What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, January 31, 2014

~Finances on Friday~

I have gotten into the bad habit of not writing these little financial things down as I think of them...I go about my business and think "Hey!  This would totally count for Fridays' Finance post!"  and then, poof!  It's gone just as quickly!

Nevertheless, here are a few things I can recall for this week:

* Went to the grocery store to get a few things, but didn't want to do a huge monthly grocery trip, so I just got a few things plus our dairy products for the week.  When I came home, I looked in the freezers and decided that- with the exception of onions and dairy products, I am going to try to make February a no-buying groceries month.  Our freezers are full- it ought to be do-able.  (Famous last words.)   I do love a good challenge- spices things up a bit.  I'll let you  know how it goes.

* Matt and I had our money meeting.  (Surely, I can come up with a more clever name for that.  Suggestions?)  We looked at how much we were able to save last year, the big 'unbudgeted' expenses for the year and generally how 2013 went for us...where we need help, where we did well, etc.  We also discussed how we could achieve our financial goals for 2014. I really like these meetings with him.  (I also like the whipped cream vodka I added to the girlie cocktail that is becoming a money meeting tradition.)  Cash and cocktails night?  Booze and Budget night?  hmmmm...

* I made homemade refried beans from DRIED beans (thank you very much.)  Actually, I cooked the dried beans so long (intended at first to be eaten as chili) that they became too squishy to be used as I had first intended.  I obviously need more practice with dried beans. 

* Over the weekend, Matt finally figured out how to get electricity to different parts of the cow barn.  Poor guy has been trying for a couple of weeks to get it done- having had only one measley little bulb for over a year!-,and scouring youtube for any answers to the difficulties. It didn't come easy for him, but He DID it without needing to call in (or pay for) an electrician!  I'm so proud of him!  And how handy those lights are to have!

* Put some food in food grade buckets to protect them from vermin.  Yes, we had some seriously frustrating vermin issues for WEEKS until finally, the cat which we PRETEND is not allowed inside (but sneaks in all the time anyway), caught the most mammoth rat I've ever seen.  SO.GROSS.  We were dealing for over a MONTH with a nondescript creature...at one point I had no less than eight different traps (mouse, rat, sticky pads AND live animal traps) all set up and my bananas were STILL being eaten in the middle of the night.  Oh man, was I mad.  Needless to say, I am VERY glad that THAT is over and Percy has earned the right to come inside every now and again.

* Made homemade yogurt.

* Changed our Medi-share amount to a higher deductible so that we can have still have a cushion each month.  (The initial amount would have taken all of our excess, leaving a whole lotta nada for saving.)

* Was given a bag of boy clothes.  Sorted the stuff I would keep- one 'skater' type shirt (with white long sleeves under a short sleeve polo shirt) had really stained long sleeves but a pristine polo- so I cut off the long sleeves and now Judah will have a nice polo shirt for summer.

* worked on a crochet gift.

* made orange furniture oil/cleaner

* made homemade guacamole (a real treat!) using a few on-sale avocadoes from the trip uptown earlier this week.

* Hung all jeans, sweaters, towels to dry by woodstove.

* washed a bunch of ziploc bags I've been shoving in a drawer.

Alright- your turn!!!

What about you? 
Do you have anything financial to share this week? 
 Link up!  
But PLEASE- link to your SPECIFIC blog post, not your entire blog. It could be ways you saved or stretched or strategically spent those pennies...or even inspiration you found or quotes... but please link to a post about SOMETHING financial! Lastly, please link back to my blog and maybe others would like to share!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A (Winter) Day in Pictures

Poor Mattie has been away from home since Monday, which is no fun for anyone.

I decided yesterday morning to document the day with my camera, as it was being lived.  It would give me a bit of a much-needed diversion and it might make Matt feel more at home as he sits in his hotel room all by his lonesome, reading my blog.

He does that, you know.

Thus, a day in pictures:

Up at 6 am to beat the garbage man to the curb.   Only two teeny bags this week!
Get the woodstove blazing...
I started reading to one child-but the children have radar when it comes to story-telling and eventually there was a pile of them.
Judah's turn to help with breakfast.  He thinks EVERY morning is his turn, so you have to be careful with him.
Half with ketchup, half without.  Me?  I am a ketchup on eggs kind of girl.
Big kids head out to do chores...
Time fer some lernin'.
Need to add wood to the fire
Lunch time- swipe the table free from papers and books, just enough for some eating room.  I read, they eat.
The littles go down for a rest, the biggles finish more schoolwork and then read/play quietly while I eat my lunch and work/play on the computer.
It's cold on these bitter days, no matter how roaring the fire down cellar.  Sunspots are prime learning spots.
swept and cleaned the mudroom
cleaned my bedroom while listening to this.
more wood for the fire...
Time for evening chores...my job when Matt is away.
Meanwhile, there is a ball going on inside
Chores sure are more pleasant with lights in the barn!  (A recent improvement!)
When chores are done...where did the sun go?
The children surprised me by clearing and setting the table and getting in their pj's while I was doing chores.  I think it was a BIG HINT that they were hungry. 
making yogurt
Before bed story time
After the childer were tucked in, some vacuuming needed to be done...
...because I had a boatload of laundry to fold.  Which I did, while watching a chick-flick.  (Miss Austin Regrets)  I had been storing up the clean laundry for three days so I could do this!
At 11:30, the movie was over and my folding done.  One final load up of the woodstove to get us through the night...
Checking in on the children before heading to bed myself.  Sweetlings.
Then it was to bed with me.  I read until 12:21am and then- lights out. 
 I probably don't need to say this but I will anyway...not all days are like this.

Some days include things this day left out (exercise! a-hem) and some days do not include what this day did (making yogurt).  Some days are more productive than others.  Many days it is miraculous to get school done well and meals on the table...

 This was a productive day, mostly because Matt was away and I can never go to bed at a decent time with him gone.  Instead, I stay up until my eyelids finally give up, usually about 1 am.  This means, that while I have several extra hours in which to be particularly productive...by the end of the week, I am usually also a bit growly. 

I know which one I would choose.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


"The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder." 


"Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we."


 "We should always endeavor to wonder at the permanent thing, not at the mere exception. We should be startled by the sun, and not by the eclipse. We should wonder less at the earthquake, and wonder more at the earth."

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Woods in Winter




I HAD to do it....

Matt teases me mercilessly about my hermit-tendencies in winter.  I'd rather be wrapped up in robes and blankets, curled on the couch or (better yet) standing within inches of the woodstove frying my leg hairs off than walking in snow with wind whipping my face and freezing my eyelids open.  But hey, that's just me.

So I am a bit of a recluse in winter.  I admit it. 

But I forced myself to go for a walk one balmy day of about 27 degrees- knowing that the single digits were looming in the forecast and if I didn't go to the woods then, I wouldn't get another chance for a while.    Winter woods are echoey and crisp and still (except for the children who romp along beside) and always, always beautiful.

I feel very blessed to get to see such beauty on this hill- each season brings with it new extravagance and pomp.  Winter is no different.

I only wish that I could WARM UP, for goodness' sake. 

I do envy the city apartment with thermostats that can be pushed to 'stuffy' with a mere button touch and living rooms with fireplaces (even fake ones).  Especially when the quilt that hangs between doorways to keep out the cold, hangs convexly as it fights against the heavy wind that pushes and shoves it.  SURELY a window must be open....a door?  Nope.  Not even one.