be moving to this point for a while. Our church is most certainly having some difficulties. Some conflict of what some members want and the direction the elders are taking the church. In transition because our pastor has decided to leave. (Which we feel might be a good thing.)  We have watched family after family leave for the last two years and it seems that no one cares or seemed to be interested in hearing their reasons for leaving and willing to make any change.

Chuck and I are not conflict people and don't enjoy being surrounded by controversy. We have been going about our business and trying to stay out of all of this. It is difficult when it is all around you and you feel negative energy.

Leaving church yesterday Chuck said this may have been the last straw. Instead of leaving feeling recharged for the week we left with a very upset child. She was sobbing. That is heartbreaking for a parent. Not to go into to many details but Mr. Bandy told the class that it was his last Sunday to teach. I had a long heart to heart talk with him after church and it is a difficult decision he has made to leave. As sad I am that he and his wife will no longer be teaching Megan I understand the direction they feel led to go.

I told Megan that sometimes God will put people in your life for a season. That maybe God used Mrs. Bandy to help Megan transition to attending church and being away from us. (For those of you who have read for a while know that Megan has always dealt with major separation issues.) Mr.Bandy has had a major impact on Megan's spiritial growth. I believe God used him to lead Megan to point where she has daily quiet time and has developed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I will forever be grateful for the impact they have had in our lives!

I am sure you can imagine that are hearts are heavy for so many reasons. Here we are at this fork in the road trying to decide if we stay with our church or if we chose the fork that takes us down a different path.

On my drive to take Megan to school this morning I was greeted by this site.
The sun was rising, the clouds were rolling through and it seemed the world was bathed in sunshine.  Or should I say SONshine!
I returned home with my restless heart settled.  No, the decision of which fork to take has not been answered but I feel like my heart is at peace. 

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

I have been reminded that no matter which direction we go, which fork we chose, God will be with us. 
I feel like God used His beauty to sooth me and let me know that no matter what it will be okay.  We will continue to pray about our direction and seek His council.  
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:26 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Frugal Five

I received a coupon in the mail for free bananas up to $2.00. Many were eaten and then the rest were put in the freezer to use in baking.
I made a trip to the consignment store to finish off Megan's winter wardrobe.  Four pairs of jeans, three dresses, two shirts and a jacket (not pictured) for a price that made me about croak! As my mom gently reminded me it was a significant savings over retail.  Still much more then I wanted to spend.  I need to find a couple good garage sales next summer.  My local friends will have to keep me in the loop for neighborhood sales. :)
While painting the ceiling boards (which seems to be a never ending project!) I ran videos earning swagbucks. 
I used a free sandwich coupon I earned for volunteering at VBS to share with Eli for lunch.
I left the heat in the off position all week.  This 67* temp was about 10:30 on morning.  I am sure you can imagine when I climbed out of bed at six it was a little nippy in my home. I know for many this is a normal setting but I like to be warm and cozy.  I can't say I will continue to leave it off when the next cool down comes through.  :)

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 as I see prices of just about everything increase.  I am not sure I will have five things to post about every week as many times my frugal accomplishment is simply staying home and making do with what I have.  I find it encouraging to hear about others frugal adventures.

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Joy in the Ordinary

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

 I had a extra little guy to care for this week.  Eli loved having someone to play with!
 It wouldn't be fall without a visit to a fall festival. 
 Megan loves to sneak up on the squirrel she named "Chubby."  This guy is at the bird feeder more then the birds. 
There were a couple of dead trees at the back of our property.  While taking them down I talked Chuck into taking another one down to provide more light for the garden.  

 Another project on the list is staining the fence.  We hope to get one side finished Saturday.

As I was putting this post together this song...I've got the joy, joy, joy down in my heart... keep running through my mind.  You can thank me later when that tune keeps running through your head. :)

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!