Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #88

Welcome to another thrifty week at Harvest Lane Cottage. I am glad you've found me! Each week I share my thrifty and frugal projects, ways of saving money, and my blessings from God. 


I am so glad you dropped in for a visit today—or tonight!

♥♥♥
Hey Y'all! 

  Thanksgiving is a sweet memory now. It was a beautiful day here in Missouri with my husband and my children. We've lost many of our leaves, but we have one brilliant gold tree just outside the window. In fact, you can see it from both our dining and living room windows. It's just glorious and makes me thankful. I love Autumn colors, and I think God had that tree planted just for me. He does that kind of thing for his girls... you do know that right?

  Remember the last line of last week's thrifty post? "I can't wait to see what God's got in store!" Well it was over the top amazing!

   .

~~~~~
♥♥♥
~~~~~~
Here's my thrifty week:

~ I invested in another cubic foot of real estate. We took a box to the DAV. It's next door to the Red Racks thrift store where I bought my coat last week.

~ I earned more Swagbucks that I'm saving up to buy some nifty gift cards for my girls. I need only a few more to able to get both cards I want. Gotta keep Mrs. Kringle's secrets, you know? You can still sign up and earn gift cards from places like Starbucks, Amazon, PayPal, Bath and Body, Bass Pro, Olive Garden, Kohls, and Home Depot. There are lots of choices in various denominations. Maybe you'll find something for you. ~smile~ 

I once got a Starbucks card just for me. I used it for hot tea, and it lasted me a long time. It was so nice to know I could spoil myself just a bit without blowing the budget. Please check it out using by clicking to learn and earn more. (Yep, it's a link that will help me earn more SB too. It doesn't cost you a penny.)

Join Swagbucks!

~ A friend's husband brought a box of food for our Thanksgiving dinner plus a little extra. Wow! I didn't even have my turkey yet. What a big blessing! Thank you friends!

~ A friend arranged for a new-to-us refrigerator to be delivered on Monday! Wow! Praise God! We'd been limping along for several months with one that wasn't keeping things as cold as they needed to be. In fact, in the summer, we kept anything that had to be cold in the freezer—and it didn't freeze! There are not words for how much I appreciate this. Thank you Jesus! Thank you my friend!
~ Are you sitting down? You know how I have to drive my daughter to school in the next town? Some friends at church gave us a car! Emily will be able to look for a job now that she has transportation. Praise to God the Father and Jesus His Son!

I had no idea what a week it was going to be. God is full of surprises! And all I was thinking about was how to get a turkey in time to thaw it for Thanksgiving. God is definitely all about the BIG picture. I'm so glad He enjoys doing exceedingly abundantly above all we can think or ask. Sometimes He makes me feel like one of His spoiled kids. ~smile~

I was especially encouraged by all this, because I find that my Christmas budget is going to be very small this year. I am going to rely on creativity, the money in my PayPal accounts that I've made from selling thing on Etsy and Ebay, and the check I made for working as a poll judge a couple weeks ago. I know God will show me how to make it stretch. He always does.

If you're interested, I'll be adding more to my Etsy and Ebay shops this week.

Well, that's my thrifty week. 
~~~~~
What are you doing in your home this week?
~~~~~

A peek into my life...


ღLauraღ
...doing what I can with what I've got

Friday, November 25, 2016

Christmas 2016— Is This Your Year to Stop?


Is this your year?

The year that you will...

  • stop giving meaningless gifts and be freed to enjoy giving from your heart?
  • stop feeling obligated to give and be freed to enjoy giving?
  • stop trying to keep up with friends or family who have more and be freed to enjoy giving on a reasonable, budget friendly level?
  • stop rushing to every activity and party and be freed to enjoy a few select activities that your family enjoys?
  • stop going and stay home and enjoy your children, husband, and friends?
  • stop focusing on stuff and enjoy focusing on the reason—a baby who grew up to be a man who gave his life to give you direct access to God the father, to give you eternal life, and to give you access to peace, hope, and trust through the Holy Spirit.

Make it your year!
This is your life.
Enjoy it!

Blessings,

Laura
Refocusing my Priorities





Mommy Mondays

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #87

Welcome to another thrifty week at Harvest Lane Cottage. I am glad you've found me! Each week I share my thrifty and frugal projects, ways of saving money, and my blessings from God. 


I am so glad you dropped in for a visit today—or tonight!

♥♥♥
Hey Y'all! 
Can you believe we are less than a week from Thanksgiving? It totally snuck up on me. I know, it comes the same time each year, but I've been distracted by the election and confused by the trees that are only now reaching the height of their brilliant fall glory... a month late! Well, once I felt a nip in the air and golden leaves met me as I took my little dog out this week, I felt a refreshing joy and an excitement about the weeks to come. I can't wait to see what God's got in store!
   .
~~~~~
♥♥♥
~~~~~~
Here's my thrifty week:

~ I bought four pounds of butter for $2.49 each. I saw a lower price later, but I still felt I'd gotten a good deal.

~ I used up the last little bits of bars of homemade soap. "Waste not want not!"*

~ I bought six 10 oz bags of Birdseye frozen corn for $.64 each.

~ I invested in one cubic foot of real estate

~ I earned Swagbucks that I'm saving up to buy some nifty gift cards for my family. I'd tell you the totally awesome place, but then a certain someone might see it on my blog! Gotta keep Mrs. Kringle's secrets, you know? There's still time for you to sign up and earn gift cards from places like Starbucks, Amazon, PayPal, Bath and Body, Bass Pro, Olive Garden, Kohls, and Home Depot. There are lots of choices. Please check it out using by clicking on the picture below to learn and earn more. (Yep, it's a link that will help me earn more SB too. It doesn't cost you a penny.)

Join Swagbucks!

~ My big thrill of a purchase was like getting a Christmas gift from God. A new thrift store opened in a nearby city yesterday. Since I was in the neighborhood today, I dropped in. Guess what? I found a nice fluffy warm coat in just my size! It's a medium purple (one of my favorite colors), and I think it might have down in it. Even if it doesn't it's super warm and three quarters length—perfect for dresses—has a removable hood (I don't like them.), and it was $13.49!!! Oh God lead me to that deal for sure! Shopping for a coat was on my bucket list, but the prices I found were way out of my range, so I had pretty well given up. BUT GOD! Thank you LORD!

My husband's paycheck is late since the boss is out of town, but when I get my grocery money, I'll be hitting the sales big time! Gotta make the list and check it twice. Thanksgiving will be here before you know it!


Well, that's my thrifty week. 
~~~~~
What are you doing in your home this week?
~~~~~

A peek into my life...

He's my favorite!

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

~~~~~

You might enjoy reading...

~~~~~
Something to Think About...
Christmas

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Trust, Pray, Repent


Isaiah 40:31KJV

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

Fear not!  Things are in a bit of turmoil in our country right now, but God! No matter what happens, you and your family are safe in God's hands. If our nation decides that they want to pursue a destructive path, they will. God has given each of us free will. We can pray that God will intervene, and I believe he did Election Tuesday. More Evangelicals voted than have in decades. Holy Spirit is speaking to his people.

We must trust God no matter what. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. I'm praying for a great awakening in the nation, a revival in the church, and true repentance among believers. 

You know the verse that says, "If my people, who are called by my name... I will heal their land." When it's quoted, it's usually without the "and turn from their wicked ways". Most Christians are too much like the world. Well, maybe all Christians are. 

We must ask Holy Spirit to show us where we need to turn from our wicked ways... even if they are wrong ways of thinking or bad habits. We must take our Christianity seriously.

Just a thought...
Laura





Mommy Monday

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Remnant by Monte Wolverton


"When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw." —Nelson Mandela

"The Remnant is both inspiring and satirical—it's a physical and spiritual expedition through a dystopian world. In a totalitarian, post-apocalyptic future where religion is forbidden, a band of concentration-camp escapees treks through a lawless wilderness on a quest for authentic Christianity, only to come face-to-face with an unthinkable dilemma. Avoiding been-there, done-that predictable conclusions, The Remnant offers hope against the backdrop of a real, perplexing, and challenging world of spiritual and physical dysfunction." ~ Litfuse

From the back cover:

"In the year 2069, the Apocalypse came and went, but Jesus didn't show up, as some expected. Instead, a cataclysmic war, natural disasters and pandemics eradicated 90 percent of Earth's poplulation. Now, in 2131, a totalitarian government rules the world from the majestic, opulent capitol of Carthage, Tunisia. 

Blamed for igniting the war, religion and religious books are banned. Citizens who will not renounce their religion are sent to work camps. 

Grant Cochrin, imprisoned in a bleak petroleum camp in what was once North Dakota, leads his family and friends to escape and embark on a long, dangerous quest for a Christian community. 

Their resource for this journey? A cherished page torn from the now banished Bible—a remnant of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount handed down from Grant's grandparents."

My Thoughts:

Dystopian is not my usual genre of reading. The Remnant sounded different from other Dystopian novels—and it is. It's based on a question of what might happen if Jesus didn't come back with the Apocalypse as some expect. Actually, it was the promise from the publicist to "get ready to stay up late with this one." That was just a bit too irresistible for me. I told her I would review it if I could have one of the very last due dates—November 29. I finished reading it just a few days after I received it—October 16th! Although I didn't stay up too late reading it, once I read the first page, I didn't want to quit. If you click through and read the preview, you're probably going to want to read it, too.

Grant, his wife Dana, their two teen children, Bryan, a tech genius (who reminds me of Riley from National Treasure), and a few talented friends band together to escape from a work camp for people who will not renounce their religion. This story follows them as they make their way through the wilderness and its numerous dangers. The plot moves along at a fairly steady pace. The characters are very well developed and seem to do what you would expect them to do in each situation they face. I will say that there are some surprises along the way. One of them had me crying out with astonishment. Some things are just unimaginable—but then again they must be since Mr. Wolverton imagined them! Oh, I wish I could tell, but it would be a spoiler!

The band of friends becomes a team as they work through dangerous situations and confusing conundrums. The unthinkable dilemma spoken of in the teaser is exactly that. I do not know how the team can make the decision. Will there be a sequel? I do hope so!

Be blessed!
Laura


About the Author 
Monte Wolverton is an award-winning author and syndicated editorial cartoonist. He is associate editor of CWR magazine. He is an ordained minister and holds a MA from Goddard College in Vermont. Along with his wife Kaye, he makes his home in southwest Washington State.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




Zondervan's Devotions for Christmas ~ A Celebration to Bring You Peace and Joy

Zondervan's new book, Devotions for Christmas, is a pretty little devotional with glossy pages, exquisite photography, and a fresh take on Christmas devotions.

I've read a lot of Christmas books over the years. This one presents the beauty of the meaning of Christmas in a unique way.

First, the devotional is dated from December 1 through December 31. This helps us focus on the LORD all month long.

Second, the topics center around many of the ideas, phrases, and things  we use to celebrate Christmas. For instance, Home for the Holidays, Holiday Memories, Christmas Stockings, Going Caroling, Family Traditions, A Modest Christmas, The Aroma of Christmas, and A New Thing are just a few of the titles which help us keep Jesus at the center of it all.

The beauty of the book, the relevant topics, the memories triggered, and the focus on Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior all come together to make this a meaningful devotional perfect for your early mornings or evenings together or alone. It would also make an excellent early gift of love.

From Zondervan: 
In the swirling busyness of December, take a moment to relax and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas
We all know that Christmas is a time to celebrate Christ the King born to us, to enjoy our family and friends, and to indulge in those annual traditions we look forward to every year. But even though we may understand the true reason for the season, far too few of us know how to celebrate Christmas as the time of peace that it is meant to be.
With a rich, daily devotion for every day of December, Devotions for Christmas offers you a way to unplug and spend some time reconnecting with a childlike sense of wonder and joy at the mystery and blessings of Christmas. Settle in and enjoy peaceful and hope-inspired Devotions for Christmas.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Praying for a Third Great Awakening



I am praying for a third Great Awakening among Jesus' people and those who call themselves by His name, but do not yet have a true relationship with Him. 
It starts with us—searching our own hearts, seeking His face and not just His hand, and repenting as He reveals the need. Join me? 
Laura 





Wednesday
Homestead Blog Hop Christian Blogger Link Up Raising Homemakers - A Wise Woman Builds Her Home  


Share your Cup



THE ANGEL OF FOREST HILL by Cindy Woodsmall

Thank you Blogging for Books
for this review copy.
OH, this was a vunderful gut novella! I enjoyed it so much. It was a book that really kept my interest. I read it quite quickly compared to many books I read. It's a classic theme of learning to let go of the past and embrace the future. The characters are so likeable, I'd love to know what happens next! 

I will say, this is an Amish novella, but the characters don't seem as bound to the old-fashioned traditions of their order as much as one would expect. You might say that they push the limits of their culture. 

This is a lovely book of redemption that just happens to climax during the Christmas season. It's a nice, light read for a quiet, and hopefully snowy, Christmas season evening.

A time of anticipation. A season of miracles.
Because of Joel’s impossible situation, twenty-one-year-old Rose must sacrifice everything. As days pass into years in the midst of the beautiful hills, the laughter of children, and God’s providence—is it too much for Rose to hope for love in return?

An amazing journey toward love and belonging, filled with the wonder of the season of Christ’s birth.


When Old Order Amish Rose Kurtz is asked to leave her family, travel deep into West Vir­ginia, and help Joel Dienner with his children in the wake of tragedy, the quiet young woman recognizes a home where she might find kindness instead of criticism and hope replacing harsh words. She agrees to stay in Forest Hill and become Joel’s wife for the sake of his family needs, but their marriage is to be a partnership, one built from need, not love and affection.

As the years pass, Rose continues to beckon Joel to join life again, to take joy in his growing children, and to awaken his heart to the possibility of new love. Joel hopes that Rose can move beyond deep-rooted hurts to see the beautiful Christmas ahead, their season. But will the arrival of a beautiful widow and a series of misunderstandings reverse how far Rose and Joel have come?


*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”





Saturday, November 12, 2016

WHERE JESUS SLEPT Norma Lewis and Katy Hudson

One of the things I love about the Christmas season is the coziness of the season. I have cherished memories of snuggling in the big rocker recliner with my little children piled around me or cuddling on the sofa with a big blanket and a pile of Christmas picture books. Twinkling Christmas tree lights and hot homemade cocoa made it all the cozier.

My children are now nearly all grown. They range from 15 through 25. Gone are the days of cuddling up with a pile of books and reading the evening away. Now they're busy with many things. But. They still insist on the tradition of a new Christmas picture book every year. I usually present it to the family on Christmas Eve. It's my pleasure to review books in an effort to find the perfect one.

I really like Where Jesus Slept. Although I read it silently, I can just imagine how nice it will be to read it aloud. It's inspired by the Mother Goose rhyme "The House that Jack Built." Remember? If not, I'm sure you can Google it. ~smile~
I enjoy books that have rhythm and rhyme. They're just so much fun to read to children—even if they're nearly grown. Norma Lewis has used it beautifully to tell the dearly beloved account of our Savior's birth.

The cover is typical of the art throughout. Katy Hudson has presented quiet, peaceful, restful illustrations throughout the book. The colors and people are tasteful. She does not make the characters in the book look like outlandish cartoons as many illustrators are apt to do. Baby Jesus is a perfect example of her style.

I highly recommend this book—especially if you have littles from birth to about seven or eight. It would be a merry little book to enjoy with emergent readers. The repetition would reinforce new words they were learning. Mostly, it's a book to enjoy and keep the focus of Christmas just where it should be—with Christ.



About the book:
“This is the bed where Jesus slept. This is the straw that lined the bed where Jesus slept.” From here, the story builds with each spread, adding a new element and explaining the relationships among the participants and witnesses to the first Christmas. From Jesus sleeping sweetly to the wise men bringing gifts, this charming book reminds readers young and not-so-young of the joyous event we celebrate at Christmastime. Children will love the delightful illustrations and the engaging repetition in this cumulative tale.


Format: jacketed hardcover
Page count: 32
Retail price: $16.99
Reading age: 4-7

About the author:
Norma Lewis is the author of ten books. She lives in Grand Haven, MI, with a marmalade cat named Scalawag. They both love spending time with her six grandchildren, ranging in age from three to twenty.
Illustrated by Katy Hudson.




"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #86

Welcome to another thrifty week at Harvest Lane Cottage. I am honored by your visit.  Each week I share my thrifty and frugal projects, ways of saving money, and my blessings from God. 


I am so glad you dropped in for a visit today—or tonight!

♥♥♥
Hello! May God give you peace and tranquility in your heart whether your candidates won or lost. Please pray for our leaders on all levels. May God bless America, and may we turn to Him with our whole hearts.
   .
~~~~~
♥♥♥
~~~~~~
Here's my thrifty week:

Not much to report this week...

~ I bought pumpkins on sale for $1.99 and $.99 a couple days after Halloween. We don't link carving pumpkins with Halloween. We just have fun and enjoy the seeds.

~ $25.32 saved by using Price Matcherz to find price matches to use at Walmart and cherry picking the deals.
  • American Beauty pasta (I bought 15 packages at $.49 each—enough to last for months.)
  • Land o' Lakes butter $2.49 
  • Pillsbury cake mixes at $.49 (for pumpkin or cherry dump cakes) 
  • I also bought three Marie Callender chicken pot pies (a family favorite splurge) for $1.78 each plus I stacked it with a $1.00 use it now coupon! 
These are just a few of the bargains. Look at the Price Matcherz site to see what's available in your area. It's a free service that makes saving money easier.

~ We watched a free Redbox movie using a code my husband received by signing up for their text messages.

~ We also had a large family over for soup and dessert Friday night. My friend offered to bring chili, and I accepted. That's old-fashioned pot luck thrift.

Well, that's my thrifty week. 
~~~~~
What are you doing in your home this week?
~~~~~

A peek into my life...

Photo taken a few months ago when
we went out for half price appetizers.


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

~~~~~

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Salvation Does Not Come from a President or a Party


I humbly thank GOD 
for HIS MERCY AND GRACE.

Stand still 
and see the salvation 
of the LORD.
Salvation does not come 
from a president or a party.

Salvation comes only
from God the Father
through Jesus Christ.

Holy Spirit does the work
of speaking truth to us
if we will listen,
of teaching us 
if we will be teachable,
of comforting us,
if we will accept comfort.

Thank you for doing your 
part in the voting booth,
in getting out the vote,
and in praying.

This is just the beginning.
We must continue to pray
for peace in our country,
for prudence and wisdom for our leaders.

Let's not be weary of doing good.

God bless us every one,
and God bless America!

All praise be to God the Father, Holy Spirit, 
and Jesus the Son for this victory for America and Americans. 

Thank you God for your MERCY.
Thank you for giving America another chance.
God we want to be one nation under God again.
We honor you and ask your guidance and mercy to our leaders.
Amen.

Monday, November 7, 2016

PLEASE VOTE AND PRAY FOR OUR COUNTRY!

 

Please get out and vote!

This is the most important election in our lifetime.


We believe, support, and live by
the Bible, 
the Constitution,
the Bill of Rights, 
and the Right to Life.


We will vote Republican 
to protect our religious freedom.

We will vote Republican 
to stop socialism.


We will vote Republican 
to protect America and
make it great again. 



Do your Christian duty.
Vote values. 



May God bless America.

*Hillary Clinton publicly, verbally attacked hard working, moral, American people.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Autumn Blessings to You!

Attention ladies...
It's a beautiful Autumn day outside...
sunshine, rain, wind, snow, cold, or heat, it's all beautiful Novembery weather. Don't miss it!
~smile~

Remember, whatever you're going through, you're going through it. You're going to make it. Lean into God and His promises. Read his word and know that it's his letter directly to you.

Hope you have a lovely week!

Blessings,

Friday, November 4, 2016

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #85

Welcome to another thrifty week at Harvest Lane Cottage. I am honored by your visit.  Each week I share my thrifty and frugal projects, ways of saving money, and my blessings from God. 


I am so glad you dropped in for a visit today—or tonight!

♥♥♥
Hello! 
   We've been really busy with Autumn life including bonfires, church activities, campaigning, writing, reading, hot tea sipping, decorating and a little baking. 
~~~~~
♥♥♥
~~~~~~
Here's my thrifty week:
  • A friend gave me another blouse she no longer needed. 
  • Since we've been campaigning a lot at Republican Headquarters. They provided meals if we were working at mealtime. 
  • Fifty cent corndogs for all at Sonic on Reformation Day. Yep, I know they thought they were celebrating Halloween. ~smile~
  • Update on the wedding gift I gave last month (a very big bottle of Dawn dish soap and half a dozen handmade tribbles): I received a sweet handwritten card yesterday from the bride saying they were her favorite gift because they were handmade, practical, and she needed them. Success! She'll be a frugal wife yet!
  • We ate ribs that my dad gave us during our long period of unemployment at the beginning of the year. God has blessed us with so much chicken this fall, I'm going to have to thaw, cook, debone, and refreeze it to make room should my son shoot a deer this season. I'd better get on that soon!
  • My daughter used both sides of the paper when she made her copies for the girls' Bible study she's leading.
  • I sewed more tissue holder gifts. 
  • I mended my son's flashlight holder.
  • A big bag of peanuts in the shell for snacking for just $1.99.

Well, that's my thrifty week. 
~~~~~
What are you doing in your home this week?
~~~~~

A peek into my life...






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


~~~~~