Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Special Update for Life: Frugal and Simple

This episode gives the current status of Life: Frugal and Simple, no we're not going away!

There have been some changes to our RSS feed and we are still trying to sort it all out. Our hosting provider is shutting down and we have had about 5 days to get it moved and it is not an easy task. I hope that we will not loose any viewers in the process either by accident or frustration. If you use iTunes you may get the old shows showing as new. If you have a friend who gets the show from Podango's RSS feed please give them the new feed.

If all goes well we will have a new show Saturday the 3rd of January!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas Day! This was our third Christmas together as husband and wife but our first Christmas alone. The first year we went to John David's parents, last year we went to my parents, and this year it was just us! I know to some that probably seems lonely and horrible but we had a wonderful day together!

We slept in until 10:30 and didn't feel a bit guilty about it at all! Then John David cooked breakfast which was amazing!

My ham biscuit with hash browns

John David's ham, biscuit, hash browns, and egg

Our beautiful Christmas tree! Bobby, Katie, and Nathan Burns bought us this tree because we didn't have a Christmas tree and weren't going to have one because we were moving! It is a beautiful tree that we will use for years to come!!

Then we took pictures of the puppy in front of the tree!

And then pictures of each other, they are typical Christmas morning photos!

And took a "family" picture:

Then we opened presents, we each had a gift from my parents to open this morning! We decided not to purchase each other anything because we just purchased a home and got a new puppy and because we have been going to Lowe's several times a week and purchasing things for our home so we have bought plenty of gifts! And also when you move you realize how much stuff you have and how you don't need anything! (I somewhat jokingly told John David earlier this week I was boycotting Christmas gifts!!)

This evening we went to the Simmerman's for dinner which was wonderful! We were able to visit with them and share excitement of children on Christmas and then we visited the Maupin's and played with their kids too! We are so thankful for the good friends God has blessed us with here! I told John David a few minutes after we got home that it is so great to have good friends to share special days with when family is so far away!

Home Update

It has been a crazy few weeks. We have been working on the house almost 3 weeks and are tired but things are coming together and we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

We officially moved Saturday and turned in our apartment keys Sunday!! We spent our very first night in our new home on Saturday night! Sunday after church we started slowly putting things where they go.

Here is what my living room looked like:

It's looks much better now, there are still a few things out of place but we are getting there. We still have to paint trim, windows, and doors in every room so that has slowed us down! The master bedroom is 90% finished so we have a "sanctuary" in an otherwise chaotic home!

Moving so close to Christmas has also has not been fun, Sunday my parents spent the night on their way to visit my dad's parents and they were here amidst the chaos! We even put my mom to work! Our Christmas was pretty relaxing, we slept in until 10:30 without feeling guilty but we still did some work! Next Christmas will hopefully be a lot different and less crazy!

Our first picture in our new home!

As we finish getting each room organized and decorated I plan to post before and after pictures so you can have a grand tour of our home!! So stay posted for those photos!!

Winter Wonderland

Two weeks ago while we were painting and doing repairs it snowed several inches. We finished up our painting for the night and headed back to our apartment in a winter wonderland. Thankfully the highway had been salted and there was no risk in driving home! When we arrived back at the house the next morning, the house was beautiful! I had to take a picture of the snow!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Changes are taking place in our family and they are exciting changes!!!

Last week, John David and I purchased our first home, a 3 bedroom, 2 bath 1500 square foot home with a basement and an amazing kitchen for filming Life:Frugal and Simple cooking shows! We have spent the last week painting. We have painted every room in the house, the ceilings in the master, and are now working on getting all the trim painted. Today we had our carpets cleaned and they look amazing! We are planning on moving in officially on Saturday!! I will be posting more pictures of the house and the improvements we have made once we get settled in our new home...that we own!!!

The other news, John David left Farm Credit today. He will be starting a job as Media Director at our church on January 1!!! We are so excited because God has given John David the desire of his heart, to use media to His glory!! I am so excited and so is John David about our future with our wonderful church family!!!

So, since John David is without work for 2 weeks, we have a Christmas break again this year :) Isn't that a positive way to look at 2 weeks without an income? We definitely have plenty of work to do and we will enjoy spending some quality time together over the holidays!! And, we know that God will take care of us these next 2 weeks, all our bills will be paid, and the freezer is fully stocked!!

Car Repairs

Yesterday we had to have John David's truck repaired, the clutch went out and to fix it, the shop had to lift out his transmission which equaled to a bill over $ fun at all!!

However, we can still praise God in this situation because this is the first time in 2 1/2 years of marriage that we have had to put one of our vehicles in the shop (and we drive older vehicles). We also had the money available to cover it; when I started working in October, I started taking out a percentage of my earnings for a car savings account because our vehicles are getting older. That money funded most of the bill and the rest we were able to cover from our checking without having to dip into our emergency fund! God is so good and faithful and blesses us so much!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

We're Getting A Puppy

John David and I are getting a puppy in a few weeks! He is a precious Yorkie-Poo that my sister has and since she has another dog and is moving back home she needed a new home for this precious puppy!

Here he is:

Isn't he just a little doll??

Rebekah named him Rebel but we are going to name him Mac since we love our Macs and could never name our children after our computers :) But Mac is great for a puppy!

He will be joining us December 22 and we are very excited about our new addition!!

(These pictures are from Thanksgiving...we didn't take a picture together we just took pictures with the dog!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This is going to be a very busy week for us so my plan is quick and easy meals so we won't be tempted to pick up fast food or order a pizza! I know this isn't the most healthy menu, but it is better than unhealthy, greasy, food out!!

Here is the plan for lunches & dinner for the coming week:

Turkey Sandwiches x 2
Pimento Cheese Sandwiches x 2
Homemade Frozen Pizza
Hot Pockets x 2
Corn Dogs x 2
Frozen Pizza x 2
Bean, Cheese, & Salsa Nachos
Chili (Frozen Homemade Chili!)

I have found that having some "convenience" foods on hand saves me money because we won't go grab something. I knew this was going to be a busy week so I prepared by freezing pizza and chili and picking up lunch meat, pimento cheese, hot pockets, and corn dogs!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Best Meatloaf

Last night we had meatloaf for dinner! This is one of our favorite meals which is quite funny because meatloaf was on my list of most hated meals (along with tuna patties) as a child!

This is John David's mom's recipe, Sweet and Sour Meatloaf, and it is delicious.

Yummy dinner!!

Doesn't it look delicious??

I am not going to share the recipe tonight, this is just a "teaser". In a few weeks this will be featured on Life: Frugal and Simple and there will be a recipe card for you to download!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Episode 12: Angel Food Ministries Box

In this episode I go through my Angel Food box and share what all was in it and also talk about meals I could make with the food we got!

Visit to see the meals I have prepared with this food.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oh The Things I Get Myself Into

Today I opened the freezer to pull out meat for dinner, just a routine thing right?? Well, not today! The meat I was after was in a basket and after pulling out the basket, a bag of frozen biscuits fell into the space where the drawer goes. No big issue, right? So I proceeded to pull out the drawer and grabbed the biscuits and put them back where they belong. Well, then the drawer wouldn't go back in! So I pushed and pushed and realized that the closet door doesn't allow the freezer to open all the way (great thing to figure out!) Well after about 10 minutes I had the basket jammed, wouldn't go in, wouldn't come out, with the freezer standing wide open, so what do I do? That's right, I called my husband! Thankfully he works a mile from home and was here in less than 5 minutes. And it took him 1 minute to solve my 10 minute dilemma! He pulled out the basket (yeah, the one I had been tugging on!) with almost no effort, unlatched the closet door, put the basket back in, closed the freezer, and latched the closet door back and then with a hug and a kiss he was on his way! So lessons learned: make sure things can easily go back to where they belong BEFORE you pull them out, I need to build some muscles, and most importantly, MY HUSBAND IS AWESOME!! A glimpse into my simple & silly life!

The Small Things

I have been thinking the past few days about the small things in life that are too often overlooked. For me, many of these small things are often silly, nothing profound at all, but they bring great joy into my life.

Here are my small things:
*John David's cold feet at night
*A hug after John David walks in the door from work
*Folding our laundry
*Baking cookies
*Vanilla Dr. Pepper at Sonic with John David!
*Welch's Grape Juice
*A good book
*Soft blankets
*Fleece sheets
*Flannel pjs
*Talking to my sister
*Homemade pizza
*Half anniversaries!
*Bargain shopping
*Sweet little dogs!
*Listening to Christian music and singing at the top of my lungs with John David (and neither of us can sing!)
*Looking at pictures
*Warm socks
*Kid Cereal
*Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
*Grocery Shopping
*Long car ride with John David

I could go on and on but those are some of the small things, that I enjoy and that made my life so wonderful!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Making Pinto Beans

Yesterday I made pinto beans! It is more cost effective than store bought pintos and they are so easy to make too! I followed directions from the blog, A Year of Crockpotting, and they turned out great! Last night I enjoyed a nice bowl of Vinegar and Pintos with corn muffins!! Yummy!!

The beginning: beans, water, salt, pepper, and salt cured ham

After 8 hours of cooking on high

3 containers to go in the freezer, 1 small container to go in the fridge for Mexican Casserole, and 1 bowl for tonight's supper

Monday, December 1, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Here is the Menu Plan for the Week:

Pintos and Corn Muffins
Mexican Casserole
Beef Stroganoff
Fried Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Crescents
Pepperoni Pizza
Chicken Tacos

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Anniversary Day!!

Today is my one year blog anniversary! I have been doing this for 1 year, it's hard to believe!! It is so much fun to look back over the posts from the past year!! I just love blogging and I hope you enjoy reading too!!

Today is also our 2 1/2 year anniversary!! It has been an amazing 2 1/2 years! Sometimes it is hard to believe that we have been married this long and on the other hand it seems like we have been married FOREVER, which is a wonderful thing!! I love him more today than I did on May 27, 2006 and I look forward to many more anniversaries and half anniversaries!!


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Our giving thanks started yesterday, we loaded up John David's Ranger to go to my parents house, we finally finished loading up and were ready to hit the road. We backed out of the driveway and the clutch went out in the truck! We were so thankful it happened in our driveway and not while we were out on the road. So, we got the truck back in the driveway and started moving everything into the Escape! That took about 10 more minutes and then we were really on the road. Our trip home was uneventful! When we arrived home we had barbeque with my mom, dad, and sister! We met Beka's new puppy who is a doll and he slept with us last night, he is such a cutie and a sweet little mild-mannered dog!

We slept until 9 this morning!! It is so nice to sleep in with my hubby! When we got up I tried to do what I could do to help mom with cooking and Beka made us blueberry muffins for breakfast! At 12 mom's family came down for dinner! Mom's dressing and hash brown casserole were amazing!!!

So now we are sitting in front of the TV (we've been watching HGTV which is a treat since we don't have cable!)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Episode 10: Pumpkin Pie

In honor of Thanksgiving, in this show I make homemade Pumpkin Pie! It is easy and delicious!!

Click for recipes:

Pie Crust*

Pumpkin Pie Filling

*In the show I only make a half batch of crust for one pie!

Filled with Faith Friday

We have had another blessed week!

*We traveled to Louisville on Monday and came back Wednesday! God blessed us with safe travel!!

*Wednesday we had a speaker from The Voice of the Martyrs and that really put life in perspective. We worry about so many silly things here in America and really take for granted our freedom, we have no fear of being killed for what we believe or fear of the government interrupting our worship services and taking us to prison. The speaker told us that the number one request of the persecuted church is prayer. If you are a Christian reading this, I ask you to take time to pray for those who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus, please.

*God has been with us through some decisions we have been making lately and we are confident that he will take care of us in the future!

I hope God has filled you with faith this week!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Beautiful Flowers from My Sweet Husband

John David came home today with these lovely carnations! I was surprised and they are so beautiful! They fit perfectly in my milk bottle and are beautiful on our dresser!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Meals for the Week:

Mexican Casserole
Potato Soup
Alfredo Pizza
Lemon Pepper Fish with Broccoli & Corn Muffins
Pintos & Cornbread

Nothing fancy just good filling meals!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Filled with Faith Friday

Once again we have been blessed with another good week. Everything has went well and we are healthy...I have had a few bouts with the sniffles but nothing bad praise the Lord! My work is going well, I am enjoying it as well as enjoying my time at home. This week we had dinner with friends from church and enjoyed spending time with them and their children. Tonight I co-hosted with Katie, Heather, and Bonnie (the bridesmaids) a a shower for my friend Kara in Murfreesboro and John David went with Adam and Daniel (Katie & Heather's husbands) to a prayer conference and heard Henry Blackaby speak. He shared some things with me on the way home and we discussed just how awesome God is and how he works in our lives through prayer! I am so thankful for the ability to pray to my creator, we really should be in awe every time we bow our heads to pray because God is listening to us! These are the things I am thankful for this week!

Episode 9: Going Green the Frugal Way

Green & Frugal Tips

*Use compact fluorescents
*Use cloth napkins
*Use kitchen towels and dish cloths and rags instead of paper towels
*Turn off lights when you leave a room
*Turn off printer when it is not in use
*Unplug electronics when you go out of town
*Unplug kitchen appliances when you aren't using them
*Shop at thrift stores
*Donate unwanted items instead of throwing them away
*Run all errands for the week in one day
*Use a programmable thermostat

My Cooking Day

I have been cooking (and cleaning the kitchen) since 10 a.m. and have quite a bit to show for it!!


Last night I cooked up some ground meat that had been in my fridge a few days. Today I took that meat and made a pot of chili. We will get three meals out of it!! There is some in the fridge for tomorrow night's dinner and I filled up 2 containers with chili to freeze for busy nights...nice homemade convenience foods!!

Chicken Dip:

I spent quite a bit of time preparing this chicken dip! It is a yummy (and expensive) dip with chunks of chicken, cream cheese, and cheddar and it is served with Fritos! I made this for a shower tonight for one of my dear friends! Now, I just have to bake it and put the cheddar cheese on top!!

Chicken Broth:

Since I had to boil chicken breasts to make the chicken dip, I saved the broth from the chicken!! I added salt and pepper and now I have frugal (and free) chicken broth to add to soups and casseroles!! I measured out 1 cup of broth for each container.

No-Bake Cookies:

Since I had all the ingredients on hand I decided to make a small batch of no-bake cookies for the shower tonight! I just love these and so does the bride!!

I feel very productive and it's only 2:30!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Making Your Home a Haven: Fun

The Homespun Heart is continuing Making Your Home a Haven and the focus of today is fun!

Today is the day that I go to work so I won't be back home until 5:30 but we can still have fun tonight because all the chores are done and I have dinner planned and the meat already laid out!!

Here is my fun list for the evening:

*Cook dinner!

*Film 2 episodes of Life:Frugal and Simple (this is family fun because hubby loves video and editing and I love coming up with show content!)

*Play Yahtzee

I am anxious already about the fun that awaits me this evening!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Cared For Haven

I had yet another successful day and accomplished everything on my list!

The first project I tackled was to finish sewing my pinwheel blocks which I did!!

All the pieces laid out!!

Close up!

Now I am trying to decide whether I want to sew these together and make a small baby quilt or if I should add some white blocks to break up the pinwheels and make a larger quilt! (I am open to suggestions!!)

The next thing I did was organize the office and studio. It wasn't in bad shape today, it just needed a little maintenance. I don't have before pictures from today but this is an idea of the typical chaos! (Since these pictures were taken we have moved my desk into this space!)

My desk

Cameras tucked in their respective boxes!!

Hubby's desk!

I also prepared for the next two shows of Life:Frugal and Simple! We are planning on filming 2 episodes tomorrow night after I get off work!

And the other thing on my list was to make a plan to work on our chair that has been untouched since July. It needs to be stripped and stained! I decided that Saturday morning would be lovely for working on the chair and if it rains, we will try the next Saturday! I would love to have the chair finished so we can use it!!

Making Your Home a Haven: Cared For

Today the focus of Making Your Home a Haven at The Homespun Heart is a cared for home. This involves getting things done that need to be done, like those projects that just keep getting put off!

Of course it didn't take me too long to come up with a list! Here is my list of tasks to accomplish today:

* Finish pinwheel blocks

*Organize studio/office

*Fully prepare for filming next episode of Life:Frugal and Simple tomorrow

*Make a plan to work on this chair(I need my hubby's help in getting the paint off!) It has been 4 months since we last touched it! We need to get the paint off so we can stain it and use it!!

Dinner: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, and Crescent Rolls (since we didn't have it last night!!)

I will be back this evening, hopefully with positive results from my day of hard work!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Clean Haven

This morning I posted my plans for the day and I accomplished everything on my list!

I washed a load of whites:

I ironed hubby's work shirts:

I also vacuummed the entire house, cleaned out my icky microwave, and cleaned our bathroom. I made napkins and finished a few quilt patches! I worked a little on Life:Frugal and Simple and prepped dinner and since we ate dinner with friends tonight, tomorrow night's meatloaf is ready to go in the oven!

Making Your Home a Haven: Clean

Monica at The Homespun Heart is hosting Making Your Home a Haven this week and the focus of today is cleaning!

Here are my plans for today:

Wash clothes
Clean Microwave
Sew for 1 hour
Clean our bathroom
Prepare 2 scripts for Life:Frugal and Simple
Begin dinner before hubby gets home: Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes with Crescent Rolls

I will feel very accomplished when all of this is finished by 4:30!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

*Chicken Parmesan with Green Beans and Crescent Rolls
*Homemade Pepperoni Pizza
*Beef Stroganoff with Broccoli
*Potato Soup
*Fried Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Crescent Rolls

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ready to start sewing...

I started making patches for a pinwheel quilt a month ago and then stopped! The past few evenings I have been cutting out triangles for the quilt! I am planning on starting back on it tomorrow!

Hot Cocoa for a Chilly Night


My sweet hubby made me gourmet hot cocoa tonight! He used milk and cocoa mix and then shaved dark chocolate into the cocoa mix and some more over the hot cocoa! It looked amazing and tasted wonderful!!

Family & Football

Ready for a Saturday drive...

We went to Cookeville this weekend to see Jill cheer and to visit with John David's parents. We left home at 9:30, ate lunch at Cheddar's, went to the game (it was chilly), and headed back home! We had a fun day!

Sweet hubby!

Jill is the 5th from the right in the back...(confusing but that is where she is!)

Me (sporting my goofy sunglasses & jacket from 7th grade), Jill, & John David