"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future! "
Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Prayer Request

". . . The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much!" 
James 5:16

When our  work load is heavy, we don't try and handle the load ourselves, we use a team. The same thing holds true when we pray together.  When we do, we increase the spiritual force until it becomes overwhelming and irresistible in power.  I read once, that if our prayers are combined, they are like drops of water that make an ocean that defies resistance. Isn't that an AWESOME thought?  There is no denying that God hears the prayers of one person but when hundreds of us pour out our souls in earnest and fervent prayer, we can storm the gates of heaven with a mighty voice. There IS power in prayer. There is incredible power when we pray in UNITY!

I would like to introduce you to Pastor Steve, our new Associate Pastor For Youth and Family Life at our church. He and his family have been patiently waiting for months for their paperwork to be completed before they can move here from England.

Please join me in earnest prayer that whatever issues are holding things up, that they resolved according to God's will and timing! 

My friend Sarah posted this prayer this morning and I would like to share it with you.... 

"Father, do your work as only you can. Stop the plans of the enemy to come against Steve and his family as well as any plans he has concerning paperwork. We believe you already are at work and the victory is yours! Your word tells us there are some things that only come about with prayer and fasting!" Amen

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What I'm Working On

On May 14th, our town will be hosting its 2011 Festival of Spring.  As you can see by the picture, there will be lots of vendors and LOTS of people!
Photo courtesy of:
VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS
Bean and I have a booth at the festival so we have been BUSY putting things together the past few days.  She is making eyeshadow and finishing powder . . . . .


and I have been sewing makeup pouches.  They are so easy and quick to make.  I am hoping to make a tutorial of my own to post.  If you would like to view the tutorial I used, please go HERE!

Sew, what have YOU been working on?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Busy Day

What a busy day! Laundry, dishes, hanging out the blankets, cleaning up, and then outside work.  We have gotten a LOT of rain here lately and it has just made the grass take off!   So, it is off to get the yard equipment ready to go.  While the garden tractor is charging up, I need to weed whack around the raised beds and the house.   I hope that I can hang the clothesline back up tight enough that the clothes won't drag on the ground again.  That just defeats the whole purpose of washing them!  lol

After that, it's time to clean out the girl's coop again.  I do that every couple of months.  Especially now that it's getting warmer and their coop is so close to the house.  But I have to say, there is NOTHING like walking outside in the morning, gathering fresh eggs, and taking them right into your kitchen and making an omelet....YUUMM!! :> )

Then it's off to finish up with the tractor and get the lawn started.  I love to be outside mowing the lawn listening to Phillips, Craig, & Dean while just basking in the beauty of God's creation!

Later this evening is Bible Study.  We just started "Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman" by Beth Moore and it is just amazing!  I am really enjoying it!  I don't think I've ever seen Beth so fired up about a study before as she is with this one!  :> )

I was over reading "Abundantly Blessed Momma" a couple of weeks ago and she had a recipe for dandelion jelly and violet jelly that I am just dying to try.  Since my yard is FILLED with dandelions right now, I may pick and try and make this recipe sometime today. If not today, I know I won't have any trouble finding dandelions in my yard again!  lol  This happy momma has a beautiful blog.  Please go on over and pay her a visit....you won't be disappointed!

I thought I would leave you today with a picture I took yesterday, down by my sister's house.  It is so peaceful....tranquil. It reminds me that no matter who busy our day may be, we need to take time to just sit and rest.  Every time I go to this spot or look at this picture, one scripture keeps coming to mind.....


"Be still, and know that I am God"
Psalm 46:10

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easy Apple Butter Coffee Cake



I found this recipe the other day for "Easy Apple Butter Coffee Cake" over on "Farm Bell Recipes" and just had to try it.  I have to say it was really good.  The recipe calls for 1/2 pint of apple butter, so I used some apple butter I had canned last year.

The next time I make this, I think I'm going to use some homemade apple pie filling or a cream cheese filling.....Mmmmmm.......I can't wait!

For this recipe, you will need the following:

INGREDIENTS:

3 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
2 cups Quick Mix or other baking mix
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup milk
approximately 3/4 of one jam-sized (half-pint) jar of apple butter (or any jam of choice)
Powdered Sugar Icing:
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
milk (one to two teaspoons)

DIRECTIONS:

You can find my homemade baking mix recipe, HERE!

**Cut cream cheese and butter into baking mix plus the one tablespoon of added sugar using a pastry cutter. (If you don’t want this to be as sweet, leave the extra sugar out. Depends on your sweet tooth!)
 **Add milk. Mixture may seem a little dry; knead with your hands to work in remaining dry ingredients and form a soft ball. (If your mixture is too wet, add a little more flour, but it should be just right now.)
**Roll out on floured waxed paper, sprinkling flour on top, too, into an approximately 12×8 rectangle. Transfer dough to a greased cookie sheet. (I used a baking stone)
**Make two and a half inch cuts all along the long sides. Spread most of a half-pint jar of apple butter down the center.
**Criss-cross cut strips of dough over the top and pinch ends to seal.
**Bake in a 375-degree oven for 25 minutes or till nicely browned on top.
**Combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough milk for drizzling consistency. Drizzle top of coffee cake with icing.

ENJOY!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Like FREE!

The other day, Skippy called me up from work and said he had something I could use for a fence for the girls, but I was going to need to bring Bean's truck. The plant where he works had some chain from one of the conveying machines that they were getting rid of. Anyone who wanted any of it was welcome to take it for FREE!!  

Now all we have to do is put it up!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Headin' Out

I am so glad the weather is getting nicer cause that only means one thing. . . . .
GARAGE SALES!
In the morning, I will be having some much needed "girl time" with my sister, C. We have both been very busy lately and have not had a lot of time to spend together so we are taking tomorrow and going CrAzY! 

We are garage sale "LUNATICS" and can't wait to grab that "perfect" find. You know, the one that makes you sneak a look in her direction and go, "NANA NANA BOO BOO, I FOUND IT FIRST!" lol

I will be looking specifically for some clothes for Kiddo, and an umbrella clothesline for moi!.  Oh, I have wanted one for YEARS and have not been lucky enough to locate one.  I remember so vividly my mom hanging our clothes out on that line in the backyard. Mmm....I can smell those sheets now.........Oh, the memories! :> )

Do you like to garage sale?  What are some of the things YOU are looking for?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Couponing

When I first moved to VA, I was a coupon ADDICT.  Going from a NY salary with NY size bills, to a VA salary but still with NY size bills, was extremely difficult.  In order to make ends meet, I would clip coupons religiously.  But then as the bills got smaller and Skippy's pay started to increase, I began to clip less and less.  Then I went back to work and my coupon clipping became almost none existent.  

Four years ago, I left my full-time job as a Special Education Teaching Assistant/Sign Language Interpreter for our local public school system to homeschool our son, Kiddo.  We knew it would be difficult financially, but we felt this was what God was leading us to do.  In order to save money, I started making homemade things whenever I could from laundry detergent to baking mix to brown sugar to BBQ rub to Pop Tarts to gifts, and much more. 
It wasn't until recently that I started clipping coupons again.  

When Bean came home from Wal-Mart one day and told me that she had just saved over $45.00 using her coupons, I was HOOKED AGAIN!  I had heard of a really good site called "The Krazy Coupon Lady" for posting where you can go to get a bunch of coupons, but I had never been there.  After seeing Bean's coupon system, I just HAD to go and start one of my own.  

The first page is the table of contents that I slipped inside the plastic cover. It lists each category in the order SHE groups her coupons.  If you don't care to group your coupons this way, feel free to organize them as you wish and make your own table of contents.  I group my coupons differently but for right now, I am using her format.  To view her coupon binder and get her printables, please click HERE!
In your printables, you will have a sheet that divides each category and then groupings under that.  You will need dividers for this.  I purchased mine at DOLLAR GENERAL for .50 cents a pack.
Then I purchased a package of trading card sheets.  You can get these at Wal-Mart also.  They were $4.97 for a pack of 50 sleeves.  After you are done clipping, slip one coupon into each section, folding if needed, with the amount and/or picture if possible showing.  This makes it soooo much easier to see what coupons you have, how much their value is, and when they expire, rather then taking them out and flipping through them (and dropping them like I would do).  When I put my coupons in their sleeve, I will put them with the earliest expiration date first.  When they expire or you use them, just move them around, filling the spaces back in.  The initial putting together of the binder and getting used to the format will take you a little time, but once you get used to it, it will be a snap!
Now that you have your coupons clipped and tucked away safely in your binder, it's time to start looking through your circulars to see if there are any sales to go along with your coupons. CVS is really good about listing a sale and letting you know if there is a coupon in your paper that you need to be looking for. 
THANK YOU, CVS!
OH, VERY IMPORTANT:  DON'T forget to sign up for your store rewards cards.  Some of these places like Rite Aid and CVS have items on sale already and then give you REWARD POINTS (coupons) for money off your next purchase.  I have one for Rite Aid, Kroger, CVS, Martin's, Food Lion, etc.  They really are a MUST!
Here is an example of using your reward cards and coupons TOGETHER. . . . .I got all this tonight, plus this afternoon I also got (sorry, I forgot to take a picture) a Shick razor with a refill included, and two additional packs of 10 razors.  A total value just over $33.00 for only $5.12.  My best deal was the two bottles of body wash.  I only paid .29 cents for BOTH BOTTLES! 
Not too shabby!
 
So, what do you think?  Do you think coupon clipping is a waste of time? 
I certainly don't! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Follow The Leader

One thing my girls love to do is EAT!   In the first picture, they were at my friend Joy's house, under one of her lilac bushes.  They just LOVE it there for some reason.   They can be anywhere in the yard, or her yard, and when they hear my voice, they will come RUNNING to see what I've go for them.
  Here I am giving them scratch, a mixture of natural grains, which is one of their favorite treats.  When I spread this out for them, I get an added bonus...the birds love it to so we get an extra special showing of Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Finches.

I even sprinkle it in some areas where I want them to clear away the grass. They love to work so I am getting some free gardening done and they are getting some extra goodies! 
I just LOVE my girls!

A Giveaway

Renee over at "GLOW ACADEMY" is having a giveaway.  To check it out, please click HERE!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Computer Doctor

As you know, my friend Renee from over at "GLOW ACADEMY" was nice enough to come on yesterday and let you know that our computer crashed. THANK YOU, GOOBER!  Skippy went to use the computer to do his paperwork and . . . . . AAAACCCCKKKK!. . . . .right there, in the middle of the screen was a HUGE BOX that said, "CRITICAL HARD-DRIVE ERROR" and EVERYTHING was gone. There was nothing on the desktop, no files, ZIP . . . NADA . . . ZILCH!   All his files, my homeschool files, and family pictures, were on that hard-drive.  (insert frustrated husband with a mean scowl here!)

Skippy was a bit ticked, to say the least.  There was not a whole lot I could say at that moment, but I could do something.......I PRAYED! 

Dear, Father. . . You know how hard this precious man works, and that all his files from the past years are here, Lord..  You know that my school files are there and precious family pictures that can not be replaced.  Sweet Lord, you know that at this time, we are financially unable to have the computer looked at or worked on. So please, Father....PLEASE, let Skippy be able to fix our computer.  And if it is not able to be fixed, PLEASE give him a peace about this whole issue!  In Your sweet name I pray....AMEN!

Well, as you can see. . . . . GOD ANSWERED OUR PRAYERS and we're back on-line!

WOO HOO . . . . . THANK YOU, JESUS!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Computer Problems...

 Hi this is Renee, Laura wanted me to let everyone know that her computer crashed, and does not know when she will be able to get back on-line...
All is well with Her ,and the family...

*Renee*

Saturday, April 9, 2011

What's On The Menu


Tonight's dinner on the farm:

Stuffed shells 
w/garlic and Italian herb bread

Dessert:
Nothing -- they'll be too stuffed from dinner! 
:> )

(This menu is subject to change at any given moment!)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Mountains




"I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth!" 
Psalm 121:1-2  NIV 

 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Glorious Day

(PLEASE PAUSE PLAYLIST ON SIDEBAR BEFORE VIEWING VIDEO....THANK YOU!)

It has been absolutely GLORIOUS DAY here in the valley. It was a wonderfully warm 84* degrees on Tuesday. 

The wild flowers were blooming. . . .
the birds were chirping. . . . .
 
Esther was foraging in my flower bed. . . . .
 
Pheobe was relaxing in the fresh air. . . . .
 
and boigas were cooking on the grill.
(Well, they really weren't, but I was imagining they were)

The girls just LOVE to bask in the sun and take dirt baths on days like this.  They are such funny girls, all having their own unique personalities.  I could sit and watch them for hours.
With the girls, there is NEVER a dull moment around here!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

HE IS

(PLEASE PAUSE PLAYLIST ON SIDEBAR BEFORE VIEWING VIDEO!)

Stop for a moment and listen, and then remember.... we belong to THIS GOD, the one she is talking about!!!

This is amazing!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Going Beyond


     
Today and tomorrow, our church will be hosting the Priscilla Shirer "GOING BEYOND" simulcast and I am so EXCITED! We have been gearing up for this event for months.  I am very honored to have been asked to be the Hospitality Team Leader. I am so blessed to be able to work with such a wonderful group of women that I have grown to love very much! 

Going Beyond is an intimate and inspiring women’s conference like no other. Passionate Bible teacher Priscilla Shirer and worship leader Anthony Evans, will encourage us from God’s Word and lead us in a special prayer experience. We'll leave knowing that the challenge to take our relationship with the Lord to the next level is worth our every effort.


Priscilla’s ministry to women across the country and around the world is focused on the expository teaching of the Word of God. Her desire is to see women come to a full understanding of who they are in Christ by hearing the uncompromising truth of Scripture. She is author of He Speaks to Me: Preparing to Hear from GodDiscerning The Voice Of God: How to Recognize When God Speaks, Can We Talk?, and One in a Million
Going Beyond is for women of every age, culture, and background.

I am not going to miss this extraordinary Bible study, prayer, and worship time.  There will be over 80,000 women in attendance between the on-site location and the simulcast.  PRAISE GOD!

I will be there................WILL YOU?