Wednesday, March 30, 2016

We All Mess Up. Here's What to Do.

©Amy Lane 2017 Used with permission.

has advice for those all of us
who have messed up, 
are messing up,
or will mess up. 


Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #59

Hello Ladies!

Lots of fun getting ready for Easter things going on at our house and at our church this week. My daughters are both volunteering in the church nursery this weekend. Amy is going to wear something casual. Emily is going to wear a dress I received for review this week. I think I'm going to wear a springy floral print dress I made last fall. 

Lowell is still job hunting. He works at it every day. He had an interview this week and has another one by phone next week. We keep praying. It's been over three months now. 

We have faith that God will provide until he provides a job. 

Here are some of the things we've done in our home this week,
some ways that God has miraculously provided for us this week.

This week I was inspired by this quote from Jes at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth:

"It is always best to make do and smile 
at the little things you can create, 
than to make no attempt at all!" 

~ I cut my own bangs. 
~ My son got some great deals on equipment he needed at a first day of spring yard sale.
~ I carried bottled water from home.
~ I received a dress for review that Emily is going to wear to the homeschool spring formal. 
~ I received a spiral slicer for review. 
~ I received a book I wanted from Paperback Swap for 1 credit plus $.49. 
~ We accepted an invitation to eat lunch with a group at church Sunday.
~ I bought seven packages of chicken thighs for $.49 a lb. Most packages were $2 or less for 7-8 thighs. 
~ I ordered the Free High School Forms.
~ I patched three pairs of jeans for my sons. 
~ I ordered a dress for my Emily with a 15% off coupon and a $50 gift certificate that I won about three years ago. She paid the postage, and the entire out-of-pocket was about $8!
~ I received some movies for review this week.
~ I received a jump rope for Amy for review this week. 
~ I packed a take-along lunch of home cooked chicken breast, bread, mayonnaise, and tortilla chips for lunch after Good Friday service. Then we helped fill eggs for the kids for Easter Sunday.
~ I made another dishcloth this week. I am thinking about selling some in my Etsy shop. I haven't put anything in the shop for awhile. 
Sounds like I'd better start testing and writing some reviews! Most of the reviews will be Amazon reviews. Click here if you'd like to see what I've reviewed. 

I am splurging on meals for Easter Day. 

Cereal for breakfast
Homemade Hand Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches for dinner
Chocolate Icebox Pie for dessert

I want the kids to enjoy the day.
How are you blessing your family with your thrifty ways this week?
Have a blessed Easter! 

...doing what I can with what I've got where I am 
on a short shoestring budget!

Trusting in Jesus!
Jesus Jesus Jesus
Sweetest Name I know
Fills my every longing
Keeps Me Singing As I Go

Monday, March 21, 2016

Old Hymns ~ It is Well With My Soul

I do enjoy many of the old hymns. Truth and strength combine with a dignity missing in many of the new songs. Please enjoy this, one of my favorites, sung by Sisters

It is Well With My Soul

The song was written in 1873 by Horatio G. Spafford.* It is now in the public domain. The beautiful, inspiring, peace inspiring lyrics were written after all of his four daughters had drowned in a sea collision. You can read more at Share Faith.  

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.
    • Refrain:
      It is well with my soul,
      It is well, it is well with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
  5. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
    Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
  6. And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.
*According to Timeless Truths.

...doing what I can with what I've got
where I am on a short shoestring budget!

Tuesdays with a Twist Featured

Friday, March 18, 2016

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #58

Hello Ladies!

Welcome! I'm so glad you've found a few minutes to visit. 
I was sick with a cold for a few days this week, so I haven't been as productive as I'd like.
Lowell is still job searching. He's looking for either management or sales positions. He has lots of experience with both types of work. He's also expanding his search to include short-term work. This would help until he can get a full-time, long-term position.

Here are some of the things we've done in our home this week
some ways that God has miraculously provided for us this week.


~ We listened to Tom Sawyer for free on Librivox.

~ I lit the house with candles that were leftover from an event at church and my husband's grandfather's vintage oil lamp. I told my family that these were already paid for. The electricity we would use is not! We didn't light with them exclusively, but every little bit helps!

~ We drank Keurig Cocoa KCups mixed with water with no Keurig. It worked great.

~ We mixed a jar of Four Cheese Ragu sauce, a box of macaroni, and a can of tuna and called it tuna casserole—not too bad.

~ We decluttered a bunch of junk that had been lying around in the garage including a mattress and two extra big trash cans full of stuff. That's real estate investment!

~ I carried my favorite water bottle with me instead of buying bottled water while out and about.

~ A friend tucked $36 in my purse at a ladies' meeting this week. Thank you Robin!

~ A dear reader sent me a Walmart E-giftcard. I used it to buy 3/4 a tank of gas! Thank you Michelle!

~ I made more foaming hand soap.

~ I made ant poison for the bathroom using this recipe. They're not gone yet, but I'm hoping it will get rid of them. It will save $70 if I can get rid of them before they get to the kitchen!

~ Lowell repainted a little flower sign that had faded badly with some paint we had on hand. 

~ I wrote Amazon reviews for some knives, a hot glue gun, and ordered a couple more review items including my Emily's dress for the Spring Banquet next week. 

~ I received notification that I'll be receiving another book for review.

~ I saw a book I wanted online, and found it at Paperback Swap for $.49 and one credit. 

How are you blessing your family with your thrifty ways this week?

...doing what I can with what I've got where I am 
on a short shoestring budget!

Trusting in Jesus!
Jesus Jesus Jesus
Sweetest Name I know
Fills my every longing

Thursday, March 17, 2016

10 Sure Fire Ways to Help Your Children Love Reading

Many of us believe that reading holds the key to learning, skills, and enjoyment. Yet, reading is not a favorite pastime for many people. I love to read. I learned young and was blessed with a teacher that read aloud to our class daily and a mother who also loved to read and read aloud to me as a youngster. Together they gave me a taste for a world beyond what I could see, hear and taste. They gave me a key to learning whatever I wanted to pursue.

I truly believe that the love of reading is something that is caught not taught, but there are still things that we can do that will encourage the love of reading in our children.

~ Read to them from the time they are tiny. If they're older, start now! It's not too late to start!

~ Let them see you enjoying books— both fiction and nonfiction.

~ Read books to them that are above their reading level.

~ Keep a literature rich environment... picture books, chapter books, classics, even magazines.

~ Read from real books not just electronic devices. Let them enjoy the feel of the paper.

~ Listen to audio books—especially in the car.

~ Read to them consistently. Thirty minutes a day would do wonders!

~ Listen to them read aloud to you.

~ Afternoon silent reading— an hour a day every day. Start this during their nap or rest time. Just leave them with a pile of picture books. Require them to stay there for an hour. It's a good transition from nap times to reading times as they grow older. Mama you need that hour to recharge. They do, too, but you might not like to hear that!

~ Make rainy days special! Hot homemade cocoa or icy milk, a plate of cookies, and a good book!

Give your children or grandchildren the love of reading. Time invested now will pay off with young adults who can learn whatever they want to learn. It's the key. Help them unlock the first door.

Be blessed!

Happy at Home
Momma to Four
Voracious Homeschooled Readers

This post was featured at Pageant Wagon Publishing.

*Photo Credit Pixabay

Monday, March 14, 2016

Friday, March 11, 2016

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #57

Hello Ladies!

It is such a beautiful day here at the cottage. I'm home from our homeschool co-op while papa fills in for me. I have a bit of a cold or sinus something. It came on during a heavy rainstorm a couple days ago. I hope it will leave just as quickly. No word yet on hubby's interviews last week, so the job hunt continues. I am amazed at God's provision. 

Next week it will be three months since we closed the restaurant and our income ceased. We didn't have enough money saved to last this long. BUT GOD! No unemployment. No food stamps. BUT GOD! I don't even understand it all, BUT GOD! In his infinite wisdom, and mercy, God continues to provide for us. I just know he has something good for Lowell that he's working out. I've just got to hold on, have faith, and keep on the sunny side. 

~ We received gifts of money from three dear people at our church last Sunday. Thank you Kiki, Randy, and Georgia! These gifts really touched my heart, because I know that they were given in love sacrificially.

~ We received free dinner last night when we volunteered to make phone calls before the Republican debate. Thank you!

~ My dad visited and brought us meat, laundry soap, toiletries, and lots of other things. Thank you Dad!

~ I didn't go shopping. I used what I have on hand with the addition of a few things hubby picked up for me. 

~ I received cotton yarn in the mail. Thank you Sandi!

~ I reviewed some items for free for Amazon sellers. I guess the years of book reviewing and leaving reviews on Amazon have paid off. Here's my Amazon profile with my reviews. Kendra wrote about becoming a reviewer without a blog. Thank you Kendra!

~ Friends helped pay for my son to play miniature golf with the teens. Thank you Adells!

~ Thank you God for all these wonderful blessings!
~ My girls made a delicious taco salad with things we had on hand with the addition of some cheese, chips, and taco seasoning.

~ My Emily made an old recipe, Kitchen Cupboard Salsa, that we've made for years to go with the taco salad. It's so good, we ate it all! It's better than what you can buy in the store, but it's easy to keep the ingredients on hand. 

Well, this turned into a How God's Blessed Us post rather than a thrifty post. But it just goes to show you how God takes care of those who love him.

God is no respecter of persons. What he has done for me, he will do for you. Does that mean he will provide in the same way? No. But he might. He wants you to cast your burdens and fears and doubts on him. He wants you and me to trust him to do us good and to take care of us... no matter what our eyes see... no matter what our ears hear.

Fear not, He is indeed with us. 
He will neither leave us nor forsake us. 
No matter what.
He promised!

How are you blessing your family with your thrifty ways this week?


Monday, March 7, 2016

It's Monday!

It's Monday!

A New Start!

Have a Daffy-down-dilly kind of day!

Look for the blessings today!
There are sparkles of joy everywhere!

...doing what I can with what I've got where I am 
on a short shoestring budget!

Friday, March 4, 2016

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #56

Hello Ladies!
Crocus and Daffodils are a bloomin' here in southern Missouri. 
I've about given up on snow.
It's okay. There's always next year. 

If you've been reading awhile, you know my husband has been out-of-work since we closed our restaurant in December. God has been so good to us. By the end of last week, I was getting a little tired and down. It's hard to make do sometimes. 

God must have known that I needed to be uplifted. This has been a week of blessings. Today, I opened a blessing box from my friend Rhonda and felt joy just burst forth in me. I felt so loved. It's incredible the relationships we can make in the blogging world. Jesus brings us together in so many ways. 

~ Groceries from God! Someone gave money to my husband anonymously at church. Hubby bought groceries and surprised me! Praise God! We were getting down to odds and ends.

~ A dear reader offered to send me yarn for making dishcloths. Yes! Thank you God and giver!

~ I got a new book, Red Door Inn, for review. 

~ I got a $10 handshake for gas. Thank you Jesus!

~ Someone gave us lots of canned corn and green beans, some Ramen noodles, hot chocolate mix, and sugar. Thank you Jesus!

~ A blessing box came in the mail from my friend Rhonda with all kinds of necessities: laundry soap, deodorant, toothpaste, razors, soap, dental floss, hand and skin creams, facial cleanser and lots of cotton dishcloth yarn! Praise God! It was perfect timing. I'm doing my best with what I've got, but it's getting a bit harder. 

~ I made homemade deodorant. My husband thinks it's working fine. 

~ I made foaming hand soap again. I didn't realize how much we go through until I started making it!

~ I really stretched the canned clam chowder soup my husband brought home. I used 2 cans soup and about 3/4 can milk. It was thin, so I thickened it with cornstarch. I didn't say anything. My family didn't say anything. Score!

How are you blessing your family with your thrifty ways this week?