Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Church on Sunday....

Sunday is the day Christians celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! Its one of my favorite Sunday's of the year because it reminds me of the ultimate sacrifice the Lord made for me. He died for me, so that I could accept his gift and live with him forever and ever.

However, there is one thing that I don't like at this time. I do not like the films depicting the Crucifixion. It breaks my heart every time I see it, so now I look at the floor. I still cry but I don't see the agony and the horror. I know this doesn't bother some people, but it crushes me. Praise the Lord, that it didn't end on Friday...he was resurrected on Sunday!

I also know that some people only come to church once a year...on Resurrection Sunday. Maybe they think that coming once a year will save them. I don't know their reasons but it happens at churchs every year in the springtime. I pray that the visitors at our own church this Sunday will realize we worship a living God. Mark 16:6 Don't be alarmed he said, You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has Risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.

On the radio today, we heard about a church that is offering "incentives" for church goers this Sunday. This church is located in Corpus Christi, Texas...they are giving away prizes for visitors. Every child that attends will be given a new bike. Adults will be entered in drawings for major prizes such as a large flat screen tv. It is unbelievable but true.

My church will offer you a gift also, you just have to receive it. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life".

The real gift is Jesus. He is the only gift in this world that matters. He is priceless. I am very thankful and appreciative that I had Godly parents who took me to church. I am thankful that Jesus Christ has been my Lord & Savior for 38 years. I am blessed to have a husband and children that all believe in him and have accepted his gift of eternal life.

I hope everyone has a wonderful, spirit filled Resurrection Sunday!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


For today.....

Outside my is sunny & 65 degrees, wonderful springtime weather

I am much I love being a "Keeper At Home"

I am thankful for...My Lord, Jesus Christ, and the sacrifice he made for all of us on that cross over 2000 years ago

From the learning rooms...24 more Pre-Algebra lessons & 13 more Geometry lessons, we are counting the days!

From the kitchen...Spaghetti & Garlic Bread

I am wearing...jeans, tennies, blue print knit shirt

I am creating...same as last week, the week before that and so on...still working on Retro Kitchen Picture, now it 7/9ths finished

I am help the girls cut out their strips for the Log Cabin Quilt blocks they will start tomorrow

I am reading...Proverbs, Isaiah, latest issue of Mother Earth News Magazine

I am hoping...that Amy's medicine helps with her cough and stuffy head

I am hearing...not much except my fingers typing, the kids are reading

Around the house...planning our fruit tree planting, garden boxes and starting our vegetable seeds. Also washing winter bed blankets and putting them away till next fall.

One of my favorite things...a clean, comfortable home

A few things for the rest of the, quilting, Sat. morning date with Greg, Resurrection Sunday service and cookout with most of our children afterwards

Please go to http://the simplewomans for more Tuesday visits . Thanks Peggy for sponsoring this!

Monday, March 29, 2010

"I Could Never Homeschool"

For all you homeschoolers out many times have you heard "I Could Never Homeschool"? And then you are given 15,000 reasons why that particular person could never homeschool their children. And sometimes those 15,000 reasons are turned into 15,000 questions for you to answer, defend, justify, explain, etc. Does this only happen to me? I hope not! Surely, some of you get the same reasons/questions...please tell me you do.

*If anyone had told me in the 1994/1995 school year that I would homeschool the next year, I would have laughed. It just wasn't in the plans.
*If anyone had told me that once I started homeschooling I wouldn't stop, I would have thought they were crazy. (Now, I realize to the rest of the world...I am the crazy one!)
*If anyone told me I would homeschool through highschool not once, not twice, but 5 times, I would have said I can't do it, I'm not smart enough.
*If anyone had told me what a radical, life changing, relationship building, family learning experience homeschooling was, I would have wondered about their sanity.

I have homeschooled through...
*the death of my 1st husband, 4 months after our first homeschooling year began
*almost 9 long years of being a single mom of 3
*an excruciatingly painful time with my oldest son that taxed us to the very limit
*my wonderful remarriage, moving to another state, and getting 4 new children
*questions, complaints, disparaging comments, etc. from people that don't understand
*3-4 very long years here in Miss. without supportive, understanding friends
*the blessing of bringing 2 of my "new children" home to homeschool

I am not a superwoman, I can't do it all, I am not perfect, but "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13

We live, learn, laugh, cry, try hard, & experience successes and failures together. Then we get up and do it again the next day! And on and on and on!

Homeschooling is an incredible journey and I am blessed to have been on it for 14 years. We have got 4 fun, learning-filled years left till our youngest graduates from high school.
Homeschooling isn't for everyone. Its hard work. It takes getting used to having your children around 24/7/365.

But I guarantee if you start, you will be blessed beyond measure. You will get to know your precious children in a whole new way. You will share the joys of learning a new skill or concept. You will get the best part of their day. And, you will find a whole network of homeschooling families that will pray for you, help you and support you in every way!

Our family homeschool verse is...Proverbs 24:3 "By wisdom a house is built and by understanding it is established: by knowledge it rooms are fill with rare and beautiful treasures."

Monday Musings

Last week was a hard, difficult, sad, trying, busy week. My dear husband's first father-in-law passed away. We drove up to Memphis on Sunday so that the children could see him one last time and then he died on Tuesday afternoon. His 4 grandchildren, 3 children and wife are grieving his passing. He was a genuinely nice man and was always gracious and friendly to me. He will be missed.

Thursday we drove back to Memphis to help with some of the final details, start insurance filings, etc. Katie, Will and Amy did a wonderful job helping when needed and keeping themselves occupied at the other times. They were wonderfully brave and mature through the whole process.

Saturday was the funeral. Greg officiated the service and did an awesome job. He shared stories about Wallace and his own relationship with him. One statement he made in sharing and on facebook last week was "he may not have always agreed with our decisions, but he always supported us and had our backs". That was true. He was a supportive person. He also "wove" the gospel and Resurrection message into the service. You never know who is listening and what the state of their own salvation is. I hope this cleared up any questions that someone may have had.

Driving home on Saturday afternoon, we listened to hymns and praise music. My heart needed to hear this. The Lord is with us always.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jesus Loves Me!

This was in an email I received this morning..............

92-Year Old Preacher

While watching a little TV on Sunday instead of going to church, I watched a church in Atlanta honoring one of its senior pastors who had been retired many years. He was 92 at that time and I wondered why the church even bothered to ask the old gentleman to preach at that age.

After a warm welcome, introduction of this speaker, and as the applause quieted down, he rose from his high back chair and walked slowly, with great effort and a sliding gait to the podium. Without a note or written paper of any kind he placed both hands on the pulpit to steady himself and then quietly and slowly he began to speak....

"When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your pastor asked me to tell you what was the greatest lesson ever learned in my 50-odd years of preaching. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down to just one thing that made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials. The one thing that I could always rely on when tears and heartbreak and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me... the only thing that would comfort was this verse........ ..

"Jesus loves me this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
we are weak but He is strong.....
Yes, Jesus loves me....
The Bible tells me so."

When he finished, the church was quiet. You actually could hear his foot steps as he shuffled back to his chair. I don't believe I will ever forget it.

A pastor once stated, "I always noticed that it was the adults who chose the children's hymn 'Jesus Loves Me' (for the children of course) during a hymn sing, and it was the adults who sang the loudest because I could see they knew it the best."

"Senior version of Jesus Loves Me"

Here is a new version just for us who have white hair or no hair at all. For us over middle age (or even those almost there) and all you others, check out this newest version of Jesus Loves Me.


Jesus loves me, this I know,
Though my hair is white as snow
Though my sight is growing dim,
Still He bids me trust in Him.

Though my steps are oh, so slow,
With my hand in His I'll go
On through life, let come what may,
He'll be there to lead the way.

When the nights are dark and long,
In my heart He puts a song..
Telling me in words so clear,
"Have no fear, for I am near."

When my work on earth is done,
And life's victories have been won.
He will take me home above,
Then I'll understand His love.

I love Jesus, does He know?

Have I ever told Him so?

Jesus loves to hear me say,
That I love Him every day.

If you think this is neat, please pass it on to your friends.

If you do not pass it on, nothing bad will happen,

but you will have missed an opportunity to "reach out

and touch" a friend or a loved one.

Have you told Jesus that you love him? Today is a great day to do just that!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Daybook Entry

For today.....March 23, 2010

Outside my window... it is sunny & cool, should get warm this afternoon

I am thinking... that whoever invented the mammogram machine stopped before it was finished. There has got to be an easier and more comfortable way to handle that procedure.

I am thankful for... family, friends, & church fellowship

From the learning rooms... the usual! Amy & Will only have 30 math lessons left for the year!

From the kitchen... Country Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Green Beans, and Amy's chocolate pie for dessert

I am wearing... jeans, striped long sleeve shirt, tennies

I am creating... lots...quilted purses, still working on retro kitchen picture (its 6/9th's done, for you math types it makes more sense to say 2/3's but the chart is 9 pages and 6 of them are done, so I am sticking with 6/9ths), also going to be making tablecloths out of fabric I bought in Honduras...just have to hem both ends!

I am going... to enjoy my family time. Homeschooling is a relationship and special lifestyle as well as an educational method.

I am reading... My Bible & "More Hours in My Day" by Emilie Barnes. She is a great writer and I enjoy reading and rereading her books.

I am hoping... for God's Will to be done in some unnamed situations.

I am hearing... The pitter patter of puppy paws on the hardwood floors. Also, the kids getting ready to start school lessons

Around the house... we are enjoying our new dog which we names Skittles. He is a gorgeous mostly black chihuahua

One of my favorite things... Saturday morning dates with my husband

A few plans for the rest of the week... dance, Keepers at Home, Co-op classes

Pictures I am sharing... Skittles

Please join Peggy at to read more daybook entries.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Congressional Reform Act of 2010

We interrupt our regularly scheduled homemaking blog to bring you some common sense. This common sense is much like our Founding Fathers had when they drafted the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. When men like Patrick Henry, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Paul Revere, & George Washington put their lives, families, reputations and personal money on the line for the freedoms we take for granted today. They were not perfect men, but they had a vision for the United States of America. I am sure they would be appalled at the politics of this great nation today. I got the following in an email from my husband. I don't know where it originated from, but at the bottom permission is granted to copy and send this to your email contacts. Please forward this to everyone you know.

A friend sent this along to me. I can't think of a reason to disagree.

I am sending this to virtually everybody on my e-mail list and that
includes conservatives, liberals, and everybody in between. Even though we
disagree on a number of issues, I count all of you as friends. My friend
and neighbor wants to promote a "Congressional Reform Act of 2010".. It
would contain eight provisions, all of which would probably be strongly
endorsed by those who drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights..

I know many of you will say, "this is impossible". Let me remind you,
Congress has the lowest approval of any entity in Government, now is the
time when Americans will join together to reform Congress - the entity
that represents us.

We need to get a Senator to introduce this bill in the US Senate and a
Representative to introduce a similar bill in the US House. These people
will become American heros


A Fellow American


Congressional Reform Act of 2010

1. Term Limits: 12 years only, one of the possible options below.

A. Two Six year Senate terms
B. Six Two year House terms
C. One Six year Senate term and three Two Year House terms

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding
Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home
and back to work.

2. No Tenure / No Pension:
A congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay
when they are out of office.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back
to work.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security:

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund moves to the Social
Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social
Security system, Congress participates with the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, server your term(s), then go home and back
to work.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan just as all Americans.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back
to work.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay
will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back
to work..

6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the
same health care system as the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back
to work.

7. Congress must equally abide in all laws they impose on the American

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back
to work.

8. All contracts with past and present congressmen are void effective

The American people did not make this contract with congressmen,
congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back
to work..

If you agree with the above, pass it on to all in your address list. If
not, just delete.

Serving in the Congress or Senate was never supposed to be a career. I totally agree with them living with and abiding by the laws/regulations/penalties they are imposing on the citizens of the United States. If you aren't registered to vote then you need to take care of that before November. We can start to change this country back to the way the Founding Fathers invisioned.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Springtime in Mississippi

The John Deere tractor is ready to cut some grass!
Peach tree blossoms & leaves. I hope we get some Peaches this year for jelly!
My awesome new tomato cages that Greg & Katie built. These are much nicer and sturdier than the wire cages I've had before!
The leaves are starting to come out on my blueberry bushes. We are going to net them this year to try and thwart the birds on their fruit quest. I want some this year!
My hydrangea is coming back to life after the cold winter we've just had.
My beloved working on the chicken coop. Now, it has legs, next are the roosts, nests, and roof.
My multi-colored blooms Camellia bush at the front door.

Happy Spring! Now, we just need some consistently warm weather. But knowing Miss. it will go from 60's during the day to 90's during the day.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Peaceful Day

Its a peaceful day...

*Sun is shining
*Birds are chirping
*My Camellia is in full bloom
*The peach tree is covered in blooms and now green leaves are coming out also
*The blueberry bushes are getting leaves
*Clothes drying on the clothes line
*Praise music playing in the kitchen
*Sewing machines are humming along...just finished Katie's quilted, pink John Deere Purse, one for Amy is next. Katie is finishing her Flag wall hanging.
*Homemade vegetable/beef soup in the crockpot
*Greg & the kids are getting the chicken coop ready for its occupants

On the Sunday's & Wed.'s leading up to Resurrection Sunday our Pastor is teaching on the "I AM" statements that Jesus proclaimed in the book of John. These have been very good messages. Last night we heard...John 8:43 Jesus is saying..."Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say." The picture that popped in my mind when I heard this was, a parent cupping their hands on either side of their childs face and saying "I am talking to you, look at me and listen". How many times does the Lord want to get our attention and say...stop with the busyness and listen, I am talking to you! I am resolving to be more attentive & listen. Thanks for the reminder Lord!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


One of my newer favorite books is "Managers of Their Homes" by Terri Maxwell. A gal in our homeschool group posted this book on the board because she wanted to sell it. She really didn't like it and wanted to pass it on. I had read about this book in different catalogs and on different websites and wanted to have it, so I took her up on the offer. The first time I read it, I wasn't too sure about it. Last summer I read it, started over and read it again, and did it again. 3 times in a row, front to back. I guess you could say the idea clicked in my head. So now I have a couple of different household schedules for days, weeks, months, etc.

Here is our daily schedule ~ we try to stick to this

Monday - Friday

I usually get up between 7 & 7:15 and get Greg off to work
Then I make up our bed, do clothes & makeup, read the bible, email, blog if there's time. If I get on the computer before anything else is done, I get hooked for an hour or so. (just being honest!)

7:30-8 Kids get up, make up beds, get dressed, bring down laundry basket if its laundry day
8-8:30 Breakfast, clean out dishwasher, reload, care for dogs
8:30-9 Bible reading, bible drill practice
9-whenever Math. It was 9-10 but they needed longer. Then it was 9-10:30 but with corrections to problems, sometimes it takes longer than that also. So they just do it till they are finished.
Rest of the morning....reading science & history lessons for co-op classes, vocabulary words, reading fun book, grammar, Spanish & typing (if math took a long time, some of these will get pushed off till afternoon)
Noon: we eat lunch and take an hour break from school, we always watch a video or taped show. Lately, we are watching through Season 3 of the Waltons.
Afternoons: finish school work, more reading, crafts, working in garden, playing with dogs, dinner prep, rarely, we will watch another tv show. They also get 30 minutes computer time to "play" a day, so this happens either in the afternoon or at night.
Dinnertime is varied usually between 5:30 & 6
after dinner: clean kitchen, baths, tv time with Dad, etc.
9 is bedtime for the kids

Weekly Schedules
Sunday: Church & Bible Drill, sometimes church "business" or committee meetings
Monday: Laundry Day
Tuesday: afternoon Dance classes
Wed. 1st & 3rd wed. of month ~ quilting classes (usually run errands afterwards)
2nd & 4th Wed. ~ Keepers at home
pm: church
Thursday: laundry day
Friday: Home Ec Day...the house gets cleaned!
2 Fridays a month: History & Science Co-op classes (I usually grocery shop during the co-op time)
Sat.: am Greg & Donna date favorite day of the week! Sleep a little later, breakfast out, errands to run, and then work on household projects, in the fall we watch alot of football!

School year schedule
beg. of August ~ end of Nov. & beg. of January ~ end of May
We take off the months of December, June & July. If we travel during regular school weeks, the books go with us. This year, they worked extra before & after our week at Disney, no books went on vacation except reading books!
School days are Monday ~ Thursday. Fridays are "No-school" Friday except for co-op days. We are still working and learning together, just not book work. And, you can get through each book, each year, with doing 4 days a week and taking off in December. I've done it for years, we always finish.

Schedules aren't for everybody but it works for us. You won't know, until you try it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lets Try the Daybook Again

For today.... I am frustrated with my computer, evidentally it scrambled my first daybook post and noone could read it.

Outside my window...the sun is trying to come through the clouds, the wind is blowing, and its chilly outside. The squirrels love my birdfood.

I am thinking...about how blessed I am. I get to spend each day with my family and taking care of my home.

I am thankful for...friends

From the learning rooms...Geometry, Pre-Algebra, Science, History, Typing, Spanish, Reading

From the kitchen...Lasagna and Garlic Bread for dinner. Just mixed up a triple batch of our yummy powdered hot chocolate mix.

I am wearing...Jeans, black shirt, tennis shoes

I am creating...Quilted purses

I am going...Nowhere all day, haven't decided about tonight yet

I am reading...The Hope Chest: A Legacy of Love by Rebekah Wilson\

I am hoping...for a peaceful, productive day, would love for it to warm up some too.

I am driving by outside & the children in the kitchen

Around the house...we are starting to clean out closets and the attic, we've got too much junk!

One of my favorite things...eating dinner together as a family every night.

A few things for the rest of the week...quilting class tomorrow and lots of school work accomplished (we will take our spring break later)

Please join Peggy and her guests at

Monday, March 15, 2010

Helping the Schools Save Money

In listening to Talk Radio every morning, I understand the public schools are hurting for money. I'm not sure how this happens since everybody and his brother pays taxes and I have heard that 65% of the property taxes in Miss. go to the schools. So here goes my money saving techniques...its a back to basics more ways than one.

The school year should start the day after Labor Day and end the Friday before Memorial Day. Thats how it was when I went to school. Cut out all the early release days, school holidays, teacher in service days, etc. Have School. The kids could have off Thanksgiving & Friday after, a week or a little more at Christmas, and some days surrounding Easter. They don't need to take off for anyone's birthday (even if it is a National Holiday). The schools would save alot of money on the air conditioning costs especially here in Miss.

Teach the basics and do them well. Mississippi is at the lowest in ranking of all the states. Where can we go but up? We can't get lower than 50th. Everyday, teach reading, writing, spelling, math, science & history. If you assign homework, make sure it deals with the lesson being studied or extra math problems to conquer a concept that needs extra work. Not just busy work, they have got the kids for 8 hours every day...use them. I don't know where the A day and B day scheduling came from but its dumb. That means that at the most the above listed subjects would only be taught 3 days a week and the next week, only 2 days. No wonder kids are failing. If they learn the basics, you won't need to worry about "teaching the test" so that your school gets federal funding. In high school, you can add in, chorus, drama, home ec, accounting, typing, computer, etc. Also, every Senior should be required to take a college study skills class before they graduate.

School attendance should start in Kindergarten and end with 12th grade. Thats 13 years. We don't need Pre-K anything. Let the kids stay home with their Mommy's or go to Moms Morning Out or Daycare. They can teach the beginnings of lessons. Also, schools shouldn't be in the business of after school care. The counties are spending money (they don't have) duplicating services already offered in the communities.

Lunches don't have to be gourmet food lines with multiple choices. An entree, vegie, fruit, dessert, roll & milk. You can't please everybody, so quit trying. They can either buy a school lunch or bring their own lunch, thats the choice. Get rid of the vending machines. They are filled with processed High Fructose Corn Syrup or MSG laden junk. The kids get enough of that already.

Field trips make great learning experiences. Don't just pick some spot in another state to take all the 5th graders too or whoever. There are lots of places to visit in this area, that can relate to any lessons being studied. The "we've always done it that way" doesn't mean you have to always do it that way. 3 of my kids were in the gifted program for the county, they took expensive trips every year but didn't learn anything.......they went to VA, but went to the Jamestown village NOT Jamestown ~ 2 completely different places, & Busch Gardens (fun but you didn't learn anything) also visited St. Louis, went to the Arch, rode up it, but never went in the Westward Expansion Museum. This just doesn't make sense to me...they can go on vacation with their parents, its not the schools job to entertain them. The schools planned these trips and the parents were expected to pay for them, but they didn't learn anything. School is for learning.

Speaking of learning. Teach the basics as mentioned above. Drop the politically correct, mumbo-jumbo, indoctrination of our children. Its none of your business what they believe, why they believe it, or to convince them that "alternative lifestyles" are acceptable and desirable. Stay out of their private lives. That includes S*x education and providing materials. Get rid of the garbage in the libraries and have good, clean cut books available for the children to read.

What happens to all the money that the schools get from fund raisers every year? Put that money toward play ground equipment, band uniforms, or something that directly benefits the children. And for heavens sake, get the kids out of the middle of the roads begging for money for whatever club. Its unsafe and annoying. Have a carwash, sell candy bars, or something.

Each student at school should have 1 set of school books for their classes. They can carry the books back & forth if needed for homework. Buying 2 sets of books, so they have one at home and one at school is a huge waste of money.

The folks that don't want to cut the school year or the extras are the administrators. They make too much money and don't teach anything. Cut their salaries to a decent, livable wage and raise the teachers salaries. They are the ones that put up with the kids, the parents, the goofy restrictions, and their own personal safety. They deserve the money. And by the way, did ya ever wonder why so many public school teachers own children are homeschooled or in a private school? They know that learning is not top priority in the schools.

There are probably other areas I could pick on, but thats enough for now. I am climbing down off my soap-box!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Yeah, its Friday!

This has been a wonderful Friday! We have gotten so much accomplished. Here is the list....

Katie baked 4 loaves of bread. Then she made more dough and split it in 4th's to freeze for pie crusts. That'll save work on pizza day!

I was informed this week (by my loving children) that we are out of muffins. So I have made a double batch of chocolate chip and a double batch of blueberry. They will get frozen and be great thawed out for breakfasts for the next couple of weeks.

We have vacummed the whole house, dusted the living room, swept the kitchen and cleaned all the bathrooms. I love home ec day!

Today was Katie's day to wash the upstairs bedsheets. Since it is so gorgeous outside, she hung them on the line....only to have birds poop on 4 of them. They are being rewashed and dried in the dryer.

I went grocery shopping at Kroger and found everything on the list except Rolaids. I didn't know it had been recalled. Its time for the stores to get it back in. Got 2 roasts at a really good price, so a roast beef dinner and vegie soup are on the menus in the next couple of weeks.
My bagger decided to use less bags and load them bag had a gallon of milk, 3 pounds of cheese,and 2 pounds of butter in it. Good grief, that thing was heavy.

We also "started" alot of our garden seeds. Beans (bush and pole), cucumbers, cantaloupe, tomato (found seeds left from last year), basil, squash and giant sunflowers.

We found out this morning that the chicken order is going in next week. So we have got to get busy and learn lots before they get here. Also, gotta build them a house! This is gonna be interesting!

Timers beeping, more muffins are done!

Have a great weekend!

Frugal Friday

On all the blogs I read, I can find many different ways to save money. Now to some people, these ideas may not seem like a lot. But, if you combine and use many ideas you can save a bundle of money on your household expenses. Here are some ways I have cut some bills and budget line items...

First: have a budget. It works. Sometimes I don't like it. Mostly I do. Its helpful to know how much you can spend in a certain category and not cause a huge budget crisis! I am not hesitant to call Greg and have a "cell phone emergency budget" meeting if I find a great deal and need more money. We follow the Dave Ramsey approach and it works! Give it a try!

Second: be realistic about what you can economize on in your budget. I can adjust the thermostat for heat down in the winter or the thermostat up for air up in the summer. This is where the realistic part comes 95+ degrees & 100% humidity, I am willing to adjust the air but NOT turn it off. Not everyone can economize in the same areas and get the same results, it varies from family to family.

Specific areas we are working on are...

Groceries: We try to buy less proccessed stuff. I would rather have real food than fancy packaging. We make our own bread, pancakes, waffles, muffins, etc. We do buy some breakfast cereal (I have loved Cheerios for years). Google (or swagbucks) is a great search tool for finding "mixes" so you don't buy the packaged ones. We make our own taco seasoning, seasoning salt for grilling, hot chocolate and spiced tea. They save money, are easy to assemble and aren't full of artificial junk. We usually bake our own treats. I buy meat in the "meat managers special" section at Kroger. Also, look after Thanksgiving & Christmas for specials on Turkeys & Hams. The stores are trying to get rid of them + I have a freezer = perfect combination! Sometimes buying in bulk is not cheaper, you need to be very familiar with prices of items you buy regularly. We buy 100% juice and not punch for drinking...not cheaper but healthier! Combine store sales and coupons whenever you can for huge savings. Stock up when you can. Make a menu, make a grocery list, pull your coupons, and go to the grocery. I posted in Jan. that I wanted to cut $100 off our grocery budget and was successful for Jan. & Feb. using the above ideas. I usually grocery shop on Friday morning (fixin to go!) or Tuesdays after I drop the girls off for dance. Our sales change here on Wed., so Tuesdays are usually to pick up more bargains or Fridays are to get deals before they are gone.

Garden: Try growing some vegies & fruit for your family. This is usually cheaper than buying, even from a farmers market. We are starting a lot of plants from seeds this year. The kids and I had fun at Walmart picking different things. I will buy my tomato plants, I just don't have good luck starting these from seed. We are going to try to eat our own blueberries this year, instead of the birds eating them. We've got seeds for hot peppers, bell peppers, cantaloupe, bush beans, pole beans, peas, cucumbers, yellow squash, flowers & many more. Our peach tree is full of beautiful pink blossoms, so hopefully that will equal some peaches for eating and peach jelly. A .99 package of seed could equal many pounds of produce.

Household: Besides adjusting the thermostat, you can cut off the lights. Do you need all the lights on downstairs during the day when its sunny outside? In our living room, we don't, over the school table in the kitchen, we do. Remind the kids to turn off lights, radios, tv's, cd players, etc. when they leave a room. We don't have anything on during the day for "background" noise. A mom, 3 teenagers, and 2 dogs provide enough noise! Unplug some rarely used appliances. I only preheat the oven for baking, everything else, I just turn it on and stick the food in. Your freezer works better if its full. Also, keep in mind your freezers job is just to freeze food, not to cool it down and then freeze it.

Laundry: Make your own laundry detergent & fabric softener. At the most, it takes 10 minutes for the detergent and 2 for the softener. And you save a boatload of money. Sales and coupons are great for these things but I can spend $8 and have the supplies for laundry detergent for a whole year. Unless you have a source for free detergent, you can't beat that. In the spring, summer, and fall we hang our clothes on the clothes line. At the end of the day, I usually have one small load of really stiff clothes that I tumble in the dryer for about 15 or 20 minutes: jeans and bath towels. But that 15- or 20 minutes uses much less electricity than 4-5 hours for the dryer to be on for all the loads of laundry. Plus, it helps keep the house much cooler.

Homeschool: We buy ALL our school supplies in August & September. Then we pull them out as needed during the year. Crayons, markers, pencils, glue, notebook paper, dividers, spiral notebooks, etc. They are dirt cheap at stores like Target, Office Depot, Walmart & Staples. And, after school starts back sometimes they reduce them even further making these things cost pennies apiece. If you don't need it all for school, fill your shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, or backpacks for the needy or take it to a Childrens Hospital, or donate it to your childrens ministry at church, or make art kits for nieces & nephews for Christmas. Look for used school books on ebay, amazon, book sales or paperback swap. Not everything has to be brand new from the manufacturer. You can find lots of free worksheets, word searches, etc. for studies on the internet. Have creative...enjoy your time...they will graduate before you know it!

Eat at home. Sometimes for me, this is hard, I really like to go out to eat. But this is an area that many families spend hundreds on weekly or monthly. We do have a eating out budget and sometimes we stay on budget,but not consistently enough. This is where having a menu, fully stocked pantry & freezer and time, come in handy.

Here is a biggie.....STAY HOME! Saves gas, money, your nerves, etc. I try to bundle errands together. I am gone longer but only make one trip. I would love to get back to 1 day per week for errands, but haven't accomplished that in a long time. We do limit our trips into stores...just to look. If I am going clearance rack shopping, we go to a bunch of stores in one day. Somedays are very successful (like our .99 shirts at Penneys in the fall) but most of the time we just look. Greg & I run family errands on Sat., we make a list and go to every store and buy whats on the list (mostly!). I usually grocery shop on Friday morning (fixin to go!) or Tuesdays after I drop the girls off for dance. Then we are home for the rest of the day. We are not big movie goers. He recently joined Netflix so we can catch what we missed at the theater. We try to only go on "shopping sites" online when we are looking for something specific.

So why save money? You never know when an emergency will happen (ER visits, work layoffs, cutbacks, etc). these emergencies have all happened in our family in the past year. You can give to others, charities, churches, missions, food banks, etc. You can pay off a large item (for us, its working on the house mortgage). You can go on some awesome vacations...we are leaving in a month and driving to the Grand Canyon. You can invest in your family!

Please go to for more Frugal Friday ideas! Hey, it you are already paying for the internet....visiting the site is free!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today...

Outside my window...It is overcast and rainy. Hopefully the peas I planted yesterday will love this rain.

I am thinking...about my daddy (he died in 1994). I watched the "Bucket List" last night and while it was a really good movie, it brought back a lot of memories.

I am thankful 16 year old son, Will today on his birthday.

From the learning of the joys of homeschooling...little or no school on birthdays! We did get math and vocabulary done.

From the Kitchen...homemade French toast for the birthday breakfast, lunch out with Dad, and Will's menu for dinner...macaroni & cheese, vegetables, and apple crisp

I am wearing...lavender paisley knit shirt, jeans, Clarks clogs

I am creating...still working on that cross stitch Retro Kitchen Picture. Helping Amy with her flag wall hanging

I am enjoy the end of our homeschool year. When Katie graduates in May, she will be our 5th highschool graduate..only 4 years and 2 more to go! We are taking off June & July for our break and then starting back in August.

I am reading..."Backyard Homestead" & a novel "Minnesota", I haven't read a non-how to book in a while, so its a nice change

I am hoping...Will has a wonderful year. He is a very special young man and its a blessing to have him as my son.

I am hearing...the kids in the kitchen waiting for me so we can go meet Greg for lunch...yummy McAllisters Deli.

Around the house...I am wanting to unclutter our home, starting with my closet. I've got a nice pile of stuff to get donated.

One of my favorite things...spending time with my family

A few things for the rest of the week...birthday dinner & presents tonight, Keepers at Home tomorrow, homeschool Leadership meeting on Thursday, and Garden & Outdoor Living Show this weekend.

Pictures to share...

These are pictures of our trip to Walt Disney World in October of last year. All of these were taken at Epcot. The picture above is Will eating Escargot (yuck).

Don't ya love our hats, especially Wills with the blond braids! This picture was taken at the Norway shop. L-R Donna, Will, Greg, Amy, Katie

Please join Peggy at

Monday, March 8, 2010

Signs of Spring

I am seeing signs of Spring here is Mississippi...

the weather is bright and sunny
the temperature is 71 degrees (yippee)
the Peach tree we planted last year is full of little pink buds about to bloom
my blueberry bushes are showing signs of life
the bulbs are pushing up their stems and leaves
the weeds are vibrant and healthy in the yard (till we get rid of them)
clothes are hanging on the clothes line & drying
Greg has grilled us dinner 2 weekends in a row (thanks bunches Honey)
we are nearing the end of some of our school books (Amen!)
the days are getting longer
the pool looks inviting but its still way too cold

I am anxious to start planting the garden boxes this year. Greg built me a new box for my cucumbers that is huge (5' x 5'). We will have lots of cucumbers for relish and pickles this year. I planted 1/3 of one of my boxes with peas today and mulched it with pinestraw. I've never done peas before but wanted to try. The plus...they can be planted early because they are hardy plants. We will see what happens. I am going to plant another 1/3 of the box next week and the last 1/3 the following week. Going to try the succession planting I have read so much about this winter. We also want to start our vegetable seeds for the rest of the garden. I read how you can make your own little containers for seeds by cutting toilet paper rolls in 1/4's or 1/3's and sitting them in a shallow container. Then you fill with potting soil and plant a seed in each one. When the weather is right, you can transplant the little plant, tube and all into the garden. So lots of garden experiments and fun this year.

I've also been exploring dehydrating food. I've done bags and bags of onions and chipped them up in the food processor to use for cooking. They are a much stronger flavor than the dehydrated onions you buy in the grocery store. Then I decided to try dehydrating carrots. I cleaned, peeled and sliced them and layed them on the trays and let the machine dry them. They shrivel up when dried. Then I put them in a Mason jar and forgot I had them...till last week. Greg loves split pea soup and it calls for carrots but I was out. Then I remembered the jar in the cabinet. I dumped them in a bowl and poured boiling water over them and let them sit for about 15 minutes. Then I added them to the rest of the ingredients in the crockpot and let them cook. It turned out great and the carrots looked and tasted fresh. Greg was impressed when I told him they were dehydrated. So, today I am dehydrating more carrots. Also, I am going to venture into more items. These seem to keep great in the dark cabinet and re-hydrate well. And these dehydrated items will come in handy with cooking and could contribute to less "emergency" grocery store runs.

The Home & Garden Show is this weekend, downtown, and we are going. Looking forward to seeing the goodies and getting ideas for our outdoor kitchen and other projects.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I Am....

I am a wife, mom of 7, daughter, daughter in law, sister, sister in law, aunt, & great aunt.

I am a cook, baker, wheat grinder, label reader, cleaner, in charge of laundry, dust bunny annihilator or ignorer (!), food preserver & menu planner, decorator and organizer.

I am a sewer, smocker, cross stitcher, beginning quilter, photographer, scrapbooker, gift planner/giver, & surprise maker.

I am a grocery shopper, bargain hunter, coupon clipper, ad reader & Christmas shopper (all year long)!

I am a gardener, leaf raker, vegetable planter, flower lover, yard planner and composter.

I am a blogger, blog reader, lover of books, & magazine reader. Favorite reads are the Bible, "how to" books, cookbooks, Christian fiction & novels, encouraging wife/mom books, homeschool helps, and gardening books/magazines.

I am a fan of Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, 19 kids and Counting, Food Network, Love Comes Softly DVD series, Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, State Fair, Gone with the Wind, Disney Movies, and History Channel "documentaries".

I love chocolate, sweet tea, pound cake, homemade ice cream, fried chicken, green beans/lima beans/black eyed peas, corn on the cob, peanut butter, wheat bread, grits, meals my children fix for me, & meat my husband grills! And about a zillion other things.....

I am a crier, hugger, friend, prayer warrior, encourager, cheerleader & worrier.

I am a teacher, learner, planner, nurse, rehab coach, taxi driver, errand runner & appointment maker.

I am a Southerner who loves to travel and explore this great country with my family. I love the mountains and the beach. I want to visit Alaska and Hawaii. In 5 or so weeks I will have the honor of seeing the Grand Canyon and many other fun places west of the Miss. River!

I am a bible reading, conservative, pro-life, Christian who learns more about the Lord and his goodness and mercy daily.

So who are you? Please leave a comment and let me know about YOU!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Homestead Blessings Review

Do you know who the West ladies are? It's a mom and her 3 daughters. They have made a set of instructional DVD's to help us wanna be homesteaders learn new skills. Their DVD's are the Art of soap making, gardening, herbs, candle making, canning, bread making, cooking, and a new one is sewing.

We discovered these treasures last summer and have watched them numerous times & always pick up a new tip or trick. As Miss Vickie (the mom) says just about everything "its a blessing".

If you are looking for some family friendly DVD's to teach you a new skill, these are the ones to watch. They are produced by Franklin Springs in Tenn., and that is where I have ordered mine from. I also think they are available from Vision Forum.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Have you ever really thought about how blessed you are? Or, do you just take your everyday life for granted? If you have food to eat, a roof over your head, electricity, running water, and a are blessed. There are many nations around the world that are full of people that don't have regular meals, a home, power, and clean water, much less a paycheck.

In the US we are spoiled by our blessings. I KNOW that I am. And besides all of the above blessings, I have a responsible, loving husband who takes his "job" as head of the family seriously, I have heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, and I have access to beautiful, clean grocery stores full of food. I have a closet with clothes just for me. I have more than 1 pair of shoes ~ some I wear only in the summer and some I wear only in the winter. I can go buy fabric because I want to make a pretty quilt (or whatever), not because my only skirt wore out. I have buckets of wheat for bread, cans of vegetables & fruit, and a freezer with meat to prepare meals for my family. And a kitchen full of gadgets to make the job of feeding my family easier!

I was reminded of my blessings again on Sunday, listening to our Pastor and watching his slides on his recent Mission Trip to Haiti. The folks down there have NOTHING. And its not because of the earthquake or anything else. They had nothing to start with. Barely getting by, scrapping out a meager existence, and rampant unemployment because there are no jobs, are everyday life to them. They are thankful for EVERYTHING.

If you have never visited a country like that, you really have no idea what I am talking about. Many regions of Honduras are like that also. Whole families sit on the streets and sidewalks trying to "eak" out a living. They sell homemade tortillas, bananas, used clothes, or whatever just to buy food for their families for that night. The poorest folks in our country are much richer than most of the poplulation of these countries.

The news crews don't hunt to find the poorest of the poor to show pictures of after disasters in these countries. The pictures you see are not doctored or cropped or spliced to tug at your heartstings, they are real life down there. This is everyday.

I am very thankful to be an American. The best words to hear in the airport when returning from a Mission Trip are spoken over the intercom..."Welcome to the United States of America". They send chills up my spine. I am thankful that I've had opportunities to travel and minister in Honduras. I would like to keep going back and also go to other places. You do go to minister to other countries but you also come home "ministered to".

Thank you Lord for my blessings and thank you for reminding me just how blessed I really am!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Thoughts

Our date weekend was great. I didn't cook all weekend! A mini vacation at home!

On Saturday, I opened my mailbox to find a card from my friend Rie. The front of the card had a goofy monkey on it. The monkey so eloquently "said" If we were monkeys, I'd pick the bugs off your fur. And if we were bugs, I'd help you hide! Now, its just not any friend that can send you a card with such a sentimental greeting..I'm glad that I have a friend that I can relate to and that can make me laugh! Thanks Rie! I loved it!

Greg and I ate breakfast at Cracker Barrel on Sat. and ordered their new breakfast skillet. Eggs, tomatoes, and bacon baked in a little skillet. Oh yummy! The only thing that would have made that better was the hash brown casserole! I love to go in there and look, but I really only have room for so many do-dads and whatchamacallits! But is is fun to look.

We bought some more big foamy tiles and finished our backporch/tiki bar. It will be much more comfy stepping on them with bare feet than the rock floor. The dogs seem to love them and can usually be found snoozing on the floor.

We had a birthday celebration on Sunday for Katie. She is now 17. For her birthday she got a cell phone, cutting board, ruler and rotary cutter for quilting, a fiskars paper cutter for notebooking and scrapbooking and money. I see a big shopping trip in our future! She wants to save alot of it, but there will be some needed items for this summer.

I have several blogs that I normally read and one is Kim homeschooled for 16 years and has written some great articles about education! I really enjoy everything she has written. If ya get a chance, look at her posts about grocery shopping in her Amish places. We just don't have those shopping opportunities here in Miss. I hope you thaw out soon Kim, Ohio looks pretty frozen to me!

Another fun blog is Deanna is an inspiration to me. She is living the plain life here in north Miss. and writes about her experiences. She shares recipes, sewing projects and prepping tips. It is fun to hear her thoughts about the Miss. weather and the mud. I like to read Deanna's thoughts on the gov., the flu, shots, stocking up, etc. Deanna is very gracious with her answers and rebukes to folks who sometimes leave rude comments on her blog.

All of the blogs on my sidebar are great, plus many more that aren't listed (gotta put them on there). Its fun to be "friends" with people all over the US through blogging. I may not agree with everything everyone says but we can all learn from each other. And, they may not agree with me but thats ok. And I like it when blogs are updated...hint Bri! From reading blogs, I have gotten recipes, quilt projects, gardening tips, stocking up lists, book reviews, encouragement and differing points of view! They are all useful, practical and well appreciated!

This week will find us at dance classes, quilt class, Wed. night church and co-op classes. Kroger will get a visit from me too! The menu for the week is written, Monday's laundry is getting done, and we are all working on our flag wall hanging quilt for class this week!

Love to be at Home! Pictures will follow when we download them!