Ways to be More Content

Bible Verses for Creating an Attitude of Gratitude

Creating an environment where a grateful heart can thrive.

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  Living in a world where being grateful seems to be a way of the past makes me sad.  I strive daily to be thankful for everything God has blessed me with, and the list is certainly abundant!

   Here I am going to share some awesome Bible verses for a grateful heart. I’m starting with my life verse, the verse I’ve chosen to live by, and it’s just a wonderful verse.

   7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 1st Tim 6: 7,8 KJV

   Simply put, you were born with nothing, you’ll take nothing into eternity with you, as long as you’re fed and clothed, be happy! I love this! Now days people complain about not having the silliest things, ugh! Other people are praying for what you have, silly! Be grateful!

  The next one is good for those with the “wants”, you know the type, always wanting something new and shiny.

   11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content. Phil 4:11 KJV

   There’s that word again: content. I think God’s trying to tell us to be grateful with what He gives us.

   Oh, now here’s a good one! If this doesn’t give you peace and comfort…. well it just should!

   12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12

   Wow! When we just ask God to forgive us, He removes our sin as far as the east is from the west (never ending!) and remembers it no more. That should make you very grateful (especially if you’re like me and have to ask many, many, many times for the same darn thing!). That kind of forgiveness my friends, is like none other on Earth. I mean, come on, I’ll forgive you….but…..I kinda sorta tuck it away and remember it forever and always (sorry!). That’s human nature, we cannot forgive the way our Heavenly Father does, no way. He loves us like no other.

   And finally- the last- but certainly not least, being thankful!

   6 Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6,7

   Always be thankful! God blesses us so richly,  and not a one of us are truly worthy of the sacrifice He made just for us.

   I hope all have a very Blessed week ahead! I am thankful for all who visit with me here, I’d love to hear from you! God Bless!

 

Eating Real Food, Frugal Living/ Budgeting, Homesteading, Ways to be More Content

Spring Around the Homestead

  Spring is here! This is a busy time around the homestead, getting ready for gardens and harvesting, new baby animals and weather too darn pretty to be indoors!

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  We’ve been bottle feeding a few calves, breaking up the garden, planting a few things, burning out the fence rows, and just generally being outdoors enjoying the weather.

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I painted these cute rocks for my potted herb plants. I also made some for my garden, for when all the plants go in. I just painted the rocks, used a fat Sharpie to write on them, then added a coat of spray on clear sealer. I loved quick simple projects that turn out cute!

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Here are my two bottle babies! These guys are cute, and I do love caring for them, but I know that come fall, one of them will be feeding my family. Growing your own food can be hard, but knowing what goes into what you eat is an awesome feeling too.

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Here’s my son, burning off sections of the fence row. We do this to keep the fences cleaned up, and to reduce ticks and fleas. The fields get burned off too. It just gets rid of the old/dead stuff and makes the grass come back fresh and green. When this gets done we are careful to watch the weather (no wind!) and usually burn off after a good rain, when things are dried out, but not too dry. And of coarse, always having some water nearby.

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I hope all are having a fabulous Saturday! The weather is beautiful here, and I’m fixing to head out and work on my chicken coop!

What are ways you get ready for spring? I’d love to hear back from you! I’ll be in the jam making mode in a few weeks, as strawberries are starting to come off. Stay tuned for a jam-session!

 

 

Family Vacations, Frugal Living/ Budgeting, Ways to be More Content

Hiking to Hawk’s Bill Crag

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  Isn’t that just breathtaking? This place was so beautiful, I decided it needed it’s own post here on my blog!

   See those tiny dark specks at the edge of the rock? Yeah, well that’s my son and a friend of his.  I tagged along on this hike, because Hawk’s Bill Crag was on my bucket list.

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 Here’s my son, Nicholas, overlooking the valley below. This rock is not Hawk’s Bill (also known as Whitaker Point)  but a smaller rock along the trail. there are many beautiful rock formations along the way.

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  Here is another pic of my son, sitting exactly where they tell you not to! And I am holding my camera, a ways off, yelling “Back up! You’re not supposed to go that far out!” like the worry-wart momma that I am. He and his friend find this amusing and are yelling back “Get good pics!”.  So I am hurriedly snapping photos yelling, “Okay, got them, now get back!”

   All teasing aside, the websites say it is not safe to go to the tip (the lower dip just where my son is sitting here) so please follow that, not the whim of teenage boys! I myself didn’t go anywhere near the edge, I am so afraid of heights. I wasn’t even going to venture out to the crag, but my son insisted I conquer my fear and go. I did and it felt great, even from my way far back vantage point. And my son took photos to prove it.

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That’s me there, the one further away from the edge! It was such a rush looking out over all that beautiful nature. I was in awe.

   Now we went towards the end of winter, which was nice weather wise, but not scenery wise. Albeit still gorgeous, I know colors would’ve been amazing in spring or fall. I plan to return this fall to see it again, when my daughter and son-in-law can go, and maybe I’ll talk my hubby into it to. He’s not much of a hiker, but for this view he might go along.

   I’m going to share links to the Harrison Web page, which has good information about getting to Whitaker Point trail head. I’m also sharing the link to Roadtrippers, which has some reviews as well as some pictures.

http://www.harrisonarkansas.org/c_upe_view.php?id=77

https://roadtrippers.com/us/boxley-ar/nature/whitaker-point-hawksbill-crag

   A few tips from me to you:

1. There are no bathrooms at the trail head, so plan accordingly. I was assuming there was at least a camp-type potty, so I drank a ton of water and coffee, oops!

2. The road is like a “pig trail”, not much of a road and pretty steep, rough, and narrow.

3. The trail is steep, so if you’re like me and a bit outta shape, you may need to stop for breaks along the way. No worries though, there are lots of awesome scenic spots you’ll want to stop and look at anyways.

 I live in rural Arkansas and am always looking for new places to go and see within my area. Go out and explore where you live! Or if you’re visiting Arkansas, look at the state park websites, there are so many awesome places to go and see! These type of activities are not only fun, but frugal as well. And what a great therapy to boot!

   Happy Hiking!! God Bless Y’all!

Recipes/ How To

Life Long Friends and Cake

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   Honey Buns- I do love me a good cinnamon-y, warm, gooey honey bun! This cake here, it’s even better than a honey bun!

   I discovered this recipe about a year ago and let me tell you- every time I make it, it disappears like speedy fast.

   The blog where it came from is a wonderful, homey place. I am including the link to her recipe, where you can look around her blog.

http://myhomemdelife.blogspot.com/2010/12/that-70s-breakfasthoney-bun-coffee-cake.html

   One of the best things about this recipe is the ingredients are staples, so I can whip it up last minute! I’ve made a few for auctions and they always do well.

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How could you go wrong with all that cinnamon and brown sugar swirled into a tender cake?? I mean…..just look at that!

   Okay, so let’s talk about that cake pan for a minute. It’s not one of my beautiful, new-fangled, fancy cake pans. It’s 22 years old, it’s kinda bent up, it’s not pretty but I love it because it means a lot to me.

   I got married 22 years ago and my best friend in the world bought that for me for my wedding shower. And I think about her every time I get it out.  I am so glad to have a friend that I can always count on and whom I love dearly.

   Okay, now back to that cake! Here’s the final result:

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You see it’s already being devoured? I had to act fast to snap a pic! Now as a disclaimer- this is not what I consider “real food”, but like I’ve stated before, I strive for 50-75% “real food”overall. I mean I am a realist….and I do love cake!

   I hope you enjoy this cake like me and my family do. Have a blessed weekend!

  It’s dreary and rainy here, so looks like I’ll be working in the shop and around the house today. I’d love to hear back from y’all!

 

Eating Real Food, Frugal Living/ Budgeting, Recipes/ How To, Weekly Meal Planners

How to Meal Plan Like a BOSS!

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Okay y’all, so it’s a weeknight, about 5 pm and you have no idea what’s for supper and you are in a panic. Sound familiar? Yep, we’ve all been there before!

  So let’s talk meal planning. I’m going to give you tips so you can meal plan like a BOSS! You’ll know exactly what meals you have all the ingredients for, what’s fast and easy and what you’re saving for when you have more time in the kitchen.

   To start this meal planning lesson, let’s start right in your kitchen: do a quick mental inventory (or if you’re obsessive like me, jot it down)  of what you’ve already got on hand. This will save you money, you won’t be buying extra stuff you really didn’t need. This list will be our base for the meal planner.

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 Check your freezer, fridge and pantry. Please overlook my messy-ness, apparently I need some help with organizing!

   Once you have your “inventory” list, you’re ready to start planning! Now this is where it’ll be a bit different for everyone: I plan for 6 meals for each week, we usually go out one night a week. When planning, I may jot down specific meals for specific nights, but it can always be swapped around. I try to plan for leftovers, for my lunches. I typically plan 2-3 chicken dishes, 1-2 beef dishes, 1-2 pork dishes and 1-2 “other” dishes (like pizza, hot dogs, tuna sandwiches, fish, etc).

   I keep a list of meals my family likes in a little notebook. I have them categorized by meat type: chicken/beef/pork/ other. I also have them marked with a star if they’re for the slow cooker. If I’m wanting something different/new I turn to my old pal Pinterest! How did we survive without it? I will only add one or two “new” things per week, because my bunch is picky and we tend to stick with old stand-byes. I don’t cook super fancy, we tend to like basic type foods.

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  Here’s my pretty notebook (I’m kind of a notebook geek, I have way too many!) that I keep meals we love written in. This little step makes meal planning much quicker.

  The last step is matching up meals with what you’ve got and making your grocery list. So just based on my inventory (as seen in above pics) I’ll jot down a quick plan:

1. Chicken Fajitas

2. Marinated Grilled Chicken and Grilled Asparagus

3. Pulled Pork sandwiches and Potato Wedges

4. Green Chile/Pork Nachos

5. Meaty Italian Sauce with Spaghetti Squash

6. Tuna/Egg Salad with Veggies and Dip

   Now I would look at each meal and see what components I was missing, grocery shop once for those items and be eating for the week!

   Here’s a link to a weekly meal planner template that I love! It has spots for planning breakfasts/lunches too! And a grocery list on the side. I keep one printed out and use them.

https://www.vertex42.com/ExcelTemplates/meal-planner.html

 

   There you have it! No more wondering  “What’s for dinner?”. And no more looking forward to a specific meal, then not having all the ingredients for it on hand. By planning out meals, it’ll save you stress, time and money.

  I hope you all have a very blessed day! If you have questions/comments I would love to hear from y’all!

Family Vacations, Frugal Living/ Budgeting, General, Homesteading

Here We Go Again!

I’m back!

Well, to be truthful, I wasn’t really gone! I had taken a hiatus from blogworld, but I am back and ready for BIG things to come!

I have made big changes in my life, one being I left my job as a school nurse to become a full time business owner. I had started my kennel 8 years ago part time, but I was to a point I needed to be here full time, so I made the plunge!

It was a bit scary going from a full time, regular income to irregular pay schedules and managing it on my own. But I have been so blessed with great success, and I give all the glory to God! He provides for me so richly!

I will be updating you all with a link to my new Kennel blog site (under works as we speak!) so you can check out my sweet baby puppies and their mommas and dads.

I will also be adding some awesome projects I am working on around the homestead! (including a cute new Chicken Coup up-cycled from an old swing set!) Garden season is upon me and I am so ready to get into harvesting and preserving mode!

So I hope you’ll continue to follow me in my homesteading journey!

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This pic was taken a month or so back- I hiked up to Hawks’ Bill Crag with my son and his friend.I am very afraid of heights and had decided I wasn’t even going onto the crag. Thankfully my son convinced me to get out there,that’s me with my hands in the air, that was as far as I was going. It felt to exhilarating to conquer something that big! It was a beautiful piece of my state I really enjoyed seeing.

Here’s a link to info, if you’re ever in the area, I really suggest going. Just a few notes from one gal to all of you:

  1. There are no bathrooms at the trail head, plan accordingly. (I drank a pot of coffee and 2 bottles of water, oops! I had to squat!)
  2.  It is beautiful, but the hike for this fat girl was a bit rough. Coming back up out of the holler was a doozy! If you have any type of handicap, be careful please!
  3. I would go in spring or fall, we went in late winter and it wasn’t as pretty.
  4. The road in is rough! You’ll think you’re lost and picture a scene from a scary movie (think, Wrong Turn!) but nope- that’s the right road!
  5. Leave it the way you found it! Nature is best without your empty bottles and cig butts! I always hate to see junk messing up natures beauty!

http://www.buffaloriver.com/pages/whitaker-point-trail-hawksbill-crag/

I hope all have a wonderful week ahead! I am about to head out and get my broccoli and cabbage plants in the ground and put some lettuce seeds out. God Bless!

Frugal Living/ Budgeting

New Year- New Goals!!

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Happy New Year! Time to re-evaluate my goals and get ready for the new year!!

So last year I set some goals for 2015- accomplished some- still gotta work on some. We did take on a little new debt (our son needed braces) and we also were able to pay cash for a few new expenses (our daughters wedding and a newer vehicle for me). We also paid off a larger credit card (big ole yeah!!) but have a few more to work on.

So- Financial Goals for 2016:

  • Pay off 2 remaining credit cards
  • Pay down my student loans
  • Pay off sons’ braces
  • Pay cash for summer vacation
  • Start using the envelope/cash only system for weekly budgeting!!!!
  • Stick to a budget better!!!

So, as you can see- some of these things have been on my list for a few years!! I am determined to get it down eventually!

Health Goals for 2016:

*Continue adding healthy habits to my diet

* Try using new herbals and essential oils (doing research on this, love keeping things all natural when I can)

 

Other Goals for 2016:

*Keep in touch with friends better (sorry I am not better at this guys!!!)

* Get more organized!!

* Get back to meal planning (to help stay on track health wise and also to help with budgeting!!)

 

 

So- there you have it! There are my yearly goals!

I hope that all have a very blessed year!! I feel like such a blessed gal!!

 

Remember to thank God for your good times as well as your bad times: the bad times help you appreciate the good times more and and the good times give you hope when your in the midst of the bad times.

God bless y’all!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health and Wellness

Mental Health Awareness- Taking Care of Yourself!

Now I know that May is officially Mental Health Awareness month- I just wanted to talk about it now! November and December can be hard for folks with depression and anxiety- heck it’s supposed to be the happiest time of year- right?  Well, it can also be the most depressing time of year for some.

Now when we start talking about mental health, we are talking about a wide range of things- from situational depression (you know- depression caused by a life changing event be it a happy change or a bad change) anxiety/stress, as well as bi-polar, schizophrenia and personality disorders. We all suffer from mental health issues at some point in our lives, some more than others, some less.

Now just to state, I am not a mental health professional, I am a school nurse with a clinical setting background. I have however come in contact with a lot of folks over the years with mental health issues. It is something I am passionate about- we as a nation need to stop sticking our heads in the sand when the phrase “mental health” is brought up. Mental health issues are a medical problem- let’s start treating it that way!

I hate hearing people who suffer from mental health issues say things like, “I hate to take a pill everyday, I just want to feel normal” or “people will think I’m crazy”. Folks- if your family member had a heart condition, would you berate them for taking heart medication? Well of coarse you wouldn’t! What about diabetes? You’d tell them “you don’t need that diabetes medication- it’s all in your head!”. No- because that’d be just plain silly! Well, so is telling a family member or friend that their anxiety/depression is all in their head, or that they just need to pray harder, or that they need to just “get over it” . I have heard from folks with depression and /or anxiety that they’ve been told all those things and much more. Makes me so sad for them- when you’re suffering from depression or anxiety hearing these things makes it so much worse.

Now there are non-medication therapy ideas that work for some people- like nature walks, meditation, talking to a therapist or friend, listening to relaxing music, or trying yoga or a new exercise. But for many taking a medication is what works the best, and there is not a thing wrong with that!

I am on a mission- let’s all decide that we will not stand for our friends and family to be bullied like that. If you hear someone say something negative, let them know that mental health is a medical diagnoses, that it’s treated with medication just like high blood pressure or diabetes is. Let’s spread the word and help each other out. If you have a friend or family member who suffers from mental health issues, let them know they’re not alone and you’re there for them.

Go to nami.org (this is the National Alliance for Mental Illness website) and take the pledge to be Stigma Free. #IAmStigmafree

Also- keep the national suicide prevention hotline in your phone- you never know when you may need to call, even for advice if you have a friend you feel may be suicidal. 1-800-273-8255.

I hope all have a blessed rest of the week and a weekend!! The weather has been lovely here- hopefully that continues! God Bless ya’ll!!

Eating Real Food, Recipes/ How To

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner???

So I had some chicken and wanted to try something new- turned to trusty old Pinterest for some inspiration. I saw a one dish chicken and veggies that took just about an hour to bake, didn’t call for crazy weird ingredients and could be easily modified.

So here is my gathering of the ingredients:

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I decided to go with potatoes and broccoli for the two side veggies. I seasoned all well with a season salt type seasoning, some onion flakes and some jarred garlic. I mixed all this in a small bowl with a few TBSP melted butter and a few TBSP olive oil. I placed my chicken and veggies in the pan and drizzled with the season mixture. Topped with foil and baked for 30 minutes like that.

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Here’s what it looked like going into the oven. After 30 minutes I added a small pkg of bacon pieces and about 4oz shredded cheddar. Covered with foil and baked another 30 minutes. (and yes- I know those fake bacon pieces are terrible for you-it’s all about balance! This dinner is mostly “real” and healthy. You could omit the bacon and cheese if you wanted)

So, I didn’t get an “after” pic- hubby dug into it! He liked this much better than I did. It was just an “okay” for me.

The chicken wasn’t flavored as much as I would’ve liked and was a bit dry. The broccoli was mushy and the potatoes were really good.

So, I will be playing with this concept- just changing it up a bit! I am going to attempt it again- only next time I will marinate my chicken overnight in Italian dressing, I will use fresh chopped onions, and will only bake the potato chunks on the side (I will just steam my broccoli like I usually do).

So- trial and error! The story of my life! Stay tuned for a much better (fingers crossed) version of this bake!

In life we all have some ups and downs, some great successes and some super flops! Learning from our flops is the key! I hope all have a super Blessed week! It’s a cool rainy day here- feels like fall! God Bless!