Sunday, December 31, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up...The Christmas Edition 12/23-12/29 2017


The snowman the Heather built and Isaiah (4 years old) painted for me.  One of my favorite gifts this year.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with their families and are ready to ring in the New Year!  I had meant to get this post up yesterday but spent most of the day in bed recovering from a busy week and eating foods that my body decided were way too rich and sugary.  My plan was then to post this morning, but we got the phone call we all knew was coming, but did not make it any easier...Heather's Grandma Ginny passed away this morning. 😒  As soon as the phone rang, I knew it was "the call". I know Ginny is now in heaven and out of pain, and for that I am so thankful, but my heart aches for her family left behind.  We are waiting to hear when the funeral will be.  It has been a week of highs and lows for sure.  Now onto the savings...

Some of the free Christmas items that one of the thrift stores was giving away.  We went on the last day and there were mainly books left.  I do love what all I found for us and to share.

~Saturday Jeff and I went into his hometown to go to the movies but decided that sitting for 2 1/2 hours in theater chairs would not be comfortable (both of us were having back problems).  We decided to do some shopping and some other fun activities instead.
~We went to one of the local thrift stores and they were giving away all of their Christmas stuff for free.  We got a stack of books, 3 cds and some Christmas flowers from the free area and then also found a brand new toilet seat (one of our's needed to be replaced), a package of diapers (in Steven's size for .47), and a  Hawaiian cookbook.
~Goodwill was another stop and we found a huge bag full of Lincoln Log type building materials on one of the carts they had just rolled out.  I grabbed it quickly before anyone else did because it is perfect for Bradley's upcoming birthday gift in March.  Jeff found 2 warm winter shirts.  Other finds were new straps for my fitbit (so I can interchange different colors), a large turtle pillow with a removable outside so I can wash it and a CD Jeff wanted.
~Sears had the double packs of the batteries that Jeff wanted for his power tools on sale so we got him those as one of his Christmas gifts.

Hot Mulled Wine at home using up some leftover wine from our game night.

~We bought some frosted sugar cookies at Winco.  They were $1.79 there as opposed to $7.98 for the same size package at another grocery store. (Two days after Christmas we found them there on sale for .98 a package and bought 2 of them).
~We made it into a date night by doing some things on our Christmas list.  We had coffee and spiced wine at wonderfully funky little place (and it gave me an idea of what to do with some of the leftover red wine from our party) and then went driving around to see the Christmas lights in different neighborhoods.

Packaged up Smoked Turkey meat.  The rest was made into soup and broth.  So yummy!

~Once we got home, we watched "Miracle on 34th Street" (the old version with Natalie Wood) and had hot spiced cider.  It was 2F outside at this point, so we did not hot tub as planned).
~Sunday was spent at home getting things done around here.  I got the Texas Roadhouse Butter made for gift giving and cut up the Smoked Turkey.  Some of the turkey was frozen for later good eating and I also froze the carcass to make soup with.  Some of the turkey was prepped and ready to go to Chris and Heather's for our Christmas morning brunch.

Smoked turkey, stuffing, mago spears and celery sticks made for a wonderful dinner.

~I made some hot mulled wine with some leftover red wine from our party on Friday.
~Monday was spent at both Chris and Heather's and at Jaysn and Rachel's homes.  The family all got together at Chris and Heather's for brunch and gifts and then Jeff, Jeremy and I went to Jaysn and Rachel's for dinner.  Her mother and sister were supposed to come up but her mother got sick and the roads were so bad near her sister that she turned around and went back home.  I am praying that she will be able to make it up this next weekend so we can see here and give her her and her mother's gifts.
~Jaysn and Rachel sent us home with some delicious lasagna that we had for lunch on Tuesday.
~I made some Wassail with some leftover orange juice, some apple cider and spices.  Yum!  I refrigerated the leftovers and have been enjoying it reheated.

Homemade Wassail using up the some of the orange juice and apple cider.

~We were blessed with many wonderful gifts but my favorite ones were homemade.  Cookies, truffles, a picture collage of Steven, a snowman that Heather put together out of scrap wood and Isaiah painted for me, a beautiful quilted picture of a hummingbird and fuchsias that my mother made for me because it reminded us both of my grandmother, the pretty rocks that Bradley and Isaiah painted along with a special quartz rock that Isaiah found one day when we were at the beach and he remembered how much I liked it and a cookbook that Heather's grandmother compiled of favorite family recipes that we all contributed to were some of the most thoughtful gifts.
~Tuesday I had planned on going to the after Christmas clearance sales but my body was rebelling after all the rich foods and Jeff was not feeling well and thought he might be coming down with a head cold.  We decided to just stay home and get gifts put away, laundry done and get Jeff to bed earlier in the day so he could work later in the evening.
~I watched lots of YouTube videos on food storage, pantry challenges and saving money.  Getting ready for a January 2018 pantry challenge here.

A new favorite cookbook.  All the recipes remind me of growing up in Hawaii.

My house slippers have been getting a good workout since I wear a pair of them daily inside the house to keep my feet warm.  They get tossed in the washer along with the rest of the laundry and I set them up near the pellet stove to dry.  It usually only takes an hour or so to have them all dry and ready to use again.
~Wednesday I ran errands and hit the after Christmas clearance sales at Walmart.  I am now stocked up on gift bags and plain white gift boxes for the coming year.  I also found the Parents Choice Christmas themed diapers for half price and bought 4 boxes of them in 2 sizes for my grandson Steven.  Who cares if he looks like he is wearing Santa diapers in the Summer? ;)  I also stocked up on my favorite wax melts for my warmer. I used a $25 Walmart gift card that I cashed in at Swagbucks for to cover the cost of my Christmas stock up.  Walmart also had marked down containers of cut up mangos so I bought two of them. I paid less for the 2 containers that had about 3 mangos worth of fruit in each one than I would have spent on 2 whole mangos.
~Bath and Body Works has it's big semi annual sale and I bought 5 of my favorite fragrances at 75% off.

Bath and Body Works 75% off haul.

~Bed, Bath and Beyond had their Christmas fragrance liquid hand soaps for .99 each and I got Christmas themed cocktail napkins for .50 a package.
~I found a sweater, a nice Columbia brand all weather jacket that Jeff and I can share, snow bibs for Bradley, some Lane Bryant jeans for me ($3.00), a Christmas ornament (half price), a new box of 40 freezer ziplock bags for .99 and some cup cake liners for .99.
~Thursday I stayed home and worked on things around here.  We got some bad news on the health of a extended family member who is dying so I needed to get as much done as I could so that I could be free to help out where needed.
~Friday Jeff and I met Heather in town and took Bradley and Isaiah to lunch while she went to visit her grandmother.  We went to Pizza Hut and ordered 2 of their $10 boxed meals because we thought the boys would be hungry.  They were not so we ended up bringing home pizza, breadsticks and cinnasticks.
~We took the boys to a free play area in the mall where they were happy to see some of their friends from Awana and they all played together before Heather came to get them.

Bed Bath and Beyond after Christmas Clearance haul.

~Winco was out next stop where we picked up some kitty litter, dog food, bananas and lemons.  Hopefully this will be the only time we need to make a grocery store trip for the next two weeks.
~Since we had a $20 free reward punch card filled at one of our favorite thrift stores, we stopped there and found a great sale going on.  All adult clothing marked at $3.89 (which is most of it) was $1.99.  We got a shirt and a brand new robe for me, 2 shirts for Jeff and a sweatshirt for Jeff.  The kids clothing was $1.59 each so we got Steven a little Hawaiian shirt and then found lots of dress shirts for Bradley and Isaiah.  Jeff found a cd he wanted and I found a scarf .99 and brand new bread pan .79.
~We had leftovers for dinner Friday night and watched some episodes of a TV series that we have on DVD.

Christmas gift from Heather's parents.  That wine glass had me laughing so hard!

   Our plans for tonight are to have a quiet and frugal night here to ring in the New Year.  Chris is working tonight as they have called in extra deputies with the holiday drinking and driving the uptick in domestic calls.  In light of the shooting where an officer was killed and 4 others injured this morning in Colorado, my son's department is on high alert because they do not want an incident like that here.  My heartfelt prayers are with the families of the officer who lost his life and the officers who were injured and their families also.  When something like this happens, it just heightens my fear for my own son.  Be safe, and be blessed.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Glancing Back at 2017

       Goodbye 2017 and Welcome 2018

   I can't believe that 2017 will be coming to an end in a few days and a whole new year will begin.  It seems like 2017 went by in a flash and every year seems to speed up the older I get.  It's funny, when you are a kid, you can't wait to grow up and it seems like FOREVER before you do.  Those years of raising a family have a mixture of long sleepless nights and then moments of blinking and your kid is taller than you are.  Then comes the empty nest stage where you try to figure out your identity now that your children are successfully launched into the world.  That took me two long years to figure out, especially since I was a homeschooling mom so my whole identity was wrapped up in that role of mom and teacher to my three sons.  From there on though, the years just seemed to speed up, like a train on a track building up speed to make it up a steep hill.

   This year has been one of great growth for our family and for Jeff and I personally.  Some of that growth was wonderful and some was painful, but it has made us and our whole family all that much stronger. 

    We welcomed a new grandson, Steven David, into the world in May and watched as our oldest son became a father for the first time.   Steven surprised us at Christmas by standing up and not having to hold onto anything to balance.  He did this several times and was quite pleased with himself. :)  It will not be long before this kid is walking.  Did I mention he is just 7 months old?  Bradley started walking at 10 months old, so this does not surprise us.  Bradley and Isaiah, our oldest grandsons at 4 and 5 years old, are both reading and Bradley even wrote his Uncle Josh a nice Christmas note all by himself. :)  They are enjoying doing cool Science experiments once a week with another homeschooling family and can't wait to share how cool it is with us.  Josh was able to come home in October and we spent time with my  brother Fritz and my parents at their place in Montana where my parents finally got to meet baby Steven.   My hanai sister Roni came home twice and we had some much needed time together.  Several of my hanai kids have come home at various times this year and it has been wonderful to visit with them and hear all that is going on in their lives. Chris and Heather sold their home and closed on some property they bought and will be building their dream home in the coming new year.  Chris was able to fly to Washington DC and spend time there with Josh.  We finally got to have a short but sweet visit with my baby brother Eric, sweet sister in love Christie and our nephews Cade and Eli. It had been years since we had seen them.

   This year brought us a scare when we almost lost our Rachel to sepsis after the birth of baby Steven.  She is a fighter though and had so many people praying for her.  I could not remember being that scared in a very long time...I just couldn't stand the thought of losing her and cried out to God to save our girl. She recovered now and we are so thankful.  We did lose our dear friend Mel, who is like another grandfather to our kids, in a tragic accident in October. Our family all gathered together to get through this time and make sure that his wife, kids and grandkids were taken care of and supported.  Our relationship with my husband's family became even rockier and more toxic and we finally had to put an end to it due to the mind games that were being played on us.  The games are ongoing, with the latest coming yesterday, but we do not respond to them anymore.  My husband is still hurting though and my heart aches for him.  And now, at this moment, we are waiting to hear about the passing of another loved one, Heather's grandma Ginny,  whose body is shutting down and is now in the transition period between life here and waking up again in heaven.  If she makes it through tonight, we will all be surprised.  Our plans are on hold so that we can be here to help in any way we can. 

   My health has been a huge challenge this year with new problems popping up as the Fibromyalgia enters a different stage.  Throughout this though, I am learning more and more to appreciate the good days and that my family and friends really do "fill up" my joy tank so that I feel less pain when I am with them.  I am no longer working outside the home at all at the moment and Jeff and I made the decision this week to stop our volunteer work.  We have been doing it for about 24 years now and I cannot physically manage it anymore and things there have become chaotic...something else I am not dealing with if at all possible in my life at this point.  My illnesses have some silver linings though, I have made new friends, wonderful and supportive friends, by sharing my struggles both online here on my blog and in my day to day life here in my community.  Another extended family member was just diagnosed with Fibromyalgia after years of testing.  Her doctor was confused and I told her to ask him about Fibromyalgia and if that could be what was going on since her symptoms were so similar to some of mine also and tests had ruled out other things.  It was and now she is being treated for it with medications to help with the pain.  It has been nice to be able to help her finally find out what is going on and to be able to support her as she learns to cope with this too.   A dear friend was recently diagnosed with it too and I have been able to help him and his family understand this crazy illness and the roller coaster it puts you on.  Yet again, the areas of your greatest struggles can become your biggest ministry if you allow God to use your struggles to help others others who are also going through the same thing.

   As the curtain closed on 2017 I can say that it has been one of the most difficult and yet rewarding years that we have had in a long time.  We said goodbye to loved ones, learned to set healthy boundaries, had tearful prayers answered, and welcomed a new grandchild into our lives.  We also added 2 new fur babies into our lives when we took in Midgey and Patches, Chris and Heather's cats and they have become very spoiled indeed.  We are excited that our son Josh will be moving to Nevada in the coming year, so he will be closer to us and not all the way across the country.  In 2018 we plan to spend even more time with our family and with my parents, brothers, sister in love Christie and our nephews Cade and Eli,  We want to get over to the Seattle area to see Jeff's cousin and family, another one of my cousins, and also get together with our niece, her husband and our great niece.   A trip is already in the plans to go down and see Josh in the Fall, so that will make at least two times we get to see him since we will also being seeing him in the Spring.  While there visiting him, we are planning on getting together with some of my childhood friends who now live there also.  It is looking to be a very good year indeed!


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 12/16-12/22 2017


Our Merry Christmas Visitor!

    Merry Christmas Eve!  I'm a little behind as usual in getting this posted, but I've been enjoying my kids, grandkids, friends and spending time with my hubby. :)  This year I was determined not to get all stressed out by things and although I have had a few "meltdown moments", I still have my joy. πŸŽ„This year I made it a point to NOT try to do too much.  Candy was not made but that is okay.  There were still lots of breads and other homemade treats.  Christmas cards were actually mailed off in a timely manner and I I have one gift to get mailed off, but that will be a New Year's gift for a dear friend. πŸŽ†  Onto the frugal doings!

Treats from friends

~Saturday Jeff and I ran errands in the afternoon and stopped at Walmart where I found marked down ham from the deli and my hubby bought me the 6 qt. Instant Pot that was on sale for $79.  I had been doing my research and this was the best price I could find anywhere!  I am really excited to use it!
~We also stopped at one of the thrift stores and they had all their Christmas stuff marked half off.  I got a Hummel ornament and some new food safe cellophane gift bags.  I also picked up 2 Tupperware containers, a box full of brand new wooden brain teaser puzzles (.99 each), a pretty Fall wreath, and 2 new Cacique brand bras in my size for $1.50 each.  I looked up the bras and those styles retail for between $58 and $62 each.  The nice sale lady there punched my loyalty card even though I was about .20 shy of $10.  You get a punch on your card for each $10 you spend there.  I am a good customer and they know me well.  I now have a full punch card so I will get $20 off my next visit where I spend $20 or more.

Tupperware containers for .99 each.

~Dissmore's (a local grocery store) had a Chocolate Cream Pie marked down to $5 from $8.99 just because the whipped cream topping had gotten a little smudged in transport.
~Uncle Bob came over and gave us gifts of huge muffins for us and for our kids.
~Sunday we stayed home and baked 12 loaves of cranberry orange bread and 24 cranberry orange cupcakes.  I was totally worn out after that.
~Jeff and I watched a Christmas movie on Netflix.

Lots of Cranberry Orange goodies were made (there were more in the oven) to give as gifts.

~Monday the great melt off of the snow started and it was a slushy mess out there.  I opted to stay home and not go anywhere since I was not feeling well.  Fibro/CFS crash hit me hard and not only was I sore, but I had a headache as well.  Jeff did venture out to go to the post office and to deliver some homemade bread to some of our neighbors.
~Monday night I made a pork chop and rice skillet dinner along with green beans for dinner.  The pork chops were on sale and came in a large package so I cooked up 4 of them and froze the remaining 3 for a future meal.

Comfort food...pork chops and rice skillet dinner along with some green beans.

~Tuesday Jeff helped me get all the gifts wrapped in Christmas bags and boxes that I have either recycled from previous years or found on clearance in the past.
~We had leftovers for dinner and they sure tasted good!  I was hurting and exhausted and this sure beat ordering food from the tavern.
~I placed an order for our supplements at Vitacost going through the Swagbucks link and also found a code for $15 off and free shipping.
~YouTube came to the rescue when I was longing for the Christmas programs I used to watch as a young child.  I found some of the old Andy Williams Christmas shows and watched those.  Such simpler times then. πŸŽ„

Fresh bagels marked down to .99 a package.  We bought 3 and froze 2 of them for future use.

~I could not sleep well, so in the early morning hours on Wednesday my mind was spinning on ways to save even more money.  I got up to use the bathroom and saw one of my bra extenders and it occured to me that it looked just like the back hook area of the bra that I was tossing out due to the underwire poking through.  I examined it and it was so I cut that part off my old bra and now have another bra extender for free.
~We borrowed the movie "Cars 3" from the library for the little boys to watch here on Friday night in our bedroom while the grown ups play games.

The little boys loved watching this movies that we borrowed from the library.

~Jeff and I found packages of 30 foam plates at the Dollar Tree and bought 2 of the large ones and then bought a package of the smaller size that have 40 plates in them.  I will be using these at our party on Friday.  I also found John Morrell smoked sausages there for $1.  I bought 2 packs of them and will be cutting them up and simmering them in BBQ sauce (from the pantry) as part of the food for the party.  Easy and everyone loves them!
~We found our favorite large and long Summer Sausage at Winco for $3.97 each.  We bought 2 of them. We also found salad shrimp at a good deal.  I grabbed 2 packages and realized those packages had a higher per pound price.  I put those back and grabbed the 2 lower priced packages.  Apparently they are raising the prices today but still had some of the packages that they put out yesterday there so I got those.  I will divide them into smaller bags to use in pasta dishes and salads.

More games found at the thrift store!

~Safeway had some great deals on butter $1.88 a pound, limit of 2, a gallon of orange juice for $2.22 after the reduced for quick sale coupon, pizzas for $3.49 after coupon, and also had some daily deals that I was able to get in on along with a few other things that we bought.
~We resisted the temptation to eat out while we were in town and instead put one of the sale priced pizzas into the oven to bake while we put away the groceries and got a few other things done around here.

Our oldest two grandsons wearing the sweaters that their Tutu (my mother) made for their daddy and uncle and that they wore as little boys and now Isaiah and Bradley are wearing them.  Yes, I kept those sweaters for all these years for my grandkids.

~I've been stocking up in the Peppermint Mocha creamers while they are on sale and freezing them for use later.  They seem to disappear from the stores shortly after Christmas and I love to use them year round.
~Thursday Jeff had his bowling league so he went in early so he could pick up my prescription at Walmart and more cat and dog food.

Broccoli and Potato Cheese soup.

~I made broccoli  and potato cheese soup with some broccoli that needed to be used up ASAP.
~My hanai sister/friend blessed Jeff and I with gift certificates to go and see a movie on her for Christmas. :)
~Jeff called to tell me that one of the people he delivers to, who also happens to be one of his neighbors from when he was a kid and spent lots of time at their house next door, is gifting us a smoked turkey for Christmas.  I was just telling Jeff that I really wanted turkey for Christmas but had not had time to thaw and bake one up as planned.  I just thought that was very sweet.
~Friday we had our annual game night and it was so much fun! Everyone brought something to share and we had loads of food leftover since most of them just left the leftovers with us.  My refrigerator is packed!

   Before I end this post I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!  When I started this blog, I did it for myself to remember the everyday moments in my life and the joys of becoming a grandparent for the first time.  Since then, so many things have changed in our lives.  We have lost loved ones and been blessed with new family members.  Some relationships have sadly been lost, but God is so good and brought cousins into our lives that we had not seen in years and in some cases, had never met before.  I reconnected with a much loved uncle and was able to see my baby cousin adopt her adorable son Kyle.  We now have 3 grandsons that are the light of our world and make every day something to look forward to.  I have also made so many wonderful friends online through this blog and I just want to thank you for your kindness, love and support.  I wish I could have you all over to my home for a big "Thank You Party".  You all do mean so very much to my husband and I.  Be blessed and know that we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Steven Spent the Afternoon and Evening with G-pa and Grammie

   Our youngest grandson Steven came to spend the afternoon and early evening with us.  He is now 7 months old.  He's crawling and pulling himself up into standing position now.  We had so much fun with him and G-pa got him laughing when they played together.  Steven and Caesar have become great buddies and spent lost of time together.  Caesar is wonderful with all the grandkids!  He is our gentle giant.  Grammie had so much fun cuddling with Steven too. Warning, picture overload!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 12/09-12/15 2017


Steven making faces at the baby (himself) on the computer screen. 
We've been busy trying to get ready for Christmas and for a big party we are having for our kids and hanai kids this coming Friday.  We also got snow over the weekend and I was  busy baking so I have not had a chance to get this post up until now.  I am really hoping to slow down a bit this week so that I do not throw myself into another flare or continue with this one.  Onto the savings!

Lemon Chicken Pasta

~Saturday we stayed home and watched movies on Netflix and one of the ones I borrowed from the library.  We were both tired so we just kind of snacked for meals.
~Sunday we headed into town to do some shopping.  I found the candy I wanted to get Rachel at a Buy One Get One Free sale and I also found some other candy for Jeff on sale.
~We stopped at the Goodwill and found some nice sturdy baskets that I will use for Christmas and fill with goodies for people and a stereo receiver that Jeff wanted.  I also found a bag full of the Yankee Candle Melts for $4.99 and some brand new cozy socks for .49.
~We found fresh cranberries on sale for $1.49 a bag so I bought 4 bags of them.  I make a lot of cranberry orange bread for Christmas gifts.
~Monday Jeff got the outside lights hung up for me. :)
~I made Lemon Chicken Pasta for our main meal on Monday.  I cut up 2 bell peppers and froze one of them while making this dish.
~Thank goodness I have a huge stash of Christmas cards on hand.  I started working on them Monday getting them ready to send out.
~I found an old Bing Crosby Christmas album recording on YouTube and listened to it.  It is the same album I grew up listening to as a child.
~My replacement Fitbit Alta HR came in and I got that all configured and synced in.
~Tuesday my hanai sister Shannon and I went shopping in Spokane.  It was a long but fun day and she insisted on buying me lunch.  I was really good and only bought 1 thing at the Dollar Tree and 3 needed items at Costco where they have the best prices for those items.  I took cash with me and did not spend more than I had.  I also helped Shannon find the best deals on gifts for her kids.  I think they will be very pleased with what she got them. 😊 It always makes me happy to spend time with her and for us to have "girl time".  She really is the only person outside of my family that I spend time with now because she understands my limitations and supports me no matter what, just like Jeff and I do for her.  Friendships like that are rare these days and I feel so blessed to have her in my life.
~Wednesday I got hit with a flare/crash.  It was inevitable after the big day I had yesterday.  I had to change my plans for the day because my energy level was low and my pain level was high.  I did manage to get 2 loaves of bread made though.

~Jeff was really tired and got up for a bit, ran down to the library for me, had the nice dinner I made for us, meatloaf, mashed potatoes and a salad, then he cleaned the kitchen for me and headed back to bed so he would be able to stay awake at work.  The roads have been icy, so that makes things stressful while driving and wears him out.
~I got the hot tub all heated up and I had a good soak in it.  Jeff had headed back to bed for awhile after he had dinner so it was just me this time and it felt really good.  I am finding that the cold weather is affecting me more this year than it did last.
~My son Chris called to let me know that both he and his buddy got a deer each!  I am so glad that he finally got one.  He has been taking his buddies out hunting and helping them get their deer so I am glad he finally got one too.  That means more venison for the freezer for us!  Chris is amazing and provides all our venison and elk meat for us.  I very rarely buy beef anymore.  That saves us so much money and the meat he hunts for is much healthier for us.  We are very blessed!
~We borrowed more movies from the library.
~I'm continuing to enjoy the beautiful Christmas music courtesy of YouTube.
~Thursday I cashed in at Swagbucks for a $25 Walmart gift card for 2,200 points.  I will use it at the after Christmas clearance sales to stock up on things then. :)
~I did not eat much at all during the day so around 11 p.m. I found myself really hungry.  I got some nonfat cottage cheese and topped that with some cut up cucumbers.  That was topped with some fresh black pepper and some celery salt.  I ate it out of one of the bowls that we have here for the grandboys because it is a smaller bowl and that helps limit my portion size. That is my story and I'm sticking to it.πŸ˜‰

~Friday baby Steven came over to spend the afternoon and evening with us.  I had his mommy pack extra diapers and clothes just in case they could not make it back out here to get him since the snow was really starting to pile up.
~I used my points at Disney Movie Rewards to redeem for 2 movies.  One I know of and the other is a mystery! :)  It will be fun to see what I get.
~Jeff finished off the meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner and I had a nice hot bowl of clam chowder.  That just sounded so good on this snowy evening.
~I had Jeff take my car, that has new tires and has 4 wheel drive along with full insurance coverage along with gap insurance to work with him since the roads are icy and snow covered too.  I figured he would not only be safer, but if something did happen, the insurance would cover the cost of repairs or replacement on my car whereas his just has liability coverage on his.

Steven and his buddy Caesar.

   My favorite frugal activity this week has got to be spending time with baby Steven.  He is crawling and pulling himself up into a standing position now.  He is also into everything!  Caesar and Steven shared kisses and have become best buddies. so much so that when Caesar would leave the room, Steven would get upset.  I see a dog in his future. Merry Christmas to you all!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Honey, Ginger and Lemon Syrup

    I thought I would share with you how I made some Honey, Ginger and Lemon Syrup.  I got the recipe idea from Big Family Homestead.  They have a wonderful YouTube channel that I enjoy watching.  They make a large jar full each time but I opted to make a smaller jar of it to see if I like it first.  I now wish I had made a larger jar!  They say they take about 2 tablespoons when they have a cold or cough and that it is also great to stir into tea.  Well it is good and it actually makes for a really nice hot drink at night if you stir in about 4 tablespoons (or more) into a mug of hot water.  I have been having some most nights and I find I sleep better when I do this too.  So here is the "recipe"...

Scrape the skin off about a 5 inch piece of ginger with a spoon.  This is the easiest way I know of to peel ginger.

Finely mince your ginger.

Thinly slice and quarter an organic lemon.

Start layering the ginger and lemon slices.

Pour some honey over the layers and use a plastic knife or even a chopstick to make sure it gets down and around all the layers.  If you can find local honey, use that for it's help in fighting local allergens. If not, any other honey will do.

Here is what my final product looked like.  I used a half pint jar and had about half of my minced ginger leftover so I froze it for future use.  This can last up to a month in your refrigerator.  Next time I am making it in a much larger jar so I can make a larger batch since I like to enjoy some each evening.