Friday, February 27, 2009

THere is GOOD in this world!

This was forwarded to me by email from my wonderful friend, Jackie. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!!!! It is so refreshing to hear GOOD news!

Last Friday I was going through the Indianapolis Airport .
People in the Security Check line were grumbling about what nonsense the
process was, blah, blah, blah. An elderly lady (in a different line)
was struggling with her luggage, pocketbook, etc. She was also confused
about what to do, how to do it, couldn't get her shoes off (and a
host of other things). The Security Officials weren't helping the
situation either (they can be mighty callous at times).

I started to move

her direction, but before I could get out of the line I was in, a
gentleman (close by) sat down all of his stuff, and began to help the lady. I
thought he looked familiar, but it didn't register; it was

fascinating to see him come to her aid (nobody else was making a move to help!).
He was talking to her, making conversation, helping her untie her shoes,
putting her things in one of those bins, and making sure she was AT
EASE. He helped her through the screening gate, then calmly put his things
on the belt, went through and immediately began to help the lady put her
shoes back on, gather her belongings, etc. In the meantime she had
reached in her purse to show him pictures of her family. He made a big
fuss over the photos, then asked for a wheelchair so he could get her to her gate.
Honestly, it was a Hallmark script. They disappeared down the concourse
together...he was pushing the wheelchair and she was jabbering with him.
It made me smile...a lot.

NOW HERE'S THE KICKER: I got through security

and went to get something to drink. Just beyond the little restaurant
was a group of people gathered, all excited, shaking hands, etc., and in
the center of them was THE KIND GENTLEMAN. Guess who it
was? TONY DUNGY, the recently retired coach of the Indianapolis Colts! I
looked at his hand and, SURE 'NUFF there was the HUGE diamond Super Bowl ring.

The point: The elderly lady didn't know who he was, or care WHO HE IS,
of would even have known had she been told. HE DID THE RIGHT THING FOR
THE RIGHT REASON. Important people serve others with a sense of
purpose. These kinds of things are still THE BEST LESSONS EVER. Thanks for letting me share it.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

March Simple Family Supper Menu Kit..... up and ready for you to print off! If you are a current subscriber simply log in with your username and password. If you haven't given Simple Family Supper a try yet, now is the time!!! Each Kit is complete with a month menu, organized shopping lists and all the EASY to prepare recipes. This is a SIMPLE, FAMILY friendly, SUPPER plan. For $5 per month how can you beat that? Isn't the time you will save is worth $1.25 per week??

As a mom owned home based business I value and appreciate your support and word of mouth! You all are the best!

Give this yummy chicken recipe a try. It has gotten RAVE reviews.... it makes enough to freeze the extra for a later meal.... now that is call efficient cooking!

Savory Chicken Sandwiches

***Efficient cooking***

Crock Pot or Stove top


8 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 envelope onion soup mix

½ tsp garlic powder

½ cup prepared Italian salad dressing

1 cup water


1) Place Chicken in crock pot

2) Mix together remaining ingredients and pour on top of chicken.

3) Cover and cook on HIGH 5 hours or on LOW 7-9 hours

4) Remove Chicken and shred meat. Return to cooking juices.

5) Serve on buns. Label and freeze extra meat and cooking juices in a freezer bag.

Side Suggestions: baby carrots, baked beans, salad, fruit


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Victory Garden Friday!!!

Grow a Victory Garden!!!!
As I shared in more detail here, the "Victory Garden" campaign of the 1940's was very successful at inspiring folks to raise some of their own food. With the economic situation of today I am hoping that another Victory Garden grass roots effort will take off. If each of us just raised ONE thing! ONE meal!!

I have started some plants in my big south window. Container gardening and window gardening is possible for people with out room to plaint a traditional garden. Right now I have a flat of lettuce and one of spinach growing very nicely. (note the plastic wrap over the one flat. I do this until the seeds germinate. It keeps the soil very moist and warm.) These little plants won't ever make it to the garden in the spring... we will have eaten them up by them just in time to plant some more spring lettuce outside.

Sometimes we just have to think outside the box! Never gardened?? Live in an apartment?? Have a small yard?? You CAN grow some fresh veggies! They taste SO GOOD!! There are so many resources on-line for any type of gardening. With just a little research and learning you will be all set to grow some good home grown food!!!!

So for the cost of a pack of seeds and a little potting soil we will enjoy SEVERAL meals of FRESH lettuce and spinach. For more frugal tips visit Biblical Womanhood.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chasing the wind!

This Blog is titled "More than Survival, Choosing Simplicity" for a reason. Life often feels like a day to day battle to survive! Don't we all long for SIMPLE purpose in life. To have SATISFACTION! The truth is that this world does not give us that. We are constantly bombarded with MORE, MORE, MORE!!! Our culture is about getting more, learning more, going more, seeing more, hearing more, having more, spending more, saving more.... more, more, more!!!!! In the end we feel just as empty as before.

Yesterday while running errands I caught a little bite of "Truth for Life" on the radio. This morning I was BLESSED, encouraged and challenged as I listened to the complete message online. If you ever struggle with feeling empty, like all you do is "survive" life, if you have a deep longing for satisfaction then please take the time to listen to the following messages by Alistair Begg. His Scottish accent is fun, too! Turn on his messages and fold some laundry (or wash some dishes and clean the house like I did) and be blessed! Just click the links below.

"Chasing the Wind"

A word to the wise
The Search for Satisfaction pt 1


Seedlings and Chocolate Banana Muffins

Yesterday I finished buying all my seeds to get my garden veggies and flowers started inside by my BIG south window. Right now I have two flats of lettuce and spinach growing.... they won't make it to the garden... we will EAT it all first!!! Lettuce and spinach are easy to grow year round in a sunny window. My mouth is watering just thinking about FRESH greens! I will be planting the veggies and flower seedlings in mid March so they will be ready for the first part of May. I won't put tomatoes out till more towards the end of May.

I am "thinking" SPRING!! Today is a rainy day.... that is ok, it is rain, not snow! The temps are going to FALL and tomorrow's high is only in the low 20's..... It is still February on the calendar, but in my heart I am choosing SPRING! That is one great thing about growing your own seedlings... getting into the soil WEEKS before we can work outside in the "real" garden!

Today is "Home Day" for the little boys and me..... it is the only week day morning that we don't have anything going on. No pre-school, no speech, no "mom's group" Bible study... Just a wonderful day to be home! We do "home-school" pre-school for about 30 minutes but other than that the boys just ENJOY playing with each other while I tackle house work. Tonight we have church. I am going to make up the following recipe to share with the women's Bible study.
I found this recipe on Home Makers Cottage.

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

1-1 /2 C flour
1 C sugar
1/4 C baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 C mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium)
1/3 C vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 egg
1 C miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In a small bowl, combine bananas, oil, and egg; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350-degrees

Well, I am off to FIND my kitchen!!! With all the remodeling going on my kitchen counters have been PILED on!! YUCK!!!! The re-model is progressing. Last night Chris tore off the ceiling tiles and together we hung dry wall on the ceiling. Tonight he will tape and mud the joints and then we will stomp it! I am so glad to have a fresh ceiling! I am NOT a fan of square ceiling tiles!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tour Tuesday.... remodel eddtion

Remember Tour Tuesday?? It has been a long time, but here is one!

Pictures of our Weekend project! It is on-going... a few more weeks till it is all done, but we are making BIG headway!!!

Here is Chris teaching Ethan (almost 6) how to grout. Ethan is a "Hands on" guy.... He will learn the trade! It will be a good trade for him to know how to do even if it isn't how he provides for his family someday. Chris is a patient instructor!

Now Ethan is doing HIS part of grouting the wall tile on the end of the kitchen island! It has been tiled for over a year.... finally FINISHED with grout! Looks great! Now, on to tearing out the TROUBLE tile in the dining room.... this was already here when we purchased this place six years ago.... NEEDED to go... Bad!!! Chris had lots of help.....(ok, not really!). Wes hauled out all the chipped tile and dumped it in the trailer! He is really getting stronger... sorry, I didn't take any pics of my Wes..... oops!
After putting down the new sub floor, Chris framed in the new COAT closet and pantry. Robyn is helping him with some electrical work.Dry wall going up on the coat closet and pantry. The door in the middle leads to the current laundry room/storage room..... soon to be a SECOND bath/laundry room!!! Yee-Haw!! TWO bathrooms!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, February 15, 2009

A FULL love tank!!!

At the tail end of Valentine's weekend my LOVE tank is FULL! The funny thing is it doesn't really have anything to do with Valentine's day.... I really don't like "forced" gifts... I much more treasure the random wildflower picked along side the road "because I saw it and knew you would love it"! Anyway, Hubby FILLED up my love tank by working on the house! We are slowly but surely tackling projects in our 98 year old farm house.

I will post pics soon... I am much too dusty and tired to do it now, but I have FINISHED ceramic tile in the kitchen, NO tile on the dining room floor (Chris got all the NASTY tile we inherited with this house out!), and he framed in the new coat closet and new pantry. We are getting ready to dive into the laundry room/ second bath project..... it will be a long one... pay as we go....!

Well, my house is a mess...... but my HEART is full of love! I really enjoy spending time working with my husband.... we have fun and get things done!!! I can live with a little more dust for a while... the wood stove makes so much anyway we won't notice a little more!! LOL!!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Priority scale

Establishing priorities and LIVING them out is easier said than done. I will just tell you that I have been STRUGGLING with this one!!! WHY?? Well, I think in part because I have been blogging about it. It seems to happen to me that as soon as I feel like I have an area "under control" enough to encourage others everything seems to fall apart!! I am REAL, I am HUMAN! I mess up more times than I ever want to admit. Right now my kitchen is a MESS... yet here I am typing!!!!! Check out Monica's post about balance... very good for me to read today!

So, with that said.... here are my priorities that I am aiming to live out every day. I am a part time work at home mom so my days are much different than a full time"pay check" mom (to use a flylady term). Each and every one of us are unique. My priorities might not be yours.... you have to follow what is best for YOUR life!!!

Top Priorities: (Spend my time energy and focus on before moving to secondary priorities)
  1. Time it the Word (includes doing and preparing the weekly Bible studies I am in)
  2. Building up and spending time with my husband (being a helpmate, friend and lover)
  3. Taking car of the children and training them up... also just "being there" for them
  4. Home making/Keeping the home/ cooking/ gathering/garden/animals/being frugal/ creating/ preparing/.... enough said!!!
  5. Stewardship of resources... managing our finances and keeping paperwork completed and organized
  6. Personal growth and development (I want to learn something new EVERY day!!!)
  7. Exercise and physical care of my body

Secondary priorities:
  1. Friendships and extended family
  2. Woman's Ministry (with Church, at the crisis pregnancy center, and weekly "mom's group" bible study
  3. Simple Family Supper
  4. Blogging/Facebook
  5. Reading, TV, hobbies (although some of this can be personal development... it is about BALANCE)
The problem comes when I jump to the secondary priorities before completing the top priorities because they are more FUN! Then I get side tracked and loose all sorts of time PLAYING rather than DOING what is really important!!!!! There is plenty of time to PLAY after I get the WORK done!! Isn't that what my parents worked so hard to teach me?? Anyway, I am on a journey... God isn't done working on me.. hasn't given up on me!!!


Monday, February 9, 2009

An Early Heaven.....

"A happy home is but an early heaven!"
That sounds so sweet, but is MY home early heaven?? Do you ever think that, too?? Home life, well, LIFE, can be HARD!!! How do we bring some "Heaven to Earth??"

The first step is inviting the creator to abide with us. Without Jesus we can never experience true and lasting peace.... just no way... not in a world filled with strife, disease, loss and hate. Only he can give us complete peace through the storms of life!

The second step is to determine to have the right attitude! Life is going to go wrong from time to time. Things are going to happen. Milk is going to be spilled. Choosing first thing EVERY morning to face the day with a positive attitude will go a LONG way! (Come on... we can fake that we are happy.... it won't kill us!) If the milk is going to get spilled I can either bring my child to tears by my tirade or I can use it to teach my child that everyone makes mistakes and everyone has to clean up their own messes. Build up or tear down... it is my choice. Tell yourself HOW to feel... Just like doing your hair, getting dressed and putting on make-up.... "DO" your attitude!!!! Don't walk around with "bed-head" attitude!

Third, Aim at a target! Determine (through prayer and with your husband) what your TOP priorities are. Then the secondary priorities... followed by "extra" as time, energy and money allow. I rarely get to the "extras". If you have 5 top priorities for the day focus ALL of your effort, energy time and mental effort on those things, then move on to the secondary priorities ONLY after the TOP priorities are met. At the end of the day we can all tell where we "shot our arrows"! Did we even HIT the target today?? Was I even AIMING at the target?? If I am not AIMING at my top priorities, I will MISS them every time!!!! This takes SELF CONTROL!!!! Make sure you include some fun in your top priorities. Fun and REST!!! We NEED fun, We NEED rest!!!

Starting the day off on a positive note, focusing on the very important things first, really is POWERFUL!!! Really the day starts the night before. Getting to bed on time is key! Having a positive attitude is very hard when we are sleep deprived. Also, we NEED sleep to give us energy!

I will post my TOP and SECONDARY priorities tomorrow.


Real Life

Life ever leave you feeling LOST?? Not sure where you are, let alone which direction to go? If so, you are not alone. All of us feel this way at one time or another. We long for clarity, for purpose, for direction, for order in our life!

At the end of our day if we take a moment to breath don't we often wonder what it was all about? Looking back at the minutes that blurred into hours that slipped to the end of the day often leave us feeling remorse, regret and guilt far more often than satisfaction. We long for the end of the day to come carrying a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Determining to live a life of purpose takes deliberate doing. Living a life of purpose requires looking out from myself, looking up to Jesus! To recognize that I myself, my life, my busyness is not the solution to the longings in my heart. Life is complicated, life is hard, life is confusing. If you have never met my friend, Jesus, I would love to introduce you to Him. He is the source of clarity that will bring true perspective to your life. He will be the solution to the longings that keep you searching for reason.

Jesus came that we might have life, and have life more abundantly. He longs to fill our life with peace, contentment, joy, strength, grace and mercy. Through HIS grace, His never ending love for us can we truly find a life purpose. A life surrendered to His love, His faithfulness, His unconditional grace enables us to do More Than Survival! He longs to reach down and wrap His arms around you, to heal your broken heart, to bind up your wounds, to write your name down in the book of life. He eagerly waits for the day that we will be forever face to face. There is more to life than what we see, our heart knows.... our heart longs for something more.

Whatever you are facing today, Jesus has the solution you need! The strength, the vision, the purpose, the source of every need you have lies in our choice to seek Him! He will never force us to go to Him, He waits with open arms ready to draw us in. "Knock and the door shall be open to you!" Go to Him, right now, and pour out your heart to Him. He will listen with love, He will listen with compassion, He will respond with salvation!

Please know that I am here praying for you. If you have anything specific you would like me to pray for please leave me a comment or email me. {{Hugs}}


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Good morning! Indeed it is a good morning here at our little "homestead"! Saturdays are the only sleep-in day around here, although hubby was off to do some work before 7. The kids are all outside playing.... we are experiencing a MUCH NEEDED warm front! Yesterday hit the mid 40's and today's high is expected to reach the mid 50's!!! The wood stove is getting a break during the daytime, though will warm our home over night. The snow has almost all melted and the winds are working to dry up the big puddles. It is a kind of day that reminds you that winter doesn't last forever!!!

As I type I am listening to the washing machine agitate... oh how blessed I am to have running water, a washing machine and a dishwasher!!! So much of the world's population does not have running water! Back in December when our power was out for 2 days due to an ice storm we realized just how much we take running water for granted!!!!! As Americans go through this "financial challenge" that is gripping our nation it is my prayer that we all wake up and realize how incredibly BLESSED we all are and how many things we take for granted!!!!

I said last week that I have a series on priorities coming.... I do... I just had to "live it out" before I could publish the posts! I don't want to just "talk the talk", but rather walk the walk.