Happy New Year! This post is going up on New Year's Day and I just want to wish everyone a prosperous and much less drama and stress filled 2022. This last year has been a doozy in some ways, but also brought some simply amazing times for our family! I am choosing to focus on the good and remember being able to hug loved ones tight that we had not been able to see in close to two years, spend time with our family and growing grandsons, and with the help of my amazing doctor, finally finding a medication that has helped me greatly with the pain that comes with Fibromyalgia for me. This year I really want to try and focus on the good and the "silver linings" in all situations. There really is so much to be thankful for and the greatest of those is Jeff and I is our family. I want to reach out more to my extended family and strengthen those bonds, as well as spend a great deal more time with my kids, grandkids, siblings, and nieces and nephews. I want to be able to get together with Jeff's cousins and their families too. They are all amazing people and we miss them. I think those are great goals to have, don't you? Now onto the frugal doings...
~We gathered with our family and had a wonderful potluck meal and shared love, laughter and special gifts made or chosen with care. Bradley and Isaiah both made gifts for Jeff and I and it really meant so much to us. Steven was very excited about his Paw Patrol backpack that we got him.
~My nephew, Kealoha (sister's son), and I video chatted on Christmas! He and his wife were in Las Vegas and were going to try to meet up with Josh, but our little Tate ended up sick with a fever, so they were not able to.
~I also video chatted with my sister in Tahiti. I miss her so very much.
~We called and talked to my parents and my brother Fritz later called me. He was so touched by a gift that our Isaiah hand made for him.
~We got hit with snow squalls and spent the day at home. My brother and his family, who spent a lovely Christmas with my parents and other brother, got stranded in Montana and cannot get a flight back to Seattle until Thursday. More vacation for my brother Eric and the boys, and my SIL Christie will be working remotely from my father's home office. I'm glad they are safe and will have more family time despite all the travel hassles. Silver Linings!
~I got the ham I bought going in the crockpot with a can of pineapple tidbits, some brown sugar, allspice and cloves. Oh the intoxicating aromas that were filling my house as it cooked! It made for a nice dinner with plenty of leftovers too on this snowy and cold day.
~I saved the ham bone and will be making split pea soup with ham later in the week.
~We watched the movie "The Last Champion". It was filmed and based mainly in our little town here. It was fun to watch and pick up on certain references to things. More on that in a separate post.
~Jeff worked half a day since we had a big event to go to later in the late afternoon. He stopped at the store to pick up a few things we needed on his way home.
~I got two plates ready to take down to the gathering. One was homemade cranberry-orange bread and the other was a cheese, sausage and cracker platter. I had everything on hand to make them all.
~I put some things out on the back porch to freeze since I am out of room in my freezers at the moment.
~Our kids former Christian youth group got together that evening and it was wonderful to see so many of my hanai kids again! Many of them had families of their own and I finally got to meet their little ones. We had a potluck and there was singing old praise and worship songs, fellowship, passing around the new babies in our hanai family and watching those little ones play together just as their parents had so many years ago. Our oldest 2 grandsons decided they really wanted to take home their hanai cousin Lena, who just turned 1. She is a cutie and is the spitting image of her momma at that age with the attitude to match. LOL! Our grandson Steven (grand #3) finally came out of his shell and made new friends and thoroughly enjoyed himself! There were so many hugs, plans made to help some of our hanai kids make the move from where they are living in different southern states to closer to home and other plans made for another big gathering in June.
~Roni, my hanai sister and the youth group pastor, also second mom to our kids, came up to our house afterwords and we had hot mulled wine and chatted late into the night. We heard a knock on the door around midnight and it was her daughter, son-in-law and a friend coming to remind her that she had to work in the morning. LOL! Oh how the tables have turned and we all laughed about that!
~We invited Roni to join us on New Year's Eve since her kids will have left the previous day. We love her so much and she really is like a sister to us.
~It was a catch up day here at home for me and I spent it doing laundry, watching motivational videos and trying to get the house back in order.
~I went through all my prescription medications, as well as my over the counter medications, to make sure I had everything I needed and that my refills are current.
~Leftovers and clean out the odd bits and pieces from the freezer for dinner. A lone leftover pork chop, rice from the pork chop and rice casserole, fish sticks and sliced apples were what was chosen.
~It was bread making day here again! Two loaves of Jeff's favorite sandwich bread were made. I let the bread dough rise on top the pellet stove because it is so warm there and then left the door of the oven open to let the extra heat into the house after baking the bread. It's currently 11F outside so all the extra heat is a huge help.
~I took the leftover ham bone and made a huge pot of split pea and ham soup. It is one of Jeff's favorites.
~I took some leftover sourdough bread and made garlic bread to go along with dinner. I thought I made enough so I would have some to go with my lunch tomorrow, but hubby was really hungry.
~Some of the leftover ham was frozen for future meals. I just put it out on the back porch to freeze quickly.
~I restocked all the baking supplies from our pantry. It makes it so easy to have back ups of everything I need here on hand.
~This afternoon I was tempted to take a nap but decided to cuddle up and watch a movie instead.
~Safeway had 2 pound blocks of cheese on sale for $3.99 each and their store brand frozen pizzas at 4/$10. I am having Jeff pick up the limit on both of them. There was nothing else that I could see that I did not have enough of so that is all he will be picking up. I'm trying my best to just cherry pick the deals now more than ever.
~I grabbed one of the mac and cheese microwaveable cup thingies to make for lunch. It is so handy to have a container filled with quick and easy food choices when you just don't feel like cooking. Everything in that container was also bought on sale too. Win Win!
~I once again have beautiful music and videos playing on YouTube as I enjoy snowy day. It ushers in a calm and hygge feeling that is much needed and appreciated.
~I received word that my uncle is once again in the hospital (he just got home the day before), had a heart attack, and had to have a stint put in. I had tried to call him but the hospital lost his phone. Praying they find it so I can call and talk to him again. Some may question why I am posting this here, but I am asking for prayer which is both free and very powerful. Thank you for everyone who will pray for him and/or send him positive energy.
~Dinner was smoked sausages along with 2 potatoes cut up into oven fries.
~While the oven was still hot, I threw one of the pizzas that Jeff bought for $2.50 at Safeway into the oven to cook for tomorrow.
~While getting the other three pizzas into the freezer in the garage, Jeff dug out one of my flavored creamers that I had in there. Some flavors are only available during the holiday season, so I stockpile and freeze them for later.
~Our hanai son Lee was not able to make it over to see us on this trip, so his loaf of banana bread is now available for Jeff's eating pleasure. Lee lives near where the fires were in Colorado, but thankfully the fires were moving away from his place. Please keep all the people who lost their homes and businesses, along with their pets and livestock, in your prayers and thoughts also.
~I threw the shower curtain from our bathroom in the washer with some towels to get it all cleaned. It is the easiest way to clean that thing.
~I woke up around noon today. I think my body needed the sleep badly. I had slept in the guest bedroom, which I think helped me get into a deeper sleep cycle. The view that greeted me outside was absolutely gorgeous. It was a 12F winter wonderland with the sun shining on everything and the squirrels playing and chasing each other around the trees and along the fence lines. They provide hours of entertainment for the cats and I.
~While I had my coffee, I got the laundry going, making sure to get all of Jeff's heavy lined jeans done so they are ready for him to wear once again. I found out my uncle was able to come home from the hospital and I am so grateful for that.
~Jeff took our truck to work with him today so that he could pick up some materials that Chris came in and bought at Jeff's workplace that he needed for his shop build. We are so grateful to Chris for the gift of the truck and it has come in so handy for not only our use, but for the rest of the family also.
~Being that it was the last day of the month, and I had a check that needed to be deposited at the Credit Union, Jeff took me into town after he got home. We went to Walmart and found lots of items on clearance. All the Christmas stuff was 75% off, so I got all the gift bags and cupcake liners that I needed for not only this year, but, when it comes to the cupcake liners, for many years to come. I also found a shirt for $3 and a 32 piece meal prep kit for $5. Oh, my best find though was the double packs of Stove Top Stuffing at $1 a box. That works out to .50 a batch! I bought 6 boxes, so that is 12 batches. It should meet our stuffing needs to the entire year!
~Grocery Outlet was our next stop and we only got a few things there. They did not have the German mulled wine that I had bought there previously that is so good. Bummer!
~Jeff then took me out to dinner at one of our favorite Chinese food places. It is under new ownership and the food is still the same thank goodness! I brought home half of my food to have for another meal. This was out last time eating out before January starts and we don't eat out at all for the month. He had promised me a date, so that was it. LOL! Honestly, I just love to spend time with him and not have to cook. ;)
Jeff just decided to lay down for awhile to take a nap since Midgy had him up at 5:30 a.m.. He swears that she can read the clock and tell time. LOL! He tells me she was yowling but I apparently slept through it. I slept in the guest room last night, where I tend to get into a deeper sleep, and Patchy cat really loves coming in there to sleep with me. I have a video playing on YouTube on my TV of beautiful winter scenes, that mimic what I am seeing outside my own windows. The music that is part of the video is also very calming and puts me into a tranquil mood. It is a perfect day to stay home, stay inside where it is warm (it's 12F outside right now and windy) cuddled up under fleece throws and be near the pellet stove with its flickering fire that somehow lulls one to sleep if you are not careful. ;) Be blessed my sweet friends!