Thursday, December 31, 2020

Twenty-One Things in 2021


It's the last day of 2020 and, as we prepare to ring in the New Year, I've been thinking about some of the things that I would like to do and accomplish in 2021. 

This is the third such list that I've made like this. The first was in 2018 and the second was in 2019; for some reason, I skipped 2020 altogether. ๐Ÿ˜• Oh, well! Below is a list of twenty-one things that I hope to do or accomplish in 2021. 

How about you? Have you thought about some of the things you'd like to do in 2021? If so, feel free to share a few of them in the comments section below and we can cheer one another on as, together, we move forward into a bright New Year!

TWENTY-ONE THINGS IN 2021

1. Purpose and sow daily to gain greater health in every area (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial) 
2. In addition to daily scripture study spend at least 21 minutes a day reading ๐Ÿ“–
3. Read (at least) 21 books ๐Ÿ“š
4. Focus on simple and nutritious foods ๐Ÿฅ—
5. Walk (at least) 21 minutes per day ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ
6. Share the gospel of Jesus Christ in person, through the written page, or through tract-passing with at least 21 people ๐Ÿ’“
7. Stay politically involved throughout the year by praying for, writing to, and encouraging government officials in every branch and every level as led by the Lord๐Ÿ’“๐Ÿค๐Ÿ’™
8. Attend our youngest daughter's wedding ๐Ÿ‘ฐ
9. Create our own 2021 "Christmas Club" by completing the 52 Week Money Challenge ๐Ÿ’ต 
10. Post my weekly master to-do list and menu plan here on the blog ๐Ÿ“œ
11. Deep-clean, purge, reorganize, and rearrange each room in our home ๐Ÿก
12. Create a new pantry area ๐Ÿฅซ
13. Participate in a 31-day home decluttering challenge ๐Ÿงน
14. Reroof the house, garage, and shed ๐Ÿ 
15. Explore four new-to-me trails ๐Ÿฅพ
16. Create a herbarium field journal ๐ŸŒผ
17. Organize my life-time bird and animal lists into one place (with photos) ๐Ÿฆ
18. Visit a Missouri state park (or two or three) that I've never been to before ๐Ÿž
19. Visit a state that I've never been to before ๐ŸŒ„
20. Create a nature newsletter for children ๐Ÿธ
21. Write at least two new unit studies for homeschoolers ๐Ÿฆ‰

That's what's on my 2021 bucket list. What's on yours? 

Until next time...
~Rebecca

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Monday, December 28, 2020

Master List and Menu Plan Monday - December 27, 2020

Greetings, Dear One! ๐Ÿ’—

I trust that you and your family had a nice Christmas. Ours here was great (you can read more about it HERE if you'd like) and we are, indeed, blessed beyond measure! Our youngest daughter-in-law described it best when she said that we had "a pretty spectacular Christmas for the world being in such a tilt!" And to that I say, "Amen!!! We sure did!"

And, now, here we are! It's Monday! And not only is it the last Monday of December, but it's the last Monday of 2020...period!


2020 has been a rough year, there's no doubt, but a new year fast approaches, and what a glorious new year it will be! Are you ready for it? What will you do to celebrate and ring it in? ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ†๐ŸŽŠ


I pray that this last week of December goes well with you and yours and that 2021 holds blessings untold for all!

Let's get right on into this week's post...shall we?


This week's master to do list...

- get flat fixed (it's a long story, but, dd should be here soon with an air compressor and, hopefully, we will be able to get the tire aired up enough to make it to the local tire shop to be fixed...we shall see) ๐Ÿš—
- work
- take a family member grocery shopping ๐Ÿ›’
- complete my weekly "home blessing" ๐Ÿก 
- do laundry ๐Ÿ‘š
- continue to monitor and pray over election results ๐Ÿ’“๐Ÿค๐Ÿ’™
- celebrate New Year's Eve by tuning into EMIC's New Year's Eve service ๐ŸŽ‰
- celebrate New Year's Day 2021 with black-eyed peas and cornbread ๐Ÿฅฃ
- wish #2 son a Happy Birthday ๐ŸŽ‚
- figure the January 2021 budget ๐Ÿ’ฒ
- go to the bank and pay bills ๐Ÿ’ต
- wish grandson, Silas, a Happy 13th Birthday ๐ŸŽ‚

This week's menu plan...

Monday - Chili dogs with chips and fried apples
Tuesday - Beef and celery stir-fry over brown rice
Wednesday - Oven-roasted chicken breasts, cauliflower au gratin, and fried cabbage
Thursday - Burgers and oven fries
Friday - Black-eyed peas and cornbread
Saturday - Dh's night to cook (chef's choice or leftovers)
Sunday - Leftovers or breakfast for supper


Well, Ladies, that's it for this week! I pray that you and yours have a great week and a wonderful and greatly blessed New Year!

"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." (3 John 2)

Until next time...
Rebecca

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Saturday, December 26, 2020

Christmas 2020 Bucket List Update

 

I actually ended up making it to most of the things on my list. The poor mail carrier is the one that missed out. I never was here at the right time to catch him and I wasn't comfortable with leaving something in the mailbox.

I also didn't get around to reading The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Maybe next year.

Other than that, I pretty well covered everything that was on the list.

And, by the way, this was one of the nicest Christmases ever! Crazy busy, but nice!

We saw and spent time with all of our children and most of our grands throughout the season and I got together with my BFFF...which hadn't been done in a long time...as well as other friends and extended family members along the way.

Our youngest daughter, her boyfriend, and his oldest daughter surprised us by showing up on Christmas Eve. They spent the day and he proposed to her while they were here! It was a joyous occasion for all three of them and that was the first time that Amanda has been here on Christmas Eve since 2007! It was great having them!

John and I did our Christmas together Christmas Eve and my cousin joined us for lunch on Christmas Day. Later in the day we were invited to our oldest daughter and son-in-law's for pie and tea.

It was a great Christmas and I thoroughly enjoyed it! 

I hope your Christmas was great, too, and I wish you and yours  happy, blessed, and joyous New Year! ๐ŸŽ‰

My Christmas 2020 Bucket List Update

1. Write my Christmas bucket list
2. Decorate for Christmas inside and out 
3. Put up two trees...one with a patriotic theme (red, white, and blue with American flags); the other a Victorian pink one (a smaller version of the one we had in Blue Springs when the five oldest children were young) ๐ŸŽ„
4. Read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ๐Ÿ“•
5. Spend time with our children, their spouses, and the grands
6. Send and receive Christmas cards ๐Ÿ–ƒ
7. Sing Christmas carols ๐ŸŽต
8. Make a gift for the mail carrier ๐Ÿ“ฌ
9. Drink hot cocoa ☕
10. Make Christmas cookies ๐Ÿช
11. Present a special program on old-fashioned Christmases
12. Make (and taste) Christmas fudge ๐Ÿฌ
13. Donate to a child in need through Operation Christmas Child ๐Ÿ‘ฆ
14. Watch Christmas movies ๐ŸŽฅ
15. Make mulled cider 
16. Do a random act of kindness 
17. Wrap Christmas gifts ๐ŸŽ
18. Deliver gifts to a homeless shelter 
19. Listen to Christmas music ๐ŸŽต
20. Put cash in a Salvation Army Christmas kettle ๐Ÿ’ต
21. Make and deliver special treats to the neighbors ๐Ÿ’
22. Drive around and look at Christmas lights
23. Light a Christmas candle ๐Ÿ•ฏ
24. Have Christmas Eve lasagna (it's been a tradition for over 30 years) 
25. Read the story of Jesus' birth from Luke 2 ๐Ÿ•ฎ


That's what's on my Christmas 2020 bucket list. What's on yours?

Until next time,
Rebecca

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Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas 2020

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." (Isaiah 9:6-7)




MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Until next time...

~Rebecca

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Winter Bucket List 2021


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Winter Bucket List 2021

The Creek @ Prairie State Park in Winter

Autumn is over and winter solstice occurred on Monday. Did you happen to catch the conjoining of Saturn and Jupiter (a.k.a "the Christmas star") Monday night? It was amazing!

In this post I am going to share a list of things that I'd like to experience and accomplish over the course of the 2020-21 winter season. I probably won't get to all of them, but just having the list will help me to focus on the season and, perhaps, enjoy it a little more. Won't you join me as I read through the list?

“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 2021

1. Write my winter bucket list
2. Plan my winter menus (this will be done weekly through my  'Master List and Menu Plan Monday' posts) 
3. 
Celebrate the Christmas season with family and friends ๐ŸŽ„
4. Ring in the New Year with family and friends ๐ŸŽ‰
6. Celebrate winter birthdays with the grandlittles ๐ŸŽ‚
7. Go stargazing (don't forget the warm blanket and hot tea!) ๐ŸŒ 
8. Celebrate Valentine's Day ๐Ÿ’˜
9. Go out of town or do something special to celebrate John and I's 33rd wedding anniversary ๐Ÿ’ž
10. Hang a new bird feeder ๐Ÿฆ
11. Invite family and friends for soup and bread ๐Ÿฅฃ๐Ÿฅ–
12. Drink hot cocoa ☕
13. Have a movie marathon ๐ŸŽฅ
14. Play in the snow ⛄
15. Make peanut butter pinecones for the birds ๐Ÿฅœ
16. Work a jigsaw puzzle ๐Ÿงฉ
17. Catch a snowflake on my tongue ❆
18. Spend a night in a cozy cabin 
19. Throw a snowball ⛄
20. Make chili ๐Ÿฅฃ
21. Watch and photograph winter birds at the feeders ๐Ÿฆ
22. Drink hot tea ☕
23. Cut out paper snowflakes ❅
24. View a frosty-backed bison ๐Ÿ‚
25. Host a winter pizza party (February 9th is National Pizza Day) ๐Ÿ•
26. Start a nature writing project ๐Ÿพ
27. Enjoy a full moon on a snowy night ๐ŸŒ•
28. Host a coloring contest for the grandlittles ✎
29. Make snow ice cream ๐Ÿจ
30. Follow a favorite musher or two in the 2021 Iditarod ๐Ÿบ
31. Take a winter hike ๐Ÿฅพ
32. Break icicles off the edge of the roof ๐ŸงŠ
33. Plan the 2021 vegetable garden (order seeds early!) ๐ŸŒฑ
34. Shampoo carpets 
35. Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with family and friends ๐Ÿ€

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

Until next time...
~Rebecca

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Monday, December 21, 2020

Master List and Menu Plan Monday - December 21, 2020

Greetings, Dear Ones! ๐Ÿ’—

It's Monday morning and, here we are, in the final few days before Christmas! There is still much to do, but the list is dwindling down! Yeah!

How was your week and weekend? Our week and weekend here was super good!


I worked on Monday. On Tuesday we delivered some goodies to the guys at work and others, positively identified the ferruginous hawk that's been hanging around the park, went Christmas caroling, and I presented a program on old-fashioned Christmases to a group of homeschoolers in Nevada. While John and I were in town we circled by and saw the lights at the little conservation lake that is there in town. 


They're always so pretty and they reflect in the water. Some day, when it's warmer and we think about it, we want to go back and walk down to the gazebo and out on the water. It probably won't happen this year, but sometime.

Wednesday and Friday were spent catching up on stuff around the house, filling out cards, catching my breath, and planning the rest of the season.

Thursday we got word that a dear friend had passed away in the wee hours of the morning. We also got to visit Pat at the nursing home (it was the first time since March) and, on the way home, we stopped in Lamar and finished up our Christmas shopping.

I worked on Saturday. Saturday evening we were invited to our son and daughter-in-law's for supper and to celebrate granddaughter, Sarah's, birthday. I took this photo of the grands while we were there...

Last night my cousin came up and had supper with us. While he was here, we got news of the passing of yet another sweet friend...this one from COVID. Please pray for the families of both of the dear friends that we've lost this week (the Greenwell family and the Sanders family). Both have left a huge hole in many hearts. ๐Ÿ˜ข

Now (deep sigh), here it is, Monday morning and time to head for work. You all have a good day, a great week ahead, and a very Merry Christmas! I'll be with you all again soon! 

This week's master to do list...

- work
- complete my weekly "home blessing" ๐Ÿก 
- run errands ๐Ÿš—
- do laundry ๐Ÿ‘š
- continue to monitor and pray over election results ๐Ÿ’“☆๐Ÿ’™
- celebrate the first day of winter ❆
- observe the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter (a.k.a. "the Christmas star") in the night sky (happens tonight! hasn't been observed for 800 years!) ๐ŸŒŸ
- make and deliver goodies to our neighbors ๐ŸŽ
- get together with my BFFF 
- host a WLMO movie night - The Nativity Story
- read the Christmas story from the Bible (Luke 2:1-20 and Matthew 2:1-12) ๐Ÿ•ฎ
- enjoy a relaxing Christmas Day at home ๐ŸŽ„

This week's menu plan...

We've been blessed with an abundance of cauliflower and other vegetables, so the early part of the week will feature recipes that highlight them.

Monday - Cream of cauliflower soup and grilled cheese sandwiches ๐Ÿฅฃ
Tuesday - Cauliflower beef stir-fry with brown rice ๐Ÿ„
Wednesday - Oven-roasted chicken breasts with cauliflower au gratin, sautรฉed celery, and turnips with basil lemon butter ๐Ÿ”
Thursday - Lasagna, homemade French bread, and salad ๐Ÿฅ–
Friday - Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, and rolls ๐Ÿ”
Saturday - Dh's night to cook (chef's choice or leftovers) ๐Ÿ‘จ
Sunday - Leftovers

Well, Ladies, that's it for this time! I pray that all is well with you and yours and that you have a lovely and blessed week ahead!

Until next time...
~Rebecca 

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Sunday, December 20, 2020

Fall Bucket List 2020 Update


Today is the last full day of Fall 2020 and I can't believe that the season has already come and gone. It fairly flew by and I didn't get to nearly as many things on my list as I would like to have, but since it's been a weird year all the way around, I'm not going to worry about it. I'm just going to be happy with the memories made and  move on from where I'm at. 


I did get some lovely photos throughout the season, so I will be disbursing some of those throughout this post and any notes or comments about specific items will follow in italics and parenthesis.


My Autumn Bucket List 2020

1. Write my autumn bucket list
2. Plan my autumn menus (this will be done weekly through my Master List and Menu Plan Monday posts) 
3. Celebrate autumn birthdays with the grandlittles ๐ŸŽ‚

(We didn't handle birthdays this year like we normally do. We did continue to give cards with $$$ in them, but, with all the stuff surrounding COVID, I chose not to take the grandchildren out for lunch this year. Instead, I just took the ones that wanted to up to Casey's to get a treat, then to the park to sit and visit one-on-one for awhile. The oldest and I did meet for breakfast at the local cafรฉ and, for the ones that live further out, Papa and I just picked up treats at Casey's and went out to their place to visit. Most of the grandchildren were happy enough with this arrangement. It looks like this trend will carry on over into 2021.)

4. Make a batch of Mini Baked Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts ๐Ÿฉ
5. Make caramel apples ๐ŸŽ
6. Do fall crafts with the grandlittles ๐Ÿ‚
7. Enjoy a cup of Louisburg Cider
9. Host or attend a wiener roast ๐ŸŒญ


10. Visit a corn maze ๐ŸŒฝ
11. Add a new mum to my collection 
12. Enjoy a juicy, red apple ๐ŸŽ


13. Observe the autumnal nighttime sky ⭐๐ŸŒ ๐ŸŒŸ


14. Bake a batch of Spiced Walnut Scones 
15. Visit a pumpkin patch 


16. Enjoy a walk in the woods ๐Ÿ


17. Get some new fall-scented liquid hand soaps and hand sanitizers 
18. Enjoy a cup of pumpkin spice tea 
19. Try an autumn tea flavor that I've never tasted before
20. Enjoy an autumnal full moon (Corn Moon - September 2nd, Harvest Moon - October 1st,  - Blue Moon - October 31st, and Beaver Moon - November 30th) ๐ŸŒ•


21. Set up a hot beverage area for autumn hospitality
22. Make a pumpkin roll 
23. Log at least 30 new geocaches ๐Ÿงญ
24. Build a bonfire ๐Ÿ”ฅ


25. Aid in working the bison at work (annual vet checks and public auction) ๐Ÿƒ
26. Watch falling leaves ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ


27. Light an autumn-scented candle ๐Ÿ”ฅ
28. Listen to the honking of geese as they fly high overhea


29. Observe, sketch, photograph, or note at least a dozen new or interesting things found in nature ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ

(Including Mississippi kites and a ferruginous hawk!)


30. Visit a wetlands area
31. Visit Fort Osage 
32. Go on a hayride 
33. Enjoy a cool and rainy day ☔
34. Carve a pumpkin ๐ŸŽƒ
35. Make a batch of Pumpkin Streusel Muffins ๐Ÿง
36. Observe a flock of migrating birds



37. Bake a pumpkin pie 
38. Go to the lake for a weekend getaway 




   

39. Make pumpkin butter
40. Watch To Kill A Mockingbird with Gregory Peck (an annual fall favorite) ๐ŸŽฅ
41. Lead an impromptu frost flower hike to observe frost flowers in the field ๐Ÿฅพ

(Sadly, due to COVID all programs were cancelled this fall, including my annual frost flower hike. That didn't stop the frost flowers though!)


42. Take at least 750,000 steps ๐Ÿฆถ
43. Walk 100 miles ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ
44. Lose 10 pounds over the course of the season
45. Vote in the upcoming presidential election ๐Ÿ’“☆๐Ÿ’™
46. Celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends ๐Ÿฆƒ
47. Weatherize our home before cold weather arrives
48. Have the propane tank filled 
49. Clean up the yard (cut trees, trim bushes, put the garden to bed, etc.) 
50. Do a winter food and supply stock-up ๐Ÿฅซ

That's it for me. How about you? How was Autumn 2020 for you and yours?

Until next time...
~Rebecca

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Friday, December 18, 2020

Recipe For Crockpot Mulled Cider

 



This was a big hit at our family Christmas gathering this year! It's warm, comforting, and absolutely delicious! ☕

SLOW-COOKER MULLED CIDER

1 gallon apple cider 

1 large orange

1 (1-1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger

5 cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon whole cloves


Pour apple cider into a large slow-cooker. Cut the orange and ginger into 1/4" slices and add to slow cooker. Secure cloves in a tea ball (or wrap in a double layer of cheesecloth or paper coffee filter and gather up into a sachet and tie with kitchen twine) and add along with cinnamon sticks. Slow cook for 4 hours on LOW, then, turn to WARM. Makes 16 one-cup servings.

Until next time...

~Rebecca

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Recipe For Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Recipe For Chocolate Covered Pretzels

 



CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZELS

Soft, crunchy, sweet, and salty all in one delicious bite!

3/4 pound pretzel twists

24 oz. chocolate or vanilla almond bark

red, white, and green candy sprinkles

1 tablespoon shortening




In double-boiler (or microwave) melt shortening and almond bark and stir together until smooth and velvety. Working with a few at a time, dip pretzel twists in melted chocolate. Remove one at time with a fork, tapping the fork against the side of the pan to remove excess chocolate. Slide chocolate covered twist off of fork onto parchment or waxed paper, then top with candy sprinkles. Let set until dry. Serve or store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.



Until next time,

~Rebecca

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Master List and Menu Plan Monday - December 14, 2020

Recipe For Soft Batch M & M Christmas Cookies



Sunday, December 13, 2020

Master List and Menu Plan Monday - December 14, 2020


Greetings, Dear Ones! Happy Monday! I hope that your week is off to a great start! ๐Ÿ’—


Well...here we are...in the last full week before Christmas! 
We celebrated Christmas with the family on Saturday, but there is still much to do in the days ahead before we get to the actual day of. 

Most of last week was spent preparing for Family Christmas...cooking, baking, making candy, and filling goodie bags for the grands. All of our children were there but one, and his family, of course, and our oldest granddaughter was out of state. We were sorry that they weren't able to join us and we missed them, but we had a great time! 

There was plenty of food, good fellowship, music, and games. Patrick and Amber even came up with a Christmas family Jeopardy board and it was so much fun! The sad part is...not only did I have my cell phone on me, but my good camera, as well, and I didn't take a single photograph! ๐Ÿ˜ข

The highlight of the whole season, and something that just blows Papa and I away, is receiving our copy of The Family Christmas Chronicle. This is the second year in a row that our oldest daughter and her family have done this as a gift for the whole family. 

Throughout the year each household is invited to share articles, news, recipes, events, drawings, photographs, etc. and, then, the week before Family Christmas, the Pennington family magically turns it all into a wonderful book that chronicles the lives and happenings of our family throughout the past year. Then, each household receives a copy of the beautiful and thoughtfully put together finished product at our Family Christmas gathering.

I say "magically" but, the truth is, putting this together for everyone is no easy task. It takes a lot of time and effort, I'm sure, but what a labor of love! It's something that Papa and I have treasured the past two years and, God willing, look forward to many more of in the years ahead. 

For now, though, the weekend is over and it's time to head to work. You all have a great Monday and I'll be with you again soon. Let's get on with this week's master to do list and menu plan, shall we?


This week's master to do list...

- work
- celebrate my husband's 67th birthday (today) ๐ŸŽ‚
- complete my weekly "home blessing" ๐Ÿก 
- do laundry ๐Ÿ‘š
- continue to monitor and pray over election results ๐Ÿ’“☆๐Ÿ’™
- make and deliver cookies, candy, and other treats to friends and co-workers ๐ŸŽ
- do a presentation on old-fashioned Christmases for a homeschool co-op ๐ŸŽ„
- go Christmas caroling 
- walk as much as possible ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ


This week's menu plan...

Monday - Grand Greek Salad with Swiss Garlic Bread ๐Ÿ”
Tuesday - Out
Wednesday - Stuffed pepper casserole with sweet potato fries and steamed cauliflower ๐Ÿฅ˜
Thursday - Cowboy Grub ๐Ÿค 
Friday - Salmon Avocado Skillet with baked butternut squash and salad ๐ŸŸ
Saturday - Dh's night to cook (chef's choice or leftovers) ๐Ÿ
Sunday - Leftovers

Well, Ladies, that's it for this time! I pray that all is well with you and yours and that you have a lovely and blessed week ahead!

Until next time...
~Rebecca 

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