It's Official...

Well, there are 3 things that are official.  First off, I totally love quilting, even if I'm not a professional and EVERYTHING isn't perfect about them.  I enjoy choosing the colors and fabrics.  I enjoy cutting the pieces and sewing them all together again.  I love choosing the backing and putting it all together.
Second, I totally dislike quilting on my sewing machine.  YES, it can be done, but if I had my choice, I'd have a short arm quilting machine in my home and I'd quilt away.  I'd probably not have 12 quilt tops that need to be quilted.  I'd most likely zip out quilts before you could count to 100.
Last but most definitely not least...I absolutely HATE, and yes I said HATE, making the binding.  I don't mind cutting it, but I do HATE ironing it.  I could buy the binding, but that would be a waste to me when so many have blessed me with fabric beyond my capacity to house it.  However, I would most definitely like to have one of these Bias Tape Maker.  How much binding I could whip up in minutes?????  Only God knows!!!! ;-)

A girl can dream can't she???


De-cluttering...A Long Way to Go

Sorry you can't see the details of the covers...
As I look around my home, I'm getting more and more depressed.  I've got stuff beyond imagination and it's time for it to go.  I can't tell you where half this stuff came from, but then there are the things that I inherited from my grandmother, father, and mother.  Those things will stay and the rest I am slowly but surely culling.  I woke up Sunday, had my quiet time and immediately after, began de-cluttering our computer area and kitchen.  Here is a picture of the baker's rack that once housed the computer and loads of books.  I now have it back in the kitchen with all of my small appliances on it.  I am slowly making covers for each appliance to keep the dust off.  For whatever reason, this house stays dusty and I figured covers would help keep the dusty away.

My next area will be my sewing stuff.  I've cleaned and de-cluttered so much of it already, but I still have tons of fabric.  I don't wish to part with the fabric because I am using it, but I'm thinking I may store that which I am not using immediately in totes and put them in the shed for right now.  It would only be two totes, but it would allow me to get rid of an entire shelf.
And I've culled books, but they still multiplied some how.  I love books, but this is beyond ridiculous.  I've got many that I will be donating to the Bastrop, TX fire victims.  That will take care of that problem.  I've sorted through all our board games so that is done as well.

Any rate, I'm in a mood for reducing junk!!!!


The Newest Additions...

Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Amish Style Apron

To my kitchen!!!!!  I have been needing new pots for a long time and as I researched what type I wanted, I settled on cast iron.  I will SLOWLY replace one pot at a time with cast iron.  I was able to get this 5 qt dutch oven and will most likely get another one, a couple of 3 qt pots, a 1.5 qt sauce pot, a roaster, and a corn cob mold.  Of course, this will be over a period of time, but they will all eventually be replaced.  I also went to a local Amish store and purchased all of my herbs for the fall season...way less expensive, and as I was standing at the register, the young woman standing there had on the most beautiful apron.  It was the exact type I had been searching for for about a year and a half or two.  I could not believe my eyes.  I asked her if she made it and she said yes, I made the others hanging in the back as well.  Now HOW did I miss eyeing those?  I couldn't tell you, maybe I was so engrossed in finding all the spices I had on my list.  At any rate, I rushed to the back and looked at those available and found one that I loved!!!!  Of course there were many others I liked equally as well, but that would have been way out of my budget.
I hope to draft a pattern from this one and make several more for various holidays.  However, THIS is the pattern and style I like beyond all the others I've seen.
I'll be choosing to wear this one over the other two I have.  I wonder if I should gift those to someone because I seriously doubt I'll wear them again.
Anyone in or near an Amish community that can snag a pattern for this style?  You slip your arms and head in and this particular one has ties at the waist in the back.  I simply adore it.

Yep, it's the simple things that make this girl happy!!!


New Hens...

We were blessed with 13 hens over the weekend and they seem to have settled in nicely.  The move doesn't seem to have been to traumatizing for them, as a few still gave us a few eggs, eight to be exact.  Two of the hens were really broody so I'm leaving those eggs to see if they will set.  If not, after a couple of days I'll collect those eggs.  The majority of my new girls are Buff Orpingtons, a great breed in my opinion.  There was also two Rhode Island Reds, and two hens that lay easter eggs (they have a blue tint to the shell).  I already had a Barred Rock rooster, two Buff roosters, a Rhode Island Red hen and a Buff hen.  The two Buff roosters are now with the new hens and I've left the Barred Rock rooster with the other two hens....they followed him around anyway so no need to alter that in any way.
Most of the new girls
I just discovered today the
 roosters colors are darker

Here you can see both roosters
Hopefully they will figure things out!!!

The alpha rooster with his
small harem.


Anonymous...and Lifestyle Changes

God simply amazes me more and more and It has to do with the simple fact that He is good!!!  Since I have made up in my mind that I'll do my best not to worry, just pray and trust God to do exactly what He says He will do, He has been blessing my socks off left and right.  Last week I checked the mail and to my amazement, there was a money order in the mail from someone in Florida.  I have no clue who sent it, I have no idea at all.  I did make sure it was a legitimate postal money order and after verifying that, we headed to purchase groceries, much needed toiletries, and paid a bill!!!  I had no clue how we were going to take care of any of that prior to that, but God had already worked it out!  So to who ever anonymous is.....I thank you with a sincere heart and Praise the Lord for your willingness to bless us in such an awesome way.

A sweet friend and I were talking and we both agree, if the body of Christ would step up to the plate, I don't believe we would have any Christians struggling in this nation.  Single moms would be able to fulfill their calling to stay home and raise up godly seeds.  And then, think of the testimony that would be to non believers...no brother or sister in Christ going to the government for housing, food, or medical expenses...
Now that would be awesome and amazing in and of itself and YES a mighty testimony to the world!!!

You know I do a lot of reading and many times I happen upon someone's blog and have no idea how I found that blog, but am ever grateful that I did.  Well, last night was no different.  I have purposed in my heart to make some changes for myself.  Some of it has to do with the economy and the fact that I am still unemployed.  Yet some of it has to do with the fact that I just want to live a healthier simpler life if at all possible.
So I've gone back to drinking green smoothies every morning and it has helped to cut my cravings and I find at lunch time I'm really not hungry and don't start getting hungry until around 5ish...well, dinner is at 6 so I usually drink a tall 44 oz of water and eat dinner at 6.  Since I'm on a serious budget, my smoothies are basic.  water to cover the blades in my blender, 2 handfuls of spinach or lettuce (green or red leaf), 1 cup frozen fruit, 1 cup plain yogurt.  Quick and simple yummy breakfast, followed by a large cup of ice water.  I've increased my water intake throughout the day as well.  In the last 3 months, I've switched from disposable pads to cloth pads and just in the last 2 weeks I switched from toilet paper to cloth wipes (I buy a small pack of toilet paper now for certain needs in the restroom, but that 4 pack should last me for a time).  I just made my first batch of deodorant and let me tell you it's been 2 days and I love it already.  I've been wanting to make the switch, but I've been a bit chicken!  I also tried another thing suggested from this blog and washed my hair with ivory soap...oh yea, I've switched from the fancy soaps back to ivory.  I've used dove for as long as I can remember, but found in the last 2 months or so it was beginning to cause me to itch like no one's business!  I digress.  So the reason I washed my hair with ivory soap, is that between my 2 daughters and I, the shampoo is gone in a month.  They simply use too much.  I did an experiment and bought everyone their own bottle of shampoo, the same size and my sons lasted the longest of course, then mine, but the girls were out of shampoo in 3 weeks.  So, I tried washing my hair with the ivory soap and it cleaned it very well and then made it feel like a dry mess, but I applied conditioner in it and it is just fine and very manageable.  I have used the apple cider vinegar as a conditioner before and loved the way it worked, so after we have used the remaining 3 bottles of conditioner in my home, I will be buying apple cider vinegar from that point on.  I had already been making my laundry soap so no changes there.  I have one thing I just have not been able to give up and that's the bleach.  I don't even use it on our clothes anymore, just to clean with, but I'm noticing it is causing me to have more headaches and it's burning my eyes and nose and that's just with a little bit being used.  So I'm sure that will be next.  I'm in search of a liquid dish soap replacement for hand washing dishes.  I've gone to using coconut oil in my bath water as a moisturizer....love the way it feels on my skin and I don't even have to use lotion when I get out and it only takes a little....1 TBSP!!!!  I also use coconut oil on my face.  I've weeded out hair grease and simply use a mixture of coconut oil and olive oil on my hair.  And with those few changes just for my hair, it is growing by leaps and bounds!!!

Please share any ideas you have or come up with that I can give a try.  I'm all about saving money and living healthier!!!


He Cares for Small Things Too...

My children and I have been reading through the Bible together, along with our church family.  We are now reading through the book of Daniel.  As we are reading, I am learning great truths and drawing ever closer to My Father.  It is an amazing feeling of peace and calm.  However, as we are reading, songs I remember from a young girl kept popping into my head.
When I was a little girl, we went to church for the big holidays.  We did attend regularly for a while, but my mom was a nurse and as a single parent with the ever changing hours, our attendance began to taper off.  When my brother left home, he was in search of God.  Some horrible things had happened in his life and he was having a hard time trusting God and yet he knew his answers were wrapped up in God.  So he began a journey that led him into a couple of cults, but he had the protection of God and fled from those.  He then found himself among a group of Christians that was able to help him find some answers.  There was still a lot of hypocrisy within this group and he did eventually leave it too, but before he did, he bought me a gift.  This gift was MY first MAJOR introduction to God.  I listened to that cassette tape daily until it would no longer play and whenever I read certain stories within the Bible, I begin to hum these songs that helped me learn of the truths of God long before I ever opened a Bible and read it for myself.
I have been looking for this book and cassette for many years; at least since I was about 14 years old.  I have searched high and low looking, but to no avail.  All I had in my head and heart were tunes.  I could remember a few words, but I could not remember titles at all.
Today was one of those days after our reading that one of the songs popped into my head and I began to hum along.  Then I began to search through google trying desperately hard to locate this gift..... Just as I was about to give up, and I did say Lord I'm never going to find this am I?  Then I prayed, Lord please let me find this, it may be very small, but this means so much to me.  At that moment, the very first song on the list came to mind, along with words.  WOULDN'T YOU KNOW IT, THOSE WORDS WERE ACTUALLY THE TITLE TO THE ENTIRE MUSICAL!!!!!!!!!!  I began to search frantically for it and after only 3 minutes of additional searching, I found it!!!!  All I could do was shout praises and thanks to God and tears streaming down my face.  My kids thought I was crazy and that something must be really wrong with me, but they will never understand the treasure within this children's musical.  I loved God then with a child's heart of purity.  This was the best moment of my childhood and I had lost all touch with it.  Now, I was in touch with it once again.  I hope to purchase it very soon and share it with my nephews and nieces and give them an awesome introduction to this Great God we serve.  TIME TUNNEL when you scroll down, it's the second book on the list and you can listen to clips of each song!!!!


Is the Lord's power limited?

Yesterday I awoke to have my quiet time with the Lord, only to have my mind wandering about a thousand different things.  For the life in me I could not concentrate on the Word of the Lord and I was getting frustrated.  For whatever reason, I didn't think to pray and ask God to clear my mind and help me to focus on Him.  So I gave up for the day and said my prayers.
This morning I awoke and it seemed that my mind was clear and I began my reading.  Yet again, half way through it my mind began to wander and I could not focus on my time with the Lord or His Word.  Only this time I refused to give up and began to pray that God would step in and I rebuked the enemy from causing distraction.  I began reading again and as I read I thought the Lord is just NOT speaking to me through His Word today.  I'll just enjoy it as a time of reading His Word and gaining an understanding of what things were like for Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness.
Then I got to Numbers 11.  YES....READ IT FOR YOURSELF.
The Israelites are complaining about not having meat to eat.  They don't have to DO anything for the manna they are receiving, but they are complaining because they have lost their appetite for the things they once enjoyed while in Egypt.  In other words, they enjoyed so many various things that they now have no access to and they can't remember what those other things tasted like and they are having a major craving issue.
For me as I read it, I thought this is me.  I remember living in a fairly nice home.  It was roomy and everything wasn't stacked in corners.  We had space to move around and as I'm looking at my present home in just the last few days, I thought to myself and aloud, Lord will we ever have a decent home again?  Will things always be this bad?  I didn't dwell on it, but I did bring it up and I did think on it several times over the last 3 days for sure and then I brushed it off with the remark of...I've got to get a job and do something or yes, we will be in this predicament till Jesus returns.
OK, back to my reading.  The Israelites have complained to Moses and then in verse 21-22 Moses says to the Lord basically...these 600,000 people keep asking me for meat for a month.  Should I kill flocks and herds to feed them?  Will the animals we have be sufficient to feed ALL of them or will the sea empty its vast number of fish to us for them to eat?  In other words, he was feeling totally inadequate for the task and saw no human way he could provide for ALL those people and they were getting on his nerves asking him for meat!!!
But as I continued reading, something JUMPED out and off the page at me and I began to weep.  The LORD said to Moses and me IS THE LORD'S POWER LIMITED?
Have you done like me and limited the Lord's power?  Have you, like I, said the Lord is all powerful and yet when faced with some issue you begin to think of a hundred different ways YOU can solve it instead of resting in His power?  Have you consulted Him last AFTER you have exhausted all of your human logic for answers?
He is ALL powerful!  There is NOTHING too hard for God!  And His power is LIMITLESS!!
May you and I camp out right there and rest in the fact that God is not limited to human thinking or logic and HE WILL take care of us!!!!!  May God richly bless you today as you seek His face and His will for you this day!


Social Networks...

I've only been fasting from the most popular social network for 3 days now and let me tell you, I've discovered that I'm addicted to it.  Yes, I meant to say addicted.  This is the same result I discovered when we stopped watching television and stopped eating sugar.
I'm using this time to draw closer to God AND I'm getting lots done as well.  I'm also praying about whether or not to return to said social network after my fast and if I do, how I can monitor my time on it.  Actually, I've tried that and while it did work for a while, it didn't last long.  I'm enjoying not having it as a go to and I've gained more ideas for blog posts.
However, the one argument that many have brought up is the instant gratification for being in the lives of family and friends.  The analogy I immediately got was a woman at her neighbors house from sun up to sun down and sometimes beyond.  She didn't get much done in her own home.
Why do we feel the need to share every moment of our lives anyway?  Why do we feel we are entitled to know what's going on in everyone's life every single moment?  What does this have to do with Proverbs 25:17~Let your foot rarely be in your neighbor's house, or he will become weary of you and hate you.????

Well, I'm discovering I don't NEED to know everything that everyone on my friend's list is doing throughout the day.  I have more time to talk personally on the phone with my friends.  I have more time to get things done that I really want to do.  I have more time to spend with the Lord.  And all those incomplete tasks I've been meaning to finish....well, they are now getting completed.

Dare I say it is a since of freedom that I'm experiencing?  Well, that's exactly how I feel!!!!!  I even have time to blog once again.  I will seriously be reconsidering if I need to stay on the social sites or not...in search of a simpler lifestyle.


Quirky Denim...

Yesterday I completed a quilt for one of my daughters.  She's all original and has very much an out of the box personality.  The pictures below are of her completed quilt and yet it's not complete.  It has to be washed and dried several times so that it will fray around all the edges and each block.  I pieced together the back to match her personality....quirky (in a good way).  She loved it and I'm pleased with it as well.

I don't have the batting to complete the other 5 quilts I have waiting.  So today's project is to make a fitted sheet for my king size bed.  This will be fun!!!  Pictures soon to come.



Embroidered date and signature on lower back corner.

Appliqued name on front lower corner.


My Heart, Your Heart, His Heart...

Do we have the heart of God within us?  Do we mourn the things that God mourns?  Are we grieved by the things that grieve God?  or...
Do we look at things with indifference around us and brush it off as the way of society, modern day times?  Do we look at things as peoples rights?
Do we put His ways before our own?  Do we run towards His will for our lives?
Do we even bother to ask God what He wants and desires for us?


He is Holy...

As I think of my Lord and Savior this morning, I can't help but think about His holiness, His worthiness, and His faithfulness.  He has truly been good to me.  I pray for all to know Him and have a taste of who He is!  You won't regret it nor will you ever desire anything else in place of Him.  He's just that awesome!!!!


How I do my menu planning...

Anyone can glean from this as they wish, but I am mostly doing this for my friend who has asked.  Also if you have a simplified way of doing something or just want to throw me a tip, PLEASE SHARE!!!!!!

Today (I'm actually late), I am going to sit down and begin the preparation for my menus for the next 4 weeks "hopefully".
First note that I am a collector.  I collect recipes.  I used to have a ton of cookbooks, not because I used them a heck of whole lot, but because I LOVE collecting recipes.  After I try a recipe a time or two, I usually have it committed to memory and no longer need the book.  I usually then begin to alter it however I like.
So months ago I went through this phase of wanting to do away with all those books collecting dust.  I did the unthinkable...I began to rip out whole pages of recipes I knew my family loved and put them in a binder in sheet protectors.  I'm trying to get a system down and instead of having ONE HUGE binder, have several smaller ones.  One specifically for breads, one for sweets, one for vegan, one for....I think you get the idea.  I'm still working on it...Nevertheless, I need to cull many more of my recipes. (That may NEVER happen, better just do what I do with what I have).  So I now have 5 binders with specific titles.  I have culled all the unhealthy recipes or found alternates....like whole wheat chocolate chip cookies or whole wheat oatmeal raisin cookies.  YUMMY...these are delish...Oh sorry, I did it again.  Ok, focus..........LOL

OK, so here is how I begin.  My printer is out of ink so I can't print blank calenders.  I use my dry erase board calendar or I have a notebook and I will list the next few weeks on it beginning with Monday, because that is when I will be going shopping.  Otherwise, I would have started with Sunday.  Anyhoooooo, I am now surrounded by recipes and my laptop.  The seasons are gradually changing so I know I will be having more soups, stews, and baked goods....anything to help keep the house warm and us too! ;-)  For this next week I will check out the forecast so I don't cook meals that are really too warm for warm weather.  However, we are in Texas and we are known to have ALL 4 seasons in one day.  HA HA I just checked and it's gonna be hotter than a bear all week once again. UGHHHHHHHHH at least for the next week.  OK, I digress.  So now I know I will NOT be doing any soups.  I am sooo very ready for soups.

I plan out simple breakfasts and they normally don't change much unless we oversleep and then it's just a smoothie.  It helps to keep the costs down.  Oatmeal, Malt-O-Meal, Cream of Wheat, Grits, Green Smoothies, rotate those and have one day for a big breakfast like pancakes, eggs, & sausage or grits, eggs, & sausage.  It's usually pancakes, eggs, and sausage and I make a triple batch and freeze all but 10 and that's our breakfast.

Lunch will always be leftovers.  This REALLY helps keep costs down and when I was working it ensured I had a meal for lunch....no eating out means lower budget.  The only time lunch is NOT leftovers is if we are out and about or someone else buys us lunch and then leftovers become dinner. :-D  Works for me!!!!  We only eat out if it is a special occasion.  Gives my children something to look forward to and doesn't get them thinking that fast food is the way to go.  While my mom was in the hospital, we ate fast food for a month and when I started cooking again, they were all elated!

Based on my days and what name I have given them, I go through my recipes and find things that are appealing to me and my budget.  On a separate sheet I may write down 10 Meatless meals and then go back to my calendar and assign them to various Mondays.  Sometimes I ask the kids what they would like from the list and assign from there.  I'll do this again with the remaining days of the weeks until I have the next four weeks filled.  Then I look at my calendar and look up the recipes and write down EVERY ingredient I will need for EACH MEAL....yes, that is a lot, but it's how my brain functions.  If I have milk on my list and 5 recipes call for milk, then I put 5 tally marks outside of milk.  We drink a lot of milk anyway, so I'd get 5 gallons of milk.  If I need tuna for 3 recipes and they each take 2 cans, then I'll put the number 6 next to tuna.
If 8 recipes call for shredded cheese, I put 8 tally marks, but then think about how big the bags of cheese are and mentally process how many bags I need.  I write down the number 2 and regardless to what my tally marks say, I know I'm going to buy 2 large bags of shredded cheese.  Then I take that sheet of paper with all the ingredients, tally marks, and numbers, and go to my kitchen and look at what I have that's on the list.  If I have plenty of a particular something, I cross it off my list.  If I have about half of something or less than half, I leave it on the list.  I then rewrite my list according to what I need along with the number and sometimes I arrange it to the isles in the store, most times I do not.  I have 3 children so when we get in the store I send one to get all the dairy items, one all the baking items and one all the meats....or something like that.

I know some of my friends after they get their menu, if they wake up that day and don't "feel" like cooking that particular item on the calendar or have a taste for something else, they cook something else.  This drives me bonkers, it makes my whole process pointless and a waste of my time.  So I NEVER and yes I said NEVER alter my menu once I have it written on the calendar.  I have made it known to myself that it is now set in stone and only God can change it.  ;-D

My favorite things to cook are crock pot meals, casseroles, and one pot meals.  We also only have dessert on Sundays.  We have junk on Fat Fridays, but an actual dessert after dinner is ONLY on Sundays.  Otherwise, we get carried away with sweets here and with cutting out sugar, that doesn't help us.

Also note that I have changed a bit of what we eat for healthier alternatives.  Stevia or honey for our sweetners, whole wheat flour instead of white, brown or wild rice instead of white, I incorporate more veggies, so instead of lettuce on tacos, we have finely shredded cabbage, in meatloaf I'll add shredded carrots (don't tell my kids...heeheehee).  We have eliminated about 98% of processed foods in exchange for real foods.  This includes making our own bread, pie crusts, crackers, etc. I also mix a lot of my own mixes and store in jars.  For instance, taco seasoning, chili seasoning, sausage seasoning (it's cheaper to buy ground turkey or beef and then season with sausage seasoning and you can buy bulk seasonings for dirt cheap at a Amish bakery in Kemp Tx.  Heritage Market & Bakery), pancake/waffle mix, bisquick.  I'm branching off into making our salad dressings.  Next up is ketchup, spaghetti seasoning, and salsa.  I want to master bbq sauce.  I don't see myself making mayonnaise, so we just opt to buy ours from the health food store and get the vegan kind.

I think this became a lot more than I planned, but if you have ANY questions, tips, ideas, or you're near and want to make a date for going to the Amish store...I'm game!!!!


Meal Planning...

A dear friend asked me to share my weekly menu with her for this week.  I usually AM on top of this, however, I've gotten bored with the food we are eating AND I'm trying to whittle down my grocery budget.  At this point I spend about $?00 in groceries and well, it doesn't cover the entire month.  This is ALL my fault, no doubt.  Poor planning and eating lots of foods that just aren't healthy for us, as well as going to the grocery store hungry.  NEVER GO TO THE GROCERY STORE HUNGRY!!!!!!

At any rate, I'm on a mission right now of learning how to prepare some Middle Eastern foods right now.  From the recipes I've looked at, they eat well, it looks good, AND it seems to be inexpensive as well.  The things I've seen, I've already formulated in my head how to make them a bit healthier, although this woman cooks some pretty healthy food.

In the past, I've prepared my menus like this.  Gather our favorite recipes as well as some we would like to try.  Get a blank calendar (I actually use a dry erase board calendar).  Look through the menus and begin assigning food to each day.  Then we got on this themed week kick.  So one week EVERYTHING we ate was Mexican foods; the next, Asian foods; and the next, soul food; and on and on it went.  We had the days divided like so:  Meatless Mondays, Casserole Tuesday, Leftover Wednesday, Salad Thursday, Fat Friday, Sandwich Saturday, and Crockpot Sunday.  Get the idea????  We loved this way as well.

Well, now that I'm in a rut financially and the boredom with our food choices, the changing of the seasons, and the need for healthier foods, I am on a mission.  I said that already didn't I?  LOL

I do believe I will keep our days Except I'll change them a bit.  I love Meatless Monday, Casserole Tuesday, but I will have us eat leftovers for lunch and anything left after that will go in the freezer for days when someone isn't feeling well and no one feels like cooking.  I'm going to have Crockpot meals on Wednesday AND Sunday.  Salad Thursday is a bit difficult because I'm just not that creative with salads and we tend to have the same 4 salads and rotate.  HA HA  Fat Friday I need to not splurge on that day and maybe try not to make it sooooooo Fat (we've been known to eat cookies and ice cream for dinner on Fat Friday).  Sandwich Saturday is another favorite too, cause mama doesn't have to get in the kitchen and cook.  However, I get tired of cold cuts and they aren't the healthiest to eat either...loaded with sodium.  I don't think I will continue with the themed weeks.  I think this is partly what has eaten my food budget.  oh and the fact that many times I shop when I'm hungry.  Did I mention Not to shop while hungry?????

Ok, I got an idea,  How about you give me some ideas for Saturdays and Thursdays?????  Stick with my theme, but tell me what you have in mind.

As for tonight (last night if you are reading this on Wednesday), here is the link for our meal tonight.  EASY, CHEAP, AND YUMMY.
Ground turkey $4
Rice                $3 (that was for the whole bag)....LOL
Onion              $.95
Phyllo Dough    $3
Frozen Corn    $1
Greek Yogurt  $3
Butter...already had on hand

Ouzi's with a side of corn and Greek yogurt.  $15



Today as I sit and listen to a Beth Moore teaching, I realize in all of the past 7 years, I have never once asked the Lord God to heal my heart or the hearts of my children.  I've prayed for healing and restoration of our family, but never once healing for our hearts.  How can we love God or others with a wounded heart?  How can we walk in love when we are so bound by broken heartedness?  I think of all those I say I love and yet my love for them is skewed.
I have been praying for the last few months, why am I so filled with anger, bitterness, resentment, animosity, unforgiveness, etc.  I want to be free!  And yet no matter how many times I pondered why, no matter how many times I have begged the Lord to set me free from this bondage, I was not free.  I cannot say if I am instantly healed from these things at this moment, only time will tell.  However, this very day, I understand why I could not gain the freedom I so desperately searched and hoped for.  These things are all bound up in a wounded heart.  It won't be until the heart is healed that God can begin to release me from these other things that hold me so tightly.

Lord I have hurt so long.  I've buried so much pain and tried to keep a smile on my face and walk forward.  Yet there has been no forward for me because the pain, though unseen, has held me back.  I've prayed for a deliverance from this stony heart and for a new heart of flesh, but to no avail.  I have watched relationships with my children and others deteriorate and/or die.  I today realize there can be no restoration until there is healing.  So Father please I pray begin the delicate surgery of healing my heart and the hearts of my family.  Renew, restore, and transform the relationships with my family.  We cannot walk up-right before you until there is healing...
In Your Son's matchless name I pray...

Psalms 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Isaiah 61:3 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted: He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland (beauty) instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.  So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the Lord that He may be glorified.


Those Pesky Varmints...

Tuesday morning we awoke to find our pregnant ewe was missing.  The entire back wall of my chicken coop/sheep pen was down, the posts that held it together broken in two.  We couldn't figure out WHAT had gotten to her and was strong enough to tear the wall down like that.  The search began, as we thought maybe she was so spooked she ran to protect herself.  She did run and my daughter found her in the pasture next to us.  Not 30 feet away from our back door.  The verdict, she was attacked and her/lamb did not make it.  Grave disappointment set in and I couldn't figure out WHY whatever it was would go after the ewe in the pen when we had forgotten to lock the other sheep up and he was out in the opening.  Nevertheless, my son carted the mama off to the back of the property to let the vultures have there way...it's way too dry to burn the carcass as I normally would.  We secured the pen as best we could and made sure the other sheep and the chickens would be safe.
Tuesday night all seemed well and we thought we had things in order.  I had come to accept that our Spring meat would not be and I would have to hunt for another ewe in the new year.  We went about our day Wednesday and all seemed well.  We headed to church, making sure the animals were secure, as we wouldn't get home until late.  As we arrived home, I felt the urge to go check on them.  Pushing back the idea that I just might need the gun.  All seemed well, it was pretty quiet.  Then suddenly the hair on my neck began to rise and I began to creep backwards.  There was something in the pen and it was running frantically as though it wasn't sure what to do.  I knew instantly that something was in there that shouldn't be.  As my son came with the gun, loaded and aimed, I realized what was looking me in my eyes.  It was a coyote.  My daughter drove the van around to that area so I could have better light, but by this time it had escaped.  I was unable to get a shot off and there before me lay my lamb that was scheduled for the butcher next month.
I couldn't tell if he had gotten to my chickens, they seemed to be scattered and rightly so.
This morning as I awoke before dawn to investigate, I discovered the coyotes entryway, he had gotten one of my hens (our favorite one at that), and as I began to piece some things together, I realized he has been prowling around for at least 3 weeks from the evidence of things.  I couldn't figure out Tuesday why a coyote would kill the ewe and leave her.  He didn't even attempt to eat it.  So I assumed a dog got to her.  Now that I think about it, it was so near the road, maybe the coyote got spooked before he could devour her.  The lamb he got to last night, he took a chunk out of him so that concluded it was NOT a dog, but a coyote.  Finally, the ewe carcass that was discarded on Tuesday, it's gone.  From the top of the steps we could see where she lay, and the last time we saw her was yesterday as we left for church.  This morning...gone.  Thus my conclusion it's a pack of coyotes.  Now my concern is were they only hungry or are they rabid???
Today we have secured the remaining 6 chickens in the coop.  I've secured it to the point if something gets in it's gonna have a heck of a time getting out and thus I can put it down!!!!!
Now to find a lamb for sale that I can take to the butcher by Oct. 31 so we can have meat in the freezer this winter.  Maybe someone will go hunting and share a deer with us.  Then in the new year I'll be on the hunt for at least 3 ewes so I can get a good supply of meat in the freezer.
Right now I'm totally numb and not sure what to think...other than, I think I'll be casing out the coop for a few nights on a hunt for some coyotes.  I'm determined to put 'em down and out of MY misery!!!!


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