Thursday, March 29, 2007

Two great articles

Here are two great articles to share with you:

The first one is from www.Biblicalwomanhood.com, where she does a very good job in sharing great ways to stretch the grocery budget. She also hosts "Frugal Friday's" on her blog with lots of great tips from her and other people's shared postings.

Then over at www.hubpages.com , she has a great article on finding children's clothes for cheap. This is great, as I'm sure we are all looking through our closets and assessing what is needed for summer, and what can be put away from winter. I found this to be a nice refresher on the different places to find good deals: http://hubpages.com/hub/FInding_Childrens_Clothes_for_Cheap



March "Keepers of Home" Notes are in!

Hello friends,

A few of you have requested more information from this month's Keepers of the Home meeting, previously posted about here: http://lisahertel.blogspot.com/2007/03/keepers-of-home.html

The following are notes from the March meeting on the topic of Goals, along with some other great topics to gleen from:

  1. March Notes/Goals
  2. Mom's (Lori Gammon's) personal goal sheet
  3. Specific tasks for mom's goals
  4. Life purposes
  5. Testimonies from other Mom's
  6. Child training tips
  7. Mom's personal book list
  8. Toy clutter
  9. Grocery List and Menu Planner

Just let me know which topics you would like forwarded by email over to you. There are just too many "gems" of encouragement to post on this blog.

~Lisa

Building a house...

"Instead of building a house that doesn't have storms,
build a house that no storms can destroy."

By Larry Crab

A testimony

Hello Friends...

I wanted to share with you this testimony from Kristen Ward written to Lori Gammon of the Keepers of the Home group. I hope that her testimony encourages you in your own pursuit of holiness. :)

Love you all,

Lisa


"Dear Lori, I wanted to tell you thanks you for encouraging me to have quiet time. I have had a wonderful week. You are so right that God will give us strength when we honor him. I have been getting up two hours earlier everyday and I have more energy! My days have been so much more organized and I feel more filled with joy. I started out this week with a new schedule. I have time reading the Bible (Hebrews) and prayer then I read a chapter in Pursuit of Holiness. I then go get ready and I am all done before anyone else in the house is awake. I wake the kids we have breakfast while I read the Bible to them.

Then they get ready and do chores for one hour. This is something new. Before chores where always in the afternoon because I was afraid if we did them first we would not get school done. Doing the chores first has made all the difference. Not only does the house look great but it gets there attitudes in the right way. I made a chore chart for the week. I did this in my mind before but this way the kids know what to do and I have it broken down in manageable tasks for each day. Everything gets done and I have to think a lot less.

I also use the menu planner and I used the shopping list. It was the first time I went to the store and bought only what was on my list:) Another thing has been that I am writing down everything we do in the day. It is great for me to see just how much we are getting done. It is amazing to look back on our day and say look we did great today. If for nothing else Daddy can see what our day looks like and he is impressed.

Next week Grandma and Grandpa are coming and I am keeping on the schedule. We will actually have more time with them and a better time if we do. Thank you so much for helping to stream line our life. I am reaping the rewards already. Your wisdom is God sent."

Kristen Ward

A cool drink of water...

Dear friends,
I wanted to share this devotion from MOPS group, on the topic of Refreshment, with you. Personally, I have experienced those times where there was a need for refreshment and relief. Hope this will be as encouraging to you as it was for me.

Refreshment:
To have ones strength restored. Filled up again so you can keep going.

Relief:
Ease or comfort. Removal of the stress, provides a needed change.

As the severity of our pain increases,
our perception of the need for relief increases.

Two potential problems we encounter with this is:

1. When running on empty, we seek refreshment, but from the wrong source.
  • Sometimes we need MORE than refreshment.
  • What do you do? or Where do you go to?
  • Is it leaving the house, getting a massage, ice cream, going for a run, the Internet, talking on the phone, hobbies, taking a nap, working in the garden, etc. What do you do you do to refresh your self? Some of these things are not necessarily bad for us, but can become Idols in our lives.
  • Key Scriptures: Isaiah 55 and Psalm 119:7

2. When suffering hits hard, we become desperate for relief, when what we really need is refreshment.

  • Take running a marathon: Joggers "live" for water stations. Sometimes they don't stop for the water station, because they want to get to the finish line faster. Now this can be disastrous. Some run a 5 K and some run a marathon, but they all need the water stations to get to the finish line.
  • Key Scripture: Psalms 73:21-28 and 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

THE SOLUTION:

1. Our Part: Those who are thirsty will be filled. Our job is to develop a thirst for God.

2. God's Part: He promises to satisfy us.

  • Key Scriptures: Psalm 42:1-2, Psalm 63 & 84

3. The repentant heart finds refreshment:

  • Key Scriptures: Acts 3:19

Our perspective should be:

As our pain increases, we have a need of God more.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Around Town

Here are a few of those Stinker Station Bench ads placed around our town. The first one is my favorite:

"If evolution works, why do moms only have two hands?"

"Husbands: If you're always right, you'll soon be left."

"Avoid airport security, Fly naked!"


Hope you enoyed these!

Monday, March 26, 2007

A reliable path

From morning devotion today...

"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths"
(Psalms 25:4)

"Beloved, He has a reliable path for us as well. He knows exactly what He wants us to do in our present situations. The dilemma is weighing our genuine need for God's directions against our personal resistance to alteration...

We encounter God's challenge as He demands:
Will you allow Me to dramatically alter your ways to
teach you My own?"

(by Beth Moore)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Deals

Here are some great deals available this week from:
Sunday 3/25 thru Saturday 3/31:


WALGREEN'S

Reach Ultimate Clean Toothbrush:
On sale 3.99.
Use $2.00 Coupon in this Sunday's newspaper (3/25),
Use Walgreens Easy Saver Rebate for $2.99. (catalog is in front of store)
Rebate exceeds price paid by +$1.00

Madam Mandarin Oranges
Original price: .75 cents
On Sale .39 cents each (limit 4 per purchase)
Use Walgreens Flyer coupon. If they are out - ask for Rain Check.



RITE AID:

Buy Electrasol Orange dish detergent, powder or gel - 75 oz; or Gelpacs or Powerball 20ct:

On sale $2.99

*Use Coupon for $1 off 2 Electrosol products in this Sunday's newspaper - 3/25

After purchase, use Rite Aid's Website to Redeem Rebate.
Limit 2 boxes.
Use SCR #5 (Single Check Rebate): Purchase one Powder or Gel 75oz, gelpacs or powerball 20 pk, get $2 rebate for up to two boxes.

Buy two, pay $.49 ea after Single Check Rebate.



Let me know if you have any questions.
Good luck!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

"A week in the life of..."

MONDAY/Cleaning Day:
  • Picked up the house from the weekend.
  • Husband went to WinCo. to get some basic groceries.
  • Made Chicken & Rice, with corn.
TUESDAY:
  • Cold & drizzling rain.
  • Went to the Library. The kids did a Toddler Story Time, played the computer games, and then went to the Music & Movement Toddler Session. Emily had a great time dancing. Jadon had fun crawling faster than everyone else in the circle (no competitive streaks here).
  • Checked out "Ask Mr. Bear" by Marjorie Flack (a story about a special gift for mom), The "Little Rabbit" by Judy Dunn (a story about rabbits and how to care for them), a video of "The Seashore" by Reading Rainbow (Jadon loves the beach - though he has never been. Also, likes crabs and fish).
  • We went to $1.00 night at the Theatre to see "Charlotte's Webb". The kids liked the movie and did very well sitting through it for an hour and a half. Although, they couldn't quite understand why a spider could be your friend. I completely relate to this! (Best at the bottom of my shoe.) Emily loved the popcorn.
  • I personally enjoyed going to the movies. Since, the last time I even entered a theatre was when Emily was a baby. We sat down for 5 minutes to watch the "Phantom of the Opera", but it was too loud and she couldn't settle down. We were so thankful that the manager had returned our money. So it had been at least 2 years, maybe more than that because I don't even remember when I had seen one before that. When we lived in Montana we rented a lot of movies. Our favorite thing though, was to go to the drive-in. We could make as much noise as we wanted and the kids could climb all over us. Good times. :)
  • Made "Sloppy Joes" from scratch and homemade french fries with carrots and apples.
WEDNESDAY:


  • Kids got their haircuts at the neighbors.
  • Prepared grocery list and matched sales with coupons for shopping on Thursday night.
  • Fridge door completely broke, again. Husband glued it for now and ordered part.
  • Living Room & Bedroom electrical outlets went dead. Used extension cords to connect to other outlets. Called electrician.
  • Watched "Survivors" special show.
  • Jadon had a slight fever with a cough. Will have to wait and see how he feels on Friday- to go to MOPS or not.
  • Made Turkey Chili Dogs on whole wheat buns, w/corn and cantaloupe
THURSDAY/Baking Day:


  • The weather is still cold enough to need jackets outside.
  • Found a recipe for Great Pumpkin Dessert in my 1999 Quick Cooking magazine. I know that's a long time to hold onto a magazine. But in my defense, (ha ha) it has been in filed in a binder with other favorite recipes, all of the other magazines from that year have been purged, and this particular copy had at least a dozen "keeper" recipes that we have been using for years now. And then again the other day, I revisited this magazine and found this new recipe. Although pumpkin isn't quite the seasonal thing to make right now, it was perfect in so many ways. It being so fast to make and used mixes and ingredients that were already in the pantry. Since Christmas time, I had an extra can of pumpkin, can of evaporated milk, and some chopped walnuts in the fridge that needed to be used. Also had an extra box of yellow cake mix that I had stocked up on from a sale.

    As I was making my way through the instructions, I realized that I didn't have any pumpkin pie spice. Instead of making a special trip to the store with two toddlers, I then did a quick Internet search and found a recipe how to make it.

    What should have taken 5 minutes to prepare, took 10 minutes. This was due to the fact that the cloves had to be ground down. A pistil and mortar would have been very handy (I bet my friend Leah in India has one). Instead, I used a rolling pin and worked the cloves down to a nice powdery consistency. Making the spice from scratch really added some great, noticeable flavor.

    Now, just need some vanilla ice cream and it's ready to eat!

    The techniques used to make this recipe, reminded me so much of my Grandma Wallace's Special Cherry Dessert. Every time this has been made for company or a church gathering there have been rave reviews. I may also post this recipe in honor of her.

  • Later, I brought over a handful of Daffodils and the extra dessert to our 96 year old neighbor's home. Then her son-in-law pruned all 5 of my rose bushes back for me. Woohoo, that was a huge blessing!
  • Made Salmon patties, with rice and veggies.
  • Went Grocery shopping.

FRIDAY:

  • Yeah! Jadon is doing well. So now we get to go to MOPS. It is my turn to help with childcare. Also, our group is doing a Baby Shower for the "City of Light" which is the women's shelter for homeless women and children. It was fun to donate an entire bag of hygiene items with the tips I received from the "Grocery Game".
  • Made Spaghetti & Meatballs, Salad, & Rolls.
  • Maybe a run to Costco for milk with Jadon, and Emily can go with her daddy to pick up Jadon's Birthday present.

Hope you all had a great week!

Thanks for stopping by and reading the blog!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Bring on Spring!


Around our place, we are ready for Spring! There has been such nice weather that we couldn't help but be outside working on projects.



Here are some pictures of what we have been up to:






The first flower to break ground.

Daffodils by the front porch steps.

Hanged up a humming bird feeder out back, over the deck.

Raked up pine needles and thatch from the yard.

Strawberry plants - Before:

Strawberry plants - After cleaning them out.


With purchase at Zamzows we could use their spreader for free.
Here we are spreading fertilizer on the front and back lawns.

Hopefully this will help make a greener lawn and choke out the weeds.


Two old compost bins - Before:


We found a basketball, broken pitchfork, and broken toys.
The dirt was old & moldy.
Empty compost bin - After:

Cleared out most of this pile and took to dump:

Worked on pruning the Lilac Tree. Since we missed the time to cut it back last year, after the flowers had bloomed, we then were able to cut it back only by a third.

We are looking forward to doing a proper pruning this next time.

It's in!

I got the call! "The Feast of Roses" by Indu Sundaresan, had arrived at the library and was ready for pick up.

After reading the first book, "The Twentieth Wife", of which I thoroughly enjoyed (see this post for a book review: http://lisahertel.blogspot.com/2007/02/my-latest-read.html),
I searched the library catalog and placed a hold on this book. It was labeled "on order". This means that when I went to the "holds" section of the library, there awaiting me was a brand new copy. I was to be the first person to read from it's pages. Love the crisp and clean feeling of a new book.

Now the challenge is to not let myself be consumed by reading this book every moment of the day. From the reviews I've read, and just like the first one, it is indeed one of those books.

Have you ever read a book that you "just couldn't put down"?

Please share...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The seed

The kids and I recently read "The Carrot Seed" book by Ruth Kraus. It is a wonderful little story about a boy who plants a seed, despite skeptiscism from others, and then waits patiently for the seed to grow. This book has simple and progressive stages of how a seed comes to be a plant. With a little patience, clearing out weeds, giving it water, some sun, a little love, then a seed will grow into a grand carrot.

Gardening has so many wonderful metaphors that parallel our relationship with Christ. Will save that for another post.

Anyways, we read this book and then did our own project on planting seeds:

Here we used egg crates, potting soil, and some old marigold seeds from 2001 that were left by the previous owners of this house. Most seeds should sprout if they have been kept in a dry environment. Hopefully these will grow.


The kids really loved poking their own drain holes in the bottom of the crates with toothpicks and then ever so diligently filling the areas with dirt.

We sprayed them with water and put them in the window sill.




I heard from my Mom, in Oregon, that Marigolds are helpful in warding off bugs and pests in the garden. Hopefully, we will get to do a small garden this year and these flowers will bloom.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Keepers of the Home

This last Tuesday, I was so very blessed to meet and get to know some women through a "Keepers of the Home" meeting. It is a mentoring/discipleship group that is based on the directions given in Titus 2.

This group of about 50 women and a few precious newborns met in the home of Lori Gammon. She has been married for 23 years, has 8 children - some who have been adopted and all are doing homeschooling.

Most of the women who came, found out about this group thru "word of mouth". The news is spreading... Just to be clear, not all these women are homeschooling their children. But most have come with the desire to be Biblical wives, and mother's that God has called them to be. It was such a joy to see so many women smiling and genuinely welcoming each other's presence. It was a time of gathering and hearing from other mom's with helpful question and answer sessions.

Personal Growth was the focus of this meeting.

Through the book, "The Pursuit of Holiness" by Jerry Bridges the question for the night was,
"Am I pursuing what God wants me to do?

Also, What are the goals for my life?
Do I have any goals?
Am I completing those goals?
Are they "God Ordained Activities for my Life"?

Then, highlighted these verses:
James 1:5
Philippians 3: 12-14

We were given a packet with lots of different ideas for making goals. There were examples from other women who had written out what their yearly goals were so we could see how it is done.
Some questions to ask when discovering goals are:
What do I want to do?
What do I want to be?
Where do I want to go?
What do I want to have?

What do we want our
Physical,
Spiritual,
Mental,
and Emotional Goals
to be?

We outlined these steps in getting to a goal:
Writing down the goal,
stating the plan,
the process,
and the prize.

Here are a few examples of goals I made:

Goal #1: Being physically energized
  • The plan: Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
  • The process: Make drinking an entire glass of water the very first thing I do before drinking even a cup of cofee or eating food.
  • The prize: Better health

Goal #2: Increasing my intimacy with God/Trusting God/Being a woman of prayer
  • The plan: Spend time every morning reading the word, writing my prayers, reading a book on the subject. Share with others what GOD is doing in my life.
  • The process: Get up 30 minutes early. Make that first part of morning. Go to bed at a decent time in order to be ready for the morning.
  • The prize: A day that is "ordered" by God. A heart that is more at peace. A life that can see God in all things. A life of serving others.

I usually tend to make short term goals like what we are doing for the weekend, completing my to do lists, upcoming holidays, and etc. But anything other than that just has not seemed attainable. It is hard for me to see the big picture.

I finally understood through this meeting, what it was to set a goal and then work through the steps to get there. Before, I'd wanted a goal, but couldn't get past the fear or the enormous mountains to get there (I hope this makes sense to someone-the ideas are in my head, but getting it out intelligently is rough).

I also think that through my growing older! and gaining some maturity, I am starting to understand the value of a disciplined life. That it is not a punishment, but that there are prizes and benefits to leading lives full of purposeful activities.

The agenda for the next two "Keepers of the Home" monthly meetings will be: Chore sheets/Home schedules, then Marriage.

I wish all of my precious women friends and family could join me on these nights. But for now you all get to experience it through my blog ramblings.

Giving my .10 cents Worth

Quite a few months ago, I came across a great deal for Kraft Mac N Cheese. Target had their boxes for a non-advertised sale of .60 cents each. Then they offered a .50 cents off printable coupon from their website. Thus each one was .10 cents worth.

So I stocked up. With kiddos it is almost a staple around here. My husband is also the "grand master" of making Mac N Cheese. Me, on the other hand am not. :)

The other day we had one box left. Then Walgreen's had them on sale for 2 for $1.00 (.50 cents each). Normally this would actually be a good sale. Being that Walgreen's regular price is $1.24, or WinCo's price is anywhere from .60-.70 cents a box. But it was just killing me to have to spend so much now, when I had gotten the others for so cheap.

Before, I got 4 boxes for .40 cents. Now I got 4 boxes for $2.00. A big difference when say you buy 10 for $1.00 rather than 10 for $5.00.

I know, I know, we're not talking about BIG change here. Just hard to go back to paying "full" price for things, let alone 50%.

Hmmm. Maybe it's an addiction. No, I wouldn't go that far. ;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Can you hear me now?

The following is a funny conversation we recently had with our 3 year old. My husband and I were in the basement while Jadon had gone upstairs and heard talking up through the heater vent. He then tried talking to us:

We said, "Jadon, where are you?"
He said, "I'm here!"
Are you in your bedroom?
He said, "No"
Are you in the kitchen?
He said, "No"
Are you in the bathroom?
He said, "No"
Are you in the hallway?
He said, "YES!" (very emphatically)
Then he asks, "Can you hear me?"
We said, "Yes, we can hear you!"

Monday, March 12, 2007

Thankful for...

  • the freedom to pray in public.
  • authentic relationships, and even those that need more work.
  • the first sighting of a spring butterfly.
  • my husband's dedication and sense of humor.
  • the feeling of satisfaction working outside along with my husband and children.
  • the aches and pains that remind me I am alive. The gift that is.
  • the love I have for my children that reminds me how much more God's love must be for me.
  • those conveniences I take for granted like, a car that works, the hot water heater (especially when you go to take a shower and cold water flows out), the mail delivered the same time every day, the garbage man coming like clock work every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m., having a clothes dryer (especially when it is working well and not tearing holes in your clothing because the heat indicator part broke inside).
  • "Some Dudes Fry Sauce" :)

What are you thankful for?

Friday, March 9, 2007

Yeah! It's Friday.

It has been a long week.

It feels like this month has been just "marching" along and I'm still trying to get hold of the 1st day of the month (hope that makes sense). For the remainder of March we will be having John's brother and friend come out next week, then John's parent's the following week, and then celebrating Jadon's Birthday. Should be some good visits and lots of pictures to share.

For now,

Today was MOPS meeting. My group, "The Daisies" were responsible for Hospitality. Originally, I was going to have to pack up the kids to bring muffins and juice to the meeting and then come right back home. This was because my little girl was sick and couldn't go in with the other kids. Definitely was not looking forward to getting every body ready, just to come home again. Now this morning, I was so pleased to see that Emily was feeling better. No sniffles, coughing, and making sure her blanket was wrapped snugly around her at all times. So then with more joy than I usually have for mornings, we were on our way.

Here are pictures of the muffins I made for the women's brunch:


French Breakfast Puffs



Blueberry Muffins







Snuggle Bugs

Here's a picture of my snuggle bugs.
Emily had a cold this week.
There was lots of snuggling and making
sure her blanket was near by!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Waste Not

The other day I came to the realization that from my lack of diligence, I had wasted $8.00.

There were 3.5 lbs of hamburger that had been bought on sale for $5.20. My intention was to brown it, then store in separate Zip-Lock Bags for Taco's, Sloppy Joes, whatever. I put it off for a few days until Saturday morning when I decided that it must be cooked or go to spoil. I had put the lid on the pan to let it cool. Unfortunately, I had forgotten about putting it away until we got home in the afternoon.

Then there was an unopened block of cheese in the back of the fridge that had molded. Nope, it was not salveagable. I have a hard time scraping off mold, unless it is a small layer. Yuck! That was $1.48 for a small chunk of Monterey Jack.

Last of all, there was half a bag of shredded lettuce that was left open in the fridge. Not closed with a rubber band or something. 50 cents on sale.

This may not seem like a "big deal" to some people, but it irked me. If I am to go through the trouble to find the best prices on items, I don't want to waste my time.

In between shopping trips and "working the menu", I try to plan how to wisely use what I have in my fridge and pantry. Such as using up the salad and fresh fruits that will spoil earlier in the week. Then as we get into it more - use canned mandarin oranges or some other fruit/vegie that lasts longer.

I typically clean out the fridge and take stock of the items each week. Although this last one was a struggle with the pain I was having in my back. Not much of an excuse though. :)

As I was thinking about this it reminded me how we need to be diligent in all aspects of our lives. Like in our work, marriages, friendships, daily surrendering our lives to God, training/disciplining our children, training the dog, managing and upkeeping our homes, taking care of the weeds outside, our finances, blogging, or whatever.

I need to keep "paying attention". If not then things and/or people get forgotten, broken, piled up, wasted, go into chaos, have no direction, and spoil.

Better Late than Never!

Received this excellent article by Michelle Jones over at WWW.BetterBudgeting.com. I really like the last part that talks about taking the time for the people in our lives. Enjoy!

Better Late than Never!
by
Michelle Jones

Children are special. They listen to everything you say when they are little, or at least (hopefully) most of what you say, and then when they grow up they repeat your own words back to you. Today, my 16-year-old daughter did just that and I couldn't’t have been more proud. She encouraged me with one of my own ultimate motto's for life… “better late than never!”


More...

At the time of this writing Christmas is less than 10 days away and although our entire town put up their Christmas lights several weeks ago, we did not. Like many working families our schedules have little room for anything extra and putting up outdoor Christmas lights certainly qualifies as EXTRA. However, we did manage to put up our tree two weeks ago and a few of our favorite holiday decorations throughout the house. The few outdoor lights that we do have managed to find their way next to our front door, just in case we might somehow find the time to put them up.

Well, as you may have already guessed from the title of this article, we finally managed to put up our small set of outdoor lights… at 10:00 p.m. last night!

They’re beautiful. The children are delighted, and so are we. And it took less than an hour to get them set up. So why, WHY, did it take us so long to get them up? They’ve been sitting right by the front door just waiting for someone to get the job done, but day after day we passed them by thinking, “no way, we don’t have time for that.”

This morning, while driving my daughter to school, we were talking about how pretty the lights are when I said, “and it didn’t take very long to put them up, why didn’t we do them sooner?!” She replied with no hesitation, “well, better late than never!” I love it… she had no concern for why we were late getting the job done, or even for the weeks we lost that could have been enjoyed with beautiful Christmas lights hanging from our front porch—which is probably just a ‘mom thing’ anyways. Instead, she is just happy they are up.

I couldn't help but smile as I replied back to her “yes, that is what I always say; better late than never!” I paused for a moment and then added with a chuckle “and that’s because we always are!!!”

Seriously though, I believe these words with all my heart and have no doubt that they apply to all areas of our lives, including our finances.

Here are a few examples:

* Have you not been putting enough (or any) money into a savings account, until now?

Better late than never!

* Have you never worked with a household budget to manage your money better, until now?
Better late than never!

* Have you thrown away thousands of dollars of grocery coupons, until now?

Better late than never!

* Have you been in debt for years, but are finally getting out? Better late than never!

* Have you neglected your finances completely, until now? Better late than never!


"The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it."
- W. M. Lewis

No matter what our reasons are for putting things off, whether it’s that we can’t get to them because we’re too busy or that we just don’t want to do them, what matters the most is that at some point (and hopefully sooner than later) we take care of the people and things in our lives that need to be taken care of. We just have to MAKE time for them. And always, always, always…

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

"Whispers of Hope"


Just rececently, Beth Moore had a Nation Wide Simulcast Event. It was hosted by churches all over the United States. Women gathered together, sang praises, and listened to the message brought by Beth Moore.

I had invited my mom, who lives in Nevada, to go to this event. It was her first time hearing Beth Moore speak and I think she enjoyed it.

Beth Moore is one of the most down to earth, God-seeking woman I have had the pleasure to learn from through devotionals and bible studies. At one of her live conference's in Billings, Montana, I had picked up a few of her materials. But somehow, I didn't get into this devotional at that time. Then hearing about my mom's experience reminded me of this treasure.

Whispers of Hope is a great daily reminder of how to connect with the Savior - reminding us to always start with praise. Her daily thought-provoking devotionals are really good and make you want to dig deeper into the Word.

The photography alone is breathtaking.

The pages are designed to help form a habit of prayer through Seventy Daily Devotionals, a Daily Prayer Guide, and Answer Log.

Luke 11:1
"One day Jesus was praying in a certain place.
When he finished, one of his disciples said to him,
'Lord, teach us to pray..."

Pain in the...

For the last 4 days I have been dealing with constant pain, except when sleeping. Mostly, it radiates on the left side of my upper back, down to my lower region, and through to the my thigh. Uggh. I know that this will soon go away as I think it is related to my Siatic nerve (need to do more stretches) and that time of the month.

It has made for a few stressful days and much has been put aside. Looking foward to to seeing the sun again!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

All year long..

This last Christmas, I received an excellent gift from my brother-in-law, Adam. Every year, we secretly exchange sibling names and share a "wish list". I wanted a book that would be good for "working a yard". If you ever have the chance, try picking up the Complete Home Gardening - Growing Secrets and Techniques for Gardeners by Miranda Smith.

There are beautiful illustrations with clear step by step planting and growing instructions. Includes tables and charts of information that I would have never imagined needing to know. It even illustrates how to construct a fence to keep the deer out! Not a problem for us. ;)

I am thoroughly enjoying reading this book. Not sure what will be accomplished this year. But it is so nice to have a ready guide. I have always enjoyed plants and have fond memories of helping my grandma with her garden. She did amazing things with a small amount of space.
Last May, we moved from Montana to the house we live in now. With this home, we have been blessed with a front & back yard. A true first in our married lives. There was so much to do. Lots of weeding, trimming bushes, pruning trees, spraying, mowing, etc. All "good problems" to have, but the work took so much time and toiling under the hot sun. We are glad to have a bit of head start this year.

Looking forward to seeing what "Spring" flowers we may have around the property just waiting to show themselves. There are also thoughts of planting flowers from seedlings, and maybe some vegetable gardening in a small patch of the side yard.

Now, How do I check the PH level of my soil?

Friday, March 2, 2007

The sound of music...

What brings music to this Mom's ears. Things my kids say:

  • Can I have a carrot?
  • You're the best Mom in the whole world!
  • I shared.
  • Jesus will help me.
  • Jesus will help you.
  • I love my sister.
  • Can I have more food?
  • MMM... this is yummy (for some meal I prepared for them)
  • An unsolicited "please, thank you, or you're welcome".
  • When I ask, "Who wants to pray", and I hear a chorus of, "I do!".
  • I love my brother.
  • Dad's home!
  • "Look, Mom!" at something that brings them delight or brings up a question of wonder.
  • The sun is up!
  • When I eat, I grow big, big, big!
  • Yes, Mom.
  • Have a good day at work, Dad.
  • The sound of giggles.
  • I love you, Mom.
  • Good night, Mom & Dad.

Good Bye February, Hello March!

It sure seemed like February just flew by, and now it is March. This is what comes to mind when I think of the month of March:
  • The color green
  • Prune Lilac tree
  • 13th - My brother's Birthday - He is getting so old these days
  • 17th - There is no other place like Butte, Montana, especially on St. Patty's Day
  • 26th - My son, Jadon's Birthday - turning 4 years old!
  • John's parents coming for a visit
  • Seems Easter is coming early this year
  • Spring!

What comes to mind when you think of the month of March?

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Ouch!

Splinters and Toddlers do not go well together.

Poor baby girl. :(

Cost Breakdown

Here is the price of a dinner at full price, and again with the price I actually paid:

Full Price Taco Salad
1 lb. Hamburger ($2.99)
1/2 Bag Shredded Lettuce (Fresh Express .75 cents)
1 Packet Taco Seasoning (Lawry's $1.19)
1 Can of Kidney Beans (S&W .95 cents)
1/4 lb. Grated Cheddar Cheese (Tillamook $1.25), 2lbs/$5.00
1/4 Bag of Potato Chips (Doritos .86 cents), $3.45 a bag

(optional: tomatoes & onion, didn't put in)

TOTAL $8.49


Sale Priced Taco Salad
1 lb. Hamburger ($1.49) reduced price at end of day
1/2 Bag Shredded Lettuce (.52 cents), Dole brand with coupon
1 Packet Taco Seasoning (Lawry's .17 cents),
on sale w/in-store coupon
1 Can Kidney Beans (.23 cents),
stocked up on a variety of beans with this price
1/4 lb. Grated Cheddar Cheese (.99 cents), used generic
1/4 bag of Potato Chips (.36 cents),
Tostitos on sale w/in-store coupon $1.45/bag

TOTAL $3.76


That's a difference of $4.73!

Watching coupons, watching sales, finding cheaper alternatives, do add up. If I take this one dinner and saved $4.73 every night, for 5 days, in a year, then I could save my family $1,800
a year. Just by shopping smart.