Monday, June 19, 2017

Another One Bites the Dust

   I had just got up and was thinking about heading outside to turn the water onto the side garden when I heard a crack and then a thud.  Jeff and I looked at each other and I said "another branch came down".  Sure enough, this is what we saw.  If I had not procrastinated and sat down in the recliner for a few minutes, I would have been standing right where that branch came down when it did.  Thank you Jesus!  It did not hit our home or vehicles, but did take out just the corner of my front flowerbed. That should recover though.  I am just so thankful that no one was hurt.  My grandkids were playing in the front yard yesterday right under that tree.  Again, thank you Jesus!

   The poor old tree that is in our wonderful neighbor's  yard is dying a slow and painful death.  Sadly, the branch that came down has provided so much shade for us in the mornings and midday in our living room.  The branch did hit the fence hard, but luckily Jeff was able to repair that  after he was done cutting the branch apart.  He borrowed Uncle Bob's trailer to haul off the smaller parts and now have the bigger pieces stacked in the yard for another friend to come and get.  They will use the wood for their campfires this summer.

   I felt so bad for our neighbor/friend/hanai sister Shannon.  She came home from working a very long shift overnight to see yet another branch from her beloved tree in our yard.  She felt awful and told us she could help us clear it up on Wednesday.  Jeff told her not to worry, he would take care of it.  She insisted on gifting us with dinner out one night.  She did not need to do that.  We always help each other out with things, but she still insisted.  I'm now watching another branch that I can see will most likely be breaking within the next month or so.  This poor tree.  I love it and hate to see it dying.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 6/10-6/16 2017


   It's been another week where I needed to take things slow and rest as much as possible.  Even if I had wanted to, I could not have gotten a whole lot done.  We did manage a day trip out of town on Sunday and were careful to not spend a lot of money there.  I had planned on working more in the garden, but again energy did not allow that and neither did the weather towards the end of the week.  My hubby did manage to get a bunch of weed eating and weeding done before the bad weather rolled in though.  Thank goodness for that man!  The highlight of my week was having the little boys here for the afternoon on Wednesday.  Oh they are so much fun and growing up so quickly!  Onto the savings!

I could not resist this for .99 for Steven.

~Harvested a bunch of oregano from our garden, washed it and hung it to dry.
~Jeff build another fence around the blueberries and around the blackberries to protect them from the fruit crazy dog!
~Sunday Jeff and I took a short trip up to Coeur D'Alene, ID and went out to lunch at Texas Roadhouse.  We had a $25 gift card and our meal came to under that amount.  We did leave a $5 in cash tip along with the rest of the change after the gift card was applied.
~We used a Home Depot gift card to get some more seeds for our garden.
~We hit 2 thrift stores and found 3 shirts and a blue light bulb.

Momma and baby duck swimming by the Boardwalk up at the Lake Coeur D'Alene.

~We really enjoyed a walk on the boardwalk up at the Coeur D'Alene resort and watch a momma duck and her babies go begging for food from all the people on the boardwalk.
~We watched the movie "Hidden Figures" that we borrowed from the library.  It was really good!
~I froze 10 overripe bananas to use for banana bread later.
~Jeff potted up more mint to give to my cousin.
~I used some beer in small lids to bait slugs that are eating all my bean plants.
~The rest of the beer was used to cook some elk steaks in.
~Our garden is now giving me the first of the cherry tomatoes, strawberries along with green onions.

The handful of supplements and my thyroid medication that I take every day.  Without the supplements, my Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue would be so much worse.

~We needed some more supplements so I ordered some through Vitacost going through a link at Swagbucks so I get some points on that and I also used a 20% off coupon code.
~Two loaves of sandwich bread were made.
~The grandboys were here Wednesday afternoon.  They hot tubbed with Jeff, colored some coloring sheets from Moana that I printed off for them, played in the yard and wore out both our fur babies, had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on fresh homemade bread and then watched some kids tv shows on Netflix.

A very brave Gpa who played in the hot tub with Isaiah and Bradley when they were here Wednesday.

~Wednesday's dinner was zucchini (.50 for both) and shrimp (bought on sale previously) over rice (free).
~Thursday Jeff took me into town in the afternoon/evening.  We hit Goodwill and I was able to find brand new with tags baby clothes for gifts for a baby shower I am going to for 2 sisters in about a week's time.  I also found some things for our Steven, some Bath and Body Works body spray for $1.99, a huge brand new canister of hair spray for $1.99, a book, Jeff found a leather catchers mitt for $3 and a car phone charger.
~The Dollar Tree is my go to for cards.  We found Father's Day cards at 2/$1 for the dads in our family.

Jeff's $3 find at the Goodwill!

~The mail brought more free magazines for us and for our kids.
~I SKYPED several times with Josh this week.  That always makes me happy!😊
~It rained off and on for 3 days so that cut way down on me having to water the gardens.
~I am continuing to research more ways to help with my CFS and Fibromyalgia and making more changes in my life.  Some of these changes are not easy but I am willing to do whatever I can to help my health.
~Doofy needed some more calming collars so I looked online at  They had an amazing sale on them with packages of 3 for less than I pay for 1 at Petco.  I bought 2 packages of them (so 6 month's worth), some more of his specialty (aka expensive) cat food and a 40 pound bag of clumping cat litter.  I got free 2 day shipping and an additional discount.  I spent less on everything than I would have on 4 collars alone at Petco.  I figured my savings at about $80!

Shrimp and Zucchini in a garlic and wine sauce served over rice.

~Friday night I took some leftover elk steaks, cut them up, made a gravy with the sauce the streaks were cooked in and added some mushrooms and sour cream to that and then threw in some leftover cooked rice.  It made for a nice creamy casserole for dinner.
~I borrowed more movies and books from the library.

Movies borrowed from the library.

   This coming week I really do hope to be able to get out in the garden more and get a few more things planted as well as trying to get a handle on the weeds.  The strawberry bed needs to be covered with some netting as well so that I don't lose the berries to the birds.  We shall see how much I can actually get done...only time will tell.😉

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Thankfulness, Living Within My Limits and Being Kind to Myself


Bradley and Isaiah being monkey boys!

This morning I woke up after a bad night with very little sleep.  I am in the middle of a pretty painful and draining Fibro flare/crash.  Today is day 4 of it and I am thankful that I have a bit more energy today than I did yesterday.  Yesterday was a very bad, no good day where everything hurt and I felt like my body was weighted down with lead.  Just watering the gardens took everything out of me, and I used sprinklers to do it along with some hand watering.

   As I sat down to write this post, I got a notification from Melanie at Road to the Farm on Youtube that she had uploaded a video.  Melanie also has Fibromyalgia and her video today was about trusting in God when we have flares/crashes and knowing that even when we get behind on things, He is there and will take care of us.  Melanie and I have a lot in common.  We both tend to push way too hard when we are having good days and then pay for it with crashes. Learning our limits is hard.  I love how God orchestrated her posting her video at the same time that I was sitting down to write a post on this subject.  I believe that His timing is perfect and that it was meant to be this way so that she and I could lift each other up and encourage one another as we walk this path.  I am so thankful for Melanie being willing to share her life and struggles along with such good words from the Lord.

   Our two oldest grandsons, Bradley and Isaiah, are coming to spend the afternoon with us today.  They are a bundle of energy and a total delight. 😁  I love those boys beyond words and look forward to any time I can have with them.  They are very aware that there are days when Grammie can't really play with them and that all hugs must be very gentle or they will hurt me.  Today is one of those days.  What I can do though on days like this is take them to the park and watch them play.  I can cuddle up and read books with them or watch a favorite movie.  That is what I choose to do...focus on what I can do with them and not what I can't.  I want to build wonderful memories with them to last their and my entire lives.  My own grandmother had some pretty serious health issues and was not able to play with me as a child, but I loved spending time with her.  We would sit and talk outside in her yard, quietly read our books and share hugs and kisses.  Spending the night with her was one of my favorite things to do.  She and I had such a strong bond and could read each other's thoughts, even across the miles of ocean that separated us when I left Hawaii to go to college in Idaho.  I want to build those kinds of bonds with my grandsons, all three of them.

   Knowing that the little boys are coming today, I need to pace myself and be careful to limit my energy output this morning so that I am not totally worn out by the time I go to pick them up.  I got a load of Jeff's laundry going when I first got up and then got the bread dough going in the Kitchenaid while my coffee maker brewed that wonderful elixir that I savor each and every morning.  I divided the dough into bread pans and set that to rise in the oven and then took a break had my coffee.  From there I folded a load of my laundry and then, instead of hanging out Jeff's laundry on the line to dry, I put it in the dryer.  I knew I did not have the strength or energy to hang the big and heavy load out today, so the dryer it was.  The bread dough had risen by this time so I got the bread baking and took another break to get this post going and to watch Melanie's video.  I just got the bread out of the oven and it is now cooling on the counter, covered by a towel so that Doofy cat does not sample it.  😉  I still need to take a shower, get myself ready for the day and then take a quick trip down to the library to pick up some videos that are there on hold for me. 

   My muscles feel like they are burning in the back of my neck and at the top of my spine right now and the cartilage between my ribs are sore.  I know that even with as little as I have done already, it may have been too much.  I will be spending the rest of my time until I go and get the little boys taking it easy on myself.  There are other things that I had hoped to get done today, but they will have to wait.  My priorities today, given my limited energy are my grandboys, making bread for my hubby so he will have bread for sandwiches to take to work with him, and getting his laundry done.  I refuse to feel guilty because I know that if I push myself too hard, I will not be able to enjoy my grandkids this afternoon and they are the most important "priority" in my life today.  



Saturday, June 10, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 6/3-6/9 2017


   It has been an interesting week here full of high school graduations and parties, time with family and friends and roller coaster weather. Our hanai son Lee and his girlfriend came home to see his sister graduate, so we got to have some time with them and I loved it!  One of my best friends who is more like a sister and is who we call our kids "other mother" was here for a visit too and she got to meet Rachel and Steven.  I think she enjoyed the cuddle time with him the most. 😉  Who doesn't love cuddling a snuggly newborn?  Our weather has been everything from scorching hot in the high 90 to the lows in the high 30's.  I think my gardens are confused.  I did manage to find ways to save money this week though and am praying for even better savings next week.

~Saturday we attended the local high school graduation and went to 2 parties afterwards.  We had dinner and got to visit with old friends at the parties.
~Sunday Jeff BBQed up some of the reduce priced bratwurst that I had found the previous week (yes, I froze them when I brought them home from the store) and I made a sour cream and dill potato salad with some sale priced potatoes.  Jeff also made some brownies and we had watermelon with it.  This made for a lovely dinner for us, Jaysn, Rachel and my friend Ronnie who was visiting.
~Ronnie brought me a lovely gift of a bottle of wine from the Napa Valley.

~We borrowed and watched some movies from the library.
~Most of the laundry was hung out on the line to dry earlier in the week before the rains came.
~I bought some plants at the local ACE Hardware store to replace the ones that the ants ate.  I thought I bought some flat leaf parsley, but it was really celery.  For the cost of 2 bunches at the grocery store, I will have 12 bunches of celery when they are ready.  I also bought 2 pepper plants that already have peppers growing on them (my plants started from seed are still tiny seedlings), a pretty columbine that is a new discovery for me (I have developed a love for them and they spread like crazy) and some basil (which has been nearly impossible to find around here).  I carefully looked for the pots of plants that had multiple plants in them instead of just a single plant.  More bang for my buck.
~I have been working on my points programs as much as I have time for.

~Books from the library are being read and new ideas learned.
~The overflow water from the swamp cooler was used to water the fruit trees.
~I watered the gardens in the evening.
~We found the game "Imagine If" for half price at Goodwill and a dvd.  The game will be given to some of our kids who love to have game nights at their home.  I already have one here.
~Two loaves of sandwich bread were made early Wednesday morning before the temps headed into the 90's.
~I harvested lots of rhubarb from the garden and cut and froze 12 cups of it for future use and stewed some for eating now.  I love cold stewed rhubarb on a hot day.

~A button came off a pair of Jeff's shorts, so I sewed it back on.
~Slugs have been eating the freshly sprouted bean plants so I have been out there picking them off in the morning.  Yucky job but I really do like my beans.
~I uploaded some coupons unto my Safeway.
~I did not realize how many free channels you can get on the Roku.  I have been discovering more and more of them.
~We were out of check registers for the checkbook so I printed off 4 more pages of them for my hubby.
~I printed off a gift card for free treats for Caesar from Petco and 2 gift cards for Texas Roadhouse that I cashed in from Swagbucks for.
~I signed up through to become an affiliate with them.  I am hoping that I can generate some income if people click through my links to do their shopping there.
~More of our favorite TV shows were watched online.

~Thursday was a wet and cold day by the afternoon so I pulled some homemade frozen split pea soup out of the freezer and got that heating up.  I then took some hot dog buns and topped them with some grated parmesan cheese and stuck them under the broiler.  It made for a nice early dinner for Jeff and I and I needed to use up some of the hot dog buns anyway.
~I harvested more rhubarb and shared it with my neighbor.
~Jeff watched a movie he borrowed from our Jaysn.
~I finally got the replacement squash plants in Friday along with the larger pepper plants, the celery plants, another columbine and potted up the basil.
~I needed comfort food on Friday so I made some Udon and Miso soup with shrimp.  I added some baby kale and green onion from the garden.

   Not a bad week at all.  Sometimes I feel like I repeat myself over and over doing the same things but you know what, those are the exact things that do help us save money.  They may not be big ticket items but if you consider how much it would have cost us to go see the movies in the theater instead of borrowing them or even buying each of them on dvd or bluray, we saved at least $60 right there.  Same thing with our watching TV shows online instead of having DISH TV which would cost us about $60 per month depending on what kind of deals they had running.  So that alone is $120 savings which will pay for one of our quarterly insurance payments that is due this month.  It's kind of like drops of water in a bucket...they may seem small, but together they all add up and fill that bucket.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Looking for New Sources of Income


   With the Summer upon us and MOPS being done until next Fall, I am looking for new sources of income, even if they are small.  I am finding that my little bot of income from my MOPS job really did help even if it was less than $100 a month most months.  I've been brainstorming and I have come up with a few ideas.

   One of the things that I already did and had great success with was selling off extra lupine and raspberry plants from my garden in the Spring.  I am thinking I will do this again next Spring but also add various Columbine plants to that sale and possibly some thornless blackberry starts too.

   Our Heather, the little boys and Jeff and I are going to sell some of the cherries from our huge cherry tree this year to friends and neighbors.  We have done this in the past and it was really successful.  Heather and the boys will help us pick, wash and package them up and she will take some back to her town to sell to her friends there.  We will be splitting the profits right down the middle.  We won't make a lot of money off it but it should be enough to help each of our families out a bit.

   I'm going to be selling off some of our household items that we no longer need or use on some of the local buy, sell and trade online sites.  Our house is so cluttered and things have got to go!

   The lovely SJ, who has become a wonderful online friend and frequently comments on this blog, suggested that I become an Amazon Affiliate.  I have mulled that idea over for awhile now and I decided to go for it.  I do order many products through Amazon for our family and I thought this might be a way to help earn some additional income to do so.  I am now regularly ordering some of my supplements through here to help manage my Fibromyalgia and they do seem to be helping manage my pain levels and with energy levels too,  I have had several people ask me about what I am taking so I thought I would share them here in case you are interested in checking them out also.  As always, my disclaimer is that I am not a medical professional and I am only sharing my personal experiences with these products.  Everyone's body chemistry is different and what works for one person may not work for another.  Make sure to check with your doctor, especially if you are taking other medications before taking any supplements to make sure that they will not cause any adverse effects when combined with any medications you may be taking.

Now Colostrum

Amazing Formulas Acetyl L-Carnitine - 1000mg, 120 Tablets

Disclaimer: Both of these are my affiliate links with Amazon.  If you click through these links it will take you directly to the product page. By going through my link, whether you choose to place an order for this or any other product, I do get a small percentage of the sale.

   I have also considered doing some tutoring on the side.  My only fear with that is that I may get some students who are not motivated and try to fight me on doing their work.  I just can't deal with that anymore so this may not be a viable option for me at this time.

   If anyone has any other ideas, please let me know!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Thoughts from a Small Town Substitute Teacher on Graduation Day


    As I sat there watching some of my favorite kids graduating from high school on Saturday, I thought back to so many of the other graduations that I had been to over the years.  It is funny that as I watched these kids graduating, I had a running slideshow of memories going through my mind. Here are some thoughts that I had and I  thought I would put them down here as a way to remember.

   Sitting in the bleachers, watching as the graduates are honored, I am reminded of the paths that these kids took to get to this point in their lives.  For some of the graduates, I have known them for all of their lives and remember the great joy as their parents got married and started a family of their own when their much longed for and dreamed of children joined them to make them not a couple anymore, but a family.  Some of the parents of these graduates were also students that I had taught in years past and if that does not make you feel old, nothing will. 😉

   For a number of these students, their paths were rocky ones.  Some would rise to the occasion and overcome great obstacles in their lives, and sadly, others would go down a self defeating path which, based on watching previous graduates who walked the same path, would end up with some in jail and others, sadly addicted to drugs and dying.  Those students, some of the ones I tried so hard to reach over the years, will always haunt me.  I know that I, even being a substitute teacher, tried my best with them and did everything I could to show them a different way and let them know that they were the only ones who could determine and choose their own paths.  They held the power to do so and the choice was up to them.  It was gratifying though to see a former student on Saturday, who had come to watch his baby brother graduate, that had overcome great odds in his life and turned it around shortly before he graduated from high school when he was finally held accountable for his actions and kicked off one of the sports teams.  That was the wake up call he needed.  He had been one of the biggest challenges in class and to be honest, was acting like a  jerk before this happened.  I kept on him then entire time and told him that I did care about him and his future.  Guess who actually apologized to me and asked for my help on his Senior Presentation at the end of that year...yep, him. I was more than pleased to help him. He is now serving in the Marines and has a lovely wife and new baby.  These kids need someone in their corner who will be honest and real with them and practice tough love and hold them accountable.  There are some that will thrive knowing that you care about them as a person and then there are others who will fight you all the way.  It used to be that there were way more that really came into their own with that kind of backing and were able to turn their lives around, but sadly, as is true with what I am seeing with our society as a whole, there are more and more who can't see past the here and now and the "it's all about me".  The stress of dealing with so many students with that kind of attitude finally took it's toll on my health and I finally had to make the choice to stop doing something that I loved in order to take care of me.

   All is not bad though, I have had so many wonderful experiences as well and have been blessed to see and be a part of kids lives as they master a new concept.  I've tutored kids in the Summer who were having some difficulties in certain areas and they have done well.  One of those young men graduated on Saturday with honors and I am so proud of him for all the hard work that he put in to get there.  I still keep in touch with former students from my full time teaching days and my subbing days.  They have become "my kids" and they know I love them and will be cheering them on.  I got to share hugs with some of them on Saturday and get caught up on their lives.  That is a huge blessing to me.  Some have gone on to be social workers, teachers, EMTs, firefighters, veterinarians. and serve in the military.  Others have chosen different but equally important and personally satisfying paths for their lives.  I just want "my kids" to be successful and happy in their lives.  I want them to be good people who help out their community and others, I want them to be responsible and to be able to raise wonderful families of their own.  I just want the best for them and I am personally invested in each one of their lives having spent so much time with them over the years and having gotten to know them as people.  That is what life is like for a small town substitute teacher, or at least it should be.  I have attended some of their weddings, held their newborn children, taught their own children, mourned with them as they lost beloved family members and celebrated their life's victories.  They will always be an important part of my life and I hope that I made a difference in their's as well.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Two Week Edition of the Frugal Friday Wrap Up 5/20-6/2 2017

     Due to all the craziness starting out on Tuesday May 22, I decided to make this a 2 week edition. ;)  I am happy to be spending more time at home now after days and nights on end at the hospital.  I'm not complaining though, there is nowhere else I would have been than with my Rachel, Jaysn and baby Steven. :)

~Potted up some mint from our garden to give to my cousin Jeremy.
~Reused hanging plant baskets and pots to fill with sale priced Petunia plants.
~Line dried lots of laundry.
~Put fencing up around the  trees to hopefully keep the dog from eating both the trees and the fruit.
~Got some free hamburger buns from Safeway.
~Called Josh using Jeff's cell phone since it has lots of rollover minutes on it right now.
~Spent most of Saturday afternoon with Jaysn, Rachel and baby Steven at the hospital.
~Took some homemade banana bread to Jaysn and Rachel.
~Entered 4 Disney Movie Reward Codes.  Each were worth 100 points.

~I hit the jackpot at Goodwill on Monday.  I found 3 Little Tykes and Fisher Price toys for baby Steven, a huge bottle of bubbles to take comping to help occupy the 2 year old grandson of our friends, the dvds "Dumbo" and the original "Pete's Dragon" (new in wrapper) and a shirt.  We also got 20% off our purchase with Jeff's Senior Citizen discount so we paid $10.11 for everything!
~I cooked up 1 1/2 pound of elk burger into taco seasoned meat so we could use it for taco salads and soft tacos this week since the weather decided to get really hot all of a sudden.
~Four loaves of bread were made.
~The plants I thought were volunteer cucumbers in the garden turned out to be sunflower plants so I divided and replanted them yet again.  I did find a volunteer cucumber plant though too.
~We borrowed a cookbook and the  movie "Rogue One" from the library.  The movie was good!
~Worked a bit on my points programs.

Intermission due to family health crisis

~I watered the gardens in the early evening hours so the water would not evaporate off.
~I cooked up a bunch of homemade mac and cheese and some creamy broccoli and cauliflower soup and took it to Jaysn and Rachel on Sunday so that they would not have to cook for a few days.  Jeff and I also took them out to lunch that day and used a B1G1Free reward that we had at our favorite Chinese buffet place that is sadly closing.
~I had doubled to mac and cheese recipe and had some steaks marinating so we invited Chris, Heather and the little boys over for dinner on Sunday.  It was nice to have a family meal with them too.

~Jeff and I found some things at the Goodwill including new in package toilet repair kit, heavy duty hinges. some clothing for him and I including brand new swim shorts and a swim top for me, and some bubble bath (half price color tag).
~The little boys enjoyed using our hot tub (unheated) to cool off in Sunday.
~We finally got the tomatoes, cucumber and squash plants in the garden.
~I saved some of the coffee from the morning pot and put it in the refrigerator to make a cold coffee drink in the afternoon.
~Multiple loads of laundry have been hung out to dry on the laundry line.
~Jeff and I were finally able to get caught up on our TV shows that we watch online.
~More free magazines arrived in the mail.
~I used some credit I had at to stock up on more of the supplements that have been really helping me and without which I never would have been able to help Rachel and Jaysn as much as I did.
~We are watering the garden in the evenings so that the water does not all evaporate away.  Our area has gotten some freakish 90+ F temperatures which unfortunately made my kale go to seed and fried my fuschia plant.  I am praying the fuschia recovers.
~Used coffee grounds have been paced around the blueberry and hydrangeas to give them a much needed acidic boost.
~I have been having great luck lately finding cases of new canning jars at the thrift store for about 1/4th of the regular store price.  I pick these up every time I see them.

~I dried and crushed eggshells to spread around in the strawberry patch to help with slug control.
~I had downloaded two $1 off coupons onto my Safeway card for Tidycat's cat litter and it also happened to be on sale.  I was able to get a large container of it for $4.24 after tax!
~We got a lot of free groceries while doing our volunteer work.
~The Dollar Tree had beautiful cards at 2/$1 so I bought my graduation and a thank you card for the staff at the hospital there.
~My friend Shannon treated me to lunch on Wednesday.
~Put more banana peels around the base of the roses.
~I made 2 loaves of sandwich bread.
~Over-ripe bananas were used to make 3 loaves of banana bread.
~Went through my gift closet stash and found gifts for the 4 high school graduates that we are giving gifts to.
~I found a lightweight pajama gown on clearance at Walmart for $3.  I have some older ones that need to be retired and turned into rags so the timing was perfect.
~I found more marked down items at the grocery store that make for quick meals on hot and busy days.

~We went to a graduation party early Friday evening and had dinner there while getting caught up with good friends.
~Late Friday night my friend Shannon called and asked if I wanted to go and see the late showing of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie "Dead Men Tell No Tales", her treat.  We saw it in 3D and it was so good!
~Jeff and I stopped at the Breakfast and Cereal sale at one of the local stores and got 5 boxes of cereal ($1.79 a box), bananas and 2 gallons of milk ($1.79 each). We did this in 2 trips since he forgot the milk the first time and we were going through that town so we picked it up then along with the 2 extra boxes of cereal.

   I know I am late posting this, being that it is now Sunday 6/4, but life got busy over the weekend with graduations and parties and seeing our hanai son Lee while he is in town to celebrate his sister Tulip's graduation from high school.  We also have been busy trying to work on the yard and got the tomato and squash plants in and also planted the beans.  Apparently the ants really liked my tender squash plants and I am praying that they will come back after some of them have had their leaves totally eaten.  While I am typing this out, we have a nice cool rain and I am loving it.  I just wish we had gotten the rain barrel set up to catch some of this liquid gold too.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Lake Time With the Little Boys



Last Tuesday, before Rachel had to be rushed to the emergency room and then immediately admitted to the hospital, I spent part of the day with Heather, Bradley and Isaiah up at Rocky Point.  Most of the time we had the park all to ourselves and it was glorious!  Sandcastles were built, water fights ensued, looking for pretty rocks while beachcombing was done, looking for fish, playing on the playground and watching some butterflies do their mating dances provided more entertainment and wonder.  It was one of those perfect days where you just wish time would stand still while you soaked in every wonderful moment of it!  I am so thankful that Heather got ahold of me and asked me to go with them and I am hoping we can do it again soon.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Nothing Matters More Than Family!

   I had great plans for this week to get lots of things done but it all got put on hold as our Rachel's health took a scary turn after being home for a few days after having baby Steven.  She ended up in the emergency room on Tuesday night and has been at the hospital ever since then.  Poor girl had multiple infections, pneumonia and sepsis.  We are so thankful that they caught it when they did and that they have been treating it very aggressively.  I took baby Steven back to their place Tuesday night and stayed with him while Jaysn stayed with Rachel.  The next day they decided that it would be easier on them to have Steven stay with them at the hospital since she was not a threat healthwise to him.  
   Our girl has been poked, prodded, pricked and stuck with needles, given tons of blood, and had multiple tests, scans, etc. run on her.  Despite being miserable, she has still tried to be the best mommy she can be throughout all this to her son.  I've spent every day and evening with them at the hospital to help with baby and give Jaysn and chance to take care of other things at home, run errands and even get some much need sleep himself and to be a support system for them all.  Rachel and I have had plenty of time to talk and get to know even more about each other and that part, has been wonderful.  Oh how I love her!  I have been so blessed by both my sons Jaysn and Chris did well when they picked Rachel and Heather as their wives.

   Today was a good day and we can see that she is making that turn around the bend on the path to being well and getting to go home within a few days time if all continues to go as it has been today.   She reached some goals they had for her there and is close to meeting another.   She finally felt good enough to allow a few friends to visit and to meet baby too.  Heather and the little boys made cards for her and Isaiah even made her a bracelet.  They would have loved to come a visit too, but their family is ill right now and they did not want to risk giving something to baby, Rachel or Jaysn.  I picked up the cards on my way into town to see Rachel and delivered them to her...she loved them!

   Chris decided this afternoon was a good day to slice his wrist open on a broken crockpot and get 10 stitches.  I have been giving him a hard time about taking drastic measures to get a day off work.  Funny thing is that earlier in the day I was telling his sons to please be careful when they were climbing on things not to fall and get hurt because Grammie could not take anyone else she loved getting hurt or being sick right now.  

   I have a dear friend who is also going through a very scary health issue and was able to go with her to see her doctor and get the results of some testing on Wednesday when I was already at the hospital with Rachel.  After seeing the results, she came with me to Rachel's room so she could meet baby and we prayed over her as a family.  Even upon arriving back at the room with Rachel not feeling well at all and finding her shaking from a high fever, she still reached out in love and compassion for my friend who is like a sister to me.

   Today I finally broke down on my way in to see Rachel and cried out to God to please heal my girl, and my friend.  I have been praying all along, but today I was sobbing and begging.  I had no idea that I would find out within a few hours how close we had been to possibly losing Rachel if she had not gone into the emergency room when she did.  

   Our family has rallied together to support one another throughout all this.  There are so many people praying across the nation as we have let friends and family know and they have added Rachel to their prayer list at church and in their groups of friends.  My parents, cousin and our Josh have been checking in to see how she is doing and offering their love and support.  Chris and Heather call on a daily basis (sometimes more) for updates and to encourage them.  My friends that I have let know what is going on have been so wonderful and encouraging as well.

   I have learned through this that nothing is as important as family and that our family is closer than I could have ever imagined and that we all gather strength from one another.  I have seen sacrifices made to be there for one another and everything else set aside to make sure that Rachel, Jaysn and baby have what they need.  I have seen Rachel and Jaysn grow closer as a couple throughout all of this.  I have seen them reach out in their time of their own health crisis to others who needed compassion, prayers and love as well.  Spending 12 hours or more with them each day at the hospital and driving home late at night when I am dead tired, just to get up and do it all over again without ever even considering not being there has stretched me to my limit physically, emotionally and health wise but I would do it all over again and will continue to do it until she is able to go home.  My family is everything to me and are my treasures here on earth.  Nothing is more important to me than they are.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Grammie's Littlest Love Steven

Grammie's littlest love, baby Steven, all ready to go to his doctor's appointment.  He is a bit jaundiced so they are waiting for the results of his bloodwork to see if he will need to spend some time under the special light.

The happy but tired family adjusting to life with a newborn in the house.  I am so glad that we live so close to our oldest son Jaysn, our Rachel and baby Steven so we can spend lots of time with all of them.  Grammie heaven I tell ya!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Steven is Here!

  Our littlest grandson made his way into the world last night after his rockstar of a Mommy was in labor with him for a little less than 22 hours.  He is 19 inches long and 7 pound 1.3 oz. and is a very sweet, alert and cuddly baby.  Jeff and I were able to spend time with the new little family and hold our little Steven when he was just over an hour old.  We are heading back in soon to spend more time with our Jaysn, Rachel and little Steven and feel so blessed!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 5/13-5/19 2017


   We are all anxiously awaiting the arrival of little Steven.  It could be any time now and I am pretty much glued to the phone at this point.  😀  I think I did well this week.  I stayed home for most of the week and stuck to my grocery list when I did go shopping on Thursday.  My energy level is still lower than normal due to the congestion that is still hanging around in my chest, but we are making progress there too.  Onto the savings...

~Saturday's trip to Goodwill was a fruitful one.  I found a food chopper tool that I had been wanting for cutting onions, a spiralizer for making "noodles" with veggies, some blackboard paint, a brand new in package Dr. Brown's bottle, a pair of work pants for Jeff, a shirt for Jeff, a crock to put my kitchen utensils in, a large glass jar with lid, a new sand bucket and shovel, and a new bag of kitty litter.
~Sunday I spent the day in bed but was able to get up and go to our family Birthday/Mother's Day party that evening.  It was potluck style.  My kids blessed me with a bottle of wine and a nice flower hanging basket.
~Sunday night was watched the movie "Goonies" once we got home from the party.  Jeff had never seen it and I only remembered bits and pieces of it.

~Monday we worked in the garden and I found some volunteer cilantro and what I think are cucumbers.  I transplanted the "cucumbers" and seeded in some lettuce.
~We had leftovers for lunch and dinner Monday.
~More free magazines came in the mail.
~I cashed in at Swagbucks for a $10 gift card to Texas Roadhouse.  That brings our gift cards for there up to $35 which will take a big chunk off our bill the next time we go there for lunch.  I also got a 50 SB rebate towards my next gift card purchase.
~I finally was able to get in on some samples at Pinch Me this morning.

~Rainwater was collected and used to water my seedlings and tomato plants that are currently living in the hot tub enclosure.
~I pulled some homemade chicken noodle soup out of the freezer to have for dinner on Tuesday since it was a rainy day.
~We were almost out of pancake mix so I mixed up another batch of it.  I like knowing what is going into my mix and not having to worry about all the preservatives.
~I restocked our little bag that we take with us when we go away with a sample sized antiperspirant and toothpaste.  Both those items were free from the PinchMe box I got earlier this month.
~I've been using the free laundry detergent that we got while "treasure hunting".
~Swagbucks earning opportunities have been running in the background as I do other work on my computer.
~We had some overripe bananas so I made 3 loaves of banana bread with them.  The hubby was pretty happy about that. 😀
~Wednesday night Jeff started his Summer Bowling League (my early Father's Day gift to him since he usually does not bowl in the Summer).  Since it was just me for dinner, I made some artichoke ravioli and had that with a glass of wine and some strawberries.

~I found family packs of beer bratwurst on sale and repackaged them into ziplock bags with 3 each in them and froze 3 packages for later.
~I cooked up 2 of the bratwurst with 2 potatoes for lunch on Friday while the banana bread was also baking.
~The banana peels from making banana bread were used to fertilize 2 of our rose bushes.

~I found a Volcano's National Park from the Big Island of Hawaii (where I grew up) at the thrift store.
~The amazing hubby got fencing up around the pears trees so that Caesar would stop eating the actual trees!  Last year he stripped all the pears from the trees and ate them...this Spring he has decided that the trees themselves taste good.
~We got caught up on some of our favorite TV shows online.
~Jeff was inducted into the local Bowling Hall of Fame on Friday night.  They had a banquet and his meal was free but we did have to pay $25 for mine.  It was so worth it though to have my sweetheart honored like this!

   Still praying here that my next post will be about our grandson Steven making his appearance!  I can't wait to cuddle our newest grandson and tell him how much we love him and have been anxiously awaiting his arrival.  I also can't wait to see our Jaysn and Rachel have their dreams and prayers of having a child become all so real!  Thank you God for answered prayers!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Waiting on Little Steven to Make His Grand Entrance.

Our Jaysn and Rachel are more than ready to meet their little boy face to face.  Little Steven has been slowly turning and is just about in the right position now (head down) to be born.  The first due date was actually today, but then it got revised to the 22nd.  My cousin Jeremy was hoping for the 13th (his birthday) and my Dad for the 16th (his birthday).  There is still Chris and Heather's anniversary on the 21st! 

Bradley and Isaiah are looking forward to meeting their baby cousin too!  Grammie here can't wait to meet him and see all 3 of her grandsons together!

Uncle Jaysn is getting lots of practice on being a daddy with his nephews who think he is pretty cool!  He is so good and patient with them and always willing to play.  And yes, Isaiah is being a total dork...good thing he is cute!

Bradley loves to work on puzzles.  He and Jaysn spent a good half an hour working on this one.  Jaysn is going to be a awesome daddy!

Rachel's first Mother's Day!  Yes, even with little Steven still safely tucked away in Mommy, it still counts.   You know, I got sick with this same kind of virus before Bradley was born and he waited until I was better before he made his grand you suppose Steven is doing the same thing?  My grandsons are known for being little gentlemen after all. 😉