Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Cold Weather, Taxes, and a Mid-Week Update

Good morning, Dear Ones!

How is everyone this morning? I can't help but wonder how many of my readers are experiencing the effects of this polar vortex and what they've had to do differently to prepare for, and survive, it. 

Here we've not had to do a whole lot different really as we've hardly had any winter weather up to this point, this year, plus, this whole polar vortex thing isn't going to last that long for us anyway. (It's supposed to be in the mid-40's tomorrow and in the mid-60's by the weekend! 😲 Welcome to Missouri!) The main thing we've had to do on this end is just pull out our warmest clothes and check in on family, friends, and neighbors to make sure that everyone is doing okay and not having any issues. So far, so good! Praise God! 💗

This morning's view across the way. ⛄

And, surprisingly, we got snow last night! Not a lot...maybe an inch or so...if that? But, still! It's snow and the ground is covered! I am ecstatic

Yep!!! That's just about right! 😆
The lady boss emailed me yesterday to say that our W-2's were in, so I ran out and picked mine up mid-afternoon and had our taxes filed before supper. Was pleasantly surprised to learn that, since dh turned 65 in December, we were able to get most of our personal property taxes back on state. (Yeah! What a blessing!) When it comes in, we will put the refunded tax money back to pay towards this year's personal property taxes and, the money that we would normally save back towards taxes each month, will now be used towards achieving debt freedom. 

With the bad weather, our oldest granddaughter and I decided to postpone today's lunch date until next week. After I get dressed for the day I will probably venture out to the park to see if I can locate some snowy-backed bison and, hopefully, get some pics. Other than that, I will work on projects here at the house and, this afternoon, I plan on having tea with my oldest daughter. 

That's what's going in my mid-week. What's happening in yours?

Until next time...

Recent and related posts that you might enjoy reading...

Thrifty Week - Post #10

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

My Thrifty Week - Post #10

Good morning, Dear Readers! 🙋 

It's been a l-o-n-g time since I've done one of these, but welcome to 'My Thrifty Week' - Post #10! 

I'm excited to be getting back to these posts and into thrifty-thinking mode again! With the final push towards debt-freedom, it's becoming a game to see where and when we can cut and it feels super good when we overcome and conquer in any given area, no matter how big or how small it might be!

Since my last entry, I've missed so many opportunities to share, but here are a few things that have happened recently that fall under the category of being 'thrifty'...

- I used Amazon points to purchase free craft stuff for my library programs, got a brand new Red Rider bb gun and bb's for only $8.45 after points, several free books, and a free stove burner for my electric range (that alone was a $28.45 item).  

- Finally used a 25.00 gift card that we got as a gift for our 30th wedding anniversary to purchase a stainless steel pasta pot with drain and steam basket.

- Am finally learning HOW and remembering TO use my new Walmart Saving Catcher app at the register on a regular basis, which actually works! It is saving money on each subsequent visit and I usually save $2.00 to $4.00 per visit! Over time that will really add up! 

Well...that's all I can think of at the moment. It's not much, but it is a start, and I do hope to get back to posting regular 'thrifty week' posts throughout the year.

Until next time...

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Happy Homemaker Monday - January 28, 2019

Monday, January 28, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday - January 28, 2019

Good morning, Dear Ones! Happy Monday! 💗 

I pray that all is well with you and yours. Can you believe that this is the last Monday of January already? Where in the world did the first month of 2019 disappear to? I blinked and it was gone...just like that! 😲 

How was your week and weekend? Ours was good here. 

I took a friend to her hair appointment Tuesday, then grocery shopping. Other than that, I spent the rest of the week at home. In fact, once I parked my car Tuesday evening, I didn't start it up again, or go anywhere, until I had to go to work Friday morning, and, for me, THAT is highly unusual! I spent the rest of the week purposefully keeping up with housework, working on the blog (catching up on the 2018 bucket lists), reading, crafting, relaxing, working on dietary changes, and I started walking again. It had been way too long since I had done so and I could tell it. 😳

I did not end up taking the CPR class with our oldest granddaughter, but plan on catching up with her a bit later in the week this week, which will be nice. 💗 A CPR class is being scheduled through work within the next month or so, so it would have been pointless to pay to take one now, so I didn't.

I worked Friday and Saturday. Then, Sunday morning was church, with lunch afterwards with our church family. The rest of the day was spent relaxing with my husband. We drove out to the park and watched the bison grazing for awhile. Then, came home, read a bit, watched an episode of "Little House on the Prairie", and pretty much did nothing the rest of the day. It was a great weekend!'s time to get on with a brand new week! Won't you join me as I join Sandra at Diary of a Stay At Home Mom and all the other lovely ladies that make up the Happy Homemaker Monday crew?

Today I am joining Sandra and the other ladies over at Diary of a Stay At Home Mom
for Happy Homemaker Monday. Please be sure to go over and check it out! 💗
Right now I am...

...eating breakfast and enjoying a cup of hot tea while I work on this post. I am also listening to the wind and watching dark clouds as they push to the south.

Outside My Window This Morning
Am thinking...

...about how most of the battles we face are fought in the mind. I am determined to get the upper hand over the thoughts that assail me by, as instructed in the the Word, purposely taking each one captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

On the breakfast plate...

French toast spread with Smart Balance and a drizzle of SF syrup, Triple Zero vanilla yogurt, and a steaming cup of hot tea

The weather...

...cloudy, windy, and 37 degrees with a windchill of 27. We're under a wind advisory now and a polar vortex is supposed to swoop in by tomorrow evening. Wind chills are predicted to be between -10 and -20. Starting Thursday, temperatures promise to improve with highs in the 40's and 50's. Without much wintry weather this year, I'm more than ready for spring! Bring it on! 🌷

On my reading pile...

Am still reading The Great Buffalo Hunt by Wayne Gard, God's Will for Your Healing by Gloria Copeland, and Pioneer Girl  - The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder. (I am lovin' this book! I so wish my mom could have read it. She would have eaten it up!!!) 💗

Pioneer Girl - The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder
On the menu this week...

Monday - roasted chicken breasts, sauteed mushrooms, baked sweet potatoes, and steamed broccoli
Tuesday - broiled salmon, baked butternut squash, and salad
Wednesday - turkey and wild rice soup and salad

Thursday - 
turkey Italian sausage, fried cabbage, and beets
Friday - broiled salmon, baked potatoes with cottage cheese and chives, peas and carrots
Saturday - turkey burgers, sweet potato fries, and salad
Sunday - leftovers

On my 'to do' list...

Monday - Weekly "home blessing" (condensed version), laundry, HHM post, walk, run errands
Tuesday - Walk, start working on book project
Wednesday - Walk, have lunch with granddaughter; visit with dd in the afternoon

Thursday - Walk, figure February budget and bills, get together with my BFFF
Friday - Walk, bank, pay bills, work
Saturday - Walk, work
Sunday - Church

In the craft basket...

...a photo album project, recycled Christmas card crafts, and cloth napkins

One of my simple pleasures...

...a steaming hot cup of tea...morning, afternoon, makes no difference to me 

(Aha! A rhyme! I'm a poet! And I didn't even know it!) 😆 (Actually, I am a poet and I did know it, but...who cares???) 😜

Something interesting that I watched this week...

The episode of Ozark Watch Video Magazine that features the Harry S Truman Birthplace State Historic Site in Lamar, Missouri and Prairie State Park (where I work) near Mindenmines, Missouri. I've been looking for it for quite a while and finally found it. If interested, you can watch it by clicking HERE.

Photo Credit
From the camera...

Bison Crossing The Road At Prairie State Park
Scripture passage...

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

Until next time,

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Winter 2019 Bucket List

Friday, January 25, 2019

Winter 2019 Bucket List

A Snow-Capped Bird's Nest At Prairie State Park
Taken January 15, 2018
Autumn is over, it's late January, winter solstice occurred over a month ago, and I'm just now getting around to sharing the list of things that I'd like experience and accomplish over the winter season. Some of them have already happened and I know that, in reality, I probably won't get to all of the things on the list, but just having it will help me to focus on what's left of the season. Won't you join me?

“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 Winter Bucket List 2019

1. Write my winter bucket list
2. Plan my winter menus (this will be done weekly through my  'Happy Homemaker Monday' posts)
3. Celebrate the Christmas season with family and friends
4. Ring in the New Year with family and friends
5. Celebrate winter birthdays with the grandlittles
6. Watch lunar eclipse on January 20th
7. Invite family and friends for soup and bread
8. Celebrate Valentine's Day 
9. Celebrate John and I's 31st wedding anniversary
10. Hang a new bird feeder
11. Deep-clean the kitchen
12. Drink hot cocoa
13. Plan 2019's vegetable garden
14. Play in the snow
15. Watch 'Little House on the Prairie' - Seasons 1 through 9
16. Read Pioneer Girl - The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder
17. Plan and complete winter programs at work -

      A) Animals in Winter (library)
      B) Let it Snow (library)
      C) Meet the Mustelids (homeschool)

18. Take a CPR class through work
19. Finish a set of black bear cloth napkins
20. Make chili
21. Watch the winter birds at the feeders
22. Drink hot tea
23. View frosty-breathed bison with snow-covered backs
24. Take a winter hike
25. Enjoy a full moon on a snowy night
26. Start a book project that I've got in mind
27. Make snow ice cream
28. Break icicles off the edge of the roof
29. Shampoo carpets
30. Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with family and friends

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

Until next time...

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Nineteen Things In 2019

As you can see, I'm still running a bit behind, but, hey! I'm getting there! In this post I will, not only, share my 'Nineteen Things in 2019' bucket list (nineteen things that I hope to accomplish in 2019), but will share my 'Eighteen Things I Want To Do In 2018' update. I'm determined to be 'caught up' by month's end, goes...


1. Read (at least) 19 books
2. Post a Happy Homemaker Monday Post every Monday
3. Attend the 2019 Victory Campaign in Branson
4. Go out of town or do something special for our 31st wedding anniversary
5. Wage war on unnecessary spending
6. Pay off that last credit card
7. Continue to guard my heart from negativity and drama
8. Walk 30 minutes a day three to five times per week
9. Discover food freedom 
10. Lose 30 pounds
11. Compete a book project that I've got in mind
12. Go on a new adventure with my youngest daughter
13. Plan and plant a garden that includes a few heirloom varieties 
14. Purposefully practice hospitality on a monthly basis
15. Visit (at least) two state parks that I've never been to
16. Do one thing each month towards getting ready for Christmas 2019
17. Complete one deep-cleaning project each month
18. Clean out carport
19. Clean off and organize the back porch

That's what's on my bucket list for 2019. What's on yours? did I do with 2018's list? Not great, but not bad, either. Here is my year-end update...

Eighteen in 2018 Update

1. Read (at least) 18 books  

Read twenty-nine.

2. Go out of town or do something special to celebrate my husband and I's 30th wedding anniversary

We didn't make it out of town, but our girls surprised us with a 30th wedding anniversary party on the Sunday before our anniversary and that was definitely special! We had an ice storm that day AND a brand new granddaughter born to us!!! What a awesome way to celebrate 30 wonderful years together! 💗💗 (We had an ice storm on the day we got married, too, so it was definitely fitting!) 😆

3. Welcome two new grandbabies into the world

Our granddaughter, Kira Niomi Faith, came into the world on February 11th...

Kira Niomi FaithFebruary 11, 2018 💓 7 pounds 6 ounces 💓 20 inches long
...and Miss Hannah Nicole was born on June 26th...

Hannah Nicole
June 26, 2018 💗 9 lbs. 7 oz. 💗 20" long

4. Do one thing each month towards getting ready for Christmas 2018
5. Pay off that last credit card (it's been a 15+ year journey, but we're almost there!)

Not quite there yet, but still purposefully working towards it

6. Guard my heart from negativity and drama

This one is vague, I know, but, most days, I've done okay; other days its been a real struggle, but, overall, I think it's easier for me today than it used to be and that's good!

7. Attend the 2018 Victory Campaign in Branson

Enjoyed our 2018 trip to Branson very much and enjoyed attending the 2018 Victory Campaign at Faith Life Church.

Faith Life Church - Branson, Missouri
8. Post a Happy Homemaker Monday Post every Monday

I did it! YEAH!!! 😄 It's not always easy, but I so enjoy participating in this! 💗

9. Plant a vegetable garden

Zucchini Growing In Our Garden

10. Walk (at least) 365 miles (a mile a day)

Got lazy towards the end of the year and missed this one by just a few miles. So disappointing! 😞

11. Get rid of 18 things we don't truly enjoy/use each month (4 or 5 things per week)

Not that I've counted, but, I've cleared out so much stuff and still have so much more stuff to clear out! 😳

12. Turn the Van Gogh room into a functioning office and prayer closet
13. Get pull blinds and lace curtains for livingroom windows

I've got the blinds but don't have them up yet and haven't even started looking for lace curtains. Maybe this year. Who knows? Definitely not a top priority right now. 

14. Finish the unit that I'm currently on in Rhema plus one more (that will leave only one before graduation)

Actually finished and graduated in October of 2018.

15. Create a moon garden in the backyard (this has been on my list for quite a while)
16. Complete a 1940's WWII Rationing Challenge
17. Lose 30 pounds
18. Clean off and organize the back porch you have it! My 'Eighteen Things I Want To Do in 2018' year-end update AND my 'Nineteen Things in 2019' bucket list. 

If you've made a bucket list for 2019, I'd love to read it! Feel free to share a link to it in the comment sections below. 

Until next time...

Recent and related posts that you might enjoy reading...

Happy Homemaker Monday - January 21, 2019

Blogmas 2018 - Day 26 - My Christmas Bucket List Update

Eighteen Things That I Want To Do In 2018

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Blogmas 2018 - Day 26 - My Christmas Bucket List Update

To finish up the Christmas season I thought I should post an update of my Christmas 2018 Bucket List and I had planned on doing it as Day 26 of my Blogmas 2018 series. As you can see, I didn't make, so here goes...Day 26 of Blogmas 2018 almost a month late...(and some of you may not agree)...but better late than never! (At least I'm getting caught up!) 😉

(Note: Clicking on highlighted words will link you to posts where you can read more about that subject should you be interested in doing so.)

My Christmas 2018 Bucket List

1. Write my Christmas bucket list

2. Decorate for Christmas inside and out
3. Work Christmas on the Farm at Watkins Woolen Mill

The Centerpiece That Adorns The Watkins Family Table
is Always My Favorite Thing at Christmas on the Farm
4. Put up the trees...there are four of them...big one (in the Van Gogh room), little one (in our bedroom), vintage one (in the livingroom), and Jesse tree (in the kitchen) 🎄

Christmas Tree in the Van Gogh Room
5. Read a Christmas book
6. Spend family Christmas with all six of our children, their spouses, and the grands
7. Watch Christmas movies

A Christmas Carol starting Alastair Sim
8. Sing Christmas carols
9. Purchase a poinsettia
10. Drive around and look at Christmas lights
11. Drink hot cocoa
12. Make (and taste) Christmas fudge
13. Donate a toy 
14. Send and receive Christmas cards

Christmas Cards
15. Wrap Christmas gifts 🎁
16. Do a random act of kindness
17. Burn holiday scented candles 
18. Put cash in a Salvation Army 'Christmas kettle'
19. Choose an 'Angel Tree' child
20. Make a special treat and deliver it to the neighbors

Treats For The Neighbors
21. Enjoy the glow of Christmas tree lights
22. Bake Christmas cookies 🍪

Christmas Cookies
23. Listen to Christmas music
24. Make a gift for the mail carrier
25. Sip eggnog
26. Attend a candlelight service
27. Drink wassail
28. Have Christmas Eve lasagna (it's been a tradition for over 30 years)

29. Read the Christmas story from the Bible (Luke 2:1-20)
30. Spend Christmas Day at home with family and friends

That's what was on my Christmas 2018 bucket list. What was on yours? If you wrote a Christmas bucket list, I'd love to read it. Feel free to post the link to it in the comments section below!

Until next time...