Saturday, November 25, 2017

Simplify This Season-Maginify the Lord

I always had a mixed feeling about the saying in the title, "Simplify Christmas or the Season." I know what it means but it always makes me think that the celebration of Jesus isn't suppose to be simplified. It should be magnified. The Lord came to this earth as humble as He could. But there was still gifts, gold, spices, costly items, and beauty that was brought to Him this night. There was a simple celebration. A Holy Hush that swept through that night. But a celebration none the least.

Catch what I said above, "Things were brought to HIM."  What a thought?  Now of course we can't shower gifts necessarily to Jesus.  But we can stop and Be Still and lavishly love on Him and represent Him this season.

The bells and whistles are already roaring. The sales, mad rushes, one holiday came and went as fast as lightening, and now here comes the next. Everything seems to fly now these days. One day to the next can start to blend. Holiday's are doing the same. Overlapping! People rushing Christmas before Thanksgiving even happens.  Sales are now taking place on the day of Thanksgiving.

Could it be that the reason we feel this need to simplify this season is because we have a tendency to lose focus of the season?  If there was no rushing, overspending, overeating, over indulging, and stressing there would not be this "trend" of posts about simplifying Christmas.

Christmas was meant to magnify Christ, not ourselves, or our wants. 

But I understand that it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of busy during this season. I do understand we need a game plan to help us not get caught up in all busyness. So, I will post ways I am trying to slow and simplify but most importantly how I or WE as a family will be MAGNIFYING Christ this season in the days to come. Join me in the next few days ahead.
Share ways or your thoughts on Simplifying Christmas!!!!

Chrissy T

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

You Gotta Have Grit

Hello Friends!

Sometimes things do not go as planned as you all well know! Our dryer decided to not work properly today, my Pre-Lit Christmas tree decided it had its better days and would not return, and I realized I had accidentally donated a box with a lot of my Christmas décor last spring, and then my vacuum is not acting right.  Oh and my heater for the house is acting bonkers.

I had a slight meltdown today! I say this now laughing. Truly! I am trying so hard to stick to budget and I already feel a slight pressure of "will this all work". But friends....sometimes you have gotta have GRIT! That is what we say in the south.

You got to make things work. Figure it out. Be creative. Make do even when you may not want to. Hopefully our dyer will be under warranty. A friend let me use her dyer so graciously.  Hannah let us have her personal Christmas tree. I learned to be creative with things I had in my home to make it Christmas looking due to the donated décor, and my vacuum still works but just won't stand upright so I am just going to have to make do.

Is the tree the Martha Stewart tree that I usually aim for? is simple and Charlie Brown like. But sweet and serves its purpose. I was not willing to spend money out of the budget or charge a new one! Nope. Even a used one! Nope. I will make do!

Did I like loading wet soaking clothes to a friends home?  NOPE...but it reminded me of neighborly love. My friend came through for me. We enjoyed a chit chat too. Will I charge a dryer if it is not under warranty? NOPE! We will save out of half of the debt attack money, cut out pleasures, and etc. until we can save up. I may have clothes hanging all over my home. But I am sticking to the budget!

Am I sad about the décor I donated? Yes BUT thankful I could make things pleasant and work. Hopefully some other family is enjoying those decorations.

Running out to the store to buy "new things" was not an option. And I am thankful that the Lord helped me have GRIT and Make DO!



Monday, November 20, 2017

Starting the Envelope System

Hey everyone. This topic was easier to do a video on. Thanks for your support and patience.

Please share your thoughts! Many blessings!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Eating Out Knock Off-Chinese Food (Teriyaki Chicken)

Hey everyone. Since we are working at slashing our expenses I am having fun in the kitchen. Also, I share on this short video about why I took down previous video.

2 pounds of boneless chicken
1/2 c Soy Sauce Low Sodium
1/2 brown sugar
2 TBL of minced garlic

Marinate chicken for 2 hours or more.
Bake at 350 for 30  minutes

Complete meal with rice, sauted peppers and onion . Super Delish!!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Homeschool Fall Ball

My older children had a Homeschool Fall Ball that our Homeschool Group put on. It was very tasteful. I helped decorate for the event. It turned out so lovely. My son decided to surprise his little sister with flowers. This is his last year for things like this (as a Senior). This was Hannah's first year for the ball. Super Sweet. Ethan already owned his suit and he used one of his dad's ties. Hannah's dress cost $30 but she can wear it several times. She plans to wear it for her Christmas Youth Party and Christmas Service. The dress cost $100 but I found it on a closeout website.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Master Pantry List-Becoming Prudent (Part 3)

I am sharing our Master Pantry List. After typing it all out I plan to go through this list and see where I can cut or changes I could make to cut our list down. I shared things we use for our family at some point through the year. I know a lot will not seem whole foodie or anything of that nature.  I am also aware a lot of things I could cut to be more frugal. I do not buy these things monthly. But for time sake I do use these items for quick needs. I am sharing what I would like to have in my pantry due to the fact I know I purchase it at some point through out the year. I know I could make things from scratch more, store more, and preserve more. I am not at that point yet. I plan to get there though. Without further ado....

Canned and Jar Goods

green beans (different styles)
corn (Creamy and whole)
diced tomatoes
tomato sauce
chicken broth
beef broth
tuna fish (water packed)
cream of mushroom
cream of chicken
cream of celery
baked beans
refried beans
black beans
pinto beans
northern beans
spaghetti sauce
alfredo sauce
cheese sauce (frito chili pie topping)
canned fruit (peaches and pineapples)


mayonnaise/miracle whip for husband
steak sauces (A1, Country Bob's, Worcestershire sauce)
thousand island dressing
honey mustard
Italian dressing
hot sauce
bbq sauce
teriyaki sauce
low sodium soy


pasta shells (penne, elbow, ziti)
spaghetti noodles
lasagna noodles
dry beans
rice packs
mac and cheese (quick emergency lunch for kids)
ramen noodles
granola bars
tortilla chips
animal crackers
graham crackers
turkey jerky (me)
tea bags
peanut butter

Baking, Spices, and Seasonings

Chili season pack
taco season
ranch dressing packs
french onion soup mix
flour (SF, All Purpose, Whole Wheat, Bread flour)
baking soda
baking powder
powdered sugar
brown sugar
cake mixes (ER quick fixes)
brownie mixes (Quick Fix)
pancake mix
pudding mixes
chocolate chips (different kinds)
cooking spray
oils (EVOO, and etc.)
bread crumbs
garlic powder
Italian season
meat seasonings (McCormick mixes)
cocoa powder
food coloring
baker's chocolate
pumpkin pie spice

Refrigerator Needs

cheese slices (Colby)
cheese shred (mozz and cheddar)
butter (unsalted and salted)
sandwich meats
sour cream
cottage cheese
cream cheese
pizza dough (quick need)
pie crusts (quick need)

Fresh Produce (purchase things that are seasonal)

lettuce (leafy greens)
tomatoes (Seasonal)
sweet potatoes
green onion
grapes (depends on sale)
berries (if in season)
zucchini and squash (seasonal)
peppers (seasonal prices)
fruits and veggies of the season


ground beef
chicken (breasts, thighs, legs, and whole chickens)
turkey ham
breakfast sausage
smoked sausage links
summer sausage
pork chops
pork loins
vegetables (lima beans, mixed veggies, peas)
ice cream ( a must in our home)
berries (smoothie mix)
cool whip
frozen items I keep on hand for quick lunches for kids (pizza and chicken nuggets) we do not eat these often but it is nice to have when needed for a quick fun lunch
french fries

Here is a neat basic pantry printable. Here is a blank pantry printable to insert your personal pantry needs.

Goodness that is a lot!!!!

Do you have a Master Pantry List?



Friday, November 10, 2017

Budgets, Oh My! Becoming Prudent (Part 2)

BUDGET!!! The dreaded word for some people. Honestly, I am apart of those people that dread the word. Not because I do not like budgets or that I don't budget partially. It is because I always have a hard time setting them up, making them work, and etc.

It never fails. I will set up this nice budget. I will get all our ducks in a row. I promise the next week we will have a unforeseen expense and it throws us all off.

I know...I know....that you need savings for these things. I know you should have that $1000 ER fund, or sinking fund. I know...I know...BUT what if you don't?  For example, every time we will begin our plan to try and work towards having that savings or ER fund something comes up.

I think this is where Prudence comes in.  We have to ask ourselves is this situation worth investing at that moment or could we possibly make a decision to put it off until we have the money for it. Prudence is all about making wise choices.

But to be realistic you do need a budget when aiming to be prudent. You need to know where your money is going and how to make it work for you.

My first step is to go over our current budget. Here are my steps to make this painless as possible.

1. Gather all totals of debt owed. (I am crying like a baby here!)
2. Write out all of our fixed expenses.
3. Write out all our expenses that fluctuate such as gas money, clothes, boy's haircuts, groceries, supplies. Things of this nature. Set a more fixed amount if possible for these expenses.
4. Total all income. Then total all expenses.
5. Plan any money left over to go toward debt reduction. Cut any expenses possible if need be to help this area.

This is my first step toward Becoming Prudent. Of course, all this tackled with prayer!

What is your thoughts on Budgets?  How do you make them work for you?  Any budgeting tips?