Trying to Catch Up

We've had a quiet couple of weeks here at our house.  Ike's caregiver was on vacation one week, then she took some days off for the 4th of July. 

We've been getting lots of rain here, along with our mid-90* weather.  The rain does help the mercury to stand still and stop climbing for a little while each day.

I think the crepe myrtles must really love the rain.  They are all in bloom all over town.

LakeEvaPark

Our summer skies are really breath-taking here in Florida.  I know other places have beautiful skies too; but I am quite particular to ours.

Flsky

Flsky2

I know Kepler doesn't get outside as much as she would like.  I think she was trying to tell me she needed a little more vitamin D when she positioned her head to bask in this puddle of sunshine.

Kepsun

Doug is still planting seeds and harvesting a few veggies here and
there.  Nothing has produced like we expected it to, so for this next
round of seeds he will be using a special fertilizer for each bucket.  Yep,
we have a garbage can full of cow manure in our back yard. ;) 

I like to call this new addition to our garden "Bowl-o-Cilantro". (You can click to make the pictures bigger.)

Bowlocilatro
Bowlocilatro2
Bowlocilatro3

Now…I'm a little hesitant to tell you this, because I'm afraid I might get fussed at; but that bowl?  Yeah…it's Tupperwear.  And yeah, it does have drainage holes now.  Is that like really wrong?  I'm telling you, I just could not resist doing it.  How amazing does that cilantro look in that bowl???

The trick is to cut from a small quadrant of the full bowl when you need cilantro, then rotate and clip the next quadrant the next time you need it.  That way it will continue growing in the bowl all the time.  I am looking forward to some yummy dishes this summer!

We are still doing ok, financially.  We did have to dip into the money we were saving for Doug's surgery during last week, as he didn't tutor.  (The boys spent the week at church camp.)  We received a $300 check in the mail, just in time to pay our utilities bills this week.  We also received a HUGE check towards Doug's surgery.  He will be calling today to set up his surgery date.  He is a little nervous about that, as he's never had surgery before; but I know the Lord is going to see him through it with no complications.

By the way, we are still continuing to try to stay on our diet.  I say "trying" because we got waylaid a little bit by the 4th of July.  When you step out the door and smell barbecue grills cooking, it sets up a domino effect!  We did have burgers…and then cupcakes, and then we struggled all weekend.  However, on Monday, we got back on track and are doing well now.  According to my doctor's scales, I am still the same weight I was this past February.  Eh…  And Doug, of course, has lost in the neighborhood of 30 pounds already.  Yeah…I know.  I want to just poke him in the eye, too! 😉

I leave you with a close up of Poppet.  Doug was cleaning her cage this week and so I was spending a little one-on-one time with her.  Then she bit my ear.  And went right back into her cage!!!  But she looks really cute here.

Poppet

That's all for today!

Talk to you again soon,

Alesha

 

Chicken, Corn and Canteloupe

We had a good weekend, even though I was stuck at home with back pain.  Doug and Ike both made it to church and enjoyed their day together.  We splurged on our diet, because it was Father's Day.  Doug wanted fried chicken, so that is what we had. 😉

I had been shopping for bedsheets, and I mentioned on FB how confusing that whole process could be.  I did try to glean as much advice as I could before doing some online shopping.  However, something even better came along.  My friend was out shopping, came across sheets on clearance, and snapped up a set for me (regularly priced at $170!!!) for under $50!  I told her she was hired as my new personal assistant for sure!

I ended up with Martha Stewart sheets.  They are Egyptian cotton, and a 500 threadcount.  So far we are loving them.  They remind me of sleeping at my grandma's house.  Her sheets were also so crisp and smelled so wonderful! :)  Good memories.

Today I posted some books and jewelry on online yard sale groups on FB.  We'll see what comes of that, if anything.  Tomorrow, we are going to meet a lady that listed a skirt and sweater set for $10 in my sizes.  I hope it all fits, but if it doesn't, it will be good motivation to not have many "splurge" days, won't it?

My dad blessed us with some produce on Saturday.  He and Mama halved a bushel of corn with us and gave us a canteloupe too.  It was honestly one of the best-tasting cantaloupes I have ever had in my life!  Sugar-sweet. 

I tried to recreate my Mexican rice and refried beans recipe yesterday, so that I could take pictures and share it with you.  It was an EPIC FAIL. :(  The rice wouldn't cook, the beans were still crunchy, everything kept sticking.  Ugh!   So disappointing!  BUT, I do intend to try it again.  I will not let it conquer me.

I guess that's all that's happened since I blogged last.  These are turning into weekly posts, rather than daily; but I suppose that's ok.  No publishing companies beating down the door yet, anyway! Tee hee hee.

Until the next time,

Alesha

Busy Weekend

We are already reaping a few benefits of our new diet.  One of them is a small increase in energy.  Saturday morning, Doug and I spent 6 1/2 hours cleaning out our front porch.  We were brutal with our sorting.  If we didn't love it or use it, we pitched it out or gave it away.

The first load of giveaways was picked up by two older gentlemen in a pickup truck.  They took everything we sat out by the road!  They were comical, and reminded me of the guys on those tv shows that hoard everything for years, then one day make it big. 🙂

The second load of giveaways rode with us to church on Sunday, and we shared them with friends who could use them.  Most of that load was boy's clothes.  Isaac has always been so blessed with nice clothes from family and friends.  I'm so glad to see a few of the things passed along to others. 

My renewed energy also got me through Sunday and Monday, which were both filled with unusual demands.  I sang twice on Sunday, which requires an *amazing* amount of energy.  Praise the Lord, both songs were a blessing to others.

Monday, we said goodbye to a member of our extended family.  We attended her funeral services, then prepared food and attended a family meal in her honor.  It was a good time of fellowship and remembering; and the most thrilling thing is that we know we will see Mrs. Marge again in Heaven one day.  Just a little while back, at the age of 91, she accepted Jesus as her personal Saviour.  It was an amazing answer to prayer and such a joy to see the peace of the Lord come over her personality and countenance when she came to know the Prince of Peace.

Today has been a quiet day, just the 3 of us at home, chilling out after our very busy weekend.  I'm so thankful for the quiet days, too.

We were blessed by someone purchasing a few supplements for us today.  I like to use Arnica as a natural pain reliever, rather than Tylenol, Advil or Aleve.  It does a good job to relieve pain and it has no side effects.  So it will be nice to have a bottle of that in the house again. 😉

By the way, we are still eating well.  We still have a little gas in the car.  We are doing well and have need of nothing.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:19

Enjoying the blessings,

Alesha

 

Give to Get

So…somebody dropped off a box of food at our house.

I know! We were surprised, humbled and grateful.

It had 18 different things in it – from frozen chicken breasts to blueberry muffin mix.

Our God is just amazing, isn't He?!!

 

Then, we were faced with a quandry.  We are committed to sticking to our new diet plan this summer.  Several things in the box were things that are not on our list of things we can eat.  Should we eat them anyway?  After all, the Lord pretty much did the grocery shopping for us on this one!

We thought for just a bit, pulled out the things we could eat (several packages of frozen veggies!), and then sent the rest of the box on to someone else who needed it.

So we were blessed.  And then we got to bless someone else!!!

It is hard to beat the feelings of gratitude that well up in our hearts at times like this.

 

Interestingly enough, I had planned to blog about giving today.  You see, one of the ways that we are saving and stretching our money is to give some of it away.  I know it sounds crazy, but it is an amazing principle that works on so many levels.

Even the world is learning how this Scriptural principle works.  The wealthiest people in our country are often spotlighted for their charitable giving.  They have stumbled onto the truth that when we give, we are blessed.

So each week that Doug works, we will be giving a portion of our income to the charity of our choice, our local church.  We will also be giving a small weekly gift to the missions project in our church.  Then monthly, we give a very small gift to support our favorite Christian radio station, Gospel 90.3, which is also a ministry of our church.

And…just in case you are wondering, we do not give to our church because our pastors harp about needing money week after week.  They don't.  We give to our local church for two reasons:

  • We know how our money is being used because we are right here.  We see the ministry.
  • We are practicing a Biblical principle that will bless our home and family far beyond the dollars that leave our bank account.

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together,
and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same
measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." ~Luke 6:38

 

Giving some of the blessings away,

Alesha

 

It’s Going Swimmingly

With the tropical disturbance in the Gulf, we are getting a LOT of rain every day.  It feels like we need to "swim" about the yard to check on the garden and out to the mailbox and across town with the rivers of water rolling down the street.

Speaking of the mailbox, yesterday I was tickled to find the first of two books that I ordered last week.  I'm sure you're wondering why in the world I am ordering books when Doug is out of work.  So, I will tell you! 😉

I order all of Isaac's diapers and wipes from Overstock.  Each year, I renew my membership in their "Club O".  For me, it is an excellent deal.  Let me explain. 

The first year, I was automatically enrolled in Club O for free.  That was great.  I earned a certain percentage of O Rewards, which you can spend on their site.  The second year, I hesitated to pay the full amount of the enrollment; but then they offered it for $10 off.  Now THAT was a deal!  I've since discovered that they offer the $10 off every year.  I just wait until then to renew.

In 3 years time, I have received over $300 worth of merchandise with those O Rewards!  And guess what I paid for my Club O renewal last year!  $9.95!!!  Over $100 of merchandise a year for $9.95.

Now I realize that not everyone buys $150 of diapers and wipes every month like we do, and so for you, this might not be worth the money.  For us, though, it works great.

  • Last week, I realized I had over $15 in rewards waiting, so I ordered 2 books that I'd been wanting to read.  For them both, including shipping, I paid $1.68.
  • Today, I found a 10% off coupon for a food order that I was making online.  It saved me almost $5 AND I got free shipping!!!
  • I did quite a bit of surfing on the internet this morning, looking for raw cashews.  I finally found them here in Florida for just over $6 a pound.  We got the large pieces, and that saved quite a bit of money.  I will use these cashews to make sweet dishes on the Hallelujah Diet, and so I don't mind one bit if the nuts are whole or not.
  • We picked 5 small tomatoes from our garden today – 3 red and 2 yellow pears…yummy!

Well, Isaac didn't sleep last night.  That's the 2nd time this week that he has done that.  We are trying to track down the culprit causing his insomnia.  We are suspecting that it might be a tummy issue.  Anyway, I am thinking very seriously about taking a nap, so I am going to end this for today.

Looking forward to tomorrow's surprises,

Alesha

The Glorious Unknown

Week #2 started off with my trying out a new way to bake potatoes – in my crockpot!!!  It worked beautifully and they were yummy. 

I have also been able to try out a few new recipes that we really liked. 

  • More "liked" food means less wasted food and fewer science experiments in the back of the frig!

We really liked this Fresh Corn Salsa!  And the Tahini-Lemon Sauce is what makes this dish so yummy.  If your sauce gets really thick, just add water to thin it.  I'll be using this sauce on my veggie wraps, too…it is SO fabulous!!!

  • Today I found a 40% off coupon for some supplies I needed to buy at Michael's.
  • I also found a $5 off promo code when I ordered the bits and pieces I will need for a jewelry project.

With the money I saved, I was able to purchase bird food for the summer and Vitamin B supplements which we were out of.

  • I put some of my mystery books up for sale on a local "yard sale" group on Facebook.  I made $35 today from their sell.  That money filled up our gas tank to the very tippy-top.
  • We found out that Doug will be getting a tutoring job for the summer.  We are grateful, but it will pay less than half his usual salary, so all these little bits of savings are really going to help.
  • There was a check in our mailbox…for $300.  The rest of our bills due by the 20th will be paid.

…and the world thinks Christians lead dull lives!!!!!!!

There is absolutely no greater adventure than living a life of faith in the Lord Jesus!

Wondering what tomorrow holds,

Alesha