Friday, December 31, 2021

Twenty-Two Things in 2022 and A 2021 Update

2021 certainly didn't go as planned. The first half of the year was spent discovering my husband's illness (pancreatic cancer) and watching his health decline (and not being able to do one blasted thing about it!); the second half was spent dealing with his subsequent death (as well as the deaths of several other close friends and family members) and all that comes with it. 

In some ways it's been a others, just a bad dream that I can't wake up from...but, though it all, Jesus has been there and He will continue to see me through. I praise and thank Him for His loving care of me and His strength in my many moments of weakness. 

I thought about not doing one of these lists this year, because, to be honest, I couldn't see anything in my future beyond Christmas Eve, but, here I am! It's New Year's Eve and we're on the brink of a brand new year...2022...and that it holds.

I must be careful because, right now, I could easily get myself off into the ditch of gloom and doom. I hover near there quite often...BUT...this is the day that the Lord hath made and I will CHOOSE to be glad and rejoice in it (Psalm 118:24)!

No matter how dark and out of whack things may look at times, God has put us here for such a time as this (Esther 4:14). We ( that are living) are here at this particular time in history because God placed us here to carry out His plans and purposes in these end of days in which we live. Whether we choose to answer His call upon our lives is up to each us. Today I choose to answer that call and move forward. 

The truth is...I still see very little before me. I feel like I'm on the edge of a great cliff getting ready to step out into thin air, but here I am. I'm ready, Lord!

Despite all fears, failings, and enemy interference, 2022 will prove to be a glorious year! How do I know? Because, come what may, God is still on the throne and, whether people believe it or not, Jesus is coming soon!

For those that believe...

"...look up, and lift up your heads, for your 

redemptiondraweth nigh" (Luke 21:28).

Here is my bucket list for 2022...


1. Purpose to and sow daily towards gaining greater health in every area (spirit and soul and body - I Thessalonians 5:23; prosper and be in health - 3 John 2) ⌚
2. Keep up with daily scripture reading and Bible study ๐Ÿ“–
3. Read at least 12 new books ๐Ÿ“š
4. Focus on simple and nutritious foods ๐Ÿฅ—
5. Look for, and learn to appreciate, memory-making opportunities with friends and family and take full advantage of every one ๐Ÿ‘ช
6. Share Christ's love and the gospel message with others at every opportunity ๐Ÿ’“
7. Make an attempt to use it up, make it do, wear it out, or do without before spending unnecessarily
8. Get 30 minutes of some form of physical activity in, at least, three to five days a week (walking, hiking, dancing, gardening, yard work, etc.) ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ
9. 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’™
10. Post my weekly master to-do list and menu plan here on the blog ๐Ÿ“œ
11. Complete the 52 Week Money Challenge for the second year in a row ๐Ÿ’ต
12. Attend a friend's wedding in April ๐Ÿ‘ฐ
13. Welcome two new grandbabies into the family (one due in June; the other in August) ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿ‘ถ
14. Attend oldest granddaughter's wedding in September ๐Ÿ‘ฐ
15. Deep-clean, purge, and reorganize the livingroom and Van Gogh room (a.k.a. my office) ๐Ÿก
16. Plan, plant, keep up with, and harvest a productive vegetable garden ๐ŸŒฑ
17. Repair outside walls and paint house ๐Ÿ 
18. Clean out the old shed and get a new one in it's place (or reroof and repair the old one) ๐Ÿ˜
19. Explore at least one new-to-me trail ๐Ÿฅพ
20. Log at least 12 new geocache locations ๐Ÿงญ
21. Visit at least one Missouri state park  that I've never been to before ๐Ÿž
22. Visit a state that I've never been to before ๐ŸŒ„

That's what's on my 2022 bucket list. What's on yours? 

Until next time...

P. S. - Here is the list I made for 2021. As you can see, very few things actually got marked off. May 2022 be a better and more productive year for all us!


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 

(What a blessing!!!)

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

(Confederate Memorial State Park and Historic Site)

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‰

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Monday, December 27, 2021

Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday - December 27, 2021

Good morning and Happy Monday...the last Monday of 2021!  ๐ŸŽ‰  

How was your week and weekend? I trust that you and yours had a lovely Christmas!

I had a nice one here. It was hard, being as it was the first one without my husband, but I made it and it's behind me now. My children were very attentive and did their best to make sure that I didn't spend the holiday season alone. 

We had Family Christmas on the 16th. That was the only day that Amanda and Aaron both had off work and could make it down, so we scheduled the family get-together then. All but one of the children and their families made it that evening and we such a good time! It was very enjoyable and I loved having everyone here for a fun occasion (as opposed to a sad one). It was wonderful!

Grands Dante, Mercy, Ruth, and Esther Enjoying Hot
Cocoa and Candy Canes at Family Christmas

The following evening I was invited to Rudy and Angie's for supper (fried chicken, baked potato, and was delicious!). I worked on Saturday, then, afterwards, went with Patrick and Amber and Tony and Nicole and the grands to see the 'Way of Salvation' light display in Carthage. With over a million lights displayed along a half-mile drive it was absolutely stunning! 

Christmas Lights @ Carthage, Missouri

Last week fairly flew by and I never did get time to sit down and make a post. I baked dozens of molasses cookies on Monday and delivered them to neighbors and extended family members that evening. 

On Tuesday I had friends over for supper and on Wednesday I visited granddaughter, Sarah, along with daughter-in-law, Christy, and the other children, for Sarah's birthday. That afternoon my friend, Carla, came over and we did our Christmas together. 

I worked on Thursday. That evening Amber and I got in an unexpected and impromptu get-together with Amanda, her mother-in-law, Lisa, and granddaughter, Alysia, when they ended up meeting and picking up granddaughter, Kayla, at Nevada. The six of us ended up having supper together at Freddie's, then Amber and I went to the store and looking at Christmas lights on the way home. 

Mama, Mimi, the Girls, and the Grands
(from right and around the table to the left - Amanda, Rebecca
(a.k.a. Mama), Amber, Alysia, Lisa (a.k.a. Mimi), and Kayla)

It was good to get another unexpected visit in with Amanda and the girls before Christmas and I don't know when Amber and I have had an outing together...just the two of us...if ever!!! It was fun! Oh! And on the way to Nevada we dropped something off at Buddy and Christy's and got to see Christy and the grands there again before Christmas, too. It was nice! 

Friday was Christmas Eve. Rudy and Angie came to visit in the afternoon and Patrick and Amber and their family and Tony and Nicole and theirs joined me that evening for the traditional Christmas Eve lasagna. It was hard after everyone left, but, hey! I made it!!!

I had lots of invitations for Christmas Day...Rudy and Angie invited to come eat with them, Amanda wanted me to come to her house in Kansas City, Patrick and Amber invited me to ride up home with them, where Amanda could pick me up if she wanted to, Buddy and Christy invited me to their house, a friend in Carthage invited me to hers, a friend here in Liberal invited me to hers...I had LOTS of invitations...but, the truth is, I didn't really feel like being around anybody. 

Tony and Nicole and the grands did drop over for a short time in the early afternoon. After they left I went out to the park and enjoyed observing the bison herd and taking pictures from the safety of my car. For me, it was a great way to spend Christmas afternoon. If John were here, we, most likely, would have done exactly the same thing. We so loved going out to the park and watching the bison together. it is...Monday morning and the last week of 2021.To be honest, I'm happy to see it go and I pray that 2022 proves to be an outstanding year by far in comparison.

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

This week's master to-do list...

- finish up current data entry project at work
- clean house
- do laundry
- wash bedding
- take an inventory of food on-hand
- gather and deliver a box of canned and boxed items to donate
- plan January's menus based on food inventory
- go over year-end finances
- make a financial plan for 2022
- order vitamin and supplement stock
- take down, organize, and put away Christmas decorations
- celebrate the New Year
- work 'First Day Saunter' on New Year's Day at the park

This week's menu plan...

Monday - Turkey burger with oven fries and salad
Tuesday - White Chicken Enchiladas and black beans with salad
Wednesday - Breakfast sausage patty and fried potato with sautรฉed green pepper and onion
Thursday - Grilled salmon, baked potato, and salad
Friday - Homemade pepperoni pizza with salad
Saturday - Split pea soup and Ezekiel bread
Sunday - Leftovers

Well, that's it for this week! Have a lovely last week of 2021 and a Happy New Year!

Until next time...

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Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas


"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them." (Luke 2:1-20)

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Until next time...

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Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Break Time

It's a warm and wildly windy (50 mph...cRaZy!!!) Wednesday afternoon here on the tallgrass prairie of southwest Missouri. With few trees to slow it down, the wind is racing with such ferocity that one can hardly stand up against it. 

I ran up to Dollar General earlier and, while loading a 32-pack of water into the backseat of my car, my skirt lifted and wrapped itself around me. Fortunately, there was no one else in the parking lot to observe the spectacle so, thankfully, I escaped, what could have been, a total and complete embarrassing moment.

Had he still been with us, yesterday would have been my husband's 68th birthday. I wanted to do something special to honor him, but I had no idea what...until I saw the Salvation Army bell ringer in front of Walmart in Lamar.

When we lived in Blue Springs my husband rang a bell and collected money in a Christmas kettle for the Salvation Army. He was awarded 'Bell Ringer of the Year' for Eastern Jackson County in 1994. After we moved to Liberal (Missouri), he managed the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Pittsburg, Kansas for a while. 

Anyway, when I saw the bell ringer in front, of Walmart, I decided to honor my husband by putting extra cash in the Christmas kettle. It was a small thing, really, but it was something that I knew John would approve of and enjoy. 

I've baked dozens of cookies this week. I baked cookies for the guys at work on Monday and today I baked cookies for the children and grands. 

After I delivered cookies to the guys at work yesterday, I went to visit a friend in the nursing home, then, I went to Walmart to finish up my odds and ends for the week. We will be getting together tomorrow evening for Family Christmas and Nana plans on having goodies for all.

Speaking of that...I still have much to do before tomorrow. I better get up and get back to work. I just needed a break and thought I'd sit down, have a cup of tea, and spend a few moments with you. 

I do hope you're having a nice day where you're at and that you're getting the items on your holiday 'to-do' list checked off a little each day. Have a great rest of the day!

Until next time...


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Master List and Menu Plan Monday - December 13, 2021

Monday, December 13, 2021

Master List and Menu Plan Monday - December 13, 2021

Greetings, Dear One! Happy Monday! 

It's hard to believe, we are...nearly half-way through the month of December and Christmas Day is a week from Saturday! Unbelievable!

How was your week and weekend? For the most part, my week here was blah...not a lot going on really...just regular, everyday, cleaning, laundry, and work. The five-month anniversary of my husband's passing was on Friday.

My friend, Carla, and I got together for a visit mid-week and daughter-in-law, Angie, brought over the Tupperware that I had ordered on her party earlier in the month. She stayed and we got in a good visit, as well. Patrick and Amber and their family had me over for supper Friday night and we got together again Sunday evening to watch The Chosen Christmas special. Both evenings were very enjoyable.

Tony came over on Saturday and sealed up some cracks on the back porch for me and got the bottom trim board put on the front of the kitchen cabinets. That was a job that had been on hold until after the new flooring was laid. It's amazing how much difference a little bit of trim board can make. My cabinets (after five long years) finally look complete. 

Normally, we would have held our Family Christmas this past Saturday (has been the second Saturday in December for years), but, in working around Amanda's new schedule (youngest daughter and the one that lives the furthest away), we will be getting together this Thursday instead. It's the only time this month that she and her husband both had off work together, so we're making it work with the rest of the family. We will get together in the late afternoon and early evening for a time of food and fellowship.

Well, I better get to moving on here. I had planned on getting this post out much earlier, but my little cousin came by and was here for quite a while. I enjoyed our visit, but am running behind. Let's get started...shall we?

This week's master to-do list...

- work 
- clean house
- do laundry
- go to the store
- bake cookies
- deliver goodies to friends and co-workers
- observe the Geminid meteor shower
- do something special in remembrance of my husband on what would have been his 68th birthday (I'm not sure what yet, but something)
- get together with friends and family
- go caving with dd and her family (sort of)

This week's menu plan...

Monday - Chicken ranch salad, cottage cheese, and breadsticks
Tuesday - Bison tenderloin with sautรฉed mushrooms, baked potato, and leftover peas and carrots
Wednesday - Turkey sausage patty with sautรฉed peppers and onion and fried potato
Thursday - Finger foods with the fam
Friday - Out
Saturday - Black bean and cheese tostadas 
Sunday - Leftovers

Well, that's it for today, my dear friends! You all have a great day and lovely week ahead!

Until next time...

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Monday, December 6, 2021

Master List and Menu Plan Monday - December 6. 2021

Greetings, Dear One! Happy Monday! ๐Ÿ’—

It's the first Monday of December 2021 and we're less than a month away from a brand New Year! Can you believe it? I'm praying that 2022 is better and brighter than 2021 has been. 

How was your week and weekend? 

Journey To Bethlehem 2021

My week and weekend here were full and, actually, quite good with lots of Christmassy-type stuff going on. Staying busy didn't leave me too much time to sit around and think...which is good...because that's when the down times come. 

In Our Neighborhood

I'm learning that putting the Word first each day (spending quiet time with the Lord through prayer and Bible study) and staying busy mentally, emotionally, and physically are key to overcoming the darkness that tries to permeate my soul. Spending time with family and friends is quite healing, too. With John's birthday, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day coming up, December is going to be rough for sure, but, by keeping my focus where it belongs (God's Word [Jesus] first, others second, self last), then I can rest assured that all will be well no matter what.

Journey To Bethlehem 2021

Christmas 2021

This week's master to-do list...

- work
- clean house
- wipe down and tidy up the fridge
- do laundry
- go grocery shopping
- get together with family and friends
- relax and enjoy the Christmas/Advent season

Journey To Bethlehem 2021

This week's menu plan...

Breakfast ideas...

- THM pancakes with blueberries, Triple 0 yogurt, and sugar-free syrup
- sausage, eggs, and toast
- sweatpants oatmeal
- French toast with sugar-free syrup
- cinnamon-apple toast with Triple 0 yogurt
- cottage cheese on toast with fresh fruit

Lunch ideas...

- black bean and cheese tostadas
- grilled cheese sandwich and Just Like Campbell's Tomato Soup
- fish sandwich and baked potato
- black-eyed peas and cornbread (freezer)
- split pea soup and homemade bread (freezer)
- leftovers
Monday - Chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes with oven-roasted carrots and sautรฉed celery
Tuesday - Broccoli, cheese, and rice casserole with oven-roasted carrots
Wednesday - Turkey burgers with oven fries
Thursday - Oven-roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots
Friday - White Chicken Enchiladas with black beans
Saturday - Spaghetti, sauce, meatballs, and Italian bread (freezer)
Sunday - Leftovers

Journey To Bethlehem 2021

Well...that's it for this Monday! You have a nice day and a great week ahead and I'll see you again soon! 

Until next time...

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Friday, December 3, 2021

A Second Chance Winner...'s happened again! Sadly, I have been unable to reach the first place winner of Homemaking for Happiness: Wonderful Days at Home by Mrs. Sharon White.

But...that means that one of my other readers gets a second chance at winning!!!

And the new winner is...Tracy Dixon!!!

Congratulations, Tracy!!! Please contact me at within 48 hours with your mailing address so I can have Mrs. White mail the book right out to you! If I do not hear from you within 48 hours an alternate winner will be selected. 

Again...CONGRATULATIONS, Tracy!!! ๐Ÿ’—

Thank you to all who have entered this drawing! Random Result Generator was used to determine today's winner.

Until next time...

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Christmas Bucket List 2021

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Christmas Bucket List 2021


1. Write my Christmas bucket list 
2. Focus on Christ and the true meaning of Christmas ๐ŸŒŸ
3. Make it through the first Christmas without my husband (he proposed to me on Christmas Eve and we had so many traditions that the two of us shared on that's not going to be easy without him) ๐Ÿ’”
4. Spend time with my children and their families ๐Ÿ‘ช
5. Decorate for Christmas inside and out ๐ŸŽ„
6. Send and receive Christmas cards ๐Ÿ–ƒ 
7. Write a letter to include in Christmas cards
8. Light a Christmas-scented candle ๐Ÿ•ฏ
9. Use peppermint-scented cleaning supplies all through the house (Mrs. Meyer's dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, and liquid hand soap. Oh...and peppermint-scented hand lotion too! I love it!) ๐Ÿฌ
10. Put up a Christmas tree (or two) ๐ŸŽ„
11. Listen to Christmas music ๐ŸŽต
12. Make a treat for the mail carrier ๐Ÿ“ฌ
13. Purchase and deliver food to a food bank ๐Ÿฅซ
14. Watch Christmas movies ๐ŸŽฅ
15. Visit a live nativity ๐Ÿช
16. Drink hot cocoa ☕
17. Make Christmas cookies ๐Ÿช
18. Put cash in the Salvation Army Christmas kettle ๐Ÿ’ต
19. Do a random act of kindness ๐Ÿ’“
20. Make and deliver special treats to the neighbors ๐Ÿ’
21. Make a special treat for our local police officer ๐Ÿ‘ฎ
22. Wrap Christmas gifts ๐ŸŽ
23. Drive around and look at Christmas lights ๐Ÿš—
24. Attend a Christmas Eve candlelight service ๐Ÿ•ฏ
25. Read the story of Jesus' birth from the Bible (Luke 2:1-20 and Matthew 1:18-21) ๐Ÿ•ฎ

Until next time...

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And The Winner Is...

The winner of HOMEMAKING FOR HAPPINESS: Wonderful Days at Home by Mrs. Sharon White is...Becky!!!

Congratulations, Becky!!!! Please contact me at within 48 hours with your full name and mailing address so I can have Mrs. White mail the book right out to you! If I do not hear from you within 48 hours an alternate winner will be selected. 


Thank you to all who have entered this drawing! Random Result Generator was used to determine today's winner.

Until next time...

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