Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year Thinking–A Vessel of Hope!


The new year is around the corner!   Excitement fills our hearts, as we think about putting the past in its place and forging ahead to new beginnings. 

Turning over a new leaf.
Making changes.
Seeing improvements.
Accomplishing goals.
Starting fresh.

All of us love the thrill of HOPE.  Life is tough, and hope carries us.  The potential of positive change makes us press on towards better things.

The start of a new year is amazing.  If you think about it, nothing really "magical" happens.  We just flip the page on the calendar and start writing a new year on our checks.

The miracles happen within US, though.

The miracles happen as we transform our minds from thinking dull, laborious thoughts to glorious, life-filled inspirations!

As the new year approaches, may we challenge ourselves to be "new year" thinkers every moment of our lives, not just on January 1st... not just for the first month of 2013.

May the hope of Jesus Christ's good work in our lives and in this world carry us through the hard times and encourage us to keep pressing on.... to keep setting goals for ourselves and push outside the ordinary to extraordinary.

And let us not grow weary while doing good,
for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
Galatians 6:9

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Best Gifts


When I was a child, I LOVED opening gifts on Christmas.  As I have grown older, I still enjoy receiving gifts, but I absolutely love giving them. I love blessing people and seeing the joy on their faces when they open the gift.  I love knowing that I have touched a heart and brought some happiness.

The experience of giving someone a precious gift reminds me that it is the love, joy, and fulfillment of that experience that is actually the gift in and of itself.

The best gifts in life are those that stem from the very heart of God and reach the soul of man, blessing his days with pleasant emotions.

Our treasured family and friends
Peace during a trial
The secure sense of protection
Sincere and committed love between a husband and wife
Sacrificial love from a parent to a child
The value of self-control
The awe we feel when we see God’s beauty around us
Knowing God personally.

Each day we are presented with valuable gifts.

This Christmas, may we remember the best gifts – the wonderful experiences we have every day with our every day people and every day lives.

This Christmas, may we remember, of course, the best gift of all… that Jesus Christ, God Himself, came to earth that we might have life abundantly.

Thank you, Jesus!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Festive Cranberry Salsa

Cranberry Salsa

I ran into this yummy salsa at a recent Christmas party.  Doesn’t it look so festive?

The color combination is spectacular, and the taste is unique and surprising. This dip is sweet, tangy, and has a bit of a kick altogether.  If you are a skeptic, I still recommend you try it.  A friend of mine was hesitant and liked it once she tried it!

I got this version of the recipe (with just a tad less sugar) from the lady at the party, but I actually found the original recipe on the back of the bag of cranberries I bought. 

Cranberry Salsa
Printable Version

1 bag of cranberries
1 bunch of green onionsPC160013
1 bunch of cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds taken out
1/2 cup sugar
Lime juice from 2 limes
pinch of salt

Chop the first four ingredients finely, and combine all ingredients or you can use a food processor to process the ingredients.

This tastes great with tortilla chips!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Decorated Sugar Cookies


Last week my daughter and I made decorated sugar cookies.  They were her choice.  We were baking cookies for the bake sale I hosted for our girls’ groups at church, and I let her choose what she wanted to make.

These cookies look a bit tedious, and well, to be honest, they are.  However, they are not that difficult to make with some guidance and patience.  You just need a good dose of time on your hands.

First make the dough.  That step isn’t too hard, but you have to let it chill an hour or so before working with it to make the shapes.  There are a slew of recipes all over the internet for sugar cookie dough.  Here’s the one I used.

After chilling the dough, you can use your cutters to create the shapes you want and bake the cookies.

Once the cookies are cool you can decorate them.

We used Alton Brown’s Royal Icing.  We followed the directions and then put most of the icing in a plastic bag to pipe it.  (You can always use a plastic bag rather than a piping bag.  Just cut a TINY bit off one corner.  You can always cut more, so be careful at first.  You will pipe the frosting out of that hole you just made.)

You also want to put some of the frosting in a bowl and thin it with some water until it pours off the spoon.  You will use this to flood your cookies.

You can tint your frosting with food coloring, if you desire.


First, outline your cookies by piping some frosting along the edge.


Next flood the cookies with some of the thin icing and spread it around with a toothpick.  If you have a plastic squeeze bottle, this would be a great time to use it!


Decorate the icing with sugars, sparkles, and pearls!  It will dry over a short period of time, so you want to make sure you finish decorating your cookies while the icing is still wet.


Be festive, have fun, and enjoy!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

This is Your Life


This is your life.

All of today’s blessings, challenges, opportunities,
and duties make up your life.

Accept it.

Enjoy it.

Don’t despise today.  Accept it for what it is.

Live your life with joy.  Today.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Yogurt, Oatmeal, Honey Face Mask


We did these masks recently at my daughter’s birthday party.
The girls enjoyed themselves and felt quite pampered.

Right about now, you may be feeling quite stretched as you attempt to juggle all of the demands of life and the holiday season.

You need a time-out – a good, soothing, pampering, wholesome, homemade face mask!

It is refreshing just to take some time to sit quietly and give your skin a pick-up.  This mask feels cool and refreshing and leaves your skin feeling so soft afterwards.  The ingredients are simple and healthful.  My friend even tasted the mixture and said it would be a good breakfast!

Yogurt Oatmeal Honey Face Mask
recipe found here, along with other wonderful homemade spa recipes

1/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 T honey

Finely grind rolled oats in a blender or food processor.
In a small bowl mix honey and yogurt.
Add oatmeal.
Mix.  Put on face and neck. 
Rest, relax, wait… for 15 minutes. 
NOTE:  This recipe makes a good amount, so be sure to grab your daughter or a friend to share this wonderful experience with you!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Give Jewelry–Bracelets that Benefit Children in Need!

If you’re looking to buy a Christmas gift, a birthday present, a token of appreciation, or just something simple for yourself, check out “Give Jewelry”!


My daughter loved this friendship bracelet I got her for her birthday!

With every bracelet you purchase, Give Jewelry provides one week of nutritious food (that's 21 meals!) for a child in need. (Quoted from their web site).

That’s right!  You can purchase affordable, adorable bracelets and give towards a good cause at the same time!

I recently purchased some bracelets from “Give Jewelry” and was very happy with their customer service and products. 

“Give Jewelry” sells friendship bracelets, leather bracelets, wrap bracelets, and more!  Check them out!

Note:  I am not receiving big kudos to do this plug on my blog.  I just think this is such a great way to buy gifts for people and help the needy altogether.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Value of a Spiritual Journal


Do you have a spiritual journal?

Recently, I established one for myself.  It's nothing special, yet altogether special. It appears to be a simple, spiral-bound notebook but inside it contains Scriptures, prayer requests, quotes from books, urges from the Lord, and my heartfelt ups and downs in life.

When I sit down to read my Bible and spend time with the Lord, I bring along my spiritual journal.  It's my buddy.  My journal is a friend who listens to the words I share and blesses me in return, reflecting my spiritual journey as it brings important people and thoughts to mind time and time again.

If you don't have a spiritual journal, I encourage you to think about starting this life-giving habit.  It's another simple step in the right direction.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Reflective and Expressive Thankfulness


Thanksgiving is the time when most of us stop, for at least a few moments, to think about the things for which we are thankful.

Reflective thankfulness gets our souls flowing.  When we think about the Lord’s goodness in our lives, we should be truly amazed.  We have so many spiritual, physical, and emotional blessings in this world.  Though life may be hard at times, it is seasoned with His grace and beauty continually. 

I encourage you to spend some time alone with God to think, pray, and write down the blessings you have in life.  Be specific!

It is easy to say, “I am thankful for my family, my friends, and my provisions”.  However, think more deeply.  What are the specific ways you are blessed

What about your marriage, your children, or your friends is special?
What provisions has God given you?
What miracles has He performed in your life?

Secondly, I have heard it said that true thankfulness is thankfulness when it is expressed.

Express your thankfulness:  first and foremost to God and secondly to others.

Think about sending someone a note or an email or making a phone call.  Express how special that person is to you.  People don’t realize what a difference they make in our lives unless we tell them.

Reflect upon and express your thankfulness. 

It changes lives!

I’m on Twitter!

Well, I took the plunge recently.  I’m on Twitter.  I haven’t had the chance to add the fancy Twitter button yet to my sidebar.

I have mixed feelings about social media, which is proven by my current personal fast from Facebook.  (“The Cozy Nook” is still alive and well there though!)

Nonetheless, I’m on Twitter so, if you’re on Twitter, stop by and say “hi”. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

What I’m Taking to Thanksgiving Dinner


Thanksgiving’s nearly here.  We are blessed in so many ways and especially blessed to be able to enjoy such a banquet of food!

This year I am taking:

Sweet Potato Casserole

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Apple Pie

Hot Apple Cider (for a quick hot cider twist, just add cinnamon red hot candies while you are warming up the cider.  It flavors the cider and adds some festive color!  Make sure you stir occasionally to dissolve the candies.)

What are you taking to Thanksgiving Dinner?

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Psalm 106:1

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Operation Christmas Child: Pack a Shoebox. Collection This Week: November 12-19


Pack a fun shoebox for a needy child!

This is just one of the ways you can bless someone this Christmas season.

Samaritan’s Purse collects shoeboxes this week, November 12 – 19 at various locations.  This site gives you options for helping and even walks you through the steps of packing and sending a shoebox.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wedge Salad–a Quick Lunch

A couple weeks ago I did not have many groceries left in the house.

“Boy, what am I going to have for lunch?!”

Yes!  A wedge salad!


Cut a good-sized wedge from a head of iceberg lettuce.

Adorn the lettuce with just a few nutritious, diced toppings, like cheese, sunflower seeds, and tomatoes.  If you can vary the textures and colors, it adds character.

Drizzle some dressing across the top and enjoy!

I especially like creamy dressings on iceberg lettuce, like ranch or poppy seed.

You’ve got yourself an economical, fairly healthy lunch!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Our Circumstances, God’s Tools


To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Lately my prayer has been, “Lord, make me to be the person YOU want me to be.”

If I truly desire for God to mold me and refine me, I must be willing for Him to use the tools necessary to do that process.  Only He knows what is best for me and what will hit the deep ravines of my heart.  He knows what it will take to burn away the dross.

Oftentimes, though, tough circumstances come, and I don’t really want them to hang around long.  They do not produce that warm, fuzzy feeling inside.  Instead, they are apt to provoke feelings of fear, anger, and pessimism… feelings of giving up. 

We do all we can to prevent bad circumstances.  We save money, care for our health, invest in our relationships, create schedules, and do other noble things to preserve the good order we have in life.  When that order is shaken, we want to run and hide and quickly find the fix that will make everything better.

In the end, though, God is testing our hearts.  He wants to see if we will be like Job.  Sure, we all love to talk about Job and how great he was, but are we willing to be like him?

Are we willing to remain steadfast in the midst of our circumstances and praise the Lord who made us, trusting in His goodness and love?

Are we willing to be made into the people HE wants us to be….
not who WE think we should be?

Dear God, help us to surrender our lives to You.
In Jesus’ name.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Do You Have a Sanctuary for Yourself?


This is my sanctuary… my bedroom.  I absolutely love it.  My bedroom is warm and cozy.  It is separate and quiet.  It is my designated place where I retreat when I am feeling overwhelmed or if I need a moment to myself.

My sanctuary is where I pray, regroup and recharge, read, think, and rest.

I am privileged to have a place that is so inviting. 

Do you have a sanctuary for yourself?

Everyone needs a place where she can break away from the hustle and bustle and chaos of life.

I encourage you to make a sanctuary for yourself somewhere in your home.  Your bedroom is usually a great place, because bedrooms are meant to be restful after all!

Some good qualities for a sanctuary: 
pleasing to the eye

Create a sanctuary for yourself
that brings refreshment to your soul.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Chores for Children: Assigning Zones

I am revamping my chore system.  My system has been for us to tackle a morning chore, for me to tackle certain chores on certain days, and for the rest to be tackled here and there by whomever.

We are still doing our morning chores, but I made the children’s chores more focused. I assigned them certain zones in the house to maintain


Each morning and night, my children are encouraged to keep their areas in order. Less frequently throughout the week, they are to target deeper cleaning.


Assigning my children zones has kept the home a bit more orderly and has simplified my morning chores. 

I am hoping this system will help my children learn more responsibility as they learn to be in charge of an area in our home.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Some good weekend deals at Meijer

“Bargains to Bounty” is an excellent coupon blog.  I check in with her each week before I do my grocery shopping, so I can try to get the best deals I can.

The Meijer coupon deals that end today are found here.  Next week’s preview is found here

In addition to these great deals, I found some deals at Meijer that continue throughout this weekend.

Eggland's Best eggs are on sale for $1.99/dozen.  There is a coupon - $0.35/1 Eggland's Best Eggs, exp. 12/31/12 (SS 09/30/12 R).  Meijer doubles, so it is really 70 cents off extra per dozen. 

Meijer sandwich bags, 100 count are on sale for 2 for $4, normally 2 for $5.

Swanson chicken broth cartons - on sale for $1.99 each.  Then you are supposed to receive a Catalina coupon for $1 off your next Meijer trip for each two broths you buy.  I bought four broths and received a $1.50 Catalina coupon.

Bertolli olive oil is nearly half off!

Happy saving!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and Homemade Chocolate Syrup!


I admit… I usually like just plain ol’ chocolate chip cookies, without extras like peanut butter.  However, if you are looking for a recipe with peanut butter, this is a great one! 

My family loved these cookies, and so did the others who received them as gifts.

The recipe is found here at “Brown Eyed Baker”.  If you like to bake, you will definitely love this site!

Do you notice the crags on top of the cookie?  Well, I did a fancy shaping method to make them look that way.  “Brown Eyed Baker” explains it here in another recipe for chocolate chip cookies.


Homemade Chocolate Syrup

If you want a chocolate syrup WITHOUT high fructose corn syrup, this is it!

This recipe is simple, economical, and tasty!


I bought the squeeze bottle at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Perfect!

Happy Sweetest Day!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

With Sweetest Day around the corner, it seems fitting to pass along some of the  sweet-treat recipes I have tried recently.

Move over Reese’s… Here comes Susie Homemaker!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups


I kid you not, these taste better than Reese’s peanut butter cups and are homemade!  What more could you ask for?  Recipe found here.

To make these, you fill a lined mini muffin pan with melted chocolate.  Harden the chocolate in the freezer.  Then fill the cups with a scrumptious peanut butter mixture.  Top them with more melted chocolate and freeze until hardened.

It was a little tricky to fill the muffin liners with chocolate, but it’s worth it!


More chocolate recipes to come!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Homemade Coffee Drinks


For better or for worse, people drink coffee!

Nowadays we don’t just drink coffee with cream and sugar.  We drink all sorts of yummy concoctions with various layers of flavors and textures.

Oftentimes when we want to meet with a friend, whether we drink coffee or not, we’ll say, “Let’s meet for coffee”.

Yes, coffee is definitely woven into the fibers of our culture.

My husband and I started drinking coffee a couple years ago.  I guess we hit mid-life crisis and just felt something was missing… or maybe it was because we started raising a teenager… or maybe we just felt a bit left out while our friends sipped on their mugs of delight.

You will discover the smell of coffee in our home from time to time, and we will even stop to pick up a special treat here and there when we are out.  When our niece lived with us over the past four years, sometimes we would just drive somewhere to get a coffee when the kids went to bed – just to be together, sans children.  Now she is away at college.

I wanted to find a way to make delectable coffee treats at home, so we could save a bit of change and also create special moments at home for the two of us.

Enter homemade café mochas and lattes… With the cold weather upon us, you’ll find these to be a comfort to the taste buds and to the soul.

Café Mocha
serves 2
printable version

Heat in pot on stove:

2 cups hot, brewed coffee
1 cup milk
1/4 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips
1 t vanilla

Stir regularly.  Mocha is ready when the chocolate chips are thoroughly melted, and the mocha is hot throughout.

No Machine Latte Recipe for Two
These servings are fairly small so you may want to consider increasing the amounts if you are serving two people.

1 1/2 cups Milk: whole or 2%
1/4 t Vanilla
4 teaspoons Honey or Sugar
1/2 cup Extra Strong Hot Coffee
Optional Whipped Cream
Desired syrups or toppings

Heat your milk until its really hot, but don’t let it scald.  Stir continually as you heat it.
Put all your ingredients except the coffee in your blender. Blend for a couple minutes, until the milk is frothy.
Pour half of the whipped mixture into each of the coffee mugs.
Then add the hot, freshly brewed coffee to both.

Add syrups and toppings if desired.

*If you want to make a mocha latte, just add chocolate syrup instead of the sugar.

*You can skip using the blender if you continually whisk your milk as it is heating, until it is hot and frothy.  I use a small whisk, and it works really well!



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mom’s Day Off


The other day I was feeling very overwhelmed.  The pressure in my head and heart were tremendous.  Finally, I broke out in tears.  Yep, the emotion just came spilling out, a necessary process that God created.

I decided to take the day off. I needed to take a break… be by myself a bit, not fight so many battles, and recharge. 

At first I felt like a failure.  After all, I had changed the entire course for my day, basically because I couldn’t measure up – or so I felt.

After a while though, I began to realize how much I really needed this break.  If I had continued with the same agenda for the day, things would have just gotten worse.  Instead I was able to regroup and give my children some much-needed regrouping as well.

When life’s pressures are just too much, think about changing course.  Take the day off or even part of the day off.

Regroup and recharge.

Have some leisure time.

Do something on your “To Do” list.

Enjoy your family.

Smell the roses!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Gift of Time

Gift of time clock

Tonight I am going out with some friends of mine for a belated birthday dinner.  I have been thinking about it for a few days now and feel very blessed.  Out of all of the presents these friends could give me, they have chosen to give me their gift of time.  We will go out for a good, Mexican dinner, share pleasant conversation and good laughs, and maybe even shed some tears.  All in all, we will feel refreshed, and our hearts will be built up in love.

Everyone’s lives are busy these days.  It can be very hard to S-Q-U-E-E-Z-E in yet another event on the calendar.  When someone chooses to fit us into their lives… better yet, not “fit us in” but make us a priority, truly we feel blessed.  We feel like people care about us. 

Is there someone in your life
who could use your gift of time?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What Are Your Dreams?


Tonight I am filling in for one of the girls’ classes at church.  Being the coordinator of our girls’ groups on Wednesday nights, I find myself subbing last minute oftentimes.  Tonight is one of those nights.  I am always thankful when the Lord gives me a nugget to share with the girls, as it is my heart to provide an atmosphere of true discipleship, where girls are learning about God and are encouraged to love Him more.

After praying, I flipped through my daughter’s devotional book and found a devotion on dreams.  Many of us are familiar with this verse:

Jeremiah 29:11
”’For I know the thoughts that I think toward you’, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope’”.

That is God’s heart towards us… to give us peace, a good future, and hope!

Truly, eternity with Him will be amazing, but I believe it is God’s desire to give us a vibrant life here on earth… til He returns.

Oftentimes we get caught up in the imminent, especially as adults with a lot of responsibility, and we forget about our dreams.  God has dreams for us!

I ask you today, “What are your dreams?”

Have you thought about them lately?

What are your personal dreams?
What dreams do you have for your household or family?
What dreams do you have for those outside of your own household?
What dreams do you have for the world?

Write down your dreams.  Pray about them.  Pursue them, even bit by bit.

Don’t let the pressure of today keep you from dreaming and creating a better life for yourself and for others!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mom and Me Journal

This is a great idea to build relationship with any of your children, especially one who may be struggling personally or where closeness is lacking between the two of you.

Create a pretty journal where you and your child can write letters back and forth to each other.


I got the inspiration for this letter journal from Traci at “Ordinary Inspirations” a while ago.  After some tense moments with my daughter last week, I knew I had to do something to create more of a bond between us.  I remembered this journal, grabbed some basic supplies, and went to work.


Traci used decorative duct tape.  I had seen it in the stores, and it seemed a bit pricey to me to be honest… part of the reason it took me a while to get to this project.  I decided to use some pretty gift wrap I had on hand.  It worked out just fine, with the exception of a little bit of an air pocket on the cover.  I think I just needed to cut some more slits at the corners where I folded the gift wrap over the book cover.


Whatever supplies you use, this journal is worth the investment!

You can create special moments and pleasant memories for you and your child for days, weeks, and years to come!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Balls


These babies are delicious and healthy!

They are good for a snack or a special treat.

My kids loved them!

I just noticed that the original recipe says to use oatmeal.
I have made these twice and used rolled oats.
They have turned out just swell, so you decide!

Also, I did not have coconut the first time I made them,
so I used 1/2 cup of Rice Krispies instead
.  Yummy!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Balls
Original recipe found here at “Comfy in the Kitchen”.

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1 cup coconut

1/2 cup ground flax

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla

Mix together. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Roll into balls.  Eat!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Making Mornings Easier–Laminated Checklists


Mornings can be grueling sometimes.  I grow weary of being the pony motor, continually checking in with my children and pushing them to get through their morning responsibilities – things they have done for days, weeks, months, and years.

I decided to make my children checklists.  I figured these checklists could serve as good reminders of what they are to do each morning.

I whipped up some lists on the computer, printed them, laminated them with Contact paper, cut them, and adhered them to my children’s doors with an envelope containing a whiteboard marker between them.


Now I don’t have to say, “Go do ____________” as much.  I just ask if their sheets are complete.

Thank God for tools that make a mom’s life a tad easier!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Husband’s 40th Birthday!


Today is my husband’s 40th birthday!

I am so utterly thankful for this man!  He is  a tremendous blessing in my life. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Giving When It’s Hard to Give


Sometimes we give out of our wealth… not our monetary wealth necessarily, but out of our surplus of emotion and thought.

Other times we give when we feel it is very hard to give, when each day feels like we are fighting to survive.

I am reminded of the widow and her two mites.

Luke 21:4
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

If it is hard for you to give right now, I want to encourage you.

The Lord sees you!

Jesus said that the widow gave more than all the others that she gave all she had to live on.

God is watching, and He sees your life.  He knows how much you are giving, and it is a sweet sacrifice to Him.

Monday, September 3, 2012

To Coupon or Not to Coupon?


I’ve thought about couponing before, but I didn’t think it would work out well for me.

  • I thought most coupons I saw were for products I had no intention to buy.
  • I thought it would take too much of my precious time.
  • I thought I couldn’t make it work since we don’t get a newspaper.
  • Etc…

Recently though, I have been evaluating the entire situation again and am experimenting to see if this will work for me.

My husband was the big instigator of this whole process.  A woman at work was telling him and some other co-workers about her couponing habit.  He became sold on the idea and wants me to give it a try… so I am… slowly.

It, all, seems a bit overwhelming to be honest. This week I got my feet wet just a tad and didn’t feel very gratified. I know this will take time. Everything does. I just have to be patient.

I’m looking for coupons to print out and watching for sales.  One of the main tips I see is to combine sales with coupons for great discount value.

I haven’t gotten the Sunday paper yet, but I’m sure I will have to do that one of these weeks – to get the bird’s-eye view.

Do you coupon?

If so, what are your tips
for a newbie like me?

In the end, I don’t see myself becoming an extreme couponer.  I’m just a lady who desires to use her money more wisely and cut some corners (maybe literally… eh hem).

Check out The Krazy Coupon Lady for more info. on couponing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps

Life’s been busy.  We returned from vacation a couple weeks ago and fought illness in our home for the following week.  We started homeschooling yesterday, and tomorrow morning we leave bright and early to drive our niece (who has lived with us for almost four years) to college.

In the midst of trying to learn many things from the Lord and balancing life, I have to make time for good food!

Enter Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps!


I made these lovelies for dinner tonight, and they were a hit!  After all, what can go wrong when you mingle chicken, rice, beans, cheese, cilantro, green onion, peppers, salsa, and other food friends together?


You could eat the filling all by itself!

This dinner did take quite a while to make, but it was worth it!

Take that, Taco Bell!  ~smile~

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My 2012-13 Homeschool Curriculum

Last night I finally finished ordering our curriculum for the year.  Normally this is done way before now, but it has been a hectic, draining year.

I always enjoy getting our books in the mail, and my children do also!  This year, I am trying some new curriculum, so it is even more exciting. 

Our 2012-13 Curriculum
(italicized are new options for us)

7th grade:

Math – Horizons Pre-algebra
EnglishDaily Grams, Abeka Vocab/Spelling/Poetry, Writing Strands, Literature study connected with history.
Science – Answers in Genesis
HistoryNotgrass “America the Beautiful”.
Spanish – Rosetta Stone
Programming – Homeschool Programming

4th grade:

Math – Math Mammoth
English – BJU Grammar & Writing, Spelling Power, Abeka Penmanship
Science – Answers in Genesis
History – starting the year with Christian Liberty Press American Pioneers and Patriots
Spanish – Rosetta Stone
Art – See the Light
Piano, Violin

3rd grade:

Math – Horizons
English - BJU Grammar & Writing, Spelling Power, Horizons Penmanship
Science – Answers in Genesis
History – starting the year with Christian Liberty Press American Pioneers and Patriots
Spanish – Rosetta Stone

That’s our year in an nutshell right now.  Some things will change and be added as needed as we go. 

Are you trying any new curriculum this year?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Savor 7– Linking up with a Friend, Savoring Blessings from the Week

I just returned from “Family Camp” with our church.  I had hoped to get some posts together before I left to keep you busy while I was gone.  I’m sorry that didn’t happen.  I’m back now, though, and need to crack a whip at my blog!  To start, I’m linking up with my blogger friend, Lisa, from “Stop & Smell the Chocolates”.  I hope you’ve had a great week!

Psalm 91:1  “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”. 

Traci from “Ordinary Inspirations” always inspires and blesses me with her God-centered, humble posts.  Check her out!

We had a great time at camp with our church this past week.  I had a wonderful time catching up with friends and just having fun.  I played beach volleyball, tennis, ping pong, and other fun games. 

This is my husband when he finished riding the zip line at camp. 


Here’s my sweet baby on the beach.

I love English breakfast tea and had a few cups of it at camp.

The campground served layered cheesecake slices at our last meal there.  I endured graciously as I forced every delicious bite of chocolate raspberry delight into my mouth.  ~smile~

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What’s in Your Husband’s Lunch?


Right about now, many people are discussing what to put in their children’s lunches.  Since we homeschool, that thought isn’t in my mind so much as to what I should put in my husband’s  lunches.

Recently, I started feeling like a pretty bad wife.  My husband was getting teased for some of the lunches he was bringing to work.  Yes, to be honest, they were pretty wimpy.  Sometimes it was because we were “waiting for that next paycheck” before I did another grocery run.  Oftentimes it was just because I did not put enough time and effort into making my husband’s lunch better.

I am determined to make better lunches for my husband!

I want him to have an ample, tasty lunch!

I want his lunch to be a good reflection of my love for him.

My goal is to have something from each of the three categories in his lunch:

  1. Main entrée:  leftovers, a sandwich, a hearty salad, or something simple like a frozen burrito or Hot Pocket.
  2. Fruit or Vegetable:  apple, banana, carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, raisins or craisins, strawberries….
  3. Salty or Sweet:  potato or tortilla chips, homemade popcorn, trail mix, homemade baked goods – cookies, brownies, etc.

Depending on what is in his lunch, I may want to add extra protein, like cheese and crackers or a boiled egg.

What’s in your husband’s lunch?