"Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do,
and He will show you which path to take."
~~Proverbs 3:5-6~~
I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. Jesus is Lord of my life and I strive daily to draw closer to Him. I love being a homemaker---taking care of my family and home. I enjoy couponing, cleaning, and cooking. I love to get the best deal on everything and find that yard sales and thrift stores are the perfect places for that. I have recently felt lead to write a Bible study and have been working on it in my spare time. I truly enjoy leading women's groups as we all seek to grow closer to the Lord. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy reading about what happens as I strive do all of this.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Most people do not like Mondays.  I actually like the start of a fresh week.  I really like Mondays now that my husband is working a regular shift (1st shift/Monday-Friday).  When he was at his other job, the only Mondays that I really liked were the ones when he worked off of 3rd shift.  I did not like the Mondays before he started 3rd and the other two Mondays of the month he was working.  With his previous job being a swing shift 7-day rotation, it left LITTLE time for family.  We had one Saturday a month that he was actually off of work so we tried to cram all our "fun" into that one day.  We longed for him to be on a regular schedule, but I did not realize what a difference it would make in our family life.
Today is the 4th Monday we have had with him on his new job.  It is the first week that he has to "turn hours" and he will not have a guarantee pay.  It is the "unknown" factor that has us sort of fearful.  On this Monday, I am clinging to the fact that God has not let us down yet.  He promises to meet our needs.  He has more than done that the last 6 weeks.  Three weeks out of work and three weeks with a guarantee pay that was less than his previous pay, and God has provided for EVERY need.  We have sort of dreaded the start of this week, but I am trying to look forward to what God is going to do.  He has proven that He is faithful...although He did not HAVE TO prove it.  He has proven that He is our provider...although he did not HAVE TO prove it.  I had to believe it and the last 6 weeks have taught me to believe it.  
When we first started this journey of my husband losing his job, my prayer was that we would have "enough".  I did not pray for him to make a ton of money.  I just wanted our needs to be met. As I think about "enough" it reminds me of how Jesus teaches us to pray.  

“This, then, is how you should pray:

Our Father in heaven, 
hallowed be your name, 
your kingdom come, 
your will be done, 
on earth as it is in heaven. 
Give us today our daily bread. 
And forgive us our debts, 
as we also have forgiven our debtors. 
And lead us not into temptation, 
but deliver us from the evil one.”
Matthew 6:9-13

Friday, November 25, 2011

Merry Christmas Banner---FREE

I had seen several variations of banners on Pinterest, and wanted to make a Christmas one.  I made this with paint chip cards (Bher Brand are longer than most).  I printed the letters on my computer and cut them out.  The top right corner had a little simple that can be popped out, so all I had to do was punch a hole in the left side.  I then attached the letters to the cards with double sided tape and strung the cards onto a string.  The star in the middle was a Fiber One Cereal box.  I traced the star and cut it out.  I creased each point on the star to make it more 3D.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Last night we had our Thanksgiving meal here at our home.  We enjoyed the company of a couple of college students, my 86 year old great-aunt, my mama, my son's best friend, and a family of dear friends.  As we sat around the table and enjoyed the food, laughter, memories, and stories, it became quite evident that "family" is more than just those you are related to.  Family stretches beyond that.  It was such a blessing to share the evening with such a diverse group.  Watching my aunt make the teenagers laugh as she told funny stories, was priceless.  Seeing the look on my husbands face just before he spoke the blessing, was my blessing.  Hearing everyone at the table as they shared with each other, some who did not even know each other before last night, was touching.  As we laughed, shared, and ate, I realized one thing more than at any other moment in my life....I am truly truly blessed.  I praise the Lord for giving me this life....all of it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My First Christmas

My first Christmas  1969
We had a silver Christmas tree with a spinning color wheel to light it (you couldn't put lights on the tree).
As I get finished with my decorating, I will share pictures of this Christmas and the decorations that are here.  I will not be under the tree.  ;)
Here is a picture that is the view from where I am sitting to type this:

Last Night of Bible Study

Tonight is the last night of a study that has REALLY impacted my life!  James MacDonald's "Lord, Change My Attitude" has been a wonderful study.  Tonight, we eat and watch the epilogue video.  Hard to believe that the 11 weeks have gone by so quickly, yet I have learned SOOOO much. I do not want to live my life in a wilderness.  I do not want to be seen as a murmuring woman.  I want to have a thankful, content, loving, faithful, and submissive attitude in all that I do and say.  I do not want to complain, covet, criticize, doubt, or rebel.  I want to take what I have learned from this study and allow God to change me.
I was the leader of this study and found it to be a very humbling experience.  I had big shoes to fill with our former leader moving away.  I knew that we had different styles and personalities.  I wanted to effectively lead but with my own God-given quirks and personality.  I think, in the end, I was able to do that, but I am still overwhelmed that God chose me to do this.

Here is what I have learned:
(1)  If I choose to murmur as a lifestyle, I will spend my lifetime in a wilderness.
(2)  I absolutely choose my attitude
(3)  My pattern of thinking determines my attitude
(4)  When I am faced with something, I need to know that God is COMPLETELY in control

That being said, let me share with you what I dealt with during these 11 weeks of this study:
(1)  I had a severe jaw issue that left me in excruciating pain at the beginning of the study
(I was blessed to get relief with a bite guard that I now wear at night)
(2)  A couple of weeks into the study, my daughter and I were home alone and an intruder came in on us. (We were blessed to have been kept safe....but it was scary to say the least)
(3)  My husband lost his job where he had been for 5 years and was out of work for 3 weeks.
(He was blessed to find a job within that time that allows him to work a regular shift and to be home on the weekends)

Through all of this, I knew that God was teaching me additional lessons from this study.  It has been a challenging 11 weeks, but it has been a blessing (even the hard stuff).  God is good, and if we choose to NOT murmur, there are blessings to reap.  I am blessed to be ending this study the week of Thanksgiving and I have MANY things to be thankful for.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Early Morning With My Husband

For five years, my husband was swinging shifts that were seven day rotations.  He would work 7 days on 1st shift with one day off.  He would then work 7 days on 2nd with three days off.  And then he would work 7 days on 3rd with 2 days off.  Our entire family planned our whole life around his crazy schedule.  His sleep was off and our schedules were a mess.  
This is the start of his 3rd week at his new job and I realized yesterday just how different our life is with him on a regular schedule of Monday-Friday on 1st shift.  It has changed everything.  I just kissed him goodbye for the day about 30 minutes ago. We had spent about 20 minutes drinking coffee and talking before he left. A few weeks ago, I dreaded the thought of getting up at 5:30 each day, but now I go to bed looking forward to my early mornings with my husband.  It is precious time that I did not realize that I missed when we were living our lives centered around his previous crazy schedule.
I have loved getting up and preparing his breakfast, spending some time with him each morning, and spending the day looking forward to him coming home.  It has been wonderful.  I sense a calmness to our home that has been missing for quite a while.  
My prayer is that he will continue to settle into his new job and that God will use him there to bless others.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Soup

My son is 17 and just discovered that he liked broccoli recently, so today's lunch was based on him bragging about eating broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl at a restaurant that he really enjoyed.  I made "bowls" yesterday from my sourdough starter.  It was four perfectly sized bowls.  This morning I made the soup totally making it up as I went.
I first softened a chopped onion in butter. I added dried celery flakes, chili powder, and minced garlic to that. While that was going, I started a roux from flour and butter in a another pan.  Once the onions were ready, I used my immersion blender to blend the onion so I would not have pieces but a just a base to the soup.  I added the roux mixture along with concentrated chicken stock to the onion base.  While that was cooking and being whisked, I started cooking the broccoli.  Once the broccoli was softened, I added it along with a can of evaporated milk to the base.  I then whisked until smooth and added 2% milk until it was the desired consistency.  The finishing touch was two good handfuls of grated sharp cheese.  Once the cheese was melted, I dipped it into the bread bowls, topped with a little cheese and chili powder, and then served.  It was a hit to say the least.  My husband LOVED it!!!  My son said it was better than what he had at the restaurant.  SUCCESS!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sourdough Bread

Several days ago, I posted the recipe for the sourdough starter that I like to use.  Today I am baking sourdough bread.  It is a two day process, but WELL worth it.

The morning of the day before you are planning to bake the sourdough, mix one cup of warm water with 3 Tablespoons of instant potatoes, and 3 Tablespoons of sugar.  Add that mixture to the starter and allow it to sit on the counter until later in the evening.  I usually allow it to sit until just before time for us to go to bed.  That is when you mix the dough.  Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn oil
  • 6 cups bread flour

Mix all but the flour together in a large mixing bowl.  Add three cups of the flour and mix well.  Now add the next three cups of flour.  I usually reserve ½ cup of the flour just in case I do not need it.  Mix it well until a soft dough forms and all the flour is well incorporated.  I use my hands for the final mixing.  Next, you grease a large bowl and place the dough in it.  Cover well and allow to rise over night.  

In the morning, take the dough out, place it on a floured board and  knead for a few minutes. 

 Divide dough into 4 equal pieces an knead each one until smooth. 

Shape each one into loaves.  Place each peace in a 8x4 bread pan that has been buttered or oiled.  

Cover with plastic wrap and then a moist towel.  Allow to rise until doubled in size.  

Bake at 350º for 35-45 minutes until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped. Turn them onto cooling racks, brush with butter, and allow them to cool.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Football Food

I bought LARGE russet potatoes for $3.99 for 15 pounds last week.  I ended up getting two bags and my mother gave me part of her bag.  I have been finding various ways to use them.  Today we are watching Clemson play football so I wanted to make something for us to eat while watching the game. I roasted long slices of potatoes brushed with melted butter on parchment paper for 20 minutes on each side at 400º..  After roasting them, I sprinkled each slice with browned bulk sausage and cheddar cheese.  I placed them under the broiler for a few minutes and served with ranch dressing.  They were a hit!  Now....GOOOOOOO TIGERS!!!!

Seasonal Favorite----CHEAP!

Thanks to a wonderful coupon, a good sale, and it being this time of year...I was able to get one of my favorites for hardly nothing. I did not know until two years ago that I liked peppermint mocha until I was accidentally served one at a Starbucks one day.  I fell instantly in love with the flavors.  The creamers that come out this time of year of a real treat.  I was able to purchase one this morning and will enjoy it for the days to come.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I am not a fan of cake mixes and canned frosting, but if doctored, I don't mind using them.  With coupons, the Pillsbury cake mix was 50¢ and the frosting was $1.  I like to have a dessert on hand most nights.  My daughter loves to help in the kitchen, so we doctored a mix and a frosting today for a special treat.  
I added a little cornstarch, powdered sugar, a pinch of salt, and butternut flavoring to the frosting and mixed it with the mixer.  I added a teaspoon of butternut flavoring to the cake mix.  The result is a more "homemade" flavor and texture.  

Sourdough Starter

I have not had a sourdough starter going in a while, so I decided to start one today so it will be good to use throughout the holiday season.  I use this to make all sorts of things....bread, rolls, pancakes, etc.  It is the best starter recipe I have ever had and I have used it for YEARS.  I found the recipe on All Recipes and still have my original copy that I printed when I first found it.  You can find the recipe here:  Sourdough Starter

Waffles Using Canned Biscuits

This was another suggestion that I found on Pinterest.  It worked really well.  I think the next time, I will use the canned cinnamon rolls to see how that works.  
I used the smaller canned biscuits and placed two on each side of the waffle iron.  I suggest that you take them out of the waffle iron once they start browning.  It is a quicker way for making waffles but not necessarily cheaper.  I fix breakfast at 5:30am for my husband so this is quick and simple.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stuffed Shells for Supper

I found this recipe by searching Pinterest (my new addiction).  It came from a blog called Let's Dish I deviated some from this recipe, due to having some things on hand but not others.  I have it all ready to go into the oven about an hour before my husband gets home.  The only thing that I really did different was that I used a ball of mozzarella that I broke into pieces and I used shredded 4 cheese blend for the top.  I found it VERY useful to use my Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator to stuff the shells.  It would make using manicotti shells with the recipe REALLY easy.  Here are my stuffed shells prior to baking.

Three Cheese Stuffed Shells

1 (16 oz.) package jumbo shell pasta

1 (16 oz.) container ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/3 cup dried bread crumbs, seasoned
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 cups marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, then rinse with cold water to cool so you can handle the pasta while stuffing.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, bread crumbs, oregano, basil, and salt and pepper to taste; mix well.  Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and cover bottom of dish with a thin layer of marinara sauce. Fill shells with cheese mixture and place in dish; cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top of sauce. Bake, covered,  for about 30-40 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce starts bubbling.  Uncover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes.

God Cares About Chicken Stock

We have been overwhelmed at how God has taken care of us and encouraged us in the 3+ weeks that my husband has been out of work.  We have not had one worry or concern.  Each time we paid a bill, the money has come back to us almost immediately.  From us using a couple Saturdays to have a table at a flea market to my husband working on a couple of vehicles for people.  I received a Wal-mart gift card for my birthday and my husband received a Piggly Wiggly gift card for working on the door that was not closing well.  Each time we have put gas in the car or truck, we have had the money returned to us.  It has just been absolutely amazing to watch.  A couple took us out to eat one Sunday after church.  Another friend took my husband and I to see Courageous.  A dear friend gave me a gift certificate for a facial that I used last week.  It was wonderful!
I have always used coupons and tried to feed our family as cheap as possible so that we could afford for me to stay at home all these years.  Yesterday, I dropped my husband and daughter off at church because they needed to be there for their small groups.  I had a little over an hour to waste until I needed to be there.  I grabbed my coupons and went to Bi-Lo.  I only had a few things that we either needed or were extremely cheap with my coupons.  I placed a couple of things in my cart, and went down the soup aisle.  I thought I had a coupon for the new Knorr Homestyle Stock.  I was planning to make potato soup Tuesday of this week and needed it for flavor.  I did not have a coupon and it seemed a little pricey so I just kept walking.  In less than 10 steps this lady coming toward me with a box and a display poster stopped and asked, "Are you Janie?"  I said, "No ma'am but I am Jamie".  She said "I have something to give you".  She reached into her box and pulled out not one but two samples of the Knorr Homestyle Chicken Stock.  I just laughed.  I then told her why I found it to be funny.  We talked about how she remembered me from an article that had been in the paper a few years ago, had seen me at a former church, and sees me with my coupons in the store.  She was on her way to set up a display for samples for the chicken stock and honestly, I am not certain with where she was placing the sample display, why she would even come down that particular aisle.  Oh, I do know why....God cares about chicken stock!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Leftover Soup---(8 servings for less than $2)

I love it when I can make a meal out of leftovers or things I get for nearly free with coupons/sales.  Today, I made a soup that was enough for two meals for our family and it only cost us less than $2 total.
I cooked an onion, a can of chopped tomatoes, and various spices until the onions were soft.  My son does not like chunks of tomatoes or onions so I used the immersion blender after cooking them.  I then added left over shredded chicken, leftover black-eyed peas, and leftover white rice.  I deep fried corn tortilla strips and sprinkled them with salt.  To serve the soup I placed it in a bowl with a sprinkle of cheese and spoon of sour cream.  I put some of the tortilla strips on the side.  It was a hit and we have enough for our lunch Sunday!

God Had a Plan

It has been nearly 3 weeks since my husband lost his job.  We had been praying for a long while that God would move him from where he was, but the way it all happened was not really what we had planned.  I know the Lord well enough to know better than to assume my plan is the best plan.  My husband had been swinging shifts for 5 years.  He would work 7 days on 3rd and have two days off, work 7 days on 1st and have one day off, and 7 days on 2nd and have three days off.  We only had one weekend as a family and that weekend was always cut short because he would need to rest for the upcoming 3rd shift week.  We really wanted to just have a normal schedule and for him to get proper rest.  Our other concern was that he was only able to go to church two Sundays a month.  We really wanted to find something where he could go to church every week.  Money had stopped being a motivator or desire.  
In July, we were convinced that a job we had checked into was the job God wanted him to have.  He had been recommended by someone that worked at the company.  On paper, the job should have been his.  Everything was working out just like we thought it should.  We would sit and "dream" of how life would be when he started the job.  We would talk about it as if it was a done deal.  We were convinced by everyone involved that it was.  Then came the day that Glenn called the recruiter to ask where things stood.  I saw Glenn's face as he found out that he was not getting hired.  I saw the defeat and rejection all over his face.  It was a sad day for us.  We had really gotten our hopes up.  We had a really hard time dealing with the questions in our hearts and the hurt that it did not workout.  We talked and said that we truly trusted God's timing and plan, but it was hard.
August came and I suddenly had a jaw/facial pain that was worse than any pain I had ever suffered.  I spent a lot of time in tears.  It was at this same time that I had agreed to start a women's small group at my church.  The pain was unlike anything I had ever experienced.  I eventually visited my dentist only to find out that it was nothing serious and a simple night guard that he would fit me far would fix the problem and alleviate the pain.  Once the guard was in place for a few nights, I had a complete recovery.
September came and I was gearing up to start leading a Bible study at our church.  I was planning and preparing, but really nervous about it.  We had the first meeting and it went well, but I was a nervous wreck.  That Saturday, my husband was working 2nd shift.  My daughter and I were in the back of the house in our kitchen cooking.  Our dog, who was in the den at the front of the house, started barking.  This is nothing unusual, so I sent my daughter to see what was wrong.  Almost as soon as she left the kitchen and got to the den, she started screaming.  As I left the kitchen, I realized a strange man was standing inside our front door.  My instincts kicked in and I ran from the back of our house and straight to him.  I was screaming for him to get out and eventually shoved him to our front porch.  The police came and arrested him later.  It was a scary scary night.
October came and we thought things had settled down.  Two weeks into the month, my husband left for work on 2nd shift and less than two hours came home.  He informed me that he would find out the next day if he still had a job.  The instant that he told me, I made a conscious decision to not go into my all familiar mode of anxiety.  I decided to take care of him, love him, encourage him, and help him through it.  We did not have any idea how we would handle things, but we knew God had a plan.  We decided to just trust Him.  As I sit and type this, realizing that he has been out of work three weeks as of tomorrow, I realize that every single need that we have had, has been met.  God has taken complete care of us.
Our prayer has been that God will shut every single door that is not where he wants him to work.  I asked God to encourage Glenn and to not allow him to suffer anymore rejection.  Fifteen minutes after my last blog post where I wondered "Why would we say no?", my husband walked into the room to tell me that he had gotten a call and was starting work Monday.  It was the job he first wanted and it is everything we had asked God to workout.  He was even going to ask the guy if he could come in early on Wednesdays so he could get home in time to go to the Men's Group on Wednesday evenings.  Before he could ask the guy told him he could get off an hour early every day.  God is so good!
I sit and type this knowing that God had a plan.  I have not once doubted that throughout these three weeks and I have been certain that whatever God was up to would be far better than anything we could workout on our on.