Friday, April 18, 2014

When Life Throws You For A Loop or Two

Hello Friends!  I hope that this finds you all well.  The last two weeks have been draining around here.  I am not even sure where to begin. So here I go....

*My former work partner, Vicki, suddenly passed away.  She was my age and just a beautiful person.

*We have all been sick. My nemesis is back...  bronchitis!   Yeah me! I have been down for almost a week.  I feel like I might have turned the corner finally.  A girl can hope anyway.

*Chuck's beloved Aunt Wanda passed away.  Wanda has been struggling with health issues for as long as Chuck and I have been together (15 yrs.).   The last few years her quality of life has not been good.  Two weeks ago when she started to decline she opted for no more treatment and asked to be removed from all medication except insulin and pain medication.  After she was weaned from 19 different medications her mind was clear and we are so thankful for the gift of heartfelt conversations.  I love Wanda dearly and her passing has been bittersweet.  We are full of sorrow that she is no longer with us but also feel joy at the thought that she is healed and whole again.  The showing is tonight and the funeral is tomorrow. 

I know that bullet points might seem a little cold, but emotions have been running high around here.  If my little family happens to pass through your thoughts this weekend we could use some prayer for strength, comfort and healing. 

God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 

Friday, April 04, 2014

Joy in the Ordinary

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



Water + Dish Soap + Food Coloring + Straws = Tons of Fun

It also created a huge mess so I suggest this be an outside activity. :)


There has been plenty of time to play.


A trip to Survive Alive at the fire station was a great field trip. 


Getting dirty is always fun. 

 
Cousins!

The past two weeks Megan has been on spring break.  It has made for some busy days and makes me long for summer days when my girl will be home everyday. 
 
Find happiness in the ordinary; it makes for a pleasant life and a serene heart. ~ Granny Willodene
 
May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Adoption Day...7 Years Ago

*This entry from April 2, 2007 from the blog I keep while in China.  Saying that our family has been blessed beyond measure the past seven years is an understatement!*

Here I am getting dressed for my adoption day. Today I am wearing a 3-6 month outfit. I really suck my bottle down so I might move into 6-9 month clothes very soon.

 
While Mama and I were hanging out in the lobby Daddy keep taking our picture.


Finally we made it on the bus and away we went to the Civil Affairs office.


When we got there we had our first official family picture taken. The they took a picture of me for my passport. After that we met with an adoption official. Mama and Daddy had to list their occupation, say why they wanted to adopt a baby from China and what my education would be. They said I could have as much education as I wanted. Let's see if Daddy is still saying that if I ask him to pay for my masters!

After that it was off to the notary office. The man there asked Mama and Daddy to say their names. Then daddy said my name. He then asked if Mama and Daddy were satisfied with me. He asked if Mama and Daddy would ever abuse or adbanoned me. They said never. After that we were handed an official form that says Mama and Daddy are my forever parents. I am officially adopted and part of the family for ever and ever!!



I really love my Daddy!

I can't wait to meet everyone. Mama keeps telling me that I will have lots of fun people to play with.

Love, Megan

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Well... Hello Spring!

Oh yes, spring is in the air and I am one happy girl!  As I type this I can hear the birds singing their morning wake up song.   Ahhh... music to my ears. 

With the wet winter we had it was hard to keep the feeder from becoming a clumpy mess around the bottom.   We finally took it down.  I gave it a good clean and we bought one of those things to deter squirrels with the hope that it will keep some of the moisture off.  We'll see.


While pricing some things at the hardware store I picked up some pansies.  Nothing gives a spring time welcome like these pretties. 


There was an afternoon filled with sunshine and warmth.  I raked the entire back yard and Chuck gathered the large branches that had fallen.  We ended up with a large pile of debris.




We don't normally burn but since there was so much we went ahead.  We burned it on the garden and then will till the ash into the soil. 


I was able to line dry my first load of laundry for the year.  Swoon!  I love, love the smell of line dried laundry. 


Every day more and more things are popping up. 


This is one of the things I like most about this season.  It brings the Lord to mind and reminds me of the new life that only Christ can give. 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Tip Tuesday

Good Morning! I have missed blogging and am trying to get back at it. Now, I won't guarantee anything because as you know caring for my family is my number one priority. Anyway, I am going to try to be more regular. Now on to the tips!

Chuck has this handy paint mixer that attaches to the drill. It is awesome for paint that isn't straight from the store and has been sitting for a while.
 
 
If you have a full gallon and happen to go a little fast it will sometimes splatter.  The solution is to place the paint in a paper bag.  Then if it happens to splatter you don't have a huge mess to clean up. 
 
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This winter we had an abundance of pine branches fall.  As soon as it warmed up a little Megan was out to play.  Of course she played with the branches and ended up with pine sap on her fleece jacket. 
 
 
I tried several things to get this sticky mess and nothing worked.  So I did a little research and found several sources that said to try rubbing alcohol. 
 
 
A little elbow grease with a scrub brush and I couldn't see it anymore.  Yes!  I rinsed off the alcohol and then threw it in with a load of laundry. 
 
 
As you can tell it worked wonderful!  This is a great thing to know as my girl loves to play outside and especially creating with sticks. 
 
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I place many of my staples in Mason jars.  The flax seed came in a bag and it seems to always be in the way.  I also found that with so many containers of different sizes they didn't always stack well and make the most use of my limited space.   
 
 
I have a love for Mason jars and now not only does my pantry look pretty but it is also organized and neat. 
 
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Another tip to go along with storing things in jars in labeling.  I will write things on the underside of the lid.  For my yeast I put the measurement to equal a packet since most recipe list packets and not actual measurements. 
 

On jars that hold cooking mixes I will put cooking instructions.    

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Frugal Five

I don't feel like I have been very frugal lately.  Money has been flying out of our hands as we purchased new furniture, took the truck in for some work and purchased summer clothing for Megan.  It has to stop!

 I am getting back at it and here are a few frugal things.

#1 I purchased Valentine's for next year for $0.30.
 
#2 I started to clip and print coupons again.  They aren't as great as they use to be and I have noticed that the extreme coupon shows have caused policies to change.  I was really burnt out and stopped using them, but since every penny counts so I am back to clipping.
 
 
#3 Chuck had to run to CVS and I reminded him to scan our ECB card.  A coupon printed for a free roll of paper towels. 
 
 
#4 There is an extended family vacation planned for this summer and I have been using my paperback swap credits to gather books. 
 
 
#5 I hit Target up for some sale promotions. 
 
 
They had a deal that if you purchased two packages of toilet paper you received a $5 gift card.  I used a couple of coupons and my Red Card (not a credit card, but a debit card and saved 5%) for a total of $25.86 and walked away with the gift card.  I know that for many that is more then you would pay for TP. So I will lay it out there and admit that we are toilet paper snobs. 
 
 I then used the gift card toward the cereal deal.  Select Kellogg's cereal were B1G1F.  The price was $2.94 each for an original total of $17.64.  From that $8.82 was taken off for the BIGIF and I used 3/$1 off 2 coupons (no longer available) making my total $5.82 then my Red Card took off $0.20.  Leaving my total due $5.53. I used the $5 gift card from the toilet paper deal and paid $0.53 for six boxes of cereal!
 
So there you go.  I hope this encourages you to do things to save money.  The old adage that every penny counts seems to apply more and more as I see prices of just about everything increase.  I am not sure I will have five things to post about every week as many times my frugal accomplishment is simply staying home and making do with what I have.  I find it encouraging to hear about others frugal adventures. 
 
May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gardening... Just the Beginning

I have been itching to get into the garden. With the winter we have had that hasn't been possible. Friday was a beautiful day and we spent most of the afternoon out working in the yard. I mentioned that I was ready to plant some early spring things in the raised beds. Even though it was much cooler on Saturday my wonderful husband worked them up so I could get my hands dirty.  Yeah!

He also took some time to drill some holes for me.  Last year I saw this post  and thought it was a great idea.  The list price was $49... no way!  I picked up a yardstick for $0.25 with hopes of making my own.

 
I also grabbed a dowel out of hubby's scrap wood container and made a stick to make holes for my seeds.  I marked inch marks on the dowel. 
 
 
It works wonderful!
 
 
It was used to plant some peas.
 
 
 
Cabbage plants and two kind of lettuce were also planted.
 
 
As we are still having some cold weather I really wanted to cover this bed with a frost cover.  We didn't have enough left from last year so it was on to plan B.
 
 
Good ol' Mason jars.  Oh how I love them! 
 
Are you itching to get in the dirt?  I would love to hear if you have started and what you are planting.
 
May your day be filled with joy and contentment!