Friday, August 30, 2013

A Thrifty Week #14 @ Harvest Lane Cottage

Here's a peek into my thrifty week:

~ We enjoyed a four day vacation at Beaver Lake in Arkansas for the price of food, gas, and supplies thanks to the generosity of some volunteers that helped Joplin after the tornado.  We ate lots of sandwiches and ate out twice.

~  I shopped for my veggies at our local Aldi store.  The selection is usually very good and fresh.  The prices are always lower than our local Wal-Mart. I always try to buy my groceries there prior to going to Wal-Mart.

~ We found homes for our kittens thereby eliminating the need for kitten food and making some new families happy.

~ I printed out some weekly planner homeschooling sheets for the kids.

That's about it. Today is my son's birthday. We're having a family party with homemade fried chicken tonight.  Happy 14th birthday Michael! 

Laura Happy at Home
and at the Lake

May I suggest?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

One More Chapter! One More Chapter! REVIEW: King by R.J. Larson

King by R. J. Larson
Books of the Infinite #3

I've just come home from a long weekend at the lake.  When I wasn't in or on the water, I was often found  reading this fantastic book.  I received King from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. (For the government man.) ~smile~

My thoughts:
Prophet and Judge were such magnificent stories, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the latest novel in the  Books of the Infinite series, King by R.J. Larson.

Time seemed to stand still as I lost myself in these pages.   The emotions, struggles and intrigue woven into the personal lives of the prophet Ela, Kien, Akabe, and Caitria are magnified as their stories and futures intertwine into one.  King's ancient setting was a welcome respite from the twentieth century.  ~smile~  I love Christian allegories, and Larson is a master storyteller.  This is the best book series I've read in ages.  As I finished the last sentence of King, I found myself sad that it was the end.  The narrative and the characters were that compelling.

The thing that made this series so valuable to me is the way it made me think about God, my Infinite.  There was something about calling Him Infinite that made me take notice, to be aware of Him, in a way I might not otherwise have thought about Him. No wonder He calls Himself "I AM".

I strongly suggest reading this series in order, beginning with the story of Ela of Parne, The Prophet followed by Judge.  It just makes more sense to read them in order.

Well done R.J. Larson!  Thank you!
5 stars
Reviews of the first two books of the series.
Book 1 Prophet  Don't begin reading this before bed!
Book 2 Judge This was a don't want to put it down book!
Book 3 King  One more chapter! One more chapter!
Here's the description from Bethany House:

"Akabe of Siphra, I have brought your enemies low and lifted you from the dirt."
Against his wishes and desires, Akabe Garric has been chosen by his people to be king. A warrior at heart, he'd never dreamed of such a swift, unexpected rise to power. Determined to prove his worth to the citizens of Munra and honor his Creator, Akabe undertakes a monumental task: to rebuild the Infinite's Holy House in Siphra.

"Only this I ask: Restore My temple and let Me dwell again among the people."

Akabe soon discovers that the land he needs is held by the Thaenfalls, known Atea-worshipers who will give up their claim only if he marries into their line. Though he seeks direction from the Infinite, his pleas are met with silence. Frustrated, Akabe makes an impulsive decision, sweeping his nation into a lethal storm that threatens his plans for the temple. As questions of love and faith become tangled with lies, ancient feuds, and treacherous plots, can Akabe, his mysterious queen, and his trusted friends Ela and Kien Lantec find the Infinite's path...or will they fail as so many others before?

"Will your faith hold strong when I am silent?
Child, can you be My king?"

Prophet Ela, Lord Kien, and King Akabe are the main characters in this adventure fantasy.  Each chapter is written from the viewpoint of one of these three persons.  This enables a richer understanding of the nuances of the story, because we peek into the thoughts of each character.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.   I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." Full Disclosure

Cozy Book Hop 
Books You Loved September 

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #13

It's a very short list this week because of our vacation at Beaver Lake in Arkansas.  We had a terrific time.  I'm also posting this late.  The trip itself was very thrifty because we stayed at a friend's lake house.

Here's this week's thrifty activity:

~ I hemmed a pair of jeans for my mister that had gotten ragged around the hem.

~ I made laundry detergent again.

~ I took boiled eggs, mayo, and homemade bread on our trip to the lake.  Our first meal was egg salad sandwiches.

Happy at Home
at the Lake!

Shared at:
Cozy Book Hop -Share Your up Thursday  - Think Tank Thursdays - Serving Joyfully - Thriving at Home - Mom's the Word - Mix it Up Monday - Modest Mondays - A Mama's Story - Mumtopia

Friday, August 23, 2013

Who is Jesus?

Who is Jesus?

It's the one question that everyone must answer.

The factual answer is easy.  Jesus is the one and only begotten son of Jehovah God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Creator of the Universe, and your Creator.   Jesus was sent to Earth to live a life clean from sin so that he could take the punishment for all sin, yours, mine, everyone's.

These are the facts, the unchanging truth.  

So, that's who Jesus is to the world.

Who is Jesus to you?

Is he your Savior?  The one who suffered for you so that you can be clean before God?

Is He your Lord?  Your boss?

Is He your Healer?

Your friend?

Are you waiting to come to Jesus because you feel dirty or unworthy?  So was I.  We come to Him dirty, and He washes us clean.  He makes all things new, even our hearts and minds.

Have you met Jesus?
Would you like to?
He has completely changed my life, who I am, how I live. I am forgiven for all the bad I've thought or done.  Christians really are not perfect.  We really do have forgiveness from God the Creator of all because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

I have peace with God.
I have hope for my future.
Do you?

Interested in meeting Jesus?

 Forever changed,

May I suggest?
Meet Jesus

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

He Crowns the Humble with Salvation...

Amy Lane Photography

"For the LORD takes delight in his people;
he crowns the humble with salvation."
Psalm 149:4
The last few years have humbled me a lot. We've come from being able to go and do and buy much of what we wanted, whether with cash or credit, to going and doing without and buying mostly necessities. It's a hard thing not to be able to take your children to a free zoo day because you cannot put enough gasoline in the car to get there and back. It was our life for a long time.

So many of the things that people are worried about losing because of the economy, we've already, good credit. It started with a boss who decided that my husband's pay should be cut in half and he should work twice as hard. It continued with a business that we started using our house as collateral. Don't do that. It's stupid. Why didn't we see that? The business failed, we lost all that we had of monetary value about two years ago. And it was two weeks until Christmas. It was all very humbling.

BUT GOD saved us. I believe salvation is more than just salvation from hell. It's salvation from ourselves and salvation in our circumstances as well. That probably sounds like it's some doctrinal thing; but it's not. I just believe that He is our ever present help in trouble. He calls Himself I AM. I believe He's saying, "I AM everything you need." He never took us out of our terrible circumstances. He still hasn't; BUT GOD has helped us through them.

He sent an old friend to the door with a Christmas card for us. Enclosed was a check for $1000 from a group of old friends we used to go to church with in another town. ~Wow~ So, we prayed. What do we do with this? Two days later, a friend wasn't feeling well, but felt like she had to go to Bible study. She told the group that we were looking for a vehicle because we had no vehicle and would have no home in a couple of weeks. One of the ladies had an old van. She wanted $1000 for it. We bought it the next day! Thank you God!

We have four children and a little dog. We couldn't find a place to live because no one wanted to rent to someone with four children, a dog, and ruined credit. BUT GOD! Lowell saw an ad and we went to look at a house. It was for sale by owner; but, God worked it out so that the man chose to rent it just a day or two before we looked at it! Two hundred dollar deposit, and we got to keep the children and the dog, too! HE's so GOOD!

Originally published 10/18/2008

God has indeed blessed us through it all.  We have a warm home in the country now, and Lowell has steady employment with the best of employers, God Himself, in ministry.  The children are thankful and hopeful.  We've learned to work together and to use it up, wear it out, make it do, and do without.  GOD is so GOOD to us! So good to us! 

Through it all, God has saved us.  He's kept us safe, he's preserved our family.  Praise God!
Thank you God!
Dear ones,  trust God.  Trust God when you don't know why.  Trust God when you can't see the next step.  He'll guide you.  He'll love you.  If you trust Him for salvation, He will save you.

Crowned with Salvation
May I suggest...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Blessed Quiet in the Middle of it All

Carthage, Missouri Courthouse at Night

Just last evening, I was feeling overwhelmed by some problems and agitated.  I couldn't even settle down and decide where I wanted to go for dinner for date night with hubby.

We bought a soda and went to sit down at the square in our little town.  The businesses were closed, and there was very little traffic.

It was amazingly quiet, right in the middle of our town.  The weather was perfect, and peace slowly washed over me.

Blessed quiet.  It can be amazingly soothing.

God told us to be still for a very good reason.  We need it.


May I suggest?
Anxious or Depressed?

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #12

Hi Y'all!

It's been a relaxing week here at the cottage.  Mister has been home on a two week vacation!  Wow!  The first one in twenty-five years!  We've been busy about the house sprucing things up, relaxing, watching some movies, getting caught up on paperwork and such.

Here is my thrifty week:

~ I patched five pairs of jeans, two for each son and one for my daughter.  I spent $1.98 for thread versus about $100 for new jeans.

~ I hemmed a pair of jeans that were looking a bit frayed for my husband.  They'll look nice for awhile longer.

~ I made easy peasy laundry soap.  RECIPE

~ I filled up my IBC root beer bottle  with dish soap.  It has a little olive oil pour spout in it that makes my dish soap last a long time.

~ I cut up some old t-shirts for cleaning rags.  My husband had snuck my rag bag out to his shed and was using the ones I had.

~ I pared apples from our tree for an apple pie.  Hubby made it and it was delicious!

~ I read books that I received for free in exchange for an honest book review.

~ I used a Starbucks card that I earned through Swagbucks for using their search engine.  You can find out more by clicking the link below.  If you sign up through this link, I get credit.

Well, that's all I can think of right now.  Have a terrific weekend!

Happy at Home

May I suggest?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Haven't Written Much Because...

Girl Reading 
 Alfred Émile Léopold Stevens  May 11, 1823 – August 24, 1906
I've been reading!

I'm hoping Trim Healthy Mama will help me look as lovely as the lady in the painting!  What?  A girl can dream!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Each Day Had Its Own Proper Work

“In the mornings, Laura and Mary helped Ma wash the dishes and make the beds.  After this was done, Ma began the work that belonged to that day.  Each day had its own proper work.  Ma would say:  ’Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, Churn on Thursday, Clean on Friday, Bake on Saturday, Rest on Sunday.’ ”
~ Little House in the Big Woods

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Have you been influenced by a teacher?  Pamela Higgs was my 4th and 5th grade teacher at McCarter Elementary in Topeka, Kansas.  It was right around the time of the American Bicentennial.  

Mrs. Higgs had a love for for children and a love for handcrafts.  She taught our class the basics of macrame, quilling, embroidery, hand sewing, and other crafts.  She also brought in people to demonstrate old-time crafts such as making butter, quilting, and spinning.  

My love of reading was encouraged as she read to us after lunch every day.  I remember Charlotte's Web, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and Ralph S. Mouse among others.  We'd lie our heads down on our desks while we listened to her soothing reading voice.  When she read Little House on the Prairie, a passion for Little House books, pioneer stories, old-time crafts, cooking, baking, and making things myself was born.   I saved my money and bought and read the Little House books over and over.  My favorite is still Little House in the Big Woods.  I love the descriptions of daily life.

That's been almost forty years ago now.  I still remember Mrs. Higgs fondly because her influence, along with the books of my childhood heroine, Laura Ingalls Wilder, strongly influenced who I am today.  

Each afternoon, as I left for home, I'd give her a peck on the cheek.  I loved her.  I still love her for what she did for me.  If I could, I'd give her a peck on the cheek today and say,  "Thank you, Mrs. Higgs.  Your love and influence changed my life."

Happy at Home

May I suggest?

Friday, August 9, 2013


Michael, 13, took out a stone mailbox on his bike tonight.  Knocked it down like a tornado.  Flattened Michael, too.  Amy got help for him.  A man driving by called us.  911, sheriff, ambulance etc. 

Lowell was headed to Mt. Vernon, but he turned around and drove like crazy to get to Michael.  They refused the ambulance but drove to the hospital for x-rays and a CT scan. 

(We watched a program about Tigers earlier today that showed a tiger getting a CT scan. I'm a home school mom, but this is taking field trips and hands-on learning way too far!)

PRAISE GOD! No broken bones, no internal injuries.  Just some cuts, scrapes, bruises, and sore muscles.


Update:  Michael is still quite sore.  He's taking meds to help with the pain and inflammation.   It turns out that the mailbox wasn't flattened, just destroyed.  A couple of feet of the base are still standing.

Update 8/14:  Michael is still a bit sore, but he's doing much much better.  Thank you for your prayers!

May I suggest?
Another Michael Post...

A Thrifty Week #11 at Harvest Lane Cottage

Good day dear readers!

I've missed a bit with my thrifty week series over the summer.  Since it's been such a popular series, and it keeps me thinking thrifty thoughts, here's my thrifty and frugal week:

~I made homemade bread and rolls.

~  I went to a bag sale at the thrift store brought clothes for my children, school supplies, and a nice gravy boat for me.

Yes!  I stuffed all of this into one standard sized brown paper bag!
If it were an olympic sport, I'd be in.  I roll and calculate and stuff until beads of perspiration dot my forehead!
 Go for the gold Sister!

~ The next day we went yard saling.  We found a waffle maker, some Legos, and more clothes for my girls.  Emily was proud to say that from head to toe she spent only $1 on a really cute blouse, skirt, and new shoes for Sunday!  Go girl!

~ This was week three of the big eat down.  I've been doing my best to use up what we have in the fridge, freezer, and cabinets rather than buying groceries.  I did pretty well.  I did buy a few things to supplement.  Last night, however, my husband told me that he wanted to make waffles this weekend.  I had to buy everything, including flour and sugar, except the baking powder!  I told him that if I don't grocery shop this weekend, we'll be eating some really strange things this coming week. ~smile~  His vacation starts this afternoon, so I think he'll want to eat some good things.

~ I stayed home again most of the week.  I did have a couple of errands I had to do, but I didn't go anywhere for pleasure.

Well, that's about it for now.  Think thrifty and be creative!

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without my frugal sisters!

Happy at Home

May I suggest?


Spring Link Party

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Positive Homemaking Rule for Wives J.R. Miller

Drying Clothes
by Helen Allingham
1848 – 1926

"It may be put down as a positive rule, 
whether among the rich or the poor,
whether in a palace or in a cottage,
that the wife who would be happy, 
and make her home happy and permanently beautiful,
must work with her hands at the housewifely tasks which the days in turn bring to her." 
J.R. Miller
p. 63

May I suggest?

Spring Party

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Pinned It Did It Feeding the Wood

Recently, my husband, Lowell,  and I were talking about building a house someday.  He had sketched out a floor plan that he likes.

"Oh I want to show you a kitchen I like. I pinned it on Pinterest." I said.

I showed him; he liked it.  Since we were bonding over Pinterest, I showed him this library.

Suddenly, the beauty of Pinterest was revealed to my husband when he saw this.

I thought to myself, maybe we should do this next weekend.  My husband, however, is a make it happen sort of man. We clicked through the pin to get to the original source, Lily & Thistle, and found that the correct recipe is 1/4 cup vinegar to 3/4 cup canola oil.

I brought him a rag and the ingredients, and he promptly got to work on our table first.  It looked better, but no major difference.
 The next thing I knew, our nightstands were setting on top of our dining table! 

Our tables are old, but they look so much better.

Happy at Home