What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, November 29, 2013

Finances on Friday

 Some financial considerations for the week:

I told you last Friday I would think about ways to further reduce our monthly grocery bill this week.  I've been wracking my brain for some ideas on how to stay within our grocery budget now that our food store has dwindled.  It was opportunistic that I did my once-a-month grocery haul this week because while out,  I realized that I spend a lot of money on cheese, canned beans and instant brown rice.     We are a cheese family- big time.  We love it.  And eat it, often.  The canned beans and instant brown rice are basically convenience foods...I get them because they are quick and speedy.  It seems like I should be able to find ways to reduce those costs.

I kept coming back to one that I have been thinking about for a while.  Dried beans.

The problem with dried beans is that I forget about them until it is TOO LATE.  I can't cook them fast enough, let alone soak them.  I read this summer about canning dried beans and think this might be a good solution for me.  If I can get some dried beans canned up and ready for 'instant meals' than I can have the convenience of canned beans at dried bean prices.   I will experiment this month with it and see whether or not it is indeed a money saver.  (It must be.)

A few others ideas:

~ buying cheese in bulk online?  (Something I need to research.)
~ eating less cheese (perish the thought!)
~ buying brown rice in bulk and just cooking it already.  This would require a more thoughtful approach to meals with brown rice.  Discipline?!  Perish that thought too!  ;-)
~ no more canned soup.  Tomato soup, in particular
~ make homemade taco seasoning.  (Though I only bought this in bulk, not those little packets so the savings wouldn't be THAT significant.)

Some financial efforts for the week:

* Did the big monthly grocery run.  I made it within cents of $200.00 which was perfect.  Except for the fact that I still have three more weeks of milk to buy and no more money in our envelope! :-)  I may have to adjust the allotted grocery amount to $250.00 until we can start milking Penny. I also anticipate another grocery run before Christmas, as I am hosting 15-20 people for Christmas Eve.

* Took some holiday clothes to the consignment shop.

* I finished a Christmas gift: a crocheted cowl  (*used stash yarn that was given to me.  = FREE!)

* I cut my own hair.

* Made a homemade birthday cake and dinner for our birthday girl.

* I hung all cleaned pants, sweaters and towels to dry by woodstove.

* Just like last week, I got ANOTHER notice in the mail saying I still owed on a bill I had already paid in full months ago.  I kid you not.  This time it was for $144.35~ so it was not only the principle of the thing (like last weeks') but the finances of the thing as well.  I *knew* I had paid it in full already (another over-the-phone payment) so I called them and because I had proof of the conversation, etc. they took the charge off.  What is this?  An epidemic of businesses trying to squeak more money from me than I owe them?  sheesh.  Lesson: Always check your bills to see if you ACTUALLY owe them.  And when you pay something off in full- write the date down and the name of the person you spoke to, if you spoke directly to anyone about it. Generally, if it is a large bill I am paying off, I like to call and pay over the phone just for this reason.

* Finished making some photo calendars to try to sell.  Used a free shipping code to get them shipped for free. 

* Completely reorganized and cleaned one of our food storage nooks after a mouse got into a bag of flour.  Thankfully, it was a a five pound bag of flour instead of 25 or 50 pound bag.  But I was still mad.  Everything in that nook is either in rubbermaid or glass now, except a few pasta and rice boxes.  (I ran out of containers on hand.)  I need to find something for them soon.  Why bother wasting money on food for MICE?  I hate mice.

* Completely reorganized and cleaned the upstairs cubby where I have rubbermaid bins of sheets and blankets and a bin of dress up clothes.  The lids were not put on and I found mice had chewed up several things in the dress up box.  I hate mice.  Everything except one down comforter are in CLOSED tubs now.  Not sure what I should do with the comforter...

* Set a bunch of mouse traps.  I HATE MICE.

* I spent hours re-doing our budget and making a list of all non-budgeted items bought this month in preparation for a budget meeting.  A BUDGET MEETING?!?  Yes.  A budget meeting.  Matt and I agreed to have a meeting on the last day of every month so he and I are both on the same page with where the money goes and how fast.  Unlike traditional budget meetings, however, there will be candles and daquiris and he may or may not get lucky at the end.  :-D

* I listened to this while finishing up the cowl (above): 

Favorite quotes from it:

"Materialism (or consumerism) is not a function of an amount of wealth.  It is a disease of the heart."

"If you give me your  tax returns, your checkbook, your credit statements and so forth, I can pretty well write you the story of your life.  I can certainly see what your goals are, your values are, your priorities are... because your checkbook reveals it."

"All money decisions are symptomatic of spiritual condition.  They are.  No exception.  And if you believe that God owns it all, as I do, then every financial decision you make is a record of your stewardship."


How about you?  How are you doing on your financial goals?  

Any one shopping the Black Friday deals today?

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Thanksgiving Proclamation
President George Washington
City of New York, October 3, 1789

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Whole Hand


There is a birthday girl in the house today!  Adele' is now five years old.  Her giggles haven't stopped since she woke up. 

I can't look at the top picture without my voice cracking and my eyes welling.  It has been ever so long since I felt the warm melting of a newborn on my skin.  sigh There is nothing like that.  Such a sweet moment that was and it happens to be my most favorite picture of all time.  

Five years of sweet curling ups, hugs, kisses, twirling around, skipping and most of all, giggling.  I'm so happy she is five.  I am so happy she is mine.

So today, when the weatherman says to STAY OFF THE ROADS because of sleet and freezing rain and snow squalls; a day I am prone to worry, fret, and fear over my Mister and his work travels, I have the wonderful distraction of baking and decorating a requested birthday cake (a PEACOCK!) and a preparing a requested birthday feast (SAUSAGE,EGGS, FRENCH TOAST), wrapping the few piddly things I have for my girl and most especially, wrapping this new five year old in the family up in hugs.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Finances on Friday

 My financial thoughts for this week:

ACK!  We are at the end of the month for groceries and I am beginning to believe that I *can't* keep my food budget within $200.00 a month!  This is our 3rd or 4th month of once-a-month (except dairy) grocery shopping and now I am beginning to see that perhaps I was able to do it so well because I had such a nice reserve of food stocked up.  Now that I am about four months into this once-a-month, bare-bones experiment, I can see our reserve has dwindled substantially and replacing it will be impossible with my food budget as it stands.  I am not sure what to do about that. 

In addition, I really want to start eating salads for lunch every day which means buying some more fresh produce.  I kinda fell off the losing weight bandwagon and would like to hop back on that wagon train before real damage is done.  I wish I were the kind of girl who dealt with stress by not eating.  Instead, I am the kind of girl who, when stressed and depressed, wants/craves/yearns for mozzerella sticks, soda, ice cream and chips.  As a before dinner snack.  So yes, time to buckle down and resume that weight loss goal.  20 more pounds to go.  Storebought lettuce it is.

It will be interesting seeing how this will play out.  I am going to have to figure out a few things if I can make this work.  I am going to spend this week thinking of any other ways I can save substantially on my (already miniscule) food bill. Next week I will let you know what I come up with (if anything.)

My financial efforts this week:

* picked up four bushels of gorgeous Crispin apples. These apples are good keepers and will hopefully provide us with fresh apples for eating and baking through until February or so.  They were $7.00 a bushel.  (A ridiculously low price.)

* paid all the bills on time and overpaid on the window financing.  (It was free financing for a year but if you don't get it within the year, you get walloped.  I have every intention of paying it off within 4 months.)  Note: I would strongly discourage a person from using the 'free financing' option if they do not have enough money to cover it all in the case of an emergency.

* Noticed a discrepancy on a bill I had paid over the phone last month, which said I still owed money when I had paid it in full.  I was so upset to see it I almost just paid it to be rid of it once and for all.It was only $10.00.  But it was the principle of the thing, ya know?  Instead, I called them and it was resolved and the fee was taken off.

* I submitted a review at TOS in order to be considered for a position on the review team...which would allow me the opportunity to review products in exchange for them.  And then I had to do it over again.  And again.  Because I did them wrong.  (Sorry for those of you who had that stinkin' review pop up a bazillion times in your reader!)  I wouldn't pick me if I were them.  (I just found out~ THEY DID!  HURRAH!)

* I didn't order a pizza one night when I really, really wanted to. 

* gratefully received a gorgeous armful of delicious kale which we snarfed in the form of kale chips.  YUM.

* Matt sold the barn beams to the guy interested in them and, thanks to his research beforehand at the going rate of barn beams, made a lot more money than the $50.00 we were originally anticipating.  I only lament burning so much of the barn cleanup last year!  Matt says we probably could have gotten about $10,000 from it had we known.  (I will choose to be thankful for the dollars we got instead of the dollars we burned.)  Lesson:  If an old barn falls down on your property, look online to find a buyer of old barn beams and SELL them, don't burn them.  The end.

* Matt and I didn't go out on a date this week like I had hoped we could.  Instead, I fed the children and put them to bed on a night he was coming home later than usual and we had an at-home date.  He brought home two $8.00 dinners for us and we watched a Netflix.  Much cheaper than a real date and that particular day was a seriously depressing day for me, so I needed that *little* splurge.

*  Matt sold a load of logs to the log company.

* Looked through the Medi-Share and Samaritan Ministries health care options and signed up.  Not looking forward to the monthly payment (which until this point could be used elsewhere) but whatcha gonna do?  I am secretly excited to have some sort of option in case of a real emergency though.  No insurance is fine if you never need care!  ;-)

* made crocheted scarf for a Christmas present using supplies I already had on hand.

* was overwhelmed and flabbergasted when the mailman delivered 'God's Peace' by way of Washington.  (And still am.  Thank you, friend.)

* harvested all the carrots from the garden.  (Only thing left is collards!)

* I signed up to do a craft show with my sister the first weekend in December.  Now, I need to figure out what I can make with supplies I already have on hand within that short period of time!  ACK!

* I helped Corynn make a birthday crown for Adele' and her doll using all supplies we had on hand.  (It is DARLING.  I'll show you next week!)

* Began working on a 2014 photo calendar called "Blooms and Bugs" which I will be trying to sell (if I can get them done in time, that is!)

And while this doesn't necessarily have to do with money, it DOES have to do with de-cluttering, which is another aspect of stewardship in my book. 

* I organized the Spare Oom yet again, taking four garbage bags full of stuff out (to donate and to junk). 

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Yesterday, the littles got a wee bit infatuated with the fact that 'big kids lose teeth out of their heads'. 

Andrew very patiently let them investigate in his mouth at his chompers- the big ones, the little ones and the wobbly ones. 

Good brother.

Speaking of Andrew~ last night they were playing doctor and all the children were diseased or ailing in some way until Nurse Corynn came to the rescue.  As she cared for the broken nose of Judah and the plucked out eye and sore foot of Adele' (all imaginary, but no less painful), I heard Andrew pipe up...

"Corynn.  Pretend that I am a really old farmer and I am so sick because I have been smelling  manure for years and years."  

Everything in his life has to do with cows.  And I mean EVERYTHING.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013




What a busy weekend we had! Lots of scurrying about, lots of cooking, lots of baking; lots of people, coming and going, lots of forking hay on the garden and planning too many things in too little spaces of time and all the while, praying for just a little bit longer to get everything done.

 I know how amazing it is to have no-coat days in mid-November and I know it can't last forever, but how I *wish* it could. There is still so many outdoor things to do...finish haying all the gardens and beds, trimming and mulching the flower circle, bringing in the hammocks that hang limply and forlorn, and the table where we lingered long after summer suppers. Coldness creeps ever closer and I know, when it comes, I will hibernate until it is over and my fingertips thaw.

Over the weekend the winds howled fiercely on the hill- so much so that it carried our phone line off of the house where it still drapes upon the ground , waiting for a repairman to string it back up. As it whipped the southern side of the house we sat inside, wondering at how snug we were despite the cold winds blowing, how wonderfully these new windows work! We didn't feel even the slightest breeze which is a far cry from what it was last year.

In the small, quiet spaces amidst the flurry of doing, a cinnamon candle was lit, an envelope left us stunned and speechless and shaking our heads in wonder, I set aside the knitting needles and picked up a hook (and realized just how much faster crochet is than knitting!), leftover apple crisp was spooned over vanilla yogurt and called 'breakfast' instead of dessert, I fell asleep with Matt rubbing the soreness from my aching head (bliss) and the first of the handmade Christmas gifts was completed.

The very best kind of weekend. 

(The scarf is a free crochet pattern and can be found here.) 

The -online- Old Schoolhouse Magazine (a review)

This review is a sample review for the Schoolhouse Review crew, which is a small part of TheOldSchoolhouse.com.  I thought I would take a minute to check out the online version of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  Specifically, the November/December issue.  I've heard of the magazine before, but never really took the time to check it out.  If you have any electronic toys, you can read the magazine on Kindle, Androids, Nooks and iphones but little 'ole me will have to check 'em out on my nice, bulky, dinosaur of a computer.  ;-)

I am not typically a magazine girl because I dislike clutter and I don't like magazine piles laying around.  (Why is it that once they are in the house it is really hard to throw them away?!?)  But an ONLINE magazine means NO CLUTTER...so.... score!

 The Old Schoolhouse magazine covers several different approaches to home education and it covers a wide spectrum of ages and grades and learning styles.  There are articles about preoccupying the youngest of the bunch while older children do school to sending your children off to college, offering encouragement to parents of children with special needs and to parents of children who are gifted.  There is truly something for everyone.  Best of all, the magazine approaches home education with an unapologetically Christian worldview. 

There were plenty of articles on frugality (and you know how right up my alley that is!) like using the library and other community resources (ahem.  Totally do that), The Little House Legacy of Christmas (yes! we love Little House!), and several interesting articles on the teaching of art and artists and composers.  Needless to say, I found the magazine incredibly informative and incredibly suited to my own personal interests!  Here I thought I was on my own little island~ who knew?!

I could really relate to the article A Truly Wonderful Time by Beth Foster.  She spoke of the tradition of hand-making gifts for Christmas and of little people conspiring together to bring about great surprises.  Not only is it a beautiful thing to hear the giggles and feel the air thick with anticipation, but, when giving hand-made gifts~ children are taught the fruits of the spirit and their thoughts and time and efforts have become part of the gift as well.  She spoke of the gift of PEACE during the holidays and offered suggestions at how actually FEEL at peace during the holidays, something many people seem to struggle with.  Myself included. (Of course, her gift making started back in October...and mine started last week.  THAT could be a clue.)

I found an excellent article on teaching perspective in art.  The author shows how easily and unintimidating it can be to teach perspective while showing stunning art from the likes of DaVinci and Caillebotte to expand the readers' understanding.  Enjoying and exploring art is easy to teach, learning about artists is simple to do- but TEACHING ART (the methods and means and science of it) does not come naturally to me.  I look forward to implementing some of her suggestions in our art projects this year. 

One thing I really appreciated about this magazine is their emphasis on knowing the laws on education, your rights as homeschooling parents and the historicity of those rights.  There are four articles on issues pertaining to these important aspects of education in this single issue!  It is extremely important, as homeschooling parents, to be aware of our rights and liberties to educate our children and how those rights are being played out today.

This magazine is not only an encouragement to homeschooling families- but a wealth of knowledge too.  Kindof like a homeschooling teacher for the homeschooling teacher.  :-)

Besides the fact that it doesn't find its way to the bathroom floor, you know what else is great about an online magazine?  You can click the link to the actual article you want to read in the table of contents and it takes you right there- instead of looking through an entire magazine to find what you are looking for.  Rocket speed!  That was a pretty great time saver.

If you like~ check it out. It's free, it's easy to navigate and hey, you might just learn something!  ;-)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Finances on Friday

Something I've been considering this week: 

Some of my financial efforts this week:

* The "bucket situation" that I spoke of previously turned out  not-quite-as-expected. Walmart people said they would hold 10 buckets for me but called when there were only six and told me to pick them up.  I drove out there to discover that three of those had no LIDS (which kinda defeats the purpose of storage, wouldn't you say?!?)  Plus- they had attitudes. The people, not the buckets. Frustrated, I ended up buying the three that were worthwhile for a dollar a piece.  I almost went over to Lowes and bought the brand new ones right then, but I decided to at least TRY to get some at Price Chopper since they said they did give them away for free, if they had them.  Even one or two would help.  I popped in on the way home from church, so I didn't make a special trip out (and burn more gas).  Turns out- they had PLENTY and gave me all that I needed.  For free.  And with smiles.  SO....awesome.  I'll know where to go if ever I need more.

* While out at the "Walmart Bucket Trip", I dropped off more clothes at the consignment shop and picked up the $52.00 I had earned there!  (Which will be going in the furniture fund.)

* harvested lots of collards from the garden

Harvesting collards (that much more in the garden still needing to be harvested.)

* picked up eight roundbales of old hay for our garden.  The farmer down the road gave them to us for free.  (I'll  bake him a pan of cinnamon rolls as thanks.)

* made two handmade baby gifts using yarn I already had

* went to a Putnam Publishing warehouse sale in which brand new books are drastically lowered...all books are $1, $2, $3, $4 or $5 at most.  I spent WAY too much money there ($78.00.  For shame!) but got a ton of brand new, beautiful books.  I felt so badly about spending that much money that I added up all the book prices (on the covers).  The cost, had I bought them at regular price would have been $501.97 (not including tax).  Many of the books will be gifts, some are for homeschooling, and some are for homesteading/herbal resources.  I even got two DK educational videos on Weather and Rocks and Minerals.  I may try to resell two or three  in order to lessen my guilt.

The garlic cloves I planted were homegrown by some friends of mine.  They were absolutely enormous~ the clove on the right is a large size clove.  That is how monstrous it was.  Seriously insane.

* planted garlic. 60 cloves to be exact.  I don't know if this is too much or too little-my inclinations are that it will just scratch the surface of our garlic needs...but it is 60 more cloves than I have ever grown before.  :-)  And I can always grow more in spring.  The garlic I planted was given to me by a friend so there was no initial investment cost.  :-)

* Took our family pictures myself (for Christmas cards)

* cut all three boys' hair

Weekend plans include: 

 bringing in wood (unfortunately a weekly reality from now until about April), cleaning the house, company on Saturday, letters and packages to mail and handmade Christmas presents to start and crocheting in the crevices. You?

Have a great weekend!  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nature Exchange

We recently participated in a nature exchange.  The object was to find 12 things during outside exploration that would fit inside an egg carton and then mail 'em off to some lucky participant;  that participant, then, mailing you their cool finds.  

 These were some of the things we sent:

Well- we got our carton in the mail the other day!  
Yippee!  Mail!  
Yippee!  Cool stuff!  
Yippee!  Science!

The children were especially impressed by the driftwood "mouse". 

 I was especially impressed with the amber!
Though, the hops that they grow to brew their own beer was right up there on the coolness factor too.
(Matt would be jealous.)

Our nature table is looking mighty fine these days!

Thank you J family- for the great exchange!  You made our day!!  

(And science a whole lot more interesting!)

(I knew that was coming.)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A spoonful of sugar

Over the weekend I tried to get a Christmas Card worthy family photo. My goal is always to get it done around, you know, September...when the weather is still nice. And reality is always, you know, when it is freezing cold outside. One year I wanted until like December 18th or something crazy like that. (stupid, stupid.)

Suffice it to say, my family made it about 10 minutes before giving up. I got a decent shot (notice "A" as in singular and "decent" as in not enviable) but the rest were in the dud category.  Corynn was a grouchy snowman, Adele' pulled a Marilyn moment, Judah snuck in his trusty pocketknife, Ruby photo-bombed and Andrew stood like a steadfast tin soldier. 

The duds, in my opinion, are also the most funny- so, because laughter is the best medicine... here you go.

Swallow up!

(I have to say I may go with the last one because Adele' is just the cutest thing in it...and everyone has REAL smiles which are better than fake ones any old day.)

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Golden Boy

I had a whole weekending post planned but guess what?  Time.  It slipped through my fingers AGAIN.

Instead you get three identical pictures of a the sweetest golden boy you ever.did.see. 

He makes pizza with me every Friday night.  Without fail.

OH- it's idyllic sounding, sure.  But the fact is- he makes A LOT more work than help.  And, given the teensy counter I have to work on making several large round pizzas- he takes up most of my needed space too. 

This past Friday I wisened up a bit and pulled a chunk of dough off and gave it to him to knead over at the table.  He added flour.  He kneaded.  He kneaded until it went from dry to sticky again.  He added more flour.  I didn't have much hope for it but at the end I figured- what the hey.  Let's let him make his own little loaf of bread.

Well, he was just the proudest little baker ever.  I cut all the little slices and he buttered them all and ran around giving them to people. 

That proud smile, bathed in the golden light of morning...makes a Mama's heart swoon. 

(And the bread wasn't half bad either!)

Friday, November 08, 2013

Finances on Friday

 I've been thinking on:

"If your everyday life seems poor, don't blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is no poverty and no indifferent place." - Rainer Maria Rilke


Some financial efforts for the week:

* bought a clearance costume and a few clearance masks this week when I went to bring my Mom a meal after her surgery.  The princess costume was $5.00 and will be an Adele' birthday present later this month.  The masks were $3.00 each (I got two) and will be used for our homemade Renaissance Faire and as another gift.

* set aside four sandwich baggies full of Halloween candy to be used for stocking-stuffers at Christmas. (the children were none-the-wiser.)

* set aside all the trick or treat M&M bags of Halloween Candy to be used in trail mix when we don't have big bowls of candy at our disposal (though I don't anticipate THAT anytime soon)!  ;-)  (The children were none the wiser.  I am sneaky that way.)

Can you tell I am trying to get this candy out of my reach before I gain all the weight I lost back?!?  I am kind of freaking out.  Candy, Candy!  I want more candy!  (I am such a kid...I know.)

* went to a free knitting class at the library and borrowed over a dozen books for school.

* hung jeans, sweaters and other "thick" things on the clothesline and by the woodstove.  ( I am no longer hanging ALL my clothes on the line because it is too...brrrr..cold.)

* Matt called a man interested in buying old barn beams in hopes to make a few bucks AND clean up a bit more from the middle barn collapse.

* used a free Redbox code for a movie rental

* returned part of an order made last week for a refund because I ordered the wrong (more expensive thing!)  I replaced it with what I actually *needed* and got A $40+ REFUND.  Yay.  That excess money will go toward replacing our printer whenever I can get enough cash around to do so.

* I used another free shipping code for above transaction.  (This saved $6.00)

* Judah took a pair of scissors and completely massacred a library book during rest time, unbeknownst to me.  The fee was almost $30.00 to replace through the library system but my kind, wonderful, understanding librarian said I could replace the book myself since it was one of theirs~  I was able to buy a copy for $4.00 on Amazon. 

* roasted pumpkin seeds from our jack-o-lanterns

* roasted jack-o-lanterns after Halloween and made pumpkin puree (over 20 cups)

* harvested last four cabbages from garden

* canned last of our apple tree apples.  Wound up canning 20 quarts of applesauce this go-round, making a total of 58 quarts of applesauce for the year.  I also canned up 29 pints of apple butter.

* gratefully received a beautiful box of yarn and fabric from a blog reader who was cleaning out her craft room (Thanks Ulli!!)

* went to a .25 rummage sale (everything was a quarter) and got five or six things to resell at the consignment shop (including a full length wool coat), along with a set of queensize sheets for our bed and a pair of church pants for Andrew.

* picked up our bulk food order and paid for it in cash

* downloaded a free scripture song entitled "We Trust" by SeedsFamilyWorship.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Bullets Flying (and a million things)


* Today is Wednesday.  I have NO IDEA where the week went!  Not to mention- it is now November.  I have no idea where the YEAR went.

* Something funky happened to the scarf  I am knitting-but I am not sure what, or why, or how to fix it.  What's a girl to do then?  Well, I don't know about other girls but I know what *I* am going to do.  Ignore it!

* Tonight I am making sloppy joe for dinner.  I secretly (or not so secretly) add oatmeal to my sloppy joe to make it extend further (a nice little trick I learned from you Mrs. B!).

* Last night for dinner I made a dutch meal made of mashed beets and potatoes with bacon.  Along with it I served pickles and applesauce.  After we had nearly licked our plates clean I realized that the meal consisted solely upon things I had grown right down to the bacon (I found one lone package of bacon from our own pigs way at the bottom of the freezer when I cleaned it out a while back.)  I love it when that happens.

* I am going to try to overwinter the hibiscus tree I got for $6.00 this spring.  I brought it in when it got so cold and it thanked me with a gorgeous display of blooms.

* Yesterday I was taking a shower in the morning and THREE people had to come use the bathroom while I was in it.  Three.  (And no- I don't take crazy long showers.)  I hate having only one bathroom.

*  Judah used a sharpie on my coffee table this week.  The girls broke a stained glass lamp that I bought before I was married. The arm of our big chair is shredded.  The couches require you to strategically locate yourself so as not to fall into a hole.  (Made, probably, by bouncing children.)  The lid to the toybox hangs by a thread.  Oh yeah!  The light fixture globe in the kitchen shattered recently too-thanks to a broom-baring bear.  I am feeling pretty overwhelmed that everything in this house feels...junky.  I have decided to save up my consignment shop money to buy some new-to-us furniture.  Some day.  (Hopefully soon.)  Not sure what to do with the children who do the ruining though.

* My house is a wreck.  I am not sure how it got that way but I have to do something about it.  Yesterday I tackled the school room and mudroom.  But I REALLY need to tackle the Spare Oom because that is the worst.   Living in a disorderly, over-filled home makes me feel twitchy and makes my life feel chaotic.  SO- yeah.  That is on my short list of things to do.

But first....

* This afternoon I have got to finish canning the last of the apples from our trees.  Tomorrow I am picking up Crispins by the bushel for fresh eating through the winter.  The crispins are large and delicious...and will take up enough room without having the last remaining few buckets worth of small, ugly tree apples lying around.  It is going to be a busy night.

* Matt officially stopped shaving about two weeks ago and his face now sports an official BEARD.  Right now it is in the sexy stage.  Not far behind this stage is the "Middle-Aged Arab" stage which I am not looking forward to. (Needless to say.)

* Due to the above bullet, I must get our family pictures done SOON (for Christmas cards) before the next beard stage sets in.

* Speaking of hair... all the boys are desperate for haircuts.  Better not do that tonight though.  Applesauce.  Hair.  Ewwww.

* Can you tell I am feeling the strain of a never-ending TO-DO list?  Lots of things to do.  Things that should have been done yesterday.  Things that will need to be done tomorrow.  Things that will be needing to happen soon...

* I am continuing to work on my Christmas list... I am still in the writing the list phase and not in the actual MAKING things stage.  Which brings me full circle to where I began.  It is November already!