Sunday, August 30, 2015

Daily Grace

Whew! I do believe this was one of the busiest summers that I can remember!  It was overflowing with wonderfulness, packed full of uncertainty, exhausting and above all... BLESSED! But, in the midst of all the hustle and bustle, there was this solid assurance that God was in the smallest and biggest of all the details!

We had extended and wonderful visits from our daughter in love and grands throughout the summer and my in laws were here for 10 days.   A family member had surgery and another family member had several serious falls.  I struggled with new physical limitations but time and time again I saw that God's grace was sufficient! I lived and breathed and experienced the truthfulness of His Word that promises His grace is made perfect in our weakness!

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.   2 Corinthians 12:9  ESV

The vegetable garden suffered... the house was far from spotless... my laundry fell behind... and my devotional time was, to say the least,  inconsistent! But, I depended on Jesus more in the daily serving of my loved ones which resulted in experiencing more of the depth of His faithfulness... and for that.... I am so grateful!

Knowing where to go for my strength makes all the difference in how I get through these busy seasons. Boy, do I accomplish this imperfectly! I'm so thankful to know that Jesus love is filled with patience!

New bible study in 1, 2 & 3rd John by Kelly Minter
So, what is happening in your homes? I've missed hearing what you are learning and how God is teaching you through it all.

We squeezed in a trip to the bay with the kids and their families.


A Typical Frugal Day

Here are just a few of the highlights this summer...

1. I planted zucchini from seed but I also bought a few plants from the store weeks later. I ended up drying enough zucchini to fill 9 quart jars to use in soup this winter. I kicked myself last winter when the price for zucchini went up to nearly $2 a pound.  I froze some shredded zucchini to use in muffins this winter for gifts. Here is a new recipe I made for my mother. She really seemed to enjoy it:

Zucchini Cornbread Casserole

2. Last summer I washed my car every Saturday like clock work. This summer I've been rethinking my weekly chores due to the drought, lots of company and some health issues. I found that I can stretch washing my car to the second week if I cover the front of my small truck with a huge piece of polyester material.  Some day I might buy a truck cover but for now the polyester will do. One of the advantages of living in an older neighborhood is that no one cares what I drape over my truck. It really IS an advantage at times. *WINK* I'm also stretching my lawn mowing to every other week. I not only save my strength for other duties but it also stretches the fuel along with the wear and tear on the lawn mower.

Homemade GIANT bubbles. Can you see it wrap around her?

3. I made Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon for my birthday meal. It was fabulous! I waited until I found a chuck roast on sale for $3.99 a pound. My love for cooking is always rejuvenated when I can find a fun, new recipe to try that both my husband and I love!  It was time consuming but heavenly! Happy birthday to ME!

4. I bought 3 small, glass saucers at the thrift store. I'm using them on my bowls instead of Seran wrap. This way I can see what is in the dish which results in less food being wasted. It will stretch the Seran wrap just a bit more, too!

5.I started volunteering at a food pantry this summer! It is such a blessing to see how God provides for those in need! The people I work with are wonderful and they always make sure to send home extra food. God used their blessings to help us stretch our grocery budget this summer when we had extra company.  He is so amazing! Jehovah Roi... the God who sees!

Sweet Williams, Four O'Clocks and 'Snow on the Mountain'

6. The summer vegetable garden has nearly come to an end. We are finishing up the last of the corn. I still have eggplant, green beans, a few zucchini and tomatoes. The grands helped me plant some seeds to start our winter crop. I love a winter garden because it requires so much less work! I've started laying newspaper down with lawn clippings on top to cover the empty plots. This will help enrich the soil over the winter and keep down on the weeds.

My granddaughter helping me plant seeds for the winter garden.

7.  I've shared many times how I use the 'Envelope Method' for many of our monthly and yearly larger expenses. I have 'envelopes' for my hair appointments, yearly DMV registration, oil changes, birthday gifts, dental co pays and larger electric bills in the winter. An envelope can be tangible or an envelope you make in your checking account where you 'hide' the money under a certain category. Recently, I was so thankful that I had an 'Envelope' for  household expenses because our plumbing backed up and it cost $500 to repair. Thankfully I was able to pay cash.

8. Eggs have doubled in price so I'm getting by with 1/3 less than last month. I rarely scramble them now since that uses more eggs so instead I fry them. I'm not baking as many low carb treats with coconut flour so that cuts down on the amount I'm using,too. I need to find more low carb ideas for breakfast that my husband will eat so I can cut back even more!

9. My daughter in love taught me how to make Bierocks while she was visting. I would have loved this recipe when my children were home because it's very inexpensive to make.

This is the dough recipe she used.  Quick and Easy Dinner Rolls

Make the dough as directed and let it rise. Then roll the dough out to approximately 1/4 inch thick and then cut the dough into squares (4x4 inches) with a pizza dough cutter.

Fry hamburger and shredded cabbage until done. You could add garlic and onions if you'd like. Season with garlic powder, Worcestershire and black pepper. Put a tablespoon or so in your dough square and then fold up corners and bake at 350 for 25 minutes until brown.

 I did a search and came up with quite a few variations. Very economical. It was fun cooking with my girl!

My daughter in love teaching me how to make Bierocks!

10. I have an old grape bush in the backyard. I have a hard time giving them away because they have seeds so this year I decided to dry them for raisins. I cut them in half and took out the seeds and placed them on parchment paper in my food dehydrator. They made AWESOME raisins! It wasn't as labor intensive as you would imagine. I cut them up one night and then put the bowl in the fridge. The next morning I would dry them.  I was so glad that they didn't go to waste. I stored them in a mason jar in the freezer.

My daughter in love captured this picture while visiting

Saved, Reused and Repurposed:
- Coffee grounds for Azaelas.
- Banana peels for roses.
- Rubber bands from asparagus, newspaper,radishes (washed and saved).
- Newspaper (used under cat box, clean windows, garden mulch, painting.
- Dirt and hair from vacuum (compost).
- Cardboard boxes from Costco:  (flattened and laid on dirt between the berries and neighbors fence to kill weeds coming from their yard).
- Birthday card (cut up and used as a bookmark).
- Cotton from a vitamin jar (I put it in a bag and use to take off fingernail polish).
- Bacon grease (to sautee fresh green beans).
- Popsicle sticks (I'll write the name of the vegetable on the stick and use it as a marker in seed pots).

I hope you are all doing well!

Blessed to be home!