Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thrift stores are a part of our life...

I donate to them, I shop them..... They are FUN (you never know what you will find)! They save us a ton of cash.

This past weekend we realized that Ethan (our 7 year old) doesn't have any insulated underwear (long jons) that fit him. Chris has been taking Ethan deer hunting quit a bit and this weekend it got pretty cold. I let Ethan borrow some of mine (they did the trick, but weren't too comfortable for him scrunching up about 12 inches of extra length). To get him his own pair I hit the thrift store first. I was able to find him TWO pairs, a pair of fleece pants for Nate and a wonderful heavy gray fleece sweatshirt for Wes (ok.. he is hard to keep in clothes! since school started in August he has grown another inch bringing my 13 1/2 year old up to 6'2"!!!). I was able to snag all four of those things for $7.99 (including tax) for a break down of $2 per item. Yeah for second hand! After that while I was at walmart I checked the price on new insulated underwear. Cost?? $9 for a shirt and pants set. I love it!! We didn't need the shirt but to get him two pants I would have had to spend $18!

The only thing that beats a thrift store is a good yard sale... but since that is a summer time thing I will just have to enjoy my local thrift shops!


Monday, November 29, 2010

One last stroll down summertime memory lane

I am a summer loving gal that is trying really hard to choose contentment with the cold winter months. So far this year we have been blessed with a warm fall and start to winter. Today the high is in the 50's... not bad at all!! However, before I completely give in to the winter months I just have to look back at summer one more time and remind myself that every season has good things. Winter has lots of time for BAKING! :)

I enjoy lots of time in the garden, and we spend a ton of time sitting on the front porch on summer evenings. This porch was added just this spring. The old needed replaced and we totally love this east facing porch. It is a nice shaded place to spend time together. We hope to one day put a roof over it and make it a covered porch. One thing at a time... no debt!

Out back was our sweet corn patch. It was 12 rows wide and 100 feet long. We were able to raise enough corn for 5 families to 'put up' for winter. My sister, Melissa, and I shared a special day together doing our 'putting up'.
We tried doing it a new way this year and loved it. We cut it off the ear raw and then cooked it after we cut it off. So much easier and so much less mess. We decided that this is the way for us.

A funny story about my sister and my youngest son, Nate. Nate is in kindergarten this year and is learning so much so fast! He is a budding reader and LOVES to write. Wednesday, before Thanksgiving, Nate wanted me to sit down with him and make thanksgiving cards for my sister and her family. He asked me to write down all of their names so that he could copy them down on his card. He copied everyone's name except my sisters. "Mom, you need to write down Ant Allissa's name for me." " I did sweety, it is right here... see, it says 'Aunt Melissa'". "But Mommy, that is not it... that starts with a 'M' ''". Yes, I replied as I sounded out her name... M-e-l-i-s-s-a for him. Nate looked at me, his eyes HUGE. "Her name is MMMelissa???" His whole life he had never heard the M.... he really thought her name was Allissa! SO cute! So he kept practicing saying this new name to try to get it right! LOL! On Thanksgiving he worked really hard to remember, but my sister told him that she loves "Ant Allissa" and that she wants him to call her that forever.... their special name! My kids have all had cute ways of saying her name and Melissa is a peach for making Nate feel so great.

What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My blogging style plus an Easy, no knead, Oatmeal Bread recipe

I realize that I have slipped into the "magazine/Expert" style of blogging that is oh so very popular. Blogs look so professional and are written with magazine style articles. Please don't get me wrong, I enjoy a few magazines and I like to read experts in areas of interest. However, I think that my original blogging style is my favorite... a simple sharing of my life and our ways of Choosing Simplicity in a crazy and hectic world.

I am going to go back to that style and just share our way of life, our faith, our story. It will be more of a journal for us to look back at and will be a place of connection with like minded folks. I have passions and knowledge in some areas, but there are many out there that are much more experts than I. I don't want to have pretenses of being more than I am.

I want to welcome you to this little on-line corner. A small place of simplicity in a crazy, rushing world. I want to invite you to share your story with me, too. I want this place to be where we are real with each other. A place that I am just me, the God loving, family loving country gal that I am. A place without any pretense.

So with that being said, nothing is more "me" than cooking and baking! I absolutely LOVE it! I have a family that does love to eat, too. Below is one of my favorite easy (no yeast, no kneading) breads. In the cold months we eat a lot of stews and soups (cooked in the crock pot or on top the wood stove). Bread is a favorite with our soups. This one is quick, easy and nutritious. These pictures are of the counter in my kitchen. My grandmother (tour Tuesday post about her here) gave me these jars and they are filled with pantry staples that I use almost everyday. Simple food.

Quick (no yeast) Oatmeal Bread
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup molasses, honey or brown sugar
2 T oil
1 2/3 cup buttermilk or sour milk (to make sour milk put 1 TBL lemon juice or vinegar in measuring cup and then add milk to measure 1 2/3 cup)

Mix together the dry ingredients. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Pour batter into a well greased 9x5" loaf pan. Let stand for 20 minutes and then bake for 60 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove from pan while still hot. ENJOY!

What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One little, Two little, Three little Indians.....

My sister is married to a man of Cherokee lineage. So much so that her father in law is named Tonto! How cool is that?? I have no claim to Native American Heritage. I do, however, come from some hardy stock.... the pilgrims! One very cool thing about my bloodline is that on my mom's side our family goes all the way back to the Mayflower!! I am an actual decedent of one of the original pilgrims! :)

I didn't have pilgrim outfits so my boys and I had a GREAT time dressing up as Indians for the Thanksgiving Feast at school yesterday. I LOVE Thanksgiving. Such a great day to set aside time to THANK God for all of our blessings.

Whatever you are doing this week take some time to THANK God for the blessings in your life.
Happy Thanksgiving!!


What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Choosing Simplicity.... Fresh Baked Goodies recipe list

I am a summer loving gal. Since it is not summer (and can't be outside enjoying the sunshine) I BAKE! I can not tell you how much I LOVE summer. However, I CHOOSE to enjoy each season by focusing on what I like best about it. In the fall and winter I LOVE to bake. Choosing to enjoy the warmth of the kitchen and the wonderful joy I find in creating goodies helps the cold months to pass enjoyably.

I thought that I would put together a list of some favorite recipes from former posts. Enjoy some baking time!

A few favorite recipes:
What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Choosing Simplicity.... trust God for TODAY

"Give us this day our daily bread" as the Lord's prayer goes. I find that Choosing a Simple Life really does bring me back to living out the way of the word. Christ instructs us to trust him for TODAY'S needs. When I get all worried about things in the future my stress level rises. BIG. Time.

Sometimes we face situations that are HARD and we just don't understand how we can get through. However, don't have to worry about that... Trust God for TODAY!! Whatever the situation God's grace is sufficient for TODAY. I remember one particularly hard situation we were going through. I would get so weary and down because I just couldn't see the end in sight. My sister had some wise words.... Trust God for TODAY's bread! Strength for the DAY. She was so right.... Immagine that, God's word is true!

For some the holidays can be extra stressful. I often find myself wondering.. "How am I going to get all this done?? How are we going to afford this?? How am I going to handle being around that person?? Are my kids going to like their gifts??" You know what God is teaching me?? FOCUS on TODAY. Live in TODAY!! Don't let myself get all wrapped up in the stresses of tomorrow. God will be with me on those days. He is also showing me where I add stress into my life by trying to be like others and comparing myself to what everyone else is doing. There are so many unspoken expectations at the holidays that we think we have to meet. I am asking myself to take stock in what is really important. Focus on what really matters today and what God wants me to do with my day. I don't have to do everything, I don't have to live up to unrealistic expectations.

TODAY is what I have. TODAY is my life. I just know that CHOOSING simplicity involves saying a lot of "no". No to extra stuff, no to extra worry! ENJOYING the day rather than stressing about tomorrow makes a huge difference in my life. I can guarantee that my kids will enjoy the holidays a lot more with a relaxed mom than with a stressed out one.


What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life!

Making Thanksgiving Memories

Fun Thanksgiving ideas for children! Monica, at homespun heart totally rocks. Hop on over and enjoy her creative, fun and frugal ideas for celebrating thanksgiving and making it extra special for children. Build memories!!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Choosing Simplicity... Choosing Contentment.

Ahh.... I hear it..."that is so sweet". What a nice idea. Actually, NO! Choosing Contentment is not sweet. Rather it is a BATTLE! Contentment goes against every cell in our flesh. We WANT more, we want different, we want perfection, we WANT, want, want!!

Choosing Contentment means taking up deliberate battle against our raging, wanting, desires. It is NOT easy. Am I trying to discourage you from Choosing contentment?? Definitely not. I am being honest.

Have you ever thought that you were the only one that Really, really, really struggles with discontentment? You are so not alone. We ALL have issues of WANT. We might not all want the same thing (and that enters us into comparison), but that isn't the point at all. Discontentment is longing for what we don't have rather than choosing thankfulness and joy with what we do have. It is a heart issue. aarrrgg... why do we have to have heart issues! Heart issues are a battle ground!! Take up the sword with me and join me in slaying this discontentment dragon.

I think that sometimes we fear that having contentment means we are 'settling' for less than we can be. That somehow we will give up hope at "making progress". Questions like "If I become content with my body will I just always be over weight?" or "If I become content with our income will we always be paying peter to pay paul?" We fear that life will somehow become LESS worth living if we give up WANTING. This is such a trick of the enemy. God's ways never seem to make sense to our earthly minds. Truthfully, though, contentment sets us free! Contentment gives us the power to LIVE RICH. Wealthy is a matter of money, RICH is a matter of the heart.

Will you take up battle with me?? Will you wage a war for contentment?? If you want some more inspiration hop on over to the Stay at Home Missionary and join up with her challenge. I am in! Are you??


Monday, November 1, 2010

Exercise your FREEDOM!! VOTE!

We are so blessed to have the opportunity to ELECT our government officials. PLEASE get out there and VOTE!!

This year, for the first time ever, our family has been directly involved in a campaign for our local Sheriff. Go Gary Adams!! It has been such a blessing to be a part of this process. Our daughter really enjoyed the day she spent with us going door to door.... I'm excited our kids have had this experience as children.

PLEASE get out and VOTE today!!!
Thank God for this freedom and privilege!!