Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hobo Steak & Crock Pot Baked Potato (Another Sunday Fixin)

One way that I have been working on our budget is NOT EATING OUT. Our biggest culprit is Sunday. My husband is a Pastor and Sunday's tend to be a long day. Enjoyable but long. If I am not conscientious about preparing our meal before I leave our home we end up eating out.

                                               Church Fun with Friends
                                                     (April 2015)

Since working on our budget we have saved lots of money by cutting this out. I utilize a lot of crock pot meals or slow cooking items.

                                    One my dearest friends and neighboring Pastors Wife
                                                          (April 2015)

Last Sunday's dinner was Hobo Steak and Baked Potatoes.  I made up hamburger patties with seasons, topped with onion and made a tinfoil pack for each individual patty. I put them in the oven on 375 while we got dressed (45 minutes) and before I headed out to church I bumped the degrees down to 190.  They cooked for about 3 hours. Oh my...they were moist, juicy, and perfect.

I then took my potatoes and gave them a good scrub, poked holes in them, and rubbed butter on them.  I rolled them up in tinfoil as I would baking a potato and put them in my crock pot on high. They cooked 4 hours. They also were perfect.

Hobo Steaks (Servings 6)

1 1/2 to 2 lbs of ground beef ( I used 2)

seasonings such as salt, pepper, and garlic salt

I also tossed a brown gravy pack in the burger because it sounded good and I am using things in my cabinet up.

1/2 c of bread crumbs

Make patties as a burger patty and place in foil, top with onion, and wrap up.

Thanks for visiting!!!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Busy Bee!

Hello Dear Sweet Friends,

I have been busy as a bee!  We have 11 days left of school before summer starts here in our abode! Lots of field trips, picnics, and organizing for the next school year is going on. We also have a "Servant's Heart" Work week at our church all week. Basically, the church comes together for "spring cleaning" the church! After work today I came home and cooked the extra chicken pot pie meal from last week and headed to the church. I washed all the baseboards of the Sanctuary and deep cleaned the Sanctuary at the church.

Monday we celebrated Ethan's fifteenth birthday! SNIFF!  We had a special time with his youth group and some family friends!  He is growing to be a fine young man!  I'm thankful for him because he gave me the experience of motherhood!  I love him so!

My posts may be sporadic this week due to busyness! But things will slow down soon!

Praying you all have a good week!


Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Nice Welcome & Ramblings!

I love wreaths. I really love seasonal wreaths.  I know they are a "want' and by no means a need. I was wanting a new wreath for our front door this year because all my wreaths are old and faded.  I already had a wire form, and burlap, and d├ęcor from things I have collected over the years from gifts and such. I did buy some pipe cleaners and some extra burlap and ribbon. I made this wreath for under $12.00.  I thought it turned our nice and gives a NICE WELCOME for our front door.

I thought it turned out very cute. It is bright and springy!!!  I want to thank you for all the sweet encouragement I have received and I appreciate it more than you all know. A new change has happened and I am just going to embrace it even though I am not for sure why, I am trusting in the Lord and that is all I can do. I do feel better. I believe I have a road to recover and rebuild my health and I am looking forward to our summer break from school to be able to get started on investing in my health and hopefully create long lasting changes and disciplines.

We are getting lots of spring rain here in the Midwest and I love the sound of rain. I am sitting here right now listening to the sprinkles and feeling the breeze through our windows. I love the smell of a fresh spring rain after a lawn has been mowed. Right now, I hear all kinds of birds, and tree frogs having them a time. I love the music of God's Creation.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. We have Ethan's 15th birthday celebration tomorrow after Sunday evening church. We are all looking forward to that. I can't believe my oldest is 15 years old.

I didn't do so well on my goals that I had set. I am really having a hard time accomplishing them all. I believe it is my season of life right now. I am praying about how to be more committed to goals. I did increase my water intake, walked with a friend this week, kept the house cleaned, and prepared as much as I could for Ethan's party on top of working 43 hours this week and church duties.

In the frugal area I turned down a lot of things to keep money for savings. I try to utilize leftovers this week and felt very successful. I set a budget for Ethan's party and stuck with it on the most part.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Testimony Time

Dear Friends,

I would like to share a testimony of something God did for us. My husband and I were invited to Solomon Islands this summer for some mission work. It was going to cost a lot. We knew that God would have to supply because we didn't have the funds. My husband wrote some letters to some friends and fellow pastors and we had not heard anything about sponsors or received any donations as of last week.

My husband and I begin to pray that if the Lord really want us to go we would receive confirmation! God confirmed!!! My husband went to the post office church box and in there was a $2000.00 donation toward our trip! He was so excited he praised Jesus right in the post office. Well, the owner of the print shop in town was in the post office and asked what was going on and Derrick shared the story and he began to cry and praised God with my husband and then gave Derrick $100.00 toward our trip!

God is so good and faithful!!

Has God blessed you this week?  Big or small God cares! Share your testimony!

Love you all,

Love When I Get Four Meals out of One

This past Sunday I shared how I made a whole chicken. It was a nice size bird. I got 4 meals out of this chicken. I normally only get 1 maybe 2 out of a chicken. I tend to buy smaller whole chickens for money sake but they had chickens on sale and I got a large one for $5.00 and I think that is good considering I got 4 meals out of it.

As mentioned earlier I put the whole chicken in the crock on Sunday. I shredded the leftover chicken and got 2 Yummy Chicken Pot Pies. Then I still had some left so I making chicken salad out of it for lunches.


My Quick Chicken Pot Pie

I put shredded chicken in the crock pot, 1 bag of mixed frozen veggies, 1 large can of cream of chicken, and chicken broth. I eye ball the broth. You don't want it runny just smooth, like 1/2 cup or so. 1 melted stick of Real Butter. Salt and pepper. Stir all this real good.

I then cook this on low for 2 1/2 hours. Let it simmer real good. I take two pie crust. I would make these normally but because I had 2 premade ones I use this. Especially on my days I am working (I only have 16 more days until I am a full time homemaker again) it makes it so much nicer. I put one pie crust and roll it out in a 9 by 13 pan, then spoon in the pot pie mix on top of crust. I roll out the other one on the counter and then lay it over mixture and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Serve with a salad, and cold tea. Yummy!!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Weekly Goals & Flower Bed After Photos

I have 2 1/2 weeks left at my job. It really is a bitter sweet thing for me. I honestly enjoy so much what I do, but I know it is best and meant for me to be home. I have projects swirling in my mind. But most important is investing in my spiritual walk and getting my health better so I can think and serve better.

Goals for the Home this week

Clean our storage room
Prepare for our oldest sons birthday coming up
Keeping up with the Basics as I am still working outside the home

Goals for the Budget this week

Make another budget that is more solid without my pay since I only have 1 check left before I am finished on my job.

Here are some snapshots of the work we accomplished this past Saturday in the yard. I am very pleased.

Goals for the Family

Date Night with Hubs
Plan Summer outings and learning fun

 I am so excited to see these bloom out and fill this bed.  They will be pretty.

Goals for My Health

Drink daily suggestion of water
Drink Lemon water in the AM
Walk at least 3 times this week for 15 Minutes (small goal but attainable for me)

I plan to do a wild flower garden later and my husband plans to do a raised bed for some basic gardening. Due to our mission trip to the Solomon Islands this July we aren't going to be able keep up with a big garden.

Have a Blissful Blessed Day!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sweet Surprise

I have been so blessed by a sweetheart, Nanna Chel  from Going Grey and Slightly Green.  She knew I had been having a rough go lately with health and other issues and surprised me with a wonderful goody. I got a lovely package so wonderfully wrapped and a BEAUTIFUL card, an amazing potholder, and a Lavender Sachet which is my favorite scent in the world. I take lavender baths weekly and spray my pillows with it. I HEART lavender!!!  It was all away from Australia. I was thrilled. My kids watched me opened it and was so excited.

 This crayon tinted hand embroidery potholder was made by Shiralee at Vintage Papery. It is absolutely FUN and so creative. Love it!
I began to praise the Lord with tears that there are still sweet ladies that think about others and for an encouraging spirit. I have always been a giver and a random acts of kindness person and so it was such a treat to be on the receiving end. Thank you so much!!!!!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Chicken Dinner & Crockpot Ranch Potatoes

I have 3 servants and they are the most wonderful handy servants ever. These servants are the good ole' crockpot.  I have one big one that I do main dishes in and then a crock pot that has 3 medium crock pots in one. I use these a lot to help me especially on Sunday. It can be super easy to get sucked into going out to eat when your a Pastors' Family. I have to be very intentional to make sure I have a meal cooking before I ever leave the house on Sunday morning.

This past Sunday I did a Whole Chicken.  I rinsed it off real well, jabbed holes in the chicken and then coated it in olive oil. I sprinkled garlic powder, salt, and pepper on it. I mixed up a pack of Organic chicken gravy as the directions said and poured on top and got it cooking. Totally nothing fancy but it was moist and delicious.

Crockpot Ranch Potatoes

6-8 small to medium potatoes sliced (leave skin on)
chopped green onions to taste
1 pack of ranch dressing mix
1 stick of butter
salt and pepper to taste
bacon crumbles (I used real bacon pieces)
cheddar cheese (top at the end of cooking and mix up before serving)

Line crockpot with tinfoil and spray foil with cooking spray. Throw your potatoes, sliced butter, green onions, ranch packet, and bacon and stir. Then cover the top of potatoes with tinfoil. Basically, make a tinfoil pack. Cook on high 4-5 hours or low 7 hours. I cooked mine on high. They were perfect! Sprinkle with cheese and stir a little.

These are super yummy! Have a good day!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Blessing Our Abode

We had a productive day here at the Humble Abode. We finally set aside some time as a family to do some much needed yard work. We had 18 chickens last year and they DESTROYED every flower bed, shrub, and planters. We were raising them as Free Range and Organic Hens and they were EVERYWHERE! Needless to say that didn't last long. After some got killed by Coyotes, wild dogs, and who knows what else we decided to let them go to a better home.  We needed to repair our destroyed flower beds. They turned out lovely. I am just showing the before shots. 

I hit the ground early and I first enjoyed some time with the Lord and a cup of coffee.  I am in Matthew and it was just what I needed today.

 Then I headed to the store with some money that I had been saving to do the flower beds.  I got very good deals and resisted buying more than I needed. *SMILES* After I got back we started cleaning out the old beds and getting ready for the MAKEOVERS!!!

 Hannah and I worked very hard today. The whole family did. The boys cleaned out beds, unloaded rock, mowed, and cleaned brush. Hannah and I planted, weeded, watered, and then spruced the inside of the abode up. I cleaned the fridge out and freezer. She vacuumed. We then cleaned out the garage. I AM TIRED!!

                                    Kyle planted carrots and flowers!

Ethan working hard breaking up ground to plant our new shrubs. We have a had a good and productive day. We finished up the day after several loads of laundry, baths, and cleaning heading to church for a Children Event. It was so much fun and turned out lovely. We have a great group of people that work very hard to help the church.
 I have all our church clothes ready for in the morning and a chicken ready for the crock pot. I am going to try a new recipe with potatoes for Sunday Lunch.
Hope your Saturday was lovely. I pray you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What Treasure Have you found this week?

No greater treasure to me than the Word of God. This week this scripture has stood out, "Teach me thy way, O Lord, I will walk in thy truth; unite my heart to fear thy name."  -  Psalm 86: 11

This has been a wonderful treasure to me this week. What about you have found a little nugget of gold in the Word? Please share!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Your Favorite Frugal Tip

Sweet Ladies,

What is your favorite frugal tip? What is one or a few things that really saves you money and benefits your family budget?  As I prepare to get my last pay check our income will drop and the money I made that paid for schooling will be gone and now that payment will now be coming out of our main budget. I am trying hard to learn, read, and research ways to to cut expense and keep our budget in order!

I'm excited to hear your tips. Share any books, advice, and sites that have helped you along the way. Thank you!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Guess What???

Guess who is going to be a full time homemaker again in 22 days?!?!    Me!!!   I resigned from my teaching job today! It went well! I love my students and what I do but I know that this is the best and the Will of the Lord.

Prayers for me as I finish up these last few days!


Friday, April 10, 2015

Ethan's Christian High School Banquet (2015)

Sniff....the time has flew and I can NOT believe my first born is in High School. A couple of the Christian Schools in our area got together and did a Dinner & Games Banquet as a alternative to PROM. The kids all looked nice and they were so excited.

Thought I would share Happenings in our Home!

Sprucing Our Abode.....

I plan to do some much needed sprucing here in our abode today. I have had such a rough week with my health. I am able to walk a little better today and my legs aren't as bad as they were. I made some dietary changes Wednesday and I already feel a difference. My body doesn't hurt as bad.

                          Just a few nature shots from hiking a few months ago.

Today, I plan to play catch up due to my leg pain and extreme fatigue. I have laundry that needs to be finished, each room needs a little love action, and my oldest son has his High School Banquet tonight. So, I have to get to it.

I am planning to go to the church today first and just have some Quiet Time with the Lord.  Soaking in His Presence is always refreshing. Afterwards I have to run a couple of errands, and head back to the abode to do some sprucing.  Then I will work on getting Ethan all ready for his Banquet. After that we have a family conference to attend.

Busy day ahead and pray for strength from above!!!!

Mrs. Chrissy T

Thursday, April 9, 2015

My loves.....

Nothing fills my heart, soul, and mind the way my Lord does.  He is my all in all. I am so thankful that He led me to a wonderful Man of God who is such a earthly rock in my life.

 I am also so very thankful for these great blessings has given to us.  I our hope and goal is take these arrows God has given us and sharpen them in Him and aim them to do mighty things for Him as they are older.

 Ethan is going to be 15 years old in 2 weeks. Hannah is 10 and Kyle is 7 years old.
                     Spirited and spunky! the one that keeps me humbled!
                              Joyful and super helping. Has a huge heart
                Super sold out on Jesus and had a heart for witnessing.

Thankful for these blessings!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bread in the Crock Pot Experiment

The other day I came across a recipe on Crockpot Rolls.  The idea is to speed up the rising and jump start the bake time. The recipe used Rhodes Frozen Rolls. She sprayed the inside of the crock with Olive Oil and the frozen rolls and put them on high for 2 hours. These were solid frozen rolls and after they had risen she turned the heat down on low for 2 hours or until golden.  She put them in the oven to make them a little crisper.

I just happen to have had a Frozen Bread Loaf and experimented with it and it turned out super good. It was a little more like Artisian Bread once it was all said and done. It was good to pair with a soup.

It was a neat experiment. I would probably do this only if I had Frozen Dough on hand and was in rush where my hands couldn't be occupied by kneading and such but my favorite is traditional by the hand from scratch way.

I do have a bread machine.  I usually always just make it, knead it, let it rise, and bake it. I just like the hand process of it all. Something nostalgic about it I suppose.

Hannah my daughter loves these Daffodils and every time they bloom she has to have them.  I was sick a couple of weeks ago and bed ridden and that sweet child went in the rain and arranged for me this treat for our kitchen. She is one of my heartbeats. I love her so.

Praise God for this blog and the new friends I have met through it. I have felt so discouraged by the Lord has been so good and I am so thankful for you all.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Taking Care of Those Toosties for Cheap

I love a good spa pedicure but they are not economical and no longer for our budget.  But that doesn't mean those tootsies of ours has to go sadly neglected. My husband loves clean crack free feet. Smiles!  I am one of those people who has extremely dry skin and with my health this year (shingles, pleurisy, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, and chronic bronchitis) the last thing on my mind is a taking care of my FEET!

But ladies sadly my feet need love and one thing I like to do every now and then is to hit the Dollar Tree to stock up on inexpensive foot care items and make a homemade foot scrub and cream.  It does wonders and after being on my feet all day as a teacher it feels so refreshing.

                                                    Online Image Source
The Dollar store has foot files, Epsom salt, foot soak, and creams. I usually stock up on the files and Epsom Salt, and soakers.  I even bought a nice foot pan for $1.00!

Homemade Foot Scrub

2 cups of Epsom Salt
Drops of Lavender Essential Oils
1/4 Cup to 1/2 C of Olive Oil
Pint size jar

Mix all this up and store in jar.

Homemade Foot Soak

2 Cups Listerine
1 Cup of Baking Soda
mix this in a pan of Warm Water
I put marbles in my pan to roll my feet on. It is so relaxing.

Homemade Foot Cream

1 cup of Coconut Oil
1 TB Tea Tree Oil
1 TB Jojoba Oil
I put this in a small plastic container and mix up.  Coat my feet and put socks on for the night or a couple hours.

Do you have any tips on taking care of the Tootsies?  Any recipes?  Any creams you use to keep them soft?

A couple of weeks ago I hosted a Make Your Own Party with some Ministers Wives and we made these above. It was so much fun!!

Share your thoughts.....

Prayer and thoughts, PLEASE!

Warning....this may be long! I would like to explain my situation first. As I stated earlier in some post I work at a Christian school. I'm planning to resign but want to make sure. I felt confident in that decision but then a shift happened and I'm just not sure.

I was a homemaker and homeschool mom for 13 years and my husband became a Pastor in the last 3 of that. Now we also were assistants for 7 years at a different church. So we have been very active in ministry for 16 years. When we moved for his Pastorate it was different my husband made 3 times what he does now, we lived in a metro area, and life was much different as far as types of churches. We are now in a extremely small town, rural, and different culture. When we moved here I was a homemaker and homeschool mamma but the demands of helping my husband with the church was really overwhelming and my kids were not getting proper education. It seemed like everyday there were interruptions no matter how much I drew boundaries they were always crossed! Always!

Last year my husband felt our oldest who was entering high school needed more and so he wanted him to attend a small conservative Christian school. It has wonderful for him and is preparing him in so many ways for bible college. In the midst of that the school lost their Kindergarten teacher and they offered me a position and we prayed and felt that I should take the opportunity. I would get one child's tuition free and then compensated to pay for the rest of the kids. My daughter who has struggled severely with dyslexia went through a special program this year and jumped a whole grade and has learned ways to fight her dyslexia. The school has been a great experience educationally for all my children. Even spiritually due to the biblical teachings, and curriculum that is bible based.

Now while it has been good for the kids it has not for me. I have a immune issue and health issues and it has been horrible. I have been very stressed working 45 hours a week with travel time, coming home and keeping home, doing bills, and spending time with kids and husband, trying to find time to pray and study the word, and I can't barely keep up with my church duties and other ministry things that I have a burden for. It's has been horrible. My husband ends up cooking a lot, doing laundry, and helping with so much more due to me being so exhausted. He works a part time job, and full time pastors, and then is coming home doing my responsibilities. Yes, I believe that keeping home is. Even though we are okay with team work it is hard on him because I am usually sleeping a hour after work just to be able to do supper and laundry. It's just horrible. I don't have time to care for my body and fix the foods I need because I already get up at 4:45 in the am and I'm not home until 4:00 in the afternoon.

Spiritually I'm struggling because I was use to spending hours in prayer, walking in prayer, and studying when I was a homemaker and now I'm just so tired it's so hard. My blood pressure is in danger and a couple weeks ago I was hit with a bad case of pleurisy and bronchitis and was almost hospitalized. My body just shut down. Now, this week I can barely walk.

I feel torn to quit because even though all of that I loooove what I do. I love teaching. I also have never ever been away from my children and I am a huge homeschool and biblical education advocate so it's hard for me to think they will stay at the school and I will not be with them. My husband wants them to stay. He supports whatever I choose to do. He is torn as well because he wants me to come home because he feels that is right but the money and cost of school makes him nervous. We can afford to send them to the school but it will be so very tight!

I have prayed and I just can't get a clear direction. I don't want to be away from my kids but I am so tired when we get home I don't invest in them and I don't see them but a couple minutes at the school. Part feels if I stayed home and focused on my health that when they came home I would be better attentive to them.

Ladies I'm torn! I believe wholeheartedly in Titus 2 and I just feel confused and torn. I am not helping my husband and honestly I'm so tired that I'm snippy and put a lot on him! I'm not investing in my kids heart like should, I'm neglecting the ministry part of church, most important I have neglected my time with the Lord.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Frugal Goals Week 2

Well ladies last weeks goals went okay. I unplugged everything reachable to nix vampire sources. I will say we had some unexpected purchases that happened that made my week not feel very successful but flexibility is a must I suppose!

This week I plan to do
1. Clean freezers out and make a inventory list to better plan meals
2. Make a menu for the rest of April
3. Put screens on our windows so we can use them for air flow besides turning airor fans on. We are in the 60's to 70's right now.  It comfortable most of the day with no windows open or fans but at night after cooking it gets warm.
4. Do a $5 pantry stock up purchase

I hope to do some spring cleaning this week and spring clean our budget a little more. What is on your list this week?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Produce List and Stocking Up Savings

There is tons of articles on when to buy things at rock bottom prices. As well as a list of when its the best time to snag produce for those that don't have a garden or a food storage yet. We plan to garden this year, but we are going to the Solomon Islands in July for mission work and so we will keep our garden very basic due to us not being able to care for it and it might be neglected so I don't want to waste money and time in a large garden that may ruin before our return. 

                                         (Creation Museum Gardens 2014)

We love fruit and veggies.  I usually shop at a place called Aldi's that has great prices and when they are in season the prices are even rock bottom awesome. I will stock up and freeze a lot of them such as berries, chopped onions, and bell peppers.

Here is a Produce List for April (US)

Butter Lettuce
navel oranges

Also Baking items are rock bottom prices in April.
Hams are good to stock up on in April!  I plan to make Ham Broth this month. I love how you can stretch a ham.  From broth, breakfast, casseroles, and flavoring beans, ham is so versatile.

Share ways you stock up on produce!