Monday, April 28, 2014

Wisdom From Proverbs


Proverbs 11:28
He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.

Proverbs 16:20
He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.

Proverbs 20:24
Man’s goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?

Proverbs 30:5
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Our family is walking through a difficult time. I need these reminders to be faithful and trust in the Lord no matter what my eyes see or my ears hear. God bless you all; may your trust in God grow.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not on thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall make straight thy paths.

ALL not some. We must include him in everything we say and do.

God bless!
Laura
Happy at Home

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage # 18

 Amy
     Our life revolved around the restaurant this week.  We're doing school part-time this week and helping out at the restaurant during the middle of the day.  Next week, we should get some help in the kitchen from some culinary students.   That's an answer to prayer.  I was too busy to worry about being very thrifty, but here are the things that I did.

~  I made some delicious Watchagot bread.  Never heard of it?  You make it with what you've got!  This batch had some freshly ground hard wheat, freshly ground barley, leftover oatmeal from breakfast, a little white flour, gluten, sugar, water, canola oil, salt, flax seed and yeast.  It was so delicious!  I have often mixed together whatever flours I have on hand with water, oil, salt, and yeast to make bread.  It's fun to experiment.  This weekend, I just wanted to play around a bit since life has been so serious lately.  Be nice to yourself, do something fun this week!

~  I tore up my husband's ripped t-shirt for shop rags for my son.

~  I planned my Easter dinner around items on hand rather than buying the twenty dollar roast I wanted.

~  Instead of Easter candy, baskets, new clothes etc., I bought a bag of Robin's Eggs, a box of Peeps for each of the kids, a single chocolate cream egg for my husband, and three bright pool noodles for the kids.

~  I wore a new dress that my friend bought for me.  It was my first new store bought dress in years.  I usually make my dresses.

~  We ate leftovers from the restaurant, so I didn't cook at home.  Meals at home were peanut butter and jelly, oatmeal, and fried eggs.

~  I didn't buy anything that I didn't really need.  Well, ehem, nothing I didn't really need but a bag of marshmallows for cocoa.  Comfort food for exhausted family.  Gentle smile.

     I'd appreciate your prayers for our family as we adjust our schedules to include my work at the restaurant.  I feel quite overwhelmed.  It's been over twenty years since I worked outside the home. Homeschooling, homemaking, blogging, reviewing, and all the things a wife and mom does keep me quite busy.  Carving out time for the restaurant is really throwing me for a loop.  The kids are feeling it, too.  I know God will help me get it all in balance.  ~smile~

Choosing to Keep on the Sunny Side,
Laura

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I Am...

still here... just invisible. ~grin~  Opening week at the restaurant.  I'll share some photos soon.  It's been too busy to get on-line.
Blessings,
Laura

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage # 17

     It's been a super busy week as we prepare to open our new restaurant at Precious Moments Chapel center.  A few little thrifty things I've done this week....

~ I listed some items for sale on Etsy, Ebay, and Homeschool Classifieds.

~ I tend to be quite practical in my gift giving.  I bought a variety of cooking spices, salt and pepper, and vanilla for a wedding shower gift.  Every bride needs to fill her pantry.  My daughter put it all in a pretty bag with coordinating tissue (both reused).  It will make a useful gift that will match the bride's kitchen perfectly.

~ I made a pretty "vase" our of a juice bottle and a glass shade from a lamp for the wildflowers that my husband picked for me.

~ I price match shopped at Wal-Mart using sales from a forty mile radius.  I used Price Matcherz to help me find the sale items.  If you use them, be sure to click through to the stores' websites.  I found extra sale items that way.

~ I sold the movie above on Ebay for $6.  I put it in the mail the same day.

     It's been a run run run week.  I think next week will be the same.  I begin working part-time in the restaurant on Monday.  I've not worked outside the home since 1991.  It's going to be a big adjustment.  I'll be working from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Those are dream hours for some ladies, but right in the middle of my homeschool day.  Fortunately, the kids work well independently.  At 12, 14, and 16, they'll be okay for a couple of hours.

     Well, back to my Resurrection Day preparations.  Have a wonderful weekend celebrating our savior!

Laura
Happy at Home

Thursday, April 17, 2014

This is the Stuff of Legends....... Review: A Draw of Kings Patrick Carr


Cover Art
Thank you Bethany House for this review copy.
~~~~~
From the Publisher:
Dark Forces Have Gathered and the Final Battle for Illustra Has Begun
  "Their journey to Merakh should have made Errol and his companions heroes of the realm. Instead, they've been branded enemies of the kingdom.
  In the wake of the king's death, Duke Weir is ruling the country--and he intends to marry Adora to bring an heir from the royal line. With Errol and the others imprisoned and the identity of the rightful heir to the throne still hidden in secrecy, Illustra is on the verge of civil war--and threatened by hostile forces gathering on every side.
  A dangerous mission to free Errol is attempted, but the dangers facing the kingdom mount with every passing moment. The barrier has fallen, ferrals are swarming toward the land, and their enemies draw ever closer. Will the discovery of the true heir turn back the tide of Illustra's destruction?"

~~~~~
My thoughts:
He's done it again!  I sat down to read at around seven o'clock Saturday evening.  I forced myself to stop reading at eleven o'clock after reading ten chapters!  He's put a compulsion on me to read!  You know you're reading a master's tale when you find yourself wanting to go back and read the series from the beginning to better understand how all the pieces fit together.

As I was reading this book, I must admit that I savored it.  I cannot tell you how many times I said to my family, "This guy's a math teacher!  How does he write like this?"  My daughter's reading the book right now. I can hardly get her to do anything else!  I completely understand.  When I read this book, my mind traveled to Illustra.  I not only read it, I could see it, I was in it.

If you like fantasy fiction, this is the stuff of legends. ~grin~  My thoughts went to J. R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.  If you've not read A Cast of Stones, start there.  If you have, you already want this book.  The Hero's Lot is second in the Staff and the Sword Series by Patrick Carr.  A Draw of Kings is the third in the Staff and the Sword Series by Patrick Carr.

Read my reviews of the first two books, A Cast of Stones  and The Hero's Lot.
Excerpt
Patrick W. Carr
Meet the author Patrick Carr.
*"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Today a Little...

Funny how these little pretties are so dreaded, isn't it?

     It's been a week with lots of reading as witnessed by two reviews posted and another to be posted tomorrow.  I went to my bookshelf this morning and realized, for the first time in months, that I don't have any review books I need to read!  Refreshing!  I enjoy reviewing books; but, if I have too many, I don't get to savor the reading as I'd like.  
     Today, a little laundry, a little laundry, a few errands.
     What are you up to today?

Blessings,
Laura



Friday, April 11, 2014

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #16

C. Amy Lane Photography
It's been a very different sort of week at our house.  If you know our family in person, you may already know that we are opening a restaurant at Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Missouri.  We've spent a lot of time preparing with a big focus on cleaning! ~smile~  So, it's not really been the easiest week to be frugal, but I'll share what I've done.

~ The photo is my daughter, Emily, with our little Tiger.  She's modeling one of her Pretty Thrifty outfits.  She loves the challenge of making pretty modest outfits for pennies on the dollar.  She blogs at Teen for the Lord.

~ My husband and I went out for a little date on Friday evening.  It was thrifty.  Instead of a full meal, we ordered chips, salsa, and queso.  On the way home, we bought ice cream at the store that was on sale to share at home with the kids.

~ On Saturday, I bought pizza for the family and our friend, Randy, who was helping us clean.  He brought his power washer and did some amazing work cleaning the metal shelves.  We carried them outside first, of course.  ~smile~  Buying pizza might not sound thrifty, but time was short and food not readily available.  I did go to Little Caesars, so the bill was less than $20.  It could have been more than twice that at some pizza places.

~ Saturday night I balanced the splurge with a very cheap meal of pinto beans and homemade cornbread.  This recipe for Cowboy Beans is very similar.  I was in a hurry and didn't use the onion- big mistake.  They were very bland.  Try the Cowboy Beans.  They're cheap and delicious!  The link takes you to the recipe and 5 Days of Frugal Eating.

~ My friend, Joyce, told me about a website called Pricematcherz.  They list some of the sale prices for food in a forty mile radius.  they also include links to the store ads. I can then go to the individual stores or print the list or ad and use it for price matching at Wal-Mart.  That should save me a few dollars.  If you live in the Midwest, you might find your local area listed.

~ I bought a box of cereal.  Cereal is not traditionally a thrifty purchase, but I knew we were leaving the house at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.  I knew I wasn't going to make eggs or oatmeal. ~smile~  It's cheaper than five people eating at the drive-thru!  In my defense, I did buy it at Aldi for $1.99.

~ I fried cabbage and onions for lunch and added in a little crumbled, leftover hamburger.

~ I turned my old, too big dress into a spring and summer nightgown.

It's not much, I know, but tomorrow is another day. ~smile~  It's all the little things that add up that can make the difference between having gas and milk money and struggling for it.  Don't give up!  You can do this, too.

Blessings to you!
Laura
Happy at Home

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My Trim Healthy Mama Shrinker


I haven't really talked about it, but I've been following Trim Healthy Mama, more or less, since September.  I've not been a very good Mama for the last couple of months, but I'm rededicating myself.  ~grin~  Now it's time to get the scale moving downward again.  Serene and Pearl's Shrinker drink was a big help to me while I was losing. Here's a link to the original recipe.  It includes the information about all the reasons it's so good for you and helps you lose weight.

I played around with the recipe a bit and found that this is my favorite way to make it. It tastes like a lovely iced Chai tea.  You may drink it hot if you prefer. This recipe makes two quarts.  That's the amount Serene and Pearl suggest as a day's allotment.  

My Shrinker:  
3-4 Oolong tea bags steeped in a large mug or small teapot until room temperature
Blend the following in a blender:
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon caramel extract (You can use vanilla.)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne
Stevia or Truvia to taste 

This makes your Shrinker concentrate.  Divide it between two quart jars. When you're ready to drink it, fill the jar with ice and sip on it until it's gone.  You can add a little extra water or sweetener as needed.  I like weak tea, so I just keep adding ice and sipping throughout the day.  Stir or shake each time you drink, because the cinnamon tends to go to the bottom.  
This is called Shrinker because it actually burns calories by raising your thermogenic temperature.

Have a wonderful week ladies!
Laura
Blessed to be a Blessing


Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Thrifty Week #15

Amy Lane Photography
Happy today everyone!
     Over a period of fourteen weeks last summer, I shared what I did each week to be thrifty.  Since it was so popular with y'all, and I am so much thriftier when I'm keeping track, I've decided to write A Thrifty Week again.  Here are some things I've done in the last few days:

~ I returned a package of fuzzy fungi (button mushrooms) to Aldi.  They will refund your purchase price and replace your product with a fresh one.

~ Litfuse notified me that I'll be receiving Karen Barnett's new book, Out of the Ruins, to review in May for free.

~ I had my children measure out just 1/2 cup of cheese crackers for a snack.  I bought them at Aldi.

~ I put pickle slices on a plate to serve with dinner.  They were gone at the end of the meal.  If I'd put the jar on the table, it would have been nearly empty by the end of the meal.  I have some pickle monsters. ~smile~

~ We attended a trade show in Branson.  There were lots of free food samples.  We didn't even have to buy lunch.

~ The children were blessed to see a movie at the Imax as a gift from one of my husband's friends.

~ I invested some money in good tools- a mini shaver to get pills off sweaters and a new iron.  My husband insisted that I get a good quality iron that will last for several years.  My last one was a little cheapy that someone gave to me.  I was thankful to have it, but it began leaking profusely after just a few months.

~ I shaved the pills off my husband's favorite sweater vest.  I invested forty-five minutes, but I couldn't make it or make the money to replace it in forty-five minutes.

It's been a really busy week.  It's been a good week.
Be blessed and be thrifty!
Laura
Happy at Home