Tuesday, January 31, 2023

A Confession About Magazines


Today I'm sharing a few of my favorite magazines.

If I have an issue of "too many books,"

I most definitely have an equal

affinity for quality magazines.

These magazines are like books,

in cost and in size.

I never throw them away

and they get treated with the same respect

as a book does in my home, 

which if you know me,

then you know that I never place a cup or objects

on top of books,

though I do dog ear pages,

because it shows love and importance,

in the way that they are being used,

as was their purpose.

They are not like flimsy magazines that

have a handful of stories and are made up 

of fluff and advertisements.

These are thick with stories

of real homes, lives, creativity,

and inspiration.

They make me want to create, write,

decorate, cook and sometimes

curl up with a cup of coffee

and read all afternoon.

One day I will stop buying them

and gasp at the amount of money 

I've spent over the years.

But for now,

I must stay out of the bookstore,

away from the temptation

and maybe, just maybe,

I'll be able to finish the ones I 

already have, before

wanting another one.

If today were a day for confessions,

then this is mine...

I love magazines

and it will take me a lifetime

to read them all.

The End.

Until Next Time...


Monday, January 30, 2023

A Rainy Sunday at Home


Well, Sunday was spent at home, which turned out ok because the weather was a constant downpour. It rained so hard yesterday morning that we got about 10 minutes down the road to church and turned around because we couldn't see anytime another car would splash water on our windshield. 

So our day was spent cooking and decorating our guest room, which I finally got cleaned out and rearranged, after moving all of David's construction supplies out. It's not quite finished. We bought a daybed for that room and I'm waiting on the bedding to come in, so it can look proper. 

The spare room will also hold the kids toys and I imagine they will take over the daybed too. That's what grandkids do, right? But that's ok because in a small house, with 5 grandkids, we can use the extra play area. 

Today I have the usual list of things to do - grocery pick up, clean bathrooms, vacuum, laundry and such. I also need to finish uploading a book onto Amazon's self-publishing platform. This takes me awhile because it's technical and that's not my area of expertise. But, when I need inspiration to keep going, I call my youngest son, Collin, and he sets me straight and basically gives me a pep talk (with little sympathy) and tells me to get going 😀 My oldest son, Ted, tells me how proud he is of me and my youngest tells me to quit stalling 😂 I just love them! 

I've ordered some new books from Thriftbooks, for cooking and making your own mixes. I also ordered a copy of The Tightwad Gazette just for fun and ideas. Have you got a copy of this? I'll share them when they arrive. I have one other book that tells how to make mixes and I've really enjoyed it. I used to do so much of that when the boys were younger.

I would make cookie mixes, banana bread mix, some dinner mixes and even a biscuit mix. These were so handy because many times, it's the gathering all the supplies that takes time. Making the mixes in batches and then having several on hand was such a time saver and it motivated me to cook from scratch.

I'm determined (like most everyone) to cut back on grocery costs this year. I want to challenge myself to see if I can come in under budget every month. I'm usually not good at that, but it never hurts to try. 

Are you trying to save money this year? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Otherwise, have a great Monday 😁

Until Next Time...


Sunday, January 29, 2023

A Great Book and A Few Letters in the Mail


It's Sunday morning and I have a little time before we leave for church, so I wanted to take a minute and write about the weekend, while it is still fresh on my mind.

First off, I finished the book "They Call Her Dirty Sally" and it was excellent. I couldn't put it down all weekend and it's absolutely going in my "keep" stack of fiction. Although, the author kind of drops a few sentences in the acknowledgments that might suggest it was based on a real character, so who knows? Either way, the book is a page turner and gets all 5 stars from me.

I spent yesterday helping David hold a tape measure here and there, while he finished some trim work on our bathroom renovation. For my own projects, I was moving an entire toy closet to the spare room and moving David's tools to the toy closet, in preparation for finally getting the spare room back to looking like part of the house, instead of a tool shed. 

I also made some homemade hot pockets with frozen dough, ham and cheese. I used to make these for my kids and they were so convenient. You just spread the dough into circles, place pieces of ham and cheese in the center and fold the dough over to look like a pouch. Pinch the edges and bake until browned. I let them cool and put them in individual wrapping or baggies and freeze them. You can pop them out one at a time and heat in the microwave for 1 minute. They are delicious! Eat them with chips or as a side with soup. Sometimes I eat them for breakfast!

I received the second letter from my Flower Letters subscription. I haven't opened it yet, but plan on doing so today.

While I waited eagerly for the first letter to arrive a few weeks ago, I was so busy the past two weeks, that I wasn't thinking about when I would get the next one. So what a nice surprise to open the mailbox and see the 2nd letter waiting there. I think this is going to be a fun year for getting real mail!

Speaking of mail...

I wanted to share something personal that also happened over the weekend...I got a letter from an old friend.

I was very surprised to get a letter from this friend, as we haven't really had much communication for many years. Of course I can't share the details, but the part that I do want to share is that her letter contained an apology for something that took place over 20 years ago.

The Lord spoke to her recently about this and the part that I want to comment on and share here is this...The Lord never forgets about you. Ever.

As I read the letter, I was transported back in time to a wound that I didn't realize still held a place in my heart. But it did. And her apology, which was led by the Lord, healed a hurt that needed to be over and done. And just as the Lord led her to apologize, he orchestrated the melting away of a hurt, some bitterness and gave me the grace to forgive wholeheartedly.

And it made me want to share with you all, that even two decades past a hurt, God can work on your behalf. You may feel forgotten. You may feel like that wound will always be there. But just know that the Lord has not forgotten, nor forsaken you in your pain. You may not get a letter or an apology, but that may be because someone isn't feeling the Lord's prompting or responding. But it will never be because God doesn't see you. I hope that speaks to someone today.


As for today, we have church and then I planned a little outing with my daughter-in-loves, but it's a rainy day, so we'll see if it all pans out after church.

If not, I'll be ok with coming home and hanging out for a lazy day.

I hope you have a great Sunday!

Until Next Time...


Friday, January 27, 2023

Homemade Bread and A Little Story For You

This week I had a friend over to work on some scrapbooking projects, so I decided to bake some homemade bread just for fun. 

Awhile back I found a very simple recipe on YouTube

(you can see it HERE)

and I decided to make a few loaves,

one for me and one for her.

It's a very simple recipe, but it does take a process of letting it rise

for at least 8 hours, so I made the dough

the night before, covered it, and 

got up the next morning to finish the process.

After it was cool enough,

I got out my decorative parchment paper and twine

and wrapped her loaf and tied the twine around it.

She was pleasantly surprised that she was

getting to take a loaf home with her

and I was happy she was happy 😀

I used to bake bread all the time in my bread machine,

but one day...

Well, here's a story from my book

Notes from a Writer's Heart

I'll let the story tell you the rest...

The Day I Gave Up My Bread Machine

One day, my friend Michelle and I traded items - my humongous coupon binder for her seldom used bread machine.  At the time, we both thought we were really winning.

A few loaves and lots of counter space later, I put the bread machine back on the merry-go-round of trading things and sent it off to the Thrift Store.  Boy, did that feel good!

Let me explain.

Baking bread is a lot of pressure.

That's right.  I couldn't take the heat (or the freakishly dense loaves) anymore, so one day I took myself right down to the bread aisle at the store and decided that this was my destiny - store bought bread - and I would wear this shopping badge proudly!

Sometimes you have to bake a few ugly (did I mention dense?) loaves of bread to realize there are people getting up at the crack of dawn to bake beautiful works of art-bread.  I mean, you have fat loaves, skinny loaves, buns and hoagies, and even an entire loaf of perfectly sliced pieces, just waiting to go home with you and make your sandwich dreams come true!

Who did I think I was, trying to steal these hard-working people's dreams of selling their perfect loaves of bread?   These people need a paycheck, for heaven's sake!

So, I loaded my buggy up with store-bought bread and held my head high at the thought of all the job security I would be giving these bread artists and I made my way home with the goods.  And, you know what?  I decided on that day, that I would never try to put someone out of a job again!

And just like that, I accepted my position in the world of homemaking and decided to stay in my own lane, whatever that was, and let the bakers of the world be at peace.

As for my humongous coupon book...I have wished for that back a few times, but let's face it...I wasn't any good at that either.

No worries, Coupon Queen!  Your job is safe for now!


I hope you enjoyed that humorous story 😀

I'm sure I'll enjoy this recipe again, but

most likely won't make a habit out of it 

and I won't be buying a bread machine 

anytime soon!

Until Next Time...


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Budgeting, Subscriptions, and Taxes - Oh my!

Happy (rainy) Tuesday from Texas! Yes, we are having a thunderstorm as I type and it's going to be that way all day; ushering in the next cold front. 

I don't mind it for myself, because I was planning on being at home all day. But I don't like knowing my husband and kids have to get on the road with the weather like this. I'm such a mom 😌

Thank you Pinterest!

Yesterday was a productive day. I got the taxes done, which is always a huge relief! We only had to pay $8 more to satisfy the greedy, so not too bad. Glad that's checked off the list!

I also worked on the budget, which is fun to me. I love when I've got a good plan in place. It's sort of like having a nice fence around the yard. You can see your boundaries, and you have all the freedom within those boundaries, as long as you stay within the fence. That's how I look at a good money plan. 

I recently watched a young man on YouTube talking about how he saves $10,000 within a 6 month period. He had some really interesting and wise pieces of advice concerning money and it just reminded me that we're never too old to learn from the young. I'm always open to new ideas, new methods and new ways to do old things. You just never know when one of their new ideas will click with you and help you see something in a different way. 

After working on the budget, I then made sure some subscriptions I have were updated and in place. This helps with running the household and the budget, because I can make monthly supply purchases and know exactly how much I'm spending.

Currently I have subscriptions for meat, coffee, and cleaning supplies. I like to buy meat from places like Omaha Steaks and Good Ranchers. Their meat is excellent quality and comes from the U.S.A. and it always tastes the same, unlike beef at the grocery store, which changes with the brand and quality. 

I like to purchase our coffee straight from the Keurig company. They tell you how much you need, based off of the amount of coffee you drink. The prices are comparable to the grocery store for the same brands and I can buy it a month at a time, instead of going back and forth when we run out. It's mostly for convenience sake and the budget stays consistent. 

I get my cleaning supplies from Grove and I buy the Mrs. Meyer's products. The prices are the same as the grocery store, but they often give free gifts with your purchase, so it's like getting a bonus with every box.  I actually have this subscription on a 2-month rotation, because I don't need the products delivered monthly. This is where I buy my laundry detergent, sponges, all-purpose cleaning spray, hand soap, dish soap, and dishwasher tabs. Again, the prices are always comparable or the same as buying the same brand at the store, but it keeps me on track and on budget when I order vs. spending more time in the store.

When I know it's time to place a new order, I'm able to take inventory of what I still have and adjust my upcoming order to fit my needs. 

I know this isn't rocket science, but it cuts down on what I buy at the store and since I have the monthly subscription amount in the budget, there is a consistency there that keeps me on track. 

I feel the same about online grocery shopping. It's so much easier to stay within your spending limit, if you're able to see the prices adding up as you put things in your virtual cart. 

Now sometimes it's fun to browse the aisles and look for new products. I actually enjoy doing that if I'm not in a hurry and can take my time. But, that's when I tend to spend money on things I don't need and walk out with way more than I intended. 

I've also discovered that, for those of us who like receiving packages, this is a great way to indulge your enjoyment of seeing the mail truck coming down the road. You get the fun of opening a package, but it's for stocking the shelves and not just for spending money on stuff you don't need. That is a win-win in my book!

Today I will finally put away the files from 2022, now that the taxes are done. I have a few areas of the house to clean and organize and some coupons to sort through. I'll be making a list for my next grocery order and getting that on the schedule. 

I noticed something as I was working around here yesterday...the work never stops 😅 For as many areas as I successfully clean, there are more that still need attention. And it continues to rotate in that manner. Which led me to another thought...don't fret over it. 

Clean, work, organize, run a good household, but take a break when you need to. It will all still be there when you get up from the cozy chair where you were enjoying a good book.

And on that note...

Until Next Time...


Monday, January 23, 2023

Dream a Little Dream With Me


Hello Monday and Hello Friends!

Did it seem like a long weekend to you or is it just me? 

Saturday David and I went shopping for a few pieces of artwork to go on the walls, shopped for a new ottoman and went home to a full day of hanging pictures and working around the house. But before we headed home, we stopped off at a Crumble Cookie shop to pick up a few (very big) cookies to take home.

If you've never been to a Crumble Cookie shop, it's a unique little shop where you stand in line to order from the selection of flavors of the day. Each day they have a new batch of flavors to choose from.

Once you've chosen your cookies, you stand in a different line to wait on your warm cookies to come out to you, packaged in a cute pink box.

Everything is painted pink inside, as well as the box you take your cookie home in. So, with a cute concept and a cute color chosen for the decor and packaging, you would think the music inside the shop would match, such as something fun or whimsical.  But on this day, they were playing rap or some harsh sounding pop music and it didn't fit the shop at all. 

As we were waiting for our order to come out, I was noticing that all the workers were young, probably teens or in their 20's and I didn't see the owner anywhere around. That might explain the music choice.

It got me thinking about how music sets the tone, wherever you are, and "if I had a cute little shop, I would do...." and that led into my topic for today:

If you could own a little shop, what kind of shop would it be and what kind of music would you play or what atmosphere would you want to create?

I would own a bookstore, just like the one in the picture above. My talented daughter-in-love drew this for me and it's exactly what my store would look like. 

I would only carry copies of my favorite books, as well as books written by local writers or other lesser known authors. I might have a few classics to offer, but only if they were truly good stories. I would subscribe to all my favorite magazines and offer them there for others to enjoy.

There would be vintage couches to sit and read, coffee with powdered creamer and real sugar, maybe a jar of cookies to add to your coffee time, and cold water readily available.

There would be whimsical music playing, only loud enough to paint the background, but not too loud to keep my friends from being able to read or talk.

I would have fresh flowers here and there and my operating hours would be 9:00-2:00. 

It would be a quirky place and that would be the charm of it. And of course, there would be the resident cat or two lying around, here and there. 

What about you? Even if you've never had a desire to own a shop, just pretend for a moment and indulge me in the comments. 😀 I can't wait to hear all about it!

Until Next Time...


Saturday, January 21, 2023

The Blessing of Friendship

(look at my babies - Emmy and Ella - 15 months apart, but always best friends)

 This week I've had the privilege of having lunch with two friends and just getting to discuss life in our current season of parenting, grandparenting, and empty nest occasions. 

One of these friends I've known since our 23 year old kids were in kindergarten and one I've only known for the last 6 years or so, but both are priceless to me and offer me something that fills up my friendship tank in all the ways I need. 

Friendships are such a blessing and I love that we can have a group of friends that meet different needs in our lives, yet are each valuable in their own way.

I used to envy groups of women who had been friends since college or elementary and remained friends into their later years. I was never a "group" kind of girl.

But, as I've gotten older, I've maintained some precious friendships that are solid and true and I can count on two hands.  And I'm good with that small, but consistent number, because honestly, who has time for more than that?

I also have some special blogging friends, whom I've known for over a decade now! We met through blogging and some of us have watched one another's kids grow up as we've homeschooled them, graduated them and sent them off to start their own lives. These are also precious friendships to me.

I love that we can have friendships that are different, such as the shopping friend, or the friend who loves to write, or the crafting friend or the friend who loves budgeting as much as I do. 

 I think it's such a sweet gift to have friends going through the same season of life, at the same time. I also think it's very valuable to have older friends who have already gone down the road and can pull you along with their encouragement and wisdom. 

It's nice to have the friend who wants to spend time with you and cares enough to put it on the schedule. It's also nice to know that even your busy friends will schedule a dinner with the husbands in tow, just to be able to catch up, as well. (It helps that the husbands enjoy one another's company too.)

There are also those friends who you don't get to see, but when you happen to run into one another, it's like you've never missed a beat. Or my best friend from high school that still remembers my birthday. These are so special!

Friendship is one of life's greatest blessings. True friendship leaves you feeling happy, but can also have a differing opinion than you do. True friendship can walk through the fire with you and hold you up when you're having trouble standing. True friendship calls, just because you were "on their mind" that day and they wanted to check on you. True friendship wants the best for you, even if it means less time to gather.

Whatever station you are at in life, I hope you have a handful of friends to call on. It doesn't take many - just a few good ones. Treasure them, nurture them, schedule them if you have to. Let them know they are important to you. It's an investment you won't regret.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Until Next Time...

Friday, January 20, 2023

The Flower Letters


I've been so excited to share this post with you, but I had to wait until it finally came in the mail.

Let me introduce you to The Flower Letters!

This past Christmas, when trying to think about something unique to buy for my mom and aunt, I remembered seeing The Flower Letters advertised on Instagram. I thought it was such a fun idea, so I went to their website and ordered a subscription for my mom, one for my aunt and somehow, when it was all said and done, had accidentally put my name and address in the slot for my aunt's order, which ended up meaning that I got one too. But that was ok! I thought it would be fun for all of us to have one and compare notes each month.

By now you're asking "what is it?"

Well, The Flower Letters is a subscription to a year's worth of snail mail letters that tell a story over the course of the year.

When you go to their website, you can choose between 3-4 storylines and whichever you choose, that will be your story for the entire subscription. 

I chose the Lily Clara collection, which tells of a young lady answering a mail order bride advertisement, which moves her to the Utah area, where she encounters some outlaw happenings. It has all the elements of a western mystery, which I thought would be great fun for my mom, aunt and myself. 

We all received our first letter this week and it was fun to know we were all reading it on the same day. 
Even in just the first bit of correspondence, there was an air of mystery, which was so intriguing. 

The letters come twice a month, so we'll have to wait for the next letter to see what happens after Lily answers the matrimonial ad. 

Each letter fits perfectly in this decorative tin and becomes a complete collection by the end of the year. 

Who knows? This may be something we do year after year, with a new story each time. 

One year I bought all three of us the same book and we had fun reading it at the same time and comparing notes as we got to certain spots. When you live hours away from family, these are some of the things you can do to have a good time with one another. 

So, if you're ever looking for a unique gift to give someone special, this would be a great consideration.

I'm not affiliated with them. I just wanted to share 😀

Have a great weekend!

Until Next Time...

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Lunch, Books and Creating Margin


Yesterday I had a friend over for lunch, which I will confess, isn't my strong suit. I love the visiting, but hate the food decisions. However, as it turned out, I saw a recipe on Instagram this week that sounded so delicious, so I tried it and I think it was a success. 

I served chicken salad on croissants, a pasta salad, chips and cucumbers with homemade ranch dressing. Not too fancy, but it served us well as we sat and caught up on all the latest in our lives.

I once heard on The Lazy Genius Podcast that you always plan the event and then plug in the food choices, rather than starting with the food and trying to fit the event around what kind of food you want to serve. Either way, the food always trips me up.

But we had a great visit and lots of laughs, so I would call it a success 😀

Later that afternoon, I decided it was time to gather all the books on my bookshelf that haven't been read yet. See, I have this habit of buying books - so many more than I need - because I love books and have a problem letting them pass me by. 

I straightened the ones I've read or keep on hand for going back to, such as books on finance, budgeting, writing, homemaking and Bible studies and devotionals. 

Then I stacked the "to be read" ones on my table, so I could sort them out and put them back on the shelf.

I snapped a picture so you would know that I have a slight book problem 😀

Now I need to put them all back and tell myself that it's not a life-rule that you have to read so many books in a year (thanks Goodreads for pressuring me!).  But it is fun to challenge myself, which motivates me when I get lazy. 

There are just a few that I started, but set aside for different reasons. I really like to complete books when I start them, but sometimes you need to switch to a different genre and then pick up where you left off, when you're in the mood. 

Today, I'm also going to take a look at my ongoing project list and mark things off that aren't necessary for life, because I'm finding that the days where I have margin, are the days that I feel the happiest. That's probably no surprise for most of us.

I write things down when they come to my mind, and the next thing I know, I've got an entire page of things I want to do around the house. Do you do this too or is it just me?

Last week I had several days where I was able to organize and clean and just work at my own pace and it was wonderful! That's the life I'm going for. I know it won't always be like that, but if that's my goal, at least I'll hit it once in a while, and hopefully more often than not. 

This week has been busy every day except for today. Not quite the margin I prefer, but some weeks are like that. 

And on that note...I'll get off here and go fix myself some lunch, organize my books, purge my list and get in some reading at some point. Obviously that needs to be a priority! 😂📚

Until Next Time...


Tuesday, January 17, 2023

When Memories Pop Up


Yesterday, as I was checking email, I got a notice about some picture "memories" from 11 years ago. When I opened the email, these were the pictures that popped up and I wasn't prepared to see them. In fact, I had forgotten that I took these, 11 years ago, this month. 

This was my dad's house and these were the pictures I took on the last day I saw him. He died 10 days later. 

It was around the time of the Super Bowl, and we had spent a very special 4 days with him. 

My dad had been very sick for months and we had been driving to Corpus to visit him in the hospital, just about every other week. So true to God's timing, David had been assigned to oversee some things in the Corpus office during that time and it gave us the perfect opportunity to travel to Corpus bi-weekly and even weekly, at times, so he could work in the Corpus office. 

It was a 5 1/2 hour trip, and I was still homeschooling my youngest son, Collin. My oldest son, Ted, was 18 at the time, but it was still hard leaving him so often to travel, but we were all doing what we had to do. 

 David would drop Collin and I off at the hospital and go to the office. Collin and I would hang out in my dad's room, visit with my stepmom, Ruby, and my sisters, when they were able to be there. 

Collin got an unusual education that year; full of all the medical terms and procedures. More than I ever wanted him to experience. But he also got to spend time with my dad and family and though I'm not sure what kind of memories he has from those days, it was special. 

On this particular visit, my dad had been released, after about 6 months of hospital stays, rehab stays and little chances at home, to be at home on hospice. 

We were there for 4 days, watching my stepmom take care of him, day and night. My little sister, who is a physical therapist, would come and work his legs, to help keep his muscle strength up and he would let her boss him around for a bit. 

We would sit with him while he watched football and at one point, David and Collin played the guitar for him and sang Johnny Cash songs, while my dad nodded his head and enjoyed some familiar tunes.

It was a special time. 

But then it was time to leave and as every other time I've left his house, it was a sad occasion. I had always hated leaving my dad's house. 

And for whatever reason - be it his health, the Holy Spirit, my intuition - I knew in my heart that this would be the last time I saw him. So I made sure to say the words that needed to be said, and soak up all that I needed to soak up and when we drove out of the driveway that day, I remember saying to David..."This is the last time I'll see my dad." And it was.

Ten days later, we got the call that my dad was back in the hospital and failing. He wasn't breathing on his own; he was being kept alive by machines. My stepmom asked if I wanted to try and get there before it was "time" and I thought for a second and then said no.

I had a peace about saying goodbye that last day that I drove out of the driveway and I knew that the picture in my mind, of my dad sitting in his chair, watching the Super Bowl, listening to my husband and my son playing music for him and all the other memories I had from those 4 days...those were my memories and I was at peace about that. 

And, at 4:20 p.m. on that day, my dad passed on; into the arms of Jesus. He had no more illness; no more pain. And though I've questioned my final decision over the years, I try to remember that we make the best decisions we can at the time and I squelch any thoughts of regret. Because your last picture is your last picture and I wanted mine to be of him, in the home he loved, surrounded by sports and music, not machines and death.

Not too long after my dad died, the Lord gave me a dream and it was a very clear dream of my dad, dressed in his everyday clothes of Dickies work pants, his cowboy boots, western shirt and cowboy hat. He was in the pasture next to his land and he was running and throwing a football and laughing, healthy and whole. That was the greatest gift God could have given me! It was as if the Lord was telling me not to worry; that my dad was healed and doing great. And I believe it.

You never know when memories are going to pop up...whether in the emails we open or the thoughts that come out of nowhere. All we can do is try our best to make good memories every day, though some things are out of our control. 

I hope you enjoyed this story of my dad. I know it's sad, but many of the best stories end like that. I'm just thankful I had a story to tell, with the dad I loved so deeply. 

Until Next Time...


Monday, January 16, 2023

A Lot of Cooking and A Yummy Cake

Hi friends! Happy Monday 😀

I feel like my entire weekend was spent cooking! I got up Saturday morning 
and made some breakfast tacos. 
I love to cook a big breakfast for David and I on Saturdays and 
usually we will eat while watching one of the couples we follow, 
who live on narrowboats in the U.K.

I can imagine that sounds like a strange thing to do while eating breakfast, but
it's something we enjoy watching together and they are all fun and lighthearted,
which seems a good way to start the weekend.

As I shared on Instagram on Saturday...making breakfast tacos is a great way
to fill your freezer.
Brown your breakfast sausage, cook the hash browns, scramble the eggs, 
then add some shredded cheese.
Mix in a big bowl and divide onto tortillas.

I wrap each taco individually and put them in a freezer bag for breakfast during the week.

Each morning I unwrap the taco, stick it on a plate and heat from frozen for 1 minute. 
It comes out just as fresh as they were the first day.

This is how I like to make freezer meals.
I make a little extra of whatever we are already eating and 
I put a portion in the freezer
for another day. 

Later I made a big pot of chili, which we would be eating on Sunday,

after church.

We normally have our family dinners during the week, 

but all the kids were busy last week and Sunday

was the one day we could all get together,

so Sunday it was!

I also took some tamales out of the freezer, which

I would heat in the crock pot while we were at church.

While I was on a roll, I made some homemade ranch dressing, which

is so yummy!

I got the recipe HERE

The recipe is for the homemade Ranch Mix, but at the bottom of the recipe, 

she offers the instructions for a Ranch Dip or Ranch Dressing.

I keep a small jar of the Mix in my fridge.

You only need a 1/4 cup of the mix to make the dressing or dip, but

you can also use the mix on anything you would normally use a Ranch packet for.

But you know what's in it, because you put it all together!

It's so easy to make (mayo, sour cream, milk and the Ranch mix).

Lastly, I made this cake for Sunday's lunch with the kids. It would be Collin and Morgan's 2nd anniversary and since we were all having lunch together, I wanted to make them a treat.

The mix was from King Arthur's Baking Co., as was the buttercream frosting mix. I never knew that buttercream frosting took almost 3 sticks of butter! No wonder it's so amazingly delicious! 

Needless to say, by Saturday evening I was tired 😓 That's a lot to cook in one day and my feet were telling me to sit!

But it was worth it, because Sunday I put the tamales in the crock pot before we left for church, so they were piping hot when we got back. I took the chili out of the fridge and heated it up on the stove and we nibbled on homemade salsa that Alex made while we waited on the chili to heat. 

Then, of course, it was time for coffee and cake. 

Our two grandsons, born 5 months apart.
Calem (3 months) and Asa Miller (8 months)

And time for this...💙 

That's the best part of family dinner (or lunch), is the family time, with everyone in the living room or kitchen, moving around, asking for drinks or toys or saying they want to go for a jeep ride with PawPaw. 

It's noisy and chaotic, but I wouldn't trade it for anything!

And...we have leftovers, so I'm not cooking tonight! 

I hope your weekend was full and happy 😀

Until Next Time...


Wednesday, January 11, 2023

A Cookie Recipe and Lots of Chit Chat


Happy Wednesday, friends! 

I've already had a full week and it's only been three days!

I've been cleaning and purging and basically wearing myself out around here.

So, as you can see (above), I had to stop and make some Peanut Butter Cookies

to help me get through the days. These are so easy and so yummy, but they do have one downfall...

I eat way too many!

So here's a quick recipe for you:

1 cup Peanut Butter

1 Egg

1 cup Sugar

Mix together, scoop out a spoonful, drop on cookie sheet,

sprinkle sugar on each ball of dough, then flatten with a fork.

Bake at 350 for 10-13 minutes.

In every oven I've owned, it takes 13 minutes.

Let me know how yours performs.

In other news...it's been so foggy this past week. But on Tuesday, this is what the view of the lake looked like. You can't see anything! Thankfully, by the time David left for work, it had lifted a bit. 

And the saga with Banjo continues. This is him squeezing himself onto the edge of the forbidden chair. I put pillows there to keep him off. I was busy working in the back of the house for a good while, then came around the corner to see this! He looked so cute, so I couldn't shoo him. I just left him there. By the way, this is what I felt like after two days of purging around here! I'm tired!

I changed my bedspread yesterday. I have this one and a solid, cream colored one. I can switch them out for different seasons. I guess I needed some color in my life, so I put this one back on. 

I also spent the afternoon cleaning out my closet and drawers. I took every single thing - clothes, purses, shoes, suitcases, etc. out of my closet, laid everything on the bed and vacuumed and wiped down the baseboards before putting things back. Then I only put back the clothes that I've actually been wearing this year. I put everything else in a donation pile; even purses I haven't been using, but have been hanging onto. 

I then moved on to my chest of drawers and got rid of t-shirts, old pjs, and anything else that was just taking up space. Then I straightened up the top of the dresser and wiped everything down. 

While cooking dinner, I finished this puzzle that was on the dining room table. I always have mixed emotions when I finish a puzzle 😀 It's so much fun having something to work on, but then it's over and it all goes back into the box. Many times I pass my puzzles on to a friend of mine who loves puzzles, but I'm keeping this one because my daughter-in-love gave it to me and it's one of my favorites. 

Speaking of dinner...yesterday I let the crockpot do the hard work and it cooked me a pot of beef tips in gravy. YUM, so good!  I made egg noodles to put the beef tips and gravy over and sautéed some onions and zucchini as a side. 

This week I've organized my closet, drawers, pantry and hall closet medicine stash. 

I'm patiently waiting for my new couch to get here so I can put the living room back together. 

Today I am working on organizing the kid's toy closet and gathering all the unread books that I need to read this year, which I'll be sharing here at some point. 

I finally finished the book by Kate Singh (it was great) and have been watching her videos on YouTube while working. Here's the funny thing about Kate...she's very ordinary and her channel is literally just her sitting at the kitchen table talking about her life, as it pertains to cleaning, money, cooking and all other things homemaking. If I hadn't read several of her books, I might wonder why in the world this lady is just talking. But, because I know what she's talking about, I love listening to her share her methods and every day life. Her channel is called Coffee With Kate if you're interested. 

My goodness, this is a long post! So with that, I'll say goodbye until next time! Have a wonderful day!

Until Next Time...

Monday, January 9, 2023

Around the House


It's Monday morning and these are some scenes around my house...

This cute picture I found on Friday, while shopping for a gift.
I love everything about it...the cottage, chickens, flowers
and the stone walkway.
I hung it in the kitchen, next to the aprons
and it's one of those pieces that makes me smile
every time I pass it. 

Speaking of Friday...
we had dinner at my friend Kim's, and it was such good food
and good company.
She made a meal of Chicken Bundles, fresh veggies, and for dessert
she had a chocolate fondue with an entire board of 
options for dipping.
There were chips, Fritos, pretzels, fruit, brownies and nuts,
and it was delicious. 
And isn't it so wonderful to be invited to someone
else's house?
I never take that for granted.

Well, here's another scene from this morning.
Our dog Banjo has finally decided he's a dog, after all, 
and that this bed on the floor is good for sleeping in
and not just laying there empty, while he sleeps
on all the furniture. 

But you know how we came to this?
Because over the weekend, we gave our 
couch and loveseat to our kids and we are now couchless
until the end of the week. 
So our living room is pitiful looking
(and therefore, no pictures),
while we wait on a new couch
more conducive to this small space we have.

David and I currently have two chairs we are sitting in
and using a stool for an ottoman. 
Times are tough, people!

I snapped this picture to remind me to talk about food...
more specifically stocking up on food.
Do you do it?
Are you a stocker upper or more of a food minimalist?

I think I agree with both arguments,
which would be stock up "just in case,"
verses those who like a more minimal
selection so they can use things up more

I get it and I think I flow back and forth 
on this situation.

I get very ambitious sometimes and buy a bunch of produce,
only to waste some because it's gone bad before we can eat it.
Oh, the guilt when this happens!

I think I'll make that a goal this year...
to shop more efficiently,
always keeping in mind that our nest is much
smaller these days and we don't need
an entire bag of oranges!

Poor David 😀
When I over buy, then I'm constantly reminding him that
"we have fruit!"
And all the man wants is a nice cold glass of milk and some cookies.

And this 2-tier tray is something that's been on my mind,

after I read a blog post (HERE) and saw some adorable decorations

using a 3-tier tray. 

Currently I've got my spoon collection here,

but maybe I'll buy another one to use on the table

and decorate it with fun things.

It's such a great tool to use!

I'm very much in decorating mode right now.

My project list is growing longer by the minute!

But, my budget is saying "slow down!"

and so I need to go in order of what's 

affordable right now and what's bugging me the most.

That's usually how I decide on what to do next 😀

What about you?

Are you in cleaning mode, decorating mode,

exercising mode or nothing's different than last year mode?


Well, I'm off to tackle the to-do's of the day.

Until Next Time...