Sunday, June 24, 2018

Challenging Myself to Be a Good Steward of Our Blessings -- Homemade Home

The littles visiting the sno-cone truck at the library summer reading program party!
Hi Friends!

Hope everyone is enjoying a happy and relaxing weekend. It's a bit overcast today and a lot cooler than normal and that always puts me in the mood for cozy living! Jamie and I are very close to being able to purchase our home and are super excited! We've been having a lot of money management talks lately, trying to figure out how to make the best use of our resources. We'll be married twenty years next month and it's interesting how things have changed.

As you can imagine, raising nine children is a challenge in many ways---no matter how deep one's pool of resources is. However, we've really struggled financially over the years---mainly because of our own poor decision making skills. What we're finding lately is that now that Jamie is bringing in more income than we actually need for survival, we're not being as careful as we once were about managing that income in a responsible way. We eat out a lot, purchase things on impulse--often without actually using them right away, and haven't increased our giving at church in a long time.

This past week, we've had some great talks about being better stewards of the blessings God's given us and one way we want to do that is by going back to keeping our kitchen stocked so we can cook and bake from scratch. I'm excited to go out shopping this week and fill up those cupboards and freezers again!

In the meantime, we've been busy in the kitchen! This morning I made banana bread and last night I made some molasses cookies for the freezer. Here's a look at some other fruits of our weekend labor:

Saturday morning I made these pretty blueberry muffins and received several sweet compliments.

Then I made some bread for the first time in several months. Isn't it gorgeous? I made more this morning. Everyone's loving the fresh homemade bread!

After that, Jamie made TWO lovely blackberry pies with berries the kids have been gathering from all over our hills.

Unfortunately, the kids have also been gathering ticks from our hills! Yikes! I mixed up a repellent spray using Young Living's Purification and Peppermint oils and tested it on Selah and Cainan. They had ticks on them when they came back from picking, but none had bitten. I read recently that Arkansas has the highest tick population. GAG! They are everywhere!

Friday night we picked up an order from Bountiful Baskets. Do you have that in your area? We are trying it out for a bit to see what we think. The prices are comparable to Aldi for what you get, but the quality is much fresher. I love Aldi but I often find that their produce goes bad too quickly. We got a good mix of nice fruits and vegetables---bok choy being something new to us! I made a simple stir fry at dinner, combining it with chicken, garlic, plenty of salt and pepper, and sesame oil. It was delicious!

I'm on the hunt for blogs with frugal tips and recipes. Let me know your favorites in the comments below!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Sweet Vintage Books for Pink Saturday

Happy Pink Saturday! 
I finally got unpacked from my Seattle trip (got back a month ago...ha!) and wanted to show off all my fun pink book finds. These first two books are so special to me as they are ones I had as a little girl. My mom read them to me countless times---especially Me Too. I can't wait to share them with my little girls. I found these at our favorite Mount Vernon, Washington antique store, Red Door Antiques.

I found these two antique books at a shop I'd never been to: Curious Goods in Conway, Washington. Both books are undated but some internet sleuthing tells me they were published around 1904.

On the left is J.M. Barrie's The Little Minister (Barrie is the author of Peter Pan). On the right is Charles Kingsley's Greek Heroes. (Kingsley authored The Water Babies and several other stories for children, including a fun collection of Shakespeare retellings that we've enjoyed over the years in our homeschool).

I especially love it when books are inscribed. Both of these are. One is to this "Anna" and the other is from her to her mother. I love these sweet treasures!

Happy Pink Saturday! Be sure to visit Beverly for more Pink Saturday goodness!

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