I’ve Struck It Rich!

At a yard sale, that is!

I have an adorable nine year old boy who is oh so hard on the knees of his jeans. He has two hard and fast rules that he lives by. Rip out the left knee first; and, make sure the rip’s so big it’s hard to repair! Because of this, I’m always on the lookout for jeans at yard sales and at thrift shops. I have tried repairing his jeans; but, by the time I see them, they’re ripped from seam to seam most of the time.

Praise God! I went to a yard sale today and found 6, count them 6, pairs of nice jeans for him. They were only twenty-five cents a pair! Woo Hoo!

I cannot tell you the number of times that I’ve needed or wanted something and God has filled that need or want through a friend or a yard sale. He is so very good. I feel like Father God’s just taking tender loving care of His little girl. He is.

To top it all off, He spoiled me by showing me a McCalls Country Canning candle for only $3 that sells for $20 in the store. I snatched it up. I love this brand. I found the first one partially used at a sale last Autumn. I just finished burning the one I got for Christmas. It filled the whole top floor of my house with the fragrance of shortbread in the oven. I disappointed my gang a few times when they thought I was baking. I was really wanting another candle. This one is Sunflower. It smells so fresh and clean. I’m going to burn it this afternoon. He is just so on time!

Thanks God!

Laura

So completely blessed and cared for.

By the way, you can buy the McCalls Country Canning Candles at Wilkinson Pharmacy in Carthage or go to http://www.mccallscandles.com/ to find a store near you. You can also look at yard sales like I did!

When Times are Tough! Lentils & Rice

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A couple of years ago, our family was going through really tough times. Praise God He’s faithful and brings us through when we lean on Him. This was one of the recipes I used at that time. It’s quite filling. I relied heavily on things such as cornbread, yeast bread, and biscuits to help fill tummies at our house. I made cornbread with this recipe. We had unexpected company one night. I served this to four adults and eight children and had just enough. This recipe would serve eight amply. Hurrah for leftovers!

Lentils and Rice for Tough Times
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 t canola oil
1 1/2 c dry lentils, rinsed
1 1/2 c brown rice
6 t chicken bouillon or 6 cubes
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried basil
8 c water
In a soup pot, saute the onion and garlic in the canola oil. Add the remaining ingredients and bring it to a full boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes. The water should be mostly absorbed.
Blessings,
Laura
Reveling in the Almost Spring Sunshine
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Filling Hungry Tummies in Tough Times… A Simple Soup

What do you get when you take some potatoes, an onion, some wimpy celery, some water, some milk, and some butter and call it dinner?

Potato Soup of Course!

Measurements don’t really matter too much in this soup. I never measure, but put in what looks right to me. Here’s how I do it.

First peel a whole bunch of potatoes. I have a great big 10 quart pot and a husband and four growing kids to feed; so, I use a lot of potatoes. Use what you have. You should have quite a few potatoes in the pot compared to the other ingredients.

Rinse the peeled potatoes and put them in the pot with water to cover them. Turn the heat on medium-high and bring the water to a boil. I don’t cut up the potatoes because my husband likes the soup chunky. The potatoes will break up on their own when you stir them later.

While the water’s heating, chop up an onion and add it to the pot. I use a couple of small onions or one large onion. Just think about your family’s tastes and add accordingly. You can also add some minced garlic at this time, according to taste. Sometimes I add it; sometimes I don’t.

Clean your celery and chop it up in bite-sized pieces. It’s fine to use some of the leaves, too, if you like them. Again, if you really like celery, add a little more; if not, a little less.

Lastly, don’t forget to add the salt. I probably use a little too much. You really need some for the flavor of the potatoes to be good.

Now, after the soup comes to a boil, turn it down just enough to keep a gentle boil going. Check the potatoes every once in awhile to see if they’re getting soft, just like when you make mashed potatoes. When they’re soft, drain most of the water through a colander into a big bowl. This broth can be used in another soup or to thin your potato soup when you serve the leftovers. It’s really quite tasty to drink as well.

Turn the heat to low. Add a big chunk of butter to the potatoes. I know. It’s not good for you; but, you can use a smaller amount if you like. It just improves the flavor so much. Real butter is best. Stir to break up the potatoes a bit and to help melt the butter.

Add milk, or a combination of milk and cream if fresh is available, until the soup reachs your desired consistency. Stir to break up the potatoes to your desired consistency. I always add pepper at this point as well as a bit more salt. You can add more of the broth as well if you wish.

This is a very forgiving recipe. Use what you have. If you don’t have much milk or cream, use more broth. I only use the cream if I can get fresh from the cow milk and skim the cream myself.

This is one of my survival in tough times recipes. Even a small amount, with a simple homemade biscuit or two will fill a hungry little or big tummy.

A few years ago, life depended on me baking every day and making very simple frugal meals. I find that this way of life is returning for us as well as many families we know. The sweetness of this is that I learned to pray and depend on God ever so much. Whether these are good times or bad times is often dependent on how we look at things and how resourceful we are.

Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do or Do Without Advent Candy

One of the books that I really enjoy using at Christmas is the ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel. She writes about the meanings of various Christmas practices and symbols and ways to reclaim them for Jesus Christ, God’s son.

Sunday evening, as Advent began, we read about Advent Wreaths. There was an activity called Advent Calendar of Kisses. The idea is to take a long piece of plastic wrap, fill it with a chocolate kiss for each day leading to Christmas, and tie ribbons between. A child’s kiss is then exchanged for a candy kiss each day until Christmas. I thought that was sweet, but didn’t have kisses or curling ribbon. Here’s my Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without version.
On Monday evening, we went to our small town’s Christmas parade. As with all parades, the children came home with way too much candy. Hmmm…that takes care of the candy part.
We had some plastic wrap, but no curling ribbon. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without…what do I have? I had pieces of fabric that had been torn in small strips. I had a little thin gold cord that I bought at a yard sale years ago. My daughter had some leftover yarn. I had enough scraps for the project! Don’t you just love making do with what you’ve got? It teaches our children resourcefulness.



A wonderful activity, memorable moments, homemade make do fun, the focus on what we have instead of what we don’t have.

Got creativity?
Laura
Blessed with Resourcefulness

Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without… Jeans

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without is one of the phrases and philosophies by which I live my life. It’s one of the blessings of being a stay at home momma! It seems that my children are always wearing out their jeans! My first son didn’t do this; but, my two youngest children seem to have made a hobby out of it! Standard square patches are fine for boys; but, I thought I’d make my little girl’s patch a little prettier. She is an “almost always dresses” girl; but, sometimes she wears jeans while playing outside. Some of my friends are “dresses only”; some are “It doesn’t matter.” My husband made the decision for us girls in the family to follow this “almost always” dress code.

Anyway, the reason I wrote was to tell you what I did. Had I thought ahead, I’d have made this a tutorial. Ah, maybe next time. For now, I’ll tell. First I cut the hole into a heart shape. Next, I used a seam ripper and opened up the side seam. I then took a rectangle of darker denim and placed it behind the heart. With a small book under the patch to make sure I didn’t go through both sides of the pant leg, I pinned the heart in place. I removed the book and stitched a zigzag around the heart, going around twice to make it sturdy. After I trimmed the denim close to the stitches, I sewed the side seam back up.

My little girl, Amy, was delighted.

Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without!


Laura
Blessed with Resourcefulness

I Thank God… Day 3

I thank God for my 4th and 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Higgs. Mrs. Higgs was my teacher at the time of America’s Bicentennial celebration. Mrs. Higgs introduced us to many different things that I’ve enjoyed over the years, embroidery, needlepoint, macrame, Laura Ingalls Wilder, reading for pleasure, butter making, and she inspired an interest in the way the old timers made do with what they had. She helped me to develop my trait of making it myself. It’s been many years now. I’ve forgotten most of my teachers; but, I thank God for Mrs. Pamela Higgs. There was a reason I kissed her good-bye each day as I left school.

Laura
Strolling Memory Lane