1.22.2013

More Savings on Groceries

Reducing grocery expenses is a constant pursuit around our house. Everyone old enough to think about food has an ear and mind attuned to possible money-saving strategies. Today I am sharing an oldie but goody. It is gradually being implemented into our menu.

In order to save finances in the grocery store, reduce the size of the main dish and increase the side dishes of veggies and healthy carbohydrates at each meal. This does require a bit of advance planning to avoid carbing out. I want to avoid starchy veggies like corn, peas, potatoes getting combined with too many other carbs such as white dinner rolls. Starches and carbs convert to sugar in the body. Too many starches mean too much sugar in the system, and too much sugar in the system makes a person fat. Excess sugar is stored by the body as fat. That's where excess fat on the body comes from.

Right now is when everyone who has been depriving themselves of butter and other healthy fats gets their dancing shoes on and has a party. Fat doesn't make you fat! Celebrate! Of course we already know that everything in moderation is a huge key to optimal health. So we'll keep the party in check and not go all excessively extreme.

Anyway, I was talking about saving on groceries. Wasn't I? Sorry for the side trip. Increasing those healthy veggies and whole grains stretches the budget by spending less on the more expensive meats often used in main courses. Most vegetables are delicious tossed with butter or oil, desired seasonings, and roasted for 35-45 minutes at 375-400 degrees. Cauliflower is a personal favorite for roasting. Steaming then tossing greens with butter, flavored oil, or a favorite vinagrette is a treat for the budget and tastebuds also.

Greens take grocery savings a step further as many are available freely for the taking each spring, if a person knows a safe, pesticide free place to look that is. Hmmm, I think that maybe foraging for spring greens just might be worthy of a post all its own. You will be so surprised when you find out how many supposed weeds are actually edible powerhouses of nutrition. And free. I always appreciate a free source of superior nutrition. The ones I tried last spring were also delicious. I am eagerly looking forward to trying others in a few months. I'm off to check out a "construction" site of Mighty Man's before it's too dark to see. I'll leave you with visions of veggies and grocery savings dancing through your heads.

1.21.2013

A New Recipe - Delish!

Here is a new favorite recipe! Best of all...it is good for me! Happy Dance! I like it some because it is healthy. Not only that, it also provides me with a bread alternative that is more blood sugar friendly, important when improving health. Those who have gluten allergies or sensitivities will get their happy dance on because there isn't any gluten in it, and it is bread! I like it most because it is yummy!

OK, time for me to throw in a bit description for you of texture, flavor, etc. This bread is a pan bread. It is quite similar in texture to a really, really, good pancake. Personally, I find the flavor superior. Sweet or savory options can be made making this bread extremely versatile for use in sandwiches, as pancakes, as snacks, or a base for a favorite healthy protein-rich spread. (Had to throw the protein-rich in there. We don't want to do only carbohydrates without including protein.) Ingredients are not exotic or difficult to find. Neither are the ingredients many; they are minimal. Beginning cooks will find this simple to prepare. I plan on teaching Giggle, age 6, how to mix this up. I won't have her cook it yet as she isn't quite confident enough to use a griddle or hot pan. You will have to take the word of the recipe about the bread making great sandwiches. Our bread never made it past the taking it out of the skillet stage. Yes, we all liked it very much. 

Here it is:
Trim Healthy Pan Bread - and this is all I can give you because I don't want to break any copyright laws.

So sorry for getting everyone excited to read a new recipe and not delivering. I actually had the recipe all typed out when I started getting these little thoughts about how it would be wrong to share it without permission from the authors and other copyright issues. So...the best I can do is tell you that
the recipe in discussion was taken from the Trim Healthy Mama book by Serene Allison & Pearl Barrett. The book is described as a common sense guide to satisfy your cravings and energize your life. It definitely has been an informative read and is filled to the brim with recipes and tips for putting fads aside and reclaiming a healthy me. There is a recipe for a Fat Stripping Frappe that I know we would all enjoy. You can get the recipe for this yummy looking frappe and many other mouth-watering healthy treats out of your book when you get it. Believe me, you want to get this book. Your family wants you to get this book. You want yourself to get this book more than you can imagine. It covers way more than recipes and getting trim. Waaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy more.



1.17.2013

Words for 2013

Really fast, because Giggle and I have some math and reading to practice, I want to mention a few words for the year 2013 that have been coming up on the radar of my life. Several individuals and ministries have been sharing words for the upcoming year. Each one seems to speak to some part of my life.

I'm not going to expand on any of these words today, but I do feel impressed to get them out for others to ponder. Here they are, the words for 2013: Grace, Righteousness, Provision, & Ask. There! Now you can think and ponder on these words too. Try looking them up in a concordance, just to see how God uses them in His Word. If you don't have a concordance in your home, Biblegateway.com has at least one available for use on their website free of charge. Doing this is a fun, fulfilling practice to do with any topic. Right now, I am working on the word wealth. Interesting. Fascinating. Truth-revealing. It is always a good discipline to find out for myself what God says rather than rely solely on the words and understanding of others, no matter how reliable and learned they may be. God's blessings on you and yours today and every day throughout the remaining days of 2013.

2 Timothy 2:15

New International Version (NIV)
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
 

2 Timothy 2:15

King James Version (KJV)
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
 

2 Timothy 2:15

New King James Version (NKJV)
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
 

2 Timothy 2:15

English Standard Version (ESV)
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,[a] a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Timothy 2:15 That is, one approved after being tested

2 Timothy 2:15

Amplified Bible (AMP)
15 Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.
 
 
 
"Religion has no thirst for truth." Dr. Bill Winston
Couldn't resist throwing in that extra little quote, just to get you thinking.

1.16.2013

Horsegirl is the oldest girl in the house this week. Well, technically, it won't actually be this week by the time this is read, but when I am writing it is this week. Anyway...the other two girls are working in town this week, and Horsegirl is carrying the torch of eldest daughter for a few days. As you can well imagine, in a larger family everyone has to pitch in and help just to keep the house running. We aren't necessarily talking about running smoothly here, just running at all.

Horsegirl has done amazing things this week! She has been such a blessing to the family! Talk about rising to the occasion. Wow! Greatest blessing of it all? She does almost everything on her own, without being asked or told! Seriously, she does. Willing obedience is always a treasure but unasked for help, that's priceless value. Now don't worry. Horsegirl is a real 13-year-old. We're not talking perfection. We're thanking God for the rich, rich blessings He is sending our family through her. Abundance being manifested in the flesh!

As a mother I always hope and pray that my children are adequately prepared for the future, whatever it may look like. Sometimes, when everyone is together it is difficult to accurately assess individual children. After all, it really doesn't make much sense to exert energy when an older sibling will get tired of waiting and just take care of it themselves, does it? Also, if you know that someone older than you will tell you how you "should have" done such and such, why do anything at all, right? Yes, individual effort can be affected by various personality mixes. That's why I mix and match certain skill sets for a more complete, harmonious whole aka a quieter home.

Everyone being home all together brings a comforting warmth to the home. However, I also
appreciate and value the time each child has to be themselves more fully, with less sibling interference. It provides invaluable insight for me as a mother. The best and greatest parental blessing of all is the extra time Horsegirl and I have been able to spend together. Being number four, those one on one times tend to be few and far in between. It's been said before. It will be said again, many times. I am one Blessed Mama! And I am giving thanks for the blessings of a godly daughter.

"When our sons shall be as plants grown large in their youth and our daughters as sculptured corner pillars hewn like those of a palace;" Psalm 144:12
 
 

1.15.2013

Need Ideas? For Anything?

If you haven't been there already, go to the Pinterest website. Seriously, it is one of the very best sources for ideas for absolutely anything I have ever found. Need an idea for a wedding gift? Baby organization? Recipes? Date Night? Cute Outfit? Homeschooling? Family time? Decorating? Anything? It is there!

Be warned! It is seriously addictive, as evidenced by the ipad, kindle fire, and laptops seen on laps around the family circle each evening. Hey, we're not watching too much TV this way:) Of course it may cure your desire to come back and visit here at Abundance. Hmmm, maybe you shouldn't go. Just kidding! If you need any idea for anything, try Pinterest. There are so many creative people! Let's all learn and glean from each other.

1.12.2013

A Visit to Sugar Pie Farmhouse

Have you visited Sugar Pie Farmhouse blog yet? Aunt Ruthie is waiting for your visit with open arms. Her southern sweetness will soothe over winter's harshness and inspire with the wonder of creating a loving, godly home. God is using her words to draw me back into focus so that my view of homemaking is being renewed into the joy He meant it to be.

Busyness, reality, sometimes this duo can warp our perspective and get a person offtrack a bit. Sometimes we forget our heart's song. That's when God sends along an Aunt Ruthie. He uses her honey laced words to catch our attention and stir up a memory of a forgotten melody still playing deep inside. Wonderings as to when did I quit thinking like this? When did this turn into a chore? Where did I lose the joy, the satisfaction? How long has it been since I felt joy and happiness in this? These wonderings wake one up and stir up longings to not only return but to find even greater joy in the journey.

Homemaking, creating a home, a haven in the middle of a hard world, yes, the ears of my heart hear the familiar strains of lovely music wafting through. It's a familiar song, one I know I'm meant to sing. What about you? What song is it that you are meant to sing yet only your heart remembers? Be aware. God is bringing an Aunt Ruthie your way.

1.11.2013

Vital Necessity

Praying in song. Yesterday, when I was typing the words to Psalm 19:14, they started coming out in song. It was a song yet a prayer too. Over and over the words took wing to heaven as the song was sung over and over again. One verse, one song, one prayer changed the rest of the day. There was a sweet strong power in that prayer. Whether it came from the Words of scripture themselves or through the use of song I don't know. Maybe it the was the combination of both. I just know that singing scripture in prayer creates an atmosphere of sweet communion like nothing else I have experienced.

Somehow I sense that experiencing the sweet, strengthening presence of the Living God is going to happen more often and through new ways in the coming year. I feel as if believers and followers of Jesus Christ can be encouraged to expect, even eagerly look forward to, deeper more intimate communion with Him. No longer will His presence seem overwhelming but sweetly necessary. Psalm 27:8 AMP immediately comes to mind. It speaks of requiring His presence as my vital need.

His presence is a vital need. How I pray that every moment of every day is lived in this vital necessity. Here comes the song again "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight My Lord My Strength and My Redeemer"

1.10.2013

A Good Boy

Yesterday I wrote about the best dog ever. It only makes logical sense to follow that conversation up with talk about a good boy. Doesn't it? Don't dogs and boys go together? I think they do. Then again, I think dogs go together with just about anyone who loves them.

Right after I hit the publish button, here came Mighty Man of God, age four. He announced that he was hungry. No surprise there. He often is. He asked me if he could make himself a sandwich. Uh-huh, the mama radars clicked on for sure at that one. After inquiring as to what kind of sandwich he wished to make, I found out that he wanted to make one like he had for supper the previous evening. We had hamburgers for supper. Hmmm, think mama. Think fast. Bingo! I remembered that there had been one hamburger left. Would he be interested in that one? He was! Yes! Now if only every answer could bring such satisfaction to both he and I. How pleasant the atmosphere of our home would be.

However, anyone who has spent anytime at all around a family knows that not every answer a parent gives produces a pleasant response from the child. Yes, sometimes the best answer, the wisest answer is not the one a child wants to hear. Like a child, sometimes the best answer, the wisest answer isn't the one I want to hear either. Hmmm, what sort of an example am I for my children? How do I respond to those answers I don't want? What sort of life am I living before them? Am I teaching them to be responsible, respectful people by my actions and words?  Do my responses reveal a healthy way to live? Or am I teaching them to be selfish, shallow individuals totally, completely centered on themselves and not others? God forbid! May it not be so.

Dear Lord, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight my Lord my Strength and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

1.09.2013

Best. Dog. Ever.

Some of the kids and I watched an old Lassie rerun. Of course this led us to researching the Collie breed. I was sure there was a different name than merely Collie. There is, Rough Collie. Big dif, right? Anyway...one thing in our searching led to another and before long we were looking at pictures of Border Collie Black Lab Golden Retriever cross dogs. That is what our dear Rascal is. It was like looking at snapshots of Rascal, except they weren't him. Owners of these dogs said the exact same thing about their beloved pets that we say about ours "They are the best dog ever." "I would have 10 of them." "If you ever see puppies, let me know." Well, ok, we aren't saying those last two quotes. Our dear boy is enough dog for us right now, but he is the best dog ever.

Our searching also led us to the information that the average life span for each of the three breeds is right around the age of our dear old boy. No, I didn't cry. I know he is old. Each day he is still alive and happy is a gift. I know this too.

When growing up, I had a dog named Pepper. I used to think that he was the best dog ever. That is what led me to get Rascal's mama, Baby; she looked so much like my Pepper. Dear Baby and My Beloved's parents' dog, George, together gave us Rascal. Now, I know that Pepper was the best dog ever as a child, but Rascal, he is truly the best. dog. ever. We weren't sure that Rascal would last through the winter last year. Not only is he here an entire year later, he still keeps busy on sunshiny days digging up and reburying all of his "stashes". I would be sticking my head in the sand if I didn't acknowledge our days together are less rather than more though. It's a reality our family knows but wishes we didn't.

Animals aren't as important as people, or they shouldn't be. My head knows this. But oh how my heart swells when I think about the way they enrich and fill our lives with love. How much comfort and joy their unconditional love brings. Since we're being so mushy gushy and nice we'll leave all of their little quirks out of the picture. How does that sound Rascal? Is it ok if mama doesn't tell everyone how you keep us up in the night letting you in and out sometimes? And what if we also "forget" to mention how absolutely, utterly spoiled you are? That little trivia is after all mama's fault not yours. Or how you drive us all bonkers the way you pace back and forth and go in and out in the evenings until all of your family is safe and sound at home? Is that ok, too? Thought so. Though we do love you for caring so much. We won't tell how badly you smell either and that you do so because you won't let us give you a bath or brush you very well without running away from us. It's too cold outside for a bath anyway.

So why did I write this? Who knows. Maybe it was all of that research about dogs, the pictures that look like Rascal, the owners' comments on their own dogs, or a combination of them all. Maybe it was because this is a great combination of breeds, and I want to get the word out about them. If you are looking for a dog, look for a Border Collie Black Lab Golden Retriever cross. Seriously, do. No matter what color they come in, they are truly the best dogs ever. Owners all across the world agree. Of course, Rascal is the very very best, but you will still be quite happy with your own I'm certain. If you have children or live in a neighborhood with children around, this is definitely your dog of choice. If there is enough Border Collie in them, they will even herd small wandering children, or kittens, back into a safe area within the yard without injuring anyone. It's true. I am a witness. They will also growl ferociously if they sense possible danger to those they love. Of course there is a very good possibility that they will be plastered against the front door scratching to be let inside in between growls, but that growl will sound fierce:) So, open the door and let in the best dog ever.


1.08.2013

Worry - let it go

Now is an interesting, even exciting, time to be alive. Actions and behaviors in our nation are taking place that we would never have dreamt possible when we were children. Remember studying WWII in sixth grade? Remember wondering "How could those European people be so blind? How could they have allowed such things to happen?" Now we know. The exact same way we have allowed such ungodly evil in our country. Don't worry. We're not going to talk about this today. Not that we shouldn't...we just aren't, today. We're simply establishing that it is a very interesting time to be alive.

All of this excitement can produce a whole lot of worry, if a person isn't dilligent about maintaining a focus on truth. I had intended to do some writing this afternoon for today's post. However, after reading Resolved 2 Worship, I knew that the words we needed had already been written. Please don't miss this encouraging, strengthening sharing. Alyssa at:  http://resolved2worship.xanga.com/ has once again been used by God to feed us and lead us straight to the Father. May God Bless her richly for being obedient, transparent, and faithful.

2 Corinthians 13:5 AMP

5 Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it. Test and prove yourselves [not Christ]. Do you not yourselves realize and know [thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you--unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial and rejected?

1.01.2013

Sweet Inspiration for the Home

Time for me to pass on a recommendation for a sweetly written book on creating a beautiful home. This is the book I would have written if I hadn't started a blog instead. Seriously, the entire time I was reading Inspired You by Marian Parsons I was thinking "this is what I wanted to say in the blog when I started it!" The difference? Marian Parsons says it so much sweeter and better. Marian Parsons is the author of the Miss Mustard Seed blog and is seen on HGTV.com and in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Inspired You is a quick, delightfully encouraging read that would make a perfect wedding or housewarming gift for the first time homemaker.

Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison & Pearl Barrett is another new read. I am currently in the middle of this large, common sense guide. Serene Allison & Pearl Barrett are sisters who instantly engage the reader with their conversational sister-style banter. Filled with up-to-date information on nutrition and eating that is also common sense, this may be a true lifechanger. It is feeding my interest in nutrition at the very least. A more complete review will be along after I have completed and implemented the information in the book. So far? Thoroughly enjoying both the writing style and information.