My War Room

Like of the Christian population in America, my husband and I recently watched War Room. It was awesome! The acting was great and the directing was great. I really enjoy the movies by the  Kendrick brothers. It was exra great for me because prayer is my “new years resolution” so to speak. I choose a word that will be the center of my year and this year it is prayer.

Now I know that many people think that prayer is silly and doesn’t work. They believe that God doesn’t hear their prayers so there is no point in trying. They could not be more wrong. I have witnessed prayer working in many areas in the last few years in my life that I know that it works. The problem is that my prayer life is so lukewarm that it is just not good.

Growing up in the church I have one of those talking to God all day types of prayer lives. Now those are great but what I realized what was missing was that deep relationship connection with God. The type where you go before Him and bare your soul and when you are done you feel like He is sitting right next to you. That is the kind prayer life I want.

So what did I do? First I made special place to pray – my war corner I call it. I don’t have a spare closet so I had to make it out of a little corner in my living room. It’s pretty simple but it’s cozy and intimate to be with God which is the whole point. (Also it was all purchased at a thrift store and only cost $13 to make which made my wallet happy.) Then I got the notebook I had near by and wrote out prayers for my husband, daughter and myself. These little prayers are just reminders for me to keep on track when I pray. Then I prayed and it wasn’t easy. Ten minutes seemed forever but at the end I felt closer to  God than when I started. My goal was accomplished.

My prayer corner is simple but I love it. If you want to know how I made it, leave a comment 🙂

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Ready to pray!

 

One Free Day

We have been blessed the past few days. We have been wanting to build some raised garden beds for the up coming spring but didn’t want to spend the $100+ dollars for the kit plus all the dirt. We are able only spend $60 on a 4’x4’x16″ cinder block bed. The dirt is another story since we will have to spend about the same in dirt. But still was less expensive than a wood kit and this one won’t rot over time and we would build it twice as high. (The kits could be built on but that would double their price.)

But the problem was that we needed more than one 4’x4′ bed to feed the family and still be able to can some away for the rest of the season. We could do the cinder block method but that would be another three load heavy trips to Home Depot and then when we move we will have to individually take the the blocks apart. So I still really wanted a wood bed.

We have been praying since we got here for free wood. We live in suburbia so there had to be people remodeling stuff right? Wrong. I posted wanted listing for months for free scrapes and nothing. So we bought our blocks and the next week I find exactly what I was looking for. Someone had remodeled their closet and were giving away the, still in good shape, boards that made the shelves. Now we can make the rest of our beds at a much lower cost! If we were really cheap, we would return the cinder blocks but that just is too much work.

That was blessing number one. Blessing number two came from family.

When we moved into our duplex, we we on a budget but we had almost no furniture. So we went bargain shopping and found a futon for $170. It was a nice one and it would stand the test of our little girl jumping and playing on it. Also if she destroyed it, it wouldn’t be as heart breaking. But it also $170 comfortable. So we had a fund for a new couch. We figured by the time Emma was no longer a toddler, we would have enough for a nice couch. Then a blessing happened! My sister and her husband upgraded their couch and gave us their old one! They are the ones with a recliners built in 🙂 It was such a blessing and now we also saved money since now the futon is Emma’s new big girl bed. So it was a two for one. We got a new couch and Emma got a new bed.

So that was our recent blessings. It might not seem like much to most but for us it was great thing from God.

No, No, No!

So recently we have jumped another milestone in our journey of parenthood – our daughter can now say “No”. She is still our cutie but now with more of an opinion than ever. I now ask her a question and now she can say yes and no and more often right now is no. But then she will all of a sudden she will randomly say “No, no, no!” when she has come across something that isn’t going well that she is playing with at that moment. She gets very upset and tries to fix but is too upset to see that answer is right in front of her. If she would just pick up the block and turn it one turn to the left, it would fit. It’s rather cute in that aspect but it got me thinking.

When my daughter says her “no” rant, it’s not really directed at anything really but it’s still saying “no”. Am I that way with God? Sometimes I just plain out say “No” to God and, like my daughter, receive not so good consequences, then there are other times where I am saying “no, no, no” for no reason. I get frustrated at something because it isn’t going exactly the way I wanted it. Maybe it is out of frustration but it is still saying no to our Creator. Like He isn’t running my life right in this one area. Everything else is going good but this little area needs my handy work to be better.

How might you ask does this look? Say you have grown tired of waiting for something so you go stomping off say “no, no, no” and go off and do you own thing in an other area for a moment. Say you want to get out of debt but it is really hard and yo go off and purchase lots of new shoes. That act totally cancelled out the goal you were setting.  It isn’t like you are 100% defying God’s will but you are still not  saying “yes” to Him to trust that  He is looking out for your best interest. It might look cute to the world to be going your own way, like you deserve those shoes since you work hard, but it is still not cute to God.

When my daughter goes into one of her rants, all I do is roll my eyes and wait for her to come back to her senses. I don’t punish her but I don’t praise her either. That is God’s response. Nothing will happen directly to you since by God since He doesn’t punish us we have to deal with the consequences, but rather we will not receive the blessings He has in store for us. I personally don’t want to miss out.

What about you? Is there something in your life that might be going quite the way you are wanting to go so you try to make it work while mentally shouting “no, no, no”? I know I do sometimes with things like my business and my writing. I have learned that if I just calm down and wait for a couple seconds, I can see the problem clearly in front of me and then I can move forward.

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Emma being a big now with a spoon 🙂

A Video I Made

So I have made a couple videos on Youtube but I have never made one where I was doing the thing that was like my little secret. It is the one thing that I love and that I know makes me unique and that is my singing voice. I used to sing all the time in church but then I switched churches and that was no longer available to me. So for the past five years my voice has been dormant and hidden.

Now I am not saying I am a Celine Dion or anything but with some practice and pulling out the old techniques, I could get my voice back to where it used to be. So here is a little treat for all my readers. I have posted a video of me singing a song from My Little Pony that I love. It is a song about keeping true to yourself, but hope that, if you have lost yourself, you can find out who you in the end. It’s not too late to know who you are. I know how am in Christ Jesus but where in this big world do I fit?

One of my greatest fears, as I have said before, is rejection. So how am I getting over it? By throwing my most personal self out in the world for everyone to see. I might fall flat on my face or I will soar. Either way, I have faced my fear. I hope you enjoy the video and subscribe to my channel since there will be more to come 🙂

I Am Just a Pony Acapella

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New Item in My Etsy Shop

Here is the new item from my Etsy Shop. They are super fun and I really think you will enjoy it.

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Little Heart Basket is my new item for Valentine’s Day this year. This cute little basket will hold that little something special for that someone special really nicely. I loved making this since I was thinking about my loves in my life while I did.

This little guy goes for $10 in my shop and it only comes in red. I am looking forward to all the love birds who will find a use for this little basket either by their bed or the bathroom. I know I will be making one just for myself since it is too cute. Go ahead and head over to me shop and thank you for time 🙂

Trying New Things

My brain feels like it’s mush right now. I am trying so hard to make this marketing thing work not only for my Etsy ShopHandi Works of Grace but also for when I re-launch my book. I knew that I had to get better at marketing if either of these things will survive. But I have a hard time knowing where to start.

Where now? Well, I have learned a few tips today that will be helpful but most of it I will have to watch again. It’s amazing how technical this stuff is. And for someone who never really even liked asking someone for apiece of gum in the movie theatre line, asking people to buy my product is even harder. I will be the first to say that I am a horrible sales person. I don’t like sales and I don’t like being sold. So where does that put me wanting to be successful at both my books (and someday books) and Handi Works of Grace and my Potholes Series? I have to get over it.

If I am going to make this work, I will have to get past my fear of rejection and failure and just do it. If I make mistakes then I will have to grow past them i guess. I am not perfect and I don’t like feeling like I have to be to be successful. For example, I know my crochet products are good because people have bought them with the little marketing I have done. That is a complete blessing from God for sure because I don’t know where the customers came from. Therefore, my fear of rejection should be gone right? Wrong 😦 I don’t know why I am so afraid that no one will want my stuff. Maybe because this blog hasn’t done exactly what I planned for it, but that isn’t reason for excuse. I just need to find my path and stick to it.

Who am I kidding. I don’t even know where I am going… Wait! Maybe that is the key right there! If I knew where I was going then where would the fun be? None! So I guess I just need to take a breath, do my homework and wait on God. And when I say “wait on God” I mean to still implement everything I am learning but only He can increase my business. I can do everything right and if this isn’t where He wants me to be then it won’t succeed. But I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Because I LOVE having an Etsy shop. It’s fun and exciting and something that I really enjoy. And I enjoy writing too! So there it is. As Long as they are things I love to do, then they are worth my time and energy.

Until we meet again, have a great day!IMG_20150725_062330726_HDR

Yum, Yum! Homemade!

So I have posted a few things concerning tightwad things and my new tightwad bible so to speak, The Tightwad Gazette. This one is more about how tightwading can be used in the kitchen. Believe it or not, cooking at home is much cheaper than going out or pre-made foods. Here are my most recent examples.

My family loves this pre-made dish from Costco that is $10 a bag. It’s rather tasty but I was looking at it and knew I could make it better. So I looked and saw the dish pretty much chicken, carrots, broccoli, noodles and corn. The seasoning was garlic and butter for sure and the rest I would have to play with. I said in my head. “Oh my gosh! This is so easy to make and I could make it I’m sure for half of what this cost me”. So I did.

I looked at the back of the dish’s bag to get some other clues on seasoning but otherwise went and bought the ingredients at the store. Carrots: $1.75 for 16oz (only used a a quarter of the bag), Broccoli $1.50 (only used half the bag), Chicken: $2 (bought a $16 for a stock up on chicken and only used 3 breasts),  Noodles: $1.00, and 1 can of corn: $0.89. The seasonings were all in my cupboard so they were not going to be calculated.

So to make this dish from scratch it costed:

Carrots: $0.44

Broccoli: $0.75

Chicken: $2.00

Noodles: $1.00

Corn: $0.89

Total: $5.08

And I think it looks pretty close to the original inspiration of the dish.

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So It is a simple as that. In a matter of twenty minutes and some prep work, I saved myself $4.92. Not only that but here is the ingredient list for the pre-made dish:

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There are so many preservatives I can’t pronounce them all. It’s a simple chicken dish for heaven’s sake! It should only be 5 ingredients. So not only did I save almost half of the cost but I saved my family from the harmful preservatives and other “ides” that should never be in food. Isn’t that worth the extra ten minutes to make a dish from scratch instead of out of a bag?

Another thing we love in our house in pizza. Who doesn’t? But it’s super expensive out and even self bake is over priced in my opinion. It saves time but that is it.

Our favorite pizza is veggie combination. The cheapest we could find it is for $10 from our local warehouse store. But I thought I could do better. This requires more time but the dough can be made ahead of time and put in the fridge. So here we go.

Pick your recipe but they all consist of flour, oil, yeast, water, and salt. All these things are either in your pantry or very easy to get. We buy our flour in bulk (25 lb. bag for $7.00) so that plays a part in my calculations but most are about $3 for a 5 lb. bag. So to be fair I will use the average cost of a 5 lb. bag of flour.

Next is the sauce. You can buy it for $2-$3 at the store in the little jars or you can buy the big can of plain tomato sauce and season it yourself for less than $1 a serving. This is what we do. We buy a #10 can of tomato sauce from our warehouse store for $3 and get 14 cups or 7 pizzas out of it. We freeze the rest and have it ready to pull out later.

Next is cheese. This is the most expensive part of the pizza no matter where you go. You can buy bulk cheese and shred it or just buy the little bags. I will let you guess what we do but there is no true tightwad way to do this. We get our cheese in bulk (2 lbs. of cheese for $7) and shred it. Each pizza normally takes up 2 cups of cheese. But we will just use the average price for a 2 cup bag of cheese.

And lastly, the toppings. This is to the imagination but for right now we are just making a veggie combo. Green bell pepper: $.69 (half used), onion: $.69 (used half), mushrooms: $2.00 (used half), sweet sausage 5 pack: $3 (used only 2), and olives: $1.00 (only use half the can).

So now let’s break that down.

Yeast: $0.33

Flour: $1.00

Sauce: $0.42

Cheese: $2.00

Bell Pepper: $0.35

Onion: $0.35

Mushrooms: $1.00

Sausage: $1.20

Olives: $0.50

Total: $7.50

That is enough to add on a soda if you absolutely had to. We don’t do soda so that just goes into the food budget 🙂

So I hope I encouraged you to look a little more into making your own food from home instead of buying it from a pre-made store item. You might think you are saving time but in the end you aren’t. I won’t go in to that right now. Maybe another post. But I would love to see your creations. So post the pictures below in the comments and happy cooking! 🙂

 

 

Happy New Year!

Yay! It’s 2016! How many people are glad 2015 is over? Part of me is and part of me is sad.

Alot happened in 2015 for us. My daughter turned 1:

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We had lots of fun with family and friends:

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I launched the first edition of my book “Potholes of Hope” that will be ready for re-launch this spring:

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We started a successful garden and Emma had fun playing with our family horse:

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We went on vacation:

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I opened an Etsy Shop.

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And we had a wonderful Christmas:

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And we ran in the New Year with my starting a new project for my shop while watching Cut Throat Kitchen on Netflix:

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All in all it was a great year and I can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring. My daughter for sure will be 2, my husband will be 26 and I will 25. That is all I know for sure what is coming up. Otherwise it is up to God to fill in the gaps and I can’t wait to see what He has in store!

So Happy New Year from us and may God bless you!

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