Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ministry at Home

The challenge of ministry in our home
is that we do not always feel very “spiritual”
when we wash our dishes.

It hardly feels significant to scrub our toilet. 
We can feel that we are truly ministering when the Lord

uses us to communicate a word of wisdom to someone,
or He provides an opportunity
to share the gospel with our neighbor. 

That seems like real ministry.
And that is real ministry to be sure! 

But no more so than when we are wiping runny noses
or cleaning the bathroom.

That is because we have a very narrow view of true spirituality...
The Lord wants to help us see the significance of ministry at home.

~Carolyn Mahaney, wife of C.J. Mahaney

One Thousand Gifts Winner!

I'm sorry I'm a little late posting the winner, but I was sick and then dealing with sick family members. The winner of a copy of One Thousand Gifts is Lisa!! Congratulations, Lisa! I will be mailing out the book today. You should receive it before the beginning of the year since it usually only takes 1-2 days to go to your area.

I truly wish I had a book to give to everyone who entered. If you didn't win, I highly suggest still getting a copy and reading it!

To see what the giveaway was, click here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Still Learning to be Thankful

107. Reading out loud to the girls
108. Ovens
. . . . . .
114. Snow
. . . . . .
119. A working vacuum
120. Essential oils
. . . . . .
124. Brownie crumbs
. . . . . .
131. Restored relationships
. . . . . .
136. Visits with friends
. . . . . .
142. Puke buckets
143. Norwex cloths
. . . . . .
149. Used flannel sheets
150. Sewing machine

I'm still learning to be thankful in all circumstances and will continue recording my "gifts" at least until I reach 1000. I may decide to continue even after that because I am sure it will be a life changing experience.

Don't forget about my giveaway of Ann Voskamp's One Thousands Gifts. You can enter to win up to four times--just don't forget to leave a comment telling me each thing you accomplished.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Learning to Be Thankful and Giveaway!

When One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp came out, I was told by numerous people that it was a good book. I wanted to read it, but didn't have the money to purchase my own copy. After a few months, I discovered I had a friend who had the book and would let me borrow it. I devoured the book. I want to learn to be more thankful in my life and I want to learn to have joy (which only comes from being thankful). I knew that I would need to read the book more than one time so I kept my eye out for my own copy. I have now gotten a copy for myself so I can read it again and I am working on coming up with my own thousands gifts. Here are a few of what I have already written down.

2. Quite time with God in the morning
. . . . .
6. Laundry to wash
. . . . .
17. Fruitful womb
. . . . .
33. Prayers of others
34. Praying for others
. . . . . .
48. Hair to braid (my girls')
. . . . .
64. Dirty dishes (because it means we had food to eat)
. . . . .
75. Bills to pay (because we can pay them and we are fortunate enough to be able to have things like electricity, phone, etc.)
76. Indoor plumbing
. . . . .
89. Cloth diapers
. . . . .
97. Hand-smudged windows
. . . .
101. Spontaneous songs of praise by my girls
. . . .
104. Muscle testing

I will share more as days go by. I still have a long way to go, but I have to say that it is getting easier and easier day by day to find the joy in life just by simply giving thanks. Many people might call that a "Pollyanna" view of life, but it is God's view of life.

I was also able to secure a copy of the book at a great price just this past week and I want to pass it on to one of you! The giveaway will be open until Christmas day. I will draw a winner the day after and get it mailed out so that hopefully whoever wins it will have it for the new year. Wouldn't giving thanks and finding joy be a great New Year Resolution?!

For your chance to win a copy of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, simply leave a comment telling me one thing you are thankful for and an email address where I can contact you (please feel free to leave a broken address if you wish--example: memoriesmama @ netonecom . net or memoriesmamaATnetonecomDOTnet)

For extra entries:
  • Follow Gracious Daughter of the King
  • Share this giveaway on your blog (make sure to include a link back to this page)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook (again, make sure to include a link back to this page)
For any of the extra entries, please leave a separate comment on this post.

Good luck and be thankful!

Gifts From God--A look at chapter 4 of Be Fruitful and Multiply

"Scriptures reveal that children are God's gifts to us." I love how this chapter starts! She goes on to list some of the scripture that reveals that truth to us.

How should we receive  a gift? My thoughts are that we should receive it thankfully and graciously. Campbell goes on to explain that the Greek word for receive means "to accept a gift deliberately and readily; to receive heartily; reaching out eagerly to receive something; looking for; waiting with earnest expectation." Do you "receive" your children (and possible children) like that?

Scripture also teaches us that conception is a visitation from God. Many times when the scriptures is telling us about when someone had a baby, they had been visited by God (Genesis 21:1 and 1 Samuel 2:20-21 are two great examples).

Campbell points out the reasons why God gives us children. According to Genesis 1:28, it is to procreate the earth. Jeremiah 30:19b tells us it is to honor us through glorifying God. God wants to do something good for us through the gift of children according to a number of different scriptures. Children give us joy and delight--"Happy is the man who has his quiver full of children" (Psalm 127:5). Another reason we are gifted with children is for service to God. The more children Christians have, the more warriors for God! Children are also a gift to the nations. Just think about the differences children make to our country.  Psalm 127 also tells us that children will defend and protect us against the enemy (Satan). Children help us; many hands make light work. While I know that for most people it isn't the case, but children are supposed to take care of their parents when we are older. A number of scriptures point this out; unfortunately, not many people (Christians included), follow this command. And the ultimate reason why God gifts children to us is for Himself! When we raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, He receives all the glory!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Win Big with Vision Forum!

Remember when I posted about the chance to win gift certificates from Vision Forum on a blog?! Well, you can also go to Generation Cedar to enter for more chances!

As I said before, Vision Forum is a great place to go to fulfill your Christian book needs! I have ordered school books as well as a number of Christian books from them and have never been disappointed. They have great customer services and good prices.

Head over to Generation Cedar for your chance to win!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations."
~ Psalm 100

Today I am so very thankful for my husband, my girls, and my family. The Lord has truly blessed me by making me a part of a family that loved and served the Lord from before I was born and blessed me with a wonderful husband that also serves and loves Him so that we can raise children who will prayerfully do the same.

I'm also so very thankful for all the ways the Lord provides not only for our needs, but also for some of our wants. We serve a Lord who wants the best for us and desires for us to live an abundant life!

Most of all, I'm so very thankful for the Lord sending His one and only Son to die on the cross for my sins. He took the punishment upon Himself so that I may one day be in glory with God. It is only because of His great sacrifice that I will not spend eternity in hell as I should. His gift of salvation is a free gift that anyone can enjoy!

To God be the glory for all He has done!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vision Forum--A Great Resource for Christian Books

I was introduced to Vision Forum products a couple of years ago and have been wanting almost everything in their catalog every since! Every time a catalog arrives in the mail, the girls and I look over the products and make a wish list of what we would like to get. I watch the site through out the year for sales and often find some really good deals. I encourage you to visit Vision Forum for your Christian Book needs!

Right now, you can enter to win a gift certificate to Vision Forum by visiting A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Blessing: A Look at Chapter 3 of Be Fruitful & Multiply

"Fruitfulness is God's blessing." I am just going to share some of the scripture references Campbell gives to support her statement.

Genesis 28:1-3, "God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people."

Genesis 48: 3, 4, "And Jacob said . . .God Almighty appeared unto me and blessed me . . . and said unto me, Behold I will make thee fruitful and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people."

Leviticus 26: 3, 9, "If ye walk in my statues and keep my commandments and do them . . . I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you."

Deuteronomy 30:5, "He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers."

Psalm 107: 38, "He blesses them also, so that they are multiplied greatly."

Psalm 127: 3-5, "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of the mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."

Psalm 128, "Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord: that walketh in His ways. . . Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord."

Jeremiah 30:19, "By my blessing they will increase in numbers."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spiritual Food from Proverbs 31 Ministries

I'm behind in reading my emails, but this morning I read two past devotions from Proverbs 31 Ministries. I was spiritually fed by both and wanted to share them with you.

You Don't Like Me
A Divine Interruption

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

God Love Increase--A look at Chapter 2 of Be Fruitful and Multiply

This chapter supported some of my already held beliefs and gave further scripture to back those beliefs up as well as discussed issues that I am still seeking answers for.

One reason why God commands us to be fruitful and multiply is for His people to become mighty in the land. "He wants the godly seed to be a threat to the devil. . . The devil is frightened of the godly seed, for it is they who will destroy his works in this world." Campbell also says,
The enemy knew that God would need an army in this hour to fulfill His great purposes. He knew that if he could diminish God's army, he could thwart God's plans. It is the strategy of Satan to minimize the holy seed. The sad thing is that the Christian church has unconsciously fallen into this trap. As Christians in the last few decades have decided to have fewer children, they have limited the power of God on earth. God's plan is to fill the earth with His glory. God calls the increase of children our "glory" (Hosea 9:11).

What is the highest blessing God gives? Look at Deuteronmy 28:11, "And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock and in the produce of your ground. . ." The thing He blesses before the increase of property or increase of the fruit of the ground is to increase the fruit of the body.

God is glorified through the increase of the womb. Jeremiah 30:19b says, "I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small." When Christians multiply and grow, God receives the glory!

One of the greatest reasons for marriage is to represent the picture of Christ and the church. What does God want for the church? He wants the church to grow and multiply. "When we are fruitful in our marriage, we are revealing a true picture of Christ and the church to the world."

Christians are called to live as Christ. Jesus was part of a big family. According to Mark 6:3, Jesus had four brothers and "sisters". If we even go with the minimum meaning of "sisters" and count only two, that means there were seven children in the family. God could have created any type of family for Christ and He chose a large family!

Why have we seen a decrease in the number of people standing for God's will? It is because Christians are not multiplying enough to even replace themselves. Many will argue that by having two children, people are doing their "job"; however, what about those who are naturally childless or never marry? According to Theodore Laetsch, "At least four children to a family to prevent this dying out, five children to bring about an increase in population."

The issue that I have struggled with for a while and still struggle with is the issue of barrenness and miscarriages. The Word of God shows us in many different places that barrenness is a curse. What I struggle with is that I know many strong, devoted Christian women who experience barrenness and/or miscarriages. I just can't believe that God is cursing them.

A few thoughts I have on the topic is that it could be the consequence of something as simple as not eating the right foods (example: gluten can cause sterility in celiacs), or from taking hormone based birth control (either currently or in the past), or even a side effect to a disease. The problem with these thoughts is that they still don't explain the situations of all the women I know who suffer with an empty womb.

I will continue to seek God's wisdom in this matter, but it might just be something I won't know until I reach Heaven. One thing I do know is, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." ~ Romans 8:28.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Birth of a New CHRISTmas Tradition

Check this out!  The Birth of a New CHRISTmas Tradition

Why I Need Grace

When we make mistakes as mothers, we need to humble ourselves and admit it to our children and ask for their forgiveness. I struggle with this.  I don't want to be humble.  I don't want to be wrong.  I want to say whatever I do is justified because "I'm the mommy."  But that isn't true.  If I can learn to be humble and ask them to forgive me, then they will grow to do the same thing.  They'll know it's okay to make mistakes, and better to ask for forgiveness.  And they'll know they are loved even when they make those mistakes.
I think, when we are raising children who are also imperfect people, that this lesson is even more important than trying to be perfect all the time in the first place.  We're not.  What does it teach our children if we pretend that we are?  I think it makes them see us as hard, unfair, proud.  It also could make them feel like they are the only ones who fail.  Whatever happens, it's not good for their relationship with us or the Lord.
I'll be imperfect, I'll thank the Lord for His grace, and I'll strive to do better everyday. That's all I can do.

The above is an excerpt from a blog post that I needed to hear. If you would like to read it in it's entirety, head to Keeper of the Home

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Avoiding Target

This is why I don't shop at Target anymore and haven't for a while!

Wasn't it last Christmas that Target refused to let the Salvation Army ring their  bells  in front of their stores?

Dick   Forrey of the Vietnam Veterans Association  wrote.      

'Recently   we asked the local TARGET store to be a proud sponsor of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall during  our   spring   recognition event. We received the following reply from   the local TARGET management:    

'Veterans do not meet our area of giving. We only donate to the arts, social action groups, gay & lesbian causes, and education.'    

So I'm thinking, if the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall  and veterans in general, do not meet their donation criteria, then something is really wrong at this TARGET store.  We were not asking for thousands of dollars, not even hundreds, just a small sponsorship for a memorial remembrance.   .

As a follow-up, I, E-mailed the TARGET U.S. Corporate Headquarters and their response was the same...That's their national policy!!! Then I looked into the company further.. They will not allow the   Marines to collect for 'Toys for Tots' at any of their stores.  And during the recent Iraq deployment, they  would not allow families of employees who were called up for active duty to continue their insurance coverage while they were on military service... Then as I dig further, TARGET  is a French-owned corporation.     Now, I'm thinking again.. If TARGET cannot support American (or Canadian) Veterans, then why should my family and I support their stores by spending our hard earned American (or Canadian) dollars in their  stores???   And, have their profits sent to France ... Without the American (and Canadian) Vets, where would France be today? 'They, most likely would be speaking German and trading in Deutsch Marks'      

Dick Forrey
Veterans Helping Veteran

Monday, October 31, 2011

The First Commandment—A look at the chapter one of Be Fruitful and Multiply

“The very first recorded words that man ever heard from the mouth of God were these: “Be fruitful, and multiply’”

I never thought about this before. The very first command God gives us is the command to bear children yet this seems to be the one command that most people, even Christians, seem to ignore. I’ve heard many reasons why it is okay for Christians to stop their seed or take the chance of aborting their seed (through hormonal birth control), but none of the reasons given support God’s first command to us—be fruitful and multiply.

One of the excuses that people often use is “We can’t afford children (or more children).” I can go on an on about how you need to trust God to equip you to take care of what He gives, but I won’t at this time. I want to bring up Jeremiah 29:6 to you. He tells the Israelites, “Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.” This word was given to the Israelites while they were in captivity! They did not have a lot of money. They did not have huge homes. They didn’t take vacations or whatever the reason why people won’t have more children, but God told them to multiply anyway! And why did He tell them to multiply—so “that ye may be increased there, and not diminished”! Just like back in Exodus when the Israelites left Egypt, the Egyptians were scared because they were large in number! The only way they could have grown so large was to continue multiplying even though they were slaves.

Another excuse people often use is the issue of “overpopulation”. This was brought to the forefront today when it was announced on the news that the world population has reached 7 billion people. That sounds like a lot of people, but back in 2003, the world population would fit inside the state of Texas with each person having 2,000 square feet! I think this world is plenty big enough for 7 billion people! All the reasons people give for overpopulation being an issue—space, lack of food, lack of resources, etc.—is due to mismanagement of what God has given us. We don’t need to stop having children; we need to teach our children proper management of the earth.

Something else to think about is “A growing population is necessary for a successful economic climate.” If there are more people working, there are more people spending money, therefore pushing the economy. While I know that unemployment numbers are up, I also know that a large amount of that is because people do not want to take lower paying jobs and would rather collect “free” money from the government instead of working. Of course, that is a whole different topic so I won’t discuss that further. More people in a family means more work can be done for the better of the family.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Bread

I found a recipe yesterday that made my mouth water--Cinnamon Roll Bread! Everyone in my family loves cinnamon rolls but because they take so long, I rarely make them. This is a great alternative. I had to multiply the recipe and then I decreased sugar and butter and discovered I can decrease both of those even more which will help make it a little healthier. I actually doubled the recipe below and made two 9x13 pans for my family. We had about 1/3 of one pan leftover. Here is my version of Cinnamon Roll Bread.

Cinnamon Roll Bread

1 cup very warm water
1 tbsp yeast
2 tbsp evaporated cane juice crystals
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour (I mixed 1 1/2 cups whole grain spelt and 1 1/2 cups sifted spelt)
6  tbsp cold butter
2/3 cup sugar (white or brown or a combination--I would use 1/3 cup evaporated cane juice crystals and 1/3 cup brown sugar made from evaporated cane juice crystals and molasses)
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp flour

Pour water in large bowl and sprinkle yeast and tablespoon of sugar over the surface.  Allow to sit for a few minutes to get foamy.  Add in butter and salt.  Add flour and mix in mixer with dough hook.  Place dough in a greased or oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel.  Place in a warm place and let rise for 15 minutes. 

While that’s happening, combine cold butter, sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl and cut together using a fork, a pastry cutter, or your fingers.  You’re forming a buttery streusel-y type material here.  Set that aside. Whip up a batch of your favorite glaze.  I just used some powdered sugar with a little bit of milk.

By now, your timer’s probably gone off, so grab your bowl of dough and punch it down.  It won’t be super-puffy, and that’s totally fine.  Press the dough into a greased 9x13 baking pan.  (If it keeps “shrinking” on you, just let it rest for a few minutes, then try again.)   Sprinkle the “streusel” mixture all over the surface of the dough.  No need for a second rise here.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 18-20 minutes.
 While still warm, drizzle or pour the glaze/frosting over the surface.  Cut into pieces and enjoy the flavor of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls… all in less than a half hour.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Susan G. Komen

I read an article about the Susan G. Komen Foundation at Butter Believer: Have Faith in Real Food and was shocked at most of what was written. While I have agreed for a while that money could be better spent in preventing cancer or finding a natural way to cure it, I didn't realize the foundation was as big as it is or that it didn't use funds as effectively as it should.

Please know that by posting this link that I am not saying that we shouldn't fight against breast cancer. I agree that breast cancer is a nasty disease and it seems to attack some unlikely people. I agree that awareness needs to be made; however, I think the awareness needs to be on what we are doing to our bodies to support cancer, feed cancer, etc. than just awareness that it exists. I agree that we need to support those around us who are dealing with this nasty disease, but I think it should be done with personal support such as prayer (you can do this from anywhere), preparing meals, helping with house chores, watching children, giving personal financial support instead of giving money to an organization that seems to put so little to actually helping those suffering from the disease.

I am sure I will receive some unfavorable comments because I am not "following the crowd", but I'm standing for my beliefs. I pray you will think about your response before posting and if a discussion/debate ensues that it is done in a peaceful way.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Be Fruitful & Multiply

Team Carmichael--October 2011

The book Be Fruitful and Multiply by Nancy Campbell was suggested to me years ago by someone who was trying to encourage me. I believe it was when I was pregnant with the twins and people were telling us we should give them up for adoption because we had too many already. Well, I didn’t have a copy of it so I didn’t read it. Then last year I saw a copy of it at a local resale store so I picked it up thinking I should get around to reading it soon. Two weeks ago, I read a comment about the book on a blog and it got me thinking about it again. I found it on my bookshelf and opened it up.

I have to say that it hit me from the first section—the foreword by Doug Phillips. I want to share just two quotations that really hit home for me.

“How sad to think that someday we will get to Heaven and learn of the untold millions of children that were inadvertently aborted by their Christian parents—all because of lack of faith and ignorance. “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.”

This made me cry as I am one of those people who mourn for the babies that we may have inadvertently aborted earlier in our marriage. We were deceived into thinking that it was the “proper” thing to do to take birth control pills. It wasn’t until after the birth of our second that I learned how the birth control pill actually works. When I told Chad about it, we decided together that there was no way we could now continue using it. It was the beginning of our journey to become quiverful minded.

“We are the problem. And judgment must begin with us. As long as we continue to abort our babies, or cut off our seed, or abandon our children to the world, we can never expect blessing and joy within our households, let alone our culture.”

This sums up how we feel. People can pray for blessings all day long, but if they are denying the blessing of children, then they are missing out on so much more than they could ever imagine.

I am so looking forward to reading the rest of this book. I am praying I have time to post my comments, thoughts, and feelings about this book (and this topic in general) in the coming days. Because of my busy schedule, I don’t know when I’ll have time to sit down and read again (let alone time to type my thoughts), but please continue to watch for more posts. I encourage you to post your thoughts and ideas as well. I do kindly ask that it doesn’t become a place to post angry thoughts and unkind words. I will be looking at this from a biblical perspective and I ask you do the same.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Will Life Ever Slow Down Again?!

I can't believe it has been almost three weeks since I posted and even then it was just a link to my post on another site. I have been so busy that I had 174 unread emails this morning  because I can't even sit and read all my emails in a day and they have just continued to pile up. I have been doing at least one canner load of something every day in addition some home improvement projects (we built a barn and put in a door where there used to be a window), switching out the clothes for the new, colder season and therefore having to do some sewing for those girls who didn't have enough clothes.

I am really hoping to be able to get back into writing at least once a week. I just started a new book today and it is my hope to blog my thoughts on what I read. Hopefully my first post on it will be tomorrow.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Encouragment From Others & Great Ideas

Since I stayed home from church with sick children, I had some time to get somewhat caught up on my emails. I wanted to share some good posts with you.

Teaching Love at New Generation Cedar

Praying for our Children at Raising Mighty Arrows which links to a prayer schedule at Our Family for His Glory

Standing in the Gap for God at Proverbs 31 Ministries

My Prayer Today

“I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before  You now, day and night, for [my family] . . .I have sinned. We have acted . . . corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. . . O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray and grant him mercy . . .”
~ Nehemiah 1:5-11
As much as we try, there is no way we can keep all of God's commands. What a blessing it is to be able to come to His feet and cry out and know we will receive His mercy as long as we are truly repentant. Repentance means to turn away. We must turn away from our sin and no longer live in it. We must make an active effort to stop doing what is wrong. We can not continue to sin with the expectation we can just ask forgiveness later because that means we aren't truly sorry for committing the sin in the first place.

If you are living in sin (whether it be lying, gossiping, adultery, lust, etc.), please turn from it today and go to Your Father's feet and ask for His mercy. If you don't know the Lord as your personal Savior, you can do that today as well!

Romans 10: 9-10 says, "if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

In addition to my prayer today for myself and my family, I pray that those who do not know Him as Savior come to His feet today!

God Bless!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

New Mercies!

Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I hope in Him!"

~ Lamentations 3:22-24

What a blessing it was to read this section of scripture this morning! I have been lax in spending time with the Lord lately and of course once we stop spending time with Him, it makes it easier and easier to not spend time with Him. What a refreshing moment to read that He shows me mercy even when I wander for a short time. Every morning I get another shot at doing things right!

What a reminder to how we are to live our lives. When someone hurts us, we need to show mercy and give them a "do-over". When our children don't listen, we need to love them anyway and give them another chance. When our husband irritates us, we need to forgive and forget.

We can have hope for our future because of God's mercies and we need to extend that hope to our family and friends by showing them the mercy that God shows us.

I also want to share some links to posts that blessed me yesterday.

The Importance of Handiwork

There are Rats in My Cellar

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Proverbs 31 Ministries

I receive daily devotions from Proverbs 31 Ministries. I highly suggest subscribing to them yourself, but I also wanted to share two recent ones with you.

Faith Over Feelings

When My Mean Girl Wants to Come Out

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Good Things Come in Squirmy Packages

"I don’t see our family as large – I see it as just right.  It’s our family.  And I adore our family.  It’s not a burden, it’s an absolute joy.  I can understand why a family with more than two to three kids is considered “large” in our culture where reaching the American Dream is something to be strived for, and many view children as little beings that get in the way.  Well, I for one am living my dream.  No American Dream needed here, I have a God-given dream.  God has pieced our family together in ways I couldn’t have dreamed up in a lifetime of nights spent sleeping.  He has made me a joyful mother of children.  There is nothing that could entice me to live in a bigger house, have a nicer (and smaller) car, enjoy more throw around cash, have designer clothes, and a career that is taking off.  Nothing.  I laugh at the thought.  I love my life.  Our children are a heritage.  They (and ourselves) are the only things that are lasting in this life in light of eternity." ~  Lindsay Edmonds

Read the rest of the article at Good Things Come in Squirmy Packages

He Notices

A great post about how God notices what we do in the home regardless if we get any recognition from our family. He Notices

Monday, August 15, 2011


I'm sorry I haven't posted in a few weeks. Things have been really busy around here with things in the garden coming ready to preserve, getting ready for school, and the fact that it just takes longer to do all that with a growing family!

I wanted to share links to a couple of posts that I read just this morning that spoke to my heart and I think they might speak to yours as well.


We're All Bad Moms (and what the Gospel can do)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Homemade Tooth Powder

I began making my own tooth powder a few months ago and have loved using it. Before I started using my tooth powder, I was having problems with one of my teeth. After only a few days, the pain subsided and I haven't had a problem since! Another benefit is how cheap it is to make and I don't have to worry about unwanted ingredients.

I have had a few people ask me for my recipe lately, so I thought I would share it on here as well. While it took me a couple weeks to get used to the flavor/texture, it is one that I enjoy.

Homemade Tooth Powder

1/8 cup Black Walnut Powder or DE (diatomaceous earth)
1/8 cup baking soda (aluminum free)
1 tsp Xylitol
1 tsp dulse powder
Ground peppermint or spearmint to taste (I use 1 ½-2 tsp)

Mix all ingredients in a little container with a tight fitting lid and shake to combine. To use, wet toothbrush and dip into powder before brushing.

Simplify: Less Really is More

Simplify: Less Really is More

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Soft Answers Versus Harsh Words

“A soft answer 
turns away wrath, But a harsh 
word stirs up anger.” 
~ Proverbs 15:1

This morning after my normal Bible study time, I felt God telling me to read more of His Word. Since I wasn’t sure what He wanted me to read, I just prayed that He would guide my hands to open up the Bible to the spot which had the wisdom I needed to hear today and for the knowledge to understand His Word. I do this quite often and each time I am amazed at the fact that almost every single time I am led to something that applies to my life at that moment.

I have been struggling with my words lately. I know that my words have the power to bless or to curse. I know that I need to improve my self control when it comes to the issue of how I respond to situations that are less than perfect. I have been praying for God to give me the strength to overcome my natural tendency to fight back with words when I’ve been hurt and to show love and compassion instead.

He lead me to Proverbs 15 today and I didn’t get past the first verse. “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Wow, exactly what I needed to be reminded of today. Not only do I need to apply that to my every day life, but I’m pretty sure I will be put in situations today that will require it more than ever. I’ve already started formulating response to comments I am sure to hear today and I have to admit that most of those responses are full of sarcasm and harshness. God gently reminded me today that I need to put aside that sarcasm and answer gently. The thing with sarcasm is that the words aren’t necessarily “a harsh word”, but the tone of voice and the meaning sure are. As the footnote in my Nelson Study Bible says, “Often it is not so much what we say but the way we say it that prompts such varied responses as acceptance and wrath.”

Lord, please hold my tongue today when I’m tempted to answer harshly. Keep me from saying unkind words. May only words that uplift and comfort come forth from my mouth today. Use me to bless others and not curse.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

One Flesh Marriage: Is Marriage Important to the Church?

One Flesh Marriage: Is Marriage Important to the Church?: "Brad says... We talk a lot about the importance of marriage, how it should be the second priority in your life only right behind God. I be..."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tough Times

Tough Times

In these times in which we're living
It's so hard to make ends meet.

But God is always with us,
as His Scriptures do repeat.

He tells us not to worry,
what to eat or drink or wear.

He will take care of us completely
as he does the birds of air.

But seek ye first His Kingdom
and all His righteousness.

Then put your faith in Jesus,
your whole life He'll truly bless.

Don't worry about tomorrow,
live to please Him day by day.

He will guide your every footstep,
as He leads you in your way.

He knows your every heartache,
every problem, every need.

It's all so very simple,
give Him your life and you'll succeed! 

Printed with permission from Thrifty Times.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Parenting with Humility From A to Z

I found a great post--Parenting with Humility From A to Z. It takes each letter of the alphabet and relates it to at least one (sometimes more) biblical concept and even has scripture references for each one.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Large Families on Purpose: Modest Dress: The Heart of the Issue Surrounding C...

Large Families on Purpose: Modest Dress: The Heart of the Issue Surrounding C...: "Our family had always tried to dressed as modestly as we could in our pants, however I wondered why some Christian families had all of their..."

Sharing More Encouragment

If you are a mother of a strong-willed child, you might want to check out this post at Keeper of the Home.

Afraid to fail? Afraid of falling? Take encouragement by this post from Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Grieving Heart

I wanted to share a resource with anyone who might be experiencing a grieving heart. It might be a good idea to download it and save it for the future in case you will need it. It is a devotional called Psalms for the Grieving Heart and it is a free download to anyone who might need it. I found it by reading a post at At The Well.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

What's so great about public schooling?

Please understand that even though I am posting a link to this post, I am not condemning anyone nor attacking anyone personally. I am posting the link because I agree with all she has written.

What's so great about public schooling?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Surprise Blessings!

I just find it so amazing that not only does God provide for all of our needs, but He blesses us with some wants as well. And on top of that, sometimes we are blessed with something that we didn't even ask Him for specifically (but of course He knows our thoughts so He knows we want it).

For the last month, I have been wanting to order something but haven't had the money. Since it wasn't a need, I wasn't getting stressed about it, but it was definitely something I wanted. I never mentioned it to Chad or anyone else for that matter. I never brought it up in any of my prayer times with God either, yet He chose to bless me with it anyway.

Last week, someone asked me if I wanted exactly what I had been wanting to order. They had it, but then decided to use a different kind so it had just been sitting there for the last month not getting used. Of course I said yes! It wasn't until it was in my hands and I was getting ready to use it that I realized that God provided it for me without me mentioning it to Him or anyone else. We truly serve an awesome God!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Good Reads

I've been busy adjusting to life with another little one in the home, so I haven't had time to write any of the ideas for posts that I have swirling in my head, but I wanted to share links to some good posts by other bloggers that I have found encouraging and/or thought provoking.

Hiding Behind a Mask

Sunday, May 22, 2011

LifeWalk 2011

Care Net of Cadillac's LifeWalk 2011 will be happening on June 4, 2011. Usually the walk is held in May, but thankfully it wasn't this year because I wouldn't have been able to participate if it had been (it would have been only two days after Tissa was born).

Care Net of Cadillac's mission statement is:
Care Net of Cadillac is a Christ-centered ministry that works to glorify God and demonstrate His character to the community. We cooperate with the Holy Spirit's leading as we: Defend pre-born children, meet the needs of those facing an unexpected pregnancy, help heal lives traumatized by abortion, and challenge people to embrace a Biblical view of Christ's love and gift of redemption.

The girls and I have been walking every year for a number of years and it is something we all enjoy doing (even though it sometimes rains or snows!). We usually have a goal of raising $500 in pledges, but this year we made the goal of raising $750.  We would love for a number of you to come along side us to meet that goal. If you would like to support us as we walk, you can contact me at memoriesmama @ netonecom . net (take out the spaces) to let me know how much. Care Net of Cadillac will send you a bill for your pledge amount after the walk. 

Even if you can't pledge us as we walk, please pray for Care Net of Cadillac as they are definitely making a difference in the local communities as abortions are down in all three counties!

LifeWalk 2010

 LifeWalk 2009

 LifeWalk 2008

LifeWalk 2007

Celebrations & Sales!

I want to celebrate the birth of Tissa with a sale for both my Creative Memories business and my Norwex business!

Since she was born on 5-5-11, I want to offer 5% off any order that is placed by June 5th. You can also earn free shipping for any order of at least $100 (after discount). You can place an order by contacting me at memoriesmama @ netonecom . net (take out the spaces). If you want to place a Creative Memories order, you can visit the website and then just enter my name as your consultant (if you place the order there, I'll have to send you a refund check for your 5% and/or shipping reimbursement).

I will be taking 10% of my profits from these sales and giving them to Care Net of Cadillac (which is a combination of our local pregnancy resource center, abortion recovery, fatherhood support, and abstinence education). Not only can you save on items you need/want, but you can support a great organization!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Blessings of Adversity

I was just praying this morning about God using the hard things in my life to help me grow. I ask for forgiveness for tending to ask Him to remove those adversities instead of gleaning wisdom from my experiences.

When I got on the computer, I finally had time to read something that came a few days ago--a post on The Blessing of Adversity. I encourage you to read it.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Welcome Tissa!

Our family was blessed by the arrival of our 9th child/daughter on May 5th at 10:54 am. She joined our family at 8 lbs 10 oz and 22". Mom and baby are doing well.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mother's Day Giveaway!

In anticipation of Mother's Day next week, I want to offer someone the chance to win a gift for either themselves or to give to a mother in their life. I am giving away a copy of the Liberty Baptist Church Cookbook: Feeding the Flock. This cookbook is filled with many delicious recipes (including some of my own!).

I will draw a winner Tuesday night after 6 p.m. so I can mail it out on Wednesday when I go to town (unless having a baby delays that!).

Enter a comment telling me who you will give this Liberty Baptist Church cookbook to or if you'll keep it for yourself.

You can enter again by following my blog (it counts if you already follow, but you still need to leave a comment telling me that you do follow).

A third entry can be earned by sharing about the giveaway on your own blog or on Facebook (make sure you let me know you did this!).

I pray this cookbook is a blessing to whomever receives it!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

31 Days to Clean -- Having a Martha House in a Mary Way

When I first heard about this e-book, I knew that I would have to read it some day! The more and more I hear about it, the more I want to read it. I've heard that a bunch of women are going to be doing it together during May so they can discuss the challenges incorporated in each day (a Mary challenge and a Martha challenge). I don't think that will be possible for me (with a new baby and all), but that doesn't stop me from wanting to get the book to the challenges at another time.
I am not a natural when it comes to cleaning. In fact, sometimes I think my DNA is allergic to it! However, I know that if I am to care for my home, and more importantly my family, I need to persevere in creating a clean, peaceful home environment (not a perfect one!).
 If 31 Days to Clean sounds like a good book to you, purchase the download and you can get started May 1st as well.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Norwex Special

While celebrating Earth Day the way the majority of the world celebrates it gets under my skin a little (I'm definitely not into the whole "mother earth" thing), I do believe God calls us to take care of our resources; therefore, being "green" is good.

Not only are we to take care of the earth (Genesis), but we are to be good stewards of our money and time. Norwex products help us accomplish all three tasks! Norwex products are chemical free with is good for the environment and our bodies, they save time, and they definitely save money!

To celebrate this day, I am offering 22% off any one Norwex item if I receive your order by Monday, April 25th at 6 p.m. When figuring out your order, don't forget there is a $4.95 shipping charge as well as state taxes.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Statements & Actions Don't Match

People are always mentioning how important education is. I am not debating the importance of education, but these same people don't put their money where their mouths are (but money isn't always the answer either).

If you look at the people who make the most money in our society, the majority of these are athletes and celebrities. Why would we throw our money towards "careers" that have nothing to do with education if education is so important? What message do you think children walk away with when they see that disparity? I think that if people want children to get better educations, they need to be willing to support that education, truly show that they feel it is important and take a good look at how the money is being spent.

How much money do Americans spend on the lottery? Wouldn't that money be better spent on the education they say is so important? The excuse that the lotteries support education is weak because only half (or less) actually go to education and I'm sorry, but I would think that just giving the money to the schools so they receive 100% would be far better. Also, the majority of people who play the lottery are the same ones who take advantage of the "social programs" of the government. If they have money to spend on lotto tickets, they shouldn't need assistance (more about that in another post).

Why is it the government's responsibility to provide education in the first place? Why is it that parents balk at having to buy school supplies, but think nothing of buying cigarettes, alcohol, or even concert tickets or sporting events? Why is it the government's job to provide food for students when that is the parent's responsibility? The parents need to suffer some consequences for not providing for their children. The government has taken over for those neglectful parents for far too long. People are not going to learn if they don't suffer the natural consequences of their choices. Besides, the children who qualify for free/reduced lunches are the same ones whose families qualify for food assistance. Those parents are already being given money to feed their children (more about food assistance in another post).

Yes I know there are some cases where parents are trying their best (but in all honesty, most of even these could be doing more, but that is for another post), but the government is allowing more and more people to neglect their children with all its "social programs".

I attended public school. I've worked in public schools. My girls attended public school at one time. And now I homeschool, so I know a bit about what it truly takes to educate children. You don't need a lot of money to do it well. There is a lot of waste in public schools. I saw it as a child. I saw it as a teacher. I saw it as a parent and now as a homeschooler. I truly believe there needs to be major reform in the public schools.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Real Problems of America (IMHO)

I have been involved in a number of debates lately about the economic state of America. It seems like many people think that taking money away from programs is only going to make our issues worse. They accuse me of not having compassion because I don't agree with them.

I've felt led to share my opinions on the topic because I think many people are disillusioned about the issue. America has been a blessed nation and people have become accustomed to the many things that make life easier and they now feel they are entitled to them regardless of whether or not it is truly an entitlement or a privilege.

This will be a series of posts as I can't write everything at one time. I pray that these posts will open up a healthy debate on the issues discussed and no one will take to derogatory attacks.

My hope is to post every couple of days, but we'll see when God actually provides the time and words.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Psalm 113

Psalm 113

The Majesty and Condescension of God
 1 Praise the LORD!
         Praise, O servants of the LORD,
         Praise the name of the LORD!
 2 Blessed be the name of the LORD
         From this time forth and forevermore!
 3 From the rising of the sun to its going down
         The LORD’s name is to be praised.
 4 The LORD is high above all nations,
         His glory above the heavens.
 5 Who is like the LORD our God,
         Who dwells on high,
 6 Who humbles Himself to behold
         The things that are in the heavens and in the earth?
 7 He raises the poor out of the dust,
         And lifts the needy out of the ash heap,
 8 That He may seat him with princes—
         With the princes of His people.
 9 He grants the barren woman a home,
         Like a joyful mother of children.
         Praise the LORD!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Shepherd the Flock

"Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;"       ~ 1 Peter 5:2-3

This is one of the verses that our Pastor read and spoke about today in his sermon. While he was talking about a Pastor's and elder's job to lead the church, the Holy Spirit spoke something else to my heart. As he was breaking down the verses and explaining what it meant, I began to see myself as the shepherd and my children as my flock.

What does a shepherd do? A shepherd leads his flock. He doesn't drive the sheep in front of him, he walks in front of them and leads them. We are called to take care of our flock (children). We lead our children by feeding, protecting, and guiding them. We have a responsibility before the Lord to tend a flock that ultimately belongs to Him. We must do everything within our power to make certain that our children are living according to God's Word. We are to train them, teach them, and guide them. We are to feed them both physically and spiritually.

We are not do so out of compulsion, but do so willingly. We don't take care of our children because we have to, we do it because we are eager to do so. We lead them, guide them, and take care of their needs because we take joy in doing so and do so with a loving heart. We don't do it for gain of any type; we don't do it for monetary gain or even prideful gain. We do it to see them come to know the Lord and grow in Him. We do it to raise warriors for Christ. We do it because we want them to experience the fullness of the Lord and the joy that only He can bring.

How do we shepherd our flock? We do it by being servants, not lords. We are not their masters, but the servants that God has placed in authority over them. We teach by serving. We train by serving. We guide by serving. Remember, Christ came to serve, not be served (Matthew 20:28). By serving, we are leading by example. We become a godly role model to our children and show how to live as Christ lived. Christ set the example for us and we are to set the example for our children.

Are you a shepherd of your children? Last month I had started, but never finished reading Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. Having the Holy Spirit speak to me about how I am a shepherd for my children has renewed my excitement about reading that book. I will start over from the beginning in case I have forgotten anything.

I urge you to think about yourself as a shepherd. Are you leading or driving them ahead of you? Are you teaching and training by example or are you lording over them? Take some time to study these verses for yourself and see how the Holy Spirit speaks to you.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty of Life!

Are we training our children for a career or for living life? What is our ultimate goal? Do we want them to be successful in the everyday or only in a career?

Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty of Life!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ways to Feed a Family of 5 on $5 a Meal

Below is the handouts I shared when I taught the class on how to feed a family on $5 a meal. Some of this information is elsewhere on this blog, some of it is new. I plan on sharing more recipes in days to come as well as more tips to save money and live a frugal lifestyle.

Ways to Feed a Family on $5 a meal or Less

I bought a chicken for $4.51/5 lbs. I cooked it in the crock pot all day with some potatoes & carrots and seasonings. We ate that for dinner one night as well as some applesauce. Figuring in the price if I had to buy the applesauce, it would have been $9.11 to feed my family of 10.

I put the carcass back in the crock pot with water and figured out how much for the carrots, onion, garlic, and celery that I added after taking the meat of the bones as well as the rice for chicken and rice soup and came up with only $1.60 (because I've already counted the chicken carcass).

I then figured out two options for the leftover meat--chicken tetrazinni and green beans (frozen) or chicken and dumpling casserole. Option one will add up to $4.33 and option two will add to $3.75.

All the figuring is buying hormone free chicken, farm fresh eggs, spelt flour, organic carrots, onions, celery, etc. as well as if I had to buy the goat milk. All these figures would go down if people didn't care about "organic" or "natural".

After figuring that all meals will feed 10 people, option 1 works out to 50 cents per person per meal and option 2 works out to 48 cents per person per meal ($5.01 or $4.82 average per meal). This is feeding a family of 10 on $5 a meal!

Chicken & Dumpling Casserole

1/2 cup chopped carrot           1/2 cup chopped onion              2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped celery          1/4 cup butter                              1/2 cup flour
2 tsp sugar (optional)              1 tsp salt                                       1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp pepper                         4 cups chicken broth                   4 cups cooked chicken
2 cups flour                              1 1/2 tsp baking powder             1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp. basil                               2/3 cup milk

Sauté onion, carrot, celery and garlic in butter until tender. Add flour, sugar, salt, basil and pepper. Add broth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat. Cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken. Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan. For dumplings, combine flour, baking powder, salt & basil in a bowl. Stir in milk until moistened. Drop onto casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cover and bake for 10 minutes more. serves 6-8

Chicken Tetrazzini

4 eggs                                       4 cups flour                 1 lb cooked, cubed chicken
1 tbsp poultry seasoning         4 tbsp butter                ½ onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced             3 tbsp flour                   3 cups broth
1 cup milk                               ¼ tsp nutmeg                 1 tbsp parsley

Whisk eggs. Stir in flour. Roll out on counter and cut into strips. Cook in boiling water. While noodles are cooking, sauté onion and garlic in butter. Sprinkle with the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in stock and milk. Add turkey, poultry seasoning and nutmeg. Drain noodles. Combine noodles and turkey mixture together. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Black Bean Soup

1 bag dry black beans             2 ½ quarts water                        1 jar salsa
1 tsp salt                                   2 tbsp lemon or lime juice         1 tbsp parsley or cilantro

Put dry black beans and water in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours. Stir in salsa. Use a hand blender to blend soup (if you don’t have a hand blender, cool soup and blend in batches in a regular blender and then reheat or just mash beans with a potato masher). Stir in salt, lemon juice, and parsley. Serve with tortilla chips. Sour cream and shredded cheese are optional.

Carmel Apple Breakfast Casserole

12 eggs                         2 cups milk                                                2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg                8 med or 6 large apples, peeled and diced       ½ cup butter     
½ cup brown sugar       2 tsp cinnamon                                        12 slices of bread, torn

Whisk eggs, milk, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Peel and dice apples. Combine melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Toss with apples. In greased 9x13 pan, tear 6 slices of bread. Then add a layer of the diced caramel apples. Tear remaining bread as next layer then put remaining apples. Pour egg/milk mixture into the baking dish. Cover with foil and let stand in refrigerator for at least an hour (overnight ideally). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake covered for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake another 15-20 minutes or until eggs have cooked through.

Hamburger Rice-a-Roni

1 lb ground beef                       1 medium onion, chopped             1 cup rice
8 oz spaghetti, broken             4 tbsp butter or olive oil                  4 cups broth

Brown beef and onion in a large skillet. Drain. Brown rice and spaghetti in butter. Add in beef, onion, and broth. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice and spaghetti are fully cooked. Season with salt & pepper. Optional: add frozen peas or peas and carrots before simmering.

Pancake Syrup

4 cups sugar                  2 cups water                     2 tsp maple extract

Bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring constantly until it begins to thicken—approximately 4 minutes. Add flavoring as it cools. Store in refrigerator. Makes approximately 1 quart.

Homemade Biscuit Mix

9 cups flour                 ¼ cup baking powder                1 1/2 tbsp salt               2 cups shortening

Combine all ingredients well. Store in a sealed container. Use as you would any biscuit mix.
Crockpot Spanish Rice

1 lb ground beef              3 cups rice                              1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes & water
1 small onion, diced       2 tbsp Italian seasonings       2 cloves garlic, chopped

Brown meat with onions, garlic & seasoning. Mix meat mixture, rice, tomatoes & water (fill can with water) in crock. Cook on low for 2-4 hours. Serve with shredded cheese if desired.

Taco Style Lentils & Rice

½ bag lentils                           1 ¼ cups brown rice           6 cups water
3-4 tbsp beef broth powder      2 tbsp chili powder         1 ½ tsp cumin
3 tsp onion powder                 ¾ tsp garlic powder

Mix all. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover & simmer for 45-50 minutes. That water should be mostly absorbed. Serve topped with cheese or as a burrito filling.

Websites for low cost meals:

 Money Saving Tips

Purchase whole chickens (or turkeys) when they are on sale. Cook two (or more) at the same time to save on energy costs. Eat some of the chicken that night for dinner. Shred remaining chicken and use to make freezer meals or put into quart freezer bags and keep to use later when you want to make a casserole, soup or other recipe. Put the carcass in water and cook some more to get all little bits of meat off the bones. Use that water/broth and chicken to make a soup.

When making one meal that doubles easily (and will freeze nicely), make two at one time and freeze one. Then on a night that you just don’t feel like cooking, instead of getting a pizza or going to a restaurant, heat up your home-cooked meal!

Shop the sales! Look at the sale advertisements and only buy what is on sale. Plan your weekly menu around what you can buy on sale. If the price is really good and you have the extra money, then stock up. Buy to stock your freezer/pantry. Always keep one extra on hand. When you need to get that out, then you put it on your list and you have a little while to watch for a sale.

Eat what is in season. If you have a garden, you have a great supply without having to spend money weekly. Even if you don’t have a garden, in season fruits and vegetables are a lot cheaper.

Buy in bulk, but make sure you check price per unit. Shop around to find the best prices. It may be a lot cheaper to buy from local farmers and you can bet foods are fresher, and probably have less pesticides than food from big farms.

Make your own pancake syrup. If you use regular sugar, it costs about 11 cents for a bottle compared to about $1.79 to buy it. If you use organic sugar, then it will cost more (probably equivalent to store bought regular sugar), but it will be organic. Also, you don’t have to worry about running out to the store just because you ran out so you’ll save gas money too!

Get creative with what you have in the house! Don’t run to the store just because you need one or two items for a recipe. You will end up spending more than you planned. Start throwing stuff together and see what you get!

Buy cheap and preserve. When things are in season or on sale for a really good price, then buy lots and preserve it either through freezing, canning, or dehydrating. Even if you only have the freezer on top of your refrigerator, you can still freeze lots if you freeze in ziplock bags laid flat.

Hunt or, better yet, find someone to hunt for you! You can save even more money if you process the deer, turkey, etc. yourself.

Switch to whole grains. It might seem like it costs more, but it won’t. Whole grains fill you up so you won’t need to eat as much and what you do eat will be used more efficiently by your body. My family cut our pasta consumption in ½ by switching to whole grain pasta.

Health Tips

Don’t use canned cream soups as they are full of sodium and preservatives. Instead, make quick pan gravy to use in their place. Melt a couple tbsp. of butter, whisk in a couple tbsp. of flour. Cook for no more than one minute. Then whisk in a couple cups of broth. You can use a combination of broth and milk for creamier gravy. You can then add whatever spices you would like. To make more gravy, use more of each ingredient. It would only cost about 25 cents.

Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are better for us. Some people have been cured of cancer by going to an all raw fruit and vegetable diet (you can search the Internet to find stories. I am not professing to give actual medical advice.)

Honey—gels that contain honey are being used to treat drug resistant strains of MRSA and diabetic ulcers; honey is a poor environment for growth of microorganisms and bacteria;
it is being proven that antioxidants in honey reduce damage done to the colon in colitis; honey is great for sore throats and coughs—mix it with lemon juice, consume slowly and it will coat the throat which lessons discomfort as well as heals because of the antibacterial and antiseptic qualities of honey; honey may also reduce odors, swelling, and scarring; honey prevents a bandage from sticking to a wound; it has been shown to effectively treat conjunctivitis in rats; honey is sometimes used to alleviate allergies (if local honey is used)

Make your own mixes to control ingredients and tailor to your needs. By making your own pancake mix you can use whatever flour you need and control the salt. By making your own turkey sausage, you are leaving out the preservatives.

Most Americans don’t eat enough vegetables. When a casserole recipe calls for one vegetable, either double the amount you put in or add another. Not only will you increase your vegetable intake, you will stretch the meal!

Make sure you get your daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, vitamins, and nutrients. Add a salad to your meal. Use fruit in your meal. Whatever you need to do to up your intake, try to do it and your body will thank you!

Eat food that isn’t genetically modified (or at least as the closest you can get it to not being genetically modified) or with added hormones or antibiotics. Whatever is in the food is going to go into your system and could have dire consequences after years of build-up or even after one time. You can easily replace venison for beef in your recipes.

Use real butter or other healthy oils. It may be a major controversy of margarine vs. butter, but butter is closer to natural. Margarine may be a lot cheaper, but is your health (and the health of your family) worth it? The thing that sealed the deal for me is that cockroaches won’t even eat margarine! That tells you how bad it is. To make using butter even better, use unsalted butter. Coconut oil is also a great alternative to melted butter or shortening. Olive oil (extra virgin olive oil is best) is great not only for you, but helps with dry skin and makes your hair shiny.