Saturday, December 31, 2016

Let's Start the New Year Right!

 
To truly start the new year right, we must take some time with God to wrap up the old year.  He wants us to give Him our whole hearts.  What's been holding you back from all He has for you?  Now is the time to get alone with Him for a little while so that you can truly start the new year right with Jesus.

Do you know Jesus?  Would you like to?

I accepted Him as my savior over 30 years ago on New Year's Day.  Jim Bakker was on the PTL Club show interviewing an ex-drug addict.  I thought, if Jesus can forgive a drug addict, maybe He can forgive me, too.  I was 14.  Just old enough to feel the burden of sin.  That thought led to a month long journey of "finding" God.  When I went back to school, I asked Kim, a girl on my bus, if I could go to church with her.  I'm sure she was stunned.  I went to church with her, and one of my neighbors, Pat, attended her church.  From that point on, Pat showed up every Sunday rain or shine.  I was going to church.  She stood up to my mom, and weekly attendance was established.  Period.  No discussion.  Better be sicker than a dog if I tried to back out!  ~smile~  Thank God for Pat!  By the end of the month, I'd walked the aisle, been baptised, and became a member of Rolling Hills Christian Church.  Good salt-of-the-earth people.

My life changed slowly; but, I can honestly say, I'm nothing like I was.  You seriously would not have wanted to know this angry teenager who had been told she was worthless until she believed it. It's been a long journey. God has transformed me. Reading His word has transformed me.  Praying has transformed me. Worshiping God has transformed me.  Being with God's people has transformed me. Thank you God!

Have you begun your story?

Let's start the new year right.
Examine your heart.
Talk with God. Repent of any sins. Ask God for forgiveness. Ask Jesus to be the Lord, the boss of your life.

It's the best new year's resolution I ever made or kept!

Have a terrific New Year's Eve and Day.

Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage,
Laura
Happy at Home


Friday, December 30, 2016

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #90

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 Girls!

  We've made it past the busy-ness of Christmas with sweet memories and happy times. I hope you remember all the good things and forget all the bad. It's about our focus isn't it?
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
  I'm working on this one! I do have a tendency to see the cup half empty. I hope, with God's help, to change that this next year. 

  I'm glad to report that I was able to complete nearly everything on my bucket list this Christmas season. I didn't get to some of the baking I wanted to do, but the days marched on while I was still trying to get in the mood. When we got a light frosting of snow, it helped.

  Well happy new year! I hope you find time to put your feet up, think, pray, and enjoy your family and friends.

Laura
Dreaming of a White Winter

~~~~~~
♥♥♥
~~~~~~



Since last time I wrote:

  • I invested in about 9 cubic feet of real estate.  Much of this was in the form of old papers from the filing cabinet and miscellaneous junk from the basement.
  • We ate odd bits of leftovers. In fact we ate a lot of odd things in order to save for Christmas dinner and extras.
  • I ordered another gift card from Swagbucks for 2200 bucks instead of the normal 2500 bucks. The first $25 card you order each month is reduced in price. I earned enough Swagbucks to get a Bath and Body $25 gift card for each of my girls. I'm now well on my way to getting a $25 gift card for my son for his birthday in January. I am not sure which kind I'm going to get this time. If you're interested, click 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.)
  • We watched Christmas movies that we've collected over the years.
  • We reused the gift bags we saved from last year.
  • We enjoyed a progressive dinner with a group of friends. That's when you go from house to house and eat part of the meal at each house. We offered salad.
  • Bought disposable bowls at the dollar store for the party.
  • I made Snickerdoodles with things I had on hand rather than buying expensive ingredients for the cookie swap.
  • I gave one of my like new review books as a gift.
  • I gave a gift of homemade soap, pocket tissue holder, and snowman ornament.
  • Bought a ham on special for $5 off.
  • Bought two like new sweaters for my husband at the thrift store.
  • Made soup with chicken that was given to me, potatoes, peas, corn, thickened by boxed mashed potatoes that were also given to me.
  • Made Cranberry Wassail with cranberries bought on sale. I substituted ground cinnamon for the sticks.
  • Bought several packs of chicken breasts that had been marked down.
  • I gave home crocheted dishcloths and a big bottle of dish soap for a wedding gift.
Money was tight this year. It often is. That's okay. God showed me how to stretch the money I'd saved. Then we received a gift card from a friend that helped round out both the gifts for our four children and our dinner. God is faithful and good even in the little things.


Well, that's it for now. 

~~~~~
What are you doing in your home this week?
~~~~~

A peek into my life...
My daughter, Amy, learning a bit about pottery from our friend, Chris Lorenzen. Check out her Etsy shop!


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

~~~~~

You might enjoy reading...
~~~~~




Monday, December 26, 2016

After Christmas


It was a peaceful Christmas weekend.
I'd like to take it easy for a couple of days.
When you're a wife and mother, that's not easy.
My family seems to make more mess at Christmastime than most any other time of year. 
~smile~

First there will be straightening and finding places for new things as well as a few returns to make. Then cleaning, homeschool planning, thrifty efforts and real estate investment must take center stage! 
The New Year is coming!

God bless you all.
Thank you all for encouraging me relentlessly
during a very long and difficult 2016. 
~smile~

I thank God He was there to help me through it all.
He will be there to help me through 2017, too, whatever it brings.

What about you?
Have you given your life to Jesus Christ?

"God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in struggle."
Psalm 46:1

He's proven Himself true over and over in my life.
Make Jesus Christ Lord of your life.



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



The Art of Homemaking    Modest Mondays
Tuesdays at Our Home Christian Blogger Community
Homemaking Party No Rules

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Christmas!


No matter who you spend Christmas with, 
whether you spend it with loved ones, friends, 
or people who are difficult to be with, you are loved.

God loved you so much, 
He sent His son to be your savior.

He also loved you so much,
He chose to send his Holy Spirit
so that you will never ever be alone.

Take time to focus on God.
Worship Him.
Thank Him for Jesus and Holy Spirit.
Be aware of Holy Spirit's loving presence,
teaching you, guiding you, comforting you.

You are never alone.

Merry Christmas
from 
Harvest Lane Cottage

Laura



Note:
You can receive the free gift of eternal life
simply by believing that Jesus Christ is the
Son of God, that he died for your sins,
that he's coming back again.
Learn more.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hard Times Don't Take a Christmas Vacation

Hard times don't take a Christmas vacation. Illnesses, lost loved ones, job loss, a budget stretched so far that buying a gift or a special meal makes it snap, loneliness—all are all cold realities for many families.

Two ladies in our church have buried their husbands in the last two months. No matter how many friends and loved ones surround them, they will feel the deep longing for their dearests. Another friend had no money for gifts for the seven children in her home until God provided a miracle. Few of us have the means to give our families the gifts we wish we could give.

I know several people who really stretch their money to make ends meet. There's only so much elastic in a dollar bill you know. I've been testing that stretch capacity full-time for twelve years now.

Maybe you're like one of us. Perhaps you have another problem. Most likely you know someone who's struggling. Our families will be affected differently by these situations, but it will be a challenging season for all of us.

Sometimes, in our desperation, we give up to despair.
Sometimes, in our desperation, we give in to God and
He takes over. He comes in and saves us... maybe not
from the circumstances...but always from the despair.

Give in and find hope, peace, love, healing, and provision.
God's arm is not too short. Nothing is impossible with God.

Please enjoy this story that I share each year....

A Christmas Miracle on the Frontier

     I remember a day one winter that stands out like a boulder in my life. The weather was unusually cold; our salary had not been regularly paid,  and it did not meet our needs when it was.

  My husband was away much of the time, traveling from one district to another. Our boys were well, but my little Ruth was ailing and at best none of us were decently clothed. I patched and re -patched, with spirits sinking to the lowest ebb. The water gave out in the well and the wind blew through the cracks in the floor.

     The people in the parish were kind, and generous too, but the settlement was new and each family was struggling for itself. Little by little, at the time I needed it most, my faith began to waver.
Early in life I was taught to take God at His word, and I thought my lesson was well learned. I had lived upon the promises in dark times until I knew, as David did, who was my Fortress and my Deliverer. Now a daily prayer for forgiveness was all that I could offer. 

     My husband’s overcoat was hardly thick enough for October, and he was often obliged to ride miles to attend some meeting or funeral.  Christmas was coming; the children always expected their presents. I remember the ice was thick and smooth and the boys were each craving a pair of skates. Ruth, in some unaccountable way, had taken a fancy that the dolls I had made were no longer suitable; she wanted a nice large one, and insisted on praying for it.

     I knew it was impossible, but, oh! how I wanted to give each child his present. It seemed as if God had deserted us. But I did not tell my husband all this. He worked so earnestly and heartily, I supposed him to be as hopeful as ever. I kept the sitting room cheerful with an open fire, and I tried to serve our scanty meals as invitingly as I could.

     That morning before Christmas, James was called to see a sick man. I put up a piece of bread for his lunch–it was the best I could do–wrapped my plaid shawl around his neck and then tried to whisper a promise as I often had, but the words died away upon my lips. I let him go without it.  That was a dark, hopeless day. I coaxed the children to bed early, for I could not bear their talk. When Ruth went, I listened for her prayer. She asked for the last time most explicitly for her doll and for skates for her brothers. Her bright face looked so lovely when she whispered to me, “You know I think they’ll be here early tomorrow morning, Mama” that I thought I could move Heaven and earth to save her from disappointment. I sat down alone and gave way to the most bitter tears.

     Before long James returned, chilled and exhausted. He drew off his boots. The thin stockings clipped off with them and his feet were red with cold. “I wouldn’t treat a dog that way; let alone a faithful servant,” I said. Then as I glanced up and saw the hard lines in his face and the look of despair, it flashed across me that James had let go too.

     I brought him a cup of tea, feeling sick and dizzy at the very thought. He took my hand and we sat for an hour without a word. I wanted to die and meet God and tell Him His promise wasn’t true–my soul was so full of rebellious despair.

     There came a sound of bells, a quick step and a loud knock at the door. James sprang to open it. There stood Deacon White. “A box came by express just before dark. I brought it around as soon as I could get away. Reckoned it might be for Christmas. ‘At any rate’ I said, ‘they shall have it tonight.’ Here is a turkey my wife asked me to fetch along and these other things I believe belong to you.”
There were a basket of potatoes, and a bag of flour. Talking all the time, he hurried in the box and then with a hearty good night, he rode away.

     Still without speaking, James found a chisel and opened the box. He drew out first a thick red blanket and we saw that beneath it, the box was full of clothing. It seemed at that moment as if Christ fastened upon me a look of reproach. James sat down and covered his face with his hands. “I can’t touch them,” he explained. “I haven’t been true, just when God was trying me to see if I could hold out. Do you think I could not see how you were suffering? And I had no word of comfort to offer. I know now how to preach the awfulness of turning away from God.”

     “James,” I said, clinging to him, “don’t take it to heart like this. I am to blame. I ought to have helped you. We will ask Him together to forgive us.”  We poured out words of praise–Bible words, for nothing else could express our thanksgiving.  It was eleven o’ clock; the fire was low and there was the great box with nothing touched but the warm blanket we needed. We piled on some fresh logs, lighted two candles and began to examine our treasures.

     We drew out an overcoat. I made James try it on–just the right size–and I danced around him, for all my lightheartedness had returned. There was a cloak and he insisted on seeing me in it. My spirits always infected him and we both laughed like foolish children.

     There was a warm suit of clothes also and three pairs of woolen hose. There were a dress for me and yards of flannel, a pair of arctic overshoes for each of us and in mine a slip of paper. I have it now and mean to hand it down to my children. It was Jacob’s blessing to Asher: “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days so shall thy strength be.”

     In the gloves, evidently for James, the same dear hand had written: “I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”  It was a wonderful box and packed with thoughtful care. There were a suit of clothes for each of the boys and a little red gown for Ruth. There were mittens, scarf, and hood, and down in the center–a box. We opened it and there was a great wax doll!! I burst into tears again and James wept with me for joy. It was too much! And then we both exclaimed again, for close behind it came two pairs of skates. There were books for us to read–some of them I had wished to see–stories for the children to read, aprons and underclothing, knots of ribbon, a gay little tidy, a lovely photograph, needles, buttons, and thread, a muff, and an envelope containing a ten dollar gold piece.

     At last we cried over everything we took up. It was past midnight and we were faint and exhausted even with happiness. I made a cup of tea, cut a fresh loaf of bread and James boiled some eggs. We drew up the table before the fire. How we enjoyed our supper! And then we sat talking over our life and how sure a help God always proved.

     You should have seen the children the next morning! The boys raised a shout at the sight of their skates–Ruth caught up her doll and hugged it tightly without a word; then she went into her room and knelt by her bed.  When she came back she whispered to me, “I knew it would be here Mama, but I wanted to thank God just the same, you know.”

     “Look here, Wife, see the difference!” We went to the window and there were the boys out of the house already and skating on the crust with all their might.  My husband and I both tried to return thanks to the church in the East that sent us the box–and have tried to return thanks unto God every day since. 

     Hard times have come again and again, but we have trusted in Him–dreading nothing so much as a doubt of His protecting care. “They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”


~~~~~


Laura





Reprinted by permission from Lizzie at A Dusty Frame.   She typed it up from a very old book, The Sword Book of Treasures by Dr. John R. Rice, published in 1946 gem.


~~~~~
May I suggest?
~~~~~



Monday, December 19, 2016

Not Every Christmas is Perfect

Once upon a time, the year my children were 10, 4, 2, and newborn, we sold our house in early November. We moved everything into storage, because we had to live in a nice hotel for two weeks while waiting to move into our new home just in time for Thanksgiving. Except. The sellers didn't move out! So, we moved to a cheaper motel.

We lived in a motel for seven weeks from early November until the day AFTER Christmas! We spent the entire Christmas season with all four little ones and a little dog, in two adjoining motel rooms, watching Christmas decorating and food shows and Christmas specials. What's a mother to do?

I borrowed a pre-decorated 2 foot tree and headed to Hobby Lobby. I came "home" with snowman decorations, candles, and later a beautiful Advent book. We enjoyed our Christmas celebration with all the kids piled on one of the beds. It was a Christmas to remember. It was also the Christmas that changed my focus from the stuff of Christmas to the person of Christmas—Jesus Christ.

Not every Christmas is perfect, but...
THE ORIGINATOR OF CHRISTMAS IS ALWAYS PERFECT.

If your Christmas isn't turning out picture perfect, focus on the one who is.
He LOVES you so much, he gave his life so that you can have eternal life and direct access to Father God—the Creator of the Universe.

Reach out to the Reason for the season—Jesus.

Happy Christmas,
Laura



A Stroll Thru Life Share Your Cup
Countdown to Christmas
No Rules Weekend Blog Party 

Christmas in a Single Sentence

Journey to Bethlehem
Jesus is the reason for our hope—in Him 
we live and breathe and have our meaning. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Our Most Cherished Tradition: Decorating the Christmas Tree—Lane Family Rules

What is your must-have holiday decoration item or decor, and why? 

For our family, we must have our beautiful Christmas tree, all our yearly ornaments, and some lights.

These things are central to our most cherished tradition—decorating the tree.

Each year I make or buy a new ornament for each child and one for my husband and me. We have three tree decorating rules.
  • Father, mother, and all four kids must be present.
  • Good food!
  • The first ornament is gold tinsel that my husband twisted to form "I love you" back when we were dating. This is followed by our first Christmas together ornament—1986. We then add ornaments year-by-year and share a memory from that year. As we get to our children's birth years, they join in. The kids can't wait to be born each year!
What is YOUR most cherished tradition?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Harvest Lane Cottage Christmas Decorating ~ Do's and Don'ts



Dear Readers,
I was recently asked about my Christmas decorating style. We have a humble home, but Christmas is the perfect time make our home festive. I have a do with whatcha got attitude about decorating, but I enjoy watching for treasures at yard sales and in thrift shops throughout the year. I also enjoy making things. Although this may be a bit late, I wanted to share how I add Christmas cheer to our home.


  • My Christmas decorating style includes many handmade items. I think that handmade makes things cozier. I dream of Christmas quilts for every bed. I enjoy making Christmas ornaments for my four children and for friends.
  • Books! We have lots and lots of Christmas books. All the festive colors brighten things up quite a bit.
  • Candles. There's just something about candlelight that makes things cozy.
  • I just love rich red poinsettias.
  • Snowmen and snowflakes cover my tree and are scattered around the house.
  • I have lots of yearly ornaments from a lifetime with my husband and children.
  • Deep reds and dark greens
  • Music—instrumental (like Jim Brickman) or Bing Crosby style Christmas music are my favorites. Christmas music plays in my home from Thanksgiving Eve through New Year's Day... sometimes even earlier. Yes. Playing music is decorating for our ears!

Once upon a time, I used bright Christmas red and green. It was all about Santa Claus. That changed a few years ago when all my decorations were in storage at Christmas time. Now I like deeper reds and greens, poinsettias, snowmen, and snowflakes. I sense I may be making more changes soon, but I'm not sure what they'll be yet.

You're not supposed to notice the mess. Real life happens here. 

Decorating Do's and Don'ts

Do:
  • Focus on the truth of Christmas—Jesus as Savior of the world. Emmanuel. God with us.
  • Forget about the trends! Do what you and your family like. Old-fashioned? Who's to say? If you build your decor around what you like, it's not out-of-date until you say it is.
  • Fun. Add a little whimsical to your decor. If you like snowmen, use them. If you like candy and sugar plums, use them. If you like Santas, use them. If you like angels, use them. Use whatever brings you joy when you see it.

Don't:
  • Forget to enjoy decorating. It's a pleasure not just a job. Put on the music, sip the cider or eggnog, and have fun.
  • Do it all yourself. Get your family or friends involved.
  • Do it the same every year. Using your decorations in different places and in different ways keeps things fresh.



Happy Christmas time everyone!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Surviving Cold Winters Without Adequate Heat


One winter our furnace broke down in the middle of winter. We didn't have the money to get it fixed. We did not get it fixed until late the next winter. Each morning I would get up, put the kettle on for tea, fill the sinks with hot water, and bake something. We used a couple of little space heaters. I would bundle all the children up on the sofa or on my lap with blankets, and I would read. That was the time that I learned about the difference of being chilly and being dangerously cold.

I always said that I would find someplace to go if it got dangerously cold. I don't think it ever got below the upper fifties in the house even though it was quite cold outside. I cooked to keep warm. Those were lean times when there wasn't much to eat. I knew that if I didn't bake biscuits or something, we wouldn't eat. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn't know how to make bread very well. I did learn to make biscuits and cornbread and all kinds of soups.

Oh, but the memories we made all snuggled up, drinking homemade cocoa, reading lots of books, and facing it all together. For the parents, it was a struggle to survive. For the children, it was an adventure.

You do what you've got to do. As President Teddy Roosevelt said, "Do what you can with what you've got where you are." The Missouri way of speaking would be, "Do whatcha can with whatcha got where you are."

Lord Jesus, please provide for my dear readers so that they have food to eat and are warm this winter. I ask it in Jesus' Name according to your riches in glory. Amen.

Now, go read this post about Keeping Shivers at Bay for some practical tips.

Be blessed friend!
Mrs. Laura Lane

Note: We lived in Southern Kansas at the time. We're not talking subzero temperatures.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Old Mansion's Secret ~ a Christmas Story Review

The Old Mansion's Secret a Christmas Storyby Rebekah A. Morris
"Taking a shortcut on a lonely country road, Daniel, Esther, and their cousin, Moni, stumble upon a mystery! A glimmering, sparkling, brightly lit Christmas tree is framed within the window of an old, long-abandoned, dilapidated mansion. The children are determined to solve the mystery and discover the old mansion's secret–before Christmas." ~ Read Another Page

My Thoughts:

I thought I had the mystery of The Old Mansion's Secret figured out more than once as I read through this Christmas novella. Nope. There was a terrific surprise ending—at least it surprised me—though looking back, there were a few clues. I enjoyed the energy of the kids in this book. They are analytical thinkers who track down every clue that they can while following the rules the adults give them. 

I really enjoyed this book. I think it would make a terrific read aloud book for youngsters up through junior high especially. This is a short book—just 92 pages of easy, enjoyable reading. Clean, respectful, and parent honoring.

About the Author: 
Rebekah A. Morris is a homeschool graduate, an enthusiastic freelance author and a passionate writing teacher. Read More…
Website
Blog




I received this book free for review purposes

Sunday, December 4, 2016

HARVEST LANE COTTAGE CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE 2016...


How are you doing on your Christmas creating and shopping? I thought I'd take a moment and share some things I've found online. Maybe they will spark an idea for you. I've included links, but I am not affiliated with any of these sellers.

 Cuisinart ICE-21R Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker $50

This is a little counter top ice cream maker that you can use any time for small batches. No rock salt or ice needed. Yes, dear husband, I wish for this!

Tile Mate Key Finder $25
Save your sanity or a loved one's with Tile Mate. They have small ones that can be attached to your keys, purse, backpack, whatever you need to find. They also have ones that fit in your wallet, or you can attach to your remote!


Just found this one! Sync your phone and keys. Your phone can then help you find your keys, and your keys can ring your phone! The batteries are replaceable, too. It comes in lots of colors. 

Pin it!
Thing Charger  $25.11
Your tablet or phone plugs directly into the Thing Charger without cords. Fewer cords, fewer hassles.

Pin it!

Split Willow Laundry Basket $29.95

Pin it!
I loved this book about family love and togetherness. It's my favorite Christmas book. Here's my review.
Pin it!

Lilla Rose Flexi Clips from $14.00 This is a link to my friend Sarah's Lilla Rose business.


https://shop.lillarose.biz/MemberToolsDotNet/ShoppingCartv3/MainCart.aspx?CatalogueID=211&RequestedGroup1Code=FX&RequestedGroup2Code=ALL&ReferringDealerID=818582

*Note: I am not affiliated with any of these companies. I just think their products look nifty.
**I updated links and prices on October 2, 2017.



Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #89

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 Girls!

  I'm smack dab in the middle of the busiest week of the year. I'll bet you are, too. It seems nearly everyone who plans Christmas events thinks the first week of December is the best time. So guess what the rest of us do? Yep, scurry from activity to activity. We've been busy with Bible studies, dance practice, Walk Through Bethlehem, and we still have our Tree Decorating Party, a progressive dinner, the town Christmas parade, Michael's Police Explorers' meeting, church, another dance practice, and our church's Christmas production all in the first ten days of the month—not to mention a visit from Grandpa Rick to replace a ceiling fan! Whew! Some of that isn't even on my bucket list!

  Well happy Christmas season! I hope you find time to put your feet up and sip some eggnog or cocoa and visit with your family, read a good book, or simply dream in the glow of the Christmas tree lights. God bless us every one!

Laura
Dreaming of a White Christmas  

~~~~~~
♥♥♥
~~~~~~

Here's my thrifty week:

  • I invested in about six cubic feet of real estate. This sparked an interesting conversation with my youngest about cubits. She thought I was saying cubit feet. A cubit is the average length of a man's arm from elbow to fingertips if I remember right. That's what happens when you raise your kids on the Bible. ~smile~
  • I ordered a gift card from Swagbucks for 2200 bucks instead of the normal 2500 bucks. The first $25 card you order each month is reduced in price. 
  • I earned enough Swagbucks to get the next $25 gift card, but I'll order it in December to get it for 2200 SB. If you're interested, click 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.)
  • I earned more Swagbucks that I'm saving up to buy some nifty gift cards for my girls. Click 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.)
  • We attended the Journey to Bethlehem. An evening of positive, encouraging, uplifting entertainment for free.
  • We came home and ate spaghetti noodles with butter instead of going out to eat after the Journey.
  • We rented Christmas movies on Sunday afternoon for $.75 each.
  • I bought two packages of tissue paper (35 sheets each) at the dollar store to be used with the gift bags we saved from last year.
  • While cleaning out our filing cabinet (the source of some of the real estate), I found the packing tape and Scotch tape that I bought a couple months. I use two of the drawers for school books and extra supplies.
Money is tight this year. It often is. That's okay. I know God will show me how to make it stretch. He always does.


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

A peek into my life...
I've been listening to this amazing,
worshipful, Christmas CD by Chris Tomlin.

ADORE


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





~~~~~

You might enjoy reading...

~~~~~
A Homemade Handmade Heartmade Christmas
~~~~~




Friday, December 2, 2016

My Christmas Bucket List 2016


Have you got lots to do this Christmas season? Me too! I've still got shopping, making, cooking, and baking along with visiting with friends and family. Still... there are things I just love to do during the Christmas season. Actually, I like to do a lot of them all winter long. Here are some of the things I'd like to do this month.


  • Write my Christmas bucket list
  • Make or buy a tree ornament for each child
  • Sing Christmas carols
  • Put up the tree
  • Decorate the house
  • Christmas parade
  • Put lights on the house (Kids took care of it.)
  • Talk to strangers (It's what I do!)
  • Smile and spread good cheer
  • Curl up with a terrific book
  • Go to Journey to Bethlehem
  • Drink hot apple cider
  • Tree decorating party with my husband and kids
  • Drink eggnog
  • Watch Christmas movies
  • Progressive dinner
  • Make homemade wassail
  • Invite friends for soup and bread
  • Make new Christmas decorations
  • Listen to Christmas music
  • Bake Gingerbread Cookies
  • Advent book
  • Christmas baking
  • Costumes for church production
  • Church Bethlehem outreach
  • Gaze into the fire of a candle
  • Sing Christmas carols as I shop
  • Make cocoa
  • Burn fragrant holiday candles
  • Read by tree light
  • Christmas shopping
  • Watch more Christmas movies
  • Christmas gathering with my CHEC moms
  • Pajama Run - Christmas lights
  • Cookie Exchange Party
  • Worship Jesus Done, but I couldn't bring myself to cross it out!
  • Bake Christmas cookies with my kids
  • Read Christmas books  
  • Wrap Christmas gifts
  • Christmas Eve service
  • Christmas Day at home

Happy Christmas Season!
Laura