Saturday, February 28, 2015 and Six New Printable Coupons

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Treasures in Ecclesiastes -Part 6: Morning Musing Over Coffee

credit: Michelle Meiklejohn

If the ax is dull
and it's edge unsharpened,
more strength is needed, 
but skill will bring success.
Ecclesiastes 10:10

There are a number of verses in Ecclesiastes that speak of work and of finding joy and fulfillment in the work God has given us. But just as a woodcutter with a dull ax must work harder to accomplish his task so it is with whatever work we find before us. If we do not care for our tools (including our minds and bodies) and develop our skills we will find ourselves struggling so much harder than necessary to accomplish even the simplest of goals. 

Ecclesiastes is such a practical, down to earth, common sense book!  I hope you are enjoying these little forays into Ecclesiastes as much as I am.

Here are the links to the entire series.

Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 1
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 2
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 3
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 4
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 5
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 6
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 7

Friday, February 27, 2015

Visit - Five Minute Friday

To me the word visit brings to mind warm memories. Memories of large gatherings of extended family who just wanted to be together and visit. I remember the days when someone would simply pull in the driveway, step out to be welcomed with hugs and brought in for coffee because we all wanted to visit. In that time in my life to visit was simply to spend time together  sharing the goings on in our lives, sometime with laughter, sometimes with tears, always with love.

We don't visit much anymore. We post on facebook , tweet on twitter, send a text or email. I think it's time to sit down with someone for a good visit.

If you would like to join this community of writers all writing for five minutes on the prompt of the week please head on over to Heading Home to join in the fun. We write what's in our heart for five minutes without a lot of editing or planning or trying to make it perfect. You can join in the fun by writing, reading, or both. 

SUNDAY - Sunday's Best  SATURDAY - TGI Saturdays

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Treasures in Ecclesiastes - Part 5: Morning Musing Over Coffee

credit: Michelle Meiklejohn

Today's passage is one that has long somewhat amused and somewhat puzzled me. It is such a contrast to how many people (myself included) often view life. 

Do not be overrighteous, 
neither be overwise-
why destroy yourself?
Do not be overwicked,
and do not be a fool-
why die before your time?
It is good to grasp the one
and not let going of the other.
Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.
Ecclesiastes 7:16-18

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Daily Deals - Rent Lego Sets and Six New Printable Coupons

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This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation if you make a purchase using these links.

Treasures in Ecclesiastes -Part 4: Morning Musing Over Coffee

A good name is better than fine perfume.
Ecclesiastes 7:1

I am reminded of this verse often when making decisions. The value of a good name cannot be discounted as I have learned (sometimes the hard way) and a good reputation often makes life much smoother! Of course, there are times when what others look favorably on and what we know God is asking of us are two different things. In those times it is much more important to do what we know He is asking and we can be sure He will handle the outcome. But other times it is up to us to be wise in how we conduct ourselves and the decisions we make, knowing that our name is at stake. This is not to say that we live in fear of what others think, but simply that we use wisdom in each moment.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Time and Again by Deborah Heal - A Book Review

Nearly every weekday Austin , Amanda and I spend about an hour enjoying reading. Usually I read a chapter from the Bible and then the rest of the time is spent reading a book that we enjoy. One recent book was Time and Again by Deborah Heal.

In this book a young woman named Abby takes a summer volunteer position tutoring a young girl named Meredith. Meredith is struggling with the hurt of her parents divorce and adjusting to a new home in a new town. In the midst of this adjustment her mother is very busy starting a new career as she struggles to support herself and her daughter.

Abby does her best to help Meredith and as they spend time together each day they find themselves caught up in an adventure they never dreamed of that takes them far back in time.

This story is a blend of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Historical Fiction told from a Christian perspective told in a compelling way that draws the reader in.

We really liked this book and will probably go on to read the rest of the trilogy.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation if you make a purchase using these links.

The Book Nook SATURDAY - TGI Saturday

Cash Crate + Three New Printable Coupons

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This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation if you make a purchase using these links.

Treasures in Ecclesiastes - Part 3: Morning Musing Over Coffee

Today's passage in Ecclesiastes is similar to the one we looked at in Part 1 , although there is a little more too it. Here it is.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know there is nothing better for people than to be happy and do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil - this is the gift of God.
Ecclesiastes 3:11-14

There's a lot packed into these three verses! I think my favorite part may be the first sentence. It makes me realize that no matter what I think of present circumstances He has a plan for it and it is beautiful. It reminds me of Romans 8:28 -

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.

The next part is really interesting as well. Although many see themselves as mere mortals God has placed eternity in our hearts. I think there's a part of us that knows and reaches toward that eternal adventure with Him. Even though He has placed eternity in our hearts we cannot as yet fathom that eternal plan He has for us, but in time we will.

The rest of this passage reiterates what we looked at in Part 1. God wants us to take joy in the blessings of today and to find satisfaction in the work at hand. He wants us to enjoy the gift of now! The present is a present from Him and He is making it beautiful!

Here are the links to the entire series.

Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 1
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 2
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 3
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 4
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 5
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 6
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 7

WEDNESDAY - Raising Homemakers

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Macaroni and Cheese Pancakes

Are you ready to try something different? Remember the saying "Variety is the spice of life?" Well, here's a bit of variety to spice up your life. When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it for Amanda because she loves all things macaroni. I originally found this recipe on Misc, Kitchen and changed it up to suit our tastes.

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons parsley
2 1/3 cups milk
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 1/2 cups cooked macaroni
1 1/2 cups grated cheese (I used Cheddar Jack, simply because that's what I had on hand)

In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl mix together the milk, eggs and melted butter. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix until just combined. Fold in the macaroni and grated cheese.
Shape spoonfuls of batter in lightly greased skillet or griddle. Fry until golden brown. Flip and fry until lightly browned on other side as well.

Notes: When I make these again I will probably either leave out the garlic powder, onion powder and parsley and serve with butter and syrup or leave those seasonings in and serve with sausage gravy. Amamnda, my macaroni and cheese lover did not like them at all, Austin liked them plain, and Doug and Michael liked them with syrup. 


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This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation if you make a purchase using this link.

Treasures in Ecclesiastes - Part 2:Morning Musing Over Coffee

credit: Michelle MeiklejohnYesterday 

I posted a little about Ecclesiastes and shared one of the treasures found there. Today I'm sharing another passage from Ecclesiastes that I've always liked. This one may be familiar to many people as it is used oftener than most passages in Ecclesiastes.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, 
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance, 
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to searched and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away, 
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, 
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I've always loved these verses. I'm the type of person who lives by what time it is and so it makes sense to me that each of these passages of life have their time. It's also comforting to know that the hard days are only for a time and then their time will be gone. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Daily Deals - Fourteen New Printable Coupons and More

Here are some of the deals I've found to share today. 

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The Human Machine by Arnold Bennett - A Book Review

Recently I finished listening to The Human Machine by Arnold Bennett on Librivox and I really enjoyed it. This book challenges one to gain control of one's own mind instead of allowing circumstances and the mind's own wandering to dictate the course of thought. This book begins with an exercise of the brain involving keeping hold of one train of thought for at least 30 minutres, allowing no other thoughts to intrude. This exercise was also mentioned in another book he wrote called How to Live on 24 Hours a Day. In this book however he writes more on the idea and the benefits of it's mastery. As one learns to control one's my end and the thoughts that are allowed to gain ground there, one can begin to also choose to control one's responses to things that happen to or around one. This in turn allows more stability and even tempered responses too life.

The main point that stood out to me was that I cannot control everything around me this does not mean that everything around me controls me. I can choose how I respond to the raw material life hands me and whether it becomes something that tears me down or something I choose to build with. Character building can happen regardless of everything else.

 I found this book to be inspiring and helpful in every day life.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation if you make a purchase using this link.

The Book Nook MONDAY - Literacy Musing Mondays

Treasures in Ecclesiastes - Part 1: Morning Musing Over Coffee

At small group Friday evening someone shared some verses from Ecclesiastes. listening to those verses reminded me again how much I enjoy this (I think) underused book of the Bible. I've heard it said that Ecclesiastes is depressing and some parts can be. Like this verse in the beginning of the book. 

"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless! " Ecclesiastes 1:2

Yikes! It sounds like someone needs some Prozac. Or a glass of wine. Or a hug. Something!!!

But there is also a wealth of interesting, encouraging words in this somewhat unusual book. And for the next few days I'm going to be sharing some of them.

Here is one for today.

A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see is from the hand of God. Ecclesiastes 2:24

Sometime as I go through my daily routine I wonder what the point is, or if there's really any value in the (sometimes seemingly mundane) work that I'm doing. But here it seems like He's telling us that it's OK to find satisfaction in the everyday work. And I'm reminded that even in the mundane His hand is there. 

This is not take away from the fact that He gives us dreams and works in our lives for even greater good but while we are on that journey we should not forget to see see the beauty and take satisfaction in today.

Here are the links to the entire series.

Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 1
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 2
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 3
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 4
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 5
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 6
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 7

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sausage Corn Chowder

This is a delicious comfort food perfect for cold snowy days like we are having here in Virginia today!


 1lb ground sausage
1 stalk celery, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and grated
6 cups water
2 1/2 cups milk, divided
2 cups frozen corn
2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar,etc)
4 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot brown sausage with celery, onion, and carrot. Add the water, 1 1/2 cups milk, and corn. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Combine remaining 1 cup milk, flour and seasonings in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. Pour the flower and milk mixture into the simmering soup, stirring continuously. Cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese. 

This recipe is simple to adjust to fit your preferences. From the flavor of sausage (or even use turkey sausage), to the kinds of vegetables, to the seasonings, and even the kind of cheese, the ingredients are very flexible. So make it your own and enjoy!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Snow and Grow!

Snowing outside, growing inside. It's all good!

And while I'm watching these radish and spinach plants grow I'm also dreaming up some new projects. Aquaponics have caught me eye and tickled my imagination.  I've been looking at these little systems (click images for more info) and also looking at ways to set something up on my own. I enjoy my fish and also have so much fun growing plants that I thought it would be fun to combine the two.

Reading Around the Web

Monday, February 16, 2015

War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells - A Book Review

One of my favorite ways to relax in the evening is to listen to an audio book on  Librivox while playing games that give downloaded on my tablet. I try to give myself 30 minutes or so before I go to bed for this. Librivox had a large selection of books in all categories to listen to and most of them are free.

Last night I finished listening to The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. This book is considered by many to be one of the very first science fiction novels and a sort of template for many of the science fiction novels to come. I am a fan of science fiction and found this story of Martian invasion fascinating. Some of the descriptions in the book are graphic but they serve to give the reader (or listener, as I was) almost a sense of being there. The author does a good job of balancing describing in detail the scenes and also moving the story forward quickly enough to keep the reader engaged. The tripod machines used by the Martians, the descriptions of the Martians themselves and the weapons they used, the varied reactions of the human race, and the somewhat surprising demise of the invading Martians will linger in my mind. I highly recommend this book for any Science Fiction fan.

The Book Nook MONDAY - Literacy Musing Mondays

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Walnut Acre Week in Review


As usual we were at my Dad's for the afternoon and evening. 


We started out our morning at my sister's house playing and learning with the other kids.

Austin and Amanda helped me trace and cut out some heart shapes for a Valentines day craft.

Michael helped me make chocolate chip cookies for snacks. He's getting really good at cracking and putting in the eggs without making a mess.


Schoolwork! Workbook (includes language arts, math, science and social studies), reviewing number flashcards, reading, sight word bingo, and a memory game (his choice). This is not Michael's favorite time of the day but we keep at it and he's making good progress. I also read him a story that he chose and we did our daily Bible study.

Going for a walk/ride. We're trying to make this little jaunt a part of our daily routine. 

Homework for the girls after I picked them up at the bus stop and a little more schoolwork (reading and writing) for Michael. He's wearing his hat because he got a new hat and glove set from the clearance bin at Food Lion this afternoon. He wanted to wear the gloves too but I told him it would be too hard to write with gloves on.


More schoolwork and games at my sister's house.

Amanda and I went for a walk again. Michael wasn't with us because he wanted to stay at my sister's and play with his cousin for awhile. We still haven't convinced Austin to walk with us.

I didn't get any pictures but Wednesday evening we went to church as usual. We get there between5:00 and 5:30 for dinner and just hanging out with friends. Michael usually spends some time playing basketball with the other kids and then goes downstairs for bell choir practice and then on to his class for the evening. Austin and Amanda go to the youth room. Doug and I are both assistant teachers in children's classes. After classes I stay for choir practice. Wednesday evening is our busiest evening of the week but it's so much fun.


More schoolwork!

And another walk/ride.


I'm not sure why I didn't get any pictures today. It was errand day today and we did all our usual errands - Sharp Shopper, Target, pet store, library, vet, Goodwill, bank, McDonalds for lunch.

This evening Doug and I went to small group. It was an awesome time of sharing, prayer, tears and laughter.


No pictures again today. Doug took Michael with him to take trash to the landfill this morning, and then to the rescue squad while he did some work there. This afternoon the kids played outside even though it was cold. My day was full of kids, cooking, cleaning and laundry.

Here are some of the resources we used this week.





WEDNESDAY - Capture Your Journey