Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot,
Thou has taught me to say,It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.


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!


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.


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!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!


And Lord, haste the day when my 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.


Listen here

Monday, July 27, 2009

Beef and Lentils

1/4 medium onion
2 cloves garlic, diced
5 cups water
1lb. lentils
1tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. basil
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. mustard
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients into slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours (check to see if lentils are tender).

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Backstage at the Betty Crocker Kitchens

Recently I took at look at the Pssst program for General Mills and joined. Occasionally they will send offers for products, actual products, and information about products. In one of the emails that I have received from them, they sent me a link to see a little bit of what goes on backstage at Betty Crocker and told me that I could share it with my readers. It’s a pretty interesting little piece.
Click on the link and it’ll take you to the video!
Backstage at Betty Crocker
Leave a comment and let us know what you think!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Front Porch

My husband and I bought the porch furniture several years ago at a Flea Market for $50. We bought the cushions at Walmart and painted the furniture to match and added plexiglass to the end tables. All the decorations were things I already had or things my husband bought for me at a yard sale on his way home from work one day. The flower slate by the door came from Holmes County last Fall on our Anniversary trip. Setting up the porch was a Mother's Day project we did about 3 years ago. I repot all the pots with flowers every spring. I enjoy sitting on my front porch reading with a glass of iced water and my dog Lily. I also like sitting in the evening with my husband talking and enjoying a glass of iced tea after he gets home from work.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

Ephesians 5:19-20

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:19-20

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Homemade Taco Seasoning

1/4 c dried minced or chopped onion
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1 tbsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic flakes or garlic powder
1 tsp ground cumin1
tsp crushed oregano
2 tbsp of this mix = 1 packet
This recipe makes 3 packets worth.

Banana Oatmeal Bread

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (3 bananas)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9x5 inch loaf pan and set aside.
Cream together the shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until fluffy.

Sift together the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients alternately with bananas and milk. Mix until blended.

Fold in raisins and pour into prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes; remove from oven and cover for 5 minutes.

Original recipe yield 1 - 5x9 inch loaf

Challenge Rap Up for Week 1

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

We are a family of 6 my husband and I have 4 children 20, 17, 16, and 13 years old so that’s 3 Adults & 3 Teenagers. According to the All You Grocery Challenge we have $150 per week to spend on food. We stayed within the challenge guideline this week by spending $106.75 for all food purchased. We spent $98.23 on groceries and $8.52 at Mc Donald’s for the kids and me on Wednesday. I spent some extra time this week looking for coupons and organizing them to get the best deals I could for the week. I made a menu plan this week but it got changed based on our needs so those meals will get planned for another week.

Our family’s personal grocery budget is $80 per week so I went over budget on that by $18.23. Since Kroger had a great sale week and I continued in my stockpiling I think I did a good job. We try not to go out to eat more than once per week especially since for our family a nice sit down restaurant or buffet cost us $60-80 each time.

We have Teen Tech at our library every Wednesday. We have 4H every other week with this being the last week. We also run errands while we are in town. The kids and I have started a bad habit of eating at a fast food place because we haven’t eaten lunch before we go. I am hoping to break this habit over the challenge because we will be starting up our homeschool on August 10th and our Co-op class will start on Friday’s in September. That would give us two days of the week we are out of the house and busy and we can not eat out that much and I would like to save our eating out for when we can go as a family. We did however get 2 free apple dippers at Mc Donald's.

This week from our garden we have zucchini, broccoli, green beans, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and lettuce. I am try to incorporate as much of our vegetables as possible in our menu plan for the week. I make a veggie tray at the beginning of each week and refill it as needed and I pull it out of the refrigerator for meals and snacks. I like to keep an assortment of fruits on hand. This week we have bananas, apples, nectarines, and oranges I keep one of the drawers in the fridge full and a bowl on the counter. If we have an odd assortment when we start to get low I will make a fruit salad.

We mostly eat leftovers for lunch and quick breads for breakfast. I made oatmeal banana bread this week since I had some bananas that needed used up. I also ran out of milk on Tuesday so I made up some powdered milk for cooking until I went shopping on Wednesday. I ran out of Bisquick so I made up a Master Mix of Homemade Bisquick to use. We did a good job using up our leftovers but still have some that didn't get eaten.

The meals we had this week:

Breakfast- Oatmeal Banana Bread and fruit
Dinner- Leftovers
Dessert- Ice Cream

Breakfast- Cereal w/ milk
Lunch- Leftovers
Dinner- Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans
Dessert- Ice Cream

Breakfast- Lemon Bread and yogurt
Lunch- Leftovers (Husband), Mc Donald’s (Kids & I)
Snack- Free Brownies (4H Meeting)
Dinner- Cream of Broccoli Soup, and Zucchini Cheddar Bread
Dessert- Cookies

Breakfast- Oatmeal Banana Bread and fruit
Lunch- Leftovers
Dinner- Chicken & Zucchini Pasta
Dessert- Brownies

Breakfast- cereal
Lunch- Leftovers (Husband), Sandwiches (Kids & I)
Dinner- Salmon Patties, Taco Rice Skillet, and Peas
Dessert- Brownies

Breakfast- Lemon Bread and fruit
Lunch- Soft Taco’s
Dinner- Free Meal w/Dessert (Birthday Party Invite)

Breakfast- Cereal
Lunch- Leftovers
Dinner- Free Meal w/Dessert (Homeschool Graduation Party Invite)

Psalm 27:8

My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek. Psalm 27:8

Prayer, reading scripture, bible study, devotions, quite time, and singing praise music are all ways that I try to seek his face on a daily basis. I don't do all of them daily but am aware to do something each day.

A Prayer for Womanhood

God, give each true good woman
Her own small house to keep,
No heart should ache with longing,
No hurt should go too deep.....
Grant her age-old desire:
A house to love and sweep.
Give her a man beside her,
A kind man, and a true,
And let them work together
And love, a lifetime through,
And let her mother children
As gentle women do.
Give her a shelf for dishes,
And a shining box for bread,
A white cloth for her table,
And a white spread for her bed,
A shaded lamp at nightfall,
And a row of books much read.
God, let her work with laughter,
And let her rest with sleep.
No life can truly offer
A peace more sure and deep....
God, give each true woman
Her own small house to keep
~Grace Noll Crowell~1934

Cheerfulness Taught By Reason

I think we are too ready with complaint
In this fair world of God's. Had we no hope
Indeed beyond the zenith and the slope
Of yon gray blank of sky, we might grow faint
To muse upon eternity's constraint
Round our aspirant souls; but since the scope
Must widen early, is it well to droop,
For a few days consumed in loss and taint?
O pusillanimous Heart, be comforted
And, like a cheerful traveller, take the road
Singing beside the hedge. What if the bread
Be bitter in thine inn, and thou unshod
To meet the flints ? At least it may be said'
Because the way is short, I thank thee, God.'

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Using Up Leftovers

We use our leftovers for lunch. I pack my husband’s lunch as I am making everyone’s plate for dinner or I do it when I am cleaning up after dinner. I pull out the leftovers for lunch for the kids and me the next day and we each make our plates.

My family is pretty good about eating leftovers most days I just set all the leftovers out and they choose what they want. On a week when no one is choosing to eat the leftovers and making a sandwich instead I will make everyone’s plate to get them eaten.

When I pull out the leftovers and make a plate for everyone I evenly divide the leftovers between us. If there is not enough I will make a vegetable or fruit or bread item depending on what is needed to round out the meal. If we have a sauce or gravy leftover I may put it over toast, biscuits or mashed potatoes. If I have a small amount of meat leftover I may dice it up and use it in a casserole, stir fry or fill a soft taco shell for lunch.

If we have lunchmeat that need eaten I will turn on the oven to 350 and make a stack of slices for each person and a piece of cheese. I toast bread for everyone and when the cheese is melted I make the sandwiches.

For breakfast I will make a quick bread and any fruit we have leftover I will cut it up and share between everyone. If we have applesauce that needs eating I will get out our little custard size bowls and fill a bowl for everyone and maybe a diced apple on top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

I can get pretty creative trying to figure out how to use up our leftovers but I have to get even more creative sometimes if I am trying to use up a leftover and there is not enough to make a full serving for everyone. I have divided 2 apples between 6 people to get them used up or made toast and everyone gets a half a slice with jam. The surprising thing is my family just thinks I am making a nice meal for them and doesn’t realize I am using up odds & ends. Otherwise why would mom slice our apple when we can do it ourselves or put the jam on our toast?

If we have too many condiments in the fridge I will sometimes try to figure out how to use them up. If someone opens up one to many ketchups I may make BBQ sauce. If we have jam that needs used I will make Almond Thumbprint Cookies or melt it slightly and serve it over pancakes.

We keep sour cream and chip dip around a lot and if it needs used up I will make beef stroganoff and use what ever amount I need. The family does not notice I used chips dip because it’s just seasoned sour cream anyway.

I once had bought ricotta cheese for lasagna and had a lot leftover so I went to allrecipes.com and did an ingredients search for ricotta cheese. I ended up making a Ricotta Cheese Cake it was basically a cake with ricotta cheese as the filling and everyone liked it.

I love using allrecipes.com for ingredients that need used. For instance if we haven’t had beans for a while I will put in whatever beans I have and see what the search turns up to make. Then I will see if I have the other ingredients needed to make the recipe.

I keep a zip-lock bag in the freezer and when we have leftover veggies or meat I dump them in the bag. When the bag is full I make a pot of vegetable soup.

What creative things have you made with your leftovers?

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays at Tammy's Recipes
Frugal Friday's

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20-26 Menu Plan

This week from our garden we have zucchini, broccoli, green beans, cucumbers, and lettuce.
We mostly eat leftovers for lunch and the breads that I am making are for breakfast.

Our menu this week:


Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, and Garden Salad
Raisin Bran Muffins

3 Cheese Chicken & Noodles and Broccoli

Inside-Out Cheeseburgers with Hot Crash Potatoes and Corn
Peanut Butter Bread

Homemade Pepperoni & Mushroom Pizza

Zucchini Sausage Quiche and Garden Salad

Pizza Meatballs over Rice, and Green Beans
Zucchini Bread

So, what's on your menu this week? Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie to see more menu ideas.

Raisin Bran Muffins

6 cups raisin bran cereal
2 ½ cups plain all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk
½ cup oil
2 eggs — beaten

In large bowl mix dry ingredients, then add buttermilk, oil and beaten egg. Stir to combine. Refrigerate overnight. Next morning, stir well and bake as many as needed in greased muffin pan for fifteen minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean in a 400° oven. Store remaining batter tightly covered in refrigerator for up to one month.

Pizza Meatballs

2 pounds ground beef
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup dried minced onion
2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 ounces mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cooking oil
2 jars (28 ounces each) pizza or sauce

In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients just until mixed. Shape into 48 small meatballs. Cut mozzarella into 48 cubes, 1/2 inch. Push a cube into the center of each meatball, covering the cheese completely with meat. Roll lightly in flour.
In a large skillet, cook meatballs in oil until browned. Drain. Add sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink.

Or place raw meatballs in crockpot. Pour sauce over meatballs and cook 6-8 hours until done on low.

Serve over rice.

Inside-Out Cheeseburgers and Hot Crash Potatoes

Inside-Out Cheeseburgers
Put the hamburger in a bowl and add salt and pepper and of course any other seasonings you would like. I like to use McCormik's Montreal Seasoning. Mix it up with your hands and then seperate the meat into fours. Pick up one pile and form into a patty and then place a mound of cheese in the middle and push the meat around the cheese to form a ball and then flatten and grill. You can use the rest of the cheese to top the burgers when you take them off the grill.

Recipe from http://savinitup.blogspot.com/2009/07/hy-vee-bargain-meal-of-week.html

And Hot Crash Potatoes
From http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/06/crash-hot-potatoes/

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Master Mix

Recipes for basic mixes. With an easy basic quick mix, you can make a wide variety of inexpensive homemade biscuits, breads, and other baked goods. This mix is easy to make and store and great for any family on a tight budget.

Basic Quick Mix Recipe
10 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c. nonfat dry milk
1/3 c. baking powder
1 tbsp. salt
2 c. vegetable shortening (room temperature)

Measure flour into a large bowl. Stir in baking powder, dry milk, and salt, mixing well. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to mix shortening into other ingredients until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

Storing mix:
Store basic quick mix in a ziploc bag or container with a tight lid. This mix can be stored at room temperature about 2 weeks. Will keep a couple of months in refrigerator or freezer. Bring mix to room temperature before using.

Using mix:
Do not sift mix for recipes. Stir lightly before measuring mix. When measuring mix into a bowl, level off measuring cup with the straight edge of a knife.

Basic Biscuits
2 c. basic quick mix
1/2 c. water

Stir together quick mix and water. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board, kneading lightly. Roll 1/2 inch thick. Cut with biscuit cutter and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.

Note: For drop biscuits, increase water to 2/3 cup. After mixing flour and water together, drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. 1/3 c. grated cheese can be added to dough before dropping onto cookie sheet.

Basic Muffins
2 c. basic quick mix
4 tsp. sugar
1 egg, beaten
2/3 c. water

Stir sugar into quick mix. Add water and egg. Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 c. full and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Variation: Add 1/2 c. of favorite chopped fruit.

Basic Pancakes
2 c. basic quick mix
1 tsp. sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 c. water

Stir sugar into quick mix. Add water and egg. Pour pancakes onto heated griddle, turning pancakes when bubbles appear on the pancake surface.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fresh Picked

I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit. Leviticus 26:4

3 Broccoli
4 Cucumber
2 Zucchini
5 Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 lb. Green Beans
This is what I picked from my vegetable garden today. I guess I should have checked my garden before I went grocery shopping this week. I will be deciding how to use them for next weeks menu this weekend. I ate the cherry tomatoes right after this picture was taken.
If anyone has any recipes for Zucchini I am all hears since we will be going on our 4th week of Zucchini. I also need ideas for the cucumbers that don't include pickling them. We made too many last year I am going to use that as a last resort.

Grocery Shopping 7/13/09-7/19/09

My Grocery Budget is $80 per week for 6 people (3 Adults & 3 Teenagers). I went over my budget this week by $18.23 but with all the deals I got at Kroger I think I did a good job.

Iceburg Lettuce $0.75
Watermelon, seeded $2.99
Flour $1.55
Celery $0.99
Bananas $1.08
Bananas $0.75
Baking Soda $0.45
Sliced Pepperoni $1.99
Refried Beans $0.69
Baby Carrots $1.25
6 Nectarines $1.50
Lemon $0.15
Lime $0.15
Bread $0.79

Total: $15.12


I have a lot to add to my stockpile this week thanks to Kroger's buy 10 get $5 off Sale I got 5 deals. I also did the Keebler Rebate buy 10 items get $10 twice so I have to mail that in after we eat the cookies so I can cut the UPC. I had coupons matches for each of these item that I bought multiples of brownies, chex mix, cereal, cereal bars, and cookies. The prices I have listed are before Kroger Mega Deal, coupons, and rebates.

10 Keebler Cookies $2.49/ea
4 Special K Cereal Bars $2.49/ea
6 Kellogg's Cereal $2.99/ea
3 Big K Pop $1.99/ea
12 Betty Crocker Fudge Brownies /$1.38ea
2 Kroger Toaster Treats $0.59/ea (Clearance)
3 Gallons Milk $1.98/ea
4 Quaker Granola Bars $2.20/ea
4 Chex Mix $2.49/ea
Kroger Large Eggs $0.98
Kroger Gummies $1.50
4 Edy's Loaded Ice Cream $2.99/ea
6 Kroger Yogurt $2.00
Kroger Tea Bags $0.79 (Clearance)
2 Sunny Delight Smoothe $1.49
Kroger Swiss Style Cheese $1.29
3 Sargento Shredded Cheese $1.99
1 Kraft Natural Cheese $1.99
15 Kroger Pasta Sauce $0.59 (Clearance)
Kraft Ranch Dressing $1.58

I have 3 receipts
Balance: $18.40 Savings: $14.60 (44pct)
Balance: $55.01 Savings: $69.10 (55pct)
Balance: $9.70 Savings: $19.96 (67 pct)
Total Balance $83.11 Savings $103.66
My Total for the week on groceries- $98.23
What deals did you get this week?

HBA on Sale

Kroger is having a Buy 10 get $5 off Sale this week so I paired it with some coupons and this is what I got for $16.74.

What I Found This Week

Exploring Creation with Astronomy & Creation Sensation Resource CD $20.00
We will probably use this for the 2010-2011 School Year.

6 Oprah Magazines Free
Our library has a spot they give away magazines and other people are allowed to leave them also. I droped magazines off this week and picked some up for myself.

Set of Basket $10
We put them in our room for blanket storage.

Mary Engelbreit framed print $2.50
Shoes $3.29
6 Sandwich Containers $1.50
White Rose Lided Dish $1.00
Plate Rack $3.50
Rabbit Candy Dish $1.50
4 Scrapbook Magazines $1.00
Rose Candle $0.50
Bracelet $1.00
3 DC Talk Cd's $3.00
Roll of Stickers $1.00
Submitted to:

How I Save Money on Meat

I watch the sales and when I find meat on sale for $2lb. or less I buy a large amount and repackage them at home into meal size portions.

I check for marked down meat to buy that didn’t sell quick enough. I can usually find the on sale meat for $2lb. at half the price. If I am running low on meat I will also look at the expiration dates and then go back to the store the night before it expires when it’s marked down.

Pork Loin
1. I buy Pork loin instead of pork chops it is usually cheaper and it is boneless. I have the butcher slice it about a ¼ of an inch thick for chops.
2. Buy a large pork loin and cut it in half for a roast it’s cheaper than beef.
3. Put half of a pork lion in the Crockpot and let it cook on high for 6 hours drain off the broth and then shred with a fork and add 2 bottles of BBQ sauce.

1. Buy an extra ham at Easter.
2. I buy a large ham and have the butcher slice it for sandwiches instead of using deli meat.

Buy 2 extra turkey’s at Thanksgiving to freeze. In the middle of January defrost, and bake a turkey. When it’s cool take the meat off the bones and put it in freezer bags about a pound each. Then do the same with the other turkey. I use the meat for sandwiches and casseroles.

1. Buy a 10 lb. bag of Chicken Leg Quarters fro $5.59 and separate the quarters into freezer bags of meal size portions for my family. I can usually get 3 meals out of 1 bag.
2. Buy a 10 lb. bag of Chicken Leg Quarters and bake it and then when it’s cool take the meat off the bones and put it in freezer bags about a pound each. I like to use this for recipes that say to use diced boneless chicken. I can then save my boneless chicken for recipes that I would be using them whole.

Pork Sausage
I will use pork sausage in place of hamburger if it is cheaper.

Visit Life as Mom for more of Frugal Friday's

Thursday, July 16, 2009


The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

“The world is so full of care and sorrow that it is a gracious debt we owe to one another to discover the bright crystals of delight hidden in somber circumstances and irksome tasks.”
Helen Keller

I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Isaiah 61:10

“Love is but the discovery of ourselves, and the delight in the recognition.”
Alexander Smith Scottish Poet and essayist

“To overcome difficulties is to experience the full delight of existence.”
Arthur Schopenhauer


We took these pictures last year after visiting friends. I am not sure why but the date on the photos are wrong.


Fern is a 1 year old Toy Fox Terrier she came from the same breeder as Lily. Lily is Fern's Aunt on both sides. Fern was a birthday gift to my daughter Nastasja.