Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
"Could we get foamy hand soap for home?", Elle Belle asked me one day. I told her I'd start looking. I found some...it seemed a bit pricey, especially when I usually got our hand soap for free or pennies at Walgreens or CVS. I bought some lemon foamy soap at Bath and Body Works with a gift card I received. We were in heaven.
Then it ran out.
I tried filling the lemony foamy soap container with regular antibacterial soap from the big jug we had under the sink. The soap came out...sort-of, but it wasn't foamy at all. That was a dud idea.
I got to thinking about what the lemony foamy soap liquid looked like before we used it all. It was pretty watery.
I poured some of the regular soap I had put in out of the foamy soap container (about 3/4 of it) and filled it up with water. Shook it gently. Put the lid on and then...the moment of truth...foamy hand soap came squirting out. I called Ellie. She tried it. We laughed and giggled.
Here's the bonus - doing it this way will make the big jug of antibacterial soap that I got for about 50 cents from Walgreens last MUCH longer.
Foamy hand soap in our home and it will save some money. Oh my stars!
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Sam's Club. Weekday afternoon. One Mom (or maybe a good looking teenage boy) pushing a big blue cart in which sits a bubbly little 2 year old blondie and a HUGE box of paper towels, 3 gallons of milk, 10 lbs of carrots and more. Walking along side the cart are two other handsome boys darting off this way and that for items their Mother requests. Skipping along the other side of the cart is a gal of about 6 who is singing and getting into other shopper's paths from time to time. The Mom would REALLY like to be sipping a cherry Coke, but she has given those up for Lent and, Lord willing longer, so she isn't.
Can you see it?
Here's what happens next.
The happy family will be waiting by the milk cooler for another fellow Sam's shopper to make her decision...skim or 1%? Hmmmm... As the shopper turns around, she notices the waiting family. "Wow!" she says, "You have your hands full! How many kids do you have?"
The Mom replies, "Only five." At this point the shopper opens her mouth to respond and then closes it and smiles. She might say, "Oh, that is great!" or something like that, but usually not.
A tall lithe woman, who might be nearing 40, but looks like she is only pushing 35, is waiting in a chair at the Dr. office. In the seats next to her, two little gals are quietly looking at magazines. (OK, let's be real. The 2 year is really walking around and talking to EVERYONE in the waiting area.) After having a long conversation with the 2 year old, a man a few seats over says to the woman, "She must keep you pretty busy, but I see that you have some help," and he points to the older girl.
Before the woman responds, the older sister pipes up, "We've got some more help at home!" The man looks at the woman and inquires how many children she has. "Only five," the woman replies. "Oh," he replies, "you do have help," and smiles. What else could he say?
This is how people respond to me (did you get that I was the tall, thin young looking Mom?) now when I tell them how many kids with which we've been blessed. It was not always this way. I've learned a few things over the years. The word ONLY is very powerful.
In the above scenes, if I would have responded to the questions by simply saying, "We have five children." Those people asking the questions would say something like, "Oh my goodness! How do you handle all of that? I could never have that many kids! Do you ever have any time to do anything for you? Did you mean to have that many? etc. etc. etc" These are all reactions I've gotten over the years. I love the last one especially - I had to hold my tongue because several rather racy retorts flashed through my brain when I heard it.
"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
Saturday, March 27, 2010
This past Tuesday a package from Amazon arrived on our front porch. Always an exciting event! The particular package contained a CLEP study book for our oldest, Nathan. Not as exciting for him, but we're hoping he'll see the benefit in the future.
I've always loved getting deliveries from Amazon (or anywhere else for that matter). What fun to see the man in the blue (or brown) uniform drive up and deposit a brown cardboard parcel on our porch. Half of the time, he doesn't make it to the porch. Someone always runs out to meet him.
However, in the last two years getting packages from Amazon has become so much better. Why? Because most of the items arriving haven't cost us a cent! They've been free!
Have I found some magic Amazon fairy that grants me all my wishes? Nope. If that were the case, the gigantic 6 qt Kitchen Aid 600 Professional Mixer in kitchen pearl color would be sitting on my counter as I type. Not that I've looked at them...much.
No, I didn't find some magical wish granter. I found Swagbucks which is almost at good.
Swagbucks is a site, a toolbar, a miracle. I earn Swagbucks by doing my usual internet searching via Swagbucks. I don't earn Swagbucks on every search, but at least a couple times each day, I'll enter a search word like "dog puke upholstery cleaning" and up pops a box that says I've won 10 or 20 or even 50 Swagbucks.
These little beauties are kept in my Swagbucks account until I reach 450 Swagbucks. Then I go to the Swagstore and claim my $5.00 Amazon.com gift card. I save those babies up until I get at least $25.00 and then go shopping at Amazon.com. I could go shopping before I get $25.00, but then I'd have to pay shipping. Who wants to do that?
I've also "bought" a few other things from the Swagstore - Starbucks gift cards, Barnes and Noble gift cards. The Big Guy and I have had a few cheap dates this way.
If you click on this link or on the Swagbucks icon on my sidebar, I'll get some extra Swagbucks in my account. Just so you know, I'd tell you about all of this even if I didn't though. I love helping people get free things!
You might want to give Swagbucks a try...I mean you don't have to but wouldn't you love to get something for nothing?
Friday, March 26, 2010
I cannot tell you how geeky this makes me feel, but there it is. I'm actually a bit surprised that I posted it. I've been debating how much you all really need to know about me...all these dark secrets.
In previous posts, I mentioned that I've only been "seriously" couponing for about 18 months. Prior to that, I'd always been frugal - we've pretty much had a grocery budget since we were married (Thanks, Dad!). The budget wasn't huge, but it was always enough.
These days we have more mouths to feed or, to use a good farm analogy, we've got more mouths lining up at the trough. The budget is pretty much the same, maybe even a bit smaller than its been at times. Praise God - it is still always enough.
Couponing really helps. I've just had to learn how to do it and, let me say, it is a learned skill.
If you cut out the coupons from your newspaper this Sunday, grab the stack and head to the store on Monday and buy the food you have coupons for, you will NOT save money. You will more than likely spend lots more than you usually do and you will end up with a large majority of your cart full of junk.
If you make out a grocery list, after deciding what you'll eat that week, what you have on hand, what is listed on sale in the store ads and match those sales to coupons, you WILL save lots of money. It's more work, especially at the start, but personally I think it is worth it.
I don't use every coupon I come across because lots them are for items we'll never eat or use. It is NEVER a good deal to use a coupon on something that you don't need. Saving $1.00 off of a box of Super Sweetie Sticky Snacks that cost $4.00 will save you a buck, yes. But if you would never buy those things anyway, you just spent $3.00 to bring home a trip to the dentist.
I also don't use coupons to buy some items, even if I know they are cheaper with a coupon. There have been times when I could have purchased instant oatmeal for less than it costs me to make it from scratch. However, I like the list of ingredients on the back of the canister of whole oats (it reads--Ingredients: oats) much more than the long list on the back of the instant packets.
Last month, I came across an interesting article about couponing in the Wall Street Journal online. The author breaks down couponing into an hourly wage which is something I've thought about but never took the time to actually compute. Check out the link below.
I have to admit - reading it makes my big ole' oddball coupon box seem more like a treasure chest.
Doing the Math on Coupons by Brent Arends
By the way, my kids are cringing right now. The whole world has seen the box.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
It's a good life, but sometimes it is a bit tiring to live with a man who thinks so deeply all the time. My brain is usually stuck in more of the addition, multiplication, "Go Dog Go," and wondering what is for dinner mode.
I'm thankful for the challenging thoughts he and He provides.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
We've had the gals for almost a week and they are not quite sure they want to stay in our backyard. Plus, they are 8 months old and can sort of fly. I mean they aren't going to flap their wings and join the geese flying northward overhead, but they can get from the ground to the top of our 4 ft. fence with no problem.
And if they can get to the top of the fence...
Thus, the new PE class here on the farm was born.
It is very entertaining to see the kids outside with their frog catching nets and sticks and whatnot, running around chasing chickens. It is an even better show to see Farmer Ron doing it.
Personally, I don't chase chickens if it can be helped. I'm the teacher. Someone has to watch the class and grade their performance.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Despite these chilly thoughts, we still put seeds in dirt here this week! Sweet Pepper seeds went into potting soil and were put into a little plastic "greenhouse." They are currently sitting on a heating mat and residing in our basement.
These peppers are new for us this year. I saw them in the seed catalog and my mouth started watering. Farmer Ron is a good man and indulged me by adding them to our order. These peppers are a bit pickier than most of the things we grow. They need warm soil and a LONG growing season, thus the early start date and the heating mat. We'll see how it all turns out.
Every year we plant the basic, work horses of the garden - tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, cucumbers, green peppers - but we also try a couple of new things. Surprisingly, lots of the yearly experiments have become favorites - eggplant, sugar snap peas, swiss chard, kale. The variety makes it all the more exciting! (Yes, I just used the word "exciting" while talking about gardening. I would not have believed that I could use those two words together in a sentence 20 years ago.)
So, now we wait for the seeds to do their thing and watch closely for their little green heads to pop up. Spring is here 'cause the seeds are in the dirt!
Monday, March 22, 2010
The Problem of the Older Son
Lots to ponder and pray about.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Here in the Frozen Tundra, we are not blessed with one of those magical stores that allows customers to double their coupon values all day every day. I have heard of such places, but only in fairy tales. We do have a grocery store chain, Copps, that doubles 5 manufacturers coupons every Wednesday when you spend $25.00.
Here's a bit more to think about, it probably took me about 1 hr to get all of these deals together and matched up with coupons and the ads. It took an additional 2 hours max to do the shopping (I had the 3 littlest young'uns with me so that added a bit of time). If we round the numbers, I saved about $100 off the regular prices so I made about $33.00 per hour and paid no taxes on that hourly "wage."
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
5 pints of dilly beans
You get the idea. Doesn't even some of that make your mouth water?
So, you need to do some gardening. You don't have to dig up your whole backyard. In fact, I think you are smart to start small your first year. Garden plants are quite pretty. Start by setting aside a portion of your already existing flower beds and use them to garden. Put in a few tomato plants. Grow beans up a trellis on the side of your garage. Sow some salad greens. Put herbs in pots. Put tomatoes in pots for that matter. You can get lots of produce from a few plants.
Fresh veggies taste great, but they taste excellent if you and your family have grown them on your own little farm.
What are you planting this year?
By the way, the photo is of our garden this past Monday. The snow is all gone now. The bike is just to show how good my kids do at putting away their things...
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The Big Guy has a blog (www.thislittleplot.com) and I have a blog. Now, Jake, our second son, has one, too!
Jake has a HUGE interest in fish and I am truly amazed at what he has learned all on his own. Being that I am not a pet person (don't throw things at me) and that fish are pets, I have not had one thing to do with any of this. He has researched online, read books, made phones calls, and bartered for items on craigslist. It has been amazing to watch 12 year old do such things.
Now he has a blog to record all of his adventures! Check it out...I'll bet you learn something. I know I did.
What's your goal for yourself and your family? I'd love to hear it!
Monday, March 15, 2010
In the summer, we shred any zucchini that we don't eat or give away measure four cups into ziploc sandwich bags and freeze it. When zucchini muffins are on the menu, I get it out of the deep freeze, let it thaw, squeeze all the water out and throw it in the batter.
Here's one of our favorite muffin recipes.
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
makes about 20-24
2 c white sugar (I use about 1 1/2 c)
1 c vegetable oil (I use 1/2 c oil & 1/2 c plain yogurt)
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 t vanilla
2 c grated zucchini
3 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t ground cardamom
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins or use liners. In large bowl beat eggs. Beat in sugar and oil. Add vanilla, cocoa and zucchini. Stir well. Stir in baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices and flour. DON'T stir it lots. Stir until everything is just moistened. Your muffins will get all pointy on the top (I think my Home Ec teacher called these peaks and we lost points for it) and not be as tender if you mix the batter a bunch after the dry ingredients are added. Fill tins about 2/3 full and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let them sit for a bit after you take them out of the oven and then dump them out. Once they are cooled, you can bag them for the freezer.
See how easy muffins are! You don't need a mix! You don't even need a crazy veggie or fruit. There are lots of great muffin recipes online - just google it. Try oatmeal muffins or honey whole wheat muffins, if you don't think those you love will like pumpkin...although they might surprise you. And if you make a whole bunch at a time, you'll have several meals and snacks at your fingertips.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Oh, three point one four
Sweet three point one four
You make math so easy
No longer a chore
For this we all love you
Dear three point one four.
we confess that we have failed to admit that we have sinned against You in
our thoughts, words and deeds. We have denied our faults to You, to our neighbors and even to ourselves. We have wandered away from Your will and rule; we have taken Your blessings for granted. For Jesus' sake forgive us, renew in us a desire to please You, and restore us to the path You would have us take in our life's
Different things strike me on different days. Do you see the part that got me today?
We were confessing the fact that we had taken for granted blessings in our lives given to us by God. We were saying "sorry" for not having hearts full of gratitude. Ouch.
I don't really need to confess that, do I?
While washing up the lunch dishes after church, I started feeling grumbly as everyone else had scattered and I was left to do the work alone...again. But wait, the fact that I was washing dishes meant that we had just eaten food and not gone hungry. The fact that I was washing seven plates and not just one meant that God had blessed me with a husband and five children. The fact that I was turning on the faucet to fill the sink meant that I have a home...with running water none the less. Such blessings and I was missing them all.
I have taken your blessings for granted.
I confess my sin Lord. Thank you for your grace and mercy.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
2 - 8 packs of Olay bar soap
1 bottle of Olay body wash
Total - $16.50
less 1.00 coupon for bar soap
1.00 coupon for bar soap
2.00 coupon for body wash
Total - $12.50 spent out of pocket (plus tax)
Here's the kicker: I also received a $5.00 Target gift card that I can spend on
whatever I want. I'll probably put it towards another great Target deal. In
addition, I'll also be receiving a $15.00 rebate check from Olay in the mail.
Friday, March 12, 2010
hold of it. But this one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and
straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for
which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
It took me a few years to come up with a way to honor the hard work and pride of my little Monet's. On one hand, I didn't want to crush their spirits when they found their hard work in the recycling bin and on the other hand, I was getting worried about whether or not we'd lose the couch, chairs or even one of the kids under a mountain of crayon and colored pencil drawings we'd amass by the time all of the kids had passed through the big drawing phase of their lives.
Part of the solution to this dilemma came with the creation of The Little Farm Museum of Art. We had a blank wall in the kitchen that needed something on it. A really big white wall that was calling out for some art. I'd looked for just the right picture or nick knack to fill the space, but everything I found was either...well...really tacky or really expensive.
That's when I realized I had LOTS of one of a kind pieces made by my favorite artists at my disposal for free! I bought 4 frames and painted them all to match each other and the room and filled them with some of the kid's and/or my favorite pieces of art. They look great on the wall. I love looking at them. The kids like having them there, too!
From time to time, one of our resident Van Gogh's will present me with a piece that they deem frame worthy and we'll put it up. Sometimes, one of their works strikes my fancy and up it goes. The collection is always changing so we're never bored with it.
My empty wall is filled. My budget is saved from expensive decorating. My kids know that I value their skills. As an added bonus, I think they've become more careful and selective in their work. After all, they never know when it might end up on the wall at the Museum!
By the way, the Little Farm Museum of Art has free admission. Feel free to stop by sometime.
Memorizing scripture is, of course, important! However, we've found that hymns and even silly poems are great and fun ways to stretch our brains, too. Memorizing helps increase vocabulary and gives kids a greater understanding of how words fit together. Besides, think of all the useless stuff that gets put into littles ones brains all day. I have no scientific study to back me up, I like to think putting in good stuff helps to crowd out the bad.
It also keeps my old brain going. I'm amazed at what I've learned along with them.
I thought I'd share one of my favorite poems that our youngest kids memorize. Ellie is currently working on it.
by Dorothy Brown Thompson
Our house is small -
The lawn and all
Can scarely hold the flowers,
Yet every bit,
The whole of it,
Is precious, for it's ours!
From door to door,
From roof to floor,
From wall to wall we love it;
We wouldn't change
For something strange
One shabby corner of it!
The space complete
In cubic feet
From cellar floor to rafter
Just measures right,
And not too tight,
For us, and friends and laughter!
I love this poem! Our house isn't shabby - well, we try keep it from being so. It isn't the nicest or largest house. However, it is "precious, for it's ours!" From the uneven walls to the floors upon which spills take off in odd directions, it is full of lovely memories of family and friends. Who knew when we came to look at it in 1998 that God had prepared it just for us and our family? We've sought to use it for His glory and our favorite times are when it is full of those we love, but I digresss...
Even if you don't have kids at home for school during the day or all your kids are grown, find something to memorize...and don't forget it!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Yep, that is what we are! We even have one family member whose footwear of choice in the summer is the Birkenstock sandal. (FYI- I do own and regularly use a razor, lest you think we've gone too far.)
I've been asked what we eat for breakfast - the answer is long and varied and I promise I'll bore you with the details one of these days. Homemade granola is on the breakfast menu for sure. Not only is it pretty cheap to make, but it has good sugar in it. No high fructose corn syrup to be found. It also fills up the crew for much longer than cereal from a box. The only bummer is that there aren't any prizes in the granola container...hmmm...that gives me a fun idea!
3/4 c brown sugar
1/3 c vegetable oil
1/3 c honey
5 c oatmeal (I like the old fashioned oats best. The instant oats don't seem to work very well.)
1/2 c dry milk (no worries if you don't have this)
1 t cinnamon
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix sugar, oil and honey in saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. In large bowl, combine all other ingredients. Pour the hot mixture over the dry and stir well. Spread onto rimmed baking sheets (non rimmed ones will work too but you'll probably spill some...well at least I know I would). Bake for 10 minutes until lightly browning. Let the granola cool on the pan for a few minutes and then scrap into a bowl or container.
A few notes:
-you can add dried fruit after the granola has cooled
-you can add sunflower seeds or other nuts to the dry ingredients
-you add 1/4 c or more of ground flax or wheat germ to the dry ingredients
-I usually replace half of the vegetable oil with apple juice to reduce the fat
-a large canister of oats had 15 cups in it. I usually use 2 canisters of oats and multiply the other ingredients x 6.
-this is great over yogurt or you can use it as a quick topping for apple crisp, too.
-if you let the granola sit on the pan too long while cooling it is going to take some muscle power to get it off of there...you've been warned!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Add the flour and stir until you don't see any dry spots of flour. You should get a wet and sticky dough. If it is watery, add some more flour a little bit at a time. If it seems dry, sprinkle in some water and stir. You'll have to play around with this some. It is amazing how different brands of flour can vary. You DO NOT need to knead the dough (I think that is a great sentence).
When you want bread, take out the bucket and sprinkle some flour over the top of the dough. Reach in and cut off hunk of the bread about the size of a grapefruit. If you do it this size, you'll get three loaves out of your bucket. I usually grab bigger hunks and make two loaves.
This one is for folks who live around a Kwik Trip store.
Until the end of March, Kwik Trip is selling a lb. of butter for only $1.49! That is about .50 per pound cheaper than I've seen elsewhere in the past few months.
So stock up now! Butter freezes just fine. If your family uses 5 lbs. of butter a month, you'll be saving $2.50 which doesn't seem like much but it adds up!
While you are there...check out the milk in a bag. I know it sounds crazy, but they sell milk in half gallon bags. A half gallon of skim is currently .99 per bag or $1.98 per gallon. This is a great price! Also, if you buy milk there. ask for a milk punch card. For every half gallon you buy, you'll get a punch. 20 punches equals $1.00 off your next milk purchase. This means you're getting .05 off every half gallon you buy. You'll need to pick up one of their free milk pitchers for your milk while you are there also.
Friday, March 5, 2010
The saw cost $10.55 with tax. I had a $8.00 merchandise credit or rebate from a previous deal. When we applied the credit, we paid $2.55 for the saw. However, the saw was a rebate item and we'll be getting another merchandise credit for $10.00. So, we made $7.45! There is a little bit of paperwork involved, but it is worth it.
Having 5 children, 9 nieces and nephews and 2 god daughters (not to mention my children's friends) means that we give lots of gifts each year. I love coming up with gifts they, hopefully, enjoy. However, because we do our best to live within our means, I don't have a great deal to spend on gifts. What I can't spend in money, I try to make up for in creativity and thoughtfulness. Hopefully, none of the above gift receivers read this and protest. I may come up short at times, but it isn't for lack of trying.
One of my favorite things to give our kids are gifts they can use both now and later. (My friend, Lisa, my creative Mom hero, gave me this great idea years ago.) Starting at age four, we give each of our sons a tool and each of our daughters a kitchen "tool." I use the quotes because some people don't consider them tools - they're wrong!
So, when our first son turned four, he received a REAL toolbox - the kind that men walk out of Home Depot with. It was a load for him to carry but he loved it. He also got a tape measure that year. The next year he got a hammer and some nails. The following year he was the recipient of a saw. And so on...
When our first daughter turned four, she received a Rubbermaid container and some rubber spatulas and wooden spoons. The next year we have her measuring cups and spoons. You get the idea.
The purpose of these gifts are two-fold. First of all, they give our kids a chance to do some real work while they are young. They learn useful skills and have fun doing it. These gifts also give The Big Guy and I the opportunity to spend time teaching them to use these gifts. Second, when our kids leave home, they will hopefully have a box of tools they can use to take care of themselves and their families.
I appreciate these gifts for a number of reasons. They don't cost an arm and a leg and keep us within our gift budget. I love seeing what my children can do with their tools. They are very proud! These gifts don't clutter our home with toys that make noise, have lots of small pieces or get lost over time. I also don't have to spend lots of time thinking about what to get them - it's all planned out for 14 years.
We do get our kids another gift to go along with the tools, but they really do like the tools.
I like the thought of one of my sons reaching into his toolbox when he is 25 and taking out the hammer we bought for him. The thought of one of our daughters using her tools to make a great meal for those she loves makes me happy. We pray they can use these simple gifts to bless others!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
So, this is Couple's Therapy because laughter is the best medicine!
Enjoy more of Tim Hawkin's video clips here. "Cletus Take the Reel" and "A Homeschool Family" are some of our favorites. Just click the Video tab.
Until a couple of years ago, ratatouille was unknown to me. Yes, we'd seen the movie and while I loved it and how it portrayed the power and beauty of food, it didn't give me a hankering to give the actual dish a try.
My first taste came on Labor Day. We'd brought a big bag of tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant from our garden to church the day before and the next day a huge pot of ratatouille showed up, via our friends Stephanie and Joe, at our doorstep (along with a little black golden doodle puppy but that is another story). We had the dish for dinner. All I can say is, "Heaven!" It is truly amazing what a bunch of tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, onions, garlic and spices can become with some work and patience.
Ever since that day, ratatouille is the food of summer when the ingredients are plentiful, cheap, fresh and can be found right out the back door. It says "Summer" to me. The other night I needed to eat some summer. It was wonderful even after it had been frozen all these months.
And it got me thinking...
I think I needed to eat that food because somewhere in my brain the coming of summer and spring mean hope. Hope for long days, the color green, brownish kids and WARMTH. It seems I am not alone in my wanting for hope - just listen to the talk around you or on Facebook - everyone seems to be wanting spring to come. We all need some hope.
Hope is a powerful thing and it has pulled many people through troubled and dangerous times. I think of the stories I've read of prisoners of war, people suffering through cancer, those grieving a loved one and, recently, a man the Big Guy and I knew in college, Dan Wolley. Even little kids have hope. The hope of a sucker after her nap got little Abby through the first nap without her nuk.
Of course, hope can be placed in many different things - parents, big payout, a season, a quarterback, a generation. Unfortunately, not one of these things are completely reliable places to bestow hope. It might just snow in the middle of May.
God is the only place in which we can hope and be sure. 100% sure. For a number of reasons, the past several months have been hard around the homestead. Really, really hard. Life was a bit muddled at first, but we had the hope of Christ. All is not yet settled, but hope is there. Whether or not there is snow on the ground, we KNOW that Easter is coming! Praise God!
"But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a]have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.