Sunday, August 31, 2008

Something to Think About...Precedents

Precedents.... What does that word mean to you?

I looked it up on As I was looking for definitions, most were related to law precedents. That tells me it's a pretty strong word. I am most interested in the first definition that the American Heritage Dictionary presented:

"An act or instance that may be used as an example in dealing with subsequent similar instances."

This is the definition that has been a guiding thought for me. In the past, my family has been much more affluent than we are currently. Nevertheless, I have always thought about the precedents that I am setting with my children when we give gifts for celebrate special days and holidays. For instance, even when we could afford it, and wanted to give my children their first bicycles, I would not buy such a gift for Christmas or a birthday. We don't give many big gifts; we never have. 

During the year, I look for gifts that I think they will enjoy. I put them away in a box until their birthdays, Christmas, or an I Love You day. Because I don't give big gifts, they don't expect them. Because I don't give them often, they are thrilled when they receive one.
We are smack dab in the middle of birthday season at our house. All three of my little ones were born within three weeks of each other.

Last week, my daughter turned 7, I spent a grand total of about $8.00 at yard sales, over the last few months, for her gifts. She likes Winnie the Pooh. I was blessed to find a Pooh jewelry box, a Pooh plate, and Pooh pencils, along with some other things. Her big wish was for a jump rope. God so graciously provided a new one for her. She was so happy and so thankful.

This week, my son turned 9. I spent a total of about $5 on his birthday gifts. We were blessed with a big box of Hot Wheel tracks that we gave to the kids about a week ago. Michael is enjoying it so much. He asked for Hot Wheels, he actually requested that brand, for his birthday. So, off to Dollar General for a shopping trip. His sister and I found five of the coolest Hot Wheels cars and wrapped them up. Each of our family chose one to give to him. I also had a top and a beanie baby hedgehog for him. To make it extra special, my oldest daughter hid the gifts. She and my oldest son then made clues for Michael to follow to find his gifts. Periodically throughout the day, I would say, "It's time!"; and, we would wait as he hunted for a gift.  He had so much fun!

The point to all this is that we must be careful of the precedents we set. Christmas is coming. It may be time to set a new precedent for gifts. If we talk with our children and relatives ahead of time, maybe we can make better choices that will allow us to enjoy the season, and the Savior, more this year.
See my sidebar for a countdown to the Christmas season. I find that after December 1st, we're too busy or rushed to really think out the preparations; that's when things just happen.

Let's think ahead, plan ahead, and do ahead this year.

God bless you!
May I suggest?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fall is...


I love Autumn. It has long been my favorite time of year. We live in Carthage, the Maple Leaf City.

Fall means the Maple Leaf Festival and the biggest parade in the four states.

Fall means pumpkins! A few years ago, my husband and I lived in the country and had a pumpkin patch. I loved everything about it. I loved seeing the baby pumpkins as they formed and grew. I loved harvesting them. I loved selling them and the craft items I'd made. The name Harvest Lane came from our farm, Harvest Lane Farm. I'd been Laura of Harvest Lane on-line for awhile; so, when we moved to town, we called our home Harvest Lane Cottage.

Fall is apple cider with mulling spices, chai tea, cocoa, missing our wood stove, soup simmering on the stove, bread baking in the oven, the smells of pumpkin and cinnamon coming from my oven or my favorite candles.

Fall is snuggling up with a good book while I listen to the rain falling outside, thankful that my children are gathered around me.

Fall means walks with my children, looking for pretty leaves.

Fall means school in the park. We love setting up on a picnic table, enjoying the weather, and then playing when we're done, or during "recess".

Fall means planning for Christmas gifts, sneaking in a little Christmas music while I'm working, and creating for for friends and family.

Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage
Looking forward to my favorite season.

May I suggest?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Late August Morning...

It's a late August morning....
Here's what we're up to this morning:

My littlest, Amy is coloring and cutting out pumpkins in anticipation of Autumn decorating. ~Art~

My next, Michael, is reading a science book. ~Science~

My Emily is cutting up apples and making apple pie filling to freeze. ~Home Economics~

I am cleaning the office. Oh, how things do pile up! My husband is out of town today. He works from home part-time and travels to a nearby city part-time. I want to make our home office more restful and peaceful and tidy for his eyes. ~Loving my Husband~

Later today, lessons for the children, checking some assignments for me, and a little sewing or crafting for the Farm Girl Fest and my shop. I'll be adding new items soon. ~Home Teaching, Home Business~

Just trying to keep busy and be productive!

May I suggest?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Farm Girl Fest

Inspired by Mary Jane Butters of Mary Jane's Farm....

First Annual Farm Girl Fest
at Fox Fire Farm in Carthage, MO
Saturday October 4, 2008
10:00 a.m. to dusk
Free Admission
crafts, food, music, demonstrations and more
For more information,
call Caitlynn Morris
@ (417) 793-6108.
Vendor booths $20.00 Deadline Sept. 20th.

My dear Friend Mrs. M, her daughter, Miss C, and I were talking one evening about how we'd like to put some of the things we've been making in a craft fair. Mrs. M and Miss C had already checked into the entrance fees and found them prohibiting for us. After much talk, and sharing of ideas, they decided to have a Farm Girl Day at their country house. Enter my husband, who knows who's who around town. He called a local, famous artist, Lowell Davis, about using his wonderful Red Oak II. He, Mrs. M, and Miss C discussed it; and now, we're having it there.

It's going to be a lot of fun. If you live near SW MO, or just want to travel, please join us.
God bless!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Applesauce, Fresh Milk and Pressing Matters

In regards to comments recently received....

The red hots applesauce sounds delectable. I loved red hots as a child. I wonder if you can buy them this time of year. I always thought of them as a Valentine's Day candy.

I am so blessed to have a friend with a cow. She's been so thoughtful to share a gallon with me now and then. When we get back on our feet, I'll buy from her more often.

I'll share about Farm Girl Days soon. It's a craft fair my friends are putting together. It's going to be great fun.

I enjoy sharing my prayers of thanks to my God and my King. Jesus Christ has made such a change in my life. I don't know what I'd be had I never met him and surrendered my life to Him.

If you know Him, press in! If you don't know Him, press HERE.

There is One God and Only One God in Heaven. He cares for you and is reaching out to you in love and mercy, in compassion, with His offer of salvation. He wants to save you from hell; but He also wants to change your life here as well.

I'm a little preachy tonight, I know. It's just on my heart tonight. I have to follow the Holy Spirit. Someone who is reading this might just need to know what I've been writing. I know it's the Spirit of God; because, I planned to write about Red Hots Applesauce and fresh cow's milk. ~smile~

God bless you all!

Laura of Harvest Lane
Blessed Beyond the Stress

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thankful Thursday....

Good Day Ladies,

You just get to listen in to my thank you Jesus prayer this morning!

Thank You Jesus!

...for my home

...for my little kiddles

...for my big handsome nearly grown son

...for the love of my life, my Lowell

...for cool weather that reminds me of Autumn

...for bargains at the grocery store

...for a little girl that is thankful for birthday gifts from yard sales

...for good friends

...for blogging friends who help me learn to be content and resourceful

...for Laura Ingalls Wilder books that first sparked in me a desire to do it myself

...for fresh from the cow milk from a friend

...that I am still learning new things

...that as I learn, life seems to fit together better in my mind

...that YOU LORD never leave me nor forsake me.


Bless you all ladies. Take a look at more thankful posts over at Grace Alone.

Thankful to Be a Child of the King

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Apple Butter City Style....

Hello Everyone,
I had a question about making apple butter on my last post from Miss Carol.

"Hi there. Thanks so much for sharing your life...I so enjoy reading what you write! I have a question for making apple butter quite impossible for someone who doesn't (unfortunately) live in the country and pick her own apples?? I love apple butter, but have never ever made it. I also don't have a :)"


Well Miss Carol, I'm not sure I'm the one to answer this! The truth is, I usually cheat a bit at making apple butter. I don't live in the country right now, but in a small town. Even when I did live in the country, I didn't have my own tree. We have gone apple picking at an orchard before; and that's just so fun with the kids. It's not always possible; and, it's a lot of work. So, here's how this small town girl cheats a bit! ~smile~


Apple Butter City Style

First, I buy one of those great big cans of apple sauce, the kind that the restaurants and large families use. Sometimes I'll buy two if I feel like making a lot.
Next, I open the can, pour it in a big pot, and start heating it up over medium heat, stirring often.
While it's heating, I go to the freezer and get out my cinnamon and cloves, and sometimes ginger and nutmeg. The most important spice is the cinnamon. I use the others if I have them on hand. I also get out the brown or white sugar. Either one works; but, I like the flavor of the dark brown sugar best.
Now, here's the part that makes me blush a bit. I don't measure anything! It makes it really hard to explain how to make it. I just pour in a bunch of cinnamon, a little bit of cloves, nutmeg, and and a tiny bit of ginger. How's that for measurements? ~smile~ I also add a lot of brown or white sugar, until it's as sweet as I like it. ~blushing again~ I guess you've guessed that I taste as I go! I do use a clean spoon though, in my defense.
While I'm in the kitchen paying attention, I keep it on medium low and stir it occasionally. If I'm going to be about the house, I put it on the lowest heat and stir it when I walk through the kitchen. I just continue to simmer it until it gets thick and dark and delicious, adjusting sugar and spices until it's just right. It takes hours.
When it's as thick as I like, I ladle it into jars and usually freeze it because I have plenty of freezer space. It can be canned; I just haven't done it. Consult the Ball Blue Book for instructions on that.
Well, that's about all I can think of. Oh, here's an idea your family might like. When you make cinnamon rolls, use apple butter instead of butter, cinnamon, and sugar for a filling. My family likes it.
We have to do what we can, with what we have, where we are.

Happy at Home

May I suggest?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bags and Bags and Bags

of Granny Smith Apples!

Last night our family went apple picking. Boy did we go apple picking. We have several bags of apples covering our counter and on the floor just waiting to be processed. We were blessed to be able to pick the trees of a couple of ladies who didn't want to use their apples this year. We came along at just the right time. Did I hear God calling us that way? ~smile~

So, I've been a peeling and a coring. My little kiddles have helped me, too. It's so nice to work on something old fashioned like this with them. I'm taking a little break to get some of them cooked up.

What am I going to do with them all?

To start with, I'm making apple butter. After that, maybe an apple crisp. After that? Maybe apple pie filling. But first, apple butter. I'd like to make a whole lot of it.

It's been a long time since we had to drop everything because of a harvest. I miss the farm, that I do. We were there just a couple of years; but, it changed us somehow. Now we long for a little land again. It's that cow/chicken thang, ya know?

God bless you and happy harvest!

Thank you Lord!
Up to her elbows in apple peels!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Live Well. Love Much. Laugh Often.

 Live Well ~ Love Much ~ Laugh Often

Isn’t that a lovely sentiment?

Live well!

What does living well mean to you?

I think living well means doing our best to live each day, recognizing it as a gift from God. To me, it means that I do my best to enjoy life, regardless of what it sends my way. It means that I do the best I can with what I’ve got where I am, to use Teddy Roosevelt’s words. It means focusing on the good, lovely, pure, admirable, things of good report. It means living my life in such a way that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is honored.

Love much!

I want to love the Lord my God with all my heart mind soul and strength. I want to love others as I love myself. I want to love my family like there’s no tomorrow. I want to be a good friend. I want to be kind to those I do not know yet.

Laugh often!

When my youngest son was born, we were planning to name him Zachary Isaac. It means “God remembers laughter”. This meaning was significant because my mother died just before he was born. Although we ultimately named him Michael, he definitely has the gift of laughter. He indeed turned my mourning to rejoicing. I want to laugh more and laugh often. It’s hard to laugh when times are hard, but "a merry heart doeth good like medicine"!

I encourage you to think about these things. What do they mean to you?
Just something to think about….

May God bless us and help us to
live well, according to His plan, love well, and laugh often.

Happy at Home

May I suggest?
Happily Ever After

Modest Mom

Monday, August 11, 2008

Thank you so much!

Ginny, Marie, Katy, thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement.

Yes, we have gone through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. Ironically, we were making less than our bills while taking it; and My Lowell lost his position right after taking it! So, we've not gotten to implement anything other than the concept of paying rent, utilities, gas and food before paying other bills. It's remarkable that we had to have someone to tell us that. But it's like we had to have permission to take care of our family before our creditors and dr/hospital bills!

I truly appreciate the prayers that y'all have sent up for us. I know that My Jesus is interceding on our behalf. I thank God that others are also. I don't completely understand it; but, I know it helps a lot.

May God bless you all!
Who's tied a knot in the end of her rope!


Good afternoon!
It's Monday again and time for My Day Book!

Outside my Window... sunshine and shadow making the leaves glimmer beautifully in the breeze. Our office is on the second floor; so, I have a tree level view. I love being able to look out the back window and see my kids playing. Right now they're swimming at the Y.

I am thinking... I have to declutter, declutter, declutter to get ready for yard sale #2. This one will be at my friend's house. I'm trying to make money for math books and a candle holder I saw that I really like. It's only $5; but, I don't have it to spend right now.

I am thankful for... getting the rent paid this month.

From the kitchen... It's pizza night.

I am creating... ideas for my first craft fair in October. See my shop for a sampling of my products.

I am going... to pick up my children at the Y after I pop the pizza in the oven in a few minutes.

I am wearing... pants! I am a dresses girl almost all the time. Every once in awhile I just want to feel comfy in my old knit pants and a t-shirt. That's today! (BLUSHING)

I am reading... Westering Women. It's about women's preconceived ideas, experiences, and such during the pioneering/frontiering days. It's interesting; but a slow read. It reminds me of a college textbook style of writing. Perhaps it was the author's dissertation!

I am hoping... to sell a lot at Friday's yard sale.

I am hearing... music from my blog playing. I just love it.

Around the house... Hubby is "on break" and is listening for the news update.

One of my favorite things... pumpkin spice candles.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... yard sale prep, lesson plan prep, laundry, baking for the yard sale, doing the sale with my friends.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...
Read the best books first or you may not have time to read them at all.

Happy at Home

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I Will Never be the Same Again

 How good is God?
So good that I don't even remember what the specific devastating news was for sure.  It's been five years since I wrote this post.  The things I learned and wrote are still worth sharing.  We have been blessed for two years with steady income.  God has provided for our needs and some of our wants.  He's good so good!
Bless the Lord!
August 18, 2013

Many of you know that my husband was without work for many months and has just started working a few weeks ago. I praise God for his new job. I trust that God will help him get the sales he needs to support our family.

Twice this week we have heard devastating news financially. But God. No, we haven't found a way through it or out of it. But we've prayed. I know that some how, some way God will bring us through this. I trust God. I guess that's what I've come to know in my mind, heart, and spirit. I can trust HIM completely. It will probably be really hard. But God.

We've been reading the Adventures in Odyssey Passages books by Paul McCusker. In the books, God is referred to by some of the characters as "The Unseen One". One of the characters stated that they were in the hands of the Unseen One. That phrase stuck in my mind. So, now I know that I can have peace, no matter what we go through, that We are in the hands of the Unseen One. God our creator will take care of us.

The other thing that I've realized is that I've had a wrong focus during this four year financial nightmare. I kept wanting to hear my husband tell me, "It's going to be alright." Over the last many months, I've realized that no. It is not going to be alright. In fact, that's the wrong question, the wrong focus.

The real question, the only one that really matters is if we, as a couple, and as a family are going to be alright. We are both committed to God and to each other and to our family. So, we know that with God, We are going to be alright. We are 100% sure and committed that with God, we're going to be together, forever, no matter what. That commitment is what will make us live happily ever after.

So, all this said, I have chosen not to worry about these things. I've given them back to God and asked Him to show us the way and take care of it. I have the most amazing peace in this storm. It is that peace that passes all understanding. Praise the Lord.

I will never be the same again.
God bless!

May I suggest...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thankful Thursday....

Pardon me, ladies, please allow me to write this prayer to my Lord Jesus Christ.


My house air conditioner works!
I have friends that love me!
I live in USA.
I have a home to live in.
We have money to pay the rent.
The gas bill is paid.
The gasoline prices have come down a bit.
I am blessed among women in my own generation.

Thank you!

God bless you ladies. I encourage you to think about some things that you're thankful for today.

Thankful to be at Home

Monday, August 4, 2008

Real Cream of Broccoli Soup

My Cream of Broccoli Soup
Oh my! This is so very good! It's better than anything I've ever had out. I just have to share it with you. If you've got a source of fresh cream, it's all the better!

You need:
non-stick spray or butter
garlic cloves,
an onion,
a bag of frozen broccoli pieces,
cream, as much as you can
milk, to fill in where you run out of cream

Here's how I do it. I take a saute pan and put a little non-stick spray or butter in it. I add lots of minced garlic. Our family loves garlic. If you're unsure, or y'all don't like it so much, just add a little or omit it altogether.

Next, chop up an onion. Make the pieces however you like them in soup.
Add the onion to the garlic. Now, open up your bag of frozen broccoli and pour it in with the garlic and onion. Stir this all together until the onion begins to turn translucent and the broccoli is thawed, warm, and still bright green.

Oh, this is where it gets good! Add just a little bit of water, maybe 1/4 cup, to the saute pan to get all those nice juices. Now put it all in a soup pot. Mine is 10 quarts, but 4 or 5 would probably be adequate, unless you double it!

Slowly pour the cream and milk in while you're heating the mixture over medium low heat. The amount is up to you, depending on how thick or thin you wish your soup to be. My family likes it thick. I have a source of raw cow's milk; so, I skim the cream and half and half off, and use those.

If it's not as thick as you like, take a half a cup of cold milk and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Mix them together in a cup. Now, just stir the thickener into the soup and stir stir stir!

As soon as it's thick and hot enough for you, you can eat it. I like to leave it all on low for a little while to let the flavors blend.

You can add grated cheese of your choice at this time if you wish.
This is also the time to add salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I got the results of my test....

No Cancer!


I have to admit that this time, when I had a mammogram, the what if thoughts did come into my mind. I think my momma was 41 when she found her cancer. I'm 43. Thank you JESUS!

Happy to Continue to be Momma and Wife