Thursday, January 31, 2013

Delectable Hot Cocoa

Living 25 miles from an affordable grocery store has prompted me to get creative and frugal over the years.  One thing I started making several years ago is my own hot cocoa mix.  This is not the kind with instant milk.  This has real milk and not only is it good, but I have recently tried something that has made it even BETTER!!

Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa

Its so easy!  I remember my Dad talking about his mother making hot cocoa and how good it was.  I figured if Grandma could make it work with eleven kids during the great depression, surely I could figure something out!

I am into using glass pint and quart jars for everything these days.  
Fill a pint jar about 2/3 full of raw sugar (or white sugar)  
Fill the rest with Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa powder.  
Mix well, then add to milk and microwave it for one minute. Stir.
I microwave it a little longer to the temperature I like.  Oh, so yummy!  

Its the perfect treat for after a certain little person takes a good nap without a fight ;-)  (I like it after my {very rare} nap, too!)

Another variation is to pour about 3/4 cup of coffee, add the mixture and half-and half creamer!  It tastes so creamy and mocha-ish!  It certainly warms you up and lately all I'm doing is looking for ways to warm up!!

The weather is so up-and-down!  We've had 0 to 40 degrees in the last week.  Freezing rain,  a thunderstorm in January, and now its right around 0 with probably a -20 windchill!  {I can't wait for spring!!}

I'm Linked up at Our Simple Country Life  Frugally Sustainable

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Psalm 118

A lot of the psalms repeat the saying, "His Mercy endures forever".  I've read it many times, but this time it really struck me.  Maybe I was especially in need of mercy.  Maybe it just never really sunk in.

His mercy endures forever.

Heaven is forever!  Forever in heaven I will reap the benefits of His mercy!  FOREVER!!!   Wow!  What did I ever do to deserve that?  That's the best part... nothing.  There has never been and will never be anything I could possibly do to deserve heaven.  Its a free gift for the taking.

When Jesus willingly died on the cross for our sins, He took my {our} punishment.  He was buried.  He rose again on the third day, to give us life. {1 Corinthians 15:3-4}  He ascended into heaven to live eternally and prepare a place for those of us who believe. {John 14:1-6}

{Merriam-Webster Dictionary}
Intransitive verb: 1 a: to have a firm religious faith
b: to accept something as true, genuine, or real
2: to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something
3: to hold an opinion
Transitive verb: 1 a: to consider to be true or honest
b: to accept the word or evidence of
2: to hold as an opinion: suppose

During His ministry on earth He made it clear that before we believe we must repent.  Luke 5:32  "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

{Merriam-Webster Dictionary}
Intransitive verb: 1: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life
2 a: to feel regret or contrition
b: to change one's mind
Transitive verb: 1: to cause to feel regret or contrition
2: to feel sorrow, regret, or contrition for

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not  of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2: 8-10


There were other verses in this chapter that touched my heart as well.  I have been convicted to teach my children verses about trusting in the Lord during times of fear. I believe this country is facing some serious and drastic changes in our lifetime, and even more so in the lifetimes of our children.  They need verses to cling to.  I remember reading "The Hiding Place", the story of Corrie Ten Boom.  The Ten Boom family were Dutch Christians who were imprisoned for hiding Jews from the Nazis during   World War II.  Corrie and her sister Betsie were sent to a concentration camp and clung to Psalm 32: 7 "You are my hiding place, You shall preserve me from trouble"  Psalm 118 also has several verses about trusting in the Lord instead of being fearful:
6.The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?

8. It is better to trust in the Lord
than to put confidence in man.
9. It is better to trust in the Lord 
than to put confidence in princes.

13. You pushed me violently, that I might fall.
but the Lord helped me.
14.The Lord is my strength and song.
and He has become my salvation.

There are people in this country that believe our president has all the answers; that he is moving this country in the right direction.  But we can't place our faith in our government.  There is Someone far above him who is just using our president to fulfill HIS greater plan.  Our Sovereign God is really the One in charge.  Even though it seems like everything is falling apart, it is just part of the plan.  Though it isn't easy, it is an honor to be alive in a time when we can read through the Bible and then look around and see some of His prophesies being fulfilled right now!  We also need not be afraid for the worst part... because... we won't be here for that part, anyway!

Food for thought.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Our Laundry Diet

I got tired of feeling overwhelmed with all the laundry I have to do in a week.  I got tired of having mountains of laundry piled on my sofas in our living area because I couldn't keep up with folding.  I'd just HAD IT!

So what do I do when I've just HAD IT???  I do something a little crazy.  I usually make a bit of a fool of myself in the process, but this crazy idea was a good one!

We went on a laundry diet.

When you cut weight, you cut back on food.  When you cut laundry, you cut back on how much you wear in a week.  I gave everyone {who's laundry I actually wash} a limit of how many outfits they can wear in one week.  I mean, come on, it's winter.  How many outfits does one really need, anyway?

1 Sunday church outfit: wear it to the morning and evening services.

1 Wednesday church outfit: nice but casual, also worn to any other outing for the week.

2 Play outfits.  If it gets a little dirty, wear it anyway!  I don't care about these clothes anyway!  If it gets wet from sledding, hang it to dry and re-wear it next time!  If you trash it playing in the creek, wear it in the creek next time 'cuz you're out of luck!

1 Homeschool academy uniform--same pants or skirt for both days. (Tuesday & Thursday afternoons)

With the exception of socks and underwear, I should only be washing 5 items of each per child, every week!  The first week we did this, I had ALL the laundry done in ONE day! {Except for towels & tablecloths, which I need to wash twice per week.}  

I have to admit its a little hard to keep track of whether or not everyone is following the "rules".  It helps if I take the 5 minutes to help them pick their outfits and put them in a specific place.  

I put myself on the same "diet" so I can be a good example to them.  I wear it if its a little dirty {at home}.  I wear the same outfit from Wednesday night church to the grocery store on Thursday.  I realized how wasteful I was in the process.  Not only does it ease my laundry suffering, but I look at it as being a good steward of both time and money.


Linked up at Raising Arrows.