Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Family Favorites

In light of wanting to share more frugal ideas, I decided to go along with my "homemade" theme for Family Favorites as well

For the price of a few ingredients, you can make up mixes and seasonings that will go much farther than if you bought them pre-made.

The Cream of Soup mix and the Taco Seasoning mix is ones I've used for quite some time, again not sure where I picked them up. The Onion Soup Mix I picked up from The Grocery Cart Challenge.

Hope you find these delicious and easy on your budget!

Onion Soup Mix

3/4 cup dried minced onions
1/3 cup powdered beef bouillon
4 teaspoons onion powder
¼ teaspoon crushed celery seed
¼ teaspoon sugar

Mix ingredients together then store in an airtight container.

Use 2 Tablespoons mix per 1 cup boiling water.

Recipe makes approximately 1 cup dried onion soup mix. 5 Tablespoons is equivalent to 1 package store bought mix.

Taco Seasoning Mix

¼ cup dried minced onion
¼ cup chili powder
3 Tablespoons salt
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon dried minced garlic
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano

Combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 year.

To prepare: For every pound of ground meat, add 2 Tablespoons of the mix and 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes.

Cream of Soup Mix

1 ½ cup cornstarch
2 cups powder milk
½ cup chicken bouillon powder
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste

Combine ingredients. Store in an airtight container.

To make soup:
Use 1/3 cup mix and 1½ cup water. Mix well. Heat over medium heat until thick. Equals 1 can of soup.

Hope this helps!!!

As always, if you see a recipe unique to you, please let me know and I'll be glad to give you a shout out!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Warming Home on the Cheap

I try very hard to allow God to direct my steps....even when my flesh is screaming, "NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WANT TO BE IN CONTROL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" It's not even remotely easy for me...but I do try....which explains why it took me a week to get my fall decos put where I want them!!

"The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?"
Proverbs 20:24, NLT
"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives."
Psalms 37:23, NLT
I thought I would share a couple of my favorite displays with you. But first...let me set the atmosphere.......

When you walk in, the smell of apple cinnamon and vanilla greets you. There are pumpkins, crows and scarecrows about the different rooms. The windows are open because the wind is gently blowing and there is a crispness in the air.

I want my home to be a place where you feel welcomed and we can relax and chat while enjoying a steaming cup of hot apple cider.

Most everything I've bought to decorate with has been purchased at dollar stores and yard sales. It doesn't take much money to create a feeling of welcome and warmth.

Drape a blanket here and there over a couple of comfy chairs. Go outside and gather some leaves and and bare branches and put them about with a pumpkin or two.

Gather and bind some dried corn stalks, add a couple of bales of hay and a pumpkin and you have a wonderful decoration for your porch!!

Let me encourage you to take just a little time to create a warm sanctuary for you, your family and guests. You've worked hard and played hard all summer......time to sit back and close your eyes.............

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Homemade" Recipes

I have to admit that I am really thrilled at the interest shown in the homemade laundry soap, oxy clean and fabric softener. I got several comments, e-mails and even one phone call (hey Estelle!!) about the 'recipes' I'm using.

I decided to post the recipes that I am using right now for these three things. I again also want to link you to Tip Nut and The Grocery Cart Challenge which is where I am getting the majority of these recipes. Believe me, I could not come up with this on my own!!!!

Here is what I am using:

Homemade Laundry Soap

1/3 bar Zote Soap*
1/2 cup Borax Powder*
1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda*

Grate 1/3 bar of soap into a saucepan. Add 6 cups of water and heat until the soap melts.
Pour 4 cups of hot water into a large bucket. ( I use a five gallon bucket because I also double this recipe when I make it). Add the Borax powder, the washing soda and the soap mixture. Stir well. Add another 22 cups of water, stir well to combine. Let the soap cool for 15-24 hours. Mine looks like watery jelly and while you don't have to stir it again, I stir it every time I use it. (Could be my OCD driving me nuts!!)
I use about a half to three quarters of a cup, depending on the level of dirty I've got. Remember that you're not going to be seeing any suds (another thing I had to get past!)

* Most recipes call for Fels Naptha soap. I can't find that in my area so I use Zote which I am able to buy at Sav A Lot
* I find Borax powder at Wal Mart and most local grocery stores.
* In my area, I cannot find Washing Soda. I was able to order this direct from the company, Church & Dwight--1-800-524-1328. Give them the bar code # 33200-03020

Homemade Oxy Clean

1 cup water
1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
1/2 cup baking soda

Mix together and soak laundry in it for 20 minutes to overnight then wash as usual. You can also skip the water and pour the baking soda/peroxide mixture directly into the wash with your laundry soap and wash as usual.

Homemade Fabric Softener

2 cups water
1 cup vinegar
2/3 cup of any hair conditioner*

Mix in bottle (I use an old fabric softener bottle). Stir or gently swirl. DO NOT SHAKE or you are going to end up with foaming!!!
To use in the washer, I just pour in my Downy ball as usual. To use in the dryer, I keep a small bowl of softener and put a rag in it. Wring out the soaked rag and throw it in the dryer with your laundry.

* Look for hair conditioner that is on sale! It truly doesn't matter which kind you buy!!!

Hope this helps everyone and I'll be sharing more homemade recipes as I come across them!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Worship Him

"Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe."
Hebrews 12:28, NLT

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Former Idiot

Normally I join my friend Collette for Psalm Saturday and I would hope that you would drop by and say Hi to her, but today I decided that there was something I just had to share with you.

While we were vacationing about 3 weeks ago in Tennessee, we stopped by a little country shop. They had everything you could imagine including some of the best fudge I'd ever had in my life!!

DH and I try to buy each other something every time we take a trip. Even though we were packed and headed back towards home, I still hadn't found anything I wanted. So, when we came upon this little shop, I had to stop!

We had looked all through this little store oohing and ahhing and tasting the different varieties of fudge and were on our way out when I found this sign:

It says, "When I turned myself over to God, I took my life out of the hands of an idiot"

I absolutely fell in love with this sign!!!! Why???

Because it screamed, "Deb, this was you!!!!!!!!!"

Before I met Jesus, I had messed up so much in my life. If I had continued down the path I was on, I would be divorced and without my DS, at the very least. That made my title, "Idiot".
But glory to God!!! In His wisdom and love He reached down and picked me up and said, "If you'll let Me, I'll take over from here." He made me an offer I couldn't refuse and I've never regretted.

Oh, I still step on that banana peel and slip back into idiot mode from time to time, but I'm not my own new sign reminds me that I removed myself from the hands of the idiot and placed them in the beautiful nail scarred hands of the One Who transformed me into a "former" idiot.....

Friday, September 25, 2009

Studying...Created to be His Help Meet

We are studying the book by Debi Pearl, Created to be His Help Meet. Through our study of this book, we are going to learn what it means to be a help meet and actually living the role that God created us as women to fill. I've read this book once before and applied many of the things that Mrs. Pearl spoke of, and it has transformed an already good marriage into nothing short of awesome!! I encourage you to purchase this book and follow along or at the very least, check out the Pearl's website at
Any text taken directly from Mrs. Pearl's book will be highlighted in blue.

I realize that in studying Created to be His Help Meet at the rate of one chapter per week, we will be doing this study for approximately 24 weeks. We could go at this at a much faster rate, but I believe that if we truly want to change and fill our God given rolls as help meet to our husbands, then we need to take things slower and put into practice what we are learning. I hope you agree and stay the course with me as we become better help meets together.

Part 1: The Help Meet
Chapter 7: Wisdom While There is Yet Hope

Seven chapters in, I'm convinced that the one message throughout this entire book is this: We are not called to be our husband's conscience, we are called to be his help meet.

We, as wives, need to understand, accept and put into practice that the Holy Spirit owns the job of conviction, not us.

End. Of. Discussion.

How many times in a day do we find ourselves disagreeing with something our husbands have said or done? How many times has he made the statement, "We are going to ______" only to hear the retort from you, "But it would be better if we __________"

My dear sisters, we must come to the acceptance that there is coming a day when our husbands will stand before a perfect God and answer for the decisions he made as a husband and father. Likewise, we will answer to that same perfect God for the decisions we made as a help meet.

Ask yourself this, would you rather answer for how you handled your God called responsibilities as a help meet or how you jumped in and took over every time your husband didn't handle things the way you thought he should?

The good news is as long as there is breath in our bodies, we have the ability to learn, to listen and to change.

Take a moment to sit and think about your man. Think about all the things that he does that you don't understand or agree with. Think about all the times you have to pick up his dirty clothes or watch the History channel.....again. Think about how often you are in washing the supper dishes or sweeping the floor and you can hear him snoring on the couch. Think about the cheaper car he bought for you when you wanted the more expensive one. Think about the times you are worn out, too tired to move and he totally wants to know what's for supper and you were hoping he'd say, "Hey baby, I know you're tired, let's get take out!" Think about how frustrated and angry you get.

Now that you're good and worked up, stop.

Take just a moment and think about this......

Think about how empty the bed would be without him beside you at night. Think about how quiet it would be at the dinner table without his deep voice. Think about who would be taking care of your children because you are now forced to work outside the home. Think about yourself lying under the sink doing the plumbing repairs because he's not around to fix it and you can't pay a plumber. And guess what? You're still not enjoying take out because you still can't afford it!!

In our flesh, we are so eager to state our opinion and get our way. I believe the Bible calls that complaining (nagging) and the Word plainly tells us that:

"It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife."
Proverbs 21:19, NLT

"A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day."
Proverbs 27:15, NLT

God's Word is simple and plain: If we complain and quarrel with our man, it would be better if our man lived alone!!! And sadly, some men take that route.

If we can see ourselves in any of this, then maybe it's time to change our " 'stinkin' thinkin' ".
How do we do that? By going to our Father Who created us for this purpose and asking Him for wisdom.

"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind." James 1:5-6, NLT

Without God's wisdom and God's help, we are sure to remain in the flesh and looking out for number one instead of living as the help meet we were created to be. Ask God to simply help you to love this man the way He loves him. Ask God to help you see him as He does. Ask God to give you the wisdom and ability to serve Him through being the wife and help meet He has created and called you to be.

When you begin looking at your man in the terms of serving God, that stinkin' thinkin' is bound to change!!

Mrs. Pearl challenges us this week to remember when our husbands do something that irritate us to stop and ask God to help us remember we don't see the whole picture as He does and to remove our critical, self-serving attitude.

If you have the book, I strongly encourage you to practice the Getting Serious with God on page 74.

Next week: Wisdom to Understand Your Man

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

It is so good to be joining up with Sonya over at Truth 4 the Journey for Thankful Thursday! It's one time of the week that I really look forward to. Not only so I can reflect on my thankfuls, but so that I can rejoice with you over yours!!

Let's go with my five thankfuls for this week....

1) I am so thankful that my Dad's surgery was a success!! He almost died twice and that terrified me. Dad and I are not as close as I'd love to be, but he is my Daddy and like any "little girl", Daddy is very special. That leads me to........

2) I am so thankful for a God that not only hears, but answers prayers. I fully understand that all answers are not always yes, but this time He chose to say yes to sparing my Dad which lets me know that God is giving him another chance to accept Him as Savior.

3) I am so thankful for the service at church this past Sunday night. The Holy Spirit was everywhere with everyone and I was blessed to be in the altar with my DH, DD and DS praying together, separately and for each other. Which leads me to.....

4) I am so thankful that DS had a one on One encounter with our Father. DS is so often okay with just hanging back and not drawing any attention to himself, but this past Sunday night the Holy Spirit took over and he was able to release so much that was keeping him bound and unable to fully live for Christ. HALLELUJAH!!!!

5) I am so thankful for the opportunity to also pray with a dear friend's husband that same night. While she was in the altar praying for him, DH and I were able to pray over him and feel the Holy Spirit's conviction on him. I'm confident that God will save this marriage!!!!

"For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations; I will sing praises to your name."
2 Samuel 22:50, NLT

For more Thankful Thursday, click here or on the links above.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Family Favorites

I spent most of the day yesterday swapping out my spring/summer decos for fall ones. I changed out my Hawaiian air freshener for apple cinnamon.

It won't be long, even in my neck of the woods, that the morning air will soon be crisp and DH and I will be sitting on the swing under a blanket. He, enjoying a hot cup of coffee. Me, enjoying a hot cup of cocoa.

Oh yes, my favorite time of the year is well on it's way.

So, for today's Family Favorite, I decided to share a homemade hot cocoa mix that is a hit with my family and just about anyone else that has tried it.

This is also a great mix to make up and give away at Christmas time as a gift in a jar. I usually put the mix in a quart jar and tie a pretty ribbon around it with directions attached. I also add a cute mug, usually found at the dollar store, for each member in the family. I put all of this in a cute basket with a few candy canes and you have a wonderful family gift for just a few dollars!!!

I remember getting this recipe off of a website, but cannot remember which one. As always, if this is original to your site, let me know and I'll be glad to give you a shout out!!!

Happy Fall ya'll!!!!

Hot Cocoa Mix

2 cups sugar
1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

Measure all of the ingredients into a dry, clean bowl. Use a whisk to stir everything together. Mash any clumps and continue to mix well. Put entire mix into a clean, dry canister.

Put 1/3 cup mix into a mug. Add boiling water to the top. Stir and serve.

:o)--When I'm feeling really adventurous, I'll add some marshmallows and stir! Delicious!!--:o)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pleasantly Surprised and Saving Money to Boot!!

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned making my own laundry soap and hoping it would turn out okay. Well let me tell you that I am absolutely thrilled with the way this laundry soap has turned out!!!!! It is so quick and easy to make and one batch has lasted me about 3 weeks which is far longer than I've gotten out of a bottle of laundry soap!!

I went a step farther and made homemade fabric softner. I am very pleased with this as well.
Instead of bleach, I have begun making homemade Oxy clean and so far, I'm still thrilled with bright whites!

I've never been one to pay high prices for too much of anything, but even at the prices I pay, in 3 weeks I've estimated that I've only spent around $1.70 to clean my laundry!!! My normal spending for 3 weeks was usually in the neighborhood of $7.50--a savings estimated at $5.80!!!!

I was very pleasantly surprised that my laundry smelled....clean. No perfumy smell, only clean laundry. Any soils and stains came right out and my laundry was just as soft as it had ever been.

Note that a normal wash week for me is 15 loads a week, give or take a load here and there.

In an average year that has me spending around $28 to wash my laundry. With commercial detergents I spent on average $128 per year. So adding $100 a year to our budget sounds pretty good to me.

It really takes only about 15 minutes to whip up a batch of laundry soap and so in the grand scheme of things, not long at all.

There are two sites that I've found that I absolutely love that share economical ways to do things we do everyday.

One is Tip Nut and the other is Grocery Cart Challenge.

All of us are on board when it comes to saving money, and quite honestly I love the idea of taking better care of our planet as well. Think of all the packaging that isn't going into the landfills if we make more of what we use from scratch!

I really want to encourage you to check out the above sites and give a few of these things a try.
I'm sure, like me, you'll be glad you did!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

And the Winner Is!!.......

I want to thank everyone who took the time last week to leave a comment on my posts and participate in my give-a-way. I was blessed by your comments and encouragement!!

There were so many entries and I wish that I had enough to just give everybody something.....but it had to come down to just one and the winner was...(drawn by my dear hubby).....

Kris over at Hands, House and Heart Full!!

Kris if you will just zap me your address via e-mail, I'll get the gifts out to you right away!!

Let me encourage to drop by Kris's blog to say hi and congratulations!!

I am looking so forward to blogging in the next year but more so meeting and making new friends!!

Hugs and prayers !!!!

"Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God."
Philippians 1:3, NLT

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Worship Him

"Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth."
Psalm 47:1-2, NLT

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Psalm Saturday

Time to join my friend Collette again over at Jesus Loves Mums for Psalm Saturday.
Join us this week as we share how something in the Psalms spoke to us.....

"God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear..." Psalm 46:1-2a, NLT

As I was reading in Psalms this week, I had to pause here. Even now as I type this post out, this brings even a different encouragement to me.

I found myself thinking of all the times I felt that life was out of control. The times I was without hope..alone. I remembered that even though in the moment I felt alone, God was there. My Refuge. My Strength.

This past Wednesday when my Dad had his heart surgery we almost lost him twice. God was there. My Refuge. My Strength.

Always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear.....

Oh, to be able to put this to memory (which I have already) but to call on it in the midst of the storm!!!! To fully realize that there is no need to fear because He is my Strength, my Safe Place, my Father...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Studying...Created to be His Help Meet

We are studying the book by Debi Pearl, Created to be His Help Meet. Through our study of this book, we are going to learn what it means to be a help meet and actually living the role that God created us as women to fill. I've read this book once before and applied many of the things that Mrs. Pearl spoke of, and it has transformed an already good marriage into nothing short of awesome!! I encourage you to purchase this book and follow along or at the very least, check out the Pearl's website at
Any text taken directly from Mrs. Pearl's book will be highlighted in blue.

I realize that in studying Created to be His Help Meet at the rate of one chapter per week, we will be doing this study for approximately 24 weeks. We could go at this at a much faster rate, but I believe that if we truly want to change and fill our God given rolls as help meet to our husbands, then we need to take things slower and put into practice what we are learning. I hope you agree and stay the course with me as we become better help meets together.

Part 1: The Help Meet

Chapter 5: The Beginning of Wisdom

Consequences to our actions.

Whether a decision we make is good or bad, there will be a consequence to it. Obey the speed limit, meet Mr. Police and wave as you drive by. Exceed the speed limit and Mr. Police will pull you over to meet you personally and leave you with a rather expensive welcoming gift.

Eat too many helpings of dessert, before long you will be shopping for a new wardrobe. Eat in moderation, keep that wonderful figure and live a healthy life.

What prompts us to make the right decisions? What makes us go the speed limit or pass on that extra slice of cake?

Fear. Fear of a speeding ticket, fear of gaining weight and not fitting into our clothing or being sick.

So, as Mrs. Pearl points out, fear is the beginning of wisdom. Hey!! God said that too, didn't He?

"Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom."
Psalm 111:10, NLT

"Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom."
Proverbs 9:10, NLT

Mrs. Pearl points out that since we are called to be help meet to our husbands, then, if for no other wisdom, fear of the Lord will cause us to be faithful to that calling. Fear of standing before God and admitting that we were not the help meet He called us to be will cause us to search for and ask for wisdom. Wisdom from God, wisdom from godly older women.

She also challenges us to look up the word odious. I took the opportunity to do that and share it with you here,

odious--deserving or causing hatred; hateful; detestable. Highly offensive; repugnant; disgusting.

She asks us to learn to hate the idea of ever being guilty of this. Heaven forbid!!

Mrs. Pearl points out that as wives we are going to practice being thankful and merry or we are going to practice bitterness. Stop just a moment and reflect on your marriage, on your relationship with your husband. Would you say that you are thankful or bitter?

Take a few minutes with a pen and a sheet of paper. Write down the things you love about your husband, what attracts you to him, what wonderful traits he has. Tuck it away somewhere that it is easily accessible for you. Mrs. Pearl challenges us this week to pay attention to ourselves.

When we feel that old critical spirit creeping up on us, she encourages us to pray and think of something on our thankful list. Even go get that list and read over it....again and again if necessary.

This will be creating a new habit within yourself of laying aside bitterness and putting on peace and thankfulness.

Next week: Wisdom While There is Yet Hope

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

It is so good to be joining up with Sonya over at Truth 4 the Journey for Thankful Thursday! It's one time of the week that I really look forward to. Not only so I can reflect on my thankfuls, but so that I can rejoice with you over yours!!

Let's go with my five thankfuls for this week....

1) I am thankful that for my sweet hubby. Each day I realize more and more what an amazing man I am married to and how totally blessed I truly am!

2) I am thankful for the up close and personal I got with a humming bird this week. You see, this is my most favorite bird in the world and I have a couple of feeders placed so that I can watch them while I wash dishes or as I walk back and forth through the living room. Tuesday, I was painting some numbers to put on our porch for our address, and this little humming bird decided to check out what I was doing. We were less than a foot apart for close to a minute and I was afraid to breath because I didn't want him to fly away. He didn't seemed bothered by my presence though and hung around long enough to make my day!!

3) I am thankful for a Savior Who hears and answers my prayers. I serve an awesome God!!

4) I am thankful for 7 more pints of canned jalapenos. This summer is my first time canning peppers and they've actually turned out really well!!

5) I am thankful that my little sister is doing well in school. She was so nervous about going back to school after all these years, but she pulled herself up by the boot straps, jumped in and is doing wonderfully!!

For more Thankful Thursday, click here or on the links above.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just a Reminder!!

Just a reminder!!!....

Don't forget about my give-a-way that will be closing at midnight Friday!!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on any blog post, Monday thru Friday of this week. You can have up to 5 chances to win!!


Family Favorites

This week's Family Favorite is another casserole dish. I really like casserole dishes because I can prepare them ahead of time, set the delay timer on my oven and have a warm meal ready when I get home.

By preparing ahead of time, I also save a lot of money because when I'm out and about, the last thing I want to do is come home and have to prepare a meal. By taking the time to stick a casserole in the oven, I figure we save at least $20 over take out!!

Pizza Tot Casserole

1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 medium green pepper, chopped *
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (11-1/8 ounces) condensed Italian tomato soup, undiluted*
1 jar (4½ ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese*
1 package (32 ounces) frozen Tater Tots

In a skillet, cook the beef, pepper and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add soup and mushrooms. Transfer to a greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Top with cheese and tater tots. Bake, uncovered, at 400º for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

*--To save money and time, I buy bell peppers when they are on sale, chop them up and freeze them in snack bags. They are oh so handy then to just pull out and use!!
*--Sometimes I can't find Italian tomato soup. When that happens, I use regular tomato soup and add Italian seasonings and about a half can of water. (this is also cheaper!!)
*--I normally use whatever shredded cheese that I have on hand!

I got this recipe out of the 2000 edition of Taste of Home's Quick Cooking.

As always, if you give this a try, let me know what you think!!!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Safety of the Shoreline

I love fall!! The leaves are turning the most beautiful shades of gold, orange and red. The temperatures are cooling off and air is turning crisp.

It's time to change out the decor in my home from flowers and summer to pumpkins and scarecrows. It's time to change the scents in my home from lavender and lilacs to vanilla and apple pie.

I just love autumn!!!

But...for just a moment, let's enjoy one more memory of summer....

It's no secret that I love the beach. I love the water and I love the way the waves crashing against the shoreline is so relaxing!!

I love to get up early in the morning and walk hand in hand with my amazing man along the shore while the water rolls in and out over our feet. For me, it doesn't get much better.

I found myself in Hebrews last week and I was reading in chapter 2. Verse 1 says this,

"So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it." NLT

I just sat and pondered this for a minute and found myself putting it together this way....

As much as I love to play in the water when I'm at the beach, I also love to just get on a float and float around. Up and down, gently swaying with the breeze on the waves, eyes closed, listening to the sounds around me.

With my eyes closed, I'm not paying attention to the fact that my float is floating farther and farther from the shoreline. Many times I have even drifted off to sleep just to wake up and find out that I'm dangerously far away from the shoreline....and this ole' gal isn't a strong swimmer at all.

Panic begins to set in as all I can think of is that I'm going to drift so far out no one will be able to rescue me before I get into some real trouble!!

Thankfully, my ex-Navy-man hubby has kept his eye on me all along, and takes hold of my float and pulls me safely in to the shore.

Now, walk with me through my mind just a moment......

Think of the beach shoreline as the Truth. Just as the shoreline isn't going to move anywhere or change, neither is the Truth. It remains the same.

As I lay on the float, my mind begins to wander and I lose focus and before I know it, I've floated far away from the shore. I'm drifting here and there, farther and farther away.

If I don't read God's Word and stay grounded in the Truth, I will lose my focus on Him and drift farther and farther away from the Him. Before I know it, I have put myself in a very dangerous place.

Panic sets in because I realize that since I'm not a strong swimmer, I'm in serious trouble. Just like when I drift away from the Truth, I put myself in serious trouble.

But just as being under the watchful eye of my DH brought me safely back in to the shore, the watchful eye of my Father brings me to safety as well.

I am so thankful for a heavenly Father Who refuses to let me drift and wander aimlessly but takes hold of my float and pulls me back into the shoreline of His arms.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Blogoversary Give-a-Way!!

Well today's the day!! I finally have it all together to do my Blogoversary give-a-way!! :o)

I thought and prayed about what I wanted to do and here's where I ended up:

I love the seasons and try to decorate my house according to the seasons. I found an adorable little platter that looks like a large autumn leaf. It's actually for a cheese ball and comes with a knife for spreading. I also have 4 books that I would like to give away that have spoken to and encouraged my heart over the last year or so. Here are the titles and authors:

Certain Peace in Uncertain Times; Shirley Dobson
You're Late Again, Lord; Karon Phillips Goodman
God is in the Small Stuff and it all matters; Bruce & Stan
Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart (Daily devotional from praise & worship songs)

My hope is that whoever wins this little gift basket will enjoy these books and the new autumn season as much as I did and do.

Here's where your part comes in:
The give-a-way begins today and runs through Friday the 18th with the winner being announced next Monday the 21st.

To be entered, just leave a comment. Now, if you leave a comment each day, Monday thru Friday, you can have up to five chances to win!! It's that simple.

Thanks for being here with me and for me over the last year. Thank you those that follow my blog, get my post through feeds and e-mails, e-mail me privately and just pop in now and then to say hi!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Worship Him

"But may all who search for You be filled with you and gladness in You. May those who love Your salvation repeatedly shout, 'The Lord is great!'"
Psalm 40:16, NLT

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Psalm Saturday

Time to join my friend Collette again over at Jesus Loves Mums for Psalm Saturday.
Join us this week as we share how something in the Psalms spoke to us.....

Everyday I try to spend some time reading in Psalms. I can see myself in so much of the Psalms.

For example, one minute I'm whining and complaining about my situation and throwing the biggest pity party known to man, and the next minute I'm jumping around and praising my Father for His wonderful greatness. Talk about your high highs and low lows!!!.....

It brings me a measure of comfort, though, knowing that even great men and women of God struggled with being on the mountain top one moment and in the valley the next.

David is a prime example of that and God called him a man after God's own heart; that means there is still hope for me........

Even though the Psalm I chose to share today isn't from David, I love how it reminded me that God is the One in command of what happens to me. I cannot trust in things of this world to save me, God is the One who gives me victory over my enemies and over the world!!

"You are my King and my God. You command victories for Israel. Only by Your power can we push back our enemies; only in Your name can we trample our foes. I do not trust in my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me. You are the One Who gives us victory over our enemies; You disgrace those who hate us. O God, we give glory to You all day long and constantly praise your name."
Psalm 44:4-8, NLT

.....Father help me to remember that I cannot trust in my bow (material things, wealth, being "good" enough) to save me, You are the One Who brings victory into my life!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Studying...Created to be His Help Meet

We are studying the book by Debi Pearl, Created to be His Help Meet. Through our study of this book, we are going to learn what it means to be a help meet and actually living the role that God created us as women to fill. I've read this book once before and applied many of the things that Mrs. Pearl spoke of, and it has transformed an already good marriage into nothing short of awesome!! I encourage you to purchase this book and follow along or at the very least, check out the Pearl's website at
Any text taken directly from Mrs. Pearl's book will be highlighted in blue.

I realize that in studying Created to be His Help Meet at the rate of one chapter per week, we will be doing this study for approximately 24 weeks. We could go at this at a much faster rate, but I believe that if we truly want to change and fill our God given rolls as help meet to our husbands, then we need to take things slower and put into practice what we are learning. I hope you agree and stay the course with me as we become better help meets together.

Part 1: The Help Meet

Chapter 5: The Gift of Wisdom

It is so good to be back with you all this week and resuming our study--and hopefully putting into practice--how to be a better help meet to our husbands.

Mrs. Pearl asks the question, "Do you have enough fear of God not to question His Word?"

All I can say is, "Ouch!!" Do I fear God? Yes.

Do I question His Word? Sometimes.

Is it possible for those two to go hand in hand? No.

A healthy fear of God will give me enough faith and trust in Him to not question His Word and what He says in it. Even when the answers I'm looking for are not the ones I want to hear.

Instead of reacting in the flesh, I will act in the Word and be obedient in trusting God to keep His promises and work His perfect will in my life.

A woman asks Mrs. Pearl how she is to have a merry heart when her husband treats her harshly. She is incredibly hurt by the selfishness and harshness of her husband and a merry heart is not in the cards from from her point of view.

While thinking about this woman's question, I found myself quickly in the flesh and thinking to myself, 'You reap what you sow buddy...' then I went on to read Mrs. Pearl's answer to this woman. She basically said that you can doubt God and live in your flesh or you can trust God's Word and His promises and be accountable for your own actions. WHAT!!?? Well of course, Deb's flesh said, ' Jerky man deserves what he gets.' Then the Holy Spirit said, "You don't answer to Me for the jerky man..he does, you answer to Me for yourself."


We have to remember that we, "serve Christ by serving our husband, whether our husband deserves it or not." How is that? because again, God has called us to be help meet to our husband. He did not call us to convict our husbands about they treat us.

We, as wives, have to remember that in being a godly help meet, we are allowing someone else (our husbands) to control our lives. I don't know about you, but I am a total control freak. I have a hard time letting God have control of my life, much less DH!!

We have to remember, it's not about what we want but what God has called us to do.Giving up control is not easy. For me, it's almost impossible! That's why I know that the submitting I do is all God...there is no part of Deb involved except for the part of trusting God to convict and hold my man accountable for loving me and taking care of me as Christ did the church.

The world we live in today will argue the above to the nth degree. No woman has to put up with a man being selfish. No woman has to put up with a man not picking up after himself. No woman has to put up with a man coming home from work and hitting the recliner and not moving until bedtime....and they're right. No woman has to put up with that. But if she is trusting God in all things, then she will also trust Him to open her man's eyes to how he's treating her and God Himself will convict him and the change she desires will come.

" For wives, this means submit your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything."
Ephesians 5:22-24, NLT (emphasis mine)

" But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God."
1 Corinthians 11:3, NLT (emphasis mine)

These verses clearly tell us that we are to submit to our husbands. Yes, they also speak to the husbands, but remember, this study is about us and our calling..not them.

There is no room for argument in God's Word. It's plain black and white.

Mrs. Pearl encourages us to ask God for wisdom.

"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking"
James 1:5, NLT

We need wisdom to understand our man and how he ticks. We need wisdom to know when to be quiet and when to speak up. We need wisdom to love him like he needs to be loved and that wisdom is only going to come from God and it's only going to be given when we ask for it.

Mrs. Pearl asks us this week to, "Commit your way unto the Lord and say, 'Not my will, but Thine be done'."

Next week: The Beginning of Wisdom

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Just Want to Celebrate!!!!!!!!!!!

WOOO HOOO!!!!!!! Today brings reason to celebrate!!!

One Single Minute is a year old today!!!!!!!!!!

It is so hard for me to believe that it's been a year since I sat down at this computer and said, "Okay Lord, what do you want me to do with this?"

I've traveled a few roads, but for now, I am just still trying to allow God to direct what gets written here.

So many have give-a-ways to celebrate and I am no different. I want to share a few items that have blessed me over the last year, with others.

Most people usually have this taken care of by their blogoversary and have the actual give-a-way on that day....but if you've followed me for any length of time, you know that I'm not most people!! The ups and downs of the last few weeks combined with our vacation has kept me very busy...and my family is my priority!!

So....with that being said, Monday will bring all the information you'll need about my give-a-way!!

Thanks for celebrating with me and just 'cause....

Share something with me you'd like to see me cover in the next few months, ask some questions, tell me (nicely please) of a direction you'd like to see OSM go. I would love to read your ideas and run them before my Father to get His input as well!!


Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

It is so good to be joining up with Sonya over at Truth 4 the Journey for Thankful Thursday!

I missed getting to link up with you guys last week because we were on vacation, but that makes "coming home" that much more special, doesn't it?

Let's go with my five thankfuls for this week....

1) I am thankful for complete safety and good health on our vacation. I don't know about anyone else, but I always pray that God will allow everyone good health so we can fully enjoy our time away. He was faithful about this yet again!

2) I am thankful for the Mama bear and cub we got to see in their natural habitat. She was so unconcerned about us and I was just totally consumed with the awesomeness of God!!

3) I am thankful that DD is doing so well on her dating sabbatical. The first week was kind of rough, but it has been miraculous to watch God peel off layers and layers of worldly lies and heal her wounds.

4) I am thankful that my first batch of homemade laundry soap turned out correctly!! Folks, I confess I've gotten a bit complacent about watching those pennies. Wonderful conviction from my Father has brought me back into the budget!

5) I am thankful for my brother-in-law's new wife. You see, my BIL is mentally challenged and at the age of 32....hasn't "grown up" and probably never will. He met a sweet young lady through our local mental health chapter and this past Saturday they became man and wife. Yes, they live in a mobile home in my MIL's backyard and yes they need someone to look after them and drive them around, but their love is genuine and unconditional. They look past the obvious issues into the love in each other's heart. It was a precious ceremony.

For more Thankful Thursday, click here or on the links above.

"Sing to the Lord; praise His name. Each day proclaim the good news that He saves."
Psalm 96:2, NLT

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Family Favorites

I hope that many of you...well..all of you..are giving our Family Favorite recipes a try. Most of the recipes that I post are frugal to make and can easily feed 4-6 people.

I know that it's more important now than ever for us to be conscious of our finances and one of the easiest places to cut back is our grocery budget.

This Family Favorite recipe is made easily, cheaply and can be doubled or tripled to fit whatever size crowd you're having.

Let me add that this recipe calls for cooked chicken. I like to buy chicken when it is on sale, usually around 49¢-69¢ a pound. I will put it in the crock pot and let it cook. After it cools, I pull it off the bone and separate it into bags and freeze it. Then when I need a quick meal, I can easily pull out my chicken and have a nice meal on the table in less than 30 minutes. This recipe is one of those....

Chicken Pot Pie

1, 15 ounce can mixed veggies
1½ cups cooked chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
¼ cup dried thyme
1 cup biscuit mix
½ cup milk
1 egg

Combine veggies, chicken, soup and thyme. Pour into a 9-inch pie pan. (I spray my pan with shortening--makes clean up easier)

Combine biscuit mix, milk and egg (in the same bowl!!--less dishes to wash!). Pour over top. Bake at 400º for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown.

This is a great recipe to mix up before church and delay time the oven so it will be piping hot when you get home!!

I usually double this recipe to feed my hearty eaters!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's Good to be Home!!...Blogoversary!!...Posting at The Well

At the Well Blog Button

What a title for a post, huh??!!

Let me begin by saying thank you, thank you, thank you!

I was so blessed when I got home last week to read all of the sweet comments that you, my friends, left each day. It blessed me to know that even when I was away, you stopped by to say hi!!

We had a fantastic time in the mountains!!

We, of course, spent some time shopping....we had teenagers with money... :o)

We...well DH and DS..spent time in the pool. It was a little too cool for DD and myself so we sat on the sidelines and read books while our guys raced laps and shivered!!

We spent one day hiking up to old homesteads and old graveyards. It was so fascinating for us to just think about the lives that were lived in those mountains, even as early as 75 years ago!
We noticed that many of the graves in the graveyards, were of children 10 years old and younger. There were also many teenagers and 20somethings as well. When we asked why, we learned that dysentery was epidemic at that time among other diseases and if you made it to adulthood, you were indeed blessed. Made me appreciate the times of modern medicine that we live in!

The best thing about the day in the mountains was getting to actually see, up close and personal...well, at least from our car window..a mama bear and her cubs! They were absolutely beautiful out foraging and not worrying about all the people gawking at them.

We've tried for years to see bear in the natural habitat....all the way from Yellowstone to the east coast to no avail, but God finally answered a family prayer last Tuesday!! Yes we did get pictures and I'd love to share one with you, but by the time it hit any of us to take a picture, Mama had already hunkered back down in the brush and all we have is a picture of some black fur among green leaves........ahh...but we have our memories...

We stood on the street to watch a street magician perform. Of course, DS was drawn in immediately and tried to pick apart the tricks while DD kept telling him to hush so everyone else could just enjoy it.

We spent time in a Christian store "singing" country gospel together...please understand how huge this was because me, DS and DD are NOT country gospel fans.....(can we say Skillet, get the picture!!) Anyway, we didn't sound too bad 'singing' with Alan Jackson....

After getting home, it was just hanging out, catching up on some things that we'd like to do, but never take the time to do and all too soon...vacation is a memory..

I'm quite certain there must be some way to pay the bills and do the chores while keeping the feeling of being on vacation....hmmmm......the ultimate in perfect life situations!!!

I must also add that in getting away, I was able to slow down, quiet down and hear God. I truly hadn't realized how frazzled I'd become. Confirmation that when I get to's time for a sabbatical to recharge and get back in tune with my Father.

If you've noticed, I've got a blogoversary coming up in just 2 short days!!!! Wow!...blogging for one year now. So hard to believe. I've met some awesome people, made some wonderful friends. Been encouraged, prayed for, set straight...blessed.

It's been exciting to see what God has done this year through the cyber-world and I can't wait to see what He has planned for the next year.

Also, I'm guest posting over at The Well today. I'd love it if you'd stop by!! The subject...delegating!!!

BIG HUGS to all of you!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dorothy Was Right!!!

Home sweet home!!

As much fun as vacation is, there is no place like home!

I can't wait to catch you up on what went on with us during our week off, so check back in tomorrow so we can catch up on each other's week!!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Worship Him

"Sing a new song of praise to Him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. For the Word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything He does."
Psalm 33: 3-4, NLT

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Psalm Saturday

Time to join my friend Collette again over at Jesus Loves Mums for Psalm Saturday.
Join us this week as we share how something in the Psalms spoke to us.....

"He assigned the sea it's boundaries......"
Psalm 33:7a, NLT

I love the ocean. You can look as far as the eye can see and all you see is sky and water.

While I'm standing on the beach, I realize just how small I am and how big my God is.

Digging my toes into the sand, I simply cannot wrap my mind around the fact that God, MY God, knows how many grains are lying there.....let that sink in for a moment.

Then, while reading in Psalm 33 this week I came across the above verse and that got my mind to racing.

I found myself thinking that the tide rolls in and out, but it only goes so far. Why?
How does it know that "this" is far enough?
How do the waves know that "this" is far enough?
There is nothing to make a barrier, it could keep rolling and rolling, but it doesn't.


Because God has total control over it and it obeys His command.

I need to be like that very ocean that I love so much.

God gives me freedom and He allows me to roll here and roll there. But unlike the ocean, I try to keep control and ignore His commands and pretty soon I find myself completely in a mess and creating problems for myself and those around me.

I've flooded this area and made a mess and I've let that area dry up and made another mess.

...Help me to realize Father, that if I'd just be obedient and let you have control that I can enjoy 'rolling' with You, just like that big ole' ocean.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Studying...Created to be His Help Meet

I am so glad that you came to study Created to be His Help Meet with me today!!

Even though we're back at home, it's still our vacation week and I'm still hanging out with my family, so instead of our study, I'm going to share some verses that speak to my heart about being the wife God has called me to be.

Can't wait to see you next week when we pick back up on our study and learn how to be the best help meet we can be for our man!!

"Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord."
Colossians 3:18, NLT

" In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands."
1 Peter 3:01-5, NLT

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Today I'm on my way home from the mountains, but I still wanted to join Sonya over at Truth 4 the Journey for Thankful Thursday.
Let's go!!!.....

1) I am thankful that God has provided that we could take this vacation. So many out of work and struggling and we are truly blessed beyond measure.

2) I am thankful that I am enjoying a week with none of the daily pressures that come with life. It is so nice to know that I don't have to cook a meal unless I want to or wash laundry or do anything else unless I want to.

3) I am thankful for a very dependable young man who was willing to house sit for us while we are away. He's taking care of our dogs and our very temperamental cat and just hanging out. It's great to know a wonderful, dependable 19 year old young man!!

4) I am thankful for the motorcycle ride that DH and I got to take on Saturday. We both had worked so hard to get things ready for vacation and we were hot and tired. The evening cooled off nicely and we got on the bike and just rode. We were able to slow down, cool off and enjoy time with each other.

5) I am thankful for my wonderful Savior. He blesses me and blesses me and I just can't grasp why. I know me and I wouldn't put up with me very long, but for some crazy reason, He loves me...and you...just as we are!!...

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Family Favorites

Believe it or not, before we know it, fall and winter will quickly be upon us.

While going through my recipes for Family Favorites, I came across this recipe for chicken noodle soup that is just delicious!!!

It is so easy to make and even satisfies my very picky son!!

Hope you enjoy!!!

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 pound cooked chicken, shredded (about 2 cups)
4, 14.5 ounce cans of chicken broth*
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2 medium celery stalks, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped (about ¼ cup)
1 cup wide egg noodles *

Heat all ingredients except pasta in a large pot. cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until carrots are almost tender. Add pasta and cook until noodles are tender.

I usually make grilled cheese sandwiches to go along with this!!

* Since my guys are hearty eaters, I usually double this recipe. I save money by saving the broth off of the cooked chicken and freezing it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sharing a Favorite Devotion

Since I'm vacationing with the three most awesome people in the whole wide world and can't write one of my "normal" posts.....(are any of my posts.."normal"??) I decided to share a devotion with you that spoke, maybe yelled at my soul. I keep this devotion in my Bible and read it periodically when I need reminding.....

This post was taken from the October 27, 2007, Our Daily Bread.....

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6

When we went on a weekend road trip with some friends, we had our first experience using a Global Positioning System. the GPS has a female voice so our friends John and Mary call their device Gladys. We programmed our destination into the GPS, and she did her job and plotted our course. Then we sat back. Having put our faith in this little navigator, we let her direct us.
"Turn right in .2 miles," Gladys said confidently. She was right--Gladys is always right. In fact, when we made an unexpected detour to get gas, she got a bit insistent: "Please make a U-turn....Please make a U-turn at your earliest convenience!"

Gladys had calculated a route for us, but we had gone a different way. That was our choice, naturally. But if we had continued going our own way, we would have become lost.

Isaiah 53:6 reminds us that just like sheep, we have a tendency to go astray. That's why we need a Shepherd to guide us and a Savior to pay the penalty for our sin.

No matter how far you've traveled in the wrong direction, it's not too late to turn around. God is ready to forgive and restore (Psalm 32:5). If you're headed down the wrong road, please make a U-turn.---Cindy Hess Kasper

No matter how far you've run from God, He's only a prayer away.