Friday, January 3, 2014

The New Year and new beginnings!

I still can't imagine that 2013 has come and gone! I thought the years would slow down once I became middle aged but I find quite the opposite.  It's true that our days are like a vapor.. here today and gone tomorrow.

What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  James 4:14 ESV

I like new beginnings. I like Mondays. I like the start of a new diet (okay.. well.. not so much!). And I like the New Year.

I am a "see how much you can cram into one day" kind of gal. I think I learned this from my mother. Sometimes I'm happy with that approach to life but the older I get the less I'm caring for it. Plus, it doesn't leave any margins for unexpected happenings. So, I decided to take a closer look at my housekeeping  and 'life' schedule and to see where my time is going. 


Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16


So, I pulled out a piece of paper and started writing down every task I do in one week. I also made a list of bi-weekly and monthly tasks. I made sure to give each task an appropriate time slot so I can evaluate if I have any 'free' time left over. I don't! :=)


My daughter in love surprised us with a visit! 


This task calendar has already been helpful. I had a decision to make on whether to take on another responsibility but after my husband looked at my calendar he decided it wouldn't be wise. 


I enjoy working. I struggle at making time to rest or do what I enjoy. So, one of my goals this year is to take time each day to do something I enjoy. For me that would be writing and reading. 


I  really need the Lord's wisdom to know how to order my days. 


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Here are a few things going on in my home this week: 


1. I've been looking for a nice gift to make for a few baby showers. I like the gift idea I found.  It's a nursing cover. I sure wish I had one when I was a young mother. Instead, we used a receiving blanket. I'll show a picture of it soon.
My girls!

2.  I thought I needed to buy more storage containers to fit under my bed. But, instead I started looking in my drawers and realized that I could get rid of enough unused clothes to prevent purchasing the storage containers. We've lived here a year and a half and I've managed to still accumulate more STUFF. I'm hopeless! 


3. I have a cat who is a glutton. He really is! He thinks about food all day long.  I had to buy a treat ball for his cat food because if I leave out a bowl of food he will eat the entire bowl and end up at the vet. Ask me how I know?!? He started having problems with loose stools again. Most likely he found something to eat on his outdoor excursions that made him sick. I remembered the vet said to give him pumpkin. Well, I have a LOT of canned pumpkin  so I've been putting a small cube in his wet food in the mornings.  It worked! The vet said pumpkin could also be used for constipation, too.


4. A friend brought canning jars, lids and lots of fabric. Yep! You remember right! I got rid of a lot of fabric last year and here I am taking more fabric. There is no hope for me! :-) Anyway, I'm just keeping a small amount and will pass the rest on to someone in need. 


5. I made 6 loaves of bread this week. Baking and cooking from scratch saves me so much money!


6. I keep noticing my brand of toilet paper on sale but I've never figured out what I pay per roll normally. So this week I took the time to calculate and then wrote it down in my price book. 


7. I've heard that Walmart matches sale prices from other ads. I already found out the hard way that they do not match discount store prices. I happened to have a sale ad in my purse from another grocery store. I had a few items I wanted to pick up on the way home. Walmart matched the sales price and I didn't have to make another stop. 



Grands spending the night. They are getting so big!


8.  I made a batch of waffles for my mom. We no longer eat these waffles because we are low carbing but I thought I'd post the recipe for you gals. 




Waffles

2 cups white flour (You can also use 1 c. white flour and 1 c. whole wheat)
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup oil
Mix together. Grease waffle iron. Bake waffles for 5 minutes in a belgium waffle iron or until golden brown. They freeze great! 


9. The dollar store was out of saran wrap so I bought a box of plastic covers. They remind me of shower caps except for bowls. :-) They came in small, medium and large. At first I thought it was a frivolous purchase but I was in need of saran wrap. But, I think they are going to last longer than the saran wrap because they are easy to wash and dry. I rarely washed and dried the saran wrap in the roll. 


10. What I saved this week:



  • celery and carrot trims (compost)
  • Chicken drippings (broth)
  • Coleslaw bag (reuse as baggie)
  • Turkey neck (soup)
  • Turkey carcass (soup)
  • Low carb tortilla package (reuse as baggie)
  • Seran wrap covers (washed and resused)
  • Tea bags (3 used tea bags make 1 cup of tea)
December was such a busy month. How are you gals doing? Have you caught your breath yet? 

Blessed to be home!

Georgene

32 comments:

  1. On the East coast in Florida here, first to comment on this awesome post. I work outside the home usually four or five days, so I cannot get as much done as you do. I am learning to have more down time with my husband for me and for him since he has dementia. I am so fortunate to have a volunteer caregiver for him.

    I made less of a schedule and it is like this:
    Sunday--extra devotions since our church is in the afternoon--day of rest--I need it
    Monday, Wednesday and Friday--treadmill
    Tuesday--errands--a day I block substitute teaching if there are doctor appointments, etc.
    Thursday--email and call relatives long distance (no extra charges for long distance)
    Saturday--clutter and cleaning

    I like your idea of finding existing storage in those drawers.

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    1. I think I'm going to set aside an afternoon to work in the office so I don't have to spend my evening catching up on the checkbook. It looks like you have a good schedule started Carol! You are a busy beaver!

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  2. I need to go through all the drawers. Not too tidy I'm afraid. Perhaps this year will be different............
    My cat eats all the time too, well he would if he could.
    I do look forward to your posts each week.
    Hope this year is a happy one for you.
    Best wishes,
    Angela

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    1. I'm continually working on my drawers because they get so messy, too. I hope you have a happy new year, too Angela!

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  3. you are right that Dec. was busy! I think I have caught my breath as I have had a break from grandchildren daycare but that will start back soon. I am hoping to have a more organized and a very frugal 2014.
    happy new year to you, and yes, these years fly by, but that means we will be in Heaven fast.

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    1. Yes Rhonda.. heaven will be here sooner than we think! Isn't that just a wonderful thought? I hope I become more organized this year, too. :-) I keep working on it!

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  4. Georgene you and I sound a lot alike. I can stay busy all day and always have a goal to sit and read for an hour each day but it rarely comes true. Now that I'm semi-retired the days seem even busier. It's a mystery to me but once again this new year it is a goal of mine. I know God desires us to slow down and have quiet so we can be refreshed and more in tune with what He wants us to hear … so I keep working at it!

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    1. Let's do it Podso! Let's really try to slow down at least a few days a week and read a book in the AFTERNOON! Imagine! We can stop our work and just SIT! What fun! :-) I have been trying. I think I did it once last week. I'm going to try for 2 times this week. I'm reading a good book that I look forward to. Let me know how you do. :-)

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  5. Happy New Year. I always love reading your posts. It makes me realize what I need to change! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Georgene I am a new blog follower and I love your ideas and inspiration! I passed your blog onto my best friend in Maine (I am in Florida) and she loves it too! Happy New Year to you and your family :)

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    1. Welcome Becki! Glad to have you visit and your friend, too. We all enjoy learning from each other to jump in any time.

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  7. Happy New Year, Georgene. Sounds like you are off to a good start with seeking how to better use your time. Every year I set goals and at the end of each year I can see where I need to do things better. My overall goal is to improve things in ordering my days in the God intended way. It is a struggle for me but I keep trying. Through the grace of God I hope to get there and I'm sure you will get there with your desire to order your days also. God bless!

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    1. Joyful.. It brings such peace knowing that God is working in us to will AND to do His good pleasure. Happy New Year!

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  8. Happy New Year! I've just recently discovered your blog, and am loving it.

    My husband and I are also a couple who went from a prosperous lifestyle to living on much, much less.

    Though it can be a struggle keeping our heads above water, I know that we'll be able to help others learn how to live on little as the economy continues to get worse.

    ~Becky

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    1. We can sure all learn from each other Becky! I look forward to learning from you!

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  9. I decided to get my clothing under control and have been getting rid of things that don't fit, are stained, unworn for too long... and am limiting myself to primarily purple colored clothing (favorite color). So I kept those that I had already and in the past year or so have only purchased clothing items for myself if they happen to be a fantastic (and necessary) buy and fall into the purples color family. It's greatly reduced the stacks in my closet.

    I'd really like to see some of the things you make or are eating as part of a low-carb lifestyle, as I am also a low-carber (well, most of the time...).

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    1. My low carb diet is pretty boring these days to keep my food bill low. :-) I do try to share new things I'm trying. I hope to try and new low carb bread recipe next paycheck. I'll post the recipe if it turns out. If you check my Recipe Page you'll find a few favorites. Be sure to share any recipes you make that are good. Okay? :-)

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  10. I just realized you have 3 Becky's following your blog!

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    1. We need to assign each of you a special number or name. :-)

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  11. Can you Post the homeade soap recipe you used? I just found your Blog on Pinterest, I am really enjoying it so far.. Lots of Good Information here. Thank You for sharing your story , ideas and frugal living information! God Bless You,
    Tonya Brande

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    1. Hi Tonya,
      The recipe went home with my daughter in love. I emailed her and hope she remembers to send it to me soon. :-)

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  12. I had a lost of organizing a book shelf in my bedroom and sewing for a grandchild who has out grown her school clothes. Instead I ended up with a nasty virus. Was sick all week and have to go to the clinic tomorrow for sinus infection. But I did get two pair of jeans patched and length added to one of them. When first sick, I decided to hand stitch 2 patches on one pair of jeans. That was it for this week after the New Year. Will have to start a new list in a few days after healing some.
    Check out my blog on the patches if you are interested.
    http://www.nanasknoll.blogspot.com/

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    1. I hope you are feeling better Nana. I checked out the patches and left a comment. They were very cute. I hope that you are back on the mend.

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  13. Great post as always, Georgene. I too, have been struggling with my time... just not enough hours in the days for me. New year and new resolve to save more, make do, continue working toward getting out of debt. With the Lord's help, we will make progress. My focus these past couple of weeks (and for the next two weeks) is to eat out of the freezer and pantry with little to no grocery shopping other than milk, bread, and some fresh fruits & veggies that will be on sale. Happy new year to you and your family!

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    1. I hope you meet your goal Lynn. My freezer is full, too. Aren't we blessed. I have a lot of odds and ends of vegetables that need to be used up. I'm trying to go first to the frozen shelf before I open up a can of veggies. Happy New Year Lynn!

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  14. In case anyone is interested, Andrea Dekker has posted a FREE, wonderful budget tracker spreadsheet that is editable with your own information. It's easier than the old method my husband & I were using and perfect for keeping up with every penny that comes in and goes out. It's easy to download & use. You will need Excel or a program that will open it. The link is: http://andreadekker.com/2014-finance-tracking-workbook/

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    1. I checked it out and I think it could help a lot of people. I already have an easy budget template but this one is a keeper for those who don't. Thanks for sharing it Lynn.

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  16. Georgene-
    Thanks for the waffle recipe. I loved to hear about your accomplishments and resolutions. It gets me motivated!
    I have done something different this year as opposed to resolutions- my word of the year. This year it is "intentional" (I got this idea from another blogger). So many times I find the day, week, month, etc has flown by and I have not accomplished important things (time spent alone with God, building relationships, prayer, etc). I need to stop myself during the day and really take a look at what I am doing. Is it intentional? Is it what God's will is for me? Loved your pictures of your sweet family. Glad you made some wonderful holiday memories. Hugs from IA, Jennifer

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