Sunday, January 31, 2010

End of January Update on My Resolutions for 2010

End of January Update:
On time....
did great!
Soft Drinks...
did not do so great, we all had a few soft drinks this month, definitely need to cut back. I'm blaming it on the sicknesses. Will leave this on my list and work harder.
Restaurant french fries...
did great!
did terrible, very ashamed, intend to do much better.
either sick or snow on the ground, we're supposed to warm up a bit so we will definitely get going on this one.
I'm happy to say that we're doing great with this, snacks and meals have become very healthy.
Blog daily....
I missed one day in January so I did not stick to this one.
All in all I think I did fairly well for January, at least I'm truly conscious of the things I need to work on.

29 Day Giving Challenge

After doing a bit of research and reading some incredible stories I've decided to do the 29 day giving challenge during the month of February, I'll finish up on March 1st.  
To read about the challenge, visit:
I love the idea of giving and to do this daily will be somewhat of a challenge, I'll really need to think about what I'm doing with my time and resources.  I would encourage everyone reading this to visit the site and think about joining in, giving is always better than receiving, right?  The principle also is that when you give you will also receive, there are many stories at the site to show that this is more than true!  If you decide to join in please let me know so I can read about your journey also, whether you decide to start now or later, I'd love to read about it!
I'll post my giving on my sidebar daily and blog about any that will take more than a blip.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Simple Joys - Sunshine!

I'm just amazed at how just having the sun shining in through all the windows gives you such a boost of energy.  Life just seems to be moving forward when the sun is shining, especially when you haven't seen it for awhile!
It's just another one of God's incredible gifts to us, He knows what we need so very well...even down to allowing the sun to peek through to give us that sense of awaking through these long dark winters!
I praise His name!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Living Simply - Our Grocery List and Prices

We have been busy today grocery shopping, lots and lots of grocery shopping!  With all the illness we've had since Christmas the cupboards were down to the bare minimum and we were in need of so many things.
I actually like using what we have and getting to the back of the cupboards and pantry and that's surely where we were.  We went to Walmart for the biggest bulk of it, then Kroger for the remainder.  We usually shop only at Kroger but since we were stocking up we thought we would try wallyworld and see if we could stretch the dollars a bit more.  I'm not sure about exactly how much we saved but I really do think we saved pretty much.  I would prefer always going to Whole Foods or ordering organics online but the price is simply too steep to do that right now, we're gradually adding organics as we cacn.
Walmart had some pretty good prices so we really stocked up, I'm going to post the items and their prices and am curious to see how much these things are at your local stores.

Charmin Big 30 rolls                    17.27
Tootsie Roll Pops Valentine Bag    2.96
Medium bag navy beans                1.28
mini marshmallows                        1.34
Kraft macncheese 5pack              3.84   This is a rarity for us, sometimes it's just good and simple
4 can enchilada sauce                   1.00/can
Big jar Motts natural applesauce    1.72  bought 2
Heinz Ketchup large bottle            1.58  bought 4 this was a really good buy I though and Dan loves ketchup
Hellmans Mayo  medium size        2.98
Special K cereal                           3.00 bought 3, almond/and 2 berry
Rigatoni                                        1.00  bought 2
Wheat flour  Hodgson Mill            2.88   5 lb bag, bought 2
Wheat thins                                   2.00
Bowtie pasta                                1.00
Blueberry Morning cereal              3.50  bought 3, we usually do not buy cold cereal but it just sounded good
Nabisco Cream of Wheat             3.48  bought 2
(I have to confess here, I posted a recipe for Homemade Cream of Wheat mix, turns out everyone really liked it but me, the texture just got to me, usually I love everything we make but this didn't do it for me.
2 lb spaghetti                                1.82
Large box Rice Krispies               3.00
Brown Rice large bag                   3.47
Ocean spray cranberry juice         2.50   bought 2
Ragu                                            1.42   bought 2
Jif Peanut Butter large jar              4.78
Bertolli xtra virgin olive oil             9.28
Tomatoes, canned roasted              .92    bought 2
Dawn                                           2.33    bought 2
Ziploc gallon bag                          2.67
all natural scrubbie pads                2.48
scrubbie sponge                            2.74
Magic Sizing                                   .98    bought 2
scrubbie net                                  1.84
Tostitos                                        4.38  large bag, Katie had a hankering for chips and salsa :)
Clorox bleach                               1.86  bought 2
Mountain Dew  12 pack               2.98  
got this because its the throwback, has real sugar instead of the other stuff, our boys requested it.
Salsa                                             2.38
Mustard                                        1.38   bought 2
Macaroni                                      1.82
Thomas' bagels                              1.97
Rye bread                                     2.47
Butternut bread                             1.48     the rest of us like Katie's bread and wheat bread but Dan must
                                                                            white bread
Xyron sticker maker                     20.00
Raisins  large box                           2.98
Millstone coffee whole beans         18.48 
this is two large bags of columbian supremo beans, we grind our own beans. Millstone is our treat.
Flaxseed meal                                 4.83
Craft paints (for our signs)               1.97    bought 4, tan, 2 barn red and apricot
Velveeta 2 lbs.                               3.79     we use this in our cheeseburger soup
Yarn (for making dishcloths)           1.47
Paprika                                          2.46
Sunflower seeds                             2.28
Pepperoni stick                              4.98
Vitamin D milk bought 5 gallons    10.00
frozen broccoli                               1.78
frozen mixed veggies                      1.78
frozen baby corn                            1.78
String cheese                                  5.88
Sandwich stuff                                2.28
bread and butter pickles                 1.88
Dannon yogurt quart plain               2.08
3 chunks natural cheese                  1.88    bought 3, medium cheddar, mozz and colby
Tyson all white chicken patties fro.  3.98
cream  quart                                   3.12   bought 2
frozen soup veggies                         1.28
Pomegranate/blueberry juice           2.50
2-1/2 gal. floridas natural OJ           2.88
carton 18 eggs, all natural               2.83  bought 2
Land o Lakes butter                       2.68   bought 4
Yoplait yogurts, bought 10              5.00
Sour cream pint                              1.54
Pillsbury pie crust                            2.44
frozen juice concentrate                   priced from .98-1.66    bought 8

This is it for Walmart my total was   $ 312.28
That's a lot but we all know the price of food has really gone up and we haven't stocked up since before Christmas due to illnesses so it really wasn't too bad.

Then we went to Kroger for fresh veggies, fruit and fresh deli meats, etc.  Our Walmart has a terrible selection in their fresh foods.
This is our Kroger list:

Lip gloss, a treat for Katie and I     6.99  bought 4 but they were buy 1/ get one free
Round Steak                                  7.18
Pork chops, bone in 5 chops          6.16
Stew Beef, bulk package               8.70
Turkey Breast deli meat 1lb           6.47
Blackforest Ham deli meat 1lb       5.87
Cheddar from deli                         3.17
Ground chuck                               3.31
   "           "                                    3.29
Tyson bl/sl chicken breast fresh     3.19
Tyson whole chicken cut up           6.48
Bananas                                        1.18
Cottage Ham                                 3.99
Smoked Sausage                           2.50  bought 2
Slow FE iron (for my anemia)        10.59
Walnuts                                         2.99
Pistachios                                      5.48
Carrots                                          .99
Cauliflower                                    1.25
Country Sampler (my treat!)          5.99
potatoes  10lb                               2.99
Pretzels   2 bags                            1.25 each
Fritos  (for southwestern lasagna)   2.38
Strawberries, fresh 2 packages      3.99 each
Broccoli                                        1.62
Cetaphil lotion                               10.49
salad                                             2.98
apples, gala, golden del.                 2.25
             granny smith
Tortillas                                         2.69
Contadina Pizza Sauce                  1.59  bought 2
Minced onions                              2.79

This is all for Kroger, total was     149.25

This should do for a good month with us going to get fresh things every other day or so, also I need to make a trip to Sav-A-Lot to get some canned veggies, tomato products, etc.

That was a lot of typing so I think I'm I get to rest and read my new Country Sampler!!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Simply Fun

We've been having such fun today!  My mama and daddy came home from Florida after being there for a month and we were so glad to see them, we visited for awhile and had so many laughs, such joy!!!
We left there and went to Starbucks so we could get some nice warm Cinnamon Dolce Lattes to warm us up on this oh so cold day, drove around a bit and then came home and Dan wanted to order Larosas so we had a nice supper delivered to the door with no cooking!  Sadly the pizza was not up to it's usual standards but was enjoyed anyway.  Dan and I went to Larosas 29 years ago on our very first date, it was unforgettable because I was nervous and dropped an unopened package of crackers in my soup and then when I reached for a napkin I accidentally stuck my pinky in Dan's mountain dew!  He asked me out for a second date so I guess he wasn't scared off by my clumsiness! 
Christopher, Katie and I played a game of Scrabble after we ate and that also was a lot of fun, Christopher asks so kindly if we can just break the rules a little bit on this or that!....funny, funny guy!....he was so sure eblin was a word..but alas no!  We're not competitive at all, it's all in fun so it doesn't matter who won...even though I won...but...ahem....yes, we're not competitive so most of the time don't keep score...although we did tonight and I won (did I already say that???)Lol  Seriously, it's all in fun..I don't have a competitive bone in my body, just don't like competition, not my thing.  Good thing I've never been interested in team sports, huh?
Well, that was our fun for today and I pray for a good night's sleep, lately sleep evades me and it's very boring to be awake in the middle of the night when everyone else is asleep!  You can only watch so much Nick at Nite, which is the only station I watch at night, then I have to find something else when shows come on that I won't watch, like George Lopez, sometimes I just turn on my small light and read.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Simple Being Radical in Raising our Children

Just when you think you've raised your kids the very best you can and made all the decisions that you thought were right, you find yourself once again meeting opposition from some of the very people that you thought finally understood your decision.  It seems that standing up for your children and the choices that you've made is something you continue to do even when you've become a retired homeschool mom/teacher, folks just don't seem to want to 'get' it!
I found myself arguing a point yesterday and it was simply frustrating because we shouldn't have to explain our decisions to other people, we are the parents and that's that.  Sadly there are a lot of parents that have a spouse that is not saved or simply thinks that your kids should do this or that because that's what all the kids do and that's the way it's always been done, if I was a cursing person I would have one fine word to say to that but being the 'lady' I am I must say that's 'rubbish'.  100 years ago people were raising their own children and schooling them at home, making all of their own wares and teaching their children to make the needful things in life, it was just a given.  Today, kids leave college with absolutely no clue as to how to even boil an egg or start a campfire...makes you wonder how the 'kids' are going to learn the life skills that they need?  A college degree means absolutely nothing if you cannot function in society as an adult, and so many kids are being raised to go far up the corporate ladder but sadly so many couples are both parents trying to climb up that corporate ladder and their children are being raised by others, this means that the next generation will be clueless to how to function in the home because they've not seen it or been taught.  I know there are two parent working families that do make this work but I see the result of adults my kids ages that were 'day care' raised and it's not always a pretty picture, it's kinda scary to see the next generation of latchkey kids dealing with the same things their parents did as kids, I just think it's sad.
We made decisions for our kids only after much research, prayer and referencing the scriptures, I truly believe that's the only way you can know that you did the best you could.  The Bible is our guidebook for life, to see these people making decisions without it...and prayer...sometimes you just watch them and realize they're floating in a haze because there is no guidebook and they're just winging it, very sad.
I feel for those parents that have to argue with their spouse to stand up for what they know to be true from searching the scriptures and praying for guidance, having an unsaved spouse is not easy but it's no excuse for taking the easy way, raising our kids for the Lord is always the right thing...even if it's a constant uphill battle.  In the end we will be blessed for following Him.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Simple Handmade Gifts

We find at our home that if an occasion is coming up it means we need to make sure we have a gift made for it or get to working on it.  We don't usually buy gifts when a handmade one will better fit the occasion. 
There are some things we do buy, usually to go along with a handmade gift.  We buy books, we are avid readers and love our books, we're into books about: homesteading, making do, make it yourself, farm and animal care, Christian living, anything that we can learn from or at least stretch our mind and thoughts.  We also will get Cd's if there is a particular one our kids loved that they would like to share with someone else, once again this would be Christian music, Celtic hymns and we love to get some of the old music for my mother-in-law, she loves the music from Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and things from the big band era.
Usually we will just make gifts and that will be it, our gifts are always made for a particular person with great care given to what they would love to have or need to have.
Even our cards are handmade, we love to make them and sometimes just sit down and make a bunch at a time, love to play with all those stickers...and glitter!!!
This is one I made this evening for my cousin's husband's birthday:

It's simple but handmade, we feel better knowing we made something and I think the people receiving it love getting a handmade card, I know we always do!  The HAPPY BIRTHDAY was cut out with our Cricut machine, fun, fun!...actually it's a bright red although it looks pink in this pic.
The kids and I have always enjoyed working with our hands, we love creating in so many different ways.
Chris with woodworking and fixing things around the house and Katie and I just love sewing, paper crafts and so many more, I think being creative is very therapeutic, keeps and hands and mind busy.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

To view Peggy's and many other ladies daybooks click here.

My Daybook for...
Monday January 25th, 2010...
Here in Kentucky...

Outside my window is very cloudy and rainy, all of our snow is gone and everything looks very bare looking into the woods.  *This is my answer from the 18th and it still applies...yuck, let's add very cold to it.

I am thinking...of the state of confusion and sadness that must be felt in Haiti, we complain about the financial status of our country...pales in comparison to the true life problems we see them dealing with.  Truly puts things in perspective.

I am thankful for...the basics of a roof over our head, a warm home, clean clothes, clean water, a sanitary home...on top of that we have washer, dryer, refrigerator, food in the cabinets, two bathrooms with showers and plenty of water, two cars, computers...yes, I'd say we're pretty blessed in this country!

I am parents are coming home this week!!! Yeah!  They've been gone for a month and I miss them like crazy!

I am currently reading...The Bouncing Grandma series by AK Arenz, so far it's very good, should get very interesting according to the synopsis.
I am hoping...for just a bit of sunshine this week, haven't seen the sun for quite awhile.

On my mind...just counting our blessings, they seem infinite!

Noticing that...our home is filled with laughter from the time we get up in the morning, these people are funny!!! LOL

Pondering these words...Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.  Ralph Waldo Emerson  
This is something I talked about with our children during our homeschool years, never follow the masses, I'm happy to say that they really took it to heart and are forging their own paths!

From the kitchen...We don't have a plan for today.  Dan surprised us by taking off so we'll see what happens!

Around the house...Dan's showering to go take his mom to visit her sil who just had surgery, the rest of us are getting ready to run a few errands.

One of my favorite things...learning something new every day, I love to learn new things.  Yesterday I found out how to say 'I adore you' in French!

From my picture journal...
Not one of my pics but I love the setting...

Ahhh...summer, warmth, fresh veggies.  Certainly somethings to look forward to!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Simple Sunday

Wow, we've had rain all day long and yesterday was rainy also.  The gloomy weather makes you just feel tired, our Sunday has amounted to fixing meals, cleaning up, reading and resting.  I would like to say that I have been busy with some hand stitching or something but not even that.
It's been in the 50's today but with the rain everything just feels clammy and chilly, so ready for Spring!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Simple Organization

Well, I've done pretty well on my organizing but realize that I just have too many projects I want to do at the same time!  I have looked around at some other blogs to see how folks keep things in order and I realize I need to put a section in my Home Management Binder with a list of what I want/need to do and when it needs to be finished. 
We have things that we make to list on ebay, items to add to our etsy store and things we want to make for gifts for folks through the year.  So many things and we've simply got to have a way to organize it all, I figure in my HMB will be the perfect place, I'll post some pics when I get it all finished.
I truly believe that's the only way we'll be able to make the things we need to, a system has to be in place.  Otherwise we spend way too much time looking for things instead of getting to play with our crafting toys!!!...playing is so much more fun!

Friday, January 22, 2010

What Happened to Integrity and Honesty?

Dan called me today when he left work as he always does, but I could tell by the first word he said that something had happened.  He works for Delta and they have a huge employee lot that is now a lot for all of the airport employees.  Well, he was walking toward his car and watched a lady back up and hit his car....then he watched her drive away!  There was a pilot there that saw it and told Dan he saw her license plate if he needed it but I guess she saw Dan in her rear view mirror at his car and decided to come back.  Yep, she was just going to drive away as though nothing happened, luckily he was there and saw it happen.  They called the police and got it all taken care of but of course not without some snags, I had not printed off an updated insurance card and the one Dan had in his glove box was expired so I printed off another real quick and drove it over to him, that was the only way they would let him drive away...note to all *make sure you have an updated insurance card at all times*.....I'm usually very good at keeping paperwork updated but just let it slide this time I guess.
I know that we live in a totally corrupt world and that sin, dishonesty and all that goes with it is everywhere so I shouldn't be surprised that someone would just drive away but I am, especially in a parking lot that has cameras...did she really think she would get away with it?  Anyway, as I said I know this world is full of sin but I would love to know what percentage of it would admit to something if they thought they could get away with it?  I'm sure it would be a staggering number that would probably make me fall lower in dispair than I already am, just really sad.
The truth is that we get away with nothing, Someone sees our sins when no one else does.  I shutter to think of the things I have done through my life that He has watched me do over and over again....ugh?  The idea of displeasing my Heavenly Father hurts me so bad and yet I daily struggle with this.
I have no interest in diamonds or jewels or having big expensive things, that's just not the kind of person I am, and yet I see greed and desire in me that I am so ashamed of.  I guess I will always be a work in progress and I know that living in this world there is constant temptation to do the wrong thing...that's the easy way...but my prayer is that I can always instantly choose to do the right thing.  Not the right thing as this world sees it, the right thing according to His Word.
As always I pray...His Will be done.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Simply Purging (not me, my stuff)

Wow, today is a dreary day here in Kentucky, rainy and very chilly.  Not much to motivate me except that I'm feeling so very good and so full of energy I need to use it!
As I have said we have had someone in our family sick since Christmas and there's so much stuff that has we put down and it was just left there, so it's time to do something with it.  I have some things we'll be listing on ebay, I have the Vietnam Vets coming for a pickup next Tuesday and the rest will be recycled or thrown away.
I would have to say that our problem I said it!, I have so many projects I want to do and no place to organize it all.  We have a 3 bedroom two story home, we have a full basement but it's just too chilly down there in the winter to try to do anything so that's not an option.  Therefore, I'm left to try to make this all work somehow.  We did have some things stored in the garage but I was afraid my acrylic paints would freeze, the olive oil for making soap did freeze so things had to be brought in here, our woodworking shop is out there but we bundle up when we need to cut, sand, etc.

Currently I'm trying to make space for:
Cricut and all it's accessories
Xyron Creatopia (which I won!)
Scrapbook items, including pictures
Card Making items
Stickers, glues, glitters (if you've ever received a card from Katie you know we have plenty of glitter!!!)
Papers for all the above
Rubber stamps and ink pads
Sewing Machine...fabric and all that goes with that, including a quilt that needs to be quilted that my deceased grandma made the top for many years ago
Beeswax and wicking for candle making
Soap making items....oils, butters, lye, soap mold, with all the safety items
Ebay items, postage scale, envelopes
Wooden signs
Hand stitcheries and floss
Yarn, crochet hooks, etc.
Katie's jewelry making supplies
Lotion and lip balm making supplies
Computer, printer, paper, camera dock, wires, etc.

All of this somehow has to fit on the long desk in our bedroom or on the shelving.  I know this sounds like way too many things to be working on, we don't work on all of them at once but need them handy for when we need to make soap, crochet dishcloths, make cards, etc.
To me, making these things ourselves is part of the pioneer spirit that I love so much.  It may sound like it doesn't fit with our 'simple' life but in fact I think it's a big part of it.  I love the idea of making everything ourselves and being as self reliant as possible.  Along with that means lots of hobbies!
We have some things already in place and am working on the rest so all will be tidy and organized before bedtime, much work to do but I love organizing things!
Will update when we get it finished!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Simple Homemade Recipes - Homemade Cream of Wheat Mix

Last week we fixed Cream of Wheat for breakfast and Dan discovered that he loves cream of wheat!  Amazing because he never like it before.  Anyway we ran out of it and I really did not want to pay the price for it in the store but I found a recipe online and after tweaking it a bit I think it's just as good if not better.
The original recipe is from
  • 1 cup dry oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup quick barley
  • 1/2 cup dry brown rice
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
You need a blender to make this recipe. Get out your blender. Measure the dry oatmeal into it. Whirl the oatmeal until it is powdery, like flour. Dump the oatmeal into a mixing bowl. Measure the barley into the blender. Process it until powdery. Dump it into the bowl with the oatmeal. Measure the brown rice into the blender. Process it until powdery. The rice will take longer processing than the oatmeal or barley. It will be a tiny bit coarser after blending too, that is alright. When it is as powdery as you can get it, dump it into the bowl with the other grains. Add the whole wheat flour and the cornmeal. Stir the mixture up to combine it thoroughly. Transfer the mixture to a resealable container and label. Store on the pantry shelf. Makes 3 cups.

......All I could find was pearl barley so we did without the barley and added more oats which she suggested and this is our recipe,

  • 1 1/2 c dry oats
  • 1/2 c dry brown rice
  • 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c cornmeal
Directions on blending are the same as hers.

Then to cook:
  • 1/3 cup 5 Grain Cereal
  • 1 cup cold tap water
  • Dash Salt
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice concentrate or honey
In a small saucepan combine the cereal and cold water. You use cold water because it prevents lumps. Add the salt and juice concentrate. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with milk. Makes 1 serving.
To make 4 servings: use 1 cup of 5 Grain Cereal, 3 cups of cold tap water, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/3 cup apple juice concentrate.
This is a very healthy and hearty way to start the morning. I like this cereal much better than most other mixed grain cereals I have tried. The rice gives the cooked cereal a nice chewy texture which contrasts nicely with the smoothness of the whole wheat flour and cornmeal. If you don’t have quick barley, you can replace it with more oatmeal, or even wheat germ, or wheat bran. I’ve also thought that Rye Flour &/or Ground Flax Seeds might make nice additions. By adding 1/2-cup of each, you would come up with a 7-Grain Hot Cereal. The measurements of cereal to liquid for cooking would remain the same. This cereal is an excellent source of B vitamins and fiber.

Our changes to cooking: We followed these directions but think we would like it better with 1 c milk instead of water and no honey or apple juice concentrate, we'll just put some homemade brown sugar on each individual serving.
The consistency was definitely very close to cream of wheat and we love that there are no added preservatives or 'stuff' we would rather not consume.

If you've never made homemade brown sugar, you simply put granulated or turbinado in a food processor and drizzle in molasses until it becomes the color you like.  Whether dark or light brown sugar.
We use black strap molasses because of the added health benefits.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

To view Peggy's and many other ladies daybooks click here.

My Daybook for...
Monday January 18th, 2010...
Here in Kentucky...

Outside my window is very cloudy and rainy, all of our snow is gone and everything looks very bare looking into the woods.

I am thinking...what a wonderful weekend we had, the bonus was spending time with Tommy, he works very hard so we don't get to see him as much as I would like.

I am thankful for...being a wife and mom, it's something I will never ever take for granted.  It's all I ever really wanted to do and I'm so very thankful, my cup runneth over.

I am horrible I felt and now feel so much better, good health is simply something we should never take for granted.

I am currently reading...just finished a two book series by Diann Hunt, they were called Hot Flashes and Cold Cream & Hot Tropics and Cold Feet.  These books were wonderful and perfect for my age (not quite 50).  I've been given a renewed hope of endurance as I reach those 50's, the books were very well written and I love the humor in them.  I am definitely Maggie!!  I've read other books by Diann Hunt also,  she is one of my favorite authors.

I am get this house back in shape after all these weeks of sickness, ugh!

On my mind...I'm simply in constant prayer for the folks in Haiti, I'm not one to sit and watch the news constantly so I haven't seen a lot but I know it's utter devastation.  I hurt deeply for the mothers that have lost husbands and children and for those suffering through the devastation.  I'm very proud of the USA in all the efforts that are being made to help, we live in such a wonderful country.  No matter who the leadership of our country is we are still a strong country that was founded on Christian principles and it's wonderful to once again see them in place.  Of course there are many other countries rushing to help also, such a wonderful thing to witness.

Noticing is always better than receiving!

Pondering these words...Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  This is the first answer to the first question in the Westminster Shorter Cathecism, the instruction is there....glorify God and enjoy Him forever, seems pretty simple doesn't it?

From the kitchen...bits and pieces for lunch, chicken in cream sauce over garlic mashed potatoes for supper with salad.  Smoked sausage wrapped in crescent rolls for Dan as he does not eat chicken.

Around the house
...very quiet, soon to be a bit nosy when I start all of my helpers up...washing machine, dryer, inspirational music from the ipod to motivate me as I clean!

One of my favorite things...witnessing an answer to prayer, the result isn't always what we want but it is always His best for us.

From my picture journal...

These are some pretty flowers Tommy brought Katie for her birthday, how sweet is that?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Simple Joys

 This image above is in honor of our birthday girl who loves any and all things Victorian!!!

Oh we had such a fun day for Katie's birthday yesterday!  Our Tommy came over and spent some time with us and finally opened his Christmas gifts!  We've all been too sick to get together!
After our visit with Tommy, Dan said he was going to take us all out to dinner and asked Tommy if he wanted to go with us.  Tommy said yes, but he was going to treat us for a late Christmas gift (poor kid was sick on Christmas eve and Day so he was alone all through Christmas!).
He chose El Rio Grande so we went there and had a nice mexican meal.  We are creatures of habit and eating out is extremely rare for us, usually we just go to Cracker Barrel or Frisch's but Tommy insisted we try something different!  It was really good and I don't know the last time this family went out on a Saturday night, we never do that so we were'nt used to the crowd but it was kinda fun being in the middle of the hubbub for a couple of hours!  But ever so nice to drive back home past farmland to get to our quiet and cozy little house!  Coming home is always so wonderful!
Today was a day of pampering the birthday girl still so we went to Starbuck's and then wherever else she told us to go, just a fun weekend for us. 
I just love being with my little family, what laughter we share and fun we have!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Baby Girl is 20 Today!

I can't believe all of our children are now in their twenties!  Not sure where the time has gone!
We're so proud of our Katie, she's such a kind, sweet and loving young lady.  She is waiting for
the Lord to bring her Prince and looks forward to getting married and having babies!  
She's been nothing but a joy for us and we're so blessed!
We've actually never had a problem with any of our children, we've always been very close and
their teenage years were just a joy for us, for this I give Christ alone all of the glory.  
God is so good!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Simply Feeling Energized!

The doctor says I have bronchial asthma, I'm very thankful it's not pneumonia!!!  He gave me a steroid shot and a breathing treatment, then an inhaler.  He says I'll be in the pink in a couple of weeks but I'm already feeling much, much better!  He says with my congestion, coughing and wheezing he's wondering how I was able to do much because I was so congested, no wonder I was exhausted!!!
I'm feeling so much better already and as they always do the steroids give me hyper energy so I'm going to make the most of it without doing too much.
I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers, that always makes you feel better just knowing others are lifting your name to the Lord.  He is so good!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Simply Sick of Being Sick

I thought I was much better with my cold but it's been almost two weeks and my cough is horrible so I'm off to the doctor tomorrow morning, time for some medication because I'm sooooo tired and have so many things I want to do!
I have a feeling it's pneumonia so I'm just ready for some meds to make me all better!!!
Can you say spring???

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Simply Amazing!

Okay, we've practiced a bit more and made this, isn't it pretty???  We're going to have so much fun with this!  I'm amazed at all the accessories you can get on ebay for it, we've already found a couple of things for a great price.  We're not usually folks that buy the newest electronics, etc. simply because it's not in the budget but this machine will do so many things for us that we really thought it would simplify things and so far it really has.  Katie and I talked quite a bit about whether to get it or not but we're both pleased with it and glad we got it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Our First Simple Cut with the Cricut!

Ta-da!!!!  Our very first cutout with our Cricut machine!!!  We're really bold aren't we?  Going for the big cuts!!!  This branch is 1 1/2" tall, very tiny!  Anyway we are finally having some fun with it and can't wait to start making some pretty cards and scrapbooks.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

To view Peggy's and many other ladies daybooks click here.

My Daybook for...
Monday January 11th, 2010...
Here in Kentucky...

Outside my window...everything is covered in snow, it's a beautiful winter wonderland!

I am thinking...that it is great to feel good again! I have been sick for a week with a cold but am finally actually feeling better, and my energy is back.

I am thankful for...our family finally being well.
I am remembering...what a nice Christmas we had with family, I can't believe it was only a couple of weeks ago, it seems like months! Time must really be going slow for me!

I am currently reading...a series of book by Rebeca Seitz, they're Christian fiction with a theme of scrapbooking running through them, they're called Sisters, Ink and they're really good.
I am finally be able to get my new Cricut machine set up and running, now that the sickies are over.

On my mind...what happens when we pray and put our burdens at the foot of the cross but don't take them back, God is so good.

Noticing that...things work so much better in our home when everyone is well, you just don't appreciate it until the illnesses start! Wrote this last week but it's still appropriate!

Pondering these words...'Women are repeatedly accused of taking things personally, I cannot see any other honest way of taking them'. Now how true is that? This was on my daily Mary Engelbreit calender for the weekend, I believe it describes women to a tee.

From the kitchen...oatmeal for breakfast, a mixture of fresh fruits and veggies with cheese and crackers for our lunch and veggie beef soup for supper.

Around the's brewing in the percolator, I'm preparing for a day full of being busy around the house and lovin' not being sick anymore!

One of my favorite things...just talking to our Savior, the comfort and joy I get from that is wonderful!

From my picture journal...

This is from our deck looking at our back yard and into our woods, the little black lump in the middle is the remants from a campfire.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Simply Praising God, From Whom All Blessings Flow

I believe I'm coming to an end with my cold, the cough is still deep and painful and sometimes takes my breath away and I'm very tired but I think all in all it's about gone.  I'm thankful for that and promise myself that I will appreciate being well, we so quickly forget how awful it feels and what a blessing good health really is!

I couldn't sleep last night, now sure why but if I closed my eyes they just popped open again.  I was very frustrated for awhile and was having such a pity party when it occurred to me that I should be praying instead of fretting.  I still suffer from not being able to focus so my prayers are choppy but I know the Lord knows my heart and understands.  As I lay there thinking about all the people I wanted to pray for I realized that these are people that mean everything to family....and there are so many needs in our extended family so I tried to bring faces to mind and pray for each, as I said I know the Lord knows already.  I also thought of friends, those near and far and was able to focus on praying for them also.  Those nights are very long, quiet and I so often forget to count the blessing of having the darkness and quiet to be able to focus a bit better, no other noises or things to distract me.

I have hopes of getting our Cricut set up today and having a bit of fun with it, I have so many cards to make and have already missed sending a birthday card this year, she'll get it but it will be a bit late.

I look at the snow outside, the pristine whiteness and beauty of it and am reminded that only God could paint such incredible beauty with the color white (if white is a color?).  May He bless all who reads this with the joy and blessings that only He can give.  Thank you Father for the wonderful, incredible, so undeserved gift of Your blessings!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Appeal of Simpler Times

Yesterday would have been my aunt Sophie's 92nd birthday, she died back in 1986 after having a stroke.  I believe today she would probably have been okay but back then they didn't know the things they do now about stroke victims.
Sophie was my mama's oldest sister, mama had 8 siblings.  Sophie was such a sweet quiet lady, she was married and had 5 children, later in her life is when I remember visiting her and she was living alone on her farm.  Sophie had a totally immaculate house, there was not a speck of dirt anywhere.This wasn't a modern house at all, she had a wood stove in the living room, then there were two bedrooms and a kitchen.  I don't remember using the potty inside her house and I'm pretty sure she had an outhouse, actually at that time quite a few of my relatives still used outhouses.  Most of them had modernized their homes but I believe Sophie was content with things just the way they were, think about bathroom to constantly be cleaning!!!...but no I do not want to have an outhouse, I love the old ways but that's stretching it too far for me.  I shouldn't say that because if I was given the opportunity to have an old farmstead with no indoor plumbing I'd take it in a heartbeat!!!
Sophie had no TV in her home, she did have electricity but there was no noise at all in her house when you visited, not even a radio.  She was an excellent cook and lived her life exactly the same as she always had, meals at 6/12/6 and to bed probably before 9pm (I'm not exactly sure of these times, just painting a picture the way I saw it back then...some 40 years ago) and then up hours before dawn.  She never drove a car, she didn't need to because she had a farm and grew what she needed, etc.  Life was simple and good, she had everything she needed and her children were all close by with one of them living in Ohio, about 200 miles away but she visited her mother quiet often.  Sophie was a very intelligent woman, she knew her Bible in and out and although she was very quiet when she did speak you wanted to listen because her words were something to hear and remember.
Those were such simple times, visiting any of our relatives down in Kentucky meant time slowing way down.  We would go down every weekend and stay with my grandparents, Grandma would always have a pot of green beans and potatoes and some cornbread made and we never failed to eat most of it when we got there late at night on Friday.  We always went to bed very early and got up much earlier than we did at home, although my two brothers and I always slept later than our mom and our grandparents, by the time we got up they had finished breakfast and had the dishes done but of course they had a nice meal kept warm for us in the oven.
Thinking about it now, we were up by about 7am and went to bed by appr. 10pm but the time we were awake we were constantly busy, we had fields to run through, wildflowers to pick, picnics down by the creek and then wading in the creek.  I remember one time in particular a snapping turtle almost took off one of my toes but my brothers saved me!  Yes, life was so good and we enjoyed the most simple of things, like catching June bugs or digging in the dirt.  We would have laughed at anyone that told us we should do something like sit in front of a TV all day or play a video game all day....we had way too much exploring to do!!!
I loved our Sophie and treasure these wonderful memories!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Simple Days

Oh the joy of being a keeper at home, my days are usually very quiet and calm.  It's such a joy to have my sweet Katie taking care of our home while I'm sick.  We have had someone sick since Christmas eve and I'll be so glad when it is over.  Dan and Katie had a stomach bug and Christopher, Tommy and I have had bad colds and Tommy's went into pneumonia.  Of course Tommy doesn't live here but he keeps us updated on how he's doing. 
I started a couple of days ago with a sore throat and now it's just contant coughing and a drippy nose, I'm very ready to be healthy again.
We're getting a beautiful snow today, I know we've gotten at least 5 inches and there's more to come.  It's very cold so the snow is sticking to the roads also so we'll be glad when Dan gets home from work nice and safe.
Yes, it's such a blessing to be a keeper at home and not have to worry about getting out in this bad weather to go to work and we're stocked up so we don't need any trips to the grocery either, it's a very calm day and this girl is very content.
God has blessed us beyond measure so I won't complain about the weather or being sick, this too shall pass, I'm just thankful to be a child of God and that my children know Him also.  Such joy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Merry Christmas to Katie and Judy!!!

We received our Christmas gift today.....a fun toy we can't wait to play with!
A Cricut machine!!!!
Have to give credit to my sweet hubby who doesn't mind our occasional splurge on our card making/scrapbooking toys!!!  Thank You dear hubby!!!  I'm not a diamond or jewelry kinda
girl, give me my crafting toys any day!!!
It came with these cartridges:

 Then we searched online and found out Michael's had their cartridges buy one get one free, so we took off shopping and found these:

Well, I would love to say I'm off to play with them but alas I've had a yucky cold for a couple of days so instead I'm off to get under my electric blanket and rest.  There's always tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Simple Need to be Radical in Raising our Children

****Please note, this post has some adult content*****Not for children's eyes***********

Years ago I had a sister-in-law that thought we were the weirdest parents of all time, her famous quite was 'Dan and Judy won't let the kids do......', fill in the blank.  She was constantly letting us know that we needed to be more lenient because 'all the other kids were doing it'.   Her goal was to be her kids best friend and for them to think she was the cool mom.  Little did she know that in being their best friend and not enforcing any rules or limits at all, she was making a far worse mistake than she ever accused us of.  
Their oldest son (my nephew Jeremy, who was born in 1981) was so close to her that he had no way of coping with the world and the real problems of it.  She was his drug supplier (although she'll deny it to this day, but we have valid proof) and was so needy herself that she actually had him come in the bathroom when she took a bath so they could talk (I'm sure she didn't want my brother to here their conversation), now that was way beyond appropriate.  I believe Jeremy tried pulling away from her but she wouldn't let go and wouldn't let him make any decisions on his own because might take him away from her, she had such a need to be needed and loved.  Anytime he went to church or tried to turn away from her she would start pounding words into his head about his terrible (Christian) father.  Jeremy was so messed up in his head that he made some really bad choices and his confusion I'm sure from seeing his mother in the bathtub (among other things) that he made some very bad relationship choices and his confusion was so very obvious to everyone but her, she said he needed to be himself.  Sadly the poor kid had no idea who 'himself' really was.  Jeremy was so used to getting what he wanted all of his life that when his father tried to enforce rules Jeremy just went crazy, he threatened to hurt himself and take his father's life, probably more than once.  One night Dan and I went up to the police station close to their house to see if we could get him out of the house and away from her, they said a threat did not justify removing him from his home.  We went over to their house and begged her to let us take him to a school down in Kentucky that works with messed up kids, she was adamant that she would not let her baby go.  Her comment that night was 'Jeremy would never hurt himself, he loves himself too much', she simply wouldn't change her mind because she was so very needy.
We saw Jeremy just a few times after this and although he had gone to church and committed his life to Christ she was still pulling him back to her and telling him how bad the church was.
Jeremy died on October 8th, 2000, he had been partying and a bad mixture of drugs and alcohol put him to sleep where he laid until many hours later when his friends decided to check on him.  We know it was not a suicide, he just simply went too far with his choices.  This last remark tells us a lot about Jeremy, his mother never ever gave him limits so he didn't know when to stop, very, very sad.
After my mother called that morning to tell us Jeremy was dead I called his mother, who although she was messed up herself, we had always loved very, very much.  Her first words were, 'Judy, I never thought he would die'......very strange since we had been telling her over and over again that he would.
Jeremy has been gone for over 9 years and I still can't get over what a sad story it all is, his father begged her to go to church and tried to pray with them at home, she contradicted everything he did in trying to get their family straightened out.  My brother is not blameless either, he had been on drugs for many years and it's amazing he is alive today but he gave his life to Christ some years before Jeremy died and he's never gone back to his old way of living, he is the most committed Christian I have ever seen, only Christ could do that.

Yes, we homeschooled our kids, we limited the things they did and just because someone said a PG movie was appropriate we said 'no', the decision in what they watched was our choice as their parents, not the movie rating people.  We also kept our kids very close, they did not go to other peoples houses and spend the night, actually our kids never had a babysitter, except my mom and my sister, who loved our kids dearly (still do and the feeling is mutual!).  Why people lock up their money and jewels and then let their kids run free has always been just atrocious to me, our kids are the most important thing in the world to Dan and I and they always have been.  Now that they are grown we see the result of how we raised them, they may veer from some of our choices and may try other ways, we know we did a good job and we know that they know wrong from right.  In a way Jeremy dying probably taught them more than we ever could about the choices we make, they loved him and grew up with him, losing him was a devastating blow to all of us.

This post was not a bash my ex-sister-in-law post, basically she 'knows not what she does', it's that simple.  She was raised in a very unstable home and was never taught about Christ.  Until she gives her life to him, she will always be just floating in the sad abyss of drugs and alcohol she still chooses to live in.  Yes, she is first on our prayer list of unsaved family, oh how I pray she will accept Him one day, life will be so incredibly changed for the better for her.

What I wanted to say in the post is that we have to make radical choices in raising our children, I'm not saying that everyone should homeschool just because we did, I'm saying that we need to look at our own families and make the right choices every moment of every day, yes it is a constant battle between good and evil and evil tries to worm it's way in through so many genres, we need to discern this for our children and make the choices according to His Word and His Commandments, it's that simple.

Now, there was another child in all of this, Jeremy had a brother who was a few years younger and we were very concerned about because he lived in this home with the battles between good and evil raging constantly.  Of course he lost his only brother and he was 15 when Jeremy died at 19.  Michael has not only overcome all of these challenges and had his eyes open to his mother's lies (once again she was raised that way and I truly believe that's all she knows, just constant deciet), but he graduated from college in 2009 and is going on to law school.  We are amazed at this young man and his determination.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

To view Peggy's and many other ladies daybooks click here.

My Daybook for...
Monday January 4th, 2010...
Here in Kentucky...

Outside my window...the snow had melted pretty much but now it's flurrying again, our temps are in the single digits!!  Brrrr.

I am thinking...of the list of things in my mind that need to be accomplished in the next couple of days, I know I can do it, just need to get on it.

I am thankful for...everyone finally well!!! Unfortunately I started with a very sore throat through the night last night, ugh.

I am wearing...warm comfy clothes to try to ward off any illness, I think I'm ready for spring!

I am remembering...a nice calm weekend with my sweet little family, we just enjoyed being together and dozed off right after midnight on New Year's Eve, we're not big on celebrating new year!

I am currently time for reading right now, am eager to get back to it after my new year major tidy!

I am have a couple of nice quiet days Tuesday and Wednesday while Dian's off, he's been so tired from working outside in these frigid temps!

On my mind...thankful for some totally unforeseen blessings that came our way in the past couple of days!  God is so good!

Noticing that...things work so much better in our home when everyone is well, you just don't appreciate it until the illnesses start!

Pondering these words...happiness is true that is!  We decide to be happy or unhappy, I choose happiness!

From the kitchen...Katie made some yummy cinnamon muffins for breakfast, we'll have fruit, raw veggies, cheese and crackers for a lunch/snack and supper is yet to be determined....have to see if I'm sick or not.

Around the house...Christopher and Katie are watching their European football (soccer to us Americans) and Dan is on his way home from work.

One of my favorite things...having all of my laundry finished, it's an ongoing job but I love when I throw in that last basket full and my laundry room is nice and clean.

From my picture journal...

My Katie and her sweet little cousin Will!  He's such a cutie!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Simply Thankful for Today

Oh I've heard so many folks say that they really hope 2010 is a better year than 2009 because so many bad things happened and I wonder if they'll be saying the same thing come 2011.
Why is it that we are so sure we deserve a 'good' life?  Basically our lives are what we make them every single day.  We can either so the good in things or the bad in things.  Dan is a very defensive driver, he just thinks everyone on the road is doing something wrong, I on the other hand consider myself one of the people that usually does something wrong so I do not voice an opinion at all.  The basic difference is that I'm seeing reality and Dan is just generalizing everyone into one category, he's frustrated so everyone else is wrong.  I'm not criticizing Dan because we all have our own opinions and faults but I am wondering why we as human beings expect others to be perfect?
I don't know about you but I'm not perfect, I'm so far from perfect that I can't even begin to think I can do anything better than the next person, we all are imperfect and will always be.  The only perfect human being lived 2000 years ago and although we want to model out lives, thoughts and attitudes after Him, we know we'll never come close to that.
Since we are so imperfect why do we believe life should be easy for us?  Never in the scriptures are we told that life will be easy, as a matter of fact we see over and over again in the scriptures that bad things happen to really good people.
Maybe it's as simple as saying 'Today I will do the very best I can do as a child of God and according to what He says in His word and leave the rest to God'.  We should never expect that life is going to be better this year than last just because we're Christians, we of all people should know that trials will always be there...but He will be there with us.  That's the promise that makes it all simply okay.