Saturday, November 28, 2015

Quite a Busy Weekend

Well, ladies, it's been quite a busy weekend, hasn't it? What did you do? Visit with family? Have company at your house? Brave the Black Friday sales? I spent it at the restaurant working with my husband. Long hours on my feet left me feeling really tired and sore. The only shopping I did was late at night on-line.

Tomorrow, the kids will return from Granny and Grandpa's house. I can't wait to see them. It sounds like they have had fun this weekend.  Tomorrow will be a day of rest. Just a bit of picking up to do first. It will be good.

What do you plan to do this week?

Laura of Harvest Lane

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Take a deep breath. 
Be mindful of God. 
Whisper prayers of thanks.
It's going to be alright.
You're going to be alright.
God loves you with an eternal, personal love.
Remember the scripture you chose to focus on.
If you need one, you'll find one in Philippians.
Be kind.
Be thankful.
Enjoy the moment.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Get This Book! An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti

Thank you Litfuse for this review copy.
I love a good Christmas story any time of year, but no time is better than when it's cold outside and warm inside. A little Christmas reading during snatched moments can be relaxing for the woman who has filled her days and evenings with all the things we do to "make Christmas". Of course we'd all like a cozy evening by the fire with a good book, but sometimes that just doesn't happen this time of year. Tuck a book in your bag and take advantage of wait times. You'll be amazed how it can pick you up.

I love the feel of this book, just the right size, dust jacket feels good in my hands. Yes, those things matter to me. After adding a leather cover to my Kindle, I enjoy reading on it, but I still love the feel of a real hardcover book with a nice dust jacket.

It's been very hard to read this book. Why? I keep wanting to stop and share quotes from it with my husband or my kids... or I want to share some of the things the Binders do during their week long Christmas celebration. This book is chock full of the kinds of traditions and relationships that most of us long for. I found things that I hope to implement with my family as it grows with in-loves and grands.

One of those ideas is to draw numbers for seating "—not to avoid conflict, as would have been the case with Katie's extended family—but to 'stir the conversation,' as Grandpa Wilson explained it. 'It doesn't matter who you're sitting near,' he'd said. 'You're going to enjoy it.'... It was the voice of experience."

I also loved the idea of a week of planned activities including a ladies' day, a day trip for the young cousins, and a bonfire in the snow. My favorite part was probably the no technology for the whole week rule!

My Favorite Quote

"Just be. Here. In the Moment. Fully Present."

There is so much wisdom sprinkled throughout the book. I definitely want to keep this one. I might even read it aloud with my family! I'd like to give it lots and lots of stars.
An Endless Christmas

Cynthia Ruchti    

Holiday Novella
Worthy Publishing 

Christmas takes a very different turn when the guests of honor break up instead of announcing their engagement. Trapped with his family, they learn that love looks different than either imagined. Both in their eighties, Dodie and Wilson Binder celebrate every Christmas as if it were their last. This year, their grandson Micah is planning to ask his girlfriend, Katie, to marry him so they can celebrate with the whole family. But things go very wrong when she says, "no." Now they are stuck. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But sometimes too much is just enough. Especially when it's Christmas.
 Meet the Author
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories "hemmed in hope." She's the award-winning author of sixteen books and a frequent speaker for women's ministry events. She serves as the Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, where she helps retailers, libraries, and book clubs connect with the authors and books they love. She lives with her husband in Central Wisconsin.

There's no getting out of Christmas now, despite Katie rejecting Micah's marriage proposal. Cozy up this holiday season with Cynthia Ruchti's new novella, An Endless Christmas. The Binder family celebrates every Christmas as if it were their last. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But sometimes too much is just enough. Especially when it’s Christmas.

Disclosure: I was sent a sample of this product for review purposes only. I was not compensated in any way. All opinions are my own based on my experience with this product. 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."

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Best Way to Have a Happy Thanksgiving

What do you think of when you think about Thanksgiving?
A Norman Rockwell setting?
A Waltons' Thanksgiving?
A disaster or battleground?

What if you don't feel so thankful about gathering with your relatives or a certain relative? Do you stress over pleasing them or feel irritated by them? Sadly that's the case for more people that we'd like to think. Unfortunately, not everyone has a loving family that serves our Lord. Most would say there is at least one in their family that makes holidays difficult. In fact, if you're a Christian, but you're not from a Christian family, you may be the one that makes the others uncomfortable. 

What if you're totally stressed out about getting a meal prepared and on the table not to mention all the preparations ahead of time? 

May I encourage you to use the preprayment plan? That's praying ahead of time for situations that are coming up. Search your Bible for a verse or two that you can focus your mind and heart on while you're visiting. Make it a verse that will help you keep the Shalom perfect peace of God in your heart. If you're at home, light a candle. Sometimes glancing at a candle flickering or enjoying the fragrance can help you feel more peaceful. Soft worship music playing in the background helps too— if you can get away with it. ~smile~

Keeping our focus on God and our reasons to be thankful can help us through as we pray to hold our tongues or give a hug or an encouraging word. 

Be blessed and don't fret dear ones!

Just something to think about...
Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage
Keeping it simple for our Savior

Homemaker Party   

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Trim Healthy Mama Plan The Easy-Does-It Approach to Vibrant Health and a Slim Waistline by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison

Thank you Blogging for Books for this review copy.
Okay, I know this isn't fair to write this just before Thanksgiving and Christmas, but some of us don't want to wait until the annual January, "I can't believe I gained 5 pounds."

I've read the original Trim Healthy Mama book, but at over six hundred pages, it's rather daunting.  Readers begged for a simpler, easier way to understand and implement this Bible inspired plan that has helped thousands of women lose weight and regain health. Trim Healthy Mama Plan weighs in at just 310 pages.  I love the new format!

It really is easier and much better organized. It's quick to pick up to read about a specific topic or to read through. If you're waiting, go ahead and get this book. I've been on and off plan, but I'm going to keep trying. I know it's hard to do during the holidays, but if we read the book over the next few weeks and begin to implement changes, we can hit it full force in January without so much extra baggage. There's a learning curve to this lifestyle. I'm going to learn it and live it. Won't you join me?

What you can expect:
Food freedom. No food group is left out! 

Details on how to implement the three main types of protein based meals
  • Satisfying, low carb higher fat meals
  • Energizing, medium carb, low fat meals
  • Fuel Pull, low carb, low fat meals
  • Additional information on other types of meals
Help for rebuilding your health 
  • superfoods
  • optional specialty foods
  • supplements
Help for implementation
  • Short chapters that are easy to fit into busy schedules
  • Sensible family friendly ideas for adapting for your family regardless of size 
  • Ways to adapt it for various types of Mamas from Drive-Thru Sues to Nursing Mamas
  • Uplifting encouragement and hope for those who have lost hope
  • Food lists
  • Menu plan ideas
  • Low glycemic and easy on your blood sugar
  • Metabolism boosting 
  • Engaging friendly tone
One thing to note is that recipes are not included. You need to purchase the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook separately. The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook weighs in at 512 pages and includes photos of many recipes. The recipes are written in a conventional way which is a big plus to those of us who have seen This is in response to the multitude of requests from Trim Healthy Mamas through the Trim Healthy Mama facebook groups to make the cookbook separate for ease of use in the kitchen. I just ordered it and cannot wait to see it. It's receiving rave reviews in the facebook group.

It's a clear, easy to understand explanation of the eating plan that has changed countless lives over the last couple of years.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

My Daybook ~ November 15, 2015

Read other daybooks.
 My Daybook
November 15, 2015

Outside my window... It's gray and a bit dreary and a chilly 55°.

I am thinking... about how nice it was to finally figure out how to make the degree symbol. On my pc, I pressed alt and 0176. When I released the alt key, the ° appeared.

I am thankful that... I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Yesterday, our car was making a funny sound and struggling to start. My husband took it and had the battery tested. The guy said the battery was bad and needed to be replaced. Since we bought it last year at Walmart, we went there. They put in a new battery and charged us $100 plus tax. When we tried to leave, the car wouldn't start at all. They checked and found it wasn't the battery, it was the starter. We didn't need a battery at all! I'm thankful that it happened in their parking lot before we left. Otherwise, we would be out a hundred dollars on a battery we didn't need! They put our old battery back in and pushed the car out into the parking lot. It's still setting there.  A friend rescued us and brought us home. My son took my husband and daughter to work this morning. I don't know how it's going to get fixed, but it must. It's our family's only transportation.

From the kitchen... I'm hoping to get my new Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook any day now and try a few new recipes. Hey Amazon, where is it?

I am wearing... my purple print top and thinking about putting on my purple jacket. It's cold by the window.

I am creating... a calendar of events for our family for December. Because the restaurant is open on Friday and Saturday evenings, and the girls are in a play the second week of December, we won't get to go to many special events. I do hope to go to the Walk Through Bethlehem in Racine, Missouri and to Dr. Carnine's Christmas Choral Concert.

I am going... nowhere until the van is fixed.

I am reading... I am reading Trim Healthy Mama Plan and An Endless Christmas.

I am hoping... to begin implementing the strategies Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison share in the book.

I am learning... about how to separate my fuels so that my body will burn more efficiently.

I am planning... a bit late, but I'm going to start my Christmas plans. 

am hearing... nothing but the hum of the computer and refrigerator and the shuffling of my daughter's feet in the kitchen. Sugar cookies coming our way soon.

Around the house... 
  • I need to declutter more things to give away. 
  • Laundry beckons as it always does.
  • I need to wrap a few gifts.
One of my favorite things...  listening to Christmas music on Spotify or Pandora for free.

A Favorite Quote for Today...
A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week... 
  • Lots of working at the restaurant
  • Church on Wednesday
  • Homeschool Group on Friday
  • Preparing for my husband's birthday on Friday
  • I'm going to choose something from my Fall Bucket List to do this week.
From the Board Room...

Follow Laura's board Christmas Preparations on Pinterest.

Now go check out the other Day Book entries at our hostess Peggy's blog, The Simple Woman.

A Peek into the Past...  My Daybook December 12, 2008

What are you up to this week?

God bless!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Ma Tries Something New

"Hurry and get the work done, " said Ma. "And then, Laura, you go to the corn-patch and bring me a green pumpkin. I'm going to make a pie!"
"A pie! But how..." Mary said, and Laura said, "A green pumpkin pie? I never heard of such a thing, Ma."
"Neither did I," said Ma. "But we wouldn't do much if we didn't do things that nobody ever heard of before." 
The Long Winter
Laura Ingalls Wilder
One of my most favorite books 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Simple Little Reminders of Mother Judy

Mother Judy
1940 - 2013
  I am going to be a great mother-in-law. How do I know? I learned from my own mother-in-love. She was always encouraging and never interfered. She asked me to call her mother years before her son proposed to me! She just loved and spoke me right into the family! I love her, and I miss her.

Judith Ann Benson Lane,
may her name be blessed forever!

Simple little reminders of Mother...
~ Sonic's Happy Hour diet cherry limeade
~ Poinsettias
~ Geraniums
~ Homemade potato salad
~ drawing kittens
~ coloring books and crayons
~ cats and kittens
~ cards and letters
~ McDonald's chicken nuggets
~ introducing her family to everyone
~ pewter cat statues
~ dangle earrings
~ venison
~ talking to strangers
~ praying for everyone
~ "Calm it, Lowell!"
~ "Well..." Long and drawn out
~ Christmas time
~ journaling
~ Beautiful Christian young lady
~ Special Christian young man
~ chili
~ chicken and dumplings
~ "I almost had a conniption!"
~ Baby's Boogie Box Band (Listen on Spotify!)
~ "super deluxe"
~ "diabetic snack"
~ "Lowell! Take a chill pill!"
~ "Oh yeah!"
~ the phone ringing during Michael's math lesson

Her last words to me...

"Laura Diane Lane, you will always and forever be my daughter-in-love." .

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #48

Hello Ladies,
  So good of you to visit today! It's growing quite chilly here in Southwest Missouri. We had quite a windy day yesterday. Branches and even power line poles snapped in areas. We have a few small branches down, but nothing troublesome. I am thrilled that I still have half the leaves on my golden maple and most of the leaves still cling to the orange maple. The red maple gave up her final leaves. She's always first to turn, so I wasn't surprised. I do love maple trees. They give such beauty to the season. I have found myself drawn to the russet brown of the oaks on neighboring properties along my commute.

Here are a few thrifty things I've done this week:

  • I made soup out of odds and ends on Monday. I used some beef broth, a single steak from the freezer, a little cream, an onion, and a bag of chopped frozen broccoli along with some seasonings. Oh yum... and Trim Healthy Mama friendly. I'll have to write out the recipe and share it. Why was it frugal? I had everything on hand.
  • I gave away a couple of bags of books and misc. Why is that frugal? I was real estate investing! I got three or four cubic feet of space from giving those things away. Yay! It's all how you look at it. 
  • When I did eat out with my son, we got the $1.99 fish and fries special at Long John Silvers. We substituted hush puppies for the fries—same price and much more filling.
  • I threw away some things that were worn out. Once again, it's real estate investment. ~smile~
  • I found some school books that have been missing for some time. They were in our well room in a tote. I usually keep the books in the basement. Score! I should be able to use some of them with my daughter. The rest will either be sold or given away. 
  • I was able to order some DVDs my kids want at I used credits I got from Paperback Swap to pay for them. 
  • I bought some Christmas gifts on-line on sale and used a free shipping code from Christian Book Distributors. 
  • I bought the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook and some other things on-line at Amazon on sale and got free shipping for ordering over $35 worth of items. 
Just a few things, but they helped me make ends meet this year. Hey, if you're needing Christmas money, start squirreling away any change you have, the odd dollar here and there, and cut some corners now. I started doing that early this year and already have more money saved than I had last year. Praise God! It takes the pressure off me in my Kringling.

What are you doing to be thrifty?

Blessings to you!
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage
Happy When I Get to Be Home

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Little House Thoughts... Ma is the True Heroine

The Little House Books. As a child, I read them over and over and over. They helped to shape how I think. They helped me realize how close a family can be. They helped me learn that I can do with what I've got and get through hard times. 

I've always thought that Laura Ingalls was my "heroine". Just recently, however, I've realized that it is truly her Ma that is my hero. She did what she could with what she had and tried her best to be cheerful about it. She taught her children and made sure they knew God, too. She also loved a wonderful but difficult man. After all, he wouldn't stay put! 

Ma was very resourceful. She could make something out of nothing. She made do with what she had, and didn't complain. She was cheerful. She looked at the bright side... even if there wasn't a bright side! She loved her husband. She loved her children and insisted they be brought up with good manners regardless of where they lived. She was a proper lady, but she got her hands dirty keeping house, cooking, and working alongside Pa when he needed her. She was truly his helpmeet... just as God intended.

Just something to think about....

You might enjoy...
Darling Downs Diaries
This post was featured at Good Morning Mondays.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

My Day Book ~ November 1, 2015

Read other daybooks.
 My Daybook
November 1, 2015

Outside my window... It's sunny with just a few puffy clouds skattered about. It's a welcome change after some of the drizzly weather we've had this past week.

I am thinking... about the many things that must be done this month.

I am thankful that... We are never alone. God is always with us just waiting for us to pay attention to Him.

From the kitchen... It's so busy this week. I'm not sure how I'm going to keep up.

I am wearing... my tan dress with roses along with my black CROCS.

I am creating...  Nothing right now. I need to think about the gifts I want make to during my Kringling sessions this month.

I am going... to work with my husband a lot this week. I'll also be driving everyone to appointments, classes, and work. I'll probably go to the grocery store, too.

I am reading... I am reading Trim Healthy Mama Plan.

I am hoping... to begin implementing the strategies Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison share in the book.

I am learning... about how to separate my fuels so that my body will burn more efficiently.

I am planning... a  homeschool moms get together next week.

am hearing... my children just got home from the movie rental store, so it just got loud! Three teens who just woke up their papa.

Around the house... 
  • I want to check my Fall tote and see if I can find my fall glasses.
  • See if there are any more fall decorations I want to use or discard.
  • I need to get out the cold weather clothes.
  • I need to declutter more things to give away. 
  • Laundry beckons as it always does.
One of my favorite things...  the crunch of leaves underfoot.

A Favorite Quote for Today...
Little House on the
A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week... 
  • Lots of working at the restaurant
  • Church on Wednesday
  • Homeschool Group on Friday
  • I'm going to choose something from my Fall Bucket List to do this week.
From the Board Room...
Follow Laura's board Soups & Stews on Pinterest.

Now go check out the other Day Book entries at our hostess Peggy's blog, The Simple Woman.

What are you up to this week?

God bless!