Thursday, January 29, 2009
I wanted to check in with ya'll concerning our discussion on Esther next week.
Holly told me that Melanie, Big Mama is having a discussion about Esther over at the All Access Blog and I think those of us who are working in Esther right now can hop over there and have some great discussion with her about this awesome study!!
I will put up a weekly post here for all of us to share what God is teaching us in each of our Bible studies! I love to read the many different things that God is speaking to you through your studies!
ALSO: I will share with you single siestas why I needed your info next week.
ALSO: I am calling on the married Siestas now! I need about 30 of you to email me (email@example.com) and I will share with you what I need you for. ;)
Have a great day!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I am under the weather with a sinus infection/ nasty cold. So forgive the lack of verbal transitioning...here are some wonderful ideas for your Super Bowl Spread.
Some are from the Siesta Fiesta Cookbook! We are 5 (FIVE!) away from re-ordering. Do you want one? It may be the last offer for a long, long time! Email me at chrishollysmith at msn dot com.
Veggie Squares by Patty
2 Pillsbury crescent rolls
1 bar cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix
pre-made salad mix of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower, chopped
Flatten and pinch together crescent rolls on a cookie sheet in a rectangular shape. Cook according to package directions in the oven. Cool.
In a small bowl, blend cream cheese and Hidden Ranch dip mix. Spread over crescent rolls.
Sprinkle chopped veggies on top. Cut into squares and cool in refrigerator for 1 hour.
1 T. olive oil
1 c. pre-chopped onion
1 t. bottled minced garlic
½ t. ground cumin
½ t. ground chipotle chile pepper
¼ t. ground cinnamon
1 lb. ground chicken breast
½ c. bottled fat-free salsa
¼ c. water
½ t. salt
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 t. lime juice
4 – 6 “corn tortillas
1 c. shredded iceberg lettuce
1 c. (4 oz.) pre-shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend or cheddar cheese
¼ c. reduced-fat sour cream
Preheat oven to 400°. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and
garlic; sauté 2 minutes or until onion begins to soften. Add cumin, chipotle, and cinnamon; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add chicken; cook 4 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring to
crumble. Add salsa, water, and salt; cook 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in cilantro and lime juice; remove from heat.
While chicken cooks, place tortillas directly on oven rack; bake at 400° for 5 minutes or until slightly crisp. Place 1 tortilla on each of 4 plates; top each tortilla with ¼ cup lettuce, ¾ cup chicken mixture, ¼ cup cheese, and 1 tablespoon sour cream.
½ c. mayonnaise
¼ c. sour cream
2 T. soy sauce
½ T. dried basil
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. toasted sesame seeds
1 T. rice vinegar
¼ t. dried ginger
1 t. sugar
½ t. dry mustard
1/8 t. ground red pepper
Assorted cut-up vegetables (carrots, red bell peppers, sugar snap peas, cucumber, broccoli, etc.)
Combine first 11 ingredients in a small bowl; whisk to blend.
Cover and refrigerate.
Southwestern Salsa with Black Beans and Corn
Fix this ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld.
1 ½ tsp. cumin seeds
2 – 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 15 ¼ oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
1 red pepper, minced
1 sm. purple onion, minced (1 c.)
½ c. chopped fresh cilantro
½ c. chopped fresh parsley
1/3 c. lime juice
¼ c. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
½ t. salt
1 t. dried crushed red pepper
½ t. freshly ground black pepper
Toast cumin seeds in a skillet over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes or until brown and fragrant, stirring often. Combine cumin seeds, black beans, and remaining ingredients; toss well. Cover and store in refrigerator up to 1 week. Yield 6 cups. Per tablespoon: Calories 18 Fat 0.7 g (Before you spoon it onto the tortilla chips!)
From The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook
Shrimp Dip by Holly
1 bar cream cheese
1 large carton sour cream
1 pkg. Good Season's Italian dressing (dry)
2 (4 1/2 oz.) cans shrimp
2 t. lemon juice
1 can cream of shrimp soup
Thoroughly blend cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice and dressing mix with a blender. With a spoon, mix in soup and shrimp. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Great with Wheat Thins or Triscuit crackers (fire-roasted tomato are our favorite!).
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Please email me (Holly) at chrishollysmith at msn dot com and I can get your information.
Let me know if you do not have a Target in your area, Susan--in that case, let me know a store in your area that you like.
Happy Birthday to all our January Birthday Siestas!!
We just finished the best birthday supper for my Chris, who turned 39 today. The cheesecake was super good!! You can find the recipe for Blueberry Cheesecake here. We are just about to watch "A Day at the Races" with the Marx Brothers, a family favorite.
I'll be back tomorrow with some super, Super Bowl recipes. I hope you'll stop by and share your favorites, too!
Monday, January 26, 2009
Need a change from the chaos of life? Need a break from deadlines and stress? Need a break from the daily grind and the calendar that seems to govern your every move. Need a little peace?
I hear you loudly and clearly asking, “What is peace?” Perhaps your day is going to be filled with busyness and frustration. Do you find yourself today with mounds of laundry, errands to be run, children to feed and bathe, cleaning, cooking, being the perfect mom, the perfect wife, and on and on and on? Maybe that doesn't describe your day, but rather your day consists of pleasing an overbearing boss, meeting deadlines that are unreasonable, answering e-mail after e-mail and voicemail after voicemail. Do you have last minute car trouble or mounds of bills to be paid and no visible means to do so? Could it be you are just not feeling well? Have you found yourself asking, “Is life really supposed to be filled with this much turmoil, confusion and chaos? Is it really supposed to be this burdensome?”
I have good news. Our inner attitude does not have to reflect our outward circumstances! God has provided for us a better way. He has given Himself a name that brings to us what our heart is longing for. He is our Jehovah Shalom – the God of Peace – and through His Son, Jesus, He is our Prince of Peace (Shalom). Strong’s defines “shalom” with many words offering exactly what you may be seeking: completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, quiet, tranquility, contentment, friendship (with others and with God), and peace from war.
Our Lord is ready and waiting to give us peace even as the problems mount and the confusion continues. He doesn’t ask us to forget our problems, but He asks us to bring them straight to Him. As we lay our troubles at His feet and cast our cares to Him, He will give us the peace that transcends our comprehension.
“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.” (Isaiah 26:3 Amplified)
We do not have to walk through a flood of activity and pressures feeling overwhelmed, weak and out of control. We can be carried through, wrapped in the loving arms of the only One who has complete control of the winds and the waves. Whether He calms the storm or allows it to rage, He lovingly calms the one for whom He has made the provision of peace.
God's Word says “…seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalm 34:14) Be willing to do what it takes to find peace. As you spend times of quiet with God, let Him draw you close to His heart. Allow Him to speak to you through His Word. Cry out to Him and tell Him your desperate need. Be still and listen as He speaks peace into your heart and over your life. Seek peace, my friend, seek peace! Let's pursue it together!
Heavenly Father, Prince of Peace, I come to you with all the things in my life that have kept me from experiencing Your provision of peace. I commit them to You. I acknowledge that without You, life is chaotic, tumultuous, and without hope. But with You, I am more than a conqueror and find perfect peace. I ask you to calm the storms of my life; but if it continues to rage, be Lord and Master of it. Hold me in Your arms and calm me – Your child who loves You and blesses Your Name. Amen.
For a Deeper Look – Isaiah 9:5-7; Isaiah 54:10; Luke 1:68-79
This is adapted from the first of four devotionals I wrote for our women's retreat a couple of years ago. I'll take Monday Devotions with Dori to post the remaining three. I hope you enjoy them! If you would like a pdf copy of the entire set of devos as they were given to the participants of the retreat, let me know! I can send them to you.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I am not very much in the zone, as I am zoning. So hopefully, I can get some thoughts out there for you in a coherent fashion. First up, we have 89 cookbooks on the list so far--only 11 until we order again and pour out some water for LIFE to some little ones, who'd love to hear about Jesus and have a full stomach. So email me, if you have been waiting and wanting to order a Siesta Cookbook! chrishollysmith at msn dot com.
Second up, be sure and read down to the end, I have added a couple of recipes for Super Bowl XLIII between the Steelers and the Cardinals. I'll confess to you, I like football and my Chris does NOT! We both, however, DO enjoy the commercials during the Super Bowl. And who doesn't like the food at the Super Bowl parties? We all do, I'm a thinkin'. So to have some advance notice for you early planners, I am adding two recipes today and will have a bunch of them next week.
Alright-y then...let's talk some grocery savings, so periodically we can splurge. I must begin by saying that some of the sacrifices might be in the realm of our pride about what we'd never buy or never eat AND in the area of good nutrition and health. Also, we need to start planning "in season."
Am I saying sacrifice good nutrition? Well, heavens no. I am saying that perhaps that organic peanut butter you MUST have is $2-3 more and the store brand is not so bad. The meat that you think must be the highest grade, maybe can be flexed a bit for a time. You can eat and be healthy and save money. But some of our necessities are really not necessities. They are preferences.
This brings me to store brand versus name brand. I usually buy store brand for everything, but soup, laundry detergent, fabric softener and dishwasher detergent. That's it. There are hosts of places to get coupons for the name brands you like.
Two examples I got from Siestas, who found there are resources to really make it pay.
Melissa at Breath of Life sent me this:
"One site I added to my reader is Deal Seeking Mom. Also Mommy Snacks.
Both of these blogs pass on deals they find, give you great tips on coupons, rebates, etc. I've been doing this for a couple of weeks, and yesterday showed me that I've really learned how to "play the game".
Believe me, there are plenty of rebates out there if you look for them! Walgreen's (do you have that drugstore in Colorado?) is a new favorite. Throughout the month, if you purchase certain items you can earn register rewards ($$ off your next purchase). By buying my items in 3 separate transactions yesterday, I was able to use $15 in Register Rewards. I just realized I could do that. They also have a rebate program every month. I enter the rebates online, and signed up to have it put on a gift card, which means I earn an extra 10% on each rebate (I had $9 in rebates in December, and the company added 90 cents to that). I used that gift card yesterday, too.
Basically, Walgreen's gave me $25 free yesterday, then with coupons and another manufacturer rebate I found, plus a Walgreen's rebate, I was able to really rack up the savings!
My grocery store has double coupons, and a gas incentive...so I try to take advantage of those. I used to shop at Walmart for groceries, but find that I do better if I go to the grocery store because I'm not tempted by all the "extra" stuff that Walmart has. However, my family is only 3 people. I might have to shop elsewhere if I had a larger family. My rule now is that I don't buy it unless it's on sale or I have a great coupon. I menu plan by the sales. And we have breakfast or soup/sandwich one night a week."
And Christie at Ever Faith sent me this:
"Just an FYI on what I use that has been saving us money in the grocery arena. I've been doing the grocerygame. (http://www.thegrocerygame.com/). There is a fee, but I more than make it up in savings.
My tip is to only pick the Wal-Mart list...because Wal-Mart matches all the other area grocery store's prices, you get to see each store's specials on the Wal-Mart list. The grocery game helps coordinate all those coupons with area specials...so, for example, if you have a coupon for $1 off paper towels and the store happens to be offering that brand for $1 off, you actually get $2 off. Some things are actually free!
The main idea behind it is stockpiling. I never used to do that. I only shopped at the store for what I needed. Now I buy ahead when there are sales. At first, I ended up spending the same amount of money...but the more I use the grocery game, the more I save.
I became a "grocery gamer" after watching the lady in front of me in the check-out line use her coupons. She SAVED $87 and only spent $65. I haven't yet achieved that level, but I'm working on it!"
So overall, do some research on brands you like and savings to be had. Like Melissa, you may find a gold mine! Also, do not hold tightly to your intention to use a coupon. Sometimes, the savings is not more than the store brand item. So watch and don't get so caught up in using as many coupons as you can just to get rid of them.
Also, when you plan your budget, look at what's in season and what's not. That raspberry sorbet may be oh-so-tasty, but in the dead of winter, you may be picking the wrong time. I think the best way to know what is in season is to peruse the local grocery sheets, which you can see online in many instances--without buying a newspaper.
This brings me to the splurge. So the peanut butter is your favorite or you are allergic to ____, well then, buy it and save somewhere else. OR it's your husband's birthday (which my Chris' is next week), save by eating some leftovers or sale items you found at the store throughout the week. Then splurge and make him his favorite dishes at home, like Shrimp Scampi, French Bread, Twice-Baked Potatoes and Blueberry Cheesecake (even though they aren't in season). In our family of six, I can cook a wonderful meal for over half of what it'd cost at a restaurant. So I splurge in these areas for special occasions.
As for the laundry detergent, I found that the Safeway brand is the same exact thing as Tide, which I use. So I am now buying it instead. And the canned soup? No compromises there. It is a splurge for me. I just buy them on sale in bulk and keep them on hand.
OK...SUPER BOWL Recipes for this week are...
Cheryl's Crab Appetizers (more expensive)
1 lb. imitation crab meat
1 bar cream cheese, softened
6 green onions, finely minced
1 t. garlic powder
2 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper, freshly ground
1 pkg wonton wrappers
2 T. olive oil
butter flavored non-stick cooking spray
Combine crab meat, cream cheese, green onions, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper.
Spray two muffin pans with non-stick spray. Place one wonton wrapper over a well.
Using the tart shaper or fingers, gently push one wonton wrapper per cup. Spoon 2-3 T. of crab meat mixture into each wrapper. Brush edges of wontons with olive oil.
Bake filled wontons in 350 degree oven for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown. Can sprinkle cayenne pepper or ground chipotle on top for spicier appetizers.
Spicy Oyster Crackers (very cost effective)
2/3 c. canola oil
2 small pkgs. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 t. dill weed
1/2 t. lemon pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 lg. pkg. oyster crackers (what are they?)
Mix together oil, dressing mix, lemon pepper, dill and garlic powder. Place crackers in large baking dish. Pour mixture over top and stir until they are completely coated.
Cook in 200 degree oven for 20 minutes. Keep in an airtight container. Stays fresh for weeks. Goes wonderfully with a fresh soup or just as a snack!
Friday, January 16, 2009
Please pray for Kelly and her newborn daughter, Harper. Harper was born tonight and is having trouble breathing and they are not sure what is going on. Kelly lost a lot of blood and her blood pressure is very low.
This sweet family needs our prayers! UPDATE:We need you to lift us up in prayer like you never have before. Harper is in VERY critical condition and they are going to fly her to AR Children's hospital. It is very, very serious and the NICU doctor did not give us a favorable report. Scott and his parents will be driving there tonight. My parents and I will be driving there in the morning as soon as I can get out of the hospital. We know that God is soveriegn. WE KNOW that God is the same right now to us as He was to us this morning when we were so excited and praising Him as we drove to the hospital. We know that He loves us and no matter what happens - we will continue to praise Him.
Thank you Siestas on Call!!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Also remember, a place for everything and everything in its place. That will help you to train your family to put things where they belong. I have found that having a place for everything DOES help when my kids unload the groceries. They put them where they belong and I can actually find them then. I do not like to micro-manage my children. But the first time, maybe even second time, I instruct them where to put the items. Then, I let them go. And they have such good memories! Unlike mine...ahem.
My Chris has trained me the hard way that he will NOT eat leftovers very well. It's been almost 18 years. I know that IF he is going to eat leftovers, I need to make the food as good as the box of leftover food you bring home from your favorite restaurant. That hardly ever goes to waste.
Creativity and wisdom are things God has given to each of us. We need only ask. He is a Creative Creator and a Wise Counselor. Ask Him to show you how...and then do what He shows you.
There are tons of things on my menu that I make just enough for one meal. I used to cook for an army every time and would end up wasting over half of the food. Now I try and cook for the one meal most of the time. Things we make often, like salmon patties or homemade french fries, are just more tasty the first time. So plan around that, too. Plan your portion sizes, and unless you have a dog that loves your leftovers, make less of that favorite dish and enjoy it once.
Well that is all for this time. Next time I will discuss places we need to sacrifice and places that we can splurge in our grocery savings reality-style.
Finally, I have a cookbook update! I have 88 orders for this next Siesta Fiesta cookbook order. I only need 12 more to call the printer and get it going. So email me: chrishollysmith at msn dot com for your cookbook today. Looks like we may be able to build another well, y'all! LET'S DO IT!
Monday, January 12, 2009
Hi Siestas! God has placed something on my heart for us and I want to share it with you.
We are planning something special for a Siesta get together. As stated below this is not an LPM event but this is a special time for us to fellowship with one another and study God's Word together. Our very own Lisa, The Preacher's Wife will be our leader/teacher. Please read all the information below and give us your feedback. Thank you!!When: Thursday, August 27th thru Saturday August 29th.
Cost: Dependant upon final registration but our goal is remain under $125. Cost includes cabin for two nights, three meals, and all Bible study sessions.
Where: Eagles Ridge Resort, Pigeon Forge, TN. (http://www.eaglesridge.com/)
Here's how it will work:
Eagles Ridge is a cabin community in the heart of Pigeon Forge, TN. Women will be housed in cabins anywhere from 4 to 7 bedrooms in size. The price given is assuming double occupancy per double bed. If you would like a bedroom to yourself, there will be an additional fee. Roommate preferences/special needs should be stated at registration.
All meetings will take place in the Eagles Ridge Community Club House. The retreat will begin on Thursday night with a meal and Study Session One. We will continue Friday morning with breakfast and Session Two. We will break for a day of shopping, etc. and will reconvene Friday night for Dinner and our final Session.
Check out will be Saturday morning. If you wish to stay Saturday night, you must make personal arrangements with the cabin rental office.
We will cap the registration at 75 women. This is the number we can comfortably seat in the Club House and that the caterer can accomodate based on kitchen size.
All registration payments must be made through PayPal. We will not be accepting any payments by mail - no exceptions. Please watch the blog for a post announcing the registration opening and instructions..
MOST IMPORTANT: There is no implied endorsement or sponsorship by Living Proof Ministries for this retreat. This is something we are organizing independently for fellowship and time in the Word. Any questions about this event should be directed to this blog and not LPM. NEITHER BETH MOORE NOR ANYONE IN HER FAMILY OR MINISTRY WILL BE THERE! :)
THIS IS NOT REGISTRATION however, we would like to get an idea of the amount of interest in this type of event. If you truly intend on making an effort to attend, please comment! Also feel free to ask any questions you have so we can answer them adequately when we announce registration.
We hope to hear from you!
I think of my other friend who poured her heart out to God on my behalf one morning only to have her husband lose his job that very afternoon. My sister is confused, ya'll.
I'm praying for my other friend who God brought through a time of joblessness last year only to have this year open with bills that need to be paid and no visible means to do that. Doors shutting at every turn. My sister is worried, ya'll.
In all of this I'm thankful that God has blessed us as He has, but we live in a corrupt and fallen world, a world that is nothing but unstable ground made of pure, white shifting sand. So I am not ignorant. This sister is leaning in closer to Him, ya'll.
I read a prayer this morning that had me ask God to help me prioritize the things that will always remain. I Corinthians 13:13 tells us that when other things have passed away, three things will remain: faith, hope and love.
"My faith looks up to Thee..." My eyes deceive me time and time again if I look anywhere else but to my Jesus. But my faith which is fueled by things unseen -- things not dependent on my human eyes -- tells me that Jesus will still be there. When everything else falls away He remains.
"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness..." Everything around me is temporal. My Savior is eternal. Life is but a vapor. He is my Life and the very breath that I breathe. God is my refuge and strength a very present help in time of need. "In Christ alone, my hope is found..."
"The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen could ever tell..." The world is filled with everything that looks like love's complete opposite. But God's love is unfailing and neverending. "It goes beyond the highest star..." I could never describe in human terms His unconditional, merciful love. "To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry, nor would the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky."
Most Holy LORD, in a world where everything appears to be spinning into perpetual chaos You are steady and You are strong. You are the Creator and the Ruler of everything in this world. The people that You made have done everything that can be done to mess everything up, but in all these things You are sovereign and You are supreme. You are still in control regardless of economies, rulers, principalities and wars. You remain the Truth, the Life and the Way when lesser gods lead down dead-end roads. We will look to no other for our comfort. Take our weariness, confusion and worries and bring rest, clarity and peace. We long for You, O God. In a dry and weary land...thank you for being the One who remains!
Friday, January 9, 2009
I love the weekends. It can be a time of just staying home and watching movies or whatever you happened to DVR that week, a time to invite friends over and cook something good and maybe play Phase 10 or other games, especially the Wii. ;)
This weekend I am watching the Titans play a big game in the play-offs. I think I may cook chili but I am not sure just yet.
We may go see a movie. There are two new movies that came out today.
What are your plans this weekend?
Also, I will post the January birthdays next week.
Have a fun weekend Siestas!!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I think after reading the comments it looks like we are scattered throughout this month on our actual start dates of Esther. I think the best date to begin our discussion will be on February 5, 09. That is on a Thursday.
Between Dori and myself we will head up the discussions. I haven't worked out all the details yet but as soon as I have them I will post them. Sound good? So excited about this!!
Esther, It's Tough Being a Woman. This should be some interesting conversation!!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Here is what the Smith home looks like...
We are on a tight budget with our family of six. Over the past year, we have had to really pull in our belts in every area of spending. I will share what we have learned and are still learning.
In the comments, I invite you to share some ideas that work in your home. You can help your Siestas out by sharing what you know about grocery savings.
Every two weeks, we have $300 to spend on groceries (now that we have stopped using our local dairy that delivered milk to our door). To me, groceries include all food that we have and prepare at home, drinks, all paper products (which still includes diapers & wipes), pet food, beauty & hygiene and cleaning supplies.
Here is what I look at every month to begin:
Scripture Food for thought--I really liked reading Beth's memory verse these two weeks, so much so, I wrote it to remember it and feed my soul with it every day.
Refrigerator/ Freezer (we have two R/F's--one is in the basement) and this is the outside and inside of both, as is, without me cleaning them to make you think they are always spic n span--in fact they are quite lived in. Spring cometh!
First, I begin to plan meals from what I have already and add what is needed to make a meal. I take care to actually USE the meals that have been frozen by planning them in sync with some special sides, appetizers and a dessert. A little bit of special can make a frozen meal much better!
Then I begin to look at recipes in the cookbooks. This is my favorite part! I think about their categories, their nutritional value (still using that old food pyramid from elementary school), and their cost. I like to introduce a few new things in the midst of old reliables. All the while, I have a pen and legal pad to write down the title, ingredients, book and page number.
Every home is different. My kids are all different, too. So I tend to make sure I make at least something they like with each meal. However, I do not cater to them for everything. I set the food before them and expect that they will eat it. We do not make them eat everything on their plates, though; however, we DO make them try it (and that may mean up to 5 bites) or no dessert. We think this is fair and not one of our children is starving.
For each week, I also consider whether or not we are expecting company or celebrating a birthday (you may notice that my Chris celebrates his birthday on Jan. 27th--he'll be 39!). With company or special days, I may make an extra special meal like this: shrimp scampi, twice baked potatoes, Caesar salad, and blueberry cheesecake. On that particular week, I may have to pull out an extra frozen meal or use leftovers longer for budget purposes.
I will talk more about leftovers in a couple of weeks. The word itself is not associated with good things; however, my Chris is the envy of all his co-workers, as he carries leftovers every single day to work. They complain at him constantly for the good things he brings and mercilessly reheats--sending the wonderful smells wafting through the air.
Finally, I consider whether or not the meal can be adapted for a second meal. For instance, if I make a crock pot roast on Sunday, I may adapt it into vegetable soup on Tuesday. Or if I make a ham on Wednesday, I may make some yummy potato soup from the meat on Thursday and beans or peas with the ham bone on Saturday in the crock pot. Also, I have found that next day (or frozen: thawed and reheated) chili or taco meat is especially tasty in Killer Queso!
Here is what I do to plan my menu and grocery list. I get out my three legal pads: grocery list, menu ideas, and actual menu. I only write in menu items for supper during the week. On weekends, I may add lunch (which I call dinner). Generally, I plan the entire month's menu at one sitting.
OK, so I fill in the spaces on the menu (leaving room for change--flexibility is a good thing). Then I write my two week grocery list on a separate legal pad. It will have everything I need to complete my menu for those two weeks. There are staples that we need like eggs, butter, milk, etc. Also, there are things we have run out of like diapers, cleaners and pet supplies. I always buy these in large quantities from Walmart. I try to alternate buying them so that they do not all fall on one grocery trip. Usually shampoo and soap do not run out for awhile, so it may be every six months that we have to buy them.
By the way, my Chris wants you to know that he does most of and the best, cost-effective grocery shopping. Well, he does! And sometimes? I call him before he leaves work to ask him to bring home chicken from Walmart or King Soopers. :-) Flexibility is good!
Next week we will discuss both the grocery sacrifices and extravagances that we have applied to our tight budget.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
Over the holidays, I got a strange email from the contact form folks that we had been using for the cookbook orders. IF you filled out the form and have not heard from me, I never got your information.
So we are not using that contact form anymore. IF you have the contact form on the sidebar of your blog, please delete it and post this picture of the cover below with my email address: Holly: chrishollysmith at msn dot com. I will be sure and contact each one! Perhaps we can build another well or two in 2009!!
So far I have 62 orders on my list for the next set. I will reorder at 100. I described the process here, if you want more information.
I'll be back on Wednesday. We're talking about saving money in a little reality-style Recipe Talk!
(Exclamation point count for this post so far if you are interested = 17.)
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that you rang in 2009 with a shout of thanksgiving on your lips to the God who has “blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3) That’s what I whispered to Him at the stroke of midnight – “You have been good.” When I failed Him, He proved Himself unfailing. When I doubted Him, He showed Himself to be believable. When I wavered, He was steady as The Rock. When I wanted to run at times, He pursued. So as the ball dropped in Times Square, I raised my Ebenezer and thanked God for leading me, thus far, one more time…one more year!
A Jesus-year! That’s what Beth has challenged us to pursue this year with her Siesta Scripture Memory Team. When she first asked if we were game to join her this year in memorizing 24 scriptures this year, God had already been putting something on my heart. It was through a bit of advice I had given my darling 7 year old daughter. I’m not sure I had ever said anything like it to her until then. I said to her one day, “Child, you are going to have to learn to not be so offended all the time!” Then Beth’s challenge came with the testimony that when she was having a particularly difficult time treading through the rough waters of a relationship challenge that had the potential for causing anxiety and bitterness, she clung to her scripture index cards. What she said next stopped me in my tracks:
“It calmed me and kept me from acting how I feel.”
The advice I had given my sweet girl was also for me. I have spent the past year acting exactly how I felt at any given moment. And the enemy was loving every minute of it!! My children had been impacted by it and my husband’s sanctuary that I had vowed to build for him after a hard day at the office, well, it had become a torture chamber for him at times.
So I’ve got a made up mind in 2009, girls! I’m not only going to memorize these scriptures just to have some more biblical knowledge in my head! I want these scriptures to consume every part of my inner being! I want to do as Psalm 40 says in The Message – I'm going to enter the mystery of complete abandonment to God and what He wants to teach me through His Word. I want to know how He wants me to act when I feel like doing it another way. I’ve stood outside the fray of the mystery for far too long. I am entering in. Care to join me??
The first passage God asked me to take to heart in January is Proverbs 2:1-6.
“My son (and daughter), if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
I don’t know about you, but if I am going to walk in the freedom of God’s Word and not be controlled by my wayward emotions and how I feel in any given situation, I’m going to need a whole lot of wisdom and ton of understanding.
Good news! He is giving it out by the truckloads if we will just pursue it, cry out for it, look for it as hidden treasure!
Girls, will you join me this year for a bit of a treasure hunt – that of a whole-heart, sold out, made up mind, crying out loud kind of Jesus-year by letting His Word not only be our textbook for victorious living, but will you join me and let His Word become our very life and breath -- our one desire, an all consuming holy fire? (Someone should put that in a song...he he!) Will you walk through this year with a made up mind that His voice is your life and you won’t take another step except in the direction that He is going?
I cannot tell you how excited I am for this ride of 2009! A made up mind in 2009 to make this a Jesus-year!
Sunday, January 4, 2009
It goes without saying but I am not a professional blog designer and this took me all Sunday afternoon to fix the header and I know the verse isn't perfect but I can get help with that later. Having said all of that, this is our new look for awhile.
We are 4 days into the new year and I know that many of you are gearing up for your winter Bible studies. I want to do as I did for our fall Bible studies and keep a post going so we can learn from each other what we are gleaning this winter in our studies.
Which Bible study are you doing?
When are you starting?
I am doing Esther on my own right now. I am hoping to attend Dori's class next month when she facilitates Esther at her church. :) Maybe we can have some discussion on Esther in a few weeks.
Praying you all have a great week!
Saturday, January 3, 2009
I have to install most of the sidebar and that will happen over the next few days.
Please come back Monday for a new devotion and another reminder to please email me(firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have a birthday in January.
Have a blessed Sunday!