Friday, June 30, 2017

Five Minute Friday - BLESSING

Five Minute Friday a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

This week's prompt is: Blessing.


Each and every one of us experience trials of various kinds as we travel life's pathway, but, oftentimes, what at first appears to be hard-times pressing in upon us, will actually turn out in the end to be a blessing in disguise...if we will allow it to be.

We're in the middle of a situation like that right now. What would have been perceived in our hearts and minds as a minor catastrophe a few years ago, is today considered an opportunity to step up to the plate, accept the challenge, and overcome through careful planning, self-control, and perseverance. Our attitude and who and what we put our faith in has everything to do with how it will all turn out in the end.

Is our attitude toward the trial or situation we face today positive? Are we purposefully looking for the good and speaking the truth of the Word over our situation? Or is our attitude negative? Are we making what's an already bad situation worse with our grumbling, griping, and complaining...always looking at what's wrong in a situation rather than what's right with it?

Our attitude and resolve here is firm - we can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us (Philippians 4:13) - and our faith is in God and His Holy Word - (not the world around us and its ability to make or break us) because, in reality, God's Word is the only Truth that there is in this world and in it is the wisdom and direction that every one of us need to overcome in every life circumstance that we face.

By purposefully choosing to take this kind of attitude and a stand on God's Word we are already seeing the positives in this situation and we receive it with joy. We are excited to see what kind of adventures await us in the coming days and weeks. We are actually thankful for this situation and receive it as a blessing from God.

If you're facing a situation today and the enemy is trying hard to get you over into fear about it, don't fall for it! Get into the Word and walk in the blessing! 


Until next time...

"And we know that all things work together for 
good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

Recent posts that you might enjoy - 

Birthday Parties on a Budget

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Cleaning, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Plans For July

Please read Rebecca's Hearth and Home Blog online @ 
If it has touched or inspired you in some way, please, leave a comment and let me know. I love hearing from my readers! 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Birthday Parties on a Budget

We have lots of summer birthdays in our family so I thought it would be fun to share some super fun birthday ideas with all of you here. The following ideas were taken from Emilie Barnes' 15 Minute Home and Family Organizer. Are you ready? Put your party hat on and let's go! 


* Keep the party small. A good rule to follow is invite the same number of children as the number of years in your child's age.

* Get a family member (or friend) to help (let grandparents be guests, not helpers).

* Have a backup plan for an outdoor party in case of rain.

* Use color comics for decorations and cartoon bedsheets as tablecloths. 

* Crayons make nice party favors, and kids can use them to decorate white paper tablecloths and paper plates. 

* Children's toys make good decorations: stuffed animals with party hats, a dump truck holding chips or cookies.

* Use creativity with party favors. Wrap peanut-butter play dough or homemade play dough in a plastic bag, tying it shut with a ribbon. Kids can decorate lunch bags and then fill them up as they go a candy, peanut, or penny hunt.

* Don't plan the party at mealtime; it's more expensive. From 2 to 4 p.m. is a good time.

* Plan activities, but don't expect the children to play all the games. If the kids are having fun, don't interrupt. If they're bored, bring in a new game.

* Have your cake and be able to afford it, too. If a homemade cake has frosting and the child gets to pick the flavors, he's happy. 

* Licorice, candy, or animal crackers make good sheet cake decorations.

* Don't serve blue icing, red punch, or other things that stain or make children overactive.

* Pick a party theme. Some ideas: beach party, tea party, costume party dinosaur party, frontier party, scavenger hunt, backyard camp out, detective party.

*An artist party can be fun. Get five or more large boxes for the children to paint or color and make into churches, homes, or cars.

* For children ages five to seven, try a soap bubble party.

* Invite a storyteller.

* Remember that a party for a child's first couple of birthdays is really for family and friends to celebrate a new life. The child doesn't really understand what's going on at this point.

* Don't make your children share their presents.

* Save opening the presents till the end. It's a good way to slow down a party.

* Have a specific ending time for the party. Playing a video is a nice way to keep stragglers who are waiting for rides home occupied. Once everyone is gone, take a few minutes for some hugs and talk about the party. Save the cleanup for later.

* If some members of your family live far away or can't come to the party, make a video recording and send it to them. They will love seeing the party, and it will help your family stay in touch.


Well, that's it for this time! I hope that some of these ideas have inspired you as you think about planning your next birthday party!

Until next time...

Other recent posts that you might enjoy:

Celebrating America's Birthday

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Cleaning, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Plans For July

Please read Rebecca's Hearth and Home Blog online @ and, if it has touched or inspired you in some way, please, leave a comment and let me know. I love hearing from my readers! 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

My Summer Reading List - 2017

What was I thinking when I wrote "Write my summer reading list" and added it to my summer bucket list??? 

My main goal is to keep up with daily Scripture reading and finish the current unit (ten text books) that I am on in the Bible school courses that I'm taking. Other than that, my summer reading list is not extensive. 

At present I am reading:

Steps to Answered Prayer
by Kenneth E. Hagin
To Know Him
Beyond Religion Waits a Relationship That Will Change Your Life

by Gloria Copeland

The only other book that I can think of that I would like to read this summer is:

The People of the River's Mouth
In Search of the Missouria Indians

by Michael Dickey
I met Mike Dickey at spring training this year where he presented a fascinating program on the Missouria Indians. These were the first American Indians that European explorers encountered when venturing up the Pekitanoui River - the waterway that we know as the Missouri, and they are the tribe for which, not only the river is named, but also our great state. After hearing Mr. Dickey speak, I am anxious to learn more about the Missouria Indians.

It's not much of a list, but I guess that's it. I will do an update on this post at the end of the summer and let you know how I did. 😊

Until next time...

Related posts:

My Summer Bucket List 2017

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Celebrating America's Birthday

America celebrates her 241st birthday one week from today! How do you celebrate the 4th of July at your house? 

Here is a list of some of the things that our family has done over the years to celebrate Independence Day at our house...

* Have a backyard barbecue and invite the neighbors or extended family over to join the fun!

* Have a blast at your picnic by putting out table crackers, which look like giant firecrackers, but are actually cardboard tubes filled with treats. Save toilet paper rolls, and cover the tubes with red, white, and blue tissue paper. Before sealing ends, fill with such things as printed out patriotic sayings, small red, white, and blue toys, foil-wrapped candies, or other treats (use your imagination). Seal ends, adding a piece of gold starred and glittered wire garland on top for fuse.

* Layer pre-made blueberry Jell-O, Cool Whip Topping, and strawberry or cherry Jell-O in clear Solo cups. Top with a dollop of Cool Whip. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

* Put a patriotic spin on party games. For example, pin the name of an American icon on the back of each guest's shirt. Choose important people, places, symbols…even quotes found throughout our country's early history. For example…Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Francis Scott Key, Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, Philadelphia,Boston, the Old North Church, Constitution Hall, American eagle, Liberty Bell, Statue of Liberty, "One if by land and two if by sea!", "Give me liberty or give me death!", "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.", etc. Each guest goes around and asks questions of the others, obtaining clues until they guess correctly who, or what, they are. Get creative with your selections and have fun!

* Give small children large pieces of bubble wrap to stomp on. When they stomp it sounds like firecrackers going off. The kids love it and…just think…no mess, no smell, and no danger!

*Plant red, white, and blue flowers in your flowerbeds and windowboxes. Things like petunias, impatiens, salvia, alyssum, and ageratum work well. If you have enough space, and the ambition, plant them to resemble a flag!

* Fly your flag!

* Make Minuteman Ice Cream Sandwiches by spooning ½ cup vanilla ice cream between 2 chocolate wafer cookies. Roll edges in red, white,and blue sprinkles. Freeze until time to serve.

* Attend parades and local firework displays in your area.

* Make an American Berry No Bake Cheesecake. (Prep time 15 minutes plus refrigerating.)

2 packages (8 oz. Each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip whipped topping thawed, divided
1 graham cracker piecrust
strawberry halves and blueberries

Beat cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gently stir in 2 cups of the whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Refrigerate 3 hours or until set. Spread Cool Whip on top. Arrange berries in rows to resemble flag.

From our family to yours...HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! <3

Until next time...

Monday, June 26, 2017

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Plans For July

Due to changes in insurance coverage and extra payments being taken out all at once, July promises to be a few hundred dollars shorter than normal. No biggie! We'd be okay, either way, but, in light of the shortfall, we decided that July would be the perfect to time to institute one of our dollar-s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, cabinet-clearing, clean-up-the-food project months, so...that's what we're doing!

Our plan is to begin by doing a complete food inventory to see what we have on hand. I will do the end-of-the-month shopping, as usual, toward the end of this week, but, I will not do a full shop. I will only purchase fresh items and items needed to round out what we have on hand. I will post my progress throughout the month and share meal plans and recipes as I can. 

I am excited about this challenge and am excited to share it with you! 

Until next time...

Happy 3rd Birthday, Essie!

Happy Birthday #3, Esther!
Last night we celebrated granddaughter, Esther's, 3rd birthday. She insisted on having a princess party and her mom came through for her in a big way by making this beautiful princess castle cake. Isn't it gorgeous? 
The Cake That Amber Made For Audrey's 4th Birthday
She used the same kit to make a princess castle cake for Esther's oldest sister, Audrey, when Audrey turned 4. 
Audrey's 4th Birthday
Both cakes turned out beautifully! Beautiful cakes for beautiful little granddaughters! 

Until next time...

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Product Review - Rug Doctor Carpet Shampooer

Note - This post contains affiliate links.

We moved into the house the middle of October last year. We planned on cleaning the carpets then, but other things needed to be done first. Then, in May of this year, our 18-year-old dog died. During the final week of his life he had some incontinence issues and didn't always make it to designated areas to do his bathroom business. There was no putting off cleaning the carpet any longer. 

I borrowed a friend's carpet cleaner, but it just didn't have the suction power needed to deep clean the carpet. Next I tried using one of those cleaners that you spray on, sponge in, let dry, and vacuum. It didn't do a thing and was a total waste of money. The only choices left were to call in a professional steam-cleaning company (totally out of the question), rent a high cost steam cleaner for a very limited time period, or purchase one of our own. 

After thinking about the cost to rent a machine one time, coupled with the fact that we'd have to drive at least 40 miles round trip to rent one AND knowing that we'd be on a limited time schedule in using it, we decided that our money would be better spent to just purchase a machine of our own. That way we'd have it available on a regular basis whenever we needed, or wanted, to use it and, if we desired, we'd be able to share the use of it with others. We could even use it to make a few extra dollars cleaning for other people if we choose to. So...that's what we ended up doing and it turns out to be one of the best decisions we've made! 

We knew the carpet was dirty, but we didn't realize HOW dirty it was. My goodness! Look at the photograph! But the area cleaned by the Rug Doctor looks practically new! Wow! here's the specs on what we bought...and we only purchased this one after wading through hundreds of reviews.
Buy Here

The machine that we purchased is the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner. It was listed as a professional grade carpet washer that uses cross action brushes to deep clean fibers from every angle to scrub away dirt and remove stains. It also claimed to have 75% more suction than comparable machines which provides a quicker clean and a faster drying time. The machine did everything that it said it would do and the results were soooo much better than anything we ever could have hoped for.

Other features of this machine that we really like are the fact that the cleaner comes with tools for cleaning stains and upholstery, the clean and dirty water tanks are easy to fill and empty, the clean water tank cap comes with a built in measuring cup, the machine has a removable tool caddy, it is easy to maneuver, and the collapsible handle makes it easy to store.

The machine weighs 25 pounds, has a cord length of 28 feet, and a tank capacity of 1.0 gallon. The cleaning path is 12 inches wide and the machine has 12 rows of cleaning bristles, plus bristles on the side. 

We purchased our machine through Amazon Prime. It normally sells for $289.99, but we got ours on sale for $234.00. 

After using this machine for ourselves, we highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about carpet cleaning!

Until next time...

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sharing My Thoughts

Years ago, on Yahoo Clubs, then later in Yahoo Groups, I used to openly share so much of heart, my day, my joys, my sorrows, favorite recipes, etc...but, in years of late, I have duped myself into believing that I have nothing left to share with anyone and writing has become very difficult...almost non-existent.

I recently had a friend tell me that I needed to get back to writing...that my blog had inspired her and was one of the reasons that she had started blogging...and her blog is WONDERFUL! Mine on the other hand, due to lack of diligence and my being continually sidetracked and derailed by enemy forces, has gone down the toilet. Does anyone even come here anymore?

I keep thinking about what my friend said. In fact, I can't get her words out of my head. It's like the Lord Himself was speaking through her. It's like I, without even realizing it, have one-by-one, laid down every single thing that God has called me to...especially in the area of and letters, newsletters, poems, songs, my blog.

I keep thinking about it. Perhaps it's time to start sharing matter how boring my day seems to be to me. I mean, to me, it's like the same old thing over and over again...mostly work...but...who knows? If I just start letting it trickle out here and there as it comes, maybe it will all begin to flow again.

I'm willing to try. Is anyone out there willing to hear me? I sure hope so!

Until next time...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Five Minute Friday - STEADY

Five Minute Friday a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

This week's prompt is: STEADY.


The steady drone of a bumble bee as it flits from one brightly colored flower to another...
   The melodious song of a dickcissel perched in the highest branch of the tallest sumac...
      The rustling sound that the grasses make as wind races, unseen, and unchecked, across the               
         tallgrass prairie landscape...

These are the sounds of summer in my little corner of the world. 


Summer already?

The first half of the year over? Over already? Seriously??? Where did it go?

Steady. Steady. The hands of clock keep turning and time moves on.

No time. No time. No time for anything anymore.

Steady. S-t-e-a-d-y.

Keep it straight. Time is what we make of it. It's time to slow down. Time to think about it.

Time to think about what's really important.

Stay steady and make time. Make time for what's important.


Until next time...


Sunday, June 18, 2017

My Summer Bucket List 2017

Sunflowers Blooming Outside Our Back Door

Once again, the summer season is upon us and, as always, it promises to be a busy one. I have been thinking about some of the things that I'd like to do this summer and some of the things that I hope to accomplish over the course of it. I know that, in reality, I probably won't get to all of them, but having a list will certainly help me to focus on the season and remind me to enjoy it to the fullest! 

" see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand" 
(Luke 21:30).

My Summer Bucket List 2017

1. Write my summer bucket list
2. Write my summer reading list
3. Lead a wildflower hike at Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site
4. Celebrate Independence Day by attending a city-wide fireworks display
5. Visit the Kansas City Zoo
6. Get the rest of my plants moved over from the old place
7. Finish cleaning out the old house and get it sold
8. Spend time with one of my oldest and dearest friends before she moves away
9. Hike all six trails at Prairie State Park to experience each in summer splendor:

        a) Drovers
        b) Gayfeather
        c) Path of the Sky People
        d) Path of the Earth People
        e) Coyote
        f) Sandstone

10. Attend a Project Wild and Wild About Elk workshop 
11. Celebrate summer birthdays with the grandlittles
12. View the total solar eclipse in the path of totality on August 21st
13. Enjoy a summer storm
14. Spend a few days away visiting friends at Truman Lake
15. Go stargazing
16. Plan and complete summer programs at work:

        a) Summer Fun Program - Bugs
        b) Saturday Afternoon Program - Getting Ready For The               Total Solar Eclipse
        c) Explorer Daycamp 2017 - It's What You Don't See -                   Lesser Known Prairie Animals
        d) Summer Fun Program - Worms
        e) Saturday Evening Program - Bats

17. Lead a bison hike
18. Spend some time squatchin' with my Aunt Bev 
19. Catch fireflies in a jar 
20. Make red, white, and blue Jello
21. Watch Yankee Doodle Dandy with James Cagney

22.Create a moon garden in the backyard
23. Host a cookout
24. Go camping with my husband
25. Visit Wilson's Creek National Battlefield with my husband and Cousin Dave
26. Eat watermelon
27. Celebrate my birthday with a banana split
28. Go wading in the creek
29. Visit Grand Gulf State Park and get Passport stamp
30. Visit Roaring River State Park and get Passport stamp
31. Visit Arrow Rock Historic Site and get Passport stamp

32. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
33. Attend Project Flying Wild at the Missouri River Bird Observatory @ Arrow Rock, Missouri

That's what's on my summer bucket list. What's on yours? 

Until next time...

Friday, June 16, 2017

Five Minute Friday - WORTH

Five Minute Friday a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

This week's prompt is: WORTH.


Self-worth. It's something I've struggled with my entire life. In fact, I've often described myself as "not feeling real", but, you know what? We cannot go by feelings. There is only one source of Truth in this world and that is the Word of God...the Holy Bible...and what it has to say about us is all that matters.

You see, God loved each and every one of us so much, that, even if you or I had been the only person ever born, He still would have sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (John 3:16; 1 John 1:9). Can you imagine? Even if you or I had been the only one!

In Luke 12:6-7 Jesus says, "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."

For those of us who struggle with knowing our worth...our value...let us stop seeing ourselves through the eyes of others and listening to the lies of the enemy. Instead, let us dig deep into the Word of God and find out what He has to say about us. 

If you are struggling with self-worth today...if you don't know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and you just don't know where to begin, or if you'd just like someone to pray with you, or for you, don't hesitate to contact me via e-mail at I would be honored to join you in prayer as you seek the Lord and discover your worth in Him. 


Until next time.