Friday, February 27, 2009

Preparation day

Today has truly felt like Preparation day. I baked two loaves of bread (one for us and one for lunch at the pastor's house tomorrow). Then I made two jars of homemade spaghetti sauce, also for tomorrow. I wasn't too impressed with the sauce, but I'll reserve judgment until I eat in on spaghetti noodles. It just didn't have that much flavor, even though I spiced it and let it simmer for 3 hours.

Our church clothes are pressed and hanging in the bedroom. We have clean sheets and clean towels. The entire apartment has been vacuumed and the kitchen is spotless! My hubby was incredibly nice today and washed, dried, and put away all the dishes while I completed other housework. I love my hubby!

In the middle of all that, I completed a rush assignment for my contract job. Whew!

Happy Sabbath, all! I hope your day of rest and time spent with the Lord goes well.

"For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love" (Galatians 5:13, NLT).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Brief update

Early next week, my mom, my niece, and I are headed down to southern Arizona to meet my brother. He's on his way home from Iraq! We'll be staying in his new apartment for 11 days until his leave starts. Then, my dad and brother will be staying at my house for two weeks or so.

I am so overwhelmed with preparations! I was just given another work assignment, though it will only take a couple hours to complete. I also have to pack for the trip. I have to pack my brother's stuff, as he left all of his civilian clothes and personal belongings at my house. Plus, hubby and I are attending evangelistic meetings Thursday night, Friday night, and all day Sabbath. I have to go shopping and cook for the meal on Sabbath afternoon. And I have to clean out the spare bedroom so that my brother and dad will have a place to stay when they come back to Phoenix for Josh's leave. I thought I would have more time to clean the spare bedroom, but we didn't originally plan on staying with him for 11 days first!

On top of all that, I still have to help hubby with his job searching. My work and hubby's job searching are more important than anything else on my to do list, but I'm going to try to fit everything in. I am going to be very happy when Sabbath arrives.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Free Quiznos sub

I wasn't sure if I was going to post today, but when I found this offer, I had to share.

Visit this Quizno's site and register for their email list to receive a free small sub. The first million people will receive a printable coupon which can be redeemed at their stores. Hubby and I each signed up so we're getting a free lunch tomorrow!

Thanks to SwagGrabber for posting about this deal.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Praise report

Praise the Lord! I just received an email from to let me know that $150.13 will soon be deposited in our checking account. It's not easy selling off your belongings, but the sacrifice is worth it. Less to clean and more money available to pay bills.

I know we will survive this period in our lives. It's a great learning experience to watch the Lord work in your life. He is definitely working in ours.

"But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill" (Psalms 3:3-4).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Books, books, and more books

I love to read. I'm addicted to books. If we could afford it, I'd get a job at Barnes and Noble just so I could reinvest in their store by cashing my paycheck and then shopping for books. ;) That's how much I love to read.

Unfortunately, my budget does not support my book habit. I love libraries, but the two nearest us have a very minimal selection. They don't carry 95% of the books that I've looked for. Earlier this week, hubby and I decided to visit the public library in the next town over. We signed up for library cards and came home with a huge stack of books.

I have developed a system to organize my future reading lists. Whenever I read a book recommendation on a blog, I visit Amazon's website or the author's website. If the book looks like one I will enjoy, I add it to my Amazon wish list. On Monday, I printed off my wish list and then searched the library's website to find the call letters for each book. When we visited the library, I just had to go through the rows and pick up each book. Simple!

I've thought about requesting the library to pull the books for me, but I enjoy browsing. That way, I can pull any additional books that look promising. This last trip, I only allowed myself a couple extra books, as my reading list was already quite long. As I continue reading blogs and receiving recommendations, I'll add titles to my library wish list on Amazon. This way I'll always have a list of highly recommended books to read!

This is the stack of books we brought home this week. The pile on the left is mine and the right stack is hubby's. The book standing upright is the one I'm currently reading. Have I mentioned that I love books?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Baking day

Today was all about baking. Well, mostly. I baked two loaves of Amish White Bread and one loaf of banana bread. I was going to make two loaves of banana bread, but then I realized that the recipe called for three bananas per loaf instead of two and I only had four total.

I really like my banana bread recipe. It's very simple and pretty healthy in that it's dairy free and low fat.

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup white flour
1 cup wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Mix bananas and applesauce together. Fold in dry ingredients. Add walnuts and coconut. Bake in greased pan for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

The only disappointment today was that I realized two of my bread pans are rusted. I had to throw them out. I'm not sure how safe rust is, but I really didn't feel like eating it. During the week, I usually hand wash all of my dishes. But over the weekend, I let dirty dishes pile up and then ran the dishwasher. Now my bread pans are ruined.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Still not feeling well

I'm still not feeling well, so I'm just going to post today's Encouraging Word.

But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9 NLT

Thank you, Lord, for your mercy and cleansing. I have so many shortcomings, but You still love me. Please help me to become more like You.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sick, but happy

I woke up sick this morning. All of my plans were discarded as I've spent most of the day resting and reading. We had big plans of going to the post office and the library, but didn't realize until late last night that today is a federal holiday! Happy Presidents Day!

Hubby has been very attentive today. I'm glad he's home with me when I am sick. Actually, I've been very thankful that we've had all of this time together over the past two months, but I seem to appreciate his presence even more when I'm not feeling well. He even ran over to the store this morning to purchase some comfort foods for our lunch. I am very blessed that the Lord saw best to match the two of us for life.

In other news, I am absolutely thrilled that I now have a registered domain name. Thanks to SwagGrabber's blog, I found out that GoDaddy is selling domain names for 99 cents! With tax, it comes out to $1.19 for a one year domain registration. If you're interested in building a website, I strongly suggest that you take advantage of this deal. Jeff has never seen domain registration so cheaply priced. The sale code is LOVE99.

This means that my website address is now Hubby changed some settings on Blogger so that my blogger address redirects to my website. Someday I will purchase hosting and set up a full website, but for now, it just includes my blog. Even though my brain is fuzzy today, I can't help but start brainstorming ways I will utilize my own website. Recipes? A photography gallery? Bible studies? There are lots of options!

Friday, February 13, 2009


I finally combined a great vegan pizza crust and sauce. I found a great pizza sauce recipe several months ago, but didn't like any of the crust recipes I tried. Everything turned out flat, flat, flat. I wanted a thick crust.

This Thick Sicilian Crust Pizza Dough was perfect! It tastes good, rises great, and makes a big pizza. I could only eat two slices.

Combine that crust with the perfect sauce and we have a new favorite meal! The sauce is great because all the veggies are diced, sauteed, and then added into the tomato sauce. For some reason, I actually like this method better than creating a regular tomato sauce and adding sliced veggies as toppings.

Next, I'm going to test a few whole wheat pizza crust recipes and see if we can find something a bit healthier. I'm also looking for a vegan variation of this Spinach Pizza Crust.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A great organizing resource!

I had great plans of writing a long post (with pictures!) about my cats-who-won't-let-me-sleep-at-night, but I'm behind on my housework. We have an evangelistic meeting tonight, so we leave the house at 5:45. The kitchen is clean, but I have vacuuming, a load of laundry to put away, and I need to find my filing labels. I know there are a couple of other things I want to do this afternoon, but I can't remember what they are...

So instead, I leave you with The Lazy Organizer's blog. I have been reading through her archives and she has some of the greatest tips! One of my favorites is The Organized Bed. Now why did I never think of that?


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Note to self

Never again attempt the following:

Tuesday - Complete Day 1 of the One hundred push ups training plan.

Wednesday AM - Wake up sore.

Wednesday PM - Knead dough for a loaf of bread and then vacuum the entire apartment.

My arms hurt!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

No garage sales? No problem!

God has blessed our willingness to sacrifice some of our possessions. I have been leaning toward an attitude of “less is more” ever since I started being a housewife. Fewer possessions mean less maintenance, less time wasted, and less cleaning. This time of unemployment has prompted us to sell some things to raise money for paying bills. Jeff has been out of work for 7 weeks and we have not yet missed a payment.

I wanted to mention two ways that we’ve been selling things.

Craigslist - This website has been hit or miss, depending on the item being sold. Our Wii was snapped up very quickly, but I haven’t had any luck selling clothes. We’ve made $335 on Craigslist. - An Ebay affiliate, is an incredibly easy website to use if you already have an Ebay account. The website hosts a virtual yard sale for books, movies, music, and video games. All you do is enter the ISBN of the items you are selling, list the item’s condition, and select a price. When the seller buys an item, you are notified immediately and mail out the item. reimburses you for a set shipping amount, takes a small commission, and deposits the balance into your bank account. In the last 24 hours, we sold four video games and one DVD for a total of $104.65!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy birthday, little bro!!

Today is my brother's 24th birthday. I cannot believe that he is already 24. Seems like yesterday that he was 8, helping me create a town full of Legos, Barbie dolls, and Hot Wheels cars. ;) Now he's on the other side of the world, spending his birthday working!

Josh, we're sorry you're not here today, but we celebrated on your behalf. We splurged and bought a half gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream and tipped our spoons to you.

Happy birthday, brother!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Today, I tested out a cornbread recipe. Hubby says it's a keeper, but I think I might test out a couple more cornbread recipes before deeming this recipe a favorite. It was good, but not sweet enough. I like my cornbread sweet, with butter and honey drizzled over the top.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Are titles necessary? :)

I had grandiose plans of posting pictures and links to our new favorite pizza crust! We already found a favorite sauce recipe but couldn't find a good pizza crust. Well, that post will probably be written Sunday or Monday.

Instead, I spent a good deal of time today working around the apartment. I'm proud of myself, in a humble way of course! I made pizza, washed dishes after each meal, vacuumed the entire apartment, swept the kitchen and bathroom floors, emptied the cat boxes, cleaned the vacuum filter, and washed/folded/put away two loads of laundry.

Whew! I'm happy and tired. Now I just need to keep it up. I have ideas for implementing a housework schedule, but that is also going to be a separate post. For now, I'm going to watch Master and Commander with my hubby.

Love to all, and have a happy Sabbath!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Looking to the future

Now that our unemployment claim has been approved, I've been thinking about the immediate future. Our claim won't cover many bills, but it will cover the rent and enable us to purchase groceries. Hubby is still looking for a job, but I have a feeling something will happen soon.

For a long time, my desire has been to be a wife, a homemaker and a mother. Hubby won't offer me an idea of when he thinks we can start a family, but I am already a housewife. Even though we've prayed about returning to work full time, we believe that God intends for me to stay home.

Over the past month or so, I've been struggling with motivation. It's hard to develop a routine, create goals, and settle into being a housewife when you don't know if you are going to be living in the same state next week. I've been selling some of our possessions to cover a couple bills. I spend most of my time helping hubby with his job search and writing/editing cover letters. The rest of my housewife duties, goals, and aspirations have fallen by the wayside. I'm lucky if I even stay on top of dishes.

I really need to dedicate myself to being a homemaker. Even if we move next week, keeping the kitchen clean, laundry washed, and the house picked up now will create a more friendly home environment. I believe the home is important, and if I'm not performing this duty to the best of my ability, what is the point in me staying home? I will not neglect my duties of helping hubby with job searching, but I will shift my priorities so that I can both aid him and be a keeper at home.

Titus 2:4, 5 says that young women are "to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Regardless of where we live next week, I still have an obligation and a desire to fulfill this counsel.

Proverbs 31 also contains an excellent model for wives:

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

I want to be this woman. I want to look well to the ways of my household, honor my husband, and most importantly, honor God.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Blessings - God is so good!

God is so very good!

"O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him" (Psalm 34:8).

On Friday, we decided to wait on the Lord. We're going to stay in Phoenix until we're offered a job. If the job offer is local, we'll be renewing our lease. If the job is out of state, we'll be moving immediately. Ever since deciding to wait for a direct answer from the Lord, we've been at peace. I feel peace for the first time since Jeff lost his job. And God has been blessing us greatly over the past few days. My contract job has provided a few hours of work, with more to come after another training call tomorrow. Jeff had a phone interview this morning and is waiting to hear back on several jobs. Our unemployment claim was finally approved, after much delay. The state authorized payment for the past four weeks of claims.

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

Praise the Lord!