Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stocking Up Challenge Step One Update

Hey ladies!

Sorry I have not posted more this week! Been busy here!
Is everyone ready to start stocking up?
Have you been saving up your money over the past week?
I hope so!

Would love to hear how it has been going for you and if you are ready for some more steps and encouragement?


Thursday, January 20, 2011

"Stocking Up" Challenge Step 1

Hey ladies!

I am so excited to see that ya'll are interested and want to do this! Good for you!

I am not going to rush this challenge! I have no "day to finish" and have not planned on having one! I want to get you started and then you can grow from there!

Also for anyone who is on a tight budget, you may need 5 or 6 weeks to stock up on things that some one else can get in two or three weeks. So even if I lay it out to say so many weeks, you make your own plan on paper, and STICK TO IT AS BEST YOU CAN!

Okay, the FIRST STEP:

I want you to save every penny that you can for the next week!

Save your eating out money.

Stay home as much as you can. When you go out, you spend money!

Roll your change that you have around the house.

Get your spouse and your family involved! Tell them your plan and see if they can pitch in to help save money!

Spend as little as you can, and please save up!

Your stocking up money is the most important money for your families future! They can cut back on a trip to the movies, going out to eat, and just shopping around for "things"! Give it a try! I think you will be amazed at how much you can stock up on and things you can get that you couldn't before. And most of all, when you are done stocking up, you will feel so good about yourself and what you have done for your family! It will give you peace!


Get the local grocery store papers and find out what is on sell for next week.

And Collect some coupons if you want.

Well there you go! Short and simple! For the next week, SAVE MONEY!

I wish I could give you more then a week, but as I said, this is just to get you going! After this challenge, and during, I hope you continue on your own, to save and spend WISELY!


P.S. I will be posting more tips and ideas for stocking up over the next week, but I will probably not post the big step(s) 2 until the 28th!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Would You be Interested in a Stocking up Challenge? (Two Polls for this week!)

I have been debated about holding a "Stocking up/ Preparing for the future" challenge on my blog!
I think everyone should be working on stocking up for their families future.
We always bought in bulk and planned ahead when I was growing up, and all our great grandmothers and their mothers planned ahead and stocked up. I think it would be a good idea to get back to those roots!

So I am wondering if anyone would be interested in joining me for a stocking up challenge? Or maybe you just want to follow along or do your own challenge! The more the merrier!

I am thinking about doing three different levels of the challenge.

1. For the people completely new to the idea of stocking up (newbie)!

2. The people who want to stock up, but has a tight budget (worrier)!

3. The people who are serious about stocking up (brave)!

So please vote in my poll and let me know if you would join,and if you did, which level would you participate in?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My little "cave-children" cracking nuts!

Over the autumn months (last year), we took a lot of time to help the girls learn about different nuts that grow wild around here. They had a really great time gathering nuts and cracking them and eating them!
They were so fun and cute to watch! Like a couple of squirrels gathering nuts and like children from a long time ago, trying to crack the nuts with rocks!!
I took pictures of that of course!
Here are some of the pictures of them trying to crack hickory nuts with rocks!!

The pictures (above and one below), of Princess A. trying to crack a nut with a big rock are just precious, I think!
Princess S. could actually hit hers hard enough to crack a lot of them! She loved it and would spend a lot of time working hard at it!
I have a lot more pictures of our nut gathering, etc. that I may post later!
~ the nutty mommy, Hannah!

Planning on Learning another Language!

I am soooooooooo EXCITED!
Husband says we can get the Rosetta Stone software for learning Mandarin Chinese sometime this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yippee! Yippee! Yippee!
I have always thought this would be so cool! And I want my children to learn another (or more) languages! Not just because I think it is cool, of course, but once again, think it may come in very handy in their future.

I think both the girls will love learning it! The 5 yr. old should learn it better and faster then all of us! She is quick.

I think this will be a wonderful project for the whole family thru the year!
Now we just have to save up to buy it. =/ =)

By the way.....
You can find out more for yourself about the software at "Rosetta Stone Learn Chinese (Mandarin)"!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God" Book Review

"Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God"
By Sheila Walsh
Published by Thomas Nelson
My review:
When I first decided to review this book, I thought it looked really good and would be a good read, but I had no idea just how good this book would be for me personally! This book is really helping overcome and move forward. I am trusting more in my Heavenly Father and I am more excited for the future! My whole life I have avoided doing things, I have not trusted anyone really (except my husband), and I have always beat on myself for not living up to more. This book is helping me pull out of this terrible hole that I have slowly fallen into ever since I was a young child.
I actually started this book months ago, but I guess I was not ready for the change yet. I started it again the first of this year, and I cannot put it down!
I have never read a book by Shelia Walsh before this one. Her writing in "Beautiful Thins Happen When A Woman Trust God" is so captivating, to the point and yet gentle and loving! She really makes you think, dig deep into God's Word, and into yourself!
This is a perfect book for anyone who knows they can do better and just needs the encouragement, for anyone who wants to trust more, and for anyone who wants to know why some people have a hard time trusting and for those who want to help others trust more!
This is a wonderful book for reading the first of the new year! Or whenever you want to take the step and start anew!
Book Description From Thomas Nelson:
"Delivering a big message with strong biblical insights and heartening personal stories, author and Women of Faith speaker Sheila Walsh shows women the life-changing power of trusting in God.

Most Christian women live with a deep sense that they can't seem to get things right, that if only they could be a little better, life would straighten out. Through her own personal hardships, Sheila Walsh has learned that the Christian life is not about getting things right or back to "normal." She writes, "Christ comes not to get us out of our difficulties but to live in us through them." She wants to show women that God has a stunningly beautiful moment of redemption for them that leads to a lifetime of peace and joy.

In this eye-opening message for women, she presents a moving look at her own story as she dives into the lives of Bible characters, drawing out lessons from their trials that women can use immediately to establish a deep, life-altering trust in the Father."

I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Princess A.'s Birthday!

In Oct., we celebrated Princess A.'s 3 rd Birthday! I cannot believe that my baby is three! Wow! Time really flies.....*sigh*!

I made her a chocolate cake (pictured above) and put a little doll on it and made some flowers and put candy on the flowers! I was aiming for a cake with a Dora doll playing outdoors, but I couldn't find a Dora set that fit, so I just put this together, and she loved it!

I did all the birthday shopping at the dollar store and was impressed with the variety I found. I also had to get some groceries for the party and a few things we needed. Altogether (Dollar store and groceries) I think I spent around $130. I think I did pretty good considering everything cost so much these days.

I think her favorite toy this year was a little doll that Princess S. picked out! I was delighted that she found it! I mean it is not everyday you find a doll at the dollar store that sings "Jesus loves me"!!!
Now she sings all the words to the first verse and chorus and it is SO sweet to hear!

Another toy that she loved is her first kite! I just happen to see a few kites in the store and one was Dora! Knew she would love it!

I love this picture of the girls watching the new kite and Princess A. getting to fly her kite for the first time!

Yes! That is Dora flying in the tree tops!

I am really looking forward to the girls birthdays this year! Maybe this will be the year that I buy and plan ahead! =)


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Canning Pear Butter Autumn 2010

Back in Sep. (2010), some friends brought us two five gallon buckets of pears from their trees!! Yay!
I decided to try making pear butter to can, instead of canning sliced pears!

Here are my notes on how I made the pear butter and some pictures for you!

After peeling and slicing the pears, I put them in my Ninja food processor (pictured above) and pureed them.
From the two five gallon buckets of pears, I pureed and measured up 14 qts. of pears into my large pot (pictured above).
I added 14 cups of brown sugar and about 3/4 cup of lemon juice, 2 TBSP. of nutmeg and 2 TBSP. of cinnamon. I cooked and stirred this for about an hour and a half (until it was heated all the way thru and bubbling!). Then I measured into jars and processed about 20 minutes for quart jars and 10 minutes for pints, in boiling water canner.

The pear butter taste SOOO yummy! I am a Huge fan of apple butter so I was delighted to make a bunch of pear butter!

The only thing I would do different is put less nutmeg and more cinnamon! Maybe 1 tablespoon of nutmeg and 3 tablespoons of cinnamon! =)

I hope I am able to can more apples and pears or apple & pear butter this year!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

This Weeks Poll: Do You Plan on Buying the Classics for your children?

Book sellers say that the amount of classics being bought has dropped a lot. More people are buying new books and fewer are buying the old classics.
I think the old classics are an important part of learning literature and teaching our children how things use to be.
I hope my girls get to read a Bunch of the old classics!

Would love to hear what you think!

Friday, January 7, 2011

My New Year Resolutions and Plans

I love new years and new months! It seems like a great time to start fresh, start something new, make plans, and dream new dreams!

I am pretty worried about the future of our country and our children's futures, but I am still pretty excited and hopeful for what the future holds! We may be facing some really bad, dangerous and down-right ugly times, but my faith will not let me give up, and I believe that God always takes care of His children, His own, even if it is not what we think is best or good and we may have to hurt and walk thru valleys at times.

So with the beginning of the new year, I have been pretty excited and making some plans, setting some goals and dreaming dreams! Sure I know God is the one who is in control and I am happy to let Him have control of my life, and family's lives! I love the Bible verse that says "man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps" (Proverbs 16:9)! I guess I find comfort in knowing that God is in control!

Another thing is, (and it is a Big thing!), I am a mother! I hope, and plan, and dream and set goals, because I am a mother! It is just that simple to me. A mother never gives up.

Here are some of my goals for at least the next few months:

1. Read stories to the children everyday.

2. Take time for personal reading everyday.

3. Have a devotional/quiet time to spend with the Lord everyday. (I really need to work on this!)

4. Work out on the Bowflex at least 3 days a week.

5. Give husband a back rub at least three days a week!

Here are some of my goals for this year:

1. Help oldest graduate 1st grade in homeschool. And get started on 2nd grade!

2. Set up a lesson plan for the youngest for pre-K and help her get thru pre-K this year!

3. Help husband finish the add-on to the house (adding some bedrooms on).

4. Paint the walls in the bathroom, washroom and above the kitchen counters.

5. Grow a big garden! And save a lot of seeds, Lord willing!

6. Can a Bunch of vegetables, meat, etc! And I would love to get more pint jars and some wide mouth jars.

7. Make herbal salve, and grind/mix up more of my herb formulas.

8. Keep a journal, or at least notes of what we do everyday!

9. Go camping and start a natural journal/scrapbook with the kids!

10. Find some good deals and make more clothes for the family for next year.

11. Fix up a place for some milk goats and get at least two milk goats!

12. And last, because I dread it and I am putting it off, get my driver's license. UGH!

Some of my dreams for the year?

1. IF the country some how straightens out to where people can buy and sell things and I can find some good sources for material (yeah, I know, too many if's), I would Love to start an Etsy shop, or some sort of online store!

2. You know I do Not use birth control and leave my family size up to God. For some reason He has seen fit that we have not had a baby for 3 years now. It may be that we are going to face tuff times in the near future. I do not know. This is an area that I am so torn in! I want a lot of babies and children! But I also know that if times are hard, it will be Extra hard if I am pregnant or have a small baby. So I just continue to pray that God's will be done!

3. An amazing dream, that really is a far out there dream for me! lol! Would be that I stick to reading books thru this year and actually finish some books! lol! =)

4. That the girls "Nonnie" and "Papaw" will get their house finished this year and get moved in! I really look forward to having them live next door! Especially now that "Nonnie" has been having tons of back troubles and we could help her more if she were closer!

5. I pray this will be the year that my parents will try to make things right and we can start working out a relationship with them. I want to see my younger siblings and my parents again. =(

That is all I have for today! But it is still the first of Jan! I am sure I will add to my list!
Now I need to get to work and play! =)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Special Sep. Birthday Cakes!

My sister has two children who have birthdays the first of Sep. (birthdays are one day apart!)! And the girls and I got to go over to their house for the double Birthday party on Sat., Sep. 4th! It was so much fun!
We got to help decorate, wrap presents, clean and set up the activities before the party! And my brother showed up from TX. to visit for the weekend and that was a BIG surprise!

I took pictures of the cakes that my sister's sister-in-law made for the kids birthdays! She did an amazing job on them!
The first was for my nephew, who turned 5! He loves horses!

The second is the princess cake for my niece!

I also helped make the special 1st Birthday cake that they gave to my niece for her to eat on her own!

I love birthdays and birthday cakes! I love how each one is so special and unique! I hope someday I can get me a bunch of cake decorating things and do more to make fun cakes! =)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year! And So Much to Blog!

Hey friends!

Hope ya'll are having a very happy and blessed New Year so far!

I am really looking forward to what the New Year has in store! We had a very good year, last year and Praise the Lord for that! He has been so good to us!

I have had so much to blog about over the past few months, but I was really busy working on getting things for Christmas! I did pretty good and husband was impressed, so that made it worth while! =)

I hope to post more the next few months and maybe I will hang in there thru the year, Lord willing! I will not let my computer time interfere with home life or homeschool though, so if I am gone a while, it is because I am busy with family life, or my computer has died on me!

I am going to post some of my new years goals, and maybe a list of my blog post plans! Would love to hear what ya'll would like to see on my blog over the next year though! So please let me know! Thanks and God bless!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Our Daily Bread Devotional January 1st 2011

Hey friends!
I have been reading "Our Daily Bread" off and on for about 9 or 10 years now and have really enjoyed it! I wanted to share today's devotional with you here and if you would like to read more or send off for the devotionals visit "Our Daily Bread"!

"Eat Fast, Pay Less"
January 1, 2011 — by C. P. Hia

Read: Psalm 63:1-8
"My soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You." —Psalm 63:1

Bible in a year:
Genesis 1-3; Matthew 1

"A hotel in Singapore introduced an express buffet—eat all you can in 30 minutes and pay just half the price! After that experience, one diner reported: “I lost my decorum, stuffing my mouth with yet more food. I lost my civility, . . . and I lost my appetite for the rest of the day, so severe was my heartburn.”

Sometimes I think in our devotional reading we treat God’s Word like an express buffet. We wolf it down as fast as we can and wonder why we haven’t learned very much. Like physical food, spiritual food needs chewing! For those of us who have been Christians for a long time, we may have a tendency to speed-read through the passages we’ve read many times before. But in doing so, we miss what God is meaning to show us. One sure sign of this is when we learn nothing new from that passage.

David’s desire was right when he wrote in Psalm 119:15, “I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.” That’s the way to treat God’s Word—to take time to mull it over.

Let’s not come to the Bible as if we were going to an express buffet. Only by meditating on God’s Word will we get the most value for our spiritual well-being.

Spending time in meditation,
Hiding Scripture in our heart,
Works in us a transformation
So from sin we can depart. —Sper

Reading the Bible without reflecting
is like eating without chewing."