Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Birthday Calendar

With having such a large family now (six children, their spouses, and 18 grands), I'll admit that it's getting harder and harder for John and I to keep up with birthdays. So, when I came across this sweet, wooden, hanging, birthday calendar from Dresslily online (for not much money), I ordered it! 😊

All the pieces are pre-cut and everything you need to assemble is included (main board, twine for hanging, wooden circles, and metal connectors). 

I used a permanent black marker to write the names, and date of birth, for John, myself, our children, their spouses, and each one of the grandchildren. πŸŽ‚

Then all I had to do was attach each circle under the proper month on the board and viola!

Now, all John and I have to do is glance at the wall to see how many birthdays are coming up in the month ahead, whose they are, and what days they fall on. No more trying to remember and figure it all out in our heads! 😟 And no more missing anyone by mistake! πŸ˜³ LOL! πŸ˜†

Until next time...

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Happy Homemaker Monday - September 24, 2018

Good morning! Happy Monday ! And Happy Fall! 🍁

Can you believe that this is the last Monday in September??? Wow! Where has the month gone? 😲

How was your week and weekend? Ours was good here. Accomplished quite a bit on the home front and am busy at work getting ready for Prairie Jubilee. That's about the extent of my world at the moment.

Today I'm joining Sandra and the other lovely ladies for Happy Homemaker Monday over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. Join me, won't you? πŸ’—

Today I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom and
all of the wonderful ladies of 
Happy Homemaker Monday!
Right now I am...

... finishing up breakfast and enjoying a cup of tea while I write this post; doing laundry and have already started my morning cleaning.

Am thinking...

... about my friend, Charlotte. 

A few years ago,  my world consisted of ministry (home, family, friends, hospitality, community, outreach, online ministry, writing articles for Christian women's publications, card and letter-writing, food, etc.); now, I live in a bubble (half a week at home and half a week at work). 

A week ago today I discovered that my friend, Charlotte, had passed away a few days prior and that her memorial service had been held the day before. I didn't even know she had been sick. 

The last time I had talked to Charlotte was six-months previous and, at that time, she had requested prayer for her body. There was something wrong, but, up to that point, the doctors hadn't been able to give a diagnosis. Of course, I prayed for Charlotte and thought of her often, but, not one time after that did I call or follow up with a visit to see how things were going. The woman died of pancreatic cancer. 

Her family tried to reach me after her death on Friday, but I was at work. I didn't recognize their cell number (figured it was a telemarketer) and didn't call them back. 

I feel terrible that I wasn't there for Charlotte (or her family) during, what had to be, the roughest and most difficult time of her life on this earth. I, mean, I'm still having a hard time believing that our last contact was six months ago. It seems like just a few weeks ago. 

I did think about Charlotte. In fact, the two weeks previous to her death, her name came to my mind multiple times. I knew I needed to call or go see her and...I would, I thought..."soon", but "soon" was too late. 

In the old days, the minute the Lord would lay someone on my heart, I would react. I would run by to see them, give them a call, or do whatever was necessary to make that contact and be obedience to the voice of the Lord. This time...I missed it. 

And that's not the first time I've missed it lately. Actually, that's the second time that I failed to be obedient to the voice of the Lord in as many weeks. I've missed it two times in a row THIS MONTH that I am fully aware of. 

Something's got to change and it's got to be within me.

I do feel bad that I wasn't there for Charlotte, but I don't grieve for her. I have absolutely no doubt of where she is today. No one loved Jesus more than Charlotte did and, even in all her human frailty, no one sought to seek and please Him more. He was her life and her total focus. And, in thinking about that, it just hit me that, yes, in my own human frailty, I missed it...I wasn't there...but He was. What joy Charlotte must be experiencing at this moment just to be in His presence!

Pray for me, Ladies. I've got to get out of this bubble that I live in and open my spiritual eyes and ears. There are a lot of hurting people out there and my heart's desire is to, truly, be the heart, hands, and feet of Jesus on this earth. I need to reevaluate my priorities, be sensitive to my Father's voice, follow His leading, wisdom, and direction at all times, be available for His service...anytime...anywhere, and be available to others, as He leads. This will only happen as I develop a heart more fully devoted to Him by spending time in His Word and seeking Him in every area. 

"Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you... (James 4:8).

On the breakfast plate...

... not my usual breakfast, but leftover tuna and noodles and Twining's Irish Breakfast tea

The weather...

... 68 degrees and cloudy, at the moment. We're supposed to reach a high of 79 degrees this afternoon and stay under mostly cloudy skies. The week-ahead-forecast promises highs in the lower-70's to lower-80's with nighttime-lows in the mid-50's to mid-60's and a few chances of rain. Am thankful to finally be able to enjoy some more fall-like weather! 🍁

On my reading pile...

I finished The Table That Speaks - Bringing Communion to Life by Kenneth W. Hagin and am working on the review, so, at the moment, I am in a lull between books.

On the menu this week...

Monday -  Italian sausage-stuffed banana peppers served over sauteed zucchini
Tuesday - homemade vegetable pizza
Wednesday - chicken fajitas
Thursday - corn chowder and cornbread
Friday - tacos
Saturday - chili and cornbread
Sunday - leftovers

On my 'to do' list...

- Monday - Plan the week ahead, do my weekly "home blessing", do laundry, wash bedding, clean the fridge
- Tuesday - Take a friend grocery shopping, get together with the bead-makers in the evening
- Wednesday - Meet oldest dil for breakfast, make food ahead for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
- Thursday - Meet up with an out-of-town friend for lunch and a visit
-Friday - Work, family in from out of town arriving
- Saturday - Work (Prairie Jubilee); company
- Sunday - Church; company

In the craft basket...

This will be the last week of paper bead-making. I'm not sure that I'm going to reach my goal of having, at least, 200 necklace kits put together, but Jubilee is Saturday and what we have when we're done tomorrow night is what we have and it will be good enough! 😊

Looking forward to this week...

Prairie Jubilee, visiting with family and friends

Something interesting I watched...

This caterpillar feeding on white crown beard...

From the camera...

Am loving my Mrs. Meyer's cleaning supplies! They're the best! <3
Scripture passage...

Well, Ladies, that's it for this week! I pray that each and every one of you have a blessed and beautiful week ahead! And I'll see you next week! 

Until Next Time...

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My Autumn Bucket List 2018

Saturday, September 22, 2018

My Autumn Bucket List 2018

Welcome Autumn 2018

Summer is officially over and, once again, my favorite season is here...AUTUMN! Warm days, cool, crisp nights, bonfires, and all things pumpkin spice...these are the things that excite me about autumn. 🍁

I have been thinking about some of the things that I'd like to do this fall 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! πŸ‚

“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22).

My Autumn Bucket List 2018

1. Write my autumn bucket list 
2. Enjoy a juicy, red apple
3. Celebrate Prairie Jubilee at Prairie State Park
4. Make a batch of Mini Baked Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts
5. Celebrate autumn birthdays with the grandlittles
6. Attend the 43rd Annual Missouri Town 1855 Arts, Crafts, and Music Festival with my cousin, Sara
7. Pick up walnuts with the grandlittles
8. Enjoy donuts and fresh cider at the Louisburg Cider Mill
9.  Host a wiener roast
10. Visit a corn maze
11. Add a new mum to my collection
12. Lead a night hike out on the prairie
13. Go on a hayride
14. Go squatchin' with my Aunt Bev
15. Visit a pumpkin patch
16. Hike a new trail
17. Compete the following programs at work:

       A) Looking at Leaves (library program)
       B) Wild About Elk (homeschool program)
       C) Bison (library program)
       D) Big Cats (library program)
       E) Big Cats (homeschool program)

18. Go camping with my husband
19. Make s'mores
20. Pick up pecans in our backyard
21. Attend a CWC (concealed weapon class)
22. Make a pumpkin roll
23. Host a cousin's soup and bread night
24. Build a bonfire
25. Aid in working the bison at work (preparing for Jubilee, annual vet checks, and public auction)
26. Get a pedicure
27. Harvest marigold seed
28. Carve a pumpkin
29. Make a batch of Pumpkin Streusel Muffins 
30. Make a fairy jar
31. Bake a pumpkin pie
32. Visit friends at Pomme de Terre
33. Complete a 1940's WWII Ration Challenge
34. Celebrate National Bison Day at Prairie State Park
35. Lead an impromptu hike on a very frosty morning and observe frost flowers in the field
36. Enjoy frost flowers in our own backyard
37. Move the wood pile from behind our garage
38. Complete the final unit in Bible college and graduate from Rhema
39. Celebrate Thanksgiving at our youngest daughter and son-in-law's new home
40. Get blinds put up on the south-facing windows (I have them...just haven't got them up yet)

That's what's on my autumn bucket list. What's on yours? (I'd love to see your list, so feel free to share a link to it in the comments section below. Thanks!)

Until next time...


Friday, September 21, 2018

Decorating For Fall

Recently, I pulled down the box of fall decorations and put some of my favorite pieces out on display. I will share some of them with you here today. 🍁
These squirrel salt and pepper shakers sit atop the microwave amidst pretty pumpkins and autumn leaves. 

This pretty wall hanging was given to me by my cousin, Sara, two autumns ago and, quite frankly, it hangs on the kitchen wall year-round. My plan was to find similar hangings for each season and change them out, but, thus far, that hasn't happened. So...autumn it is...year-round! πŸπŸ‚πŸπŸ‚πŸ

A View of the Shelves That Run Along the Edge of the Kitchen Window

Silk Flowers Mid Pretty Pumpkins and Autumn Leaves

"Good Morning Pumpkin"
(What a humongous cup!!! 😲)

"Be Blessed, Be Thankful"
(And I am!) 

A Pretty Glass Pumpkin

Four Mini-Plates

This is my favorite fall piece of all! This set of four mini-plates feature four different kinds of popular leaves in autumn splendor and are housed in a pretty round box that contains corrugated cardboard to keep them separated. They are the perfect size for serving individual muffins or, perhaps, a pumpkin-spice doughnut or two, and are absolutely beautiful! 🍁

Nothing makes me happier than the warm glow of a fall-scented candle on a chilly, autumn afternoon or evening! 

This is a few of my favorite autumn decorations. What are some of yours? πŸπŸ‚πŸπŸ‚πŸ

Until next time...

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Low-Spend, Dollar-Stretching Challenge - Update #3 and Recipe For Easy Hummus

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Low-Spend, Dollar-Stretching Challenge - Update #3 and Recipe For Easy Hummus

We're nearing the end of the month and still going strong with our low-spend September. I'm going to have to go to the store next week and replenish fresh items (milk, bread, eggs, etc.), and, with company coming in, I'm going to have to purchase a bit of meat and a few extras along that line, but not much.

Overall, I think we've done really well with this challenge and, for the most part, will carry it on into October. We still have a wide variety of grains (steel-cut oats, cornmeal, pearl barley, flax seed, etc.), as well as, dried beans and peas (pinto, kidney, navy, red, split peas, and lentils), ham, zucchini, peppers, and other things in the deep freeze. With the cooler weather moving in this week and continuing on through the end of the month, we should be able to make good use of a lot of that stuff by turning it into chili, ham and beans, cornbread, soups, and homemade bread. (Can anyone say 'good old-fashioned Midwest comfort foods'? I am soooo looking forward to them!) 


My husband loves hummus! I had never made it before, but  when I found a pound of dried chickpeas in the deep freeze, I decided to cook them up and try my hand at it. It was surprisingly tasty and there were enough chickpeas for four single batches or two double batches).

Easy Hummus Served With Green Peppers From Our Garden

Cook dried chickpeas according to package directions. 

2 cups cooked chickpeas (about 1/4 pound), drained, reserve liquid
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
1 clove (or more) garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt

Place all ingredients, except reserved liquid from the chickpeas, in food processor and run until smooth and well-blended. Add liquid as needed until desired consistency is achieved. Serve hummus with vegetables, chips, or crackers and enjoy!

Until next time...

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30 Days of Summer - Post #30 - Summer Bucket List 2018 Update

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

30 Days of Summer - Post #30 - Summer Bucket List 2018 Update

Well, we're three days away from the first day of fall and this is my final post in Jean's, over at So Not Organized, and my '30 Days of Summer' blog series. I do hope that you all have enjoyed reading our posts as much as we've enjoyed writing them. I do think that this exercise has helped me find the beauty in, what is usually, an unbearable season for me. Thanks, Jean! I've enjoyed our time together and look forward to working with you again in the future! Blessings, my friend! πŸ’—

PLEASE NOTE: I am posting this post in full as it was written with 
completed items marked with a line through them and notes made in bold type 
where appropriate. Have added a lot of pictures, too!😊

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 2018

1. Write my summer bucket list
2. Welcome another new granddaughter into the family πŸ‘Ά

Miss Hannah Nicole - 6/26/18 - 9 lbs 7 oz. - 20" long
3. Focus on building strong relationships with family members and friends 

(This probably wasn't a good thing to put on a bucket list because it's pretty abstract. I do feel that I have tried to stay focused and have moved forward in some areas, while not so much in others. This certainly isn't something that can be held up to a yard stick and measured or simply crossed off of a 'to-do' list and be done with. It is something that will have to be nurtured on a daily basis over the course of a life-time without losing focus.)

4. Finish the unit that I'm currently on in Rhema and start the final unit before graduation 
5. Take a vacation 

(Passed this one up. You can read more about that in 30 Days of Summer - Post #26 - Summer Vacations...or the Lack Thereof by clicking HERE.)

6. Eat watermelon πŸ‰
7. Celebrate Independence Day by attending an area city fireworks display πŸŽ†

(We did celebrate Independence Day, but we did not attend an area city fireworks display this year. There was just too much going on and we were too tired to make the extra 40 to 100+ mile round-trip to do it this year.)

8. Attend an outdoor concert

(My friend, Dorothy, couldn't make it up for her birthday in June, as planned, so, on July 26th we met in Springfield and celebrated both of our birthdays (hers late; mine early) and what a day we had! Bass Pro, lunch at Hemmingway's, Wonders of Wildlife (which was totally awesome!) and the National Aquarium (we got to pet the stingrays and some of them were so sweet)! Then, that evening, we attended the Peter Frampton concert at the Ozark Empire Fair. What a great way to spend a birthday outing with one of my oldest and dearest friends!)

Dorothy and I @ the Peter Frampton concert - 7/26/28
We've been friends since we were 10-years-old.
9. Hike a new trail

(Hiked the nature trail at the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista, Arkansas as part of my birthday outing.)

10. Enjoy fresh produce and herbs out of our own garden 🌱

(This was a great year for zucchini, green peppers, banana peppers, onions, cucumbers, and herbs...all of which we use a lot of.)

11. Celebrate summer birthdays with the grandlittles (and there are a BUNCH of them!) πŸŽ‚

(For details on this one click here: 30 Days of Summer - Post #29 - Summer Birthdays.)

12. Find creative ways to use up items on-hand (food, craft supplies, paper products, etc.)

(Whether it be food, health and beauty products, household cleansers, or whatever, we have consistently worked toward using up the last little bits of stuff before opening new bottles, cans, jars, tubes, packages, etc. and have reused, repurposed, and recycled when possible. I think we've done well with this this summer and want to continue moving forward in this area throughout the coming months.)

13. Attend Project Learning Tree πŸŒ³
14. Visit friends at Truman Lake

(We didn't make it there, but they made it here. It was a short visit, but it counts...right?)

Here we are...wreaking havoc in Casey's while going for our traditional Icee! πŸ˜†
15. Go stargazing 🌟

(On Sunday evening, August 12 (the night before my birthday) my husband, my cousin, Dave, and I went out to the park and watched the Perseid's meteor shower. That is always a thrill for me! I arrived with the Perseid's back in 1961 and they've always been special to me. It's an event that I look forward to annually. 🌠🌟🌠)

16. Plan and complete summer programs at work:

        a) Hug-A-Herp Day (Reptiles and Amphibians) 🐍🐸🐒

Kaiden Introduces River and Rain to a Baby Painted Turtle
River is Fascinated by the Tiny Turtle and Takes a Closer Look
A Juvenile Northern Yellow-BelliedWater Snake 

        b) Explorer Daycamp 2018 - Who Gives A Hoot? (Owls) πŸ¦‰

        c) Let's "Stick" Together Library Program (Sticks)

        d) Sunflowers Library Program (Sunflowers) 🌻

        e) Sunflowers a la Petite Prairie Saturday Programs (Van Gogh) 

17. Enjoy a summer storm

(I can't say that I enjoyed it, but I was sure freaked out by one! The same one that hit Table Rock Lake and capsized the Ride the Ducks boat killing 17 people at Branson. What a crazy storm! And it came out of nowhere! It was the freakiest storm I've ever witnessed!)

18. Celebrate my birthday with a banana split

(Since our birthdays are only four days apart, granddaughter,
Liz, and I enjoyed birthday banana splits together. πŸŽ‚)
19. Catch a lightening bug 
20. Do a night hike 🌜

21. Organize our bookshelves
22. Get blinds up on the south-facing windows

(I have them. They're just not up yet. 😭)

23. Make red, white, and blue Jello

(For details click here: 30 Days of Summer - Post #6 - Red, White, and Blue Jello)

24. Go camping with my husband ⛺
25. Build a bonfire πŸ”₯
26. Make S'mores
27. Make a fairy jar

(We've got the supplies for this, but, my youngest daughter and I simply haven't found the time to get together to complete the project. I think we're getting together in late October, so maybe we can do it then. If not then, then November. We'll see.)

28. Take a walk in the rain ☔

(By the time we took our selfie it had stopped raining, but we did, indeed, take a
walk in the rain at the Lester Davis Memorial Forest on a Sunday afternoon.)

29. Make homemade ice cream

(Found the ice cream maker that we wanted online. It reminds me of the ice cream maker that Grandpa and Grandma had when I was a child. The only difference is, you had to hand crank Grandpa and Grandma's and ours is electric. πŸ˜‰ And ours came with two packages of ice cream mix and two packages of rock salt! I don't think they had mixes when I was growing up. πŸ˜„ 
30. Go to a movie

(We don't go to the theater too often (maybe once a year...or two or three?) but I did want to see Christopher Robin, so, soon after it came out, John and I went to Pittsburg to see it and it was really cute! I liked it! I love Winnie the Pooh! πŸ’— Our youngest son had one when he was a baby and he loved sucking on Winnie's nose! πŸ˜„ So cute! Now his little daughter plays with it when she's at Nana's house.)

31. Preserve what I can of the summer bounty

(This was a great gardening year for us...especially for zucchini and peppers! We used all we could fresh, plus probably have at least a quarter of our freezer full of frozen squash, green, and sweet banana peppers.)

32. Grill burgers on an outdoor grill πŸ”

(Found the little habachi that I wanted online. The grates on it just fits
four burgers and, f
or just John and I, that's perfect. πŸ”)

(Nothing says summer like the taste of a fresh burger right off the grill! πŸ” Yum!)

33. Go through, at least, ten totes of stuff that is packed and put away, throw away, give away, or sell

(I don't know that I've gone through ten totes, but I have gone through some and have done a lot of putting away, throwing away, giving away, and selling, so I'm counting it!) πŸ˜†

34. Play in cool water on a hot day

Playing in War Eagle Creek
War Eagle Mill @ Rogers, Arkansas
35. Have a yard sale
36. Visit Grand Gulf State Park 
37. Do a season-long nature-at-night study using Discover Nature at Sundown by Elizabeth P. Lawlor as my guide 

(I didn't cover everything in the book, but did enjoy studying several of the things mentioned throughout...observing the different degrees of nightfall, the sounds and smells of night, owls, frogs, moths, fireflies, bats, and hoppers. I also put together a basic field kit of items that is easy to grab and often needed on after-dark forays.)

38. Collect rocks 
39. Observe insects around an outdoor light at night and sketch them 
40. Feel cool grass beneath my feet 

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

Until next time...

P.S. - This post is my final post in the 30 Days of Summer blog series hosted by Jean, over at So Not Organized, and myself. To see all of the posts that I have written in this series (Posts 1 through 30) click HERE where they are listed in numerical order with links to each.

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Happy Homemaker Monday - September 17, 2018